Today, we are absolutely delighted to have debut author Darcy Burke with us. Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win her debut novel, Her Wicked Ways!
The Vicarious Life
One of the reasons I’m a writer is the ability to vicariously say and do things via my characters that I probably wouldn’t. And frequently don’t on the spur of the moment. I can recall many instances where I think, “I wish I’d said XYZ!” or “I wish I’d done LMNOP!” Unfortunately, life does not have a rewind button yet (I’m confident technology will take care of this for us some day). Fortunately though, as a writer, I get to take a moment (or, um, days or weeks) to ensure my heroine says and does just the right thing, the thing I’d like to go back and say or do.
Lady Miranda Sinclair, the heroine of my debut novel, Her Wicked Ways, is a bit of an outrageous character. She definitely says and does things I wouldn’t, which was one of the things that made her so fun to write. She is, in fact, a rakehellion or a female rake (not in the sense of extreme womanizing or gambling, etc., she is after all a female during the Regency period). In the way that we may find bad boys attractive, but that we may not actually pursue them, a little part of us (women, that is) might like to spend at least a day as a rakehellion. Wouldn’t it be fun to ignore our stronger inhibitions and just live in the moment? Yeah, for about as long as that moment lasted! But sometimes it’s fun to think of what it would be like to stretch your muscles and maybe be a little…more. Or in this case, ask yourself (after you’ve read Her Wicked Ways of course!), what would Miranda do?
At the start of Her Wicked Ways, Miranda’s coach is held up by a highwayman. Here’s what she does:
“What do you have for me?”
She stepped toward him until they stood a mere hand’s width apart. “I have nothing, save a kiss.”
His jaw did drop then. Brazen enchantress. “I don’t need a kiss. I need money.”
She sighed, a sound of deep regret. “I told you, I have no money.”
“You’re lying. You reek of wealth.” Fox sniffed loudly to punctuate his statement and got a nose full of her alluring scent for his trouble.
“I know.” Her lips curved into a small, almost seductive smile. It stole his breath. Literally. When he finally remembered to take air, he did so quite audibly. Her mouth widened then, and her face shone like the sun on the brightest summer day.
What the hell kind of highwayman fixated on some chit like a cheap Byron impostor?
Fox reined in his wayward lust. “You must have something of value. A piece of jewelry? A quizzing glass?”
She arched a brow. “What do you take me for? A doddering dowager?”
Good God, no. Never that.
What’s most important to me about a strong woman is that she’s true to herself. She knows who she is and owns her identity. She wears it like a badge of pride and doesn’t give a fig what anyone else thinks. This, I think, is not an easy thing to do, and it’s something Miranda does with every fiber of her being. She knows where the line is and precisely when and where she crossed it.
And now I turn it over to you, dear readers, if you could spend a day—without repercussion!—behaving in a way you normally wouldn’t, what would you do?
Darcy is giving away an ecopy of Her Wicked Ways to one lucky commenter in the format of their choice! Blurb below:
Banished from London for her reckless behavior, Lady Miranda Sinclair is robbed by a dashing highwayman en route to the country. By offering him a kiss in lieu of the jewels she had to leave behind, she commits the very type of act that caused her exile. When her dour guardians extend her punishment to performing charitable work at the local orphanage, she’s further tempted by the home’s owner, a provincial gentleman who stirs her passion in a most wicked way.
He was her downfall
Desperate to save his orphanage from financial catastrophe, Montgomery "Fox" Foxcroft leads a double life as a highwayman. The arrival of wealthy, well-connected Miranda, whose kiss he can’t forget, presents a lawful opportunity to increase his coffers. His problems seem solved—until she rejects his suit. Out of options and falling for the heiress, Fox must risk what principles he has left and take advantage of her wicked ways—even if it ruins them both.
Darcy Burke wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. An RWA Golden Heart® Finalist, Darcy loves all things British (except tomatoes for breakfast, or any other time of day, actually) and happy ever afters.
A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her devoted husband, their two great kids, and three cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. She’s also a fair-weather runner, and her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge. Visit Darcy online at http://www.darcy-burke.com, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/darcyburkefans.