maandag 22 april 2013

LLC 2013 Interview Delilah Marvelle

Interview with Delilah Marvelle, our 8th author for LLC 2013!

Hi, we are Aurian from Boeklogboek and Maia, and today we have best selling author Delilah Marvelle, author of very original historical romances visiting us here in Utrecht, Holland.


Aurian:       Welcome to Utrecht, the Netherlands, Delilah. Have some hot chocolate with whipped cream, and some Dutch cookies.
Delilah:       Thank you, Aurian! Mmmmm...I think you need to adopt me J

Maia:          Can you tell our readers who might not yet know you or your books, a little about yourself? Something that is not in your official bio (which is at the bottom of this post).
Delilah:       I write historical romance, and in, particular, am obsessed with nuances of naughty history that school never really touched upon. I do a lot of historical research and so I’m always digging up things about history that astounds even me. Whatever doesn’t end up in my books finds a place on my blog, A Bit O’Muslin ( ).  I just love surprising myself and my readers and needless to say, history is full of surprises. 

LL Convention questions

Aurian:       Could you tell us why you are attending a convention in Berlin, Germany, Europe? Have you been there before? Or other places in Europe? Were you surprised at being invited to a convention this far away?
Delilah:       This will be my first time attending both the convention and my first time stepping into Germany. I have been hearing quite about about the Love Letters Convention and usually attend a lot of the convention here in the United States, so when I was asked if I could attend the convention in Berlin, I was *beyond* excited to jump at the chance to go. Why? I have a growing audience in Europe and I really wanted to connect with my readers in the same way I do here in the States by meeting them in person. It’s incredibly special meeting my readers face to face as opposed to just keeping it to a computer screen. Was I surprised at being invited? Yes. I didn’t realize I had enough readers in Europe who wanted to meet me, lol. I have a lot of readers here in the States, but my readers in Europe are still growing. It’s wonderful. I have been to many places in Europe and so this is an extra treat for me. I am first generation Polish with most of my family living in Poland, so I travel to Europe and Poland, in particular, as often as I can.

Maia:          The convention is in Berlin, a beautiful city. Are you planning to do some sightseeing? In Berlin or even in the rest of Europe?
Delilah:       Oh, yes I am indeed going to do sightseeing! Especially anything related to historical sex J And I know Berlin is full of enough naughty history to keep me busy. I am always looking to add to my collection of pictures and research notes/books. I can’t wait to see what Berlin has to offer. As far as sightseeing anywhere else, I will be in France 8 days prior to Berlin and then again 4 days afterward, so I will definitely be doing a lot of sightseeing there in France. And needless to say, I have a lot to see both from a historical research perspective and a culinary perspective. Because for those that don’t know, I am also a chef. So France holds a very special culinary place in my heart. I am so looking forward to the food! (And in Berlin too!)

Aurian:       There's a lovely group of authors coming this year. Do you personally know any of the other authors present?
Delilah:       Authors usually know each other in one form or another, either by meeting at conventions or on Facebook or Twitter. But I’m always trying to meet them all because they are all such amazingly wonderful people. Although I know many of the names listed, the authors that I have spoken to in person and have met on more than one occasion is Cherry Adair, Courtney Milan, and Erin McCarthy. Mostly because they are in my part of the woods, lol. I am excited to meet and get to know everyone, however!

Maia:          The convention promo and books are in German. Will it be possible for you to bring some English swag?
Delilah:       Done and done.

Book questions

Aurian:       So far, I have only read Forever and a Day, but I have the other books in the series on my shelves and will read them in time for the convention. I also have Rules of Engagement (anth.) ready to dive in.
                  I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with this book, as a lot of intriguing things are missing, like the time spend in New York, before Roderick loses his memory. But then Maia pointed out to me (as stated on your website), you have written this series as pieces of a puzzle, and I will discover more in the next books. Of course, now I know this, I want to read the next books sooner. My question: why did you go for this unique format, and how do most of your readers react to it?
Delilah:       The reaction from readers have actually been amazing. Because my readers know exactly how my mind works. It is the same approach I took with the School of Gallantry series. Where all the books take place at the same time. The series actually starts with Forever Mine (an e-novella) where you are introduced to a series of events and the family behind the entire series. My approach toward writing this series (as well as any series I write) is to never repeat anything throughout all the books and create a new experience every time for the reader, whether they are just starting the series or continuing on to the next. I feel that too many series books rehash scenes and characters and you only learn something new in snippets as opposed throughout the whole book. I wanted to step beyond that. I wanted to weave everything intricately together. One book will show you a scene in which you may see someone briefly passing by and in another book, you will have the perspective of that person who is passing by and it is anything but brief.  I love playing with flipped perspectives. In answer to your question, if you are used to and expect a certain ‘experience’ when it comes to reading a romance then I would say yes, my approach will cause you to raise a brow. But I refuse to settle into giving my readers the same thing they have come to expect in other books. I am constantly challenging myself and my readers to step outside the box of how they think a book should be written and hand themselves over to what it really is: another world.

Aurian:       I am really intrigued by the lady who teaches Georgia how to be a lady. Will she play a part in the next books, do we learn about her past, and will she perhaps find her true love at last?
Delilah:       Yes and yes J Lady Burton gets her own book in Forever a Lady. I made sure the characters that I did introduce would all get their own time to shine and Lady Burton gets her time with Matthew, who is Georgia’s “stepson” So all of the characters you met in Forever and a Day, re-appear. You will also see Georgia in many scenes you didn’t see in Forever and a Day. And the same goes for Forever a Lord.

Maia:          I've read and loved your first two "School of Gallantry" series books. I'm very glad to see you are (finally!) writing follow up books. Do any of them have per chance in it Lord Brayton, the virginal, scarred, blue-eyed gentleman who gives a woman a dagger to protect her virtue and her heart? (swoon)
Delilah:       I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the first two books! And haha and oh yes. Lord Brayton will be getting his own book. And I always save the best for last. A scarred virgin has quite the story, lol.

Maia:          Since we're talking about this series. I remember you had problems with the continuation of the School of Gallantry series way back in 2009. I still can remember the call to the blog-sphere to buy and support your series. It was the reason I bought the second book.  What do you feel about the influence of publishers on writers’ series? Do you see more chances for writers now, for example with self-publising?
Delilah:    New York publishers have done a lot of amazing things for writers and the industry. But they have also done a lot of bad things to the industry. They have killed genres readers love, claiming no one will read them (when self-publishing has proven otherwise) and they have killed a series based on the same reasoning. It’s astounding to think that big decisions like that are controlled by a select few. Self-publishing is an author finally taking back control. New York will always have a special place in my heart, for they know how to do so many things right, but the things they haven’t quite figured out is that an author needs more control than they are willing to give. One of the biggest one being, control over the content. Too many readers think that what they are reading is 100% all of the author, when it fact, sometimes, even the story is altered against the author’s creative judgement because ‘marketing’ or ‘editorial’ does not approve of something. I have had this happen to me many times. And it’s difficult to listen to readers point out what could have been different about a book when in fact, an author does not necessarily approve of the final version getting into their hands.

Aurian:       I actually did read the whole FAQ on your website. So now I want to know, will you be taking your handsome husband with you to Berlin?
Delilah:    As a matter of fact, yes, he will be there in Berlin, lol. And it still costs money to take pictures of him, lol.

Personal questions:

Maia:          We both have enormous TBR mountain ranges, how big is yours? And what do you plan on reading next?
Delilah:       My TBR pile is 298 books long. And that doesn’t include research books, which would punch it up to double that. I’m planning to read Summerset Abbey by T.J.Brown next.

Aurian:       Who are some of your favourite authors? Do you still have the books you loved reading as a young girl?
Delilah:       My favourite authors are actually all the dead ones, lol. Edith Wharton, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Henryk Sienkiewicz, to name a few. And yes! I still do have many books that I loved reading as a girl. I have my copy of Little Women, Pinocchio, Hans Christian Andersen, Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Animal Farm.  

