Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stefanie Sloane guest post & giveaway

Hello My Lovelies!

I am going to deviate from Downton Abbey Week for just a day to bring you this lovely guest post this brilliant giveaway. Please help me welcome Stefanie Sloane to Royal Reviews!

authorphoto1_lowres

Cut to the Chase

I don’t know about you, but there comes a point where all of the titillating information and backstory about an author grows tiresome. Don’t believe me? Then give this a go:

I am a romance novelist. I began my professional life as the Amazon.com Romance Editor. I live in Seattle with my ridiculously willful daughters and saintly husband. I wear a lot of fleece and yoga pants. I own two adorable if accident prone mutts. And my favorite dessert is cake of any kind. The fourth installment in my wildly popular Regency Rogues series, The Saint Who Stole My Heart, is on bookshelves now. Please, buy it so I may continue to pay for unreasonable vet bills, summer camps, and cake.

Yawn.

So I’m going to put my money where my mouth is. Below is an exclusive excerpt from The Saint Who Stole My Heart. If you enjoy it, there’s plenty more where it came from! And if not, well I’ve wasted no more of your time than the dancing dog on Youtube has—though, admittedly, he is a tough act to follow.

Fingers crossed!

Cheers,

Stefanie


http://www.stefaniesloane.com
http://www.facebook.com/stefaniesloane
https://twitter.com/#!/stefaniesloane
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4480304.Stefanie_Sloane

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The Saint Who Stole My Heart

Dashiell Matthews, Viscount Carrington, remembers little of Miss Elena Barnes beyond her slight build, mousy character, and bookish ways. Her unavoidable presence at Carrington House would be inconvenient, true, but a woman could hardly prove enough of a distraction to interfere with what was the most important case of Dash’s life—ferreting out the monster who’d murdered a dear friend’s mother many year before.

Dash would, of course, live to regret such an assumption.

As for Elena, a trip to London to retrieve a priceless book is troublesome, though not nearly as much as the feelings the viscount inspires in her. His touch elicits feelings from Elena that she’d only ever read about. Her skin tingles. Lord Hardwicke is as handsome as she remembered—actually, more so as he’d grown into his frame in a rather attractive manner—and as dim as a ha’penny tallow. Or is he? The more time Elena spends with the man, the greater her suspicions grow regarding his intellect and just what he might be up to as they’re thrown together in the search for an individual known only as the Rook.

Can true love save the day? Find out in the exciting and enthralling fourth installment of the Regency Rogues.

The Saint Who Stole My Heart is out now!

International Giveaway

Giveaway Ends May 29

To Enter leave your name and a valid email address.

Stefanie is willing to give away all four of her Regency Rogues books to one winner!

Giveaway includes

theangelinmyarms-200x326 thedevilindeguise-200x326 thesinnerwhoseducedme-200x326 Saint-Stole1-200x326

 

Elena.”

Miss Elena Barnes, the only child of Henry Barnes,

Baron Harcourt, wrinkled her nose in unconscious protest

when her father’s voice intruded upon her reading.

“I saw that.”

Elena smiled with warm affection. “You always do.”

“And yet,” he replied, taking a seat next to her on the

chilly stone bench piled high with brocade pillows, “you

continue to give yourself away. Attempting to deceive

me is a hopeless habit, if there ever was one,” he added

amiably, settling his small frame comfortably on the

makeshift settee and sighing with relief.

Elena slipped a satin ribbon between the pages to

mark her place and reluctantly closed her book. Her

gaze moved past the folly columns to the lake beyond

and the white stone of Harcourt House shining brightly

in the distance. “Really, one would think twitching my

nose would be far easier to hide, even from you, considering

that fact that everyone seems to agree that I always

have my nose in a book.”

Her father turned to her and cleared his throat, his

eyes twinkling with wry disbelief.

“Oh, all right,” Elena ceded with a smile, looking at the

dear man. “It is true that I spend much time reading. It’s

my favorite indulgence. But must Lady Van Allen mention

it at every dinner party? Even Lord Van Allen sighed

when she brought it up again, and he never hears a word

the woman says.”

Her father reached out and took one of her hands in

his, the weight and familiar feel acting as a gentle balm

to Elena’s stinging pride.

“Actually, I believe he does hear every word,” she

amended. “But it’s not like the man to reveal he’s heard

her comments, which only proves my point. Really, I

have no illusions about my status as a bluestocking. Nor

does anyone else in Dorset— or the whole of England, I

would venture to guess. Perhaps even the entire world,

though I would have to consult Lady Van Allen on that

point,” she finished, winking conspiratorially.

Last evening’s spring gathering had gone well and exactly

as planned— with the glaring exception of Lady

Van Allen’s comment. The turbot had been braised to

perfection, the wine her father’s favorite, and those in

attendance the best of friends. Elena adored every single

person present, including Lady Van Allen, a bosom

friend of her mother’s before the baroness’s death.

It was this very connection that drove the well intentioned

woman to say such things, Elena reminded

herself. Lady Van Allen’s conviction that Elena would

eventually find her prince was both endearing and vexatious.

Elena was all for perseverance. She thought it a

commendable trait in the right situation. But when it

came to her marital status, one would have to be an

absolute lackwit to hold out any shred of hope for a

happy announcement in the Morning Post.

She was five- and- twenty. If there’d been a prince for

her, he’d long ago gone in search of greener pastures,

Elena thought philosophically. She calmly met her father’s

gaze, and then pointedly turned her attention to

the fine day.

Brilliant yellow daffodils and creamy Lady Jane tulips

bloomed in clusters about the folly. A sea of bluebells

spread out before her, their miniscule heads bobbing on

the breeze. And just past the lake, a doe and her speckled

fawn nibbled at the sweet spring grass.

Elena contemplated the beauty of her pastoral home.

She was content, in her own way. Hours spent relegated

to the ranks of older women and wallflowers in ballrooms

during her one season had firmly beaten down

any hopes she may have harbored for a life in London.

She’d been plain. And even worse, curved where she

should have been straight. Heavy, when she should

have been light. None of which had mattered a whit in

Dorset.

But in London, everything about her appearance and

comportment was taken into consideration.

And the women of the ton had judged her harshly— as

if her inability to attract a man somehow made her completely

undeserving of kindness or friendship.

She discreetly eyed a long curl of her brown hair

where it lay against her shoulder, thoughtfully studied

the formless moss- green muslin gown that hid her generous

curves, and finally looked at the leather-bound book

in her lap.

Bluestocking. Elena could still recall the first time

she’d heard a fellow debutante call her that. She’d questioned

whether the funds used to sponsor a young woman’s

season wouldn’t be better spent on the poor. The

room had fallen eerily quiet at her temerity, like a Dorset

winter’s morn after the first snowfall.

Elena mentally shook herself from the cold, crystalized

memory. She’d left London shortly after. Turned

tail, some surely said. Elena, in her darkest moments,

might agree.

She’d been fully aware that returning to Dorset permanently

would, most likely, end any chance of a suitable

match. Again, perseverance was all well and good.

But Elena was no fool.

Her father stretched his legs, the effort causing him to

wince from pain.

The movement drew Elena from her musing and she

slipped the cashmere shawl from her shoulders to tuck it

around her father’s. “What on earth possessed you to

risk inflaming your gout by venturing this far afield? It is

spring, but still cold enough to do you harm.”

“The lure of seeing you smile was too great to resist,”

he replied cryptically.

Elena narrowed her eyes. “Come now, I do so all the

time. Surely you could have waited until dinner.”

“Oh, but this smile . . .” Lord Harcourt paused,

grinning knowingly, “This smile will rival that of

Euphrosyne.”

Elena’s heart leapt at the mention of the Greek goddess

of joy. Her father knew better than to invoke one of

her favorite mythological characters without just cause.

