Identical Cousins • Rake & Romance

Back in the era of black and white television, The Patty Duke Show reigned supreme. The premise revolved around a rambunctious American girl (Patty Lane) and her identical, sophisticated Scottish cousin (Cathy Lane), who comes to live with her extended American family. Although the two girls resemble one another, they are polar opposites in terms of their tastes and personalities, thus leading to conflict.

The Patty Duke Show Intro

Perhaps my memories of the Patty Duke Show might have had a little to do with fashioning the premise for my Victorian novel, Rake & Romance. Inspiration comes from unlikely sources sometimes!

The cousins in Rake & Romance may resemble one another outwardly, but they could not be more different. Blackhearted Lord Gryphon is ungentlemanly in every respect whereas his cousin, Cody Gryphon, is everything worthy in a fellow–and a hero.

Like the first novel in the Beaucroft Girls series, a ruse is involved. Sweet and lovely Juliet isn’t quite as daring as her elder sister, however, and her efforts to create a creditable ruse don’t go quite as she plans.

Enjoy a sneak peek! ~ Suzanne

Excerpt:

Cody looked dashing and sophisticated in his elegantly tailored clothes, and Juliet was seized with an attack of nerves. Nevertheless, she cleared her throat and gave him a direct glance meant to convey a businesslike demeanor rather than one of coquetry.

“I’d like you to ruin me.” Despite her best intentions, her words were immediately followed by a blush. Why couldn’t she be more dispassionate?

His eyebrows rose. “What?”

“Just a little ruination, mind you. Nothing that can’t be hushed up in a few months or so.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m not understanding you at all.”

“You’re aware, of course, of the arrangement between Lord Moregate and your father regarding Stephanie and Lord Elbourne.”

“Yes. My father is quite keen on the subject.”

“What you don’t know is that Augustus has been widely expected to propose to me.”

“Actually, I’d heard rumors to that effect.”

Juliet’s eyes widened. “I hope Stephanie hasn’t heard those rumors!”

“Not of which I’m aware.”

A sigh of relief. “Good.”

“I’m sorry for any injury this arrangement has done to you. I can tell you’re quite partial to Lord Elbourne.”

“I am partial to Augustus, and would have accepted his proposal if he’d asked. But after a careful examination of my feelings, I can truly say I’m not in love with him.”

“You’re not?” His eyebrows drew together. “If your feelings aren’t injured, then what’s this about?”

“Once society learns Augustus has thrown me off, I’ll become an object of ridicule. I mean to publicly throw him off before anyone hears about his engagement to Stephanie. For that, I need you to ruin me…ever so slightly.”

He looked at her askance. “Won’t your reputation be forevermore tarnished?”

“I’d rather be a little tarnished than humiliated, Mr. Gryphon. An earl is about to pass me over for another woman. Do you really think my prospects will be improved by such a spectacular rejection?” She averted her eyes. “If I’m to be ruined anyway, I’d rather choose the method.”

“Have you no thought to my reputation?”

She waved her hands, dismissively. “Stephanie says you’re a rake, doesn’t she? Therefore, nobody will think less of you than they already do now. Amongst your male acquaintances, I daresay the rumor of a passing indiscretion would be well received. Besides which, you’re leaving for Texas before too long, so what does your reputation matter?”

“Of course.” He folded his arms over his chest. “For the sake of curiosity, what sort of ruination did you have in mind?

Blurb: Juliet’s plans to wed Lord Elbourne come to naught when she discovers he’s obliged to wed an heiress instead. To salvage her dignity, she enters into a ruse with the heiress’s brother, whom she views as a rake. Unfortunately, he’s also the most attractive man she’s ever met.

Cody Gryphon will do anything to see his sister Stephanie wed to Lord Elbourne, including entering into a temporary engagement with her romantic rival. Although he intends to return to Texas as soon as his sister is wed, he finds it increasingly difficult to resist Juliet’s charms.

Can a rake and a debutante find their happily ever after?

Rake & Romance is available via this Universal Link, Google Play, or in paperback format.

