Lady criminologist, Miss Emma Wallingford, unknowingly finds herself tangled in the dangerous final mission of Lord Derick Aveline, a spy who also happens to be her long lost first love. But when deception, however sweet, is the name of the game, no one can be trusted. And every love—and every life—is at risk.
Hello! Heather Snow here and I am thrilled to be continuing my blog tour for Sweet Deception here at Romance Bandits. Thank you for having me back again! What I am doing for this tour is pulling back the curtain of Sweet Deception a bit, sharing a few of my favorite passages from the book each day while letting you in on the thoughts behind them. You can keep up with the stops (or go back and read ones you missed) either on my website or my Facebook page .
When I last visited the Bandits upon my debut, the lovely Anna Campbell asked me what was next for me, and I had the opportunity to tell you all a little about my second novel, Sweet Deception. I think I described it as sort of a Regency era “Bones meets Bond” story, which elicited a bit of excitement in the comments section. Therefore, in deciding what excerpt to share with the Bandits readers today, instead of choosing the most romantic scene, I picked a snippet showcasing my budding lady criminologist instead…
Derick reined in his mount, and his rioting senses. He vaulted off the horse and tied him to the cart. Emma, he noticed, had slipped down from the box and was busy gathering a lantern and a small bag that she’d brought. He was relieved to see that her wounded look was gone, replaced with the efficiency she normally exhibited.
“Gentlemen.” She motioned to the rather green-looking men hanging back from the cart as if they wished to slink into the darkness falling behind them. “Each of you grab a lantern and form a perimeter of light around the man. I’d say a circumference of twenty-eight feet would do nicely.” She turned and dug into her satchel, leaving the men scratching their heads.
When she realized they hadn’t moved, a wry expression stole over her face. “My apologies. That would be a circle with approximately three yards in diameter, please.”
She went back to her digging, pulling out a pair of worn gloves, a polished stick that resembled nothing more than a wand, and a dark scarf, which she proceeded to tie around her nose and mouth.
While she prepared herself, Derick discreetly directed the still-confused men to stand cross points from each other at the correct distance, pretending not to notice when one of them retched into the bushes.
Derick stepped into the circle of light and looked down at the remains. “You seem rather prepared,” he commented as Emma came alongside him, looking more like a bandit than a gentle lady. She gave him a withering glance, and he thought she might ignore him. He couldn’t blame her for reverting to how she’d treated him when he’d first arrived back in upper Derbyshire. Not after the way he’d hurt her today.
Then she sighed, the bottom edge of her scarf fluttering with her breath.
“Thn-in-th—” came her muffled voice. She reached up and pulled the scarf down past her chin. “This isn’t the first dead person I’ve encountered, you know.” She pulled a leather work glove onto one hand, flexing her fingers before repeating with the other hand. “Besides, I got the idea to keep a bag like this at the ready from one of the magistrates that I correspond with. Although, I think I am going to have to write back and recommend he add some sort of ointment laced with peppermint or menthol to block the nose.”
Derick thought that would be a fine idea indeed.
I was thrilled while researching to find how much was known during the Regency about early forensic science, but don’t worry—I restrained myself from putting it all in the book! I simply used it to flavor Emma’s character a bit. I must say, creating her was a joy! I had great fun giving her a brilliant mind and the quirks and vulnerabilities to go with it. Here’s how one reviewer described her: “Her brain is logical, analytical, literal, and her filter is defective leading to both trouble and hilarity. She also has an endearing habit of mutilating her metaphors…For me she outshone Liliana, the chemist heroine of Sweet Enemy, and that’s quite an accomplishment.” (Manic Readers, 4.5 Stars)
Of course, there is plenty of romance in Derick and Emma’s story, as well. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.
Please look out for SWEET DECEPTION, available now, wherever books are sold. I’ll be happy to give away a copy of my debut, SWEET ENEMY, the first book in this series and a $10 gift card to your bookseller of choice. To enter, simply leave me a comment and answer the question: I am finishing up the third in my series, SWEET MADNESS, about a lady psychologist. Then, it’s on to a new series. But I find I’m not ready to let go of my brainy heroines yet. What kind of “professions” would you like to see in a historical heroine?
Heather Snow is a historical romance author with a degree in Chemistry who discovered she much preferred creating chemistry on the page, rather than in the lab. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, two rambunctious boys and one very put upon cat. Find out more or connect with Heather at: Her website Facebook Twitter
The weather here in England has finally become summery! The rain has stopped and we’ve finally been able to break out the t-shirts and shorts. I’m crossing fingers, throwing salt over my shoulders and doing that Italian spitting thing to prevent its return … just in case!
Of course, things are also heating up over here because of the Olympics. After the fantastic spectacle of the Opening Ceremony, events are underway and medals being won. Even though we couldn’t get tickets to any of the events, it’s a wonderful experience and we’re so proud to be the hosts. We’re watching the drama unfold on TV … the agony and the ecstasy … with a nice glass of Pimms. Hope you are too!
The heat is rising in the Lair too (Ermingarde is not to blame this time … though I’m not so sure about that pesky bird!) as we have Bandita launches to celebrate, lots of fabulous guests and an Olympic level of fun.
Paolo has been given the honour of firing the starter’s pistol this month, as long as he doesn’t aim it at Ermingarde. So, without further ado …
Mark August 6th and 20th in your diaries as we have two fabulous Bandita launches this month!
You won’t want to miss the party on the 6th as Kate launches her latest Bibliophile mystery, PERIL IN PAPERBACK! Like many of you, I can’t wait to see what Brooklyn’s up to in her latest adventure!
Kate’s also got a contest … To celebrate the release of PERIL IN PAPERBACK, she is offering one lucky winner each month (July, August and September 2012) a signed set of the first 5 books in the series: HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER, IF BOOKS COULD KILL, THE LIES THAT BIND, MURDER UNDER COVER and ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE, in either print or eBook format. CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE CONTEST!
On August 20th, we’re partying again in celebration of the release of ON HER SIDE, the second book in Beth’sThe Truth about the Sullivans’ trilogy!
Sven will be busy in the Lair kitchen making snacks for all our guests. Let’s see who’s joining us this month:
On Thursday, 2nd August, sparkling Manda Collins will visit to talk about her sparkling new release, HOW TO ROMANCE A RAKE, the second book in her Ugly Ducklings series. Manda’s always fun so you won’t want to miss this!
Barbara Monajem returns to the Lair on August 3rd, to celebrate the release of TO RESCUE OR RAVISH, her latest novella from Harlequin Undone. Barbara will share fascinating tidbits about the 19th-century equivalent of paparazzis.
Bandita Jeanne welcomes longtime friend and colleague Barbara Devlin on August 4th for the debut of her fabulous historical series, ENTER THE BRETHREN. Featuring a secret society of hunky seafaring heroes and the brilliant, gorgeous women who love them, Barbara’s books are engrossing, passionate and deliciously good.
Joan welcomes Harlequin Teen debut author Katie McGarry on Aug 7th with her incredible YA book PUSHING THE LIMITS.
On 10th August, we’ve got a first for the lair so the cabana boys will need to be on their best behaviour. Anna Campbell is hosting English actor Antony Ferguson who is the voice behind the audiobook of SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED. Join us while we find out all about how an audiobook is created! To celebrate Antony’s visit, Anna will give away an ARC of SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED – although if you want to hear rather than read the book before the release date of 25th September, you’ll have to read it aloud yourself or find someone to read it to you!
On the 11th, we have fabulous historical romance writer (and 2012 RITA nominee) Elizabeth Essex to chat to us about her sexy new release, ALMOST A SCANDAL.
What ever happened to romances set during the American civil war? Civil war re-enactor and debut author Cindy Nord will be joining us on August 12th to talk about NO GREATER GLORY. Donna says – it’s about time! May this signal a resurgence of romances set during this time of sweeping conflicts.
On August 18, Nancy interviews writer and painter Carol Strickland about the mix of those two art forms in her life.
Mia Downing joins us on the 19th to talk about the first book in her erotic romantic suspense trilogy.
The lovely Heather Snow joins us on 20 August with her new historical romance, SWEET DECEPTION.
