Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fallen Women Week: Interview with Mary Balogh + Giveaway (International)

Mary Balogh (rhymes with Kellog) is an award winning romance author who has written more than 60 books. Whether it's the Huxtables, The Simply series, the Bedwyn Saga or the Mistress trilogy, you'll find her heroes dashing and her heroines strong-willed. Today Mary is sharing one of her fallen women and we're giving away a copy of the book. Let's give Mary a warm welcome.


Meet Mary:
As an adult, Balogh discovered the world of the historical romance as written by Georgette Heyer. The vast majority of Balogh's novels have been set in Regency or Georgian England or Wales. Although she writes historical romances, Mary Balogh's heroines are often not "ladies". Some are courtesans, illegitimate, "fallen" or "ruined" women. All enjoy passion, and often a marriage and/or a sensual connection precedes recognition of love.

Balogh began her writing career in 1983, when she wrote her first novel A Masked Deception in the evenings at the kitchen table while home and family functioned around her. A Masked Deception was accepted by Signet and published in 1985. Mary Balogh won the Romantic Times Award for best new Regency writer that year.

She is the author of more than 60 published novels and over 30 novellas and has met with critical success. She has received numerous awards, including a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Regency Short Stories in 1993 and has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.

Connect with Mary: Author Site | Facebook

Jamie and Kati: Hi Mary! Welcome to Fallen Women Week at Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance. We’re delighted you could be here today!
Mary Balogh: Thank you for asking me. This is a pleasure.

J&K: What inspired you to write about a “fallen woman”?
MB: I have written close to 100 novels and novellas and I try not to repeat myself! So I have used all sorts of heroes and heroines. Inevitably, since I write historical romance, a few of my heroines fall into the "fallen woman" category. I also like to choose heroes and heroines who are imperfect, who carry around baggage that has to be dealt with before the story can resolve itself into a happy ending for the lovers. A "fallen woman" is certainly not going to be perfect.

J&K: What makes “fallen women” special to you as an author?
MB: Women do not usually become courtesans or prostitutes because they want to or because it has been a lifetime ambition. They have been driven to it for some reason. There is some tragedy lurking behind the alluring appearance they present to their male clientele. I like to explore that tragedy and its effect on their character. I like to see how strength of character can lend them dignity and the ability to overcome their situation when the opportunity arises.

J&K: If you could live anywhere in the world (or a place from a book) where would it be?
MB: My favorite place in the world is Bath, England. It is still so full of atmosphere from Georgian and Regency England that I can almost imagine myself back there in that age of elegance when I am there. Jane Austen used it as a setting in a few of her books.

J&K: What can’t you live without when you’re writing?
MB: My laptop! I have two homes, one during the winter and the other during summer. I find it easier to write in my summer home, where I have an ancient desk just the right height for me (most are too high) and am surrounded by my scented candles in their colored glass holders and have my Salvador Dali paintings facing me to inspire me. However, I often take my laptop out onto our screen deck, using a lap tray, and I do write during the winters too. The laptop itself is the only absolute essential.

J&K: Do you have any writing rituals?
MB: I have to have a tidy work area. My desk calendar has to be at just the right angle beside my laptop, and my candles need to be lit. I like silence rather than background music, and I need to start writing immediately after breakfast since I am a morning person.

J&K: If Hollywood optioned your book into a movie, who would play the lead characters?
MB: I don't watch movies, and I don't picture the books I read, including my own, in terms of Hollywood sets or actors. When readers suggest various actors or actresses for characters in my books, I am often surprised since I don't imagine the characters looking that way. I think a reader's imagination is a very precious thing. We all see what we read in different ways, and I hate that process to be interfered with. I am not a fan of movies made from books. Having said that, I suppose if anyone ever did want to make a movie from one of my books, I would be flattered enough to accept!

Quick either/or:
1. Alpha or Beta? Either, if well presented.

2. Wallflower or Belle of the Ball? Probably wallflower—more possibilities

3. Debutante or Spinster? Spinster

4. Virgin widow or Secret baby? Widow, though probably not virgin!

5. Titled peer or Working man? Peer

6. Love at first sight or Second chances? Second chances

7. Naval officer or Swashbuckling pirate? Naval officer

8. Vampires or Shifters? Neither

9. Past, Present or Future? Past

10. Writing or Reading? Both

11. Paperbacks or e-books? E-books

12. Plotter or Pantser? Pantser

13. Author’s choice: Sex or romance?

J&K: Thank you Mary for participating in our Fallen Women Week event!
MB: You are very welcome



Genre: Historical
Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Dell-reissue (November 29, 2009)
She was unlike any woman he’d ever met in the ton or the demimonde. But Sir Gerald Stapleton frequented Mrs. Blyth’s euphemistically dubbed “finishing school” for pure, uncomplicated pleasure–and nothing else. So why was this confirmed bachelor so thoroughly captivated by one woman in particular? Why did he find himself wondering how such a rare jewel of grace, beauty, and refinement as Priss had ended up a courtesan? And when she needed protection, why did Gerald, who’d sworn he’d never get entangled in affairs of the heart, hasten to set her up as his own pampered mistress to ensure her safety–and have her all to himself?
For Priscilla Wentworth, the path leading to Sir Gerald’s bed had been as filled with misfortune as it suddenly seemed charmed. But Priss couldn’t allow herself to believe she’d ever be more to a man like Sir Gerald than a well-cared-for object of pleasure. Now, despite Gerald’s deep distrust of marriage, neither scandal nor society’s censure can keep them apart–only the fear of trusting their hearts.

Get Your Own Copy: Amazon(pb) | Kindle | B&N(pb) | Nook | Book Depository
Book Extras: Read an Excerpt

We are giving away a copy of A PRECIOUS JEWEL to one(1) lucky reader. Giveaway open wherever The Book Depository ships. Here's how to enter:
  • Leave a comment answering Mary's question: sex or romance?
  • Fill out the rafflecopter form below. You must leave a comment. All other entries are optional.
***Jo Goodman is hanging out at Aislynn's blog. Stop by for a fun interview and giveaway***

A huge thanks to Mary for stopping by.
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