historical romance

All posts tagged historical romance

Guest Author Rhiannon Wellman with Lightsong Dynasty

Published June 24, 2016 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Well, it’s Friday and a day of rather a lot of unrest and upset in the UK. I am feeling very disappointed and worried, but shall perhaps chat more about that later. For now though, I’m cheered by the fact I have the fab Rhiannon Wellman visiting to chat about her latest release, The Lightson Dynasty.


Thanks for being here, Rhiannon. So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

I find this question the hardest to answer whenever I’m asked. I’m never sure what I should say or what a reader would like to know. I’m 34, and wow that’s the first time I’ve had to write that number because it’s my birthday today. Writing is the third biggest passion in my life, after my husband and son. Writing has always been what I do to relax and de-stress, after all, I’m less likely to get arrested for murder for people who annoy/upset me if I only do it in a book.

Aside from a family and my writing, I have a full time job which I’m lucky enough to love which is always a bonus when you spend 13 hours at any one time there.

Aww, well Happy Birthday! Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always made up stories, I used to tell them to my teddies and dolls when I was a little girl. I struggled when I was growing up with dyslexia so reading on my own felt out of reach, so I made up my own. But as I found books that drew me in and didn’t let go until I finished reading no matter how long it took I fell in love with books and the need to create my own was born.

Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

I will literally write anywhere. I’ve been known to write in the bath. I have apps on my phone, or I’ll write in an email to send to my laptop. I write in notebooks I have a tablet that I take if I’m doing a night shift to write in my break time. No special ritual or routine just as long as I have a way to do it I will write.

Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

I write over several genres but the common theme is romance. I’m a romantic at heart and love happy endings. Love in whatever form is special and should be celebrated.

Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

I love to read, and lots of writers have shaped me as a person. ‘The Famous Five’ because that’s what made me read in the first place. ‘The Narnia Chronicles’ because it sparked my imagination in a way other books hadn’t, I’d been on adventures with The Famous Five but always in a setting I could relate to in the sense that they were in the UK doing thing I’d done, go to the beach, picnics or bike riding. Ok not so much catching criminals and saving the day but still. With Narnia, it opened my eyes to other worlds and whole other spheres of possibilities.

As I grew up… ok got older, I discovered Terry Pratchett who taught me so much I wouldn’t have time to tell you all of it if I wrote a thousand words. Things like first thoughts are good but trust your second ones. Make sure you always have a second pair of socks and in the darkest of forests, you should not be afraid because you should be sure that you are the most scary think in it.

Then there’s Harry Potter, seven books with will live in my heart Always.

What five things could you never do without?

My Husband

My Son

My Cats

My books

My writing

In that order

Lightson dynasty_Rhiannon Wellman 200x300Tell us a bit about your new release.

My newest release is The Lightson Dynasty, I loved writing this book. The first of a trilogy I wanted to talk about it because the second book will be out in the next month with the third coming very soon. Here’s the Blurb

Jo isn’t what he seems. Will his grandmother force him to live a life he doesn’t want, or can he figure a way out?

Jo’s life had never been simple. But since he moved in with his grandmother, things only became worse. First, she assumes that Jo stood for Josephine not Joseph. Then she believes all young women should be suitably married, especially her granddaughter, Jo…

So now Jo’s expected to marry a man he’s never met and whose own grandmother also wants the match. But how can he when he must protect his secret?

Marcus would rather spend time with his books and the gentlemen at his club than women, let alone marry one.

With both their grandmothers working against them, will they be able to find their way out of this potentially scandalous situation? After spending time together, will they want to?

Where did your inspiration for it come from?

That’s something I can’t answer, things pop into my head and make themselves comfortable, refusing to leave until I write them.

What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

The misdirection, little bits of humor and generally allowing two people who thought they would never be able to have the love or relationships that others took for granted to find each other and fall in love and be happy.

Also interfering grandmothers who are far wiser than the younger people give them credit for.

What was the hardest part about writing it?

The language, because it’s a historical book I had to be careful of how everyone spoke. I couldn’t use contractions. Honestly you don’t realize how often you use them until you can’t any more, Just look I’ve just used five in this paragraph.

Who’s your favorite character in it? (I know, I know, favoritism!)

I think Jo would have to be my favorite because he was shown by his parents that he could be himself no matter that it meant he wore dresses rather than trousers. And he lived that way, he lived the way that made him happy, no matter what the consequences would have been if he’d been caught. Which back then would have been dire. That takes bravery. It’s a very brave person who knows and accepts themselves, we should all be so lucky.

Why should we run out and buy it right now?

You mean you haven’t been intrigued enough by my little hints yet, hmm well. How about. The second book in the Lightson Dynasty is called The Lightson Child and is written and with my editor. There will be no long wait for part two, no need to wait to find out what happens next in the lives of our two heroes. Yes there is a third book in in the works which will be longer, it is half written though so that will be out by the end of the year.

I invite you to the lives and families of Jo and Marcus. Part of the family of people who live in my head. Come join my family.

If you want to get your hands on a copy the details are here:


And don’t forget to follow Rhiannon on social media:

Take care x



Guest Author Amanda Mariel with Scandalous Redemption

Published May 13, 2016 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Hope you’re all having a good week. Have started properly at the new job this week, so been a little tiring but hey, weekend is here – and it’s off to a great start as I have the fab Amanda Mariel dropping by to chat about her upcoming new release. If you’re looking for a fun historical romance, then look no further 🙂


me 023Thanks for being here, Amanda. So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

Bestselling, Amazon All Star author Amanda Mariel dreams of days gone by when life moved at a slower pace. She enjoys taking pen to paper and exploring historical time periods through her imagination and the written word. When she is not writing she can be found reading, crocheting, traveling, practicing her photography skills, or spending time with her family.

Amanda lives along the Lake Huron shoreline in northern Michigan with her husband and two kids. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts Degree with a concentration in literature and has a long-standing love affair with sugary junk food.

Hehe, yup, I think junk food is slightly essential for an author (or maybe that’s just my excuse!) Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

I almost always write in my kitchen but on occasion I take my lap top into the family room and write from my couch. Normally I like it quite when I write but every so often I will put on music.

Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

I write historical romance in the Victorian, Regency, and medieval time periods. Johanna Lindsey is directly responsible because hers was the first historical romance book I ever read and it started my love affair with the genre. When I started writing I never even considered any other genres.

Ooh, sounds like fun eras to write. Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

Johanna Lindsey! LOL. I have devoured every book she has ever penned.

I do love Johanna Lindsey. I remember Once and Always being one of the first romances I ever read and it definitely helped hook me on the genre 🙂 Speaking of hooked, what five things could you never do without?

This is a hard question! My family is always first and foremost. They are followed by my lap top and internet connection. Books of course rank high on my must have list and I think I will finish off with sweets. I love my junk food.

Lol, definitely a list after my own heart there. Tell us a bit about your new release.

Scandalous Redemption is book three in my bestselling Ladies and Scoundrels series. It is about two very different people with their own life scars and how they work through them to find love in each other’s arms. There is a lot of emotion in this one!

12963551_538488899690891_3513593251838292477_nOoh, we do like all the feels 😉 Where did your inspiration for it come from?

The heroine in Scandalous Redemption first showed up in Scandalous Intentions and I just knew she had to have her story told. The hero has been in every book so far and I always planned to write him a book, I just did not know who is heroine would be until she showed up.

Claudia and Henry’s story is part reality and a lot of fiction. I pulled from my real life experiences and those around me as I crafted their story.

Sounds intriguing! What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

The characters! Henry is a very proper Victorian gentleman and Claudia is his exact opposite. She is spunky and more than a bit scandalous for a Victorian lady. They were tons of fun to write.

Hehe, I do love a historical heroine who can still hold her own 🙂 What was the hardest part about writing it?

The emotions that surfaced in me as I told their story. At two points I had to stop writing and set it aside for a day to catch my breath and regain my composure. Some of the situations just hit to close to home and taxed me as a result.

Aww, it can be a bit traumatic sometimes when the writing really gets to you – I think that means it will get to the reader as well though! Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

That is so hard to answer! The Duchess of Abernathy has been a favorite of mine since I started the series. She will have the final book in the Ladies and Scoundrels series, but this one is not hers. I am going to say Claudia is my favorite for this book. As I said she is spunky and scandalous which makes her a lot of fun.

She sounds like it 😉 Just in case anyone isn’t convinced yet, why should we run out and buy it right now?

LOL! Betas readers have called it the best one yet. I completely agree with them, but then, I am partial.

Hehe, I think it’s hard not to be when you’ve already got so attached to your charcters – but I know I’m definitely convinced 🙂

If you want to know more, the book details are here:

Scandalous Redemption RevisedBlurb

She never wanted him…

Ruined by scandal, Claudia Akford survived years of marriage to a cruel brute. Widowed, she is determined to regain her standing in society, but Lord Shillington personifies temptation. Kind and gentle, yet masculine and sinfully handsome, he would make the perfect lover, but he wants more than she is willing to give.

He needed her…

While Henry Shillington knows a little of the beautiful but notorious Lady Claudia Akford, he is struck by her kindhearted, accomplished, and witty demeanor. The more time he spends in her company, the more he dreams of a future with her. But the lady resists his honorable overtures, and a mistress will never do for him.

Can two wary people overcome past hurts, an old scandal, and social strictures to embrace true love?

Scandalous Redemption releases on the 31st May but you can already pre-order your copy here:


Don’t forget to follow Amanda on social media to stay updated on her news and releases:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorAmandaMarie1

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/AmandaMarieAuth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10209362.Amanda_Marie

Website: http://amandamarieauthor.wix.com/amandamariel

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bQgkbr

Take care x


Guest Author Michele Stegman with Fortune’s Foe

Published April 15, 2016 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Weekend treat – we have two blog posts today 🙂 (hopefully you aren’t sick of me yet lol). I’m thrilled to have the wonderful Michele Stegman visiting today to chat about her new release Fortune’s Foe. If you hadn’t read Michele’s work before, she’s an amazingly talented historical romance author – and her latest features a Spanish pirate hero. Sounds like just what the doctor ordered for the weekend 🙂 Take it away, Michele.


Thank you so much hosting me today, Shelli.

I have been fascinated with history all my life. Even as a child I would ask my grandmother how old things were in her house and wanted her to tell me about them. It only makes sense that I became a history major and now a writer of historical romance. I always wanted to live in an old house, too. Our home is an 1840’s log cabin which my husband and I rebuilt. And I have tried to learn old crafts, too. I am a hand spinner and weaver, and make my own soap. I hope all this helps bring authenticity to my writing.

I began writing in grade school. As soon as I realized that books were written by people, I wanted to be one of those people. And of course, I wanted to write historical fiction. But it was when someone handed me one of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s books that I found my real love–historical romance.

Fortune’s Foe came about because I always like to do something different in my books. In so many pirate books and movies, the Spanish are the bad guys. So I decided to write a book with a Spanish hero. After all, I was sure they also had great romances. But how could I have a Spanish hero and an English heroine at a time when their countries were bitter enemies? It took me a while to come up with a plot, and a lot of research to make it work, but Fortune’s Foe is the result of, literally, years of work.

I also like to put humor in my books. I really love to read dark heroes (Laura Kinsale,) but when I write, I just have to keep it light. Even though Fortune’s Foe is set during a war, and includes prisoners of war, a heroine who risks her life to free her brother, and a bitter family feud, there is a lot of humor in the book. I also prefer serious romances with a lot of history (Jo Beverley, Roberta Gellis.) I do try to put a lot of accurate history in my books, but not so much that it overwhelms the story. I will sometimes spend weeks, or in the case of Fortune’s Foe, years, trying to find some piece of historical information to make my book authentic.

For me, the hardest part of writing this book was the research, digging up the information I needed. For instance, there is nothing left of Ft. Mose, the fort the prisoners were trying to restore. Yes, that fort was rebuilt, but later, and on a different site. That second Ft. Mose has been extensively excavated. But the original fort, the one in my story, is now under about six feet of water, so there were only a few written records about it.

I can’t say that there was an easy part of writing Fortune’s Foe, but every finished scene was a joy, especially those scenes where the heroine interacted with her two brothers and I was able to show their very different personalities and their deep love for one another. This book is the first of a series dealing with four siblings. Each book will stand alone, but the four siblings do make appearances in the other books. The second book, Fortune’s Pride is already available. I still have to write the other two!

Shelli asked me which character is my favorite. Well, of course, I like my hero and heroine, but I have a fondness for my secondary characters. In Fortune’s Foe, I really like Soledad. She is a strong woman. The love of her life escaped brutal slavery in South Carolina and went to St. Augustine, Florida. She followed him there and the heroine’s brother and father helped her. Historically, a lot of African-Americans escaped slavery in the American colonies to find homes in the Spanish colony of St. Augustine. Ft. Mose was manned by these escaped slaves and was the first line of defense for the Spanish. That is why Ft. Mose was destroyed in the attack by the English in 1740, and where 20 Englishmen were taken prisoner. One of them is my heroine’s brother, which is why she is comes to St. Augustine, and how she comes to meet her Spanish hero.

History, thoroughly researched but applied with a light hand, liberally sprinkled with humor, and a love story that will make you wonder how it can ever end up happily, is what you will find in Fortune’s Foe.

Ooh, well I think I’m convinced. Here’s the blurb for Fortune’s Foe:

fortunes_foe_1000-200x300War made them enemies…In the midst of a raging war, Mariette Fortune’s brother will die if she doesn’t rescue him–especially if the Spanish discover they hold captive the son of the infamous privateer, Sean Fortune. But she didn’t count on falling in love with their guard–a man whose life depends on keeping the English prisoners from escaping.

Alejandro de Silva knows there is more to the lovely Mestiza woman he has hired to keep his house…more than she will admit. Regardless, he cannot help falling in love with her. But he never dreams she is an English spy, whose presence in Spanish St. Augustine will put both their lives in deadly peril.

Now Mariette must choose between saving the life of her brother…or the enemy Spaniard she has come to love.

And you can get your hands on a copy here:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fortunes-Foe-Michele-Stegman-ebook/dp/B006DHZZIG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457726523&sr=8-1&keywords=fortune%27s+foe

Mythical Press: http://mythicalpress.com/books/fortunes-foe/


Take care x

Guest Author J.M.Powers with Jewel of Ramstone

Published April 1, 2016 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Woot, it’s Friday and it’s April, hope you’re all starting a nice weekend. You may have noticed we have two blog posts today – if you’re looking for the A to Z Challenge it’s the next one down. However, you’d be missing out if you didn’t at least stay and visit first, sinc I have the fab J.M.Powers dropping by to chat about her fantastic new release, Jewel of Ramstone – if you’re looking for a great historical romance read for the weekend, look no further 🙂

Thanks so much for being here JM. So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

Well, I pretty much grew up surrounded by bookcases. My parents instilled the love of reading. On the rare occasions when my little nose wasn’t buried between the pages of a book, I invented stories for my younger siblings. I never outgrew storytelling, and now I create feisty and unconventional characters to star in my novels. New worlds swirl in my mind with such intensity, I end up scribbling thoughts on anything handy. I plunge so deep into my medieval world of writing; I tend to forget to make dinner.

Hehe, I’ve had the one where I forget I’ve actually put dinner on and get engrossed in some scribbles, until that lovely burning smell starts to fill the house… Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

There was. My third grade teacher gave me an F (failing grade) on a story I wrote. However, what upset me even more was the note she scribbled across the top of my paper: You did not write this. Shame on you.

I stared at those words, wounded to tears. I told my father. He was furious. The next day, he marched into the classroom just as we were being dismissed. I was mortified. He slammed my story-filled binders on the teacher’s desk so hard, the teacher jumped. I just sat at my desk, too stunned to move. My father “requested” she read the stories I wrote just for fun. He then added, “Shame on you for discouraging such talent!” Wow. I went from embarrassed to proud in a span of seconds. That was the defining moment I knew: I am a writer. Later, the teacher told me to never stop writing. Obviously, I never did.

Wow, I think there’s a compliment in there somewhere, so glad it ended up inspiring you! Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

No routine to speak of, I just let my imagination lead me. Sometimes I look up from the computer and realize I wrote through the night. Sunrises are beautiful…so is face-planting into the pillow after watching it.

