Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lessons in French Cooking at the Romance Dish!

by Anna Campbell

The Romance World has been abuzz with the release of the latest Laura Kinsale LESSONS IN FRENCH.

This is a delicious concoction wih the frothy lightness of a perfect soufflee and the rich, heady depths of the finest cognac. Yeah, I know, more cooking imagery - but this blog IS the Romance Dish! Where else do I get to make jokes about the villain in a book being a crepe?

Laura is one of the most beloved writers in the genre so it's my great privilege today to talk to her about LESSONS IN FRENCH. And make sure you comment - we have TWO signed copies of this mouthwatering book to serve up to people today.

For more information on Laura and her books, please check out her website: www.laurakinsale.com

For a great discussion of one of Laura's older books (and a classic!), please check out the review I did here last week for THE PRINCE OF MIDNIGHT. Some great to and fro in the comments!

Laura, huge congratulations on your latest release LESSONS IN FRENCH which I devoured in one sitting. Can you tell us about this story and the inspiration behind it?

What if the hottest, sweetest, wildest boy in school was your personal tutor for French class? That's how Callie and Trev first met, but instead of high school it was the English countryside; Callie was the wealthy daughter of the local earl, and Trev--in spite of his aristocratic lineage--was from a penniless French family that had barely escaped the guillotine. But Trev and Callie shared more than just language lessons, and when her father caught them together in a carriage...well, that was the last Callie ever saw of Trevelyan d'Augustin. Until nine years later. Callie has been left standing at the altar three different times. She's resigned herself to spinsterhood, and her greatest desire is to win the silver cup with her prize bull, Hubert. When Trev reappears, her quiet spinster life turns upside down. The enormous Hubert vanishes into thin air, one of her former jilts comes back to woo her in a most determined manner—and her bull takes the town by storm! In the midst of these misadventures, Callie finds herself falling in love again with the worst possible man for her.

I've been saying that this book was written in tribute to all the enjoyment I've had reading Georgette Heyer's Regencies over the years. That's true, but as people have begun talking about LESSONS IN FRENCH, I've realized that it has some other roots too. I'm thinking of all those wonderful romantic movies, such as SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE where there is romping comedy but also a deep emotional undercurrent.

You’re famous and much beloved for writing complex, heart-wrenching romance yet LESSONS IN FRENCH, while it definitely has a huge emotional punch, is much lighter in tone than your earlier work. I found myself laughing out loud at the antics of the various characters and the witty banter. Is this an area you’ve wanted to explore for a while and will we see more comedy from you?

Even though most of the books I've written have been very intense, and some quite dark, there is usually some humor in there. I think perhaps the older I get, the more amusement I get out of life. Which is a nice trend, isn't it? I think the best romantic comedy has some heart-tugging in it. I don't plan far ahead (tomorrow is a long time for me), so I can't say what I'll do in the future. I still enjoy torturing characters!

Definitely a nice trend! Your books are regularly mentioned among the greatest romances ever written (you certainly feature on my personal list!). How has this affected you? Do you feel that weight of expectation when you sit down to write a book?

Writing really only works for me when it's divorced from the "real world." I love it when people enjoy my books--who wouldn't? But when I am writing, the less I think about that sort of thing, the better. It's just me and the characters.

You have an astonishingly individual voice that is completely inimitable. For all that, I’d love to know what writers have influenced you.

The writers that have influenced me are John Fowles (THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN), C.J. Cherryh, James Joyce and Charles Dickens. As you can tell, all of them are word and character junkies. Unlike, say, my least favorite writer, Hemingway. I'm not a big fan of the "he said, she said," stripped down version of literature.

Thanks, Laura, for a great interview and for being our guest today on the Romance Dish. Do you have anything you'd like to ask our readers?

Thank you for having me on the Romance Dish. I'd love to hear which books and movies both tugged at your readers' heartstrings and made them laugh. I'm ready to go out and buy some!

So, guys, get commenting! TWO lucky people will win signed copies of LESSONS IN FRENCH! Good luck!

100 comments:

  1. Laura is coming to speak to my chapter next weekend and I am so stoked!!! I fell in love with her when I read The Prince of Midnight. Wow, what a book. This is such a great blog post! Thanks, Anna!

    ~D~

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  2. It is thanks to Anna C I have been introduced to some amazing writers I am ashamed to say I had not heard of before, but since I am new on the romance stage, I will use that as an excuse.
    Really, I have heard nothing but lovely things about this book!

