Announcing My New Contest!!

Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard200

To celebrate the upcoming release of Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, book one in my Renegade Royals series, I’m running a very special contest.  See that lovely picture at the top of the page?  That’s the art for the cover by the talented Jon Paul, and I’ll be giving it away in a ready-to-be framed reproduction to one lucky contest winner.  Cool, eh?

I’ll also be giving away two runner-up prizes, original sketches of the heroines from Lost in a Royal Kiss and Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard.

Linnet, from Lost in a Royal Kiss
Linnet, from Lost in a Royal Kiss


Vivien, from Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard
Vivien, from Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard

Aren’t they adorable?  They’re a bit Regency meets Disney princess!  The two sketches will be signed by the artist, and will be matted and ready for framing.  For details and contest entry, just visit my Contest Page.

For info on the books in the Renegade Royals Series, please visit my Books Page.

PS.  Lost in a Royal Kiss is FREE on Amazon, iTunes, and B & N until Dec. 24th.  Visit my Books Page for the links!

Guest Author: Adrienne Basso & Giveaway!!


I’m very pleased to welcome fellow Kensington historical romance author Adrienne Basso to the blog.  Adrienne writes wonderful Highland, Victorian, and Regency-set historical romance, and she’s gotten tons of acclaim over the years.  She’s here to talk with us about her new book.

Take it away, Adrienne!

I’d first like to thank Vanessa for graciously inviting me to be a guest blogger today.   Like many other authors, in addition to my writing career, I have a rather demanding full-time job.  Consequently, I don’t get out much!  I therefore really appreciate this opportunity to connect with romance readers.

How to Be a Scottish Mistress was released in early July and I’ve been so pleased with the  response.  This book is big change in setting and time period for me – medieval Scotland.  My previous historicals have taken place in Regency England and my holiday romances are set in Victorian England. 

How to be a Scottish Mistress

Yet as I contemplated my next project, I wanted to tackle a new challenge.  Here’s what I came up with:

As Robert the Bruce struggles to unite the clans of Scotland and free his country from English rule, a newly widowed English noblewoman turns to a proud, powerful Scottish earl for sanctuary and justice.  Since the earl must marry to secure a political alliance, she offers to become his mistress.  The bargain they strike thrusts them into passionate danger – both outside and inside their bedchamber.  As treachery and vengeance loom, they must decide how far they are willing to go to fight for the survival of their forbidden love.

Interestingly, the basic premise of this plot, along with the two main characters, Fiona and Gavin, had been rolling around in my head for years.  My original idea was to set the story in England circa 1120, but when I proposed it to my editor, he asked me to consider changing the location to Scotland.  I did some research, thought it over and decided Scotland, in the time of Robert the Bruce, would be an excellent choice and further enhance the story.

There was one other aspect of this novel that I debated in my mind for weeks before making a decision – should I use any Scottish “words”?  As a reader I usually like the Scottish dialog – yet it isn’t always necessary.

How to Seduce a Sinner

What about ye, lasses?  Yay or nay to those phrases?  Please, let me know.  One commenter will win a signed copy of How to Be a Scottish Mistress. 

Guest Author: Manda Collins & Giveaway!!


I’m featuring one of my favorite people in the world today.  She’s Manda Collins, and she writes wonderful and witty Regency-set historical romance with a dash of mystery.  Manda’s first series, The Ugly Ducklings, received a great deal of acclaim for its engaging heroines, thoroughly decent heroes, and smart, fun stories.

Happily, Manda has a brand new series, The Wicked Widows.  The first book is called Why Dukes Say I Do, and it’s already received 4-1/2 stars and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews:

“Witty and smart, Collins’ prose flows smoothly as she merges a charming, compassionate love story with gothic suspense….Add strong pacing and depth of emotion, and there’s no doubt this is a winner.”

Why Dukes Say I Do (5)

Here’s the blurb for Why Dukes Say I Do:

Even in London society—where everyone knows what you did last season—you never know who’s next in line to walk down the aisle…


With her whirlwind social life in London, Lady Isabella Wharton has little interest in the customs of the country. But when her godmother asks her to pay a visit to her bachelor grandson in Yorkshire, Isabella can’t refuse. It behooves her to please the old dowager, since she harbors one of Isabella’s most scandalous secrets. So off she goes to see the newly-titled—and notoriously rustic—Duke of Ormond…


Trevor Carey doesn’t care about what goes on
behind ballroom doors. He is content with the simple life—and isn’t ashamed to admit it to a society flirt like Lady Isabella. But the country air brings out a different side of Isabella—one full of longing and passion. Can her sophistication be hiding a desire for love? When a blackmailer from the city arrives to threaten Isabella, Trevor will shield her from harm—even travel to London. Can the duke tackle the ton on Isabella’s behalf …and manage to keep her all to himself?

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  If you like smart, witty storytelling with a lot of heart–and you haven’t tried one of Manda’s books–then I suggest you get cracking!

And for those of you who loved Manda’s last series, The Ugly Ducklings, you can pick up her recently released novella, The Perks of Being a Beauty, which winds up the series.

Perks of Beign a Beauty

For my readers today, Manda is giving away one copy of Why Dukes Say I Do.  Just tell us who and what are some of your favorite historical authors and books.  One person who comments will win a copy of Manda’s new book!

Guest Author: Lindsay Randall & Giveaway!!

I’m very pleased to welcome historical and paranormal historical romance author Lindsay Randall to the blog today.  She’s published more than a dozen bestselling and award winning novels, and her most recent romance, Phantom, has been named the Reviewers Choice for Best Historical Paranormal Romance by RT Book Reviews magazine.

Lindsay, you sold your first book to a New York publisher when you were only twenty-four.  What was that like, and what genre where you writing in at the time?

Thanks for letting me visit with you at your blog, Vanessa. I’m glad to be here!

That first sale was, in a word, amazing! My parents were avid readers and our home was filled with books, so being able to see one of my own stories on the bookshelves was a real treat.

It was also a watch-what-you-wish-for, because-you-might-just-get-it moment!  Writing was no longer just a passion, but a profession. That was scary. It still is.

My preferred genre then and now is historical romance. I absolutely love history, and I enjoy the challenge of considering how a person’s world view might be shaped by the happenings around them.

Tell us about the books in your To Woo an Heiress series.

I’d love to! This e-book series highlights my favorite traditional Regency stories, all of which are “sweet” love stories filled with adventure.

Each book features an independent heroine who has been deeply influenced (for good or bad) by her father. My own dad was a constant light in my life. He taught me so much and shared so many things with me, so it was fun to create heiresses whose fathers were influential in their lives.

In the first book of the series, LADY LISSA’S LIAISON, Lissa is being pursued by too many suitors, all of whom hunger after her inheritance. In order to avoid them, Lissa plots a pretend liaison with the mercurial Gabriel Gordon, the sixth Earl of Wylde. She begins to panic, though, when Wylde turns the tables on her and makes the pretend liaison a reality!

The second book, MISS MARCIE’S MISCHIEF, is one of my favorites. It is a fun, lighthearted story about Marcie, a runaway heiress, and Cole, a marquis disguised as a coachman. Marcie’s mischievous ways soon melt Cole’s icy heart.

In the third book, A DANGEROUS COURTSHIP, Julian Masters, the seventh Earl of Eve, is determined to uncover the fiends who murdered his family and forced him to the brink of madness. Lady Veronica, founder of the secret Venus Society, is investigating a case that may hold the answers he seeks. Julian vows to shadow her every step until the truth is revealed. But this wounded lord uncovers more than just intrigue with his independent lady.

You also have a paranormal historical romance called Phantom.  What’s it about?

PHANTOM is another favorite of mine and received a Reviewers Choice Award from RT Book Reviews. It’s the story of a man cursed to turn into a soul-stealing phantom every night at midnight and the beautiful healer who helps him fight the evil inside.

The hero, Dax, has been in my head (and my heart!) for a long, long time. I actually got teary-eyed when I learned that he was among RT’s Knights in Shining Armor “who will steal your heart with their courage and sensuality” There are two things I love most about Dax: his sexiness and his absolute love for Robyn.  He’ll do anything for her (and he does!).

What’s up next in Lindsay’s writing world?

More historical romances! I just finished a graduate-level class on eighteenth-century literature, and I am now knee-deep in researching 1700s America. I’m excited to carve out characters that represent all those who helped create our country.

Sounds great, Lindsay!  Readers, Lindsay is happy to give away a print or Kindle copy of Phantom.  Just tell us about your favorite (or scariest!) ghost or horror story to be eligible to win!

Guest Author: Deborah Hale & Giveaway!!



I’m very pleased to have Deborah Hale visiting the blog today.  Since winning the prestigious Golden Heart Award in 1997, she’s written more than thirty books in the genres of historical romance, historical fiction, otherworld fantasy and inspirational romance. Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages with over two million copies sold worldwide.  Quite a pedigree, don’t you think?  Let’s find out what’s going on in Deb’s writing world.

You’ve written something like twenty historical romances.  Do you have a favorite period to write in?

I love both the Regency and Georgian periods for their elegance.  They are far enough back in history to have an enchanted quality yet they have enough in common with the modern world that readers can identify with them. 

Tell us about your Glass Slipper Brides series, and your latest book.

Glass Slipper Brides is a series of inspirational Regencies about a group of governesses who met and bonded at a horrible charity school like the one the Bronte sisters attended.  After leaving school they go to work in households throughout England and keep in touch by letter.  Because of this, each story can easily be read on its own, though I do mention the other friends and sometimes bring them briefly into each others’  stories.

The Earl’s Honorable Intentions is the fourth story of six (the first one is a novella). It’s about career cavalry officer who inherited his title after the death of his elder brother. He returns home, wounded, after Waterloo determined to make sure Napoleon doesn’t return to power for a third time. His children’s governess wants him to leave that mission to others and instead become a devoted father to his three motherless children. That is a role the earl doesn’t believe he’s cut out for.

You also have a “new” Civil War romance out.  What can you tell us about that.

That’s right! I was thrilled to get back the rights to one of my backlist books. I gave it a new title, In A Stranger’s Arms and commissioned a new cover from Kim Killion that took my breath away.

This story was inspired by the film Sommersby, which I loved, except for the ending. It’s about a proud Confederate widow who has to marry a former Union soldier in order to hang onto her family’s plantation. Her new husband is very secretive about his past and bears an unsettling resemblance to her first husband. It’s a story about the healing, redemptive power of love. One of my favorite characters is my heroine’s feisty little daughter who was inspired by a picture of my husband’s great-grandmother!  Her picture is posted below.

What’s up next in Deborah’s writing life?

In November the next Glass Slipper Brides book comes out, The Duke’s Marriage Mission and I’m currently working on the last one, which will have a hero who’s a mill-owner/philanthropist rather than a nobleman. After that, I’m trying to decide which of a number of new projects I’d like to pursue!

Vanessa, here.  Sounds like you’ll be busy, Deb!  For my readers, Deb is graciously giving away a copy of His Compromised Countess.  Let’s talk covers, because Deb’s are really beautiful.  Just tell us which one of her covers you like the best and why for a chance to win her book!