Posted by Anna Campbell Jan 10 2013, 12:02 am in Anna Campbell, Dick Francis, historical romance, Liz Carlyle, Loretta Chase, Miranda Neville, reading, Sharon Archer;, writing life
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2013 is a bottler as we say down here in Australia (well, sometimes!).
How were your Holidays? Hope that you had a lovely time full of love and laughter and that Santa was kind.
I had promised myself a few days off. I like to take the time between Christmas and New Year just to veg and enjoy myself. It’s perfect swimming and lolling weather and it’s a time when I attack my To Be Read pile like Attila the Hun attacks his bowl of goulash.
Last year, sadly, I had urgent revisions so my little holiday went west. This year, luckily, I managed to seize the day. Well, a week really! How lovely to worry about nothing but which Christmas box of chocolates I was going to open and which wonderful book I was going to read next. Bliss.
For various reasons, mainly I think because I’ve written so much this year and reading in my writing genre felt too much like a busman’s holiday, I didn’t pick up many historical romances in 2012. Lots of mysteries. Lots of categories. Lots of nonfiction. Odd bits of other stuff. But hardly a historical to be seen.
Enter my Romance Bandits sister Christina Brooke who lent me WHEN BEAUTY TAMED THE BEAST by the legendary Eloisa James when I went down for a visit just before Christmas.
Me? Resist a Beauty and the Beast romance? Not bloomin’ likely as Eliza Dolittle often said. I devoured this luscious historical (with a cover like that, you know it’s going to be luscious, don’t you?) in the space of a day and suddenly found myself wanting to read some more historical romance.
Luckily, I had stockpiled some great books by great authors – and the books seemed to come in pairs.
First up was Miranda Neville‘s turn. I love Miranda’s sparkling, elegant, witty historicals – and as you know, she’s a popular and regular visitor here in the lair. She’s just launched a new series called the Wild Quartet. First, I read the prequel, the novella THE SECOND SEDUCTION OF A LADY and then I read THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED. I loved both of them – both have sigh-worthy endings that will stay with you.
Then I moved on to the two most recent Loretta Chases. As you know, I’m a long-time fan and her MR. IMPOSSIBLE and LORD OF SCOUNDRELS are amongst the best historical romances I’ve ever read. I’m currently writing a review of one of her traditional Regencies, KNAVES’ WAGER, which is a bobbydazzler and newly available as an e-book if you haven’t read it. That will appear on the Romance Dish site on the 24th of this month so swing by if you’re interested.
I hadn’t caught up with Loretta’s latest series about three sisters who set up a stylish dressmaking establishment in late Regency London. But I have now. Really loved both books, SILK IS FOR SEDUCTION which was up for a RITA this year and SCANDAL WEARS SATIN which I think I liked even more than Silk. Both feature Loretta’s trademark wit and beautiful writing and I found myself laughing out loud a couple of times at the machine-gun fire banter between the hero and heroine. She writes wonderful dialogue.
Last but definitely not least, I read two Liz Carlyles. An exception to the no historicals in 2012 run was THE BRIDE WORE SCARLET, the second in Liz’s St. James Society series. These books feature a touch of the paranormal along with Liz’s trademark emotion, drama and passion. In my Christmas binge, I read the first book in the series ONE TOUCH OF SCANDAL and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I’d also had on the TBR pile for far too long Liz’s debut historical romance, MY FALSE HEART. All of Liz’s books feature characters from a complicated and extended family based around the devilish and dangerous Marquis of Rannoch. It was an absolute treat to read about him falling in love, very much against his best instincts, with beautiful artist Evangeline Stone.
I won’t say too much more. I’m featuring MY FALSE HEART in my Second Helping review at the Romance Dish in March. But if you see MY FALSE HEART and you haven’t read it, grab it with both hands and don’t let go.
In between all these historicals, I read a stack of Dick Francis books.Do you know him? My friend Medical author Sharon Archer who modeled the SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED tote bag so beautifully for my most recent website contest recommended him.
He writes thrillers based around the racing industry – Dick Francis was a famous jockey and rode a number of winners for the Queen before he retired to become a bestselling author. I’m writing a piece on how much I enjoy these books for February’s My Favorite Things on my website.
Hmm, whatever else I did, I got material for blogging from my Christmas binge!
So did you attack the TBR pile over Christmas or merely nibble around the edges of it? Any luscious historicals you’d like to recommend? Have you read any of the ones that definitely brightened my Christmas break? What did you think?
