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Category: Giveaways

Posts in which we or our guests offer a giveaway.

I just had to share this with our Risky Regencies readers!

The Harlequin Historical Authors Holiday Giveaway is back. And you can win a Kindle Fire! In the spirit of an Advent calendar, we Harlequin Historical authors are giving away daily prizes and a Grand Prize of a Kindle Fire. Starting November 29–That’s TOMORROW!!–play every day for daily prizes and more chances to win the grand prize.

Each participating author will have an activity planned for their special day. You may be asked to comment on a blog, find an ornament, or visit a Facebook page. Just click on the calendar to reach that author’s giveaway. (Or click on the author’s name below)

For each day you participate, your name will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing. On December 23, one entrant from all the calendar days will be randomly selected to win the Kindle. The more days you visit, the better your chances!

“What if I miss a bunch of the days,” you ask. Don’t worry. You can go back, enter on each day, and catch up. You might miss some daily prizes but you can still have multiple chances to win the Kindle Fire.

“What if I live in a country that doesn’t have access to Kindle Fire?” you also ask. No problem. If you win, we’ll substitute a Kindle you can use.

The promotion is open to U.S., United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and European countries where a Kindle may be shipped.

My day is Friday Dec 2. Because I’m at the first of the month, I’m going to have both a prize–a $10 Amazon gift certificate– for that day and a prize–another $10 Amazon gift certificate– at the end of the contest. Come to my website on Dec. 2 to enter. Amanda’s day is Dec. 21.

Official rules and eligibility

Participating Authors

November 29 – Michelle Willingham

November 30 – Elizabeth Rolls

December 1 – Charlene Sands

December 2 – Diane Gaston

December 3 – Annie Burrows

December 5 – Elaine Golden

December 6 – Barbara Monajem

December 7 – Michelle Styles

December 8 – Deborah Hale

December 9 – Marguerite Kaye

December 10 – Lynna Banning

December 12 – Carol Townend

December 13 – Blythe Gifford

December 14 – Julia Justiss

December 15 – Terri Brisbin

December 16 – Ann Lethbridge

December 17 – Bronwyn Scott

December 19 – Sarah Mallory

December 20 – Kate Bridges

December 21 – Amanda McCabe

December 22 – Jeannie Lin

December 23 – Grand Prize Drawing

michelle willingham elizabeth rolls charlene sands diane gaston annie burrows elaine golden barbara monajem michelle styles deborah hale marguerite kaye lynna banning carol townend blythe gifford julia justiss terri brisbin ann lethbridge bronwyn scott sarah mallory kate bridges amanda mccabe jeannie lin harlequin historical authors



Posted in Giveaways | 6 Replies

Today it’s all about me me me, mainly blatant self promotion since I have a spiffy updated website with a ludicrously easy contest. Check it out!

I’ve been very busy rewriting an early attempt to crack the romance code, The Malorie Phoenix, which is coming out in a month or so. My first version(s) included a scene where a kitten came to an untimely end which I was told would turn the whole world against me, and after much thought I rewrote. Folks, the kitten gets better and we lose interest in him. Would it have been a dealbreaker for you? What IS a dealbreaker for you? Is it, for instance, having a heroine who is a criminal and in a just world should be punished by transportation or hanging?

You be the judge. Get out that black cap! Here’s the beginning of the book:


August, 1801, Vauxhall Gardens, London

Her name was Jenny Smith.

It denoted no particular rank, no origin, and was so ordinary most people laughed in disbelief when she identified herself. Let them.

When later they discovered a brooch or bracelet inexplicably lost, the missing expensive embroidered handkerchief, she’d be laughing.

But she rarely revealed herself, knowing that fitting in with her surroundings was vital to her success and survival. By the light of Vauxhall’s lanterns, no one could tell her jewels were colored glass, her gown second hand. And she wore the final guarantee of anonymity–a black satin mask.

Occasionally a man would approach her, mistaking her profession. She smiled and moved away to mingle with the crowd who gathered to see the Cascade at midnight. She could take advantage of the upraised faces and rapt attention, strolling quietly among the crowd as though seeking a lost acquaintance, with a murmured word of apology if she brushed up against someone.

Tonight was a very successful night for her. She did not allow herself to dip a hand into the pocket of her silk gown–it would be foolish to draw attention to herself. A gold brooch–she was fairly sure it was gold not pinchbeck–a bracelet, a couple of fob seals, and two handkerchiefs represented the night’s haul. Her stomach growled. She thought in anticipation of the hearty dinner she would order, but not at Vauxhall’s, notorious for its expensive, thinly-sliced ham and other overpriced refreshments. Possibly she could buy a new gown–this one was good enough for work in the dimly-lit gardens, but the hem was ragged and stained. She rubbed a fold of silk between her fingers, enjoying the softness of the luxurious fabric. Silk from China or some such place, as far away across the sea as her mother and sister now were. Was China near Australia?

