Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Super Celia Seaton!

by Anna Campbell

Miranda Neville is such a favorite in the lair, she hardly needs any introduction - but she'll punch me if I don't say something and while she punches like a girl, it's still not the best look for authors at their professional best (snork!).

Miranda is an international explorer and conservationist who has been known to give Bear Grylls tips. She can whip up a three-course cordon bleu meal from two cans of baked beans, a bottle of Coke and an onion. When she's not advising the CIA on their undercover missions or showing the Queen how to wave, she can be found rescuing puppies from fast-flowing streams and wrapping Christmas presents for local orphans.

If you want to discover more about the wonder that is Miranda, please visit her website: http://www.mirandaneville.com/


Miranda, as you know, I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my hands on THE AMOROUS EDUCATION OF CELIA SEATON. THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT was one of my top handful of reads last year and I feel like it’s been a long while between drinks (impatience is my middle name). Can you tell us about this story?

May I mention how much I love you, Anna? (And thanks for inviting me to schmooze with the Banditas: it’s always a blast).

If you’ve been following the Burgundy Club series, you will have met Tarquin Compton, the snooty dandy. Among the victims of his biting tongue is Celia Seaton, whose suitor was scared off when Tarquin compared her to a cauliflower. After the unfortunate vegetable incident, Celia went through hard times, culminating in the loss of her job as a governess. Then she’s kidnapped, robbed and left in a cottage attic, stripped to her shift. Being an enterprising girl, like any good heroine, she manages to escape.

The door to the humble structure was blocked, by a body. The body of a man lying unconscious, wearing nothing but breeches and a pair of riding boots. It had been some years since Celia had seen the bare torso of a grown man, and never a white man. He was pale, as befit a man who was always dressed up to his neck, but the smattering of dark hair, covering the chest and descending in a vee over his flat stomach, didn’t disguise the fact that the skin covered well-formed muscles. This interesting masculine form distracted her only a few seconds from the astonishing fact that she knew him.


And although he was one of several men who had bedeviled her life, she did not actually wish him dead.

Kneeling on the ground she set her fingers to his temple and found a pulse. “Mr. Compton,” she said. “Mr. Compton, wake up. Are you well?”

Nothing. She rested her head on his chest. Judging by the strength of his heartbeat, Mr. Tarquin Compton would live to cause further distress to awkward arrivals on the London marriage mart. She supposed she’d better try to revive him. And much as she detested the creature, she was curious to discover why the ton’s most fashionable gentleman lay half-naked next to a deserted Yorkshire cottage.

So what is Tarquin doing half-naked in the middle of nowhere? He certainly doesn’t know, because he’s suffering from amnesia. So Celia decides to go for a little payback by claiming that he is her fiancé, glorying in the name of Terence Fish. Together they set off across the moors, pursued by desperate villains.

Terence Fish!!!! I laughed out loud when I read that. You specialize in delicious different heroes. Sebastian in THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT was, shock, horror, a male virgin. And now we have an even rarer bird in Romancelandia, a dandy in the acid-tongued Tarquin Compton. Did you have any difficulties turning a dandy into a hero? What lessons has Tarquin learned by the end of the book? Seriously, he’s so due for his comeuppance! What makes an unusual hero appeal to you?

Since a dandy is all about external appearances, I decided to strip Tarquin of his clothes and his memory so we could see the man underneath the façade. Turns out he’s brave, honorable, affectionate, sexy, and good at catching fish. And then he gets back his memory and reverts to his snooty ways. He has to reconcile his social exterior with the man he was as Terence Fish. And Celia, who hates Tarquin and adores Terence, has to fall in love with him all over again. By the end of the book he has examined what made him a dandy and is no longer wants to be the disdainful leader of the ton.

I’d really love to write an uber-alpha rakish nobleman with an angsty past – I love to read about them – but somehow my heroes don’t turn out that way. Perhaps it’s because when I write I’m always looking for the unusual twist and it takes my characters into unexpected places. I also like to write about very strong, very smart heroines, who don’t take any crap from their men.

What’s next for you? More wonderful Burgundy Club books?

Minerva Montrose, Diana’s little sister from THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT, was a reader favorite. Her book, CONFESSIONS FROM AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE, will be out in April 2012. Minerva is very smart, very ambitious, and wants to marry an up-and-coming politician whom she can push up the greasy pole to be Prime Minister. Suffice to say, the best laid plans always go wrong.


Ooh, yum! Can't wait. Minerva was one of my favorite characters in THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT. I always ask you about interesting tidbits of research that turned up when you’re working on your books. Did anything unusual take your fancy when you were researching THE AMOROUS EDUCATION OF CELIA SEATON? Did I see a mention of an erotic manuscript on your website?

Celia’s “amorous education” comes from a bawdy novel (and from Tarquin, of course). I used a real 1796 book that I read in the British Library. Here’s a snippet from where Minerva (remember Minerva? She reappears in THE AMOROUS EDUCATION) has discovered Celia reading the book.

Minerva slid down from the bed, carried The Genuine Amours off in triumph to the far side of the room and settled on the stool next to her dressing table. Celia waited in dread as the girl opened the book to the bookmark and began to read aloud.

"A man who seeks pleasure in casual f… Oh my goodness. I can’t say that word!”

“Then don’t. Stop now.”

“Never! This is fascinating. He can never find it but in the senses, while he who has love on his side, is stretched on the rack of delight, by those able ministers of pleasure, passion and imagination.” She looked up. “That seems a proper sentiment. The author advocates the act of you-know-what only when love is present.”

“Believe me,” Celia said. “He does not practice what he preaches.”

Miranda, a little birdy tells me you’ve set up in competition to the Bandits by joining a group blog! The cheek, I say! Would you like to tell us about this new endeavor? Wanna rooster?

We couldn’t ever hope to emulate the Bandits. A group of Regency authors (Tessa Dare, Katharine Ashe, Gaelen Foley, Sarah MacLean, Sabrina Darby and moi) have started The Ballroom Blog. (www.TheBallroomBlog.com). We don’t need a rooster (and c’mon, you guys would miss him!) because we have a very rude parrot called Albert who belongs to our hostess, Lady Beaufetheringstone (pronounced Batman). We’re posting Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and hope everyone will stop by to join the dance.

I’ll be giving away a copy of THE AMOROUS EDUCATION OF CELIA SEATON to a commenter on the blog. You can say something about my post, ask me a question (I promise to answer anything that won’t totally compromise me) or give me a recipe for a really great summer salad dish. It’s hot times in northern New England and I need cool inspiration!

Sounds great, Miranda! Get commenting, people. Good luck!

165 comments:

marybelle said...

I had to laugh because anyone who can give Bear Grylls tips, I would not be punching.

I see the women on the covers & wonder why can't I get away with wearing those gowns in those poses down to get the groceries??

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Mary, you're on the ball! Good on you for catching the chook!

Actually, BG is a fairly new discovery for me. I have a friend who thinks he walks on water. And you know, I've seen some of the footage. I think he DOES walk on water! Looking forward to video of you going shopping in a hisrom costume! I'm sure it will be VERY popular on You Tube! LOL!

Anna Campbell said...

By the way, Mary, did you see you won Donna's prize? Check out the post below this one on the main page! Congrats!

Sheree said...

I have only one thing to say about "The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton": Tarquin! Tarquin! Tarquin!

Yes, I loved "The Dangerous Viscount"!

Linda said...

I bought my copy already! (pre-ordered it months ago) & can't wait for it to be delivered.

Pls don't include me in the drwg since I hv the book. I just wanted to pop in to say how I enjoy reading Miranda's books.

Of course if I could win a copy of one of her previous bks I ain't gonna quibble!

Tona said...

Hi Anna and Miranda! I'm really enjoying this blog, and I think I found a new reason to buy more books ;) Thanks Anna, I will be looking for Miranda's books now, they sound very entertaining and different.
I will be in touch and tell you what I thought ;)
BTW Anna I loved your introduction! LOL
Have a great day/night for the people on this side of the globe <3

Anna Campbell said...

Sheree, wasn't the Dangerous Viscount delicious? Really love that book. And hey, Tarquin is such a GREAT name, isn't it? Snort!

Anna Campbell said...

Linda, I'll let her know your preferences, LOL! Mine's on its way from the Book Depository while we speak. I think the mailman is getting sick of me accosting him in my wild-eyed eagerness to get my hands on it!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Tona, how cool that you're enjoying the blog. Thanks for letting us know! We thrive on praise here in the lair. We have a pretty good time here (when we can lasso the cabana boys into behaving which isn't very often). You have a wonderful day/night too. Still mid-afternoon here. Lots of time for me to write some pages - which is a darn GOOD thing!

Di said...

I think these books look fabulous! I loved this post; in return I'll post a favorite easy salad. won't all fit in one post.

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Di said...

Asian Noodle Salad serves 4-6)
- 1/2 c sliced almonds
- 8 Tbl sesame seeds
- 7 Tbl Rice Vinegar
- 4 Tbl sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 c Canola Oil
- 1 16 oz bag coleslaw mix
- 2 pkg Ramen Noodle; broken up
(throw away seasoning packs)

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Di, that salad looks luscious! Thanks for posting. I'm sure you'll get points with Bear, uh, Miranda for putting that up on the blog! ;-)

Di said...

1- in a skillet over med heat, toast almonds + sesame seeds until liight brown.
2-In a small bowl combine vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper. Whisk in oil.
3- In a large bowl combine coleslaw mix + broken up Ramen noodles. Add contents small bowl & mix well. Toss in the almonds & sesame seeds just before serving.
Hope you like it!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, more, Di! Great stuff.

Bron said...

I'd love to compromise Bear Grylls - wouldn't he make a super hero? He's sexy as hell, able to save a damsel in any predicament and he seems to be a very nice guy. Pity he's married.

Anna Campbell said...

Bron, I must say learning about Bear in the last month or so has definitely enriched my life immeasurably. And as you say, he'd save you from any villain you could care to name! Very romance hero material!

Donna MacMeans said...

Marybelle congrats on the rooster nabbing. Yes, Anna is correct. You've won a copy of CJ's Inspiration historical REDEEMING THE ROGUE. Don't forget to send us the contact info.

Hi Miranda - Welcome back to the lair!

I can't wait to see more of that erotic book you discovered - I could use a little rack time right now (grin).

That Asian noodle salad sounded yummy! Here's my
favorite summer recipe:
Pick up the phone. Order take out.
Seriously - it's too hot to cook!

Love the sound of this book, Miranda!

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, laughed at your favorite summer recipe! Sounds great. The irony here is that a lot of salad things are at their peak - avocadoes and lettuces and things. And of course, it's chilly (or as chilly as it gets here which would make most of you scoff) and I want roast dinners!

Daz said...

Peach Clafouti

Ingredients
825gram can peach halves or slices, drained
1/3 cup plain flour
2 tbsp self-raising flour
¼ cup caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method
Pre heat the oven to 180ºC.
Grease a shallow ovenproof dish, place peaches in dish.
Combine sifted flours and sugar in a bowl, gradually whisk in the eggs, then milk and essence.
Mix to a smooth batter.
Pour batter into dish over the back of a spoon (this helps to distribute the batter more evenly).
Bake in the oven for about 15 - 30 minutes (check as that depends on the over) or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with double cream or ice-cream or both.
(I'm serving it with mango sorbet tonight).

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Daz, that sounds wonderful. My best friend used to make cherry clafouti and it was pretty spesh too. Oh, no, I can see I'm going to be snacking the whole time I'm reading these comments!!!!

Christina Brooke said...

I'm deep in deadline hell but just wanted to poke my head out of the fire to wave a big welcome to one of my favourite people (and authors) in Romancelandia! Hi Miranda! Anna, thanks for kidnapping Miranda today. She is a fabulous guest and we always love having her in the lair.

Miranda and I had such a wonderful time playing hooky from the RWA conference and visiting the Frick museum after a truly spectacular Italian meal. Sigh. It really was one of the highlights of my trip.

But back to CELIA--I have been anticipating for a long time. I think Tarquin is a fabulous character and I'm going to enjoy seeing him stripped (as it were) of all his dandyism and pretense. It sounds like a fabulous story and it's been getting a lot of great buzz. Congratulations!

OK, I'm taking up the summer salad challenge!--this is one of Jamie Oliver's I've adapted. Get a flat medium sized platter, lay out baby spinach leaves over it, rip small strips of prosciutto and distribute over that, crumble fetta cheese over that (I use marinated fetta), slice peaches and distribute over that (he says to peel them but I don't bother), then dress it with a lemon vinaigrette. It looks great and it's so simple to do.

Back to the dreaded WIP!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

The book sounds great, I am liking the sound of Tarquin, how did you come up with the name? I don't believe I have ever read a book with a dandy as the hero, should be interesting. Me being me I will have to search out your backlist.

Helen said...

Well done marybelle have fun with him

Whoo Hoo Miranda has come to visit I so love your stories and am looking forward to this one can't wait. I love the name of the book I really must put an order in this week I am way behind on my books at the moment.

It is going to be fun seeing Tarquin go to Terrance Fish (LOL) back to Tarquin again.

Congrats on the release Miranda and thanks Anna for inviting Miranda back

Have Fun
Helen

Kristi said...

Hi Miranda! Smooches, Anna! :-)

Miranda, I just discovered you this past year and fell in love with your books! I can't WAIT to read this story and am also curious about how you decided on the name Tarquin! (not a name that easily flows off the tongue during the throws of passion! Alas, I hope he has a good nickname! *snort*)

Thanks for the giggles this morn before I trek into work! :-)

sheila said...

I'm looking forward to reading about Tarquin and it's been a while since I'VE seen the bare torso of a grown man as well. I have to live vicariously through my books....keep writing ladies!!!

Annie West said...

Miranda, I'm so glad this book is out. I've just today finished 'The Dangerous Viscount' and had such a lovely time. Sadly, when I turned to pick up the next book it wasn't there! So looking forward to reading more in this series. Can't wait to see what you've done with the dandy Tarquin.

Annie

barb said...

well done Marybelle

Hi Anna and Miranda... this book sounds great and look forward to reading it...wrong time of the year here for salads we need hot soups and stews to keep us warm LOL

Miranda Neville said...

Hi Marybelle: I think you should start a new shopping trend. I envision you leaning to get something off a low shelf wearing one of those undone-at-the-back gowns. I'd definitely watch it on You Tube!

Miranda Neville said...

Always so lovely to be here, Anna. Will you send me home in disgrace if I admit I've never heard of Bear Grylis? Let me know so I can seek him out and serve him dinner (or wrestle with him, if he's hot)

Miranda Neville said...

Hi Sheree. Glad you enjoyed TDV and thrilled to hear a chant for Tarquin!

Miranda Neville said...

Linda: "pre-order" is one of a writer's favorite words (or is it a phrase?). Stay in the drawing and if you win I'll send you a different book - same for anyone who has been wonderful enough to "pre-order" (love it!)

Miranda Neville said...

Tona: Thank you. Let me know what you think, too!

Miranda Neville said...

Ana and I have often discussed the virtues of Tarquins (though IRRC the original Roman one was a bit of a rapist - not ours though)

Miranda Neville said...

Thanks Di. I adore anything with sesame seeds - one of my favorite flavors. I'll me making your salad, for sure.

Miranda Neville said...

I'm liking what I hear about this Bear, Bron. I need to track him down and get inspiration for writing alpha heroes.

Miranda Neville said...

LOL Donna! I did that last night with pizza. I had lamb chops in the fridge but it was release day, and if you can't indulge in unhealthy food on release day there's really no point writing a book.

kmannrn said...

I have been really looking forward to reading your new book. The hero sounds wonderful. Congratulations on your release.

Miranda Neville said...

The Peach Clafouti sounds awesome, Daz, and easy to make. There are wonderful white peaches from Pennsylvania available at my local market now. Do you think it would be as good with fresh? I know with some recipes you need the syrupy-ness from the canned ones.

Miranda Neville said...

Dear Christina! Our lunch and Frick trip were fabulous - such a relief after a week of utter RWA craziness. Can't wait for next year when Anna will be there (there goes the peace but never mind). Your Jamie Oliver salad sounds yummy. Peel the peaches? Perish the thought. Bet Jamie has a kitchen slave to do it for him.

Good luck on the deadline. Get it done so I can read it. (Still haven't got to Heiress in Love but I'm almost done with Loretta Chase and you're next: I've had a busy week LOL)

Miranda Neville said...

Dianna: I can't even remember how I came up with Tarquin. He was the hero's best friend in my first book. That book will (deservedly) never be published but I loved Tarquin so I moved him into my new series. So in a sense he's my "oldest" character.

Miranda Neville said...

Lovely to see you, Helen. Thanks for saying you love my stories - neurotic writers cannot hear that too often. I had so much fun with Mr. Fish - I don't go in for real torture of my heroes, like that cruel Campbell woman, but I do like to tease them.

Miranda Neville said...

Hm, Kristi. I think Celia probably called Tarquin Your Royal Highness for the rest of their lives. Or maybe Fishy.

Miranda Neville said...

Sheila: Does Bear Grylis have a bare (or bear) torso? We both need to check him out.

Miranda Neville said...

Thanks so much, Annie. After the nerd and the dandy I decided my next hero would have real disadvantages.

Miranda Neville said...

It's actually a bit chilly here this morning, Barb. A hot soup for lunch would be very welcome.

Karen H in NC said...

Hi Miranda,

Thanks for the interesting post today and congratulations on the release of your latest book.

In a nutshell, you are a new-to-me author HOWEVER, I have 3 of your books on my TBR shelves. Two of the books are #1 & 2 in the Burgundy Club series. I'm one of those who waits until all books in a series are in hand before beginning to read them. After reading the snippets here today, that will change. Book 1 is at the top of the list to read next!

BTW, how many books are in this series? I count 4 so far. Are their any more down the road?

Thanks for the giveaway. Your latest is on my wish list but I don't have a copy yet!

PJ said...

Hi Miranda! (waving) Hi Anna! (waving more!)

Miranda, I bought your new book yesterday and read it (yes, the entire book)in one day! I adored it! I fell in love with "Fishy" while wanting to bop Tarquin over the head but by the end of the book, like Celia, I'd fallen for both sides of the man. And I must say, he redeemed himself very nicely in the end!

I've already marked my calendar for April 2012 and Minerva's story. Her's is one of my most anticipated stories of all the series I'm reading!

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Miranda! Your new book sounds wonderful. I absolutely love the whole falling in love twice premise, once with the true person, once with the person he's created himself to be. Sounds like a must-read to me!

And I love the idea that he's an excellent fisher person. How on earth would a dandy ever find that out about himself without amnesia? Made me giggle. Thanks!

Laurie G said...

I like how you rescued Tarquin! I do like that name,different yet easy to pronounce.

Mom's Shrimp Salad

3-4 large eggs (hard boiled)
1 pkg small shells
3-4 heaping Tbsp of white salad dressing
celery 1 stalk
1/2 pkg of frozen sweet peas-unthaw
1 pkg of frozen medium size shrimp deveined and declawed- unthaw, may use fresh, if using canned, rinse well to remove salty juice
Add salt, pepper and paprika to taste

Directions:
In a small sauce pan fill 3/4 full with water, bring to a boil, remove from heat, carefully add in eggs by placing them on a tablespoon and then lower them into the water. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes replace with cold water and let sit for at least 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Take 1 egg peel it then slice up to mix in the salad, save the other 3 to slice for the topping.
Cook shells according to pkg, drain and rinse well,place in large mixing bowl,add frozen peas, drained shrimp and celery, mix together, refrigerate until 1 hour before eating. Add salad dressing, salt, pepper and paprika, mix well. Top with egg slices. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The series sounds delicious!

Deb said...

Miranda, congrats on your new release! I can't wait to read it. The covers of the books are so romantically sexy. ;)

I have enjoyed popping in to The Ballroom on a daily basis; such fun posts.

I have 2 summer salads that I like to make.

Apple-Snickers Salad:
4 to 6 cut up apples, unpeeled
3 large Snickers bars, cut up in chunks
1-8 oz. carton of cool whip
optional--prepared instant vanilla pudding and chopped celery mixed in with other ingredients
Mix and serve.

Cherry Salad:
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (not evapo)
pecans, optional
Mix, chill, and serve. Optional: Put salad in a bread pan, freeze, and when ready to serve, set pan in warm water, remove from pan, and slice into wedges.

Deb said...

Oops, option 3 for cherry salad---mix, pour into graham cracker crust, chill, then serve.

PJ said...

Deb, I am so making that Apple-Snickers salad!

MsHellion said...

I love the title to that book. *LOL* Did you get to pick it??

Summer Salad--

Romaine lettuce & salad greens mix
strawberries, sliced
cheese (goat's cheese or shredded cheddar)
sugared almonds (sliced)
poppyseed dressing or raspberry vinegrette

(I think there might be slivers of red onion and other shredded salad veggies if you like, but I stick with these.)

Deb said...

I guess you could put the cherry mix in the crust and freeze, too. It is kind of "sloppy" when just chilled.

PJ, you can drizzle either chocolate or caramel sauce over the top of the apple salad, too. ;)

Miranda Neville said...

@kmannrn Thanks! I think Tarquin is wonderful, though I'm prejudiced. He can also be a PITA, but then even the best men can.

Miranda Neville said...

Hi Karen. My next book, Confessions from an Arranged Marriage, isn't strictly a Burgundy Club book since the hero isn't a member of the Club, but it's part of the series. The heroine is Minerva, who is in both The Dangerous Viscount and The Amorous Education. Plus, all the other characters in the series will make appearances.

After that, I'm not sure. There are a couple of characters whose stories I might write, but I'm also thinking about a brand new series, all new characters and set about 20 years earlier the Burgundy Club.

Miranda Neville said...

PJ, you total darling. I couldn't get a better compliment. I want to keep all my readers awake till dawn! Looking forward to visiting the Romance Dish next week (memo to self: must finish post LOL)

Miranda Neville said...

Thanks Susan. Being an excellent provider is an important heroic quality. That includes providing food on camping trips!

Miranda Neville said...

Great recipe, Laurie. I love shrimp salad. However, it makes me crazy how hard it is to find shrimp without tails (except the tiny ones). Yes, the tails are handy when dipping in cocktail sauce, but I like making recipes and I don't like the extra work of removing them. Grocery people (and I am sure there are many who frequent the lair), listen up! I want choices: sell shrimp with and WITHOUT tails.

Hah! I feel better for the rant. Bet you didn't expect that when you shared your recipe!

Miranda Neville said...

Two salads, Deb! Thanks. I wonder about spoiling a perfectly good Snickers bar with a bunch of healthy stuff. Oh wait, there's Cool Whip too. Never mind, I'm sold.

Thanks for visiting the Ballroom. Our goal is to have as much fun as the Bandits, but that's a high bar to set.

