Do you like a little cowboy action in your historical romance?
A guaranteed Happily Ever After (HEA) in your sizzling stories?
Look no further than today’s writer.
Maggie Chase began her career penning The Jeweled Ladies series – a collection of stories about a brothel and the gifted women who work and love there. The sixth book in that series, His Diamond, hit e-readers in early July – so it’s clear that Maggie’s pen never runs out of ink!
Read on as Maggie discusses how worst case scenerios birth her best writing, lessons she’s learned from Stephen King, and why she is firmly Team HEA!
In a few sentences, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a writer, a mom and a wife living the small-town life in the middle of the country. I read historicals on a near-constant basis. For years, I read stories in my son’s class because a love of reading starts early! Then he got old enough that having his mother come in and do silly voices wasn’t cool anymore. They grow up so fast!
What do you love most about the craft of writing?
I love letting my imagination go wild. I’ve always had what was lovingly referred to as an overactive imagination when I was a child. If there was a worst-case scenario, I imagined it! Although getting to the point where I could write whole books that had a happy ending took a long time, I still love imagining the worst-case scenario for my characters and then, just when it seems like all hope is lost, miracles occur and the day is saved! Everyone gets to ride off into their own personal sunset!
Tell us about your latest project.
His Diamond is the latest in the Jeweled Ladies series, although it can be read as a stand-alone. Cynthia Hobbs needs to escape a horrible arranged marriage with her sister and the only way a gently bred young woman without any other skills or resources could get the money in this part of Texas is to sell something of value. And the only thing she has of value that can’t be traced back to her father, the owner of the bank, is her virginity. Luckily for her, the local brothel, The Jeweled Ladies, is willing to arrange an auction of her virginity and help her get safely away.
Cynthia is braced for the worst—a terrible night—but she doesn’t expect someone like Cam Douglas to be the winning bidder. A stagecoach robber and a bank robber, Cam is closer to Robin Hood than a gentleman—but he’s got a protective instinct a mile wide and something tells him that the young lady in a mask needs protection. They share a memorable—and highly educational!—evening and go their separate ways. Until a twist of fate throws them back together again. Wounded, will Cam be able to escape a posse without risking Cynthia’s safety?
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I’d written 90 pages of my first (really terrible) book and it felt substantial and real. It was also really terrible, but I didn’t realize that at the time, so I kept writing and each book got better. I always write the best book I can!
What drew you to writing romance/erotica?
Oh, the happy ending, absolutely. I had to overcome a lot of internalized prejudices against romance—all that crap that the genre still has to defend itself against—but when I did, I rediscovered how very much I loved reading and how vital that hope and happiness was to my own mental health and well being. I’m not here for fauxmances! HEA or GTFO!
Which book(s) have influenced your writing style the most?
I read a lot of Stephen King when I was younger (and able to handle the scares more) and there are still lessons I pull from him in terms of pacing and tension. But I learn something from every single book I read. I either fall into the book and have to think about how the heck the author did that?!?!?!?! Or, if I didn’t love the book, I try to break down why so I can avoid the same issue in my writing. I read a lot of Harlequins (still do!) when I was rediscovering romance and I learned a lot about structuring a romance from Maisey Yates, Andrea Laurence, Tiffany Reisz…heck, I learned a lot about sex from Tiffany, too!
~’I’m not here for fauxmances!
HEA or GTFO!’~
Share a piece of your work that showcases your writing style best.
From His Diamond:
“Then you gotta ask yourself why,” Cam went on. “Why does this man want to rob this bank on that specific date, in that specific way? Yeah, there’s the money, but it feels like a setup,” he concluded, looking back at the bank.
Hatfield made a sound of warning, but by then it was too late—Cam had collided with someone. “Oof!”
The first thing he thought was soft, followed quickly, and strangely, by purple.
Mine was the third thing.
He moved without thinking, wrapping his arms around the girl’s waist to keep her from falling onto her backside in the middle of the dirty street. He hauled her against him and spun, struggling to keep his balance so he didn’t topple them both. That feat of acrobatics brought her breasts in full contact with his chest. He stumbled as something in his brain misfired, repeating Mine. He clutched her even tighter and in that moment, there was no hope of finding his balance. He staggered backward, tripping and going down like a sack of bricks, the back of his head bouncing off the boardwalk. The woman landed on top of him with a gasped, “Oh!”
His head ached dully, but she was sprawled on top of him, his arms around her waist, her weight pressing down against him. She felt so good there and his body leapt to appreciate her properly.
Yeah, he didn’t give a damn about his head.
He got his eyes to focus at the same moment she pushed herself up, her hands flat on his chest. Which drove her hips against his. God, she was going to kill him and he was going to die a happy man.
Then the full impact of her appearance hit him, harder than any boardwalk ever could. Her hat had been knocked aside, revealing a riot of gorgeous blonde curls. His hands had already started tracing a path up her back toward that hair before he got them under control.
But that wasn’t the worst part. No, the worst part was her eyes, a pretty light blue that was like the summer sky on a perfect day. She was the most stunning woman he’d ever fallen for.
“I beg your pardon?”
Shit, had he said that out loud? He must have hit his head harder than he’d thought. “Apologies, Miss,” he said quickly because it was the only thing he could come up with.
She pushed against his chest again and damned if he didn’t want to pull her right back down into his arms.
A look of alarm crossed her face. Oh, right. They were lying in the middle of the boardwalk. She was on top of him. People were probably beginning to stare. He sat up, which led to her straddling his lap, her skirts tangling around both their legs.
“My apologies,” he said again, forcing himself to let go of her. “I didn’t see you there.”
Hatfield appeared, grabbing the elbow of the young lady and hoisting her to her feet.
“The fault was mine,” the blonde said, adjusting her hat and trying to get her curls tucked up under the brim again. “I was distracted.”
Now that she was no longer on top of him, Cam got a good look at her and his mouth fell open. The girl wore a gown of lustrous purple silk so dark it was almost black, cut to show off the sweeping expanse of her bosom without being vulgar. Her hair was swept up, generous curls rioting out from under the brim of her broad hat.
This girl was the loveliest woman he had ever seen and he had seen a lot of lovely women. She was sweet and young and innocent-looking, like she didn’t have a care in the world. At the sight of her, something sighed in his chest. True beauty was so rare in his world. He appreciated it all the more when he did see it.
Name three of your best writing tips.
- Write. The. Book.
- It’s okay to write crap because…
- You can’t fix a blank page!
Dead or alive, name the writer you wish were your mentor and why.
La Nora! Nora Roberts straddles genres and has her core audience and has her own bookstore as well as every award in the world! How does she do it? I’m in constant awe of her.
What would you say is your own interesting writing quirk?
I get ‘stuck’ on an album or soundtrack for each book. I’m working on one project that’s Kelly Clarkson, but another one is Janis Joplin and that other book (I write a lot!) is the Doors. I’m all over the place!
Shout out an indie writer whose work you love.
Lia Violet! We’ve formed a support group for indie erotica writers. She’s contemporary and I’m historical but there’s a lot of lessons to be had. I write fast and am good at plotting and she understands the market and loves doing research so we share information and, of course, cheer each other on!
Do you have any specific writing goals in your radar?
I have a bunch of irons in the fire but I want to have the next Jeweled Ladies book done by December! It’ll be called Her Steel and it’ll feature Hatfield, who was Cam’s sidekick in His Diamond.
Thanks for joining us today. Readers, feel free to stalk this sexy author at the following links:
Website & Blog: https://maggiechase.com/