If the Duke Demands by Anna Harrington – Q&A

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Anna Harrington whose first book in her Capturing the Carlisles series, If the Duke Demands, was released today.

Thanks for stopping by to answer a few questions, Anna. Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

I love Miranda Hodgkins from IF THE DUKE DEMANDS. She first appeared in HOW I MARRIED A MARQUESS as the flighty next door neighbor whom Elizabeth Carlisle keeps describing as “not long enough on the vine” and tries to keep away from her sons. She’s in that book as comic relief. But when I decided to write a series for the Carlisle Brothers, Miranda kept popping into my mind as the most improbable woman in the world for Sebastian Carlisle, Duke of Trent. So of course I had to pair them off! She’s a free spirit in love with life and living every day to the fullest, who throws herself completely into whatever endeavor she’d pursing, and who isn’t afraid of going after what she wants. Because she’s not part of society, she’s not bound by its rules, nor does she care about fancy titles and who’s listed in Debrett’s. She cares about who people really are in their hearts. Which is why Sebastian falls in love with her, and why she wants the man he is and not the duke.

Tell us about your family.

I have an older sister, and we grew up in Indiana on a small farm that had all kinds of fun things to do…ice skating, riding ponies, playing with the kittens, walking in the woods. There was always some kind of county fair or town festival going on, too. About five years ago, my parents retired and moved to Florida, and my sister moved to Costa Rica. I have two best friends—Pam and Kim—who are heart sisters to me, and two “adopted” little sisters—Kayla and Brittney—whom I simply adore.

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?

I don’t use a pen name, but Anna Harrington is not my legal name. Anna’s the nickname my friends use for me. I never liked my given name, and everyone spells it wrong or pronounces it wrong. So when I moved to England when I was 22, I changed my name. Anna is a variation on my legal name, and I love it—it’s traditional and easy to spell, it matches my English surname, and no one mispronounces it!

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

I love to listen to music when I write, but it can’t be anything I know or anything that has words. I like having it on as background “mood” music, so I’ll often play different types of music depending on what kind of scene I’m writing. Classical music for scenes that set up the plot or involve balls, musicales, strolls through the park, etc. Soundscapes for emotional scenes or country house stories. Jazz for love scenes. But I can’t concentrate if I know the song or can listen to the words—I find myself singing along and not getting any work done!

What was the scariest moment of your life?

When I was living in Quito, Ecuador, I went whitewater rafting on the Rio Blanco. The highway from Quito to the river was a narrow, winding mountain road with sheer plunges to a gorge several hundred feet below, on which people pass on blind corners and along which colonies of white crosses mark where people have died. On the way back after rafting, the clouds lowered and fogged us in. We were on that same narrow, winding mountain road with people passing on blind corners in the fog—in a WHITE van. I couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of the windshield, but the driver kept speeding up! Too scared to look, for the rest of the way home, I kept my eyes squeezed shut, my hands white-knuckled on the seat, and prayers on my lips. When we left the van, the river guide joked, “El rio es clase cuatro…la autopista es clase cinco!” (The river is class four…the highway is class five!) I didn’t find his joke funny.

A LESSON IN SEDUCTION . . . Miranda Hodgkins has only ever wanted one thing: to marry Robert Carlisle. And she simply can’t wait a moment longer. During the Carlisle family masquerade ball, Miranda boldly sneaks into his bedchamber with seduction on her mind. Soon she’s swept into rock-hard arms for the most breathtaking kiss of her life. But when the masks come off, she’s horrified to find herself face-to-face with Sebastian, the Duke of Trent-Robert’s formidable older brother.

Shocked to find Miranda in his bed, Sebastian quickly offers her a deal to avoid scandal: He’ll help her win his brother’s heart if she’ll find him the perfect wife. But what begins as a simple negotiation soon spirals out of control. For the longer this reformed rake tries to make a match for Miranda, the more he wants to keep her all to himself.

About the Author:I fell in love with historical romances and all things Regency—and especially all those dashing Regency heroes—while living in England, where I spent most of my time studying the Romantic poets, reading Jane Austen, and getting lost all over the English countryside. I love the period’s rich history and find that all those rules of etiquette and propriety can be worked to the heroine’s advantage…if she’s daring enough to seize her dreams.

I am an avid traveler and have enjoyed visiting schools and volunteering with children’s organizations in Peru, Ecuador, Thailand, and Mexico, and I have amassed thousands of photos I unleash on unsuspecting friends who dare to ask about my travels.

I love to be outdoors! I’ve been hiking in Alaska, the Andes, and the Alps, and I love whitewater rafting (when I don’t fall in!). I earned my pilot’s license at Chicago Midway (To all the controllers in Chicago Center—I greatly apologize for every problem I caused for you and Southwest Airlines), and it is my dream to one-day fly in a hot-air balloon over Africa.

I adore all things chocolate, ice cream of any flavor, and Kona coffee by the gallon. A Doctor Who fanatic (everyone says my house is bigger on the inside), I am a terrible cook who hopes to one day use my oven for something other than shoe storage. When I’m not writing, I like to spend my time trying not to kill the innocent rose bushes in my garden.

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