Excerpt: The Geek Girl and the Scandalous Earl by Gina Lamm


Thanks to Sourcebooks, here’s an excerpt from The Geek Girl and the Scandalous Earl by Gina Lamm. 



Her sword glittered as it swung in a wide arc, whistling as it cleaved the air. She smiled as the goblin bolted.

“Jamie, I need heals.”

Ignoring the call for help, she advanced on another goblin. The tide was turning now. Her allies had almost annihilated the threat.


With a wild cry, she loosed a spell on the disgusting creature. It staggered backward before recovering and charging on her in a berserk rage, eyes wild and fangs extended. Her next swing missed, and she took a critical hit.

“Jamie, for chrissakes, we’re dying here!”

Some quick spellwork took care of the goblin, and Jamie reluctantly turned her attention back to her allies. Whoops. Three of the guild’s portraits were glaring red, signaling their imminent deaths.

“Hang on, guys. I’m here.”

Targeting the leader, she cast her most powerful healing spell. The computer screen flashed: OUT OF MANA.


She fumbled in her bags for her mana-restoring potions. She’d just managed to find one, clicking to activate it when the screen went gray. YOU HAVE DIED. RESURRECT NOW?

The guild’s groans sounded through her headset as she slumped back in her seat.

“Jamie, where the hell were you?”

“Worst. Healer. Ever.”

“I wouldn’t use your heals for a paper cut, Jamie. That was pathetic. Haven’t you ever run this level?”

She shoved her long highlighted brown hair over her shoulder, glaring at the computer screen. “Of course I have. I can heal this run in my sleep. I just got a little carried away with the mobs. It won’t happen again.”

Kurt, the guild leader, let out an audible sigh over the chat channel. “Fine. One more run. Everyone ready?”

Jamie readied her character’s potions and spell rotation. Typical. They figured since she was the only girl in the guild, she should be the healer. She didn’t mind healing, especially in the more difficult dungeons, but she wanted to do her part to take down the bad guys too. It wasn’t fair. Men never took her seriously. That’s why she played these games. It was supposed to be a level field. But the game, like her life, was rarely ever exactly what she thought it should be.

The Lords of Discord guild cleared the dungeon run easily that time, with Jamie focusing on healing alone. She picked at the chipping mauve polish on her fingernails between fights, only needing to keep half an eye on the large computer screen.

“Great job, Lords.” Kurt’s voice held a ton of relief as he divvied up the loot.

After securing her share of the rewards, Jamie said her good-byes to her guild-mates, logged out, and switched to her other character, Killaz. A hulking Amazon melee class in a chain-mail dress with a huge two-handed sword, Killaz was how Jamie saw herself in her mind’s eye—kick-ass, tough, and more than a little bit intimidating. As she cut a swath through the forest full of giant spiders, she wished that she was anything like that in real life. If I was as tough as Killaz, then that jerk Logan wouldn’t have broken my heart and walked all over me like a dollar store welcome mat.

After an hour of grinding out daily quests, a vibration in the front pocket of her shorts made her jump. Her groan echoed through her junky living room when she saw the text: “Go help Pawpaw Milton with the antiques or I’ll sell your Comic-Con pass. Love, Leah.”

Jamie slogged up the stairs with a huge sigh, studiously ignoring the piano with half-written songs strewn across the bench. The last thing she wanted was to move dusty furniture and knickknacks in the triple-digit heat. But her best friend, Leah, had had enough of Jamie’s post-breakup isolation and had put her foot down where it hurt—right on the pop-culture fan’s trip to the Holy City.

As she drove downtown to the storage unit she was helping Pawpaw Milton clear out, she tried to believe that everything would go back to normal. Well, before-Logan normal. With Leah’s help and this part-time job, maybe she could get there. Maybe even start writing music again. And besides, she’d grown up a lot since the last time she’d worked at the antiques store. Her first summer job there had ended after only three days. The antiques were probably way less fragile now.



The resounding crack of glass echoed through the storage unit, making Jamie flinch. Pawpaw Milton had left her alone in the unit to go to an estate auction. The hundred-degree heat had her dripping with sweat—not the best condition for handling two-hundred-year-old crystal.

Jamie hoped that Pawpaw hadn’t noticed the pretty bowl tucked away in the corner. She carefully shoved the evidence of her klutziness into a large black garbage bag. What he doesn’t know won’t get me fired, she figured, though she couldn’t exactly shake the guilt.

Holding the end of her ponytail atop her head, she gulped from the giant bottle of water like a frantic desert survivor. This was hell.

Jamie pulled her phone from her pocket: 2:00 p.m. Another three hours to go before she could escape to her cave and take a shower. Oh well. It would be worth it in two months when she got to Comic-Con. Hopefully.

She unknotted the bottom of her tank top and dried her face and hands with the tail of it. Even in her thinnest tank top and shortest shorts, she still felt overdressed for this weather.

After carting out and cataloging a number of fragile items without incident, all that remained was the large furniture on the opposite side of the unit. Well, other than the big sheet-covered monstrosity behind the table. What is that, anyway?

Reaching up, she stood on tiptoes to toss back the corner of the dust cover for a quick peek. But she tugged just a little too hard, and the white fabric billowed as it floated down on top of her, dust and cobwebs coating her sweat-slicked skin. Arms flailing, she fought free of the cover, stomping it in a fit of frustration when it lay on the concrete at her flip-flopped feet.

“What the hell is your problem?” Jamie yelled at the innocent-looking mound of fabric. It said nothing, just laid there looking smug.

