Facebook Giveaways!

My Favorite Countess

I’m running two facebook giveaways this week. The first is on my Vanessa Kelly page, and includes a giveaway of my third book, MY FAVORITE COUNTESS. I really loved writing this story and it garnered some of the best reviews of my career. It features a former bad girl as a heroine, and a sexy, oh-so-caring doctor as a hero. The sparks really fly between these two! I’ve also included AGAIN THE MAGIC, a classic romance by Lisa Kleypas. Just click here to enter.

The second giveaway is on the VK Sykes page for my contemporary romances. I’m giving away a copy of THIS HEART IS MINE, the latest in Brenda Novak’s Whiskey Creek Series. Just click here to enter the contest for this lovely book!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Brrenda Novak

Facebook Contest!!

Are you on facebook?  Only a few days left to enter my latest contest on my facebook page, which is a giveaway of two classic romance novels:  Prince of Dreams, by Lisa Kleypas, and Shield’s Lady by Jayne Ann Krentz.  If you haven’t already done so, hop on over to facebook and enter!

Guest Author: Valerie Bowman & Giveaway!

As you know, I love hosting debut authors on my blog.  I’m particularly excited about today’s guest–she’s historical romance author Valerie Bowman.  Valerie’s first book, Secrets of a Wedding Night, was just released from St. Martin’s Press and it’s been getting great buzz and great reviews.

Let’s turn the blog over to Valerie to hear all about her new book.

The Name that Got Away

Let’s talk about names. My name. Your name. Heroes’ and heroines’ names. What would your name have been if you had been the opposite sex? Or, in my case, if I had been named the name my mother had actually picked out for me, but more about that in a minute.

In my debut romance novel, SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT, the heroine is named Lily Andrews and the hero is named Devon Morgan. I named the heroine after Lily Lawson, one of my favorite heroines in one of my favorite novels of all time, Lisa Kleypas’, THEN CAME YOU. Lisa’s story is actually set a bit later than SECRETS and someone once pointed out to me that as a general rule, women in England were not named after flowers until the Victorian era. So technically, Lily’s name might be a bit anachronistic. But I choose to believe it’s entirely possible that her parents were ahead of their time. Plus, I was more interested in the homage to one of my favorite characters, than in the factuality of the thing to be honest. Hence, my Lily.

Morgan, Devon’s last name, is a nod to the famous Rand Morgan of Laura London’s incomparable, THE WINDFLOWER. Morgan also a family name for me. Devon’s first name just sounded good and popped into my head when I was trying to think of Lily’s hero. Sometimes I just get lucky that way and the name just appears in front of my mind’s eye.

Now, about my own name. Unfortunately, I was born about two months premature and my mother, not expecting to be in labor, had left the list of baby names she’d decided upon back at the house. I had jaundice and was breach and had severe complications. My mother was rushed into an emergency C-section and my father was told that they were hoping to save my mother, not me. Eek.

Ok, so flash forward and I was born and weighed like 4 pounds and was very sick. My mother was still out of it from the anesthesia and the doctors told my father. “You’d better name your daughter quickly or she’ll be named Jane Doe on the death certificate.”

Can you imagine?

So, as the story goes in my family, my dad rushed home to get the right name from the list. My mom had circled the one they’d finally agreed upon. He couldn’t remember! He came back to the hospital and scanned the list and realized none of the names were circled. So he picked the one he happened to like best, the one that had his sister’s name as in the middle: Valerie Gale.

When my mother came to, she realized that my father had picked the wrong name. For the name she had circled on another piece of paper at home. The one they’d decided on was… Mary Grace.

Now, I adore both the names Mary and Grace, but I’ve never quite imagined myself with that name. It just doesn’t seem like me. Perhaps a bit of serendipity was at work that day in June at the hospital in Illinois. Especially given the fact that I made a full recovery.

So, confess, what is the alternate name your parents were planning to name you? One lucky commenter will win a copy of Secrets of a Wedding Night.


Young, widowed, and penniless, Lily Andrews, the Countess of Merrill, has strong opinions on marriage. When she spots a certain engagement announcement in The Times, she decides to take action. She will not allow another hapless girl to fall prey to a man—particularly the scoundrel who broke her heart five years ago. Anonymously she writes and distributes a pamphlet entitled “Secrets of a Wedding Night,” knowing it will find its way into his intended’s innocent hands…


Devon Morgan, the Marquis of Colton, desires a good wife and mother to his son—someone completely unlike Lily Andrews, the heartless beauty who led him on a merry chase five years ago only to reject him. When Devon’s new fiancée cries off after reading a certain scandalous pamphlet, he vows to track down the author and make her pay. But when he learns it’s his former fiancée Lily, he issues a challenge: write a retraction—or prepare to be seduced—to find out how wonderful a wedding night can be…

 Secrets of a Wedding Night is the most charming and clever debut I’ve read in years!” ~ NTY bestselling author Lisa Kleypas

Vanessa, here.  Wow, Valerie, that’s an amazing and scary story!  We are all VERY glad that things turned out okay.  Now, how about you, readers?  Did your parents have more than one name picked out for you?  If not, is there a name you wish they’d given you?  One person who comments will win a copy of Valerie’s wonderful new book!

And be sure to visit Valerie’s website to read an excerpt from Secrets of a Wedding Night and for all the buy links.


Guest Author: Donna Grant & Giveaway!

Hey, all.  I have a really cool guest author on the blog today.  She’s Donna Grant, and she writes dark and sexy paranormal romance.  Donna’s a pretty amazing person.  Her first book was released in 2005, and since then she’s published over 25 novels spanning multiple genres of romance fiction.  She writes about powerful and ancient warriors, and the strong women those warriors are determined to possess.

Donna has gotten all kinds of acclaim for her Dark Sword books, the paranormal Highlander series that began with Dangerous Highlander.  And when I saw acclaim, I mean acclaim!  Here’s what Lisa Kleypas had to say about the series:

“Donna Grant has created a dark and richly complex world filled with astonishingly vivid characters. Every page is pure enchantment. For readers who like intensely passionate and searingly romantic stories, Donna Grant is the author you’ve been waiting for!”

She’s finaled in a bunch of contests and won several awards for these books, including The National Readers Choice Awards, the JABBIC Contest, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the K.I.S.S. Award from RT Book Reviews.

The last book in this particular series came out in January.

Darkest Highlander got great reviews and made the Nielsen Bookscan bestseller list.  No surprise there! But Donna’s now doing something very interesting with the next line of warriors from this fantastic series:  she’s moving them forward in a spin-off series that brings stories of ancient magic into the modern world.  How cool is that?  In a fab continuation of the Dark Sword series, the first book in the Dark Warriors series will be hitting the stores tomorrow.

Here’s the blurb for Midnight’s Master, which is already getting great buzz:


Gwynn Austin has no idea why her father has disappeared on a mysterious trip to Scotland.  When she goes on a desperate mission to search for him she finds more than she bargains for in a ruggedly handsome, wickedly exciting Highlander who exudes danger and mystery. And when she discovers her own link to Scotland, she’ll have to trust her heart to help lead her….


Propelled through time by powerful Druid Magic, Logan Hamilton uses his immortality and powers of the god inside him to help prevent the awakening of an ancient evil in the modern world. He never expects to find help in the form of a beautiful, alluring, and all too tempting woman whose passion and strength matches his own. Together, Logan and Gywnn must fight for their love—before a demon from the past destroys them both…

You can read more about this new series on Donna’s beautiful and action-packed website.  You can read an excerpt of Midnight’s Master, and find tons of stuff about her other books.  I’d encourage you to spend a little extra time on her website because she’s got some pretty cool extras, too.

For my readers today, Donna is giving away a copy of Darkest Highlander.  Let’s stick with paranormal romance.  What are some really good ones you’ve read lately, and what are you eager to read?  One person who comments will win a copy of Donna’s last book in the Dark Sword series.

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!