Monday, May 2, 2011

Author Interview + Hit&Run Conclusion: with Sarah MacLean

Happy Dance! The amazing Sarah MacLean is stopping by the blog today to give us some good book chat about her third historical romance and final book in the Love By Numbers Series, "Eleven Scandals To Start To Win A Duke's Heart"! We end the interview with a super cool Hit&Run conclusion. Enjoy! And now, without further adieu, please welcome my special guest:

Sarah MacLean
"As the daughter of a former British spy (yes...that kind of British spy) and a jet-setting Italian who met in Paris and lived, at one point or another, inRome, London, San Francisco, and New York, I feel that I should tell you that I’m a real-life Lara Croft who spends her days haggling in the bazaars of Marrakech, shopping on the Champs-Élysées, riding a motorbike across the Gobi desert, and scaling ancient Mayan temples. 
Unfortunately for all of us, however, that would be a gross untruth. My parents settled down in Lincoln, Rhode Islandlong before I was born and left me little choice but to turn to books to find my own romance and adventure. 
By high school, thanks to my older (and much wiser) sister, I was thoroughly obsessed with historical fiction. I would become enamored of whole eras and read any- and everything I could get my hands on that related to them. I went through phases—Medieval England, the Vikings, the Italian Renaissance.[...]
My first book, a YA historical romance called The Season, is available in the YA section of your local bookstore. My adult historical romances are on their way...Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake is in bookstores now, and the sequel, Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord is coming in October 2010 from Avon/HarperCollins."read full bio on author's site 

Sarah MacLean on the Web: Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Sarah's Latest Release:

'Eleven Scandals To Start To Win A Duke's Heart'
Released April 26th, 2010

"She lives for passion

Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society’s rules: she speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London’s most practiced gossips…and precisely the kind of woman the Duke of Leighton wants far far away from him.

He swears by reputation.

Scandal is the last thing Simon Pearson has room for in his well-ordered world. The Duke of Disdain is too focused on keeping his title untainted and his secrets unknown. But when he discovers Juliana hiding in his carriage late one evening–risking everything he holds dear–he swears to teach the reckless beauty a lesson in propriety.

She has other plans, however; she wants two weeks to prove
that even an unflappable duke is not above passion."

Read a review of 'Eleven Scandals To Start To Win A Duke's Heart' on Book Binge: here

Book Trailer:

Get Your Copy Today:

RJ: Welcome back to Not Another Romance Blog, Sarah! And congrats on your latest release, ‘Eleven Scandals To Start To Win A Duke’s Heart’ (Love by Numbers series-Book 3, Avon, April 26th, 2011) You’ve had some outstanding success with your first two books in the Love by Numbers series - Nine Rules going on to become the first book EVER to receive the Romantic Times ‘Seal of Excellence’ PLUS it’s a finalist in this year’s RITA Awards. Looks like romance readers (and I) are in love! Can you speak on the emotions and feelings that you’ve experienced since publishing that first historical romance?
SM: It’s an incredible feeling, to know that I’m actually a published author . . . particularly when I see my books on shelves in stores, and I meet up with amazing authors whom I’ve admired for years. I’m not going to lie . . . it’s super duper cool, and utterly bizarre.
RJ: The blurb is really enticing, but will you tell us what the book is about aside from what we’ll find on the back cover?
SM: As for Eleven’s story...this is the one that everyone has been waiting for. The heroine, Juliana Fiori, is the scandalous Italian half-sister of the heroes of the first two books, and she’s been slowly coming out of her shell while her brothers have been busy finding love. Readers have also met the hero, Simon, Duke of Leighton, who is the worst kind of cold, immovable, autocratic duke. The kind of man who really deserves to be brought to his knees.
RJ: ‘Eleven Scandals’ is not only your latest release, but also the final book in a series which has taken the romance world by storm. How does it contribute to the series and what did you do differently in this book from the others?
SM: This book was a tough one to write, because it was important to me that it give the series a satisfying ending. That was very much a part of my writing process for Eleven . . . and I hope it delivers!
RJ: Alright, so this is usually the part of the interview where I start to veer off topic and ask more questions about you. Seeing as I will sorely miss the wonderful Love By Numbers series and their lovely, numerical titles, I thought I’d finish this interview in a special way. Presenting,:

Eleven Questions to Reply Before We Cry
A hit and run conclusion  
Original, no? Well, as the title suggests, I’d like to parody your upcoming release title for the rest of this interview and try something different. Eleven questions seem like too many to add to the ones above, so I was thinking that a Hit & Run conclusion with Eleven Questions would be a super fun alternative. Below are the eleven questions I’d like you to answer. Want to know the catch? You can only answer in 2 sentences or less. Run-ons and extravagant use of commas, semi-colons, and every other punctuation is allowed, and very much encouraged. Have at it, Sarah!

