Interview and Giveaway with Isobel Carr!

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Thank you so much for stopping by UTC and being part of our Historical Romance event, A Scandalous Affair. We are thrilled to have you here!

Who is Isobel Carr? Tell us 5 interesting things about yourself that readers would not know.

– Though I’m a California girl born and bred, I went to Hollins University (a small women’s college in Virginia ) where I majored in philosophy.
– I was a vegetarian for twenty-two years, but I fell of the wagon during my best friend’s wedding in Paris.
– Travel is one of my favorite activities. I’ve been on every continent except South America and Antarctica (and I’m working on South America !).
– I’m a regular attendee at the Burning Man art festival in the Nevada desert. This summer will be my fifteenth year there.
– I live in a 1916 Bungalow and have an obsession with the Arts and Crafts movement.

Can you tell us about your first book, Ripe for Pleasure? How did this story come to be? And why the League of Second Sons?

I like history, and I read a lot of historical non-fiction for inspiration as well as research. The idea for RIPE FOR PLEASURE grew out of my stumbling across the story of the fortune the King of France sent to support Bonnie Prince Charlie’s bid for the English throne in 1745. The rebellion collapsed before the money reached the prince, and no one knows what happened to it after that. It obviously must have made someone very rich though …

The idea of the series of books about younger sons grew out all the comments I see from readers about their weariness with dukes (though clearly, dukes still sell!). I wanted to do something a little different, and the lot of younger sons is an interesting one. They’re quite literally spare children. They won’t inherit anything of real worth, and every family seems to have had its own traditions and expectations for them. Some sent them into the military, some used them for political purposes by getting them elected to the House of Commons, others preferred they be raised to be their elder brother’s land steward (and thus ready to take over should he die or fail to produce and heir of his own).

Combine this odd existence with the dramatic changes to the marriage laws in the mid 18th century (the Hardwicke Marriage Act) and the younger son’s option of eloping with an heiress (something they were known for) suddenly became much, much harder. I could see the young men of the 1750s responding to such a blow by banding together and pledging to help each other in some other way. Combine that with the period penchant for clubs, and you get the League of Second Sons.

You also have another book, Ripe for Scandal out now. What is your favorite part of this particular book?

Oh, that’s a hard one. But I’d have to say it’s the heroine. I love Beau. She’s a bit too highhanded for her own good, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants, even if that means manipulating people. She’s a woman of action, and very much the daughter of a duke. I’ve been told by some that this makes her mannish and unlikeable, but I bet that in a pinch, most of us would rather have a friend like her than one who responds to a crisis with tears and hysterics. I know I would!

You write under another pen name, Kalen Hughes. What’s the major difference between writing under these two pen names? Do you prefer writing under one name than the other?

There’s no difference. It was a simple rebranding necessitated by a disastrous decision by a certain mass-market chain to dump my Kalen Hughes debut book. The book got great reviews and sold really well in bookstores, but that one account killed my sell-though rate and thus my career under that name.

I would have loved to have kept writing as Kalen (since that’s my actual name!), but the vagrancies of publishing made that impossible.

What’s the romance novel with the cheesiest cover you ever bought?

I learned to ignore the covers a long time ago, but I’m guessing it was probably one of Candice Hern’s Avon books. They all had oddly blurry watercolor covers with shirtless heroes wearing boots at balls or some such nonsense. The covers totally failed to tell readers that inside there was a marvelous, fully-realized, historical world.

If you could travel back in time, what era would you like to find yourself in and why?

There are so many I’d love to experience, but some are more vacation material than others. I’ve done 16th century re-enactment for most of my life, so I’d love to see that era, but I wouldn’t want to be trapped there. And of course I’d love to see the late 18th century, since that’s my current obsession and the period in which I set my books. If I could go on a spending spree and bring all my goodies home with me, that would be even better!

What do you do when you are stuck on a particular scene?

Change POV. If the scene isn’t working, it’s almost always because I’m in the wrong person’s head.

Apart from historical romance, are there any other genres that you would love to write?

I’d love to write Science Fiction. It’s what I grew up reading and continues to be a large portion of what I read now. I have ideas for a couple different series, but finding the time to work on them with a day job and my current romance commitments is just impossible.

Outside of historical romance, which other author’s work do you enjoy reading?

