Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cover Reveal: Lessons in Mountain Climbing

Here it is! The cover for Lessons in Mountain Climbing, Book 1 in the Far From Home series. As always, Reese Dante does a fabulous job illustrating my vision of the story.

Here's the cover and the blurb!

I've already mentioned that this story is a contemporary romance, sexy but not erotica.

Industrialist billionaire recluse Rane Kirk has all he wants—his plants and his privacy. That doesn’t mean the media is willing to leave the Titan of Telluride alone—not when his past is shrouded in mystery and not when one particular journalist has something to prove.

As a young girl, Kinzey Vance still remembers when she first met Rane. She’s never forgotten him. She’s also never lived down her perceived failure as one of the Kirk Enterprise Grant’s original scholarship recipients. She had planned to change the world, only life got in the way.

As an adopted orphan herself, she feels particularly responsible for her siblings, and gives up her dream, in order to care for them after the death of their mother. Years later and back in Colorado, Kinzey finally has something she must share with the elusive Rane Kirk.

Climbing the mountain to Kirk’s compound, Kinzey is more determined than ever to tell her story. And to learn the truth of his. She doesn’t know Kirk has never forgotten her and the moment she lands in his koi pond, their stars don’t realign; they collide.

Tell me what you think!

Monday, April 14, 2014

A new series: Far From Home

I've just posted two major items of interest. The first is the blog page about my new series Far From Home. This is a four book contemporary series that will release over the next four months, one a month hopefully. I'm giving myself a little slack time on the last book since I've only just started. Eeeck!

Check out the page for a little more about the series and a sneak at the blurb for the first book titled, Lessons in Mountain Climbing. The cover reveal will be in a few days and I've hired the excellent illustrator Reese Dante for this series. So excited.

Also, I've published a link to sign up for Eliza by Email. If you would like to keep more up-to-date on goings on and get information delivered right to your email, this is the place to do it.

Can't wait for you to meet these long lost sisters and the hot men who love them.

Monday, April 7, 2014

EROTIC historicals and a GIGANTIC giveaway with Jess Michaels

We are celebrating the release of Jess Michaels' newest book: Beauty and the Earl, out April 15th. And no release is complete without a GIGANTIC giveaway.

Want a Kindle Fire HDX? Don't think you can win?

Yes, you can! There are so many ways to enter this great contest.

Here's a link to get in on all the action. Great Ebooks from Kate Pearce, Annabel Joseph, Heather Boyd and ME!! Oh, and did I forget to mention Lila Depasqua, Samantha Kane, Lauren Smith, Victoria Vane, Ava Marsh, Grace Calloway Deb Glass, Shelly Thacker and Delilah Marvelle. Is this the greatest group of historical erotica writers ever?


Here's the Rafflecopter link.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or visit Jess Michaels site directly at:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Seize the David!

David's been everywhere lately...except on my blog. I do take my responsibility seriously and realize I've been slack lately. Plus it was my New Year's resolution... More David!

He's been busy - advancing British men's fashion, acting as an ambassador for Battersea Dog and Cats Home, remodeling a new home, traveling the world and looking good with a glass of amber and wearing a suit better than any man on the planet. It's all in a day's work and all womankind appreciates his devotion to making us happy.

But let's face it - we all love David the model. And there are certain campaigns that are the best of the best.

Here are some of my favorites.

Massimo Dutti Equestrian:

M/D's Equestrian Collection was a F/W 2013 shoot, by Hunter and Gatti. I think I like the outdoorsy look best especially when it includes animals. Okay, it comes in second to the suits! Always the suits...

Here's the link to HG advertising:

Man of the World:

I don't think David has looked more rugged and unmodel-like than in this campaign. The pics show maturity and seriousness, not just a pretty boy. It reflects a man of accomplishment but also a man ready to conquer the rest of the world. And he will...

Here's the link to the MOtW article:

Here's the link to photographer John Balsom and additional pictures of the MOtW shoot: http://johnbalsom.com/indexhibit/index.php?/man-of-the-world--david-gandy/

DV Man's A Fistful of Dollars:

Way back in 2009, David did a shoot for DV Man, photographed by Tobias Lundkvist. The campaign features more of down and dirty David, embracing the life of a cowboy. The first shot is probably one of my ALL time favorites of David.

Here's the link to the DV Man campaign:

Dolce and Gabanna Light Blue:

This is a three-for-one. All of these campaigns are excellent, but I agree with David, this campaign needs to tell the next part of the story. You know, where the couple is walking along the shoreline, pushing a pram...

Dolce and Gabanna 2008 Pre-fall.

There is nothing soft about David in this campaign. He is all man - serious, determined and mysterious. Gah, he is so hot here! I think this might be why his name has been brought up when James Bond was recasting.

Dolce&Gabbana - Steven Klein - David Gandy - 2008FW - ad campaign pre fall -  fashion ads

Glamour Spain:

I asked my friend Shika Brown, also a huge DJG fan, which campaigns were her favorites and she suggested this next campaign: David in the kitchen.

Other photographs by Sergi Pons for this campaign:

Tomorrow, I'll have some new favorites. Seriously, has he ever done anything that isn't perfection? So what are your favorites? Follow along for more David commentary from time to time!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

St. George's Church - both of them

If you've ever read a Regency romance (or Georgian or Victorian,) it is likely you've heard of St. George's Church at Hanover Square. And this church should not be confused with St. George's Bloomsbury, not far away, just down Oxford Street. We're going to talk about that church too.

The parish church of Mayfair is endowed with the romanticism of the time. Here society's elite, at least in the fictional world of a historical romance writer's imagination, are married with all ton nobles in attendance.

The church was one of the Fifty Churches project included in the Queen Anne's Act of 1711. This church was built between 1721-1724. John James was the designer.

First the bad news. The church isn't that big. I may be wrong, but I would be surprised if the church held 250 people. I'm still looking for this information and hopefully I will have it by the time I'm ready to post this blog. The church has an open nave with aisles; the overhead galleries supported by large wooden beams. There is a great pipe organ at the back of the church, or behind you as you enter from St. George's Street. I have some great videos of the interior but they aren't loading to the blog. Sorry.

I was last in St. George's around Christmas time in 2012. I was the only person in the church aside from an organist, who remained hidden from me. However, the music the mysterious musician played resounded throughout the church. I sat in one of the pews for about fifteen minutes and enjoyed the peaceful interlude. The church is famous for its musical traditions and was the home of George Handel for nearly 34 years and is currently the venue for the London Handel Festival.

Aside from the German Handel, who became a British citizen in 1727, the church has other international connections. The windows contain Flemish glass from Antwerp, circa 16th century. And here is a new word for you: reredos. From Wiki, a reredos is "an altarpiece, or a screen or decoration behind the altar in a church, usually depicting religious iconography or images." The reredos was designed by the Dutch-British sculptor Grinling Gibbons, one of the most acclaimed wood carvers working in England during that time. The reredos at St. George's includes scenes from the Last Supper which were painted by William Kent.

One of the famous weddings to occur at St. George's was that of future American President Teddie Roosevelt to Edith Carow in 1886.

In 1969, the church's cemetery grounds were closed, at first an issue of public health and then for area redevelopment. "11,500 further remains were taken to West Norwood Cemetery and cremated, for burial there." Wiki.

The other St. George's at Bloomsbury was designed by Hawkesmoor and finished in 1731. Nicolas Hawkesmoor was a student of Sir Christopher Wren, the renowned architect. After the Great Fire of 1666, Wren was charged with rebuilding 52 churches within London. While Wren was credited for his architectural genius, some of the creative genius behind these churches has been attributed to Hawkesmoor.

Which leads to a sharp criticism of the design of St. George's Bloomsbury. According to one book I read, Hawkesmoor used a description of Mausolus's tomb as a model for this church. Pliny was the source for this information and "if the original possessed all the faults of the copy, we can scarcely understand its having been considered one of the seven wonders of the world."

Here's a the wiki entry for this amazing site, a surprisingly durable triumph that endured through Alexander the Great and until it was destroyed by earthquakes in the 12th century.


But back to St. George's...

The church's steeple and tower were built to the side of the main building. And my favorite sarcastic aristocrat of the time, Horace Walpole, commented, that it was a "masterstroke of absurdity, consisting of an obelisk, crowned with the statue of King George I, and hugged by royal supporters."

Right away, one can see the similarities in the churches, especially the magnificent Corinthian pillars out front. So next time you are in London, stop by these iconic churches and feel the sublime weight of history in their surroundings.

For a bit of fun, have you read any romance novels with scenes or marriages set at either of the St. George's?

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Man In Boots, 1830 England

David Gandy says, "Men don't realize how much women look at shoes." Yep, it's true for me, but as a historical writer, I'm in to boots. You know, those leather Hessian's that men wore during the old days? Topped off at the knee? Tight breeches tucked inside?

So let's talk boots and shoes, Regency style. This is from The Whole Art of Dress, 1830.

"The Hessian is a boot only worn with tight pantaloons, a fashion entirely copied from the military, and is very common in Germany and France, where it generally forms a part of the equipment in the cavalry. Of late years, however, this kind of boot has been introduced among our own military horse. The fashions, with respect to the boot have been very capricious, leaving it neglected for a long period, and then reviving it again. Latterly it has become very popular in riding, for which it is excellently qualified.

In undress it is impossible to dress a fine leg, more especially of a short person, to greater advantage than in a Hessian; and it must be allowed, where other requisites correspond, it adds a great deal of dignity and command to the person, setting off the figure to considerable advantage.

Hessians are a very expensive wear, and, like almost all other manufacturers in the present day, may be superbly worked and finished, being bent and creased in the most exquisite manner, without ever losing shape. That kind of shape most admired, when pulled on the leg, should be high enough to let the tassel touch the knee-pan, and then be lowered to the calf, when the dents will form fuller and much handsomer than when contracted and held in, which latter way causes the boot to sit stiffly, and want the elastic spring in the leather that the method I point out possesses."

 Ah, a man in boots. And here is David. In boots. Hard to believe even he can look better in boots. Photo: Massimo Dutti.

Monday, February 24, 2014

London Stories

I highly recommend the seven part book titled The Village London Series by the Alderman Press. Excellent stories and facts about London, amongst them this gem:

In a tavern at Covent Garden, the husband of the exquisite sculptress, the Honorable Mrs. Damer, shot himself in 1776. Mr. Damer's suicide was hastened, and indeed provoked, by the refusal of his father, Lord Milton to discharge his debts.

Horace Walpole, after entering at length into this matter in a letter to Sir Horace Mann, in August 1776, gives the following circumstantial account: "On Thursday Mr. Damer supped at the Bedford Arms, in Covent Garden, with four ladies and a blind fiddler. At three in the morning he dismissed his seraglio, ordering his Orpheus to come up again in half an hour. When he returned he found his master dead, and smelt gunpowder. He called. The master of the house came up and they found Mr. Damer sitting in a chair dead, with one pistol beside him and another in his pocket. The ball had not gone through his head or made any report. On the table lay a scrap of paper with these words. 'The people of the house are not to blame for what has happened; it was my own act.'

What a catastrophe for a man at thirty-two, heir to two-and-twenty thousand a year!"

Horace Walpole remarks with his usual cynicism on this affair, that "Five thousand a year in present, and 22,000 (pounds) in reversion, are not, it would seem, sufficient for happiness and cannot check a pistol."

Photos: Flickr Commons, Covent Garden