Friday, June 8, 2012

Interview + Giveaway w/ Isobel Carr! (INT)

It's Historical week here at TBQ's Book Palace as part of my 4 year blogoversary celebration!

Please welcome to the blog Isobel Carr, who writes Georgian era historical romances. I've not yet had the pleasure of reading her books, but they are high on my list, I've heard so many wonderful things about them! :)

I grew up participating in a wide variety of historical reenactment clubs, which I think gives me an unusually personal perspective on history. I know what it's like to run, full-tilt, in a heavy Elizabethan gown (hoops are not great for running) I know what it's like to cook a stew in a cast-iron pot over a campfire while wearing ten-yards of wool. I what it's like to stand on the deck of a ship in Georgian-hoops (skirts like a sail, pushing you across the slick wood). I've attempted to climb a tree in a corset (note I say "attempted", cause I don't think it can be done), I've ridden sidesaddle, I've even driven a coach and I can make a fire with no matches and sew an entire gown in the historical manner (all by hand). So a lot of what I write isn't so much my imagining what it would be like as my using my hands-on experience to inform my character's behavior and actions.
To read more about Isobel, please visit her Author Bio here! :)

Where to Find Isobel:

The_Book_Queen: Hi Isobel! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Isobel: So, off the “official” bio … let’s see. I have a BA in philosophy (did my thesis on skepticism and existentialism). I went on to get an MFA in poetry (and as an undergrad, I won the most prestigious poetry award in the country for college students, the Intro Journals Award). And while getting that MFA, I did my required outside concentration in book arts (yes, the historical obsession is pervasive). And frankly, I find writing romance a hell of a lot more fun than all of those!

On the fun side, I’m a Burner (Google “Burning Man Comic” if you have no idea what that means, but I warn you, it’s NSFW). I’ve been going for years and years, and the wonderful thing about it is that every year is totally different and yet somehow the same. It’s like a surreal time warp. If I could just find a tent that looks like the TARDIS, life would be complete (somebody get on that!).

My other big obsession is travel (which sadly having a day job and trying to write really leaves little time for). My current places to dream about buying an apartment are London, Istanbul, and Marrakesh.

Love those three cities!

TBQ: Your next release, Ripe for Seduction, comes out in December. Can you tell us a little bit about this book, and why readers are going to love it?
I: Well, it’s hot (and there are two couple, so it’s kind of extra hot, LOL). And it’s got what I think is a very fun historical premise: Bad boy gets self into trouble, in writing, and girl forces him to do her biding as punishment. Like so many of my books, this one is based on a real historical event, but I’ve tweaked it. In real life, the lady let the gentleman off the hook after torturing him a bit, but this being a romance, he doesn’t want to be dismissed when the deal is done. [Oh, can't wait!]

TBQ: You write under more than one name, and through various historical eras[Oops, my mistake!] Are there other genres you would like to write about?
I: I don’t actually write more than one era. Every book I’ve ever written is Georgian (1780s in fact). I’d love to write Science Fiction/Fantasy (which is what I grew up reading), but I can’t imagine when I’ll have the time. I have an ever growing folder of ideas for that genre, but mostly I just jot them down to get them out of my head so I can get back to my Georgians, LOL! [Well, if you ever do write that fantasy, I'd totally read it! :)]

TBQ: I know we all hate this question, author and reader alike. :) But I have to ask: What are a few of your favorite books and/or authors?
I: I LOVE THIS QUESTION! Like a lot of historical authors, I love Georgette Heyer, Dorothy Dunnett, Bernard Cornwell, and Sharon Kay Penman. In the world of romance, I’m a huge fan girl for Julia Ross, Pam Rosenthal, Miranda Neville, and Candice Hern. Outside of historical fiction and romance, my autobuy list includes Neil Gaiman, P.G. Hodgell, George R.R. Martian, Robin McKinley, Ilona Andrews, and Patricia Briggs. Basically, I could go on and on …

TBQ: Have you ever fallen for a hero, either from one of your books or from another author? If so, who is he and what drew you to him?
I: That’s a hard one. As a writer, the hero I love best is always the next one … as a reader, I have several favorites, but I’d say my all-time-hero-crush is probably Damerel from Georgette Heyer’s Venetia. I love how broken he is (which I’m sure is something I should be working out in therapy), and I adore the fact that what draws those two characters together is that they’re both very lonely people. The idea of having a friend you can say ANYTHING to without being judged is a profound one. [Is it horrible that I've never read Heyer's books? Not one? *ducks* But I've heard such great things about them, they are on my list! :)]

TBQ: What's next-- Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming releases or WIP?
I: I’m not really sure what’s coming out after RIPE FOR SEDUCTION. I’m still in the mushy-brain phase of putting together my proposal for the next book (though I know it will have a secret baby, which if you know me at all, is kind of shocking, LOL!). And I’m working on a novella that I hope to get out before SEDUCTION, but my life never seems to cooperate …


A day on a secluded island OR a day at the spa?
Can it be a lovely, cold, windy Scottish island (I hate the heat)? [Oh, yes, but only if I can join you! lol Complete with some brawny Highlanders, of course. Enough so we don't have to share--I'll take one end of the Island, you take another!]

Reading a spicy romance novel OR a sweet “my-heart-skips-a-beat” one?
Ack! My first reaction is to say SPICY, but Heyer is sweet and is my go-to comfort read.

Which would you rather have an affair with: a sexy highlander OR a devilishly handsome English lord?
No fair! I’ll have to go highlander just for the accent. [Hehe, I almost feel bad for the lord...My highlander wins 99% of the time. It's the accent, I agree!]

Hot summer days OR cold winter nights?
Cold winter nights!!!!!!!

There--cold AND a magical
mountain getaway. Enjoy!
Where would your dream house be: in the city, where all the action is OR nestled in the mountain where you can enjoy the quiet and the wilderness?
Are we talking if I didn’t have to leave it to go to work and groceries would magically appear in my fridge? [Yes, magical mountain getaway spot is a must! ;) ] Quiet wilderness all the way. I love being up in the mountains where it never gets super hot and I can smell pine trees and there’s nothing but the sound of birdsong for miles.

Isobel's dream--the life
of a Georgian lady. :)

If you could live in any time period, past or future, which one would it be?
Georgian. Love the history, love the clothes, love just about everything about it (I’m assuming here that I get to be at least an earl’s daughter of course!). [Your wish is my command! :)]

Cover Lover OR Blurb Fan?
Cover. A good cover is literally priceless.

Steamy Novella OR Sweet Novel? (aka, Quickie or Slow Build Up?)
Either or. I love whatever works for those characters.

And finally, tell us 3 unique/wacky/fun things about yourself:

I love sensitive angry boy rock (Nickelback, Fuel, Seether). [Love Nickelback, too.]
I’ve totally made out with Bill Campbell on more than one occasion (and find it hilarious that he now goes by “Billy”).
I have an obsession with Fluevogs.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Isobel, and please know that you are welcome back anytime! Do you have any questions for our readers—something to spark a good discussion? :)



Well, they’ve been running that whole PNR hero showdown (I’m Team Curran BTW), so let’s do a bit of historical hero showdown. Which Mr. Darcy would you take home: Colin Firth, David Rintoul, or Laurence Olivier (please note the answer is NEVER Matthew Macfadyen)?
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
The League of Second Sons

Ripe for Pleasure
Forever; (May 1, 2011)
Where to Buy*:
Amazon | Kindle | BN | NOOK

Second in line, first in love
A secret society of younger sons, sworn to aid and abet each other, no matter the scandal or cost.... Their fathers and brothers may rule the world, but they run it . . . and when it comes to passion, they refuse to accept second best.

Searching for hidden treasure,
finding forbidden fantasy.
London's most sensual former courtesan, Viola Whedon, is incapable of being seduced-she does the seducing. Until she meets Leonidas Vaughn. Her salacious memoirs have made her the target of half the lords in England, and Vaughn is the only man she can turn to. When he promises to protect her-and to make her beg for his touch-the alluring beauty finds both offers impossible to refuse.

Leonidas Vaughn secretly believes Viola possesses a fortune given to his family by the King of France. So the strong and sexy Vaughn charms his way into Viola's life . . . and her bed. But when their arrangement is consummated, he'll experience pleasure far beyond his wildest fantasies-and realize his heart may need the most protection of all.

Ripe for Scandal
Forever; (September 1, 2011)
Where to Buy*:
Amazon | Kindle | BN | NOOK
The League of Second Sons

A secret society of younger sons, sworn to aid and abet each other, no matter the scandal or cost . . . Their fathers and brothers may rule the world, but they run it, and when it comes to passion they refuse to accept second best.

No one would ever suspect Lady Boudicea "Beau" Vaughn, a well-bred, young heiress, of secretly harboring unladylike desires. The object of her affection: Gareth Sandison, a notorious rake and her brother's best friend. Beau knows her brother would never approve, yet one glance into Gareth's smoldering eyes stirs a longing deep inside her.

The second son of an Earl, Gareth has always known the lovely Lady Beau is above his station. But when she is kidnapped, Gareth sees a chance to prove his worth and plans a daring rescue. Soon he and Beau are on the run. Yet Beau's abductors are not the only threat-passion pursues the pair at every turn. Long nights fuel forbidden fantasies, and with danger closing in, Gareth and Beau will finally give in to the ultimate temptation...

Coming Soon!

Ripe for Seduction
Forever (December 18, 2012)
Where to Buy*:
Amazon | Kindle | BN

The League of Second Sons
A secret society of younger sons, sworn to aid and abet each other, no matter the scandal or cost . . .

After the scandalous demise of her marriage, Lady Olivia Carlow knows the rakes of the ton will think her fair game. So when a letter arrives bearing an indecent offer from the incorrigible Roland Devere, she seizes the opportunity. Turning the tables on the notorious rogue, she blackmails him into playing her betrothed for the season. But no matter how broad his shoulders or chiseled his features, she will never fall prey to his suave charm.

When Roland boasted he'd be the first into Lady Olivia's bed, he couldn't have imagined that behind those brilliant blue eyes lurked a vixen with a scheme of her own. Still, Roland is not about to abandon his original wager. If anything, learning that the lovely Olivia is as bold as she is beautiful makes him more determined to seduce her into never saying "never" again.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Isobel has been nice enough to offer up a great prize for one lucky winner! :)

One commenter (open INT!) will win:
1) Ripe for Pleasure
2) Ripe for Seduction
3) Lord of Sin (writen under her other pen name, Kalen Hughes)

Wow--thanks Isobel, I'm a bit jealous of whoever wins! :)

How to Enter:
Mandatory: You must leave a comment on this post (with your email addy^)--Please answer Isobel's Question: Which Mr. Darcy would you take home: Colin Firth, David Rintoul, or Laurence Olivier (please note the answer is NEVER Matthew Macfadyen)?

^A note on email addresses: Your email address must be visible to be entered into this contest. Why? This makes it easy for me to contact the winner and therefore get the prize out! Visible means: a) Email is left in your comment (ninja style is perfectly fine); b) Email is visible on your Blogger profile (or other such website--Twitter, Facebook, Blog, etc); or c) Email is used to log-in and fill out the Rafflecopter.

Isobel's Question:
Which Mr. Darcy would you take home: Colin Firth, David Rintoul, or Laurence Olivier (please note the answer is NEVER Matthew Macfadyen)?

Giveaway open June 8th through June 15th! I will pick and announce the winner Monday morning (June 18th). Good Luck!

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Thanks again for stopping by, Isobel! :) I enjoyed learning more about you, your writing, and your books-- I cannot wait to read them, I've been eyeing the first two for some time now, and now I'll be on the lookout for book 3 as well. :)

See what else is going on for Historical Week!


Until Next Time,
*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Melody May said...

Ooh that's a tough choice. It would be a toss up between Colin Firth or Laurence Olivier. However, Colin nailed Mr. Darcy the best, so I might have to go with Colin Firth.

Arianne said...

I like Colin Firth, probably because he's the only one I've known.

Those book covers are beautiful!!!

email: ariannecruz07 at

Unknown said...

Hey, Thanks for the chance to win--love your blog!!! I guess since I only ever saw the movie with Colin Firth that I would pick him!! LOL
Love the covers of the books -- they sound so good!! Have a great weekend!!

Mary Preston said...

Colin Firth has the smoulder, but Laurence Olivier has the most amazing Gentlemanly, cultivated voice. I don't know David Rintoul.


erin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
erin said...

Thanks for a fun post and giveaway! I'd pick Colin Firth :) (but knowing full well that I'm in the Danger Zone... I did like Matthew Macfadyen and Kira Knightly in the latest P&P edition... *ducks* I'd love to know why you don't like him ;) )

I'm very excited cuz I just got Ripe for Pleasure and it's always fun to just get a book and then find an author interview! I love how you've incorporated your "real life" knowledge into making your books so authentic. Congrats on all the releases! Hoping to continue seeing your works!


Kathleen O said...

No contest, would be Colin Firth every time.. He is my first and only Mr. Darcy...

Blodeuedd said...

Lol, only Colin Firth will do. No one else :) And yes never Matthew ;)

Unknown said...

Grat covers! Very beautiful and sexy.

What a hard question. My first answer is Laurence Olivier. He was my one of my first crushes as a young woman. But then again Colin Firth is just so yummy!

bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

I have only ever seen the one with Colin but I think I could swoon over Lawrence any day of the week. I love the gentlemen from the black and white movies. They were so damper.

Thanks for another great post. I love the speed rounds.

Tin said...

Colin Firth! (He's always been the image of Darcy in my head.)

Great interview of Isobel Carr! Very excited for the next installation in the Second Sons series.

- Tin
khriscc (at) yahoo (dot) com

Natascha said...

That one for me is easy, definitely Colin Firth. I just absolutely love him as mr. darcy.


Na said...

My pick would be Colin Firth, although he has some great competition. I like the look and character he plays.


Isobel Carr said...

I see it's Firth by a landslide. *sigh* I'm such a David Rintoul girl. Myabe because that's the version I saw first. There's a moment at Pemberley, before Lizzy knows Darcy has arrived, when his dog rounds the corner...just a wonderful sensation of expectation.

Anachronist said...

Which Mr. Darcy would you take home: Colin Firth, David Rintoul, or Laurence Olivier (please note the answer is NEVER Matthew Macfadyen)?

Lawrence Olivier would be my choice. I know I am weird but I've always liked the guy.

portiabridget (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk.

April Alvey said...

That's Easy Colin Firth No Contest There. Hes The Only Mr Darcy I Want.

JessS said...

Colin Firth! Obviously.


Anna Cowan said...

oh dear, I'm gonna have to go Colin, too! He's wasn't only my first Darcy - he was my first great regency love. I'd never read any Austen before the series started and I had to read the book to race ahead and find out what happened.

(Also, I checked out the Burning Man pics, and it looks AMAZING!!!)