On Tuesday on Facebook I held my own vote. And the results are in.
In the question of:
With 68% of the vote…BOOTS!
In the life-changing matter of:
By a landslide of 89%—Pie (I didn’t vote, but I was with the two others who chose cake!)
Now, for the second hardest question of the day:
A little background on this, by the dictionary’s definition, yes, a hotdog is considered a type of sandwich. However, the wiener council (which I didn’t even know existed until recently) says NO! A hotdog is so much more than a sandwich.
In our poll–exactly 66.7% said…NO!!!! The Wiener Council will love that. 😀
Now for the MOST important question of the day:
The winner was…a TIE between the two most opposite heroes I’ve written: Gateway and Alex. So then it came time for a tie breaker, and the official winner is..
Congratulations to him he and his swell head will continue to reign as my most beloved hero–
And my crown?
Crown? What crown?
Don’t I get a crown for winning?
No, you should go away.
Go away? Is that any way to treat your most beloved hero?
*sighs* Ladies, it appears as if he cannot be stopped, so please welcome Benjamin Collins, Duke of Gateway to the stage to make a speech.
Make a speech?
Yes, you want to be seen or shall we say heard–so you can make a speech. Go on then. Here’s your microphone.
And a podium?
I doubt you’d even use it if you had one.
Likely not. All right. *clears throat and taps on the microphone* Hear ye, hear ye!
–Benjamin, please stop being self-important.
GATEWAY: *turns to me, lips pursed* You brought my wife here?
ROSE: Yes, I thought it was the only way to keep a handle on you. *waves Madison over to sit next to me* Now, as you were saying?
GATEWAY *deep sigh* I might get in trouble for this later, but truly how often does one get to accept such an award?
GATEWAY: Yes, my love?
MADISON: Behave yourself.
GATEWAY: I will. *winks* Ladies, Gents and anyone else in listening distance–
ROSE: You do know this is an acceptance speech?
GATEWAY; Yes, I just want to make sure they’re listening. *turns back to his microphone* Ladies, I want to thank you all for your votes, support and loving me–
MADISON: Loving you? Should you really be thanking other women for loving you?
GATEWAY: They can love me all they want, but I still love you. Only you. Now can I finish this? Rose needs to go make dinner.
ROSE: Make dinner? It’s barely 12:30– If you think you’re going to talk THAT long, you’re-
GATEWAY: It won’t take that long if you two would stop interrupting me.
ROSE: You have two minutes to say your piece.
GATEWAY: *smirks* Well, ladies, it could all be summed up with three words: I beat Andrew–who, by the way, didn’t get a single vote. No, my closest completion was Alex! But I shall refrain from being so childish.
MADISON: *mutters under her breath* That’ll be a first.
GATEWAY: Pardon, did you say something?
MADISON: *waves him off* Nothing. Are you done?
GATEWAY: No, I think my two minutes should restart.
ROSE: No, I think you’re done. You’ve thanked your loyal readers and gloated that you beat Andrew.
GATEWAY: I didn’t gloat! Gloating would have been, I beat Andrew. I beat Andrew. I beat Andrew. I beat Andrew. I didn’t do that.
ROSE: You practically did. Now, thank you for your time–
GATEWAY: Ladies, I am so humbled to have the honor to have been awarded such a high honor. I know I’m hard to love, but I thank you all for loving me.
MADISON: Perfect, Benjamin, let’s go before you choke on your own tongue.
GATEWAY: Wait, isn’t there a prize?
ROSE: No. Are you six?
GATEWAY: *frowns* No, but even winners at award shows get statuettes…
GATEWAY: Well, that’s nice, but you know the olympians get medals…
GATEWAY: Hmmm. What about a trophy?
ROSE: Is a statuette wearing a medal not enough?
GATEWAY: No, I think a trophy is in order, too.
GATEWAY: There, that’s better.
ROSE: What did you write on that?
GATEWAY: Madison, love, are you ready to go?
ROSE: You’re impossible.
GATEWAY: That’s why I’m the favorite.
I’m so glad he has a woman who can manage him. On behalf of the Duke of Incorrigible and myself, I want to thank everyone who participated in the polls. Gateway was one of my favorites right from the start. I just love him and I’m so touched to so many others did, too.
If you didn’t get a chance to cast a vote and would like to add your voice to the comments below, I have two more highly important matters that need to be decided but we ran out of time on Tuesday.
Election Day is tomorrow! Escape the chaos and vote for your favorite Rose Gordon Hero–
Online of course, not really on your ballot.
So in the spirit of “I cannot handle anymore political turmoil and arguing”, I will be hosting my own list of measures to vote on up on Facebook tomorrow. I am not holding a totally fair vote because I don’t plan to post all the questions here tonight–you’ll have to visit my Facebook Page to vote on all the measures. (And of course there will be plenty of prizes to go around.)
The big question, however, is…Who at the end of the night will be crowned the most beloved Rose Gordon. This hero will get special privileges (don’t they all already??) for the next four years and of course be crowned the King of Rose Gordon’s Heroes at the end of the night.
Now of course with so many candidates, it’s only right to hold a small debate so without further ado, I have brought them all here to give a short speech about why THEY deserve such an honor…
[I should warn you that much like the other debates we’ve all witnessed this year, most of the candidates do NOT stay on topic and interrupt each other often…Be warned.]
Gentlemen, in three sentences, or less, could you please tell us why YOU should hold the coveted spot of Most Beloved Rose Gordon Hero for the next four years. We shall go in order of appearance, Andrew Black, Earl of Townson, we shall begin with you.
BENJAMIN COLLINS, DUKE OF GATEWAY: Pardon me, Rose, but actually I appeared before Townson. *grins wildly and folds his arms across his puffed out chest* And in his own book no less…
That will be enough of that.
ANDREW: Yes, we all remember that profound moment, you made the book start with a bang…or should I say a slap heard around the world?
Enough! You two are starting to remind me of real life too much and I do wield the power to remove you both from the running. Now, we shall begin—in the order of heroes. Andrew, you’re your first.
ANDREW—HERO FROM INTENTIONS OF THE EARL: As Rose’s first hero, I should think the honor belongs to me. Not only as the first am I the one she obviously used up her best traits and dialogue with, but I am also the one whose book has been read most, therefore I am most well known.
shoots a sharp look at Gateway
GATEWAY: *throws hands up into the air* I’m entitled to my own opinion on that. His book might have been downloaded more, but have you seen those reviews?
No and I don’t care to. Paul, your turn.
PAUL—HERO FROM LIBERTY FOR PAUL: I was saddled with Liberty, need I say more?
*sighs* If you didn’t fall madly in love with her by the end, I’d say the honor is yours by default, but…
PAUL: *grins* All right, I think I should be the favorite because A. I got Liberty to stop reading—and quoting—books on propriety; B. I also beat her at her own game; and C. I had my clothes stolen while in the tub, D. beans—that were supposed to be my head—stabbed to an oblivion AND E. am ninety percent sure that my mother-in-law glimpsed me naked. Franky, I’m a damn shoo-in.
Ahem, well, I’m not sure what to say to that. Next?
GATEWAY—HERO FROM TO WIN HIS WAYWARD WIFE: No, Paul, I’m the shoo-in. I’ve been Rose’s most loved hero from the start.
ANDREW: Yes, I recall everyone rooting for you all during my romance with Brooke. NOT!
GATEWAY: As I said, I’ve always been the favorite. Have any of you ever peeked in Rose’s inbox? No? It’s me the young girls write about and tell tales of their swooning and say if Arid Alex over there could fashion a time machine, they’d travel–
SIR WALLACE BENEDICT: I believe you’ve spoken more than three sentences.
*all eyes swing to Wallace who is adjusting his cravat*
GATEWAY: Sorry, chap, I was trying to stop at a prime number.
And I have a feeling you aren’t done yet… Nonetheless, you are for now. Alex?
ALEX BANKS—HERO FROM HER SUDDEN GROOM: If I was playing the pity card like Paul, I’d remind everyone I have the nickname of Arid Alex and was once betrothed to Lady Olivia. *shudders* However, I shall instead remind you all of my intellectual pursuits of a regular subscription to Prominent and Avant-Garde Horticulture, being an avid student of chess, having been entrusted to be the guardian of several young ladies…and as Gateway so nicely pointed out, if anyone was capable of creating a time machine, I’m your hero. Therefore, most beloved hero…again, I’m your hero.
GATEWAY: Are we supposed to applaud now?
ANDREW:I don’t know, but his speech is more worthy of applause than yours.
I won’t warn you two again. One more outburst and you’ll be excused from the room.
GATEWAY: Are you threatening voter fraud?
No! You’ll still be in the running, I can’t delete you from the ballot at this late date, but I will banish you from the room so you won’t be able to have another word. Now, let’s hear from Marcus.
MARCUS, LORD SINCLAIR—HERO FROM HER RELUCTANT GROOM: Hands down, I think everyone would agree I am the most honorable of all of your heroes. Even the ones who are given such an honor in their book title— *casts his grey eyes to where Sebastian, Giles and Simon, the three heroes from the Gentlemen of Honor Series, are seated* —I had a lovely young woman staying in my house unchaperoned for quite a while and not a whisper of scandal befell either of us. Nor was she in any way unmarriagable when she left.
PATRICK—HERO FROM HER SECONDHAND GROOM: *snorts* Sir Wallace might disagree with that. She wasn’t very interested in marrying him after you’d given her a lesson in male anatomy and base desires courtesy of a little book in your library.
MARCUS: I’d say all four of our wives— *gestures to Alex, Patrick, Sir Wallace and himself* —benefited in some way from Lady Bird’s Ladybird Memoir.
SIR WALLACE: *clearing his throat, and whispering* I can’t complain too much about that book, Patrick.
MARCUS: *stretches legs out in front of himself, crosses ankles* See? Emma’s gift to Edwina was the perfect apology.
ALEX: Your wife gave that…that…filth to my sister?!
GATEWAY: *cackles* Sir Wallace, you rascal! *lets out a low whistle and shakes his head* I suppose it’s true what they say, it’s always the quiet ones who are the biggest scoundrels. *stands and claps Sir Wallace on the shoulder* Since Rose is gesturing for me to get my arse out, I will go, but Sir Wallace, I’d be honored if you’d take my seat over in the Scandalous Series section. I do believe you having a naughty book has entitled you to a seat with the other debauchers. *bows* I shall take my leave now, I had no idea I was in such depraved company.
ALEX: *Scrubs hands over his face.* The image that is now in my head isn’t going away.
MARCUS: You’ll get over it. I do recall spotting a copy of it in your library. Need I remind you that you are married to my cousin?
ALEX: Point taken. Patrick, I think it’s your turn.
PATRICK “DRAKE”, LORD DRAKELY—HERO FROM HER SECONDHAND GROOM: I willingly admit that I made a few mistakes with Juliet, my heroine, but I’d like to think I redeemed myself during our trip to London. Also, if it weren’t for me, poor Simon over there would have never had his happily-ever-after. So in a way, I’m a HERO FROM two books.
ANDREW to ALEX: I think he’s been spending too much with Gateway, he’s getting a swell head.
ALEX back to ANDREW: That or with his wife and now he thinks he’s as good of a matchmaker as all those of her sex think they are.
PATRICK: I hate to tell you two weasels this, but Brooke and Caroline both think they’re some sort of skilled matchmakers, too.
All right, fellas, let’s stay on course. Sir Wallace?
SIR WALLACE BENEDICT—HERO FROM HER IMPERFECT GROOM: 1. Contrary to my book title, I am undeniably a perfectionist. 2. Unlike some of the others in this room, when scandal knocked on my door, I was ready to do the right thing. 3. Despite my love for being impeccably dressed and as proper as a straight pin as Rose put it, when love was on the line, I put my own wants aside and chased her down at all costs.
ALEX: Chased her down? No you scaled the side of my house and broke into her room.
SEBASTIAN—HERO FROM SECRETS OF A VISCOUNT: There is nothing wrong with that.
ALEX: There is when she didn’t invite him to do so.
SEBASTIAN: *face flushing, shrugs* Again, I don’t find anything wrong with it if he gets the girl in the end.
SIR WALLACE: I did. *pushes chest out* And an enlightening little treatise to boot.
Let’s move on to the heroes of the Brides Series. Edward?
EDWARD BANKS, LORD WATSON—HERO FROM HER CONTRACT BRIDE-: Oh? I get to enter the running, do I? I wasn’t sure if I’d get that honor since I’m the only one Rose killed off! I think that means I should forever be memorialized as the most beloved. Oh, is that too morbid? All right, I think ultimately I should be the most beloved hero because I’m the one responsible for building the stargazing gazebo that brought about at least two happily-ever-afters. If it weren’t for me being friends with the late Lord Sinclair, Alex wouldn’t have met Caroline—
ALEX: Or have been engaged to Lady Olivia.
EDWARD: Yes, as I mentioned before, I was lost in celebration that night. Believe me, there was a lot of celebrating. Joseph was finally free from having to visit Bea’s bed and the wine just kept flowing… *waves a hand through the air* Not to mention, I fixed things between Alex and Caro by reminding her that he’s a man. If it weren’t for me and Regina, Alex, Elijah, Henry and Edwina wouldn’t be here and I would have never been born and John wouldn’t have gone to America to meet his wife. And…finally, if it weren’t for me, Andrew wouldn’t have inherited such a beautiful painting.
ANDREW: Thank you. I’m still cherishing it.
JOHN BANKS—HERO FROM HIS YANKEE BRIDE: All right, Edward, we get that you’re making up for lost time of not getting any scenes in three of your four children’s books, but enough is enough. Besides, I know the true identity of that “artist”. Not to mention, you allowed your heroine to sink the Gallant…
EDWARD: She looked so fetching as the boat went down, I’d have allowed her to sink a whole armada had I had one.
All right, gentlemen, we have a lot more to hear from–
EDWARD: No we don’t, I’m the most beloved. *grins* They need not even speak.
JOHN: Now who has been spending too much time with Gateway?
John, it’s you’re turn.
JOHN: As hero to Carolina I have faithfully done my duty and played countless games of charades. I stood up to her beastly parents and rescued her closest confidant. I endured being sewn into a bundling bag, being watched shamelessly on while bathing in the pond, had to bear witness to a dirty, old merkin lying in the street while eloping, and in the end, swept my girl away from her parent’s evil clutches and eventually brought her and my three daughters to London where all of Rose’s stories began.
EDWARD: You’re rather smug, aren’t you, Trouble?
JOHN: *shrugs* The boot fits.
All right you two, nearly two hundred and fifty years later and you two are squabbling like little boys.
EDWARD: We’re brother’s, that’s what we’re supposed to do.
And now, for another set of Banks Brothers—Elijah?
ELIJAH BANKS—HERO FROM HIS JILTED BRIDE: *squares shoulders and slowly looks around the room* Fellas, you can all go home. This victory is mine. You all might think you rescued your heroines, but I—*points at chest*–I did. I not only saved her from being married to a scheming, lying, reprobate who likely would have done unmentionable things to her person, but I did it by shimmying her through a church window in her wedding gown, no less. *chuckles* And no more, either.
HENRY BANKS—ELIJAH’S TWIN AND HERO FROM HIS BROTHER’S BRIDE: What Elijah neglected to mention was said man hadn’t even shown up yet. So how exactly he spared her such a life… *shakes head* Can anyone truly be certain?
ELIJAH: Right you are, Henry. I was also rescuing her from the humiliation of being jilted. I thought that was implied by the title. And just because he hadn’t shown up yet that day, didn’t mean he didn’t still have plans for her.
HENRY: That’s true, however, had you not married her and just brought her to safety, you’d have been able to fulfill an earlier promise you’d made.
ELIJAH: Oh, you mean I’d have married Laura—YOUR wife? *cocks head to the side* If what I spied in the garden is any indication, I think you ought to be thanking me.
ELIJAH: My thanks?
HENRY: *stares at him* I’ll refrain from singing carols at Michaelmas this year.
ELIJAH: That’s even better.
Throws hand up. Henry, it’s your turn.
HENRY: *rubs chin* As I just mentioned I did marry the young lady Elijah had promised marriage to. And I don’t regret it. I did first try to find her another suitable husband because what else can you do when a woman you barely knows shows up on your front door stoop and demands marriage? If rescuing heroines is the key to winning, I should say that I rescued mine from herself when she was spitting out phrases in French that she didn’t know the meaning of. And finally, I do believe, I exercised perfect self-control in the carriage while taking my—not my brother’s *scowls*—bride to Scotland.
ELIJAH: And on the way back?
HENRY: Is none of your damn business.
EDWARD: That’s my boy.
JOHN: Only you would be proud.
EDWARD: Had your wife produced a boy, you’d understand. As it is your girls—
JOHN: Are the most scandalous sisters to ever step foot in London, yes, I know.
EDWARD: I was going ot say saints, but your definition works, too.
All right, we need to–
GATEWAY: *pokes his head in the room* Are you hens still clucking? You all know I won this competition before it even started.
ANDREW: Only if you’ve been out there rigging the votes… *arches eyebrow*
MARCUS: Besides, I think you’d do well to spend a little more time around Alex and allow him to explain to you the difference between hens and roosters.
GATEWAY: I can borrow Sir Wallace’s naughty book for that, I’m sure.
Gateway, come join us again. Apparently, without you making inane and unsolicited comments everyone else feels they need to.
GATEWAY–*lumbers in and falls into a vacant chair* Ah, to be the scapegoat.
Now, let’s switch gears and hear from our American heroes—Wes, are you ready?
CAPTAIN WES TUCKER—HERO FROM THE OFFICER AND THE BOSTONER: About as ready as I was for a spirited and slightly angry young lady to come parading into my life, throwing rocks and making impossible demands.
2ND LIEUTENANT JACK—HERO FROM THE OFFICER AND THE SOUTHERNER: Sounds to me like you’re complaining.
CAPTAIN GRAY—HERO FROM THE OFFICER AND THE TRAVELER: Which you certainly weren’t doing when she came. I do believe you went around whistling a merry little tune as you packed your things and strutted up to your new bedchamber in the married officers wing of the barracks.
WES: Indeed I was. But keep in mind, I managed to keep Allison safe from harm of the other men and from herself with a sewing needle. I used her excellent throw to all of our advantage and taught her how to swing a bat—she can now best even the best in rounders.
JACK: Yes, that all sounds so exciting, lest we forget your book isn’t a shoot’em up.
GRAY: No, that was saved for your book. Would you care to share with everyone just exactly what went on at the shooting range that day?
JACK: That was a private moment between Ella and me.
*laughter from around the room.*
EDWARD: Good for you, young man.
Jack, why should you be most beloved hero?
JACK: I certainly went through some of the worst—sent off for a mail-order bride and received a young lady who was angry with me from the start. *face reddens* For which I do take full responsibility. Nearly lost my heroine to a spider. Had to ride a horse with a man who wore little more than an eyepatch over his…unmentionables, sat in the tent of a naked and half-crazed medicine man—and that was only the first half of my tale. As Gray mentioned, I taught my girl how to shoot…*face turns crimson and coughing ensues* and gave her another sort of education as well.
GRAY: *voice dripping with sarcasm* And now, I’ll never be able to shoot at the range again without that thought. Thank you.
JACK: *grins* You’re welcome.
GATEWAY: Would you like me to ruin a few places in England for you?
GATEWAY: *chuckles* Pray continue.
Gray, you’re turn.
GRAY: I do believe I am the most beloved. I had a rekindled romance with a woman I was once forbidden to talk to and because I kissed her–
JACK: Should you remind everyone why you were kissing her?
GRAY: *ignoring Jack, continues*–we were married and I inherited a dragon for a father-in-law.
JACK: *snorts* I have the same father-in-law!
WES: Yes, and thanks to the two of you, he’s now the general at our fort.
JACK: It’s not my fault. I didn’t know Ella’s father was a grumpy old general when I started writing to her. Hell, even Gray didn’t recognize Ella when she first came.
GRAY: And if I had, would you have sent her back?
JACK: Well, no.
GRAY: Then it seems you should stop your complaining about the old dragon.
WES: And you should, too. You both chose to be connected to him. I did not.
GRAY: As I said, if Jack had known any more about Ella’s identity it could have been avoided.
WES: Yes, but then you wouldn’t have had your wife.
GRAY: No, I wouldn’t have–*eyes crinkle and a broad grin takes his lips* and dealing with her cantankerous father is a small price to pay to have her.
Gray, is that all you have to say?
GRAY: No, I have plenty to say if these two would shut up for two minutes. I married a woman who had no reservations in her dislike for me. As has been mentioned, her father didn’t like me either. But even so, she managed to win me over and I daresay, I won both of them over, too.
JACK: That’s the best you could come up with?
GRAY: Yep, I’m Michaela’s all-time favorite hero. I don’t need to be anyone else’s.
*silence fills the room…until broken by none other than GATEWAY* Ah, spoken like a men letting his privates doing the thinking for him—and not the hundred men you command.
GRAY: *shrugs* Her opinion is the only one I value.
That’s very sweet, so then should we stop this competition now and let you all get back to your respective heroines?
SEBASTIAN GENTRY, LORD BELGRAVE—HERO FROM SECRETS OF A VISCOUNT: Hell no. I did not break into the wrong sister’s bedroom and hie my worst nightmare off to Scotland, marry her, lie to her, diligently try to find her another husband while secretly longing for her and praying she wouldn’t wind up with Stoic Simon just to give up now. I love Belle more than life itself, but by golly, I’m the most beloved hero—I’ve even won an award.
Your book isn’t the only one to be nominated for an award, Sebastian, (gracious this man needs to be taken down a peg), Patrick, Edward and John have been finalists, too.
SEBASTIAN: Ah, but they all came in second. I won. And a reader’s choice, nomination style entry no less.
EDWARD: Not true. I won some something or other once, too.
SEBASTIAN: Nobody seems to remember that. Not even the contest officials when it was time to publicly reveal the winners. But me? Oh, they made up this huge poster of my book. The thing was so big, Rose couldn’t get it back home from the conference. A local friend—and saint—kept it at her house for almost two and a half years until a mutual friend happened to be driving across the US and brought it to Rose. See, it’s right here!
GATEWAY: I think I’ve found my match for most conceited.
SEBASTIAN: Exactly, the Gateway Era is over and the Sebastian Era has begun.
SIMON APPLETON—HERO FROM PASSIONS OF A GENTLEMAN: I still can’t believe Isabelle chose this for herself.
HENRY: Ha, if awards were given out for which hero made Rose bang her head against the desk most while writing their book, Elijah would win handidly.
SEBASTIAN: And Simon would win for most re-starts.
JACK: Gray would be a close second for that one.
Hey now! Stop airing MY dirty laundry. Giles, are you ready?
GILES GODDARD—HERO FROM DESIRES OF A BARON: I don’t need this award. I married Lucy a woman who loves me no matter what I say and do. With Lucy came Seth. The boy asks me uncomfortable questions about the origins of babies, when unsightly hair will appear, and now calls me Papa. I already have my reward.
SIMON: And don’t forget a brother.
GILES: How could I? You’re the reason I was questioned about the appearance of body hair.
SIMON: And the reason you met Lucy.
GILES: Yes, it was because of you we met, but you certainly didn’t have any intentions of backing down.
SIMON: I’d met her first.
GILES: And it was obvious that she didn’t return your interest. At least it was obvious when I read the book—living it was a different matter.
All right—again, more bickering brothers! Simon, you’ll have your turn in a bit–
SIMON: Of course I will. I already had to wait two years to get my book, why not wait longer to have my turn to speak.
In order of heroes, I think Gareth is next.
GARETH, LORD WORTHE—HERO FROM THE PERFECT LADY WORTHE: As many of the others have said, I already feel like I’ve won because I was blessed to have such a wonderful heroine to spend the rest of this life with. But…since Rose is twisting our arms for these speeches, I will say that I am indeed gentlemanly and clever. I was the HERO FROM her first novella who apparently knows exactly how much is in my bank account and takes abbreviated naps throughout the day. Not to mention, I married my best friend’s younger sister against his wishes, that’s pretty damn brazen and heroic, if you ask me.
GATEWAY: Twisted your arm? Hmmph.
Aaron, your turn.
AARON LENTZ, HERO FROM MISTLETOE & MICHAELMAS: I had to endure a Christmastide stay with the straightforward Duke of Danby. The man is so obsessed with matchmaking, I went to his house as part of my duty as a vicar and less than a fortnight later I was in need of one myself. Also, for the record, it should be mentioned, my name wasn’t always Aaron. I was given that name the afternoon the book was submitted because another story in the anthology had a hero with the same name. How is that for enduring?
JOHN: I wondered how you ended up with what was originally my name.
I confess, I confess! Aaron is telling the truth. His name was different when I wrote the book and I had to change it. John is also correct—his name originally was Aaron. But when I was typing Aaron, my fingers were moving so fast I’d capitalize both As. Plus, Intentions of the Earl didn’t need anyone else with an “A” name. Now, let’s move onto our next hero: Joel.
JOEL CUNNINGHAM—HERO FROM JESSE: BRIDE OF SOUTH CAROLINA: What can I say? I was commissioned to bring the girl I’d once loved more than life itself one hundred miles in my wagon to a train depot so she could go off to the wilds of Montana and marry Mr. Perfect—which couldn’t have been too perfect or he wouldn’t have submitted an ad for a mail-order bride. I kept my hands to myself—most of the time, my trousers buttoned up—a blasted hard thing to do at times and reined in my sarcasm–
No you did not!
JOEL: And no you did not have this book done by Oct. 26, 2015 like you were supposed and yet you still told everyone you had. If I remember right you were only 1,000 words in.
What has that to do with anything?
JOEL: Nothing, other than I was the perfect hero to write about. If I hadn’t been so easy to write about you wouldn’t have gotten this book done in under a week.
GATEWAY: Dang! Here I thought my book was the fastest at ten days.
JOEL: No, mine took less time but after meeting you today, I see why yours took so long. You’re a fountain of fodder.
GATEWAY: Thank you. I enjoy being complimented.
JOEL: Yes, and so does my wife. Who, I’ll have you all know I managed to win over on that trip despite fear of her father catching us, being robbed, having to sleep outside, meeting a deranged man who loves his junk more than Andrew and Gateway hate each other and more sarcastic remarks than have been shared here today.
You are correct, Joel. On all scores. James?
JAMES NORTH, EARL OF WYNN—HERO FROM THE WOOING GAME: I daresay this award is in the bag for me. Charlotte and I had a nasty first start. Blooming humiliating all the way around if I dare say. However, I managed to win her—even woo her—and all by sending her anonymous letters of admiration, a feat not even the notorious Banks men—or heroes of the Banks women–could pull off.
GARETH: The first missive you sent her, wasn’t so anonymous….or charming.
JAMES: Shhh! I made a mistake. You’ve made one I’m sure.
SIMON: Is it my turn yet? Have I waited long enough?
Yes, Simon, you can go now.
SEBASTIAN: I don’t know why you’re bothering to, I’m sure everyone has already decided.
GATEWAY: Yes, they only needed to hear the first three.
ANDREW: Nope. Just the first one.
SIMON: Well, aren’t you both rather cocksure? Haven’t you ever heard of “saving the best for last”? My book was “in the works” for two blasted YEARS. Rose received emails inquiring when it was coming out. People asking why they couldn’t find it. She even received a very nasty email about tying her to a chair and making her write it. I daresay, if the emails are to be believed, I would consider this contest already over. Name me the winner and hand me my crown.
SEBASTIAN: Just because they asked about you and demanded she write your book doesn’t mean they liked it. Heck, if sales reports are any indication, I’d honestly say your book is the least read book Rose has written!
SIMON: That’s because everyone read your book and hated you so much they didn’t want to risk reading the others in the series for fear of encountering you again.
SEBASTIAN: Again, may I point your direction to Exhibit A?
All righty then, I think we’re done.
GATEWAY: No closing remarks?
No, you’ve all said more than enough already. All right ladies, you’ve heard what they have to say and tomorrow—on National Election Day—you can cast your vote for your favorite Rose Gordon Hero on Facebook. Please read over this as many times as you feel are necessary and share with your friends who might like to vote.
From just outside the window of my living room where everyone had gathered…GABRIEL ELLIS—FUTURE HERO FROM HIS PENNILESS BRIDE: Damn. She’s been receiving emails about the whereabouts of my story for four years—that’s before more than half of these fellas were heroes—I now have another four years to get my story, read all of their books to dig up the most gossip and I’ll be an easy win next go-around.
Ah, Gabriel, you forget…since your story hasn’t yet been written, you could be the most scandalous of them all!
Okay, the book has been out for at least 36 hours now and I saw the surprise has already been announced, so now I must ask:
There were several hints (not real giant ones, though) woven into the two earlier books. On May 16–exactly one month from today–I’ll do a post containing all the clues, why did or didn’t this or that happen in certain books, as well as give details as to when and why I decided to match the pair up.
I hope you all enjoyed the third book, and I also hope nobody slammed their Kindle against the wall when they read the first line of the second chapter.
Feel free to tell me your thoughts on the match in the comments section or click here to go back to my website and send the comments in through there.
Good morning! Today is Thursday, and as promised I will be interviewing Madison once again. I’ve caught her at a time where she has just as much anticipation as the rest of us: the day before her book starts.
Madison, thank you for once again coming to join me, it was most kind of you.
You’re welcome. But you know I only agreed in an attempt to talk you out of this…this foolishness.
Poppycock. You know you’re warming up to him.
No. I don’t think I am.
Well, you’re planning to be warming up to him tomorrow night, right?
*Grimacing* Yes, I know my duty, but that doesn’t make it any less daunting. I’d prefer not to think of sharing his bed, please. Let’s talk of something—anything—else.
Hmm, well, the last time we spoke you were about to begin a formal courtship with him. Has he proved a good suitor?
No. Although, I can’t fault him there. It’s not exactly easy to conduct a courtship with Andrew and Brooke hovering about.
So he did try to court you?
Good to know he’s coming around a little and making an effort.
Is there any part of you excited about tomorrow?
Depends how one defines excitement. Eager? No. A basket of nerves? Yes.
You’re not nervous about—
The wedding? Yes, actually I am.
That wasn’t want I was going to say.
I know. I just wanted to halt your words before they scared your readers, or me.
All right, I’ll change the subject. Is there anything you’d like to tell our readers before your debut?
No. You know, Ms. Gordon, this is our what, fourth interview now? I daresay nobody else has been interrogated as much as I have. Do you know what it’s like to be constantly asked questions and forced into exposing parts of yourself you hadn’t planned to.
Are you asking me if I’ve ever found myself on the other side of the interview?
Yes, I have. In fact, just yesterday I was and you can read about it when we’re done.
I think I just might.
More power to you. Now, let’s talk more about you impending marriage.
Let’s not and say we did.
Why, Madison Banks soon-to-be—
Don’t you dare say it!
—that would be lying!
Oh, and you’ve never fibbed?
*Snorts* You just did.
I know. Back to our interview, and don’t you dare think that if I get sidetracked talking to you this morning I’ll forget what I have to do here in a little bit.
I wouldn’t dream of it.
Yes, you would and we both know it. All right, do you at least think he’s handsome?
Yes, he’s handsome Nobody could deny that.
And, do you think some girls have ever spun dreams about marriage to him?
Probably. And if any of those young girls would like to step up and take my place at the church tomorrow they are more than welcome.
That won’t be happening, dear girl. You will be the one on Andrew’s arm trotting down the aisle tomorrow.
I can hardly wait.
I know. And neither can I (or the groom)! But we must. Tomorrow all will be revealed and you shall be a married woman! Until then, have a good day everyone!
This morning I’m once again on at ship making a voyage to England from America, but instead of talking to Robbie again, I’m here to interview John and Carolina Banks. John, Carolina, are the two of you excited to be going back to England?
CB: Of course we are. We’ll get to see our three girls.
JB: Which is a good thing, indeed. Carolina will be there to console them after I kill two of their husbands, one in particular.
Now, now, I know you have no intention of doing such a thing. However, I must know, which husband in particular would you like to kill, or shall we say injure because you will not be killing anyone?
JB: Which one do you think? The one who caused this situation.
CB: That could be both of them, dear. Ms. Gordon, the one he’s most angry with changes hourly. Just excuse his attitude. He doesn’t like being in a situation where he cannot do anything at the moment.
Very well, Mrs. Banks, and are you angry with one of your daughter’s husbands?
CB: Of course. But unlike my husband, I think this all could have been avoided had Andrew and Brooke been keeping a better eye one her. See, I imagine Brooke wasn’t the best chaperone I could have found for her. Looking back on it now, I should have asked Regina, or even Liberty would have been a better chaperone than Brooke.
*Coughs and nearly chokes* Liberty? But she’s the younger sister by three years that would not have gone over well at all.
CB: No, it wouldn’t have, would it? But the truth of the matter is, while Andrew will take the brunt of the blame from my husband, Brooke probably ought share it.
JB: Townson will not be encountering my temper alone. He’ll have company. That no-good, filthy wastrel who married Madison will be right beside him.
*Exchanges looks with Carolina* I see. So, is it safe to assume if you’d been present at the wedding you would have objected?
A moment later: CB: No. Though the whole mess is rather sordid and does not meet our approval, we would not have publically objected to the match that way—
JB: Instead, we would have never agreed to it in the first place.
CB: But we weren’t there when the betrothal was announced. All we could have done had we made it back to England before the wedding would have been to try and convince him to cry off.
Him? Why not Madison?
CB: She wouldn’t have done so. She may not be as much as a propriety-lover as Liberty, but she also wouldn’t have acted as Brooke and refused marriage to the man who created a scandal around her, no matter how unsavory he is.
Is it fair to say you don’t approve?
CB: As a mother, no. I honestly don’t know anything about the man to recommend him as marriage material for my daughter. On the other hand, I do know he comes from a family with a respectable position and has the means to take care of her. If he chooses to do so, that is.
You don’t think he will?
JB: We have no idea. He may have money and position and it may be known he keeps his business affairs in order, but our concern is his private life, which happens to be the part of his life our daughter will fall into.
I suppose that’s a legitimate concern. But would it help if I guaranteed you that when you arrive in England you’ll learn he’s turned out to be a better husband than you’re thinking he is?
JB: I suppose it might help ease our minds a bit. But not much. Knowing him, he’s probably abducted her or some such.
CB: Oh, John, don’t be so dramatic. Even he wouldn’t do that.
JB: *Snorts* Yes, he would. He is exactly the type who would do such a thing.
CB: Don’t mind him. He’ll be on edge until we arrive and find out the truth of everything, including just how exactly she ended up married to such a reprobate.
Yes, well, I…um… I think I better be going now. It was very nice to talk to the two of you, we’ll chat again later.
CB: That was most odd.
JB: She ought be running. Marrying our daughter to him.
CB: Would you stop it. I wasn’t talking about that. Did you see the started fidgeting when you mentioned an abduct…
Good morning! As promised, today I will be interviewing Robbie Swift, Madison’s former love interest. Fortunately, I was able to intercept him before that fateful ball so we’ll be able to ask him about his motives for coming to England and what he hopes to accomplish. Good day, Robbie, it sure is windy out here on the ship deck.
You’ll get used to it. I take it you haven’ t done much sailing.
Not hardly. A few ferries and speedboats, nothing like this before.
Right, um never mind, it’s nothing for you to worry about. Anyway, my aquatic background isn’t the point of our discussion. Let’s talk about Madison Banks, shall we? What’s your plan where she’s concerned?
I’m not sure exactly.
What do you mean you’re not sure?
Just that. I’ll figure out a plan once I get there. I’m not too worried about it.
No. Not in the least. Madison loves me. She always has. She’ll come around.
You seem rather confident, sir.
But what if she’s found another? It has been over a year, you know?
I never thought of that. But it’s not likely. I was her first love. Her true love. In the unlikely event she’s found another suitor to amuse herself with, she’ll throw him over soon enough.
Tell me, sir, what makes you think you are worthy of her?
Because she once loved you?
And I her.
You have a rather strange way of showing it, don’t you think?
No. I don’t think so.
But you threw her over for another.
Ah, but that was before.
Before I realized I loved her.
So you’re saying during that five years you courted her you didn’t love her?
Yes. No. I don’t know . Does it matter? I love her now.
Do you, or do you want her now because you can’t have her?
I have no idea what you mean. But I do mean to have her. One way or the other, she’ll be mine.
But aren’t you forgetting something?
I don’t think so.
Hmm, what about a small detail?
Do you always speak in wriggles?
Do you mean riddles?
Yes, those. Can’t you just come out and say it?
I was under the impression you threw her over for another woman, one named Miss Small.
Oh, her. No matter on that score.
And why not?
That’s not important. Do you have any other questions? Because if not I’d like to go the galley and eat.
Of course I have more questions! Everyone wants to know the dirty details of your relationship with Madison and since you have no plans to spend the rest of your voyage forming a plan to appeal to her, you can talk to me.
Fine. What do you want to know?
The details of your relationship with Madison!
Well, there’s not much to say that you don’t already know. We grew up together and were even childhood playmates seeing as my family attended her father’s church. As we got older, her feelings changed. They weren’t so friendly.
She was all right I suppose. Far too beautiful for her own good, to be sure. Of course she had a few unsavory tendencies that she learned from her hoyden older sister, Brooke.
You don’t like Brooke?
Not in the least. The less I think of her the better. She was always interfering in our relationship.
Did she have call to interfere?
I’m not quite sure what you mean.
Never mind. All right, so you started courting Madison, then what?
Well, we courted. That’s what.
Yes, but then it ended.
Yes, yes, it did. But that couldn’t be helped at the time. But now, I’ve come to reclaim her.
And you really think this will work?
I’m certain of it.
Well, there you have it, folks. A very optimistic Robbie Swift is on his way to reclaim the woman he claims to love. In a week, we’ll find out if his efforts will be successful or not. Don’t forget you can go have a peek at the new cover here and find out how to win a free copy here.
Good nearly afternoon, everyone. Today I have Madison Banks soon-to-be—
Don’t you dare say it.
All right, I won’t. Today Madison has graciously agreed to come help me answer some questions that some of the readers have asked. It seems you have become quite a popular person though you haven’t said much, Madison, and people want to know more about you.
Well, they can ask, but I may not tell. I do tend to drift of, you know?
Oh, would you let that rest already. All right, here we are, “In Intentions of the Earl, Liberty, who is always so proper uses the word ballocks. How in the world did she learn such a word? And, use it in the right context?” You know, I sometimes wonder if I should have left that tidbit of information out. I seem to get a lot of enquiring minds want to know type e-mails about this one. But, instead of me writing a boring response, Madison, would you like to tell them?
And why do you think I would know such a thing?
Oh, all right. She probably heard it from me.
Did she now? And why on Earth would you say such a word?
*Shrugs* It was part of a jest I heard once. She must have heard me repeating it. Would you like to hear it?
Oh, why not?
Because this isn’t the time, nor the place, that’s why not. Next question. “What is Madison daydreaming about all the time?”
That’s enough. I did not come all this way for you to make sport of me.
I’m not. See, *showing her the paper* someone wonders what’s going on in your head, what you’re thinking all the time. Would you care to tell us?
No. There are some things not meant to be shared. This is one of them. Next question, please.
Sorry, everyone, you’ll just have to wait on that one. There will come a time–about the 15th of April or so—when she can no longer deny your request to enter her head. All right, next up, “After the third book, will there be a fourth?”
Don’t look at me, I have no idea what’s going on in that scheming head of yours.
You’re right. I’ll answer this one. Yes and no. There will be more books, but not right away and not part of this particular series. My fourth book will start a new series but will have some familiar characters playing a small roll, however.
Do you already have this fourth book written?
Just thinking, if it’s already written, why not skip my story and move whoever is up next to the fifteenth.
Not a chance.
It was worth a shot. All right. I guess I’ll be walking down the aisle and exposing my deepest secrets on the fifteenth.
Oh, don’t sound so distraught. You make it sound as if marriage is a terrible thing.
It is when you have to marry a man who—
Would you stop that already, we have one more question to answer, “Will you be interviewing Robbie so we get his side of things?”
I won’t be, but perhaps Rose will.
Actually, yes, I will. Hopefully on Friday. If not, then Monday. That’s all the questions today, if you have something you’d like to know, leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail. Now about that jest…
Today I have with me Brooke Black, Countess of Townson here to talk about her sister, Madison, and her past romance with a fellow named Mr. Robert Swift.
Thank you for joining me today, Brooke. The readers of the first two books are very curious about Madison and her past relationship. What can you tell us?
Nothing good. The three of us used to play together as children. As we got older, Madison developed a rather disturbing infatuation with him. From there, she allowed him to court her for five years before tossing her aside in favor of another.
And I’m guessing this did not endear him to the family?
No, it did not. Would it endear someone to you if you saw that person treat someone you love poorly?
Point taken. But I’m the one asking the questions, remember?
Then ask sensible ones, would you?
A mighty sharp tongue today, eh?
I just can’t believe you did that, that’s all.
I mean who you affianced her to! Have a heart, would you?
I do. And so does he. He may not know how to show it, but he does have a heart.
Good to know. I’ll go cut it out after this is over.
Oh, don’t be so dramatic.
I’ll try, but no guarantees.
Very well. Let’s talk more about Madison’s relationship with Robbie—
I’d rather not.
—Why specifically do you dislike him so much? And don’t just give the vague, “he treated my sister poorly,” line.
I think the better question would be why should I like him. But since you asked why I don’t, I’ll name you a few reasons. First, he’s dumber than stump. He can’t read his own pocket watch. He constantly confuses the meanings of words. He doesn’t think before he acts.
Perhaps he just gets nervous?
No. He’s not nervous, he’s a clodpole. And yet, he’s a walking contradiction. One minute he’s charming and has a silver tongue then the next he walks into a room and makes a complete fool of himself.
Sounds like an interesting fellow.
All right, I’ll take your word for it. Just one last thing, is there a man somewhere out there you think she would have been a better match for?
Yes, but it matters naught now. She’ll never have the chance to discover the truth of that mess. Not that she’d want to. She seems bent to believe the worst about him, even if I don’t.
Thank you for talking to me today, Brooke. I hope you’ll all join me tomorrow when I invite Madison back to help me answer a couple of reader questions.
Good morning, all. Thank you for joining us on this Friday morning. Today I’m starting my round of character interviews with the characters from my upcoming book, To Win His Wayward Wife, which is coming out April 15, exactly two weeks from today. I thought it would be best this time if we didn’t start with the main characters, but instead with the secondary characters. So today I have Paul and Liberty Grimes with me to talk about their happiness together and maybe share a little about what we can expect to see in To Win His Wayward Wife. Liberty, Paul, before you tell us what we can expect, why don’t you tell us how things are going for the two of you.
LG: Well, as you know, we’re expecting–
PG: That alone should tell you just how well things are going!
LG: Would you stop it?! The entire world was already privy to our first intimate encounter and knew full well we were about to have another; but must you feel the need to broadcast to the world that we still we have marital intimacies?
PG: Of course I do! As I already told you, I may be a Man of God, but I’m still a man. And a rather proud man at that. I certainly never thought such a thing would be happening between us, ever, so why not be happy about it?
Just so. Now, lets quit this topic and discuss something else, shall we? When your story ended the two of you were at a ball hosted by Brooke, right?
LG: Yes, we were there.
I take it you have some rather sour feelings about that night?
LG: Why would you say that?
Because normally I cannot get you to close your mouth, and you just said a mere four words in answer to my question then you lips pursed as if you’d just eaten a lemon.
LG: I’d rather not discuss the night in question. That wretched man just cannot leave well enough alone.
PG: Calm down, darling. Just think, it’ s not you who married him. Though if Madison had accepted your previous offer of you letting her take your place across the altar from me, you could have married him.
LG: Well, let’s just all say a prayer of thanksgiving Madison wouldn’t have you.
PG: Yes, because I turned out to be such an awful husband.
LG: No, because you’re such an excellent husband. She’s the one who got the short end of the stick.
Now, now, I wouldn’t say that. I think he is the perfect match for her and will treat her just as well as Paul has treated you.
LG: Are you aware he’s kidnapped her?
Yes. And, I know just where he’s taken her.
LG: Well I should hope so. Brooke has guaranteed me that all shall turn out fine, but I have doubts about the optimism the two of you share.
Ah, but you also had doubts about the man who I chose to be your husband, too.
LG: True. I did have my doubts at first, but I did come around to see your way of thinking.
PG: And she’s very happy about it now.
LG: Would you stop gloating? It’s rather annoying, you know?
PG: I know, but you like it when I’m annoying.
LG: I do not. Nobody likes to be annoyed. It’s annoying. Now stop.
(Perhaps I should have started with a different couple…) *Sighs* All right, you two, just answer some quick yes or no answers for me. Does Madison get engaged the night of the ball you all were attending in the final scene of Liberty for Paul?
And is Madison excited about her engagement?
PG: I think it depends on how one views excitement. In a way, yes she is. In another way, no she isn’t.
Very true. All right, what of the family? Are they excited about the man she marries?
PG: I don’t know everything about this particular man and his previous involvement with the Banks family, but I do know enough to know not a one of them was championing the match.
Well, that’s too bad. But you do think it’ll work out?
PG: I do. I know Liberty doesn’t, and where you currently yanked us out of the past, we were just in the middle of the story, so I don’t know exactly what is currently happening with the two of them or where it will lead. However, I imagine things will eventually work out for the two. I have my faith in him.
That’s good to hear. Before we go, I have one final question for Liberty. What did you store in your memory chest?
LG: Nothing so great. Especially not compared to what Madison had in hers if her reaction to seeing it was anything to go by. I mainly had a few special hair ribbons and a haircomb one of the little boys at my father’s church in New York gave me.
That’s still rather fascinating. I’m glad you and your sisters were able to recover your sentimental belongings, even if one of them didn’t want to claim hers. Well, have a good Friday everyone and I’ll be back on Monday to talk to another character. Enjoy your weekend!
Today I have Madison Banks here with me to give us her take on Paul and Liberty and their unfortunate first impressions on each other. Thank you for joining me today, Madison. You are actually in a rather unique situation since you were present for the first…uh…incident involving Liberty and Paul. Is there anything you can tell us we don’t already know.
I don’t think so. I told everything to Brooke already, that’s all there was to say.
Ah, but you’re assuming everyone who’s reading this has already read Intentions of the Earl.
You mean they haven’t? Well, they should go to pick up a copy post haste! All right, you make a valid point, so I’ll just give a brief summary of what transpired that dreadful day. Mr. Grimes overheard Liberty say some unsavory comments and gently put her in her place. Shocked, and undoubtedly embarrassed, Liberty shot to her feet and said some equally unsavory comments to Mr. Grimes. Something about him not having any ballocks and hoping his troubles worsen so he has to go live out the rest of his life in a hole. It’s been a while, but I think that just about covers it.
She seems a lovely girl.
Actually, she is. Aside from her annoying love for propriety and her utter hatred for Mr. Grimes she truly is a lovely girl. You just have to get to know her a little better, you’ll see.
I think we shall all get to know her better very soon. However, do you think Mr. Grimes would agree with your description of her being lovely?
No, of course not. I don’t mean to sound critical, but have you read Intentions of the Earl? The two cannot tolerate each other, anyone who’s read the book would know that.
I’ve read that book more times than you think. But that’s not the point, what I was saying was… Wait. Have you read the book?
Of course, I did! Who hasn’t? Well, except for those who haven’t found it yet and didn’t want to cut short this interview to go find their copy. Although, just between us, I must admit I had to skim a few areas since Brooke is my sister and all.
But of course. And did you learn anything from the book?
Yes and no. Naturally, I already knew most of the details of Brooke and Andrew’s relationship because she told me, but I had no idea exactly why Mr. Grimes sported that nasty bump on his forehead at Brooke’s wedding, nor all the details of his lawn bowls game with Liberty. However, what I was most surprised to learn happened at the front of the book. Spacey? Really? Putting aside, the fact that the word “spacey” probably wasn’t even a term anyone would have thought to use back then, I was still rather shocked because all this time I actually thought you liked me.
I do like you. That’s why I have the perfect hero lined up for you to marry.
Save your ink. My interest in marriage in general rivals Liberty’s interest in Mr. Grimes. Actually, that’s not true. Liberty does have an interest in Mr. Grimes. It just seems his indifference toward her soured her feelings for him.
Just because I sit quiet and tend to let my eyes wander off to…to….out the window, does not mean I’m a featherbrain. The truth of it is, I’d wager Liberty was attracted to him from the start, but he seemed rather disinterested. Or if he was interested, he surely didn’t make it known.
Very observant. Would you say if the two were to marry interest for the other would spark?
I suppose it’s possible. But it’s unlikely they’d willingly marry.
So it is. That just means the hand of fate (or in this case, my hands) will have to interfere and see what can be done.
Just as long as those hands don’t try to create a fate for me, I don’t care what you do.
Oh, ye of little faith, you–and all our other readers–will just have to see what I have in store for you in To Win His Wayward Wife. Don’t roll your eyes, you will be the heroine. And, even more exciting, you’ll be back in the interview chair in the next week or so when I do character interviews for the characters in that book. Doesn’t that sound exciting?
Can hardly wait.
I knew it. But please try to contain your excitement. Until then, keep reading everyone!