Thank you to everyone who entered the KISS and Teal bundle contest last month, and congratulations to winner Linda M.! I’ve just posted a new contest for October. One lucky reader will rake in three gorgeous new historical romances, all taking place in times and settings other than the English Regency. If you enjoy variety in your historical romances, this is the contest for you!
In other exciting news, please join me in welcoming Rouge Romance to the world! This new UK-based digital imprint is part of the Random House family. Rouge just launched on September 29th, with all three of my Stud Club books in their catalog. My other trilogy (Goddess of the Hunt, et al) will be forthcoming, as well. Until now, my first six books not been available as e-books in the UK. The sheer fact of their availability pleases me tremendously, but pretty new covers make it all the more exciting! Aren’t they lovely?
First, a huge thank you to everyone who’s been reading A Night to Surrender, writing me with their thoughts about it, and recommending it to their friends! I’m so grateful, and pleased by the warm reception readers have given Bram and Susanna’s story.
Last week, I had the opportunity to talk about the campaign on a local news program:
If you’re wondering what else can be done to promote ovarian cancer awareness and support the OCNA, I have a fabulous, easy suggestion. We usually think about red and green, silver and blue at holiday time. This year, why not shop teal?
A few simple clicks, and you could be helping OCNA spread its vital message for women’s health every time you shop online:
This app is so easy to download – it took about two clicks and thirty seconds on my computer. You don’t have to do anything further, except go about your everyday online shopping. Whenever you make a purchase from one of dozens of participating retailers, a percentage of your total will be donated to OCNA. And we’re not talking about small, obscure retailers, either! These are biggies like Target, Nordstrom, eBay, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Expedia, Travelocity, and more.
So please take a minute to download the app, and know you’re helping spread a life-saving message–just by shopping!
Nice reviews of the book keep coming in… Just yesterday, May at SmexyBooks had this to say:
The story was fast paced, full of memorable moments and characters, and utter romance gold.
And over at The Book Binge, Rowena also gave the book a very nice recommendation!
My fabulous publisher partnered with the lovely people of Goddessfish Promotions to plan a weeklong blog tour to celebrate A Night to Surrender‘s launch. I should have posted the schedule yesterday, but I was so busy… the darelings had their first day of school (and for my youngest, it was his first first day of school!), and then I headed to the local NBC station in Los Angeles to be interviewed about the KISS and Teal campaign. (I’ll post video of that when it’s available.)
“Lively and sexy, this funny, enjoyable battle of the sexes ensnares readers in a delightful adventure.”
All About Romance gave the book its coveted “Desert Isle Keeper” rating, and reviewer Wendy Clyde said:
If you love strong but vulnerable heroes and and smart, wounded heroines, you’ll love this book. If you like humor in your romance, you’ll love this book. If you like a well-written historical romance, you’ll love this book. Whatever your preference, when you read the last page you’ll undoubtedly clutch the book to your chest and sigh.
From the very first page, this story seduces the reader, drawing you in and refusing to let go till the last page is turned.
Hmm. I’m now a little afraid of over-tooting. But I’m just so glad readers are enjoying Spindle Cove in general, and Susanna and Bram’s story in particular. I hope you enjoy it, too!
Sadly, I don’t have time to make a dareling room toy video for A Night to Surrender. Or I should say, I could possibly find time to make a kind of boring, uninspired video. But I don’t want to subject you to that, after the special effects extravaganza that was the Maya Banks Highlander project.
However, here are some other videos!
Here I am chatting with the lovely and gracious Whitney Sullivan of RT Book Reviews magazine, about Spindle Cove and the new book:
Some of you may remember that last summer, I made a little low-budget video for my Stud Club series, using toys from my children’s bedroom. The response to the video was great, and I had so much fun making it.
So last March, as part of Operation Auction, I offered up a similar homemade book video as an auction item. A whole slew of kindly bloggers pledged to post the winner’s video, thus sweetening the deal and driving up the bidding.
The amazing Maya Banks was the generous top bidder, and when she told me what she had in mind…oh, it made me so happy. This video was a truly family project, with the darelings working props and Mr. Dare providing the special effects. I hope you enjoy it! And if you do, please feel free to tweet, link, embed, and Facebook it to your heart’s content.
I also want to say, one of the best parts of the experience was getting to read In Bed with a Highlander early. It was fabulous. Took me straight back to my formative years as a romance reader, falling in love with Julie Garwood’s Scots. If you like a passionate, tender read with an endearing heroine and strong Highlander hero, be sure to pick this one up on August 30.
The “K.I.S.S.” stands for “Know the Important Signs and Symptoms,” and teal is the designated color for ovarian cancer awareness. There’s a money component to this partnership—Avon has donated $25,000 to the OCNA and will donate up to $25,000 more, based on sales of the labeled books—but the other important part of the campaign is raising awareness.
There’s no routine test for detecting ovarian cancer, such as the mammogram and Pap smear for breast and cervical cancers, and the symptoms of ovarian cancer are easy to miss until the cancer is in an advanced stage. That’s why is so important for all women to know the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer (K.I.S.S.) and discuss them with their friends and family (“teal”/tell).
Here are the books that will carry the KISS and Teal burst. For each copy sold (print or E), Avon will donate another $.25 to the OCNA, up to $25,000.
Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue, by Stephanie Laurens The Deed, by Lynsay Sands (reissue) The Seduction of Scandal, by Cathy Maxwell A Night to Surrender, by Tessa Dare In the Arms of a Marquess, by Katharine Ashe One Night in London, by Caroline Linden Star-Crossed Seduction, by Jenny Brown
At the KISSandTeal.com, you can find more information about all of these books and view videos taped by several of the participating authors, including yours truly.
There are several other ways to help the cause and promote awareness, and I’ll be posting more about them as we move into September. I can’t say what an honor it is to be part of this special effort.
That’s Hastings Castle, one of the first castles William the Conqueror built after the Normans invaded England in 1066. In the beginning of ANTS, Bram is gifted a revived medieval earldom, which comes along with no real lands or money–just the similarly crumbling (and fictional) Rycliff Castle.
(You can click on any of these photos for a better look.)
My imaginary Rycliff Castle was mostly inspired by Hastings-especially the setting, on a cliff overlooking the English Channel. But I did feel Bram should have a bit more of a place to call home. He’s a military man and used to roughing it, but I did want him to have a bit of shelter. A standing few walls, you know, to keep out the elements: wind, rain, sheep.
So I added in a bit of this place, Ypres Tower:
Ypres Tower was an early medieval fortress built to protect the then-bustling port of Rye. In later years, it was used as a jail. Nowadays, it’s a museum. Changes to the coastline over the centuries mean Rye is now situated a good mile or two back from the sea. So Ypres Tower looks out over farmland and delta, instead of the harbor it was constructed to protect. But it was from a historically plausible era, and it did have walls!
I decided Rycliff Castle would have a keep (inner castle) added a few centuries after its original construction, and I envisioned it something like Ypres–a cloverleaf of four stone turrets.
So now Bram had a few walls. But still…it’s not terribly romantic, now is it?
Fortunately, this place was an hour’s bus ride away:
Ahhh, that’s more like it! Bodiam Castle, constructed in the late 1300s. That date puts it well after the time Rycliff Castle should have been completed, so the architecture style is a little off, but wandering the ruins was lovely inspiration nonetheless. Now I could form a nice idea of what those four stone turrets looked like from the inside.
There. Nice and cozy, right? I know, I know. It’s no country estate with lavishly-appointed rooms and manicured gardens. You’d have to visit the heroine’s home, Summerfield, for that.
But Rycliff Castle does have one more selling point–PARAPETS.
How could one not feel romantic up there, hm? Everyone knows that when it comes to castles, the ramparts are where all the action happens. Ahem. Yes.
So what do you think? Which do you find more romantic, mansions or castles? Did I manage to make Rycliff Castle into suitable (temporary) digs for a Regency romance hero?
Speaking of The Ballroom Blog, be sure to pop over on Monday, when it’s my turn to blog. I’ll be chatting with Miss Susanna Finch and posting an exclusive excerpt from A Night to Surrender!
I’m headed out the door early this morning, but I couldn’t resist taking time to make a doll for the heroine of A Night to Surrender, Miss Susanna Finch.
I love her red hair, freckles and long gloves! Although, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed by the lack of appropriate accessories to put in her hands. No book, apothecary mortar and pestle, or pistol.
Don’t miss The Ballroom fun today, and have a great weekend!
Today is an exciting day! Months of collaborative scheming have come to fruition, and I’m delighted to announce the grand debut of The Ballroom Blog. The Ballroom blogroll includes authors Sarah MacLean, Gaelen Foley, Katharine Ashe, Miranda Neville, Sabrina Darby, and yours truly. I was thrilled to be invited to blog with these lovely and talented ladies, and our hostess, the incomparable Lady B, will be most happy to make your acquaintance.
We’re starting the blog off with a round of introductions and, naturally, a giveaway. Please do stop by and join the party! All posts on The Ballroom will be in the style of fun conversations – between authors, characters, and guests.
Also, if you’d like to read A Night to Surrender early, you have few hours left to bid on a special advance copy. It’s up for auction to benefit author L.A. Banks, who has been battling adrenal cancer. As of this post’s writing, it’s still going for a song! Here’s the eBay link.
I’m back from NYC! The conference was wonderful. A full wrap-up (including details of my scintillating encounter in the NYPL Rare Books room!) will have to wait for another day, because I have so much exciting news to share.
(The beautiful NYC skyline from Bryant Park. We had gorgeous weather! You can click on the photo to see it bigger.)
The quick-and-dirty RWA recap: My panel went great, the signing was wonderful, and the parties were to die for. I had a great time meeting so many readers, bloggers, authors, and publishing folk. The RITA award for Best Regency Historical went to the amazing Lauren Willig–congratulations to her!
One of the huge stories of the week was the fabulousness of my friend and roomie Courtney Milan, who hit both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists with her wonderful self-published novella, Unlocked. It was a tremendous thrill to wake up in our hotel room Thursday morning and retrieve the complimentary copy of the paper from the hallway, so we could see it for ourselves in print!
Adding to the excitement, what should be two pages back in the same section of the same edition of said national newspaper–but a little photo of me! I was quoted in this fun little “Opposites Attract” article with a few authors you might have heard of. Like, say, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Sarah MacLean? Yeah. Pinch me. You can read the whole article here, if you so choose. (But there’s no picture of me.)
Dare pairs up an educated spinster and a wounded hero in this delightful Regency, the first in the Spindle Cove series… The instant attraction between Susanna and Bram is complicated by Bram’s having just inherited a title, a crumbling castle, and the right to summon a militia. The last will be nearly impossible in the peaceful woman-dominated community of Spindle Cove, where few are thrilled by the military newcomers. Enticing romantic encounters are matched by witty conversations that slowly and seamlessly reveal deep truths about Dare’s endearing one-of-a-kind characters.
They liked it! *huge sigh of relief* This review was a thrill beyond any other, and the perfect end to my conference. I had several early readers tell me in NYC that they’d already read and enjoyed the book. I’m so excited for it to be available for everyone on August 30th. (Psst, have you read the first chapter yet?)
I have so much more to blog about, but I’ll have to spread it out over several posts. More conference recap, an exciting announcement that involves a ballroom, and information about the excellent K.I.S.S. and Teal campaign involving Avon Books and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. And of course, my NYPL escapades!