Embracing Romance Welcomes Guest Author Mia Marlowe

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Mia Marlow - Photo Embracing Romance welcomes Mia Marlowe. Mia didn’t plan on making things up for a living, but she says it’s the best job she ever had. Her work was featured in the Best of 2010 issue of PEOPLE magazine. One of her books is on display at the Museum of London Docklands next to Johnny Depp memorabilia. The RITA nominated author has over 20 books in print with more on the way! Mia loves art, music, history and travel. Good thing about the travel because she’s lived in 9 different states, 4 different time zones. For more, visit www.miamarlowe.com.

ER: Welcome to Embracing Romance, Mia. You are an opera singer turned author. Tell us a little about how that came about, and do you still perform?

Mia: I saw my first opera when I was in college and I was completely blown away by it. The story seethed with passion. The costumes and sets were gorgeous. And I had no idea the human voice could make sounds like that. It was the cry of my soul and I had to learn how to do it. A few years later I was winning the Met auditions and performing with regional companies. However, when it became obvious that I was going to have to be away from my DH and small daughters far more than I wanted in the furtherance of my career, I hung up my vocal cords and went on to other things.

I still sing with my church and community organizations. If you’d like to see a pic from my glory days of me in costume as Rosalinde in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, click over to http://www.miamarlowe.com/meet-mia/!

ER: You once shared a stage with Placido Domingo. That had to be one of the highlights of your life. What are some others?

Mia: Oh, there have been so many! I’ve been blessed with a loving and lasting marriage & 2 great kids. We’ve lived in some beautiful places, like Wyoming, Utah and the Pacific Northwest. Because my DH works in the IT travel industry, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve been to Europe.

My DH earned his private pilot’s license in 2002, so we’ve flown all over the western US in a Cessna 182. The world seen from a small plane is an unnecessarily beautiful place.

ER: Do you listen to opera when you write, or do you have particular playlists for each book, or do you need silence?

Mia: I would be too distracted by opera to listen to it while I write. Instead, I choose a movie sound track that has no vocals, like Shakespeare in Love, Braveheart, or Lord of the Rings.

ER: Do you have any unique writing habits, and are you a panster or a plotter?

Mia: I’m a “wanna-be-a-plotter” pantser. I’m sure my life would be less stressful if I could plot out my books ahead of time, but each time I’ve tried it, the story felt flat to me because I knew where it was going. If I’m not sure how things will turn out, my readers will be surprised too!

ER: Was your road to published author long and winding, or a short path?

Mia Marlow - Cover Mia: It was probably a middling length path. I started noodling around with a story in 2001. After two “training wheels” manuscripts which helped me hone my craft, I sold the third one in 2005. Maidensong came out in 2006. My twenty-fifth book, A Rake by Any Other Name, will come out this November.

ER: You’ve been crowned “the queen of saucy historical romance” by UK’s BooksMonthly. Is that your favorite thing ever said about your books? If not, what holds that honor?

Mia: Someone once called my writing “ribald, yet classy!” I love that. Any time you can put two such disparate things together, you’ve accomplished something! I’ve also been thrilled to have starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and my Scottish Christmas book, Plaid Tidings, was nominated for a Rita this year.

ER: You claim you’d rather have an adventure than a new sofa. What’s the best adventure you’ve ever had?

Mia: One winter, my family and I rode snowmobiles across Yellowstone Park. We started at the east entrance at the break of dawn, took the southern loop past Old Faithful, and finally pulled into West Yellowstone as the stars were popping out of a blackening sky. We saw so much wildlife and the thermal features were incredible with snowy crusts around them.

Amazingly enough, I was not at all cold. We were well-equipped to deal with the frigid temps. We picnicked on summer sausage & cheese at noon and stayed well clear of the bison roaming the plowed roadways. And at the end of the day, a hot tub never feels as good as it does when a light dusting of snow is falling on the steaming water.

ER: One of your favorite things to do is travel. What is your favorite place of all to visit? What makes it so special?

Mia: Pretty much any place that can be accessed by cruise ship. We’ve been to Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean, Mexico, Bermuda, England, Ireland, Scotland & France on cruises. In addition to fascinating ports of call, the boat itself is a destination for me. I confess that I love being pampered and waited on. By the end of the cruise, I always wish we could take our room steward home with us.

ER: What’s next for Mia Marlowe? Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?

Mia: I’m working on a new series called Order of the M.U.S.E. I like to think of it as: “Leverage” type group of psychics meets Jane Austen in King George III’s Court. The first book, Seducing Miss Darkin, will come out next March.

My first ever New Adult/Romantic Suspense will be out this month. It’s called The Warning Sign. My hearing-impaired heroine Sara just graduated from Boston College. She’s got a new job and a new guy. And a new hitman has put her on his “to do” list. Unfortunately, the only cop who believes she speechread a conversation about murder for hire is her cheating ex.

