Thursday, 2 October 2014

Guest post by Regina Kyle + Giveaway

I have a special treat for you: today's guest is not only the author of a deliciously sizzling romance, but also an insider to the theatre world! That is how the lovely Regina Kyle, author of the newly released Triple Threat, will tell us about some behind the scenes superstitions theatre folks have. And if you tell us about any of your superstitions, you might even win her novel! So take a seat, this will be fascinating! :-)

It’s Bad Luck To Say Good Luck (And Other Theater Superstitions)
by Regina Kyle

Greetings, fellow romance lovers, and thanks so much to Stella’s Ex Libris for having me here today. I’m celebrating the release of my debut novel, Triple Threat, which came out in paperback on September 16 and just yesterday in e-book. The title has a double meaning: tall, dark and devastating action film star Nick Damone is definitely a threat to budding playwright Holly Nelson, body, heart and soul. But “triple threat” is also a theater term meaning someone who excels equally at singing, acting and dancing. Appropriate, as much of the book’s plot revolves around the production of Holly’s newest play – with Nick as its star.

The theater world is one I know well. I was bitten by the acting bug at age ten and have been performing in school and community productions ever since. I got a whole new perspective on the business when my daughter started acting professionally at age ten, eventually traveling the United States playing a lead role in a Broadway national tour.

One thing I learned is that theater folk are a very suspicious lot. I mention a few of these time-honored superstitions in Triple Threat. But there’s a long list of things you can’t do or should do in order to guarantee success on performance night, each with its own particular history. Here’s a list of the top five theater superstitions (according to me, at least) and their origins:

1. The Scottish play (Macbeth) – This superstition has a few alleged origins. Some say that Shakespeare got the witches’ chants in the play from real witches, who were less than pleased with how they were portrayed and cursed the show. Others say it’s just because there’s so much violence in the play it’s easy for something to go wrong. Whatever the source, if you say “Macbeth” in a theater, the only way to reverse the curse is by going outside the theater, spitting and turning around three times before begging to be let back in.

2. Break a leg – The worst thing you can do is say “good luck” to an actor right before a show. So instead, theater folk say, “Break a leg.” The most popular explanation for this superstition is that, in Shakespearean times, stages were supported on thin wooden legs. A spectacular performance would cause such a tremendous ruckus that a leg would break. Another possible origin involves the 1865 assassination of Abraham Lincoln. When John Wilkes Booth, the actor turned assassin, leapt to the stage of Ford’s Theater after the murder, he broke his leg. There’s no proof of a connection between this event and the substitution of “break a leg” for “good luck,” but it sure makes for a good story.

3. Ghost light – It seems like practically every theater has a resident ghost. The ghost light is a light that is left onstage, always on, to ward off any ghosts lurking after hours.

4. Bad dress….good show! – Lousy dress rehearsals aren’t uncommon, especially because it’s often the cast’s first real chance to run through the show. My worse dress rehearsal was for a production of Oklahoma! There was a point in a musical number where one cast member was supposed to point a gun at another (playing my father) and say, “Sing it, Andrew.” We were using cap guns, and she pointed it at him and accidentally pulled the trigger, “shooting” him with a loud popping sound. The poor actor who was “shot” didn’t know how to react, and the rest of us burst into hysterical laughter, stopping the show. Our director said it was the worst dress rehearsal she’d ever seen, but opening night was fantastic.

5. Whistling – Whistling on or off stage is considered bad luck. This is probably because, before the invention of walkie-talkies and intercom systems, the crew coordinated their actions using whistle signals. If someone whistled onstage, it could be misinterpreted as a cue for the stage crew, creating havoc.

Whistling isn’t the only thing that’s bad luck on stage. Wearing the colors blue and yellow will make actors forget lines. Wearing green is unlucky. Peacock feathers inside a theater are bad news. No real flowers, mirrors or jewelry should ever be used on stage. Why? No one really knows. But isn’t that what superstitions are all about, doing something strange for some unexplained reason?

What’s something you’re superstitious about and why?


Author Bio:

Regina Kyle knew she was destined to be an author when she won a writing contest at age ten with a touching tale about a squirrel and a nut pie. By day, she writes dry legal briefs, representing the state in criminal appeals. At night, she writes steamy romance with heart and humor.

A lover of all things theatrical, Regina lives on the Connecticut coast with her husband, teenaged daughter and two melodramatic cats. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely singing, reading, cooking or watching bad reality television. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and treasurer of her local RWA chapter.

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

Triple Threat by Regina Kyle

The Theater of Temptation presents Sabotage…and Seduction!

The Playwright: It’s emerging playwright Holly Nelson’s big break. Broadway. Having survived her traumatic marriage and divorce, Holly is now aiming for success, not love. And any naughty dreams about Nick Damone—the gorgeously dishy star who was her crush back in high school—must remain a fantasy.

The Star: For Nick, Broadway is a chance to go from big-screen-eye-candy to serious actor, and to explore the lust blazing between him and Holly. But life-threatening accidents will force a chain of events that could bring down the curtain on the whole production…or give Nick and Holly a chance to finish the sexy something that started fifteen years ago!

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - B&N

Excerpt:

Here’s a little teaser from Triple Threat when Nick discusses theater suspicious – and the recent accidents plaguing their production of Holly’s play – with his impressionable co-star:

“Excuse me, Mr. Damone?” Marisa Rodriguez stood next to him, nervously biting her lip. With him and Malcolm on board, the producers had taken a chance on the young, relatively inexperienced actress for the pivotal role of the abused wife. From what he’d seen so far, their risk was going to pay off. She had a wonderful, natural quality that couldn’t be taught in any acting class. “Can I ask you something?”

Nick snuck a glance at Holly and frowned. Ethan, her self-appointed bodyguard, had once again glued himself to her side. They sat together, shoulders touching, heads bowed over a copy of the script.

Jesus. The guy was like her freaking shadow. Nick wouldn’t be surprised to find out they went to the damn bathroom together. At first he thought maybe they were a couple, with their constant chatter, light touches and little laughs. That illusion had been blessedly blown to bits when Ethan’s boyfriend showed up to meet him after rehearsal.

Still, Ethan needed to get accidentally locked in the prop room for a good half a day.

Overnight would be even better

Nick turned back to his impressionable costar and flashed her a grin that he hoped was reassuring. “Of course.” He patted the chair next to him, and Marisa sat down. “But I keep telling you, call me Nick. After all, we are married, in a matter of speaking.”

She blushed and ducked her head, her mane of long, dark curls covering her face. “Okay, Mr.…I mean, Nick.”

“Now that we’ve got that settled, what can I do for you?”

“I’m just curious.” She peered at him through her bangs. “You’ve done stage productions before, right?”

“It’s been a while, but yeah.”

“Are you nervous?”

“Not really,” he lied. “It’s like riding a bike. And nothing beats performing in front of a live audience. The instant response. The connection.” The chance that any minute you could forget your lines or your blocking. No one to bail you out by yelling, “Cut.”

“No, I mean because of the—” She stopped and looked around as if to make sure no one else was listening. When she spoke again, her voice was a whisper. “Curse.”

He rubbed the back of his neck. “The what?”

“The crew says we’re cursed. Because of all the weird stuff going on. You know. The bomb threat. The food poisoning. The blackout.”

Nick nodded, finally understanding. Of course Marisa would be worried. It was her plane that was grounded by a bomb threat in Toronto, where she was wrapping a film, making her miss the first read-through. Then half the crew got food poisoning from some bad sushi. And yesterday the power went out at Pearl, costing them half a day’s practice.

But all shows hit rough waters, and Nick wasn’t about to let Marisa drown in them. These were hiccups, not the Titanic.

“Nah,” he assured her. “Theater people are suspicious by nature.”

“Really?”

“Sure. That’s why we say ‘break a leg’ instead of ‘good luck.’ And leave a ghost light on onstage. And, most importantly, never, ever say or quote from Macbeth in a theater.”

Marisa tilted her head, looking confused. “What do you call it then?”

“You don’t.” Nick chuckled. “Or if you must, it’s the Scottish play.”

“That’s silly.”

“Yep. Like believing we’re cursed is silly.”

“I guess so. Thanks, Mr.…Nick. Sorry.” She stood and stretched, showing a wide expanse of her flat stomach that, in another lifetime, one before Holly reappeared, would have had him itching to see more. Now he wasn’t interested. He ran a hand across his face, trying to erase the unfamiliar feeling.

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - B&N 

Giveaway Rules:

Regina has generously offered an e-book of Triple Threat to a lucky commenter!


To be entered just answer her question in a comment: What’s something you’re superstitious about and why?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 13 October 2014!

Good luck!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Excerpt: Deconstructing Lila by Shannon Leigh

Deconstructing Lila by Shannon Leigh

She’ll bring him to his knees…

Preservationist Lila Gentry returns to her small Texas hometown to restore the famous Chisholm Trail whorehouse where her great-great-grandmother was a madam in the 1880s. On her agenda is winning back Jake, the one that got away. But how do you rope a man who doesn't want to be wrangled?

Jake lives by one creed: Keep it simple. His ex showing up in town complicates his life and makes him think about things he'd rather forget.

When Lila's restoration project is threatened before it even begins, she turns to Jake for help. Working together stirs up old feelings, but while Lila and Jake always sizzle between the sheets—or wherever the moment takes them—it will involve some sweet-talking and finesse to bring these two together.

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - B&N - Entangled

Excerpt:

Jake watched in his rearview mirror as Lila smiled. And then the weight from ten years of resignation hit him like a hammer. He’d fought the urge to reach out and drag her into his arms. To feel her pressed up against his chest. He wanted to know if she still smelled like summer sun and flower gardens.

And because he was tired today from a late-night planning session with a new client, he did stupid-ass things, like stand in the middle of the Grab & Get lot on the hottest day of the goddamn summer and ogle old exes, as if he were ready to drive back to his place and jump in bed.

Very bad idea, thinking of the two of them together in bed. One thing they were always good at, even up to the very end, was sex. And lots of it. At various times of the night and day. In exciting body-bending positions. Hands down, his favorites were the sessions at 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - B&N - Entangled


Author Bio:

Growing up in Hell’s Back Forty, Shannon Leigh developed a fierce loyalty to all things Texas and pledged to share the romance of small town dance halls and the flavor of brisket BBQ with readers. Currently, she lives in Fort Worth with an extensive cowboy boot collection, a red and white, ’67 Chevy pickup and a mission to find the best taco stands in the city.

She’s been writing since Jesus was a small boy, but recently found a home with the uber wonderful folks at Entangled Publishing.

When she’s not writing fiction, she writes features for local magazines, sells real estate, and runs around with a particular 11 year old known as “The Boy.”

Connect with Shannon at her Website - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Guest post by Sarah Mäkelä + Giveaway

You all know how much I love to travel, so I am extremely happy to share today's guest post with you: please give it up for Sarah Mäkelä who on her blog tour celebrating the release of Jungle Heat, book#1 in her Amazon Chronicles series, will share with us her top 10 places in the world she cannot wait to visit! Let's join her on this virtual globetrotting and take a peek at these gorgeous places ;-)



Top Ten Places I Most Want to Travel To
by Sarah Mäkelä

I’m probably a little different from most people in my choices. I’m not crazy about beaches or hot weather. I’m entirely fascinated with snow and Scandinavia and Russia. With that out of the way, here we go...

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

10. Yellowstone National Park – I went as a child, but I’d love to go again now that I can really enjoy the beautiful scenery.

"Murder Lake" in Transylvania

9. Transylvania – I’ve been to other parts of Romania, but I’d love to visit Transylvania and see Bran Castle. There’s so much history, and well... Vlad Tepes (aka Dracula).


