We didn’t think it was possible to look at something more intriguing than the title for A Scandalous Adventure! Of course, then we took a glance at the Q&A from its author, the amazing Lillian Marek. Classic movies and more have us heaving genre-appropriately heavy sighs. Check out the Q&A below and pick up A Scandalous Adventure, out now!
What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?
My favorite movies are all pretty old—I like to think of them as classics.
The Prisoner of Zenda (the 1937 version)
It Happened One Night
Singing in the Rain
The Princess Bride
The Uninvited (1944)
Describe your favorite scene from each one (you can include a Youtube clip if you want as well).
I realize when I think about it that my favorite scenes are not particularly romantic ones. Hmm.
The Prisoner of Zenda
In the climactic duel between Ronald Colman and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., they trade cracks as they fight and Fairbanks leaps into the moat to escape at the end.
It Happened One Night
I love the scene on the bus when the passengers all end up singing “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze.” It’s such a happy scene.
Singing in the Rain
Everybody knows Gene Kelly singing the title song, but my favorite is “Good Morning,” another purely happy scene.
The Princess Bride
Such an absolutely charming movie, but again, my favorite scene is the swordfight between Inigo Montoya and Dread Pirate Roberts. I like a bit of laughter with my swordplay.
This one is actually a ghost story in which Ray Milland rescues Gail Russell from a ghost and the marvelously creepy Cornelia Otis Skinner. I must confess that what I love most about this movie is the house, a gorgeous Georgian brick on a cliff above the ocean. And I couldn’t find any clips, just the trailer.
Did you have any of these scenes in mind when writing scenes from your latest release?
Indeed I did. The Scandalous Adventure is actually based at least vaguely on The Prisoner of Zenda, only instead of an Englishman masquerading at the king, I have an Englishwoman masquerading as the princess. I did have to have a climactic dueling scene, taking place in a medieval hall, though mine has more people getting involved.
If you could only read five books for the rest of your life, what five books would they be, and why?
Only five for the rest of my life? They better be pretty long!
- The Novels of Jane Austen. I count this as one book because for my twelfth birthday my sister gave me a one-volume edition which I still reread regularly.
- War and Peace by Tolstoy. Not only is this nice and long, but I love it. There is so much going on, so many characters, so much food for thought that it can bear many rereadings.
- Tom Jones by Fielding. Because I’ll need something to make me laugh, and this is a truly comic book. And it’s long.
- The Man on a Donkey by H.F.M. Prescott. A story about the Pilgrimage of Grace during the reign of Henry VIII, who is the undoubted villain in this marvelous book. I haven’t reread it in years, but I remember it as the best historical novel I ever read.
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. I feel as if there ought to be something happy and something American on this list, and this fits the bill.
If you could choose any one romantic lead in a book to be stranded with on an island, who would it be?
Rupert Carsington, who isn’t nearly as dumb as he pretends and who will remain calm and figure out what we need to do to survive. And he’ll make me laugh.
You have your choice of being stranded in any version of a Historical Romance, Fantasy Romance, Contemporary Romance, or Sci-Fi Romance, what world would you choose?
Definitely Historical Romance. My imagintion spends most of its time in historical romance.
FIRST ROMANCE (AKA My First Time):
What was the first romance novel you read?
Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
What do you remember about it?
Just about everything. I loved every page. I was completely hooked. I hadn’t had so much fun since I was a kid reading Nancy Drew.
What did you like most about it?
The setting is gorgeous and the story is adventurous (and I love adventure), but I think what I like best is the way Daphne and Rupert complement each other. They are very different, but each respects and admires the other’s strengths. Okay it takes Daphne a little longer to realize this, but that’s because Rupert is playing dumb for her.
What did you like least about it?
The fact that it had to end and I couldn’t keep reading it forever.
Have you ever reread it? If you did, how do you feel about it now?
I reread it frequently, and if anything I admire it—and Loretta Chase’s skill—more every time.
What was your very first OTP (your favorite couple in fiction)?
Well, I suppose it would be a bit repetitive to say Daphne and Rupert, so I’ll go with the next book I read and say Bathsheba and Benedict from Chase’s Lord Perfect. After she has said they really must part he goes off and starts thinking that he comes from a long-lived family and he could live another fifty years. Fifty years without Bathsheba? He couldn’t bear it!
Now that’s romantic.
Darcy or Wentworth? (bonus: who’s your favorite Darcy or Wentworth on screen?)
Darcy, and it has to be Colin Firth. If you don’t think he was the best Darcy, you’re just wrong.
Rochester or Heathcliff?
Heathcliff, preferably played by Laurence Olivier.
Kirk or Jean-Luc Picard?
Midnight or mid-day?
Angst or humor?
Humor. There’s too much angst in the world. I hope I’m still cracking jokes on my way to the grave.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee. I like tea, but I need coffee.
Wine or beer?
Cake or pie?
Scruff, beard, or clean-shaven?
Clean-shaven. I really dislike scruff, and I hope it goes out of fashion soon. It just looks grubby to me.
Sneakers or dress shoes?
For comfort, sneakers, but I can remember any number of dress shoes I have loved. There was this pair of beige sling-backs with a patent leather toe…
Car, motorcycle, bike, or train?
Train. That way I don’t have to find a parking space.
About A Scandalous Adventure
They’re hiding a scandalous secret
When his monarch’s flighty fiancée disappears, Count Maximillian von Staufer is dispatched to find her. His search leads Max to discover not the princess, but a look-alike who could be her double. Desperate to avoid an international crisis, he conceives a plan that will buy some time—and allow him to get to know a beautiful Englishwoman.
And time is running out
Lady Susannah Tremaine and her young friend Olivia are staying at the Grand Hotel in Baden, where so far the most exciting part of the visit has been the pastries. But when a devastatingly handsome royal Germanic officer asks Olivia to impersonate a missing princess, Susannah finds herself drawn into a dangerous world of international intrigue as she tries to protect her friend—and her heart.
Lillian Marek was born and raised in New York City. At one time or another she has had most of the interesting but underpaid jobs available to English majors. After a few too many years in journalism, she decided she prefers fiction, where the good guys win and the bad guys get what they deserve. The first book in her Victorian Adventure series, Lady Elinor’s Wicked Adventures, won first prize in both the Launching A Star and the Windy City Four Seasons contests. She was also a first prize winner in the Beau Monde’s Royal Ascot contest.