Laurel McKee is the pen name for regency romance writer Amanda McCabe. Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen--a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class. She's never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award and the Holt Medallion.
When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network--even though she doesn't cook.
About the Book:Blonde and beautiful Lady Anna Blacknall is in the mood for mischief. Entering Dublin's most notorious den of vice, she finds herself in the arms of a mysterious, emerald-eyed Irishman. And although he is masked, his tender kiss is hauntingly familiar.
Conlan McTeer, Duke of Adair, has come to Dublin to fight for a free Ireland. But he's suddenly reunited with the young Englishwoman who had once claimed his heart, and his passion turns from politics to pleasure. When their sizzling encounter brings danger to Anna's door, she must decide where her loyalties lie-and quickly. For someone will do whatever it takes to destroy Conlan . . . and anyone he dares to love.
Welcome to Rex Robot Reviews, Laurel!
Can you tell us what inspired you to write Duchess of Sin and The Daughters of Erin series?
Thanks so much for inviting me to the blog today! I’m so excited to be here talking about this book. I’d wanted to write a story set in Ireland for a long time—my family is Irish, and it’s such a gorgeous, romantic country. It took me a while to find the right characters, but finally the Blacknall sisters and their heroes popped into my head. They followed me around and pestered me until I wrote about them!
What kind of research did you find necessary for Duchess of Sin?
I’m a total history geek, so doing research is one of my favorite things when starting a book! For these books, set in late 18th/early 19th century Ireland, I read about politics (very complicated, and most of it didn’t make it into the books, but I wanted to try and understand the atmosphere of the day!), architecture, landscape and geography, fashion (my favorite!), and mythology. The tumultuous passion of the times made it perfect for my equally passionate characters! (On my website) I have some historical information and some sources I found useful.
I also researched handsome actors to inspire the heroes, which was very hard work but I’m willing to take it on for my books!
Which, if any, of your characters was challenge for you during the writing process?
Characters often seem like a challenge! They always like to take off in unexpected directions and do crazy things, even when I tell them I’m the author and therefore the boss! In Duchess of Sin we see a secondary romance between Anna’s mother Lady Katherine and the young, handsome French art teacher she hires for her youngest daughter. I imagined what it would be like to live a whole life of duty and restrictions, only to be set free by unexpected and overwhelming love, and the conflicts that would bring.
What songs would you choose for the Duchess of Sin soundtrack?
I love this question, because as well as doing “character collages” when setting up a new story I also make up soundtracks! This one had lots of Celtic Christmas music (since the story takes place at Christmas time), and the Young Dubliners’ version of “Follow Me Up To Carlow,” but it also had some weird stuff like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” from Ella Fitzgerald Wishes You a Swinging Christmas!
Tell us a little about yourself! What are three fun facts about Laurel?
LOL! I could tell you about my writing day, where I sit around in my pajamas, staring out the window daydreaming and calling it work, but that would be pretty boring. A few things not everyone knows: I totally love Hello Kitty and have way too many HK items in my house. I also love Audrey Hepburn movies, and could sit and watch them over and over again without getting bored at all (especially Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s!). And I’m “mom” to four pets, two lazy cats, a Pug, and a bossy miniature Poodle who is sure she runs the world.
Any other releases or works in progress you’re excited about?
I just finished the third Daughters of Erin story, Lady of Seduction, which is out in June 2011! It’s the story of Caroline, the youngest, most scholarly Blacknall, who has to leave her life of study to set out on a wild adventure on a stormy Irish island—with a dark, dangerous man, of course!
Where can our readers find you?
I have my website, and I’m also on Facebook and Twitter. They can also visit my own blog, or my group blog at Risky Regencies!
Thank you for taking the time for us today! I can't wait to get my hands on Lady of Seduction!
Duchess of Sin
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