Celebration With Food ~ Release Day for Only Scandal Will Do Part 2

At long last, Only Scandal Will Do is released as an indie publication!  Woo Hoo!

BLURB:

He has the woman of his dreams, but can he find a way to win her heart?

Kidnapped, displayed on the auction block of a notorious brothel, and sold to the highest bidder, Lady Katherine Fitzwilliam is furious and vows to fight her way out. Unfortunately, the rogue who bought her is way too charming and attractive to make that easy. He seduces Kat almost to the point of ruin, but she manages to escape him, although thoughts of him tend to linger long after she’s free.

Duncan, Marquess of Dalbury succumbs to temptation one night and purchases a fiery beauty whose very looks fill him with hot desire. When she insists she’s a lady, he scoffs, but is surprised when she flees before he can claim his pleasure. When he discovers she’s sister to a peer, Duncan is horrified to have compromised her. He offers marriage to scotch the scandal and gain an heir. However, the dazzling charms of the red-haired beauty, coupled with her astonishing skill with a sword, ensnares his heart and soul. If only Katarina didn’t hate him with a fury hotter than three hells…

Can he manage to turn her anger against him into a passion for him? Or will they be doomed to live together, but forever apart?

 

I wanted to celebrate this book’s release with food–my favorite way to celebrate anything! 🙂

Of course, it’s unfortunately virtual food, but still, I thought some of the cuisine from 18th century America, where the heroine, Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam is from, would be fun to explore.

Eighteenth century cooking, in America and England, was accomplished over an open fireplace in the kitchen, with lots of marvelous gadgets to help the cook create delicious delicacies: pastries, cakes, cookies, puddings all looking scrumptious!

Left to right: various cookies, lemon cheesecake, jam tarts, Queen cakes, and whitepot pudding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All accompanied by pots and pots of tea! Now this is a celebration!


And now for the fun part: The Giveaway

What is your favorite food to celebrate with? What sweet treats do you love to eat?  Leave a comment on this post and at the end of the day I’ll draw a random name from all the commenters to win a copy of The Perfect Afternoon Tea Recipe Book and a swag pack from Jenna Jaxon including several new items, plus my signature lavender sachet.

Please come back to the party at 2:00 for the cover reveal of Only Marriage Will Do!

 

Posted in Giveaways, Historical Romance, House of Pleasure, House of Pleasure Series, On Only Scandal Will Do, Release Party | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Release Day for Only Scandal Will Do!

At long last, Only Scandal Will Do is released as an indie publication!  Woo Hoo!

Originally released in 2012 by Lyrical Press, Only Scandal Will Do has been one of my favorites of the books I’ve written. It’s original editor, Mary Murray, was absolutely fabulous for a very new author to work with and I will always treasure my time working with her. For those who have not read it yet, I wish you a great reading experience and hope you enjoy this book as much as I still do.

Here is a taste of Scandal. The original book trailer was produced by my current editor, Danielle Fine. However, now that the cover has changed again, I’ve updated the trailer still using Dani’s images, but with different music from Animoto and the gorgeous new cover at the end, also courtesy of Danielle Fine.

BLURB:

He has the woman of his dreams, but can he find a way to win her heart?

Kidnapped, displayed on the auction block of a notorious brothel, and sold to the highest bidder, Lady Katherine Fitzwilliam is furious and vows to fight her way out. Unfortunately, the rogue who bought her is way too charming and attractive to make that easy. He seduces Kat almost to the point of ruin, but she manages to escape him, although thoughts of him tend to linger long after she’s free.

Duncan, Marquess of Dalbury succumbs to temptation one night and purchases a fiery beauty whose very looks fill him with hot desire. When she insists she’s a lady, he scoffs, but is surprised when she flees before he can claim his pleasure. When he discovers she’s sister to a peer, Duncan is horrified to have compromised her. He offers marriage to scotch the scandal and gain an heir. However, the dazzling charms of the red-haired beauty, coupled with her astonishing skill with a sword, ensnares his heart and soul. If only Katarina didn’t hate him with a fury hotter than three hells…

Can he manage to turn her anger against him into a passion for him? Or will they be doomed to live together, but forever apart?

