Friday Feature & Giveaway with Delilah Marvelle
We are so happy to have Historical Romance author Delilah Marvelle visiting today!
What inspired your current release?
So many things inspired THE TAMING OF MR.RIDLEY. He was actually a character I created back in high school, but I never wrote him into a book or used him because he wasn’t ready for one. Given his dark, dark humor, morbid sensibilities and his inability to ever smile, I knew he had to be carefully molded lest readers not connect with him. He is a combination of Beast meets Sherlock Holmes with a lot of Pulp Fiction. I’ve always been drawn to twisted characters and he’s certainly that. He makes you laugh at things you really shouldn’t be laughing at. He is an overly serious detective in the era of London 1829 who brings justice to everyone but himself and falls hard for a botanical savant out of India who makes him realize he doesn’t have to fight justice alone. It was a lot of fun to write, and given I was writing about ‘murder’, I couldn’t believe how much I laughed.
Please share your research process for your books/series.
I’m always, always researching, before, during, after the writing of a book and series. I have an insane collection of rare books and dig into them all the time. My biggest treasure trove is not looking at modern historians looking at history but going to the source itself. I access books from the era I’m writing in and pull out what was ‘their norm’. Because no one will give a better perspective on history than the people who were actually living in the era you’re trying to understand.
What is your favorite thing about this book?
That the darkness never overshadows the humor. I love making people laugh and despite the dark topic, I refused to go completely dark. Because as Mr. Ridley would say, “Humor is born of darkness. Crown me.” Being able to laugh when the world has given up on laughing is what I embraced while writing this book.
Where there any surprises in writing this book? If yes, would you share?
So many! I expected it to be much darker and more serious in tone given the subject, but realized Mr. Ridley and Jemdanee weren’t having it. They refused to be locked in a closet full of skeletons. They wanted to dance with them in public, so to speak. It surprised the hell out of me and I just let them take over and had a blast doing it.
How do you celebrate when you finish a novel?
I do nothing but sleep. That’s how I celebrate, lol. When I’m in writing mode, given the way my creativity works, I usually put in 14-16 hours in a single day and average about 3-4 hours of sleep when I’m half-way through a book. So I don’t get any sleep until the book is done. So I celebrate by being Sleeping Beauty in my own castle ?
- 1. Of all the characters you’ve written, who would you most like to be? Why?
Jemdanee from The TAMING OF MR.RIDLEY. I related to her grit, twisted humor and trying to dig out hope and laughter at every turn even when the world has given up on laughing at all. All of the struggles in my life I survived enabled me to survive by having humor.
- 2. As a reader, what was the first romance book to deeply impact you? What about it touched you?
WHITNEY MY LOVE by Judith McNaught. I was 13 years old when a friend borrowed this book to me “under the table” given her parents didn’t know she wasn’t reading it. That sparked my curiosity and I climbed into my closet with it and didn’t climb back out until I was done, done, done. I’ve been devouring romances ever since. What mesmerized me about WHITNEY MY LOVE was how real it felt to me. As if I had stepped into a relationship and was there breathing it with them. The passion. The dialogue. The grit and sex and passion that was usually left out of ‘literary’ fiction that made me devour it and I haven’t looked back since.
- 3. If you had to live in another country, where would you go? Why there?
PARIS, France. I’ve already had the glorious opportunity of having experienced France and that is exactly why I would love to go back and live there. It’s a slower pace of life that enjoys culture, art, food and history in a way that gets lost here in the United States. People sit in cafes without ever once looking at their phones. They are looking at talking to the people they’re with and are in the moment of every moment. Sign me up!
- 4. What’s your favorite food? What do you like about it?
Sushi. I live in the Northwest and nothing gets better than fresh sushi I only have to drive 15 minutes for. It’s one of those healthier choices that I would pick over almost any other food.
- 5. Give three words that describe you.
Quirky, funny and a bit of a badass.
THE TAMING OF MR. RIDLEY
Criminals fear the iron fist of justice he delivers. Scotland Yard will do anything to get their hands on his mind which is a weapon in and of itself. Whilst women? They crawl in the hope of becoming his. But only one woman is about to hold his career and his heart hostage.
Jemdanee Lillian Watkins is a botanical savant who ends up getting arrested for a crime she didn’t commit. Only one man believes her: Mr. Ridley. She quickly he realizes this overly regimented dark hero is lining them both up for danger.
Together, they discover the most dangerous aspect of their relationship isn’t the criminals, but the passion they have for each other.
Setting the lock aside onto the desk with a clack, he quickly rose and standing before her, slid her hands out of the iron, unraveling the long chain. “Lean forward.”
She did so and paused. Her face now hovered near the flap of his trousers which had been uncovered by his open great coat. The textile fabric was fitted against a dormant but still very sizable indentation of that male fertilizing organ consisting of a different sort of pollen.
Her knees instinctively locked together, unable to look at much else. That flap was the size of a map holding the world together with only a few buttons and…it was asking for directions.
She leaned far back.
Ridley jerked her back toward himself. “What are you doing?”
“My what?” he echoed.
She scrunched her nose, realizing she had used a botanical term for his lower half. “Your reproductive organ. You keep wagging it in my face.”
He heaved a breath. “Every man has one. Or did your plants never tell you that?”
She veered her gaze to his arm. He probably thought she was nose-to-the-book virgin. Little did he know her nose had been in far, far more than books despite her being a virgin.
Well before she’d even turned eight, she’d seen more cocks on the streets of Calcutta than she had real roosters.
Not all nefariously, of course.
Too many men in the district of hovels where she had lived, went to the same mud wall to piss regardless of who was walking by. Some even tried to artistically draw things with their urine and then grandly gesture toward it as if they had discovered uranium.
She had stories. “My plants tell me far more than you think. If they were here, they might point out that you unbuttoned your coat to flaunt your virility.”
“I thought we were getting along.” Angling his lower half away from her, his hand gripped the back of the chair behind her hard. He leaned down so they were almost nose to nose and directly eye to eye. “I’m thirty-two, Watkins. Count the years between us and be certain to include your toes. When I was eighteen, you were four. That turns off the imagination and everything below the nose. I unbuttoned my coat for one reason: mobility. These English coats are no different from a corset. My advice? Embrace the maturity you lack knowing I have enough for the entire nation.”
BIO: USA TODAY Bestselling Author Delilah Marvelle is the winner of the Reviewer’s Choice for Best Sensual Historical Romance of the Year and Booklist’s TOP 10 Romances of the year. Co-founder of The Historical Romance Retreat, Delilah Marvelle dreams of bringing history and romance to life not only in books but through the magic of bringing readers and authors together at HRR. You can visit her website at www.DelilahMarvelle.com for more information.