1. What were the challenges writing this book.
Laurel: There are always challenges with every book, and sadly they are never the same challenges twice so I can’t learn from the previous book!!! I loved the characters of Sophia and Dominic, and I loved getting to return to the gritty and glitzy early Victorian world of “One Naughty Night,” but they were also characters who sort of ran away from me. They wouldn’t do what I said, wouldn’t follow the original plot I laid out for them. It was sort of like babysitting my friend’s adorable two-year-old when she was in her “No! You’re not the boss of me!” phase. Luckily we all came to an understanding, LOL.
Isobel: Is it too sad to say my hand? I developed a hideous case of tendonitis that sidelined me for six months. If it wasn’t for a very talented acupuncturist, I’d still be utterly broken.
2. Who is a favorite character from the book.
Laurel:When I wrote the first book in this series, “One Naughty Night,” I loved Dominic. He was so charming, so handsome and fun, but with something dark and secret hidden underneath. I couldn’t wait to find out what that was. But Sophia surprised me with how much I loved her. She was a beautiful. Charming heiress, so naturally I hated her at first. But then I saw her own hidden depths, her desire to love someone and be truly loved for who she is, and I loved going on this journey with her.
Isobel: Margo. I know she’s only the secondary heroine, but man did I love her. She was just so much fun to write. Her final reconciliation scene with her hero got removed from the book during edits, but it’s up on my website as a bonus.
3.What a typical writing day is like?
Laurel:When I get to have a typical day (which isn’t often at the moment, with the holidays looming and my wedding coming up on December 15th!) it’s kind of like this. I get up, drink some tea, look at email and Go Fug Yourself, then turn on some music and dive into the current WIP. I usually write and edit until lunchtime, and then spend the afternoon getting caught up on research, online promo stuff, or cleaning the house. I envy writers who can spend 8 hours a day writing, my brain gets tired by noon!
Isobel: I don’t have a typical day. But an ideal day is when I have nothing else to interfere and I can sit down and get a good 4-8 hours in. I’m really slow, and usually top out between five to eight pages (yes, for those doing the math, that means I write about 200-250 words an HOUR).
4. What plans do you have for the holidays?
Laurel:My parents have a wonderful Christmas Eve tradition I look forward to every year! We make homemade Indian tacos and my dad stirs up his “famous” margaritas. (They are really, really tasty, but also very lethal!) Then we open presents, including presents for the dogs, and maybe watch “The Christmas Story” (if we’re still conscious after the margaritas!). Christmas day we eat turkey sandwiches and recover. This year I am getting married right before the holiday, so those plans have sort of taken over everything else…
Isobel: We keep it pretty simple. Our family Christmas is usually done early because at least one of us has to work, so Christmas morning I’ll be off to my best friend’s place for the Cohen Bagel Brunch.
5. Any special traditions they do this time of year?
Laurel:Traditions my characters would do?? I love this question! The Victorian period was when Christmas really took off in a big way (much like Victorian weddings—before them weddings were a low-key family thing, but they brought in the whole white dress/big cake/lots of flowers thing). Prince Albert brought the German tradition of a tree into the country, and singing carols around the family piano was very popular. I like to think the St. Claires, being splashy theatrical people, would have a big ball with a giant, candlelit tree, dancing, big silver bowls of spiced punch, and gorgeous red velvet gowns. I need to write a St. Claire Christmas story!!!
Isobel: Christmas Eve Pies and Pints. Started by my dear lunatic friend Eddie (an oldschool Rocker from London) and kept up by the gang ever since. We’ll have a themed gift exchange (booze, book, cashmere socks, etc.) and everyone will drink too much eggnog.
6. What is it like in their part of the country this time of year?
Laurel:In my part of the country you never know—it could be covered in an ice storm or 70 degrees outside! In the St. Claires, I hope they have enough snow to go sledding and then sit by the fire together afterwards…
Isobel: My whole family is pretty much local, so we don’t get anything fun like a white Christmas…but we do get Dungeness crab!
TWO SINFUL SECRETS by Laurel McKee
November 20, 2012; Forever/ Mass Market; $7.99; 978-1-4555-0548-7
About the book: Lady Sophia Huntington is an impulsive, wild-hearted beauty that has been banished from her home and dreams of the day she can finally win her father’s forgiveness and return to London, if only her secrets can remain safe. Dominic vows to exact revenge upon the Huntingtons, who destroyed his family’s fortune generations ago, with the lovely but proud Lady Sophia being his perfect target. But his plot soon unravels when he finds his own heart ensnared-in a trap not of his own making as this sensual series about the scandalous St. Claires continues.
RIPE FOR SEDUCTION by Isobel Carr
December 18, 2012; Forever/ Mass Market; $7.99; 978-0-446-57274-3
About the Book: The ultra-sexy conclusion to Isobel Carr’s erotic League of the Second Sons trilogy! After the scandalous demise of her marriage, Lady Olivia Carlow knows the rakes of the ton will think her fair game. So when a letter arrives baring an indecent offer from the incorrigible Roland Devere, she seized the opportunity. Turning the tables on the notorious rogue, she blackmails him into playing her betrothed for the season. When her vixen ways meet his charm, it’s sure to be a battle of wits, and seduction.