Month: October 2016

A Chat With. . .Tammy Andreson

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Today at Chicks Rogues and Scandals I have the great pleasure of having the wonderful author Tammy Andreson join me. . .So take a seat and let’s get to know Tammy.

Author Bio

Tammy

Tammy lives with her husband and three children just outside Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in Blueberry field’s and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classic’s. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English Literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visit’s often.

Reading Chick : Hi Tammy, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals, Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today, Firstly what five word’s would you use to describe yourself?

Tammy : Oh jeez… In my own way shy, motivated, hardworking, motherly, and committed.

Reading Chick : Very nice, If you could live in any era and place, when and where would it be? And Why?

Tammy : When I was younger I dreamed of living during the period I now write in. It’s where many of my story ideas got their start. Now I am glad to live in the twenty first century, I like my shower. LOL But I love getting to take trips back in my mind through my books.

Reading Chick : Excellent, that is the beauty of reading Historical Romance isn’t it? You can travel back in time when ever you want, like you I do rather enjoy my home comfort’s. Ok! Who was your childhood hero?

Tammy : Hmmm…. I loved the story Mountain Laurel by Jude Deveraux in my teenage years. The hero in that book is my all-time favorite.

Reading Chick : Ooh! I have never heard of that book, I will have to look it up, very nice, Thank you Tammy. What is your favorite time of the year?

 Tammy : I love them all for different reasons. Summer may be my favorite because my kids are home with me.

Reading Chick : What better reason to love it? Ok a toughy, Out of all your work, who is your favorite character and why?

Tammy : Each character has something special but my favorite might be Graham from Stealing a Lady’s Heart. He is a classic hero who saves the damsel in distress while expecting nothing in return.

Reading Chick : Oh very nice, Your book’s are incredible, where does your inspiration for them come from?

Tammy : Thank you! I’m a bit of an introvert and I spend a lot of time, dreaming up tales in my mind. Those are the beginnings of my novels.

Reading Chick : What three tip’s would you pass on to an aspiring author?

Tammy : My first and second tip are to work hard and persevere. I know that sounds like what you would here for any endeavor but it holds true. An occasional author puts out one book that just explodes and makes them famous but most of us have to keep working to succeed. My third is ignore the bad reviews. You can learn from them but really amazing authors have been sunk by self-doubt.

Reading Chick :  Those are brilliant tip’s, Thank you. If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, dead or alive)

Tammy : Tom Cruise, Daniel Craig, and Tom Brady. That is a dinner that would be… inspirational!

Reading Chick : Oh. My. Goodness!! What a dinner party. . .Can I come, Please? Thank you again Tammy for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun . . . What is your all-time favorite naughty but nice food?

Tammy : Bacon mac and cheese!!

Reading Chick : Yummy!

To learn more about Tammy and her work then why don’t you pop along to her website and check out what she is up to.

Tammy Andreson Website

 

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Taming a Lady Wolfe (a Novella) ~ Review

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Tammy Andreson : Taming a Lady Wolfe (A Novella)

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The De Wolfe Pack Series

Back Blurb :

Lady Delia de Wolfe absolutely cannot marry the handsome rake, Roderick Maddox, fourth Duke of Manchester, despite her brother’s insistence she do just that. Though he has long reformed his ways, he steals her breath away every time their eyes meet and she simply doesn’t deserve that kind of happiness. Not after the death of her brother, Reginald. She must pay penance, because, if not for her, he would still be alive.

Roderick Maddox, has known for years he would marry Delia. Before Reginald’s death, he made a promise to his friend, not only would he care for Reginald’s sister, but he would reform himself into the type of man Delia deserved. He never expected Delia to ignite such passion or to be so resistant to him. Nor did he realize he held the secret about Reginald’s death that could crush their budding feelings forever.

My View :

It all start’s on one fateful day in 1790 Roderick Maddox; Duke of Manchester sail’s down the river toward’s De Wolfe Castle in the hope to meet his best friend’s sister Delia De Wolfe; when on top of the cliff he notices some commotion, one thing lead’s to another and both Delia and Roderick’s best friend Reginald fall from the cliffe, changing the lives of everyone involved from that point on. Year’s late and Roderick return’s this time not just to meet Delia but to finally make her his bride, the only problem is Delia has decided that because of what happened all those years ago she doesn’t deserve any kind of happiness and has resolutely decided that is she is going to be married off she is going to marry and old man where she can be live the rest of her life in purgatory.

That is untill she meet’s the tall, masculine, devilishly handsome rogue that just so happen’s to be a Duke and an old family friend and the man that she is to be betrothed to. From that moment on she tries her hardest to not be attracted to Roderick and equally tries to hardest to push him away, the thing she didn’t count on was that he is as stubborn and sure-minded as he is handsome and the harder she tries to pull away from him the more he up’s the seduction.

“I declare this the best tea I have ever had. What is in it?” She closed her eyes. Roderick was the most handsome man she had ever met but his voice, almost as much as his proximity, was making her weak in the knee’s. think Reginald, she chanted to herself.

“I never share my recipe. I have three sisters in law who have been trying to get it out me for years.” She tried to roll again but he stepped up behind her, hand’s on her hip’s. Her teeth snapped together. If he didn’t stop touching her, she might lose her mental facilities.

“I must warn you that former rogues have ways of extracting these types of secrets.” His breathe tickled the skin of her neck and her insides melted into a puddle.

This opening grab’s your attention and you cannot stop reading untill you have reached the last page, I really like the simplicity of the story about how an entire family have been marked for life by the tragic death of their brother. It is raw and emotional. A lot of stories in this genre you usually get a secondary, sub-plot where there you delve into secondary character’s that may or may not appear in future novel’s by the author, but not here, the story is focused on Delia and Roderick and I really like that. I like the fact that something as important as how the characters try to come to terms with their tragic loss takes centre stage, there is no fussy or complicated sub plot’s, which I think would ruin this book.

Apart from the sadness that our character’s are feeling throughout this is very fast paced from the minute we first meet our character’s to the last page you are spirited along at breakneck speed, but in a very good way. I think Tammy Andreson has done a very clever thing with this, she has got the emotional and sad part’s, but because this is very fast we are not getting stuck in their grief for too long, Tammy has made sure we are seeing our characters start taking their tentative step’s forward.

She stood frozen for half second, wondering if she should do this or not, when the door flew open and Roderick stood in the doorway, shirtless.

More tears poured down her face and, not even lowering her arm, Delia whispered, “Oh, Roderick.”

“What is it love?” he gathered her into his arms, and held her tight against him, closing the door with a firm click.

“I dreamed it again. The day I fell. Only this time you were there, you saved me” He breathing tightened, but his eyes held hers.

“I’ve wanted to tell you…”

biting her lip she tried to gather her thoughts, he had been there he had seen his friend die and he had saved her. She hadn’t known how she would react to this moment before being in it, but now with clarity, she knew she owed him everything. What was more Reginald had wanted Roderick to save her. It had been his choice and this was the life he wanted for her. What was more it was the life she wanted for herself.

Without anymore hesitation, she threw her arms around his neck and pressed her lips to his “Yes, I will be your wife.”

The characters themselves are well written, interesting with an air that you just know there is more to them, more that you want to know about them, Rodderick is definitely in that category. Roderick is a brilliant hero, and I know we all band that around a lot but in this case he genuinely is, with the way bring’s fragile and damaged Delia out of herself and help’s her to move on. He is also extremely smart, sexy and so self-assured that he does walk very close to being arrogant, but being a scandalous rogue what else would we expect. But the character that really caught my attention in Taming A lady Wolfe was Delia’s eldest brother and head of the De Wolfe clan; Stone De Wolfe. He is such an interesting man, quiet, brooding and fascinating and one that I definitely would love to know more about.

I really liked Taming A Lady Wolfe, it is a sweet and very likable little story of love and loss and I would definitely recommend it to other Historical Romance reader’s. Tammy Andreson is a very talented author with an intelligent mind, with a great sense of what we all love and want in a romance story.

 

 

 

Hotties Of The Week ~ Halloween Special

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It has been a while but Hottie’s Of The Week is back with a spooky, Halloween Special. Now I am not saying that any of my boy’s are scary they just have a penchant for dressing up so close the curtain’s, lock the door and sit back and be prepared to be scared. . .In a entirely terrifying scorching hot way.

Enjoy and have a terrifying Halloween. . .Mwa haha

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Colin O’Donaghue as Captain Hook
Russell Crowe ~ Gladiator
Russel Crowe as Maximillian; The Gladiator
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Benedict Cumberbatch as King Richard III
The Musketeers
Santiago Cabrera as Aramis
Clive Owen; King Arthur
Clive Owen as King Arthur
Men in Uniform
Paul McGann as Lieutenant William Bush
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Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow

I hope you have all enjoyed my Halloween Hotties, has your Hottie been featured if not let me know I would love to know who your Halloween Hottie is. So Happy Halloween and have a terrifying but safe night.

A Year In The Life Of A New Blogger

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First birthday cupcakeThis time a whole twelve month’s ago, this ordinary Yorkshire lass sat down and brought to life Chicks Rogues and Scandals, it doesn’t seem like two minutes since those first tentative step’s into blogging and even now after a year under my belt I still don’t know what I am doing. LoL!! But the last year has brought so much joy into my everyday life, I have met some incredible people who have supported me as I have taken my first wobbly step’s into the scary world of blogging.

As a bit of a thank you to all those who have been so generous with their support and kind word’s of advice, I thought I might share with you the story of how Chicks Rogues and Scandals came about. It’s not a very exciting story I’m afraid and there is no way it will be made into an oscar winning movie. But it’s mine and I wouldn’t change a thing.
So mid October 2015 I have just celebrated my birthday, not that I’m going to tell you the date because I really, really don’t like birthday’s, to me it’s just another day of the year. It comes and goes and to get away from the fuss and ado that surround’s said day I escaped the confines of the house and birthday stuff and went to the one place where I knew tearing-hair-out-2I wouldn’t have to suffer another round of “Happy Birthday”. My one sanctuary. The library. Yep! it is an odd place for a woman in her mid-twentie’s to escape to, that’s my embarrassing little secret, I do take refuge in libraries (Don’t tell anyone) . I’m telling you the librarian, who is a very good friend know’s me better than anyone. LoL!

As I am aimlessly wondering the around I over heard (OK! I was eavesdropping) a lady talking about this blog that she has come across on Facebook, the lady said that she then shared the post with her teenage daughter in the hope that she would get into reading and apparently said daughter is one of those that spend’s their entire day glued to their phones. True it doesn’t sound like a life altering conversation but for me the seed had been planted and I found it inspiring that this mother was trying to get her daughter into reading more by using a blog. I have to admit that hearing that did intrigue me so I started Googling and I found brilliant, well written and intelligent blog’s, blogs that inspire and entertain and I thought. Yes, I want to do that, the only thing that was really putting me off was, Do I know enough? Do I have anything to say? Will anyone really want to hear me ramble on?

But I thought, as all us Yorkshire folk do; bugger it! I want to do what all those bloggers are doing, I want to inspire just one person to pick up a book and that was it, once I had the idea i started researching. Yes! I did say researching, I read lot’s of book review blog’s, I looked at various blog platform’s and that it when i came across WordPress, which is just amazing, now I had found what i wanted to blog and where I wanted to blog the only real question was. What on earth do I call myself? I wanted it to be catchy and relevant to what Iwanted to share, you wouldn’t believe how many names I came up with but then I finally settled on Chicks Rogues and Scandals. It really is self explanatory.

But the biggest issue I did have is that I didn’t really feel comfortable blogging as myself even though I think everyone knows by now that my name is Frankie, I wanted to be anonymous the whole point of me blogging wasn’t about me, about who I am, about what I look like. it’s about getting more and more people reading and so I chose the Alias Reading Chick, it seemed rather apt.

Then came the nerve-racking first post. I know that my first review weren’t really much to look at but as the lovely comments and feedback and general support came in I have become more confidant and hopefully my reviews have become a little more readable. Obviously because I am a little eclectic and I don’t really go with the grain, I found that for me just posting reviews wasn’t enough I had to get my fingers in as many pies as I could. So to speak, and because I’m not the fastest reader. So we have seen the birth of my little off shoot series’ “A Little History” and “Hotties of the Week” which is just amazing the lovely feedback I have had from them. Especially the Hotties 🙂

goforitI have equally met some amazing authors who have not only been kind enough to participate in my “A Chat With” but incredibly, I have had outstanding authors contacting me to review their work. I am beyond amazed at that. I cannot believe just how well my little blog has been received, the Historical Romance blogging community is just brilliant, this bunch of strangers have been so kind and generous these are the salt of the earth and I feel very, very honored that they all have opened their arm’s so willing I just hope that I can do their open support and friendship justice and hopefully one day I will get my dream of getting just non-reader to pick up a book.

So there it is, the birth of Chicks Rogues and Scandals, thank you to everyone who has read, liked and shared my post’s.

My Crazy Year by Virginia Heath

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My Crazy Year

Virginia HeathOn the 22nd September 2015 I received a call which changed my life. It was from Harlequin Mills & Boons, offering me a two book contract. The eighteen months before that had been different. I had resigned from my full time teaching job as head of history at a local secondary school and had begun to write part time. It had been a two-year experiment. Two years to see if I could follow my dream and make a serious go of writing, after which, if I failed, I would always have a serious profession to fall back on. For three days a week I did supply teaching, which I hated but it gave me the freedom and the time to write, while the precious months of my experiment sped by and I feared the worst. 

 

But thankfully the call came. They loved That Despicable Rogue and, wonder of wonders, wanted another story, so on that momentous day I quietly ceased being a history teacher. I have not stepped into a classroom since. Instead, I began to write that tricky second book, full time, like a demon. I am sure most people would have been delighted to have received a publishing contract, and although I was, the worry about the second book created far more stress than the situation warranted. What if I was a one book wonder? What if they hated the second book and never offered me another contract? I would have to go back to teaching with my tail between my legs, knowing I had tried and failed to be a proper writer. I wrote Her Enemy at the Altar in six weeks, pressed send and waited for my editor’s judgement in a state of permanent angst.

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As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. That book led to another contract- three this time- and as I wrote the next book the fear of failure began to lift. The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide came out of a random idea whilst watching history documentary entitled A Very British Romance on the BBC. Dr Lucy Worsley did a tiny segment on Georgian etiquette manuals, explaining how they were so obsessed with doing things correctly, hundreds of these books were published giving everyone advice on everything from how to write a letter to how to lay out your puddings at a dinner table. I found the concept hilarious and, as these things so often do, started to mull over the prospect of basing a story around one. My hero, Bennett Montague, has written a bestselling book called ‘The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Bride’. It is filled with all of the nonsense typical of the age and completely underestimates women. Each chapter begins with one of his misguided pearls of wisdom. It stood to reason that my heroine Amelia had to be nothing like the perfect bride Bennett is seeking, and inevitably, chaos would ensue.

I loved writing that book. From the first word to the last the story just flowed and not once did I feel stressed about my abilities as a writer. Once again it was finished in six weeks and I began book four straight away. After Miss Bradshaw’s Bought Betrothal I began my first series, ‘The Wild Warriners’, feeling fairly confident that Harlequin Mills and Boon would want to buy the other three stories, and promptly took the entire summer off.

Ever since I was little and my beloved dog Pip died I had wanted another

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Trevor 

dog, but with a busy full time job and a husband who travels the world on business, I could never justify having one. Dogs need company and I did not think it was fair to force the poor thing to spend hours and hours every day alone in an empty house. However, now that I was a writer I could. Getting Trevor was a milestone. My gorgeous, good-natured and clumsy Labrador Retriever puppy signalled the official acknowledgment that my teaching career was well and truly over. Whether or not Harlequin offered me another contract, I was now completely committed to earning my living from writing. The alternative was unthinkable. No more long, pointless meetings. No more mountains of marking and no more Ofsted. Besides, I need to be at home because Trevor needs walking twice a day and we need to play tug and fetch, and he likes sleeping at my feet in my little office when I write. I can’t change his routine now!

I celebrated my anniversary as a proper writer by signing a new five book contract with Harlequin and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. A Warriner to Protect Her comes out next May, and will be followed sometime after that by A Warriner to Rescue Her. At the moment, I am working on a standalone Christmas story for December 2017, then I will write the other two Warriner books. I have no idea what the final book of this contract will be. Hopefully, an idea will present itself to me just like it did for my Discerning Gentleman, but I’m not worried about it anymore. I have the best job in the world- what is there to be stressed about?

The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide ~ Review

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The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide

Back Blurb :

“Choosing a wife is not a task that should be undertaken lightly.”

Bennett Montague, sixteenth Duke of Aveley, is seeking the perfect bride. He’s narrowed his search to five worthy “Potential”…until the arrival of his aunts companion unravels his carefully laid plan’s.

Having fought for everything she has, Amelia Mansfield is incensed by Bennett’s wife-selection method’s. But as she’s forced to spend time in his company, she begin’s to see another side to Bennett – and that man is infinitely more tantalizing and enticing…

My View :

Book three from Ms Heath is just as sensuous and romantic as the previous were, Bennett and Amelia are just the most adorable couple that we have had for a while, both are equally cynical and disillusioned in their own way and both are so set in their stubborn way’s that it is a miracle that either of them even made a move, but that just build’s up the atmosphere nicely and as we see them both struggle with their own personal demon’s and finally give in it is really, really lovely.

The whole idea of Bennett; the mighty Duke of Aveley writing a Guidebook about how to get the “Ideal/Perfect” wife is just so funny, especially as once we get to know the man beneath the title we realise that he doesn’t want any of those so-called ideal’s. Bennett want’s and deserves so much more than docile arm candy, and once he himself realises that small fact then we finally get to see the man.

” I am sorry about earlier, I am not sure what came over me”. A lie.

“I really didn’t mind, you know. If you should feel the sudden urge to kiss me again, I will not make any attempt to stop you.” He was flirting now, a little awkwardly, which she found utterly charming. her silly heart lurched even though she had intended to harden it.

” Kissing you is dangerous. It makes me forget all reasons.”

A completely male, totally arrogant smirk crept over his face. “That is excellent news.”

At first I wasn’t sure what to think about Bennett, he is exactly what is say’s on the box uptight and stodgy aristocratic politician and I hate to say but at first I didn’t warm to him as I have other character’s, but he soon turned my head as he slowly ditched the stodginess and embraced the man that he became. . .and what a man he is under all that prim and proper aristocrat, he is fiery, emotional and too intelligent and sexy for his own good. I like that even though he is an all-powerful Duke, he show’s real compassion for those not as fortunate as himself and he has a good heart.

Now Amelia, is the best heroine that I have come across for, ages, talk about rag’s to riches fairytale, well Cinderella has nothing on this girl. She know’s what’s it like to be not just on the bread line but miles below it, she is a tough cookie and from what she has had to go through in her short life so far it is not surprising, she went to hell and back and yet she still managers to be so sweet and lovely. but she doe’s have her flaws too she is so untrusting of the aristocracy, especially titled men, but that insecurity makes you warm to her the more, I just love the way she bring’s out the real Bennett, she shows him life from another perspective; something that he has never done in his life and because of her he does come in to his own

There are just so many lovely part’s of this book, my personal favorite is when Amelia takes Bennett to work in a soup kitchen in Seven Diles, she literally dresses a Duke as a peasant and put’s him to work, something that he hasn’t ever done in his life. She shows him what life is like for the poor and in that moment he finally understand’s and strife’s to better himself and help other’s. That is just so beautifully written and portrayed and definitely the making of this interesting man.

He knew about coal mines and came to slums to see thing’s from another point of view, a man who hid in gardens because he felt awkward and knew about the stars. A lethal conundrum of a man who looked like sin and like it too.

When he shared a joke with the old man, than sat next to him to listen to his stories, her heart melted. As if he felt her staring at him, he looked her way. The ghost of a smile touched his lips and those intense silver-blue eyes told her that he finally understood what it was about this place drew her.

Understood and approved.

I loved the previous book Her Enemy at The Alter and once I find myself attached to one book and character I do have this awful habit of comparing the authors best work with all the rest and then obviously if the newest book from said author isn’t up to par then it is a huge disappointment, then I start worrying what the next one will be like. I hate to say it but I have done the exactly same with Virginia Heath I adored her Enemy at the Alter, especially the hero Aaron. But there really wasn’t anything to worry about here because The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide is right up there with book’s that you love and can read and re-read over and over again and never get bored.

When he took her hand gently and pressed a soft kiss into her palm, she melted.

“I know that you have every reason to distrust men with titles and I know that the idea of being controlled by one terrifies you. But you really mustn’t worry. What makes you think I could force my own will on you, my darling when I cannot even get my own butler to stop drinking my Port?”

“he’s right miss,” Lovett said from beside his position by the fireplace. “I drink gallon’s of the stuff. I have done for year’s and I fully intend to continue”.

That just goe’s to show just how talented Ms Heath is as a novelist, she catches your attention from page one with witty and entertaining characters’ and plot and hold’s it to the very last page and that is exactly what she has done here.

The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide, is classically witty, engaging and so sexy exactly what you would want for a historical Romance novel, and it is a pure joy to read, Virginia Heath is fast becoming the go to author for this genre.

The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide is released on 1st November.