Friday, August 20

Summer of Love: Lessons in Seduction

Good Friday Morning! Today, I am featuring my book, Lessons in Seduction, the second of my Once Upon an Accident Series:) The third book in the series, The Spy Who Loved Her, will be releasing next spring in digital, along with a free short story I am planning for it. Today, I have a big super bonanza prize for ya, so read the excerpt and go down and see what I am talking about for the prize.

LESSONS IN SEDUCTION
Samhain Publishing
What is a lady to do when her chosen rake changes her lessons in seduction to lessons of love?

Book two in the Once Upon an Accident series

Watch the trailer!



Cecily Ware understands how society works. At the age of twenty-six, she has been around long enough to know that she is doomed to spinsterhood. But she refuses to go without ever knowing what it is like to be with a man. So she comes up with a wonderful plan to find a rake to teach her, complete with a list of possibilities. At the top of that list sits Douglas the Duke of Ethingham.



When he asks Lady Cecily to waltz, Douglas never expected her to request seduction, or that it would intrigue him quite as much. With each glance, each smile, each touch, he finds himself falling under her spell, unable to resist her lure. In her he finds a soul mate, someone as lonely as he is, who understands his pain, and will give herself to him without demands or expectations. But as he finds himself falling in love, he also discovers a wicked plot to kill Lady Cicely. As they race to discover who wants her dead, they fall deeper in love, leaving them to decide if the lessons in seduction could lead to a lifetime of happiness


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Douglas, Duke of Ethingham, was every matchmaking mama’s dream come true and nightmare rolled into one delectable package. Cicely had always thought him attractive, although she’d only observed him from a comfortable distance. Since the familial connection between he and Colleen had been revealed, he’d become a regular fixture at the Penwyth townhouse and estate. Cicely and he had become acquaintances of a sort. He rescued her from being a wallflower. She saved him from debutantes and mamas.

She watched him walk through the crowded ballroom, the candlelight caressing his sculpted facial features. From where she stood, his eyes looked ordinary grey. But, she knew about the hint of blue around the iris of his eye and the way it lightened even more when he laughed. Her heart skipped a beat as he headed in her direction.

“You would think he would have been caught by someone by now.”

Cicely jumped, startled by the familiar faint whisper in her right ear, then looked over her shoulder at her aunt Victoria. Petite, yet rounded, Victoria was still the beauty she had been in her youth. While fine lines around most ladies’ eyes would make them appear older, it just added character to Victoria’s face.

They were much the same height, yet Cicely always felt like an elephant next to her. She turned back around but realized she’d lost sight of Douglas. Disappointed, she gave her attention back to her aunt, an empty feeling lining her gut. He had seen her. She knew it. But, he’d seen something better. She tried to push the negative thoughts from her mind and focus on her aunt.

“I have a feeling that His Grace will not be caught unless he wants to be caught.”

Victoria laughed and stepped forward to stand beside Cicely. “That much we agree. Still, he is getting to the point where he should think about putting up a nursery. He is the end of his line. Well, the only one worth anything anyway. I know there is a cousin or two somewhere, but rumor is they are as ghastly as his father and grandfather.”
Something cold slithered into Cicely’s stomach and settled there. Not from her aunt’s description of Douglas’ extended family, butJH rather from the thought of him with another woman. She knew he had to marry, though she had hoped it would not be so soon. At least not until after he helped her with her plan. Okay, really never. If he did have to wed, sharing one memorable night with him would be enough for her to endure whatever simpering fool he married.

She cleared her throat delicately. “His Grace has said before he does not intend to marry for some time.”

When Victoria didn’t respond, Cicely glanced at her. A mysterious smile played about her aunt’s lips.

“You know what they say, Cicely. The right woman could make any man change his mind.”

She doubted any woman would change the duke’s mind, but she nodded just to agree and get the conversation moving. Knowing that this would probably disintegrate into another discussion on her lack of beaus, something that apparently confused her aunt, Cicely decided to change the subject.

“Did I tell you about the diary I found today at the bookstore?”


