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Dance of Joy! Launch Party for A Lady's Revenge + Giveaway

by @TraceyDevlyn

A Lady’s Revenge is officially launched. Hot diggity dog!

I feel like dancing. How about you? Come on, don’t be shy. I’ve invited a fabulous instructor from the Greek island of Mypos to lead us through the dance. His name is Balki. Balki Bartokomous. And he’s going to introduce you to The Dance of Joy. You don’t need a partner, although the last dance step can be a bit tricky without one. Here we go…stand up, everyone!

What fun! Did you enjoy yourself? I certainly did. Don’t you love those moments when you’re watching something joyful play out and, before you know it, you have a big silly grin on your face? Watching Balki and Larry kick up their heels does that for me. There’s something about observing people live life to the fullest that makes me happy. And then there are those more subtle moments that are precious in their simplicity. Moments that might make you smile or cry.

If ever anyone needed to smile, it was Cora deBeau, my heroine in A Lady’s Revenge. For weeks, she endured pain and humiliation at the hands of the French. Her imprisonment left her scarred, both physically and emotionally. When Cora peered into her future, she saw nothing more than layers upon layers of grey. Happiness did not figure into the equation at all—or so she thought.

It’s amazing how the love of the right man and the innocence of a furred creature can transform one’s grey existence into sparkling rays of light. Read on to see how Cora found her smile amidst the darkness of despair.

Cora removed the irritating sling and made for the kitchen. Her appetite had returned in full force, and she longed for something more solid than her current diet of watery soup and clotted-cream porridge. But as her appetite increased, her sleep had fallen victim to nightmares of the past once she had stopped taking the laudanum. As much as she hated the opiate, she longed for a full night’s rest.

She rubbed her exhausted head and trudged through the sun-brightened house, experimentally flexing her hand and rotating her wrist. Needles of pain shot up her arm and, after so many days of idleness, her muscles felt leaden and useless.

She performed the exercise a few more times, shrugging off the discomfort. Regaining strength in her arm was just one more obstacle to overcome. She had lost count of how many of those she had encountered since her first introduction to Valère.

As she headed for food that she could actually cut with her teeth, she passed the library door and heard a muffled expletive. Retracing her steps, Cora peered into the room. At first she thought the room empty, until her gaze lowered and was greeted by a man’s well-shaped bottom clad in fawn-colored wool.

“Come out from under there you insufferable fur ball.” Guy made a quick grab for something beneath the burgundy chaise longue. “Dammit.”

Cora raised an eyebrow, amused to see the Earl of Helsford in such an undignified position. “Why don’t you try using some of your legendary charm to coax your friend out?”

He jerked up, smacking his head on the chaise. “Ow!” Rubbing his head, he sat back on his heels and sent her a you’ll-pay-for-that look, an expression she hadn’t seen in a very long time—and one she keenly missed.

“Do not scowl at me,” she admonished, ignoring the ache in her heart. “I had nothing to do with your current affliction.”

“Sneaking up on me doesn’t count for culpability?”


Cora stepped closer to investigate. What would tempt Guy to get down on his hands and knees? As she bent forward, a delicate grey face with large green eyes peeked out to investigate her.

A kitten.

She shifted her attention to Guy. “How on earth did the little creature get in here?”

“How should I know,” he grumbled. “But it’s going back to wherever it came from.”

She watched the poor kitten inch closer. “Don’t be silly. If I can’t find its mother, I’ll care for it.”

“The fur ball’s not staying in this house.”

“Are you afraid the kitten will bother your aunt’s birds?” During one of her exploratory circuits, Cora had found a large brass-wired cage sitting atop a pedestal in the far corner of Aunt Phoebe’s rose-colored drawing room. Inside, a pair of small yellow birds flapped about their enclosure, tipping their little heads from side to side at her approach. When they realized she wished them no harm, they had extended their feathered throats and began to sing to her… at least that’s how Cora interpreted their action.

Guy’s jaw firmed. “No, I’m not worried about the birds. If anything, I might let the kitten loose inside the cage just to shut them up.”

“You’ll do no such thing.” She watched the kitten edge closer to Guy’s boot. “What’s your aversion, then? We harbored many barnyard cats in the past.”

