Posted by Anna Campbell Sep 1 2014, 12:00 am in Anna Campbell, historical romance, romance themes, Secondary romances, Sons of Sin, What a Duke Dares
This is such an exciting month for me. My third Sons of Sin book, WHAT A DUKE DARES, is out now from both Grand Central Forever in America and HarperCollins in Australia. It will be out in the U.K. from Mills and Boon in November this year.
I know we’re not supposed to pick favorites, but I’ve got to say Cam and Pen are among my all-time favorite characters. I loved writing their story and I was so happy that I could give them a blissful ever after. They go through lots before they get there!
Among the many things I love about Cam and Pen is that they both try really hard to do the right thing, by each other and by the world at large, even if it costs them big time. They’re not self-sacrificing martyrs, but they’re mature enough to know that their selfish desires don’t necessarily make the world go round.
I always like it when characters in a book act like adults, not spoiled children, and to me, while they have enough foibles to be realistic, that’s the case with these two. Another thing I don’t like in a book is perfect characters! Both Cam and Pen have a lot to learn about life, love and each other before they’re ready to face the future united and joyous. But then, of course, if they didn’t, I wouldn’t have a story!
This story picks up on a number of themes that as a reader, I’ve always loved. There’s a reunion, unrequited love, an elopement, and a marriage of convenience. And the first few chapters have the good old road trip motif (although most of the book is set in the mansions and ballrooms of Regency London). I love it when the hero and heroine of a romance are stuck together and can’t get away from each other, no matter how much they might want to! I also got to write a great shipwreck scene – haven’t done one of those before and it was fun just letting the drama hit the heights!
Even better, I got to write a secondary romance. I love books with secondary romances – I always feel like I’m getting extra bang for my buck. Harry Thorne, Pen’s rakish younger brother, and Lady Sophie Fairbrother are much younger and while they’re nice people too, they’re less careful about the consequences of their actions. Or perhaps more accurately they believe their great love justifies any action! It was huge fun playing compare and contrast with the two couples. Harry and Sophie fall in love at first sight – yet another theme I always like in a romance.
As you can probably tell, this one was a joy to write! I hope readers love this book too! You can read the blurb and an excerpt (the lead-up to the first kiss and the shipwreck) on my website here: http://annacampbell.info/dukedares.html
If you click on the cover, we take you straight to Amazon. Other buy links for WHAT A DUKE DARES include:
Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/What-Duke-Dares-Anna-Campbell/9781455557905
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-a-duke-dares-anna-campbell/1117543455?ean=9781455557905
I’m holding a launch party on the blog on Wednesday 10th September where I’ll give a few lucky people a chance to win a signed copy of WHAT A DUKE DARES. Don’t miss out on that!
See you there – or be square!
Posted by Donna MacMeans Aug 23 2014, 12:15 am in historical romance, RITAs
He-he-he. Nice title for a blog, no?
Romance Writers of America offers a contest every year for published authors called the RITA (not to be confused with that glass of frozen yuminess called “the Maragrita” ). While in the past, the contest rules limited the number of finalists to eight or ten – forget which, in 2014 the contest rules said any manuscript that reached a very, very high number of points would be a finalist. This year in San Antonio there were seventeen finalists – seventeen really excellent historical romances!
The news from the marketplace says historical romances are selling far below that of contemporaries (which, BTW, had eighteen finalists in the RITA). I’ve heard that this is just a pendulum swing – one year historicals are hot, the next they are not. I’ve heard this market slump is because younger readers aren’t interested in historicals. I’ve heard that readers were turned off by the historical romances of old and don’t realize that historicals have changed.
But then – I don’t care.
I should modify that to say – I don’t care about the reasons for the market slump, I’d just like to see it reversed. I suspect that many readers would really enjoy a historical romance if they thought of it and were open to historicals (some people are not).
