Interview and Giveaway with Manda Collins

Continuing our SCANDALOUS AFFAIR, we would like to welcome Manda Collins today to UTC.  She’s just released the last book in her UGLY DUCKLINGS series and has more historical romance in store for us!  Please give her a warm welcome 😉

What would be the best way to introduce a new reader to your series?

I would describe my trilogy as Nancy Drew meets Jane Austen. Three couples meet, fall in love, and work together to solve a mystery in Regency England. I’d say the author whose books mine most closely resemble are the regency adventure romances of Amanda Quick.

How did the Ugly Ducklings come to be?

I got the idea for the Ugly Ducklings one night while I was watching an entertainment news show. They were spotlighting the child of a very famous, very beautiful couple and were very subtly snarking about how the daughter just wasn’t quite as beautiful or successful as her mother. As sometimes happens, I started thinking about how that would work in Regency England. I remembered the very famous Gunning sisters who came to London and took the ton by storm, and I wondered what it would have been like to be one of their daughters, perhaps their not so beautiful or successful daughters. From there the Ugly Ducklings were born!

HOW TO ENTICE AN EARL is the last book in the Trilogy. What was your inspiration for Lady Madeline Essex and Christian Monteith?

For Maddie, I took Reese Witherspoon as my inspiration. She’s got just the right amount of sweetness and sass to portray Maddie perfectly. For Christian I chose the handsome and dashing and just a little bit rough, David Beckham. Yummy!

February is our historical romance month and we always want to know … Why historical romance for you, as your genre of choice?

I’ve been a fan of historical romance from my very earliest romance reading days. And more specifically of the Regency period. There’s just something so romantic about a couple twirling through a ballroom locked in an embrace. No matter how many times I explore the history of the era, I always manage to uncover some new detail that makes the period come alive. Especially now, when there don’t seem to be any rules for how to behave or how to interact with the opposite sex, it’s fascinating to read about a time where everything is orchestrated from the first meeting on. Also, the clothes are pretty and the men are handsome:)

Mixing fact and fiction in a historical romance can be hard. What kind of research did you have to do and do you have one fun memory to share?

My most interesting research came when I was researching for How to Romance a Rake. I stumbled across some really macabre details while I was exploring the history of prosthetics during the Napoleonic Wars. Apparently, the Marquess of Uxbridge lost his leg i the battle of Waterloo. And afterwards, some enterprising soul decided to put the actual severed limb on display in a shrine to the great British War Hero. People actually paid money to come and see the decaying leg for a while after the war ended. When the British government got wind of this, they put a stop to it pronto, but that someone thought to do it at all was crazy!

We are always nosy and want to know what our favorite authors are reading… So what book did you just finish and what are you reading next?

I just finished Lisa Kleypas’ wonderful new book, Crystal Cove. It’s quite a departure for her, but I think it works really well. I thought the romance itself was intense and lovely. And the paranormal elements really worked beautifully.

Next up, I’m reading Lisa Garder’s new one, Touch and Go. So far it’s great!

Do you have a favorite scene from HOW TO ENTICE AN EARL? Care to share with us?

My favorite scene comes not long after Maddie and Christian get married, when Christian gives Maddie a particularly appropriate (for her) gift. (I won’t say what it is to keep from ruining the surprise.) It’s such a sweet gesture and it shows that Christian really and truly gets Maddie and sees what’s important to her.

Your series is available on audio! Always something we look forward to here at UTC. How does it feel for you to have someone else reading your book to the world? And were you involved during the recording process?

I love the fact that Tantor Audio has seen to it that the audio versions of the Ugly Duckling trilogy have come out on the same day as the print/digital versions. I think the narrator, Anne Flosnik, has done an amazing job at bringing my characters to life. Unfortunately, I had no hand in the production of the audio versions, but I know that Anne and the whole Tantor team has done an outstanding job on each of the audio books. I could not be happier with them.

Now that the trilogy is finished, what is your next project?

First, there is one little bit of unfinished business where the Ugly Ducklings are concerned. And I plan to take care of that in a novella that will be coming out in the next several months. A novella that will star the very difficult Miss Amelia Snowe.

I’m also excited to say that my next trilogy will begin in July with Why Duke’s Say I Do. The trilogy will focus on three widows who witness the untimely death of the Duke of Ormonde, who also happens to be married to one of the ladies. The trilogy will follow the widows as they one by one fall victim to a ruthless blackmailer who will stop at nothing to see them pay for the duke’s death. It will contain my usual mix of humor and mystery and sweet romance.

How exciting!  We can’t wait for both the novella and the new series to come out!  Thank you so much for sharing with us today.  

How to Entice an Earl by Manda Collins

Lady Madeline Essex is the last of the unwed “ducklings” in her family—and by far the most outspoken. But when she boldly enters London’s most notorious gaming house in search of fodder for her novel, even her sharp tongue can’t save her from the horrible crime she stumbles upon there. As luck would have it, first on the scene is the last man she wants to see her vulnerable. The one man who could tempt her heart…

Christian Monteith, the new Earl of Gresham, isn’t much for card rooms and gaming hells. But as a favor to his former commanding officer, he’s investigating a gamester for espionage on the night that Maddie ventures in looking more enticing than he’s ever seen her. Suddenly, his feelings for his friend aren’t so friendly anymore. And when her curiosity brings the impetuous novelist to the attention of a madman, Christian will stop at nothing to protect her—from a sinister plot that is far more dangerous than any stolen kiss…


Manda Collins spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. An affinity for books led to a graduate degree in English, followed by another in Librarianship. By day, she works as an academic librarian at a small liberal arts college, where she teaches college students how to navigate the tangled world of academic research. A native of coastal Alabama, Manda lives in the house her mother grew up in with three cats, sometimes a dog, sometimes her sister, and more books than strictly necessary.

STALK HER: Twitter | Blog | Website | Facebook

Ms. Collins has a copy of HOW TO ENTICE AN EARL up for grabs.

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laurie g

i like the looks of the book. but then i always have a soft soft spot for ‘ugly duckling’ books

Manda Collins

Me too, Laurie!


Love the book cover and very interesting description of the story.

Manda Collins

Thanks, Olga!

Darlene Ysaguirre

All the research and time it must take in writing such great books..

Manda Collins

It does, Darlene, but I love it!

Betty Hamilton

This sounds like a great read and one that I would love to have!!

Manda Collins

Thanks, Betty!

Lori Meehan

Great post. Manda is a new author to me. The Ugly Duckling series sounds so cute. I’ll be looking theses up. Thanks for the contest.

Manda Collins

Glad you like the sound of it, Lori!


Sounds like a great read, thanks for the giveaway!

Manda Collins

Thanks, KP!

Priscilla Pomeroy

This book sounds really good. I am going to have get the series and read it.

Manda Collins

Thanks, Priscilla!

Elizabeth P

thanks for the giveaway!

Manda Collins

Good luck, Elizabeth!


I adore historical romances and this one sounds great. What does she witness at that gaming house! =)
Totally adding this one to my TBR pile. I also love the color of the cover.

Congrats on the release!


Manda Collins

Thanks, Mary! I love the cover, too!

Lisa Richards

I love historical romances on their own but throw in a Regency female novelist —you have totsllt hooked me!

Manda Collins

Glad you like the sound of it, Lisa!


Sounds like a great read and I love the cover .Thank you for sharing with s today.Have a wonderful week.

Manda Collins

Thanks, Wanda!


Very interesting interview! Congratulations on the new book. I love historical romance with a touch of mystery. Thanks for the giveaway.

Manda Collins

Thanks, Book Lady!

Jane L

Lovely interview. The book sounds great. Can’t wait to read it!

Manda Collins

Thanks, Jane!

Meghan Stith

Thanks for the giveaway! I love historical romances and I think I’d really like this one!

mestith (at) gmail (dot) com

Manda Collins

Thanks, Meghan!

Lily B

your books sound absolutely amazing <3 wonderful giveaway thank you so much <3 looking forward to reading this fantastic series myself!

Manda Collins

Thanks, Lily!

Soft Fuzzy Sweater

You are so right: David Beckham is ALWAYS in my mind when I read my Brit-based Historical romances. I loved the interview and can’t wait to read your book. Thanks for the giveaway.


Manda Collins

You’re welcome! Thank you!


Love the interview and can´t wait for my chance to read more!
Happy Sunday!
fr_larsson at hotmail dot com

Manda Collins

Thanks, Linda!


I never miss an Amanda Quick story. I loved the interview. Thank you so much. lisagk(at)yahoo(dot)com

Manda Collins

Thanks, Lisa!

Lori H

This book sounds so cute. I love a strong, sassy heroine. You are a new author for me and I can’t wait to read this book.
lorih824 at yahoo dot com

Manda Collins

Thanks, Lori! Glad you like the sound of it!

Zita R

This book sounds interesting, would love to read it!

Manda Collins

Thanks, Zita! Hope you read it and like it!

Barbara Elness

I love a sweet and sassy heroine, and the look on her face on the cover of How to Entice an Earl is definitely sassy.

Manda Collins

I agree, Barbara! Definitely a sassy look!

Diane Sallans

I love Madeline’s expression on that cover – I’m going to enjoy this one.

Manda Collins

I hope so, Diane! 🙂

Kelly Powell

Awesome!!! Thank you for the giveaway!!!

Zina Lynch

I really enjoyed reading your Questions and answers. Great way you got your inspiration. And it makes my blood boil about the entertainment show though and their snarkiness.

Mary Preston

I just need HOW TO ENTICE AN EARL and a cup of tea & I’d be very happy!!

LOVING the cover too.


Hi Manda! I love historical romance too. Somehow it seems more romantic compared to other genres of romance. It’s so elegant. Looking forward to reading your Ugly Duckling series.

Ann S.

How to Entice an Earl sounds like a wonderful romance. I love the ugly duckling story and look forward to the series.

Monica V.

The series sounds fabulous – I, too, love Regency romances. These are going on my to buy list!

Kamla L.

I haven’t read any of the Ugly Ducklings novels as yet but I have been seeing great reviews for them. They are on my TBR/wish list. Thanks for sharing. I love getting to know a little about all you wonderful authors. And thanks for the giveaway


I love the sound of this book!


Great interview, thanks for the giveaway

Sue G.

I just love Reese Witherspoon. I think she is so sweet and funny. Good choice as your muse!


This sounds like a good book. I will definitely add the trilogy to my TBR pile. I like that you research your books. Do you have an actor/actress in mind when you write your books?


Congratulations on the new release. I enjoy reading a series where we get glimpses of earlier couples.

Daniel M

liked the interview and sounds like a fun one!

Stefanie D

It sounds like a great read! And I just love the cover…

eli yanti

Hi Manda, I will always love to read your book and can’t wait to read your new series 🙂


I love the whole idea behind these books and cannot wait to read them all!

Janie McGaugh

I enjoyed your interview and love the book cover. I look forward to reading it.
jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

Krissy Holstein

Great cover and sounds like a great story. Thanks for the giveaway.

kandj7299 at verizon dot net


Thanks for the giveaway and for giving me another book to add to my always growing TBR list.


I enjoyed the interview.