20Days/20Books Kick-Off

fireworksWelcome to the blog party celebrating the release of my 20th book–Plaid to the Bone! For the next 20 days I’m going to be sharing a bit about this story, a bit about one of my writer buddies who’ve volunteered to help me mark this milestone, and a little about one of my backlist books till we’ve covered all 20! Each day, I hope you’ll leave a comment or question. It’s how you’ll be entered in the daily drawing to win a book from my guest or me. And if you comment every day, it’ll give you 20 chances to win the Grand Prize: A  Kindle Paperwhite!

Plaid to the Bone

At the beginning of each chapter, you’re treated to an excerpt from the journal of Callum Farquhar, a fellow who just happens to run afoul of the law on the same day Cait Grant comes to Bonniebroch Castle to marry its laird. Farquhar has a unique take on life. Here’s a taste:

Plaid to the Bone

Click to order!

“’Tis hard not to be a pessimist if one is a student of human nature. To guard against melancholy, my old philosophy professor encouraged me to be on the watch for the one man who’d give me hope. My ‘one man’ turned out to be a woman:
Cait Grant, my Lady Bonniebroch.”
–from the journal of Callum Farquhar,
itinerant traveler, lover of fine wine, and total fraud.

Start reading Plaid to the Bone…

Would you like to order your copy now?

Plaid to the Bone is available for:
Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo
And for my international friends:
AmazonUK | AmazonCA | AmazonDE

Heather Snow

heather snowOne of the most amazing things along my publishing journey has been meeting other writers. And of all creative, generous and all around fun people I’ve gotten to know, Heather Snow tops the list! She’s a trained chemist who has hit upon just the right mix of brains and heart in her smart, award-winning Regencies.

Her list of accolades includes the Golden Quill, Book Buyers Best and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Remember I mentioned a generous heart? A portion of the proceeds from her Sweet Madness  goes to Hope for the Warriors, a charity that benefits wounded service members and their families. And she’s giving to her readers too. Check out the free short story on the Extras page of her website!

To help me celebrate the release of Plaid to the Bone, Heather is offering a copy of Sweet Madness to a lucky commenter!


Sweet MadnessEver since her husband’s sudden and tragic death, Lady Penelope Bridgeman has committed herself to studying the maladies of the mind, particularly treating traumatized soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars. It is this expertise that brings the Marquess of Bromwich’s family to her door.

Gabriel Devereaux’s unexpected and unpredictable episodes are unlike any Penelope has studied. The once proud soldier has been left shaken and withdrawn, but she manages to build a fragile trust between them. Strangely, Gabriel seems completely lucid when not in the grips of his mania, and in the calm between bouts, she is surprised by how much she is drawn to him.

Despite his own growing feelings, Gabriel knows that he is fit for no one, and is determined to keep Penelope away from his descent into madness. But even though she knows firsthand the folly of loving a broken man, Penelope cannot stop herself from trying to save him, no matter the cost.

Amazon (Kindle Edition)| Amazon (Mass Market Paperback)| Barnes and Noble| Books-A-Million

 Touch of a Thief


Touch of a Thief by Mia Marlowe

Click image to order!

Touch of a Thief  hit the bookstore shelves in May 2010. It’s the first in my Touch of Seduction series and my first title as a Kensington author. In this story, Viola must support her mother and sister, so rather than turn to the life of the demi-monde, she becomes a jewel thief. But she has a unique problem. She receives visions, accompanied by blinding headaches, when she touches gem stones. Her sensitivity is something of an occupational hazard!

So is getting caught red-handed by the dashing Lt. Greydon Quinn.  Quinn convinces her to help him stop a suspicious red diamond from making its way to the Royal Collection and return it to the Indian temple from which it was stolen.

Of course, that’s not all Quinn hopes to convince to do with him…

The Prizes

Someone’s going to win a signed print copy of Touch of a Thief! And a copy of Heather’s Sweet Madness! Open Internationally! And of course, your comment or question enters you in the Grand Prize drawing for the Kindle Paperwhite! All winners will be announced here on my blog on Sept. 16th!

Here’s a question to get us started: I love to invest my secondary characters with a life of their own. Have you ever read a book where a secondary character made you want to see him/her in another story?

83 thoughts on “20Days/20Books Kick-Off

  1. BETH SHEEHE says:

    I love secondary character. There is nothing better when a book continues with character you meet along the way. They make such a great series.

  2. Janie McGaugh says:

    I’m not sure if my earlier comment went through. I’ll just say that, yes, I often find secondary characters, especially in series books, that I want to have their own HEA’s.

  3. Danny says:

    I love it when the secondary characters are well developed, I have often written an author to ask if he or she would get his/her own story, because the character was so fascinating

  4. Theresa Fischer says:

    I love for secondary characters to have their own story!

  5. Hi Heather, it was such fun meeting you at RWA/Atlanta last month; thanks again for taking some time to spend with us.
    Is it just me or does the terrific title “Plaid to the Bone,” have a deliciously wicked double entendre?!

  6. Jessica V. says:

    Yes, The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory made me want to see Lord Robert Dudley have a book of his own. I loved him and hated him all at once.

  7. Armenia says:

    Congratulations on your twentieth book. I’ve really enjoyed your Touch of Seduction series, and you have become one of my favorites. I often come back to your web to see read about your upcoming works.

    Thank you for hosting a great celebration of giveaways.

  8. Maureen says:

    Congratulations on your twentieth book! Although I know that authors often use secondary characters as heroes and heroines in subsequent books I am often surprised when that happens since I usually more focused on the hero and heroine of the current book.

  9. Mary Preston says:

    I do love it when secondary characters get their own HEA. Sometimes you just don’t want to let go of them. Favorites of mine have been mentioned.

  10. Ada says:

    I’d love to read a story about the Hens from Miss Hattie’s Henhouse in Katie Lane’s Trouble With Texas. They are such interesting gals, I think they deserve a book of their own!

    Thanks for these great giveaways, Mia, and happy 20th to you!

  11. Anita H. says:

    Congrats Mia on 20 books!!! Plaid to the Bone sounds like a fabulous read! :)

    Sometimes a secondary character just begs for their own story to be told when their past baggage and experiences show up briefly in someone else’s story. I was happy to see that Evie Stryker from the third trilogy of Susan Mallory’s Fool’s Gold series get her own story. Her book (A Fool’s Gold Christmas) is in my TBR pile, I can’t wait to read it!

  12. JessS says:

    More often in tv than in books, but sometimes there are secondary characters that are just so awesome that I’d love to learn more about them. I can’t really think of any examples at the moment, except for Tiffany Reiz’s Original Sinners series because it has a lot of really interesting and well developed secondary characters, some of which I really really loved.

  13. Rita Wray says:

    Yes, I have read many books where a secondary character is as good as the main character. I am very happy when an author chooses to write a book about them.

  14. Vicky CK says:

    Yes, I love when an author is able to build a strong enough story to have more than just the H/h be real. Strong secondary characters are what give the story more depth and make the ‘world’ more real. An author can pack action/threats/sex/pain into scenes, but it is interaction between characters that we (readers) relate to most. The interaction is how readers put themselves into the story.

    What I esp like is when second or third books/stories have previous main characters show back up so we can see how they have “gotten on.” It links the stories/characters together and I feel like I get to visit old friends. (examples: Stephanie Laurens Cynster series, Elizabeth Lowell Only series, Johanna Lindsey Malory series, Michele Bardsley)

  15. Jennifer Essad says:

    Secondary characters give the book/story lines depth-they make sense-our own lives have more than one/two characters why shouldn’t a novel

  16. Susie B. says:

    I love secondary characters, but I HATE when an author makes a secondary character so interesting that you want to read a story just about them, but they never write it. So disappointing.

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I hope you let the author know how you feel. We love reader feedback.

  17. Chelsea B. says:

    Oh my gosh you have no idea how attached I get to secondary characters! I end up wanting them all to get their own books!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      That is where novellas come in handy!

