First Temptation Blog Tour with $600+ in Prizes!

Welcome to my First Temptation blog tour, novella 1.5 in the Covert Affairs series!

I’ve got lots of fun stops planned with exclusive excerpts advancing through the story and LOTS of great prizes to give away, so I hope you’ll follow along with the tour, enter to win and enjoy another chapter in this exciting, hot romantic suspense series!

first.temptation.new.finalFIRST TEMPTATION:

Counterterrorist agent Taft Walker is up for the challenge of posing as an adult store owner with a new female undercover partner who is also a sex-toy virgin. At least until he sees the real woman beneath her tough façade.

Border Patrol Agent Zoe Brooks is ready to get off the front lines. She’s willing to tolerate a swaggering partner like Taft for a new opportunity. But she’s not prepared for the way he understands her deepest, sexiest desires.

First Temptation is a 40,000 word novella and will be published separately from the novella in late September.

 

 

 

 

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About the WICKED FIRSTS Box Set:

Six New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors bring you six all-new contemporary and super sexy suspense stories of first loves, first attractions, first temptations, first times and first obsessions.

Pre-Order Now!

Only $0.99
Now Through Release Week!

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Tour Stops:

8/12: Book Lovin’ Mamas

8/13: The Jeep Diva

8/14: Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance

8/16: Nina’s Literary Escape

8/19: Books-n-Kisses

8/19: (Stop #2) Hesperia Loves Books

8/20: Just Contemporary Romance

8/22: Under the Covers

8/23: Ramblings From This Chick

Prizes:

At each stop

  • 3 digital copies of FIRST TEMPTATION

Grand Prizes for tour

(Total retail values: $ 638!!)

 

1st Prize: Summer beauty blast giveaway!
Tommy Hilfiger handbag containing a blast of name brand beauty products including:

  • Bath & Body Works, Physician’s Formula, Elf, Burts Bees, Wet N Wild, Tree Hut, Tuscan Hills and more!
  • Body scrubs, body lotions, body butters, hair turban towel, nail polish, eye shadow, eye liner, lip gloss, makeup brushes and so much more!
  • Retail value: $251

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LineSeparator2nd Prize: Summer beauty blast giveaway!
A gorgeous Guess handbag containing almost as many fantastic products as the first!

  • Bath & Body Works, Physician’s Formula, Elf, Burts Bees, Wet N Wild, Tree Hut, Tuscan Hills and more!
  • Body scrubs, body lotions, body butters, nail polish, eye shadow, eye liner, lip gloss, makeup brushes and so much more!
  • Retail value: $240!!

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LineSeparator3rd Prize: Summer beauty blast giveaway!
A FUN Steve Madden handbag with lots of fun stuff!

  • Bath & Body Works, Physician’s Formula, Elf, Burts Bees, Revlon, and more!
  • Body scrubs, body lotions, hair turban towel, nail polish, eye shadow, eye liner, lip gloss, makeup brushes and more!
  • Retail value: $147!! 

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MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT THE BLOG STOPS ABOVE TO ENTER TO WIN THESE AWESOME GRAND PRIZES!

Grace Burrowes Release & Giveaway!

THE GRACE BURROWES SCOTTISH VICTORIAN PRINT BOOK GIVEAWAY!

Once Upon a Tartan CoverFollow along as we giveaway SIGNED copies of the two books in Grace Burrowes’ emotional and sensual Scottish Victorian-set MacGregor romance series: The Bridegroom Wore Plaid and Once Upon a Tartan!

Sourcebooks is giving away a prize pack of two signed books: The Bridegroom Wore Plaid and Once Upon a Tartan. 1 winner, 2 books per pack.

ONCE UPON A TARTAN BY GRACE BURROWES – IN STORES AUGUST 2013
Honor or happiness—he can’t have both.

Tiberius Flynn may be every inch an English lord, but smart, headstrong beauty Hester Daniels has no use for his high-handed ways–no matter how handsome, charming, or beguiling he is. They only see eye to eye in caring about the feisty little girl who is under their protection.

Tiberius’s haughty insistence that his wealthy estate in England is a better place for the child than her beloved, rundown Scotland home sparks Hester’s fierce protectiveness, and the battle lines are drawn.

Praise for Once Upon a Tartan:The Bridegroom Wore Plaid Cover
“Burrowes creates a powerful story replete with heartfelt emotion and rich characterization… An instant keeper.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ stars, Top Pick of the Month
“Expert prose, likeable characters, realistic relationships, and believable complications create a pleasant and satisfying keeper.” —Publishers Weekly
“Warmth, sensuality, and humor infuse Burrowes’ writing, and fans of Suzanne Enoch and Sarah MacLean should enjoy this series.” —Booklist
“Grace Burrowes weaves her magic with words… a memorable love story—excellent and exquisite.” — A Long and Short Reviews Best Book

GraceBurrowesABOUT THE AUTHOR
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes is the author of the acclaimed Windham Family Series, The MacGregor Trilogy and The Lonely Lords Series. Her debut novel, The Heir (2010), as well as The Bridegroom Wore Plaid (2012) were both included as Publishers Weekly Best Books of their respective years, in the romance category. A practicing attorney specializing in family law, Grace lives in rural Maryland, where she is working on the final book in the Windham series, Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait (October 2013) and third MacGregor story, The MacGregor’s Lady (February 2014), and many more books. Visit her website afor more information about all of her books, exclusive extras and her lively blog.

