Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

It’s release day!! Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret is out and the blog tour has begun!!

Already up is a review by Liza O’Connor. I’m also guesting on Mary Gramlich’s blog and giving away books!!

Enticing Miss Eugenie Villaret

More links are coming for today and the next week! I’ll post them to my Facebook page and twitter as they go live!

I hope to see you all!


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Happy Sunday!

While you’re reading this, I’ll be winging my way to the US from Europe. We finally made it over to the castle only to discover that the only part open to the public was a café. Here are some pictures of the outside and courtyard.





This is the well and the wheel they used to get water up.



Christmas decorations are left up until February 2d.




This house was built around the 14th century.


Skiing was fantastic, We even had some fresh powder on Thursday.

In other news, the covers for The Seduction of Lady Phoebe and the Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh are entered in the JABBIC contest. If you like the covers, please stop by and vote for them. https://jabbic.hbarwa.com/readers/ViewCategory.php?cat=2

My publisher emailed me this lovely review of Desiring Lady Caro from the Library Review.http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/2014/01/books/genre-fiction/mystery/xpress-reviews-e-originals-first-look-at-new-books-january-31-2014/

Have a great week!!


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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!

Scandalously Yours

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.” . . .

Buy Links:

Amazon  ~ B&N

About Cara Elliott.

Cara ElliottI 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.

Website  www.caraelliott.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cara.elliott.71

blog with Cara at the Word Wenches: http://wordwenches.typepad.com/

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With everyone back to their own homes, I’d planned to do nothing but edit this week. However fate had some lovely surprises in store for me.

But let begin with the winner of The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh from Romance Reviews End of Year Splash Party. Congratulations to Amy Bowens!! Congratulations

The Temptation of Lady Serena

The Temptation of Lady Serena

In other happenings, The Temptation of Lady Serena was reviewed by the Library Journal!!!

My publicist at Kensington also received notice that Serena will also be reviewed in the February issue of RT and by Night Owl Reviews.

My Regency Christmas Traditions article was also in The Romance Reviews new e-zine.

I was able to get editing done, and the Christmas novella for next year is almost finished.

Here is an excerpt.

Georges, Marquis Cruzy-le-Châtel, sat in the plain, but clean chamber at the inn. His hand trembled as much as the candle’s light as he read the list of names in the coded message. Rage coursed through his blood, and his stomach clenched as if a knife twisted in it. He moved his jaw to ease the ache. He’d see them all in hell, including Louis and Napoleon, before he allowed Fouché’s plan to succeed. As long as he lived, Madeleine would never whore herself for anyone. How had she, been caught up in this war deception? Her father had joined the Revolution to keep his family safe.

Georges ran his palm over his face, then held the paper to candle’s flame before tossing it into the fireplace. When the paper had shriveled to black, he stirred the ash until it blended with the rest of the cinders.

If only their fathers had allowed the planned marriage between him and Madeleine to take place, she’d be safely in England. Instead, Georges had kept track of her as best as he could. He’d even seen her a few times. She’d grown into the most beautiful woman he could have imagined. The almost silvery blond hair she’d had as child hadn’t changed. Her eyes were the blue of deeply frozen ice.

Now what you really want, pictures from my trip to St. John last Sunday.

Some of you have already seen the photo from the car ferry, but here it is for those of you who didn’t see it.

Here we are arriving in St. John.


There are several pull overs where the views are lovely.


St. John is famous for it’s wild donkeys.

Wild Donkeys

This guy was really friendly. Friend comeing to visit

Here we are at the end of the day, back at the ferry terminal.


I wish all of you a wonderful week.


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CongratulationsGood morning to you all. Let’s start with the winner of Gina Danna’s book, Her Eternal Rogue, Linda Thum. Congratulations Linda!!

The giveaway for The Temptation Serena on Leatherbound Reviews is still ongoing.

The Temptation of Lady Serena

The Temptation of Lady Serena

Today I’m on Romance Lives Forever. Please stop by and visit.

I’m working with the delightful Leanore Elliott on a series trailer for the first three books of The Marriage Game. I’d love to hear what you think.

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe received a wonderful review.