And in October, the book of my heart comes out—Once upon a Plaid. I know it’s a cliché, but this story pulled things out of me I didn’t know were there. The premise came to me when my sister served as a gestational surrogate for a childless couple. It made me wonder how a 16th century couple would deal with an empty cradle. My hero William is Laird of Badenoch. He needs an heir like he needs arrows in his quiver, but his beloved wife Katherine is barren. Because she loves him, she’s determined to have their marriage annulled and take the veil, but William isn’t the sort to give up without a fight.

There were many tears on the keyboard as I wrote this one. And it’s available for pre-order now! http://www.miamarlowe.com/once-upon-a-plaid/


Mia Marlow - Cover 1

Once upon a Plaid 

He poured his love for her into his kiss.

She opened to him, answering his tongue with hers, and the world went wet and soft and welcoming.

This much is right between us.

In their thousand days or so of wedded life, Will had kissed this woman countless times and, contrary to his friends’ predictions, it was always new to him. How could it not be when he was never sure what was rolling around in Kat’s head while their mouths made love?

Perhaps it was all right not to know. Perhaps they were better together if only their bodies did the talking.

William stood, with her still in his arms, and carried her to the bed. Katherine’s terrier Angus scrambled up to hide under one of the pillows. Will decided he’d deal with that little furball later, after he laid his wife out and covered her sweet body with his.

But when he lay down atop her, she pressed both palms on his chest. “No, Will, I canna.”

“Och, love, dinna be cruel.” He planted a string of baby kisses along her jaw and neck. She seemed to melt under them. “Not to a man who rode through a blizzard to come to your bed.”

“’Tis not that I dinna want ye. I do. More than ye know.” Her voice broke. “My courses are upon me.”

Her words were a punch to his gut. William rolled off her and lay flat on his back beside her, staring up at the underside of the tower thatching.

She’d lost another one. By his reckoning, she’d been more than three months gone with child, but he couldn’t be sure since she’d not shared her hopes with him this time. Still, he could count. He was waiting for her to tell him, to reveal her secret so they could rejoice together.

Now all he could share with his wife was the bitter end of yet another failure. Another loss.

’Tis not your fault.

The words died on his tongue. He’d said them before. Many times. She never seemed to hear them. He’d give half his holding if someone would tell him what to do, what to say, to ease his Katherine’s pain.

He reached for her, but she rolled onto her side facing away from him. In the dimness, her shoulders shook.

She wept without a sound.

Even in her grief, she shut him out.

Wee Angus crept out from under the pillow and nestled against the small of her back. She didn’t push him away.

God’s Teeth, I canna even best a dog.

Will sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed.

“Where are you going?”

“To get roaring drunk, my love. I may even pick a fight with that clotpole Ranulf MacNaught.” He stomped to the doorway and promptly banged his forehead on the low lintel. William swore softly under his breath. “I canna think of a better way to celebrate Christmas, can you?”

Once upon a Plaid is available for pre-order now http://www.miamarlowe.com/once-upon-a-plaid/ If you’d like to be notified when it’s out, please sign up for Mia’s newsletter at www.miamarlowe.com.

Connect with Mia:

Thanks for having me here today! I love to connect with readers, so I’ll be by several times to respond to comments. To get the discussion going, let’s talk about secondary characters for a bit. What do you like to see? Friends of the H/h? Servants? Pets? Can you think of any memorable secondary characters who deserve a story of their own?

I’m offering a copy of one of my backlist books to one random commenter. US/Canada only please. Please include your email address along with your comment so we’ll be able to contact you if you’re the winner.

Trivia Question On how many of Mia’s covers is the hero shown holding something other than the heroine? (Hint: Check out all of her books here: http://www.miamarlowe.com/books)   Enter your answer here

Follow Victoria Vane:

Romance Novelist

VICTORIA VANE is an award-winning author of smart and sexy romance with works ranging from wild comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Her books have received more than twenty awards and nominations to include the 2014 RONE Award for Treacherous Temptations and Library Journal Best E-Book romance of 2012 for The Devil DeVere series. She lives the beautiful upstate of South Carolina with her husband, two sons, a little black dog, and an Arabian horse.

38 Responses

  1. Sandra Owens

    Welcome to Embracing Romance, Mia. Love your covers, especially the hot guy on ONCE UPON A PLAID. 🙂 As for secondary characters, I do love when a pet shows up on a story.

    • Mia Marlowe

      Thanks for having me, Sandra! Angus, the dog in Once Upon a Plaid is patterned after my beloved little Harry, a long-haired dachshund mix we had to say good bye to in January after a devastating illness. I still miss him terribly.

  2. Maggi Andersen

    Wonderful excerpt, Mia. An opera singer and a writer, wow! What gifts!

    • miamarlowe

      Thanks, Maggi. When I started this story, I wondered how I could make it a romance between two people who were already married to each other. But Kat & William are sufficiently estranged to make the way they find each other again a journey worth making.

  3. ki pha

    Oh my gosh!!! Look at all the things you have planned for us Mia!I cannot wait for all these new works in progress~ 😀

    And I so envy you on all you escapades on your travels. But can I say I love the cover of A Rake By Any Other Name! Plus you look fitting to be royalty in that picture of you as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. 😉

  4. Miriam Smith

    What a touching excerpt. God, I’m sure there are so many women who can relate to how she feels. Pets make interesting secondaries, more so because they can’t talk, lol. But I like it when friends are secondaries. They provide insight into the H/h’s lives the reader might not see otherwise.


    • miamarlowe

      Don’t worry, Miriam. Katherine has her wise and witty sister-in-law Margie to confide in while William takes advice from Glengarry’s fool, Nab. Both fun characters! 😉

  5. Lori Ha

    Awesome excerpt 🙂
    I like pets and friends of the h/h as secondary characters. Sometimes I enjoy seeing the siblings as well.
    lorih824 at yahoo dot com

    • miamarlowe

      Katherine is pretty upset with her brother Donald and the way he abandons his family for court life.

  6. allybroadfield

    Thanks for joining us today, Mia! I’m looking forward to reading Once Upon a Plaid. I love animals as secondary characters, though as Miriam pointed out, friends do provide insight into the hero/heroine. My DH works for an airline, but we haven’t taken advantage of those benefits nearly as much as you have. I need to get to work planning more vacations!

    • miamarlowe

      Use those golden handcuffs while you have them, Ally! We were able to take so many trips because of the flight benefits, but I will admit, the flights used to be much less full and it was easier to get on than it might be now.

  7. eileendandashi

    Children and animals make great secondary characters. I’ve just finished a book where the seven year old saw much more than his age dictates and his love of his dog just made you want to hug them both. As they say, out of the mouth of babes…

    • miamarlowe

      The trick is balance. A dog can take over a story if you let them and on the other end of the spectrum, you can make the mistake of forgetting about them while your characters are doing other things too.

  8. JoannaM

    What an amazing and exciting life, Mia! I can only imagine the places you’ve visited and the things you’ve seen. That excerpt was just fabulous. I’ve never given it much thought to how infertility was handled back in the day because in my retrograde-set mind I assumed the man would just go out and get the heir the best way he knew how, but what if the couple was in love?! It was an eye-opener and now I really, really want to get my hands on your book ASAP to know what happens next =D

    • miamarlowe

      Fortunately, you won’t have long to wait for Once Upon a Plaid. October 7th is just around the corner…

  9. Barbara Monajem

    What a lovely interview. I thought I knew quite a bit about you, Mia, but I learned a lot more today. (Your opera singer pic is awesome!)

    • miamarlowe

      You should see me as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro. It’s a “pants role” meaning I was playing boy. It was great fun!

  10. mysticalmanuscripts

    I have made a delightful discovery of today!!! It is weird that I have yet to come across any of your books Mia, but after reading the excerpt for “Once Upon A Plaid”, I am definitely enthralled and I am adding it to my TBR List.
    And to answer your question “What do you like to see? Friends of the H/h? Servants? Pets?” I enjoy when H/h interacts with all that you have listed, because in away you get to know the character even better when you see how they act around their friends, servants, and pets. I especially like when they interact with there pets, I am such an animal lover!!

  11. jdh2690

    I want to hear more about secondary characters if they play a role in a primary story that makes them stand out and have a reader take notice of them. Then, I like to see a story about them too. 🙂 I also like pets in the stories, if their personalities make an entrance into the stories so that a reader will take notice of them. You wouldn’t miss our Yorkie, Maggie, if I wrote about her. She actually “talks” to me with various ranges of sounds. She knows quite a few words, too, so I have to play a guessing game with her to find out what she’s trying to say. When I hit on the correct word about what she wants…she goes nuts! 🙂 I also enjoyed the bio blurb and finding out you were an opera singer! It’s good you can still find outlets for your singing (church, etc.) while you enjoy your writing career. Thanks so much for sharing bits of yourself and your life and writing style. I enjoy getting to know my favorite authors. It makes it more personal when I’m reading a story they’ve written. Thanks for the post. jdh2690@gmail.com

    • miamarlowe

      I totally believe your Yorkie talks. My Mack sometimes says a few words. He really does say “O-o-u-u-t” when he needs to go and I’ve missed the other signals.

  12. Glenda

    What a heartbreaking excerpt, Mia!

    As for secondary characters, I’m really not picky. I’ve always had pets so having dogs and cats involved in stories is only natural to me. They can provide great comfort as well as comedic relief at times. However, they aren’t able to provide advice (at least not verbally) – human friends and/or family are needed for that. 🙂

    • miamarlowe

      When I started this story, my research showed that losing a child often leads to losing the relationship as well. It’s so hard to share this deep grief.