Sunday, February 14, 2016

More Best Books

In my last home, I had a room that I had transformed into a library. Well, then I relocated to a different state and regretted that I had a library. Books are about the most difficult thing to box and move. Bulky. Heavy. A total pain.

So, I decided recently to go through the books and make some hard decisions about what I had to get rid off - keep the hardbacks, get rid of the paperbacks. I just don't have the room anymore (and I don't ever want to move that many books again). Some went to a garage sale, some were given away and I think what I have left is the best of the best. I ended up touching each of the books-around 3,000-as I sorted through my paper friends.

What I have is the majority of those works by: Stephanie Laurens, Victoria Alexander, Virginia Henley, Eloisa James, Edith Layton, Lorraine Heath, Loretta Chase, Liz Carlyle, Lisa Kleypas, Jess Michaels, Julia Quinn, Amanda Quick, Sherry Thomas, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Madeline Hunter, Karen Ranney, Karen Hawkins, Julia Justiss, Rosemary Rogers, Diana Gabaldon, Mary Balogh, Elizabeth Hoyt... Should I take a breath and go on? Well, you get the idea.

There were several excellent books that I set aside to reread and I wanted to share those titles with you, in case you haven't read them or are looking for something new. Many of them are heavy on the sex, so be prepared.

I found that I have several "twin" stories that I really loved:

Tracey Anne Warren: The Husband Trap
Which sister really married the Duke of Raeburn

Virginia Henley: Ravished
The Hatton brothers-one good, one bad

Virginia Henley: Seduced
Antonia finds a way into Adam's life, disguised as a boy

And stories about the difficulties of marriage:

Sherry Thomas: Not Quite a Husband (Victorian)
A Victorian era woman doctor reconciles with her husband...the hard way, climbing mountains in India

Mary Balogh: The Secret Pearl
Denying love because of honor, Adam pines for Fluer while his wife scorns him

Eloisa James: This Duchess of Mine
Jemma wants a baby...only she must reconcile with her husband first, who is jealous of her chess partner Villiers.

And of course, rogues and hellions:

Loretta Chase: Lord of Scoundrels
Troubled Dain does all he can to prove he's bad only she doesn't believe him

Johanna Bourne: The Spy Master's Lady
The best British spymaster finds France's most alluring woman, the spy Fox Cub

Nan Ryan: Because You're Mine (Western)
He stole her family's ranch; she's determined to get it back and more

Susan Johnson: To Love Somebody
The wicked Darley seduces a married innocent

Kathleen Woodiwiss: The Wolf and The Dove (Medieval)
William the Conqueror rewards his favorite soldier of fortune with a castle, complete with fiery red head. 

By no means is this a complete list. I'm just looking forward to rereading each of these books again. As I said, they are like my friends. I hope you get to read some of them. Oh, and if you have read them, which ones and what did you like about them?





Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Writer's Dream


I’m feeling philosophical today. Perhaps it is because of the new year. Perhaps it is because I have indigestion from eating a rare cheeseburger wrap instead of a medium.
Right now, at this very moment, I am under the tightest deadline of my career. What do I want to do? Write a blog post. Shoot me.
So what am I feeling philosophical about? Writing, of course.
You’ve all heard it said that writing is a lonely business. It is. The fact I’m sitting in my favorite burger joint alone is proof of that. I’ve also had to decline a family invitation from my sister because of the aforementioned writing deadline. Truly, it is FIVE-ALARM writing until January 20th. (Update: I did meet my deadline but forgot to post this blog!)
So why do we do it?
Personal reward
I’m sure any artistic person will tell you that creating is one of the most gratifying experiences out there. I imagine most inventors will tell that to you as well. I’m no wuss when it comes to judging myself. I know when I’ve written something average, something good and something great. The averages are far and few between anymore; the goods are becoming easier and the greats are within reach.
Autonomy
I love controlling my life. Writing was always a hazy dream for me – something I wanted to do but no real ability, plan or purpose. One winter my husband had to spend an extended period of time away with his family so I broke out a pad and pencil, set up at my desktop computer - Dr. Pepper at hand - and started typing. LOL. The story was a sweeping saga, ala Kathleen Woodiwiss, except with a crappy plot, weak characters and an implausible finish. It will not see the light of day.
It isn’t possible for me to write full time yet. Think health insurance. However, I do see the distant light in the tunnel. I will be able to someday. The other thing that makes this possible is that so many tens of thousands of writers no longer have to wait for approval from a New York house. Isn’t that awesome? I love that I can put a good book together, have an artist bring my vision to life on a cover and publish it overnight. To have this much control makes me so happy.
My characters speak to me
Hard to explain this one. All of my main characters want to say something to me, and for sure, say something about me.
Imogene, my hard luck London orphan, is a study in perseverance and nerve. Nothing gets her down.
Dr. Keefe Pearson, my world famous archaeologist, is the woman I’d be if I were rich, beautiful and intelligent. Plus, I have always dreamed of archeology and discovery. It gives me a thrill to think about unearthing the Terracotta Army. Or sunken treasure ships.
This probably doesn’t describe every author, maybe just this one, but I don’t want to write emotions and thoughts that are impossible to believe. Yes, I may put them in odd situations but the genuineness must speak to me with a loud voice.
Will I die if I don’t write? No.
I’ve heard writers say they would die if they didn’t. I’m not so cursed. As long as I find joy in what I’m doing, I’ll keep doing it. I might even do it longer than that if I have readers continue to say they like my writing, laugh at my characters and cry once in a while. I suspect this is a lifetime vocation, though.
But if one day you hear I’m no longer writing, you'll find me on the water, looking for treasure. The moral of this story: Dream and DREAM BIG! And the other moral of the story is order prime rib next time.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Coming soon: Seven Nights of Sin Anthology

I love a good anthology. Seven Nights of Sin will release on March 14th, but you can pre-order now. Who's participating? Historical romance bestsellers Sabrina York, Victoria Vane, Hildie McQueen, Suzi Love, Lynn Connolly and Maggi Anderson.

Check out these tantalizing blurbs:

MY DEAR MR. FORRESTER by ELIZA LLOYD

He can't resist a woman in trouble. Will he ever learn?
Joshua Forrester is a man of the world, returning to London after receiving a wound in a Parisian duel. He's done it again - out to save all womankind. When will he ever learn not all women want to be saved? In London, he is reacquainted with a family friend and now widow, Char Dunlevee. He is charmed - and appalled. He knows her secret and is furious his friend, Char’s now dead husband, could have left her in such circumstances. He can save her, if she will only say yes to his proposal.

Char has other plans. Joshua would make a perfect husband—for one of her sisters. She doesn’t need to be saved. Seduced perhaps…? With one kiss, Char forgets her plans as she is drawn closer to the enigmatic and dear Mr. Forrester.


LUSCIOUS by SABRINA YORK

When Deveny Hargrove rescues a waif in a rainstorm in the middle of nowhere, he has no idea that she represents his long-awaited chance at vengeance. When she offers him her virginity—in an attempt to escape an unwanted society marriage—he has to agree. To his surprise, very little of his motivation stems from punishing her brother.

The fact is, Matilda Paddington represents his chance at revenge...or redemption…but his choice could destroy them both.

ONE SCANDALOUS NIGHT by MAGGI ANDERSEN

Can one night with a rake be enough for a lifetime? 
Miss Bella Lacey desires to accomplish two things before settling into an unfulfilling marriage to the man her father has chosen. First, she intends to inveigle a goodly amount of money for her orphans from a man of means, and second, to have one night of passion to help her endure the dreary years ahead.

When Derrick, Lord Eaglestone, a wealthy viscount with a scandalous reputation, agrees to donate to Miss Lacey’s charity, he has only seduction in mind. Little does he suspect that Miss Lacey has already chosen him to debauch her before she weds another. The lady has virtually fallen into his lap, but much to his annoyance, he finds himself reluctant to oblige her.

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by VICTORIA VANE

When dealing with the Devil, it's easy to get burned…
Who can find a virtuous woman… Beautiful, respectable, and dutiful, Lady Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley has long resigned herself to her twelve-year loveless and childless marriage to a feckless husband…until his gambling pushes them to the brink of financial ruin.

Sometimes the devil is disguised as a gentleman… Viscount Ludovic, "The Devil” DeVere is accustomed to taking what he wants heedless of the cost, until he encounters a woman who won't be had at any price.

She found heaven in the devil’s arms... When Diana discovers a secret that shatters the carefully built fa├žade concealing her private pain, she seeks aid and comfort from the most unlikely place…the devil's arms. But will a single night of heavenly passion damn them both forever?

UNDER A SILVER MOON by HILDIE MCQUEEN

The shadows of the past fall over Silver City, Idaho casting its darkness over a man and a woman attempting to start anew. 
When US Marshal Lucas McKade and new deputy of Silver City decided to settle down, he didn't consider how his presence could bring complications to the townspeople of his new home.  Against every instinct he seeks out apothecary owner Camille Johnston, a woman who calls to his basic nature to protect and to make his. 