She is also on Goodreads for a giveaway.

To those who remember the bird from last Sunday. I have discovered it’s a blue egret.

This is a busy week. Tomorrow is Monday Excerpts, where I invite authors, both published and pre-published to post their excerpts.

On Thursday I have a spotlight on Collette Cameron who is giving away a copy of her latest book, The Viscount’s Vow, and on Friday I have a spotlight and Q & A with Shana Galen, who is giving away a copy of her latest book, True Spies.

Pursuing Miss Eugénie Villaret has been sent to my editor and agent. I’ve begun book #6 whose working title is Lady Mary, which is turning out to be interesting in a convoluted way.

Here is a short excerpt, unedited excerpt.

Even though they were experiencing one of their few warm days this summer, a log crackled in the fireplace of the dower house’s elegant first floor morning room. Lady Mary Tolliver stared at her grandmother, the Dowager Countess of Barham, wondering at Grandmamma’s incipient insanity.

 Mary opened her mouth, then closed it again. Several moments passed in silence as she struggled make sense of what she thought she’d heard. Finally she said, “Surely, I have not understood you properly. You want me to do what?”

“Well I think it’s a wonderful idea.”

Mary shifted her gaze to her widowed aunt, Lady Eunice Phipson. Perhaps madness had always run in the family, and it was kept a secret so as not to ruin the family socially. After all, who would deliberately marry into a family where insanity was rampant?

“He has a face like a fish.” Aunt Eunice opened her eyes wide and moved her lips in a fair imitation of fish’s.

“Hake.” Grandmamma nodded decisively. “It’s the way his eyes protrude.”

Mary closed her eyes, repressing a shudder. “I agree, but there must be less drastic measures I can take.”

Grandmama leaned forward and pounded her cane on the floor. “He may look like a fool, my girl, but he’s canny, and, if what Cook told me is true, which I have no doubt it is, he almost caught you yesterday.”

“Yes, well.” There was the need to hide in the split of the old oak tree, before sprinting across the lawn to the kitchen garden, and into the dower house. “I got away from him.”

“This time.” Grandmama’s lips thinned.

Have a fantastic week.


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The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh

The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh

I received wonderful news this morning, The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh received a 5 star review from Liza O’Connor. Please stop by her blog and read it.

In case you didn’t hear, Anna Marsh also received a 4.5 star review from Carol Cook at Rakes and Scoundrels.

Between the blog tour and preparing for Nationals, I’ve been living life in the fast lane, so I’m taking a few days off. I’ll see you on Sunday for Sunday News!!

The 4th of July has special meaning to me. Not only did my husband and I serve in the military, but my ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War and almost every war since then.

Have a wonderful 4th and while your celebrating remember those men and women who risked their lives and livelihood for our freedom. Not only those who fought, but also the statesmen and diplomats whose efforts were just as important.

4th of July fire works


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We’ve got a lot going today.

The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh

The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh

Let’s begin with the winners of The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh from this week’s blog tour, and the winner of one of Blythe Gifford’s books.

Congratulations to:

Collette Cameron’s Blog ~ Irene Menge

Anna Small’s Books ~ RegencyResearcher

Jakki Leatherby’s Reviews ~ Maria

Susana’s Parlour ~ Linda

Blythe Gifford’s Book – Sheri Fredricks

Please contact me with your email address.

The Seduction of Lad#C46729Here is a wonderful review of The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh on Goodreads.

A lovely review of The Seduction of Lady Phoebe is on Liza O’Connor’s blog. I brought tears to my eyes.

I was supposed to have been on Adventures in Authorland yesterday, but due to technical problems it has not gone up yet. Please stop by later today  for another chance to win a copy of The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh.

The blog tour continues tomorrow. I will be giving away a copy of The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh at each stop.

June 17th Jenna Jaxon’s Journal

June 18th  Liza O’Connor’s Blog Liza is interviewing the book.

June 20 Jennifer Lowery’s Romance Recipes

June 25th League of Rogues Blogspot

June 26th Rakes, Rogues and Romance

June 27th Georgie Lee’s Blog

Last but not least June 28th Kadee McDonald’s Books

A couple of weeks ago I told you I’d post the pictures from the beach picnic I went on, then I got distracted. Here they are.

