Guest Author: Mia Marlowe & Giveaway!

Mia Marlowe writes absolutely gorgeous historical romance, and she’s got the phenomenal reviews to back it up.  Her last book, Touch of a Rogue, was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the Top Ten Romances for Spring 2012.  Pretty cool, eh?

Mia has a new book out, and she’s here to tell us all about it.

Can you tell us a bit about your Touch of Seduction series? What’s the premise behind it?

First of all, thanks for having me here today, Vanessa. My Touch of Seduction series is near and dear to my heart and I hope readers will find it great fun, too.  In each of the stories, my hero or heroine has the “gift of touch”—a psychometric gift that allows them to glean information by touching certain objects. It’s an occupational hazard for my jewel thief heroine in TOUCH OF A THIEF. It’s a help sometimes to my enquiry agent hero in TOUCH OF A ROGUE. And in TOUCH OF A SCOUNDREL, my hero sees it as a curse because in his case, he sees the future but cannot do anything to change it.

Your lovely historicals contain a touch of the paranormal. What do you like about combining historical romance with the paranormal?

I adore both sub-genres. Nothing takes me away quite so well as a historical hero in glossy Hessians with a sword at his hip. My paranormal elements are pretty tame compared to some. I don’t have any vampires or shifters. My characters are ordinary people with extraordinary gifts. I like to think my magical elements are things that might actually happen.

The heroine in Touch of a Scoundrel is a bit different from the average historical miss or seductive courtesan. Can you tell us a bit about her?

Ah, yes. Emmaline Farnsworth, adventurer, dutiful daughter and con artist. She and her foster father have bounced around Europe hocking fake reliquaries. Now they’re in possession of an unusual Egyptian artifact which they hope to parlay into a big score. They’ve convinced Theodore Nash to fund a bogus expedition, but unfortunately, it’s his older brother, Griffin, the Earl of Devonwood who holds the purse strings. And Griffin is no one’s fool. Emma has never run such a trying long con. She’s fending off the offers of marriage from the younger brother while fighting the wild attraction she feels for the elder.

Like so many authors, you’ve been venturing into the realm of indie publishing. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

I’m very excited to be writing for both Kensington and Sourcebooks, but indie publishing is opening up some new opportunities as well. I’ve self-published 4 novels and 3 novellas since last fall and readers have been writing to let me know they love it. I’ve been fortunate to be able to partner up with a group of talented traditionally published authors who are also self-publishing to form a self-published brand called Rock*It Reads. My partners in crime are: my lovely host today—Vanessa Kelly, Pamela Clare, Elisabeth Naughton, Monica Burns, Kris Kennedy, Margo Maguire, Lila DiPasqua, Sharon Page and Joan Swan. Check out my Books page for my Rock*It Reads titles.

GIVEAWAY: Leave Mia a comment or question today and you’ll be entered in the random drawing. One lucky person will win a copy of  TOUCH OF A ROGUE, Book 2 in the Touch of Seduction series and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Top 10 Romances for Spring 2012! Another winner will receive TOUCH OF A LADY, my enovella prequel to the series in your choice of Kindle or Nook format.

Here’s a question to get the conversation going: If you could have any special paranormal ability, what would it be?

Vanessa, here.  Thanks for joining us today, Mia!  Folks, be sure to visit Mia’s website for all her book news (she has lots), and to read an excerpt of her latest book!  And be sure to check the blurb for Touch of a Scoundrel:

Griffin Nash, Earl of Devonwood, wants to believe that he’s seducing Miss Emmaline Farnsworth out of protectiveness for his young brother. After all, if his brother is convinced that the tantalizing professor’s daughter is unworthy of his trust, perhaps Teddy will lose all interest in such an inappropriate choice for his station.

But in truth, something else motivates Devonwood: a scintillating vision he’s had of a future tryst with the lovely Emmaline. A vision too realistic to be doubted–and too scaldingly passionate to be denied.

Yet Emmaline is not as easily tempted as Devonwood might have hoped–nor is she actually in pursuit of a wealthy husband. No, the real reason for her visit to the manor is something much more shocking… though being enticed by a dashing earl may prove to be a most welcome by-product of her schemes…

And don’t forget to answer Mia’s question for a chance to win her books!


Guest Author: Mia Marlowe & Giveaway!

I’m so pleased to have my pal and super-talented author Mia Marlowe visiting with us on the blog today.  Mia writes passionate and wonderfully evocative historical romance.  In fact, Publishers Weekly recently named her latest book, Touch Of A Rogue, as one of the Top Ten Romances for Spring 2012.  Congratulations, lady!

Like many authors these days (including moi), Mia has branched out into indie publishing.  Let’s find out all about that, shall we?

Mia, you have a very successful career in traditional print publishing, yet you’ve recently branched out into indie publishing. Why did you go this route? 

It all started in 2010 when I began to write a serialized novella on my website called A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS. Each month I added another chapter and invited readers to send in suggestions for which way the story should turn. About 6 months in, I found myself under contract to deliver 6 novels to 2 different publishing houses (Kensington and Sourcebooks) in a 15 month period. All extraneous writing had to go by the wayside.

But I always felt guilty about not finishing A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS. I felt I owed it to my readers to let them know what happened to Sebastian and Arabella. So when I was able, I wrote the rest of the story and offered it as an eNovella last fall. No one was more surprised than I when it hit the Top 10 in historical romance on Amazon and stayed there for weeks.

Then when my agent negotiated the reversion of rights to several of my books from Dorchester, it seemed only natural to epublish those stories as well. I love writing for my NY editors at Kensington and Sourcebooks and am very happy to have one foot in tradition publishing and another in the brave new world of indie.

Two of your books, Erinsong and MaidenSong take place during the Viking period, but your other historicals are set during the 19th Century. Why such a spread?

I’ve always had a passion for history that isn’t limited to Regency England. I wanted to write some dramatic, epic stories of seduction, betrayal and redemption. The world of the vikings is just the kind of broad canvas I wanted for a backdrop. Readers who enjoy my Dark Ages romances will be pleased to hear that a third “song” book is coming this fall—DRAGONSONG, my never-before-published finale to the viking series.

I’ve also written stories set in 16th century Scotland (SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER, Sourcebooks, Jan. 2012 with New York Times bestseller  Connie Mason) and Victorian era London-Paris-Hanover (TOUCH OF A THIEF, Kensington, May 2011). I love the historical research that goes into my books, but it’s the story that’s most important to me. That’s why I’m not married to one particular setting.

What can you tell us about your upcoming book, How To Distract A Duchess?

In HOW TO DISTRACT THE DUCHESS, an artistic widowed duchess mistakes Her Majesty’s covert agent for her next nude model. Since my Victorian ‘James Bond’ needs the information he believes the duchess possesses, what else can he do? He blithely strips down, whistling ‘Rule Britannia’ through his teeth.

It’s funny, sexy and was a delight to write.

This story was first published in 2009 as Distracting the Duchess, but has been vigorously revised since then.  I hope to have HOW TO DISTRACT A DUCHESS ready for your ereader in a few weeks.  😉

What’s this fab new indie publishing venture you’re involved in?

I’m so excited about this and it’s been so hard to keep mum about it, but now the cat is about to scratch its way out of the bag. I’ve been lucky enough to be included in a very talented group of NY published authors (included the fabulous Miss Vanessa Kelly!) who are also branching out into indie publishing. The list of authors reads like a “Who’s Who” of romance—bestsellers, award winners, and exceptional storytellers all! Ok, I’ll give. Here they all are: Monica Burns, Pamela Clare, Lila DiPasqua, Cheryl Holt, Vanessa Kelly, Kris Kennedy, Margo Maguire, Elisabeth Naughton, Sharon Page, Joan Swan and little ol’ me.

We’ve banded together to form Rock*It Reads, an eBook brand that offers readers a sort of “Good Reading Seal of Approval.” We’re committed to bringing the same high standards of writing, editing, and cover art to our indie works that we provide for our NY publishers. Check out what we offer at our website.

But that’s not all. There has been an explosion of self-pubbed works into the marketplace. We’re going to help you navigate the minefield of indie romances and find some real gems in our bi-monthly column for B& The kick off article is April 23rd! Hope to see you there.

Thanks for having me here today, Vanessa. I’d like to offer a random commenter their choice from among my Rock*It Reads eBooks.  Just answer the following question to be entered in the drawing.  Is there a time period/setting that would cause you to absolutely refuse to read a story that lives there? What unique venue do you wish an author would choose?

Find Mia online at , at Facebook and Twitter

Great interview, Mia!  Thank you so much.  And I can’t tell you how happy I am to be included with so many talented writers in Rock*It Reads!

We Have A Winner!

The winner of Mia Marlowe’s fantastic new release, Touch of a Thief, is Diane Diamond!  Congratulations, Diane.  I’ll be in touch soon.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by to visit with Mia.  Touch of a Thief  is now in stores and available from on-line retailers like Amazon.

And don’t forget I’ve got some wonderful guests lined up for the month of June.  Tomorrow I’ll be hosting fellow Kensington historical romance writer, Christie Kelley!

Guest Feature: Mia Marlowe & Giveaway!

