Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guest Author Maggie Robinson Giveaway!

Today on History Undressed, we have guest author Maggie Robinson here to talk about her newest release in her Courtesan Court Trilogy, Mistress by Marriage. Thanks for being here with us Maggie!


Maggie Robinson
Author of the Courtesan Court Trilogy


Serendipity: an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

I’m a big believer in serendipity. It’s happened to me way too many times to ignore. I’ll be going along writing about something completely random, and many days/months/years/words later, that random thing proves to be just the key to a locked door.

That’s how my Courtesan Court series came to be. On one page my unlikely-mistress heroine wondered what the other women on Jane Street were doing, and I discovered I could tell her in two more books. And since I wanted the titles to be similar, I had Mistress by Mistake and Mistress by Midnight. Ah, for the third one? I said somewhere Mistress by Menopause just didn’t have the same cachet. So Marriage it was.

I had a title, but no plot. How could you become your own husband’s mistress, especially when your husband was ice-cold Edward Christie and you were warm-blooded Caroline Christie, about to be scandalously and expensively divorced? (Not an easy feat in regency England) And how serendipitous to discover another Caroline about to be given the boot by her husband the King at the exact same time I set the book? One can’t argue with serendipity.

ABOUT THE BOOK
Too late for cold feet

Baron Edward Christie prided himself on his reputation for even temperament and reserve. That was before he met Caroline Parker. Wedding a scandalous beauty by special license days after they met did not inspire respect for his sangfroid. Moving her to a notorious lovebirds’ nest as punishment for her flighty nature was perhaps also a blow. And of course talk has gotten out of his irresistible clandestine visits. Christie must put his wife aside—if only he can get her out of his blood first.

Too hot to refuse

Caroline Parker was prepared to hear the worst: that her husband had determined to divorce her, spare them both the torture of passion they can neither tame nor escape. But his plan is wickeder than any she’s ever heard. Life as his wife is suffocating. But she cannot resist becoming her own husband’s mistress…

***

 
Edward decides in a fit of unusual-for-him emotion to take up with Caroline again while they wait to divorce. He thinks somehow he’ll get her out of his system in an organized, limited arrangement. Ha. Fate and the King have other plans for him. Here’s an exclusive excerpt where Edward reflects on his ruined summer and I give you some historical facts. :-)

***

“Hell and damnation!” Edward tossed the missive into the farthest corner of his study and set his eyeglasses on their tray. According to a friend in high places who knew the secret machinations of their monarch, it seemed he would now be condemned to stay in Town all summer to haggle over the marital situation of his king and his unlucky wife. A Bill of Pain and Penalties was being prepared, a completely apt name as far as Edward was concerned. There would be untold pain and penalties for him. He could of course send the children to the country for their planned holiday with his sister, but he was doomed to sit in the heat and misery to discuss the cold and miserable state of George IV’s marriage. Queen Caroline was already parading all over London, and every peer, bishop and judge would be required to attend the trial, which could go on indefinitely. Interminably.

Odd that two Carolines were the key to his discomfort. In the few days he’d returned to Caro’s bed, he had been unable to wean himself from wanting her with an intensity that was somewhat frightening. He’d looked forward to escaping to Christie Park to contemplate his newly single state. Now his days would be tied up in the stuffy confines of an annex to the House of Lords, and his nights---

Caro would know his plans had changed. The whole of England was privy to the Queen Consort’s and George’s difficulty, and this latest step of the king’s to remove the boil that was his wife from his backside was sure to attract the interest of all his subjects. Everyone knew they had been mismatched and unfaithful to each other for years, yet even after the ‘Delicate Investigation’ fifteen years ago, George had been unsuccessful in untethering himself from his German cousin.

Now there was this new movement afoot to be rid of Caroline of Brunswick once and for all. Once she returned from abroad, the fragile deal that had been forged splintered apart. Edward supposed he should consider himself lucky. His Caroline had never been quite as indiscreet as George’s unwanted wife, nor as demanding.

Would Caro still expect him to provide her with a new schedule once she learned he wasn’t going to leave for the country after all? Could he even stick to a schedule, when every conscious minute of the day included thoughts of her? Resuming his marital rights had only reminded him how empty and dull his life had been without Caro in it. He had been well and truly hoisted on his own petard.

