Category Archives: Books & Authors

Throwback Thursday: Naughty, not Nice with Callie Hutton @calliehutton

Today, I’m thrilled to have Callie Hutton here on the blog, sharing a fabulous historical tidbit with us!

author photoNaughty, not Nice

In my book, Seducing the Marquess, my heroine finds a naughty book in a bookstore. After acquiring it, she decides to use the advice in the book to entice her husband to make love to her as if she were a mistress. He’s been raised to believe he needs to be aware of his wife’s ‘delicate sensibilities,’ and not show lust and passion with her. Not so, says Eugenia.
A reviewer or two questioned the historical accuracy of my story. They claimed those sorts of books were not around in those days. Well, then. I saw that as a challenge. A very cursory search revealed such goodies as the very famous Kamasutra, published in the 3rd century, as well as other well-known stories such as Justine, by Marquis de Sade (1791), Fanny Hill (1748) and of course the very famous The School of Venus, or the Ladies Delight, Reduced into Rules of Practice, published in England in 1680.
So, dear readers, Fifty Shades of Grey was nothing new. Sex has been popular since, well, since the beginning of time.

Tell us something fun about the relationship conflict.

Devon is unhappy with his married sex life, but doesn’t know why. Shouldn’t he be aware of his wife’s delicate sensibilities? When Eugenia finds ‘the book’ and starts to use information to steam things up, Devon thinks she’s having an affair. He begins to follow her, while she’s following him to keep him from finding a new mistress. It made for some fun scenes.

How much research do you do?

Quite a bit. I have four binders full of Regency information, as well as a membership in the Beau Monde RWA chapter where I ask questions all the time. For Seducing the Marquess I had to find erotic books that were available in the time period. I did LOTS of research, in fact. Yes, LOTS . . . .

What do you like best about historical romance?

The restrictions. I think the fact that there were so many rules in place makes for excellent sexual tension between the couple.

book coverSeducing the Marquess

Lord and Lady Devon have a perfectly proper and good ton marriage. Devon is satisfied. And Eugenia was. Until she found the book . . .

Series Name: Lords and Ladies in Love
Genre: Regency
Heat level: One or two love scenes
ISBN: 9781539181712

Grab your copy at:
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Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK
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$2.99 USD – $2.99 CAN – £2.99 GBP

Find Callie Hutton at: Facebook | Twitter | Website

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What book (fiction or non-fiction) changed your life in some way?

Leave a comment below!

New Release: Lord of Chance

It’s release day for Lord of Chance!

Disguised as a country miss, Charlotte Devon flees London, desperate to leave her tattered reputation behind. In Scotland, her estranged father’s noble blood will finally make her a respectable debutante. Except she finds herself accidentally wed to a devil-may-care rogue with a sinful smile. He’s the last thing she needs…and everything her traitorous heart desires.

Charming rake Anthony Fairfax is on holiday to seek his fortune…and escape his creditors. When an irresistible Lady Luck wins him in a game of chance—and a slight mishap has them leg-shackled by dawn—the tables have finally turned in his favor. But when past demons catch up to them, holding on to new love will mean destroying their dreams forever.

In Rogues to Riches, Cinderella stories aren’t just for princesses… Lovable rogues sweep five strong-willed young ladies into whirlwind rags-to-riches romance with rollicking adventure.

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Throwback Thursday: Napoleon’s Engagement Ring with K. C. Bateman @katebateman

Today, I’m thrilled to have K. C. Bateman here on the blog, sharing a fabulous historical tidbit with us!

author photoNapoleon’s Engagement Ring

The importance of story (and history!)

Before I began writing Historical romances, I spent fifteen years as an antiques and fine art appraiser in the UK, and in both professions the idea of story is extremely important. In the antiques trade the history behind an object is the ‘provenance,’ and as an auctioneer I’d encourage vendors to tell me as much as possible about a piece. An interesting history can drastically affect the price. Stories are powerful things.

This was perfectly illustrated in an auction result I came across while researching my latest Napoleonic Regency, ‘A Raven’s Heart.’ An auction house in France was asked to sell a pretty two-stone diamond and sapphire ring. It wasn’t fancy. Each of the teardrop-shaped gems weighed just under a carat each, which gave it an estimated auction sale value of around $2,000, based on current market values for similar pieces of jewelry. So far, so ordinary.

