Posted by Anna Campbell Dec 4 2013, 11:00 pm in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, Erotic historical romance, historical romance, Jess Michaels, Pleasuring the Lady, Samhain, Taken by the Duke, The Pleasure Wars
Thanks to everyone for a great day in the lair when Jess Michaels visited! I’m delighted now to announce winner of the download of TAKEN BY THE DUKE is:
Marcy, please email Jess on jess @ authorjessmichaels.com (no spaces) to let her know your preferred format for your e-book and she’ll get your prize off to you! Congratulations!
Posted by Anna Campbell Dec 3 2013, 12:02 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, Beauty and the Earl, erotic romance, historical romance, Jenna Petersen, Jess Michaels, Pleasuring the Lady, Samhain, Taken by the Duke, The Pleasure Wars
I’m delighted to introduce a newcomer to the lair, Jess Michaels!
In 2006, I went to my very first Romance Writers of America conference in Atlanta, and one of the very first people I met was the lovely Jess Michaels who took me under her wing and showed a very bewildered newcomer the ropes. At that stage, we were both published by Avon. We’ve both since moved on to other publishing ventures, but the friendship has remained and I’m delighted today to bring her here to talk about her latest release, the very steamy PLEASURING THE LADY.
Here’s the blurb:
Once the game begins, there is no tearing your gaze away.
The Pleasure Wars, Book 2
Her mother’s madness and her father’s and brother’s irresponsibility have relegated Lady Portia to the life of a wallflower. The only shining light in her life is her best friend, Ava, who is suffering a rift with her own brother.
Portia’s quest to help takes her to the notorious Donville Masquerade in the hells, where—behind the safety of a mask—she witnesses shocking public acts of sin. And succumbs to the touch of Marquis Miles Weatherfield.
Unfortunately, they’re discovered. And now, tainted by scandal, she and Miles are destined for a marriage neither of them want. But Portia makes a bargain that raises even Miles’s eyebrows.
In return for saving her mother from the asylum, Portia will do anything Miles wants in bed. Shocked by his driving desire for Portia, Miles agrees. As they explore every wicked desire, every forbidden act that pleases them, they discover something that goes far deeper than flesh. But the lies that brought them together could be the very wedge that drives them apart.
Warning: This book contains wicked encounters, erotic voyeurism, lies, a brief threesome, and unexpected kindnesses.
You can find out more about Jess and her books on her website: http://www.authorjessmichaels.com/
Jess, welcome to the Bandita lair! And congratulations on your latest release PLEASURING THE LADY. Can you tell us about this story?
Sure! PLEASURING THE LADY is about Portia, a woman who has been a wallflower for years, thanks to a very sad family history. She wants to help her closest friend, so she ends up going to an underground masquerade where she has a very unexpected encounter with someone she knows, Miles, Marquis Weatherfield. Of course, he doesn’t realize she is a lady until it’s far too late and they are forced to wed, despite wide differences between them. Whether or not they will allow passion to turn into love will really depend on them.
Sounds hot! What were the inspirations behind this book?
I love the forced marriage trope in romance and I hadn’t written one for a long time, so I was excited to get to write Miles and Portia’s love story. Portia was such a nice character in TAKEN BY THE DUKE that I knew I had to give her a worthy hero! Miles has to become worthy.
PLEASURING THE LADY is book two in the Pleasure Wars series. What an enticing title! Can you tell us about the series as a whole and what’s coming up next?
Thanks! So The Pleasure Wars is about two families in a very Romeo and Juliet-esque type feud that culminated in a horrible night when the Earl of Windbury ran off to elope with the Duke of Rothcastle’s sister. He made chase and the three of them were in a terrible accident. She was killed and both men were badly injured. In TAKEN BY THE DUKE, Rothcastle decides to exact his revenge by kidnapping Windbury’s sister, Ava, and ruining her. PLEASURING THE LADY features Ava’s best friend Portia, who goes into the underground to try to find Windbury. And the third book is about the woman Ava hires to seduce and spy on Windbury in an attempt to force a reconciliation. So it has drama and lots of very sexy sex! The next book in the series is BEAUTY AND THE EARL (Windbury’s story), which will be out April 15, 2014. TAKEN BY THE DUKE and PLEASURING THE LADY are available now!
What else is coming up for Jess Michaels?
I’m very busy! I recently contracted two more series with Samhain and I’ll have four books out in 2014 and again in 2015! All erotic historical romance, which is what I’m solely concentrating on at this point. I’m really excited, I love Samhain and I’m loving building my brand there. The cool thing is that I have promised myself what my husband and I jokingly call a “Big Year” in 2014, which means I’m putting pedal to the metal and focusing as much energy as I have solely on my writing and career. Within reason. I will still have nephews to play with and cats to pet.
