Guest Author: Cheryl Bolen & Giveaway!

I’m really excited to be featuring the acclaimed Regency historical author, Cheryl Bolen, on the blog today.  Cheryl writes elegant Regency romances that have been wowing readers and reviewers since she was first published in 1998.  That debut book, A Duke Deceived, won the Notable New Author Award of 1999, and also received an Honorable Mention in the presitgious Holt Medallion contest.  Cheryl ultimate went on to win the Holt Medallion with her book, One Golden Ring, which took the award for Best Historical.

The Huntress Book Reviews said that One Golden Ring “has got to be the most PERFECT Regency romance I’ve read this year.”  That I can well believe!  And RT Book Reviews had this to say about An Improper Proposal, Cheryl’s fourth book in her charming The Brides of Bath series:

“Bolen’s writing has a certain elegance that lends itself to the era and creates the perfect atmosphere for her enchanting romances.”

All of Cheryl’s books have garnered high praise, and she’s finaled in and received a number of awards.  You can check those out on her website, which also includes excerpts of her books.

Until recently, some of Cheryl’s books were out of print.  Thanks to the magic of digital books, that’s no longer the case.  Many of her books, including those in The Brides of Bath series, are now available in digital format on the Kindle and Nook, and in various e-reader formats.  Cheryl has a very handy page on her website with all the info and the ordering links.

The book I particularly want to feature today is With His Ring, which Cheryl has just released in digital format.

It’s the second book in The Brides of Bath series, and was a finalist in the Texas Gold Romance contest.  It also received a stellar review from Happily Ever After:

With His Ring has plenty of sensuality, a villain that will make your skin crawl, and a voluptuous rival for Glee who becomes the heroine of the third Brides of Bath book, The Fallen Woman, due out in August—sure to be a steamy read for a steamy month.  Even if you’re not a Regency fan, check these books out. 

RT Book Reviews also gave it 4 stars and said:

Cheryl Bolen does it again! This is the second book in Bolen’s Brides of Bath series. There is laughter, and the interaction of the characters pulls you right into the book. 

Here’s the blurb for With His Ring:

At the tender age of 19, Glee Pembroke, sister of Viscont Sedgewick, feels she is on the shelf.  And why not, when the man she loves thinks of her as a sister?

Gregory Blankenship, or Blanks to his friends, has an aversion to marriage.  But the death of his father turns his world upside down. Either he marries or loses his inheritance to his likable half-brother.

Seeking advice only gets Blanks into more trouble, and with Glee of all people! Placed in a compromising position by his dear friend Glee, Blanks is at first angry, then relieved.  A marriage of convenience could solve his problems.  But Glee’s cinnamon-red hair and emerald-green eyes may not be so convenient for Blanks after all.

Doesn’t that sound great?!  You can find With His Ring on Amazon and at other e-retailers.  All the details are on Cheryl’s website.

And for you Regency history lovers, I really recommend you spend some time looking around Cheryl’s website.  She has some wonderful features, including a series of top-notch articles on various aspects of the Regency.  In addition to penning wonderful historical romances, Cheryl is an accomplished journalist and I think you’ll really enjoy her articles.

For my readers today, Cheryl has donated a copy of One Golden Ring, the book that won the Holt Medallion.  To be eligible, tell me which novel is your favorite Regency or historical romance, and why.  One person who comments will win One Golden Ring.

Guest Author: Kristina McMorris & Letters From Home


I’m featuring someone a bit different on the blog today, and something very cool:  author Kristina McMorris and her moving historical fiction novel, Letters From Home.

This is Kristina’s debut novel, set during World War II.  It’s the story of a lonely serviceman stationed overseas, who falls in love over the course of a year through the exchange of letters with a young woman back Stateside.  That’s the main thread of the novel, but it’s so much more than that:  it’s also the story of three young women, friends who must all face challenges and make difficult choices during a time of sweeping change and upheaval.

One of the things that fascinates me about Letters From Home is that it does take place during WW II.  The most popular historical fiction these days is usually set much earlier, often in the Elizabethan, Tudor, or Georgian periods.  Just as interesting is Kristina’s inspiration for this book.  In 2000, she began gathering hundreds of her grandmother’s favorite recipes to compile in a cookbook, which she indie published as Grandma Jean’s Rainy Day Recipes (all proceeds benefiting the Food Bank).  While gathering information for the biographical section of the cookbook, Kristina came across a letter from her grandfather to a girlfriend during his wartime naval service.  It was this letter that later served as inspiration for Letters From Home.

Kristina’s novel has received fantastic reviews and garnered significant critical acclaim.  It was a 2007 Golden Heart Finalist, and to date has won a dozen national literary awards.  The book got wonderful reviews from both Publishers Weekly and RT Book Reviews, and authors have been quick to rave about it too.  New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs called it:  “wholly original…and tender and heartfelt.”  And Jill Barnett, also a NY Times bestselling author, called the novel an “intimate, touching, and romantic story of the Greatest Generation.”

