Happenings, Updates

His Brother’s Bride ~ On Sale Now!

Red Beauty

While traveling around America, Elijah Banks makes a promise he’s unable to keep. So to guard his family’s name and his sister-in-law’s feelings, Henry Banks tells this beautiful stranger that he is the brother she seeks and impulsively agrees to marry the stunning beauty who introduces herself as Elijah’s intended.

It might have been a while since she’d last seen the twins in New York, but she knows it’s Henry who is claiming to be Elijah—she just doesn’t care. One Banks brother is as good as the next, as far as she’s concerned. Her near ensnarement of and marriage proposal from Elijah was just part of her plan to seek revenge on their family, but Henry will suffice just as well.

When Elijah and his new wife return from their recent trip to Italy, he has a lot of explaining to do. Especially, when, for the safety of his entire family, he has to reveal what he knows about this American beauty: including her plan for revenge.

Now, without giving away either his identity or his heart, Henry must find a way to dissuade his wife from revenge—but he’s soon finding that ideas are easier formed than executed and with each attempt to change her mind, he loses a little more of his heart to this enchanting creature.

Not the dimwit everyone has treated her as her entire life, she knows exactly what her husband is about. But while her mind refuses to accept his advances, her heart can’t deny them. Everything from his carefree manner to his genuine gestures is a stark contrast to the man she’d been married to before.

But when when her opportunity to seek revenge presents itself, she must decide if it’s revenge she longed for, or the love of a good man, because even she knows she can’t have both

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Books, Happenings

Exclusive Excerpt of His Brother’s Bride

I’m just going to lay my cards on the table and tell you all that I have NO idea when His Brother’s Bride will be available. It could be late tonight or tomorrow sometime, or sadly it could be Friday. I won’t even entertain the thought that it would be after that, but I guess it’s always possible.

The thing is, I don’t know when it will be up at the eBookstore you prefer and the reason is: everyone’s on their own schedule.

Two years ago when I started (I cannot believe it’s been two years, but that’s beside the point) B&N got books up lightning fast and Amazon took a full day, or more. These days, I’ve seen Amazon have books up in less than two hours (no kidding) and B&N can take anywhere from four hours to four days. I’ve made schedules for how to make this all happen within a four-hour window, and that worked for about two books, but not anymore.

Because every store’s system and process is different, it makes it VERY hard to pinpoint a day and make a promise that I can actually keep. It also makes it hard to send out a notification to 500 people saying it’s up here and it’s up there, but not here and here, so I won’t do that any longer and we’ll all play the waiting game together.

This time, however, I am being proactive and uploading to B&N tonight and the other places tomorrow morning in hopes that everyone “gets it together” around the same time and allowing for an announcement late tomorrow night, early Friday. *fingers crossed*

Until then, there are three options to get your weekly Banks fix:

1. Stare longingly at the beautiful cover the talented Lily Smith whipped up for me when I gave her nothing to go on except that I don’t want to see any full faces on the covers and lots of dress…

Red Beauty

2. Come join me for another live chat tomorrow night at 8EST/7CST on my website. After we got sidetracked last time with time travel characters who have to check to make sure their male parts made the time warp with them, whose husband manscapes, and the advice my very own mother passed down to me in the event I marry a man with no chest hair, I think we need a topic so we stay on track and don’t all have nightmares later. The topic will be…the Banks men. So think of what you love (or don’t…) about your favorite Mr. Banks and come share.

3. You can read and re-read the following exclusive excerpt over and over. I say this is exclusive because this week there are several other blogs that are graciously featuring this book will be sharing one passage, but this particular one you’ll only find here!

So without any further ado, here goes:

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 knewhis 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?”

THE END

If that wasn’t enough and you’re interested in reading the other excerpt, follow this link and head over to Once Upon a Book to read another short excerpt.

 

 

 

Bob, Edits from Bob, Just for Fun

Life would be boring without husbands…

…and so would the third round of editing a book.

Or at least that’s my feelings.

Today, I’ll post the typos and comical thoughts Bob had on His Brother’s Bride when he read it after the second draft to offer a man’s perspective.

But first, I have to go back Jilted. There was a comment he made that was totally hysterical (to me) that I didn’t post because I didn’t want to ruin anything for anyone. It’s been more than two months now so I don’t think I’m in as much danger of spoiling anything for those who follow me here.