Beach 3Beach picnic

A couple who did not want me to take their photos has built this little camp.

Beach camp 1Beach camp 2

And I found a ruin of an 18th century plantation.


Whew! What a week. I hope to see you on my blog tour.

Have a relaxing Sunday and a wonderful week.


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Not only did Susana post a review for The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh, she also had Lady P con invite Lord Rutherford, the hero in The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh, to tea. Come see what happens when he accepts the invitation. Come by Susana’s Parlour and see how he does keeping his business to himself. Post a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh.

The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh

The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh

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A Vector Comic Book Explosion Background with Stars

Today I’m turning my blog over to the lovely and fabulous Tracey Brogan who is here to promote her newest release Highland Surrender, and in another break from tradition, I’ve posted a review.

By Tracy Brogan

One of my critique partners loves to say, “Focus on the steak, and not the peas.”

Now, keep in mind, she is very health conscious, and in her daily life I’m sure she’s all about choosing the vegetables and whole grains over the artery-clogging red meat. But what she’s referring to when she says this is story arc. It’s a great piece of advice, and one I often remind myself of when stuck in the middle of a cluttered, wayward scene, or even more so when I’m wallowing in the quagmire of revision swamp.

We all know that once you have the foundation of your story, it’s essential to add layers. Maybe you want to pile on more emotion, or twine secondary characters around each scene. You want to include twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. You want sensory details, and fresh metaphors. Those are all equally important elements. They give your work depth, complexity, and help engage the readers’ interest.

But remember, the secondary stuff is just that – secondary. Before you start agonizing over why the little brother set off a firecracker that the heroine thought was a gunshot so she ran into the street and got run over by two mimes riding a tandem bike, or before you spend two days polishing the dialogue of the dinner party scene where fifteen different characters are talking about what their various super powers are, figure out the MAIN story.

The foundation of your book is the journey of your hero and heroine. That’s the steak. The rest is just the peas.
I am notorious at over-plotting before I ever commit words to the page. I know every backstory detail about my pistachio-loving heroine and why she refuses to sing in the shower. I know my hero wears a size twelve shoe, and that the reason he quit being a boy scout is because he’s secretly afraid of snakes. I also know his father wears a bathrobe all day and virtually never sleeps past 5 o’clock in the morning because watching the sunrise reminds him of his first love. Sure, that’s interesting… But his father might not even be in this book! I haven’t gotten that far yet. I might include him, if the plot calls for it. Then again, I might not. So I have to remember that those kind of details are the peas. A nice side dish to the main entrée. They add flavor and variety. But they are not what fills the reader up!

So the next time you find your mind wandering down a path with a supporting character, feel free to walk with her for a few minutes. She may have some fascinating things to tell you. But don’t veer off the path for long! Your obligation is to the steak. Your attention must start and end with the hero and the heroine and their adventure. Once their story is firmly set, you can add the other characters, the other charming quirks and random idiosyncrasies that enrich your prose. You can season and tenderize and garnish.

Just remember to focus on the steak first, and worry about the peas later.

Book coverBlurb:

Defiant Highland beauty Fiona Sinclair is shocked by her brothers’ treachery. To seal a fragile truce, they have traded her hand in marriage to their sworn enemy, a man she has never met, a man she was raised to despise. With no choice but to wed, Fiona makes her own private vow: though she may surrender her freedom, she will never surrender her heart.

Commanded by his king, Myles Campbell is no more willing than his reluctant bride. Still, she is a rare beauty, passionate enough to warm even the coldest marriage bed. Buy Myles quickly realizes Fiona Sinclair is no common wench. She has a warrior’s spirit and a fierce pride that only a fool would try to tame. And Myles Campbell is no fool. Their marriage was meant to unite warring clans. They never imagined it would ignite a once-in-a-lifetime love…


Scottish Highlands, 1537

Fiona Sinclair could not reconcile the irony of nature’s twisted humor. For today of all wretched days the sky should be burdened with clouds as dark and dismal as her mood. But the morning dawned soft and fair, mild as a Highland calf, and she knew that God himself mocked her. At any moment, Myles Campbell and his father, the Earl of Argyll, would pass through the gates of Sinclair Hall, unwelcome, yet unhindered by her clan. Soon after that, she must stand upon the chapel steps and marry a man she had never met, and yet had hated for all of her life.

Through her narrow bedchamber window, sounds from the bailey filtered up. The smithy’s hammer tapped a mellow cadence as if this day were just like any other. Perhaps he shaped a horseshoe or a pointed pike. She smiled at the latter and imaged the heaviness of that same pike in her hand. Oh, that she had the courage to plunge it deep into the earl’s heart, if indeed he had one.

She rose from the threadbare cushion on the bench and moved without purpose toward the stone fireplace. A low fire burned, warding off the spring morning’s chill. From habit, Fiona slipped her hand into the leather pouch around her waist. She squeezed tight the silver brooch inside, its design and inscription etched as clearly in her memory as on the pin itself. A boar’s head, symbol of Clan Campbell, with words chosen by the king himself.

To Cedric Campbell, a true friend is worth a king’s ransom. James V.

The brooch had been a gift to the Campbell chief, the man about to become her father-in-law. But he had left it behind nearly seven years earlier, pierced into the flesh of Fiona’s mother so that all the world might know he had dishonored her. The priest found Aislinn Sinclair’s lifeless body in a secluded glen outside the village, stripped bare and broken, marked by Cedric’s lust and spite. Thus a feud, long simmering at the edges, boiled over.
But today the king thought to put an end to it with this farce of a marriage between a Sinclair lass and a Campbell son. It would not work.

Fiona paced to the window, restless and melancholy. She leaned out to breathe fresh spring air, hoping it might lighten her spirits. The too-sweet scent of hyacinth clung to the breeze, along with the ever-present brine of Moray Firth. Along the west curtain wall, more hammering sounded as masons worked to bolster the steps leading to the main keep. As if precarious stairs alone might halt the Campbell men from gaining entrance. But nothing would. Her fate as a Campbell bride had been declared the very day she drew in her first breath, and sealed when her father blew out his last.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Highland-Surrender-Tracy-Brogan/dp/1612186963/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356011635&sr=1-1&keywords=highland+surrender+tracy+brogan

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/highland-surrender-tracy-brogan/1112448430?ean=9781612186962


It takes a very special Highland romance to hold my attention, and Tracy Brogan did just that with Highland Surrender. The plot and the characters were well developed. It was easy to fall in love with Miles, (it’s a good thing he’s fictional), and I cheered for him to coax the unwilling, Fiona into love with him.

This is definitely a book you’ll want to read. I look forward to more books by the talented Ms. Brogan.


To follow Tracy’s Book Tour, visit these sites:

February 17, 2013 – My Devotional Thoughts (Guest Post &Review)

February 18, 2013 – Just One More Chapter (Guest Post & Review)

February 19, 2013 – Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews(Guest Post)

February 20, 2013 – Book Junkie (Guest Post &Review)

February 22, 2013 – I Totally Paused (Guest Post & Review)

February 25, 2013 – P.T. Macias (Guest Post & Review)

March 1, 2013 – My Escape (Guest Post & Review)

March 4, 2013 – TBQ’s Book Palace (Guest Post& Review)

March 5, 2013 – Deal Sharing Aunt (Guest Post& Review)

March 6, 2013 – Romance Book Junkies (Guest Post & Review)

March 7, 2013 – Between The Pages (Guest Post & Review)

March 10, 2013 – Harlie’s Books (Guest Post & Review)

March 11, 2013 – Sara In Bookland (Guest Post& Review)



Author Bio:
Tracy Brogan is a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist who writes funny contemporary stories about ordinary people finding extraordinary love, and also stirring historical romance full of political intrigue, damsels causing distress, and the occasional man in a kilt. Her first two books, CRAZY LITTLE THING, and HIGHLAND SURRENDER both earned a 4-Star review from RT magazine and have hit the Amazon Best Selling Books list.

Tracy lives in Michigan with her bemused husband, her perpetually exasperated children, and two dogs, who would probably behave better if they could understand sarcasm.







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