And how ironic that all his future days were to be tied up in the dissolution of a marriage not his own. What this would do to advance his own plight he had no idea. If the government was to rehash the scandal about Queen Caroline and her Italian secretary for the foreseeable future ---shades of Mary Queen of Scots!---there might not be opportunity to shoehorn in his own petition. Edward let out an uncharacteristic growl.

***

There’s nothing like bringing a composed, uncompromising, perfectly proper man like Baron Edward Christie to his knees. Once he falls, he rips society’s shackles off and does some surprising things indeed.

Do you believe in serendipity? Have you ever had a lucky conjunction in your life when all things fell into place? Tell me for a chance to win a signed copy of Mistress by Marriage!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
Maggie Robinson is a former teacher, library clerk and mother of four who woke up in the middle of the night, absolutely compelled to create the perfect man and use as many adverbs as possible doing so. A transplanted New Yorker, she lives with her not-quite perfect husband in Maine, where the cold winters are ideal for staying inside and writing hot historical romances. For more info on the book visit: http://www.maggierobinson.net/books/mistress-by-marriage/


13 comments:

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Eliza, thaks so much for having me here today to talk about those troublesome Carolines!Happy Tuesday!

Kimberly Rocha said...

Good Morning Maggie/Margaret!!!! For such a long time I always thought I had bad luck, but this Summer, I was proven wrong. I landed a dinner/signing with 2 fave authors, became manager to a professional bull rider, met so many amazing authors and can now count them as friends. Serendipity? Definitely!!

Diane D - Florida said...

Hi Maggie,

When I got married and had children, it was then that I experienced serendipity. You see, when my children were born, I knew that I would love them but, I was completely surprised by how strong my love for them actually was. Even now, I protect them fiercely, hate to see them upset and give them all the love that I never got as a child.

Mistress by Marriage sounds amazing. I just love a story when the Hero and Heroine are estranged and then, after many ups and downs, completely and unexpectedly find their way back to each other. *Sigh*

Thank you for this opportunity.

dpd333 AT aol dot com

I

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Hi, Diane-Tiger-Mom! I know just how you feel. My kids are grown and there's a fierce bond between us.

Kim, what a summer!Sounds like everything sure clicked into place for you. :)

ReneeRearden said...

Hello Maggie/Margaret!
My hubs and I met on a blind date. We were asked to name an embarrassing moment. I worked at a restaurant. I knelt to put dishes in a bus tub, then stood up...not knowing someone had stepped on my skirt! Bus boy stepped in front of me and opened his apron as a shield. Hubs said he was eating dinner at said restaurant and stepped on a waitress' skirt.
Felt terrible for not getting the chance to apologize.
He apologized on our blind date, we kept dating,
and have been married now for 24 years.
Serendipity...oh yeah!!!

I love historical romances and can't wait to read
Mistress By Marriage! Thanks for the great
giveaway!
ReneeRearden(at)yahoo.com

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

LOL,Renee, Cupid sure does work in mysterious ways. ;)

ClaudiaGC said...

Hi Maggie!
Mistress by Marriage sounds awesome! Can't wait to read it!
I've met a friend I hadn't seen for years through a complete coincidence again. My flight to London was cancelled and when I got on the next plane I sat next to her and thought she looked familiar. When my curiosity won over my shyness and I asked her where she is from I instantly knew it was her! Turned out I looked familiar to her, too, but she was afraid of asking. If I had been on my earlier flight we wouldn't have met again.

claudigc at msn dot com

Obscured Vixen said...

Hi Maggie! This book sounds great (and I love the cover!). Unfortunately I don't have a 'serendipity' experience to share. But thanks for the awesome giveaway!

niteofblu said...

Please enter me.No i've never experienced serendipity.

niteofblu at gmail dot com

Julie said...

Yes! In fact, things have lined up for me often enough that I get quite paranoid about things going very wrong.

Thanks for the chance to win!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Julie, the motto in my family is "Don't trust happiness," LOL.

Claudia, I'm always amazed when I travel to meet someone I know or someone who knows who I know.

niteofblu, hope something serendipitous happens to you soon!

Obscured Vixen, all my covers for this series have been so fantastic. Thanks!

Na said...

This book is on my wishlist and I am happy for a chance to win it. Thank you!

I do believe in serendipity and I would have to give thanks to romance books for nurturing this belief. I believe that everything happesn for a reason, although a person does need to be proactive about the chances they get. THat means if an opportunity comes along, seize it because you never knew if that could be the best thing to happen to you.

Cambonified [at] yahoo [dot] com

Eliza Knight said...

And the winner is Renee!