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Monday, December 17, 2012

Release Day is Here!


It’s hard for me to believe my second release day is here! Sometimes, I feel like I may wake up from a dream. I can recall a time not so long ago that I only imagined being a published writer and now my second book in my Whisper of Scandal Series, CONSPIRING WITH A ROGUE, is hitting the shelves. The characters in this book are near and dear to my heart. I started developing them years ago when I came up with the original idea for the first book in the series, BARGAINING WITH A RAKE. Back then, I didn’t realize I was embarking on a series, but Whitney, Drake, Sally and Peter took on a life of their own and I knew I had to continue the story. Little did I know in continuing with a second book new characters would evolve and lo and behold I would need a third book and a fourth to make sure all my wacky characters got their chance to find glorious love.

I am super excited to bring you the second book in the series. I hope the suspense and chemistry leave your breathless! Here is a little peek!

In order to save the man she loves from the enemy bent on destroying her, Lady Whitney Rutherford sheds her identity and escapes her past, making a new life for herself as Mr. Roger Wentworth, missing person locator extraordinaire. But when Whitney's best friend from her old life comes up missing and there is every indication the girl was taken by the debauched members of a sex club, Whitney dons a new disguise and infiltrates the sex club, determined to unravel the mystery and save her friend. She never expects to encounter Drake Sutherland―the man who still has her heart. In the dark world of pleasure and sin, Whitney must play a dangerous game and one wrong move could mean the death of her friend or the destruction of the man she loves.

Lord Cadogan leapt off Whitney, but before he could gain his feet, a hooded figure, who Whitney judged to be Drake by the height and the broad breadth of his shoulders, kicked his booted foot out connecting squarely with Lord Cadogan’s nose. A sickening crunch filled her ears. She expected Lord Cadogan to cry out in pain, but the man slumped to the ground, his head hitting the hardwood floor with a thump.

“You’ve killed him,” she whispered, watching as a line of blood dripped down the side of Lord Cadogan’s face and dropped into a dark circle on the wood.

A dark hooded cloak fell beside her causing her to glance up. Drake, looking more enraged than she’d ever seen him, bent in front of Lord Cadogan and pressed his fingers to the man’s neck. “He’s still alive, for now.”

“Did you intend to kill him?” She could hardly imagine Drake hurting anyone, but as his gaze raked over her, pausing on her exposed thighs, and his fist clenched and unclenched spasmodically, she reconsidered what he might be capable of.

Drake leaned back on his haunches, his face twisting into an expression of pain. “Did he…?”

She could hear him swallow repeatedly. It took a moment for her mind to muddle through what he was asking her, but his gaze glued to her rumpled, pushed up costume and her bared thighs made his concern clear. “No,” she answered, hastily snatching her costume down as she remembered her state and the fact that her cousin and Audrey were standing quietly by the door.

Drake was clutching her before she could completely cover her legs. His warm hands griped her arm and he drew her close to him. His labored breathing filled her ears as he brought his lips to her forehead and pressed a kiss to her skin. “Whitney.”

The two syllables were more of a ragged moan than a word. In that moment, she understood what seeing her walk out of the room with Lord Cadogan had done to Drake. What must he have imagined? Her heart swelled with love and regret. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, raising his hands to hers and kissing his fingers.

She half expected some sort of declaration of affection or relief. Instead, Drake’s eyes turned steely, his gaze darkening to almost black. “I’m going to turn you over and whip your backside when we’re away from this place,” he threatened in a tone that brooked no doubt. “I said go nowhere alone with him.”

“I had to go. I have to help Lillian. And now I know where she is.”

“And exactly what did you do to obtain that information?”

“Nothing more than a kiss,” she replied scrambling to her feet.

Drake rose before her, but his eyes remained on Lord Cadogan. “If I’d not found you in time he would have used you in the worst way.”

She rested a hand on Drake’s arm. “But you did find me. All is well.”

“For you,” he said, flinging her arm from his hand and facing Lord Cadogan. “Not for me. All I can see is him looming over you, his hands on your body. Your fearful face. Sin, take them out,” Drake said, not turning to look at her or her cousin.

“Drake, no!” She stepped toward him as he stepped away. Sin’s hand curled around her arm like a vise and dragged her backwards and out the door. It slammed in her face with a deafening smack.

