Friday, January 4, 2013

GUEST LAUNCH PARTY + GIVEAWAY: The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne by Jayne Fresina

A warm welcome back to Jayne Fresina, author of The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne, her latest Sourcebooks Casablanca release. Jayne and Danielle did an interview to celebrate her book hitting stores this month!

1. Hi Jayne! The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne is the second book in your Sydney Dovedale series, set in Regency England. Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired this series, and this book in particular?
JF: I've always loved stories set in country villages - and that probably comes from listening to my father's colorful tales of his youth growing up in the country. He has a lot of great and hilarious stories! This second book in the series was actually inspired by my editor, Aubrey Poole, who was yearning for James Hartley to have his redemption story after he was a bit of a villain in the first book! (Yes, James, you were. Stop trying to deny it!)

2. I love the idea of a small town romance, set in the past! What elements of small town romance did you bring to your historical romance?
JF: I try to fill my stories with characters that, for the most part, have a small town mindset. In the early nineteenth century these folk would seldom have the opportunity to travel far. Any journey of more than a few miles was an arduous, expensive, time-consuming prospect. So their view of the world was swayed by what they saw happening where they lived, on their doorsteps and their neighbor's doorsteps. They might read in the newspaper - if they could read - what was going on in the big world, but mostly what concerned them was far closer to home. I've tried to instill my stories with that intimate feeling.

3. One of the things I loved in The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne is the humor! Your characters get into some pretty hilarious situations. Tell us about one of your favorite funny scenes in this book!
JF: One of my favorite scenes is when Ellie is trying to help James chose a bride. He's already announced his intention to pursue her and she is, naturally- considering their past - trying to put him off.

Excerpt :
           “So I’m the best choice you could come up with?” she exclaimed. “Are you that desperate?”
           “For your information, Vyne, I receive proposals often.”
           “Of marriage? Or for you to go and boil your head?”
           “Just this very evening, I had a very determined young lady attempt to stow away in my carriage, intent on forcing me to Gretna Green, where she doubtless had very sinister things in mind for me.”
           She laughed, a sultry sound that shook him all the way to his toes again. He ought to be used to it by now, but somehow he was never ready for the effect it had on him. Each time he heard it was like the first. “You missed your chance with her, then. I wouldn’t go to Gretna Green with you. Not for all the tea in China.”
           “But your younger sisters are both married before you,” he persisted. “Surely you’re anxious to wed before it’s too late.”
           Her eyes sparkled with a sudden blaze of wildfire. “Too late for what? I’m younger than you, Hartley. Ten years younger. Too late, indeed!” If he wasn’t very much mistaken, his words had hit a soft spot. Interesting
           “Men can wait,” he said. “Women have a limited number of years before they lose their bloom. Not saying you ever had any. On a bad day, when in one of your abysmal sulks, you look like the very devil.”
           She scowled, instantly proving him right about both his statement and his previous guess.
“And with your scandalous behavior, who else would have you?” he added, firm-lipped, struggling not to laugh at her expression. “I, of course, am accustomed to the sharp cuts of your tongue. There is no part of me you’ve yet to wound. That makes me immune.”
                Me wound you?”
                “Of course. Do you deny—?”
                “I don’t want to marry,” she snapped. “I like my life the way it is, unfettered. I can’t imagine making room for a man now.”
                “What about the count? Do you make no room for him?”
                A quick little swallow fluttered in her slender neck. “He is free to come and go as he pleases. As am I. A husband is a permanent inconvenience. I’d much rather see a man occasionally, when he’s in a good mood. Then, if he’s sick with a cold and miserable, I can send him home again with a friendly word of caution to stay away from drafts, and he is no longer my responsibility.”
                She had a sharply satirical eye, and if he wasn’t very much mistaken, that was a wry curve pulling on the left corner of her mouth. She kept winding it back again, determined to be cross with him, but the half smile was equally determined to unwind, darkly enter­tained at his expense. He’d meant only to tease her with his abrupt proposal of marriage, knowing how she had an aversion to longer attachments—that string of brief engagements, entered into and abandoned with equal haste, was evidence enough. But now that he’d begun to discuss the thought aloud with her, it actually began to seem…feasible.
                Perhaps it was the heat of the room, the headiness of her perfume, the mischief in her funny half smile.
           Hmmm. Her smile. He’d seen it many times over the term of their unfortunate acquaintance, but there was something about it tonight. Something that poked an insistent finger at his memory.
           She had very nice lips. They were the sort of lips that kept a man looking at them, wondering how they tasted.
           “There are at least half-a-dozen women here tonight far more suitable than me,” those naughty lips assured him firmly.
           “Lady Southwold. Was that not she just now?”
           “Yes, it was she, and no, I’m not going to marry her.”
           “Why not?”
           “You said yourself that she’s a faithless hussy. Making overtures to your lover. Is that not what you told me?”
           Her lashes lifted, and he basked in the warmth of her gaze again. “Yes.”
           “Then she’s not right for me.” He let his hand slide a half inch lower down her spine. If she noticed, she kept it to herself. He spread his fingers over the butter-soft muslin, already feeling a sense of possessiveness. In all the years of their acquaintance, he didn’t recall her eyes being that color. Where had she kept those eyes all these years? Stashed them away deliberately?
                Eventually she tore their beauty away and surveyed the room over his shoulder. “That woman, over there by the punch bowl. Miss Clarke, I believe is her name. Have you met her?”

