It's always a pleasure to welcome Maggie Robinson to The Romance Dish because that usually means she has a new book out and that makes this reader very happy. Maggie's new book, Seducing Mr. Sykes is the second book in her Cotswold Confidential historical romance series. It's the perfect summer read with likable characters, plenty of humor, feel-good emotion, and an ending that will have you smiling while counting the weeks until your next visit to Robinson's fictional celebrity rehab village of Puddling-on-the-Wold. For more information about Seducing Mr. Sykes, be sure to read Janga's 5-star review.
Welcome back, Maggie!
Thanks so much for having me visit today! It wouldn’t be a proper book release week without a stop at the Romance Dish!
I live in Maine, where the sun first hits the United States. Where winter seems to last thirteen or fourteen months, and summer is gone in the blink of an eye. So when the first inch of green shoots up under the melting piles of snow, I am ecstatic.
Gardening has become my go-to when I want to de-stress or thinkor just mindlessly enjoy nature’s beauty, not that I can get down on my knees and get up easily anymore, LOL. In the seven years we’ve owned our house, I’ve spent way too much money putting in delicious bulbs for the squirrels and chipmunks. My climbing roses hate where they are and refuse to climb or bloom. Some plants have thrived, some have spread like wet gremlins, and some have curled up and died. It’s been a learning experience, but when I sit in a folding chair and water (no sprinkler because that’s cheating), it’s the highlight of my day.
A garden plays a pivotal part in Seducing Mr. Sykes, where the characters use it for the very reasons I do. Of course, my modest perennial garden is nothing like the acres of garden rooms that my hero Tristan Sykes maintains—he has green fingers, whereas I have only half a green thumb at most.
The fictional Sykes estate garden was inspired by a real-life place, Painswick Rococo Gardens in Painswick, England. I went to it a couple of times when we rented a cottage in the town for a month a few years ago. Established in the 1740s, it’s been receiving recorded visitors since 1757. It’s difficult to think of my house standing for centuries and its garden attracting anything but deer and rodents, but the Rococo Gardens are going strong. It’s famous for its exquisite garden follies and its snowdrops, the first harbingers of spring. I could wander around there forever and never get bored. (www.rococogarden.org.uk)
The Sykes garden is where Tristan and heroine Sadie (AKA Lady Sarah Marchmain, a duke’s daughter) realize they’re in love, after a very rocky beginning with a forced marriage. Seducing Mr. Sykes is a marriage of in-convenience story, one of my favorite tropes. I like to think that, like plants, people can grow together, their roots intertwining in unexpected harmony.
Are you a gardener? Do you have a favorite flower? I think I’m a peony person, but sunflowers, lilacs, hydrangeas, foxgloves, and pansies are also very welcome at Casa Robinson.
One commenter will receive a download of the first book in the Cotswold Confidential series, Schooling the Viscount, and an extra package of goodies!
Seducing Mr. Sykes
By Maggie Robinson
Cotswold Confidential - Book 2
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Release Date: June 20, 2017
In Maggie Robinson's sparkling new series, the quaint village in Gloucestershire is where the wayward sons and daughters of Great Britain's finest families come for some R&R-and good old-fashioned "rehab." But sometimes they find much more . . .
No one at Puddling-on-the-Wold ever expected to see Sarah Marchmain enter through its doors. But after the legendary Lady's eleventh-hour rejection of the man she was slated to marry, she was sent here to restore her reputation . . . and change her mind. It amused Sadie that her father, a duke, would use the last of his funds to lock her up in this fancy facility-she couldn't be happier to be away from her loathsome family and have some time to herself. The last thing she needs is more romantic distraction . . .
As a local baronet's son, Tristan Sykes is all too familiar with the spoiled, socialite residents of the Puddling Rehabilitation Foundation-no matter how real their problems may be. But all that changes when he encounters Sadie, a brave and brazen beauty who wants nothing more than to escape the life that's been prescribed for her. If only Tristan could find a way to convince the Puddling powers-that-be that Sadie is unfit for release, he'd have a chance to explore the intense attraction that simmers between them-and prove himself fit to make her his bride . . .
