I’m always excited when my good friend Manda Collins visits my blog. Manda writes witty Regency-set historical romance with a dash of mystery. Her next book, Why Dukes Say I Do, just received a prestigious Top Pick from RT Book Reviews. Dukes will released on July 30th.
But Manda has a new novella out tomorrow, and it’s another of her witty, emotionally appealing stories. She’s here to talk with us about it!
How does your novella fit into The Ugly Ducklings Trilogy?
The Perks of Being a Beautyis the story of Miss Amelia Snowe, who is the nemesis of Cecily, Juliet and Maddie in the Ugly Ducklings trilogy. In Book 3 of the trilogy, How to Entice an Earl, we see Amelia coming to the realization that she’s been behaving rather badly during her reign as the toast of the ton. Well, in The Perks we see Amelia in seriously straitened circumstances. Her mother has died, leaving Amelia not only penniless, but also owing a great deal to her mother’s creditors. Forced to make her own living, Amelia has become the companion to a wealthy cit’s daughter. It’s a far cry from being able to wind the gentlemen of the ton around her little finger!
Your heroine is looking for redemption. Why do you think that particular theme resonates so well with readers?
You know, I’m not all that sure it does. I know that readers have a ton of love for redeemed rakes and villains, but I think it takes a bit more for them to forgive a villainous heroines. I’m not sure if it’s because most romance readers are women, and we tend to be harder on our own sex, or what. Still, I do think there is much to touch readers hearts in this kind of story. We’ve all done things that we aren’t particularly proud of, and by watching a character like Amelia make amends to the people she’s harmed, we see the possibility for our own redemption–whether it’s harsh words to a loved one or something more serious.
Hopefully, after seeing how truly repentant Amelia is, readers will begin to root for her.
The book trailer for The Perks of Being a Beauty is awesome. How did you come up for the idea for it?
I’ve been a fan of the Dos Equis commercials about “The Most Interesting Man in the World” since they first came out. And I’ve been thinking about fun promo ideas for my upcoming series, but I knew that the only character who could pull off “The Most Interesting” theme was Amelia, who is somewhat larger than life in the Ducklings books. Coming up with her character traits was the most fun I’ve had in a long long time! Readers, you can watch this adorable trailer here.
What’s up next in Manda’s writing world?
On July 30, the first book in my new Wicked Widows trilogy, Why Dukes Say I Do, will be released. I’m really excited about this new series and seeing how readers respond to it. I’ve just gotten my review from RT Book Reviews and was floored to see it was not only a Top Pick, but my hero Trevor (a real dish, if I may say so myself!) was named a Knight In Shining Silver (or K.I.S.S.) hero! “Witty and smart, Collins’ prose flows smoothly as she merges a charming, compassionate love story with gothic suspense….Add strong pacing and depth of emotion and there’s no doubt this is a winner.”
And I can’t wait to read it! For my readers today, Manda is graciously giving away three copies of The Perks of Being a Beauty. As someone who’s also written a book about a bad girl reformed, I’d like to talk about that. Can you think of any heroines from books, a TV show, or movies who redeemed herself? Three people who comment will win a copy of Manda’s novella!