Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Blog Tour: Interview with Darcy Burke + Giveaway (US)

Today we would like to welcome Darcy Burke to the blog. She is sharing excerpts from her Secrets and Scandals series and also has a fabulous giveaway. Before we get to all that, let's meet Darcy.


Meet Darcy:

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.

Connect with Darcy: Author Site | Facebook | Twitter

Jamie and Kati: Who is Darcy Burke? (author, lip balm addict, international woman of mystery...)
Darcy Burke: I’ll watch just about any episode of Beverly Hills 90210 (the original, not the pale comparison currently airing on the WB) despite seeing them a jillion times. I am not international (I’m an Oregonian – watch Portlandia if you want to get a flavor for us types), nor am I mysterious. I really do drive a mini-van and live in suburbia. Although, we live at the edge of suburbia as it moves into wine country. Very sexy, no?

My favorite thing besides reading, writing, watching certain TV shows, and drinking wine is being a mom. My kids crack me up on a daily basis (my 7 yo son is currently battling his “old nemesis” in swimming lessons: the backfloat) and give me so much love and inspiration. My 11 yo daughter has sensory processing disorder and ADD, which made for a very challenging period when she was young. We did a lot of different therapies and now she’s entering middle school as a bright, helpful, curious girl with a lot to say. This is quite a feat considering she didn’t really call me Mommy until she was 2 ½. She’d like me to write a story that she can illustrate, but so far I haven’t come up with anything age appropriate.

J&K: Share bit about the Secrets and Scandals series (no copying blurbs)
DB: In the beginning, Paris Hilton* got sent to the country where Robin Hood** swept her off her feet and helped her find her inner Mother Teresa (okay, that might be pushing it a bit). Paris’s brother, uh, Jasper “Hilton,” was as uptight as they came. Or was he? He met an orphaned actress who would’ve made a great mistress until his favorite aunt believed she was her husband’s long-lost daughter. What’s the heir to a dukedom to do? Join a fight club to work through his angst. Which leads us to Sevrin who runs said fight club. Ah, Sevrin. So handsome. So daring. So scoundrel-y. Or is he? Society thinks he’s a reprobate of the first order, and he doesn’t disagree given his past crimes. But what Society doesn’t know is that he’s celibate! A celibate scoundrel?! Say it isn’t so! And what’s a well-bred English miss who needs to get married to do when she meets a handsome, dashing scoundrel? Why, seduce him, of course.

*Her name isn’t really Paris Hilton or Mother Teresa. It’s Miranda Sinclair.
**His name isn’t really Robin Hood. It’s Montgomery “Fox” Foxcroft.

J&K: What makes each of the couples perfect for each other?
DB: Fox and Miranda are perfect for each other because although Miranda starts out as self-centered and more than a bit spoiled, Fox can see the woman underneath, who—without her parents’ domineering presence—could bloom into the helpmate he needs. Miranda is shocked to find the country isn’t as bad as she expected. In fact, she becomes quite attached to Fox’s orphans and ultimately, to Fox himself. She has a long journey to find the courage to be herself and make her own choices, and Fox has the patience and love to see her through.

After stepping outside propriety a decade ago, Jasper has tried very hard to walk the straight and narrow, which means keeping a tight rein on his rather passionate nature. He’s nearly to the finish line—marriage to a respectable young lady—when he meets Olivia, the absolutely wrong woman at the wrong time. She’s an actress. Her mother was a famous actress/courtesan. She’s a bastard. And she’s pretending to be his uncle’s long-lost daughter. Or so Jasper thinks. Olivia’s just the woman to knock him off his high horse and set him along the path to unleashing his emotions and truly letting himself go. Jasper isn’t what she’s looking for—she isn’t looking for a man at all—but his dedication to his aunt is extremely attractive to Olivia who would give anything for a family to call her own.

