Archive for June, 2010



Congrats to all the winners!


Wins a copy of Tempting the Marquess by Sara Lindsey.

Quilt Lady & PatL.

Both win a copy of Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn chase.

Amy Kathryn

Wins a download of Love & Scandal by Donna Lea Simpson. (Email me preferred format, please)

We have a homeless book from last week and had to choose a new winner.


Wins a copy of WILD FLING OR A WEDDING RING? by Mira Lyn Kelly.

Email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) within 48 hours or a new name will be chosen.

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Love & Scandal

By Donna Lea Simpson

Nothing sells like love & scandal…

Collette Jardiniere writes of passion and seduction, but has experienced neither. Her pseudonymous novel, The Last Days of a Rake, has shocked Victorian society and become a runaway bestseller. Infamous rouge, Charles Jameson is “revealed” as the author, and Collette is outraged when the cad does little to curtail the gossip.

Intrigued by the book the tabloids claim is his thinly veiled autobiography, Jameson tries to find the real author. Returning to London after an unsuccessful hunt, he is pleasantly distracted by a plain country miss reading the wicked book.

Collette is dismayed when she learns the identity of the devastatingly handsome man who kissed her senseless. And Jameson cannot believe that she wrote The Last Days of a Rake. As Collette tries to convince him of the truth, their mutual attraction reaches a fever pitch, and soon they find themselves in a real-life scandal!


The Last Days of a Rake

In Love & Scandal, Collette Jardiniere is outraged when notorious roué Charles Jameson appears to take credit for The Last Days of a Rake, a novel she wrote under the pseudonym Colin Jenkins to satisfy Victorian convention.

Can a rake be true to himself, yet remain free from sin?

Albert Lankin has lived the life of rake, a man who cares for nothing but the pleasures of the flesh. But it is the seduction – and abandonment – of a gentle maiden that turns him from mere gadabout to immoral cad. Too late, Lankin realizes his self-centered ways have left him incapable of finding enjoyment in anything. Now on his deathbed, he relates the shocking tale of his wasted life to John Hamilton, a school chum who chose a different path.

In telling his story, can Lankin find redemption for the trail of ruined lives he leaves behind?

Companion piece to Love & Scandal by Donna Lea Simpson


Love & Scandal (Carina Press – June 21st, 2010) lived as a story long before it was accepted for publication by Carina Press. I know other authors have this same scenario; you have a story in your heart, and it demands that you write it. But once you’re done, it doesn’t really ‘fit’ with the rest of your career, so it languishes on the hard drive. Every once in a while you return to it, polish it, admire it, and then sigh about how great it is, but it just doesn’t fit!

I was in that situation with Love & Scandal. You see, I’ve spent most of my years as a published author writing (at first) traditional Regency romances, and then paranormal Georgian-era romances. Love & Scandal is neither! It is a Victorian-set romance novel that takes place in the mid-eighteen hundreds, the golden era of novel publishing, when books by the Brontës, Thackeray, Dickens, and (within a few years), the inimitable George Eliot, were being written and published.

I’ve always been fascinated by the time frame because of the eloquence of the writing, but I often wondered why it was considered unthinkable that a woman not only write a novel, but put her name on it. Writing was considered a scandalous career choice for a woman; not quite as bad as being an actress, perhaps, but almost! Women weren’t supposed to think deeply, and their reasoning was considered just superior to that of a pretty pet pug. Women of deep intelligence existed, of course, but they were regarded with resentment and some hostility. It was antithetical to womanhood and even dangerous for women to involve themselves in the wider world when their sphere was the home and bearing children, or so said most men.

I wondered, too, what would happen if a woman wrote a book using a male pseudonym, only to have some man claim to be the fellow who wrote her novel. What would Charlotte Brontë have done if a fellow popped up, claiming to be Currer Bell? Charlotte was no one’s pushover; I believe she would have marched to London, tracked him down, and given him a piece of her mind.

So Love & Scandal is the result of that game of ‘what if’. I had a grand time writing it, but I thought it was doomed never to see the light of day. Then I heard about Carina Press, (Harlequin’s new all-digital imprint) and how as an electronic publisher they were open to different sub-genres of romance, and different time periods for historical romances. So I sent Love & Scandal in and kept my fingers crossed.

And something wonderful happened; I got an enthusiastic email from Carina Press’s editor Angela James telling me they wanted the book. I was ecstatic! Then, as we began to go through the editing process, something else wonderful happened. They came to me with an idea; what if I were to write the scandalous book, The Last Days of a Rake, that Collette Jardiniere is supposed to have written in Love & Scandal? They wanted to offer it as a free companion book to Love & Scandal. I jumped on the idea! I already knew quite a bit about the book because Collette discusses it throughout Love & Scandal. And so wrote The Last Days of a Rake, a supposedly Victorian-written novella about a rake in Regency England. It was so much fun!

Beyond adding to the reading experience for those who buy Love & Scandal, I think it serves another purpose, too; if readers have been wondering if they’ll enjoy eBooks, or if they’d like to see one before buying, they can download The Last Days of a Rake and see what a Carina Press book looks like!

But I’ve been warning everyone: when you read The Last Days of a Rake, don’t expect a romance; it is intended to be a serious Victorian novel with a moral at the heart of it. However, when you read Love & Scandal do expect a romance! Collette and Charles make a charming and quarrelsome pair, and I hope readers enjoy them!


I do hope you enjoy the books!

Check out my webpage: http://www.donnaleasimpson.com

Check out my blog at: http://donnaleasimpson.wordpress.com

Best regards to all,

Donna Lea Simpson


Many thanks to Donna for being our guest today. Leave a comment for the chance to win a download of Love & Scandal. For an excerpt of the book, you can find it here.

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He’s looking for peace, quiet, and a little romance…

There’s never a dull moment when hunky all-star pitcher and shapeshifter Jason Falco invests in an old Boston brownstone apartment building full of supernatural creatures. But when Merry MacKenzie moves into the ground floor apartment, the playboy pitcher decides he might just be done playing the field…

A girl just wants to have fun…

Sexy Jason seems like the perfect fling, but newly independent nurse Merry’s not sure she’s ready to trust him with her heart…especially when the tabloids start trumpeting his playboy lifestyle.

Then pandemonium breaks loose and Merry and Jason will never get it together without a little help from the vampire who lives in the basement and the werewolf from upstairs…


My bio usually begins with: “Ashlyn Chase describes herself as an Almond Joy bar. A little nutty, a little flaky, but basically sweet wanting only to give her readers a scrumptious experience” and it’s true. I write hot romantic comedy. Usually, I’m a little off-the-wall and that, in my opinion, is when I’m at my best. I have so much fun with my stories, fellow writers, and fans it should be illegal.

But sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don’t. (more…)

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The Weston siblings have been blessed with Shakespearean names and an affinity for impropriety. Prepare to fall in love while discovering how the Westons are won.

While Olivia Weston loves matchmaking and romantic novels, she intends to make a suitable match. But first she wants an adventure, and when given the opportunity to visit a reclusive widower living in a haunted castle, Livvy can’t possibly resist.

After his wife’s death, Jason Traherne, Marquess of Sheldon, shut his heart to everyone but his son, and until now he has succeeded in maintaining his distance. But there’s something about Livy – her unique blend of sweetness and sensuality – that tempts him beyond all reason.

Though there’s nothing suitable about the feelings he inspires in her, Livvy can’t help falling for the marquess. But can she persuade him to let go of the past and risk his heart again?


It’s great to be here at RR@H Novel Thoughts & Book Talk. Many thanks to Fatin for inviting me to come talk about my new historical romance release, Tempting the Marquess, the second book in my Weston family series which follows seven siblings with Shakespearean names and, much to their mother’s dismay, a definite affinity for impropriety.

Tempting the Marquess features hopelessly romantic, yet utterly pragmatic Olivia Weston. Livvy is preparing for her upcoming Season, but she knows marriage in real life will never measure up to the passionate romances she loves to read. (more…)

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Winners for last week!


So sorry I didn’t post this yesterday. Had a puter-free weekend this past weekend. 🙂


Wins either Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey or a book off Shan’s backlist.


wins a copy of WILD FLING OR A WEDDING RING? by Mira Lyn Kelly.

Estella & TraceyD.

Both win a copy of I Love This Bar by Carolyn Brown.


wins a copy of TEMPTING A PROPER LADY by Debra Mullins.


Wins either Seduced by Shadows or Forged of Shadows by Jessa Slade.

Congrats to all the winners!

Email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) within 48 hours or a new name will be chosen.

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The war between good and evil has raged for millennia, with the Marked Souls caught in the middle, but the new girl doesn’t play by old rules…

Liam Niall never meant to be a leader.  Barely surviving the horrors of the Irish Potato Famine with body and soul intact, he escaped to Chicago…where he lost half his soul and gained a wayward band of demon-possessed warriors.  Now, as the talyan face a morphing evil, Liam grows weary and plagued by doubt—until a new weapon falls into his hands.  Her name is Jilly Chan.  To save her demon-ridden soul, Liam must win her to his battle…and his bed.

Waging a one-woman war against the threats to the street kids she mentors, Jilly won’t be any man’s woman or weapon.  But Liam—with his hard eyes, soft brogue and compelling hands—is a danger to her rebellious independence…and her heart.

These two halved souls sharing one fierce passion will sear a fresh scar across the city.  Who’s in danger now?

“[F]or readers who love J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, the Marked Souls series will hit the spot.” 4 Stars RT BookReviews


Hello, Mad Fatin of the many books!  Thank you for hosting me here at RR@H Novel Thoughts & Book Talk again.  I was here in October last year with my debut urban fantasy romance SEDUCED BY SHADOWS, and I’m thrilled to be back with book 2 in the Marked Souls series, FORGED OF SHADOWS, which follows the continuing war between demon-possessed alpha warriors and the forces of evil.

Since I write about demons and demonic possession, a potential reader recently asked me how gory are my stories.  Which stopped me for a moment.  I don’t consider myself gory at all.  Although I admit FORGED OF SHADOWS does open with a fight scene between my bewildered but quickly armed heroine and a few bad demons.  Jilly is joined by an unknown-to-her man who brings a hammer to the fight: (more…)

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Two years ago, dashing Captain Samuel Breedlove disappeared without a word. But he’s resurfaced in London a wealthy man, only to discover his fiancée planning to wed another. Now Samuel needs to restore his good name and expose a villain–and tempting, temptable Cilla seems an ideal accomplice.

Priscilla Burke knows the marriage of her charge, Annabelle Bailey, to the Earl of Raventhorpe must be perfect. It would be madness for her to even consider doing anything that would mar this beautiful day and destroy her fledgling career as a wedding planner. Why then is she so drawn to this irresistible stranger who insists she help him sabotage the impending affair?

But a proper lady’s desire is nothing to toy with. And a man whose character has been questioned cannot allow himself to dream of happily ever after. This not-so-innocent seduction may have unforeseen consequences…


It’s June, and weddings are on the brain. That makes it the perfect time for the release of TEMPTING A PROPER LADY, the first book of my Brides of Nevarton Chase series.

In book one of this new Victorian trilogy, American sea captain Samuel Breedlove is determined to stop the wedding of Annabelle Bailey to his enemy, the Earl of Raventhorpe. But no one will listen to him when he tries to tell them that the earl attempted to kill him……no one except Cilla Burke, the woman planning the festivities. She agrees to help him stop the nuptials—in exchange for private lessons about men and the world of sensuality so that she might more wisely choose a new husband.

Warning: Widow meets sailor=HOT! (more…)

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She doesn’t need anything but her bar…

Daisy O’Dell has her hands full with hotheads and thirsty ranchers until the day one damn fine cowboy walks in and throws her whole life into turmoil…

He’s looking for a cold drink and a moment’s peace…

Instead, Jarod McElroy, finds one red hot woman. She’s just what he needs, if only he can convince her to come out from behind that bar, and come home with him…


Good morning everyone!

It’s great to be back here at Romance Reader at Heart’s Novel Thoughts. So how is everyone? Anything exciting happening since I last visited?

Well, down here in my world things are hopping. The first book in the Honky Tonk Series, I Love This Bar, is on the shelves now. Hell, Yeah will be out the first of August; My Give A Damn’s Busted, October; and Honky Tonk Christmas, November. So I’m so happy I could dance a jig in a pig trough.

The Honky Tonk is an old beer joint down in Palo Pinto County, Texas. It’s barely over the line from Erath County which is dry and folks down in that part of the world get to spittin’ dust after a hard week of wranglin’ cows, baling hay and plowin’. So they put on their favorite dancin’ boots and head for the Honky Tonk where there’s plenty of country music and cold beer.

Like Toby Keith sings about in his song with the same title, there’s all kinds of folks who frequent the Honky Tonk. Whether they’re bikers, lookers or hookers country folks have an earthy way with words and it shows up in the patrons of the Honky Tonk. They tell it like it is and don’t mince words or stutter.

Daisy is the bar owner and more than once Jarod makes her as nervous as a hooker on the front row of a church revival. She’d never let him know that of course since she’s brassy and comes across as ten feet tall and bullet proof.

And Jarod, bless his heart, stays in so much trouble with Uncle Emmett that he feels like he’s a one legged chicken at a coyote convention. The old fellow won’t spend a dime to update his ranch and pinches pennies so tight that Jarod can hear Abe Lincoln squealing when the house quiets down at night.

Those sayings caused me think of other country sayings that if you look right close you might find in I Love This Bar. Or at least think about when you read about the quirky characters who visit the Honky Tonk and attempt to make Daisy and Jarod see that they are made for each other.

…like wiping your ass on a wagon wheel, there ain’t no end to it. (I swear that’s Jarod trying to stay a step ahead of Uncle Emmett’s sharp tongue. Of course Uncle Emmett is so stingy he’d skin a gnat to get the lard.)

…colder than a mother-in-law’s kiss. (That would be the looks that Daisy gave Chigger the day she hoodwinked her into going fishing with her and Jim Bob)

…dumber than hammered owl shit! (Anyone who thinks they can whip Merle at the pool tables.)

…charm the hair off a frog’s ass. (That would be Jarod. That man could make a holy woman’s panty hose crawl down around her ankles.)

…built like a red brick outhouse and not a brick out of place. (Meet Daisy and her cousin, Cathy O’Dell, who definitely do not have a brick out of place.)

…doesn’t need his head for anything except to keep his ears apart. (Sometimes Billy Bob is like this, especially when he’s trying to get Daisy to marry him so he can own her bar.)

…you can kiss my naturally born country ass. (Blake Shelton has a brand new song with that title and line! It’ll be on the juke box at the Honky Tonk as soon as Daisy can arrange it.)

…so drunk he don’t know straight up from backwards on a sunny day. (It happens at the Honky Tonk! And when it does the drunk nearly always wakes up to feel like sin on Sunday morning.)

…mad as the devil at a baptism. (Read I Love This Bar to find out if anyone gets that mad.)

Now tell me what country saying comes to mind when you look at Jarod on the cover for I Love This Bar? Does that sexy cowboy make your panty hose begin to inch toward your ankles?


Huge thanks to Ms. Brown for being our guest today. For more information on what she has coming up next, visit her website here. Don’t forget to leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of I Love This Bar. We have two copies up for grabs today. Good Luck!

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On her first night in Chicago, Cali McGovern meets seriously sexy surgeon Jake Tyler. Since she’s still sore after her last relationship, her head’s yelling Run—but her body’s screaming for his touch…. For the first time ever, her head gets overruled!

Jake isn’t looking for a wife—been there, done that. But his hot new neighbor is in town just long enough for a wild fling…perfect! Yet when the time’s up, he can’t say goodbye. Is that just because of their sizzling chemistry—or something a whole lot scarier?


Thank you so much for having me over to RR@H Novel Thoughts & Book Talk. My Harlequin debut novel is available this week, so I thought it might be fun to share a bit about the wild ride that’s finally brought WILD FLING OR A WEDDING RING? to a bookstore near you.

It all started back in ’08 when my critique partner suggested I check out the INSTANT SEDUCTION contest they were running over at the Iheartpresents site. They were taking a first chapter and synopsis and the actual line editors were judging the submissions. It was an opportunity not to be missed. So I got to work on a couple ideas, polished them to a high shine and sent them in. Then I started working on the story idea I thought had the most promise, hoping like crazy they’d be interested enough to ask to see more. When the results were announced, I was not among the winners. It was disappointing, but the story I was writing just clicked for me, so I kept working on it. Around 25K in (about halfway done), I got this letter…from Harlequin…requesting the full manuscript for my entry.

My other entry, the one I had NOT been working on! (more…)

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Exclusively Yours

Contemporary romance

Releases today from Carina Press

When Keri Daniels’ editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.

Joe’s never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he’s intrigued to hear Keri’s back in town—and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he’ll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school.

He proposes an outrageous plan—for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping and four-wheeling trip, Keri can ask one question. Keri agrees; she’s worked too hard to walk away from her career.

But the chemistry between them is still as potent as the bug spray, Joe’s sister is out to avenge his broken heart and Keri hasn’t ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever.


I’m so excited to be here today! It’s a big day because it’s not only a release day for me, personally, but it’s launch day for Carina Press!

My Carina Press launch title, Exclusively Yours, is my first straight contemporary romance in four years. While I’ve had a few contemporary settings during that time, one was a holiday paranormal novella and the others are my Devlin Group series, which are action-adventure romances. Ironically, my last contemporary romance—Forever Again, which released in January of 2006—was also a launch title as it was one of the first four titles released by Samhain Publishing. (Though I won’t be waiting for another publisher launch to write my next one. Undeniably Yours will be released this fall.) (more…)

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