Friday, November 30, 2012

Romancing the Holidays Winners

Many thanks to everyone who made today so much fun!  Here's a complete list of the winners from our Romancing the Holidays gala.

Hour One         Auburn Girl                       
Signed copy of Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight

    *** Auburn  Girl, please send your email address to us at theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com.  Thanks!  ***

Hour Two        yellowrose                           
His Mistletoe Bride

Hour Three      Diane Patricia  Diamond      
Season for Surrender

Hour Four       Jennifer McQuiston             
What Happens at Christmas

Hour Five        Beth Mills                         
Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight, His Mistletoe Bride,
Season for Surrender and What Happens at Christmas

Hour Six          Armenia Fox                      
Book, mug and English Christmas crackers

Hour Seven      Ezrah Lasola                      
Book, What Happens at Christmas mousepad, White House ornament      
Hour Eight        Donna M. Brown              
Book, Southern praline candy, What Happens at Christmas mousepad             

Hour Nine         Moriah Reed                    
Book, mug, loose-leaf tea plus strainer

Hour Ten          Alisha Woods                   
Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight, His Mistletoe Bride, Season                          
for Surrender, What Happens at Christmas
Christmas ornament, tea towel, English Christmas crackers

Hour Eleven      Ann Marie Feldman          
Book, set of David Winter cottage ornaments
Grand Prize       Debra Simning-Chapman   
e-reader, box of chocolate truffles, 
set of David Winter cottage ornaments

Giant Basket of Books goes to:    

Options Women's Shelter, Morganton, NC  

Romancing the Holidays - Victoria Alexander


Hour Three - Live Chat

For the final hour of today's Romancing the Holidays Gala we are hosting a live video chat with Victoria Alexander and Vanessa Kelly beginning at 8:00pm (EST).  To access the chat, simply click on the link below which will take you to Lit Connect's chat site.

Once at the site, click "Guest" then enter your email address and name (first name, screen name, whatever you prefer) to enter the chat.  If you want to ask a question of either Victoria or Vanessa, click the ? symbol and we'll call on you.  

See you there!  

The Hour Eleven winner of
a Book
a set of David Winter cottage ornaments

Ann Marie Feldman


Hour Two - Absolutely Perfect

           I love Christmas. I love over the top decorations. I love those foods that are only around at Christmas like ribbon candy and fudge and English toffee. (Oh sure I know you can have them at other times of year but no one I know makes fudge and toffee unless it's Christmas, which really is a good thing.) I love Christmas music (especially from Manheim Steamroller). And I love the fact that my birthday is a few days before Christmas because it makes celebrating my birthday really special.

            Christmas is magical and I want it to be perfect.

            And it never is which inevitably leads to my traditional Christmas Eve meltdown. You know—it's that moment when I'm trying to make our traditional meatless Christmas Eve dinner (shrimp, tomato soup, potato pancakes) and trying to wrap that last minute present and trying to put up that last decoration and trying to make sure everything will be, well, perfect.

            When I was writing What Happens at Christmas, I didn't realize until I was finished that my heroine, Camille, was doing exactly what I do. She was trying to make Christmas perfect. Of course, she was doing it for a prince and I'm doing it for the people I love. I want my family, especially my kids, to remember Christmas as magic. And perfect.

            Oh sure, we've had those years when the Christmas tree has fallen over. We've had minor fires thanks to candles placed too close to decorations. We've had presents that haven't arrived, unexpected houseguests who have, bad weather that cancelled everything and all sorts of other holiday mishaps. At the time, they felt like major disasters. There was gnashing of teeth (mine) and much weeping and wailing (mine, mine) that Christmas was ruined. It wasn't of course.

            Camille's Christmas wasn't perfect and neither are mine. My kids are grown now and when they talk about Christmas Past, it's not the perfect dinner or the perfect decorations or the perfect gifts they remember. It's the fun and the laughter and the love.

            And when we look back, each and every Christmas feels, well, perfect. J

            What are your favorite Christmas memories?

The Hour Ten Winner of

Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight
His Mistletoe Bride
Season for Surrender
What Happens at Christmas
a Christmas Ornament
a Tea Towel
English Christmas Crackers


Alisha Woods

Congratulations, Alisha!

Hour One—Welcome to Romancing the Holidays!!!

My Secret Christmas Vice 

            Okay, this is my Christmas confession. There are all sorts of things I love about this time of year. Most of them are pretty obvious—decorations, parties, finding the right gift and so on. But I do have a Christmas addiction that I rarely talk about.

            I am hooked on made-for-tv holiday movies.

            That's right. You know the ones I'm talking about. They start running on tv in October. Just a couple a week to kind of ease us into the overload to come. By the time the Thanksgiving dishes are done, you can find one running on one channel or another almost any hour of the day or night and on more than one channel. And I can't resist them.

            My family, of course, thinks I'm insane. They feel compelled to point out flaws in the plots or bad dialogue or poor acting. And yes I notice the flaws and I do think I would have written it differently but overall—I ignore any problems.

            Oh sure they're pretty similar. And the premise often sounds much better than the execution but they're like Christmas treats for me—one is never enough. Until now, I've never really given much thought to why.

            Now, the little Christmas light bulb has come on over my head. In one way or another they all have elements of those classic stories of Christmas we all know and love: It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol and The Gift of the Magi. Whether they're dramas or sheer comedy they're all about redemption and second chances and forgiveness and love and miracles. Universal themes.

            I didn't when I wrote it but I can now see the influence of those classic Christmas themes in What Happens at Christmas.  And I suspect they came from my unflinching love of Christmas stories—whether they're on tv or between the covers of a book.

            Made-for-tv holidays movies is one vice I refuse to give up but I will try to cut down.

            From now on, I promise not to watch in any month that doesn't end in b-e-r.

So what's your secret Christmas vice?

Romancing the Holidays - Vanessa Kelly - Hour Three

Vanessa Kelly

The Hour Nine winner of

a Book
a Mug
Loose-leaf tea plus tea strainer

Moriah Reed


Romancing the Holidays
Hour Three — Getting Crafty

I bet some of you folks make your own gifts for the holidays – wonderful knitted scarves or sweaters, or perhaps Christmas ornaments or other crafts.  Well, I have a confession to make.  I absolutely suck at crafts or that kind of imaginative handiwork.  But I was craftily inspired several weeks ago by one of my co-conspirators today, Theresa Romain.  When Theresa gets her author copies from the publisher she constructs some kind of book edifice, usually a replica of a famous building.  Here’s the one she did of the Eiffel Tower from her copies of Season For Surrender.

Not to outdone, I decided to build a Tower of London model from my author copies of His Mistletoe Bride.

Building on our artistic successes, Theresa and I decided to see if we could make a Christmas tree out of our books, for today’s gala.  Alas, I failed miserably.  Theresa, as you can see from her previous post, did not although a little bird told me that she had an engineering consultant assist her in the build, although you didn’t hear that from me.

Not to be outdone, I decided to go for something a bit different.  I made a Christmas wreath out of the cover flats of my books.  Sadly, I only had one flat for Sex And The Single Earl, but it is there if you look for it.

And here’s a close up of my wreath.

I think you’ll agree that my wreath looks FABULOUS.  I mean, who needs a Christmas tree when you have something like that?!  Not that I’m competitive, or anything.  Really, I’m not.

What about you, readers?  Do you make some of your own holiday gifts or crafts?  Tell us all how talented you truly are!

Romancing the Holidays - Vanessa Kelly


The Hour Eight winner of 

a book
Southern Praline Candy
a What Happens at Christmas mouse pad

Donna M. Brown

Congratulations, Donna!

Hour Two — All The Holidays of the Season

I was raised in a pretty traditional Catholic household, so we celebrated all the major Christian holidays.  But there are some other holidays and festivities that take place at time of year, and really add to the beauty of the winter season.

Hanukah is the Jewish Festival of Light, commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.  It’s observed for eight nights and days, taking place at any time from late November to late December.  It’s most memorable symbol is the Menorah, the unique, nine-branched candelabrum.  Many families exchange small gifts each night and there are wonderful traditional foods to celebrate the holiday.

Diwali is known as the “festival of lights,” and is primarily a holiday in the Hindu and Sikh tradition.  It falls between mid-October and mid-November.  There are a number of regional variations in the celebrations, but they generally involve lighting small clay lamps and setting off firecrackers.  People wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks in gatherings with family and friends.  There’s also Pancha Ganapati, a festival celebrated from Dec. 21 to 25 in honor of Lord Ganesha.  Some describe it as the Hindu alternative to Christmas, and it includes outings, picnics, and the exchange of gifts. 

Kwanzaa was created in 1966 as a specifically African-American holiday.  It is now also celebrated in Canada, and runs from December 26 through January 1st each year.  It was established as a way to support African-Americans in reconnecting with their ancient heritage, and celebrates the seven principles of Nguzo Saba.  Families decorate their households and celebrations often include cultural performances.

Winter Solstice is the time of year when the winter sun is at its lowest altitude on the horizon – the shortest day of the year.  The Solstice was recognized by many cultures and religions traditions, and usually symbolized rebirth and the renewal of life.  It was celebrated by the Anglo-Saxons, the indigenous people of Scandinavia, early Christians, ancient Slavic cultures, and is still observed by many people around the world today.

There are many more winter festivals, of course, including St. Lucy’s Day, Boxing Day, Twelfth Night, and the Chinese New Year.  Perhaps all this celebration is a way to lighten and bring joy to what is a very dark and cold time of year.  It makes perfect sense to me!

Readers, I’d love to know what special or favorite traditions you observe during the holiday season, religious or otherwise.  Do you have cultural or family traditions that are particularly meaningful?  Let’s share!

The Hour Seven winner of
a Book
a What Happens at Christmas mousepad
a White House ornament

Ezrah Lasola


Hour One — Welcome to Romancing the Holidays!!!

Time for Brunch?!  

Happy Holidays, everybody!  I’m so excited to be here for today’s Gala, hosted by our wonderful friends at The Romance Dish, PJ and Andrea.  Thanks so much, ladies!  What a day it’s been so far, right?  And there’s more fun in store, but I also want to remind everyone that we’ll be making donations to women’s shelters and libraries at the end of the day, and we’re encouraging you to do the same.  It’s always a good idea to check out your local library and shelter and see if they need any book donations, and it’s very sensible way to clean out your bookshelves and spread the reading love.

One of the topics of conversation today is favorite holiday recipes.  My mother was a fantastic cook who really pulled out the stops at this time of year, so I have lots of good recipes from her secret horde.  But rather than giving you one for her cookies or pies, I thought I’d go with one of her delicious brunch dishes.  After all, there’s nothing like a good breakfast or brunch to set you up for holiday celebrating.

To start us off on the right foot, here’s Flora’s Holiday Brunch Strata.  My mom often served this on Christmas morning, and it was always a winner.

~ 12 slices of good white bread, cubed.
~ 8 eggs
~ 1 cup of sweet onion, finely chopped
~ 4 cups milk
~ 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
~ 2 cups cubed ham
~ 1 teaspoon salt
~ ½ teaspoon pepper

Place bread cubes in buttered 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Layer the onions and the ham & cheese on top of the bread.  Beat the eggs, milk and seasonings together and pour over the ingredients in the dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.  Feel free to add whatever herbs and other seasonings you think might go nicely with this dish.  Then, pour the champagne and orange juice and start celebrating!

What are some of your favorite recipes for the holidays?  Feel free to share!

Romancing the Holidays - Theresa Romain

Sorry about the problem with the second page of comments.  I'm trying to fix it.  In the meaning, please use this post to submit comments for Theresa.

Thank you!


Romancing the Holidays - Theresa Romain


The Hour Six winner of
a book, a mug and English Christmas crackers

Armenia Fox


Hour Three — The Gift of...Scandal?

In my new historical romance, SEASON FOR SURRENDER, a holiday house party blends notorious and proper guests for two weeks of games, wagers, and—of course—romance.

At this party, everything isn’t quite as it seems. The hero, Lord Xavier, is known for debauchery, but his reputation has far outstripped reality. This Christmas, he’s begun to suspect that what he would like most of all is to be taken seriously. As for the bluestocking heroine, Louisa Oliver? She’s used to being overlooked, but at Xavier’s house party, she discovers a confidence she never knew she had.

Here’s a little snippet from a party game Xavier’s guests were playing. Louisa, a keen observer, was asked to guess what everyone wanted for Christmas:

“What do I want?”

Louisa turned her way and regarded Jane with close interest. “A scandal.”

Jane hooted. “Everyone knows that. What else?”

Louisa grinned. “A bigger scandal.”

Xavier raised his eyebrows. “She’s got you there, Jane.”

As everyone else laughed, he gave Louisa a little smile. Lovely work. She noticed a startling amount, and he would enjoy the entertainment. As long as she didn’t turn her deep eyes his way.

“And I?” Lockwood this time. “What do I want for Christmas, Miss Oliver?”

God, Xavier had taught him nothing. The way Lockwood was waggling his brows, he looked like some old roué from a comic opera.

Louisa looked him up and down, cool as ever. “A scandal for you, too. But you want it to be someone else’s.”

“Dash it,” called Freddie Pellington, “they can’t all want a scandal.” Pellington had impeccably styled curly hair, which covered a completely empty head.

“Naturally we all want to see some scandal, Pellington,” confirmed Lady Irving in a carrying voice. “That’s why we’ve come to spend Christmas with Xavier, you ninny.”

Of course, scandal eventually erupts, though not in the form anyone expects. And of course, Louisa figured out what Xavier wants most for Christmas: to be seen, known, and loved for himself. She wants the same, and over the course of the book they find a way to get, and give, the gift they most desire.

It seems natural to talk about giving at this time of year, since gifts are a part of so many winter holidays. And it seemed natural, too, to make giving a part of this “Romancing the Holidays” event. Public libraries and women’s shelters are struggling with budget cuts and increased demand for services. They may be able to fund essentials, but there’s little left for extras. As four book-lovers, Grace and Vanessa and Victoria and I wanted to help out a few of these wonderful agencies with a book donation. And thanks to the master-planning of Grace, the generosity of Kensington Publishing, and the nominations from you lovely readers who signed up at, it’s going to happen today.

Thanks so much to PJ and Andrea for hosting us today at The Romance Dish, and thanks to all of you who are stopping by to chat!

For this hour, do tell: what’s the best gift you ever received? At any age, on any occasion.

The Hour Five winner of
a stocking filled with
Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight
His Mistletoe Bride
Season for Surrender
What Happens at Christmas

Beth Mills

Congratulations, Beth!

Hour Two — Revisiting Our Favorites

When Victoria, Grace, Vanessa, and I were planning this event, we batted around the idea of all building something out of books. First and foremost, because it’s fun. (Most likely, it’s been far too long since you played with blocks.) And secondly, because it’s satisfying. Jetting off to see the Eiffel Tower in person is hardly an impulse move for me. But making the Eiffel Tower out of romance novels? That I can do.

As I stacked up this book-Christmas-tree recently, here’s what else I found: building with books is a way to revisit beloved stories I might not have thought of for a while. All these books are on my shelves for a reason: I’ve loved them enough not only to buy and read them, but to keep them. And when building time was over, it was hard to put them all back in their places. Some of these wonderful stories made their way back to my nightstand instead.

Maybe it’s extra-fitting to make a festive tree out of books, since the holidays are a season to dust off sweet memories. For me, a favorite tradition is decorating a tree with my family. As we unpack the ornaments, we talk about where we got each one, and why, and whether there’s a funny story to go along with it. (There usually is.)

Of course, Christmas isn’t the only holiday being celebrated this time of year. Hanukkah, Muharram, Kwanzaa, and Bodhi Day also fall near the end of the year, each with their own unique traditions and symbols. Though sometimes these weeks can become hectic and stressful with special events, there’s a flip side to that. People do things they don’t do at other times of year: decorate their homes, cook traditional foods, look for just the right gift to make someone feel appreciated, or simply try to be kinder than usual. At their heart, all these observances can help us connect with one another.

What’s your favorite holiday symbol or tradition? Or to go back to building with books: what book do you most enjoy rereading? Let us know how you reconnect with loved ones or favorite stories this time of year.

The Hour Four winner of 
What Happens at Christmas
by Victoria Alexander

Jennifer McQuiston

Congratulations, Jennifer! 

Hour One — Welcome to Romancing the Holidays!!!

Buon Natale, In Desserts

In my family, the holiday traditions include both the odd—like stuffing a toy skeleton into the Christmas tree branches when my mom isn’t looking—and the edible. Homemade pralines, sugar cookies, ravioli, and above all, cuccidatis.

These little pastries are basically pie-crust dough around a fruit filling. The Sicilian branch of my family has been making them every Christmas since at least my great-grandmother’s generation. Nani used mincemeat (yes, really) in the filling—so we kids tended to nibble the tinted frosting off the top and leave the insides alone.

When Nani got older, my great-aunt took over the tradition. And then, about 15 years ago, my mother and I decided to give cuccidatis a try with a sweeter filling (read: no mincemeat). While I snipped up dried apricots and apples in addition to the usual figs, candied fruit, slivered almonds, and brandy, she rolled out a truly luscious pastry dough and mixed up the buttery-sweet frosting.

From our cuccidati experiment, we learned that no one minded a little tinkering with tradition, as long as the results tasted good. And boy, did they. My guess is that over time, a lot of our family recipes have gone through variations as each cook puts his or her stamp on them. It’s all a matter of taste (ha!).

My mom and I have now become the family’s designated cuccidati-bakers. It takes both of us, because it takes a long time to seal, cut, and frost everything. (Also, I can’t for the life of me make a decent pastry dough, so that’s up to her.) Working together with my mom? That’s the best part of the tradition. And it sure doesn’t hurt that we wind up with delicious desserts too.

What’s your favorite holiday food tradition? Is there someone in your family who’s responsible for keeping it up?

Romancing the Holidays - Grace Burrowes


The hour three winner of 
Season for Surrender 
by Theresa Romain

Diane Patricia Diamond


  Hour Three—A Nod to the Grinch

The holidays are not always easy. For families with few resources, winter’s bite on the heating bills, the pediatrician’s bills, and a parent’s nerves can be mean and feel unrelenting. With this in mind, we’ve included libraries and shelters on our list of recipients for today’s giveaways, and we know many of you will find your own way to ease the strain of the holidays for other folks.

And I must confess, I am not always the cheeriest soul. I have about five writing deadlines in December, and while I love to write, my enthusiasm sometimes flags, my holiday spirit flickers, and I turn up… Grinchly. In these low, unfriendly, unholiday moments, without fail, I find myself assailed by the version of “Jingle Bells” that features barking dogs.

I like dogs. I love my dog, Sarge. I understand dogs bark for reasons that make sense to their canine brains and sometimes even to me. I do not comprehend why anybody would expend time, money, or even a dog’s time, to create that piece of… music. I consider it a “DJ’s revenge” tune, a penance to be endured each year along with certain fruit cakes and bright orange cheese flavored spreads of dubious and minimal dairy content. 

You, however, probably love bourbon balls or that miserable version of Jingle Bells… but some other pea under the holiday mattress plagues you. Maybe it’s the waste of wrapping paper, maybe it’s the holiday office party, or maybe it’s that plastic star your mother-in-law insists must go on the top of your otherwise period-decorated tree.

There’s a reason we’re gathering at the Romance Dish. You can tell us. You can share your grinchly moment, your least favorite holiday treat, the merry tune you never want to hear again.

And if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll win some terrific holiday books, and those can reduce any grinchly moment to a rapidly fading holiday memory.

   The Hour Two winner of 
His Mistletoe Bride 
by Vanessa Kelly 



Hour Two
Loving Christmas

I’ve reached the point in life where I have no best holiday memory—there are too many good ones to choose from. My earliest Christmas memory goes back to when I shared a bedroom with three other siblings—I am one of seven, and our house was not large—two older, one younger.

As Christmas approached, I recall my older siblings lying awake after lights out, discussing things like, “What do you think Santa Claus will bring?” and “Do you think Mom will like what I made for her?” When it was time to decorate, we each had assignments.

The oldest boys (thirteen years my senior) got to climb up on the roof and string lights, my oldest sister (ten years my senior) was a phenomenal holiday baker. Dad always led the sortie out to the Christmas tree farm (which also raised registered basset hounds), and the younger cohort of siblings handled much of the inside decorating.

Mom had a huge list of jobs, the length of which, I can only appreciate in adulthood. Shopping and cooking for a horde like ours would have felled a lesser lady, but Mom claims she thrived on it. She was particularly skilled with the apricot brandy pound cakes, emphasis on the apricot brandy.

As a college professor, my dad offered his household as surrogate family to a number of international graduate students. I recall one particularly convivial holiday dinner attended by students from Finland, Libya, Japan and… Ohio. That gal from Ohio was the one we had to watch.

And it’s that aspect of Christmas that looms largest in my memory: My family made the holiday participatory and inclusive. Everybody had jobs, everybody had a way to contribute, and the emphasis on the season was one of gathering together.

In this regard, the winter holidays transcend any one faith or cultural tradition, and for that I’m grateful. When the light is waning, when the weather can turn bitter and threatening, when we’re “deep in December” and spring is not yet a tangible hope, what gets us through is a focus on loved ones, and on including and being included. Good food, song, stories and decorations help, but it’s the love that gets us through.

Do you recall holiday moments gilded by love? Some that surprised you and stand out in memory years later?

The winner of a signed copy of 
Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight 




Hour One—Welcome to Romancing the Holidays!!!

I’m experiencing that annual shock many of us go through, the one where I look at the calendar, and think, “WHERE did the year go?” quickly followed by, “EEP! Christmas is right around the corner and I’M NOT READY.”

Except I am. I’m ready to see the first snow flurries, ready to pick out the very best presents for the folks on my list (a socks and undies free zone), ready to scarf up some goodies, ready to hear Handel’s “Messiah” and maybe even find a sing-in where I can yodel along with the real musicians.

I’m also ready to give away a huge pile of books. Authors Victoria Alexander, Theresa Romain, and Vanessa Kelly are colluding with me here at Romancing the Holidays, and each hour until 9 p.m. we’ll pick a commenter to receive one of a staggering list of prizes. At the end of the day, Victoria Alexander will preside over the awarding of a NOOK or a Kindle.

And because the holidays should also turn our thoughts to our blessings, we’re giving away two sizeable baskets of books to shelters or libraries. If you’re in the mood to do some holiday cleaning, and you come across a stash of books not destined for your keeper shelf, now would be a terrific time to donate them. The landing page provides the registration form for you OR the library or shelter of your choice to have your name included in the giveaway sorting hat.

And for the rest of the folks on my gift list? I’ve gotten more adept at online shopping in recent years. Gift baskets figure prominently, the occasional bottle of cheer, or scarves featuring angora wool blends in gorgeous colors and weaves.

Do you have a go-to present for the person on your list who has everything or needs little? Is there a favorite present you’ve received that was spot on, for all you never would have thought of it yourself?


Introducing Romancing the Holidays

It's time for Romancing the Holidays!  Beginning at 9am (EST) we'll be joined by four fabulous authors who will be blogging, chatting and giving away lots of terrific prizes.  Every hour a prize will be awarded so check back often to find out if you're a lucky winner!  But first, to be eligible for the prizes you must register at the Romancing the Holidays landing page.  So go take care of that then come on back at 9am and join the fun!  Here's the schedule for today's events:

9am to 12 Noon:  Grace Burrowes (three hourly blogs prizes)
12  Noon to 3pm:  Theresa Romain (three hourly blogs and prizes)
3pm to 6pm:  Vanessa Kelly (three hourly blogs and prizes)
6pm to 8pm:  Victoria Alexander (two hourly blogs and prizes)
8pm to 9pm:  Live chat with Victoria Alexander and Vanessa Kelly (prizes)

In case you missed our earlier announcement, here's the list of prizes that will be given away today.

5 Stocking filled with all 4 books
6 Book + Mug + English Christmas crackers  
7 Book + What Happens at Christmas mouse pad + White House Ornament 
8 Book+ Southern praline candy + What Happens at Christmas mouse pad  
10 All 4 books + Ornament, Tea Towel + English Christmas crackers  
11 Book + Set of David Winter cottage ornaments  
12 eReader + Box of chocolate truffles + Set of David Winter cottage ornaments

9:00am - Noon


Grace Burrowes is the sixth of seven children, and believes that birth order contributed both to a love of words and a love of story. After decades of reading romance novels, she began writing when her own nest turned up empty, and has been writing ever since. Her debut novel, "The Heir," was a Publishers Weekly (PW) best book, and her subsequent novels have received starred reviews from PW and Booklist, as well as an RT Reviewers' Choice award and a RITA nomination. Grace loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted through her website at

'Tis the Season for Scandal...

Years ago Lady Louisa Windham acted rashly on a dare from her brother, and that indiscretion is about to come to light. She knows her reputation will never survive exposure. Just as she's nearly overwhelmed by her dilemma, Sir Joseph Carrington offers himself to her as a solution...

But Sir Joseph has secrets as well, and as he and Louisa become entangled with each other, their deceptions begin to close in on them both...

Buy links:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books A Million   Book Depository   iBooks

Noon - 3:00pm


Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. Her historical romance debut, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, was published in October 2011. The sequel, SEASON FOR SURRENDER, was published in October 2012.

Twitter:  @TheresaRomain

Alexander Edgware, Lord Xavier, has quite a reputation—for daring, wagering, and wickedness in all its delightful forms. But the wager before him is hardly his preferred sport: Xavier must persuade a proper young lady to attend his famously naughty Christmas house party—and stay the full, ruinous two weeks. Worse, the lady is Louisa Oliver, a doe-eyed bookworm Xavier finds quite charming. Yet to refuse the challenge is impossible—he will simply have to appoint himself Miss Oliver’s protector…

Louisa knows her chance for a husband has passed. But she has no desire to retire into spinsterhood without enjoying a few grand adventures first. When Lord Xavier’s invitation arrives, Louisa is more intrigued than insulted. And once inside the rogues’ gallery, she just may have a thing or two to teach her gentlemen friends about daring…

Book order links (HTML):
Order: amazonbarnes & noblebook depositorybooks-a-millionchapters indigoindieboundkensingtonposman bookspowell’sword brooklyn

Order e-book: googlekindlenookkoboibook

3:00pm - 6:00pm


Vanessa Kelly 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 can find her on the web at


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…

6:00pm - 9:00pm

Number 1 NYT bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was more fun than real life. Since the publication of her first book in 1995, she has written 29 full length novels and 7 novellas and her books have been translated into more than a dozen different languages. Victoria credits much of her writing success to her experiences as a television reporter. Today, she lives in Omaha with her husband and two bearded collies, in a house under endless renovation and never ending chaos. Visit her at or on facebook

For Christmas, Camille, Lady Lydingham wants a marriage proposal from her handsome prince, though securing his offer will mean keeping her unconventional relatives from the prince's notice. That would be challenge enough, but then old flame Grayson Elliot shows up at her ladyship's Christmas house party, gate-crashing an already chaotic holiday gathering and playing havoc with Camille's scheme—and with her heart.