Monday, July 28, 2014

Award Winning Author, Lauren Smith

I’m delighted to introduce author, Lauren Smith. She is an attorney by day and an author by night who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. A native Oklahoman, she lives with her three pets—a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She's won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.
Check her out at You can follow her on Facebook at and on Twitter at @LSmithAuthor. Her blog is Welcome to Book Blather, Lauren.

Bad Boys in Historical Romance

When I decided to write my regency series The League of Rogues, I knew I wanted to center the series around a group of bad boys. They would be completely bad, totally unapologetically bad…until they fell in love. I love bad boys, especially bad boy heroes in romance novels. They are the source of the best jokes, the funniest scenes, and some of the sexiest parts of many of my favorite romance novels. I love to cheer these wicked men on because I know that when they meet their heroines they will be well matched and the chemistry between them will be hot enough to light the pages of my book or e-reader on fire.
My first book Wicked Designs, features the leader of my band of bad boys. His name is Godric and as a duke, he pretty much gets whatever he wants. When a man embezzles from him during an investment deal, he decides to get revenge. In the finest tradition of being truly wicked, he develops a scheme to abduct the embezzler’s niece and ruin her reputation. It would keep her uncle from marrying her off to settle debts, something Godric knows would be the worst thing that could happen to this man. He doesn’t care that the heroine, Emily, will have her entire life ruined, not just her reputation.
So yeah…Godric is not a good guy, not at the very beginning. He kidnaps poor Emily, and takes her to his estate and thereby ruins her reputation. But she’s not an easy victim, and she turns the tables on Godric and his friends.
I think what is so fun about this book and the series is watching Godric, an ultimate bad boy, succumb to sweetness and love and turn gentle with Emily during their story. The hot sex along the way is an added bonus! That’s the best part of writing bad boys, writing the transition to where they truly become heroes and champions that we adore. I hope you all get a chance to check out Godric and his friends in Wicked Designs. If you like bad boys, you’ll love the League of Rogues!

The League of Rogues takes what they want—but have they taken on too much?

For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.

It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.

Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love.

Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric’s shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard—and rob him of the woman he can’t live without.

Warning: This novel includes a lady who refuses to stay kidnapped, a devilish duke with a dark past, and an assortment of charming rogues who have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into.

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Godric St. Laurent, the twelfth Duke of Essex, leaned back in his saddle watching the abduction he’d orchestrated unfold. Covering his mouth with a gloved hand, he stifled a yawn. Things were going smoothly. In fact, this entire kidnapping bordered on the point of tedious. They’d intercepted the coach ten minutes before it reached Chessley House. No one witnessed the escort of riders or the driver changing his route. Oddly enough, the young woman hadn’t shown any signs of resistance or concern from inside the coach. Wouldn’t she have made some protestations when she realized what was happening? A thought stopped him dead. Had she somehow slipped out of the coach when they’d slowed on a corner before they’d left town? Surely not, they would have seen her. Most likely she was too terrified to do anything, hence the silence from inside. Not that she had anything to fear, she would not be harmed.
He nodded to his friend Charles who was perched next to the driver. A bag of coins jingled as Charles dropped it into the jarvey’s waiting hands.
They had reached halfway point between London and Godric’s ancestral estate. They would go the rest of the way on horseback, with the girl sharing a horse with either him or one of his friends. The driver would return to London with a message for Albert Parr and a wild story that exonerated himself from blame.
“Ashton, stay here with me.” Godric waved his friend over while the others rode the horses a good distance away to wait for his signal. Abductions were tricky things, and having only himself and one other man take hold of the girl would be better. She might have a fit of hysterics if she saw the other three men too close.
He rode up to the coach, curious to see whether the woman inside matched his memory. He’d seen her once before from a window overlooking the gardens when he’d visited her uncle. She’d been kneeling in the flowerbeds, her dress soiled as she weeded. A job more suited to a servant than a lady of quality. He’d been ready to dismiss her from his mind when she’d turned and glanced about the garden, a smudge of dirt on the tip of her upturned nose. A butterfly from a nearby flower had fluttered above her head. She hadn’t noticed it, even as it settled on her long, coiling auburn hair. Something in his chest gave a funny little flip, and his body had stirred with desire. Any other woman so innocent would not have caught his interest, but he’d glimpsed a keenness in her eyes, a hidden intelligence as she dug into the soil. Miss Emily Parr was different. And different was intriguing.
Ashton handed the driver the ransom letter for Parr and took up a position near the front of the coach. Taking hold of the door, Godric opened it up, waiting for the screaming to start.
None came.
“My deepest apologies, Miss Parr—” Still no screaming. “Miss Parr?” Godric thrust his head into the coach.
It was empty. Not even a fire-breathing dragon of a chaperone, not that he’d expected one. His sources had assured him she would be alone tonight.
Godric looked over his shoulder. “Ash? You’re sure this is Parr’s coach?”
“Of course. Why?” Ashton jumped off his horse, marched over and thrust his head into the empty coach. He was silent a long moment before he withdrew. Ashton put his finger against his lips and motioned to the inside. A tuft of pink muslin peeped out from the wooden seat. He gestured for Godric to step away from the coach.
Ashton lowered his voice. “It seems that our little rabbit chase has turned into a fox hunt. She’s hidden in the hollow space of the seat, clever girl.”
“Hiding under the seat?” Godric shook his head, bewildered. He didn’t know one woman of his acquaintance who would do something so clever. Perhaps Evangeline, but then if anything could be said of that woman, it was that she was far from ordinary. A prickling of excitement coursed through his veins, into his chest. He loved a challenge.
“Let’s wait a few minutes and see if she emerges.”
Godric looked back at the coach, impatience prickling inside him. “I don’t want to wait here all night.”
“She’ll come out soon enough. Allow me.” Ashton walked back to the coach and called out to Godric in a carrying voice. “Blast and damnation! She must have slipped out before we took charge of the coach. Just leave it. We’ll take the driver back to London tomorrow.” Ashton shut the door with a loud slam and motioned for Godric to join him.
“Now we wait,” Ashton whispered. He indicated that he would guard the left coach door while Godric stationed himself at the right.

Emily listened to the drum of retreating hooves and silently counted to one hundred. Her heart jolted in her chest as she considered what the men would do if they caught her. Highwaymen could be cruel and murderous, especially if their quarry offered little. She had no access to her father’s fortune, which left only her body.
Icy dread gripped Emily’s spine, paralyzing her limbs. She drew a breath as anxiety spiraled through her.
I must be brave. Fight them until I can fight no more. With trembling hands, she pushed at the roof of the seat, wincing as it popped open. Once she climbed out, she brushed dirt from her gown, noticing some tears from the rough wood on the inside of the seat. But the tears held no importance. All that mattered was survival.
Emily looked out the coach window. Nothing stood out in the darkness. Only the faint glimmer of moonlight touched the road with milky tendrils. Stars winked and flickered overhead, pale lights, distant and cold. A shudder wracked her frame, and Emily hugged herself, wanting so much to be at home. She missed her warm bed and her parents’ murmurs from down the hall. It was a comfort she’d taken for granted. But she couldn’t afford to think about them, not when she was in danger.
Were the men truly gone? Could it really be this easy?
She opened the coach door, and stepped down onto the dirt road. Strong arms locked about her waist and yanked her backward. The collision with a hard body knocked the breath from her lungs. Terror spiked her blood as she struggled against the arms that held her.
“Good evening, my darling,” a low voice murmured.
Emily screamed once, before she bit down on the hand that covered her mouth. She tasted the smooth leather of fine riding gloves.
The man roared and nearly dropped her. “Damn!”
Emily rammed an elbow backwards into her attacker’s stomach and began to wrestle free until he grabbed her arm. She swung about, striking him across the face with a balled fist. The man staggered back, leaving her free to dive inside the coach.
If she could get to the other side and run, she might stand a chance. She scrabbled towards the door, but never made it. The devil surged into the coach after her. Turning to face him, she was knocked flat onto her back.
She screamed again as his body settled over hers.
The dim moonlight revealed his bright eyes and strong features.
He caught her flailing wrists, pinning them above her head. “Quiet!”
Emily wanted to rake his eyes out, but the man was relentless. His hips ground against hers and panic drove her to a new level of terror. Her fears of being forcibly taken surfaced as his warm breath fanned over her face and neck. She shrieked, and he reared back away from her, as though the sound confused him.
“I’m not going to hurt you.” His voice vibrated with a low growl, ruining any promise his words might carry.
“You’re hurting me now!” She yanked her arms uselessly against his hold.
The man eased off her somewhat, and Emily took her chance. She tucked her knees up, and with all the power she could summon, she kicked. Her attacker stumbled out the open door and fell onto his back. Emily barely registered that he was winded before she turned and exited the other side of the coach.
The moment she emerged, another man lunged for her. To escape him, Emily fell back against the side of the coach. Rather than grab her, he held his arms wide to keep her from slipping by him, like he was corralling livestock.
“Easy, easy,” he purred.
Emily whipped her head to the left and pleaded with her mind to think, but the man she’d bitten rounded the corner and pounced, pinning her against the coach, his arms caging her in. His solid muscular body towered over her. His jaw clenched as though one move from her would trigger something dark and wild. Emily’s breath caught, and her heart pounded violently against her ribs.
The man was panting and angry. The intensity of his eyes mesmerized her, but the second he blinked, the spell broke and she fought with every bit of strength she could muster.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rita Henuber and Military Heroines

