Monday, May 16, 2011

My Favorite Vanessa Kelly!

by Anna Campbell

It's my great pleasure to introduce Vanessa Kelly to the lair, not that she needs much introduction to our discerning readers.

Here's the official lowdown:

Vanessa Kelly writes Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra, and was named by Booklist as one of the new stars of historical romance. You can find her on the web at: http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com. She also writes contemporary romance with her husband for Carina Press, under the pen name of V.K. Sykes. You can visit her at: www.vksykes.com.

Vanessa's current release MY FAVORITE COUNTESS is getting rave reviews. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars and called it 'captivating' and 'memorable'. Booklist gave MY FAVORITE COUNTESS a starred review and called it 'sublimely sensual'.

Here's the blurb:

Spirited, stubborn, and entirely irresistible...

She is difficult, demanding, and at times, quite fierce. And Dr. John Blackmore can't take his eyes off her. The Countess of Randolph is the most striking woman he has ever seen...and the most infuriating patient he has ever tended. Mired in responsibility, Bathsheba doesn't have time to convalesce in the country. She should be in London, hunting for a wealthy new lover to pay off her late husband's vast debts, not dallying with a devastatingly handsome doctor. But it is only a matter of time until the good doctor and the obstinate countess will have to contend with the sparks that fly between them. And once their bodies surrender, their hearts may follow...

Vanessa, your latest book is MY FAVORITE COUNTESS and it sounds like such a delicious romance across the class divide, with your aristocratic heroine and your doctor hero. Can you tell us about the story?

Hi Anna! Thanks for hosting me on the Bandits, one of the best spots to hang out in the romance blogosphere!


As you point out, MY FAVORITE COUNTESS is a romance across the class and money divide. My hero, Dr. John Blackmore, comes from a respectably landed family in the north of England—he’s a gentleman’s son in the way Elizabeth Bennet was a gentleman’s daughter. My heroine, Bathsheba, is the daughter of a viscount and the widow of an earl, so she’s clearly higher up the social scale. She’s a bit of a snob, too, although she’s very strapped up for cash, which is why she needs a rich husband. Not that a little debt (or a lot) ever stopped your average aristocrat from lording it over everyone else!

John, on the other hand, does very well for himself as a physician to the ton, but he works for a living. Oh, the horror! Even worse, he insists on risking his life by going into the slums to doctor poor women and their babies. That freaks Bathsheba right out, although she can’t help but admire his courage and dedication. But the thought of giving up her elevated social standing to be the wife of a physician—especially one who takes so many risks to help poor people—is something she really has to struggle with.

But Bathsheba isn’t totally selfish. She really does have a compelling and understandable reason for finding a rich husband, although she has to keep that reason a secret from everyone she knows.


Sounds fantastic! Did you come across any surprising facts as you researched this book?

Lots of interesting research tidbits for this book. My hero is not your garden variety physician. He’s an accoucheur, which was the Regency version of an obstetrician. One thing that surprised me was how skilled and knowledgeable some of the doctors and midwives were, even by today’s standards. You can imagine, though, how utterly desperate childbirth could be during this era. In fact, the climax of my book involves one of the secondary characters going through a difficult and possibly life-threatening labor. I bet you can guess who saves her!

Here’s one bit I found really fascinating – forceps were developed as far back as the early 17th Century by the Chamberlens, a French Huguenot family who emigrated from Paris and specialized in midwifery. The family kept the instrument a secret for decades, handing it down from father to son in a long line of surgeon specialists. It helped them make their fortunes since the Chamberlens were obstetricians to the Royal family. Part of their success was very likely due to the use of their “secret” instrument. Eventually, the secret got out and various designs of the instrument gradually appeared. The use of forceps was actually quite controversial, though, as physicians argued for years over its safety and utility. A lot of politics came into play in the birthing business, as mid-wives, surgeons, and physicians all competed for a slice of the pie. It’s a fascinating and complicated topic of study.


That's fascinating! What’s next for Vanessa Kelly?

