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Category: Giveaways

Posts in which we or our guests offer a giveaway.

Diane here, posting for Amanda whose WordPress is doing wonky things. Here’s Amanda!

christmassummonscover1I’m so happy to be back at the Riskies today! I hope I can still be considered a part-time (or honorary) Risky). I’m also so excited to have the chance to talk a bit about the history behind the book for my new release The Queen’s Christmas Summons. This story has been brewing in my mind for a long time, ever since I was a little girl and my grandmother (who was very proud to be Irish, and have the famous “black Irish” looks of dark hair, olive skin, and bright blue eyes) told me she was descended from a shipwrecked Spanish soldier who landed on Ireland’s coast in a storm and married a Galway woman. This story, while fantastic, is almost certainly a family legend, but it made me wonder—what would really happen if two such people met??? That’s how John (an English spy planted with the Armada) and his love Alys came to be. She saves his life on the Irish shore—and they meet up later at the queen’s own court for Christmas.

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of The Queen’s Christmas Summons to one lucky commenter, chosen at random.

The paperback is available now at bookstores and online venues. The ebook will be released November 1.

                        The Spanish Armada (Grande y Felicisima Armada, “great and most fortunate navy”) was one of the most dramatic episodes of the reign of Elizabeth I, and one of her defining moments. If it had succeeded, the future of England would have been very different indeed, but luckily, weather, Spanish underpreparedness, and the skill of the English navy were on the queen’s side. The mission to overthrow Elizabeth, re-establish Catholicism in England, and stop English interference in the Spanish Low Countries, was thwarted.
King Philip began preparing his invasion force as early as 1584, with big plans for his fleet to meet up with the Duke of Parma in the Low Countries, ferry his armies to England, and invade. His first choice as commander was the experienced Marquis of Santa Cruz, but when Santa Cruz died Philip ordered the Duke of Medina Sedonia to take command of the fleet. The Duke was an experienced warrior – on land. He had no naval background, and no interest in leading the Armada, as the invasion fleet came to be called. He begged to be dismissed, but Philip ignored the request, as well as many other good pieces of advice about adequate supplies and modernizing his ships.

After many delays, the Armada set sail from Lisbon in April 1588 (in The Queen’s Christmas Summons, it carries my hero, an English spy, along with it!). The fleet numbered over 130 ships, making it by far the greatest naval fleet of its age. According to Spanish records, 30,493 men sailed with the Armada, the vast majority of them soldiers. A closer look, however, reveals that this “Invincible Armada” was not quite so well armed as it might seem.  Many of the Spanish vessels were converted merchant ships, better suited to carrying cargo than engaging in warfare at sea. They were broad and heavy, and could not maneuver quickly under sail.  The English navy, recently modernized under the watch of Drake and Hawkins, was made up of sleek, fast ships, pared down and easy to bring about, which would prove crucial.

A series of signal beacons atop hills along the English and Welsh coasts were manned. When the Spanish ships were at last sighted off The Lizard on July 19, 1588, the beacons were lit, speeding the news throughout the realm. The English ships slipped out of their harbor at Plymouth and, under cover of darkness, managed to get behind the Spanish fleet. When the Spanish finally reached Calais, they were met by a collection of English vessels under the command of Lord Howard.

The English set fireships adrift, using the tide to carry the blazing vessels into the massed Spanish fleet. Although the Spanish were prepared for this tactic and quickly slipped anchor, there were some losses and inevitable confusion. On Monday, July 29, the two fleets met in battle off Gravelines. The English emerged victorious, although the Spanish losses were not great; only three ships were reported sunk, one captured, and four more ran aground. Nevertheless, the Duke of Medina Sedonia determined that the Armada must return to Spain. The English blocked the Channel, so the only route open was north around the tip of Scotland, and down the coast of Ireland. Storms scattered the Spanish ships, resulting in heavy losses.
By the time the tattered Armada regained Spain, it had lost half its ships and three-quarters of its men, leaving a fascinating trove of maritime archaeological sights along the Irish coast (and myths of dark-eyed children born to Irish women and rescued Spanish sailors! In reality, most of them met fates far more grim and sad). Among this most unlikely of places, John and Alys meet and find love!

Did any of this history of the Armada surprise you? Remember to leave a comment about the Armada or about The Queen’s Christmas Summons for a chance to win a signed copy!

If you’d like to read more about this fascinating time, here are a few sources I liked:

Robert Milne-Tyne, Armada!, 1988

Ken Douglas, The Downfall of the Spanish Armada in Ireland, 2009

Neil Hanson, The Confident Hope of a Miracle: The True History of the Spanish Armada, 2003

Laurence Flanagan, Ireland’s Armada Legacy, 1988

James Hardiman, The History of the Town and Country of Galway, 1820

Colin Martin, Shipwrecks of the Spanish Armada, 2001

Garrett Mattingly, The Armada, 1959

The day job continues to be a day and night job. This is so un-fun I can hardly express it to you. Last night there were emergency pages from 11:45 pm to past midnight. Just when I was hoping I could cut back on the caffeine I’m back to thinking a 6 shot espresso isn’t going to do the job.

This, I am saying to myself, is what it must have been like to be a servant. Doesn’t matter if you’re dead tired, the mistress is ringing and you have to go see what the silly cow wants.

Speaking of employers of servants, did you all see that article about the Skull found in Sir David Attenborough’s garden that solves 1879 Barnes murder mystery? No? Go read that article.

I’ll wait. . . . . . . . . . . . .

While the rest of you are waiting for the stragglers, here’s a picture of another of my Other One True Loves:

Arjun Rampal

So. That story about the skull in Attenburough’s garden.

Ew. Am I right?

OK, I admit this is the worst Birthday Bash Blog ever but I’m sleep deprived, afraid my phone will start buzzing again but damn, NO ONE WILL DEFEAT ME! Bwahahahahahahhahahaha. I win and the week isn’t even over yet and there are 3 more blogs posts yet to be posted. I know I already took down those other chicks. They had fun, non-gross Regency-related blogs.  Plus, I have Arjun Rampal and they don’t. If any of the others work him in, you’re going to know how desperate they are.

Here’s another picture of him so you know just how awesome he is.

More Arjun Rampal

So, leave a comment and I will send one of you commenters something. Like, say, a gift certificate for 1 pound of something from to this web site guaranteed not gross. If you’re in Europe I will give a gift certificate of equal value to something else, probably Amazon or Book Despitory, OK?

Leave a comment in which . . . .


You complete this scenario:

It is 1815 and Carolyn is NOT a servant and no one ever pages her rings for her in the middle of the night except for . . . .

The whole point, people, is to make Carolyn feel better with your answer.

Void where prohibited. Leave a comment by Midnight Pacific Monday, August 8th. Make sure you check the blog to see if you won or else leave me a way to contact you.


Interview with The Amazing, Astounding, and Always Humble Author Carolyn Jewel

Join us in a big Riskies Welcome to author Carolyn Jewel. Her historical romance, Not Wicked Enough, is out now. You should rush out and buy a copy. Also copies for all your friends and neighbors. The dog might like a copy. In fact, you’ll probably need several for the dog. (HOURS when your pet is not chewing on your furniture!)
You’ll be thought of as a hero or heroine for doing this, no costume required! But you could wear one if you want. (Please send pics.)

Q: Tell us about yourself, Carolyn

A: Carolyn Jewel was born on a moonless night. That darkness was seared into her soul and she became an award winning author of historical and paranormal romance. She has a very dusty car and a Master’s degree in English that proves useful at the oddest times. An avid fan of fine chocolate, finer heroines, Bollywood films, and heroism in all forms, she has three cats and a dog. Also a son. One of the cats is his.

Q: Tell us About Your Book

A: When Lily Wellstone heads to the Bitterward Estate to comfort her widowed friend Eugenia, she certainly does not have romance in mind. In fact the playful but level-headed Lily is amused to no end when, en route, a gypsy gifts her with a beautiful medallion, claiming it will ensnare the romantic desires of a stranger.

But Fate has other plans in the form of Eugenia’s ruggedly handsome brother, the Duke of Mountjoy. One day at Bitterward and Lily can’t deny the sizzling attraction between her and the roguish duke. Nothing can come of it, of course. She’s not looking for entanglements and he’s practically engaged. But whether it’s her outgoing nature and the duke’s outlandish ways sparking off one another; or the mysterious gypsy medallion working “magic”—hearts are stirring in the most unexpected and wicked ways…

Q: Are you really Carolyn Jewel? Because I heard she’s shy and never does interviews.

A: Yes, I am Carolyn. You can be assured it’s true because I spell my last name correctly. It’s true I’m shy. Like most writers, I’m hard to spot in the wild unless you know what you’re looking for. I was tricked into coming here.

Q: I beg your pardon?

Oh, come on. Like you don’t know what happens.

Certain people will stand on a corner and say, in a deliberately loud voice, “I HATE this book!” And then they throw a book on the ground. Every writer within a three mile radius will converge on that location to see what book was so despised as to elicit that sort of reaction. At that point, it’s pretty easy to capture an author because they’re an emotional lot and they’re crying and in shock.

A more dangerous tactic is to stand outside a stationer’s or bookstore and yell “Free Moleskines!” As you can imagine, the danger of getting trampled is quite high. Sure, you can capture several authors with this method, but I don’t feel it’s a risk anyone should take.

Q: How were you captured?

A: It was the Moleskine trick. I really need a new one. Mine is almost full. That lady didn’t look like a liar.

Q: Let’s talk about the darkness seared into your soul.

A: It’s contagious.

Q: So. What’s your favorite scene in Not Wicked Enough?

A: It was the moonless night, really. A LOT of authors are born on moonless nights. You’d be surprised. We’re a bit sensitive because of that. I know, I know, everyone’s heard there’s one who was born in the afternoon on a sunny day, but honestly, how likely is that? It’s one of those urban myths. Check your spam. I bet you have a chain email with some sappy story about the writer born on a sunny day (It was NOT Stephen King!). Please, don’t forward it, okay? Anyway, if we’re not born on a moonless night, then it’s a rainy one, which is almost the same thing, or else we grew up in a labyrinth. Sometimes a literal one.

Q: So. What’s your favorite scene in Not Wicked Enough?

A: Why are you asking me to chose? It’s like asking me which of my children I love the best.

Q: Don’t you writer-types kill your darlings?


Q: Well?

A: Is that a Molskine?

hand slapping sound

Q: Back off or I’m tearing a page out of the middle.


What’s your favorite scene in Not Wicked Enough?

A: Fine. I like the scene when Lily takes off all her clothes on a dare. But I’m not saying that’s my favorite.

Q: Did that really happen?

A: I’m a writer. If I say it happened. It happened. In Chapter 17.

Q: Tell us about the series, Reforming the Scoundrels.

A: Not Wicked Enough is the first book in a series that will be loosely linked by a locket reputed to have magical properties, in that it unites the wearer with his or her perfect love. The second book is Not Proper Enough. It’s kind of dirty.

Q: Really? How Dirty?

A: Super dirty. So far. I just turned it in so who knows what stays. Of course, Not Wicked Enough is also dirty. I was telling the truth about Chapter 17.

Q: What’s Next for You?

A: Well, Not Proper Enough will be out in September 2012, that’s the book following Not Wicked Enough.

I’m doing a self-published historical romance anthology with NYT bestselling authors Courtney Milan and Sherry Thomas. The title of the anthology is Midnight Scandals, and it should be out in June or July of this year.

By the end of this month, I should have a My Immortals series novella available (self-published) which is a much expanded version of the short story Future Tense, with the sex scenes restored. I call it Future Tense, the Uncensored Version. It’s totally hot and also kind of dirty. I’m just waiting for some final editing on that.

My next project is a My Immortals novel. It will be about Harsh Marit and in that book I will be channeling my love of Arjun Rampal.

Q: What’s the giveaway?

A: You want me to give away your secret identity?

Q: No. If you do that, you won’t get any more cookies.

A: I’m giving away five copies of Not Wicked Enough with the expectation that the winners will do a review of the book in return. An HONEST review, please. No contract required. Rules are below. I’m happy to gift the digital version, by the way.

Giveaway Rules

Void where prohibited. Must be 18 or older to participate. You must also leave me a way to contact you in your comment or commit to checking back on Thursday to see if you won.

Leave a comment by Midnight Pacific on Wednesday February 8, 2012. It’s more fun if your comment is amusing, but it doesn’t have to be.

International is OK, but I will probably have to send international winners a paper copy.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Not Wicked Enough by Carolyn Jewel

by Carolyn Jewel

Giveaway ends March 20, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.


Enter to win

Regency Question of The Week

You have the cutest new reticule ever!!! What color is it, what’s inside it and how will the contents cause the brooding Earl of Stud-Lee to fall hopelessly in love with you?

(My reticule is pink. I have sixpence inside. Lord Stud-Lee will fall in love with me when I wager the entire sixpence on a game of whist in which he is the prize. And I win.

And what a prize he is.)



The UK Kindle edition of Not Wicked Enough is available on Amazon UK. If you are in the UK, Australia or New Zealand you can buy the Kindle version here and for less than the paper version!

It turns out I also have the UK/AUS/NZ rights to Scandal and Indiscreet. There are a few other countries where I have the rights so I’ll be adding those to the territories as well.

I need to get new covers made for Scandal and Indiscreet, so I imagine it will be a month or so before those are ready to put on sale. I believe I have final-copy digital files. Something to look forward to, eh?

Also, If you read German, the German edition of My Wicked Enemy is available for pre-order via here. I think the German title is In the Arms of Demons but I don’t know.


The guy looks like the model in the photo I used for A Darker Crimson.


My birthday is April 30th. I will be muffmurmbee years old! We need to celebrate. With books/gift card for books and stuff. Surprise stuff which I will surprise you with. You are at my mercy as to gifts.

To enter the contest leave a comment to this post by, say, Midnight Pacific on Monday April 30th, 2012. You should pay me a sincere compliment. You have to MEAN it. Or be really convincing. Also tell me what you’d like to get me for my birthday.


You must be 18 or older to enter. Void where prohibited. Winner will be selected at random. You have to either leave me a contact in your email or else commit to checking back to see if you won. You’ll have two weeks to acknowledge your winning ways if you’re the winner, otherwise, I’ll select an alternate winner. International OK! Unless for some reasons it’s legally not.

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