Guest Author & Giveaway: Sarah MacLean featuring Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart

Thursday, May 5

I discovered today's guest author at the library while browsing through the new release titles (my libraries have a pretty awesome selection).  The title of the book, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, stood out because it was soooo long.   Turned out that it was one of my favorite reads in all of 2010.  I can safely say it was one of my best finds last year.

I loved it so much that I bought a copy of the book for my keeper shelf (even after reading it from the library which I hardly ever do) and then talked my friends and family into reading it too....then I blogged about it...and I might have even talked to random strangers in romance aisles at the book store into giving it a shot too.  Basically, I was shameless in my book pimpage of Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake that I broke a lot of rules myself :)  I wanted everyone that I knew that read romance (and some that I didn't) to read it because I knew they would love too.

I feel the same way about my guest author's newest book, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart.  It was funny, and poignant.  It made me laugh, sigh, cry, and cheer!  I thought it was perfection, and the heroine, Juliana is my favorite heroine so far this year.  The author of this five star read, Sarah MacLean is my guest today to share the final book in her Love by Numbers series, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart, with us.  Read and enjoy!

Welcome back to Seductive Musings Sarah! Congratulations on your RT Reviewers nomination for Best Historical Romance of the Year, as well as your 2011 RITA nomination for best Regency Historical Romance.   Tell us a little bit about your own story.  If your life was a romance book and someone were to read the back cover blurb what would it say?

Sarah was just a girl who loved her Smith College hoodie and her romance novels...until the day someone suggested she write her own. The result?

Four Books to Divine, Beginning in 2009

If you had to write a recipe to describe the elements you like to include in a book that you are writing to make it romantically delicious, what would you consider to be the perfect blend of ingredients?  What makes a romance a great love story?

2 cups tough hero with a sweet, nougaty center
Mix in 2 cups strong heroine with a penchant for adventure

Add ¾ cup conflict, ½ cup past challenges that make for present strength and a handful of interesting secondary characters.

Sift in sexual tension.

Bake until hero & heroine find themselves...and love.

Your newest story in your Love by Numbers series is ELEVEN SCANDALS TO START TO WIN A DUKE’S HEART. Can you tell us how many books are planned for this series?  How NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE and TEN WAYS TO BE ADORED WHEN LANDING A LORD are related, and for someone who has not had the pleasure of reading them, can you give us a brief summary about each of these stories? And do they need to be read in order?

The Love By Numbers series is complete at three least for now. It began with Nine Rules..., the story of Gabriel St. John, Marquess of Ralston, and his heroine Calpurnia Hartwell. Callie makes a list of the nine things she’d like to do if she could hang the consequences...and kissing Ralston is the top of the list. Ten Ways... is the story of Ralston’s twin brother, Nicholas St. John, who sets off for Yorkshire to locate the missing sister of a friend, and finds love instead--in the form of Lady Isabel Townsend, a woman with an army of secrets.

While I wrote Eleven Scandals... with the idea that it would be able to stand alone, I think the context of Nine... and Ten... helps round out the story of Eleven... Juliana, the heroine of Eleven... is a large part of Nine... and Leighton, the hero of Eleven... is an important part of Ten....

If you had an opportunity to provide only a two or three sentence "teaser" quote from ELEVEN SCANDALS TO START TO WIN A DUKE’S HEART, to grab the attention of potential readers and give them a glimpse and feeling of what the story is about what would it be?

“I hit him...elsewhere.”


“In his...” She hesitated, her mouth twisting as she searched for the word, then gave up. “In his inquine.”

Had Simon not understood the Italian perfectly, the circular movement of her hand in an area generally believed to be entirely in appropriate for discussion with a young woman of good breeding would have been unmistakable.

“Oh, dear God.” It was unclear whether her brother’s words were meant as prayer or blasphemy.

What was clear was that the woman was a gladiator.

Tell us about your hero, Simon Pearson, the Duke of Leighton (aka "The Duke of Disdain").  What do you think will make readers, much like his rebellious and scandalous heroine Juliana, fall in love with him? And can you tell us a little bit about their story in ELEVEN SCANDALS TO START TO WIN A DUKE’S HEART?

Simon is cool and calm and immovable. What woman doesn’t want to be the one to shake a man like this to his core?  Ultimately, Simon’s fall from perfection is the story of Eleven Scandals...

What's your favorite scene or moment from ELEVEN SCANDALS, and why? Can you describe it (or provide a short excerpt) for us without giving too much away?

There’s a scene near the end of the book when Simon marches into the dining room of one of Juliana’s brothers and demands to see her. Nick responds by offering Simon bacon instead. I laughed uproariously when that happened, and still can’t think of it without smiling. It reminds me that characters have lives of their own long after we close a book.

What are five fun facts about you or this book, that readers would love to know?
  1. I never expected the title "Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake" to actually *be* the title of the book at the end. I thought that would be the first thing the publishing house changed.
  2. Pearson is my maternal grandfather’s surname. Fiori is my paternal grandmother’s surname.
  3. The festival of San Zeno that Juliana talks about on Guy Fawkes’s Day is a real thing. It’s held every year in April in Verona, Italy. I know this because my father was named for San Zeno.
  4. I learned more about the history of diapers for this book than one person really needs to know. For example, in the 15th Century, it was actually thought to be healthy to leave a child in her dirty nappy for weeks at a time.
  5. Northumberland House (the location of the final ball in the book) is a real enormous mansion with massive grounds that ran along the River Thames. It was torn down in the early 20th Century, but there are floor plans and furniture from it at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London...and I’m wild about them.
Can you tell us about some of your upcoming releases, or new projects that we can look forward to?

