Romancing The Holidays Gala!

This Friday Nov. 30th, I’ll be participating in a very special event.  Along with Victoria Alexander, Grace Burrowes, and Theresa Romain, I’ll be hosting an all-day, online holiday gala at The Romance Dish.  We’re all celebrating the release of our holiday-themed historical romances, and we wanted to share that celebration with our readers.  We’ll be hosting a live chat, talking about favorite holiday recipes and traditions, and giving away amazing prizes every hour–all leading up to the grand prize giveaway of an e-reader.  Zounds!  Pretty great, eh?

And that’s not all we’ll be doing.  We’re also giving away two huge gift baskets filled with books to a women’s shelter and a library, and we’ll be encouraging you to make donations to your local charities too.  Won’t you join us for the festivities and to make the world a little brighter for those who need our help over the holidays?  For more details and to sign up to be eligible for our contests, please visit our special Romancing The Holidays website.

Then join us on Nov. 30th at The Romance Dish!

What else am I doing this week?  Tomorrow, the 27th, I’ll be visiting with Cynthia Eden to help her celebrate the release of her new paranormal romance, Angel in Chains. It’s an all-day holiday party with lots of authors visiting and giving away books, so be sure to check it out.  I’ll be on at noon tomorrow if you want to stop by and see me and have a chance to win one of my books.  I think it’s going to be a really fun day with lots of surprise guests.

See you at the parties!

Holiday Galas Galore!!

Yes, folks, it’s that time of year again – the festive time of holiday galas!  And have I got a great one for you.  Along with acclaimed historical romance authors Victoria Alexander, Grace Burrowes, and Theresa Romain, I’ll be hosting an all-day online holiday gala on Nov. 30 at The Romance Dish.  It’s called Romancing The Holidays, and I can promise you that it’s going to be a very special event.  We’ll be hanging out at The Romance Dish all day, chatting about our favorite holiday festivities, exchanging recipes, and chatting with our readers.  And we’ll be giving away prizes – lots of prizes.  Just take a look at this list!





WHAT HAPPENS AT CHRISTMAS, by Victoria Alexander

Holiday Stocking filled with all 4 books

Book + Mug + English Christmas crackers

Book + What Happens at Christmas mouse pad + White House Christmas Ornament

Book+ Southern praline candy + What Happens at Christmas mouse pad  

Book + Mug + Loose-leaf tea plus tea strainer

All 4 books + Christmas Ornament + Tea Towel + English Christmas crackers

Book + Set of David Winter cottage ornaments

Grand Prize:  eReader + Box of chocolate truffles + Set of David Winter cottage ornaments

Wow!  That’s a pretty spectacular list of prizes, right?  Staring at 9 am, we’ll be giving away one of these prize packages to event participants every hour, culminating in the grand prize of an e-reader, chocolates, and ornaments.  Talk about getting into the holiday mood!

And you know what else is cool?  We’ll also be giving away gift baskets to women’s shelters and libraries, and we’ll be encouraging our readers to make donations too.  We really hope you’ll join us for Romancing The Holidays at The Romance Dish on November 30.  For more info and to sign up for this special event, please visit our Romancing The Holidays website.

And in more holiday news, have you heard about The Year End Splash Party over at The Romance Reviews?

Over 300 hundreds authors are participating in this month long event, with more than 400 hundred prizes up for grabs.  I’m taking part too, and will be appearing on December 10th, doing a Q & A and giving away books.  Please join me and all the authors for this fantastic party which is already up and running.  Just stop by The Romance Reviews to join the fun.

And don’t forget to visit our Romancing The Holidays website to sign up for the our special gala, too!

PS.  I’m on the road today, visiting at Ramblings From This Chick and giving away a copy of His Mistletoe Bride.  Come join us!

Guest Author: Pamela Aares & Giveaway!

I have a very special guest with me today.  She’s Pamela Aares, and she writes historical romance with an interesting twist.  Let’s have a chat with Pamela and find out about her books, shall we?

Pamela, before you began writing historical romance you had a fascinating and varied career.  Can you tell us a bit about it, and how that work influences your writing today?  I was particularly struck by the story on your bio page about the bookseller trying to sell you fiction books.  Has your approach to life, working with animals & non-profits, influenced your writing? 

After years of producing and directing films, working on national and international campaigns to help wild animals and then marrying the director of the Center for the Story of the Universe (more on that on my website ), it became clear that we are all creatures of story. More than that, it was clear that love and allurement not only drive all of us; they power everything that happens in the universe.   Even the astrophysicists have discovered that attraction, the power at the heart of allurement, fuels the unfolding of the galaxies!

I love romance. On my website bio I talk about a bookseller who pushed a bunch of dreary non-fiction books at me and when I asked about their romance section, she told me they didn’t have any of those. In the end it was clear that if I wanted to read stories that explored the deep power of romance and included nature and spirit, I’d have to write them myself. It’s been an amazing journey!

