Guest: Maggie Robinson

Jane Street Hijinx

Thanks to Limecello for having me here today to talk about the last ‘Mistress’ book in my Courtesan Court series, Mistress by Marriage. There is, however, a ‘Master’ book coming out next April, Master of Sin, which features Andrew Rossiter, who is introduced in Marriage.

There are already too many characters competing in my head, so I’ll try to stick with Baron Edward Christie and his wayward wife Caroline today.

Quite by writing accident I invented Jane Street (named in honor of Jane Austen who is surely rolling in her grave). It’s the fictional home of some of Regency London’s most exclusive, exotic, erotic mistresses. But they’re not my heroines—the five women I’ve placed on Jane Street in two novellas and three novels definitely don’t belong there. They are, to play off the title of the first book in the bunch, mostly mistresses by mistake.

In Mistress by Marriage (September 2011), Lady Caroline Christie has been set up on the street by her uptight, upright husband Edward as a sort of punishment, but the torture’s on him, because he just can’t leave her alone there. Caroline is everything he thinks doesn’t want— she’s too beautiful, too impulsive, too scandalous. Too unsettling. For a man like Baron Edward Christie who is wrapped tighter than a dowager’s turban, it takes him a good long while to unwind. I’ve said somewhere that Edward is like a Regency Boy Scout who needs Caro to light his fire. It was such fun defrosting him, turning him from imperious idiot to love-struck fool.

In fact, he takes the plot from one of Caro’s own books—she writes lurid gothic romances, the Courtesan Court series…how meta ;)—turns himself into one of her villains, and kidnaps her to try to reconcile.

Once Edward cracks, he throws all his ingrained inhibitions away. Here’s a never-seen- before excerpt. Edward is washing off his disguise in the bathtub in front of a tormented and bound Caroline.

***

“You know,” he said conversationally, as if she were not tied up like a rabid dog, “I’ve become a terrible creature of habit. Some find the scent of bay rum pleasant, but give me my own lime cologne. My play-acting the villain was as much torture for me as it was for you. I itch all over. I’m going to have Hazlett burn that suit.” Water sluiced down his brown chest, beading on his nipples. He must have spent the weekends helping his tenants with the harvest at Christie Park when he wasn’t plotting his evil, insane stratagem.

He lathered his bristled face and unkempt hair. This new, unimproved Edward confused her. He had never shared so intimate an act as bathing in front of her, except for the one time she’d barged into his dressing room and slipped into his tub uninvited. She’d made him like it in the end, but he was a man who thrived on a strict routine, and she was usually an unwelcome interruption. She had spent their year of married life weighted down by his continuous disapproval.

“Bastard.” Her old sense of humiliation fluttered to the surface. Perhaps he’d get soap in his eyes and go blind, she thought sourly. He leaned back and poured water on his head, slicking back his long dark hair until every beautifully chiseled plane of his face was revealed. Then he pulled the wet cotton from his ears, tossing it among the flattened roses on the floor.

“Did you say something?”

Caroline bit her tongue.

“This bath is so refreshing. I find travel arduous in the best of circumstances, don’t you? You know, the water is still hot.”

Caroline tasted blood.

“The tub is large enough for two. If you like, we can share it. Get the road dust off.”

Caroline would like. She found herself furiously jealous of Edward’s liquid display. “Will you untie me?”

“Unnecessary. I believe I’m perfectly capable of washing you. Everywhere.” His smile was purely satanical.

“Absolutely not then.”

“Don’t be stubborn, Caro. I know how you like your baths. Do you remember the morning you surprised me in my bath at Christie Park?”

God, he remembered. Or could he read minds? “You were appalled at the disruption of your daily regimen. And your old valet—what was his name? The one before Cameron— couldn’t look me in the eye for months.”

“Well, as I said, it was a surprise. Poor Melrose didn’t expect to find us in such a tangle when he came to barber me.”

“I wish he’d cut off your—” She snapped her lips shut.

“Pardon? I must have water in my ears.” He shook his head like a glossy spaniel.

“Nothing. Edward, while I appreciate your effort to get me in your clutches, I don’t want to be clutched. I made that perfectly clear several weeks ago.”

“I know what you said. I don’t agree anymore. We may not be ideally suited to each other, but I’m sure we can find some common ground with a little work.”

“The only time we’ll find common ground is when we’re both buried under it in the family plot. I assume there’s still room for me at the churchyard?”

Edward looked a bit sheepish. They once had a discussion about her eventual placement.

As an ever-organized Christie, he had dispassionately informed her of her future. Edward was to be the jam husband to his two wives’ bread. The headstone was already in place, just waiting for the requisite dates. In Edward’s case, Caroline hoped it would be soon.