Posted by Anna Campbell Nov 27 2012, 12:01 am in An Ideal Scoundrel, Anna Campbell, art, Avon, Bandita Booty, historical romance, Interview, Miranda Neville, The Burgundy Club, The Importance of Being Wicked, The Second Seduction of a Lady, The Wild Quartet
I’m always delighted to host the sparkling Miranda Neville in the lair – not only because she’s darn good company and a wonderful guest, but also because it means she’s got another one of her wonderful books for me to read. Even better, today’s book THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED launches a new series based around some art-loving and very scandalous aristocrats.
This story is already creating great buzz around Romancelandia – for example, RT Book Reviews called it “deliciously wicked” and Publishers Weekly chose this book as one of their top 10 romances of the Fall.
Here’s the blurb:
The rules of society don’t apply to Caro and her coterie of bold men and daring women. But when passions flare, even the strongest will surrender to the law of love….
Thomas, Duke of Castleton, has every intention of wedding a prim and proper heiress. That is, until he sets eyes on the heiress’s cousin, easily the least proper woman he’s ever met. His devotion to family duty is no defense against the red-headed vixen whose greatest asset seems to be a talent for trouble…
Caroline Townsend has no patience for the oh-so-suitable (and boring) men of the ton. So when the handsome but stuffy duke arrives at her doorstep, she decides to put him to the test. But her scandalous exploits awaken a desire in Thomas he never knew he had. Suddenly Caro finds herself falling for this most proper duke…while Thomas discovers there’s a great deal of fun in a little bit of wickedness.
You can read an except of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED on Miranda’s website.
Miranda, absolutely lovely to have you back again! You’re a favorite in the lair.
Thanks, Anna. A day with the Bandits is always a highlight of any blog tour.
Congratulations on THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED which is out TODAY! Can you tell us about this story?
This is the tale of two people who instantly fancy each other like mad but appear to be totally unsuited. Thomas, Duke of Castleton is an aggressively conventional man. He wants to marry an heiress, both because that’s what dukes do (amazingly they aren’t that anxious to wed courtesans and governesses) and because he’s suffering a temporary cash flow problem. His designated heiress is staying in London with her Cousin Caro, a wild widow on the edge of financial ruin. Neither is at all pleased by their mutual attraction. Gradually Thomas learns to loosen up and Caro leans to appreciate a reliable guy. I have to let myself gush a little about Thomas. Against his better judgment he lets Caro lead him into doing all sorts of naughty things–and thoroughly enjoys himself. But he never loses his inner compass and in my humble opinion is just adorable: the kind of guy we should all have as a husband (as well as being incredibly hawt).
What were the inspirations behind this book?
My previous books were set in the late Regency. I wanted to go back to the aftermath of the French Revolution, which had huge repercussions on English life and politics. The transitional period between Georgian and Regency is also a bit socially looser and the ground hasn’t been covered so extensively in historical romance. Also, I love the clothes. The 1790s are about big hair and big hats, giving way to the high-waisted look that came over from France. Caro favors particularly skimpy examples of the new styles. THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED is set in 1800, a date I picked because of a specific historical event that’s coming up in book two of the series.
I notice your latest series, The Wild Quartet, is built around art collectors. I love that theme. Can you tell us a little bit about the forthcoming books?
It’s a bit complicated to explain (evidently I have no understanding of High Concept). Four young men met at Oxford and were thrown out of the university. They went on a tear around England the Continent, gaining bad reputations and worse habits. Caro’s first husband, Robert, was one of the four and the others are the heroes of the next three books. But The Wild Quartet isn’t a happy group-of-friends series. Their relationships are complex and not always cordial and the resolution of their issues is part of the story arc as they grow up and find their heroines.
One of the things that drew the quartet together was an interest in art. The eighteenth century nobility had an unquenchable lust for art and antiquities which spread to the middle classes. All sort of aesthetic theories were bandied about and London was full of artists. Caro keeps a kind of salon for young artists and you can imagine what her stuffy duke thinks of that! Robert gave her a Titian for a wedding present and she has it stashed away to hide it from her creditors. Thomas is more of a horse and dog man when it comes to paintings.
Horse and dog man? Love it! What’s next for The Wild Quartet?
Art will play a part in subsequent books, not so much in the second book of the series, AN IDEAL SCOUNDREL. I won’t say much about it because it’s not quite finished–it’s due in about ten minutes. It features Caro’s heiress cousin Anne and Marcus Lithgow, who shows himself to be a very bad boy in THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED.
Any chance of your art collectors and the bibliophiles from your marvellous Burgundy Club series crossing paths?