As this is your first visit to the lair, we’d love to hear about your writing journey.
Well, I started writing full-time in 1999 thanks to my very supportive husband. I contracted my first erotic romance in 2003, a novella that was in SECRETS, Volume 11 from Red Sage. The next year I sold three books to Avon and spent the next eight years writing for them (as Jenna Petersen and Jess Michaels). I also wrote zombie comedy as Jesse Petersen.
In 2012, I was actually considering giving up writing entirely (it is an exceedingly difficult profession and there had been several contributing factors that made me want to give up) when Samhain said they wanted to revive the Jess Michaels name (which had been inactive for several years). I took a chance and found my publishing home. By the end of that year, I had decided to focus entirely on Jess Michaels and here we are!
Erotic romance is hot in all senses of the word right now. What are your thoughts on the meteoric rise of this genre?
You know, it’s funny. I’ve been writing erotic romance for almost 10 years now, so it’s definitely not new. I do think readers respond to the very intense situations of erotic romance and the dark heroes that seem to be especially prevalent in erotic romance. Erotic historical romance is a smaller genre, but there are some great writers here. I think we also offer a very different set of consequences in our stories. People have always had really HOT sex, but if you get caught in the Regency period… well, you’re going to see a very different result than if you get caught in today’s world. I hope fans of erotic romance with contemporary or other settings will give us a try!
But I think that’s a great question for readers. Why do you think erotic romance is awesome? What’s your favourite book in the genre? Have you tried erotic historical romance?
Get commenting, people! Jess has very kindly offered a download (Kindle or Nook, international) of the first book in the Pleasure Wars series, TAKEN BY THE DUKE. Good luck!
Posted by Anna Campbell Nov 25 2013, 12:55 pm in A Rake's Midnight Kiss, A SEALs Seduction, Anna Campbell, Awards, Christina Brooke, London's Last True Scoundrel, Reviewers Choice Awards, RT Book Reviews, Tawny Weber
RT Book Reviews has announced their finalists for the best books of 2013 and the Banditas have featured!
Congratulations to Christina Brooke, whose wonderful Earl of Davenport from LONDON’S LAST TRUE SCOUNDREL is up for the Knight In Shining Silver Historical Hero award.
Congratulations to Tawny Weber, whose A SEAL’S SEDUCTION is up for best Blaze of 2013.
Congratulations to Anna Campbell, whose A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS is up for best sensual historical romance of 2013.
Winners will be announced at the RT convention in New Orleans in May! Good luck, Banditas!
Posted by Anna Campbell Nov 11 2013, 10:40 pm in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, Fictional Characters, games
Thanks for a fabulously fun day in the lair yesterday! I think we’ll play that one again. I had a wonderful time laughing at all your amazingly clever answers. The winners of their choice from my backlist are:
Congratulations! Please email me on anna @ anna campbell.info (no spaces) with your snail mail details and which book you’d like and I’ll get your prize off to you. If you need help picking, here’s the link to the books page on my website (DAYS OF RAKES AND ROSES not included because of geographical restrictions): http://annacampbell.info/books.html
Posted by Anna Campbell Nov 10 2013, 12:03 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, games, J.D. Robb, Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, Lord of Scoundrels, Loretta Chase, Pride and Prejudice, What a Duke Dares
Let’s play a game – and, yes, there are prizes!
But first, some background.
A week or so ago, I found what I thought was a hilarious typo in the manuscript I’m working on (WHAT A DUKE DARES – Cam’s story).
Jonas Merrick’s butler announced my very cool duke hero, Camden Rothermere, as the DUDE of Sedgemoor.
Well, that had me rolling around the floor laughing. Hard to picture Cam with a surfboard and his toes full of sand. I wondered whether the Dude of Sedgemoor would have the family crest embroidered on his boardshorts. And whether he put a wave machine in the lake on his estate. Yes, hours of fun resulted (please don’t judge me, life has been pretty quiet lately – I’m on deadline!).
So I suddenly started to think of other obscure literary characters who were ALMOST (just one letter away, actually!) like their more famous counterparts.
You all know the start of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Well, there’s a little known sequel that starts like this:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a HAT.
Yes, that’s right, this one stars that sparkling heroine Elizabeth BONNET! You’ll love meeting Mr. and Mrs. Bonnet and Jane, Lizzie, Mary, Kitty and Lydia Bonnet as they scandalize the milliners of Regency London! They don’t give a straw for scandal. Although they do rather like a velvet ribbon or two! And those silk roses are just darling!
