Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Blog Tour: Embracing Scandal by Suzi Love + Giveaway!

Guest Post by Suzi Love

One of Suzi's favorite parts about writing an historical romance is the research. She says she enjoys uncovering all the weird and wonderful from the era. I thought it would be very diverting, indeed, if she were to talk about some of those "weird and wonderful" things in her guest post. So, without further ado, let's discover some of the fascinating facts Suzi has learned from her research!

Why do I love the weird and wonderful of historical research?

One of the best things about being an historical romance author is doing all the research, even though I tend to get distracted by all the weird and wonderful facts I discover.

For Embracing Scandal, I researched the amazing inventions that popped up everywhere after the obsession with developing and using steam engines. In 1840, trains and railway lines were invading many parts of England and Europe and, alongside the railway industry, there was a need for steam engines to do all sorts of work in the factories.

In this late Regency to early Victorian era, everyone rushed to become an inventor. Everything from a horse powered locomotive machine called a Cyclopede to Snowden's machine that resembled a Merry-go-round. 

Even the doctors joined the rush to use steam engines. Female Hysteria was thought to be caused by women's highly strung natures and 'massage' supposedly settled women's 'hysteria'. So someone invented a steam powered vibrator to do the massaging.   

My other favorite weird things from history come mainly from the medical profession and from the growing obsessions with death and mourning. Plus, there was an abundance of ribald cartoons circulating around England that portrayed royalty and the upper classes as depraved and decadent, and I have to admit I find inspiration for all sorts of story plots through these things, strange or funny. 

Book Blurb
After Lady Rebecca Jamison, a mathematical genius, saves her family from financial ruin by secretly investing in railway stocks on the London stock exchange, a greedy syndicate, desperate for Becca’s calculations and predictions, murders her friend and threatens the Jamison family, forcing Becca to beg assistance from her childhood friend, Cayle St. Martin.
The newly titled Duke of Sherwyn has returned to London after five years on the continent extending his family’s shipping interests. He’s shunned his privileged London life and his father’s unbending attitudes, and becomes committed to employing the spying tactics he learned on the continent to help Becca indict the syndicate—and using his skills as a lover to seduce her into his bed.
But how will Cayle be able to convince Becca, a determinedly self-sufficient spinster, that he can be more to her than just a protector?

Embracing Scandal Excerpt:
Lady Rebecca Jamison watched Cayle. Under the rules of etiquette, she must remember to address him as Your Grace or Sherwyn in public, despite knowing he’d abhorred the bowing and scraping expected by dukes, including his father.

Becca tried to judge his level of inebriation and his reaction to her news, though she was wise enough to stay out of arm’s reach. In the past, her knight in shining armour had constantly overreacted if he thought her adventures, or misadventures, placed her in harm’s way.

 “Please, my dear.” The new duke's fists unfurled as he flung his arms wide in a dramatic gesture. “Go ahead and clarify that terrifying statement.” His voice lifted another octave. “Before my hair turns completely white. Or my legs give out.”

Neither Cayle’s fury nor his towering size frightened Becca. But she was terrified that the city would awaken and the streets fill with people before he became calm and rational and listened to her plea for his help in collecting the final proof that would send at least a dozen of their peers to prison for illegal trading practices. 

 "Or even worse.” He voice was a low snarl as he pointed at the floor. “I misplace the contents of my heaving stomach all over the duchess’s prized carpet.”

Becca winced. For the tenth time she listed to herself the reasons she’d bravely bearded this particular panther in his lair.

To protect her family.

To secure the nest eggs saved by the fallen women at the shelter.

To save her own life.

As the new Duke of Sherwyn, Cayle was her best, or possibly only, chance to do all that and to keep her promise to Scotland Yard. She hoped he’d listen with an open mind. Hoped he’d comprehend how much danger her family and friends were in without realising how close she had come to also being murdered. 

“I’d gone to Peggy’s cottage to collect some letters she’d written on behalf of our Women’s Society. The door was ajar. I knocked but Peggy didn’t answer so I went inside.”

Peggy had been sprawled across the floor, her sturdy legs protruding at odd angles from her yellowing nightgown. Her hair had been matted with blood and tangled in the strings of her dislodged nightcap and her plait had been a rusty red mess instead of a neat tail of plain brown.

“I can’t sleep. Every time I close my eyes, I see the murderer standing over Peggy’s battered body. But he runs towards me. Not away.” She shuddered and closed her eyes.

Fingers brushed her cheek. “Becca, I’ll not let anyone harm you.”

“If I’d only arrived at Peggy’s cottage a few minutes earlier.”

“Stop it. You mustn’t blame yourself.”

“How can I not? One life has already been destroyed because of me. My friend was killed. Her body discarded like a tattered rag doll.”

His bloodshot gaze narrowed on her face. “So, knowing how your mind works, you’ll try to focus the consortium on yourself, and thereby keep everyone else out of danger.” He raised a brow. “Am I correct?”

Damned man was still a mind reading menace. “You’re wrong. I’ve little wish to confront those men by myself. But neither will I allow anyone else to be hurt.”

“And who protects you from the current set of fire–breathing dragons?”

She raised her chin. “I’ve outgrown such childishness.” She lowered herself to the closest settee, a demonstration of ladylike maturity and a reprieve for her trembling knees.

Fill out the Rafflecopter form to be entered in the Embracing Scandal Tour giveaway. Tasty Book Tours is giving away 5 digital copies of Embracing Scandal

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Author Bio:
Suzi Love lives in a sunny part of Australia and loves to travel - anywhere and everywhere.
Her romances, ranging from sexy to erotic, are set in Britain, Australia, and the South Pacific, while her historical romances take place during her beloved late Regency to very early Victorian years. Best of all, Suzi loves exploring the many-layered and ever-changing aspects of society from the end of the Regency through to Queen Victoria's very early reign.
Her titled heroes and heroines may appear to live privileged lives in and around London, but these strong characters challenge traditional manners, morals, and occupations, either through necessity or desire, and expose the seamier sides of tonnish life. Though Suzi's books often have a grittier side, she tries to make history fun, one year at a time.
Apart from writing and reading, her favorite thing is traveling. She loves to visit historically famous places and speak with fascinating people and uses her research in her vivid and romantic books.

Connect with Suzi Love
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  1. This looks like such a good read, Suzi. It is absolutely on my TBR list. I tweeted.

  2. Ella,
    Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving a comment. Good luck in the prize draw fro Embracing Scandal.

  3. Steam powered... what now? Vibrator? That could SO not end well. Thanks, Suzi, for the entertaining visual and the great excerpt!

  4. Ella, I hope you enjoy the book!

    Thanks for stopping by, Liv! Good luck in the giveaway!

  5. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and entered the draw.

    Congratulations to the winners.

    And huge thanks to Jakki for having me here.