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So, Who Said It?

Continuing my #ThrowbackThursday challenge, I’ve pulled another line or two out of one of my books, and now I’m asking you:
Who Said It?

“I disagree,” she said, drawing shocked looks from nearly everyone at the table. “My father was afraid of the company one finds in those schools. It was his belief that the polish that you think so highly of, Miss Cottwell, gives a young lady a false sense of pride and superiority that men find off putting. Would you say that was your experience?”

Is it:
1) Maureen Hawthorne from Brazen Temptress
2) Tally Langley from Confessions of a Little Black Gown
3) Rebecca Tate from It Takes a Hero

Make your best guess and I’ll post the answer tomorrow. Also, did you see last week’s challenge? Give it a shot here.

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And the Answer Is . . .

So who said the following:

“What will the neighbors think if you toss me out into the streets in the middle of the night?” She shook at his grasp. “I won’t go quietly.”

Something About Emmaline
Well, it had to be that illustrious con artist disguised as the baron’s fictional wife, Emmaline from Something About Emmaline. One of my favorites. You can read the excerpt here, or order your own copy for a fun #Fridayreads.

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Who Said It?

Just to give #ThrowbackThursday a different twist, I thought I might play a game I’m calling “Who Said It?” Pulling a line or two out of one of my books, I’m going to see just how well you know my stories… So, Who Said It?

“What will the neighbors think if you toss me out into the streets in the middle of the night?” She shook at his grasp. “I won’t go quietly.”

Is it:
1) Lucy from How I Met My Countess
2) Maureen Hawthorne from Brazen Temptress
3) Emmaline from Something about Emmaline

What’s your answer? Just so I don’t leave you in suspense, the answer can be found here.

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Newsletter Winners

And the contest winners from my April 25th newsletter are:

  • Grand Prize Kindle Fire: psmhopkins@Six Impossible Things
  • 1st Runner Up $25 Amazon gift card: fictionalgypsy@
  • 2nd Runner Up $25 Amazon gift card: sheryll1974@
  • 3rd Runner Up $25 Amazon gift card: moon_princess@

Thank you, one and all, for helping spread the word about the release of Six Impossible Things. Your work and enthusiast support propelled my latest and final installment in the Rhymes with Love series onto the USA TODAY bestseller list. So give yourselves a round of applause.

But that doesn’t mean you have to stop . . . word of mouth is the bread and butter of success for an author. Please continue to post your reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, pictures on Instagram and Twitter (#siximpossiblethings) or share one of my posts on Facebook. Or send a link to the Excerpt to a friend. It all helps, and it is all truly and deeply appreciated.

Haven’t picked up your copy yet? Get Six Impossible Things from your favorite online retailer here.

Not subscribed to my Newsletter? You are missing out on exclusive contests, news and giveaways. Sign up in the box at the top of this page.






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The “M” Word

One of the most overlooked parts in romance novels is the M word: Marriage. We write and write about the parts that lead up to that commitment, but how often do books look at what happens after the “I do” except in romances that are slated as “Marriages of Convenience.”

I never set out to write Six Impossible Things as a Marriage of Convenience story–it isn’t by my way of thinking, more of a “Marriage-That-Had-to-Be”. In fact, in my original synopsis Roselie and Brody marry where weddings usually occur in historical romances, about two pages from the ending.

But as I began writing, I started to see where I could use this story to explore that fragile relationship of marriage–using the other Rhymes with Love couples as examples of the various ways couples mix and work together (Harriet and Roxley, If Wishes Were Earls), and the unexpected pairings who find their way to happiness despite their differences (Lavinia and Tuck, The Knave of Hearts).

Oh, I did give myself a bit of an edge–it is obvious that Roselie and Brody are perfect for each other, (you can see it in the Excerpt) both loves the other (whether they are willing to admit it or realize it) but I wrote the book–at the same time–wondering how they would ever see their way to that happily ever after, if they could find that love match despite the odds, and how they could find a way to make straight what was a very crooked, unwanted beginning.

Not an easy path by any stretch.

I think what finally worked for them, and works in real life as well, is honesty, communication and a clear trust and unshakeable belief by both that you are each is in for the other. That’s the happily ever after.

What do you  think?






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The Tale of 3 Covers

Or maybe I should make that “Two Wrongs Make a Third Cover.” Or “What happens when you write the stories of identical twins and the trials of making sure both covers have the same model.”

Or rather, “How SIX IMPOSSIBLE THINGS got its cover because a certain someone (not pointing fingers here) decided she no longer wanted to be a romance cover model and made a mess of everything.”

Okay, let’s start with the problem–down below is the stepback for the first book, THE VISCOUNT WHO LIVED DOWN THE LANE, featuring Louisa Tempest, of the infamous Tempest twins. I loved this–I think the model looks a lot like Kate Middleton, don’t you?

Best of all, she looks exactly like I envisioned Louisa and her identical twin sister, Lavinia Tempest might look.

Can I say that again, her identical twin sister.

As in they look exactly alike.

Then I began writing THE KNAVE OF HEARTS, Lavinia’s book, (you remember her, the identical twin sister of Louisa?) and like it often happens, one magical day the email arrives with, ta-da, the new cover for THE KNAVE OF HEARTS. You take a deep breath, make a hasty prayer to the cover gods and open it. This time my heart stopped.