So here’s what I propose to do. I’ll send an historical romance – either mine or someone else’s as I have an overflowing pile here – to anyone you tag as someone who might enjoy an historical. It can’t be the name of someone who regularly comments on the blog – I’d prefer it to be someone brand spanking new. Someone who will be pleasantly surprised to get a book in the mail – or over the internet. Now, I’m going to need a snail address and email address (to let them know it’s coming and who is responsible so they’ll know who to thank ) but I don’t want you to post that information in this public venue – so please go to www.DonnaMacMeans.com to send me that information. For the blog, give me a name and tell me the sort of book she normally reads. That way I’ll have a little insight as to which book to send. If you have a theory as to why historical romances aren’t selling as they once were – share that as well. Just send one name, though, as I’m paying for this out of my pocket and – did I mention historicals are in a slump?
If all goes well, we’ll do this again. Let’s share the awe-inspiring pleasure of a good historical romance.
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Aug 21 2014, 12:19 am in Goldie Hawn, historical romance, Kurt Russell, Lorraine Heath, Overboard, Suzanne Ferrell, Victorian England
Hello, Banditas and Bandit buddies! It’s so lovely to be visiting with you again. It’s always a treat and I can’t thank Suzanne Ferrell enough for the invitation. Since Suz is busy playing grandma and I’m in the midst of revisions, Grace, the Duchess of Lovingdon (from WHEN THE DUKE WAS WICKED) has consented to interview the characters in my upcoming release, ONCE MORE, MY DARLING ROGUE. So, Grace, take it away…
Thank you ever so much, Lorraine and Suz, for allowing me this opportunity. I am more than qualified to get to the heart of the matter with these characters as Drake Darling, the hero of the tale, was raised within the bosom of my family. And Lady Ophelia is, in today’s terms, my BFF. We’ve known each other forever. Before I place them both on the hot seat, I wish to tell you a little bit about them.
When Drake first came to live with my family, I was not yet born but I have heard his tale. He was an orphan who went by the name of Peter Sykes. My mother had a rather nasty encounter with his parents, but she has always been a generous soul and did not hold the actions of Peter’s parents against him. When his mother was murdered and his father hanged, she took him in. After my mother married the Duke of Greystone, Peter adopted her maiden name of Darling. My father has a fascination with dragons, which he passed on to Peter. When Peter learned of the constellation Draco, a formation of stars that etched a dragon in the night sky, he began calling himself Drake. And so it was that by the time his story was told, he was known as Drake Darling. Although he traveled the world with my family, he never quite forgot his origins. Eventually he was employed at Dodger’s Drawing Room and quickly moved up to become its overseer.
My dear friend, Lady Ophelia Littleton, had lost both her parents and was living with her brother, the Earl of Somerdale. Her father had established a trust for her that would serve as her dowry. If she had not wed by the time she reached her thirtieth year, the trust and all its funds would be turned over to her. Although she flirted with gentlemen, she had no wish to marry. I did not quite understand that. Nor did I understand why she snubbed Drake at every turn. I suspected it was because she was drawn to him, and the notion that she might want someone who had come from the streets appalled her. As much as I treasured her friendship, I must admit that she was a bit of a … how shall I put this politely? A snob.
I’m not proud of the fact that I found it fascinating to watch the two of them cast sly insults at each other. I always suspected that Drake was holding back. It is not in his nature to be cruel. Ophelia, on the other hand, sometimes seemed to be someone else entirely.
So there you have it. What I know of them. I suspect there is a good bit I do not. Let’s see what they are willing to share.
Grace: Ophelia, with your dowry, you could have any lord in the kingdom. Yet no one seems to have caught your fancy.
Ophelia: I am extremely particular. He must be of noble birth, not in need of my dowry, as handsome as Apollo, as powerful as Zeus, as strong as Hercules. He must be dashing, kind, gentle, above reproach, with no sins to his name.
G: Even my dear husband, the Duke of Lovingdon, would not meet your criteria.
O: I am quite aware that I want what does not exist.
G: Do you not fear loneliness as you advance in years?
O: I fear choosing poorly, as my dear aunt did, so I prefer not to choose at all. What is shown to the world is not always the true heart of a man.