EXCERPT:

“Please release me, sir,” she demanded, trying to keep her temper in check. She needed to woo this man to her cause. And though it galled her, she could only do so with soft words, not blows. Perhaps the blows could come later. “I beg you to aid me in my hour of need.” She put every ounce of charm into her smile; she could cajole him, as long as he couldn’t read her mind.

“Ah, but I have needs too, slave.” His hands were in her hair again, as though he could not help himself.

Well aware from his husky tone what needs the man likely had, Kat winced. If only she could see all of his face. It was so difficult to judge the man under that golden mask. She forced herself to relax, though the thought of his hands on her raised gooseflesh everywhere. It was only her hair, after all. No great sin. Perhaps if she softened her demeanor, she could convince him of her plight. She could offer honeyed tones for a little while.

“Will you hear my story of how a lady ended up in this House of Pleasure, sir?” Even to her own ears, her innocent tone sounded false. How would it sound to–

Releasing her hair, the stranger grabbed her hand. “We both know how you will end up, my slave. Come.” He pulled her toward the four-poster and she dug her toes into the rough, worn carpeting. Honey be damned, she had no intention of going anywhere near that bed.

“Let me tell you my story, sir. ’Tis truly enlightening.” She snapped her wrist down, freeing herself from his grasp, then turned and raced across the room, searching in vain for weapons once more. Frustration mounting, she seized the wingback chair. At least it presented a barrier of sorts. She thrust it in front of her.

“Sir, you must hear me. I truly am not what you think.”

His skeptical stare was bearable. But when he pursed his lips and made a “tsk tsking ” sound, he might as well have shouted the word “whore.”

“I am not!” Katarina clutched the chair’s golden upholstery to keep from launching herself at him and wrapping her fingers around his arrogant throat. “I am Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam, sister to the Earl of Manning. I was kidnapped and brought here tonight against my will.”

He cocked his head. Then his mouth twitched. “Truly? What an exciting life you must lead…Lady Katarina, was it?” He chuckled deep in his chest, and took a step toward the chair.

She glared at him. “I am Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam, you dullard.”

“And true ladies always run around London at night scandalously underdressed as Greek slaves?”

“My brother and I were on our way to a masquerade ball when I was abducted.”

“As was I, fair lady,” he bowed with an exaggerated flourish, “when I decided to come to this charming establishment instead. Perhaps if we had continued on our ways uninterrupted, we would even now be dancing together at the ball.” That nasty laugh grated against her nerves worse than the screech of rusty nails, making her contemplate murder. If the scoundrel didn’t believe her story, killing him might be her only means of escape.

And now for the fun part: The Giveaway

I’d really like to know what you think of Only Scandal Will Do just from the blurb, excerpt, and trailer. Leave a comment telling me what you think, and at the end of the day I’ll draw a random name from all the commenters to win a copy of Only Scandal Will Do and a swag pack from Jenna Jaxon including several new items, plus my signature lavender sachet.

Please come back to the party at 10:00 for a celebration with 18th century food!

 

Posted in Giveaways, Historical Romance, House of Pleasure, House of Pleasure Series, On Only Scandal Will Do, Release Party | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Medieval Monday ~ An Excerpt from A Winter Knight by Barbara Bettis

Welcome to Medieval Monday, a blog hop for those who love a medieval romance. Over the next weeks, 10 other medieval romance novelists and I will share snippets from one of our works. I haven’t been able to share snippets with these wonderful authors for a while, but I’m so glad I’m back!

Our theme for this session is Nature, and today I’m hosting Barbara Bettis’s A Winter Knight.

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BLURB:

He’s running from his past; she’s running from her future. But on a snowy winter night, they find each other and the surprising gift of love.

Sir Nicholas has given up on marriage. These days he’s content to captain his friend’s troops and avoid entanglements—until one winter night when he rescues a half-frozen woman from a snowstorm. Her irrepressible spirit and kindness to others reminds him that all ladies aren’t like his former intended, who wed his brother while Nick was on crusade. But he can’t open his heart to Lady Clare. She’s bound to another, and Nick won’t forfeit his honor. Even if she were free, he has nothing to offer but love, and this lady deserves everything.

