Thursday, January 27, 2011

Aloha to Victoria Alexander and THE PERFECT MISTRESS

Oh, we are having a fan girl moment in my house.  Our guest today is the incomparable Victoria Alexander.  Air Force Brat.  Broadcast journalist.  New York Times' best selling Author.  Wife of the "not so dead" Charles (see the very funny article on her website.)

I met Victoria  last summer at the RWA National Convention in Orlando.  She was enjoying a chat with Stephanie Laurens.  You can imagine how I felt to be among romance's heavy hitters.

Victoria's publicist, the lovely Judy "Spags" Spagnola, sent me an ARC of THE PERFECT MISTRESS before the holidays.  I was in hog heaven.   As I have written on this blog before, I rarely write reviews because I often can't find the right words to describe how a book touched me.   Yet it is easy to find the words for THE PERFECT MISTRESS - a classic Victoria Alexander story with her hallmark humor.   A new extended family and friends for us to meet and love.   For those seeking warmth this winter, find a roaring fire and a fine bottle of wine to set the stage as you read this story of friendship, romance, and passion.

A dazzling new romance in which one otherwise proper lady discovers the passion that is her legacy…

Widowed Julia, Lady Winterset, has inherited a book—a very shocking book—that every gentleman in London seems to want. For a charismatic businessman, it’s a chance to build an empire. For a dashing novelist, it could guarantee fame. But to a proud, domineering earl, it means everything…

Harrison Landingham, Earl of Mountdale, can’t let the obstinate Julia release the shameless memoir that could ruin his family’s name. But the only way to stop her may be equally sordid—if far more pleasurable. For his rivals are intent on seducing the captivating woman to acquire the book. And Harrison isn’t the sort to back away from a competition with the stakes this high. Now the winner will claim both the scandalous memoirs and the heart of their lovely owner…

I asked Victoria several questions about her impressive bio.

USPS honored female journalists

Victoria credits much of her writing success to her experiences as a reporter.

Kim:  You built an impressive career in broadcast journalism in contemporary issues of a thrilling nature. Yet you write sexy historical romances.  What inspired you to veer away from what you knew?

Victoria:  Good question. I'm not sure I ever made a conscious decision to write historicals, my writing just sort of evolved in that direction. When I started writing, contemporary settings were way too close to home. I think I wanted to get away from real life. In fact, my first book was a time travel

(Kim: I loved BELIEVE - Victoria's first book.)

Since I don’t live in Regency or Victorian England—even though I work hard to make sure my facts are accurate—it still has a fictional feel to me. Plus, I have always loved British comedies like Oscar Wilde's. When I really think about it, 19th century historical just seems natural for me.

But I am playing around with some contemporary ideas so we'll see.

She’s interviewed movie stars including Kevin Costner, ridden an elephant and flown in a governor’s helicopter.

Kim:  Suppose Kevin has become a fan of your books. He would like to make one into a movie but leaves it to your discretion to choose the book. Yes, it's like choosing among your children, but which book would best translate into a movie? Who would you cast as the lead characters? Would you (or your family) like to make a cameo? If yes, what part?

Victoria:  Wait. Give me a minute to stop laughing hysterically and pick myself up off the floor…

Okay ((draws a deep breath)) I can do this now. ☺

Honestly—The Perfect Mistress would make a fabulous movie. Colin Firth would be an excellent Harrison. As for Julia…hmmm…that's a tough one and I have no idea. I suppose the problem is that I become my heroines when I'm writing so it's hard to visualize someone else with Colin—um—I mean Harrison.

Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy

Cameos would be fun but I'd rather have my kids running things behind the scenes. My daughter works in independent films and my son is studying film. I wouldn’t mind being an extra as long as I got to wear a fabulous costume and a great hat. ☺

(Kim:  Victoria is one of the sponsors of the Mad Hatter Tea Party at the RT Booklovers' Convention.  I will be the cub reporter on the scene to share the experience on my blog).

Victoria claims her love of romance and journalism is to due to the influence of her favorite comic book character: Lois Lane, a terrific reporter and a great heroine who pursued Superman with an unwavering determination. And why not? He was extremely well drawn.

Kim:  I read in a gossip magazine that Lois married Clark, they started a family, and she is interested in a writing career in romance publishing in between PTA meetings.  Which genre would Lois write - historical, contemporary, suspense, or paranormal? What advice would you offer her as a journalist-turned-author?

Victoria:  Well, frankly, what with Clark actually being Superman and all—I think paranormal would be a little too close to home for Lois. As would suspense. And, since I think she'd have the same passion for history that I do, I'd bet she'd be writing historicals.

The only advice I could give her would be to use what she learned as a reporter. She already knows what makes a good story. She's been all sorts of places and met all sorts of people. And she's spent years observing people at their very best and their very worst. In the midst of triumph and tragedy. Everything she's done or seen as a reporter has prepared her to write fiction.

Air Force brats pointing to where they lived.

Victoria grew up traveling the world as an Air Force brat.

Kim:  What was your favorite place or experience as an Air Force brat?

Victoria:  As much as moving around every few years could be difficult, I think it was ultimately beneficial. It taught me to adapt and to make friends. I can go anywhere and be comfortable. It also allowed me to start over every few years and put all those horrible moments we all have in childhood behind me.

And because my mom's family was on one side of the country and my dad's on the other, every summer we'd go in one direction or the other. My dad made sure we always saw whatever there was to see along the way: the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Gettysburg. So, in many ways, being an Air Force brat helped me see the country. Oh, and, no matter where we were, my dad never passed a bookstore without stopping.

Kim:  What's next for Victoria Alexander?

VictoriaThe Perfect Mistress is the first of a trilogy about three friends (Julia, Veronica and Portia) that I'm calling The Mistress Trio. The next book is His Mistress by Christmas (Veronica's story) that will be out in the fall. That book leads into a new open ended series called Proper Family Secrets. I'm working on the first book in that series now.

I'll be at the RT Booklovers Convention in Los Angeles in April and the Romance Writers of America national conference in New York in June.

It's going to be a busy year. And I'm really excited about what's ahead.

(Oh, you can get more info on The Perfect Mistress on my website,, see some fabulous trailers!)

Kim:  Yes, they are fabulous trailers for a fabulous book!

Mahalo, Victoria, for joining us at SOS Aloha.  I look forward to seeing you at RT (hat in hand) and RWA (lei in hand).  In honor of Victoria's visit, I am giving away my ARC of THE PERFECT MISTRESS to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about Victoria, sexy Regency romances, and/or would you name a character in your book after any relative?

2. The giveaway is open only to US residents but ...

... I welcome comments from all readers - whether or not you are entering the contest.

3. Comments are open through Saturday, January 29, to enter the giveaway.

4. If you are an international reader, I am happy to share Aloha with you - send your mailing address to to receive a Hawaiian treat.

Join us tomorrow as welcome Donna Hatch and THE GUISE OF A GENTLEMAN.


Kim in Hawaii

I have three post scripts tonight ... they include spoilers for the books referenced.

1.  Hubby was disappointed that I didn't reference him in my interview with Victoria.  He asked me, "Does she know that I like her books?"   I did, indeed, mention this to her in passing.  I am curious how many male fans she has other than Charles and Kevin.

Hubby has stacks of books on military history, golf ananecdote, and science fiction.  But one night he was waiting for me and read the book I left on the coffee table - Victoria's THE PRINCE'S BRIDE.  He found humor in the fact that the heroine needed glasses but did not wear them.  Therefore the villain mistakenly assumed she saw a crime, which she didn't, so she and the hero take flight.   Read the book and think of my hubby.

2.  In her article about Dead Charles, she wrote that her husband took pride in being the namesake for the deceased husbands in several books.  The notable exception is the audio book of A LADY IN QUESTION where Charles comes to his end in the prologue.  Yet this book has the "funniest" scene that I often quote when the subject of funny scenes is discussed on romance blogs. 

"Calm?  You wish me to be calm!  Bloody hell, my housekeeper just killed my husband!  I've married my butler, and all of my servants are spies!  Spies! "  Fury shot from her eyes.  "I shall never be calm again."

3.  Victoria addressed New Year's Resolutions in her blog:

It’s that time of year again. Time for New Year’s resolutions. I’m not good at resolutions—remember how I said I’d try to blog many, many months ago? And look how that turned out.

I may have found a kindred spirit in Victoria.  I made the New Year's Resolution to only blog on Mondays, Wednesday, and Friday ... but here I am blogging on a Thursdays!  Oh, I have rules for the resolution:

No. 1:  Resolution doesn't apply to Scotland (from Tuesday's blog).
No. 2:  Exception can and will be made for Air Force brats, NY Times' Bestsellers, and hubby's favorite romance author.

Hmmm ... I'm starting to sound like Gibbs!


  1. I'm a Victoria Alexandra fan, one of my favorite series is her Effington Family books.

  2. Wonderful interview! I had the pleasure of meeting Victoria at the NJ-RWA conference three or four years ago. She was absolutely charming and sent over a fantastic dessert tray to our table. Victoria, I didn't know that you were an "Army brat"--huge fan of your books,they are wonderfully witty. Kim, I liked your expression, "trademark humor"--that's the perfect description. Don't enter me in the giveaway, Victoria is an auto-buy for me. Great blog!

  3. Please don't enter me because I already have the book coming to me. I just wanted to say that the book sounds really good and I wish you best of luck with it!

