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It’s the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour. Nine fabulous authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. It’s a chance to meet great authors and discover exciting new books. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – I’ll leave it for you to discover whose blog is featured – with more prizes to come at the end of the tour. What will the big prize be – a Kindle, a hefty gift certificate, a unique needlepoint Kindle cover? Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner!

 

Ann Tracy Marr is the world’s worst book promoter. She has published three, but when it comes time to promote – to urge someone to lay out money for her books – she falls apart.

 

Ann lacks promoting talent but she does have a gift for storytelling. She writes for the love of it and it shows. Her view of life is a little off the wall, sometimes class clown, but with an underlying thread of realism. She likes to read about real women looking for joy, so that is what she writes.

 

Knowing we wouldn’t learn much about her books, I asked Ann questions that would reveal something about her approach to writing and life.

 

Question: Who was the toughest character for you to “get right”?

Ann: The hero in Round Table Magician took a long time to evolve. Brinston started out as a conventional Regency hero, but when I added a paranormal twist to the plot, he demanded he be a magician. Magic fit with his reclusive tendencies, giving him reasons to hide his true nature from the ton. Other than that, I struggled to cleverly convey his motives in ignoring Martha. It was a matter of finding the best tailoring for the story. Once the jacket fit, Brinston himself filled it out.

 

Question: Is there a genre that you love to read but don’t want to write?

Ann: I love the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Funny and all about vampires, you know. But I doubt I will ever write a vampire novel. I don’t have anything to add to their mystique; they scare more than attract me.

 

Question: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?

Ann: I would make an excellent Rich Bitch. It’s a full time job, but I wouldn’t mind getting up at 10 am, donning the haute couture uniform, jetting past rush hour traffic in my Maserati on my way to a five star restaurant. I’d donate freely to charity and spend money all over the place to keep the economy going.

 

Question: Can you tell us about your books?

Ann: Awestruck published my three book series set in Regency England. King Arthur and Merlin are not myth, but history. They are traditional Regencies with the addition of a splash of magic.

 

Where can readers find you?

Website: www.AnnTracyMarr.com

Purchase the books (e-book or trade paperback) on Amazon.com:

http://tiny.cc/7p0xew

 

And where can readers find Lynn Hones this week?

Head to www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

And, you all can find moi at http://www.regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

 

Excerpt from “Round Table Magician“: Short, to conserve space!

 

Brinston watched Martha, aware of her every breath. He couldn’t help but smile at the infectious levity. He could see his brother Michael with his beloved through the window. That silly Maria must have done or said something to make Martha laugh so. But when she pulled a handkerchief from her sleeve and wiped her eyes, it shook him to his soul. Just so did the duchess leak tears when she was filled with mirth.

 

It was then he realized how much Martha resembled his adored mother. Brinston could almost feel his heart tightening. They were silken bonds, those bands clenching around his heart, not painful in the least. A man could get used to them, which was a good thing. They didn’t feel like they were going to dissolve any time soon.

 

He heard the echo of his father’s words. “I couldn’t resist the way she laughed.” It was always said with a chuckle and an underlying honesty that couldn’t be doubted. It was why his father had married his mother. They were devoted to each other, but it all started with her laugh.

 

Everyone, including Brinston himself, joked at how much the son resembled the father. He stared at the sky, silently begging Merlin to have pity on him.

 

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It’s a joy to welcome author Ann Tracy Marr today!   I am convinced you’ll be as enthralled as I was when you hear about “To His Mistress”, one of her romances. Welcome!

Thank you to Regina Andrews for offering me this spot in her Blog-String Fest. I like meeting people and consider this a great opportunity to do so. I assume you are a mix of writers and readers (as if writers don’t read). How shall I virtually bend your ears? Would you like to know how I conceived the plot of To His Mistress, one of my books?

I started with the hero, Alexander Stanton, the Earl of Shelton. He lives in England in 1814 when women wear romantic long gowns and unromantic corsets. Gentlemen gamble, ride horses, and have mistresses, as in prostitutes, to take care of their, ahem, needs. Prostitutes are for fun, not marriage.