She turned her back on it to see what it had been covering.

The piece was a tall bureau, made of a rich mahogany that almost glowed gold from deep within the wood. It sloped outward in the middle, wider at its drawer-filled base than the top. Mirrored doors covered the upper portion.

She touched the wood lovingly. It was beautiful, cool to her skin even in the sweltering heat. When she’d reached up as high as she could, she sighed and trailed her thumb down the center of the shiny mirror on one door.

Her thumb dipped into the center of the glass.

With a gasp, she pulled, trying to free her hand. It wouldn’t move. She was stuck.

She yanked backward with all her strength. The mirror pulled on her hand, drawing her farther into the glass. She braced against the bottom of the bureau, using her legs to give her leverage. She was in up to her wrist now.

“Help!” she yelled, frantically scrabbling against the mirror’s hold. “Somebody, please!”

Using all her weight, she jerked backward, nearly dislocating her shoulder in the process. The mirror refused to release its hold. She whacked the slanted middle with the flat of her free hand in frustration.

With one last effort, she braced her feet against the bottom drawer and pulled with all her might. Without loosing its grip on her, the furniture tilted dangerously, almost tipping before she hit the floor to right it again.

Well, this sucks, she thought, slumping against the bureau. Her right ear was traveling through the mirror now.

So much for Comic-Con. So much for her place in the Lords of Discord guild. So much for showing Logan she could be fine without him. She hadn’t really been doing a good job of that anyway, but dammit, she deserved better than being consumed by antique furniture!

Once she gave up fighting, the pull went much faster. Within moments, the glass had swallowed her entire head.


If you enjoyed this excerpt, you can order The Geek Girl and the Scandalous Earl from your favorite bookseller or clicking the links below:

About the book:


The Stakes Have Never Been Higher…

An avid gamer, Jamie Marten loves to escape into online adventure. But when she falls through an antique mirror into a lavish bedchamber—200 years in the past!—she realizes she may have escaped a little too far.

Micah Axelby, Earl of Dunnington, has just kicked one mistress out of his bed and isn’t looking to fill it with another—least of all this sassy, nearly naked woman who claims to be from the future. Yet something about her is undeniably enticing…

Jamie and Micah are worlds apart. He’s a peer of the realm. She can barely make rent. He’s horse-drawn. She’s Wi-Fi. But in the game of love, these two will risk everything to win.

Interview with Victoria Roberts, Author of X Marks the Scot and Giveaway

Victoria Roberts is visiting the virtual offices today to discuss her book X Marks the Scot. Please give her a warm welcome!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Victoria Roberts] First, thank you so much for having me today. I’m a hard-working mother of two, and I’m married to my own knight for almost twenty years now. Home is in western Pennsylvania, but my heart is in the Highlands.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about X Marks the Scot?

[Victoria Roberts] This story is about Declan MacGregor (Laird Ciaran MacGregor’s bad boy brother from Temptation in a Kilt) and Lady Liadain Campbell (the bloody Campbell’s sister from Temptation in a Kilt.) I think the back cover blurb says it best.

He was a Highland Rogue—Wicked with a Bow and Just as Wicked with the Ladies.

Declan MacGregor hadn’t a care in the world beyond finding a soft bed and a willing woman…until he had to escort Lady Liadain Campbell to the English court. The woman needles him at every turn, but he can’t just abandon her to that vipers’ nest without protection.

She Never Asked for a Bodyguard…

Liadain wasn’t thrilled to be left in the care of her clan’s archrival. It was as if the man never had a lady tell him no before! And yet as whispers of treason swirl through the court and the threat of danger grows even sharper, her bitter enemy soon becomes the only one she can trust…

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Victoria Roberts] Declan’s character formed while I wrote Temptation in a Kilt. He was so good at being so verra bad. I knew instantly that Highland bad boy needed to have a story of his own. I loved the idea of mixing the feuding Campbells and MacGregors.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Liadain?

[Victoria Roberts] Passionate. Patient. Caring.

[Manga Maniac Café] If Declan had a theme song, what would it be?

[Victoria Roberts] Why does the song Bad Boys suddenly come to mind?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Liadain is never without.

[Victoria Roberts] Compassion. She has to be the most caring soul ever. No spoilers here.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Declan’s greatest regret?

[Victoria Roberts] Declan was so consumed with the idea that he was only a third son and would never amount to anything that he was blinded by sheer stupidity. He missed what was right before his very eyes. But…it’s never too late for redemption, even for an infamous rogue like Declan MacGregor.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Victoria Roberts] Scotland, sword-wielding Highlanders and kilts. lol

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Victoria Roberts] Silence. Water. My muse. It’s nice to have all three.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Victoria Roberts] Eliza Knight, The Highlander’s Conquest.

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Victoria Roberts] VC Andrews, Flowers in the Attic. Wow and wow. I think that was the first “adult” novel that sucked me in.

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Victoria Roberts] Between carting two kids around to basketball, basketball and basketball, I do like to browse through antique stores. I love finding little treasures, especially ones that come with a story behind them.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Thank you!

[Victoria Roberts] Thanks so much for having me today. Sourcebooks will give away one copy of X Marks the Scot to a lucky commenter.

Please fill out the widget below to enter for your chance to win a copy of X Marks the Scot.  US addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win?  You can purchase X Marks the Scot from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below.

Praise for X Marks the Scot:

5/5 – Reviewer Top Pick
"Enthralling Highlander romance. One of the best Highlander stories I’ve ever read. This is one author who just keeps on getting better."