G: I couldn’t agree more. But sometimes what we hide is what makes us vulnerable. You are my dearest friend. I know you are hiding something. Will you not share it?
O: I do not like the one you refer to as your brother.
G: (laughing) That is no secret. What is it specifically that you don’t like about him?
O: He makes me contemplate the pleasure that might be found in the forbidden, makes me wish for things I shouldn’t.
G: You are drawn to him then?
O: Quite the opposite. He repulses me.
G: Has he ever been unkind to you?
O: Of course not. It is part of his façade. The kinder a man is, the deeper his cruelty runs.
G: That is not true of Drake.
O: Trust me when I tell you that he is capable of doing things you would never expect.
I have to admit to being quite troubled by my dear friend’s cynicism and perception of Drake. I could not love him more if we carried the same blood.
Grace: Drake, brother of my heart, you recently purchased a residence. You live there alone, no servants whatsoever. Why the Spartan existence?
Drake: I have recently acquired a servant. I found her drifting in the Thames, and decided to give her a place as long as she earns her keep.
G: I was not aware.
D: I’m keeping her secret for now—until I unravel how she ended up in the Thames. She is part of the aristocracy and yet no one seems to have noticed that she has gone missing.
G: Would I know her?
D: I do not think so. Even I am hard pressed to admit that I have met her before. She is quite different in unfamiliar surroundings. Fetching, interesting, enticing.
G: It sounds as though you are smitten.
D: Absolutely not.
G: Not even a little?
D: Perhaps a little.
G: Can she not tell you how she came to be in the Thames?
D: Her first memory is awakening in my bed. She recalls nothing before that.
G: How unfortunate for her.
D: But very fortunate for me. And I think in the end, extremely fortunate for her.
G: Do tell.
He merely smiles, but with that smile he has spoken volumes. I look quite forward to meeting this woman who I believe has the ability to tame him. Or is it she who will be tamed?
Back to Lorraine.
Thank you, Grace, for giving us a little peek at these characters. As you all may have figured out, this story is OVERBOARD meets Victorian London. OVERBOARD is a go-to for me when I just want to feel good. The chemistry between Kirk Russell and Goldie Hawn is terrific. Of course, I don’t write romantic comedy so my tale is a little darker and edgier but I had a lot of fun writing it. What is your favorite feel good movie or a movie would you like to see transported to Victorian London?
I will give a signed copy of WHEN THE DUKE WAS WICKED, the first book in this series, and a surprise book of my choice to 2 lucky posters.
Posted by Anna Campbell Aug 11 2014, 3:11 pm in A Rake's Midnight Kiss, Anna Campbell, Anne Barton, Cara Elliott, ebooks, free books, historical romance, Jennifer Haymore, Nina Dalton, Nina Rowan, Regency, Samplers, Vicky Dreiling
Everybody loves free stuff! So make sure you download this free ebook sampler from Grand Central Forever, TRULY MADLY REGENCY. It includes excerpts from historical romances from a whole host of authors, including Anna Campbell whose A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS is featured. If you click on the cover, it will take you straight to Amazon.
Posted by Donna MacMeans Jul 15 2014, 12:50 am in historical romance, Rake Patrol, Scotland, Temperance, The Whisky Laird's Bed
Can you tell I’m excited? I feel like I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.
This book is a first on many levels. First time I’ve had a “digital first” release (and I have mixed emotions about that). First time I’ve set a book in Scotland – and I hope, not the last. First time I’ve had a video trailer. For the life of me, I can’t get the video to load on this blog, but I hope you’ll visit my website – or scroll through the videos at the bottom of this page – to see it.
“Digital First” means that the story can be downloaded onto your Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Computer, tablet and smartphone – but a paperback book won’t be available until the digital sales hit a magical number according to the publisher (Penguin). I hope you’ll help me spread the word as I’d really like to see this book in print. I love my kindle, but a book I can hold makes it real to me.
