Guest Author: Catherine Kean & Giveaway!

Hooray!  Catherine Kean is in the house!  Some of you already know that Catherine writes award-winning medieval historical romances that have garnered lots of accolades.  She also writes contemporary romances as Cate Lord, but that’s for another blog!  Let’s turn things over to Catherine now, to hear the latest on her lush and lovely historical romances.

When gathering ideas for my medieval romance A Knight’s Temptation, Book 3 of my Knight’s Series now available on Kindle, I was inspired in part by a gorgeous role model: Orlando Bloom, Legolas in the Lord of the Rings movies. My novel isn’t fantasy, and my hero Aldwin Treynarde isn’t an elf, but he does have long blond hair, is a fantastic fighter, and worships honor and justice. And yes, he’s a hottie!

I loved writing A Knight’s Temptation, and not just because I was able to further indulge my personal fascination with the Middle Ages (and spend time swooning over photos of Orlando Bloom). I adored my leading characters. There’s something really invigorating about writing scenes between a duty-driven alpha-male hero and a heroine who refuses to do as he expects. The push and tug between Aldwin and Lady Leona Ransley made for some pulse-pounding, sizzling, poignant, and downright funny scenes. There were times when sparks practically crackled across my keyboard. Whew!

Aldwin is far from the naïve young squire readers first met in A Knight’s Vengeance (Series Book 1) He’s a hardened warrior who’s had to live with the dishonor of shooting Geoffrey de Lanceau with a crossbow bolt (from A Knight’s Vengeance). By succeeding in his important quest for de Lanceau—retrieving a stolen ruby pendant that de Lanceau’s enemies would sell to finance an uprising against him—Aldwin hopes to earn knighthood. Achieving that honor is his greatest temptation.

That is, until he meets my heroine, Leona Ransley. She’s far from the delicate, perfectly-mannered lady Aldwin idealized in his younger days. Risking her own safety, she snatched the pendant from her drunken father’s safekeeping at Pryerston Keep and arranged a meeting in a tavern to exchange the jewel for the reward. She’s very devoted to her father—but smart enough to know his guests, who gave him the pendant, are up to no good. Readers of A Knight’s Vengeance will be familiar with Baron Sedgewick and his wicked lover, Veronique, who have returned to Moydenshire to overthrow de Lanceau.

When Aldwin meets up with Leona to get the pendant, he doesn’t recognize her—although she definitely recalls him. Years ago, when they were children, he ordered her tied to a tree in a game of “rescue the damsel,” not realizing she was standing over a bees’ nest. Stung many times, Leona almost died. But she survived, and now, realizing her father and the good folk of Pryerston need her help to oust the conspirators, she’ll do all she can to ensure that happens, while being careful not to implicate her sire as a traitor.

Aldwin, however, senses she knows more about the pendant than she’s willing to admit. He takes her hostage, planning to deliver her to de Lanceau for questioning. Determined to escape, Leona refuses to cooperate. As I said, the sparks were a-crackling. Meanwhile, with Veronique and the baron trying to get back the pendant, the scenario makes for (I hope) one thrilling, page-turning, deliciously romantic adventure in the Middle Ages.

If you could pick any actor to be the hero of a medieval romance (besides yummy Orlando Bloom), who would you pick, and why? I’ll give away two Kindle copies of A Knight’s Vengeance, Book One of my Knight’s Series, to two different commenters. Vanessa has generously offered to give away a copy of her book My Favorite Countess as well.

Guest Author: Elisabeth Naughton & Giveaway!

Do you love intrigue, danger, excitement, and lots of passion with a totally hot, buff guy?  Of course you do—at least between the pages of a book!  My featured author today brings all that, and then some.  She’s Elisabeth Naughton, and she writes sexy, adventurous romantic suspense, and dark, sexy paranormal romance.  With emphasis on the sexy!

Elisabeth blasted out of the gate with her first book, Stolen Fury, which got great reviews.  The Chicago Tribune said, “Naughton deftly distils deadly intrigue, high adrenaline action and scorchingly hot passion.”

Wait!  There’s more, including this review from Publisher’s Weekly:

“A rock solid debut…Naughton’s intelligent adventure plot is intensified by the blazing heat that builds from Lisa and Rafe’s first erotic encounter.”

I read Stolen Fury not long after the book came out, and I can tell you the reviews don’t lie.  This book—and the others in the Stolen series—are really great.  Dripping with suspense and passionate romance, this series will appeal to fans of Romancing the Stone and Indiana Jones.  I don’t know about you, but I love this kind of globe-trotting adventure story, and there’s just not enough of them written for female readers.

Be sure to check Elisabeth’s website for info and excerpts on the other two books in the series, Stolen Heat and Stolen Seduction.

But I did mention at the beginning of this post that Elisabeth also writes dark and sexy paranormal romance.  Her latest series is called the Eternal Guardians:

As unrest in the Underworld threatens, seven warriors descended from the greatest heroes in all of Ancient Greece may just be mankind’s last hope.

Doesn’t that sound fabulous?!  Here’s what NY Times bestselling author Larissa Ione had to say about the series:

“Gripping, dangerous, and sinfully sexy…Elisabeth Naughton combines dynamic dialogue and sizzling romance with a wicked cool world. Do NOT miss this series!”

The third book in the series, Tempted, was just released in September.

Tempted has been garnering raves, including this starred review from Publisher’s Weekly:

“Endlessly twisting plots within plots, a cast of complex and eminently likeable characters, and a romance as hot as it is complicated.”

Here’s the blurb for Tempted:

DEMETRIUSHe’s the hulking, brooding warrior his fellow Guardians avoid. Too dark. Too damaged. And given his heritage, he knows it’s best to keep everyone at arm’s length.

Isadora is missing. The words pound through his head like a frantic drumbeat. For her own protection, Demetrius did all he could to avoid the fragile princess, his soul mate. And now she’s gone—kidnapped. To get her back, he’ll have to go to the black place in his soul he’s always shunned.

As daemons ravage the human realm and his loyalty to the Guardians is put to the ultimate test, Demetrius realizes that Isadora is stronger than anyone thought. And finally letting her into his heart may be the only way to save them both.

There’s nothing better that a hulking, brooding warrior, IMHO.  You just know he’s going to fall hard for the heroine, and when he does it’s going to be a thing of beauty.  You can read all about the book on Elisabeth’s website, which includes an excerpt.  And be sure to check out her Extras page for some great background and extra goodies on the Eternal Guardians.

For my readers today, Elisabeth has graciously donated a copy of Tempted.  Since we’re already talking about adventure, let’s stick with that topic.  What’s your favorite adventure movie?  Is it one of the Indiana Jones movies, or Romancing the Stone?  How about something from Lord of the Rings?  One person who comments will win a copy of Elisabeth’s fabulous book!



The Hobbit Is Coming, and Friday Giveaway!


Finally, a return to  Middle Earth!  Peter Jackson and crew have started filming The Hobbit, the long awaited prequel to The Lord Of The Rings.  Jackson will be posting periodic updates from the set, and here’s the first video blog.  I must say, it was really great to return to Bag End.

And because it’s Friday and because there are only a few more weeks till the release of My Favorite Countess, I’m giving away my last Advanced Reader Copy (ARC).  All you have to do to enter is “like” my new Facebook author page.  I’ll announce a winner tomorrow night.

If you want to read about My Favorite Countess, you can just visit my website.  There’s an excerpt, pre-order links AND a free read – a prequel chapter to the book!