Jaunties, welcome historical author Jessica Peterson back to the blog and read on to find out how to win your copy of her latest release Undercover Scoundrel.
What is it about scoundrels that we find so irresistible?
Scoundrel is just a fancy word for bad boy; they come in all shapes and sizes. Is it the biker dude’s devil-may-care attitude that makes our toes curl? The rake’s dangerously suave sense of confidence? The vampire’s dark looks, or his promise of an eternity sleeping next to him in his super luxe silk-lined coffin?
Sometimes there is nothing more delicious than a taste of forbidden fruit, whatever flavor you prefer.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the thoughtful, kind-hearted hero as the next reader. And I don’t think being scoundrelly and being sweet are mutually exclusive. In fact, it’s when those two things come together – when the bad boy’s good side is revealed – that the magic happens. Maybe beneath the hockey captain’s gruff exterior, he harbors a thoughtful, deeply loving heart; the secretive spy may treat his targets with amused disdain (disdain that is served shaken, not stirred, of course), but treats the target of his affections with love and respect.
There’s just something so right – so satisfying – about seeing that sweetness, that vulnerability, come out. Especially when we see the bad boy doing a good deed for his lady love. The hero of my latest Regency-set release, THE UNDERCOVER SCOUNDREL, may be a scoundrel twice over – Henry Beaton Lake is a spy with something of a rakish past – but he’s got a seriously mushy soft spot for his long lost first love, Lady Caroline. In many ways, Henry is master of his universe, but the tables are turned when he’s reunited with Caroline after a decade-long separation. Yes, he’s still a scoundrel with a wicked smile and a closet full of skeletons, but Caroline brings out his softer side.
And I don’t know about you, but I happen to think the mushy, ooey-gooey stuff can be just as sexy as the bad boy stuff.
Together, they make a pretty potent combination. I wonder what scoundrels have tickled your fancy – any particular bad boys with good hearts capture your imagination? For me, it’s gotta be the ultimate scoundrel, Rhett Butler, along with the cutie Eggsy from The Kingsman (if you haven’t seen that movie yet, rent it ASAP, if only because Colin Firth is in it!).
Please share your favorite scoundrels for a chance to win a signed copy, along with some fun author swag, of THE UNDERCOVER SCOUNDREL!
As always, a big thanks to the ladies of The Jaunty Quills for having me. It’s always fun stopping by and saying hello!
Comment below to enter to win a signed copy, along with some fun author swag, of THE UNDERCOVER SCOUNDREL (U.S. and Canada only!). Winner announced and contacted Sunday.
So this past weekend former Quill, Emily McKay, and I presented a writing workshop in San Antonio. At the conclusion of our lecture material, we brainstormed a new book idea (not one either of us planned to write) so the participants could see the how-to in action, so to speak. But during the brainstorming, something totally cool happened and it reminded me of how marvelous it is that there are so many different writers out there so that we have so many different story options as readers.
The story we brainstormed, we pulled straight from the gossip pages – did y’all hear the rumor a few weeks ago about Prince Harry dating Emma Watson (Hermione from the Harry Potter movies)? The internet lit up with this rumor and for a few blessed hours we seemed to have an awesome power couple in the making. Turns out, it was all a rumor. But we ran with that idea as our would-be plot scenario: What happens when a rumor starts that the royal “spare” is dating the actress from a beloved children’s series? Well, if the crown is currently in turmoil, then they make a bargain with both parties to continue their false relationship to busy the paparazzi to deflect from the actual problem.
So that was the story we bounced around. We got lots of scene ideas and possible conflicts and goals for the two main characters. And then someone asked, well, what if when the crown approaches him about the fake relationship, they leave it up to him to pursue her and she’s not in on the secret? At this point, I got all kinds of excited. This was my kind of conflict. Secrets, the hero as the pursuer, a feisty heroine who will NOT be happy when she discovers whats actually going on. Then we had two clear choices that made for two very different stories.
Which story would you pick? The one where both the hero and heroine are in on the secret and trying to fake it together? Or the one where only he’s in on the secret and it’s up to him to get the heroine into the relationship (fake or not!)? Why do you think you would choose that over the other option? *Also, how cute would they be as a real life couple? So cute!!!
We all have vices. Henry Flynn, the Viscount of Chesham, has a few more than the average person. Don’t believe me? Here’s an introduction.
He was going to hell. Shame, Flynn thought, dangling from the third-floor window of a town house in exclusive Grosvenor Square. It was his birthday tomorrow, too. Actually, given the time of night, he’d already attained his twenty-seventh year.
His hand slipped, and he felt the moisture gathering on his fingers. He could not hold on much longer. Perhaps his death was for the best. It wasn’t as though anyone would mourn him. It wasn’t as though he had anything to live for.
Still, it seemed harsh even for one such as Beelzebub to claim him when he was hanging naked from the window of one of the most prestigious addresses in Mayfair.
I must admit, Flynn was a lot of fun to write. There’s something about indulging all of your vices–vicariously–that’s quite liberating. Flynn’s vices tend toward spirits, women, and making dangerous choices. My vices lean toward chocolate, like this yummy cake from Lemon Sugar.
I also love fashion and clothes. I buy far too many for Princess Galen and love the chance to dress up myself!
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my inspiration for Flynn. Handsome men are something of a vice too…
What’s your vice?
One person who comments will receive an advance copy of Earls Just Want to Have Fun, the next in the series.
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1y6M0ou
And hopefully on iBooks by the end of the day!
The Secrets of Jaunty P. Quills (Porcupine Extraordinaire)
Jaunty P. Quills: Hello, readers! It’s me, Jaunty P. Quills. I’m back with another of my award-winning interviews. This one is with…ah…I know it’s one of these Quills. There are so many of them…<digs through notes, but finds pine nuts instead>
Robyn: I hate to interrupt your snack over there, Jaunty, but um, I’m pretty sure you were going to interview me today about my new book.
Jaunty P. Quills: Oh, right <says with mouth full> Maybe you can entertain these folks while I clean myself up and have a drink.
Robyn: Uh, sure, I can try to do that. How about I share with y’all the back cover blurb of my book, The Temptations of Anna Jacobs…
Love and justice…
When Drew Foster is released from prison, he doesn’t much care about salvaging his soiled reputation. Though he’s working undercover, everyone in Victorian London believes him guilty of the Jack the Ripper murders and that his brother paid for his “innocence.”
Despite her genteel upbringing, Anna Jacobs is intent on finishing medical school and becoming a physician. Society’s ridicule has never bothered her, but when her brother, the Yard’s best detective, is scorned for letting Drew go, she confronts the one man who can set the record straight at a ball. She certainly doesn’t count on the rogue being dashing and handsome, nor on him stealing a passionate kiss.
Anna’s brazen contempt for his dangerous reputation captivates Drew, but he is harboring secrets that make him unfit to court any proper woman. As he finds himself an outsider among his colleagues at Scotland Yard, the feisty beauty offers up her medical knowledge to assist him on the case. But when the real killer returns to London to continue his reign of terror, can Anna find safety in Drew’s arms?
Jaunty P. Quills: This is another of those killer porcupine books, isn’t it? The last one you wrote had me up for nights. *shudder* I snuck into Kristan’s house for a week and curled up under her bed. Don’t tell her I told you that though.
Robyn: Your secret is safe with me. And I’m sorry if I frightened you. Jack the Ripper can, indeed be creepy. I spooked myself out by writing some of the scenes. But at the heart of this book and the first book in the series (The Secrets of Mia Danvers) is a lovely romance. No matter what the subplot, romance is always what I focus on.
Jaunty P. Quills: Romance. I do love a good romance. I just finished Shana’s Porcupines Love Sapphires. At least I think that was the title. Tell me about your couple. Is he a tall, handsome porcupine who saves the fair hedgehog?
Robyn: Not exactly. For those of you who read the first book, you’ll remember Drew (Alex’s younger brother). Well, he was a bit of a wastrel in the first book, he’s selfish and angry and an alcoholic.
Jaunty P. Quills: Wait, a minute, I thought you said this was a romance. Or is he the killer?
Robyn: Heh…no, he’s not the killer, though he is arrested on suspicion of being him. But Drew is simply in a dark place and he needs a little light in his life, a little joy that can pull him out of the darkness and back into a place where he wants to be a better man. That’s where our heroine, Anna, comes in. She’s a sweet sort, though she certainly has plenty of spunk. She’s going to school to become a doctor, something that was not looked upon as being a viable option for women, nonetheless, she’s bucking the system and studying to be a physician and she’s very good at it too.
Jaunty P. Quills: She’s sounds nice. I’m not so sure about that Drew fellow though, perhaps I need to meet this Anna, show her how strong the love of a good porcupine–
Robyn: Yeah, let’s not go there, Jaunty. In any case, Drew and Anna begin an unlikely friendship when he seeks her assistance hunting the killer.
Jaunty P. Quills: So he puts her in danger? Where is he? I’m going to show him a thing or two.
Robyn: (grabs Jaunty – carefully, of course – and holds him back) Calm it down, big boy. Drew keeps Anna perfectly safe. Well, mostly safe….but for that you’ll just have to read the book. Here’s have some more pine nuts.
Jaunty P. Quills: mmmmmmmm
Robyn: Well, I guess he’s done asking me questions. I’ll just leave y’all with a short excerpt and then if y’all have questions, I’ll gladly answer. Thanks, Jaunty. Jaunty? Wow, he’s is really chowing down on those pine nuts. Okay then, here’s your excerpt…
She was quiet for several moments. He watched her face as she considered all the possibilities. Even now, the taste of her lips stayed with him, and he wanted more. More of her kisses, more of her smiles. Simply more of Anna.
Perhaps she had other thoughts that could explain the differences in the injuries, or the use of an alternate weapon.