That is how I began. Shelton has lots of experience with women, all of the whorish persuasion. Ladies — sisters, mothers, friends’ sisters and mothers — are set on a pedestal. Shelton stays far away from them because one step wrong and you end up married to them. Ladies are strictly chaperoned. They probably haven’t been kissed; God forbid some guy has touched them other than on the hand. They are to be as pure (and as sexually ignorant) as the white dresses they wear. Shelton has a mother and a budding desire to marry Lady Clarissa, daughter of another earl. He hasn’t done anything about it yet, because Shelton doesn’t really want to get married, but Clarissa looks pretty good.

Staying at an inn (think hotel off the interstate), Shelton goes to his room and finds a female in his bed. Like the guy on that TV commercial for Caesar’s Palace, he thinks he has gotten lucky, and wakes her up. Instead of snuggling, the female (her name is Katherine) screams, bringing her uncle on the scene. Uncle makes such a fuss he wakes the house and creates a scandal.

“Have you hear the latest scandal?” Gossipy old ladies will twitter. Everyone will have a field day talking about him. Laughing at him. You don’t think Shelton will like that, do you? Especially when it turns out that screaming meemie Katherine is not a whore; Uncle is a baron, there is no money to boast of, but she is still a lady, as in a never been kissed, stay away from or else you’ll end up married to her lady.

And that is what happens. Shelton has to marry her.

This is a pretty standard setup for a Regency — the forced marriage. What I did differently is that Shelton remains convinced Katherine is the next best thing to a whore. Her background isn’t distinguished; her uncle skates on the rim of disreputable. Not Katherine, but her uncle. Katherine is a perfectly nice, should be on a pedestal girl, but not to Shelton. Her uncle made such a vulgar stink at the inn, Shelton is sure it was deliberate. Katherine set him up, took advantage, forced him to marry her. Of course, she did it for his money. He doesn’t get happy with the marriage; he doesn’t fall in love and decide they can live happily ever after.

No, he wants a divorce. Then he can have the best of all possible worlds: marry rich Lady Clarissa and make Katherine his mistress. With all the Regencies I have read, I have never seen that plot.

Part of what is unique to the plot is the way Shelton treats Katherine. Remember, ladies and mistresses are not treated the same. A hero can slap a whore without the reader batting an eye, but he can’t raise a finger to a lady. Don’t swear in front of a lady, don’t stare at her breasts. Treat her like a nun or precious Waterford crystal. Have fun with the mistress — have lots of hot, steamy sex, don’t mind your tongue, relax and enjoy.

Shelton treats Katherine like a mistress. He plays with her body, acts out fantasies, and insults her, paying her back for tricking him into marriage. For the first part of the book, he is the villain. It isn’t until Katherine begins to understand the man that the reader begins to see that Shelton can be a hero. You are cheering for Katherine to win and she insists that you include Shelton in your prayers.

The result is a Regency that veers in a different direction. If you thirst for reality in books, Shelton and Katherine fill the bill. The characters are real people in a realistic situation fueled by misconceptions that fit their personal bugaboos. To satisfy those who want a little fantasy with their story, I incorporated two magicians — Shelton’s not-so-fond Mama and her butler — wagering on the success of the marriage. No spells barred, they do what they can to influence Katherine and Shelton, but they do it so subtly, you can read the book again and again without identifying the magical twists (or misidentify twists as magical).

Through it all, Shelton stubbornly insists on divorce. Oh, yes, Shelton is stubborn. He gets that trait from my husband.

When he can no longer deny that Katherine is a dyed in the wool lady — when he has to admit that he should not have treated her like a whore — Shelton has dug a pit so deep he might never manage to crawl out. How many times has a man you know done the same?

~~~
Ann Tracy Marr writes fantasy Regency romance. To His Mistress, the third book in her Banshee Brigade series, debuted in paperback October 25. Keeper of the Grail is in the works. A computer consultant in the Midwest, Marr lives with her husband, two cats, and plots that bounce off the wall.

Visit her at http://www.anntracymarr.com
Buy her books at http://www.awe-struck.net/authors/ann_tracy_marr.html

To His Mistress Ebook ISBN: 978-1-587497209
Round Table Magician Ebook ISBN: 978-1-587496066
Thwarting Magic Ebook ISBN: 978-1-587496479
Keeper of the Grail Awaiting release


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