Please join me in welcoming contemporary author Jeannie Moon to the Quills today to talk about her new release and a subject near and dear to many of our hearts, namely …
Book Boyfriends: A Way of Life
Hey Gang! I’m really happy to back here on the Jaunty Quills, I love the warm welcome I always receive when I’m here.
But, well, I have a confession to make. And you may not be the first to hear this…
My name is Jeannie, and I fall in love with guys in books.
Nothing to say? No comments from the peanut gallery?
So, um…do you guys feel the same way?
*sighs* You are my people.
I suppose it’s no secret that romance lovers embrace the book boyfriend like no other reader, and I believe I know why—because romance authors are just as bad. We’re shameless hussies, throwing over one boyfriend for another every time we open a new manuscript. And, of course, we have great fun dragging our readers along for the ride.
Between the heroes I write and the heroes I read, my imagination runs wild! Lately, I’ve been much more selective. But I most definitely have a type. And it’s not necessarily a physical type, it’s an emotional type. I like an alpha male who’s got a bit of a soft belly. You know, the tough guy who loves that little purse dog his girlfriend adores. It’s the focused businessman, the cop, the athlete or the computer geek who is never too busy for the people he loves.
He’s perfect in so many ways. Tall and broad. Handsome and wealthy. But the best ones have hearts of gold, and we can’t resist them.
Writing Owen Kent, the main man in The Second Chance Hero, was a challenge because let’s face it…he’s a billionaire marine. That’s pure romance fodder, but then we learn more about him. He never expected to be in business. He planned on getting his education at the Naval Academy and then spending his career in the military. When he left active duty he stayed in the reserves. He works hard; he’s smart; he’s close to his family; he likes babies. Do you love him already? How could you not? Owen the hero is a product of his backstory, and that’s what makes him so loveable.
And such is the way of the book boyfriend. However, because of those wonderful heroes, romance readers are much maligned. It’s thought we have unrealistic expectations, but I think the book boyfriend, while he may set the bar high, also lets us see what we really should be looking for in our lives. We deserve to be loved unconditionally. To have a partner who cares about our needs, or wants. Handsome is nice, but if that’s all you think about, you’ve missed the point of the book boyfriend or any boyfriend, for that matter. Looks will fade. But a sensitive heart, a kind nature, a sharp mind and a good sense of humor will outlast a pretty face. Those are the things we want.
Those are the things that matter.
In real life, our significant other is there with us through life’s ups and downs. Our book boyfriends take it one step further, allowing us to escape from the stresses of everyday life. No job is too outrageous, no setting is too far away, and money is not an object. It’s the perfect storm of happiness and we can go there whenever we want.
The romance novel isn’t necessarily about perfection, but the book boyfriend is perfect for us. He lives in a safe world that provides a haven, and a new guy, whenever we need one.
Tell me about your favorite book boyfriend in the comments. Who is your guy? I’ll be giving away a digital copy from my backlist to one lucky commenter.
Here’s a link to my website jeanniemoon.com. You’ll find all my social media links there, as well as links to my books. While you’re there, make sure you read the excerpt of The Second Chance Hero. After you do, find me on Facebook (there will be a post there waiting for you) and let me know what you think. Facebook commenters will be eligible for another drawing.
Thanks again for having me, JQ’s. I always love stopping in.
Jeannie Moon has always been a romantic. When she’s not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thankful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books, and call it work. Married to her high school sweetheart, Jeannie has three kids, three lovable dogs and resides on Long Island, NY. If she’s more than ten miles away from salt water for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy. The Second Chance Hero is the fourth book in her Forever Love Series. Visit Jeannie’s website at www.jeanniemoon.com
The Jaunty Quills are excited to present debut author Jessica Peterson, author of The Gentleman Jewel Thief. I was fortunate enough to read an advance copy, and it’s one of the best debut books I’ve read. The Gentleman Jewel Thief was sexy, witty, and fast-paced. Keep reading to find out how to win a copy of The Gentleman Jewel Thief, plus an ARC of The Millionaire Rogue, book 2 of The Hope Diamond Trilogy, which comes out on January 6 from Berkley Sensation!
Shana: Welcome, Jessica! Tell us about The Gentleman Jewel Thief. This is the first book in the Hope Diamond Trilogy, right?
Jessica Peterson: Hi Shana! Many thanks to you and the Jaunty Quills for hosting me today. It’s an honor to rub (virtual!) elbows with so many authors I admire.
And yes, The Gentleman Jewel Thief is the first book of The Hope Diamond Trilogy. I pitch it as The Thomas Crown Affair meets a (very sassy) Jane Austen. The idea first came to me while I was doing research on the Regency era. Turns out the Hope Diamond – known as the French Blue back then – shows up in 1812 London after disappearing, mysteriously, some twenty years before during the tumult of the French Revolution. I knew I had to write a series around the infamous gem; its appearance in Regency England was far too tantalizing a mystery to leave unexplored! My agent was the one who came up with the “gentleman jewel thief” idea, and I ran with it. In the process, I encountered an array of fascinating historical figures who may or may not have been involved in the French Blue’s travels – the Prince of Wales (Prinny, later King George IV) and his long suffering wife, Princess Caroline; the bourbon King Louis XVIII; the Hope family; and Napoleon Bonaparte – many of whom make cameos in The Hope Diamond Trilogy.
Book One – The Gentleman Jewel Thief – tells the tale of (you guessed it!) a bad boy gentleman jewel thief, and the alluring lady from whom he pilfers the French Blue. Book Two – The Millionaire Rogue, out in January! – follows Thomas Hope, the millionaire banker who purchased the gem under suspicious circumstances, and the debutante who may foil his plans to get it back. Book Three – The Undercover Scoundrel, available next summer – explores the inconvenient attraction that blooms between Henry Lake, the man tasked with recovering the diamond, and Lady Caroline, Dowager Duchess of Berry, our jewel thief’s widowed sister. All sorts of deliciousness ensues!
I had so much fun writing The Gentleman Jewel Thief, and am so glad you enjoyed it as well, Shana. I mean, what’s not to like about a forty five carat diamond? I wouldn’t mind wearing that thing around my neck.
Shana: I’d wear it too, but I’d feel like I needed a bodyguard. I loved your hero, Lord William Townshend. He’s so deliciously wicked. Tell us more about him.
Jessica Peterson: William is quite wicked, isn’t he? I drew enormous inspiration from both Steve McQueen and hairy-chested Pierce Brosnan in their roles as Thomas Crown in The Thomas Crown Affair. I loved the idea of a bored, wildly handsome, unimaginably wealthy playboy who steals a priceless object in front of all the world, just because he can.
It is a fine balance to strike when you’re writing a rakehell hero like William Townshend – wealthy but not entitled, bored but not aloof, intelligent but not callous. No one likes a careless, spoiled, rotten hero less than me, so it was a challenge to uncover William’s softer side; the vulnerable part of him, the part beneath the debonair, calculating exterior. I think Lady Violet, my heroine, uncovers that part of him quite nicely – along with other, rather less virtuous parts, of course.
Shana: Pierce Brosnan and Steve McQueen! Love the combo of those two. What drew you to writing about the Regency era?
Jessica Peterson: I am a huge history nerd, and I am proud of it. Growing up, I was a chunky, awkward, decidedly introverted kid, and I think I liked escaping into worlds that were very different from my own – worlds without bullies, gym class, or braces (I suffered all three). I started with Gone With the Wind, and was blown away (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) by the romance. It wasn’t long before I discovered Jane Austen, which led me to Regency Romance. I grew up on a steady diet of Princess Diana and her handsome sons; I loved England, I loved royalty, and I loved the idea of living in a palace. So I guess the Regency period is a natural fit for all the things I love – add a Benedict Cumberbatch-lookalike hero, and I am one happy camper!
Shana: Tell us a bit about your publishing journey. Is being a published author like you thought it would be?
Jessica Peterson: It’s funny – when you’re working on your first, or maybe your fifth, or fiftieth manuscript, and you’re not published yet, all you can think about is getting that publishing contract. You think, “Hey, once I sign the dotted line, I am going to live like Danielle Steel and I am going to date Benedict and all my problems will go away.”
I am here to tell you that your journey BEGINS when you get that contract. Obviously I am new to the publishing world, so this is by no means a blanket statement, but signing the dotted line brings with it a whole new host of challenges – and desires. Marketing and publicity are things I never thought twice about when I was unpublished; now they take up a decent chunk of my time, and I never seem to know what I’m doing! You want your book to sell well. You want it to get good reviews. You want to write like Shana Galen, or Sarah MacLean, or other masters of the genre.
I guess you realize just how much you have to learn – and that, sadly, unless you are an A-list actress or Pippa Middleton, you are never going to date Benedict.
Shana: Aww, thanks! And how do I not know Pippa Middleton is dating Benedict?
Finally, tell us what you have coming next.
Jessica Peterson: Sure! Book 2 of The Hope Diamond Trilogy, The Millionaire Rogue, hits shelves on January 6, 2015 – perfect for all you lucky readers who receive Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificates over the holidays!
I’d say this book is a lot more emotional than book one – lushly so. Thomas and Sophia, my main guy and gal, have such an instant, intense connection from the moment they meet on the page. Thomas is one of those quiet, but intense and passionate, heroes. Neither Thomas nor Sophia intends, or wants (or is allowed, really) to fall in love; it’s a “one-drink-turning-into-naked-kissing-on-the-couch” type situation. The thing they share – they can’t resist it. And that’s the kind of romance I love.
Readers, now it’s your turn. Are you a fan of sexy bad boys? Could you love a gentleman jewel thief? One reader who comments will be randomly chosen to win a copy of The Gentleman Jewel Thief and an ARC of The Millionaire Rogue. U.S. and Canada only, please! The winner will be announced Sunday and contacted via email.
The Millionaire Rogue…
In a time when ladies were demure and men courtly, one priceless treasure set England’s lust ablaze and incited unimaginable scandal and passion—the Hope Diamond.
Heir to an impressive title and fortune, Lord William Townshend, Earl of Harclay, is among the most disreputable rakes in England. But, desperately bored by dull heiresses and tedious soirees, he seeks new excitement—with a dangerous scheme to steal the world’s most legendary gemstone from its owner, Alexander Hope. To his surprise, however, it’s not the robbery that sets his blood burning but the alluring lady from whom he pilfers the gem.
A string of bad luck has left the fate of Lady Violet Rutledge’s estate entirely in Hope’s scheming hands. So when his prized jewel disappears from around her neck, she has no choice but to track down the villain responsible for the theft. Only Harclay has his sights set on taking more from her than the necklace—and she’s tempted to surrender anything he desires…
Now, caught in a thrilling game of secrecy and seduction, Violet must find a way to protect her fortune—and her heart—before she loses both forever…
Jessica Peterson began reading romance to escape the decidedly unromantic awkwardness of her teenage years. Having found solace in the likes of Rhett Butler and Mr. Darcy, it wasn’t long before she began creating tall, dark, and handsome heroes of her own.
A graduate of Duke University, Jessica worked in an investment bank before leaving to pursue her writerly dreams. She lives with her husband, the tall, dark, and handsome Mr. Peterson, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
You can find her at
Congrats! Look for an email or email me at email@example.com
The Jaunty Quills are excited to welcome historical author Victoria Roberts to the blog today. She’s the author of the new release, My Highland Spy. RT BookReviews said, “Roberts’ newest features a surprise-laden, quick-paced plot, replete with unconventional and fiercely independent characters. Her lyrical prose grabs readers’ attention, and the high level of emotional tension simply adds to the depth of the story. This book begs to be read and reread.”
Keep reading to find out how to win your copy of My Highland Spy.
Shana: Welcome, Victoria! Tell us about My Highland Spy.
Victoria: First, thank you for having me today at The Jaunty Quills. This is my first visit and I hope not the last. *waves from western PA*
My Highland Spy is the first book in my new Highland Spies series. The series is about four English sisters in the Scottish Highlands. The oldest sister is a spy for the Crown sent to the Highlands to discover machinations against the realm.
Shana: Tell us about your hero, Laird Ruairi Sutherland. First of all, how do you pronounce his first name? Secondly, is he as sexy as he sounds?
Victoria: The name is pronounced ROOR-ee, and yes, he’s as sexy as he sounds. I think it’s hard to resist a man in a kilt, eh? Ruairi would do anything for his clan, especially his son. And let’s just say he’s not very happy when the English show up on his doorstep.
Shana: Those Sassencahs! Who would be happy? (Can you tell I’ve been watching Outlander?)
I love spy books, and your heroine Ravenna Walsingham is a spy for the Crown. What’s she trying to discover?
Victoria: When Ruairi refuses to send his only son to the Lowlands to learn English, King James sends Ravenna to Ruairi’s home in the Highlands. Ravenna masquerades as a governess and her mission is to discover whether or not Ruairi and other Highland lairds conspire to raise arms against the Crown. Ravenna’s not thrilled to be that far away from her sisters for so long and she’s even more flustered by the fact that Ruairi is not the man she expected him to be.
Shana: Tell us what drew you to Scotland. Other than kilted men, that is
Victoria: I was drawn to Scotland the moment I read my first Scottish historical romance. The book was one of Hannah Howell’s Murray brothers. After that, I read every Scottish historical romance I could get my hands on. I fell in love with the genre, and I fell in love with Scotland.
Shana: Do you have a day job? I know from our conversations at conference you have two children and a husband. How do you manage to write and do everything else?
Victoria: Yes, I haven’t quit the day job. I work as a Business Analyst. My job allows me to work from home so I write before and after work and in between family functions. At times, it’s a wee bit hectic in the Roberts’ household to say the least.
Shana: Finally, tell us what you have coming next.
Victoria: I’m working on a Scottish historical anthology will bestselling authors Willa Blair, Eliza Knight, Vonda Sinclair and Terry Spear. Readers can look for Kissing the Highlander Valentine’s Day 2015.
Thank you so much for having me today, Shana. It’s been great fun.
Readers, now it’s your turn. What’s so sexy about Scotland? One reader who comments will win a copy of My Highland Spy.
“An exciting Highland tale of intrigue, betrayal, and love.”
—Hannah Howell, New York Times bestselling author of Highland Master
“Roberts’ newest features a surprise-laden, quick-paced plot, replete with unconventional and fiercely independent characters. Her lyrical prose grabs readers’ attention, and the high level of emotional tension simply adds to the depth of the story. This book begs to be read and reread.”
—RT Book Reviews
This Highland Laird won’t bow to the Crown
Laird Ruairi Sutherland refuses to send his only son away to be educated by the English. And he most definitely will not appear in Edinburgh to pay homage to a liege who has no respect for Scotland. So he does what any laird would do-he lies to the king. The last thing Ruairi expects is a beautiful English governess to appear on his doorstep.
But this lady spy might make him…
Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a seasoned spy who is sent to the savage Highlands to uncover a nefarious plot against the Crown. Playing the part of an English governess—a job easier said than done—she infiltrates the home of Laird Sutherland, a suspected conspirator.
If she doesn’t betray him first
Ravenna soon discovers that the only real threat Sutherland poses is to her heart. But will the proud Highland laird ever forgive her when he discovers the woman he loves in an English spy?
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1l4KJa5
Award-winning author Victoria Roberts writes Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. She was named by RT Book Reviews as “one of the most promising debut authors across the genres” and was also a 2013 RT Reviewers’ Choice award winner for X Marks the Scot.
Represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, Victoria is a member of Romance Writers of America® and several local chapters, as well as a contributing author to the online magazine Celtic Guide.
Victoria lives in western Pennsylvania with her husband of twenty one years and their two beautiful children—not to mention one spoiled dog. When she is not plotting her next Scottish adventure, she’s dragging her clan to every Scottish festival under the sun.
Welcome Marissa Clarke, my good friend and author of the new release Sleeping with the Boss.
The meet-cute is exactly what it sounds like.
Definition: A scene in which future romantic partners first meet in unusual and often comic circumstances.
In film, the meet-cute can be traced back to the 1920’s and was often a way to get a couple from different socio-economic backgrounds together. Today, that’s not as much of a consideration, but it’s a great device that not only adds immediate humor or awkwardness, it can act as a time machine to speed up the relationship. (Source: HollywoodLexicon.com)
I love meet-cutes. There are lots of great ones in movies and books, but my favorite meet-cute is my own when I met my now husband, Laine.
Once upon a time, long, long ago…
A friend begged me to go on a blind date because there was a guy she liked whose friend wanted to go hear the band they were planning on seeing, but he didn’t want to be a third wheel and needed a date.
Operative words: he needed a date.
Nope. Not doing it. I did not need a date. I had other things to do besides babysit some guy who couldn’t find a girl to go hear a band with him.
After lots of discussion, and perhaps some threats from my friend, I agreed, just to shut her up—but I wasn’t going to go along easily. I had never been on a blind date, and was certain it was a loser proposition before I even left to go pick my friend up to meet the guys. (I insisted on driving so I could make a quick escape.)
To make sure it was a short night, I threw on on a white polka dotted sundress with a sweetheart neckline, pulled my hair in a ponytail and wore no makeup at all—spot on for a Junior League luncheon and the worst possible choice for a nightclub. Perfect! This was going to be the shortest date in history.
When we pulled up in the parking lot to meet the guys, a hot man was leaning against the bumper of a car. He was exactly the kind of guy I found attractive—complete with a runner’s build and jeans faded in all the right places. I thought to myself what a shame it was I wasn’t meeting up with him instead of some dud who couldn’t find a date for himself.
You guessed it. That was my blind date.
My friend, dressed to the nines in a tight black dress and heels busted out laughing. I was mortified. I was decked out for a picnic, not a night on the town. I didn’t find it quite so amusing. Fortunately, my date did, and disclosed to me years later that the Pollyanna look followed by several embarrassing events that took place that night involving a new car with manual transmission I hadn’t mastered yet (imagine that horrifying grinding sound of a poorly executed gear shift) and a broken heel, were what had attracted him the most. Well, that and my sparkling personality and fine-tuned wit. Ha!
And to think, if I hadn’t been an unsuitably dressed klutz that night, we might not have celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last week.
Definitely my favorite meet-cute.
There’s a meet-cute in my recent release, Sleeping with the Boss, in which the heroine spills her purse in the elevator, then rips the back seam of her skirt when she leans over to collect her things, giving the hero (a total stranger who turns out to be one of the owners of the company for which she’s temping) an eyeful of the results in the polished brass doors of the elevator. Embarrassing and awkward—well, for one of them at least.
I wonder why I related so well to the heroine… I can’t imagine.
Marissa is offering a Rafflecopter giveaway: Kindle Paperwhite + two $25 Amazon or B&N gift cards
Sleeping with the Boss
For the last five years, bookish Claire Maddox has been living for the dying. Now that her stint as caretaker is over, she’s off to see the world. She needs quick cash first, so a temp job at Anderson Auctions seems perfect, especially with the unexpected benefits, including the hottest man she’s ever laid eyes—or hands—on.
Former Marine William Anderson has been burned one time too many. His military training makes him the perfect man to flush out the spy undercutting his family business, but no amount of training can prepare him for the kind of undercover work he’ll have to do when the sexy new temp is implicated. Desire lands them in bed…but duty may cost him his heart.
Buy Links (only 99 cents for a limited time!):
Marissa Clarke lives in Texas, where everything is bigger, especially the mosquitoes.
When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, husband, and a Cairn Terrier named Annabel, who rules the house (and Marissa’s heart) with an iron paw.
Marissa Clarke is a pseudonym. Her real name is Mary Lindsey and she also writes young adult novels for Penguin USA. www.marylindsey.com
She loves to connect with readers and can be found at www.marissaclarke.com and on Twitter at @MaryL_MarissaC
For updates and insider information on Marissa’s upcoming books, subscribe here: http://tinyurl.com/marissanews