Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Interview with a Rake

Sometimes, a character takes control of a story and won't let go. That happened to me in One Night with a Rake with Lord Nathaniel Colton. So when I realized I was scheduled to blog here today, it didn't surprise me that Nate wanted to take over. Here's our conversation:

Mia: Ok, smart guy, describe yourself in five words or less.
Nathaniel: Incorrigible. That says it all.

Mia: Can you share a typical day in the life of Nathaniel Colton?
Nathaniel: Dawn finds me in search of my bed, not that I may not have found someone else’s before that. I rise when I’m rested and head for White’s for a game of poque. Don’t make that tsking noise! It’s not gambling when one consistently wins. My evenings are spent in riotous living. The charm of wearing myself out with mindless hedonism is that it leaves no opportunity for thoughts of Anne’s death to creep in. I despise maudlin people and what could be more maudlin than a man who cannot forget his first love?  

Mia: All right how about if we talk about someone besides you? What three words come to mind when you think of Georgette?
Nathaniel: Anne’s sister… Stubborn… Addictive.  That’s four words, but you’ll simply have to forgive me. In truth, a thousand words would not be sufficient to explain the minor miracle that is Lady Georgette.

Mia: What do you find most exasperating about her?
Nathaniel: It’s her confounded desire to fix everyone. She undoubtedly means well, but there are some things that cannot be mended. 

Mia: If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?
Nathaniel: I would not have trusted the scout’s reports before leading my men into the disastrous battle at Maubeuge, France. If not for that debacle, I would not find myself susceptible to a certain Member of Parliament’s blackmail and wouldn’t be tasked with seducing Georgette. The more I learn of her—her kindness, her vulnerability, her open heart—the more untenable I find my position. When I am with Georgette, I can indulge the fantasy that I might become a different sort of man. But if I am bound to ruin her, I must remain what I am—an unrepentant rake.   

Mia: What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
Nathaniel: My wits. I do not routinely carry a weapon, having seen enough bloodshed to last a lifetime on the Continent. Though that is not to say I cannot acquit myself well if matters turn to violence.

Mia: What do you like to do when you aren’t charming the ladies?
Nathaniel: When I cannot lay aside the shadows that gather on my soul, I enjoy listening to my sister Caroline play the pianoforte. I’m not musically inclined, but her melodies never fail to sooth me.

Mia: Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.
Nathaniel:  Something other than my present.

I am on the horns of a dilemma. I must ruin Georgette or my family will be engulfed in scandal. Yet the idea of harming that delicate creature offends even my debauched spirit. There is not enough wine, not enough laudanum in the world, to make me easy with my impossible choice.   

Mia: Thank you!
Nathaniel: No, thank you, my dear. You’ve been a charming hostess and I’ve been . . . well, myself. I should try not to let my dark humors get the best of me. You see, my authors assure me it all turns out well in the end. 

For King and Country, Three Notorious Rakes Will Put All Their Seductive Skills to Work.
After All, The Fate of England's Monarchy is in Their Hands.

Since the death of his fiancée, Nathaniel Colton's polished boots have rested beneath the beds of countless wayward wives and widows of the ton. He's careful to leave each lady smiling, and equally careful to guard his heart. So seducing Lady Georgette should pose no problem. But the beautiful reformist is no easy conquest, and Nate's considerable charm fails to entice Georgette to his bed. To woo her, Nate will have to make her believe he cares about someone besides himself--and no one is more surprised than Nate when he realizes he actually does.

To Purchase One Night with a Rake

Nathaniel: Oh, one last thing! If you would be so kind, dear reader, as to leave a comment or question for me, you will be entered in a random drawing for Mia's How To Series—3 rolicking romances in one ebook bundle. Open Internationally.

Three full-length historical romances with sexy alpha heroes and the independent women who figure out “how to” bring them to heel. How to Distract a Duchess, How to Please a Pirate and How to Vex a Viscount in one glorious romp of a book set!

Now offered for a special, limited time price of only 99¢

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords | AllRomanceEbooks

Monday, July 29, 2013

Win enchanting jewelry in Kathryne Kennedy's contest for EVERLASTING ENCHANTMENT!