Or perhaps you’ve read the sequel to LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Loretta Chase with its sexy if a little smelly hero Lord Dank?
And J.D. Robb can’t keep up with the demand for stories about Eve and DOARKE. Yes, Roarke has a clumsy, socially inept cousin from Tipperary who will steal your heart.
And don’t forget that Victorian masterpiece that predated 50 SHADES OF GREY. Oh, the doings in Thornfield’s dungeons in CANE EYRE! Cane is a governess with a difference, oh, my! Mr. Rochester hasn’t been the same since he employed our heroine to bring some order to his household!
So here’s the game (you’ve probably worked it out) – change one letter in the name of a fictional character to turn them into something different. I’m looking forward to a few laughs and the DUDE has laid on a few cold beers to keep us going.
Two commenters have the chance to win a book (international) from my backlist. Not DAYS OF RAKES AND ROSES, sadly, because of geographical restrictions – but everything else is up for grabs! You can find a list of my publications here: http://annacampbell.info/books.html
So make me laugh and you might win a book! Good luck!
Posted by Anna Campbell Nov 7 2013, 10:36 pm in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, ebooks, Ella Quinn, historical romance, Kensington, Regency romance, The Marriage Game, The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh
Thanks to everyone for giving Ella such a great welcome yesterday. I’m delighted to announce the winner of the download of THE SECRET LIFE OF MISS ANNA MARSH. Congratulations to:
Minna, could you please email Ella on Ella @ ellaquinnauthor.com (no spaces) to arrange the delivery of your ebook. Happy reading!
Posted by Anna Campbell Nov 6 2013, 12:02 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, e-books, Ella Quinn, historical romance, interviews, Regency romance, The Marriage Game, The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, The Temptation of Lady Serena
Today I’m delighted to welcome a new visitor to the lair, historical romance author Ella Quinn.
Ella’s here to tell us about her second book THE SECRET LIFE OF MISS ANNA MARSH, the latest book in the Marriage Game series which began with such a bang with THE SEDUCTION OF LADY PHOEBE. Love those titles!
You can find out more about Ella and her books on her website: http://www.ellaquinnauthor.com/
Ella, welcome to the Bandita lair! Congratulations on the release of your new historical romance THE SECRET LIFE OF MISS ANNA MARSH. Can you tell us about this book?
I’m going to give you the blurb. It explains the situation quite well.
Since she was a young girl, Anna Marsh has dreamed of Sebastian, Baron Rutherford asking for her hand in marriage. But that was in another life when her brother Harry was alive, before she vowed to secretly continue the work he valiantly died for. Now as Sebastian finally courts Anna, she must thwart his advances. Were he to discover her secret, he would never deem her a suitable wife…
Sebastian has always known Anna would become his wife someday. He expects few obstacles, but when she dissuades him at every turn he soon realizes there is much more to this intriguing woman. Somehow he must prove to her that they are meant to be together. But first he must unravel the seductive mystery that is Miss Anna Marsh…
What were the inspirations behind this book?
Anna and Rutherford were supporting characters in my debut novel, THE SEDUCTION OF LADY PHOEBE, so naturally, they wanted their story told.
Can you give us a sneak peek of what’s coming up in the Marriage Game series?
I’m happy to. The third book, THE TEMPTATION OF LADY SERENA, releases on January 14th. The hero of that book is Robert Beaumont, who readers will have already met, and the 4th book, DESIRING LADY CARO, which begins in Venice and ends in Paris, releases in April. My editor has book #5, which takes place in the West Indies, and I’m currently writing book #6 where we’re back in England. I think there will be a 7th novel as well.
What else is coming up for Ella Quinn?
Writing and more writing. I have the first two books of the next series written but not fully edited.
As this is your first visit to the lair, we’d love to hear about your writing journey.
It’s been quick, considering. I began writing just about two years ago. I landed my agent in eight months, and my publishing contract with Kensington eight months after that. Hmm, maybe my new favourite number should be eight. Anyway, my goal was to be published in two years, and I was. THE SEDUCTION OF LADY PHOEBE even landed on the Amazon bestseller list for a few days!
Congratulations! What do you like to do when you’re not writing sparkling Regency-set romance?
I love to read (don’t all authors?), walk on the beach near my house, paddle board, and be on the race committee boat for the sailing races down here.
Thanks, Ella. We wish you all the best with THE SECRET LIFE OF MISS ANNA MARSH. It sounds great. Do you have a question for the Bandits and Bandita Buddies?
I love a good series, how do you feel?
