Christi Caldwell is here again with a an excerpt from her latest release, The Lure of a Rake. Don’t you love this cover?
Another breeze filtered the air between them. It rustled Cedric’s too-long, thick golden tresses, sending one tumbling over his brow, softening him, making him real—approachable, and not the sculpted model of masculine perfection able to command with a single look. He motioned to the wrought iron bench. “May I?”
Genevieve curled her fingers tight, hating this desire to run her hands through his tresses to explore their texture. “If I said no, would you leave?”
“Yes,” he said automatically. “But I’d attempt to convince you otherwise.”
Perhaps her soul was as wicked and wanton as she’d been accused, for she wanted to know what that convincing would entail. He stared at her pointedly and with a hesitant nod, she slid over onto the corner of the bench.
The marquess settled his tall, heavily muscled frame beside her, shrinking the space between them so that their legs touched. His cloak gaped slightly open. She swallowed hard. Unbidden, she stole a sideways look at the muscles of his thighs straining the fawn fabric of his front-flap breeches. Cheeks afire, she swiftly lifted her gaze, praying he’d not noted her scrutiny, and promptly stilled.
Head tipped back, with his eyes closed, the morning’s rays bathed Cedric’s face in sunlight. “Who was he?” he asked, unmoving from his repose so much that she blinked several times believing she’d imagined his question.
“My lord?” she asked tentatively.
“The gentleman to account for your wariness.”
She drew her book closer. “It would hardly be appropriate to speak of such intimate matters.”
“Bah, mine is hardly an intimate question.” Opening his eyes, the marquess picked his head up and favored her with a slow, seductive grin. “Were I to ask you the scent of oil you place in your bathwater or the fragrance you dab behind your ears, now that, I would allow would be intimate…for some.”
Despite a suitable wariness where this man was concerned, a smile pulled at her lips. With his charm, he was a rogue who could coax the queen out of her chemise. “Tell me, my lord, do you work at shocking a lady?”
“Hardly.” He winked. “I assure you, it comes quite naturally.”
Do you have a favorite rake in fiction?
I owe the idea for this blog to Theresa Romain. We were emailing back and forth yesterday about something unrelated, and I mentioned I was trying to come up with an idea for a blog. She suggested I interview my six-year-old daughter, who I call Princess Galen (PG). Theresa said, “You never know what kids will say.”
No, you never do, and I was a little concerned about what she’d say, but I interviewed her anyway and here’s the transcript.
Shana: Tell us about yourself.
PG: I love to do cartwheels, and I love to dance and run. The things I don’t like are…(pause to think) bugs, boys (except Alex A. and Eli), and something else I don’t like is people feeling sad.
Shana: What is it like having a mom who is an author?
PG: It’s bad. Just kidding! She’s like a librarian.
(I have no idea what she means by this. Maybe I’m quiet?)
Shana: What’s your favorite book of your mom’s?
PG: The purple one.
(I think she means The Rogue You Know. She hasn’t read any of them, obviously, but she has preferences about the colors on the covers.)
Shana: What’s your favorite book?
PG: Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups
Shana: What’s your favorite movie?
PG: My favorite movie is Zootopia.
Shana: What’s your favorite food?
PG: Hawaiian bread
Shana: What’s your favorite activity?
PG: My favorite activity? It’s doing arts and crafts with mommy.
Shana: What do you want to be when you grow up?
PG: An art teacher.
Shana: What advice do you have for kids entering Kindergarten in the fall?
PG: Listen to the teacher.
Shana: Are you excited about summer?
PG: Yes, but I don’t want it to be summer because I like school.
Shana: What are you looking forward to this summer?
PG: Going to the pool with my friends and my mamma.
Guess that means I have to buy a bathing suit…
Recently I was lucky enough to attend the Romantic Times Booklovers’ Convention in Las Vegas. If you’ve never been and you love books, you are missing out. It’s packed with readers, authors, panels, booksignings, and lots of parties and free books.
It’s also fun for us authors to catch up with friends. My roomie this time was my old friend Sophie Jordan. Here we are with our morning coffee.
I also did a little shopping. I found this super cute storm trooper wallet in the hotel sundry shop. Who knew the Rio had such cute stuff in its shops?
The highlight of the convention was, of course, the giant bookfair. It’s so much fun to chat with other authors and readers who walk by. Here I am ready to sign!
I also saw two good friends and readers, Susan Knight and Kristy Birch.
Finally, I recognized Vikkas Bhardwaj walking around. He’s on the cover of lots of books, including my Christmas anthology, Christmas in Duke Street. Of course, I had to snag a picture.
By the end of the conference, I was ready to head home and catch up on sleep. But I had room in my bag for a few goodies! One of them is this cute gift bag my publisher gave to librarians and booksellers filled with books and other goodies. Want it? Just comment below, and one person will win it. (Winner chosen randomly and announced and contacted Sunday.)
People (usually not readers) often ask me if my books mirror my real life. Since my books are set in the Regency period when iphones, flushing toilets, and motorized vehicles didn’t exist, my life isn’t like my books at all.
But every so often real life does inspire fiction. On Tuesday, my new book, I Kissed a Rogue, released. In one scene a mama cat and her kittens made an appearance. As I was staring into space, thinking of a way to describe the mama cat, my gaze settled on my sweet cat Maisy.
No Maisy is spayed and has never had kittens, but she is one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever been privileged to know. I’m certain she would make a wonderful mama, just like the cat in the book.
Maisy must know she’s famous now, because when I received my author copies, she was happy to pose with “her” book.
The dog in another of my books, The Rogue You Know, wasn’t modeled on my dog Sparky. I didn’t have a dog when I wrote TRYK. I adopted Sparky shortly after finishing edits on the book, which has always led me to wonder if writing about a dog made me want to have a dog. Beauty, the big white dog in the book, is such a loyal and smart creature, and my Sparky, though she be small and black, is loyal and smart too.
Currently, I’m writing a new book, and it too has a dog—a white and brown puppy named Wellington. Wellington, or Welly for short, is constantly in trouble, as most puppies are. There’s quite a bit of Sparky in Welly too. Sparky loves to make mischief.
What are your favorite books with animals? One person who comments will be randomly chosen to win a print copy of I KISSED A ROGUE. Winner announced and contacted Sunday.
The Jaunty Quills are excited to welcome back historical romance author Christi Caldwell. She’s consistently a bestseller, and if you’ve ever read one of her books it’s not hard to see why. She writes heartwarming, sexy, and delightful Regency romances.
Readers, keep reading to find out how to win your signed print copy of For Love of the Duke!
Shana: Welcome back, Christi! Tell us about To Trust a Rogue, the newest in the Heart of a Duke series.
Christi Caldwell: “To Trust a Rogue” is really a story about a second-chance at love. The hero, Marcus, Viscount Wessex and Eleanor Carlyle were desperately in love, until one day, she just left with nothing more than a note. That betrayal was a defining moment for both of them, and from it, Marcus fashioned himself into a carefree, charming rogue determined to never again, trust in love. Flash-forward 8 years later, and Eleanor is back, and with a daughter in tow. Now, a poor-relation living with her eccentric aunt, she is in London to face the demons of her past, and…Marcus. For me, this was an emotional book. Lots of tears were shed while I wrote this story.
Shana: From the reviews I’ve read, this book is receiving kudos for the way the emotional aspects of the story resonate so deeply with readers. How do you manage to write such powerful emotional scenes? Do you draw on past experiences or are you able to step into the characters’ shoes?
Christi Caldwell: For me, writing is a cathartic experience. I began seriously writing when my son Rory was born, and I learned his diagnosis of Down syndrome. There was so much emotion: fear, shock, pain, blended with this overwhelming love, and eventual joy. In the days after his birth, I put words onto a page, and found a sense of healing from the process.
When I write, my characters are multi-dimensional. If they know joy, I go into the greatest moments I have known. I pull from how I felt; the whole sensory experience, that is absolute happiness, and I try to paint that with words. I do the same with the fears and agonies that I knew, and still sometimes know, for my son’s struggles. There is no greater agony than seeing your child hurt or suffer. And because of that, there is never a shortage in the emotional well I have to draw from for my characters.
Shana: I know you have two little girls who, along with your son, are the light of your life. If your girls were to read your books when they got older, what would you want them to take away?
Christi Caldwell: I would want them to realize my books are about broken and imperfect people, because ultimately we are all in some way flawed, and it is those flaws that make us beautiful and unique. We struggle. Life is hard. Life isn’t always fair, and sometimes cruel. And just because we might know struggle or tragedy, or pain, there is always love, which is more powerful than anything. Every person, for the hardships they know, can still find a happily-ever-after; they still deserve it.
Shana: That’s really lovely. Who are some of the authors who’ve influenced you the most and who made you want to become a writer yourself?
Christi Caldwell: I grew up on Julie Garwood, Judith McNaught, and Jude Devereaux. I was a pretty lonely girl without a ton of friends, but found a love of books, early on. I cut my teeth on romance novels at age 13, and lost myself in those stories. They were authors whose books shaped me; authors whose emotion I felt bleed off the pages. I wanted to do that. And at fifteen, my mom found my first work in progress, a Regency romance and said: “Are you writing romance novels?” I smiled and said: “Yes. Someday I’m going to be romance author.” J
Shana: Finally, tell us what you have coming next.
Christi Caldwell: February 19th, I’ll be releasing Book 3 in my Lords of Honor series titled “Rescued By a Lady’s Heart.” The story is about the Duke of Blackthorne who returned from the Napoleonic Wars without the use of one of his legs and half of his face burned. Shunned by his family and society, he’s become a recluse whispered about and feared.
Enter his heroine, Lily Benedict. She is equally broken, and motivated by reasons of revenge and desperation, she takes employment inside his household. In the process, she finds love.
This is a darker story, about two equally broken people healing one another.
Readers, now it’s your turn. One reader who comments will be randomly chosen to win a signed print copy of For Love of the Duke (U.S. and Canada only; international reader will win the ebook). The winner will be announced Sunday and contacted via email.