At Risk with Maggie Robinson

Update: Maggie’s random winner is… Molly. And Terri C. will be receiving an Improper Gentlemen from me. Congrats, ladies!
I’m tickled to welcome my co-author for Improper Gentlemen, Maggie Robinson! She’s suffering from “blog-lag,” after several months of almost non-stop touring through cyber-space. Reminds me of my 50 day/50 blog tour for Vexing the Viscount! I was afraid there were no more words in me after that! But fortunately Maggie’s having no trouble at all finding entertaining things to say. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway!

At Risk

Mia, thanks so much for having me back! I’m looking at the end of a million-month blog tour, starting in July with Improper Gentlemen (with the fab Mia Marlowe!) and ending in October with Mistress by Marriage.

I’ve really learned a lot about myself as a writer these past few months. I’m a huge pantser—words just kind of flow and at the end, I have a book. I don’t deliberately sit down to create a specific kind of character, but have discovered from readers that I do anyway—apparently, I’m a risk-taker, writing riskily (and alliteratively. My spell check wanted to change that to illiterately—yes, that too, sometimes. *g*).

This comes as a huge surprise, because I’m the most conventional, shy, risk-averse goody-two-shoes kind of person in real life. I obey speed limits, cook pork till it’s gray, never go bra-less. But when it comes to making up people, I push boundaries. Edward Christie, the hero of Mistress by Marriage is rather cold; some might even say mean. He out-Darcys Mr. Darcy. I know he’s a mass of goo on the inside, but he doesn’t show that right away, and readers can get impatient. His heroine Caroline is worse—she’s got a terrible temper, throws things and generally sabotages her marriage. They cannot get along, except in bed.


“Oh!” She stood up, clamping the sheet to her breasts. “Go home. Please. You’ve caused me enough grief. Just when I thought you were done playing games with me, you’ve started up another round.”

He felt the muscle in his cheek jump. “You of all people know I don’t play games, Caroline. But I do set the rules, and you’d be wise to follow them.” He ducked the pillow she threw at his head. “Be careful what you throw next. You wouldn’t want to make me angry.”

“Yes, I would! I should love to see you angry—furious—livid, wild and ungovernable!” She looked wild and ungovernable herself, her eyes flashing, her tangled hair worthy of Medusa.

“I do so hate to disappoint you.” He folded his hands over his member, the act both self-preserving and calming. He was not going to rise to the occasion by temperament or temptation.


They both have perfectly good reasons for being who they are, but it would have been a lot easier for me to make them more “normal” and less idiosyncratic. But you know what? I write flawed characters, who make mistakes but don’t let the mistakes make them.

Andrew Rossiter, the hero of my next book, Master of Sin (April 2012), was abused as a child and has lost his moral compass. I just finished writing Lady Anne’s Lover (Spring 2013), whose hero Gareth Ripton-Jones is a one-armed alcoholic. My current WIP features an ex-soldier with ADD. Remember, I don’t deliberately think of the craziest whacked-out stuff, but there it is in black and white. Risk R Us. Maybe I need therapy!

As a reader, are you along for the risky ride, or would you rather have smooth-sailing? I’ve got a copy of Mistress by Marriage for one commenter!


Thanks for dropping by, Maggie! I’ll sweeten the free reads pot by offering a copy of Improper Gentlemen to a commenter as well. So now it’s YOUR turn! What do you think? Risky ride or Smooth Sailing?

P. S. Since Halloween is coming up, I’m blogging about “Salem in October” at Brava Authors today. Hope you’ll join me there too.

29 thoughts on “At Risk with Maggie Robinson

  1. CateS says:

    What’s the fun in life without a little risk? Gotta take some chances!!! Love your books — both of you!!!

  2. Chelsea B. says:

    Along for the ride, all the way! :-)

  3. Kaetrin says:

    Oh, definitely the risk!! I’d like to think it will be mostly smooth by the end (and even in real life!) but a really good romance needs some conflict to make it interesting! :)

    hankts AT internode DOT on DOT net

  4. Michelle Harlan says:

    Definitely a fan of the risky ride! I love the drama…smooth sailing wouldn’t keep my interest at all!
    Thanks for the introduction to Maggie Robinson. I’ve never read any of her books, but this excerpt has me adding her books to my TBR list!

  5. Linda says:

    Perfection can be boring. Definitely a tad of a risky ride titillates. Of course with the HEA ending….

  6. Terri C. says:

    I love to read about risky rides best. No smoothe sailing for me.

  7. Anne Brown-Speer says:

    I love riskier characters. It makes the story different. Thank you for adding flavor to our reading.

