Guest Author: Meredith Bond & Giveaway!!

I’m so pleased to have fellow Kensington author Meredith Bond visiting the blog today.  Meredith writes my first love – Regency Romance – as well as YA Fantasy and Regency-set paranormal romance.  She’s a very interesting person as well as an accomplished writer and teacher.  I’m eager to find out more!

I see that you’re a writing teacher. Do you teach fiction or non-fiction, and how does that affect your own writing life?

I teach fiction writing – I take my students, through a series of courses, from how to organize yourself to write and start a novel in a class called “Start Write”, through the bigger concepts in fiction writing (developing characters, setting, story structure, etc.) in “Chapter One”, to the narrower aspects (POV, dialogue, show and tell, etc.) in “Craft of Writing”, to editing, right on through to publishing. I’ve even got a book out so that others can “take” two of my writing courses (Chapter One and Craft of Writing) called Chapter One.

Teaching is fantastic because as I teach each a class, I go through my own writing to make sure I’m applying the lesson I’m teaching. It really keeps me on my toes!

Tell us about your series, The Merry Men Quartet. Which book is up first, and what’s it about?

The Merry Men Quartet is a really fun series of Regency romances about four friends and how each find love. They were first published by Kensington Publishers, but now I’ve gotten the rights back to two of them, and in another few years I’ll get the rights back to the other two. They were published out of order to begin with, and unfortunately will be again just because of the way I’m getting them back (so disappointed!).

The first book to be re-published will actually be the first book chronologically – An Exotic Heir (originally published as Love of My Life). It’s the story of a sweet English girl, Cassandra Renwick, who flees to her parents in Calcutta, India, when she is treated badly by a member of the ton. She soon finds herself fascinated by the city – and her guide, the dark and mysterious Julian Ritchie. Julian has always faced discrimination for being only half-English, especially from Lady Renwick. When he meets Cassandra, he sees her as the perfect opportunity to get back at her mother – by making Cassandra fall in love with him. He soon finds that payback can be painful when you get caught in your own trap.

We all have different reasons for loving the Georgian and Regency periods. What are some of yours?

I love the juxtaposition of strict rules and the amount of flouting of those rules that goes on in Regency novels – it creates so many opportunities for some great stories.

What’s up next in your writing life?

I’m actually working hard on three projects, if you can believe it! I’m desperately trying to finish a short story (the third story of my Storm series), which I’m going to submit to the next WG2E anthology. (I published a short story in their last one, Tales From The Mist.) I’m editing the next book in the Merry Men Quartet, A Dandy in Disguise, which I hope to publish in April. And I’m working on a New Adult Paranormal trilogy (two books are done, but for some editing and the third is half written) – it’s a medieval tied to the Arthurian myths and loads of fun! If I can get those done, I’ll be the happiest person because I’ve been working on them for about four years now!

Thanks so much for that great interview!  Readers, Meredith is giving away a copy of Book One in her quartet, An Exotic Heir.  Since Meredith’s book is a historical not set in England, let’s talk about that.  What other countries would you like to see a historical romance take place in?  One person who comments will win a copy of An Exotic Heir.

Guest Author: Liz Everly & Giveaway!!

I’m always happy to have debut authors on the blog, and today I’m particularly pleased to be hosting a fellow Kensington author.  She’s Liz Everly, and she writes about food and romance–very sexy romance.  Her first book just came out, and it’s been getting some great reviews, including this one from Harlie’s Books:

“BUY THIS BOOK!!!  You will thank me later.  One of my top three books of the year, if not in the last two years.  Yes, it’s that good.” 

Let’s ask Liz about her new book, shall we?

Saffron Nights is your debut novel, although it’s not your first foray into the publishing world. How did you make the transition from food writer to romance novelist?

I’ve always been a story teller and even my food writing is narrative in nature. I tell stories through the food. My agent sort of saw the fiction in me as I wrote my cookbooks and other stories and she asked if I ever considered writing fiction. My answer was yes–I had written several novels, never finished them. But I had always needed to make a living, so I stuck with the non-fiction.

But sometimes a story to come out, as SAFFRON NIGHTS did. So I worked on it around my other writing projects.

What’s the book about?

Maeve Flannery, an intrepid food journalist, travels the globe with her handsome photographer researching aphrodisiacs. She and the photographer, Jackson Dodds, get more than they bargained for as they realize their growing attraction to each other, along with the fact that they are in great danger. Someone is chasing them around, but they don’t know why. Both of my main characters are sexually confident and experienced, so the sexual tension in the books come from the fact they are working together and respect each other professionally. Should they embark on a relationship? How will it change their working relationship? The stakes are high because they are very successful together. A lot of photographers and writer never see each other as they partner. They don’t need to. Maeve and Jackson have been partners for years, only communicating by phone and Skype. This assignment is the first that they spend time together.

Your hero and heroine do quite a bit of travelling in the course of the book. Have you travelled to any of those exotic locales?

I wish! A lot of writing this book was pure wish-fulfillment on my part. I’ve always wanted to travel and I read a lot of travel writing. I thought if I were going to write a book, I’d just write a complete fantasy, you know, really have fun with it. For example, most cookbook writers get small advances, have to pay for their own research, and so on. So for Maeve, that writing assignment would be exactly the kind I’d like to have. (Of course, I’d have to bring my HUSBAND along. Grin.)

Was it part of your research?

Yes, as I mentioned I read a lot of travel magazines and blogs. I looked at photos of places and placed my characters there in my mind, then described the places in my book.

What’s up next for Liz Everly?

I’m doing the final revisions on the next book in the series, CRAVINGS, which is set in Ecuador and Saint Lucia. The culinary focus is chocolate and Sanj steps out in this book as the main male character. I’ve started writing the next book in the series and the culinary focus will be honey and ginseng. I’ve not decided on the place, but the lead female character will be Jennifer, who has been in both other books.

Thanks for stopping by, Liz!  Readers, Liz has kindly agreed to donate a copy of her fabulous debut book.  Simply share with us your favorite food indulgence for a chance to win a copy of Saffron Nights. And be sure to stop by Liz’s website to read an excerpt from the book!


Guest Author: Christie Kelley & Giveaway!

I’ve very happy to welcome fellow Kensington author Christie Kelley to the blog today.  Christie writes critically acclaimed, Regency-set historical romance, and her books are described by RT Book Reviews as “racy and romantic.”  Fun!  Christie has a new book out, so let’s find out all about it, shall we?

Bewitching The Duke is not your standard Regency romance, with lords and ladies cavorting about London and living the good life. What can you tell us about the book, and why you decided to write it?

After writing five books of lords and ladies cavorting in London, I needed something new to write. The idea started when watching a documentary on witches on the History channel. They had a quick blurb explaining what wise women were and how their healing abilities led to them being called witches. All it takes is a little something like that to make think…what if? What if there had been some wise women protected by their landowners and still practiced their healing ways in the Regency period. Plus the idea of writing a woman who was a free spirit and not tied down by society’s rules intrigued me. It was actually a lot of fun to write Selina.

Your heroine, Selina, is not from the same social class as the hero. Did you have fun playing with those class differences?

I loved writing Selina. She is a woman who really doesn’t care if she wears her hair unbound. She doesn’t want to cause the servants more work so she’ll take her boots off before walking around the manor. While Colin was born and raised to be a duke, he thinks she is completely mad. He doesn’t understand how a woman can act so freely. It was great fun to write! Plus writing about a woman who is hiding out in the manor under the nose of a duke made me laugh as I wrote it.

What attracts you to the Regency period, and did you come upon any interesting historical tidbits when you wrote the book?

I love writing the Regency period because I can play with the mores of the day. I can stretch those boundaries or stay strictly inside of them depending on the story or the character. And who doesn’t love the clothes! For me, learning more about the healers of the day was terribly interesting. I had to stop myself from the research so I could get the book written. Does that make me a geek? Probably.

What’s up next in your writing life?

I’m currently editing my October release, Enticing the Earl, which is Mia’s story. And writing the third book in the trilogy. After that, my editor mentioned writing some novellas for some of the secondary characters in Enticing the Earl. So, I’m keeping busy!

Vanessa, here.  Bewitching The Duke sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  Here’s the blurb:


After losing his wife in childbirth, Colin Barrett, Duke of Northrop, does not trust healers. So when he discovers Selina White cleansing his home, he is livid. As duke, Colin is accustomed to his charges taking orders from him. But the fiery Selina has the audacity to defy him when he asks her to leave his lands. More infuriating, he cannot stop thinking about the seductive sway of her hips when she walks.


The sick tenants of Northrop Park depend on Selina, and she’s not about to let a man tell her she must leave her village—even if he is a duke. And while Selina does not fear Colin’s temper, she is afraid of the secrets she keeps from him and of the desire he sets off in her every time he is near.

For my readers today, Christie is giving away a copy of Bewitching The Duke.  Since Christie’s heroine is not your usual Regency lady, let’s talk about that.  What kind of heroine do you like to see in your historicals?  The gently bred lady, the sexy widow, a free spirited commoner, or all types?  One person who comments will win a copy of Christie’s book!


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!


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!