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Election Day Tomorrow! Escape the chaos and vote for your favorite Rose Gordon Hero–

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.

GATEWAY: *snorts*

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.

ALEX: Agggghhhh.

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.

HENRY: Indeed.

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.


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!

Exhibit A

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.

GARETH: Never.

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!

GABRIEL: Marjorie! Let’s run away. Now!

Banks Brothers' Brides Series, His Brother's Bride, Wicked Wednesday

Wicked Wednesday ~ His Brother’s Bride

A little background on this: Henry is intent to find Laura a new husband so he can clear Elijah’s name and he’s not stuck with her–though he’s becoming undeniably attracted to her, which isn’t so great since she’s letting him believe she thinks he’s Elijah. A blow to the male ego, to be sure. To find her a new beau, he’s taken her to a local assembly where they’re pretending to be French so that nobody recognizes him. The problem? She doesn’t know French outside of a few sentences which she’s been spouting without knowing what they mean. She might not know, but the men did and when one takes a moment to inform Henry of what his “daughter” is saying, Henry does the only thing he can think to do:

Every drop of blood that had been roaring in Henry’s ears was now in his toes.

Due to the lack of blood flowing to his brain, he took a momentary leave of his senses—something he’d prided himself on never once doing during his nine years as a spy—walked straight over to where Laura was dancing with that cad, wrapped his arm around her and carried her from the floor.

Put me down!” Laura demanded of the madman who’d inhabited Henry’s body and carried her from the middle of the floor. She let out a slight shriek when he tightened his hold.

He ignored her demands and the curious stares from the onlookers as he carried her straight from the ballroom to a little room off to the side, where he promptly did as she asked and put her down—on the soft surface of a plush settee.

What was that about?” she asked, crossing her arms. She knew it was foolish to ask. He’d never tell her. While a gentleman could demand a lady’s motives and use physical force, if necessary, to get her to expose them, a woman could make similar demands until her throat was raw and still wouldn’t have an answer.

Parlez-vous du français?”

She bit her lip. “Oui.”

Comment faire vous vous sentez de moi”

She swallowed, hard. Then she lifted her chin. “Viens ici que je te saute.


Oui,” she said without hesitation.

Henry sneered, “Madam, do you have any idea what you just said to me?”

She pulled her lower lip between her teeth but didn’t say anything.

I didn’t think so,” he said thickly, sinking to the haunches to close the gap between them. He lifted his hands to cup her face. “Perhaps you’d like for me to show you?”

Laura moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue. Was he about to kiss her? The very idea was laughable. He had no genuine interest in her, for if he did, he wouldn’t have kept finding her dance partners.

I’m not in need of any demonstration,” she said in a broken whisper.

His eyes held a gleam she’d never seen before and she shivered.

As if he didn’t hear her weak protest, he brought his lips to hers.

His lips were surprisingly soft, she noted.

Just as quickly, he jerked away as if he’d been burned and muttered a mild curse. He stood, removed his hat and raked his hand through his hair.

That’s what I was saying?” she asked, dumbfounded. She mindlessly lifted her fingertips to her lips that were still tingling from the three seconds they’d been pressed against Henry’s. “I was asking for a kiss?”

No.” His voice was sharp. He cleared his throat. “What you were asking for might involve a kiss, but only as a mere afterthought.”

She furrowed her brow. “I don’t understand.”

You were suggesting the two of you go away together so you could allow him to sample your wares.”

Her eyes grew wide. “I said all of that?”

He scowled. “No. What you said was far more vulgar—including you asking to sample his wares. I was merely phrasing it nicely.”

Oh, dear.” She had the strangest urge to laugh. The faces of the twenty or so different dance partners she’d said that to flooded her mind. That’s why they’d been smiling and it had taken a firm reminder that her “father” was waiting for her return. Good grief! A burble of laughter welled up inside of her and she was no longer able to control it.

You think it’s humorous?” Henry’s face was expressionless, save his clenched jaw.

Well, yes,” she said with a giggle.

And what if one of them had tried to fulfill your demand?”

My demand?”