web site:
Twitter:  @ritahenuber
Welcome to Book Blather, Rita.

         Thanks so much for having me here. I love reading and writing. I write about extraordinary women and the men they love. Military heroines.  Women at the top of their field in a man’s world. They don’t want a man to take care of them they want a man who will accept them for who they are and stand shoulder to shoulder with them in their adventures. I’m frequently asked why I write military stories and more to the point why are my heroines the ones in the military.
         Well, I come from a family, who over the years, have served in every branch of the service in every conflict since WWI. I have ancestors who served in British conflicts back to the early 1800’s. Two great, great, great, great uncles were in the Charge of the Light Brigade. Thomas Dunn, a corporal, and Alexander James Dunn, a lieutenant were members of the 11th Hussars, a British Army unit. Lieutenant Dunn was killed in the battle. Corporal Dunn was one of the fabled survivors.
         I have stories of family in WWI but no proof.  SO, fast forward to the next war to end all wars and I have many, many relatives who served. Some weren’t even in the military. Half of my family lives in Florida. Have since the early 1920s. An uncle owned several shrimp boats. One day, after the start of WWII, some scary guys in suits and uniforms showed up and said his boats were needed to protect the east coast from U-boats. There was no please. No thank you. No payment. All his boats were taken and he never got them back. He never complained. He was proud he could help.                                       
         My daddy trained Coast Guard recruits in Florida and Washington State, and patrolled in the North Atlantic riding shotgun for convoys.  
         Another Uncle was a Navy ace in that war and in Korea.
         One uncle, on the other side of my family, was home in December 1941 for 30 days of leave before he was to report to his next duty. His next duty? The USS Arizona in Hawaii.
         My husband’s uncle served in Germany.
         Hubs was a Marine and served in Vietnam.
         One son was with the first Marines into Bagdad in the Iraq war.
         There are many others but I think you get the point. The military in is my DNA.
         The next question is why write military heroines? I feel like the women in the service of this country are under appreciated.
          George Washington credits winning the war against England to six colonial spies who risked their lives to bring him information. One of them was a woman whose name has never been discovered.
         Dr. Mary Edwards Walker is the only woman to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor for her efforts during the Civil War. Her name was deleted from the Medal of Honor Roll in 1917. She was asked to return the medal and refused, wearing it every day until she died.
         Agnes Meyer Driscoll known as Madame X, an American cryptanalyst for the U.S. Navy during World War I was a brilliant code breaker.
         During WWII over 1000 women in this country flew every type of military aircraft, ferrying them to military bases and departure points. They were test pilots and towed targets to give gunners training. Their service wasn’t recognized until the 70s 
         I have a special place in my heart for the nurses who took care of those who fought in Vietnam.
         The person who is credited with finding the terrorist leader who ordered the 9/11 attacks (I refuse to say his name) is a woman.      
My question is: why don’t we have more books with military heroines?

My new book, Point of No Return, is about a female Marine Corps Intelligence officer. She is smart, tough and a patriot.

A hot sexy prequel, No Holding Back, is free and tells how my hero and heroine met.

Under Fire: The Admiral is really close to my heart. It starts with a plane crash in the jungle, has Navy SEALS, narco subs and bad guys, and ends up in Paris.  SHE is the admiral who falls for a younger man, a doctor. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Author Spotlight: Barbara White Daille

Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they love the lizards in the front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.  Barbara writes romances—usually with cowboys, kids, and a touch of humor.  Her current title is Rancher at Risk, and she’s excited that her upcoming book, The Texan’s Little Secret, releases in less than a month! If any of you would like to write a review, she would be glad to provide you with a copy. It is also posted on Net Galley.
She would love to have you drop by her website:
and to see you on Facebook:
and Twitter:

Welcome to Book Blather, Barbara.

Thanks so much to the Book Blather Blog for this opportunity to drop by and share news about my upcoming release.  We’re in the countdown with this book, which debuts in just a couple of weeks!    

