Guest Post and Giveaway ~ WHY DO DUKES FALL IN LOVE? Megan Frampton




Why Do Dukes Fall In Love by Megan Frampton
Series: Dukes Behaving Badly, #4
Historical Romance
Released: July 26, 2016
Avon
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In Megan Frampton’s captivating new Dukes Behaving Badly novel, we learn the answer to the question:

Why do dukes fall in love?

Michael, the Duke of Hadlow, has the liberty of enjoying an indiscretion . . . or several. But when it comes time for him to take a proper bride, he ultimately realizes he wants only one woman: Edwina Cheltam. He’d hired her as his secretary, only to quickly discover she was sensuous and intelligent.

They embark on a passionate affair, and when she breaks it off, he accepts her decision as the logical one . . . but only at first. Then he decides to pursue her.  Michael is brilliant, single-minded, and utterly indifferent to being the talk of the ton. It’s even said his only true friend is his dog. Edwina had begged him to marry someone appropriate–—someone aristocratic . . . someone high-born . . . someone else. But the only thing more persuasive than a duke intent on seduction is one who has fallen irrevocably in love.

Something I have talked about before is that I can not (as in CAN NOT) write a book without knowing precisely whom the hero looks like. Not just that; the person I have in mind has to be a) relatively in his prime and b) tall and c) is usually an actor, although I have made an exception for British supermodel David Gandy (because duh).

I use the image in my head as an anchor to figure out what the hero might do or say at any given time. I don’t print pictures out or create a Pinterest board or any of that actual visual stuff; as long as I have the guy in my head, I’m good.

Generally, what ends up happening is that the actor’s personality seeps out through my hero as well (or maybe a role the actor played that I particularly enjoyed). So, for example, the hero of Put Up Your Duke was modeled after Game of Thrones’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, so a bit of Jaime got included, particularly the effortless charm and incredible good looks.

Why Do Dukes Fall in Love?’s hero was someone I like, but I sometimes feel uncomfortable liking. That’s because some of the roles he’s played—and played well—have been despicable, and also because in real life he seems as though he is not the nicest person in the world.


This hero is modeled after German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender, and in particular I kept his portrayal of Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre in mind while I wrote. I know some people find Mr. Rochester—and likely Fassbender as well—overbearing, autocratic, and sometimes sneering, and that attitude was definitely part of my hero Michael (yeah, I named the hero Michael. I have no imagination when it comes to names). I took that attitude and wrote Michael as though he were on the spectrum, keenly intelligent, but not very tolerant of social niceties.

Fassbender’s presence—that commanding stalk of a walk (which sounds funny when you say it aloud—maybe don’t try that), his low, rumbling voice, the way he stares so intently at the person he’s talking to. All of that went into my writing of Michael, and made him come alive in my head, and hopefully on the page.
I am sometimes reluctant to share the image of the hero in my head, since readers will bring their own vision of the hero, and I wouldn’t want to tamper with that (the author can only impose so much of her viewpoint on the book—after it’s been printed, it’s up to readers to figure out what they think about it, and who they see when they read). But it is such a crucial part of my process I think it can be fun to know, too.


Do you see people when you read?


Megan Frampton writes historical romance under her own name and romantic women’s fiction as Megan Caldwell. She likes the color black, gin, dark-haired British men, and huge earrings, not in that order. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and son. You can visit her website at www.meganframpton.com. She tweets as @meganf, and is at facebook.com/meganframptonbooks.


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Tour ~ Review and Giveaway ~ The Duke of Daring (The Untouchables #2) by Darcy Burke




Miss Lucinda Parnell is out of money. A dismal failure at the Marriage Mart, she’d just as soon leave Society far behind. Desperate to earn funds to retire with her grandmother to the country, Lucy disguises herself as a man to gamble in London’s hells. But the Earl of Dartford, an Untouchable she never imagined speaking to let alone spending time with, is onto her in a trice. When he insists on acting as her protector, Lucy fears her chance to remain an independent woman is destined to go up in flames.

After losing his entire family, Andrew Wentworth, Earl of Dartford built a wall to keep attachments at bay. He believed he could keep Miss Parnell safe without compromising his defenses, but she’s exciting and irresistible. Their deepening relationship makes him even more determined to push her away. Nothing will stop him from trying to avoid reliving the anguish of loss. Love is the one risk he doesn’t have the heart to dare.