Miranda Neville said...

Hey MsHellion. Luckily I had a week to recover after my rum-soaked visit to the Revenge before visiting the lair [aside: could one of the cabana boys please bring me a daiquiri?]

Great recipe - I love fruit in my salad. I'm a little concerned about slicing the sugared almonds. Can't afford to lose a digit.

The title of the book was a collaboration between my editor, my agent, and myself and came about after 200 emails full of really bad ideas. I'm terrible at thinking of titles!

Gannon Carr said...

Hi, Miranda! I think I'm going to have to run to town today to find a copy of your latest and greatest, so I can see what Celia and Tarquin get up to. All kinds of trouble, no doubt. ;-)

If I'm in a hurry and want a little something sweet--and healthy--just take some fresh fruit of your choice. I usually go with strawberries, bananas, blueberries and maybe a tart Granny Smith apple. Chop the fruit and mix it together with some vanilla yogurt. Easy and yummy.

Antonia said...

Hello Miranda! Congratulations on your new release. I've been waiting for this book for a while. And I'll head right over to The Ballroom blog because it sounds wonderful.

Since you gave us leave to ask questions, I have one. Or two.

You mentioned that your heroes turn out differently than alpha rakes, even though you want to have one as a hero: does that make you a plotter or a panster? How do your heroes affect your writing process?

TerriOsburn said...

It's not that far into the morning and I'm woefully behind already. Love Miranda's books and the lady is pretty dang cool too. She recently handled Captain Jack like a pro, and not many can say that. :)

Did anyone in the British Library give you funny looks when they realized what you were reading? I for one adore your heroes so please keep them just the way they are! (Anna will keep us supplied with the uber-alphas. *g*)

jo robertson said...

Miranda! Welcome back to the Lair. Your books are so clever and delightfully appealing!

Hmmm, super cool salad recipes? A favorite of mine (more a dessert, really) is mixing crushed fresh strawberries (they have a very long growing season in California) with strawberry jello and cool whip. Light and delicious!

Anna Sugden said...

Yay one of my favourite people is in the Lair! So looking forward to this book - it's on my list of 'must have' books for this month!

I'm of the 'pour a Pimms and let hubby cook' brigade, when I can't be bothered *g*. I have to say that we're quite happy with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and tortilla chips on a hot day. I often have some left-over chili in the freezer, so we'll heat that up if needed.

MsHellion said...

Great recipe - I love fruit in my salad. I'm a little concerned about slicing the sugared almonds. Can't afford to lose a digit.

I don't want to be responsible for you losing a digit and possibly delaying your next book.

Basically you take already sliced almonds and sugar them the same way you would whole ones. This is probably a lesson in proper grammar and I failed mightily. Sorry about that. :)

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your new book Miranda! It sounds like your heroine doesn't loose her sense of humor no matter what situation she is in.

TerriOsburn said...

What is this salad thing y'all are talking about? Green stuff, veggies, and fruit? None of this sounds familiar.

catslady said...

I've been hearing about your book and it sounds wonderful! Gorgeous cover too.
I also have been hearing about this following recipe. I had never heard of it before and now 3 separate people told me about it. I am going to make it for a reunion in a few weeks so I hope it's as great as everyone says. (there are different variations online).

Watermelon Fire and Ice Salsa Ingredients

3 cups chopped watermelon
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Directions In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, green bell pepper, lime juice, cilantro, green onions, jalapeno and garlic salt. Mix well and serve. Bring on the tortilla chips

Minna said...

Well, I don't have a salad recipe, but you'll probably find one here:
http://chickensintheroad.com/farm-bell-recipes/
I recommend Suzanne's blog, too.

Miranda Neville said...

Fruit and yoghurt is one of my favorite breakfasts. Hope you find the book, Gannon!

Miranda Neville said...

Those are excellent questions, Antonia. I guess I'm a hybrid when it comes to the plotter/pantser divide. I usually have about a quarter to a third of a book planned when I start, and some idea of the ending and a couple of points along the way. Then I take it as it comes. But I do a lot of character preparation before I start, so at least I don't have them take a weird turn on me in mid-book. Cain, the hero of The Wild Marquis, started out in my head as a fairly straightforward rake. But then I got to know him by composing his backstory and he turned out more complex and a lot nicer than I thought. Having heroes who have appeared in earlier books complicates things: have to make sure I'm consistent. I've learned to be quite careful what I do with future heroes, so as not to limit myself down the road. Still, I've found myself thinking "damn, why did I let him do that and how can work around it?"

Miranda Neville said...

Funny you should ask that, Terri. When I read the book I was sent to a special cordoned off section of the reading room. I assumed this was because the book is extremely rare. Just a couple of days ago I discovered this section is especially for what we might call "dirty books." I was in the seat of shame without knowing it! The section, by the way, is not intended to embarrass readers but because people are particularly likely to try and steal such works.

I'm not sure hardened romance writers are capable of public embarrassment. Heck, I've read sex scenes aloud to my critique partners, and in public places too.

Miranda Neville said...

It's a pleasure to be here, Jo. Yes, strawberries always work!

Miranda Neville said...

Pimms and whatever sounds like a terrific plan. I'm going to Maison Sugden for dinner!

Miranda Neville said...

Thanks for the clarification, Hellie. Probably just as well we both write romance and not cookbooks: less scope for accidents.

Miranda Neville said...

Maureen: My Celia may not be as fashionable as Tarquin but a sense of humor goes with everything!

Miranda Neville said...

Thats sounds lovely, catslady. I adore cilantro and I'm always up for a bit of heat in my food.

I did get a gorgeous cover, didn't I? I've been lucky with all my books.

gamistress66 said...

YEA! Celia & Tarquin are finally out :D can't wait to read how she gets him back & he sweeps her off her feet. I'm happy to hear Minerva makes an appearance as she's such a hoot & really seems to know how to put those Burgendy Club guys in their place ;) Needless to say, I also look forward to her finding out how her plans will be turned upside down in the next book :)

Congrats on the release and all the wonderful reviews it's rec'd so far.

