Author Leigh LaValle and Giveaway!

I’ve known Leigh LaValle for years. She’s an amazing friend and an amazing author, and I’m not the only one to think so! Leigh’s debut historical romance, The Runaway Countess, was nominated for the prestigious Golden Heart award in 2011, and recently the book was nominated for Best Historical Romance by The Romance Reviews. Join me in welcoming Leigh to Magical Musings! Read below for your chance to win Leigh’s book, and where to find her free novella!

Where ileighn the world do you come up with these crazy ideas?

I am certain my mom asked me this question more than once. (And not just during my youth, mind you.)  I get this question about my books, too. Why did you decided to write a Robin Hood book? How do you come up with names? And, most often, how in the world can you fill four hundred pages with story?

 Often, I give the same answer I gave my mom: “I don’t know, my mind just does these things.”

The Robin Hood question has been a favorite (for who doesn’t love Robin Hood?) The basic answer is that I chose to retell the Robin Hood legend because I wanted to craft a story where the premise of right and wrong seemed really clear to begin. Throughout THE RUNAWAY COUNTESS, I try to challenge these pre-conceived ideas about justice. Stealing is not the answer, no matter how justified. Neither is oppression. As I retell the Robin Hood legend, both sides are right, and both sides are wrong. Both the hero and heroine have really compelling reasons why we should root for them, but only one can win. It’s a wrestling80d5a1597bb60b133da73747889c3fa0_ue4k[1] match to the end! 

Where do I get my ideas for names? I have to admit this is a hard one for me. (My son was not officially named until he was 7 days old and I had to file the birth certificate.) For surnames, I often use For first names, I take inspiration from the local landscape. Trent derived his name from the River Trent. His estate, Giltbrook Hall, was also named after a local water way (and subsequent town).

Finally, how do I fill four hundred pages of story? Even I don’t know the answer to that. I research a lot of history and take ideas from there. While reading about Nottingham, for example, I discovered the last rebellion in England took place just fourteen miles north of Nottingham in 1817. That quickly became part of my story. And I needed a scene where Trent intec5917bb0313ac6cfa45d04f7762a7a19_bddn_vu5t[1]racted with his villagers, something fun and lighthearted. Research pointed me to the Midsummer’s Eve festival, which was a very entertaining (and naughty) bit of history. I happily incorporated that into the book as well.

What about you, Dear Reader? Do you wonder how we authors get our crazy ideas? Do you want to know how we generate unique characters? Elaborate sex scenes? Unexpected twists? I am here to answer your burning questions. Or to chat about Robin Hood, who I could dfa1d7c948c5f38f160b7732859d0ebb_ee6p[1]talk about any day of the week.

***One lucky commenter will win a digital copy of THE RUNAWAY COUNTESS.***

***(Lori here, as a side note, Leigh’s novella, The Misbehaving Marquess is free for Amazon Kindle right now! For Barnes and Noble click here! You can also find it on ITunes! Get it while you can!)***

Thanks for joining me today! I love to hear from readers. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter or visit my website at

ABOUT: Leigh LaValle was born in a time when ladies shopped at the modiste and rogues sent heated looks across a crowded ballroom. Time slipped forward a few hundred years, and she currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. When she is not writing about said ladies and rogues, mommying, or reading, she is rarely seen cleaning. More often, she is found hiking or, when she is really lucky, in the white powder of the ski slopes. She is also a devoted yoga practitioner and instructor.


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9 Responses to Author Leigh LaValle and Giveaway!

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Leigh, thanks for being our guest. I always loved the Robin Hood story, so how fun to put it in a book! Congrats on your nomination for Best Historical Romance!

    • Thank you, Edie! I have always loved the Robin Hood myth as well, and rather surprised myself as I adapted it. I had to redeem the Sherrif of Nottingham!

  2. Thanks for having me here today, Lori! And for the lovely intro. Your friendship has been a big part of my writing, and my life, these past 7 years!

  3. Leigh I love THE RUNAWAY COUNTESS. Despite how fun and sexy it is, it does have a deeper message that challenges the reader. And despite having that deeper message, it’s fun and sexy. Thanks for being part of my world!

  4. I like the robin hood idea and love the cover on the runaway countess. Fun stories are the best

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kristine. I always endeavor to keep my stories fun 🙂 I do tend a bit toward drama and angst if I don’t rein myself in.

  5. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Leigh,

    Welcome to Magical Musings! And love those covers! I used to inhale historicals, then switched to RS and haven’t gone back. But you are definitely tempting me. 🙂

    My daughter is currently sunk deep into historical romances as only a young woman to be can be. I’ll let her know about your books.

    Good luck with your career.

    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …New Release! – UNBOUND

    • Thanks for the welcome, Dale. Oh, to be young and discovering historical romance again… just like falling in love for the first time. 🙂

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