                “No.” He hadn’t even looked, too busy trying to think, searching his memory. What were those lips and eyes trying to tell him that she was not saying?
                “I hear she’s a very good sort and would never give you any trouble.”
                He finally followed her gaze. “Too tall and thin. And nervous.”
                “Nervous? If you’ve never met her, how can you possibly—?”
                “She plucks her eyebrows almost out of existence, and her clavicle is so evident I can only assume that if she eats at all, food never has a chance to cling to her bones.”
She sighed. “And there is the very pretty Miss Wilson, talking to her mama. There, by the plinth with the large Grecian urn.”
                “Grecian urn? Is that what it is? I thought it was some sort of coffeepot.”
                “Pay attention, Hartley! The young lady beside it…”
                Plinth,” he muttered. “Isn’t that a splendid word? Plinth.”
                “James Hartley, we are talking about Miss Jane Wilson.”
                He swept her around in a tight turn. “Her feet are too big. And she lisps.”
                “Well then, what about Lady Clegg-Foster’s daughter? I can’t recall her name, but she’s a dainty thing and sings like a lark, so I’m told.”
                He’d make Ellie Vyne’s lips sing too, he thought, given half a chance. “The young lady’s name is Rosalind. She chews her fingers.”
                “You mean her fingernails.”
                “No. She chews her fingers. I’ve seen the scars. God only knows what she’d do to a husband once she runs out of digits.” He grinned.
           She was still determined not to give him a full smile, it seemed. “Lady Aynsbury’s niece in the yellow dress?”
           “Doesn’t like dogs or horses.”
           “Miss Walters, with the feathers in her hair?”
           “Eats with her mouth open.”
           “Miss Gordon. Now what can you possibly find amiss with that sweet little thing?”
           “She’s too little. And too sweet.”
           She gasped irritably. “And you’re too fussy!”
                “I’m not surprised you’ve had so many broken engagements, Vyne, if you choose your men with the same carelessness as you expect me to find a wife."

4. If your two main characters, Ellie Vyne and James Hartley would make New Year’s Resolutions, what would they be and why?
JF: Hmm. James would resolve to keep Ellie out of trouble. She'd resolve to try keeping herself out of it. I think failure is inevitable!

5. Do you have any New Year’s resolutions this year?
JF:  To stop procrastinating and stay better connected with friends and family!

6. Please let us know what is coming next for the Sydney Dovedale Series!
JF:  After Miss Ellie there is Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal - out in June. Those who read Miss Ellie's story will get a little introduction to Lady Mercy, but it's not imperative to have read the second book as the third takes place a dozen years later. Then Lady Mercy's best friend and lady's maid, Molly Robbins, gets her story! After that I am working on a second Regency series for Sourcebooks, which I am VERY excited about.

7. Anything else you’d like to add?
JF:  I'd like to thank the readers who open my books and take the time to absorb themselves a while in this world I created. My only hope, when I began writing, was that I could share my creations with other people who would get some enjoyment out of them. Even if it was only one or two! And I love hearing from readers, so please don't hesitate to contact me through my website. or on twitter. I know I'm very lucky to have my books published and with that dream under my belt it's an incredible feeling to look forward to the future and another new year. Happy New Year to you all! I'd also like to say to my Dad, who turned 86 on January 2nd - Happy Birthday, Dad - and no, you are not allowed to read my books!

Thank you to Jayne for stopping by—we look forward to you coming back for your next books! Congrats on this latest release! To enter to win one of two copies of The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne, tell us if you have any New Year’s Resolutions this year, or if you don’t, tell us why you don’t set them. Remember to leave an email address, open to US and Canada. Winners will be chosen on Monday, January 7.


When a Scandalous Lady…
By night Ellie Vyne fleeces unsuspecting aristocrats as the dashing Count de Bonneville. By day she avoids her sisters' matchmaking schemes and dreams up torments for her childhood nemesis—the arrogant, far-too-handsome-for-his-own-good James Hartley. Her latest prank: "winning" the Hartley diamonds in a card game from James's mistress.

Steals from a Notorious Rake…
James finally has a lead on the thieving Count de Bonneville, tracking him to a disreputable inn. He bursts in on none other than the brazen, irritating, nearly naked Ellie Vyne. Convinced she is the count's mistress, James decides it's best to keep his enemies close. Very close. He must get those diamonds back, and seducing Ellie will be the perfect bait.

