Posted at Feb 16, 2014 1:44 am in Blog, Compromising Willa, Diana Quincy, Hunt, Scavenger, Tour
February 17 Michelle Chew Writes
February 17 Bookworm2Bookworm
February 17 Simply Ali
February 18 Bookworm Blurbs
February 18 herding cats & burning soup
February 19 Margay Leah Justice
February 19 Curling Up With A Good Book
February 20 Ramblings From This Chick
February 20 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
February 21 BookGroupies
February 21 Romantic Reads and Such
February 24 Always Reiding
February 24 Fade Into Fantasy
February 25 The Gal in the Blue Mask
February 25 Fab Fantasy Fiction
February 26 What I’m Reading
February 26 Ex Libris
February 27 Becky on Books
February 27 Reviews by Crystal
February 28 The La La Land of Books
February 28 Talking Books Blog
Join us! I’m giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card, a digital copy of Tempting Bella (Book 2 in my Accidental Peers series) and a canister of Willa’s custom blended Peppermint Apple Black Tea.
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Posted at Feb 3, 2014 11:37 pm in author, decorating, home, ideas, makeover, office, redesign, writer
Lately, I’ve been thinking I need a space of my own.
When I started writing about five years ago, I chose to work in the dining room―which gave me an excellent view out the front of the house and of the backyard―so I could keep an eye on my boys when they played outside. It’s worked pretty well, except that I have to clean up all of my folders, books and papers (ie. junk) whenever we have guests.
I also have no place to hang writing-related memorabilia or inspiration boards for my work in progress. And I’ve got an award or two I picked up as an unpublished writer hidden in a drawer somewhere.
My current writing spot in my dining room, which gives me a view of the front and backyard. (This is the cleaned-up-for-company version.)
Since the boys are older now and I no longer need to keep as close an eye on them (at least not when they play outside), I’d like a place to shelve my research books and favorite things, while also centralizing my writing tools and needs in one place.
Luckily, we’ve got a study that pretty much no one uses. It’s the place sports equipment is dropped and old instruments go to gather dust. The book shelves are a mish-mash of old children’s books and other books that are not really keepers.
The “Before” picture of the study no one really uses. It doesn’t look bad, but it’s not really conducive to writing. I’ve had that couch almost 20 years and, even though it’s still in good shape, I think it’s time to give it away to open up the space.
A key part of the makeover is budget…as in, I don’t really have one. So this is going to have to be a thrifty redesign. Remember that old HGTV show, Design on a Dime? That’s kind of what I’m going for here.
To start, I went in search of a deal at an antiques place near where I live. The shop has an annual “Ground Hog Day Sale” where I’ve managed to find some treasures over the years. This time, I came away with a couple of great finds, including a black painted wood desk with nice clean lines. And the price tag? An amazing $69. Sold!
My new desk on display in the shop. For $69, I snapped it up.
My new desk in its new space, but not its final spot. Let the (not-so) Great Home Office makeover begin!
My next big question is what to do about the shelving unit. It was a freebie when we moved into the house and looks much better in pictures than it does in real life. Should I paint it black and keep it or is it time to start scouring Craig’s List for a nice set of shelves? Decisions, decisions…
Posted at Nov 6, 2013 1:57 pm in alpha, beta, Darcy, hero, historical, romance
The hero in romance novels is often possessive, aggressive, dominant and protective—characteristics attributed to the alpha hero.
He is a leader of men and, more often than not, a serial seducer of women who can’t seem to help succumbing to his irresistible charisma. This leading man is often the bad boy until he meets his match in the heroine, who eventually tames him…a little.
Beta characters are usually relegated to the role of best friend in romance novels; they’re the amiable sidekick of the tough-talking, butt-kicking and, often, emotionally-distant alpha hero. There are times, however, when the beta takes center stage and creates a memorable hero for the ages.
Mr. Darcy, from Pride and Prejudice, is the ultimate beta hero. Darcy is quiet, contained, and seemingly arrogant, but we eventually learn he is innately kind and puts the well being of others before himself.
Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in the BBC’s “Pride and Prejudice”
Sebastian, the hero in Tempting Bella, the second book in my Accidental Peers series, is also one of these kinder, gentler leading men. He is decent, honorable and essentially selfless. He’s also complex, virile and very sexy.
While I love a good alpha hero, there is something undeniably alluring about a beta hero, too. Here’s a little primer on how to spot the difference between an alpha and a beta:
The alpha hero can have a little bit of a jerk in him.
The beta hero is a nice guy.
The alpha hero doesn’t always start out treating ladies with respect.
The beta hero treats a lady with the respect she deserves.
The alpha hero goes after what he wants.
The beta hero usually puts other people’s desires before his own.
The alpha hero loves sex and has lots of it with a variety of women…until he meets his true love, the heroine, and then sex becomes meaningful and monogamous.
The beta hero loves sex but is often not as sexually experienced as an alpha male, so intimacy is more meaningful to him.
The alpha tries to impose his will on the heroine, at least in the beginning.
The beta refuses to impose his will on the heroine; he prefers using gentle persuasion.
The alpha hero is never a wimp and he’ll kick plenty of butt to prove it.
The beta hero is never a wimp, but he often operates behind the scenes to achieve the outcome he desires.
The best alpha hero has a bit of beta in him.
The best beta hero has a bit of alpha in him.
The alpha hero is the guy you love to read about in books.
The beta hero is the guy you want to marry in real life.
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Posted at Oct 21, 2013 6:21 pm in blood letting, Diana Quincy, laudanum, leeches, Regency England, wife selling
In Regency romance novels, society and everyday living are often depicted as elegant and gentile. However, in the course of researching my historical novels, I’ve come across several cringe-inducing Regency realities.
In honor of Halloween, I’ve listed the top five scariest things about living in Regency England.
I guarantee more than one of them will make you squeamish!
TOP 5 Scariest Things About Living During Regency Times
Doping Up the Kids If the baby was a bit fussy, colicky or teething uncomfortably, it wasn’t unusual to slip a little laudanum into his cup or to use laudanum-laced medicines such as Steedman’s Powder or Godfrey’s Cordial to sooth the little darling. Women also used the substance to ease anxiety or menstrual cramps. Today we know this miracle drug by its more modern name: opium.
Surgery Without General Anesthesia Since ether wasn’t discovered in England until the 1840s, patients were generally operated on after being plied with booze or, you guessed it, laudanum! But you couldn’t give the patient too much of the drug for fear of overdose, so these methods did not always keep the patient asleep during the operation.
Gathering Leeches for Blood letting Blood letting using leeches was a commonly used medical procedure in Regency England. Doctors believed bleeding patients could cure a variety of illnesses. That’s bad enough, but what might be more hair-raising is the way in which these leeches were collected. Women would stand in marshes, river banks and lakes, and allow leeches to attach to their legs. The leeches were then detached from the limbs and placed in a pot or basket.
Wife for Sale During this period and beyond, the occasional dissatisfied husband would decide to sell his wife. He would lead her to the marketplace, sometimes with a rope around her neck, and auction her off to the highest bidder. In one case, in 1835 (just after the Regency period) the wife outlived both her husband and her buyer, and was successfully able to claim her rights as her husband’s widow.
Relieving Oneself in the Dining Room (Not as scary as the top four, but this one makes the list because of the gross factor.) Once the ladies had withdrawn and left the gentlemen to their port and cheroots, it was not uncommon for one of the so-called gentlemen to relieve himself in full view of others. One can only imagine what a mess this could be if said gentleman had a little too much to drink.
This Halloween, get spooky, get funky!
Get down this October with All Entangled Eve.
Entangled Publishing is hosting a massive blog hop.
With over 50 authors participating, this is your chance to win a ton of fantastic prizes from your favorite authors!
Click here for more information on how to win great prices.
Posted at Oct 12, 2013 5:00 am in beta, hero, Historical romance, romance, Tempting Bella
Tempting Bella, the second book in my Accidental Peers series, features a kinder, gentler leading man.
In short, Sebastian is a beta hero. Betas are often consigned to the role of best friend in romance novels, the sidekick of the tough-talking, butt-kicking and, often, emotionally-distant alpha hero. As the hero in Tempting Bella, Sebastian is decent, honorable and essentially selfless. He’s also complex, virile and very sexy!
While I love a good alpha hero, there is something undeniably alluring about a beta hero—he’s the guy you’d love to marry in real life.
Here are my Top 10 Things to Love About a Beta Hero
1) He’s a nice guy.
2) He treats a lady with the respect she deserves.
3) He’s comfortable enough with his masculinity that he doesn’t have to act like a Neanderthal to prove he’s a real man.
4) He often puts other people’s desires before his own.
5) He is warm, tender and projects a quiet strength.
6) He is often not as sexually experienced as an alpha male, so intimacy is more meaningful to him.
7) He refuses to impose his will on the heroine.
8) The beta hero is never a wimp.
9) He has a teeny bit of alpha in him
10) On top of all of those winning qualities, a beta hero can still be hot, charismatic and sexy!
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Posted at Aug 27, 2013 1:24 pm in Accidental Peers, arranged marriage, Diana Quincy, Duchess, Duchess in her own right, Duke, Entangled, forced marriage, historical, Regency, romance, Scandalous, Seducing Charlotte, Tempting Bella
Tempting Bella has a cover and I’m thrilled to share it with you! I love the elegance and mystery of this cover, plus the striking contrast of the black and white with a nice pop of hot pink. Thanks to all of the people over at my publisher, Entangled Scandalous, for this great look.
Tempting Bella will be released Monday, September 9. It’s Book 2 in my Accidental Peers series. Here’s the preview:
“Mirabella can hardly remember the man she married as a child and it’s just as well. She feels nothing but contempt for the man who married her for her fortune and promptly forgot she existed.
Sebastian has been apart from his child bride since their wedding day, after a teenaged marriage forced upon him to rescue his family from certain ruin. His attempt to honor his vows to his absent wife have earned him the nickname, “The Saint.” But when he encounters an enchanting impish beauty at the opera, Sebastian cannot resist learning who she is and is thrilled to learn she is none other than his long-ago bride.
Already resentful of his early abandonment, Bella is suspicious of her husband’s unusual activities —mysterious midnight outings and apparent liaisons with pretty servant girls. Then there is the mounting evidence that Sebastian is not who he claims to be.
Guarding the painful secret of his true identity, Sebastian is entranced by Bella. Delighted by his good fortune, he is eager to make her his wife in truth. But the beguiling lady has no intention of coming meekly to the marriage bed!
Interested? Check out the First Chapter Here.
Tempting Bella is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all other online retailers.
Posted at Aug 17, 2013 3:11 am in cover, historical, new, Regency, romance, Seducing Charlotte
I’m so excited to show you the new cover for Seducing Charlotte.
My publisher, Entangled Scandalous, is revamping all of its historical covers, giving them a sharp, fresh new look.
I absolutely love the result. Charlotte gets a blue dress on the cover, just as she does in a crucial scene from the book. And I love the background. Most of Seducing Charlotte takes place at a stately country manor, so this new background sets the scene nicely. Very elegant.
I loved the old cover but I think the new one is even better. What do you think?
Seducing Charlotte’s new cover. Love!
Seducing Charlotte’s original cover
You can check out more of Entangled Scandalous’ new historical covers HERE.
Leave me a comment telling me whether you prefer the original design or the new cover for a chance to win a digital copy of Seducing Charlotte. I’ll pick a winner on Sunday, Aug. 25.
Posted at Jul 21, 2013 5:15 pm in conference, Diana Quincy, Romance Writers of America, RWA13
I’m just back from my first-ever Romance Writers of America (RWA) national conference, which was held in Atlanta. With about 2,500 writers, editors and agents in attendance, RWA’s annual event is the largest gathering of romance writers in the world.
Author Kristan Higgins made us laugh and cry during her luncheon speech at the RWA conference.
The conference features workshops on the craft of writing as well as the business side of publishing. But for most people, it is an excellent time to see and be seen. Hundreds gather in the lobby, bar or other common areas to meet and network. I was thrilled to meet people who have read Seducing Charlotte, follow me on Twitter, or know me from my days as a contest finalist before I published my first book. I also met people who were familiar with my blog. Name tags were very useful in helping us find each other!
For me, highlights of the conference included the Publisher Book Signings. What this really means is that dozens of books are given away. Putting a writer, who is also an avid reader, in a large room full of hundreds of FREE books is like putting a kid in a candy store. (Or in my kids’ case, like being a middle schooler in a room where the latest video games are being given away for free.)
These are the books I picked up from just two of the publisher signings at RWA. There were several signings over the four days of the conference.
Another highlight was when my good friend and fellow author, Joanna Shupe, won the Golden Heart for her historical manuscript, Drawn to the Earl. The Golden Heart is the highest honor an unpublished writer can receive. Joanna is on quite a roll; since she was nominated, she has signed a publication deal. I can’t wait to read her books!
Here’s Joanna Shupe with her winning Golden Heart necklace. That’s me on the right and our fellow author and friend, Michele Mannon on the left.
But wait, there’s more. None other than bestselling author Nora Roberts held a champagne reception in her hotel suite before the awards. As a member of RWA’s Washington chapter, I was fortunate enough to be included on the guest list.
The very gracious Nora Roberts (in the cranberry gown) mingles with her guests at a reception in her hotel suite before the RWA awards show.
While we were in Atlanta, the authors I blog with over at The Dashing Duchesses met up for high tea. It was a treat to see all of the lovely duchesses in person. But of course, that wasn’t the only treat…
Delicate sandwiches served during high tea at the Ritz.
We had some free time on the first day of the conference, so Michele and I headed out to the Margaret Mitchell house, which is really the apartment where the celebrated author is believed to have written most of Gone With the Wind. I also got to check out the actual front door to Tara, which was used on the movie set.
That’s me visiting Tara, the front door of the set used during the filming of “Gone With the Wind.”
All in all, RWA13 was both exhilarating and exhausting. It was also a lot of fun. Now it’s time to get back to work and put some words on the page!
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