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Election Day Tomorrow! Escape the chaos and vote for your favorite Rose Gordon Hero–

Election Day is tomorrow! Escape the chaos and vote for your favorite Rose Gordon Hero–

Online of course, not really on your ballot.

So in the spirit of “I cannot handle anymore political turmoil and arguing”, I will be hosting my own list of measures to vote on up on Facebook tomorrow. I am not holding a totally fair vote because I don’t plan to post all the questions here tonight–you’ll have to visit my Facebook Page to vote on all the measures. (And of course there will be plenty of prizes to go around.)

The big question, however, is…Who at the end of the night will be crowned the most beloved Rose Gordon. This hero will get special privileges (don’t they all already??) for the next four years and of course be crowned the King of Rose Gordon’s Heroes at the end of the night.

Now of course with so many candidates, it’s only right to hold a small debate so without further ado, I have brought them all here to give a short speech about why THEY deserve such an honor…

[I should warn you that much like the other debates we’ve all witnessed this year, most of the candidates do NOT stay on topic and interrupt each other often…Be warned.]

Gentlemen, in three sentences, or less, could you please tell us why YOU should hold the coveted spot of Most Beloved Rose Gordon Hero for the next four years. We shall go in order of appearance, Andrew Black, Earl of Townson, we shall begin with you.

BENJAMIN COLLINS, DUKE OF GATEWAY: Pardon me, Rose, but actually I appeared before Townson. *grins wildly and folds his arms across his puffed out chest* And in his own book no less…

That will be enough of that.

ANDREW: Yes, we all remember that profound moment, you made the book start with a bang…or should I say a slap heard around the world?

Enough! You two are starting to remind me of real life too much and I do wield the power to remove you both from the running. Now, we shall begin—in the order of heroes. Andrew, you’re your first.

ANDREW—HERO FROM INTENTIONS OF THE EARL: As Rose’s first hero, I should think the honor belongs to me. Not only as the first am I the one she obviously used up her best traits and dialogue with, but I am also the one whose book has been read most, therefore I am most well known.

GATEWAY: *snorts*

shoots a sharp look at Gateway

GATEWAY: *throws hands up into the air* I’m entitled to my own opinion on that. His book might have been downloaded more, but have you seen those reviews?

No and I don’t care to. Paul, your turn.

PAUL—HERO FROM LIBERTY FOR PAUL: I was saddled with Liberty, need I say more?

*sighs* If you didn’t fall madly in love with her by the end, I’d say the honor is yours by default, but…

PAUL: *grins* All right, I think I should be the favorite because A. I got Liberty to stop reading—and quoting—books on propriety; B. I also beat her at her own game; and C. I had my clothes stolen while in the tub, D. beans—that were supposed to be my head—stabbed to an oblivion AND E. am ninety percent sure that my mother-in-law glimpsed me naked. Franky, I’m a damn shoo-in.

Ahem, well, I’m not sure what to say to that. Next?

GATEWAY—HERO FROM TO WIN HIS WAYWARD WIFE: No, Paul, I’m the shoo-in. I’ve been Rose’s most loved hero from the start.

ANDREW: Yes, I recall everyone rooting for you all during my romance with Brooke. NOT!


GATEWAY: As I said, I’ve always been the favorite. Have any of you ever peeked in Rose’s inbox? No? It’s me the young girls write about and tell tales of their swooning and say if Arid Alex over there could fashion a time machine, they’d travel–

SIR WALLACE BENEDICT: I believe you’ve spoken more than three sentences.

*all eyes swing to Wallace who is adjusting his cravat*

GATEWAY: Sorry, chap, I was trying to stop at a prime number.

And I have a feeling you aren’t done yet… Nonetheless, you are for now. Alex?

ALEX BANKS—HERO FROM HER SUDDEN GROOM: If I was playing the pity card like Paul, I’d remind everyone I have the nickname of Arid Alex and was once betrothed to Lady Olivia. *shudders* However, I shall instead remind you all of my intellectual pursuits of a regular subscription to Prominent and Avant-Garde Horticulture, being an avid student of chess, having been entrusted to be the guardian of several young ladies…and as Gateway so nicely pointed out, if anyone was capable of creating a time machine, I’m your hero. Therefore, most beloved hero…again, I’m your hero.

GATEWAY: Are we supposed to applaud now?

ANDREW:I don’t know, but his speech is more worthy of applause than yours.

I won’t warn you two again. One more outburst and you’ll be excused from the room.

GATEWAY: Are you threatening voter fraud?

No! You’ll still be in the running, I can’t delete you from the ballot at this late date, but I will banish you from the room so you won’t be able to have another word. Now, let’s hear from Marcus.

MARCUS, LORD SINCLAIR—HERO FROM HER RELUCTANT GROOM: Hands down, I think everyone would agree I am the most honorable of all of your heroes. Even the ones who are given such an honor in their book title— *casts his grey eyes to where Sebastian, Giles and Simon, the three heroes from the Gentlemen of Honor Series, are seated* —I had a lovely young woman staying in my house unchaperoned for quite a while and not a whisper of scandal befell either of us. Nor was she in any way unmarriagable when she left.

PATRICK—HERO FROM HER SECONDHAND GROOM: *snorts* Sir Wallace might disagree with that. She wasn’t very interested in marrying him after you’d given her a lesson in male anatomy and base desires courtesy of a little book in your library.

MARCUS: I’d say all four of our wives— *gestures to Alex, Patrick, Sir Wallace and himself* —benefited in some way from Lady Bird’s Ladybird Memoir.

SIR WALLACE: *clearing his throat, and whispering* I can’t complain too much about that book, Patrick.

MARCUS: *stretches legs out in front of himself, crosses ankles* See? Emma’s gift to Edwina was the perfect apology.

ALEX: Your wife gave that…that…filth to my sister?!

GATEWAY: *cackles* Sir Wallace, you rascal! *lets out a low whistle and shakes his head* I suppose it’s true what they say, it’s always the quiet ones who are the biggest scoundrels. *stands and claps Sir Wallace on the shoulder* Since Rose is gesturing for me to get my arse out, I will go, but Sir Wallace, I’d be honored if you’d take my seat over in the Scandalous Series section. I do believe you having a naughty book has entitled you to a seat with the other debauchers. *bows* I shall take my leave now, I had no idea I was in such depraved company.