It Can Only End in a Wicked Wedding…

Praise for The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne:
“[The characters] banter and quibble with comic perfection...” —Publishers Weekly

“Readers who adore wickedly funny, fast and sassy romances will delight in Fresina’s latest. The naughty desire-in-disguise theme, coupled with sharp, hilarious repartee, steals the reader’s heart...” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Fresina brings a unique voice and perspective to the 1820s romance novel. Fans of Grace Burrowes and Amanda Quick will especially appreciate Fresina’s intriguing characters and humor.” —Booklist

Jayne Fresina sprouted up in England, the youngest in a family of four girls.  Entertained by her father’s colorful tales of growing up in the countryside, and surrounded by opinionated sisters— all with far more exciting lives than hers— she’s always had inspiration for her beleaguered heroes and unstoppable heroines. Her next novel in the Sydney Dovedale regency romance series, Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal, will be in stores in June 2013. For more information, please visit and check out her blog:

To Purchase The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne:
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  1. Thanks for letting me stop by!

  2. I always love reading Jayne's interviews - warm,refreshingly honest and down to earth. My copy is about to arrive anytime - yipee!

  3. Wonderful interview, Jayne! I loved the snippet you teased us with. Definitely adding it to my TBP pile :) Congratulations on the release.

  4. Congratulations, Jayne! I love the concept of small town romances set in Regency England. Brilliant idea! I look forward to reading the newest book in your series. :)

  5. Thanks for your kind comments! I had a lot of fun writing Ellie's story, so I hope people enjoy reading it.

  6. Yes, my resolution is not to volunteer for anything!

  7. Oh, what fun! And I love that you've blended the small town romance with the historical, and kept the fun of both. Congrats on a new launch in a lovely series.

  8. Great excerpt! Congrats on the new release! Will definitely have to check this one out!

  9. Congrats on your new release. Sounds great. I love the cover. My resolution is to enjoy life more and not worry so much about everything.

  10. I really enjoyed the excerpt, and I made sure to put your books on my TBR.
    As for New Years resolutions, I don't tend to make them. I do have a goal for this year, and it is to be free, and let go of things that bring me down. I guess that actual is a resolution.

  11. Oh, I really enjoyed your excerpt. It's nice to have a bit of humor. I always enjoy laughing and/or crying when reading. As to resolutions - less computer, more reading. So far I have been able to do just that and hope to keep it up all year! Congratulations - it sounds wonderful.


  12. Congratulations!
    Hmm, I didn't make any New Year resolutions but I do have soem ongoing goals that I will bring into this year :) I want to play more outdoor sports.


  13. One of my resolutions is to be a more patient parent. I have teens and sometimes I fail that one, but try hard.

  14. Nice interview. I'd like to read more books.


  15. Congratulations on your new release, Jayne! Loved the excerpt -
    now I need to go and check out the first book.

    My resolution this year is to make a dent in my TBR pile.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  16. I just have a couple of resolutions - to continue with my weight loss and exercise program to reach my goal and to read at least as many books this year as I did last year, more if possible.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  17. I love hearing all your resolutions!

  18. This book sounds really amazing! I'm going to be looking out for it! Wonderful interview!


  19. Great interview and this book is definitely on my wishlist. I don't make resolutions because they are just too hard to keep them and even if you just slip up, you tend to get discouraged and frustrated. I do try to do things to be healthier, like continuing to try to eat better and exercise more, both to lose weight and to just be healthier. But I make these changes whenever, not for New Year's. For example, I quit smoking just over 2 years ago (Dec 11) and quit drinking soft drinks (except an occasional one without caffeine) sometime this past November. And I am continuing to try to be healthier and lose weight, but it is a hard battle sometimes :)

  20. I agree June! I tried giving up coffee a few years ago and after suffering a headache for two weeks solid I caved! Perhaps if I resolved to gain 20 pounds this year it might be a resolution I could keep :)

  21. Great Interview!
    My resolution to get back to riiding my exercise bike I had hubby get me last summer. (I stopped in Sept when I got depressed over Grandma's passing). I can really feel the last few month, esp with the holiday eating, lol.


  22. Very excited to read this book as I read the first in the series and Ellie and James really hated each other. Plus, James really was an arse in the first book! I try not to make resolutions anymore as I don't want to be disappointed with myself a month or two later.

    shardan01 at aol dot com

  23. Congrats on the latest release!

    My New Year's resolution would be starting a new exercise regime and it's going great so far :)


  24. Hopefully not too late to enter. Great post. Definatley looks like a good read. Congrats on the new release. This is a new author for me.
    Only resolution for me is too lose weight and add some excercise to my daily activity.
    christinebails at yahoo dot com