Posts Tagged ‘giveaway’

The review website Dear Author is doing book giveaways all this month, and I’m one of the giver-awayers today. You can enter to win one of 5 copies of A Woman Entangled, or one set of audiobooks (one copy of A Lady Awakened and one of A Gentleman Undone) – as well as romantic suspense by Rachel Kall, and Scottish romance by Tarah Scott.

The Woman Entangled giveaway is open to international entries; the audiobook giveaway is US only. I’m not sure for how long the giveaway runs, but it’s not for very long. “A few days” is what the page says.

Go win some books!

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Congratulations to Growlycub, winner of Susanna’s An Infamous Marriage giveaway! Susanna will be emailing you shortly to find out which e-book format you prefer.

I’m so happy to welcome author Susanna Fraser to the blog today.Susanna Fraser

Susanna writes romances set in the early decades of the 19th century, with a military milieu – she read Bernard Cornwell and Patrick O’Brian as well as Jane Austen in her formative years, and it shows in her stories. I always feel like I’m just sinking into a sort of hammock of immaculately woven, inconspicuously integrated research when I’m reading one of her books.

I was fortunate enough to have an early look at Susanna’s latest release, An Infamous Marriage, and she kindly agreed to answer some of my questions about writing the book.

Cover of An Infamous MarriageNorthumberland, 1815

At long last, Britain is at peace, and General Jack Armstrong is coming home to the wife he barely knows. Wed for mutual convenience, their union unconsummated, the couple has exchanged only cold, dutiful letters. With no more wars to fight, Jack is ready to attempt a peace treaty of his own.

Elizabeth Armstrong is on the warpath. She never expected fidelity from the husband she knew for only a week, but his scandalous exploits have made her the object of pity for years. Now that he’s back, she has no intention of sharing her bed with him—or providing him with an heir—unless he can earn her forgiveness. No matter what feelings he ignites within her…

Jack is not expecting a spirited, confident woman in place of the meek girl he left behind. As his desire intensifies, he wants much more than a marriage in name only. But winning his wife’s love may be the greatest battle he’s faced yet.

Q:  I love romances that take risks, and An Infamous Marriage takes a big one:  hero Jack, a career soldier, has been unfaithful to his wife during the years he was away at war. How did you decide to write a story that featured the hero’s infidelity as an obstacle? Was it a historical-accuracy thing? A “let’s see if I can pull this off” thing? And did you worry it would make your hero too unsympathetic?

A:  Jack is the first hero I’ve written who’s in any sense a rake, and having set myself the challenge of writing such a hero, I didn’t want him to be a fake rake. I also wanted to give him and the heroine something real and difficult to work through. I don’t know if I always succeed, but I do my best to avoid plots driven by a Big Misunderstanding. (Big Secrets and Big Miscommunications are another story, however.)

Historical accuracy was a factor, too, in that Jack is a man of his time. The infidelity takes place during a five-year separation. His marriage is one of convenience, he hardly knows his wife, and he certainly isn’t in love with her yet. He’d say he hasn’t acted any differently than other men in the same circumstances—and he wouldn’t be wrong. But because he’s a hero, he learns that “everyone else does it” isn’t a valid excuse.

I did worry that the infidelity might make Jack unsympathetic. On the other hand, it was the story I wanted to tell. I try to stretch myself at least a little bit out of my comfort zone with every book I write, just to keep from getting stale.

Q: Was your publisher on board with the infidelity plotline right away, or did you have to do some convincing?

A: They never brought it up when they accepted the proposal or at any point during the editing process. As I was working on this interview I checked in with my editor, and she told me it wasn’t an issue, given the circumstances of the infidelity.

Q: Jack and Elizabeth meet and marry under some of the most unromantic circumstances I’ve ever read in a romance, and neither one expects to fall in love with the other. At what point would you say her feelings start to change, and at what point do his?

A: She’s aware of him as an attractive man on some level from the very beginning, but she’s too lost in grief for her first husband to feel much of anything for anyone at first. So she begins to fall in love with him a few months after they marry for the sake of the letters he sends her from Canada, where he’s serving with his regiment. This makes her feel all the more betrayed when she hears transatlantic gossip about his affairs.

As for Jack, his feelings only start to change when he comes home from the wars and Elizabeth confronts him over his infidelity—but once he falls, he falls fast and hard and doesn’t look back.

Q: Jack’s serving in the war with America is unusual for a Regency romance. Did you know a lot about that conflict already, or did you need to research? And was there any tidbit of military research that you regret not being able to work into the book?

A: I knew almost nothing about it, and what I knew was the kind of factoids I must’ve used as fill-in-the-blank answers on American History tests back in 11th grade. Francis Scott Key, the Star-Spangled Banner, Andrew Jackson, the Battle of New Orleans. (I sort of backed into my interest in Napoleonic Era military history—it started with a fictional crush on Richard Sharpe that turned into a historical crush on the Duke of Wellington, neither of which draws one to study the War of 1812.)

I’d certainly learned nothing in school about the conflict along the Canadian border, which is the part of the war Jack serves in. But once I discovered it, I knew I’d found Jack’s place in the war. I’m an American myself, after all, as are the majority of my readers, and I figured they’d have an easier time sympathizing with a hero defending Canada than one who took part in the burning of the White House!

As for research I couldn’t include in the book, I read a couple biographies of the Shawnee leader Tecumseh, who died in battle in 1813 leading a coalition of Indian warriors who fought alongside the British. He was a fascinating man, a real tragic hero, and Jack certainly would’ve known him well, but I ended up with no story-related reason to do more than mention his name a time or two.

Q: Some historical figures of the period, most notably the Duke of Wellington, appear as characters in An Infamous Marriage. What are the challenges of writing a real-life person into your story? Is there someone you’d particularly like to write into a book someday?

A: I’d say the biggest challenge in using a real-life figure is making him or her come across as a real person rather than a cardboard cutout, all while keeping within the limits of his or her actions as recorded by history.

I don’t see myself ever writing biographical fiction—I’m not even that fond of it as a reader. When I’m fascinated by a historical figure, I go straight to biography. In fiction, I don’t want to know exactly how it ends before I even start the book.

That said, my “book under the bed” is an alternative history involving, among other people, Wellington and Napoleon. One of these days I want to either polish that manuscript into publishable form or write a fantasy series with similar themes and character types.

Q: You have a novella coming up that I’m really excited about. Can you tell us a little bit about that, and about what you might be working on afterward?

A: It will be out on 7/29/2013, with a title yet to be determined. It’s an interracial romance set in the aftermath of the Battle of Vittoria in the Peninsular War in 1813. The hero is a black British soldier, born to parents who escaped slavery in Virginia by running away to the British army. Over the past few years I’ve been lurking on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ blog, where he’s often written about the black Union soldiers of the Civil War. Bringing black men into the army was such a huge, hotly-debated step in America, yet I knew for a fact 50 years earlier there had been at least a few black soldiers in both the British and French armies.  So I decided I wanted to try to write one of their stories.

After that, I’m working on a proposal for a full-length novel featuring a secondary character from the novella, and I’m trying my hand at a Christmas novella.

I’ll be giving one copy of An Infamous Marriage to a commenter on this post in your choice of e-book format, and at the end of the tour I’ll be giving away a grand prize of a $50 gift certificate to their choice of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Powell’s Books to one commenter on the tour as a whole. You get one entry per blog tour stop you comment upon, so check out my blog for the whole schedule! If you wish to be entered in the drawing, include your email address formatted as yourname AT yourhost DOT com.

Leave a comment by 5 pm Pacific time, Wednesday, November 21 to be entered in the e-book giveaway.

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Winner Winner!

annananner, random.org picked you as the winner of my autographed copy of The Siren! Send me a mailing address (cecilia@ceciliagrant.com) and I’ll get the book right out to you.

I have another book to give away, and, like last week’s, it has a little story attached.

Pictured below is an artifact from my trip to the Romance Writers of America national conference in 2010.

Notebook in which I've written "Sleeping Beauty Chronicles"

Yes, my handwriting is atrocious. In case you can’t read it, it says “Sleeping Beauty Chronicles.” The correct title is “Sleeping Beauty Trilogy,” but I think my brain was already checking out, saying, “Yeah, I’m never gonna read this.”

Periodically at the conference I’d strike up conversations with people who wrote in genres I didn’t read, and, in order to have something to say, I’d ask what books they’d recommend to a first-time reader in their genre. So my notebook has pages of paranormal recommendations, romantic-suspense suggestions, and, on that page, the souvenir of the day I sat down in the hotel lobby and wound up chatting with not-yet-published erotica writer Tiffany Reisz.

Book cover for The Siren by Tiffany ReiszI haven’t ever read those Sleeping Beauty books.  I doubt I ever will.  But when I started hearing buzz about The Siren (and if you’re anywhere in Romanceland, you can’t fail to have heard buzz about The Siren), I thought, “Hey, that’s that same author I met in the lobby at RWA 2010!  Wow, these are some eye-popping reviews.  Maybe I’d better check it out.”  And so, poetically enough, Tiffany Reisz herself became the first erotica author I ever read.

To cut to the chase, I think The Siren is pretty brilliant.  It’s not at all what I expected erotica to be:  I never felt like the author’s goal was to titillate, gratify, or shock me.  It’s just a story in which sex happens to be a major component, and it explores some of the psycho-dynamics (is that a word?) of sexuality, with a particular emphasis on power.  (Which in my opinion is what makes sex most interesting and dynamic, in a narrative role.)

Here’s the back-cover copy:

Notorious Nora Sutherlin is famous for her delicious works of erotica, each one more popular with readers than the last. But her latest manuscript is different—more serious, more personal—and she’s sure it’ll be her breakout book…if it ever sees the light of day.

Zachary Easton holds Nora’s fate in his well-manicured hands. The demanding British editor agrees to handle the book on one condition: he wants complete control. Nora must rewrite the entire novel to his exacting standards—in six weeks—or it’s no deal.

Nora’s grueling writing sessions with Zach are draining…and shockingly arousing. And a dangerous former lover has her wondering which is more torturous—staying away from him…or returning to his bed?

Nora thought she knew everything about being pushed to your limits. But in a world where passion is pain, nothing is ever that simple.

You might want to read a few reviews on Amazon or Goodreads to decide whether this book is right for you – there are several plot points that I know were troubling to some readers.  (There are definitely choices made that I don’t endorse in real life, but nothing ever happened that broke my connection to the characters. Your mileage may vary.)  On the flip side, the book is touching, thematically dense & ambitious, and consistently witty.  One of the best books I read in 2012.

So when I was at the RWA conference this past summer, I got a signed copy, and now I’d like to give it away.  She has a follow-up, The Angel, already out, and a third, The Prince, coming out on the 20th of this month, so if you wind up liking The Siren you don’t even have to wait to read more of that world.

As with all my holiday-season giveaways, I’ll ship anywhere.  If The Siren isn’t available in your corner of the planet, now’s your chance.  Just leave a comment below telling me what’s one of the best books you read in 2012.  I’ll pick a winner Tuesday, November 20 (which is also the day I’ll be interviewing Susanna Fraser and giving away a copy of her book An Infamous Marriage!  Giveaways galore!)

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Blogger Limecello does an annual “Social Media for Social Good” charity drive, and this year’s beneficiary is the excellent organization, charity: water. You can read about them on Lime’s page here, or on the organization’s home page, and you can also check out the details behind their four-star rating on Charity Navigator.

I pledged a dollar for every comment on Lime’s blog up to 100. We’ve already surpassed that, but other pledges are still active, so stop by and leave a comment.

Several of us have also donated prizes to be given away to random commenters. I threw in a set of audiobooks; one of A Lady Awakened and one of A Gentleman Undone. I’m squeamish about listening to someone read something I’ve written, so I actually haven’t listened to them yet, but people who have assure me they’re great.

You can enter to win right here.

FYI I’m planning some more giveaways as we get into the holiday season, so stay tuned!

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Romance at Random is giving away a boatload of A Lady Awakened Advance Reader Editions this month.  Sign-up is quick & easy; you don’t even have to leave a comment like you do on a blog post.

Also, my giveaway at Manga Maniac Cafe continues through December 11. That one’s open internationally, FYI.

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Congratulations to commenter kiwi1124, winner of my ECWC book haul! And thanks to everyone who entered.


Let’s start with the bad news: I didn’t win an e-reader. I think there were six or seven raffle baskets that had them, and I put tickets in every single one (I put 25 tickets in one!), but to no avail. So I think Plan B is going to revolve around Black Friday.

Here’s a highlight: look what was in my hotel room:

Hotel-room chaise-longueA chaise-longue! [Brief tangent: weird spellings stay with me. I will never, never misspell the name of the basketball player Dwyane Wade, precisely because it's not spelled the way you'd expect it to be spelled. Same thing with chaise-longue, which you always hear pronounced "chaise lounge."] I had happy visions of spending much of the weekend stretched out writing on this thing; unfortunately I only did that for a little while. But it was pretty great!

Now here’s a picture of all the freebies I got in my tote bag at conference check-in:

Conference FreebiesActually, that’s not even everything. There were a bunch of postcards and bookmarks too, but those aren’t so impressive to photograph. And in addition to all this, there was a table set out with more swag, some of it duplicates of the tote-bag stuff, but some entirely new! I will not have to buy a pen for about six years, I estimate.

So besides the e-reader failure, a quick review of my conference-goals checklist:

1) Learn to write faster. Well, I definitely learned that workshop presenter Susanna Fraser is kind of a superwoman for being able to juggle a kid, a husband, a full-time job, deadlines, and the occasional king-size monkey wrench (she had nerve problems in one hand this past year and didn’t get a correct diagnosis until recently). She highly recommends doing NaNoWriMo at least once, if only because once you’ve produced 50k words in a month, a more realistic pace of 20k/month will seem eminently do-able.

She’s also a big believer in checklists, which is something I haven’t yet tried. A lot of my problem is brain space devoted to other things (must write school-absence note for daughter’s orthodontist appt.; must make sure money is transferred from savings to checking to cover property-tax payment), so I like the idea of off-loading that stuff onto a list. I’ll try that for sure. I’m also going to try to follow her advice to “Write at the earliest time of the day that makes sense for your schedule and your body rhythms.”

2) Learn about branding. I guess this was on everybody’s to-do list, because Angela James’s workshop was packed. They had to bring in extra chairs and there were still people standing, and sitting on the floor!

I wrote pages and pages of notes on this session (including you-had-to-be-there quotes like “Your boobs should not be part of your brand”), and, while I still can’t articulate what my brand is, I’m now convinced of the necessity of being able to do so, and I have some ideas of the steps to take that will result in my figuring it out.

3) Introduce self to Smart Bitch Sarah. This just went smashingly well. She recognized my name and told me again how much she loved A Lady Awakened, and she was gracious as could be. I was only middlingly inarticulate, when I had feared being terribly so. I got a second chance to chat with her, when I went over to get one of her books at the bookfair, and not only did I manage to get out a more lucid thanks for her support of my book, but… bonus! She was sitting with Courtney Milan (who wasn’t officially at the conference but had dropped by to see some people), and not only did she introduce me to Courtney, but she started raving to her about my book, and made her promise to read it! It was a tiny bit mortifying, but mostly just a thrill. And I got to tell Courtney some specific things I’ve loved about her books, hopefully without looking like a crazy-eyed fan.

All in all it was a great conference. I went to two invaluable working-session workshops: Elizabeth Boyle’s “Building a Romance Novel from the Idea Up,” and Rose Lerner’s “Making your Hero(ine)’s Job Work for You.” Both of them had specific prompts to which we had to write answers (“List 20 things that will happen in this story.” “What is your hero’s relationship with authority? How does that play out at work, and in his personal life?”), and so I came away with, in one case, new insights into the hero of my WiP, and, in the other, a foundation for a future book. Usually I view a conference workshop as time I’m taking away from writing but for a good cause. In these two, I actually felt like it was writing time.

Okay, book giveaway. I got five excellent romance novels in my tote bag:

Books you can win

Some of them I’ve already read, and my TBR stack is too big right now to admit additions. So I’d like to send them to a good home. Just leave a comment on this post some time this week (that is, before midnight Pacific time on Friday, November 4) and I will draw a name and send that person all five books. Will ship internationally. The books included are:

A Tale of Two Demon Slayers, Angie Fox

The Angel in my Arms, Stefanie Sloane

Tsunami Blue, Gayle Ann Williams

Shoulder Bags and Shootings, Dorothy Howell

Night Veil, Yasmine Galenorn

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Update: Congratulations to commenter Lisa Wolff, winner of Rose’s giveaway! Hope you enjoy the book!


Rose Lerner is my great author-stalking success story. After reading her debut, In for a Penny, I sent her a gushing fan email, to which she graciously replied. I left comments on her blog, she left comments on mine, we discovered other interests in common (Gossip Girl! Shakespeare’s sonnet #130!), and she magically transformed from Admired Author to Admired Author and Friend.

Rose’s new release, A Lily Among Thorns, is that rarity among Regency romances: a story in which the hero and heroine both work for a living. When dye-brewing chemist Solomon Hathaway and innkeeper-with-a-past Serena Ravenshaw team up in search of a missing pair of earrings – and discover a web of treason and espionage reaching into the highest levels of society – their budding relationship is not just a romance, but a delicate balancing act of personal sentiment and hard-won professional identity.

I asked Rose to talk a bit about this aspect of the book, and what working protagonists bring to the dynamic of a romance. Take it away, Rose!

Author Rose Lerner

First, I want to make a disclaimer upfront: I also love books with independently wealthy protagonists! Love reading them, love writing them. I also love books about stay-at-home moms! This is in NO WAY intended to reflect badly on protagonists who don’t work, or don’t work outside the home.

That said, here is a list of things I really enjoyed about writing a romance with two working protagonists:

1. It’s an immediate connection with a lot of readers. Here’s how another genre writer put it: in the back of his Elektra & Wolverine: the Redeemer, Greg Rucka says, “[Wolverine is] a short little guy who now is apparently over 100 years old, who has claws that pop out of his body, which he can control and retract, and he smokes cigars, and he may have been a Canadian secret agent, and he’s a samurai, and has a mutant healing factor…If you look at that from a realistic abstract sense, you go ‘Oh my god, what a load of garbage!’ but everybody believes that he’s been cold. Cold is something we’ve all felt. Everybody’s been cold. Everybody’s been lonely. Everybody’s been lost. Almost everybody has felt love[...]So you take a character like Wolverine and you give him that.”

None of my readers have lived in 1815 or fought spies (I’m assuming?). But I’m guessing most of them either have a job or have had one at some point. Almost everybody knows what it’s like to work for a living, and to have to support yourself financially.

Tiana from Princess and the Frog in her waitress outfitI know this works on me because I watched Disney’s The Princess and the Frog last week, and I have never identified with a Disney heroine the way I identified with Tiana. Why? Because she’s a food service worker, like me, and I really bought her as a character who had been shaped by the experience of working for a living and worrying about money. And I wanted her to get her restaurant really, really badly. Which leads me to:

2. It’s an immediate and concrete stake, both practical and emotional. My heroine, Serena, owns an inn. Making this inn successful and a safe place to work and a community for people who aren’t welcome elsewhere, has been the focus of her entire life for five years. And the antagonist wants to take it away.

Think about Lois Lane being blackballed from mainstream news outlets. It kind of hurts just to think about, doesn’t it? When a hero or heroine is set up with a job like that, and then stands to lose it, it immediately invests the reader in what’s going on. We all know what it’s like to work hard for something and lose it.

3. It’s a characterization in, something to help build the character around. Anything that you do regularly for a long period of time will start to shape the way you think, so a job is a real help in creating the illusion of a complete consciousness for your narrators. I recently read A Lot Like Love by Julie James. The heroine owns an upscale wineshop, and she loves wine. I mean, she’s so passionate about it that watching her drink wine is a sexual experience for the hero. I really bought her as both a wine nerd and a business owner and that made me buy her as a character.

My hero Solomon makes dyes for his uncle’s tailoring shop, so he’s very aware of colors. When he meets someone, he notices what they’re wearing first. And he divides the world into “people who are/might be customers” and “people who are not customers.” I knew that about him before I knew almost anything else, and it helped me construct his POV.

Parker from Leverage dressed as a cat burglar4. It makes the fantasy feel more possible. Indiana Jones isn’t just an action-archaeologist, he’s a professor. And the Doctor’s companions in Dr. Who are always ordinary humans. Right now they’re a nurse and a kiss-o-gram. It makes it easier for me to take that fantasy and make it not just awesome, but mine. It gives me an angle to insert myself into that world or imagine something similar happening to me. “What if I was in that guy’s class?” “What if the TARDIS showed up in my backyard?”

5. It gives the story balance. Do any of you watch Rizzoli & Isles? I haven’t been keeping up, but what I really liked about the early episodes was that it balanced the professional, cop stuff with personal stuff. We saw both of the protagonists outside work, saw them dealing with family, etc. It made them feel like complete people, not just problem-solving mechanisms.

In a romance, the whole story is about one relationship, plus maybe some family/friends stuff. So adding in work helps keeps the story from feeling claustrophobic.

6. It’s something for the relationship to be about other than attraction. I talked in my review of Captain America about how in TV and movies, often the most satisfying relationships are between friends (or enemies!), because there’s a lot going on in those relationships. They really mean something to the people in them, while the love interest is just about smoldering glances and sexual jealousy.

Romance gives me the whole package by bringing everything into the relationship. A romance isn’t just about “I met this guy, I liked him, now we’re dating.” It’s about a perfect connection. Love is an experience that completes and changes the h/h as people. If the hero really gets why the heroine cares about her work, or vice versa, that’s huge. I swooned in Loretta Chase’s Silk is for Scandal when the modiste heroine catches the hero reading fashion magazines…and taking notes. ♥

Mulder and Scully from the X-Files 7. If the hero and heroine work together, it’s a good way to show how great they could be together. I love a romance that teases, that ratchets up the tension, that makes me desperately want the hero and heroine to kiss long before they actually do.

The most extreme version of this using jobs, of course, is “partners,” usually cops/detectives/soldiers/superheroes/whatever. Think about Beckett and Castle or Kirk and Spock or Mulder and Scully. They can practically read each other’s thoughts; they rely on each other absolutely in life-and-death situations on a daily basis. They are in many ways the most important person in each other’s lives. And people are dying for them to hook up. I mean, you know instinctively that it would be good, right? If they work this well together fighting crime, just imagine what they’d be like in bed!

But it doesn’t have to be so life-or-death. I want all the people on Ace of Cakes to date each other too (especially Ben and Katherine! Sorry Ben and Katherine if you are just friends and/or seeing other people). Seeing people spend so much time together working on something they both care about…it’s sexy.

8. In every job, there are people who do the job, and people who are the audience or target market for the job. I remember at my first job, my boss told me, “You never really know a person until you’ve stood on the other side of the counter from them.” People get divided into two groups: those on this side of the counter (or desk, or phone line, or that little gate in the courtroom between the seats and the lawyers’ benches, or the trenches, or the tunnel to the Batcave, or whatever it is) and those on the other. And there’s a certain solidarity/camaraderie between the people behind the counter.

Christina and other Grey's Anatomy folks in their scrubs

People love behind-the-scenes stuff. I know I do. Backstage tours, gag reels, unpublished first drafts. It feels like being special, like being allowed to see something not everybody gets to, the way someone in their underwear is so sexy even though it’s no more skin than you’d see with a bathing suit.

I think that’s part of the appeal of all those profession-based reality shows like Ace of Cakes, Storage Wars, Deadliest Catch, etc. A bunch of contemporary romances are already taking advantage of that, but I’d love to see more historicals do it. There’s a real intimacy when the hero lifts up the panel in the counter and says to the heroine, “Come on, I’ll show you the back room.”

9. It gives the hero and heroine a place to get along that doesn’t compromise the inner conflict. In a romance, there’s always something keeping the hero and heroine apart through the book. But they can’t spend the whole book fighting and being sad, either! Or well, they can, but it will be frustrating for the audience. There has to be variation in the tone of your scenes, and even if you’re doing the antagonistic flirting thing, there has to be a level on which the hero and heroine do get along in order for it to work.

Anyone seen Hard Core Logo? It’s a movie about a punk band’s reunion tour. The band split due to irreconcilable differences between the singer and the lead guitarist. The two characters bicker endlessly, and the resentment between them is palpable despite their equally obvious affection. But when they get up on stage and make music together, all that melts away and they mesh perfectly. Suddenly you believe they could be beautiful together, if they could just get past all the crap.

Two of the Mad Men guys in their suits10. One last frivolous thing: uniforms! Obviously not every job has them, but many do–a suit counts! I took every possible opportunity, in Lily, to get Solomon into the Ravenshaw Arms livery.

Your turn, readers! How much of the working world do you like to see in your romance? And who are some of your favorite couples – romance, other books, movies, tv, real life? – for whom work adds an extra sizzle to the relationship? Rose will be giving away a copy of A Lily Among Thorns to one commenter!

A Lily Among Thorns, by Rose Lerner


It was him. Serena couldn’t breathe. She’d been looking for him for years—the man who’d lifted her out of the dregs of London’s underworld. She remembered that he’d looked like an angel. But either she’d embellished or he’d grown up. Because he didn’t look like an angel now. He looked like a man, solid and broad, and taller than she’d thought. And now he needed her help.


Solomon recognized her as soon as they were alone in the dark. He’d not forgotten that night five years ago either. But Serena had changed. She was stronger, fiercely independent and, though it hardly seemed possible, even more beautiful. She was also neck-deep in trouble. Yet he’d help cook a feast for the Prince Regent, take on a ring of spies, love her well into the night—anything to convince her that this time he was here to stay.

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