I’m working on my next book, which is the wrap-up to my series and is a Christmas book. The hero is introduced in MY FAVORITE COUNTESS. His name is Major Lucas Stanton, and he’s a career army officer who’s forced to give up his commission in order to take on the ramshackle estate he’s just inherited. He’s not very happy about it, but the Christmas season (and a Christmas bride!) has a way of making things work out.

Since that book won’t be out until Oct. 2012, I’m writing a Regency novella which I’ll be publishing in e-book form in the early spring of 2012.

And I’m also continuing to write contemporary romances and romantic suspense novels with my husband, under the pen name of V.K. Sykes.

What made you choose the Regency as your setting? You obviously have a passion for early 19th century Great Britain!

I became interested in the Regency era the same way many romance writers did – through the novels of Georgette Heyer. From there I moved on to Jane Austen, which pretty much sealed my fate. In graduate school I studied British women writers of the Regency period, especially Fanny Burney. Her diaries are a fascinating account of life in artistic circles and at the court of King George III.


I guess what I love most about the period is that combination of glamour and grit, wit and crudity that seemed to exemplify life in Regency England. The beauty and culture of Mayfair was only a few blocks from the worst slums in London. But those worlds so often intersected in a strangely democratic way in places like Covent Garden and Vauxhall.

You’ve been published now for a little over two years which makes you an old hand at the publishing game! LOL! Can you share some highlights? Have there been any surprises along the way?

The most surprising thing to me about the publishing business is how fast everything is changing. When I first started writing, e-books were considered to be a niche market and being self-published was akin to existence in the Third Circle of Hell. Now, e-publishing is growing at an astonishing rate and self-publishing is a respectable and sometimes very lucrative alternative. When a first class romance novelist like Connie Brockway decides to go the way of self-publishing, you know the revolution is upon us.

Can you take us through a typical Vanessa Kelly day?

I don’t think I have a typical day. I do spend too much time on the internet, so it’s a battle to keep that under control and stay focused on writing. But I generally do email in the mornings—along with the chores that come from daily living—and write in the afternoon. Evenings are free time to read or watch TV. I get brain burnout if I try to work longer than that.

Vanessa, is there anything you'd like to ask the Bandits and Bandita Buddies?

The hero of MY FAVORITE COUNTESS is neither earl nor duke, nor even a viscount. Do you prefer your Regency heroes aristocratic, or does the idea of a different kind of hero (like a doctor!) appeal to you?

Vanessa has very generously offered commenters today the chance to win TWO copies of MY FAVORITE COUNTESS. Good luck!

116 comments:

lindsey hutchison said...

that is a hard question cause for the most part i like the average joe getting the dream girl and true love. but at the same time i really do love to get lost in the world of egotistical earls/dukes/viscounts/princes and seeing them realize not all girls with put up with them and having them work a lil to woo that lady its just so hard to pick

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Lindsey! Have you won the Golden Rooster before? He's a mythical chook who is a source of endless mayhem and he goes to whoever posts first on a particular day! Congratulations!

Jane said...

Congrats to Lindsey on the GR.

Welcome Vanessa,
Congrats on the new release. I enjoy aristocratic heroes as well as the regular ones who work as Bow Street Runners and doctors.

Anna Campbell said...

Jane, I agree with you. I think it depends on the story. I must say I like the fairytale element of men with titles!

jo robertson said...

Welcome to the Lair, Vanessa! I love the storyline of MY FAVORITE COUNTESS. Although I enjoy stories of alpha males of the aristocracy, I really like alpha males who work with their hands! Pun intended.

This has got to go on my must buy list.

Marie said...

I like the idea of the man being the lesser up the social ladder for a change. (Does that make sense even?) Anyway, I also like the Dr/Ob/Gyn part, sounds VERY interesting! Can't wait to read this book now! LOL

Amy

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, snickering at the hands comment. I must say I've been intrigued by the storyline of My Favorite Countess ever since I first heard about it!

Anna Campbell said...

Marie, nice to have a different element like this in a Regency, isn't it?

lindsey hutchison said...

lmao no i have never won the Golden Rooster before but thank you very much *bows*

lindsey hutchison said...

and thanks for telling me the meaning cause i would have been scratching my head staring at the screen with a stupid look on my face while trying to figure out what the Golden Rooster is then try google

Lolarific said...

You know it is nice having the cinderella-esque story from time to time, because who wouldn't want to marry some sort of royalty? Even if it is only a viscount or duke or such. But those weren't the only romances happening in that time and I do think it's a bit refreshing to have some sense of what the more common peoples romances were like. Doctors and lawyers seem like some good professions to which the romances might make good stories. It might take one of those to keep up with a smart strong headed heroine, like we're prone to love reading about. Either way all it really takes to hook me is a really strong romance. One that grabs you right away and has you completely captivated until the last page.

Anna Campbell said...

Glad to be of assistance, Lindsey!

Anna Campbell said...

Lola, I agree with you that it's nice to dabble in the middle class in a romance! Always gives such a nice, different perspective to all those balls and stately homes!

marybelle said...

I do love an aristocrat. The haughtier and bluer the blood the better. Nice to watch them finally come down off their pedestals & become more human.

marypres@gmail.com

Helen said...

Well done Lindsey have fun with him

Great interview Ladies
Vanessa
I hold my head in shame I have your books on my must have list and really need to get them I have heard so much about them and the book depositry have a special on at the moment so it won't be long and I will be able to read them all together whoo hoo.

As for prefering Regency Heroes as aristocrats or not I am happy to read about them all aristocrat or not. I have read a couple of other books years ago where the hero has been a doctor and loved it I think it was a Jacquie D'Alessandro book.
Congrats on the release Vanessa and thank you Anna for inviting Vanessa today

Have Fun
Helen

Christine Wells said...

Hi Vanessa! Welcome to the lair. Anna, thank you for hosting Vanessa today.

I love the idea of the snobbish lady and the doctor--makes me think of Rosie and Lydgate in Middlemarch (although he was better born, she still hankered after a much grander life) but with a happy ending. Long live romance!

I don't mind whether a hero is a duke or a dustman--he just needs to have those wonderful heroic qualities we love. Judith Ivory's ratcatcher book is a great example of this. Looking forward to MY FAVORITE COUNTESS. Congratulations on all the buzz it's receiving. Love the cover, by the way!

Beth Andrews said...

Welcome to the lair, Vanessa! My Favorite Countess sounds like a fabulous read and I love the cover!

The idea of a different kind of hero definitely appeals to me, although I have to admit, it's your snobbish heroine who's caught my attention. Sounds as if she's going to go through some serious character growth in this story :-)

Congratulations on the wonderful reviews!!

Carol L. said...

Ooooh, I love them all. lol A hard working man with big shoulders and gentle hands just makes me sigh....lol
It's great watching the Aristocrats drop from their pedestals but I really do enjoy reading about the middle and lower classes as well.It's all i9n the story.
Congrats Vanessa on your latest release.The first time I saw you was on Candace Hern's awesome blog. Hi Anna . :)
Carol L
Lucky4750@aol.com

Diana Quincy said...

My favorite heroes are the ones who came up the hard way and have made something of themselves. And of course, they move among the Ton - even if it is on the fringes!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Vanessa! Welcome to the Lair! It's lovely to have you with us, and lovely of you, Anna, to bring her on down.

I'll *wave madly* because I'm a Kensington author too - as is our own Christie Kelley - so you're in good company. grins.

Lindsey - congrats on getting the Golden Rooster. He's a rascal, but you'll be glad you met him...

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I definitely like some heroes to be non aristocratic. There have been a few stories I read of the Bow Street Runners being the heroes of the tale. I liked those quite well. A couple of scholars made a nice hero too.

Gannon Carr said...

Hi, Vanessa! *waving*

I usually prefer my heroes aristocratic---it's that Prince Charming fantasy, I guess---but I have to say John, in MY FAVORITE COUNTESS is delicious and sexy! He definitely stole my heart.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Hi everybody! I'm finally awake up in the frozen north! Okay, it's not really frozen today - just wet and rainy. But I'm thrilled to be here with the Banditas and hanging out for the day. Thanks for having me on, Anna!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Jane and Jo, I like heroes who work with their hands, too. The Bow Street Runner series by Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorites.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Lolarific, you're right that there are so many interesting stories out there to tell. And, yes. At the end of the day, it's all about the romance!

Jo's Daughter said...

I'm not set on titles or aristocracy. A doctor would make a great hero. Why not? Not everyone belongs to the rich and they still can have a fabulous life story. It is true that working men and women have less spare time, no grand balls or estates and perhaps this is less of an escape for the reader. But I don't think it can't be done in an interesting way...

The Romanceaholic said...

I admit, I tend to like "titled" heroes, but there are so many around, that I think it would be a nice change to have a hero who worked for a living.

This sounds great -- a definite addition to my TBR Mountain! :D

Donna MacMeans said...

Vanessa - Just wanted to drop and say that this sounds like a fabulous book. Love the cover! I once did an informal study of words used on romance covers and found that those with Duke, Count, Earl, Countess, etc. sell better than those without a title. Not sure that answers your question, but it seems significant.

Woohoo Lindsey on snagging the rooster! Hmmm...I wonder how a book would sell if the GR were on the cover. Let's face it - there's no more aristocratic bird than our rooster (grin).

gamistress66 said...

I admit I enjoy those titled gents but sometimes a change to a working man or from a different part of town makes for a great read. Your latest hero sounds like a dream ;)

Vanessa Kelly said...

Hi Helen! Thanks for stopping by. You cannot believe how long my TBR list is. Frankly, it's out of control! My husband is terrified every time I set foot into a bookstore.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Hi Christine! Funny that you should mention Middlemarch - I lurved that book in grad school. Who knows? Maybe it was lurking in my subconscious when I wrote MFC!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Beth, Bathsheba has a WAY big character arc. She was a very bad girl in my previous book, so I really have to put her through her paces.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Hi Carol L.! Thanks for stopping by. And, yes. Candice is simply awesome. So glad to see her backlist coming out in digital.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Diana, I agree. A hardworking man is very sexy.

Dtchycat said...

Hi Vanessa! I will admit, I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved My Favorite Countess when I really was not going to read this book just because I hated Bathsheba so much from the previous book - and I ended up loving this book more!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Hi Jeanne! *waving madly back* Thank you to all the Bandits for having me on the blog!

Jenn3128 said...

Good Morning Ladies!

I will read anything I can get my hands on! Of course I prefer it to be of the sexy romance type and the sexier the better, but I don't hold myself to just that.

I really love that a doctor is a hero in this one and can't wait to read it!

Danielle Gorman said...

For me it just depends on the story. I'm not going to lie, I do like title gentlemen. But, some of my favorite stories have had heroes that are just regular guys that have made it big.

catslady said...

I like to read about things I know nothing about or very little so any thing aristocratic would be so far removed from the life I live that I find it intriguing and fascinating.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Hi Gannon - thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad John stole your heart, and thank you again for the awesome review.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Hi Jo's Daughter! Carle Kelly writes great historical romances with working heroes - sea captains, naval surgeons - that are often quite gritty but still very romantic.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Hi Donna! Thanks for stopping by. There does seem to be some sense that books with titled heroes are more popular, but I think when someone like Lisa Kleypas gets on the case, all bets are off! That woman could make any hero sexy.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Dtchycat, thanks SO much for giving Bathsheba a chance. I knew it would be a risk to do a book with her as the heroine, but she just wouldn't let me go!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Jenn, I guess I'm boasting a bit, but I think my hero John is very sexy!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Danielle, I love titled heroes, too, even though I had a great time writing John. In fact, the hero of my next book is an earl.

Minna said...

Frankly, for a change I'd love to see a Regency hero or heroine who isn't an aristocrat.

KEVÄT JA MINÄ - TOMMI LÄNTINEN (Spring and I)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV8cRMmMAFY&feature=related

Sir Elwoodin Hiljaiset Värit - Neiti Kevät (Miss Spring)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwIgXd6avWY&feature=related

Tavaramarkkinat: kevät (Spring)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkxToOpZ3nY&feature=related

Tipi-tii
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTigmdXqn2s&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzCUvzfHX50

Janga said...

I loved My Favorite Countess! I longed to know more about Bathsheba when I met her in Sex and the Single Earl, and I was delighted when I learned Vanessa was writing her story. John is a wonderful hero--strong, stubborn, sensitive, and sizzlingly sexy.

As I always say when confronted with either/or reading choices, one of the things I like best about being a romance reader is that I can choose both/and. Some of my favorite heroes are aristocrats--Sebastian Ballster, Marquess of Dain, Christian Langland, Duke of Jeveaux, Garret, Earl of Mayne; some are self-made men--Derek Craven, Captain Jesse Randall, Mick Tremore. I'm a romance reader. I can have them all. :)

Vanessa Kelly said...

Janga, thanks for stopping by! As always, you are absolutely correct. Thank goodness romance lovers don't have to choose when it comes to our heroes!

Leni said...

I don't have a preference because the characters always have something about them that surprises me or makes me want to find out more about them.

Anna Campbell said...

Ha ha, Mary! Well put! I've got to say I'm a pushover for all kinds of heroes!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, that Book Depository special is a trap, isn't it? I fell in yesterday and spent a fortune!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Christine, I ADORE The Proposition by Judith Ivory. He's the most adorable ratcatcher!

Anna Campbell said...

Beth, I love the idea of the snobbish heroine too. It gives her such a lot of learning to do and that means a great story!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Carol! Waving madly. Oh, you've got me sighing at the gentle hands thing. Beautifully put!

Anna Campbell said...

Diana, ooh, I like that sort of hero too. I'm kinda writing one of those right now and I'm having huge fun with his emotional scars but essential toughness!

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, I hope Lindsey is practicing her rooster wrangling skills!

Anna Campbell said...

Dianna, I love uber clever heroes! Yum, yum, yum. And I've read some great books with Bow Street Runners as heroes. One of my faves is an old Anne Stuart - Prince of Swords? - where the secondary romance involves a very big and gruff but tender Bow Street Runner who falls in love with the heroine's younger sister. Sigh! She's a great beauty and expected to make a wonderful marriage but she just falls for this guy like a ton of bricks. Lovely! Christine will know which book I mean!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Gannon, how wonderful you love Vanessa's hero! I must say that prince charming thing works for me too!

Anna Campbell said...

My pleasure, Vanessa! Thanks for a great interview. You always have such interesting things to say.

Speaking of the frozen north, it's the frozen south down here today. Sun's shining but it doesn't have a lot of power. Brrrrr!

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, I think you're so right. It depends on the story and how well the characters are handled.

Anna Campbell said...

Sorry, that's Jo's DAUGHTER!!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Romanceaholic, lovely to see you here and so glad we've teased you into trying Vanessa's wonderful writing!

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, I think a lot of us love that fairytale touch a titled hero gives. From what I've heard, dukes do the best of all!

Anna Campbell said...

Gamistress, he does sound lovely, doesn't he?

Anna Campbell said...

Vanessa, I ADORED Middlemarch. Loved the Will and Dorothea love story. And the Casaubon-Dorothea marriage is just so true - sad, but true! It's one of the books that made me glad I did English lit. I wouldn't have read it off my own bat.

Anna Campbell said...

Dtchycat, how fabulous you loved MY FAVORITE COUNTESS!

Anna Campbell said...

Jenn, the doctor hero is intriguing, isn't it? Love it!

Anna Campbell said...

Danielle, I think you're like most of us - if the hero is yummy enough, who cares if he's titled? Snort!

Anna Campbell said...

Catslady, that's one of the reasons I like writing aristocrats. I find the life just so fascinating - and as you say, so removed from anything most of us ever experience today (or probably would have experienced then!).

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, sounds like MY FAVORITE COUNTESS is right up your alley then!

Anna Campbell said...

Janga, beautifully put. Romancelandia is putting on a buffet for us. It would be churlish to only sample one dish, LOL!

Anna Campbell said...

Leni, exactly! If the story's good, I'm with it whatever the status of the hero.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Anna, I totally agree with you about Middlemarch. So beautifully and powerfully written, and really hits on a gut level, you know? That is definitely a book I would not have read if I were not a lit major, along with Bleak House, Portrait Of A Lady, and Clarissa. Loved them all, although it seemed to take YEARS to read Clarissa! Oh, Ulysses, too. Loved that, but that took forever, too.

Anna Campbell said...

Vanessa, I never made it through Ulysses! You're a better woman than I am, Gunga Din!

Sheree said...

There's a question? I've been staring at Paul Marron as Simon on the cover of "Sex and the Single Earl"...

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, Sheree, you're such a sucker for a bit of the Paul M!!!! ;-)

Barbara E. said...

I enjoy the occasional departure from the aristocrat, and I think a doctor would make a fine hero. I've read romances occasionally with wealthy business owners or self-made men, and as long as it's a great story, I'm all for it.

Sheree said...

Well, "Sex and the Single Earl" is the book that started my fascination with Paul Marron in the first place so it was my gateway drug and Vanessa was the supplier. :)

Anna Campbell said...

Barbara, I enjoy books that play with that rigid class structure of Regency England too. It's nice to see someone force his way through the top with talent and determination.

Anna Campbell said...

Sheree, Vanessa was your pusher? Snort!

Karyn Gerrard said...

Hi Ladies!

Vanessa, this is on my to-buy list to go on my self with your other books, love them! And always buy Canadian, I always say!

For the amount of historicals I inhale, sometimes, you do get tired of the aristocratic hunks, I do like my soldiers, doctors, lawyers, bow street runners and other second tier guys as well.

The aristo posing as a footman is always delicious (or variation of such)

All the best for your release!

Karyn Gerrard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karyn Gerrard said...

Yeah. That is supposed to be go on my 'shelf' not self. Duh~can't spell

LilMissMolly said...

I'm currently reading An Invitation to Sin. Anthologies are nice because they allow you to finish stories quickly when you work full time. I also loved Sex and the Single Earl. I like gentlemen stories, not necessarily nobility.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Karyn, not sure I've read aristo posing as a footman. Sounds delish! I love those false identity stories. Well, you knew that, didn't you? I think every story I've ever written has included a false identity subplot!

Anna Campbell said...

Molly, I love anthologies and short story collections for that reason too.

sheila said...

I want a title...and I want him to be a Duke.....*stamping my feet*

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, Sheila! Why don't you tell us what you REALLY think?

Vanessa Kelly said...

Sheree, so happy I could start you on the path of your addiction!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Barbara E., I love self-made businessmen as heroes stories!

Mary Anne Landers said...

Thank you, Vanessa, for your post, question, and giveaway.

I vastly prefer men who must work for a living. In real life, they're the only kind I can relate to. I mean, how many of us fantasize about making love with Donald Trump?

I wish there were more average Joes in romance fiction and fewer dukes, billionaires, and vampires. And it's not just because a romance needs a core of realism to draw me in. That, of course, is just one reader's opinion.

It's also because men of modest means present the writer with more possibilities. When a romance hero is under the same pressures, worries, and temptations as the rest of us, when he must overcome obstacles on his own rather than buy his way out or pull strings or order underlings to handle matters, the writer can generate plenty of interesting plots.

Many of these storylines are rarely if ever found in today's romance fiction. If they were used, the genre would be richer and attract more readers. New markets would develop; publishers and authors would have new sources of revenue.

But with rich, powerful heroes, we tend to get the same old storylines. And I for one have no desire to read the zillionth account of how some control-freak billionaire has a one-night stand with a feisty (a word I hate) working girl that results in a pregnancy and a marriage of convenience. Or how the arrogant Duke of Such-and-Such has to enter into an arranged marriage with a smart-mouthed virgin.

Even I must concede that such romances are wildly popular. I have neither the will nor the ability to deprive those who love them of their most addictive reading material.

But how about something for the rest of us? The market is large; there's room for us all.

Good luck with your new release!

Louisa Cornell said...

Good job, Lindsey! Trust me, having the GR around is an experience you won't soon forget. Hide the car keys! And the chocolate!


GREAT interview, La Campbell and Vanessa. LOVE Vanessa's books. This one sounds amazing. When it comes to heroes the most important thing is that he evokes and emotional reaction in me from the beginning of the novel. Love him, hate him, find him fascinating or too sexy to live if I am intrigued I will follow him wherever he goes!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Thanks for stopping by and flying the Canadian flag, Karyn!

Vanessa Kelly said...

LilMissMolly, I'm so glad you enjoyed Sex And The Single Earl. And An Invitation to Sin, too! Aren't Jo's, Sally's, and Kaitlin's stories great?

Vanessa Kelly said...

Bwahaha! Sheila, I can relate. I'd like myself a duke, too, but hubby wouldn't be too happy about that.

Anna Campbell said...

Mary Anne, sounds like you'll enjoy Vanessa's latest.

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, great point about the hero evoking an emotional reaction. I actually don't mind if he's flawed as long as there's at least a glimmer of a possibility of a redemption coming up. Sometimes those are the most interesting stories!

Ranae Rose said...

I usually find myself rooting for the 'ordinary' hero. I think there's something sexy about a man who makes a name for himself instead of simply being handed one. ;)

Anna Campbell said...

Ranae, there is something really sexy about that self-made man hero too, isn't there?

Oh, dear, as you can probably tell, if the story's great, I'm not that fussy about whether the hero has blue blood or not!

Nancy said...

Vanessa, welcome! Congratulations on your new book and the great reception it's getting.

I don't have a preference in heroes. Lords are always nice, but I love military heroes and have enjoyed others ranging from Bow Street runners to barristers.

I also love a good Christmas romance. :-)

Lindsey, congrats on snagging the Golden Rooster!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Mary Ann, I think contemporary romance does offer more opportunities for working class heroes. Not that there can't be this type of hero in historical romance as well, and there are some - again, Carla Kelly writes really wonderful romances with heroes who are not aristocrats. But life was so much grittier for most people in the Regency period and beyond, that it's sometimes hard to find the escapism and the romance in those settings.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Good point, Louisa. And thanks for stopping by!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Ranea Rose, there is something powerfully sexy about a man who has worked for what is his.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Nancy, I'm really enjoying writing the Christmas book. It's a bit different for me, but still fun!

Amber said...

Hi Vanessa! Congratulations on your newest release. I have heard such great things about MY FAVORITE COUNTESS that I really can't wait to read it.

I don't mind reading about a hero that is not an aristocrat. DREAMING OF YOU by Lisa Kleypas, which features the hero Derek Craven who rose from poverty to become a wealthy owner of an exclusive gambling house, still remains one of my most favorite books today.

krazymama_98 said...

I really hate to have to choose. Favorite books have both, royalty and not, also jail birds, good guys, bad guys that turned into good guys, etc. So many different kinds of men!! haha

Pat Cochran said...

Congratulations, Lindsay, on nabbing
the rascally rooster today!

Vanessa, so glad you are back with us today and I love the idea of a hero
who is not an aristocrat. Love the idea
of the equal opportunity hero! LOL.
I look forward to reading this book, it
is now on my TBR list!

Thanks, Anna, for our special guest!!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, I love a good Christmas romance too!

Anna Campbell said...

Amber, Derek Craven is a favorite hero who's not an aristo, isn't he?

Anna Campbell said...

KM, you're right - the variety of hero is one of the great things about romance, isn't it?

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, my pleasure! Vanessa is always a favourite here in the lair! We love having her visit.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, guys, thank you so much for a great day of blogging here in the Lair. Vanessa, thank you for being such a great guest. We wish you every success with MY FAVORITE COUNTESS!

Don't forget to check back to see who won the signed copies of MY FAVORITE COUNTESS!

Maureen said...

I like all kinds of heroes. Carla Kelly's recent stories have had more average heroes and they are great. I do still like the aristocratic heroes too with their arrogance and power.

Anna Campbell said...

Maureen, let's face it, I think they're all wonderful! ;-)

Bron said...

I must admit I prefer my heroes with a title. It gives them an excuse to be so very arrogant and then they get conquored by love.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, works for me, Bron!