Thursday, June 30, 2011

Author Interview and Giveaway with Loretta Chase

"OH MY AUSTEN! Breath, Rita! Just Breath..."
Okay, so now that you've gotten a peek inside my brain right now, hows about I share with you all WHY I am having one of my 'moments'! Today's special guest is none other than the astounding, incredible, wunderkind herself: Loretta Chase! I've tried to keep it professional long enough, and now that the interview is ready to be shared, I can gush till the cows come home! I'll stop my yammering right now and get to all the EPICNESS now.
Please welcome my amazing special guest:

Loretta Chase

About the Author:
Loretta Chase holds a B.A. from Clark University, where she majored in English and minored unofficially in visual art. Her past lives include clerical, administrative, and part-time teaching at Clark and a Dickensian six-month experience as a meter maid. In the course of moonlighting as a corporate video scriptwriter, she fell under the spell of a producer who lured her into writing novels... and marrying him. The union has resulted in more than a dozen books and a number of awards, including the Romance Writers of America's RITA® Award.
Find Loretta Online: Website | Blog | Two Nerdy History Girls  Facebook

Loretta's Latest Release:

"Brilliant and ambitious dressmaker Marcelline Noirot is London's rising star. And who better to benefit from her talent than the worst-dressed lady in London; the Duke of Clevedon's intended bride? Winning the future duchess's patronage means prestige and fortune for Marcelline and her family. To get to the lady, though, Marcelline must win over Clevedon, whose standards are as high as his morals are...not. The prize seems well worth the risk. This time, though, Marcelline's met her match. Clevedon can design a seduction as irresistible as her dresses; and what begins as a flicker of desire between two of the most passionately stubborn charmers in London soon ignites into a delicious inferno . . .and a blazing scandal. And now both their futures hang by a thread of silk…"source 

Read an excerpt: here | Read a review at Smexy Books : here

Get Your Copy Today:
Barnes&Noble | Amazon | Borders 

The Interview

RJ:
Welcome to Not Another Romance Blog, Loretta! Congratulations are definitely in order; I am so excited to have you on and ask you all about your latest release, ‘Silk Is For Seduction’ (The Dressmaker Series-Book 1, Avon Books, June 28, 2011) How does it feel to be publishing another book? Have the feelings changed much since the release of your earlier novels?
LC: Thank you, Rita. I’m glad to be here. I loved embarking on this series and working on this book. As to publishing—there’s only ever one first book, and the incredible thrill of seeing it in print. But each book gives me a jolt, maybe along the lines of, “Ye gods! I wrote another one!”

RJ: Let’s jump right in and discover more about your latest. ‘Silk Is For Seduction’ is the first book in The Dressmaker Series. The title is an obvious clue, but can you tell us a little more about this new series; what’s it about, what makes it unique, and where the inspiration for it came from?
LC: In a nutshell: Three talented, and ambitious sisters will do whatever it takes to make theirs London’s foremost dressmaking shop. The series evolved from my fascination with 19th century ladies’ magazines, discussions with the dressmaker-historians at Colonial Williamsburg, 
and my own ongoing, shallow attachment to fashion in all its forms. One thing that’s different is the setting—the 1830s and the Romantic Era. The fashions are nothing like the Regency-Jane Austen look. As to unique elements—my heroines are descendents of Dreadful DeLuceys: the disreputable aristocrats hovering in the background ofLord Perfect and Last Night’s Scandal.

RJ: Historical fashion is an intriguing topic for many. I always get a sense while reading your books that they’re well-researched and that you are very knowledgeable about the topics used in your stories. You also happen to run the fabulous Two Nerdy History Girls blog where you and fellow author Susan Holloway Scott expound on various historical topics from popular dress to glorious settings. I am a history lover, too! Can you tell us more about your blog and are there any cool tid-bit you’d like to share with us history lovers?
LC:
So many people think history is boring because in school they’re made to read about politics and wars. But there’s history that deals with everyday life: from art and architecture to food, clothes, and manners—much more interesting, because we can relate personally. Basically, Susan & I are history magpies, and the blog allows us to share our finds with other sympathetic souls. Currently my blogs are offering an Illustrated Guide to Silk is for Seduction—lots of history tidbits related to the story, and lots of pictures—and even movie clips.