Not unless we meet them as children! If I can find a role for him, I may introduce Lord Hugo Hartley, an elderly connoisseur who has appeared in several of my books.
A treat for readers, a delicious novella appeared in October to launch this series. Can you tell us about THE SECOND SEDUCTION OF A LADY?
Set seven years earlier, the novella introduces Caro when she’s falling in love with Robert (who later dies). But the story is about Robert’s guardian Max Quinton and the woman he loved and lost. Eleanor dumped him when she learned he’d taken part in a bet over her with friends, but when they meet again by chance, Max is determined not to let her get away again. This is my first shot at the reunited lovers trope, but it won’t be my last.
I’m intrigued to know whether you see any particular trends in historical romance at the moment (apart from luscious, romantic covers!).
I think it’s a very exciting time to be writing historical romance. Scandalous, sinful, seductive Regency dukes aren’t going away (neither would I wish them to!) but we’re seeing more variety. Although nineteenth-century England and Scotland are still the most popular settings, we’re seeing more characters from different classes and greater scope for quirky stories and characters. While the self-publishing movement hasn’t yet affected historicals as much as it has some other subgenres, I feel a kind of buoyancy and sense of possibility among authors, a willingness to experiment. I’d be very curious to know if other writers agree–and if readers are finding and enjoying new kinds of stories.
I had so much fun researching the art background to this book. Surfing the internet for paintings is my idea of a good time. (Visiting museums with Anna Campbell is even more fun, but darn it she lives too far away!) What kind of art do you enjoy? Do you have favorite artists or art galleries?
Ah, Miranda, I still have fond memories of the guards at the National Gallery of Art wanting to throw us out because we were being too naughty. Too long since we’ve done that!
OK, everyone, Miranda has very kindly offered TWO prizes today (international). Print editions of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED and THE SECOND SEDUCTION OF A LADY. Yum! Get commenting!
Posted by Christina Brooke Nov 1 2012, 12:01 am in Addison Fox, Anna Campbell, Catherine Gayle, coming attractions, contests, Jessica Andersen, Miranda Neville, Nancy Robards, Tiffany Clare, vanessa kelly
While we Aussies are getting out our swimming cossies and slapping on the sunscreen, soon, all our American friends will be hauling out their winter woollies and gearing up for Thanksgiving.
(Perhaps some will be shivering sooner than others. There’s been some extreme weather up there. We hope our Bandita Buddies and their loved ones are all safe and sound!)
Whether you’re trying to beat the heat or getting warm by the fire, it’s a balmy day poolside in the lair.
Here’s what we have coming up for you this month:
On November 2, Catherine Gayle will chat to us about her book SEVEN MINUTES IN DEVON.
November 3 brings a very special guest–Lorna Doone from Suzanne Ferrell’s new small town contemporary romance, CLOSE TO HOME.
Lorna runs the Peaches ‘N Cream cafe, the local hangout where all the good stuff happens (you know the mayor tends to hold court there, most dates start or end there, and any good gossip can be found there), and Lorna has no problem sticking her foot into people’s private or not-so-private business. So if you’re in the mood for a gossip and a good dose of Lorna’s medicine, drop by on Saturday. You’re in for a treat!
What a very special event we have coming up on November 6! It’s Election Day in the US and party time in the Lair as Jeanne interviews Nancy to launch RENEGADE.
Join us as we celebrate the Bad Bandita’s highly anticipated debut!
All good things must come to an end, and SPELLFIRE, the book Nightkeepers fans have been waiting for, will close that series. On November 8, Jessica Anderson joins Nancy to chat about the finale.
On Friday, 9th November, Tiffany Clare is returning to the lair to tell us about her fabulous new series, the Dangerous Rogues, and to introduce her new release WICKED NIGHTS WITH A PROPER LADY.
November 12 brings Vanessa Kelly back to the lair with HIS MISTLETOE BRIDE:
“This holiday, seduction is the sweetest gift of all.”
On Friday, 16th November, Nancy Robards Thompson and Katherine Garbera visit the lair to tell us all about their latest releases TEXAS CHRISTMAS and CALLING ALL THE SHOTS.
This should be a lot of fun!
Addison Fox visits the lair on November 21st to chat with Suz about COME FLY WITH ME.
On Tuesday, 27th November, lair favorite Miranda Neville will visit to tell us all about her great new series and her latest release THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED
Anna Campbell is running a Women of Style Unite to Win Totes! contest on her website. This contest gives TWO lucky people the chance to win a matching SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED tote bag and signed book. All you need to do is tell Anna the name of book 2 in the Sons of Sin series. You might just find the answer in her November latest news. Just email Anna on annacampbellhistorical @hotmail.com (no spaces) with your answer to be in the draw.
