Posted by Anna Campbell Mar 3 2014, 12:03 am in Anna Campbell, anya seton, Blythe Gifford, Harlequin Historicals, historical romance, interviews, medieval romance, royal weddings, Secrets at Court, The Witch Finder, Unusual Historicals, Whispers at Court
I’m delighted today to welcome the wonderful historical romance author Blythe Gifford who is here to tell us about her new release, SECRETS AT COURT, the first of the Royal Weddings series.
RT Book Reviews really liked this story, saying, “Royals plus secrets plus impending exposure always equals drama of the highest order.”
Here’s the blurb:
THE THRONE OF ENGLAND IS AT STAKE!
Anne of Stamford has long been the keeper of her mistress’s secrets, but when Lady Joan marries the king’s son, court life becomes ever more perilous. Sir Nicholas Lovayne has arrived to uncover the truth about Lady Joan’s past, and Anne must do something—anything—to throw him off….
Longing to escape the intrigues at court, Nicholas hasn’t counted on the way Anne distracts him—her refusal to accept pity for her clubfoot touches something deep inside him. Will he be able to follow his duty when every fiber of his being tells him to protect Anne?
A hint of scandal this way comes!
You can find out more about Blythe and her books at her website: http://blythegifford.com/
Blythe, welcome to the Bandita lair! I’m so excited about SECRETS AT COURT, your new book. What were the inspirations behind this book?
Delighted to be here! When Prince William and Kate Middleton married, the Harlequin Historical line released a series of short stories that looked back at British royal weddings of the past. I was invited to participate, but had too many deadlines on my plate at the time. I loved the idea, though, and I envisioned a full-length book using the premise. Most of my books are set amidst the backdrop of real history and the medieval court of Edward III is familiar territory for me. Thus, I wrote a book centered on a very unusual royal wedding!
How fascinating. Can you tell us about this story?
SECRETS AT COURT, out now, is set around the wedding of the oldest son of Edward III, also an Edward. History knows him as the Black Prince. (As an aside, he was the first Prince of Wales.) His chosen bride, Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent, had a bit of a scandalous past and they, in essence, “eloped” and married without the church’s consent.
My hero, Nicholas, is charged with untangling the mess they made and getting the Pope’s dispensation for their marriage. My heroine, Anne, who has been with Joan all her life, is the keeper of her lady’s secrets. Secrets that, if Nicholas discovers them, could destroy the throne of England!
SECRETS AT COURT launches a new series for you, Royal Weddings. Can you give us a sneak peak of what’s to come in the series?
Right now, it is a series of two. Both of Edward III’s oldest children married for love, unheard of at that time. The second book, WHISPERS AT COURT, will center on the marriage of Edward’s daughter Isabella. After remaining unwed until the ripe old age of 31, she fell in love with a French nobleman who was held hostage at the English court. Release date is to be determined, but I hope it will be yet this year. (I’m madly wrestling with revisions.)
Can’t wait for that. Did SECRETS AT COURT present any special challenges?
Several. First, was understanding Joan of Kent’s checkered marital past. At one point, she was actually married to two men at once. (Yes, this is documented!) It was a rather risqué background for a royal bride. But sorting out the timeline and the legal aspects of her entanglements didn’t give me as much trouble as something more mundane: the floor plan of Windsor Castle. The castle was undergoing massive renovations during these years and trying to figure out what wings and rooms were finished was a real challenge. I finally found a solid source, available only in print, with color coded floor plans and filled my iPhone with pictures.
The use of real historical events is a trademark of yours, isn’t it?
History inspires me. One of the first books on my keeper shelf was KATHERINE by Anya Seton. It is the story of the lifelong mistress of John of Gaunt, another of King Edward’s children. They finally married, late in life, and her children were legitimized and sat on the throne of England. I love the idea that love can change history!
Oh, I adored KATHERINE. Speaking of great books, I read and loved your indie novel, THE WITCH FINDER. Can you tell us about that story?
THE WITCH FINDER is set on the Scottish Borders during the middle of the seventeenth century and one of the worst witch hunts in history. I was inspired by Sandra Brown’s famous comment: “If your heroine is an arsonist, your hero better be a firefighter.” In this case, my hero is a witch finder, a man expert in determining whether a suspect was really a witch or falsely accused. And my heroine, of course, is an accused witch.
Such high stakes in that story. I couldn’t put it down. How did you come to self-publish?
