Saturday, April 18, 2015

Extra(s), Extra(s) at RT!

There are some events I'm taking part in at RT that aren't on the regular agenda I wanted to tell you about.

The first "extra" event is the SOS Military Tribute Event on Thursday, May 14th, 8:30 - 9:45 AM! Tickets are free, but you NEED to have a ticket to get in to the event. :)

As many bases as I lived on.. None of them looked like this... I this this should be a requirement lol

Readers will "deploy" to a military location (themed table) hosted by authors connected to the military. Your mission includes tasting MREs, navigating the coin challenge, and singing the services' songs - The Army Goes Rolling Along", "Wild Blue Yonder", "Anchors Aweigh", "The Halls of Montezuma", and "Semper Paratus".

My table will be 5th Special Forces to give some love to the unit where the heroes from my X-OPS Series come from. I'll have some fun stuff there, along with a couple giveaways, so I hope you'll stop by! :)

To get your tickets, click on the link below!


The other "extra" event I'm taking part is the RT Roundup on Sunday from 10am - 5pm. It's a Meet & Greet/Book Signing featuring over 80 authors. It's an exciting event that adds to the final day of the 32nd RT Booklovers Convention.

Contemporary Authors of all genres will be signing at their tables with outrageous swag. Historical Romance Authors appearing in full costume and serving tea and cookies. 15+ Cover Models are attending to take photos and meet readers. Some will have swag and books to sign.

You can get all the info here!

I'll also be doing a panel, hosting a party, and announcing a special project! I'll be posting my complete RT schedule on my blog and on FB, so you'll know where to find me! :)

See you there!


Friday, April 17, 2015

Giveaway: Winner of Awakened and Other Enchanted Tales

Renee G. has won the giveaway of Pamela Sherwood's short story collection, Awakened and Other Enchanted Tales. Please contact me at with your mailing address so I can send you your book! (I've tried emailing you at the address listed in your profile, but my messages keep getting returned as undeliverable). Thank you for participating, and I hope to hear from you soon!


Tell Me a Story by Shana Galen

I’m in the car a lot. Like A LOT. Driving my daughter to school and to activities takes a big portion of my day. Added to that, I run most mornings. Recently I got a subscription to Audible, and I love it. Love. It.

I can’t read while I’m running or driving, but I can listen to books. I’ve been able to read/listen to so many more books since I got my subscription than I would have without it.

That said, I do not listen to my own books on audio. It’s too weird to hear your own words in your ear. I want to revise what I hear or I want to tell the narrator to say it in a different way. I have a few narrators I really love. For contemporary, I like Julia Whelan, Sandra Burr, and Susan Eriksen. For historical, you can’t beat Rosalyn Landor.

I was thrilled when I found out this week the third book in my Jewels of the Ton series is in production to be made into an audio book. When You Give a Duke a Diamond and If You Give a Rake a Ruby are already available. I wish all my books would be in audio book. I imagine in the future, all books will be.

What about you? Do you listen to audio books?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Romance With Sheep + a Give Away

There are two unrelated facts about me that I should mention before I continue . The first fact: I have been writing Regency romance for a few years now. Second fact: I am endlessly amused by the sheep I pass on various farms as I drive to work each day.

In spite of the amusement and joy I find in watching young lambs leap while their older, steadier parents mow away at the grass, I have yet to work sheep into a novel.

Most of my books take place in London, though my characters always seem to find their way to the country eventually. Once each novel reaches the bucolic splendor of England's countryside, I still don't work sheep into the story line.

I think I need to remedy that.

I am reminded of the movie version of Jane Austen's novel PERSUASION from 1995 when the opening scene shows the beautiful grounds of the Elliott estate, with live sheep eating in the foreground. I mention PERSUASION often on this blog and elsewhere because it is one of Jane Austen's most hopeful books, where true love gets a second chance. But the sheep in the opening sequence of this particular version make me love the movie even more.

But, no doubt by now you ask yourself, why the fascination with sheep?

I just think they're funny.

