Tag Archives: Valerie Bowman

Teaser “Tuesday” Exclusive Excerpt: A Secret Affair by Valerie Bowman [A BIRTHDAY GIRL!]

Valerie Bowman‘s birthday is June 28th! YAY BIRTHDAYS! She’s sharing an exclusive excerpt with us today, because it’s JUNE. And that means BIRTHDAY MONTH. Which means Thursdays masquerade as Tuesdays. Because I can.

Anyway, the excerpt.

Miss Frances Birmingham has set her cap for the dashing Mr. Charles Holloway. She and her best friend, Annie, have the most clever idea. They’ve arranged a bachelor auction for charity. The proceeds will go to the Royal Society for the Humane Treatment of Animals and the winners will be escorted to the most talked-about ball of the Season by their bachelor of choice. When Frances makes a bid for Charlie, will one fun night’s amusement turn into a lifetime of love?

Excerpt set up: Through a set of circumstances and hijinks, Frances ends up with the mistaken belief that Charlie is, ahem, light in the instep. When Charlie discovers she believes that about him, he intends to set the record straight but not until Frances (who’s been clued in finally by her best friend Annie) has a bit of fun with him first. (wink)


Charlie spent the entire next day attempting to get Frances alone to explain the truth to her. He had no real idea how he’d broach the topic once he got the chance, but he intended to be blunt and quick about it. The sooner she discovered he did indeed prefer women—her, actually—the better. It was suddenly of utmost importance for her to know.

But every time he so much as broached the topic of speaking with her, she made an excuse about helping Annie and Lily with the wedding preparations and nearly ran from him. He couldn’t blame her. She was obviously still uncomfortable after his deplorable behavior last night. And she was here, staying with Annie, to help her friend. It was exceedingly rude of him to try to take any more of her time. But try he did, in between bouts of drinking to his brother’s impending nuptials in the study. The wedding was in a matter of days, and Charlie intended to stay by his brother’s side through it. As a result, by the end of the evening, Charlie had had a bit too much too drink.

The ladies retired soon after dinner, and it was that bit too much that convinced Charlie it was a good idea to sneak up to Frances’s room and tell her the truth. The ladies would be leaving the day after tomorrow for Ashbourne Manor for the final wedding preparations, and Charlie wouldn’t see Frances again until the wedding.

He downed the last of his brandy, excused himself from the two other men in the study, and took the stairs up to the bedchambers two at a time. He rapped only once upon the door before it swung wide, and he stalked into Frances’s bedchamber.

* * *

Frances and Annie had carefully orchestrated their retirement from the dining room tonight. Claiming exhaustion, both women had gone straight up to bed. Charlie well knew they were leaving for Ashbourne Manor soon. He’d been attempting to get Frances alone all day, and she’d successfully eluded him. She’d been half afraid he’d just out with it in the middle of the drawing room full of mixed company and declare himself partial to women right then and there. Thankfully she’d managed to avoid him, and now she’d left him little choice but to come up to her room and confront her.

Right on time, she thought when the knock sounded on the door.

“Come in,” she called and the door swung wide. Charlie stalked toward her, thrilling her a little.

Indecent to have this man in her bedchamber? Absolutely.

Welcome? Oh, yes.

“Charlie, I—”

“Wait. You must listen to me.”

The look of determination in his dark eyes made Frances doubt her course for a moment, but she quickly rallied her confidence. “No. You must listen to me first,” she said with as much conviction as she could muster.

Charlie snapped his mouth shut. He was obviously impatient to speak, but she’d insisted, and he was a gentleman.

“First, be a dear and help me with this.” She turned her back to him and presented the buttons of her gown.

“Wait. What?” His voice shook a bit.

“Unbutton me, please?” She was thankful she was turned away from him so he couldn’t see the look of pure glee that was surely pinned to her face, although she was also a bit disappointed that she couldn’t see the shocked expression on his.

“I can’t—”

Frances gave a showy sigh and tapped her foot impatiently. “I won’t argue that it’s not exactly proper for you to be in my bedchamber, Charlie, but you’ve come here, and I can’t very well call Mary to help me while you’re here, and my stays are pinching me something awful tonight.”

Charlie’s voice faltered. “But I—”

She still didn’t turn to face him but secretly smiled to herself. “Besides,” she added for good measure, “let’s not pretend. We both know this is hardly tempting to you, is it, Charlie?”

She could nearly hear his brain working. He was thinking, all right. Thinking about his options. He could either tell her immediately what he’d come here to say, in which case undressing her was out of the question, or he could play along with her little game and perhaps get an eyeful. A gentleman would tell the truth immediately. But an aroused, tempted gentleman? What would he do? She smiled to herself. She was about to find out.

Her answer came when Charlie’s warm, deft fingers began unbuttoning the back of her gown.


I wanted to thank Lime for having me on the blog today and give a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY shout out to her! We share the best birthday, ever, JUNE 28th! I believe Henry VIII shares the day with us as well. Hmm. Not sure what to think about that. This year on my birthday, I will be going to the spa, eating strawberry cupcakes, reading magazines, and generally doing whatever I like. Pure bliss. Lime, I trust you’ll be having similar good times! So, happy birthday to both of us and I hope you all enjoy my teaser post!

Awww, isn’t she sweet? <3 Valerie also sent along an author bio, but you’ve seen it before, as she’s been super cool and visited us at ALBTALBS before. See? So feel free to check her out and her other awesome excerpts and posts!

Valerie is giving away one copy of this e-novella (A Secret Affair). 🙂 So wish this generous girl a happy birthday!

Teaser “Tuesday” Exclusive Excerpt: Secrets of a Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman

First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you for your patience with me. As you can see I’m all over the place and barely grasping at threads. My apologies. I know it’s obviously not Tuesday, but I FUBAR’d the ALBTALBS schedule and Valerie Bowman was very gracious and said she didn’t mind turning Saturday into Tuesday. Incidentally, don’t expect much better anytime soon because I’m trying to do my taxes… 

Anyway. Clearly Valerie is a wonderful woman. So without further ado – a snippet from Secrets of a Runaway Bride which will be available this Tuesday March 26!


Miss Annie Andrews is finally free to marry the man she loves. With her overprotective sister out of the country on her honeymoon, nothing can prevent her flight to Gretna Green—nothing, that is, but an abduction by the wrong gentleman.


When Jordan Holloway, the Earl of Ashbourne, promised to look after his best friend’s sister-in-law, he didn’t realize she would prove so difficult. But when he spirits her away to his country house to prevent her elopement, he discovers that the tempting beauty knows how to put up a fight. To make matters worse, he’s stuck playing the role of honorable protector…when what he really wants is to run away with her himself.


“I will not ask again. Tell me where Miss Andrews is and tell me immediately.” Jordan’s voice boomed through the town house. Devon’s normally staid butler had managed to summon both Evans and Mary and now, all three servants stood quaking in front of him in the foyer, while he asked for the third time where their mistress had gone.

Evans gulped and pulled at his neck cloth. “I told ye, milord. I haven’t seen Miss Annie today.”

Jordan’s raking gaze settled on Mary.

“You must believe me, Lord Ashbourne. I’m quite sure Miss Annie told me, but I cannot remember. It’s an affliction I’ve ‘ad, ahem, had, for quite some time. Ye can ask these gents.” Mary gestured to Evans and the butler with her thumb.

“Aye, that I can vouch fer milord,” Evans replied. “She can’t remember a thing wot happened five minutes ago.”

Jordan turned his piercing gaze on the butler. “Nicholls, I’m counting on you to be the only sane member of this trio. Tell me where Miss Andrews is.”

Nicholls bowed. “My lord, I assure you. I’ve already related all of which I am aware. Miss Andrews had a caller around ten o’clock this morning. It was Mr. Arthur Eggleston. He left his card.”

Jordan had already seen the damned card. He’d crumpled it in his fist.

“Mr. Eggleston and Miss Andrews spoke in the blue salon until half eleven,” Nicholls continued. “Then he took his leave.”

Jordan paced. “What did they speak about?”

“That I don’t know, my lord. I was not asked to bring refreshments and I pride myself on never eavesdropping.” He gave Evans and Mary a stern look.

“And I might well have been eavesdropping, milord,” Evans admitted with a wry smile. “Had I known there was anything to hear, but I swear upon my honor I wasn’t even awake at ten o’clock.”

“That I can vouch fer, me lord,” Mary interjected. “Saw ‘im meself, upstairs dozing in a chair by the window ‘round that time.”

Jordan paced back and forth across the fine Indian carpet that adorned Devon’s foyer. “Annie did not order a coach?”

Nicholls shook his head. “No, my lord.”

“She did not leave a note?” Jordan continued.

“No.” Mary shook her head.

“She did not go on an errand with a friend?” Jordan ground out.

“No. I went ‘round to Miss Birmingham’s house me’self and Miss Frances hadn’t seen nor heard from her all day,” Evans assured him.

“Has Aunt Clarissa seen her?”

“My lady has been…indisposed…” Nicholls cleared his throat. “Most of the day, sir.”

Jordan raked a hand through his hair. It was nearly ten o’clock at night and apparently Annie had been missing all day. How had this happened?

He’d wanted to discount Medford’s warning. Annie had seemed so sad and so repentant last night. But some niggling sense of doubt in the back of his mind, had spurred Jordan to check on her tonight. The tears in her eyes and the look on her face had convinced him that she finally understood why she should not be chasing after Eggleston. But now, standing in front of the three unwitting servants, Jordan understood that Medford had been exactly right. Annie hadn’t been ready to give up at all. It had merely been the proverbial calm before the storm. She’d regrouped, ready to do her final damage. And all on Jordan’s watch again. Perfect.

Jordan turned on his heel and reached to open the front door. Nicholls rushed to do it for him but got there too late. “Where are you going, my lord?” he asked in a strained voice.

Jordan barely turned his head, his jaw clenched. “To visit Mr. Arthur Eggleston and if he is not there, there will be hell to pay.”

Jordan left, slamming the door behind him.

* * *

Jordan’s questioning of the Eggleston servants yielded much the same information. Mr. Arthur had left around ten that morning to pay a call and he hadn’t returned since.

Minutes later, Jordan left the house with a growing sense of dread in his belly. Damn it. She’d done it again. Somehow convinced that idiot Eggleston to take off to Gretna Green. Jordan knew it. Just as sure as he knew he must follow them immediately.

Less than half an hour later, he was back home packing a bag, tossing money in a pouch for the journey, and imagining what he’d do to the errant lovers when he caught up to them. How in the hell had that young woman managed to fool him? Again? And what were either one of them thinking? No doubt she would argue that Jordan had pushed her to this. He could hear the explanation now. But putting her life and reputation in danger again was serious. The last time the little fool had done this it had taken her sister and Devon’s marriage to deflect the scandal. God only knew what it would take this time.

The good news was that no one seemed to know. The servants at both households knew the master and mistress were gone but didn’t appear to suspect they’d gone to Gretna Green together. The servants might be persuaded to remain silent.

Jordan knew one thing for certain. He was through playing the beleaguered chaperone. As soon as he found Annie Andrews, he intended to make it clear that he was in charge. He’d tried it her way for nearly two weeks now. The next fortnight would be on his terms. And she wouldn’t like his terms one bit.

Jordan hefted his bag to his shoulder. His valet, Cunningham, scurried into the room. “My lord. I didn’t know you’d returned. Do you require my assistance?”

Jordan shook his head. “No. I’m just taking a few things for now. I’m going on a trip.”

Cunningham nodded. “Is there anything else you require?”

Another shake of the head. “I’ll stop by the kitchens before I leave to get some food for the journey.”

“Will you be back soon, my lord?”

Jordan stopped for a moment in the doorway. He turned to look at the valet. “I won’t be back for a fortnight.”

BIO: Valerie Bowman is an award-winning author who writes Regency-set historical romance novels aka Racy Regency Romps! Secrets of a Runaway Bride has been named a 4.5 star TOP PICK! by RT Book Reviews. It’s been called “Too Delightful Too Miss!” by New York Times bestselling author, Lisa Kleypas, and New York Times bestselling historical romance author Sarah MacLean says it’s, “Everything a romance should be—sexy, quirky, fun…once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop!” Valerie’s debut, Secrets of a Wedding Night, the first in the Secret Brides series from St. Martin’s Press, was nominated by RT Book Reviews for Best Debut Historical for 2012!

Valerie has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a minor in history from Smith College. By day, she is a technical editor at a computer software company. By night, she combines her love of writing, history, and romance to craft stories about people falling in love.

Originally from Rantoul, Illinois, Valerie lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her rascally rescue dog, Roo. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or watching Downton Abbey and Hoarders. You can find Valerie on the web, Facebook, and Twitter.

So what did you think of the excerpt? Do you enjoy historical romances? Two lucky people who comment today will win a copy – either print or ebook, winner’s choice. “US, Canada, and Australia only. Void where prohibited.”

#RWA12 Conference Wrap Up

Hi friends! For those of you don’t know, the national RWA conference was in Anaheim last week. (RWA being the Romance Writers of America.) I got to go(ish) last year in NYC, and had wanted to this year, but it didn’t work out. Hopefully next year in Atlanta! Anyway, I’d been emailing back and forth with Valerie Bowman, and here she is sharing a recap of the conference with us! Yay! Hopefully with more recaps to come!

#RWA12 Conference Wrap up
by Valerie Bowman

I’m back from the land of palm trees and Disney. Oh, wait. I live in Florida. Ok, so I flew all the way across the country for essentially the same scenery, but it was fabulous seeing friends, authors, agents, speakers, and various industry muckity mucks at the Romance Writers of America 2012 National Conference in Anaheim, California.

Without further ado, let’s hit the highlights.

I’d say the biggest news of the conference was Carina Press winning its first RITA. As Carina’s blog puts it, “Fiona Lowe and Carina Press became part of publishing history with a win for Boomerang Bride in Single Title Contemporary Romance.” This is BIG news because a strictly e-publisher has not won the prestigious award before. Carina Executive editor, Angela James, gave a terrific acceptance speech saying that two years ago when Carina opened its doors, she was asked where she saw Carina in five years. “Winning a Rita” was her reply. And they did it! In two! Congrats to Fiona, Angela, and the entire Carina staff.

Second biggest pieces o’ news?: The PAN rules have changed ($5000 self-pub earnings will make an author PAN-eligible now). The Golden Heart and Rita categories have been streamlined (goodbye to the Regency category [sob] and the Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category) and the Golden Heart contest will be electronic next year.

Ok, so what else went on? There were tons o’ workshops about social media. We get it, don’t tweet BUY BUY BUY links to our books on Twitter. There was a workshop on the English Country House (which I adored) and one about the History of Contraception (which I missed, dang it!). Workshops on surviving disaster, ER Trauma 101, and how to write emotion and subtext. There were terrific book giveaways and signings. I, myself, got to participate in my very own first signing EVER with St. Martin’s Press where I gave away signed ARCs of my debut Regency romance novel, SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT. And it was every bit as fun as I thought it would be!

Bowker gave a presentation to the Published Authors Network (PAN) and informed us that the average reader thinks $5.31 is a reasonable price for a novel-length ebooks. Food for thought, indeed.

BookEnds Lit Agency had a meet and greet in the conference hotel lobby for anyone interested. You could pitch and meet the agents. I thought it was a great idea. Van Gogh Vodka had an extremely well attended History of the Cocktail session where they were handing out free drinks. Woot!

The Literacy Signing raised $50,963 for ProLiteracy Worldwide . I think about half of that came from me. Avon handed out bags to those who walked in the door. Convenient to store your loot. Uh, it about tripled my purchases!

When the awards came around, Ann Aguirre did a hysterical “interpretive dance” when she won the RITA in Young Adult for her novel, Enclave. In a touching moment, Jo Bourne, Historical RITA Winner, thanked all her teachers.

Stephanie Laurens delivered a keynote speech complete with a slide show about how the big NY publishers need to change with the times, and Robyn Carr’s speech was amazingly sweet and inspirational. “Success is not measured by fame or fortune or power. Success is measured in moments of satisfaction,” Ms. Carr said. The lovely and gracious Barbara Vey was thrilled with her 2012 RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award for promoting the romance genre. And on Saturday night, Brenda Jackson won the lifetime achievement award to multiple standing ovations.

Also, Leah Nash, a photographer for the NY Times was busily snapping photos of the whole event and I heard an NPR reporter was there too, interviewing authors. She snapped away at the Beau Monde’s Regency soiree where there was dancing, drinking, and whist aplenty.

There was a PubIt Answer bar, which was new this year, where authors could ask their self-publishing questions. A sign o’ the times, no? There were conference CDs being sold, RT magazines subscriptions for sale, and there was even a massage table in the hallway which had a very full sign up roster.

My conference highlight might have been stepping out of my hotel room door and seeing Nora Roberts. I must have looked twice. “Hi Nora Roberts. Good to see you,” I said. Smooth, right? “Hi. How’s it going?” she answered. I think she’s so lovely for attending every year and giving so much back to the industry. She had a party in her room two nights later that I SO wanted to crash but I controlled myself. I could just imagine hotel security being summoned to escort me off the premises.

All in all the conference was fabulous and I can’t wait until I hit the road for 2013 in Atlanta!

Bio: Award-winning author Valerie Bowman writes Regency-set historical romance novels with a focus on sharp dialogue, engaging storylines, and heroines who take matters into their own hands! Valerie’s debut novel, Secrets of a Wedding Night, will be published by St. Martin’s Press on September 25, 2012.
Secrets of A Wedding Night is the most charming and clever debut I’ve read in years! ” –Lisa Kleypas

Guest what else? Ms. Bowman has very generously offered up her conference tote bag as well as a few books to a lucky commenter! So, what’d you think of the post? I especially love the anachronistic one where Valerie is drinking her beer in costume. Have you ever been to a conference? Would you go to the RWA signing? Which author(s) would you most like to see?


Losing My Damn Mind

So Valerie Bowman apparently shares my birthday! This is super exciting for me, as I’ve never met anyone who shares my birthday before. [Although I have two twitter friends who have parents that share my birthday…] But I guess I’ve never met Valerie, so the same holds. A tiny part of me is all *sniffles* because June 28th isn’t all “mine” anymore. No biggie though. [No really. I’m just being silly. Also, why do I feel like I have to keep explaining myself? Because there are crazies out there. Crazies who like to find me.]

My point is, Ms. Bowman found me on twitter and she was all “hey that’s my birthday too!” and it’s kind of awesome because RWA 2011 “started” on June 28th and she sold her first book then and that’s pretty cool. She’ll be visiting with us next year as well, so keep an eye out. ;D

More importantly, she offered up an ARC of her book for the Birthday Bash but you all know how that went for me. Or, life recently (hint: badly) so I dropped the ball. I’m not quite sure why she didn’t simply offer me the ARC … but you know. *schniffs* everyone loves you all more than me! Fitting, I guess, since I’m constantly telling all of you – and everyone else – how you’re all much nicer than I am. And possibly too nice for me…

So now I’ve convinced myself. No presents for me, all presents for you. I meant to include this in my “winners” announcement post … but I kind of lost my mind over there. Fifty-four winners drawn! And checking, and trying to see who wanted what, and I lost a few brain cells trying to do that. (And then gave up. You know how I am. :D)

Someone who comments here and tells me something nice/fun/interesting will win an e-ARC of Secrets of a Wedding Night. Or you know, if you want me to win it, all of you could just not comment, which I will take as a sign. ;D [Kidding. We all know I can’t win anything here. T_T]

I’m also now confusing myself. Whatever. Ready? Set? Contest GO!

Oh and since I like you all so much and I am so nice – here is the book blurb!


Young, widowed, and penniless, Lily Andrews, the Countess of Merrill,has strong opinions on marriage. When she spots a certain engagement announcement in The Times, she decides to take action. She will not allow another hapless girlto fall prey to a man—particularly the scoundrel who broke her heart five years ago. Anonymously she writes and distributes a pamphlet entitled “Secrets of a Wedding Night,” knowing it will find its way into his intended’s innocent hands…


Devon Morgan, the Marquis of Colton, desires a good wife and mother to his son—someone completely unlike Lily Andrews, the heartless beauty who led him on a merry chase five years ago only to reject him. When Devon’s new fiancée cries off after reading a certain scandalous pamphlet, he vows to track down the author and make her pay. But when he learns it’s his former fiancée Lily, he issues a challenge: write a retractionor prepare to be seduced—to find out how wonderful a wedding night can be…

*NB – this is an electronic ARC.