Today's guest, Darcy Burke, is doing a tour for her historical romance series, Secrets and Scandals. There are blurbs and excerpts for all 3 novels below. The interview highlights the newest novel, To Seduce a Scoundrel.
Darcy will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, a copy of the anthology Born to Bite, an ebook of The Runaway Countess by Leigh LaValle, and a Sara Ramsey ebook. If you want to be entered to win, make sure to leave your email address with a comment below or at any of her other tour stops. (If you don't want to enter, you can still comment!)
She is also running a contest on her website: sign up for her newsletter during the tour and you might win a $10 Amazon gift card.
Darcy Burke wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. An RWA Golden Heart® Finalist, Darcy loves all things British (except tomatoes for breakfast, or any other time of day, actually) and happy ever afters.
A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her devoted husband, their two great kids, and three cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. She’s also a fair-weather runner, and her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge.
Visit Darcy online at http://www.darcy-burke.com, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/darcyburkefans.
Welcome, Darcy. Please tell us about your current release.
To Seduce a Scoundrel is the third book in the Secrets and Scandals series. Set half in London and half in Cornwall, it’s the second “fight club” book in the series, following His Wicked Heart, which introduced readers to Philippa and Ambrose. I like to describe the opening of this book as Regency Date Night—that movie with Steve Carrell and Tina Fey. Ambrose and Philippa encounter a series of misadventures that literally change the course of their lives. It’s quite a roller coaster! I call this a “fight club” book because Ambrose, Lord Sevrin, runs a fight club made up entirely of working class men who spend their evenings engaging in pugilistic bouts. They have to audition for Sevrin to gain membership to the club, which is what Jasper does in His Wicked Heart (the first fight club book). The club is a huge part of who Ambrose is at the start of the story. Fighting plays a major role throughout the book, which is funny because I don’t watch boxing, nor do I particularly care for the sport! I did a lot of research and hope the pugilism aspect of the story is as interesting for readers as it was for me to write.
Blurb for To Seduce a Scoundrel:
A LADY ON THE BRINK OF DISASTER
Quintessential debutante Lady Philippa Latham is determined to avoid scandal at all costs so that she may marry well. When her mother’s outrageous behavior threatens their family’s reputation, Philippa unwittingly follows her to a party no unmarried Society girl would risk attending. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Philippa is “rescued” from disaster by England’s most notorious scoundrel, which sets them both on a path to public and personal ruin.
A SCOUNDREL IN NEED OF SEDUCTION
Lord Ambrose Sevrin is infamous for ruining his brother’s fiancée and refusing to marry her. Content to remain among the fringe of the upper ten thousand, he is an intriguing enigma to London’s elite. Philippa thinks she’s met the true Ambrose—a gentleman who would fight to defend her and help her secure a husband before it’s too late. But he can’t be that husband, even for her. He won’t tolerate redemption—or love—for his crimes are far worse than anyone can imagine.
Excerpt from To Seduce a Scoundrel:
“Is that what you’ve been doing with your dance partners tonight? Husband hunting?” The notion filled Ambrose with a disturbing sense of nausea.
They danced apart again and Ambrose took the opportunity to mentally review the men he’d watched her with. When they came together, he said, “That foreign boy…you danced with him out of obligation, not because you’re considering his suit?”
Philippa smiled up at him, her ale-colored eyes sparkling beneath the glow of hundreds of candles. “Oh, stop. I’m not considering his suit, but he’s perfectly charming.”
“Charm is your chief requirement in a husband?”
Her body moved with precision and grace. “Along with honor and kindness.”
“You might do better with a dog.”
She laughed as they danced apart again. Such a warm, lovely sound. He would miss it.
When they came together, she gave him a contemplative look. “Is there a breed you recommend?”
“Something loyal who’s ready to defend you.”
“Like you?” She gazed at him alluringly and he had to work to focus on the dance steps.
“That is not how I’d describe myself.” Unfaithful, selfish, arrogant…these were far more accurate adjectives.
“But your ability to defend me and my honor is well-established. And here you are with me again tonight.” She shook her head, her lips set firmly together. “I’m dubbing you loyal.”He leaned forward slightly and lowered his voice to just above a whisper. “Please, stop. You’re going to reverse my black reputation. I can’t have that.”
What inspired you to write this book?
I’d wanted to write a story about a man whose passions got the best of him, and so he starts a fight club to better cope with them. That was going to be His Wicked Heart, featuring Jasper, the Earl of Saxton. However, in that story, Jasper ended up joining an already existing fight club—Sevrin’s—and so I found that I needed to write a story about the guy who started the fight club!
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on the next book in the Secrets and Scandals series, which is a novella due out at the end of September. To Love a Thief features a character readers met very briefly in Her Wicked Ways, Lord Kersey. A former constable, he’s inherited a viscountcy from a distant relative, which is both a blessing and a curse. A curse because he doesn’t know the first thing about how to be a viscount and a blessing because the title gives him the ability to advocate police reform at the highest levels of Society and in the House of Lords. The only thing he needs is a viscountess to help him navigate his new life, and he thinks he might have found her until he catches her stealing from his mentor. When Jocelyn sees her family’s stolen heirlooms in the possession of a wealthy earl, she demands their return. However, the earl insists they’ve been in his family for generations and Jocelyn realizes it’s her word against his. She sets out to recover the treasures the only way she can think—by stealing them. I can’t wait to share this story with readers! Watch my website—and subscribe to my newsletter—for the latest information on this story, including the cover reveal coming soon!
After To Love a Thief, the final two books of the series will follow. Never Love a Scoundrel about the mysterious Lord Lockwood and the gossipy Lady Lydia Prewitt will be out in December, and Scoundrel Ever After about dangerous bad boy Jagger and wallflower Audrey Cheswick is due in March 2013.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve considered myself a writer most of my adult life. I’ve done technical writing for banks and software companies, written marketing creative, and written and edited for a variety of non-profit publications. I started writing romance with a goal of publication about six years ago.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Yes, I write full time. My work day is a bit haphazard as it’s largely dependent on my kids, ages 11 and 7. During the school year, my schedule is much more regular as I can plan my day around school. Since I work at home, I pretty much work all the time, which can be good and bad. My kids are a priority, but they also understand I have to work and that my job is at home. They don’t mind sharing me with work because they prefer that to me having to go to a job somewhere else (and I do too!).
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure I have a quirk, but I spend far too much time herding cats off my desk and/or chair. One of our three cats in particular is a bit of a pest. Love her, but she invariably sits right on top of what I’m trying to look at!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A teacher or a movie star. J I took a class in college that was a prerequisite to pursuing a teaching certificate. The class included practical experience in a classroom, and I wrote a bunch of papers where the more I used the teacher’s favorite buzzwords, the better my grade. I aced that class, but after attending a local school board meeting and witnessing the politics involved in education, I decided teaching wasn’t for me. While I’m not a teacher, I’ve been quite involved in my kids’ schools, serving in the parent support organization (like my bio says: serial volunteer!) and working in the classroom, which I really enjoy. So maybe I could’ve been a teacher!
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I just want to thank everyone who’s downloaded or bought one of my books. I know there are a lot of choices out there, so I’m thrilled when someone decides to curl up with one of my stories. I sincerely hope to provide a satisfying reading experience. Thanks for having me today!
It's been my pleasure to host you as part of your virtual book tour.
Readers, remember Darcy will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, a copy of the anthology Born to Bite, an ebook of The Runaway Countess by Leigh LaValle, and a Sara Ramsey ebook. If you want to be entered to win, make sure to leave your email address with a comment below. (If you don't want to enter, you can still comment!)
She is also running a contest on her website: sign up for her newsletter during the tour and you might win a $10 Amazon gift card.
Here are the blurbs and excerpts for the first 2 books in the series:
Blurb for book 1: Her Wicked Ways
SHE WAS HIS SAVIOR
Banished from London for her reckless behavior, Lady Miranda Sinclair is robbed by a dashing highwayman en route to the country. By offering him a kiss in lieu of the jewels she had to leave behind, she commits the very type of act that caused her exile. When her dour guardians extend her punishment to performing charitable work at the local orphanage, she’s further tempted by the home’s owner, a provincial gentleman who stirs her passion in a most wicked way.