One of the things I love most about writing romance (besides the hot cowboys who always seem to be moseying along just when I need one for a new book) is the chance to write about relationships between different types of characters.

Naturally, the focus in a romance is on the hero and heroine.  But in The Texan’s Little Secret, for example, I love that I’m also able to show scenes between the hero and his baby daughter…the heroine and her father…even scenes with a much-too-nosy stallion or with a cantankerous bull who steals the stage.

I’m super-excited about the book, which some readers have called a “secret baby story—with a twist.”  It includes one of my yummiest heroes but also one of my most conflicted heroines.  Because of this, watching this pair work out the troubles between them made me cry more than once.  I hope the story affects readers as much as it did me. 

As you can see, the Art Department did the book proud by putting the hero and his child on the cover.  I’m thrilled, since it’s the perfect picture to show Luke’s love for little girl. 

Here’s a look at the cover copy for the book

The Texan’s Little Secret

Coming home might be the worst decision Carly Baron has ever made. Each minute on her family's busy ranch is one minute closer to seeing him—her first love—the man who broke her heart seven years ago. While coming face-to-face with Luke Nobel again brings back painful memories, Carly quickly realizes there are other strong feelings just under the surface…. 

Luke would be a lot better off if Carly had stayed away. Being a single dad to an adorable two-year-old girl and managing the Roughneck is tough enough, but resisting the sparks that fly whenever he and Carly are together is near impossible. But first she must tell him her secret. The truth could heal their past…or forever destroy their chances of becoming a family.

And here’s a peek into the story:

Carly gripped the rail on either side of her.  "This was a pleasure ride—or so I thought.  And here you are working.  Are you always so thorough when it comes to your job?"

"I try to be.  With the job and everything else."

A shiver ran down her spine at Luke’s suggestive words.  But darn him, he simply looked back at her steadily, without a sign of teasing in his expression.

"You were that way with your job at the garage, too," she said.

"I tried to be.  No matter what anyone else thought."

"Why would anyone think something different?"

"Folks come up with crazy notions."

"About you?  Straight-arrow Luke?  I don't believe it.  Notions like what?"

He hesitated, then shrugged.  "Like I wasn't always such a straight arrow.  Like I pulled underhanded tricks to get whatever I wanted."  He turned his head and squinted against the glare of the lowering sun.  "We'd better head back soon, before we lose the light."

She nodded.

"Did you enjoy the ride?"

"Yes, actually."

He smiled.  "You sound as if you didn't expect to."

"I didn't."

One look at his face last night had told her he wouldn't accept no for an answer about taking her out on horseback.  Besides, he'd had her at a disadvantage.  "I didn't want to go on this ride at all.  You knew that.  But you also knew I wouldn't give you the satisfaction of arguing with Daddy and Anna standing right there."

He rested one hip against the fence, toasted her with his water bottle, and grinned.  "Thanks for giving me credit for that much, at least.  How did it go after I left?"

"I'm still standing, aren't I?"

"Sitting, technically."  He looked her over from head to toe.  "You do that well.  And you don't do badly on the back of a horse."

"Thanks for nothing."

He shrugged.  "Hey, it is nothing compared to riding a bull.  I gave you an easy out."

"Easy?  You'd better not let Daredevil hear you say that."

He took a long swig from his bottle, throat muscles working hard.  "You just had to choose the most cantankerous horse in the stable, didn't you?"

She smiled.  He'd nearly had a conniption when she had led the stallion, already saddled, out of the barn.

His mouth curved in a half-smile.  "Daredevil might be bull-headed—like some people I know—but he's still horseflesh.  And my offer to help with the bull riding tips still stands."

Dang.  After her sessions with Twister, she wasn't a hundred percent sure she even wanted to ride a live bull again.   

And after the way everything had ended between them, she couldn't believe Luke Nobel still wanted to help her.  Worse, she couldn't believe what she still wanted from him—and it involved a heck of a lot more than tips on how to ride a bull.

A proposition like this one, from a champion rider...  Turning him down would make her seem as wild and crazy as her family had always thought.

On the other hand, accepting his offer, agreeing to get close to him, would prove her just plain crazy.

Thanks for reading!  And please feel free to leave comments or questions.  I’ll be around to chat.

The Texan’s Little Secret can be found at: Amazon,Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Harlequin, Powell’s Books,The Book Depository, IndieBound

URLs: Amazon:

Amazon UK:

Barnes & Noble:



Powell's Books:

The Book Depository: