Monday, June 1, 2015

Today's Special - - Jessica Peterson



I'm delighted to welcome Jessica Peterson to the Dish today. I just finished reading The Undercover Scoundrel, the third book in Peterson's The Hope Diamond trilogy, and it's terrific. It's my favorite of the trilogy and kept me eagerly turning pages from beginning to end! 

Jessica began reading romance to escape the decidedly unromantic awkwardness of her teenage years. Having found solace in the likes of Rhett Butler and Mr. Darcy, it wasn't long before she began creating tall, dark, and handsome heroes of her own. 

A graduate of Duke University, Jessica worked at an investment bank before leaving to pursue her writerly dreams. She lives with her husband, the tall, dark, and handsome Mr. Peterson, in Charlotte, North Carolina.  

TOP FIVE HOT RED HEADS


Hello ladies and gents!  My name is Jessica Peterson, and my latest historical romance release, THE UNDERCOVER SCOUNDREL, hits shelves on June 2.  It’s the third and final book of THE HOPE DIAMOND TRILOGY, a Regency-set series I pitch as THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR meets a (very sassy!) Jane Austen.

First, I’d like to thank PJ for having me back on The Dish.  I so enjoy reading your blog, so it’s an absolute pleasure to be featured here.  I can’t tell you, PJ, how much your continued support of my career in romance means to me.  You’re the absolute best!

It’s funny, but when I first started to write years ago, I always imagined writing would be the equivalent of flying through rainbows on a magical unicorn: a thrilling, out-of-body experience.  Turns out, actually sitting down at my computer to write is a heck of a lot harder than I ever thought it would be.  You can’t wait for the inspiration to find you, I’ve learned; you’ve got to sit down and write until you find it.  And let me tell you, inspiration can play tough to get like I’ve no one I’ve ever met.

No book is easy to write, but THE UNDERCOVER SCOUNDREL was a particularly difficult manuscript for me.  I think it’s because SCOUNDREL is the most emotionally complex book I’ve ever written.  It’s a “second chance romance”; the story of estranged lovers reunited, unexpectedly, more than a decade after they fell in love as teens.  I think making such a romance believable, especially considering the betrayals and secrets between the characters, is no small feat.  I worked hard to that end, and I think SCOUNDREL is some of my best work yet!

Speaking of the scoundrel who inspired the title – my hero, Henry Beaton Lake – let me just say that I fell utterly and irrevocably in love with him.  Maybe because he’s a spy, maybe because he’s smart and sweet and savvy; but really I think I love him because he’s a ginger.

That’s right – I’m having a MAJOR red head moment.  I don’t think I’m the only one who loves a fiery-haired fellow, especially one with a man bun.  To that end, I thought it would be fun to do a top five hot red heads for your reading pleasure.  All of the studly gingers listed below provided the inspiration in part for Henry.  Enjoy!

5. Ed Sheeran

Not gonna lie, I am totally obsessed with Ed and his latest album, X.  I saw him open for Taylor Swift a couple years ago, and I’ve been smitten ever since.  He’s obviously a very talented musician – I mean, who doesn’t love a cutie who can strum a guitar? – but what I really love about him is his vulnerable adorableness.  He’s sexy in an understated, oh-so-charming way.

4. Jamie Fraser (really Sam Heugen) from OUTLANDER

I think red headed dudes are having a moment thanks to this guy.  It took me a while to get into the OUTLANDER series, but after the first few episodes, I was totally hooked – because of Jamie.  Whoever casted this series got it so, so right.  Yes, Jamie/Sam is deliciously well-muscled, he’s tall, he’s gorgeous.  But he’s also got the acting chops to make a romantic lead compelling.  I think this is where the FIFTY SHADES movie fell short.  OUTLANDER, however, knocked it out of the park.  Well done, OUTLANDER movie people.  Well done.

3. Prince Harry

Do I even need to explain this one?  Didn’t think so.

2. Clay Matthews

So my husband is a huge Packers fan (Go Pack Go!).  I am not the biggest sports nut – I never, ever watched football before I got married – but I certainly do not mind watching the Packers game on Sunday if #52 is on the field.  He’s actually the inspiration for Henry’s physique and his sassy little smirk.  I am also having a big man bun moment – guys with long hair?  Yes, please.

