Happy Release Day – When A Lady Dares

When A Lady Dares Cover

I’m excited that my new suspenseful Victorian romance is taking its bow today. When A Lady Dares features Sophie Atherton, who first appeared in When A Lady Deceives. In When A Lady Dares, Sophie gets her own love story.

Drawn into a sinister plot, covert agent Sophie Atherton and rakish archaeologist Gavin Stanwyck heat up Victorian London. Passion awakens their hardened hearts, but love could be their biggest downfall.

Available now at major retail outlets:

Entangled Publishing: https://entangledpublishing.com/when-a-lady-dares.html
Amazon: http://ow.ly/i1fL30bUE3y
Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/WGjZ30bUEaj
iBooks: http://ow.ly/S6aC30bUEe8
Kobo: http://ow.ly/3SVU30bUEAB
Google Play: http://ow.ly/tLl430bUEFF

This entry was posted on May 22, 2017. 4 Comments

In Praise of Happily-Ever-After

WhenALadyDeceives_500X750-2

A Daring Woman…A Dangerous Man…WHEN A LADY DECEIVES releases August 22. Click here to Read an Excerpt.

Dear Readers…I’d originally written this post for my home page, but since it’s been displaced by my gorgeous new cover (which is also here…I can’t stop showing it off…I’m over the moon…) and news of my upcoming release, When A Lady Deceives, the first novel in the Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service series, I’m posting it in its new home, with a few tiny tweaks. I hope you’ll agree with me that reading romance is one of the most enjoyable escapes from the bad news that bombards us on a day-to-day basis. Welcome to my blog!

Oh, you write…romance…

The slight narrowing of the eyes. The perfectly-plucked-brow arch.  The pursing of the lips, or its counterpoint, the wide-eyed jaw drop. How can someone so sensible, so practical, so independent write romance?

Actually, I can’t imagine writing anything else. I’m sensible. I’m practical. I’m independent. And I’m an avowed romantic. I love happy endings, the oft-ridiculed happily ever after. Oh, I have nothing against a good drama. I treasure a story that makes me think, that brings important issues to the forefront and opens avenues to rich discussion. But why-oh-why is a happy ending often regarded as a bad thing?

Not in my book! A good love story brings joy to my soul, the sense that I’ve gone along for the ride with characters who’ve managed to meet and fall in love despite whatever obstacles the author tossed into their path. And a good author will make the road to true love a minefield. Just like those relationships that survive and thrive in real life, the hero and heroine in a romance face road blocks along the way, whether those trials involve villains out for their blood, the challenges of balancing two careers while forging a life together, or their own inner demons.

I love a hero who’s not afraid to show his chivalrous side (yes, I do believe chivalry still exists) and a heroine who can hold her own with the hero and any antagonists who come her way. My favorite romances have an adventurous bent, a touch of the paranormal, or depict the battle-of-the-sexes with a hefty dollop of humor thrown in for good measure. Raiders of the Lost Ark contains one of my all-time-favorite love stories – the interactions between Indiana Jones and Marion are priceless!

I write the kind of books I love to read. Love stories laced with romantic intrigue and adventures of the heart.  And, it goes without saying, a well-deserved happily ever after.

 

Blockheads & Petticoat Holds – A Look at Regency Slang with Ally Broadfield

I’m pleased to welcome historical romance author Ally Broadfield today. Welcome, Ally!

Just A Kiss CoverTara, thank you for having me as a guest on your blog today!

Regency readers are very smart and savvy, and they notice when an author uses a word that wasn’t in use in during the period. I utilize both The Online Etymology Dictionary (etymonline.com) and The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary to look up words to try to ensure I’m not using a word that didn’t exist at the time. One of my favorite words is “suss.” It’s quintessentially British to me, and I was sad to discover that it’s a modern word and was not around during the Regency. It came into use during the 20th century as a shortened form of “suspect.” I wish I could use it in one of my books, but I’m glad I looked it up so I didn’t make that mistake.

There were some really fun slang words and phrases that I’m hoping to work into a future book, like “Dub the jigger.” It sounds inappropriate, doesn’t it? It means “open the door.” Or “Petticoat Hold,” which refers to a man who has an estate during his wife’s life.

There is a scene in Just a Kiss where several people were unhappy with one of the characters, and I had a wonderful time researching words they could use to show their displeasure. Though I wasn’t able to use all of them, these are some of the words I considered:

Clodpoll=blockhead

Numbscull=a stupid fellow

Blockhead=stupid person

Nick Ninny= a simpleton

Mutton-Headed=stupid

I’m sure you can see a pattern here. I’m afraid you’ll have to read Just a Kiss to find out which words I used.

Just a Kiss

Blurb: Charlotte Lightwood has one season to find a husband or she’ll be forced to marry her guardian’s loathsome cousin. With no title or dowry, she doesn’t have much hope of making a good match. Sebastian Wilkinson, the Earl of Marley, has been the most eligible bachelor on the marriage mart for more years than he cares to count and is very aware of his duty to marry a woman who will add to the wealth and stature of his title. Sebastian makes Charlotte an offer she can’t refuse: he will pretend to court her to help her attract more suitors in exchange for her advice about which ladies he should pursue. As they work together, their mutual attraction grows. When they realize they just might be perfect for one another, they must decide whether to bow to the dictates of society or follow their hearts.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Just-Kiss-Novella-Entangled-Edge-ebook/dp/B00JI0RS1M?tag=entangpublis-20&link_code=ur2&creative=9325&camp=211189

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-a-kiss-ally-broadfield/1119127247

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/just-kiss-its-in-his-kiss/id856964058?ign-mpt=uo%3D8

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/just-a-kiss-an-it-s-in-his-kiss-novella

 

Bio: Ally lives in Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, five dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and several reptiles. Oh, and her husband.  She likes to curse in Russian and spends most of her time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia.

Links:

Website: http://allybroadfield.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/allybroadfield

Twitter: http://twitter.com/abroadfield

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/AllyBroadfield

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZZ98KE4QU__pnI5mkiWAeg/videos

 

 

Writing – A Plan, A Process or Barely Controlled Chaos?

My friend Ashley York, a writer of steamy Scottish historical romance, invited me to participate in a blog about my writing process. Ashley discussed her process last week. Now, I’m going to tell you a little about my current work in progress and my process, if that’s how the barely controlled chaos that is my writing routine can be described.

1.  What am I working on?Daggers, Deception & Delicious Little Lies cover

Right now, I am readying the third installment in my Civil War spies series, Daggers, Deception & Delicious Little Lies for an early May launch. This is a passionate story of love and deception between a Confederate officer and the Northern petticoat spy he loves. In addition, I’m plotting the first book in a new series of adventurous Scottish romance set during the Victorian era. I plan to begin drafting that story next month.

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My romance has a significant element of danger and adventure, and my heroines don’t wait to be rescued. Sometimes, they’re the ones rescuing the hero. In my Civil War-era series, my heroes and heroines become involved in a quest to defeat a common enemy, a gang of weapons smugglers who have no loyalty to any cause. The Union and Confederate spies and officers are on opposite sides of the War between the States, but the ruthless gang presents another, and ultimately common, enemy they must face.

3.  Why do I write what I do?

I fell in love with the romance genre as a teenager, and I’ve always been drawn to stories of adventure and passion. This is a key element in my stories. I also adore strong, kick-butt heroines. No delicate flowers are in sight in my books.

4.  How does your writing process work?

I generally sketch out a plot, focusing first on the hero and heroine and their goals, motivations, and conflicts. After researching the time period and the setting, I flesh out the plot I’ve put on paper (on in a computer file, most likely). Then I dive into writing. At this point, the plot becomes a scaffold for the story, but I’m not tethered to it. I find new characters come to me as I’m writing, and these demand to be heard. Sometimes, as in the case of Will Reed, the hero of Daggers, Deception and Dangerous Little Lies, a character pops up who was anticipated to be a minor fixture, and evolves into a hero in his own right. After I draft, I revise, revise, revise some more until my characters are thoroughly sick of me changing their dialogue, and then finally, I’m done. Meanwhile, the next story is nagging at my brain, and often, I’ll start planning that one while I’m in the revision stage. I’m a plotter, but I do my fair share of adding to the plot as I go along.

So, that’s my process. Guess I’d better get back to torturing my hero. Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

Welcome SPIRITED Author Mary Behre

ImageI’m so pleased to welcome my friend, author Mary Behre, today. She’s celebrating the launch of her wonderful debut novel, SPIRITED. I loved this story and blazed through it on my Kindle last weekend. What a terrific read! To celebrate, Mary will be giving away a copy of SPIRITED and a “swag bag”. Just leave a comment and your email for a chance to win.

Now, here’s Mary:

Hi Tara! Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog today. This whole week has been so amazing,  I appreciate you inviting me to continue my launch celebration here.

Mary, please tell us a little about your story.

A reluctant psychic and an no-nonsense cop thrown together by ghost on a mission when her purse is found in the hands of his dead informant. SPIRITED has it all… humor, suspense and a psychic love-connection.

All Jules Scott wants is to live a normal, quiet life—preferably one that doesn’t include ghosts. Jules’s ability for communicating with the dead means needy spirits always find a way to draw her into their otherworldly drama. When one implicates her in a series of deadly crimes, Jules is forced to entrust her paranormal secrets to the person least likely to believe her, the super-hot cop who also poses a danger to her heart.

 He’ll do whatever it takes to catch her.

Detective Seth English can’t get distracted from the big case he’s working on, not even by his alluring new neighbor. He doesn’t believe that Jules had anything to do with the string of robberies-turned-murders that he’s investigating, but when she keeps showing up in all the wrong places, including some scintillating fantasies, his gut tells him she knows more than she’s letting on. To solve his case, he’ll need to expose what the sexy redhead is hiding— but the truth could threaten more than the budding attraction between them…

ImageI love this story…it drew me in from the first page! And Seth is such a wonderful hero. Mary, if you could bring a fictional hero to life, which one would it be? Heathcliff? Mr. Darcy? Mr. Rochester? Tarzan? Captain Mal? One of your own heroes?

Oh my, Captain Mal, definitely! I’m a huge Firefly fan. I saw the show for the first time, ten years after it aired and loved it. I’ve put the Blu-Ray on my wish list for my birthday this year. LOL

He’s one of my favorites…I devoured an entire season of Firefly in a day on a snowy weekend when my hubby was out of town. Firefly episodes are like potato chips  🙂 The fact we both adore Captain Mal doesn’t surprise me in the least. Great minds, you know! But what’s one thing about you that would surprise readers?

Like Jules I have a distinctive tattoo that I got in honor of my older sister. The tattoo is of a pink ribbon with a Celtic symbol for the feminine goddess in the center. If you see me at a conference ask me about the tat, I proudly show it off.

What an original idea!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Oh, that’s easy. Virginia Beach. I moved there when I was twenty-two and never wanted to leave. In fact, I loved the Tidewater area so much, I used it as inspiration for the setting for SPIRITED. The Tidewater area is what the locals refer to the cities of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Suffolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth. Tidewater is actually not on a map. Locals of the five cities often work in one city, live in another, go to concerts in another, plays in another, and dinner in another. But beta readers of my first book, showed me they didn’t understand why locals would leave their own city for food. So Tidewater was born as the fictitious city that had it all.

I’m missing Tidewater, too. I grew up in that area and lived there most of my life until two years ago, when we traded the beach for the mountains of Pennsylvania. Now it’s on my “gotta get there” list at least once a season.

Mary, as a writer, what’s your favorite inspirational quote?

My favorite writing quote is from the sci-fi spoof, GALAXY QUEST. “Never give up. Never surrender.”

Do you follow sports? Favorite teams?

I’m a Baltimore fan all the way. I’m Orioles fan (baseball) and a Ravens fan (football). I love that the Ravens color is purple. My favorite color. So all season long, I wear my Ravens’ gear. The Orioles color is orange. I wear that color as little as possible. Only birds look good in orange. LOL

Hmmm…I’m a Steeler gal…looks like we might have a little Flacco/Big Ben rivalry going on here…

Thanks for being my guest, Mary! It’s been a pleasure to host you. Where can readers find SPIRITED?

Here are buy links to three major retailers:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Spirited-Tidewater-Novel-Mary-Behre-ebook/dp/B00EOAS0BS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388161462&sr=8-1&keywords=mary+behre

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spirited-mary-behre/1116561037?ean=9780425268612

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Spirited/Mary-Behre/9780425268612?id=5649170482822

Don’t forget to leave a comment and your email for a chance to win a swag bag. We’ll announce the winner on Thursday, March 20…Happy first day of Spring!

Here’s a little more about Mary:

Mary Behre is the lone female in a house full of males and the undisputed queen of her domain. She even has the glittery tiara to prove it. She loves stories with humor, ghosts, mysteries and above all else, a good romance. When not writing, she enjoys reading, gluten-free baking, and hanging out at the beach with the most important men in her life, her family.

Her debut paranormal romance, SPIRITED (Tidewater Novel #1) was an award-winning manuscript before it sold to Berkley Sensation. The Tidewater Series is mix of humor, suspense, and a psychic love-connection. The first three stories are about three sisters separated years before in the foster care system. As they search for love, each other, and a way to live with their psychic abilities, they’re tossed into the middle of mysteries that only their unique gifts can help solve.

Welcome Guest Author Alison Henderson

Unwritte Rules CoverIt’s my great pleasure today to welcome my friend, Alison Henderson, to the blog. Here’s Alison:

As a child of the ‘sixties I grew up loving spies. Spies were dashing, dangerous, and swoon-worthy. I was too young to see the earliest James Bond films when they came out, but I vividly remember going to the mall with a friend to try to see Thunderball. Sadly, it was sold out, but just making the attempt was forbidden and exciting. So I guess it’s no surprise that the hero of my latest romantic suspense Unwritten Rules is a former spy.

When the book opens, Carter Devlin has retired from the CIA. But since someone is trying to kill him and people from his past appear throughout the story, I wanted to include enough realistic detail to support the suspense. Like most people, my knowledge of spying is limited to what I’ve seen on the big screen. Imagine my delight when a business trip offered the opportunity to learn all about spies, up close and personal!

While I was working on Unwritten Rules, I took a 3-day trip to Baltimore for a conference at a company known for putting on fascinating after-hours field trips. In past years they’d taken participants to a play at the Kennedy Center, behind-the-scenes tours of the Smithsonian, and other special treats. This year they offered a guided tour of the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. I was the first one on the bus!

The museum is as intriguing as its subject matter. Exhibits take the visitor through the history of spying with special emphasis on the evolution of spy technology, including examples of real spy gadgets from the early twentieth century through today. They also have interactive experiences that help teach you to think and react like a spy. The last stop is the museum store – a fantastic place! I couldn’t resist buying a copy of The International Spy Museum Handbook of Practical Spying, just what I needed to give my characters the proper verisimilitude.

The Handbook of Practical Spying offers tips on such things as how to do simple encoding to remember names and addresses, how to spot surveillance cameras, and how to adopt a successful cover—all things we, or our fictitious spies, might need to do every day. I didn’t use many of the tips in my book, but I sure had fun getting in the mood.

Here’s a peek at the resulting story:

Things aren’t going Madelyn Li’s way. Her bodyguard agency is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, her grandmother keeps hatching plots to marry her off, and someone is trying to kill her latest client. All she wants is to safely escort thriller writer and former CIA agent Carter Devlin on his cross country book tour and collect her check, but two obstacles stand in her way: a shadowy assailant and her own growing attraction to her dashing client.

Carter Devlin has agreed to accept the beautiful and determined Ms. Li as a bodyguard primarily to appease his publisher. After all, who would want to kill a beat-up, retired ex-spy on a book tour? But when the attacks turn deadly, he soon learns there’s more to Madelyn than a pretty face and tempting body. Will the spark become a flame before a killer snuffs it out?

Unwritten Rules is available at: http://amzn.to/1cl6jDA

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Alison Henderson

www.alisonhenderson.com

http://alisonhenderson.blogspot.com

Welcome Author Katherine Bone

Duke By Day CoverI’m excited to welcome Katherine Bone to the blog today. She’s here to tell us about her new story and reveal her gorgeous new cover. She’s also generously offered a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky commenter. We’ll announce the winner on Monday, February 3.

Welcome, Katherine! Please tell us a little about your story.

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today, Tara! It’s a pleasure to share this wonderful helm view.

Duke by Day, Rogue by Night is the first book in my Nelson’s Tea Series.

CONSTANCE DANBURY is desperate to escape a forced marriage to a man nearly twice her age. Her only hope is to board a merchantman bound for Spain and enlist her aunt’s help. Nothing prepares her for being captured by pirates.

Nobleman PERCIVAL AVERY is a member of Nelson’s Tea, an elite group assigned to protect England’s shores at any cost. Undercover, and determined to avenge his sister’s death, Percy disguises himself as a pirate to infiltrate the gang of cutthroats responsible. But when his vessel attacks a merchantman, Percy is forced to choose between vengeance and saving the life of his commander’s niece, Constance Danbury. His only choice is to mutiny, but mutiny obliterates his well-laid plans.

Fascinating! I love a good pirate story. And when that pirate is really a handsome noble…so much the better!

Tell us about your future releases? What are you most excited about?

Hand flail! I’m especially excited to announce that the first book in my Nelson’s Tea Series, Duke by Day, Rogue by Night is relaunching with EsKape EPress Publishing, ETA — February. Duke by Day has a brand new look — the romance cover of my dreams! I’m hoping readers will enjoy the adventurous appeal of the book, as much as I do, as well as the new compass heading — I mean editing.

Soon to follow, My Lord Rogue, the prequel novella for my Nelson’s Tea Series, which chronicles how Nelson’s Tea was organized, particularly Viscount Bourne, Lord Simon Danbury’s mission to form the clandestine group of first sons from every tier of life willing to serve Nelson and the crown.

Katherine, who would you cast to play your hero and heroine in an adaptation of your story?

Tara, this is a great question because I see all my books as movies. Prior to writing, I do casting calls. I’ve got characters in my head, but as a visual writer, I need inspiration to make them three-dimensional in my mind’s eye. Pinterest is a great way to harvest inspiration for all kinds of things. As a result, I’ve got boards for all of my books. Love. Love. Love Pinterest!

“And rum!” Jack supplies.

That too!

You’ll find that in My Lord Rogue, Simon Danbury was inspired by Toby Stephens and Baroness Chauncey by Abby Cornish. In Duke by Day, Rogue by Night, Percival Avery was inspired by Jared Padalecki and Constance Danbury by Hayden Panettiere. In The Rogue’s Prize, Henry Guffald was inspired by Simon Baker and Adele Seaton by Amanda Righetti. And in the final installment, The Rogue’s Surrender, Garrick Seaton is inspired by Tom Mison of Sleepy Hollow fame and Adelaide Kane from Reign as Mercedes Vasquez de la Claremont.

Ouch!

Jack knocks on my head. “Speaking of hollow. Are you sure there’s enough room in your head for all those people?”

Katherine BoneAnd now, a little about you…What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

You mean other than Jack? 😉

“That’s Captain Jack Sparrow, luv.”

Indeed it is.

Well, my favorite guilty pleasure is to sit on the beach, toes in the sand, tropical breezes ruffling my hair, a good romance novel in hand, surf teasing the shore, and ships passing on the horizon. Of course, a constant flow of strawberry daiquiris wouldn’t hurt.

Rolls eyes… “You mean rum. Rum. Say it. RRRRRum. Rum. Rummy. Rummy.”

Rum comes in many forms, especially Strawberry Daiquiris. (Wink!)

What’s one thing about you that would surprise readers?

I think people are always surprised to find out I’m a Mimi (channeling la François). I’ve got four grown children and three grandsons. And my heart does a flip flop anytime someone I meet swears I don’t look old enough. I assure you I am. LOL!!!

Jack points his finger my way. “It’s the rum, luv. Preservative, as it were.”

Which would you rather possess: flying monkeys or Toto?

Flying monkeys? Shiver me timbers!

“They wouldn’t happen to be undead, would they?” Jack asks, cringing.

If you could wake up stranded on a desert island with one celebrity hunk, who would it be?

Oh, Tara! You made this one too easy. Buahahaha!!! Of course, there’s no question I’d be stranded with Captain Jack Sparrow. He’d have a gun with one shot, which isn’t meant for me, not to mention his effects.

“Which effects, dearie?” Flash of golden tooth. A devilish wink. Jack postures himself.

Why a compass and — well you already know, Jack. We’d have a rum stash hidden and left behind by rum runners. Free of the cares of the day, we’d spend our days sunning, bathing along the coast, and our nights imbibing while dancing by campfire light. We might even scare up some sea beasties for dinner too.

Jack crinkles his nose. “Sea beasties?”

Oh, Tara! What can I say? It’s a pirate’s life for me!

“And me! I’ve got a jar of dirt!”

 It’s been a pleasure sailing with you today, Tara! Wishing you calm seas & tons of bootay!

Before I sail off into that distant horizon, I’m ponderin’ more celebrity hunks. Which one would you like to be marooned with? I’ve got a $10 Amazon Gift Card for one lucky commenter. Woot!!!

Want to learn more about Katherine, including her very inspirational Pinterest boards?