Posts tagged with: Christie Kelley

It’s time for a party!

by Christie Kelley

It hasn’t been the best of years so far. Lots of upheaval in my personal life but now that June’s here, I’ve decided the rest of the year is going to be fantastic. Why June? Because we’re halfway through the year and…ONE NIGHT SCANDAL is officially out!

And we in the lair always celebrate a book release with a party! Sit back, grab a drink from one of the cabana boys and ask Sven for a massage. I think I’ll have a Mojito and a massage.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

A Night with a Marquess

Born on the wrong side of the blanket, matchmaker Sophie Reynard understands the consequences of unbridled desire all too well. Despite the many highborn friends she has matched, falling in love with an aristocrat without a pedigree of her own would be an act of futility. But that doesn’t stop her from succumbing to one evening of anonymous passion…

A Lifetime of Desire

Nicholas Tenbury, Marquess of Ancroft, knows nothing of Sophie’s lineage. He knows only that the enchanting beauty captured his heart in one night and then fled, leaving no trace of her identity. But when he seeks answers from London’s finest matchmaker, he finds none other than the woman herself—stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the attraction they share! Now the enamored Marquess has no choice but to sway Sophie with seduction…

ONE NIGHT SCANDAL is the fifth and final book in my Spinster Club series. I’ve really enjoyed writing this series but it’s time to move on to something new. I don’t have any news on that front yet, but hopefully soon. My agent sent out my new proposal so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll hear something before long.

Sophie is a medium, or psychic, as we would call her today. I love the fact that for the past four books she’s been matching her friends with her abilities. But she can’t see her own future. So when the man of her dreams enters her life, she has no idea that he’s the one for her.

Have you ever been to a psychic? If so, what did you think about the things he/she said? If not, would you consider it? How’s your 2011 been so far?

I’m giving away a signed copy of ONE NIGHT SCANDAL to 2 lucky posters today. Just leave a comment for a chance to win.

May Coming Attractions!

Spring is in full bloom and it’s going to be a great month in the lair!

Kate Carlisle will get us started with a release party on May 2. Come join the fun as Kate launches MURDER UNDER COVER, the fourth book in her Bibliophile Mystery series.

May 3rd Auntie Cindy will host Kris Kennedy who will talk about her new book, DEFIANT.

On Wednesday, 4th May, Anna Campbell hosts New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean who will talk about her sparkling new historical romance ELEVEN SCANDALS TO START TO WIN A DUKE’S HEART.

Debut author, Virna DePaul is visiting us on 5/5 to talk about her release, CHOSEN BY BLOOD.

On May 6, Kate welcomes back Avery Aames, author of the Cheese Shop Mysteries, who will show us all sorts of new ways to Say Cheese!

May 7th Let’s celebrate with Tawny’s release party!! JUST FOR THE NIGHT is my 24 Hour Blackout story, trapping two ex-lovers together. Now they have to decide if they are back together forever… or Just For The Night.

Suzanne Ferrell welcomes Addison Fox on May 9th. Addison will talk about her third book in her Sons of the Zodiac series, WARRIOR BETRAYED.

On Monday, 16th May, Anna Campbell hosts historical romance author Vanessa Kelly who will be talking about her latest release MY FAVORITE COUNTESS.

On May 18, we get a peek at Captain Jack Sparrow’s early career when A. C. Crispin, author of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom, visits with Nancy.

On May 29th, Susan Sey welcomes Cat Shield who will be talking about her debut novel MEDDLING WITH THE MILLIONAIRE.

On May 31, Anna DeStefano and Nancy will chat about Anna’s new book, Secret Legacy. To protect an endangered child, the second of Anna’s telepathic twins must join forces with a psychic warrior who once broke her heart.


Anna Campbell is holding a Hardback Heaven at Midnight Contest, open until 30th June. She’s giving away three signed copies of the beautiful hardcover Rhapsody Book Club edition of MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION.