But my favorite accolade comes from Buck Compton, author and one of the famed Band of Brothers WW II veterans:  “Skillfully written…sweeps the reader away.  The research and attention to detail commendably honors veterans of WWII.”

You can read all about Kristina’s reviews and awards on her website.

Here’s the blurb for Letters From Home:

In love and war, nothing is as it seems…

Chicago, 1944. Liz Stephens has little interest in attending a USO club dance with her friends Betty and Julia. She doesn’t need a flirtation with a lonely serviceman when she’s set to marry her childhood sweetheart. Yet something happens the moment Liz glimpses Morgan McClain. They share only a brief conversation – cut short by the soldier’s evident interest in Betty – but Liz can’t forget him. Thus, when Betty asks her to ghostwrite a letter to Morgan, stationed overseas, Liz reluctantly agrees.

Thousands of miles away, Morgan struggles to adjust to the brutality of war. His letters from “Betty” are a comfort, their soul-baring correspondence a revelation to them both. While Liz is torn by her feelings for a man who doesn’t know her true identity, Betty and Julia each become immersed in their own romantic entanglements. And as the war draws to a close, all three will face heart-wrenching choices, painful losses, and the bittersweet joy of new beginnings.

Just reading the blurb makes me want to choke up!  For readers who love historical and women’s fiction, and just an all around great story, I think you’ll love Letters From Home.  To find out more about this truly lovely novel, visit Kristina’s website for more details and to read an excerpt.

And to those who stop by the blog today, Kristina has very graciously donated a copy of Letters From Home for a giveaway.  Just tell me what your favorite period of history is to study or read about.  If you’re so inclined, tell us why!  One person who comments will win the book.

Guest Author: Alix Rickloff & Giveaway!

Don’t you wish there were more historical paranormal romances out there?  I do.  I really do.  Especially Regency-set paranormal romances.  There have been some excellent ones, but they generally seem few and far between.  So imagine my excitement when I discovered Alix Rickloff, who started her career with Kensington Publishing penning Regency-set paranormal historical romances.

Alix’s first two books, Lost in You and Dangerous as Sin, are part of her Bligh Family Series. 

From the beginning, Alix was one of those talented newbies who got phenomenal reviews, including this one for Lost in You from Booklist, the prestigious review journal of the American Library Association:

Rickloff presents a fascinating debut filled with sensory details and a deep sense of lore.”

Her second book, Dangerous as Sin, garnered this great review from the Chicago Tribune:

“Rickloff deftly blends equal measures of danger and desire into the intriguing plot of her latest paranormal-spiced, splendidly satisfying historical Regency.”

Now, big newspapers like the Chicago Tribune only occasionally review romance novels, much less paranormal romance novels, so I’m here to tell you how impressive that is!

I love the concept behind Alix’s books, where readers are introduced to the Other—mortals bearing the blood of the Fey, and who move in a world that lies beyond the glittering balls and scandals of the Regency that its inhabitants think they know so well.  How utterly cool is that?  Talk about Regency with a twist!

The first book in Alix’s new trilogy, The Heirs of Kilronan, is Earl of Darkness.

This book was a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews and got this tantalizing review from Publishers Weekly:

“Secret societies, baffling documents, monstrous stalkers—Rickloff has studied the textbook thoroughly, then added more sex.”

Oh, I am SO there!

Her next book, Lord of Shadows, will be released this month.

Here’s the blurb to give you a taste:

Who is working the demon arts . . .

Was it her murdered father? Her fugitive brother? It has been seven years since Lady Sabrina Douglas cloistered herself with the Sisters of High Danu, but the questions remain.  She is Other—a mixture of Fey and mortal—quietly using her powers to heal.  That is, until she saves a half-drowned man, his soldier’s body a roadmap of scars, his fathomless eyes filled with heartbreaking loneliness. The inexplicable connection overwhelms her defenses, touching her heart, mind  . . . and body.

. . .  and to what end?

A man with no memory, Daigh MacLir seeks his past, even as unknown threats fill him with monstrous rage and inhuman abilities. But as a desperate game of hunter and hunted is played out from ballrooms to bedrooms, what Daigh discovers is more chilling than anyone could possibly imagine. Defying death was only the first step in the task he has been set, and Sabrina his last hope. But dare he risk involving her? Daigh has been summoned to find an ancient king, and even the powers of love may not be enough to win the battle against the powers of darkness.

Yep.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  You know you want this book!

You can read an excerpt of Lord of Shadows on Alix’s website, plus check out her other books and her latest news as well.

To celebrate her upcoming release, Alix is giving away a copy of Lord of Shadows.  Just tell me if you like your historical romance straight-up, or with a paranormal twist.  One commenter will receive a copy of this awesome book!

Guest Author: Katharine Ashe & Giveaway!

I have a real treat for my readers today – I’m featuring the wonderful historical romance writer, Katharine Ashe.  If you’ve never read any of Katharine’s lush and sexy romances, you should know that she was named by Booklist, the prestigious review journal of the American Library Association as one of “the new stars of historical romance.”  And Katharine does know her history, since she holds a Ph.D. in the subject and is a professor of European History.  How cool is that?

Katharine’s first book was Swept Away By A Kiss.  It received great critical acclaim, and was a top pick from RT Book Reviews and a nominee for the “Best First Historical Romance” Reviewer’s Choice Awards.  And Romance Junkies gave it a Blue Ribbon Rating, calling it “Rompalicious!”

Packed full with adventure, witty repartee, an intriguing plot, wonderful characters, steamy hot love scenes and even pirates, this story is unforgettable.” –Romance Junkies


Oh, my God!  Witty repartee, hot love scenes, and pirates.  Seriously, what more could romance readers ask for?

Katharine’s latest book is Captured By A Rogue Lord.  It also received a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews:  “Ashe knows how to captivate readers with her action-packed romance brimming over with marvelous characters, sexual tension, witty repartee and action, action, action. Her take on the pirate tale is novel, exciting and highly romantic.”

Here’s the blurb for Captured By A Rogue Lord:

She would marry no man…
Serena Carlyle dreams of a happily ever after. Firmly on the shelf at twenty-five, instead she’s determined to find the perfect match for her beautiful younger sister. What better prospect than their neighbor, the wealthy, rakishly handsome Earl of Savege? Now Serena can beg his help in halting a local band of smugglers. Then, one night, stealing away from yet another disappointing ball, Serena finds herself trapped alone with a stranger …

Until he captured her—body and soul
His kiss was irresistible, his caress unforgettable, and he hides a devastating secret. A Robin Hood upon the sea, Alex Savege is the brazen pirate Redstone, seizing the yachts of spoiled noblemen to settle an old debt. Serena needs a hero, but her heart is in the gravest danger—for it is soon to be captured by a man as skilled at seduction as he is at plunder.

Smugglers, people!  Sexy smugglers!

Captured By A Rogue Lord is now in bookstores and available from Amazon and other on-line retailers.  You can find all the buy links on Katharine’s website.

Katharine has very graciously donated a copy of Captured By A Rogue Lord for today’s feature.  Let’s talk about outlaw heroes.  Do you love them as much as I do?  Who’s your favorite pirate, or smuggler, or highwayman hero?  One commenter will win a copy of the book.


Guest Author: Christie Kelley & Giveaway!

I’m thrilled today to have a chance to showcase the work of my good friend and fellow Kensington author, Christie Kelley.  Christie writes gorgeous, Regency-set historical romance, and she has received a raft of critical acclaim for her books.  Here’s what RT Book Reviews had to say about one of Christie’s books,  Something Scandalous:

“Kelley reinforces her deserved reputation for page-turning, exciting, humorous plots filled with sexual tension and populated by unforgettable characters readers can’t help but fall in love with.”

Sexual tension and humorous plots – a killer combination that Christie excels at!

Christie currently has a new book on the shelves.  It’s called One Night Scandal, which is a fabulous title, isn’t it?

A Night with a Marquess…

Born on the wrong side of the blanket, matchmaker Sophie Reynard understands the consequences of unbridled desire all too well. Despite the many highborn friends she has matched, falling in love with an aristocrat without a pedigree of her own would be an act of futility. But that doesn’t stop her from succumbing to one evening of anonymous passion…

A Lifetime of Desire…

Nicholas Tenbury, Marquess of Ancroft, knows nothing of Sophie’s lineage. He knows only that the enchanting beauty captured his heart in one night and then fled, leaving no trace of her identity. But when he seeks answers from London’s finest matchmaker, he finds none other than the woman herself—stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the attraction they share! Now the enamored Marquess has no choice but to sway Sophie with seduction…

This book is definitely on my TBR list!

You can order One Night Scandal from Amazon and other on-line retailers, or pick it up at your local bookstore.

Readers can, of course, find Christie at her website, but she also has another home on the internet.  She’s part of the famous Romance Bandits, one of the smartest, most entertaining romance author blogs on the web.  If you haven’t ever visited with the Bandits, stop by and check them out.  You won’t be disappointed!

To celebrate the release of One Night Scandal, Christie is donating TWO copies of the book for a giveaway.  Just answer the following question:  do you like humor in your romance books, or do you prefer dark, angst-ridden stories?  Two who comment will win a copy of One Night Scandal.