ALEX: *Scrubs hands over his face.* The image that is now in my head isn’t going away.

MARCUS: You’ll get over it. I do recall spotting a copy of it in your library. Need I remind you that you are married to my cousin?

ALEX: Point taken. Patrick, I think it’s your turn.

PATRICK “DRAKE”, LORD DRAKELY—HERO FROM HER SECONDHAND GROOM: I willingly admit that I made a few mistakes with Juliet, my heroine, but I’d like to think I redeemed myself during our trip to London. Also, if it weren’t for me, poor Simon over there would have never had his happily-ever-after. So in a way, I’m a HERO FROM two books.

ANDREW to ALEX: I think he’s been spending too much with Gateway, he’s getting a swell head.

ALEX back to ANDREW: That or with his wife and now he thinks he’s as good of a matchmaker as all those of her sex think they are.

PATRICK: I hate to tell you two weasels this, but Brooke and Caroline both think they’re some sort of skilled matchmakers, too.

All right, fellas, let’s stay on course. Sir Wallace?

SIR WALLACE BENEDICT—HERO FROM HER IMPERFECT GROOM: 1. Contrary to my book title, I am undeniably a perfectionist. 2. Unlike some of the others in this room, when scandal knocked on my door, I was ready to do the right thing. 3. Despite my love for being impeccably dressed and as proper as a straight pin as Rose put it, when love was on the line, I put my own wants aside and chased her down at all costs.

ALEX: Chased her down? No you scaled the side of my house and broke into her room.

SEBASTIAN—HERO FROM SECRETS OF A VISCOUNT: There is nothing wrong with that.

ALEX: There is when she didn’t invite him to do so.

SEBASTIAN: *face flushing, shrugs* Again, I don’t find anything wrong with it if he gets the girl in the end.

SIR WALLACE: I did. *pushes chest out* And an enlightening little treatise to boot.

ALEX: Agggghhhh.

Let’s move on to the heroes of the Brides Series. Edward?

EDWARD BANKS, LORD WATSON—HERO FROM HER CONTRACT BRIDE-: Oh? I get to enter the running, do I? I wasn’t sure if I’d get that honor since I’m the only one Rose killed off! I think that means I should forever be memorialized as the most beloved. Oh, is that too morbid? All right, I think ultimately I should be the most beloved hero because I’m the one responsible for building the stargazing gazebo that brought about at least two happily-ever-afters. If it weren’t for me being friends with the late Lord Sinclair, Alex wouldn’t have met Caroline—

ALEX: Or have been engaged to Lady Olivia.

EDWARD: Yes, as I mentioned before, I was lost in celebration that night. Believe me, there was a lot of celebrating. Joseph was finally free from having to visit Bea’s bed and the wine just kept flowing… *waves a hand through the air* Not to mention, I fixed things between Alex and Caro by reminding her that he’s a man. If it weren’t for me and Regina, Alex, Elijah, Henry and Edwina wouldn’t be here and I would have never been born and John wouldn’t have gone to America to meet his wife. And…finally, if it weren’t for me, Andrew wouldn’t have inherited such a beautiful painting.

ANDREW: Thank you. I’m still cherishing it.

JOHN BANKS—HERO FROM HIS YANKEE BRIDE: All right, Edward, we get that you’re making up for lost time of not getting any scenes in three of your four children’s books, but enough is enough. Besides, I know the true identity of that “artist”. Not to mention, you allowed your heroine to sink the Gallant

EDWARD: She looked so fetching as the boat went down, I’d have allowed her to sink a whole armada had I had one.

All right, gentlemen, we have a lot more to hear from–

EDWARD: No we don’t, I’m the most beloved. *grins* They need not even speak.

JOHN: Now who has been spending too much time with Gateway?

John, it’s you’re turn.

JOHN: As hero to Carolina I have faithfully done my duty and played countless games of charades. I stood up to her beastly parents and rescued her closest confidant. I endured being sewn into a bundling bag, being watched shamelessly on while bathing in the pond, had to bear witness to a dirty, old merkin lying in the street while eloping, and in the end, swept my girl away from her parent’s evil clutches and eventually brought her and my three daughters to London where all of Rose’s stories began.

EDWARD: You’re rather smug, aren’t you, Trouble?

JOHN: *shrugs* The boot fits.

All right you two, nearly two hundred and fifty years later and you two are squabbling like little boys.

EDWARD: We’re brother’s, that’s what we’re supposed to do.

And now, for another set of Banks Brothers—Elijah?

ELIJAH BANKS—HERO FROM HIS JILTED BRIDE: *squares shoulders and slowly looks around the room* Fellas, you can all go home. This victory is mine. You all might think you rescued your heroines, but I—*points at chest*–I did. I not only saved her from being married to a scheming, lying, reprobate who likely would have done unmentionable things to her person, but I did it by shimmying her through a church window in her wedding gown, no less. *chuckles* And no more, either.

HENRY BANKS—ELIJAH’S TWIN AND HERO FROM HIS BROTHER’S BRIDE: What Elijah neglected to mention was said man hadn’t even shown up yet. So how exactly he spared her such a life… *shakes head* Can anyone truly be certain?

ELIJAH: Right you are, Henry. I was also rescuing her from the humiliation of being jilted. I thought that was implied by the title. And just because he hadn’t shown up yet that day, didn’t mean he didn’t still have plans for her.

HENRY: That’s true, however, had you not married her and just brought her to safety, you’d have been able to fulfill an earlier promise you’d made.

ELIJAH: Oh, you mean I’d have married Laura—YOUR wife? *cocks head to the side* If what I spied in the garden is any indication, I think you ought to be thanking me.

HENRY: Indeed.

ELIJAH: My thanks?

HENRY: *stares at him* I’ll refrain from singing carols at Michaelmas this year.

ELIJAH: That’s even better.

Throws hand up. Henry, it’s your turn.

HENRY: *rubs chin* As I just mentioned I did marry the young lady Elijah had promised marriage to. And I don’t regret it. I did first try to find her another suitable husband because what else can you do when a woman you barely knows shows up on your front door stoop and demands marriage? If rescuing heroines is the key to winning, I should say that I rescued mine from herself when she was spitting out phrases in French that she didn’t know the meaning of. And finally, I do believe, I exercised perfect self-control in the carriage while taking my—not my brother’s *scowls*—bride to Scotland.

ELIJAH: And on the way back?

HENRY: Is none of your damn business.

EDWARD: That’s my boy.

JOHN: Only you would be proud.

EDWARD: Had your wife produced a boy, you’d understand. As it is your girls—

JOHN: Are the most scandalous sisters to ever step foot in London, yes, I know.

EDWARD: I was going ot say saints, but your definition works, too.

All right, we need to–

GATEWAY: *pokes his head in the room* Are you hens still clucking? You all know I won this competition before it even started.

ANDREW: Only if you’ve been out there rigging the votes… *arches eyebrow*

MARCUS: Besides, I think you’d do well to spend a little more time around Alex and allow him to explain to you the difference between hens and roosters.

GATEWAY: I can borrow Sir Wallace’s naughty book for that, I’m sure.

Gateway, come join us again. Apparently, without you making inane and unsolicited comments everyone else feels they need to.

GATEWAY–*lumbers in and falls into a vacant chair* Ah, to be the scapegoat.

Now, let’s switch gears and hear from our American heroes—Wes, are you ready?

CAPTAIN WES TUCKER—HERO FROM THE OFFICER AND THE BOSTONER: About as ready as I was for a spirited and slightly angry young lady to come parading into my life, throwing rocks and making impossible demands.


CAPTAIN GRAY—HERO FROM THE OFFICER AND THE TRAVELER: Which you certainly weren’t doing when she came. I do believe you went around whistling a merry little tune as you packed your things and strutted up to your new bedchamber in the married officers wing of the barracks.

WES: Indeed I was. But keep in mind, I managed to keep Allison safe from harm of the other men and from herself with a sewing needle. I used her excellent throw to all of our advantage and taught her how to swing a bat—she can now best even the best in rounders.

JACK: Yes, that all sounds so exciting, lest we forget your book isn’t a shoot’em up.

GRAY: No, that was saved for your book. Would you care to share with everyone just exactly what went on at the shooting range that day?

JACK: That was a private moment between Ella and me.

*laughter from around the room.*

EDWARD: Good for you, young man.

Jack, why should you be most beloved hero?

JACK: I certainly went through some of the worst—sent off for a mail-order bride and received a young lady who was angry with me from the start. *face reddens* For which I do take full responsibility. Nearly lost my heroine to a spider. Had to ride a horse with a man who wore little more than an eyepatch over his…unmentionables, sat in the tent of a naked and half-crazed medicine man—and that was only the first half of my tale. As Gray mentioned, I taught my girl how to shoot…*face turns crimson and coughing ensues* and gave her another sort of education as well.

GRAY: *voice dripping with sarcasm* And now, I’ll never be able to shoot at the range again without that thought. Thank you.

JACK: *grins* You’re welcome.

GATEWAY: Would you like me to ruin a few places in England for you?


GATEWAY: *chuckles* Pray continue.

Gray, you’re turn.

GRAY: I do believe I am the most beloved. I had a rekindled romance with a woman I was once forbidden to talk to and because I kissed her–

JACK: Should you remind everyone why you were kissing her?

GRAY: *ignoring Jack, continues*–we were married and I inherited a dragon for a father-in-law.

JACK: *snorts* I have the same father-in-law!

WES: Yes, and thanks to the two of you, he’s now the general at our fort.

JACK: It’s not my fault. I didn’t know Ella’s father was a grumpy old general when I started writing to her. Hell, even Gray didn’t recognize Ella when she first came.

GRAY: And if I had, would you have sent her back?

JACK: Well, no.

GRAY: Then it seems you should stop your complaining about the old dragon.

WES: And you should, too. You both chose to be connected to him. I did not.

GRAY: As I said, if Jack had known any more about Ella’s identity it could have been avoided.

WES: Yes, but then you wouldn’t have had your wife.

GRAY: No, I wouldn’t have–*eyes crinkle and a broad grin takes his lips* and dealing with her cantankerous father is a small price to pay to have her.

Gray, is that all you have to say?

GRAY: No, I have plenty to say if these two would shut up for two minutes. I married a woman who had no reservations in her dislike for me. As has been mentioned, her father didn’t like me either. But even so, she managed to win me over and I daresay, I won both of them over, too.

JACK: That’s the best you could come up with?

GRAY: Yep, I’m Michaela’s all-time favorite hero. I don’t need to be anyone else’s.

*silence fills the room…until broken by none other than GATEWAY* Ah, spoken like a men letting his privates doing the thinking for him—and not the hundred men you command.

GRAY: *shrugs* Her opinion is the only one I value.

That’s very sweet, so then should we stop this competition now and let you all get back to your respective heroines?

SEBASTIAN GENTRY, LORD BELGRAVE—HERO FROM SECRETS OF A VISCOUNT: Hell no. I did not break into the wrong sister’s bedroom and hie my worst nightmare off to Scotland, marry her, lie to her, diligently try to find her another husband while secretly longing for her and praying she wouldn’t wind up with Stoic Simon just to give up now. I love Belle more than life itself, but by golly, I’m the most beloved hero—I’ve even won an award.

Your book isn’t the only one to be nominated for an award, Sebastian, (gracious this man needs to be taken down a peg), Patrick, Edward and John have been finalists, too.

SEBASTIAN: Ah, but they all came in second. I won. And a reader’s choice, nomination style entry no less.

EDWARD: Not true. I won some something or other once, too.

SEBASTIAN: Nobody seems to remember that. Not even the contest officials when it was time to publicly reveal the winners. But me? Oh, they made up this huge poster of my book. The thing was so big, Rose couldn’t get it back home from the conference. A local friend—and saint—kept it at her house for almost two and a half years until a mutual friend happened to be driving across the US and brought it to Rose. See, it’s right here!

Exhibit A

GATEWAY: I think I’ve found my match for most conceited.

SEBASTIAN: Exactly, the Gateway Era is over and the Sebastian Era has begun.

SIMON APPLETON—HERO FROM PASSIONS OF A GENTLEMAN: I still can’t believe Isabelle chose this for herself.

HENRY: Ha, if awards were given out for which hero made Rose bang her head against the desk most while writing their book, Elijah would win handidly.

SEBASTIAN: And Simon would win for most re-starts.

JACK: Gray would be a close second for that one.

Hey now! Stop airing MY dirty laundry. Giles, are you ready?

GILES GODDARD—HERO FROM DESIRES OF A BARON: I don’t need this award. I married Lucy a woman who loves me no matter what I say and do. With Lucy came Seth. The boy asks me uncomfortable questions about the origins of babies, when unsightly hair will appear, and now calls me Papa. I already have my reward.

SIMON: And don’t forget a brother.

GILES: How could I? You’re the reason I was questioned about the appearance of body hair.

SIMON: And the reason you met Lucy.

GILES: Yes, it was because of you we met, but you certainly didn’t have any intentions of backing down.

SIMON: I’d met her first.

GILES: And it was obvious that she didn’t return your interest. At least it was obvious when I read the book—living it was a different matter.

All right—again, more bickering brothers! Simon, you’ll have your turn in a bit–

SIMON: Of course I will. I already had to wait two years to get my book, why not wait longer to have my turn to speak.

In order of heroes, I think Gareth is next.

GARETH, LORD WORTHE—HERO FROM THE PERFECT LADY WORTHE: As many of the others have said, I already feel like I’ve won because I was blessed to have such a wonderful heroine to spend the rest of this life with. But…since Rose is twisting our arms for these speeches, I will say that I am indeed gentlemanly and clever. I was the HERO FROM her first novella who apparently knows exactly how much is in my bank account and takes abbreviated naps throughout the day. Not to mention, I married my best friend’s younger sister against his wishes, that’s pretty damn brazen and heroic, if you ask me.

GATEWAY: Twisted your arm? Hmmph.

Aaron, your turn.

AARON LENTZ, HERO FROM MISTLETOE & MICHAELMAS: I had to endure a Christmastide stay with the straightforward Duke of Danby. The man is so obsessed with matchmaking, I went to his house as part of my duty as a vicar and less than a fortnight later I was in need of one myself. Also, for the record, it should be mentioned, my name wasn’t always Aaron. I was given that name the afternoon the book was submitted because another story in the anthology had a hero with the same name. How is that for enduring?

JOHN: I wondered how you ended up with what was originally my name.

I confess, I confess! Aaron is telling the truth. His name was different when I wrote the book and I had to change it. John is also correct—his name originally was Aaron. But when I was typing Aaron, my fingers were moving so fast I’d capitalize both As. Plus, Intentions of the Earl didn’t need anyone else with an “A” name. Now, let’s move onto our next hero: Joel.

JOEL CUNNINGHAM—HERO FROM JESSE: BRIDE OF SOUTH CAROLINA: What can I say? I was commissioned to bring the girl I’d once loved more than life itself one hundred miles in my wagon to a train depot so she could go off to the wilds of Montana and marry Mr. Perfect—which couldn’t have been too perfect or he wouldn’t have submitted an ad for a mail-order bride. I kept my hands to myself—most of the time, my trousers buttoned up—a blasted hard thing to do at times and reined in my sarcasm–

No you did not!

JOEL: And no you did not have this book done by Oct. 26, 2015 like you were supposed and yet you still told everyone you had. If I remember right you were only 1,000 words in.

What has that to do with anything?

JOEL: Nothing, other than I was the perfect hero to write about. If I hadn’t been so easy to write about you wouldn’t have gotten this book done in under a week.

GATEWAY: Dang! Here I thought my book was the fastest at ten days.

JOEL: No, mine took less time but after meeting you today, I see why yours took so long. You’re a fountain of fodder.

GATEWAY: Thank you. I enjoy being complimented.

JOEL: Yes, and so does my wife. Who, I’ll have you all know I managed to win over on that trip despite fear of her father catching us, being robbed, having to sleep outside, meeting a deranged man who loves his junk more than Andrew and Gateway hate each other and more sarcastic remarks than have been shared here today.

You are correct, Joel. On all scores. James?

JAMES NORTH, EARL OF WYNN—HERO FROM THE WOOING GAME: I daresay this award is in the bag for me. Charlotte and I had a nasty first start. Blooming humiliating all the way around if I dare say. However, I managed to win her—even woo her—and all by sending her anonymous letters of admiration, a feat not even the notorious Banks men—or heroes of the Banks women–could pull off.

GARETH: The first missive you sent her, wasn’t so anonymous….or charming.

JAMES: Shhh! I made a mistake. You’ve made one I’m sure.

GARETH: Never.

SIMON: Is it my turn yet? Have I waited long enough?

Yes, Simon, you can go now.

SEBASTIAN: I don’t know why you’re bothering to, I’m sure everyone has already decided.

GATEWAY: Yes, they only needed to hear the first three.

ANDREW: Nope. Just the first one.

SIMON: Well, aren’t you both rather cocksure? Haven’t you ever heard of “saving the best for last”? My book was “in the works” for two blasted YEARS. Rose received emails inquiring when it was coming out. People asking why they couldn’t find it. She even received a very nasty email about tying her to a chair and making her write it. I daresay, if the emails are to be believed, I would consider this contest already over. Name me the winner and hand me my crown.

SEBASTIAN: Just because they asked about you and demanded she write your book doesn’t mean they liked it. Heck, if sales reports are any indication, I’d honestly say your book is the least read book Rose has written!

SIMON: That’s because everyone read your book and hated you so much they didn’t want to risk reading the others in the series for fear of encountering you again.

SEBASTIAN: Again, may I point your direction to Exhibit A?


All righty then, I think we’re done.

GATEWAY: No closing remarks?

No, you’ve all said more than enough already. All right ladies, you’ve heard what they have to say and tomorrow—on National Election Day—you can cast your vote for your favorite Rose Gordon Hero on Facebook. Please read over this as many times as you feel are necessary and share with your friends who might like to vote.

From just outside the window of my living room where everyone had gathered…GABRIEL ELLIS—FUTURE HERO FROM HIS PENNILESS BRIDE: Damn. She’s been receiving emails about the whereabouts of my story for four years—that’s before more than half of these fellas were heroes—I now have another four years to get my story, read all of their books to dig up the most gossip and I’ll be an easy win next go-around.

Ah, Gabriel, you forget…since your story hasn’t yet been written, you could be the most scandalous of them all!

GABRIEL: Marjorie! Let’s run away. Now!

