Take a Sneak Peak inside a Rogue

Let’s just get to the good stuff, shall we? I’ve posted the excerpt for Have You Any Rogues?! And apparently I do, Yes, Sir, Yes, Sir, Three Rogues will do. Tee Hee. HAVE YOU ANY ROGUES?

As a little backstory, I got the idea for Have You Any Rogues? while I was writing And The Miss Ran Away with the Rake. There is a scene, late in the book, where Crispin Dale comes to Owle Park and demands that Preston hand over his cousin, Daphne. As Crispin was there, glowering on the front steps, I realized–or at least in my imagination–I saw Henrietta Seldon glaring back at him–and I just knew they had HISTORY. Lots of it.

All that all was left to do was to explore what had happened to them before and what might happen if they were tossed together yet again.

I love it when a good bought of glowering and glaring ends in a happily ever after, don’t you?

Weaving Series

Someone in Dallas this weekend asked me if when I started a new series, such as Rhymes with Love, am I tempted to bring in old characters from my other series. The answer: Boy, am I ever!

Old, familiar characters are what makes writing a series fun.

Anyone who has read my Danvers series will notice I have a slight fondness for Temple. He appears in nearly every book. I adore that man, er, character, to the point that borders on obsession. I had thought that after giving him his own book, Stealing the Bride, that would be enough. No. He had a habit of wandering onto the page of whatever story I was telling, slanting a rakish wink at me,  and while I was still flush with joy at his arrival, make himself indispensable. Wretched rogue!

So when I started writing Along Came a Duke, I really had to keep all the old characters at bay, barring the door to my office. Refusing their friend requests on Facebook.

Even Temple.

But that doesn’t mean the old books are not in the new series. Because like Temple, I am a wretched rogue at heart. And there are two “cameos” in Along Came a Duke. You may or may not have noticed them. One is a reference from to Love Letters from a Duke and the other is from It Takes a Hero.

In the interest of not providing spoilers, did you spot them, yea or nay?

Five Things About Pamela Palmer

I recently met Pamela Palmer in person at the Washington Romance Writers Conference–she had emailed me a few weeks before the conference as a welcome to WRW and offered her help navigating a new conference–I was so touched by how nice she was to offer, and soon discovered that she is also extremely nice in person. So if you want to be scared and “bitten” by a generous and kind person, here are Five Things about paranormal author Pamela Palmer.

1. Where is the most beautiful/romantic place you’ve ever been? Loch Ness, Scotland. My husband and I toured Scotland some years ago and visited Castle Urquhart on Loch Ness. It was late March, the trees still bare, but I still found it an incredibly beautiful, dramatic, awe-inspiring place. In late March, the castle ruins were practically empty, but for us. I could almost hear the voices from long ago.

2. Do you celebrate when you finish a book and what you do? Rather than celebrate, I’m usually looking to escape. After a particularly intense deadline hell I need to get out of the house, so I usually head for the mall to soak up the crowds and the external world. Sometimes, I haven’t left the house for days. My celebration of choice is a bottle of champagne or a dinner out, but I tend to save those for the big things—new contracts or hitting a bestseller list. Finishing a book is such a slippery thing. First draft done? Yay, but more revisions needed. Sometimes lots more. Send it off to my editor? Whew! But she’s quick and thorough and often boomerangs it back to me for more revisions within a week or two. Editorial revisions done? Yippee! But I’m still holding my breath, hoping my editor accepts the revisions and doesn’t send the book back for more.

3. If you could go on a date with any superhero, who would you choose and why? Ha. Thor, especially if he looks like Chris Hemsworth! Or Superman. I want to fly!

4. If you were not writing, what job would you have? Once upon a time, I worked for IBM, first in production control, then in procurement. (I was an industrial engineer.) If I were to return to a 9-5 day job, it would probably be something along those lines. Since I live in the D.C. suburbs, I’d likely end up working for some kind of government contractor. But I’m extremely happy with the job I have. I adore writing and love working at home.

5. Print or ebook? Both. I own a Kindle and tend to buy new books electronically. I love the convenience of instantly downloading the book I want to read, and love traveling with one Kindle vs. half a dozen paperbacks. But I have a teetering TBR pile of print books, and continually acquire more at conferences, so I tend to alternate between electronic and print. I enjoy both and honestly don’t have a preference when it comes to the actual reading experience.

You can learn more about Pamela Palmer’s newest Vamp City novel, A Blood Seduction, by visiting her website. You can also meet me and Pamela at our upcoming Events in Tulsa, Chicago and Dallas!

