The two randomly chosen winners of CHRISTMAS IN THE DUKE’S ARMS are Christina F and Susan Gorman! Congrats! I’ll email you or you can email me at email@example.com
Hi, everyone! Thanks so much for joining in the fun and sharing your stories about patience (or the lack thereof <g>).
The winner, chosen at random, is Eileen A-W! Eileen, if you’ll message me privately at KOBrien@aol.com, so that I’ll have your email address, I’ll get the Amazon goodies out to you ASAP!
The winner of THE GENTLEMAN JEWEL THIEF and THE MILLIONAIRE ROGUE by Jessica Peterson is Jennifer Merritt. I’ll email you, Jennifer.
If you didn’t win, stop by my Facebook page. I’m giving away a copy of THE GENTLEMAN JEWEL THIEF (and more!) there! You just need to like the post to enter.
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
The winner of the Amazon gift certificate in Kathleen’s “Your Crush, His Crush” blog is ANN S!
Thanks to everyone who stopped by to be a part of the silliness! It was such fun to see how these things are handled at your houses, too! Ann S, if you’ll send me a private email at KOBrien@aol.com, I’ll get the gift certificate sent to your email address asap!