Guest Author: Darcy Burke & Giveaway!

I love hosting debut authors on the blog, especially historical romance authors.  And I have an exciting new writer blogging with me today – she’s Darcy Burke, and her first book has been getting great buzz.  Here’s a quote from New York Times bestselling author Courtney Milan, on Her Wicked Ways:

“A bad girl heroine steals both the show and a highwayman’s heart in Darcy Burke’s deliciously wicked debut.”

I’ll turn the blog over to Darcy now, so she can tell you all about her wonderful books.  And don’t forget to the read the exclusive excerpt at the end of her post!

Series, Linked Books, and Recurring Characters, Oh My!

First, let me thank Vanessa for having me here today. I’m delighted to partake of her generous hospitality! And now, about books! In recent years, most historical romances are part of a linked series of books. Each book stands alone (usually) and offers a happily ever after for the hero and heroine of that story, while introducing the reader to a cast of secondary characters who may get their own story, or who may appear in other stories. I know I love reading books where I “know” characters from previous stories. It’s like being in on things with the author, which every reader loves, no?

With that in mind, I tend to write stories that have continuing characters. My debut, Her Wicked Ways, features Lady Miranda Sinclair and her brother, Jasper, who is the “star” of his own book, His Wicked Heart, in which Jasper befriends a scoundrel, Lord Sevrin, who in turn gets his own book, To Seduce a Scoundrel. In that book, readers will meet both the heroes and heroines of the next two books. It’s partly intentional and partly not, at least for me. As a writer, I find myself looking ahead to future projects. It’s hard not to think of what you might write next. Plus, by the time you’re actually writing words (especially as you near The End), you’re excited and ready for new blood, so to speak. In addition, sometimes you introduce a character who just leaps off the page, and you can’t wait to write about them.

I was very excited to write Jasper’s story as I finished up Her Wicked Ways. In an earlier version, Jasper was a lot more uptight (and there was a third brother, but he wound up on the cutting room floor—never fear, that character is alive and well in another book I hope to get back to next year!). Miranda and Jasper’s father plays a larger role in His Wicked Heart, so while you may not be salivating for more of his character (um, he’s a pompous jerk), I think readers will really enjoy the part he plays in Jasper’s story.

As the Duke of Holborn’s heir, Jasper is expected to live completely above reproach and marry exceedingly well. Aside from one major misstep a decade ago, he’s been the model heir. Until he meets Olivia West, a seamstress and sometimes actress he’d like to make his mistress. But Olivia balks at his offer; she refuses to sell her body as her mother did before her. She’ll make her way in the world by working hard and keeping her virtue intact. However, when her financial circumstances hit rock bottom she allows a friend to talk her into a scheme that will seemingly satisfy everyone: Jasper’s desire to bed her, the friend’s desire to bed Jasper, and Olivia’s need for money. Naturally, things don’t work out at all as they planned. Here’s a snippet when Jasper realizes what’s happened, that Olivia and Tilly have traded places:

“Go out and tell her you’re done.” He gave Tilly a dark look. “Don’t warn her.”

She nodded jerkily. He moved to stand behind the door.

She went into the hallway. Jasper leaned close to the wall.

Olivia’s voice drifted through the crack near the hinges. “Did he suspect anything?”

“No,” Tilly answered

“Thank you, Tilly. I’ll bring your share down later.” There was a pause, then, “Was he, that is…”

“Worth it? ‘Course. I told you you’d regret not doing him yourself.”

There was a loud exhalation then feet scraping across the floorboards. Olivia stepped through the doorway.

Jasper slammed the portal and flattened his back against it. He glared at her with the weight of his wrath. “If you don’t yet regret deceiving me, I promise you will.”

His Wicked Heart will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords next week! In the meantime, pick up Her Wicked Ways now! Kindle | Nook | Smashwords

What series or linked books are your favorites? Any current series where you’re dying for the next installment? I can’t wait for Elizabeth Hoyt’s Thief of Shadows, she teed that up perfectly! One lucky commenter will receive the book they’re dying to read next (now, or when it’s available if it’s not out yet) and an ebook of my debut, Her Wicked Ways.

Darcy Burke wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. An RWA Golden Heart® Finalist, Darcy loves all things British (except tomatoes for breakfast, or any other time of day, actually) and happy ever afters.

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her devoted husband, their two great kids, and three cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. She’s also a fair-weather runner, and her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge. Visit Darcy online at http://www.darcy-burke.com, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/darcyburkefans.

Vanessa, here.  Darcy, thanks for that tantalizing excerpt!  And what a generous offer!  So, readers, tell us what book in a current series you’re dying to read, for a chance to win that book and Darcy’s wonderful debut.

P.S.  I’m blogging over at Romancing Rakes today, talking about my VK Sykes contemporary romances and doing a giveaway.  After you’ve read and commented on Darcy’s guest blog, come on over and visit me at Romancing Rakes!

24 thoughts on “Guest Author: Darcy Burke & Giveaway!

  1. Wow, I love serial books…Robyn Carr, Lynn Kurland, gosh there are so many… depending on how many there are, I usually bunch them together and read 3-4 in a row.. Congrats on your debut!!

  2. I absolutly love series especially by Jill Shalvis, Kresley Cole, Heather Webber, Jeaniene Frost, and Gerry Barlett. I love knowing that there’s more books to read after the first one.

  3. I absolutely can not wait for Temptation and Twilight by Charlotte Featherstone, Book Three of her romantically gothic Brethren Guardians series! So excited! 🙂

  4. Congratulations on your book. I enjoy book in a series. I’m looking forward to reading Sherry Thomas’s next Fitzhugh novel, Ravishing the Heiress.

  5. I also love series, and I love Elizabeth Hoys’s Maiden Lane Series. Book #4 out in July Thief Of Shadows. Can’t wait….

  6. It takes me a while to pick up a series, but once I do, I’m pretty much there for the entire run. I’m looking forward to G.A. Aiken’s next book, How to Drive a Dragon Crazy.

  7. Fun to read your post at Romancing Rakes Vanessa =)
    Oh I have a long list of series I love to follow, hahaaha! Where to start! There have been a couple debuts that are the beginning of a series that I now have to wait for books two..ahh always waiting. Like for Delilah S. Dawson’s Blud series, and Callihan’s Darkest London series. Delilah’s Rumor series is also a great one, can’t wait for book two of that historical romance series! I better stop….

    Love your cover for Her Wicked Ways!

  8. I’m dying to read Julia Quinn’s A Night Like This. I read the first in the series, Just Like Heaven, and I can’t wait to read more about the Smythe-Smith family. Loved learning about Darcy Burke’s books and I’m looking forward to reading them as well.

  9. Hello Vanessa and Chelsea…Congrats on the new book. I love the books with the series! My faves are Miranda Neville’s The Burgandy Club Series and Elizabeth Boyle’s The Bachelor Chronicles. I love the charactors in both of the series…Miranda has a new series coming out that I especially am looking forward to reading!

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