Friday Feature with author Madeline Martin
Welcome Madeline Martin!
Let’s have a little Q & A fun:
What is your favorite thing about this book?
I love how the heroine goes from being a normal girl to being a total badass and the confidence she gains in herself. In the beginning, she is an orphaned noble daughter orphaned left destitute and driven to the desperation of cheating at cards. She barely has money for food and knows her chances of an advantageous union are impossible. It’s not a life she can sustain and deep down she’s haunted by that knowledge. Then she gets an opportunity to become a spy for King James and takes the challenge head on. Through what she learns as she trains, she discovers this strength inside her she didn’t realize she had and it bolsters her confidence. That’s always a beautiful thing to discover and I loved watching her story, and her strength, unfold as I wrote the story.
How do you celebrate when you finish a novel?
Usually by starting the next book. I have all these story ideas in my head and they’re percolating in the background while I’m working on a manuscript. I actually have a file I call my “Shiny New Book Idea” doc where I can empty out all the plot points, ideas and even scenes crowding my head. I basically start plotting and fleshing out the next book while finishing the current one. The day I send the current book off to beta readers, I usually start the next one as my reward because I’m SO excited for that opening scene. Also, there’s wine involved…because what’s a celebration without wine? 🙂
What are you working on next?
I have three anthologies coming out in 2017 I’ll be part of, so I’ve been working on those. The Mercenary Maidens books are completed and with my publisher (there will be three books in the series: Highland Spy, Highland Ruse (Delilah’s story) and Highland Wrath (Sylvi’s story).
After I finish the novellas for my anthologies, I’ll be working on my next new series, The Jacobite Jezebels. This will be set during the Jacobite Rebellion (1745) and will center around several daughters of Lowland nobles in Edinburgh who decide they want to do what they can to support the Jacobites. The only problem is, these girls have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. This is further complicated with some of their families not being in support of the Jacobites. There will be four girls, and four books in the series.
It’s all been spinning together in the back of my mind for about a year now and when I went to Scotland this last August, I spent most of my trip ensconced in research for it. I can’t wait to get started!
Time for FAST FIVE…
What one thing about you would surprise your readers?
I died once. It was only for three seconds due to an asthma attack. It left me in the hospital for a week and took months to recover from. Good thing I’m not that easy to kill. Bwahahah 🙂
What’s your favorite animal? Can you tell us why?
OMG! Anything in sweaters! Because seriously, animals in sweaters are just SO cute. And teacup puppies (I WANT ONE SO BAD!). And kittens, kittens, kittens! Eeeee!
What’s your favorite color? Can you tell us why?
Initially it was my favorite color because it’s my mom’s favorite color and when I see things purple, it always made me think of her (or, as one of my minions said when she was little, “It thinks me of her”). Now I love it because it’s so regal a color when it’s dark and so gentle and relaxing a color when it’s lighter – and still above all else, it always makes me think of my mom.
Name three books from childhood that affected you the most.
The Diary of Anne Frank, Little House in the Big Woods (really ALL books in the series) & The Wave.
If you had to live in another country, where would you go? Why there?
Scotland!!! Because I love it! LOL
Ariana Fitzroy had been too greedy.
She gave a charming smile to the men at the table and pulled a pile of coins toward herself. They clinked against one another, the merry tinkling rising above the din of laughter and conversation.
How she’d come to love the sound of her winnings.
Tonight though, she’d taken it a mite too far.
She’d gone beyond what she needed for the merchant’s bills, the servants’ pay, and the rent on her meager lodgings.
The coins were cool against the warmth of her palm.
Winning always gave her such a heady rush, a wash of heat spreading from her cheeks to her chest and all the way down to her satin-slippered toes.
A discomfiting sensation settled on Ariana, one of which she’d always been especially wary.
The weight of being watched.
Ariana Fitzroy has lost her family and her fortune. The fight for survival leads her to the shadowed card games of court where she discovers she has quite a talent for slipping cards into her favor. While the winnings are enough to sustain her at present, they will not last forever…
Connor Grant, trainer of the fallen women from the English court and personal assassin to the king, is just as broken as the women he trains. After losing his own land and all his people in a brutal attack from a trusted friend, he has no choice but to rebuild any way he sees possible – even if it means going against everything he’s ever believed in.
After catching Ariana cheating at cards, Connor has a new trainee to instruct at one of the king’s many confiscated castles. In the dilapidated ruins, he discovers Ariana is more than she appears and falls in love with her incredibly tenacity and dedication – a love that is challenged by Connor’s chance at reclaiming the inheritance he once lost and has sought so desperately to regain.
This story is one of second chances, of realizing a strength where only hopelessness once resided – a story of rising above the bad hand one has been dealt into a life of accomplishment and love.