Good morning! Thank you again for having me visit. Gosh, just looking at that snow makes me shiver, LOL.ReplyDelete
Currently, I live in a condo in southwest Florida. Here, I enjoy lots of flowers around while someone else does the work of keeping them up. Years ago when I lived in Virginia, I had lots of flowers all around the house. My favorite flowers were impatiens. The incredible number of colors and the fact that they would come back each year was such a treat. They are so pretty. I tried to keep a small vegetable garden in the back but found that to be more work than the veggies I got from it. Planting bulbs in the fall was exciting as well. I remember one fall planting around 200 bulbs and feeling such anticipation about them making an appearance in the spring. Sadly, the moles and voles had been watching me and laughing as they tied their little bibs around their necks and proceeded to each each and every bulb that I planted. The rumble I was hearing outside was them burping!ReplyDelete
I'm looking forward to reading SEDUCING MR. SYKES. The heroine's green dress on the cover is especially pretty.
Enjoy your garden!
I hear you on the little buggers. Ours have an elaborate den system underneath everything and are brazen. I have strawberries almost ready, but I'll bet they're all eaten at the moment they're ripe!Delete
I used to spend a lot of time gardening but these days I'm not able to find time to do much. Because of the deer (squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, possums, armadillos, and other critters) I'm limited in the plants I can expect to survive more than a week. When I had time for a veggie garden it resembled a military compound because of the need to keep out the deer. Luckily, i adore wildflowers and have been able to encourage their growth.ReplyDelete
Armadillos! At least I don't have those!Delete
I don't do gardening because of my RA, but I love tulips each Spring.ReplyDelete
I know. It gets harder and harder every year to get down in the dirt. Fortunately our yard guy has helped me plant bulbs, but he's almost as old as I am so he can't last forever, LOL.Delete
Gardening is always so rewarding and I enjoy it each summer. I love the colors. The bunnies here seem to love them too. They destroyed the pansies.ReplyDelete
Oh, dear. Well, pansies are edible for people too--I keep seeing them in recipes!Delete
My feelings about flowers and romance novels have something in common. I love a variety. The hydrangeas and roses now in bloom bring dear memories of my maternal grandmother. I confess I have a special fondness for daffodils and forsythia, those brave harbingers of spring. And I love the hardy beauty of the camellia in winter.ReplyDelete
You're way ahead of me--my hydrangeas are just starting to cluster, and my poor roses--I really should move them. They hate where they are, and of course I forget to feed them too. I hope my grandchildren remember my garden!Delete
Welcome back, Maggie! I love flowers but have limited space to grow them now that I'm in a condo. My favorite summer flowers to grow are geraniums. They were my mom's favorites and I have fond childhood memories of kneeling side by side, helping her plant and tend her geraniums in the summer gardens around our house. I usually plant red geraniums but this year a gorgeous pink variety caught my eye and currently graces my patio.ReplyDelete
I saw your pink geraniums on Facebook! So pretty. I planted some geraniums in pots near my front steps. The color, a deep wine, is so unusual. I hope I can find them again next year.Delete
I love flowers and gardens and it saddens me to say I don't have even half a green thumb :) The Peony is my favorite.ReplyDelete
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com
I lost 1 of my 3 peony bushes last year. Its replacement is sadly not blooming, but the other 2 are going nuts. Yay!Delete
June in the UK is the month for roses. I have been touring in the Sussex area, visiting various gardens and my favourite is Mottisfont where the rose garden is absolutely stunning and very famous. The older roses, grown on arches, are superb at this time of year and the scent is out of this world!ReplyDelete
I know the Painswick Rococo gardens very well and must try the Cotswold confidential series.... often suspected that odd goings on might be found behind those most respectable picturesque cottage walls ... and Maggie is definitely an author well equipped to find out! LOL
Ha! All sorts of shenanigans. ;) I envy your rose garden tours. I've never had much luck with roses. In fact, I tore up my knee planting a bush and that should have warned me right there!Delete
