Hello, Robyn! Thank you for being here today. Treasure Me is the final book in your Legend Hunters series. Please tell us a little about it. How is it related to the previous two books Seduce Me and Desire Me?
Well, thank you for having me and for participating in my blog tour. Well, I'm going to cheat and just give you the back cover blurb because it sounds so much better than any way I'd describe it myself. As for how it relates to the other two books, well, the series is about a gentlemen's club called Solomon's that is filled with men who hunt antiquities and buried treasures and other legendary items. In the first book, Seduce Me, you're introduced to Solomon's and you meet both Max and Graeme (the heroes in books 2 & 3) and you hunt for Pandora's Box, whereas in Desire Me, you're racing the clock to uncover a secret prophecy about the lost continent of Atlantis and here's what Treasure Me is about:
The Legend Hunters . . .
The Men of Solomon’s meet in secret, their very existence only a rumor among the best of Victorian society. They are treasure hunters, men of wealth and title, seekers of myths and legends. And no legend is as enthralling as the Loch Ness monster . . .
Graeme Langford, Duke of Rothmore, has always been torn between his beloved Scottish homeland and his duty to the English crown. But his is an adventurer’s soul and nothing keeps him from his dream: finding a long-lost stone hidden near Loch Ness.
Bookish Vanessa Pembrooke heads to the Highlands looking for traces of the legendary beast—not a husband. Yet when fate binds her to Graeme, it’s not all bad: he’s the first man ever to share her hunger for adventure. As their passion grows, so too does certain danger, and they’ll soon risk everything to keep the jewel out of a murder’s hands. But can they do so without losing the greatest treasure of all . . . their love?
What type of research did you do for this book? Have you traveled to Loch Ness?
I have never been to Loch Ness, never been to Scotland, though I have been to England and travelled to the lowlands which is just below Scotland. But mostly I just read a lot. And looked at pictures. There are great pictures of Loch Ness because it's so famous, lots from different angles and different times of day. I use the ruins of Castle Urquhart in the book as well so I had to read up on that. And the Stone of Destiny, the biblical relic that Graeme is after, well, the research on that is really what started the story line for the entire book. I just became fascinated with the story about the antiquity and it just snowballed into a great adventure romance. But for most of my books I scour used bookstores for interesting old books on British history or whatever specific piece of history I'm digging into. I have quite the collection now, and since I write in the same time period (Victorian era) I have a good stable of books on the basics of the time period. I've always loved history so I find the research aspect interesting.
Why do you think people are still intrigued with creatures like the Loch Ness monster today?
How could you not be intrigued? Nessie has always been a source of fascination for me. Loch Ness is a very deep lake and it wasn't always landlocked so it's entirely feasible that a large creature like a plesiosaur could have lived there. There's just something about the unknown and the possibility and there's a lot to be said for long-standing legends. For example, the sightings of the walter kelpie (as some call it) date all the way back to the 7th century. A story that lasts that long, there has to be some truth to it.
What is the best part of writing historical romances?
The happy endings! I love being able to write in a world where love triumphs and the bad guy always gets his comeuppance. And there's something inherently romantic about historical settings. Well, if you pretend that people bathed more often than they actually did. It's the ultimate dress-up game though, you get to lose yourself in an entirely different world where people talk a little differently and dress differently and men are dashing and a little bit dangerous without being scary and women are respectable (sometimes!) and wear beautiful dresses. I do love my job!
What books have most influenced your life?
Oh wow, what a great question and one that could allow for a very lengthy answer so I'll try to stick to the highlights. I can't talk about my relationship with books without mentioning Judy Blume. I know I'm not the only girl who grew up in the 70s that cut their teeth on her books, she was an icon of my generation and I'm so happy that kids today are still reading her books. I must have read Are You There God, It's Me Margaret a million times. I still have my copy and it's ratty and torn and very well-loved. When I was in high school I grabbed one of my mom's romance novels, it happened to A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiss and it was my first adult romance and to say my life changed forever in those pages might sound a bit dramatic, but it's the truth nonetheless. Reading that book was like finding the lighthouse. It was as if I an audible click could be heard in my head and I just knew that *that* would be what I did when I grew up. I had always known I wanted to be a writer, but I wasn't sure about what to write, but within those pages I found my answer. And well, here I am still writing historical romance and loving it. There have been plenty of other books, but I can't mention them all. I feel as though I should mention the Harry Potter series, not because it shaped my writing career, but because of how much those books mean to me. When you become a writer reading becomes more difficult sometimes, you notice things in stories that you might not have before and it is often more difficult to become lost in a story. But when I picked up that first book (and this was way back before the hype when only books 1&2 were out) I was utterly enchanted (pardon the pun). The only thing I can equate it to is that reading that back made me feel like I did when I read as a child, completely absorbed in the story world. That's magic. (okay can't seem to stop the puns)
Besides writing, what are your other passions in life?
Spending time with my husband. He's my best friend and we have a great time together. I don't get to do it very much, but I love to travel. I also love to scrapbook. And well, I really love to read, I'm passionate about books whether I write them or not.
Thanks again for having me.
Thanks to Hachette Books, I have 3 copies of Treasure Me to give away! To enter, please leave a comment with a way to contact you.
Contest open to residents of the US and Canada. No P.O. Boxes, please. Winners will be subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if they win the same title in two or more contests, they will receive only one copy of the title (or one set in the case of grouped giveaways) in the mail.
Contest is open until Saturday, 3/12/2011, at 11:59 pm Central Time. Winners will receive their books directly from Hachette. Good luck!