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Posts Tagged ‘In The Spotlight’

Catherine Curzon Interview - author picture

I’m delighted to welcome Historian, Author and Lover of all Things 18th Century CATHERINE CURZON (AKA MADAME GILFLURT) to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

It’s a real delight to be here; it seems like a long, long time since we met via a blog comment three years ago!

~~~~~~~

 

R&R:
Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Catherine:
I was born in a small town just outside Nottingham and was just your average, run-of-the-mill, obsessed with guillotines little girl. My grandparents lived in a tiny hamlet that was just a handful of cottages, a pub and Sherwood Forest literally at the bottom of the garden, so I spent every moment that I possible could there. I learned to ride horses in their hamlet and we even used to sit on the garden in the rain and watch the rally cars go past once a year. I’ve always credited my lovely old Geordie granddad with my love of telling scandalous, grisly tales, and some of the happiest moments of my life were spent with him, listening to his tall stories.

 

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Catherine:
I used to be a very anxious sort of gal and could worry anything down into the ground but now, I’m much more easy going. I’ve learned that you choose your battles and that life is short, so I don’t waste in time in worrying about things that I can’t change anymore. I can be a perfectionist though, and there are some things that I can’t compromise on… especially when it comes to the strength of my brew!

 

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Catherine:
Mine is a savoury tooth, but I have a weakness for a chocolate eclair and the darkest, bitterest chocolate you can find.



R&R:

What is your most treasured possession?

Catherine:
My teddy bear! I was a very, very ill child and ended up in hospital wired up to all manner of machines. I wasn’t expected to survive and if I did, the long term forecast was bleak indeed. Forty years later I’m still here and so is my ted. He’s as old as I am and sat in the crib in hospital with me through every moment of illness. Now he sits on my bed, wearing a sassy scarf and carrying a magic wand.

Catherine Curzon Interview - teddy bear

 

R&R:
If you could afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Catherine:
The North Yorkshire coast, looking out over the sea. I love to be by the ocean and get away whenever I can, so I’d love a little place of my own on the edge of a cliff somewhere – but no too close to the edge.

Catherine Curzon Interview - Yorkshire

 

R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Catherine:
I’m no stranger to tripping over my own feet whilst standing still. Because of this peculiar quirk, I don’t embarrass too easily!


~~~~~~~

 

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Catherine.

Thank you for all that you do, you’re a true gem!

 

If you would like to find out more about Catherine and her books, here are the links:

Website/Blog
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

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Alanna Lucas Interview - author picture

I’m delighted to welcome Historical Romance Author ALANNA LUCAS to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thank you for having me today. I’m excited to be here!

~~~~~~~


R&R:

Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Alanna:
I was born in Germany, but moved to California when I was very little. The best thing about living in California was being so close to my mom’s family and lots of cousins!

Alanna Lucas Interview - Alanna
Me as a little girl

 

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Alanna:
For the most part, I’m easy-going with a dash of stubbornness to keep things interesting 😉

 

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Alanna:
Definitely savoury, but not too much spice.



R&R:

What is your most treasured possession?

Alanna:
Family pictures.

Alanna Lucas Interview - Grandpa
My grandpa (the picture was taken outside Vienna).

 

R&R:
If you could afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Alanna:
Holland! I have family there and love visiting them. It would be wonderful to spend more time with them.

 

R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Alanna:
At my very first writer’s conference, I had a tear in my dress. I wasn’t staying at the host hotel, so I didn’t have a room and had to try and mend my dress in the restroom. Needless to say it was an utter disaster and I ended up flashing a room full of women, including the editor I was going to pitch to!

~~~~~~~

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Alanna.

This was so much fun! Thank you to everyone who stopped by!

 

If you would like to find out more about Alanna and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

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Lenora Bell Interview - author photograph

I’m delighted to welcome Historical Romance Author LENORA BELL to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thanks so much for hosting me, Carol! I’m delighted to be here. I’ve been reading Rakes and Rascals for several years now and I love your interviews and reviews and how engaged you are with the romance community.

~~~~~~~


R&R:

Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Lenora:
I was born in Southeast Alaska and spent my whole childhood in a very small, isolated town. When I say small, I mean that my high school graduating class had less than twenty-five kids, there were no traffic lights, and no one bothered locking their doors or taking the keys out of the car ignition when they went to the grocery store. And it’s still the same today! I’m a third-generation Alaskan (on my father’s side) and most of my family still lives there. I try to visit as often as possible.

Lenora Bell Interview - with father
Me and my father on a visit home last year 

Lenora Bell Interview - Fireweed, Alaska
View of the harbor in Alaska 

 

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Lenora:
I’m easy-going most of the time but I get passionate about things and can be very emotional—I cry a lot at movies and while reading my favourite books. The last book that made me sob was Lorraine Heath’s novella When the Marquess Falls. She just twisted my heart into knots with that one. Her writing is so powerful.

 


R&R
:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Lenora:
I have the curse of the sweet-salty cravings. Give me salted caramels! Pretzels and m&m’s. Honey balsamic vinaigrette. Sweet and sour chicken.

 

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Lenora:
I have a white lace day dress from my great-grandmother Lenora that’s still in excellent condition. She used to play the organ for silent movie theatres in Minnesota. There’s something so romantic about picturing her wearing that dress and setting the emotions on the screen to music.

 

R&R:
If you could afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Lenora:
My husband and I recently visited Portugal and absolutely fell in love. We went to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant and heard musicians playing traditional fado folk music, which usually features a strong, melancholic female lead vocalist singing with great dignity and drama. I would love to live there!

Lenora Bell Interview - Viana do Castelo, Portugal
A view of Viana do Castelo in Portugal (with delicious Caipirinha cocktail)

 

R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Lenora:
I recently attended the Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend and had a fabulous time, but everyone warned me about the infamous Author Q&A session. I didn’t think anything of it because I’m pretty comfortable being on stage, but when it came my time to take the mic and be asked a random question – I completely blanked! I spent several agonizing seconds (felt like hours) staring wildly at the large crowd of romance readers. I eventually thought of something to say but those moments of deafening silence…talk about embarrassing!

~~~~~~~


Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Lenora.

I truly appreciate the chance to be featured on Rakes and Rascals!



If you would like to find out more about Lenora and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

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Amy Jarecki Interview - Author Picture

I’m delighted to welcome Bestselling and Award Winning Author AMY JARECKI to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Hi Carol, thank you so much for inviting me to visit your lovely blog today. I’m thrilled to be here!

~~~~~~~


R&R:
Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Amy:
I was born in California, but I didn’t grow up there. My parents moved to Washington State where I attended school. What I remember the most is the rain. I think that’s why I live in the desert now!

 

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Amy:
I’d like to think I’m easy going, but I’m on the petite side. I think small people are natural firecrackers akin to Chihuahuas. So, I have to admit I get a little excitable at times. Things have mellowed with age, however.

This is a picture of my little firecracker, Maya. She weighs in at 3.5 lbs.

Amy Jarecki Interview - Maya

 

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Amy:
Definitely both.


R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Amy:
That’s a hard one. I love to drive my yellow Volkswagen Beetle. It’s turbo charged and zips along. I have a 90 year-old oboe that I am very fond of. But I have to say that I’m honoured to wake up every day and look at the wonders that come with the rising of the sun. But nature’s not a possession, is it?

This is the view from my backyard.

Amy Jarecki Interview - View from back yard


R&R:
If you could afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Amy:
I would buy a castle in Scotland. I’d host reader events and go exploring with all my friends. This picture is of Alloa tower once home of John Erskine, the Earl of Mar. Wouldn’t it be fun to live there?

Amy Jarecki Interview - Castle


R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Amy:
I’ve had many. I think I embarrass myself every time I go out in public. That’s why I’m an author and work from home (LOL). It’s hard to pinpoint one event in particular. I think the funny ones are the best. When I was young, I travelled with a Broadway review. We had a lot of costume changes and used Velcro. After frantically changing into shorts and a halter top for a number from Hair, I was singing and waving my arms over my head when my Velcro gave way and my top fell off. At least the audience thought it was funny!

~~~~~~~

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Amy.

Thank you so much for having me visit, Carol. What fun questions! Happy reading everyone!!

 

If you would like to find out more about Amy and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

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Karen Hawkins

I’m delighted to welcome New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author KAREN HAWKINS to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Hi! I’m delighted to be here! It’s nice to slow down and say hello as I’ve been crazy busy this last few months, which have included finishing a book, revising another, and moving across the country from subtropical Florida to snow-drenched Massachusetts.

~~~~~~~


R&R:

Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Karen:
I was born in the very edge of western Virginia in a tiny and charming town called Abingdon. When I was eight, we moved about twenty miles down the road into Tennessee beside a household of boys (there were six of them next door), and it was there that I learned how to play Kick the Can like a pro, jumped my hot pink bike over a series of increasingly high and unstable ramps, and found out that crawdads really, really love American cheese rolled into a ball.

 

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Karen:
Easy-going. My parents took foster kids, so there were a LOT of kids in my house while I was growing up. You either became easy-going, or you went crazy. I decided to become easy-going. I’m probably the only person I know who moved away from home to a dorm for some peace and quiet.

 

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Karen:
I love a mixture like salted caramel or yogurt dipped pretzels. Hmmm. Pardon me; I need a snack.

 

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Karen:
Wow. That’s a hard one. I have a lot of antiques. Probably the one I love the best is a set of matching Victorian era wedding bracelets of turquoise and plated gold.

 

R&R:
If you were able to afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Karen:
An easy question! Scotland. On a beautiful loch. With purple moors and a towering mountain off in the distance.

Now I’m sad I ‘m not in Scotland. I need another snack.

 

R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Karen:
Nooooo! I can’t tell that! I’ll have to relive it!

Fine, fine. I’ll tell you. When I was in middle school, which was agony for me, I was late for class and ran across the courtyard and ran right into a telephone pole wire. I’m pretty sure 100% of the school saw it, and probably all still laugh about it today. I know I would, if I’d seen it, but all I saw was blue, blue sky after I landed on my back.

Now I need another snack AND a glass of wine. Thanks.

~~~~~~~

 

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Karen.

*mumbles around crumbs* You’re welcome.

 

 

If you would like to find out more about Karen and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

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Erica Monroe Interview - author photo

I’m delighted to welcome USA Today Bestselling Author ERICA MONROE to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thanks for having me, Carol! I’m very excited to be here.

~~~~~~~

 

R&R:
Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Erica:
I grew up in Maryland. I had a very sheltered childhood, and my parents encouraged and supported my desire to study writing. My mother was a school librarian and my father was a sci-fi fan, so from there you get my love for books and my love for science fiction, fantasy, and comic books. I was very fortunate to attend schools with very competent teachers—so much so that I still remember (and use in my books) much of what I was taught in my AP European History class!

I met my now-husband in my junior year of high school. We have been together now for fifteen years (as I am 30, this is half my life!) and married for ten. For me, returning to Maryland is more about remembering those early days of our relationship, as my immediate family lives in Florida now.

 

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Erica:
I am ahem, very temperamental. I inherited my father’s fiery temper, and I prefer to approach conflict head-on. I am a very passionate person, and I very rarely do anything halfway. There is a line from Hamilton that basically summarizes my current view of life: “give me a position, show me where the ammunition is.” I do not back down from a fight if I think the cause is worthy. I believe strongly in my convictions, and I write books that often center around social issues and women’s rights. Suffice to say, I do not have an easy-going bone in my body 😉 You pretty much always know what I’m feeling or thinking.

 

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Erica:
My husband used to be a chef, so he has introduced me to a wide variety of food I didn’t know existed. He’s also taught me how to cook, which is something I never did until about four years ago when I started working from home. Because of this, I definitely enjoy both sweet and savoury things, because now I can appreciate them both for what they contribute to our culinary spectrum.



R&R:

What is your most treasured possession?

Erica:
I have a lot of wonderful sentimental memorabilia collected throughout my life, so it would be hard to choose a most “treasured” thing. But I can tell you what I value most of my possessions – my Kitchenaid standing mixer! I have arthritis in my hands and wrists, and my upper body strength is very minimal from my autoimmune diseases. The mixer gives me autonomy I didn’t have before, because now I no longer have to ask my husband to stir things, etc. It makes cooking so much easier for me—I don’t just use it for baking, but also for stirring things for dinner or combining sauces. It is, bar none, my favourite thing in my kitchen and if we had a fire you’d see me trying to lug out this giant mixer, LOL.

Erica Monroe Interview - Mixer 

This is the model I have (photo from Everything Kitchens)

 

R&R:
If you could afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Erica:
Absolutely would choose London, because of the amount of research I’d be able to do. My series, The Rookery Rogues, is set entirely in London. I’d love to be able to actually go to Whitechapel, to Spitalfields, to the London Docks and gain first-hand knowledge. The ability to immerse myself so completely in the culture would be priceless.

 


R&R:

Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Erica:
Ah, Carol, I have so many! I am very awkward, both socially and physically as I am exceedingly uncoordinated. On an average day, I embarrass myself approximately six times, so I don’t even keep track anymore. I’ve learned to just shrug it off and move on because inevitably in the next hour I will do something even more hysterically awkward. Also, I have a horrible habit of just yammering on when there’s silence, and I end up digging myself deeper and deeper holes…

For about three months when I was 21, I worked as a barista at Target. One day I woke up late for my 8 AM shift (I do not like mornings at all). Because I was so concerned with being late, I tried to run into work, and I jumped the curb—right into a sign. And I do mean right into the sign, like I hit it at such a speed that I fell to the ground, had to get stitches, etc. People kept going, “HOW DID YOU MISS THAT SIGN, IT’S HUGE!” and I had to just shrug and be like, “…these things happen.” They sent me to the ER; the whole staff of Target came out to watch. I’m pretty sure I am still known as the girl who walked into the sign.

There is now a scar on my forehead, and ANOTHER scar next to that because three months later I ran into an air conditioning vent. And that’s when I realized looking down at your shoes, no matter how adorable they are, is not the best practice when walking. (For the record, I still run into things because I am constantly thinking of plot elements and other things I need to be doing instead of watching where I walk.)

~~~~~~~

 

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Erica.

Thank you, Carol! I’ve enjoyed my visit here. 😊

 


If you would like to find out more about Erica and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook Page
Friend her on Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Follow Erica on Amazon

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Emily Larkin Interview - author picture

I’m delighted to welcome Historical Romance Author EMILY LARKIN to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Hello, Carol! Many thanks for inviting me. It’s lovely to be here.

~~~~~~~

 

R&R:
Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Emily:
I was born in Napier, the art deco capital of New Zealand, and grew up in Nelson, the sunshine capital of New Zealand. My father was a novelist, and when he started writing fulltime my parents moved to Nelson and bought an ugly little stucco house high up on a hill, with a wonderful view of the bay and the mountains. That hill was the bane of my school years (I hated climbing it every afternoon), but it left a lasting legacy; I now voluntarily climb hills every day. In fact, if I don’t have my daily hill walk, I get an itchy, frustrated feeling. Hills are in my blood…

This is a picture of my parents, my sister, and me, on our Nelson hillside. (I’m the one with the glasses.)

Emily Larkin Interview - picture 1.jpg.png

 

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Emily:
Pretty easy-going, although I am a perfectionist, so I’m not easy-going about doing things right! I rarely lose my temper, but when I do … watch out.

 

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Emily:
Definitely savoury. I love salty butter and gooey, stinky cheese on freshly baked bread. And chips. Chips are my downfall!

Here’s a rustic loaf still warm from the oven and some very smelly cheese, one of my favourite breakfasts.

Emily Larkin Interview - picture 2.jpg.png

 

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Emily:
I was going to say that I don’t have many possessions and that most of them have been in storage for the past eight years, so I can’t really call them treasured … and then I thought about the few possessions that aren’t in storage and it was obvious: my yoga mats!

I had a back injury in my twenties, and if I’m not careful it still bothers me. Yoga really helps. I try to do 30-60 minutes a day, mostly stretches to increase my flexibility. It counteracts all the hours I spend at my computer. (Or at least, I hope it does!)

These are my two favourite mats: the thick, squishy black one, and the ultra-thin travelling one.

Emily Larkin Interview - picture 3.jpg.png.jpg.png

 

R&R:
If you could afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Emily:
I don’t actually have any home at the moment (unless the storage unit counts?), so for me this question should be: If you could afford a home anywhere in the world where would you choose? The answer is Scandinavia. I was an exchange student in Sweden in my teens and fell in love with that country, so Sweden would be my first pick, but maybe I’d choose Norway because it’s hillier and I need daily hill walks. My dream home also has to be near the sea. I love the coast! You remember that itchy, frustrated feeling I get when I haven’t climbed a hill? Well, I get that feeling when I haven’t seen the sea for a few days, too. So, somewhere in Scandinavia by the sea and with hills. That would be my dream!

This is a postcard someone sent me from the Lofoten archipelago, which is at the top of my list of places to visit. Who knows? I may end up living there!

Emily Larkin Interview - picture 4.jpg.png.jpg.png

 

R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Emily:
Oh, man. Did you have to ask? Well … picture a large university hostel with eight floors and several hundred students … and picture someone (me) in the shower on the eighth floor when the fire alarm goes off. Seeing as how there had been a real fire on the seventh floor only a few weeks previously (someone’s curtains caught fire), I didn’t stop to dress, just flung a towel around me and went running down the stairs. The firemen thought it was amusing; I can’t say that I did.
~~~~~~~

 

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and share these interesting facts about yourself, Emily.

Thank you so much, Carol! I’ve loved talking with you. Hopefully one day we’ll meet face to face.

 


If you would like to find out more about Emily and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook

 

 

 

 

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