Monday, February 1, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Laura Trentham, author of 'A Brazen Bargain'

An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she's shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as large as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.

Her latest book is the Regency historical romance, A Brazen Bargain.
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About the Book:

Minerva Bellingham is at her wits’ end. Her younger brother, Simon, will have them penniless and on the streets if his extravagant gambling habit isn’t curtailed. An enormous debt to Lord Rafe
Drummond is the final indignity.

Signing over her dowry is their only choice. Until Lord Drummond suggests something much more scandalous. She can keep her dowry—in exchange for the Bellinghams working three months as a housemaid and stable boy.

Scarred from his service to the Crown, Rafe recognizes the young Simon Bellingham has the makings of a good duke. Minerva is a different story. Her pure, delicate beauty only underscores Rafe’s tarnished, bleak soul.

Yet he delights in cracking Minerva’s icy reserve to reveal a fiery, stubborn woman. And Minerva discovers the gruff master of Wintermarsh has the heart of a poet. But before they can find a future safe in each other’s arms, a menace from Simon’s licentious past slithers back into their lives, forcing Rafe to plan the most important rescue mission of his life.

Warning: Contains a paragon of the beau monde who gets the hang of polishing silver, and a master of the house who’d like her to make his bed—preferably with him in it. Also passion unleashed with the mere touch of a finger. Readers are encouraged to swoon.

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Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

I actually started the book and *then* realized I needed to do research! My historicals are set in the Regency period in England toward the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1814-1815). This is when King George was going mad and his son took over as Prince Regent. There are numerous books and websites I read. I tend to research as I write otherwise, I get bogged down in the research and don’t get any writing done!

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

My original plan was to self-publish a series of four Regency historicals. I never imagined traditional publishing was an option. It’s so difficult to break into publishing. As I was finishing what has become A Brazen Bargain, I entered some writing contests, just to see how I was doing. One of the contests led to me signing with a literary agent and through her I sold my Spies and Lovers historicals and also two series of contemporary romances (Falcon Football and Cottonbloom). It has been a crazy two years! When things happen, they can happen fast.

If published by a publisher, what was your deciding factor in going with them?

I actually had a couple of offers on the Spies and Lovers books, but Samhain Publishing does an outstanding job with their covers and really works in partnership with their authors on marketing. My editor has been fabulous too. I actually dedicated A Brazen Bargain to her!

How did you choose your cover?

Samhain Publishing designed the covers, and I absolutely *love* them. But, as an author, I get to describe my characters to the artist and send inspiration pictures. The cover for A Brazen Bargain is exactly how I picture my couple (and that doesn’t happen often!)

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

I write a first draft as quickly as possible. I don’t worry about perfection. For a full-length book, that’s around six weeks. Then, I spend almost that much time revising it. I don’t do any pre-plotting, so I’m sometimes as surprised as a reader as to where the story takes me! That’s one of the best parts of writing for me.

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

I love to give copies away on Goodreads or Facebook! As a new author, it’s sometimes difficult to get people to take a chance on you. Giving books away is a great way to get them hooked.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out?

This is my fifth release, so I already had an author Facebook page, twitter, and a newsletter. I’d advise any author to get those things going well before your first release. I wish I had started sooner.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

This is the second in the Spies and Lovers series. I have two more written and hope to publish them with Samhain in the near future!

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

The Spies and Lovers series (An Indecent Invitation and A Brazen Bargain) is suspenseful, sexy fun. Hope you enjoy them!

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