Monday, March 4, 2013

Today's Special - - Maggie Robinson

We're happy to welcome Dish favorite, Maggie Robinson back to the blog today.  Maggie's new series, the London List, is hitting all the right notes with PJ.  Check out her reviews of the first book in the series, Lord Gray's List and her review of the newest book, Captain Durant's Countess. These books are filled with heat, humor and plenty of heart.  

Catch up with Maggie online at her website, facebook, twitter and goodreads.  





Thanks so much for having me back to talk about Captain Durant’s Countess! The captain has been hired for a most unusual job, something even he with his naughty reputation is reluctant to do. And his countess has never been naughty in her life, except once, and how difficult it’s been for her to live with the guilt. These two have enough differences between them to span an ocean, but somehow love conquers all!
As someone who’s previously been published in trade paperback, I am thrilled that this full-length novel is an affordable e-book only addition to my London List series. I mind my pennies like everyone else, and am a big bargain shopper, very unlike the heroine of CDC, Lady Maris Kelby.

Fortune is not the issue with Maris, but time and interest. A bluestocking, she’s been buried in the country with her elderly husband helping him with his manuscript on Etruscan civilization, and it doesn’t matter what she looks like. But along comes Captain Reynold Durant to give her a bit of a Cinderella moment. In the scene below, they meet on the street and Reyn guides her to a fashionable modiste. Here’s an exclusive excerpt:
***
“Come into my private parlor, my lady. Yvonne! Some tea and biscuits for our special customers,” Madame Bernard called to her assistant.
Damn. That was another witness to her folly. But soon people at Kelby Hall would see her with Captain Durant. Maris would pray that if he was successful, her servants, and more important, David, couldn’t count.

 “That’s not necessary, Madame Bernard. I’m not at all hungry.”

C’est rien. Choosing clothes is hard work, Lady Kelby. One must be fortified. Captain Durant, will tea be sufficient, or shall I have Yvonne fetch some brandy?” The dressmaker pronounced his name in the French manner. Maris imagined from his dark coloring he had Norman or Celtic blood. Henry had both. Was that why Durant had been chosen? Or had none of the men Henry interviewed been desperate enough to undertake this particular mission?

No, that wasn’t right. Henry had not explained the nature of his need to the other two. He told her he’d been taken with Captain Reynold Durant from the instant he spied him riding up the drive.

“You do think ill of me to offer me brandy at this hour, Madame. It’s not yet dusk. In fact the sun is shining.”

“It is dusk somewhere, Captain, and you are not known to follow the conventions.”

Captain Durant gave a husky laugh, which to Maris’s ears seemed quite wicked. “No, I am not. But I’m giving up my ramshackle ways. The countess’s husband has consented to employ me for a few months, and I’m on my best behavior.”

“If that is the case,” Madame Bernard said archly, “then I invite you to leave my shop at once. Thank you for bringing her to me, but you will not wish to compromise the lady’s reputation and anger her husband. You might lose this desirable position.”

Maris suppressed her grin at Captain Durant’s obvious dismay. He had been most effectively routed. He was not her lover—yet—and had no right to sit and watch her shimmy into dresses.

“But of course. What was I thinking? Ah! I never think things through, Madame. Lady Kelby, forgive me for being so presumptuous. Betsy, I commend the countess’s care into your capable hands. Oh! And just one more thing. You will be pleased to know, Lady Kelby, that the appointment you arranged for me was a smashing success. I visited with the gentleman just this morning. There will be no impediments whatsoever to my performing successfully in my new occupation. I am clean as a whistle. What can that mean, anyway? One would think whistles would be most unhygienic. All that spittle. A bientot.” He tipped an imaginary hat and left.

Some of the air in the room went with him. Maris put a gloved hand on a display case to steady herself. The captain’s casual confession that he was not syphilitic was welcome, of course, but to announce it in such a way was preposterous.

He was so very improper. Impulsive. Indiscreet. Maris had never met anyone like him.

“Good riddance, oui? Right this way, my lady. The captain, he is full of so boyish charm. Tres charmant. One could forgive a woman for losing her virtue to him. You must forgive me for coming to an entirely incorrect conclusion earlier. I should have recognized at once that you are not his type at all.”

The pendulum had swung in an equally insulting direction. First, Madame Bernard had thought her a lightskirt; now she was too unattractive to capture the captain’s attention as his lover.

