ProhibitedPassion-1 (Large)One of my favourite moments of being an author is when you click open the attachment from the cover artist, your heart in your throat as you wonder if the cover will do justice to the words you’ve laboured so long and so hard over.

With Prohibited Passion, I didn’t have that fear, because the cover existed before the book!

I knew the story I wanted to write, so when an opportunity to win a custom cover design came up on Brenda Novak’s auction, I thought “what the hell?” I set my bid limits and duly forgot about it. Lo and behold, I won the bid and the services of the wonderful Viola Estrella.

Viola’s cover is breathtaking, I’m sure you’ll agree. I kept this image on the pinboard beside my desk all the way through writing the book, and it helped keep me focussed on the characters and the feel of the story. I’m still in love with this cover, not just because it’s so atmospheric, but because it matches the book so well. It’s an upside down way of working, but I highly recommend it!

Prohibited Passion will be on sale on Amazon at the end of April. For a sneak peek at the story, check back here on #SampleSunday.

All the action happens over on my other blog. So if you’ve stumbled here looking for Rae Summers or Romy Sommer, pop on over to www.romysommer.com and say ‘hi’. Or feel free to browse my Rae books in the right sidebar.

The theme of The Romance Reviews‘ Romance Madness Hop is books we love.

Since I write historicals, I thought I’d feature an historical novel that was recommended to me separately by three of my writer friends. By the time I reached the end of the Prologue, I understood what they were all raving about. The book is Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase.

Lord of ScoundrelsThis RITA award winner was published by Avon Historical in 1995 and though the cover may seem dated, I predict the words within will become a romance classic.

Jessica Trent is a feisty, unconventional heroine in the Georgette Heyer mold, and the snappy dialogue would have done that grand dame of Regency Romance proud. The book grabbed my attention on page one, and didn’t let go until long after I’d turned the last page. But perhaps the best part of this novel is the hero, the dark, devilish Marquess of Dain. Swoon.

Sebastian Ballister, Marquess of Dain, is every mother’s nightmare. He has devoted to his life to every vice imaginable, and he’s quite happy with that. Just as well his taste in women doesn’t run to ladies of quality, or more reputations than his own would be ruined. Enter Jessica Trent, a no-nonsense, intelligent spinster set on removing her impressionable brother from Dain’s influence. Sparks fly from the first time they meet and soon all of Paris is laying bets on whether she’s the woman to bring the notorious bachelor to his knees.

The game is on and both intend to win. Neither intend for their rivalry to end in marriage. But one compromising kiss is all it takes and before Jessica can catch her breath, she’s whisked back to London, married to the Lord of Scoundrels, and ensconced in the wilds of Dartmoor where the chemistry and the drama are only ratcheted higher.

Lord of Scoundrels is a fast-paced read that is un-put-downable. To see for yourself, read this extract on Loretta Chase’s website.

The Romance Hop runs from 25 to 29 January, and there are prizes galore. To follow the Hop, or to sign up for great prizes, click on the button below.

The Romance Reviews Romance Madness Hop

DearJulia_w6910_750My 1920s novella, Dear Julia, has taken 1st place in the Short Romances category of this year’s Preditors & Editors poll. Thank you so much to all my lovely friends who voted.

In the words of Angie from Romancing the Book, in this story “Rosalie likes fixing things – and people. William doesn’t want to be fixed, but he really doesn’t have much say. He underestimates her one time too many, but is soon just as captivated by her as she is with him.”

If you haven’t yet read this book … come on, you know you want to!

Blaze - new mockupI know I’ve left this rather late in the day, but you still have what’s left of Sunday to grab your free copy of Blaze, the anthology of romances produced by the Minxes of Romance (my CPs and I).

This collection of eight short stories, varying from fun and flirty to seriously sexy, is centred around the retained firefighters of a Lake District village. Seven hot firemen and one hot firewoman, none of whom will escape the heat of passion unscorched.

For Sunday 23 December only, this is available free on Amazon and Amazon UK.

 

An Innocent Abroad is now available! This coming of age story is set on the Amalfi coast of Italy in the early 1920s.

Fresh from finishing school, Isobel Harrington is sent to spend the summer in Italy with cousins in order to catch the eye of the eligible Hon. Christopher Barrett.

But rather than Christopher, it is enigmatic Italian Stefano who awakens Isobel’s sensuality, and who introduces her to the daring new idea that anything is possible, if only you want it enough.

Get your copy at Amazon, Amazon UK or The Wild Rose Press. And it’s available at a special discounted price on All Romance eBooks.

Let’s Misbehave is also currently on sale at the low, low price of just $1.99 from The Wild Rose Press or from Amazon.

When most of us think of the First World War (known as The Great War until yet another war devastated the world) we think of the muddy trenches across the fields of France. But the battles were fought in the skies and seas of Europe too.

My hero in Dear Julia is a former naval commander, a veteran of the naval battle of the Adriatic. When I researched the naval battles of The Great War, I chose to place William on the HMS Dartmouth, a light cruiser in service from 1911 to 1930, after stumbling across an article from The Times newspaper of 19th May 1917.

The article reports on an engagement between the Allied and Austrian forces off the Italian coast. What particularly caught my attention in this article were the lines:

During her passage back, H.M.S. Dartmouth was struck by a torpedo from an enemy sub-marine, but returned into port with three men killed and one officer and four men missing – believed dead – and seven wounded. There were no other casualties to our ships.

Digging further, I discovered that one of the wounded was a naval commander. No names were mentioned, so my Commander William Cavendish became one of the wounded.

What finally sealed William’s fate was when I discovered that at the outbreak of the war, HMS Dartmouth had been stationed in the East Indies. What if William received a last minute appointment to this ship before it sailed across the world? What if he couldn’t see his sweetheart before he set sail? What if he had to leave her a letter promising his heart and leaving her a ring as a proposal? And what if she never received the letter, and believing he’d left without making her any promises, she then met and married someone else?

 

 

If you’ve come to this blog to find the clue for the Sizzling Summer Reads contest, then you’ve already found the answer. If not, then click here to enter and win.