How many women can say their first job consisted of going to balls? My first real job out of college was in the Special Events department of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. I helped to arrange rental of the museum’s main space (think Italian pink and gray marble, and pillars, etc.). Part of the job included attending all the events and making sure that everything ran smoothly. At the great age of twenty-one I could barely afford to pay my rent but I had the best evening gowns around. It was perfect – except for the paying my rent part.
It is still in many ways my dream job (other than being a romance writer) because I was the little girl who lived on fairytales – and fairytales always involved balls. I loved the true classics like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, but also some more modern ones like George MacDonald’s The Light Princess. I will never forget the sense of wonder I felt every time I read a fairytale or watched a Disney movie.
I am sure that a lot of what inspired me to become a romance writer was the time I spent with fairytales as a child. I became a firm believer in the happy ending.
Which makes it ironic that at the moment I am working on the story of what happens to Cinderella after the wedding. The fourth of my The Real Duchesses of London novellas, Elizabeth, the Enchantress, is the story of a woman who found her Prince Charming (okay, he’s just an earl) only to have him leave the country a month after the wedding. Elizabeth is left to deal with the rumors surrounding his departure and the reasons for it, and grows stronger because of it.
But now the earl is back and Elizabeth must decide how to deal with the husband she’s no longer sure she wants. Spoiler: She gets a second happy ending. LOL.
The other novellas in The Real Duchesses also deal with women learning to overcome scandal to find the love they deserve. Kathryn, the Kitten, the first in the series is out now and the second one – Linnette, the Lioness -- comes out next Tuesday. It’s been so much fun writing about a group of close friends and the troubles they have. I’ve always loved (if not always admitted to loving) Bravo’s The Real Housewives and I loved having the chance to move it to a Regency setting. The women in these stories have very real friendships – with all the problems and jealousies that includes.
My fourth full-length book, What a Duke Wants, out in October, also has a bit of a Cinderella theme – and a really fun and sexy masquerade ball – but I am not saying more than that yet. It does have the best opening line I’ve ever written. (Even if you don’t buy the book you should download the sample chapter just for the start. I admit I am hoping I’ll suck you in, but the beginning truly is fun.).
I’d love questions and comments about the stories. And I’d also love to hear what your favorite fairytale was – and if anyone else has read The Light Princess. I still smile just saying the title.
Would you rather kiss a frog or have a prince climb a tower using your hair as a rope? I have a tender scalp so I am much more of a frog kisser -- not that I've ever actually kissed one, although I did once kiss a snake on a dare from my son. I’ll give away signed copies of my first two books to three lucky commenters.
Thanks to Stella for having me! It’s been a great time and I can’t wait to chat.
Thank you Lavinia! And now I simply have to share this with you! I discovered the trailer to Lavinia's new novella series yesterday and loved it! So cute and unique, I knew you had to see it :-)
A Talent for Sin, Bound by Temptation, and Taken by Desire. Her fourth book, What a Duke Wants will be out this October. This summer she is also releasing a set of sensual and fun novellas about The Real Duchesses of London.
You can visit Lavinia and learn more about her books at http://www.laviniakent.com// and on Twitter or Facebook.
2) leave me a way to contact you (e-mail address, Twitter handle, etc.)
Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 15 July 2011!