Pushing away the momentary loneliness, she strolled a few steps behind a gentleman who, like her, watched the crowd more than the surroundings. She thought at first he might share her profession, but his coat, although of good cut, was old and not particularly fashionable. Probably he was from the country, gentry almost certainly, and not worth the effort, but…

“Beg your pardon, sir.” She brushed against him and moved to one side. Her fingers flitted beneath his coat tails, into the pockets there.



She should go home. She had taken enough. Greed led to carelessness, and carelessness led to discovery, and that could lead to the gallows.

“You require a handkerchief, madam?”

She froze at the murmured words, uttered in a deep, rich voice that reminded her, despite her terror, of the flavor and harshness of sweet, strong coffee.

The book is The Malorie Phoenix and to save time you don’t have to read the rest of the post but you can go here for to buy for Nook and here for Kindle.

    1. There is a villain called E****! No kidding (I think you can guess a villain-type name). Not a spoiler, he’s so obviously up to no good from his first oily manifestation on the page, when he oozes his way into the heroine’s life with a Nefarious Scheme.
    2. H/h first have sex by fireworks in Vauxhall Gardens.
    3. There’s a secret baby!
    4. I narrowly escaped yet another sex in the maze scene later in the book, when, realizing I had one in both Dedication and A Most Lamentable Comedy, I hurriedly rewrote it to be sex in the stable. With horses watching. As you know, the use of sex scenes in mazes is rigidly administered by the Regency Police and I am licensed for only two every five years. Too late I remembered some heavy breathing in the presence of a horse in Improper Relations.
    5. (Yes, I’m cross-selling)
    6. There’s an awesome book trailer, for which CPE Bach very kindly composed the music:

  • There is a super awesome tagline: She plays a deadly game but nothing is as dangerous as love.
  • The hero has one of the best-ever names in Romancelandia–Benedict de Malorie, Earl of Trevisan. I just love those vaguely Frenchified “we came over with the Normans” type names.
  • But there’s another character in the book called Evelina Stanley who was named in honor of my friend’s late golden retriever mix (whose name was Stanley, not Evelina. The dog, not the friend). The heroine is called Jenny.
  • … and finally–THE CLINCHER, LET’S MAKE A DEAL–this is my cheapest book ever! $3.99! Go for it.


If you are a genuine blogger or reviewer you can request a review copy from NetGalley.

Would you like to win a copy of The Malorie Phoenix? Give me your reasons why you are qualified to win (although as usual the thing will apply): did you have a hamster named Stanley? A haddock named Edwin? An exciting experience in a maze? I will give away two copies and announce the winners on Friday evening at about 10 pm, so you must either leave a neutered version of your email address or make sure you check in then.

We’re delighted to welcome back to the Riskies today smart and funny Miranda Neville, talking about her latest book, Confessions of an Arranged Marriage. And yes, there’s a contest. Here’s her book blurb ….

They couldn’t be more different, but there’s one thing they agree on.

In London after a two-year exile, Lord Blakeney plans to cut a swathe through the bedchambers of the demimonde. Marriage is not on his agenda, especially to an annoying chit like Minerva Montrose, with her superior attitude and a tendency to get into trouble. And certainly the last man Minerva wants is Blake, a careless wastrel without a thought in his handsome head.

The heat and noise of her debutante ball give Minerva a migraine. Surely a moment’s rest could do no harm … until Blake mistakes her for another lady, leaving Minerva’s guests to catch them in a very compromising position. To her horror, the scandal will force them to do the unthinkable: marry. Their mutual loathing blazes into unexpected passion but Blake remains distant, desperate to hide a shameful secret. Minerva’s never been a woman to take things lying down, and she’ll let nothing stop her from winning his trust … and his heart.

Welcome back to the Riskies, Miranda! Did you always plan for Minerva and Blake to have their own book?

I think I decided to bring them together when I was doing copy edits for The Dangerous Viscount. Minerva was the cute little sister with a gift for snark and a desire to be a diplomatic or political hostess. Blake was the guy who didn’t get the girl. I realized I wanted to write Minerva’s book and I had this perfectly good (and hot) heir to a dukedom lying around the place. They loathed each other and were patently ill-suited, in other words a perfect match.

In modern terms Minerva is the over-achieving star of the debate team with 1600 on her SATs and a life plan. Blake is the captain of the football team who doesn’t even need a sports scholarship because Daddy is loaded. I had to figure out why they were, in fact, right for each other and hope I succeeded.

Are either of them based on a real historical character?

Blake’s family is loosely based on the Dukes of Portland, one of the great eighteenth century Whig dynasties. I wanted to show how dukes actually got to be rich and powerful and how they stayed that way.  Minerva is a bossy, over-ambitious girl who thinks she’s always right. No one like that has ever existed in the history of the world.

What research did you turn up during this book? (Yes, now is your chance to go to town on rotten boroughs.)

I’m sure you’ll be fascinated to know that the rotten borough in the book was inspired by Old Sarum. This Anglo-Saxon fort was pretty much abandoned when the cathedral was rebuilt in nearby Salisbury. Until 1832, though inhabited mostly by sheep, it sent two members to Parliament. I’m not sure I’ll ever write another romance with a political background. The day-to-day conduct of political life is so complicated and I offer only a totally watered-down, over-simplified version of the era’s political culture.

I had fun when I sent Blake and Minerva to Paris on their honeymoon. Guidebooks of the period are full of great detail about travel, inns, and restaurants. I was particularly thrilled to learn that it was perfectly normal in Paris for ladies to eat out. I discovered a café converted from an old theater and sent my couple on a date there. The English (and Americans, too) have a long tradition of going to Paris to misbehave.

What do you like about the 1820s?

The decade feels modern. The middle class is growing in size and influence. There’s a sense that progress will not be held back, despite some King Canute rearguard action by conservatives like George IV and the Duke of Wellington. Even they had to agree to Catholic Emancipation by the end of the decade, and Parliamentary reform was inevitable, though the reformers were still in the political wilderness. That said, I didn’t choose to set Confessions in 1822. Since it’s the fourth in a series it just turned out that way. The issues – and the way the politics worked – would have been different if the setting was twenty years earlier.

What’s your favorite scene?
My favorite scene is probably when Blake finally embraces his political heritage and Minerva finds it incredibly hot. However, it’s near the end of the book and a bit spoilerish. Since this is the Risky Regencies, I’ll chose the passage where Minerva decides to spy on some Bonapartists (or so she thinks) in a Paris mansion.

….She dodged him, closed the door into the corridor, and fixed her ear to the door into the next room. Holding Blake off with the flat of her hand and a ferocious glare, she heard two voices this time, one of them male, still speaking in German. Agog with anticipation she tried to make sense of the words coming through the solid panels.
“You are a very bad dog.” At least, that’s what it sounded like.
Then a noise like a woman imitating a bark, and a shuffling sound. Minerva shook her head in bafflement and put her finger in her ear, to make sure it wasn’t blocked with wax.
“Lick my boots!”
“What?” Blake had reached her side and was crowding her in the door embrasure.
“Ssh!” She got down on her knees and peered through the keyhole. It was a large one and she could see quite a lot of the adjoining bedroom. In her view was the lower half of a gentleman’s body, from waist to boots, and she had no difficulty recognizing the somewhat stout figure of the Duke of Mouchy-Ferrand, even without a sight of his florid complexion and heavily pomaded curls. The shuffling noise resolved itself into Princess Walstein, on hands and knees and wearing only her undergarments, crawling into view and preceding to obey her master’s command. She really did lick his boots.
Minerva slumped back onto her heels. She considered herself hard to astonish, but this did it. When Blake pushed her aside she put up no resistance. He took her place at the keyhole, let out a ghost of a whistle, and began to shake with silent laughter.

Brilliant! What’s next for you?

I’m starting a brand new series set in 1800, technically pre-Regency but in the era of high-waisted gowns so I guess it counts. Since I don’t seem to be able to write about men with manly occupations like spy, pirate, or soldier, the heroes (and one heroine) are art collectors. The first is called THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED and will be released November 27, 2012.

I’ve discovered some readers really don’t like politics in their romance. In fact I think a used carriage salesman would be more popular. However, characters need to have something to do when they’re not being–ahem–romantic. What are the best and worst occupations for a Regency hero and/or heroine?

Your comment or question for Miranda will enter you into a contest to win a copy of Confessions, your choice of print or ebook. 18 and over, void where prohibited, etc. etc.  Winner will be announced Monday and please leave a safe version of your email so we can contact you.

Last night I went to sleep knowing exactly what I was going to blog about today.

When I woke up this morning, the idea had gone entirely. Now, I knew this would happen. It’s happened so often. What I should have done was get up there and then and create the post, or at least scribbled the idea down on a piece of paper. If I’d been mid book and fallen asleep thinking about the book and forced myself out of bed to write it, it probably would have been something pretty darn good.

So where do ideas come from? Who knows. But there are certain tricks and techniques that can help so today, I thought we’d play a game. I grabbed a few items from my office (and you have to understand that my office is rich pickings at the moment. We are doing major work to the downstairs of our house and so everything is in boxes everywhere else. I can just about get into my office and sit at my desk). So here’s my impromptu still life–a shell, a bowl, a string of beads, and two pics, one a portrait by Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun and the other an illustration of the cat who walks by himself by Rudyard Kipling. And it’s not just for writers: comment anyway, because you might surprise yourself and you don’t have to include every item.

Tell me what these suggest to you. 
What is the relationship between (all or some of) the items, how do they fit together?

THE PRIZE: Yes, there is a prize. A copy of my brand new release HIDDEN PARADISE, a sexy contemporary which has lots of sex and stuff about paint analysis and Regency clothes (on and off). It’s not coming out until the end of September and I have just received a big box of author copies (US residents only, must be over 18 and not related to me and all the usual stuff). You can comment here or on my FB author page Janet Mullany, Author. Let me know if you tweet it too, for extra points!

I’m also doing a blog tour for THE MALORIE PHOENIX, stopping today at MK McClintock’s Blog  and The Bunny’s Review. You can see all the blog stops here at Goddess Fish. Feel free to drop in and comment on earlier stops too. The prize is a $20 Amazon gift certificate.

So have fun and frolic online. Winners announced on Sunday July 22.


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