Hi Susanna and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Wicked, My Love!
Thank you for having me. Your site is absolutely lovely. Beautiful colors and graphics.
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
Or as the book cover says, “Handsome, silver-tongued politician Lord Randall doesn’t get along with his bank partner, the financially brilliant but hopelessly frumpish Isabella St. Vincent. Ever since she was his childhood nemesis, he’s tried-and failed-to get the better of her. When both Randall’s political career and their mutual bank interests are threatened by scandal, he has to admit he needs Isabella’s help. They set off on a madcap scheme to set matters right. With her wits and his charm, what could possibly go wrong? Only a volatile mutual attraction that’s catching them completely off guard…”
Please share a few Random facts about this book…
There is a scene in the book where Isabella agrees to let the housekeeper of Randall’s love nest try to style Isabella’s hair. Naturally this is outrageous for a respectable lady, but Isabella is desperate for help with her seemingly untamable curls. I’ve been searching for decades for a great hair stylist and recently found one. I really wanted to show in those scenes the extent of my own desperation and the depths I would willingly sink to for a good stylist.
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book.
Isabella possesses a precise, analytical mind. She enjoys crunching numbers and making mathematical predictions but flounders in social and romantic settings. She shies away from unpredictable, pesky things like emotions and her business partner, Lord Randall.
As she explains to Randall:
“Admit it, I’m awkward and clumsy. I might as well speak an entirely different language—the
language of the odd, ungainly people. It contains a hundred different ways to say ‘Oops, I’m sorry.’”
Nonetheless, inside her beats a caring, loyal heart that bravely reaches out with love.
Lord Randall is a charismatic politician. With his attractive face and dazzling manners, he easily charms everyone except Isabella, who appears to have a natural immunity against him. He struggles with choosing to follow his own political ideas, which would cause him to fall from popular graces, or continuing to bask in the adoration of others and be a “yes” man for his party, a path that will lead to greater political fame, maybe even prime ministership.
As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
The depths of my hero’s profound kindness surprised me. Inside he struggles with his own perception of himself, but from the outside perspective, I and the reader know all along the choices he will make. He is just too caring and compassionate.
Isabella is a truly brave soul, even though she would disagree with that statement. She suffers from a crippling lack of self-confidence and has difficulty communicating with others, typically stammering out very embarrassing words. But despite these personal obstacles, she keeps moving forward, reaching out to others as best she can, and allowing herself to be put outside her comfort zone.
The First kiss…
The first kiss was such a washout. He was trying to hush her so they wouldn’t be detected in the house they had just broken into to locate their errant business partner. But she thought he was truly kissing her. Very awkward and embarrassing.
The second kiss got them tossed from a hotel.
But the third kiss! Ah! That one was a keeper and led to many more sensual delights.
Did any scene have you crying or laughing (or blushing) while writing it?
I love Victorian illustrations in journals with the little captions underneath. In the book, I needed a clean, swift transition of time, so I decided to use the idea of captions and came up with this. (Please note, throughout the book my characters change their names to Mr. Randy and Miss Izzy May, or some variation thereof, to conceal their identity.)
The previous night’s soft spell was ruined by bells ringing around them before dawn had even broken. Men shouted train arrivals, babies cried, feet shuffled, and trains roared into the station. Isabella would remember the surrounding twelve hours like captioned illustrations in a book: Lord Randall kisses the naked Miss St. Vincent. Miss. St Vincent and Lord Randall divulge their innermost feelings in a darkened train station. Miss St. Vincent thinks four and a half hours of sleep isn’t enough. Mr. Randy finds forgotten money in the lining of his coat and buys first-class tickets. Alas, Izzy May can’t fall back asleep because of their fellow passenger’s cigar smoke and endless talk of horseracing. Izzy May hates everyone and everything as she arrives in London.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters?
The story is a farce, harkening back to the farces I saw at the local theater as a child, Charley’s Aunt, The Nerd, The Importance of Being Ernest, The Funny Thing That Happened On The Way To The Forum, and Noises Off. Hence the humor is over-the-top and physical. So, I would choose the scene where Isabella stuffs hay down her corset and pretends to be Randall’s pregnant sister. They search for their suspect under the pretense that he knocked Isabella up and then abandoned her, and Randall is intent on making an “honest” woman out of his sister. In the scene, Isabella’s metaphor of economic theory as love comes across as embarrassingly sexual.
“But then the market loses confidence because maybe love’s expected growth wasn’t as big as you had projected, never achieving the anticipated rise in…in ardor, or the initial gain rises sharply but then sags off prematurely.”
“Oh God,” she heard Randall mutter.
“So, so the shares in love go down,” she explained. “People start sticking their assets in other promising openings in the market…the love exchange, that is. Meanwhile, you’re left holding options that you can’t sell. You’re stuck holding a…a baby.” Wait, that didn’t sound right.
If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?
Ha! You can give my characters good advice all day, but they won’t listen. No, no, they must go hurtling headlong into trouble and then painfully digging their way out to learn anything. Otherwise, this love story would have been over before it began.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2015?
I’m working on the third Wicked book, but Wicked, My Love is all I have for 2015. I’m a very slow and easily distracted writer.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Print copy of Wicked, My Love (Wicked Little Secrets)
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A smooth-talking rogue and a dowdy financial genius
Handsome, silver-tongued politician Lord Randall doesn’t get along with his bank partner, the financially brilliant but hopelessly frumpish Isabella St. Vincent. Ever since she was his childhood nemesis, he’s tried-and failed-to get the better of her.
Make a perfectly wicked combination
When both Randall’s political career and their mutual bank interests are threatened by scandal, he has to admit he needs Isabella’s help. They set off on a madcap scheme to set matters right. With her wits and his charm, what could possibly go wrong? Only a volatile mutual attraction that’s catching them completely off guard…
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Meet the Author:
Susanna Ives started writing when she left her job as a multimedia training developer to stay home with her family. Now she keeps busy driving her children to various classes, writing books, and maintaining websites. She often follows her husband on business trips around Europe and blogs about the misadventures of touring with children. She lives in Atlanta.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hang out with me on Facebook www.facebook.com/susanna.ives or Pinterest (I have a Pinterest obsession. It’s rather unhealthy.) www.pinterest.com/susanna_ives/.