Archive for the ‘A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong’ Category

Updated 3/3/2015: This contest is now closed. Congratulations to pophyn, chosen by random.org as winner of the three Blackshear books. Thanks to everyone who entered, and stay tuned for more giveaways!

Cover for A Christmas Gone Perfectly WrongThe results of All About Romance’s annual reader poll are out, and to my surprise and delight, A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong, prequel novella to my Blackshear Family series, was voted Best Short Story/Novella!

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who voted for their favorite romances this year. In celebration, I’m giving away a set of my three full-length Blackshear books: A Lady Awakened, A Gentleman Undone, and A Woman Entangled.

The giveaway is open to US addresses. No cost or obligation. Enter by filling out the Name and Email fields below. Joining my new-releases email list is optional, and won’t affect your odds of winning the contest. Odds depend on the number of entries. Entries will be accepted until 11:59 pm Pacific time, Sunday March 1. Winner will be drawn at random and notified by email.

Cover for A Lady Awakened

Cover for A Gentleman Undone

Cover of A Woman Entangled

Enter to win!

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Thursday, 12/18, author Carolyn Jewel is hosting me for a giveaway of A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong plus a backlist book of the winner’s choice.

A month or so ago I saw her interview of author Joanna Bourne, and mentioned on Twitter that now I aspired to one day be interviewed by her, and she said she could make that happen. And so she did, with a slate of questions evoking my opinions on everything from The Best and Worst Things About Writing to The Suitability of Narnia as a Vacation Destination.

I had a lot of fun answering the questions, and I hope you’ll check it out!

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Edited 12/6: A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong will be FREE on Amazon from Monday, 12/8 through Friday, 12/12. I know I’m sounding a little fanatical about this (please note that the post below was written at about 5:45 in the morning after I’d been up all night), but I really want people to have this book for free!!

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So. Not until I went to upload A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong did it ever occur to me that I might not have the option to just make it permanently free.

I’ve conceived of this book all along as a promo tool; a shorter work that would hopefully harvest new readers for the existing Blackshear books (and then, ideally, my books-yet-to-come). I’ve told people it would be free. I’ve explained to someone who was concerned about the lack of a print edition that I didn’t want to make a print edition you’d have to pay for when the ebook would be free.

Well, as you’ve either figured out or already knew, one does not have the option to upload a book to all the biggest ebook retailers with a beginning and permanent price of free. The only way I can get it to be free on Amazon (by far the biggest ebook retailer) is to either:

  1. Put it on one of the other sites for free, then either alert Amazon or get someone else to alert Amazon (like so much else lately, this is not quite clear to me) of this fact, and hope that it takes them a couple days to match the price, rather than three or four weeks. Given that I expect the book’s marketability to drop sharply after Christmas, I can’t take the risk of the long wait. (Yes, I’m now kicking myself for not having put the thing up in October, which would have given me plenty of time for price matching.)
  2. Commit to Amazon’s KDP Select program, which means the book is available exclusively through Amazon for 90 days (which, for a Christmas book, basically means for the book’s 2014 shelf life), and then take advantage of the 5-day Free Book Promotion that’s available to KDP Select participants.

So I’m doing the latter. I’ve priced it at 99 cents, which is the minimum Amazon allows, and I will make it free for 5 days hopefully starting Monday December 8. (Instructions tell me to click on “Manage Benefits” on my “KDP Bookshelf” in order to initiate the promotion, but right now there is no “Manage Benefits” to click on. I’m assuming this is because the book hasn’t gone live yet. I’m counting on there being a “Manage Benefits” link, eventually.)

So. I’ll be very loud on Twitter and wherever else I am about these five free days – I’m a little leery of earning Amazon’s ire by saying, explicitly, “Don’t buy my book; wait for the free days!” But I will say, please don’t feel like it’s better to “support” me by paying for the book instead of getting it free. Because, while I’m not opposed to making money, that’s just not the way I’ve thought about this book, ever. It’s supposed to be my holiday present for existing readers, and my bait for new readers who maybe weren’t willing to bite at my 7.99 standard mass-market price.

Anyway. Let’s switch gears and talk about content. I’ll actually call this a Content Advisory.

Among the plot developments in A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong is a non-intentional sex event. And hand in hand with the absence of intent goes an absence of consent.

It’s definitely on the milder end of the non-consensual sex events scale – it’s not presented as a fun sexy thing that anyone would like to see repeated; the involved parties are taken aback and aghast – but if you’re triggerish around consent, or just have a zero-tolerance policy for anything short of enthusiastic consent, this might not be the book for you.

That’s as much detail as I’ll go into here. If you need to know more in order to decide whether you want to read the book, feel free to email me at cecilia at ceciliagrant dot com, and I’ll tell you the specifics.

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I’ve put up an excerpt from the beginning of my holiday novella, A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong. I’ll be putting up another excerpt in a couple of weeks :)

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It feels a little odd to talk about a holiday novella in the dog days of August, but every now and then a reader emails me and politely asks what’s next, so here’s what’s next: coming in November, a Blackshear family prequel that tells the eldest brother’s story.

Cover for A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong


With one more errand to go—the purchase of a hunting falcon—Andrew Blackshear has Christmas completely under control. As his sister’s impending marriage signals the inevitable drifting-apart of the Blackshear family, it’s his last chance to give his siblings the sort of memorable, well-planned holiday their parents could never seem to provide.

He has no time to dawdle, no time for nonsense, and certainly no time to drive the falconer’s vexing, impulsive, lush-lipped, midnight-haired daughter to a house party before heading home. So why the devil did he agree to do just that?


Lucy Sharp has been waiting all her too-quiet life for an adventure, and she means to make the most of this one. She’s going to enjoy the house party as no one has ever enjoyed a house party before, and in the meanwhile she’s going to enjoy every minute in the company of amusingly stern, formidably proper, outrageously handsome Mr. Blackshear. Let him disapprove of her all he likes—it’s not as though they’ll see each other again after today.

…or will they? When a carriage mishap and a snowstorm strand the pair miles short of their destination, threatening them with scandal and jeopardizing all their Christmas plans, they’ll have to work together to save the holiday from disaster. And along the way they just might learn that the best adventures are the ones you never would have thought to plan.

The cover is by Book Beautiful designs, who’s also responsible for, among others, Carolyn Crane’s Associates series (including her Rita-winning Off the Edge). I told designer Amber the basics of what I wanted: overhead shot of someone on a bed (to fit in with other Blackshear books) except more tightly cropped (to differentiate the novella from the full-length books) and then she and I both looked for images.

I considered some images that had a few more of what I guess I’d call “historical-ish” details (i.e. modern fancy-dress clothing), but I kept coming back to this one woman’s picture because her facial expression so perfectly matched the heroine’s character and the overall tone of the book. And I thought if I met her eyes while browsing for books, she would engage me, and make me want to know her story.

So that’s what’s coming next! Holiday *novella! I’ll be posting the first excerpt on my website pretty soon.

*You should probably know that, though I conceived this as a novella, and committed to the novella concept early on, it’s actually about 55,000 words. So somewhere between novella and category-length. But there’s not a good term for that length, so “novella” it is. Super-sized!

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