?Night Owl Reviews

“For a complex story brimming over with pride and passion, betrayal, trust and most of all the power to make a bad boy a hero, pick up this read."

?RT Book Reviews/4 ½ Star Review

About Victoria Roberts:

Victoria Roberts writes sexy, Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. She was named by RT Book Reviews as "one of the most promising debut authors across the genres" and is also a 2012 Reviewers Choice Nominee for Best First Historical novel for her debut, Temptation in a Kilt.

Her second novel, X Marks the Scot, is available February 2013 and the third, To Wed a Wicked Highlander, September 2013.

Victoria is a member of Romance Writers of America®, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, Western Pennsylvania Romance Writers, as well as a contributing author to the online magazine, Celtic Guide.

Victoria lives in western Pennsylvania with her husband of nineteen years and their two beautiful children—not to mention one spoiled dog. When she is not plotting her next Scottish romp, she enjoys reading, nature, and antiques.


Sourcebooks: http://www.sourcebooks.com/store/x-marks-the-scot.html

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/x-marks-the-scot-victoria-roberts/1112689759?ean=9781402270093

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M27gsMb4Ro

Website: www.victoriarobertsauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/victoria.roberts.395

Celtic Guide: www.thecelticguide.com

Interview with Tracey Devlyn, Author of Checkmate, My Lord and Giveaway!

Please welcome Tracey Devlyn to the virtual offices today!  Tracey is celebrating the release of Checkmate, My Lord. Check out what she has to say about her latest release, and after the interview, enter for your chance to win a copy of Checkmate, My Lord!

[Tracey Devlyn] Thanks so much for having me at the Café! I really look forward to chatting with everyone.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Tracey Devlyn] Author of historical romantic thrillers, nature lover, dog wrangler, hopeless house cleaner, loyal wife and friend, git-R-done girl

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Checkmate, My Lord?

[Tracey Devlyn] CHECKMATE is about an exiled spymaster, whose enemy is forcing his neighbor to spy on him, or risk losing her seven-year-old daughter. It’s the second novel in the Nexus series.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Tracey Devlyn] Readers met Lord Somerton, Sebastian Danvers, in my debut novel, A Lady’s Revenge. I knew I wanted to move Sebastian’s story to the country and then the idea of his beautiful neighbor spying on him—England’s greatest spymaster—came to mind.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Catherine?

[Tracey Devlyn] Protective, list maker, passionate

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Sebastian had a theme song, what would it be?

[Tracey Devlyn] I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith (Armageddon theme song)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Catherine is never without.

[Tracey Devlyn] Paper and pen. It’s the list maker in her.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What  will you never find in Sebastian’s bedroom?

[Tracey Devlyn] An orangutan?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Catherine’s greatest regret?

[Tracey Devlyn] That her daughter Sophie was without a father for so many years.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Tracey Devlyn] Reading, reading, reading. After that, my brainstorming buddies—Adrienne Giordano, Kelsey Browning, and Theresa Stevens—help me enrich my stories in countless ways.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Tracey Devlyn] Computer, quiet, and determination

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Tracey Devlyn] Divergent by Veronica Roth. Fantastic young adult dystopian series.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Tracey Devlyn] The Raven and the Rose by Virginia Henley. R and R was my first romance and it made me cry. I knew nothing about romance, so didn’t realize each story has a guaranteed happy ending. I was hooked from book one. It opened up a whole new world for me.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Tracey Devlyn] I enjoy watching movies with my husband and hiking in state and national parks.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Tracey Devlyn] A ton of different ways!

TraceyDevlyn.com | Dangerous Darlings Street Team | Newsletter

Twitter.com/TraceyDevlyn | Facebook.com/AuthorTraceyDevlyn LadyJanesSalonNaperville.com | Goodreads.com/TraceyDevlyn | Discover a New Love

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!


Ready for your chance to win a copy of Checkmate, My Lord? Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following. US addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can order Checkmate, My Lord from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below.

About the book:

Romancing history one defiant woman at a time

A desperate mother falls in love with the spymaster she’s forced to betray.


Catherine Ashcroft leads a quiet life caring for her precocious seven-year-old daughter, until a visitor delivers a startling ultimatum. She will match wits with the enigmatic Earl of Somerton, and it’s not just her heart that’s in danger.


Spymaster Sebastian Danvers, Earl of Somerton, is famous for his cunning. Few can outwit him and even few dare challenge him–until now. After returning to his country estate, his no-nonsense neighbor turns her seductive wiles on him–but why would a respectable widow like Catherine risk scandal for a few passionate nights in his bed?


“Devlyn’s seamless writing will entice readers and keep them eager for the next installment.” ~ clip_image002 Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

“Devlyn delivers an emotional, powerful read.” ~ RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Devlyn’s edgy and sexy series is gaining momentum, and historical-romantic suspense fans, particularly those who enjoy Brenda Joyce, will delight in this.” ~ Booklist

“Love the characters, lots of mystery, murderers, spies and lots of romance!!!!!!!! CHECKMATE MY LORD is an edge of your seat exciting read!” ~ Fresh Fiction

About the author:

Tracey Devlyn writes historical romantic thrillers (translation: a slightly more grievous journey Toward the heroine’s happy ending). She’s a co-founder of Romance University, a group blog dedicated to readers and writers of romance, and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, Chicagoland’s exciting new reading salon devoted to romantic fiction.