My next series is a quartet called The Fallen Angel.

It’s about four aristocrats who have fallen out of favor with the ton, and have instead made their names as lords of the London Underworld as part owners of a gaming hell called The Fallen Angel. The first book, A Rogue By Any Other Name, will release in Winter 2012.

Are there any characters that you would like to revisit, or secondary characters that you are just dying to tell the story of, but haven’t yet?

I love Nastasia, Ralston’s mistress in Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. I would love to tell her story. I’m not sure it would make a great romance novel...but I know it would make a great book. ;)

Finally, just for fun…if you could write the “fortune” in a fortune cookie what would it be?

You will live passionately...and read well.

She lives for passion

Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society’s rules: she speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London’s most practiced gossips…and precisely the kind of woman the Duke of Leighton wants far far away from him.

He swears by reputation.

Scandal is the last thing Simon Pearson has room for in his well-ordered world. The Duke of Disdain is too focused on keeping his title untainted and his secrets unknown. But when he discovers Juliana hiding in his carriage late one evening–risking everything he holds dear–he swears to teach the reckless beauty a lesson in propriety.

She has other plans, however; she wants two weeks to prove that even an unflappable duke is not above passion.

Congratulations Sarah!  Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart absolutely won my heart :)  I completely fell in love with the heroine, Juliana....and for a romance reader who is all about the hero in a story, that is an impressive feat!

If you'd like to learn more about Sarah MacLean and the AWESOME historical romances that she writes, you can find her at her website, Facebook, Twitter, Friend Feed, Tumblr, and Pandora Internet Radio

To celebrate the third and final book in her Love by Numbers series, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart, Sarah would like to giveaway a signed copy of the book to one lucky Musings follower.  Here's how you can enter to win:

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Finish this sentence:  There was only one thing left to do to retain her sanity. She must... AND please show Sarah some comment love by sharing your thoughts/comments/or questions about her books.(good for 1 entry)
  • Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
  • If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
  • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • This contest is open to US addresses only
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on May 7th at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winner(s) will be selected using
  • The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!

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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)


June M. May 5, 2011 at 3:58 AM  

There was only one thing left to do to retain her sanity. She must...HAVE THAT MAN *grin*

I can not believe that this series is ending! I love it and wish that there were more siblings so that the series would continue. Perhaps Sarah can write about the siblings of the spouses (Callie's brother, Isabel's brother when grown, Simon's sister).

GFC: June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

gamistress66 May 5, 2011 at 9:25 AM  

There was only one thing left to do retain her sanity. She must . . . SCREAM (I know that I feel that way on occasion) or read a romance, perhaps one of Sarah's ;)

I vote for Benedict getting his own story. He's a wonderful big brother & freind and deserves his own HEA. Congrats on the release and wonderful reviews, they are well deserved for the series.

gamistress66 (at) aol (dot) com

Tore May 5, 2011 at 10:55 AM  

There was only one thing left to do to retain her sanity. She must give in to her desires for the man and allow him to make passionate love to her before she goes crazy with desire. Please enter me in contest. Thanks for the giveaway.

Sheree May 5, 2011 at 5:54 PM  

There was only one thing left to do to retain her sanity. She must knock him down so that she could kiss him again.

I knew from the first book that Juliana would clash with Leighton, just from that scene in the bookstore in NINE. Needless to say, I was so squee-ing when I found out about ELEVEN! The heroines in this series are so fun!

GFC follower
ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

Jane May 5, 2011 at 6:22 PM  

Congrats to Sarah on the new release. There was only one thing left to do to retain her sanity. She must leave the chaos behind.

GFC follower

Robin K May 5, 2011 at 6:55 PM  

Looks like a great read!

There was only one thing left to do to retain her sanity. She must stop worrying about everything, run a warm bath and read her romance book!

I am a follower.

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Barbara E. May 5, 2011 at 7:14 PM  

There was only one thing left to do to retain her sanity. She must stick up for herself, and tell that arrogant lord what he can do with his advice.
Hi Sarah,
I haven't had a chance to start this series yet, but I have the first two books on my wish list (and now the third one as well). From your blog postings, and your own blog, I get the sense that you're a writer I will absolutely adore, once I got those fabulous books in my hot little hands.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com
GFC follower

Scorpio M. May 5, 2011 at 8:05 PM  

There was only one thing left to do retain her sanity. She must . . . run to him and declare her affections once and for all.

Hi Sarah,

First, I have to say that I *adore* the book trailer! So cute and catchy. I am not usually into trailers but I loved this one.

I am looking forward to Simon & Juliana's story b/c I am a fan of opposites attract and I love it when a reserved man caves. So sweet when that happens. :)

GFC follower.

lindalou May 5, 2011 at 9:17 PM  

There was only one thing left to do retain her sanity. She must . . . go to bed WITH him.

Great interview! The book (and series) sounds like it's right up my alley.

You are a new author to me... but it sure sounds like you're a must-read after reading your interview and that fabulous review.

Thanks for the give-a-way!
Linda T.

LilMissMolly May 5, 2011 at 11:25 PM  

There was only one thing left to do to retain her sanity. She must throw caution to the wind and just jump. Jump head first into a relationship with a renowned rake.
Hi Sarah! I'm blog hopping around following your pimp show. :) You are a wonderful writer, and me and my two daughters have been avid fans from the very beginning - with the YA The Season! Keep 'em coming!!
lvsgund at
GFC follower

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