Welcome!

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog! I’ve done a round-up of some of my own favorite posts over the years (both here and when I’ve guested at other blogs), for people who are visiting for the first time:

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New contest: Theresa Romain’s Holiday Pleasures series

Hi everyone! The contest this time is really special. The fourth and final book in Theresa Romain’s Holiday Pleasures series is coming out in a couple of weeks (Season for Desire, I’ve read it, it’s awesome, you can read my goodreads rec here, and to celebrate, I’m giving away the first THREE books in the series. Not only that, but since Theresa was my roommate at RWA14, I was able to give her the books to sign and ship, which means she will personalize them for you!

 

Season-for-Temptation-634x1024Season for Temptation. This book absolutely floored me when it came out, and I think it’s still one of the funniest, freshest historicals I’ve ever read. Read the rest of this entry »

EXT. PARIS – SUNSET

A lot of people have asked me whether I’ll ever write a story about what happens in a certain m/m secondary romance after the end of A Lily Among Thorns. The truth is, I probably won’t, because to me, their story is over. Their conflict is resolved. In fact, there’s no doubt in my mind that their next meeting will go something like this…

Warning: here be spoilers.

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Funny search terms Jan.-Aug. 2014

I think I need to start doing semi-regular posts about search terms people use to find my site! Some of my favorites from August:

what mean henry with a man aint nothing but a man [it's like poetry]
let s see paul allen s card [Wooo only the best scene in American Psycho!]
how can you live with yourself lucius gift [I assume that last person actually meant to type "gif" but I quite like the name "Lucius Gift." I may have to use that one of these days.]

July:

gout funny quotes [Nothing funnier than gout, amirite?]
ivanhoe parody [THERE ARE SO MANY]
the art of governing a wife [Was this person actually searching for my post? Or do they...want to know about the art of governing a wife? Or what?]
voldemort slaps lucius [seriously, hilarious Harry Potter searches were always the best on my fanfiction site too. What is it about Harry Potter that makes for such amazing google searches?]
of course she is my favorite aunt she is freaking awesome [I don't really want context honestly]
harlequin covers fabio [hard to see how my site could even have been in the first ten pages of results for this? how in depth was this person's search?]

April:

heroine interview sex stories [what is this person looking for? is the heroine a reporter? is the sex story in the form of an interview?]
historical romance with blond hero [awww]

March:

tumblr logan echolls meta [why does it have to be on tumblr??]
roselerner penn badgley [this person legit appears to be looking for some post I made on tumblr about Penn Badgley!! I have never been so flattered!]
rebecca stronger than rowena [hey hey the ladies don't have to be in competition]
when a husband would sell his wife would she wear a halter [!!!!!! WELL THERE'S A FAMOUS ROWLANDSON ILLUSTRATION BUT I DON'T THINK IT WAS A REQUIREMENT]

February:

roger moore cocktail glass [this search term describes my sexuality to a T]
philosemite creepy [you get me, googler]
corinthians/aliens [?]
which sonnet says my love is nothing like a rose [I'm impressed this person actually clicked through to something on my site because I assume they want "My mistress's eyes are nothing like the sun" and it's the first hit for this search]
a man aint nothing but a man mean [okay is this the same person months earlier, or is this a common concern?]

January:

holy roman emperor frederick 111 and gingerbread
romance novels giving women unrealistic expectations [FUCK YOU]
she trapped him under her skirt and smother him [???????]
death by hounds [!!!!!!!]

A LILY AMONG THORNS short story

To celebrate the rerelease of A Lily Among Thorns from Samhain (with some minor revisions and a beautiful new cover), here is a short story (~8000 words) set shortly after the end of the book.

Warning: Contains MAJOR SPOILERS.

This story, at very long last, is for Steph Burgis, who wanted to see more of Solomon’s sister’s relationship with her stuffy fiancé. So here you have the first two weeks of their marriage…which do not go very smoothly.

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Con Movie Watchalong Wednesdays!

Announcing Con Movie Watchalong Wednesdays! A series of nine classic con films, hosted by the BFF (@Sonia_P_L) and me (@RoseLerner) on Twitter. Most of these are movies I haven’t seen and I’m super excited to discover them with you! We’ll be watching every other Wednesday starting September 17th and ending when my con artist book True Pretenses releases in January. We’ve staggered the times so hopefully folks on both coasts will have an opportunity to join in.

