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Friday, June 27, 2014

Today's Special - - Miranda Neville


PJ here.  I always get excited when one of my auto-buy authors visits TRD, especially when I get the chance to lob questions at her! :)  Our special guest today is historical romance author Miranda Neville whose new book, Lady Windermere's Lover was launched into the world this week.  (If it's not on your summer reading list, it should be!) Miranda grew up in England devouring the books of Georgette Heyer, Jean Plaidy and other historical authors of the day. She studied history at Oxford and worked for several years for Sotheby's auction house in London and New York City. Miranda now lives in rural Vermont where she enjoys cooking, gardening, cross-country skiing and writing the historical romance novels we love to read.  You can find more information about Miranda and her books at her website and connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter.  Please give her a warm Romance Dish welcome!


Welcome, Miranda!  After reading – and loving – The Ruin of a Rogue, I was excited to learn that Lady Windermere’s Lover would be the story of Lady Cynthia Windermere and her absent husband, Damian, Earl of Windermere.  Please tell readers what they can expect from this book.

Hi PJ. Thanks for your kind words about The ROAR. It’s always a pleasure to visit the Dish! Damian is a mystery to the readers of the series and he was to me, too. All I knew of him was that he’d made this terrible mistake on his twenty-first birthday and gambled away his estate. As a result he broke away from his wild friends and became a super respectable diplomat. He married Cynthia to regain his estate and almost immediately left for a year. When he returns he finds things have changed: Cynthia has bloomed into a beauty and she appears to be having an affair with his former best friend, the Duke of Denford.

Cynthia and Damian have more than his protracted absence to overcome if they wish to reach their happy ending.  What was it about these two characters that convinced you they were meant to be together?

I threw a lot of problems at the couple: a lousy honeymoon, Damian behaving like a bit of a prize ass, and a couple of issues that Cynthia isn’t talking about.  They don’t know each other well and what they know isn’t encouraging. When Damian turned respectable following his gambling disaster, he repressed the sensitive, artistic aspects of his personality. In trying to win back Cynthia, a fundamentally decent person, he has to rediscover that side of his character and learns they share they same interests. He is a gentler character than Denford, who would not be at all the right man for her.  She wants to love her husband but she’s no pushover and he has to work hard to win her back.

I loved that Cynthia had found her confidence in his absence and made Damien work his way back into her life. The marriage of convenience is one of my favorite romance tropes.  What is it about this type of story that appeals to you as a writer?  Do you also enjoy a marriage of convenience story as a reader?

Love, love, love the MoC! It’s a trope that never gets old. Tolstoy famously said that happy families are all alike, unhappy ones all unhappy in their own way. I feel the same way about MoC or estranged couples in romance. And in historicals there’s the added tension that they can’t just bail and get a divorce, at least not easily. They may well be miserable forever so the stakes are very high.

Do you have a book planned for Denford?  (I’m not above begging!)

Funny you should ask, but yes! Not only planned but written. The Duke of Dark Desires comes out on New Year’s Eve. I’m not saying much about it yet, but I’ll tell you that the sins of his youth are coming back to bite him in the form of a beautiful and vengeful governess.

Yay!  I do love those bad boys, especially when they finally meet the woman who's going to bring them to their knees.  ;-)

Summer is my favorite season for catching up on my reading.   There are so many delicious places (hammock, lounge chair, pool, beach) to relax with a good book.  What books are on your reading list this summer?

Loretta Chase’s Vixen in Velvet comes out the same day as Lady Windermere’s Lover. I suspect by the time this interview appears I shall have scarfed it up. I’m really looking forward to Katharine Ashe’s I Adored a Lord. And there’s a new Susan Elizabeth Phillips – Heroes Are My Weakness – on August 26, which happens to be my birthday. Happy birthday to me!

Oooh, that's my kind of birthday present!

Damian spent his time in the foreign office traveling to exotic locations.  What’s the most exotic location you’ve visited?  Where would you most like to visit?