Maris regretted she had ever sought to improve her wardrobe. She was tempted to leave in a justifiable huff, but somehow was swept into the private room and seated in a plush velvet chair.

“Now tell me what you have in mind, my lady.”

“I don’t really have time for all this,” Maris said, waving her arm at the squares of fabric and pattern books that were artfully stacked on a large drum table. “I was hoping to find something ready-made. My husband is expecting me home tomorrow. And I don’t like to… to fuss over my clothing. I like simple things.”

“Ah. I see you are a practical woman, but you do have a lovely figure.” Madame Bernard stepped back in contemplation, a finger on her chin. “I may have one or two dresses in the back that might suit you. But you would be much happier—and more à la mode—if I took some measurements and made a new wardrobe just for you.”

“Oh, no, that won’t be necessary.” Maris didn’t need an entire new wardrobe, just a few things so she wouldn’t be such a dowd. Not that she cared one jot what Captain Durant thought of her. He would soon be taking those dresses off her, anyhow.
***
Do you wish for a Madame Bernard to play fairy godmother and spiff up your wardrobe? Have you ever had a makeover? What’s your favorite fashion magazine? (I just broke down and got a subscription to Vogue, although I can’t fit into or afford anything in it, LOL). One commenter will get the first book in the London List series, Lord Gray’s List (4 and 1/2 stars from the Romance Dish!), or any other book from my backlist.


36 comments:

  1. I'd love to have a Madame Bernard to spiff up my wardrobe. I've lost quite a bit of weight and I'm still wearing baggy clothes. I've never had a makeover and I could really use one about now. :D
    I don't really read fashion magazines, I think I'm more into classic style clothing rather than something trendy or fashionable.

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    1. Congrats on the weight loss! Once I get back from this cruise I'm going on a serious diet...ha. That's what I always say. :)

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  2. I'm not a fans of magazine but long ago, my sister always brought cosmopolitan so sometimes I read it

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  3. I think Madame Bernard would have trouble with me. I'm comfort all the way these days. I read through the glossy magazines in waiting rooms only. So far removed from reality I always think.

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    1. I love InStyle magazine--it's so ridiculously thick and filled with ridiculous things, but that's the fun of it.

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  4. Hello everyone! I'm going on a five day cruise this afternoon, and I wish Madame Bernard had packed for me, LOL. So I may not stop in later, but thanks in advance for your comments! :)

    Since I quit my day job to write, I am comfort all the way too--yoga pants & baggy shirts. I do not look romantic at all! Once, though, I participated in a makeover fashion show for a charity organization I belonged to. They teased my hair, squeezed me into a cocktail dress and put so much make-up on me, my kids laughed when I got home. The last time I went to a make-up counter for help, I wound up looking like a hooker. So I guess I'll settle for being me.

    Thanks so very much for having me here! Yay, Dish!

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    1. Have a wonderful time on your cruise! Think of those of us still back here, trying to look professional while kneeling beside a runny nosed first grader who needs help in reading. Well ok...maybe cords and sweaters aren't exactly professional! Guess that make over would be helpful. :-) Miss you here in the trenches.

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  5. According to my almost 30 yo daughter I am a walking fashion disaster. I would rather wear t-shirts and sweaters with jeans. They're my comfort clothes. I rarely shop so most of my clothes are still from college days. Luckily they still fit and most of the fashions have come back around. I don't wear make up. So yes I would love a make over and Madame Bernard's wardrobe assistance. My husband of 35 years probably wouldn't recognize the new me!
    My daughter used to get Glamour Magazine. I read Good Housekeeping.

    I did enjoy the excerpt Maggie. I will look for your books.

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    1. Laurie, one of my daughters (33) told me my clothes are too loose. Uh, yes. Yes, they are so I can breathe and sit down, LOL.

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  6. Hi Maggie! Hope you have a wonderful time on the cruise. (Wish I was going along!)

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    1. We're going to Cozumel & Grand Cayman. Maybe I'll open up a bank account. ;)

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  7. When I was a teen ager, I loved fashion. But it wasn't the high fashion, but the clothing that my peers and I wore. As I aged, it became less and less important. I hope you have/had a great cruise!!

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    1. Betty, i used to spend hours getting dressed/putting on make-up. Now I'm out of the house in 30 minutes, including shower time.

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  8. I love the London List books, Maggie. I can't wait to see what's next.

