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I’m thrilled to welcome back the fabulous, multi award-winning author ANNA CAMPBELL for an exclusive interview.

Carol, thanks for inviting me to your blog today! Fun questions!

~~~~~

R&R:
Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Anna:
I was born in Brisbane in Queensland on the east coast of Australia. My father had a midlife crisis when I was five so we all moved to a farm on the bayside which was an absolutely glorious place to grow up. It was a small hamlet in a beautiful corner of the world and everybody knew everybody so it was a very free childhood. We grew all sorts of things like tomatoes and passionfruit and beans and zucchinis, but eventually Mum and Dad settled on establishing an avocado orchard. Good thing I love avocadoes! I was always a really dreamy kid – the family joke was that I’d lose things faster than you could say Jack Robinson just because I was so absent minded. I read a lot and played in my imagination which I think was excellent training for a writer.


Me with mum and dad

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Anna:
I’m actually pretty easy-going up to a point, but heaven help you if you go beyond that point! I wouldn’t say I’m a moody person.

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Anna:
I’d say both although my utter food downfall is potato chips which definitely fall into the salty/savoury category.

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Anna:
I’ve got a few but I’ll pick my most regal one. My godfather worked for Royal Doulton in England in the late 50s/early 60s and during that time, RD made a new dinner service for Windsor Castle (under the regal brand name Royal Windsor!). He created his own dinner service from the offcuts and eventually gave the service to me. I’m always very proud to say when I use it (and I do use it) that Queen Elizabeth has this china and so do I and that’s it! In fact, my friends often ask me to use “Lizzie’s china.” Even nicer, it’s a pattern I really like and would have chosen for myself, were I a royal!


“Lizzie’s china”

R&R:

If you were able to afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Anna:
Carol, it will be no secret to you that, while I’m an Aussie, I’m an Anglophile through and through. One of the lovely things about writing Regency romance is that I get to express this love every day! I’d love a Georgian rectory or small manor house somewhere like Somerset. My characters might live in places like Chatsworth but that would be way too much for me to cope with! Or perhaps I’d take Sir Gideon Trevithick’s manor house on the Cornish cliffs – I definitely used Manderley as the inspiration for that one.


Georgian Rectory

R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Anna:
I think there have been too many for me to pick a ‘most’ embarrassing moment. A writerly one was at my first Romance Writers of America conference where I hadn’t yet got used to people addressing me by my pseudonym Anna Campbell (another author has my real name and had used it!). I was mortified when I realised that all those people calling “Anna” were trying to talk to me! To this day, I’m sure some of those people are convinced I’m the snobbiest Australian who ever lived!

~~~~~

Anna, thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these fascinating facts about yourself.

Carol, thank you so much for having me as your guest. I love the idea of getting to know some of my favourite writers a little better!

If you would like to find out more about Anna and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Fecebook
Twitter: @AnnaCampbellOz

Genre: Historical Romance (Medieval – 11th Century)

Cover Blurb:

A shared secret from their past could destroy their future…

Northumbria, 1077. In the years following William the Conqueror’s harrying of the North, Lady Alfreya of Tyrswick returns to her family home after seven years in exile. But instead of returning victorious as her dead father had promised, she returns defeated by Baron Sebastian de la Croix, the Norman who rules her lands.

To save her gravely ill brother’s life, Alfreya offers herself hostage to her enemy. As Alfreya gets to know her new husband, she finds he’s not the monster she feared, and their marriage of convenience soon becomes a bond of passion. But Sebastian is a man with a secret—one that could destroy him.

As a series of brutal murders haunt their nights, the man who betrayed Alfreya’s father returns claiming to be her betrothed. He has learned Sebastian’s secret and will use it to further his own ambition—using Sebastian’s own family—which will destroy Sebastian and mark him a traitor, and plunge an unprepared England into war with the Scots…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Set during the years following the Norman Conquest, Warrior’s Surrender isn’t my usual reading fare but I thoroughly enjoyed this masterful blend of action, romance and intrigue.

I like how the events of the Prologue are to have far-reaching consequences later in the story.

While Sebastian is everything I would expect of a conquering Norman lord…powerful, proud, strong and courageous, he is also just and compassionate. These qualities have earned him not only the loyalty of his own men but also the respect of the people of Tyrswick.

Bold, strong-willed and passionate, Frey is the perfect heroine for Sebastian. She commands her men with the temperament and strength of a warrior but I also saw a softer side in her obvious love for her young brother Brice and her concern for her men’s safety.

I enjoyed watching the romance developing between Sebastian and Frey. The initial mistrust and antagonism seem realistic given the circumstances but there is a real sense of the attraction simmering between them. I like how Ms Carter allows us to see Sebastian’s compassion and tenderness and I especially love the scene where he gives Frey’s brother a kitten. It was easy to understand why Frey falls in love with him. It was refreshing to see them openly admit their love for each other…a love that remains strong.

There is plenty of action and even a touch of the supernatural which adds an interesting layer to the story. Ms Carter gathers together an interesting cast of secondary characters but the one who really stands out is the villainous, cunning and truly diabolical Drefan …a formidable enemy indeed.

Ms Carter’s extensive historical research is evident in the details that are subtly interwoven throughout the story. They brought this turbulent period vividly to life for me.

My Verdict: A compelling tale of honour, passion, love and betrayal. Definitely recommended.

 

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read June 2015

**My sincere thanks to Elizabeth Ellen Carter for sending me with a copy of this book in return for a honest review.**

A Message from Delilah…

DEAR READER:

Having recently acquired the rights back to these playful, naughty books, I decided to do far more than slap a new cover on them. Even if you’ve read Mistress of Pleasure and Lord of Pleasure, you’ll find since their original publications back in 2008 and 2009, these books have undergone a metamorphosis. These revamped second editions have countless new scenes, both romantic and hilarious in nature, which were added throughout each book in an effort to make you feel like you’re reading them for the first time. I dare you to revisit the books that started it all.

 

(School of Gallantry, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

Granddaughter of a renowned courtesan, Maybelle Maitenon has no interest in her grandmother’s school in London where gentlemen receive instruction–in the art of seduction. Her only desire in life is to remain independent and free from men and their overbearing expectations. But when Maybelle lays eyes on the Duke of Rutherford, who is well-known for his gentlemanly ways, she can’t resist. Neither she or the duke are prepared for what their attraction is about to do not only to their sanity but their hearts.

(Release date: Friday, July 3rd)

(School of Gallantry, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

It’s been months since Lady Charlotte Chartwell’s philandering husband met his untimely end at the hands of an angry mistress. But as miserable as he made Charlotte in life, his death proves to be an even harsher blow. For not a farthing of his estate has passed on to her, and as a penniless widow, she is utterly without hope. As Charlotte is considering the worst, a mysterious man steps into her carriage determined to change her life. Known to all of London as The Lord of Pleasure, Charlotte does her best to resist him and his charms only to discover he wants far, far more than mere pleasure.

(Release date: Friday, July 10th)

WARNING: These books contain strong language and sexual content that may cause respectable people to swoon.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

 

 

 

(A Lady Forsaken, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

**Warning: Not every story of love has a happy ending**

A man willing to sacrifice all…

Andrew Penton, The Marquis of Drake, is a man used to getting all he desires, for nothing in return. But when a mysterious woman catches his eye, he’s helpless to do anything but offer her all he is.

A woman determined to take everything…

Lady Lorelei de La Valette, daughter of the French Comte of Epernon, is new to London society and not the lady she appears to be. Her life has been controlled since birth, yet she’ll have to decide if her destiny lies with her country or her heart.