“Why did you kiss me? The other day?” she asked.
Drew felt his brows rise in surprise. “Is that what you were thinking about? I suspected your thoughts were more academic in nature.”
She shrugged. “Academic or not, I am still a woman.”
“It seemed the thing to do,” Drew said with a shrug of his own.
“‘It seemed the thing to do,’” she said, mocking his tone. She frowned. “That’s not a very good answer.”
He resisted the urge to smile. Hell, he didn’t know why he’d kissed her. Because the desire to do so had been so overwhelming he hadn’t been able to resist her lips. In fact, he longed to embrace her again, right now. “What would be a good answer?”
“How the devil should I know?” Her hand fluttered to her chest. “I don’t go around kissing unsuspecting people.”
“Fair enough. Well then, I kissed you because I wanted to.” Perhaps honesty would appease her curiosity. “Because your mouth is tempting, even though you talk far too much.”
“That doesn’t even make any sense. Well, the bit about my talking too much, I admit I can be verbose—”
“You’re doing it again,” he interrupted her. He leaned forward, toward her chair. “Only makes me want to kiss you again.”
She waved her hand. “That’s ridiculous.”
“The mere notion of kissing you? Hasn’t any man ever expressed a similar interest?”
A blush stained her exposed throat, marring her lovely creamy skin. Her hand followed the telltale sign of her embarrassment and she fiddled with the necklace around her throat. She swallowed visibly. “I don’t see how that is any of your business. I’m not even certain how we got on this discussion,” she said.
“You asked me why I kissed you.”
“Yes, and your answer is unsatisfactory. I shall merely have to conclude that you men are a peculiar lot.” She pointed at him.
“I’m going to kiss you again, Annabelle,” he said softly.
Her mouth opened, then slowly closed. “Right now?”
“Would you like me to kiss you right now?”
“I cannot answer that.” She shook her head fervently. “It would be utterly improper.”
“You, a lady going to medical school and assisting me with an undercover investigation of a murder? Last night we broke into a government building. Your behavior hasn’t exactly been the pinnacle of propriety.”
Her brow furrowed. “That is quite different.” Her tongue darted out and wet her lips.
He felt a stab of desire, hot and poignant in his gut. Oh yes. He wanted her. Whatever the reason, logical or not, he wanted her quite badly. Too badly, in fact, for him to kiss her now when his passions were so close to the surface. It was entirely too likely they would not be interrupted, that no one would come along and stop him from ruining her here in his parlor.
“You already answered my question,” he said.
She frowned. “I don’t believe I did.”
“Oh yes, Anna, you want me to kiss you very badly. Now that I know that, I’m going to make you wait. For a little longer.”
“You are an insufferable man!” she said as she came to her feet.
Love it? Want more? Get your copy now!
YEAH! It’s release day. I have a love/hate relationship with release days, as I’m sure most authors do. It’s both thrilling and terrifying to send a new story out into the world. And with this release it’s doubling nerve-wracking. First of all it launches a new series for me, the Masquerading Mistresses, a Regency-set series about spies and betrayal and delicious heroes.
Case in point, in NO ORDINARY MISTRESS, you’ll meet Remington AKA Remy who is arrogant and sexy and the very last man that Emma Masterson wants to be assigned to on her most recent assignment. But in order to uncover the identity of a killer, she must masquerade as Remy’s mistress. Here’s a little teaser…
“You will still be on assignment searching for the link between Comfry and the other traitors, not to mention his killer. By working with Remy, he can get you into places that you cannot go yourself.”
“Of all the men in the Seven, why must I work with him?” She didn’t want to be paired up with any man, least of all Remy, who tempted her so and muddled her thoughts and made her wish for all the things she could never have.
“Did you not tell her any of this?” Remy asked.
“No, I thought I’d wait until we were all here together.”
“Coward,” Remy said with another grin.
“Tell me what, precisely?”
“You’ll be posing as my mistress, sweetheart,” Remy said with a lecherous wink.
Emma came to her feet. “I shall do no such thing.” She turned to Harrison. Working with Remy would be bad enough, but pretending to be his mistress? It was intolerable! “There must be another way.”
“We need to make certain you’re protected while we investigate the murder. We can’t afford to pull you from the assignment altogether. You know Comfry’s circumstances and habits better than anyone else. We cannot know if the killer saw you or knew you were there,” Harrison said. “Remy is a qualified spy, Emma. He will take good care of you.”
Her training had taught her how to slow her breathing, gentle her pounding heart, so she could appear in command of her faculties. Inside, though, she stewed in turmoil.
“Indeed.” Remy leaned forward, bracing his elbows on his knees. “And I’ve been needing a new mistress.”
Emma rolled her eyes. “You are a pig.” Her fate was sealed.
Did I tell you the best part? NO ORDINARY MISTRESS is only $0.99, so get yours today and fall in love with Remy. Let’s talk about heroes – what are your favorite kinds of heroes?