Your current book, Jane Austen and the Archangel, has an unusual high concept.  Can you tell us about the book and why the subject matter spoke to you?

Sometimes (most times!) life reaches out and grabs hold of us, surprises us. I was just finishing The Lady and the Patriot (coming out January 2013) the first book in The Nature of Love series, when Michael Grace, the archangel hero of Jane Austen and the Archangel, grabbed me and would not let go. I think you’ll find him more than intriguing and his love for Jane as irresistible as I did.

As I wrote, I loved that Jane, who never had a proper love in her short life, was finally going to have a full-blown experience of deep and lasting love.

Angels are pretty popular these days in paranormal romance.  Why do you think that’s so?

I think we know that there is a world beyond that which we see. The quantum physicists have proven it and the sensitive among us have experienced it. The stories abound since humans have begun telling stories.

Whether it’s the mystics like Hildegard of Bingen, or the insights from Emerson or Einstein, or the most recent book exploring yet another near death experience, Proof of Heaven, so many experiences point to a force that sustains and supports us if we remember to call upon it. Angels are just one way of experiencing or understanding that power of life.

In addition to the Angels Come to Earth series, I see you’re also working on another series called The Nature of Love series.  What can you tell us about that?

The Lady and the Patriot is the first book in The Nature of Love series (it will be out just after the first of the year). The series follows feisty and independent heroines and the adventurous and daring heroes who fall in love with them. What’s new is the transforming power of nature and the places they travel. It changes the nature of their love stories and takes readers on a journey of powerful exploration of time and place.

The series is set in 1851, a time of great change in the world, a time much like our own. The Great Exhibition in London (the first ever World’s Fair) and the craze for natural history were cracking open awareness and fueling new dreams. Venice, London, Boston (think Louisa May Alcott) and Gold Rush California all play important roles in the love stories.

And I can also give you a sneak peek into my new contemporary series The Heart of the Game, although the first book won’t be out until after Valentine’s Day 2013.

Some of my readers know that I’m married to a Major League Baseball All-Star who happens to also be an expert on the whole story of the universe (the film Journey of the Universe won an Emmy this year, it was very exciting!)— anyway, editors and publishers have been asking for my ‘baseball’ book for a long time, so it’s finally on its way to readers. I had such fun writing it and the characters came alive as if they’d been waiting on the sidelines. It’s always wonderful when that happens!

And now for the fun question – if you were stranded on a deserted island with the love of your life, what two luxury items would you want to bring along?

Ah. It is a fun question. I asked my husband, just for a lark, what he’d bring. He said the Alexandrian Library and room service! Hard to top that. I think I’d want my iPod for music and something to write with!  I loved what Nora Roberts said last week when someone asked why she keeps writing. She said—“What would I do with all the stories in my head just waiting to be told?” Loved it. Love her. Maybe I’d take her on the desert island—can you take people?

Vanessa, here.  Absolutely you can take people, Pamela, and I think Nora would be a great choice.  And your husband sounds very interesting too! Thank you so much for visiting with us today – I really enjoyed your interview!

Readers, Pamela is graciously giving away a print copy of Jane Austen And The Archangel.  To be eligible, just answer this question: how has an experience in nature changed you or inspired your life?  One person who comments will win a copy of Pamela’s book.

What’s to be done with an angel who breaks the rules? Introduce him to a woman known for her propriety, of course.

Until then passion had lived only on the page…

Jane Austen hasn’t written a  creative word in months. She secretly fears she may not have it in her to write a single word more about love. Yet when the mysterious Michael Grace appears on her doorstep, she’s cast into a world of emotion beyond even her wildest imaginings. Though she fears he might be a spy, she enlists his help to find her friend’s fiancé, missing in the Peninsular War. But Michael isn’t what he seems, and the passion and doubts he ignites turn everything Jane trusts upside down. What Jane doesn’t know is that her mystery man is an angel. One who’s never failed to get what he goes after.

Some rules just beg to be broken…

It’s not easy being a bad-boy angel and Michael is paying the penalty. Demoted to working undercover in a sleepy English village, he’s chafing to launch the dangerous mission he’s been sent to command. But when he meets Jane, he’s irresistibly drawn to her, even though involvement with her could jeopardize her life and his status as an angel.

When Lucifer tries to use Jane as a pawn in his vile schemes, Michael discovers that fighting the forces of darkness is nothing compared to the challenge of telling Jane the truth. Can the angel who’s never lost a battle win the heart of a woman who’s afraid of love?

Be sure to visit Pamela’s lovely website for details on all her books, and for her buy links to Jane Austen And The Archangel.  You can also find her on facebook and Twitter.

Update:  I’m visiting with the fabulous Kieran Kramer today, so after you respond to Pamela’s question why don’t you hop on over and chat with me, too.  I’m giving away a copy of His Mistletoe Bride!

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!

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