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 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 Anna Campbell Jun 10 2014, 12:02 am in Anna Campbell, ARCs, Bandita Booty, Claiming the Courtesan, Dukes, Eloisa James, Georgette Heyer, historical romance, Judith McNaught, Laura Lee Guhrke, Regency romance, Sons of Sin, What a Duke Dares
I’m getting mighty excited. It’s only a bit over two months until the release of WHAT A DUKE DARES, my third Sons of Sin historical romance. Duke is out 26th August and I just can’t wait!
Asking an author to pick their favorite out of their books is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. But I have to say that I just love Camden Rothermere, the Duke of Sedgemoor, and Penelope Thorne, his wayward bride. I hope you will too.
In fact, today someone gets the chance to win an advance look at Duke because I’m giving away an ARC (international). I think it’s worth winning for that beautiful red cover alone! Details of the giveaway are at the end of the post, but basically leave a comment and you’re in the draw.
This month on my website, I put up the excerpt from the book too. I never like that to go up too early because it can feel a bit stale to people who check back often.
You can find it at: http://annacampbell.info/dukedares.html
This excerpt is the lead-up to the first kiss. That’s always one of my favorite scenes in a romance novel, whether I’ve written it or not. By the time they sleep together,things are pretty much on the way. But the first kiss has that delicious uncertainty about it. And it’s the moment when the hero and heroine have to admit that their desire for one another outweighs any of their usually perfectly valid misgivings about getting involved with the other person. Sigh.
Dukes are da biz in historical romance. Did you know that? They’re the equivalent of the billionaire and the vampire king. Duke is the highest ranking English title under royalty. He’s the top of the tree, the king of the beasts (although Cam, unlike some of my heroes isn’t at all beastly). If you scan the shelves of the bookshops, you’ll see dukes to the left of them, dukes to the right of them.
People who want to be snide often point out that there were only ever a handful of dukes in the real world, fewer if you discount the children of the king who were often given a duke’s title as a courtesy. But this is historical romance and we want the top dog for our heroines. Not to mention that Julia Quinn world is different from Eloisa James world and from Anna Campbell world, so none of these dukes actually get to meet each other in the same room!
I’ve only written one duke before, the Duke of Kylemore in my debut CLAIMING THE COURTESAN. He was a much crankier fellow than Cam, although he was no less ducal! I counted up my guys and so far, I’ve had a knight, a baronet, a viscount, two earls and two marquesses in the novels, and two earls and a mere mister in the novellas. So earls are definitely way ahead in the Campbell stakes.
I’ve read a lot of dukes in my years of devouring historical romance. Laura Lee Guhrke has done a couple of humdingers (humdukers?) and so has our very own Bandita Christina Brooke. Don’t miss her THE DANGEROUS DUKE (in her Christine Wells persona) or A DUCHESS TO REMEMBER.
A couple of favorites from older reads are the Duke of Claymore from Judith McNaught’s classic WHITNEY, MY LOVE. It’s a long time since I read this one but I read it so often back in the day, I still remember it well.
And there’s no getting away from Georgette Heyer’s wonderful dukes. The two I’ve singled out today are the Duke of Avon from THESE OLD SHADES and the Duke of Salford in SYLVESTER. Both are undoubtedly alpha dogs and both find themselves turned completely upside down when they fall in love with the last woman they ever expected to capture their heart. It’s always fun when you write a duke to bring him down a peg or two!
So do you have a favorite duke in a historical romance? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned in today’s post? What did you think? Is there something that puts a duke in a class of his own when it comes to playing the hero in a romance?
As promised, I have an ARC of WHAT A DUKE DARES up for grabs today. Just leave a comment to be in the draw. Giveaway is international!
