Thursday, December 6, 2012

Guest Post w/ Deb Marlowe + giveaway (open int!)


Hey everyone! Please welcome Deb Marlowe to herding cats & burning soup! She's an awesome lady you can't help but smile around and she writes some damn entertaining stories too. 

So, check out her guest post and don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway she's got for yall today :) 

Then hop over to our review of her book, Tall, Dark and Disreputable for an entry in the Grand Prize!


The Birth of a Character

I was talking with the lovely Anna last week and she asked me if all of my books are connected. The answer is yes, in a funny way. Two of my books are part of a bigger, directly related series. All of the others stand alone, but they are loosely connected. They all take place in the same Regency world. Many of the characters are related or otherwise know each other. Characters from one book, both major and minor, often pop up in another. 


I love this connected world. It feels like home to me. I know who lives where and who might bump into each other in the street. When I create a location or a secondary character, they may show up at any time, in any book. 

One such character had a fun, but strange beginning. I was at the 2010 RWA conference in Orlando. The London editors from Harlequin Mills and Boon took the Harlequin Historical authors out for a fabulous high tea. We had a lovely time, and at the end we were served some lovely desserts. This was one of them. 

As an author I sometimes get a ping in my brain. It’s a poke from my subconscious. It says Hey! Pay attention! This is important. We might use this! I’ve learned to heed the ping. And I got pinged by that little beauty of a swan pastry in front of me. 

I looked down and I immediately saw a woman in my Regency world—a confectioner who might have made something just like that pastry for a noble customer. All the random facts I knew about sweets and bakers and confectioners began to coalesce in my head. Right then, a character was born. I didn’t yet know her name, but I knew where her shop was located. I knew her father had been caught up and killed in the French Revolution. I knew she escaped with his collection of sugar paste molds. I knew she was an artist and that one of her specialties was a swan-shaped pastry, and that she had named her confectioner’s shop Le Cygne, French for The Swan. 

When I got home I named her. Madame Hobert played a small role in my last release, Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick. She also has a part in my upcoming series. And all because of a lovely dessert! 

How about you? Do you find inspiration in odd places? Do you like connected books? Share with us and one randomly selected commenter will win a copy of Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick! 

                                                                         ~Deb Marlowe

EFFICIENT SPINSTER OR DESIRABLE WOMAN? 

Adopting the guise of a buttoned-up spinster is nothing new for Chloe Hardwick. But under the watchful eye of her unnervingly handsome employer, the Marquess of Marland, for the first time Chloe yearns to be unbuttoned! Yet he sees her only as his assistant, the efficient Hardwick-not as Chloe the woman.  

Determined to escape Braedon's cold detachment, Chloe leaves. And when he pursues her to London, determined to entice her back, Braedon is utterly unprepared for what he finds there-the real Chloe Hardwick....





Get Your Copy!



Deb Marlowe grew up in Pennsylvania with her nose in a book. Luckily, she’d read enough romances to recognize the true modern hero she met at a college Halloween party—even though he wore a tuxedo t-shirt instead of breeches and tall boots. They married, settled in North Carolina and produced two handsome, intelligent and genuinely amusing boys. Though she spends much of her time with her nose in her laptop, for the sake of her family she does occasionally abandon her inner world for the domestic adventure of laundry, dinner and carpool. Despite her sacrifice, not one of the men in her family is yet willing to don breeches or tall boots. She’s working on it. Deb loves to hear from readers! You can contact her at deb@debmarlowe.com 




Deb is giving away one SIGNED copy of Unbottoning Miss Hardwick today! Thanks Deb!!

Just fill out that Rafflecopter and answer Deb's question!
(never know, she may even stop by! so leave her some love)

Do you find inspiration in odd places? Do you like connected books?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

57 comments:

  1. I love connected books! There is always that let down feeling when a book ends, and with a world of books connected that feeling is put off much longer!

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    1. I feel exactly the same way, Penni, both as a reader and a writer. When I'm missing some of my characters, still have the chance to see/use them again!

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  2. i love connected books that can also be read out of order because it's not always easy for me to get books and when it's a series i'm always stressed to find the first ones so i'm not missing anything^^ ( i prefer to read in orther but this year i discovered than nearly all my historical romance books were book2 of teh series in question and i didn't know it before^^;;)When the books are connected but several stand alone, you get get an additional pleasure when you meet a character you already know but if the author is new for you you can enjoy each book without worry

    as for inspiration: i let my mind wander so yes it can come from unusual place of things but i don't have a example in mind^^

    thank you a lot for opening your giveaway to international!

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    1. You are welcome, miki! Good luck in the contest!