    I cannot watch the Ghost and Mrs Muir (1947) without going to pieces, I mean full bore blubbering.
    Also, Sean Bean's death scene in LOTR has me running for the tissue.
    Laughing? The movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels(1988) Splits my sides (and THAT is no easy feat!)
    I will have to think about books and come back later! Nighty-night!

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  3. Laura, thank you so much for being our guest today on The Romance Dish!

    I love that combination of tears and laughter in a book! Two authors who spring to mind are Loretta Chase and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Both very different but both write brilliant comedy that can turn on a sixpence to make your heart break. It's an amazing skill!

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  4. Hey, Darynda, babe! I was just talking about you (only in the most glowing terms of course) with your Ruby Slippers Sister, Vanessa Barneveld. How funny - the Prince of Midnight was my first LK too and I've been hooked ever since. So glad you enjoyed the blog!

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  5. Drew, I did not know you were another Ghost and Mrs. Muir fan! It's one of my top handful of movies. That scene where he says goodbye to her - blubber, blubber, blubber. In fact, so much so you'd think Daniel captained a whaling ship! And the end I'm always in a complete mess, although it's beautiful. And the music? Wow! Hey, how cool I've got you exploring the romance genre - there's some amazing stuff out there!

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  6. callie and trev--their story sounds amazing and this book is just my kind of book. grrr... if it weren't for my darn resolution this book would be in my possession already!! here's hoping i win it here.

    thanks for the interview anna and laura!

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  7. I love a book that touches my heart AND makes me laugh. Laura, this sounds like a delightful book.

    Other authors that do a good job of combining laughter and tears are Julia Quinn, SEP, Kristan Higgins, and Julie Garwood.

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  8. Good luck, Chelley! It really is a great read! Hope you get your hands on it soon!

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  9. Cheryl, that's a great list! Someone else who springs to mind is Connie Brockway - I think her stuff is wonderful!

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  10. Thanks for the great interview!! I am a *HUGE* John Fowles fan. "The Magus" was my favorite, but I loved "The French Lieutenant's Woman" as well! Thanks for the shout-out to one of my faves!

    -Rebecca

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  11. Laura, Another new for me Author that introduced by ANNA C. i'm so happy !

    Since i'm so new with all romance's world, A great Author which was introduced (again) by My lovely Anna C {thanks ANNA !} is Janet Mullany.
    her book is GREAT !

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  12. Bonjour, Laura and Anna! (Waving at Darynda too!)

    'Lessons in French' sounds delicious! I'm looking forward to reading it.

    I think I've spouted about Kandy Shepherd's 'Love is a Four-Legged Word' elsewhere, but it deserves another mention as a book that tugs at the heart and tickles the funny bone.

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  13. Rebecca, I can remember being so entranced by The French Lieutenant's Woman (the first JF I read) that I hid it under my maths textbook in class to read it. I'd never read anything like it! Hmm, didn't do my maths mark much good, though!

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  14. Mariska, I'm so glad you're loving the Janet Mullaney - she's got a new one on the way in the next month or so, whoo-hoo! I remember reading The Rules of Gentility in the train and nearly getting a hernia from trying to contain the laughter. It's such a gift being able to write something that clever! Seriously, try Laura - she's unique!

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  15. Oh, Vanessa, you're so right - Kandy's book is exactly that. Romantic and funny at the same time. And she uses animal characters so beautifully - something Laura does as well. Great choice!

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  16. this sounds just perfect! please enter me to win!

    marta

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  17. Marta, good luck in the draw! It's a great book!

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  18. Thanks Anna and Laura for the interview. It was lovely getting a peek into your writing. I'm looking forward to reading this new one of yours. Dare I say that reading about Hubert the bull and the prize made me think of Lord Emsworth and the Duchess of Blandings (that venerable pig) in the PG Wodehouse books. I love a heroine with a purpose and the set up of this sounds terrific. Can't wait to find out why she's been left at the altar 3 times.

    Books that touched my heart and made me laugh? How about 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin'? (except for the ending which seems to belong to another book). The emotion in that story was tremendous and very moving, plus some of the scenes were deliciously funny. As I said, just a shame about the end.

