New Release: To Jilt a Corinthian by Julia Donner #Regency

Hello, everyone. Please welcome Julia Donner with her newest release, To Jilt a Corinthian. I “met” Julia through Judi Lynn, and it has been a pleasure getting to know her and interact with her. I’m in awe of Julia’s knowledge of the Regency era, and excited about her new release. Naturally, I invited her to my blog to share the blurb and an excerpt 🙂


Hi Mae, and thanks so much for inviting me to your blog and giving a shout out about my newest Regency To Jilt a Corinthian. This character pairing led to one of those fun instances when the story wrote itself. I mostly hung on for the ride as these two took me on their own personal tour into the eternal war between the sexes.

Book cover for To Jilt a Corinthian by Julian Donner shows young blonde woman reading book with her back turned,

Blurb:
Beatrice Allardyce is too busy for something as inconsequential as marriage. And love? A waste of time when there are so many books to read and a father who needs her care. Getting caught in a compromising situation with the haughty Sir Jocelyn Warfield is not part of her agenda.

Intrigued by her intelligence and keen sense of social responsibility, Sir Jocelyn finds himself caught in fascination’s snare with a female who has to be constantly reminded that he’s not a man easily discounted. Or discouraged. Quite the opposite. All he has to do is make her believe that he’s her best bet.

Excerpt:
Beatrice knelt in front of the gap in the fence amid further protests that she would ruin her muslin frock or cause a rip in the tight-fitting spencer, which happened to be Beatrice’s favorite. Due to its snug fit, she was able to squeeze her body through the slats. She attempted to wriggle through until stopped by the curve of her hips. The indent of her waist allowed for room to breathe. Stretching as far as possible, held snug by the wooden slats, she managed to grab the piglet’s front leg and drag him closer. Scrumpy squealed louder. Once the piglet was no longer forcing the tangled rope around his leg to be drawn tight and taut, Beatrice got the knotted twine unfastened and slipped it over the tiny, cloven foot. The pig immediately calmed to making soft grunts. Beatrice exhaled a relieved sigh and carefully maneuvered a retreat from between the slats, but got stuck with the dilemma of how to maintain a hold on the piglet whilst wriggling back out. To her profound dismay, she heard Mrs. Prichard call out to someone. Beatrice couldn’t imagine anything more humiliating than getting caught on her hands and knees with her back end and nothing else exposed to the world.

She struggled gamely until Mrs. Pritchard said, “Oh, sir! Sir, would you kindly assist my dear Miss Allardyce? If you would take my piglet from her, I do believe she can bring herself through the fence.”

A hand encased in a tan driving glove appeared from over the fence and reached by Beatrice’s cheek to take the pig from her grasp. The next thought that entered her head was that the gentleman had to be tall to reach over the fence so easily. As she twisted sideways with breath indrawn, she heard Mrs. Pritchard expressing a joyous reunion with her pet.

Face burning, Beatrice extricated herself from between the fence and accepted the gloved palm waiting to assist her to her feet. She tried to keep her eyes cast downward but it was difficult not to notice what stood before her as she rose up. Dread filled her being. This was no villager.

She first noted the sparkle of black top boots that identified the particular care of a gentleman’s gentleman. Then came the snug fit of immaculate breeches seen through the parting of an unfastened, ankle-length greatcoat. The drape of its superior cloth proclaimed it cost enough to feed a dozen families for a year. She looked higher. His preference of Brummel-austere style was made known with the subtle statement of only one fob draped across a black waistcoat secured by a golden pocket chain. When she stood fully upright, he removed a monocle, allowing it to hang from its black ribbon, and dipped his head in a nod of greeting.

Beatrice, achingly aware of the disheveled state of her person, dipped a curtsey. “My thanks for your assistance, sir.”

“It was entirely my pleasure, Miss Allardyce.”

If only a crevice in the earth would open up and swallow her whole, but before that wish could present itself, Mrs. Pritchard spoke up. “You are indeed an answer to prayer! Please forgive my curiosity, but I do not believe you are from Bruntwich-on-Lye.”

“You are correct, ma’am. I am waiting for a small repair to my curricle before pressing on to London.”

“I have never been, you know,” Mrs. Pritchard coyly informed, cuddling her pet to her bosom. Scrumpy nestled against her, his little pink snout twitching with contentment. After being the cause of one of the most humiliating moments of her life, Beatrice was ready to toss the spoiled swine into the nearest cauldron.