“Sin, let me go,” she demanded, twisting her arm to no avail.

“No,” he clipped. “What did you think would happen? Silly woman. He loves you. Do you think he’ll simply stand by and let another man touch you?”

She hadn’t thought. She hadn’t considered. She glanced at Audrey, but Audrey hurriedly averted her eyes. “He can’t kill him,”she pleaded.

“He’s not an imbecile, Whitney. He won’t kill him. But I’d bet my fortune Lord Cadogan won’t forget you belong to another.”

One thing my characters in this series have in common is that they seem to thumb their noses at the rules constraining them in order to protect, find and hold onto love. Have you ever broken any rules for love? One lucky commenter will win a $35.00 Amazon gift card. Make sure to leave your e-mail so I can contact you!

CONSPIRING WITH A ROGUE can be found at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Now on to some other fun things. Carla Swafford one of my local Southern Magic writing group fellow members and sexy romance writer extraordinaire asked me to participate in a blog hop! I was excited to do it, but I have to admit I dropped the ball and did not ask any one else to follow me. This week has been crazy! I've been sick-can you hear me coughing?, I've had a dinner party to plan, a birthday party to plan, company in town and Christmas looming! So I won't be tagging anyone other than Carla. You can find her awesome blog and amazing books at: http://www.carlaswafford.com/.

I was asked to talk about a work in progress and I'm thrilled to be sharing a bit about my next book slated for release , LORD OF DECEPTION, which will be a departure from my Whisper of Scandal series. Onto the questions I was supposed to answer.

What is the working title of your book? LORD OF DECEPTION

Where did the idea come from for the book? I have always been fascinated with King George III.

What genre does your book fall under? Regency Romantic Suspense!

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie? If I was selecting actors to play the hero and heroine in LORD OF DECEPTION I would pick Henry Cavill to play Grey Adlard and I would chose Tamzin Merchant to play Madelaine.

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book? As Napoleon advances and King George III sinks deeper into insanity, Lady Madelaine Aldridge must prove her father’s innocence in order to save his life, and her only hope for survival seems to be the scoundrel who broke her heart, Lord Grey Adlard.

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

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Hmm…that’s a hard one. I like to think my books are uniquely my own.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? I was inspired by my love for sweeping romance mingled with intrigue.

What else about your book might interest the reader? There is a scene in this book based on my life!

Now for a short excerpt! (This is when Madelaine is forced to play Grey's lover.)


            “Listen to me, Madelaine.  Brummell cannot help you.  No matter what you think.  I don’t know what your father dragged you into, or what he told you, but if your allegiance is not with the King then you are against him, against me.” 
            The certainty in Grey’s tone scared her.  What could she do?  She had to keep her promise to her father, and that meant she had to escape.  With her free hand, she struck hard at Grey’s groin.  He doubled over with a groan, releasing her arm.  She bolted out of her chair, but a hand like steel clamped around her arm once again and jerked her down into her seat with such force her teeth rattled. 
            She opened her mouth to scream and Grey’s mouth came down on hers, hard and seeking.  She pressed her lips together, but his thumb touched the bottom of her chin, forcing her to open for him.  To her horror, her body leapt in response to his warm invasion, heating, just as it had days ago.  Were they acting?  Was she?  Confusion reigned in her body as well as her mind.  He broke the kiss then wrapped his arm around her shoulder.  Something hard pressed into her side.  Glancing down, she confirmed what she suspected.  His pistol dug into her waist.
            “I hope you’re good at pretending,” he whispered.
            The fog in her head immediately cleared.  This was most definitely an act, and she needed to remember that.  She glanced across the table, hoping Louisa could help her, help them both.  Louisa gaped at her, fright evident in her darting eyes and flared nostrils.  Her gaze held steady on the pistol in Grey’s hand.
            Grey’s hard breathing resonated in her ears, while the heat from his arm enveloped her.  Fate could be cruel.  She had longed only days ago to be held against him in a lover’s embrace, and now that it had come, it was false, a game. 
            They were not lovers. 
            They were enemies.


Happy reading and Happy Holidays!

Julie Johnstone
The Marchioness of Mayhem


35 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the new release, Julie! It's so exciting to see these books finally available to readers. Your stories are perfect for readers looking for something unexpected from a regency. :)

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    1. Thanks, Samantha! It's pretty exciting for me too and so much fun!

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  2. Wow Julie! Congrats on your books! That's so exciting. Well, I haven't done anything impulsive for love. I know kind of boring, but I don't mind reading that in books.
    countessofmar(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Melody,
      Thanks for stopping in! In writing the book I realized I hadn't had any dramatic moves for love either! Hmm...may need to change that! Good luck in the contest!

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  3. So excited that release day is here. I'm about to download onto my kindle. This is just what I need to take my mind off the "heavy" stuff going on in the world. As for doing impulsive things for love..... In college, my husband and I dated long distance. Before we were exclusive and just friends, I would try to make him jealous by telling him I was going out with sorority sisters when I was really just studying and going to bed early. Then I would set my alarm for like 2 or 3 in the morning and call him as though I had just gotten home. It used to drive him crazy to think I was out that late.....:)

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  4. Katie,
    Thanks for stopping by! That's so funny that you used to set your alarm to fake out your husband! That would make a great scene in a modern day romance! Good luck in the contest, and I hope you enjoy this book as much as the last!

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  5. Congratulations on your new release! It's a beautiful cover. I flew to Seattle without ever having met the guy in person, but I knew I had fallen head over heels in love with him over the months that we had been speaking.


    temptnfate13 at yahoo dot com

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  6. Misty,
    Thanks for stopping by and for the sweet comment on my cover! How romantic to fly to meet someone you have not met but know, just from conversations, that you love! I hope it worked out for you!

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    1. Not in the way we thought it would. He is my best friends to this day though.

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    2. I'm so glad it had a happy ending!

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  7. Congratulations, Julie! What a striking cover. Sounds like a rollicking story, too--Looking forward to it.

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    1. Thanks, Deb! The story really is fun, if you like suspense, adventure, disguises, and hot sizzling romance! And thanks for the compliment on the cover!

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  8. Happy release day, Julie! The book sounds awesome!!

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  9. Rules? There are rules about love? ; )

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  10. What a great novel and the cover is gorgeous. I wish I could find a shade of lipstick like that! :-) Congratulations on the release. I'm looking forward to reading it! All the best!

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  11. Connie,
    Thank you so much and thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Congratulations!! Can't wait to read this one!

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  13. Congratulations on the new release Julie!!!! The story is AWESOME and EVERYONE should grab a copy. Right now actually. LOL

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    1. Thanks, Heather! The cover you made is fantastic!

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  14. Congrats on the new release! I love stories that involve disguises and your cover is just striking! I'm not much of a rule breaker though so its nice to read about the ones that do instead :)
    tigger_time2 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Lisa,
      Thank you for stopping by and for the sweet compliment about my cover. You can totally live vicariously through my rule-breaking heroine! Have fun!

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  15. Another gorgeous cover, Julie! So striking! Love it! Congrats on your new release!!!

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    1. Thanks, Andris! You are so sweet! Your covers aren't too shabby either! LOL!

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  16. Well, I always break rules if it seems like they need to be broken, or if they don't make sense to me, so of course, I've broken them for love as well. :D Congrats on the release of Conspiring with a Rogue, it sounds like a fantastic story.

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  17. Congrats on the release of your latest, Julie!! I just know this one is going to outdo the last one which is really saying something! Can't wait to read it.

    Yes, I've done some rather impulsive things for love and no, I'm not talking about them! :)

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    1. Louisa,
      I sure do hope I can outdo the last! I am dying to hear what you have done or love! You always have the best stories!

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  18. Barbara,
    A rule breaker at last! Yay! I hope you enjoy the story and if you ever want to share any tales be sure to e-mail me!

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  19. Congratulations on your newest release, Julie! I'm excited for you. :)

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    1. Thanks, Catherine! I could never have gotten here without you ladies!

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  20. Happy Release Day and Congratulations!!! So excited for you! I can't wait to read it.....starting now :)

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    1. Thanks, dear! And thanks for popping by! Hope you love the book!

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  21. CONGRATULATIONS countessofmar@yahoo.com! You are the winner of the $35.00 Amazon gift card!

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