This blog is for those 18 and older.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Guise of a Gentleman

Last week, Donna Hatch, the author of THE GUISE OF A GENTLEMAN, was my guest blogger. So of course, I had to read her new release and see what it was all about.

NYT Best Seller, Jennifer Ashley, summed up Donna’s book beautifully in her cover quote. Jennifer said “Combining Jane Austin with swashbuckling adventure, THE GUISE OF A GENTLEMAN is a fine specimen of pirate romance!” How true!

The heroine, Elise Berkley, is a widow of five years, though only in her late twenties, and she runs her estate outside the country town of Benniswick, England. She enjoys the freedom of making her own decisions for her people and her five year-old son, Colin. She is the proper lady of Jane Austin’s era with an adventurous side she keeps well under control.

Jared Amesbury, aka Black Jack, is the hero with a dark and dangerous hidden life. An expert pirate, swordsman, and spy, he is endearingly filled with self-doubt about who he really is and his value as a person. When he meets Elise, he is literally being hanged by a rival pirate and it is only her interference and her excellent marksmanship that saves his life and that of the boy he tried to protect. Unfortunately, or fortunately, Jared makes a strong impression on his savior by being bold enough to kiss her.

Of course, Elise thinks she has saved a commoner and is quite shocked to meet the very man she rescued at a local gathering of the gentry. As she fights her attraction to this man, she observes him closely and realizes there is much more to him than he reveals.

Jared is like a moth to the flame when it comes to Elise and cannot stay away from her despite his feelings of unworthiness. But he soon finds himself enjoying the company of Colin, Elise's son, falling for the pretty widow, and anxiously searching for the ring leader of the pirate coalition. After his fellow spy and friend is shot and Elise is taken hostage, Jared turns to piracy again to save her. But he is rewarded with being taken prisoner by the English Navy and condemned to die.

Despite the best efforts of Jared’s friends and his large influential family, Elise witnesses his hanging. Believe it or not, this story has a very happy ending and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that a few times I did get a bit teary eyed. The on-board ship battle scenes were described perfectly without being too confusing and had my pulse racing. This is a sweet adventurous romance that had me whipping through the final chapters at a speed only reserved for my favorite reads.

If you like dashing pirates, vulnerable masculine men, and women with guts, you won’t want to miss this one!

Happy reading, Alexis

Monday, April 19, 2010

Donna Hatch, Guest Blogger Today

I'm thrilled to welcome my guest blogger today, Donna Hatch, author of the newly released THE GUISE OF A GENTLEMAN. In researching this books, she discovered some great information on pirates. All yours, Donna!

Few words conjure up more dramatic, terrifying, and romantic images than pirates. They captured the imagination of Robert Lewis Stevenson, J.M. Barrie, Walt Disney, and many, many others. I even used pirates in my newest Regency Romance Novel, The Guise of a Gentleman. But what is it, exactly that makes a pirate both the perfect villain, and the perfect hero?
As a kid, one of my favorite rides at Disneyland was "The Pirates of the Caribbean. I loved Peter Pan, Treasure Island, and any other pirate story I found. The Pirates of the Caribbean movie made millions with fans divided between Captain Jack Sparrow and Will, who pretty much turned pirate to save Elizabeth. When my husband and I were in Las Vegas, we went to the (then) new Treasure Island Hotel which used to (maybe still does) put on a great show outside with a reenactment of the navy battling pirates. When the pirates defeated the navy, everybody cheered.

Are we all a bunch of sociopaths?

Nah. I think it goes back to the bad boy allure. They were non-conformists. They had the courage to buck the system. They wore blousy white shirts instead of those stuffy coats and ugly hats and white powdered wigs. They were totally free to go where ever they pleased and do anything they wanted. And they had the money to do it, thanks to the plunder they took. In the case of Las Vegas, the pirate captain was hunky and drop dead gorgeous, which never hurts.

We think of pirates as swashbuckling hunks who carried big curved swords, although having an eye patch and a parrot on the shoulder never hurts. Not to mention a certain allure in a map with an X that marks the spot to buried booty. Maybe we all secretly wish we could steal from the rich, throw social norms out the window and make our enemies walk the plank.It's really just a fantasy. Real pirates are nothing like the men in the stories.

I did extensive research for my newest Regency Romance Novel, The Guise of a Gentleman and discovered that pirates were first and foremost sailors. They had a hard life and faced many dangers. They also preyed upon any ship that had the misfortune of crossing their path. Then, they'd go to a nearby port and waste their money. They also often ransacked the town, tortured the men, and ravished the women. And they were notorious slave traders. Not very glamorous, is it?

In my novel, I created a fictional problem of having a lot of out of work sailors and captains of privateering ships now that the Napoleonic War was over. So some turned to piracy and created a pirate ring led by a peer of the realm. In my novel, the hero has to become a pirate in order to infiltrate the ring and expose the leader. After studying real life pirates like Black Beard, Calico Jack, and others, I decided pirates make better villains than heroes. They were for the most part, ruthless and unconscionable. Yet, I still cheered for Jack Sparrow and Will Turner.
So enjoy the fantasy.
And "Argh, matey! Don' forgit yer sword!"
The Guise of a Gentleman is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and The Wild Rose PressI am offering a free giveaway for this book, The Guise of a Gentleman.
Here's how to win your free copy (and you have four chances if you do all four):

1. go to my website and then find out what is the name of the hero of The Guise of a Gentleman (hint, read the backcover blurb underneath the book cover), then send me an email at, telling me the answer to the question and put "free book" in the subject line

2. Follow my blog, then send me an email at, telling me you're now following me and put "free book" in the subject line

3. leave a comment in my blog, Then send me an email at and put “free book” in the subject line.

4. Friend me on Facebook, ( then send me an email at, telling me you're now my friend on Face book and put "free book" in the subject line.

That’s it!

Remember, for each thing you do, you have another chance to win. Good Luck!!!
Best Wishes, Donna

Thank you, Donna for joining us at Happily Ever After Thoughts. It has been a pleasure. You can find Donna’s books at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Queen in Exile is also available at Costcos across the country and any Deseret Bookstore. The Guise of a Gentleman is also available at Here is the direct link to Donna's book page.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Huge Book Signing This Sunday

This weekend a huge book signing is taking place on Sunday April 17th at the Chaparral Suites Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, located at 5001 N. Scottsdale Rd. I will be there to buy all my favorite authors, but what’s even more exciting, as a writer myself, I will have the opportunity to visit with these fabulous ladies (and gentleman) and learn all I can from their great workshops and events. Below is a list of the authors signing, and if you live nearby come on over. This event is open to the public from 5:45pm to 7:00pm. Below is a list of all the authors signing books.
Drue Allen, Ada Anbar, Jennifer Ashley, Christie Walker Bos, Rebecca L. Boschee, Vee F. Browne, Eileen Carr, Jerri Castronova, Toni McGee Causey, Stacy Connelly, Kerrie Droban, Anita Ensal, Diane Gabaldon, C.C. Harrison, Marie Harte, Donna Hatch, Robin Lee Hatcher, Katherine Atwell Herbert, Jennifer Hoffman, Sharon Hooper, Christy Hubbard, Allyson James, Glynna Kaye, Kathryne Kennedy, Gini Koch, Deborah LeBlanc, Annette Mahon, Lynne Marshall, Cathy McDavid, Mackenzie McKade, Linda Lael Miller, Pinkie Paranya, Peggy P. Parsons, Erin Quinn, Eileen Rendahl, Cassie Ryan, Sharon Sala, Vijaya Schartz, Laurie Schnebly, Brad Schreiber, Linda Style, Jodi Thomas, Vicki Lewis Thompson, Kris Tualla, Michele Venne, Jody Wallace, Kim Watters, Carrie Weaver, Susan Yarina.

Next week my guest will be Donna Hatch, and she will discuss what she learned about pirates while writing her new release THE GUISE OF A GENTLEMAN. Stop by and comment for a chance to win a copy of her book!

Monday, April 5, 2010


Last weekend I read this lovely book that I just had to share with you. It’s called ANGEL IN THE MOONLIGHT by Marie Patrick. It’s set in Arizona in the 1800’s and reminded me of the old television show Big Valley, only in this story la patrona is a young woman, Callie, whose family has been slaughtered.

From the start, I felt for this heroine who made a promise to her dying mother to find those responsible for the brutal killings. "Determination" is Callie’s middle name, and she rides out in the dead of night dressed in black as the Angel of Justice, scaring all who encounter her masked figure.

However, there’s a new Sheriff in town, literally, and Austin is determined to find the culprits and keep Callie from harm. Not an easy task, especially as his attraction for her grows while her lies multiply. But he is stubborn, having already failed one woman he loved, and he refuses to give up on Callie. But when he catches her in a compromising position, his rage explodes, and he rescues her only to fall prey to her emotional needs and his own physical attraction. Now, he wonders if he can solve the horrific murders and protect her when he has lost all objectivity.

As Callie handles the ranch, the villains, and Austin, who becomes her husband before the last villain can find her, she learns the depth of her love and the depth of her hate. The danger and mystery, however, aren’t over until the mastermind behind the brutal attacks is found. But in the end, Callie and Austin find their happily ever after.

If you enjoy a strong heroine, with a good, but tortured hero, and a setting as vibrant as any old west movie, you will love this book. I know I did.