HE WAS HER DOWNFALL
Desperate to save his orphanage from financial catastrophe, Montgomery "Fox" Foxcroft leads a double life as a highwayman. The arrival of wealthy, well-connected Miranda, whose kiss he can’t forget, presents a lawful opportunity to increase his coffers. His problems seem solved—until she rejects his suit. Out of options and falling for the heiress, Fox must risk what principles he has left and take advantage of her wicked ways—even if it ruins them both.
Excerpt from Her Wicked Ways:
She sighed, a sound of deep regret. “I told you, I have no money.”
“You’re lying. You reek of wealth.” Fox sniffed loudly to punctuate his statement and got a nose full of her alluring scent for his trouble.
“I know.” Her lips curved into a small, almost seductive smile. It stole his breath. Literally. When he finally remembered to take air, he did so quite audibly. Her mouth widened then, and her face shone like the sun on the brightest summer day.
What the hell kind of highwayman fixated on some chit like a cheap Byron impostor?
Fox reined in his wayward lust. “You must have something of value. A piece of jewelry? A quizzing glass?”
She arched a brow. “What do you take me for? A doddering dowager?”
Good God, no. Never that. If they’d been anywhere else, he would’ve laughed.
Instead, he called out to Rob, as much to distract himself from her as to determine his steward’s progress. “How are you doing over there?” He was careful to lower his voice lest Carmody determine his identity. Highway robbery shouldn’t be this bloody complicated.
“Coming along. Gent’s being quite accommodating.”
He returned his attention to the girl, disappointed she hadn’t sprouted a wart in the last few seconds. “I don’t have time to discuss the finer points of your doddering or lack thereof. Return to the carriage and retrieve whatever it is you have of value. I’d hate to have to use my pistol.”
Her gaze flicked downward. “Your pistol?”
Hell’s teeth, had she just looked at his crotch?
“You’re not even pointing it at me.”
She was quite maddeningly correct.
Blurb for book 2: His Wicked Heart
IT’S HARD TO BE RESPECTABLE
Jasper Sinclair, Earl of Saxton, made a bargain with his devil of a father to marry in one month’s time. But instead of shackling himself to an acceptable debutante, he indulges his baser needs. He joins a fighting club and pursues a delectable woman who may not be what she seems. Soon he finds himself battling addictions that threaten his already wicked heart.
WHEN YOU’D RATHER BE WICKED
Orphaned seamstress Olivia West wants the chance to lead an honest, respectable life, but the arrogant Earl of Saxton launches a daunting campaign to make her his mistress. Destitute and desperate, she agrees to one night with the dangerous lord, hatching a scheme to take his money and keep her virtue. However, Jasper uncovers her deception and vows to claim what he's owed—not his money, her.
Excerpt from His Wicked Heart:
Olivia stood taller and thrust her chin at him. “I came from Devon several months ago and took a position at the theatre as a seamstress. I only filled in onstage for an actress who left temporarily to care for a sick relative. It was then I had the misfortune of encountering—and being bedeviled—by you.”
Bedeviled? He’d show her bedeviled. Jasper closed the gap between them until they nearly touched. “And when is it exactly that you came from Devon?”
She tipped her head back, but didn’t shrink from him. An auburn curl loosened and grazed her ivory cheek. “March.”
He took in the graceful sweep of her neck, partially covered from his hungry gaze by the starched collar of her shirt beneath the deep sage green of her riding habit. His lust threatened to destroy any semblance of propriety, which, alone as they were in the gallery, was nonexistent. “So you really are from Devon.”
“Yes.” Her voice deepened, stirring his desire further.
He tucked the stray lock of hair behind her ear. “And your parents died last year. Were they ill?”
Her breathing hitched as his fingers skimmed the outer shell, and he felt a surge of triumph. “A coaching accident.”
“You said you didn’t own any horses.”
The flash of disquiet in her eyes confirmed the lie. She drew back, and his body regretted that his mind had pursued this course instead of kissing her senseless. “They’d borrowed someone else’s carriage.” A plausible excuse, but he still didn’t believe her.
So disappointing—both her dishonesty and his unquenched lust. “Ah, and therein lies the tragedy.”
She turned, quickly, before she showed him any emotion.