Rakes Rogues and Romance

Historical Romance-Because Passion Lives Forever


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Please join me in welcoming award winning author Shana Galen talking about the latest release- Sapphires are an Earl’s Best Friend

I’m so happy to welcome one of my favorite authors and people in the writing world, Shana Galen. Shana writes historical romance full of intrigue, mystery, handsome men and intelligent women.

Today she is here to discuss her wonderful new release, Sapphires are an Earl’s Best Friend, the last in her Jewels of the Ton series.

Let’s talk to Shana and see what she’s up to.

When you began this series, Jewels of the Ton, did you know how the intrigue would flow from book to book? I guess what I’m asking is did you plot out each story as a whole, and weave the cohesive storyline into each book?

Thanks so much for hosting me, Nancy.

Honestly, I don’t even plot out one book, much less a series. I did know I needed to keep my villain, Lucifer, alive and a threat until book 3, but that was s much thinking ahead as I could do. Plotting was further complicated because I was writing the Jewels of the Ton books in-between the Lord and Lady Spy series books. So I would write a Jewels book then switch to the Lord and Lady Spy series then switch back again. I was happy just to keep the characters straight! But really, it’s a lot of fun to make a series come together. It’s like a puzzle.

Which of the three books in the series was the most difficult to write and why?

I would have to say the first one, When You Give a Duke a Diamond. I think it’s because when you start a new series there is so much to set up in terms of laying a foundation for the other books, but you can’t seem like you’re setting it all up because that’s boring to read. So I had to introduce the other characters but make them integral to the plot too and tell Will and Juliette’s story well. The other pressure when writing the first book in a series is that readers will decide if they want to read the other books in the series based on how much they like the first one. So if the first one isn’t really great, you’ve doomed books you haven’t even written yet!

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Tell us please about the new release, Sapphires are an Earl’s Best Friend.

This is the third and final book in the Jewels of the Ton series, but all of the books stand alone (and if you read my answer to #1 you see why). Sapphires is the story of Lily and Andrew. Lily is the last of the Three Diamonds, three glamorous courtesans known as the Duchess of Dalliance, the Marchioness of Mystery, and the Countess of Charm. Lily is the Countess of Charm. She has a secret, which is she’s actually not a courtesan but a spy for the Crown. The role of courtesan provides a good cover for her. She has another secret too! She’s been in love with Andrew, the Earl of Darlington for years. He’s always been in love with her best friend. Things get interesting when Lily is assigned to investigate Andrew’s father, the lecherous Duke of Ravenscroft. Andrew and Lily are thrown together, and Andrew begins to see Lily in a different light.

What’s up next for you-I see you are researching ships. How much research goes into your novels, and what are your favorite research tools?

I do have a pirate book coming up. It’s called The Pirate Takes a Bride, and it will be out in May. It’s the last book in the Misadventures in Matrimony series I started years ago, and my readers have been asking and asking for it.

I don’t like research. When I’m writing a book, I want to write the book, not read research. I’m lucky that I’ve written so many Regency-set books that I know the period pretty well. I just have to look up details now. But when I write something that’s new to me—like a book set on a ship—that’s a whole other story. I did have to do a lot of research for that, and my dad was nice enough to help me.

My favorite book is English Women’s Clothing in the Nineteenth Century by C. Willett Cunnington. I have anew favorite website too. It’s pascalbonefant.com . It has lots of cant phrases from the period, and they’re so much fun. I printed the whole website to reference.

Thanks for having me. Readers, When you read historical romance do you identify with the heroine or do you read it for the hero?

 

Giveaway: Print copies of When You Give a Duke a Diamond and If You Give a Rake a Ruby. (U.S./Canada only)

Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend

Careful, gentlemen—there’s more to this courtesan than meets the eye

What better disguise for a secret agent than that of a courtesan? Lily Dawson, dubbed the Countess of Charm, is a spy working for the Crown to uncover a traitor. Andrew Booth-Payne, Earl of Darlington, wants to hate Lily for taking up with his father, but something about Lily intrigues him. When he discovers there is more to her flirtation than greed, he knows he must help her uncover a traitor. Even if that traitor is his own father…

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1kP1OVy

BN: http://bit.ly/1dUvLyM

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sapphires-are-earls-best-friend/id716843466?mt=11

Color Shana Galen H-R-2118

Author Bio: Shana Galen is the bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Booklist says, “Galen expertly entwines espionage-flavored intrigue with sizzling passion,” and RT Bookreviews calls her “a grand mistress of the action/adventure subgenre.” She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.


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Deal Breakers and Redemption

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I’ve been reading discussions on several different sites about what is a deal breaker for everyone in a romance novel. since it is the ninety billionth day of freezing cold and ice here in the Northeast, my brain cells have frozen and I am piggy backing on that idea. It must also be the reason I haven’t been able to write a decent sentence in over a week.

Back in the seventies and eighties, many romance novels featured heroes who, for want of a better word, were quite brutal in their courtship of a woman. Many novels were filled with scenes of the tearful heroine succumbing to the hero unwillingly at first, then of course, she fell in love with him and he with her.

Redemption? Not so much.

I think now a days we would call that rape. After all, no means no, and I don’t think any writer of a romance nowadays would have a heroine accepting that behavior. Even in an historical romance, more likely than not, the heroine would deck the hero.

For me, there have been books that have been squirm worthy and it isn’t about the sex scenes. you all know my by now, and an erotic scene doesn’t bother me in the least. But her are some things that do bother me.

When the hero is much older than the heroine, especially if she is in her teens. Now, not in a medieval romance, because that was the norm back then, but in historical and contemporary romances, I don’t want to read about a sixteen year old woman with a twenty eight or thirty year old man.

Incest. I read a historical romance once which for the life of me I can’t remember the title of and the brother was in love with the sister. Thankfully there was no consummation. That would have had me throwing the book against the wall, which did happen with a very popular writer of woman’s fiction. Her series featured a brother and sister engaged in an incestuous relationship. As soon as I reached that part, I shut the book and never came back to the series. Not going there.

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I’ve already mentioned rape. there are many romances where rape is an integral part of the storyline. But the deal breaker is if the hero rapes the heroine. Could you accept a redemption of a hero after such an act? For those of you who watched soap operas back in the 1980′s remember General Hospital and Luke’s rape of Laura? She not only forgave him, she married him.

And then there is the cheating/infidelity. Can a hero or a heroine achieve redemption if they have cheated. Does it matter to you if they have just started their relationship, are in a committed relationship or are married?

Can the character ever be redeemed?

I’d love to know what you think

I will pick two winners at random and they will have a choice of a print book, contemporary or historical form Avon, courtesy of the Avon Addicts program.


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I’m thrilled to introduce you to the fabulous author Christi Caldwell with her new release “Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride”

Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride: January 2014
 
Hopeless romantic Lady Emmaline Fitzhugh is tired of sitting with the wallflowers, waiting for her betrothed to come to his senses and marry her. When Emmaline reads one too many reports of his scandalous liaisons in the gossip rags, she takes matters into her own hands.
War-torn veteran Lord Drake devotes himself to forgetting his days on the Peninsula through an endless round of meaningless associations. He no longer wants to feel anything, but Lady Emmaline is making it hard to maintain a state of numbness. With her zest for life, she awakens his passion and desire for love.
The one woman Drake has spent the better part of his life avoiding is now the only woman he needs, but he is no longer a man worthy of his Emmaline. It is up to her to show him the healing power of love.

Biography

Christi Caldwell blames Judith McNaught’s “Whitney, My Love!” for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and pick up her laptop to try her hand at romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections, and she rather enjoys torturing them before crafting them a well deserved happily ever after!Christi makes her home in southern Connecticut where she spends her time writing her own enchanting historical romances, teaching history, and being a full-time wife and mother!
She is the author of “Winning a Lady’s Heart”, “A Season of Hope”, and Book 1 in her Scandalous Seasons series, “Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride”.

You can find her at:

Twitter: @ChristiCaldwell

The Excerpt: (After years spent avoiding his betrothed, Lady Emmaline, Lord Drake encounters her on the streets of London. In search of more information about the woman he’s been betrothed to since he was a young boy, he seeks out his friend, Lord Sinclair)…

Chapter 2
Drake weaved in and out of the tables at White’s. He didn’t return the waves or greetings thrown his way. His gaze was trained on one particular spot in the far corner.
He drew to a halt in front of Lord Sinclair.
“What do you know about Lord Whitmore?” Drake said in the same commanding voice that had served him well during his time in the military.
Lord Sinclair glanced up. He had the distinction of being the one person Drake considered a friend. “Well, good to see you, too. I’ve only been waiting here an hour for your always agreeable company.”
Without preamble, Drake tugged out a chair and sat. Reaching across the table for the opened bottle, he poured himself a glass of whiskey, and took a long sip. He relished the trail the hot liquid burned down his throat.
“Whitmore,” Drake repeated. “What do you know of him?”
Sinclair raised a brow. “My, what a foul mood you’re in.”
“Sinclair?”
“Very well. Other than the fact that he dresses like an ass?”
Drake drummed his fingers along the tabletop. “Don’t state the obvious.”
Sin’s brow furrowed. “Overly fond of the gaming tables and rumored to have a hot temper. Also known as something of a mother’s boy. Why?”
Drake stared into the contents of his drink. “What do you know about Lady Emmaline Fitzhugh?” He looked up when Sin remained silent.
Sin blinked. “Uh-I, do you mean your betrothed?”
Drake waved his hand. “Is there another Lady Emmaline Fitzhugh?”
“Not that I’m aware of,” Sin answered with a tad too much humor.
Drake kicked him under the table.
“Ouch,” Sin muttered. His lips pulled in a tight grimace. “What is that God awful smell?”
“My boots.”
“Why do—”
“Enough about my boots, Sin. What do you know of her?”
“Rather unremarkable. She’s never been considered a diamond of the first waters. She’d hardly an inch beyond five feet and is remarkably un-curved in all the areas a lady should be curved.”
Drake opened his mouth to protest but Sin continued. “Her plain, dull brown coloring has never attracted any notice. Her lips are too full for…”
“Enough,” Drake snapped. He fought back an overwhelming urge to drag his friend across the table and plant him a facer.
Sin frowned. “But I thought you wanted to know about her.”
“I know what she bloody well looks like.” Drake heard the frosty bite to his own tone but couldn’t stifle it. Christ, how could Sin and Society be so very wrong about Emmaline? Her brown hair put him in mind of deep chocolate.  And she had the most interesting dusting of freckles along the tip of her nose. His lips twitched. He’d never known anyone with dark hair to suffer from the blemishes and found it, well, rather endearing. And her lips, too full for fashion’s dictates put Drake in mind of wicked thoughts.
Sin picked up his drink and downed a long, slow swallow. “So then what would you like to know?” He reached for the bottle, poured himself another, and swirled the contents of the glass. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to know more.”
Drake forced himself to take a casual sip. He thought about his chance encounter with Lady Emmaline. Since he’d returned from the Peninsula three years ago, hailed in the papers as some kind of war hero, he’d gone out of his way to avoid his betrothed. He’d been tied to Lady Emmaline for more than half of his life, and yet knew next to nothing about her. As much as he wanted to find out more about the intriguing creature, he was loathe to show any outward interest, even to his friend. Oh, the fun Sin would have at his expense. “I happened to come upon Lady Emmaline this afternoon.”
Sinclair arched a dark brow. “Oh?”
Since the moment Drake had witnessed Emmaline place herself between the old peddler woman and a gentleman’s riding crop, aside from concern for her well-being, he’d been unable to think of anything but his betrothed. Before that moment, if you’d asked him if a lady of Quality would ever risk her own safety for a common woman on the street, he’d have scoffed at the ludicrousness of such a notion. Now, the image of Lady Emmaline, like some kind of warrior princess defending her keep, would be  an image forever emblazoned on his mind.
Drake shifted uncomfortably. “For the last time, what do you know about the lady?”
Sin shrugged. “I don’t know much about her.”
 “Not much? You know next to everything about everyone.”
“I know she’s a wallflower.”
Drake sat back in his chair, flummoxed. “Impossible.” A woman whose eyes could blaze with such life while challenging two men could never be a wallflower. Wallflowers were content to be dull creatures seated on the sidelines, escaping any notice. They were not clever young ladies with cheeky retorts.
Sinclair leaned forward in his chair. “Oh?”
Drake’s skin heated. Good God, he couldn’t be embarrassed. He tugged uncomfortably at his cravat. No, surely it was just that his cravat was too tight. “I had an encounter with Lady Emmaline a short while ago.”
When Sinclair’s brows shot up to his hairline, Drake realized his words could be mistaken for something more lascivious in nature.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” he snapped.
Like a babe looking for a story from his nursemaid, Sin propped his arms on the table and stared at Drake with impatient eyes.
Drake sighed, and then proceeded to recount the events he’d witnessed. When he concluded his story, Sin sat back heavily in his chair, with arms folded across his chest. “Humph.”
“That’s it? Just ‘humph’?”
Sinclair raised one brow. “What would you have me say? Sounds like a rather dangerous thing for the lady to do.”
Discounting the fact that Drake had the very same reaction with Lady Emmaline, he took a long swallow of whiskey. “You are missing the point, Sin.”
“Oh? And what is the point?”
Drake dragged a hand through his hair. Was the point that his betrothed had bewildered him? Or was the point that he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her since the moment he’d seen her challenging Whitmore and his crony?
The irony wasn’t lost on him. For the past three years, he’d forced thoughts of Lady Emmaline from his mind. He’d ignored the contract between them. If he’d returned from the Peninsula as the same man, fulfilling his duty to her would have been somewhat easier. Not palatable but an obligation he would have fulfilled, nonetheless.
“If you admire her, perhaps you should claim her.”
Drake grunted.
Sin raised his tumbler in mock salute. “I imagine marriage based on mutual admiration is a good deal more than most unions are built from.”
Drake thought about his feisty intended, her eyes sparkling with flashes of defiance and courage, her rose hued lips made for sinning, pursed tight with fury. He silently tacked desire to Sin’s components of a successful marriage.
Drake picked up his glass and drained the remaining contents. At this rate, he’d be drunk before supper. “There is no mutual admiration.”
His friend scoffed. “No? Are you really so modest to believe she couldn’t admire you?”
Drake set his tumbler down hard enough to rattle the table.  “For what? I’m…”
A madman. A monster. A beastIf he were less of a coward he’d come right out and share the truth with Sinclair. Consumed by restive energy, his gaze skimmed the club. Some gentlemen laughed uproariously while others chatted with friends and acquaintances. Once upon a lifetime ago, he’d been at ease around other people, too.
Sin didn’t press his line of questioning, and for that Drake was grateful. Instead, his friend reached for the bottle of whiskey and poured himself another glass. Then, he leaned over and filled Drake’s glass. “I’m assuming it was quite a sight seeing Lady Emmaline challenge a gentleman.” He paused. “As much as one can consider Whitmore a gentleman.”
Drake smiled and toyed with the rim of his glass. “I thought I could no longer be surprised by a woman. I learned otherwise, today.”
“Sounds like marriage to the lady might not be the worst of fates.”
Drake made an impatient sound. “Marriage to me isn’t in her best interest.”
“You are the most honorable man I know,” Sin said.
There it was again. That word he loathed with every fiber of his honorable being. Emmaline had described his actions as honorable, had looked at him as some kind of hero. He managed a half grin for his friend. “That isn’t saying much about the men you know.
Sin shook his head but didn’t press the point. “Sooner or later, you are going to have to do right by the young lady.”
Great. First his father, now his best friend.
But that was the rub of it all. Sin merely spoke the truth. Fact: a betrothal contract had been signed between his family and Emmaline’s. Fact: the young lady was past her twentieth year and required a husband. Fact: Drake just couldn’t bring himself to commit to a wife. He could not subject any woman to the madness that plagued him.
He picked up his glass and rolled it between his fingers, studying the shimmering gold of the brew. The shade reminded him of the glint in her eyes when—he shook his head forcefully. “I need a mistress.”
Sinclair snorted. “You need a wife.”
Drake ignored him. He needed a woman who was safe, a woman who wouldn’t look at him with any kind of adoration, and wouldn’t desire anything from him, other than his prowess in the bedroom. These were the kind of entanglements that were safe, devoid of any emotional connection.
Yet why did the thought of setting up a mistress seem like a chore?
Buy Links:
http://amzn.to/1hlCs30   Amazon–Kindle
http://bit.ly/1dXdMZq  Barnes and Noble-Nook

 Forever Betrothed Official Cover


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So, What’s Up Everybody?

I’m back from my vacation and may I say once again how much I love California? We saw seals and sea lions, sat in the sun and visited LaLa Land (L.A.) where, of course, we met people who only wanted to talk about NYC and Brooklyn.  Can’t get away from it.

I’m trying to persuade my husband to go to Australia this summer, but its a hard sell.

But I digress. What’s up for the New Year? I have no idea! Still writing, still reading for sure. I can’t stress how much this blog and all the wonderful people I’ve met have come to mean to me every day. I feel as if my day isn’t complete until I see posts and blogs from all of you.

As for me? I’m still writing and looking towards publication. I have my book before several agents now so hopefully something will happen. If not, then I will go another route. But the writing journey continues with several fun projects I have in my brain. I think you all will enjoy reading them.

And as for the reading, well, I haven’t been able to do as much. Being an Avon Addict has been such an amazing experience. Although my time is drawing to a close, the writers and readers I’ve met will stay with me always. We’ve met at Lady Jane’s Salons and have made plans to see one another outside of the reading /writing world. Avon authors happen to be some of my favorites (Lorraine Heath, Tessa Dare, Julia Quinn, Sarah MacLean to name just a few) so it has been the best of all possible worlds for me.

I will say that I have enjoyed reading more contemporary romances this year than last. I’ve discovered some wonderful new authors, like Laura Kaye, Cynthia Sax, and Candis Terry. I still enjoy my paranormals and continue my love affairs with J.R.Ward and Sara Humphreys.

I still love my historicals, I read my first Civil War romance from Cindy Nord, No Greater Glory and LOVED it. Can’t wait for the sequel. I also read Pamela Clare and thought her books were terrific. So I’ can honestly say I’m broadening my reading horizons.

I still love my Dukes though, so when it comes to writing, I don’t think I’ll be straying from 19th Century England any time soon.

Shocked as you may all be, I’ve even delved into erotic romance. Thanks to some of my chapter mates in my RWA-NYC chapter I’ve read some of their books and I’ve even read some M/M contemporary romance. I must say to my surprise, I enjoyed them. When you get down to it, it’s really all about the love story. If it’s well written and you connect with the characters, it doesn’t really matter if the story is about a man and a woman or two men. I have to admit, I haven’t yet read any F/F.

What about you all? Have you read anything outside your comfort zone, something you never thought you’d like but then you tried it and was surprised?

Next week I hope to find another Scandalous Couple..I may have to go back to the Georgian era or ahead to the Victorian. The Regency area is now looking pretty thin!


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Today I am thrilled to have Danelle Harmon with her new release, “Lord of the Sea.”

I am beyond excited to introduce the first new book authored by Danelle Harmon in 12 years.

If you haven’t seen the cover thank me now:

Lord of the Sea-by-Seductive-Musings-HR (2)

When I finished the first book of Ms. Harmon’s I ever read, Wicked at Heart, aside from falling for the hero, I thought to myself. “This author needs to write Connor Merrick’s story. And she needs to match him up with Rhiannon Evans.”

Danelle Harmon was one of the first authors I friended on Facebook and I may have made that suggestion to her, once. Or twice or…..

So I can honestly say that I will take a little bit of credit for being the matchmaker between the two of them.

You should know one of Ms. Harmon’s great loves is ships and sailing, and that is evidenced by the meticulous research that goes into her description of the ships that appear in her books as well as the sea battles. The ship Kestrel, which plays such a prominent part in her books, but especially this one, is modeled off of the great clipper ship, Pride of Baltimore.

The War of 1812 is raging on and on, and Connor Merrick is an American Privateer. He rescues Rhiannon and her friend/chaperone Alannah from an attack in the Caribbean Ocean by bloodthirsty pirates. He is immediately drawn to her for her beauty and feisty spirit, but has no intention of anything more than a slight flirtation.

He discovers that she is the sister in law of his friend, Damon deWolfe, the Marquess of Morninghall, whose life he saved.  And her chaperone is related to his brother in law. He volunteers to take them to Barbados to his sister and brother in law, then return to the sea. But the more time he spends in Rhiannon’s presence, the more he finds he can’t leave her behind. Especially when he sees his stuffy, navy flag captain cousin is drawn to her. But he has a dark secret which he will do almost anything to prevent those around him from finding out.

Rhiannon Evans longs to have an adventure. Both her sisters are married and she wants to have a taste of life and do something daring, something our of the ordinary for a proper young woman. She recognizes and remembers Connor Merrick as the dashing and handsome rogue who saved her brother in law from an almost certain death. Meeting him in person and feeling his restless energy sets off a yearning in her to conquer her fears and take steps she might never have chanced.

This is a story you will want to read with a box of tissues handy. Connor’s parents arrive and like many children, he wants to prove his worth to his heroic father, wants to show he is a man his father can be proud of. He is reckless and wild, yet tender and honorable. A devastating combination for a hero in my book.

Ms. Harmon has written a story of such deep vivid emotion and heart it sometimes takes my breath away. Connor Merrick is a man who falls so far,  you wonder how he can possible be brought back to life. We see the growth of Rhiannon from an innocent, slightly childish young woman, to a strong woman, powerful in her love for her man, resolute  and determined to save and help him at all costs. even if it means conquering her deepest personal fears.

Here is the official blurb:

A Sea Devil Who’s Reckless At Heart. . .
Captain Connor Merrick’s thirst for danger has brought him fame and fortune as one of the most brazenly successful privateers of the War of 1812. But deep beneath his swagger, derring-do and charm, the handsome American captain is hiding a devastating secret, and he’ll go to any lengths to protect it . . .
A Beauty Who Gets More Than She Bargained For. . . .
Rhiannon Evans has longed for an adventure — and a mysterious, dangerous man to sweep her off her feet. While enroute to the tropical paradise of Barbados, she never dreams that her heart will be captured by the dashing American privateer who rescues her from bloodthirsty pirates. Only Rhiannon can see beneath Connor’s reckless façade to the man beneath. But when tragedy strikes, can Rhiannon’s love save Connor from himself? Or will the secret he guards so carefully, end up being the undoing of them both?

And here is an excerpt to entice you:

“You only have to reach me. Throw yourself toward me, and then use your arms to keep yourself afloat.”
“And if I do that, Captain? Will you end this lesson, bring me back to the house, and leave on the morrow, never to return?”
“If I knew what was good for me, that is precisely what I would do.”
“Given your actions in the short time since I’ve met you, I’m not convinced you know what is good for you.”
“And you would be right. Now try it, Miss Evans. If you can traverse the several feet that separates us, you’ll be able to call yourself a swimmer.”
She nodded and took a deep, steadying breath, suddenly afraid all over again.
He stood there, silhouetted and unmoving against the night sky, his arms stretched encouragingly toward her . . . .
So close.
With a little gasp, Rhiannon half-fell, half-threw herself forward, felt the sea close around her, trying to come up over her head—and panicked. Water sloshed into her eyes and up her nose, burning her sinuses, and suddenly his hands were there beneath her, holding her once more, supporting her, as she splashed and panted in fear and tried to get her pounding heart back under control.
“I sank,” she cried, in despair. “I am not made to swim!”
“You sank because you panicked,” he said with quiet firmness. “You must try it again, Miss Evans, otherwise you’ll never find the courage to make another attempt, and that would be a pity.”
“Oh,” she said, trying to quell her rising hysteria. “Oh, I don’t think that I can.”
“Really? I think that you can. And I think that you will.”
She would have protested further but he had set her back down again, retreated a little ways closer into shore, and once again had his hands outstretched, beckoning, encouraging her forward.
To trust him.
Once again, Rhiannon took a deep breath, let herself fall, and this time her hands came up to automatically break her fall—
“Stroke!” he urged, with a grin splitting his handsome face, and suddenly it all came together and Rhiannon, propelled by the momentum of her frightened plunge toward him, held afloat by her desperate arms, was swimming.
Swimming.
It was only a couple of feet but she did it on her own, and suddenly he had caught her arms and pulled her joyously out of the water, laughing in delight at her triumph.
“You did it!”
“I did it!”
“I’m proud of you, Miss Evans!”
“I’m proud of me, too! Thank you, Captain! Oh, God help me, I swam! I swam!”
He laughed, still holding her by both arms, and then the sudden, frenzied triumph stilled in her blood and she was aware of only his eyes, the sudden fading of his smile, the height and strength and feel of his big, wet body in the moonlight.
Time stilled for both of them.
“You’re going to kiss me again,” she breathed.
He merely smiled.
“Aren’t you?”
He didn’t answer, but just drew her forward by her arms, pulled her up and off the sea floor, and raising his leg, set her down atop his bare, wet thigh so that she straddled it, the hard muscle pushing against that burning area between her legs. Oh, dear God! Her suddenly desperate arms groped blindly for something to hold onto, and found only his wet torso as his mouth came down on hers once more.
–copyright, Danelle Harmon

Today, Ms. Harmon is giving away her entire Heroes of the Sea collection which includes the latest release. You can have additional chances to win if you visit these other blogs featuring her book today:

Romance Reader Girl

407536_3204788801430_1520393938_nDanelle Harmon is a New York Times and USA Today best selling author of richly evocative and highly emotional historical romance. Her heroes are dashing and have been nominated for the Romantic Times finalist KISS Hero of the Year. She lives in Massachusetts with her family and her dogs, horse and chickens.

Danelle Harmons:  Facebook / Tweeter / Website / Blog

Amazon

Barnes and Noble


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Whip It Out Wednesday!

I know I’ve been a little MIA lately, but I’ve been working on a bunch of new projects that have popping into my head. I finished NaNaWriMo and while I won, I ended up changing around and adding to my book, so It is a vastly different project than it was before.

But today I’m going to post my beginning from my third book in what I’ve called my Rogues with a Heart of Gold Series. This is Ashton, Earl of Wallingford’s story, entitled Her Reluctant Earl.

Please, please post your own excerpts of 500 words or less, suitable for for please! Post your buy, links covers or share your work in progress or your NaNo writing.

Here is my inspiration for Ash:

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“It should have been you, not your brother.” Though spoken almost four years ago, his father’s utterances still echoed like a mournful funeral dirge through his mind. Ashton, Earl of Wallingford tossed his quill across his mahogany desk , leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. As always, his father’s hurtful words, though quietly spoken on his deathbed, still had the power to wound him, greater than any physical blow imaginable.

How the words of a parent can haunt a child.

What he said wasn’t so surprising, considering Ash knew from an early age both his father and mother had never loved him as much as they did his older brother, Jasper. But to hear them spoken, hitting him like balls shot from a pistol straight into his gut, it made it all so real. Even on his deathbed, couldn’t his father at least have told him he was loved? Maybe not as much as Jasper, but still…

Knowing however, that it was so very necessary for his father, amid his dying gasps to tell him he was but a pale imitation of his brother, festered like an unhealed sore. How could it not, for Christ’s sake? It whispered through his brain, unquenching in its thirst to secure its stranglehold upon his soul. No matter his accomplishments, or any joy he might achieve, it lay dormant, waiting to rise up, like a dark demon sent to torment him.

“It should’ve been you who died.”


29 Comments

Release Day for Sara Humphrey’s “Unclaimed!” Prizes, giveaways, and more!

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I am MORE than thrilled to be a part of the fabulous Sara Humphreys on her release day for her amazing new Amoveo shifter book, “Unclaimed.” This book has it all-a total sex on a stick alpha man, a kick butt heroine who makes him work for her love and…

Wait for it, fans…

Information on STEVEN!!!!!

Whoo Hoo!

But I am not giving you any spoilers, No no!! You are going to have to read the story of Dominic and Tatiana yourself. Trust me you will not be disappointed. This is now my favorite of the series and that is saying quite a bit, since I loved each and every one of Sara’s books, to death.

Remember, this lady is an historical romance reader, so if I love these books, you know they are special.

And I mean really people..look at him:

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Look at the fabulous authors who are participating in Sara’s release party!!

For another fabulous blog participating in the party festivities, check out RomanceReaderGirl!

Sara  will be giving away any book on her backlist to ONE person who leaves a comment on this blog today~(Ebook or print-winner’s choice)

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Now we have a sneak peek at the fabulous video trailer for this book!


10 Comments

It’s the One and Only Sarah MacLean! The Release of No Good Duke Goes Unpunished!!

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So before we get into the fabulous-ness that is Sarah MacLean’s book, let me say that for those who have not read it  people may put spoilers in their comments.  You should be aware. I would love to have a discussion as to just who we all think Chase really is!!

Plus, I just found out that the title of the Last book, The Fourth Rule of Scoundrels is :

“Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover”

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished

The Third Rule of Scoundrels

By: Sarah MacLean

Blurb

A rogue ruined…
He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of…absolution.

A lady returned…
Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows…that he is no killer.

A scandal revealed…
It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady-and her past-are more than they appear. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Good-Duke-Goes-Unpunished-Scoundrels-ebook/dp/B00BEFPSMA/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/no-good-duke-goes-unpunished-sarah-maclean/1114315282?ean=9780062068545

BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/No-Good-Duke-Goes-Unpunished/Sarah-MacLean/9780062068545?id=5752052977508

Indie: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062068545

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2013/11/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for-no.html

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Author Info

Sarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, obsessed with historical romance and bemoaning the fact that she was born far too late for her own season. Her love of all things historical helped to earn her degrees from Smith College and Harvard University before she finally set pen to paper and wrote her first book.

Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She loves to hear from readers. Please visit her at http://www.macleanspace.com

Author Links

http://macleanspace.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sarahmaclean

https://twitter.com/sarahmaclean

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Copy of A ROUGE BY ANY OTHER NAME & ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER, Book One and Two of the Rules of Scoundrels Series)

Link to Rafflecopter Page, http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NTIxYWM0YzhjYmFkNDc1MDkxYzA3ZDNmMjhhM2RjOjIwOA==/

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Excerpt:

TEMPLE

Whitefawn Abbey, Devonshire

November 1819

He woke with a splitting head and a hard cock.

The situation was not uncommon. He had, after all, woken each day for more than half a decade with one of the items in question, and on more mornings than he could count with both.

William Harrow, Marquess of Chapin and heir to the dukedom of Lamont was wealthy, titled, privileged and` handsome—and a young man blessed with those traits rarely wanted for anything relating to wine or women.

So it was that on this morning, he did not fret. Knowing (as skilled drinkers do) that the splitting head would dissipate by midday, he moved to cure the other affliction and, without opening his eyes, reached for the female no doubt nearby.

Except, she wasn’t.

Instead of a handful of warm, willing flesh, William came up with a handful of unsatisfying pillow.

He opened his eyes, the bright light of the Devonshire sun assaulting his senses and emphasizing the thundering in his head.

He cursed. He draped one forearm over his closed eyes, sunlight burning red behind the lids, and took a deep breath.

Daylight was the fastest way to ruin a morning.

Likely, it was for the best that the woman from the previous evening had disappeared, though the memory of lovely lush breasts, a mane of auburn curls and a mouth made for sin did bring with it a wave of regret.

She had been gorgeous.

And in bed—

In bed she’d been—

He stilled.

He couldn’t remember.

Surely he hadn’t had that much drink. Had he? She’d been tall and full of curves, made just the way he liked his women, a match for the height and breadth that was too often his curse when it came to women. He did not like feeling like he might crush a girl.

And she’d had smile that made him think of innocence and sin all at once. She’d refused to tell him her name . . . refused to hear his . . .

Utter perfection.

And her eyes—he’d never seen eyes like hers, one the blue of the summer sea, and one just on the edge of green. He’d spent too long looking at those eyes, fascinated by them, wide and welcoming.

They’d crept through the kitchens and up the servants’ stairs to his room, she’d poured him a scotch . . .

And that was all he remembered.

Good Lord. He had to stop drinking.

Just as soon as today was over. He would need drink to survive his father’s wedding day—the day William gained his fourth stepmother. Younger than all the others. Younger than him.

And very very rich.

Not that he’d met her, this paragon of brideliness. He’d meet her at the ceremony and not before, just as he’d done the other three. And then, once the familial coffers had been once again filled, he would leave. Back to Oxford, having done his duty and played the role of doting son. Back to the glorious, libidinal life that belonged to the heir to the dukedom, filled with drink and dice and women and not a worry in the world.

Back to the life he adored.

But tonight, he would honor his father and greet his new mother and pretend that he cared for the sake of propriety. And perhaps, after he was done playing the role of heir, he’d seek out the playful young thing from the gardens and do his best to recall the events of the night before.

Thank Heaven for country estates and well-attended nuptials. There wasn’t a female in creation who could resist the sexual lure of a wedding, and because of that, William had a great affinity for holy matrimony.

How lucky that his father had such a knack for it.

He grinned and stretched wide in the bed, throwing one arm wide across the cool linen sheets.

Cold linen sheets.

Cold wet linen sheets.

What in hell?

His eyes flew open.

It was only then that he realized it wasn’t his room.

It wasn’t his bed.

And the red wash across the bedsheets, dampening his fingers with its sticky residue, was not his blood.

Before he could speak, or move, or understand, the door to the strange bedchamber opened and a maid appeared, fresh-faced and eager.

There were a dozen different things that could have gone through his mind at that moment . . . a hundred of them. And yet, in the fleeting seconds between the young maid’s entrance and her notice of him, William thought of only one thing—that he was about to ruin the poor girl’s life.

He knew, without doubt, that she would never again casually open a door, or spread sheets across a bed, or bask in the rare, bright sunlight of a Devonshire winter morning without remembering this moment.

A moment he could not change.

He did not speak when she noticed him, nor when she froze in place, nor when she went deathly pale and her brown eyes—funny that he noticed their color—went wide with first recognition and then horror.

Nor did he speak when she opened her mouth and screamed. No doubt he would have done the same, had he been in her position.

It was only when she was through with that first, ear-shattering shriek—the one that brought footmen and maids and wedding guests and his father running—that he spoke, taking the quiet moment before the coming storm to ask, “Where am I?”

The maid simply stared, dumbstruck.

He made to move from the bed, the sheets falling to his waist, stopping short as he realized his clothes were nowhere in sight.

He was naked. In a bed that was not his own.

And he was covered in blood.

He met the maid’s horrified gaze again, and when he spoke, the words came out young and full of something he would later identify as fear. “Whose bed is this?”

Remarkably, she found her answer without stuttering. “Miss Lowe.”

Miss Mara Lowe, daughter of a wealthy financier, with a dowry large enough to catch a duke.

Miss Mara Lowe, soon-to-be the Duchess of Lamont.

His future stepmother.

 

 


43 Comments

Happy Birthday to Us

Whoopee!! This is the first anniversary of this blog. When I first decided to begin writing last year, I didn’t know what a crazy, wonderful and crazily wonderful world I’d be entering.

And to those of you who comment or come by to say hi, I will pick a few and give some wonderful book gifts from Avony. How does, Maya Rodale, Sophie Jordan, Candis Terry sound. Or a whole bunch of others, some historical, some not for a surprise! These  are print, not ebooks.

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I’ve always loved books but I never knew there was a whole community of people who celebrate their love of books. So when I joined critique groups and writing blogs and saw that people created these fun blogs where they posted reviews and discussed their craft and their love of books, I was hooked.

The title was the easiest part. Those of you who have followed my, ahh shall we say devotion to my book boyfriends, know I love the bad boys. But they have to be bad boys who turn good. Or, who I see as having the potential to be good. So it would be about rakes and rogues.  And I love my historical romance, so I had my thought that one thing that remains with our couples is that their passion will live forever.

I thought it would be specifically about reviews, but since I like to talk…a lot….I decided to write down all my thoughts and feelings about the writing process.

Along the way what happened is that I met wonderful people. People and groups of people who have moved me and changed my life. People who have made me laugh and made me cry. I’ve met those Facebook friends who I now consider just as dear to me as those who I see in my daily life.

You have all become like another little family.

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My love of romance has expanded from Historical romance. I blame Maire Claremont for introducing me to J.R. Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Who knew vampires could be sexy?? I am not a fan of tattoos, but thanks to my participations in the Avon Addict program, I found Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series, which I love, love love.

So I’m using this blog today as a way to say THANK YOU

Thank you to all of you. Thank you for subscribing and posting here, giving your opinions and your comments on my posts.

Thank you for all your help right from the beginning, Liza O’Connor, Ella Quinn and all the wonderful amazing writers in the Rom-Critters group. Thank you for giving me amazing books to read that you’ve written, Kary Rader, D’Ann Linscott Dunham, Brenda Dyer and Sheri Fredricks, Andrea Cooper and all the rest of you wonderful people

Thanks to my wonderful critique group family, Elf Ahern, Christ Caldwell, Ann Chaney, Louisa Cornell, Collette Cameron, Gina Danna, Marie Higgins, Jenna Jaxon, Sandy Owens, Lauren Smith, Ella Quinn. This family here is the most wonderfully supportive group of people I have ever met. We cheer each other successes and help each other through bad times, writing related or not. Just like a family.

Thank you to the amazing authors who I still can’t believe I have met and or talked to on in or in person, Thank you to Anna Campbell, Grace Burrowes, Shana Galen,Vicky Dreiling and all the other wonderful authors for all your insight and comments on writing.

And to the other people I’ve met who love books as much as I do, to Carol Cork of Rakes and Rascals, you brighten my day with your posts of Wales, your book picks and your reviews. To Melanie Friedman of Bookworm 2 Bookworm, my new BFF, we now have a date to live blog (or live ogle) Sleepy Hollow every Monday night to discuss the show, and our mutual love of Tom Mison.

To Lindsey Ross, who needs her own thank you for being the best at everything she does; beta reader, cheerleader, but most of al friend. You know how special you are to me.

And a special thank you to two very special friends. Renee Bernard, thank you for your encouragement and support, your help and just being you. You have no idea how much you’ve helped me. And tell my boyfriend Ashe, he’s still so special to me…

And to Danelle Harmon, who created my first true book boyfriend in Damon, Marquess of Mornnghall in Wicked at Heart, who has spent countless hours of her time with me, whom I’ve never met in person but I feel like I’ve known all my life, thank you for being there for me, always.

And so I will just leave you all with a little inspiration this cold morning:

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27 Comments

Please welcome the fabulous Beverley Kendall with her new release, “Twice the Temptation.”

One of the things I love about blogging is getting to know authors whose books I love. I read the first of Beverley Kendall’s “Elusive Lords” series and was instantly hooked. When we left off, I waited and waited for Lucas and Catherine’s story..and waited.

Now the waiting is over. And people let me tell you, the wait was worth it!

Twice the Temptation is fabulous! So for one lucky commenter, (US only) you will receive a copy of this great new book.

And don’t forget to click the link to the Rafflecopter for even more chances!

Let’s find out more about Beverley!

1. When did you discover your love for romance and in particular historical romance?

A very very long time ago. I was in my teens, I think 16 or 17. I’m not exactly how or why but I branched off from reading Harlequin category romances and started reading Johanna Lindsey. After that I was completely hooked.

2. When did you first decide to write your first historical novel?

I decided to write a historical in 2006. And it’s something I didn’t think I would ever do. I was going to write contemporary—and mysteries in the vein of Agatha Christie. I never thought of writing a historical until Avon Fanlit in 2006. I loved reading them but the research aspect of it I found daunting. The contest helped me get over that and then I thought, what the heck, let’s give it a try. I’m glad I did.

3. Did you plan the Elusive Lords series to continue on with The Temptresses?

Essentially, The Temptresses series is a continuation of The Elusive Lords series. You’ll see all the players in the first series at one time or another in this series and I’m actually hoping to do a Christmas novella that reunites everyone. I think that would be great.

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4. I have been waiting for Lucas and Katie’s story for, forever!!

Tell us a little something of their journey in your new release, Twice the Temptation

LOL. It was agony! Okay, on a serious note, it was kind of torturous but it was wonderful once I got back into the book. After writing two new adult novels, there was an adjustment period for me—you know to get in the right frame of mind. But I did enjoy Lucas and Catherine, and I loved laying the groundwork for Rhys and Meghan’s story. I’ve been itching to write their book for years now. The second draft of this book was painful. No lie. Painful. But worth it in the end.

5. Who are the next couple in the series?

Yes, that would be Meghan and Rhys. Oooooh, the fun I will have with them. I love high conflict in a book and these two will have that but an even higher level of sexual tension. I can’t wait to release this one.

6. Any ideas percolating for your next series?

If we’re talking historical, in 2007 I got this idea of the perfect marriage because a duke and his duchess that doesn’t turn out to be perfect at all. This is my marriage in jeopardy series. That’s what I plan to do next in terms of historicals.

Blurb:

Temptation is as old as Adam and Eve. Unfortunately, succumbing to it is as natural as breathing to the gentlemen in the haut ton. For prospective brides bent on fidelity, three of the ton’s most ravishing beauties will help determine the faithful from the philanderers. What they hadn’t counted on was emotional entanglements…
Catherine Rutherford has been smitten with the sinfully handsome American, Lucas Beaumont, since their introduction the year before. And he appears just as enamored of her, for following his return to London he launches a seductive campaign to ensnare her heart and capture her hand in marriage. Never has Catherine been so confident in the outcome of a courtship…that is until she discovers her would-be groom proposed marriage to her sister first.Although she and her twin share the same face, Catherine refuses to share a man’s affections much less be any woman’s substitute. With the aid of her twin and two friends, she challenges the man she loves to the ultimate test of fidelity. Posing as her heartbroken sister—who is really anything but—Catherine seeks his solace from an “unhappy marriage” and begins a tempestuous game of seduction where the true proof of his love lies in his ability to resist her charms.

In addition to the Rafflecopter giveaway, Beverley is giving away a print copy of Twice the Temptation. (U.S.Resident Only!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Order links:

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F2MSLCU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00F2MSLCU&linkCode=as2&tag=thesea0f-20

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/twice-the-temptation/id740730966?mt=11&at=11l88k

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/twice-the-temptation-4?utm_source=linkshare_us&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=linkshare_us&siteID=4jojKl08wnk-mI0c3obuuvih.YJvYNTUhA

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twice-the-temptation-beverley-kendall/1117444903?ean=2940148847359

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/379169

Bio

Beverley discovered her love of books while growing up in, the then, small city of Barrie, Ontario Canada. With her love of books and romance, she always wished that everyone would find their happily ever after. She currently writes sexy historical, new adult and contemporary romances.

As the mother of one too bright and mischievous young boy, she pulls full-time duty on all fronts. When she’s not writing full-time, running The Season review website or mothering, she’s probably reading or sleeping and dreaming of a time when she’ll have time for her favorite hobbies: knitting, crocheting and sewing.

Beverley has lived on two continents, in three countries, two provinces, and four states. She stopped her nomadic existence and settled in the southeast. All things artistic feed her creative passion, but none more than writing. Readers can visit her at: beverleykendall.com.

 

Visit me at www.BeverleyKendall.com

Follow me on Twitter at @beverleykendall and @season4romance

Friend me on Facebook at authorbeverleykendall

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