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.


“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.


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 every word the second and third time. Three of my favorite words ever 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. 


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.