 

Burrowes Book GiveawayGiveaway Schedule—chances to win all month long!
8/1 Book Hounds
8/2 RomFan Reviews
weekend
8/5 In the Hammock
8/6 Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
8/7 Manga Maniac Café
8/8 What’s on the Bookshelf
8/9 The Royal Reviews
weekend
8/12 Joan Swan’s Blog
8/13 Cocktails and Books
8/14 Romancing the Book
8/15 Ramblings from this Chick
8/16 Books-n-Kisses
weekend
8/19 Anna’s Book Blog
8/20 The Book Girl
8/21 The Reading Café
8/22 Seductive Musings
8/23 Peeking Between the Pages
weekend
8/26 Love Romance Passion
8/27 So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
8/28 Thoughts in Progress
8/29 Debbie’s Book Bag
8/30 Linus’ Blanket

Leave a comment telling us all why you love Historical Romance and enter to WIN this generous prize pack of books!

Saturday Snippet–First Temptation

Happy weekend! My website as you can see is under construction…getting a cleanup and a few cool bells and whistles, so please ignore the mess.

Wanted to share a snippet from FIRST TEMPTATION, a Covert Affairs series novella which will join 5 more awesome novellas and come out in the WICKED FIRSTS anthology with Elisabeth Naughton, Cynthia Eden, Laura Wright, Katie Reus and Alexandra Ivy on August 19th!

first.temptation.newFIRST TEMPTATION, snippet

Zoe blew the air out, crossed her arms, and leaned one hip against the main display case. “Why don’t you go play with the toys? I’ll put the camera in.”

Taft pulled a utility knife from the toolbox he’d brought. “Sweetness, you may be the boss at the border, but not here.”

“I’m not trying to be the boss. I’m good with tools.”

“Better with tools than toys, are you…” He glanced at her from beneath his brows with a grin. “Mary?”

Her shoulders fell. Eyelids lowered halfway. Color stained the ridge of her cheekbones. He didn’t know women who blushed still existed.

“You know enough for both of us, Satan.”

He barked a laugh. Found it surprising she didn’t try to deny. “Are you the missionary, vanilla type of girl?”

“You think all sex has to be vanilla unless it includes a foreign object? I’ll have you know, I have smokin’ hot sex just fine without the need for sexual aids.”

“Sexual aids?” Taft stopped loosening the screw holding the housing together and lifted his brows at her.

She returned the brow lift in challenge. “Mara’s words. She is the expert.”

“I thought she said I was the expert.”

“I think you have very big ears.”

“That’s her way of justifying what she sells.” Taft replaced the blade in the knife with a sharp one, trying not to frown at the slice to his ego. “They’re toys. All this shit makes sex more fun, Brooks. These are all enhancements to the ordinary act that can only be done so many ways. They make sex better, more fun, more…erotic. They add variety.”

Her eyes narrowed as if she were inspecting his psyche. He turned toward the wall joining Incognito and Fumar and took a solid grip on the blade.

“Does your man agree with this vanilla philosophy? I bet if you asked, he’d secretly be hoping for—”

Brooks’s hand covered his, stopping his first cut into the drywall. He was suddenly, intensely aware of her proximity. Of her soft body heat. Of her scent. Orange…almond…

“Don’t cut there,” she said. “It’s the wrong placement.”

He turned his head, closed his eyes, and moved his nose and mouth down the length of her forearm, inhaling and letting his lips brush her skin.

He groaned and pressed his closed mouth to her wrist, mumbling, “Vanilla.”

She laughed and leaned forward. “What?”

He lifted his mouth from her skin to say, “You’re wearing something with vanilla in it.”

His entire body responded with hunger.

“So?” she quipped.

Before he thought, he opened his mouth and bit her wrist—gently. She gasped, and her other hand moved to his head.

Taft released his teeth, murmured, “It makes me horny as hell,” and licked the skin he’d bitten.

Her fingers slid into his hair and curled around a few pieces. “I thought you said vanilla was boring.”

Grab your copy of the ENTIRE Anthology for a short time at the special pre-order price of .99 cents here: Amazon

Welcome Shana Galen with When You Give a Rake a Ruby!

*Note: Currently the comments are not working. My web guru gal is working on it. You may send a comment to me at joan@joanswan.com or swing back by later to comment and enter the drawing!*

So thrilled to have Shana back with me on the blog. I’m a big Shana fan! I love books filled with action, adventure, conflict, fun and, of course, romance. Shana’s stories have it all–rich, strong characters who aren’t afraid to say it like it is…and always finding trouble.

Join us as Shana gives us a sneak peak into her upcoming release – If You Give a Rake a Ruby! And enter below to WIN a copy of the first book in the Jewels of the Ton series, When You Give a Duke a Diamond (US and Canada only).

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ifyougivearake-300HER MYSTERIOUS PAST IS THE BEST REVENGE . . .
Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.

ONLY HE CAN OFFER HER A DAZZLING FUTURE . . .
Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he’s putting his life on the line . . .

To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what make her his heart’s desire . . .

Pick yours up:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

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Thank you for having me back, Joan. I’m celebrating the release of my thirteenth book—lucky 13, right?—If You Give a Rake a Ruby. It releases March 5, but one person who comments here will win a copy of the first book in the Jewels of the Ton series, When You Give a Duke a Diamond.

Today I’m going to share a few snippets from the first five chapters of If You Give a Rake a Ruby. It’s an extended sneak peek.

From Chapter One

Some said she was the daughter of a maharaja. Little did they know, Fallon had been obliged to ask Lady Sinclair for the definition of maharaja. Other rumors hinted she was a gypsy queen or a princess from a secret kingdom. Fallon wished there was a tiny kernel of truth in but one of the rumors. Anything was better than the reality.