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  19. Annie, love the idea of Blandings influencing Laura! I adore those P.G. Wodehouse books! And I think there's definitely a touch of a Wodehouse hero about Hubert! Thank you so much for swinging by!

    Actually books that really made me laugh and cry, although crying might have had the edge in the contest, are the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett. Amazing wit, high comedy, heart-wrenching romance and breathtaking adventure. Yeah, I guess they cover pretty well all the bases!

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  20. Thanks for the interview !!
    I'm glad this is one a lighter romance. I love drama don't get me wrong, but sometimes it's a real pleasure to read about two peaple falling in love and just, you know... enjoying the ride (and not having your insides completely twisted).
    My favorite romance of yours remains Flowers From The Storm (told you I LOOOOVED drama) so we'll see is Lessons in French can top it. I read only raving reviews so far so it's definitely possible.
    congrats on this new release !!

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  21. Emmanuelle, Flowers from the Storm is amazing, isn't it? I only re-read it last year for a review at Romance Novel TV and it blew me away yet again. Hmm, is that too much storm imagery? I wouldn't say Lessons in French is a complete walk in the park but it's definitely lighter in tone than FFTS. I think you'll enjoy it.

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  22. What a great interview Ladies and boy oh boy am I looking forward to reading Lessons in French.

    I have read so many books over the years. One book that moved me to tears at times was Anna's Untouched Matthew and Grace's story was so emotional I loved it I have to agree about Loretta Chase as well and I not long ago finished Karen Hawkins The Laird Who Loved Me and it made me laugh in parts great book.
    As for movies Karyn totally agree with The Ghost and Mrs Muir and another one is Goodbye Mr Chips another couple oldies but goodies that makes me laugh are The Long Long Trailer and Paleface.

    Congrats on the release Laura

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  23. I always check in here in the mornings before work and you guys always ask questions I can't answer because my brain is still asleep. I have read so many books that have touched my heart and made me laugh but to bring a title to mind first thing in the morning? Just not happening. I will come back after work and maybe my memory will return sometime today. I can't wait to read Lessons. I have started ordering your backlist Laura, I have to do it in stages of course, my book budget is blown for a year and it is just February. Anna is a direct contributor to my poor finances along with all the other Dishers. They just tempt me beyond reason.

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  24. Laura and Anna, thank you for a very tasty interview dish!

    Anna, I love the authors you've introduced me to as well so now I can't wait to get my hands on Laura's latest book. I just popped over to her gorgeous website (that secret garden effect is lovely) and read chapter one of Callie and Trev's story. I want to know more!

    :)
    Sharon

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  25. Thanks for the great interview Anna and Laura!
    I have read Laura's books previously and look forward to adding this to my TBR list. Love a stroy that makes me laugh!
    Since I am an "emotional mess" many books make me both laugh and cry. It is so easy for me to suspend my reality and slip into the character's (when it is either a well written story or movie) that I often wind up laughing and crying with them.
    That is the joy , for me , in reading...escaping to another reality.

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  26. Laura, it is such a pleasure to have you with us today at The Romance Dish! I have heard so many great things about this book, and well about you in general.

    I only remember a few things from my 2 years of French classes, but it sounds like I should brush up on it :-)

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  27. I have copies of both Flowers in the Storm and Shadow and Star by Laura on my TBR pile :) (HII LAURA! HIII ANNA!)

    thanks for the lovely interview and I love the new covers!

    - Camille

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  28. Good Morning! Anna and Laura, thanks so much for that delightful interview.

    Laura, it's wonderful to have you publishing new books again. I've been a fan of your works for years and have sorely missed having a new Kinsale to savor. Lessons in French is a delight! Like Anna, I devoured it in one sitting and enjoyed every morsel.

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  29. Wow, double my pleasure, double my fun! Hello Anna and Laura! For me, the best books always make me laugh and cry, sometimes both at the same time.

    I'm going on a cruise in ten days, and I hope Lessons in French is coming with me. I deliberately have not bought it yet, because I'm afraid I'd read it before the ship sails.:)

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  30. Wow! I cannot wait to get my hands on this book! I love a book with humor and angst.

    Di

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  31. Thanks for the great interview Anna and Laura.
    Anna, I know you always quote Laura as one of your very favorite authors.
    Laura, I really enjoyed reading about the authors who influenced your writing.

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  32. I must confess that I have not read any books by Laura, yet. If it's got a hint of Georgette Heyer I'll definitely gotta try one for I love her stuff. Lessons in French sounds great.