    I've reached the comfort-as-criterion phase of life too, but I do love putting my heroine in a designer gown and four-inch heels. :)

    I hope you have a fabulous cruise!

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    1. Thanks so much, Janga! The books were such fun to write. Wait till you meet my one-armed hero in the August book. He needed much reclamation.

      Four inch heels...nothing but flats and flip-flops for me. :)

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  9. I'm hopeless when it comes to fashion and/or dressing up. In the 1st place I had shopping. I love it when my sis comes visiting & passes me all her clothes that she can't fit into. I'd love a new wardrobe as long as it doesn't involve any effort on my part!
    I don't ever read fashion magazines. Give me a good romance bk anytime.

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    1. Linda, I used to love to shop, but I've got to say I don't anymore. I do a lot of online stuff, and send things back more often then I keep them. But TJ Maxx is my friend. :)

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  10. No makeover before but would love one! I am kind of lazy and end up wearing what is on top of my drawers or closet so there are a lot of clothings that I don't wear often.

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  11. May, I tend to wear the same stuff over and over too. There are some outfits I just feel more comfortable in, but somehow I still don't clean out my closet, LOL.

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  12. I'm afraid I'm not into fashion much these days. I too go for what is comfortable now and since I don't go out every day anymore, it's a lot more practical. But it would be fun lol.

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    1. It's comfort for me too but I sure wouldn't mind a fashion makeover. ;-)

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  13. Yes! I would love to have Madame Bernard spiff up my wardrobe because, unfortunately, my taste is all in my mouth. No, I’ve never had a makeover, but I think it would be fun. I enjoy InStyle magazine but find I just don’t have much time to devote to magazine because I would rather read books. So, I guess I’ll remain my frumpy old self happily reading books!

    I love the covers of your novels, Maggie, because the heros are so “larger than life!"

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    1. LOL @ Connie! My taste is pretty much in my mouth too and I'm okay with that. :)

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  14. Oh this sounds really good! I am not much into make overs any more. I am more into comfort. Here at home give me some sweat pants and a t-shirt and I am one happy camper. I guess this happens as we get older.

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    1. I'm wearing my good jeans today since I have to go out but a comfy, cozy pair of sweats should would be nice. ;-)

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  15. Well, we're onboard the ship and soon I'll be checking out everyone else's cruise wear. I'll be spending most of my time in a bathing suit! I'll try to check in later after the emergency drill.

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  16. I'm generally pretty happy with my wardrobe but a new item or two particularly flattering & stylish just for me wouldn't be a terrible thing ;) congrats on the latest release, it sounds fun based upon the excerpt :)

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  17. That would be great to get a makeover ... as spring is almost here it's time for a spruce up! I could use expert assistance to make the right choices and to clear out some of the old things.

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  18. Gad... I'd be glad to just dig into my closet and find something that still fits... winter weight has struck!!

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  19. Thanks for the fun post and congrats to Maggie on her success! Ummm... I'm a t-shirt and jeans kinda gal so I wouldn't be shocked if someone signs me up for a makeover. I don't really care or understand fashion so I don't subscribe to any magazines.

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  20. I do not follow fashion all that much. So often they are just too extreme for my taste. The current fascination with 6 inch or higher heels is a case in point. There is no way I could wear them without killing myself, or at least breaking an ankle. I like cozy comfortable clothing, nice colors, nothing too flashy. I have never had a make-over, but could certainly use one. I know I need help choosing the styles I wear and a fairy godmother would be most welcome. I watch the weekly make-vers on the Today Show and am amazed at the difference they make.

    I like what I have heard about this new series. I look forward to reading it.

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  21. I do not follow fashion. I have a soft spot for vintage style or clothes that remind me of it somehow. If I find a piece that gives me that special feeling, I get it, keep it and wear it all the time. No matter what fashion dictates.

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  22. Cosmo is great. Most of it cracks me up, but it's a good read ;-)
    I'm one of those odd ducks who wouldn't want a makeover. I dress how I feel, so it really wouldn't work, someone telling me what to wear :-)

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  23. I most certainly could use a makeover.
    At my age I don;t follow fashion much but If I find clothes in my favorite color I do buy them.
    For years I wore what I thought I should. Now I wear colors that lift my spirits and make me happy.
    My daughter gets Allure and Elle magazine and I peek in those when they arrive each month

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