To enter, just email Anna on and tell her the name of the hero and heroine of MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION. For more information on the contest, please visit her website on:

Bandit Booty

As usual, I’m behind in announcing my winner. But I promise it wasn’t because I was playing Angry Birds. The winner of an ARC of ONE NIGHT SCANDAL is:


Kirsten, please email me at christie @ christiekelley . com with your address so I can get the book out to you.

Why do I do this?

by Christie Kelley

Thanks to my sons, I have a new time waster (okay, addiction) that is taking up way too much of my time. They got me hooked on the Angry Birds game on my Droid phone.

I tried not to let this game into my life. But the more they played it, the more I wanted to see what it was all about.


Why do I let myself get sucked into such silly games that waste my time? I could be reading a great romance. I could be watching an educational program on TV. I could be involved in a great hobby. Instead, I spend my spare time flinging birds at pigs. There is something terribly wrong with this.

I’ve decided I must break this addiction. But how? How do I say no to those little birds? And if I stop playing Angry Birds, what will I do on those long commercial breaks?

So I’m looking for advice. Please tell me how you broke a habit (or addiction) and the best way for me to do the same.

Since I’m so determined to break this addic–habit, I am giving away an arc of my June release, One Night Scandal. So ‘fess up.

Winter Reading

by Christie Kelley

I’ve just finished reading 8 books for RWA’s RITA contest. Since I tend to read historical romance, it was fun to get some books I wouldn’t normally pick up. I don’t want to divulge the category but suffice it to say, not all these stories were my cup of tea. But it did give me the chance to try some new authors.

I found a few authors that I would read their back list and a few I probably wouldn’t read again. Nothing against the story, it just didn’t suite me. I’m sure other people loved it.

So what about you? When was the last time you tried a new author? What are you reading now?

Please excuse the short post. I’m a bit overloaded in my life right now.


We have an AHA Go Red pin for one commenter today.

The healthy heart tip for today is: Go fish – did you know for ideal health you should eat fish (particularly oily fish such as salmon, mackerel or tuna) twice a week?

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.

The Lure Of The Past

Why do historical romance writers select certain periods in which to set their novels? What drives them to choose the dangers of the Wild West, the adventures of the Medieval era, or the elegance of the Regency Period? Three authors in the new anthology, An Invitation To Sin, talk about their chosen historical settings and why they love them.

Sally MacKenzie says:

I think we can safely blame a librarian for my fascination with the Regency. Growing up I read a lot of science fiction and what I guess might be called fantasy--Lloyd Alexander, P.L. Travers, Edward Eager, E. Nesbit, Andre Norton. When I reached about middle school age, I must have been casting around for something new, because a friendly librarian introduced me to Georgette Heyer. It was love at first page. What’s not to like about rich, handsome, nobles with grand estates looking for marriage? But it was more than that with Georgette. I loved her humor, the way she had the hero and heroine match wits, her use of language. My husband, even back when we were dating as law students, accused me of using Regency-isms in conversation. (Doesn’t everyone know the word “brangle”? And don’t you just love the sound of it…or the sound of balderdash, rapscallion, bamboozle, namby-pamby, shilly-shally?)

Now that I’m writing and researching for my books, I realize how much the world was changing during the Regency with the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the spread of industrialization, and the migration of people from country to city, but it wasn’t history that pulled me into the era. It was Georgette Heyer and that helpful librarian.

Vanessa Kelly says:

I became interested in the Regency period in the same way many historical romance writers did – through the novels of Georgette Heyer. From there I moved on to Jane Austen, which pretty much sealed my fate as far determining my favorite period of history. In graduate school I studied British women writers of the Georgian and Regency era, especially Fanny Burney. Her diaries are a detailed and riveting account of life in artistic circles and at the court of George III and, boy, did those real-life accounts ever suck me in further!

I guess what I love most about the period is that fascinating combination of glamour, glitter, and wit exemplified by London’s elite society, co-existing alongside a truly gritty and widespread underworld. The beauty and culture of the Mayfair mansions were only a few blocks away from the worst stews of London. But those worlds often intersected in a strangely democratic way in places like Covent Garden and Vauxhall. Talk about lots of opportunities for conflict, drama, and adventure!

