Hello everyone! Welcome to the start of the blog tour for the launch of Harlequin Historical’s new line of ebooks, “Undone”! These stories are only available at eharlequin–though one lucky commenter here will win a free download of all 4 stories. And here to introduce them are the Undone authors! (Oh, and eharlequin is having a special, .89 downloads for November!)
Erotic author Lady Loveless is scandalizing the Ton with her shocking tales that are based on rel-life hijinks of society. Engagements are being broken, inheritances lost as a result of her wicked pen and the gentlemen decide that enough is enough–she may spin the most naughtily seductive tales, but Lady Loveless must be stopped!
Lord Alexander Beaumont is convinced that the outrageous Lady L. is none other than his estranegd wife Melicent, for the manuscripts are coming from the Yorkshire village where she took refuge after the end of their brief, bitter marriage. Alex travels to Yorkshire determined to unmask his errant wife and put a stop to her wicked ways. But when he reaches the beautiful village of Peacock Oak, Alex finds that Melicent–and Lady Loveless–are not what they seem. Will Christmas in the countryside reunite Alex and the bride he lost years before?
The Unmasking of Lady Loveless is set in the same fictional village of Peacock Oak that I used for the background for my July HQN release Unmasked, and also features some of the same characters. I wanted to write a Christmas story, and the idea of the beautiful Yorkshire countryside under the snow seemed the perfect setting!
Amanda McCabe: When I was asked to write an “Undone” short story as a spin-off from my January ’09 book High Seas Stowaway, I knew right away who the hero would be–Carlos de Alameda. Carlos is a Spanish nobleman, an official of the Crown at the island town of Santo Domingo in 1535. He is also a dangerous spy, with secrets of his own to protect. He appeared briefly in the action of High Seas Stowaway, but I was intrigued by his intelligence and mystery. What was he really up to?
In Shipwrecked and Seduced, I got to find out! Maria Gonzales is the one who is shipwrecked, but in the end they are both seduced. Maria is a maidservant, headed to Santo Domingo with a Spanish contessa, Isabella, who is journeying to her wedding. A terrible shipwreck kills all aboard except Maria, and she is soon mistaken for the contessa herself–and taken to Carlos’s island fortress! She knows very well that an affair with the sexy, mysterious man will threaten her masquerade, but she’s drawn to him irresistibly. What will happen when he discovers the truth?
Vienna of the 1820s is Europe’s new glittering capital both in culture and politics. No one knows the potential of such a setting better than Sophie DuPlessy. Europe has been ravaged by Napoleon’s wars and re-structured by the Vienna conferences and Europe’s statesmen. Kingdoms have been absorbed, national boundaries redrawn. In the wake of upheaval, heirlooms have been ost. In certain circles of dubious repute, Sophie has earned a reputation for discreetly recovering such objects. Now, she’s been hired by an Italian count to retrieve a set of jewels, a supposed heirloom of his family. This will be her last job. The reward promised guarantees her the financial resources to re-make her life as a horse breeder. But she is not the only one looking for them.
Julian Burke, second son of an earl, has been sent on crown business to Vienna to ferret out the truth to the rumors that an heirloom, once part of the royal treasury during the time of Charless II, has surfaced in Vienna. When the crown wants something badly, Julian is the man for the job. He is the most dangerous of men; a man with nothing to lose. No wife to protect, no estate to risk, a fortune so large he cannot be bribed, no care for his reputation and no heart to break.
But Sophie is about to change that!
Hope you enjoy their cat-and-mouse game! The most challenging part of writing in a condensed version is making the characters’ attraction to each other real in a short time frame. Not only does it need to be physical, but it needs to be based on something more without having the normal amount of time to discover what that ‘more’ is…
Michelle Willingham: On a trip to Dublin two years ago, I visited an archaelogical museum in order to research medieval artifacts. To my surprise, I saw an amazing display of Viking lore, including preserved bodies that had been found in a bog! I’ve always been intrigued by Viking raiders, and though most of the true Viking era took place in the 9th and 10th centuries, I found evidence that a Norse king, Magnus the Barefoot, attempted to take over Dublin in 1101. Such a daring move made him a fascinating historical figure, and as I plotted my Viking story, I imagined that such a king might a ruthless foe for a Viking warrior.
The Viking’s Forbidden Love Slave tells the story of Tharand Hardrata, a memer of the Norse warrior class who steals an Irish noblewoman from her clan. He intends to trade Aisling O Brannon for his sister’s life, after she was taken by King Magnus. If Aisling succeeds in pleasing the king with her body, Tharand believes Magnus will let his sister go. But the Irish captive enslaves him with a pleasure he’s never known before. If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to be carried off by an amazingly hot Viking, then I hope you’ll enjoy this fantasy story!
When the tale ends, Aisling asks Tharand to help her discover what happened to her brothers during the Norse raid. Their tale continues in Her Warrior Slave, the story fo Kieran O Brannon, on sale now at Harlequin Historicals.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this taste of 4 very different tales! Do you enjoy revisting characters and places from books you’ve read? What kinds of stories would you like to see in this form?
This isn’t the last stop on our Undone blog tour! Join us at the following sites for more fun and more chances to win:
November 3–Romance Bandits (The Battle of the Heroes)
November 7–UK Regency Readers Blog
November 11–Romance Vagabonds (The Heroines’ Tea Party)
The Good, The Bad, The Unread (The week of Nov. 3)