The brand-new fourth book in the Relics of Merlin series is coming to bookstores in December, and I'm having several contests until then to celebrate! The relic in Everlasting Enchantment is a moonstone, and I found some lovely pieces shipped directly from exotic locations, the jewelry constructed by local artisans through a program run by National Geographic. For this contest, we have a glowing moonstone bracelet, similar to the heroine's in Everlasting Enchantment. See below for a photo and description of this magical prize.

This contest is all about spreading the word of the brand-new book in the series. Just post the BLURB (or photo of cover) shown below, on any and all of your social websites. Facebook, Twitter (Yes, you may tweet about it more than once to enter several times), Myspace, Your own blog, etc. Then just send an email with EE CONTEST in the subject line, along with the link to your post in the body of your email to: Kathryne@KathryneKennedy.com 



A winner will be randomly chosen using RANDOM.ORG. Your information will be kept confidential. Contest ends October 1, 2013. Winner will be notified via email provided. If winner does not respond within seven business days, a new winner will be chosen. We are not responsible for any misdirection of email. Rules are subject to change for any reason without prior notification. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years or older to enter.  No prize substitution permitted. Odds of winning are determined by number of entrants. This contest is subject to all country, federal, state, and local laws and regulations. You accept all terms and conditions by entering into the contest.

For more information about the jewelry, please visit my website at: http://www.kathrynekennedy.com/contest.html

Good luck, everyone!
My Magical Best,

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Welcome Back to Apple Grove ARC Giveaway by C.H. Admirand

Christmas came in July this year...seriously! I received ARCs for my December book--WELCOME BACK TO APPLE GROVE--the other day and couldn't wait to post the pic of the book sitting on my kitchen table, propped up by my favorite clear, green glass coffee mug.

I guess the little girl in me still loves Christmas morning and giving gifts. :)   Soooo...my gift to one lucky reader will be a signed ARC of book 3 in my contemporary small town series --WELCOME BACK TO APPLE GROVE.

Here's the back cover blurb:
Grace Mulcahy thought she'd finally gotten Apple Grove, Ohio out of her system. Until she's lured back for a family barbeque and spies a broad-shouldered hottie hanging out at the grill. He somehow seems utterly at ease, whether flipping burgers or horsing around with her hellion nephews. Why didn't her brother-in-law tell her he had such gorgeous friends? Suddenly her mouth is watering for more than her best friend's famous pie.

When firefighter Pat Garahan sees Grace, it's like a five-alarm bell goes off and he's the one ablaze. She says she wants to leave Apple Grove, but he will do whatever it takes to keep her around. The life of a firefighter isn't an easy one though, and he'll have to prove their immediate sparks can have a lasting chance at love...

Question: How far across genres would you follow a favorite author?

Please be sure to leave your email address when you comment to be entered into the drawing. Random.org will choose the name for me.

Happy Reading!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Twitter Party for NYC Vamps by Sara Humphreys

I love a good party. I adore gathering people together for great conversation, a few laughs and lots of fun. The only thing I don't love about throwing a party is the mess. Ugh. You know how it is...you spend two days cleaning the house for the party and then you spend two days afterward cleaning it up.

Unless it's an online party...then there's no mess...only fun!
When I was mulling over different ways to celebrate the release of Tall, Dark, and Vampire,  I came to the conclusion that I wanted to try something new. I've done the FB parties and the blog tours--which I'm embarking on again for TDV--but I really wanted to go outside my comfort zone.
One thing came to mind.

I’ve been a sporadic tweeter at best but I’m on a mission to improve my tweeting talents. I’ve seen several authors host these twitter parties and thought it was about time that I give it a shot. Apparently these twitter parties can generate thousands of tweets in just a couple of short hours and it’s a fab way to build buzz about a new product or book.
 I’m still a relatively new author on the scene and I’m looking forward to meeting a bunch of new readers with the Dead in the City vampire series. If you know a reader who loves vamps and romance…then send ‘em my way!

Here’s how it works:
  • The twitter party will be on August 6th from 7:00pm-8:30pm EST
  • You need a twitter account (I know–duh!)
  • Follow me on twitter @authorsara
  • In order to participate, you need to tag your tweets with #nycvamps 
  • You can use Tweetdeck to help follow the conversation or do a search in Twitter for #nycvamps and that will show you every tweet in the party.
  • If you join the twitter party and tag your tweets with #nycvamps during the party time–you’re eligible to win one of the prizes!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What's Your Helmet?   By Grace Burrowes

I'm fortunate that my sister Gail lives about an hour east of Atlanta, so when RWA 2013 wrapped up, I could spend a day at her house decompressing and call it a sibling visit. We had great fun comparing our Works in Progress--Gail is about to submit a PhD thesis on the use of certain metaphors in Virgil's "Aeneid,"and I'm wrapping up a third book in a Regency trilogy for next year. Plenty of overlap there--and what do you know, Virgil hid Easter eggs in his 9000 line epics, and Easter hadn't even been invented!
This is what happens after I've been at a conference of romance writers for a week.
So there I was at the breakfast table, scarfing up hot blueberry shortcake with ice cream for breakfast (the rule is, your post-conference penitential fast doesn't start until you're home), when the topic of music and exercise comes up. Gail notes what a bummer it is when the iPod dies mid-work out, or mid-run. Boy, the remaining exercise is so much tougher.
Up from his copy of the New Yorker does my brother-in-law Tom peer. He's a retired Art History professor, which I guess explains reading The New Yorker at breakfast. "I listen to music when I exercise too, and I never run out."
Gail has lived with this guy for decades, she knows better, but I bite. "What do you listen to?"
For those of you fortunate enough not to know your music history, this is a Wagnerian Opera, full of huge emotions, big music, and much drama. I'm a recovering music history major, and the blueberry short bread was really good, and I was less than 24 hours post-conference, so I started heartily da-da-dumming the theme, which you will find here.
Tom takes one look at me across the table. "You need a helmet," and he dives back into The New Yorker.
YES! At that moment--and often--I NEED A HELMET. This is a true perception of a significant aspect of my persona. Big emotions, big music, much drama--all superimposed on a rather unprepossessesing, well fed, granny-in-training. 
I need a helmet. That one accessory would save me a lot of words, and save other people a lot of time trying to figure out what I'm about.
I might also like to keep a quill pen tucked behind one ear--though that would rather preclude the helmet.

What one accessory could you add to your ensemble--or to your significant other's--that would personify you or them for all to see?

To one commenter, I'll send an audio copy of "Once Upon a Tartan," my Scottish Victorian romance coming out next week, featuring a hero whose one accessory might be a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary (unabridged!), and a heroine who leaves him speechless anyway.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm Just Here For the Food

Posted by Samantha Grace

I've never left an RWA National Conference uninspired or hungry, and this year in Atlanta was no exception. While amazing speakers like Cathy Maxwell and Kristin Higgins fed my writer soul, the Marriott waitstaff was feeding my face.

Best conference food evah! 
Not that conference hotels usually set the bar high.

Ironically, the only thing that doesn't taste like chicken is rubber chicken.

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you might have guessed I'm a bit of a foodie. I prefer eating food to cooking it, and I photograph my meals more than I should admit. In fact, I've unintentionally passed my obsession for pretty food to my daughter who recently told me to take a picture of her dessert before she ate it. 

A dessert tree! What's not to love?
With my love of gourmet food, is it any wonder my favorite part of RWA is attending the Sourcebooks Author Dinner? Not only do I get to hang with some of the coolest, most talented authors, I get to EAT!!!

Do you recognize any of these Casa Babes?
This year we dined at Southern Art in Atlanta and the food wasn't the only impressive feature.

Love this chandelier!

What's on the menu?

Mustard-Glazed Scottish Salmon on Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Before dinner is served...
Aww, look how saintly they are

But look what happens when the servers bring a platter of desserts to share...

Hannah Jayne learns the hard way not to mess with Mary Wine!

Best-selling authors Carolyn Brown and Jade Lee throw-down for chocolate.

If you would like to see more photos from the Sourcebooks Author dinner at RWA 13, visit Samantha Grace's FB Author Page

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Day After...

RWA Conference in Atlanta!
Now it's over and we're all on our way home or we've already landed and staring at a blank screen. For me, it means I'm driving home, in a nice quiet car reliving the memories and looking forward to next year in San Antonio! Here are some fabulous authors arriving at the hotel!
Cheryl stole my thunder on Saturday with her wonderful post and pictures. But hey, one can never have too many memories of four wonderful days spent in the company of awesome authors.
I'll will say they wouldn't let me and Cheryl sit together at the Sourcebooks dinner and now I'm banned from sitting beside Jade Lee. In a few years they will put a chair outside the door with a lap tray for me!
But they did let us sit together at conference. There is a non-disclosure thing that we have to sign in blood saying we will not reveal what we were talking about!

The wonderful Cathy Genna from New Jersey was awarded Bookseller of the Year and meeting her was one of the highlights of the conference. She even read my book on the airplane and we talked for three hours...yes, I did say three hours...about books, writing, selling books and...my cowboy son did find his way into the conversation.

Of course there was the little visit with Dominique...we had such fun talking about upcoming books. AND now I realize why she was sitting on the other side of me at the dinner. She was attempting to keep me out of trouble!
There were two luncheons that absolutely sent me away with my feet two feet off the ground and ready to go home and write, write, write!
And there were lunches, coffee time and all kinds of catching up with friends!
Lovely ladies, Miz Danielle  and Miz Sara...waiting for the authors to arrive in the
Lobby for the dinner.
Loading up in the limos that took us to dinner at Southern Art...fantastic food, friends and fun! Of course what went on at the dinner has to stay at the dinner. It was another of those non-disclosure statements that we signed in blood.
We signed books at the Sourcebooks signing...fast, furious and lots of fun.
Husband, aka Mr. B, had a brand new shirt!
It says (above the picture) ...Hot! Hot! Hot! and (below the picture) Reading this book: Fun, fun fun!
Sleeping with the author: Priceless!
One last thing, Deb Werksman, we missed you! And we all know that Mary Wine would never ever do a goat dance for the whole dinner party!
Until next year...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

RWA Nationals!

Greetings from Atlanta!

What can I say about RWA Nationals? Think it's all about sitting through endless, useless workshops?
Even if you get only a tiny grain of information from that one hour you spent in that chair, it will still help you.
Cathy Maxwell's keynote speech inspired us. Kristin Higgins's Awards Luncheon speech made us laugh, cry, and feel worthwhile.

But then there's the fun aspect.
Want to guess how many margaritas are made and consumed?

Granted, we don't make it out of the hotel much, but the view from the walkway is pretty inspiring. I'm thinking big and hard....

The sushi was AWESOME!!!!

Yes, the Literacy signing is crowded and loud, but whenever I get to sit next to Carolyn Brown, I know I'm in for a good time.

Sharon Lathan wowed us with her dress for the Beau Monde soiree.

Sara Humphreys MADE us order the chocolate nachos. This is supposed to serve 4, but a table of eight didn't finish all of it!

The bar is a great place to catch up with buddies Carolyn Brown, Amelia Grey, and Sara Humphreys.

Trust me, if Sara Humphreys ever asks you to be her date to the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapter's Prism awards ceremony, say YES!

She not only won for Dark Paranormal,

She also won Best of the Best!

We at Casablanca may not have had a Rita finalist this year, but we're still proud!

The Sourcebooks dinner was at Southern Art. As always, they drove us there in limos.
Here's Sara in the limo!

The restaurant was very cool and the food was fabulous. Wish I'd taken more pictures!

Here are several of the Sourcebooks authors along with publisher Dominique Raccah,

and Tammy Falkner!

The Sourcebooks signing is tomorrow. Should be fun!
For more fun pics, visit  cherylbrooksauthor.blogspot!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Spies, Summer, and an Excerpt by Shana Galen

Is this summer flying by, or is it just me? Please tell me it isn't just me. How could it possibly be mid-July? Yet, here I am at RWA in Atlanta, having a wonderful time, so the calendar must be telling the truth. This summer is halfway over, and in about three weeks on August 6, 2013, Sourcebooks will be releasing my first digital novella, The Spy Wore Blue

The Spy Wore Blue features Agent Blue, a supporting character from my Lord and Lady Spy novel and his estranged wife, Helena. I was thrilled to get the opportunity to write this novella, because Agent Blue was one of those special secondary characters that my readers connected with. So many readers have asked me if Agent Blue was going to get his own story, and now he has.

I hope you enjoy the excerpt below, where Helena finds that absence does not always make the heart grow fonder. 

She had not left the door unlocked. She might have been in a rush. She might have forgotten her gloves—again—but she remembered locking the door because she’d dropped the key three times. She remembered because her nerves were frayed. This was the last night they would perform Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri before closing for a fortnight to ready the next production. She wanted her last night on stage as Elvira to be perfect.

Her fingers had been shaking badly, as they did at times when life felt particularly overwhelming, and she hadn’t been able to lock the door. She’d clenched her fists tightly and willed her hands to still before successfully inserting and turning the key.

Now, when she put the key soundlessly in the keyhole, she found the door unlocked. Helena held her breath, and the cheers and applause of the audience faded from her mind. All she could hear was the rush of the blood thrumming in her ears. She touched her cloak, where she’d had a pocket made for the delicate pistol she carried when she had to be out alone at night, and felt its reassuring weight.

The intruder, were he still inside, could not have heard her. Signora Giansante, the woman who lived across the hall, screamed at Helena in rapid Italian and threatened to have her thrown out on the street if Helena made even the smallest sound in the wee hours of the night. Helena wanted to keep this flat, so she’d had much practice at moving soundlessly through the building when she returned home after a performance.

She removed the key from the lock and pushed her well-oiled door open ever so slowly. Avoiding the creaky floorboard in front of the door, she stepped over it, and entered her room. It looked as she’d left it. Tommaso, her striped ginger cat, blinked at her from her table, where he was eating the remains of her dinner, and she relaxed slightly. She’d half expected her room to be ransacked, but nothing appeared out of place. Her gaze traveled over the space and then came to rest on the black boot peeking out from the screen beside her bed.

There was a man in her bed. She drew in a sharp breath, irritated now. Did Damiano think this was the way to win her? Surprising her in her own bed? She would oust him quickly and unceremoniously. She didn’t care how perfectly angelic his face. She stomped over to the bed, her slippers making a barely audible humf on the rug, opened her mouth, rounded the screen, and stared. She managed to stop the scream in her throat only because she’d had years of vocal training.

It was not Damiano.

And oh, how she wished it were. She’d rather anyone be in her bed than this man, though she supposed if any man had a right to be in her bed it was he, her husband.

As though sensing her presence—and knowing him, he probably had—he opened his eyes and stared at her. His eyes were still impossibly blue. She’d never seen another person with eyes that color. They were so startlingly blue that they were all most people could see when they looked at his face. But she’d seen him too many times, and she could look past the eyes—to the high planes of his cheeks, the tousled brown waves of hair curling about his ears, and the soft, sensual mouth. Oh, the things he knew to do with that mouth. She loved the things he did with that mouth.

“Mrs. Bloomington,” he said.

Speaking was not one of the things she loved. In fact, she suspected, were they to have never spoken, their marriage might have lasted several months longer.

Do you have a secondary character that readers want to see more of? Or as a reader, is there a character that you’d love to see get his/her own novel or novella?

 The Spy Wore Blue
A Lord and Lady Spy Novella

An enigmatic spy...
Blue is the best of the best. A top agent for the elite Barbican group, he's on the trail of an assassin targeting his fellow spies. Blue's search leads him to Naples, Italy and the Teatro di San Carlo, where a string of suspicious events makes him believe he may have found his man. Unfortunately, he's also found a woman—his long-neglected wife.

A brilliant opera singer...
Helena Giles is beautiful, talented, and furious. She taught Blue how to be a master of disguise, and to thank her, he disappeared. When they married, he promised to give up his work for the Barbican group. He gave Helena up instead. Now Blue is back, and he wants a place in the theater and in her bed. Helena doesn't believe, as the rest of the theater's cast, that the murders have anything to do with a theater phantom, but she isn't ready to believe Blue's theories either.

A dangerous passion...
It's soon clear the real object of the theater phantom is Blue. And when Helena catches a glimpse of the assassin called Reaper, she becomes a target herself. In Reaper, Blue is finally pitted against his match, and in Helena, he finds a passion he thought he thought impossible. But can this chameleon be true to himself when love is the most dangerous sport of all?