His eyes narrowed. “It’s a damned ankle-biter.”

“A what?”
A LADY'S REVENGE gift set includes: ALR novel and bookmark,
Peter Pauper Butterflies Journal & Pen, Knock-Knock Stickies
Set, Pier 1 Hand-painted Mini Vase, Tea Forte Mints,
Trio of Antique-style Keys, World Market basket & a
Pair of Hand-crafted DoBeadDo Earrings

“You heard me,” he said. “The little baggage thinks it’s great fun to attack my ankles while I’m sitting here. I now have some very decorative claw and fang marks on my new boots.”

Cora waved her hand in the direction of Guy’s black Hessians. “Let me see.”

Hiking his foot up on the chaise, he pointed to the offending marks around the ankle area. “There.

Sure enough, little gouge marks punctured the expensive soft leather.

She pointed to the top of his high boot. “I suspect your tassel is more temptation than the little one could bear.” Her lips twitched.

“You find this amusing, my dear?” He dropped his foot to the floor.

“Not at all.” She couldn’t remember the last time she had felt unfeigned amusement. But the gouge marks, the kitten, and Guy’s expression—

* * *

When was the last time you caught yourself with a big silly grin on your face? Please let me know in the comment section below by 10:00 pm (Central). One commenter will win the lovely A LADY'S REVENGE gift set above (U.S. and Canada only, please).

Don’t forget! No matter how big or how small your achievement, be sure to celebrate. If you ever need a partner for Balki’s Dance of Joy, give me a holler. I'll catch you.

* * *

Tracey Devlyn writes historical romantic thrillers (translation: a slightly more grievous journey toward the heroine's happy ending).

Tracey's a co-founder of Romance University, a group blog dedicated to readers and writers of romance, and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, Chicagoland’s exciting new reading salon devoted to romantic fiction.

An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters. For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website at:


  1. The last time I had a big grin on my face was when I realized that an author that I like had read and "liked" one of my reviews. I was tickled that she took the time to read it and respond (-:
    The dance of joy was reserved for the time I won a prize in a contest that was an extremely long shot. Congrats on your launch, I know you must be so thrilled!

  2. Hi Elf--Thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad to hear that you don't mind authors "Like-ing" your reviews. I've been doing this, but truly didn't know what reviewers thought about it. Happy Friday!

    PS--love your Cheetah avatar. At work, I have a lion cub lounging against a tree. Adorable. I've always been drawn to the big cats.

  3. Tracey, I'm so excited about this book. I hope I get some time this week or on the plane to Chicago to read it.

    When I was last dancing/smiling? When I finished my WIP!

  4. Tracey - The last time I had a smile of joy on my face was when I came home from vacation with the Main Man and the kids greeted us at the door. Their expressions of happiness was infectious.

    Congratulations on your release!

  5. Thanks, Shana!! Really looking forward to seeing you and the other Casa ladies next week. We're going to have such fun at the Flapper event.

  6. Hey Robin--So nice to see you here! Your story made ME smile. Can totally see the scene of your homecoming. :)

  7. I stopped by the local motorcycle sales show room last night at the request of a friend. While there were women present, and much consideration was shown to the ladies, a motorcycle show room is a male space, and the way the sales guys teased and carried on with each other and with their regulars was lovely. It's spring, cycles get 60 mpg, tax returns are coming back, and there was testosterone in the air.

  8. Hessian boots and kittens? What more could you want? I would've laughed too! Great excerpt, and congrats on the new release!

  9. I had a big smile on my face when a couple of my favorite customers, quite elderly, offered to play the hero and heroine in my recently finished ms - when, of course, Steven Spielberg turns it into a blockbuster hit. =) They're just

    Best wishes on your new release Tracey! =)

  10. Tracey,

    Great excerpt! Let's see... When did I last have a big, silly grin? Probably last week when my daughter had her school musical. I love her 9 year old confidence. :D

  11. Lovely excerpt! And a huge congratulations on your new release.


  12. Lovely excerpt! And a huge congratulations on your new release.


  13. That RITA Finalist grin lasted for days...and so did the happy dance. Just about the time it was fading I got a fabulous fan letter saying that she hated to read until she picked up my cowboy books and now she was hooked.
    BIG BIG Congrats on your new release. LOVE LOVE the cover and the excerpt...