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  33. Hi Laura!
    I've been waiting to hear from you all week. I simply cannot wait to read your book. It sounds so good.

    A recent movie that i watched that tugged my heartstrings has to be the new 2009 BBC edition of "Emma". I simply cannot get enough of this movie. Romola and Johnny Lee portrayed their parts perfectly. After watching it I just had to start reading the book. ^^

    Melissa

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  34. Super interview, Anna and Laura! Great questions, great answers.

    As I confessed to Laura last week in a chat session, I've not read her books. I am excited to look for them at my fave bookstore, due, in part, to Anna's review of Laura's books last week.

    I really liked the movie "Thirteen Going on Thirty". It was cute and fun and proved that the boy next door can grow up to be a cute guy!

    I like stories that can make me laugh, but still have intense, romantic moments. Julia Quinn does a good job of this.

    Don't enter me in the giveaway since I won LIF last week! Thank you, Laura!

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  35. Hello!

    Thanks so much for another great interview and blurb. I just love reading about books via blogs; gives me a much better idea of what books to put on my "to buy" list. This is one of them.

    I wanted to respond to the comment, "I think perhaps the older I get, the more amusement I get out of life." I think the exact same way. Unfortunately, I also think that I don't suffer fools gladly. When people do things that really, really tick me off (like a so-called friend who has phoned to berate me about inconsequential things), I make a pledge to myself to ignore this person as much as possible, so I don't cause her to fly off the handle (again and again -- she has a short fuse) and verbally attack me again (and again and again). I put up with rudeness, even from family, for a little while, but after a certain point, I think, "I don't have to put up with this!" and I either tell them to their face or go out of my way to not be in the same space. I much prefer finding the amusement in life like you mentioned above!

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  36. Fabulous interview Anna and Laura. I should know better than to come and read interviews, because I'm now going to have to go out and buy 'Lessons in French'.

    Thanks ladies.

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  37. Great interview. Thanks for posting.

    The movies that pull at my heart strings - a bit of an unusual choice - would the the Lord of the Rings movies. I usually end up teary-eye at poor Boromir's demise and throughout the last half of Return of the King :) One that makes me laugh is The Proposal.

    Books - well can't think off-hand which made me tear up, but one of those that made me smile was Divorced, Desperate and Delicious by Christie Craig.

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  38. I love the interview! Thanks to both of you.

    I'm one of those fans who had been searching for ages for more news of The Lucky One, so I've been celebrating the publication of Lessons in French since the news broke last year that it was on the way. And I'm also excited about the Kinsale reissues--not just for new fans but for all of us long-time fans who need to replace copies tattered from much rereading.

    I too love the interweaving of humor and emotional intensity. Anne Gracie is another favorite author whose books never fail to elicit both tears and laughter from me.

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  39. Fantastic interview! Laura it's such a treat having you with us here today! Flowers From The Storm is one of my favorites of yours, and I can't wait to get my hands on Lessons In French. We're due for another winter storm, so that will the perfect opportunity for me to curl up by the fire and indulge!

    Shakespeare In Love always makes me laugh and cry. :) Love Actually is another movie that takes me from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other.

    Any author who can make me laugh and cry is a keeper-- SEP and of course, our very own Anna! Of course, I do both fairly easily. ;) My 14 year old son is constantly teasing me when I cry at something on TV. Doesn't take much. *g*

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  40. Sounds interesting. Please enter me in the drawing.

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  41. Oh, Helen, Goodbye Mr Chips! Means goodbye a whole box of tissues. That's such a beautiful film! Robert Donat gives a gorgeous performance, doesn't he? So touching!

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  42. Oh, and I meant to say thank you for the hoy out for Untouched!

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  43. Dianna, I've got one thing to say about your book budget - BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Hey, at least we give you something nice to think about all day! Looking forward to hearing your suggestions.

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  44. Sharon, Laura's site is really pretty, isn't it? And you'll love Lessons in French - especially given you're a woman who has a penchant for a menagerie!

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  45. Cyndi, I agree with you about that entering another world being one of the best things about reading. One of the many things I love about Laura's books is that the world's so vivid, it really is like living in it.

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  46. Buffie, I suspect I'd be fluent in French too if I'd managed to find a teacher like Trev! Although perhaps it might have been French kissing instead of French grammar! Snort!

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  47. Hi Camille! You're starting with two my favorite books. You'll cry in both of those, I promise!

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  48. PJ, I remember you saying to me how much you loved LESSONS IN FRENCH. Isn't it wonderful to have a new Laura Kinsale to read?

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  49. Hi Maggie! Oh, how lovely, a cruise! Wish I could come! Especially if it was somewhere like Antarctica - it's been so terrifically hot in Australia, I wanna go where the penguins boogie!

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  50. Di, I think in that case, you'll love this book!

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  51. Hi Kandy! Hey, did you see Vanessa was touting LOVE IS A FOUR-LEGGED WORD earlier? I'm not surprised!

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  52. Hi Laura, although I was there when the high society of romance praised you a few weeks ago over at RBTB, I still didn't have a chance to get me a copy of LIF, but I will, I promise.

    Books and movies that tugged at my heartstrings?
    Hm, first that comes to mind is a movie called Latter Days. It's the love story of a young Mormon priest and a never-do-well playboy and let me tell you, it's SOOOO beautiful! The first half of this movie makes you laugh out loud and the second half makes you cry and at the end you feel wonderful! I absolutely recommend it!

    Of course there's Simply Love by Mary Balogh. So emotional! Sydnam's one of my favourite heroes and I always want to cry when I read about him.
    Or Seduced By His Touch by Tracy Anne Warren, who's fastly becoming one of my favourite authors ever. This book on the one hand is very lighthearted with likeable characters and on the other hands oh-so-sad - you want your h/h to finally come together again, but they just won't. Very heartwrenching, very beautiful!

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  53. Hi, Kirsten! I'm a Georgette Heyer fan from way back too. You can't be a bookish woman of a certain age in Australia and escape her! She's tremendously popular down here.

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  54. Jedisakora, I've heard a lot of great buzz about the new Emma. I'm sure it will come to Australia - we get most of those BBC adaptations. They're perfect Sunday night TV!

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  55. Deb, congratulations on already winning LIF. I love that movie although it was called Suddenly 30 here. Yes, he was a cute guy, wasn't he? I have a soft spot for those transposed age movies like 17 Again. They all have pretty much exactly the same story but it always works for me!

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  56. You are all up early!

    I'm really touched by the comments here, thank you.

    Darynda, I'm looking forward to the LERA meeting--is it already next week??

    I cry in every movie. And I still never remember to bring tissue. I'm loving the new EMMA version, too.

    I really do hope LESSONS IN FRENCH is a fun read for all of you (a cruise would be the perfect venue.)

    Laney, it's true, as things get more amusing, perhaps suffering the unamusing with patience gets a bit more difficult. If I end up like my grandmother, who just said what she thought without trying to hurt anyone, but not wasting time either, I'll be lucky.

    Thank you for the fun questions, Anna! It's an honor and a pleasure to be here.

    LKinsale

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  57. Laney, sounds like your wisdom grows! I agree that the comment about finding more amusement in life struck a chord. Hope you enjoy LIF!

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  58. Oh, I get another workout for my evil laugh! BWAHAHAHAHAHA! You have fallen for our wicked plan, Sandie!

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  59. Susie, great suggestions. I must admit I was too busy sighing over Aragorn to notice much else. What? Shallow? Moi? I haven't read the Christie Craigs but I've heard really great things about them so they're dashing toward my TBR pile as we speak.

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  60. Janga, Anne Gracie! How could I have forgotten her. She probably exemplifies more than anyone else I can think of that wonderful mixture of laughter and tears. And she definitely has a Heyer touch. Aren't these new Source editions gorgeous? And they've done Heyers too which are equally beautiful. I've got Devil's Cub and it's just lovely.

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  61. Hey, Gannon, how cool that you put me with SEP! She's one of my heroes. Goodness me, you've had some rotten weather lately. I don't blame you for keeping your head down and stuck in a book. I like that anthology style they use in Love Actually - the Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman scenes always break my heart. Even when I'm laughing at Rowan Atkinson!

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  62. Penfield, consider yourself entered. Good luck!

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  63. Lisa, I'm sure you'll love Lessons in French! I haven't heard of that movie. It sounds absolutely fascinating. I'll have to check it out. Great suggestions for books!