Kieperteller - Source: Knieperfuchs

8. Germany – My mother was born there. Plus, I really like German food.


Hawaii - Source: Momarzia59

7. Hawaii, USA – I’d love to see some of the sites there. Volcanoes, WWII battleships, and okay... maybe the beaches.


Viking Boat House

6. Norway – I’ve had the pleasure of going, but I’d love to go back, especially to Oslo. There’s so much Viking history, and it’s absolutely a beautiful country.

Grand Canal Venice

5. Italy – It’s Italy; what more can I say? I’d love to see Venice and Florence. Also, I really like Italian food, and there’s so much history. Yes, I’m a history buff.

Alaska

4. Alaska, USA – I’ve always wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise. It’s so pretty with its snow and mountains.


Geysir Eruption Source: Andreas Tille

3. Iceland – I’d love to visit. It’s a Nordic country, and it looks so beautiful and exotic too.


Kymenlaksoo Landscape - Source: Mitte

2. Finland – I’ve been many times, but I absolutely love Finland. If I could live anywhere but the USA, I’d live there.

St. Petersburg Church - Source: Dionysos

1. St. Petersburg, Russia and Moscow, Russia – I’ve always wanted to visit Russia since I’ve had a fascination with it and its history and culture ever since I was young.

Jungle Heat by Sarah Mäkelä

Book #1 in the Amazon Chronicles series


An Amazon Princess and a weretiger must find love enough to heal their peoples’ painful history.

The Amazon Rainforest still contains a few secrets. One of these secrets is a hidden village of women whose history is filled with the horror of conquering men.

Adara Rukan, princess of the Amazons, ventures away from her village to find something waiting for her. Andrei "Rei" Makarov is a weretiger and a biologist on assignment. Can Rei and Adara find love enough to bridge their two separate worlds?

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

Excerpt:

Adara raced over the dense forest floor, trying to escape the shadow closing on her heels. Fear pumped adrenaline through her body as she ran toward her village through the darkness. Panic tangled with the sheer need to survive. If only I'd listened. What was I thinking, coming out alone?

She shot a glance over her shoulder. Her foot smacked against a tree root in the moment of distraction, pitching her body forward. The fall came in slow motion.

Cursing under her breath, she rolled onto her back. Dry leaves clung to her blonde hair. The subtle, musty scent of slow rot rose from the rich soil, mixed with something coming from behind her. The dark shadow loomed. Her gaze rose to take in her pursuer, wondering if the beast would be her doom.

The tall, broad-shouldered creature towered over her. Watching. It wasn't human or animal. The village wise woman had warned her of beings like this, but they'd seemed like fables. How could something so fantastical be real?

Even as she trembled with fear, this creature captivated her. The black and orange stripes covering his shoulders and arms evoked a distant memory, yet the design was uncommon in the Amazon.

His hair hung in straight, black strands like a human's, but his face had the nose, mouth, and eyes of a feline. His muscular, naked body reflected a splendid combination of both species. Sweat-shiny skin glistened through the inch-long fur that covered him. His white chest intrigued her, all the way to the patch of fur barely covering his groin. Leaves and branches framed his face with a lush green background. He crouched over her. His piercing golden eyes focused solely on her. His stare reminded her of a cat from her village staring at a small rodent before pouncing.

As he leaned down, she grabbed her kris from the garter on her thigh and pushed it against his stomach. She didn't want today to be the day she died. Her people needed her. She wouldn't let this beast deny them their princess.

The animal cocked his head at her. He brushed his lips over her throat, whiskers tickling her chin.

Her body stiffened. What is he doing? Bewilderment spread through her as his feline lips touched her neck. Instead of biting her, his canines grazed lightly, gently, from just below her ear down to her shoulder, almost as if exploring her flesh, instead of seeking to rip open her throat.

She tensed. Even with her weapon pressed against the beast's stomach, she still feared for her life. As an Amazon princess, she wasn't easily scared. But this feline made her heart pound. If only she had brought Rubia with her. She wouldn't be in this situation and could've stood a better chance against this feline.

Why does he persist in toying with me? Adara swallowed as a low burn started in the pit of her stomach. These feelings confused her.

A soft sniffing sounded in her ear right before his tongue scraped rough caresses on her skin. Other jungle cats marked their territory. Did this animal believe she was his? She didn't want to find out.

Without waiting for the feline's next move, Adara drove the kris deep into his stomach, meeting resistance as it plunged through flesh and muscle. She forced it further as his blood flowed onto her hands, making the hilt of the kris slick, weakening her grip.

He roared and leapt back with her kris still embedded in his abdomen.

She scrambled to her feet. His scream so near the side of her face made her ear ring. Bringing up a hand to her ear, Adara felt a trail of his wet blood drip along her cheek.

He straightened his spine and strode back to her, her kris still buried in him. It seemed as if it were nothing more than a minor annoyance to him. She clenched her hands into fists and dropped them to her sides.

The reality of what she saw struck her. She froze. How could he act so unaffected? He shouldn't have been able to move around so casually. It wasn't possible. How can I outrun something like that? This can't be happening. Her mother had always warned her to be careful when traveling through the forest. Why hadn't she listened? And how could she feel so drawn to this animal when he intimidated her?

"Who are you?" Gritting her teeth, she forced her voice to resonate with the commanding tones of an Amazon huntress, and fervently hoped it didn't betray the panic racing through her veins. Her people's beliefs restricted them from showing fear in front of strangers. Not that they saw many. But her tribeswomen were survivors in dangerous times. Their history brimmed with reminders.

The feline bared pointed white teeth. "Call me Rei." His husky voice reverberated like a deep growl.

He launched into the air and, before she could react, flattened her to the ground. Air whooshed out of her lungs. Her eyes widened and locked onto his.

He pinned her arms next to her head and pressed his feline lips to hers. His tongue scraped across her lower lip, causing nips of pain to cut through the alluring sensation.

She shook her head hard, breaking the kiss. Her breath rushed out short and quick. Never before had she kissed anyone. His mouth on hers created fiery stirrings within her body that felt almost too good. Her racing pulse only spread the warmth throughout her body that much faster.

Twice a year, her tribeswomen associated with Indian men. The younger girls were forced to stay in a hut during those visits, although Adara had snuck out once with Rubia in a fit of rebellion. She'd spotted one of her kin pressing her mouth against an Indian male's. Could this be what happens?

But men weren't to be trusted. Her kin had learned that the hard way many, many years ago.

Her mind flashed to the tales she'd heard from the wise woman. Horrible reminders assaulted her, memories of the men from long ago, enslaving her kind, killing them ruthlessly with diseases and swords.

She could imagine the cruelty of the conquering, pillaging men as vividly as if she had been there herself, so strongly had the wise woman spoken. It had taken weeks for her to sleep soundly after listening to that story.

Sudden panic swept away the lust that burned inside her. This creature could do the same. He's chased me, after all.

"What do you want from me?" Adara asked, trying to sound forceful, but instead her voice came out husky. She cleared her throat and returned his gaze.

Talking with an animal! Rubia would be jealous. Her tribeswomen would never believe this story... if she survived the encounter.

Rei smiled, warmth emanating from him. "You." His chest rumbled, and he rolled the word off his tongue like an exotic purr.

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


About the Author:

NYT & USA Today bestselling author Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy...even a sweet contemporary romance!

A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night-light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies (and Ghost Adventures), and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.

Contact Sarah at her website - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads


GIVEAWAY RULES:

To be entered in the tour-wide giveaway just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Guest post by Anna James + Giveaway

Today I am happy to introduce you to a lovely author and a fantastic new romance series, please give a warm welcome to Anna James, who will tell you about her brand new release, Keeping Her Guilty Secret, the first book in her Forever Yours Trilogy! And if you share with us what qualities you are looking for in a romantic hero, you might even win yourself a copy! ;-)

Essential Traits of The Perfect Romance Hero
by Anna James

Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy
Hi folks, I’m Anna James and I write contemporary romance stories with strong, confident people who conquer life’s trials and find their happy ever afters. I’m here today to talk about romance novel heroes.

So, what makes the perfect romance hero? While each is unique, whether he is the James Bond type: arrogant, sophisticated, mysterious and just a little dangerous; a Mr. Darcy: aloof and seemingly unsympathetic, or a Rhett Butler: the ‘black sheep’ and a bit of a rogue. Alpha or beta male, there are several essential qualities all great heroes share.

Compassion, integrity and dependability are three of my MUST-HAVES. He should be brave, honorable, intelligent and have a sense of humor. He doesn’t have to be drop-dead gorgeous, but someone his heroine can’t help falling for.

Meet Max, the hero from KEEPING HER GUILTY SECRET - Book 1 Forever Yours Trilogy. Max doesn’t want to get involved with any woman. He needs to focus on what’s important: rebuilding his life now that his divorce is final. Enter Nicole Bradford. Nicole is beautiful and sexy, and the chemistry between them… It's off the charts, but her good looks and fiery spirit come with a strong sense of family and integrity to match. She fires a hunger deep inside and he can’t resist her. When her ex shows up and threatens Nicole, all his protective instincts kick in.

Here is an excerpt to whet your appetite:
Nicole shut the door and started walking to the driver’s side of the car. A hand slammed down and tightened on her shoulder, then dragged her back against a hard body. Another hand closed over her mouth, stifling her scream.

“Shut up!” Carlo whispered furiously in her ear.

Nicole squirmed and bit down hard on his hand.

Carlo let out a harsh laugh and tightened his grip on her. “Bitch! Thought your boyfriend would scare me off, did you?”

Boyfriend, what boyfriend? A memory of Max coming to her rescue when Carlo showed up at the house and threatened her flashed into her mind. She tried to tell him Max wasn’t her boyfriend, but with his hand still clamped over her mouth it came out as a muffled moan.

“Does he know what a naughty girl you’ve been? I think not, and if you want to keep it that way you’ll listen—and listen good. “I want fifty thousand dollars.”

Fifty thousand? Her eyes went wide and she tried to protest.

“That’s right. The cost of my silence has gone up. I checked out your Max Paradis and he’s worth a good chunk of change.”

Footsteps thundered on the pavement. “Nicole? Are you okay?”

“Son-of-a-bitch!” Carlo let her go and took off running across the parking lot.

Nicole slumped against the car and tried to steady her breathing. She yelped when Max grabbed her and pulled her into his arms. “Did he hurt you?”

“No,” she said between ragged gulps of air. Thank God you arrived when you did. Again. 


What qualities do you think make the perfect romance novel hero? I’d love to hear what you have to say. Leave your answers below. I’m giving away an e-copy of KEEPING HER GUILTY SECRET to one lucky commenter.


A secret she must keep… A man she can’t resist

Passion ignites between Nicole Bradford and Max Paradis the moment they lay eyes on each other, but despite the sizzling attraction and Max’s to-die-for-kisses, Nicole is reluctant to get involved. She’s been burned by love before.

Carlo had been her ideal mate but the dream became a nightmare when his drug smuggling past was revealed.

Now all Nicole wants is to get on with her life and keep the secret she’s been hiding for the last six years.

Still, how can she resist the handsome and sexy Max when he’s everything she’s ever wanted in a man? And what will she do when Carlo returns and threatens to expose her ugly past?

Nicole will have to trust Max with the truth if she wants to win his love and get Carlo out of her life for good. If she doesn’t Carlo could destroy everything that matters most to her.


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


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Anna has generously offered an ebook copy of Keeping Her Guilty Secret to a lucky commenter!


All you have to do is leave a comment below and answer her question: What qualities do you think make the perfect romance novel hero?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 26 September 2014!

Good luck!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Guest post by Maggie Robinson + Giveaway

I am very happy to welcome back to the blog the lovely Maggie Robinson, who, once again is celebrating a brand new release, that of The Unsuitable Secretary, the fourth book in her Ladies Unlaced series! (Don't you just love how exquisite its cover is?) So please give Maggie the warmest welcome and read on, you could win yourself any copy of her backlist! :-)

Whee! Today is release day for The Unsuitable Secretary, the fourth book in my Edwardian Ladies Unlaced series. It follows last month’s release of The Reluctant Governess, so I’ve been busy talking about both novels and trying to keep the characters and plotlines straight, LOL.

Both stories feature independent young women who work for the Evensong Agency and are helping to support their families. Their heroes are rich, handsome and somewhat eccentric. Nicholas Raeburn in The Reluctant Governess is a bohemian artist who shuns the rules of society. He’s naughty and proud of it, much to heroine Eliza Lawrence’s disapproval. His friend Sir Thomas Benedict Featherstone in The Unsuitable Secretary is an art impresario, supporting creative people all over London. People think he’s naughty, but in fact he’s a virgin, and anxious to relieve himself of the designation. His new secretary Harriet Benson is about to reorganize his files. :-)

Here’s Thomas, ruminating about his lack of experience in this exclusive excerpt:

The fire crackled in his study, and Thomas stared into it as if it would tell him the future. He didn’t know where everything had all gone wrong. Once he was expelled from school, he supposed. He and his friends had drifted apart while he was educated privately. When they caught up, he discovered he was very far behind them in all the ways that were so important to young gentlemen.

There hadn’t been much opportunity to importune university town tavern wenches while he was stuck studying under the gimlet eye of his father and a series of dreadful, dried-up tutors in Featherstone House.

One thing had led to another which basically led to nowhere, so he’d fibbed about his sexual experience at first. Made up stories about saucy parlor maids and wicked widows. He’d always had a good imagination. Once he’d inherited his father’s baronetcy and fortune six years ago and launched himself as a patron of the arts, actresses and dancers and models were only too happy to accept his largesse without removing so much as a stocking. He’d whiled away many pleasant private hours discussing the problems of the middle and lower classes with its most beautiful representatives, and Thomas had developed a reputation rather quickly for being sweet and generous and uncomplicated.

Sweet! He spat into his father’s brass spittoon. As if that were at all helpful at this juncture in his life. How could he confess to his cronies that at the age of twenty-seven he had never removed a woman’s stocking or anything else?

Of course, he’d seen plenty of women in the altogether—thin, not thin, blondes, brunettes, some who were both depending where you looked. To them, he was like an indulgent cousin sitting in a corner. They changed out of their costumes as if he didn’t have eyes, chattering away about their days. Sometimes they took pity on him and removed some of his clothes. What they did with their talented mouths and hands beggared description, but brought him no closer to losing his virginity in the customary way.

The girls simply thought he preferred what they did to the other. At this point, it was too late to say otherwise.


Both books have a touch of danger and lots of humor, like the two previous books in the series, In the Arms of the Heiress and In the Heart of the Highlander. I’ll give away any paperback book/download from my backlist to one commenter below. Open internationally.

Do you like glomming a series all at once, or do you read each book as it comes out? Thanks to Stella for hosting me on the release day of my thirteenth full-length book! Lucky thirteen!


Book #4 in the Ladies Unlaced series


Harriet Benson takes her work at the Evensong Agency seriously, but lately, between convalescing from an illness and tending to her father and two young brothers, she’s had to shorten her hours. So when a promising position opens up for part time work, she immediately accepts, despite the fact that her new boss is scandalously indecent—and dangerously appealing.

Though his reputation paints him as a scoundrel, Sir Thomas Featherstone is more proper than anyone would guess. But Harriet’s wit and luscious curves are driving him to distraction. She’s the perfect woman to fill his office requirements, and other desperate needs he’s been ignoring…

Harriet has always held firm to the rule that a secretary must never fall in love with her employer. Only Thomas is determined to win her affections—and he’s willing to risk any cost to make her his…


Maggie Robinson is a former teacher, library clerk and mother of four who woke up in the middle of the night, absolutely compelled to create the perfect man and use as many adverbs as possible doing so. A transplanted New Yorker, she lives with her not-quite perfect husband in Maine, where the cold winters are ideal for staying inside and writing hot historical romances.

You can reach Maggie on her website, blogTwitter, Facebook and Goodreads.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Maggie has generously offered any paperback book/download from her backlist to one commenter who answers her question: Do you like glomming a series all at once, or do you read each book as it comes out?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 26 September 2014!

Good luck!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Things I Love Friday! #22

Hey Everyone!

I got sick Saturday (came down with some nasty flu-fever), so the week kind of flew by me. But here are a few things that make me happy this Friday:

  • finally feeling almost fine (still have a bit of a cough and I blow my nose quasi-nonstop but at least I feel better);
  • September is here! I always loved this time when everyone gets back from their summer vacation and school year starts anew. I just loved the excitement of new books, schedules and fall clothes! Well what can I say, I loved going to school ;-) And even now I love how sunny and warm it is without the blistering heat of summer. I can't wait for walks in the forest on sunny weekends :-)
  • going to the farmers' market with Boyfriend and later preparing brunch together. Love the harmony of doing such a "mundane thing" together.  :-)
  • My lil' sis got a good grade for her thesis, next week it will be her graduation!
  • we had our office team building yesterday: visited a huge cave and had picnic outside, was great.
  • spent an amazing day with my mom while recovering: it was so warm we spent the day out in the garden sunbathing, I was reading magazines while she was grading papers and it completely felt as if I were on summer vacation it was such a chilled and relaxed day :-)
  • one of my best friend is taking a massage class, I can't wait for her to start practicing on me :-D
  • my other best friend is enjoying the early joys of motherhood (her baby is only 2 weeks' old), and I can't wait to finally see them!
  • as soon as all our boxes are unpacked I'll start making my own soap at home! Can't wait to prepare some unique ones for everyone as their Christmas gift! :-)
  • we started watching Modern Family again, that show makes me laugh so much! :-D

So how are you, what have you been up to?
 And what is it you like the most/least about September?

Friday, 29 August 2014

Things I Love Friday! #21

Hey Everyone!

The past two weeks have been very eventful: we moved houses, cleaned and washed, and although we unpacked a looot of boxes there are still so many things which don't have their own place yet. But for the time being I enjoy and love organizing stuff and making our apartment home-y :-)

So here are what made me happy the past week(s):
  • my little sis dedicated her final thesis to me, thanking her big sister for all the love and support, *melts*
  • living with Bf :-) Even though we have been practically living together for almost a year, it is different to have our own place and not just crash at him, and share the kitchen with his flatmates;
  • had my birthday last week, but as I'm meeting friends almost every day, we are still celebrating :-D
  • organizing my kitchen and pantry - I'm in a home-y mood these days :-)
  • one of my high school best friends just gave birth to a cute little girl :-D
  • Bf took me on a surprise trip to a bear sanctuary, where bears, wolves and raccoons may live out their lives free and happy. There are caves and lakes for the animals to enjoy, and we saw lots of bears swimming and soaking up the sun :-)
  • discovering the joys of farmers' market. I remember when I was little I hated accompanying my mom, I found it terribly boring. But now that I myself cook and have my own place I enjoy it a lot!
  • organizing and looking forward to board game night with our friends!
  • soaking up the still warm sunshine while out walking;
  • colourful pots for my plants, that I'll pepper around in the apartment to bring some colourful whimsy to our home :-)

And what are your plans for this weekend? 
Resting and relaxing or plenty of programs to keep you busy? :-)

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