Get commenting, people. Ella has very generously offered one commenter today an e-book (international) of THE SECRET LIFE OF MISS ANNA MARSH. Good luck!
Posted by Anna Campbell Nov 4 2013, 12:02 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, Burned, Christmas Romances, contemporary romance, Cosmo Hot Reads, English Authors, Harlequin, Miller Sister Series, O'Neil Brother series, Ripped, RITA winners, Sarah Morgan, series, SleighBells in the Snow, Suddenly Last Summer
Ooh, color me excited! In fact, color me excited and write it in fireworks and tell the UN!
A couple of years ago, thanks to my fabulous critique partner Annie West, I discovered a writer who has since become one of my all-time favorites. I’m not at all surprised that this particular writer has since won back-to-back RITA awards. Clearly everybody agrees with me that she’s an exceptional talent.
So we have a wonderful author. And we have someone making a lair debut. And we have a Christmas romance – I’m always a sucker for a Christmas romance.
You can see why I’m jumping around like a…jumping thing.
The brilliant Sarah Morgan is here all the way from the U.K. to tell us about her first full-length contemporary romance SLEIGH BELLS IN THE SNOW. Here’s the blurb:
Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green’s favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year.
Jackson O’Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family’s resort—it’s in his blood, and he can’t let it fail. Now that he’s got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.
Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she’s out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it’s terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?
SLEIGH BELLS is already creating a lot of buzz. RT Book Reviews called it “a Holiday hit” in a 4.5 star review. Publishers Weekly gave this book a starred review and said, “This touching Christmas tale will draw tears of sorrow and joy, remaining a reader favorite for years to come.”
You can find out more about Sarah and her books on her website: http://sarahmorgan.com/
Sarah, welcome to the Bandita lair! I’m so excited about your full-length Christmas romance SLEIGH BELLS IN THE SNOW. Can you tell us about this book?
Thank you for inviting me to the lair, Anna! It feels like a warm, cosy place to be, especially as SLEIGH BELLS is a winter story! I’m so excited to be here. And I’m excited about my first mainstream novel. I’m driving everyone around me crazy so it’s good to inflict my excitement on someone else for a change. SLEIGH BELLS is a holiday romance. My heroine Kayla hates Christmas. Every year, she buries herself in work and just waits for it all to be over so when she is invited to Vermont by a new client (my super sexy hero, Jackson O’Neil) she thinks it will be the perfect place to escape. A secluded log cabin in a snowy forest away from civilization sounds like the perfect place to pass what is, for her, the worst time of the year. But things don’t go the way she has planned!
Sounds great! What were the inspirations behind this book?
Last Christmas my family and I broke with tradition and instead of staying at home, we rented a log cabin near a lake. It was snowy and perfect but I realised that although for us it was a wonderful place to spend the holidays, it would equally be perfect for someone who found Christmas a difficult time of year and wanted to avoid the craziness of the holiday season.
A month earlier I’d had a conversation with Dianne Moggy at Harlequin, and she’d been telling me about her miniature poodle Maple. She entertained me with stories of Maple’s antics (hilarious!) and I thought it would be perfect to make Maple part of my story, but I wanted to make sure that the dog wasn’t just window dressing but central to the story and Kayla’s development as a character.
At that point I knew I wanted to write a mainstream romance, but I hadn’t decided on the setting. It was while I was talking to Dianne that I thought – Maple – Maple syrup – Vermont (this is how a writer’s brain works as you well know!) So now I had my setting and a heroine who wanted to avoid Christmas.
Because we writers are supposed to torture our characters I then had to make her face the one thing she dreaded most – so I surrounded her with a big, noisy happy family. I confess that I love fish out of water stories and there is an element of that in this book. Kayla is a city girl and finding herself in snowy Vermont is a culture shock! And that’s before she starts trying to do business with the O’Neil family who are nothing like her usual clients. I had so much fun with this story.
And I’ve shared with you a photo of the real Maple! If you go to my website and watch the book video for SLEIGH BELLS IN THE SNOW, you can see the real Maple jumping (she does that a lot in the book! She is the most adorable dog).
Noodling around your website, I notice that we have two more books in the O’Neil Brothers series following SLEIGH BELLS IN THE SNOW. Can you give us a sneak peak of what’s to come in the series?
I wanted to write about a big, loving, interfering family so the first thing I did for my hero, Jackson, was give him two brothers. Jackson’s twin brother Sean is an orthopedic surgeon. His story, SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER, will be out July 2014. Younger brother Tyler is a gold medal winning downhill skier who retired from the circuit after a serious accident. He’s the bad boy of the three! His story will be out November 2014. The three O’Neil men share a close bond, but they’re very different and they each face different issues and challenges. I had fun finding the right heroine for each of them!
Yum! I notice you have a novella out toward the end of November to tempt us. I’d love to hear more about RIPPED.
RIPPED is part of the new Cosmo Red Hot Reads programme, which is a joint venture between Harlequin and Cosmopolitan. These novellas are fun, super sexy stories featuring strong, independent heroines (my favourite type!). The heroine of RIPPED, Hayley, is an engineer. She’s the reluctant bridesmaid at the wedding of her ex and suffers a major wardrobe malfunction. She’s rescued by the best man, sexy Italian Nico Rossi, a buttoned up lawyer who she believes has always disapproved of her. This story takes place a few days before Christmas and wrapping paper isn’t the only thing to be ripped in this book! I had so much fun writing it. I laughed the whole time. I hope it makes a few readers laugh too!
What else is coming up for Sarah Morgan?
I’m in the middle of writing the second Cosmo story, BURNED, about Hayley’s sister. Then I’m moving on to the last book in my O’Neil Brothers series, which is Tyler’s story. I’m really looking forward to writing this one. There will be a few surprises from Tyler’s past and some issues I can’t wait to explore and I love the O’Neil family (especially Grandma Alice and Grandpa Walter!), so I’m looking forward to being with them for another story. And puppy Maple of course. She will be a year older, but still jumping no doubt!
As this is your first visit to the lair, we’d love to hear about your writing journey.
I always loved writing (I wrote my first story when I was eight) but I didn’t think it was something that could be a career, so I wrote alongside other jobs for many years. I trained as a nurse so when I started writing seriously it seemed logical to me to write a Medical Romance. As well as writing the love story, I loved being able to control what happened to the patient. I wrote 35 medical romances for Harlequin and because my heroes were so often alpha they suggested I write for Presents, which I did and I loved it! I’ve wanted to write a longer length contemporary for a while so when Harlequin offered me the opportunity to do that I was thrilled. So at the moment I’m playing with different story lengths, novella, category at 50,000 and full length, mainstream (100,000 words) contemporaries. Each demands something different from the writer and I love the variety. Hopefully readers will too.
One of the things I love about your books is that you take the classic Harlequin Presents/Sexy/Modern style and give it a really contemporary twist. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what constitutes a classic Presents and also on how you give your own particular spin to the stories.
Presents is known for its international settings, the glamour, the sophistication and, of course, the alpha hero. For me, it’s important to match just the right heroine with the hero for the story to work. The alpha hero is strong (although not a bully. The hero’s actions should always be well motivated, even when he appears ‘hard’ to the reader). He is the leader of the pack (by virtue of his skills and attributes, not his ability to lose his temper) and winning his heart won’t be easy. I love finding the woman who can do that. I always write strong heroines, but my heroine may not be strong in the same areas as the hero, in fact she probably isn’t but her strengths will compliment his and in the end they will be perfect for each other.
Sarah, huge congratulations on your latest releases. I love that I’ve got so many new books from you to look forward to. Do you have a question for the Banditas and Bandita Buddies to get the conversation going?
What is the one gift you’d like to find under the Christmas tree this year? (I want your golden rooster – would he like to come and live with me for a while?)
Take him! He’s yours!
OK, people, get commenting! Sarah has very generously offered an international prize of a copy of SLEIGH BELLS IN THE SNOW! Now, that’s going to brighten up any Christmas season!
Posted by Kate Carlisle Oct 25 2013, 12:05 am in Anna Campbell, Kate Carlisle, writer's life, writing life
I’ve been staring at a blank screen a lot lately. It happens whenever I’m trying to start a new book. That first line is key, and it’s disconcerting to calculate how much time it takes me to get it right. One thing I like to do during this phase of the book is study other authors and their first lines. Some of them make me laugh. Others hit me right in the heart. If nothing else, reading the first lines of other authors’ books stirs up my creative juices, and that can’t hurt.
Here are five of my favorites in no particular order. You might not find these lines in a book of “Famous First Lines,” but I found them memorable and evocative. And just to be friendly, I included one of my own.
1. “The whole world knows you for a slut, Madam.” – A Rake’s Midnight Kiss, by Anna Campbell.
2. If my life were a book, I would have masking tape holding my hinges together. – If Books Could Kill, by Kate Carlisle.
3. My wound is geography. – The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy.
4. Phoebe Summerville outraged everyone by bringing a French poodle and a Hungarian lover to her father’s funeral. – It Had To Be You, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
5. “Your latest mistress is causing a sensation back in London, Masters.” – Mistress, by Amanda Quick.
What are some of your favorite first lines?