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  64. Darn - now I have to go to the book store and buy more books to add to a TBR pile that almost needs a room of its own. But can't pass up LIF, and there were a couple of books mentioned in last weeks blog that I'm definitely going to have to hunt down. Thanks for the blog Anna and Laura.

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  65. Hi, Anna and Laura! Thanks so much for this interview--I love both your work and having you both in the same interview just tickles me.

    As for books that I've really loved lately, I might be the last person on earth to have read this but I just discovered Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. It's a world-changer, that one. I thought about it for weeks after I finished and am gearing up to read it again as soon as my RITA books are finished.

    Thanks for visiting the Romance Dish, Laura, & I'm so looking forward to Lessons in French.

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  66. Hello, Sandra! How lovely to see you here - I've told you your latest is on my TBR, didn't I? I adored your debut! Seriously a lovely read.

    These blogs are fatal for the credit card, aren't they? But FUN!!!

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  67. Hey, Susan, my Bandita friend. How lovely to see you here too! You won't believe this but I've never read Outlander! Yeah, I know, where have I been? It's been on the bookcase for a few years but I really HATE books about Culloden. They're too sad. One day I'll read it and I'm sure I'll kick myself I waited so long, but clearly not any time soon!

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  68. Oh Helen,

    How could I forget 'Goodbye Mr. Chips'? Talk about blubbering and whale ships. I go straight to pieces. More poignant as hubby is a teacher, that is what I say to him every morning before he goes to school, 'Good-bye, Mr. Chips'. LOL!

    As for books, I agree with LisaK, Mary Balogh does it to me everytime, But 'Simply Love' was heart wrenching. I did cry.
    I am also a sucker for Xmas themes stories, the latest to get an emotional response out of me was Courtney Milan's 'This Wicked Gift' and in Harlequin's 'A Regency Christmas' Christmas Promise by Carla Kelly.

    *blubber, blubber*

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  69. Oh, Drew, that Courtney Milan had me blubbering too. It was so beautifully done! I love her Proof by Seduction too. Actually all three of the novellas in that had me blubbering especially that gorgeous Mary Balogh about the true meaning of Christmas. Oh, honestly, I can't even get out "goodbye, Mr Chips" without tearing up! Do you remember that heart-wrenching scene of the April Fool's joke? WHAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

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  70. *Passes Anna a tissue*

    WAAAIIILLLL! I am floating away here on my tears! Hubby suggested 'Good-bye Mr Chips' for us to watch one night, Like you, I can barely think about it or say the words without smashing to bits. I told him no, I couldn't handle it, LOL!
    Ok, One more old movie that turns me into a complete watering pot, 'How Green Was my Valley' *sniffle*

    I have Courtney Milan's "Proof of Seduction' on my wish list, if it is anything like the Xmas story, I am so there.

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  71. Oh, no, How Green Was My Valley is another one! Not quite as much of a blubber fest as Goodbye Mr Chips but getting there. That whole forbidden love thing always gets me in!

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  72. Laura, what do you mean with being up early - I'll be going to bed soon. ;) That's the thing with not living in the US, you always have to time your comments, you're either the first or the last one who arrives at the party!

    Anna, it's even later in Australia than here - why are you still up? I admire you, thou hardworking woman! *g*
    Yes, you definitely have to check it out - for me, as a lover of gay stories, it was a special pleasure to watch that movie. So. Wonderful!

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  73. Lisa, just checked - I didn't realise you were in Germany! Goodness, we've got some exotic types in today! Actually it's VERY early in the morning here in Australia.

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  74. Since you like wordsmiths, I'm sure you must love the movie, "Casablanca," one of the best written films of all time. Of course, it is wonderfully touching; but the humor is brillant there, too. In books, I like the Lisa Kleypas Wallflowers series--four friends, with emotionally touching stories and enough humor to keep them real. Thanks for visiting.

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  75. The movie that makes me laugh and cry is "The Sound of Music". I've watched it so many times that I almost remember all the lines!

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  76. LSU, you're right about Lisa Kleypas. She does a wonderful mixture of humor and tears too. Oh, love Casablanca! Everything's right about that movie - I always think of that beautiful moody black and white photography.

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  77. Hey, Spav, how could I forget the Sound of Music! I know most of the lines too - I grew up with it and I still find Maria and the Captain falling in love really magical. Although honestly, in the summerhouse scene, I just keep wanting to yell at him, "Stop singing and kiss her, for heaven's sake!"