  4. Fabulous interview with one of romance's finest!

    Like Mary Kennedy above, I've also enjoyed the great pleasure of meeting Victoria. Likewise, I've experienced her generosity. Our first meeting was at RT, Baton Rouge, I believe. It was years before my first sale. Her hallmark charm and wit made me instantly love her.

    I still do. Love her books, too. As everyone knows, each one is pure joy. Auto-buys for me and the books I always reach for when I want to really treat myself.

    I'd like to share an anecdote about Victoria's kindness....

    I'm a night owl and often write long into the small hours. Mornings are a horror for me. Yet every time I sit down at my desk and take that first oh-so-important sip of morning java, I smile.

    My heart smiles, too. Because...

    My oversized ceramic coffee mug was a gift from Victoria!

    The mug is colorful and is decorated with a cheering crowd of people. One man on the mug holds up a "Way to Go!" sign. Another is saying "Yippee!" and also holding a sign that says, "Hooray!" There's even a little dog - LOVE him! - that says, "doggone amazing!"

    There's a banner near the top of the mug that reads: "Congratulations!"

    And that's the kicker... Victoria sent me this mug along with a lovely card when I made my first sale.

    Isn't that the nicest gesture?

    And so typical of this big-hearted lady. The world needs more Victoria Alexanders. But even if that happened, no one could top her on kindness, generosity of spirit, and her ability to make people happy.

    Thanks, Kim, for inviting one of romance's true greats here today.

    I second all your praise. And if Victoria reads this I want her to know I am drinking my morning coffee from her congratulations mug right now.

    It's on my desk every day and brightens even the worst deadline hours.

    Don't enter me in the drawing - I've already ordered the book.

  5. Victoria, I adore your books! I don't think I have ever read one that I haven't fallen in love with. I can't wait to meet you at RT in LA!!

  6. I have been waiting for this interview! I love Victoria's books. When I first started reading romances hers were some of my first ones! Smart, sexy, and exciting reads!

    I have always love the name Sally which is my moms name! If I were to write a book I think I would use that. It sounds like a heroines best friends name! LOL!

    Thanks for sharing with us today I loved the fun post!

  7. Great post! The timing is perfect.

    I've never met Victoria, nor have I ever read any of her work. But...I did buy The Perfect Mistress, just yesterday. It's sitting right here on my desk. Now I'm very excited to read it.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. I am a huge Victoria Alexander fan. I too met her at the RWA in Orlando and she is fabulous!!! I have been waiting for what seems like forever for this book to come out. I can't wait to devoure it. She was one of the first authors that I read when I took the journey into historical romance. I loved the Effington series and I can't wait to her new family series comes out. Thanks for the great interview and giveaway.

  9. I love sexy Regency romances! I get to escape into another time period and get a history lesson at the same time.

  10. Congrats on the new release, Victoria. I loved the Last Man Standing series. I don't think I would name a character after a relative. I think it would create problems.

  11. Hi, Victoria! Thanks for sharing! I look forward to trying your books!

  12. THE PERFECT MISTRESS is in my TBR pile, and has been getting marvelous, well-deserved reviews. No need to enter me in the drawing, I'm getting my copy this weekend :D

  13. Hi Victoria,
    I enjoy you books!

  14. Sexy regency romances are my FAVORITE genre of romance! I love all historical romance in general but English regency is so romantic

  15. Hi all! It's so cool to see so many friends here. I hope you all love The Perfect Mistress. Thank you, KIm, for having me. You do ask tough questions! :)

  16. Wow--i just got this! Check it out.

  17. Hi Victoria I haven't read THE PERFECT MISTRESS but it sounds like a great book!

  18. Victoria,

    The Perfect Mistress looks lovely! I'm definitely putting it up on my to-read list:)

    When it comes to characters, I'd most likely name them after friends/relatives. Most of the characters I write about are based off of people I've actually met in real life, so it sort of forces me to. I always change the names around to protect identities, of course!


  19. I think my favorite is "The Pursuit of Marriage" with Cassandra and Reggie Berkley although I enjoyed quite a few others also.

    I, too, am looking forward to "The Perfect Mistress"!

  20. I love romance books set in Regency or Victorian England. 95% of my daughter's reading is in this era. I would love to win THE PERFECT MISTRESS. I know both my daughter and I would enjoy reading. Don't know if I would name a character after a family member if I did write a book. Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  21. Thanks for coming to the blog Victoria! I really would like to read the Perfect Mistress now=)

  22. I adore Victoria's books. I love Regency romance books. Next to my Scottish Highlander books they are my next favorites. I think I might have used my Mom's name in a book if I were a writer. Her name is Yolanda. Looking forward to reading The Perfect Mistress.
    Carol L

  23. What a great interview! Hello to both Victoria and Kim -- hope to see you both at RT this year. Victoria, can't wait to read the new one!