A fresh wave of embarrassment swept through Beatrice when she noticed that her dirt-smeared hand had soiled the gentleman’s tan glove. The front of her white muslin frock had mud smudges over the knees, its hem already grubby from taking a shorter route to the village through a sheep pasture. She felt entirely undone in the presence of this gentleman’s perfection. She dared to glance up and encountered a cool gaze from hazel eyes under straight, black eyebrows. His was a lean and haughty face, making her glad he’d removed the monocle. Being viewed through that single lens would be worse than a minute inspection with a quizzing glass.

This gentleman’s sweeping and impersonal inspection made her nervous and his detached urbanity proved disconcerting. She offered a shallow curtsey in farewell and whirled to escape.

A silky baritone, lacquered with a vaguely mocking undertone, relayed volumes with two words. “Miss Allardyce?”

Forcing down a nervous swallow, she collected poise, turned, and lifted an eyebrow. He extended her package. She hadn’t noticed it in his hand, distracted by embarrassment and feeling unsettled by the presence of so much masculine confidence and elegance. It was scarcely her fault that she’d never encountered a man so sophisticated. Her father’s humble, priestly manner bore no resemblance to this sort of male.

She accepted the parcel, twitched a smile, and sought relief in the knowledge that it was unlikely she’d ever see him again, but he proved her wrong by attending Sunday service the following morning.

Bio:
Julia Donner (aka M.L.Rigdon) grew up in historic Galena, IL, USA, and spent most of her time in the museum of her aunt, who encouraged her interest in history and understood the need to cherish a dream. She started writing in secret in her teens and never stopped, merging it with her mother’s encouragement to study theater and music, which led to performing in the Midwest, California and as far away as Austria.

Her favorite genres are regency and fantasy, but since she loves to read everything, she also writes contemporary and YA fantasy. (Yes, she knows you’re supposed to stick to one genre but can’t stop herself.) Rigdon has twelve titles on Kindle as Donner, and nine as M.L. Rigdon, including the final installment in the awarding winning SEASONS OF TIME trilogy. All of her works are stand alone. She’s a firm believer in HEA.

Purchase to Jilt a Corinthian from Amazon

Connect with Julia/ML at the following haunts:
WebsiteBlog | Twitter | Facebook | BookBub   

Mae Clair Presents: Donna Cummings on “Who Has Influenced Your Writing?”

She’s back! Please welcome Donna Cummings to my blog. This super friendly and supportive author of “humorously ever after romances” was one of the first friends I made online way back in the twilight years of 2012. It doesn’t seem possible I’ve been at this gig a full two years now (gulp!), but what fun it’s been. Not only have I made great friends, but I’ve discovered a treasure-trove of incredible reads, Donna’s among them.

She’s sharing a post today about the early influences that spur us to pursue writing, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention her latest releases.  For a fun contemporary romance, be sure to check out FALLIN’ IN LOVE, a flirty novella with a lovable pooch as “matchmaker”, the historical romance boxed set, SWEET SURRENDER, and, finally—LORD WASTREL, a Regency romance that will have you alternately giggling and swooning. I do so love Donna’s “rakes.” 🙂

And now . . . 

Who Has Influenced Your Writing?
By Donna Cummings

Have you seen Pigpen, the character in the Peanuts cartoon with the permanent cloud of dust around him? That’s me and all the ideas constantly swirling around my brain. (Okay, the cloud of dust is also because I’m too busy writing to do housework.)

At random moments one of those myriad ideas will surge to the front of my brain, and, for some reason I can’t quite figure out, it’s usually when I’m in the kitchen. Maybe it’s a self-defense mechanism, because I rarely accomplish anything worthy in that room of the house, so the ideas may be trying to distract me from setting off the smoke alarm, yet again.

The other day’s random thought was about who had influenced my writing adventure. I discovered there were more than I realized, and for wildly different reasons. So here are some of the most influential:

FIL_medJessica Fletcher
Yes, the grande dame of TV mysteries was a huge influencer. Or, to be more precise, the opening credits where she is typing away at her kitchen table is what made such a lasting impression. Each week I experienced a visceral hit when I saw those typewriter keys flying because that was the job I wanted.

I don’t actually have a kitchen table. I definitely don’t have a manual typewriter. But every time I’m sitting on my couch, tapping away at the laptop keyboard, I’m inwardly smiling, knowing I’m fulfilling the dream that started when I saw good ole Jessica writing her mysteries at home.

