Facebook Giveaways!

My Favorite Countess

I’m running two facebook giveaways this weekend. The first is on my Vanessa Kelly page, and features MY FAVORITE COUNTESS, book 3 in my Stanton Series, and WHEN HE WAS WICKED, by the incomparable Julia Quinn. Just click here to enter the contest.

And on my VK Sykes facebook page, I’m giving away a copy of EXIT STRATEGY and a copy of WEDDING BELLS IN CHRISTMAS. The first is a great romantic suspense by Lena Diaz, and the second is a wonderful contemporary romance by Debbie Mason. Just click here to enter.

To my readers in Canada, Happy Thanksgiving!

wedding bells


Two Facebook Giveaways!

How to plan a weddingroyal spy

On my Vanessa Kelly page, I’m giving away a copy of HOW TO PLAN A WEDDING FOR A ROYAL SPY, Renegade Royals books 3, and a copy of Julia Quinn’s ON THE WAY TO THE WEDDING. I think we can see a theme! Just click here to enter that contest, which closes on Friday night.

And on my VK Sykes facebook page, I’m giving away a copy of SUMMER AT THE SHORE, my latest Seashell Bay contemporary romance, plus a copy of Hope Ramsay’s LAST CHANCE HERO. Just click here to enter that contest.


For those who are celebrating, have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!


Guest Author: Lena Diaz & Giveaway!

Talented romantic suspense author (and truly wonderful friend) Lena Diaz is visiting with us once more.  She’s going to tell us all about her latest book from Avon.  Take it away, Lena!

Vanessa, thank you so much for hosting me on your awesome blog. As you know, I’m a contemporary romantic suspense author. But like so many romance readers, I love many genres, including – of course – historical romance. Since your blog is focused toward historical romance, I wanted to talk about some of my favorite historical romance novels and authors today.

I just recently read Vanessa’s latest release, My Favorite Countess, and LOVED it. (You can read my review on Amazon.) I’ve got Sex and the Single Earl on my TBR list, and am looking forward to whatever else Vanessa serves up in the future. (Vanessa, here.  I told you that Lena was awesome!)

You might be surprised to hear that I only started reading contemporary romances in the past few years. Before that, I ONLY read historical romance. We’re talking hundreds, probably thousands, of historical romances that I’ve read in my lifetime. The first ones that I can remember were those classic gothic romances by Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. Oh my gosh, talk about atmosphere. I loved the darkness, the creepy castles on desolate cliffs, the danger . . . hey wait, maybe I can see a connection here. Those sound like elements in my romantic suspense novels – minus the castles of course.

Setting is so important in historical romance, and it’s important in my latest novel as well. Simon Says Die is set in Savannah, Georgia, a town I love to visit and that has such incredible atmosphere and history. Naturally my heroine lives in the historic district, in an old house with secret passageways. And I couldn’t resist writing a scene set in one of the old cemeteries as well. Creepy cool!

But I digress.

Back to my favorite historical romances and authors. After Holt and Whitney, I moved on to sexy historicals by Rosemary Rogers. Who can forget Sweet Savage Love? And then I discovered the Queen of Romance, Kathleen Woodiwiss. Oh. My. Gosh. I own every one of her books – in hardback. My favorites include The Flame and the Flower, Shanna, A Rose in Winter, and my all-time favorite historical EVER – Ashes in the Wind. Woodiwiss built the historical romance genre from the ground up. So many authors were able to follow along and develop this amazing genre, only because she paved the way first.

Those purple-prose novels of the eighties gave way to a newer style of writing which was cleaner, leaner, and in many cases – humorous. Even though I love my romantic suspense to be dark and gritty, when I read historicals I often pick up ones with a light, funny bent. Julia Quinn is one of the best authors at making me laugh. I love the way she can turn a phrase, and her dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny. My favorite? How to Marry a Marquis. When I first read that book, I laughed so hard there were tears rolling down my face. I say FIRST read, because I own all of Julia Quinn’s novels and frequently re-read them. Yes, they are THAT good.

Another favorite historical author of mine is Amanda Quick, pseudonym for the amazing Jayne Ann Krentz. The Quick novels include all that delicious historical atmosphere and the settings we love so much, along with a smart, accomplished heroine. Which leads me back to Vanessa Kelly as my newest favorite historical romance author.

When I read My Favorite Countess, it literally blew me away. The dialogue is witty. The characters are complex and intelligent. And the situations in this novel are unique and so real I felt like I was back in the Regency era truly experiencing the ‘real’ life of these lords and ladies.

Kelly doesn’t dress up the gritty reality of how hard life really was back then. She shows it like it is (or was). To me, she’s a maverick in the historical romance genre. Using a turn of phrase from the regency era, Vanessa Kelly is a true original.

So what about you, reader? Do you have some author or book recommendations you can share with me? I’m always looking for a great new romance to read, in any genre.

Thanks again for hosting me Vanessa!

Vanessa, here.  Lena, you are supposed to be talking about your own book, not mine!  Thank you so much for your kind words.  And readers, it’s clearly up to me to tell you how wonderful Lena’s books are.  If you like romantic suspense, you will LOVE her.  Check out the blurb for Simon Says Die below, and also hop over to Lena’s website for her news and excerpts.  

Lena is giving away one e-book copy of Simon Says Die to one of the commenters in a random drawing (via either B&N or Amazon – reader’s choice).  Just tell us what your favorite setting is for a creepy suspense book or movie for a chance to win her book.  Do you like isolated settings like a scary manor house on a windswept coast, or do you go things like gritty urban settings, a la Law and Order?

Here’s the blurb for Simon Says Die.  Readers can read the prologue and first chapter on Lena’s website.

Simon says: I’m watching. Simon says: I’m coming. Simon says: Die.

Madison McKinley knows someone is stalking her. The police tell her she’s imagining things, and they’re too busy trying to find the “Simon Says” killer to investigate. But day by day, hour by hour, Madison’s terror grows stronger, and not even the return of FBI Special Agent Pierce Buchanan into her life can calm her fears. Besides, how can she ask Pierce for his help after the way she ended things between them?

Pierce still wants Madison’s love, and his drive to protect her is more powerful than ever. He believes she’s in danger, even if the cops don’t. Finally, as more people start dying and the evidence mounts, the police turn their attention to Madison—as a suspect. Was Pierce a fool to trust her again, or are they both caught in a complex game that neither will survive?


Winners & Contests!!

For those of you who’ve been following my contests, you know I was running a really special one with four other romance writers.  It was called Indulge In Our Favorite Authors, and it gave readers a chance to win the entire signed backlist of some really great writers, including Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas.  I was sponsoring the backlist of acclaimed paranormal and romantic suspense author, Cynthia Eden.

Well, guess what!  The contest is over, and we’re now awarding the prizes to five lucky winners.

Without further ado, here are the winners and the incredible prize packages they will receive:

Lisa Kleypas – backlist won by Lisa Lin

Julie Garwood – backlist won by Tin Ong

Elizabeth Hoyt – backlist won by April R

Julia Quinn – backlist won by Amy Alvis

Cynthia Eden – backlist won by Annette Jenkins

Congratulations to the winners!  The authors who sponsored the Indulge Contest will be in touch.  And thanks to everyone who participated.  It was great fun, and I hope I introduced you to the fab authors who sponsored this contest, if you didn’t know them already.

And on another contest note, I’m participating in March Madness, a month-long blog hop organized by historical romance author, Elise Rome.  It’s an amazing event that celebrates the wonderful world of romance novels, featuring a ton of talented writers and sponsoring spectacular giveaways.  I’m visiting with Elise today, so please stop by and visit.  You might discover a new-to-you author, win some wonderful books, or even win a Kindle or a beautiful, handmade quilt.  Really, folks, this is one blog hop you don’t want to miss!



Winners & Contests!

The winner of Lex Valentine’s book, Kissing Joan Collins, is Yvette, and the winner of Jody Wallace’s book, Pack and Coven, is donna ann.  Congratulations, ladies!  I’ll be in touch.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog.  My guests next week will be historical romance author Heather Snow, contemporary romance author Jenna Bayley-Burke, and romance/thriller writer Leslie Langtry.  You won’t want to miss any of them!

And don’t forget I’m running a fabulous contest with a group of truly terrific authors.  Elise Rome, Shana Galen, Lila DiPasqua, and Heather Snow are joining me in giving away the ENTIRE, signed backlists of some of your favorite authors.  I’m giving away the fabulous Cynthia Eden’s backlist – Cynthia writes very sexy paranormal romance and romantic suspense.  She’s one of my personal favorites, and if you haven’t read her books you’re in for an incredible treat.

The other backlists will be from the following authors:  Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Hoyt, Julie Garwood.

Okay, so what do you have to do to enter this contest?  Elise, Shana, Lila, Heather, and I are running a special facebook application on our individual pages where you can enter to win the complete, signed backlists from the amazing authors I’ve listed above.  For those of you who are already following me on facebook, just check out the Indulge in Our Favorite Authors tab on my facebook page sidebar to complete your entry.

Again, all you need to do is hop onto Facebook and follow the authors who want to give away these books:  Elise Rome, Shana Galen, Lila DiPasqua, Heather Snow.  And moi, of course!  Again, if you’re already following me, you just have to complete the very quick and easy application – click on the Indulge Our Favorite Authors tab in my sidebar to do that.

Please note, you must follow and enter on each of the five Facebook pages to be eligible to win each backlist. The giveaway will run till the end of February, when we will then select the winners. Even better, this contest is open to US and international residents! All books will be in English as print books; if any books in the backlists are currently our of print, used books will be purchased for those titles so that the backlist will be complete

Those are the rules! Tell your friends, tell your family, tell any fellow romance fan you know. And get out there and start liking those pages!