When you throw in the danger and intrigue of the Napoleonic Wars, you have a killer combination for setting a historical romance.

Kaitlin O’Riley says:

I have always loved the Victorian era, ever since I was a little girl and wanted to wear a big hoop skirt like Scarlett O’Hara and carry a dance card tied with a ribbon. Although I’ve since realized that hoop skirts are an entirely impractical and most uncomfortable contraption, I still love the Victorian era. I tend to write stories that take place toward the later end of Queen Victoria’s reign, from about1870 to 1880, well past the fashion of the hoop skirts and more along the lines of the bustle gown.
Quite simply, the past has always intrigued me. Somehow it seems less complicated and more romantic than the present day. I know that was not always the case, but you have to admit that flickering candle light is far more romantic (and flattering!) than florescent bulbs. There were no telephones, no email, no text messaging. If you wanted to contact someone, you had to extend the effort to put pen to paper and actually wait for a response. And there’s something infinitely charming about handwritten notes. Although I am the biggest fan of electricity and air-conditioning there is, the past still calls to me. The overall slower and calmer pace of life without all the 24/7 pressure we have now seems luxurious! I also find the manners, the customs, and the fashion of the Victorian era inspiring. The idea of that era is old enough to be quaint and familiar, yet recent enough to not be ancient history, which is why I set my novels during that time.
Today we live in an era where anything goes, so it’s nice to slip back in time once in a while to when there were very strict social standards and have my characters break the rules a little. In “A Summer Love Affair,” my hero and heroine do just that…

USA Today bestselling author Sally MacKenzie writes the Naked nobility series–funny, hot Regency-set historicals–for Kensington Zebra. Her sixth Naked book, The Naked Viscount, arrived on bookstore shelves June 1, 2010, and the seventh, The Naked King, will be out in June 2011. You can reach her on the web at:

Called one of the new stars of historical romance by Booklist, Vanessa Kelly writes Regencies with sizzle for Kensington Zebra. Her latest book, Sex And The Single Earl, is on shelves now. My Favorite Countess, her next Regency-set historical romance, will be released in May, 2011. You can reach her on the web at:

Acclaimed author Kaitlin O’Riley writes historical romance for Kensington Zebra. Desire In His Eyes and Yours For Eternity, a vampire anthology with Hannah Howell and Alexandra Ivy, are her latest releases. You can reach Kaitlin on the web at:

What time period do you enjoy reading about the most? If you could go back in time, would you? If so, what time period would you choose?

One lucky commenter will receive a copy of An Invitation to Sin.

We have an AHA Go Red pin for one commenter today.

The healthy heart tip for today is: Tip: Sharing is caring – if you do go out for a romantic dinner date, order one entrée to share. Many restaurant servings are enough for two – splitting will keep you from overdoing it.

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.

Janet Mullany is in the lair

Today we welcome back another favorite in the lair, my critique partner Janet Mullany. She’s here to talk about her latest book, Mr. Bishop and the Actress.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

What could be more important than a lady’s reputation?

Although initially alarmed by their unconventional ways, straight-laced Harry Bishop is content in the service of Lord Shad and his family. But when he is sent to London to rescue Shad’s wayward relation from debt and self-destruction, he also has the dubious honour of dealing with the man’s mistress – troublesome actress Sophie Wallace.

A man of dignity and decorum, Mr. Bishop is desperate to disassociate himself from the scandalous Sophie. Unfortunately, avoiding her proves harder than he could ever have imagined and soon she’s causing him all kinds of bother…

A rollicking Regency tale of manners, mischief and behaving disgracefully

Thanks for having me back, Banditas, to talk about my latest release Mr Bishop and the Actress. Always a pleasure to be here (as the actress said to the bishop)! While thinking about fixing to get ready to start beginning this blog post I wanted to come up with a quick definition of what the book is about. And yes, the book is a sequel (sort of) to Improper Relations, so we get to see Shad and Charlotte happily married and having babies.

I came to the conclusion it was a love story, yadda yadda yadda, but it was also a story about misfits finding their place—people who, for one reason or another, don’t quite fit in, or are compelled by circumstances to go beyond their comfort zone. So we have the following characters:

The hero, Mr. Harry Bishop:
For all he looks like a gentleman, there are certain indications—his accent, the borrowed coat—that mark him as a servant, and of course my neighbors knew him for what he was immediately. An educated and gentlemanly servant, it is true, but someone who ascends the slippery slope of social advancement on his own talent and wits. No wonder he is so nervous around me. He does not want to be associated with a woman of ill repute.

The heroine, Mrs. Sophie Wallace, a discarded courtesan:
A new profession. Bishop’s words echo in my head. I cannot saunter to a club and, over brandy and cards with my privileged friends, reveal that I am in need of a position, some gentlemanly sinecure without a hint of labor or trade. The possibilities for a female, particularly a female of middling origins and poor reputation, are dire. With a loan I could maybe start a shop; with luck, and some fabrication of references, I might take on a new identity as a genteel sort of servant. My experience of marriage is such that I do not wish to repeat it, even if I were to find a gentleman willing to take me on, and neither of the above professions open to a woman in my circumstances hold much appeal for me.
I think the issue of social advancement—or decline—is one of the most fascinating features of the Regency. This was a time of great social flux, from displaced country workers leaving the villages where their families had lived for centuries and heading for the great new industrial centers, to the nouveau riche, the owners of those factories or the nabobs returning from India. In Pride and Prejudice Austen hints that Darcy is old money, Bingley comes from the manufacturing classes.

In addition, a burgeoning middle class aspired to gentility. The Duchess and her tenant farmer’s wife could now both afford a pianoforte—the great instrument maker Broadwood had a piano for every (middle class and above) income level, with instruments starting at twenty guineas. As comparison, Jane Austen paid thirty guineas for her piano in 1810 (although we don’t know who the maker was) and twelve shillings for a pair of silk stockings: in other words, her piano cost the equivalent of about fifty pairs of silk stockings.

Do you think we’re too hung up on those at the top of the heap—the earls and dukes? Because there’s some very interesting stuff going on further down (as the actress said to the bishop). What do you think?

The Banditas will pick a winner who’ll receive a signed copy of the book and I look forward to chatting with you! And please visit my website at for more excerpts and a contest, and is the best place to buy my Little Black Dress books, which have no US distribution.

The comment link is below the healthy heart tip for today and the AHA BetterU information.

For 2/6: If you go to a restaurant to celebrate, check out our heart-healthy tips for dining out

And…Sign Up for the Go Red BetterU Program and Receive Two Free Romance Novel E-Books

From Feb. 1 through May 31, 2011, receive one free romance novel e-book when you sign up for the American Heart Association’s BetterU 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 newsstands and in a grocery store near you.

To sign up for the BetterU program, visit:

(Go Red For Women is trademarked by the American Heart Association, Inc. Romance novel downloads provided by Belle Books.)

In Cleopatra’s Shadow

by Christie Kelley

Please help me welcome a wonderful writer and friend of mine, Stephanie Dray. She has a new young adult historical fiction book, Lily of the Nile out this month.

Cleopatra VII of Egypt is the most famous woman in the history of the world and if you’ve never seen Cleopatra, starring Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison and Roddy McDowell, do yourself a favor and rent this big splashy Hollywood drama. Though it’s overwrought and there are a few howlers, the dialog is sharp and the cinematography created some of the most iconic imagery we have of this intriguing queen. Though the movie makes no mention of Cleopatra’s daughter, the protagonist of my forthcoming debut novel, Lily of the Nile, the ending of the movie left me with some powerful emotions.

The movie adopts the traditional view of the queen’s suicide, which is that having conquered her, Octavian wished to drag Cleopatra behind his chariot as a chained prisoner, so she cheated him by killing herself. This scenario has come under fire by modern scholars who protest that Rome’s first emperor probably killed Cleopatra or forced her to kill herself. But what if it happened just the way the ancients said it did?