Mr. Hanson, my high school English teacher
As a teenager, I was more enthralled with reading than writing, and I only wrote things that were required, like papers and book reports. I felt like I had a certain facility with words, but I wouldn’t have called myself a writer, since only people whose books I was devouring were writers.

Mr. Hanson seemed to recognize, and appreciate, how much I loved words, and he continually encouraged me in his kind, patient, and compassionate way.

Whenever I complained about how much work a project required (often), or how it was way too hard (really often), his response was always this: “Do you know how diamonds are made? Heat, and pressure.”

I have to remind myself of that when I’m in the throes of editing and revising, all-too-ready to admit defeat by throwing the uncooperative WIP onto the coal heap. Because if Mr. Hanson thought I had the potential to be a diamond, way back when, I’ve got to believe it too. No matter what I hear from. . .

SweetSurrender_200My muse Endora
I know many of you have heard me whine about mention Endora. She has a knack for disappearing when I need her assistance, and then returning to sniff disdainfully at what I consider my best work.

She actually started out as my Inner Critic, a position she is well qualified for, only somehow she promoted herself to the position of Muse.

So how has this beastly creature influenced me?

She’s impossible to please, so I’ve quit trying. As a result, I’ve learned to write what I enjoy. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll still bounce things off her–er, I’m talking ideas here, not coffee cups. #seriously #notreally

But she’s helped me realize there will always be different viewpoints on a story, and it’s good to carefully consider all of them. But, in the end, I do what I feel is best for the story I’ve envisioned. And I let Endora do what she does best, which is. . .I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

LW_medMy mom
My mom was an avid reader, and thanks to her, I became one too. My sister, who shares the same DNA, is not a reader, and never will be, which completely puzzles me. (When my sister was born, the nurse brought my mom the wrong baby, but after a few minutes realized her mistake and returned with the right one. Still, I’ve often wondered if that other baby was a reader. . .)

Anywho, when I was growing up, being a writer wasn’t really a viable job option. My mom’s parents were freelance newspaper writers, and it was an unpredictable way to make a living, even though they clearly loved it. My mom was always supportive of everything I did, yet I knew she wouldn’t encourage me to go that route, so I chose a more practical, secure career path. I continued to watch the opening credits of Murder, She Wrote, though, pining for that life, all while reading books about the craft of writing.

When my mother was ill, a few months before she died much too young, I told her I was thinking of taking a writing course. I expected her to say, “that’s nice”, but to my surprise, she said, “I think that would be great“. To my further astonishment, she said several times that weekend, “I really think you should take that course”.

So I did. And I’m convinced she’s glad I did.

So these are just a few of the folks who have influenced me. I’m sure I’ll think of more–the next time I wander into the kitchen with the vague notion of “making something besides a mess”.

Now it’s your turn. Who has influenced your writing?

Welcome Page PhotoBio:
I have worked as an attorney, winery tasting room manager, and retail business owner, but nothing beats the thrill of writing humorously-ever-after romances.

I reside in New England, although I fantasize about spending the rest of my days in a tropical locale, wearing flip flops year-round, or in Regency London, scandalizing the ton.

I can usually be found on Twitter, talking about writing and coffee, and on Facebook, talking about coffee and writing.

Look for Donna at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Facebook 

Twitter 
Goodreads 

LORD WASTREL
When Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, plays matchmaker, true love can seem like a curse. . .

Lord Wastrel–the most notorious rake in London–has a child? Clearly he knows how to sire one, but he has no idea how to actually raise one. He has to learn quickly, since he is the little girl’s only surviving parent, and he’s determined to find a wife who can be a suitable mother. All he needs is someone demure, and biddable, and most importantly, scandal-free.

Lady Felicia Selby is no stranger to scandal, thanks to her numerous failed elopements and Society’s insatiable curiosity about her misadventures. She has devoted many years to finding her one true love, desperate to escape the consequences of the family curse if she fails. But she has begun to give up hope.

Then, one evening, a chance encounter with Aphrodite changes everything.

~~99 CENTS FOR A LIMITED TIME!! ~~

Purchase LORD WASTREL from:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble 

iTunes 
Kobo

Mae Clair’s Book Spotlight: Shunned No More by Christina McKnight

One of the earliest author friends I connected with when originally venturing online was Christina McKnight. Naturally, when I heard she had a new release out, I jumped at the chance to showcase it here.

Book cover for Shunned No More by author Christina McKnight depicting a Regency-era woman in a flowing lavender gown looking over her shoulder

Series: A Lady Forsaken, Book 1
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: May 30, 2014
Word Count: 78,000
Cover Artist: LFD Designs for Authors

A Lady Shunned by All… 

Lady Viola Oberbrook only wanted to forget the ill-fated early morning duel that took the lives of two young, wealthy, promising men of the ton and sent her fleeing for her father’s country estate. Eight years later, she has her life in order: a fulfilling business, a few trusted friends, and no plans to return to London society. What she doesn’t expect is to come face to face with her past.

A Lord Betrayed by One… 

Brock Spencer, Earl of Haversham, only wants vengeance. Recently returned from his military service to the King, his plans include repairing his family estate, finding a bride, and destroying the girl responsible for the untimely death of his twin brothers. What he doesn’t anticipate is falling in love with the only woman who should never be part of his future.

An Impossible Match, Destined to Be…

Christina McKnight, authorAbout the Author:

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since. Currently, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

Follow her on Twitter: @CMcKnightWriter

Keep up to date on her releases: www.christinamcknight.com

Like Christina’s FB Author https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaMcKnightWriter

Add Shunned No More to your Goodreads List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16099744-shunned-no-more-a-lady-forsaken

Donna Cummings Talks Writing, Regency England, and Lord Rakehell’s Love

Welcome Page PhotoIf you like humor and flirtatious fun in your romance reading, you’re going to love today’s guest! Donna Cummings is known for writing humorously ever-after  romances. And when she delves into the rakes and scoundrels of Regency England — oh my! *fanning self* Lets just say its easy to become besotted with her characters.

The first time I encountered Donna, I was a greenhorn newbie poking around on writing blogs. SHE was being interviewed *gasp* about LORD MIDNIGHT, a previous Regency release. Besotted by the sound of the book, I immediately hopped over to Amazon and bought a copy.

Later, I found Donna on Facebook and timidly sent her a friend request. When she friended me back, I was in awe — I’d been friended by an actual author who’s work I loved (Donna, I’m not sure I ever told you how stage struck I was, LOL).

Anyway, our friendship grew from there, and I’ve found her to be amazingly supportive, friendly, and helpful. She always makes me laugh with her light-hearted blog posts, and her novels are guaranteed to satisfy with a blissful HEA. Anything she writes is an automatic must-read.

Please welcome Donna as she celebrates the release of her new novella, LORD RAKEHELL’S LOVE, the first in a promising new series!

~ooOOoo~

What attracts you most to your chosen genre?
I love laughing, and hearing people laugh, and even better, making them laugh. My characters bring a wild assortment of personality quirks that make comical things happen, and it’s fun to see how humor helps them fall in love. So I guess I’ll always want to write humorously-ever-after romance.

You do those so well! I’m constantly delighted by the humor you weave through your romantic stories. Are you a draft writer or someone who invests a lot of time in editing and polishing as you write? Why does your method work best for you?
I’m definitely a draft writer. I feel like every book is a new variation of “just put it there for now — we’ll figure out where it goes later”. In Lord Rakehell’s Love, I knew the hero would be trying to win back the heroine after being late to their wedding. But after auditioning and rejecting several potential Chapter Ones, I decided to forge ahead with another section, and all of a sudden this scene appeared in my mind that showed the couple’s first meeting. It shows why they fell for each other, and I think made their breakup more poignant. I guess this “messy draft” method works best because the story is really in charge of everything. I’m just here trying to get everybody into their places before the curtain goes up!

A director’s, er…author’s job is never done 🙂 Which do you develop first, characters or plot?
The characters always seem to show up first, like they’re an advance team checking me out as a writer, to make sure we’re a good fit. LOL They show me a little “highlight reel”, which is usually one scene that depicts them interacting with each other, and naturally I’m intrigued and want to know more. So then I have to figure out a plot for them, and where this scene fits, and it all kind of grows from there.

I love the “highlight reel!” My characters do that too. Hmm.  They must be taking lessons from yours.

Now please tell us about your new release.
Lord Rakehell’s Love is a novella that commences The Curse of True Love series, where Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, decides to play matchmaker in Regency London. Unfortunately, she seems to put a curse on the lovers instead. In this story, Simon and Georgiana fall instantly in love, thanks to Aphrodite, but then Simon is late to the wedding, and, even worse, accompanied by ladies-of-the evening. So he has to win Georgiana back, not exactly an easy task after that kind of scandal!

Originally the series was supposed to start with the next in the series, Lord Wastrel, a full-length novel, but this novella decided it should be first. And while I grumbled about it, I have to admit it was right!

