Valentine’s Day Contest Entry

****Contest Closed****

Run, don’t walk, straight on over to Passionate Squee Contest and enjoy all the goodies 13 authors have provided for your romantic, passionate, wicked Valentine’s Day entertainment.

Each author has shared a scene of passion and love for your enjoyment. On top of that, there’s a drawing for prizes. If you comment on each blog post, that gives you 13 entries. Some of the posts are sweet and passionate others are down right scorching hot and filled with adult content. So, there’s something for everyone.

My post goes live on February 6th, 2017 and it is an excerpt from Bound By Obsession.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Christa

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

 

 

 

 

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

Next Big Thing

Vivien Jackson tagged me for the Next Big Thing blog post. Thanks Vivien, it is always fun to play along with these fun activities.

The deets: The Next Big Thing blog post is basically answering 10 questions about your wip.

So, these are the questions I have to answer:
1. What is your working title of your book? Mated in Treason

2. Where did the idea come from for the book? Expanding the world of the Kan Asma Vampires.

3. What genre does your book fall under? Paranormal romance featuring vampires.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

For Gunnar I would cast Trevor Donovan.

Gunnar Muratti

For Nadia, I would select: Beren Saat a beautiful Turkish model and actress.

Nadia

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? By mating in secret, they defied the dictates of their people but now they must decide to accept the consequences or join forces against those they love. (This blurb is a work in progress.)

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I intend to have this series published through a publisher.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Still writing it, so I don’t have an answer to that. I’d say from start to submit-ready about 9 months to a year.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I’m not sure, I’d say there are a few Prime novels from Susan Sizemore that have some of the forbidden lover tropes, and there are many books with paranormal societies that have tight regulations about mating.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?  Gunnar, the hero, gave me a nice look at what he was suffering through and I just had to write what he was showing me.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Mikhail shows up and reveals a little more about his very secretive backstory. Also, there is an across the railroad tracks romance and a huge rift that happens within the Kan Asma culture. Things are really going to get heated between the high born ruling class and an uprising called the Faction.

This has been fun. Anyone who wants to take this blog prompt for their own, consider that my passive tagging style.

Thanks for stopping by.

Christa

Retro Halloween Post

Over the years I’ve had the honor of participating in many Halloween blogs and the following is the entry that I posted a while back. (For 2012, you can click on over and participate in the post that Vivien Jackson and I did together. It is all about 4 of our heroes and their choices for Halloween Costumes. You can check it out here: Spookapalooza 2012)

Now, here is a vintage Halloween post that I thought would be fun to reblog for today.

Sexy Trick or Treats for your Halloween Party

Halloween is chock full of fun things; from candy to costumes, parties to haunted houses, and, of course, the sugar rush. One of the most inherent symbols of Halloween is the fun of Trick or Treats.

Today, I thought it would be enjoyable to list a few Halloween items and show how they can be either a trick or a treat with a sexy spin.

 

First up:

Sensual depictions pumpkin carving– For those adult-themed parties, break out the carving knife and a naughty stencil set. You can free-hand your carving or, if you don’t have the steady hand to sketch one out, there are a few kits for purchase. One very naughty package allows you to choose from ten wicked designs that will spice up any Jack O’ Lantern. Is that a treat for your guests or a trick to shock them with? You decide. (Warning, if you do a google search for sexy pumpkin stencils you will find some explicit designs that are NSFW)

Next:                        

Frighteningly Fun Decorations-These can add a spooky ambiance that will liven up any party. Milk cartons transformed into eerie ghosts, blood-red punch in a bowl with vampire fangs made out of ice, and creepy, crawly cupcakes will have your guests wondering. Don’t forget to set the scene with flickering candles and a playlist of Halloween-ish tunes. Cry Little Sister by Gerard McMann is a good song to get things started.

Also:

Healthy snacking-You can trick or treat your friends by setting out delectable snacks that are healthy but entirely themed for the holiday. A skeleton cat made of crudités and black bean dip can set the scene. Stack up a platter of melon brains or “eyeballs” made out of dried fruit. Those will surely be the talk of the table setting. Encourage the attendees to enjoy the finger foods made out of carrot-shaped fingers, topped with almond fingernails. and everyone will surely giggle and indulge.

Finally, you have to get ready. A whole head-to-toe ensemble requires preparation. There are some eerily fun manicures that will make any nail catch the eye. From candy-corn french-tips, to black bat wings, any Halloween paint theme will have your party-goers doing a double-take. You can paint a collage of thriller-esque designs on each nail, and draw the notice of everyone as they try to make out what the scene is; both a trick of the eye and a treat to decipher. For those who are naughty and wicked, a do-it-yourself, sugary spider-web recipe could add to any undergarment. Treat your lover with a trick to the senses while making your own personal lingerie out of edible spider-webs! Then, cover it up with a naughty costume. Now, you are ready to kick-off your Halloween Spook-tacular event.

I hope you have a fantastic Halloween with many wonderful moments filled with tricks and treats.

If you are in a paranormal mood, please check out my vampire romance novel series, The Blood-Vine.

Christa

 

Spookapalooza 2012

It is always fun to celebrate Halloween with others. This year I am looking forward to another fabulous party hosted by The Romance Studio. 

Come and join me for some trick or treating fun. I am bringing the lovely and talented Vivien Jackson with me this time.

It is going to be a blast!

Spookapalooza

What I am working on: Veiled Heroine

Veiled from him.

There is something alluring yet mysterious about wearing a veil. In my first Blood-vine story, Bound By Deception, the heroine Anna has a veil on during the blood-rite ceremony. She hates the archaic practice and yanks the material from her head the first chance she gets.

Fast forward a few books to the current story that I am writing. This time, the heroine Nathalia has no choice but to be veiled. She wears a traditional covering for a while in the story. The customs of her people demand that she conform to the dictates of their culture.

It is also a contentious point for the hero, Sevastian, because the reason she is wearing it is a constant reminder of the circumstances that are keeping them apart.

I thought I would share with you a few snippets from the story that pertain to the veil.

So here we go:

Kholed and Covered

Vastian looked on as she stepped into the antechamber. Her eyes were heavily kholed, the eyelids dusted with a shimmering eye shadow. He grimaced at the sight of Thalia all covered up, completely hidden from his view. The garment cloaked her from head to toe with an embroidered cloth arranged like a heavy robe. One little push and the thing would slide off of her, revealing her to his gaze.

Fucking archaic practices, he seethed. She looked shrouded, like a Bedouin princess. His fingers itched to reach out and tear it off of her, to reveal the youthful bounce of her ringlets and show the sweet dimples on her freckled cheeks.

Then, later in the scene:

Nathalia

“Take the damned veil off.” His growled demand startled her.

“I’m not supposed to.” Could she sound anymore childish? Thalia groaned inwardly.

“You will for me.”

Even though he didn’t speak it out loud, Thalia heard the underlying statement of ownership in his tone. It said, you are mine now, and that didn’t settle well with her. So, she acted like any frustrated girl and shook her head in defiance.

She didn’t even see his hand snap out and take hold of the tie. In a blink of an eye, the  cloth covering her face swung loose. Next, the heavy shroud situated on her head was pushed off, the thick material of the hood draped across her shoulders.

“Shit, you’re pale as a ghost.” Vastian’s fingertip tracked across her tear-stained cheek and glanced along her lower lip. “You’ve tortured this spot here with your teeth.”

Thalia shrugged, defeated. “Your mother told me not to cry.”

***

The symbolism of Thalia being shrouded goes further than an actual covering of her body. Throughout the story there is much secrecy going on and she is in the center of it all. Sevastian and Thalia have a lot to overcome in order to find true love because they are both hiding behind more than the veil she wears.

What do you think about veiling practices? Do you think veiling can be beautiful and sexy? Or, do you think it takes some sort of freedom away? While Thalia is being covered for a religious-type ceremony, it is a religion wholly designed and created for the vampires of the Blood-Vine.

Christa

*All images posted are royalty-free and the rights for use purchased from Dreamstime.