Deadline Mania!

LadyHighwaymanHelp!  I have a WIP due in (gulp) less than two weeks, and am, as usual, a bit behind.  So let’s have a contest!  I have a DVD of a wonderfully horrible 1989 movie (from a Barbara Cartland novel!), The Lady and the Highwayman.  It has–wait for it–a young Hugh Grant as a Restoration highwayman.  With a mullet!!!!  This film MUST be seen to be believed, and I will give it away to one commenter on today’s post.  Just tell me–what’s your favorite “so bad it’s great” movie?  What do you watch when you need a laugh, or a comfort-watch?

See you on the other side of my deadline!

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Risky Regencies Meet!

This weekend I attended the New Jersey Romance Writers Put Your Heart In A Book annual conference. My A Marriage of Notoriety was a finalist for their Golden Leaf contest. Alas, it did not win. That honor went to Caroline Linden for Love and Other Scandals.
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But it was a great consolation to me that I had two of the Risky Regencies at my side to console me. Elena and Gail and I got to spend a little bit of time together and that was really wonderful. Here’s our selfie as proof:
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On Sunday after the conference I went into the City (New York City, of course) to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and gazed upon some familiar and loved paintings of “our” era (well, a little before our era), like this 1790 Thomas Lawrence of Elizabeth Farren, the Irish actress who later became the Countess of Derby.
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But I also saw some new-to-me portraits.

Sir Joshua Reynolds’ portrait (1766) of The Honorable Henry Fane, Inigo Jones, and Charles Blair.
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The Inigo Jones of this portrait (left) is a descendent and namesake of the celebrated architect of the same name.

Henry Fane (center) (1739-1802) was the second son of the 8th Earl of Westmorland and was once describes as “very idle and careless and spending much timie in the country”–with friends like Charles and Inigo, I wonder? He became a MP for Lyme Regis, the family’s rotten borough. He married the daughter of a banker and had 14 children!

Charles Blair (right) is Fane’s brother-in-law, about whom there is nothing in Wikipedia (even I appear in Wikipedia). To me, he is the most prominent figure in the portrait.

Another portrait I’d not seen before was this Henry Raeburn portrait of George Harley Drummond.
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Drummond’s life reads like a character from a Regency novel…and I don’t mean the hero! He was born into a banking family but was orphaned at the age of five and brought up by relatives. His father was a terrible spendthrift and gambler and left his son with huge debts, but those banking relatives managed to build up the fortune again by the time Drummond reached his majority. He turned out, though, to be just as reckless as his father. The relatives, recognizing this, did not let him become a partner in the bank, although he received an income from it. He made a hasty marriage, built a castle he couldn’t afford, and became an MP for two terms. In 1820 his debts caught up with him. (He was said to have lost £20,000 to Beau Brummmell in one session at White’s). He deserted his wife and ran off with the wife of a Navy captain. Ultimately he fled his creditors and escaped to Ireland where he lived the rest of his life.

This painting, though, was more renowned because of its depiction of the grazing horse. To paint the horse in this position was a very difficult endeavor. No one knows why Raeburn painted the horse with its hindquarters so prominent, but I think the artist might have been trying to say that the subject of the portrait was a horse’s ass.

The painting does show a gentleman’s clothes in great detail, though.

All in all I had a wonderful weekend! Risky Regencies, fellow writers, famous paintings and a horse’s ass!
How was your weekend?

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Regency Masquerades Ball ~ Winners!

RiskyRegenciesRMHeader2Congratulations to all our winners!

Lord Langdon's Kiss by Elena GreeneThe winner of Lord Langdon’s Kiss by Elena Greene is Library Pat.

 

 

 

 

poeticjusticeThe winner of Poetic Justice by Alicia Rasley is Susan/DC.

 

 

 

 

rakewallflowerThe winner of The Rake and the Wallflower by Allison Lane is Maribelle.

 

 

 

 

pjourneynewThe winner of A Perilous Journey by Gail Eastwood is Melody Gonser.

 

 

 

 
gabriellaThe winner of Gabriella by Brenda Hiatt is Barbara Literski.

 

 

 

 

rakespinsterThe winner of The Rake and the Spinster by Lynn Kerstan is Edea Baldwin.

 

 

 

 

Winners, Elena Greene will email you to coordinate giving you your prizes.

Thanks to everyone for visiting the Regency Masquerades Ball! We’ve all had a lovely time. :)

For anyone who hasn’t yet purchased the Regency Masquerades set and would like to, get it now while it’s still at the introductory price of 99 cents!

Regency Masquerades is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo Books. Buy now for just 99 cents!

