Interview & Giveaway Stop w/ Darcy Burke {SECRETS & SCANDALS series}

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Please welcome Darcy Burke to Novel Reflections. She’s here today to tell us more about her Secrets and Scandals series.


Book #1 (Her Wicked Ways)Blurb:
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.

Book #2 (His Wicked Heart) Blurb:
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.

Please tell readers a little bit about yourself.

I’m a born and bred Oregonian, and while I like to travel, there’s no place like home. :) I never thought I’d own cats (we have three), drive a mini-van (guilty), or enjoy running (to be fair, I don’t enjoy it all the time). I think it’s fair to say I’m pretty terrible at predicting what I might or might not want in the future, so it’s a good thing I’ve learned to be flexible and just go with the flow.

My bio says my happy places are Disneyland (that one’s obvious, right?) and Labor Day Weekend at the Gorge. “The Gorge” is the Gorge Amphitheater overlooking the spectacular Columbia River Gorge near George, Washington. It’s a beautiful place, but perhaps you’re wondering why Labor Day Weekend is important? Some people call it Labor “Dave” Weekend because it’s a three-night stop for the Dave Matthews Band every year. My husband and I are fans, and the Gorge probably has a lot to do with it. We saw our first DMB show there in 2001, and since then we’ll do just about anything to spend at least one night there every year. Sometimes we stay in a hotel and sometimes we camp. We go wine tasting. We nosh at the fantastic restaurant next to the venue. Hubby plays his guitar. Last year friends came along and it was a blast. A few years back we camped with my folks and our kids, which was great fun. However we do it, it’s a very special weekend for us as it typically caps the end of a fantastic summer and energizes us for the daunting months ahead (back to school is a killer!).

Please tell us about your latest release.

The latest book in the Secrets & Scandals series, To Seduce a Scoundrel, is about a young woman who sets out to–you guessed it–seduce a scoundrel. Although, things don’t start out that way. I like to describe the roller coaster first fifty pages as Regency Date Night (the movie with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell). When Lady Philippa Latham inadvertently follows her mother to a vice party, the notorious reprobate Lord Ambrose Sevrin protects her from being recognized by sweeping her into a corner and kissing her. Then he has to get her out of there without being seen. They encounter criminals, near misses, and their lives are forever changed.

I really love this book. Both Philippa and Ambrose are great characters with very real heartaches and hopes (even if Ambrose doesn’t verbalize them!). It’s a unique love story, I think, because Ambrose isn’t your typical scoundrel. He’s celibate! Which makes Philippa’s task to seduce him quite a challenge.

Book #3 (To Seduce a Scoundrel) Blurb:
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.

What inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to write a book about a staid nobleman whose passions got the better of him and drove him to start a fight club. That book ended up being “Regency Fight Club – book one,” which is His Wicked Heart (book two of the Secrets and Scandals series). The hero of that book, Jasper, ended up joining the fight club instead of starting it, so it made sense to write a story about the man who started it. Like Jasper, Ambrose uses fighting to cope with his emotions, but he’s being doing it for such a long time, he may not be able to figure out another way. So, I wound up with Regency Fight Club – book two. :)

What is the best part of being a writer? What is the most difficult part?

Writing and writing, LOL. One of the best parts, for me, of being a writer is being able to work from home so that I can see my kids off to school and be at home with them after. To be able to work flexibly is truly a gift. I also enjoy the variety of work–writing, promotion, production, etc.–but that can also be a drawback when I’m trying to finish a draft. Sometimes it’s very hard to pull focus from the current project. As far as difficult parts, that sense of juggling a lot of balls in the air is definitely one of them!

I also really love the writing community. One of the things I missed about not working outside the home are the relationships you develop in the workplace. Not all of them are great, certainly, but I made some pretty good friends in my former work life. I also learned a lot from those I worked with. Even though we don’t work side by side in an office, I think romance writers are very supportive and helpful to each other. I feel as though I have “co-workers,” which is really fabulous.

What makes the setting so unique?