This is a story where the hero and heroine are the opposite sides of the hot political issue of the time – Temperance – or Prohibition as we know it here in America. FWIW – the little burg that I live in was once the Prohibition capital of America. We have a little museum in a dedicated section of the local library about the Prohibition movement. i didn’t really need to visit that library as Temperance was a little different, but it makes me wonder if some ghosts were exerting their influence.
My English heroine, Claire Stark, is a firebrand for the Temperance movement. She is so sincere in her beliefs that others who love her for other reasons, just shake their heads and try to ignore her constant references to the evils of alcohol.
The hero, Cameron MacPherson, is a Scotch distiller. He recognizes Claire’s vulnerabiites and falls in love with her because she’s stalwart in her beliefs, she’s loyal beyond measure, and in his eyes, she’s sexy as all get out.
Finding common ground between these two wasn’t easy, but I think my solution works. Love has a way of doing that. You can find an excerpt of the book in the exclusive excerpts in the Member’s Den, or on my website http://www.donnamacmeans.com/the-whisky-lairds-bed/?action=excerpt, but here’s a different one just for the lair. Claire and Cameron have entered into a drinking contest. The stakes are high and important enough that Claire has agreed to the terms.
“I understand what’s at stake if I finish this glass. You’ll speak to Lord Lothian about the need for temperance legislation,” she said, a bit dubious. “But if this is a contest and you finish first, what do I forfeit?”
He leveled a gaze on her that made her feel as if the fiery spice of the whisky raced through her veins. Once again, her body cried in unison for something she couldn’t name.
“A kiss.” He said simply. “I will claim a kiss from my sweet Highland sprite.”
“English,” she corrected.
“I’m willing to overlook that.” He held his glass up to the candlelight. “We swirl the whisky again, but this time look for the legs.” Again he demonstrated. “Can you see how the whisky clings to the side of the glass, flowing back to the bottom in long streams? Those are the legs. The more full-bodied whiskies have longer legs.”
She followed his example and noticed the striping he described, but felt no grand appreciation from the exercise. “I don’t see that this affects the taste.”
“It’s all in the anticipation.” He contemplated a moment and she thought he might be anticipating something other than the liquid in his glass. It sent a delicious shiver down her spine.
“Now we take a sip and let the whisky sit on the tongue before we swallow.” He lifted the glass. “To Scotland.” He tipped his glass.
“God save the Queen.” She followed his example.
To celebrate the launch of their story, Claire and Cameron are holding a party in Cameron’s modern castle. Tours are offered to take guests to town to see the distillery. Plenty of Scotch is on hand for those that like to imbide. James is offering to take hunting parties out to view the countryside, or just private tours, if you prefer. Boats are available for fishing or for rowing about the loch. We have pipers, and dancers, and even some Highland games on the grounds. Kilts are everywhere you look.
So tell me, what would you do at this Highland celebration? Do you like Scotch? Would you glide about on a boat admiring the beautiful scenery? Or would you go visit the games to admire the beautiful scenery of a different nature ;-).
I’ll give away two downloads to someone leaving a comment. Let’s party!
Posted by Anna Campbell Jul 11 2014, 11:25 pm in A Rake's Midnight Kiss, Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, British editions, Foreign Editions, historical romance, Mills and Boon, Regency romance, Sons of Sin
Thanks to everyone who swung by to wish my British edition of A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS well on its travels. And wow, I want to have afternoon tea with all of you! I’m delighted now to announce the winner of the personalized edition of Rake:
Congratulations, Jessica. Please email me on anna @ annacampbell.info with your snail mail details and I’ll get your book off to you. Happy reading!
Posted by Anna Campbell Jul 10 2014, 12:01 am in A Rake's Midnight Kiss, Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, Harlequin Mills and Boon, historical romance, new releases, Regency romance, Sons of Sin, UK releases
Well, shiver me timbers!
Except that well bred young British gels don’t say such things.
Unless they’re celebrating a new release in the United Kingdom. My second Sons of Sin book, A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS, is out from Mills and Boon there this month.
I thought I’d celebrate in a truly British way with a wonderful afternoon tea! Not to mention giving a Bandita buddy the chance to win one of these lovely green monsters.
There’s a lovely new blurb too:
‘I’ll soften her up with a bit of flirtation, a few weeks of masculine attention, then leave her with a smile and the jewel in my pocket.’
Tired of rumours of his mother’s sin, of being the Harmsworth bastard, indolent rake Sir Richard Harmsworth decides to hunt down the jewel that will confirm his claim as the rightful heir. But the quest isn’t as easy as he expects…
The Harmsworth Jewel’s custodian is scholarly virgin Genevieve Barrett and the treasure is coveted by others as well as Sir Richard. Genevieve won’t part with the jewel easily – his only option is to seduce it from her.
Frustratingly, deceiving the innocent beauty is much tougher on his conscience than he ever imagined…
If you’re in the U.K., you can buy this gorgeous emerald beauty at all good booksellers, including:
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rakes-Midnight-Mills-Special-Releases-ebook/dp/B00JXN2TOA/ref=pd_sim_kinc_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=0P8V7W62BQ643QQPC43R
The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Rakes-Midnight-Kiss-Anna-Campbell/9780263246537
W.H. Smith: http://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/a-rakes-midnight-kiss-mills-and-boon-special-releases-new-edition/product/9780263246537
You can read an excerpt here: http://annacampbell.info/rakeskiss.html
I hope you’ve noticed that I’ve baked and got out the good china for your visit! Only the best for my Banditas and Bandita Buddies. The white and gold set was my mother’s Royal Doulton. It’s a pattern called Richelieu and I love it to death (despite its complete lack of suitability for a dishwasher!). The blue and gold set was a present to me from my godfather who used to work for Doulton back in the early 1960s. Isn’t it spectacular? My mother was crazy about good English china and she passed the obsession on to me. These two sets are both very cherished possessions!
So let’s launch this green baby with a lovely English afternoon tea. What are your preferred afternoon tea treats? Share your fave sweet morsels and you’ll be in the draw to receive the U.K. edition of A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS (hmm, that sounds like a sweet morsel too!), international!
Posted by Anna Campbell Jul 1 2014, 12:01 am in Anna Campbell, Exclusive Excerpts, Grand Central Forever, historical romance, Regency romance, Sons of Sin, What a Duke Dares
I’ve just posted the first few pages of WHAT A DUKE DARES (26th August 2014, Grand Central Forever) in the Members Only section of the website.
Want an exclusive sneak peek at my next release? Swing by the Members Den.
Not a member? Why on earth not? It’s really easy to sign up. Just click the Members Den button on the toolbar above and follow the prompts.
It’s great to be a member. Not only do you get exclusive excerpts like this one from WHAT A DUKE DARES. You also get our fun monthly newsletter, access to exclusive interviews and other content, and a chance at special prizes.
Sign up or be square!
Posted by Anna Campbell Jul 1 2014, 12:00 am in Anna Campbell, historical romance, Sons of Sin, What a Duke Dares
Just for the Bandita Buddies, an exclusive peek at my 26th August release, WHAT A DUKE DARES! You can read another excerpt on my website here: http://annacampbell.info/dukedares.html
Houghton Park, Lincolnshire, May 1819
Every young lady dreamed of a proposal from the heir to a dukedom. Especially when the heir was rich, feted, in possession of his wits, and still young enough to have all his teeth.
Every young lady except, apparently, Penelope Thorne.
From the center of her father’s library, Camden Rothermere, Marquess of Pembridge, eyed the girl he’d known from the cradle and wondered where the hell he’d slipped up. He straightened and summoned a smile, struggling to bridge the awkward silence extending between them.
Damn it. He never felt awkward with Pen Thorne. Until now. Until he’d spoken the fatal words.
Until, instead of radiating delight at the prospect of marrying him, Pen’s black eyes sparked with the rebellious light that always boded trouble.
“Why?” It wasn’t the first time this afternoon that she’d asked him the question.
Stupidly he couldn’t summon an adequate answer. He’d blundered into this halfcocked. It was his own fault. Knowing Pen as he did, he should have prepared a comprehensive list of reasons for their marriage before broaching the subject.
Right now, he wished he’d never broached the subject at all. But it was too late to retreat, or too late if he hoped to salvage a shred of self-respect from this dashed uncomfortable encounter.
“Devil take you, Pen, I like you,” he said impatiently. Despite her inexplicable and irritating behavior today, it was true. There wasn’t a girl alive that he liked so much as the chit currently regarding him as if he’d crawled out of a hole in the ground.
He knew her better than any other girl too, even his sister Lydia. Through their childhood, he’d rescued Pen from a thousand scrapes. She’d been a hellion, riding the wildest horses in her father’s stables, climbing the tallest trees in the park, throwing herself into brawls to defend a friend or mistreated animal. Cam had long admired her spirit, loyalty, and courage.
Those were qualities he wanted in his duchess. And if she needed some guidance in deportment, he was perfectly prepared to teach her proper behavior. She was a Thorne and Thornes weren’t renowned for their prudence, but while Pen might be impulsive, she was intelligent. Once she’d become the Duchess of Sedgemoor, he was sure she’d settle down.
Or he had been, until her unenthusiastic response to his proposal.
“I like you too,” she said steadily, regarding him with unwavering attention.
Cam wondered why her admission didn’t reassure. Inhaling deeply, he strove for forbearance. “Well, there you have it, then.”
That bitter note in her laugh was unfamiliar. He could hardly believe it, but the possibility of failure hovered. Pen was clever, determined, headstrong—he’d get that out of her soon enough—and stubbornly inclined to take a positive view of events. Or at least so he’d believed until today.
He’d also believed that she’d leap at the chance to marry him.
Clearly he’d been wrong.
He wasn’t used to being wrong. Confound her, he didn’t like it.
Her voice remained curiously flat. “I’m sorry, Cam. ‘There you have it, then’ won’t pass muster. You’ll need to do better than that.”
From where she stood before the high mullioned window, she studied him much like a schoolmistress surveyed an unpromising student. He only just resisted the urge to run a finger under his unaccountably tight neckcloth.
Good God, this was Pen. She wasn’t a female who put a man through hoops before she fell into harness. She’d never demand more than he could give. She’d never subject a fellow to emotional storms. She’d never lie and cheat and betray.
She was the absolute opposite of his late mother, in fact.
Cam was unaccustomed to feeling like a blockhead, especially with the fairer sex. By nature he wasn’t a vain man, but he’d anticipated a better reaction to his proposal. Pen’s father Lord Wilmott had been in alt to hear that his daughter would become a duchess.
Most definitely, Pen was not in alt.
And she bloody well should be. After all, she was a mere baron’s daughter—and a ramshackle baron at that—while Cam was heir to the nation’s richest dukedom.
The Thornes were an old family, but had always had a justified reputation for trouble. In times of political unrest, they backed the wrong side. If they managed to lay their hands on any money, they lost it, usually in some disreputable pursuit. “Wine, women and song” should be the family motto instead of the much more staid and highly inappropriate “steadfast and faithful.”
The previous generation had spawned a handful of eccentrics, including an uncle who had married his housekeeper. Bigamously as it had turned out. Lord Wilmott had squandered his wife’s dowry on a succession of greedy strumpets. Pen’s aunt ran with a dissolute crowd on the Continent. Peter, Cam’s friend and the current heir, was devoted to the gaming tables and disastrous investments. If Cam’s mother hadn’t been great friends with Lady Wilmott, the families would have had little contact.
What made Pen’s tepid response to Cam’s suit even harder to understand was that she’d always worshipped the ground he walked on. Was he a fool to presume on childhood adoration?
A horrible suspicion struck him. Was he presuming on far too much? Despite his parents’ scandalous behavior and the gossip about his legitimacy, the ton lionized Cam as the future Duke of Sedgemoor. Had endless flattery turned him into a self-satisfied ass?