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Regency Masquerades Ball ~ Lucy in Disguise and Giveaway

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Meet the hero and heroine of Lucy in Disguise by Lynn Kerstan, Book #2 in Regency Masquerades, six sparkling Regency romances in one ebook–currently 99 cents!

lucyindisguiseIn Lucy in Disguise, Christoper “Kit” Etheridge, a charming aristocrat in trouble is rescued by a young woman, Lucy Preston, who is disguised as a Lancashire Witch. Love comes swiftly, but she’ll only agree to wed if they protect her friend, a fearful heiress, from a greedy and dangerous family.

“Lynn Kerstan’s talents continue to reach new heights as she explores all aspects of the human heart: the good, the evil, and the passionate.” – Romantic Times

In this scene, Lucy and Kit go to a ball, posing as an engaged couple in order to investigate the shady character who wishes to marry Lucy’s friend Diana.

Excerpt from Lucy in Disguise

“The cotillion is forming, I see. Would you care to dance?”

Her cheeks drained of color. “No, please. I am quite sure I’ve already forgot the steps.”

“Then we shall make a grand circuit, arm in arm. You will gaze insipidly at me while I look down my nose at everyone else.” He threaded her arm through his, feeling her tension, keenly attuned to her mood and to the warmth of her body and the faint fragrance of lavender that hovered about her. Ordering his unruly body to behave itself, he led her in procession along the edge of the dance floor, smiling coolly at the people he knew without approaching them and ostentatiously ignoring the others.

Lucy despised the role she was playing this night, he knew, but he was even less at ease. In other circumstances, he’d have greeted old acquaintances instead of shunning them, danced with the prettiest girls and with the wallflowers, too, and flirted with all the dowagers. He was unused to walking high in the instep, as he was doing now, and found it devilish unpleasant.

Kit turned his attention to the other guests, recognizing several wealthy landowners and a few notable parvenus. Not one of Westmoreland’s aristocratic families was represented, although they must have received invitations. If Crawley was so bold as to send a card to the Earl of Kendal, he’d not have overlooked peers of lesser distinction.

“I do believe,” Kit remarked to Lucy, “that I quite outrank everyone here. And considering how frightfully low on the order of precedence we younger sons of earls are to be found, that is something of an accomplishment.”

“How pleased you must be. But is that of any significance?”

Trust her to come directly to the point. “It is to our advantage, I believe. No one with a speck of good breeding will approach us, which I am sure you are delighted to hear. But more consequential is the pronounced smell of ambition in the air. I surmise that Sir Basil has a fancy to climb the social ladder, and a wife of impeccable birth and breeding would give him a great boost up.”

“Yes, indeed.” Her brow furrowed. “That would explain a good deal, wouldn’t it? I wish we knew more about his origins. Diana said only that he used to live in Manchester and that he was granted a knighthood on recommendation of the Prince Regent.”

“Then we may assume he purchased it, at least indirectly. Prinny is in debt up to his several chins. When my brother has sniffed out how Sir Basil came by his money, I’ll be very much surprised if he acquired it honestly.”

“Where do you suppose he is? I see no one matching the description Diana provided me.”

“Nor do I. Not precisely a cordial host, our dear Sir Basil. But perhaps he is disappointed at the turnout and considers the few guests that did show up to be unworthy of his attention.”

“Which would make him nearly as toplofty as the highest ranking gentleman in the room,” she observed with a sly smile. “We came here only to meet him, Kit. There can be no reason to stay if he’s already toddled off to bed.”

“Nice try, moonbeam, but we’ll keep our anchor in the water a bit longer. The cotillion is forming, I see. Would you care to dance?”

Her cheeks drained of color. “No, please. I am quite sure I’ve already forgot the steps.”

“Then we shall make a grand circuit, arm in arm. You will gaze insipidly at me while I look down my nose at everyone else.” He threaded her arm through his, feeling her tension, keenly attuned to her mood and to the warmth of her body and the faint fragrance of lavender that hovered about her. Ordering his unruly body to behave itself, he led her in procession along the edge of the dance floor, smiling coolly at the people he knew without approaching them and ostentatiously ignoring the others.

Lucy despised the role she was playing this night, he knew, but he was even less at ease. In other circumstances, he’d have greeted old acquaintances instead of shunning them, danced with the prettiest girls and with the wallflowers, too, and flirted with all the dowagers. He was unused to walking high in the instep, as he was doing now, and found it devilish unpleasant.

They were making the turn that would lead them in front of the orchestra’s stage when he glanced toward the ballroom door and saw five men enter. One, a large stocky man with spiky black hair, he recognized immediately. It was the man who had shot him.

“What’s wrong?” Lucy asked softly, following the question with a fatuous giggle.

Good girl! “Don’t be obvious about it, but steal a look at the men who just came into the room. Could any one of them be Crawley?”

“Yes,” she whispered after a moment. “He’s the tall man with the beaked nose. But we must leave here immediately. Bartholomew Pugg is with him.”

Kit seized a flute of champagne from a passing servant and turned to Lucy, shielding her with his body. “Who the devil is Bartholomew Pugg?”

“The Bow Street Runner. The one who came to the cottage. The one who is coming this way right now.”

“Damn.” Feigning a laugh, he held the glass to her lips. She sipped obediently, pretending to look into his eyes while she watched the Runner. A tiny shrug of her left shoulder told Kit when Pugg was close to them, and on which side. With a move designed to appear casual, he drifted a turn, keeping himself between Lucy and the spot where the Runner had halted. He felt the man’s sharp gaze pronging into his back.

“What are we to do?” Lucy mouthed silently.

“Nothing. Go on as you are. Touch my cheek and act besotted.”

Her fingers lifted to his face and curled around his jaw. For a moment he nearly forgot the Runner, and why they were there, and everything else on the planet.

Regency Masquerades

Read Lucy and Kit’s story in Lucy in Disguise, one of six sparkling Regencies in Regency Masquerades, an ebook set which also includes books by Brenda Hiatt, Allison Lane, Gail Eastwood, Alicia Rasley and Elena Greene. Regency Masquerades is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo Books. Buy now for just 99 cents!

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For updates and news on Regency Masquerades and the authors in the set, like us on Facebook.

And now for a giveaway!

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The Rake and the Spinster (A Drewe Sisters novella)

Lady Magdalen Drewe has devoted her life to her orphaned sisters, fiercely determined to protect them from the attentions of predatory males like the too-charming Earl of Keverne. But it’s the spinster who has caught his eye, and when he carries her off to his estate by the sea, she knows he is every bit the scoundrel she had thought. But he also understands her as no one has ever done and shows her how to create a flourishing life of her own. Well, after she puts a bullet in him….

“Kerstan is a superbly talented writer.” Contra Costa Times

We hope you enjoyed this excerpt. Comment for a chance to win an e-copy of The Rake and the Spinster in the format of your choice! All winners will be announced tomorrow (Sunday).

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Regency Masquerades Ball ~ Daring Deception and Giveaway

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Meet the hero and heroine of Daring Deception by Brenda Hiatt, Book #1 in Regency Masquerades, six sparkling Regency romances in one ebook–currently 99 cents!

At the ballroom door…

Master of Ceremonies: Ah, the lady and gentleman just arriving—what a well-matched couple! Judging by the way they move, their fine figures and what I can see of their faces beneath their masks, they are a handsome pair. But… Oh, it appears I was mistaken. They have not come here together after all, for I see no sign of interaction between them. In fact, is that scorn I see gleaming in the lady’s eyes as she gazes upon the gentleman before her? Hm. I do love a good mystery.

“Good evening and welcome. Sir, if I might have your name?”

Gentleman: “Seabrooke.”

Master of Ceremonies: “Ah! Allow me to congratulate you, my lord, on your recent elevation to earl. A fitting reward, I should say. The heroism of Major Gavin Alexander against Napoleon’s forces has been widely celebrated.

Gentleman: “Yes, well, I’ve discovered some rewards come rather dearly bought.”

Master of Ceremonies: Hm. No doubt he means the injury he sustained in his last skirmish—though I see his limp is but slight now. Still, it was thoughtless of me to mention it, I suppose. At least his identity gives me a clue as to why the lady is regarding him with distaste. Lord Seabrooke’s reputation with the fair sex is far from spotless.

(Bows the earl toward the ballroom and turns to the lady.) “Madam?”

Lady: “Miss Frederica Chesterton. However–”

Master of Ceremonies: “Miss Chesterton! Then I perceive my congratulations must be expressed to both you and Lord Seabrooke. I saw news of your betrothal in the papers Thursday last.”

Clearly my first surmise was correct and they have come to the ball together after all. But why did Lord Seabrooke seem so startled just now by the sound of her name? And he continues to regard her most intently—curiously, even. Odd, that.

Lady: “If you please, sir, as I was about to say, I am attending incognito tonight. You see, my formal debut is still some days off and it is not generally known that I am already arrived in Town. Tonight’s masquerade is a practice run, as it were.”

Master of Ceremonies: “Of course, madam! A very clever plan, if I may say so. And perhaps, by pretending to be strangers, you and your betrothed will get to know each other better before your nuptials.”

Gentleman: “No pretence will be necessary. As it happens, Miss Chesterton are only now meeting for the first time. Our betrothal was…handled by proxy.”

Master of Ceremonies: So, a marriage of expediency! I do recall hearing that the Seabrooke title came encumbered by debts, but if so, the earl has kept up appearances remarkably well. So much so that most concluded that the rumors were just that. But perhaps not?