I read almost everything (except horror, which is just not my bag). My current auto-buy authors include Neil Gaimen, Ilona Andrews, Larrisa Ione, C.S. Harris, Patricia Briggs, George RR Martin, P.C. Hodgell, Bernard Conwell, Sharon Kay Penman, Robin McKinley, Arturo Pérez – Reverte , and Guy Gavriel Kay .

Rake or virgin hero?

Rake. I’m on record all over Twitter as not understanding the appeal of bedding a man with no experience. Enthusiasm and imagination will carry one only so far.

Cozy up by the fire or lay out on the beach?

Fire. Unless you’re talking a nice, cold, foggy beach. I’m not a sun and surf kind of girl. A Hawaiian vacation would be a punishment for me.

Coffee or tea?

Tea. Unless I’m at Burning Man, where I help fun the giant café. We have amazing coffee there.

Boxers or briefs?

Boxer briefs all the way!

Tats or piercings?

I have both, but if you’re asking what I prefer on a man, the answer would be tattoos (so long as they’re well thought out and beautifully rendered).

For more information on Isobel Carr and her book, please visit her website

Isobel Carr is giving away the winners choice of one of her books, open worldwide!
To enter:
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2. Fill out the form below

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Barbara E.

I enjoyed the interview, it was fun getting to know more about Isobel Carr and her books.


Thank you for the interview. Thanks for the question regarding authors, most of these names are new to me, I’ll have to look for them. lisagk(at)yahoo(dot)com


great interview, new author for me but after this post i can very well add it to my wishlist. I think very interesting to see story with people who like the younger prince were nearly off since their birth just because it helped their father.

all the best

Cool interview! I love romance stories in the sixteenth century too, and haha, boxer briefs!XD Thanks for this giveaway!


I found it interesting that she had to write under a pen name because of past experience with a publisher. It’s a downside to writing that I never thought about or considered.


I loved your book Riper for Pleasure and can’t wait to read this new one. I had no idea that you had written under another name. Now I HAVE to go find them! I love your writing!

Shelley B

Great interview!

What I love about historicals is that I get a mini history lesson along with a romance. I love stories that transport me somewhere else. I haven’t had a vacation in a long time (take care of an elderly parent), so what better way to go somewhere than in a book.

Emily Tardy

Thank you for the interview and contest! I love finding new to me authors that write the kind of books I read =D

Lady D

Love the idea of this book series! Can’t wait to dive in! 🙂


Thanks for the awesome interview! I was so stoked to find that I had purchased more books by Ms. Carr under her “other” name. Gotta go dig em out of the electronic TBR pile 🙂

Thanks for the interview, as a lover of all types of romance I love seeing the person behind the book.
alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Mary @SweepingMe

Love the interview! I am new to Isobel Carr but I will be looking for more from her.


Julie W

I love Isobel’s books and really enjoyed learning more about her! I, too, love a good rake! LOL Thanks so much for the interview and giveaway:)


I have only read one of Isobel’s books, but I would like to read more.

Thank you for this giveaway and great interview.



Great interview! Congrats on the book and thanks for the giveaway.
msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com


Isobel I envy you all that travelling you’ve done, I would love to be able to travel that extensively one day.


Enjoyed the review. Looking forward to reading this series.

June M.

I am really looking forward to reading Ms Carr’s new book (RIPE FOR SCANDAL). Thanks so much for the interview allowing us to get to know more about the author.


Fun and informative interview. I love learning about history from reading historical romances. Thanks for the giveaway. Can’t wait to rad Ripe For Scandal.


Johanna R Jochum

Awesome interview. I can’t wait to read your new book. Thanks for sharing with us today



I haven’t read any of Isobel’s books yet, but this interview peaked my interest – I’ll have to learn more about that Burning Man festival.
sallans d at yahoo dot com

Rachel V

I have not read any of your books at this time but it does sound good. It was an interesting interview.


League of Second Sons…sounds like a really intriguing choice! I mean, I love a good duke but you know exactly where their life is headed from the getgo (with a few exceptions but in the end they tend to be a duke–only one exception I can recall for that one). Can’t wait to read the books (This blog being the first I’ve spotted you on for myself.)! Thanks!!


Thanks for a great interview. Can’t wait to read these books!


I haven’t read any of Isobel Carr’s books yet, but they sound very good so I’m going to correct that!
mcv111 at hotmail(dot)com