On August 28th, NYT Bestselling author Jodi Thomas is back in the Lair with WILD TEXAS ROSE, the sixth book in her Whispering Mountain series released August 7.
If all that wasn’t enough, Anna Campbell is running an ARCs, ARCs, ARCs! contest on her website where she’s giving three lucky readers the chance to win a signed Advanced Reader Copy of her next release SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED. All you have to do is email Anna on anna @ annacampbell.info (no spaces) and tell her the name of Sidonie’s horse in the excerpt posted on Rogue’s book page. http://annacampbell.info/rogue.html
Are things hot, hot, hot for you in August? Are you watching the Olympics? Which Olympic events do you think we should stage in the Lair?
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Thanks, everyone, for a fabulous day of blogging in the lair on Thursday when we welcomed debut historical romance author Heather Snow. The winner of Heather’s prizes, a signed copy of SWEET ENEMY and one of those nifty book safes is:
Congratulations, Laurie. Please email Heather on Heather@HeatherSnowBooks.com with your snail mail details and she’ll get your goodies in the mail.
You know how we love a debut author in the lair! Today I’m delighted to introduce Heather Snow , whose first historical SWEET ENEMY from Signet Eclipse hit the bookshelves on the 7th February. Heather, an ex-chemist, is creating quite an explosive reaction with her book. Romantic Times Book Reviews said, “The plot, with its tinge of mystery, matchmaking and a bit of mayhem, will warm readers’ hearts.” Julie Garwood, #1 New York Timesbestseller, said, “Historical intrigue and heart-pounding passion make SWEET ENEMY a great read. Romance fans will love it!”
Here’s the blurb for SWEET ENEMY, book one in the ‘Veiled Seduction’ series:
Geoffrey Wentworth, a war hero and rising political star, never wanted to be the Earl, but when his brother dies, he knows his duty—take up the responsibility for his family’s estates. His mother’s definition of duty differs from his, however, and can be summed up in one word—heirs. When Geoffrey rushes home to answer her urgent summons, he finds himself host to a house full of women, all vying to become the next Countess of Stratford. But his love is Parliament, where he wields his influence and reputation to better the lives of ex-soldiers, until a tempting houseguest and a secret from his past threaten his freedom…and his heart.
Liliana Claremont, a brilliant chemist, doesn’t want to be any man’s wife, much less a countess. If she had tuppence for every time she’d been told her place was filling the nursery, not experimenting in the laboratory, she could buy the Tower Bridge. However, when she receives a coveted invitation to the Earl’s house party, she trades in her beakers for ball gowns and gladly takes on the guise of husband hunter—for the chance to uncover what the Earl had to do with the murder of her father.
Liliana believes the best way to get the answers she needs is to keep her enemy close, though romance is not part of her formula. But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can’t control…
If you’d like to read the Prologue and first Chapter of SWEET ENEMY, you can find it here.
Heather, welcome to the lair! Congratulations on the release of your debut, SWEET ENEMY, the first in the ‘Veiled Seduction’ series. Can you tell us about this story?
Thank you! And thanks for having me, Anna. I’m delighted to be here. SWEET ENEMY is a Regency historical romance with a touch of mystery. It features a lady chemist who goes undercover as a husband-hunter at an earl’s house party to discover what his family has to do with the murder of her father. Of course, romance isn’t part of her formula…but it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can’t control!
What were the inspirations behind this book?
A couple of different things sparked this story. First, I attended an interesting museum exhibit detailing an event that occurred during the Regency period (Sorry to be so vague, but I don’t want to say what exhibit, lest I give away part of the mystery! It is explained in the author’s note when you finish the book). However, I can say that scientists were involved, which started a “What if?” in my mind. I then started to create characters that would fit the story idea I now had. My decision to make Liliana a chemist really came from the “write what you know” adage first time writers hear all of the time. Having a chemistry degree myself, I thought I could lend my voice well to her character.
Can you tell us about the ‘Veiled Seduction’ series as a whole?