Lol, oh yes, am no stranger to the ‘up all night’ thing. Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

I love historical romance, especially the medieval era. I have always been fascinated by the era. I even had a reoccurring “medieval” nightmare as a child that went on for years…. but that’s another story.

Ooh, now we’re intrigued. Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

Wow. There are too many books to count. I love Jean M. Auel’s Earth Children series. (I even named my daughter after the main character, Ayla.) I also love Terry Goodkind’s, Sword of Truth Series.

However, when it comes to inspiration, there’s an author who stands out: Deborah MacGillilvray. I must have read her book, A Restless Knight, 20 times over the years. It inspired me to pursue publishing as an adult. Though, at the time, I didn’t know Deborah personally, she reached out to me on Facebook. I had commented on her post regarding that book’s 10th’anniversary. Funny, I never liked Facebook until then. Ha! All joking aside, Deborah MacGillivray, my long-time idol, ended up reading Jewel of Ramstone and loved it! Goes to show you, you never know who you may meet in social media.

Aww, that’s wonderful. Must be a real confidence boost as well! What five things could you never do without?

Family, Faith, Friends, (I swear, I’m not trying to alliterate.) Chocolate and Coffee are the last two. (And there I go again.)

Hehe, we’ll let you off, cause chocolate and caffeine are pretty much essential 😉 Tell us a bit about your new release.

jeweloframstone_800This novel has been through so much. Poor thing has survived two folded publishing houses. However, thanks to Totally Entwined Group, Jewel of Ramstone has found a home! I’m very excited about the re-release. Thanks to my editor, Shannon Combs, I’m very happy with this polished jewel. (*Giggle* I couldn’t resist.)

Here’s the blurb from Jewel of Ramstone, Book 1 of Medieval Quest Series:

A maiden, unable to recall who she is, must battle evil to regain the memory of her past and the hope of a future.

Awakening in the forest, a young maiden recalls naught—including her name. Equally conflicting is her desire to both slap and kiss Sir Galeron, the knight who claims to have protected her while she was unconscious. Much to her chagrin, he dubs her Ruby of the Forest, due to her red hair, and insists she find refuge at his home of Ramstone. Prickling at his demanding ways, but with no other option, she accepts his offer. His kiss flames her attraction even more, but Galeron dashes it with a confession. The brute is trothed to another.

Ruby’s journey is filled with laughter and weeping, daydreams and discovered abilities. Her heart longs for a future that her past may destroy. Evil lurks, treading on each tidbit of memory she recovers. Will Ruby ever recall her past? And after an attack in the village that sparks a horrific memory, does she even want to?

Ooh, sounds good. Where did your inspiration for it come from?

Oh, now here is where that reoccurring nightmare comes in. I’ve tried to recall when it started, and finally concluded that it must have been when I was very young, because I couldn’t remember a time without it haunting my childhood. It stopped when I was around twelve years old. Many years later… it returned. However, it did not creep into my bedroom and haunt my nights. Somehow, the fearful remnants of that nightmare that resided deep in my mind transformed into something pure and good. How? Well it inspired a plot in Jewel of Ramstone. Oddly enough, a terrible nightmare made my dream come true.

Aww, that’s lovely that something so positive came out of a nightmare. What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

More than anything, I loved spending hours talking about the characters and scenarios with my sister, Cheryl, who’s also a writer. The plot twists, and timelines were so important to this story, and being able to bounce ideas off of her was exciting, and fun.

What was the hardest part about writing it?

The research. Loads and loads of research about the medieval way of life.

Hehe, yup, I must admit it’s not usually top of my list either, but it sounds like it could be fascinating in parts. Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

Ruby. She is feisty and strong, but still has a softness, and vulnerability about her. She is a bit afraid to love, but brave enough to follow her heart.

So, just in case we’re not all convinced already, why should we run out and buy it right now?

Because, the story will grab you and keep you enthralled. From what I’ve heard from beta readers, and others who’ve read this book, you will become downright immersed in the story. The characters will come alive for you. Some still talk about the handsome knights, Galeron, and Jac. They jokingly fight over how one or the other is “their man.” Women relate to Ruby and Sarah’s friendship. Mother’s adore the little lad, Jadon. Several men have told me how the battle scenes were ‘visual’ in their minds.

That, in my humble opinion, is why you need to run out and buy Jewel of Ramstone right now. I promise you won’t be disappointed. I know I sound like I’m tooting my own horn. I’m not. I simply want to share the world of Ramstone, and the quest to find answers to a lost maiden’s past…as well discover secrets harbored within Ramstone’s walls.

Well, I think that’s me sold 🙂 For the rest of you, you can get your hands on a copy here:


Buy links:

Totally Bound Publishing https://www.totallybound.com/book/jewel-of-ramstone

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Jewel-Ramstone-Medieval-Quest-Book-ebook/dp/B01BVC7DXM

And don’t forget to follow JM so you can keep up with her releases and news:

JM’s blog: http://jmpowersromance.blogspot.com


Take care x

Guest Author Donovan J Brooks with A Dame to Die For

Published March 13, 2016 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Happy Sunday! Hope you’re having a great weekend. I’m thrilled to have the fab Donovan J Brooks visiting today. He’s chatting about his new release, A Dame to Die For, which takes us to the fabulous 40s era -film noir, detectives, burlesque. What’s not to love?


