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Launch Party + Giveaway: Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel

At last!

A well-known romance author who shall remain nameless—Shh! It's Claudia Dain—has been overheard on more than one occasion telling authors that they shouldn’t think of their work as their babies. “You wouldn’t sell your baby, would you?” Of course not!

But my daughter didn’t sleep through the night until she was four. Perhaps if someone had offered to rent her… Okay. That wouldn't happen either.

Still, preparing to launch a book eerily resembles those first weeks of being a new mom. For example, I’ve noticed some inattentiveness on my part, but that’s all right. Cinnamon crackers aren’t too horrible in chili. My clumsiness, however, is an embarrassment. A hot guy looked at me in the grocery store the other day, and I ran over a display of taco seasoning.

What the hey! I’ve never seen a good looking guy at the grocery store before. What was he doing there? I’m only grateful I’d showered before I ran out the door, which is an accomplishment some days. New moms know what I mean.

In addition to dealing with a foggy brain, there are tears, and thumb-sucking, and all that eating! Granted, it's usually the baby doing these things, but what can I say? I may have put on a little baby weight, too, but we won’t go there.

Yet, one thing makes those sleepless nights worth it: the absolute joy of holding my book for the first time.

No, it doesn’t quite compare to having a baby, but it still feels pretty great!

Thank you for being here to celebrate this momentous occasion with me. Everything is better when you have others sharing your excitement.

I'd love to hear about one of your most joyful experiences after this special treat!

All the way from Jersey, it's the effervescent Miss Cindy Loo and her handsome hero reading an exclusive excerpt from Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel.

(Many thanks to the genius behind Cindy Loo, fellow regency author Jerrica Knight Catania, & her talented husband, Eric. You can catch more of Cindy Loo and Jerrica on Facebook.)

Samantha has worked several years as a clinical social worker with a background in behavioral health and geriatrics. She is married to her best friend, strives to stay one step ahead of their two precocious offspring, and lives in Wisconsin. Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was named in the PW Top 10 Romances for Spring 2012. To learn more about Samantha’s bachelors, visit

To be entered to win a copy of Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel, leave a comment below and tell us what one of your most joyful moments has been. Be sure to leave an email address so we can reach you if you’re one of the winners (US and Canada mailing addresses only).


  1. LOL on the pregnancy stories. When I was pregnant I was tempted to firebomb a restaurant when they told me they were out of baked potatoes.

    My most joyous moment? It's a tie between the first time I heard Megadeth, the moment I had held my son and realized we have the same hands, my wedding, and my 1st publishing contract.

    I ADORE your title, btw.

  2. The latest joyful moment for me was sitting almost-front row center watching Wicked: The Musical.

    I've only listened to the CD so watching it on stage was an amazingly breathtaking experience.

    I love the "book announcement" -- congratulations, btw.

  3. Great fun, Samantha! Congrats on your debut release and starred review. So exciting!

  4. Certainly Beloved Offspring's arrival (after three days of induced labor) was a joyous occasion--so were the days when I surprised her with a pony, and the first time I watched her go clean in a cross country riding competition. I also popped in on my dad once for Father's Day by surprise (we're a continent apart geographically) and then there's the day I walked into a writer's conference and said, "I got the call! Driving up I-95 on the way here, I GOT THE CALL!" Sweet.

  5. Starred Review. Top Ten. What an awesome way to ride out of the chute.
    May this launch party be the beginning of so many joyous moments that you'll have to take off your shoes just to keep count!

  6. Brooklyn Ann,

    I can totally relate to the baked potato story! I don't even have to be pregnant. LOL. Counting hearing Megadeath for the first time and holding your son among your top most joyous moments is priceless. I love it!

    Thank you for celebrating with me today. I really love the title, too. :)

  7. Tin Ong,

    I saw Wicked for the first time last summer, and I LOVED it!!! I had never listened to the CD, but I read the book. It's among my favorites, but I wasn't sure how they would adapt it into a musical. I'm so glad they gave it a happy ending. I was in tears, it was so fantastic!

    Thank you for being here. My wonderful friend, the Jodie half of Lydia Dare, did the announcement for me. I'm lucky to have such talented friends. :)

  8. Thank you, Tracey! And thanks for your great support. I can't wait to celebrate the release of your book. :)

  9. I'd definitely say my joyous moment was getting married. I loved my wedding and the reception. It was so wonderful.

    Release days are fun too! Congrats!

  10. Grace,

    What beautiful moments. Thank you for sharing these with us. I can't believe the doctor let you go three days in labor, and induction is the worst!!! But it's amazing how wonderful the results are.

    Oh, my gosh! I don't think I could have driven the rest of the way to the meeting if I'd gotten the call on the interstate. :D

  11. Carolyn,

    Here's hoping I finally have a use for those extra toes on my feet. ;D

    You are so funny and a joy to be around. Thank you for celebrating with me today.

  12. Shana,

    I'm so glad you could stop by today. I know you must be busy with the release of The Rogue Pirate's Bride. Congratulations! I can't think of anyone I'd rather share the day with. Thanks for all of your support. :)

  13. Cute blog, Samantha!

    No, I never wanted to giveaway or sell my baby, but now that he's a teenager...

    With that said, like most mothers, my most joyful moment was holding that tiny baby in my arms for the first time.

    But other than that...? Getting THE CALL was a joyful moment. Seeing my book on a shelf was a joyful moment. Most of my joyful moments are much more low key, however. Sitting on a beach in the Caribbean or parasailing. Visiting family who doesn't live nearby. Getting the rare chance to read a good book in peace and quiet.

  14. Congratulations on your new book. Love the cover. My most joyful moments were my wedding and reception.

  15. Congrats on your debut novel. I'm SO SO proud of you! I've been reading the iBook version and I am thoroughly enjoying it! You're talent is amazing. I'm so happy that you're following your dream & I wish you MUCH success!

    Much love!
    Samantha Grace Super Fan

    P.S. Love the puppet reenactment. Hilarious!

  16. Ava,

    I love that you find joy in the small moments as well as the momentous occasions. That's beautiful. :)

    I hear you on the teenage boy. If nothing else, I wish I could send him someplace to be fed. Everyone tells you to save for college, but no one warns you about the costs of feeding a teen boy!

  17. Thank you, CrystalGB!

    I'm in love with the cover. *sigh*

    My wedding and reception ranks up there very high, too. I wish you years of happiness together.

  18. Nance,

    You just made me misty-eyed. Thank you for years of friendship. I've been blessed. I have many joyful moments in my life thanks to you, Dana, Mary, Nikki, & Stacy.

    And you've got talent as well, my dear. I'm totally consulting you when I write my next love scene. ;D

  19. Hand's down--my most joyous(albeit nerve wracking)moment--arriving at the foster mother's home in S. Korea and having her open the door, holding my child--he took one look at me and SMILED and he had 4 little teeth!!

  20. Anoymous,

    That is so sweet. I can just see his big smile. Your heart must have melted on the spot.

    I know your friends were on pins and needles waiting for you to arrive with your little sweetheart.

  21. Congratulations on the release day of Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel. Have a fun day.

    I can relate to the non-sleeping child. My most joyous day was when than non-sleeping child was born.

  22. Thank you, Gayle. :)

    Little girls are something special. (Of course I say the same thing about my son. haha)

  23. Most joyful moment in my life would have to be when my son was born. There is nothing no better then that joy

    quiltlady110 AT gmail Dot com

  24. I would have to say that it would be a tie between when my son and daughter were born. Both are very special to me. Both were very eventful births. My daughter was born 2 months premature and weighed 3 lbs and 1/2 ounce. She was in the hospital for 3 months before she came home. My son decided he wanted to come 1 month early and he decided he was ready to be born at the doctors office. He was a breech baby. My water broke at the doctors office and by the time they got me on the exam table his foot was coming out. They had to do an emergency c-section. Both kids were born on the 13th. One of March-girl and one is May-boy. My son was actually born of friday the 13th. 13 is not an unlucky number for me.
    Thanks for the chance to win. This book looks great and would love to win and read.

  25. Congratulations!Here's wishing you much success and many happy memories!

  26. A hot guy in a grocery store? Wow. That's enough to make ANYONE run over a taco seasoning display! Joyful experiences? I've had a few. Tough to pick out the best one, though--particularly since I have TWO sons!

  27. I too have to say the birth of my children - two girls. I think all their many milestones were more important to me than any of my own.

    Gorgeous cover and sounds like a wonderful read!


  28. I had stepped back into the workforce after 17 years as a homemaker. I started in an entry level position at an assisting living facility and just under 2 years later they put me in management and surprised me with an office.

    It was a wonderful feeling.

  29. *oops* The euphoria of the residuals from the joyful moment fogged my brain. Should have added:

    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  30. I love the birth announcement for your novel. Very clever! Wishing you much success.

  31. Quilt Lady,

    Agreed. Holding your baby for the first time is amazing, and all those other times after. I still feel all warm inside when my teenager gives me a hug. He's bigger than I am and he's only fourteen!

  32. Christine,

    What a great story! Not only joyful, but exciting.

    Our family's number is 7. I was married on the 7th. Our son was born on the 7th. Our daughter messed up the pattern, but her ultrasound room was #7 and all of my doctor's appointments were in a different room 7. Now my book is released on the 7th!

  33. Thank you, Amelia.

    I wish you many happy memories as well. :)

  34. Thank you, Cheryl! You just made me feel a lot better about being clumsy. :D

  35. Thank you, Catslady.

    I understand what you're saying. I know how proud I am of my kids and their accomplishments. I cry every time my son has an orchestra concert. He plays well, but it's the confidence he has that chokes me up. That's what I really want for my kids, for them to feel confident in themselves.

