27 August 2007

Perfidia Release Party

In lieu of regular posts this week, we're hosting a party for one of our contributors. Morag McKendrick Pippen, w/a Elspeth McKendrick, releases her novel Perfidia today! What follows is more about the book, a Q&A with Morag, and the chance to win free books...

Morag's previous two books were published by Dorchester's Leisure imprint: Blood Moon Over Bengal and Blood Moon Over Britain, a HOLT Medallion winner. Perfidia, as part of the Love Spell line, is available now from all good booksellers. Here's the Amazon link.

Elspeth McKendrick's PERFIDIA
"To you,
my heart cries out 'Perfidia,'
for I find you, the love of my life,
in someone else's arms..."

Sophie de Havilland fled London and her past, vowing never to return. In Germany she sought solace, with her aunt, and couldn't help but admire how the Third Reich had reclaimed a country so near ruin. But soon the veneer crumbled. Beneath the frenetic nightlife of 1939 Berlin, the swirling parties with the dashing SS in their night-black uniforms and their beautiful dames, she saw cancer growing. Stories of an impossible nature—terrible stories, terrible crimes—she began to believe.

These Nazis were Germany's demon lover: handsome, fearsome, faithless, murderous. Her aunt had been right to seek escape. But, was it possible? One man offered hope: a handsome half-American. But while his spicy scent and strong arms seduced her with safety, the lightning on his collar and his searing blue eyes reminded her that sometimes the handsomest faces hid perfidious intent.

Question & Answers with Morag

What makes Perfidia different from the two other historicals you've written?
Probably more violence (from the Gestapo), no sugar coating and a more serious theme.

What was the response from your editor or agent when you proposed this novel?
He (my editor) said I surprised him and he's rarely surprised. Also, that it was a powerful story.

How did you talk them past any concerns?
He said my readers would probably overlook the violence because they'd be too addicted to the story to mind very much.

What is the most challenging part about writing 20th century historicals?
What I would find challenging is writing a contemporary, paranormal, or erotica. Early 20th century seems to come naturally to me.

What about this book in particular?
It was difficult not to be depressed writing this everyday. I don't think it's depressing to read, but I had a lot of research to to which was pretty horrific.

What advice would you give to anyone trying to write or sell 20th century historicals?
Visit antique and collectibles stores. One can learn a lot about how people lived. Go to museums with early 20th century antiquities. Watch old movies. Read books in the time period. Acquire old magazines at garage sales and antique shows/stores. Talk to people who lived in those times. Write the best story you can.

What is your favorite genre or period to read?
Early 20th century or contemporary and romantic suspense.

Favorite book from the past year?
HIDING FROM THE LIGHT by Barbara Erskine

Five books from your TBR pile?
VANISH by Karen Robards
DAUGHTERS OF FIRE by Barbara Erskine
THE MEPHISTO CLUB by Tess Gerritsen
RICOCHET by Sandra Brown
WHITE HOT by Sandra Brown

Give us a tidbit of history that surprised you when researching Perfidia.
That many Germans escaped Germany by going on workers holidays to occupied Denmark then taking the ferry to Sweden.

Tell us what part of Perfidia is your favorite: the scene or element that, when you read it, leaves you feeling most satisfied?
I can't tell you -- it would give away an important plot point!

What's up next for you?
A contemporary supernatural thriller set in Scotland (on my agent's advice).

Thanks, Morag! And good luck with this new release. For those of you living in paradise, Morag is in the midst of planning book signings in Hawaii, where she lives. More information will be posted on her website.

WIN A COPY! For every fifteen comments we receive to this post, we're giving away a signed copy of PERFIDIA. Just tell us how you heard about Unusual Historicals OR your thoughts about a romance set in 1939 Berlin. Comments close at midnight on September 4th, at which time I'll draw up to FIVE random winners and announce their names the next day. Unusual Historicals authors are ineligible to win, but we can make comments!

Go! Spread the word!


Jennifer Linforth said...


This time period in German history always fascinated me, even as a child. I can see how you would be drawn to create a historical in this period. There was a dark allure to the history of the time. I always found it fascinating to read about this country rebuilding after such a scaring history.


Ann Aguirre said...

I so want this book. This sounds amazing. And unusual!

M. said...

as a person of half german descent, i'm both fascinated and wary about fiction set in that time. so far the only book i've read in/about that period that felt balanced to me was 'the reader' by bernhart schinkel (i hope i remembered his name correctly)

Sandra Schwab said...

Woohoo! Congrats, Morag! I hope you do some serious partying this week! :)

*opening some cyber-bubbly for the blog party*

JeanneD said...

Loved your first two books and I look forward to reading this one! A great time period and I hope to see more books set in this era.

Best of luck,


Michelle Styles said...


It sounds like an excellent book.

Liz (Frances Hunter) said...

Wow, this book sounds amazing. I recently finished a book called Old Boys, by Charles McCarry, that dealt in part with a woman caught up in World War II and fleeing the oppressive "love" of a Nazi officer. But you have taken that and delved into it in detail -- the fascination and the horror of brutality. Well done -- I'd love to read the book.

Liz Clare
co-author, To the Ends of the Earth: The Last Journey of Lewis and Clark
Silver Medalist, 2007 Independent Publisher Book Awards
website: http://frances-hunter.com
book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLNf3nalkbA

Christine Koehler said...

First, congrats to Morag! I'm looking forward to reading this, it sounds great. And it really is hard to balance that time period, I agree, M.

Liz Clare writes: recently finished a book called Old Boys, by Charles McCarry

I love his books! He's a Cold War CIA man, and his books were written during that time. He's a great writer.

Anne Whitfield - author said...

What a great post.

Congratulations Morag, not only on your release, but for writing about such an interesting and dangerous time.

The book sounds fascinating! I like stories I can get my teeth into. :o)

Sam said...

This sounds like a fascinating book.
I just surfed over here from Sandra's website, and I think I'll be coming back often!

Miki said...

I've been trying to find more historicals set in the early 20th century, here in the US or abroad. This sounds intriguing!

I found you only today from a comment on www.DearAuthor.com

Steph H. said...

This book really sounds incredible. There are so many "literary novels" written during this time, but I've never read (or heard) of a romance written in nazi germany. I can't wait to read it!

Oh, and I found the link to this blog over at "Dear Author." The brief description of the book over there intregued me, and I wanted to read the interview!

Morag McKendrick Pippin said...

Thank so much everyone for your kind words!

M. said...
as a person of half german descent, i'm both fascinated and wary about fiction set in that time.

Germans are not the bad guys in PERFIDIA. The Nazis, SS, and Gestapo are the bad guys.

This was actually the first plot that ever came to me - 10 years ago in the shower (yep, I take long showers) but I knew I needed the practice of at least 2 books before I wrote it.

For those who enjoy reading this time period I can also suggest NIGHT OF THE GENERALS by Hans Hellmut. A movie was made with Peter O' Tool and Omar Shariff. Also WWII books by Jack Higgins and Alistair MacLean. None are romances but I did enjoy them.


Melissa Marsh said...

I love this time period - I am a certified WW2 nut (and scholar, I guess, since that's what I wrote my graduate thesis on!). I'm so excited to see Morag's new book - I read BLOOD MOON OVER BRITAIN and absolutely loved it. Congrats, Morag! Can't wait to read it!!!

I really hope that more novels set during WW2 start appearing on the shelves. :-)

Carol B. said...

Congratulations, Morag! Hey, I heard there was a parrrrtay!!! So point me in the direction of the decadent chocolates and champers, dahling.

I think I'll go spread the word over on my blog...

C.C. said...

Congrats, Morag,

I love the premise for this book. My mum and dad meet during WW2 so that time frame has always held a fascination for me, even though I am not a big historical romance fan.

I think of that period as more of a living history, which is another reason why I love it so much.

I can't wait to pick up a copy. Heck, maybe two! I probably won;'t want to share mine with mum. :)

Jacquie said...

I also congratulate you on your new release!

Three cheers on choosing such a risky period--not many editors will buy books set in this time. With your quality writing style, maybe Perfidiawill be the book that opens the doors for others. :)))


Diana Castilleja said...

Congratulations on your Release Morag!!! Wooot!

Great interview!

Marva said...

Congrats! I heard about this site from Morag in a post at the Critique Circle.

I'll also pass this along to a batch of historical writers I know.

Lisa Yarde said...

Congratulations, Morag on the release of Perfidia. I just saw this book on display in Borders. You must be so thrilled. It's a painful period of German history but I think many people of that time can identify with your heroine.


A Paperback Writer said...

Well, I just wandered over from Nathan Bransford's blog (since I have nothing better to do on a Saturday night than read blogs -- sad, isn't it?), but I might as well post a comment, because hey, why turn down a chance for a free book?
Congratulations, however. I envy your success.

Debbie said...

Congratulations,Morag!! This work is going to be one of your best. Everything you write rivets me and not just because I'm your friend. You truly are gifted and all I can say is: KEEP 'EM COMING!!! This era was one of passion and urgency adn you have captured that perfectly.

grey suits said...

Congratulation in advance,you did a great job keep it up