Friday, November 07, 2008
Harlequin Historicals Launch Undone E-books!
This week Harlequin launched a new e-book-only line of sexy historical romance short stories called Harlequin Historical Undone.
My Regency story The Unmasking of Lady Loveless is one of the launch titles and here is a taster:
Erotic author Lady Loveless is scandalising the Ton with her shocking tales that are based on the real life high jinks of society. Engagements are being broken, inheritances lost as a result of her wicked pen and the gentlemen decide that enough is enough – she may spin the most naughtily seductive tales, but Lady Loveless must be stopped!
Lord Alexander Beaumont is convinced that the outrageous Lady Loveless is none other than his estranged wife Melicent, for the manuscripts are coming from the Yorkshire village where Melicent took refuge after the end of their brief, bitter marriage. Alex travels to Yorkshire determined to unmask his errant wife and put a stop to her wicked ways. But when he reaches the beautiful village of Peacock Oak, Alex finds that Melicent – and Lady Loveless – are not what they seem…
I have asked the other launch authors to share a little about their stories.
About her story Libertine Lord, Pickpocket Miss, Bronwyn Scott writes:
Sophie DuPlessy has everything to gain. Julian Burke has nothing to lose.
Vienna of the 1820’s is Europe’s new glittering capital both in culture and in politics. No one knows the potential of such a setting better than Sophie DuPlessy. Europe has been ravaged by Napoleon’s wars and re-structured by the Vienna conferences and Europe’s premier statesmen. In the aftermath, kingdoms have been absorbed, national boundaries have been redrawn. In the wake of such upheaval, heirlooms have been lost. In certain circles of dubious repute, Sophie DuPlessy has earned a reputation for discreetly recovering such objects. Now, she’s been hired by an Italian count to retrieve a set of jewels, a supposed heirloom of the family. This will be her last job. The reward promised for recovering the jewels guarantees her the financial resources to re-make her life as a horse breeder. But she’s not the only one looking for them.
Julian Burke, second son of an earl, has been sent on crown business to Vienna to ferret out the truth to the rumors that an heirloom once part of the royal treasury during the time of Charles II has surfaced in Vienna. When the Crown wants something badly, Julian Burke is the man for the job. Julian is the most dangerous of men; a man with nothing to lose. No wife to protect, no estate to risk, a fortune so large he cannot be bribed, no care for his reputation and according to most—no heart to break. He is unassailable when it comes to blackmail and other forms of traditional leverage.
But Sophie DuPlessy is about to change that!
One interesting research tidbit I enjoyed working with for this story was the neighborhoods of Vienna. The neighborhood Sophie lives in is still marked with a lantern today. In her time, the neighborhood housed bakers and other middle working class citizens. Visit the Bronwyn Scott blog starting November 1 for links to a few of the research sites I used for the story. You can visit at www.bronwynswriting.blogspot.com
Amanda McCabe: When I was asked to write an "Undone" short story as a spin-off from my January '09 book High Seas Stowaway, I knew right away who the hero would be--Carlos de Alameda. Carlos is a Spanish nobleman, an official of the Crown at the island town of Santo Domingo in 1535. He is also a dangerous spy, with secrets of his own to protect. He appeared briefly in the action of High Seas Stowaway, but I was intrigued by his intelligence and mystery. What was he really up to?
In Shipwrecked and Seduced, I got to find out! Maria Gonzales is the one who is shipwrecked, but in the end they are both seduced. Maria is a maidservant, headed to Santo Domingo with a Spanish contessa, Isabella, who is journeying to her wedding. A terrible shipwreck kills all aboard except Maria, and she is soon mistaken for the contessa herself--and taken to Carlos's island fortress! She knows very well that an affair with the sexy, mysterious man will threaten her masquerade, but she's drawn to him irresistibly. What will happen when he discovers the truth?
Michelle Willingham: On a trip to Dublin two years ago, I visited an archaelogical museum in order to research medieval artifacts. To my surprise, I saw an amazing display of Viking lore, including preserved bodies that had been found in a bog! I've always been intrigued by Viking raiders, and though most of the true Viking era took place in the 9th and 10th centuries, I found evidence that a Norse king, Magnus the Barefoot, attempted to take over Dublin in 1101. Such a daring move made him a fascinating historical figure, and as I plotted my Viking story, I imagined that such a king might a ruthless foe for a Viking warrior.
The Viking's Forbidden Love Slave tells the story of Tharand Hardrata, a memer of the Norse warrior class who steals an Irish noblewoman from her clan. He intends to trade Aisling O Brannon for his sister's life, after she was taken by King Magnus. If Aisling succeeds in pleasing the king with her body, Tharand believes Magnus will let his sister go. But the Irish captive enslaves him with a pleasure he's never known before. If you've ever wondered what it was like to be carried off by an amazingly hot Viking, then I hope you'll enjoy this fantasy story!
When the tale ends, Aisling asks Tharand to help her discover what happened to her brothers during the Norse raid. Their tale continues in Her Warrior Slave, the story fo Kieran O Brannon, on sale now at Harlequin Historicals.
There will be one new historical Undone story published each month, including future stories by our own Louise Allen and Joanna Maitland! With a variety of historical backgrounds and settings they are the perfect historical fix!