Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Kit Marlowe: The Big Spin

Image courtesy of SL Johnson
It's always a pleasure hosting Kit Marlowe. She's spunky and sassy, clever and creative, and the quintessential international woman of mystery. This is probably what makes her stories so fun and intriguing.

Author of historical romance with a twist, Kit previously introduced us to The Mangrove Legacy, the story of cousins who manage to get themselves kidnapped not once, but twice, first by highwaymen, then by rogues of the sea . . . pirates!

And more recently, Kit visited to tell us about the first book in a new series, The World of Constance and Collier. The first book published in January this year, The Big Splash. Kit took us back to London's Jazz Age . . . the Roaring 20s, English style. Music was lively, champagne flowed freely, and the women lived just as fast and free as their male counterparts. Through it all, one woman was looking for love, and even though men threw themselves at her feet, Constance Wynne only wanted the one man she couldn't have.

Today, Kit visits with the second book in this series, The Big Spin.

Constance thought her life couldn't get any better. But when she starts catching her fiancé flirting with other women, she hightails it to Monte Carlo, with her lady's maid, Collier at her side. There's only one way to wash that man out of your hair. The voice of reason, Collier does her best to keep her lady in check.

As with book one, The Big Spin is a big book contained in a smaller package. Kit does a superb job of not just pulling us into the story with Constance and Colliers' antics, but also paints a vivid picture of the south of France, and of the times. This is a wonderfully fun read. But as it's a sequel, first time readers are encouraged to grab book one and start from the beginning. You won't be sorry.

Before we get to an excerpt, be sure to drop Kit a note in the comments below **with your email address** to enter the draw for a copy of The Big Spin.

We should also note that book one, The Big Splash is at the promo price of just 99c/77p through September.

• • •

When her fiancé Mr. Wood lets her down by flirting with another woman, Constance Wynne Hare tears off to Monte Carlo to forget him in the world of high rollers in the flashiest casinos on the Riviera. Will the ever-reliable lady’s maid Collier be able to rescue her from a dissolute life on the Mediterranean? The Jazz Age adventures of Constance & Collier return!

“Her suitcase?”

Constance Wynne Hare stamped her well-shod little foot with vehemence as her mother stared with alarm. “Yes, her suitcase. That’s his claim. He only went with her to help with the suitcase, and somehow—mind you, he’s very unclear on the details—but somehow it turned into a wild party and they were all taken to the precinct house and not charged, but locked up all night.”

“Naturally,” her mother said, her tone cool and her eyes narrowed as if she had just spotted a partner trumping out of turn.

“I do think it entirely unnecessary that he escorted her home in the morning after such an arrangement, and even more so that he stayed to eat breakfast with the baggage! Insupportable.” Constance threw herself down into a chair, but even the violence of that action did little to assuage the peevish sense of being done very wrong indeed by the exasperating Mr. Wood.

It made it much, much worse that her mother regarded her with such pity now. “My dear child, I hate to say I warned you of this—”

“Then do not!” Constance knew that anger at her mother was the only thing keeping despair at bay. “Mother, I cannot bear you being beastly just at this moment. It’s the last thing I need. I may just have to run off and join a convent.” She folded her arms with decision.

Unfortunately, her mother only laughed. “My dear, the convent that takes you in would have to be a rather forward-thinking institution.”

“Don’t tease, Mamma.”

“Constance, you know well my opinion on Mr. Wood. I do wish you’d had the good sense to marry that nice young banker—”

“That boat has sailed.” Constance frowned. Bankers were less likely to be the stable wagers her mother thought, she knew all too well. Get them out of the counting house and the unaccustomed freedom quite turned their heads. “I need a change of scenery. I need to leave London.”

“Go to Bath.” Her mother said with suspicious quickness. “It ought to be quite lovely this time of year. I know many families who take their leisure there in the off-season.”

“Do you?” Constance gave her mother a shrewd look that would have recalled a mongoose to any careful observer.

“Oh yes,” her mother said casually, turning to adjust the flowers in the Sèvres vase on the little oak table. “Why, I believe the Worthingtons are there just now.”

“Are they?” It was a good thing her back was turned or Constance’s mother would have seen a most objectionable look on her daughter’s face, one she might have scolded as both unladylike and entirely unnecessary.

“Oh, they seem to be having a most delightful time. The Earl’s gout is clearing up at last and young Earnest has become quite the talk of the town—very popular among the ladies, as I hear it.”

“It must be his extraordinary fondness for cakes that has set the ladies all a-flutter.”

Her mother turned with snake-like speed. A more timid girl would have cowered, but Constance was no flibbertigibbet. “Are you objecting to his very large girth?”

“Not at all. I like to see a man of substance,” Constance said, her head held high, insulted both by the question and her mother’s tone. “However, I object to a gentleman so greedy as to roughly elbow a girl aside in the pursuit of said cakes. I have not forgotten the Duchess’ hunt dinner.”

“How awful of you to recall such an embarrassing evening, which I recall we agreed never to mention again.”

“Mother, you drive me to desperate measures. Earnest Worthington? I’d sooner marry a—a fishmonger.”

• • •

Kit Marlowe is a writer of historical romance with humour (although there are those who say she’s secretly an English professor who writes under other names). You can find her on Facebook, too. Her lovely author portrait was created by the fabulous artist S. L. Johnson.

Find Kit online --

Website - http://www.kit-marlowe.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKitMarlowe
Blog - http://kit-marlowe.com/blog
Amazon US - http://www.amazon.com/author/kitmarlowe
Tirgearr Publishing  - http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Marlowe_Kit

Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address for the draw!
The Big Spin - Grab it Here
The Big Splash - Grab it Here


  1. Welcome back to Heart of Fiction, Kit, and congrats on the newest Constance and Collier story.

    Poor Constance. She's such a sensitive woman. It's a good think Collier is at her side!

    What gave you the idea for a story/series like this -- a lady of good standing and her lady's maid? They're more like friends than employer/employee.

  2. Hi Kem and thanks! Of course I love PG Wodehouse and Winifred Watson -- all that madcap humour and endless shenanigans. What's not to love?! I wanted to make my own Jeeves and Wooster, but with my own spin ;-) because Constance isn't quite as dotty as Bertie and Collier might not be *quite* as unbelievably perfect as that gentleman's gentleman she is nonetheless staggeringly resourceful. They're just so much fun to write!

  3. Ah! Yes, I can see it now. Jeeves and Wooster was a great show. Both amazing actors in their own right.

    What were the roaring 20s like in France? Admittedly, I thought it was just an American phenomenon.

  4. Ah but Paris in the 20s was the legendary time when all the American writers went abroad: this was Hamingway and the Fitgeralds, Gertrude Stein and Picasso and all. Very exciting.

  5. Obviously I don't know my Roaring 20s well enough.

    Can you give us a glimpse of what's coming in the next story?

    1. Hi Kit, congratulations on the latest books. Wonderful covers that depict so well the roaring twenties. The best of luck with your sales.
      The 20s are not written about often enough.

    2. Thanks, Cathy! It's a fantastic period -- so much lively change.

  6. Kem, the next one is THE BIG SPORT and has some sporting rivalries to spice up the friction. Women were breaking through into the professional sporting world at that time which is pretty cool.

    1. That sounds interesting. My grandmother was on Ohio's first all-girl basketball team and was the all-star. I have a photo of her in her uniform with the ball. Great old photo.