Sunday, August 26, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: "Death by Scandal" by Marguerite Butler

I am so happy to have Marguerite Butler here today to do a interview and a awesome giveaway. Lets give Marguerite a warm welcome from Romance Book Junkies.

I know you get asked this question over and over but can you tell us a little about yourself? Maybe something juicy. ;)  Sadly, there is nothing juicy to tell. I live on a farm in Texas with my husband and sons. When I’m not writing or reading, I raise poultry. I have pet geese, ducks, chickens, guineas, turkeys, and a very spoiled peahen named Dave. Who am I kidding? All my birds are spoiled.

When did you first start writing? Are you a full time author or do you do it on the side?
I’ve been writing all my life. I started back seriously at it about seven years ago. Writing is a sideline. I make my primary living as an attorney.

Do you have an author that has really inspired you?
Elizabeth Peters is my hero. I fell in love with her brand of mystery and romance as a teenager and never recovered. I especially love her Amelia Peabody series set in Victorian Egypt. Is there anything more romantic than a man and woman battling danger in an exotic location? I didn’t think so.

How long does it normally take you to write an average book or your last book?
Anywhere from one month to three. My first book took me a whopping 18 months, but the process is somewhat easier now. Notice I said somewhat. Some books are harder than others.

What do you think makes a story great?
For me, a great story is all about the characters and my emotional connection to them. I have to want to be with them, to care what happens. That’s what makes a story compelling. I don’t care if the world is blowing up. But threaten a car with someone I love in it? And I’m sitting up late to read what happens.

Can you describe your book "Death by Scandal" in one sentence?
Falling in love and solving a murder are not mutually exclusive.

Tell us a little more about “Death by Scandal”. Death by Scandal is my first published mystery. I went back to the formula of those Elizabeth Peters mysteries.  Although I didn’t transport my characters to Egypt, I do hope I took them—and readers—to another place and time.  This book has my favorite book beginning. How often do you get to start a book with your heroine shooting someone?

Lady Calandra can't help it if the scandal sheets have dubbed her "the dangerous debutante." The Earl of Camden needed to be shot. And she certainly didn't poison her latest suitor for failing to make her an offer...although everyone seems convinced she did. She's never killed anyone, but someone is determined to make it look as though she has. Desperate to save her reputation, Lady Calandra needs a betrothal-now-and turns to one of the few friends she has left.

Arthur, Lord Alsbury is only too happy to oblige her. Arthur has loved the beautiful musical prodigy for years. To save Calandra, he must put himself at risk. In order to unmask a killer, Arthur must pretend to be Calandra's next intended victim.

If he fails her, the consequences are dire--either a slow death by scandal or a swift one at the hands of a murderer.

Have you done lots of research for your books or do the stories just come to you? Some books require more research than others. “Death by Scandal” was one of those research heavy books. For example, I learned the rules of whist as they might have played it in order to write the card party scenes. I also researched the history of pianos. I wanted my musical heroine to have the very latest pianoforte technology.

What are you currently working on? I am working on a fourth book in my Mad Hatterly series, “Rescuing Lady Rose.” My Mad Hatterlys are a group of gentleman scientists.  I have started the sequel to “Death by Scandal” and just as soon as I am done I will go back to work on “Rumours of Murder” which is Julia and Hewitt’s story.

Can you tell us about some of your prior achievements? My first regency novels were the Mad Hatterlys. The first book in the series is “Compromising Prudence” and it’s the story of the eldest Hatterly, Charles. Next was “Becoming Mr. Brooking,” about twin brother Graham. Last, but never least, was little sister Frances’ turn for love in “Civilizing Frances.”

Is there anything that I didn't cover that you would like to talk about or say to your potential readers? If you love romance with a light twist and fun dialogue, I hope you will give my works a try. Most of all I want to make people smile. When I finish a book I loved, I can’t resist giving it a hug, like I’m hugging the people in the book. Dorky, I know. But that’s how I want people to feel when they’ve read one of my books, like they just spent the day with good friends.

Just for fun:
Hardback or Paperback? : ebook. No? Okay, PB
Dog ears or Bookmarks?  Bookmarks
YA novels or Adult novels? Adult
Library or Bookstore? Bookstore
Reading glasses or No glasses? All glasses, all the time
Snack while reading or No snacks? Snack
Beach or Mountain? Beach
Vampire or Werewolf? Werewolf
Hot or Flirty? Flirty
Movie 1st or Book 1st? Book 1st
Contemporary or Historical? Historical
Page-Turner or Tear Jerker? Page-Turner

 Sometimes poison is a girl's best friend.