If Pen thought him insufferably arrogant, no wonder his proposal hadn’t bowled her over. He sighed with self-disgust and impatiently ran his hand through his hair. “I’m making a dashed mess of this, aren’t I?”
Pen’s slender body lost its rigidity as a wry smile curved her lips. Lips, he reluctantly noticed, that were pink and full and lusciously kissable.
As shock shuddered through him, he wondered why he’d never noticed before. Pen had been such a constant in his life that he hadn’t taken the time to mark how she’d changed.
Still unwilling to admit that Pen wasn’t the girl he remembered, he looked more closely. To his dismay, the coltish adolescent hovered on the brink of becoming a true beauty. Even more dismaying, he felt the unwelcome, unmistakable prickle of desire.
“Yes, you are. But it’s not totally your fault.” With a grace he hadn’t seen in her before, she gestured toward the leather chairs ranged around the unlit hearth. “Sit down, for heaven’s sake, and stop looming over me.”
Actually he wasn’t looming, although with his height, he loomed over most people. Pen had always been a long Meg, closer to a boy than a girl in his mind. But in this discomfiting instant, when for the first time he saw more than his friend Peter’s occasionally annoying younger sister, there was nothing boyish about Miss Penelope Thorne.
Since he’d last seen her—and for the life of him, he couldn’t recall when that had been, such an ardent suitor he was—she’d grown up. The thin body had gained subtle but fascinating curves. The vivid, pointed face that had always seemed too small for her decisive features had refined into striking attraction. When had she tamed her tangled mane of hair into those gleaming ebony coils?
Apprehension tasted sour on his tongue. God help him, this new Penelope was a bloody disaster. He narrowed his eyes on the siren who had mysteriously supplanted a hoyden as daring as any of his male friends. And saw that she was blossoming into a woman who made men stupid.
Categorically he didn’t want to marry a woman who made men stupid, the way his mother had made his father stupid.
Posted by Nancy Northcott Jun 20 2014, 12:23 am in Dee Davis, historical romance, paranormal romance, Romantic suspense, Time Travel Romance
My guest today is multi-award-winning author Dee Davis. Since her debut in 2000, Dee has won The Booksellers’ Best, Golden Leaf, Texas Gold, and Prism awards and has been nominated for the Holt Medallion, the National Readers Choice Award, and two Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards. Dee writes contemporary, historical, time travel, paranormal, and romantic suspense romance (I think I got them all), and we’re going to catch up with her today.
Welcome, Dee! What’s your latest project?
I’m currently working on two projects. The first, Cottage in the Mist, is a sequel to my very first novel Everything in its Time. Also a time travel set in fifteenth century Scotland, Cottage is a story about a woman who loses everything and then finds it all again—this time in the long ago past. And of course Iain, Katherine, Jeff and Elaine, the main characters from EIT, will be there to help her on her journey.
I’m also working on a new romantic suspense novel, Line of Fire, that will tie into the rerelease of my Liar’s Game books; Chain Reaction, Eye of the Storm and an updated Still of the Night.
Would you like to share an excerpt?
From Cottage in the Mist:
Scotland – 1468
There was danger. Bram could feel it all around him. Fire raced up the wooden steps that lead up to the door leading into the tower. And he could see more flames thrusting out of the windows, black smoke spiraling into the night sky. Throwing his plaid over his face, he ran up the steps, but was stopped by one of the tower’s guards.
The man raised his claymore, his eyes narrowed as the deadly blade began its descent. Bram pivoted, and then swung his own weapon, confused as to where he was and why he was fighting. The man fell, only to be replaced by another. Bram called to him, some part of him recognizing a face that still seemed a stranger, but this man, too, seemed intent only on stopping him.
His mind argued that nothing made sense, even as his heart screamed that he must get inside. If he did not then that which was most precious to him would be lost. He knew this as surely as he drew breath.
With a twist and a parry he drew the man off, and then made quick work of him, dashing through the opening of the tower, down the hallway and into the great hall. A place meant for comfort it offered only danger now. It too was full of flame, and lined with enemies.
Again the thought brought him up short. But there was no time to try and understand. Fear pushed him forward. He surged into the fray, moving toward the stairway at the far end of the room. It gave access to the chambers above and it was there he knew he would find her.
His brain recoiled. Find who? But his heart urged him forward, and he fought his way to the bottom of the steps, then ran up them, taking them two at a time, knowing the other swordsmen were fast on his heels.
At the top he froze for a moment, the thick smoke disorienting him. The fire was much worse here. Pushing forward, he breathed through the heavy wool of his plaid, keeping sword at the ready. The first chamber was empty. As was the solar and the chamber beyond it. But then from down the narrow hallway he heard a cry.
Heart thundering in his ears, he ran through the flames and smoke. A timber fell, glancing off of his shoulder, and he hardly felt it, the need to find her overriding everything else.
He called for her, his voice swallowed by the raging fire. Another timber fell, and a wall collapsed. He jumped across a gaping hole in the floor, landing hard, but still moving. The doorway ahead was edged in flames, the smoke and fire roiling like some kind of evil spirit.
Ignoring the danger, he sprinted forward, through the opening, again calling her name.
And then, through the shimmering heat, he saw her, tied to the bedframe, her long hair unbound, her green eyes wide with fear.
“Go back,” she screamed.
But he pushed onward, stumbling as still more of the burning tower fell. “I’ll no’ leave you.” His words were whipped away by the inferno surrounding them. But he knew that she had heard him.
There were only a few feet between them now. There was bruising on her face, and a trickle of blood at the corner of her beautiful mouth, and he swore there would be hell to pay.
But first, he had to free her.
He reached out a hand, but as he did so, the ceiling above him crashed to the ground. One moment he was looking into her eyes—and the next, she was gone.
With the release of Dire Distraction, it feels as though the A-Tac series is over. Have we seen the last of them, or are there further adventures in store?
I think the team is ready for a well-deserved vacation. That said, never say never, and I do expect at least one of them to turn up in a new romantic suspense series that will debuting late next year. It’s hard to keep a good team down! And they have friends…
You’ve also been doing novellas in your Last Chance, Inc. series. What led you to start those, and will there be more?
I was asked to participate in Lunch Hour Love Stories. And couldn’t think of a better character to write about than Tracy from Last Chance. As to more stories, nothing on the burner at the moment. But Andrew (Nigel’s brother) seems to find himself in constant trouble, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he needed rescuing and Last Chance would be the first people he’d call.
You started out writing time travel romance, and I see that those are available again. Could you tell us a bit about them?
Everything in its Time was my first novel, debuting back in 2000. And it’s been really heart-warming to see how well it (and the other two time travels) have been received upon rerelease. The three novels are only loosely related (in the dark recesses of my mind) but feature characters from the same families. Both EIT and Wild Highland Rose take place in medieval Scotland about a year apart.
And The Promise takes place in the 1880’s during the silver rush in Colorado. Michael, the hero is related to both Iain and Marjory from the other two books. The Promise is especially dear to my heart because although Silverthread is a fictional town, it’s based on Creede where I spent my summers growing up.
All three time travels are tales of impossible love reaching beyond the boundaries of time. And of course, being me, there’s a good dose of suspense as well.
What’s the next thing we should look for from you, and when?
Cottage in the Mist will be out this winter. And just after that, Line of Fire.
And in the meantime, I’ve just rereleased two novellas (along with two of Julie Kenner’s) in our Devil May Care Series. Hell Fire and Hell’s Fury.
Readers can connect with Dee via social media on these sites:
website: www.deedavis.com; Twitter @deedavis
Dee is giving one commenter today a trade paperback of Dire Distraction (US only).
So tell us what your favorite contemporary or historical setting is and why.
Tell us what you like best about romantic suspense or paranormal romance.