***

Of course, Edward changes her mind eventually.

Are you an organized list-maker like Edward or spontaneous like Caroline? What’s your morning routine? I’m giving away a signed copy of Mistress by Mistake Mistress by Marriage to one commenter!

If it wasn’t clear, the fantastic Maggie Robinson is guesting with us today, and I believe that’s another exclusive excerpt she’s sharing. Exciting, yes? I didn’t think my silly little intros would fit before her post. Also, I’m still on brain melt. So, answer Maggie’s question and be entered in her giveaway!

0 thoughts on “Guest: Maggie Robinson

  1. myrandaroyann

    Oh, this made me giggle! 😉 I’m not a stick-in-the-mud but I do have my routines.

    My morning routine is boring, on school days (I’m in college):
    Wake up after hitting the snooze button a few dozen times
    Play around on iPhone
    Take meds
    Shower
    Grab half a bagel (cinnamon swirl) with raspberry cream cheese
    Grab mug of tea (Teavana’s Raspberry Riot Lemon Mate)
    Grab lunch
    Drive away

    Reply
  2. Bella @ BeguileThySorrow

    dont enter me since I already own Mistress by Mistake:)
    as for the question, I’m afraid I’m not very spontaneous lol
    but my morning routine isnt exactly perfect either cuz I roll out of bed at the very last minute possible, then do the bare minimum to get presentable for work/classes. I wear makeup and such but nothing fancy, I havent got the stamina lol

    Reply
  3. Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe

    Oh, yikes. Talk about brain melt. I’m giving away a copy of Mistress by MARRIAGE. That’s what I get for naming all my books with the same initials. Lime, thanks for having me today, mixed-up or not. I’m on west coast time on vacation today, so my morning routine is completely screwed up. I haven’t had my tea yet, so anything is possible…

    Reply
  4. eli yanti

    i will love to read this book maggie – mistress by mistake ^^

    i’m spontaneous like Caroline and my routine in morning is prepare to go to work but sometime i always give myself a few minutes to check facebook =)

    Reply
  5. Melanie C Adkins

    I’m both. It depends on the time of year. School (for my 11 and 10 yo) up at 6am, breakfast for all, gathering of school books and out the door we go. Then back home to straighten and clean before doctor’s appointments and errands.

    In the summer more spontaneous, even though the doctors appointments never end, we try to keep a loose schedule of sorts.

    The book sounds wonderful and thank you for giving us your time.

    Reply
  6. Rose May

    I am definitely a list-maker like Christie – in fact I might be truly OCD. I label everything, make daily lists, weekly lists, monthly lists… I’m usually really super-organized and I like my routine and schedule to go by uninterrupted.
    I am a little more spontaneous when planning social outings (though if I’m planning them, how spontaneous can they be?) since I will occasionally just call someone up and say ‘hey, wanna go out someplace tonight?’
    Morning routines consist of getting up, dressing, brushing my teeth and hair, then checking my email while making breakfast and checking I have everything I need in my bag for work. Then I read until I have to walk out the door!
    I would love to win a copy of this book! Enter me, pretty please with cherries and dark chocolate!

    Reply
  7. ClaudiaGC

    I can’t read to wait your latest mistress book , Maggie!
    I wish I were more spontaneous but I need my daily routines. Sometimes it makes it hard to do things in the spur of the moment because I have to think it over and over and I hate that.
    Thanks got the giveaway!

    Reply
  8. Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe

    I think I’m a creature of habit myself. I’m super-lucky that Mr.R brings breakfast to me every morning at my desk. (I’m keeping him for at least another year) I have lots of scraps of paper with things writrten down that I sometimes can’t read,LOL, but I definitely can’t rely on my memory anymore.

    Reply
  9. Julie

    I do like my lists, but I’m always open for spur-of-the-moment adventures! I get more done if I have a schedule to stick to, but sometimes it’s a lot more fun to just go with the flow. 🙂

    Reply
  10. librarypat

    My morning routine, such as it is, is breakast while watching the Today Show and reading a book. Reading goes with just about every meal and TV show. there are so many good books and not enough time to get to them all.

    As for lists, I couldn’t live without them. They are mostly to keep track of all those things I’ll forget to get to because I’m reading. I have daily, weekly, monthly and long term lists. Sad thing is, I still forget to get to things. I too write myself notes on slips of paper, then can’t find them.

    Actually, I am spontaneous also. I’ll drop everything and take off for an unplanned trip or project. I believe one must be flexible and take advatage of an opportunity when it is presented. Could be the reason why my lists don’t always get completed. Solution – make a new list.

    Thanks for the excerpt and the giveaway. Sounds like fun. Enbjoy the rest of your vacation.

    Reply
  11. Diane P. Diamond

    Hi Maggie, I’m definitely a very organized person. Everything is written down and, ticked off as it’s done. Most especially, when I’m going away on holiday, I have a massive list of things to take and things to do. My family tell me that I’m “OCD” but, at least I know what I’m doing. Without my lists, I would be a total loser.

    Thank you for this opportunity to win, and I can’t wait to read “Mistress by Marriage”. Your books always keep me entertained, whilst enlightening and enriching me at the same time.

    dpd333 AT aol dot com

    Reply
  12. shelley

    I’m more a list maker. For travel and most of my shopping, it means research, price comparison. Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway. 🙂

    Reply
  13. Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe

    Sounds like we’ve got a mostly organized bunch here. There’s nothing I like better than drawing a line thru something I’ve finished. Right now my list is pretty long though, and I have a ton of stuff to do once I get home. I’ll need to go on another vacation, LOL.

    Reply
  14. Monikarw

    I’m not a list-maker! and my morning routine is coffee! I just need coffee as soon as I wake up to be able to function!LOL!;)

    Reply
  15. Jen B.

    I want to be an organized list maker and I really get a lot done when I am BUT I do like to just go with the flow sometimes. You just never know where life might take you when you let it take you.
    jepebATverizonDOTnet

    Reply
  16. Melissa P.

    I have the same routine pretty much. Except on my day off. I get up make coffee get in the shower, dress, make an iced mocha and then go to work, home make dinner get kids to bed relax about an hour then off to bed to start it all over again. My day off I get to sleep in thanks to my wonderful boyfriend. He takes care of the kiddos for me so i can catch up on my sleep.
    I got this book as an advance read and I loved it. I would recommend it to all my friends.

    Reply
  17. gamistress66

    I make lists & plan, but rarely actually follow it. I always say I’m a great organizer, I’m just not good at being organized 😉

    thanks for the excerpt & congrats on the release

    Reply
  18. Diane Sallans

    I’m definitly a list maker (sometimes I even add something I’ve already done, just to acknowledge it & have the pleasure of crossing it off). I love a series and being able to catch up with the characters from earlier stories.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

    Reply
  19. Jeanne Miro

    Hi Maggie,
    I love your Mistress series and am thrilled to learn you have a M!ster series coming out!

    I only have two types of lists that I write out. The first is my grocery list which I make out so we actually have enough food for the week (and my husband is always adding things if I leave it on the kitchen counter the night before). Ther other list I make out is for all the books I want to pick out (or even faster order on Amazon for my Kindle since we don’t have any local bookstores). I have to be careful where I leave that list because if my husband she’s how long it is he hides my Kindle!

    Fortunately he usually can be bribed by homemade cheesecake or apple pie to return my TBR list. Now if I just didn’t have to bribe him with homemade treats I might be able to get more reading done!

    Reply
  20. Pearl

    I have no fixed morning routine besides trying to sleep as long as I can before I really have to get up as to not be late for work or appointments.

    I am, however, an obsessive listmaker! I have to-do lists for my lists even. I have lists in my head, lists in notebooks, lists on apps on my phone, lists on post-its. They vary from chores, to errands, to shopping lists, to to-do lists.
    There is nothing I can’t turn into a list 🙂

    Reply
  21. infinitieh

    Great excerpt! I was giggling throughout. I don’t make too many lists of any type although I used to.

    My morning routine includes brushing my teeth, washing my face, and doing my stretching.

    Reply
  22. kdcollins

    lists give me hives. Okay, not really but just about.

    My morning routine consists of getting myself up and ready. Then I get my boys up and ready. I drop them off at school and head to work. Fascinating, huh?

    Reply
  23. Laurie

    I’m more of a list-maker – actually, more of a post-it maker. I have post-it notes covering surfaces of my desk at work, kitchen and bathroom counters at home, even the sides of my laptop screen are lined with them.

    Sizzling good excerpt, so glad you shared it!

    My morning routine? I would liken it to The Fast and the Furious – with me playing both roles!!

    Thank you, Lime and Maggie!

    Reply
  24. Limecello Post author

    Routine? What’s that? :X Heh – and I think your question was answered. My mornings consist of trying to get as much sleep as possible, and avoiding as many conflicts as I can. And you know, the rest. Food, getting things done… I have no structure to my mornings these days.

    Thanks so much for guesting with us, Maggie, and happy release day!

    Reply
  25. Pingback: Maggie Robinson’s Winner! « Limecello

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