At the end of the second chapter, after Amelia has woken up from her drug-induced sleep only to return home and be told by her brother that she’ll have to marry Lord Friar, post haste, my husband left a comment saying, “The moral of this story is: Don’t drink the fruity punch!”

With no further ado, here are his thoughts on my upcoming book:

  • Compost is good for gardening… (Honestly, I don’t understand this one as the word I’d put was compose instead of composed.)
  • At times like this, I think you say ‘at times’ too much.
  • With his mustache? (This was totally off the way, and an inside joke, I’m afraid. We have a friend who has a really thick, bushy mustache that I always refer to as a broom because of all of its bristles. So when I said, “Henry swept her from the top of her head to the hem of her wide skirt…” his mind went to brooms. Strange man.)
  • Oh, the dramatics.
  • This might the a bit much…
  • She didn’t want to go into the house earlier, and now she’s sleeping in his bed? Fickle woman.
  • Why is she questioning this? Didn’t she just watch him make it? (Yes, dear, and if you’d keep reading, you’ll notice he asks her the same question!)
  • She did not!
  • Mrs. Gordon, you’s all sorts of nasty today. (Uh, yeah, when reading the sentence, you’d think he had more delicate sensibilities than Lady O pretends to have. Good grief, we haven’t gotten to the scandalizing parts yet.)
  • This sounds more like a liver disease than a flower to me.
  • Oh, so funny, darling. Only you.
  • Dog poo? (Oops, I had two “do’s” in a sentence. I swear, I’d be a wreck without his good sense and careful eye…)
  • Spotted, huh. Did he have leprosy? (No, actually, acne.)
  • Men don’t lose their breath when they’re excited by what they see, they get a– (That’ll be enough of that, Mr. Gordon!)
  • Funny sentence structure.
  • Isn’t this a little excessive. Demand they marry because they dance more than twice at a ball? (Sadly, no, it was very realistic.)
  • Henry has my sympathy, you’re chilly, too, sometimes. (Thanks, dear.)
  • This is too vague. I think you need to be more descriptive in such a scene. (In case you’re curious, it was an intimate scene. Honestly, I get awkward as it is with those, I couldn’t imagine being more descriptive.)

For as crazy as Bob makes me at times, he never fails to amuse me with what he thinks are important changes to my books. Admittedly, I have taken several of his suggestions over the year (mainly on correcting typos), and I always look forward to his thoughts. I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!

Books, Contests, Happenings, Updates

New for April…and beyond!

Here’s what’s new!

1. His Brother’s Bride is set to come out later this week.

Late this week, His Brother’s Bride will be hitting the virtual bookshelves. This makes me both very excited and also very sad as it is the last Banks book I’ll write (for now).

With this occasion swiftly approaching, I’ll post my husband’s oh-so-helpful editing suggestions as well as a brief scene/excerpt this week!

2.  RT is swiftly approaching and I’d LOVE to see you there!

May 1-5 I will be in Kansas City for the RT Booklovers Convention. Come find me in Club RT on Weds. May 1st from 1-1:30pm or Thursday May 2nd from 2 to 2:30; or at the Indie Expo on Thursday May 2nd from 4 to 6pm. I will be signing books and giving away lots of nifty things so come see me! 

For more information about the RT Convention, please visit their website.

I also have something else in the works, so if you plan to go, drop me a line and I’ll let you know what I’m scheming when I have more concrete details!

3. Buy a Groom and help a cause!

Starting on May 1st, Brenda Novak will start an auction that will benefit diabetes. This year, I have donated my entire Groom Series in paperback form (signed, of course) along with a writing quill, ink pot, a wax seal and wax, notecards and swag. The starting bid is $3.00, with all the proceeds going to help find a cure for diabetes. If you’d like more information on what I’m donating or to find other items that might be of interest, please go check out the listing page.

4. His Yankee Bride is almost an audiobook!

My narrator has only five chapters remaining before she’s completed with His Yankee Bride.  It’ll be completed early next week and be on sale hopefully by the end of April or beginning of May.

After this book, the next one that should be available will be Her Sudden Groom coming in May or early June.

Older News you might have missed…

1. The audiobook format for His Contract Bride is now available at all outlets.

    Or listen to the sample.

2. Her Reluctant Groom (plus 5 other books) are on sale as a compilation for .99!

Even if you’ve already read Her Reluctant Groom, you might want to take advantage of this because you never know who you might discover. I have gotten together with a few other ladies from our Timeless Quills group and we’ve put together a compilation of six book for the incredible price of only .99!

