Saturday, 17 October 2015

And the winner is...

Hey Everyone!

A giveaway has ended and that means I've got some winner announcement to make! 

So congrats, the lucky winner of a $10 Amazon gift card offered by Christina Phillips is


Congratulations! I have sent you a notification e-mail, please get back to me within 48 hours or I will have to draw a new winner. Thank you!

Don't forget to enter all the ongoing giveaways you can find a direct link to each one of them at the top of the blog.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Guest post by Wendy LaCapra + Giveaway

Please give a warm welcome to the historical romance author Wendy LaCapra, who is celebrating the release of the 3rd book in her Furies series, Duchess Decadence! Read on to learn more about the novel, the research Wendy did and for your chance to win the books in the series!

Interesting notes from my Furies Series Research
by Wendy LaCapra

All three books in The Furies series, Lady Vice, Lady Scandal and Duchess Decadence take place in 1784 either in London, or within 2 day’s travel. So what was a day in the life of Late Georgian London like? Well, the early 1780’s pre-date the French Revolution, and so the atmosphere was more open, liberal and, in many ways, more licentious. Cyprians and Bawdy houses were in abundance, and from 1757-1791 an annual register of prostitutes called Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies printed about 8,000 copies a year. (The 1787 Version details that Mrs. K—ng of 17 Union Street is, among other things, ‘in every way formed for giving and receiving pleasure’)

In the pricer parts of town, night watchmen kept oil lamps on decorative posts lit through the night and called out the time and status. Georgian Terrace Houses were common in London. Dirt was swept out during the night and collected by scavengers before the streets were cleaned by watercarts. One would breakfast at 11, but if his lordship wished to review the news, the illustrious publication known as the London Times was, until 1788, called the Daily Universal Register.

Late spring through fall, pleasure gardens were a popular diversion. One of the most frequented was referred to as Vauxhall, but the garden’s official name, New Spring

Gardens, wasn’t actually changed to Vauxhaull until 1785.

The American war of Independence ended in 1783, and the loss of the colonies was still fresh. India and the East India Company were very much on the minds of the men in Parliament, and the turmoil led to the dismissal of the ministers and an election, and those events play a small roll in all three books of The Furies series. Want to know one of my favorite anecdotes which did not make it into the books? During the 1784 election in Westminster, the famous Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire reportedly gave out kisses to those vote-holders who promised to vote for the Whig Politian Charles James Fox.

The fashion for men was still bright colors with elaborate lace and stitching. Fullness in the rear and hips was the rage in ladies fashion and quite a few sources remark on large and elaborate hairstyles. The hair powder tax was not implemented until 1795, and so white powder and white wigs were still very much in use. I did find some references that referred to ladies tinting their hair powder with pink and lavender, so the heroine of Lady Scandal appears with pinkish hair when she first meets with the hero. Pink hair? See, every fashion comes round again given a few hundred years!

Duchess Decadence by Wendy LaCapra

Book #3 in The Furies series

Thea Worthington, Duchess of Wynchester divides her time between social engagements and playing her luck against fickle fortune. Yet every gamble is only a bluff—a means to hide from the pain deep within her, and the loss of a babe she never held in her arms. Now Thea's luck is about to run out. Her estranged husband has returned and seeks a reunion...

Plagued with guilt over what happened to his wife three years ago, the Duke of Wynchester has kept his distance. The duke is resolved to piece his family back together, especially now that he's discovered his beloved brother—long thought dead—still lives. But Thea's lovely, porcelain facade is on the verge of cracking...spurred on by the duke's brother's secretive, malevolent animosity.

With everything riding on her future, Thea plays a daring game of chance for love and her marriage...and this time, the dice are most certainly rigged.

Buy at Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Kobo


“I win.”

In an invisible mind-cup, he twirled the black dice of their future. His rudderless ship could reach only one port—he had to choose. He could open to the invitation within her parted lips. They would have a second chance.

Or, he could declare her false north, and proceed as he had drunkenly resolved—the production of an heir and then a return to quietly separate lives thereafter.

The latter would keep the Wynchester title from oblivion and keep him safe from the danger in her eyes. The spirits he’d ingested burned in his stomach.

Haddon!—unbidden, a dormitory-taunt using his youth’s courtesy title rose in his mind—heard your mama died and your father married a whore. You think she likes your mama’s bed?

With determined effort he’d risen above such taunts. No one had dared besmirch the Wynchester title since he’d become the duke. No one except Thea Marie. She’d shunned him and joined her friends on the edges of respectability, leaving him a laughingstock.

