I’m Sara Ramsey, and I recently spent a delightful hour interviewing the Muses of Mayfair – a secret society for women pursuing artistic passions. While it’s true that these ladies are fictional creations (a fact they think is indelicate of me to mention), they are all too stubborn to do what I tell them – so the interview quickly ran off the rails. Please join me anyway to see whether I can corral them into some semblance of order – and a lucky commenter will win a free copy of SCOTSMEN PREFER BLONDES!
Madeleine, Duchess of Rothwell (nee Lady Madeleine Vaillant) – Actress, heroine of Heiress Without A Cause – January 2012
Amelia, Countess of Carnach (nee Lady Amelia Staunton) – Writer, heroine of Scotsmen Prefer Blondes – April 2012
Ellie, Marchioness of Folkestone (nee Lady Elinor Avenel) – Painter, heroine of The Marquess Who Loved Me – summer 2012
Miss Prudence Etchingham – Historian, heroine of as-yet-untitled Muses of Mayfair #4 – late 2012/early 2013
Interviewer: Sara Ramsey, Regency romance authoress, heroine of her own blog at www.sararamsey.com.
Sara: I’m so delighted that you agreed to spend an hour answering my questions.
Ellie: (pours tea) As though we could deny you!
Amelia: (paces) Can we begin, please? I would like to return home in time to dress for dinner.
Sara: Hmm, yes. Could you tell me a bit about how the Muses of Mayfair formed?
Amelia: Don’t you know how we formed, dear creator?
Madeleine: (laughs) Don’t mind Amelia – although I enjoy seeing her brought so low by a mere man. Only away from her husband for a few hours and she’s already eager to see him again.
Prudence: (smirks) I do love how the mighty are fallen.
Ellie: Can I paint you like this, Amelia? Dramatic in your separation from your lover? Perhaps as Penelope waiting for Odysseus to return?
Ellie: (glares at Amelia)
Sara: Ladies, if we could please return to the question? Any answer at all about how the Muses of Mayfair formed will do.
Madeleine: (sighs) Very well. Amelia and I were first, although since we grew up in the same house, you can hardly call cousins playing together a club. But she liked to write, and I liked to act, so we encouraged each other. And then we discovered that Prudence was an utter bluestocking…
Prudence: They caught me muttering after a staging of Julius Caesar about the inaccuracies of the set, while everyone else went on about how handsome the actor was.
Madeleine: Yes. She couldn’t not join us, particularly when we threatened to tell her mother about her unfashionable love of history.
Amelia: And then everything was lovely. Until Madeleine ran off to the theatre and got caught by the Duke of Rothwell.
Madeleine: (smiles) And then everything was even lovelier.
Ellie: You are really *too* happy to be married to him, you know. I grew up with him – I assure you he’s not perfect.
Madeleine: Then you may pretend that I meant everything was lovelier because we met you and invited you to join our circle, not because I married your brother.
Sara: (claps hands) Marvelous – let’s move on, shall we?
Amelia: In a hurry suddenly? You don’t have an earl to go home to, do you?
Sara: Well, no. But blog readers have a short attention span…
Ellie: Then we aren’t interesting enough for you? I could tell you about the time I went to Lord Westbrook’s house party…
Madeleine: You went to Westbrook’s house party, Ellie? I merely went to his masquerade and I didn’t think I would stop blushing for a week.
Sara: Perhaps another time – I do rather want to hear about the house party. But we can save that for your book, The Marquess Who Loved Me. Speaking of which, what do you ladies think will happen when Nick, the current Marquess of Folkestone, returns from India?
Ellie: (spills her tea) Next question, please.
Prudence: (hands her the plate of sweets) Have a lemon cake, dear. I find they take my thoughts away from stupid men.
Ellie: He isn’t in my thoughts. Why would he be? Just because he left England a decade ago and refused to come back, even when he inherited my dead husband’s title?
Madeleine: Or perhaps because you were in love with each other when you married his cousin?
Ellie: That’s neither here nor there. Next question.
Amelia: (in a stage whisper) Sara, if it eases your mind, she won’t talk to us about Nick either. So we’re all speculating about what will happen if he ever comes home.
Sara: (mutters) It would ease my mind if Ellie and Nick would cooperate with me so I could finish their bloody book.
Sara: All right then, moving on. Do you plan to add any more members to your club?
Prudence: It would be nice to add someone who isn’t married so I’m not the only one left on the shelf.
Ellie: I’m not married either.
Prudence: But you’re a widow. You can go places like Westbrook’s house parties. I’m with the spinsters, left to watch other people dance.
Madeleine: You don’t even want to dance.
Prudence: True. But I don’t particularly want to be an ape-leader, either.
Amelia: (snorts) Yes, maturity is a critical requirement of membership in the Muses of Mayfair.
Sara: If no one else joins the Muses, we can’t leave Prudence to her spinsterhood. Any ideas who we should set her up with?
Prudence: (chokes on her lemon cake)
Amelia: (claps her on the back) You didn’t think Sara would leave you wallowing in spinsterhood forever, did you?
Prudence: (mutters) As though any of you could leave well enough alone.
Madeleine: You’ll meet someone lovely, I’m sure of it.
Ellie: Unless you’ve…already met him, eh?
Prudence: Next question, please?
Amelia: (narrows eyes) Have you met someone, Prue? Don’t say you’re in love and haven’t told us!
Prudence: I won’t say it, then.
Madeleine: Prue! Who is it?
Ellie: (pours more tea) Really, how you’re all so unobservant is beyond me.
Prudence: (firmly) Next question.
Sara: You know, it seems wise to end the interview before you all descend into a brawl.
Amelia: We’ll just pounce on Prudence and drag the name out of her as soon as you let us go.
Sara: (smugly) Difficult, darling, since you’re fictional.
Amelia: (sighs) I don’t like you at all.
If you want to learn more about the Muses of Mayfair, Madeleine and Amelia’s books are already out. Ellie’s mysterious former lover, the current Marquess of Folkestone, returns to London in The Marquess Who Loved Me, out later this summer. And Prudence’s secret, unacknowledged passion will finally come out in the fourth Muses of Mayfair book, sometime in late 2012/early 2013.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Like Prudence, I think lemon cake is a fabulous way to forget one’s troubles – but what’s your favorite comfort food? One commenter will win an ebook or paperback (winner’s choice) of SCOTSMEN PREFER BLONDES!
Melanie here. I want to thank Sara for coming over to play and for her Giveaway, but most of all I want to thank her for letting me ‘cast’ her characters. I had too much fun doing it!