With two parents embarking on very public affairs, Philippa has to look after her own interests and find a husband ASAP. She feels very alone and unprotected, so when Ambrose literally swoops in and saves her reputation and her life, she’s understandably smitten. Ambrose, a former pugilist, is an admitted scoundrel who’s very secretive about his past. Everyone knows he ruined his brother’s fiancée and refused to marry her, but they don’t know the true extent of his crimes. Philippa can’t believe he’s as bad as he says he is, not after everything he’s done to protect her. She possesses an understanding and persistence that drives Ambrose to finally face his past. And for Ambrose, Philippa represents the future—a family he will never, ever let down.

J&K: Do you have any writing rituals? (blasting music, savoring cookies, drinking wine...)
DB: Nothing specific, but it’s not unheard of to find me sipping wine at about 4:30. That’s what we moms call the “witching hour.” I have just a little bit of the workday left and I.Need.To.Focus. Perhaps counterintuitively, wine helps. For those moments when I need a snack but don’t want to get up, I keep a stash of dark chocolate covered pomegranate in my desk. (Shhh, don’t tell my husband.) And of course there’s lip balm (at least two kinds—there are currently four) in a little drawer underneath one of my computer monitors (I have two), which I apply with great frequency. Speaking of which…

J&K: What can readers expect from you next?
DB: I just finished a contemporary paranormal, which is a bit of a departure for me. That said, most of it takes place in the UK, so I didn’t stray too far geographically. It’s dark and sexy and was a ton of fun to write. I’m excited to see what people think.

The next stop for the Secrets and Scandals series is a novella, To Love a Thief. It features Lord Kersey, who readers briefly met in Her Wicked Ways. After shockingly inheriting a viscountcy, former magistrate clerk Daniel Kersey hopes to use his new status to effect police reform in London. He’s also on the lookout for a viscountess and thinks he may have found a candidate until he catches her stealing from his mentor. What he doesn’t immediately understand is that Jocelyn Renwick is only trying to regain what was stolen from her. When they discover this man—a prominent earl—is thick with a gang of thieves, they’ll need to work together to stop him from destroying them both. To Love a Thief will be out in late September. Check my website for more information, including the cover which will be revealed soon!

After that, two more full-length novels will round out the series. Both feature characters that were introduced in To Seduce a Scoundrel. Never Love a Scoundrel will hopefully be out in December and Scoundrel Ever After is due in March 2013. I’m going to be busier than a one-armed paper hanger, as my mom would say.

Thanks for having me!


Genre: Historical
Length: 354 pages
Publisher: Intrepid Reads (May 4,2012)

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.

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.
Get Your Own Copy: Kindle | Nook | Smashwords | All Romance
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.

Excerpt from Her Wicked Ways ©2012 by Darcy Burke. All rights reserved.


Genre: Historical
Length: 346 pages
Publisher: Intrepid Reads (June 4, 2012)

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.

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.Get Your Own Copy: Kindle | Nook | Smashwords | All Romance
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.

Excerpt from His Wicked Heart ©2012 by Darcy Burke. All rights reserved.


Genre: Historical
Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Intrepid Reads (July 2, 2012)

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.

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.
Get Your Own Copy: Kindle | Nook | Smashwords | All Romance
“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.”

Excerpt from To Seduce A Scoundrel ©2012 by Darcy Burke. All rights reserved.


Did you know that HER WICKED WAYS is currently free for Kindle readers? Yup, you can download that. But on to the awesome giveaway...Darcy is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, a copy of Born To Bite (anthology), The Runaway Countess by Leigh LaValle (ebook) AND Heiress Without A Cause by Sara Ramsey. Wow! Those are fun fabulous prizes! Plus, sign up for Darcy's newsletter during the tour (August 13-24) and you'll be entered for a $10 Amazon gift card.

Here's how to enter:
  • Leave a meaningful comment for Darcy about historical romances or ask her a question.
  • Don't forget to follow her blog tour. The more places you comment, the more chances you have at these fabulous prizes.
Thanks to Darcy for taking time to share her series with us and for the fabulous prizes. Also, thank you to the ladies of Goddess Fish for forwarding correspondence between Darcy and us.
Goddess Fish Partner

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