Category Archives: Victorian Romance

#SALE • THE MANNEQUIN • Sweet Victorian romance

This weesgrmannequin6x9k, you can read The Mannequin for only 99 cents (or free via kindleunlimited)! This countdown deal is available Monday, July 11 through Friday, July 15, so don’t wait.

~ Suzanne

Blurb: When she was a poor country girl in a hand-me-down dress, Rosamund saved the Duke of Swanhaven from the brink of despair…only to fall in love with him. Now a celebrated mannequin for an exclusive London dressmaker, her glamorous life is empty without the man to whom she gave her heart. Can a beastly duke and a beautiful mannequin ever find a fairy-tale ending?

What reviewers on Amazon are saying: (198 five-star reviews!)

“I loved this story and all its twists and turns.” – maebelle

“[A] poignant tale of love, loss, and heartbreak.” – Juli D

“Engaging, romantic, fast paced, happiness, sadness.” – Colleen CF

“I would compare this to books written by Georgette Heyer or Barbara Cartland.” – Thomas Quarles

To read a sample of The Mannequin, click HERE.

To go directly to Amazon, click HERE.

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Historical Research • Grace Unmasked

Krakatoa_east_of_javaWhen I was writing Grace Unmasked, I did some research on what historical events had taken place in 1883. I was hoping to incorporate something of interest, of course, to add to the historical ambiance. The eruption of the volcano on Krakatoa caught my eye, and triggered a childhood memory. My parents had taken the family to see a disaster movie entitled Krakatoa, East of Java, and I’d been riveted. The plot of the movie didn’t stand out to me as much as the special effects at the end, when the filmmakers sought to portray the explosive eruption and the resulting tsunami. I found a copy of the movie and watched it again. Considering what was available in terms of special effects in 1969, I was still impressed.

I did a little more research on the eruption itself, purchasing a used copy of Simkin and51lwTNmqYPL._SX381_BO1,204,203,200_ Fiske’s Krakatau 1883. In it, there are many fascinating eyewitness accounts of the event, and facts about the aftereffects. For example, the violent eruption destroyed most of the island of Krakatau. The explosion could be heard over 1/13th of the earth’s surface. The resulting ash cast the Sunda Strait (which connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean) into darkness for almost 24 hours, and giant waves over 40 meters (appx. 131 feet) above sea level destroyed everything in their path. In addition, over 36,000 people were killed. The volcanic dust veil created spectacular atmospheric effects over a vast distance and lowered global temperatures as much as 1/2 degree Celsius in the following year. In fact, temperatures didn’t return to normal until five years later.

Sunda_strait_map_v3News of the disaster traveled quickly because of the telegraph system, and papers around the world carried the story the day after the massive eruption had occurred.

Now, Grace Unmasked is set in England, which is nowhere near Krakatau. So how did this event find its way–albeit indirectly–into the narrative? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

~ Suzanne

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On the heels of an unjust accusation, Grace flees from her country village to the anonymity of London. Although she intends to seek sanctuary with her cousin Joe Fiddick, she discovers he’s also suffered a setback and needs more help than she can offer. Desperate, she solicits assistance from Joe’s friend–the notorious rake, Lord Henley. Will the price of the handsome baron’s help be more than she’s willing to pay?

Grace Unmasked is available for the Kindle HEREScreen Shot 2016-01-09 at 12.22.20 PM

 

Eating Elephants and Writing Grace Unmasked

“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.”

– U.S. Army General Creighton W. Abrams, Jr.

sgrmannequin6x9How do you write a sequel to a popular book that’s sure to please everyone? You can’t, of course. When I planned the sequel to my bestselling book The Mannequin, however, I re-read the reviews to get an idea what readers enjoyed most. Ultimately, I concluded that lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place. I didn’t want to tell the same story a slightly different way, so I vowed to begin fresh. Easier said than done!

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Pygmalion by Jean-Baptiste Regnault, 1786

You see, when I wrote The Mannequin, I didn’t start out to write a novel based on Cendrillon (Cinderella), La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast), or Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. As the story unfolded, however, I wove in some familiar elements, hoping to strike an emotional chord. In the development of Grace Unmasked, however, I wanted to draw on other inspiration. I chose the mythological figure of Pygmalion, a sculptor who falls in love with his creation. Many 20th Century plays, musicals, and movies have been written about Pygmalion, most notably George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, the musical My Fair Lady, and even Gigi.

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Actress Mary Anderson as Galatea (1883)

Since Grace Unmasked is set in 1883, I had to find a version of Pygmalion written early enough to warrant a mention in the narrative. I chose Pygmalion and Galatea, a play written by W.S. Gilbert. (Download a .pdf copy from Boise State University website HERE). The three-act blank verse production opened at the Haymarket Theatre in December, 1871, was quite popular, and sparked many imitations. Although Grace Unmasked is not a retelling of the myth, I touch upon a similar theme.

One other interesting aspect of Grace Unmasked is its length. I’d wanted it to be longer than The Mannequin (over 64,000 words), but I hadn’t planned for it to exceed 96,000 words!  As Abe Lincoln said, when asked how long a man’s legs should be, “Long enough to reach the ground.” I wrote until the story was done…for the most part. That is to say, there are a few characters who might warrant a third book in the series. 😀

~ Suzanne

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Blurb: On the heels of an unjust accusation, Grace flees from her country village to the anonymity of London. Although she intends to seek sanctuary with her cousin Joe Fiddick, she discovers he’s also suffered a setback and needs more help than she can offer. Desperate, she solicits assistance from Joe’s friend–the notorious rake, Lord Henley. Will the price of the handsome baron’s help be more than she’s willing to pay?

Grace Unmasked is available for pre-order at a special price HERE. Release date Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

Excerpt from Grace Unmasked

MANNEQUINTWOFINALCOVERWhen Henley entered the breakfast room, he was somewhat startled to see a young lady standing in front of window, looking out at the garden view. He’d known Miss Fiddick would be joining him for breakfast, but he hadn’t pictured her looking quite so fetching from the back. She turned as he cleared his throat, and gave him a beaming smile. Dressed as she was the day before, he hadn’t noticed her even white teeth, tiny waistline, or clear blue eyes. Albeit grudgingly, he acknowledged to himself the girl had possibilities. It was a shame her charms would be wasted as the wife of some country farmer or school teacher. Inwardly he shrugged. Never had anyone’s business been less his problem.

“Good morning. How are you feeling?”

“With the help of liniment, I should survive.”

“I’m very glad.” He gestured toward the chafing dishes and platters of food set up on the sideboard nearby. “I hope you’re hungry.”

“Indeed, I am.” She glanced at his arm. “May I help you with your plate?”

“That’s very thoughtful, but Morris will assist me.”

After they were settled at the table, the girl began spouting a long list of things she admired about his lifestyle, including indoor lavatories, hot water, and milled soap. Then came an equally long litany of gratitude, from his leniency regarding her deception, to the kindly ministrations of Ursula, and thereafter for her clothes. He let her conversation flow past, unheeded, as he ate the egg dish Mrs. Evans had prepared.

“Lord Henley, had you heard the quagga has gone extinct?”

He glanced up. “What?”

“The last one in the entire world just died in Amsterdam. It’s rather sad, really.”

His eyebrows drew together. “The quagga, did you say?”

“Yes. It’s a species of zebra, native to South Africa.”

“I’ve not heard of it.”

“I rather doubted you had.”

Her tone held a note of reproach, and he chuckled. “I suppose this is your way of pointing out I’ve been neglecting you?”

“I’d never dream of making such an accusation.”

“No, of course not, but you’re right. You should know that I’m exceedingly absorbed with myself. It’s a personal failing of mine.”

She gave him a little smile. “I shan’t let you off that easily; I expect I was prattling on.” She shrugged. “I’ve no idea how to converse with a baron.”

“Neither do I, actually. Whenever I talk to myself, it’s usually about the weather.”

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Blurb: On the heels of an unjust accusation, Grace flees from her country village to the anonymity of London. Although she intends to seek sanctuary with her cousin Joe Fiddick, she discovers he’s also suffered a setback and needs more help than she can offer. Desperate, she solicits assistance from Joe’s friend–the notorious rake, Lord Henley. Will the price of the handsome baron’s help be more than she’s willing to pay?

Grace Unmasked • Book Two of The Mannequin Series is available HERE for pre-order at the special price of $0.99.  Release date: May 31, 2016.

 

RONE Nominee Needs Your Vote

GiftforFionaSGRInD’Tale Magazine’s annual RONE awards are in the voting phase, and A Gift for Fiona needs your vote! The book is nominated in Week Four (May 9 – 15, 2016), under the category Young Adult General, and the author name listed is S.G. Rogers. You must be logged in to your account to vote, so if you’re not already registered, why don’t you take a moment to sign up? It’s free, and you’ll receive a beautiful monthly online magazine listing reviews and articles on all different literary genres. The Week Four link is HERE, so don’t wait! Thanks in advance for your support. 😀

~ Suzanne

 

Grace Unmasked • The Mannequin Book Two

MANNEQUINTWOFINALCOVEROn the heels of an unjust accusation, Grace flees from her country village to the anonymity of London. Although she intends to seek sanctuary with her cousin Joe Fiddick, she discovers he’s also suffered a setback and needs more help than she can offer. Desperate, she solicits assistance from Joe’s friend–the notorious rake, Lord Henley. Will the price of the handsome baron’s help be more than she’s willing to pay?

