Bronwyn Green

The Corner of Quirky & Kinky

Chilled mist pressed in on all sides, dampening her clothes and clinging to her skin and sending shivers skating down her spine as the cold and clamminess enveloped her. The last of the autumn leaves fluttered to the ground, falling nearly as quietly as the whispers around her–the whispers that seethed through the air as she drew closer to her goal.

Her destination rose in the distance. Fog obscured the majority of the building, and the windows reminded her of angry unblinking eyes. Eyes that were currently boring holes into her soul. But she refused to be intimidated. She refused to turn back. She’d come too goddamn far, and silence was no longer an option.

The seething became roiling and the whispers turned to shouts, but she pressed on. She had too much at stake–too much to lose–to turn back now. The polls closed at eight, and she’d make damn sure she was heard.

That’s it for me today, be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories. 

Jess  *  Siobhan  *  Gwen

I adore fairy tales. I’ve got a ginormous collection, but these are some of my faves–in no discernible order–just like always.

The Wild Swans

East of the Sun and West of the Moon. 

Rapunzel

The Story of the Root Children

Beauty and the Beast

Tatterhood and the Hobgobblins 

Snow White

Saint George and the Dragon

Sleeping Beauty

Tam Lin

As you can see from this picture, there are lots of different takes on the Tam Lin tale. These are some of my very favorite ones. Wild Robin, Catkin, Noble-Hearted Kate, and Eventide.

And I also adore The Twelve Dancing Princesses, but I don’t have my own copy, yet. But…soon, I hope.

What are some of your favorite fairy tales? Be sure to check out Jess’ favorites, too!

So, I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve got my rights back to some older stories, and I’ll be re-releasing them over the course of the next year or so. I’ve already released The Charmed Collection, but I wanted to get one more collection out before the end of the year, so I was searching for potential cover art models.

I was also doing it while I was on the phone with Jess who has the same thing going on with re-releases.

This is just a sampling of why you should probably be glad you’re not Jess.

 

“Why are you swinging a bottle, sir? That’s dangerous.” 

“God, quit smiling already, and get off the blonde.”

Don’t put your penis on the sauna bench!”

“I don’t want to watch you put on deodorant.”

“What is is even going on here?”

“You’re super hot, but I think I already have you on a book cover.”

“Why do guys keep holding magnifying glasses in front of their mouths? Why is this a thing?”

“Why are you hiding in a closet??? Is this a metaphor???”

“Why do you have a sportsball in the house?”

“Why do you look like Ryan Seacrest? Stop that. No one should look like that—not even Ryan Seacrest.”

“You, sir, not only look like a creeper, you look like a surprised creeper.”

“I did not ask for gingers. Or chicks.”

“That guy literally looks like the letter V.”

“I did not ask for this. At all.”

“Check this dude. I feel like he’s tying to sparkle like Edward Cullen.”

“No! You don’t wear heels in the forest, lady!”

“I call this one ‘Pensive Hipster’.”

So, last month, I said I wanted to:

  • Finish all scheduled audio preps. (YEP)
  • Finish all scheduled edits. (YEP)
  • Work on the new Bound book. (YEP)
  • Do more research for the Jen project. (YEP)
  • Start knocking out Christmas presents. Tis the season to start crafting! (YEP)

I also wrote and submitted an unscheduled essay for Blunder Woman Productions.

This month, I plan to:

  • Finish all scheduled audio preps. 
  • Finish all scheduled edits.
  • Work on the new Bound book.
  • Make more Christmas presents.
  • Put together writers group presentation for November.

Be sure to check out Jess’ post, too.

Ugh.

So, head’s up – this is probably going to be super random and somewhat ranty, so please don’t feel obligated to read.

I’m having a bad week anxiety-wise.