  36. Lil,

    That's a great accomplishment! I bet those 17 years as a homemaker prepared you well for management. I think the contributions and skills of homemakers often go unrecognized: conflict resolution, budgeting, negotiating...

  37. Congrats on your debut! So very exciting! I am thankful my life has been full of joyful moments big and small...a favorite that comes immediately to mind: my husband going down on bended knee to ask me to marry him the minute we walked into our hotel room...we drove from Chicago to New Orleans for the turn of the millennium and that diamond had been burning a hole in his pocket the whole way I guess! Took me totally by surprise.

  38. Congrats on your release! I really like the cover, very eye-catching!


  39. Original Drama Mama,

    I love that story! Chicago to New Orleans is a very long drive. I don't know if I could have kept quiet as long as he did.

    Thanks for the wellwishes. :)

  40. Just last summer I would have said my most joyous moment was the first sale I made after a long writing drought. That one got surpassed with the news of my daughter being pregnant! Now I look forward to the next ultrasound so we can see our little girl. Why do pregnancies last so much longer as a grandparent?

  41. Congrats on your debut release, Samantha. One of my joyful moments was watching the Giants win the Super Bowl again.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  42. Congrats on the new release! I have to say that my wedding day was also one of the the most joyous moments in my life.

  43. Congratulations on your debut release! Today's joyful moment... Getting through the stop light only a moment after it turned red!

  44. Aileen,

    Congratulations on becoming a grandma soon! I don't know why pregnancies take longer. It's the same when you're an aunt. I have another neice coming in May, and it seems like it has been taking forever! I can't wait to snuggle her. Her brother is too busy to snuggle now, but he's so fun. :)

  45. Oh sure, Jane! Rub it in. The Packers should have been in the Superbowl again. ;D

    Congratulations to the Giants! I know there are some happy fans.

  46. Thank you, Tammy!

    Sometimes it's just the little things that bring us joy day to day. :)

  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. That would be meeting you, wouldn't it???? Congratuations on the release. I cannot wait to read this story again tonight after work!

  49. Heather,

    Are you teasing me? ;D

    I'm so glad we met. You're a wonderful friend and fantastic writer. I'm eagerly awaiting your release next week. Now that I have a Kindle, it will make reading your stories a lot easier.

  50. Lol...I don't think I've seen a good looking guy in the grocery story either- and I'm not very coordinated so I'd undoubtedly run over

    My most joyous moment was when I got into graduate school and then when I finished my MBA.

  51. Congratulations, Samantha! I'm soooooooo excited for you for your release. Already bought my copy today.

    I love that Cindy Lou and Jersey Mike helped you out with a reading from the book.

    And it's okay that you have been a little foggy lately. I have been too, and I don't have the excuse of having a debut!

  52. Samatha! Congratulations again on the release! I'm so super excited for you!

    Hmm most joyous moment would be, of course, the day my children were born. But the most recent joyous moment was seeing my oldest boy graduate from high school. It's been an exciting new year for us year as he gets ready to go to college. I'm looking forward to seeing where he goes in life.

  53. Maria,

    Being accepted into grad school and then graduating are HUGE moments. It took a lot of hard work on your part.

    I'm glad to know I'm not the only clumsy one. :)

  54. Thank you, Catherine!

    Cindy Loo and Jersey Mike were great! I'm so glad they agreed to make an appearance.

    We can be foggy-brained together. Let's just hope we're both clearer before Spring Fling. :)

  55. Suzie,

    It must be wonderful to see your son graduate and exciting to plan for college, but I'd think it would be bittersweet, too. I hope he goes somewhere close so he can come home when he runs out of clean socks. :)

  56. WOOOT !! Congratulations on your FABULOUS DEBUT !!! I cannot WAIT to read it! I've been looking forward to this book for SO LONG!

    I have moments of joy every time I go to RWA Nationals. Being with so many like-minded people after spending the other 51 weeks of the year in the trenches at Walmart is just too joyful for words! Love it!

  57. Samantha,
    I have many most joyful moments, which makes me lucky! However four of the top are when I had my two children, when I got married, and when I sold my first short story! Congratulations on your book launch!

  58. That was such a cute post! I can understand how your book release can mess with your head, you put so much effort into it, then wait and wait. Now it sits there looking so pretty! So Congrats!!

    One of my happy moments was when my daughter learned to say I Love You. She just started a few weeks ago and will just spontaneousley walk over and say I wuv you mom and tilt her head so I can kiss the top of it. So sweet, makes me so happy every time!

    1. Lexi,

      That is so sweet. My heart just melted remembering those precious moments with my own children. :)

  59. One of my joyful moments was starting my first job.


  60. Hey, Samantha! Downloaded your book to my iTouch yesterday and finished reading it this morning. Loved it!

  61. It would have to be when I heard my son cry. He was Cesarean and his heartbeat was irregular so they had to take him. When he cried, I knew he was going to be okay!


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