[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Gina! Describe yourself in five words or less.
[Gina] Passionate, Wife, Mom, Writer, Nerd
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Meet the Earl at Midnight?
[Gina] Edward and Lydia’s story was book one of an accidental series. My writing process usually follows me writing a scene that I can’t get out of my head and then circling back and doing research, world building, and character development.
In this story, I kept writing and let things flow. World building, research, and character development came much later when my stand alone book needed to turn into a series.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your favorite scene?
[Gina] My favorite scene would be too long, but this one is the precursor. I call this the “If this is sport…” scene.
His lordship pushed the edge of propriety and well he knew it. What’s worse, her body reacted — from his brigand’s smile or his hands on her skirt, she wasn’t sure. Lydia set a protective hand to her mid-section.
“Thank you.” She stepped back, needing some distance.
Lord Greenwich stood up and towered over her, and on purpose, she was sure.
His thumb and forefinger tweaked her chin. “Don’t think you’re off the hook for this uninvited foray in my room. You need to atone for this grievous behavior, Miss Montgomery, and flashing your underskirts won’t suffice.” His eyes sparked with a dangerous, playful light. “Everything has its price.”
Her eyebrows shot up at his daring tone, and Lydia planted a hand at her hip. “Is this all some kind of game for you?”
“Game?” One side of his mouth, the scarred side, curved up. “If this is sport, then you’re the most diverting woman I’ve had the pleasure of sparring with in a very long time.”
Every nerve in her body shot to life again, sensitized, just when she calmed the riot inside her. Her quick inhale gave her away, telling him, she was sure, that he threw her off balance with his unusual compliment. Again. Lord Greenwich likely wasn’t the type to wax poetically about a woman. A woman would have to make do with his brand of verbal surprise. His slow smile spread to the smooth, unscarred cheek with what she guessed was satisfaction at silencing her.
“I give you ‘til dinner to come up with three ways to make amends for coming in here uninvited.”
“What?” She asked her eyes rounding. “You want some kind atonement for looking around your room?”
“Yes, three. That way I can choose whichever is most advantageous to me. This will give you a sporting chance to please me.” His brigand’s smile widened. “Perhaps I’ll choose all three. I never said I was a nice man, especially with women who don’t follow the rules.”
In this scene he’s thrown down the gauntlet, challenging her to present three atonements for a wrong doing. Instead of being put off, Lydia rises to the task, presents her three “atonements,” and turns the tables on Edward. I LOVED it!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with the story?
[Gina] Ah, Lady E also called the Countess. Colorful, bossy, and Uber-elegant. She gave Lydia “an offer she couldn’t refuse.”
I remember I wrote that scene and was stunned at how it ended (the offer). That wasn’t in the plot, but I knew those words were true and needed to stay. I remember going to bed shocked, thinking, “How am I going to get out of that?” And then I realized, I don’t work my way out of that corner, Lydia does.
So, the next morning, I showed up for the new scene and was quite surprised at the latest turn. Not only did that new scene take me by surprise but so did the next two (there are eggs and spoons involved after the heavier scene).
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
[Gina] My sunglasses.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.
[Gina] My Nook. My book Behind Closed Doors: At Home In Georgian England. A pile of pictures from east coast family members (just came in the mail).
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?
[Gina] If Einstein were alive, I’d be him. Wouldn’t that be amazing to have his brain? When I was teaching, I had posters of him in my classroom.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week. Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?
[Gina] I’d fly. I debated over this part, but I’m just going to say it: I’d “fly” Putin and his thugs out of the Ukraine.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?
[Gina] Bad Boys in Kilts by Donna Kauffman
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
About the book:
Lord Greenwich is notoriously elusive. His tendency to hide his face in public and refusal to appear in London Society have even earned him some choice monikers, including “the Phantom of London.” Is he disfigured? Mad? Hiding something? With a reputation like that, no woman wants to get near the dark earl. And no one is more surprised than Miss Lydia Montgomery when she is betrothed to the earl in order to save her family from penury. But if Lydia wants a chance at happiness, she’ll have to set aside her fear of Lord Greenwich and discover the man hiding behind the beastly reputation…
Gina Conkle is a lover of history, books and romance, which makes the perfect recipe for historical romance writer. Her passion for castles and old places (the older and moldier the better!) means interesting family vacations. Good thing her husband and two sons share similar passions, except for romance…that’s where she gets the eye roll. When not visiting fascinating places, she can be found in southern California delving into the latest adventures of organic gardening and serving as chief taxi driver. Find her at www.ginaconkle.com.
Gina is hosting an awesome giveaway, so be sure to enter. I am also giving away a copy of Meet the Earl at Midnight.
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