200 Pgs. |Heat: 3 | Purchase: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo
Another terrific read from Darcy Burke.  I think I can honestly say I never read such an strong willed independent heroine than Lucy Parnell.  The depiction of her character was so realistic I could swear that she was standing right next to me. Lucy was not your typical wallflower, sure she may still be unwed but she has a plan.  After her gambling father left her penniless, Lucy needs to be creative on how she will support herself and her grandmother. So what does a gambling daughter do, well she infiltrates several gambling locations disguised as a man and is rather good at it. But its not long that her eyes and lips catch the attention of "The Duke of Daring", Andrew. He catches on to her quickly and announces that he will partner with her and accompany her while she enters the gambling hells.  Each of them has vowed not to marry, one has trust issues and the other fears the loss of a loved one.  Between the pages, their friendship grows, their secrets are revealed and love blossoms.
You are pulled in from the very start, the love scenes are Swoon Worthy.  I found myself chuckling out loud reading the dialogue between the two of them. I would happily recommend this book and am looking forward to the rest of the series!



Darcy Burke is the USA Today bestselling author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Darcy 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.

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids-who each seem to have inherited the writing gene in some form-and two Bengal 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. Her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge.


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Blog Tour~ Guest Post and Giveaway ~ The Virgin and the Viscount by Charis Michaels





THE VIRGIN AND THE VISCOUNT
by Charis Michaels
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In the next sparkling romance in debut author Charis Michael’s Bachelor Lords of London series, a proper viscount meets his match in a beguiling virgin who can't help but break all the rules.

The Virgin
Lady Elisabeth Hamilton-Baythes has a painful secret. At the innocent age of fifteen, she was abducted by highwaymen and sold to a brothel. After two days, a young lord discovers her and enacts a brave rescue to get her out. Now she's a grown woman, working to save other girls from the horror she saw that night and never forgetting the young man who rescued her.

The Viscount
Bryson Courtland, Viscount Rainsleigh has overcome an abusive boyhood, neglectful parents, and a bankrupt title to be one of the wealthiest noblemen in Britain. He works tirelessly to be upright and forthright and proper to a fault. Now he requires only one thing: A proper, forthright, proper wife.

The Unraveling
When a charity event puts Lord Bryson and Lady Elisabeth face-to-face, Bryson has no memory of the wounded girl of long ago. All he can see is a perfect candidate to be his future wife. Elisabeth has never forgotten him, but she worries that the brave boy who saved her so long ago has become a rich man with an unfulfilled life.

As a whirlwind courtship reveals the truth, Bryson must accept that Elisabeth is actually a shadow from his dark past, while Elisabeth must show that love is the noblest virtue of all.

Crafting a Book Title with a Title:  

How The Virgin and the Viscount Got Its Name 

by Charis Michaels

The Virgin and the Viscount was the very first romance manuscript I ever wrote, way back in 2004, twelve years before it would reach the hands of readers.

Back then, it had a working title of, A Proper Scandal.

Back then, it was not connected to another book like it is now.

Back then it was double the word count.

After I finished the first draft, it languished with its old title and original length until I was able to revise it into my Bachelor Lords of London series. To my delight, the revisions came easily, almost as if it belonged in the series from conception. Characters were combined. Chapters were cut. My writing became more succinct.

What did not come as easily was giving the book a new title.

When an author names a work of commercial fiction like romance, she has the challenge of making quite a lot of people happy. Herself (obviously), her editor, the editors above her editor, the marketing and publicity teams, her readers, and simply the trending Zeitgeist.

But before I could please everyone, I had to think series, I had to think “Bachelor Lords,” I had to make this book fit with the book before it, The Earl Next Door.

Since Book I in the series contains the aristocratic title “Earl,” we felt second book should hit on the hero in general and mention his rank particular.

Ha! Easier said than done….Here, I share with you a very few of my many, many rejected false starts:

The Stone-Cold Viscount, The Viscount’s Vow, The Viscount’s Vice, The Viscount’s Only Vice, The Viscount Takes a Vice, Unraveling the Viscount or The Viscount Unraveled.

When these were all rejected and I was pulling my hair, I sent up:

Stand and Viscount-ed, Down for the Viscount (personal favorite worst of the worst), Where the Viscount Ends, or Viscount on the Verge.

And finally (pathetically): Don’t Viscount the Chickens Before They Hatch, which is what I felt I had done by writing this book into the series without deciding on a viable name at the onset.

Alas, we all know a title emerged and the book is called The Virgin and the Viscount. To arrive at this, I finally caught on to what my publisher seemed to want, the perfect balance of little bit sexy + a little bit catchy.

I began to search words that began with “V” (for the catchy) that might also be provocative (for the sexy). When I stumbled on “Virgin,” I thought, fingers crossed, I might I might have a winner—and I was right. I got the thumbs-up from my publisher, my writing buddies, and I even felt like my characters would approve.

Now, ahem, if I can only convince my mother.

Charis Michaels is thrilled to be making her debut with Avon Impulse. Prior to writing romance, she studied Journalism at Texas A&M and managed PR for a trade association. She has also worked as a tour guide at Disney World, harvested peaches on her family’s farm, and entertained children as the “Story Godmother” at birthday parties. She has lived in Texas, Florida, and London, England. She now makes her home in the Washington, D.C.-metro area.
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