Guest Author: Sophie Jordan & Giveaway!

Sophie Jordan is my featured author on the blog today, and this woman is so talented and versatile it’s hard to know where to start.  She writes in three genres, and she’s been phenomenally successful in each one.

Sophie spent several years as a high school English teacher before bursting onto the scene with her first book, a historical romance called Once Upon A Wedding Night.

Once Upon A Wedding Night was a 2006 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Nominee for Best First Historical Fiction.  Right from the beginning, Sophie got great reviews, including this one from Once Upon A Romance:

“…a well-written and compelling story in her debut. It’s sensuous. It’s fast paced and full of intense emotions with a few twists and turns thrown in along the way.”

Her second book, Too Wicked To Tame, broke out of the box as a USA Today Bestseller, and subsequent historical romances were New York Times bestselling books.  Sophie’s books have received numerous Top Picks from RT Book Reviews, have been featured as alternates in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Bookclubs, and—well, you get the picture!

As if that kind of career isn’t already busy enough, Sophie also writes YA fiction for Harper Teen, and contemporary paranormals for Pocket Books under the name of Sharie Kohler—all to great acclaim.  Seriously, I don’t know how the woman does it!  Her first YA book, Firelight, has already gone into its fourth printing and sold to seventeen countries, AND it’s been optioned for film by Mandalay Entertainment.

You can find out all the fascinating details on her website.

But Sophie hasn’t give up writing historical romance, thank goodness.  In fact, she has a new book out called Wicked In Your Arms.

Isn’t that a gorgeous cover?  Man, I love all of Sophie’s covers!  Here’s the blurb for Wicked In Your Arms:

One of the most notoriously eligible bachelors in Europe is finally ready to marry . . .

For fiercely independent Grier Hadley, being the illegitimate daughter of one of London’s most unsavory characters has only one advantage: an enormous, ill-gotten dowry.

Prince Sevastian Maksimi knows where his duty lies: he must find a well-bred young lady-one with a considerable fortune to her name-wed her promptly, and get to the business of producing an heir.

The last thing Grier needs is some unattainable prince curling her toes with his smoldering glances and wicked suggestions. As far as Sev is concerned, she lacks the breeding to become a princess. And yet one kiss from this arresting female is all it takes for him to realize that anyone else in his arms would be unthinkable . . .

Yum!  Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?  You can find out all the details and read an excerpt on Sophie’s website, and while you’re there, check out her YA website and also her books written as Sharie Kohler.  On all her sites, Sophie has posted a number of book trailers, and really cool videos in which she talks about her books.  If you have a few minutes, please do watch them.

For my readers in the United States today, Sophie has graciously donated a copy of Wicked In Your Arms.  Since Sophie has such gorgeous covers, let’s talk about that.  What kind of cover do you like on your romance novel?  Do you like a clinch cover, a man or woman alone, a naked chest, or something a little more discrete?  And what don’t you like on a cover?  One reader who comments will win a copy of the book.


Anna Campbell Is In The House!

I’m so excited to be hosting the wonderful Anna Campbell, who truly needs no introduction.  Oh, heck.  I’m going to introduce her anyway!  Anna writes the most lusciously sensual, fantastically lyrical Regency-set historical romances, with brooding heroes, intelligent heroines, and tons of passion and drama.  Her first book, Claiming The Courtesan, rocked the romance world.  It finaled in the presigious RITA Awards, and won the Best First Historical Romance Award in the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards.  Her books have finaled in or won numerous contests, and have received great critical acclaim.

Anna’s latest book is Midnight’s Wild Passion, and it’s bound to be another fantastic read!  Welcome to the blog, Anna!

A Classic Is a Classic Is a Classic

As Gertrude Steinway said,  tinkling away on her Mozart sonata in Paris.

Hiya Vanessa! Congratulations  on all the buzz about your latest release . Gorgeous cover! Thanks so much for having me as your guest today.

When people ask me about my latest historical romance, MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION (out 26th April, yahooooooo!), I tell them it’s a classic  Regency romance with Anna Campbell touches. And it is!

This book includes a whole stack of elements that have been the mainstay of Regency romances since their inception (going back to PRIDE AND PREJUDICE!). There’s an elopement. Actually there’s more than one elopement! There’s a duel. The characters join the glamorous social whirl that is the London Season. There’s an event-filled house party in Surrey. I could go on – you get the picture, I’m sure!

In fact, I went so far as to say to someone who asked me about MWP that in this particular book, my heroine gets to dress up rather than take her clothes off. Which is a bit of an exaggeration as I wrote quite a few luscious love scenes for the Marquess of Ranelaw and his heroine Antonia Smith.

You can read the blurb and an excerpt from MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION here.

In my other books, the characters operate outside society in many ways so their chances to go to parties are pretty minimal, poor dears. So I wondered where this sudden penchant for ballrooms and waltzes and brittle exchanges on the terraces of stately homes in MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION came from.

Then I remembered a significant fact, although its true significance had escaped me until now. Back about the stage I started MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION (about eighteen months ago), I had begun to re-read Georgette Heyer’s classic Regency romances published between 1921 and the mid-1970s. I devoured these books first as a girl in primary school – they’re terrifically popular down here in Australia, especially in libraries – then I re-read them as a teenager, then in my late 20s. Loved them every time, although interestingly my particular favorites changed from reading to reading.

About 18 months ago, I was asked to review DEVIL’S CUB for The Romance Dish site and I have to admit (shame on me!) that I picked up this book published in 1932 quite reluctantly. I worried that after having dined almost exclusively on modern dishes lately, this older read might have a slight whiff of being past its use-by date. And hey, I love sex scenes and I knew there weren’t going to be any of those!

But I gulped down the delicious story of wicked Lord Vidal and his stalwart heroine Mary in the space of a (very late) night. And I’ve been gradually picking up the ones I remember as favorites ever since. So far, I’ve been through THE UNKNOWN AJAX, VENETIA, THE GRAND SOPHY and FREDERICA. Every single one of them has been marvellous – sparkling and sexy and witty and beautifully written.

Georgette Heyer established the parameters of the classic Regency romance and I think one of the reasons this period continues to be so incredibly popular is that people just want to return to that world. I can see why – and it seems I’ve done an unconscious tribute to her genius in MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION.

So do you like the classic elements of a Regency romance? Do you have a particular favorite element? The parties? The rakes? The wit? The dresses? Are you a Georgette Heyer fan? Do you have a favorite?

One lucky commenter today will win a signed copy of MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION! Good luck!