The contest closes 31st December, 2012, and entry is open internationally. For more information, please check out Anna’s contest page.
To celebrate the launch of Renegade, Nancy Northcott is giving away an Everyday Magic prize package and a couple of smaller prizes. For details, visit Nancy’s website.
Nancy also is running a contest on Fresh Fiction for a dragon goblet, a Keeper Kase with a collection of cards, and a Kindle or Nook download of Renegade. to enter, visit her contest page at Fresh Fiction.
And of course, don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter which offers a treasure chest of prizes to be won each month!
Posted by Anna Campbell Apr 3 2012, 11:01 pm in Bandita Booty, Confessions from an Arranged Marriage, Historical romanceAnna Campbell, Miranda Neville, The Burgundy Club
by Anna Campbell
Thanks to everyone who swung by to say hello to Miranda Neville yesterday. Didn’t we have fun in the lair? It made me want to jump on a plane and go straight to Paris without passing Go and collecting my $200! Although now I think of it, an extra $200 never goes astray when you travel.
The two winners of Miranda’s latest historical romance, CONFESSIONS FROM AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE, are:
Congratulations, girls. Please email Miranda at Miranda @ MirandaNeville.com (no spaces) with your snail mail details and she’ll get your books off to you. Happy reading!
Posted by Anna Campbell Apr 2 2012, 12:02 am in Anna Campbell, Avon Authors, Bandita Booty, Confessions from an Arranged Marriage, historical romance, interviews, Miranda Neville, new releases, Paris, The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton, The Burgundy Club, The Dangerous Viscount, The Importance of Being Wicked, The Wild Marquis
by Anna Campbell
We love all our guests in the lair, doncha know? But a few people who visit us on a regular basis hold a very special place in our heart. One of those teacher’s pets is MIRANDA NEVILLE!
Miranda’s here today to tell her about her wonderful new historical romance CONFESSIONS FROM AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE which hit the shelves on 27th March. I’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for Minerva’s story! My pre-ordered copy is already winging its way to me (yay!), but if you haven’t yet bought this book, all you need to do is click on the cover and it takes you right to Amazon. We make it easy for you here in the lair.
Here’s the Book Depository link: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Confessions-from-Arranged-Marriage-Miranda-Neville/9780062023056
This book is already grabbing huge critical praise. Publishers Weekly, no less, says: “The developing romance is a pleasure to witness, with witty banter and racy love scenes. The gradual discovery of Blakeney’s secret shame is genuine and endearing, making him far more than the standard scurrilous scoundrel.”
Here’s the blurb for CONFESSIONS OF AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE:
They couldn’t be more different, but there’s one thing they agree on.
In London after a two-year exile, Lord Blakeney plans to cut a swathe through the bedchambers of the demimonde. Marriage is not on his agenda, especially to an annoying chit like Minerva Montrose, with her superior attitude and a tendency to get into trouble. And certainly the last man Minerva wants is Blake, a careless wastrel without a thought in his handsome head.
The heat and noise of her debutante ball give Minerva a migraine. Surely a moment’s rest could do no harm … until Blake mistakes her for another lady, leaving Minerva’s guests to catch them in a very compromising position. To her horror, the scandal will force them to do the unthinkable: marry. Their mutual loathing blazes into unexpected passion but Blake remains distant, desperate to hide a shameful secret. Minerva’s never been a woman to take things lying down, and she’ll let nothing stop her from winning his trust … and his heart.
You can find out more about Miranda and her fabulous books on her website: www.mirandaneville.com
Miranda, I’m delighted to have you back in the lair as my guest. It’s always a party when you visit. Congratulations on the release of your latest historical romance CONFESSIONS FROM AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE. Can you tell us about this story?
This is the fourth book in my Regency Burgundy Club series, but let me summarize in non-period, totally non-historical language. The Marquis of Blakeney, the heir to a dukedom, is a good-looking jock. Minerva despises sports and thinks Blake’s a complete idiot. Since she thinks she’s the right person to rule the world, she has her eye on an up-and-coming politician whom she’ll marry and push up the greasy pole to be Prime Minister. (In nineteenth century England the British Prime Minster is like the President of the United States.) So we have the captain of the football team and the smartest girl in the class who hate each other. They end up forced to marry.
What inspired this story?
Blake and Minerva first appeared in THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT. As soon as I started to write Minerva, who was the heroine’s younger sister, I knew I had a winner. She was such a smart, entertaining character. Blake was the villain – or at least the antagonist – in that book, the guy who lost the girl. When Beverley Kendall read the book she immediately asked me “are you getting Blake and Minerva together?” “How did you guess?” I asked. It’s because we are romance writers and therefore sick. We take a man and a woman who appear totally incompatible and think “perfect couple.”
Mind you, it wasn’t easy. Blake was such a jerk in THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT and had a childhood feud with Sebastian, the hero of that book. I had to discover his dark secret that made him behave so badly. Once I found that, the story came together. I’m partial, I know, but I have to say I ended up adoring Blake and so does Minerva. Eventually.
What about Sebastian? Not thrilled to have Blake as a brother-in-law, I imagine.
That’s putting it mildly. For readers of the previous books in the series, I do resolve the Blake-Sebastian feud. But it’s a very minor part of the story. I wanted the book to stand alone
By the way, if anyone hasn’t yet read THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT, grab it, grab it, grab it. It was one of my top reads from 2010 What’s next for you? More wonderful Burgundy Club books?
I have a few leftover characters, but for now I’m moving on, or rather back. I’m working on a series set in 1800, featuring some extremely wild and badly behaved art collectors. I can now reveal the title of the first, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED. It’s out in December 2012.
Ooh, can’t wait! Sounds fascinating! I always ask you about interesting tidbits of research you’ve discovered when you write each book. Did anything unusual take your fancy when you were researching CONFESSIONS OF AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE?
Blake and Minerva go to Paris on their honeymoon. By 1822 the English had resumed their trips to the Continent after the long Napoleonic Wars and I found plenty of contemporary guidebooks. I discovered it was perfectly proper in Paris for ladies to dine out in restaurants and cafés. So I sent my warring couple out on a date, to the slightly disreputable Café de la Paix, located in a converted theater in the Palais Royal. I had to augment the descriptions I found from my imagination but the setting gave me an idea for a very fun and sexy scene.
You’re always jetting around the globe – and I have the postcards to prove it, thank you! I’d love to hear about your recent travels. Are you going to use any of your journeys as inspirations for future books?
Not sure I could fit it into a Regency, but I just spent a wonderful long weekend in Miami soaking up gorgeous March sun. It was a lot less humid than that day we spent together in Saint Augustine, Florida, after RWA in Orlando! Among the places I visited was Vizcaya, an incredible mock-Venetian Palazzo built by an industrialist in 1916.
Miranda, that looks spectacular. I often think back on our day at St. Augustine and what fun we had bowling along in our convertible. Do you have a question for the Banditas and Bandita Buddies to get conversation rolling like said convertible?
Paris is one of the most gloriously romantic cities in the world, but for some reason it’s not popular as a setting for romance novels. But there are some great books and movies set there. What’s your favorite Paris story, in any medium?
Miranda has very generously offered two signed copies of CONFESSIONS FROM AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE today to people who leave comments. So good luck and get commenting!
Posted by Susan Sey Apr 1 2012, 12:44 am in Anna Campbell, coming attractions, contest winner, Donna MacMeans, Eloisa James, Grace Burrowes, guest blogger, interviews, JD Tyler, Jessica Andersen, Kate Walker, maggie robinson, Mari Mancusi, Miranda Neville, Susan Sey
Welcome to April, & we’re not fooling! There are tons of treats & hijinx to be had in the lair this month. Here’s a quick preview of what’s in store….
WE HAVE GUESTS!
On April 2nd, our own Anna Campbell hosts Lair favorite Miranda Neville! Miranda is coming back to us to cause general mayhem & talk about her wonderful new Burgundy Club book CONFESSIONS FROM AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE. A lot of romance fans have been hanging out for Minerva’s story and it’s about to arrive. Huzzah!
On April 3rd, Suzanne Ferrell brings JD Tyler to the lair to talk about SAVAGE AWAKENING, the second full book in her Alpha Pack series. She and Suzanne will discuss JD’s sexy wolf shifter, Arik Savage, and all the newest developments in the world of the Alpha Pack. Will Arik meet his mate or find himself a victim of secret experimentation claiming more than one shifter?
On April 4th, Anna Campbell’s back with Maggie Robinson who will tell us about her latest release MASTER OF SIN. Maggie writes a really hot historical so we’re expecting the windows of the lair to steam up when she starts talking about her latest hero Andrew Rossiter.
On April 5th, if she escapes from the chaos of having her house totally revamped–walls knocked down, kitchen replaced, etc.—Kate Walker will be talking about the publication of her latest Presents Extra title–THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES– and celebrating being 60. In book terms, that is.
On April 6th, Jessica Andersen returns with the penultimate Nightkeepers book, MAGIC UNCHAINED. Join us for a chat about the hunky hero, Sven (no relation to our equally hunky Sven, alas) and his magical familiar.
On April 9th, Eloisa James will be back in the Lair to chat about her fabulous memoir, PARIS IN LOVE, and the year she spent in Paris.
On April 18th, Trish will host Mari Mancusi, who will be celebrating the re-release of her zombie post-apocalyptic YA, Tomorrow Land. Can true love survive the apocalypse? How about the walking dead?
And finally, on the 27th, Grace Burrowes comes to the Lair to discuss the latest release in her delicious Windham series, LADY MAGGIE’S SECRET SCANDAL.
It’s sure to be an exciting month,so don’t miss a day!
WE HAVE CONTESTS!
First of all, a great big round of applause for our very own Anna Campbell & Donna MacMeans, both of whom are finalists in the Birmingham Southern Magic Chapter Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Anna’s finaled with MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION and Donna with REDEEMING THE ROGUE. Congrats, ladies!
Now, for your chance to win something wonderful, check out Anna Campbell’s CATCH UP ON A CAMPBELL contest! During the months of March and April, Anna is giving FIVE lucky people the chance to win a book of their choice from her backlist. That’s CLAIMING THE COURTESAN, UNTOUCHED, TEMPT THE DEVIL, CAPTIVE OF SIN, MY RECKLESS SURRENDER or MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION. Just email Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her which book you’d like and you go into the draw. The contest closes April 30th, 2012, and entry is open internationally. For more information, please check out Ann’s contest page: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html
And don’t forget our monthly prize bundle for one of our lucky Romance Bandits members! This month’s Members Only prize bundle will include:
*An Advance Reader Copy of Eloisa James’ PARIS IN LOVE!
*A copy of MAGIC UNCHAINED from Jessica Andersen
*Your choice of one book from Kate Walker’s backlist!
*A copy of COWBOY TO THE RESCUE from Trish Milburn!
*A copy of FRAIL BLOOD from Jo Robertson!
*Your choice of MONEY HONEY or MONEY SHOT from Susan Sey!
WE HAVE EVENTS AND APPEARANCES!
Ever want to see a bandita in person? Here’s your chance! Our own TRISH MILBURN is all over the map this month! Catch her at the following events:
April 10, at the Barbara Vey Readers Luncheon in Oak Creek, WI
April 11-15, at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Rosemont, IL
April 21, at the Southern Kentucky Bookfest in Bowling Green, KY
It’s going to be a wild ride this month, so buckle up and we’ll see you along the road!
What are YOU looking forward to this month?
Posted by Anna Campbell Jul 29 2011, 3:00 am in Bandita Booty, Miranda Neville, The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton
Thanks so much for turning Miranda’s visit yesterday into such a party! Wow, we sure rocked the lair!
The winner of Miranda’s wonderful THE AMOROUS EDUCATION OF CELIA SEATON is:
Congratulations, Laurie. The book sounds delish. Please email Miranda on miranda @ mirandaneville .com (no gaps) with your snail mail details and she’ll get your book out to you pronto!
Posted by Anna Campbell Jul 27 2011, 4:02 am in Bandita Booty, historical romance, Miranda Neville, The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton, The Burgundy Club, The Dangerous Viscount, The Wild Marquis
by Anna Campbell
Miranda Neville is such a favorite in the lair, she hardly needs any introduction – but she’ll punch me if I don’t say something and while she punches like a girl, it’s still not the best look for authors at their professional best (snork!).
Miranda is an international explorer and conservationist who has been known to give Bear Grylls tips. She can whip up a three-course cordon bleu meal from two cans of baked beans, a bottle of Coke and an onion. When she’s not advising the CIA on their undercover missions or showing the Queen how to wave, she can be found rescuing puppies from fast-flowing streams and wrapping Christmas presents for local orphans.
If you want to discover more about the wonder that is Miranda, please visit her website: http://www.mirandaneville.com/
Miranda, as you know, I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my hands on THE AMOROUS EDUCATION OF CELIA SEATON. THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT was one of my top handful of reads last year and I feel like it’s been a long while between drinks (impatience is my middle name). Can you tell us about this story?
May I mention how much I love you, Anna? (And thanks for inviting me to schmooze with the Banditas: it’s always a blast).
