Thursday, January 8, 2015

Today's Special - - Vanessa Kelly

It's always a pleasure to host Vanessa Kelly here at the Romance Dish. I have loved every one of her Renegade Royals and can't wait to read the newly released How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy. (Check out Janga's review of the book here.) Released in late November, Dominic and Chloe's long-awaited story in Tall, Dark and Royal was one of my favorite reads over the holidays. Don't miss this wonderful second-chance love story which is still available for less than $3.

Vanessa is an award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.”  Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her current series, The Renegade Royals, is a national bestseller. Vanessa also writes USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance with her husband under the pen name of V.K. Sykes.

Please give Vanessa a warm welcome!



Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

Remember those Doublemint gum commercials? They always starred attractive female twins getting up to some kind of trouble—usually of the male persuasion. Then there was the Patty Duke show, which showcased identical twin cousins (both played by Patty, of course) who had completely different personalities. And accents. Those two gals were full of hijinks, switching identities and fooling all the poor saps too dumb to see through the ruse.

I’m sure we could all come up with other shows, movies, and books that feature twins who get up to mischief (Stephanie Laurens’ Cynster twins comes to mind). And it’s interesting to wonder why this is such a popular trope. Partly I think it’s because it can work very well as a plot device—it’s always great fun for twins to switch identities and raise havoc, and it’s a wonderful tool for a writer to have in her toolkit. But the very idea of twins also raises interesting questions about the nature of identity—how people are defined by physical appearance, but also how, ultimately, two people can look exactly the same and yet be entirely different in terms of personality and behavior.

And then there’s the almost mystical element that often enters into the relationship between twins. There’s a great deal of research and anecdotal evidence to suggest that twins are connected on a very deep, almost psychic level, knowing when something bad is happening to the other twin even when physically separated by hundreds of miles. They can communicate on a level that defies any sort of rational explanation.

Cool, eh?

In my latest historical romance, How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy, my heroine is an identical twin.  Evelyn Whitney and her sister, Eden, are absolutely devoted to each other. They share each other’s looks, thoughts, and very often feelings—they also share each other’s bad eyesight. When dressed identically, very few can tell them apart, even when they speak.

But Evelyn and Eden are very different in how they deal with the world. Evelyn is a shy, thoughtful young woman who hates being the center of attention and has no problem wearing spectacles—even though it means the rest of the world labels her as a bluestocking and spinster. In fact, she rather prefers that, since it means that most people will leave her alone. Her sister, on the other hand, is confident, flirtatious, athletic (despite her bad eyesight), and has a bevy of suitors a block long trailing after her. In terms of how they approach their circle of family and friends, they’re as different as chalk and cheese.

That’s also the case with their love lives, too.

Evelyn has long been in love with Captain Will Endicott, her childhood sweetheart and the man who broke her heart. When Will mysteriously and suddenly comes back into her life, Evelyn is determined to keep her distance—both physically and emotionally. Will, of course, has other plans, but Evelyn is having none of it. There is no way, no how, she’s going to let Will mess up her life again—no matter how much, deep down, she might want to. She’s just too cautious to let anything like that happen again.

Eden, of course, knows that Evelyn is still in love with Will, and thinks her twin should give the poor man a second chance. She thinks Evelyn should throw off her wallflower persona and get into a little trouble with Will—the kind that involves long carriage rides and walks in the park, and maybe even a little kissing. After all, what could really go wrong?

Lots, as it turns out. After all, Will is not only tall, handsome, and smart, he’s also a military intelligence agent—one who’s been ordered to spy on Evelyn, who finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a deadly conspiracy. Will and Evelyn are going to end up in a lot of trouble, the kind that calls for some pretty bold action (and kissing).

And that’s when Evelyn discovers that she’s a lot more like her brash and self-confident twin than she ever thought possible. Everyone including Will is surprised by that development—everyone, of course, except Eden! But I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise, should it?

Do you know any twins or two people who seem connected on another level that defies explanation? Or have you ever had that sort of relationship with someone in your life? Tell me about it! One person who comments will win a copy of the first two books in The Renegades Royals Series: Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard and Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom.


Whether as spies or lovers, the Renegade Royals—illegitimate sons of England’s Royal Princes—are bold, skillful, and a force to be reckoned with…

A war hero returned from Waterloo should be able to indulge in a bit of bad behavior. Instead, Captain William Endicott is summoned by his father, the Duke of York, to investigate an assassination plot. The unlikely suspect: William’s former sweetheart. Will can’t believe that innocent Evie Whitney could be mixed up in anything so nefarious. Then again, almost everything about Evie has changed—except for his body’s instinctive response to hers…

Just as Evie’s life is finally coming together, Will saunters back into it. Should she slap him—or seduce him? Even as she tries to decide, scandal pushes her toward marriage with a man she can neither trust nor resist—and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy…







30 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the new book Vanessa! We knew an older couple some years ago who were so adorable together. Their affection and devotion for each other was so nice to see.

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    1. I love seeing older couples like that. Really warms my heart. :)

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  2. Thanks so much for hosting me, ladies! It's always an immense pleasure to be here with you and your readers!

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    1. It's always a pleasure to have you here! I'm looking forward to reading the new book. I've had such fun with your Renegade Royals!

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    2. So glad you enjoying them, my dear!

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  3. My husband and my father can't figure out how my mom & I can have a conversation without finishing the sentences.

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    1. Yes, I think moms and daughters can have a very close and special relationship like that.

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  4. I have heard a lot about it, and have seen instances from various studies where twins who have been separated their entire lives have had amazing similarities, but don't know any personally.

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    1. The research on it is very cool, clynsg!

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  5. My niece's oldest two are twin boys, now in college. They are identicals and in many ways very much alike but like siblings, sometimes you can see how opposite they can be too.

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    1. Yes, that's true, catslady. I had fun playing with those elements of identity.

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  6. Congratulations on the new release. I know two sets of twins, but they're not identical. You hear stories of twins heightened senses about the other, but I haven't seen examples of it.

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    1. It would be fun to see it in action, Kim!

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  7. Congrats on your new release. My mother had a twin brother, I am not sure how much they were in sensing things about each other.

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    1. It would be interesting to know, Quilt Lady!

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  8. Congrats to Vanessa on the newest release! I don't know any twins but I remember always wanting one. I loooooved The Parent Trap (the original w/ Hailey Mills) when I was younger :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm a huge fan of the original Parent Trap, erin. I love stumbling upon it on TV. :)

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  9. have twin nieces, while they have some similar personality traits, there's plenty about them that's night vs day from looks, to taste, to personality too

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    1. I know twins like that too. Though they are identical, their personalities are very different.

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  10. my cousin and I are a lot alike. Not quite the twin thing, but close enough. :)

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  11. Congratulations on the new book, Vanessa! My sister is 11 years younger than me. I went away to college at 18, so we didn't really "grow up" together. We now live in different states & only see each other once a year. However, we love the same movies & can quote lines. We connect on an emotional level & have empathy for each other's situations. We can have a conversation as if we just saw each other yesterday.

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  12. Congrats Vanessa!
    I know a couple of twins that when one got pregnant the other could swear she felt when the baby moved! It was kind of weird and amazing at the same time! LOL
    JoannaM

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  13. There's a set of twins with whom I have been friends with since middle school. Even though they now live in different states they still have that connection. It's pretty amusing when they make almost identical posts on Facebook at the same time.

    I'm looking forward to reading How To Plan A Wedding For A Royal Spy!

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  14. I've always been fascinated by twins and the close bond they share, but I don't know any twins personally. My sister and I have a pretty close bond, we like a lot of the same things, but it isn't anything like what you hear about with twins. :D

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  15. I don't know any twins, but my parents were beautiful to watch. They knew each other most of their lives & were married for 66+ years.

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  16. My husband and I had a very close bond. We often thought the same things at the same time and often spoke the same words at the same time as well.

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  17. Congrats Vanessa on this newest release. I can't wait to read this. Twins always make the story so much more exciting I think. My masts Mom & Dad had known each other since theey were both 14 and had the ability to feel when one or the other was distressed whenever apart . Which was rare. They were married almost 60 years when Mom passed away and Dad followed a couple years. Later.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  18. No twins. I'm close to my older sister.

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  19. Congratulations on the new book, HOW TO PLAN A WEDDING FOR A ROYAL SPY. This is certainly a series I will be reading. I like a bit of intrigue in stories, and reunion stories are a favorite.

    I think many children start life with the ability to connect with others. It isn't really understood or accepted in most instances. Children learn to hide or ignore it rather than nurture it. On the night before my 4th or 5th birthday, I dreamed of my uncle who was fighting in Korea. I saw him killed on the battlefield. The next day I told my parents and was punished for upsetting everyone. My grandparents got the telegram informing them of his death that afternoon. Needless to say, I kept my premonitions to myself after that. My husband and I have a fairly good connection. I sense when things have happened or are going to happen with him. It is also true with our children and other relatives. I often know the phone will ring minutes before a call, and who it will be. Who knows what causes this and how much more receptive we would all be if it was more acceptable and nurtured.

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  20. Not entering contest, just adding my recommendation, love this series, now just starting in on the latest.
    I have an aunt and uncle who are twins, never heard them talk much about any special bonds and of course wasn't around when they were young, lol. though, I did grow up and go to school with two girls who were twins, and yes those two could communicate without words, and had lots of fun fooling people a lot as even their personalities were very similar most of the time.

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