Lady Clare’s dying grandfather has arranged her betrothal, but the arrival of the man she’s to wed sends her fleeing into a snowstorm. Injured when her horse stumbles, she’s rescued by a mysterious knight. She recovers at his run-down manor, safe at last—until her betrothed tracks her down two days before Christmas. Trapped at home with the wedding imminent, she longs for the winter knight she’s come to love.

Only a miracle can bring Clare and Nick together. But at Christmas, anything is possible

EXCERPT:

Scanning the landscape, Nicholas spotted a mound in the road a few paces ahead. Odd place for a drift. He swung down and approached. Not a drift. He hunched beside the motionless form. A smattering of snow blended with the cloth that covered the mound. He pulled aside a corner of—fine, white wool? The inside of the material was lined in fur. The whole was tucked around a body.

Tugging gently, Nicholas freed more of the cloth to uncover a female, huddled in upon herself. When he turned the still figure, her head fell to the side, revealing bluing lips in a face as white as the ground.

Merciful God.

She is dead!

What will Nicholas do? Find out next time at Ashley York’s: https://www.ashleyyorkauthor.com/blog

Remember how he found her? See https://www.cathymacraeauthor.com/bits-n-bobs-author-blog

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON: https://amzn.to/356xovq

KOBO : https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-winter-knight

 

Thank you so much for sharing that excerpt, Barbara. Hopefully, I’ll be seeing everyone on Barbara’s blog today as well for my snippet from Time Enough to Love.

And see you next Monday for more excerpts on Medieval Monday.

The Time Enough to Love medieval romance series by Jenna Jaxon

Posted in Medieval Monday, Medieval Romance, On Time Enough to Love | Tagged , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 6/28/20 Only Scandal Will Do ~ One Drop of Blood

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!

 

 I’m finishing up today with snippets from the first of my House of Pleasure books, Only Scandal Will Do.  I re-releases on Tuesday and for July I’ll move on to Only Marriage Will Do, Book 2 of the series that will release at the end of July. 

 

Check out my new blurb for Only Scandal Will Do:

BLURB:  

He has the woman of his dreams, but can he find a way to win her heart?

Kidnapped, displayed on the auction block of a notorious brothel, and sold to the highest bidder, Lady Katherine Fitzwilliam is furious and vows to fight her way out. Unfortunately, the rogue who bought her is way too charming and attractive to make that easy. He seduces Kat almost to the point of ruin, but she manages to escape him, although thoughts of him tend to linger long after she’s free.

Duncan, Marquess of Dalbury succumbs to temptation one night and purchases a fiery beauty whose very looks fill him with hot desire. When she insists she’s a lady, he scoffs, but is surprised when she flees before he can claim his pleasure. When he discovers she’s sister to a peer, Duncan is horrified to have compromised her. He offers marriage to scotch the scandal and gain an heir. However, the dazzling charms of the red-haired beauty, coupled with her astonishing skill with a sword, ensnares his heart and soul. If only Katarina didn’t hate him with a fury hotter than three hells…

Can he manage to turn her anger against him into a passion for him? Or will they be doomed to live together, but forever apart?

I began my snippets for Scandal well into the book. Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam has been kidnapped and sold at auction in a brothel, The House of Pleasure. She escaped her purchaser, Duncan, Marquess of Dalbury, only to be discovered by him some days later at a ball. He wishes to marry her, but she loathes him. Now he’s afraid they will both be ruined by the incident in the brothel and has forced her brother to defend her honor in a duel. However, Kat, who has learned excellent skills with a sword from her brother, has insisted on defending her own honor in a private duel with Dalbury, the stakes the highest of all:  marriage. If she wins, he abandons all hope of having her, if he wins, she marries him immediately. In this snippet, I’ve skipped ahead to the point just after Duncan has made a hit on Kat’s arm, but did not draw blood. Duncan has just disarmed Katarina and is asking for her to yield. She refuses, insisting he draw first blood to win the match, leaving Duncan with a difficult choice. Today’s snippet begins where last weeks’ left off. We are still in Duncan’s POV.

EXCERPT:

The padded jacket precluded a wound to arms or torso; breeches did likewise to the lower body and thighs. He could wound the calf, but she wore knitted stockings that might bind the blade and make a ragged, nasty wound. Her hands were encased in leather gloves and he would be damned if he would mark her face–he was going to live with that face for many, many years and would not curse himself every time he looked at her because he had marred her beauty. What did that leave?

