by Anna Campbell
It's my great pleasure today to introduce a fresh face to the lair, wonderful Avon historical romance author Jenny Brown!
Jenny's debut LORD LIGHTNING garnered glowing reviews and a lot of buzz in Romancelandia, including two Romantic Times Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award nominations. Her second book in the Lords of the Seventh House series, STAR CROSSED SEDUCTION comes out 30th August. Rush to pre-order it!
Here's the blurb for STAR CROSSED SEDUCTION:
Lovers or Enemies?
Captain Miles Trevelyan, on leave from active service in India, is heading out for a night on the town when he rescues a beautiful pickpocket from arrest. She's the perfect choice for a few days of dalliance--beautiful, cunning, and completely disposable.
But Temperance has no intention of becoming the plaything of a man who wears the uniform of the solders who murdered her lover. Disarming Trev with a kiss, she escapes. But her sultry kiss opens the two Scorpio adversaries to an obsessive attraction that neither can elude--or possibly survive.
You can find out more about Jenny and her books (and see astrological charts for her characters!) on her website: www.jennybrown.net
You can find a brand-new excerpt from STAR CROSSED SEDUCTION here: www.jennybrown.net/home/SCSexcerpt.php
Welcome, Jenny. It's great to have you in the lair at last - I feel like I've been waiting forever to talk to you here about your wonderful stories. STAR CROSSED SEDUCTION is the second in your Lords of the Seventh House series which started with the fabulously well-received LORD LIGHTNING. Can you tell us about this new story and the inspiration behind it?
When I sold LORD LIGHTNING, my editor wanted it to be the first in a series where the hero’s astrological sign would play a part in the story.
Scorpio was the obvious sign to do next. No other sign screams sensual, emotionally moving romance like Scorpio.
But Scorpio has a very mixed reputation. Sexy, yes. But also manipulative, secretive, resentful and transgressive. Scorpios aren’t so much into sex as a recreational activity as they are into sex as a way to control other people. What turns them on is emotion, not sensation. If giving you multiple orgasms will bind you to them for life, they’ll do it. If withholding sex will work better—that works for them, too.
So how was I to make my hero heroic?
The answer lay in exploring the gift Scorpio may confer: intense loyalty, deep psychological insight, and the ability to heal the most painful psychological injuries.
When a Scorpio gives his heart, his loyalty to his loved one will motivate him do whatever is necessary to protect that person, even to sacrificing their lives.
This pointed me to my hero: A dedicated soldier descended from a line of soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for King and Country. And since astrologers know that Scorpios often do best when paired with others of their sign, I made my hero and heroine both sexually alluring, magnetic Scorpios, each of whose lives is dominated by loyalties that have given them secrets they have no choice but to keep hidden.
Captain Miles Trevelyan is on leave from active service in India and looking for nothing more than an evening’s pleasure when circumstances force him, much against his better judgement, to step in and rescue a beautiful pickpocket from a well-deserved arrest. Once in his custody, the streetwise Temperance, who has learned how to use her sexual allure to gain control over men, distracts him with a seductive kiss, intending to make her escape by diverting the handsome captain’s blood away from his brain to a less observant organ.
But their kiss opens them both to feelings they’ve never before experienced and Temperance finds herself unable to break free, even though the man who has aroused such passion in her wears the same uniform as the officer who killed her ex-lover, a failed revolutionary. Drawn into a battle of the sexes where each pits their seductive skills against the other, Trev learns he has finally met the one woman strong enough to meet him where others fear to tread. But he faces a devastating choice. Will he remain true to King and Country, or give up everything to save the strong and vulnerable girl who’s won his heart?
Ooh, sounds delicious! You use astrology as a major theme in your historical romances. How did you become interested in this ancient art?
I don’t actually remember when I discovered astrology, but I know it was before I was nine as I was recently going through some family papers and found a cartoon I’d drawn in a letter I sent home from camp at that age which showed a wizard pointing to an accurately drawn astrological chart. My fuzzy memory is that I first encountered astrology in a newsstand magazine, possibly DELL HOROSCOPE.
When I was in my 20s someone taught me how to cast charts (this was before software made it easy.) So I began to draw charts for everyone I met, and learned more about how to interpret them from books and classes.
What’s next for you?
My next book is the Pisces book in the series. It’s tentatively titled PERILOUS PLEASURES.
While the first two books of the series, LORD LIGHTNING and STAR CROSSED SEDUCTION are connected to each other, this third book goes off in another direction. Set in 1803, it pairs a handsome, wealthy, idealistic Scottish lord, who has taken a vow of chastity in order to be initiated into the secrets of an ancient healing tradition, with the ugly, cynical daughter of the courtesan he must kill if he is to avenge his sister’s murder.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I have such a strong streak of Sagittarius on my own chart that there’s nothing I’d rather do than give advice.
What I’d suggest—which is the best advice I received from another, brilliant writer, and of course, ignored—is that aspiring writers finish at least five books before they seek publication. There as so many benefits of doing this. The most important is that your first book is never as good as you think it is, and writing more will give you either the experience you need to make the first book better or provide you with a much better book—one that might let you break in with a big advance and strong publisher support. The other benefit of writing a lot of books before you publish is that with a stash of books to draw on, you can deliver subsequent books more quickly, which will also help you build up your audience.
Unfortunately, like Temperance, the impulsive heroine of STAR CROSSED SEDUCTION, who ignores the warning Eliza, the astrologer we first met in LORD LIGHTNING, gives her, most of us ignore all the advice we’re given no matter how good it might be.
Jenny, that's all fascinating! Thanks for being our guest today. Do you have a question to get the conversation going with our Banditas and Bandita Buddies?
What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you? Did you take it? What was the worst? I’ll be giving away a copy of LORD LIGHTNING to a randomly chosen commenter.
OK, people, let's all be STARS and comment to win this great prize. Good luck.
Note: Jenny will forward the prize once her book hits the stands on 30th August.