But here’s where the story comes in. The vendors had evidence that this particular ring was none other than the engagement ring Napoleon Bonaparte gave to his Empress, Josephine de Beauharnais! Aware that this background would make it more appealing to collectors, the auctioneers set the pre-sale auction estimate at ten times the original valuation—$20,000—and crossed their fingers . . .

Can you guess how much it sold for? How much did the romance of that particular story add to two colored bits of rock and a thin sliver of shiny metal? It sold for $949,000, plus 25% buyer’s commission! That’s over a million dollars!

So I’m firmly convinced of the power and importance of story. As an auctioneer, I hope an interesting provenance will help an item sell for more than the composite sum of its parts. And as an author, I hope that readers will find value in the stories and characters I create. Stories can transport us to new worlds, introduce us to new people, teach us things we didn’t know, and even make us fall in love. And what could be more powerful than that?

book image

Tell us something fun about the relationship conflict.

A Raven’s Heart includes the classic ‘best friend’s little sister’ trope between the hero and the heroine. Watching Raven and Heloise’s love-hate relationship as they (unsuccessfully) try to fight their simmering attraction to one another is great fun!
One of the themes I play with in the book concerns internal and external scars. Heloise has a scar on her face which she believes makes her unattractive, whereas Raven’s scars are all on the inside. He thinks he’s too emotionally damaged to love. In this respect they’re opposites—and perfect for one another; they both see past the damage and find something to love underneath.

Where do you get your ideas?

Lots of my ideas come from real historical people, events, or things. For example, in one of my favorite scenes Raven lets slip how much he cares for Heloise by referring to the ancient Japanese art of Kinstukuroi. It’s the use of molten gold to repair damaged pottery, with the understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken and lovingly repaired. I thought that was such a romantic idea that I had to include it in a book! Ostensibly Raven’s discussing his mother’s favorite piece of porcelain, but we all know he’s really talking about Heloise.

Do you have favorite historical romance comfort reads?

Absolutely! My keeper shelf includes anything by Laura Kinsale, some Old Skool classics like Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels, Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades and Devil’s Cub, As You Desire by Connie Brockway, Pride & Prejudice (of course!), Joanna Bourne, Anne Stuart . . . the list goes on!

book coverA Raven’s Heart

When a bookish codebreaker and a dashing spy are reunited in this steamy historical romance, their lives depend on their ability to resist temptation. In the war against France, Heloise Hampden is a high-value asset to the Crown. Someone is trying to kill her for cracking the enemy’s codes, but it’s the agent assigned to protect Heloise who poses the greatest threat to her heart. . .William de l’Isle, Viscount Ravenwood.

Series Name: Secrets & Spies
Genre: Regency / Napoleonic Romance
Heat level: One or two love scenes
ISBN: 9780804181518

Grab your copy at:
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Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK
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$3.99 USD – $4.99 CAN – £3.99 GBP

Find K. C. Bateman at: Facebook | Twitter | Website

We want to hear from you!

In A Raven’s Heart I play with the idea that Raven and Heloise are like the Greek gods Hades and Persephone. It’s one of my favorite stories; darkness drawn to light. A shadowed Hades kidnaps an unwilling Persephone and takes her down to the Underworld, but the two end up falling in love and learning to compromise. If you could host a dinner party and include any mythological couple, who would you choose?

Leave a comment below!

New Release – Romancing the Rogue

It’s release day for Romancing the Rogue!

When the new earl inherits, poor relation Miss Rebecca Bond must wed immediately or be out on her ear. The only man she’s ever loved is summoned to hear the will—but he already rejected her so soundly that they haven’t spoken in years. Yet who better than a rakish Viscount to teach her how to snare a gentleman who appreciates her charms?

Daniel Goodenham, Lord North Barrows, regrets nothing more than the lost friendship with the one woman who treated him like a man, not a title. Fate has given him the perfect pretext to win her forgiveness—even if it means having to matchmake her to someone else. But now that she’s back in his life, he’ll do anything to convince her to choose him instead…

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Romancing the Rogue was first featured as part of the Vexed anthology.

Anniversary Giveaway: The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress!

Two years ago this month, The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress released!

Want to win a paperback??

Leave a comment below with one of your favorite stories about a mistress heroine or a military hero. I can’t wait to hear your choices!!

Grab the paperback or ebook here:
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NEW RELEASE: The Secret of my Seduction by Caroline Linden @CaroLinden

Today, I’m thrilled to have Caroline Linden here on the blog, sharing a brand new historical romance release with us!

book coverThe Secret of my Seduction

No one suspects plain, sensible Bathsheba Crawford of being the anonymous author of a wickedly scandalous series of naughty novels. But she is.

When she approaches her publisher, rakish Liam MacGregor, with an indecent proposal, he’s shocked. But he accepts.

The rules for their affair are simple: complete secrecy, and no romantic attachment. But the more they see each other…the more pleasure they find in each other’s arms… the harder it is to follow the rules.

Series Name: Scandals
Genre: Historical Regency
Heat level: One or two love scenes
ISBN: 9781542469340

Grab your copy at:
Apple iBooks (iTunes/iPhone/iPad)
Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK
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$0.99 USD – $0.99 CAN – £0.99 GBP

author photoWhat was your inspiration for this story?

Readers requested it! My previous book (Six Degrees of Scandal) ended with a woman sitting down to try writing a sexy romance novel, more or less. I thought that was the end of the whole series, but several readers wrote to me asking what happened to her. And on a long layover in the airport, a story idea sprouted and grew.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

No, not at all! I studied math in college, which I personally found very romantic since I met my husband in the math department…when he swept me off my feet by asking if I’d like to work the problem set together. I fell like a ton of bricks. It’s all thanks to him that I know what happily-ever-after looks like, which only proves that math is vitally romantic, when done right.

What are your favorite historical romance tropes?

I really love a good frenemies/enemies to lovers story. That and marriage of convenience stories. Both situations force the hero and heroine to confront their own (often wrong) ideas about themselves and about each other. If they have to work together to solve a mystery of some sort, I am 100% hooked. I’m sure it’s all because of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

Find Caroline Linden at: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Grab your copy of The Secret of my Seduction at:
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Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK
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We want to hear from you!

Who’s a better hero: the duke who inherited land and power, or a self-made man who earned everything he’s got?

Leave a comment below!

NEW RELEASE: The Cursed Countess by Christie Kelley @christiekelley

Today, I’m thrilled to have Christie Kelley here on the blog, sharing a brand new historical romance release with us!

book coverThe Cursed Countess

How many husbands must die before the gossips say it’s a curse? In Lady Tessa Stanhope’s case, three husbands in five years has set tongues wagging. So when she attracts the attention of the handsome and mysterious Jack Raynerson, she is torn between desire for him and the yearning to keep him safe. But Jack is making it clear that he’s more interested in her than the curse.
Can he believe in her innocence and her love? Or will he be her next victim?

Series Name: The Daring Drake Sisters
Genre: Regency Romance
Heat level: One or two love scenes

Grab your copy at:
Apple iBooks (iTunes/iPhone/iPad)
Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble Nook
Kobo

$3.99 USD – $5.22 CAN – £3.99 GBP

author photoDid you do any special research for this story?

I had to find a good poison that would work. In my dedication I had to thank my sons who are never concerned finding a book of poisons on the kitchen table.

Do you write every day?

I try to write every day but with a full time day job, there are days I don’t want to look at a computer screen. I tend to get the majority of my writing done on weekends. So I tried to take care of the other stuff (cleaning, yard work, etc) on week nights.

Who was your first auto-buy historical romance author?

Can I have more than one? If not, I would have to say Johanna Lindsay. I loved that fact that she wrote different locations and time periods. You don’t see that much any more from authors.

Find Christie Kelley at: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Grab your copy of The Cursed Countess at:
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Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK
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We want to hear from you!

Who is your favorite fictional couple?

Leave a comment below!

Meet the Hero: Viscount North-Barrows

Enjoy an excerpt from Romancing the Rogue!

Just as the last hint of sunlight slithered past the horizon, the rocky, wind-lashed terrain of Cornwall came into view. Daniel straightened his spine. The chill was already seeping through the cracks in the buffeted carriage.

The driver gulped, his gaze uncertain. “Nightfall has arrived, milord. Shall I find a posting-house?”

Daniel shook his head, his skin tingling from the close proximity to Castle Keyvnor. “No. Let’s keep going. We’re almost there.”

Even as he said the words, the monstrous castle rose from the darkness, its looming towers an even deeper black than the interminable night enshrouding them.

A familiar prickle danced across his clammy skin as the carriage rattled over the ancient bridge across the long-dry moat, and on through a massive iron gate. The castle looked darker than he remembered. Larger. More menacing.

Rebecca was somewhere inside those walls. He just had to find her.

He dashed from the carriage and up the slick stone steps of Castle Keyvnor as torrents of rain spilled from the black, thunderous sky.

The horrendous downpour was not only a fitting welcome back to the castle grounds, but the only weather he ever recalled Castle Keyvnor having. If the sun happened to shine over the sparse seaside village of Bocka Morrow, the castle was still be buffeted by icy winds and cloaked in shadow.

Ignoring the sheet of rain cascading from the brim of his beaver hat, he reached for the brass doorknocker dangling from the maw of a stone lion.

The door swung open before his fingers even touched the knocker. Yet no one presented himself.

Daniel straightened his spine. No sense dallying. Time to head straight into the mouth of the beast.

Morris, the castle’s longtime butler, strode into the entryway just as Daniel slid his soaked top hat from his head.

No point in asking who had opened the door, given that the butler was only now arriving. Castle Keyvnor never had answers. Only a surfeit of questions.

“Lord North-Barrows.” The butler smiled. “Right on time. Your chamber has been readied.”

Daniel didn’t smile back. Nor did he know how he could be right on time, when he hadn’t sent word of his impending arrival because even he hadn’t known for certain when he would arrive.

As the butler divested Daniel of his wet outer garments, a quartet of footmen emerged from a darkened corridor without being summoned and marched outside to the waiting carriage.

Daniel eyed the castle’s dark interior with apprehension. If the servants knew he was coming, why the devil couldn’t they light a sconce or two?

“The footmen will bring your trunks to your chamber shortly.” The butler gestured toward the main stone staircase. “A fire awaits you in the hearth.”

Of course it did.

Daniel inclined his head, eager to dry himself before a fire regardless of how or why its warmth awaited him. But a shimmer of white caught his eye.

An apparition had appeared at the top of the stairs. No—not an apparition.

Rebecca.

Her bone-white gown fluttered from one of the castle’s many drafts, giving her haunting silhouette the blurred edges of a ghost. From this distance, the features of her pale face were smudged by shadow. The glossy dark curls he recalled so fondly were invisible against the yawning blackness of the unlit upstairs corridor. His entire body was on edge.

Nervous, he smiled up at her.

There was no way to know if she returned his smile.

He doubted it. The last time he’d seen her at Castle Keyvnor, he’d cruelly rejected her in front of witnesses. And the last time she’d been in London…he hadn’t spoken to her at all.

His chest tightened. He was lucky she hadn’t come to the landing solely to toss water upon his head.

Perhaps she was saving that for later.

“Rebecca?” Because the soaring stairwell had no balustrade, Daniel placed his damp palm against the cold stone wall for balance. The last thing he needed was for wet soles to send him sliding to his death before he could even make his grand apology.

“It’s Miss Bond,” floated the soft, familiar voice from overhead.

“I know,” Daniel called back as he hurried up the rest of the stairs. “Rebecca, it’s me. Daniel.”

“I know,” she echoed as he rounded the final step. Her eyes were dark and luminous in the pale porcelain of her face. “Good evening, Lord North-Barrows. I trust Morris has seen to your luggage.”

Ah. So he had lost first-naming privileges. And was to be treated with the same distant politesse one might use to welcome a stranger.

He deserved that and more.

“Please,” he said. “You must still call me Daniel. I know I was awful to you, and you have every right to be vexed with me. I admit it. I behaved abominably and am here to apologize. I was foolish and wrong.”

“Were you?” Her expressionless dark eyes gazed right through him. “I’m sure I don’t recall.”

His muscles tightened. Of course she recalled. She had the cleverest mind of anyone he’d ever met. But by pretending she couldn’t remember his crimes, she didn’t have to forgive him. Or acknowledge his heartfelt apology. He forced his fingers to unclench.

Despite the murky shadows of the ill-lit corridor, she was even more beautiful than last he’d seen her. He drank her in. She had been the prettiest of that year’s crop of debutantes during her come-out five years ago, but now she was ravishing.

Girlish cheeks had turned into high cheekbones. A willowy frame had become womanly curves. Her innocence had been replaced by mysteriousness. He didn’t know this Rebecca Bond any longer. But oh, how he wanted to. If only they could erase the past.

He yearned to reach for her. Once, she would have welcomed his touch, his embrace.

Tonight, she was just as likely to push him off of the landing.

###

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Romancing the Rogue was first featured as part of the Vexed anthology.