Now that I am writing not only about Regency England, but about hot Scots who are invading London, looking for an unsuspecting man (preferably a titled man) to marry their wild sister Mary Elizabeth, I still have not worked sheep into the fabric of my tale.

Before you make snide connections between kilt wearing Highlanders and their sheep, please note that my characters do not have love affairs with any of these woolly critters. The gentlemen in my new series THE TERROR OF THE TON would look at a flock of sheep and see only a source of income and perhaps a tasty meal. I see a group of outdoor pets born to make me laugh. Did I also mention that though I live in the country now, I am a city girl at heart?

Now that I am writing Regency romantic comedy, I think I need to make use of the humor I find in these critters. Does anyone have a suggestion of how I might work a woolly lamb or two into the books I write? Perhaps my hero and heroine might meet at a cattle fair?

If by some miracle you have an idea, please leave it in a comment here. I'll choose a winner from among the comments and send a signed copy of my last novel, MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK with a smile and a blessing. Sadly, JACK is a seafaring man, so there is no mention of sheep in this book either.

Ever since Christy English picked up a fake sword in stage combat class at the age of fourteen, she has lived vicariously through the sword-wielding women of her imagination. Sometimes an actor, always a storyteller, Christy works happily with Sourcebooks Casablanca to bring the knife-throwing women of her novels to life. A banker by day and a writer by night, she loves to eat chocolate, drink too many soft drinks, and walk the mountain trails of her home in North Carolina. Please join her on her adventures via TwitterFacebook or on her Blog.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It’s a Spring Miracle! w/Jade Lee

It’s a Spring Miracle!

Every once in a while a miracle happens. I write something that is perfect. It is the book to which all my other books aspire: funny, romantic, and most especially fun to write. That book is releasing on my birthday, May 5. But don’t take my word for it. Judge for yourself in this excerpt just for you!

50 Ways to Ruin a Rake by Jade Lee – Teaser Excerpt

“Hit him!” screamed the crowd. “Show ’im what for!”
The sentiment was echoed all around until Mellie actively hated them all. Not just the crowd, but the two combatants. Trevor and Ronnie, fighting like boys in the school yard. Bloody and violent, to be sure, especially since they were grown men. But no one was likely to die. Which is when Trevor stepped in a hole.
He cried out in surprise and pain. Thank God he was wearing boots, otherwise his leg might have snapped in two. As it was, he tumbled down into the mud and Ronnie clearly meant to finish the fight. But he hadn’t reckoned on Melinda. She’d been an unwilling participant in this whole disgusting display. Well, if her cousin wanted a Cheltenham tragedy, she would bloody well give him one.
She surged forward. Stop it! Ronnie, stop it now! And when he didn’t hear her, she said the words she'd never thought she’d utter in her entire life. My love!
That got his attention. Mellie!
She flung herself forward, sliding in the mud to stop right beside Trevor’s head. Ronnie reached for her, but she pushed him away as she wrapped herself around the fallen lord. My love, are you alive? Oh God, someone fetch a doctor!
Trevor's face was a battered mess, but not so unrecognizable that she didn’t see the gleam of appreciation in his eyes or the mischievous smile that pulled at his swollen lip.
Are you an angel? he asked. Have I died?
The man was lying in the mud, his ankle nearly snapped in half. His face oozed from a myriad of cuts, and yet he still had the wherewithall to give the crowd a good show. It was enough to make her contemplate dropping him in the mud.
Meanwhile, Ronnie just stood there poised, his fist still raised as he gaped. I won. This was an affaire d’honor.
Congratulations, she mocked. You beat a man half your weight.
I’m not that small, muttered Trevor.
Shut up. I’m making a point. Then she turned her attention to her cousin. You were right, Ronnie. You have made everything clear. I could never love a brute like you. I love Trevor.
Since when?

Since never. She had a thorough disgust of them both. Especially as Trevor began to speak in a quavering voice.
Oh, to finally hear those words, now in the moments before I expire. Kiss me, my love. Mayhap your love will keep me tethered to this mortal coil.
I will not, she said between clenched teeth.
He pitched his voice to a plaintive wail. Then I shall die for sure!
Damnation on all bloody, arrogant, ridiculous men! One glance about her showed that the crowd was hanging on his every word. She didn’t really care until she looked at Ronnie=s face. He wasn’t stupid. He could see that Trevor wasn’t really hurt. It wouldn’t take him long to remember that she=d never spoken of Trevor with anything but disdain. And from there it was a small step to realizing that this entire display was a sham. So she had to do something quickly. Something that he’d never forget, even if he did suspect the lie.
She kissed Trevor.
She more than kissed him. She lifted him in her arms and gave him the kind of scorching kiss that every woman dreamed she'd receive from the grandson of a duke. And he-horrible roué that he was-wrapped his arm around her shoulders and kissed her right back.
And he kept kissing her, with tongue and teeth and a growl of hunger so wonderful that she hated him even more. Even as she lost all thought to propriety in this very public place.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Feeling Nostalgic

There are certain series that I began to read in my early teens, that have grown with me through most of my life. They're like old friends. Some of them are simply long-running series' from amazing authors (Terry Pratchett), whose imaginations seem endless; and some are evidently slower to write, and pop up every five or so years, (George R.R Martin).

I grew up with some of these stories. I remember the first time I ever plucked a Discworld novel from the shelves of my school library, drawn by the intriguing cover. That book was Witches Abroad, a hilarious, fantastical satire about three witches (the infamous Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat), fairytales and voodoo. I was hooked.

Terry Pratchett was one of my favourite authors. I say was, because sadly, about a month ago he passed away after battling early onset Alzheimer's. Since then, I've re-started the series (beginning with the Colour of Magic) and have been working my way through it in my spare time. I haven't read the books for quite a few years, but it's amazing how quickly you're taken back. Sometimes those books you loved as a child don't hold up quite so well as an adult, but not so here. I still love each and every book, with a few particular favourites (the Witches are always the most enjoyable for me, followed closely by Pratchett's character Death). It's been an enjoyable journey, a private little send-off in my mind, for one of my favourite authors. I can only hope one day that someone reads and re-reads my books, with that particular nostalgic feeling.

It's made me think of a lot of other series' that I haven't read for years, but hold special places in my heart, and I think that I'm going to make a bit of an effort to venture down memory lane again, perhaps with C.S Lewis' Narnia series, and the Hobbit, and maybe even some Enid Blyton, for old times sakes.

So what about you? Do you have any particular series that you've grown up with, or loved for so many years? 

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Writer's Spring Cleaning, Featuring Fabio

Not long ago, I read a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

"Oh, great," said my husband when he saw the book in my hands. "Now you're going to want to organize everything."

How well he knows me.

See, I tend to work better when the things around me are organized. Maybe it's because the inside of my head is already a chaotic place. Maybe it's because I'm easily distracted. Most likely it's a combination of both.

Whatever the case, Mr. R has learned by now: if the story ideas aren't flowing, or if a deadline is getting near, I'm probably going to start going through clutter.

In the past month, I've completed a quick revision on one book, turned in another, and am now working on a deep revision of the first book. (If at first you don't succeed...) I've also made an embarrassing number of to-do lists and poked through corners of the house I hadn't looked at since we moved in almost ten years ago. And yes, I've drunk a lot of coffee to keep me going.

The best finds of my declutterathon were:

*a fancy cheese slicer that Mr. R had received as a gift from a work client, then stashed in a bathroom drawer because he "didn't know where else to put it" (My suggestion: the kitchen, which is where it now lives)
*a box of paperbacks I'd kept from the late '90s, including Christopher Pike novels and little books about the Spice Girls (I gave these to Twitter friends I knew would love 'em)
*a signed picture of Fabio, which I won from RT Book Reviews a while back (squee!) and had put in a safe place. You know the sort of place--so safe you might never find it again. I'm sorry, Fabio.

Thank goodness I found the picture, because it's great. It might just be the Fabio-est picture that ever existed. Check it out:

Now I get to decide what to do with it. And The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up would encourage me to pass it on. It made me smile to know that such a picture existed, gold-marker signature and all. Would it make one of you smile to own it? Let me know if you'd like a little Fabio in your life, and I'll pick a winner at random. And if you've got any organizational tips, or funny stories about odd stuff you've come across in your own home, let me know that too! I'd love to hear about it.

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest. Find her at or on Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Re-uses of Enchantment (+ Book Giveaway)

Gina Conkle’s blog last week, about the Cinderella twist in The Lady Meets Her Match, reminded me that fairy tales are the gift that keeps on giving. First, in their original form—whether written by Perrault, Andersen, or the Brothers Grimm, then, for all the countless variations and adaptations they inspire.

Cinderella alone has more than 300 variants, which English folklorist Marian Roalfe Cox (1860-1916) compiled in a single volume in 1893. The research geek in me would love to get my hands on that book, someday. Most of us were probably introduced to the girl with the missing shoe through Charles Perrault’s version from 17th century France, but she has also appeared throughout the ages in China, Italy, Scotland, and Germany (the version referenced in Stephen Sondheim’s fairy-tale musical, Into the Woods).

Modern authors and filmmakers have likewise introduced their own takes on fairy-tales, sometimes by changing no more than an element or two. But alter the outcome of one event, switch POV, or reverse a character’s moral orientation, and—just like magic—you have another story, at once familiar and new.

What if . . . the evil queen was an innocent trying to introduce Christianity into the kingdom and Snow White was a devil worshipper (Tanith Lee’s “Red As Blood”)? What if . . . the wolf who terrorized Little Red Riding Hood was actually a kindly creature tricked by a deceitful child (Jane Yolen’s “Happy Dens: A Day in the Old Wolves’ Home”)? What if . . . the prince fouled up the spell surrounding the Sleeping Beauty by arriving a day too early (Patricia C. Wrede’s “Stronger Than Time”)? 

Changing the setting also introduces fascinating new dimensions. Remember the ‘80s TV series, Beauty and the Beast, which was updated to modern New York City (where the Beast--Vincent--rode on top of subways and lived in a mysterious underground community)? Outlandish as the set-up sounds, I enjoyed the first two seasons of the show--and flatly refuse to acknowledge the existence of the third!

Fantasy author Mercedes Lackey sets her fairy-tale infused Elemental Masters series during the Edwardian period, and—later—the WWI era. In her Cinderella-inspired Phoenix and Ashes, the heroine is a frustrated scholar bound to servitude and the hearth by her evil stepmother’s spell and her “prince” a young aviator, grounded by injuries and shell-shock. The result is an affecting blend of fantasy and history that demonstrates the fairy-tale’s versatility and evergreen appeal.

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Lately, I’ve been having some fun with fairy tales myself, taking a brief hiatus from straight historical romance to publish a collection of fantasy short stories. “Awakened,” the title story, is a variation on Sleeping Beauty, in which the princess falls into her enchanted slumber just after the French Revolution and awakens in the last years of the 19th century, to a world she could never have imagined . . . and choices she never dreamed were possible. (You can read an excerpt here on my website.)

What twists or variations on fairy tales have you seen and enjoyed?

Comment by midnight PST, 4/13 and I’ll send a signed copy of Awakened and Other Enchanted Tales to one respondent! The book also includes a bonus excerpt from A Scandal in Newport, a novella featuring Amy Newbold and Thomas Sheridan, the secondary couple from Waltz with a Stranger.

Pamela Sherwood


ETA: Renee G wins the giveaway for Awakened! Please contact me at with your mailing address so I can send you your book. (I tried the email address attached to your profile, but it was returned as undeliverable.) Thanks!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Say That in Gaelic by Victoria Roberts

Photo courtesy of Starz

Every week the clan and I tune in for Outlander, but believe it or not, Jamie and Claire are not the only reasons why we watch the show.

Of course I love the brawny men in kilts. I think that's pretty much a given. But my family and I thoroughly enjoy the breathtaking views of the Scottish Highlands. Between the lochs and streams, heather-draped moors, formidable castles, and the Scottish Gaelic, what's not to love? Outlander definitely has the ability to take you away to another time and place.

Duone Castle photo courtesy of New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes

I've had an interest in Scottish Gaelic ever since I started writing my first novel. Learning the language is my way of giving back to the genre that I love to write. I've taken Gaelic classes, purchased books, and one day I'd love to do what Grace Burrowes is doing right now—taking Gaelic classes at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig college on the Isle of Skye. Lady Grace is surely living the dream.

When I watch Outlander, not only is the visualization stimulating, but when the men speak Gaelic... Och, aye. I'm no master of the language, but I get really excited when I'm able to comprehend parts of what the men are saying.

As many of you know, my kids are huge supporters of me, especially my son who dons his kilt at every signing or event. When I started studying Gaelic greetings, he was right along with me and wanted to learn. (My son was five at the time. He's now ten.) To this day, both my kids are able to say simple Gaelic greetings and respond. Imagine my surprise when during last week's episode of Outlander one of the Scottish actors bursts into the great hall and says, "Ciamar a tha sibh?" How are you?

My son jumps off the couch and says, "Oh, my gosh! He just asked how they were! Tha gu math, tapadh leibh." I am well, thank you. "I can't believe that I knew that! He said that in Gaelic!"

I guess all the times that I told my son to "say that in Gaelic" paid off. That was another proud mom moment.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Release: Meant For You

Title: Meant For You
Author: Samantha Chase
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary Romance

She dares to dream...
Summer Montgomery wants to be taken seriously almost as much as she wants her brother's best friend, Ethan. But with a long resume of seemingly random career choices and a protective brother on watch, those things are nothing more than pipe dreams...

Does he dare to try?
Ethan Reed would like nothing more than to live by his own rules. Not wanting to disappoint his best friend Zach, or any of the Montgomerys, Ethan's had to push his long-denied feelings for Summer aside. But it only takes one night away from watchful eyes to make impossible dreams come true...

Congratulations to Samantha Chase on her new release, Meant For You! To celebrate we're sharing an exclusive excerpt. Enjoy!

An Excerpt:

“I think I’m seriously out of shape.”

Ethan stroked a hand from Summer’s waist to her knee and back again. “You don’t feel seriously out of shape.”

She laughed. “I can’t believe that kayaking kicked my butt. I hurt all over.”

“Well to be fair, it was a pretty long trip. I wasn’t expecting it to be that long of a route.”

“It was a really long route,” she agreed and placed a kiss on his bare chest. “And yet Gabriella still managed to beat us both.”

“I don’t remember it that way,” Ethan said.

Pulling back, Summer smirked at him knowingly. “Such a sore loser.”

“What? Me? How can I be a sore loser when we weren’t really racing?”

“Oh? We weren’t racing?” She sat up and laughed out loud. “Then what was all that ‘loser has to buy drinks back at the lodge’ comment and then you buying drinks?” She continued to laugh before adding, “Hmm? Care to explain?”

Ethan frowned and lay back against the pillows. “Sure, try to be a gentleman and buy a couple of beautiful women some drinks and all of a sudden it’s because I’m a sore loser. What is this world coming to?”

That just made Summer laugh even harder. Deciding to take pity on him, she curled back up against his side. “Okay, okay, you’re a gentleman, and it was only because you were being polite that both Gabriella and I finished the route ahead of you.”

“Um…you and I got there at the same time. I just let you get to the dock first because…”

“You were being a gentleman?”


She leaned in and kissed him on the lips. “Thank you.”

“I could have gotten there first,” he mumbled when she rested her head on his shoulder.

“Oh my God! Are you going to be like this all night?” she teased.

“That depends,” he said, rolling her over so that he was stretched out on top of her.

“On what?” she asked as she shimmied beneath him to have them perfectly lined up.

“On whether or not you can find something else for us to do that doesn’t involve talking.” His voice was deep and husky, and Summer shivered as he bent down and kissed her neck.

“I think what you’re doing right now will work,” she whispered.

“And yet you’re still talking.”

Wrapping her arms around his shoulders, Summer pulled him in close and found a way to keep them both quiet for a very long time.

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New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan's Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40's to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.

When she's not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

Connect with Samantha!