If you’ve been following the Burgundy Club series, you will have met Tarquin Compton, the snooty dandy. Among the victims of his biting tongue is Celia Seaton, whose suitor was scared off when Tarquin compared her to a cauliflower. After the unfortunate vegetable incident, Celia went through hard times, culminating in the loss of her job as a governess. Then she’s kidnapped, robbed and left in a cottage attic, stripped to her shift. Being an enterprising girl, like any good heroine, she manages to escape.
The door to the humble structure was blocked, by a body. The body of a man lying unconscious, wearing nothing but breeches and a pair of riding boots. It had been some years since Celia had seen the bare torso of a grown man, and never a white man. He was pale, as befit a man who was always dressed up to his neck, but the smattering of dark hair, covering the chest and descending in a vee over his flat stomach, didn’t disguise the fact that the skin covered well-formed muscles. This interesting masculine form distracted her only a few seconds from the astonishing fact that she knew him.
And although he was one of several men who had bedeviled her life, she did not actually wish him dead.
Kneeling on the ground she set her fingers to his temple and found a pulse. “Mr. Compton,” she said. “Mr. Compton, wake up. Are you well?”
Nothing. She rested her head on his chest. Judging by the strength of his heartbeat, Mr. Tarquin Compton would live to cause further distress to awkward arrivals on the London marriage mart. She supposed she’d better try to revive him. And much as she detested the creature, she was curious to discover why the ton’s most fashionable gentleman lay half-naked next to a deserted Yorkshire cottage.
So what is Tarquin doing half-naked in the middle of nowhere? He certainly doesn’t know, because he’s suffering from amnesia. So Celia decides to go for a little payback by claiming that he is her fiancé, glorying in the name of Terence Fish. Together they set off across the moors, pursued by desperate villains.
Terence Fish!!!! I laughed out loud when I read that. You specialize in delicious different heroes. Sebastian in THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT was, shock, horror, a male virgin. And now we have an even rarer bird in Romancelandia, a dandy in the acid-tongued Tarquin Compton. Did you have any difficulties turning a dandy into a hero? What lessons has Tarquin learned by the end of the book? Seriously, he’s so due for his comeuppance! What makes an unusual hero appeal to you?
Since a dandy is all about external appearances, I decided to strip Tarquin of his clothes and his memory so we could see the man underneath the façade. Turns out he’s brave, honorable, affectionate, sexy, and good at catching fish. And then he gets back his memory and reverts to his snooty ways. He has to reconcile his social exterior with the man he was as Terence Fish. And Celia, who hates Tarquin and adores Terence, has to fall in love with him all over again. By the end of the book he has examined what made him a dandy and is no longer wants to be the disdainful leader of the ton.
I’d really love to write an uber-alpha rakish nobleman with an angsty past – I love to read about them – but somehow my heroes don’t turn out that way. Perhaps it’s because when I write I’m always looking for the unusual twist and it takes my characters into unexpected places. I also like to write about very strong, very smart heroines, who don’t take any crap from their men.
What’s next for you? More wonderful Burgundy Club books?
Minerva Montrose, Diana’s little sister from THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT, was a reader favorite. Her book, CONFESSIONS FROM AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE, will be out in April 2012. Minerva is very smart, very ambitious, and wants to marry an up-and-coming politician whom she can push up the greasy pole to be Prime Minister. Suffice to say, the best laid plans always go wrong.
Ooh, yum! Can’t wait. Minerva was one of my favorite characters in THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT. I always ask you about interesting tidbits of research that turned up when you’re working on your books. Did anything unusual take your fancy when you were researching THE AMOROUS EDUCATION OF CELIA SEATON? Did I see a mention of an erotic manuscript on your website?
Celia’s “amorous education” comes from a bawdy novel (and from Tarquin, of course). I used a real 1796 book that I read in the British Library. Here’s a snippet from where Minerva (remember Minerva? She reappears in THE AMOROUS EDUCATION) has discovered Celia reading the book.
Minerva slid down from the bed, carried The Genuine Amours off in triumph to the far side of the room and settled on the stool next to her dressing table. Celia waited in dread as the girl opened the book to the bookmark and began to read aloud.
“A man who seeks pleasure in casual f… Oh my goodness. I can’t say that word!”
“Then don’t. Stop now.”
“Never! This is fascinating. He can never find it but in the senses, while he who has love on his side, is stretched on the rack of delight, by those able ministers of pleasure, passion and imagination.” She looked up. “That seems a proper sentiment. The author advocates the act of you-know-what only when love is present.”
“Believe me,” Celia said. “He does not practice what he preaches.”
Miranda, a little birdy tells me you’ve set up in competition to the Bandits by joining a group blog! The cheek, I say! Would you like to tell us about this new endeavor? Wanna rooster?
We couldn’t ever hope to emulate the Bandits. A group of Regency authors (Tessa Dare, Katharine Ashe, Gaelen Foley, Sarah MacLean, Sabrina Darby and moi) have started The Ballroom Blog. (www.TheBallroomBlog.com). We don’t need a rooster (and c’mon, you guys would miss him!) because we have a very rude parrot called Albert who belongs to our hostess, Lady Beaufetheringstone (pronounced Batman). We’re posting Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and hope everyone will stop by to join the dance.
I’ll be giving away a copy of THE AMOROUS EDUCATION OF CELIA SEATON to a commenter on the blog. You can say something about my post, ask me a question (I promise to answer anything that won’t totally compromise me) or give me a recipe for a really great summer salad dish. It’s hot times in northern New England and I need cool inspiration!
Sounds great, Miranda! Get commenting, people. Good luck!
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Jul 1 2011, 6:05 am in Christina Brooke, coming attractions, Jon Land, Kendra Leigh Castle, marie force, Miranda Neville, Patricia Rice
Can you believe this year is already half over? We’ve had so many amazing books and wonderful authors visit the Lair already, and there is yet another half-year yet to come. If July is any indication, you’re all going to have a ton of fabulous books stacking up on your teetering TBR piles.
Check out these wonderful authors visiting us this month:
On July 5, Patricia Rice returns to the Lair with the latest in her Rebellious Sons historical series, The Devilish Montague. Join Patricia and Nancy and see how a stolen parrot brings Blake Montague and Jocelyn Byrd-Carrington to the altar.
Then on July 7th
, Aunty Cindy hosts Rita Nominee Kendra Leigh Castle whose new series Dark Dynasties debuted a few days ago with Dark Awakening
. (Aunty drools over hunky cover)
Will a vampire’s vow of eternal protection stop the evil forces a human Seer has the power to awaken…or will he unleash her dark destiny?
Rose Maybud will be Donna’s guest on the 8th. And the fabulously fun MJ Fredrick will be hanging out with Trish on the 9th, chatting about her summer releases.
Then on Monday, 11th July, Anna Campbell talks to historical romance author Christina Brooke (www.christina-brooke.com) about her wonderful new series THE MINISTRY OF MARRIAGE. The first book in the series, HEIRESS IN LOVE, is out in July and it’s a humdinger! And isn’t that such a pretty cover?
Later in the month, on July 19, thriller author Jon Land makes his Lair debut. He and Nancy will chat about Strong at the Break, the latest installment in his series about fifth-ge neration Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong.
On Wednesday, 27th July, lair regular Miranda Neville (www.mirandaneville.com) and Anna Campbell will talk about Miranda’s fantastic new release THE AMOROUS EDUCATION OF CELIA SEATON. I’m so looking forward to reading this book – Miranda’s THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT was one of my favorite reads last year.
Sandy Blair is chatting with Suz on July 28th.
Lair favorite Marie Force returns on July 31st to celebrate the launch of book three of her “Fatal” series: Fatal Consequences.
The murder of two members of the Capitol Cleaning Service might’ve been just another homicide investigation—that is If one of them hadn’t been romantically involved with a married senator from Arizona. Racing to catch a killer before he can strike again, Lt. Sam Holland and her fiancé, U.S. Senator Nick Cappuano, attempt to plan a wedding while her colleague Detective Tommy “Gonzo” Gonzales faces life-changing news.
Whew!! As usual, I’m inspired and impressed by the variety of talented authors who visit with us. And even more impressed with the gorgeous covers!! Wowza, baby. Talk about hot (especially the hot pink). And with even more Bandita fun, be sure to check out this great contest!
Anna Campbell is running a Mammoth and Midnight contest in July and August. Anna’s giving away THREE signed copies of THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF REGENCY ROMANCE which includes her mini-novella “Upon a Midnight Clear”. Winners will also receive a bonus signed http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifcopy of MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION. All you need to do to be in the draw is email Anna on email@example.com and tell her http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifthe names of the two characters who appear in the excerpt from “The Chinese Bed” on her website. You’ll find the answer here: http://www.annacampbell.info/chinesebed.html The contest closes 31st August, 2011. For more information, please visit Anna’s contest page: http://www.annacampbell.info/contest.html
Now that’s enough to keep your July steaming hot, isn’t it?! Be sure to drop by the blog all month long, as you can see, we’re going to have a great time.