I’m so pleased to have Regency author Cara Elliott back on the blog, this time for a spotlight. Today we’re celebrating Cara’s new book, SCANDALOUSLY YOURS.
Because Cara is a very nice person as well as a wonderful author, she is giving away a copy of Scandalously Yours, to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is leave a comment saying you’d like the book.
She is also open to answering your questions about her books and writing.
We’ll start with the cover. Look at the detail on the sleeve. That alone should convince you to read this book!
But if you need more, here is the blurb:
Proper young ladies of the ton—especially ones who have very small dowries—are not encouraged to have an interest in intellectual pursuits. Indeed, the only thing they are encouraged to pursue is an eligible bachelor. So, the headstrong Sloane sisters must keep their passions a secret. Ah, but secret passions are wont to lead a lady into trouble . . .
The eldest of the three Sloane sisters, Olivia is unafraid to question the boundaries of Society—even if it does frequently land her in trouble. Disdaining the glittery world of balls and courtship, Olivia prefers to spend her time writing fiery political essays under a pseudonym for London’s leading newspaper. But when her columns attract the attention of the oh-so proper Earl of Wrexham, Olivia suddenly finds herself dancing on the razor’s edge of scandal. With the help of her sisters, she tries to stay one step ahead of trouble . . .
However, after a series of madcap misadventures, Wrexham, a former military hero who is fighting for social reform in Parliament, discovers Olivia’s secret. To her surprise, he proposes a temporary alliance to help win passage of his bill. Passion flares between them, but when a political enemy kidnaps the earl’s young son, they must make some dangerous decisions . . . and trust that love will conquer all.
And if you’re still not convinced, here is a peek between the pages.
Out of the corner of his eye, John saw Olivia take leave of her sister and head back for the colonnaded alcove. Veering sharply, he caught up with her just as she circled around one of the decorative flower urns.
“A moment, Miss Sloane.”
She stumbled. Clearly he had caught her off-guard.
Good—it was time to take the offensive for a change.
“Allow me to correct your earlier misassumptions,” he said softly. “For a skilled chess player, you seem a little quick to jump to conclusions.”
Olivia drew in a sharp breath. “So, you did recognize me after all.”
“Your face was mostly hidden in shadow during our previous encounter, but nighttime reconnaissance missions teach a soldier to have a sixth sense about that sort of thing.”
“Ah. I see.”
“Be that as it may,” went on John, “It is this evening’s exchange that I wish to speak about.”
Her silence seemed a signal to continue.
“First of all, I have absolutely no interest in discussing the weather. Second of all, I have no preconceived prejudices about the powers of the female mind.” He paused. “But then again, after your display of haughty high-mindedness, perhaps I ought to reconsider.”
A momentary flare of outrage lit in her eyes. She scowled—and then curled a wry smile. “Touché, sir. Most gentlemen aren’t willing to listen to a lady’s opinion.”
“Most ladies aren’t willing to offer one.”
“Can’t you blame us?” asked Olivia. “Society doesn’t exactly encourage creative thinking in the fairer sex. We are meant to be seen and not heard.”
“Um, yes, well, I . . .” John flushed, realizing that his gaze had slid down to her bodice. Beneath the overblown ruffles, it appeared that she had a shapely swell of bosom. “I—I also wanted to apologize for trampling on your toes.”
Her laugh, like her voice, was very intriguing. Low, lush, and a little rough around the edges, it reminded him of an evening breeze ruffling through shadowed leaves.
“Good heavens, don’t look so stricken, sir,” she said. “The fault was all mine, I’m afraid. I can never seem to keep the dance steps straight.” Another laugh. “What a pity we can’t just ignore the rigid patterns and simply follow the rhythm of the music.”
“Like wild savages, dancing around a bonfire to the sound of a beating drum?” he said slowly.
“Haven’t you ever lifted your face to moonlight and spun in circles to the dusky song of the nightingales and—” Olivia shook her head. “No, of course not. What a ridiculous question to ask.” The errant curl had come loose again and was inching close to her nose.
“Your hair, Miss Sloane,” he murmured.
“Has decided to dance to its own tune tonight,” she said tartly, brushing it back with impatient fingers. “As you see, I seem to have no control over my body’s primitive urges.”
John almost let loose a very unlordly chortle. But quickly recalling his glittering surroundings, he managed to smother it in a cough. A peer of the realm did not chortle in public.
“Perhaps . . .” A dangerous glint lit in her eyes. “Perhaps I should give in to impulse, strip off my clothing and waltz naked across the dancefloor.”
He tried not to picture her lithe body without a stitch on. Discipline, discipline. A gentleman must be ruled by reason, not primal urges.
Clearing his mind with another cough, he quickly changed the subject. “Just what sort of social essay were you reading, Miss Sloane?”
Her mouth quirked. “Horatio Edderley’s most recent work on how a country should care for its disabled veterans.”
Veterans! His brows shot up in surprise. There seemed to be no end of unexpected statements from Olivia. Why, that was exactly the social issue that he had decided to focus on.
“And what did you think of it?” he inquired.
“Well, I cannot agree with all his points,” she began. “Hingham’s ideas are much more in line with my own thinking. I am very much looking forward to reading his new essays.”
“Hingham’s new essays are not yet available in England,” pointed out John.
“Actually, they are. Hatchards has one copy on order, and it’s scheduled to arrive tomorrow.”
“By Jove, I mean to purchase it,” he said, more to himself than her.
“I’m afraid that won’t be possible, Lord Wrexham. It’s reserved,” said Olivia. “For me.”
“Ah, there you are, John! Why are you skulking behind the flowers?” His sister rounded the massive display of lilacs and ivy at a fast clip.
“I am not skulking,” he replied with a scowl. “I am conversing with Miss Sloane.”
“In a manner of speaking,” murmured Olivia. “In truth, I think I am shocking His Lordship.”
Cecilia regarded them both thoughtfully for a moment before saying, “Good! He needs to have his cage rattled.” . . .
About Cara Elliott.
I started creating books at the age of five, or so my mother tells me. And she has the proof—a neatly penciled story, the pages lavishly illustrated with full color crayon drawings of horses and bound with staples—to back up her claim. I have since moved on from Westerns to writing about Regency England, a time and place that has captured my imagination ever since I opened the covers of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
I have a BA and an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University and now my work as a writer lets me combine my love of the printed word with my love of art. I’m very fortunate in that research for my historical novels allows me to travel to interesting destinations around the world—however, my favorite spot is London, where the funky antique markets and used book stores offer a wealth of inspiration for my stories.
blog with Cara at the Word Wenches: http://wordwenches.typepad.com/