RELEASE DAY BLITZ : Excerpt, Q and A's ~ IF THE DUKE DEMANDS by Anna Harrington


If the Duke Demands
Author: Anna Harrington
On Sale: February 28, 2017
Series: Capturing the Carlisles: Book 1
Publisher: Forever
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99 USD
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Miranda Hodgkins has only ever wanted one thing: to marry Robert Carlisle. And she simply can't wait a moment longer. During the Carlisle family masquerade ball, Miranda boldly sneaks into his bedchamber with seduction on her mind. Soon she's swept into rock-hard arms for the most breathtaking kiss of her life. But when the masks come off, she's horrified to find herself face-to-face with Sebastian, the Duke of Trent-Robert's formidable older brother.

Shocked to find Miranda in his bed, Sebastian quickly offers her a deal to avoid scandal: He'll help her win his brother's heart if she'll find him the perfect wife. But what begins as a simple negotiation soon spirals out of control. For the longer this reformed rake tries to make a match for Miranda, the more he wants to keep her all to himself.
Her eyes narrowed as she took in that bit of dubious advice and contemplated what he asked of her, with a curious look of deep study and concentration. For a moment, her expression was damnably disconcerting as she tried to think up a compliment to give him, as if she had never truly noticed him before as a man. Which inexplicably irked him to no end. How could she have not noticed him before as someone other than the Duke of Trent, other than just a friend?
“What you’re asking of me is impossible.” She shook her head with a soft sigh of defeat. “Every man in this room knows the rank you hold, the power and influence you’re gaining in Parliament. As for the ladies, you should have seen the way they all watched you when you crossed the room to ask me to dance.” She shrugged. “What could I possibly add to what everyone has already told you about how wonderful you are?”

He stared at her, momentarily stunned speechless. Whatshe’d just said was exactly the kind of compliment a manwanted to hear from a beautiful woman . . .
And he didn’t believe a word of it. When he saw her lipstwitch with amusement, his eyes narrowed. “You are incorrigible.”
She laughed happily. “Perhaps.” Her eyes shined, and for a brief moment, she shifted closer, somehow rising up on tiptoes as she danced to bring her mouth close to his ear. “But it is all true, you know.”
Then she pulled back into her original position and looked at him shyly through lowered lashes even as the tip of her tongue darted out to wet her lips. The paradoxical effect of innocent seduction was mesmerizing, and for a moment, he forgot they were dancing in the middle of a crowded ballroom.For a moment, there was only Miranda. And the pull of her was undeniable.

FBL : Do you write detailed character profiles before writing, or do you find the characters come to life as you write?

I *try* to write out detailed histories for each character that I can draw on for motivation and conflict and because I think that having a back story in my head, even if it never makes it into the novel, helps me write more complex and richer characters. BUT the characters have their own minds! They often head in a completely different direction than I want them to go by the end of the first draft. I should do physical profiles as well—hair color, eyes, etc.—but I’m always too eager to get writing on their stories!

FBL : What do you like better: when you’ve just started writing a book or when you’ve just finished one, and why?

I love it when a book is just finished because my favorite part of the writing process is the revision stage. (Yes, I am that much of a nerd!) I love having it all done so I can go back and wrestle with problems in the plot, layer in character motivations and backgrounds, add more emotion—sometimes I end up rewriting most of it. In ALONG CAME A ROGUE, I ended up changing the entire second half of the novel, from Emily pursing Grey to Grey chasing after Emily. Sometimes it’s really hard to let go of a scene or a chapter, but you have to make that cut in order to make it better.

FBL : Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

I wish I could say that I’m a young, sophisticated Regency lady who dresses in silks and attends balls…but sadly, it mostly all comes from my imagination! I’ve been fortunate to have lived in England, so I’m able to draw on what I experienced there, and those feelings and descriptions find their way into my books all the time. Sometimes, I’ll read a bit of history and work that into the plot—like St. Katharine’s in my upcoming book, AS THE DEVIL DARES, whose destruction forms a secondary plot to the romance. But I never write about people I know. I find that *really* difficult for me to do because I can never capture their personal essence and end up turning them into caricatures rather than characters.

FBL : What was the hardest thing to cut from your manuscript?

Jokes! Those are the interesting lines or snippets that can make a scene shine, and so when I have a scene with a really good joke in it, it’s so *hard* to cut it. I’ll twist myself into knots to come up with a way to save the joke, if I can.

FBL : If If the Duke Demands had a theme song, what would it be?

Oh, good question! “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. I think the characters—and all of us—can connect with the lines, “At long last love has arrived / And I thank God I'm alive…” And “Now that I've found you stay / And let me love you, baby / Let me love you…” I think those lines really sum up Miranda and Sebastian’s unexpected love. (Of course, I also think the lyrics from I’m Gonna Be by the Proclaimers are just off-beat enough to fit their off-beat romance, too…“But I would walk 500 miles / And I would walk 500 more / Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles / To fall down at your door…”)

FBL : What books are on your nightstand, waiting to be read?

Right now, all of Lisa Kleypas’s historical romances! I love to pick an author and read all of her books in order so that I can see how she’s evolved as a writer. I love to study a good writer’s works and really analyze what she does to make the stories come alive. I also have a non-fiction book on architectural details of Regency houses. And of course, THE GROUCHO LETTERS, a collection of Groucho Marx’s letters to his family and friends, which never leaves my bedside. Even when I’ve had the worst day imaginable, reading a few of those letters always make me feel better.

Anna Harrington fell in love with historical romances--and all those dashing Regency heroes--while living in London, where she studied literature and theatre. She loves to travel, fly airplanes, and hike, and when she isn't busy writing her next novel, she loves fussing over her roses in her garden. 
Extra author goodies: 
Anna will be hosting a release party on Facebook, there will be giveaways, contests and guest posts from romance authors in addition to a special sneak peek at the end of the night.
If you can’t attend the Facebook party, or are just interested in learning behind the scenes information about Anna’s books, be sure to visit the “extras” page on her website for deleted scenes, insider info, and bonus shorts.


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