This sweet Victorian sequel to The Mannequin will be published on May 31st, 2016, but is available to pre-order at the special price of $0.99 HERE.

#Freebie • Sweet Victorian Romance LARKEN

RWS_Tarot_13_DeathThe deadline to pay the taxman cometh in the USA on Monday, April 18, but be of good cheer! Even as your bank account empties, your Kindle can fill with a freebie. From Sunday, April 17 through Tuesday, April 19, my sweet Victorian romance, Larken, is absolutely free.

LARKENSGRBlurb: The sole survivor of a train accident, young Larken Burke is dubbed the Miracle Orphan. Four years later, however, her life is far from fortunate. Because of her emotional and physical scars, she believes she’s not marriageable. With little hope for the future, she agrees to wed a gentleman she’s never met. Unfortunately, his aloof manner proves difficult to bear.

Marked by romantic tragedy and the loss of his brother, Brandon King has forsworn marriage. Obliged to take in a ward, he advertises for a bride to raise the boy. Since the union is to be a marriage in name only, his criteria are youthful age, a certain level of intellect, good breeding, and that the girl shouldn’t be so ill-favored she would embarrass him in society. To his dismay, he gets more than he’d bargained for.

Will it take a miracle for Mr. and Mrs. King to fall in love, or is their marriage another accident waiting to happen?

Go HERE to get your freebie, and don’t forget that review!

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APOLLOSGRGraceling Hall Series

The sequel to Larken is Lord Apollo & the Colleen.

Blurb: Five years after his supposed death, Theo King has returned to Graceling Hall…but a mystery remains. A stranger is buried in his grave, and nobody knows if his death was accidental…or murder. As Theo resumes his former life, the dead man’s sister shows up on his doorstep to hold him accountable. If he helps this Irish spitfire solve the mystery, will she finally leave him in peace?

Lord Apollo & the Colleen is available HERE.

#Freebie • RUSE & ROMANCE

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(c) Ales Krivec/courtesy of Unsplash

April showers bring May flowers, so they say, but today it’s raining books. Pick up a copy of Ruse & Romance (The Beaucroft Girls Book One) and be swept away to a different era, when ladies and gentlemen were obliged to play by the rules of society.

sgrR&R6x9Blurb: Unjustly labeled a flirt, Kitty Beaucroft is in need of a fiancé. Lord Philip Butler’s father wants him to settle down before he can become a landowner. With no intention of following through, Kitty and Philip enter into a temporary engagement as a means to an end. Unfortunately, someone knows the truth and is determined to expose them. Will the ruse turn into a romance before it’s too late?

Ruse & Romance is free Monday, April 4th through Friday, April 8th, 2016. Go HERE to download your freebie, and if you enjoyed it, please don’t forget to leave a review! ~ Suzanne

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Get your Irish pride on!

~ Suzanne

Keep the Irish going with Lord Apollo & the Colleen!

APOLLOSGRBlurb: Five years after his supposed death, Theo King has returned to Graceling Hall…but a mystery remains. A stranger is buried in his grave, and nobody knows if his death was accidental…or murder. As Theo resumes his former life, the dead man’s sister shows up on his doorstep to hold him accountable. If he helps this Irish spitfire solve the mystery, will she finally leave him in peace?

Lord Apollo & the Colleen is the standalone sequel to the #1 Bestselling Young Adult Historical Romance Larken!

 

TRR Readers’ Choice Awards • Nominations

The Romance Reviews holds an annual Readers’ Choice Award competition for authors who have fifty of their closest friends and readers nominate their title(s). I have several books that need your votes in order to make it to the next round!

Under the category of Historical Romance are The Mannequin, Rake & Romance, and Lord Apollo & the Colleen.

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Under the category of Fantasy Romance are Dani & the Immortals and Whimsical Tendencies.

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You can either go to the entire list and scroll down until you see the category/title, or click the links to take you to book page for each individual title. It would be quite lovely if you could vote for my books. Getting to the next round means my book will be read by actual judges! Thank you in advance.  ~ Suzanne