Banks Brothers' Brides Series, Books, Cover Reveal, Covers, His Penniless Bride, His Yankee Bride, Updates

I have a cover…so now it’s official!

A few days ago, I mentioned that I was planning to write Marjorie and Gabriel’s story. (These are secondary characters from His Yankee Bride.)

Well…now I have NO CHOICE but to write it because I have a a beautiful cover! And it MUST be used, right?

I present to you the cover for His Penniless Bride–Banks Brothers’ Brides, Book 2.5

Red Beauty


The plotting has begun and so has the writing. More details coming soon!

Banks Brothers' Brides Series, Fun Fact Friday, His Yankee Bride

Fun Fact Friday ~ His Yankee Bride

  • I personally think this story has the most similarities to my relationship with Bob than any of my others. Maybe not our personalities, but we eloped one afternoon and later found out that the guy who married us may or may not have been licensed to do so. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the money to go get remarried and just prayed for the best. We’ve been living together and acting as Mr. and Mrs. so long enough now that there’s no longer a possibility of us just living in sin as we’d be considered common-law married. Isn’t that great?
  • When I first started writing this book, we took a family vacation to Charleston (the locale of the book) and spent several days touring the city and some of the plantation homes on the outskirts.
  • I’d originally planned to give Gabriel a side romance in this book, but as we all know, I am horrible at doing that and couldn’t. He’ll one day have his own book, but I’m not sure when.
  • Marjorie was nearly an afterthought–at least at first. I’d gotten as far as the part where John gets a sunburn and felt like I’d written myself into a hole with the only person who Carolina could talk to being Bethel. So on a whim, I was like, “Oh, I know where she gets the idea for a quick treatment for his burn: the neighbor girl Marjorie tells her” and wrote her in. Then when I went back for a second draft, I wrote about their first visit at Marjorie’s plantation. It wasn’t until after I’d asked a few others for ideas on the book, that Marjorie made her way into the opening scene.
  • I’ve had characters who I didn’t like: mainly Robbie because even Lady O for her awfulness was still somewhat amusing, but I all out DETESTED Mrs. Ellis. In fact, I actually wanted to reach in the story and slap her silly. Repeatedly.
  • I didn’t really have a plan for this story until I started it. I just knew John was visiting in America when they met while she was wearing that fancy red dress that she gave Brooke in Intentions of the Earl. Oh and that John didn’t have quite the same attraction to Carolina at the start–only she refused to believe it.
  • It really wasn’t in my original master plan to bring Edward and Regina to America, but the taxidermy thing I mentioned last week prompted me to. Plus, I think it gave closure for John and Edward as they were both about to move on with their lives in their perspective countries and form their own families.
  • My husband absolutely loved the part where Carolina compares a part of John to a battering ram and even tried to convince me to have him (John) later tell her, “Lower the drawbridge and open the castle doors because here comes the battering ram.” As you can see, I refused. In fact, I was horrified that he thought I’d actually take him up on such a suggestion.
  • At last check, this was my husband’s favorite book of mine as it was the first one he stayed up (outside on the back porch with mosquitos buzzing around his head due to the light on the iPad, no less) until 2 a.m. to finish it.
Banks Brothers' Brides Series, His Yankee Bride, Wicked Wednesday

Wicked Wednesday ~ His Yankee Bride

As we all already know, Carolina has NO shame. Sorry, but it’s true and we all know it. There’s no sense in denying it. As a setup for this scene, Carolina has gone to look for John with a picnic hamper in tow. Except she can’t find him. Why? Because he’s trying to avoid her. So in a resignation that she’s not going to get to have lunch with him she goes to her favorite secluded spot by the pond to eat–and just as she approaches, she see’s something: a shirtless man swimming in the water!

John’s skin prickled with awareness. Someone was out there watching him.

He sank lower in the water until all that could be seen was his head.

“Who’s there?” he shouted.


He kicked his feet and moved to the middle of the pond to get a better view of the trees that encircled the pond. A soft sound of twigs breaking under someone’s foot stole his attention.

“Show yourself.”

His command went unheeded and he continued to scan the thicket of trees.

Mrs. Ellis seemed to have a severe distaste for him, but surely even she wouldn’t be so coarse as to approach him while he was bathing.

A flash of pink caught his eye.

He groaned. “Come on out, Carolina,” he called.

He thought she might ignore his request and was quite relieved when she stepped out from behind her hiding spot in the trees and walked toward the pond.

“What are you doing?” he demanded.

She shrugged. “I came over here to have a picnic and…”

If he was one who placed wagers, he’d guess she’d been looking for him so he could be her picnic companion. “Well, if you’ve satisfied your curiosity, I’d appreciate it if you’d find something else to amuse yourself with this afternoon.” He sorely hoped she’d take his meaning and leave. There were only two possible outcomes if someone were to find them like this. One was marriage, the other was death. One of those—he wouldn’t say which—was slightly more preferable than the other. But only slightly.

“There’s another pond, one far more private, just over that way.” She pointed to the left; her eyes still trained on where he was treading water in the middle of the pond. Had she no shame? He already knew she lacked the manners all the other females of his acquaintance possessed, but did she have to stand there and stare at him?

“Thank you. I’ll keep that in mind.”

She took a seat on the plush green grass that lined the edge of the pond. “Would you like to come out and have lunch with me? I’m sure Bethel packed enough for both of us.”

He’d just bet she had. “No, I think I’d like to swim a little longer.”

“Oh, well, that’s all right. You keep swimming. I’m famished. I have to eat.”

“Is there nowhere else you can picnic?” Perhaps somewhere that wasn’t within a stone’s throw of a naked man in a pond?

“No.” She opened the picnic hamper and began removing some of the items. “I rather like it here.”

She wouldn’t like it if he stepped out of the water. Actually, she probably would. He suppressed that thought immediately. “Carolina, do you think your stomach can manage not to eat itself for just a moment, so you may leave while I get out of the water?”

Carolina seemed not to hear him and continued to pull items out of the basket. “You need not worry. I’ve seen a man’s chest before.”

“Perhaps so, but have you seen a man’s pego?” The words were out before he could think to stop himself from saying them.

“Pardon me, what?”

In for a penny, in for a pound, he supposed. “A man’s pego, rudder, snake, rod, bauble, tallywag, member. Have you seen one before?”

Her cheeks turned bright red, as he’d hoped they would. “N-no.”

“Very well, and if you plan to keep it that way, then you’d better leave, so I can get out of the water and put my clothes back on.”

Carolina’s eyes shot to where his clothes were in a pile by the shore, but she made no move to get up. “How about if I turn around? Then, when you’re dressed, we can have lunch together.”

John wanted to groan. “Does anything scandalize you?”

“No.” She tucked a long, curly tendril of hair behind her ear. “At least not where you’re concerned.”

“Why the devil not?” he burst out.

She brought her hands to her lap and looked at him. “Because I know you’re only saying those things to put me off. But I have news for you, John Banks. It’s not working.”

“And I have news for you, Carolina Ellis. Your news isn’t news at all. Furthermore, if I didn’t think it was possible for your brother or someone else to happen upon us at any moment, I wouldn’t hesitate to get out of this water.”

“Then go ahead.”

“No,” he bit off. “I’d rather not get married with the barrel of your father’s gun pressing into my back.”

“Ah, so you do wish to marry me.”

He ground his teeth. “I never said that.”

She shook her head and sighed. “I don’t understand why you’re being so stubborn.”

“And I don’t understand why you think I want to offer you marriage.”

Carolina’s face fell. “I already told you. It’s the way you look at me.”

“Yes, well, perhaps I think you’re beautiful. But that’s as far as my attraction for you goes.” He tore his eyes away and coughed, silently praying she didn’t challenge the validity of his words.

Silence filled the air between them and he dared not venture a look in her direction. “Are you practicing your near honesty now?” she asked airily, emphasizing the word near.

He ground his teeth. “No. That was a perfectly honest statement.”

“All of it?”

“Yes,” he bit off.

“Say what you wish.” She gestured to the food she’d laid out. “Wouldn’t you like to join me? I’m sure you’re hungry after working so hard this morning.”

“No, I’m quite content, thank you. I had a large bowl of slop before I came out here. I should be able to tread water for at least another four hours before requiring anything else.”

“Suit yourself,” she called back, taking a bite of a roasted chicken leg. “You do realize if you tread water for four hours straight, you’ll likely get a blistering sunburn?”

It wouldn’t take that long. He’d been so hot the last few days he’d taken his shirt off several times before feeling his skin burn and remembering to put it back on. That’s actually why he came to the pond: to soothe the blisters he already had. Unfortunately, they might only get worse if he didn’t get out of the sun soon. “Then perhaps, if you don’t wish such a fate as blistered skin upon your darling, you should leave so he may dress.”

Carolina nearly lost her grip on her chicken leg. “Now, I’m certainly not leaving.”

“Why, so you might torture me longer?”

“No, because you just admitted to being my darling.”

“You know that wasn’t what I meant.” He brought his cupped hand up to the surface of the water and moved it in a sweeping semi-circle, creating a large spray of water. “Why are you here?”

“To enjoy a picnic.”

“And it’s just a coincidence you decided to have your picnic forty feet from a naked man?”

“Actually, it is. I didn’t know you were here when I came to the pond.”

A few minutes went by with John treading water and Carolina happily eating her lunch.

“Why are you really here, Carolina,” he burst out at last.

“I told you. I came to the pond to have a picnic.”

Banks Brothers' Brides Series, His Yankee Bride, Story Sample

Sample Sunday ~ His Yankee Bride

[Edited to add, I must not have scheduled it for the right day! Sorry. Anyway, since books have no expiration dates, I think we can say that samples don’t go stale, either, so here ya go!]

This week, we’ll follow the story of that overly bubbly, mother of all things scandalous: Carolina Ellis as she snags John aka Trouble and becomes a member of the Banks family in the book His Yankee Bride.

Red Beauty

To set the scene, Carolina and John have met a few days prior at a ball in Charleston where Carolina is just SURE he’s the one for her. Then, when she sees him again around town, she knows it’s true: he’s the one she’s to marry. Only her mother is not so convinced and when her father demands they return to the plantation, her mother is quite pleased to take Carolina home. But then, fate steps in again and when John shows up there, too, as a guest to her long-lost brother, Carolina is absolutely 100% sure he’s to be her husband and decides to talk to him about something of the utmost importance:


The muscles in John’s arm tensed. Slowly, he turned his head around to meet Carolina’s soft brown eyes. “Yesh?” he asked around the two nails he was holding between his teeth.

“I was hoping to talk to you.”

He turned his attention back to the fence post and board in front of him, then took one of the nails from between his teeth and put it into position. “It’ll have to wait,” he said, driving a nail into the board he was holding.

She didn’t leave. “Why can’t we talk now?”

Why did she always ask him questions when he was working? Wait. He knew the answer to that. Because, other than the night of the ball, that was the only time she’d ever seen him. He took the other nail from his lips. “How about if we talk later?” he suggested.

“No,” she said, stepping closer to him. “I need to talk to you now. It’s important.”

He cast her a sidelong glance. What could she possibly have to say to him that was that important? He shook off the thought. Females, he’d learned, thought everything was of the utmost importance. He lifted the nail to the board and tightened his grip on his hammer, ready to swing. “And you’re sure it cannot wait until a more opportune time?”

She shook her head so vehemently that two tendrils of her curly hair came loose. “It’s about our wedding,” she said just as he gave his hammer a hearty swing.

John’s hammer collided with his nail.

Unfortunately, not the metal one that would attach the two boards; no, his hammer hit his nail, his thumbnail to be exact.

“Confound it all!” he burst out, tucking his thumb against his palm and curling his fingers around it.

“Are you all right?” she asked, her small hands reaching for his.

He pulled his hand away. “I’m fine,” he replied, but only if fine meant being in severe pain from hitting oneself with two pounds of solid metal.

She didn’t seem a bit put off by his reaction and reached for his hand again. “Let me see.”

“No,” he bit off. “I think you’ve done enough.”

“I don’t recall hitting you with the hammer.”

“You might as well have,” he muttered to himself, squeezing his thumb as tightly as he could.

“What’s that to mean?”

He gritted his teeth. “Nothing; just go, so I can get back to work.”

“But I need to talk to you.”

He stared at her and suddenly the discomfort in his thumb was quickly being replaced with another sort of discomfort, the one that had caused him to hit himself with the hammer in the first place.