I’d love to! Each book in the series features an independent, science-savvy heroine and the mystery she must solve—all while finding her true love, of course . I really wanted to create female characters who were strong and passionate about things outside of love affairs. But don’t worry if science was never your thing! While my heroines’ interesting passions form who they are as characters and play a part in the mystery to be solved or how they go about solving them, the series is definitely historical romance, and the stories are highly emotional, with each heroine meeting the only hero that can complete them. Just ask Kathryn Smith, the USA Today Bestselling Author of “When Tempting a Rogue,” who says “Heather Snow combines sizzling tension, witty dialogue and achingly raw emotions for a passionate love story you’ll remember long after the last page.”
Your next book is SWEET DECEPTION, coming out next August. Can you tell us about this story?
Yes. I am SO excited about it. Again, we have a smart, science-savvy heroine. Emma is sort of a Regency-era Temperance Brennan from the TV show, BONES, who gets mixed up with the equivalent of a Regency-era Bond. There’s a bit of treason, a bit of murder, and a faboo tag line: “But when deception, however sweet, is the name of the game no one can be trusted, and every love—and every life—is at risk.”
Ooh, sounds great. We love call stories in the lair. Can you give us yours?
It was a bit of a whirlwind, actually. SWEET ENEMY is actually my first completed manuscript. I had an infant at home when I started writing it, and figured it would take me several years to learn the craft and having several books rejected before I would get published. I anticipated that should put me hopefully getting published about the same time my children went to school. But, I entered it in Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® contest in 2010, as well as in the Daphne Du Maurier and Romance Through the Ages contests—just to see what would happen. It became a finalist in them all. Needless to say, I was shocked. That year, at the national convention, my soon-to-be agent, Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman agency, actually offered representation in front of an entire room of people at an award ceremony for one of the contests I won. It was very exciting! Barbara sent the book out, and three weeks later, SWEET ENEMY sold, at auction, to NAL. I was actually getting a pedicure when Barbara called with the first offer (something I rarely get to do, having small children at home!), so, of course I danced around the spa barefooted and wet-toed, and had a cute little flower painted on my big toe to celebrate! Of course, timing happening as it did, I know have a three year old and another baby at home, so it’s a bit of a juggle, but I wouldn’t trade it!
Wow, that’s seriously impressive, Heather. What’s next for you?
Well, I’m currently working on the third book in the series, tentatively called SWEET MADNESS, which will be out sometime in 2013. Other than that, I expect a lot of baseball and soccer games in my future, given I am now the mother of two boys, affectionately known on my social media as The Heir and the Spare. And I hope to get in a bit of travel. I last visited London in 2004—it’s been entirely too long! And I’ve never made it to Australia… As for writing, after this series is complete, I’m not sure what will be next. I’m not the type of author that can think much beyond the story she’s currently writing, so we shall see then!
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Two tiny bits. First, always be learning. Just like anything in life, you have to strive to get better, no matter where you are on the scale of knowledge. Craft books, classes and workshops are great, and I highly advise them all, but keep writing through it all because writers learn best by writing. Also, critiquing or judging contests is a GREAT way to learn…sometimes we can see in someone else’s work problems we can’t recognize in our own. And second, believe in yourself. I know a lot of GREAT writers who haven’t gotten that call yet…but they will. And so will you.
Thanks, Heather. Great advice! Is there anything you’d like to ask the Bandits and Bandita buddies to get the conversation rolling?
What do you like best about reading books in a series? Characters that carry-over? Similar themes? An over-arching mystery? Or something else?
Heather has very generously offered both a signed copy of SWEET ENEMY and one of those nifty booksafes (they look like a book but they’re actually a box) to one lucky commenter today. So get commenting, peeps!
HEY EVERYONE! Welcome to February! (Where the heck did January go???)
It’s a LEAP YEAR, so we get to celebrate Jo’s birthday for “real” this year. Hahah!
Also, we’re celebrating a month of Valentine’s worthy heroes and heroines, starting tomorrow with the VERY popular Cindy Gerard!
So, on February 2, it’s double trouble when Cindy Gerard (www.cindygerard) faces an inquisition, uh, an INTERVIEW from long-time fans Anna Campbell and Nancy Northcott. Cindy will be talking about her latest release in the Black Ops series, LAST MAN STANDING.
