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Archive for February, 2014

I’m so pleased to welcome Kensington mate and fellow Regency author, the fabulous Sally MacKenzie. Sally will give away a copy of her latest release, Loving Lord Ash, to on commenter who says they want the book!

As always we’ll start with the cover.

Loving Lord Ash Cover

Then the blurb:

A Little Misunderstanding…

Kit, the Marquis of Ashton, is in a sticky wicket. He married young and for love—how naïve. He discovered his mistake the very day of his wedding, but he is saddled now with a wife he’s reluctant to trust. And however much evidence he gathers against faithless Jess, he can’t seem to prove her guilt to the final judge—his foolish heart.
Jess knows she’s bobbled her marriage, however innocently. A fairytale wedding makes no difference if she hasn’t got the marquis charmed to show for it. Well, she’s had enough of accidental encounters with naked gentlemen and near misses explaining things to her husband. It’s time to buck up and go win her man back—even if she has to fight very dirty indeed.

If all that hasn’t convinced you what a great book this is, we have an excerpt!

Kit hauled himself up to stand and tore his gaze away from Jess’s lovely naked body. Not that he needed to look at it. He was quite certain it was burned into his memory.

He stared at a fat cherub perched on the mantel instead. Yes, think of the spiritual, the noncorporeal, the chaste. His body was having none of it. He stepped around the foot of the tub to get closer to the fire, turning his back to Jess to restore her privacy–and his own. His cock was far too prominent.

He shivered. But the cold air and uncomfortably wet clothing would help cast a literal damper on his physical enthusiasm. “If you don’t mind, I think I’ll stand here until you are finished. I’m afraid I’ll take a chill–and ruin the leather on the chair–if I return to my previous place.”

“Oh, yes, of course.”

Did she sound a little disappointed that he’d pulled away from her? No, that was likely only wishful thinking.

“I’ll hurry.”

“No, no. Take your time. Did you find the soap? I’m not quite certain what happened to it when I fell.”

There was some splashing, and then she said, “Yes, here it is. It somehow got under my . . . er, that is, I was sitting on it.”

“Ah.” Her lovely, rounded arse, which was below her narrow waist, which was below her two beautiful–

Even the damp and the chill couldn’t keep his cock down. “I’m glad you found it.”

“And I promise to use it quickly.” There was a great quantity of splashing. “Shouldn’t you remove your wet clothing?”

God give him strength. “All my clothing is wet, Jess. I cannot think you wish me to stand here naked.”

“Oh. N-no, of course not. You would be shivering terribly. I’m almost done. I just need to rinse the soap out of my hair and–” She paused.

He watched a piece of ash float up the chimney. “And what?”

There was more splashing, and then she finally answered him.

“Do you have a spare banyan I could borrow? I’ll need to sit in front of the fire to dry my hair, and I obviously can’t do that now. But if I put my clothing back on, my dress and other things will get soaked.”

He had only one banyan, but he was happy to lend it to her. He certainly wasn’t going to use it. He was going to bathe and dress as quickly as he could, and then flee the room before his cock persuaded him to do something very stupid. “Of course.”

He rescued his banyan from his valise and walked back toward the tub, keeping his eyes on the ground so he didn’t trip again–or stare at Jess. “Are you ready for it?”

“Just a moment. Let me just get my towel. I–oh!”

God or the devil or some other divine being clearly was determined to tempt him past sanity. He snapped his head up in time to see Jess catch her foot on the side of the tub and start to fall. He dropped the banyan and extended his arms to catch her as her naked, wet body came crashing into his.

Buy Links:

About Sally:

Sally MacKenzie

Sally MacKenzie

USA Today bestselling author Sally MacKenzie writes funny, sexy romances set in her favorite time period (other than the present): Regency England. Her novella, “The Duchess of Love,” was a 2013 RITA® finalist, and two of her books—The Naked King and Bedding Lord Ned—made ALA Booklist’s top ten romances for their respective years. Many of her books are available in audio format, and her stories have been translated into Czech, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Sally graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame in the first class of women. She’s a Cornell Law School dropout, former federal regulation writer, recovering parent volunteer, mother of four grown sons, and middle-of-the-lane Masters swimmer. She loves to travel, especially to England to research historic sites and hike through—and frequently get lost in—the English countryside.
A native of Washington, D. C., she lives with her husband in suburban Maryland, not far from her childhood home.

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Writers In The Storm Blog

by Jenny Hansen

“There isn’t any secret. You sit down and you start and that’s it.”
~ Elmore Leonard

Churchill_Success_PhotopinLast month, I took a course with Margie Lawson called Defeating Self-Defeating Behaviors, which I would recommend to anyone.

Margie might have geared the course toward writers, but I’ve already talked a painting/designer friend and my non-writing cousin into taking it as well.

Within the first week, I identified 5+ things that will make me more productive forever. Certainly, I wasn’t feeling like things could be worse.

Example:
At the beginning of her course, I stumbled across an email draft of my 2013 goals. (Coincidence? I think not.) It was an appalling moment, looking at that list, and realizing I’d only accomplished one.

The agony… Out of seven fabulous goals, I’d pulled off…ONE.

Where I wanted to wallow, Margie made us examine our previous goal lists to find out WHY we were falling short.

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Tell me what you think?

Writers In The Storm Blog

Kathryn Craft Kathryn Craft

by Kathryn Craft
Turning Whine into Gold

Everything’s changing.

Yep—that’s a whine all right, and a truth, and the summary of this entire post. Change is as constant in publishing as any other industry impacted by computerization in the past twenty years.

But change can be especially hard to grapple with for writers. Here’s why, and some tips for turning whine into gold.

Nature of the beast

Whine: Storytellers are constantly adrift in imaginary worlds, conjuring unexpected pressures that, in the end, will force some sort of inexorable change. Yet day after day writers depend on their coffee, their chocolate, their word count, their wine, their cat, and their Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure (oh—is that just me?). Constants serve as touchstones for an inner life in a constant state of upheaval.

Gold: Storytellers are change specialists. Yes, we usually control that change. But actual, real-world challenges, although…

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Here we go again. It’s five weeks and three days until Desiring Lady Caro, book #4 in The Marriage Game releases. So today, post an excerpt from the third page of chapter five of what ever book or WIP you wish. Feel free to post buy links as well.

CAROHere is mine from, you guessed it, Desiring Lady Caro.

Caro swallowed. “Yes, I understand. I’m not afraid.”

He shifted slightly so his back was to the door and she was shielded from sight. Bending toward her, he tilted her chin up, forcing her to once more meet his gaze. Di Venier’s angry voice echoed down the corridor.

Huntley whispered, “The marchese will be here in a moment. I’m going to place my lips very close to yours, but I won’t kiss you. Ready?”

“Yes,” she said, so quietly he may not have actually heard it.

The door swung open, crashing against the wall before bouncing back. Di Venier’s voice was full of rage. “Where is Lady Caroline?”

Huntley turned. Before he could open his mouth to reply, his cousin drew himself up and, with all the authority of a bishop of the English church, said, “I suppose you are referring to the Countess of Huntley.”

Caro’s knees buckled. Huntley grabbed her waist. Everard sidled close to them and pressed a ring against Huntley’s hand.

Huntley took Caro’s left hand, sliding the ring on her finger. “I’m sorry.”

Contessa? di Venier roared. “What do you mean? When?”

Everard’s usually jovial countenance maintained the haughty dignity of his ecclesiastic rank. “I completed the ceremony not long before you came so rudely through the door.” He flicked a hand in dismissal. “Now, sir, you may leave us.”

Di Venier’s face blackened. “You? Who are you to tell me what to do?”

Everard was giving the Marchese di Venier his full title and honors when a well-bred English female voice intruded and said sweetly, “Oh, there you are, Bishop. I’ve been looking for you.”

Everard smiled and bowed. “Lady Bentley, how are you to-day?”

“Quite well, thank you.” She craned her short neck for a better look into the room. “If you don’t mind my asking, what is going on? Your voices can be heard all over the building.”

Di Venier turned and stared at Lady Bentley. “This man is truly a bishop?”

Her eyes widened in surprise. “Oh my, yes. Of course he is.

Buy Links: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon German ~ Amazon France ~ Amazon Canada ~ Barnes and Nobel ~ Kensington ~ iBooks

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Welcome to Sunday News!!

I had two guest authors this week, so let’s start out with the winners.

The winner of Lauren Smith’s book, Wicked Designs is Barbara Bettis!!

The winner of Samantha Grace’s book, One Rogue Too Many, is Anna Mortes

Congratulations ladies and happy reading!

It was a fairly quite week as I recovered from all the travel. I did manage to finish the edits for Lady Grace’s Rendezvous, and begin edits on book #6 of The Marriage Game.

It’s been rainy and windy here on St. Thomas. I’ll leave you with some pictures.

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This catamaran, Wild Honey, is for sale if anyone is interested. The boat is on Facebook.

Stop by tomorrow for Monday Excerpts. On Friday I have the every fantastic, Sally MacKenzie on with a giveaway of her latest book.

I’ll leave you with a snippet from Desiring Lady Caro.

Huntley awoke betimes and went over the plans for the day again with his valet.

Maufe shook his head. “I don’t like it, my lord. I’ll be too far ahead of you. What would you do if something were to occur?”

“I have done for myself before, you know.”

Maufe pursed his lips. A sure sign he was digging in his heels.

“I am well aware that, on occasion, you’ve looked after yourself.” He sniffed. “I shall not comment as to the state of your wardrobe when you returned. I shall say only that it is not fair to Lady Caroline. I’m quite sure she is not accustomed to your rough-and-ready mode of travel. And what if you—”

This would get them nowhere, and Maufe did have a point about Caro. Huntley shook his head. “Very well. Meet us in Verona.”

His valet bowed. “As you wish, my lord.”

Have a wonderful Sunday and rest of the week!

Ella

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What do you think is the most effective promotion for an author?

Writers In The Storm Blog

Cynthia D’Alba Cynthia D’Alba

by Cynthia D’Alba

I was sitting an RWA chapter meeting last month when the older woman beside me said, “I didn’t think I’d have to do so much promotion. I thought the publishing company took care of that.” She sighed. “Things have changed.” I just nodded but in reality,  I wouldn’t know how things used to be. I started writing in 2006 and my first book was published in 2011. All I know is how things are “now.” And “now” means the author is responsible for the majority, if not all, of the promotion that goes in a book.

First, let’s handle some reality. Promotion = book sales. Sadly, no. I wish it were true but no ads, videos, postcards nor bookmarks have ever prompted me to buy a book from an unknown author. Ink pens? I have dozens from different authors. Some of them I’ve never heard…

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Please welcome my guest today, the fantastic, multi-published Regency Author Samantha Grace! Samantha is here today with her latest release, One Rogue Too Many!! She’ll be giving away one copy to a commenter who says they want the book.

As always, we’ll begin with the cover. Isn’t it lovely.

Cover

Now the blurb.

From the betting book at Brooks’s Gentleman’s Club: 
Wager: £2,000 that Lord Ellis will throw the first punch when he discovers Lord Thorne is wooing a certain duke’s sister.

All bets are off when the game is love

Lady Gabrielle is thrilled when she learns Anthony Keaton, Earl of Ellis, wants to ask for her hand in marriage. She’s not so pleased when he then leaves the country and four months pass without a word. Clearly, the scoundrel has changed his mind and is too cowardly to tell her. There’s nothing to do but go back on the marriage mart…

When Anthony returns to Town and finds his ultimate rival has set sights on Gabby, his continual battle of one-upmanship with Sebastian Thorne ceases to be a game. Anthony is determined to win back the woman who holds his heart—but he’s not expecting Gabby herself to up the stakes…

And if you still need more convincing, an excerpt with a note from Samantha.

I’m often asked if I enjoy writing male or female characters better, and there’s no contest. Men are just more fun! I love their no-holds-barred banter and competitive sprits, so I had a great time writing the first book in my Rival Rogues series, One Rogue Too Many. The series is about two gentlemen who have been friendly rivals since childhood, but when they compete for the same lady, their rivalry ceases to be a game. Here’s a peek at their friendship before things begin to sour.

Anthony arrived at Brooks’s the next morning earlier than usual. Sebastian Thorne was known to break his fast at the club, and they needed to have a little chat. He didn’t know what the baron was about pretending interest in courting Gabby, but it was a dangerous game.

Anthony didn’t think Thorne was foolhardy enough to do anything that would compromise her. Any man would have to be cork-brained to risk her brothers’ wrath. But it would be equally dangerous to make her the object of one of his bets. Anthony glanced around the packed club, wondering which daft gent would accept one of Thorne’s challenges.

Besides yourself? He grimaced. Well, maybe he had been stupid in the past, but his days of indulging Thorne were over.

He found the baron sitting alone at a table with a cup of tea and the morning newssheet unopened beside the saucer.

He grinned over the rim of the cup as he took a sip. “Missed me while you were away?”

“As much as one would a bloody case of indigestion.” Anthony dropped into the chair across from him. He nodded at the newssheet. “You never read your copy. Why do you bring it?”

“If I leave the house early enough and snag the paper on my way out, Mother and Eve never run across an ugly piece of gossip.”

“Ah.” Anthony nodded. It was a shame people had nothing better to do than spread tales about Thorne’s family. Anthony had always held a bit of sympathy for him, not that he’d dare let on. The baron was meaner than a badger if he thought someone pitied him.

A footman approached and set a plate of eggs and sausage in front of Thorne.

Anthony sat forward, leaning his elbows on the table. “You’re either brave or very stupid.”

“Come now, the sausage isn’t all that bad.” Thorne shook out his napkin with a smirk.

“I think you know my meaning.”

The baron cut into his eggs. “Am I to assume this has to do with Lady Gabrielle?”

“You’re smarter than you look, but still a numbskull. Don’t come begging me to be your second when the duke issues a challenge.”

“And why would Foxhaven call me out? I’m properly courting the lady.”

Anthony scoffed.

“You think I’m lying.”

“Not completely,” Anthony admitted, thinking of Thorne’s respect for his own sister. “But you have a talent for walking the line between proper and debauched.”

Thorne popped a piece of sausage in his mouth and waved his fork at Anthony. “What’s your interest in the lady? Isn’t she like a sister to you?”

“I hardly have brotherly inclinations toward her,” he drawled and hooked an elbow over the seatback. “She’s to be my wife. I’m on my way to make an offer.”

“Is she now? Do you plan to club her over the head first then drag her to the altar? I can’t see her going willingly.”

Anthony didn’t bother answering. “Just stay away from her. Besides, she’s not your type. She is a romantic.”

“Egads,” he groaned in mock distress. “Not one of those.” He raised a hand to summon a footman and ordered two plates piled with sausage.

“Yes sir.” The footman shot a quick look at Anthony, grinned, then hustled away.

“You’ll have to loosen your corset if you eat all that,” Anthony said.

Thorne pushed his half-eaten meal aside. “I have a way to settle which of us will continue courting the lady.”

“There’s nothing to settle. By this afternoon, she will be my betrothed.”

The footman returned with two plates quicker than Anthony expected and set one in front of him and one in front of Thorne. A low rumble began in the club as men began looking their way.

Thorne’s eyes gleamed with mischief. “A contest to see which gentleman will step aside. Whichever man can shove the most sausages in his mouth—one end out, mind you—becomes the winner of the fair lady’s hand.”

There was a shout for the betting book and a few men inched closer.

Anthony shoved the plate away. “I’m not allowing a sausage to decide my fate.”

Thorne’s dark eyebrow arched as if to counter his claim. “Very well. Then I refuse to back down. Either a plate of sausages decides the matter or the superior wooer takes the prize.”

Lord Ledbery came over with the betting book and men began calling out their bets. Soon a crowd gathered around their table, someone bumping Anthony’s chair. Thorne met his gaze across the table and smiled.

Bollocks! Once the baron set his mind to something, he wouldn’t quit. He’d be dogging Gabby’s heels morning and night until Anthony had her down the aisle.

“Fine,” he growled and jerked the plate in front of him, upsetting the pile. It was the most ridiculous way to settle a matter, but Anthony would win and be done with it.

Thorne grinned. “You may go first. Once you set the number, I will exceed it.”

Anthony scowled, picked up a link, and defiantly shoved it in his mouth. Then another and another until his lips felt stretched to capacity. He paused to take a breath. The spices were already making his tongue tingle.

Thorne slowly picked up a sausage from his plate and wagged it. “Done already? After only three?”

“Just wait,” Anthony managed to grumble.

The baron gestured for Anthony to continue. He slowly wedged two more sausages into his mouth and nearly choked on the grease sliding down his throat. His eyes began to water, but he held his ground.

Anthony wiggled his tongue along the slippery casings, wondering how he would fit any more in his mouth. It seemed impossible, but he wasn’t going to let Thorne win. The sixth sausage was tougher than he’d anticipated, however. He eyed Thorne’s plate, trying to calculate the odds of the baron being able to beat five.

“Come on,” Thorne goaded. “This is for the lovely Lady Gabrielle.”

Anthony glared at him then continued the task with renewed determination. He did his best to shove one more sausage between the others, and he almost had it too when the sausage burst. Grease dribbled down his chin and plopped on his cravat and waistcoat.

Damn!

Thorne threw his head back, laughing so hard he almost fell out of his chair. Their audience also hooted with laughter, making Anthony feel like the butt of a joke. Well, let Thorne see how funny it was to have grease down his front. Anthony dislodged the links, dropped them on the plate, and snatched Thorne’s napkin from the table. He smacked his lips, trying to get rid of the horrible taste.

“Let’s see you beat that number.” Anthony held up his cravat and cursed. He’d have to change and get rid of this disgusting taste in his mouth before he called on Gabby.

Thorne was still laughing. When he sobered, he looked across the table, his eyes still shining with amusement. “Congratulations, Ellis. You are clearly the better man.”

Anthony frowned. “What do you mean? Aren’t you going to try to win?”

Thorne shrugged. “You know how to handle sausage. How am I to compete?”

The gents in the club howled. Anthony’s face heated. Was this nothing more than a joke? Had Thorne intended to step aside the whole time? He couldn’t help laughing at himself. He pushed back from the table and pointed at the baron. “You are evil.”

The baron grinned. “You have no idea.”

I adore both gentlemen, but unfortunately only one can win Lady Gabrielle’s heart. Rest assured, however, the jilted gentleman will have his chance to fall in love, too. (In Bed with a Rogue, Rival Rogues #2, September 2014) I hope you enjoyed the excerpt. Out of curiosity, which gentleman do you think you might choose?

I’d like to thank Ella for inviting me to be a guest on her fabulous blog. It’s always fun to chat with everyone. To show my appreciation, I am offering a signed print copy of One Rogue Too Many to one of Ella’s readers today. (Open Internationally)

Buy links:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Sourcebooks

Samantha To connect with Samantha…

Samantha Grace Author | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Lady Scribes

Bio:

Historical romance author Samantha Grace discovered the appeal of a great love story when she was just a young girl, thanks to Disney’s “Robin Hood”. She didn’t care that Robin Hood and Maid Marian were cartoon animals. It was her first happily-ever-after experience and she didn’t want the warm fuzzies to end. Now that Samantha is grown, she enjoys creating her own happy-endings for characters that spring from her imagination. Publisher’s Weekly describes her stories as “fresh and romantic” with subtle humor and charm. Samantha describes romance writing as the best job ever.

Part-time hospice social worker, moonlighting author, and Pilates nut, she enjoys a happy and hectic life with her real life hero and two kids in the Midwest.

 

 

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