Monday, May 18, 2015

Two Giveaways!

To celebrate the release of Wicked Wager. (Now available)

I'm offering two giveaways:

 To enter to win this beautiful solar lantern (I have one of my own and love it.) go to this link: and follow the instructions. This one ends May 31.

 I'm also participating with a bunch of other authors in a contest to win a $500 gift certificate. 

Link to enter is:

Wicked Wager available at : 

The Wild Rose Press:

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Shrimp, a horse-mad hoyden and a Wicked Wager

I am a child of the 60’s. In fact, I was a child in the 60’s since I didn’t hit puberty until the decade was over. But like many children, I wanted to grow up fast, and I remember poring over my sisters’ Seventeen magazines for make-up and fashion trends, and buying Tiger Beat fan magazines at the local drugstore to read about the bands of the era. While my first Barbie was a doll modeled on the 60’s icon Twiggy, my main role model was Jean Shrimpton, who many people consider the first supermodel. Jean promoted the Yardley cosmetic line and their pink and orange striped “slicker” lipstick, lavender and turquoise striped “glimmerick” eye shadow, and “Londonderry” hair products had an almost magical appeal for me. As soon as I hit puberty and began wearing make-up (against my father’s wishes), I started buying Yardley products.
Some images of Jean shown with part of my Yardley collection
Yardley was actually going out of fashion at the time and being replaced by new trends like Love’s cosmetics, which promised a more natural look, rather than the swinging London allure that Jean represented. But I never got over my fixation with “the Shrimp”. There was something so real about Jean, some quality that made her easy to identify with, despite her extraordinary beauty. Later, reading interviews with her, I learned she had been a serious tomboy when she was young, and she really didn’t care for the world of fashion and the life of a celebrity. In fact, she married a regular guy and ended up running a bed and breakfast with him in Bath. I’ve thought of visiting there sometime in the hopes of meeting her, but knowing that my infatuation with her is connected to the life she left behind, it’s probably better if I just leave it alone.
But there is one thing I could do to honor my heroine, and that’s make her the heroine in a book. When the idea for Wicked Wager came to me, I knew instantly that Penny (Penelope) Montgomery would look like Jean Shrimpton and share her disdain for the glamorous world of London. Penny is a complete tomboy, or “hoyden” as it was called in the Regency era. Her passion is horses and running her family’s estate, and she has no interest in society or fashion or any of those superficial things. But her dream of living quietly in the country is dashed when her cousin and guardian Adrian wagers the estate in a card game and loses.
Adrian is a clever and sneaky sort, and he thinks that once his opponent realizes that the only way to take possession of the estate is to marry the heiress who comes with it, he will relinquish the property in disgust. With most men, that might work. But not with Marcus Revington, who makes his living playing cards. Marcus sees marriage to this unknown heiress as a mere inconvenience. Little does he know that he has met his match in Penny.
I loved writing about Penny and Marcus. They are both so stubborn and determined to get their way. And the chemistry between them is just electrifying. Marcus thinks that gambling is all about odds, skill and knowing when to back down. Penny thinks she has Marcus figured out and if she sticks with her plan, she will prevail. But all bets are off—for both of them—when the name of the game is love.
When hardened gamester Marcus Revington wins Horngate Manor in a card game, he is delighted to finally own property. Even discovering he must marry the heiress of the estate doesn’t deter him. The heiress, Penny Montgomery, is happy with her life raising horses at Horngate and has no desire to marry anyone. When she learns about her guardian’s Wicked Wager, she schemes to convince Marcus she’s unsuitable as a wife so he’ll forget his plan to wed her.

Wicked Wager is available at:

Barnes and Noble: