Archive for the 'News & blog' Category

Miss Marple!

I can’t say I’m a fan of murder mysteries, yet lately I’ve found myself happily engrossed in a great fat volume of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories. What a wonderful character Jane Marple is! So demure, so self-effacing, yet so coolly brilliant and discerning.

Photo: Miss Marple

She’s definitely one of those characters I’d love to meet in real life. It would be such fun to sit down and have a cuppa with her. :)

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Speaking of fun places to hang out . . .

. . . on Facebook, as I did in my last post, here are two more groups you may want to check out — and join. First, there’s the recently formed Avon Contemporary Romance Readers group. Very lively and fun!

Graphic: Avon Romance Contemporary Readers group on Facebook

Second, there’s the brand-new League of Extraordinary Historical Romance Authors, featuring a powerhouse crew including Lenora Bell, Kelly Bowen, Kerrigan Byrne, Valerie Bowman, KJ Charles, Piper Huguley, Sophie Jordan, Sarah MacLean, Vanessa Riley, Maya Rodale, Cat Sebastian, Joanna Shupe, and Sherry Thomas. It’s launching this Friday at 3 pm EST with a party hosted by Lenora Bell, with book chats, giveaways, and more. Sounds like a blast!

What are your favorite places to hang out on Facebook?

 

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Have you heard . . . ?

. . . about this nifty Facebook group for book lovers like me — and you, too, perhaps?

Last year I was lucky enough to participate in the annual Read a Romance Month event hosted by journalist, book devotee, and romance advocate Bobbi Dumas, and I’ve recently learned that Bobbi also cohosts the very fun Romance of Reading group on Facebook where you can hang out with fellow readers, talk about great books, and enter to win book giveaways, too.

Graphic: The Romance of Reading Facebook group banner, cohosted by Bobbi Dumas

And check out the lively Read a Romance month page on Facebook, too!

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“My bookshelf”

Uncannily accurate.

Comic: "My Bookshelf" by Grant Snider

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One of the “big titles of spring”!

Wow, incredibly honored to receive this encomium from Publishers Weekly for the third book in my Penhallow Dynasty series, The Bride Takes a Groom!

Graphic: Publishers Weekly names Lisa Berne's The Bride Takes a Groom (Avon Books) one of the "big titles of spring"

Would you like to read the prologue and first chapter? Click here. And to preorder in advance of the April 24th release date, click here.

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A book-lover’s paradise!

Here’s a place I’d love to visit: the Tianjin Binhai Library in China, so massive that it could ultimately house over a million books (!).

Photo: Tianjin Binhai Library, China

Photo: Tianjin Binhai Library, China

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Would you like to sign up for my newsletter?

If you haven’t already, that is! My next one goes out on January 20th, and it features an exclusive interview with the funny, insightful, and incredibly talented Cathy Maxwell — along with an international giveaway for a print copy of her newest book, If Ever I Should Love You.

Photo: Cathy Maxwell, author of historical romanceCheck out this gorgeous cover! It’s the first in Cathy’s brand-new series, The Spinster Heiresses.

Cover for If Ever I Should Love You by Cathy Maxwell (Avon Books)

Want to sign up? There’s an easy-peasy form on my website, as well as on my Facebook page.

For more about Cathy, click here.

 

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Meet Katherine

Here’s a snippet from my next book, The Bride Takes a Groom — in which my heroine, Miss Katherine Brooke, is introduced. It takes place in June 1805, at a boarding school in Coventry, England, called the Basingstoke Select Academy for Young Ladies. Please enjoy. :)

A summer evening.

Overhead, a full, golden moon.

A soft masculine voice murmuring in her ear, “Ma chérie, je veux te toucher.”

A hand, drawn across her bosom.

Pleasure. Refuge. Connection.

She pressed herself closer, and as she did so, to her drifted the faintest scent of lavender, carried gently on the breeze that rustled leaves, caressed flowers, stirred the light muslin hem of her gown.

The cover for The Bride Takes a Groom, Book 3 of the Penhallow Dynasty series by Lisa Berne (Avon Books)Lavender, and . . . witch hazel?

A sudden, urgent warning sounded deep in Katherine Brooke’s brain, but it was too late.

“Miss Brooke! Monsieur de la Motte! What is the meaning of this?” came the outraged voice of Miss Wolfe, headmistress of the very exclusive and even more expensive boarding school at which Katherine had been immured for two long, miserable years.

Germaine — Monsieur de la Motte — gave an audible gasp of horror, and before Katherine’s equally horrified gaze the dashing music instructor who had been so bold, so eloquent, seemed abruptly to become a rather large pile of blancmange. He released her and pulled away as if he had just been holding in his arms a repulsive, bad-smelling troll he’d found lurking under a bridge somewhere, and gibbered:

“Oh, Mademoiselle Wolfe, forgive me — it was nothing — without significance — a brotherly embrace to comfort only — the poor demoiselle so lonely and far from home — and but this one time, I do assure you — it was that I felt so very sorry for her —”

“You lie, you — you weasel,” interrupted Katherine hotly. If she’d had her wits about her, she might have gone along with his inane little story and maybe, just maybe, mitigated this rapidly unfolding disaster, but there was something about the way he was babbling on, as if she was nothing, as if she was without significance, that made a crimson mist of rage rise up in front of her eyes like a vengeful wraith. What had happened to all those bewitchingly romantic words of passion?

She wrenched herself around to face Miss Wolfe. “It’s not the first time, we’ve been meeting in the garden for weeks, and he’s been kissing me!”

Germaine de la Motte, no doubt aware that his days at the Basingstoke Academy for Young Ladies had drawn to an immediate close, and that within mere minutes he would be booted out onto the street with nothing but his hastily packed valise in hand, gave Katherine a look of undisguised malice. “But recall, mademoiselle, how ardently you sought me out.”

Oh, splendid, now the cat was well and truly let out of the bag, thus making things instantly go from bad to worse. Katherine could feel her fury dissolving with almost ludicrous speed and giving way to soul-shattering embarrassment and shame. “I — I thought you liked me,” she faltered.

He smiled thinly and lifted his shoulders in a Gallic gesture of dismissal. “Ma pauvre chérie.”

His words came at her like a slap in the face, cruel, patronizing, stinging. It had all been a lie. A malign and hard-hearted deception. So much for those embraces, the kisses, the furtive touches here and there, the exciting feel of a man’s body against her own. How wrong and awful she’d been, how stupid, how bad —

And here, to emphasize just how bad, was Miss Wolfe again, very nearly sputtering in her fury:

“I can hardly believe my ears! That a pupil of mine would stoop so low! To solicit such a thing! To sneak about, like a sordid criminal! And you but barely turned fifteen, Miss Brooke! Be sure that I shall inform your parents by express first thing tomorrow.”

Katherine hung her head. She was a low, sneaking, sordid, criminal sort of girl. Hadn’t she known, underneath it all, that she was behaving dreadfully? “Yes, Miss Wolfe,” she muttered, aware, to her further horror, that tears were gathering in her eyes, had begun to roll in heavy, wet, revealing drops down her cheeks. More ashamed of herself than ever, with a kind of desperation she scrubbed at the tears with her bare hands. Oh, she hated this place. If she was lucky, her parents would have her removed at once.

But as it turned out, she would stay on for four more long, miserable years at the Basingstoke Academy, Mother and Father agreeing with Miss Wolfe’s expert (and, ultimately, costly) assessment that Katherine — so gauche, so inattentive — would need them in order to acquire even the most fundamental degree of polish, that essential and elusive je ne sais quoi, which would enable her to someday, one hoped, comport herself without committing further, dreadful gaffes.

Releasing this April (soon!), The Bride Takes a Groom is the third book in my Penhallow Dynasty series, and was recently named by Publishers Weekly in its spring 2018 announcements as one of the “big titles of spring.” Would you like to preorder? Click here. To save it on Goodreads, click here.

 

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Pet Life

So very, very true. <3Comic: "Pet Life" by Sarah Andersen

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Your colorful majesty!

“The Queen of Pantone,” says @RaminNasibov on Twitter. This image gives me what is probably a crazy amount of joy, but there you have it."Queen of Pantone," via @RaminNasibov on Twitter

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