The first three books in this series feature various settings. Interestingly, all of book one, Her Wicked Ways, takes place outside London (in Wiltshire), and all of book two, His Wicked Heart, takes places in London. Then book three is half in London and half in Cornwall. Kind of interesting how it worked out that way! I love researching places and can get completely sidetracked by cool stuff. I have an Encyclopedia of London that I just love, love, and I can get totally sucked into maps. I try to be very accurate when it comes to the places. For example, the town of Gerrans in To Seduce a Scoundrel has a church and I made sure to set it in the right location. Those sorts of details probably don’t matter to a lot of readers (unless they pull up a map to verify it!), but I love them.

What can readers expect next from you?

I’m excited about the next book in the Secrets and Scandals series, a novella called To Love a Thief. It features a character readers briefly met in Her Wicked Ways, Lord Kersey. A former magistrate clerk, Daniel Kersey has inherited a viscountcy and doesn’t know the first thing about being a lord. Fortunately, a prominent earl takes him under his wing and guides him into Society and the House of Lords. A proponent of police reform, Daniel is eager to use his new status to effect change in this area. As he settles in, he meets a young woman he’d like to court, until he catches her stealing from his mentor. Jocelyn Renwick has vowed to recover the family heirlooms she sees in the earl’s possession, but Lord Kersey’s interruption to her plans is a problem. They reluctantly work together to find the thieves behind the original theft, but what they discover could destroy them both. I’ll have more information coming very soon to my website, including the cover reveal! To Love a Thief will be out in late September.

After that, two full-length novels will finish up the series. Both books feature characters readers met in To Seduce a Scoundrel. 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 bad boy Jagger and wallflower Miss Audrey Cheswick is due in March 2013.

Can you leave readers with a teaser from one of the books from the series?

Here’s a little teaser from To Seduce a Scoundrel. I love the sexual tension in this scene! It’s really a bit of a turning point for both of them as they realize how deep their attraction really runs.

Ambrose listened intently for any sound from the corridor. He held his breath waiting to see if they would be discovered. After all their near misses to be found here in an indefensibly incriminating position…

She exhaled and it sounded like a cannon blast. He brought his gloved finger to her mouth and pressed it against her lips. Now her breath sucked in, albeit much more quietly. He tried not to think of the heat of her mouth seeping through his glove or the gust of her breath against his finger. And he fought the urge to slide that finger into her mouth in the faint hope she might suckle it…

Finally, muted voices came from outside the door. He couldn’t hear what they said, but only because his senses were full of Philippa—her lilac-honey scent, the warmth of her body so close to his, the sound of her soft breathing, quickening with each beat of her heart, signaling that her desire—like his—was climbing.

The voices continued, but he was having a hard time concentrating on anything but Philippa’s proximity. Because of the tight space, he stood so close to her that if he just inched forward—and as he thought it, he did it—her breasts would be pressed against him.

He closed his eyes in ecstasy. This was the closest he’d been to a woman in five years. His previous kisses with Philippa notwithstanding.

Instead of retreating as he might have expected, she leaned into him. And then she somehow read his mind—at least partially. She pressed her lips to his finger.

He stifled a groan as he cupped the side of her face and slid his palm down to her collarbone. Her heart beat strong and fast there, and the hot silk of her flesh burned through his glove.

Kissing her was out of the question. It would only lead to God-knew-what, and he couldn’t go there with her. But that didn’t stop him from lowering his head and inhaling the scent of her hair. He brushed his cheek against hers and bit his tongue lest it dart out and trace a path to her ear, down her neck, then lower to the edge of her bodice.

She nudged her cheek against him and breathed a single word, “Ambrose.”

He was a mass of dry, brittle wood and she was the flame that would burn him to the ground.

Author Bio:
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.

Where can readers find you on the web?

http://www.darcy-burke.com
http://www.facebook.com/darcyburkefans
https://twitter.com/darcyburke

Giveaway Details:

  • Darcy will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, a copy of the anthology Born to Bite (out in August), an ebook of The Runaway Countess by Leigh LaValle, and a Sara Ramsey ebook. 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.
  • Please leave a meaningful comment for Darcy along with your broken up email addy.
  • Contest is open the duration of the tour.
  • The winner will be randomly selected and notified.

Tour Stops:
http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/06/virtual-book-tour-scandals-and-secrets.html