Guest Author: Manda Collins & Giveaway!!

 

I’m always excited when my good friend Manda Collins visits my blog.  Manda writes witty Regency-set historical romance with a dash of mystery.  Her next book, Why Dukes Say I Do, just received a prestigious Top Pick from RT Book Reviews.  Dukes will released on July 30th. 

But Manda has a new novella out tomorrow, and it’s another of her witty, emotionally appealing stories.  She’s here to talk with us about it!

How does your novella fit into The Ugly Ducklings Trilogy

The Perks of Being a Beautyis the story of Miss Amelia Snowe, who is the nemesis of Cecily, Juliet and Maddie in the Ugly Ducklings trilogy. In Book 3 of the trilogy, How to Entice an Earl, we see Amelia coming to the realization that she’s been behaving rather badly during her reign as the toast of the ton. Well, in The Perks we see Amelia in seriously straitened circumstances. Her mother has died, leaving Amelia not only penniless, but also owing a great deal to her mother’s creditors. Forced to make her own living, Amelia has become the companion to a wealthy cit’s daughter. It’s a far cry from being able to wind the gentlemen of the ton around her little finger! 

Your heroine is looking for redemption.  Why do you think that particular theme resonates so well with readers?

You know, I’m not all that sure it does. I know that readers have a ton of love for redeemed rakes and villains, but I think it takes a bit more for them to forgive a villainous heroines. I’m not sure if it’s because most romance readers are women, and we tend to be harder on our own sex, or what. Still, I do think there is much to touch readers hearts in this kind of story. We’ve all done things that we aren’t particularly proud of, and by watching a character like Amelia make amends to the people she’s harmed, we see the possibility for our own redemption–whether it’s harsh words to a loved one or something more serious. 

Hopefully, after seeing how truly repentant Amelia is, readers will begin to root for her.

The book trailer for The Perks of Being a Beauty is awesome.  How did you come up for the idea for it?

I’ve been a fan of the Dos Equis commercials about “The Most Interesting Man in the World” since they first came out. And I’ve been thinking about fun promo ideas for my upcoming series, but I knew that the only character who could pull off “The Most Interesting” theme was Amelia, who is somewhat larger than life in the Ducklings books. Coming up with her character traits was the most fun I’ve had in a long long time!  Readers, you can watch this adorable trailer here.

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

 

On July 30, the first book in my new Wicked Widows trilogy, Why Dukes Say I Do, will be released. I’m really excited about this new series and seeing how readers respond to it. I’ve just gotten my review from RT Book Reviews and was floored to see it was not only a Top Pick, but my hero Trevor (a real dish, if I may say so myself!) was named a Knight In Shining Silver (or K.I.S.S.) hero! “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.”

And I can’t wait to read it!  For my readers today, Manda is graciously giving away three copies of The Perks of Being a Beauty.  As someone who’s also written a book about a bad girl reformed, I’d like to talk about that.  Can you think of any heroines from books, a TV show, or movies who redeemed herself?  Three people who comment will win a copy of Manda’s novella!

 


Guest Author: Erin Kellison & Giveaway!!

I’m excited to be featuring fellow Kensington author Erin Kellison on the blog today.  Erin writes really cool fantasy romance — or, as her tagline puts it, dark fantasy meets modern fairy tale.  Erin has several acclaimed series in the Shadow World, a place where life and death, science and magic all blend together.

Here’s what RT Book Reviews had to say about Fire Kissed, Erin’s latest full-length novel:

“This is one series that readers should keep an eye on. The characters are compelling, the story builds up very well and the sexual tension is palpable. The joining of angels and mages makes for an unusual relationship in the paranormal romance genre, making Fire Kissed a standout page-turner.”

And what a gorgeous cover, eh?

Erin has a brand new novella just out this week, called Shadow Hunt, which is part of her Shadow Touched Series.  Here’s the book blurb for Shadow Hunt which, by the way, is only 99 cents:

UNSTOPPABLE

Dr. Cameron Kalamos and Eleanor Russo make an unbeatable team – science and magic, working hand in hand to confront the darkness besetting humankind.

STRAY

At the center of that darkness stand the powerful mage Houses, but the brutal murderer Ellie and Cam are hunting seems to be affiliated with none of them.

SEDUCED

When nothing is as it seems, and danger meets desire head on, sex can be an act of war. For Ellie, ensnared between the man she loves and the one she must destroy, the battle is about to begin…

Sounds awesome!  I’ve read Erin’s books, and she’s a fabulous writer.  If you like paranormal romance, fantasy, and compelling stories with strong characters, you’ll love her.  For excerpts from Shadow Hunt and her other books and novellas, check out Erin’s website.

For my readers today, Erin will be giving away a copy of any one of her e-books – reader’s choice!  Have a look at her website and then come back her and tell us what’s your favorite fairy tale or magical story.  One person who comments will win one of Erin’s books!

PS.  I’m visiting Cynthia Eden and the gang at Magical Musings today.  I’m giving away one of my sexy VK Sykes contemporary romances and we’re chatting about love at first sight.  Once you’ve left Erin a comment, stop by MM and see me!


Guest Author: Christie Kelley & Giveaway!

I’ve very happy to welcome fellow Kensington author Christie Kelley to the blog today.  Christie writes critically acclaimed, Regency-set historical romance, and her books are described by RT Book Reviews as “racy and romantic.”  Fun!  Christie has a new book out, so let’s find out all about it, shall we?

Bewitching The Duke is not your standard Regency romance, with lords and ladies cavorting about London and living the good life. What can you tell us about the book, and why you decided to write it?

After writing five books of lords and ladies cavorting in London, I needed something new to write. The idea started when watching a documentary on witches on the History channel. They had a quick blurb explaining what wise women were and how their healing abilities led to them being called witches. All it takes is a little something like that to make think…what if? What if there had been some wise women protected by their landowners and still practiced their healing ways in the Regency period. Plus the idea of writing a woman who was a free spirit and not tied down by society’s rules intrigued me. It was actually a lot of fun to write Selina.

Your heroine, Selina, is not from the same social class as the hero. Did you have fun playing with those class differences?

I loved writing Selina. She is a woman who really doesn’t care if she wears her hair unbound. She doesn’t want to cause the servants more work so she’ll take her boots off before walking around the manor. While Colin was born and raised to be a duke, he thinks she is completely mad. He doesn’t understand how a woman can act so freely. It was great fun to write! Plus writing about a woman who is hiding out in the manor under the nose of a duke made me laugh as I wrote it.

What attracts you to the Regency period, and did you come upon any interesting historical tidbits when you wrote the book?

I love writing the Regency period because I can play with the mores of the day. I can stretch those boundaries or stay strictly inside of them depending on the story or the character. And who doesn’t love the clothes! For me, learning more about the healers of the day was terribly interesting. I had to stop myself from the research so I could get the book written. Does that make me a geek? Probably.

What’s up next in your writing life?

I’m currently editing my October release, Enticing the Earl, which is Mia’s story. And writing the third book in the trilogy. After that, my editor mentioned writing some novellas for some of the secondary characters in Enticing the Earl. So, I’m keeping busy!

Vanessa, here.  Bewitching The Duke sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  Here’s the blurb:

ONLY HER DESIRE…

After losing his wife in childbirth, Colin Barrett, Duke of Northrop, does not trust healers. So when he discovers Selina White cleansing his home, he is livid. As duke, Colin is accustomed to his charges taking orders from him. But the fiery Selina has the audacity to defy him when he asks her to leave his lands. More infuriating, he cannot stop thinking about the seductive sway of her hips when she walks.

CAN HEAL HIS HEART…

The sick tenants of Northrop Park depend on Selina, and she’s not about to let a man tell her she must leave her village—even if he is a duke. And while Selina does not fear Colin’s temper, she is afraid of the secrets she keeps from him and of the desire he sets off in her every time he is near.

For my readers today, Christie is giving away a copy of Bewitching The Duke.  Since Christie’s heroine is not your usual Regency lady, let’s talk about that.  What kind of heroine do you like to see in your historicals?  The gently bred lady, the sexy widow, a free spirited commoner, or all types?  One person who comments will win a copy of Christie’s book!

 


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!


Guest Author: Kris Kennedy & Giveaway!

Historical romance fans, don’t you just love a good, juicy medieval romance?  I do, which is why I’m particularly delighted to be featuring one of today’s best medieval romance authors on my blog.  She’s Kris Kennedy, and she writes sweeping, adventurous and very sexy historical romance.

Kris burst onto the romance writing scene when she won the prestigious Golden Heart Award from the Romance Writers of America.  Her first published book was The Conqueror, put out by Kensington Publishing, which received great reviews and was a Recommended  Read from the influential romance blogger, Dear Author.

Her second book, The Irish Warrior, which was her Golden Heart manuscript, came out in 2010 to a whole boatload of acclaim.

And I do mean boatload!  The Irish Warrior ended up on numerous top ten lists for the year – including The Romance Dish, Wendy the Super Librarian, and The Book Binge.  It was a Desert Island Keeper from All About Romance and a Fresh Pick from Fresh Fiction.  Whew!  I’ve read every one of Kris’ books and I can tell you that the accolades are well deserved.

Luckily for her readers, Kris has a brand new book out.  It’s called Deception, and it’s awesome (yep, I got to read this one early, too!).  As expected, the reviews are great and the book has already earned a coveted 4-1/2 stars from RT Book Reviews and a Top Pick from Night Owl Reviews.

Now, Deception is not just the same old thing, and that’s one of it’s many strengths.  Here’s how Kris explains her new book:

Deception isn’t your typical medieval romance.  It’s less about knights and chases across the countryside, and more about cons.  And dirty money.  And the powerful men who want it, and what they’ll do to get it. 

And of course, the person who will risk everything to stop them.

Oh, and Sexytimes.  Lots of that.

I can vouch for the sexy times, folks!  And I loved the fact that it was a medieval caper – one with a super cool and very hot hero.  Here’s the blurb for Deception:

A dashing con man

Breaking and entering to reclaim her corrupt late father’s ledger comes surprisingly easily to Sophia Darnly. But is it mere coincidence that her misdeed unexpectedly reunites her with Kier, the outlaw lover who abandoned her years ago?

A lady skilled in trickery

Time has not erased Sophia from Kier’s heart, nor tamed her fiery spirit. She boldly insinuates herself into his plans. But Kier is on a mission of revenge, and can’t allow even the woman he once loved to stop him.

A game that could get them both killed

The danger mounts as they lure the leader of a powerful consortium who needs the fabled Darnly ledger—and all its damning details about the wealthiest merchants of England— to execute his nefarious plan. Their rekindled passion burns hot, but when they discover they too are the targets of a deadly deception, the fate of their love, and of England itself, lies in the balance.

Seriously, folks.  If you love intrigue, adventure, and a smart heroine and a sexy hero, this is the book for you!  No one writes medieval romance quite like Kris Kennedy.

For my readers today, Kris is giving away copies of her previous books, Defiant and The Irish Warrior.  Let’s talk about thrillers and capers.  What’s your favorite thriller or caper TV show, movie or book?  Robin HoodMission Impossible?  Let us know for a chance to win one of Kris’ fabulous books!

And don’t forget to visit Kris’ website to read excerpts from all her books and for samples of her many reviews!


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