Happy Release Day to ME!!

I’m so excited to announce the release of the much-anticipated Gentlemen’s Pact Anthologies!

Along with my fellow Regency Romance author friends, Ava Stone, Catherine Gayle, Aileen Fish, Julie Johnstone and Jane Charles, we bring you this set of Christmas themed stories, guaranteed to warm your hearts (and maybe even your beds!) this holiday season…

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After attending the funeral of an old school friend, six Regency gentlemen make a pact never to marry, convinced it will save them from meeting the same fate…
 

COLLECTION 1:

In Ava Stone’s A BIT OF MISTLETOE, Everett Casemore, the very serious Marquess of Berkswell, returns home for Christmas, slightly shaken by the death of an old friend. Determined not to suffer the same sort of fate at the hands of a woman, Berks resolves himself to eternal bachelorhood. Unfortunately, both his resolve and his peace of mind are threatened by the arrival of a beautiful, thoughtful, but mostly unsuitable lady. * Miss Theresa Birkin knows better than most that an error in judgment can lead one down an unfortunate path. If only she’d been wiser when she was younger. If only she hadn’t followed her foolish heart. If only she’d met Lord Berkswell long before now.

In Jane Charles’s LADY DISGUISED, Mr. Sebastian Stanwick never intended to marry. It was bad enough that his father gambled away everything they owned and then drank himself to death, leaving his mother broken until she could not go on. But the death of his good friend at the hand of the man’s wife only solidifies Stanwick’s decision to remain a bachelor. Women were simply unpredictable and unstable if not taken care of properly. * Hélène Mirabelle wants few things in life. One, is to perform on the stage, and the other, is to be out from under the roof of her overbearing new family: Lord Bentley and the Trent brothers. Since her mother’s recent passing, Hélène’s desire to return to Milan and the stage has only grown. A husband could never fit into the plans because no decent man would take an actress as a wife. * One fateful night leaves Hélène questioning if being an actress is the only thing she wants, while Stanwick begins to wonder whether all women are truly prone to madness and if they are, he may never get Hélène off of his mind.

In Catherine Gayle’s Thick as Thieves, David Hounslow, the Marquess of Preston, will not stand aside while those he loves are hurt. When it becomes clear his brother-in-law’s guest is up to no good, Preston determines to scrutinize every move of the would-be thief. Not that he minds such a task—Lady Frederica is as beautiful and intelligent as she is enigmatic. Considering her close relation to a wastrel brother and her current proclivity for the less-than-savory, Preston never expected to be won over to the lady’s charms. Yet she just might steal his heart. * Desperation has become Lady Frederica Bexley-Smythe’s constant companion due to her brother’s recent affinity for gambling and carousing. With the fate of both her mother and sister resting upon her shoulders, perhaps the time has arrived for Freddie to bend the rules. How else can she secure their future? Unfortunately, Lord Preston’s scrutiny is complicating her task. Far more perplexing than his perusal is his caring nature, which is distracting her from the treasures she intends to steal. But desperate times call for desperate measures…

 

COLLECTION 2:

In Jerrica Knight-Catania’s ALL HE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS, Rowan Findley can’t imagine a fate worse than what his friend suffered at the hands of his mad wife, so he’s made the decision to remain a bachelor for all eternity. That is, until Olivia walks into his cousin’s drawing room for a Christmas party. Her fiery red hair and sweet demeanor remind him of a night so many years ago that he would never forget. * Olivia Edwards can’t quite believe her eyes when Rowan Findley waltzes back into her life, as handsome and charming as ever. It’s been almost seven years since she’s seen him, and the secret she’s been harboring all that time has her on edge whenever he’s about. Yet she can’t deny that she’s still drawn to him, nor can she deny the desire she’s kept hidden in her heart these many years.

In Aileen Fish’s CHASING LORD MYSTERY, Lord Northcotte is not in the holiday spirit when he joins his sister’s family shortly after the brutal death of a friend. Discovering a matchmaking scheme is afoot, he tells them he will never marry Lady Miriam or any other woman. Now if only his heart would listen. * Lady Miriam’s mother accused her of chasing Lord Mystery after a noble act by a handsome stranger six years ago became the measure of all other men. Now he’s staying at the home where she’d hoped to escape a summons from her grandfather, the Duke of Danby. Terrified Northcotte will recognize her and reveal the contents of the scandalous letter she wrote him years ago, she can’t decide which is the bigger threat: the duke armed with a special license, or Lord Mystery, who carries a secret she’d never live down.

In Julie Johnstone’s ’TIS THE SEASON FOR SURRENDER, Lillian Lancaster would rather catch the plague than a husband. Unfortunately, her abusive, recently deceased father’s will stipulates her inheritance hinges upon her marrying a lord. With time running out, Lillian proposes to the guilt-ridden, marriage-adverse Lord Edgeworth after securing his agreement to a marriage in name only. * Edgeworth feels responsible for his former betrothed’s death and believes he doesn’t deserve love, which makes Lillian’s proposal oddly perfect. Commanded by his grandfather to marry by Christmas or become penniless, the obviously perfect choice is a woman who wants nothing to do with him. * When Lillian displays a brave and true heart and Edgeworth reveals his honorable, protective side maintaining a marriage of convenience becomes harder than these two wounded souls imagined. Now, Lillian and Edgeworth must decide if they are courageous enough to risk their hearts and surrender to love.

Available now at the following retailers:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes: Collection 1 ; Collection 2

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Win a FREE audiobook!

In celebration of the release of The Bedeviled Bride in audiobook, I’m giving away 2 free audiobook copies of The Wary Widow!!

WW Audio BB Audio

 

 

 

In order to be eligible to win, you have to tell me what you’re reading right now!

I’ll go first…

I just started reading Jennifer Haymore’s HIS FOR CHRISTMAS. I’m loving it so far. It entertained me in the wee hours of this morning  when I couldn’t get back to sleep! It’s been a long time since I’ve read a good, ol’ fashioned Regency, and it feels great to be back at it. Of course, I have to get myself “in the mood” so I can start my next project…the next Wetherby Brides novel! I know a lot of fans will be excited by this news, so I promise I’m going to do my best not to disappoint 🙂

Okay, now it’s your turn! What are you reading??

Twelve Days of Christmas: Aileen Fish

christmas-gift-red-bow-1The Gift Game…

The one tradition my family continues to carry is what we call the gift game. I’ve heard other families call it various things, but we know what we mean by “gift game”. Everyone brings a gift according to predetermined guidelines. Everyone draws a number from a bowl to determine the order they may choose from the gifts. After the first gift is opened, the next player gets to choose either the opened gift or a wrapped one. If your gift is taken by another player, you get to choose again.

In my family, the goal of the game is to bring a gift that will be fought over. My brother-in-law will steal the most popular gift each year to get a chain of stealing going, so we always hope he draws a high number. It doesn’t matter what the item is, he’ll steal it. It was fun to watch him fight my nieces for a Sephora gift card! Last year the most coveted item was a crocheted afghan made by one of my sisters-in-law. One year it was a chocolate fountain machine. Thanks to thrifty shopping, these both fell under the $20 gift limit.

This year we decided on a white elephant exchange. We’ll all find something around the house we don’t need any more. This announcement came right after my older daughter and I had already sent off boxes of stuff to charity. We discovered we each had one pricey item we hadn’t sent, because we would rather see those items go to someone we know. The family is in for a surprise when they see what we bring!

This gift game has been a wonderful way to deal with rising costs of presents as our family grew. My nieces are now college-age, with typical college-student income. The white elephant idea, or the $20 limit, makes it possible for them to join in on their own, instead of Mom and Dad having to pay their way.

But the gift game will be the second most joyful event when the family gathers this year. My granddaughter, Zoey, will be enjoying her first Christmas! My mom will be with us, too, so we’ll have four generations present. You can’t get better than that. I’m bringing my tripod so we can take a group photo.

What silly things does your family do when you get together? Are you able to share your holiday with extended family? It takes juggling, but we find a day each year when the majority of us can all be there.

The importance of family at this time of year led me to write The Christmas Wedding Scheme. Their celebration at their country estate was a longer event, running clear through Twelfth Night, but the entire family was there.

wedding scheme smlThe Christmas Wedding Scheme

The Christmas season has always been important to Nash Sinclair. Home from the war and surrounded by his large, loving family, he realizes what is missing from his life: a wife. Not too surprisingly, he is looking at his sister-in-law’s rather becoming (and unmarried) sister when he makes the decision.

Lady Julianna intends to remain unmarried, having no need for a husband to live the life of her dreams. Rather than explain her unusual choice, she insists only a man who slays dragons would suit her, and since dragons don’t exist, neither does her ideal beau.

Not one to turn away from a challenge, Nash enlists the aid of his nieces and nephews in a scheme sure to win Lady Julianna’s affection. But as he comes to know the lady better, he realizes he’s risking his own heart. When did his silly idea become a crucial quest?

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers!

The Viscounts Sweet Temptation (Summons from Yorkshire)summons_from_yorkshire_picture_2 (1)

Lady Harriet Thornhill knows the summons from her grandfather means he’s decided whom she must marry. Determined that she’d only marry a man of her choosing, she stows away in her friend’s father’s carriage, only to find herself alone with young Archibald Napier,Viscount Morley.

Morley’s plans for a quiet Christmas vanish when he discovers the sweet young lady hiding under the blankets in his carriage. As she claims an acquaintance with his sister, he feels duty-bound to see her safely back to her family.

A broken carriage wheel leaves them stranded, and Harriet’s reputation is at stake. Morley’s not ready to take a wife, until he’s told he wouldn’t be a suitable husband for her. With memories of her sweet, tempting kiss filling his thoughts, he prepares to fight for the hand of the woman he believes he could love.

 

Leave a comment and be entered for the chance to win a $25 gift card to the online book seller of your choice!

 

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12 Days of Christmas: Christmas in Paradise

IMG_7631If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever want to live in Florida, I would have looked at you like you had three heads. Florida?? Land of alligators and dangling chads?? Are you crazy?!?!

But many of you know that one fateful trip to the Bahamas changed everything. Yes, I know Florida isn’t the Bahamas, but it’s pretty darn close, both in proximity and in “feel.” So, blah, blah, blah, we decided to move here and our original 18-month timeline became 6 months, and well, here we are.

The main thing I was concerned about was how I would feel about wearing flip-flops and going swimming at Christmastime. I love Christmas. This is no secret. And, as most people do, I have always associated this time of year with frigid temps, snow, fireplaces and bundling up, yet still freezing my a** off.

Well, let me tell you…I will NEVER look back. Ever.  (Cue Taylor Swift song, “Weeeeee are never, ever, eveeeeer…getting back together!) You don’t need to be freezing to feel the magic of Christmas. As a matter of fact, I would venture to say that I’m way more in the Christmas spirit than I’ve ever been! And those things I love still exist, even here.

For instance, Florida *does* get a little chilly, so I still get to put on a light sweater. And last night, in my light sweater, I ate Grimaldi’s New York pizza al fresco near a blazing heat lamp while watching the Christmas light show! It was MAGICAL!

And this morning, to and from dropping my daughter off at school, I rolled the windows down and blared Christmas music out the windows. Seriously, you haven’t known joy until you’ve had a warm breeze on your face while listening to Bing sing White Christmas.IMG_7678

Oh, and don’t forget snow! Almost every holiday celebration here involves fake snow. But it’s warm! And you don’t have to be bundled up in a gajillion layers of clothing or risk your children getting frostbite!

This last weekend alone was EPIC in terms of Christmas celebrations…breakfast with Santa, holiday boat parade, festival of trees, the children’s holiday festival with petting zoo, tree lightings, etc… We didn’t even make it to all of them though… we had to sleep and eat sometime!!

But no matter where you live, I hope you find the joy and love of the holiday season in your hearts! And to help you get in the mood, we’re kicking off our 12 Days of Christmas giveaway today! Every day, for the next 12 days, I’ll be featuring an author from the Regency Christmas Summons Series here on my blog. Stop by and learn about their favorite holiday traditions, read about their story in the collection, and leave a comment to WIN!

Win what? you may ask! I’ll be giving away a $25 gift card to the book seller of your choice. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win!* Winner will be announced December 21, 2012.

So now it’s your turn! Do you love the winter? Do you embrace the cold? Or would you be just as happy to spend Christmas in a tropical paradise? IMG_8069

*One comment per blog entry = a potential twelve entries.

A SUMMONS FROM THE DUKE…

Summons Duke

In Loving Mister Lockwell (Regency Christmas Summons, Vol. 2), Lady Isabel Whitton has no use for people other than her twin sister — she much prefers the company of her books. So when she discovers that all her cousins from near and far have been summoned to her home, Danby Castle, for Christmas, she isn’t pleased. To make matters even worse, the deplorable Mister Lockwell has come uninvited.

Damien Lockwell, 3rd son of the Earl of Totterdown, has invited himself to Yorkshire for Christmas. Spending the holiday with the Whittons seems far preferable to watching his father drink himself into a stupor. And Lady Isabel proves to be just the kind of entertainment he was looking for — she’s smart as a whip and quite the most unique creature he’s ever met — not to mention she despises him, which is the most thrilling part of all for a man like Damien.

Available NOW at these major retailers…
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords

Adventures in Montreal…

Well, we’re finally here, and I’m finally settled enough to sit down and write a blog…for the first time in a couple weeks! Preparing for a trip is a nightmare for me, so most things get put on hold while I contemplate things like packing and travel arrangements.

But now I’m here! And it’s wonderful! The baby is with Grandma and Grandpa, so I’m free to live in my own little (Regency) world for a few days.

Since it was cold and rainy yesterday, I spent most of the day in my hotel room, staring out at the rain while reading Regency Christmas stories for the upcoming Danby Christmas Summons anthologies. To say these stories are putting me in the mood (and by mood I mean Regency mood…get your mind out of the gutter!!) would be an understatement. I’ve felt so whimsical and romantic these last couple days – a feeling I don’t get to feel very often with a 20-month-old underfoot at home.

Last night, I donned my new empire waisted top, (all flowy and chiffon-y, but cut to make “the girls” look like a million bucks) and I couldn’t help but think of myself as a Regency heroine, mingling at the ball, dining with handsome lords, but having eyes for only one, of course 😉 I ate too much and drank just enough to make me say something scandalous. Okay, fine…almost everything out of my mouth was scandalous. I know, I’m such a rebel.

I woke up this morning after a great night’s sleep and decided, since it was a beautiful sunny day, to venture out into Montreal. Now, I’ve been here twice before, but we always stayed in Old Montreal, which I know pretty well. This year, we’re downtown. And I know nothing about downtown. Still, I was pretty confident in my navigational abilities as I set out on my walk.

I crossed the street toward the restaurant we went to last night and kept going, reading menus and window shopping along the way. I came to a cafe, but I wasn’t ready to sit and have another coffee, so I turned right toward what looked like a park. It was! I found the fountain in the middle and nestled onto a bench in the sunshine, opened my iPad and began to read the next story on my list. And that’s when the fun began…

The smoke of a particular herb wafted my way and enveloped me in its skunky goodness. I looked to my left and saw the culprits – two middle-aged men, totally strung out, toting that joint like there was no tomorrow. The older of the two departed for another bench where another middle aged man and a middle aged woman joined in the fun, while the younger man stayed near me. He walked around the fountain, stared into it as if it held all the answers to the meaning of life, took his shirt off, put it back on, took it off again…you get the picture.

And then, just as a gaggle of nursery school children came through the courtyard, tethered to their teachers, the police arrived. They left my weird-o guy alone, but the other three were thoroughly searched, cuffed and carted off. With the police gone and the strung-out guy still hanging around, I decided it was time for me to go.

So I exited the other side of the park and started walking…and walking…and walking…

Until I was certain I had no idea where I was. I didn’t have the convenience of 3G, either, since it would cost me $15/minute on data roaming, so I just had to keep walking.

I passed by some exciting things, like this cupcakery, which NYCupcakeGuide will certainly return to for tasting purposes. And some not-so-exciting things, like construction and slums.

But then, at last, like a shining beacon in the darkness (except it was broad daylight), I saw a map! Just a random map on the edge of the sidewalk with a large red arrow that said “Vous etes ici.” Okay, it didn’t really say that, but I figured that’s what it meant.

After carefully studying it for a few minutes, heading off confidently and then turning back once more to make sure I should be confident in my confidence, I turned left at the next street, walked a block or two and VOILA! Behold, the cafe I had passed more than an hour earlier, right near the hotel. Not only did they have coffee, but they had a bathroom, which I needed desperately.

Finally, I was able to return to the Regency Christmas story I was reading. *sigh*

I hope to have more adventures to report tomorrow!