From Chapter Two

“It’s about time you came to bed,” Warrick said. It was too dark to see his pocket watch, but he gauged the time close to five in the morning. “I’ve been waiting for hours.”

“Oh, how rude of me,” she said, her voice quite low and husky in the shadowed room. He could hear her fumbling about and realized she probably sought her tinderbox. “To keep an uninvited man waiting.”

whenyougive-300From Chapter Three

She shook her head. “That is no way to treat a lady.”

“That’s because most ladies are skittish ninnies who faint if a man utters the word damn in their presence. You should hope I don’t treat you like a lady. I have no use for ladies.”

From Chapter Four

“Are you going to stand there all evening?”

She blinked. “What would you have me do?” Oh, dear. Had he heard the sultry tone of her voice? She had to stop picturing him naked—or herself naked with him touching her. He was her enemy. He was blackmailing her. She didn’t like him.

Fallon cleared her throat. “What I mean is, what am I supposed to do?”

From Chapter Five

“Good. Hold on.” He reached into his coat and pulled a pistol out. Fallon shook her head to clear it. This was obviously the part of the evening where he shot her. Somehow it made sense that he would kiss her and then kill her.

Which snippet was your favorite? Comment for a chance to win a copy of the first book in the Jewels of the Ton series, When You Give a Duke a Diamond (US and Canada only).

If You Give a Rake a Ruby by Shana Galen—in stores March 2013

shana-2011About the Author
Shana Galen is the bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Her books are published all over the world and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers: visit her website at www.shanagalen.com or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Fabulous Buddy and Debut Author Marina Adair!

I met Marina through another author friend, Jayne Hannah. I met Hannah Jayne through my publisher — we are both published with Kensington, Hannah in the Zebra line with her kick-ass urban fantasies and me, of course, in Brava. When I discovered Hannah lives in my direct path home from the day job…well, she was a target, because I am writer-starved where I live. Hannah brought along Marina Adair and Britt Bury, two delightfully hilarious ladies! And Marina has joined Hannah and I as part of the Kensington family!

I adore Marina. She is one of the most genuine ladies I know and I feel so fortunate to have met and gotten to know her. So I’m thrilled to share her with all of you as well, because not only will you love Marina, you’ll devour her writing. She has an authentic, unique and beautiful voice with so many stories to tell and a prolific nature that will thrill every avid reader!

Before we get to know Marina better, I want to tell you about her debut release, which is also a Christmas book — fantastic timing!! She’ll be giving away a signed copy of KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE, so be sure to enter!

KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE…

Regan Martin stopped believing in Christmas miracles six years ago when she lost everything—her house, her job, and her impeccable reputation in the wine industry—after she fell in love with a man she had no idea was married. Then Regan gets a chance for a fresh start in the Napa Valley. With her dream job, dream home, and her daughter enrolled in a wonderful new school, she starts wondering if holiday wishes really do come true.

But she soon tumbles back down to earth when she learns that her new boss is none other than Gabe DeLuca, the scorned wife’s brother. Gabe wants nothing more than home-wrecking Regan Martin out of his life, his sister’s world, and his family’s business. Mostly, he wants the lush beauty out of his head. Yet his attempts to run her out of town have him thinking twice, especially when he sees that Regan may hold the key to tracking down his sister’s stolen start-up capital. Even worse for Gabe, Regan might just be his Christmas wish and hold the key to his heart.

Pick up your copy of KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE: Amazon

Now, let’s learn all about the delightful Marina!

Hi Marina! Love having you! I also love this passage in your bio:

My romance addiction is a hard, bodice-ripping, half-dozen books per week. When I’m not reading it or watching it, I am writing it—or workshopping it—or editing it—or strategizing how my hands to get more of it.

This implies you’re a real-life romantic as well. True or not so much?

First off, thanks for having me today, Joan! And, oh my God, SO TRUE! I am such a real-life romantic there are times I feel bad for my husband. A few months after we got engaged he asked if “being in love” was everything I thought it would be.

ME: “Kind of.”

HUBBY: “Kind of?”

ME: “I thought there would be more dancing.”

HUBBY cracked a smile.

ME: “You know, like in Singing in the Rain when Gene Kelly sings ‘You Were Meant for Me,’ and sweeps Debbie Reynolds off her feet and they dance around the sound stage and life goes Technicolor. I thought there would be more of that.”

A week later he surprised me with a year of ballroom dance lessons and we have been dancing ever since, not in classroom anymore, but the kitchen, the front porch, the family room…and does the man have moves.

I know from being with you how much you adore your husband and what an incredible relationship you have with him. It always makes me smile to hear you talk about him. Can you share a little about your personal love story?

Our story actually started out pretty cliché: a guy and a girl meet over a keg of keystone at a drunken college party…you get the idea. But in one conversation it went from 90210 the College Years to Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds.

I approached a group at the party and this super cute guy stood to offer me his seat—even before he saw me—and I thought, Wow, they still actually make men like that? He got me a beer, admitted that he took his mom line dancing regularly and, well, the next thing I knew we were at his place. On the couch. And we stayed up all night—TALKING! Seriously, I was waiting for him to make his move, even just a little cop would have been nice, but he was the total gentleman so I figured he wasn’t that interested. Next morning, he walked me to my car and asked for my number. I questioned if he was really going to call. He said, “Oh, I’m going to call. I’m going to marry you.”

