Roundup: Guest blogs, contests, and winners

I’m on the road today, visiting with the lovely ladies at The Dashing Duchesses blog.  We’re talking about my soon-to-be released book, His Mistletoe Bride, and I’m also giving away copies of some of my previously released books.  Please stop by!

Today is the last day to enter my contest on goodreads to win an advanced copy of His Mistletoe Bride.  I’m giving away five of these babies, so here’s you chance to get the book before anyone else!  Click here to enter the giveaway.  I’m also running some great contests on my facebook page – prizes include an iPad and copies of my books.  Check here and here for all the details.

Would you like to become one of Vanessa’s Vixens?  That’s my new street team, who will help me spread the word about my books.  In exchange, you’ll learn all my latest news before anyone else, and you’ll also receive some special swag from me.  Check out the special tab on my facebook page to learn all the details.

Finally, the winner of the Jackie Ivie book and totebag is Cate Sparks.  Congratulations!  I’ll be in touch.  Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog.  My guest later this week will be acclaimed romance author Shirley Hailstock.

See you around the blogosphere!



goodreads giveaway & contest winners!

I’m celebrating the upcoming October release of my next historical romance, His Mistletoe Bride, with a giveaway on goodreads.  Five copies of this baby are up for grabs, so dash right over and enter for a chance to win.  Click here for details and to enter.

I’ve also got lots of winners today from guest blog posts this past week.  Here we go!

ARC of Theresa Romain’s Season for Surrender – June

Carey Baldwin’s First Do No Evil – Phyllis Lamken

Kris Kennedy’s Defiant – Mary Doherty

Kris Kennedy’s The Irish Warrior – Sheila M

Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who stopped by the blog last week.  It was fun!  My guests next week will be historical romance writers Mia Marlowe and Manda Collins.  Be sure to stop by!

Guest Author: Darcy Burke & Giveaway!

I’m so happy that the lovely and talented Darcy Burke is back on the blog today.  Darcy writes sexy and very romantic Regency-set historical romance, and she’s here to talk about her new book, To Seduce A Scoundrel.  Specifically, she’s going to introduce us to her latest hero – a hero with an intriguing twist!

The Celibate Hero and Why He’s Sexy

When I first conceived of the character of Lord Sevrin (he didn’t have a first name for a very long time), he was simply a rake with a truly horrendous reputation. However, I knew almost right away that I didn’t want him to be a typical rake. So I wondered, what if everyone assumed he was a womanizer but, in fact, he was celibate? That’s when Sevrin became incredibly interesting to me…and sexy.

Celibacy is sexy because it means the hero’s been holding out for some reason. That takes a lot of control (especially for a romance hero!) and control is sexy. Put that together with the heroine that will bring him to his knees and end his celibacy (because it’s, yanno, a romance), and you have (I hope!) an irresistible love story.

The whys of Sevrin’s celibacy were a bit difficult to unravel, and hopefully it works in the context of his character. He’s a hero with strong beliefs and holds himself to the highest possible standards. His celibacy is a means of functioning after some rather disreputable deeds.

I’ve read virgin heroes before and have a couple I’m excited to read in the very near future, but I couldn’t think of a celibate hero off the top of my head. I checked out Goodreads and found six pages of them! Have you read any celibate heroes? If so, is there one you recommend? Do you think celibate heroes are sexy? One commenter will receive an ebook copy of His Wicked Heart in the format of their choice!

Vanessa, here.  Doesn’t Sevrin sound intriguing?  Darcy is a wonderful writer, and I can’t wait to read her latest book.  She’s gotten great reviews for her first two books, and I know this one will be equally delicious.

So, readers, what do you think about celibate heroes?  Have you read any before?  Tell us about it for a chance to win His Wicked Heart.  And be sure to drop by Darcy’s lovely website to get the details on all her books and to read an excerpt of To Seduce A Scoundrel.

Social Media – Love It Or Hate It?

I definitely have a love/hate relationship with social media.  It’s like crack, luring me in with the promise of a better tomorrow, until I realize that I have totally wasted today on Twitter, or Facebook, or Goodreads.  But is it really a waste?  I’ve stumbled across so much fascinating information by using social media, discovering all kinds of interesting articles, blogsites, and websites on history, pop culture, politics, and the arts.  I rarely surf the internet anymore.  Rather, I follow the specific links I find on Twitter or Facebook.  Even better, I’ve discovered people.  Wonderful, funny, intelligent people, including writers, publishing industry professionals, and readers, from all over the world.  Some have even become friends, and how utterly cool is that?

So it seems that what I have to do is manage my addiction and use social media to enhance my personal and professional relationships, and support my work.  To that end, I’m reading a couple of really good books that deal with social media.  One is a fabulous how-to book by Kristen Lamb, entitled We Are Not Alone.  This is a social media guide for writers, and it deals with the big questions about social media and why people – not just writers – need it.  The book also provides a nuts-and-bolts guide for setting up your own social media sites and accounts in clear language that is truly helpful to techno-peasants like me!

Kristen writes for Who Dares Wins Publishing, an independent publishing company created by Bob Mayer and Jennifer Holbrook-Talty.  Bob Mayer is another great resource for writers and anyone aspiring to get published.  He uses the skills and mindset he learned as a Special Forces soldier to teach writers how to conquer fear and bring discipline and positive change to their professional lives.   Bob is also a really good writer and an all-around cool guy.  Along with Jenny Crusie, he wrote one of my favorite books, the hilarious Agnes And The Hitman.

And you know how I found out about some of these folks?  Through social media, of course.  I even follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

How about you?  Social Media:  a positive vision of the future, or the bane of our existence?