1.) Hero’s and Heroine’s are great and everything, but it seems to me that secondary characters are sometimes the unsung heroes of a book. Tell me about a special or unique secondary character in ‘Eleven Sandals…
SM: At the beginning of Eleven Scandals . . . , my hero is in a bit of a pickle. He needs to marry, and he needs to marry someone with an impeccable reputation. He choses Lady Penelope Marbury, daughter of a double marquess and utterly well-behaved—exactly as a British bride of the aristocracy should be; Penelope stole my heart . . . even though she didn’t quite steal Simon’s.
2.) Imagine: Your Love By Numbers series gets optioned by a big motion picture company and the St. John siblings are coming to the big screen! Which actors get which roles? (Did I mention that lists don’t count as sentences, so you can write as many bullets as you want *_^)
SM:  So hard! I’m really really bad at this.
  • Gabriel & Nick (they’re twins!) – David Gandy
  • Juliana Fiori – Monica Bellucci
  • Isabel Townsend – Kiera Knightly
  • Calpurnia Hartwell – Miracle Laurie
  • Simon Pearson, Duke of Leighton – Daniel Craig (but taller)
3.) Who is the one character throughout the entire series that you identify with the most and why?
SM: That’s a tough one. I see myself in all my heroines . . . Callie and Isabel especially!
4.) This one might be tough: Write the blurb to your life as it is now but exaggerated to how you ideally wish it could be.
SM:  Sarah MacLean is a romance novelist on a mission. She will finish this book . . . before it finishes her.
5.) Weirdest author/writing quirk?
SM: I have to turn off my Internet access to actually get work done.
6.) In your opinion, what makes a great romance novel?
SM: Vibrant characters. Believable conflict.
7.) Favorite escape tools besides reading or writing?
SM: Reruns of The West Wing and cookbooks. Not necessarily at the same time.
8.) (One of my favorite shows, but also a great question: ) The best thing you ever ate?
SM: When I sold Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, my husband took me to Craft (Tom Colicchio’s restaurant) for the tasting menu there. It was heavenly.
9.) Speaking of a TV show, which shows do you watch religiously and what makes them appealing to you?
  • Top Chef – I’m a total foodie, so this one gets me going.
  • The West Wing – I know it’s been off the air forever, but I watch it from beginning to end at least twice a year. It’s easily the best written show on television.
  • True Blood – It’s so clever! I can’t help myself.
10.) What are you working on now and what will be in bookstores next with your name across the cover?
SM: My next series, The Fallen Angel quartet, follows four aristocrats, cast from society by scandal, now partners in London’s most notorious gaming hell--The Fallen Angel. The first book, A Rogue By Any Other Name, tells the story of Michael Lawler, Marquess of Bourne, who will do anything to rebuild his lands and fortune--including marrying a woman who is entirely too innocent for his wicked ways.
11.) What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to date?
SM: Quit my job to become a romance novelist.  J

RJ: *Brushes aside tears* Once again, Sarah, it has been a pleasure having you on! I am so happy to see Juliana’s story coming out, but sad to see the series end. I know you’ll have some more incredible reads to stock out shelves with in the future! Eleven Scandals truly was the perfect icing to an amazing, decadent, confection of a series  :) All the best!

SM:Thanks so much for having me, Rita!!

I hope all of you enjoyed this interview and will take the time out to learn more about this author and her books. Eleven Scandals is a great read and I am sure you all will enjoy! Get your copy and gush with me when you finish ;)


  1. Hi Sarah.
    I'm a huge fan and have all of your books including the YA The Season. Even my teen daughters love your books. Please tell us that you'll have more like The Season! :)

  2. Oh Sarah and Rita, what a great interview. I must say that 11 Scandals is by far, my favorite book. I cannot even put into words, but I did, how I felt about 11 Scandals. I can't wait for THE FALLEN ANGEL quartet. You had me at 'notorious gaming hell'. I'm such a series junkie. I lol'd when I saw Daniel Craig(but taller).

    *done gushing over this book*

  3. Great interview! I have to agree with Kati R, this was my favorite out of the scandals - and I didn't think it could possibly get better than the 9 or the 10! I literally could not put the book down - which sucked since I didn't start reading it until I got home from work at 11:30 PM and was still awake at 3 am! LilMisMollie - I would love to see another YA book like the Season...



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