Friday, July 20, 2012

Guest: Janet Mullany's Malorie Phoenix

Today Janet is going to talk about her bucket list/dream vacation. Now I know some have trouble with the wording of bucket list, but it's better than the B4UDIE adds I've seen running. :) Though they're definitely catchy! How about List List? Does that work?

Janet Mullany, granddaughter of an Edwardian housemaid, was born in England but now lives near Washington, DC. Her debut book was Dedication, the only Signet Regency to have two bondage scenes (and which was reissued with even more sex in April 2012 from Loose-Id). Her next book, The Rules of Gentility (HarperCollins 2007) was acquired by Little Black Dress (UK) for whom she wrote three more Regency chicklits, A Most Lamentable Comedy, Improper Relations, and Mr. Bishop and the Actress. Her career as a writer who does terrible things to Jane Austen began in 2010 with the publication of Jane and the Damned (HarperCollins), and Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion (2011) about Jane as a vampire, and a modern retelling of Emma, Little to Hex Her, in the anthology Bespelling Jane Austen headlined by Mary Balogh. She also writes contemporary erotic fiction for Harlequin, Tell Me More (2011) and Hidden Paradise (September, 2012).

Twitter @Janet_Mullany

So I present Janet Mullany's Life List!

Hi there, big thanks for having me visit, Isabel!

When you invited me, you gave me the choice of writing about my bucket list or about my best holiday and strangely enough the two coincide enough that I dithered about which I should write, and came to the conclusion that I’d never had a really good vacation.

Some people have a gift for it; I don’t. I’m sure this relates to the sort of strange English holidays I experienced growing up, doing things that (some of them, anyway) I’m now grateful for, but at the time, ungrateful child that I was, I wanted to go to the seaside or Butlins like all my friends did. (Butlins? Imagine a concentration camp where you are enforced to do Fun! Fun! Fun things by sadists in red jackets in howling gales. It may be better these days but then the resorts—known as camps—were surrounded by barbed wire fences.)

Instead we went up mountains in Wales and the Lake District, cycled in France and Holland and went to Denmark to visit relatives one time where it was so cold we went to museums a lot, which I actually liked. And every time—every single time—my brother’s asthma flared up and cut the holiday short or curtailed activities. And it rained a lot (not so much in France) and we didn’t have enough ice cream stops.

So bucket list #1 is to learn how to go on an honest to god holiday, not one built around a writing conference. I have no idea where to go or what to do when I’m there; I guess I’d sit around on a beach covered in heavy duty sunscreen, wrapped in towels, and read. Maybe take in a few museums if I got bored. Sounds good to me. People tell me it would be good for me.

#2. Learn to sing. I was very inspired by Gareth Malone’s series The Choir on BBC America, in which he started community choirs in schools that had no music programs or in unlikely towns with no cultural life in the UK. He believes anyone can sing to one extent or another, which is true, and that singing brings people and communities together in an amazing way. I even tried to start a local choir in my town and ended up singing tenor, but we realized we needed someone who could actually sing to guide us and we’re on hiatus. None of us could sing soprano and also we really needed more guys other than my husband (and, I guess, me).

#3. What else? I think doing some good in the world, making a difference, and affecting change is obvious. We all want to do that. Not all of us have the skills or resources to make a real impact but I believe we should do what we can. I’m not necessarily sure that I adhere to the theory that romance heals and does all those good things; not mine, anyway. My sparse reader fan mail is more along the lines of what beverage emerged from the reader’s nose and/or what stops they missed on public transport. All good stuff and I think making people laugh is a laudable goal, but sorry, the book I’m promoting here, The Malorie Phoenix, is not that funny. For giggles, you need to check out The Rules of Gentility and my Little Black Dress titles.

And that’s about it. Small specific things and one big vague thing. Is everyone’s bucket list like this? How about yours?


Benedict de Malorie, Earl of Trevisan, can never forget the masked woman he met one night at a London pleasure garden. The clever pickpocket stole his heart and his family's prized jewel – the Malorie Phoenix. But the family treasure reappears in Benedict's darkest hour, returned by its thief, along with the unexpected gift of his infant daughter.