RJ: Your historicals are among some of the freshest and most original that I’ve ever read! With every genre, I am sure, there are tropes and plot devices that are constantly used and predictability is often the #1 gripe from most readers and reviewers. Naturally, we are all invested in the Happily Ever After, but can you give us a little insight as to how you keep your plots so fresh on that road to H.E.A?
LC:
That’s a tremendous compliment, and I wish I knew how to explain. But the truth is, my mind just goes that way. It’s absolutely not deliberate—or even conscious.

RJ: Let’s go straight for the jugular. What is ‘Silk Is For Seduction’ all about?
LC:
It’s about two people from different worlds—the cutthroat world of high fashion and the even more treacherous world of high society—who can’t help seducing each other, even though it’s a ridiculously dangerous game for them both. Their love story deals with surviving catastrophes, and learning to trust enough to take tremendous risks. OK, that sounds dead serious, but readers who know me know there will be laughs along the way. Yes, and it’s definitely about clothes, too, complete with Project Runway and What Not to Wear moments.

RJ: I am pretty sure that for any reader of romance (and all genres, for that matter) the characters make or break the story. A book can have the most breathtaking settings and original plot, but if the characters have no character, it leaves much to be desired. Tell us more about the Hero and Heroine from ‘Silk Is For Seduction’. Who are they, what are their flaws and redeeming qualities, and what attracts them to each other besides their physical charms?
LC:
Marcelline Noirot lost everything in the 1832 cholera epidemic except her daughter and sisters. Age 21, she came to London with a few coins, her dressmaking genius, and her DeLucey card skills, and started rebuilding a life for her family. She’s clever and charming; she’s a card sharp & a liar—but she’s passionate about her family and her work. The Duke of Clevedon is used to getting whatever he wants, and he’s devoted the last three years of his life to pleasure, mainly in Paris. But he’s lost loved ones, too. This and his strict upbringing save him from being completely selfish and shallow. Along with the inborn ducal arrogance and self-centeredness, there’s a core of generosity, loyalty, and protectiveness. Too, he’s as sharp and witty as Marcelline, and they keep each other on their toes.

RJ: Now, I can’t have the lovely Loretta Chase on my blog without bringing up what is considered by most to be one of the greatest historical romances ever written. ‘Lord of Scoundrels’ is revered all over the romance community and has won several awards, including the RITA. Can you just speak on that book a little; where the idea for it came from, how you feel about that story and its characters more than a decade later, and what do you think makes it so adored to this day?
LC: It started with an image in my head of an ugly little unloved boy. Then I’m not sure what happened. The Disney Beauty & the Beast movie definitely got my neurons firing, and I remember wanting to make sure my beast was truly beastly, absolutely awful. Then for some reason it was easy to imagine the sort of woman who’d see right through him to the troubled boy inside. What happened after that—how the story came to together—let’s just call it a gift from the writing gods. I’m still proud of that book—and it’s a constant source of wonder and joy to know it continues to resonate with readers.

RJ: Moving on into preferences- What types of books do you like to read? What sort of plots do you enjoy, what traits do you like to find in the protagonists, and what settings and genres entice you like no other?
LC: Make me laugh and you’ve got me: romantic comedy, for example, and wit in whatever genre. No special preferences in characters—except for wanting them to be fully developed. Much of my reading tends to be outside my genre: many detective novels, some paranormal, 19th century fiction, and a lot of history (mainly social history & biography). While I read about as much contemporary as historical romance, my preference in most genres tends toward historical settings.

RJ: Your books have been in publication since the late 80’s. I always love to read a debuting author, but nothing beats reading a classic by a veteran like you (veteran in the career sense). I am just curious to know: Over the years, what sort of changes have you witnessed in the historical romance genre in terms of publishing and the writing in general? Do you read books by new authors frequently, or have you stuck to certain authors? Also, are you a Kindle/Nook e-book convert, or will you be a paperback diva till the end?
LC: I saw the change in historical romance from what I think of as Gone With the Wind romances—with their casts of thousands, endless trials & tribulations, extended separation of h/h, and so on—to more intimate books, focused much more on h/h. Other than that—and the drastic decrease in publishers and publishing lines—I’m clueless about trends. You’ll always see new authors on my TBR pile. Since it’s a couple of miles high, though, they’re not new anymore by the time I get to them. But I have steady favorites, too. Likewise, it’s not either-or regarding Kindle and print books. Each has its wonderful qualities, and I think it’s great that we have two ways to read.