Not the thing to say to a woman who’d sworn she’d never marry. But he called the next day, charmed me into a date the following weekend, and it took him 6 years but he finally romanced me down the aisle. That was 13 years ago and every day he romances me somehow . . . even if it is just cleaning the litter box so I don’t have to.

I’ll never forget that evening in Los Angeles when you sat down at the table in the bar with me and first told me the story of your fabulous sales successes. Can you share that with everyone and tell us about KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE, your recent release?

At the end of 2011 I was an aspiring author with a kick-ass agent looking for a publishing house to call my own. Problem was: what I was selling and what they were buying didn’t quite jell. I had spent three years writing, polishing, submitting, getting rejected, only to rinse and repeat so many times I should have bought stock in Kleenex. So I set a goal, I would sell my first book in 2012. Seven days into the New Year and I got the call: I had sold my first novel to Kensington Books. I was so excited, only a week in and I had reached my goal.

Then everything went insane . . . In April I sold the ST. HELENA VINEYARD series to Montlake Romance and in May, Grand Central picked up THE SUGAR SERIES. I went from zero sold to 7 books at three different houses in 5 months. I couldn’t believe it and I still don’t know how it all happened, except to say that I just kept writing. I wrote in the morning, during my grad classes, while my family slept, on the bus, while cooking dinner—any second I could, I wrote. I listened to my agent’s feedback, my critique partners’ comments, took notes from rejecting editors, adjusted my craft, and went back to writing. I’d finish a book, my agent would send it out, and the same day I would start on a new one. And it paid off!

In August TUCKER’S CROSSING released and just this past week my first in the St. Helena Vineyard series, KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE released. This was one of my favorite books to write because it centers around two sworn enemies who can’t seem to keep their hands off of each other. Regan is a single-mom looking for a fresh start and Gabe DeLuca is a smooth talking vintner who can’t decide what he wants more: Regan out of his town or into his bed.

Where in the hell do you get your drive? (And how the hell can I grab some too?)

I’ve always been an all-in kind of girl. Whether it was being the best stalker the New Kids on the Block ever had, polishing off a dozen maple doughnuts in one sitting, or writing books, when I find something I love it literally consumes me. My therapist calls it Obsessive Compulsive, my husband calls it exhausting, I call it my super-ninja power.

I’m always so impressed with your warmth and positivity when I’m with you. Have you always been positive? Do you always stay positive? What are some tips you can give other struggling authors to stay positive?

I think it comes from the fact that I was sick A LOT as a kid. I developed rheumatoid arthritis when I was 3. By the time I was a teenager I’d had two major surgeries, spent more time in doctor’s offices than on the playground, and was told that at the rate the disease was attacking my body, by thirty, I would most likely end up in a wheelchair and lose the use of my hands (or have major joint replacement). I realized early on that it didn’t matter if I sat at home crying (and some days I did and still do) life was going to move forward with or without me. And since staying home crying was lonely and boring as hell, I decided to embrace life, crappy moments and all because playing Barbies with my friends was way more fun than watching The Price is Right with my grandma. The fact that I am 38, walking with my own joints, and using my hands to create stories is pretty freaking awesome.

So when I get stuck on a plot line or get a bad review or, even worse, an awful rejection letter, I remind myself that I can either sit at home and cry or get back out there and embrace the journey.

Your writing is smooth and sweet and flippant and funny. You have a unique and compelling voice that reaches out to a broad audience and one which I’m sure will bring success your way quickly (and already has!). Can you tell us a little about how your writing developed?

I want so badly to be the funny girl and in my head I am funny—really funny. Unfortunately, in reality my jokes fall flat and my witty banter usually comes off more perverse than profound. But when I write I get to be whatever I want: funny, sexy, smart, Tina Fey…

One of the hardest parts for me as a writer was finding the courage to embrace my voice. I tried YA, category romance, historical, children’s books, and it wasn’t until I gave myself permission to be me that I sold. I love emotionally deep and gripping romances that rip your heart out, but I’m the awkward girl who snorts when she laughs, gets toilet paper stuck to her foot on a date (true story), and spent a lot her youth playing cards with batty old ladies. I wanted to read about women like me who have crazy families and funny quirks, and still manage to find true love while remaining true to themselves. I like heart in a story but I also like humor, which is probably why I have a major writers-crush on screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. His characters are sexy, deep, wicked smart and funny as hell.

I know you’re swamped with all your upcoming releases and booked out into 2015(!), but as a writer, I also know that doesn’t keep our minds from spinning new ideas back in the shadows. Any thoughts of what you’d like to do once your contracts are fulfilled?

I love contemporary romance, but I know that at some point I want to go back and try my hand at young adult.

Tell us about your next release.

SUMMER IN NAPA, the second book in the St. Helena Vineyard series, follows the next to youngest DeLuca brother, Marco, and releases April 16, 2013. This book was so much fun to write because my hero and heroine are not only fighting the need to get naked every time they see each other, they are also fighting against their past—Lexi’s cheat of an ex-husband just so happens to be Marco’s childhood best friend. So finding a good reason for Marc to break man-law and fall for—and into bed with—his best-bro’s ex has been entertaining.

Where can we find you online?

I can be found online at:
Website
Twitter: @MarinaEAdair
Facebook

Thanks so much for sharing with us Marina! Congrats on all your success. It thrills me to see such good-hearted, talented person reap the rewards of all their hard work! All I can say is…I aspire!

Thanks for having me here today, Joan!

Marina is generously giving away a copy of KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE. Enter below to win!

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Leigh Michaels’ THE BIRTHDAY SCANDAL Review + Giveaway

There’s a new, hot little Historical in town you can’t miss! Happy release day to Leigh Michaels! THE BIRTHDAY SCANDAL is here! Tody I have a review of this book — sexy x 3and giveaway a paperback copy courtesy of Leigh!
First a little about the book…

The wealthy Duke of Weybridge knows that everyone loves a good surprise…and a good scandal. He has bounteous amounts of both for the guests—particularly for his nieces and nephew, Emily, Isabel, and Lucien—at his extravagant seventieth birthday ball. They think his promise to improve their lives means a generous stipend. But he’s got different gifts in mind: finding them the perfect matches. His task won’t be easy, because the Arden siblings have given up on love.

Bachelor Lucien spends more time merrymaking than looking for a proper wife. His sister Emily, broken-hearted when her betrothal ended in disgrace, committed herself to an early spinsterhood. And Isabel’s marriage has been troubled from the moment it began—with a terrible betrayal on her wedding night.

Though witty and strong-willed, the siblings are no match for their uncle’s wily machinations. And as the celebration approaches, his romantic scheming ignites illicit liaisons and irresistible temptations, sparking enough rumors to keep the ton abuzz until his next birthday.

Pick up your copy today: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Now…my opinion of THE BIRTHDAY SCANDAL

There is so much to love about Leigh Michaels’ writing. As I mentioned when I reviewed THE WEDDING AFFAIR, Leigh is amazingly talented at weaving multiple storylines into a book. I love this technique for quick pacing and constant intrigue.

Leigh excels at this again in THE BIRTHDAY SCANDAL, combining three romances into one book with the three main characters, Lucien, Emily and Isabel. Each character is complex and unique, each searching for their true love while trying to straighten out troublesome pasts to move on with their futures.

Leigh writes with humor and flair and heat (keep a glass of ice water with you at all times!), making THE BIRTHDAY SCANDAL a truly entertaining read.

Leigh Michaels is the author of nearly 100 books, including 80 contemporary novels, three historical romance novels, and more than a dozen non-fiction books. More than 35 million copies of her romance novels have been published. Six of her books have been finalists for Best Traditional Romance novel in the RITA contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America. She has received two Reviewer’s Choice awards from Romantic Times.

Enter to WIN a copy of THE BIRTHDAY SCANDAL via the rafflecopter widget below! US/Canada shipping.

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Shana Galen & When You Give A Duke A Diamond + Giveaway!

I adore both Shana and her writing! Fresh and fun, always with wit and a sense of adventure. She gives you a taste of all that here, and also a peek at the style of her deliciously strong, sassy, sexy heroines that keep me constantly entertained throughout her books!

Today Shana will tell us what it is about Dukes that grab our fancy… and she’s giving away one copy of When You Give a Duke a Diamond (U.S. and Canada only). Enter via Rafflecopter below!

But first…a little about WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND…

This is the first in Shana’s Jewels of the Ton series, which has been hailed by New York Times bestselling authorSophie Jordan as “BRILLIANT AND SEXY! Once you start a Shana Galen book, you won’t put it down until you reach the end.”

And RT Book Reviews says,Galen’s engaging characters and strong plotline enhance the spirited dialogue and sense of adventure.”

 

He had a perfectly orderly life…

William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable—that’s the way he likes it. But he’s in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossip papers link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn’t begin to describe what happens next…

Until she came along…

Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It’s disruptive to have the duke who is the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William’s darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide…

Pick up your copy here: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Read an excerpt here: Excerpt

 

Now, here’s Shana… 

What is it About Dukes?

by Shana Galen

 If you’re a fan of historical romance—and even if you’re not—you may have noticed that a lot of the books feature dukes. Perusing some recent titles I found One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean, The Hazards of Hunting a Duke by Julia London, Mad About the Duke by Elizabeth Boyle, What I Did for a Duke by Julie Ann Long, Dusk With a Dangerous Duke by Alexandra Hawkins, and my own When You Give a Duke a Diamond.

So many dukes (and assorted earls and marquesses too). It begs the question: what is it about dukes? First of all, a quick primer on titles. Dukes are the highest ranking of all the peers. There are royal dukes, like the Duke of Cambridge (Prince William) and the Duke of Wales (Prince Charles) and there are non-royal dukes, like the Duke of Devonshire. Dukes are addressed as Your Grace and are the most powerful lords in the British peerage.

Until When You Give a Duke a Diamond, I’d never written a book with an English duke before. Maybe I didn’t feel like I could do justice to a hero who was a duke, or maybe I thought I’d leave the dukes to other authors. But when I began When You Give a Duke a Diamond, I knew Will was a duke through and through. He was raised knowing his place in the world. He was raised to respect the illustrious history of his forefathers and to preserve and protect his family’s honor and name at all costs.

This becomes a potent conflict when Will falls in love with a notorious courtesan, who is a less than suitable companion for a prominent duke. Juliette, my heroine, is not impressed with Will’s title. In fact, at one point she grows tired of his constant references to it. Here’s an excerpt.

“No, no!” She said hurrying to the door. “I shall answer.” She pulled it open and gave him a look. “A bath. Perfect. Now I can scrub your back. Put it near the fire,” she directed the men. It was a huge copper tub, not the hip bath she was used to. It took three men to carry it, followed by a bevy of maidservants. The men clunked the tub down and the women filled it with enormous buckets of steaming water. One handed Juliette a towel and soap, bobbed, and exited. “Well, at least you shall be clean when I service you. I—”

“Cease!” he roared.

She started, blinked at him.

“You’re not going to service me or scrub my back.” He crossed the room to her. “I wanted you with me to keep you safe.”

“Ha! You wanted me with you because you were jealous.”

“Jealous? Jealous? I am a duke. I do not feel jealous.”

She screamed. “If I hear you say, I am a duke one more time, I will not be responsible for my actions. Dukes are not gods, Will. They are people. They make mistakes, apologize—or at least they should—and feel all sorts of emotions.”

“I suppose you are the expert on such matters.”

“I have known several dukes.”

“Yes, and I am a duke—”

Her eyes widened, her lips pursed. “I.” She shoved him. “Warned.” Hard. “You.” Backward.

“Juliette—”

She shoved him again, and he stumbled against the lip of the tub, faltered, and fell backward, sloshing warm water all over the floor, and soaking his clothing worse than the rain had done.

He stared up at her, water dripping in his eyes. He expected her to apologize, to look horrified, to beg his forgiveness.

Instead, she laughed.

What kind of heroes do you like? Dukes? Firemen? Powerful CEOs? What would you like to see more of? Less of? Shana is giving away one copy of When You Give a Duke a Diamond (U.S. andCanada only). Enter via Rafflecopter below!

 

About Shana

Shana Galen is the national bestselling author of numerous fast-paced, adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books are published all over the world and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working inHouston’s inner city.

Now she writes full time. She’s happily married to an incredibly supportive man she calls Ultimate Sportsfan, and she has a beautiful little girl she calls Little Galen.

 

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Erica Ridley BORN TO BITE Interview + Giveaway Day 2!

We are so lucky to have TWO of the fabulous authors of the BORN TO BITE anthology here with us this week!

Today, Erica Ridley gives us a fast and furious Twitter-style interview about her novella, NEVER BEEN BITTEN within the BORN TO BITE anthology!  And another chance to WIN!! Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below!

First a little about the book:

Darkly handsome and dangerously sexy, these voracious vampires are out for blood–and bound for eternal love. . .

Never Been Bitten by Erica Ridley

Rumored to be a vampire, the rakish Mr. Macane is ravishing all the ladies of the ton! Yet, Miss Elspeth Ramsay cannot bring herself to tremble in his presence. But once Ellie feels the touch of his teeth at her throat, she finds herself biting him back! Surely this sudden bloodlust can only mean danger for her family–and her heart. . ..

Highland Vampire by Diana Cosby

As King of the Highland Coven, vampire Aedan MacGregor knows that falling for the fey Rowan Campbell could destroy her. But one taste of her healing blood and he craves her like no other. Dare claim her as his own, knowing he might lose her forever?

Dark Secret by Hannah Howell

Alone in the world, Murdina Dunbar sets out in search of the only family she has left–and finds an ally in the mysterious Sir Gillanders Baldwin. Something about her sexy protector stirs her blood. Soon, not even the whispers that he’s a dangerous demon can keep her from his bed. . ..

Pick up your copy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Now…let’s get down and dirty with Erica!! 

Ready, set, GO!

Describe NEVER BEEN BITTEN in 140 characters or less.

Scottish Highlander and vampire hunter infiltrates the Beau Monde only to become romantically entangled with a would-be wallflower.

What three words best describe your heroine, Elspeth (Ellie)?

Practical, Passionate, Loving

What three words best describe your hero, Cain?

Passionate, Strong, Confident

When you mix a paranormal skeptic and a vampire, what do you get?

Lots of laughs! Plenty of unexpected twists keep them from ever being able to second-guess the other.

Your novels include a mix of romantic suspense/mystery and paranormal romance. What genre do you lean toward writing most?

I’ve always loved the suspense/mystery angle, although I hooked my agent with a paranormal RomCom. It’s so hard for me to stay in the box!

Do you have more vampire heroes/heroines in your future?

I hope so! I had a blast writing about Cain and Ellie, and would love to write about the vampire warriors Cain left back home in Scotland.

Tell us about your newest project, a trilogy of Gothic romances.

Three young women escape a fire at a girls school-turned-sanitarium only to find their new sanctuaries to be even more dangerous.

You have had some wild and crazy experiences in your past, missy! What was your latest memorable excursion?

This summer I had a boat ride on Loch Ness, saw traditional dance performances in Russia, and ran into a brown bear in the Smoky Mountains!

Out of all the worldwide locations you’ve visited, which remains closest to your heart?

My top three are Spain, Italy, and Costa Rica. I’ve (briefly) lived in all three and would go back in a heartbeat.

I’ve heard many authors say that they find writing a novella harder than writing a full length novel. How do you feel about this?

Getting my brain in novella mode was tough at first, but once I had the characters and the story, it became playtime. I’d love to do it again!

 How FUN was that? I LOVE those interviews! Don’t forget to enter to WIN a copy of BORN TO BITE below!

About Erica

Erica Ridley learned to read when she was three, which was about the same time she decided to be a writer when she grew up. Over the course of her school years, she graduated from self-illustrated stories written in crayon to dramatic sagas filling reams of spiral notebooks.

Now, Erica writes paranormal historical romances. Her Gothic debut, Too Wicked To Kiss, released in 2010, followed by Too Sinful To Deny in 2011. Never Been Bitten, a vampire romance, appears in the 2012 anthology Born To Bite along with fellow authors Hannah Howell and Diana Cosby. Erica is currently working on a new trilogy of Gothic romances about three women who escape a fire only to find out “sanctuary” is in the eye of the beholder.

