Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nothing Like A Good Book... And Chocolate

Hello. I'm just back from a long two week trip for the EDJ. For those who follow me on Facebook, you've probably seen a few of the pics I title: Chocolates From Around the World. Well, I'm going to post a few for you. Then, later this week, I'm going to post some really great shots from Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. What a great opera house!

But let's talk chocolate to start.

Chocolate cake with ice cream and a dollop of vanilla - Milan, Italy. Beautifully plated. Gordon Ramsey would be proud.


A cute white chocolate cake with raspberry gelatin-like topping. In Sao Paulo, Brazil



Basically tricked out chocolate brownies. A nice hotel welcome also in Sao Paulo. The candy coating I didn't try but it was pretty.


It's a chocolate malt, with chocolate shavings and Oval-tine at my favorite burger joint in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I don't know if it's impolite to slurp. See the chocolate drips down the inside? There was a great, gooey clump of chocolate at the bottom of my glass!

Profiteroles at Mr. B's Bistro in NOLA. These were lip-smacking delicious. I almost went back a second day just to have these again. BTW, Mr. B's was excellent all around.




New Orleans. A fluer-de-lis candy with three layers. Mmmmm.



Chocolate mousse shots - Guayaquil, Ecuador







Fondant - Sao Paulo
Love this clever use of the spoon to sprinkle the chocolate powder.



There you have it! So I titled this "Nothing Like A Good Book... So I should also mention the good book I am reading right now. Mary Balogh's series The Survivor's Club, titled The Escape. Mary just has a way about making suffering beautiful especially when love is there to heal the wounds.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Welcome Back Jess Michaels!

Jess Michaels is back! Her newest release A Matter of Sin comes out on July 15th!

Here's the blurb:

The widowed Lady Isabel Avenbury has one remaining younger sister to shepherd into an advantageous marriage, and then she will be free. Free to take a lover to fill her lonely nights—the only option left for a woman on the delicate edge of a certain age.

Except when she chaperones her sister to a country house party, she is taken aback by her sudden, undeniable attraction to the host. And deliciously scandalized when she finds a copy of the notorious, much-gossiped-about Ladies Book of Pleasures in his library.

When Seth Rowland, Marquis Lyndham, notices his book is missing, his interest is piqued as to which of the potential young brides at his party has absconded with it—and he’s shocked to discover it’s Isabel. Though older than the women he’d planned to court, the powerful beauty exudes a sensuality he cannot ignore.

The book inspires them to begin a desperate, passionate affair. But their time together is running out and they must choose. Follow society’s rules, or take a chance at love.

Excerpt:

“As soon as I’ve seen my sister wedded to the right gentleman, I intend to take a lover.”
As the words came from her lips, Isabel, the Countess of Avenbury, folded her hands in her lap and looked evenly across the table at her two best friends.

“Isabel!” Lady Jacinda burst out as she set her teacup down with a clatter. Her sensitive friend’s eyes were almost impossibly wide and her cheeks pink with outrage and embarrassment.

Isabel arched a brow. Well, there was one reaction judged. She turned her gaze toward her other best friend, the Duchess of Jameswood. She found that Grace was simply staring at her, one eyebrow arched and her teacup paused halfway in its journey to her full lips.

“I see you disapprove my choice as much as Jacinda seems to,” Isabel said softly.

Grace lowered her cup with measured slowness. “No, that isn’t it at all, my dear. I simply didn’t expect to hear you, of all people, say such a thing.”

“Really, Isabel!” Jacinda said with a quick nod. “You have always been so responsible. So dependable.”

Isabel smiled. Jacinda spoke words that said she was scandalized, but there was no judgment to her tone, nor in her expression, only worry. And why wouldn’t she be concerned? Jacinda knew the consequences of scandal.

“You make me sound like my late husband’s favorite spaniel,” Isabel mused. “Dear old Rex was quite dependable as well, if I recall.”

Jacinda flushed and swallowed. “Oh, Isabel, I didn’t mean—”

Isabel caught her gentle friend’s hand and held it lightly. “Of course you didn’t. Don’t trouble yourself, I didn’t say it in anger. I can see you’re only concerned about my reputation.”

Author Info:
Jess Michaels writes erotic historical romance and has also written historical romance and urban fantasy (under different names). She has published nearly 50 books, been a bestseller and award winner. When not writing, she enjoys video games, hanging with her husband and being the geekiest aunt ever. She lives in Tucson with her husband and two old lady cats.

Links:



Monday, July 7, 2014

Nine Best Historical Romance Writers

I've been thinking about this list for some time. There really are some great historical romance writers out there and they are some of the best romance writers in general. Tell me your favorite historical writers and the best book they've written...

And here they are:

Kathleen Woodiwiss
            Kathleen’s dialogue is spot on and her prose epic. We are on a first name basis with her characters. We want to be owned by Wulfgar, on the high seas with Captain Birmingham and seduced by Cole Latimer.
            FIVE STAR RECOMMENDATION: The Wolf and the Dove



Eloisa James
            Eloisa blends clever wit and unusual plots. She gives us a reason to hate the protagonists and then forces us to love them, even that scoundrel Villiers. Her heroines get matted hair, her heroes lose chess matches to their wives and she welcomes with open arms bastards and governesses.
            FIVE STAR RECOMMENDATION: This Duchess of Mine

Loretta Chase
            Loretta is another dialogue queen who writes the naughtiest little stories – clever naughty, you know - innuendo and intimacy coupled with unlikely heroines and dashing rakes. I don’t think there is a more lovable hero who so hates himself as Lord Dane. It just goes to show the right woman, handled with the skill of Loretta’s keyboard, can make everything right, even for Dane.
            FIVE STAR RECOMMENDATION: Lord of Scoundrels

Mary Balogh
            Mary. Mary. Mary. How I love thy words. She has written two of my ALL-TIME all-time favorite novels: The Secret Pearl and Simply Love. There is no one who can write such flawed, wounded characters, especially the men, the way Mary does, deftly using their wounds and their honor in such a beautifully moving way.
            FIVE STAR RECOMMENDATION: The Secret Pearl

Sherry Thomas
            Sherry has some KW qualities with beautiful, clever prose and excellent history added in for flavor. I’ve read all of Sherry’s books and enjoy ever word the second and third time. Three of my favorite words every written are “Leo. Leo. Leo.” Read those words in the context of Not Quite A Husband and your heart will break too!
            FIVE STAR RECOMMENDATION: Not Quite A Husband

Madeline Hunter
            I don’t see Madeline’s name on enough Top Ten lists. Again, we have another history buff who provides an excellent backdrop to her stories along with very unconventional plots. Madeline has an excellent command of language, using words in such a clever way.
            FIVE STAR RECOMMENDATION: The Charmer

Liz Carlyle
            I find Liz and MH to be very similar in their writing style, though Liz will just come out and say things like they are - with no sugar coating. I remember one phrase that cracked me up, something about sucking the brass off a candlestick. Well, you get the idea. Liz is a darker storyteller with dryer humor.
            FIVE STAR RECOMMENDATION: The Devil To Pay

Julia Quinn
            Well, no one can dispute that Julia is the queen of comedy in a historical romance and maybe comedy isn’t the right word. Her stories are just full of fun and smiles. All of her heroes feel like they could be my brother and the women my sisters. Delightful is the word that describes Julia’s writing.
            FIVE STAR RECOMMENDATION: The Duke and I

Joanna Bourne
            Joanna is another fantastic in depth historical writer and she tackles history from a unique perspective, not (just) the ballrooms but in prisons and the byways of life. Her stories are gritty but the prose and dialogue perfection!
            FIVE STAR RECOMMENDATION: The Spymaster’s Lady


 I know I'm crushing all the Lisa Kleypas and Elizabeth Hoyt fans, so you'll have to make your case.

Stop by the I Love Historical Romance Facebook page and join the discussion this Thursday, which I will be co-hosting!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What's David Gandy Been Up To?


Once again I have been slacking off. I need to catch you up on what David is doing, in case you aren't following my favorite person in the whole world.

This past eighteen months, David has gone from an industry icon to a household name. He's been everywhere and his most recent success includes a music video with one of the biggest names in the business: Jennifer Lopez!

Watch this and tell me he isn't the hottest thing going!



London Collections: Men

David Gandy by Melissa Uren for The Man Has Style at London Collections: Men


David Gandy by Melissa Uren for The Man Has Style at London Collections: Men
 
David was a fixture at LC:M again this June. He had lots of great new tailored clothes and hot cars. Even better, I didn't have to see any pictures of him with a girlfriend! No one is good enough for dear David! 


Here is a link to his most recent post at the Telegraph talking about his style choices for this year. 


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/fashion-and-style/10935577/David-Gandy-what-to-wear-to-a-fashion-show.html


Don't forget to follow David. He's on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And he still blogs semi-regularly at Vogue and the Telegraph.


Thanks for stopping by. Don't forget my newest release is out now: Age of Innocence, Book Three in the Mad Duchesses series.

The final installment of this series, The Day After, should be out sometime in August. Fingers crossed.








Friday, June 20, 2014

Welcome Natasha Blackthorne

Please welcome Natasha Blackthorne to the site today.

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to my book blitz for the .99 sale on A Measured Risk, Regency Risks Book One.

I am giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.
On Sale .99 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
June 20-22, 2014




A MEASURED RISK
By Natasha Blackthorne


Book one in the Regency Risks Series

He is her most dangerous temptation, the only man she has ever trusted and now he is demanding her submission. Dare she take the risk?

Emotionally scarred in the horrific accident that took her husband’s life, Lady Cranfield is imprisoned by her lingering terror of horses and carriages. She longs to be closer to the fascinating Earl of Ruel, as she senses intuitively that he might be able to teach her how to overcome the terrors that hold her in bondage.

And now she’s willing to risk almost anything—her reputation, even her virtue—to find out.

But what Lord Ruel proposes startles her.

When the shy, studious and socially awkward young widow approaches him, Lord Ruel instantly senses she will be the sweetest, most submissive experience of his life—but first he must gain her complete trust. Lord Ruel makes Lady Cranfield a non-negotiable offer: 

His help in return for her submission and obedience.

But Lady Cranfield grew up neglected by her ducal parents, raised by servants and then later ignored by her handsome, charming husband. She’s learnt to protect her heart at all costs and she trusts no one but herself.

How can the jaded Earl of Ruel break through Lady Cranfield’s self-defences and show her how to love when he himself has spent his life avoiding that tender trap?

Erotica Romance ~ Light BDSM ~ Rubenesque / BBW ~ Regency Historical ~ Shy Heroine ~ Novel Length 86,000 Words . Contains graphic erotic descriptions and frank sexual language. As a work of historical romance fiction, A Measured Risk is not intended to be an accurate portrayal of modern BDSM lifestyles.

Excerpt from A Measured Risk

©Copyright Natasha Blackthorne 2012, 2013
For Adults 18+ Only

She backed all the way into the bookcase.

Why did you run away?” His deep voice settled in her belly, rich and warm, like crème brûlée on a cold winter’s night.


Because I wanted you to follow.” She tried to sound sophisticated and seductive, but her voice choked off on the last word.


Ruel placed his hand on the shelf above her head and blocked her path to the door. His tall, solidly muscled body leaned over her, surrounding her with the sumptuous, sinful scents of tobacco, Scotch whisky and something masculine and undeniably dangerous. A slow, sensual smile stretched his hard mouth.


He appeared different. Softer. More approachable.


At the change, her insides seemed to flip over.


Well, sweeting, getting us off alone was a very inspired idea.” He touched one of her fallen ringlets. “I am bored to distraction with endless talk of hunting and fencing.”


As he slowly wrapped the curl around two fingers, he brushed her collarbone. Fiery sparks tingled down her spine, so intense that she shivered and her nipples beaded, pressing against her stays. By some instinct she hadn’t even known she possessed, she arched her back, presenting herself for his assessment.


His eyes shone so vividly blue against his bronzed face that they resembled cornflowers. She swallowed tightly and wished for a long drink of claret. This more personal side of him suddenly seemed far more hazardous than his usually fierce exterior.


Well, no matter. There was nothing to fear. She would allow only as much contact as need be to get to know him a little. Since being torn from her lonely yet secure life in Ireland and thrust into Society at age sixteen, she’d spent her time allowing people only as near as was comfortable. She was an expert at emotional evasion.


It should be easy to regain her control.


But now, as rays of the late-afternoon sun played over his pale hair, turning it the colour of winter wheat, all her carefully rehearsed words flew from her mind.


Say something—anything—else he will think you’re a bird-wit.


An intimate smile, one that invited her to play, tugged at his mouth.


In a situation like this, alone with a gentleman, it’s perfectly normal for a lady to feel some apprehension.” His hushed voice, barely audible above the piano and boisterous singing from down the corridor, accentuated their isolation. His gaze became so piercing that she had to lower her eyes.


He brushed his fingertips over her cheek. “She will invariably ask herself if he will try to kiss her.”


She jerked her eyes back to his face. God, he couldn’t mean to—not yet, surely… Peculiar, heated chills swept over her. She tried to take a step back, but found her arse flush against the bookshelf.


He leaned closer; so close that his Scotch-scented breath tickled her face. “And just in case you are wondering, Lady Cranfield—the answer is most assuredly yes.”


She should demand that he put his arm down so she could pass by and leave. She really should. But she couldn’t stop looking at his hard mouth and wondering what it would feel like upon hers. He was so close to her that his breath blew on her lips. If she moved but a fraction, she’d be kissing him.


Kissing him.


Dear God. Her breaths began to come very fast and short. Her throat went tight with a suppressed moan.


His eyes burnt as brightly as aquamarines. He looked so fierce. If he kissed her, if he dared… Oh God, it would be so harsh. That cruel-looking mouth could express itself no other way.


Excitement rushed through her, sending tingles to every point of her body, even her toes.

But no, he wouldn’t. Not yet.

He kept leaning closer. He didn’t close his eyes. Instead, he seemed to focus all the harder upon her.


Her heart pounding, unable to move away, she braced herself for his assault.


His lips brushed hers, barely. A gossamer caress.


He lifted his head.


It was done.


Ended.


And it hadn’t even begun.


He held her chin, appearing so cool, so unaffected. His kiss had seemed to sear her. An urge to put her fingers to her lips arose in her. She resisted it, for it would give away too much of how she was affected.


Never show your feelings.


He traced his thumb along her lower lip, slowly, deliberately, as he studied her with eyes that now glittered with something powerful and predatory. Heat pooled in her pelvis, low and spreading even lower.


She went weak all over, as if she’d lain in a sunny window seat for too long. Her knees almost buckled. She forced them to lock. To be strong.


It should not have affected her so profoundly. It had been just a peck—not a true kiss at all. William had poured out all of his skill upon her and hadn’t garnered even a tenth of the reaction in her that this man’s peck had.


Ruel traced her jaw line with his fingertips. Unthinkingly, she leaned in to his touch.

Of course, once he has kissed her, then it’s his turn to wonder…” His voice sounded unnaturally loud in her ears. “How will she respond? Will she withdraw, or can he ignite some hidden fire?”

She sensed that he was toying with her. She didn’t understand flirtation—why had she imagined she could carry off this ruse? Was he making advances in order to have a laugh with Francesca and her simpering friends later? Hurt blossomed in her chest. She resented him for that. She ought to feel indignant, superior, uncaring—anything but hurt.

Please don’t make sport of me.”

She cringed. Was that quavering, pleading voice really hers?


An infinitesimal pause. “Now, why on earth would I do such a thing?” His voice was as smooth as velvet.


To please your vanity,” she replied, trying to regain her wits.


Here.” He placed her hand to his chest. The contours of his muscles were hard, powerfully developed. Even more so than she’d expected. His body heat radiated through the satin and, beneath her hand, his heart’s beat was rapid and strong.


Is that vanity?” He put a finger under her chin, giving her no choice but to face him. “Is it?” He gentled his grip.


The warmth in his voice settled over her like luscious hot chocolate. Melting her insides to quivering burgoo, rendering her speechless, unable to move.


My dear, lovely Lady Cranfield, I am going kiss you again.”


About Natasha Blackthorne:

Escape into the past with intensely erotic, emotionally driven love stories. Natasha Blackthorne writes character-focused historical erotica romance featuring strong internal conflicts. Her stories are most frequently about the intimate journey of the characters as they learn to open their hearts to love.

Her heroines are not perfect ladies. They are wildflowers and wallflowers who enjoy flirting with the forbidden. Whether they are bold or shy, her heroines’ strong desires and deep emotions drive the plot and drive their heroes to the point of no return.

Connect with Natasha Blackthorne:
Please feel free to "Friend" me on Facebook or subscribe to my public feed.

My Blog

 To Purchase A Measured Risk Now Please Click Here:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

Giveaway:

 Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. The giveaway is open to all current USA residents who are aged 18 or older. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below. By entering to win, you are stating that it is legal for you to enter such contests where you currently reside. Giveaway ends: 12 AM Eastern Time on June 30, 2014.

Link to the Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8361aa84

Good luck and thank you for visiting with me today.




Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Freebie on Kindle - Lessons in Mountain Climbing

Hi guys! Just a quick reminder you can get Book One in the Far From Home series, titled Lessons in Mountain Climbing free on Amazon. This will be the only time I offer one of my self-pub books for free, so hope you take advantage. Don't forget Book Two, Lessons in Fly Fishing just came out. Hope you enjoy them both and if you have a chance, I'd love a review! :)

http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Mountain-Climbing-Far-Home-ebook/dp/B00K5GS0KQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402263363&sr=8-1&keywords=eliza+lloyd+lessons

Here's the blurb: 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.