Five Things about Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes is one of the lovely members of the Washington Romance Writers who I had the pleasure to meet at their retreat the first weekend of this month. I knew immediately that I needed to introduce her to all of you! Without further ado, here are Five Things about Grace Burrowes:

1. Where is the most beautiful/romantic place you’ve ever been?
Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

2. If you could go on a date with any superhero, who would you choose and why? Wonder Woman. I want to know how she does it, where she got her boots, and what all the good gossip is in Superhero Land, particularly about the guys.

3. What blogs do you visit? Blame It On the Muse, Two Nerdy History Girls, The Georgian Gentleman, and few other Regency sites.

EB: Warning, I dropped by The Georgian Gentleman and got totally sidetracked!

4. If you were not writing, what job would you have? I’ve always wanted to work in a flower shop.

5. If you were going to an island for a long time, name 5 things you would bring.

  • Peanut butter
  • Toilet paper
  • A trunk full of my keepers
  • SPF 100
  • My Swiss army knife

Grace’s new book, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal has just arrived in stores and in digital release. To learn more about Grace and her other Regency set romances, please visit her website GraceBurrowes.com.

Rhymes with Love ~ A New Series

Maybe you’ve heard, but my new book, Along Came a Duke, is part of new series, Rhymes with Love. I thought I’d share with you a bit of insider info and get you ready to jump into the world of Kempton, England.

I started this new series for a variety of reasons–I had felt that the Bachelor Chronicles had run its course. While at first, I thought about doing another spin-off series with Lord Andrew and his band of misfits from Lord Langley is Back in Town, but then I got hit with another idea: a village in England that is cursed.

Before you get to alarmed that this series is going to be paranormal, it is not. The curse was only the starting point.

The first peek at the steamy stepback!

Like any idea, the spark or the curse, in this case, began brewing around in my imagination, and suddenly I saw the entire village. High Street–with its tidy row of shops, the lane running up the backside of the village from the vicarage and St. Edwards, a wonderful stone church dating back to Norman times, with its tall tower that had weathered centuries. And spinsters and young ladies with nothing to do. Not a single gentleman will marry them. And most haven’t the means to go to London.

Then I realized what the true heart of this series must be–it wasn’t the curse, but the friendships, the deep, abiding friendships these women would forge.

Far better for storytelling than just a mere curse.

The more I wrote, the more I fell in love with how these friends looked out for each other, viewed each other as sisters more than friends, and how they would find their place in a world that usually gave unmarried women a skeptical eye.

The first three stories revolve around Tabitha Timmons, Daphne Dale and Harriet Hathaway. None of them are prepared for marriage, courtship or even a flirtatious glance, but what they lack in guile and intrigue, they make up for in sheer determination, spunk, and humor.

Look out London, here comes the spinsters from Kempton! And happy reading!

P.S. And why is the series called Rhymes with Love? Because the titles of the first three books are all taken from nursery rhymes: Along Came a Duke, And The Miss Ran Away with the Rake, and If Wishes were Earls.

As you will notice, the cover for Along Came a Duke even sports the perfect tuffet on which to eat curds and whey while awaiting a duke.

And finally and most importantly, if you haven’t heard, the digital version of Along Came a Duke is on pre-sale for $4.99 at Kindle and Nook.

CONTEST:

To get ready for the May 29th release of Along Came a Duke, I am giving away four prize packets–each of which will include an advanced reader’s copy of Along Came a Duke, as well as an autographed copy of one of Julia Quinn’s books. The prize packet will also feature tons of author swag and bragging rights to have been one of the first to read Along Came a Duke.

To enter, answer the following question before midnight PDT, May 12th: Which is your favorite nursery rhyme?

Five Things about Lena Diaz

Lena Diaz is a fellow Avon author and the wonderful part of being published at Avon is that the books are so diverse. I love my historicals, but occassionally a little suspense is good for the soul. So therefore, let me introduce, Lena Diaz:

1. Did you have a nickname growing up? Lele, pronounced ‘Lee Lee’. My oldest sister called me that and still does sometimes. No rhyme or reason behind it, just a nickname that was a play off my first name. I always liked it and thought it was cute.

2. Where is the most beautiful/romantic place you’ve ever been? Gatlinburg, Tennessee. My husband surprised me on our 15th wedding anniversary with a trip to Gatlinburg. We stayed in a chalet that clung to the side of the Smoky Mountain foothills. We sat in the hot tub on the deck, looking out over the mountains. And we took all kinds of day trips through the Smoky Mountain National Park, hiking and seeing wildlife and beautiful waterfalls. The highlight was hiking up to Clingman’s Dome where you can see for miles in every direction. We went back a few years later with our extended family, about twenty of us, and rented a three-story cabin. Went horseback riding and hiking. The highlight of that second trip was whitewater rafting. I love Gatlinburg and highly recommend it, both as a romantic getaway and as a great place for family fun!

3. What is the very first romance book that you read? It’s impossible for me to remember the very first one, but I know one of the earliest ones I read was The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I can still picture the hero, Brandon Birmingham, his tall, muscular, handsome profile standing on the deck of his ship as he took his new bride home from England to America. I could feel the heroine’s sorrow as her beloved homeland slipped beyond the horizon, and her fear of her uncertain future in a strange new land. Several of Woodiwiss’s books became my favorites and sit proudly on my bookshelf to this day, including A Rose in Winter and Ashes in the Wind. Kathleen Woodiwiss was an incredible author who paved the way for so many authors after her. She was the true queen of romance, one of the original Avon ladies.

4. If you could time travel, what time period would you most like to visit? Medieval Scotland, the highlands, during the reign of King John in England. I think that was the late 1100’s, maybe even 1200. That was the time of Julie Garwood’s novel Ransom, one of my all-time favorite historicals. I’d love to go back to that time and see the Highland Laird’s and see firsthand the power-struggles between the British and Scottish people. Of course, I’d want to be invisible on my trip, so I’d be safe. It was a hard, violent time and although I’d love to visit, I wouldn’t want to live there. I enjoy my modern day luxuries of soap, showers, medicines, etc. far too much to actually want to live in medieval times. But, really, who could resist seeing all those Scottish highlanders in their kilts and speaking with those sexy brogues?

5. What are your top three favorite movies? This is where I have to admit that I’m a total movie fanatic. I love romantic comedies and action flicks. My top three favorites probably change depending on my mood, but off the top of my head right now, I’d say Armegeddon (love the Aerosmith soundtrack, and Bruce Willis of course), Notting Hill, While you Were Sleeping, and I have to throw a fourth one in here – Ever After. Oh, and I loved Kate & Leopold, and A Knight’s Tale….and…okay, have to stop myself. Needless to say, I love movies!

To learn more about Lena Diaz and her suspense novels, including her latest, Simon Says Die, please visit her website, www.LenaDiaz.com.

Five More Things About Stefanie Sloane

So yes, Stephanie has dropped by here before, but some people bear repeating. ‘Sides, she’s awful nice. Plus, her 2011 book, Devil in Disguise has garnered a double nominations in the RWA RITA awards for Best First Book and Best Regency Historical Romance. I have to smile at this, because I got that double nod myself with my first book. It’s like we are twins who were separated at birth. LOL.

Plus, she sent me a picture of Thor to insert in the blog. Just saying . . .

1. Did you have a nickname growing up?
Mad Dog Stefano. Seriously. There was a boxer in the early 70s nicknamed Mad Dog. And then there was me. It was nearly impossible to tell us apart. Except that one was a big, beefy boxer and the other a small, mouthy toddler. Other than that? Total twins, right down to the hair-trigger temper and the nasty right hook.

2. If you could go on a date with any superhero, who would you choose and why? Oh, definitely Thor. He’s not just a superhero, he’s a god. And, well, he looks like this:

Dibs.

3. If you were not writing, what job would you have? Professional dancer featured on Dancing with the Stars. Not that I actually know how to ballroom dance. But I would love to learn! Only problem: cannot abide fake tans. But I’m sure we could figure something out.

4. Most embarrassing song on your iPod. I’m a firm believer in the idea that no music is embarrassing. I love everything from pop to alternative, country to classical, and all points in between. But if I lost my iPod and a stranger came across it, here are the songs that would have them laughing in five minutes flat:

  • ABBA, Dancing Queen
  • Beastie Boys, Sure Shot
  • Destiny’s Child, Bootylicious
  • Presidents of the United States, Love Everybody

5. If you were going to an island for a long time, name 5 things you would bring.

  • Sunscreen! (A certain someone would have never let me hear the end of it if this item were forgotten.)
  • A lifetime supply of guacamole. And chips This really only counts as one item since guacamole without chips is a sad, sad situation.
  • My iPod, loaded with every song ever recorded. By every artist. In every genre. Whew, I think that covers it.
  • My Kindle, loaded with every book ever written. By every author. In every genre. Huh. I feel like I’ve heard this somewhere before.
  • My family. They’re crazy, but I love them. Wait, how long am I stuck on this island? Hmmmm…

Besides being a double RITA nominee, which is huge bragging rights, Stefanie Sloane also has a new book out, The Saint Who Stole My Heart which is garnering all kinds of buzz. Read all about it on her website.

Autographed Books

Just a quick note to let those of you who live in far flung (and probably some not-so-far-flung) that I never seem to visit, the bookstore, Turn the Page, where I will be signing this Friday is also having a virtual signing–which means, if you order one of my books from them, I’ll sign it and they will then send it on to you. A wonderful idea for a gift for Mother’s Day perhaps, or just getting a copy for yourself.

And there are plenty of authors to chose from, including Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Robyn Carr, Cathy Maxwell, Amanda Brice, Leigh Duncan, Alma Katsu, Lavinia Kent, Mindy Klasky, Alethea Kontis, Kieran Kramer, Allison Leotta, Pamela Palmer, Hope Ramsay, Alix Rickloff, Christine Trent.

The signing is an embarrassment of riches, so why not take advantage of it and check out what books are available over at Turn the Page. But order before Friday!

Oh, and if you live in the area, the signing is this Friday, from 11-2ish. But you will want to get there early, as they had out tickets for entry and when the tickets are gone, then no one else will be let in. Also, no outside books. Sorry about that! But if you can come, I would love to meet you!

Five Things About Mary Jo Putney

I read Mary Jo Putney long before I met her. I had one of those fan-girl moments when I finally did get to meet her. After all, here was the author of The Rake! And it was with great joy that I discovered that besides being a fabulous writer, she was also a gracious and lovely lady. So it is with great joy that I share with you Five Things About Mary Jo Putney.

1. Where is the most beautiful/romantic place you’ve ever been? It’s hard to beat the Virgin Islands–turquoise waters and silver sand and jagged volcanic islands scattered in all directions. We’ve stayed in the British Virgins again and again. Paradise. But there are so many other beautiful/romantic places! New Zealand, South Africa, Scotland, Tuscany, the Dalmatian Coast….I’ll stop now.

2. Do you celebrate when you finish a book and what you do?
Usually I collapse and sleep for a while, because I’m always frantic and bang up against (or over!) a deadline. Then the Mayhem Consultant will take me to a really nice B&B for a quiet getaway. When I finished No Longer a Gentleman, we want to a lovely place right on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and could look out from the balcony and see freighters and tugs and other boats go by. Very relaxing!

3. What new authors have you recently added to your TBR pile? Sophia Page, a new pseudonym for Harlequin author Sophia Weston.  As Sophia Page, she wrote a wonderful book that came out a few months ago called To Marry a Prince, which was a smart, funny story about a commoner girl marrying the Prince of Wales. Not Kate and William, but it did give entertaining insights into what such a romance would be like. I think she has another book coming, and I’m looking forward to it.

4. If you could go on a date with any superhero, who would you choose and why? Wolverine from the X-Men, but ONLY if played by Hugh Jackman!

5. If you were not writing, what job would you have? I was a graphic designer for many years, but the business had computerized so much I’m no longer hireable. In fact, I’m pretty much unemployable at anything but writing. If I had to find a new career–I like houses. Maybe real estate. Except that I’m not great with contracts and would probably make terrible mistakes and become unemployed again really rapidly.

Mary Jo’s classic 5 star and RITA winning book, The Rake, with its alcoholic hero was recently reissued!!! Huzzah!! No Longer a Gentleman, the fourth in her Lost Lords series, will be released April 24th and received a coveted starred review from Publishers Weekly! Learn more about Mary Jo and her wonderful Regency books at http://www.maryjoputney.com/.

Spring Break Madness

With it being Spring Break in lots of places–and in the coming weeks, I decided a little Spring Madness was in order. So Brazen Angel is now up on Nook and Kindle for the incredible price of .99! Now this isn’t going to last forever. Probably until I come to my senses, so if you’ve wanted to try out the Brazen series, here is your chance.

Brazen Angel

And because, quite frankly, it is sunny here in Seattle, I am going to leap outside and frolic in the sunshine a bit, I’m keeping this short instead of droning on like I usually do.

But first I need to post last week’s winner and she is: Diane D, or otherwise known as @englishmeadows over on Twitter. Diane, contact me with your mailing address and I’ll get your package to you.