Category Archives: Blog

Historical Romance Christmas Hop

 

Ten authors have come together this Christmas season to give you a chance to win some awesome prizes and all you have to do is visit each author’s website starting December 7th and ending December 12th. Remember, you will be subscribing to each author’s newsletter by entering this contest, but you may unsubscribe at any time.

Here’s how to enter:

Just use the links below to visit each author’s site. Collect their featured hero name and return to the rafflecopter (on Elizabeth’s site) below to enter all the names at once, using commas.

 

1) Elizabeth Rose                   6) Collette Cameron

2) Eliza Knight                        7) Kathryn Le Veque

3) Glynnis Campbell              8) Christi Caldwell

4) Laurel O’Donnell                9) Amy Jarecki

5) Cecelia Mecca                   10) Julie Johnstone

 

Ready to start hopping? My hero is. . .

Top 10 Gift Ideas for Book Lovers

I’ve teamed up with other historical romance authors to bring your our top book lover’s picks just in time for some holiday shopping. Enjoy!

1. Kindle Oasis $249.99

The new Kindle Oasis is the e-reader we’ve been waiting for, and it’s already been added to my Christmas list. Waterproof with built-in Audible, this 8GB WiFi-enabled reader will allow you to read your favorite historical romance novels in comfort and style.

Contributed by Cecelia Mecca, author of Medieval Romance

2. Purple Agate Bookends $32

Make your bookcase stand out with these gorgeous agate bookends, adding to the gems that you already have on your shelves. There are a variety of colors and RockParadise often runs a holiday discount.

Contributed by Emily Murdoch, author of Medieval, Regency, and Western historical romances

3. Literary Scarves $48

Get all wrapped up in a classic story and show some literary love with these bookish infinity scarves. Choose between Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, or Alice in Wonderland.

4. The Book Seat $40

Fed up getting cold hands holding your book in bed at night? Or do heavy books make your fingers sore? The Book Seat hands-free book holder is the perfect answer! Prop your book – or eReader – on the beanbag and the only time you’ll need to move a finger is to turn the page!

Contributed by Belle McInnes, author of Scottish historical romance

5. Literary Gifts for Book Lovers and Readers $18-45

Jewelry becomes even more romantic with inscriptions of popular book quotes. A favorite is a necklace etched with Mr. Darcy’s proposal to Elizabeth Bennett. There are many handcrafted pieces of jewelry with a variety of quotes to choose from.

Contributed by Ellie St. Clair, author of Regency romance

6. Bordeaux Journal $13

These stunning gilded journals make a beautiful gift for any book lover. From Peter Pauper Press: “Luminous detailing in the forms of iridescent and gold foil highlights and gilded-gold page edging make this lovely journal shine.”

Gift idea from Ashley Merrick, author of sweet western historical romance

7. There’s Always Time for Tea$12.50

The idea of “tea time” is a luxurious concept, but it needn’t take an hour or be accompanied by a fox hunt. Treat yourself to a daily dose of antiquity with this literary set of 25 teabags. Each English Breakfast teabag is individually tagged with beloved quotes from your favorite authors.

Gift idea from K. C. Bateman, author of Regency Historical ‘Secrets & Spies’ series

8. Bookworm Necklace $32

Featuring the quote every historical romance reader self-identifies with, this gorgeous, simple necklace is handmade in England. “She is too fond of books, and it has turned her mind.” And yes – the artist offers it in both gold and silver, and even has a few other famous literary quotes available!

Gift idea from Jamaila Brinkley, author of historical fantasy romance

9. ‘All Those Who Wander’ Art Print $12.99

Take a book quote and early 20th-century dictionary pages out of the book and onto the wall with these prints from Vintage Art Co. I love the quotes, but images are also available! Each print is one of a kind.

Audrey Adair  is the author of Scottish and time travel Historical Romance

10. Border Series Swag Price Varies

I’d be remiss not to mention my own shop complete with “Declare Your Allegiance” tees and mugs with sayings “Non Ducor Duco” (Hallington family motto) which translates to “I am not lad. I lead.”

 

What amazing gifts for book lovers are we missing?

New Release Notice: Inspiration for Border Series Book 4, ‘The Scot’s Secret’

They say never to write a cliffhanger in romance. So at the end of The Chief’s Maiden, because the fate of Toren’s new squire ‘Alfred’ is unknown, I braced for the backlash. Although not a main character, ‘Alfred’ (aka Lady Clara) appeared in enough scenes to make readers wonder what happened to her. And while I did receive questions about him/her, readers patiently waited for The Scot’s Secret to learn about Clara’s secret identity.

When Toren and Juliette bring Lady Clara to Dunmure in Scotland, the reader knows fireworks will fly as she squires for Toren’s younger brother Alex. But as Alex uncovers more and more of her past, and as passions flare, Alex and Clara are forced apart by the same reasons that forced her into the disguise.

When I began to write this fourth installment of the Border Series books, I’d already known about Clara’s past. Putting her in Alex’s care created an immediate conflict, but I’d underestimated the challenge of writing a love story with the heroine in disguise. A build-up of sexual tension throughout the book is a hallmark of the series, but suddenly I was unable to write such scenes with Clara still in disguise.

On the other hand, I fell in love with Alex whose inspiration was none other than the very handsome Chris Hemsworth. Every Border Series book begins with a Pinterest inspiration board, and this book inspiration was no different. You can even see the castle layout of Brockburg on the Pinterest page which helps me to envision characters moving from place to place throughout the story.

As always, The Scot’s Secret launched to a special release-week price, and today is its last day at $2.99. If you do pick it up, please let me know here, via social media and/or on Amazon what you think. The feedback I receive from readers has been tremendously helpful as future Border Series books are born.

For more behind-the-scenes, subscribe to become a CM Insider and get the newly released chapter upgrade to the story. If you are already an insider, head to the bonus page or wait for the email with a link to grab the new bonus.

Best Historical Romance Series of All Time

Standalone novels are great, but series reign supreme. When it comes to historical romance, readers (like myself) are voracious and need to keep going. The End? Ha. Not when you’ve just finished book one and ten more sweet books await. The problem, sometimes, is finding the best historical romance series to fall in love with. Some lack characters to care about. Others, just not our cup of tea. In fact, many of my own favorite series tend to be medieval. Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

These are the first books in my favorite historical romance series of all time in no particular order. If any are new to you, enjoy!

 

Once and Always, Judith McNaught

 

Highland Guard, Monica McCarty

 

Whitney, My Love, Judith McNaught

 

Love Only Once, Johanna Lindsey

 

Devils’ Lair, Stephanie Laurens

 

Of course, if you haven’t tried the Border Series yet, I’ve combined everything I love about historical romance with a bit of alpha male, kick-ass female heroines in time of knights and castle. You can get started with the prequel novella for .99 or The Thief’s Countess (book 1) for $2.99. The series is also in Kindle Unlimited. Let me know what you think if you jump in.

Amazon Giveaway of ‘The Chief’s Maiden’

Release month giveaways have officially begun. From the Secret Book Lover’s Giveaway with over $100 in prizes to an Amazon giveaway of ‘The Scot’s Secret’ predecessor, ‘The Chief’s Maiden,” there’s plenty of chances to win signed paperbacks, digital downloads and romance novels galore. Enter them all, and good luck!

Find out about all Border Series giveaways and get exclusive content by becoming a CM Insider.

Alpha Male Romance Heroes: Manspiration for Historical Romance Novels {Giveaway}

 

What is manspiration?

Manspiration is the inspiration for a romance novel hero. My first step to writing a medieval romance such as The Thief’s Countess is to pin the mansipration and the heroine he will eventually love, and all of my alpha male romance heroes have one thing in common- an extra dose of hotness. Having a visual representation of both the looks and personality of the hero springboard the process for me as I flush out the hero’s physical and personality traits.

Border Series Manspiration

So far, these are the lucky men to have made the cut in order of the novels:

The Ward’s BrideChris Pine

The Thief’s Countess Henry Cavill

The Lord’s Captive Jonathan Rhys Meyers

The Chief’s Maiden –  Jason Momoa

The Scot’s SecretChris Hemsworth

Book Five – Richard Madden

 

Manspiration Criteria

How does one choose a new manspiration hero? The Border Series is a medieval romance series set along the 13th-century Anglo-Scottish border. As such, it may not come as a surprise that my heroes are all alpha-males. According to Wikepedia, “In studies of social animals, the highest ranking individual is sometimes designated as the alpha.” In romance, alpha males are large and in charge. Cue the Border Series boys.

Manspiration Blog Hop

Just in case the above mansipration is not enough for you, click on over to romance author Rachael Tsoumbakos who is featuring even more manspiration goodness. In fact, if you complete the loop and come back here and leave a comment on this post, you will automatically be entered to win all four historical romance book pictured below.

 

GIVEAWAY RULES: Click on this BLOG HOP link, follow the four-blog stop and come back here to comment. Want an extra entry? Just use the share buttons to share on social and leave an extra comment for each one. Easy peesy. No purchase necessary. Ends 10/24/17.

Every Scottish Romance Author’s Dream: Hanging with Sam Heughan

As a former educator, I simply can’t resist the urge to administer a short quiz to my Scottish romance fans. So here goes:

The (relatively) young lady in the images below:

a. is unfazed by the fact that Sam Heughan’s hand is around her waist.

b. could not offer her own name if asked at the time the photo was taken.


 

If you guessed “B,” give yourself a gold star.

As a Scottish historical romance author, I was in a unique position last week. Sam–we’re on a first-name basis after an extremely lengthy 5-minute conversation about my books, Scotland and his tenure as a Barbour ambassador–is, of course, Sam Heughan from Outlander on Starz.

At this point, you likely fall into one of two groups.

1. OMG. Why are you standing with James Alexander Malcolm Montgomery Fraiser?

Simple. Vera Sweeney is the single greatest human being in the world and facilitated this unparalleled moment as Sam launched his collection for Barbour. As their global brand ambassador, his partnership culminated this year in a line of waxed jackets, city sweaters, and fitted button-down shirts like the shirt Sam is wearing in the above image. Just get to know Vera and magically, good things will happen to you.

In any case, this group *gets it.* They understand the monumental nature of these photos and will be giving his new collection a hard look. They know items such as the sexy jacket picture below will take them one step closer to falling through those legendary stones.

sam heughan scottish

Behind the scenes at the Sam Heughan by Barbour launch at Macy’s NYC

2. Group #2. “Wow, he’s pretty cute.” 

Pretty cute? A friend of mine (former friend) actually uttered those words. Listen, if you don’t watch Outlander or enjoy reading Scottish romance, that’s fine. Maybe you don’t have Starz or don’t like to watch a massively handsome and talented Scotsman who occasionally takes off his shirt on TV. (If this is the case, you likely don’t read the Border Series either which is an entirely different sort of travesty.) But those in this camp can surely recognize the ingenious of Barbour to recruit Sam for the single greatest partnership ever according to the Heughligans (Sam Heughan super-fans.) This group must understand the appeal of a line of clothing that is just one plane ride removed from feeling like they’ve been thrust into the Scottish Highlands.

Whichever group you fall into, just please remember one thing. If you ever find yourself thrust up against the single most spectacular spokesman in the history of any clothing line ever, despite his charming personality and devastatingly good looks, you can still speak. Just prepare yourself with answers to seemingly easy questions such as, “What is the title of your most recent book,” and all will be well.

Think I’m exaggerating? Walk into a room to this and see how you fare…

Sam Heughan’s signature collection is available in stores and online at Macy’s, as well as in Barbour retail stores. Sam himself is less available but if you’re a verra lucky lassie, you just never know.

Historical Romance Readers: The Chief’s Maiden Has Arrived!

Today I celebrate a birthday exactly two years to the day I wrote “The End” on The Thief’s Countess. It’s hard to believe two years have gone by already. My publishing journey has led from retirement after twenty years in education to a full-time historical romance writing career, and I could not be more excited. Writing in a genre I love, researching medieval England and spending my days with Scottish romance heroes, like Toren in this current release, hardly feels like work. Instead, I’m writing on Sunday (and my birthday) not because I have to, but because it brings me joy to make the stories in my head come alive.

I’m often asked if it’s difficult to think of new stories. Just the opposite. The hard part is making my fingers move fast enough across the keyboard in order to tell the next tell. In this current book release, the Border Series finally has a Scottish hero, Toren Kerr, chief of Clan Kerr. When he’s sent to the Tournament of the North in England to kill the English warden who upsets the tenuous peace along the border, he falls in love with none other than the warden’s daughter.

Fight for your king or the woman you love?

 

historical romance new release

 

He faces a difficult decision, but you can find out what Toren chooses by reading The Chief’s Maiden, a brand new historical romance for medieval romance fans, for free in Amazon Kindle or grabbing at its special $2.99 launch price (expires soon!) If you do read and enjoy the book, I’d love to know what you think. Leave a comment below, and I’ll be sure to comment back. Now it’s off to find that chocolate and peanut butter cake my mother orders every year which will be desert today and breakfast for at least two days to come. That’s totally legitimate, right?

Join me TONIGHT for a Book-Lover’s Pinterest Party + Prizes!

What goes better than books and Pinterest? Maybe prizes too? Join me tonight from 9:00-9:30 PM EST for a “Chief’s Pinterest Party” where I’ll be giving away a book lovers tote, a The Chief’s Maiden signed paperback and more! Joining in on the fun is easy. Just follow this board and log in a 9:00 PM. I will post an image every 5 minutes. Comment and be sure to fill out the winner’s form at the end. See images that inspired the book and even get a hint at Border Series book #4 coming in February.

Know a friend who loves books and Pinterest? Share this post with them, and see you tonight!

No Kindle? No Problem.

Why can’t I buy Border Series books on iBooks/Nook/Kobo?

Cecelia’s books are only available on Amazon because she participates in their exclusive author program. As such, the Border Series books are listed in Kindle Unlimited for romance readers who prefer to pay one price each month for unlimited reads.

But I don’t have a Kindle

No worries. You can download Amazon’s FREE Kindle app which works on smartphones, tablets, and computers.

I’ve downloaded the app. Now what?

Go ahead and purchase the Border Series book from Amazon, watch it appear in your app, and voila! Just don’t stay up too late reading.