Guest Author: Valerie Bowman & Giveaway!

I’ve got one of my favorite people in the world returning to the blog today.  She’s Valerie Bowman, and she writes absolutely delicious and charming Regency-set historical romance.  Valerie’s first book, Secrets of a Wedding Night, garnered wonderful reviews and was nominated by RT Book Reviews as Best Debut Historical Romance of 2012.

Let’s turn the blog over to Valerie as she tells us about her latest Regency story.

Why I Really Wrote A Secret Proposal: Girl Power in a Regency Novella!

Ok, I’ll admit. The main reason I wrote my very first novella (A Secret Proposal, story 1.5 of the Secret Brides series) was because my agent and editor thought it would be a good idea. I’d never written a shorter story before and I wondered if I’d be able to fit an entire story into something a third of the length of a regular novel. I was intrigued, however, so I gave it a try. Well, intrigued and compelled. Compelled by the REAL reason I wrote the story.

You see, I am a card-carrying feminist. I grew up with a mom and seven sisters. Then I went to an all-women’s college. I’m seriously pro-girl power! And there was just something about a certain character and interaction that went down in my first novel, Secrets of a Wedding Night, that I could NOT leave alone. In that story, the heroine, Lily, writes a scandalous pamphlet entitled SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT that has London’s society virgins scared witless. She even delivers a copy of the thing to a one Miss Amelia Templeton who, as a result, cries off from her engagement from the handsome, dashing Marquis of Colton.

Now, Lily has her reasons, and she and Devon, the marquis, are clearly meant to be together, but I always wanted to answer the question: Whatever happened to Amelia Templeton?

Regrettably, Lily says some mean things to the poor girl in the first book and me, being a feminist, well, I just couldn’t allow that girl fight to continue. I had to clear the air between the two ladies. Lily needed to apologize and recognize how badly she’d behaved and Amelia, who didn’t really love Devon to begin with, needed to earn her own happily ever after.

So, it absolutely no coincidence that A Secret Proposal, my first novella, is the story of what happened to Amelia. I always wanted to tell it but I knew it was not going to be a main part of the trilogy. The novella opportunity presented itself and was absolutely perfect. In A Secret Proposal, you’ll see Amelia and Lily finally have it out, Lily deliver her mea culpa and Lily and Devon actually play an important part in Amelia’s story with a fun and unexpected twist.

The story begins with Amelia, knowing her mother is angry at her for losing the titled marquis, making a list of eligible titled men whom she may marry. She’s determined to land a peer this time, but first she must get over her fear of a wedding night. Enter, her brother’s best friend, Mr. Thaddeus Hammond. Thad hasn’t seen Amelia in three years, the night her brother died. But Thad promised her he’d do anything she ever needed him to, he just didn’t expect that she’d ask him to spend an illicit night with her.

So, if you’re interested in a fast-paced romp through Regency England with a determined debutante, a professional boxer with a sordid past, and some newly minted friends, take a peek at A Secret Proposal.

What’s your favorite story where former rivals team up together? One lucky commenter will win a copy of the e-novella (e-format of your choice). Void where prohibited. 

Vanessa, here.  To help Valerie celebrate the release of her fabulous novella (doesn’t it sound awesome?!) I’ll also add a copy of my book, Mastering The Marquess, to the prize package.  One person who comments will win both Valerie’s digital novella and my book!

Buy A SECRET PROPOSAL! 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

Valerie Bowman writes Racy Regency Romps with a focus on sharp dialogue, engaging storylines, and heroines who take matters into their own hands! Publishers Weekly calls Secrets of a Wedding Night, an “enchanting, engaging debut that will have readers seeking future installments” and Romantic Times Book Reviews says, “This fast-paced, charming debut, sparkling with witty dialogue and engaging characters, marks Bowman for stardom.” Booklist gave it a starred review! You can find Valerie on the web at www.ValerieBowmanBooks.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Secrets of a Wedding Night was nominated by RT Book Reviews as the Best Debut Historical Romance Novel of 2012! The novel is available on Amazon | Barnes and Noble |  Books a Million and wherever books are sold!