He continued to circle her, searching for a glimpse of skin that would allow him a small wound–it need only be one drop of blood, for Christ’s sake.

Her coat and shirt were both collarless. She had loosely tied one of her brother’s cravats around her neck, but it was now askew from the ferocity of the fight, baring part of her neck. He moved behind her again and she tensed, likely in apprehension, not knowing from what direction the blade would come.

Duncan tossed his rapier to Lord Trevor, and quietly stepped so close to Katarina that his breath stirred the hair at her neck. He moved his head even closer, until his mouth was poised beside her left ear and her breathing quickened.

And now to finish the scene :

“My lady,” he whispered, “you have given me little choice in this matter. I would not wound you, but I will not forfeit the match. Your protection has also tied my hands in the matter of where to wound you. So I must take where I may find.”

She began to tremble at his words. If it were done

He turned his head and sought the delicate flesh at the nape of her neck, the one place on her not protected.

She went still, sucked in a breath and held it, as he worked at the tender spot open mouthed. With the tip of his tongue, he massaged the warm skin of her neck, salty from her exertions against him. A low moan, akin to the one she had given him in the garden two nights ago, escaped her before a shiver chased down her body. Then he nipped the skin, breaking it, drawing the precious drop that claimed her as his. She gasped, and he whispered again in her ear, “You did not stipulate, Lady Katarina, that the blood must be drawn with the sword. I therefore claim victory in the duel. Will you honor the forfeit?”

 Only Scandal Will Do is up on pre-order until this Tuesday for the pre-order price of just .99. It is available on Amazon, B & N, Smashwords, iTunes, and Kobo. The book reverts to its regular price of $2.99 on Release Day, Tuesday, June 30. Grab yours while you can!

And here is the new book trailer I made this week for Only Scandal Will Do on Animoto! Enjoy!

Please come by my blog on Tuesday for the release party!

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.

 

Posted in Historical Romance, House of Pleasure Series, On Only Scandal Will Do, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

The Writer’s Eye: Using the Senses in Romance Writing ~ The Sense of Sound

 

When I first began writing, I blogged a lot about the craft of writing and my thoughts on writing, pretty much as I went along. One series of posts I did almost ten years ago was on using the senses in writing romance. Since I’m once again looking through the writer’s eye at the craft of writing, I thought I’d revisit these posts over the next few weeks, look at them with a more experienced eye and revise as the need arises.

First, the senses are channels of communication, including sound.  Each time we hear a sound, we are receiving information about something.  Even the way information is presented sends messages.  So hearing is a major way that we communicate.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m writing, I see the story unfold like it was a movie spooling out of my mind. And one thing all movies have is a soundtrack to provide the sounds: the whistling of the wind, the revving of an engine, the squeaky creak of a door to a spooky house. Your novel won’t have such a soundtrack, unless you provide it with your words. Put succinctly by Orly Konig-Lopez in her article for Writers in the Storm, “When writing, you have to put those sounds into words. Your reader needs to hear what your characters are experiencing.” You don’t want your characters to seem to be living in a vacuum devoid of sound. I read somewhere that after the original Star Trek series premiered, they decided to add the “whoosh” into the soundtrack of the opening whenever the Enterprise would zip by. They said that of course there wouldn’t be sound in space, but people would naturally expect a sound, so they added it.

Add those sounds to your scenes! Your readers will be pulled into the work because of it.

Next, use paralanguage to make your dialogue pop. Paralanguage is all the sounds we hear connected to language other than the words themselves.  Using these elements—vocal fillers, pitch, tone, rate, volume, inflection—you can give a complete picture of how the characters sound when they speak and reveal themselves.  A character who uses vocal fillers–um, er, well, you know, and like—has a character trait that may suggest hesitancy.  A heroine whose voice squeaks signals her excitement; the hero who drops his tone to husky is also excited, but in a different way.  How fast or slow they speak, how loud or soft their voice is, all set the scene and enhance what characters are experiencing.

Good advice from The Author Studio article “How to Use All Five Senses When Writing A Romance Novel” speaks to this use of nonverbal elements: “Let your characters notice how the other one speaks, not just the words that they use, but the quality of their voice. Is it clear and high or low and raspy? Do they whisper, or shout, their sweet nothings? Don’t forget to get nonverbal, too; whether it’s a sigh or a moan, so much in romance is said in sounds that aren’t words, and so much about the character is revealed through what sounds they make and when.”

And finally, make your romance novel richer by adding sounds the POV character would naturally hear or be aware of within the scene.  The crackle of leaves underfoot in a dry forest, the swift, dull thudding of horses hooves on dry mud, the blood pounding in the heroine’s ears as her heart beats faster at sight of the hero.  Sounds that surround your hero and heroine should sink the reader into the psyche of the character, letting the reader “hear” what the character does.  The better your descriptive writing skills, the better the experience for your audience.

Tell me how you put your reader into your scenes?  Do you make an effort to put all five senses into your writing?  Do you find it difficult to include all five?  Do you find yourself using only your favorite senses?  Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for coming by! Join me next week when I explore the use of touch in romance writing.

Posted in On Writing, On Writing Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Only Scandal Will Do ~ New Book Trailer

I am really excited and a bit proud to show off the little book trailer I made this past weekend for Only Scandal Will Do! It releases a week from today, so I’d like to show the trailer off today and hopefully it will promote the book for the release next week.

There was a book trailer by my editor/designer Danielle Fine, done years ago, when Scandal had its original cover design for Lyrical Press. Now, of course there is a brand new cover so the trailer is out of date, but I really liked it a lot, so I took most of the pictures used in the original, and reworked them a little bit. This one isn’t nearly as professional as Dani’s was, and the music of the original trailer was absolutely perfect and perfectly timed. I didn’t have the means to upgrade, so my new trailer doesn’t have the bells and whistles (and it has the watermark for Animoto on it), but I hope it gives a sense of the book to readers who might wonder what it’s about.

So without further ado, here is my new trailer for

Only Scandal Will Do

 

 

Only Scandal Will Do is available at

Amazon, Smashwords, B & N, iTunes, and Kobo.

The pre-order price is .99, but will rise to its regular price of $2.99 on July 1, 2020.

Come by next Tuesday, June 30, for the release party! 🙂

Posted in Book Trailers, Jenna Jaxon, On Only Scandal Will Do, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Medieval Monday ~ An Excerpt from Love Will Find You by Sherry Ewing

Welcome to Medieval Monday, a blog hop for those who love a medieval romance. Over the next weeks, 10 other medieval romance novelists and I will share snippets from one of our works. I haven’t been able to share snippets with these wonderful authors for a while, but I’m so glad I’m back!

Our theme for this session is Nature, and today I’m hosting Sherry Ewing’s Love Will Find You ~ The Knights of Berwyck, A Quest Through Time (Book Four).

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BLURB:

Sometimes a moment is all we have…

Ella Fitzpatrick is a woman with a secret. As she comes and goes from Berwyck Castle, seeking refuge within its gates, she yearns to be reunited with the one for whom she crossed time from the twenty-first century. She has lived another lifetime in the twelfth century waiting for the date of their reunion and it is almost upon her. But how could she have known the man she believes she loves is not the person she needs?

Killian of Clan MacLaren has been infatuated with Ella for many a year but has guarded his heart, knowing her affection lies with another. When Ella must flee Berwyck, Killian vows to escort her to her encounter with destiny. But passion flares between them and there is no doubt the bond they have is far greater than either of them expected.

Their time together is running out. Killian has a decision to make that might give him and Ella a future together. If you could change someone’s past, would you seize the moment?

EXCERPT:

She lifted her head to gaze upon this man who had been such a dear friend to her all these years. His eyes filled with concern and she offered him a smile to set any fears he may have to rest. She would not burden him with the troubling thoughts going through her head. If she acted on her feelings for him, surely she would only live to regret such a rash decision. Her destiny was with another and not with this caring man before her.

“I will be fine, Killian. Let us just rest for the eve. Everything will look brighter in the morn.”

