Contact email: mesreads AT
###Winner Announcement Posts are linked here.###

GIVEAWAYS ARE NOW LOCATED ON THEIR OWN PAGE - CLICK ON TAB ABOVE; Giveaways also linked on right sidebar.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Giveaway and Interview with Samantha Grace, Author of Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel

Please help me welcome Samantha Grace to  Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf.
Hello Samantha!
Q1.  What inspired you to write historical romance?
SG:  I love immersing myself in a world that doesn’t provide constant reminders that pull me out of the story. My life is so different from the historical heroine’s life that I’m able to take a vacation for a while. While I like contemporary, I might be reminded of my to-do list just from the mention of a cell phone. Things I don’t want to think about at the moment.
 I had never thought of it that way but maybe that is why historical romance was my favorite genre for years!
Q2.  Did you find anything "hands on" or unusual required when researching your books?
SG:  I had a lot of fun researching how to play Faro. In fact, the whole regency gambling scene was interesting.
 I've occasionally wondered how to play Whist too.
Q3.  What is the biggest obstacle you have to overcome when you want to write?
SG:  I think my biggest obstacle is one most moms face. I worry about being present enough for my family, especially when I have a deadline. My husband is incredibly supportive, but I feel it’s unfair to shift everything to him. He hasn’t complained, but I don’t like putting him in that position. Then my youngest has always been a Mama’s girl, so it’s hard for her when she gets less of my attention.
 It is challenging to juggle family and career.
Q4.  What is one of the best tips you’ve received on writing?
SG:  Keep writing. If you stop to research or edit what you’re writing, you can lose momentum. It’s okay to leave details blank in the first draft. Just place XXX in the spots that are going to require more research. (I also add a comment box with what I need to look up or I might not remember.) Then when it’s time to fill in the blanks all I have to do is search for XXX.
SG:  Here’s one of my tips: If you begin to hate what you’ve written and think you’re a horrible writer, it’s time to go to bed. It’s amazing how the little writing fairies polish it up while you’re sleeping.
Both of these seem like very good, practical tips!
Q5.  It looks like you are very busy with books coming out soon. Have these been in process for a long time and/or how do you find time to write while you are juggling your family?
SG: Fortunately, I have a couple of days off during the week to write while my kids are at school, so that has helped a lot. I was able to cut back about a year ago.
That is nice that you have days that you have the extra time.
Q6.  (a) How do find or develop your characters and personalities?
SG:  The characters basically appear and slowly reveal their personalities as we go along. I may know I need someone to stir up trouble or help the hero, but I don’t know who that’s going to be until they step forward. I view the first draft as our chance to get to know each other.
 That sounds like a nice way to meet and grow.
 (b) Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
SG:  I think to some degree there is a little bit of me in every character, but I think Lana’s brother, Jake, and I share a lot of similar traits. I, too, have a tendency to run into doorjambs or almost fall in front of a crowd. In college, I once got my heel stuck in the only hole in the sidewalk and had to get on my knees to pry my shoe free. Of course it was in front of the totally hot swimmer I had a crush on. These things only happen when I have a witness. I’m also extremely loyal like Jake, and once someone has wronged someone I love, I can’t let go of it easily, even though I’m quick to forgive when I’ve been wronged.
 Jake's loyalty comes through and I am interested in his story.
Q7.  Do you have an ancillary character in Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel that was the most fun to write?
SG:  I love Drew’s sister, Gabby, and I enjoy the two of them together. I think Gabby may have a lot of fun in store for me down the road.
Oh yes- Gabby is a spritely character who I am sure will have fun adventure!
Q8.  When you do a series do you have each book plotted out before you start the first one or do the subsequent books flow from the first book?
SG:  Lady Amelia’s Mess and a Half definitely developed from the characters who appeared in Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel. There was something about Amelia that pulled at my heartstrings from the beginning. She just wasn’t the stereotypical “other woman”, and I knew she was heroine material. It wasn’t until the second draft that I realized Jake and Amelia’s connection to one another. Book three came from a random story idea, and it felt right for this book. I keep a list of potential stories in a journal when inspiration strikes. I don’t develop them at the time. I just make a note and apparently the right characters tell me which one is their story.
Nice that you get help from the characters - I like that. :-)
Q9.  Which word would you use to describe yourself and your personality?
SG:  Hopeful! I’m not unrealistic and unprepared, but I hope for the best from people, and I’m rarely disappointed.
Nice choice and that gives a more positive aspect for life.

Q10. If you could have readers finish a sentence what would it be?
 My heart melts when ____________________.
Thank you so much for taking time to share (both your writing and this interview) with readers.
SG:  Thank you for having me as a guest, Martha. I really enjoyed your interview questions and I look forward to chatting with your readers. Samantha
Thank you to Beth at Sourcebooks for providing a print copy of this fun book for giveaway!

1. Visit the author's website and tell me something you found interesting.
  This is required for entry.

2.  Answer Samantha's question in Q10 above - worth two entries.

3.  For extra entry, comment on my review - worth two entries.

4.  For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.

5. For two more entries, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Eight total entries possible.)

THERE WILL BE ONE WINNER for a print copy.
* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* No P.O. Boxes Please - for shipping reasons.
* Limit one win per household.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on February 17, 2012.
The winners will be randomly selected from all entries and announced on February 18 with 72 hours to complete the winners form.


  1. I really like the Samantha's blog background and colors. I learned that she has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Social Work degree. I look forward to reading this book.
    My heart melts when I read a good romance book. I commented on your review. Thanks!

    I am a follower:
    GFC: Rachel Vessar
    email: pefrw(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. I learned that Samantha has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Social Work degree, and lives in Wisconsin with her husband and 2 children.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  3. I learned that the original title of this book was The Ruination of a Rake.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  4. My heart melts when my grandsons tell me they love me.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  5. Tweeted:!/lag32583/status/167585144004284416

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  6. I appreciate your honest review. You said it bothered you that the title didn't completely match the story. I wonder why the title was changed from the original......

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  7. I watch my puppy. edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom
    GFC Krystal Larson I loved the authors' easily navigable book page.

  8. My heart melts when out of no where I receive a hug. It just melts me.

    Already a follower -GFC- Mary @SweepingMe

    Thank you for the chance at reading this awesome book!

    mary_reiss @

  9. +1 Samantha has worked several years as a clinical social worker.

    +2 My heart melts when the heroine at long last tames the scoundrel's heart :)

    +2 commented on your review.

    +1 already follow by gfc - mamabunny13

    +2 FB share -!/mamabunny13/posts/268406253232386

    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  10. Samantha Grace has a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Social Work degreee.

    My heart melts when my kids tell me they love me!

    This book looks amazing. Adding to my wish list! Thanks for sharing!

    1. visited authors website
    2. answered authors question +1
    3. left comment on your review +2
    4. I'm a follower +2
    5. shared on my facebook page +2


  11. I found it interesting that she used to work as a clinical social worker.

    My heart melts when I see the covers of the books.

    I commented on your review.

    I follow your blog.

    Thanks for the giveaway.


  12. The author worked several years as a social worker. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest.

  13. She is married to her best friend, and has two precocious offspring while braving the chilling winters in Wisconsin.



Your comments are always appreciated!


Related Posts with Thumbnails