  18. June M. says:

    I often fall in love with secondary characters and want to read their stories. I think that is why I really love series, many of the secondary characters end up getting their own HEAs :)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      The best way to create a world where a series can happen is to create large families. The only thing I worry about is whether there are too many characters to keep track of.

  19. catslady says:

    Congratulations on 20! I recently discovered Grace Burrowes’ Windhams family with eight books in the series. Although you can read them as stand alones, I love the connections!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Grace is a wonderful person as well. She’ll be one of my guests later on in this 20Day/20Books celebration!

      1. catslady says:

        Oh, I think so too and looking forward to it!!

  20. Limecello says:

    I love secondary characters. I think they often help make or break a story/book. And secondary characters these days are almost guaranteed a book – heck, peripheral characters too.

    What I loved (and love!) is when each book stands alone – at times I’ve even loved secondary characters more than the original ones – it’s happened a few times when I’ve read series out of order. I’ve done it by accident but :X also I’m someone who doesn’t mind doing that. :D

    1. Mia says:

      When I write related books I try very hard to make the stories stand on their own. There’s always a tension between explaining too much or not enough about what has happened previously in case the reader hasn’t read the earlier book.

  21. Marcy Shuler says:

    Congrats on your book release, Mia!

    Since I love series/connected stories I’m always falling for secondary characters.

    I just finished Christyne Butler’s Oct. ‘Welcome to Destiny’ series book and now can’t wait to see what’s going to happen to Dean (Zip) Zippenella. *gg* I love the name too!

    1. Mia says:

      Zippenella. That is fun!

  22. Mary Anne Landers says:

    Thank you for your blog party and giveaway, Mia. The secondary character I’d most like to read about is Galadriel, the elf queen in “The Lord of the Rings”, who rules the enchanted forest of Lothlorien.

    1. Mia says:

      Oh, yes! But who would have the audacity to write it? Even Tolkein’s editors couldn’t bring themselves to change a word.

      1. Mary Anne Landers says:

        I would! As fanfic, of course. Wait, maybe not. I’m not into fanfic, and I bet there are already lots of Tolkien fanfic stories about Galadriel. So if I want to write a fantasy romance about an elf queen, maybe I’d better make up my own.

  23. Christina Humble says:

    I love it when the secondary characters pull you in. I love it even more when the writer makes another book, or even series based on them. It really makes you feel a part of the story.

    1. Mia says:

      Creating a world you love to return to is our goal!

  24. Karin Anderson says:

    I’m a secondary character fan. I love them! My favorite is Warren from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.

    1. Mia says:

      I have a lot of fun with them because they don’t have to carry as much story weight as the H/h do.

  25. Cate Sparks says:

    Congrats on your 20th! I love the secondary characters and oftentimes, they move the story forward to the HEA.

    1. Mia says:

      Thanks, Cate. Something I like to do is make sure my secondary couple has issues that mirror or enhance what my main couple deals with.

  26. alisha woods says:

    The earl of Mayne. While reading the Essex sisters series by Eloisa James. I was so glad he got a HEA

    1. Mia says:

      I adore Eloisa’s work.

  27. Ashley DeGroot says:

    Yes! All the time! I remember reading the Bridgerton series from Julia Quinn, and I always hoped that there were more story on the secondary characters. And sometimes she even wrote more!! She’s so good to the fans :)

    1. Mia says:

      She’s a major talent!

  28. bn100 says:

    yes, like when secondary characters get their own books

    1. Mia says:

      Thanks for dropping by, BN.

  29. Raquel M. says:

    I usually find that the secondary characters can save a story. Love it when they get their own stories.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I actually gave a character who only showed up in a painting her own story once–the heroine in Touch of a Lady is the grandmother of all the cousins in the Touch of Seduction series and the one who passed down her psychic abilities. Her portrait is hanging in Griffin’s house in Touch of a Scoundrel.

  30. Quilt Lady says:

    Congrats on book 20, this is awesome!

    Yes I have found a lot of time I would like to have a story on secondary characters. I read a lot of series because of this. Kaki Warner’s Blood Rose series is one of them.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      No one is more surprised than me, Quilt Lady. When I started counting them all up, I was surprised I’d hit 20. The credit goes to my wonderful readers.

  31. Glittergirl says:

    “Have you ever read a book where a secondary character made you want to see him/her in another story?”

    Oh heaven’s YES! It’s why I’m addicted to series romance. I invest in a series – have to read all the books, preferably one right after the last without interuption. The latest have been Samanthe Beck’s Private Practice and Tessa Bailey’s Officer Off Limits. I can’t wait to find out who’s up next ;-)

    Thanks for the giveaway. I’ve wanted to get started in Heather’s world for so long. I have your Touch of Scandal but Ior you can always gift it to someone else!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Heather is an amazing author. I love her work!

  32. Chris Bails says:

    Secondary characters always make the story. They are also the ones that are usually in the next book or the book after. I love them with their funny lines and great interaction with the main character. I love seeing them and am always glad when they are in the next book or story. I love to see everyone get their own happy ending.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Actually, I do tend to let my secondary characters carry the comedy ball.

  33. Xoun J. says:

    Congratulations of your 20th book! I actually always wondered about secondary leads, even in movies/shows. I think about how different their life would be outside of knowing the main leads. : )

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Every man is the hero in his own life. At least that’s what my DH tells me. ;-)

  34. Linda Thum says:

    I find that a story seems more real when there are well fleshed out secondary characters. I just finished reading Shelly Thacker’s After Sundown & one of the characters who’s a physician would make a nice hero in his own book.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I hope you’ll drop Shelly a note and let her know. We writers do love reader feedback.

  35. may says:

    Peabody from the Eve Dallas series.

  36. Azucena Rodriguez says:

    YES! I will forever be annoyed (not really lol) with Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ secondary couple Ethan and Kristy from Dream a Little Dream. I really wished they had their own book instead of being a secondary couple. I’ve read that book over 5 years ago and I still can’t get over it, lol.

    My other secondary character I LOVE is Garrett Swopes from the Charley Davidson series from Darynda Jones. Who CARES about Reyes and Charley?! It’s all about Swopes for me.

    Ok, I just had to get that out. Now, time for celebrating your 20th book! Congrats! TWENTY BOOKS! :)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Glad to have provided you a place to vent. Actually, you paid SEP and DJ a great compliment because they both created characters you CARE about. That’s always my goal too. ;-)

  37. Betty Hamilton says:

    Congrats on the 20th book!!
    Yes, and quite often authors do that on purpose because they are writing series and by introducing the secondary character you almost feel like you know them when you read about them in the next book.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      It’s easier for the writer too, because we know the character well before we write their story if they’ve popped up in a few others.

  38. Laurie W G says:

    Madeline Hunter drew me in with her mysterious, secret Michael character who was revealed in the last book of the series.

    I’ve enjoyed Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series where the secondary characters: family friends and other town people popped up in subsequent books.

    Susan Wigg’s Lakeshore Chronicles, Robyn Carr’s Virgin River, Rayanne Thayne’s Cold Creek, Jillian Hunter’s McKaslin family, Jillian Hunter’s Boscastle family, Nora Robert’s Wedding Quartet..

    The list is endless I love seeing secondary characters get their own story. I feel like I’m returning to an old friend.

    There was a book with a Pinkerton agent, Jacob Pinter? hired by the family to find their sister, he admires her. Their love story was written but the titles escape me.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I adore Madeline Hunter! She’s one of the writers who makes me forget I’m a writer too. And I’ve been privileged to meet both Debbie Macomber & Susan Wiggs. Great ladies.

  39. Jakki L. says:

    Ooh, Plaid to the Bone sounds like a great novel! :)
    I *love* secondary characters! Yes, I have read several books where the secondary characters have such a presence and liking that I have wanted (and have seen) them get their own story! In fact, one author got so much feedback about her secondary character that she is in the process of writing his story! We can’t wait! :)
    Thanks so much for the giveaway too!!
    jakki36 at yahoo dot com

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Truth in advertising–Plaid to the Bone is a novella, a little under 30K words. It’s actually a prequel for my next full length novel Plaid Tidings, which comes out on October 1st!

  40. Kimberly Perry says:

    Congratulations on 20 books! That is really wonderful! You are a new author for me (recommended by Norah Wilson — thank you, Norah!) and I’m so excited to read more of your books.

    Love the title and the excerpt from Plaid to the Bone ~ woohoo!! Have a fabulous day.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Norah Wilson is awesome! Please thank her for me. Glad to meet you, Kimberly.

  41. All three books sound great! Wish I had more time to read!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I sometimes feel that way too, but then I’m reminded of the Stephen King quote: “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.” And then I make time…

  42. Aly P says:

    Congrats! I love it when secondary characters are so well written and I always want at least a novella if not a book about them.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Aly. Glad you dropped by!

  43. Ashlyn Chase says:

    I’m so excited about your 20 books, Mia! I’ve read many of them, and I just love your voice, sense of humor in your characters’ banter, feisty heroines and drool-worthy heroes. Keep it up for another 20 books! (at least…)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      And I couldn’t do it without you, Ash. (Just FYI, everybody, Ashlyn Chase is my critique partner!)

  44. Sheryl N says:

    Congrats to you!! I have enjoyed reading your books and can’t wait to read more. I sometimes find that the secondary character is introduced in such a way that you have to get to know them better and hear their story. I enjoy when a book spins off with the other characters and still will let us see some interactions with the original characters that started it all.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Finding that a character you loved in one book has popped up in another is like seeing an old friend again, isn’t it?

  45. Kylan Alexander says:

    Congratulations on 20 published books! I may have just discovered your books this year but I’m loving the ones I have read so far. I enjoy your Red Pencil Thursdays too. They are very helpful, even to a reader. I love Heather Snow too! She makes you think and then laugh. I usually have a smile on through the entire book. Looking forward to reading more from both of you!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks for those kind words, Kylan. I’m so glad you enjoy Red Pencil Thursdays as a reader. It does give you a peek behind the writer’s curtain, doesn’t it? ;-)

  46. Sarah Meral says:

    Congratulations on your 20th book.

    And thank you for sharing the snip from Callums jorunal. That got me hooked already :)

    I love it when secondary characters are interesting.
    I think, this is why I love series, because it´s often that a secondary character in one book is the main character in the next :)

    1. Mia says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed Callum. Actually, he does return in the next Spirit of the Highlands book–Plaid Tidings, which will come out October 1st. RTBOOKReviews gave it 4 1/2 stars, but I’m looking forward to hearing what readers have to say about it.

  47. Elizabeth says:

    I love it when the author puts effort into their secondary characters, it really gets you involved in a series and you want to know how everyone ends up.

    Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series had three sisters, the Highwoods. Two out of the three got their own story, but she left out the youngest (Charlotte). I always thought she was so cute and in Beauty and the Blacksmith she seemed to take an interest in “investigating” and paying close attention to people. I think with a trait like that she’d make a mischievous heroine in her own book. Who knows, maybe she will give her a story someday. :)

    Also, Suzanne Enoch has the mysterious Nicholas Ainsley, the Duke of Sommerset in her Adventurers’ Club series. I would love to know more about him. On her site she said she plans to give him his own book, but there’s been no say when.

    Anyway, congrats on your 20th release! And thank you for hosting this awesome giveaway \O/

    1. Mia says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth. I love both those authors too. Sometimes, an author wants to give a 2ndary character their own story, but publishing expediencies (i.e. contracts for a new series) forces them to move on. That’s one nice thing about being a hybrid author. Since I write for 2 NY publishers and dabble in self-publishing, I can revisit those characters if I have time. So far, all of my self published works have been previously published by Dorchester, except for A Duke for All Seasons and Touch of a Lady. I look forward to sharing how those ebooks came about on a later date in this celebration!

      1. Elizabeth says:

        One of the many things I love about ebooks is the amount of novellas authors are publishing in between novels. It’s a great way to tide us fans over, and it gives the author a chance to give those secondary characters their own HEAs. :)

        1. Mia says:

          That’s the point, Elizabeth! We aim to please.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *