Posted by Donna MacMeans May 1 2012, 12:14 am in Anna DeStefano, Cara Elliott, Casey Daniels, coming attractions, Ellen Hartman, J. A. London, Karen Kelly, Karyn Gerrard, kristan higgins, May, Sandy Blair, Sister Pact, Trish Milburn
It’s an exciting month in the lair! Not only do we have some fabulous guests chatting alongside some fabulous banditas – we also have a launch party! Trish will be introducing another in her Teagues of Texas series on May 4th. Doesn’t this cover just make you smile ?
Don’t forget to check out the contests offered for May at the bottom of the post. Prizes, prizes everywhere!
On Wednesday, 2nd May, we have great Aussie authors Ros Baxter and Ali Ahearn visiting the lair as Anna Campbell’s guests. Ros is a debut author and Ali is better known to the Banditas and Bandita Buddies under her Medical Romance persona Amy Andrews. (www.amyandrews.com.au <http://www.amyandrews.com.au> ) Ros and Ali are sisters and they’ve written a wonderful book together called SISTER PACT.
On May 3, Anna Destefano chats with Nancy about Anna’s new release from Entangled Publishing, HER FORGETTEN BETRAYAL.
Don’t forget Trish will be launching THE COWBOY SHERIFF on the 4th.
May 5th – We have the lovely Cara Elliott launching the second book in her “Lords of Midnight” trilogy, TOO TEMPTING TO RESIST!
May 6th – Prepare to have laugh. Kristin Higgins is joining us with SOMEBODY TO LOVE.
May 7th – Have you ever had the urge to travel back in time? How about forward in time? Karyn Gerrard joins us to talk about her unique time travel, TIMELESS LOVE.
MAY 16th – What’s a girl to do when she gets kicked out of hell and only has a week to steal a soul? Easy, she heads straight for the delicious corruptible looking cowboy sitting at the bar and all hell breaks loose. USA Today Bestseller, Karen Kelly is in the lair with WHERE THERE’S SMOKE. (and that cover is sure smoking )
May 18th – Casey Daniels is back! Can’t wait to see what she’s working on this time. It’s bound to be fun.
On May 21st Superromance author Ellen Hartman joins us to discuss her latest release THE LONG SHOT!
May 28th – JA London joins us with a debut YA paranormal DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN, The first novel in the Darkness Before Dawn Trilogy
May 31st – What a way to wrap up a month. Sandy Blair joins us with her print release of her book THE KING’S MISTRESS. (Another gorgeous cover!)
We do give a monthly prize of books selected from our newsletter subscribers. Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss out!
To celebrate the release of her novelette, “The Chinese Bed”, in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST ROMANCE which is available on 7th June, Anna Campbell is giving away THREE copies of this wonderful anthology to lucky readers. All you need to do is email Anna on anna @ annacampbell.info (remove the spaces) with the name of the hero and heroine of “The Chinese Bed.” Just a hint – you might find the answer here: http://annacampbell.info/chinesebed.html
The contest closes 30th June, 2012, and entry is open internationally. For more information, please check out Anna’s website at: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html
To celebrate the June release of THE CASANOVA CODE, Donna MacMeans is choosing a name from her newsletter list to receive a cherry blossom pendant necklace from the Smithsonian Institute(cherry blossoms play a role in the book). To see the necklace and to enter, go to www.DonnaMacMeans.com and sign up. A winner will be chosen for both May and June.
Posted by Christina Brooke Nov 2 2011, 3:19 am in Cara Elliott, Christina Brooke interviews, Regency historicals, TOO WICKED TO WED
It’s my very great pleasure to welcome back a lair favourite–Cara Elliott–with her new Lords of Midnight series! Here is Cara to tell you more.
Have you ever been tempted to take a gamble? You know, do something oh-so risky, oh-so naughty?
Heh, heh, heh–yeah, I thought so.
Admit it, we’ve all had that urge to break the rules. There’s something sinfully intriguing about the idea of throwing caution to the Devil and letting the chips fall where they may.
Well, the heroine in my new Regency-set historical, TOO WICKED TO WED, is just like us. Lady Alexa Hendrie has spent most of her life managing her family’s run-down estate in order to keep it from crumbling into ruins. She’s smart, she’s resourceful, she’s clever—and she’s also tired of being a prim, pragmatic spinster.
A chance encounter with London’s most notorious rake has awoken secret yearnings. So when her aunt invites her for a Season in Town, she decides to roll the dice . . .
On a dare from her cousin, Alexa disguises herself a man and accompanies him to a less-than-reputable party. Rascals and rapscallions are there. Not to speak of dangerous rogues and rakehells. The only females present are lightskirts—loose, lascivious women who laugh too loudly and drink too lustily.
Thirsty for her own taste of unbridled freedom, Alexa throws herself into the swirl forbidden pleasures. She quaffs champagne, she plays cards . . . and she ends up beating the men at their own game. For when the last hand is laid on the table, she finds that she is now half owner of one of London’s most notorious gambling hell . . . And her new partner is the infamous Earl of Killingworth, better known as the “Irish Wolfhound”.
A devilish rogue and a country miss. The partnership will never work . . . or will it?
Now, while many people think the Regency era was a straitlaced time of staid tea parties and formal balls, the truth is, there were many women who, like my heroine Alexa, dared to break the rules and defy convention. Here are just a few of my favorites—
Mary Wollstonecraft was a writer, philosopher and radical champion of women’s rights. She wrote the first “Feminist” manifesto, entitled “A Vindication of the Rights of Women,” which, as you can imagine, ruffled some masculine feathers! She had several affairs before marrying William Godwin, who many consider to be a founder of the anarchist movement. (The dinner table conversation in that house was likely never boring!) Her daughter Mary—who eloped with the famous English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley—also went on to pen a memorable bit of writing . . . she authored Frankenstein.
Augusta Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace, was Lord Byron’s daughter, though never knew her father as her parents separated soon after her birth. Despite a very difficult and abusive childhood, she displayed a natural genius for mathematics, In her teens, she was fortunate enough to meet Mary Somerville, the leading female scientist of the times, who encouraged her to study seriously. After her marriage, Ada helped support Charles Babbage, the inventor of a machine that is recognized as the precursor of the modern computer. They worked together on mathematical problems, and Babbage called her “the Enchantress of Numbers.” Indeed, Ada’s notes on calculating sequences of Bernoulli numbers on the machine are credited with being the first computer program. Today, the U. S. Department of Defense has named one of its programs ADA in her honor.
Anna Atkins is another “Original.” The daughter of a noted scientist, she received “an unusually scientific education for a woman of her times” and developed a special interest in the natural world. An accomplished artist as well as a scholar, she went on to study the nascent art of photography with William Henry Fox Talbot, a family friend and innovator of the new artform. Anna’s cyanotype photogram studies of seaweed are recognized as some of the most artistic scientific images ever created. The specimens were dried in a press than exposed in the sun onto treated paper which was then stabilized in a chemical fixer. The results are amazingly graphic, abstract images of striking beauty.
These are just a few of the fascinating real life heroines of the past. So, have you a favorite “rebel” woman from history? Or getting back to Alexa and gambling, have any of you Banditos ever done something risky? Or are you someone who errs on the side of caution. Come on—don’t be afraid to speak up!
To celebrate this week’s release of TOO WICKED TO WED, I’ll be giving away an autographed copy to a randomly chosen commentator. (sorry, but U.S. mailing addresses only.)
Posted by Christina Brooke Feb 18 2011, 4:40 am in Bandit Booty, Cara Elliott, To Tempt a Rake
The winner of Cara Elliott’s fabulous TO TEMPT A RAKE and a Go Red pin is Margay!!!
Margay, please send your address to christine AT christine-wells DOT com
Thanks again to everyone who stopped by to party!
Posted by Christina Brooke Feb 11 2011, 6:29 am in Cara Elliott, Christine Wells interviews, Congress of Vienna, To Tempt a Rake
posted by Christine Wells
It’s my very great pleasure to welcome my most charming friend, Cara Elliott to the lair today. I met Cara at a Beau Monde conference in Orlando where she presented a fascinating workshop with Lauren Willig about teaching a romance course at Yale.
But Cara is a woman of many talents — she also writes sexy historical romance in which she combines a thorough knowledge of the era with all the spice, intrigue and heart-stopping romance we love. Cara is one of the illustrious Word Wenches and we’re so pleased to have her with us today. She also has a signed copy of her fabulous new release to give away. Welcome, Cara!
I’m so delighted that my good friend Christine invited me to come blog with the Bandits today. It’s always such a fun party over here, celebrating books, romance, hunky heroes and all the other good things in life.
Now, speaking of parties, I have a confession to make. I like to have a good time, but after doing the research for my just-released book, TO TEMPT A RAKE, I feel like a modern-day wimp in comparison with the lords and ladies of the Regency era. Seriously, these people really knew how to boogy . . .er, that is, waltz—but you know what I mean!
I decided to set part of the book at the Congress of Vienna, a diplomatic gathering which convened in the fall of 1814 to reorganize Europe after Napoleon’s exile to Elba. (In many ways, it was the precursor to the United Nations.) Emperors, kings, princes, margraves, powerful government ministers and their entourages all flocked to the Austrian capital to make peace . . . and to make love (not necessarily in that order!) Yes, there were serious discussions on borders, political alliances and other such issues. However, the royals and all the others had come not just to work but to play!
