New Release–In the Arms of an Earl

My friend  Anna’s new novel released today. Check it out:

In the Arms of an Earl by Anna SmallIn the Arms of an Earl

Anna Small

English Tea Rose

Composer Frederick Blakeney lost his hand in the war against Napoleon and has given up on finding someone who will love him as he is. Jane Brooke, an insecure spinster, dreams of meeting her true love and being swept away from a mundane life. A chance encounter and their love of music bring them together. Life is perfect until Frederick inherits an earldom and its responsibilities, throwing them into the intrigues of the Ton and the cruel manipulations of his meddling sister-in-law.

When mistrust and gossip tear them apart, Jane discovers the truth too late. Can they confront their doubts and follow their hearts to claim the love they deserve?

If you’d like to check it out it’s available at AmazonThe Wild Rose Press, and Barnes and Noble. Anna, on your new release!

Top Romantic films for Valentine’s Day

Top romantic films for Valentine’s day

It’s that time of year again, and since I usually do a movies thing on Monday I thought I’d combine them. There are tons of lists out there, everyone’s got their own favorite, and some movie choices that made me go WTH? And some I had to leave off just because—well, I had to cut myself off somewhere. When it came down to it though, it turned out incredibly hard to pick just a few. So forgive me if I missed one of your faves.

An Affair to Remember

A playboy named Nickie (Cary Grant) meets the lovely Terry (Deborah Kerr) on a luxury cruise, they flirt, and when he invites her to meet his mother, on a stopover, the encounter has Terry falling head over heels for Nickie. At the end of the cruise they agree to meet again in six months’ time, but tragedy prevents the meeting. When he finds out why Terry never showed up… well, it’s all good. You’ll have to see the movie to find out the end. I don’t want to spoil it for you. 😉

Somewhere in Time

A young actor (Christopher Reeve) falls for the portrait of a long-dead actress, and dares to go back in time to try to win the actress’ (Jane Seymour) heart.

Cold Mountain

A young man (Jude Law) sent off to fight the Civil War finds himself wounded, decides he’s not going back to the front and walks across two states to get home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina and the gal he loves (Nicole Kidman), dodging soldiers out to drag him back, runaway slaves, and befriended by a not so pious preacher. Meanwhile, Ada loses her father and has to learn to run her huge farm with only one helping hand the tenacious Ruby (Renée Zellweger).

A Room with A View

A young woman (Helena Bonham Carter)  and her escort (Maggie Smith), Charlotte, travel around Italy where they meet the most bizarre young man (Julian Sands). In the center of Rome, despite her escort’s best efforts to keep her charge pure, they fall in love.

roxanneRoxanne

Steve Martin’s classic (hilarious) retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. Martin plays C.D. Bales, the fire chief of a very inept fire crew, and owner of a very large nose. He  falls for Roxanne (Daryl Hannah)—a young astronomer when their paths continually cross. Trouble is, C.D. isn’t exactly the most handsome man on the block, and Daryl has eyes for his new recruit—Chris, a guy that wouldn’t know romance if it bit him. He turns to C.D. for a little poetic help.

27 Dresses

A reporter (James Marsden) hears of Jane (Katherine Hiegel),  a woman who’s been a bridesmaid 27 times in a row and decides to get the inside scoop. But the woman isn’t sure she wants to be a bridesmaid again, when she would stand for her sister–who’s marrying the man Katherine loves.

Up

Carl has lost his wife of fifty years but… decides he must keep their dream of moving to Africa, just like their hero. Trouble is, his house is about to be taken away, and Carl forced into a nursing home. Afraid to lose the chance he’s finally decided to take, he devises a clever plan of travel. It has been said that the first five minutes of the movie pack more romance into it than some do in full length scripts. See it and you’ll see why.

50 First Dates

A zoologist (Adam Sandler)  falls for a young woman (Drew Barrymore), but finds out she has a brain injury that keeps her from remembering her life beyond a 24 hour period. Despite these odds, he sets out to win her heart. (Although, let me warn you there’s a scene near the beginning that makes me gag every time. Other than that, this is a great movie!)

Shakespeare in Love

The bard (Joseph Finnes) faces writer’s block and finds his greatest inspiration in a young woman (Gwyneth Paltrow) desperate to act, in a time when only men were allowed on stage. From their affair (supposedly) springs Romeo and Juliet.
Gone with the Wind
A vain socialite sees her world blown apart by the Civil War, marries and loses her heart’s desire, only to fall for the broodish rogue.

I’d also add:

Four Weddings and a Funeral
A Englishman (Hugh Grant) and his pals attend four weddings, at each of which he runs into the girl of his dreams (Andie McDowell). When she marries someone else and a friend dies, it casts a pal of dread over both their lives. Do they get their HEA? You’ll have to watch it to see.

Wall-E

A lonely little worker-robot who’s only mission in life is to clean up the mess humans left behind on Earth, has his whole life toppled when a new, stylish robot lass shows up in his neck of the woods.

Letters to Juliet

A young woman on vacation in Verona, Italy finds a “letter to Juliet” and tries to find and reunite the lovers about whom the letter was written.

And I had to stop myself there or we’d keep going on… So that’s my list. What are your favorites?

Author Linda McLaughlin guest post

Another one from last December. The giveaway is over….

Our next guest, Linda McLaughlin, is here to tell us a little bit about her Regency romance novel, Lady Elinor’s Escape, and the era and area in which it’s set.  Miss Linda, why don’t you come on over here by the fire and, whenever you’re ready, tell us about your intrepid Miss?

Lady Elinor’s Escape
By Linda McLaughlin
Amber Quill Press

I’ve been in love with historical fiction for most of my life, and Regency romance is one of my favorite subgenres. In 2003, shortly before Lady Elinor’s Escape was released, I had the pleasure of a jaunt through the “Regency triangle” of London, Bath and Brighton. It was one of the most enjoyable trips of my life. The photo on the book’s cover was adapted from one I took during my trip.

Lady Elinor’s Escape is kind of a Cinderella story in reverse. Though Elinor is well-born, the daughter of an earl, like Cinderella she is trapped in an untenable situation, stuck with a crazy, abusive aunt rather than a wicked stepmother. Elinor’s only hope is to escape to London where she hopes to send a message to her father, who is currently stationed in Lisbon. While in London, she pretends to be a seamstress in the shop of her mother’s former maid, Mimi, who plays the role of Fairy Godmother. The hero, Stephen Chaplin, plays the role of Prince Charming, though his social status is below hers, yet another complication once he realizes the woman he rescued is really a lady.

This isn’t your typical Regency romance. Much of the action takes place in the shop, showing a different side of the Regency. Not everyone lived in a grand town house with servants at their beck and call. Staying with Mimi gives Elinor a taste of “real life” and the experience makes her a stronger, more compassionate person.

Oh, I forgot to mention the book was a Finalist in the Regency Category of the 2005 Golden Quill Contest, sponsored by the Desert Rose Chapter of RWA.

Blurb:

Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him.

There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a ‘rescuer’ of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled by guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with his secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.

Read an excerpt:

(Note: Elinor has run away from her abusive aunt who hit her the day before. She meets Stephen Chaplin at a nearby inn.)

“Excuse me, madam, but I could not help overhearing you say that you must leave for London immediately. Allow me to introduce myself. Stephen Chaplin, Esquire, at your service.”

Elinor turned to face the gentleman who had suddenly appeared. She stared at him through a haze of black, taking advantage of her veil to get a closer look at this tall, dark-haired, seemingly well bred gentleman. He was above average height, with finely chiseled features, and while he could not, strictly speaking, be deemed handsome, there was something in the intense scrutiny of his light brown eyes that drew her to him. By the cut of his bottle green Superfine coat, which emphasized his broad shoulders, but was not so tight as to hamper movement, and his casually tied neckcloth, she surmised he was no society dandy.

“How do you do?” she said politely, extending one black-gloved hand.

“Fine, thank you.”

As he took her hand and bowed over it, Elinor savored the warmth of his touch for a moment. It had been a long time since someone had touched her out of kindness. Suddenly realizing she was clutching his hand, she withdrew hers. He studied her, his gaze seeming to penetrate the veil, and she could only stand like the veriest lump under his scrutiny.

“I beg your pardon, madam, but what did you say your name was?”

“Eli—” Elinor broke off and feigned a cough, panic bubbling up inside. Her name. Dear heavens, she needed a new name. If she told him who she was, he would never agree to take her to Mimi. She stared down at the gentleman’s yellow nankeen trousers and shiny brown boots. “Brown,” she stammered. “Ellie Brown.”

“Mrs. Brown, may I offer my assistance? I’m heading for London myself and would be pleased to convey you as far as Chippenham, where you may pick up another stage coach.”

Relief flooded through her at his offer, but could she trust him? No proper young lady rides in a closed carriage with a gentleman who is not related to her. The words of her governess rang in her ears. “I do not think—”

“Of course, you are cautious,” he interrupted smoothly. “Any genteel lady would hesitate to trust a strange gentleman.”

“But I am not a lady,” she blurted. If Aunt Sarah learned that a ‘lady’ had been here, she would know where to look for her. “I am merely a seamstress.”

“Really,” he drawled, doubt evident in his tone.

“Yes, I have a position awaiting me in London.” She was surprised, and a bit uncomfortable, at how easily the lies flowed from her lips, but they were necessary.

“Then you had best accept my offer, lest your position go to someone else. Miss Wainwright can vouch for me. We traveled here together from London. Nancy,” he called out. “Over here.”

A young serving woman who was obviously in the family way approached them. “What can I do fer ye, Mr. Chaplin?”

“I have offered to convey Mrs. Brown to London, but she is not sure I can be trusted.”

Nancy giggled. “Oh, ma’am, ye’ve naught to fear. Mr. Chaplin’s the finest gentleman I’ve ever met. And we gets quite a few gents here at the Horse and Cart.”

“Yes, I expect you do.” And not all of them honorable, Elinor thought with a glance at Miss Wainwright’s belly.

Elinor pondered her choices. It was either Stephen Chaplin in a closed carriage or back to Aunt Sarah’s cottage where, at best, she would be locked in her bedroom after today’s escapade. And at worst…

She remembered Aunt Sarah’s pistol and promptly made up her mind. Stephen Chaplin was undoubtedly the lesser of two evils.

“Very well, sir, I accept your escort.”

“Would you care for some breakfast first?”

The inn was warm and she’d like nothing better than to settle near the fire and break her fast. Her stomach felt like it was stuck to her backbone, but she shook her head, afraid to stay a moment longer.

Scant minutes later, Mr. Chaplin led her outside to a closed traveling carriage standing in the inn yard. He must be a gentleman of some means, she mused, to have his own carriage. He supervised the loading of their luggage then held out his hand to help her into the carriage. As she stepped up, the wind caught her veil and blew it upwards. For a second she had a clear glimpse of his startled face.

He had seen the bruise.

Oh, poor Elinor. I’d go with Stephen, myself, how ’bout you gals? Well, care to give us a little peek at the trailer, Linda? I hear tell it’s very well done. 😉

Lady Elinor’s Escape is available in e-book format from Amazon Kindle Store and Barnes and Noble eBookstore. A trade paperback is available from Amber Quill Press and Amazon.com.

Author’s Bio:

Linda McLaughlin sold her first romance novel in 1997 to Kensington Precious Gems. Since then she has written historical and Regency romance for Amber Quill Press and, under the name Lyndi Lamont, she pens steamier romance, including male/male erotica, for the erotic imprints of AQP. You can reach her online at:

http://www.lindamclaughlin.com
http://www.lyndilamont.com
blog: http://flightsafancy.blogspot.com/
Buy link: http://www.amberquill.com/LadyElinor.html

One commenter will win an electronic copy of Lady Elinor’s Escape.

Thanks for bringing us this intriguing tale, Linda! Good luck with it, and all you do, and… Don’t forget to leaven Linda a comment or question for a chance to win. 🙂

Five days and counting…Merry Christmas all!

Linda LaRoque–Born in Ice

This is another old one, from last year (December 14, 2011). So the Christmas references and the giveaway …yeah, all outdated and over with. Still, I wanted to keep this for post.

 Please welcome romance writer, Linda LaRoque to our little home to tell us a little about her futuristic tale, Born In Ice.

Born in Ice

This futuristic romantic suspense story grew from a dream, one of a woman frozen in a block of ice and found by fishermen from an undersea world. She’s taken to their home and with the help of advanced medical technology, she recovers. In time she learns she must learn to fit into their social system, one different from what she’s known.

Blurb:

Pulled from an icy grave…into a world of doubt and danger.

Frozen in ice for seventy-five years, Zana Forrester suffers the agony of rebirth to learn her son is dead, and her daughter’s whereabouts is unknown. The year is 2155. A man’s soothing voice and gray eyes haunt her drug induced dreams. When she recovers, she meets their owner and finds her heart in danger. But, a relationship isn’t a consideration; she must find her daughter.

Brock Callahan is drawn to the beautiful woman taken aboard his salvage ship. He’s determined she’ll be his wife and a mother to his young daughter, but he vows not to love her. All the women he’s loved died. While Zana searches for her daughter, Brock must protect Zana from the evil that threatens.

My editor for Champagne Books has graciously given permission for me to post the Prologue and Chapter One of Born in Ice, so for 10 days I’ll be sharing another installment.

Chapter One – installment 10

The vehicle was a self-sealing model, one that upon impact sealed
the interior from water and gases, including oxygen. The purpose was to
preserve any life-form inside. On occasion, individuals found in bergs were
thawed, and life resuscitated.

In 2065 when widespread temperatures dropped to dangerous levels,
a drug was developed to help protect body tissues, under certain conditions,
from freezing. Individuals five years and older took a monthly dose of the
preparation. The medication gave cells the ability to be frozen and thawed
with minimal damage. Of course, there were exceptions, cases where the
procedure failed, but the success rate was over fifty percent.

Lost in thought, Brock started at Luke’s question.

“Do you know the location of the deactivation switch, Skipper?”

“Yeah.” Brock walked around, peering inside the darkened windows.
He couldn’t see much, but a shadow in front gave him pause. “Call the
hospital, and have them send a hermetic pod in case we find a body.” The
container would help preserve life if it was present. He was nervous as hell.
Always was when they pulled one of these babies out of the water. It was a
constant shock to see a human, frozen and resembling a figure in a wax
museum display, but finding bodies without hope for survival haunted him.

“They’ve got one on the way.”

He reached under the driver’s side fender well. The small box was
easy to locate. He twisted the lever, opened the container, and pushed the
button. A flurry of clicks sounded around the car.

Brock opened the door. A blast of cold air whooshed out. The faint
smell of death washed over him filling him with dread. He staggered back for
a moment. The first thing he noticed was the child’s seat in the back. Empty.

He drew near again and saw the driver’s seat was reclined. A body lay curled
on its side holding a bundle close.

His voice gruff, he called, “Bring us a light. Luke, open the doors on
the other side.”

Digger held the light as Brock leaned in to look at the bowed figure
on the seat. From the person’s figure and profile, there was no denying the
delicate features beneath the mask belonged to a woman. She was dressed
from head to toe in a silvery grey snowsuit with fur-trimmed matching boots.
Fur as soft and as gray as a dove’s wing edged her parka making her appear
even more ethereal. Dark lashes brushed her face covering, similar to a ski
mask, made with cut-outs for her eyes, nose, and mouth.

He carefully pulled the blanket away from the bundle and groaned at
the mummified features of what had once been a child. Oh, God, no. Not a
baby.

Tomorrow I’ll be ending my blog tour on Rachel Firasek’s blog at http://www.rachelfirasek.com/ I hope you’ll stop by as I share 3 books on my Christmas Wish List. Thank you all for taking this journey with me. Wow, I can’t believe I made it!

 

Please leave a comment today to be entered into a drawing for an ecopy of A Way Back, my time travel set in the 1930s oil fields of Texas. Your name will also be entered in the GRAND PRIZE drawing for my blog tour—a KINDLE. A name will be draw at the end of my tour on December 16th.

Good luck!

 

I also have a release contest going. Sign up for my newsletter by emailing me at linda@lindalaroque.com with Born in Ice in the subject line. Your name will be added to the drawing for this rhinestone frog pin. For each of my releases I try to find a piece of jewelry significant to the story. After reading Born in Ice you’ll understand why I chose this frog.

Wow. sounds great, Linda! Good luck with it. 🙂 And once again, sorry for the delay. Hopefully, my minions have locked the zombie back in her grave and we won’t have this trouble again! Thanks so much for your patience. Folks, don’t forget to leave Linda a comment so you get in the running for this cute frog. And for more on Linda LaRoque’s works, see her website, or her blog.

and if you’d like to check out–or purchase–Born In Ice (or A Way Back) for yourself, you can do so here and here.

Have a great day.

*GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

A possible writing opportunity

I don’t know if this is still the case, since it was posted in January….still, it might be worth looking into?

 

It says here, that Carina Press is interested in acquiring some historicals.

 

And some set in the Italian Renaissance–*salivates* 😉 Good Luck to all who try!

New author alert: Erica Ridley

Ok, I’m sorry, I only just found out about this, but there’s a debut author at Plot Monkeys right this moment. Her first Regency/Gothic romance has just been released and I really think we should give her some support. 🙂 Do go check out her post, and with a chance to win her novel, I think you will enjoy this. You can find it more about her, and the Plot Monkeys visit, here.