We Have Winners!

The winners of my release day celebration are:

Elizabeth H – Mastering The Marquess

Ti Colluney – Sex And The Single Earl

Lee – An Invitation To Sin

Jamie Heustess – My Favorite Countess

Congrats to the winners!  I’ll be in touch.  Thanks to all the lovely people who stopped by  my blog on Tuesday to help me celebrate my big day.

For new visitors to the blog, my latest historical romance, His Mistletoe Bride, is now in stores.

To read an excerpt, check out the His Mistletoe Bride books page.  You’ll find some mighty handy buy links there, too!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


HIS MISTLETOE BRIDE Now in Stores!!!

Woot!!  My new Regency-set historical romance from Kensington Publishing is now in stores.

BLAME IT ON THE MISTLETOE…

When Major Lucas Stanton inherited his earldom, he never dreamed his property would include the previous earl’s granddaughter. Phoebe Linville is a sparkling American beauty, yes, but with a talent for getting into trouble. Witness the compromising position that forced them into wedlock. Whisked away to Mistletoe Manor, his country estate, it isn’t long before she is challenging his rules—and surprising him in and out of bed…

Phoebe has no intention of bowing to Lucas’s stubbornness even though he offers all that she wants. His kisses and unexpected warmth are enticing, but Phoebe is determined to show the Earl of Merritt what real love is all about. And if that takes twelve nights of delicious seduction by a roaring fire, she’s more than willing to reveal her gifts very slowly…

To celebrate the release of my new book I’ll be giving away my back list–that’s a copy of Mastering The Marquess, Sex And The Single Earl, An Invitation To Sin, and My Favorite Countess.

As you can probably tell by the title, His Mistletoe Bride is a Christmas book.  But the winter holiday season has lots of fun festivities, spanning religions and cultures.  For a chance to win one of the books on my back list, just tell me your favorite thing about the holiday season–whichever holiday you celebrate!  Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Twelfth Night, New Year’s, or the Winter Solstice – let’s hear all about it.

And for more info on His Mistletoe Bride, stop by my books page to read an excerpt and to find the buy links.

Happy Reading!!!!

 


Guest Author: Pamela Clare & Giveaway!

Today’s featured author is the fantastic Pamela Clare. Pamela, as most of you know, writes both romantic suspense and historical romance, and she’s adept at both.  Her I-Team series, about a group of crack investigative reporters, is enormously popular.  Breaking Point, the fifth book in the series, was named one of the Top 10 romance novels of 2011 by the editors of Amazon.com and readers voted it the Best Romantic Suspense book of 2011 in All About Romance’s annual reader poll, making this the second year in a row she’s won that category.

But today I want to highlight Pamela’s historical romances, which are every bit as exciting as her romantic suspense novels.  Her new release, Defiant, is book three in The MacKinnon Rangers Trilogy, and is set during the conflict known in the United States as the French and Indian War — the war made famous by the film Last of the Mohicans, which starred Daniel Day Lewis.

The trilogy tells the stories of three brothers — Iain, Morgan and Connor MacKinnon — transplanted Highlanders who came to North America as boys when their father was exiled from Scotland. Raised on the frontier, they know several Indian tongues and count themselves kin to the Mahican Indians of Stockbridge. Having learned how to track, fight, and hunt from their Mahican friends, they’re at home in the wilderness.


Defiant is already getting great reviews, including 4 stars from RT Book Reviews and a Blue Ribbon Review from Romance Junkies.  Here’s the blurb from Defiant:

Major Connor MacKinnon despises his commander, Lord William Wentworth, beyond all other men. Ordered to rescue Wentworth’s niece after the Shawnee take her captive, he expects Lady Sarah Woodville to be every bit as contemptible as her uncle. Instead, he finds a brave and beautiful lass in desperate peril. But the only way to free Sarah is for Connor to defeat the Shawnee warrior who kidnapped her—and claim her himself.

Torn by tragedy from her sheltered life in London, Lady Sarah is unprepared for the harshness of the frontier-or for the attraction she feels toward Connor. When they reach civilization, however, it is she who must protect him. For if her uncle knew all that Connor had done to save her, he would surely kill him.

But the flames of passion, once kindled, are difficult to deny. As desire transforms into love, Connor will have to defy an empire to keep Sarah at his side.

This is just the kind of meaty historical I love to read.  If you liked Last of the Mohicans, you will love this book!  As far as I’m concerned there aren’t enough historical romances set in this period of American history, and I’m really glad Pamela helps fill the gap with her wonderful books.

Speaking of movies, Pamela has made the most incredible book trailer for Defiant.  Trust me when I tell you that you’re going to want to watch it.  It’s live action, with the hunkiest guy I’ve seen in a LONG time playing Connor MacKinnon.  You can watch it here on YouTube

Be sure to visit Pamela’s website to learn about all her books, to read excerpts and to catch up on her latest news.  You’ll also want to pop by her blog, which has tons of smart, fun content.

For my readers today, I’m giving away a copy of Defiant and a copy of my first historical romance, Mastering The Marquess.  One person who leaves a comment will win both books.  Let’s talk about historical settings.  Some settings, such as Colonial America, are under-represented in historical romance.  What settings and periods do you wish got more coverage?  Tell us about it for a chance to win!

 


His Mistletoe Bride

I’m very excited that my next Regency-set historical romance, His Mistletoe Bride, to be released October 1, is now available for pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.  As you can tell by the title and the great cover, it’s a Christmas book–the first one I’ve written.  And it was a lot of fun to write because it meant doing research on Christmas during the Regency period.  Many of our most cherished holiday traditions developed during the time of Queen Victoria, but they certainly knew how to celebrate the season during the Regency, too.  I had a great time incorporating those traditions into my book.

But first and foremost, His Mistletoe Bride is a romance between two very different people:  Phoebe Linville, a young woman raised in a Quaker household in America, and Major Lucas Stanton, a soldier who must reluctantly take up the responsibilities of an earldom he never wanted.  That responsibility includes a tumbledown estate called Mistletoe Manor, a village full of smugglers, and an interfering set of relatives determined to throw Phoebe and Lucas together.  And since it’s the last book in my Stanton Family series, I had a great time bringing back characters from my earlier books, including Meredith and Silverton from Mastering The Marquess.

Here’s a short excerpt from His Mistletoe Bride:

Phoebe Linville would never see home again.

She braced herself against the roll of the sailing packet, clutching the damp wood of the ship’s railing in a hard grip.  The church spires and red brick buildings of Philadelphia receded into the early morning mist drifting across the whitecaps of the Delaware River.  A cool October morning with a salty bite to the air, hinting at the impending change of seasons.

A perfect day to start a new life.

Excitement quickened her breath.  For months her energies had been focused on this moment, despite George’s strongly worded attempts to change her mind.  She wouldn’t miss his strident lectures, but she would miss her sister-in-law, and her nieces and nephews.  And now that she was leaving, Phoebe would even miss George.  Although their relationship had been fraught with tension for so many years, her half-brother loved her and always sought to keep her footsteps on the righteous path.  To George, her decision to reject a life in America was a profound betrayal of their father’s family and their Quaker roots.

But God had shown her another path to take.

England.

Phoebe could hardly believe she would soon be in that distant land, and with the grandfather whose letters had assured her of his welcome.  England, the land of Chaucer and Spenser, a place of legend steeped in tales of fairy queens and ancient kings, whose knights swept through the land in their quests for glory.

Not that Phoebe had ever read those tales for herself.  Such frivolity had no place in a Quaker household, even given her father’s rather lax adherence to tradition.  But her mother, still loyal in her heart to the old country, had whispered bedtime stories of fairies and sprites that roamed the copses of that green and gentle land.  Father, bless him, had never once objected to the stories knowing that Mamma, even though long estranged from her English relations, had needed the comfort of telling them as much as Phoebe had needed the excitement of hearing them.

And now that same family was calling Phoebe home.  After years of silence, her grandfather, whom she had never met, had finally acknowledged his only grandchild.

You can read a longer excerpt right here on my website, and find order links to your favorite retailers.

Have a great Sunday, everyone!


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