Welcome Susan Gee Heino to the lair!

I have to admit that I’ve been waiting to host my good friend, Susan Gee Heino, and her new Regency historical debut for well over a year. She sent me a more traditional author photo to use for the blog but I prefer this one (he-he). Susan has a quick wit that is so evident in MISTRESS BY MISTAKE which has a release date of December 1st from Berkley Sensation. Treat yourself to an early Christmas present – or, more appropriately, reward yourself for surviving yet another family Thanksgiving celebration. Whatever the justification, discover this new author!

Thanks for inviting me to hang with the Banditas, Donna! You gals always know how to throw a party here. And speaking of parties, it’s Thanksgiving here in the states this week and you know what that means: the dreaded House Party.

Ah, yes. You get to stand in line for the bathroom, your vertebrae all crunch together after a night on the sleeper-sofa, and invariably somebody’s kid breaks a priceless family heirloom. All those lovely holiday traditions—beautiful and warm… except when you’re living through them.

But what if we were suddenly a great, omnipotent being who could reach down and control all the goings-on at this year’s family get-together? Wouldn’t that be cool? No more snobby mother-in-law taking over your kitchen, no stick-skinny cousin Tina bragging how she can eat anything and never gain an ounce, and for the first time ever Uncle Bob-the-Lush would leave some beer for the other guys.

If I were this grand omnipotent being I would drag my holiday festivities out of 2009 and back into Regency England. Wouldn’t that be just awesome? (As long as indoor plumbing and my blow dryer could go back with me, of course!)

Instead of piling the kids into the mini-van for a four hour drive to a bi-level in the suburbs, my family would board a well-sprung coach and journey to some pretentious country estate. I’d cast my darling husband as the put-upon nobleman who is traveling with us against his better judgment (not a stretch, he tells me) while I’d get to play the part of innocent Regency maiden desperate for a bit of adventure. (Er, that is a bit of a stretch, I’m afraid.)

But would Omnipotent Susan honestly be content to leave things well enough alone at that point? Heck no! Everyone knows a really great Regency house party must have a full complement of misunderstandings, secret affections, unlikely bedfellows and mischief galore. Throw in some honest-to-goodness emotion with true lovers longing, and that sounds like a gathering to remember!

This is what I tried to do when creating the house party scenes in my up-coming debut, MISTRESS BY MISTAKE. Clearly I did not leave well enough alone there, either.

What? Dashford was joining the group for dinner, after all? Did he not realize Evaline would be here? Oh, God. How could she face him so soon after they’d… well, afterward. She felt her nerves unhinge at the very thought.
She struggled to keep herself calm, but her hands shook. The glass of lemonade she lifted to her lips in an effort to soothe the choking dryness of her throat wobbled, then slipped from her grasp. Lemonade splashed around her and nearly covered poor old Mr. Peterson who’d been seated, unfortunately for him, at her left. What a disaster this dinner was turning out to be!

Yep, that dinner ends badly. And so do a few others before true love finally conquers all. And of course we see that in real life, too. Do we really want that Omnipotent Presence to reach down and spare us from an under-cooked turkey or an over-stewed Uncle? Probably not. It’s all these things that make our get-togethers special and our hearts grow fonder. Even for the snobby mother-in-law.

So, what would you change about your family get-togethers if you could? What would your fantasy House Party look like? Share with us and one person will win a signed copy of MISTRESS BY MISTAKE!

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