“You’ve my complete attention. Please, amaze me with

your news,” she proclaimed eagerly.

Reaching into his waistcoat, he drew out a letter. He

slowly opened the thick, cream-colored paper and began

meticulously smoothing out the folds— every last one of

them.

“You torture me for the fun of it, don’t you?” Elena

admonished, craning her neck in a vain attempt to read

the inverted script.

Lord Harcourt chuckled and mercifully handed the

letter to her. “Just a touch. You do make it so easy— and

enjoyable. No one would blame me.”

Elena righted the letter and began to read. The elegant

handwriting was unfamiliar, but soon enough, the

names mentioned within the lines began to make sense.

As did the message itself. Thrilling, fantastic, perfect

sense.

“Am I to understand . . .” Elena asked, carefully setting

her book on the bench between them before

abruptly standing with the correspondence in her hand.

“I’m afraid I won’t be of much use until you complete

your sentence, my dear.”

Elena reread the letter, turning in slow circles as she

did so. “That the fifth Viscount Carrington has died— ”

“Rather a sad fact for you to be so happily contemplating,

wouldn’t you say,” her father interrupted to

point out.

“Oh, of course,” she agreed remorsefully, stopping in

front of him. “He was a dear friend, was he not?”

Her father grinned again. “That he was, Elena. And

he’d lived an interesting life, which is a blessing, indeed.

I’d venture to guess the man is sitting at the right hand

of the Almighty at this very moment, happily setting to

work on one puzzle or another, as he was wont to do.”

Elena realized he’d only been teasing her further

and frowned at him before continuing. “Am I to understand,”

she began again, “that the fifth viscount Carrington

died and his son has offered you the late lord’s

entire collection of antiquarian books?”

Lord Harcourt appeared to be contemplating her

words. “Yes,” he finally conf rmed.

“Including the Paolini?” she ventured, not stopping to

scold him as she held her breath.

“Including the Paolini.”

Giacomo Paolini’s Abecedary Illustrations of Greek

Mythology dated back to the fifteenth century. A single

copy had survived. And it resided in the Carrington

library.

Elena felt the rush of excitement bubble from her belly

to her chest, and finally her face.

“Ah, that is the smile I was waiting for,” her father

said, standing with some difficulty.

She automatically offered her arm just as the sun’s

rays began to slant toward the horizon. “When will

you go?”

“Go where, my dear?” Lord Harcourt asked as he allowed

Elena to assist him down the steps of the folly.

“To Carrington House in London, of course,” she

replied distractedly, her mind already contemplating

where the valuable tome would be placed in the library

at Harcourt House.

“Oh, there. Yes, well, you see, I won’t be.”

Elena stopped, forcing her father to do the same.

“What do you mean? Lord Carrington is expecting

you.”

He gestured ahead to where a cart and horse waited,

and they set off once again. “That may be, but I can

hardly travel with this gout plaguing me so. You will

have to go in my stead.”

“Father, is that really necessary?” Elena countered.

“Could we not send Mr. Ghent after the book— that is,

books?”

Lord Harcourt patted his daughter’s hand. “And are

you aware of my estate manager’s knowledge of such

things, my dear?”

“No,” she admitted, already anticipating what would

come next.

“Mr. Ghent knows no more of priceless books than

a robin does,” her father replied. “He’s a good man,

Mr. Ghent, but not the sort one sends to collect such

valuables. Your expertise is needed, my dear.”

Elena could hardly argue. She would not risk her father’s

health by insisting that he travel, and she’d not

risk the safety of the books by employing Mr. Ghent.

Besides, there was no one more uniquely qualified to

catalogue the tomes than herself. Their own library was

a thing of beauty, if Elena did say so herself. From the

time she could toddle along with the help of her dear

nurse’s hand, the baron had welcomed Elena into the

enormous room that housed his most prized possessions.

She’d come to love not only the books themselves,

but the respectful process that was required for the care

and safekeeping of the delicate volumes. They were an

extended family of sorts to her, each one with its own

unique place in her heart.

