Welcome to the release party for HarperImpulse's "The Passionate Love of a Rake." Lucky us, we've got the delightful and talented author here at Vintage Vonnie today to party with us. Now, grab a plate and help yourself to some goodies.
Jane Lark lives near the beautiful city of Bath in the UK, and recently bought her dream cottage on the edge of a village green. The house isn’t quite a dream yet though, it’s in mid renovation, but the dream is on the horizon.
Jane put ‘write a novel’ on her to do before I am forty list and achieved it, but it took a little longer to find a publisher, so she’s slipped past forty now, but has at last achieved her lifelong wish to be a published author, and is thrilled to be writing for Harper Impulse.
She has a rheumatic disease called Anyklosing Spondylitis, and has used the relief of imagination and writing for years to help her escape it. Her next goal is to be able to give up the day job and just write.
Oh, Jane, now there's a goal we can pop a cork to and pour a glass of bubbly in celebration. What is your life like away from the computer? Tell us something about your household?
Busy, my household doesn’t get a lot of my time, as I am still working full time as a professional Human Resources manager as well as writing, and there’s an expectation on me to not only work but continually study, otherwise I’ll lose my MCIPD accreditation. So with work, study and writing – I don’t get a lot of free time, but I have a very nice husband who takes on all the household chores so I get time to write and occasional we both take a day off and go out to historical houses and share an afternoon tea; with scones and cream of course.
Tea and scones. Right. I forgot to set those out. Hold on, darlin'...give me a sec...
While you fix your cup of tea, I'll pour a glass of bubbly to toast to your book's success. First, what is the story behind your book title?
My new book is ‘The Passionate Love of a Rake’. It’s the second book in the Marlow Intrigues historical romance series. The idea for this book actually came from one of my days out. We went to Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds. Sudeley was the home of Henry VIII’s sixth wife, Catherine Parr. After Henry VIII’s death, Catherine Parr married Thomas Seymour who she’d fallen in love with before her marriage. My lead female is even shamelessly called Jane Grey. The real Lady Jane Grey lived with Thomas Seymour and Catherine Parr at Sudeley. My Jane Grey begins her story at the point her much older husband has died… Spot the similarities.
Oh, yes, I do... Here have a truffle. I worked all day yesterday making these especially for your party today. Have no fear...all the calories have been removed. It's an old family recipe, you see. (winks)
Well, maybe I'll have just one, Vonnie. Many of the scenes I imagine in the story include elements of scenes to be found in the grounds of Sudeley too, I’ve been sharing the pictures on my author page. It’s amazing what comes from a sunny day out.
What are you currently working on?My works in progress - yes, I am generally juggling more than one - are the prequel to my debut novel, book one in the Marlow Intrigues series, ‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan.’ Which is now written and in the first stage of edits (I cried writing about the last twenty pages of it – sad story). While I am also plotting the second book in a contemporary New Adult series, Harper Impulse is publishing the first ‘I Found You’ on the 5th December, it’s a Christmas story, but hopefully one that will stand the test of time, book two is about the lead male’s best friend.
Now, I love asking what I call "Fast Five."
1. Heels, sneakers or flip-flops? Sneakers, I like to walk!
2. Chocolate, champagne or cheesecake? Chocolate, I think the Champagne I drink must be too cheap, it never tastes nice.
Any tattoos? Yes, two, a black snake, and a blue bird. I had them done in what I call my adult-lescence. My brother was in a serious car accident when I was sixteen so I grew up quick and then regressed at 21.
4. Long hair, short hair or weave? Long hair always – even when I’m a hundred – if I still have hair.
5. Book or eReader? Both, depending on whether the book’s a keeper.
Now show us this beautiful book cover.
The only woman who had power over notorious rake Robert Marlow was now walking away from him, again. He'd heard Sutton had died, and known Jane was free, but he'd always thought his desire would only be for revenge, not her. Yet here he was, unable to deny what he felt for her… what he’d never felt for any other woman…
An excerpt from The Passionate Love of a Rake
“You are such a liar, Jane.”
His tone was no longer angry, but it held a cynical humor, and the pupils in his eyes had widened, large dark onyx circles darkening his gaze with long dark lashes defining it.
A warm ache settled somewhere in her chest then spiraled to her womb like a rolling penny when his lips lowered to hers, catching at them gently, a soft caress.
She echoed it without thought. Her eyes closed as he continued to kiss her, and she opened her mouth when his tongue touched her lips. Her very bones melting, her arms reached about his neck, and her body pressed against him, and then he stopped and pulled away.
Her eyelids lifted. She faced a knowing smile and felt the chill of his desertion.
“As I thought, a lie, Your Grace, all of it. You do want me. Like it or not, Jane. Admit it or not. You want me. You are found out, my dear.” His eyes narrowed as he continued. “But why not admit it. I cannot make you out. And there I presume is the dilemma which has you so distracted and upset. Whatever it is that prevents you admitting it, I mean.”
His hand rose suddenly and tapped her under the chin, before dropping again. “Such a tease, Jane. You don’t know me very well, do you? These games do nothing but inspire me to persist.”
A knock struck the door she’d left ajar. “Tea, Ma’am.” The maid’s voice reached into the room.
“Come in.” Jane felt a blush rise again, realizing the maid must have heard at least part of their conversation.
Jane turned her back on Robert to hide her embarrassment, then crossed the room and looked out the window.
She waited there, listening as the maid laid out the tea tray.
“Thank you,” Jane said, when she heard the maid withdraw, looking down toward the square and the park below.
Joshua was there, sitting in his curricle.
He’d positioned it in the far corner of the square and sat with one arm stretched along the back of the double seat while he smoked a thin cigar, looking up at the house. A gloating smirk lodged on his face as he spotted her.
She stepped back and turned away only to find her path blocked by her other pursuer, the Earl of Barrington.