Cover Reveal & Contest!!

Gentleman final

And here it is!! The fabulous cover for A GENTLEMAN FOR ALL SEASONS, a new anthology of Regency-set novellas to be released on Nov. 10th. As you can see, I’m in fabulous company with Shana Galen, Kate Noble, and Theresa Romain. The anthology is a series of connected stories featuring the romantic adventures of four couples, played out against the backdrop of the seasons of the year. There are summer festivals, wine-tasting competitions, and Christmas parties galore!

Here’s the blurb:

The tiny village of Hemshawe is the sort of place where nothing ever happens…until a handsome ex-soldier and his matchmaking sister let the imposing manor house at the edge of town. The friendly Londoners shake up the staid people of Hemshawe, and villagers see each other in a new and oh-so-appealing light.

Suddenly long-sparring enemies become lovers, a town festival heralds a new start for a fallen woman and a dandy, and a man who has given up on love gets a second chance with the woman he never forgot. And the matchmaker herself? She won’t rest until she finds her own happily-ever-after…

There’s more info on the GENTLEMAN book page, along with pre-order links.

And you can enter the contest on my Contest Page.

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: Julia Justiss & Giveaway!!

I’m thrilled to be hosting one of my favorite historical writers.  She’s Julia Justiss, and she writes deliciously emotional Regency-set historical romance that brings to life the customs and morals of the Regency world.  She is a truly accomplished writer.  Julia is with us to today to tell us a bit about herself and her two new books.

You’ve had an interesting and varied life, which has included time as a tour guide in your home town of Annapolis, and also time abroad doing things like writing the newsletter for the American Embassy in Tunisia.  How has your background influenced your writing?

Growing up in Annapolis fed a fascination with history—it was all around me, from “George Washington slept here” at several of the inns to the Liberty Tree, where the rebels who would launch the Annapolis version of the Boston tea party met to plan strategy.  Becoming a guide for Historical Annapolis allowed me to entertain visitors with stories about the famous—and not so famous—people who created the events that shaped the city.  So I guess I fell in love with telling stories with an historical setting while still in high school.

Living abroad and being exposed to very different cultures, both in Tunisia and in Norway, increased my appreciation for diversity and for different “worlds”—and historical fiction, like fantasy, really depends on creating a world for your reader that is different from her contemporary life, yet infused with timeless values like honor, devotion, duty and (of course!) love, values that have endured across all time.

What could be better than history with a happy ending?

You have new books out called The Rake to Redeem Her and The Rake to Ruin Her.  Both your heroes and settings seem delightfully different.  What can you tell us about the Ransleigh Rogues series?

I wanted a group of linked stories, initially a “Band of Brothers” who help each other survive the storming of the fortress of Badajos during the Peninsular War.  My editor wanted a stronger bond between the characters, so the idea of four cousins evolved.  Because I enjoyed so much working on the Silk & Scandal miniseries, where the three families intertwined in the original scandal end up in very different situations in life, I liked the idea of having one cousin be an earl’s son, another the illegimate son of the family black sheep, another a poet, another the man’s man who must reshape his life and expectations after losing an arm at Waterloo.

The first (March 2013) book, Ruin Her, features earl’s son Max Ransleigh, the natural leader of the cousins and the one whom they all expect to have a brilliant future in government.  After being implicated in an assassination plot against Lord Wellington destroys his hopes for a career in diplomacy, he retreats to his cousin Alastair’s country estate to contemplate his prospects.  There he encounters Caroline Denby, an heiress with no desire to marry who hits upon the idea of getting herself ruined, so fortune hunters will stop pestering her and she can return to running the breeding farm she helped her late father establish.  Since Max’s reputation is already tarnished, why not help her out by seeming to ruin hers?  But when well-laid plans go awry, both Caro and Max end up discovering a life—and a love—they’d never dreamed of.

The second book, Redeem Her, features illegitimate cousin Will Ransleigh.  Plucked off the streets and transported to the earl’s country estate with orders to become a “proper Ransleigh” or be sent back, the initially uncooperative Will owes his life to Max’s persistence in persuading him—or pummeling him—into shape.  When he returns from Waterloo to discover Max’s career in ruins, a furious Will vows to find the woman who entangled Max in the plot and bring her back to England to testify to his innocence.  Except when he finds her, Elodie Lefevre is nothing like the femme fatale he was expecting.  A survivor of war and revolution, Elodie has no intention of meekly doing any man’s bidding.  So begins a game of persuasion and evasion, with falling in love a result neither could have expected.

The next two Rogues should appear sometime in 2014.  Alastair, poet turned heartless rake after a humiliating betrayal, is sure he’s over Diana—until a chance encounter with his now-widowed former fiancée sets him reeling.  An affair begun out of revenge soon turns into much more, with Alastair finding the woman Diana has become even more intriguing that the girl he once loved.

Finally, “Dandy Dominic,” who could charm any lady and surpass any man at riding, shooting, and all the manly sports, returns from war maimed and disfigured.  No longer sure who he is, Dom shuns his friends and shuts himself away at his country estate.  His brooding solitude is invaded by a feisty colonel’s daughter whose pragmatism challenges him to put his losses behind him and start living—and loving–again.

What’s up next in your writing world? 

First I need to finish the next two Rogue books.  After that…I may revisit some of the secondary characters from my Wellingford family books.  There’s the youngest sister of my very first heroine and a scrappy orphan sponsored by a family friend who becomes a Parliamentary reformer.  Then there’s a “Regency urban fantasy” series idea tugging at me.  There’s never a shortage of things to write about, only time to write in!

Thank you, Julia!  Readers, I just finished reading The Rake To Ruin Her last night, and I loved it.  Julia is graciously giving away two copies of that book to my readers today.  Just tell us what your favorite type of historical hero is for a chance to win!  And don’t forget to follow Julia on facebook and Pinterest!