Thursday, March 14, 2013

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway - A Baron In Her Bed by Maggi Anderson


Welcome to my stop on Maggi Anderson's Virtual Book Tour for A Baron In Her Bed.  Please make sure to leave a comment or question for Maggi below to let her know you stopped by.  Maggi will be awarding the winner's choice of a backlist eBook to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour.  You can follow her tour stops here.  The more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.  My review for this book will be posted by the end of the weekend (I will say that the story is off to a good start).  


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WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE REGENCY PERIOD OF ROMANCE -
Guest Post by Maggi Andersen

Thank you for inviting me to your blog.

What first drew me to Regency romance? Of course, it was Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen. Those two authors brought that era alive for many of us. I loved their novels, since made into movies such as Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion and the most popular of all, Pride and Prejudice, published during the Regency era. Who can resist Mr. Darcy?

Some might be interested to learn that only two movies were made of Georgette Heyer’s books, unfortunately. She made sure of that. There was Bezaubernde Arabella in 1959 and The Reluctant Widow in 1950.

I love the Regency for its history, the ton, the balls, the fashions, the furniture, art, architecture, and the larger than life characters which inhabited it. It was noted for its elegance, refinement, and cultural achievements which shaped British society, but there was a darker side filled with political upheaval, bloodshed and warfare.

Squalor existed beneath the glamour and gloss. Particularly after the Napoleonic War ended, when the English economy suffered and many were poor and desperate. Unhappy with Liverpool’s government, conspirators met in quiet corners and plotted, and many feared a revolution like the one in France. In the rookeries and dingier, less affluent areas of London, thievery was rife and drinking and gambling flourished. London was a dangerous place. As it proves to be for Guy Tuesdale, in A Baron in Her Bed, when he comes to England to claim his inheritance:

     Dusk turned to evening, hastening his footsteps. Guy decided on a shortcut and hurried down a shadowy laneway which, by his calculations, would lead into a main thoroughfare.

He was halfway along it when the sound of running feet, made him spin around. Two men appeared out of the gloom and advanced towards him.

Guy moved back until his shoulder brushed the wall. “What is it you want?”

When neither of the men answered, cold sweat gathered on his brow.

His glance flicked ahead to where the laneway joined a busy road. “Répondez-moi,” he demanded. His throat tightened in fear.

“’e’s the one all right,” one of them murmured. They separated and each took a menacing step closer, blocking off any avenues of escape.

The moon sailed above the narrow gap between the buildings and shone on the knife held by one of the footpads.

Guy drew his swordstick. “Back away.”

At the sight of it, they stepped back apace, hesitated, and stood regarding him.

A feint might work. When he had them off guard, he would run for it.

He moved away from the wall and drew circles in the air with his sword. “Come on, you want to fight? I’m willing.”

“’e can’t take both of us,” the tallest of the two said.

“Yer, but he could run one of us through,” the other replied. “And we weren’t paid enough for that.”

“Shut up, you fool.”

Surprised, Guy stilled, his heart thudding in his ears. “Who paid you?”

“Say nothin’,” the tall man warned. He then whispered something to his companion.

He watched them, his swordstick at the ready. Did they mean to kill him?

As the taller man raised his arm to throw the knife, Guy lunged to the left. A pistol shot blasted through the confined space, rattling the nearby windows, and the knife clattered to the ground.

The tall man shrieked. “I’ve been shot.”

“Hey, you there!” Highlighted by the light from the street behind him, a caped figure strode towards them from the main thoroughfare, a pistol in each hand, one smoking. “Next time I’ll aim to kill.”

The injured man snatched up his knife and the pair scuttled back the way they’d come.

As their footsteps faded into the night, the gentleman tucked the pistols into the pockets of his multi-caped greatcoat. He walked towards Guy. “I saw them follow you. I’m sorry I didn’t get here faster, but I turned the corner and wasn’t sure which way you went.”

With a swell of gratitude, Guy sheathed his sword, shelved his suspicion, and bowed. ”I am indebted to you, monsieur, one obviously needs to be well armed in London.”

“It is wise to be on your guard; footpads will tackle an unarmed man.”

Guy clutched his cane. He had been armed, and it had not deterred them.



Society’s mores and rules were of great importance during the Regency. If one chose to flout society, they could be ruined. It was a man’s world and once married women handed over everything to their husbands and were at their mercy. It is how my heroines get around those rules to gain some control over their lives, which makes writing about the Regency period fascinating.

Horatia Cavendish, turns her nose up at society, riding her father’s stallion, The General around the countryside, dressed as a groom. A poetess, in love with Byron’s verse, her goal is to live in London like her Aunt Emily, never marry, and become a member of the literary set. That is, until she runs into Baron Fortescue:

As soon as the dance ended, Horatia excused herself and slipped from the room. She hurried to the salon, relieved to find it deserted. Plunging her hand into the urn, she straightened with the fan in her hand.

A deep voice came from the doorway. “Ah, you have found it.”

She spun around. “Why yes, it must have fallen into this vase.”

“How extraordinary you thought to look there.” The baron leaned against the doorframe.

“Yes, wasn’t it?” She snapped it open and glared at him from over the top.

He gave a benign smile and offered her his arm. “Shall we join the others in the ballroom?”

With a stiff nod, Horatia accepted. He stepped beside her, and she rested her hand on his sleeve, aware of the sensual slide of fine cloth under her gloved fingers. Her skirts rustled against his leg as they walked down the long passage.

The beeswax candles burning in their sconces scented the air.

“Do you know, Miss Cavendish, I found your groom most remarkable.”

Horatia swallowed and wished she could go home. “You did?”

“The way he cares for animals, particularly.”

“Yes, he has a gift with them,” she added, warming to her subject. Simon was a master with horses, after all.

“I’ve heard it said that Englishmen love their horses more than their women.”

“Indeed?” She removed her hand. “You should not believe all you hear, my lord. Why, I’ve heard it said that the French are overdressed flirts. Most unfair I feel sure.” She offered a regretful smile. 


Cheers,

Maggi




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A Baron In Her Bed
by Maggi Anderson
The Spies of Mayfair, Book 1 
Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing
Release Date: September 5, 2012
Genre: Historical Romance

ISBN: 978-1-908483-34-8
ASIN: B0096FMBXE

Length: 400 Pages

Buy Links
Book Description:


London, 1816. A handsome baron. A faux betrothal. And Horatia's plan to join the London literary set takes a dangerous turn.

Now that the war with France has ended, Baron Guy Fortescue arrives in England to claim his inheritance, abandoned over thirty years ago when his father fled to France after killing a man in a duel. When Guy is set upon by footpads in London, a stranger, Lord Strathairn, rescues and befriends him. But while travelling to his country estate, Guy is again attacked. He escapes only to knock himself out on a tree branch.

Aspiring poet Horatia Cavendish has taken to riding her father's stallion, "The General", around the countryside of Digswell dressed as a groom. She has become bored of her country life and longs to escape to London to pursue her desire to become part of the London literary set. When she discovers Guy lying unconscious on the road, the two are forced to take shelter for the night in a hunting lodge. After Guy discovers her ruse, a friendship develops between them.

Guy suspects his relative, Eustace Fennimore is behind the attacks on his life. He has been ensconced in Rosecroft Hall during the family's exile and will become the heir should Guy die. Horatia refuses to believe her godfather, Eustace, is responsible. But when Guy proposes a faux betrothal to give him more time to discover the truth, she agrees. Secure in the knowledge that his daughter will finally wed, Horatia's father allows her to visit her blue-stocking aunt in London. But Horatia's time spent in London proves to be anything but a literary feast, for a dangerous foe plots Guy's demise. She is determined to keep alive her handsome fiance, who has proven more than willing to play the part of her lover even as he resists her attempts to save him. 

Excerpt: 


“This is a dance with which I’m familiar,” the baron said, drawing her close in his arms. “We danced it in Paris long before it came to England.”


She supposed he considered England far behind Paris in most things fashionable. Finding herself pressed up against his hard chest produced the memory of how it looked unclothed. Her breath caught, and she wriggled within his arm. “We do not dance this close in England, my lord.”


He let her go in surprise then took up the pose again, leaving space between them. “Merci. I did not know. You have saved me from making a faux pas.”


She suspected he knew quite well, for the devilry in his eyes betrayed him. “You might learn by observing others, my lord,” she admonished him.


At least now she could breathe. But this was unlike the night they had spent together, when her disguise had protected her. Did he find her attractive?


She had no idea if his charm was merely part of his personality. It shouldn’t matter, for he would choose a bride from the aristocracy, but somehow it did.


His hand at her waist, guiding her, made her recall their time in the hut and his indecent revelations of lovemaking. Her breath quickened at the thought of such an act perpetrated by him on some woman, and even possibly her. His proximity and the strength and pure maleness of him overwhelmed her.


Breathing in the familiar woody Bergamot scent, intermingled with starched linen and soap, she closed her eyes, but that made her dizzy. After examining his masterfully tied cravat adorned with a sapphire pin the color of his eyes, she raised her eyes to his. “I have not seen a cravat tied in that way before. What is it called?”


He smiled down at her. “I believe it is called Trone d’Armour.” The style hailed from France most likely. He was different from the English in other ways too. The French had a disconcerting way of looking at someone. Was he the real Baron Fortescue or an impostor? 
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Maggi Andersen and her lawyer husband are empty nesters, living in the countryside outside Sydney with their cat and the demanding wildlife. Parrots demand seed, possums fruit, ducks swim in the stream at the bottom of the garden, and the neighbours chickens roam their yard providing wonderful eggs. She began writing adventure stories at age eight. Three children, a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree later, her novels are still filled with adventure and suspense, but are also passionate romances. Georgette Heyer among others, brought inspiration to her seductive Regencies and she also writes darker, Victorian novels, contemporary romantic suspense and young adult.

She supports the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals) and animals often feature in her books.

Website: http://www.maggiandersenauthor.com

Blog: http://www.maggiandersen.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maggi-Andersen-Author/372854959805

Twitter: @maggiandersen





Don't forget to leave a comment or question for Maggi below to let her know you stopped by.  Maggi will be awarding the winner's choice of a backlist eBook to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour.  You can follow her tour stops here.  The more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.

33 comments:

  1. Thanks for the invitation to your blog!

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  2. Why did Georgette Heyer not want her stories made inti movies? Fascinating. Also, your story is one of the few Regency stories that mentions the problems of the poor.

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    1. Hi MomJane, many Regency romances are set within the glamorous ton. Not all though, Austen wrote about the poor a bit. Ashley Gardner writes about the poor in her Captain Lacey series. C.S. Harris does too, although her hero is a lord. After Heyer's 1951 novel, The Reluctant Widow, was made so badly - Heyer put in her will that she did not want any more of her books turned into movies.

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  3. I like that you're showing a kind of world beneath the regular Regency world of parties and balls...Makes it that much more real you know? Thanks for sharing! :)

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Andra, I prefer some balance between the glamor and the darker side of the Regency.

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  4. Great excerpt, I wonder if it is an imposter?

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

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  5. Love your expose about Regency culture!

    lyra.lucky7 at gmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Lyra, I'm pleased you enjoyed it.

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  6. Loving the excerpts, thank you.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ingeborg, I'm glad you're enjoying them.

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  7. Very interesting post! Enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway.
    bhometchko(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for the comment. Good luck with the giveaway!

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  8. Congrats to Maggi on the new release! Thanks for sharing :)

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  9. Congratulations to your new release, I like what I've read about it!

    lennascloud AT gmail DOT com

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  10. I loved my taste of the live in regency time, when we visited Hampton Court Palace, they had the typical dances, one could try out and some workshops about the live of that time, the kids were happy, because there were all those people dressed up like in a historical movie and they(the kids) could get a clock to fit in :)

    elaynelost AT yahoo DOT de

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    Replies
    1. Wonderful palace isn't it? I loved the gardens, fabulous!

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  11. The excepts are a great fun to read.

    anzumerlin(at)mail(dot)ru

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Anzu, I'm pleased you're enjoying them.

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  12. Great scene, I’m looking forward to read more!

    romance19reader(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  13. I guess people like their romances to be escapist. Dwelling too much on the poverty of the period might seem too realistic for readers--and take away from the appeal.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

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  14. Unless the story is uplifting, Catherine, with a happy ending, like Cinderella.

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  15. I am surprised that not more of Georgette Heyer's books were not made into movies.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  16. I liked Kensington Palace, all the princess rooms, where fun to visit and search for clues, I'm sad I got ill and didn't get to visit Leads Castle.

    anzuazura at yahoo dot de

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    Replies
    1. Such a shame to get ill on holidays, Lana!

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  17. Thanks for the chance to win.

    dragonkeep62(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. Maggi I really want to read your books. They sound very good. Thanks for the giveaway. Tore923@aol.com

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