“When did you plan to return to England?”

“As soon as possible.”

Her cheeks grew pink, and the smile that spread her lips was enough to make a man’s heart stop. “Well, not too soon. Weddings take time to plan, don’t you know?”

There she went again talking about a wedding. “What wedding?” he burst out, his stomach knotting in anticipation of her answer.


“Yes, I heard that the first time.” He sighed and leaned back against the fence post. “Carolina,” he started. For some reason he couldn’t name or place, he preferred to use her full name. And it had nothing to do with her preferring it; at least, that’s what he told himself. “I don’t know what I might have said or done to make you think there would be a wedding taking place where I would be your bridegroom, but I’m returning to England—alone—as soon as I earn enough for my passage.” To be quite blunt, she’d have better luck waiting for her mother to grow a heart than for him to exchange vows with her.

It wasn’t that he didn’t like her; he did, well, in a way. She was as annoying as his older brothers used to claim him to be. But still, there was something about her… Something fresh and unique; something intriguing and intoxicating; something he didn’t want—nay, didn’t need—to discover.

“Mmmmhmmm,” she hummed in a sing-song tone, stealing his attention. “That’s what I thought.”

He scowled. “What’s what you thought?”

She gave a sigh worthy of an actress who’d spent her whole life on Drury Lane. “Your pride and your heart are at war, John.”

He knit his brow. What was she talking about? Nonsense, if he had to describe it. “Listen to me, please. I have no intention of marrying you.”

She looked unmoved.

Praying she wouldn’t ask him to elaborate further than what he planned to tell her, he said, “Carolina, for the majority of my life, I’ve been practicing what my brother Edward calls near honesty and haven’t knowingly told a lie for nearly ten years.”

She grinned at him. “See, you haven’t knowingly told a lie, which is why you’re lying to me now; you just don’t know it’s a lie.”

John groaned. “No. I’m not. Carolina, we’re from two entirely different worlds. We cannot marry.”

“Then just put aside your pride about accepting work from my father and then we’ll get married.”

John’s jaw dropped. “What, pray tell, has transpired between us in the last four days that has made you certain I planned to ask you to marry me?” he asked, matching her blunt tone.

She shrugged. “It’s your eyes.”

“Pardon? My eyes?” he asked, blinking.

“They told me so,” she said simply.

“I wasn’t aware eyes could speak.”

“Normally, they don’t. But yours do.” She grinned at the blank look he must have on his face. “See, I’m not one who puts a lot of credit in someone’s words. To me, their facial expressions—including eyes—say far more. It’s a gift, really. And your eyes, John Banks, say you want to marry me.”

“Really? And why have I never before heard of this—this—” he made a rolling gesture with his hand in hopes he’d think of a better word than preposterous— “unusual phenomenon of my eyes telling a young lady of my feelings for her?”

“Because you’ve never been in love before,” she said matter-of-factly.

John took a deep breath and closed his eyes, lest they tell her of the annoyance he felt toward her at the moment. He pinched the bridge of his nose then rubbed his closed eyelids. He hated the thought of saying something cruel to her; she might be an annoyance, but she didn’t deserve cruelty. Unfortunately, he didn’t know how he could explain what he was thinking without being cruel. “Carolina,” he said uneasily, forcing himself to meet her eyes again. “I think you’re a fine young lady, but I’m not ready to get married.”

“That’s all right,” she said airily. “Mother would never agree to a short engagement anyway.”

“No, your mother doesn’t seem the sort who would agree to any engagement between the two of us.” He sighed. “But that’s not the point.” Swallowing hard, he took her hands in his. “Do you remember when you told Mr. Cale you’d make a fine wife for someone, just not him? The same could be said for me.”

She recoiled as if he’d slapped her.

His eyes widened. “Wait, that’s not how I meant it,” he said with a ragged breath. “I think you’ll be a wonderful wife, but I’m not the husband you need. You need someone who—” He racked his brain for a positive adjective that didn’t fit him, but couldn’t be considered an insult to her—sadly, no such adjective came to mind. He sighed in frustration at his lack of finding the right words. Her brown eyes were still penetrating his and he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “Right now you think you’re attracted to me because I’m somewhat of a curiosity. But that will pass. In a week or two, you’ll wake up and realize that I was nothing more to you than a passing fascination.”

She didn’t respond, and that bothered him more than if she had. The workings of her mind were a puzzle he doubted even Edward could solve. He nearly snorted. That wasn’t much of a stretch. Edward had the hardest time determining his own wife’s feelings and desires. In fact, it was John who had to help him. But, as easy as it was to recognize what did and didn’t interest Regina, where Carolina was concerned, he was at a loss. The only thing he knew for certain was that while she was the most beautiful creature he’d ever laid eyes on, she was also the most willful and brazen. How fortunate for him she had somehow taken into that unusual mind of hers the notion that one day, presumably in the not-so-distant future, they would be wed.

Her hands squeezed his a fraction tighter. “Very well. I’ll let you get back to that fence.”

Then, before he could have a chance to question her motives and talk her out of trying anything foolish, she fled.

Banks Brothers' Brides Series, Groom Series, Her Imperfect Groom, Her Reluctant Groom, Her Secondhand Groom, Her Sudden Groom, His Brother's Bride, His Contract Bride, His Jilted Bride, His Yankee Bride, Intentions of the Earl, Liberty for Paul, Officer Series, Officer Series, Reader Questions, Scandalous Sisters Series, The Officer and the Bostoner, The Officer and the Southerner

Which Book is WHOSE???

Two years ago, I never really anticipated this, but being emailed every few days to inquire about a reading order, really isn’t a bad thing. However, I wanted to post this here for those who are wondering, so they don’t have to wait on my response.

First, I should mention that The Officer Series isn’t really connected to my other books so they can be read first or last, it doesn’t really matter.

Now, for the others, I’d strongly suggest to read them in the order I wrote and published them. Why? Because though two of them are prequels, I was able to write in events/activities that are described in the earlier books without any sort of explanation other than “that’s just the way it is/was.”

So if you’re new to me, I’d suggest you read them like this:


Intentions of the Earl

Liberty for Paul

To Win His Wayward Wife



Her Sudden Groom

Her Reluctant Groom

Her Secondhand Groom

Her Imperfect Groom



HIs Contract Bride

His Yankee Bride

His Jilted Bride

His Brother’s Bride


Now, if you are one who MUST read things in chronological order, I’d say to read them like this:



HIs Contract Bride

His Yankee Bride



Intentions of the Earl

Liberty for Paul

To Win His Wayward Wife



Her Sudden Groom

Her Reluctant Groom

Her Secondhand Groom

Her Imperfect Groom



His Jilted Bride

His Brother’s Bride


His Contract Bride and His Yankee Bride are prequels that are about the parents of the siblings/cousins in the other books.


I know just listing it out doesn’t really “help” everyone, so if you’re more of a visual person, I’ve attempted to make a family tree as best I could on here.


Edward & Regina—His Contract Bride

Alex & Caroline
Her Sudden Groom

Elijah & Amelia
His Jilted Bride

Henry & Laura

His Brother’s Bride

Edwina & Sir Wallace

Her Imperfect Groom

John & Carolina—His Yankee Bride

Brooke & Andrew

Intentions of the Earl

Madison & Benjamin

To Win His Wayward Wife

Liberty & Paul

Liberty for Paul

(Naturally born Banks family members are in bold. Also, I’d strongly suggest NOT reading them in this particular order, I write it out this way so you could see birth order.)

Two books that I’ve written that aren’t part of the Officer Series are NOT listed in this family tree–Her Reluctant Groom, which is about Alex’s friend Marcus. His parents, however, are witnessed in action in His Contract Bride. Also, Her Secondhand Groom is also not a “Banks book”. It’s about Marcus’ other friend–Patrick. When I first got the idea for the Groom Series, Marcus was to be the main “connection” between the heroes. They were both friends with him. But when I got Sudden and fell in love with Edward (and of course John threw a curveball at me when he mentioned that the circumstances surrounding his and Carolina’s marriage were not up for discussion), I decided I needed to write about them. This was also the case with the whacky Sir Wallace in Reluctant. I loved him INSTANTLY and knew almost immediately who would be the perfect heroine for this imperfect groom.

Clear as mud?


His Yankee Bride

I’ll be on Blog Talk Radio Today

Today at 12pm MST, I’ll be interviewed on Blog Talk Radio by the wonderful Coral Russell. The topic will be about His Yankee Bride (I chose this book because it’s the one I’ve got going on sale right now) as well as general questions about writing and some of my other books.

This is my first time doing this, and I’m really excited for the opportunity, but I have to admit that I’m a little nervous about it, too; so I’ll need your support in one (or more) of the following ways:

1. Come and Listen. Here’s the link for Blog Talk Radio.

2. Call in and ask a question. Here’s the number: (619) 639-4653

3. Prayers, lots and lots of prayers. I’m really not an eloquent speaker, so I can only hope that I don’t embarrass myself as this will be live.

I’m not sure I should tell you all this or not…but if you miss it, they usually keep an archive on their site so you can listen later.

That’s all. Now, it’s time to go breathe deep into a paper sack until it’s time!

Happenings, His Yankee Bride

His Yankee Bride is now available as an Audiobook!

For those interested, my second audiobook, His Yankee Bride, became available a few days ago!
Yankee audio

At nineteen John Banks decides to board a ship bound for America—oblivious of who he’ll find when he arrives.

Having grown up on a large indigo plantation, the expressive and possibly overdramatic, Carolina Ellis can hardly wait to see what the gentlemen of Charleston will be like. But alas, they were not what she’d been hoping for. Ball after ball and dance after dance, Carolina is disappointed time and again.

Then she sees him…

Boston and Philadelphia held no appeal to John, so on a suggestion from a friend, he headed south to the booming town of Charleston, South Carolina. Not meaning to become the center of attention, John becomes exactly that when he walks right into the largest social event of the year dressed like nothing more than a poor drifter.

So what is a penniless man to do when in such a situation? The only thing he can do: rely on his sense of humor to extinguish the tension.

Immediately, Carolina takes a shine to this unusual man and his equally unusual humor and is determined she will do whatever it takes to marry him—Southern aristocracy be damned.

This book has the same talented narrator: Michelle Anne Johnson and you can listen to a sample here!

Accomplishments, Contests, Happenings, His Jilted Bride, His Yankee Bride

The MOTHER of all things SCANDALOUS (well, just three daughters…)!

Red Beauty

I always knew the mother of the three scandalous sisters: Brooke, Madison and Liberty was forward, stubborn, determined, and all for breaking any rule she could. Now I know just how much!

Two weeks ago, I announced that the calm Regina and blunt Edward, cast of, His Contract Bride had won the Silken Sands Self-Published Star Award (which is a readers choice award).

Well…leave it to Carolina the heroine of His Yankee Bride and her forward approach to everything (and not backing down for anything) to be a finalist in the Colorado’s Romance Writers Award of Excellence! This is one of the few contests that’s open to any published book, no matter who the publisher. I scanned the list and only recognized three or four finalists out of the 45+ in all categories that weren’t with a traditional publishing house. So, even if I don’t win my category (winners are announced June 8), for me, just being a finalist in such a well-known contest with some of these other very prominent names is very humbling and exciting all at the same time!

So in honor of that…I think another chance to win a signed copy or two of His Yankee Bride is in order.

This time, instead of leaving comments (which you’re welcome to do, if you’d like) if you will share on Facebook about my current sale at Amazon for Jilted being at $.99 (yes, this was supposed to end on Monday but despite my efforts to change the price back, it’s stuck… So feel free to take advantage and buy a copy for yourself, a friend, etc.) Please go to this page and share the top post about this sale. I can only keep track of shares done from my original post, if you share it directly off of Amazon I have no way of knowing seeing who you are and adding you to the list of entries.

I’ll randomly pick one winner for every 30 shares the status gets between now and Friday at 6pm CST so feel free to ask others to share the status, too, if you want to increase the number of prizes.

Contests, His Yankee Bride

The winner of the Caption Contest is…



“If my shelf-mate ‘All Signs Point to Murder’ gets any closer to me (or tries to steal my man), there WILL be murder.”

Thanks everyone who came up with something. This was really fun! I do/did have an announcement regarding this book…but after waiting ALL DAY LONG for permission to post it, it didn’t happen (get permission that is, the exciting thing is still a go). Maybe tomorrow.  I did want to post this though. Have a great night!