Hi Maggie! Waving from Long Island! We met last year at the Fall in Love With New England conference! The only flowers I have had luck with were impatiens, and they apparently suffered some sort of disease around here & haven't been seen for years! I tried a bunch of different types of border flowers, but either something ate off the heads (deer, rabbit, who knows?) or the slugs & snails attacked.ReplyDelete
Of course I remember you! Wish I could get to the BOC beach extravaganza! My granddaughter gave me a hand-painted clay pot with an impatiens plant for Mother's Day. It's in the shade on the front porch as it should be and I just hope I remember to water it. When we lived in CT I had HUGE impatiens that spread everywhere. Its always a battle of me against nature, LOL. Don't get me started on lily beetles and Japanese beetles. Grr.Delete
Wish you could make it to the BOC BBQ Beach Bash, too, Maggie! Hopefully, the rain will come and go before the party.Delete
Not a gardener, but I love to look at the work others have done with their gardens!ReplyDelete
I love to go on garden tours when I can. A few years ago, my daughter had 2 of her gardens on a tour. Proud mom. :)Delete
I no longer have an actual garden, but I have lots of plants in pots on my patio.....I have been successful with some plants. I have a Norfolk Island Pine that is about 8 feet tall and it started as a wee plant. I have some plants that do well. I have given away avocado trees that became too tall for me to move them. I love impatiens, I love pinks, and begonias, they are all easy for me. And right now I have 3 pots of wild flowers that have made me and the bees very happy. The only teeny problem I have is a toad who loves to spend the hot Texas afternoons dug into a pot of cool dirt. He buries himself until only his eyes are showing.....that can be quite startling.ReplyDelete
This series sounds like such fun. Thanks for the post and interview.
Well, you've got some green fingers! The toad would freak me out though, LOL.Delete
With all my allergies, I don't garden, but my husband does. I get the benefit of looking at the flowers without the work! Right now I have yellow and orange marigolds and purple petunias. My day lilies are also blooming. My favorite flowers are the colorful gerbera daisies.ReplyDelete
My lilies haven't bloomed yet, except for the Stella D'Oros. They're planted on hills on either side of the house, and one side is much earlier than the other (more sun). We put in a bunch of new daylilies last year and I'm really looking forward to them. I started with 10 bulbs...and then something happened, LOL.Delete
This series sounds such fun! I love all kinds of flowers but unfortunately for me I lack the green thumb to make them prosper. My favorite flowers are gardenias and lilacs. I just love their fragance!ReplyDelete
One of my lilac bushes really outdid itself this year. They're outside our bedroom window, and it was the most wonderful smell!Delete
I love to garden, but this year my flower beds are a disaster. Between being gone for almost 4 weeks and having no time to get out, the weeds have overrun everything. The irises and peonies were lovely, and now need deadheading. The glads are in full bloom and I haven't gotten any annuals. They would die waiting for men to weed and get them in the ground. We lived in northern Maine near Carbou at Loring AFB which no longer exists. I grew up in the Adirondacks of northern NY. We now live along the Blue Ridge Mountains of East Tennessee. Things grow too fast down here. We have a longer growing season but it is too hot. Our vegetable garden produces well, but the vegetables don't develop the flavor they do up north when they grow more slowly. I have always had irises and peonies in my flower beds. I loved using alyssum as a border plant, but it is too hot here making it die out during the summer. I am having mixed results with the roses and have a climbing rose that is doing so only half-heartedly. It is going to be relatively cool, low 80's, next week and I have a break in all my activities. I hopefully will be able to get out and do some weeding therapy. I enjoy it, but my back doesn't agree.ReplyDelete
We miss Maine and go back to visit whenever we can. I love the rocky coast and the forests mountains. There are many good memories there.
I look forward to reading this series.
Come see me when you visit! We're on McGrath Pond in Belgrade, and it's so beautiful and quiet. My front garden is pretty well-maintained, but my shade garden in the back of the house needs some serious weeding. It's supposed to rain for days, so I can't imagine how bad it will be when I finally get out there!Delete