Posts Tagged ‘giveaway’

Update 10/31 – congratulations to commenter Julie, picked by random.org to win the signed Elizabeth Hoyt book. Julie, I’ve emailed to get your mailing address. Thanks to everyone who entered. I’ll try not to let so much time go by before my next giveaway :)



First, have you all heard of the Historical Romance Retreat? It’s the brainchild of authors Renee Bernard and Delilah Marvelle: an all-historical-romance reader event in the posh (and historical!) Davenport Hotel in Spokane Washington next September.

In a magical historical hotel setting, this weekend retreat is a book lover’s dream come true. Join some of the world’s most celebrated authors of historical romance coming together for an intimate gathering that gives every guest a chance to mingle and play. Dress in your favorite era, enjoy historical foods, games and music while surrounded by the glamour of a hotel that was once only enjoyed by the elite.

A truly impressive lineup of authors will be there, from rising stars like Piper Huguley and Christi Caldwell to iconic names like Linda Lael Miller and Mary Balogh.

I’ll be there too, and in between starry-eyed stalking of Mary Balogh (who gave me my first cover quote and who is also a hero of mine) and attempts to get up my nerve to ask Eileen Dreyer what it was like to be on Jeopardy!, I’ll be hoping to meet lots of readers. So if that sounds like your kind of conference, check out the registration page. Discounted early-bird rates are currently in effect!

And while we’re speaking of conferences, last weekend I attended my local RWA chapter’s Emerald City Writers’ Conference. It was full of good workshops and chances to catch up in real life with online friends (in case you wondered, *Rose Lerner is just as giddy about Hamilton in conversation as she is on Twitter), and I also came home with a few books, most notably *Elizabeth Hoyt’s down-on-her-luck-actress-meets-mysterious-mute-gardener tale Darling Beast.


Hoyt was at the conference as a keynote speaker, and I got her to sign the book! Check out her awesomely elegant signature:


The sharp-eyed among you will have noticed the word “giveaway” in this post’s title, and indeed I’m giving away this beautifully autographed copy of Darling Beast. Leave a comment on this post (no pithiness required; “I want to win” is fine) by 11:59:59 pm Friday, October 30, and I’ll pick a winner with the help of random.org.

This giveaway is open to US addresses only. You don’t need to put your email address in your actual comment, but do put it in the email field when posting your comment. That way I can get in touch with you if you’re the winner, but you won’t be throwing your email address out there for the whole world to see.

*also will be present at the Historical Romance Retreat

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This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Alexandra B, chosen by Random.org to win my favorite romance ebooks of 2014! Thank you to everyone who entered. I’ll have more things to give away soon :)

Well, back in January I had thoughts of doing a post on my favorite romance reads of the year. But, as you may have noticed, I’m kind of a lousy blogger and I’m particularly daunted by posts that include graphics (e.g., book covers), because I have to re-learn every time how to get the stupid automatic borders off and how to get the images the right size and properly placed so the text flows around them and all of that.

In addition, I was daunted by having to come up with something persuasive and special to say about each book, distilling for you the essence of why it appealed to me and why it ought to appeal to you. Long story short, the January post didn’t happen.

But today I ran across this giveaway post by author Laura K. Curtis (more…)

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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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Just a quick heads-up: I’ll be featured in author Molly O’Keefe’s The Author is… newsletter this month! It comes out Friday 1/23, and you can sign up on Molly’s home page (scroll down and look for the sign-up boxes on the right).

Molly is one of my favorite romance authors, and one of my favorite people to talk to about writing. She asked some great questions and I tried to take the opportunity to answer as candidly as possible, even when the answer made me look like someone who does not have my act together.

I’ll be giving away books, too: a copy of A Lady Awakened, a copy of A Gentleman Undone, and a copy of A Woman Entangled. So if you’ve read A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong but haven’t gotten around to my backlist, this is your chance!

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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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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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