Guest Post • Jilted Brides

Jilted Brides picking themselves up

and Courting the Stationmaster’s Daughter

by Juli D. Revezzo

Painting of Isabella of Angouleme

Despite the prevalence of happy endings in romance novels, love doesn’t always go to plan. Sometimes, the bride gets cold feet and results in a “runaway bride” scenario; sometimes the happy couple calls it quits before the end of the Engagement breakfast. Heck, even being royalty won’t necessarily save one heartache. Did you know Isabella of Angoulême, in the 13th century stole her daughter’s betrothed?

Now that’s something! If royalty isn’t even immune, it’s inevitable that someday, somewhere, someone’s groom will get cold feet. What’s a jilted bride to do?

Zombie bride photo

Some have gotten famous in recent years for doing good things with their wedding feasts.  Some donate the feast to the homeless (1) and some go on with the parties (2) and honeymoons, some even backpack around the world (3). (and good for them!)  We find, thanks to the 19th century and early 20th, that the jilted bride figures now in all sorts of ghost stories. From the 19th century folktale that inspired Tim Burton’s movie Corpse Bride, to tales of jilted brides dying of heartbreak to later come back as ghosts and haunt…wherever the place seems to be that she died. And some just lose their marbles, like poor demented Miss Havisham. But, in actuality, the jilted bride had recourse to the point where it seemed (according to my research) to not be uncommon for a bride to sue her ex-fiancé for damages! (4) Ha!

One, Harriet Bishop (5), of Minnesota, (post 1849) became a land speculator, teacher, and author.

Cover of Courting the Stationmaster's Daughter by Juli D. Revezzo

In my latest Victorian romance, Courting the Stationmaster’s Daughter, I took a similar tact. When my heroine—Honorine—found herself left at the altar, sure, she wallowed in self-pity for a while (who wouldn’t?) but in the end, like our intrepid brides I mentioned above, she picks herself up, and turns her mind to distractions that may help her townsfolk when their late 19th century subway station is in need. In so doing, she finds the real love of her life: the station’s assistant stationmaster.

Synopsis:

After Honorine Camden is jilted, leaving her stunned and sparking a scandal in her tiny London borough of Wallflower, she’s devastated. But when she overhears her father, the stationmaster, talking about arranging a party for their newly-minted underground railway station, she volunteers to help. Although she’s intrigued with his handsome assistant stationmaster, Shane MacIntyre, she never expects to fall head-over-heels in love with him. Unfortunately, one tragic accident might derail everything.

Available at Amazon HERE

Thanks, Suzanne for having me today! ~ Juli

Bio

Juli D. Revezzo loves fantasy and Celtic mythology and writing stories with all kinds of fantastical elements. She is the author of the historical romances, Courting the Stationmaster’s Daughter, Vesta’s Clockwork Companions, House of Dark Envy, Watchmaker’s Heart, and Lady of the Tarot, the Antique Magic paranormal series and Celtic Stewards Chronicles series and more. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

Follow Author Juli D. Revezzo

To learn more about this and future releases, visit her at: https://www.julidrevezzo.com/

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Juli-D.-Revezzo/e/B008AHVTLO

Blog at: http://julismapsroom.blogspot.com/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/juli-d-revezzo

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FB: https://www.facebook.com/julidrevezzo/

If you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter you can do so here: http://eepurl.com/drgFXX

Classic Romance in classic paperback

Book open in a dark room with a lit candle nearby and a pen lying across the pages

I’ve slowly been rolling out my titles in paperback format, including my upcoming release, My Fair Guardian. Paperback novels are great for giving as gifts or taking any place where an e-reader would be difficult, like the beach or the bathtub. Furthermore, paperbacks don’t crack when you drop them, the covers spark conversation when you are reading them in public, and they are easier to lend to friends and family.

Cover of My Fair Guardian with a romantic couple against a London backdrop.

When Bethany is saddled with an unwanted, unrefined, and decidedly common guardian, she must polish him up before he’s fit for good society. As for Willoughby Winter, all that stands between him and his inheritance is to marry Bethany off. Can he succeed in his efforts before his past becomes known or will she manage to distract him from his goal—by hook or by crook?

