Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today's Special - - Maggie Robinson

It's my pleasure today to welcome Maggie Robinson back to The Romance Dish.  According to the short bio at her website, Maggie 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. We know her as the hard-working author of two sexy historical romance novels (with gorgeous covers!) and one novella (check out PJ's review here) as well as a regular blogger at Vauxhall Vixens and The Bradford  Bunch.  You can also find her on facebook and twitter.  Take it away, Maggie!

Dress for Success
By Maggie Robinson

Thanks so much for having me back at the delicious Romance Dish! I’m here today to talk about and give away a HARDCOVER edition of Mistress by Midnight, a rare and unusual commodity. Brava books are trade paperbacks, but Midnight was to be chosen as an alternate feature selection by the Rhapsody, Doubleday and Book of the Month clubs, and they’re published in hardcover. This sounds stupid, but I actually joined the book club so I could buy my own books, LOL. Lords of Passion, my anthology with Virginia Henley and Kate Pearce, also came out in hardcover from the clubs, and I had to buy it too.

As a former library clerk, holding a “real” book in my hand really made me feel like a “real” writer. I’m old enough to remember when paperbacks were dismissed with a sniff as not being worthy, which I totally disagree with—you’d have to tie me down and dose me with heavy-duty drugs to get me to read most literary fiction—but there is something to be said for the heft of a hardback book. Now I can squash spiders and prop open doors with ease. ;)

Mistress by Midnight, the second book in my Courtesan Court Trilogy, tells the tale of two teenaged lovers who are separated for over a decade. People often ask me where I get my inspiration. Most times, I have no answer, but in this case, working in a high school library during prom season sparked much of the early years of the book. The girls in the library came in to flip through the prom magazines I’d bought, looking for the “perfect dress.” My heroine Laurette looks for the perfect dress too—after her debut in it, she plans to get out of it and seduce the hero Con. She’s headstrong and foolhardy, feels invincible just like so many of the girls I saw every day. But the choices we make as young people often have results we don’t anticipate, and Con and Laurette’s journey to happily ever after is a long and bumpy one. For excerpts and more information about my books, please visit me at http://www.maggierobinson.net/ and my edgier alter ego, http://www.margaretrowe.net/.

Let’s talk about “magic” dresses to get us over life’s hurdles. What was your prom dress like, or what clothes do you have now that make you feel you can take on the world? My own prom dress was short and white with a pink lace overlay on the bodice. I wore dyed pink shoes and a pink bow in my hair (shudder). My spaghetti strap broke and I spent most of the night holding up the dress so my longline strapless bra wouldn’t show (this was before Madonna made that a non-issue). Now I’m most confident in skinny jeans, boots and long sweaters to cover what definitely isn’t skinny. ☺


  1. Hey, Maggie, aren't those Rhapsody editions just the bee's knees? Congratulations on being picked as one of their authors! That's a huge compliment! And as you say, there's something special about a hardback! I bet Mistress by Midnight is rushing off the shelves!

  2. Good morning (or I guess it's good afternoon to you), Anna! Not that I'm keeping track or anything, but Midnight is #26 on the Rhapsody bestseller list, LOL. As a former library clerk, I have the oddest urge to cover my books with mylar and put a card pocket in the back, but I'll hold off.*g* Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. ashamed to say I've not read this yet but I have read your Mistress by Mistake 4 times now! would love to win this :)

    Our proms in Australia are called socials and my dress was a lilac/pink combo that sort of had vines/flowers growing on my bosom and at the low cutting back- it was designer, my mom insisted lol I loved it :D

  4. I forgot to leave my email lol

    midnite dot fantasy at gmail dot com

  5. Maggie

    I have your books on my must have list I have heard so much about them and am really looking forward to reading them.

    When I finished high school here in Australia we had a formal and it was 1973 I had a long black dress with white flowers on it and it was so lovely and yes soo long ago LOL.

    These days I am happy in loose clothes that cover a lot

    Congrats on the books Maggie

    Have Fun

  6. Loose clothes! Helen, I know what you mean. I loathe anything on my upper body that's too tight--makes me very self-conscious.You've reminded me of the black and white gown I had in college. The top was patterned in leaves and the long skirt was black. I wore it with opera length white gloves and felt sooo sophisticated, LOL.

    Envyious, 4 times? You've read it almost as much as I have. :) Apart from writing, reading it over a zillion times and revisions, I do copyedits and then a final read of the page proofs before the book goes to print.It's funny tho--once my books are published, I don't read them again, knowing I'll find something I wish I could change.

    Your dress sounds beautiful! I was in a rainbow wedding once. My yellow bridesmaid's dress had yellow roses and leaves at the empire waist which I loved.

  7. Welcome, Maggie! It's great to have you back here at the Dish. Congratulations on the release of Mistress by Midnight!

    While I thought I was the "bees knees" (as Anna would say) at the time of my prom, looking back only makes me cringe. As I asked in my birthday blog last year, "What was I thinking???" lol!

    Nowadays, red is my confidence color. Put me in anything red (I have several favorite outfits) and I feel like I can conquer the world. :)

  8. Hi Anna! It must be a special thrill for you authors to hold your very own book in a hardback version.

  9. Hi envyious! Thanks for visiting with us today. Your prom dress sounds lovely.

  10. Helen said, These days I am happy in loose clothes that cover a lot

    LOL! Yep, I know exactly what you mean!

  11. I was not too excited about my prom dress; but I have a cute short nlack dress I call my island dress. I only wear it in the Caribbean. No back. Ties ariund the neck and is cut down to there! :-) Nothing real special; but I do love that little dress. My hubby likes it too!

  12. PJ, when I worked, I always wore red on Mondays to wake myself up. I love red, although I can't seem to wear red lipstick.

    Romance Girl, I once had a really cute short black dress. When my grandmother saw me in it, she thought I was still wearing my slip and was horrified I was going to a dance in it, LOL.

    I'll be away from the computer some of this morning---have to take my husband for a post-op doctor's appt, but should return before noon (and hopefully miss the snow/ice storm we're going to have). See you all later!

  13. Unfortunately, we did not have a prom the year I graduated. Just as well as I graduated a year early so I didn't really have any friends in my graduating class. I normally stay comfortable & casual... I have a few plain dresses I can make dressier by adding jewelry or scarves - but nothing that stands out in my mind. I love to read about them though... in the fantasy world of books.
    Congrats on your new release! I've not read any of your books but they sound fabulous and are now both on my must-read list.
    Linda T.

  14. Romancegirl, I had a dress like that...way back in my young and slim days. ;-) Laughing at your husband liking it too. I'm sure he does! *G*

    Thanks for stopping by to visit with Maggie today!

  15. Maggie, hope all goes well with your husband's appointment.

  16. Lindalou, I've been "comfortable and casual" for the past several years too but I recently went back to work and, I must say, I'm having fun dressing things up again. I haven't bought many clothes but I've taken advantage of some great jewelry and scarf sales at the store where I'm working. ;-)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Good morning, Maggie! Welcome back to the spotlight at TRD! We are so happy to have you visit. :) Congrats on your newest release!

    Oh, I'd rather not remember my prom night (car broke down, etc.), but my dress was a black strapless gown. My date (*groan*) wore an all white tux. Ugh. Not a good night.

  18. Good morning, Maggie. Congrats on the book club selection. I am reading Mistress by Midnight today. I love reunion stories!

    My favorite formal from my hs years was pale blue with a demure bodice and lots of skirt. It wasn't until my post college years in the big city that I left demure behind. I remember a certain black dress . . .

  19. Hey Maggie, all the best for your release!

    My prom dress was a blue flowered, flouncy nightmare. I cringe when I look at the photos! But, that was the 1970's, LOL!

  20. "Mistress by Midnight, the second book in my Courtesan Court Trilogy, tells the tale of two teenaged lovers who are separated for over a decade."

    I'm sold on this one! Reunited lovers stories never get old for me! Congratulations on your new release!!

