Posted by Anna Campbell Feb 3 2014, 12:02 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom, historical romance, interviews, Lost in a Royal Kiss, Regency romance, Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, The Renegade Royals, V.K. Sykes, vanessa kelly
Vanessa Kelly is a fabulous author who needs no introduction! She’s practically an honorary Bandita!
Today, she’s visiting us to tell us about her wonderful new hsitorical romance SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD, book 1 in the Renegade Royals series.
Hmm, that title had me at hello.
SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD is garnering some wonderful buzz, including a starred review from Publishers Weekly which says, “Kelly combines diverting dialogue, delightful surprises, and finely tuned pacing to make this a winner.”
Here’s the blurb:
Accomplished spy Aden St. George prefers to stay away from the frivolous ton, especially after the way his mother was used by the Prince Regent. But his latest mission compels him to guard unconventional, vibrant Lady Vivien Shaw. Rescuing her from kidnappers was easy. Resisting her beauty is not. Duty demands he keep an eye on her—and naturally, his lips soon follow. For someone who views entanglements as a weakness, this is pure, delicious folly…
Though grateful for Aden’s help, Vivien has secrets she must keep hidden. Yet with her abductors still at large, she needs Aden’s protection almost as much as she craves his touch…
You can find out more about Vanessa and her books on her website: http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com/
Vanessa, welcome back to the lair. Congratulations on your new release for Kensington, SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD. Can you tell us about this story?
Hi, Anna! Thanks so much for hosting me in the lair – it’s great to be back! SECRETS features a dark, brooding, and sexy Aden St. George, a British spy who also happens to be the illegitimate son of the Prince Regent. Aden has just returned from a difficult mission in France, where he lost a man and holds himself responsible. All he wants to do is hole up in a room with a good bottle of port and drown his sorrows for a week or two. Instead, he’s called in to rescue the beautiful and vivacious Lady Vivien Shaw from a gang of kidnappers and bring her back to London before her disappearance is discovered and her reputation ruined.
Sounds great! What were the inspirations behind this book?
I’m a big fan of romantic suspense, and I’ve always liked reading a good kidnap/rescue scenario. I especially enjoyed Lori Foster’s Edge of Honor series, with its good guy heroes and smart, courageous women. Plus, what an interesting challenge for a writer: how to develop a credible, lasting relationship between the hero and heroine in the context of so many heightened emotions and dangers.
Can you tell us about the series, The Renegade Royals?
The Renegade Royals are the illegitimate sons of the royal princes of England. They’re all rebels, to some extent, with one or two genuine bad boys in the mix. Given their innate sense of rebellion, none are eager to settle down into a life of domestic bliss. Meeting the right woman, of course, will change all that, although there might not be as much settling down as they expect!
We don’t have long to wait for the next Renegade Royal, CONFESSIONS OF A ROYAL BRIDEGROOM, which is out in April. Can you tell us about this story?
My confession is that I love this book! Griffin Steele is the real bad boy of the group—he owns several lucrative gaming houses and a brothel, all of which he is in the process of selling at the start of the story. Griffin has always wanted to get out of the sin business and travel to the Far East, and he’s finally got his chance. But a mysterious baby is left on his doorstep one day, along with an anonymous note pleading with him to keep the infant safe. Naturally, Griffin knows little about taking care of babies so he needs help. Enter Justine Brightmore, a competent, prim, and uber-disciplined daughter of a spy. She and Griffin couldn’t be more dissimilar, and sparks are definitely going to fly. Think Mary Poppins meets Captain Jack Sparrow—with sex!
Love the high concept! What else has Vanessa Kelly been up to?
I’m working on the next novella and books three and four in The Renegade Royals.
I think most people are fascinated by writing partnerships. You and your husband write contemporary romance together as V.K. Sykes. How do you work together? And can you tell us what’s coming up for V.K. Sykes?