  14. Grace, I know what you mean about the testosterone levels in motorcycle shops. I think my local Honda dealership has a slightly lower level than the Harley Davidson shop. I own a Honda 750 Shadow, but took my riding safety course at HD. :)

  15. Carrie, thanks! Sounds like you have quite the support group. LOL When Spielberg calls, I have a great angle about one of your secondary characters...

  16. The last time that I had a big grin on my face was when I heard that my son and his family would be coming home for good. My son has been working abroad in three different countries during the last four years. They will finally be home in June, and this time staying put. I can't wait as I miss him, his wife and my granddaughter so very much.

    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity and for such a generous prize.

    dpd333 (at) aol dot com

  17. Thanks, Samantha! Sounds like you had a proud mama moment. So fun!

  18. I bet, Carolyn! Being a RITA finalist is a fabulous accomplishment. And the fan letter--I got teary-eyed just reading about it. Go, YOU!

  19. Diane D--I can hear the joy in your words. Thanks for sharing!

  20. I used to watch Perfect Strangers, loved the Mypos dance of joy. :)

    Great excerpt, Tracey. Congrats on your release. Can't wait to read more.

  21. Thanks, Colleen! Balki was a great character.

  22. Hi Tracey. Terrific post. What a wonderful way to start the day. I actually try to find something each day to be joyful about. My son usually makes it easy because he cracks me up at least once every day. It's a nice gift. :)

    Congrats on your release and creating a heroine we can all fall in love with. Cora is amazing!

  23. Tracey -

    The last big smile? Hmm...there were several this week in SF, but I'm not sure it was when my husband was taking pictures upward as we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge :-(. Pictures turned out great though - LOL.

    Usually, my big grins come when the guys and I are just goofing around, like the time I smeared whipped cream on my son's nose after whipping it up in the mixer. It's the small things like that that make me want to do the happy dance.

    Oh, the garlic fries at the Giants vs. A's game definitely made me smile on Monday!

    I'm so excited about your release - you deserve several happy dances over this, sugar!


  24. The last time I had a goofy grin on my face was two days ago. My dog, Geisha, was cracking me up. She was rolling around on the loveseat like it was a bed covered in $100 bills. I don't know why she was doing this but she was clearly enjoying herself. LOL

    Congratulations on the new release!

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

  25. Hi Tracey - I'm so excited for you! I've got my copy and I'm looking forward to reading it over the weekend. I hope you're celebrating like crazy!

  26. I had a big goofy grin on my face when I got my diploma for getting my MBA....I was so happy to be done with school and graduate.

    Congratulations on the release of A Lady's Revenge!

    junegirl63 at gmail dot com

  27. Hi Tracey! Congrats on your release. I can't wait to read it. I love the description!

    Best of luck!

  28. The last time I had a big grin on my face was my birthday on Wednesday. I got the best birthday present a writer could ever wish for: The Call!

    A Lady's Revenge sounds awesome. I'll have to get me a copy!

  29. I remember the first time I read the ms for this story! You've come a long, and so well-deserved way. So proud of you today. I'm waiting to buy my copy until next week when you can sign it for me.

  30. My daughter and I were shopping. When I lifted a patterned lavendar button down shirt, she was horrified and said, "You aren't thinking of buying that are you?" A couple of nearby browsers turned to look at us. I replied that I thought it was cute but she continued to protest vociferously. Finally, I said, "Look, I get that you don't like paisley." To this she shouted in surprise, "You mean there is a name for that?!?"

    I and our unintentional audience burst into laughter.

    Still makes me giggle to think about it, and I did buy the shirt.

    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  31. Congrats on the debut, Tracey. I really enjoyed the excerpt and of course loved the kitten.

    Looking forward to reading next week at Lady Jane's Naperville. See you then.

  32. Wishing you tons of success for many, many years!

  33. Hi Tracey. Your book sounds great. I love the cover. Watching my nephew play with a kitten put a big smile on my face this week. :)

  34. Congratulations on the book! I had a big smile on my face meeting my newborn baby cousin.


  35. Hi Tracey!

    Geez...I had a grin in my face when I met Kelsey for the first time on Wednesday morning! Before that was when I received a letter from a Marine in Afghanistan who thanked me for the packages I sent to his unit. Hearing from them always puts a grin on my face.