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  78. Although honestly, in the summerhouse scene, I just keep wanting to yell at him, "Stop singing and kiss her, for heaven's sake!"

    Me too, Anna! LOL

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  79. Oh yes, totally forgot about Lisa Kleypas (or, as I like to put it, the other LisaK ;) ). She has some pretty very touching scenes.

    Also, Seduced At Midnight by Jacquie D'Alessandro - I actually cried very hard while reading this book. There's one scene which is especially sad where the heroine shows that she's lost all her hopes and dreams... soooo beautiful and heartwrenching. But the whole series (Mayhem in Mayfair) has some very, very funny scenes and, above all, funny characters in it.

    Anna, you find Germany "exotic"? I'd say it's rather average - well, okay, of course I say that since I've lived here every day of my life. *g* So I'm bringing quite the exotic flair to all the blogs I visit? How exciting!! :)

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  80. Gannon, clearly we're women who like a bit of action with our sentiment, snort! I mean, come on, we get it - kiss the chick, man!

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  81. Lisa, I think it's because I'm from Oz and you're from Germany and Sandra H is from NZ and Emmanuelle is from France and Mariska is from Indonesia, as well as all our American and Canadian friends. Quite a little United Nations we've got going on here!

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  82. Spav, I think I've laughed and cried my way through "The Sound of Music" at least 50 times. I adore that movie!

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  83. Drew, I love "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir!" It has me in tears every time I watch.

    CherylC, those authors are all terrific at eliciting both laughter and tears and are among my favorites.

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  84. Although honestly, in the summerhouse scene, I just keep wanting to yell at him, "Stop singing and kiss her, for heaven's sake!"

    LOL @ Anna! I was mesmerized by the romance of it all the first time I saw that scene. Of course, I was a young teen at the time and unknowing of the "good stuff." *g*

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  85. Lessons in French sounds like a great read! I'm looking forward to reading it!

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  86. Oh, WOW, what a wonderful interview, Laura and Anna! Welcome to The Romance Dish, Laura! I commented during Anna's second helping last week that I have not read a Laura Kinsale book, but had already planned to buy Lessons in French based on all the great buzz it's been getting. I can't wait to read it!!

    I will second one of Anna's suggestions -- Connie Brockway. I just discovered her books and LOVE her writing!!

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  87. Wow, you guys pretty much have it all covered, the only one I don't see mentioned is Victoria Alexander, I found her Last Man Standing series touching at times and funny as well.

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  88. I'll second Victoria Alexander, Dianna. I adore her Effington books!

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  89. Hey, PJ, sounds like we love the same movies. We should have a girls night in some time. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, the Sound of Music and, oh, please, please, Dirty Dancing. Nobody puts Baby in the Corner!!!!

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  90. Andrea, I'm so excited - Connie's THE GOLDEN SEASON arrived from the Book Depository yesterday. I can't wait to read it - although sadly I must! A few things I have to read first. That can be my reward for being a good girl!

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  91. Works for me, Anna! I have Dirty Dancing and Sound of Music on DVD so I can enjoy them anytime I wish...and I do. Frequently! :)

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  92. Dianna, how could we forget Victoria Alexander? So many great writers have been mentioned today! Thanks for swinging back!

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  93. I have very old, very worn out VHSs of both of those so I think you've just got yourself a visitor, hon!

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  94. Anna, THE GOLDEN SEASON is wonderful! I enjoyed Connie's contemps but it's so good to have her back to straight historicals.

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  95. PJ, I really enjoyed the contemps too but I loved SO ENCHANTING and this one looks to be back in her classic mold as well. Yay!

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  96. Thank you, everyone, for a great day at the Romance Dish. I think we've all got a slightly higher TBR pile as a result of today's discussions. Don't forget to pop back to see who won the signed copies of LESSONS IN FRENCH!

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  97. Anna, I'm hopelessly late, but just wanted to say what a fantastic interview and Laura, thank you for visiting the Dish today. I have just started Lessons in French and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It's such a delight to have another Kinsale to read.

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  98. Hey, Christine, someone with your pizzazz is welcome any time, late or early! Didn't we have a great chat!

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  99. Anna and Laura, thank you again for a terrific interview.

    Welcome to all of our new posters! We hope you'll visit us again.

    Check back Saturday when we post the winners of the copies of Lessons in French!

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