I actually wrote the book for Harlequin, but they were afraid it was too dark for their audience. Your enthusiasm for the story was a real boost, and I am so grateful! It encouraged me to go ahead and release it myself. And the reviews, I’m delighted to say, have echoed your enthusiasm.
I’m not at all surprised. As this is your first visit to the lair, we’d love to hear about your writing journey.
I started writing seriously after a corporate layoff. Ten years and one layoff later, I sold my Golden Heart finalist manuscript to the Harlequin Historical line! (But the behind the scenes story is that I started writing my first historical novel at age ten. In pencil.) I’ve now had nine books with them, one more coming soon, plus one self-published, I’m astonished to say!
One of the things I love about your books is that you set your stories in, for historical romance, unusual periods. If you were to persuade a diehard Regency reader to try a book set outside the first quarter of the 19th century, what would you say to them?
I think we read historical romance for two things: to be swept away to a different time and place and for the guarantee that all will end well. For readers who think an unfamiliar time period might be off-putting, I would assure you the happily ever after survives intact. So why not try being whisked away to a new time and place?
So here’s a thought starter: Do you read historical romance outside the Regency period? What time periods have you tried? (Or would you like to try?) And if you have read something “unusual,” how did you feel about that experience? Conversely, if you adore only the Regency, what is it about the period that draws you?
Blythe has very generously offered one lucky commenter today a print book of their choice, either SECRETS AT COURT or THE WITCH FINDER (international). Good luck!
Posted by Joan Kayse Mar 2 2014, 12:12 pm in historical romance, Joan Kayse, roman fiction, The Patrician Series
Happy March! Well, I’m trying to be happy about it. As per usual Kentucky weather, we’ve had wisps of spring dangled in front of us and then bam! 8 in. of snow tonight. I’ll be knitting little sock hats for the robins, while my historical romances conquer the world.
Ok, well conquer in the metaphorical sense. I’ve had a wonderful debut into Indie publishing with my Roman set historicals. I’m proud to be offering stories outside the stereotypical Roman fiction plots involving lions eating Christians and gladiators. There was so much more to the era than the obvious symbols. Everyday people being impacted by the larger Empire but still trying to live and find a happy life…and a love that endures…amid the chaos.
Thanks to you, the readers, my three Patrician series books have consistently been in the top 100 on Amazon for Ancient world romance! The Patrician and Barbarian’s Soul achieved bestseller status and man, did we celebrate! Pickled dour mouse anyone? No, chocolate was involved.
Within the next month I will release a boxed set out and hope shortly thereafter to have a connected novella out featuring the son of Jared and Bryna.
And then I’ll be taking a sharp turn to the left. My goal for 2014 is release of the first two of a paranormal series based on an alternate Irish Mythology. I’m VERY excited about this project, the first in a nine book connected arc. I hope you will be too.
After that? Well….there are more children among the Romans who grow up and….at least two other of Bran and Bryna’s clansmen who are unaccounted for. What happened to them? Hmmmmm….I wonder.
Now in honor of the new series I give you an old-fashioned Irish blessing:
“May the road rise up to meet you May the wind be always at your back May the sun shine warm upon your face And the rain fall soft upon your fields And until we meet again May God hold you in the palm of his hand”
Posted by Anna Campbell Feb 21 2014, 11:00 pm in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, historical romance, Jewels of the Ton, Regency romance, Sapphires Are an Earl's Best Friend, series, Shana Galen
Wow, what a huge day we had in the lair yesterday when Shana Galen visited to talk about her March release SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL’S BEST FRIEND!
Thanks to Shana and to everyone who swung by to say hello. There were two great prizes up for grabs and I’m delighted now to announce the winners:
LAURIE G won the U.S./Canada prize which is a complete set of the Jewels of the Ton books plus a beautiful rose quartz necklace.
MARY PRESTON won the international prize which is a complete set of the Jewels of the Ton books.
Congratulations, girls. Please email Shana on shana @ shanagalen.com (no spaces) with your address and she’ll arrange your prizes for you. Happy reading!
Posted by Anna Campbell Feb 20 2014, 12:01 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, historical romance, Jewels of the Ton, Regency romance, Sapphires Are an Earl's Best Friend, Shana Galen, SourceBooks Casablanca, When You Give a Duke a Diamond, When You Give a Rake a Ruby
I’m delighted to bring back to the lair sparkling Jewel of the Romance World, Shana Galen!