What impact would that have upon the psyche of Augustus, who was denied his war prize? What mark would Cleopatra’s suicide leave upon the ten year old daughter that she left behind? These are the questions I asked myself when writing Lily of the Nile, the first of a planned trilogy about the as-yet-uncelebrated life of Cleopatra Selene. She was taken prisoner by the Romans and dragged through the streets in her mother’s stead, but Augustus spared her. He even went on to make her the most powerful client queen in his empire.

And yet, Cleopatra’s daughter is virtually unknown unknown to us, her life obscured by her mother’s shadow. I imagine it must have been this way for her even while she was alive. Raised in the emperor’s household, she would have been subjected to all the propaganda against her parents–the legends upon which Augustus built his empire. She was the daughter of the Egyptian harlot, the daughter of drunk and licentious Antony. She would have had to live with that stigma.

What is remarkable is that the evidence of her life archaeologists have uncovered shows that she was one of Augustus’ favorites. He not only made her a queen, but apparently indulged behavior he would have condemned in any other ruler. Though Augustus opposed women in power, Selene was an effective co-ruler with her husband and could mint her own money; she did so, glorifying her mother and Egypt and Isis, all without reproach. So why did the emperor indulge this ambitious young girl, making her the wealthiest woman in the world? Why would Augustus spoil, coddle, and elevate this child of his bitterest enemies?

That’s the question I attempt to answer in this series of novels, which is as much about Augustus as it is about Selene. Historical accounts tell us that he was shocked to find Cleopatra dead–so much so that he sent for snake-healers to revive her. Historian Diane E. E. Kleiner has described Augustus’ obsession with Cleopatra after her death in a way that seems to go beyond the political. I simply imagined that he transferred this obsession to Cleopatra’s daughter and all the other pieces of the puzzle fell into place.

The theory not only solved several mysteries but created a compelling drama in which a clever young girl is pitted against a ruthless and cunning ruler, historical giants battling for the future of the ancient world and our own. This is the kind of larger-than-life epic that I love most and I hope readers will love it too.

In addition to the new book, Stephanie is sponsoring a literary contest for aspiring young female writers (

Do you love reading about antiquity? If so, what’s your favorite book or movie set in antiquity? And what time period do you just love to read about?

Stephanie is giving away a copy of Lily of the Nile to one lucky poster today.

Oh, that holiday stress!

by Christie Kelley

Is anyone else stressed out or is it just me? The holidays don’t usually get me this stressed but somehow things have gotten out of hand this month. Here’s how my month is going so far.

In addition to writing, I am also a Realtor and my one closing for December is still not scheduled. But we finally have things settled down on both sides after several contentious days. So there is hope this will go to settlement this month.

For some crazy reason, I volunteered to host my writing chapter’s Christmas party after a family emergency made it impossible for the other host. Needless to say, this led to a major house cleaning and shopping I hadn’t planned on. Thankfully, that was held on last Saturday .

My proofs for One Night Scandal are due on 12/21. I did get them finished yesterday and out the door so that’s one less thing to stress about.

Now, the Christmas stuff. I’m still not done shopping. I have nothing wrapped. I have one more batch of cookies to make and haven’t even thought about cards yet. You know what I’ll be doing today and tomorrow.

My one outlet for the stress has been my Jazzercise class that I take three times a week. With all the stuff going on last week, I didn’t get there once. I think that only made the stress worse.

So how does everyone handle the craziness of the holidays? Exercise? To do lists? Drinking? (it’s crossed my mind). Tell me your secret for keeping your sanity during these stressful times.

It’s FINALLY here! The Romance Bandits 12 Days of Christmas Booty. Every day between now and Christmas, one lucky commenter per day will win a daily prize and on some days, additional goodies from that day’s blogging Bandita or guest. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we’ll give away more booty including autographed books, GR mugs and much more! Come join us! Tell your friends! Let’s make the Season BRIGHT!

Bandit Booty

Thanks to everyone who posted on my blog about rainy days. The winner of a signed copy of Scandal of the Season is:


Please email me your address and I’ll send the book right along:
christie @ christiekelley . com

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