The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Welcome historical romance author, Maggi Andersen...

1)   What is your writing routine?

I try to dress early (otherwise, one can find oneself still in their dressing gown at 11 o’clock!) I begin work directly after breakfast, and finished around 5 or 6 o’clock. During the day I break to fit in my other chores, and get some exercise – a trip to the gym or a swim. I work on my manuscript when I’m fresh and in the mood, and leave the promotion and the non-fiction writing to those times when the muse has deserted me.

2)   Which author/s inspire you to write?

There are some great authors writing Regency. I love Anna Campbell, for her well written spicy stories. Eloisa James for her quirky, appealing characters, Julia Quinn for her great dialogue, Ashley Gardner for her well-crafted Captain Lacey mysteries. I’m a big fan of C.S. Harris too. She writes darker, less romantic Regencies, but they are superb in their gritty historical detail of the era, which was not all about glamor, the ton and balls. Nice to have the variety.

3)   Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write?

I like writing romantic suspense, mysteries and adventure stories. I began writing adventures when a child, inspired by Enid Blyton. I don’t think that’s changed, I still love them, but now with a sexy romance added.

4)   How do you deal with criticism/rejection?

It can be hard at times. I don’t think I’ll ever grow inured to it. If it’s constructive criticism, I will take it onboard and consider its relevance to my writing. If the comments are unfair, what can you do? A reader is entitled to their opinion and not everyone will like my book. I just move on. I would never reply to it.

5)   What do you expect from an editor?

I love working with a good editor who will make my book the best it can be. It’s difficult to edit my own work. If she knows something of the Regency era, and is alert to any anachronisms, that would be even better.

6)   Tell me about your latest release.

A Baron in Her Bed is the first book in The Spies of Mayfair series. Guy Fortescue comes to England from France to claim his inheritance. When he is set upon by footpads, he’s rescued by poetess, Horatia Cavendish. Horatia is a young lady who, dressed as a groom, thumbs her nose at society riding her father’s horse, The General, around the countryside. Horatia is trying to find a way to go to London and join the literary set. Guy needs her help to find out who is behind the attacks on his life. He is used to getting his own way, but his extensive experience with women doesn’t help him with Horatia. They can be of help to each other, but it’s a combustible relationship.

7)   Which is your favorite character in the book?  Why?

It’s Guy, Baron Fortescue, although I’m fond of Horatia too. Guy is a gorgeous looking man. He’s brave and resourceful in his fight to uncover the villain behind the attacks on his life, and rather endearing in his unsuccessful attempts to stop Horatia becoming involved.

8)   What are you working on right now?

I’ve just completed the second book in the series, Taming a Gentleman Spy. John, Earl of Strathairn, features in A Baron in Her Bed, along with heroine, Lady Sibella Winborne, who comes from a big family, the Brandreths. I’ve begun work on the third book, What a Rake Wants.

9)                  Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists?

Try to remain confident in your ability and true to your voice. Criticism isn’t always helpful to a new writer, so accept it if it’s helpful, and ignore the rest. Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing your dreams. Once you work out what it is you wish to write, work to refine it by studying your craft.

A Baron in Her Bed
by Maggi Anderson



London, 1816. A handsome baron. A faux betrothal. And Horatia's plan to join the London literary set takes a dangerous turn.

Now that the war with France has ended, Baron Guy Fortescue arrives in England to claim his inheritance, abandoned over thirty years ago when his father fled to France after killing a man in a duel. When Guy is set upon by footpads in London, a stranger, Lord Strathairn, rescues and befriends him. But while travelling to his country estate, Guy is again attacked. He escapes only to knock himself out on a tree branch.

Aspiring poet Horatia Cavendish has taken to riding her father's stallion, "The General", around the countryside of Digswell dressed as a groom. She has become bored of her country life and longs to escape to London to pursue her desire to become part of the London literary set. When she discovers Guy lying unconscious on the road, the two are forced to take shelter for the night in a hunting lodge. After Guy discovers her ruse, a friendship develops between them.

Guy suspects his relative, Eustace Fennimore is behind the attacks on his life. He has been ensconced in Rosecroft Hall during the family's exile and will become the heir should Guy die. Horatia refuses to believe her godfather, Eustace, is responsible. But when Guy proposes a faux betrothal to give him more time to discover the truth, she agrees. Secure in the knowledge that his daughter will finally wed, Horatia's father allows her to visit her blue-stocking aunt in London. But Horatia's time spent in London proves to be anything but a literary feast, for a dangerous foe plots Guy's demise. She is determined to keep alive her handsome fiance, who has proven more than willing to play the part of her lover even as he resists her attempts to save him.


At least two hours had passed before Horatia guided the horse back towards the road. Distracted by her thoughts, she had ridden farther than she intended. A glance at the skies told her the storm bank was almost upon them.

They would have to take their chances and return by the road. She urged The General into a gallop.

They came to the road that led to Malforth Manor but were still some miles away. She would be lucky to reach home before the storm hit. She eased the horse into a trot as they approached a sharp bend in the road, the way ahead hidden by a stand of oaks. Once round the corner, she gasped and pulled the horse up hard.

A body lay in the road.

Highwaymen tried this ruse she’d heard. She edged her horse closer.

With a quick search of the landscape, she saw a horse disappear over a hill with its reins trailing. She dismounted and approached the man with caution. Barely a leaf stirred. It was oddly still, and the air seemed hushed and quiet as death before the coming storm. It matched her mood as she stood wondering what to do about the problem before her.

The man sprawled on his side. Judging by his clothes, he was a gentleman. Beneath his multi-caped greatcoat his brown coat revealed the skill of the tailor. His cream double-breasted waistcoat was of very fine silk. Long legs were encased in tight-fitting buff-colored suede pantaloons. His mud-splattered top boots showed evidence of loving care.

He moaned.

Horatia knelt beside him and grasped his shoulder. “Are you all right?”

When he didn’t answer, she struggled to roll him onto his back. A nasty gash trickled blood over his forehead where a bruise would surely form.

The man’s dark hair was sticky with blood. “Can you hear me, sir?” His eyelids fluttered. She shouldn’t stare at him while he remained unconscious, but she couldn’t draw her eyes away. He had remarkable cheekbones. His dark looks reminded her of Lord Byron. More rugged perhaps, but an undeniably handsome face, his skin more swarthy than one usually saw in an English winter. There was a dimple in his chin and a hint of shadow darkened his strong jaw line. She gingerly picked up his wrist and peeled back the soft leather glove, glad to find his pulse strong. An expensive gold watch had fallen from his pocket. So, he hadn’t been robbed. It must have been an accident. She looked around for some sign of what had happened but could see nothing.

A gust of chill wind made her shiver, and she glanced up at the sky. Ashgrey snow clouds now hovered overhead. “I have to move you, sir.”

Horatia stood and looked around. The road ran along the boundary of the Fortescue estate. Over the hill among the trees was a tiny hunting lodge.

She’d passed it many times when she roamed the woods, although she hadn’t been there for years. Her godfather, Eustace, lived for a part of the year in the Fortescue mansion, but it was some distance away and the snow had begun to fall.

It was by far the closest shelter, but trying to get the motionless man onto a horse unaided would be impossible. She sighed. That was not an option.

Horatia looked back at him. He was large, tall, and broad shouldered.

How on earth could she move him? And what would she do with him if she did? She looked up and down the deserted road with the hope that someone–preferably someone with big, strong arms–would appear to help her, and yet, she dreaded to be found in this invidious position. This was a quiet back road; most folk preferred the more direct route, so she couldn’t expect to be rescued soon.

She wondered if she should drag him under a tree and ride for help. As she considered this, the snow grew heavier. It settled over the ground and the prone man and touched her face like icy fingers. She couldn’t leave him out in the open, prey to the elements while she went for help. In bad weather it would take ages to ride to Digswell village. By the time she located the apothecary and brought him here, the man would be near death. Somehow she had to move him off the road and under shelter, although in the dead of winter, there was little to be had.

Horatia bent down, wrapped his limp arm around her shoulders, and caught a whiff of expensive bergamot. She took hold of his firm waist and tried to pull him towards the trees, but he was too heavy. She eased him down again.

Horatia pulled off her coat and shuddered at the cold. She tucked it around him. The snow had begun to fall in earnest, and worse, the prospect of a blizzard loomed. The wind gathered force. It stirred the tops of the trees around them and whipped the snowflakes into chaotic spirals of white.

Panic forced her to act. She took hold of the man’s arms and tried again to drag him. In small spurts she edged him closer to the scant shelter of the nearest tree, an oak whose dead leaves remained, curled and brown. Forced to pause, she took several deep breaths. He was quite a weight. She broke into a sweat despite the absence of her coat and the frigid air.

Horatia was severely winded and gasping by the time she reached the tree. It was a victory of sorts but afforded very little protection. She propped him against the trunk.

His eyelids rose. Startling pale blue eyes stared uncomprehendingly into hers.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Maggi Andersen and her lawyer husband are empty nesters, living in the countryside outside Sydney with their cat and the demanding wildlife. Parrots demand seed, possums fruit, ducks swim in the stream at the bottom of the garden, and the neighbours chickens roam their yard providing wonderful eggs. She began writing adventure stories at age eight. Three children, a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree later, her novels are still filled with adventure and suspense, but are also passionate romances. Georgette Heyer among others, brought inspiration to her seductive Regencies and she also writes darker, Victorian novels, contemporary romantic suspense and young adult.

She supports the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals) and animals often feature in her books.

Twitter: @maggiandersen

Maggi will be awarding the winner's choice of a backlist eBook to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a $30 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter. 
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


  1. What a cute first meeting! damsel saves gentleman in distress lol :)

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    1. Thanks Andra, it reveals Horatia's character well, she's energetic, sometimes rash, but brave and you can’t fault her good heart and her determination.

  2. Great interview and excerpt, thank you.


  3. I love this excerpt. I really want all the series. I am so glad you are already on the third one.

  4. Thanks for stopping by and the great comment, MomJane.

  5. I usually wait for a series to finish before I start reading it, but this one just sounds to good to resist.

    lyra.lucky7 at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Lyra, thanks for the lovely comment!

  6. Horatia is a great heroine, I enjoy reading about her adventures.


  7. Another great excerpt, thank you for sharing!


    1. Hi Lydia, I'm delighted you're enjoying the excerpts!

  8. Do you have an author that you admire?

    moonsurfer123 AT gmail dot com

    1. Hi Anas, many, Eloisa James, Julia Quinn and Anna Campbell are great!

  9. I'm glad you like working with a good editor. As a reader, nothing turns me off to a book more than poor editing.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. I can forgive a few, I even find the odd one in books by the top writers. Poor characterization and a senseless plot annoys me more.

  10. A good editor would be invaluable I'd say.


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