Tag Archive | Cotillion

Cotillion Authors’ Blog Tour & Scavenger Hunt


Click the graphic above to return to the blog tour page!

Welcome to the Cotillion Authors Blog Tour & Scavenger Hunt!


February 14-17, 2014

Janice Bennett • Kate Dolan • Susana Ellis • Saralee Etter • A.S. Fenichel • Aileen Fish • Barbara Miller • Hetty St. James • Elaine Violette

We’re not your typical Ellora’s Cave authors!

We write for Cotillion, an imprint of Ellora’s Cave’s Blush line, the mainstream “other” side of Ellora’s Cave that most people don’t know about.

Yes, Virginia, Ellora’s Cave does publish mainstream romance, in addition to the erotic romance it’s famous for. Even sweet romance, such as traditional Regencies, believe or not!

It’s true!

Cotillion is the traditional Regency imprint of Ellora’s Cave’s Blush line. Cotillion stories are chock-full of romance and traditions common in the early 19th century. Their settings range from elegant London ballrooms to family estates in the country. Heroines may be wealthy society belles or impoverished gentry such as the Bennet daughters in Pride and Prejudice. Heroes may be titled or untitled, but if they are rakes, they must be ready to reform, because the only sexual behavior you’re going to see here is kissing.

If you like Jane Austen and traditional Regencies such as were popularized by Georgette Heyer, why not give our books a try? We’d love to hear what you think!

Hop around to your heart’s content, feel free to comment on the posts, hunt for answers to the authors’ scavenger hunt questions, and perhaps you’ll be one of our 10 lucky prize winners (see contest details below)…although you’re already a winner if you find a new story to read, don’t you agree?

The theme for this tour is Love in the Regency Era, and for my post, I’ve chosen to talk about the limited choices available for young ladies in the Regency era.

A Lady With Few Choices

For ladies with much wealth and family connections, particularly those with beauty as well, the ton was their oyster. Surrounded by suitors, they would more than likely have their choice of husbands. Once the marriage took place, all bets were off. Even beautiful, wealthy, and noble women were legally in their husband’s control.

Ladies without those advantages often had little choice in who they married. Jane Austen turned down at least a couple of proposals, but she and her sister came from a family where independent spinsterhood was an option. Ladies without indulgent family members either became governesses or companions, or went into servitude to their more fortunate family members as poor relations.

Lady Theresa is the daughter of an earl, but her father lost his money through embezzlement, and now that he is ill, he is concerned that upon his death, his daughter will be left homeless and impoverished. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if his heir, a distant cousin who is wealthy in his own right, were to make Theresa his wife? Not only would she be economically secure, but she would be able to remain at her beloved childhood home, the estate she has managed for several years.

However…Damian, Lord Clinton is a London Corinthian, the likes of which Theresa despises. He thinks she’s a country clodhopper and a nitwit besides. There seems to be no hope that a match between two such polar opposites will succeed.

But maybe—just maybe—first impressions can be misleading?

My Author Prize

printbook copy2The prize I am offering is an autographed print copy of Cotillion Christmas Celebrations, which is an anthology of Christmas Regency romances that includes my novella, A Twelfth Night Tale.  Click here for the Rafflecopter to enter to win the contest.

Here’s my question for the scavenger hunt: What is Theresa’s father’s title?

Click on the Cotillion Authors Blog Tour & Scavenger Hunt page to fill in the answer, and you may continue on from there. Enjoy!


  1. Each author will offer a prize for a contest, the specifics of which is set up entirely by her. The contest will be open to all participants, regardless of geographic location. For logistical purposes, authors may substitute a digital prize (gift card, etc.) of equal value for another prize that might prove difficult to mail to a distant location.
  2. The Grand Prize for the Scavenger Hunt will be awarded to the participant with the most correct answers to the authors’ scavenger hunt questions.  In case of a tie, the winner will be chosen randomly.
  3. The name of the Grand Prize winner will be posted on the Cotillion Authors Blog Tour & Scavenger Hunt page the following week.


Scavenger Hunt

  1. Click on the Cotillion Authors Blog Tour & Scavenger Hunt page.
  2. Read the blog post and the author’s short answer question at the end. Locate the answer to the question, then click on the link to the Cotillion Authors Blog Tour & Scavenger Hunt page and type in the answer next to the author’s name. Be sure to fill in the your name and email address!
  3. You may go back to same page and read more of the author’s post (excerpt, etc.) or you may click on another author’s name on the answer sheet and repeat the process.
  4. When you are finished, check to make sure the spaces for your name and email address are filled in correctly, and submit your answer sheet to the tour coordinator . If you submit an incomplete answer sheet, you may come back later and make another submission with the remaining answers when you have more time.

Any questions about the scavenger hunt should be directed to the tour coordinator .

About Treasuring Theresa

She’s a country lady. He’s a London swell. They have nothing in common. Or have they?

Lady Theresa despises London society. What’s worse is that she has to attend the betrothal ball of the young man she expected to marry. To deflect all the pitiful glances from the other guests, she makes a play for the most striking gentleman there—who happens to be her Cousin Damian, who is everything she despises.

Damian, Lord Clinton sees a desperate young lady with no social graces, and it solidifies his opinion that country folk are beneath him. But it so happens that he is the heir to that young lady’s father’s title and estate, and the time comes when he finds himself obliged to spend some time there. 

Thrown together, both Damian and Theresa discover each other’s hidden depths. But are their differences too much to overcome to make a successful match?



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The dancing had already begun when they arrived. Damian stayed close at Theresa’s side, his arm lightly around her so that his fingers pressed into the small of her back, while she introduced him to her friends and acquaintances. They shared a set of country dances, and when he returned to her side after fetching a glass of lemonade, she was chatting merrily with a cluster of her friends, so he danced a trio of sets with some of the other young ladies. He managed to get back to her in time for the supper dance, just ahead of a tall, fresh-faced youth in a poorly tied Mathematical and a waistcoat that went out of style years ago.

treasuringtheresa_1.75“When does the waltzing begin?” he whispered as they performed the elaborate steps of the country dance. “I must claim the first waltz.”

“We do not waltz here,” she whispered back. “It’s considered far too scandalous. Besides,” she added when they came back together, “we have already danced twice. A third would make us the talk of the shire.”

He chuckled. “Isn’t that what you were aiming for at the Sedgely ball? A juicy scandal to divert the gossips’ attention?”

She looked up at him in surprise. “You know,” she said, “I just realized I don’t care about that anymore. I’m glad Reese is happy with Eugenia.”

“Indeed,” he managed, wondering why he suddenly felt so relieved.

She did condescend to dance another set with him, and Damian hoped all of the old biddy gossips had noticed.

On the return trip, Mrs. Noble babbled on incessantly about gowns and stale cakes while Damian found his eyes lingering over the curvaceous form of the young lady on the seat across from him, the light of the moon being thankfully dim enough to conceal his bold appraisal.

She was silent, in a reflective mood, her head turned toward the window and the shadowed images of the scenery outside.

“Imagine that scamp Dickie Fielding enticing the Hampton chit to meet him in the garden!” Mrs. Noble exclaimed indignantly. “Why I thought her father would explode when they were discovered.” She lowered her voice. “I have it on good authority that they were embracing,” she revealed. “A dreadful scandal indeed should they not marry post-haste.”

Theresa’s head shot around to face him, and he knew she was recalling that night at the betrothal ball when she’d tried to lure him out to the terrace and he’d made a hasty escape. He rather thought now that he would enjoy a pleasant interlude alone in the moonlight with her. He would hold her against him, her head on his chest, while his hands swept over her curves. When he felt her pulse rising, he would draw her chin toward him and take her lips in a long kiss while his other hand would cup her breast, already pebbling with her desire.

Damian froze. What was he thinking? Cousin Theresa was no strumpet. The only way he could indulge in such carnal delights with her would include an obligatory wedding first. And that was out of the question.

Wasn’t it?

About the Author

P1smsqA former teacher, Susana is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical—Regency in particular—is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.

In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around the UK and visit many of the places she’s read about for years, and it was awesome! She is a member of the Maumee Valley, Central Florida and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.


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Susana’s Parlour (Regency Blog) • Susana’s Morning Room (Romance Blog)

Cotillion Christmas Traditions: Christa Paige and Vivien Jackson and “A Christmas Caroline”

Christmas Traditions is the theme of this year’s Ellora’s Cave Blush Cotillion Christmas series. Eight stories focusing on Christmas traditions during the Regency will be released digitally, and then in print version as two anthologies.

The eight stories in the series are:

10/10/13: Twelve Days of Christmas, Barbara Miller

10/17/13: A Christmas Caroline, Christa Paige and Vivien Jackson

10/24/13: Festive Persuasion, Charlene Roberts

10/31/13: Lydia’s Christmas Charade, Saralee Etter

11/7/13: Snug in a Snowstorm, Cynthia Moore

11/14/13: Helena’s Christmas Beau, Aileen Fish

11/21/13: A Twelfth Night Tale, Susana Ellis

11/28/13: Sense of the Season, Kate Dolan

About A Christmas Caroline

achristmascaroline_msrLady Caroline Selwyn’s world centers on her father, so when she receives dire news of his health—two days before Christmas, no less—her first thought is to weep. Her second is to make this Christmastide the best he’s ever known. To that end, she rummages in memory for festive traditions, plans charades, purchases bean cakes…and acquires an affianced husband. Oh, not a real one—what she does is convince Papa’s physician to pretend an engagement, for just a few weeks.

Doctor Samuel Avery can hardly credit his complicity in this madcap deception. Whatever was he thinking? But it does seem to improve the comfort of the earl, and his own sisters are in alt at the idea of his impending nuptials. And he has admired Caroline for so long the role of her betrothed is easy to play. In fact, the scheme seems in every way perfect. Except that it is not true.


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About the Authors

Vivien Jackson – www.vivienjackson.com

Christa Paige — http://www.christapaige.com/blog/?page_id=2

On our own, we write paranormal and sci-fi and fantasy and hot cops. Together, it’s all about the cravats and Hessians. Polished, of course.

Cotillion Christmas Traditions: Barbara Miller and “Twelve Days of Christmas”

Christmas Traditions is the theme of this year’s Ellora’s Cave Blush Cotillion Christmas series. Eight stories focusing on Christmas traditions during the Regency will be released digitally, and then in print version as two anthologies. The first to be released is Barbara Miller’s Twelve Days of Christmas.

The eight stories in the series are:

10/10/13: Twelve Days of Christmas, Barbara Miller

10/17/13: A Christmas Caroline, Christa Paige and Vivien Jackson

10/24/13: Festive Persuasion, Charlene Roberts

10/31/13: Lydia’s Christmas Charade, Saralee Etter

11/7/13: Snug in a Snowstorm, Cynthia Moore

11/14/13: Helena’s Christmas Beau, Aileen Fish

11/21/13: A Twelfth Night Tale, Susana Ellis

11/28/13: Sense of the Season, Kate Dolan

Interview with Barbara Miller

Susana: What comes first: the plot or characters?

Barbara: One character comes first and that hero or heroine has to invent their counterpart. I thought up Tamara first and she helped me create the perfect hero for her. She discovers Ash to be flawed but with self-doubt more than anything. It’s not her job to save him but he decides it’s his responsibility to save himself in order to be worthy of her. The plot must serve the characters and their relationship, not the reverse. Plot is easy to fix, but if you make a misstep with character creation you have to start over.

Susana: What is your writing method?

Barbara: I write via a bizarre and scary method I call active outlining. I write all the dialogue first with the connective tissue being bits of synopsis place holding the plot together. Once I get to the end of the patchwork of conversation, it know how it will end and I construct the action or plot. Then I fill in introspection and tagging. Finally I do description and transitions. It’s quick and crazy, but I have to be careful not to turn in too early a draft. Six iterations gets the book close to finished, but I still have places where the editor wants more introspection.

Susana: What author has most influenced your writing?

Barbara: Georgette Heyer was by biggest influence. I was amazed that she could get humor into even the gravest situation. My goal is to get humor into every book. It’s such a part of life it needs to be present in every story.

About Twelve Days of Christmas

TwelveDays of Christmas coverTamara Gifford gets herself invited to Oakley Hall for Christmas to rescue her brother from the reportedly depraved Lord Oakley. When she arrives she discovers that Ashford Steel is a former soldier trying to adjust to governing an estate. He is happy to have his mother and Tamara for company since his brother is supposed to be spending the holiday at Tamara’s house in London.

Though they are both angry at the deception of their brothers they enjoy banding together to find them while Ashford tries to remember the tradition of what Lord Oakley is supposed to do on the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Tamara gives him sound advice about how to go forward with his life rather than looking back. In return he helps her to see that she must make a life for herself and let her brother go. After they locate the young men and rescue them, Tamara agrees to marry Ashford, but what her brother wants to do with the rest of his life could tear apart their hard won love.


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About the Author

Barb July 08Barbara Miller teaches in the Writing Popular Fiction graduate program at Seton Hill University and is Reference Librarian at Mount Pleasant, PA Public Library. She has published historical romances, mysteries, and young adult books and has had two plays performed. You may email her at scribe@fallsbend.net or visit www.fallsbend.net.

It’s Party Time for Susana’s Parlour!


Susana’s Parlour was born a year ago, after I returned from my first RWA conference, in Anaheim, California. I had the time of my life there—especially in the evenings when my friend Selene Grace Silver took me Laguna Beach and other nearby sights. It was magical!

I knew from my local RWA chapter mates that I would need a blog eventually, but at the time I was an unpublished author and didn’t really expect to be published right away. I mean, don’t most writers have to plug away for a few years before they get “the call”? But I guess I finally allowed myself to be convinced that waiting until then to start a blog was a mistake.

So…what to write about? I decided I didn’t want it to be an “author” blog—where the author talks about the daily struggles of writing. It would be a “reader” blog, for those readers who enjoy reading historical—especially Regency—romances as I do. As far as content, I decided to use an article I had begun about my pet peeves in historical romances. And that’s how the “Deal Breakers” series began.

It was only two months later that I did get “the call”—or rather, “the email”—and by January, I was a published author!

That’s about when Lady P popped in to inspire me with all of her fascinating tidbits about the Regency era. And things just spiraled from there.

So what’s in store for the next year on Susana’s Parlour? Well, I’ve discovered that it’s hard to predict what Lady P will do, but she promises that she will be back at summer’s end when the weather in England starts to chill…and will be removing with me to central Florida for the winter. She’s anxious to see a real alligator and insists she wants to go to Disney World too. Will I ever get any writing done at all with her there???

But she assures me that she has lots of great things to talk about. Even though she spent most of the summer in the country with her daughter’s family, she will be in London for the Little Season and promises to bring back all the latest on-dits and fashion news. And it should be fun to introduce her to the other inhabitants of our retirement community. I wonder if they played bingo in Regency times. Hmm.

Announcement, announcement, annou-ounce-ment!

I’ve just contracted with Ellora’s Cave to have my Christmas novella published this season! It will come out digitally as a single and then in a print anthology with other Regency Christmas stories in the Christmas traditions series.

Yep, you heard right! It’ll be in PRINT!

I can’t post an excerpt yet because the edits haven’t been completed and the final product might look a whole lot different. But I can give you a little sneak peak.

About A Twelfth Night Tale

Wounded physically and emotionally, Andrew returns home from the War on the Peninsula to find himself drawn to the now-grown-up girl next door. Lucy has always worshiped her best friend’s brother, but first she’ll have to turn down the wealthy viscount who can secure the futures of her and her four sisters.

Lucy and her best friend Jane are busy planning a party for the community Twelfth Night celebration. Jane’s brother Andrew has been home for some time when they finally run into each other, and Andrew can’t believe what he sees. The little girl who used to tag along after him everywhere he went has grown into a beautiful young lady! He tries to convince himself she’s off limits; after all, he was recently jilted by an avaricious fiancée and she’s being courted in earnest by a wealthy viscount. But the more time he spends with Lucy, the more drawn to her he becomes, and he wonders if he might have a chance with her after all.

Lucy has loved Andrew forever, but thought him lost to her when he became engaged to another woman. Her parents have five daughters to marry off with little in the way of dowries, and it seems like an answer to prayer when a wealthy viscount comes to call on their oldest daughter. Lucy has just about resigned herself to the match when she and Andrew—sans fiancée—are suddenly thrown together. But he’s still coming to terms with his own situation, and she can’t keep the viscount hanging on forever.

If there is any chance for a match between them, it’s going to take a bit of Christmas magic to make it happen.

Contest on The Romance Studio’s End-of-Summer Bash

Test Your Knowledge of Regency-Speak…and win a blue silver and marcasite cameo necklace!


This contest ends at the end of the day Friday, August 16th