    Congratulations on your debut! I've ordered your book and can't wait to read it!

  36. Big smile has been happening up to six times a day since spring has sprung and my 9yr old 'kitten' decided it is time to play tinsel ball fetch and hockey. Tossing the ball into a pillow pile and watching 15lbs of black fur streak with a poof tail, dive in & pop up head first with his kill gets me every time.

    The happy dance came with discovering which neighbor has the Ducati I've been hearing but not seeing...and getting to ride in the mountains on one the perfect spring days. Having a Ducati backseat available is advanced meditation in motion. Ride on other bikes with buddies, but Ducati is like a Dressage Horse all sleek muscle and powerful grace.

    Love the kitten excerpt, now I have to read it to find out how the Hero wins the heroine and the kitten.

  37. Congrats on the new release, Tracey. I had a grin on my face looking at my niece's new school picture. She always has this forced smile look on her face, but she looks cute.

  38. Congrats on the release of A Lady's Revenge, I can't wait to read it.
    When I received the call that I got the job I desperately wanted a little over a year ago, after being out of work for six months, I couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear. I definitely did a dance of joy around the house. I still smile when I think of how excited, relieved and happy I was that day.

  39. Hey Adrienne and Kelsey! Thanks for stopping in.

    Folks, Kelsey and Adrienne are my two fabulous critique partners and helped me bring Cora and Guy's story to life. Without them, there would be no debut celebration. I love these two ladies like sisters and don't know what I'd ever do without them. Hugs and kisses, A & K!!

  40. StacieD--Your Geisha sounds like my Ryder. Both such sweethearts and goofballs. As I sit here writing, Ryder's on his bed snoring.

  41. Thanks, Becke! You're such a gem. This week is the beginning of a monthlong celebration. I'm such a lucky girl. Still pinching myself. Hugs.

  42. Maria D--congratulations! That's truly wonderful and fully deserving of a big goofy grin. After many years of night school, I finally got my bachelor's degree at 34. First one in my family to graduate college. I still grin about sometimes. Thanks for dropping in.

  43. Hi Cyndi! Thanks so much for coming by. Much appreciated!

  44. Oh, Tonya!! Double congrats. I'm smiling right along with you. I'm off to troll the Internet to see if I can find the deets! :)

  45. L.J. - so nice to see you! Really looking forward to hanging out with you at RT and Lady Jane's Salon next week.

  46. Hi Lil--that's so funny! The things that come out of kids' mouths is simply priceless sometimes.

  47. Hi Hope, thanks for dropping in! Really looking forward to hearing you read at Lady Jane's Salon.

    Folks, Hope is one of the co-founders of the New York City Lady Jane's Salon. If you've never attended a reading salon, find one near you. They're a fabulous way to meet new authors and hear them read their story.

  48. Hi CrystalGB! I agree--Sourcebooks does a fabulous job with their covers. They infused an aura of danger into A Lady's Revenge's cover that still amazes me.

  49. bn100--Newborns have a way of putting a smile anyone's face. Just too precious.

  50. Hey Jennifer! Thanks for stopping in. I bet you had a smile the whole time you were with Kels. There's something about that southern drawl of hers. :) Such a nice thing to do for the Marine's unit!

  51. Kitchen Witch--thanks for popping in! Wow, now I have to find someone who has a Ducati! Sounds wonderful. I had a great time writing the kitten's introduction scene. Such a fun character.

  52. Jane, thanks so much for joining me today. Much appreciated!

  53. Oh, Barbara E, I'm so happy for you! I can't imagine the relief you must have felt in that moment. Glad to chat with you today.

  54. Congratulations, Tracey! Yea! I soooo can't wait to read it!


  55. Everyone--

    Thank you so much for dancing with me yesterday and sharing your big silly grin stories. I had a lot of fun and so appreciate the support.


    Kitchen Witch of the West!! Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address at tracey AT traceydevlyn DOT com

    For those who didn't win, please check my website for my blog tour schedule. Lots of giveaways along the way.



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