An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters. For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website at: www.TraceyDevlyn.com.


https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTraceyDevlyn/app_208195102528120 (Street Team)







Interview with Jane Ashford, Author of Once Again a Bride and Giveaway!

Today, we have a very special guest!  Please welcome the multi-talented Jane Ashford to the virtual offices.  Jane is celebrating the release of her first book in 10 years and I am absolutely thrilled that she was able to drop by for a chat!  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Jane] I love learning. I practice kindness. I’m a story junkie and inveterate storyteller.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Once Again a Bride?

[Jane] It’s a double love story. Charlotte Wylde and her maid Lucy Bowman both find their perfect matches after enduring a miserable year in a cold, rigid household.

Charlotte’s father, knowing he was losing his mental faculties, married her off to an acquaintance he thought would keep her safe. Unfortunately, his judgment was flawed, and Henry Wylde cares only about Charlotte’s dowry. He treats her with contempt and allows his servants to do the same. Charlotte is determined to rebel when Henry is murdered in the dark streets of London. She’s freed from the shackles of a horrible marriage, but penniless.

Henry’s nephew Alec is amazed to discover that his unpleasant old uncle left a lovely young widow. He’s drawn to her against his better judgment, and soon embroiled in the tangle his uncle left behind. Alec’s sassy young footman finds Lucy equally entrancing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Charlotte?

[Jane] Determined, sadder and wiser.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Alec is never without.

[Jane] His sense of responsibility.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Alec’s bedroom?

[Jane] Laudanum, handcuffs and his little sister’s fearsome cat.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Charlotte’s greatest regret?

[Jane] That she didn’t understand her father’s failing mind more clearly and speak up when he was trying to settle her future.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Jane] My aunt gave me Pride and Prejudice for Christmas when I was twelve years old, and I’ve loved Jane Austen ever since. My small town public library gave me Georgette Heyer, an enduring delight. In college, I studied English literature – Beowulf to James Joyce and beyond. I was intimidated for a while by all that greatness. : ) But my longing to tell stories of my own eventually revived.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Jane] Well, my Mac laptop. A strong cup of English Breakfast tea. And the sign on the outside of my office door that says “working” and means “interrupt only for real emergencies.”

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  What has changed the most in publishing since you started your career as an author?

[Jane] The proliferation of resources on the Internet and in groups like RWA. There are so many new ways for writers to get stories out there and to interact with readers and each other. It’s become a wonderful community.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  How do you feel the romance genre has changed?

[Jane] I think it’s more inclusive, a larger world. There are many more kinds of love stories being told – in terms of protagonists, settings and sensibility.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Jane] Folly by Laurie King.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Jane] Read, of course! Get together with good friends. I love country walks. I’ve been spending some time in southern California and learning a whole new ecosystem. The blue jays look quite different from their Massachusetts kin! I enjoy going to the movies (the whole experience — popcorn, being part of an audience, previews, as well as the feature).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Jane] My website is janeashford.com and my Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jane-Ashford/154028944714495. I’ll be at the RT Booklovers Convention in May and hope to see lots of people there!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!


Ready for your chance to win Once Again a Bride? Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following.  US and Canadian addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can order Once Again a Bride from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below. Available in print and digital.

About the book:


She couldn’t be more alone…

Widowhood has freed Charlotte Wylde from a demoralizing and miserable marriage. But when her husband’s intriguing nephew and heir arrives to take over the estate, Charlotte discovers she’s unsafe in her own home… Alec Wylde was shocked by his uncle’s untimely death, and even more shocked to encounter his uncle’s beautiful young widow. Now clouds of suspicion are gathering, and charges of murder hover over Charlotte’s head.

He could be her only hope…or her next victim…


Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Jane’s historical and contemporary romances have been published all over the world, and she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. Eighteen of her Regency romances will be published by Sourcebooks in the near future! Born in Ohio, Jane currently lives in Boston. For more information, please visit www.janeashford.com.

To Purchase Once Again a Bride:

Barnes and Noble





Interview with Elisabeth Staab, Author of Prince of Power and Giveaway!

Please welcome Elisabeth Staab to the virtual offices today.  Elisabeth is celebrating the release of her latest novel, Prince of Power.  Check out what she has to say about her new book, and after, enter for your chance to win a copy!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Elisabeth Staab] Well, I started hunting zombies back in the early 18…no wait…that’s my secret bio. Let’s see…

Aside from writing and vampires I am obsessed with music, caffeine, and documentaries, and I can turn almost anything into a dirty joke. 😉

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Prince of Power?

[Elisabeth Staab] Prince of Power is the sequel to my debut novel, King of Darkness. Anton is a wizard, an enemy of the vampires, who fell in love with the half-sister of the vampire king after he was sent to kidnap her. Tyra is a vampire-hybrid who spends her days helping the less fortunate and her nights killing Anton’s kind. From the start, it would seem like their relationship is doomed to fail. Their story is about whether or not their love can triumph and survive the war between their species.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Elisabeth Staab] I liked the idea of an enemy/outsider falling in love with one of the good guys, the challenges that would bring, and also the hero/heroine role-reversal. A more beta hero, a badass heroine with a little bit of a death wish. However, from the very beginning, Anton has driven this story. I “met” Anton early on when I was writing King of Darkness. He was in a dark room waiting to be tortured for defying his father on a mission. He kind of “told” me as I wrote that his mission had been about Tyra, that he’d effed up on purpose, and why. I had seen Tyra already with a fighter named Siddoh, but I realized that their relationship was in the past. Anton made it clear that he was the one for Tyra. So almost from the start of King of Darkness I knew where Prince of Power would go. That it would be Anton and Tyra’s story. And an enemy coming in from the outside, falling in love with a vampire? Talk about conflict!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Tyra?

[Elisabeth Staab] Fierce. Determined. Loyal.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Anton had a theme song, what would it be?

[Elisabeth Staab] Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” – There’s actually a really great scene near the end of Prince of Power where Anton and Tyra have a fight. A literal, physical fight while the snow is falling and she gets so mad at him that she tries to set him on fire. For me, the song fits both of them literally and symbolically. So it’s a little ballad-y for a hero, but for me this song was perfect for Anton and his overwhelm of emotion for Tyra. Not to mention her pyrokenisis. I made a whole playlist for Prince of Power, but this was “their” song.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Anton won’t leave the house without.

[Elisabeth Staab] Actually, I think the great thing about Anton is he pretty much can leave home with nothing. He was raised without much so his material needs are few. Even as weapons go, he has a supernatural ability, the power to heat things from the inside-out, and the power to heal, so he’d be okay in a pinch. If there were anything he wouldn’t want to leave home without, I think it would be Tyra.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Tyra’s pockets?

[Elisabeth Staab] Never. Hmm. Makeup or accessories. Aside from something to pull her hair out of the way when she’s fighting, it’s not really her bag. Keys. She can teleport so she doesn’t need them. Food. She’s awful about remembering to eat.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Tyra’s greatest regret?

[Elisabeth Staab] Not knowing her mother. Not making peace with her father before his death. Those are difficult burdens.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Elisabeth Staab] From reading alone, Suzanne Brockmann and JR Ward are the biggies. I discovered my love multi-POV multi-story arc novels thanks to them. Going all the way back to my teenager-hood though I read everything from Christopher Pike to Stephen King and I think you can see a tiny touch of those darker influences. I watch tons of comedy movies and stand-up, and even though I write dark I like to slide humor into my writing to breathe a little light into the darkness. Also, I’m incredibly lucky to have Damon Suede and Mary Calmes to trade beta reading with, and their suggestions have influenced my creative process heavily. I’m a far better writer thanks to them and I’m very grateful.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Elisabeth Staab] These days, my laptop and reliable childcare are the two things I absolutely must have. Anyone who has tried to write a love scene while two toddlers are doing battle in the background will understand! Music and coffee are extremely helpful pluses, and I used to be pickier about my writing space, but lately so long as my kids are safe in their beds or with someone I trust enough that I can relax and let the words flow, I’m good.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Elisabeth Staab] The last thing I read that really blew my mind was Broken by Megan Hart. I cried a good deal of the way through reading, and her books always leave me feeling conflicted. They’re intensely erotic and beautifully written, but emotionally they put me through the wringer.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Elisabeth Staab] Sati, by Christopher Pike, I think I read it way back in middle school or high school or something. I think it was probably the first thing I read that wasn’t required by my literature class. The “adult” ideas that it presented (about a woman who claimed to be God) in a both funny and philosophical way were very eye-opening.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Elisabeth Staab] Well I don’t get a whole lot of down time. What little I do have is spent with my kids, or reading, or watching a rare movie with my husband. When I can find a friend who’s game I actually like to go out and grab dinner, drinks, and dancing, but these days we’ve all got kids so that dicey, lol. Usually it’s reading. Which is fine, because then I can go anywhere.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Elisabeth Staab] Web: http://elisabethstaab.com

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/lajoT

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElisabethStaabRomance

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElisabethStaab

Myspace: https://new.myspace.com/elisabethstaab/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ElisabethStaab

G+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/115495970841282334338/posts/

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!


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About the book:

This Fight Is Personal…

Wizards and vampires have been mortal enemies since the beginning. Now Anton, son of the Wizard Master, has one last chance to steal the unique powers of the vampire king’s beautiful sister, Tyra…and then kill her. But when he meets Tyra face-to-face, everything changes…

Tyra will stop at nothing to defeat the wizards, until Anton saves her life and she suddenly sees an opportunity she never could have imagined…

As the sparks ignite between them, together they could bring an end to the war that’s decimating their people, but only if they can find a way to trust each other…

Interview with Mia Marlowe, Author of Waking Up With A Rake and Giveaway!

Mia Marlowe is celebrating the release of Waking Up With a Rake.  She and Connie Mason collaborated on the book, and Mia was able to drop by the virtual offices to chat about the book and her partnership with Connie.  She also brought along a copy of Waking Up With a Rake for one of you to win!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Mia Marlowe] I’m a wife and mother who’d rather have an adventure than a new sofa and is incredibly lucky to be able to make things up for a living.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Waking Up with a Rake?

[Mia Marlowe] Waking Up with a Rake is Book 1 in the Royal Rakes series. It all starts with a historic crisis in the succession. In 1817, Princess Charlotte died along with her newborn son. All of England mourned, especially since she was the only legitimate grandchild of King George III. Suddenly the younger unmarried brothers of the Prince Regent realized they had an opportunity to wed, bed and then sire the child who would one day wear the crown.

But not everyone wants the royal dukes to succeed. Lord Rhys Warrington is blackmailed into thwarting the Duke of Clarence’s interest in Miss Olivia Symon by seducing the lady. However, he doesn’t count on her seducing him!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] This is a collaboration with Connie Mason; can you let us know how the two of you teamed up?

[Mia Marlowe] Our talented editor at Sourcebooks, Leah Hultenschmidt and our tireless agent, Natasha Kern deserves the credit. They saw the creative possibilities in pairing us up. Connie and I had met back in 2006 and hit it off immediately. Becoming a writing team almost seemed inevitable.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share the writing process that you’ve developed with Connie?

[Mia Marlowe] We take turns and no one cares who gets credit for what. Connie picked the settings for Lord of Devil Isle, Sins of the Highlander and Lord of Fire and Ice. I got to choose the Regency for our Royal Rakes series. Collaboration only works when everyone parks their egos at the door.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Rhys?

[Mia Marlowe] Courageous, smart and, of course, ALPHA!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Olivia had a theme song, what would it be?

[Mia Marlowe] That question implies a knowledge of popular culture which I do not possess. During the Regency, my heroine would have sung folk songs like “Robin Adair” or vaguely naughty lyrics that claim “And I know she’ll say from behind her Fan, That there’s none can love like an Irishman!” Olivia’s not at all sure she wants to marry an aging prince she’s never met. Shy in social situations, she’d rather ride her beloved mare, Molly and grow orchids in the hot house.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Rhys’ pockets?

[Mia Marlowe] You may find an IOU from someone who owes him money, but you’ll never find a note claiming he’s in debt over a wager. You won’t find a small derringer. He carries a horse pistol from his time in the cavalry. And lastly, you won’t find a “French letter,” the reusable sheepskin condoms of the day (ew, right?). Rhys never goes riding “wearing a raincoat.”

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Olivia’s greatest regret?

[Mia Marlowe] She often wishes she’d been born a son instead of a daughter. Not only does she think her father would have been more pleased with her, she wouldn’t have to suffer through her mother’s constant interference and unwanted advice!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Mia Marlowe] As far as other authors go, I love some of the older writers—Mary Stewart, MM Kaye and Victoria Holt. They really knew how to craft engaging stories and use language beautifully. I’m often inspired by the visual arts and by music as well.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Mia Marlowe] A movie soundtrack in my headphones, my laptop computer and my little dog, Harry snugged by my hip.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Mia Marlowe] Pretty much anything written by Sherry Thomas. Her characters are complex and her prose is lyrical!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Mia Marlowe] Lassie, Come Home. My grandparents always brought me a new book every time they visited when I was a child and I treasured every single title. They introduced me to Little Women, the Five Little Peppers and Trixie Belden mysteries. The things we read as children become part of who we are.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Mia Marlowe] I love to travel with my DH, visit art museums and historical sites. I play the piano, noodle with drawing and spend time with my family.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Mia Marlowe] I hope readers will pop by!

My frequently updated website and blog: http://www.miamarlowe.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Mia_Marlowe

Facebook: http://facebook.com/MiaMarloweFanPage

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

About the book:


The Fate of England’s Monarchy Is In The Hands of Three Notorious Rakes.

To prevent three royal dukes from marrying their way onto the throne, heroic, selfless agents for the crown will be dispatched…to seduce the dukes’ intended brides. These wickedly debauched rakes will rumple sheets and cause a scandal. But they just might fall into their own trap…

After he’s blamed for a botched assignment during war, former cavalry officer Rhys Warrick turns his back on "honor." He spends his nights in brothels doing his best to live down to the expectations of his disapproving family. But one last mission could restore the reputation he’s so thoroughly sullied. All he has to do is seduce and ruin Miss Olivia Symon and his military record will be cleared. For a man with Rhys’s reputation, ravishing the delectably innocent miss should be easy. But Olivia’s honesty and bold curiosity stir more than Rhys’s desire. Suddenly the heart he thought he left on the battlefield is about to surrender…


Connie Mason is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels. She was named Storyteller of the Year in 1990 and received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews in 1994. She currently lives in Florida. Mia Marlowe is a highly acclaimed new voice in romance whose debut novel released in Spring 2011 from Kensington. She lives in Boston, MA. Together, they are working on the next book in the Royal Rakes series, Romanced By a Rake, which will be in stores in June 2013. For more information, please visit http://www.conniemason.com/, http://miamarlowe.com/ and find Mia on Twitter, @Mia_Marlowe, and on Facebook, http://facebook.com/MiaMarloweFanPage.


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Interview with Shona Husk, Author of For the Love of a Goblin Warrior and Giveaway!

Shona Husk is celebrating the release of the third book in her Shadowlands series For the Love of a Goblin Warrior.  She stopped by the virtual offices to chat about her book and she brought along a copy of For the Love of a Goblin Warrior for one of you to win!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Shona Husk] Reader, writer, dark chocolate lover. I love a challenge and enjoy making up stories.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about For the Love of a Goblin Warrior?

[Shona Husk] Two thousand years ago six Celtic warriors were cursed to be goblins. Meryn gave into the curse and has been running with the goblin horde in the Shadowlands ever since. When the curse broke he became human again and now he has a second chance at living. But he has to adapt to the modern world and keep his past, both as a man in Celtic Britain and as a goblin, a secret from Nadine, the woman he is falling for. Nadine has her own family secrets and knows far more about goblins than she says.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Shona Husk] For the Love of a Goblin Warrior is the third book in the Shadowlands series, and also the last. When I started writing The Goblin King, the ideas for the other two stories appeared. I knew Meryn’s story would be last one. He’s fought Romans and goblins, loved and lost so as a hero he brought a lot of past to the story. However it was nice to write about a guy who knew what love was, had been hurt and yet was willing to try again. Nadine has her own history with goblins, she’s quite closed off and doesn’t really believe in love. Sometimes it’s really hard to pinpoint where characters come from. I’m not sure where Nadine came from, she just kind of appeared and yet once she was there I couldn’t imagine Meryn with anyone else.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Meryn?

[Shona Husk] Wounded, recovering goblin

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Nadine had a theme song, what would it be?

[Shona Husk] This one’s easy as I always have songs for every book Smile  Nadine’s song is ‘Left Outside Alone’ by Anastacia.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Nadine won’t leave the house without.

[Shona Husk] Her mother’s necklace. She always wears it as it’s all she has left of her mother.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Meryn’s pockets?

[Shona Husk] A cell phone, condoms and a wallet, for the simple reason he doesn’t know what they are as they weren’t around in Celtic Britain which was the last time he was human.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Nadine’s greatest regret?

[Shona Husk] Not doing more to save her mother, she was only a child but it’s haunted her and given her nightmares all her life.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Shona Husk] I grew up reading fantasy novels, so I’m sure they all had an impact. I love slipping away to other worlds. I find these days I read fantasy, paranormal or historical romances, yet I love watching action/adventure TV all of which are purely escapist and yet fun in their own way. I like warrior heroes be they elves with swords or military guys. I also love listening to music and going to concerts. Basically anything that takes me away from the everyday.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Shona Husk] Chocolate…something to write with and on…that’s about it. I can write pretty much anywhere. I’ve plotted in airports (Lunar Exposure) and written a novel by the pool while my kids did swimming lessons (Dark Vow).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Shona Husk] Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry and War by Sebastian Junger. I don’t read a lot of YA but Pushing the Limits was excellent. And War was a brutal, eye opening read.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Shona Husk] Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr. I’d read lots of books before this one, but it sucked me into a world of elves and battles and magic like no other. I still have a soft spot for Rhodry the hot half-elf.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Shona Husk] I swim, run, read, cross-stitch, drive the kids around, cook, eat more chocolate (everyone allowed 1 vice right?). I also catch up on TV shows that I missed while meeting deadlines.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Shona Husk] I’m twitter www.twitter.com/ShonaHusk

Facebook www.facebook.com/shonahusk

And I have a monthly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/lySiD

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

About the book:


In a Faraway Land…

There lived a man who was trapped—his only companions a horde of goblins consumed by their lust for gold. He thought he was lost forever, thought that no one would ever remember he’d been noble.

A Fearless Warrior…

Now he has been thrust into the human world once again, but so much has changed. How can he ever be rid of the darkness after so long in the Shadowlands?

It Starts with Dreams of a Castle…

And a woman who takes his breath away and makes him forget the pain of his past. He knows he must protect her at all costs. And perhaps in saving her, he can finally learn to love again.

Praise for The Goblin King:

"Steamy, sensual, and dangerous…Dark and delicious." —Fresh Fiction

"Shona Husk put together an amazing story about loss, love, redemption, and discovery." —Night Owl Reviews Top Pick

"A wonderfully dark and sensual fairy tale." —Jessa Slade, author of Seduced by Shadows


A civil designer by day and an author by night, Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Drawing on history, myth, and imagination, she writes about heroes who are armed and dangerous but have a heart of gold–sometimes literally. Look for the other books in the Shadowlands Series, The Goblin King and Kiss of the Goblin Prince, available now. In July 2013, Shona will begin another dark paranormal series with The Outcast Prince! For more information, please visit www.shonahusk.com.

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Character Interview: Ellie Vyne of Jayne Fresina’s The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne and Giveaway!

Thanks to the magic of the interwebz, Miss Ellie Vyne, intrepid heroine of Jayne Fresina’s The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne, dropped by the virtual offices recently to introduce herself.  She also brought along a present for one of you to win – a copy of the book she stars in!!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Ellie] Loves to dance, usually trips!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Ellie Vyne?

[Ellie] I always emerge from bed with the absolute certainty that all will go well. Within half an hour I am usually safely disabused of that notion.

When a guest of my sisters, I rise early. I never like to cause too much additional work for the staff. I am in the way enough as it is, and frequently reminded of it. Once dressed, I must then endure breakfast. This is an event during which my sisters will lecture me about deportment, my sadly inadequate looks, my stained gowns and the importance of finding a husband before I am utterly lost. They fear, of course, that as I grow older and don a lace cap, I shall look to them for my food and shelter. They have no idea that I am the one who has provided for them as best I can all these years. Somehow they imagine their father, the Admiral, has managed it all on his stretched Navy pension. But it is much better that they have no inkling of the manner in which I paid for their society debuts and weddings. They have very small brains already overloaded with the trials of their daily lives—inefficient housemaids, hems that require stitching, books that take too long to read, you know the sort of thing— and I wouldn’t want to increase their worries or labors.

After breakfast we must sit and find "worthy" employment until noon. The less said about that the better. Then guests will pay visits. You might imagine this could provide some much needed jollity, but by rule these visits must never last longer than half an hour and frequently never exceed a quarter. There is barely time to ascertain the state of a person’s health in so short a visit, let alone find out anything of juicy detail. It is hardly worth putting my book down to listen, but if I do not I must suffer the red-hot poker pricks of my sisters’ angry looks. So I close my book, tilt my head and look intensely concerned about the muddy state of the path this morning, Mrs. Smith’s husband’s gout, the goat’s cough and —aha, a lively piece of news at last—the sow’s dramatically reckless escape from the pen in which she was supposed to be serviced by the boar. Poor sow; I know how she feels.

Of course, now my sisters are married and have taken up superior residency in London, their neighbors have even less interesting tales to relate.

If I am staying at Lark Hollow, my stepfather’s house in the country, visitors are kept to a minimum, for in the afternoons he naps—if he can find a spot in the house where rain is not dripping through the roof. Later he will play cards or chess with me and I must always allow him to win, for he is a very poor loser and will sulk grandly for three hours if he is not the victor. Trust me, you would never want to see the Admiral in a sulk.

In the evenings, at my sisters’ houses, one is expected to participate in whatever "entertainment" they are attending or hosting. At such painful times I generally like to pretend I am someone else and somewhere else! Again I think with reverence of Mrs. Smith’s daring boar and consider breaking my way to freedom with a merry "oink". I should like to see my sisters chasing me about the garden, trying to corral me back into the party.

When invited to join friends in Brighton or Bath I have a vast deal more fun and, naturally, more opportunity to use my disguise as the count de Bonneville. Balls start at ten and seldom finish before three in the morning. Then there is no early rising! What I get up to on those occasions it would be indiscreet to tell.

As you see there is really no typical day for me. I never know what fate has in store for Ellie Vyne.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of James?

[Ellie] Villainously charming menace.

There are a great many more. It is cruel to keep me to only three!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is his most annoying fault?

[Ellie]He believes nothing I tell him.

Again, there are so many more from which I must choose only one, alas!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the sweetest thing he’s ever done?

[Ellie] Saved me from the fate of a wallflower recently by asking me to dance, even when I had a torn dress and trifle on my rear. I’m sure he had an ulterior motive, but it was rather sweet. Even I must be forced to acknowledge it. I suppose. But he is a Hartley and good deeds do not come naturally to them, so it must have taken a vast effort on his part.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What made you start masquerading as Count de Bonneville?

[Ellie] Someone has to help with my stepfather’s debts. Admiral Vyne, you see, has fine champagne tastes on a bad ale budget. At eighty it’s much too late to make him change his ways and I promised my mama, on her deathbed, that I would take care of him. After all he had saved us both from a shipwreck once. Then my younger half-sisters both required dowries and wedding trousseaus. Raising a family is a most expensive undertaking, so I found. But once I began the masquerade as an exiled French count, just to gamble at cards and fleece unsuspecting aristocrats of their coin, I began to enjoy the role. It is a wonderful escape to be someone else for a while.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How close have you come to having your ruse discovered?

[Ellie] I cannot be sure of that. I often wonder how I get away with it and occasionally I think I’m being followed, but who would ever guess that Miss Ellie Vyne is behind it all? I mean, I look so innocent. Don’t I?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Do you find the threat of being caught more frightening or more exhilarating?

[Ellie] Oh, exhilarating, most definitely! I suppose, as an aged spinster of twenty seven, I should be very bored if I did not have that excitement to keep me on my toes. Time enough to sit in a corner with my sewing once I have "retired" the count for good.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Ellie] I would never have painted an ink moustache on James Hartley’s face while he slept under a tree.

Wait…what am I saying? I most certainly would. Of course I would. How could I resist? He really shouldn’t have been laying there. It was asking for trouble. I daresay he should even thank me for the lesson he learned from that incident.

And how was I to know that no one would tell him what was drawn on his face—that he would walk about like that for the entire day?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Ellie] My mama’s pearls. They are dainty and elegant, which is almost enough to make me feel dainty and elegant too. It is all I have left of her, so I carry them with me always.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less?

[Ellie] Books, fireplace, sleeping dog. Peace.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

[Ellie] Why, thank you! It was a pleasure.

Here’s more info about the book:


When a Scandalous Lady…

By night Ellie Vyne fleeces unsuspecting aristocrats as the dashing Count de Bonneville. By day she avoids her sisters’ matchmaking schemes and dreams up torments for her childhood nemesis—the arrogant, far-too-handsome-for-his-own-good James Hartley. Her latest prank: "winning" the Hartley diamonds in a card game from James’s mistress.

Steals from a Notorious Rake…

James finally has a lead on the thieving Count de Bonneville, tracking him to a disreputable inn. He bursts in on none other than the brazen, irritating, nearly naked Ellie Vyne. Convinced she is the count’s mistress, James decides it’s best to keep his enemies close. Very close. He must get those diamonds back, and seducing Ellie will be the perfect bait.

It Can Only End in a Wicked Wedding…

Praise for The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne:

“[The characters] banter and quibble with comic perfection…” —Publishers Weekly

“Readers who adore wickedly funny, fast and sassy romances will delight in Fresina’s latest. The naughty desire-in-disguise theme, coupled with sharp, hilarious repartee, steals the reader’s heart…” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Fresina brings a unique voice and perspective to the 1820s romance novel. Fans of Grace Burrowes and Amanda Quick will especially appreciate Fresina’s intriguing characters and humor.” —Booklist


Jayne Fresina sprouted up in England, the youngest in a family of four girls. Entertained by her father’s colorful tales of growing up in the countryside, and surrounded by opinionated sisters— all with far more exciting lives than hers— she’s always had inspiration for her beleaguered heroes and unstoppable heroines. Her next novel in the Sydney Dovedale regency romance series, Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal, will be in stores in June 2013. For more information, please visit www.jaynefresina.com and check out her blog: http://jaynefresinaromanceauthor.blogspot.com/.


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