Stop the Presses! Launch Day for Embracing Scandal by Suzi Love

Stop the presses!

It’s Launch Day for Embracing Scandal

by Suzi Love roses2

I’m very excited to be at The Ladies in Red for the launch of my second book with Crimson Romance.

Embracing Scandal is the first in my series about the scientifically-gifted Jamison siblings and is set in London in the 1840s when there was a boom in railway expansion.
My heroine, Becca, conflicts with an increasingly prudish early Victorian society when she uses her intellect, something women were discouraged from doing.Lady Rebecca Jamison, a mathematical genius, saves her siblings from financial ruin by dabbling in the London stock exchange. When a greedy syndicate kills her friend and threatens her family, Becca begs assistance from Cayle, Duke of Sherwyn, her nemesis and previous friend.As Cayle and Becca rekindle old passions, the duke uses old skills as a spy to protect his lady. He successfully defeats the illegal consortium, but can Cayle persuade a self-sufficient spinster to become his duchess?
One of the best things about being an historical romance author is doing all the research, even though I tend to get distracted by all the weird and wonderful facts I discover. This is one of the first time a steam train could be seen by the public.
Opening Liverpool and Manchester Railway
Clipart steam trains and crowdRailway_Watches_Standing_too_Close
For Embracing Scandal, I researched the amazing inventions that popped up everywhere using steam engines. In 1840, trains and railway lines were invading many parts of England and Europe and alongside the railway industry, there was a need for steam engines to do all sorts of work in the factories.
Victorian_factory_scene
You can read more about Embracing Scandal at Goodreads and at  Crimson Romance eBooksTo purchase Embracing Scandal, use the subscription service at Crimson Romance or go to  one of these.Amazon      Barnes and Noble    iTunes

I hope you enjoy Embracing Scandal and my first release from Crimson Romance, The Viscount’s Pleasure House.

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Food, Wine and Books

The winter snow blankets the ground here in Montana. I used to live in California and all my California friends are tormenting me with temperatures in the 70s, while the temperature here averages in the 20s and 30s. But, I retort, I’m not gardening (also known as fighting an ever-losing battle against weeds) all the time.  I can do other things! Like cook!

Frankly, my husband and I are foodies.  We love a good meal out and explore restaurants wherever we are. Over the years we’ve learned more about wine, so the wine list, even if it’s an inch thick, isn’t as intimidating as it used to be. Every year he buys me an issue of Cook’s Magazine for Christmas. Last year I made him suffer (?) as I tried out every recipe in the magazine. Some were keepers and we discovered a marvelous tool along the way–no boil lasagna noodles!  Good for everything from manicotti to lasagna.

This year’s issue wasn’t quite as inspiring, so he’s safe for now.

Food and wine are constant themes in my California Romance series. Readers have told me they enjoy vicariously eating along with my heroes as they court each other. While doing research for a book on Santa Cruz Mountains wineries that we did, my husband and I had amazing opportunities to get behind the scenes of winemaking and winemakers. I’ve let a little of this knowledge seep into my latest book, California Wine.  An excerpt is below. In this scene, Marcos, a man Elizabeth has met while on vacation in Italy, shows Elizabeth and her daughter his winery.

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Marcos plunked the basket on the table and unlocked the padlock to the winery building. When he spread the door wide, cool air rushed out from the dark within. He gestured for them to follow him into the damp, sweet-smelling room. Barrels were stacked ceiling-high in the back of the room and four stainless-steel tanks lined one wall. To the left a plank spanning the tops of two wine-barrels held glasses, beakers and two hand-labeled bottles of wine.

“My humble blending table,” he said gesturing at the crude surface.

Elizabeth picked up one of the bottles of wine. Her face became more alive with interest. “What does it mean?” She gestured to the scrawled numbers on the bottle.

“Not much,” he said. Their fingers touched hers as he took the bottle from her and the flash of heat took him by surprise. “I have the date of the blend and a number that references my notes.” He pointed to a wine-stained notebook at the edge of the table, making an effort to get his thoughts back on winemaking and away from lovemaking.

“What kind of a blend is it?” she asked.

“How much do you know about winemaking?” he asked.

“I took a class at the community college. I enjoy wine, so I wanted to learn about it.”

“And?” He poured wine from the first bottle into a glass, swirled it, sniffed it, and took a sip. Faint notes of blueberry were chased by a heavier hint of tobacco. He was almost there.

He poured two more glasses and passed them to the women. Sarah took hers and wandered toward the barrels at the back of the building.

“I found winemaking fascinating,” Elizabeth said. “A lot of patience is required, isn’t it?” Her eyes peered over the rim of the glass and he became entranced by the warmth of her gaze.

His heart cracked a little more.

“Most good things require patience. You will need it when you develop your lotions. I’m sure you’ll be trying to balance aromas with the texture you need for a silky feel.” He rubbed his thumb and index finger together to demonstrate.

She turned away and he saw her shoulders square before she turned back to look at him.

“Is what’s in the other bottle just as good?” she asked, a small smile on her lips.

“We’ll have to find out, won’t we?”

Happy Anniversary

Yes, I’m that girl.  My boyfriend, now husband, and I had one of our first fights over an anniversary discussion.  The anniversary of our first date.  He told this chick it wasn’t an anniversary if we weren’t married.  She promptly told me.

Fight ensued. I won.

 

But we’re not here to talk about my love life, its books and writing that brings everyone together on Ladies in Red.  And for 24 of us, our lives changed June 4th, 2012, the day we debuted with Crimson.

Now for some of us, the Crimson launch wasn’t their first rodeo in the publishing world.  But for me, The Bull Rider’s Brother was my first full length manuscript I sold.  And being the first, it’s kind of special to me. I love the rural mountain setting.  I love the small town atmosphere and of course my characters.  And from that one book, two new stories, and possibly more, have arose.

Launch day wasn’t the end of a dream, it became the beginning.  Since June, I’ve sold six novella or longer length manuscripts, two essays to Chicken Soup, a short to Women’s World, and, had three in person signings.  I’ve participated in several blog hops, and I’ve seen my work available in libraries in Canada and sold books in the United Kingdom.  My work has gone international, even though I’ve never left the states.  (grin)  I may not be a full time writer, but I am an author.  And I love my new job.

So Ladies in Red and LIR readers, what’s the best thing that’s happened to you in the last six months?

Meet Lady In Red- Ashlyn Mathews

AshlynHi, my name is Ashlyn Mathews and it’s so nice to have the opportunity to introduce myself to romance readers. First off, is this my real name or a pseudonym? Born in Laos (Southeast Asia), I immigrated to the US as a refugee in the 70s, and after many years of having no middle name, I chose Ashlyn (an Irish name meaning dream) as my legal middle name. The last name of Mathews was picked because my husband’s first name is Matthew. Yes, I realize the humor in it now. He’d be introduced as Matt Mathews, lol. But he doesn’t mind. He understands my quirkiness. I made the choice to use a pen name for privacy reasons.

Let’s get the details out of the way:

Single, married, divorced, widowed? Married for 17 years.

Parent? Yes, four boys — a twelve-year-old, a ten-year-old and five-year-old twin boys.

Living where? I live in the Pacific Northwest with a view of Commencement Bay.

Doing what, other than writing? I’m a Registered Nurse and soccer mom.

One—just one—physical characteristic: Brown eyes

What’s your secret passion? My secret passion is to cry over a really good book or movie.

Tell us one thing about yourself you’d never change. I wouldn’t change my drive to achieve my dreams.

Why do you write romance novels? Romantic stories appeals to everyone on a basic level and of all the genres of fiction, romance is my favorite. So it was easy for me to choose romance as something I wanted to write about.

What did you cut from your book that felt like severing a body part? For my debut novel, Shadow Watcher, I had to remove characters I really loved and had planned to use in other books in the series. Over the year of writing Shadow Watcher, I had become attached to these characters and to see them not make it into the final version . . . well, I was very disappointed.  But my disappointment didn’t last because as an author and their “creator” I can still write their stories later down the road.

The best part about my writing life is: The world building of a paranormal romance and the complexity of the issues I can introduce in my contemporary romances.

The worst part about my writing life is: The countless hours and energy it takes to promote a book, especially for a debut author.

Give us a hint about what the next book’s like. My next book is a paranormal entitled, My Fallen, slated for a January 14th release date by Crimson Romance. It’s a bit dark yet sensual. I mean dark in that the hero kills for the heroine. And sensual because they do everything but the final act of consummating the relationship. The heroine believes a mutation in her blood cell will kill the hero should they have intercourse.

On that note, thank you for letting me share who Ashlyn Mathews is. If you want to know more about me or my books, go to Crimsonromance.com, my blog http://www.ashlynmathews.com, or follow me on twitter @ashlynmathews or “like” me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ashlynmathewsauthor.

My Fallen Final CoverShadow Watcher

Sweet Gone South & Alicia Hunter Pace

sweetfinalcoverWe are very excited to be here for our first post on the Ladies in Red blog. We have both really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts and feel fortunate to be part of the Crimson team with the release of our debut book, Sweet Gone South.

Our series is set in a small Alabama town called Merritt. The books feature the stories of four women who form a book club. Like many book clubs these women sometimes talk about books but more often spend their time together catching  up with each other about the highs and lows of their lives. In fact, in one of the books one of the men  says they should call the club, “The Drink Wine,Gossip and Eat Club” rather than a book club. The women in the book club discover that through life’s ups and downs the women of the book club are there for each other.  These women support each other through pregnancies, adoptions, marriages, and, of course, break ups. They learn that although they each bring strengths to the group that  together they have a wonderful bond that simply can’t be beaten!

Have you ever been part of a circle of friends that made you stronger than you were alone?

AliciaHunterPace

Meet Lady in Red – Suzi Love

Hi everyone, or maybe I should be saying ‘Gidday, Mate’ to show I’m an Australian author. I write historical romance, from sexy to erotic, and mainly set in or around London in the late Regency to very early Victorian eras. ‘Love’ was the only choice for my writing name as, apart from sounding romantic, Love is my Scottish family name.

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Meet Lady in Red: Micah Persell

Introduce yourself, please.  Is this a pen or personal name? Why did you make the choice to write under that name?

Hi ladies, I’m Micah Persell!  This is both a pen name and a personal name.  I didn’t want to write under my married name because I also teach high school.  I sometimes have nightmares about the kids finding out my pen name, reading one of my steamy books, and asking me about it in class.  So, I decided to publish under my maiden name.  I’ll still answer to it in a crowded room if someone calls it, but I don’t have to worry about impressionable young students stumbling across what I write in the romance genre.

Let’s get the details out of the way: Single, married, divorced, widowed? Parent? Living where? Doing what, other than writing?

I am married, and I love it.  Cameron, my husband, is absolutely wonderful (Except for the times he’s horrible, but, eh, that’s the life of a wife, am I right?  You cannot train a man to make the bed, put his dirty socks in the laundry basket, or his dinner plates in the dishwasher.  And if you have, you need to e-mail me and let me know the details!).  I’m not a parent yet, unless you count the two pups and two cats that are running around my house.  I live in Southern California where I teach freshman English classes at a local high school.

What one thing from your books do you take from personal experience?

Not the love scenes!  I always feel it necessary to get that out of the way when a friend reads my books, looks at me askance, and says, “Sooo….”  No, the thing that comes from my personal experience is the retelling of classic biblical mythology.  I had a pretty conservative upbringing—my dad is a pastor—and I cut my teeth on Bible stories.  These stories have everything: war, famine, love, hate, sex, murder.  They’re some of the best stories ever written.  You know that saying, “write what you know”?  Well, that’s what I know (though my sexy twist on the Garden of Eden shocked my poor parents something fierce!).

The best part about my writing life is:

That feeling I get when I write a scene and know I absolutely nailed it!

The worst part about my writing life is:

Finding the time to write.  Between the day job, being a wife, and playing in the symphony, there are weeks at a time where I can’t seem to find five minutes to myself!

Tell us what’s happening in your writing world.

Of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, book two in the Operation: Middle of the Garden series, just came out yesterday, so check it out!  Jericho is dying to meet you.

You can order Of the Knowledge of Good and Evil now at Amazon or iTunes!

Catch up with Micah on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, or check out her website for a special sneak peak of both Of Eternal Life and Of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.