    Where I'm from our proms have the medieval name of "banquets" lol However, those are far from being costume balls.

    My prom (or banquet dress hehe) was something reminiscent of my grandma's couch when it came to the fabric, but I didn't mind that so much. I liked the shape of the dress, though (reminiscent of the dress Audrey Hepburn wore when she won her Oscar for "Roman Holiday"). In a way I really liked that dress. What I hated was the fact that the hair-dresser completely butchered my hair. That's tragic for a high-school student. lol

  21. Oh, Antonia, when I went to the hairdresser the afternoon of the senior prom, she wrapped my hair around my head like some demented bird's nest.It looked like I was wearing a pillbox hat made of hair.I was in such shock I said nothing, but went home & started from scratch. I'd almost forgotten that teen tragedy!

    Karyn, I believe the 70s are a decade best forgotten clothing-wise. To think I actually wore platform shoes and didn't break my ankle!

    lindalou, I graduated early too. Started college at 15. When I think back on it, no wonder I'm kinda crazy, LOL.

    Thanks for having me, Andrea! I so enjoyed meeting you all at RWA last summer.

    Janga, there's absolutely nothing better than an LBD. I have 3, and always have my eye out for more. Hope you like Midnight!

    Thanks for the good wishes, PJ. Everything is looking good, and I got home just as the snow was starting. Not leaving the house now until Thursday. :)

  22. Congrats, Maggie! Can't wait to read this one. Like others, I LOVE reunion stories, mainly because second chances are so rare in real life.

    I spend weeks tanning in preparaion of my prom. My prom dress was white, strapless, and long with a split up the back. It made me feel pretty, but it wasn't made well for dancing. As the night went on, the split became bigger. The next year I had the dress cut off for my Senior banquet. It showcased never-ending, tanned legs. ;-) But I didn't own a little black dress until my 20's.

  23. Hi Maggie!

    I wasn't actually planning on going to my prom, but one of my close friends got dumped last minute, so I went with her instead. My dress was long and blue and I wear it when I go on cruises.

  24. Hey, Misty! My youngest daughter was big on the pre-prom tanning. She wore turquoise one year & yellow the next and looked like she lived in the tropics instead of Maine, LOL.

    Trish, I was on the prom decorating committee in my junior year, but I broke up with my boyfriend right before & didn't go.Sniff.

  25. While on a really loong business trip, I entertained myself by shopping on the weekends. One day, I found a tight, short red dress with a ruffle down the front. That is now my good-luck dress; I've even worn it on cruises! I wear it with leopard-print strappy sandals and imagine that I am not as old as I am when I do that... Hmmm... Age-appropriate, anyone? What's that?

  26. Popping in quickly on my lunch break.

    Maggie, glad the appointment went well and you got home ahead of the snow.

  27. Janga said, I am reading Mistress by Midnight today.

    Me too! Started it last night and will be continuing when I get home from work.

  28. My prom dress was a blue flowered, flouncy nightmare. I cringe when I look at the photos! But, that was the 1970's, LOL!

    I remember them well, Karyn and, unfortunately, have the photographic evidence too! lol!

  29. Break's over. I'll be back later! :)

  30. I did not go to my prom but I had a prom dress! I was super shy and had a huge crush on this boy who was a underclassmen but we were very good friends. My older sister knew this and she worked at a Macy's and bought me a dress. It was so pretty. It was a lovely shade of peach with a lacey pattern with spaghetti straps and it very form fitting! YIKES! I wanted to ask Josh out for such a long time but chickend out and since no one asked me to go either, I ended up spending the night at my best friends house. She did not go 'cause her boyfriend was going to school out of state. We watched Single White Female and ate junk food! I Had that dress for years but it ended being thrown away cause of a small fire at my moms that singed it! Horribble story I know! LOL!


  31. Hi, Maggie! It's great to have you here with us today, and congratulations on the release of Mistress By Midnight. Love the cover!

    I loved my prom dress! It was peacock-blue taffeta---my grandmother and sister made it. I was fairly picky and didn't want the same style dress as everyone else. It was a strapless, floor-length sheath with a "mermaid tail" ruffle down the back. I actually wore it to a couple of formals in college.

