Cover Reveal Goodness

If you weren’t able to join us for the cover reveal party on Wednesday the 18th of March, you are in luck. I have the cover here for your perusal! If you were unable to join and are bummed you missed out on winning possible prizes like gift cards and coffee and tea and books galore, fear not, for on April 1st, we are going to have another smashing party on facebook for our release day! You can join us there: Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles Release Day Party

One of the most exciting and anticipated moments of an author’s writing experience comes when that book cover arrives in the in-box. I have had this great experience many times now. A few of my covers have made me feel ecstatic and thrilled. A few of my covers came with a smidgen of disappointment.  As you write the story, things form in your mind’s eye and you begin to see the world, the backdrop and the people of your creation. Sometimes it is hard to convey that to a cover artist. Other times you don’t even get a say in what the book cover will look like.

I am super picky about historical covers. I do not really like it when a Regency heroine is wearing a gown my daughter bought at Charlotte Russe and would wear to prom–providing that it isn’t the daughter who is into the vintage look and found a Regency type gown that she up-cycled. If the hero is on the cover and he’s wearing a Victorian tie with a Windsor knot, I am going to quirk an eyebrow and wonder what inspired that selection. (But, I will keep my mouth shut because I know what goes into cover art design and trying to get the perfect feel can be a near impossible thing.)

Thankfully, the cover art for Beaux, Ballrooms and Battles is simply gorgeous!

First: It looks like a painting that was done by a Regency artist.

Second: It includes the background of an authentic painting by a British artist. (Alas, the artist Robert Alexander Hillgford was Victorian!)

Third: The colors are just so reminiscent of war, with the smudges of grey and mauve.

Fourth: The hero is a soldier and his visage is so utterly Regency.

Fifth: The font. It is sweeping. It is swirly. It is clear and concise.

I am so very proud of this cover and the anthology it represents.

Isn’t is stunning?

#LoveatWaterloo

Beax, Ballrooms and Battles

 

 

Waterloo-palooza!!

There is something exciting about having a stunning book cover and keeping it under wraps until there is a big party to celebrate the unveiling. Well, that’s just what we decided to do for our upcoming Waterloo-themed anthology releasing on April 1, 2015.

Our party will be held on Facebook. You can join it here: Beaux, Ballrooms and Battles Cover Release Party

There will be prizes, many many shiny fun prizes. For five extra entries check out this link: Rafflecopter extra entries

And here is a teeny glimpse of of the cover scheme:

portrait

Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles
For Readers who enjoy a bit of history with their Romance…

A historic confrontation

Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles is a celebration of the bicentenary of the showdown between Wellington’s “Infamous Army” and Napoleon’s Grande Armée. Wellington’s Allied Army consisted of a hastily organized mélange of inexperienced men from several countries who didn’t even speak the same language.

A backdrop of war

While life in Regency England continued much as it had been, the war with Napoleon was a constant source of preoccupation as young men who eagerly set off to become heroes in battle sometimes returned with life-changing injuries or worse, didn’t return at all.

Nine stories of love tested by the trials of war

A collection of sweet Regency stories of courage, hope, and the miracle of love surviving in uncertain times, brought to you by nine distinguished historical romance authors.

Jillian Chantal • Téa Cooper • Susana Ellis • Aileen Fish • Victoria Hinshaw • Heather King • Christa Paige • Sophia Strathmore • David Wilkin

My story is called One Last Kiss.

Courtesy of Flickr

War is coming and Colin is ready for it, except when he thinks about the possibility that he could well and truly die without ever kissing Miss Beatrice Ainsley. When a horrible tragedy happens on the battlefield, Wellington entrusts him with a great obligation. Colin must turn to his duties, putting aside all thought of the woman who has plagued his dreams and driven him to distraction.
Beatrice has lived the simple life as the ward of her uncle, a powerful titled lord. She’s watched from afar as her cousins lived the high life. Napoleon’s unexpected advance interrupts her idle pursuits and the devilish Lieutenant-colonel Sir Colin Scoville’s departure brings great upheaval.
Amidst the horrors of battle and the ensuing turmoil, Colin and Beatrice long to be reunited. Yet, Colin must journey to Charleroi and an uncertain future upon the battlefield. He promises to come back to her.
She holds onto his promise to return.
He must… because he took her heart with him to Waterloo.

Here is a sneak peak of each story:

Jillian Chantal: Jeremiah’s Charge

Emmaline Rothesay has her eye on Jeremiah Denby as a potential suitor. When Captain Denby experiences a life-altering incident during the course of events surrounding the Battle of Waterloo, it throws a damper on Emmaline’s plans.

Téa Cooper: The Caper Merchant

The moon in Gemini is a fertile field of dreams, ideas and adventure and Pandora Wellingham is more than ready to spread her wings. When Monsieur Cagneaux, caper merchant to the rich and famous, introduces her to the handsome dragoon she believes her stars have aligned.

Susana Ellis: Lost and Found Lady

Catalina and Rupert fell in love in Spain in the aftermath of a battle, only to be separated by circumstances. Years later, they find each other again, just as another battle is brewing, but is it too late?