1. Henry Beaton Lake (obviously)

Sorry, guys and gals, I had to do it.  But I really do love my UNDERCOVER SCOUNDREL.  He’s a ruthless spy – with a flair for disguises – who’s got a soft spot for his first love.  And the man bun?  Yikes.  It was truly a pleasure to see him come to life on the page, even if it took me three drafts and lots of tears to get there.  Henry, I love you, and hope readers do, too!

Is there anyone I missed?  Feel free to share your red head loves and hates!

A randomly chosen person who leaves a comment on today's post will receive a prize pack from Jessica. (U.S./Canada only)

Mr. Henry Lake spent the past twelve years uncovering the most scandalous secrets of Europe’s wealthy and powerful, serving as one of His Majesty’s most decorated spies. But when a mission to find the legendary French Blue diamond brings him back to London, and face to face with a beautiful noblewoman he once loved, it’s his own hidden passions that are uncovered…

Lady Caroline, Countess of Berry, knows better than to lose her head over a man. After an embarrassing romantic entanglement forced her into a loveless marriage and early widowhood, she learned to never trust in desire, especially when it comes to the man who once broke her heart. Only, despite her good sense, she finds Henry impossible to resist—even when he once again places her in deathly danger…

49 comments:

  1. Toby Stephens , I have the second one in the series and enjoyed it. Can't wait to read the other 2

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    1. Toby Stephens is my favorite Mr. Rochester!

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    2. Hello ladies! Thank you so much for the book love! Glad you enjoyed THE MILLIONAIRE ROGUE - such a fun series to work on. And - gasp! - I have yet to discover Toby Stephens! Must investigate now...

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    1. Is Michael Fassbender a redhead? Then by God, yes.

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    2. Hi Jill! I agree with Julianne…don't remember if he's a red head or not. But even if he isn't, I still loooove him. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Even though my first love is swarthy, I, too, love redheads.

    The guy on Homeland? Delish. Especially with his smoking chemistry with Clare Dains.

    I'm going to check out your books, Jessica. And it's nice to know another writer in Charlotte.

    As a fellow Charlotte dweller, let's pray for rain.

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    1. Hi Julianne! I would love to connect with you - I dig getting together with local writers. So inspiring! And you know they filmed HOMELAND in Charlotte. I actually saw Damian Lewis (Brody) at the gas station on South Boulevard. I almost DIED. He is twice as delicious in person, trust!

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    2. I'll be happy to introduce you! :)

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    3. I cannot believe you saw him!

      Let's get together with PJ.

      The funny thing about that show is that itpretended to be in the DC mmetropolitan area--where I grew up--but was filmed where I live now.

      The difference between the two seems obvious to me, but really who's looking at the setting when you've got Lewis to look at?

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  4. Red heads of course Jamie...of course. But what got me to comment was your admittedly tough time on this new book. I love LOVE second chance romances. And I can only think how tough it can be to write because they screwed up somehow and this is a chance to make it right... I think this book is going to be a must read for me!

    Now, back to red heads...hmmm. Well, dont laugh but I always think of Ron in Harry Potter. I know, strange but he did win Hermoine. AND I always think Eddie Redmayne is a redhead....not one hundred percent sure.

    Looking forward to this book and checking the others in this series!

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    1. Hi Hope! Thank you for stopping by - so appreciate it, and the book love! SCOUNDREL was certainly a labor of love…tough to write, but so satisfying in the end. I hope you enjoy it! And OMG I LOVE RON WEASLEY. I wish I could get that printed on a tshirt - I'd wear it all the time!

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  5. I totally agree! I love football (although I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan) but I love to admire all the boys that play. In fact the only way I can get my girls to watch with me is because they like to admire the hot players!

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    1. Hello Texas! Of course you're a Cowboys fan…but that doesn't mean you can't admire Clay Matthews from afar! He is totally delish. Worth watching the game for, that's for sure! Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!

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  7. I'm not a football fan (I know, I know) and Clay looks a bit too intimidating for me (I know, I know), but I agree he's a looker too and deserves to be on the list. But yes, I'm totally on the Ginger Wagon: Harry, Jamie, and Ed are my favorite redheads...and I would take any one of them. ANY. ONE. OF. THEM. And yes, I think the gingers of the world owe the actor playing Jamie a big thank you.

    There was a redhead on ER, I think, that was hot...he also played a god in some YA movie. What's his name? Kevin McKidd. (Had to do an IMDB run.) Sean Bean is also a hot redhead too.

