Monday, October 8, 2012

Goddess Fish Promotions Author Interview & Review: Janet Mullany - Hidden Paradise

What was your inspiration for Hidden Paradise?
I loved the idea of writing about modern people in a Regency setting—not a time travel, but people trying to adapt to the clothes, food and manners of the times. It’s not an original idea by any means but I wanted to put a sexy spin on it and feed in some real history. I’m also fascinated by servants—my paternal grandmother (who died years before I was born) was in service, and I give a presentation to romance writes occasionally on getting Regency servants right, and so the downstairs scenes were a lot of fun for me.

You write in several genres, which is your favorite genre to write and which is your favorite to read?
I don’t feel there’s a lot of difference between my subgenres. I’m probably the only writer who’s been accused by one reader of not having enough sex and by another reader of having too much—in the same book! I love writing historicals, because you have all this great background stuff, clothes, settings, and so on, to play with, which I also used in Hidden Paradise.

Many of your books have something to do with Jane Austen, what is it about her life and her books that is inspiring to you as an author?
I love reading Austen. I reread her novels about once a year and I’m always amazed by what I discover new each time. She’s also so skilful in her narrative, what I call the “reveal”—what you want your readers or characters to know, and when they will discover it. She has so many layers of subtlety and of course she has a wonderful, witty turn of phrase.

Do you have a favorite novel by Jane Austen?
Mansfield Park. It’s tremendously sexy. Awful hero/heroine, but you can’t have everything. However you do get the naughty, naughty Crawford duo.

Do you have a favorite character from any of your books?
I think it would have to be Adam from Dedication, my first book that I recently rewrote and republished with LooseId. He’s snarky, a writer, wears glasses, and bursts into tears a lot—what’s not to love?

Erotic romance is more popular now than ever before. Why do you think that is?
Because it’s visible. It’s a sort of self serving prophecy, I think and because the industry is making money from it. There have been terrific writers like Molly Weatherfield and Susie Bright who’ve been writing erotic for years yet the media insists that it’s a recent phenomenon. And erotic romance is still more romance than anything else, with some of the more awful tropes of the genre still alive and well. I think there’s this delusion that a book with a lot of sex scenes and explicit language equals eroticism, but it doesn’t always work.

When did you know that you wanted to write?
I had it on my mind for decades but for a long time I was quite happy reading, which I think is the best thing any aspiring writer can do.

If you could have lunch with any author who would it be and why?
Dickens. I think he’d be immensely entertaining and we’d probably go to one of his (and mine!) old haunts, the Trafalgar Inn in Greenwich.

What are your five favorite books?
Other than Austen? Wives and Daughters by Mrs. Gaskell; Villette by Charlotte Bronte; Bury The Chains by Adam Hochschild; Case Histories by Kate Atkinson; The Magicians by Lev Grossman.

Thanks so much for having me! Let’s get that water buffalo … and I’d love to hear your views on why erotic romance is so popular and what erotic romance really IS!

Blurb: CALL IT SENSE AND Sensuality... Louisa Connelly, a recently widowed Jane Austen scholar, needs some relief from her stifling world. When a friend calls to offer her a temporary escape from her Montana ranch, she is whisked into a dizzying world of sumptuous food, flowing wine...and endless temptation.

She's an honored guest at Paradise Hall, an English resort boasting the full experience of an authentic Georgian country-house weekend. Liveried servants tend to the every need of houseguests clad in meticulous period costume: snug breeches, low-cut silken gowns and negligible undergarments.

It's Mac Salazar, a journalist immersing himself fully, deeply, lustily in the naughty pleasures of upstairs-downstairs dalliances, who piques Louisa's curiosity-and libido-most. He's a dilettante straight out of a novel: uninhibited, unapologetic and nearly insatiable. But Lou's not romantic about this much, at least: Paradise Hall is a gorgeous fantasy, nothing more. A lover like Mac is pure fiction. And the real world beckons....