Yes, Randy and I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense under our V.K. Sykes pen name. The writing started off more as a hobby for Randy, but it’s worked out very well—for both of us! We’ve figured out a good system for working without killing each other. We brainstorm the book idea, plot, and characters together, then hubby writes the first draft. I do the revisions and write all the sex scenes, since Randy pretty much hates doing the mushy stuff. Right now, we’re working on another one of our USA Today bestselling sports romances, and we’re also writing a new small town contemporary romance series for Grand Central Publishing. It’s called LOBSTER BAY and it will be released in 2015.
Wow, you’re a busy woman! Do you have question for the Bandits and Bandita buddies to get conversation going?
Have you ever met someone under less than ideal circumstances, but a wonderful romance or friendship still managed to develop? One person who comments will win an ARC of CONFESSIONS OF A ROYAL BRIDEGROOM (international).
Wow, Vanessa, great prize! Go for it, Bandita Buddies and good luck!
Posted by Anna Campbell Dec 10 2013, 12:01 am in A Grosvenor Square Christmas, Anna Campbell, anthologies, Christmas Romance, e-books, free books, historical romance, holiday romance, Kate Noble, Regency romance, Shana Galen, vanessa kelly
It’s Christmas time!
Yeah, flash news announcement! It’s not like we haven’t been listening to Christmas carols for weeks – at least down here in Australia where there’s no Thanksgiving to distract people from the fat man in red and white.
One of the things I love about Christmas is giving gifts. And this year I got together with three wonderful writers to give our readers a gift for the festive season.
A GROSVENOR SQUARE CHRISTMAS is free everywhere so you can download it on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble without paying one brass razoo.
Here’s the blurb:
Four breathtakingly romantic tales of a Regency Christmas from four bestselling romance authors.
Down through the years, enchantment touches a tall gray house in Grosvenor Square. The legend of Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball promises true love and happiness to one lucky couple. Who will feel the magic this winter?
1803 – The Seduction of a Duchess by Shana Galen
Rowena Harcourt, the Duchess of Valere, never forgot the handsome footman who helped her escape the French Revolution. For fourteen years, Gabriel Lamarque has loved Rowena-now at Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball, has fate finally delivered a chance to win her hand?
1818 – One Kiss for Christmas by Vanessa Kelly
Nigel Dash is London’s most reliable gentleman, a reputation he never minded until he fell in love with beautiful Amelia Easton. Unfortunately, Amelia sees Nigel as a dependable friend, not a dashing suitor. At Lady Winterson’s famous Christmas ball, Nigel vows to change Amelia’s mind-by sweeping her off her feet.
1825 – His Christmas Cinderella by Anna Campbell
At the season’s most glittering ball, a girl who has never dared to dream of forever after discovers a Christmas miracle.
1830 - The Last First Kiss by Kate Noble
Susannah Westforth has always loved Sebastian Beckett – but he’s only ever seen her as a friend. When Sebastian takes his Grand Tour, Susannah transforms herself into a woman he’ll notice. Now Sebastian is back, just in time for Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball – but the last thing he expects to see is his little Susie, all grown up…
You’re invited to join the whirling dance at Lady Winterson’s sparkling Christmas ball, where miracles happen and true love shines forever. How can you resist?
I don’t think it’s any mystery that my story is based very firmly on a fairytale! Hmm, I wonder which one! I went over the top romantic for His Christmas Cinderella and had wonderful fun doing so. Poor Campion really needs a Prince Charming and she finds him in the dashing Earl of Ravenglass. Ah, I love a Scottish hero, don’t you? You can read an excerpt from my story on my website here: http://annacampbell.info/xmascinderella.html
I thought it might be fun asking the other girls about the inspirations behind their lovely stories.
SHANA: When I finished the Sons of the Revolution series, which was about three brothers who were separated as children during the French Revolution and reunited in England as adults, I received quite a few emails from readers asking for Rowena’s story. She was the mother of the heroes and her husband had been guillotined. By the time the series ended, she was about 46 or 47 and had been a widow for 14 years. I hadn’t written an “older” heroine before, but I definitely thought Rowena deserved her happily ever after. I decided to pair her with a younger hero who had been a footman in her house when she was a duchess in France. Gabriel had been in love with her for years, and he’s finally found her again at Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball. He has some secrets to reveal, and Rowena has a few reservations of her own. It was certainly an adventure to watch the two of them come together in The Seduction of a Duchess.
You can read an excerpt from The Seduction of a Duchess here: http://www.shanagalen.com/seduction-of-a-duchess1.php
VANESSA: I really enjoy creating my secondary characters. The hero of One Kiss for Christmas is Nigel Dash, one of my favorite characters in the Stanton Family Series. Nigel is the proverbial good guy, always ready to lend a hand, kind to everyone, and a master at smoothing over the stormy waters of the beau monde. In fact, he’s known as the Most Dependable Man in London, a label he’s come to loathe because he sees it as synonymous with boring. Since he’s in love with the most popular, vivacious girl in London, boring is a problem.
Romance writers often give their heroes and heroines some distinctly opposing characteristics and personalities—it’s a great way to get the sparks flying. But I wanted to pair up two very nice, splendidly accommodating people—too accommodating for their own good—and see what happened. My heroine, Amelia Easton, is just as good-hearted as Nigel, and has just as much trouble standing up for herself. Both tend to put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own, and I thought it might be fun to see how they learn to fight for want they truly want—each other!
You can read an excerpt from One Kiss for Christmas here: http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com/books/one-kiss-for-christmas/one-kiss-for-christmas-excerpt/
KATE: When I think about the holidays, I think about the reunion with old friends, and seeing just how much time and life has changed everyone — if at all. The Last First Kiss centers around one such pair of friends. Susannah Westforth has been in love with her neighbor Sebastian Beckett ever since they moved in next door. But he’s only ever seen her as a little girl that follows him around. When Sebastian goes on his grand tour, Susannah is determined that when he comes back, he’ll see her as a woman grown, and one worth his attention. They finally meet at Lady Winterson’s Christmas Ball, and with the help of Philbert the butler, Susannah might just get her last first kiss.
You can read an excerpt from The Last First Kiss here: http://katenoble.com/books/grosvenor.php#excerpt
At this time of year, something short and sweet really fits the bill so why not download A GROSVENOR SQUARE CHRISTMAS, especially when it won’t blow the Christmas budget! To download:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-grosvenor-square-christmas-vanessa-kelly/1117251695?ean=2940045347853
And may all your Christmas parties be full of magic! And Scotsmen!
On the subject of Christmas parties, don’t miss out on the 12 Days of Bandita Christmas which starts right here this week! It’s a prize-a-palooza!
So speaking of Christmas carols, do you have a favorite? Do you have one you’d happily never hear again? I must say AWAY IN A MANGER always sets my teeth on edge! Let’s kick up our heels and fa-la-la-la through the carol repertoire!
Posted by Donna MacMeans Nov 1 2013, 12:12 am in Cate Price, coming attractions, Ella Quinn, Kat Sheridan, Kathleen Baldwin, Sarah Morgan, vanessa kelly
Have you recovered from your sugar high from raiding the kiddies Halloween haul? Or in my case, munching on the leftover candy – we prepared for hordes, but only got a dozen or so. Did you spot the great pumpkin rising from the pumpkin patch last night? If he rose in an Ohio pumpkin patch, he must have landed somewhere in Pennsylvania. We had incredibly high winds last night. I swear I saw little witches fly by with their sacks of candy!
Believe me, you won’t want November to fly by without making the lair part of your daily routine. We’ve been gifted with some great guests for the month of November. So settle back with your spiced pumpkin latte, hot chocolate with marshmellows – or in my case – chocolate mint truffle tea (love that stuff) and prepare for a great month in the lair.
We start tomorrow on Saturday, November 2nd, with debut author Kat Sheridan <http://katsheridan.wordpress.com/> and her new release, ECHOES IN STONE. Kat takes us back to the classic gothic romance with a manor teetering on the edge of a cliff, a dark wounded hero and whispers and secrets galore.
Then we’ll switch from the dark to the white. On Monday, 4th November, Anna Campbell welcomes one of her favorite writers, double RITA Award winner, Sarah Morgan (www.sarahmorgan.com <http://www.sarahmorgan.com> ). Sarah is here to tell us about her full-length Christmas romance SLEIGH BELLS IN THE SNOW. We’re all really looking forward to Sarah’s first visit to the lair!
On Wednesday, 6th November, we welcome historical romance writer Ella Quinn <http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpress.com/> who will tell us all about her latest instalment in the Marriage Game series, THE SECRET LIFE OF MISS ANNA MARSH.
I know we have a number of cozy mystery readers in the lair. Debut Author Cate Price <http://www.cateprice.com/> will visit Thursday, November 7th, to talk murder. Her first release, GOING THROUGH THE NOTIONS, is a true delight.
On Tuesday, November 12th, Kathleen Baldwin <http://kathleenbaldwin.com/> will join us to ask the question: Can a lady with a reputation for disaster stumble into love? LADY FIASCO (Don’t you just love that title?) is a traditional Regency Romantic Romp.
On Monday, November 18, Nancy welcomes Catherine Spangler back to the Lair to talk about her relaunched Sentinels series.
A lair favorite will return on Wednesday, November 27th. Vanessa Kelly will join us to talk about her new novella, LOST IN A ROYAL KISS. Isn’t that a fabulous cover?
Here’s an early Christmas gift, our own Anna Campbell and three other fabulous authors have contributed to A GROSVENOR SQUARE CHRISTMAS. Four breathtaking tales of a Regency Christmas and best of all – It’s FREE!!! For more information, check out the link on Anna’s webpage (http://annacampbell.info/xmascinderella.html).
Anna Campbell is celebrating the Christmas tradition of giving in her latest website contest (international). THREE people will win their choice from her books. Just email Anna on anna @ annacampbell.info (no spaces) and tell her which book you’d like. If you need help choosing, check out her books page on her website: http://annacampbell.info/books.html For more information, check out her contest page: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html
If you haven’t already done so, join the Romance Bandits members only section and sign up for our fabulous newsletter. Both the site and the newsletter contain content you won’t find anywhere else, plus we give fabulous monthly prizes to those that read our newsletter. Just click on the Members Only tab and you’ll see how to sign up.
Posted by Donna MacMeans Nov 12 2012, 12:15 am in Christmas, Mistletoe, Regency, vanessa kelly, Wassail
Vanessa Kelly and I met at the Moonlight and Magnolias conference last year and bonded instantly. I can’t wait to read His Mistleto Bride, her latest release. Vanessa was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Vanessa also writes contemporary romance with her husband under the name of V.K. Sykes. You can find her on the web at www.vanessakellyauthor.com or at www.vksykes.com. Without further ado, here’s Vanessa -
If there was one thing they knew how to do during the Regency period it was party. That was especially true during the Christmas Season, which ran from Christmas Eve through to Twelfth Night on January 6. The final party on Twelfth Night was usually a real wing-ding, roughly comparable to the kind of blow-out we now celebrate on New Year’s Eve.
Much of the action in my new historical romance, His Mistletoe Bride, takes place during the holiday season. One of my favorite scenes happens at a family get-together, when the wassail bowl first makes its appearance. Wassail, a very boozy and sometimes alarming beverage depending on the ingredients, was the high point of many a Christmas party, and family recipes were often closely guarded secrets.
In this scene from His Mistletoe Bride, my hero, Lucas, and some of the characters are explaining the ins and outs of the wassail tradition to my heroine Phoebe, who was raised in a very quiet Quaker household in America. This is her first English Christmas, and it all seems pretty strange to her.