Posted by Caren Crane May 1 2014, 12:08 am in A Rake's Midnight Kiss, Alison Stuart, Anna Campbell, Anna Sugden, Annie West, Baby Steps, Bandita Blogiversary, Bandita Facebook Party, Brenda Novak Auction, Caren Crane, coming attractions, Cross Springs, Donna MacMeans, ebook prize bundle, Facebook Party, Hannah Dennison, JDRF, Karilyn Bentley, Kate Carlisle, Kindle Paperwhite, Nancy Northcott, Sons of Sin, Suzanne Church, Suzanne Ferrell, Terri Osburn, Ursula LeCouer, What a Duke Dares
Every month is a big old party here in the Lair, but MAY is especially special? Why, yes, it IS my birthday month! So kind of you to remember that my birthday is MAY 13 and I’m accepting gifts and brunches/lunches/dinners ALL MONTH LONG. :) Still, we have another Big Event we celebrate each May. Our Romance Bandits Blogiversary! On May 8, we will be having a HUGE blowout of a Facebook party. We’ll spend almost the entire day partying like, well, Banditas and giving stuff away! You guys just have to come by and comment to win swag. We’ll have a huge prize at the end for one lucky winner: a Kindle Paperwhite and e-book prize bundle!! Super fun and easy! Go Like our Facebook page to be sure you don’t miss out!
And in other exciting news:
Anna Campbell had a great month for contest excitement! Not only did her Sons of Sin books win Favorite Series Of 2013 at the Australian Romance Reader Awards, she received news that A Rake’s Midnight Kiss has finaled in the historical section of the Romance Writers of America RITA® Awards. Woo hoo! We are all terribly proud of Anna!
Anna Sugden‘s French language version of A Perfect Distraction was an Amazon bestseller in France and Canada! Wonder why? I don’t think it was just the hockey player theme!
May 3 – Nancy and guest Suzanne Church offer us a change of pace. Suzanne will discuss her new short story collection, Elements, with maybe a bit of Game of Thrones chat stirred in. (Dragon and knights and speculative fiction, oh my! I can’t wait!)
May 5 – Anna Campbell hosts the brilliant Annie West in the Lair! Annie’s going to tell us all about her wonderful new novella Back In the Italian’s Bed, the first in her Hot Italian Nights series! (Nothing about Hot Italians can be anything but awesome!)
May 6 - Debut author Ursula LaCoeur will guest with Donna. Learn how the romance of New Orleans inspired her debut, The Willing Widow. (New Orleans-inspired Victorian suspense should be extra-spicy!)
May 9 – Nancy welcomes Terri Osburn to chat about secrets, secret identities, and her new Anchor Island release, Home to Stay. Join the party and get the inside info! (Sekrits? We love sekrits!)
May 12 - Join Kate as she hosts the delightful Hannah Dennison whose wonderful new English countryside mystery series will debut this month, with Murder at Honeychurch Hall. (I’ve met Hannah. You’ll love her!)
May 16 - Karilyn Bentley returns with her dragon shifters to chat with Suz about her newest book, Dragon Lover. When opposing dreams collide, will love be the victor? (Ooh, dragons!)
May 24 – Caren Crane‘s book launch party for Baby Steps, the second book in the Cross Springs series. Don’t miss the extra-fun return to Cross Springs for the heart-tugging story of how Connie Burns, the career-oriented, happily-childless best friend from Kick Start ends up a mommy! (Cutest cover ever!)
May 27 – Anna Campbell hosts Aussie historical romance author Alison Stuart. Alison will be talking about her latest release Lord Somerton’s Heir, a Regency romantic suspense set just after Waterloo. (Waterloo! Couldn’t escape if I wanted to!)
Anna Campbell is giving away three personalized print ARCs of What A Duke Dares, the third Sons of Sin novel out in late August, in her current website contest. Just email her on anna @ annacampbell.info (no spaces) and tell her the name of the hero and heroine of What A Duke Dares. You might find the answer here: http://annacampbell.info/dukedares.html For more information, please check the contest page on her website: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html.
Hello, awesome May 8 Facebook Bandita Blogiversary party! Don’t miss it or you will feel like the out-of-the-loop kid sitting alone at home who missed the totally rad party when Kat and Bianca’s dad went out of town…or was that from Ten Things I Hate About You? Anyway, Like our page and join the party and win stuff!
Also, the Banditas are offering a crapload of great goody packages (11 of them!) in the Brenda Novak auction to benefit Type 1 diabetes research! Think you don’t know anyone with Type 1 diabetes? You know me and I’ve had it for 32 years! So check out the auction, bid on stuff and help cure my disease. There, I totally made it personal! You can check out our different packages by clicking the Romance Bandits link on the sidebar of the main auction page!
Wowza! May is shaping up to be kind of amazing and – potentially – exhausting! So what do you anticipate will be your favorite thing about May in the Lair? I think it’s going to be hard to choose (but I’m totally casting a vote for MY BIRTHDAY)!