New Regency Historical Series!

I’ve been hinting about my new Regency historical series with Kensington Publishing for a few months now, so I’m really thrilled to be able to announce titles and release dates.  The series will be called Renegade Royals, and it’s about four sexy alpha males who also happen to be the illegitimate offspring of Britain’s royal princes.  These four roguish cousins will get into all kinds of scrapes and adventures as work they claim their rightful place in society, and win the hands of the strong-willed women who love them.

There will be two novellas and four books released in a two year period. 

Lost in a Royal Kiss will be released in December, 2013, and is a digital novella that will introduce some of the main characters and set up the premise for the series.

A Royal’s Rules for Love is book one in the series, and will be released in both print and digital in January, 2014.

Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom is book two in the series, and will be released in both print and digital in April, 2014.

The second digital novella will be released in December 2014, and books three and four will follow early in 2015.

My editor and I are very excited about this series, and I can’t wait to share covers, excerpts, and lots of other fun details with you.  If you want to keep up with all the latest news on the Renegade Royals series, please sign up for my newsletter.  And you might also want to check out my Pinterest board, my collection of pictures and various inspirations for the new books.  I really have fun brainstorming on Pinterest and I’d love it if you joined me – I also have a great Cupcakes and Cakes Pinterest board, for those of you with a sweet tooth!

Happy reading!


We Have Winners!!


The winner of Juliana Stone’s contemporary romance, Offside, is Teresa Salyers.  And the winner of Colleen Gleason’s medieval historical romance, A Whisper of Rosemary, is Jeanne Sheats.  Congratulations!  I’ll be in touch.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog.  My next guest will be fabulous historical romance writer Manda Collins.  She’ll be here this Thursday, so please stop back!

Guest Author: Colleen Gleason & Giveaway!

One of the really cool things about many writers today is how capable they are of moving between genres. Used to be that authors who wrote historical romance only wrote historical romance, and authors who wrote romantic suspense stuck to romantic suspense. Not anymore. Authors have kicked down the genre barriers, moving easily from historical to paranormal to urban fantasy, and back again, all while building loyal audiences of readers and crafting wonderful books.

I’m featuring someone today who excels at blasting through the genre barriers. She’s international bestselling author Colleen Gleason, and she writes luscious medieval historical romance, Regency vampire romances, and futuristic urban fantasy as Joss Ware. And in all three of those genres she’s gotten great reviews, including this one from Smart Bitches Read Trashy Books:

“Above all, the writing is what recommends this book most. Gleason’s writing is sharp and taut, which makes for excellent action sequences, and a plot that travels quickly from the start. The writing strength alone gives me ample reassurance that this potentially plot-heavy series is in the right hands. I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment.”

Today, we’re looking at A Lily on the Heath, book four in Colleen’s Medieval Herb Garden Series.

This series is all about passionate romance and court intrigue, lords and ladies, and knights and castles. Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Here’s the blurb for A Lily on the Heath.

Passion and deception in the turbulent court of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II.

An honorable man: Malcolm de Monde, Lord of Warwick needs a wife. He reluctantly journeys to the royal court where his plan is simple: find a dutiful woman, gain the king’s approval for his choice and return to Warwick with his chosen lady wedded, bedded, and carrying his heir—all before winter.

An independent woman: Judith of Kentworth, Royal Falconer and lady-in-waiting, is a woman from Malcolm’s past. Although she is a confidante of the queen, Judith’s beauty and vivacity attract the unwanted attentions of the king—and thus the woman who commands winged predators becomes prey herself.

A simple plan that goes awry when Malcolm is reacquainted with Judith, once betrothed to his friend—and a woman who is nothing like the meek wife he seeks…but who may be exactly the type of woman he needs.

An impossible choice: Malcolm offers Judith a chance to escape her predicament…But can she risk entangling her own personal white knight in a dangerous web of royal intrigue?

Yum! I love a meaty historical romance, set in an era where the stakes were very high. If you haven’t tried Colleen’s books yet, this is the place to start. You won’t regret it!

For my readers today, Colleen is giving away a copy of A Whisper of Rosemary, book three in her series.

Since these books are in the Medeival Herb Garden series, let’s talk flowers and herbs. What’s your favorite herb to cook with, or flower to pick from a garden? One person who comments will win a copy of A Whisper of Rosemary. And be sure to check out Colleen’s website for the latest news on all her books.


Guest Author: Anna Campbell & Giveaway!

Woot!!  Anna Campbell is in the house!  I’m so thrilled to have one of my favorite authors visiting the blog today.  Anna writes the most fabulous, passionate and smart Regency-set historical romance, and she’s got the reviews, awards and reader accolades to prove it.  And luckily for us, she has a new book out – hooray!!  Let’s turn the blog over to Anna to hear all about it.


Hi Vanessa! It’s great to be back here on your blog! Thank you for having me as your guest today to talk about SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED (out 25th September).

So let’s talk about including that telling detail that makes a setting come alive. Sometimes there’s no substitute for visiting the place where a book is set. Even if you’ve forgotten that you’ve been there!

Most of the events in my latest historical romance, SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED, the first installment in the “Sons of Sin” series, take place on the Devon Coast in November, 1826.

I picked Devon because I wanted somewhere rugged and untamed and dangerous, a little like Jonas Merrick, the hero of the book. I needed a location a long way from the civilized environs of London. And I had a vivid picture in my mind of half-ruined Castle Craven where my scarred and tortured hero barricades himself away from the world. It was rambling and craggy and perched on jagged cliffs over a crashing sea.

Castle Craven is actually based on a ruined castle I visited on the Northumberland coast in the north-east of England. If any of you are Anya Seton fans, Dunstanburgh Castle was a stronghold for John of Gaunt, the hero of that wonderful historical romance KATHERINE. Dunstanburgh is at the opposite end of England to Devon, but one of the joys of writing historical romance is that you can pick up any random old house and plop it wherever you like. The power can be quite intoxicating!

The weather forms an essential part of this wild and stormy tale. You know, it’s wild and, uh, stormy.

The funny thing is that until I sat down to write this piece on some of the research behind SEVEN NIGHTS, I’d forgotten that my only visit to Devon was in November 1986. It was just before I flew back to Australia after two years living in England and I was returning home with very mixed feelings indeed. And would you believe the weather mirrored my turbulent emotions? Much as the tempestuous weather in SEVEN NIGHTS mirrors the conflicting, powerful emotions of Sidonie and Jonas. How strange to discover that the memories from that rather bleak holiday have lurked in my subconscious all this time, ready to pop up when I wrote SEVEN NIGHTS.

Devon in England’s south-west is unusually sunny for the U.K. (which in Australian terms is still not very sunny, but that’s another discussion!), so much so that it’s earned the nickname of the English Riviera. When I visited the county this particular November, it was more like the English Siberia. Howling, icy winds. Seas that looked like they wanted to devour you whole. Horizontal rain. Not very Riviera-like. Brrrr!

It wasn’t a great holiday – aside from the meteorological horrors, I didn’t have a voice. And as anyone who knows me will testify, not talking is the ultimate torture! But I now realize that vivid images and atmosphere from that trip lodged in my brain to stew for twenty-six years, resulting in the dramatic, gothic setting for dramatic, gothic SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED.

You can read an excerpt of SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BEDon my website.

Isn’t the mind a strange thing? Have you ever realized that something you thought you’d forgotten is influencing current thoughts or behavior? Do you have a favorite stormy weather scene in a romance? One of mine is in FLOWERS FROM THE STORM by Laura Kinsale where, you guessed it, the hero gives the heroine flowers. In a storm. Yup, pretty much gave that one away in the title. Anyway, if you like stormy weather in a book, I’m hoping you’ll enjoy SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED. To put my money where my mouth is, I’m giving away a signed copy to a commenter today. Good luck!

Vanessa, here.  Anna, you know I love ALL your books, and I can’t wait to read this one!  So, let’s talk stormy weather – can you think of a great stormy weather scene in a book, movie or TV show that you particularly liked or remember?  Just comment for a chance to win Anna’s new book.

And don’t forget to stop by Anna’s website to read about her other books and to find some great excerpts


Guest Author: Manda Collins & Giveaway!

I’m thrilled to have my good friend and talented historical romance author Manda Collins on the blog today.  Mandy writes witty and charming Regency-set historical romance with a dash of mystery. Her first book, How to Dance With a Duke, debuted to great reviews and spent several weeks on the Bookscan bestseller list.  Let’s have a chat with Manda, and see what she’s up to with her latest book, How To Romance A Rake.

Your series is called The Ugly Ducklings. Can you tell us a little bit about it and what inspired the premise?

The concept of three cousins who are considered ugly compared to their glamorous mothers grew out of a story I read somewhere about the famous Gunning Sisters. They were real life Regency characters who came from no-one knows where and took the ton by storm with their beauty and married very, very well. I did a “what if” and wondered what it would be like to be the daughter of such a famed beauty–especially a daughter who suffers by comparison. I came up with the Fabulous Featherstone sisters and out of that grew their daughters, the Ugly Ducklings.

The heroine of How to Romance a Rake, a tremendously appealing character, is not your conventional Regency miss. Can you tell us a little bit about her?

Juliet Shelby is the daughter of Rose, Viscountess Shelby, who is, unfortunately, the vainest of the Featherstone sisters. And when Juliet suffers a disfiguring accident in her teens, Rose thinks not of how awful it must be for Juliet, instead she thinks of how having a daughter who is less than perfect will reflect upon her. So she does her best to make sure that Juliet gets very little notice from the ton. Along with her cousins, Cecily and Maddie, Juliet spends a lot of time sitting out dances with the other wallflowers. But despite her mother’s restrictions, Juliet has managed to become an accomplished pianist. And when her music teacher goes missing Juliet joins forces with swoony Lord Deveril to search for her.

Your stories often revolve around a mystery element. What do you like about combining mystery and romance?

I really like having a strong external conflict for my hero and heroine to work together to solve. My favorite romances are the ones where there is teamwork between the main couple, and what better way to put them to work than in solving a mystery in which the stakes are high for one or both of them?

You’ve recently ventured into the realm of indie publishing. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

In May, I self-published a contemporary novella called LEGALLY YOURS. It’s a reunited lovers story about two former law school classmates who meet again years later. One is a corporate lawyer and the other, who didn’t finish law school is working as a paralegal. Sparks fly, and one thing leads to another and…well, you get the idea. I hope to publish a follow up story in the coming months but it depends on my historical writing schedule. I’ll keep you posted!

What’s up next for Manda?

In January, the third and final Ugly Ducklings story, HOW TO ENTICE AN EARL will be released. It’s Maddie and Monteith’s story and I think readers are really going to love seeing these two together. I know I had a lot of fun writing them!

Thanks so much for being with us today, girlfriend! And here’s the blurb for How to Romance a Rake:

Dancing with Danger

What’s a nice girl like Miss Juliet Shelby doing in a place like Lord Deveril’s ballroom? With her shy demeanor, she’s a total stranger to the dance floor and a source of mockery for the ton. So imagine her surprise when Deveril gallantly comes to her defense—and offers to teach her to dance! Juliet can hardly believe the most handsome bachelor in London would notice her, until he takes her in his arms and sets her heart ablaze…

Playing with Fire

Lord Alec Deveril has never felt such a spark of attraction for an unmarried lady before. Unlike the “fashionable” women he’s accustomed to, Juliet possesses a generous spirit, a fiery intelligence—and an explosive secret. Deep in the London underworld, a dear friend has vanished, and Juliet fears the worst. Deveril insists on helping, escorting her through the darkest alleys in town. But he too is hiding a shocking secret—and the only way he can defeat the devil in his past is to seduce the angel in his arms …

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  I had the good fortune to read this book in advance, and I can tell you it’s a tremendously charming and heartfelt book.  If you enjoy Amanda Quick’s historical mysteries, you’ll love Manda’s books.  And for my readers today, Manda is giving away a copy of her first book, How to Dance With a Duke to one person who comments.  Just tell us about one of your favorite mystery or suspense books for a chance to win.

And don’t forget to check out Manda’s website for excerpts and more interesting stuff!