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!


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 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: Valerie Bowman & Giveaway!

As you know, I love hosting debut authors on my blog.  I’m particularly excited about today’s guest–she’s historical romance author Valerie Bowman.  Valerie’s first book, Secrets of a Wedding Night, was just released from St. Martin’s Press and it’s been getting great buzz and great reviews.

Let’s turn the blog over to Valerie to hear all about her new book.

The Name that Got Away

Let’s talk about names. My name. Your name. Heroes’ and heroines’ names. What would your name have been if you had been the opposite sex? Or, in my case, if I had been named the name my mother had actually picked out for me, but more about that in a minute.

In my debut romance novel, SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT, the heroine is named Lily Andrews and the hero is named Devon Morgan. I named the heroine after Lily Lawson, one of my favorite heroines in one of my favorite novels of all time, Lisa Kleypas’, THEN CAME YOU. Lisa’s story is actually set a bit later than SECRETS and someone once pointed out to me that as a general rule, women in England were not named after flowers until the Victorian era. So technically, Lily’s name might be a bit anachronistic. But I choose to believe it’s entirely possible that her parents were ahead of their time. Plus, I was more interested in the homage to one of my favorite characters, than in the factuality of the thing to be honest. Hence, my Lily.

Morgan, Devon’s last name, is a nod to the famous Rand Morgan of Laura London’s incomparable, THE WINDFLOWER. Morgan also a family name for me. Devon’s first name just sounded good and popped into my head when I was trying to think of Lily’s hero. Sometimes I just get lucky that way and the name just appears in front of my mind’s eye.

Now, about my own name. Unfortunately, I was born about two months premature and my mother, not expecting to be in labor, had left the list of baby names she’d decided upon back at the house. I had jaundice and was breach and had severe complications. My mother was rushed into an emergency C-section and my father was told that they were hoping to save my mother, not me. Eek.

Ok, so flash forward and I was born and weighed like 4 pounds and was very sick. My mother was still out of it from the anesthesia and the doctors told my father. “You’d better name your daughter quickly or she’ll be named Jane Doe on the death certificate.”

Can you imagine?

So, as the story goes in my family, my dad rushed home to get the right name from the list. My mom had circled the one they’d finally agreed upon. He couldn’t remember! He came back to the hospital and scanned the list and realized none of the names were circled. So he picked the one he happened to like best, the one that had his sister’s name as in the middle: Valerie Gale.

When my mother came to, she realized that my father had picked the wrong name. For the name she had circled on another piece of paper at home. The one they’d decided on was… Mary Grace.

Now, I adore both the names Mary and Grace, but I’ve never quite imagined myself with that name. It just doesn’t seem like me. Perhaps a bit of serendipity was at work that day in June at the hospital in Illinois. Especially given the fact that I made a full recovery.

So, confess, what is the alternate name your parents were planning to name you? One lucky commenter will win a copy of Secrets of a Wedding Night.


Young, widowed, and penniless, Lily Andrews, the Countess of Merrill, has strong opinions on marriage. When she spots a certain engagement announcement in The Times, she decides to take action. She will not allow another hapless girl to fall prey to a man—particularly the scoundrel who broke her heart five years ago. Anonymously she writes and distributes a pamphlet entitled “Secrets of a Wedding Night,” knowing it will find its way into his intended’s innocent hands…


Devon Morgan, the Marquis of Colton, desires a good wife and mother to his son—someone completely unlike Lily Andrews, the heartless beauty who led him on a merry chase five years ago only to reject him. When Devon’s new fiancée cries off after reading a certain scandalous pamphlet, he vows to track down the author and make her pay. But when he learns it’s his former fiancée Lily, he issues a challenge: write a retraction—or prepare to be seduced—to find out how wonderful a wedding night can be…

 Secrets of a Wedding Night is the most charming and clever debut I’ve read in years!” ~ NTY bestselling author Lisa Kleypas

Vanessa, here.  Wow, Valerie, that’s an amazing and scary story!  We are all VERY glad that things turned out okay.  Now, how about you, readers?  Did your parents have more than one name picked out for you?  If not, is there a name you wish they’d given you?  One person who comments will win a copy of Valerie’s wonderful new book!

And be sure to visit Valerie’s website to read an excerpt from Secrets of a Wedding Night and for all the buy links.