  8. Na says:

    Of course my mind says go for smooth sailing but I would rather endure a risky ride. If we can make it through that the chances are better of us making it altogether. The bumps in life are what shapes us and I want to develop skills to handle obstacles and gain strengths to overcome them.

  9. ann/alba says:

    Risky ride for me..
    Women are fixers by nature so if it’s broken we like to dig deep & fix it .
    I love a complicated man I want to know how he became that way, Help him overcome his devils….

  10. Molly says:

    Whats life without a little risk? Risky ride all the way!


  11. Quilt Lady says:

    Risky ride for me most of the time. Sometimes I like to switch it up a little and do the smooth sailing. Its nice when real life is smooth sailing.

  12. Kendra Edens says:

    Wow Maggie! Very interesting about the way you write. I say keep taking those risks … they seem to be paying off nicely! I have heard great things about Mistress By Marriage and can’t wait to read it!

    As far as the question, my “regular life” side says smooth sailing. As a wife and mom, smooth sailing would be nice for a change. :) Don’t get much of that around here; especially with 6 kids. Definitely keeps life interesting.

    But … my adventurous side, the side that willingly escapes in the books I read craves the thrill of excitement. Put the right rogue in front of me and “risk-taker” becomes my middle name. :)

    Thanks for the giveaway and congratulations on the releases!

    1. Whoa. 6 kids. I thought I was bad with 4, LOL.

      I’m all for smoothish sailing in real life, but I guess I like my fiction friskier. :)

  13. Alexis says:

    Take the risks! It often makes for a much more entertaining literary ride.

  14. Yay, all you risk-takers! I do think most problems need to be resolved realistically by the end, though. (and if the couple is still having trouble after The End, I don’t want to know about it, LOL)

    Growly, as for Andrew? I think he’ll surprise you.

    I also have a book out in December 2012,Lord Craig’s List, where the risky one is the heroine. :)

  15. Barbara Britton says:

    Hi Maggie and Mia,

    The risky ride keeps me turning pages, but I have to confess, if it gets too risky I read the ending to make sure it’s smooth.

  16. DianaQ says:

    Smooth sailing is boring. We need a little conflict to make the resolution worthwhile.But overly contrived obstacles can be tiresome.

    I love the idea of your wounded heroes in your upcoming books. That just means there’s more to overcome on the way to HEA!

  17. Risky ride, no question about it. The deeper the valley, the higher the mountaintop. I love it when a couple has to *work* for that HEA. The more obstacles they have to overcome, the happier I am for them to slay all their dragons.

  18. I have to say Risky Ride !! It’s more Thrilling & exciting !!

  19. ClaudiaGC says:

    It has to be the risky ride! :) Smooth-sailing is only half the fun. I think that’s why I’m reading romances to see how two people can find their HEA even with many obstacles in their path.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Part of our job as authors is to make our characters as miserable as we can. I went to a Donald Maass workshop last April and his mantra seemed to be “Make it worse.”

  20. GrowlyCub says:

    Definitely risky ride, as all my top favorites can be characterized as risky (Rake and Reformer, Secret Pearl, One Fine Day, Another Dawn, Precious Jewel, Silk and Secrets, etc., etc.).

    Although I’ve seen several great setups lately that seemed to cry lost opportunity because in the end the authors went conventional. :(

    I feel a bit ambiguous about Andrew, not because of his prior actions so much as because it seems he’s going straight, but definitely sign my up for Gareth. 2013? That’s way too far away!

    ADD? That’s…interesting. I expected PTSD after ex-soldier. :)

    I already have a copy of MbyMarriage, but I’d love to win a copy of Improper Gentlemen.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Good luck in the drawing, Growly!

  21. eli yanti says:

    argghhh.. i want both of the book – improper gentleman and mister by marriage =D

    i think balance between risky ride and smooth sailing ;D

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      There is something to be said for a little down time in a story. Otherwise it comes off like “the Perils of Pauline”–just one horrible thing after another.

  22. Good morning, Mia & Beebs! Thanks so much for letting me hang out on Monday morning. Am going to try to start the week right by opening my WIP w/o too much procrastination. :)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Me, too, Maggie. I’ve cleaned my kitchen, started my laundry, checked my FB and Twitter and now I can delay it no longer. I have to start wrestling with a new cast of characters and get them to cough up their story.

  23. Beebs says:

    I think it has to be the risky ride. Where would the fun be if it was all smooth sailing.

    The HEA is better appreciated if you have to work for it, IMHO.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      And yet, I really need all the bumps worked out by the time I reach “the end.”

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