Dr. Seuss taught all of us about fantasy, about nonsense, and about red fish and blue fish. I’ve tried all my life to hold on to my sense of the absurd, to my willingness to look silly, to the dreamy sense of infinite possibility that I felt as a child, rocking in a rowboat on Lake Ponchartrain, staring at the sky.
I think it can be done. I don’t think you HAVE to grow out of something if you love it. I used to tease my daughters that if they declared there was no Santa, there would no longer be any need for me to pretend there was (in other words, no presents!). read more
Oh, Nathaniel, what have you gotten yourself into this time?
Known far and wide as Lord Treason, Nathaniel carries the burden of his ruined honor with fortitude, but he has vowed never to pass on that poor reputation to a wife or children. Let his ruined name die out with him, and let the Royal Four’s secrets be safe, and he swears to uphold the mystery of his true story.
That well-laid plan lasts about as long as a ride through the countryside, where a stray projectile from a slingshot wielded by a jinxed young woman cracks open his future like a shattered hornet’s nest. Forced at the point of a country innkeeper’s displeasure, Nathaniel must wed the young lady he has accidentally ruined. No one bargained on Willa, a quirky orphan with a sharp mind and a relentless belief in Nathaniel’s better nature, despite the rumors of betrayal.read more
I love all my characters. Even the villains, because I empathize with being misunderstood. Still, every once in a while someone comes along, just strolling down the lane of my mind, and becomes one of my favorite people in the world.
Willa from To Wed a Scandalous Spy is one of my dearest friends. She’s smart and funny. She’s so loyal that nothing can convince her of Nathaniel’s guilt. Her blithe confidence in herself and the people she likes makes me want to be a better sort of person myself.read more
I have another Halloween treat for you! Have you checked out the fantasy novels of C.J. Redwine?
The Shadow Queen begins the fairy-tale inspired Ravenspire series–and let me tell you, this ain’t your mama’s Snow White! Some people consider this YA, but I think it’s a fantastic tale for all ages. I’m not going to give you ANY spoilers (don’t you just hate spoilers?) but here’s a link to a big fat 4-chapter sample!
Many years ago, while I was living near Nashville, I met C.J. Redwine in a coffee shop. She tells the story much better than I could, but I will say that I am so proud that I knew her when!read more
If you haven’t tried the Charley Davidson series from Darynda Jones, you are absolutely missing out. I love, love, LOVE these books! Smart? Check! Funny? Check! Sexy? Oh yeah!
Charley Davidson is a Grim Reaper living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She’s a snarky, vulnerable hot tamale with just a few issues, like being the Light. Yes, THE LIGHT. As in, “step into the light.” read more
People often want to know if I wanted to be a writer my whole life. The answer to that question is no.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” –Toni Morrison
These are the words that made me a writer. My story is that simple. I am a lifelong voracious reader. I read everything. I would read every word on the cereal box while I ate breakfast as a child. It never occurred to me that I could be a writer. Writers were special, crowned in glory, gurus on the mountaintop. I was a reader.read more
So not sexy to me. Seriously? Here’s an idea. How about we get two macho men to compete for a woman with housework? The man who shoots the most laundry into the washing machine wins the bride!! He who swings the best Dyson gets the girl! Put them in front of the judges on Chopped to see which one is the best cook!
Now that would make my knees weak, I guarantee! read more
I recently did a fun little piece for BookPage.com. They asked me for a peek behind the curtain, a historical romance writer’s perspective on the real Regency. I’m so fascinated by this era and I’ve learned a lot about it. There are a few things I’ve learned that I wish I unknow, believe me! The marvelous escapist fantasy that I want to provide in my books (the one where dukes are young and handsome and totally into marrying a girl from a notorious family like Bliss Worthington!<3) would not benefit from too much gritty reality!
When a character introduces herself, sometimes it can be difficult for the writer to understand why this person is the way they are. We try to uncover her life, her background, her parents, whether or not she has a pet, what is her favorite color–and why is it her favorite color?
Environment can play a factor. When I realized who Bliss really is (spoiler deleted!) I knew that she would have been placed in with a foster mother so that she would have as normal and mundane a childhood as possible. A cottage in a distant shire, watched over by a woman of solid common sense like Mrs. Dalyrymple.read more
Every month, I choose a classic quote for whatever I face at that time. In May, my mind was on how long I could continue to be creative in my present genre. I began my journey in Regency romance in 1999! I have always tried to be consistent because I believe that my identity as a writer of humorous, action-packed sexy romance is a sort of promise to my readers. “I, Celeste Bradley, will continue to deliver books of the same kind and quality that I have done in the past, so that you always know what you are going to read.”read more