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    1. Oh my goodness, I LOVE SEAN BEAN…mostly because I am having a major GAME OF THRONES moment right now. Season 5 is so good…have you been watching it? I love Jon Snow, too, even though he isn't a ginger. So many great red heads to choose from - what's a gal to do? Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!

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  8. OH, and I'm also a huge Ron Weasley fan...

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    1. RON WEASLEY FOR THE WIN! Love that kid.

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  9. Welcome, Jessica! Hi, everyone! I'm on the road today and commenting on my phone so remarks will be brief. And please forgive typos.

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    1. Hi PJ! Hope you're having a lovely day…and thanks again for having me! Always so fun.

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  10. What a delightful and special feature today. Your red heads are appealing and great. Your book sounds captivating.

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    1. Thank you very much for the kind words! So appreciate you stopping by. This series was a ton of fun to work on, so I hope you'll enjoy it. Happy reading!

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  11. Definitely Jamie. He is number 1. Your list is inventive and creative as are your novels.

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    1. Thank you very much! And agreed on Jamie. I'm on episode 7, I think, in OUTLANDER, just after Jamie and Claire had their wedding night. I almost died. He is SO.GOOD. Glad you agree!

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  12. Your cover is lovely, as to red heads, definitely Jamie/Sam. Prince Harry is a cutie for sure.

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    1. Thanks Sharlene! I love my cover as well…adore how girly and colorful it is. The folks over at Penguin did a marvelous job. And agreed on Jamie. His deliciousness knows no bounds. Happy reading!

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  13. Sounds like a wonderful series and trilogies are my favorite type. I can't think of any other redheads lol.

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    1. Hi there - thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I love a good trilogy as well. There's something nice about the number three…seems to work out! Happy reading.

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  14. Prince Harry is adorable, and, like Hellie, I am a Ron Weasley fan. Some of my favorite heroes from historical romance are redheads of various shades--Jennifer Ashley's Ian MacKenzie, Eloisa James's Ewan Poley, Julianna Gray's Phineas Burke, Manda Collins's Trevor Carey, Duke of Ormond, and Jo Beverley's Cyn Malloren among them. My favorite real-life redhead is a hero-in-training, Myles, the eleven-year-old grand.

    And reunion romances are my favorites. I'm off to download The Undercover Scoundrel.

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    1. Hello Janga! Wow - thanks for the kind words! I also loved Julianna Gray's Phineas Burke - he was very close to making this list, as a matter of fact! And any red head named Ian is totally my catnip…I'll have to check out Jennifer Ashley's Mr. MacKenzie ASAP! Happy reading!

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  15. I have to agree with Janga that Lord Ian Mackenzie definitely belongs on the list. Your book sounds like a fun read. I'm looking forward to it.

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    1. Hi there - thanks for stopping by! Don't worry, Ian MacKenzie is on the top of my TBR pile now. Good thing I have a vacation coming up with lots of reading time planned - can't wait!

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  16. I'd have to go with your pick of Prince Harry.

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    1. Hi Kim - man, Prince Harry is devilishly good looking, isn't he? One of my favorites. He looks like he'd be rascally…and a lot of fun. Happy reading!

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  17. How can I get past Prince Harry? He has grown into the most wonderful man and I know his Mom, Diana, is looking down and smiling at him. The woman who captures his love as his wife will be a very lucky lady!

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    1. Harry really has matured nicely, hasn't he? I like him more all the time.

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    2. Yes he has! No more wild days. He's a real man now.

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  18. My favorite redhead is my daddy! He's my hero too! Miss him so!

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  19. from history - Thomas Jefferson - current day > Prince Harry

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    1. I had forgotten Jefferson was a redhead!

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  20. Damian Lewis - and he's a Brit too :) thanks for sharing and congrats to Jessica on the new release!

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    1. The accent alone would do it for me. ;-)

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  21. My absolute favorite gingers are my golden retriever and my ginger tabby. ;-) Please don't make me choose between the human males either. :-)

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  22. I absolutely love Prince Harry. Next to my two sons (both started out as red heads but now, years later, both blond) he's got to be the best. Sounds like your book is a winner. Will certainly give it a try.

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  23. I'm another Ron Weasley fan. :)

    I love the cover of your book. I look forward to reading it!

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