 Excerpt:The pianist played a final chord and during the applause Rob opened the door and ushered in Dejan and Ivan and their trays. Neither Peter nor Chris was present, which was unusual, and the guests looked a little drunk, which was not unusual at all. At least Lou was pretty much sober tonight. She was sitting next to one of the guys who messed around with the plaster and paint, talking to him with great animation. Mac, meanwhile, across the room, gazed at her, and Rob wondered why he didn’t just go and talk to her. Like poor old Peter had done, clumsily touching him and gazing at him like some sort of pathetic spaniel. It wasn’t the first time a gay guy had propositioned him—it happened, no big deal—but it was a big deal when it was your boss and he looked so sad and scared. Hell, he was even older than Rob’s dad, and he felt more pity for Peter than he could for his own father.

“Tea, ma’am?” he said to Lou.

She took a cup from the tray without even noticing him. “Sixteen layers!” she said to the decorating guy. Jon Nesbitt, that was his name.

“You’ll have to come and look at my samples,” Jon said in his plummy posh voice. Would Rob talk like that, too, after Cambridge?

“Oh, I’d love to.”

Christ, she was practically having an orgasm about looking at paint layers or whatever she was planning to do. He moved the tray away before Jon could take a cup and went to the next guest, the one Downstairs voted most likely to put out. Unfortunately, she also tied for the honor of most annoying and demanding.

“Hi, Rob.” Sarah took a cup of coffee. “Is this organic?”

“Absolutely. And fair trade. Tastes nice, too,” he said vaguely, staring straight into her cleavage. He couldn’t help it. It was just there, all ripe and pillowy and gorgeous with its mysterious deep shadow, and she was sitting and he was standing, and if he wasn’t careful he’d tip half a dozen cups of tea and coffee into its depths.

Review: This is a book that will appeal to lovers of two genres, erotica and period romance. This book read like New Year's Eve, and Love Actually. You see the action unfolding through the eyes of several of the characters in the book.

The main character is Lou, a widow who travels to Paradise Hall at the request of her friends Peter and Chris who run the resort. She has encounters with two men while staying there, Mac, a sexy journalist everyone calls Mr. Darcy and Rob a nineteen year old inexperience footman.

You can't talk about an erotic novel without talking about the sex, and the sex in this book is really spicy. I was really surprised there was some girl on girl with Mac at one point. Mac's reaction to this threesome was really funny. He wants to remember it when he's 90! It's a shame that threesome got him in trouble with Lou, even though their fling was over.

Janet writes a good sex scene, it winds you up as you read it and when its over you need a shower and a cigarette, or at least a glass of wine! She also develops her characters. These aren't a bunch of faceless people that come to this resort to have lots of sex. (Although that's what they do). Rob has family problems, Chris and Peter are having relationship issues, and Lou is dealing with the loss of her husband. These people felt real to me and that made this more an erotic story rather than a porn flick on paper. (which happens quite a bit in this genre).

If I had one gripe with the story though it would be with the sex, sometimes I wanted more story than sex, especially since you feel so close to the characters here.

The revelation Lou gets about her dead husband was a shocker too.  I wasn't sure how I felt about that.

Being a lover of regency romance, I loved how parts of the period are front and center here, and how characters like Viv strive to make the experience as historically accurate as possible.

I definitely want to check out more of Janet's books in the future.

Rating: 4 flowers

AUTHOR Bio and Links: 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
Book Video:

Follow The Tour:

Giveaway: Janet will pledge $1 for every comment made on the blog tour to Heifer International (which has absolutely nothing to do with the book but is one of her favorite nonprofits), up to $250.  Additionally, she'll award the choice of the following eBooks from her backlist to one randomly drawn commenter at every stop:  Forbidden Shores (erotic historical romance w/a Jane Lockwood), or Tell Me More(contemporary erotica) or The Rules of Gentility (funny sexy Regency).  To one randomly drawn host, she'll award their choice of either a 1 lb. box of Leonidas chocolates (US only) or a flock of chicks in their name from Heifer International.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Janet today.

Janet Mullany said...

Thanks so much for having me visit today and sorry I didn't get here sooner to say hi.

bn100 said...

Very nice review and interview.


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