You’re the winner of the Kindle and Amazon $50 gift card! Thanks to everyone for celebrating the release of The Scoundrel Takes a Bride with me.
The Scoundrel Takes a Bride, the fifth book in my Regency Rogues series, is here!
To celebrate I’m giving away a Kindle e-reader and a $50 Amazon gift card.
To enter, go here:
And be sure to visit the Scoundrel page for reviews, an excerpt, and ordering options right here.
Diane Sallans has won the 19 Sephora goodies I offered up as part of the Naughty & Nice Blog Hop! Congrats, Diane!
Hey, you all know I wrote a Christmas novella, right? It’s included in the anthology, Naughty & Nice, which, handily enough, is available at an e-tailer near you. But seeing as we’re into the holiday season, I thought it would be nice to give a copy away to one lucky winner. So, as part of the Twelve Days of Christmas promotion, I’m giving away one copy of Naughty and Nice at the Happy Ever After website today. The winner can have a digital copy or a paperback ARC, whichever they prefer. Drop by my post at HEA to enter.
And once you read the post below, keep reading. I’m feeling particularly festive this year so I’ve sweetened the pot. Big time.
The Words “Perfect” and “Christmas” Should Never Be Used in the Same Sentence. Unless Gerard Butler is in attendance. Then, maybe.
You know those dreamy Hallmark holidays you had as a child? Where everyone got along, the food was impeccably cooked and served, and peace on earth literally landed in your living room?
Yeah, me either.
At my house, Christmas meant chaos. Nerves were frayed by December 1st, thanks to tenuous family ties, a short supply of money, and the constant demand that we enjoy ourselves. Have fun! Make it meaningful! NOW!
And yet, when I got married, for some crazy reason I still cannot fathom, I assumed everything would be different. Suddenly, I was Martha Stewart, Martin Scorsese, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the Holy Mother Mary all rolled up into one. Under my direction, the holidays would tick along with skillful precision. Food? Delicious and nutritious. Entertainment? Multiple standing ovations required. Music? From the lips of angels. And meaning? You would have to be the devil himself not to fall to your knees and weep with wonder and awe.
Of course, that first Christmas was a complete disaster. Just like the celebration in the film Home for the Holidays. It’s Thanksgiving. Holly Hunter, a single mom just recently fired from her job, travels to Baltimore to be with her family for the holiday. Mayhem ensues. There’s a gay brother, bitter sister, mentally sketchy aunt, well-meaning but delusional parents, and one Leo Fish rakishly played by Dylan McDermott. I know, it sounds like a set-up for your run-of-the-mill cliché-fest. Trust me when I tell you it is anything but. The writing is golden. I still laugh out loud at the dialogue even after many, many viewings. And somehow, director Jodie Foster managed to coax some of the best performances of their careers out of the stellar cast. That’s saying a lot when talking about Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Robert Downey Jr. and Holly Hunter.
Home for the Holidays wasn’t a huge box office bestselling film. Nothing exploded, no superheroes saved the day, and, in the end, life wasn’t wrapped up with a satin bow. What it is, though, is a quiet, disarmingly subtle, yet unbelievably real portrayal of life and its’ messy, emotional, heart-wrenching, complex, and ultimately magical nature. Which sounds an awful lot like my own holiday experience. And honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
What about you? Tell me about one of your most memorable holiday disasters. You’ll be entered to win 19 lush and lovely beauty products from Sephora. I’ll get the ball rolling: Christmas morning, 2006. Used the wrong kind of Rhoades rolls in cinnamon roll recipe. Ended up with the Roll That Ate Seattle in my oven. Fun! Now you.
You can enter the contest through midnight ET Sunday, Nov. 25th. Winners will be announced on Monday, Nov. 26th.
To celebrate the release of the holiday anthology Naughty & Nice, Random House has organized an awesome prize-filled hop! Prizes, you ask? Oh yes, lots of fabulous prizes, including:
15 NetGalley copies of the Naughty & Nice anthology by Ruthie Knox, Molly O’Keefe, and Stefanie Sloane
Five paper copies of About Last Night by Ruthie Knox (US only)
Grand Prize of $15 Gift Certificate to eRetailer of choice
Let’s talk particulars:
The hop ends on 10/29, when winners will be announced at the Romance at Random website, http://email@example.com.
You must be eighteen or older to play.
But wait, there’s more!
Since I LOVE giving away prizes, I’m offering one lucky winner 19 beauty products from one of my favorite shops, Sephora, as well as all of my books, including Naughty & Nice! Four additional winners will receive my upcoming release, The Scoundrel Takes a Bride and the holiday anthology, too!
To be entered to win my prizes, comment here and tell me what your favorite holiday dish is. Mine? Candied yams. With yards of marshmellow cream. And yards of butter. Pretty much just yards of every ingredient, mashed together and inserted into my mouth. Check back right here on October 30th, when I’ll be posting the names of the four winners of Scoundrel and Naughty & Nice. The grand prize winner will be announced on November 20th.
And be sure to increase your chances of winning by hopping along with us. I promise, it will be fun! Check out my fellow hoppers here:
Lord Lucas Cavanaugh stood on the steps of Castle Bascomb, a letter from his mother in one hand, a lead rope attached to a disgruntled donkey in the other. The beast of burden emitted a plaintive bray, his grizzled gray coat capturing the quickly falling snowflakes in soft, plush hair.
Behind Lucas, the walls of his family’s estate soared upward to the expansive roofs. Snow sifted over the sand-colored stone and piled on the window embrasures, drifting in white piles at the corners where weathered towers jutted out from the main building.
Before him, the stable hand’s figure grew steadily smaller as he crossed the drive and turned toward the stables, eaten up by the winter sky.
Lucas sighed, stepped down onto the compact gravel drive, and repeated the man’s explanation out loud. “From Her Grace, my lord.”
The donkey brayed a second time; his plaintive call seemed faintly foreboding and was perfectly timed. “Right you are, donkey. Anything to do with my mother is cause for concern.”
Lucas squinted as he read the scarlet letters embroidered on the halter’s black leather nose strap. “Reginald? Rather stuffy name for an ass, wouldn’t you agree?”
As it seemed unlikely the donkey would reply, Lucas turned to the missive and broke the wax seal, unfolding the creamy foolscap to reveal his mother’s grand, scrawling handwriting.
Reginald was discovered in the greenhouse, happily nibbling away on Cook’s parsley and chives. Needless to say, Cook was not amused. The donkey must go. Please return him to Jane at once.
And Lucas, might I suggest you take full advantage of this opportunity to tell Jane you love her? As your dear father (God rest his soul) was so fond of saying, “There is no time quite like the present.” Besides, your moping about the castle is casting a rather gloomy pallor upon the holidays, my dear.
With the greatest of affection,
Lucas hastily refolded the letter and shoved it into his vest pocket. Staring hard at the long leather strap in his hand, he wrestled with the dark, cold regret that had settled in his chest the moment he’d read Jane Merriweather’s name.
And with good reason. He’d realized Jane was the love of his life some seven months past, then promptly escaped to the Hebrides, driven by wild panic and irrational fear.
Seven months, as it turned out, was not a sufficient number of hours, days, and weeks to recover from such cowardice. Nor, unfortunately, was it enough time to forget a woman. Especially not the woman.
Reginald brayed loudly and tossed his head, the lead bobbing and dancing about in the gathering snow that was swiftly covering the gravel drive beneath a light blanket of white.
There were days Lucas regretted telling his brother Matthew, the Duke of Bascomb, the entire, painful story. Because Matthew had confided in his wife, Matilda, who’d then felt it necessary to inform the dowager duchess.
This was one of those days.
Lucas reluctantly recalled last spring. Having just returned from a fishing trip to Scotland, Lucas had no more than settled in to the Bascombs’ London townhome when word of Jane’s broken engagement reached him. They’d spent the following week together, nearly inseparable as Lucas consoled his dear friend with leisurely strolls in Hyde Park, ices at Gunther’s—anything and everything that London could offer to keep her mind from dwelling on Baron McKee’s elopement to Gretna Greene with Lord Smelten’s horse-faced daughter.
Their week together had been, in a word, revealing. Lucas could not recall a time when they’d had only each other to focus on, with no clamoring family or well-meaning friends to interfere.
Jane’s infectious smile had suddenly sent twists of happiness spiraling in his heart. Fractured patterns of sunlight capturing the golden hue of her hair forced unexpected sighs from his lips. The quality of her voice as she spoke of life, of their home, of their triumphs and failures, soothed his senses and spoke to his soul.
Had Lucas really been so monumentally stupid for all those years? He loved Jane. There was a distinct possibility this had been true for some time. And he’d mucked up perfection in order to satisfy his wanderlust. He’d mentally kicked himself for such foolishness, then gone straightaway to confront Jane, only to find her in the most shocking condition.
Jane had been foxed. Thoroughly so.
Nothing could’ve surprised Lucas more, until she suddenly professed her love for him and begged him to stay the night. The candlelight had warmed the room with a low glow, the heavy intent in her sapphire blue eyes intoxicating. She’d fallen asleep against his shoulder before he could answer. He reluctantly released her into her maid’s care, and then proceeded to walk the streets of London until the sun shone over Tower Bridge, acquainting himself with the idea that life, as he knew it, would never be the same again.
When he’d returned to Jane’s townhome on the edge of Grosvenor Square, intent on telling her what he should have the night before, she’d gone. A letter explained that, while she was very thankful for his kindness, Jane did not wish to keep Lucas from the undoubtedly thrilling adventures he’d planned for the near future. He was not to follow her. She couldn’t bear the embarrassment of facing him after the unfounded and silly pronouncements she’d made in her “rather unsteady state.” But she would be well, she’d assured him. As she wished him to be.
Had he imagined her sincerity? There’d been no way to confirm or dispel the painful notion, other than chasing her down on the road to Surrey, which she’d specifically told him not to do.
Lucas was both a coward and a fool for not going after her.
Avoiding Jane for the next two weeks would be impossible. Besides, Lucas didn’t want to. When it came right down to it, he’d missed her terribly these many months. “Did it have to be an ass? They’ve a large stable at Juniper Hall. Surely one of the draft horses could have appeared? Would have made for more of a proud entrance, wouldn’t you agree?”
Clearly affronted at Lucas’s insult, Reginald’s ears lay flat against his head and his wiry tail swished back and forth at a menacing pace.
PAM BILLINGS has won the bookbag plus ten new historical romance novels!
Congrats, Pam. And to those who didn’t win, don’t worry! I’ll be giving away lots of fab prizes in the coming weeks!
Ok, so I didn’t win a Rita award at the recent RWA confrence in Anaheim, California. But that doesn’t mean that one of you won’t win big! The lovely Kim over at the SOS Aloha blog was kind enough to collect the autographs of the romance writing world’s brightest stars on my very own conference tote! Look, and sigh:
Yes, that is Stephanie Laurens! Tessa Dare? Of course! Julia Quinn and Jayne Ann Krentz represent! And many, many more. To enter, simply sign up for my e-newsletter here: NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP and ENTER TO WIN AWESOME TOTE LINK.
And if you’re already signed-up for my newsletter? Good news! You’re automatically entered to win.
The winner of the awesome autographed tote will be announced this Friday, noon Seattle-time. Good luck!
In just a few short weeks I’ll be winging my way to Anaheim, California for the Romance Writers of America conference. I’m up for two Rita awards, so I’m super excited! And there’s a HUGE book signing with over 500 authors in attendance on Wednesday, July 25th! Come on down to the Anaheim Marriott and join in the fun:
Reviews are rolling in for my Tuesday, April 24th release, The Saint Who Stole My Heart:
“The fourth installment of the Regency Rogues continues unraveling the threads of a long ago murder, leading readers through an entertaining tale of suspense and passion. A charming cast and a well-paced plot merge with a chilling mystery, much to readers’ enjoyment.”
–Romantic Times Reviews
“The fourth in the series, Ms. Sloane has done a good job with drawing the reader into the life of the Young Corinthians. With likable characters and a well-plotted story, it was hard to put this down. While the identity of the murderer is exposed, the reader will learn that the conspiracy goes deeper than anyone expected.”
“An entertaining tale as the Viscount’s inquiry is fun to follow due to Sophia’s insistent involvement. …fans will enjoy the latest escapedes of the Young Corinthians.”
–Genre Go Round Reviews
“Stefanie Sloane has captured my interest with this book. I will most definitely be looking for many others from her in the future.”
–Tigris Eden, Garden of Books
“Would I recommend this book? Hell yes! This is probably one of my favorites of this series so far. I just adore the characters. Will I read more by this author? Darn right, I already have her next book “The Scoundrel Takes A Bride” on my wishlist and can’t wait to get my hands on it later this fall!”
–Stitch, Read, Cook Blog
“Dash is definitely on the top of my favorite hero list!”
–Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance Blog
“I adored this book from beginning to end. I can’t believe I’ve waited until Stefanie’s fourth book to pick her up. Believe me, I will definitely be reading the rest of Stefanie’s books and quite soon. I loved her characters and the world she has created. I admit that I have a fondness for spy story-lines and Stefanie executed to perfection.”
–Ramblings From This Chick Blog