Cousin Stephen began ladling out the wassail. The guests crowded around the table, each taking a cup.
“Here you go, Phoebe,” said Robert, handing her one. “You wouldn’t believe it, but in the old days everyone had to drink directly out of the wassail bowl.”
He glanced over at one of the guests, an elderly gentleman who seemed to be wearing half his dinner on his cravat. “Take Sir Mortimer, for example. Could you imagine having to drink out of the bowl after he’s had a go of it?” He gave a dramatic shudder.
Annabel elbowed him in the ribs. “That’s disgusting, Robert. And you know poor Sir Mortimer has terrible eyesight. I’m sure he doesn’t mean to keep dropping his food down his front.”
“Just be grateful you didn’t have to sit across from him,” Robert parried. “Almost put me off my feed.”
“Nothing puts you off your feed,” said Lucas. “Your stomach is a bottomless pit. How you manage to remain so thin is a miracle of nature.”
“No such thing,” Robert protested.
Annabel laughingly agreed, and the young couple fell into a good-natured argument. Smiling, Phoebe raised her cup and took a cautious sip. Both sweet and highly spiced, the brew was strong enough to burn a trail of delicious fire down her throat.
“Careful,” Lucas murmured. “Wassail is very potent. If you drink too much I’ll have to carry you up to bed.”
Actually, Phoebe wouldn’t mind that very much since she and Lucas are just recently married.
What were the ingredients that made wassail such a potent beverage? Well, the base was usually mulled apple cider with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, sometimes topped with slices of toast. Apples and oranges could be added to the mix too. In earlier times, the base often consisted of either mulled beer or mead, and any wassail recipe could be topped off with brandy or sherry. Do we really need to wonder why folks had such a great time at Regency Christmas parties?!
What about you, readers? What’s your favorite beverage during the holidays? Does your family have a secret recipe for punch, eggnog, or even wassail? One person who comments will win a copy of His Mistletoe Bride.
BLAME IT ON THE MISTLETOE…
When Major Lucas Stanton inherited his earldom, he never dreamed his property would include the previous earl’s granddaughter. Phoebe Linville is a sparkling American beauty, yes, but with a talent for getting into trouble. Witness the compromising position that forced them into wedlock. Whisked away to Mistletoe Manor, his country estate, it isn’t long before she is challenging his rules—and surprising him in and out of bed…
Phoebe has no intention of bowing to Lucas’s stubbornness even though he offers all that she wants. His kisses and unexpected warmth are enticing, but Phoebe is determined to show the Earl of Merritt what real love is all about. And if that takes twelve nights of delicious seduction by a roaring fire, she’s more than willing to reveal her gifts very slowly…
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 May 18 2011, 3:00 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, My Favorite Countess, vanessa kelly
by Anna Campbell
Thanks, everyone, for the fabulous day in the lair when Vanessa Kelly visited. Vanessa very kindly offered us TWO copies of her latest release MY FAVORITE COUNTESS to go to people who commented. I’m delighted to announce the winners are:
Congratulations, girls. Please email Vanessa on vanessakelly @ rogers.com (no spaces) with your snail mail details and she’ll get your books off to you. Happy reading!
Posted by Anna Campbell May 16 2011, 4:02 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, My Favorite Countess, Regency historicals, V.K. Sykes, vanessa kelly
by Anna Campbell
It’s my great pleasure to introduce Vanessa Kelly to the lair, not that she needs much introduction to our discerning readers.
Here’s the official lowdown:
Vanessa Kelly writes Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra, and was named by Booklist as one of the new stars of historical romance. You can find her on the web at: http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com. She also writes contemporary romance with her husband for Carina Press, under the pen name of V.K. Sykes. You can visit her at: www.vksykes.com.