To come close so you can initiate intimacies with him.”

She laughed even harder, her body convulsing with it. The idea that she’d ever initiate intimacies with anyone was more comical than a man wearing a purple suit of clothes, white cream on his face, and a hat with bells while standing on stilts, juggling and singing about his longing for a wife.

I don’t know why you find this so funny, madam; but those words whispered to the wrong man could lead you into more trouble than you can imagine.”

Like you,” she suggested between peals of laughter.


She sobered instantly, their eyes locking. His were still dark and intense. She swallowed her unease. She’d been uncomfortable in his presence before, but never like she was now. “I hope you know when I said that, that I wasn’t issuing an invitation. I was just…”

Spouting nonsense?”

She nodded. That was exactly what she was doing. Robbie had said those words to her, or other ladies within her earshot, on more than one occasion, but she never knew what it meant.

I know you did not know what you were saying. But still, you’d better be careful who you say that to; and if you ever say it in my presence again, you’d best be ready to fulfill that promise.”

A shiver skated down her spine at the roughness in his voice. Would he try to kiss her again? Did she want him to?

I do believe it’s time for us to take our leave from here.”

And where shall we go?” She hadn’t meant to ask it, but now that she had…


Home. What a foreign word. “I presume you mean your home,” she murmured, standing.

He lowered his lashes as if he didn’t know how to respond, not that she’d expected him to. It was the truth. Where they’d been staying was his home, not hers. She hadn’t had a home in many years, only places of residence.

Laura walked over to the door and waited for Henry to join her. Something was odd about him. He was unusually quiet and stiff, yes stiff. His movements weren’t as graceful as they usually were, and he appeared a bit…distracted.

Would you like to wait here while I have the carriage sent?”

No. I’ll go with you.”

Very well.” He opened the door for her and then escorted her down the hall.

Is something amiss?” she asked when she could no longer stand the silence between them.


She frowned. “I hope you don’t intend to blame me for giving away your identity because of my blatant lack of knowing French.”

He flashed a half smile at her and with a thick French accent said, “I wasn’t aware my identity was revealed, madame.”

Then why are you upset? What have I done?”

He froze, his eyes searching hers. “Nothing.”

It’s not nothing. What has made you turn so cold? One minute, your lips are on mine, and the next, you’ve become a monosyllabic statue.”

I wasn’t aware statues could talk, in one syllable or five.”

They can’t,” she burst out. “You know exactly what I mean. You—you—” She closed her mouth with a snap. He knew what she meant; he was being obtuse on purpose.

What do you want from me, Laura?” He peeled off his mustache and leaned in closer. “Do you want me to kiss you again?”

Heat flooded her, but she couldn’t deny it. Kissing him was different than anything she’d ever known; not that she could tell him that. His male pride would soar and he’d never see any reason to be kind to her again.

Hmm?” he asked, closing the space between them.

She could practically feel his lips against hers, though they were still a hair’s breadth away.

Then, they were on hers again, sending the same delicious sensations through her body. Soft and gentle, his lips moved over hers. Henry’s hands came up to cup her face, holding her to him. She didn’t mind and wanted desperately to wrap her arms around his neck to keep him there, but fear held her back.

He parted his lips and drew her bottom lip in between his and gently raked his teeth over it. She gasped. He repeated the gesture, this time running his tongue over her lip just afterwards. “Henry,” she said on a sigh.

He froze.

She froze.

He pulled back from her, his eyes still dark with desire but also narrowed on her. In them, she saw the question his lips had yet to speak.

A chill ran over her. What would he say when he learned that she’d known all along?


She squeezed the fan in her hand; both of his hands still holding her face. “Yes?”

What did you just say?”

Were she a sarcastic sort, she’d have repeated the word yes; but she knew what he’d meant, and she also knew it would not be in her best interest to trifle with him. “I said, Henry. Your name. If you’d rather I didn’t, I could call you Mr. Ban—”

The rest of her sentence was cut off when his lips took hers again. This time, his kiss was different, more passionate. He parted his lips against hers and ran the tip of his tongue along the seam of her lips. She gasped his name, and devilish man that he was, he took advantage of her surprise to push his tongue into her mouth.

A small measure of panic built in her chest, momentarily dampening her enjoyment of his kiss. Would he gag her or slobber on her?

Her thought was banished in an instant as Henry slowly brushed the inside of her left cheek, then her right, taking time to taste her. She instinctively moved closer to him. His kiss was so different than any she’d ever experienced before, and for as wanton and unladylike as it was, she craved more and wasn’t ready for him to stop.

But he did.

Panting, he pulled back. “Let’s go.”

Go? Go where?” she asked, blinking in confusion.

He showed no sign of being annoyed or irritated with her inane question; instead, he reached for her hand, laced their fingers together, opened the front door and said, “To Scotland.”

Banks Brothers' Brides Series, His Brother's Bride

Story Sample ~ His Brother’s Bride

This week’s book is the last “Banks” book I’ve written (so far–you just never know…), His Brother’s Bride.

Red Beauty

The hero for this one is Henry, Elijah’s twin and Alex’s youngest brother (which also makes him Edward’s youngest son). While most will love the hero based solely on the fact his last name is Banks, the heroine might take some warming up to? Why? Because her name is Laura Swift as in the same Laura Swift who swooped in and stole Madison’s beau back in New York. Of course it all worked out just fine and dandy for Madison–I don’t think anyone could argue that. But, just because things worked out well for the former heroine, doesn’t mean that everything will be a bed of roses between them. In fact, while Madison despised Laura in her book, Laura also has ample reason–in her mind–to detest Madison, which is the reason she’s come to England: she wants revenge.

July 1819

Watson Estate


I’m ready to get married.”

Pardon me?” Henry Banks said, matching the same blunt tone the young lady with the sophisticated bun standing outside his door had used.

She sighed and shoved a folded piece of parchment into his hands.

Henry’s pale blue eyes widened as he scanned the foreign lines. When had he lost his ability to read? It had to have been in the last five minutes, because he knew his twin brother Elijah hadn’t signed a betrothal contract during their brief time in America. Not that it was an official contract written up by a solicitor, but it had all the important details about a marriage that was to take place between the two parties who had signed below. One of whom was definitely Elijah. Under Elijah’s name were the names and markings of two witnesses. It might not be as “official” as most he’d seen, but with Elijah’s signature and those of two witnesses, it was official enough.

The creature with pink lips and alabaster skin who’d shown up on his doorstep cleared her throat.

He met her hazel eyes. “Yes?”

I’ll only require a few days before the wedding,” she said, flashing him a sweet smile that matched her all-too-sweet Southern United States accent. “As you already know, I’m a simple miss. I require nothing fancy.”

Henry nearly snorted. He remembered meeting this chit during his travels; she was anything but a simple miss. Every time he’d seen her, she’d been dressed in the height of fashion and her hair had been styled in a different arrangement, complete with some of the fanciest combs he’d ever seen. Either she’d fallen from grace in the worst way possible or the woman he’d met before had a twin. There was no way the lady he’d met could be termed as a simple miss. “Ah, so a small wedding with only family in attendance will suffice,” he said, more for the amusement of saying it than out of being serious.

Something flickered in her eyes and her smile as sweet as her accent returned. “Yes, I think that should do nicely.”

Henry sighed and shook his head. “I hate to be the one to tell you this, madam, but there won’t be a wedding—”

Yes, there will be,” she interrupted, jabbing her index finger at the paper he held. “It says so right there.”

Henry’s chest constricted at the desperation he heard in her voice. She’d come halfway across the world with the intention of getting married—she’d be crushed to find her groom was already married. But what could he do about it? “Won’t you come inside?” he invited, gesturing inside the little cottage on the edge of Watson Estate that his oldest brother, Alex, allowed him to stay in, while visiting the country. Technically, the cottage belonged to his mother, since she was the dowager; but she much preferred to stay in the main house and neither Alex nor Caroline had a problem with that, leaving it available for Henry to occupy.

His uninvited guest pressed her lips together. “No. Ladies do not go into the homes of gentlemen they’re not married to.”

He blinked at her. Her starchy tone and the uneasy look in her eyes spoke much louder than her voice had. She might want to marry, but she surely seemed to be uneasy at the idea of what she’d be expected to do after she was married. Fortunately for her, that wouldn’t be a problem she’d need to concern herself with in the near future.

About that—” he idly tapped the paper she’d given him against his thigh— “would you be interested in marriage to another?”

Her eyes narrowed on him. “Are you interested in a scandal, Mr. Banks?”

Her challenge brought him up short. “No,” he said carefully.

That’s what I thought,” she said, her sweet smile resuming its former place on her lips.

Henry’s mind raced. His family might not wish for her to bring a scandal to their doorstep, but unless his scientifically-inclined brother, Alex, was able to discover a way to travel back in time within the next few days, a scandal was exactly what would come to them. A thought popped into his mind. It wouldn’t work long term, but it might work just long enough to accomplish his goal and avoid scandal.

He heaved a heavy sigh then stepped onto his porch. “What would you think if I were to court you a while first?”


Laura Swift stared at the addled gentleman who stood in front of her. She’d just spent the last two weeks traveling; first across the ocean and then all over southern England, tracking down her groom-to-be. Surely she should be the one speaking nonsense—not him.

Why?” she asked.

He shrugged. “To see if we suit.”

Why would Henry care if they suited? Her agreement was with Elijah. “Does it matter how we suit?”

Absolutely,” he said jovially. A little too jovially. “I think it’s important that we rub along well if we’re to be married.”

Oh he did, did he? She didn’t remember signing a betrothal agreement with the pompous Henry Banks. She’d found his intense, blue eyes unnerving and seemed to lose her confidence whenever he spoke to her. No, Henry was not the brother she’d tricked into signing the agreement. But apparently marriage to Elijah wasn’t an option any longer. Otherwise, Henry wouldn’t be pretending to be him and asking to court her. The good Lord knew Henry’s disinterest in her rivaled hers for him.

She tamped down her nerves and forced a smile. “Very well; you may court me,” she forced herself to say as evenly as she could. Truly, it didn’t matter which one she married; one was as good as the other for the purpose she needed him.

Excellent,” he said; his face and tone as impassive as always. He offered her his arm and turned his head to the right, then the left. “Have you ever ridden a horse?”


My brother has some of the best horses in England in his stables. We should go riding.”

She commanded herself not to grind her teeth at his suggestion. “Why?”

Because that’s what people do when they’re courting.”

They also spend time in the parlor,” she pointed out. The last person she wanted to ride horses with was Henry and his scrutinizing gaze and condescending tone.

He led her in the direction of the stables. “While I’m sure my mother would love to act as a chaperone, I’d rather court you without her presence so we can actually get to know each other.”

She came to an abrupt stop. “I think not, Mr. Banks.” His wince at her sharp tone made her blanch. “Excuse me,” she said in an uneven tone. “What I meant to say was that I think it would be best if we spend time in the presence of a chaperone until we know each other a little better.”

He spun around to face her. “Is that so?” His cool blue eyes held her gaze. “But no more than five minutes ago, you were discussing our wedding. You do realize that once we repeat our vows and leave the church, there will be no more chaperones. It’ll just be you and me. Alone. Together.”

She swallowed the lump of emotion in her throat. “I know,” she whispered, as her mind flooded with the memories of what happened the afternoon she’d married her late husband. At least this time, she’d know what to expect and could take precautions.

She looked at Henry’s profile. He was close to six feet, a good six inches taller than average, and had a large, imposing body with broad shoulders, a rounded chest that was clearly muscled and a thickness in his abdomen that she highly doubted was composed of loose fat, but firm muscles. His appearance was drastically different than that of her first husband, Robbie Swift, which would mean Henry would only hurt her more than Robbie had. She shivered at the sickening thought and then pushed it away. She wasn’t getting married this afternoon, so there wasn’t anything to worry about. Besides, she might not have to do that after all if everything fell into place the way she hoped. And if she did, well, it was a small price to pay.

She looked over at a waiting Henry. His eyes were fastened on her, his lips tight and his left eyebrow quirked; but as unnerving as his demeanor was at times, she knew that he was a gentleman and wouldn’t try to coerce her into sharing intimacies today. There was no need to be nervous.

I know there won’t be chaperones on our wedding night,” she said, forcing a smile and praying there wouldn’t be “chaperones” or any other type of observer on any of their other nights, either.

Are you feeling well?” he asked, his usually high brow puckered.

Of course,” she said quickly. “I was just thinking that I’m not properly attired to ride just now.”

He swept her with his gaze from the top of her head to the hem of her wide skirt.

You’ll be riding sidesaddle. I think you’ll be fine. You can just lift your skirt and sit directly onto the saddle, then rest your skirts over top to cover up with.”

Her jaw fell slack. Was he trying to scandalize her? If so, she’d have to congratulate him because it was working. She narrowed her eyes on him. The left corner of his mouth twitched. Not a lot, just enough to give him away. He was trying to scandalize her. Presumably, he was doing this because he wasn’t Elijah and he had every intention to make her cry off.

Well, that would not be happening. She’d determined she’d marry one of the Banks brothers five years ago and she’d see to it that she did. No half-hearted scandalous statement would keep her from her task.

Very well, then. That seems to be the perfect solution.”

His impassive face gave away nothing as he nodded once then led her toward the stables. “Why don’t you wait here and I’ll get our horses?”

A small wave of sadness crashed over her. As a girl, she’d loved to ride. Never sidesaddle, mind you. But her riding days felt like a lifetime ago. She’d not been atop a horse since she was taken to New York at seventeen and married off to an imbecile who didn’t know how to ride.

She clasped her hands in front of her and waited for Henry’s return. The warm country air felt good against her face, a reminder of the cotton plantation she’d been forced to leave behind more than seven years before for the stale air she’d been inhaling in Brooklyn, New York. She swallowed. There was nothing that could be done about it now. She had no future in New York or Georgia, nor did she have one here, either.

Your mount,” Henry’s clipped tone brought her from her thoughts.

She took a step back so he could lead the slow stepping nag in front of her. She frowned. “Is there a reason you selected this particular horse for me?”

I thought perhaps you’d prefer this one since you were so apprehensive about riding.”

I wasn’t apprehensive about riding a horse,” she said defensively. “I was apprehensive about being alone with you.”

He clicked his tongue and the horse whose name couldn’t have been anything but About-To-Be-Glue came to a shaky stop in front of her. “As I said earlier, madam, you’re going to have to get accustomed to being alone with me, if we’re to be married.” The challenge in his tone was unmistakable.

Unease settled in Laura’s stomach. She’d never ridden sidesaddle before. She’d seen a number of ladies in New York do so, but where she’d lived in Georgia, it hadn’t been practical. But she’d be damned if she’d admit her unease to Henry.

Mrs. Swift,” she corrected, trying in vain not to make a face, since saying her own last name filled her mouth with a bitter taste. “My name is Mrs. Swift, not madam. As for the rest of your statement, I have no qualms about being alone with you after we’re married—” I’m already preparing myself for the travesty that will befall me then— “nor do I have any aversion to riding a horse.” She walked right up to the tired-looking horse he’d brought out for her and took the reins for both horses from him. “I’ll hold the horses while you go fetch me a mounting block, if you please.”

Wordlessly, Henry’s two strong hands encircled her waist, lifted her high into the air, and then brought her down onto the saddle.

Apparently, a brute like him didn’t find a mounting block necessary!


Banks Brothers' Brides Series, Groom Series, Her Imperfect Groom, Her Reluctant Groom, Her Secondhand Groom, Her Sudden Groom, His Brother's Bride, His Contract Bride, His Jilted Bride, His Yankee Bride, Intentions of the Earl, Liberty for Paul, Officer Series, Officer Series, Reader Questions, Scandalous Sisters Series, The Officer and the Bostoner, The Officer and the Southerner

Which Book is WHOSE???

Two years ago, I never really anticipated this, but being emailed every few days to inquire about a reading order, really isn’t a bad thing. However, I wanted to post this here for those who are wondering, so they don’t have to wait on my response.

First, I should mention that The Officer Series isn’t really connected to my other books so they can be read first or last, it doesn’t really matter.

Now, for the others, I’d strongly suggest to read them in the order I wrote and published them. Why? Because though two of them are prequels, I was able to write in events/activities that are described in the earlier books without any sort of explanation other than “that’s just the way it is/was.”

So if you’re new to me, I’d suggest you read them like this:


Intentions of the Earl

Liberty for Paul

To Win His Wayward Wife



Her Sudden Groom

Her Reluctant Groom

Her Secondhand Groom

Her Imperfect Groom



HIs Contract Bride

His Yankee Bride

His Jilted Bride

His Brother’s Bride


Now, if you are one who MUST read things in chronological order, I’d say to read them like this:



HIs Contract Bride

His Yankee Bride



Intentions of the Earl

Liberty for Paul

To Win His Wayward Wife



Her Sudden Groom

Her Reluctant Groom

Her Secondhand Groom

Her Imperfect Groom



His Jilted Bride

His Brother’s Bride


His Contract Bride and His Yankee Bride are prequels that are about the parents of the siblings/cousins in the other books.


I know just listing it out doesn’t really “help” everyone, so if you’re more of a visual person, I’ve attempted to make a family tree as best I could on here.


Edward & Regina—His Contract Bride

Alex & Caroline
Her Sudden Groom

Elijah & Amelia
His Jilted Bride

Henry & Laura

His Brother’s Bride

Edwina & Sir Wallace

Her Imperfect Groom

John & Carolina—His Yankee Bride

Brooke & Andrew

Intentions of the Earl

Madison & Benjamin

To Win His Wayward Wife

Liberty & Paul

Liberty for Paul

(Naturally born Banks family members are in bold. Also, I’d strongly suggest NOT reading them in this particular order, I write it out this way so you could see birth order.)

Two books that I’ve written that aren’t part of the Officer Series are NOT listed in this family tree–Her Reluctant Groom, which is about Alex’s friend Marcus. His parents, however, are witnessed in action in His Contract Bride. Also, Her Secondhand Groom is also not a “Banks book”. It’s about Marcus’ other friend–Patrick. When I first got the idea for the Groom Series, Marcus was to be the main “connection” between the heroes. They were both friends with him. But when I got Sudden and fell in love with Edward (and of course John threw a curveball at me when he mentioned that the circumstances surrounding his and Carolina’s marriage were not up for discussion), I decided I needed to write about them. This was also the case with the whacky Sir Wallace in Reluctant. I loved him INSTANTLY and knew almost immediately who would be the perfect heroine for this imperfect groom.

Clear as mud?


His Brother's Bride, Reader Questions

Reader Questions RE: His Brother’s Bride

Please be warned, this post is FULL of spoilers so if you haven’t read the book and would like to be surprised, stop reading now.
  1. Was it planned all along to use Laura Swift (the woman who stole Madison’s love interest)?
    No. I was thinking of the irony that Regina and Carolina both ended in A, then as I started thinking about names for Elijah and Henry’s heroines, I saw the name Laura somewhere. At first, I dismissed it as just a name, besides I’d used it before… Then it clicked. In my usual, “work this out in my head while pacing the floor” mode, I walked around the kitchen, working out in my mind if I could or couldn’t use her. I came up with a “theory” and a workable storyline then ran it by a few close friends. So no, this was not a story of redemption that I’d been planning all along like someone else we know…
  2. Did you have any reservations about using her?
    Absolutely. Madison is one of my most loved heroines (probably because of her husband, but still). The idea of another character wanting to hurt her made me a little cautious about using Laura as a heroine. I felt that it might make her hated from the start on principle because of people’s loyalty to Madison. I’ve had two so far tell me that as soon as they realized who she was, they almost gave up reading the book. They later went on to explain that they were glad they didn’t as they ended up liking her just as much (or more) than Madison; but still the initial knee-jerk reaction was there. This was also the reason I was reluctant to put her name into the book description and still haven’t.
  3. Did everything go as planned once you had the plot with how Laura and Henry would fall in love and deal with Madison?
    Yes and no. I knew she’d show up and demand they marry based on a contract she’d had with Elijah. I also knew she’d had an awful marriage to Robbie (this was a no brainer based on how Madison had also been abused at his hands, what makes this lady any different?). I also knew it would be by Henry drawing her out of her shell that the two fall in love. However, I thought everything in the end would come down differently. I didn’t expect Laura to give up her bitter feelings so soon (I even made a Facebook post about how the book just took a turn I didn’t expect). I guess I underestimated Henry’s love and charm because I thought she’d hold onto those bitter feelings to the end and he’d either inadvertently create a situation for Laura to shame Madison OR he’d realize what she was about just before the scene where they meet again. Either way, when I originally thought out the story in my head, I thought it would be THEN, during the confrontation, that Laura realized everything she had with Henry, released her bitter feelings and made amends with Madison. I wasn’t sure exactly how the scene would play out because I knew there was SOME tension between the two that wasn’t going to go away with just one short conversation, but it was a start.
  4. Why wasn’t Madison more “spunky”?
    Madison had a very small role in this book…just a scene really. I know in the past she’s really flip and kind of a smart mouth at times, but that didn’t seem to fit here. When Laura first enters the room, she (Madison) has a lot of emotions going on. She’s shocked to see her, then of course, she’s a little on-edge/wary (hence why she refused to sit down at first). Remember, in Madison’s mind Laura managed to snag Robbie’s heart with no real effort–something she could not do–but also the last time Madison saw this woman words had been spoken and Madison ended up tripping down the stairs and miscarrying. So there are a lot of hard, bruised, tender, and frayed feelings between the two and it’s hard to joke and be clever when you’re hurting or scared. That’s why Madison wasn’t her “normal self” as some might say.
  5. What was Henry’s talent?
    He can play the piano. Elijah blew glass in his book and said he learned to do so because his father had encouraged them each to have a talent. Henry’s was his skill on the piano. It wasn’t played up (no pun intended) as much as Elijah’s hidden talent, but when he encourages Laura to join him at the piano and plays while pretending she’s doing it, that was his talent.
  6. I keep seeing Alex and Caroline, but they never got a story. Why?
    They do have a story. Their story was written a while back in Her Sudden Groom. The first two books in the Brides Series were written as prequels. Alex’s story (and his sister, Edwina) had their story before this series started. It was due to my own interests and the interest of the readers that I went back to write the prequels.
  7. What happened to Henry’s father?
    His fate and all the drama surrounding it can also be found in Her Sudden Groom with just a hint more information about it through a letter he wrote to his daughter in Her Imperfect Groom, both of which books were written before this last series.
  8. I found a certain aspect of the first bedroom scene off-putting. Why was it there?
    Sorry. It actually seemed the best option available to me. She could have attempted another way to “move things along”, if you will, but many times that happens only to have the guy latch onto his fleeting wits and stop her. So for Laura’s purpose, it was the more “surefire” way–no matter how uncomfortable it was for her.
  9. Why did you allow Henry and Laura to have a child but not Marcus and Emma?
    That’s just it. I already had a couple who didn’t have biological children, I didn’t think all of those who struggled needed to be that way. I wrote Marcus and Emma’s fate to be a nod for those who were unable; I wrote Henry and Laura’s as more of a nod to those who it takes a while, even if you’ve given up fate. Some people are capable, it just takes a while. And believe me, it can happen this way–where it takes several years before conception. It just does.

That’s all I’ve received. I don’t think I’ve done a FAQ on a specific book for a while, so if you have any questions about this book or one of the others, let me know and if I haven’t answered it already, I’ll answer it in a future post.

Happenings, Her Imperfect Groom, Her Sudden Groom, His Brother's Bride, His Jilted Bride, Randomness, Reader Questions, Scandalous Sisters Series, Swag, The Officer and the Bostoner, Updates

SWAG Part 2: Bookplates (And a few reader questions)

Yesterday I showed bookmarks, today I have bookplates!

Scandalous sisters PC front 200x300
Scandalous Sisters PC back 200x300

Grooms PC front 200x300

Grooms PC back 200x300

Brothers PC Front 200x300

Brothers PC back 200x300

Officers PC front 200x300

Officers PC back 200x300

For the sake of me not sending out so many emails to clog your inbox, I’m going to answer a few reader questions in this post.

1. What does “swag” stand for?

“Something we all get” If you ever go to a readers’ conference or book fair or even sometimes your own library, there are items that you’ll get in your registration bag or just to pick up. This can be anything from pens to chip clips, lip balm to USB drives, business cards to signed book covers, chewing gum to bandage dispensers. Just a hodgepodge of items that the author has his/her name put on to help you remember their name/books.

2. Who designed the bookmarks and postcards?

Anya Kelleye. I meant to post that yesterday, but I got distracted (sorry, Anya!). Anyway, she has done several projects for me including the bookmarks and bookplates.

3. Is it necessary to read the two previous books in the series to read His Jilted Bride?

Not at all. The two previous books take place nearly 30 years earlier and are the stories of the hero’s mother and father and aunt and uncle, respectively. If you want to see Elijah (or his twin Henry who is the hero in His Brother’s Bride) in previous books, I’d recommend Her Sudden Groom which is about his eldest brother, in which he plays a very minor role toward the end, and in Her Imperfect Groom where they both play another small roll in the first third. Nothing that is crucial to the plot of Jilted takes place in any of the other books.

4. Will you be signing books at RT this year?

Yes. I will be signing during the Indie Expo on May 2, from 4-6pm. I’ll also have two “meet & greets” in Club RT at 1pm on Wednesday and 2pm on Thursday. Come see me and divest me of some swag! In addition to this, I have pressured a good friend of mine Ruth Ann Nordin to come to dinner with me and with us, we’d love to have some readers join us for that dinner! So if you’ll let one of us know that you plan to be there and would like to dine with us, we can get you more details.

5. What is your progress with The Officer and the Bostoner, young lady? (That was EXACTLY how that was written to me and it was not from my mom!)

Very, very good. I am hoping to finish the first draft today, actually. I have one more chapter and the epilogue. It shouldn’t take long, then I have to spend the afternoon and Sunday to sort swag before I can start my prelim edits on Monday morning.

6. When will The Officer and the Bostoner be out?

July. I still have to do several rounds of edits, THEN send it to the professional, then make changes and have it go to proofing. At the same time, I can’t just focus on this book with RT coming, a 70 mile bike ride for diabetes and a ton of end-of-the-year field trips that I have to chaperone. Oh, and for some crazy reason, I agreed to take a group of tweens and teens from my church camping the weekend before RT. So…it’ll be a bit. I want it done right. Also, I’m hoping while this one is being worked on with edits, I can start writing the next. If they can both be done being written before July, and I can work on the final installment, then I’ll be able to put them out closer together. (Keep in mind, this its just all in theory, I’ve learned never to make promises!)

And for our last question…

7.  At the end of Liberty for Paul it’s mentioned that Sam (Paul’s brother) will no longer be able to sire children, what exactly happened to his parts?

Uh…well, I really left this open to the reader’s interpretation and what they wanted to happen to him. How much do they hate him and what do they think he deserves. In my mind, I imagined the privilege was gone. As in, he wasn’t like Marcus where he’d had an accident and could still perform but not sire children; but rather his ability to even have any type of sexual activity was squished right along with his…er…wedding tackle. Realistically, back then, I don’t think he’d have survived if the accident had been so bad it had actually divested him of his lust musket (yes, I put lust on purpose–that man doesn’t know the meaning of love) or if not immediately, but later. They have the means such a misfortune now, but not back then. But that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t hurt in such a way that destroyed the nerves underneath that allow him to rise to the occasion and that perhaps his whirligigs didn’t get damaged to a point that it was necessary for them to be removed. Really though, it’s up to you. How badly do you want to imagine he got injured?