Believing that she is dying, Jenny Smith leaves her daughter in the custody of the baby’s blueblood father. Seven years later she finds herself in good health and alone, yearning for her only child. To raise enough money to support them both, she takes part in a daring escapade that requires her to impersonate a woman of quality. She fools the ton and Benedict himself.

When Jenny finds herself entangled in a murderous plot against Benedict, the father of her child, her carefully laid plans begin to fall apart. All she wants is her daughter back, but she never thought she'd fall in love with Benedict. Revealing her part in the plot means she will almost certainly lose Benedict and their daughter forever. But continuing to play her role puts them all in terrible danger.

She recognized him immediately although he had changed. The man who stood there was taller, a little broader in the shoulder, with a wary, damaged look in his eyes—a man who had reason to mistrust the world. His hair sprang back from his brow as she remembered, a streak of white where seven years ago she had seen the raw red of a burn.

"Ladies." He bowed. His voice was as she remembered, deep, resonant, beautiful.

"You are come at a happy time, Trevisan. Look who has arrived this hour from the Continent!"

He straightened, his golden eyes cold as he looked at her. "Indeed. The lost lamb is returned to the fold."

He looked down to one side as a small figure stepped from behind him. "Ladies, I should like to introduce my daughter, Miss Sarah de Malorie."

My friends call me Malorie.

His face softened as he placed one hand on the child's shoulder. She looked at them with solemn eyes beneath a cloud of dark curls.

Her eyes had changed color, now the same dark-rimmed golden eyes of her father, and her face echoed his, in a smaller and more feminine form—the promise of high cheekbones above childishly rounded cheeks. Jenny remembered the cloudy blue eyes of an infant who had just learned to smile, the wide stretch of her tiny pink mouth. Forgive me.

Beside Jenny, Mrs. Stanley sucked her breath in sharply. "Good afternoon." Sarah's voice was soft and sweet. She looked at her father for approval. None of the Stanley family moved. Jenny stepped forward. "Good afternoon, Sarah."Her daughter hesitated before an answering smile lit up her face. She tucked one foot behind the other and dropped a neat, elegant curtsy.

Forgive me.

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marybelle said...

I don't have a bucket list. I do hope you get your ideal holiday sometime. I've had loads of great holidays & they are one of the perks in life.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Janet today.

Janet Mullany said...

Thanks so much for having me visit and talk about my (rather lame) bucket list. I'd love to hear other people's views on holidays and/or their bucket lists too!

I'll check in later today--have to go to work and I'm already behind...


Ingeborg said...

Hi Janet, I enjoyed the interview very much. My ideal holiday would be spent at the beach. I love walking on the beach in warm weather.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry...I've never been great at vacations either, and neither have most of my family members. There's always just so much stress involved, compounded by the requirement to have fun. Disneyland STILL strikes terror into my heart...


Isabel Roman said...

I admit, I'm the vacation organizer in my family. I have (more than a slight) issue with OCD and it really comes out with the organization. It's not easy to plan a fun, (organized) vacation, there's trial and error.

Here's my hint: Never, ever think you can see it all in whatever time frame you have. Even if it's a month! It's never going to happen. Not with all the planning, guide books, and internet apps around.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Janet!

MomJane said...

Love historical and regency stories this one sounds great. I dont have a bucket list, but i am going to start one.

MomJane said...

Love historical and regency stories this one sounds great. I dont have a bucket list, but i am going to start one.

Chelsea B. said...

I have to admit, my bucket list is rather frivolous. Things like travel to Scotland, eat a hot dog in NY, watch a show on Broadway, get a manicure... Haha, things like that :-)
I've enjoyed stalking-- cough, following you, I mean, on your tour, Janet! :-)


Catherine Lee said...

I laughed when I read your comment about a "real" vacation. I cannot remember my last real vacationwith my hubby. We travel to conferences or to check out a place that has a job opening. We don't just go someplace to relax and unwind...other than an occasional day trip. It's sadly funny!
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

Nice list. I don't have a bucket list.


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