Aileen Fish: Captain Lumley’s Angel

Charged with the duty of keeping his friend’s widow safe, Captain Sam Lumley watches over Ellen Staverton as she recovers from her loss, growing fonder of her as each month passes. When Ellen takes a position as a companion, Sam must confront his feelings before she’s completely gone from his life.

Victoria Hinshaw: Folie Bleue

On the night of the 30th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Aimée, Lady Prescott, reminisces about meeting her husband in Bruxelles on the eve of the fighting. She had avoided the dashing scarlet-clad British officers, but she could not resist the tempting smile and spellbinding charm of Captain Robert Prescott of the 16th Light Dragoons who—dangerously to Aimée—wore blue.

Heather King: Copenhagen’s Last Charge

When Meg Lacy finds herself riding through the streets of Brussels only hours after the Battle of Waterloo, romance is the last thing on her mind, especially with surly Lieutenant James Cooper. However, their bickering uncovers a strange empathy—until, that is, the lieutenant makes a grave error of judgment that jeopardizes their budding friendship…

Christa Paige: One Last Kiss

The moment Colin held Beatrice in his arms he wanted one last kiss to take with him into battle and an uncertain future. Despite the threat of a soldier’s death, he must survive, for he promises to return to her because one kiss from Beatrice would never be enough.

Sophia Strathmore: A Soldier Lay Dying

Amelia and Anne Evans find themselves orphaned when their father, General Evans, dies. With no other options available, Amelia accepts the deathbed proposal of Oliver Brighton, Earl of Montford, a long time family friend. When Lord Montford recovers from his battle wounds, can the two find lasting love?

David W. Wilkin: Not a Close Run Thing at All

Years, a decade. And now, Robert had come back into her life. Shortly before battle was to bring together more than three hundred thousand soldiers. They had but moments after all those years, and now, would they have any more after?

As you can see, there are going to be some awesome people joining the party. All of the authors in the anthology will be hosting at various times and there are many fantastic guests coming too.

And, there are going to be a plethora of prizes. There are individual prizes and a huge grand prize too.

I hope you will join me at 12:30 pm EST as I talk about fun facts of Waterloo. It will be a little bit like Sheldon and Amy’s Fun With Flags but not really about flags and more about well Waterloo.

Christa

 

 

 

 

Release Day: Cue the mistletoe and merry making!

Today, my second sweet Regency novella, co-written by the lovely and talented Vivien Jackson, has been released into the wild. It features a plethora of yuletide scheming which can be summed up nicely like this:

The 12 tidbits of A Christmas Scheme

In the 12 tidbits of A Christmas Scheme, you are in for these treats: (Feel free to hum along in the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas!)

12 Language lessons

11 Nursery knickknacks

10 Snowflakes a-snowing

9 Christmas traditions

8 Sweet meats a-cooking

7 Charades a-crafting

6 Diners a -dining

5 Se-cret schemes

4 Innuendos

3 Notes of import

2 Lonely lovers

And

A Foreign lord from Ben-ga–li

(Just a note, there may or may not be an exact amount of each of these tidbits, I did not in fact count them for accuracy!)

A Christmas Scheme

A Christmas Scheme

Blurb:

With her brother’s recent marriage to the daughter of an earl, Kate Avery is no longer needed to keep his house or look after their younger sister. She’s free. But for what? Secretly she wishes for purpose and adventure, but finding it seems unlikely. Then her brother arrives home from London just in time for Christmas…with an exotic and mysterious visitor.

A displaced Bengali lord, Kiran now serves the British Crown in a covert capacity. He’s been charged to deliver a secret message to the Earl of Withering at his country estate. He feels out of place in this very English home and is eager to leave until he meets Kate, who shares his desire for adventure.

Kate and Kiran must choose between the loyalties they have long held and the unexpected affection that blooms between them.

(Technically, this is a sequel to A Christmas Caroline, but you don’t need to have read that one first!)

Available: Amazon | Ellora’s Cave | All Romance eBooks | Nook |

Where research took me:

I love research. It is one of my favorite aspects of being an author. Learning about foreign lands, historical events and various cultural traditions always excites me. Recently, my research has taken me to diverse places and some of it was exotic while others were a bit creepy. Today I want to share a few of these research jaunts with you so you can have a glimpse into some of the things I am working on currently.

First up:

If you haven’t heard our exciting news, Vivien Jackson and I have contracted another sweet Regency for Ellora Cave’s Cotillion Christmas series. This story was a challenge to write mainly because our hero was not your typical British aristocrat. No, indeed not. He hails from India. So, you can imagine my excitement at hunting down information to include in the story. Some of those aspects were extremely intriguing and sometimes I found myself lost in the early 1800’s far away in Bengal. One of the distracting research jaunts I took while gathering details for A Christmas Scheme took me to Regency era India.

Fort William Kolkata:

Fort William 1760
There are many interesting locations in Fort William. Also, the history of the British colonization there is extensive. Here is a glimpse of places, events and people that I researched for A Christmas Scheme:

  1. Richard Wellesley
  2. William Carey
  3. Fort William College
  4. Saint Peter’s Church
  5. Fourth Anglo-Mysore war

On top of our Hero’s native land we found ourselves knee deep in snow during a cold winter at an English country estate. Vivien and I mused many different aspects of this Christmas setting and that came with a Google image search so that we could imagine the way the estate looked, the various entry points and an important building that plays a role in our romantic couple’s interactions. There were fascinating links about architecture including gables and eaves, gates and latches, corridors and libraries that enthralled me.

What to wear in winter!

What to wear in winter!

And, don’t get me started on fashion for men or women, British or Bengali…I’ll spend way too much time finding every last detail from stitches to cloth because I want our story to be accurate to the Regency period. I will say that I really enjoyed learning the cultural words for Bengali clothing. I think I spent an entire day on Google Books trying to find the correct word for trousers in Bengali. If you want to know, check out A Christmas Scheme when it comes out in November 2014!

 

 

 

 

Bite me.

(Thank you Stefan Salvatore for that fangtastic segue.)

It is always fun to switch from the Regency to my vampires. The Kan Asma Vampires series has a race of people who have extensive histories. This allows me the opportunity to research a plethora of things. In my current WIP, Gunnar is not of the typical Turkish decent that the majority of Kan Asma people come from. He is half-Viking and I had fun looking up the history of trade and shipping routes, language and customs as well as names from Scandanavia. But, the aspects of the Kan Asma culture that I really enjoy researching are always those from the Abkhazian rites and traditions. Though I don’t hold to these rites completely, my Kan Asma vampires have roots with this culture and they’ve adapted many of the ceremonies to fit their own rituals. Recently I looked up a few things that will be included in Gunnar’s story.

  •  Birth traditions, wedding ceremonies, death rituals all tied into the Kan Asma mating rites and the Goblet Ceremony Circassian Wedding
  • Metal work and weaponry daggers and gold goblets
  • Food glorious food…kan asma food

Oh, and after a very long time trying to figure out an integral scene I finally found what I was looking for and it turned out to be something I never expected.

Leeches. leech
(Yes, I did spare you the icky disgusting real photos because they make me cringe!)

Well, there you have it. Can you imagine living inside my brain on research? It is full of random things like Bengali pants and creepy worm-type creatures that suck blood.

Now, I am sure there is something else I am supposed to be researching today.

Oh yeah, The Viper Room! Google here I come.

Have a great week everyone.
Christa

Christmas Traditions: Caroline

A Christmas CarolineThe second short story released in the Christmas Traditions Cotillion from Ellora’s Cave is my very own story, co-written with the stellar Vivien Jackson: A Christmas Caroline.

Writing this story was an incredible adventure that took us on a research journey that often had us excited by new and unique discoveries from the Regency period during Christmas.

Blush sensuality level: This is a sweet romance (kisses only, no sexual content).

Lady Caroline Selwyn’s world centers on her father, so when she receives dire news of his health—two days before Christmas, no less—her first thought is to weep. Her second is to make this Christmastide the best he’s ever known. She rummages in memory for festive traditions, plans charades, purchases bean cakes…and acquires an affianced husband. Oh, not a real one—what she does is convince Papa’s physician to pretend an engagement, for just a few weeks.

Doctor Samuel Avery can hardly credit his complicity in this madcap deception. Whatever was he thinking? But it does seem to improve the comfort of the earl, and his own sisters are in alt at the idea of his impending nuptials. And he has admired Caroline for so long, the role of her betrothed is easy to play. In fact, the scheme seems in every way perfect. Except that it is not true.

A Blush® Regency romance from Ellora’s Cave

Available now: Ellora’s Cave | Amazon | All Romance e-Books

Glad Tidings of Comfort and Joy!

Does that sound a bit like a Christmas Carol? Can you imagine holly and ribbons decorating the halls? There is holiday excitement in the crisp fall air and it is only October. But, we have early Christmas treats to share with you. Starting now, each week Ellora’s Cave is releasing a Regency Christmas novella culminating in the release of two Christmas Traditions Anthologies which I am so privileged to be a part of. Next week I will feature my new release, co-written with the lovely Vivien Jackson, A Christmas Caroline. Today though, I bring you the very first of the Blush Cotillion Christmas Traditions novellas.

TwelveDays of Christmas cover Twelve Days of Christmas
Barbara Miller

A Blush® romance from Ellora’s Cave

Tamara Gifford gets herself invited to Oakley Hall for Christmas to rescue her brother from the reportedly depraved Lord Oakley. When she arrives she discovers that Ashford Steel is a former soldier trying to adjust to governing an estate. He is happy to have his mother and Tamara for company since his brother is supposed to be spending the holiday at Tamara’s house in London.
Though they are both angry at the deception of their brothers they enjoy banding together to find them while Ashford tries to remember the tradition of what Lord Oakley is supposed to do on the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Tamara gives him sound advice about how to go forward with his life rather than looking back. In return he helps her to see that she must make a life for herself and let her brother go. After they locate the young men and rescue them, Tamara agrees to marry Ashford, but what her brother wants to do with the rest of his life could tear apart their hard won love.

Congratulations Barbara Miller on your new release.