Watch the movies along with us and chat about them on Twitter using hashtag #cmwaw.

Schedule (summaries from imdb.com):

9/17/14, 3:30PM Pacific/6:30PM Eastern: “The Music Man” (1962). A con man comes to a Midwestern town with a scam using a boy’s marching band program, but things don’t go according to plan. Trailer

10/1/14, 6:30PM Pacific/9:30PM Eastern: “Catch Me If You Can” (2002), starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. A true story about Frank Abagnale Jr., who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars’ worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor. Trailer

10/15/14, 3:30PM Pacific: “Anastasia” (1997), with the voices of Meg Ryan and John Cusack. The last surviving child of the Russian Royal Family hooks up with two con men to reunite with her grandmother, the Dowager Empress, while the undead Rasputin seeks her death. I feel like this is misleading because it doesn’t make it sound like a con! And also be prepared for me to rant a lot about the Romanovs. But whatever. The point is, DMITRI. I fell so hard for Dmitri when I saw this in theaters. That nose! Trailer

10/29, 6:30PM Pacific: “White Men Can’t Jump” (1992), starring Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes, and Rosie Perez. Black and white basketball hustlers join forces to double their chances. Trailer

11/12, 3:30PM Pacific: “The Rainmaker” (1956), starring Katherine Hepburn and Burt Lancaster. Lizzie Curry is on the verge of becoming a hopeless old maid. Her wit and intelligence and skills as a homemaker can’t make up for the fact that she’s just plain plain! Even the town sheriff, File, for whom she harbors a secrect yen, won’t take a chance—until the town suffers a drought and into the lives of Lizzie and her brothers and father comes one Bill Starbuck…profession: Rainmaker! Yes, please! Trailer

11/26 (Thanksgiving Wednesday!), 6:30PM Pacific: “The Grifters” (1990), a Martin Scorsese-produced thriller starring Anjelica Huston, John Cusack, and Annette Bening. A small-time conman has torn loyalties between his estranged mother and new girlfriend—both of whom are high-stakes grifters with their own angles to play. Trailer

12/10, 3:30PM Pacific: “Six Degrees of Separation” (1993), starring Will Smith, Stockard Channing, and Donald Sutherland. “An affluent New York couple find their lives touched, intruded upon, and compelled by a mysterious young black man who is never quite who he says he is.” Um, okay. Way to leave out the best part which is that Will Smith is passing himself off as Sidney Poitier’s son! Trailer

(One list that we used as a resource while planning this series remarked: “My high school staged a production of the play in which ‘Sidney Poiter’s son’ was played by a pale red head. Didn’t quite work.” I totally recommend reading the list. The compiler evaluates each movie based on the verisimilitude of the cons portrayed.)

12/24 (Christmas Eve!), 6:30PM Pacific: “The Brothers Bloom” (2008), starring Rachel Weisz, Mark Ruffalo, Adrian Brody, and Rinko Kikuchi. The Brothers Bloom are the best con men in the world, swindling millionaires with complex scenarios of lust and intrigue. Now they’ve decided to take on one last job—showing a beautiful and eccentric heiress the time of her life with a romantic adventure that takes them around the world.

This movie was the direct inspiration for True Pretenses because I loved it but I HATED the ending. I knew it was coming for the whole film, it was obviously the only thing that could happen, and I still desperately didn’t want it to happen. Trailer

And wrapping up on 1/14/15, 3:30PM Pacific with “The Sting” (1973), starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. In 1930s Chicago, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker. I haven’t seen this but David Maurer, author of The Big Con (another book I drew on while writing Pretenses) sued Warner Brothers for $10 million dollars, claiming that they plagiarized his book in the screenplay. (Apparently the suit was settled out of court for $350k.) Trailer

New contest: A LILY AMONG THORNS e-books, and a gift basket!

ETA: This contest is now closed! The winner of the basket is Susan, and the e-book winners are: Kim, Rebe, Julie N., Joye, and Katie. Congratulations!

My second book, A Lily Among Thorns, re-releases on September 2nd!

