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5 Things with Nicola Davidson

Today Nicola Davidson, author of both Regency and Tudor era romances, is visiting us all the way from New Zealand! Welcome to the blog, Nicola, and thanks for sharing some fun facts with us…

Nicola Davidson1) Did you have a nickname growing up? My father always called me Shorty, because I was a pip squeak growing up – front row of every school photo. He still does, although I’m now 5ft 9″ tall and nearly look him in the eye…
2) Where do you go for inspiration when the creativity well is running a little dry? Anyplace with water. I’ve solved plot issues, untangled dialogue and thought of names, walking along a beach, perched on a rock in the middle of a river or washing my hair in the shower. I really need to invest in waterproof technology. Or keep a bucket beside my desk.
3) What new to you authors are you crazy about? I adore super sexy stories, historical, contemporary and paranormal. I’m on a contemporary binge at the moment, and I’m a big fan of Christina Lauren’s ‘Beautiful Bastard’ books and Jackie Ashenden’s ‘Living In’… series.HFL-500px1
4) If you could time travel, what time period would you most like to visit? That’s a tough one – I write both Tudor and Regency, so would love to visit both! Most especially a jousting tournament or Christmastide in Henry VIII’s era, and a come-out ball at Almack’s in Regency time.
5) What is the most embarrassing song/app on your iPod? First confession – I don’t have an iPod! But I’m an 80’s music tragic, so have countless embarrassing songs to bellow and flail manically to. My neighbours are really lucky people.
You can find Nicola at her website, on Twitter, or hanging around Facebook!

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Five Things with Olivia Kelly

Today bestselling Regency romance author Olivia Kelly has come to visit us, and let us in on five things we probably don’t know about her. Welcome, Olivia!

1) What is the very first romance novel that you read? Nora Robert’s Montana Sky. Well, that was the first “genre” rTLATD silver fontomance I read. I’d read plenty of romance in the science fiction and fantasy novels I devoured as a teen. It just wasn’t very interesting to me if it didn’t at least have one romance subplot! But my first historical romance was Sabrina Jeffries. I think it was her Royal Brotherhood series, actually. I’m pretty sure Marcus North was my first brush with the “dark, tortured aristocrat with a soft, vulnerable center” hero, and I fell hard. He’s still one of my favorites.

2) If you could be a superhero, power would you choose and why? Hmm. I haven’t thought a lot about this (lies, all of it lies, I totally have), but maybe teletransportation. I’d love to be able to get places anywhere in the world in the blink of an eye. And I’d imagine it would come in handy when beating bad guys. There are ALWAYS bad guys when you have superheroes around. “Every hero needs a villain…”

3) Who are your must-buy authors? Darynda Jones, Claudia Dain, Erin Knightley, Charlotte Stein, Stephan Blackmoore, Julia Quinn, Kevin Hearne, Lisa Kleypas, and Jenna Black. A very random, multi-genre/sub-genre list!

4) If you could choose any 3 people in history to meet, who would they be? The Romanov sisters (I count them as one!), because they intrigue me. They are so beautiful in the pictures, before the executions, but what were they like as people? Spoiled, entitled snobs? Or were they smart, interesting girls, with dreams beyond their station in life? L.M. Montgomery, because she wrote the most lovely, uplifting, heartbreaking stories, with characters that endure well beyond her own lifetime. And lastly, Titanic survivor Molly Brown. She’s most famous for her sense of presence during the time of evacuation on the sinking ship, and credited with saving many lives. But that’s just skimming the surface. She was an early feminist, the very first woman to run for office in the US ever, and ran for the Senate years before woman were even allowed to vote! She was a force to be reckoned with, and I wish I’d met her.

5) Print or ebook? Both! While I love the convenience of being able to buy a new book on my Kindle at 10pm on a Sunday night, something I could never do before ebooks arrived, you will pry my paperbacks out of my cold, dead hands. I love the smell of books, the feel of them, the rustle of the pages as you flip through them. There’s nothing like the smell of an old bookstore, or a library. It gives my heart a happy hiccup. I think you know exactly what I mean…

You can find Olivia on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

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5 Things with Leanne Shirtliffe

Today we’re welcoming my dear friend, and fabulous author, Leanne Shirtliffe to the blog! Her author bio tells you everything you need to know about her hilarious new book Mommyfesto. “Leanne is a humor writer whose motto is “If you can’t laugh at yourself, laugh at your kids.”” She’s a blast, and I’m thrilled to have her with us for a Five Things post today…

Mommyfesto1) What’s your strongest/most productive writing habit? My most productive writing habit is that I’m deadline driven. When I set (or am given) a deadline, I meet it. Of course, being deadline driven is basically a polite way of saying that I’m a procrastinator who gets the job done—just barely, and with varying amounts of collateral damage depending on the project—by the time it’s due.
2) What is the very first romance novel that you read? I read lots of Danielle Steele paperbacks when I was a teenager, mostly when I was working in the field (my parents had a large wheat farm), waiting for the combine to come and dump the grain into the 5-ton trucks I drove. I doubt farm-girl-me was the reader that Danielle Steele had imagined when she was penning Fine Things or Thurston House, but her books got me through some long days.
3) If you could be a superhero, power would you choose and why? I would choose the power of having my children listen to me—wait for it—the FIRST TIME I said something. Can you imagine not repeating yourself? All the fights it would save? All that extra time you’d have?

