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I will be under way from Cape May to NYC today, so moderation may be slow, but the wonderful Miranda Neville is here to keep you company. She’s talking to you about her book in the fabulous anthology, Dancing in the Duke’s Arms, that she along with several other my favorite authors have just released. I read it right away, and it is a must read!! She is also giving away one copy of any of her other books to one of you who leaves a comment saying you want it!!

First the cover!!

DITDA

Why Do Dukes Fall in Love?

Every summer the cream of society gathers at the Dukeries, named for the ducal estates concentrated in one small corner of Nottinghamshire. While the entertainments include parties, balls, and a famous boat race, the ducal hosts and their guests find adventure, passion, and happy ever afters.

Four heartwarming stories from four bestselling authors of historical romance, Graces Burrowes, Carolyn Jewel, Shana Galen, and Miranda Neville

Miranda’s story is DUCHESS OF SCANDAL

She was too wild, he was too proud… When the Duke and Duchess of Linton meet after years of estrangement, they may discover they were made for each other after all.

After months of marriage, the Duke of Linton agreed to live apart from his wife. Thrown together due to a scheduling error, Linton finds Althea still has the power to make his heart race. Linton seems different from the critical, indifferent man Althea married. But though she burns for him as a lover, can she trust him to be the husband she needs?

Buy links: Kindle ~ Nook ~ iBooks ~ KoboGoogle Play

About Miranda:

Neville2Miranda Neville grew up in England, loving the books of Georgette Heyer and other Regency romances. Her historical romances include the Burgundy Club series, about Regency book collectors, and The Wild Quartet. She lives in Vermont with her daughter, her cat, and a garden full of weeds.

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I’m back! First we have lots of winners today, so we’ll start there.

Congratulations to Lisa Myers who won a copy of Christi Caldwell’s book More Than a Duke!! ChristiCaldwell_MoreThanaDuke_1400

Give a hand to Lori Patterson for winning Miranda Neville’s book, The Duke of Dark Desires!Cover

And to Jennifer Lowery for winning Marina Gabrielle’s book Royal Regard!! Royal-Regard-cover-500x750

Last, but certainly not least, Barbara Monajem picked three winners for her boxed set, Captivated by a Kiss!! They are Linda Thumb, Pat Walker Pinkston, and Patricia Wissore!!Captivated by His Kiss 3-D cover on transparent @ 72 dpi  low res- 800px

As you know, we had been in Ft. Lauderdale waiting for a weather window.

Las Olas mooring

The morning we were supposed to leave, squalls developed in the Bahamas. So we resigned ourselves to depart the next morning and did some last minute shopping. When we returned, the squalls had dissipated. It was already after 3PM, but we decided to go and finally left Ft. Lauderdale, after being held up by a cruise ship, around 5PM.

Off shore sunset

 

We passed out of the Bahamas late the next day, and were in open water for the rest of the nine day trip.  This is our first sunrise at sea.

First morning off shore

My seasickness passed on the third day, just like everyone said it would. For the first few days we ate the passage meals I’d prepared, navy been soup and Boeuf Bourguignon. After that, we cooked. Which worked well until our wind indicator stopped working. That was the night Hubby decided to grill. All of a sudden the winds and seas kicked up, and we had to reef the mainsail. But because it was already dark, and we had no idea what the winds were, he wanted to take the sail down and motor. He no sooner put the chicken on the counter than a swell hit us broadside, and the chicken went flying. Fortunately, I had just cleaned the floor. Unfortunately, that was the end of it. We ended up just putting the rice, green beans, and chicken in one pot. It was a very uncomfortable night.

Next the outhaul (the thing that holds the sail on the boom) broke, and damaged the wind generator. So we ended up completing the trip with the sail reefed.

Days on end with nothing but water can be pretty boring, but I was able to get a lot of writing done.

We stopped by Puerto Rico for fuel and had our first experience anchoring in the dark. This is what we woke up to.

Anchorage in PR 2

 

This guy was bound and determined that we weren’t kicking him off the fuel dock.

Getting gas

We are now home on our mooring at least for a little while.

Home at Magens

Now I just need to finish the last few chapters of the book and edit it, complete the copy-edits on Lady Beresford’s Lover, and the galleys on A Kiss for Lady Mary.

What were you doing while I was gone?

 

Ella

 

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Please welcome the amazing Regency author, Miranda Neville to the blog!! Miranda is giving away a copy of her latest book, The Duke of Dark Desires, to one of you. All you have to do is leave a comment saying you want it.

Without further to do, let’s get to the fabulous cover!!

Cover

 

Now the blurb.

Wanted: Governess able to keep all hours . . .

Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified–to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow Julian must find a way to make her succumb to temptation . . . without losing his heart and revealing the haunting mistakes of his past.

Lady Jeanne de Falleron didn’t seek a position as a governess simply to fall into bed with the Duke of Denford. Under the alias of Jane Grey, she must learn which of the duke’s relatives is responsible for the death of her family–and take her revenge. She certainly can’t afford the distraction of her darkly irresistible employer, or the smoldering desire he ignites within her.

But as Jane discovers more clues about the villain she seeks, she’s faced with a possibility more disturbing than her growing feelings for Julian: What will she do if the man she loves is also the man she’s sworn to kill?

An excerpt.

“Your Grace,” Jane said. “I have a request if you can spare me a few minutes.”

“I do hope it’s one I’ll enjoy fulfilling. If so, I’ll agree to anything.”

“I doubt this matter will affect your pleasure either way.”

“You disappoint me again. Oliver, just this once do what I ask and leave. Go up to the Blue Saloon to prepare for your pupils. I need to speak to Miss Grey.”

“My request is not a private one.”

“You’ve made that perfectly clear, alas. Go, Oliver.”

“You will be coming, Jane, won’t you?”

“Of course, Mr. Bream. I won’t be long. The young ladies will be down soon with their drawing materials.”

She watched him go with some trepidation, leaving her alone with Denford. He took a place at the table and, as though he had all the time in the world, poured himself some coffee. She ought to be safe from her unruly desires at nine o’clock in the morning with the humdrum accouterments of breakfast spread on the table; nevertheless she averted her eyes from his lips on the rim of the china cup.

“Oliver doesn’t always show such good taste,” he remarked. “The array of women he has loved in the five or six years I’ve known him is positively dizzying. They have only one trait in common: that of being unattainable. Women always seem able to resist him.”

“What makes you think I could? Mr. Bream is a very agreeable young man. For all you know he could be the kind of man I prefer.”

“No, he isn’t.”

“What kind of man do you think I prefer?”

She peeked at him from lowered eyelids and found him staring at her with a wolfish smile. “The matter is still under investigation but I am making progress. You are flirting with me.”

“I am not!” But she was, of course. Dalliance should be the last thing on her mind, especially with a member of the Fortescue family. She stiffened her spine and tried to think like a governess. “Last night,” she began, “I was up late.”

“Do go on. Your bedtime habits interest me greatly.”

And the buy links:

Amazon ~ Nook ~ iBooks ~ Kobo ~ Google Play

About Miranda:

NevilleColorSmallestMiranda Neville grew up in England, loving the books of Georgette Heyer and other Regency romances. Her historical romances include the Burgundy Club series, about Regency book collectors, and The Wild Quartet. She lives in Vermont with her daughter, her cat, and a ridiculously large collection of Christmas tree ornaments.

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I’m also so happy to have the fabulous Miranda Neville on the blog!! I know you’ll help me give her a huge welcome!

Miranda’s spotlighting her latest book, Coming June 24, 2014: Lady Windermere’s Lover  (Book 3 of The Wild Quartet)

She’ll also give away a copy to on of you who tells her you want the book! We haven’t done a giveaway for several weeks, so let’s make this a good one!

Don’t you think this cover is gorgeous!

untitled

Now for the blurb:

Blurb:
Damian, Earl of Windermere, rues the day he drunkenly gambled away his family’s estate and was forced into marriage to reclaim it. Now, after hiding out from his new bride for a year, Damian is finally called home, only to discover that his modest bride has become an alluring beauty—and rumor has it that she’s taken a lover. Damian vows to keep his wife from straying again, but to do so he must seduce her—and protect his heart from falling for the wife he never knew he wanted.
Cynthia never aspired to be the subject of scandal. But with her husband off gallivanting across Persia, what was a lady to do? Flirting shamelessly with his former best friend seemed like the perfect revenge . . . except no matter how little Damian deserves her loyalty, Cynthia can’t bring herself to be unfaithful. But now that the scoundrel has returned home, Cynthia isn’t about to forgive his absence so easily—even if his presence stirs something in her she’d long thought dead and buried. He might win her heart . . . if he can earn her forgiveness!
And finally an exclusive excerpt!

 The awkward first meeting between Lord and Lady Windermere, after he returns from abroad, is interrupted by the Duke of Denford. Damian believes him to be Cynthia’s lover; all Cynthia knows is that Denford and her husband have been on bad terms for years.

“Clearly I have much news to catch up with since I’ve been away,” Windermere said, for all the world as though he were on the best of terms with the friends of his youth. “Can I persuade you to join us for dinner one evening, Julian? I am engaged with Grenville tonight, but tomorrow perhaps. Unless you have another engagement, my lady.”

“If I did, my lord, I would cancel it. It would ill become me to amuse myself elsewhere when my husband has been restored to me after so long.”

“Excellent. Shall we say seven o’clock then? Unless you prefer to keep country hours.”

“I am no longer the country mouse I was when you left me at Beaulieu, my lord. I would not dream of sitting down to dine a minute earlier.”

“I can see that you are not. You have become quite worldly, my lady. Admirably so.”

If someone had told Cynthia back at the Birmingham Academy that one day she’d be sitting between an earl and a duke, she’d have called him a fantasist. Keeping up with the byplay between the two men tested her newly developed sophistication. One man had never wanted her, the other said he did. Too bad that the former was the husband to whom she owed loyalty, however undeserved.

She looked at Julian, who had been following the exchange with the wry twist of the mouth that both fascinated and exasperated her, then turned back to her husband. Windermere had a singularly beautiful smile, as she remembered to her cost. In her experience he deployed it seldom and almost never with genuine intent. What he directed at her now sent her heart thudding against her ribs, but it did not reach his eyes. She knew it was a meaningless curve of the lips.

She inclined her head with a graciousness that was wholly feigned. “Why thank you, my lord. Your praise overwhelms me. I live only to please you.”

“What do you say, Julian?”

“How could I possibly resist such an invitation.” He swept a bow of matchless urbane mockery. “A demain, Cynthia,” he said, and stalked out like the sleek black cat he resembled.

She didn’t miss the flash of emotion that crossed Windermere’s face when Julian used her given name, nor the thoughtful look that pursued him out of the room.

“You are very cordial with Denford,” she said. “I had heard you disliked him.”

“And knowing that, you pursued his acquaintance? Such a loyal wife.”

Her behavior did prick at her conscience, though logically Windermere’s had been worse. “I pay little attention to gossip. I am glad I did not allow rumor to keep me from a friendship that obviously you don’t object to. I am delighted to see you and Julian on such good terms.” Her sunny smile felt like a death grimace. “I have lived quietly in your absence without entrée to the ton. Caro, Denford, and their friends welcomed me. Now that you are home, I look forward to expanding my circle with your other acquaintances.”

“I suppose you are ambitious to be received in more fashionable circles,” he said with a sneer. She’d never heard Windermere speak so rudely, and it caused her fierce satisfaction that she’d rippled his glassy calm. She didn’t know why he was upset, but that was nothing new. Since the moment he’d slipped the ring on her finger, pleasing her husband had proved impossible.

“Only for your sake,” she said with a careless wave, intended to convince him—and herself—that his ill opinion meant nothing to her. “I haven’t forgotten you telling me a wife is important to a diplomat’s career.”

He walked over to her chair and extended one elegant finger to tilt her face upward. Her heart skipped a beat when, for an instant, she thought he was going to kiss her, as a man might be expected to do after a year apart from his wife. But those perfect lips came within a foot of hers and no closer. She made herself meet him eye to eye, wishing she could read his thoughts. They were engaged in an unspoken struggle she didn’t entirely understand.

“What?” she whispered finally.

“You have changed,” he said.

“Just as you requested. I tried to become the wife you wanted.”

Buy links:  Amazon     Kindle    Nook/Barnes& Noble    Kobo    iTunes  

 

NevilleColorSmallerAbout Miranda:

Miranda Neville grew up in England but as a long time resident of the United States she considers herself bilingual in American and British English. She has written eight historical romances for Avon, including the popular Burgundy Club series and the current Wild Quartet. Publisher’s Weekly has described her work as a “mix of hilarity, mystery, and passion.”  She can be reached on  Facebook, Twitter, or through her website.

 

 

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I can’t tell you how excited I am, though I could probably make a lot of screaming noises. One week from today, the Seduction of Lady Phoebe releases. I hope you will stick with me for the final giveaways of The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, and the tour. I promise not to repeat anything. Tell your friends, neighbors, and anyone else who might want to know!

Today, I’m so excited to be at The Ballroom Blog. Please come join me as I come under Lady B’s scrutiny.

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

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Congratulations

Jakki Leatherberry won a copy of Miranda Neville’s The Importance of Being Wicked. Congratulations, Jakki!!

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NevilleColorSmallestPlease help me in welcoming my guest author today, the lovely, multi-talented, best-selling Miranda Neville. (applause) I go completely fan-girl over Miranda, which is embarrassing for both of us. Actually, I was barely able to say hello. After you read her excerpt, I think you’ll understand why.

Miranda will be giving one lucky commenter a copy of her newest release The Importance of Being Wicked. All you have to do is leave your email, spaced out of course, to be eligible.

Ella: Miranda, thank you so much for being here today. You are originally from England, tell us a bit about yourself and what made you decide to start writing?

Miranda: I didn’t always want to be a writer. My childhood ambition was to be an actress. The peak of my theatrical career was the key role of Mary in the Nativity Play (Britspeak for Christmas Pageant). After that a lamentable lack of talent saw me relegated to minor roles, spear carriers, etc. so I nimbly switched my aspiration to museum curator. After studying history in college, I learned that entry-level museum positions require a move to The Provinces while I wanted to live in London, the center of the known universe. I ended up cataloging rare books and manuscript for Sotheby’s, first in London, then in New York (the other center of the known universe), a job that required precise research and terse prose. Along the way I married and moved to Vermont, a place so not the center of the universe that it is, at least, highly unlikely to be targeted by bomb-wielding terrorists. I continued writing non-fiction–as a journalist for a local paper. About seven or eight years ago I took it into my head to have a go at fiction. It was hugely liberating to throw off the nitpicking restraints of factual accuracy and be allowed to make stuff up. Having no desire (or aptitude) to write an Important Novel, I decided it would be fun to write the kind of popular fiction I enjoy reading: romance. Strangely it wasn’t the first time I tried. A few years ago, in a box of papers in my parents’ house, I found the opening chapters of several romances (both contemporary and historical), dating from my teens. I still have no recollection of writing them. For the record, these juvenile works display meager a complete inability to control back story, something that till plagues me.

Ella: What drew you to historicals?

Miranda: I’ve always been a history nut. I’d read all the Jean Plaidy type of historical fiction in the local library when my mother, in desperation, brought me home Powder and Patch, my first Georgette Heyer. I scarfed all those down and loved the romance. Fast forward more years than I care to count, and I picked up a modern Regency romance – a Catherine Coulter, I think. Woo hoo! Georgette Heyer with sex! (Heyer was far too stingy with the kisses IMO.) When I decided to try my hand at writing a romance, historical was my only choice. I picked Regencies because I’d read a lot of biographies, letters, and memoirs of the period and had a head start when it came to research. I’ll confess that I love French history as much as English and wish there was a market for French-set romances.

Ella: The Importance of Being Wicked is your first book in your Wild Quartet series, what was the inspiration or first thoughts that started the books.

Miranda: I wanted to take a break from the book collectors of the Burgundy Club and liked the idea of going twenty years earlier, to the turn of the century. Although we think of the French Revolution as 1789, a lot of English travelers hung out in Paris for some years, until the Terror really took hold. (See, I’m sneaking some French history in here). I got the idea of a group of rather wild young men who’d been tossed out of Oxford and had various adventures in Europe. The group falls apart, they have rows and troubles, and one of them is dead. Ten years later we find them dealing with the consequences of their past. I’m interested in the way people deal with the sins of their youth once they grow up. The quartet shared an interest in art so collecting plays a part in the series, though not in all the books. The Importance of Being Wicked is about Caro Townsend, widow of the one of the group. An Ideal Scoundrel, coming in September, features Marcus Lithgow, who was quite bad in the first book and needs reforming.

Ella: Without further to do, let’s go to the blurb and excerpt of The Importance of Being Wicked.

IMPORTANCEThomas, Duke of Castleton, has every intention of wedding a prim and proper heiress. That is, until he sets eyes on the heiress’s cousin, easily the least proper woman he’s ever met. His devotion to family duty is no defense against the red-headed vixen whose greatest asset seems to be a talent for trouble…

Caroline Townsend has no patience for the oh-so-suitable (and boring) men of the ton. So when the handsome but stuffy duke arrives at her doorstep, she decides to put him to the test. But her scandalous exploits awaken a desire in Thomas he never knew he had. Suddenly Caro finds herself falling for this most proper duke…while Thomas discovers there’s a great deal of fun in a little bit of wickedness.

Excerpt
Despite the fact that he’d never been asked to dance by a lady, Thomas wasn’t unwilling. They would indeed look awkward fighting through the throng, which wasn’t arranged in neat lines as at a proper ball. Couples whirled around together like fledgling pheasants summoned for feeding time, bumping and jostling with the object, he guessed, of achieving as much physical contact between men and women as possible. He offered her his arm and almost became entangled with the small cloth bag that hung on strings from her wrist.

“What is this?” he asked.

“My reticule,” she said. “There’s no room for pockets in the new fashions.”

That he could well believe. There was hardly room for a small woman in the skimpy gown.

He led Mrs. Townsend through the doors into the melee, her hand on his arm as though they were entering a more exclusive ballroom. Maintaining a proper distance was not easy, as other arrivals competed for space. Still, he flattered himself that he made an example of dignified behavior to the revelers–if they cared–until someone crashed into his back. The jolt made it necessary to embrace her to keep them both upright.

She was warm and soft and fit perfectly against his body, odd since he was a giant in comparison. He looked down at the jaunty curls hugging her skull and spilling over onto her brow, then the tender curves of her bosom, almost as pale as her gown against the burgundy and silver of his coat and embroidered waistcoat. He stared with fascination at a single freckle, like a birthmark, centered with exquisite precision between her breasts. He wanted, quite desperately, to touch it. Better still to kiss it. To discover how it would feel on the tip of his tongue …

Sternly, he wrenched his eyes from the spot and his mind from the errant thought. Neither lips nor tongue would ever approach the vicinity of Mrs. Townsend’s breasts. Instead, he looked at her face, and that was a mistake. Her gaze spoke eloquently to him of indecent, bedroom thoughts. Brown eyes glowed like gold fire, and carmine lips parted in a gentle invitation. A dull roar drowned out any thought but an incoherent urge to possess.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007HBTBCS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=mirannevil-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B007HBTBCS

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-importance-of-being-wicked-miranda-neville/1108819764?ean=9780062199034

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Importance-Being-Wicked-Miranda-Neville/dp/006219903X/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_4

Books-aMillion

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Importance-Being-Wicked-ebook/dp/B007HBTBCS/ref=pd_sim_kinc_2

BIO
Miranda Neville grew up in England and studied history at Oxford University. She moved from London to New York City then married and ended up in Vermont. She has one daughter and a large ginger cat named Ernie who made a book book trailer for The Importance of Being Wicked. You may learn more about Miranda on her website, Facebook, and Twitter

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