Thanks so much for being here, Donovan. So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

Donovan J Brooks Author AvatarInspired by characters such as Captain Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter, black and white films, and vintage burlesque, I seek to capture the forbidden and erotic side of a decade rich with vibrant hues. I have an affinity for the 1940s, parboiled detectives, murder mysteries, and sexy, sultry dames. Erotic moments can be triggered by a brush of the fingers, a heated glance, or a daring confession. My goal is to capture these scenes and paint them with words. Romance varies but should never be limited, especially when the characters speak in authoritative tones.

I will admit to a bit of an Agent Carter obsession at the moment, there really is something about that era. Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

I never had an ‘ah ha’ moment, no. I just started writing and my friend who also writes said to keep going. So I did. She had faith in me. I still harbor doubts. But I enjoy writing, so I’ll keep doing it.

Aww, it’s lovely to find that support and faith from someone, isn’t it? Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

Visual stimulation. I like to watch fan-made videos and scan through Tumblr for inspiration for my stories. I have a serious obsession with the 1940s and noir. So I gravitate toward noir and detective films. Also Captain America and Peggy Carter. I’ve said it more than once, but I’ll say it again. Those two inspire me in many ways. As does Bucky and Cap…just read ‘Til the End of the Line and you’ll see what I mean.

Don’t need to sell me on Bucky *drools a bit* er, yes, so where were we? Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

I write historical erotic fiction. At least that’s what I call it.

My first story, ‘Til the End of the Line, wasn’t a romance, but it had a lot of erotic elements. Both m/m and m/f. A Dame to Die For had a very different tone. Much more a historical romantic erotica with mystery and suspense.

Every good action movie has its sexy scenes and romance. My stories are no different. I enjoy seeing these elements combined, so I write it. Simple and straightforward.

Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

I love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. A good mystery can never go wrong. I hope to venture into that territory at some point, but of course it’ll have a bit more spice in my books.

Hmm, I could get on board with a sexy Agatha Christie-style 😉 What five things could you never do without?

A good book, hearty meal, cold drink, a willing woman, and a soft bed. I’m a simple man, as I’ve said before.

Hey, nothing wrong with the essentials lol! Tell us a bit about your new release.

A Dame to Die For is a detective story in the noir style set amidst the backdrop of New York City in 1946. Jack Hunter has returned from the war and taken on the hardship of detective work. The woman he left behind suddenly draws him in, requesting his help to find her missing sister. Add a little burlesque, a bit of intrigue, an estranged sister, a complicated relationship, not to mention a shady past, and you have all the makings of an adventure toward disaster.

Do I have your attention yet? *grins*

Hehe, yup, I’m definitely intrigued! Where did your inspiration for it come from?

Chris Evans and Hayley Atwell. My friend I told you about earlier. She’s got the hots for Evans. I kinda have a thing for Ms. Atwell. After finding some fantastic pictures of both of them, my characters just fell into place and took on lives of their own.

Heaven help me if either of them ever read this story. I may die of embarrassment at my confession.

Lol, surely that will mean you’ve made it ‘big’ though – and hey, they might be flattered 🙂 What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

Uncovering the story as I wrote. I’m a pantser. So I went into this story completely blind. Every detail was revealed to me as I wrote, some parts making me pause in surprise. Not knowing what was going to happen next made the journey interesting.

That is always my favourite part about writing – having no idea what’s going to happen and being taken along on the journey with the characters 🙂 What was the hardest part about writing it?

Keeping Kelley and Steve quiet. They’re the main characters from ‘Til the End of the Line. They do make an appearance in A Dame to Die For. Several times they nearly took over the story for themselves, but I set them straight.

Hehe, yup pesky secondary characters can be a real pain! Speaking of – who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

I love all my characters equally. Lily has to take that spot as my favorite though. Because I modeled her after Hayley. Strong and sassy with a hint of snark.

She sounds like someone I’d want to meet 🙂 So, just in case we’re not convinced already, why should we run out and buy it right now?

For the burlesque performance scene alone. Picture Jack standing in the center of the stage with the spotlight blazing on him as Lily slowly performs her dance using him as a prop. Oh, it’s sinful and delicious. That scene alone is worth it.

The snarky banter is also totally worth it. These characters are a riot. You should check it out.

*fans self* well I’m off to buy it 😉 The book details are here:

A Dame To Die ForBlurb

1946, New York City

I missed her. Five years in the army and I wanted her more than I had before I left. When she sent for me, I should have said no. Maybe I’m still a dumb kid with a soft spot for dames in a jam.

Lily knew it. When her dancer sister went missing from the Burlesque joint on 52nd, she banked on me coming to her rescue. But the past caught up and pulled us both under. I keep asking myself—is she worth dying for?

You can get your hands on a copy here:

Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/jtsbrjg

Nook: http://tinyurl.com/hvdmy5s

Smashwords: http://tinyurl.com/hghyw2x

And don’t forget to follow Donovan on social media to stay up to date on his news and releases:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Donovan-J-Brooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DapperDonovan

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Donovan-J.-Brooks/e/B0161HKT3I/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DonovanJBrooks

Have a great weekend x


Guest Author Kirsten Blacketer with At Winter’s Demand

Published February 28, 2016 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Hope you’ve all been having a lovely weekend 🙂 After a busy week and a really fun gig on Friday night, it’s been nice to have a quiet few days and start to catch up on some writing. Plus, today I have the fab Kirsten Blacketer dropping by. Kirsten is one of my favourite historical romance writers, so I’m excited to hear all about her new release, At Winter’s Demand 🙂



Thanks for being here, Kirsten. So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

Stick her in the middle of a chaotic home with two children, a hyperactive dog, and a camouflage wearing husband, and she can cook and clean with the best of them. But when the sun goes down and the children are nestled in bed fast asleep, she tucks away her pots and broom and like Cinderella she transforms.