I once spent two weeks in the mountains of southern Spain in a town called Ronda, staying in a medieval Moorish palace. The facilities were kind of medieval too! I had a great time researching the backstory of Damian’s visit to Persia, which was just opening up to the West. Right now, I probably wouldn’t put Iran on my list but one day, maybe. I would love to visit India.

Besides books, my other summer love is seasonal food.  Every week I load up on plenty of fresh fruits and veggies at the local Farmer’s Market and enjoy turning them into delicious summer dishes.  If your characters invited you to attend their annual summer picnic, what dish would you bring to share?

Great question! I visit the local farm stand almost daily in the summer. My current favorite food is quinoa (a South American high-protein grain for those who don’t know it). I have a delicious quinoa salad recipe, quite spicy with chipotle peppers, lime juice, and cilantro. Perfect for picnics or potlucks.

Mmmm.  That sounds delicious!  I haven't cooked with quinoa - yet - but I've had dishes made with it and they were very good.  

Will you be attending any conferences or book signings this summer where readers will have the opportunity to meet you?

I shall be at RWA in San Antonio in July.  If you are there, please come and say hello, either at the giant Literacy Book Fair (open to the public) or at the Avon Open House (for conference registrants).

I'll look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!

What’s next from Miranda Neville?

As well as The Duke of Dark Desires, I have a couple of novellas in the works. I’m planning my next historical series and enjoying not being under deadline.

Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Miranda.  Would you like to ask our readers a question?

As I write this, I am looking out of my Vermont window at blue skies, fluffy clouds, and sunshine on the New Hampshire mountains. I love to travel but home is pretty good too! What are you enjoying about your home this summer?

One randomly chosen person who leaves a comment on today's post will receive a copy of The Ruin of a Rogue or Lady Windermere's Lover (winner's choice - open to all countries serviced by bookdepository.com).  

57 comments:

  1. Congrats to Miranda on the new release. There are street fairs here practically every weekend. It's fun to sample all the good food at these fairs.

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    1. I love street fairs, especially in places where there are different ethnic traditions making for a variety of street food :)

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    2. I love street fairs! Now that I'm living in the "big city" I have more opportunities to attend them. :)

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  2. I enjoy summer watching my flowers bloom the humming birds feeding from them the cook-outs with family and friends.and setting out with my family under the stars

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    1. Sigh. Exactly. We just had two days of rain and the peonies look bedraggled, but there are other flowers to come. I haven't seen a humming bird yet this year.

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    2. The hummingbirds have an ongoing love affair with my neighbor's patio which is directly in front of my parking space. I spend a lot of time in my car watching them. ;-)

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  3. I love your books & your covers are to die for.

    Summer means the beach. I could quite happily be a beach comber for the rest of my life.

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    1. I have to thank my publisher for my great covers - this one is one of my favorites. I love the blue.
      I'm not much of a beach bunny myself - I don't like sitting out in the heat. But walks on the beach are great.

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    2. Love, love, love the beach! I've already been once and am heading back for a week next month. It's my happy place. :)

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  4. It's no surprise that I loved Lady Windermere's Lover. I count on Miranda Neville books to give me the kind of characters I love best--three-dimensional, multi-layered characters in whom I can believe without reservations. And how wonderful that I can look forward to greeting 2015 with Denford! I'm disgracefully late with reviews due to health issues, blog problems, and the project from hell, but I'll share my enthusiasm for Cynthia and Damian story soon.

    One of the things I love best about summer is the flowers. Right now the hydrangeas and the lilies are gorgeous. Just looking at the blue Mopheads takes me back to childhood summers in my grandmother's garden.

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    1. Thanks, Janga! I always love your insightful reviews. I'm so sorry that real life has been giving you trouble and hope for your sake that things settle down. Any chance you are coming to RWA in San Antonio?
      Your garden is ahead of mine - lilies and hydrangeas won't be out for a week or so.