Did you miss week seven? Find it on Mary Morgan’s blog here: https://www.marymorganauthor.com/blog

Join Sherry next week for another excerpt on Kelley Heckart’s blog here: https://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/

BUY LINKS:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3cixJPC

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3cjFMvq

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/3crq6pU

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2PB7Dh9

 

Thank you so much for sharing that excerpt, Sherry. Hopefully, I’ll be seeing everyone on Sherry’s blog today as well for my snippet from Time Enough to Love.

And see you next Monday for more excerpts on Medieval Monday.

The Time Enough to Love medieval romance series by Jenna Jaxon

Posted in Medieval Monday, Medieval Romance, On Time Enough to Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 6/21/20 Only Scandal Will Do ~ Disarmed

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!

 

 I’m continuing with snippets the first of my House of Pleasure books, Only Scandal Will Do.  I’ve gotten the rights back to this, my first full length novel, and I’m planning to re-release it at the end of the month! Here’s the new cover I just revealed this past week!

 

BLURB:  

He has the woman of his dreams, but what price will he have to pay to win her heart?

Kidnapped and sold at auction in a London brothel, Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam squelches an undeniable attraction to the masked stranger who purchased her, pits her wits against him, and escapes him and the scandal that would ruin her life.

Unable to resist temptation at The House of Pleasure, Duncan Ferrers, Marquess of Dalbury, purchases a fiery beauty. She claims she’s a lady, but how can she be? No lady of his acquaintance in polite society is anything like her. Then he discovers she is who she says, and that this latest romp has compromised her reputation. He knows how that is. One more scandal and he’ll be cast out of London society, but he needs a wife who’ll provide an heir to carry on his illustrious family’s name. He seeks out Katarina, intending only to scotch the scandal, but instead finds his heart ensnared. He’s betting their future he’ll capture her heart, but does he have what it takes to win the wager?

I began my snippets for Scandal well into the book. Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam has been kidnapped and sold at auction in a brothel, The House of Pleasure. She escaped her purchaser, Duncan, Marquess of Dalbury, only to be discovered by him some days later at a ball. He wishes to marry her, but she loathes him. Now he’s afraid they will both be ruined by the incident in the brothel and has forced her brother to defend her honor in a duel. However, Kat, who has learned excellent skills with a sword from her brother, has insisted on defending her own honor in a private duel with Dalbury, the stakes the highest of all:  marriage. If she wins, he abandons all hope of having her, if he wins, she marries him immediately. In this snippet, I’ve skipped ahead to the point just after Duncan has made a hit on Kat’s arm, but did not draw blood. They are starting the next part of the fencing match now. We are still in Duncan’s POV.

EXCERPT:

Fully attired, Katarina raised her rapier, nodded to him, and again launched herself in attack. Meeting her blow for blow, he now pressed an attack of his own. She fell back a step before binding his weapon to the ground. He ducked as her blade whistled through the space his head had occupied mere seconds before and he retaliated with renewed vigor as their swords flowed like quicksilver through air that rang with the discordant sounds. Katarina’s blade danced dangerously close to Duncan’s face; the next instant her sword went spinning through the air and landed a mere foot from Tommy Redmond’s still sleeping form.

Katarina’s look of shock did not amuse Duncan in the least, for he assumed his own face bore a similar expression–the disarm had been instinctual, summoned from the long hours of grueling training with Signor Fucile last year. Had he never gone to Italy, this outcome might have been very different.

He straightened, rapier still en garde. His completely vulnerable opponent recovered her composure, however, and stood with face schooled into haughty disdain. Her chest heaved as she sucked in deep breaths, fire in her eyes as she returned his stare dared him to complete his office.

And now to finish the scene :

Duncan moved slowly toward her. As he stepped to her side she did not deign to turn her head toward him, although she tracked him with her eyes. Manning and Matthews had advanced to the edges of the dueling space, but did not breech the barrier.

He continued to circle her until he stood directly behind her. Where could he wound her with minimum damage? Curse her, for putting him in this position! “My lady, do you yield?” he asked.

Motionless, except for the still labored breathing, she replied, “Our agreement was to first blood, Lord Dalbury. If you do not take it, I claim the forfeit.”

Duncan closed his eyes in exasperation and said, “Very well, then, my lady.”

Like the Little Engine that Could, I was able to put Only Scandal Will Do up on pre-order last Tuesday! The pre-order price is just .99, and is available on Amazon, B & N, Smashwords, iTunes, and Kobo. The book reverts to its regular price of $2.99 on Release Day, June 30.

Please come by my blog that day for the release party!

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.

 

Posted in Historical Romance, House of Pleasure Series, On Only Scandal Will Do, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

The Writer’s Eye: Using the Senses in Romance Writing ~ The Sense of Sight

 

When I first began writing, I blogged a lot about the craft of writing and my thoughts on writing, pretty much as I went along. One series of posts I did almost ten years ago was on using the senses in writing romance. Since I’m once again looking through the writer’s eye at the craft of writing, I thought I’d revisit these posts over the next few weeks, look at them with a more experienced eye and revise as the need arises.

“Before there is a touch, a taste, a moan, a smell, there is perception, seeing and being seen, eye-beckoned.”  This quotation from Anne Taylor Fleming in her article, “Awaken Her Senses:  Look,” in Best Life, persuades us that sight is the primary sense that we use.  Other senses may be touted as being more important, but the sense of sight in a romance novel is paramount to an excellent read.

Van Gogh’s The Novel Reader

Romance writers are always told to “put the five senses into your writing.”  What is meant by that is we need, as much as possible, to put our readers into the virtual bodies of our heroes and heroines.  Most romance readers want to vicariously experience the joys and thrills of love by putting themselves into the characters they read about.  In order to do this, the author needs to describe in detail, everything the characters experience—what they hear, touch, taste, and smell, and see.

In this first post on the senses, I’m exploring the sense of sight and how much our readers depend on us to be their eyes within the world of the novel.  When creating a scene, the writer must visualize that place, those people, the action–must see them in her mind before translating that onto the blank page of the manuscript.  In doing so, the writer becomes the guide for the reader, helps them navigate a clear path, shows them exactly what they want the reader to see and thereby creates the vision of the book for the reader.

I once had an editor tell me that I had a great scene, except it took place within a white room, devoid of everything. Enthralled by the dialogue and conflict of the scene, I’d neglected to describe anything other than some clothing for the characters. I had to go back and fill in those white walls with descriptions of furniture, artwork, curtains, the sconces on the walls. If I want my readers to “see” the scene, I have to show it to them.

The best way to do this, at least for me, is to submerge yourself in the character, much as the reader will do, and experience the setting, action, and other characters first hand through them.  Like an actor who takes on a role, if the writer takes on the persona of his/her character, he/she can see what they see and pass that imagery along–vividly–to the reader.

This technique is called “showing,” and is usually tied to the advice “show don’t tell.”  Excellent advice for a writer, but what exactly does it mean?  Beth Hill, a fiction editor, writes in the article “Show and Tell–Not Just A Game We Play,” that “Telling forces a reader to stand outside a candy store window, able to see, perhaps, and hear what happens inside.  But he remains outside.  Yet when a writer shows, he invites the reader into the store to taste the bite of bitter chocolate or the tang of a lemon drop.”  It is not, however, description.

An image to illustrate the difference between showing and telling in fiction writing.

“When a writer shows rather than tells, the reader is allowed a more active role. He draws conclusions, he projects himself into the story and into the character’s shoes, he experiences the character’s emotions with the character.”  In short, when show is employed correctly, the reader can live vicariously through the characters, seeing what they see, hearing what they hear, tasting what they taste.

Michelle Sommers, in her article for Romance Writers of Australia titled Simply Writing: Show Don’t Tell Part 1, lists the following ways of making sure you are showing the reader, not telling them: Use dialogue and character interactions to show what they are feeling, use the senses to help the reader delve into the world of the novel, describe things with specifics–a beat up, rusty colored VW bus–and use strong verbs and descriptive nouns, use deep point of view (POV) to immerse your reader in the work, and use metaphors rather than cliches or at least put your own unique spin on the old chestnuts.

A good “show” can involve the reader, suck them into the book, let them become part of the book themselves.  So much so, they will come joyfully back to experience more.

Writers: Do you have problems with showing rather than telling?  How have you overcome this in the past?  Tell me, how do you put your reader into your scenes? 

Readers: How big a deal is the show vs. tell advice to you? Do you continue to read authors who tell you about what’s going on rather than showing you? Tell me, how this affects you as a reader?

Thanks for coming by! Join me next week when I explore the use of sound in romance writing.

Posted in On Writing, On Writing Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Only Scandal Will Do is on Pre-Order!

I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, but like the Little Engine That Could, I did!

I’m very pleased to announce that Only Scandal Will Do is now on pre-order on Amazon for the pre-order price of .99. The book will release on June 30, 2020 at which point it will revert to its normal price of $2.99. Here’s the link for you.

If you’re not familiar with my Georgian House of Pleasure series, Only Scandal Will Do is the first book of five in the series. Set in the midst of the wild and decadent times of George III, the series is chocked full of feisty heroines, damsels in distress, arrogant lords, truly evil villains, and skilled swordsmen (and women!) during a time when dueling was quite common (though illegal). If you know and love Jo Beverley’s Malloren series, this is my homage to her and to her characters who are gorgeously drawn.

Here’s the new blurb, followed by an excerpt.

BLURB:

He has the woman of his dreams, but can he find a way to win her heart?

Kidnapped, displayed on the auction block of a notorious brothel, and sold to the highest bidder, Lady Katherine Fitzwilliam is furious and vows to fight her way out. Unfortunately, the rogue who bought her is way too charming and attractive to make that easy. He seduces Kat almost to the point of ruin, but she manages to escape him, although thoughts of him tend to linger long after she’s free.

Duncan, Marquess of Dalbury succumbs to temptation one night and purchases a fiery beauty whose very looks fill him with hot desire. When she insists she’s a lady, he scoffs, but is surprised when she flees before he can claim his pleasure. When he discovers she’s sister to a peer, Duncan is horrified to have compromised her. He offers marriage to scotch the scandal and gain an heir. However, the dazzling charms of the red-haired beauty, coupled with her astonishing skill with a sword, ensnares his heart and soul. If only Katarina didn’t hate him with a fury hotter than three hells…

Can he manage to turn her anger against him into a passion for him? Or will they be doomed to live together, but forever apart?

EXCERPT:

London, 1761

“Put her back in the carriage, now!” Her assailant snarled the brusque command, sending a shiver of fear through Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam.

An unseen attacker seized and tossed her into the coach. Gagged, hands pinioned behind her back, ankles bound together, she lay trussed like a Christmas goose in a cramped bundle on the hard plank floor of the dim carriage, her diaphanous Grecian costume in ruins. Schemes for escape flashed through her head in a dizzying whirl.

The horses jerked forward, the uneven cobblestones of London’s streets jouncing her already aching body.

All because she’d been bored. Doggedly, Katarina tested the bonds securing her hands, strained against the coarse rope then relaxed, seeking play in the cords. None. She muttered a curse and forced her whole body to relax. Tension would never free her. Rough and tumble games growing up with Jack had taught her that.

Jack! God, where was he? Was he alive or… She’d heard one muted cry when they were attacked, then nothing. If her brother were dead, it would be her fault.

Katarina pulled and twisted her wrists. If they’d stayed in Virginia, they would have been better off. London was far wilder than she would have believed. Although she’d heard of women being abducted by highwaymen, she’d thought them only tales–until now.

But when Jack inherited a title, they’d been forced to come to London. The six months of mourning for their father not quite over, Great-Aunt Harriet now commanded the little social life allowed her. The past month found her stuck all day with strong tea and inane gossip about her aunt’s old friends. Finally, rebellion set in. Over breakfast this morning, she’d demanded Jack escort her to a masquerade ball this evening, ironically attired as Athena, goddess of war.

A nasty rut jarred the carriage, making Kat groan. What wouldn’t she give for Athena’s armor at this moment, or at least her spear. She had to admit, though, she’d gotten her wish. She wasn’t bored now.

 

Come by the blog on June 30 for the release party! I’ll be giving away prizes throughout the day, and revealing sneak peeks of Only Pleasure Will Do, book 5 of the House of Pleasure series that releases in late August.

And today, I’ll be giving away a copy of Only Scandal Will Do to one commenter on this post.

Posted in Giveaways, House of Pleasure, House of Pleasure Series, On Only Scandal Will Do, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments