Bestselling author Patricia Rice is back in the Lair to celebrate the release of her 47th book, The Wicked Wyckerly. I got an early peek, and it's fabulous--full of humor and quirky characters and hot in all the right places. Just in case anyone doesn't know, Pat's romances have won numerous awards, including the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice and Career Achievement Awards. Her forty-sixth book, MYSTIC WARRIOR, is currently nominated for 2009 Historical Romance of the Year by RT Book Reviews. She has also been a RITA finalist in the historical, Regency, and contemporary categories.
Welcome, Pat! How is The Wicked Wyckerly different from the Mystic Isle series?
I’ve left the paranormal Mystic world behind and returned to the Regency world of my origins. Don’t get me wrong, I have more paranormals up my sleeve! But I’ve had this Regency idea nagging at the back of my mind that simply needed to be written. WYCKERLY is much more romance and character-driven and less action-oriented than the adventures of the Mystic Isles, but I hope my readers enjoy my characters enough to see what I’m up to now.
Who are the hero and heroine?
John Fitzhugh Wyckerly is the younger son of a bankrupt earl, one of the notorious Wyckerlys who gained their fortune through piracy and who have gone their own way through the ages without regard to anyone else. Fitz’s mathematical genius at counting cards keeps him in starched linen, since the estate provides no allowance. And his charm has made him ever popular at London’s dinner tables, so he never goes hungry.
Abigail Merriwether is a respectable rural spinster who almost married a vicar until her father died, leaving her in charge of four very young, rambunctious half-siblings. The small estate she inherits is scarcely sufficient to induce any man to take on the expense and trouble of four children. So the vicar fled, and then the childrens’ guardian decided they’d be better off with a distant—married, male—cousin, leaving Abby alone and determined to get the children back.
Fitz has prodigious skill with numbers. Was there any particular inspiration for that?
You think just because I’m an accountant that I might have prodigious skills?
Abby is great not only with managing kids and the hero but with gardening. Any particular inspiration for that skill?
Okay, I’ll claim that one. I’ve gardened pretty much all my life. Gardening—and farming in general—requires a great deal of knowledge, patience, and a certain amount of luck. All of this requires a nurturing nature, which is what Abby needs to deal with children.
What's the biggest problem keeping Fitz and Abby apart?
Money, of course, or the lack thereof. Plus, Fitz is a dreadful father since he’s had utterly no experience in parenting. He’s been raised by a succession of poorly paid servants who allowed him to run wild as a child. Abby can’t possibly take a chance on a bankrupt gambler who lets his own child swear like a sailor. Not at first, leastways.
The Marchioness of Belden is an intriguing character. Tell us a bit about her.
When I first brainstormed this series with my editor, I had two series ideas in mind. One was about the younger sons of aristocrats, and the other was about an incredibly wealthy woman who has decided to give her female relations options she didn’t have by granting them a thousand pounds a year. Once I put those two ideas together, the marchioness, Lady Bell as she’s affectionately called, came into being. She definitely has a back story. With luck and reader support, perhaps I’ll have a chance to tell her tale some time. Every series depends on readers buying the books!
I notice the cover says this is one of the Rebellious Sons series. I love your series. Can you give us a preview?
THE DEVILISH MONTAGUE will be the 2011 release. The current blurb on him reads: On the field of honor at dawn—dark and sardonic, Blake Montague has the mind of a master strategist, but barred from claiming the glory of war by his restrictive family, he must put his warrior's heart at risk and find a wife willing to finance his desire to fight for England. Except what wife would want a man like him dead on a battlefield?
As an additional note, the last of my e-book Magic series, MAGIC MAN, was released last week on Bookviewcafe . The entire series is now available in just about every e-book format.
I loved that series, too. Readers can check out an excerpt of The Wicked Wyckerly at Pat's website, where it downloads as a pdf. Before you run check it out, though, answer one or more of these questions to have your name in the hat to win a copy of The Wicked Wyckerly:
What story about a single father would you recommend? What story about an older sibling trying to take care of younger ones would you recommend? Which gambler heroes have you enjoyed?