THE JAMES GANG
Each month, I interview authors or publishing insiders who have some form of "James" in their names or in their books. My July James Gang interviewee is Grand Central Publishing author Jennifer Haymore, who has a family of characters perfect for the James Gang!
1. Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why did you pick James as the name of your fictional Regency family?
I am odd the way I pick names. I usually do a quick brainstorm, find a name, and use it forever. I’m not one who agonizes over names! In this case, I did the same quick brainstorm, but James seemed to fit especially well, since it’s my son’s middle name, and it’s also the first name of one of my favorite heroes of all time, Jamie from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.
2. Tell us about the James family trilogy.
The James family trilogy covers the lives of Garrett James, the Duke of Calton, his wife Sophie, his cousin Tristan James, and his young sister, Rebecca James. At the end of the trilogy, all of them (after much struggle) find their happily ever afters!
Book One: A Hint Of Wicked
CAUGHT BETWEEN DUTY AND DESIRE…
Sophie, the Duchess of Calton, has finally moved on. After seven years mourning the loss of her husband, Garrett, at Waterloo, she has married his best friend and heir, Tristan. Sophie gives herself to him body and soul…until the day Garrett returns from the Continent, demanding his title, his lands—and his wife.
TORN BETWEEN TWO HUSBANDS…
Now Sophie must choose between her first love and her new love, knowing that no matter what, her choice will destroy one of the men she adores. Will it be Garrett, her childhood sweetheart, whose loss nearly destroyed her once already? Or will it be Tristan, beloved friend turned lover, who supported her through the last, dark years and introduced her to a passion she had never known? As her two husbands battle for her heart, Sophie finds herself immersed in a dangerous game—where the stakes are not only love…but life and death.
Book Two: A Touch Of Scandal
The last thing Garrett, Duke of Calton, expects to find while tracking his sworn enemy is the delectable, mysterious Kate. This beautiful servant girl rouses a longing the battle-scarred ex-soldier had never hoped to feel again. But when she turns out to be the sister of the man he seeks, he’s convinced he’s been betrayed.
Kate knows her duty to her family, yet how can she ignore Garrett’s powerful pull on her heart? Or the heady temptation of his stolen-and-sizzling kisses? Scandal has followed the duke since the war. Now the greatest shock of all is on its way—the one that can separate Garrett and Kate forever.
Book Three: A Season Of Seduction
Although the widowed Lady Rebecca has sworn off marriage, men are another matter. London’s cold winter nights have her dreaming of warmer pursuits—like finding a lover to satisfy her hungry heart. Someone handsome, discreet, and most importantly as uninterested in marriage as she is. Someone like Jack Fulton.
A known adventurer and playboy, Jack seems like the perfect choice. There’s just one problem: Jack isn’t interested in an affair. He needs the beautiful, mysterious Lady Rebecca to be his wife. And he doesn’t have much time to persuade her. A secret from Jack’s past is about to surface, and by Christmas Day he’ll be either married to Rebecca or dead.
3. Tell us about your upcoming release(s).
My next series is the Donovan Sisters, about five sisters who grew up in poverty in the West Indies and are thrown into the scandalous mire of London Society. I’m really excited about it! The first book, Confessions Of An Improper Bride, releases on August 1!
Serena Donovan left London six years ago, her heart broken and her reputation ruined by devilishly handsome Jonathan Dane. Now, with her family’s future in peril, she reluctantly agrees to return to England and assume her late twin’s identity. The price? Marry a man she doesn’t love and spend the rest of her days living a lie.
Jonathan Dane, Earl of Stratford, has become an incorrigible rake, drinking, gambling-and trying to forget Serena Donovan. Yet the moment he’s introduced to the prim and proper “Meg,” he recognizes the sensual young woman who captured his heart. Haunted by his past mistakes, he refuses to lose Serena again. But convincing her to trust him is no easy task. Claiming his lost love means exposing the truth and destroying the life Serena has sacrificed everything to rebuild. With the future of all the Donovans at stake, and their undying passion capable of triggering yet another scandal, how much will Jonathan and Serena risk for a chance at true love?
4. Is there a core story and/or a theme(s) in your books?
I think different themes emerge as I grow as an author and write more books. For the James series, it was about the sacrifices you have to make to find great happiness, and that theme has continued somewhat into the Donovan series. I also love writing about family dynamics, and I think different themes about family relationships are emerging as I write more stories.
5. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
I love them all, but the one who will always hold a special place in my heart is Garrett James, the Duke of Calton. He was the hero of my very first book that sold to New York (in great part, I think, due to his character). He is rough and gruff, and sometimes behaves like the ultimate jerk, but in the end, I discovered he was capable of very deep love. I was lucky, because Garrett played a major role in all three books in the James series.
6. What do you enjoy most about being an author?
I think I’m an entertainer at heart. Before I was an author, I was an actress. I love entertaining the reader and giving them that “ahhh” feeling at the end of the book. It’s such a great feeling when I get an email from a reader saying how much they enjoyed one of my stories! It tells me I’ve done my job.
7. Do you have any awards, reviews or kudos you’d like to tell us about?
A Touch of Scandal was a reviewer’s choice award winner from Single Titles. It also received a Top Pick and 4.5 stars from RT Book Reviews magazine. A Season of Seduction also received 4.5 stars, and both books were nominees for RT awards in 2011.
I haven’t received many reviews for Confessions of an Improper Bride yet, and I’m biting my nails waiting for the readers’ reactions!
8. How do you promote your books and your author brand?
I think my website is my most powerful tool. I am also part of a multi-author chat group and website, Dangerous Women (www.dangerwomenwriting.com), and I’m on Twitter (www.twitter.com/jenniferhaymore) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/jenniferhaymore) and I run a book-related contest every month on my site. My publisher (Grand Central Publishing) really does a great job promoting me and my brand as well, and I’m very thankful for that!
9. What is your next project?
I’m currently finishing up the last Donovan book. I have a proposal for the next series to send in to my editor when it’s done. It’s another family story--this time about an eccentric group of siblings who were orphaned at a young age. I hope my editor likes it as much as I do!
10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you’d like to impart or a favorite quote?
For writers? I think “Just do it” has always motivated me when I felt particularly unmotivated! And definitely, don’t quit, no matter what. Persistence (and a thick skin) is key in this business!
Thanks so much for having me, Marcia!
Thank you, Jennifer! My August James Gang interviewee will be Siren Publishing author, Elle Saint James!
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