Shana’s here to give us a sneak peek (well, not that sneak, frankly!) at her latest sparkling romantic adventure SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL’S BEST FRIEND which is out from Sourcebooks Casablanca on 4th March. This is the last instalment in her glittering, bestselling Jewels of the Ton series. SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL’S BEST FRIEND is already creating a lot of buzz, including a Top Pick review from RT Book reviews.
Here’s the blurb:
Careful, gentlemen—there is 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…
You can find out more about Shana and her books on her website: www.shanagalen.com
So without further ado, here’s Shana:
MY FAVORITE EXCERPT
As an author, I never know what life experiences will make it into my books. You’d think very few, considering I write books set in the early 1800s, and I live in 2014. But though I don’t put cell phones or cars in my books, human interaction hasn’t changed much in 200 years.
When Princess Galen was a baby—she used to be Baby Galen, but now that she’s four, she informed me she would like to be called Princess Galen—she did not like to sleep. In fact, I don’t think she liked being a baby because she didn’t like to do any of the typical things babies do—you know, sleep or eat or sit in her car seat. You’d never know she was the Fussiest Baby in the World now because she’s super happy and smiling all the time. But when she was a baby and it was naptime or bedtime, I really wanted to pull my hair out. It was just torture to get her to go to sleep, and it was torture if she stayed up too because either way she was screaming her head off.
Those of you who are moms or aunts or babysitters know that when you are stuck with a crying kid day in and day out, you’ll try just about anything. One thing that worked for me was telling her a story. I’d use this singsong voice, and she probably liked the voice more than the story, but the story was for me. It was all about this little girl who had a closet full of magic dresses in all the colors of the rainbow. Each dress had a magical property. It was a great story because I could embellish if I was feeling creative, but I also knew it so well, I could say it in my sleep—and probably did!
Gradually, bedtime became easier, and I could do normal things, like read a book or rub her back to get her settled down. But then one night when she was three, she had a nightmare and was having trouble going back to sleep. I started telling her the story again, and believe it or not, she remembered it. Now she still requests it sometimes, and it’s a special bond we have from those rough early days.
About the time of Princess Galen’s nightmare, I had started working on SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL’S BEST FRIEND. I wanted readers to know where the heroine, Lily, had come from. She’s a courtesan and a spy, but she didn’t start out that way. She started out as a little girl with a family and a mother who told her bedtime stories. The book is about how Lily became who she was, and, of course, how she falls in love with the Earl of Darlington and defeats the villain Lucifer. But today I wanted to share one of my favorite scenes in the book, the scene with Lily as a little girl. See if you can catch anything from real life in it.
“Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Lily.”
Lily snuggled under her covers and listened to her mother’s singsong voice. She heard the rain pattering outside on the roof and the clip-clop of horses’ hooves as a hackney passed her family’s modest home in London. On the floor below her, the low rumble of her father’s voice reverberated as he spoke to the man who’d arrived shortly after supper. Her father entertained more and more unexpected visitors of late. When she pressed her ear to the door to listen, she heard names like Napoleon and Fishguard and La Légion Noire whispered in furtive voices. Until Mamma told her to come away.
Sometimes she was scared, even though she didn’t know what she was scared of. But here, in her cozy room with the low-sloped ceiling, lying in her soft bed with her baby doll and her mamma beside her, she felt safe. Lily yawned. “What about the little girl, Mamma?”
“She was in possession of several very special dresses. There was a green dress that glittered with emeralds, and when she wore the green dress, she could fly.”
Lily closed her eyes, imagining flying.
“There was a purple dress with a velvet bodice and ruffles on the skirt, and when she wore the purple dress, she was a princess. There was a pink dress covered with spangles, and when she wore the pink dress, she could dance like a ballerina. There was a red dress that radiated with rubies, and when she wore the red dress, she was so strong.”
“As strong as Papa?”
“Yes. That strong. Now, close your eyes and listen.”
But Lily knew her favorite dress was coming, and it was so hard not to bounce with excitement.
“There was a white dress that dazzled with diamonds, and when she wore the white dress, she could swim like a fish. And there was a blue dress, and that was her favorite because it sparkled with sapphires. When she wore the blue dress, she was invisible.”
“And no one could see her.”
“That’s right, Lily Bea.”