4) If you were going to an island for a long time, name 5 things you would bring. Assuming survival gear is out, I’d happily pack the following:

  1. A lifetime supply of peanut butter
  2. The complete works of Shakespeare (I teach high school English in my spare time, so I can be a bit of a nerd.)
  3. Paper
  4. Pen
  5. Colin Firth         (I should likely say “my husband,” but someone has to lead the search effort.)

5) What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done? When I was 25, I accepted a job teaching high school at an international school in the Middle East. I moved to Bahrain as a single woman, and then proceeded to meet the man who’d become my husband (who also happened to have been born in the same Canadian city as me).


Leanne is giving away a copy of Mommyfesto to one (random) reader. To be entered to win a copy, just tell us in the comments below what five things YOU would wish to be marooned on a deserted island with!


When she’s not wrestling her kids for the Wii remote, you can usually find Leanne on her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

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5 Things with Rose Lerner

Today Rose Lerner has dropped by to share some interesting tidbits about herself with us. Rose is the author of several Regency romances. Her latest is True Pretenses, just out on the 13th, in which a philanthropist heiress agrees to marry a Jewish con artist to get her hands on her dowry. Fantastic!

RoseLerner_150wide1) Where is the most beautiful/romantic place you’ve ever been? When I traveled around Europe the summer after my study abroad, I went to St. Petersburg during the White Nights (when the sun never quite sets all night because it’s so far north). I saw the drawbridges across the Neva going up in the early morning, bathed in pale, pale light. I can’t even really explain how different the quality of the light was to anything I’ve ever seen anywhere else, but it was magical.

(Dostoevsky is one of my very favorite authors, too, and “White Nights” was one of his first books I ever read. It changed my life, and I thought it was just the most romantic thing ever. I don’t know if I would feel the same reading it now, but in high school I thrilled to every word.)

2) If you could be a superhero, what power would you choose and why? Telekinesis! Telekinesis is not only the coolest-looking superpower, but the most useful (after invulnerability/regeneration/never getting sick, which is my second choice). If I was watching TV I would never, ever have to get out from under the blankets to get the remote control or grab a snack! Heaven.

I don’t think I’d really want to be a superhero though. Too scary! I think I’d just want to be telekinetic.

TruePretenses_2003) Who is your favorite author? Ahhh! I can’t choose! Um. Probably Jeannie Lin (historical romance set in Tang Dynasty China, and now she’s doing steampunk too) or Cecilia Grant (Regency-set historicals). Both of them always leave me completely, 100% satisfied. To me their books are just note-perfect. Every word is perfectly placed and every story turn and twist feels right and inevitable. I love the kind of stories they tell, the way they create setting, their characters…everything.

4) What new to you authors are you crazy about? Well, I just read A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev and loved it madly. And I tried Molly O’Keefe’s RITA-winning book last year after RWA and then tore through most of her backlist. Oh, and I just read Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai which I really liked—it was sort of a Clueless set-up where their parents were married for five seconds a million years ago so technically they’re step-siblings, and he’s a bit of an uptight nerd and she’s…a GENIUS PHILANTHROPIST BILLIONAIRE PLAYGIRL! She totally has a little of the Tony Stark thing going on. She runs a restaurant/club empire and holds kinky orgies at her house, and her hapless ex-stepbrother has been having secret fantasies about them ever since he read about it in the tabloids! So awesome.

5) What are your top three favorite movies? Hmm. Well, here are three movies I could probably watch over and over and never get tired of: Rebecca (the Hitchcock version, I watch it at least a couple times a year, sometimes more, and I love every minute of it), Iron Man 2 (love everything about this movie, except for I feel like Rhodey’s arc is maybe a little rushed), and Fast Five (a.k.a the movie that took everything I loved about the Fast and Furious franchise, leveled it up, and added a heist). Honorable mention: The Quick and the Dead (the Sam Raimi one), Jane Eyre (the Fukunaga version from a few years ago), Dirty Dancing, and Star Trek IV: The One With The Whales.

You can find Rose at her website, Twitter, or on Tumblr!

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Five Things with Shana Galen

Bestselling author Shana Galen is visiting the blog today. She writes fast-paced, adventurous Regency romances, the newest release being The Viscount of Vice. Welcome, Shana!

Color Shana Galen L-R-21181) Did you have a nickname growing up? My real name is Shane, so my family often called me Shaney. In middle school, I wore pink all the time, and my friends called me Pinky. In high school, I turned Goth. That was the end of Pinky.

2) What’s your strongest/most productive writing habit? It’s definitely writing early and first thing in the morning. I can’t do this everyday because I have to get my daughter to school, but on Saturday mornings I go to Starbucks at 5:30 and work for 5 or 6 hours. I get so much done and then I have the rest of the day to relax.Viscount of Vice-300

3)If you were not writing, what job would you have? I’d be an animal cop. I would like to rescue abused and neglected animals and slap the bad owners with tickets, fines, and send them to jail.

4) If you could time travel, what time period would you most like to visit? I’d definitely visit the Regency. I write about it all the time and sometimes I feel like I live there in my head. I can’t imagine how amazing it would be to meet some of the people who really lived then.

5) What is the most embarrassing song/app on your ipod. I have about a dozen songs from Barbie movies. My daughter loves them. Confession: they are pretty catchy. On any given day you might catch me with the sunroof open singing along to Princess and the Pop Star.

You can find Shana on her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

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