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  3. I do love Marlowe's books. And I can't wait to read this one!
    I like connected stories but will admit that at times they can become very dull to me. I guess a lot of it depends on how connected the books become. If they go through a lot of repeated material from other books I'll tend not to finish them. So I guess it boils down to how well the author can pull it off and of course, the reader :-)

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    1. Thank you for the kind words, Beautiful Disaster!

      No worries about synopses of other books in mine. Actually, I know that sometimes readers won't realize the connections--for example, they might not know that the friend who helps out Mateo and Portia in Tall, Dark and Disreputable is actually the hero in Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss, and the brother of the hero in An Improper Aristocrat--but I think it is a fun little surprise for regular readers!

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  4. I love connected books and series, specially on historicals =D

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  5. I do like connected books but I like them to stand alone in case I haven't read all the stories.

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    1. I agree, Maureen, that is a must! I think most Romances do this particularly well. My youngest son is reading a series--he always wants me to read along with him so he has someone to talk about them with--and I think the later books might be a challenge for those who didn't start at the beginning.

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  6. I know Sabrina Jeffries' characters pop up or at least are mentioned in other volumes far along in their series, and sometimes even in her other series! As a kid, I grew up fascinated by Robert Heinlein's "future history," stories and novels set in a future with a firm timeline. My favorites of his books, "The Rolling Stones" (it's pre-Jagger) and "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," feature a character, Hazel, who is a preteen in "Moon" and a grandma in "Stones." You really feel part of the book's world when other books are in there as well.

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    1. Ooh, I love that idea, Carol. I think Anne McCaffrey captured that same feeling in her Pern books. No matter where you were in Pern's history, you felt like you were home!

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  7. Sometimes someplaces can make me feel like "dejavu" but inspire i think i have not find it so far but books always inspire me and motivite me to write a story, maybe someday :D

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    1. I think a lot of stories get spun when we get hit with that deja vu feeling, Eli. :-) Good luck with yours!

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  8. I definitely enjoy connected books. As for inspiration I don't really think I find it in any odd places, but wherever I find it, I go with it.

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  9. That is a very fine philosophy, Jyl22075. I'm totally in with you--take the good stuff wherever you can get it! :-)

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  10. I love serial books ~ sometimes too much; I get over invested in the HEA. Inspiration seems to strike me in the middle of the night - I often discover the best solution to something when I am trying to sleep.

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    1. Do you get up to take notes Heather? The same thing happens to me. Sometimes I lose it if I don't write it down..

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  11. Deb, I definitely enjoy connected books, whether they are called a "series" or not. When I love characters, I cannot get enough. I love extra vignettes on author websites, novellas that come out "between the books" or anything I can get. There is no such thing as too much in my world! :)

    Inspiration, for me, can come from anything and everything. I've been inspired by the silhouette of a tree against the sky in winter, by a magazine article, by something someone said in my hearing. Any old thing can make my brain start clicking. Hey, what can I say? I'm easy like that. ;)

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    1. I know people who wish they were easy like that Caren! Lucky girl. :-) I'm with you on the 'extra content' too.

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  12. I definitely love connected books. I love revisiting old characters that I have fallen in love with!

    Congrats on yoru book!

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  13. I absolutely love connected books. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. Hi Olga. Happy to do it. Good luck!

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  14. Can't wait to read this book!!
    I love connected books and series, specially on historicals and paranormal. My collection have a lot that genre. Thanks for giveaway :)

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    1. Thank you for your enthusiasm, Filia! Good luck!

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  15. Connected books are my favorite. I hate not knowing what happens in past character's lives :D
    Thank you for the contest.

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    1. I like that, too, Aly. It lends a richness to the book. I love finding a good series of connected books!

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    2. So do I! That's why my TBR pile never finishes, I think more then 70% of it has the 1st book in a series...

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  16. Yes, I do love connected books. It often feels like coming home to your family (and better ones than the real ones!). You don't feel lost, you know a lot of what happened in that world already, and you can look forward to meeting them again, and get updated on what happened after their own HEA.

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    1. Hee, Aurian...I know what you mean! You know the people in the book are going to behave! :-)

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  17. It's always interesting to see what will inspire me - ideas pop into my head at the oddest times. :D I do like connected books, it's fun to see the characters grow and change as the stories are told.

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    1. The oddest times, and often the most inconvenient times, right Barbara? But you gotta grab it when it shows up! :-)

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  18. Love connected books, that´s like christmas when you find a book you love with a world you want to know more about, and there´s continuing books! *yay* =)
    Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Friday!
    //Linda

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    1. The best feeling! Good luck, Linda!

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  19. I enjoy connected books simply because it lets me revisit with characters that I wasn't really ready to leave in previous books.