LilyAmongThorns-450x675 Lady Serena Ravenshaw is one of London’s most prosperous women, but she’s never forgotten the misery that set her on the path to success. Nor has she forgotten the drunken young gentleman who gave her the means to start her long, tortuous climb out of the gutter. When he knocks on the door of the Ravenshaw Arms to ask her help in retrieving a stolen family heirloom, she readily agrees to help, and to let him stay rent-free. After all, Serena prefers debts to fall in her favor.

Still grieving the death of his twin brother, Solomon Hathaway just wants to be left alone in his dye-making shop—until his highborn uncle sends him to the infamous Lady Serena to scour London’s underworld for the missing bauble. He’s shocked to discover she’s the same bedraggled waif to whom he once gave his entire quarterly allowance. Yet as they delicately tread common ground, they must negotiate a treacherous world of crime, espionage and betrayal before they can learn to trust—and love—again.

You can read the first chapter here.

The book was in and out of print pretty quickly because of the Dorchester disaster, and I’m thrilled that it can be read again! To celebrate, I’m giving away 5 Lily e-books and a fantabulous gift basket (not literally. There is no actual basket)!
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Plot bunny, free to a good home

Another case from Unquiet Lives:

In November 1788, Eleanor Smith confessed to her husband, William, a Northumberland clergyman, that she had been unfaithful and that their youngest child was in fact fathered by her lover. Eleanor and the little boy went to live with her mother and by November 1790 William had gained a separation. Yet he paid maintenance to Eleanor and 2s a week towards the child’s support. Interestingly, when William died in 1812, nearly twenty-two years later, he left no will and Eleanor, described as his widow, was appointed as administrator.

How would you like to see this show up in a book? I always love brought-together-by-a-will plotlines, even when they’re totally ridiculous from a legal standpoint. Some thoughts:

1. The hero is Eleanor’s son by her lover. When Eleanor must return to administer William’s will/estate, he falls in love with William’s poor orphaned niece, who has been serving as William’s hostess and now has nowhere to live.

2. Eleanor is the heroine, and the hero is William’s lawyer. (Is the lawyer also her lover from so many years ago?)

3. The heroine is William’s oldest daughter, whose family was torn apart when she was a little girl. Now she’s reunited with her mother and half-brother and must untangle her complex feelings about the past…I assume she has a long-term suitor she hasn’t been able to trust because of her conflicted feelings about marriage.

What do you think?

Contest: fourpack of signed books!

ETA: This contest is now closed. The winner was Mel K. Congratulations, Mel!

Hi everyone! Every year at RWA I buy signed books to give away. Well, RWA is next week, and somehow I’ve got four books left. So! This month’s winner gets all four!

book cover, beautiful dark-haired woman in a red dress holding a dagger with a castle behind herAssassin’s Gambit by Amy Raby. I have heard really great things about this book!

Vitala Salonius, champion of the warlike game of Caturanga, is as deadly as she is beautiful. She’s a trained assassin for the resistance, and her true play is for ultimate power. Using her charm and wit, she plans to seduce her way into the emperor’s bed and deal him one final, fatal blow, sparking a battle of succession that could change the face of the empire.

As the ruler of a country on the brink of war and the son of a deposed emperor, Lucien must constantly be wary of an attempt on his life. But he’s drawn to the stunning Caturanga player visiting the palace. Vitala may be able to distract him from his woes for a while—and fulfill other needs, as well.

Lucien’s quick mind and considerable skills awaken unexpected desires in Vitala, weakening her resolve to finish her mission. An assassin cannot fall for her prey, but Vitala’s gut is telling her to protect this sexy, sensitive man. Now she must decide where her heart and loyalties lie and navigate the dangerous war of politics before her gambit causes her to lose both Lucien and her heart for good.

***

book cover, a Regency woman flees across a field at nightA Night Like This by Julia Quinn. I love the Smythe-Smiths!

Anne Wynter might not be who she says she is…

But she’s managing quite well as a governess to three highborn young ladies. Her job can be a challenge—in a single week she finds herself hiding in a closet full of tubas, playing an evil queen in a play that might be a tragedy (or might be a comedy—no one is sure), and tending to the wounds of the oh-so-dashing Earl of Winstead. After years of dodging unwanted advances, he’s the first man who has truly tempted her, and it’s getting harder and harder to remind herself that a governess has no business flirting with a nobleman.

Daniel Smythe-Smith might be in mortal danger…

But that’s not going to stop the young earl from falling in love. And when he spies a mysterious woman at his family’s annual musicale, he vows to pursue her, even if that means spending his days with a ten-year-old who thinks she’s a unicorn. But Daniel has an enemy, one who has vowed to see him dead. And when Anne is thrown into peril, he will stop at nothing to ensure their happy ending…

***

book cover, a redhead in green satin embraces a shirtless man in a kiltThe Duke’s Perfect Wife by Jennifer Ashley. I haven’t read this one yet, but The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie is on my keeper shelf.

Lady Eleanor Ramsay is the only one who knows the truth about Hart Mackenzie. Once his fiancee, she is the sole woman to whom he could ever pour out his heart.

Hart has it all—a dukedom, wealth, power, influence, whatever he desires. Every woman wants him—his seductive skills are legendary. But Hart has sacrificed much to keep his brothers safe, first from their brutal father, and then from the world. He’s also suffered loss—his wife, his infant son, and the woman he loved with all his heart though he realized it too late.

Now, Eleanor has reappeared on Hart’s doorstep, with scandalous nude photographs of Hart taken long ago. Intrigued by the challenge in her blue eyes—and aroused by her charming, no-nonsense determination—Hart wonders if his young love has come to ruin him…or save him.

***

A blond woman in a red dress smiles at the reader, her arm around a shirtless guy who looks kind of like Paul Rudd

A Woman Entangled by Cecilia Grant. It is no secret that Cecilia Grant is one of my favorite Regency authors. You can read my gushing rec of this book at my Booklikes.

Kate Westbrook has dreams far bigger than romance. Love won’t get her into London’s most consequential parties, nor prevent her sisters from being snubbed and looked down upon—all because their besotted father unadvisedly married an actress. But a noble husband for Kate would deliver a future most suited to the granddaughter of an earl. Armed with ingenuity, breathtaking beauty, and the help of an idle aunt with connections, Kate is poised to make her dreams come true. Unfortunately, a familiar face—albeit a maddeningly handsome one—appears bent on upsetting her scheme.

Implored by Kate’s worried father to fend off the rogues eager to exploit his daughter’s charms, Nick Blackshear has set aside the torch he’s carried for Kate in order to do right by his friend. Anyway, she made quite clear that his feelings were not returned—though policing her won’t abate Nick’s desire. Reckless passion leads to love’s awakening, but time is running out. Kate must see for herself that the charms of high society are nothing compared to the infinite sweet pleasures demanded by the heart.

Any requests for who I should get books signed by this year? Take a look at this humongous list of authors participating in the RWA Literacy Autographing and let me know!

Just comment on this post to enter. As always, if you want to be alerted when a new contest goes up, I recommend signing up for my newsletter.

US and Canada only. Sorry guys! I promise I will start shipping international again as soon as I can.

NB: I got these books signed at a conference. The authors aren’t involved in the giveaway and the books aren’t personalized.

New cover for True Pretenses!

EEEEE, the cover’s been finalized for True Pretenses (Lively St. Lemeston #2, coming in January 2015)!

A redheaded woman pushes a dark-haired man's shirt open, fading into a snowy scene with an English country house

I love it SO MUCH OMG OMG OMG. And doesn’t that guy remind you a little of David Duchovny?

Never steal a heart unless you can afford to lose your own.

Through sheer force of will, Ash Cohen raised himself and his younger brother from the London slums to become the best of confidence men. He’s heartbroken to learn Rafe wants out of the life, but determined to grant his brother his wish.

It seems simple: find a lonely, wealthy woman. If he can get her to fall in love with Rafe, his brother will be set. There’s just one problem—Ash can’t take his eyes off her.

Heiress Lydia Reeve is immediately drawn to the kind, unassuming stranger who asks to tour her family’s portrait gallery. And if she married, she could use the money from her dowry for her philanthropic schemes. The attraction seems mutual and oh so serendipitous—until she realizes Ash is determined to matchmake for his younger brother.

When Lydia’s passionate kiss puts Rafe’s future at risk, Ash is forced to reveal a terrible family secret. Rafe disappears, and Lydia asks Ash to marry her instead. Leaving Ash to wonder—did he choose the perfect woman for his brother, or for himself?

Warning: Contains secrets and pies.