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    2. Well said, Janga! I think that's how a lot of us feel about Miranda's books. :)

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  5. Congratulations on the new release! Sounds like one I'm going to have to read.

    I really enjoy the fresh veggies from the garden. I had peas last night, and I can't wait for the tomatoes!

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    1. Fresh tomatoes from the garden are the best thing in the world. (Well, close.)

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    2. I highly recommend it, Mary!

      I'm with you and Miranda o the fresh veggies. Nothing like the taste of fresh from the garden veggies.

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  6. Good Morning, Everyone! Thanks for stopping by today to read my Q&A with the marvelous Miranda Neville. I'm on the road today but will check in when I can!

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    1. Thanks for having me, PJ. So glad you hear you will be at RWA!

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  7. I love marriage of convenience--as you say, it never gets old!

    I'm loving my tomato plants right now...they're going crazy.

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    1. Good morning Ms Hellie. I wish my tomato plants were going crazy. Aside from one monster, they're looking a bit feeble.

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    2. I love tomatoes but they don't like me so I have to space them out. I'd eat fresh tomatoes every day all summer if I could!

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  8. I am enjoying having company throughout the summer.
    My sister and her husband from 2000+ miles away stopped in here for 10 days on their way from Canada's west coast to east coast. They will be stopping in again (hopefully for another week or two) on their way back home, probably later next week.
    We also have good friends visit every other weekend (as they live in an apartment and enjoy having barbecues with us in our backyard), plus we have an annual wine party in a couple of weeks (where we share homemade wine - my daughter and I win at a badminton tournament every year - with good friends, family, and neighbours, plus we play games like street hockey, basketball, croquet, and ladder ball).

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    1. Wow, Laney - what happened to sitting back and enjoying the quiet. Seriously, it sounds like a great time :)

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    2. Sounds like a busy - but fun - summer, Laney! I have family coming from Japan in August. I can't wait. I'll be meeting my 10-month-old grandnephew for the first time! :)

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  9. fresh fruit and vegetables

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    1. I stopped at an orchard today and bought fresh picked peaches. So yummy!

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  10. Congrats on your release, Miranda!
    This summer, Iowa has had a little bit of everything: cool, hot, humid, rain, sunshine, rain, clouds, rain.... We are usually very humid in July, so it will be interesting to see what this next month will bring. We have a little garden and the tomatoes are going to be plentiful. My husband made salsa this year, but is expanding his horizons with spaghetti sauce this summer. My green beans are doing well and I hope to can quite a few jars.

    I have been popping up to my parents' (about an hour away) once a week. Dad is not in good health due to Alzheimer's. We have been trying to go out to lunch to help give my mother a bit of a reprieve as caretaker.

    Thanks for being at TRD today!

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    1. My green beans are pathetic, Deb.Only three plants came up from the first sowing. I'm hoping for better from a new batch. Best wishes to your Mom and Dad.

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    2. Homemade salsa is so good! I didn't make any last summer. Will have to correct that this year. ;-)

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  11. Congratulations on the new release. Marriage of convenience tropes are great.

    While everyone else is outside, I tend to stay indoors in the summer where it's cool. I do like the summer fruit, however.

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    1. I don't like the heat either, Kim. Luckily we don't get too much of it.

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    2. I enjoy the heat until it hits the mid-90's. They I enjoy indoor activities.

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  12. Hi Miranda,

    I've never been out to the far Northeast but I've heard that Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are beautiful. Hopefully someday I'll get to visit.

    As blue is my favorite color, I love LADY WINDERMERE'S LOVER book cover.
    I also like marriage of convenience themed books.

    I live in central Wisconsin in the summer. We live on a small spring fed lake in a rural area. Every morning I go swimming. In the evenings my husband and I walk about 5 miles. We hike along a game preserve with elk, white tail deer and fallow deer. Most nights on our return, we see a gorgeous sunset over the lake. Nature at it's best!