Camille Johnston knows that eventually the secrets of her past will come to haunt, yet she hopes to keep things hidden as long as possible and enjoy her lonely but peaceful existence in Silver City.  The new deputy brings with him desires she'd thought firmly shut away.  A relationship of any kind comes with very dangerous consequences. 

A story of Lucas and Camille, who attempt to leave a past behind only to find true happiness, comes when they face it.

WHAT HE WANTS by LYNNE CONNOLLY

Love hides in unexpected places...
London businesswoman Annie Cathcart can’t bring herself to enter into another business arrangement masquerading as marriage. When her current landlord demands her hand in exchange for her continued use of the property, there is only one answer—she must find another house.  Upon inquiring after a property owned by the dashing Earl of Carbrooke, the last thing she expects is an indecent proposal. Forced to choose, should she risk everything she’s worked so hard for and trust a man she hardly knows —or sink back into her lackluster life?
Upon unexpectedly inheriting the Earldom of Carbrooke, Gerald Dersingham fears his carefree days are behind him—until a sensuous widow inquires after his former residence. Unable to resist the temptation to have one last liaison before settling down with the lovely but boring Lady Elizabeth, he offers her one night of passion in return for the lease, little knowing how explosive and far reaching the consequences will be....
PLEASURE HOUSE BALL by SUZI LOVE

Love revealed at a courtesan’s ball.
Brenton, Lord Mallory, attends his first courtesan’s ball in ten years to appease his concerned friends, though he’d rather stay home and read to his motherless daughters. To protect his friend, Lady Lillian Armstrong, Brenton hides her in a wardrobe, but his resistance, and years of self-imposed celibacy, shatters when her soft curves press against him. 

Though mortified that Brenton unmasked her at the scandalous ball, Lillian doesn’t regret their night together. But will the object of her girlish adoration still treat her as his best friend’s little sister, or will he now see her as a mature and willing woman?     

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Release Day: The Frenchman's Widow

It's the new year and I forgot to make a list of resolutions. So let me make one now: I resolve to continue writing novels.

And... Here is the next one.

The Frenchman's Widow is book three in the Imogene Farrell series. I love this girl. She's a true changeling, masquerading as a boy and trying to stay alive in Victorian London. When her brothers are on the run from the law, she hides with Mary Fitzpatrick, an old friend of her deceased mother.

There, Imogene learns some of the ways of lady and what she doesn't know, she can mimic. Her old foes are still looking for her and when she is at her most desperate, Jack Davenport, sweeps into her life to rescue her. In exchange, she agrees to be his mistress.

It is no hardship for Imogene. She has loved him for the first moment they met.

But when Jack marries, he and Imogene separate. Imogene can't be the other woman in Jack's life and she can't trust the man Jack calls his friend - Geoffrey Shiffington. Without her brothers, Imogene isn't safe in London so escapes to Paris where fortune is more kind.

The Frenchman's Widow picks up five years later, when Imogene returns to London to attend her brother Charlie's graduation from King's College seminary. Unbeknown to her, Jack has helped Charlie with his education and his acceptance at King's. Jack also provided a suitable job for Danny at one his farms in Deal.

Jack really has been a god-send to the Farrells. Only Jack is still married. Time hasn't dulled Imogene's feelings for him. Accepting that Jack will never be hers, she sets about building a life for herself, her family and the tide of children who find their way to Imogene's door.

I should mention Dar Albert - she designed these series covers for me. And I JUST LOVE THIS ONE. It is so Imogene - showing her determination.

I hope you enjoy this novel. The final book, Lady Prescott's Confidential Matter, will be out next month, which you can pre-order now.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza




I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and to celebrate the holidays I am giving away ebooks! What you sayz? Yep, all of the ebooks I have released are eligible (and are still "in print" and not including anthologies). 



Is there a book missing from your collection? Or are you just starting out and not sure what to read?









Here's all you gotta do: 

1) On the front page of my blog sign up for Eliza by Email
2) In the comments of this thread, tell me which ebook you want - don't forget your email address and how you want the book delivered (Nook, Kindle, etc.) The first person to tag/claim one of my ebook wins it. If someone beats you to the book you wanted, post a second choice in another comment. We'll do this until one of each book has been claimed or until December 31st. Oh, and one win per person.

Remember: First person to claim a book by its title, wins it!

I'm limiting this to Kindle, Nook and Ellora's Cave, since I have accounts with each of them.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

My Writer Friends: Welcome Ruth D. Kerce!

I'm so happy to have my friend Ruth Kerce in to tell us about her Christmas novellas. How did we become friends? We shared a release day some years ago (plus we are Word With Friends competitors.)

CHRISTMAS READS from Ruth D. Kerce

A big thank you to the wonderful Eliza Lloyd for allowing me to promo my newest Christmas release on her blog.  I’m also going to sneak in a promo for a limited-time, Christmas freebie for readers.  I hope you enjoy both stories.

CHRISTMAS COWBOY is part of the Reindeer Games multi-author, holiday series.  My particular story is a stand-alone, short novella (erotic romance).

==========
BLURB: He breeds horses. So what’s a cowboy do with reindeer? She knows he can breed & sell the reindeer, if he’ll only believe. Together they find their miracle and also find love.
==========

This story was such fun to write.  I write multi-genre romances, but being born and raised in Oklahoma, sexy cowboys are always a favorite for me to write.

Purchase CHRISTMAS COWBOY at:


XMAS AFFAIR is a short contemporary, holiday story which I indie published several years ago.  It’s a sensual romance and a quick read, showing that holiday wishes can come true...

==========
BLURB: There's no hunk to kiss under the mistletoe until a past love reappears in her life. He left her once. Can she ever trust him again? Does she even want to?
==========

This story will be free at Amazon from Dec 23rd through Dec 27th (if Amazon runs the promo as scheduled). Tell your friends!

Download XMAS AFFAIR free (for a limited time) only at:  Amazon


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ruth D. Kerce was born in Oklahoma to a military family. She’s lived various places, including overseas. Not wanting to be confined in her stories, she decided to write multi-genre romances and loves the variety and freedom it gives her. She holds multiple degrees and has been a teacher, analyst & web guru. Now living in Nevada, she writes fulltime when life doesn’t get in the way.
Ruth’s website: http://www.RuthKerce.com 
Connect on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RuthKerce

Or email Ruth: RDKerce@aol.com

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Regency Country Life

I am very much charmed by English country homes with the large barns, green hill sides with grazing sheep, rock fences and nearby streams with the gently turning water wheels. These were the homes of squires and modest barons. The Bennets had such a home in Pride and Prejudice.

They had great names, usually prompted by a local natural feature or nearby historical monument: Broadoaks, Moat Farm, Oak Farm, Lakeland, Manor Farm, Church Farm, Old Hall Farm. In Wicked Siren (Wicked Affairs, 6), my country baron Alex Preston lived in Kent at Oak Hoo:

“Prior to my family owning the home, it was called Oak Hoo. Hoo being an old Saxon name for the spur of a hill.”
“Oak Hill, is it?”
“No. We never changed the name. Most
everyone still calls the place Hoo.”

Naturally when I pictured Oak Hoo, I pictured this.

And then there was Glen Arbor, the home of Edward Chase, the Earl of Redding. This story was Wicked Lord (Wicked Affairs, 3). While the home had all of the bucolic earmarks of a country manor, this home was more stately with matching landscaped grounds. Edward even tries to charm his new wife by telling her about the deer that graze on the lawns.

Edward’s gaze followed hers, glancing at the Palladian monument, a testimony to his great-grandfather’s grandiosity. Edward did enjoy the breezy old mansion, but then he’d grown up here, running the fields, swimming its lakes and riding everywhere else.

Palladian architecture is a European style of architecture derived from and inspired by the designs of the Venetian architect Andrea Palladio (1508–1580). That which is recognized as Palladian architecture today is an evolution of Palladio's original concepts. Palladio's work was strongly based on the symmetry, perspective and values of the formal classical temple architecture of the Ancient Greeks and Romans – Wikipedia

This style was also popular during the colonial period and through the Revolutionary War in America. Palladian can still be considered a simple, boxy style home in contrast to the showy Georgian architecture which would typically involved white paint, crescent shapes and wrought iron balconies.





It is hard for some to think of the Regency period outside of London ballrooms and the flurry of the Season but the country house parties, the poor relatives and the vicar’s daughter were best featured in rural settings. I find a lot of comfort in the idea of changing seasons, planting and plowing and the inevitable cycle of life and death. Both the squire and the duke would maintain their herds, breed their horse stock and “chill” in the country.

Nearly all of my story arcs end up in the country: for healing, for peace, for family time. I find the English countryside to be one of my favorite story settings.