“Then I very much hope you will find this an evening of pleasant discoveries about each other. Ah, it appears the music is about to start…”

From behind a Greek-inspired column…

Brenda Hiatt here, vicariously enjoying the festivities… It’s small wonder if Miss Chesterton seems a bit familiar to Lord Seabrooke, for unbeknownst to him, they have indeed met before this evening. In fact, he knows his betrothed quite well—in the guise of frumpy, bespectacled Miss Cherrystone, whom he hired as live-in nanny to his little ward, Christabel. Of course, Miss Chesterton is well aware of this, as she has intentionally infiltrated his household in hopes of proving him a scoundrel and fortune hunter, so that her brother will allow her to cry off this travesty of a betrothal. Interestingly, although Lord Seabrooke and “Cherry,” as Christabel has dubbed her, often lock horns, both are coming to rather enjoy their verbal sparring matches. Though what will happen to their budding friendship when the lovely Miss Chesterton’s deception is revealed, I don’t like to think…

daringdeception“A first rate book that no Regency reader should miss. It will warm the cockles of your heart.”  (Romance Reviews)

Read Gavin and Frederica’s story in Daring Deception, one of six sparkling Regencies in Regency Masquerades, an ebook set which also includes books by Lynn Kerstan, Allison Lane, Gail Eastwood, Alicia Rasley and Elena Greene. Regency Masquerades is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo Books. Buy now for just 99 cents!

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For updates and news on Regency Masquerades and the authors in the set, like us on Facebook.

And now for a giveaway!

gabriellaHe lost a wager . . . but won a treasure.

Due to a lost wager, the Duke of Ravenham is obliged to bring a pretty little nobody from the country into fashion among the high-sticklers of London Society. Ravenham would never refuse a debt of honor, no matter how unorthodox, so he overlooks Miss Gordon’s vulgar relations to do what is necessary, escorting the unsophisticated chit to balls, etc. But what he expects to be an irksome duty turns out to be something quite different as he falls under the spell of his protege’s innocent charm. When he lost that wager, he definitely never counted on losing his heart as well!

First impressions can be deceiving.

Miss Gabriella Gordon only came to London at her mother’s and sister’s insistence, for she’d much rather assist in running her father’s veterinary practice than attempt to fit into fashionable society. No sooner has she arrived in London than the exalted (and exceedingly handsome) Duke of Ravenham comes to call. The reason is less than flattering, however: due to a lost wager, the Duke is forced to bring Gabriella into fashion, a “favor” she would certainly refuse if her family would let her. But the more time she spends in the dashing Duke’s company, the more conflicted she feels— particularly when she discovers they have more in common than she ever dared dream.

“With all the elan and grace of a reigning Regency beauty, talented new author Brenda Hiatt makes a wonderful debut in this most demanding of the romance subgenres.” – Romantic Times

Do you most enjoy the anticipation of when a secret will out, or the actual moment of truth? (Examples?) Comment for a chance to win an e-copy of Gabriella in the format of your choice! All winners will be announced on Sunday.

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Regency Masquerades Ball ~ The Lady from Spain and Giveaway!

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Meet the hero and heroine of The Lady from Spain by Gail Eastwood, Book #4 in Regency Masquerades, six sparkling Regency romances in one ebook–currently 99 cents!

At the ballroom door…

Master of Ceremonies: Hmm, this next pair is arriving a bit late –many of the guests are already assembled. He is handsomely attired in evening black, with a fine white silk waistcoat and a cravat that shows considerable artistry. But, with his half mask I can’t quite be certain who he is. Possibly Lord Danebridge? He is on the list and has not yet arrived. I’ve heard he has just returned from abroad and made his appearance at Drury Lane the other night.

The woman with him is attired in a Spanish costume, a tightly fitted black dress adorned with rows of long fringe. She has an admirable figure, indeed! But her lace mantilla hides most of her face. Most ladies are not wearing exotic costumes tonight, so I would lay odds this is the mysterious lady the gossip columns are calling “the Spanish Spitfire,” who was with the baron at the theater. These two are so deeply engaged in their discussion they don’t seem to notice they are approaching the entrance! I can’t help overhearing at least part of what they are saying.

Lady (in a hushed voice tinged with Spanish accents): “You know I did not want to come here, or to socialize with anyone at all. Please tell me we shall not have to stay very long.”

Gentleman: “Ah, but señora, to have refused the invitation would have been the height of discourtesy.”

Lady: “You had no need to involve me. This is not at all how I should be spending my time!”

Gentleman (in a soothing tone): “Did you have a more pressing engagement? Or an expectation to find the men you are hunting for, this very evening?”

Lady: “No.”

Gentleman: “Well, then, I believe the ball should be vastly more entertaining than however else you would have spent the time.”

Lady: “I did not come to London to be entertained, I assure you. This is a mistake!”

Gentleman: (stopping and turning her to face him) “Is it? I am enjoying your company, and I thought you did not seem terribly averse to mine. What could be the harm in it? Are you afraid somehow I will uncover your secrets? (He looks at her intently.) I wish you could bring yourself to truly trust me.”

Master of Ceremonies: This is becoming quite personal! Time to interrupt them. But I do wonder what secrets she is hiding.

Waves to get their attention. “Ahem. Sir? Madam? Are you attending the ball this evening?”

Gentleman: “Oh, I do beg your pardon. Yes, we are. Didn’t mean to stop the flow of traffic, as such.”

Master of Ceremonies: “Not at all. Welcome! May I ask is that you behind the mask, Lord Danebridge?”

Gentleman: “Yes, indeed. You are very sharp tonight, my good man. And the lady with me is Doña Sofia Alomar de Montero, recently of Spain.”

Master of Ceremonies: “Welcome back to Town, my lord. You have been missed. And welcome to London, doña.”

The lady’s striking green eyes seem somehow familiar, although at this moment they are noticeably filled with misgivings. Those do not appear to be the eyes of a Spanish doña. Yet how could she seem in any way familiar? Danebridge did not sound altogether convincing when he stated the lady’s name. And what men could she be hunting for? It is too much of a puzzle.

Giving up, the Master of Ceremonies simply bows to her. “I hope you will enjoy your stay, madam, and enjoy your evening with us here.”

From behind the drapery by the balcony French doors…

Gail Eastwood here, secretly observing. I know that both Jeremy Hazelton, Lord Danebridge, and this lady supposedly from Spain are harboring secrets, from each other and everyone around them as well! Although she just recently arrived on a ship from Spain, the doña is really Falcarah “Falcon” Colburne, returning to England on a mission to avenge her parents’ deaths in Spain. Jeremy has been secretly working for the government during the war, and now on his way home has been asked to do one more assignment –learn if the lady from Spain is a spy. His desire to be with her has moved far beyond investigating her and unveiling her secrets. He would like to unveil a great deal more –including her heart. When his mother and his young son arrive in London, too, and his investigation and “help” expose Falcon to graver danger than she already courts, the course of love is not going to run smoothly!

The Lady from Spain by Gail Eastwood“A wonderful love story full of cleverly plotted intrigue and deception topped off with an intensely powerful resolution.” -Romantic Times

Read Jeremy and Falcon’s story in The Lady from Spain, one of six sparkling Regencies in Regency Masquerades, an ebook set which also includes books by Brenda Hiatt, Lynn Kerstan, Allison Lane, Alicia Rasley and Elena Greene. Regency Masquerades is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo Books. Buy now for just 99 cents!

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A Perilous Journey features another risk-taking heroine, Gillian Kentwell, who runs away from home to escape a loathsome betrothal. Unable to dissuade her from this, her twin brother tags along on this road trip from Devonshire to Scotland, with Bow Runners in pursuit. Along the way, they are aided by a man who steals Gillian’s heart, but who is he really, and is their love meant to be?

pjourneyoldpjourneynewWinner of the 1994 Golden Leaf Award “Best Regency” and finalist for CoRWA’s Award of Excellence

Also, winner of two national competitions for Regency Romance writing:
–“Top ‘o the Trees” Competition sponsored by The Regency Plume
–“Romancing the Novel” Competition, Regency Division, sponsored by NE Ohio Chapter RWA

“A delightful read that will warm the cockles of your heart…an adventuresome journey, jam-packed with enchanting characters and lively drama.” –Affaire de Coeur

Do you like heroines willing to take risks to act on their goals? Do you forgive characters whose goals may turn out to be mistaken? Comment and fill out the Rafflecopter thingy to be entered to win an ebook copy of my very first Signet Regency, A Perilous Journey. All winners will be announced on Sunday.

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Regency Masquerades Ball ~ The Earl’s Revenge and a Giveaway

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Meet the hero and heroine of The Earl’s Revenge by Allison Lane, Book #3 in Regency Masquerades, six sparkling Regency romances in one ebook–currently 99 cents!

At the ballroom door…

Master of Ceremonies:  Ah, the next guests are arriving. A tall, broad-shouldered gentleman, impeccably dressed, but without any hint of dandyism. I’m sure I know him, but his half-mask makes recognition difficult.  Behind him is a lady in a green gown at least two years out of date. No jewelry at all. Her figure is good but her mask obscures so much of her face that I can’t tell if she is beautiful. A provincial unless my eye is completely out. And poor. I wonder who invited her. Obviously these two are not together. The gentleman’s eyes are already scanning the ladies in the ballroom.

Smiles at the guests. “Welcome to our masquerade. You are…”

Gentleman, aloofly: The Earl of Bridgeport.

Master of Ceremonies: “Ah, the famous Corinthian. Your latest bout against Jackson remains on every tongue – planting a facer on so skilled a pugilist is beyond wondrous.  Estimates of the amount of money that changed hands that day have reached five figures.”  Now I understand the scanning. Bridgeport is also a renowned rake who has probably bedded every bored matron in London under the age of forty and is likely seeking his next conquest – not that I can mention that aloud. The lady must already know his reputation, though. She flinched when he revealed his name.

Bridgeport, shrugging:  “It was a good match. I trust you were not among the losers?”

Master of Ceremonies:  “I’ve learned never to bet against you, my lord.” Time to move on. Bridgeport is also infamous for protecting his privacy. He dislikes talking about himself.  “And you, madam?”

Lady: Elaine Thompson of Cornwall.

Master of Ceremonies: Definitely provincial.  Even her accent screams country, and uncivilized country at that.  So why is Bridgeport suddenly on the alert? Does he know the name and consider her a potential bedmate? She’s a stranger to me so I can’t tell if she is married or not.  Her gloves cover any rings. But it’s not my place to pry, more’s the pity…  “Welcome to our masquerade.

Elaine:  “Thank you.”

Bridgeport, holding out his arm:  “Allow me.”

Elaine:  Hesitates as if wanting to refuse, then accepts his escort with a small sigh.

Master of Ceremonies as they walk away:  Odd. Very odd. Nothing in common that I can see, though he’s turning on the charm. She’s gauche at best – strides along like a man, ignoring his words. Or is she trying to escape him? If they remain until the unmasking, we might see some fireworks…

From behind a bank of flowers…

I’m Allison Lane, author of The Earl’s Revenge, and I know what these people are hiding and why the lady’s voice puzzles Bridgeport. He last heard it eight years ago just before she left him standing at the alter while she fled to Cornwall and changed her name to avoid the resulting scandal. She now supports herself illustrating children’s books under the male pseudonym M.E. Merriweather.  But if anyone discovers that Merriweather is female, she can kiss her independence good-bye, for despite her very real talent, no female can command enough compensation to live on… Bridgeport is hiding his own secrets.  Under various pseudonyms, he has published several books of poetry and contributes regularly to newspaper columns featuring political commentary, military analysis, and social satire.  The latter could get him drummed out of society if his authorship became known for he’s pilloried everyone he knows at least once.  He is currently furious at his publisher because the man only now got around to telling him that the renowned artist who was supposed to illustrate his upcoming volume of poetry died two months ago, to be replaced by an unknown named M.E. Merriweather…

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“Ms. Lane is a formidable talent who hits her stride perfectly in this witty and intelligent diversion.”  (Romantic Times)

The Earl’s Revenge is just one of six sparkling Regency romances in Regency Masquerades, an ebook set which also includes books by Brenda Hiatt, Lynn Kerstan, Gail Eastwood, Alicia Rasley, and Elena Greene.  Now on a 99-cent special, Regency Masquerades is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo Books. Buy now for just 99 cents!

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For updates and news on Regency Masquerades and the authors in the set, like us on Facebook.

And now for a giveaway!

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At first glance, Lord Grayson is everything a man should be – handsome, wealthy, heir to an earldom.  Yet his elegant façade hides deep loneliness.  Estranged from his father, his fortune tainted by trade, he is under society’s censure for supposedly defiling a high-born innocent, driving her to suicide.  And Lady Luck has truly deserted him.  Every day she inflicts a new accident or aims yet another voracious fortune hunter in his direction…  Shy Mary Seabrook would rather study birds than frequent the Marriage Mart, but she must accompany her sister this Season.  To escape boredom, she often slips away to sketch.  But who could expect to meet the most notorious rake in the realm hiding behind a screen of palms.  To her surprise, Gray shares her interest in birds.  Too bad talking to him could get her ostracized…  Gray vows to avoid the intriguing Mary, but fate has other ideas.  Wherever he goes, she is there – uncovering his secrets, saving his life, and deflecting the most scheming miss yet.  It is Mary who recognizes that his accidents are not accidental.  Someone is trying to kill him, and Mary holds the key to the culprit’s identity.  Can they unmask the villain before Gray suffers one accident too many?  (Winner:  Holt Medallion for Best Regency)

“Its innovative plot, vivid characters, and lovely, tender romance mark The Rake and the Wallflower as one of the outstanding Regencies of the year.”  (The Romance Reader)

What sort of fireworks would you expect to go off when two secretive people discover they have to reveal their secrets and work together?  Post a comment for the chance to win a digital copy of Allison Lane’s The Rake and the Wallflower for Nook, Kindle, and other devices. All winners will be announced on Sunday.

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Regency Masquerades Ball ~ Gwen’s Ghost and a Giveaway!

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Meet the hero and heroine of Gwen’s Ghost by Alicia Rasley and Lynn Kerstan, Book #5 in Regency Masquerades, six sparkling Regency romances in one ebook–currently 99 cents!

At the ballroom door…

Master of Ceremonies: Well, this is an interesting pair! They must not be a couple, I note. They don’t even seem to acknowledge each other, though they’ve arrived together. And they are not well-matched. The gentleman is impossibly handsome and impeccably dressed—perhaps too impeccably. I doubt I have ever witnessed a more opulent cravat arrangement. And the stickpin! My word.

The lady, well, she is properly attired. Quite properly. Quite primly. Though her lilac-gray silk gown already has rather a high neck, she has added a white fichu to conceal any glimpse of bare skin. Now she raises her assertive chin, and I can see a spray of freckles across her cheeks, and a militant light in her large hazel eyes.

He stretches out a hand. “Welcome to our ball. My lady. Sir.”

Lady and Gentleman: The lady gives a sniff, and after a moment the gentleman makes the introduction.

Gentleman: “This is Miss Gwendolyn Sevaric. And I am…” A pause. ” Jocelyn Vayle.”

Lady: “So you say.” She turns to the Master of Ceremonies. “He also says that he has no memory of his past. He took a blow to the head—well, that much is true–”

Gentleman: “As I recall, the blow came while I was—” pause for effect—”saving your life.”

Lady: “You remember that, but nothing else, such as who you are and what sort of scandal you are escaping? Rather convenient, isn’t it?”

Master of Ceremonies: “You think he is lying?”

Gentleman: “Balderdash! Why would I lie about such a thing?”

Lady: Casts a scornful glance at him. “Yes. Why? That is what I would like to know. I do not even credit that name—Jocelyn Vayle—is your own.”

Gentleman: “Struth, if I were to invent an identity, why would I choose such a name? Surely I’d choose something more dramatic, more epic. Valerian, for example. That is a name with resonance.”

Master of Ceremonies: Interposes before Miss Sevaric can riposte. “Miss Sevaric. Miss Vayle. Welcome indeed! Ah! The orchestra is striking up. I like nothing so much as seeing handsome young persons like yourselves whirling out on the dancefloor.”

Lady: “I don’t dance.”

Gentleman: “Well, I do. Quite well, in fact.”

Lady: “Oh, that you remember, do you? Not your past, not your purpose, not your intentions towards my family and fortune… but you remember how to dance.”

Gentleman: “Yes, and if you’d like, I’ll teach you.” Holds out his arm. She regards it skeptically, then glances about them, taking in the interested gazes of the dancers moving past.

Lady: Takes his arm. “Oh, very well. At least it will give me an opportunity to step on your feet.”

Gentleman: “You are so very bloody-minded, my petit mignon. But then, you are a Sevaric after all. Or should I say, a savage?” Laughs and grips her hand as she tries to pull away.

Master of Ceremonies: I surely hope they can make it to the dance floor without doing violence to each other. I wonder—what is between them? They seem so familiar, so easy with each other, and yet they feud like enemies! And she clearly has no trust in him. She is an intelligent lady—a bluestocking, certainly—and perhaps she is right to suspect him. Mr. Jocelyn Vayle is so smooth, so charming, and yet he is just a bit, oh, out of place. What is he hiding? And how is it that she, among all these people, is the only one who senses that he is not what he claims to be?

Behind the chinoiserie screen…

I’m Alicia Rasley, co-author of Gwen’s Ghost with Lynn Kerstan, and I must confess to be a bit seduced by that gentleman’s charm and good looks. Yes, Mr. Jocelyn Vayle is out of place in Regency London. He is just a bit too extravagant, too amused, for this grim time of war and unrest. But he is so charming! His smile is generous and his voice has a most pleasant undercurrent of laughter. But I have to admit that Gwen is right to suspect that “Mr. Jocelyn Vayle” is masquerading. She is even correct when she hazards that this is not his real name and is just pretending to have lost his memory. However, as skeptical as she is, she will never guess the truth. Mr. Vayle isn’t just out of place; he is out of time too—in more ways than one. He is in the wrong time, and he is out of time to save himself from a dire fate. And only Gwen—who doesn’t like or trust him one bit—can help him find his way home.

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RITA winner for Best Regency!

“A delicious, delightful romp!”  (Literary Times)

Gwen’s Ghost is just one of six sparkling Regencies in Regency Masquerades, an ebook set which also includes books by Brenda Hiatt, Allison Lane, Gail Eastwood and Elena Greene. Regency Masquerades is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo Books. Buy now for just 99 cents!

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For updates and news on Regency Masquerades and the authors in the set, like us on Facebook.

And now for a giveaway!

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A renegade rare-books dealer and a heiress-in-waiting must embark on a sham betrothal for the loftiest of literary aims– to prove that Shakespeare really was… Shakespeare.

John Dryden is on the trail of the greatest acquisition of his checkered career– a play manuscript written in Shakespeare’s own hand. Between him and his prize is an obsessed librarian who wants to destroy it… and the heiress who can lead him to it, but only if he’s willing to risk his life, his freedom, and his loner’s heart.

“Poetic Justice is extremely enjoyable with a perfect blend of adventure, humor and romance.” – Nonesuch Reviews

Do you enjoy Regencies with a paranormal element?  What are some of your favorites? Comment for the chance to win a copy of Poetic Justice for Nook or Kindle. All winners will be announced on Sunday.

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Regency Masquerades Ball ~ The Redwyck Charm and a Giveaway

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Meet the hero and heroine of The Redwyck Charm by Elena Greene, Book #6 in Regency Masquerades, six sparkling Regency romances in one ebook–currently 99 cents!

At the ballroom door…

Master of Ceremonies:  Ah, I see the first guests are arriving. A tall gentleman, impeccably dressed, with a slight limp. And a flame-haired beauty wearing a peacock-colored dress in a peasant style, but with a tighter bodice and scandalously short skirt. Both are striving to seem disinterested, but cannot stop stealing glances at one another.

Smiles at the guests. “Welcome to our ball. I have not the pleasure…”

Lady and Gentleman: Look at each other briefly, then the gentleman bows, allowing her to introduce herself first.

Lady: Bon soir! I am Juliette Lamant.”

Master of Ceremonies: “Ah, the famous dancer! All London is raving about your dancing, Mademoiselle.” Even while the bucks are taking bets as to how many mistakes you will make, and also which of them you will choose as your protector.

Lady: Looks momentarily surprised, then her eyes dance. “Monsieur, you flatter me! De vrai, everyone has been very—very welcoming.” She glances toward the gentleman beside her.

Gentleman: “Mademoiselle Lamant and I have just met. I am Lord Dare.”

Master of Ceremonies: “The same Lord Dare who has recently returned from the Continent? I suppose we cannot ask if the rumors are true that you had something to do with the intrigues surrounding the peace negotiations?”

Gentleman: Short pause. “No, I was—I was merely indulging a wish to travel more widely.”

Master of Ceremonies:  “Then of course you must have seen Mademoiselle Lamant on the stage in Paris.”

Gentleman: Another short pause. “No, I regret I had not that pleasure.” His eyes linger briefly on Mademoiselle Lamant.

Master of Ceremonies: I wonder why they both look so flustered?  “Be that as it may, now you may have the pleasure of dancing with her.”

Gentleman: Brief glance at his leg. “I regret to say I cannot dance.”

Master of Ceremonies:  “Nonsense, your limp is very slight—barely noticeable! Perhaps you would be willing to attempt the waltz, if Mademoiselle Lamant were willing to teach you?”

Lady and Gentleman: Look at each other, both blushing a little. They nod and head into the room.

Behind a potted palm tree…

I’m Elena Greene, author of The Redwyck Charm, and I happen to know these people are not who they claim to be. Lord Dare is Marcus Redwyck, the Earl of Amberley, a hardworking young man who has reluctantly decided to try to restore the family fortunes by marrying an heiress. But when that heiress is indisposed (to see him, he thinks) he decides to enjoy himself for once, and visits the Green Room at the opera. To avoid gossip, he uses an assumed name, not realizing that the fascinating Juliette Lamant is actually his intended bride, Juliana Hutton, who longs for adventure and has run away in order to avoid the arranged marriage.

The Redwyck Charm by Elena Greene

“I highly recommend The Redwyck Charm. Regency fans will adore this story, as will all readers who enjoy entertaining, well-written romances with marvelous characters and a dash of intrigue.” — Susan Lantz, in Romance Reviews Today

Read Marcus and Juliana’s story in The Redwyck Charm, just one of six sparkling Regencies in Regency Masquerades, an ebook set which also includes books by Brenda Hiatt, Lynn Kerstan, Allison Lane, Gail Eastwood and Alicia Rasley. Regency Masquerades is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo Books. Buy now for just 99 cents!

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For updates and news on Regency Masquerades and the authors in the set, like us on Facebook.

And now for a giveaway!

Lord Langdon's Kiss by Elena Greene

Lord Langdon returns from war to find his family in debt and his brother courting Nell Ashley, the vicar’s daughter, whom he suspects of social climbing. His attempt to expose her backfires, creating a tangle of hearts that only true love can unravel.

Lord Langdon’s Kiss is a fine Regency romp that will satisfy lovers of the genre like ice-cold lemonade on a hot afternoon. This is what Regency romance is all about.” (Four hearts) — The Romance Reader

Do you enjoy stories with characters in disguise and why? Comment for the chance to win a copy of Lord Langdon’s Kiss for Nook or Kindle. All winners will be announced on Sunday.

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