Back in August I got a ticket for running a stop sign. It was a new stop sign in an area I know well, but I didn’t see it or even realize they’d put one up. Nor did I see the cop who was waiting for people like me. But I ran it so I paid the ticket. Later, I got a letter saying that I could avoid the 3 points on my license and the $500 – $800 increase on my insurance if I took a “driver’s responsibility” class online. So, I found an accredited class…and kept putting it off.

I’m on the computer all day for work and the last thing I wanted to do was read through four hours of material that was sure to be packed with gruesome statistics that I’d never remember and then take a test about them. But, it beat people-ing in an actual class where I’d have to sit with a bunch of strangers for 4+ hours. I finally took the class yesterday, because the deadline to take it is on Friday.

After hours of watching actual footage of fatal accidents thanks to dash cam availability, and their horrific, bloody aftermaths, I had a tension headache from clenching my teeth and the idea of getting into a car literally turns my stomach. I mean, I know that these are being used as teachable moments. And I know that I’m beyond lucky that nothing happened to me or Jess when I missed that stop sign. But seeing the actual last moments of actual peoples’ lives, played over and over at actual speed and slo-mo and seeing footage of dead teenagers hanging out of cars was/is honestly more than I can take. I just hope that the family and friends of the people killed in those accidents never have to take one of these classes and be subjected to those videos.

Then there are the free floating oubliettes of anxiety I keep finding myself in, like midterm elections and the drain our country’s currently swirling around, my daughter flying in a few weeks, our family’s current lack of health insurance, issues I’m worried about in the lives of friends and family that aren’t mine to discuss.

At about 2:30 in the morning when I was wide awake, unable to sleep, I remembered some anxiety breathing gifs I’d seen on tumblr forever ago, and they helped, so I’m going to share a few here.

I’m also going to save these on my phone, so I have them whenever I need them.

And I did have a bit of brightness this week. Martin, one of my brothers, came over for supper Sunday night, so I could show him how bullet journaling and productivity apps work. The ADHD is strong in our family. 4 out of us 5 kids have it.

Anyway, we were talking, and I don’t remember how it came up, but we were discussing the different direct sales businesses his ex-wife had participated in. Anyone who’s related to someone who does direct sales knows that when they’re starting out, you’re gonna end up at one or more direct sales parties. One of those direct sales parties involves a product called MonaVie–some sort of health juice you were supposed to take a shot of every morning. There were a few different kinds, and they were supposedly good for different health issues.

My former SIL’s direct sales manager (or whatever you call them) was the one giving the presentation at this particular party. He struck me as the kind of guy who’d walk around the gym correcting people’s form even though he didn’t work there. We’ll call him GymDude.

At the party my mom and sister and I were at, we were already nearly two hours into it by the time he busted out the juice for us to taste. My eyes were practically rolling back in my head. I was bored, and I had shit to do. But that was nothing compared to how my sister, Cait, was feeling, however.

So, GymDude starts passing around tiny plastic taster glasses and the bottles of juice while he’s extolling the virtues of each ingredient. Basically, you poured the juice, tasted it, nodded politely at GymDude, and passed the bottle to your neighbor for them to do the same. So, we tasted the first juice hoping that the presentation was wrapping up and we could get the fuck out of there.

But nope, GymDude brought out a second bottle, and Cait, mostly inaudibly, muttered, “Fuck me.”

So we passed around another bottle and took a shot. I tasted pineapple in the second one, checked the ingredients, then whispered to Cait, “Don’t drink this one. It has pineapple in it.”

I’d apparently miscalculated how badly Cait wanted out of that party. Cait is allergic to pineapple. She refers to it as “death fruit”. It makes her mouth and tongue swell and bleed.

She filled her little taster cup to the brim, looked me dead in the eye, and downed the shot, swishing it around her mouth before she swallowed.

I’m sure my mouth was hanging open, and my eyes were about falling out of my head, when she turned to GymDude and said through swelling lips, “Oh my god! Was there pineapple juice in there? I’m allergic to pineapple!”

GymDude looked completely annoyed and then grossed out when Cait opened her mouth.

Then she looked at me and said, “I need you to take me home.”

And that point, she was kind of hard to understand, so I told everyone that I was taking her home so she could take allergy meds. The look our mom gave us on the way out was “traitors!”

Cait and I held our shit together until I’d pulled away from the house. She garbled out, “Took one for the team,” and then we died laughing. I actually had to pull the car over at a gas station because I was laughing too hard to drive safely.

Martin only just found out over supper, Sunday, 10ish years later, that Cait had done that on purpose. I haven’t seen him laugh that hard in a long time, but he said that next time, he gets to be the one to drive Cait away.

 

Be sure to check out what the other bloggers are brain dumping.

Jess  *  Siobhan  *  Kris

 

Hmmmm… I think if I could win a lifetime supply of anything, it would be motivation and focus combo.

Adderall is great for helping my ADHD symptoms, but I’d love it if I could focus on my own and have the motivation to follow through like a normal person. Until then, it’s Adderall, bullet journals and productivity apps.

Be sure to check out the other blogger’s posts to see what they’d like to win.

Gwen  *  Paige  *  Jess

 

This month’s flash fiction is called  “Towers Fall into the Sea” by Clock and Clouds, who I adore. You can listen to it up above. And since it’s an instrumental, there are no lyrics to link to. But if you like this, I highly encourage you to check out more of their music. 

 

Felicity bounced on the corner of her friend’s bed. “Brooklyn, let’s go outside. There are robins hatching in the nest in the porch rafters.”

She continued to read, not even bothering to acknowledge that Felicity had spoken.

Brooklyn!”

She didn’t even glance up.

Felicity waved her hand in front of the other girl’s face.

Nothing.

She grabbed Brooklyn’s shoulders and shook her. The sudden chill that shivered along her limbs was the only indication she’d felt anything at all.

Tears burned Felicity’s eyes. It couldn’t be happening again. Not so soon after she’d lost her last friend. Britney, Brooklyn’s older sister, had been her playmate for years, but she’d moved on, and it seemed Brooklyn had too. Just like all the other children before her.

Once, she’d tried to keep one of them with her. It hadn’t taken much. A dare to slide on the ice-covered pond–the ice that had been far too thin to hold his weight. She’d succeeded. She’d kept Anthony with her. But he never spoke to her. He just hovered in the corners of rooms, glaring at her and shivering–his skin blue and his eyes hard. No, she wouldn’t make that mistake again.

The bedroom door creaked open, and Felicity whirled toward the sound, Brooklyn barely looked up, though.

“C’mon,” Brooklyn’s mother said. “Time for your piano lesson.”

The girl rolled her eyes and folded a page in her book before closing it and leaving it on her bed.

Her mom glanced around the room after Brooklyn exited, squinting at the bed. For a moment, Felicity wondered if the woman could see her, but just as quickly, she turned away, absently rubbing her growing stomach.

Soon, there would be someone new in the house to play with.

That’s it for me today. Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories. 

Siobhan  *  Gwen

 

 

The prompt will be bolded in the story. 

Mallory lugged her backpack and suitcase up seven flights of stairs to the stupidly small apartment she’d agreed to share with her sister, Nina. After a total of three flights and twenty-three hours worth of layovers, all Mallory wanted to do was wash the airport off her, crawl into bed and sleep for at least three weeks. That wasn’t too much to ask, was it? When she finally reached her floor and heard the techno-punk base pounding out of what sounded like her flat, she realized it was.

She shoved her key into the lock and discovered that her sister hadn’t bothered to secure it in the first place. Mallory rolled her eyes. Apparently, Nina had never gotten the memo that older sisters were supposed to be responsible. Opening the door, she spotted a strange man standing next to the kitchen table and stopped dead. Was this the wrong apartment? She glanced at the number on the door, then at the canvas hanging on the wall. That was her painting–she was in the right place.

The guy turned around from where he’d been chopping vegetables, paring knife in his hand. For a moment, confusion marred his brow, then his expression cleared. “You must be Mallory. Hi.”

“Hi…?”

He extended his hand–the hand still clutching the knife. “I bet this is a surprise. I’m Jace.”

Mallory stared at him, her gaze dropping to the cutlery still pointed at her.

“Oh. Yeah. Um…sorry.” He tossed it on the table behind him and offered his hand, again. “Like I was saying, I’m Jace, Nina’s boyfriend.”

What the fuck, Nina?! I’ve only been gone two weeks and you move someone in and don’t bother saying shit? Shaking his hand, she said, “Nice to meet you.” After all, she was from the Midwest. “So…is Nina here?”

“Nah. She picked up an extra shift. So, it’s just me and Clive.”

Mallory set down her bags and shut the door. She really didn’t want to ask, but she had to know. “Clive?”

Jace looked confused. “Nina’s kitten.”

Oh good. So Nina had not only moved in a strange guy while she was gone but had also gotten a kitten. They were going to have to readdress the apartment rules later.

“I was just starting supper,” he said, gesturing loosely toward the stove. The stove that was coverer with what looked like three months’ of baked-on food splatters. Which was impressive, really, since she’d only been gone for a week.

“It should be done soon, if you’re hungry.”

She glanced at the mountain of dishes in the sink that had spilled over onto the counter, noticing the slightly rancid smell that permeated the air. Yeah…she wasn’t eating in this kitchen until she had the chance to bleach the fuck out of it.

“I think I’ll just have a cup of tea and go to bed. I’m exhausted.” That was provided she still had a bed. Who knew what else Nina had done while she was gone.

She walked toward the cupboard where they kept the tea and reached for the knob, but Jace got there first. The cupboard stuck like usual, and he wrenched on it, driving it straight into her forehead.

Mallory let loose a torrent of curses and cradled her throbbing head, and slowly realized blood dripped against her hand.

“Oh shit! I’m so sorry…I didn’t mean to–”

“Just get me a wet washcloth, please.”

He pulled a sopping, sour-smelling dishcloth from the sink.

“God no! What is wrong with you?!” She stomped over to the bathroom, yanked open a drawer, and grabbed a clean cloth with her free hand.

Jace followed her. “I”m so sorry. I feel terrible.”

“Good.” She glanced at him as she wet the fabric.

He stared at her, eyes wide.

“What?” she demanded.

“Um…well. It’s just that all that blood looks good on you.

 

He shrugged. “It really brings out your eyes.”

That was it. Nina was going to have to find a new place to live. And take Jace with her.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories

Jess  *  Siobhan  *  Gwen

I feel like you’ll be unsurprised to know that I have opinions about this. All kinds of opinions, so let’s get to it. I also probably definitely have Poldark gifs.

Okay so for me, the best sex scenes are full of…thoughts and emotion. It doesn’t matter if it’s a low heat scene or an absolutely filthy, erotic scene. I want to be so deeply inside that character’s head that I know what they’re thinking and feeling.

And what they’re feeling doesn’t need to be love–especially not in the beginning–but they need to be thinking and feeling something. This is true of any scene–not just sex scenes. Without the characters’ thoughts and feelings, it’s impossible for a reader to connect emotionally to a character. And if a reader can’t connect emotionally to a character, they’re not going to care what happens to them. And if they don’t care what happens, they’re not going to care if they finish the book or not. And it’s highly unlikely that they’ll want to get your next one. And I don’t want to be told what the character is feeling, I want to be shown.

I also want all the details. Now, I’m not just talking about detailed descriptions of body parts or actions. These characters aren’t just getting it on in the vacuum of space. There are things to consider like weather (if they’re outdoors–or hell, even if they’re indoors), surfaces–bedding, hay bales (just say no), grass, carpet, alleyway, etc., clothing texture and how much stays on or comes off, light–how little or how much can they see?  Scents–and not just arousal/perfume/cologne. Sounds, tastes. You get the picture.

Those are the bigger details, but there are little things, too. For instance, having sex on a dresser? Where is your character putting his or her feet. I used the drawer pulls for a character. It’s a little detail, but it grounds the reader in the scene. It’s important to find the the right balance of details in a sex scene. Not so many that the reader is wondering if the heroine is paying attention to the guy going down on her but enough that the reader is basically there with the character.

Also, I really love dirty talk in sex scenes. But, that’s not as crucial for me as thoughts, feelings, and details.

Moving on to the worst sex scenes, I have a list.

Rapey sex scenes are way, way out. If the POV character is saying or thinking “no” and the other person/people continue(s), I’m out. Now, I’m not talking about saying “no” because it’s part of a scene and the character has a safe word. But literally, if the characters aren’t into it, nether am I. I’m also not into a scene where a character basically browbeats another into a sexual encounter. Even if the character decides they enjoyed it afterward. I’m still out.

Stilted dialogue. Nope.

Sex scenes that are antithetical to the characters established. You know that old adage, “start as you mean to go on”? This holds true for sex scenes, too. It drives me nuts when authors have established their characters. And they’re they’re in the middle of sexytimes and out of nowhere–literally nowhere–they start kinking it up. What I mean by this is you have a couple who heretofore showed zero interest in anything kinky. There’s been no talk of adding kink elements into the relationship or even experimenting. And then bam! It’s a case of SUDDEN ONSET BDSM™. It’s all riding crops and latex hoods up in there. It’s obvious that the elements are being included because of perceived popularity. But, if those things don’t fit the characters, they don’t belong in the book. Period.

What are your best/worst sex scenes? Share! And be sure to check out Jess and Gwen’s posts, too!

I’m part of a great group of writers called the Grand Rapids Region Writers Group. We meet once a month for a (very) brief business meeting, lunch, and a presentation. I met the woman I’m about to introduce you to at one of these GRRWG meetings. Her name is Diana Lloyd, and she’s wonderful–she’s funny, kind, and gives great hugs.

Now, it’s unlikely that most of you will ever get to experience a Diana hug. And that sucks for you. However, I’m about to tell you something awesome–basically it’s the best part.

Ready?

Okay.

Diana is a fantastic author.

I had the pleasure of reading an earlier version of this Golden Heart Nominee (Hello!), and I absolutely adored it. Diana’s characters are a delight and her playful sense of humor shines through–in both dialogue and narrative. I adored HOW TO TRAIN YOUR BARON, and I’m hoping you’ll give it a chance, too. I’ve got the blurb and excerpt below, but before we get to that, I thought we could get to know Diana a little better, first.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

It’s such a cliché, but I LOVED books as a child. I decided I wanted to be an English teacher or a librarian because when I was young I associated those jobs with being around books. When I was older and not a teacher or a librarian, I started writing down story ideas in a notebook, but I was still afraid to actually start writing. When the kids were a little older I got up the courage to attend a Romance Writers of America local chapter meeting. That’s how I found out that my writing really sucked. I dropped out of the group and spent the next few years learning everything I could about the craft of writing. When I came up with Quin and Elsinore, I knew they were the characters that were going to finally get me to write the story. I rejoined Romance Writers of America, entered their Golden Heart contest and became a finalist. I didn’t win the award, but I got offered a 3-book contract from Entangled Publishing. Twenty years passed from the time I first scribbled down the idea of having a baron lose his shoe at a ball and the day my novel was finally published.

 

What made you realize you wanted to write romance?

I started out reading everything—history, biography, true crime, Steven King and Daniel Steele. As I aged, like fine wine, I realized the books I most liked had an HEA. Romance guarantees that. Having an HEA is like ice cream on cake, not only do you get a satisfying story-you get a little sweet something at the end.

 

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

  1. My children. Because they grew up to be kind, thoughtful, well-adjusted adults despite the fact that when they were toddlers I told them that yogurt was ice cream.
  2. Going to Europe all by myself. I suffer from anxiety, so getting on that flight (my first) alone was the hardest thing I’d ever done and I’m proud of myself for doing it. I navigated Paris by myself, participated in a German Volksmarch, and drank a bier at the Hofbräuhaus.
  3. Getting published. From initial idea to first sale it took me 20 years.

Do you have any pet peeves?

So, so many. Number one right now is people at a store check-out counter who do NOT HAVE THEIR SHIT TOGETHER. I’m waiting for the day there is a special line just for people who know what the hell they are doing. Also on the list; slow drivers who camp out in the middle lane on a 3-lane highway, parents who let their children run about like drunken sailors on shore leave, litterbugs, and chatty old men.

 

Are there any skills you’d like to learn?

I have always wanted to play a musical instrument. Despite many attempts (violin, flute, clarinet, piano), the only thing I can play is the radio.

 

Which of your characters would you least want to take a road trip with, and why?

My heroine, Elsinore. What a handful. She’s perky and chatty and a wee bit impulsive. She’d play with the radio, want to stop to see the Corn Palace or the world’s largest ball of twine. She’d wave at strangers and yell “hello there” out the window. All I want to do is hit the gas, crank the radio to my jams, and sing along with the wrong words loudly and off-key like I do when I’m alone.

 

Who are your favorite book boyfriends?

Colin Sandhurst from Tessa Dare’s A WEEK TO BE WICKED. And my Mr. Darcy, Matthew MacFadyen, from Jane Austen’s PRIDE and PREDJUDICE. Colin appeals to me because he’s calm with an unconventional sense of humor. He’s like a kid’s toy, he wobbles but he doesn’t fall down. He’d be a riot to have around. Mr. Darcy appeals in the opposite way. He’s thoughtful, overly serious, and a bit dour. But he’s loyal and steadfast, you could rely upon him in an emergency.

 

What’s your least favorite word?

Mucus. Phlegm. Quim. I’m not too thrilled with “moist” either.

 

What’s your favorite curse word?

Shit. It’s the Swiss Army knife of curse words. I’m pretty sure it will appear in every book I write. Of course, in historical romance, it might slip in there as “shite.”

 

City or country?

City. I’m not fond of dirt. Or bugs. Or gardening, which combines the two.

 

Introvert or extrovert?

Introvert. If it had good Wi-Fi I could happily live in a cave on a deserted island. Addendum—as long as there was no dirt or bugs in the cave.

 

Questions about the book.

 

How to Train Your Baron is your first ever release. First off, congratulations! What can you tell us about it?  How did the idea come to you?

As a child I loved the story of Cinderella and other fairy tales. We had one of the very old editions of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Mother Goose, and Hans Christian Anderson in the house, with the original stories before they were…sanitized. Dang, those original tales were dark! When I started writing I thought about twisting those fairy tales around and even mashing them together. After all, those stories endured for hundreds of years for a reason.

 

What do you like best about Quin?

He’s a survivor. Despite all the horrible things he’s witnessed in his life, he keeps trying. He doesn’t wallow in misery, but he carries the baggage along until he’s forced to deal with it. He tries so hard to keep himself together, keep everyone safe, and keep everything chugging along like the little train that could. Despite that, he still recognizes love and allows himself to fall into it a little bit at a time.

 

What do you like best about Elsinore?

She hasn’t been tarnished by the world yet, so she possesses the sort of wide-eyed innocence that makes her think she can accomplish anything if she just puts her mind to it. She knows she has a lot to learn and just barges ahead to learn it first hand, so she can move on to learning the next thing. She’s a lot like the younger, more naïve me. I grew up very sheltered and didn’t learn how the world really worked until I got my own apartment. I find Elsinore a refreshing change from characters who already have their shit together when the book starts. Elsinore has to earn her happy ending.

 

Were there any scenes that were particularly difficult to write? If so, how?

Quin’s fear of poison and the reason behind it. In doing family genealogy research, I discovered my great-grandfather died from being poisoned. That death immeasurably effected the next two generations, determining who moved away, who stayed behind, and which children were farmed out to other relatives to raise. Further research pointed to the most likely suspect and their identity shocked me to the core. I’d sat on this person’s knee, held their hand while I walked to school—all while other people in the family secretly suspected them of murder. I’ll never know if the person I suspect really did it, they passed away before I even started my research. Any family members who might have known more took their suspicions to their grave.

 

If you were to cast your book as a movie, who would you choose to play your characters? 

Jude Law is Quin.

Heather Graham is Elsinore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s up next for you?

I have a Historical Romance Holiday novella coming out November 1st titled LOVE REKINDLED AT CHRISTMAS. My novella LET IT SNOW is the story of how a friendly holiday game can go terribly, terribly wrong when a bit of fire is involved.

 

I’m also working on books 2 and 3 of my “What Happens in the Ballroom” series. Book 2, ESCAPING THE EARL, is a Georgian era mash-up of Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, Julianna Latham meets an Earl who wears his scars on the outside and hides his heart and an Earl with a wise, smiling face who would do anything to hide his treachery. As she decides which Earl is the real beast, she is offered passage on the sea journey that could take her back home and away from them both. Publication date TBA.

 

Book 3 is LAST LORD STANDING where rake Kerrigen Northam survives on looks, wit, and little white lies. When one of his falsehoods turns out to be not so harmless, he struggles to make everything right again. Caught in his web of lies, Liberty Chalford must find a way to save both their reputations. In this Regency mash-up of Pinocchio and The Three Little Pigs, Liberty and Kerrigen discover the truth of what they seek exists in each other. Publication date TBA.

 

What would you most like readers to know about you and your books?

Perfect people are boring. I’m not perfect and neither are my characters. They have quirks, flaws, irrational fears, temper tantrums, unreasonable expectations, and make impulsive missteps. Just like me. I want my characters to be relatable and likable. Readers should care about what happens to them, cringe when they do something stupid, laugh when they make a joke, and cheer them on toward their happily-ever-after.  I hope readers find my characters’ adventures entertaining and enjoyable. I hope they find me on Amazon and buy some books and leave a review.

Bio: 

Diana Lloyd, mother of gingers, writes stories with kissing and cravats. Diana lives in Michigan with her husband of 32 years, also a ginger. Writing historical romance demands that much like Alice in Wonderland, Diana falls down a lot of rabbit holes for the sake of research. If you enjoy things like spending four hours researching the etymology of a single word only to delete that word in the next editing pass, you can write historical romance too. Diana loves writing engaging stories of romance where couples learn to work together to create their happily-ever-after.

I encourage anyone who enjoys historical romance to give me a follow or a shout-out.

Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook Author  *  Facebook Personal  *  Goodreads

Amazon  *  Barnes & Noble  *  KOBO

Here’s the blurb: 

When Elsinore Cosgrove escapes a ballroom in search of adventure, she has no idea it will lead to a hasty marriage. The youngest daughter of a duke, all she wants is to make her own choices. Now she’s engaged to an infuriating, handsome Scottish baron who doesn’t even know her name! Using all her feminine wiles, along with advice gleaned from a training guide for hunting hounds, Elsinore is determined to mold her baron into the husband she wants.

Quin Graham is a man with many secrets. If another scandal can be avoided with a sham marriage, so be it. Only his fiancée isn’t at all what he’s expecting, and the clumsy, curious, and clever Elsinore refuses to be set aside. For reasons he’s unwilling to explain, the last thing Quin needs is to fall for his wife

Excerpt:

“Papa?” Elsinore clutched the shoe to her breast as her father avoided her gaze. A dull ache began throbbing behind her eyes. Surely she would not be forced into a poor match. She’d only be twenty next week, hardly a spinster. Her father was not a cruel man. His laughter had echoed through the halls just this afternoon as they readied for the ball—she’d made a witty remark, and he’d vowed it so clever that he was going to repeat it at his club.

“I don’t believe you could make it through the rest of the season without another scandal, not with the disobedience you’ve already shown.” There was no anger behind his words, only resignation.

“What disobedience?” she asked warily, afraid she already knew the answer.

Her father harrumphed and shook his head. “Did you not climb up, unassisted, in a complete stranger’s high-perch phaeton on Bond Street last week?”

“I’d never been in a high-perch before, and it was so smart. Brother promised to teach me the ribbons this year, and I decided I wanted a carriage just like it.” It was a quick and convenient lie. In truth, she’d spied Lady Throckmorton and her dandified son and scrambled off the walkway to avoid them. Pendergast Throckmorton, heir to a viscountcy, wasn’t only an uneducated, self-centered fop, he was permanently attached to his harridan of a mother’s elbow. Elsinore would have thrown herself in front of a moving carriage to avoid yet another invitation to take tea with Lady Throckmorton.

“Half the ton saw you scampering up into a phaeton like a circus monkey,” her father continued.

“I assure you, I was as un-monkeylike as possible,” she said meekly.

“Oh good. I was worried you’d made a spectacle of yourself.”

Elsinore winced at the sarcasm in her father’s voice. As the youngest, she was accustomed to a measure of clemency not enjoyed by her older siblings and his words stung.

“Shall I mention the incident at the Trent’s musicale?” he asked.

Deciding a bit of truth would serve her better, Elsinore stood up straighter before explaining. “In an attempt to avoid unwanted attention from Lord Butterworth, I chose the most efficient point of egress.”

“You jumped out of a window!” her father roared back. A large man with long, stark white hair, his tone of voice reminded Elsinore of why he was considered a persuasive force in the House of Lords.

“It was a French window,” Elsinore muttered. “And it was more of a skip than a jump.”

Her mother stopped sniffling long enough to ask, “And what is wrong with Lord Butterworth? He’s the heir of an earl, for heaven’s sake.”

“He smells like rotting eggs.” Elsinore wrinkled her nose.

“They all smell, dear,” her mother said. “You need to learn to breathe through your mouth.” Her father snorted at her mother’s explanation.

“I refuse to spend the rest of my life breathing through my mouth. I’ll look consumptive. A measure of cleanliness should not be too much to expect from a prospective husband.”

“Have you already forgotten the scandal at the Dardens’ country house, which caused your season to be deferred to this year instead of last?” her father interjected, clearly unhappy with the direction their conversation had taken.

“For the hundredth time, I didn’t realize they were going to swim. I thought the young men were going to have an adventure, and I didn’t want to miss it. I left as soon as I saw… That is, as soon as I realized they were unclothed. It was an innocent misunderstanding, hardly a scandal. There was no harm done to any party involved and no reason for Darden to tell his father he spotted me.”

“No harm?” her father exclaimed. “If their cousin hadn’t chosen that very weekend to elope and distract everyone, I don’t know what we would have done about your reputation.”

“I had to tell everyone you had a putrid throat all last season and had been sent to the country to recuperate. We’re lucky beyond measure that their scandal was more interesting than yours, or people would still be talking about it,” her mother added.

Elsinore looked down to the drooping hem of her ripped gown, the ragged edges of white silk now gray where it trailed along the floor, and the telltale spots of red wine marked her as unsuitable. She clutched at the sleeve that, thanks to popped stitches, refused to stay in place on her shoulder, as she gathered her thoughts. She had to admit, she really did look a fright. She was tired of explaining herself, and every time she tried to consider the possible consequences, her stomach flipped in the most alarming way. She wanted to scream.

Instead, she whispered, “I just wanted to make my own adventure.”