That should be fun – dueling Banditas and one of suspense writing’s best!
On Friday, February 3rd, come visit with Suz and author Jana DeLeon! Her new book, The Lost Girls will have you on the edge of your seat as Jana takes us back to the Bayou for another mystery with THE LOST GIRLS OF JOHNSON’S BAYOU.
Then on February 7, halfway to VALENTINE’s DAY - It’s our own Bandita Kate Carlisle’s BOOK LAUNCH PARTY!!!!!
You know you cannot – CAN NOT! – miss a launch party in the Lair, and one with Brooklyn Wainwright and company will make it even MORE fun!! Yes, yes, it’s for her newest Bibliophile Mystery, ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE!! Don’t miss the party — or there’ll be GRAVE consequences! Snork!
And you’ve already downloaded the novella, PAGES OF SIN, right? RIGHT?
(Don’t you look at me so innocently and say “What novella?”! Go! Download it! And get Aunty Cindy’s new book too while you’re there!)
On February 8th, join Bandita Nancy and her guest Gail Martin. Gail will be in the Lair for the very first time! Her book The Dread will be featured, but the topis is The Warrior Queen/Mommy War….that should be fascinating! I demand to be Queen in my household, and I’m the Mommy, but the warrior part is debatable. Hmmm. That’s one big sword. I wonder if that would help with homework in my house?
On Thursday, 9th February, we’ve got another debut to the Lair! Bandita Anna Campbell invites historical author Heather Snow (www.heathersnowbooks.com) to the lair to talk about her wonderful new debut Regency romance SWEET ENEMY from NAL Signet Eclipse.
Since we love debut authors in the Lair and this should be a lot of fun! And Double the fun too, with TWO debut authors! WOOT!
February 12 – Join Bandita Kate as she welcomes Cheese Shop Mysteries author Avery Aames to the Lair to talk about her latest mystery, CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT! (I love Avery’s mysteries and I love cheese, so…yeah. Good combo!)
Then, it’s the day all of us hopeless romantics love…VALENTINE’s DAY!!! There will be quotes and prizes and general all-around love-fest fun, so do drop by! We’ll be having drinks, Sven massages (we’ve hired a couple of extra masseuses too, just to spell him) in case you need your shoulders loosened up before all the dancing. Or, have a wee dram of a beverage before you go out with your honey. Or if you’re home without a significant other (or like me, it’s a busy time of year for your guy/gal and going out is just not in the cards!) then, come have fun with us in the home of hunky hotness, the Romance Bandits Lair. Grins. How’s that for an advert?
On Tuesday, 21st February, Anna Campbell will introduce Aussie debut author and all-round cool chick Emmie Dark (www.emmiedark.com) to the lair. Emmie will be talking about her first Harlequin SuperRomance CASSIE’S GRAND PLAN.
WAIT!! That’s THREE Debut Authors! WOOHOOOO! Treble the fun!
And don’t forget to enter Anna Campbell’s latest website contest!
http://annacampbell.info/contest.html It’s one for the collectors – she’s giving away two of the beautiful hardback editions of MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION along with a bonus bit of reading in Tawny Weber’s (www.tawnyweber.com) steamy SEX, LIES AND MISTLETOE.
To enter, just email Anna on firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her the name of two other books by Anna Campbell. You might just find the answer on her books page (http://annacampbell.info/books.html). Contest closes on 29th February. A leap year day of winning!
AND Kate Carlisle’s Contest….. To celebrate the publication of ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE: A Bibliophile Mystery, Kate Carlisle has had her beautiful book cover turned into a 513-piece jigsaw puzzle!
She’s giving away two puzzles to two members of her mailing list, so be sure to join the list for a chance to win! For more details, visit the new CONTESTS page of her website
Disclaimer: Our guests run the gamut from personal friends, to interesting authors who've asked to appear, to authors whose books we love. We have not always read our guests' books before hosting them here. Some of them provide us with free books though most do not. We do receive a commission from Amazon for every book purchased through links on our site. For purposes of making purchasing decisions, visitors should assume the bandit sponsoring the guest has a personal connection of some kind to her guest and may have received a free copy of the guest's book.