Her name was Lillian Beatrice Dawson, and sometimes her mother called her Lily Bea. Mamma had pet names for all of her children—names like Robert Bear for her big brother and Lottie for Charlotte, who was only a year older than Lily—but Lily liked her special name best.
Mamma tucked the coverlet in snugly, and Lily yawned again. “Lily,” her mother asked, “why do you like the blue dress best? Is it because blue is your favorite color?”
“No.” Green was her favorite color, but it was all right that Mamma didn’t remember that. She had a lot to remember. “It’s because I want to be inbisible.”
“Like Papa. He says his job is to be in-vis-i-ble.”
“Hmm.” Her mother huffed, and Lily opened her eyes to see Mamma’s expression. Sometimes Lily said things that made her mother unhappy. Usually they were statements related to Papa. Mamma smoothed Lily’s hair off her brow, and Lily closed her eyes again.
“And lastly there was a black dress,” Mamma said, “as long and black as midnight, and when she wore the black dress, she could sleep for hours and hours. So let’s put on our black dress, and go to sleep.”
“Good night, Mamma.”
“Good night. Sweet dreams.”
Lily closed her eyes and dreamed of jewels and ball gowns.
What was your favorite story as a child or your favorite to read to your child?
I have 2 (TWO!) prizes to give away! The first is only for readers in US/Canada–win the complete set of the Jewels of the Ton books, WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND, IF YOU GIVE A RAKE A RUBY, and SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL’S BEST FRIEND, plus a fabulous rose quartz necklace. The other giveaway is open to everyone not in the US/Canada, and it’s another complete set of the books in the series.
Shana, what a lovely generous set of prizes. People will be clamoring at the gates of the lair to win this one.
Good luck, everyone! Get commenting!
Posted by Anna Campbell Feb 3 2014, 12:02 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom, historical romance, interviews, Lost in a Royal Kiss, Regency romance, Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, The Renegade Royals, V.K. Sykes, vanessa kelly
Vanessa Kelly is a fabulous author who needs no introduction! She’s practically an honorary Bandita!
Today, she’s visiting us to tell us about her wonderful new hsitorical romance SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD, book 1 in the Renegade Royals series.
Hmm, that title had me at hello.
SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD is garnering some wonderful buzz, including a starred review from Publishers Weekly which says, “Kelly combines diverting dialogue, delightful surprises, and finely tuned pacing to make this a winner.”
Here’s the blurb:
Accomplished spy Aden St. George prefers to stay away from the frivolous ton, especially after the way his mother was used by the Prince Regent. But his latest mission compels him to guard unconventional, vibrant Lady Vivien Shaw. Rescuing her from kidnappers was easy. Resisting her beauty is not. Duty demands he keep an eye on her—and naturally, his lips soon follow. For someone who views entanglements as a weakness, this is pure, delicious folly…
Though grateful for Aden’s help, Vivien has secrets she must keep hidden. Yet with her abductors still at large, she needs Aden’s protection almost as much as she craves his touch…
You can find out more about Vanessa and her books on her website: http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com/
Vanessa, welcome back to the lair. Congratulations on your new release for Kensington, SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD. Can you tell us about this story?
Hi, Anna! Thanks so much for hosting me in the lair – it’s great to be back! SECRETS features a dark, brooding, and sexy Aden St. George, a British spy who also happens to be the illegitimate son of the Prince Regent. Aden has just returned from a difficult mission in France, where he lost a man and holds himself responsible. All he wants to do is hole up in a room with a good bottle of port and drown his sorrows for a week or two. Instead, he’s called in to rescue the beautiful and vivacious Lady Vivien Shaw from a gang of kidnappers and bring her back to London before her disappearance is discovered and her reputation ruined.
Sounds great! What were the inspirations behind this book?
I’m a big fan of romantic suspense, and I’ve always liked reading a good kidnap/rescue scenario. I especially enjoyed Lori Foster’s Edge of Honor series, with its good guy heroes and smart, courageous women. Plus, what an interesting challenge for a writer: how to develop a credible, lasting relationship between the hero and heroine in the context of so many heightened emotions and dangers.
Can you tell us about the series, The Renegade Royals?
The Renegade Royals are the illegitimate sons of the royal princes of England. They’re all rebels, to some extent, with one or two genuine bad boys in the mix. Given their innate sense of rebellion, none are eager to settle down into a life of domestic bliss. Meeting the right woman, of course, will change all that, although there might not be as much settling down as they expect!
We don’t have long to wait for the next Renegade Royal, CONFESSIONS OF A ROYAL BRIDEGROOM, which is out in April. Can you tell us about this story?
My confession is that I love this book! Griffin Steele is the real bad boy of the group—he owns several lucrative gaming houses and a brothel, all of which he is in the process of selling at the start of the story. Griffin has always wanted to get out of the sin business and travel to the Far East, and he’s finally got his chance. But a mysterious baby is left on his doorstep one day, along with an anonymous note pleading with him to keep the infant safe. Naturally, Griffin knows little about taking care of babies so he needs help. Enter Justine Brightmore, a competent, prim, and uber-disciplined daughter of a spy. She and Griffin couldn’t be more dissimilar, and sparks are definitely going to fly. Think Mary Poppins meets Captain Jack Sparrow—with sex!
Love the high concept! What else has Vanessa Kelly been up to?
I’m working on the next novella and books three and four in The Renegade Royals.
I think most people are fascinated by writing partnerships. You and your husband write contemporary romance together as V.K. Sykes. How do you work together? And can you tell us what’s coming up for V.K. Sykes?
Yes, Randy and I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense under our V.K. Sykes pen name. The writing started off more as a hobby for Randy, but it’s worked out very well—for both of us! We’ve figured out a good system for working without killing each other. We brainstorm the book idea, plot, and characters together, then hubby writes the first draft. I do the revisions and write all the sex scenes, since Randy pretty much hates doing the mushy stuff. Right now, we’re working on another one of our USA Today bestselling sports romances, and we’re also writing a new small town contemporary romance series for Grand Central Publishing. It’s called LOBSTER BAY and it will be released in 2015.
Wow, you’re a busy woman! Do you have question for the Bandits and Bandita buddies to get conversation going?
Have you ever met someone under less than ideal circumstances, but a wonderful romance or friendship still managed to develop? One person who comments will win an ARC of CONFESSIONS OF A ROYAL BRIDEGROOM (international).
Wow, Vanessa, great prize! Go for it, Bandita Buddies and good luck!
Posted by Anna Campbell Jan 6 2014, 3:46 pm in A Rake's Midnight Kiss, Anna Campbell, ARRA, Australian Romance Reader Association Awards, Awards, Christina Brooke, historical romance, London's Last True Scoundrel, The Greatest Lover Ever
Wow! Our Aussie Banditas have really done well in the nominations for the 2013 Australian Romance Readers Association Awards, announced 6th January on their website: http://australianromancereaders.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/2013-arr-awards-finalists-announced/
Christina Brooke, aka Madame, has been nominated for four awards:
LONDON’S LAST TRUE SCOUNDREL – Favourite Historical Romance of 2013
THE GREATEST LOVER EVER – Favourite Historical Romance of 2013
The Westruthers – Favourite Continuing Romance Series of 2013
Favourite Australian Romance Author
Anna Campbell, aka Fo, has been nominated for four awards:
A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS – Favourite Historical Romance of 2013
Sons of Sin – Favourite Continuing Romance Series of 2013
Sir Richard Harmsworth from A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS – The Sexiest Hero from a Romance Published in 2013
Winners will be announced at the gala awards dinner on Saturday, 22nd March, at Cello’s Restaurant in Sydney. If you’d like to come (it promises to be a great night), tickets and information are available here: http://australianromancereaders.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/awards-dinner-tickets-on-sale-2/
Congratulations and good luck, Banditas!
Posted by Christina Brooke Jan 2 2014, 12:47 am in Christina Brooke, historical romance, New Release, The Greatest Lover Ever, Westruthers
Hello, Bandita Buddies! It’s that time again–THE GREATEST LOVER EVER is in stores now and ready to warm the cockles of your, er, cockles this winter (or to make your summer even steamier if you’re from the southern hemisphere!)
I have a special prize lined up for you today, so I hope you’ll join in the fun!