Virginia said...

Congrats on your new release! It sounds like a wonderful read. I love the sound of your heroes. Also love the covers or your books. Beautiful is all I got to say. I will be looking for this one.

Danielle Gorman said...

Loved this interview. It made me laugh out loud. I honestly loved this book. It was just so good. I can't wait to read Minerva's book.

Miranda Neville said...

Hi Minna - thanks for the recs.

Miranda Neville said...

Hi Gamistress. Minerva is quite the young minx. Mind you, I had to let her grow up a bit before she was ready to find her own hero. I hope you'll enjoy the result.

Miranda Neville said...

Thanks Virginia. I love all my covers, too. Must admit the blue one for The Dangerous Viscount is my favorite!

Miranda Neville said...

Hi Danielle. Anna always asks the best questions and she's so funny herself she makes me feel witty. I just read her intro again (I wasn't quite taking it in at 6:15 am when I saw it) and it's lucky I wasn't drinking coffee or we'd have another ruined keyboard!

Anna Campbell said...

Lordy, lordy, maudy! I stay in bed to read a romance this morning and find out I'm missing out on a HUGE party! Eeek, I think I need a cocktail to approach all these comments. My cup of tea just isn't cutting the mustard! Thanks to everyone for swinging by. Can't wait to see what you've been up to - or did the Bear Grylls thing scare you all into partying? Snork!

Anna Campbell said...

Christina, that's an amazingly simple salad and I bet it looks really spectacular! Oh, I was so howling like a lost dog when I heard about you two having such a great time in NY. Isn't the Frick fabulous? Imagine actually OWNING all that stuff? Blows the mind!

Anna Campbell said...

Dianna, what's hilarious is that both Miranda and I have had Tarquins in books that came out fairly close together (mine was MY RECKLESS SURRENDER). I worked out I got the name from Laurence Olivier's son. Not sure where Miranda got hers!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, are you kidding? I start camping on Miranda's doorstep begging her to come and be a guest from the moment she finishes her last post (which is how I know she's such a good cook - occasionally I get to raid her rubbish bins!). I got a big giggle out of Terrance Fish too!

Anna Campbell said...

Kristi, I speak from experience - in the throes of passion a good romance heroine can squawk 'Tarquin' with the best of them. So glad you've discovered Miranda's book. They're wonderful, aren't they?

Anna Campbell said...

Sheila, your posts always crack me up! May Tarquin give you many vicarious thrills!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Annie, so glad you loved The Dangerous Viscount. I hoped you would! Isn't it delicious?

Anna Campbell said...

Barb, it's a really chilly start to the day here (hence my cowering in bed with the Liz Fielding!). I hear you on needing the hot comfort food!

Anna Campbell said...

Miranda, I'd never heard of Bear Grylls either but I've had a friend to stay who has a major crush on him. Apparently he's the world head of the scout movement and he makes a television program where he goes out into the wilderness and has to scrounge and fight to survive. Man Vs. Wild. It's hugely popular here apparently (I know nuffink!). He's from a posh English family and has a luverly accent! Oh, and he's always taking his clothes off in the YouTube bits she showed me (although BG's bits were screened out, sadly! Snork!). Seriously, read about this guy! It's tres impressive! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bear_Grylls

Anna Campbell said...

My Tarquin was a bit of a honey, actually, Miranda. Definitely on the sweeter end of my heroes (oh, I'd like to be on his sweeter end, it's a cold morning here!).

Anna Campbell said...

K, I think Tarquin sounds great too. I love a hero with an acid tongue who meets his comeuppance (and his one true love!).

Anna Campbell said...

Miranda, you'll LOVE Heiress in Love!!!! And hey, what's that dig about peace? I'm very quiet and retiring! Well, I'd like to be considering retiring, anyway. Preferably with a huge bank account and an apartment in Venice.

Anna Campbell said...

Miranda, I did not know that about Tarquin being from your first opus.

Anna Campbell said...

Tease? Torture? Sheesh, it's all the same! Bwahahahahahaha!

Anna Campbell said...

Karen, I hear you on the series. Sometimes it's good to have something to wallow in a few books at a time, isn't it? I do that with Madeline Hunter too.

Anna Campbell said...

I'm already camping on the doorstep to get Miranda back for Minerva (hmm, that's starting to sound like a tongue twister!), PJ. Miranda met Minerva in the Middle of the Mediterranean... So glad you loved Celia. Mine hasn't shown yet. I've got high hopes for today.

Anna Campbell said...

Yeah, the whole fish joke thing had me chortling too, Susan. Doesn't this book sound delicious? Shift your butt, postie! I want it TODAY!

Anna Campbell said...

Laurie, that sounds like a great salad! I'm saving all these for when the weather heats up a little bit.

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Deb, both of those salads sound like they could double as Desserts! Just my kinda health food. Yeah, the ballroom is huge fun, isn't it? I'm just dreading the day the parrot and the chook meet up and start plotting mayhem.

Anna Campbell said...

Helly, this will shock you, but I HATE and DESPISE and LOATHE strawberries. I think I'll put Snickers in instead! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Miranda, it's never a decent romance unless the hero has a few moments (or maybe more than a few) of PITAssery.

Anna Campbell said...

Miranda, I think the Ballroom is next-door to the lair - the fun seems to be flowing between like an electrical current. Or perhaps just like all the spilled champagne!

Anna Campbell said...

Gannon, that's kinda like a classy fruit salad, isn't it? Sounds great. Happy hunting for Miranda's book!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, great questions, Antonia/Delia. I'm looking forward to reading Miranda's answer. Well, not so much as I'm looking forward to eating a Snickers bar, but, yanno...