Here is what is included:

HER RELUCTANT GROOM by Rose Gordon ~ Marcus Sinclair, sixteenth Earl of Sinclair, has lived the last thirteen years as a recluse following an accident that left him heavily scarred. Though a recluse, Marcus has still managed to fall in love. The problem? The woman he’s taken with is none other than the sister of the lady he was once betrothed to!

~*~*~*~

TO WALK IN THE SUN by Jane Charles ~ Hiding from a dangerous man, Tess Crawford thought The Wiggons’ School for Elegant Young Ladies would be the perfect place to disappear. Vincent Latimer, Viscount Atwood, is not a vampire and He wishes the book, Wake Not the Dead, had never been written. When a storm thrusts Tess into Vincent’s path and destroys the school, both of their pasts collide.

~*~*~*~

A SCANDALOUS PURSUIT by Ava Stone ~ A very proper English lady has all her plans for the future disrupted when she innocently stumbles headfirst into a compromising situation with a very improper English duke.

~*~*~*~

MORE THAN A GOVERNESS by Jerrica Knight-Catania ~ Becky Thorn has been keeping a secret for more than seven years. A secret that could destroy her. So before she gets too ensconced in London society, she accepts a position as a governess for a reclusive Viscount, far away from the ton.

~*~*~*~

THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER by Suzie Grant ~ A bounty hunter facing his past

Gade Ryder returns to Eden, Texas, after twelve years to investigate a gang of rustlers on the family ranch. Had he accepted the job out of misplaced family loyalty or was it the compelling mystery of the devil’s daughter keeping him in the one place he didn’t want to be? Confronted by the memory of his mother’s suicide and the father he blames for her death, Gade finds himself seeking comfort from the one woman he couldn’t trust.

~*~*~*~

THE HEALING TREE by Amy De Trempe ~ Lady Lilian Bliant is determined to thwart her manipulative father’s plan to shackle her to a weak-willed man of the ton. Lord Maxwell Warrick is anything but weak-willed, yet Lily wreaks havoc on his heart. Will their differences be put aside and will Lily one day accept his faith as her own and Max as her husband.

~*~*~*~

This compilation will only be available for a short time and can be snapped up (or stolen!) at the following locations:


Giveaway!


In the comment section, name a secondary character of mine who hasn’t yet received a book (Henry doesn’t count) that you’d like to see get their story along with a brief explanation (one to two sentences) of why you’d like to read their story (or why you think they deserve one) and you’ll be entered to win one of 15 digital copies of the Timeless Quills Timeless Collection I’ll be giving away and entered into the Grand Prize of an ARC of His Bother’s Bride. This is open Internationally and entries will be collected until 12pm CST April 2, when the winners will be selected and notified.

Books, Happenings, Randomness, Updates

A Thursday Update

1. His Brother’s Bride is done. Kind of. 

I think I’d mentioned I’d finished writing it, and I have. I’ve also done my first round of edits, and passed it onto the editor. I did have an idea or two that I’ll have to change, but otherwise, it is coming along very nicely and will be available in the first half of April.

2. His Contract Bride is now officially an audiobook.

Unfortunately, it’s been “pending” for almost two weeks now. Audible.com said it could take two to three weeks for it to be on sale, so hopefully next week it will be available for download.

3. What’s next?

Since finishing His Brother’s Bride, I’ve been finding myself devoted to several older projects–rereading this, looking at that, opening all the “starts” that I have for different books, etc. I have three other series, two that will have three books, and one that will just have two (so far), plus at least four or five other “standalones” or books that *could* be grouped with a series that already exists. While I’d like to tie up any loose ends such as with Gabriel, Marjorie, Lucy, Elizabeth, Henrietta and Olivia. I think it’s past time I honor my promise of the Officer Series and that’s where I’ll head to first. I have approximately 18,000 words completed on The Officer and the Bostoner, which thrills me to no end since I didn’t think I had that much done. Yesterday I read over what I had written on it for the first time in a year and was gravely disappointed when it came to an abrupt end!

While spending time rereading older works, I realized that some of my earlier books and ideas were just good, old-fashioned love stories: no dark secrets, no haunting pasts, no crippling fears, just two people who fall in love, and I do believe that’s what will come of The Officer and the Bostoner. Nothing more than a happy, comical love story.

Since it’s been about a year since I’ve said anything about this book, I’ll post a copy of the cover just to remind you (and me) what it looks like.

ECover-OfficerAndBostoner

Books, Happenings, I'm the victim of myself, My own craziness, Randomness

Updates and in need of an idea…or 100

1. The first book I had contracted to make into an audiobook His Contract Bride is almost done. I spoke with the narrator today and she’s about two-thirds of the way through and is projected to finish the end of next week.

I’ve never done an audiobook before so I don’t know what all has to happen after that, but from what I understand, it won’t take long once she finishes it for it to be available. I’ve listened to four chapters (so far) and I’m really happy with it.

 

2. His Brother’s Bride is coming along nicely! I started this one last month right before Jilted came out and even with three–yes three–rounds of the flu and something that totally wiped me out yesterday and made me so incredibly sleepy that I went to bed in the afternoon and didn’t fully wake up until this morning, I have managed to make good headway on the book. I’m in that terrible spot where two-thirds of the book is written, and I’m wishing it was more like three-fourths. For me, the first quarter of a book just appears. It comes so very easy. Then, it slows down for a while until I’m about 40 percent of the way through, then it catches speed again only to come to a crashing halt after I’ve reached that two-thirds mark. Then it comes slow. This is the most excruciating part, too. When it happens earlier in the book, I can skip ahead and write another scene then try to fit them together. When it happens at the end, it isn’t so easy. That last fourth of a book is like a race to the finish, then I don’t feel like going back and bridging the gap. Besides, sometimes things happen between 67% and 75% that need to be taken care of at the end, and if I don’t know what they are, it only makes more work later. *Sigh* So in other words, I’m blogging about all of this so A) all of your eyes can glaze over and B) to take a little break.

It occurred to me that when I did the cover changes for this series back in January that some of you might not have seen or noticed the new covers. So for Mr. Henry Banks and his mysterious bride, here is the cover:

Red Beauty

3. I find myself in need of giving away more books. A few weeks ago, I’d mentioned giving away books to libraries–which I’m still taking requests for, by the way. But now, I have 100 more I have to part with. Last week, I got 100 copies of His Yankee Bride from the printer. I’d ordered these to give to retailers and booksellers. Unfortunately, somehow when they were printed, a thin, but noticeable, blue line came through half a line of the text. It’s not enough to kill the book, and it doesn’t make it unreadable by any means, but since I have an image to maintain cough, cough I’d rather not give these to stores to try to sell. So I am now trying to come up with ways to give them away and I’m open to suggestions. I’ve had a few already claimed (thank goodness), but I wanted to extend the invitation to all of you that if you’re involved with a book club that might like to read it or you have ideas for giveaways I could do, please let me know. I am probably the only author in the world who has a hard time coming up with ways to get rid of her books, but alas, here I am.

Books, Happenings, My own craziness, Updates

Updates, Updates and More Updates

1. His Jilted Bride is currently with proofreader numero dos. From first draft to final product, I have no less five different sets of eyes go over the book to find errors. Why? Because, I want it to be the best it can be. My editor, who actually will be reading this, and so will both proofreaders, literally “goes to town” as I so eloquently tease her, on the MS. In addition to looking for misspellings, grammatical uh-ohs and punctuation mishaps, she double checks words that she think might be questionable for the time period. She’ll leave comments like: I think this sounds better, or do you realize you used the word slow four times in one paragraph? So I correct my document to reflect her suggestions and changes, and hand it off to proofreader number one who fixes any new errors I’ve created based on changing things that the editor suggested, things we both might have overlooked, and highlights questionable statements that she doesn’t think read right (and a few lapses in logic!). Then, I make her corrections and it goes to the last proofreader, which is where it is currently, who looks for any grammatical errors I might have made while making corrections before. Why three people? Because, when there are so many words, it’s very hard to make sure you’ve gotten it all right. One lady was very apprehensive about accepting the role as editor because to her, she then had a vested interest in the book and if someone slammed the editing, it wasn’t just about me, but it was then about her, too. If there are three other people besides me, it allows them each to pick out their strengths and lessens the burden of one person getting it flawless. (Plus, I have a terrible habit of making two errors while correcting one so it helps to have a few back ups.)

So, you should expect to see a post from me sometime Tuesday or Wednesday with the announcement that it’s live.

2. Updating links and information on this blog.

With each new book comes a need to update my website and blog. I’ll be doing this around the first of this month. If you are an author, book reviewer/blogger or anyone else who runs a website and would like to swap links, please email me with your info and I’ll add you to the blog roll. While it won’t generate tons of traffic I’m sure, it does help to see other names of sites that might be of interest.

3. His Brother’s Bride info and what’s next. 

I am about 20,000 words into His Brother’s Bride (Henry’s story) and it is moving along nicely. As promised, barring any more broken fingers or another round of the flu, this should be available in April. So that leaves me with: what’s next?! Well, I’m still debating on how to do this. I really need to write that Oklahoma series. It’s been calling to me for a while now. Unfortunately, I’m not like some people I know who can write multiple books at once. LOL So, what I’m thinking is so that those of you who are only interested in my English/Regency-set books don’t give up hope on me, I think I’ll go back and forth and do one American book, then one Regency, then repeat. It’ll take longer for each series to be completed, but it will certainly allow for the best way to get them both done without neglecting one series entirely in favor of the other.

4. Word goal for 2013. 

This year, I’d like to write 1,000,000 words between my books and blog posts. If I included emails, I’d reach that in three months time, but I’d like to actually write and publish 1,000,000 words so that restricts it only to blog posts and books. If I can find an easy to use bar monitor, I’ll soon be setting one up in the sidebar so you all can keep up with my progress and be sure to wag your finger at me if I start to slow down.

5. New Blog Spotlight

I still plan to continue the Day in a Life and the behind the scenes and what it’s like to be a writer as I have time, but I’m thinking I will add a new feature called, “Something New Sunday” and allow for a guest post each Sunday. This might be a guest post from someone about their hobby or some historical aspect, it will NOT be a blatant sales pitch to go buy books. [Note: if that’s what it becomes I’ll shut this down and continue to bombard you all with my own nonsense stories about my kids and my husband, but I’d really like to bring other people in to showcase their talents and knowledge. If you’d like to sign up for one of these spots, please email me. I’ll be adding a tab at the top  of my blog talking about this later in the week, but would like to give any of you the chance first.]

That’s all! Have a great remainder of your weekend!

My own craziness, Updates

A few changes…

I’ve decided to make a few changes regarding my upcoming books (and a few that are already out). The first being the covers:

Red Beauty

Red Beauty

Red Beauty

 

Red Beauty

 

There were a few reasons for the change, but the biggest is that I’m known for faceless ladies with large or elegant dresses. Also, kind of like each of my Groom Series, this takes a lady and puts her in a similar dress or in a scene from the book.

With the Groom Series, I tried to make the coves tie in like this:

Sudden: Caroline had blue eyes and wore a silver dress at her wedding.

Reluctant: Emma had to be party to that miserable musicale they put on for Drake (it’s a stretch, but the piano does work… Plus, the girls banged on it enough to give them all a headache and bribe them to stop).

Secondhand: This is the biggest symbol as Juliet wore a green dress with green gloves the night when Drake finally “saw” her and realized she was more than just a simple miss from the village.

Imperfect: I think she wore a similar gown at her wedding, too.

With this set:

Contract: In a literal sense, Edward had her positioned near the window to do her embroidery or whatnot, but in a figurative sense, she was trapped in a room with windows, waiting for the right person (Edward) to let her out and get to experience life herself.

Yankee: The blue writing and dress, and the endless field is how I imagine the indigo plantation in South Carolina might have looked.

Jilted: You’ll just have to wait! Oh, all right, she might be sitting on a settee in a flowery wallpapered room during what might be a critical part of the book, but that’s all I’m saying…

Brother’s: There’s a cottage and that’s all that needs to be known!

There was another reason for the changes and quite simply I just couldn’t imagine Elijah and Henry’s heroines blonde.

Anyway, it was with a lot of thought (and possibly irritation on the part of those whose opinions I solicited), that I decided to make the change. I do apologize to anyone who had their hearts set on one of the former covers, but I think these are for the best.

Also…there will be a slight change coming to the short description for His Jilted Bride. I thought it would go a certain way, but in the last 1/3 of the book, Elijah and Amelia pulled one over on me so the blurb will change marginally. I’ll post the updated blurb here and on my website in the next day or two.

Thanks to all of those Debs who helped me with my cover model dilemma!