I’m really excited to be featuring historical romance author Mia Marlowe on my blog today.  Mia is such an interesting and talented person it’s hard to know where to start when talking about her work.  In addition to being a fantastic writer, she’s a classically trained soprano who won the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions and even shared a stage with Placido Domingo.  Wow!  I wonder how many romance authors can boast that kind of claim to fame!  BTW, the picture at the top of the post is of Mia, appearing as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus.

Mia is now an award-winning author, who writes historical romance for several publishing houses.  Some of you may already be familiar with Mia’s work from her earlier historical romances penned under the name of Emily Bryan.  One of those books, Distracting the Duchess, was featured in the Best of 2010 issue of People Magazine.  By the way, Distracting the Duchess is now available in reprint, which is really terrific.

Emily’s other books are Pleasuring the Pirate (awesome title!), Vexing the Viscount, and Stroke of Genius.

After writing these books, Emily switched publishers.  In doing so, she added a few paranormal elements to her writing and, thus, Mia Marlowe was born.

Mia’s writing receives rave reviews.  Library Journal named it “worthy of Shakespeare.” Publishers Weekly called her stories “charming, colorful and fast-paced.” Booklist says she writes “wickedly witty historical romance.”  Her books have also received multiple awards, including the RomCon Reader’s Crown and RT BookReviews Reviewer’s Choice Award.

And here’s something that’s really cool!  Mia will be writing a couple of books with New York Times bestselling author, Connie Mason.  Their first book together will be Sins of the Highlander, set during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots.  Be on the lookout for this sure-to-be fab collaboration between two wonderful authors in January, 2012.

Mia’s latest book is Touch of a Thief.  It has received wonderful critical acclaim, including this starred review from Publishers Weekly:  “Marlowe weaves a gentle paranormal element into this delightful 19th-century romance. Both historical and paranormal readers will love this crossover tale.”

Here’s the blurb for Touch of a Thief:

London’s most talented criminal
is about to be fingered…

Lady Viola Preston can relieve a gentleman of the studs at his wrists without his being any the wiser and pick any lock devised by man in less than a minute. But she’s careful to wear gloves when she steals jewels. Because when Viola touches a gemstone, it “speaks” to her, sending disturbing visions–visions almost as unsettling as the sight of the cool-eyed stranger who catches her red handed.

Now Viola will only be stealing at Greydon Quinn’s behest. And even more daunting than the violent history of the red diamond he’s after is the prospect of a night in the devastatingly handsome lieutenant’s arms. Touch has always been Viola’s weakness and the full body-to-body contact Quinn has in mind is about to shatter her defenses and set her senses reeling.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

Touch of a Thief is available at Amazon, in bookstores, and at other on-line retailers.

And in July, Mia will also have a novella coming out in the anthology, Improper Gentleman, with authors Diane Whiteside and Maggie Robinson.

Mia has very graciously donated a copy of Touch of a Thief to give away to one commenter today on the blog.  Just tell me what you do with your old paperbacks—keep them forever, give them away to friends, or donate them to the library?

There’s more!  In a nice bit of synchronicity I’m appearing today on Mia’s blog.  Stop on by for a chance to win a copy of My Favorite Countess!


Sarah MacLean & Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart

I love Sarah Maclean, and even a quick visit to her website will tell you why.  First of all, there are her taglines:

I write books.  There’s smooching in them.

Best. Taglines. Ever.

But wait!  She has a Regecy-specific tagline, too:

Fetch the smelling salts.

And you’d best have your maid fetch those smelling salts because you just might swoon from reading her books – she’s that good.  Sarah is smart, funny, and her writing is impossibly accomplished.  Her first book, a Regency YA, debuted to enthusiastic reviews and her first adult romance, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, landed on the New York Times bestseller list, the USA Today bestseller list, and won the Romantic Times “Historical Romance of the Year” award.  Yowzers!

Sarah has a new book out this week.  It’s Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart, which is book 3 in the Love By Numbers series.  It’s already gotten phenomenal reviews, including a starred review from Booklist, a top pick from Romantic Times, and a coveted “A” rating from Dear Author.

Sarah’s books are witty, romantic, poignant, and utterly charming.  If you haven’t yet read her, you simply must!

There were some other fantastic books released this week, including Kris Kennedy’s Defiant, Mia Marlowe’s Touch of a Thief, and Anna Campbell’s Midnight’s Wild Passion.  In fact, Anna will be here on my blog this Friday to talk about her latest book and to give away a copy.  It’s always a good time when Anna is in the house, so be sure to stop back.

To celebrate the release of Sarah’s book and my own release of My Favorite Countess on May 3rd, I’m giving away a copy of Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s HeartJust tell me what books you’re looking forward to reading in the next few weeks.  One commentor will win a copy of this wonderful book!