    I also read, bike and canoe. Summers go by quickly so I try to fit in as many outdoor activities in as I can. Peonies and irises just finished blooming here. Day lilies will start blooming any day now. Yard work never ends.

    My two grandchildren will be coming for the 4th. I can't wait!

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    1. Your area sounds gorgeous, Laurie! You paint a lovely picture :)

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    2. I agree with Miranda. You paint a beautiful picture of the area where you spend your summers, Laurie. Have fun with the grands!

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  13. Love your books!! We're finally getting sunny weather (has been very rainy) so just getting outside is a treat. My husband and I play bocci with about 40 others at our American Legion once a week - it's a fun summer activity.

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    1. Thanks, catslady! Bocci sounds fun.

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    2. We play bocci at the beach. Such a fun game!

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  14. Oh these books look awesome and I would love to read them. I do love me some historicals.

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    1. They are wonderful stories, Quilt Lady. Hope you give them a go!

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    2. And we historical writers love you!

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  15. I love Neville's books.... they are always such great fun to read... and I adore the covers!!!

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    1. She does get some beautiful covers, doesn't she?

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  16. This looks like another good story by Miranda. It has been a beautiful summer here with warm temperatures but not hot days too often.

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    1. Thanks Maureen. June is such a great month. I think it's nice almost everywhere

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  17. Thank you so much! And thank you on behalf of my publishers for the cover compliment :)

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  18. Congratulations on your new book, I can't wait to read it.
    I'm enjoying the flowers my daughter and I planted and just relaxing reading and knitting a dishcloth
    Penney

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  19. Congrats on the new book, Miranda! I love how the sun seems to hit the dress and change colors on the cover. So pretty!

    I'm a homebody, so I like it that everyone is home for the summer. I like my family where I can see them. ;)

    Marcy Shuler

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  20. Miranda, thanks so much for visiting with us today. Wishing you all the best with Lady Windermere's Lover. See you in San Antonio!

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  21. the flowers

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  22. I'm so looking forward to both Lady Windermere and the new Loretta Chase, both favorite authors. Summer is great, days at the beach, picnics and grilling, outdoor fairs and fresh-picked fruit and garden tomatoes later in the season, yum.

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  23. enjoy sitting outside on the screened porch on a nice afternoon (when not too hot/humid) relaxing w/ a good book & fixing dinner on the grill, then going back to relaxing out there w/ the good book till time to call it a night (or the book is done) :)

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  24. We live in the South and summers can be hard. I am not a fan of hot, humid weather. I am heading "home" to where I grew up in the Adirondack mountains of NY. Our house was on a hill overlooking Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains of VT and the White Mountains of NH. We will spend time in both NY and mid-NH. I do love the mountains. We live in the Smokey Mountains now.
    Love the sound of LADY WINDERMER'S LOVER and look forward to reading it.

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  25. Hi Miranda, congrats on the release of Lady Windermere's Lover! I've added it to my wish list, and I can't wait to read it. As for home in the summertime, I'm really enjoying the green grass since the mountains of snow that has melted from the winter. And of course, green grass is important for baseball and football games, which I love to go to cheer on my hometown teams. As long as I stay away from all the mosquitoes, summertime at home is pretty awesome! :-)

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  26. Congrats to Miranda on the new release! Thanks for such a fun post! Right now I'm enjoying the unseasonably cooler weather as it means that me and the pup can go on longer walks :)

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  27. Yay on the new release, Miranda! I especially love the gorgeous cover! Really enjoy the interview too. Now that summer is here, love to go the farmers' markets to pick up fresh fruits and veggies.

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  28. Thanks so much for the giveaway. I'm excited to win the book!

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  29. What I'm enjoying about my home this summer is the air conditioning and the pool. :D It's been very hot and humid here in Central Florida, so outdoor activities aren't all that much fun right now. What I do enjoy are the lovely summer flowers when I can get outside to enjoy them.

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