I am so delighted to welcome Vanessa Kelly today! She's not only one of my favorite people but one of my favorite authors as well. If you aren't reading her books, now's the perfect time to begin! Vanessa 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. (You may have seen the photos in our Moonlight & Magnolias blogs from 2011) You can find Vanessa on the web at www.vanessakellyauthor.com. You can also connect with her at Facebook, Twitter and Vanessa's Blog.
By Vanessa Kelly
Hi PJ and Andrea! I’m so happy to be celebrating the release of my new historical romance, His Mistletoe Bride, with you and your readers.
For those of you who've read my previous books in the Stanton Family series, you’ll know that I have strong-minded and resourceful heroines. They’re up to challenging the various pig-headed notions of the heroes, and they fight hard to achieve their HEAs with the men they love. But although my books obviously focus on the hero and heroine, I do like to develop other relationships for my main characters, especially friendships between the various women in the books.
The heroine of His Mistletoe Bride, Phoebe Linville, is a Quaker who comes from America to meet her aristocratic British relatives. The first person she meets is my hero, Lucas Stanton. Phoebe finds him both intriguing and attractive, but also a bit intimidating. Lucas, who is pretty darn smart as well as drop-dead sexy, realizes that Phoebe could use a little female companionship. He introduces her to Aunt Georgina (Lady Stanton) and to Meredith, the Countess of Silverton. The women—characters from my previous books—take Phoebe under their wings.
With some entertaining results, I might add. Here’s a short excerpt from Phoebe’s first dress shopping expedition in London—clearly an important event if she’s to make a success of her society debut. But as a plainly dressed Quaker she finds the entire experience rather daunting, and she needs some gentle support from Aunt Georgina and Meredith:
Scowling at her reflection, Phoebe gave her bodice another useless tug. Meredith stood and moved behind her, gently placing her hands on Phoebe’s shoulders and turning her around.
“You’re only in half mourning,” Meredith said as she skillfully rearranged the whisper-thin material across Phoebe’s bosom. “Your grandfather has been dead for over two months, so it’s entirely appropriate for you to go out into company, as long as you don’t dance. And this gown is both tasteful and discreet. Just the perfect thing for a young lady in your situation.”
Phoebe almost choked on Meredith’s description of the gown. Half her chest was exposed. If she did not succumb to a fatal chill, she would likely die of mortification the first time she went into public.
Without thinking, she slipped her hand up to the bodice, ready to yank it up. Meredith caught her fingers.
“You’ll ruin the fabric,” she warned.
“But I feel . . . naked.”
Aunt Georgie laughed. “I’m not surprised, given what you normally wear. But I assure you, that dress is modest by ton standards. It’s the perfect thing for your appearance at Lady Framingham’s ball next week.”
“Aunt Georgina is right,” Meredith said. “Half the women at the ball will be falling out of their gowns. One or two of them quite literally.” She smoothed down the bodice over her own generous chest and sighed. “Just look at me. After having twins, I practically have to strap myself in whenever I put on evening attire or I’d give my husband a fit.”
“But everything seems to fit you perfectly.” Despairing, Phoebe gestured at her overflowing chest. “Unlike me. I’m skinny everywhere but up here. I look top heavy, like some sort of puffed-up bird.”
Aunt Georgie smiled. “The dressmaker can alter the gown to fit perfectly. And you have a lovely figure. Most girls would give their eyeteeth to look like you. Most importantly, I’m sure any man in his right mind would agree. Lucas, for instance. He seems quite taken with you.”
Not again. Phoebe did not want to have this conversation, not when she knew her cheeks turned red as fire at the very mention of his name. “I am sure he is not.”
“I’m sure he is,” Aunt Georgie gently insisted. “We hardly used to see Lucas from one week to the next, but now he practically haunts the General’s library. He’s visited every day since you’ve arrived.”
Phoebe blushed even harder. “He is acting out of simple kindness to a newcomer, nothing more.”
Meredith laughed. “Kindness has nothing to do with it. Can’t you tell?”
That was the problem. She could not. The men she had grown up with were nothing like Lucas, or anyone else in London, for that matter.
Phoebe grew up in a quiet country village, and she has no idea how to navigate the complexities of life among the British aristocracy. Fortunately for her, she has women friends and family who will guide her. I love creating these strong female relationships in my stories, and I think readers enjoy them too. Besides, as much as we love the men in our lives—and Phoebe and Lucas do eventually fall madly in love—we sometimes need a little help from our women friends, don’t we?
What about you, readers? When you need support who are the women you turn to? I’m very fortunate to be able to rely on my step-mother and sister, but I have wonderful women friends, too. So tell us all about it! One person who comments will win a copy of two of my previous books—Mastering The Marquess and An Invitation To Sin.
BLAME IT ON THE MISTLETOE…
When Major Lucas Stanton inherited his earldom, he never dreamed his property would include the previous earl’s granddaughter. Phoebe Linville is a sparkling American beauty, yes, but with a talent for getting into trouble. Witness the compromising position that forced them into wedlock. Whisked away to Mistletoe Manor, his country estate, it isn’t long before she is challenging his rules—and surprising him in and out of bed…
Phoebe has no intention of bowing to Lucas’s stubbornness even though he offers all that she wants. His kisses and unexpected warmth are enticing, but Phoebe is determined to show the Earl of Merritt what real love is all about. And if that takes twelve nights of delicious seduction by a roaring fire, she’s more than willing to reveal her gifts very slowly…
Buy links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Books A Million
Hi Vanessa, I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of His Mistletoe Bride; I'm going to order it as soon as I finish this comment.ReplyDelete
The people I turn to for support are my sister, she has always been there for. I hope that she can say the same for me. Also my husband, George is that one in a million guy who was the perfect match for me, and it is not surprising that I met him through my sister and her husband!
Best of luck with this new book,
Hi Flora!! Lovely to see you! I'm very close to my sister too, which is great. George IS a wonderful guy, but he's also lucky to have you as his wife!Delete
Vanessa, that is such a lovely thing to say; you made my morning! Now I have to make sure that George sees this when he comes home!Delete
I hope you, Randy, your father and the rest of your family are well. Early Happy Holiday wishes to you all.
PS. I forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday as well! I don't know how that one got by me, because you know it's the same day as my son, William's!Delete
LOL! Thank you so much, Flora! And happy birthday to William!Delete
I love Christmas stories. HIS MISTLETOE BRIDE is on my wish list.ReplyDelete
I have 5 sisters that I can turn to. They each have their strengths.
Wow, Marybelle - five sisters! That is a whole lot of support to fall back on.Delete
Congratulations on the new book. I can't believe it is time to start anticipating the holiday season already. I have my mother, sister and daughter who area there for me.
Hi Maureen! It does seem kind of crazy how early these books come out, doesn't it?Delete
Hi Vanessa! HIS MISTLETOE BRIDE sounds great and is on my TBR list. As for who I can turn to, I would have to say my sister and mother. They are both strong in so many ways, and caring, supportive, etc. There are others in my life I can count on, but these two are definitely at the topy.ReplyDelete
Hi June! My mom passed away several years ago, but I'm lucky to have a great step-mother I can turn to for support.Delete
Cristmas stories are one of my favorites. I am looking forward to this one too!!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Betty!Delete
I have 3 wonderful sisters that I rely on to help me through hard times as well as fun times.ReplyDelete
I have one very dear friend who has my back at all times and I have hers. Fortunately I work with her as well so the coverage is pretty much 24/7 LOLReplyDelete
That's great, Dianna!Delete
His mistletoe bride sounds like so much fun!! I adore a holiday story. A special woman in my life is my sister. After she moved away we see less of each other... But when we do get together it's always great. We can talk for hours and she's a great friend.ReplyDelete
That's a shame that you no longer live close to each other, but its wonderful the way you can pick right up when you see each other again.Delete
Vanessa's books sound like the historicals I really enjoy reading. I rely on my daughter and older sister for support, guidance and even criticism. They are my best friends too.ReplyDelete
Laura, that's pretty neat your daughter and sister are your best friends!Delete
Love the cover and I'm always up for reading strong heroines. Congrats on the new release!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Selena - good to see you!Delete
Hello Vanessa! I must say I am addicted to historical type books. I love closing my eyes and imagining what it would really be like living in a different time period. Then reality sets in and I am glad I live here and now with modern medicine and transportation and shampoo and sewers and well, you get the point. So instead, I get to read and enjoy visiting the past in this way instead; by reading lovely books like this one.ReplyDelete
And as for female support, I moved to England with my daughter and left my mother and sister behind in Florida. I still have them to call and facebook with but I also now have a very lovely mummy-in-law and sister-in-law (and niece-in-law!!) and a caring step-daughter who has young children,they are always there when I need someone. My daughter is now 14 and I already know by comments her friends moms have made that she is a caring warm and loving friend who goes out of her way to help those in need.Delete
I love historical romance for the same reasons, EternalsBlissy! Thanks for stopping by!Delete
I can't wait to read this one!!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Carrie! Only one more day!Delete
I love Christmas stories! Such a fun and happy holiday! When I need females to turn to it my mom, my sister or my best friend! They are all wonderful in their own ways!ReplyDelete
Moms and sisters are the best, Sue!Delete
Topping my support list are Mom and my sister. After that, there are several friends--my sisters by choice--that I turn to. Thanks for an interesting post. I look forward to reading His Mistletoe Bride.ReplyDelete
Thank you, LSUReader!Delete
Love the cover! I have a wonderful friend who, it seems, will do anything for me. I'm moving back to Atlanta on Friday after 5 years in Iowa. I have no job, no home and she is having me live with her while I look for a job, then a place to live, on top of that she is taking me on vacation to th ebeach with her on Saturday! How does someone pay that back????ReplyDelete
Sheila, what an awesome friend! And I bet you'd do the same for her, if she needed help.Delete
I have been POSITIVELY drooling ever since I first saw the cover of this gorgeous novel! I cannot wait to read it.ReplyDelete
My daughter is my support. Even though I'm her mother, she sometimes helps me see things in a clearer way. How did I ever get so lucky to have such a wonderful girl?