RJ: Have you ever written a book outside of the historical romance genre and do you have any plans or would you like to try publishing in another genre?
LC:
I tried a paranormal at one point, but that, apparently, was just a way of working out some personal demons. Literally. It was not good.

RJ: What projects are you currently working on and what can we expect on the shelves by you next?
LC:
The Dressmaker Series is planned as a trilogy, so the next book will feature Noirot Sister #2, Sophia, the saleswoman nonpareil.

RJ: You are so respected in the romance community by so many readers and author; can you pass along a little pearl of wisdom to some of the aspiring authors out there?
LC:
Considering how slowly I write, my advice may not be so pearly. I had a lot of practice writing—in academe and for business as well as for myself and the friends I inflicted it on—before I undertook a novel. Practice, and working on one’s craft is really important, I think. The big secret to my writing is rewriting—and researching the daylights out of everything—and having people around me who are extremely supportive but also help me not take myself too seriously.
--
RJ: Thank you so very much for stopping by and indulging my curiosity, Loretta! You are a fan favorite and I am sure the readers can’t wait to devour ‘Silk Is For Seduction’ (as I plan to)! All the best!
LC:Thank you for having me! And—don’t want to be greedy or anything— but I do hope everyone completely loves the book!
Loretta has generously offered to giveaway a copy of 'Silk is for Seduction' to (1) one lucky commenter! All you have to do to be eligible to win is comment on this interview post! Leave a comment, gush nonsensically, ask Loretta a question (she'll check back through out the day to answer!) The giveaway will end on July 14th and the winner will be announced and contacted shortly thereafter.


*Please leave your email address in your comment so you can be contacted if you win
*Restricted to US

**If you have any problems commenting, select Name/URL option in the drop down menu next to "comment as:" and just write in your name (and website if you have one). If that doesn't work, email me your name and comment to NotAnotherRomanceBlog(AT)gmail(DOT)com and I'll manually put it in the comments. Sorry for any inconvenience. **

37 comments:

  1. chins210@yahoo.com

    Loretta is one of my favortie authors, and I'm definitely picking up a copy of Silk is for Seduction! One of my favorite things about Loretta is her humble nature and her honesty. Despite being one of the absolute best, most talked about authors of historical romance, she doesn't get a big head about her brilliance and continues to work as hard on her new books as her old - even with a devout following of readers. That's definitely something to be admired.

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  2. Congratulations on the new series. I'm still fairly new to historical romance and I haven't read any of Ms. Chase's work before so this is all fresh to me. I like th idea of a series of books dealing with fashion, high society and the people who dressed them and the references to Project Runway and What Not to Wear pretty much tells me there is plenty of humor in the story!

    Thanks for the contest!

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  3. What a lovely cover. Love the coloring. Have read your books. You are on my read/keep shelves. :-) lisakhutson at cox dot net

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  4. The cover is gorgeous, and the storyline sounds intriguing.
    I hope to win this one.
    In the article above, you mentioned that you tried your hand at paranormals but it didn't work out. Why? I mean, did you try to publish it, or just wrote it and didn't like the way it developed as a whole? Just curious. And, what type of story was it, vampires or ghosts? What?
    I'd love to hear more about that.
    Thanks for the interview.
    Sherri A. Dub
    sheropatra@yahoo.com

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  5. I am Canadian so I dont count for the possible giveaway *sigh* which is too bad because I have not read a Loretta Chase book yet. I LOVE historicals so there is no excuse. Thanks for putting the link to the histoical blog because I am now following. I totally agree regarding what is taught in schools about history. I hated history in school. Boring politics was drilled into our heads but out of school, there is so much history to dive into. I remember visiting Charleston SC and there is so much history there I just wanted to bath in it!
    Best of luck with your new book!

    MichelleKCanada
    http://anotherlookbookreviews.blogspot.com/

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  6. That is a gorgeous cover! I even painted my dining room wall Razzle Dazzle Berry, so this book would fit right in. So many great questions were asked already & I enjoyed reading Loretta's responses. I love to get into a series!

    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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  7. I have heard such great things about this book. I am really looking forward to getting my hands on it. I have had it on my wishlist for months now and I can't wait to read it. It just looks so good. Plus, who doesn't love Loretta's books?

    iqb99@yahoo.com

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  8. Love Loretta Chase's books and I can't wait to read the latest! lbknutson@q.com

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  9. Hi, Loretta! I love your books! Congratulations on your new release!

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  10. Loretta Chase is a favorite of mine so I'm very excited that her new book is out. Her characters really come alive for me so that I can remember them long after the story is over.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

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  11. Congrats on the new release, Loretta. I love the Carsington books, but my favorite hero is Vere.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

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  12. Just wanted to say that I love Loretta's books and I'm so looking forward to reading this new one! I love the gorgeous cover too! BTW I love stopping by The Two Nerdy History Girls Blog! Thanks for sharing with us today!

    evjochum[AT]aol[DOT]com

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  13. Great interview and love Loretta's books. Would love to win this book. thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
    christinebails@yahoo.com

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  14. Hi, everybody! I'm a little late to the party after a last-minute quick visit to New York with the other Nerdy History Girl, Susan Holloway Scott. Thank you for the very kind words--and thanks to Rita for asking such smart, thought-provoking questions. I've got to pass along the compliments about the cover to the folks at Avon. I thought they outdid themselves this time, and I know they like to get Attaboys/Attagirls, just as much as authors do.

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  15. My favorite is "Lord Perfect" (a road trip romance!) but with the old cover, not the new one.

    ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

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  16. I am looking forward to reading this one. sounds really good.
    kelly_mann@hotmail.com

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  17. I am very excited about the new book and have been trying to not just gobble it up. It's always a little sad after the euphoria wears off and I realize I have to wait another year for a new fix. Which just gives me an excuse to reread my favorites (basically all of them but particularly Lord of Scoundrels and Lord Perfect).
    shoulders3@austin.rr.com

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  18. Love the books. "Mr. Impossible" is my favorite, although "Your Scandalous Ways" comes a close second. I know all authors love their books, but do you have a favorite? One that just edges out a place above the others in your heart? If yes, why?

    And who's your favorite hero you've ever written? Is is Rupert? it's Rupert, isn't it? ;)

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  19. The cover on this book is one of the most beautiful I have seen in a while. Based on your previous books, I'm sure the inside is as lovely as the cover! I would love a chance to win!

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  20. Loretta, I can't wait to read "SILK..."

    Although the cover is beautiful and the description sounds great, your books are among those I automatically order when they are published--so the cover and description are secondary.

    Of course, LORD OF SCANDALS is one of only about 25-30 books on my "keeper" shelf. If I ever get to my TBR pile, I want to re-read it.

    I will tell you that I don't swap, sell or give away books that are autographed by a favorite author, so if I win a copy of "SILK", it will sit right next to "LORD". *fingers crossed*

    Thank you for many happy hours of reading pleasure!

    Laura
    heartoftexasbooks[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  21. I love all of your books and you're on my auto-buy list. Can't wait to read this one.

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  22. Diane P. DiamondJuly 1, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Thank you for such an enjoyable interview and for giving us all a chance to read an excerpt of "Silk is For Seduction".

    This review is simply awesome. I absolutely adore and love a good love story. I'm literally chomping at the bit to read this story as it contains everything that I love, passion, intrigue and romance. I want to be carried away to another time and place where people lived, loved, and were finding their way to each other.

    My question for you is:- Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

    Congratulations on your new release and, for this awesome opportunity.

    dpd333 (at) aol (dot) com

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  23. I read the excerpt from silk for seduction and head to buy your backlist. Not fear, but lovin it.

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  24. Great interview ! Loretta is my favorite author as well always a good story and fun characters.I'm looking forward to all the books in this series ; clothes and romance and witty sexy dialogue.Perfect.

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  25. Oh, the Dreadful Deluceys! How wonderful to have that in the background for another book.

    I follow Two Nerdy History Girls on Twitter and always end up spending too much time clicking on links to great historical stuff.

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  26. I love the cover of this book. The colors are very eye catching. I love historical romance. I am always looking for new authors to read. That makes this book another addition to my wish list! Thanks for the giveaway!
    jepebATverizonDOTnet

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  27. Hi Loretta. Congratulations on your new release! I have several of your books and really enjoy reading them. Isn't historical romance just the best? Why do I keep hearing comments that it's a dying genre?

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  28. I was caught up with the storyline of Silk is for Seduction as soon as I read the excerpt!

    I always love Loretta's stories but this series has a special meaning to me because by grandmother was a seamstress who made her beautiful creations she designed on a trundle sewing machine!

    I can't imagine the time it took to design and make the gowns worn during this time period by hand! No patterns to go by and no fancy sewing machine to use to make their creations. Can you imagine the time it would take to make a dress such as the beautiful gown on the cover of Silk is for Seduction?

    I was caught up in this story as soon as I read the excerpt and know that it will be a fascinating read from the first paragraph until the last sentance. I'm looking forward to reading all the series stories in The Dressmaker's series!

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  29. I am a fan of Loretta Chase and her books. I would love to win this one.

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  30. I think this will be fascinating. I love that the heroine is a dressmaker and actually works for a living. I can't wait to read it.

    jen at delux dot com

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  31. Hello, Loretta! I am a great, long-time fan of yours : ) I am so in love with the story line and characters for "Silk is for Seduction"! I have a great interest in fashions and costumes. I love to sew and work with fabric. My favorite era is the mid to late 1800s. I have done quite a bit of custom sewing, making hundreds of cloth dolls, quilts and pillows. Embroidered Western shirts with pearl snaps are a pleasure to complete. Western costumes and custom clothing is an art form in itself! As a child, I loved to play "dress up". I was very fortunate to have clothing from my great-grandmother, grandmother and mother to use as my costumes. I loved to entertain and put on shows with my family as my "captive audience" : )

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

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  32. Only the greatest historical romance author in the world could have tackled the story of the "greatest modiste in the world." Dear God, how I love her books! Her self-confidence, her unscrupulous writing, her determination, her strength, her genius. Her passion. I will never be convinced that some genuine DeLucey blood doesn't trickle through her veins. That is all that could account for the delightful duplicity of her books.

    pierglass@aol.com

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  33. I loved Silk is for Seduction and I am looking forward to Sophy's book. Dare I hope that our hero is the Lord Longford?

    I can't wait for the tales that Sophy will be creating for the new book, when will it be coming out?

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  34. Thank you for the wonderful interview! I just finished Silk is for Seduction and it's marvelous! There is just so much chemistry between the h/h and I keep going back to reread their witty banter. Can't wait for the the next book in the series!

    jin_soichiro06@yahoo.com

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  35. Amazing interview - well done! I love Loretta's books and am really enjoying Silk is for Seduction.

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  36. I would absolutely LOVE to win a signed copy of this book!!! After you've read my review of it, you will know why...

    "Story: 5 stars
    Romance: 5 stars

    This one is going on my Keeper Shelf with only about 30 other books. (That's probably impressive only if I admit that I read more than 200 books per year.)

    When determining if a book is a "keeper" or not, I don't just want an "escape" (since every book should provide that to one extent or another). Rather, I take note of my EMOTIONS as I read. Another indicator is that feeling of... "I can't wait to read the next page, chapter, etc but at the same time, I don't want it to end."

    This story had me chuckling from the very beginning. I was absolutely charmed by Marcelline's style, wit and fearlessness. She creatively brazened her way through sticky situations that would have intimidated most others. No wonder the duke was dazzled! Speaking of the duke, I laughed out loud when Ms Chase described his "ducal phallis." Waahahaha!!

    Of course, I immediately fell in love with Lucie as well as Leonie and Sophia. Since this series is titled "Dressmakers" I assume that each of the sisters will get her own story and HEA. Wow, I am so anxious to get the info on the next book!

    I loved this wonderful story and will enjoy reading it again and again."

    Obviously, if I win a SIGNED copy of this book *fingers crossed* I will post my unsigned copy on Paperbackswap.com for someone else to enjoy.

    Laura T
    heartoftexasbooks[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  37. I forgot to leave my email address on my previous post

    junegirl63(at)gmail(dot)com

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