Vanessa’s current release MY FAVORITE COUNTESS is getting rave reviews. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars and called it ‘captivating’ and ‘memorable’. Booklist gave MY FAVORITE COUNTESS a starred review and called it ‘sublimely sensual’.
Here’s the blurb:
Spirited, stubborn, and entirely irresistible…
She is difficult, demanding, and at times, quite fierce. And Dr. John Blackmore can’t take his eyes off her. The Countess of Randolph is the most striking woman he has ever seen…and the most infuriating patient he has ever tended. Mired in responsibility, Bathsheba doesn’t have time to convalesce in the country. She should be in London, hunting for a wealthy new lover to pay off her late husband’s vast debts, not dallying with a devastatingly handsome doctor. But it is only a matter of time until the good doctor and the obstinate countess will have to contend with the sparks that fly between them. And once their bodies surrender, their hearts may follow…
Vanessa, your latest book is MY FAVORITE COUNTESS and it sounds like such a delicious romance across the class divide, with your aristocratic heroine and your doctor hero. Can you tell us about the story?
Hi Anna! Thanks for hosting me on the Bandits, one of the best spots to hang out in the romance blogosphere!
As you point out, MY FAVORITE COUNTESS is a romance across the class and money divide. My hero, Dr. John Blackmore, comes from a respectably landed family in the north of England—he’s a gentleman’s son in the way Elizabeth Bennet was a gentleman’s daughter. My heroine, Bathsheba, is the daughter of a viscount and the widow of an earl, so she’s clearly higher up the social scale. She’s a bit of a snob, too, although she’s very strapped up for cash, which is why she needs a rich husband. Not that a little debt (or a lot) ever stopped your average aristocrat from lording it over everyone else!
John, on the other hand, does very well for himself as a physician to the ton, but he works for a living. Oh, the horror! Even worse, he insists on risking his life by going into the slums to doctor poor women and their babies. That freaks Bathsheba right out, although she can’t help but admire his courage and dedication. But the thought of giving up her elevated social standing to be the wife of a physician—especially one who takes so many risks to help poor people—is something she really has to struggle with.
But Bathsheba isn’t totally selfish. She really does have a compelling and understandable reason for finding a rich husband, although she has to keep that reason a secret from everyone she knows.
Sounds fantastic! Did you come across any surprising facts as you researched this book?
Lots of interesting research tidbits for this book. My hero is not your garden variety physician. He’s an accoucheur, which was the Regency version of an obstetrician. One thing that surprised me was how skilled and knowledgeable some of the doctors and midwives were, even by today’s standards. You can imagine, though, how utterly desperate childbirth could be during this era. In fact, the climax of my book involves one of the secondary characters going through a difficult and possibly life-threatening labor. I bet you can guess who saves her!
Here’s one bit I found really fascinating – forceps were developed as far back as the early 17th Century by the Chamberlens, a French Huguenot family who emigrated from Paris and specialized in midwifery. The family kept the instrument a secret for decades, handing it down from father to son in a long line of surgeon specialists. It helped them make their fortunes since the Chamberlens were obstetricians to the Royal family. Part of their success was very likely due to the use of their “secret” instrument. Eventually, the secret got out and various designs of the instrument gradually appeared. The use of forceps was actually quite controversial, though, as physicians argued for years over its safety and utility. A lot of politics came into play in the birthing business, as mid-wives, surgeons, and physicians all competed for a slice of the pie. It’s a fascinating and complicated topic of study.
That’s fascinating! What’s next for Vanessa Kelly?
I’m working on my next book, which is the wrap-up to my series and is a Christmas book. The hero is introduced in MY FAVORITE COUNTESS. His name is Major Lucas Stanton, and he’s a career army officer who’s forced to give up his commission in order to take on the ramshackle estate he’s just inherited. He’s not very happy about it, but the Christmas season (and a Christmas bride!) has a way of making things work out.
Since that book won’t be out until Oct. 2012, I’m writing a Regency novella which I’ll be publishing in e-book form in the early spring of 2012.
And I’m also continuing to write contemporary romances and romantic suspense novels with my husband, under the pen name of V.K. Sykes.
What made you choose the Regency as your setting? You obviously have a passion for early 19th century Great Britain!
I became interested in the Regency era the same way many romance writers did – through the novels of Georgette Heyer. From there I moved on to Jane Austen, which pretty much sealed my fate. In graduate school I studied British women writers of the Regency period, especially Fanny Burney. Her diaries are a fascinating account of life in artistic circles and at the court of King George III.
I guess what I love most about the period is that combination of glamour and grit, wit and crudity that seemed to exemplify life in Regency England. The beauty and culture of Mayfair was only a few blocks from the worst slums in London. But those worlds so often intersected in a strangely democratic way in places like Covent Garden and Vauxhall.
You’ve been published now for a little over two years which makes you an old hand at the publishing game! LOL! Can you share some highlights? Have there been any surprises along the way?
The most surprising thing to me about the publishing business is how fast everything is changing. When I first started writing, e-books were considered to be a niche market and being self-published was akin to existence in the Third Circle of Hell. Now, e-publishing is growing at an astonishing rate and self-publishing is a respectable and sometimes very lucrative alternative. When a first class romance novelist like Connie Brockway decides to go the way of self-publishing, you know the revolution is upon us.
Can you take us through a typical Vanessa Kelly day?
I don’t think I have a typical day. I do spend too much time on the internet, so it’s a battle to keep that under control and stay focused on writing. But I generally do email in the mornings—along with the chores that come from daily living—and write in the afternoon. Evenings are free time to read or watch TV. I get brain burnout if I try to work longer than that.
Vanessa, is there anything you’d like to ask the Bandits and Bandita Buddies?
The hero of MY FAVORITE COUNTESS is neither earl nor duke, nor even a viscount. Do you prefer your Regency heroes aristocratic, or does the idea of a different kind of hero (like a doctor!) appeal to you?
Vanessa has very generously offered commenters today the chance to win TWO copies of MY FAVORITE COUNTESS. Good luck!
Posted by crocodesigns Jun 18 2010, 4:12 am in Bandita Booty, vanessa kelly
OOPS! Seems I forgot that our lovely guest Vanessa Kelly promised to give away TWO copies of her new book Sex and the Single Earl!
So in addition to the previous winner…
Johanna R. Jochum!
You are also a winner.
And a BIG THANX to Vanessa for a great interview and generously giving away two books, and to all my Banditas for holding down the fort while I was gone.
Posted by crocodesigns Jun 7 2010, 2:00 pm in Aunty Cindy explains it all for you, interviews, vanessa kelly
posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
Not long ago, yer olde Aunty was enjoying the sights on another blog (oh, all right, it was The Romance Dish), when a very intriguing cover caught my eye! Needless to say, I had to find out more about this gorgeous hunk… er, um, BOOK!
Turns out this luscious…BOOK is the creation of a lovely author who happens to have a ‘Bandita Connection’ and she agreed to join us today for an interview. So please help me welcome Vanessa Kelly to the Lair!
AC: What made you start writing? Did anyone inspire or encourage you to write?
VK: I’ve been writing all my life in one form or another, either in graduate school or in my work life as a researcher. In grad school, I studied women writers of the Georgian and Regency era who, as you know, were the foremothers of the modern novel and the romance novel.
Several years after I left grad school I started toying (fool that I was!) with the idea of writing a romance. I’ve loved Regency romances ever since my sister introduced me to Georgette Heyer when I was in the eighth grade. And after studying all those fabulous writers in grad school, I developed a natural affinity for the period. So it made sense that when I started to write, I wrote Regency-set historical romance. I guess you could say my inspiration came from writers like Fanny Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and that well-spring of inspiration, Jane Austen. Throw Georgette Heyer into the mix and it all makes perfect sense!
AC: Yes, truly come GREAT inspiration!
How long have you been writing romance with an eye toward publication ?
VK: I’ve been writing romance for about four years.
AC: How many manuscripts did you finish before you sold?
VK: I completed two manuscripts before I sold, and my first book came out in April, 2009.
AC: We love “Call Stories” in the Lair, please share yours with us.
VK: I had just signed with an agent about two months before my book sold. She shopped it to a few houses, who liked it but enough to buy it. She then submitted it to a particular editor at Kensington, who she really believed would love it. By that point I had come to expect a fairly long submission process, so I wasn’t expecting to hear back for several weeks, at least.
Two days later, my husband and I were out shopping. When we returned home there was a message from my agent, telling me to call her at the end of the day because she had something important to discuss. Needless to say, by the end of the afternoon I was a wreck. When I called her, my agent said hello and then immediately put me on hold—for several very loooooong minutes. By the time she got back on the phone I was a total basket case! But the news was great—a two-book contract in Kensington’s Debut program.
AC: WOW! Well, I guess we can forgive her for putting you on hold for so long. LOL!
Please tell us about your current release.
VK: I actually have one book that just came out, and one book soon to be released. My Regency-set historical romance, SEX AND THE SINGLE EARL, came out in early May. It’s the second book in my series, which started with MASTERING THE MARQUESS. It’s a friends-to-lovers story, with a dash of danger and suspense thrown in, and it takes place in Bath, England. Sophie was a really fun heroine to write, especially since she keeps my hero, Simon, running in circles throughout the book. And you may notice that on the cover of the book—right next to the hunky guy with the great chest—there’s a fabulous quote from a certain Bandita!
If you want to read an excerpt of SEX AND THE SINGLE EARL, here’s the link to my website: http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com/excerpt_sse2.html
The other book I have coming out is called CADDYGIRLS, and it’s a contemporary romance that I wrote with my husband under the pen name of VK Sykes. It’s being released by Carina Press, which is Harlequin’s new digital imprint. We’re thrilled to be part of the first wave of authors for Carina, who I think is going to take the publishing world by storm.
AC: You are one busy lady! And how brave of you to co-write with your DH!
Plotter? Pantser? Or something in between? Anything else you want to share about your writing process?
VK: I’m a mad plotter. I make up plot boards, write outlines, character bios, GMC charts—you name it. If there’s a chart I’ve tried it! But I find that the more pre-work I do, the more efficiently and easily I write. I probably go overboard, but I don’t really find that it stifles the creative process. When I have a certain level of security as to what happens next, I can relax and just let the good stuff roll on out.
AC: I can see you and Tawny are go to get along famously.
Do you have any advice you’d like to share with unpublished or recently published writers?
VK: Don’t treat your novels like your babies. The publishing business can be tough, and putting a little distance between yourself and your work can help keep your sanity intact. And definitely don’t read bad reviews!!
AC: Excellent advice! Especially about not reading bad reviews.Why are those the ones I always remember?!?!
On a happier note, what’s next for you, Vanessa?
VK: The next book in my Regency-set historical series will be out in May, 2011. It’s called MY FAVORITE COUNTESS, and the heroine is Bathsheba, who was the evil ex-mistress in SEX AND THE SINGLE EARL. It was so much fun reforming her. And just to make things more interesting, I paired her up with a crusading slum doctor—most definitely not the kind of man she’s used to!
I also have a short story in the Mammoth Book of Regency Romance, which comes out this summer. I know that Anna also has a story in that anthology—I can’t wait to read it!
AC: All those sound GREAT! I can hear the TBR piles growing now. Thank you for being here today Vanessa.
What about you? Do you like friends-to-lovers stories? Or are you more intrigued by the reformed bad boy/girl? What are some of your favorite stories with either of these two themes?
Vanessa is generously giving away TWO copies of her book SEX AND THE SINGLE EARL to lucky commenters today, so let us hear from YOU!