Her characters creep forth from the dark recesses of her mind taking their places in the castles and forests built from her words. No simpering heroines linger there with forlorn gazes turned to the horizon, waiting for their Prince Charming. They straighten their spine, arming themselves with blade and bow, prepared to do their part in defense of their honor and destiny. She breathes life into the women she believes our ancestors to be, showing how they lived and loved with passion and grace.

Never bored by the tales still left to tell, she battles the ever sarcastic muse in her quest for romance.

I do love strong heroines 🙂 Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

When I was fifteen, I fell in love with the idea of being a writer. I had a fantastic English teacher in 8th grade and another in 10th grade. Both of these men encouraged me to pursue my love of the written word.

I worked very hard to get from that point to this one. Looking back on my early works, I’m proud of how far I’ve come.

Aww, it’s lovely when you get that level of encouragement and inspiration from a teacher. Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

Coffee, music, and writing. All three are needed for survival. *wink* Oh, and silence. I can’t write when my husband and kids are home. Too much chaos to focus on the romance. Hahaha.

Lol, I know the feeling! I need silence, but then not complete silence 🙂 Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

Romance. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic at heart, ever since I was a little girl. I loved Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid. Romance is in my blood. I love that I’m guaranteed a happy ending with a romance novel. Little else in life has such a guarantee.

Oooh, I remember growing up on those films as well. Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

I love Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen. Both of these women have inspired me to some extent. I’ve also been inspired by some fantastic contemporary romance authors like Teresa Medeiros and Tara Janzen.

Big Austenphile here! What five things could you never do without?

1. Coffee

2. Chocolate

3. Tom Hiddleston

4. My family

5. Romance novels

Hehe, I hope you’re sharing Tom – that man needs a cloning machine 😉 *coughs* Moving on, tell us a bit about your new release.

At Winter’s Demand is the second book in the Thieves of Winter Series set in Victorian England around 1896. The first book, Jewel of Winter, establishes the scene and plot, but each novella focuses on a different character and his relationship. Edmund is first, then Simon. I’m working on Under Winter’s Control, which is book 3, and focuses on Monty’s story. The plot arches over the three books and their timelines overlap, but each novella is a single couple’s romance.

At Winter’s Demand follows Simon in his mission to recover jewels that disappeared in the first book. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you want the full effect of the story, it would be wise to start the series by reading Jewel of Winter first.

I would definitely recommend Jewel of Winter – great read! Where did your inspiration for it come from?

I play Japanese visual novel games (Otome games) on my iPad in my spare time (ahahahaha, that’s a joke…spare time. *sobs*) One of my favorite games is called Kissed by the Baddest Bidder. Three of the characters from that game inspired my heroes in the Thieves of Winter Series: Edmund, Simon, and Monty. All of whom are hiding secrets. *shhhhh* No spoilers here.

Hehe, well now we’re intrigued 😉 What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

Following the characters. I love letting them lead me. I often plot just the basic structure of the story and let them have free reign. It’s exhilarating to let them take control of their own destiny.

True, sometimes it’s just a question of hanging on and seeing where the characters take you lol! What was the hardest part about writing it?

Actually writing. I can find a million ways to put off my daily word count goal. But actually forcing myself to sit down and write. That’s the hardest part for me.

I feel you, there’s always just too many distractions in the way *sighs* Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

I have a soft spot for all three of my heroes (Edmund, Simon, and Monty), but Simon is by far the most complex. He’s hiding lots of secrets, plus he’s the strong, silent type, which is a total turn on for me.

Hey, I think we’re all with you there 😉 So, just in case we’re not convinced yet, why should we run out and buy it right now?

Because Simon isn’t who you think he is. He’s hiding things…like his sinister past. So are Edmund and Monty. You really need to dive in and read these books because they’re not your typical historical romance adventures.

Ooh, well I think that’s my reading for the week sorted. Here’s the book details:

At Winters Demand Cover.jpgBlurb

A spirited country girl at the mercy of a silent thief harboring a dangerous secret.

Working at the inn Judith fears a constant state of boredom. One snowy night, three strange gentlemen appear and topple her quiet haven into chaos. The leader kidnaps her sister, leaving her under the stern eye of his silent compatriot. Her sister had warned her one day she’d cross the line. With him, that doesn’t take more than a frying pan to the head.

Simon detests disorder. Edmund charged him with one mission: find the jewels. But he never counted on a feisty, curvaceous hellcat standing in his way. She demands to be reunited with her sister in London, and Simon is more than willing to leave her on his friend’s doorstep. When she’s kidnapped at King’s Cross Station, he must summon all his unsavory resources to find the woman who unwittingly stole his heart.

And you can get your hands on a copy here:

Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/hej5sx2

Nook: http://tinyurl.com/goof97m

iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/huvhbsf

Smashwords: http://tinyurl.com/z7y53ns

And don’t forget to follow Kirsten on social media to keep up-to-date with all her news and releases 🙂

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KirBlacketer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KirstenSBlacketerAuthor

Tumblr: http://kblackship.tumblr.com/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Kirsten35

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7223054.Kirsten_S_Blacketer

Subscribe to my Blog: http://kirstensblacketer.com/

Subscribe to my Newsletter: http://kirstensblacketer.us11.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=ca0c6667d9e02463015064502&id=c6f8640f0c

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend x

Paperback Release – Conquest of the Heart by Michele Stegman

Published October 16, 2015 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

So, it’s Friday (yay!) and the weekend is pretty much here. It’s been a slightly frazzling week with one thing and another, but things are looking up. Firstly, there is an awesome-looking artisan cheesecake just opened near me and have talked some friends into going to check it out this afternoon – hey, I’ve earned cheesecake this week 😉 Secondly, I have the lovely Michele Stegman visiting and her fab historical romance is now out in paperback. There’s always a little more exciting about have that hard copy you can hold in your hands!