    I love any bright colors, and like Helen, I'm a fan of loose clothes, mostly when I'm at home. *g*

  32. My dress was purple with a black lace overlay. I loved it because it allowed me to be someone different from the person my classmates knew.

    No I am comfortable in jeans and a comfy shirt.

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com

  33. Hey Maggie, congrats on on the HB's of you latest releases :) My prom dress wasn't anything too fancy. But after I started working I tried on a black silk coctail dress on a whim when out shoppng w/ freinds. It had a lovely classic style, fit lovely and cost more than I had ever paid for one outfit (including whole suits) in my life to that point (& maybe since). I ended up buying it cause I fell in love with it and how beautifully classy it made me feel. I haven't been able to fit in into for years (& who knows if I ever will again) but I refuse to get rid of it. I've since owned a couple gowns for holiday parrties that I've felt pretty sexy & all in but that dress is still my favorite. Perhaps because it was the first and being a small steel town girl that I was/is there was just something magical about owning such a lovely black silk cocktail dress that said "elegance & class".

  34. Hey Maggie!! Good to have you here again!

    I have to say that I just love that cover! Man, it is hot, hot, hot!!!

    During my high school days, I attend three different proms and one military ball. Of all my dresses, my favorite was an strapless sparkly royal blue gown. I loved it!

  35. Boy, all of this is bringing back memories of my high school and college dresses. My mom made me dresses, Gannon--once out of my dead great-aunt Helen's drapes, LOL. Just call me Scarlett.

    Buffie, I had a midnight blue velvet dress I loved. Now I've got a royal blue blazer which is such a great color (like the cover of my book!)

    Susan, I just bought a leopard print turtleneck. Meow!

    gamistress, I know just what you mean about about your black silk. There's something so perfect and timeless about an LBD.

    Stephanie, I'm a jeans & sweater girl myself. Your dress sounds glam!

    Johanna, you probably had a much better night than a lot of kids at the prom! I always thought the anticipation/shopping was way better than the reality.;)

  36. Hi, Maggie! Loved "Mistress By Mistake" and can't wait to read "Mistress By Midnight"!

    I didn't go to my prom. Actually, many of my friends didn't go, not that we were protesting but because it was on a school night and I, for one, had a calculus test the next day. The school made the mistake of letting the kids vote on a venue and the winning choice was a nightclub so the prom had to be on a weeknight (then not enough kids bought tickets which really annoyed the school admin).

    Nowadays, I prefer jeans, shirts, and a hat (straw in summer, wool in winter - no more bad hair days!). Right now, I'm wearing a long sleeved Agent P (Perry the Platypus from "Phineas and Ferb") that I bought in the boys department over my jeans. Kids have such fun shirts.

  37. I send my mother the hardback editions-its the only way I can convince her that I write real books LOL

  38. Maggie, thanks so much for visiting with us today and a big thank you to everyone who stopped by and left a comment! Be sure to check back to find out who wins a hardback copy of MISTRESS BY MIDNIGHT!

  39. I've always been a chunky one, so my prom dresses were ones that fit... I had little other choice in the matter LOL. I had one once that had tons of ruffles from the waist all the way down and I spent weeks sewing sequins around the hems so there would be a little more sparkle!

  40. My prom dress was a long, pink gown with cap sleeves and I wore long white gloves and white shoes with it.
    The clothes I have now that I feel the most confident in are great pants with a tunic style sweater and comfortable flats. Something I think I look presentable in and feels comfortable. I hate being dressed in something uncomfortable that I have to fuss with constantly or worry about showing what I don't want to show, etc.

  41. I comked out last night before 8 PM, so I'm ashamed I didn't do a final thank-you to you all! It snowed all day yesterday & that makes me want to hibernate in a big way. It was such fun to be here, and I enjoyed all our talk of high--or low-- fashion, LOL. Happy reading to everyone. Thanks Snowi, Barbara, Kate & Sheree!