Here’s the blurb:
Passion to last a lifetime…
THE SWEETEST SCANDAL
Beautiful, exuberant, and stubborn Georgiana Black has more spirit than sense—which she learns when an ultimatum to the Earl of Beckenham ends their engagement. Six years later, Georgie is less concerned with impending spinsterhood than with making sure her young sister doesn’t make the same mistakes she did. But soon Georgie stumbles into a scandalous encounter with none other than her former fiancé. Beckenham is still breathtakingly desirable—and as implacable as ever…
THE TRUEST TEMPTATION
Beckenham’s brief engagement to Georgie taught him one thing—when it comes to a wife, he wants a woman who will do her duty and cause no trouble. When the fiery Georgie falls unexpectedly into his arms, Beckenham remembers just how lushly delectable she is. Suddenly, the idea of actually marrying Georgie is irresistible. Convincing her will take more than a simple proposal, however. In a battle of wills, can passion conquer pride?
RT has given THE GREATEST LOVER EVER a Top Pick! and said this:
Brooke delivers what readers want — a smart, witty, sexy and just plain delightful romance — in spades. She takes time-honored themes and makes them fresh, funny, charming and sizzling with sexual tension. This tale will brighten the darkest winter’s day.
When my editor came up with the title for Beckenham’s book–it’s a doozy, isn’t it?–THE GREATEST LOVER EVER, my first thought was, “That is a lot for Beckenham to live up to!” I considered legendary lovers like Casanova and co. My other problem was that my heroine was hardly in a position to judge whether or not Beckenham was the greatest lover ever. Or even the greatest she’d had. He’s the ONLY lover she’s had!
“I wish I could pleasure you half so well,” she told him, with a tinge of chagrin at her lack of experience.
That made him laugh so hard she had to clap her hand over his mouth out of concern that someone would hear.
“I don’t see what’s so funny,” she said, frowning. “You must have had a lot of practice to make you the greatest lover in the history of the world. This is only my second time.”
“You don’t need to do anything at all.” Still smiling, he gripped the wrist of the hand that had covered his mouth and pinned it down on the pillow next to her head as he rolled to loom over her…
Very soon, I realized that it wasn’t a case of how great Beckenham is in bed–although he is rawther marvellous in that arena! It’s that he loves with that focused, passionate intensity that borders on obsession. Unlike other men who drool over Georgie’s amazing looks (that’s how I imagined her, above, as Ann Margaret), Beckenham loves the whole package:
What they never saw was the strength, the wit, the godawful temper, willfulness, the compassion and courage that made up the woman. They never saw past her spectacular looks.
The sort of love that comes from knowing a person’s foibles, faults, dreams and hopes and loving them for all of those things, unconditionally, is what great love is all about.
“We belong together, Georgie,” he said. “Don’t deny it. Don’t lie to yourself.”
Sigh! I hope you enjoy Beckenham and Georgie’s story as much as enjoyed writing it!
What about you? Who do you think is the greatest lover ever in fiction, movies or real life, and why?
One lucky reader will win the TRADE PAPERBACK editions of LONDON’S LAST TRUE SCOUNDREL and THE GREATEST LOVER EVER!
Posted by Anna Campbell Dec 10 2013, 12:01 am in A Grosvenor Square Christmas, Anna Campbell, anthologies, Christmas Romance, e-books, free books, historical romance, holiday romance, Kate Noble, Regency romance, Shana Galen, vanessa kelly
It’s Christmas time!
Yeah, flash news announcement! It’s not like we haven’t been listening to Christmas carols for weeks – at least down here in Australia where there’s no Thanksgiving to distract people from the fat man in red and white.
One of the things I love about Christmas is giving gifts. And this year I got together with three wonderful writers to give our readers a gift for the festive season.
A GROSVENOR SQUARE CHRISTMAS is free everywhere so you can download it on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble without paying one brass razoo.
Here’s the blurb:
Four breathtakingly romantic tales of a Regency Christmas from four bestselling romance authors.
Down through the years, enchantment touches a tall gray house in Grosvenor Square. The legend of Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball promises true love and happiness to one lucky couple. Who will feel the magic this winter?
1803 – The Seduction of a Duchess by Shana Galen
Rowena Harcourt, the Duchess of Valere, never forgot the handsome footman who helped her escape the French Revolution. For fourteen years, Gabriel Lamarque has loved Rowena-now at Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball, has fate finally delivered a chance to win her hand?
1818 – One Kiss for Christmas by Vanessa Kelly
Nigel Dash is London’s most reliable gentleman, a reputation he never minded until he fell in love with beautiful Amelia Easton. Unfortunately, Amelia sees Nigel as a dependable friend, not a dashing suitor. At Lady Winterson’s famous Christmas ball, Nigel vows to change Amelia’s mind-by sweeping her off her feet.
1825 – His Christmas Cinderella by Anna Campbell
At the season’s most glittering ball, a girl who has never dared to dream of forever after discovers a Christmas miracle.
1830 - The Last First Kiss by Kate Noble
Susannah Westforth has always loved Sebastian Beckett – but he’s only ever seen her as a friend. When Sebastian takes his Grand Tour, Susannah transforms herself into a woman he’ll notice. Now Sebastian is back, just in time for Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball – but the last thing he expects to see is his little Susie, all grown up…
You’re invited to join the whirling dance at Lady Winterson’s sparkling Christmas ball, where miracles happen and true love shines forever. How can you resist?
I don’t think it’s any mystery that my story is based very firmly on a fairytale! Hmm, I wonder which one! I went over the top romantic for His Christmas Cinderella and had wonderful fun doing so. Poor Campion really needs a Prince Charming and she finds him in the dashing Earl of Ravenglass. Ah, I love a Scottish hero, don’t you? You can read an excerpt from my story on my website here: http://annacampbell.info/xmascinderella.html
I thought it might be fun asking the other girls about the inspirations behind their lovely stories.
SHANA: When I finished the Sons of the Revolution series, which was about three brothers who were separated as children during the French Revolution and reunited in England as adults, I received quite a few emails from readers asking for Rowena’s story. She was the mother of the heroes and her husband had been guillotined. By the time the series ended, she was about 46 or 47 and had been a widow for 14 years. I hadn’t written an “older” heroine before, but I definitely thought Rowena deserved her happily ever after. I decided to pair her with a younger hero who had been a footman in her house when she was a duchess in France. Gabriel had been in love with her for years, and he’s finally found her again at Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball. He has some secrets to reveal, and Rowena has a few reservations of her own. It was certainly an adventure to watch the two of them come together in The Seduction of a Duchess.
You can read an excerpt from The Seduction of a Duchess here: http://www.shanagalen.com/seduction-of-a-duchess1.php
VANESSA: I really enjoy creating my secondary characters. The hero of One Kiss for Christmas is Nigel Dash, one of my favorite characters in the Stanton Family Series. Nigel is the proverbial good guy, always ready to lend a hand, kind to everyone, and a master at smoothing over the stormy waters of the beau monde. In fact, he’s known as the Most Dependable Man in London, a label he’s come to loathe because he sees it as synonymous with boring. Since he’s in love with the most popular, vivacious girl in London, boring is a problem.
Romance writers often give their heroes and heroines some distinctly opposing characteristics and personalities—it’s a great way to get the sparks flying. But I wanted to pair up two very nice, splendidly accommodating people—too accommodating for their own good—and see what happened. My heroine, Amelia Easton, is just as good-hearted as Nigel, and has just as much trouble standing up for herself. Both tend to put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own, and I thought it might be fun to see how they learn to fight for want they truly want—each other!
You can read an excerpt from One Kiss for Christmas here: http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com/books/one-kiss-for-christmas/one-kiss-for-christmas-excerpt/
KATE: When I think about the holidays, I think about the reunion with old friends, and seeing just how much time and life has changed everyone — if at all. The Last First Kiss centers around one such pair of friends. Susannah Westforth has been in love with her neighbor Sebastian Beckett ever since they moved in next door. But he’s only ever seen her as a little girl that follows him around. When Sebastian goes on his grand tour, Susannah is determined that when he comes back, he’ll see her as a woman grown, and one worth his attention. They finally meet at Lady Winterson’s Christmas Ball, and with the help of Philbert the butler, Susannah might just get her last first kiss.
You can read an excerpt from The Last First Kiss here: http://katenoble.com/books/grosvenor.php#excerpt
At this time of year, something short and sweet really fits the bill so why not download A GROSVENOR SQUARE CHRISTMAS, especially when it won’t blow the Christmas budget! To download:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-grosvenor-square-christmas-vanessa-kelly/1117251695?ean=2940045347853
And may all your Christmas parties be full of magic! And Scotsmen!
On the subject of Christmas parties, don’t miss out on the 12 Days of Bandita Christmas which starts right here this week! It’s a prize-a-palooza!
So speaking of Christmas carols, do you have a favorite? Do you have one you’d happily never hear again? I must say AWAY IN A MANGER always sets my teeth on edge! Let’s kick up our heels and fa-la-la-la through the carol repertoire!
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!