Her people conquered his country.

In 1067 England, Madeline, a Norman, wants a big, brash, never-defeated-in-battle, Norman knight. What she gets, by order of the king, is a wiry Saxon who once studied for the priesthood instead of warfare. But is this gentle man she is falling in love with entangled in the rebellion now sweeping the land?

Now she must conquer his heart.

Ranulf wants to marry the girl next door. What he gets, by order of the king, is a lush, strong Norman woman who just might be a spy reporting his every move. He wants her in every way a man can possibly want a woman. But can he trust his heart to a woman who might have been sent to root out the struggle for freedom his people are engaged in? How can they overcome the distrust they feel to find love?


He let his gaze travel back to his bride walking stiffly, reluctantly, toward him. For once, Ranulf felt speech was beyond him. She was so much more than he had expected. So beautiful. So clean. She glittered like a bright jewel in a dung heap. For Etherby, no matter how much he loved it, was not much better than one right now.

If only he could say to this magnificent woman, “Go away. Come back in a year. Give me time to build the castle the king has ordered, tear down this rotting hall, teach cleanliness to servants to whom filth is a way of life. Then you won’t have to grit your teeth and square our shoulders as if going into battle as you come to wed me.” But it was already too late. She was here. The wedding was now. And he felt as randy as a billy goat.

He would begin building the king’s castle immediately. The work would distract him from Lady Madeline’s seductive lure. She would find no treason with which to fill the king’s ears, and, like his mother’s attitude toward his father, he was sure the lady would be glad not to have him in her bower, not the way he felt now, the things he wanted to do to her.

Oooh, it sounds good! If, like me, you like having the shiny paperback version, you can buy it here:


Mythical Press

Or if you’d prefer the ebook version, you can get it here:


Barnes and Noble



Michele Stegman has always loved history and she lives it every day. She spins, weaves, makes her own soap and bread, and lives in a 175 year old log cabin with her husband, Ron, who is the basis for all her heroes.

You can contact Michele on her website, http://www.MicheleStegman.com, or on her Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/MicheleStegmanAuthor

Release Day & Review – Scandalous Intentions by Amanda Mariel

Published June 19, 2015 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

I’m really happy to welcome the lovely Amanda Mariel today, who has a new release out, Scandalous Intentions. (Sounds good already right?) If you’re a fan of historical romance then this one is for you.

SI 4

When faced with losing his inheritance, notorious rake Lord Julian Luvington sets his sights on Lady Sarah. She’s as respectable as they come—just what his father ordered. However, the lady shall not be easily won.
She’s determined to marry for love or not at all, and she’ll do anything to obtain the freedom granted to men. A blackguard like Lord Luvington could destroy her hard-won reputation, but marriage to him also offers her the opportunities she can’t achieve on her own. What’s a lady to do?
When Lord Luvington refuses to abandon his pursuit, Lady Sarah proposes an arrangement. Only, the price may be more than either bargained for. Lady Sarah could lose more than her social standing, and Julian could lose his heart.
SI 4

I was also lucky enough to get my grubby mitts on a review copy – so here’s what I thought 🙂

SI 24 Stars

This was a fun and charming Regency romance. Julian is an acknowledged rake, but now he is being forced by his father to get married or he will lose his inheritance. He sets his sights on the Lady Sarah, and while she might attracted to him then she’s very wary of his reputation and determined to marry only for love.Sarah was a strong, smart woman, and it was amusing to see her working round the rules of society to still mess up all Julian’s plans. The sparring between them was witty and well-written, and the chemistry came across well. There were of course the usual misunderstandings and roadblocks along the way, for the most part these were well done.

There were a few points where I would have liked a little more detail, for example Julian’s motivation for initially choosing Sarah to pursue were a little vague, he thought she seemed like she had more passion than the other woman in the ton. I would have liked to have seen a little background or some earlier interactions that showed why he felt that. Also Sarah’s change of heart was rather sudden, especially after being so adamant that she only wanted a love match. I was also slightly expecting to learn a bit more about Julian’s father, after other characters kept defending his behaviour I thought perhaps there might be a reason for it, but nothing was explained.

That said, it was an enjoyable read, with likeable characters and it kept my interest throughout. If you’re a fan of historical romance I would recommend.

SI 4

So, where can you get hold of it? Well, the buy links are here 🙂

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00YTETKJ0
Amazon.UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00YTETKJ0
All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-scandalousintentions-1820882-162.html
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/scandalous-intentions

Author Bio and Links

Amanda Mariel dreams of days gone by when life moved at a slower pace. She enjoys taking pen to paper and exploring historical time periods through her imagination and the written word. Her hobbies include reading, writing, crocheting, traveling, photography, and spending time with her family. Some of Amanda Mariel’s favorite places in the continental U.S. are Harper’s Ferry West Virginia and Sea Brook New Hampshire. She loves the history that surrounds them and visits every chance she gets.
Amanda Mariel lives along the Lake Huron shore line in northern Michigan with her husband and two kids. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts Degree with a concentration in literature and has a long standing love affair with sugary junk food.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorAmandaMarie1
Blog http://musingsbymandy.wordpress.com/
Email amandamarieauthor@gmail.com
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/AmandaMarieAuth
Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RKDC3CI
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10209362.Amanda_Marie
Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/794424853928522/
Website: http://amandamarieauthor.wix.com/amandamariel
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bhkzmj

Hope you enjoy!

Guest Post – The Shrew That Tames by Michele Stegman

Published March 17, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

It’s Monday again – they do seem to come round quick! – but I have a cure for the Monday blues 🙂 The fab Michele Stegman is visiting to talk about her new release, The Shrew That Tames, as you may have guessed from the title, it’s a re-imagining of the Shakespeare play. I’m intrigued already, so will pass over to Michele to tell us more!

Yes, I love history. Even as a child I loved old things. I would ask my grandmother how old her things were and always hoped they would be older than me, older than she was, from another century. My mother and mother-in-law both bought antiques, some of which have now been passed on to me.

Old things seem to have character, a presence that I don’t find in new furniture or pictures or jewelry. My husband and I went on sabbatical once for a year. We lived in a rented apartment with borrowed furniture. After a while I began to miss having antiques around me. I packed up the kids, took them to an antique store and spent an hour just touching the old furniture and relics from the past. I went home feeling soothed.

So when I write historical fiction, I feel very comfortable “in the past.” It’s also why I prefer reading and writing historical fiction. Somehow, the characters and the settings seem so much richer to me than a contemporary story.

If I hadn’t felt this way all my life, I’d say I must be getting old! But there is still that love of modern technology I have. I’ve been a “Trekkie” since the first episode of Star Trek, and came out of the theater ready to conquer new worlds when I first saw Star Wars. I’ve read science fiction since my discovery of Andre Norton and The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet in grade school.

In The Shrew That Tames, I “modernized” Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew but still kept it in the past, setting it in the Regency period. And I twisted that old tale into a pretzel. I always thought Shakespeare’s poor Kate was misunderstood and abused. I certainly didn’t let that happen to my Katherine! I guess my love of the past doesn’t include a disregard of women’s hard earned rights!

Which do you prefer reading, historical romance, science fiction, or contemporary? Was there a book in your childhood that inspired your current reading preferences?


What’s an impoverished aristocrat to do when a beautiful heiress asks him to marry her?

Katherine is an heiress who uses her shrewish tongue to keep fortune hunters away. But what is it about Lord Ashfair that leaves her speechless?

Although in need of money, Peter Monroe, Marquis of Ashfair, has resolved to restore his ravaged estates on his own. How can he convince Katherine that he wants her, not her money?

Thanks for sharing Michele! I will read most types of romance, but I must admit I tend to go through stages – seem to be in a historical, and in particular regency, phase at the moment so this may be good timing! Will have to check it out 🙂

If you’d like also like to get your grubby mitts on The Shrew That Tames you can buy at the following places:

Breathless Press


Amazon UK

All Romance Ebooks

Kirsten S Blacketer – An Irresistible Shadow

Published September 20, 2013 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Today, I have the fab Kirsten S. Blacketer visiting to talk about her new release, ‘An Irresistible Shadow‘. I’m a complete sucker for a good medieval setting and the scrummy hero to go with it so am looking forward to this! 🙂

Hi there! Thanks for hosting me on your blog Shelli. My book boasts an interesting collection of characters. One of my favorite thing about writing is coming up with unique and believable characters. My writer’s group has often discussed our different processes when it comes to fleshing them out.
For years, Gabriel was always a blur to me. He was merely a knight sworn to protect a woman who despised men like him. That was all I knew, until I saw the video game Assassin’s Creed. Then it clicked and I knew why I couldn’t see Gabriel’s face. He hid it. And the Shadow Guardian was born. The facets of his personality however were highly influenced by other fictional characters, Madmartigan from Willow and Flynn Ryder from Tangled. I drew elements that reflected the type of man who could fill the role of a Shadow Guardian.
Lady Evelyn was much easier to understand. She haunted me for years. I had the idea of a man-hating princess when I was fifteen years old. She evolved into this self-reliant lady who took her destiny into her own hands to save her father’s barony. She is loyal and strong, packing a boatload of sass and wit. When they encounter each other, sparks fly. It was amazing to see their relationship blossom as I wrote.
I love writing strong heroines and witty, charming heroes. I draw influence for my characters from everywhere. So don’t worry if you see me snapping your picture….it just means that you are inspiring. Thanks for stopping by and check out my debut novel, An Irresistible Shadow.

Trust is more valuable than gold in a world where traitors conspire, and Lady Evelyn realizes that even shadows demand payment.


Lady Evelyn Montgomery, only daughter of the Baron of Rayne, detests the thought of marriage. She will never allow a man to control her.  Crushed by the constraints of propriety, she steals away from the safety of the keep and stumbles onto a plot designed to stir up trouble between England and Scotland. When a mysterious hooded man saves her, she fights her attraction to him as they join forces to hunt down a traitor and save her father. But can she save her heart?
Gabriel is a Shadow Guardian. Hiding beneath his black cowl and blending into the night, he is sworn to protect the Baron’s daughter. The spirited Lady Evelyn is far from the delicate flower he anticipated. She makes herself crystal clear, no man will possess her. Can he prove to her that love can be more than just possession? Or will the traitor they seek tear them apart forever?

Thanks so much for dropping by Kirsten!

You can buy ‘An Irresistible Shadow’here

Or if you’d like to follow Kirsten, she’s at: