Happy Holidays from Rock*It Reads!!

Some of you know that I belong to Rock*It Reads.  We’re a group of traditionally published authors who are also self-publishing, and committed to bringing the same quality to our indie books as we do to our traditional books.  It’s an incredibly talented and diverse group and includes authors like Colleen Gleason, Elisabeth Naughton, Monica Burns, Pamela Clare, and Erin Kellison.

We’ve put together a video greeting card for the holidays, to wish you a Merry Christmas and to give you a quick look at our latest and upcoming books.  Enjoy!

Guest Author: Megan Kelly & Giveaway!

I’m so pleased to have award-winning author Megan Kelly on the blog today.  She writes absolutely charming and delicious contemporary romances, and she has two new books out–Christmas stories, too!  And today readers have two chances to win her books!  Can you tell us about that, Megan?

Thanks for having me, Vanessa. I’m offering two separate giveaways: a digital copy of Santa Dear, the first Christmas in Stilton book. For those who don’t win, you can buy it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Apple (iBooks).

The second giveaway will be delivered via snail mail: a paperback of Stand-In Mom (Harlequin American Romance 1371) and  a scarf I knitted, which is similar to the one mentioned in my latest release,Holly & Ivey.

Wow!  That’s an awesome giveaway, Megan!  Now let’s chat a bit about your books.

How did you come up with the story for Holly & Ivey? My friends helped me  brainstorm one night in a hotel. A publisher had a call out for a holiday story, but the deadline fell mid-way during my vacation with my husband. I liked the idea, so I decided to publish it myself.

What can you tell us about it? Holly MacDonald rushes back to the small town she left as a child to prevent her friend from marrying an unfaithful groom. Her old buddy, Luke Ivey, is the best man who intends to stop her interference. She’s no longer his tomboy pal, and he’s no longer her nerdy sidekick. They’re attracted to each other, despite their different views on the wedding and their living four hours apart. But he’s tied to the land, and she’s climbing the corporate ladder in Chicago.

When “The Wedding March” fades and Christmas is over, will they stay together?

Do you have a favorite Christmas recipe? My mom makes the best fudge, but unfortunately, there’s no recipe–I’ve even tried watching her and writing it down, to no avail. I like to make noodles to go with the turkey and mashed potatoes, and a batch or ten of Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies (recipe on bag). Here’s a favorite of mine, though my kids don’t care for it, due to the nuts. I found it in a book by Silhouette author Sandra Stanford and eagerly anticipate these every year.


12 oz pkg butterscotch morsels

6 oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate morsels

12 oz salted Spanish peanuts

Melt combined morsels in top of double boiler over boiling water OR melt in microwave. I do this, over a bowl of water.

When chips melt, stir together, then stir in peanuts until coated. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let cool and harden.

Don’t miss Megan’s new release, Holly & Ivey: Christmas in Stilton, book 2. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smash Words.

Readers, to win one of Megan’s great prizes, just tell me what your favorite kind of candy is, especially at this time of year! 

And please visit her website at www.megankellybooks.com to get the scoop on the rest of her books!

Win Big Prizes At the Romancing The Holidays On-line Gala!

It’s finally here!  The all-day, on-line gala with Victoria Alexander, Grace Burrowes, Theresa Romain, and moi.  We’re spending the day at The Romance Dish, chatting about all the things we love to do during the holidays and, of course, talking about our holiday-themed books!

And we’re giving away prizes–lots of prizes–every hour on the hour, from 9 am to 9 pm.  We’ll finish up with a live chat with Victoria Alexander and me at the end of the day, all leading up to the grand prize giveaway of an e-reader!


Now, in order to be eligible for all these prizes, you do need to sign up for our contest first.  It’s a very easy, one-step process.  Just visit our special Romancing The Holidays website, sign up, then head over to The Romance Dish for the party.  It’s going to be a great day, so get out your party hat and jingle bells and head on over!

The Next Big Thing!

My good pal Marilyn Bryant, author of A Summer in Europe, tagged me to take part in this blogging hop-along, and I thought it sounded like fun.  I’ll answer some questions about my current work in progress (WIP), and then tag five other authors to do the same thing on their blogs next week.

So, here goes on my Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?  A Royal Seduction.

Where did the idea come from for the book?  From reading histories and biographies about the British Royals during the Regency period.

What genre does your book fall under?  Regency-set historical romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  I’ve already got them picked out.  Hugh Jackman would play my hero, and the heroine would be played by Piper Perabo.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  The illegitimate son of the Prince Regent, who is also a spy for the British Crown, must protect a young noblewoman (a beautiful and brilliant cardsharp) from kidnapping and forced marriage to a Russian prince.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  This is the first book in my new series, The Renegade Royals, for Kensington Publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  Four months, which included the beginning of revisions.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  It’s a sexy Regency historical, with some adventure and a spy for a hero, so I’d say it’s similar to what Shana Galen writes.  But I also have quite a bit of humor and Regency social settings in my book too, so I think readers who like books by Katharine Ashe will like it, too.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?  I read a wonderful biography of the Prince Regent, the eldest son and heir of George III.  Like most of his brothers – who were a pretty scandalous lot – he had at least one or two illegitimate children.  All told, the brothers probably had close to twenty illegitimate offspring, some of whom were never identified.  I thought it would be pretty cool to write a series about those children who never emerged from the shadows of history.  They were the sons of princes, and yet had such murky backgrounds.  This WIP is my story of Aden, the Prince Regent’s bastard son.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  I really love the heroine and think she’s a very interesting character.  She’s funny and sweet, and a total math genius.  Her family is a nightmare, always spending themselves into massive debt, and Vivien has to use her math skills at the gambling tables of the ton to keep her family afloat.  She was a lot of fun to write.

And now I get to tag a few awesome author friends too, who’ll be posting about their latest projects on their blogs next Wednesday, Dec. 5th. Can’t wait to hear what they’re working on!!

Cynthia Eden, author of Angel in Chains

Monica Burns, author of A Bluestocking Christmas

Kris Kennedy, author of Deception

Manda Collins, author of How To Romance A Rake

Theresa Romain, author of Season For Surrender

Readers, be sure to check out these talented ladies next week and find out what they’re working on!