Friday, February 12, 2016

A Brazen Bargain by Laura Trentham Interview

About the Book:

Title: A Brazen Bargain
Author: Laura Trentham
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages: 236
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Love soothes the deepest of scars.

Minerva Bellingham is at her wits’ end. Her younger brother, Simon, will have them penniless and on the streets if his extravagant gambling habit isn’t curtailed. An enormous debt to Lord Rafe Drummond is the final indignity.

Signing over her dowry is their only choice. Until Lord Drummond suggests something much more scandalous. She can keep her dowry—in exchange for the Bellinghams working three months as a housemaid and stable boy.

Scarred from his service to the Crown, Rafe recognizes the young Simon Bellingham has the makings of a good duke. Minerva is a different story. Her pure, delicate beauty only underscores Rafe’s tarnished, bleak soul.

Yet he delights in cracking Minerva’s icy reserve to reveal a fiery, stubborn woman. And Minerva discovers the gruff master of Wintermarsh has the heart of a poet. But before they can find a future safe in each other’s arms, a menace from Simon’s licentious past slithers back into their lives, forcing Rafe to plan the most important rescue mission of his life.

Warning: Contains a paragon of the beau monde who gets the hang of polishing silver, and a master of the house who’d like her to make his bed—preferably with him in it. Also passion unleashed with the mere touch of a finger. Readers are encouraged to swoon.

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Book Excerpt:
Minerva dragged herself up the Drummond front steps as if on the way to the gallows to deliver her final words. In a dream-like state, she watched her disembodied hand pull the bell cord. In a blink, the butler announced her into Lord Drummond’s study. The rustle of her blue silk skirts as she stepped inside offered the only sound of greeting.
The warm, civilized, book-filled room surprised her. The master of the study, on the other hand, shot ice into her veins from his large armchair. Polished boots with dirt and grass embedded in the tread were propped on the desk. Even in a slouch, tension radiated from his body.

She forced herself to stay rooted while he examined her from head to toe. Her trembles would betray her sickening nerves, and she refused to give him the satisfaction. She needed every ounce of courage she could muster—even if it was all for show—but with each passing moment, his insolent study raised her anxiety another notch.

About the Author

An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she's shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as large as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.

Her latest book is the Regency historical romance, A Brazen Bargain.
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Where are you from?
I grew up in a small town in Tennessee and now live in South Carolina near the mountains.

Tell us your latest news?

My second Regency historical released January 26th! This is the book that got me my agent, so it will always be special.

When and why did you begin writing?

I sat down in January 2012 after my kids went back to school after Christmas break. I needed something to do, but wasn’t ready to go back to work full-time as an engineer (my degree!). I didn’t even tell my husband I was writing a book. Finally, after I was three weeks in and halfway done, I fessed up.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’d like to say right away. I was certainly putting in the time! But, probably when I signed with my agent and my first historical manuscript (An Indecent Invitation) went on submission to publishers.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I had gone on a reading binge the fall before I started writing. I read some awesome self-published books and some so-so traditionally published books. I decided to write a series of historical romances and self-publish them. It turned out that I got an agent and a traditional deal, which has completely blown me away.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t do much (*any*) preplotting. I like to be as surprised as the reader is by the twists and turns as I write the first draft. I write both contemporaries and historicals, and I would say my historicals have a definite modern bent, both in the characterization of my female characters and ease of language. I want to make the reading experience smooth for the reader, yet still retain a historical feel.

How did you come up with the title?

I am *terrible* with titles. No title I have ever chosen (over five books) has ever stuck. My editors have ended up naming my books.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The book is a twist on Beauty and the Beast, so I would say, Look beyond the outside to see the soul.

What books have most influenced your life most?

In terms of romance, I would say Julie Garwood’s early historicals, Linda Howard’s contemporaries, and the gothics of Victoria Holt.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

That’s tough. Obviously, I’ve never met her (since she passed away), but I still love Mary Stewart’s gothic romances. She was ahead of her time, writing strong, self-sufficient heroines in the ‘50s and ‘60s. I pick one of her books and re-read it every year. Airs Above Ground is a favorite.

What book are you reading now?

I just finished The Martian. LOVED it!

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

She’s not new, but she’s new to me…I really enjoyed Penny Reid’s Truth or Beard.

What are your current projects?

My first mass market paperback series releases this summer. Kiss Me That Way is out May 31st. It’s the first book in my Southern-set small town contemporary series, Cottonbloom. I am super-excited about it! The covers are to die for.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members?

RWA – Romance Writers of America. I recommend any aspiring romance author to join right this minute! I have learned SO much and met incredible authors at various stages of the publication journey. Plus, I signed with an agent I met through one of the RWA sponsored contests for unpublished writers.

What would you like my readers to know?
I hope you enjoy reading A Brazen Bargain as much as I enjoyed writing it!

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