Lady Calandra can't help it if the scandal sheets have dubbed her "the dangerous debutante." The Earl of Camden needed to be shot. And she certainly didn't poison her latest suitor for failing to make her an offer...although everyone seems convinced she did. She's never killed anyone, but someone is determined to make it look as though she has. Desperate to save her reputation, Lady Calandra needs a betrothal-now-and turns to one of the few friends she has left.


Arthur, Lord Alsbury is only too happy to oblige her. Arthur has loved the beautiful musical prodigy for years. To save Calandra, he must put himself at risk. In order to unmask a killer, Arthur must pretend to be Calandra's next intended victim.


If he fails her, the consequences are dire--either a slow death by scandal or a swift one at the hands of a murderer.

 Lady Calandra leveled her pistol at the Earl of Camden's heart. Upon further consideration, she lowered it to aim at a more precious portion of his anatomy. She didn't intend to kill her betrothed, but if he made a move toward her she might very well maim him.

He deserved nothing less.


Camden raised his hands in surrender. "What a pea-goose you are, my darling. Do be reasonable."


That was the wrong thing to say. Her resolve steadied.


"Reasonable? You arrogant nodcock! I should shoot you for that alone."


"Now, Calandra." His voice dripped honey. "Sweetheart, lower the gun. It might actually be loaded, you know."


"Shall we find out?"


"Perhaps I was a bit rough."


"Rough?" Her hair had slipped over one eye. Her cheek ached from his fist. "How dare you? No one lays hands on me like that."


His brow lowered. "Don't provoke me further, Calandra. Sometimes a husband must correct a wife." He took a
step closer.

"I'm not your wife and I never will be." Her heart threatened to burst from her chest.


The Earl of Camden had been her parents' choice, linking the families of two prominent earldoms. If the young Earl had a reputation as a rake, there was no disputing his charm. He had such pretty ways and such a fat purse that she was quite agreeable to the match--up until thirty minutes ago when a silly miff had turned violent.


The
assault hadn't stopped until she'd wriggled free and reached the dueling pistol on the desk before he had.

She looked down. Her lace hem was torn where he had stepped on it during the struggle. "You ruined my dress. I've only worn it this once."


Camden took a step closer. "Now you're
making a cake of yourself. This was nothing but a tiff, darling, a trifle. By tomorrow all this will be forgotten." He took another step.

"Not while I have the bruise on my cheek to remind me." And the taste of blood in her mouth where her teeth had cut her.


"I never meant to mark you." He lowered his hands slightly, but froze when she cocked the gun. "Now give my pistol back, sweetheart. That thing goes off at the merest shiver of a touch. I know you have your bristles up, but you surely can't mean to kill me."


Her hand began to shake and she lowered the gun, pointing at his shin. To be fair, she had been
flirting with other men. Camden had no right to take her to task so harshly, but perhaps she did bear some fault.

Sensing victory, Camden moved swiftly toward her. "That's my girl. You know I didn't mean to hurt you, but you made me so angry. If you hadn't provoked me like that, I would never have--"


The pistol bucked in her hand. Its report reverberated in the drawing room. Shouts and trampling feet followed.


Lord Robert Willis, fifth Earl of Camden, writhed on the floor clutching his backside.


"My arse! She shot me in the arse!"


It was sadly true.


He had turned at the last moment and taken the projectile in his derriere.


Just as well.


Otherwise, she would have shot him in the stones.

Marguerite has generously donated two $10 gift certificates to Musa Publishing to giveaway. There will be two winners all you need to do is follow my blog and leave a comment for Marguerite with your email address so I can contact the winner. Good Luck!
 

8 comments:

Danielle @ Romance Book Junkies said...

I would love to win this intriguing book! Maria Haile auroraione@yahoo.com

*yadkny* said...

I really appreciate when authors go the extra mile of doing extensive research for their books like what you did with whist and the piano. Sometimes you can really tell if an author knows what they are talking about or not, but on those two subjects I wouldn't have a clue, lol. Love the play on words with your Mad Hatterly series too:)

yadkny@hotmail.com

Tore said...

I would love to read this book. It sounds very good. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Lisa Cox said...

LOL, she shot him in the butt! I have to read this book. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

bn100 said...

Nice interview. The book sounds good. I follow via email.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Kelsey Summer said...

Great excerpt and interview. I follow via GFC (Kelsey Summer), FB (Kelsey Summer) and Twitter (@kelsey_Summer).

Kesummer69 at gmail dot com

Liese2 said...

GFC follower as Lisa Walker.
Thanks for the chance!
sqwalker2@hotmail.com

Carin said...

I love history so I love that you do the research to make your novels as real as you can. I always wondered how you play whist. Thanks Carin
GFC Carin
mawmom at gmail dot com

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