LRL_240x360

I love this flirty cover!

I can’t wait to see that wedding scene. How did you choose your title?
This book went through about forty-eleven potential titles before this one clicked. I must have used the word “bride” and “wedding” in every variation possible, and was beginning to wonder if I’d ever find the right title. Fortunately it came together right before Carrie Spencer started working on the cover. I don’t think I could publish something titled “WIP With No Name”. LOL

Ah, so I’m not the only one who struggles with those pesky titles! Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?
I actually had a lot of fun with Hugh, the hero’s best friend, who will be the hero in the next book, Lord Wastrel. I enjoyed it because I know what he’s going to encounter soon, but he has NO idea that his playboy lifestyle is about to change in so many ways.

And I can’t wait to meet the lady who’s going to change things for him, LOL. I’ll be looking forward to that one as well. Without giving too much away, please share a bit about your favorite scene in Lord Rakehell’s Love.
One of my favorite scenes is between the heroine Georgiana and her best friend Felicia. It’s a “girl talk” scene, where Georgiana is trying to explain how Simon made her feel during their romantic interludes. Felicia is the heroine in Lord Wastrel, and there’s a sequel of sorts between Georgiana and Felicia in the upcoming book that also has me chuckling.

Ooh, so it’s Felicia that’s going to be Hugh’s undoing. I love when characters continue from book to book and get their own time in the spotlight as H/h. 🙂 Share one sentence – – yes, only one! – – of dialogue or description you love.
Eeek! Okay, I’m partial to this line, which the hero says to the heroine: “When your heart is ready for that leap of faith, know that mine will be there to join with it.”

I’m melting. *wisftul sigh* If you couldn’t be a writer, what else would you choose to do?
I don’t know! I really love being a writer, and interacting with other writers and with readers, and spending time with my characters. I just wish I could do this job all the time. It’s better than any of the other jobs I’ve had.

Wouldn’t full-time be awesome? I’m with you on that! If someone gave you a working time machine tomorrow, where would you visit and why?
I’d definitely go back to Regency England, so I could gather some first-hand research, and flirt outrageously with those sexy rakes and scoundrels. On my way back to the present, I’d probably stop by to say hello to my younger self and say, “Quit worrying so much and have some more fun. You don’t have any juicy stuff to put in your memoirs.”

But you would if you went back to Regency England and did all that flirting 🙂

Now some quickie questions for you!

Dream vacation gifted to you by a fairy godmother: A secluded beach with endless coffee drinks and a cute barista/masseur — oh, and in addition to perfect temperatures, time moves very slowly, except when I’m writing. 🙂

Favorite season: Summer — okay, let’s be honest — every season BUT winter!

Favorite time of day: Quittin’ time!

Favorite color: Red

Food you never grow tired of: Mashed potatoes

OMG, I love your answers…especially the first three! You always make me laugh, Donna. 😀 Thanks for visiting with me today. As always it’s a pleasure to have you on my blog and I wish you gargantuan success with Lord Rakehell’s Love!

Connect with Donna at the following haunts:
Website/blog: http://www.AllAboutTheWriting.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@BookEmDonna
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Donna.Cummings.Author
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5349107.Donna_Cummings
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/bookemdonna

Purchase Lord Rakehell’s love from:
Amazon
Smashwords
Barnes & Noble
Available soon from iTunes and Kobo

BLURB:
The Curse of True Love Series
Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, is attempting to play matchmaker in Regency London. . . only she’s placed a curse on the lovers instead.

Lord Rakehell’s Love

He was late to his own wedding

Simon is known as Lord Rakehell, so any sane woman would be wary of wedding a man of his reputation. He truly loves Georgiana, and is determined to prove it to her, but how can he convince her after his wedding-day blunder?

She was heartbroken by the scandal  

Georgiana knew the dangers of falling instantly in love with a celebrated rake, but even she had not expected him to show up for their nuptials with ladies-of-the-evening in tow. Now she must determine whether Simon’s protestations of love are genuine, or if she is being led astray by the passion he continues to incite in her.

Author Bio:
I have worked as an attorney, winery tasting room manager, and retail business owner, but nothing beats the thrill of writing humorously-ever-after romances.

Currently I reside in New England, although I fantasize about spending the rest of my days in a tropical locale, wearing flip flops year-round, or in Regency London, scandalizing the ton.

I can usually be found on Twitter, chatting about writing and coffee, or on Facebook, chatting about coffee and writing.