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: “A Shocking Delight” by Jo Beverley

When I asked what authors you’d like to see me give away signed books by, of you requested Jo Beverley. So here is a signed copy of A Shocking Delight!

blonde woman by a window through which can be seen a ship at seaThe man she shouldn’t want. The woman he shouldn’t marry…

David Kerslake, smuggling master from The Dragon’s Bride, is now Earl of Wyvern and must survive the ton as well as the Preventive Officers.

Lucy Potter, daughter of a wealthy merchant, is more interested in trade than in the men after her dowry. When forced to have a London season, she sets out to enjoy herself rather than to find a husband. But once she meets the notorious Earl of Wyvern, her resolve weakens, and when they kiss, it dissolves—even though her instincts warn he’s dangerous.

Wyvern has a dark secret, which means he must win a rich bride. Lucinda Potter seems ideal. Not for her beauty and her lively charm, but because at first meeting she seems unlikely to realize the truth.

As he comes to know her, however, as they spar and kiss, he realizes she’s too clever and honest by far. Marrying Lucy would mean living a lie with the woman he has come to love…

This book looks AWESOME, y’all. The rules:

1. Comment on this post to enter.
2. The winner will be chosen at random using random.org.
3. US and Canada only.
4. Open for entries through November 20th.
5. I got this book signed at a conference. Ms. Beverley isn’t involved in the giveaway. So if you want to tell her how much you love her books, visit her website. (But here you CAN tell ME how much you love them!)

If you’d like to be alerted when new contests go up (wait till you see the gift basket I’m getting ready for the release of True Pretenses!), you can sign up for my newsletter.

Good luck!

Leveragérables: There’s a new world for the winning

x-posted from my tumblr.

I have been thinking of nothing but a Leverage/Les Misérables mash-up for DAYS.

The scene opens in a French galley. A prisoner about to be released is brought to see the guard.

Nate in a jail cell with gold buttons photoshopped onto his coat to make him look like Javert

NATE: You are a thief!
SOPHIE: I stole a loaf of bread!

Sophie in a striped shirt with "24601" photoshopped onto the shoulder
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New contest: Theresa Romain’s Holiday Pleasures series

ETA: This contest is now closed. Bonnie won the books!

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?