Connie, I bet your a great mother!Delete
Hi! Sounds like a great book!ReplyDelete
I have my mom and I know I can always count on her.
May, there's nothing as great as having a mom to count on, is there?Delete
I love His Mistletoe Bride, Vanessa. But when haven't I loved one of your books?ReplyDelete
My sister and my BFF, who's had my back since we were four, are my strongest supporters, but I also have a host of women friends who bless my life every day.
Thank you so much, Janga! Glad you enjoyed it!Delete
Loved your excerpt and I've been hearing such great things about your book! As to lady friends, I married at 18 and really can't say I had that experience. I do have friends but since I've been married for 42 years, I've really depended on my husband the most :)ReplyDelete
catslady, my husband is my best friend, too. Congrats on 42 years of marriage. That's awesome!Delete
My mom and my mother-in-law are ywo great woman I turn too! I'm blessed for both of them!ReplyDelete
That's so great, Johanna!Delete
Congratulations on the new book. That's a wonderful holiday cover.ReplyDelete
In answer to your question, I turn to my sister. It's nice having a sibling who is always supportive.
Thanks, Kim! I'm close to my sister, too.Delete
Hey, Vanessa! Oh, I do love the cover of your new book. Gorgeous!ReplyDelete
I turn to my sister, my oldest sister, to be exact. We are very close, and I'm blessed to have her in my life. I also have some girlfriends who are always willing to lend an ear---or shoulder---when it's needed. :-)
Gannon! So lovely to see you! Thanks so much for stopping by.Delete
thanks for a great post and congrats on the newest release! I usually lean on my mom and my best friend :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Erin!Delete
My mother, my daughter, and my best friend, who I call my should have been sister, are who I turn to. I am so extremely lucky to have them in my life!ReplyDelete
Congratulations on the release and thank you for the chance in the giveaway. :)
Thanks for stopping by, Leah!Delete
*waving madly* Hiya, Vanessa!! We are so happy to have you here with us today. Congrats on the new release! I can't wait to pick it up!ReplyDelete
The women I most often turn to are my youngest sister and my mom. They're always there when I need them. :)
Hi Andrea!! Thanks so much for having me on!Delete
Hi Vanessa! I love your books, and would love to win this contest.ReplyDelete
The women I turn to when things get me down are my 2 best friends. I am also here for them when they need me.
Kathy, thank you so much!Delete
Hi Vanessa! So wonderful to have you visit with us today! Congrats on the release of His Mistletoe Bride. I have to say, that is one gorgeous cover!ReplyDelete
I'm fortunate to have good friends who I call my "sisters of the heart." They are always there for me when I need them, as I am for them.
Thanks so much for having me, PJ! Aren't sisters of the heart wonderful? I bet I know who some of them are!Delete
Hi Vanessa! I have always admired strong women, in books and in real life. I'm lucky I can count on my mother for support and love. We are so close and share a lot of wonderful times together.ReplyDelete
That's so great, Na!Delete
When I need support the woman I turn to is my older sister, she's always there for me. I have several women friends that I worked with for over 30 years and they're also there for me, but because I now live across the country from them it's harder to keep in touch than it was before. My sister calls me constantly and we email and text all the time, so she's a lot easier for me to talk to. I was very close to my mother as well, but she's now passed away - I still miss her so much.ReplyDelete
Barbara, I still miss my mom, too. Fortunately, I have a big sister and a lovely stepmother whom I'm close to. That helps!Delete
The people I turn to for support, love; heck when I need to release some stress & just whine are my mother & my sisters. Nothing quite like family who will listen, give me their honest opinion & advice & tell me if I"m being absolutely idiot! (unfortunately i reckon sometimes I need that)ReplyDelete
Sounds like a delightful story. Before their deaths, my mothe and mother-in-law were great ladies to confide in and enjoy. Now it is my sisters and my daughters.ReplyDelete
Would love to win. Vanessa is a new author for me and always looking for new authors to read. This book sounds great. Love the cover. Thanks for the giveaway.ReplyDelete
I turn to my mom, my cousins Connie, Melinda, & Mindy, or my very good friend Sarah.
christinebails at yahoo dot com
My best supporting team is my mom and grandmother! They have lived a lot of things, struggle for their dreams and form and grow a family! The best advice and shoulder to cry in my life are this two womens. Count me in if the giveaway is international, please!ReplyDelete
Sounds like a great read.Love your books and I am a vixen:-) Great coverReplyDelete