Paperback or Ebook

Cover of The Ice Captain's Daughter featuring a pretty blond in a pink tulle gown and a small golden crown.

The daughter of a wealthy ice merchant, Miss Jillian Roring intends to marry for love. En route to her first season in London, however, a failed kidnapping sends her into the arms of the most jaded bachelor in England. When Logan and Jillian unwittingly violate the rigid rules of propriety in Victorian-era England, he is obliged to make her an offer of marriage. Because she aspires to be more than an obligation, Jillian refuses the match. Logan follows her to London to woo her properly, but his scheming ex-fiancée has other plans.Can Logan convince Jillian that his love for her is real or will the cruel gossip and sharp tongues of London society tear their budding relationship apart? A romantic Victorian-era tale set in 1899, England.

Paperback or Ebook

Cover of Spinster, featuring a beautiful brunette wearing a white wedding gown, with a yearning expression.

Staring down life as an old maid, newly jilted Clare flees to a country home she’s inherited from her grandmother. She doesn’t count on clashing with her handsome neighbor, whose gentlemanly manners and education are at odds with his workingman’s image. As their relationship unfolds, however, she discovers the mysterious Meriweather Holcroft is not at all what he appears to be.

Paperback or Ebook

Cover of The Mannequin, featuring a beautiful brunette wearing a white gown. She's standing in a luxurious gold ballroom, holding a white eye mask mounted on a dowel.

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?

Paperback or Ebook

Cover of Lady Fallows' Secrets, featuring a lovely blonde with flowing hair. She's wearing a moss green and gold gown which looks like a Renaissance costume, and she's wearing a matching eye mask. She's pictured in front of an estate.

After a riding accident leaves Sybil’s brother, Ash, physically and emotionally devastated, she breaks off a courtship to devote herself to his care. Unfortunately, the one girl who could save Ash from his increasing melancholy has been whisked off to London by her ironfisted guardian. When a handsome stranger offers Sybil the chance to recover Euphemia, she dives headlong into a clandestine scheme fraught with danger. As the rescue unfolds, deceit and mysteries are brought to light, the bonds of friendship are tested…and passion is unleashed. Can Sybil manage to save her brother without losing her heart to a man she cannot marry? A clean and wholesome Victorian romance with a touch of mystery and intrigue!

Paperback or Ebook

Cover of Jessamine's Folly, featuring a beautiful brunette with flowing hair, wearing a strapless white gown. She's posed outdoors, on the steps of a gracious estate.

“Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.”

– Samuel Johnson

After her estate is entailed away, Jessamine Foster has no choice but to live with relatives who detest her. When her aunt gives her an ultimatum to leave, Jessamine accepts a position as companion to Lord Kirkendale’s sister–even though she’s been warned her predecessors can’t seem to resist the earl’s exceptional good looks. Can Jessamine manage to hold onto her job without losing her heart?

To honor a promise made to his dying father, Lord Kirkendale agrees to an arranged marriage to a woman he cannot love. Although he is resigned to a life without sentiment, the arrival of his sister’s new companion awakens a slumbering passion. Can he find a way to secure his own happiness without sacrificing his family’s honor, or will his broken promise result in the ruination of the person he loves most?

~A hopelessly romantic, blush-free Edwardian-era romance!~

Paperback or Ebook

PSST! The paperback versions of Ruse & Romance, Rake & Romance, Larken, Lord Apollo & the Colleen, A Gift for Fiona, The Love Letters Series (A Gift for Lara/A Gift for Fiona), Grace Unmasked, and Star-Crossed Seamstress are now in paperback format.

My Fair Guardian • Book Trailer

My Fair Guardian Book Trailer

When Bethany is saddled with an unwanted, unrefined, and decidedly common guardian, she must polish him up before he’s fit for good society. As for Willoughby Winter, all that stands between him and his inheritance is to marry Bethany off. Can he succeed in his efforts before his past becomes known or will she manage to distract him from his goal—by hook or by crook?

Release Date: April 30, 2019. Buy your preorder copy HERE for $0.99!

My Fair Guardian • specially priced for Pre-Order

My standalone Victorian romance, My Fair Guardian, will be released on April 30, 2019.

Blurb: When Bethany is saddled with an unwanted, unrefined, and decidedly common guardian, she must polish him up before he’s fit for good society. As for Willoughby Winter, all that stands between him and his inheritance is to marry Bethany off. Can he succeed in his efforts before his past becomes known or will she manage to distract him from his goal—by hook or by crook?

Reserve your copy HERE at a special $0.99 price now!

Excerpt:

As Miss Christensen spoke, Will noticed her eyes were the color of the pigment he often used to paint a deep blue sky. Her lips reminded him of a pastel chalk he employed to color roses, and the heightened blush on her cheek echoed the shade he favored for certain spectacular sunsets, just before the sun winked out altogether. The periwinkle silk of her gown set off her loveliness perfectly, and his fingers twitched in frustration. If he had any art supplies at hand, he would have loved to sketch her portrait.

She gave him a piercing glance. “Mr. Winter?”

“What?” Will snapped to attention. “Sorry. My mind was elsewhere.”

Her gaze lingered on his clothes. “I was saying that you’re a trifle taller than Mr. Leopold and broader in the chest, so I’ll summon a tailor from the village to alter everything according to your measurements.”

Will glanced down at himself, bewildered. As far as he could tell, the elegant suit fit him perfectly. “Do you people really notice such things as a half-inch here or a quarter-inch there?”

She shook her head. “You must stop referring to genteel people as another species, Mr. Winter. You are one of us now.”

He shrugged. “It doesn’t feel that way.”

“You look the part, nevertheless.”

She rose from behind her desk and came around to join him and Mr. Pace. Once more, Will was enveloped in a cloud of her heady fragrance. He didn’t know if she could smell him too, but at least she didn’t rush over to open the window this time.

“Now we must work on the rest of you,” she said.

Get your Irish On with Lord Apollo & the Colleen

It’s the time of year when everyone is Irish! If you want to get your Irish on, read my clean and wholesome historical romance Lord Apollo & the Colleen. There’s a mystery to solve and a romance to relish…if everyone survives to the end.

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?

Universal Link

Lord Apollo & the Colleen is a sequel to Larken, but can be read as a standalone.

Sweet historical romance, mail-order brideThe 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 un-marriageable. With little hope for the future, she agrees to wed a gentleman she’s never met. Unfortunately, his aloof manner proves difficult to take.

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 mail-order 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?

Larken is also available at your favorite bookstore at this Universal Link

 

No Recipe Sauteed Broccoli

I’m not much of a cook, so when I find something that works, I stick with it. This No Recipe Sauteed Broccoli came about when I had pan-seared some chicken with various seasonings and I decided to reuse the oil to sauté broccoli (so I wouldn’t have to wash the pan in between).  All the dish requires is olive oil, seasoned salt, onion powder, black pepper, garlic powder, and broccoli cut into florets. I make sure the florets are cut in half so that they will cook properly, and they take somewhere between five minutes and ten minutes to sauté, depending on whether you like your broccoli harder or softer.

Perhaps I’m easy to please, but after the broccoli is eaten, I feel like licking the plate. ~ Suzanne

No Recipe Sauteed Broccoli

• Olive oil

• Broccoli florets (freshly washed and cut in half)

• Seasoned salt

• Onion powder

• Garlic powder

• Black pepper
fork-309059_1280Pour oil into a heated nonstick pan, sprinkle in seasonings to taste, throw in broccoli and toss it in the oil to make sure the pieces are thoroughly coated. Continue to sauté until the broccoli is cooked just the way you like it. I tend to cook it about seven to ten minutes.

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The Star-Crossed Seamstress • #1 Bestseller

I’m very happy to announce that The Star-Crossed Seamstress has reached bestseller status on Amazon. IScreen Shot 2019-02-15 at 8.26.43 AMt is #1 in Teen & Young Adult Historical Romance and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

During the editing process, my editor suggested I remove the opening scene, to start with Skylar’s arrival in England. I pay her for her sage advice, so I complied. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean the scene can’t see the light of day! In the movies, certain scenes end up on the digital version of the cutting-room floor and are perhaps included on a DVD as a bonus for viewers. Consider the following deleted scene as a bonus, and have a very happy Friday!  ~ Suzanne

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Deleted Opening Scene from The Star-Crossed Seamstress:

Skylar eased out of the cramped Second Class cabin she shared with another passenger, made her way down the deserted, narrow corridor and ascended a flight of carpeted stairs. As she stepped onto the open deck at last, she filled her lungs with fresh air, heavy with moisture and smelling of salt. The chilly Atlantic Ocean wind whipped her face and threatened to unmoor her brunette hair from its pins, but she merely wrapped the knit scarf around her neck more securely and tightened the paisley woolen shawl around her shoulders.

An abrupt rolling motion sent her lurching across the deck, but fortunately the sturdy railing prevented her from falling overboard. After nearly two weeks aboard the steamship, she’d thought she had gained her sea legs, but the ocean was uniformly unpredictable. Nevertheless, she took a firm grip of the railing and made her way toward the stern. Nothing would deter her from staring down her future, no matter how much uncertainty lay ahead.

When she reached the bow, however, a low bank of fog obscured her view. It seemed her destination would remain hidden a while longer. She was startled by a long, low horn coming from the steamer’s helm. Moments later, she was joined by one of the ship’s officers, dressed in a natty blue uniform. “Good morning, Miss Lake.”

“Hello, Mr. Chapman.” Skylar smiled. “I didn’t hear your footsteps just now.”

“It’s difficult to hear anything else when the foghorn blows.” The man’s green eyes twinkled underneath his cap. “’Tis a bit early to be getting your exercise, isn’t it?”

“I was hoping to catch a glimpse of land, actually.”

“The fog will burn off by mid-morning and we’ll be off the coast of Ireland by then. The Emerald Isle is not a sight you’ll ever forget, but then you’re bound for England, are you not?”

“Yes, and I’m eager to arrive.” She turned away from the railing. “I suppose I’ve no choice but to be patient.”

“Just so.” The officer escorted her back into the deckhouse. “Will this be your first visit to England?”

“Not exactly. I was born there but left with my parents when I was a very small child.” Her shoulders moved up and down in a slight shrug. “I don’t remember it at all.”

“You’ll get acclimated soon enough, to be sure.” He peered at her. “You’ve family meeting you dockside, do you not? Liverpool’s not the sort of city a young lady can move about unaccompanied.”

“Mama sent her sister a letter with my travel plans, so my Uncle Amos is sure to be there.” Skylar paused. “Thank you for looking after me so faithfully during this voyage, sir. It’s somewhat daunting to be traveling alone.”

“’Tis no trouble at all, miss. In fact, you remind me a trifle of my granddaughter.”

“I appreciate your kindness.” She thought longingly of a cup of tea. “Is the Saloon open for breakfast this early?”

“The staff is only just beginning to set up, but it shouldn’t be too much longer before they are ready for passengers.” He gestured down the empty corridor. “Why don’t you wait in the library?”

“That’s an excellent idea.”

They parted ways and Skylar ducked into the well-stocked library to pass the time before the ship’s staff could furnish her with her morning beverage. She scanned the shelves, wishing she could find an inspiring book about a newly impoverished young woman fleeing America to escape the stigma of a family disgrace. After finding nothing of the sort, of course, she settled on Louise May Alcott’s Little Women. As she skimmed its pages, however, she realized that she’d devoted her time on the east-bound voyage almost exclusively to American authors—likely due to an increasing sense of homesickness for the country in which she’d been raised.

With a sigh, she put back the volume she’d chosen and picked out Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice instead. From now on, she must make a conscious decision to select British authors over American ones. It certainly did no good to pine for America any longer, since she could never go back.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all!

It’s also release day for The Star-Crossed Seamstress, which is available for purchase or to read for free through the Kindle Unlimited program.  The Mannequin is already available in ebook and paperback format, but look for Grace Unmasked and The Star-Crossed Seamstress to be published in paperback format as well.

 The Ice Captain’s Daughter is now out in paperback, too!

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CLEAN & WHOLESOME HISTORICAL ROMANCE

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