I hear the duchess has a gift with cards, Wynchester. Why don’t you wager her for a night in her bed?

His cheeks grew as taut as a spring-trap. Tonight, in a manner of speaking, he’d done just as the fools suggested. Although she—not he—had issued the wager. A wager he’d won. Which meant she would have to return…and she would have to make every effort.

“I will show you,” his words came out murky and low. “I will show you.”

Her eyes grew wide. “Show me?”

He nodded, not trusting his voice for more. He had no idea—no idea—what would become of them. Between here and his black-dice future hid recriminations with teeth as sharp as iron leg-traps. All he knew was that he must show her he was—

“My dear Duke,” she said, “there is no need—”

“Yes,” he interrupted. He was her dear duke—hers to have and to hold, for better, for worse—and he was going to take her home. Now.

“I will not let you forget this time, Duchess.”

She shrieked as he swept her off her feet. She was surprisingly light for so tall and troublesome a creature.

“What,” she yelped, “do you think you are doing?”

He stalked to the door. “Open!” he yelled, as if the door itself would heed his command.

Lady Vaile swung open the door and took a swift step back. “Oh dear,” she cried. “Max!”

He strode out into the larger room, ignoring both lady and guests.

“Wynchester!” the duchess pleaded. “Good God, everyone is looking.”

“Let them sketch the image and take it to Grub Street, for all I care.” He ignored the sudden silence in the room and headed for the hall and beyond that—his carriage. “I am taking,” he said loudly, “my duchess home.”

On the far side of the room, Lady Sophia stood on her toes, stretching toward the Earl of Randolph.

Bah. First Harrison, now Randolph. And, worse, he had bet Harrison a cask of his best brandy Lord Randolph and the fiendishly pretty little Fury would never come together. Then again, losing his cask was not the worst—he swayed as he pressed onward—he’d had enough brandy for quite some time.

“Sentiment,” he spat with disgust.

“That’s it,” the duchess said with a look of pure horror, “put me down.”


Sentiment may be a weasely creature with ferret-sharp teeth, but at the moment he rather enjoyed its effects. Strength surged though his limbs and his intent was startlingly clear—bed.

Buy at Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Kobo

Wendy LaCapra has been reading romance since she sneaked into the adult section at the library and discovered Victoria Holt & Jane Aiken Hodge. From that point on, she dreamed of creating fictional worlds with as much richness, intrigue and passion as she found within those books. Her stories have placed in several contests, including the 2012 Golden Heart®. She lives in NYC with her husband and loves to hear from readers.

Connect with her at her website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads


1 Winner will win signed copies of Lady Vice, Lady Scandal & Duchess Decadence with swag (compact mirror, 2 oz. Lady Scandal Rose Bath Salts, and pens!) USA/CA shipping ONLY

7 Winners will win an eBook copy of ONE of the following books from the ladies from

• The Accidental Duchess, by Madeline Hunter
• Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, by Vanessa Kelly
• Good Earl Gone Bad, by Manda Collins
• The Dukes Daring Debutante, by Ann Lethbridge
• The Love List, by Deb Marlowe
• I Spy a Duke, by Erica Monroe
• Reckless Wager + Bonus Novella Wanton Wager, by Christy Carlyle

To be entered to win simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

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Good luck!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Excerpt: First Season/Bride to Be by Jane Ashford + Giveaway

The weather is quickly turning to chilly, so what better way than to curl up on the sofa with a heart-warming historical romance to spend the afternoon? Today I'd like to share with you an excerpt and giveaway of Jane Ashford's recently released duology: First Season / Bride to Be! Read on and enter the giveaway at the end for a chance to win yourself a copy.

Two classic Regency romances by beloved bestselling author Jane Ashford celebrate the adventures of a London Season.


Widowed Lady Anabel Wyndham was married right out of the schoolroom and has never before experienced the delights of a London Season. She’s dazzled by the attention of the fascinating Sir Charles Norbury, a man whose touch seems to melt her very soul, but a notorious rake. She’s drawn to handsome friend-of-the-family Christopher Hanford and the comfort and serenity he offers. But how does one choose between two such charming suitors? Anabel is finding that love is so much more dangerous the second time around.


Emily Crane is the toast of the ton—and she couldn’t find it more tedious. Until she encounters the darkly sensual stranger whose life she once saved and the London Season becomes infinitely more exciting. Recently returned from the wilds of South America, Lord Richard Sheldon has only contempt for tiresome London chits, but he finds himself stunningly intrigued by the dauntless Emily Crane. When the two become embroiled in a budding scandal and are forced into an engagement, they discover a passion more dangerous than any killer…

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - B&N - iBooks

First Season Excerpt

“There you are,” said someone from the hall below. “They said you had gone upstairs.”

Anabel looked down to find Sir Charles Norbury gazing up at her. A tingling shock ran through her body, and the candle trembled a little, dripping wax.

“You have missed the first waltz,” he added, meeting her at the bottom of the staircase and taking the candlestick from her hand. He snuffed the flame between forefinger and thumb and set it aside. “And I came early especially to engage you for it.”

“I wanted to look in on the children.” As always, his presence overwhelmed her. He seemed to tower over her, yet his pale green eyes felt close and compelling. She found it hard to breathe.

“It is a country dance now, unfortunately. Mayn’t we wait outside here for the next and hope?” He smiled and reached for her hand to lead her across to a small empty anteroom.

Anabel knew she should say no, but her voice seemed to have died, and she went with him silently and allowed him to escort her to a sofa and sit beside her, his arm thrown along its back.

“You look exquisite tonight,” he said softly. “The loveliest woman at the ball.”

This outrageous compliment revived her. “What a plumper. There are dozens of prettier ones.”


“Flatterer.” She smiled, but when she met his eyes, they were very serious.

“No,” he said again. “To me you are the most beautiful.” He held her gaze for a moment, then slowly bent forward and took possession of her lips, his arm tightening around her shoulders.

Anabel’s slight trembling increased, and her mind dissolved in confusion. She should pull away, part of it cried; this was terribly fast, and someone might come in at any moment. But another part urged her on, fascinated by Sir Charles’ attractions and filled with curiosity.

His kiss was very expert, and nothing at all like her deceased husband’s, Anabel’s only standard of comparison. His lips seemed to draw all strength out of her, leaving her limp and pliant, yet she felt disconnected from the expected sensual pleasure. He knew how to draw response from her body, clearly, but her heart and mind remained in turmoil.

Norbury, on the contrary, was in the grip of feelings stronger than any he had ever experienced, and for him the kiss confirmed a decision. This was the woman he wanted. Never had his passions been suffused with such emotion. Beyond thinking, he moved his free hand to Anabel’s knee and slid it upward caressingly, savoring the curve of her waist under the thin satin dress and cupping his fingers around her breast. She drew her breath in sharply.

A scuff of footsteps in the hall, followed by a scrap of conversation and a laugh, jerked Anabel upright. She pulled away from him only just in time to avoid being caught by two couples coming into the room. But it was obvious in the way that the newcomers stopped, smiled, and apologized that their appearance gave them away. Anabel rose and hurried from the room, Norbury behind her. Her cheeks were flaming, and she felt that she could not possibly face the crowd in the ballroom.

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - B&N - iBooks

Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Her historical and contemporary romances have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, Slovenia, and Spain, as well as the U.S. Twenty-six of her new and backlist Regency romances are being published by Sourcebooks. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She is currently rather nomadic.

Connect with Jane at her website - Facebook - Goodreads


To be entered to win simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

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Friday, 25 September 2015

Interview with Christina Phillips + Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome to the blog Christina Phillips, who is on a blog tour, celebrating the release of Hold Me until Morning, the second book in her Grayson Brothers series. I got to sit down with Christina and ask her all about it, so join us, read her interview, and once you got to know Cooper and Paris, pick up your copy of Hold Me until Morning. :-)

Stella: Hi Christina, welcome to Ex Libris! Tell us a bit more about yourself.

Christina: Hi Stella! I’m an ex-pat Brit now living in Western Australia with my lovely family and adorable cats (who think they’re being incredibly helpful when they stroll across my keyboard…) I’m addicted to Earl Grey tea, good coffee and enjoy a regular fix of chocolate. My bottom doesn’t thank me for this ;-)

Stella: Your brand new release Hold Me until Morning is Book #2 in your Graysons Brothers series. Can you tell readers who are not familiar with the series a bit more about it, and the Brothers?

Christina: The Grayson brothers survived a horrific childhood with their brutal father, and none of them believe in love or happily-ever-after. Although they now own a successful bodyguard and security business the legacy of their past haunts each of them.