A love lost forever…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I am delighted to welcome Bestselling Historical Romance Author CHRISTINA MCKNIGHT to the blog today for an exclusive interview

Thank you for having me, Carol. I look forward to sharing some unknown facts about myself.

~~~~~

R&R:
Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Christina:
I grew up in Northern California in the heart of a farming community. My father, grandfather, and his father were all men of the earth, raising crops from boysenberries to peaches to tomatoes. I spent my summers picking strawberries straight from the field…and eating so many I broke out in hives. Some of my fondest memories include getting up at 2am and going with my dad to irrigate at several of our family ranches or working at our fruit stand from sun up to sun down.

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Christina:
With age, I’ve mellowed quite a bit. When I was younger, I was very quick to anger and was known for jumping to rash conclusions. With time (and three kids) I’ve learned to be an easy-going person. Don’t get me wrong, I am a very proactive person but the little stuff doesn’t bother me anymore.

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Christina:
There are two things I can never turn down…pizza and cake. On a daily bases, I eat a lot more savoury foods. In the last three years my diet has changed significantly from a steak, pasta, potatoes, and bread diet to lean proteins and lots of vegetables. This major change helped me lose seventy pounds in less than a year. I’m healthier and happier. Fun Fact: I decided to alter my eating habits because I wanted to be thinner in my author pictures. It was great motivation!

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Christina:
Just one? LOL. I’d say my collection of historical romance novels, spanning from the early 1970s to current day! My basement is full of totes holding over 7,000 books…and I’d probably part with my first born child before getting rid of any of them. Pretty sure I’m out of the running for ‘Mom of the Year’, right?

R&R:
If you were able to afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Christina:
Hawaii, or any beach town with normal temps over 75 degrees. I absolutely LOVE the beach, the sand, the heat! In 2010, my siblings and I even looked at buying a condo on Maui together. It is a dream still unfulfilled but definitely attainable.


Maui

R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Christina:
Oh, dear Lord! Again, just one? I’m a very socially awkward person. I’ve learned to accept and embrace that. Years ago (I was probably around twenty-two), my grandmother was having a HUGE 60th birthday party at a very swanky restaurant with a ton of influential people. Because my family is well-known in our area, we (my siblings, cousins, and I) are used to being dressed up and paraded around my grandparents’ friends and business associates. Well, I normally blended into the background and people were content to leave me alone, letting me read a book or doodle in my notebook. This party was very different because my grandmother split all of us ‘kids’ up between the tables, so we would socialize more. Each table had several disposable cameras to catch pictures of everyone. My grandmother specifically told me I needed to talk to people, visit, and be approachable.

Can you see where this is going? Fast forward to later in the evening…food has been served and cleaned up, people are now milling about and chatting. My grandmother comes to my table and sits with an older couple across from me. She looked at me and motions for me to take their picture with one of the cameras.

With a huge smile on my face, I leapt up and grabbed a camera and then adjusted the table centrepiece so it didn’t block their faces. As I moved the vase of flowers, I knocked over a full glass of red wine…which spilled and landed in their laps.
Yes, the wine made its way off the table and into ALL THREE of their laps, ruining their clothes. I was mortified, my grandmother was horrified…and I’ve never been asked to be overly social again…at family gatherings, at least.

BUT, I must say, I have worked on my awkwardness over the last few years. Many of my author/reader friends don’t believe how introverted I claim to be.

~~~~~

Christina, thank you so much for being with us today and sharing these fascinating facts about yourself.

No, thank you for having me! This was a fun interview. I certainly enjoyed reliving my most embarrassing moment…ever! LOL!

If you would like to find out more about Christina and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter: @CMcKnightWriter

Source: Gift from a friend

(Desperate Duchesses by Numbers, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him—so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.

Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia’s audacious proposal, but there’s one thing he won’t give his inconvenient wife: himself.

Instead, he offers Mia a devil’s bargain… he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.

Which Mia will never do.

Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart—and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can’t afford to lose.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

Genre: Historical Romance

Cover Blurb:

One family. One Legend. One chance to reverse the tides of fortune.

Welcome to a multi-genre collection unlike any other historical romance collection. Six of the top authors in their respective genres bring you this powerhouse collection, WITH DREAMS ONLY OF YOU. Join the de Reyne family as they grapple with a family legend that follows them through centuries of hope, heartache, adventure, and romance in seven amazing segments:

Roman Scotland – The origins of the Theodosia Sword.
Medieval England – The legend begins.
The Scottish Highlands – The legend takes a twist.
Tudor England – A new dimension to the legend.
Georgian Era – The legend upon the high seas.
Regency England – The legend has new life.
Contemporary Times – The legend concludes.

Seven unique and powerful stories take the legend of the gladius, the Theodosia Sword, through the ages. Discover how each era of the family finds their own love, peace, and happiness. The sword that can tear them apart is also the one that binds them.

One family. One legend. One chance to reverse the tides of fortune… will each generation of the family take that chance?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

Genre: Historical Romance Anthology (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Bluestockings and wallflowers seek happily-ever-afters. Only handsome, respectable and deeply romantic persons need apply. Dukes and marquesses will be given special consideration. Apply within.

This anthology contains nine fun, heart-tugging, and wholesomely romantic Regency novellas that are as sigh-worthy as they are sweet, brought to you by USA Today and national bestselling, award-winning authors.

Deceived by a Duke by Erin Knightley, USA Today bestselling author

When strangers meet during a summer sojourn to the continent, love soon blossoms under the Spanish sun. But things aren’t all what they seem. When Libby discovers her English gentleman isn’t at all who she thought he was, can their new relationship survive the shock of being . . . Deceived by a Duke?
(Originally published May 2014)

Captivated by the Wallflower by Aileen Fish, USA Today bestselling author

Finding the perfect husband for wallflower Lady Susan is a means to an end for Viscount Knightwick. Falling in love is not part of his plan. Can he keep his heart safe while making hers happy?

A Most Suitable Match by Lily George, national bestselling author

Can confirmed bluestocking and matchmaker Louisa Bradbury compose her own happily ever after with Thomas, the wallflower of the rich and powerful Wright family?

Stealing the Duchess by Marie Higgins, national bestselling author

When Julian Stratford seeks out to steal the duchess as an act of revenge, he mistakenly steals the wrong sister–a wallflower, no less. As they work together to try and solve the mystery, they soon discover that not only are their lives in danger, but so are their hearts.

First Impressions by Elizabeth Johns, national bestselling author

A widower earl, still in need of an heir, reluctantly sets off for London in search of a wife. He infinitely prefers the role of recluse to that of dashing beau. The Season’s Incomparable prefers books to balls, and cannot wait until the Season is over. Their initial prejudices prevent them from feeling they would suit, but an unlikely source may give them another chance…

Treasure Beyond Words by Heather King

Having trusted the wrong man, bluestocking Amelia Burcott is forced to seek employment as a governess in order to support herself. Little does she realize, when she joins the household of the Earl of Raftesbury, that he has a secret as great as her own and needs the right woman to help him conquer his past.

The Earl’s Beloved Match by Bess McBride, national bestselling author

Bluestocking Cora Prentice has no intention of marrying…ever. Tobias, the Earl of Momford, has no intention of marrying…ever. But Aunt Mimi has other plans for them as she sets out to make a match between her goddaughter and her adopted nephew!

Save the Last Dance for Me by Cora Lee, award winning author

When Lady Honoria Maitland reunites with her old friend Benedict Grey, she proposes an arrangement: a faux courtship that will smooth wallflower Benedict’s re-entry into society and appease her dying father. But Honoria’s clever plan failed to account for Benedict’s heart…or her own.

The Third MacPherson Sister by Susana Ellis

Rebecca’s older sisters took the ton by storm while she herself has failed to attact a suitor in four Seasons. Miles is pondering his urgent need for a wife when Rebecca lands in his lap in the nave of Bath Abbey. A match between them seems ordained by the heavens… except for the little matter of his past history with her sisters.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Received from the author in return for an honest review

(Sons of Sin, #4.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Whose hot kisses will melt the ice princess? All London is agog to know!

As the season reaches its brilliant climax, three very different men pursue beautiful Lady Marianne Seaton. She’s the marriage mart’s greatest prize – even if cruel and unjust gossip paints her as a woman cold and glittering as any diamond.

Lord Desborough is her father’s choice – rich, powerful, safe. Lord Tranter is society’s darling – handsome, dashing, charming.

Then there’s the dangerous, compelling man nobody in their right mind calls eligible. Elias Thorne, son of scandal, reputed deceiver, possessing a rakish fascination no woman can resist. A lady might choose Elias as a lover, but as a husband, he’s too risky a bet. Even if Marianne’s forbidden yearning for him threatens her future and her reputation.

When Marianne’s suitors pursue her to the year’s most glamorous house party, there will be proposals and passion, rivals and revelations, secrets and scandals.

Let battle commence – but will the best man win?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Free on Amazon Kindle

(Clan McDunnah, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (14th Century Scotland)

Cover Blurb:

Rumor has it the water on Clan McPherson lands is magical…

Clan McPherson has known peace amongst their neighboring clans for more than one hundred years. That peace is threatened when Fiona McPherson is made chief after the death of her husband.

Known more for her fighting skills than her beauty, Fiona refuses the multiple proposals of marriage that begin to seemingly arise from nowhere. She may be the chief of her clan, but she’s still a woman. It isn’t Fiona they want, but her land and she’s willing to fight to the death to keep it.

Rumor has it Caelen McDunnah has lost his mind…

Called McDunnah, the chief of Clan McDunnah, has no desire to remarry. He’s perfectly content to still mourn the loss of his first wife and babe, even if it has been sixteen years. Until he meets the beautiful and feisty Fiona McPherson.

Known to start a fight out of sheer boredom or madness — no one is ever truly sure which — Caelen suddenly finds himself in the middle of battles he has no desire to fight, but fight them he will if it means he can have Fiona McPherson as his own.

There is always a wee bit of truth in every rumor.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I’m thrilled to welcome NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling author LORRAINE HEATH to the Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thank you, Carol. It’s such a treat to be here today. I love the questions you posed.

~~~~~

R&R:
Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Lorraine:
I was born in England, just north of London, but I came to Texas when I was 18 months old. I lived in Houston for several months and then we moved to Angleton, a small town south of Houston. My youth was comprised of going to Surfside Beach, fishing in nearby rivers, crabbing in the bay. We had a drive-in movie theatre and I remember watching Bambi there. Hurricane Carla blew it down in 1961 and it was never rebuilt. We went to a theatre in nearby town to watch movies but it was a very special “outing” and we only went once or twice a year. A mall on the outskirts of Houston was 45 minutes away. It was an all-day affair to drive that far to go shopping so we usually only went right before school started, although I sewed most of my clothes. I spent a lot of time in my room, making up stories in my head and watched a lot of TV.


This was Halloween in 1961…I’m the tall one.

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Lorraine:
Relatively easy-going unless the wrong buttons get pushed. I don’t like confrontation or anger so I strive to avoid them, although sometimes they can’t be avoided. I like for everyone to be happy and try to ensure that those around me are happy.

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Lorraine:
I like sweet when it comes to food. Desserts are the best!

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Lorraine:
My mother’s wedding band. I inherited it after she passed away. I wear it on my right hand so I always feel as though she is still with me.

R&R:
If you were able to afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Lorraine:
St. Augustine, FL. A few years back, I spent a week with a dear friend who had retired there and I just loved it. I loved the history, walking along the beach, and the relaxing atmosphere of the place.


The beach in St. Augustine, FL.

R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Lorraine:
Seeing a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, exclaiming how excited I was that she was expecting … and then learning that she wasn’t expecting. I not only embarrassed myself but I embarrassed her, which made me feel even worse, and there is no way to undo that faux pas.

~~~~~

Lorraine, thank you so much for being with us today and sharing these fascinating facts about yourself.

Thank you for having me. It’s been delightful getting to know you a little better.

If you would like to find out more about Victoria and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter: @Lorraine_Heath

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