When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.

You can find Erica on the web at E-mail | Twitter | Facebook | LiveJournal | MySpace |Hi5 | Blog

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Diana Cosby with BORN TO BITE Interview + Giveaway!

Whoo-hooo! We’ve got a dynamic duo here for the next two days! Two of the three fabulous authors of the new anthology BORN TO BITE, Diana Cosby and Erica Ridley will be answering questions and giving away copies of the book!

First up, the amazing Diana Cosby. Not only is Diana a dynomite baker, a sweetheart and a NYT bestseller, but a former Navy Cheif who has lived in dozens of countries around the world. What a fascinating history!

Diana is giving away a copy of BORN TO BITE today! Just enter via the Rafflecopter widget below!

Before we talk to Diana, a little about the book:

Darkly handsome and dangerously sexy, these voracious vampires are out for blood–and bound for eternal love. . .

Highland Vampire by Diana Cosby

As King of the Highland Coven, vampire Aedan MacGregor knows that falling for the fey Rowan Campbell could destroy her. But one taste of her healing blood and he craves her like no other. Dare claim her as his own, knowing he might lose her forever?

Never Been Bitten by Erica Ridley

Rumored to be a vampire, the rakish Mr. Macane is ravishing all the ladies of the ton! Yet, Miss Elspeth Ramsay cannot bring herself to tremble in his presence. But once Ellie feels the touch of his teeth at her throat, she finds herself biting him back! Surely this sudden bloodlust can only mean danger for her family–and her heart. . ..

Dark Secret by Hannah Howell

Alone in the world, Murdina Dunbar sets out in search of the only family she has left–and finds an ally in the mysterious Sir Gillanders Baldwin. Something about her sexy protector stirs her blood. Soon, not even the whispers that he’s a dangerous demon can keep her from his bed. . ..

Pick up your copy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Now…Diana!  Yay!! Thanks so much for being here! I always love it when you visit! 

Your new novella sounds delicious!  And what a gorgeous cover!  BORN TO BITE, features your novella, HIGHLAND VAMPIRE, which brings a vampire hero together with a heroine who has Fae powers. Can you tell us more about that?

Hi Joan, my sincere thanks for having me as a guest today. I enjoy reading vampire novels, and when asked to write in the Born To Bite with anthology with Hannah Howell and Erica Ridley – a huge honor! – I wanted to try something fun. So, I paired a vampire with a fairy. I enjoyed writing the unique mix, and I hope readers will enjoy Aedan and Rowan’s story in Highland Vampire as well.

Is this your first paranormal romance?

I have a touch of the fey in the bestselling MacGruder brothers series.

Can you tell us a little about how this genre was for you to write?

I wanted to write a fun, fresh spin on a vampire story, so I decided to add another of my favorite reads, the fey. I loved challenge of blending the two worlds.

Do you have plans to write more paranormal?

Yes. At this time, I’m writing the 6th book in the bestselling MacGruder brothers series, which has a touch of the fey throughout. As for follow-on books from my story in Born To Bite, it’s definitely something I’m considering. 🙂

You gave you heroine an interesting twist—a character with a combination of witch and Fae ancestry. How does this cause conflict with your hero, a vampire?

My heroine being part fey causes a huge conflict with the vampire hero as a vampire is forbidden to change one of the fey

I did not know this! I must brush up on my paranormaly mythology! Your character’s names are beautiful—Rowan and Aedan. Do these have special significance and/or meaning related to their character and/or the story?

Thank you. I loved naming the characters. As for Aedan, I love the name . Rowan I named her after the Rowan tree. In my story in the Born To Bite anthology, you’ll see where I included the meaning of the flowers that bloom from the tree, which are a beautiful tribute to the strength of the name of the tree and my heroine.

Oh, that is beautiful! Can you tell us why Rowan and Aedan are perfect for each other?

Rowan and Aedan are perfect for each other, because they balance the other. For Rowan, Aedan offers hope and acceptance, and for Aedan, Rowan is a woman of strength and determination with whom he can share his heart.

Can you tell us where your interest in the Fae comes from and why you chose to add that element into HIGHLAND VAMPIRE?

I’ve always loved stories of the fay since I was a child. I owe my enchantment with the Otherworld to the stories read to me in my youth.

You are an avid baker. Where does your love of baking come from? Does it serve any purpose other than the obvious—access to tasty treats? (I for instance knit to give myself thinking time to plot.)

I grew up learning to cook with my grandmother in the mountains of Vermont. So, every time I bake, it brings back memories of my youth and of my time spent with her.

What was the last thing you baked?

The last thing I baked was a batch of my youngest son’s favorite, peanut butter cookies, which I sent to him. He’s in the army and stationed overseas.

Oh, you must be very proud! I’ve heard many authors say that they find writing a novella harder than writing a full length novel. How do you feel about this?

I enjoyed writing the anthology, but like other authors, I wanted more pages to deepen the characters, the secondary characters, and the plot.

Finally…out of all your recipes, which would be Aedan and Rowan’s favorite?

Easy – flourless chocolate torte with raspberry liquor sauce! Yum!!!

Oh, they have gooooood taste!!

Thank you so much again for having me guest blog today, and another huge thanks for everyone who stopped by. Take care, and I wish you the very best!
Slaìnte

Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN, Ret.
www.dianacosby.com

I always love having you Diana! Thanks for sharing  the inside scoop on your HIGHLAND VAMPIRE novella in BORN TO BITE!

Diana is giving away a copy of BORN TO BITE today! Just enter via the Rafflecopter widget below! US/Can shipping.

About Diana

Most people think of retirement as a time to relax. For me, retiring from my job as a Navy Chief Meteorologist/ Oceanographer allowed me to pursue my passion—writing romance novels. With 33 moves behind me and having traveled through many more countries, I was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people I’ve met over the years. 

My years of living in Europe drew me to write in the medieval time frame.  After watching the movie Braveheart and with my passion for writing complex plots, I knew I had to write in this volatile medieval timeframe, hence the MacGruder brothers were born.

You can find Diana online here: Website | Twitter | Facebook

I have many passions in life, but one that resonates in my life is that of giving. I firmly believe that each of us can make a positive difference in another person’s life.  Some of the charities I support are listed below:

The National Trust for Scotland, which acts asntfslogoguardian of Scotland’s magnificent heritage of architectural, scenic and historic treasures.

Habitat For Humanity, which gives a deserving family more than a home, but a foundation upon which to build their dreams.

Semper Fi Fund , is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to help with immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.     

Homes For Our Troops, assists severely injured Servicemen and Servicewomen and their immediate families through various venues to aid them in building a home that allows them live a more independent life.
        
The Navy SEAL Foundation, provides immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.

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Marquita Valentine with Excerpt & Giveaway!

I’m excited to have Marquita Valentine here with an excerpt and giveaway of her newest release: Third Times a Charm!  Be sure to enter to win via the Rafflecopter below!

 

Not even Holland Springs’ Most Notorious Resident can stop this Love Spell.

Customers come to Rose Holland’s apothecary shop for three things: to hear her uncanny matchmaking advice, to buy the “magical” hair and skin products she sells, and to accuse her of trying to steal their men. For years Rose has been entirely innocent and almost content with that status quo. But that was before sexy, smooth-talking Sasha Romanov came to town and made her want to use her love potions on him… until he broke her heart. Now corrupt town officials want to seize her land and sell it to an industrial giant, and her only hope for help looks like the one man she can’t trust—or stop herself from falling under his spell. 

Alexander “Sasha” Romanov seems like every woman’s dream: charming, handsome and fabulously rich. But while the people of Holland Springs think he’s in town to generously invest in their economy (and possibly one of their daughters), Sasha struggles to save his sick mother from his vicious uncle’s plans by doing everything the greedy businessman wants. And Vlad Romanov wants Rose Holland’s land—at any cost. 

Despite Sasha’s vow to get the job done and keep his hands (and everything else!) off Rose, the blue-eyed witch enchants him. But his mother’s life remains in the balance. Sasha must find a way to protect his mother, sabotage his uncle’s plans, and win the woman who’s captured his heart without destroying everything she loves.

Pick up your copy: Kindle | Nook

“A refreshing, whimsical contemporary romance with complex characters and bursts of emotion that tugs on your heartstrings. Kept me up till one AM reading!”  ~ Carly Phillips, NY Times Bestselling Author

 

Excerpt:

Rose closed the door and whirled to face him. “Could you be more rude?”

“Let me have a go at him and you can judge for yourself.”

Fisting her hands on her hips, she glared at Sasha. “You- you spoiled—”

Sasha pounced, backing her up against the door and placing a palm along each side of her head. “Yes, I’m spoiled. I’m ruined and it’s all your fault.”

She gaped at him. “My fault?”

“Yes, yours—the woman who drives me insane. The woman I dream about kissing.  The woman I hunger to be inside.” His head dipped down, full lips and sexy beauty mark at the corner dangerously close.  “And right now, I’m so damn jealous that I want to…” He turned away but she placed her hand on his jaw and forced his face back to hers.

“To what?” 

 The heat in his eyes made her legs tremble. “I want to lock you in my bedroom with me and not let you out until, until…”

She licked her lips. “Until when?” she prompted. A small part of her reveled in this, his torture. She wanted him to hurt. To feel something.

He laughed, but it was mirthless. “Never, I never want to let you out.”

“Why?” she demanded. “What’s changed between last week and tonight?”

“Nothing. Everything. Christ, Rose. I’m so damn sorry and…and I don’t know what to do or say.” He looked as though he truly meant it.  Regret seemed to fill his green eyes and she couldn’t make herself look away. This was the real him.

“You made me cry,” she whispered.

He rested his head against her forehead, his golden hair soft and silky. “I’m a bastard.”

“I waited up for you. I put on my prettiest dress.” Tears grew thick in throat. She would not cry in front of him. She only wanted him to know how badly he hurt her.  But honestly, if he’d cared, he wouldn’t have been so cruel in the first place. Lifting her shaking hands, she tried to push him away, but he wrapped his arms around her and held her close.

“Forgive me,” he said, his breath hot in her hair. He kissed the side of her neck, her jaw and her cheek. “I need your forgiveness, Rosebud.”

Turning before he could find her mouth and she lost all self-control, she said, “I’ll give you another chance.”

 She wriggled out of his embrace, running upstairs to her room and shutting the door behind her.  Pressing cold fingers to her heated cheeks, she closed her eyes and sank to the floor. What had she done?

Pick up your copy:  Kindle | Nook 

Marquita Valentine writes small town romances that are anything but small. Lisa Kleypas, Carly Phillips and Rachel Gibson are among her favorite contemporary authors. Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man — and if that doesn’t work, they can console themselves with cheesy tater tots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children. 

You can find Marquita all over the internet:

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Website | Blog

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