Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Winter Snow-Warmers

As I write this, we have snow, snow, snow here in Vienna and it is freeeeeezing!

So, there's only one thing to do at a time like this. Indulge yourself with something warm, romantic and seductively pleasurable...

Er - well of course if you can get your hands on Josh Holloway, well done you!

For us mere mortals, here's something from Vienna to warm the cockles of your heart (and lots of other important little places):



¾ cup (6 fl. oz) water
¾ cup (6 fl. oz) white sugar

1 cinnamon stick
1 orange
10 whole cloves
1 (750ml) bottle red wine


1. Take a saucepan and add to it the water, sugar and cinnamon stick. Bring the ingredients to the boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer

2. Halve the orange and squeeze the juice into the simmering water

3. Push the whole cloves into the outside of the orange peel and add the peel to the saucepan. Simmer for a further 30 minutes

4. Add the bottle of wine and gently heat. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL AND DO NOT SIMMER (you don't want to lose all that lovely alcohol!).

5. Remove the clove-studded peel and serve the Glühwein hot in mugs, or glasses which you have preheated in warm water. Don't use cold glasses as they are liable to break.

6. Curl up in your favourite armchair, watch your favourite movie, sip your  Glühwein and, above all:

Don't venture outside until Spring!


Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sunday with Amanda

Six Sentence Sunday draws to a close today, so thank you to all who have joined me, left comments and bought my book so far.

 Here's some more from Amanda:

 I climbed the wide staircase and made my way to my room, and that’s when I saw him, framed in the doorway of my bedroom, magnificent in his nakedness, knowing I wanted him. Did he know how relieved I felt that he had returned? 


The first word he had ever spoken to me, and he had used my name. How did he know it? But then, how was any of this possible?

Seducing Amanda is available here:    Barnes and Noble All Romance Books Kobo

You can read the other great Six Sentence Sunday authors here

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by fellow author, Sue Lyndon, whose sizzling sexy sci-fi , Surrender (Alien Warriors), has just been published. Thank you, Sue, for the nomination. :)

The Rules:
1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

7 Things About Me:

1. I adore cats and have never had less than three

  2. I have a weakness for Heisse Liebe (a very naughty ice cream dish slathered in cream and hot raspberries)
  3. I have never learned to drive (never felt the need to!)
  4. My favourite recording artist is the late, great Falco (remember Rock Me Amadeus?)

  5. The plot of Seducing Amanda came to me in a flash when I was lazing in the bath one night
  6. My favourite tree is the Ginkgo Biloba. In German it is known as the Fächerblattbaum, or fan leaf tree, on account of the shape of its leaves. These turn a glorious vivid yellow in autumn

7. I love dolls' houses and intend to turn over one room of my home to my collection (when I start it!)

 The 15 bloggers I am nominating for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award are...

1. Elin Gregory 
2. Tristram LaRoche
3. Dianne Hartsock 
4. Kiran Hunter
5. J.M. Stewart 
6. Dani-Lyn Alexander
7. Ashlynn Monroe 
8. Stacey Espino 
9. Katya Armock
10. Kaitlin Maitland   
11. Anne Lange
12. Robin Danner
13. Adonis Devereux
14. E.R. Pierce 
15. Jianne Carlo

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Notorious Lady Castlemaine

Lady Castlemaine
Samuel Pepys was enthralled by her beauty - others were appalled by her flagrant scheming and violent temper. The King adored her. Love her, or hate her, you could never simply ignore her. She was the infamous Barbara Palmer. History's notorious Lady Castlemaine.

 Described as tall, voluptuous and possessed of a gleaming mass of auburn hair, her eyes were violet and she had skin the colour of alabaster. Her mouth was as sensuous as she was amoral, and her temperament mercurial. The daughter of William Villiers (2nd Viscount Grandison), Barbara was born in 1641 and married Roger Palmer in 1659, two years before the King bestowed on him the title of lst Earl Castlemaine. 
1st earl Castlemaine

Theirs proved to be a faithless union as, soon after her marriage, her Royal affair with King Charles II began. In his famous diary, Samuel Pepys records in an entry made in 1660, that it is the King's intention "“to make her husband a cuckold”. The naughty diarist also recounts how  he "saw the finest smocks and linnen petticoats of my Lady Castlemaine’s, laced with rich lace at the bottom, that ever I saw; and did me good to look upon them”. 

Samuel Pepys

However, by the time of her separation from her husband, Pepys noted,  “I know well enough she is a whore”. 

King Charles II
Not that Lady Castlemaine was any more faithful to the King than she was to her husband. Her many lovers included Philip Stanhope,2nd Earl of Chesterfield, who may have fathered her first child, although her paternity was acknowledged by King Charles. Her royal lover was to acknowledge four more of her offspring over the years.

In 1662, while the King and his new Queen (Catherine of Braganza) were honeymooning, Barbara went into labour and gave birth to her second child at Hampton Court Palace. At court, she was awarded the position of the Queen's Lady of the Bedchamber although Catherine was only too well aware of Barbara's role in her husband's life and protested to the King about her appointment. He ignored her concerns. It didn't take the Queen long to realise who really wielded the power behind the throne.
Catherine of Braganza
As soon as she was firmly embedded at court, Lady Castlemaine began intriguing, showing especial hatred for Edward Hyde (Earl of Clarendon) who detested her with equal fervour and forbade his wife from visiting her. When Clarendon fell from power in 1667 (probably in no small way due to her influence), Pepys reported that she exhibited wild paroxysms of delight. It would appear that finding yourself out of favour with Lady Castlemaine, at the height of her power and influence, was not recommended. 

Frances Stuart
She had her rivals for the King's affection though - among them Nell Gwyn and Frances Stuart, the beautiful Duchess of Richmond and Lennox. Over the years, Barbara's influence over the King waxed and waned, but she was rewarded handsomely for her services rendered to the royal personage. In August 1670, she was created Countess of Southampton and Duchess of Cleveland and the King also settled an annual income of £4700 per year on her - a considerable sum in those days. He lavished houses and palaces on her - including the sumptuous Nonsuch mansion house - but she had a fatal weakness for gambling and lost her London residence (Cleveland House, St James's) and the contents of Nonsuch.

From around 1670, her influence over the King began to wane, so she consoled herself with less exalted lovers, including her second cousin (and likely father of her sixth child), John Churchill. He later became 1st Duke of Marlborough and was a direct ancestor of Sir Winston Churchill.

Louise de Kerouaille
Tired of her rages and weary of her constant demands, Charles slipped away from her, falling instead for the considerable charms of Louise de Keroualle, the beautiful, and seemingly more demure, Duchess of Portsmouth. For Charles though, the expression, "out of the frying pan and into the fire" could well have been coined, as a description of his transition from one scheming minx to another.

Barbara, when Duchess of Cleveland
Barbara moved to Paris, where she continued to indulge her love of political intrigues and take lovers. 

Shortly before King Charles died though, she returned to England and was reconciled with him. The two enjoyed one final evening together, a week before his death in February 1685. 

Soon after this, at the age of forty-five, she took up with the actor, Cardonnell Goodman, who may even have tried to poison two of her children. He later became known as a Jacobite conspirator, involved in a plot to kill King William III.
Beau Feilding
 In July 1705, her long estranged husband, Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine died and, in the same year, Barbara - now known as Duchess of Cleveland, married the infamous rake, Robert (Beau) Feilding. The marriage was annulled soon after, as he already had a wife!

On 9th October, 1709, she died at Chiswick at the age of sixty-eight, after suffering an oedema (known then as dropsy).

Barbara's descendents include: the late Princess Diana, Sarah, Duchess of York, Sir Anthony Eden and Serena, Viscountess Linley, daughter in law of the late Princess Margaret (the present Queen's sister). Lord and Lady Linley have two children - their daughter, Margarita having been a bridesmaid at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Their son, Charles, is the Queen's Page of Honour.

She can now be proud of her lasting legacy, but, with such a scandalous life, does Barbara rest in peace?

Maybe not. Her spirit is said to haunt her final home, Walpole House on Chiswick Mall, where she walks, with a heavy tread, to this very day...

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Your Sunday Seduction...With Amanda

 For Six Sentence Sunday, here's another extract from Seducing Amanda:

That night, I woke suddenly after a dreamless sleep, certain someone was in the room. I sat up,peering into the gloom. No moon shone through the curtains tonight. I switched on the lamp, its light bright enough to read by, but not so bright it made my eyes water. I caught my breath. There, moving up the bed, under the sheet, I saw a kind of rippling, like a small wave.

 Seducing Amanda is available here:    Barnes and Noble All Romance Books Kobo


You can read the other great Six Sentence Sunday authors here

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Vienna Valentine is My Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop is a chance for authors around the world to tell you what they’re working on.  Each author answers ten questions about their latest project, whether it’s a new or upcoming release, or a work in progress.  Then they tag more amazing writers to join the hop. Thanks to Anne Lange author of Worth The Risk, I am really excited to share my next novella with you…so here we go…. The Next Big Thing!

1. What is the working title of your book?

Vienna Valentine

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

My publishers - Etopia Press - were looking for some hot, erotic novellas with a Valentine's theme so my story grew from there.

3. What is the genre of the book?

Paranormal Erotic Romance. Be warned though, there are some very explicit sizzling scenes and menage involving Lesbian activity. Strictly for 18+, broadminded adults. If you don't fall into this category, don't say I didn't warn you!

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

For my main character - Nina - I would need a sexy, independent woman with plenty of spirit and a lot of layers to her character. I think Kate Hudson would be an excellent choice. 

The gorgeous, sexy Josh Holloway (who played Sawyer in Lost) would be ideal as my hunky leading man, Karl.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

On a hot summer's day in Vienna, a Valentine's dream is born...

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher?

Vienna Valentine will be published by Etopia Press

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I can't actually remember, but I think it was around a month

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Sharp Change by  Milly Taiden and possibly Five Haunting Nights by C.P. Foster would be picked up by the same readers but all our stories are different and unique in their own way

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I am always inspired by the beautiful city in which I live - Vienna - and I love paranormal erotic fiction. Putting all these ingredients together seemed like a perfect combination.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

As mentioned above, the sex is VERY hot and spicy but, also, the two main characters fall in love. It won't be all simple and straightforward though, because Karl has a secret...

Next author up? The irresistable and incomparable Daniel deLoite. Just click on his name to find out about his Next Big Thing.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Seducing Sundays...

Six more from Seducing Amanda for Six Sentence Sunday:

Since he had first appeared in one of the bedrooms soon after I arrived here, he had never told me his name, where he had come from, or anything about himself. And neither had she, the other one. 

He smiled, his deep brown eyes warming me in a sensual caress that seemed to penetrate deep within me. He extended his hand with its long fingers of an artist, maybe, or a poet. I reached out my hand until our fingers almost touched.

 “Soon,” he said, and just before I could grasp his hand, he was gone.

You can check out the other great authors on Six Sentence Sunday here

Seducing Amanda is available here:   
Barnes and Noble
All Romance Books