And Lord Carrington’s books? Could she leave them

in the hands of an unschooled individual? Elena envisioned

rare books being tossed hither and yon, thrown

into trunks without the benefit of even the most basic of

lists to distinguish one collection from the other. It was

too much to bear.

“I see,” she answered practically, relishing the warmth

of the sun’s fading rays. “Of course, I’ll go. We’ve no

other choice, do we?”

“No,” her father confirmed, patting her arm reassuringly.

Elena looked again at the letter in her hand. She’d met

Dashiell Matthews once, which had been quite enough

for her. She couldn’t recall much about him, but she did

remember the man had caught the attention of eligible

females within the length and breadth of London— and

quite a few ineligible ones as well. He was tall and

broad, with golden hair and a face that could only be

described as beautiful.

If you liked that sort of thing, Elena thought, feigning

disinterest.

“And so I shall go,” she agreed resolutely. They

reached the aged farm cart and Elena allowed the groom

to lift her onto the seat. She attempted to smooth her

wrinkled skirt, ultimately accepting defeat and folding

her hands tightly in her lap.

Returning to London had not been in her plans— ever.

But neither had acquiring Paolini’s Abecedary.

She would travel as soon as possible, catalogue and

pack the books, then return to Harcourt House before

her father had time to miss her.

Simple. Straightforward. Just as Elena preferred.

1ZPLGWxrwAAEC5KxCjkg_tn128-1Visit Angel @ Renee’s Reads

39 comments:

miki said...

thanks you for this new opportunity to win your series, i hope i will be lucky.

how are named your mutt and what do you mean by prone to accident?

all the best

isabelle(dot)frisch(at)gmail(dot)com

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

I loved 'the saint who stole my heart', thanks for the excerpt to remind me why! i would love to win the other three books. thank you!

inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

Lynne said...

Loved this book reading this excerpt makes me want to read it again! would love to win the books

fingershankins@yahoo.com

Martha Lawson said...

The book sounds really great and I would love to be entered to win these! I know what you mean about vet bills, not accident prone but a dog with pancritis! (Special food and treats from the vet!) Best of luck with the new book. Look forward to reading them.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

SharonA said...

I love the excerpt! Now it's time to add it to my own library, if I'm not lucky enough to win the books. :) Thank you for sharing it and for a great contest!

Anonymous said...

Would love to win copies of these fabulous works.

xoxo,

cam231948@gmail.com

catslady said...

I haven't read your books as yet but I really enjoyed the excerpt and what glorious covers!! Thanks for the chance.

catslady5(at)aol.com

catslady said...

I haven't read your books as yet but I really enjoyed the excerpt and what glorious covers!! Thanks for the chance.

catslady5(at)aol.com

catslady said...

I haven't read your books as yet but I really enjoyed the excerpt and what glorious covers!! Thanks for the chance.

catslady5(at)aol.com

catslady said...

I am so sorry for all the repeats - stupid blogger kept saying I had mistyped the words to verify.

Barbara said...

Great interview---loved it:) thanks for the draw.

Barbara S
brneyes at 4testsmail (dot) com

bas1chs said...

LOL Stefanie! Thanks for cutting to the chase and giving us an excerpt. All of these books look so good. Thanks for the chance to win them.

Jill said...

Looking forward to reading

Jill said...

Looking forward to reading

May said...

Awww... another excerpt! Sounds like another terrific book in the series...

Suzette said...

Haven't read any of these yet, but I'm looking forward to it!
Suzette Temple
CADDOGIRL@consolidated.net

Robin W said...

Loved the excerpt. Thanks for a wonderful contest.

Robin W
rw313(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Sue P. said...

Great excerpt. Waiting, waiting for this book!

suepete12(at)yahoo(dot)com

Unknown said...

You are one of my top 5 favorite authors!

Melody said...

I am not sure why I'm unknown above but I still love your books!

Anonymous said...

Just read the excerpt and I absolutely loved it. Then I went to read it again, only one problem; its not the whole book. I want this book really bad and I want to meet Dashiell Matthews to know what's he's like. HOPE I WIN!!!! aniya2@hotmail.com

Connie said...

Stefanie: I hoping so much to get a copy of your new book and read it as soon as possible. I love your books and am quite intrigued by your "previous life" working at Amazon. Congratulations on your successes and all the best!

sheila said...

Love your books.

Anonymous said...

Sounds so interesting! I Can't wait for my alone time which is after the kids are in bed and I've cleaned up the kitchen and all that good stuff which is usually around midnite lol but I'm not complaining I enjoy your books! Hope to one day win one! Sonia G

Qbyngirl@aol.com

Jeanne M said...

Stephanie -

I'm sure your publisher sent you a note when he saw your first book and said "And you shall it cake!" because they are wonderful and you deserve nothing less for the wonderful stories you graciously share with all of us!

Please send my personal thanks to them for publishing your books close together so we don't have to struggle to refrain for calling and tying up their phone lines asking when your next release will be! (My husband also thanks you for keeping me occupied reading your books so I don't drive him crazy.)

I know you have a busy schedule ahead but also hope you have planned on taking the time for quiet moments (okay moments because no mother has quiet times with little ones running around) to enjoy the special times that only occur once in a lifetime.

Little ones grow up must to quickly but fortunately they than grace you with wonderful grandchildren to read to.

Amy2read said...

Love the excerpt, can't wait to start reading your books :)

amy2read89@gmail.com

Robin said...

This looks like a great book!

robindpdx(at)yahoo(dot)com

bn100 said...

Great excerpt. The book sounds good.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Monikarw said...

lol! Love this, Stefanie :)
I didn't know u worked for Amazon.com :$
Love the excerpt & can't wait to read this :)
Thanks again :*

@Monikarw
monika_restivow(at)yahoo.com

Gisele said...

So i been trying to catch some Stefanie Slone's books! Historical romance books are my favorite genre in the world! Anything that has a romance in it! Please count me in! I such a romance junkie! And I might have a chance here to win! haha! Thanks for the giveaway! Fingers crossed!

ilepachequin(at)hotmail(dot)com

Linda said...

I've the 1st 3 books & I'd love to add the 4th one to my collection.
Thanks for the opportunity to win & for considering your international readers!

Linda
thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

danni said...

I've yet to try the series, but I really enjoyed the blurb and excerpt. Always looking for new authors and books to try, so I would love a chance to win. Thanks so much.

danni0113(at)gmail(dot)com

Kate said...

I have been enjoying the series. Here's hoping I win!

Kate said...

I love the series. Here's hoping I win!

marybelle said...

All of the books look amazing. Yes please!!

Mary Preston

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Carol L. said...

I haven't read Stephani yet. I loved the excerpt and will now have a new series to put o the wish list. ") Thanks for this opportunity.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Lory Lee said...

Haven't read any Stefanie book, yet. (Shame on me!) I would run down the street screaming if I'll "win four of her Regency Rogues books." But if not, I'll still buy her books and will read them. The excerpt left me wanting for more. @_@

Lory Lee

simonelorzz@gmail.com

Jeanne M said...

I loved the excerpt and the interaction between Elena and her father. I love Stephanie's books because she always captures the essence of the characters and make the reader feel like they actually met them.

Reading about Elena and her father brought me back to me the times my Dad would tell me to "put the book down and go to bed" and instead we would sit and talk late at night for a while. We'd share stories and he'd light of his pipe and he wouldn't say a word as I lit up a cigarette (both of which forbidden by my mother (we didn't know the dangers back then).

He's have a smile on his face as he told me jokes I never should have heard and we laugh and say goodnight!

Thanks Stephanie for taking me back to my childhood and the wonderful times and closeness a girl can have with her father.

Anita Yancey said...

I haven't read any of her books yet, but I would love to read these. This book sounds wonderful. Please enter me. Thanks!
ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net