We Have Winners!

The winners of my release day celebration are:

Elizabeth H – Mastering The Marquess

Ti Colluney – Sex And The Single Earl

Lee – An Invitation To Sin

Jamie Heustess – My Favorite Countess

Congrats to the winners!  I’ll be in touch.  Thanks to all the lovely people who stopped by  my blog on Tuesday to help me celebrate my big day.

For new visitors to the blog, my latest historical romance, His Mistletoe Bride, is now in stores.

To read an excerpt, check out the His Mistletoe Bride books page.  You’ll find some mighty handy buy links there, too!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Woot!!  My new Regency-set historical romance from Kensington Publishing is now in stores.


When Major Lucas Stanton inherited his earldom, he never dreamed his property would include the previous earl’s granddaughter. Phoebe Linville is a sparkling American beauty, yes, but with a talent for getting into trouble. Witness the compromising position that forced them into wedlock. Whisked away to Mistletoe Manor, his country estate, it isn’t long before she is challenging his rules—and surprising him in and out of bed…

Phoebe has no intention of bowing to Lucas’s stubbornness even though he offers all that she wants. His kisses and unexpected warmth are enticing, but Phoebe is determined to show the Earl of Merritt what real love is all about. And if that takes twelve nights of delicious seduction by a roaring fire, she’s more than willing to reveal her gifts very slowly…

To celebrate the release of my new book I’ll be giving away my back list–that’s a copy of Mastering The Marquess, Sex And The Single Earl, An Invitation To Sin, and My Favorite Countess.

As you can probably tell by the title, His Mistletoe Bride is a Christmas book.  But the winter holiday season has lots of fun festivities, spanning religions and cultures.  For a chance to win one of the books on my back list, just tell me your favorite thing about the holiday season–whichever holiday you celebrate!  Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Twelfth Night, New Year’s, or the Winter Solstice – let’s hear all about it.

And for more info on His Mistletoe Bride, stop by my books page to read an excerpt and to find the buy links.

Happy Reading!!!!


St. Patrick’s Day Blog Hop!

Happy St. Paddy’s Day, folks!  Thanks for joining me on the ginormous blog hop to celebrate the wearing of the green.  Along with dozens of authors and bloggers, I’m celebrating the day by participating in this fun event. Each participating author will be giving away a prize like a swag pack, gift cards, ebooks, print books, and so much more.

PLUS We have TWO Grand Prizes for TWO different winners!

Grand Prize 1: Winner’s Choice of a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
Grand Prize 2: Winner’s Choice of a $90 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card

Isn’t that exciting? So what do you have to do? Visit the participating websites today and comment on as many as you want. The grand prize winners will be chosen at random from the commenters – meaning you can comment on EACH blog – meaning 120 entries to the grand prize.

So let’s start the hop right here, shall we?

What does St. Paddy’s Day mean to you?  With a last name like Kelly, one would think I would go all out on this proud Irish day.  Well…sometimes, is my qualified answer.  I’ve done bar crawls in New York City on St. Paddy’s Day – not for the faint of heart, btw – and I’ve also spent the day doing not much more than wearing a green shirt.  In recent years, my husband and I have taken to spending it with my dad and stepmother and a few friends, enjoying my dad’s awesome corned beef and cabbage. Sounds kind of low key, but we do imbibe a little Irish whiskey on occasion, and generally have a great time.

But one of my favorite things about the day stems from my childhood.  Each year my dad would bring home Irish Potato candies on St. Patrick’s Day.

Man, were they little nuggets of goodness!  So for my readers and visitors to the blog today, I’m sharing a recipe for these delightful little candies, care of Baked Bree:


  • 1/2 stick of butter softened
  • 1/2 brick of cream cheese softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups sweetened coconut
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon


  1. Beat together butter and cream cheese. Slowly add the confectioners sugar.
  2. Add the vanilla.
  3. Add the coconut and mix until combined.
  4. You may want to chill the coconut mixture a little before you roll them. I like to use a small ice cream scoop. These are really rich, so you want them to be small.
  5. Roll the coconut mixture into a ball.
  6. Roll the coconut mixture into the cinnamon and put on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Keep the Irish Potatoes in the fridge.

And for my readers and visitors today, I’ll also be giving away a copy of three books – my new VK Sykes contemporary romance, Fastball, which will be released next week in digital format, AND a print copy of my historical romance anthology, An Invitation To Sin.  And finally, I’ll be giving away a beautiful trade paperback edition of historical romance author Maggie Robinson’s new book, Master of Sin.

What do you have to do to win these books?  Just tell me how you like to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day.  One person who comments will win all three books, AND have a chance to win one of the grand prizes.  After you post here, hop on over to Carrie Ann Ryan’s blog for links to all the other authors, and to continue the hop.

Good luck!


Inspiration, And Then Some

Let’s talk covers, shall we?  As most romance readers know, writers often look to actors and actresses for inspiration when developing their characters.  It’s a fun way to bring the hero and heroine to life in our imaginations.  Typically, a writer spends months on a book, imagining the hero looks remarkably like Gerard Butler, for instance.  Said writer may have even been asked by her editor to provide detailed descriptions of her hero (and heroine), which is then passed along to the art department.  With crossed fingers, the writer then spends the intervening weeks praying the cover will at least remotely match the descriptions she provided to her editor.

Finally, the day arrives and that much-anticipated cover jpg. lands in the writer’s email box.  With pounding heart, the writer clicks on the jpg. and then…well, sometimes they get it right.  Often they don’t but it’s still a great cover, and every once in a while it can be an unmitigated disaster.

How have the cover gods treated me?  Extremely well, IMHO, thanks to the fantastic art department at Kensington Publishing.  The models didn’t always match what was in my head, though, so I thought it might be fun to look at what I imagined and what actually happened – particularly with my heroes.  So here are my covers, starting withMastering The Marquess at the top of the page.  Let’s see how they match up with the actors I used for inspiration.

For Stephen, the Marquess of Silverton, I imagined him played by the beautiful and tragic Heath Ledger.

Now glance up and compare that to the guy at the top of the page.  Not so much, although I think MTM has a great cover.  But the hero looks more like a cross between Brad Pitt and a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, which more than one person pointed out to me.  Whoever he looks like, he does have a great set of abs.

In  my next book, Sex and the Single Earl, I imagined the hero, Lord Trask, to look much like Christian Bale.

And here’s the cover.

Pretty good matchup and, again, great abs.

For my novella in An Invitation To Sin, I based the hero, Captain Christian Archer, on Sean Bean in Sharpe’s Rifles.

And, the cover…

Oh, well.  Pretty, but a distinct absence of abs.

For my last book, My Favorite Countess, I used the gorgeous Hugh Jackman to provide me with inspiration for Dr. John Blackmore.

And the cover…

I was surprised when I got the email because I was expecting another clinch cover, but I certainly wasn’t unhappy.  MFC is a gorgeous cover and since I had imagined Bathsheba played by Kate Winslet, the artist definitely got the vibe.

My next book, which will be out in 2012, has a tough and handsome former soldier as its hero.  When I pictured him in my head, this is who I saw.

Yes.  Uber-handsome Henry Cavill from The Tudors.  I won’t see my cover for some months yet, but I surely a girl can dream, can’t she?

What about you, readers?  Do you cast actors for certain characters when you read a book?  Does it bother you when the cover doesn’t match the description?

No Explanation Required, Part Two

On Monday I talked about some of the things that have inspired me while creating the heroes in my books – lovely things like this:

Yes, that’s the awesome Sean Bean, who was the mental stand-in for my hero, Captain Christian Archer, in my novella, An Invitation To Sin. Here’s some more heroic inspiration that served me well when I was writing my other two books.

For your viewing pleasure, I give you Christian Bale, who helped me vividly imagine the hero of my second book, Sex And The Single Earl.

Well, hello Lord Trask!  He certainly looks ready to head out and do some manly work around the estate, doesn’t he?  Aside from being a truly gifted actor, Mr. Bale has just the right kind of smoldering, intense sensuality I was looking for in that particular character.

Inspiration, indeed!

The hero of my first book, Lord Silverton in Mastering The Marquess, was partly based on a very special person – the impossibly talented and tragic Heath Ledger.

I loved Heath from the moment I saw him in A Knight’s Tale.  I fell in love with his talent and his intensity, and his truly devastating male beauty.  It was very easy to imagine him in the role of Regency hero.

And Ledger was enormously talented, as his performances in Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight so ably demonstrated.  His death was a terrible tragedy for his family and a loss for his fans, but his legacy lives on in a fairly short but very impressive list of movies.

Christian Bale and Heath Ledger:  gorgeous and talented men, who provided this particular writer with plenty of inspiration.

Long live the hero!