After all, it’s gorgeous. I mean really, really, gorgeous. Then I take another look.

Um. Just a dang-gone minute. What the heck? I take another look. I grab a copy of THE VISCOUNT WHO LIVED DOWN THE LANE down off the shelf. Did someone forget that we needed the same model? So the heroines would be, say, identical?

Because lovely women that they both are, clearly they are not identical twins.

Head hit desk.

Now reshooting a cover is not an inexpensive venture, but there was no way around this, they needed to get the original model and do a cover shoot with her. After a bit of back and forth, it was agreed that a new cover was needed.

Except the original model no longer wanted to do romance novel covers.

Bad, meet Worse.

As this all unfolded, I kept coming back to this artwork.

Because I loved it. I thought it was wonderful, and perfect, and exactly right for . . . wait for it . . . Roselie Stratton. Dark hair? Check? Willful and strong minded? Check, check. And as I looked at this unwanted, un-twinnish cover (is that even a word, twinnish?) I saw Roselie and Brody’s story unfolding before me.

Head rises from desk, angelic music plays in the distance…

So I went back to Avon with a big PLEASE. Please, can I have this cover with this wonderful couple for SIX IMPOSSIBLE THINGS? Of course they said “Yes!” (Okay, no need to point out that I just saved them from shooting yet another cover.)

But what about our identical, not so identical twins? Because if you look at the finished books for VISCOUNT and KNAVE, Louisa and Lavinia are now immortalized with the same model. Well, they did in fact reshoot the cover for THE KNAVE OF HEARTS with a different model and then with the magic of digital editing, removed this poor woman’s head and put the original model’s head (from an outtake from the original VISCOUNT cover shoot) in its place.

Somewhere on a digital cutting room floor is some poor, unwanted, untwinnish heroine’s head. I take no responsibility for that.

SIX IMPOSSIBLE THINGS goes on sale today. Six Impossible ThingsOrder your copy now.

THE KNAVE OF HEARTS (aka the Headless Heroine) can be ordered here.

THE VISCOUNT WHO LIVED DOWN THE LANE (aka The Rebellious Ex Romance Cover Model’s Last Stand) can be ordered here.

The Knave of Hearts









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Advance Copies Winners

Best part of being one of my a newsletter subscribers? You get a first shot at advance copies and other great giveaways, news, and first looks.

So to that end, the winners of the 3 advance copies of Six Impossible ThingsSix Impossible Things are:

Lauren Russell
Lisa Story
Karen Mikusak

Ladies, your copies are going in the mail today and expect them by Saturday. Enjoy your early read of Six Impossible Things and don’t forget to post reviews! For everyone else, this new Rhymes with Love book comes out April 25th. Pre-order your copy today or check out the excerpt.

Oh, and if you aren’t a subscriber and want to be part of the fun–you can add your email in the box at the top of the page. Thanks!

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A Knavish Newsletter Winner

Sorry for the delay in posting the newsletter contest winner of the Kindle fire. I had surgery last week and lots of things are slipping through the cracks right now, mostly anything I try to hold with my left hand–which is in a full cast. I had to use Dragon speak to draft to this post. Without further ado the winner of the Kindle fire is:

Tina U. of Phoenix AZ

Tina, I’ll be sending you an email on how to claim your prize. Best wishes to everyone who entered and has subscribed to my newsletter. I hope you got a chance to read the excerpt to Six Impossible Things, coming out April 25th.

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Tuesday Teaser: The Knave of Hearts

Continuing with my Knavish theme this month, and since THE KNAVE OF HEARTS will only be on sale for a very short time longer, I thought I would give another look inside at the very beginning of Tuck and Lavinia’s romance. Poor Lavinia! The thing about a knave is that he never has your best interests at heart—no matter how sincere he seems.

“Miss Tempest, you must have faith,” he told her, getting to his feet. “You must trust me—”

“Trust you?” Her astonishment all but filled the room.

Well, she might have a point in that regard . . . But this was a new beginning for both of them.

“Yes, you must trust me. Because I can put this all to rights. I can.” He tried to sound far more confident than he felt.

After all, he only had two bloody weeks to pull off this miracle.

“I don’t see how—”

“Believe me, you will,” he promised, holding out his hand to her. “Let me be your guide. You came to London to be matched, did you not?”

“Well, yes—” she managed.

“And it would be a shame to have to leave when you’ve just arrived—”

She gave a shuddering sigh. “I haven’t even received all the dresses I ordered.”

“No!” He shook his head. “And how pretty you will look wearing them.”

“There is no point to any of it, for I cannot dance,” she told him.

“Is that all?” Tuck waved his hand at this. “ ’Tis nothing a good London dancing master can’t fix in an afternoon.”

The lady shook her head and glanced away, but not before he saw the skepticism in her expression.

“Come now, Miss Tempest,” he said softly, coaxing her to look up at him. “Will you allow me the privilege of helping you find your perfect match?”

You can read the full excerpt here, and find order links here. Make sure to get your .99 copy soon before this Knavish deal ends.





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Tuesday Teaser: Knave of Hearts

Last week to get THE KNAVE OF HEARTS for .99 cents. Don’t miss out! And if you have already read The Knave and loved him, why not send a .99 copy to a friend? Who doesn’t love a surprise like that? Especially a knavish one.

You can find the full excerpt here, and order links to your favorite online retailer here. This is the last week to get your .99 copy.

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