Strangely, the mention of lettuce didn't have nearly the same effect on my appetite!

Anna Campbell said...

Terri, I love reading a slightly different hero. I actually have a huge soft spot for nerd heroes, which was kinda what Sebastian in Viscount was. I'm interested to see Tarquin in action!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Anna Campbell said...
Dianna, what's hilarious is that both Miranda and I have had Tarquins in books that came out fairly close together (mine was MY RECKLESS SURRENDER). I worked out I got the name from Laurence Olivier's son. Not sure where Miranda got hers!

I can't remember the title or author right this moment but I believe there was a lovely scotsman named Tarquin as well.

Anna Campbell said...

Oy, Jo, what is this with the poisonous strawberries??!! Sheesh! Don't you girls know that red means dangerous to eat?

Anna Campbell said...

Anna, I'm all for easy too - although I promise to put some effort into feeding you nice stuff when you come to visit in a few weeks. HUZZAH!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Maureen, I think this sounds like such a hoot too. I can't wait to find out - come on, postie!

Anna Campbell said...

Ah, Terri, here, have half my Snickers bar!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Catslady, that sounds like one delish salad - really fresh and yummy. It might even tear me away from my Snickers. Well, MAYBE!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks for the recipes, Minna!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Miranda, too funny about being sent to purdah over reading the naughty books. You saucy wench! Even the British Library can read the wicked glint in your eye!

Anna Campbell said...

Gamistress, Minerva had GREAT HEROINE written all over her from the moment she set foot on the page, didn't she? I loved those sections about her family in TDV.

Anna Campbell said...

Virginia, I love Miranda's books. I think you will too.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Danielle, already a fan? Super Duper! And thanks for saying you got a giggle out of the intervew - I always have fun with Miranda in the lair (and out of it - we nearly got through out of the NGA in Washington because we were being rude about men in tights in the pics!).

Anna Campbell said...

But Miranda, everything in the introduction is TROOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Although the orphans want chocolate next year - all these improving books you're giving them aren't hitting the spot.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, maybe Tarquin is the new Nicholas, Dianna. At one stage there, I swear I didn't read one historical romance that didn't have a hero called Nicholas! Tarquin, your time is coming! Although I feel perhaps Terrance Fish isn't going to set a precedent!

Miranda Neville said...

Albert the parrot will take the chook, I predict, though it may be a close thing. Speaking of Ballroom smackdowns, tomorrow Gaelen Foley is hosting and by some accident all the Knight Brothers and the Inferno Club members got invited to the same ball. I'm told there's going to Trouble. Bets will be taken on the outcome. Don't miss it.

Miranda Neville said...

How can you hate strawberries, Anna? What about raspberries? I've been indulging in raspberry frozen daiquiris lately. Soo good. (Next time I'll ask for cocktail recipes)

Miranda Neville said...

"I feel perhaps Terrance Fish isn't going to set a precedent!"

I credibly informed that several Dukes of Fish will be appearing in forthcoming historicals.

Rosie Hong said...

I can't wait to read your newest release, Miranda, and I am even more impatient for Minerva's book. I adored her in The Dangerous Viscount. She cracks me up. Here is my brother's recipe for a really good balsamic vinegar dressing, although I'm sorry it's not going to be precise (we just eyeball everything in true Asian fashion):

balsamic vinegar
olive oil
lemon juice
sea salt
sugar (in my case lots of it)
pepper

Give it plenty of stirring. Once I have everything in there I just add more lemon juice (if it's too sweet) or more sugar (if it's too sour). Usually the sugar. Then I like to drizzle it over whatever kind of greens we have on hand, add tomatoes, avocado, dried cranberries, and toasted pine nuts.

Miranda Neville said...

That sounds like a great dressing, Rosie. I never measure either, which is why I'm not the world's greatest baker. My favorite quantity is "some" (or lots if it's a favorite ingredient like - dare I say it - strawberries!).

So glad you're a Minerva fan. Thank you!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, hero smackdown in the Ballroom? I love it! Let the games begin (and hopefully lots of shirts will be ripped, and abs!).

Anna Campbell said...

Dukes of Fish? I do like to read about the landed trout, uh, gentry!

Anna Campbell said...

Miranda, I do like raspberries, but strawberries are the devil's poo!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Rosie, that sounds like a great dressing. The lemon would give it a nice tang. I make my mother's salad dressing and it involves sugar too - really brings out the flavour.

Daz said...

Miranda, I think your peaches would have to be quite ripe if you want to use fresh but certainly doable. You would also need to Blanche your peaches to remove the skin.

Anna Campbell said...

Deanna, thanks for coming back. Miranda sounds so gung ho to make your salad!

Miranda Neville said...

Forget blanching, Daz. I'll make it with canned peaches.

Barbara E. said...

Though I love the Romance Bandits, I have been known to frequent The Ballroom and have been having a lovely time. I think there's room on this world wide web for both fantastic blogs.
I think The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton sounds like a delightful story and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Anna Campbell said...

Barbara, I 100% agree with you about plenty of room for great blogs. And what fun that you can wander between a lair and a ballroom!

Miranda Neville said...

Happy to see you anywhere, Barbara!

Hey, Anna. We should have a joint Bandit/Ballroom bash sometime. Double the fun, quadruple the mischief.

Miranda Neville said...

I just googled Bear Grylis. Holy crap, the guy is hawt!

Anna Campbell said...

And he'd really get you out of a spot if you were stuck in the wilderness. I think there's something to be said for a man like that! When my friend told me about him, I wondered where I'd been that he'd escaped my radar! I bet he could fish as well as Terrance F!

Anna Campbell said...

Miranda, I think a joint party would be a fabulous idea. We'll have to remove ourselves to the conspiracy cave and come up with a strategy! Although I still think feathers will fly if the parrot and the chook come to blows!

Na said...

Hi Miranda,
I am really looking forward to reading all about Celia and her shananigans. I don't need ten reasons to read it. One reason is enough for me and that was a sassy heroine! After reading this posts I have other books by you to add to my TBR list.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Na, you'll have such fun with Miranda's stories! Happy reading!

Pat Cochran said...

Hello to Anna, Miranda, Rambunctious
Rooster and all!

Miranda, it's so nice having you visit
and share "bits & pieces" of your books
with us. I've added the earlier ones
to my to-be-purchased list for my next
bookstore run! BTW, I have to say that when you & Anna are here together it's always going to be a most entertaining day!!

Congratulations on nabbing the Rooster
today, marybelle!

Great salads, Ladies!

Anna Campbell said...

Awww, Pat, you sweet-talkin' devil, you! Thank you! Actually Miranda ALWAYS brings out the worst in me! There's just something about her. Perhaps that she's the only girl who would call an elegant dandy Mr. Fish!

Haven't the salads been great? So glad you've enjoyed the mayhem!

Miranda Neville said...

Hi Pat. I'm glad you noticed that Anna and I always manage to have a good time! The other Banditas and the regulars are always so welcoming too. Love it here!

Miranda Neville said...

Oddly enough, there was a London menswear designer in the 60s called Mr. Fish who made very dandyish clothing. I remember having a mad crush on a friend of one of my older sisters. He wore a velvet suit and a "Mr. Fish" frilly shirt. Those may have been the most dandyish times in England since the Regency.

Marquita Valentine said...

So I should thank you forgiving Bear tips to get in situations that require him to strip off his clothes. My hat off to you, Ms. Neville!

Can't wait to read about a Amnesiatic Sea Creature named Terrence. Would he be a clown fish by chance? hee!

Anna Campbell said...

Well, hit me with a frozen halibut. Who knew?

Anna Campbell said...

Marquita, when I started exploring the wonder that is BG, it struck me quite how OFTEN he sheds his gear. I mean, it can't ALL be necessary! Snork!

Nancy said...

Miranda, welcome back and congratulations on your latest release! The book sounds wonderful. I think there's plenty of room for heroes who aren't uber-alpha.

I have on recipe for a good summer salad, alas. We're pretty unimaginative and go with greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots. Though we do occasionally have cantaloupe and blueberries combined.

Miranda Neville said...

Na: we've been meeting around the web a lot in the last week or so. I like a sassy heroine, too. In fact I'd go so far as to say all my heroines have a bit of attitude.

Miranda Neville said...

Marquita. I hope Bear is listening. I'm definitely very interested in seeing him stripped to the buff.

Re. Terence/Tarquin: I don't believe there's anything clownish about him, in either persona, but he does give one a few laughs.

Miranda Neville said...

Thanks, Nancy. Simple summer salads are always great when the fresh local veggies are at their best!

LilMissMolly said...

I've been to the Ballroom a few times. What connects you ladies? Just had fun at a convention and said, "what the heck, let's start a blog?"

Louisa Cornell said...

Send the GR down for the groceries IN a hisrom dress! Good job, Mary!


Late to the party, but I knew the place would still be rocking because Miranda and La Campbell are two of the rowdiest dames I know !!

Good heavens, it seems I have been waiting FOREVER for this book to come out!!! I adore your books, Miranda, especially, of course THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT !!

I knew these two would end up getting their own book and I KNOW it will be a fabulously sexy and funny story!

My Mom does and ambrosia salad that is beyond delicious! I will call her for the recipe and send it to you, Miranda.

I'm curious as to whether you work on one book at the time or if you sometimes break off from one to jot out a chapter of a different book. Do scenes of one book ever come to you while you are writing another?

Any favorite research books you consider MUST HAVES for a Regency historical author?

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, hasn't it been fun to have Miranda back in the lair! We've certainly had a knees-up!

Anna Campbell said...

Hiya, Molly! Waving madly!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, great questions, Louisa! What kept you so long? LOL! And hey, who you callin' rowdy??!!!!

Miranda Neville said...

Hi Miss Molly, hope you'll be a regular at the Ballroom as well as the Lair. The Ballroom denizens are a group of authors published by Avon, and we all write Regency era romance, which seems appropriate for the setting. Our hostess Lady B was a joint creation of the six of us but she seems to have acquired a life of her own. Lord knows what she'll do - or say - next!

Miranda Neville said...

Hope you'll enjoy The Amorous Education, Louisa. Have to say, I think it's pretty funny! I've been looking forward to writing Tarquin's story for a long time. I write one book at a time, but I do think about the next, longingly, when I'm stuck on the one I'm writing. I just know the next will be easier. (It never is!)

Anna did a great post on research books at The Romance Dish this week. To her list I'd add The London Encyclopedia, edited by Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, and the OED, to which I have an online subscription - costs the earth but worth it.

Please send me your mom's ambrosia recipe!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Miranda, thanks for mentioning the Romance Dish post. I had great fun doing it - it's about some of my favorite books about the Regency. Here's the link: http://www.theromancedish.com/2011/07/regency-101.html

Anna Campbell said...

Well, I think the cabana boys are getting ready to curl up in a heap and go to sleep. Thanks so much to Miranda and everyone who swung by. Wow, what a party day it's been in the lair. Miranda, I'm camped on the doorstep hoping to book you for a visit when Minerva hits the stands! Can't wait. By the way, postie turned up, no Celia! GRRRRR! Maybe tomorrow!

And don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who won the signed copy of THE AMOROUS EDUCATION OF CELIA SEATON!

Daz said...

Miranda, when you pour the batter over, use a sieve / strainer rather than a spoon. You don't want the lumps going into your dish. Or strain first into a bowl and then use the spoon to even out the batter across the dish.

It was super yummy with mango sorbet last night.

Oh and it doesn't slice up well in the dish because of all the peaches, so use a big spoon and just scoop it out.