And play they did! Vienna was THE ultimate party town at the time. Anybody who was anybody wanted to be there, to rub shoulders (and other unmentionable body parts) with the kings, princes, emperors and other high profile celebrities.
The Emperor of Austria hosted many of the dignitaries at his magnificent castle, and his poor aides spent countless hours trying to figure out the room assignments, taking into account who was sleeping with whom, so that late night tiptoeing through the corridors wouldn’t result in any embarrassing trip-ups.
Glittering balls, sumptuous banquets, fanciful medieval jousts, spectacular fireworks—the daily list of extravagant entertainments was mind-boggling. Party girls Princess Bagration and the Duchess of Sagan, below, (who was having a torrid affair with Prince Metternich (right), the head of the Conference) vied with each other to see who could attract the most influential men to their soirees. As for other pleasures, well, let’s just say they all were intent on having a good time. In fact, the Tsar of Russia—a notorious skirtchaser—had to have a whole new wardrobe sent from St. Petersburg because he gained so much weight partying every night! (We girls can sympathize with that!)
Here’s are a few of my favorite parties from the months of non-stop entertainment:
The Emperor’s Ball
The Emperor of Austria hosted a welcoming ball for the international array of royalty and diplomats . . . One of the “decorations” was having the Duchess of Sagan and 23 of her friends come dressed as the Four Elements: Six ladies dressed as Water, wearing blue and green dresses festooned with pearls, coral and seashells. Six wore bright red dresses and carried torches to represent Fire. Six wore thin, nearly transparent gauzy dresses and wore wings to be Air. And lastly, representing Earth, the Duchess and her group wore brown velvet dresses and headdresses made out of golden baskets filled with jeweled fruit!
This recreation of a medieval joust, held at the famous Spanish Riding School (where the white Lipizzaner horses traditionally were trained) was perhaps the most spectacular party of them all. Glittering chandeliers and thousands of candles lit the indoor arena. At one end was an imperial grandstand with gilded chairs for all the royal guests. The other end was for the “Queens of Love,” 24 ladies who had been selected to be the tournament’s belles d’amour for the 24 “knights” who, mounted on matching black chargers, jousted to win their favor. Around 1200 spectators, including ambassadors, diplomats and high-ranking officials packed the remaining seats, and the display of jewelry and sumptuous dresses worn by the ladies was said to be dazzling. After a mock combat with lances (only one casualty resulted when Prince Liechtenstein was knocked unconscious from his horse) the crowd returned to the Emperor of Austria’s palace for a banquet where acrobats, minstrels and jugglers entertained the guests.
Now I ask you, what could be a more perfect setting for a sexy historical romance that combines seduction and intrigue. Naturally, I couldn’t resist! Kate and Marco, the heroine and hero of TO TEMPT A RAKE, start out their story at a fancy house party in her grandfather’s estate outside of London. Kate has spent most of her life sailing around the globe, acquiring an expertise in botany, along with a few less ladylike skills. She’s come to England to seek reconciliation with her grandfather, the imperious Duke of Cluyne, but the waters are a bit stormy. The presence of Marco, the rakish Conte of Como, isn’t making life any easier. The two of them have clashed before . . .
But when Kate becomes the prime suspect in a murder, she forced to seek his help. Caught up in a web of international intrigue, they must travel to Vienna and waltz through the glittering ballrooms to unmask . . . Oh, but that would be spoiling all the fun!
So how about you? Are you a party animal, or do you like a quiet night out with a few friends? What’s your idea of a good time? And have you a favorite over-the-top party you’ve been to that you want to share with us? One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of TO TEMPT A RAKE!
To read an excerpt of TO TEMPT A RAKE—and to download a recipe for a sinfully decadent Viennese chocolate cake—please visit my website. (There’s also a contest to win a box of gourmet chocolates, so please be sure to sign up for my mailing list.)
We have an AHA Go Red pin for one commenter today.
The healthy heart tip for today is: Tip: Spice it up – try cooking at home with healthier seasonings and avoid prepackaged mixes that may contain a lot of salt. Instead, add some spice with some fresh hot peppers. Remove the membrane and seeds first, then finely chop them up. A little goes a long way.
Romance Writers of America and the American Heart Association have partnered to raise awareness of heart disease in women and encourage you to join us in wearing red on February 4, National Wear Red Day. Visit Go Red for Women to learn how to fight heart disease.
And just in case you missed it…
Sign up for the Go Red Better U Program and receive two free romance e-books.
From Feb 1 through May 31, 2011, receive one free romance e-book when you sign up for the American Heart Association’s Better U Program and one after you complete week six of the program. And look for the Eat Smart for Your Heart limited edition magazine (that features this offer) on newstands and in a grocery store near you.
Go Red for Women is trademarked by the American Heart Association, Inc. Romance novel downloads provided by Belle Books.