And now for some fun quick questions:

Are you left-handed or right-handed?
What is your favourite movie, and which is the last one you saw in the theater?
My Favorite movie is AMELIE and the last movie I saw in the theatre was THE HOST.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning Person
What famous author, dead or alive, would you love to meet and why?
Edith Wharton. Because that woman was brilliant and lived through enough to give me fodder for my own books if I sat down with her for a conversation J

Official Bio

Delilah Marvelle spent her youth studying various languages, reading voraciously and playing the pianoforte. She confesses that here ends the extent of her gentle breeding. She was a naughty child who was forever torturing her parents with countless adventures that they did not deem respectable. Confined to her room on many occasions due to these misadventures, she discovered the quill and its amazing power. Soon, to the dismay of her parents, she rather enjoyed being confined to her room and finished writing her first historical romance (which was a heart-stopping 800 pages long…) at the age of fourteen. She is the winner of the Reviewer's Choice Best Sensual Historical Romance and made Booklist’s TOP 10 Romances of 2012 with her book Forever and a Day.

Where to find Delilah:

Blog:       (Sex Throughout History blog)
Twitter:            @DelilahMarvelle

Delilah’s next book is Lady of Pleasure, the third in the Gallantry series, and out this month.

 True love isn't always blind...just misguided
​Lady Caroline Arabella Starling has been in love with her older brother's best friend, Caldwell, since she was thirteen. Unfortunately, too many things keep getting in the way of proving her love. Her four younger sisters, her mother, her brother, all of society and the man she loves himself. But where there is a will, there is a way, and Caroline is about to redefine not only respectability but true love.

​Ronan Henry Dearborn, the fourth Marquis of Caldwell, is known for attending champagne parties and tumbling with women. Although not for the reasons everyone thinks he does. When he and Lady Caroline get tangled in a situation neither of them can get out of, the only way to create a happily-ever-after between them is to take up the advice of a French courtesan who re-educates them both in the art of love.

naamdag / verjaardag

Vandaag ben ik jarig en vier ik mijn 'naamdag'.

Toen ik een pseudoniem ging bedenken voor mijn blog wilde ik een naam met een betekenis. Ik ben toen gaan zoeken op wikipedia.
Ik kwam er achter dat mijn geboortedag ook de eerste "Earth day" was. Gecombineerd met een godinnennaam, net als mijn echte naam, kwam ik op de aardgodin.
In de Griekse en Romeinse mythologie zijn er diverse. De Romeinse aardgodin "Bona Dea" werd gedentificeerd met de Griekse nymph Maia, een van de Pleiaden:

Gecombineerd met de omstandigheden dat ik in mei aan het zoeken was naar de naam, de ster in de het sterrebeeld Stier staat, en het een mooie eenvoudig naam is,  koos ik voor Maia!

vrijdag 12 april 2013

blij, blij, blij 31 boekjes erbij!

Gisteren ben ik weer een heel stel boekjes rijker geworden!!!!

Ik kreeg 9 boeken van Karen Rose binnen:
- Don't tell
- Have you seen her?
- I'm watching you
- You can't hide
- Count to ten
- Die for me
- Scream for me
- Kill for me
- I can see you
Ik heb nu haar hele backlist tot 2011 compleet!

Aurian en ik zijn naar Bussum gegaan om een doos vol boeken te halen die voor een spotprijs om Marktplaats stond. In die doos zaten een aantal juweeltjes van boeken:

Ik heb mijn Christine Feehan backlist kunen aanvullen met:
- Magic in the Wind (had ik al in een anthology, maar nu als een apart boekje!)
- The twilight before Christmas
- Turbulent sea
- Burning Wild

En mijn Lara Adrian collectie met:
- Midnight rising
- Veil of midnight
- Ashes of midnight

Daarnaast heb ik een stel boeken genomen die ik waarschijnlijk niet snel zal lezen, maar mooi in mijn " boekenbank" kunnen staan:

Brown, Sandra - Envy
Brown, Sandra - The crush
Brown, Sandra - Hello darkness
Brown, Sandra - White hot
Brown, Sandra - Chill factor
Brown, Sandra - Ricochet
Hunter, Madeline - The protector
McCall, Dinah - Mimosa grove
McCall, Dinah - Storm warning
McCall, Dinah - The perfect lie
McCall, Dinah - The survivors
Sala, Sharon - Dark water
Sala, Sharon - Second chances
Anthology - At the millionaire's request & The secret wedding dress

En als laatste was van BD nog Alexis Morgan - Bound by darkness binnengekomen.

Dit maakt totaal 31 nieuwe boeken!
En dat betekent dat ik nu 1750 romances heb. Mooi rond getal.

dinsdag 9 april 2013

(ver)nieuwe(de) boekenkast

Vorig week heb ik samen met mijn zwager mijn boekenkast uitgebreid met 21 strekkende meter plank.  (beter gezegd: hij heeft het werk gedaan, ik heb schroefjes aangegeven  ;-)  )

Ik ben er super blij mee.
Kijk eens wat een ruimte ik heb om nieuwe boeken te kopen en te plaatsen!

Ik heb de kast ontworpen om met name mijn pockets kwijt te kunnen. Bij 'normale' boekenkasten zijn de planken vaak te diep en hoog. Hier zijn ze precies goed.
En het loopt nu mooi 'het hoekje om'. Dit was even puzzelen, maar nu past het mooi.


LLC 2013 interview Shannon McKenna

Interview with Shannon McKenna, our 7th author for LLC 2013!

Hi, we are Maia and Aurian from Boeklogboek, and today we have best selling author Shannon McKenna visiting us here in Utrecht, Holland.

Our guest is Shannon McKenna, author of numerous erotic/romantic suspense novels. To be honest, romantica or erotica is not my genre, so I have not read any of your books yet. But Maia has, and she enjoyed them very much.
Shannon McKenna was a guest author last year as well, and her interviews and workshops were a lot of fun!

Aurian:             Welcome to Utrecht, the Netherlands, Shannon. Have some hot chocolate and some Dutch cookies.
Shannon:          Thanks, Aurien! (Enthusiastic crunching sounds.) Delighted to be here, particularly since chocolate and cookies are involved. You clearly know my weaknesses.

Maia:                Can you tell our readers who might not yet know you or your books, a little about yourself? Something that is not in your official bio (which is at the bottom of this post).
Shannon:          Well, gee. Let’s see. I will confess that I have a secret, guilty passion for aspirational lit. That is to say, self-help books and blogs showing me how to become better at things which I, sadly, suck. For example, I love to sit on my butt in a comfy wingback chair, reading diet and exercise books. (gulping sound as I wash down my buttery cookies with a large swallow of hot chocolate.) I also adore procrastinating at my hopelessly piled and messy desk, reading zen-like blog posts from mellow bloggers exhorting me to try the benefits of de-cluttering, minimalism, savouring an austere cup of green tea in a soothing, completely empty room, sun streaming through the curtainless windows. My two little kids and husband all use my studio as a catch-all for all the gear of their many activities. So maybe I should be reading zen-like posts about setting boundaries instead. Would it help? Who knows, but hope springs eternal, which is what aspirational lit is built upon—and co-incidentally enough, romance is built on it too!

LL Convention questions

Aurian:             Could you tell us why you are attending the convention in Berlin, Germany, Europe, again? I know we had a blast last year, but how was it for you as an author? What are some of the differences with American conventions?
Shannon:          I went to the RWA writer’s convention three years ago in NYC, (first one ever!) and met some wonderful readers and bloggers there, but it was a huge zoo, and totally overwhelming. I liked the smaller, more intimate scale of the Love Letter convention, I must say. It was like going to a week-end long party!

Maia:               The convention is in Berlin, a beautiful city. Are you planning to do some sightseeing? In Berlin or even in the rest of Europe?
Shannon:          I have only one precious, precious day after the convention to do something in Berlin—and then it’s straight back to the real world of kids’ schedules and book deadlines.

Aurian:             There is a lovely group of authors coming this year. Last year you came with your friend and fellow author Lisa Marie Rice. Do you personally know any of the new authors present?
Shannon:          Lisa Marie is coming again, (yay!) and I will be thrilled to see again all the people I met last year, Tina Folsom and Maya Banks and Michelle Raven and the rest. And as for new people, I do know Erin McCarthy, who I met many years ago, and I met Cherry Adair briefly seven years ago at the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera. I’m looking forward to seeing them both again!

Maia:                The convention promo and books are in German. Will it be possible for you to bring some English swag?
Shannon:          What a great idea! Thanks for suggesting it! I’ll load up my suitcase. (what else can I do with all  my author copies, here in Italy?)

Book questions

Maia:                I like that your villains are so three dimensional. What is your favourite part about writing complex villains?
Shannon:          I’m glad you like my villains! I think I enjoy writing filthy nasty horrible bad guys because it’s fascinating to contemplate what kinds of life experience can twist people into monsters, what it would be like to be willing to hurt others to obtain one’s end--or worse still, for fun. In real life, I’m terrified of hurting people’s feelings or making them angry. It makes me physically sick. So it is very odd, to be known for super-nasty villains. People who know me and read my books always look at me funny and say, um . . . you wrote that?

Maia:                I have read Tasting Fear. In here you write about three sisters. In the McCloud books you write about a bunch of brothers and their friends. Do you prefer to write about a family, or friends, what is so special about it?
Shannon:          I love connected series. I like the momentum they gain, with each book, and I like them both as a reader and as a writer. It’s great to already know the characters, to be hooked already, to be anxious to go back to that world and know that you can. I like being spurred on by unanswered questions, unsolved dilemmas. And as a writer, it is both problematic and totally awesome to start a book with a clearly defined character already. Maybe it’s a cheap trick, but it works—both for me and on me!

Aurian:             Do you ever think about writing in another genre, or did you find what you love most with erotic romantic suspense? And if so, what would you like to try?
Shannon:          I enjoy the hell out of hot sensuality, so since I’m having so much fun with it I don’t see why I would abandon it. But I could see myself doing sexy historicals, or sexy fantasy, or sexy paranormal.

Aurian:             What is next on your writing schedule?
Shannon:          I just turned in FATAL STRIKE, which is Miles’s story, and I’m starting Sveti’s story, as yet officially untitled. That rounds off the McCloud series. After that, the future yawns, wide and undefined.

Personal questions:

Maia:                We both have enormous TBR mountain ranges, how big is yours? And what do you plan on reading next?
Shannon:          I have years worth of unread books waiting for me! I have to stop whining about how little I get to read. My kids are old enough now that I can get through more than a half a sentence, so I’m finally starting to churn through some books again, and it’s great. I just read Sylvia Day’s BARED TO YOU and REFLECTED IN YOU, very hot, very intense, and I read Moira Young’s dystopian YA series, BLOOD RED ROAD and REBEL HEART, both good. I read Tana French’s IN THE WOODS, also excellent. I just read Lisa Marie Rice’s delicious erotic novella, “The Italian.” Mmmmm, marvellously sensual. I’ve barely started the huge mountain of swag I brought home from the RWA convention back in 2010! Can you imagine? All those juicy books sitting around unread, for three years? It’s a crime, I tell you, a crime. I just downloaded Hugh Howey’s sci-fi sensation, WOOL, onto my Kindle, and that’s next. I also have GONE GIRL waiting, and SHIP BREAKER, another dystopian YA (love those, loved THE HUNGER GAMES) and Stephen Hunter’s DEAD ZERO.

Aurian:             What would you be if you could not be an author?
Shannon:          Oh, easy. Singer. Hands down. No question. I love to sing. It was my main professional activity before the writing took off, and then took over. Love it, love it, love it. Miss it, too.

Aurian:             Who are some of your favourite authors? Do you still have the books you loved reading as a young girl?
Shannon:          I adore JRR Tolkien, Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman, Guy Gavriel Kay. For romance, I love Lisa Marie Rice, Emma Holly, Linda Howard, Lisa Kleypas, Elizabeth Hoyt, and more recently, Sylvia Day. I really enjoyed the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey. For thrillers, Thomas Perry, Lee Childs, Barry Eisler are the first that pop to mind but there are so many great ones. And oh yeah, I do indeed have the books I read as a child, and I sometimes reread them, too! I’m so excited that my little girl is reading  the Little House books of Lara Ingalls Wilder. I loved those. Plus, I loved The Singing Tree, The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, The Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Prydain, and everything by Zilpha Keatley Snyder and Judy Blume.

And now for some fun quick questions:

Are you left-handed or right-handed?.
Right handed.

What is your favourite movie, and which is the last one you saw in the theater?
Some big genre classics: The Terminator, 1 and 2, Blade Runner, Die Hard 1, Alien 1 and 2, Dances with Wolves. Those are the historic ones. I whine as much about missing movies as I do about not reading. I managed to catch almost all of the American version of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” a while back, and enjoyed the hell out of it. (David Craig, swoon!) Beautiful Creatures was the last film I saw in the theater, and it was fun. But I don’t get to see movies much. I wanted to see Argo, and Skyfall, and Django Unchained! I love Quentin Tarantino. I did watch the first season of Breaking Bad, and loved it, and I watched the first two seasons of Game of Thrones, and loved that, too, if TV counts. And I loved the GAME OF THRONES books, too! Oh man how I loved them. I ache, physically, for the next one. Having to wait for that next GOT book is my karmic punishment for writing so damn slow myself.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
These days, I wind down at midnight and rev up at 7, which is when I have to get the kids ready for school. Their schedule dictates mine. I have fond fantasies of following my zen-blogger’s advice and learning to get up at five AM. There I would be, clear as a bell, scribbling fabulous prose as I sipped my unsweetened green tea, getting my entire word count out before my children even woke up. Ahhhh. Like I said before, hope springs eternal.

What famous author, dead or alive, would you love to meet and why?
JRR Tolkien seems like a wise, benevolent person that it would be fun to take tea with. And I bet Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte would have been great to hang out with, too. Those are the first ones that pop to mind.

Yes, I am one of the ladies in this picture


I started writing my first romance novel in secret. I was working a temp job in an insurance office in Manhattan at the time, and the office manager had made it clear that even if there was nothing to do, I still had to look busy-- never one of my big talents. I felt bad about the wasted time, though, and I needed something to round out my other chosen career, which was singing. Yeah, that's right. Most artists choose a more practical Plan B to back up their improbable Plan A. Me? No way. "Long Shot" is my middle name.
So I sneakily set up a Document 1 and a Document 2 with a spreadsheet on it. If my Boss du Jour walked by I could quick-like-a-bunny switch screens, and whenever the coast was clear, I went back to my story. Not that I was slacking, mind you. If there was work to be done, I did it. The sneakiness felt familiar, though, because I've been teased about reading romances since I was a kid. I think the day I finally grew up was the day I stopped trying to cover up what I was reading on the bus, train or subway. Let people think whatever they like.
It wasn't until I moved to Italy (details of that Long Shot provided later on) that I got serious about writing, though. I found myself with many long, quiet days alone with nothing to do, so I slogged my way bravely to the end of the manuscript and sent it out. Everybody rejected it-except for Kensington. I wrote for them for a few years, and then made a bid for an erotic novella for the new Brava imprint, and oh joy, they accepted it. Then I wrote BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. And so on, and so forth.
That's how I started. I can't think of anything I'd rather do. I never knew it would be so scary, and so hard . . . all that solitude and silence, a blank computer screen, and no one to blame. But still. It's worth it. It's great.

I was originally convinced that I wanted to make it as a singer in NYC, so I was temping to support my music habit. I sang with various ensembles that performed medieval and renaissance music, I sang lead in a fabulous Celtic fusion band, I sang church gigs, I sang weddings and funerals, smoky cabaret and country/blues, Christmas carols dressed in a Dickens outfit in shopping malls, I was even a strolling madrigal singer at the Renaissance Faire in one of those cleavage-enhancing lace-up bodice thingies. I did everything I could possibly think of to make the rent. Those were my wild years. Then, Italy…which is a lot mellower than NYC. And oh. The food. Words fail me.

Where to find Shannon?

twitter:             @ShannonMcKenna4

Shannon’s latest book is Fatal Strike, which will be published in September 2013.