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  20. I do enjoy connected books - it's fun to find out how the characters from the earlier books are doing.

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  21. I find inspiration in all kinds of places; I suppose some of them are odd! I like connected books, even if it's just a shared "world," such as in the paranormal romances.

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  22. I find inspiration everywhere. Sometimes just driving down the road an idea will hit me and won't leave me alone until I write it down. I do like connected books. It's always nice to revisit characters. I've read a few books that I didn't want to end.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

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  23. i love connected books because i can meet the previous characters...and if the books have wonderful covers..i'd love to collected them al..
    thx u for the giveaway...

    -nurma-
    chikojubilee at gmai dot com

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  24. Clearly, I have found my people! :-) Thanks for having me, Anna! And thanks to you all! Wishing you all Happy Holidays!

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  25. Connected books are great especially if the reader can quickly "connect" with the basic characters if the series is read out of order. In addition, a great synopsis at the beginning of each novel is really a great idea so the reader doesn't feel like they walked into a movie in the middle of it.

    I'm really excited about reading Deb Marlowe's new novel, "Unbuttoning Miss Harlowe." I'm betting it will be delicious! And - I found a new blog thanks to my friend, Leah Weller, who shared this on Facebook. Thanks for the tip, Leah! :-)

    Connie Fischer
    conniecape@aol.com

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  26. I like connected books. You get to know more about the characters that way, and you get to meet up with old characters, that you wanted to know a little more about.

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  27. I prefer and look for books that are connected. It's a great way to get to see character development and secondary characters come to the front.

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  28. I find inspiration everywhere and in everything around me!

    I actually prefer connected/series books to stand alones. I like revisiting places and characters! I like getting everybody's story!

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  29. I am a series lover- so this is no problem for me having books connected. It makes the stories richer for me, and more interesting. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

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  30. I do like connected books. As you say, it begins to feel like a special place to the readers too. I picture the places, streets, houses, shops, foods, floors, staircases, china, skies, parks, vehicles......It begins to feel like I have been there. Like I could get in my car and go there....I do like closely connected as well as loosely connected. I am easily pleased as long as there are no beasties, there is heat(important) and it has a good ending. :-)
    lisakhutson @ cox. net

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  31. Books are my way to escape and relax, so yeah I find it easy to get lost ...

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  32. I love connected books, it means readers get to hold onto a set of characters for a little while longer than a stand alone.

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  33. I love connected books. You actually learn a little more about past characters and the towns than you did in their books.
    Nicole.nobles@aol.com

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  34. I love connected books, I always want to know more about some of the secondary characters!

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  35. For inspiration, I find it in the senses. As in-1) the smell of mothballs remind me of a middle school friend's house, not that her whole house smelled that way, but the memory is tied to that smell. 2) I have to touch fabric, no matter what it looks like. I can't decide if I like it or if it will work with a project without touching it (no idea why either, lol). Housework always involves singing- vacuuming is best done to the Doors. Dishes is best done to Old 50's, etc. Mixing the senses gives me the most/best inspiration.

    As for series, I think books should be stand alone, but ties together. Like someone mentioned, Heilein's books. I grew up on Anne McCaffery and Robert A Heilein, so I love those type of story lines. One good, modern romance writer who has done this is Stephanie Laurens. Her (many) Cynster books are like this. I'm even now smiling thinking about Lady O (don't ask me to spell her full name), who is a minor, background character in many of these books, but still stands out and shows up often, even playing a key roll from time to time.

    vickykerr(at)sbcglobal.net

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  36. I absolutely love connected books, especially if I get to see the characters I fell in love with from other books :) and I find inspiration wherever I can get it :D

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  37. Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick looks really good!! And I do love connected books, well I love series more, but the whole continuity and getting to see the characters interact is really great!

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  38. Hi Deb!

    I must admit I'm a fan of connected stories! I always end up falling in love with at least one of the secondary story and even if they never do get a book of their own I want them to show up again!

    One thing I love about your books is you always come up with a story that makes me as a reader to stop and think what I would do if I ended up in the situation as one of your characters! I also really admire how you are able to make your secondary characters an important ingredient of your books!

    Congratulations on making Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick another books that's not to be missed!

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  39. I really do love connected stories. Im the type that always wants to find out more about those secondary characters that pop up in the story. And when reading their story I love when the characters from previous ones come back and pop in. It makes the books world more complete.

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  40. Love love love connected stories. I like the opportunity to catch up with old friends.

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I always enjoy hearing what YOU think so come on and leave a comment. Everyone's welcome :) And feel free to leave comments on old posts. I'll check in on you there too :)

Bloggers don't forget to leave your links!
~Anna

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