I’ve been reading romance long that I’ve gotten myself into a rut. It’s a happy rut, I know what I like to read, I seek it out, and I read it. But every now and then I get pushed out of my happy little rut and most always I’m glad that I did. Like when Barbara Burke sent out a cry for help for quotes and reviews for her novella, Recompromising Amanda. I answered, because I like to help people. I was pushed from my happy rut because I normally read light-hearted contemporary romance, and this is a regency short. But what a good choice I made.
And now I’ve had the chance to ask Barbara some questions about her novella and her writing. So here’s a little weekend treat in between all the Scorcher Blog posts. But first a peek at Recompromising Amanda…
How has beautiful, popular Amanda Smythe-Kincaid managed to reach the ripe old age of twenty-five without getting married? Could she possibly still be carrying a torch for Jason, her brother’s best friend? It’s been years since they were caught kissing in the conservatory.
Jason, the third Viscount Greyshott, has been in love with Amanda for ages. Too bad he can’t convince her of that fact, and too bad she repeatedly turns down his marriage proposals.
When Amanda asks Jason for a shocking favor, he realizes this may just be the opportunity he needs. And when fate, in the form of an exasperated older brother and some inadvertent eavesdropping, finally steps in to bring this charming Regency couple into each other’s arms—where everyone around them knows they’ve always belonged—Amanda doesn’t stand a chance.
Not enough?Here’s a little excerpt…
“Jason!” she said as, at the same time, “Amanda!” burst from his lips.
They looked at each other fully for the first time and might have smiled if not for the gravity of the situation.
“Ladies first,” Jason commanded.
His eyes were warm, and Amanda took comfort in the sight even as her heartbeat quickened at the memory of the molten heat reflected in them the night before. She drew a resolute breath, but turned her head away, refusing to meet his eyes.
“Jason, the other day you told me if there was ever anything I needed that Charles could not provide I was to come to you, and you would help me.” She dared a peep up at him. “Did you mean it?”
“How can you doubt it?” he asked, a frown crossing his features.
“Then I want you to promise me you will do something for me without asking any questions.”
“What do you want me to do?”
“No questions,” she reminded him with a brief smile. “You must trust me.”
“It’s not something illegal is it?” he teased. “I’ll have to calculate the probability of being sent to jail and consult my lawyers on how long the sentence is likely to be before agreeing to anything truly reprehensible.”
“No, it’s not illegal,” she answered seriously. “At least, I don’t think it’s illegal,” she added with a trace of doubt.
“‘Don’t think it’s illegal’ will have to do, I suppose. Tell me what you want, and if it lies within my power I will do it.”
Amanda took a deep breath before replying, and then spoke all in a rush. “I want you to make love to me.”
Still want more…well now, it’s Barbara’s turn…
In her other life regency writer Barbara Burke is an award-winning freelance journalist. Too scatterbrained to concentrate on one specialty she might be writing about oil development in Greenland for a business magazine one week and laundry practises for a hoteliers’ magazine the week after. Despite her inability to concentrate on one thing for any length of time she gets cranky if she goes too long without writing any fiction.
She’s lived in four Canadian provinces and three countries and currently resides in a leaky cedar house on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, which she shares with her husband, daughter, two cats, a dog and a snake. The horse lives down the road. She drinks wine and watches whales from her upstairs balcony and wishes the sun would come out occasionally.
My turn *in a sing-song voice*…
Have you always written regency romances?
No, this is my first shot at it. I’ve always read regencies, though. I was a fan of Jane Austen back when she was still trying to get her first novel published ;-)
Ah, that Jane…what is your favorite aspect of the regencies?
I think it’s the polite world they inhabit. They speak a certain way and dress a certain way and they have so many rules for what one can and cannot do is society. Once you figure out what those rules are you can have so much fun breaking them.
I also like the way it was practically invented as a genre by Georgette Heyer. As far as I can tell no one else even considered writing about that period until she began using it as her setting. I’d like to invent a genre, but everytime I think of something I look online and find 50,000,621 hits for my so-called original idea. Damn Google.
Yep, been there a time or two myself! Recompromising Amanda is a novella, what do you consider the benefits of writing short?
Not writing long!
Okay, maybe I asked for that one! LOL Have you written novel length and what do you consider the challenges of writing long/short to be?
I’ve started a few novels but I always run out of steam at about 30,000 words. They’re still sitting on my computer and I hear them calling to me in the night, but the task seems so daunting – even though I know exactly what’s going to happen. I suppose I’m a sprinter rather than a long distance runner. I love the satisfaction of getting things wrapped up in a few thousand words even if I dream of greater character development.
I’ve often said give me 100,000 words and I’ll write you something, give me 25,000 and I’ll make out my grocery list! Now, I love love love your hero. What’s your favorite thing about him?
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I guess I like his urbanity. He’d never do anything vulgar, but at the same time he’s got this very passionate side to him. I also really like his voice, but no one else can hear that, naturally.
Oh, I wouldn’t say that! He certainly spoke to me a time or two! Your heroine is also spunky and headstrong, what is your favorite thing about her?
Spunky and headstrong? Oh dear, that’s not how I would have described her. She has a mind of her own, for sure, but she would never hurt the people she loves. In fact, she’s always very considerate of other people’s feelings – look how careful she is to ensure that Jason doesn’t know how she feels about him. She doesn’t want to embarrass him. I guess that’s what I like best about her. She’s my opposite – I’m always putting my foot in my mouth.
Can I say spunky and headstrong, but in a totally regency way? Now the dreaded questions–
Where did the idea for Recompromising Amanda come from?
Virginity is such a non-issue in the modern world, but that’s a very recent thing. I remember when the most important thing about Lady Diana was that she was a virgin and, therefore, eligible to marry the heir to the British throne. I think they even had her examined. Thirty years later Kate Middleton can marry the next in line without the question even being raised, without anyone even thinking it is a question. So I started thinking about all those women in times past who never got the opportunity to even find out what they were missing and then I created a heroine who decided to do something about it.
You’re so right, Now I write sexy and enjoy a hot book, but sometimes I’m a little shocked. Recompromising Amanda is very sexy, what do you consider is the secret to making such a short novella so hot?
There is no secret. Just sit at your laptop and write until you’re blushing from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Then breathe a sigh of relief that it’s done and end up with an editor who tells you she wants you to ramp it up. Yikes! I have a hard time with chaste kissing scenes, writing a sex scene nearly killed me. (I’d like to say, like a good regency heroine, that I was almost completely undone, but that could be taken the wrong way.)
LOL! Now tell us what you have for us next…
Well, in an ideal world I write a bestseller so popular that JK Rowling would end up wishing she could afford my lavish lifestyle. However, I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen if I keep writing novellas. Maybe I’ll see if I can sell a regency without the sex – I don’t want to blow my blush gasket.
Hey, that’s my life of luxury you’re talking about! :-)
Barbara, thanks so much for coming by today and for allowing me to read Recompromising Amanda. It’s a wonderful story, y’all. Go get and see what I mean…you’ll love Jason on sight! <3 Amie