The underlying theme of all three books is redemption. Each brother is consumed by guilt about what happened in their past, and during the course of their book they each face what happened, and learn to move on. In HOLD ME UNTIL MORNING Cooper finally accepts the fact he isn’t responsible for the choices that other people make (in his case, the choice his brother Alex made twelve years ago).

Stella: And what can we expect of Hold Me until Morning?

Christina: This is the youngest brother Cooper’s book. He agrees to help out his best friend by keeping an eye on his younger sister, Paris, for a week while she hides from the paparazzi. It’s been ten years since they last saw each other when they were kids, and neither is prepared for the instant sizzling attraction between them when they meet again :-)

What starts off as a bit of sexy fun soon turns into something much deeper as Cooper discovers another side of life he’d never dreamed existed before, and Paris learns to trust again.

Stella: Could you whet our appetites for Hold Me until Morning in Twitter-style (in 140 characters or less)?

Christina: A bad boy bodyguard and Hollywood princess hide out in a mountain cabin. Strictly business? Not likely…

Stella: Could you introduce the hero and heroine of Hold Me until Morning to us?

Christina: This is Paris’ first impression of Cooper when she sees him again after ten years:

He was nothing like the faded memories of the devil-may-care fourteen-year-old boy from when they’d lived in the same rundown neighborhood.

She was having a hard time tearing her gaze from his breathtaking biceps, which bulged just the right amount. How would it feel to have those arms around me? She licked her lips and tried to shove the thought from her mind.

Except she couldn’t get past the way his black T-shirt stretched over his impressive chest.

Holy crap. His pecs are to die for.

And this is Cooper’s first reaction when Paris arrives at the mountain cabin:

He pushed the car door shut. Her gorgeous tanned legs came into view, along with sexy denim shorts that barely covered her cute ass.

Whoa. Whatever else he did this week, he definitely wasn’t hitting on his best friend’s little sister.

So stop looking at her ass.


She slowly turned around. Massive sunglasses hid her eyes, but there was no mistaking those pouty lips, or the face that had been described as angelic by those who hadn’t known her as a daredevil kid.

“Hey, Cooper.” Her voice was husky, as though she’d just woken up, and graphic images flashed through his mind, of her tangled in bed sheets wearing nothing but her own designer perfume.

Damn. She’s hot. Guilt prickled down his spine. Scott’d rip his head off if he knew the dirty thoughts running through Cooper’s mind right now.

It’s going to be a long week.

Henry Cavill
Stella: Yum! ;-) And now let’s have some fun! Paris and Cooper had to be holed up in a cabin, who would you choose to be holed up with? (Any actors, singers or fictional characters are fair game ;-)

Christina: I would definitely choose Henry Cavill! That man is so ridiculously beautiful, I could happily stare at him all day :-)

Stella: You are a soul sister, Henry Cavill would be my top choice as well! ;-p 

If Hold Me until Morning was made into a movie/TV series, who would you cast for the roles of Cooper and Paris?

Hayden Panettiere
Christina: I’d have Liam Hemsworth play Cooper and Hayden Panettiere as Paris – with auburn hair :-)

Stella: When will we get to read Alex’s story? Any little teaser you’d like to torture us with? (

Christina: Alex’s book, HOLD ME UNTIL FOREVER, is coming out on 15th January 2016. It’s a friends-to-lovers/unrequited love story and his heroine is Ella, literally the girl next door. Alex has quarter shares in an exclusive BDSM club, Excalibur, and when Ella drops the bombshell that she’s leaving her job at Grayson’s, they finally give in to the simmering passion between them :-)

Here’s a little teaser…

She wasn’t looking for anything serious. Not with him. She just wanted good times.

He could do that. She’d get her kicks and he’d get something he’d craved for eight long years.

Ella in his arms. Every which way he wanted. But most of all she’d be safe from the destructive force that lived inside him. Because the sex would be confined to Excalibur, where there were rules and regulations, and it wouldn’t be personal.

Not the way it’d be personal if he took her here, in her apartment, the way he goddamn wanted to.

Don’t do it. This was Ella. She deserved so much more than him. But he couldn’t help himself.

“You want to come to Excalibur with me?”

Stella: Would you like to share with us your future plans, what shall we be on the lookout next?

Christina: I have a couple of joint projects in the works. Next up is a second boxed set with Cathleen Ross and Mel Teshco – Taken by the Billionaire. And a super secret project that’s still in the very early planning stages with my two fabulous CPs that we hope to get off the ground in the New Year!

Stella: And now, can you tell us something not many people know about you?

Christina: When I was 18 I had an out of body experience. I was in hospital having my wisdom teeth out, and I remember clear as anything looking down at this body on a gurney, that was thrashing about and moaning. I can still remember thinking what a racket that person was making :-) I was very Zen like and not in any pain. Then I saw a nurse approach and bend over the figure, and next thing I know I’m back in my body with the nurse standing over me. I’ve been in hospital and under anaesthetic lots of time since and nothing like that ever happened again. So I’m not convinced it was the drugs. Something weird happened…

Stella: Uh, spooky... Thanks so much for stopping by Christina!:-)

Christina: Thank you for having me, Stella!

Hold Me Until Morning by Christina Phillips

Book #2 in the Grayson Brothers series

She's the one girl he should never touch...

Cooper Grayson is supposed to hole up in a mountain cabin and protect his best friend's little sister from the paparazzi for a week. That's it. But Paris O'Connell isn't a kid anymore, and it's hard to remember this is strictly business when she bats her big green eyes at him...then crashes through all his carefully placed boundaries.

Paris loves a challenge. And gorgeous Cooper Grayson is the most dangerous challenge she's faced yet. He ignores the sizzling attraction that keeps her awake at nights, and he doesn't care about her fame or her contacts, only seeing her. When they finally kiss, Cooper leaves her bare. Exposed. His for the taking. And take he does...

For one incredibly hot week, Cooper fulfils her every fantasy. But when the real world crashes in, so does reality. And reality tells them there's no way a Hollywood star and a bad boy from the wrong side of town could ever have a future together...

Buy at Amazon - B&N - iBooks - Kobo - ARe

Christina Phillips is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her high school sweetheart and their family. She enjoys writing paranormal, historical and contemporary romance where the stories sizzle and the heroine brings her hero to his knees.

She is addicted to good coffee, expensive chocolate and bad boy heroes. She's also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

Connect with Christina at her website - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads


There are TWO giveaways:

You can enter to win a print copy of Hold Me until Morning at Goodreads, HERE.

Christina also generously offered a $10 Amazon gift card to a lucky commenter!

Just leave a comment answering this question: If you had to spend a few days with someone in a remote cabin, who would you choose to be holed up with?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 10 October 2015!

Good luck!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Excerpt: Take a Risk Bundle by Robin Bielman + Giveaway

Summer is sadly over, but what better way to spend a rainy afternoon or weekend than to curl up with a great engrossing book? Well you are in luck, because the lovely Robin Bielman celebrates the bundle sale of FOUR great stories in one book: get her Take a Risk Bundle now for only $1.99! And for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card just fill out the Rafflecopter form at the end of the post.

Take a Risk Bundle by Robin Bielman

The Take a Risk bundle by USA Today best selling author Robin Bielman includes three of her popular Take a Risk novellas plus an additional, never-before-published novella, One Night of Risk.

Worth the Risk
Samantha Bennett put Dean Malloy out of her mind five years ago, when he broke her heart after a summer fling. But now he's back in her life, and ready to steal a heritage protection contract that could make or break her career–if he doesn't steal her heart first. Samantha's vowed to hate him, but one wild weekend could change everything.

Risky Surrender
When Keats McCall catches Lucy Davenport at his latest project, he suspects she's up to no good. She's secretive, sexy as hell–and has trouble written all over her. He devises a plan to keep her close so he can watch her. But what he isn't prepared for is just how close he wants to get.

His Million Dollar Risk
Charlize Beckett is in deeeep trouble. This is her one chance to prove to her publisher dad that she's a serious reporter, even if she has to pretend she's someone else. And the subject of the story, Connor Gibson, is way too charming for her to maintain any objectivity, or even keep her from getting into all kinds of sexy trouble. By going off the record, Charlie is putting both her reputation and her heart on the line...

One Night of Risk
With her mom sick, good girl Malia Davis has returned to Kauai in order do something bad—retrieve a piece of crystal believed to have healing properties. She thinks her only problem is accessing the “closed to the public” temple. She's wrong. She has an even bigger problem—former Navy SEAL and security expert Clay Doherty, the guy who broke her heart ten years ago who she still wants. Certain that Malia is up to no good, Clay will do whatever it takes to protect her...even if it means losing her for good.

Buy at Amazon - B&N - Kobo - iTunes


-From One Night of Risk Novella

He grinned and the potency of it stole her breath. His dimples should come with an advisory label: Will cause hearts to flutter and panties to spontaneously combust. “What about you?”

“What about me?” She swallowed the lump sitting in the back of her throat.

“You haven’t told me why you’re here.”

She took a step back. His intuitiveness made her jumpy. But worse, his nearness made her light-headed and warm in places she shouldn’t be. She seriously thought about stopping the conversation by flinging her arms around his neck and kissing him until talking was the last thing he wanted to do.

Which would be a huge mistake. She may secretly crave to be a little bit bad, and remember how good being bad with Clay had felt, but right now, given the situation with her mom, her emotions were too raw. She was too vulnerable.
“I’m here for a little R&R and to spend time with Kalani.” That’s what she’d told everyone. With a busy studio and all her free time spent with her mom, she did need a little mental break. A few days to lose herself.

You could lose yourself in Clay.

He narrowed his eyes and eliminated the space she’d put between them. “You also here to excavate?”


His smug smile made her mad…and somehow hotter. Dammit, why did he have to make her feel stuff? Then he licked the pad of his thumb and proceeded to wipe the corner of her forehead. “You’ve got a little dirt here,” he said, his voice and touch equally seductive. “And”—he dropped his arm—“under your fingernails.”

She stared at him. For several long, agonizing seconds.

He could probably tell her what color her bra and panties were with his insane powers of deduction.

“Still the strong silent type when things get uncomfortable.” The annoyingly sexy turn of his lips grew a little bigger.

“That’s what I hear.”

Buy at Amazon - B&N - Kobo - iTunes 

Author Bio:

USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman lives in Southern California with her high school sweetheart husband, two sons, and one crazy-cute dog who loves to chew on everyone’s socks. When not attached to her laptop, she can almost always be found with her nose in a book. She also likes to run, hike, eat cupcakes, and dip her toes in the ocean. Writing is a dream come true, and she still pinches herself to be sure it’s real.

She loves to connect with readers. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter on her website.

Places to find Robin Bielman:


For a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Character interview by Anna James + Giveaway

Today I am happy to welcome back to the blog Anna James, who to celebrate the release of her latest novel, The Business of Love, sat down to interview its hero: Dante! Please give them a warm welcome! 

Anna James: Today we have Dante Leone with us, the hero from THE BUSINESS OF LOVE – Book 1 Forevermore Series. Welcome Dante! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dante: Hello. Thank you for having me here today. My name is Dante Leone. I’m 34 years old. I’m a financial accountant, and recently relocated from New York City back to my home town of Los Angeles after inheriting one third of the Baker intestment firm, which I helped build from the ground up.

Anna James: Can you tell us a little about your story THE BUSINESS OF LOVE by Anna James?

Dante: THE BUSINESS OF LOVE is about overcoming your past and learning to trust again. This sometimes sweet, sometimes sexy story has enough mystery and suspense to keep you turning the pages.

Anna James: Tell us about Sophia Hamilton. How did you meet?

Dante: I met Sophia six years ago at an investment seminar. I fell hard for her but things ended badly when I learned she lied to me. She was only nineteen to my twenty-eight. Worse, she was my new boss’s daughter.

Anna James: What drew you to her?

Dante: Her breathtaking smile and shimmering emerald green eyes caught my attention the moment I laid eyes on her sitting in the front row of the asset management seminar Baker Investments had cosponsored along with other financial companies. Her sparkling laugh sent the blood coursing through me, and ignited a fire deep within.

Anna James: When did you know Sophia was the one for you?

Dante: I knew six years ago when we first met, but her deception hit hard, especially after what I’d been through just before we met. It took a while for me to admit to myself that I still loved her after we reconnected.

Anna James: What do you regard as the lowest depth of your misery?

Dante: When I believed Sophia would marry her childhood friend, Trey Jackson. I drove her away because I was afraid to trust her. Afraid of getting my heart broken. Again.

I thought to myself, I can’t lose her. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me. How the hell am I going to fix this?

Anna James: Can you share a scene in your book with us?

“Ho-ly shit!” Not only had the bastard wrecked Sophia’s car, he’d stolen the art collection and Sophia’s things, as well.

“Good morning to you, too.”

He glanced up. His sister, India, sauntered into the kitchen. “I didn’t hear you come in.”

She dropped the newspaper down on his computer keyboard, ambled over to the coffee pot and poured a cup.

Dante turned to face her and sighed. “You’re still not talking to me?”

She glared at him. “Right now, I’d say I’m the least of your troubles.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

India gave him a saccharin sweet smile and glided out of the room.

Women! Would he ever figure them out? He turned back to the table and snatched up the paper, intending to toss it in the trash. The image on the front page stopped him dead in his tracks. “Son-of-a-bitch!”

A picture of Trey kissing Sophia stared back at him. The headline screamed up at him. Sophia…engaged to Trey?

“Over my dead body.”

Anna James:  Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Dante: Yes! Are you interested in winning a signed copy of the book?

Sign up for Anna’s newsletter here between now and September 30, 2015. She’ll do a random drawing on October 1, 2015 and choose 3 winners and post them on her blog (US entrants only – sorry.) Good Luck!

Anna James: Thank you, Dante, for sharing some of your story. Look for THE BUSINESS OF LOVE by Anna James and find out if Dante and Sophia find their happy ever after. 

The Business of Love by Anna James

Book #1 in the Forevermore series

Behind their united front, they’re butting heads—and fighting their hearts.

Sophia Hamilton can’t believe her late stepfather split the family firm three ways. With her hard-earned master’s degree, she and her stepbrother, Allen, are perfectly capable of running the firm. Instead, she’s forced to share the reins with Dante Leone. The man who split her heart in two.

Six years ago Sophia fell hard for Dante, but when he discovered she was a starry-eyed nineteen to his twenty-eight, he shut her out. Worse, Allen’s defection from the firm has left Dante with controlling interest.

Dante is having a tough time seeing Sophia as anything other than the woman who lied to him. Yet her resignation isn’t the moral victory he intended. He feels her absence deep in his heart—and the company plunges deeper into turmoil.

Sophia returns on one condition: equal partnership all the way. But their redoubled efforts aren’t working. And soon it becomes clear someone is bent on destroying not only her stepfather’s legacy, but any chance of a future with Dante.

Warning: Contains a no-nonsense hero who thinks he can manage his heart as easily as he manages money, and the one woman capable of adjusting his risk tolerance for love.

Buy at Amazon - Samhain

Anna James writes heartwarming contemporary stories with strong, confident heroes and heroines who conquer life’s trials and live happily ever after. She has been writing professionally since 2010, is a member of RWA, CTRWA (Connecticut Romance Writers of America), CORW (Charter Oak Romance Writers) and RWA Contemporary Romance Writers. Publishing credits include two category length novels, five novellas and one short story.

Anna is married to a wonderful husband who spends countless hours picking up the slack around the house so she can pursue her dream of writing, and is the proud mother of five fabulous children.

Although she’s lived in several locations throughout her life she now calls Connecticut home. When not writing, she can be found spending time with family and friends.

Contact Anna at her website - Facebook - Twitter


For a chance to win yourself a copy of The Business of Love sign up for Anna’s newsletter here between now and September 30, 2015. She’ll do a random drawing on October 1, 2015 and choose 3 winners and post them on her blog.

Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on 30 September 2015!

Good luck!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Guest post by Grace Burrowes + Giveaway

Once again I am happy to welcome back to the blog historical romance author, Grace Burrows, who is here to tell us a bit more about how The Duke's Courtship duology came to be. Please give her a warm welcome, Grace, take it away! (pst, there is also a lovely giveaway waiting for you at the end!)

My parents recently celebrated their seventieth wedding anniversary—you read that correctly, 7-0. I’m the sixth of their seven children, so I missed a lot of the opening rounds of the Burrowes family story. To make up for that great unfairness, I ask my parents and my older siblings to fill in blanks for me. What was it like for my mom, starting out with twin boys, when the nice obstetrician—who didn’t want to upset her—failed to inform her she was carrying twins?

Mom learned she was to embark on double motherhood in the delivery room, when the nurse said, “Keep pushing, Mrs. Burrowes. You’re still in labor.”

She kept pushing. My brother Dick is particularly grateful she did, too.

What was it like for my father, to be the sole support of nine people, various shirt-tail cousins, and extended family members, on just a professor’s salary?

We never did without the essentials. How did he DOOOOO that?

These stories are the stuff of family legends, and every family has them. When I’d written stories for all of the Windham siblings, I still had a sense that the family tale wasn’t complete. How did Maggie and Devlin join the family? How did Percival, occasionally more stubborn than insightful, have the great sense to marry Esther? Why has Esther remained his champion, conscience, and confidante despite all the trying moments?

To find those answers, I had to write two novellas. First, came “The Courtship”, wherein Their Graces fall madly in love, despite—what a surprise!—meddling parents. Second, came “The Duke and His Duchess”. We know Percy and Esther’s household was in some regards unconventional, but they chose love over appearances from the start of their relationship. I wanted to know how they got through the challenges created by Percy’s behavior prior to the marriage, and emerged a stronger couple and a happier family for their choices.

The Duke’s Courtship duology is the result of my curiosity about the ongoing magic of a loving family, and also a tribute to my parents, whose happily ever after continues, even as a I write this.

The Duke and the Duchess / The Courtship by Grace Burrowes


The first novella to be published by New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes features the foundation story for her bestselling Windham series. This is the tender story of love tested and won, and how Percy Windham, the dashing and brilliant man who was never supposed to become the Duke of Moreland, wooed Esther Himmelfarb, the amazing lady who became his beloved Duchess.


In this second prequel novella to the popular Windham series, Grace Burrowes continues the story of the Duke and Duchess of Moreland through the tumultuous and bittersweet first years of marriage and parenthood. Percival Windham is a second son and cavalry officer when he weds the beautiful Esther Himmelfarb. Percy and Esther must grow into the nobility they've been resisting and stand together, or face the threat of destroying their young family and the beautiful love that started out with such promise...


Miss Esther Himmelfarb has been dragooned into attending a house party to make up the numbers, and to keep an eye on a cousin with a penchant for gambling. Little does Esther know Lord Percival Windham will risk all to win her heart.

“Miss Himmelfarb, I believe?” Lord Percival winged an arm and smiled at Esther graciously. “Shall I have us introduced, or in the informality of the occasion, will you allow me to join you at supper?”

A more calculating man would have offered to escort her to whoever had the honor of dining with her, but then, Lord Percival likely did not have to be calculating.

“I will happily accept your escort to the buffet, my lord.” Esther laced her gloved hand around Lord Percival’s arm, only to encounter a small surprise.

Or not so small.

Gossip had not lied. The man was muscular in the extreme, and this close, he was also of sufficient height to uphold the fiction that he’d protect Esther from any brigands or wolves wandering about Lady Morrisette’s parlor.

“Does your family hail from Kent, Miss Himmelfarb? I know most of the local families and cannot recall Himmelfarbs among them.”

The question was perfectly pleasant, and so too was his lordship’s scent. Not the scent of exertion or the standard rose-scented rice powder—he wasn’t wearing a wig—but something elusive…

“You’re twitching your nose like a thoughtful bunny, Miss Himmelfarb. Are you in anticipation of something particularly succulent among the supper offerings?”

He smiled down at her as he spoke, and for moment, Esther could not fashion a reply. Of all the times for Charlotte Pankhurst to be right about a man’s blue, blue eyes…

“I’m trying to fathom the fragrance you’re wearing, my lord. It’s pleasant.”

“If I didn’t know better, I’d think from your expression that you do not approve of men wearing pleasant scents.” His tone, amused, teasing, suggested that sometimes, all he wore was a pleasant scent—and that just-for-you smile.

Lord Percival leaned nearer, as if sharing a confidence amid the noise and bustle of the first night of a lively, extended social gathering.

“Bay rum lacks imagination, don’t you think? I shall wear it when I’m a settled fellow with children in my nursery. There’s cedar in the scent I wear, reminds me of Canada. You’re partial to spicy scents yourself.”

He was inviting a reciprocal confidence from her with that observation. The notion of trading secrets with Percival Windham made something beneath Esther’s heart twang—disagreeably, of course.

“Lavender with a few other things.”

“My dear”—his lordship had straightened only a bit—“why is My Lady Hair Bows staring daggers in this direction?”

My lady…? Then… my dear?!

“I’m not sure what you mean, my lord.”

“You know exactly what I mean, Miss Himmelfarb.” Lord Percival picked up a plate, though they were still some distance from any sustenance. “Now the Needy girl is at her elbow, pouring brandy on the flames of gossip. You and I will be engaged by this time tomorrow, I don’t doubt.”

Did one correct a duke’s spare when he made light of marriage to a woman within staring distance of professional spinsterhood?

Yes, one did.

“Her name is Needham, my lord. And I should think an engagement unlikely when you have yet to ask for my hand and I have given no indication I would accept your suit.”

The light in his eyes changed, going from friendly—yes, that was the word—to something more intent.

“You are an impertinent woman. We shall get on famously, Miss Himmelfarb. I adore impertinent women.”

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes' bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish and Lady Eve's Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

Connect with Grace at her website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads


Grace is giving away a bundle of her Windham series novels! 

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