Victoria gave her a knowing look but said nothing about her lack of tact. “No, you didn’t.”

“It was quite amazing I found it because it was buried at the bottom of a crate. The proprietor told me he’d bought it at some estate sale.”

“Really?” Victoria’s attention had now turned back to the dancers on the floor, but Cicely knew that her aunt had a habit of keeping one eye on her surroundings and her ear to the conversation.

“It is more an accounting than a personal diary. I am not sure what it means or if it is real. But it seems that one of five men kept a diary while they conspired against the throne about the time of the Terror. I have no idea from where they came, but I think they may be very significant.”

The first strains of a waltz sounded before Victoria could answer. Cicely really hated this dance. While she sometimes had requests for country dances from various cousins and gentlemen she knew from The Historical Society, she rarely was asked to waltz.

“Lady Cicely.”

She glanced over her shoulder to find Douglas standing to her left, a smile curving his beautiful lips. Curling her toes into her slippers, she told her heart to stop doing flip-flops. All she could do was stare at him. His wavy dark hair never seemed to stay in place, yet always looked tidy. The mischievous twinkle in his eye sent heat racing up her spine. A few murmurs reached her and brought her out of her stupor. It was then she realized her faux pas. Flushing, she curtsied.

“Your Grace.”

He took her offered hand and waited for her to rise before asking, “Would you honor me with this dance?”

She didn’t pretend not to hear the whispers growing louder. Accustomed to them or not, they were still disturbing. Regardless, she held her head high and looked him right in the eye. “I would be delighted to dance with you, Your Grace.”

He led her out to the dance floor and within moments they were whirling with the other dancers. The feel of his strong hand providing gentle pressure on her waist, his body close to hers made her head spin. The heat of him warmed her front, though she tried not to think about it. Her body already tingled, and she knew from experience she lost all thought when that happened.

“I owe you a world of thanks, Lady Cicely.” He smiled down at her, a genuine smile because the man thought she was no threat to his bachelorhood. And she wasn’t. She didn’t want marriage, but she did want him. “Lady Sara has been after me since I walked in the door and I shudder to think what would happen if I had to dance with her.”

She tried not to laugh, but she couldn’t help it. “You should be ashamed of yourself, Your Grace. She cannot help it that she can’t dance.”

“I danced with her last week and my feet will never be the same. Who would have thought such a small woman could inflict that much pain?” He shook his head and chuckled, clearly amused with himself. “So I am serious when I tell you I owe you a boon.”

This was almost too good to be true. “You will grant me a favor in return?”

He nodded and expertly twirled them around a slower couple. She licked her lips and numbly followed his lead. Truthfully, she knew he thought nothing of the offer. In Douglas’ mind, she was sure he assumed she might ask for a ride in the park, or the use of his box at the theater. This had been handed to her on her silver dancing card.

“Your Grace?”

He leaned closer to hear her. She normally didn’t speak that loud, but with the sound of the orchestra, not to mention the fact she was out of breath from dancing, she understood he was having problems hearing her.

“I call in your boon. I do have a favor to ask of you.”


Nodding, he straightened and again twirled her around. “Ask and you shall receive.”


“I was wondering, if you wouldn’t mind, would you teach me how to seduce a man.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So, tell me. What time period would you like to travel to? Would you go back in time to witness an historical event, or go forward to see what happens in the next century? I will be drawing TWO names for a signed print of Lessons in Seduction, Conquering India, Hands On Training or A Little Harmless Pleasure, your choice. This is open to everyone, no matter where you live. One book per winner.
I will draw the names Sunday.

19 comments:

Tina said...

Wow that is a tough question for a history buff!! I love me some men in Kilts so I guess I would have to say sometime around the Robert the Bruce era in Scotland! Just the thought of all the historical things that were going on around that time,to see them unfold it would be amazing and if I happened to snag a hottie in a kilt so much the better!!
I have already read Lessons in Seduction and highly recommend it!! I loved every page of it and now I just have to wait till the spring to get my next fix !!!

Melissa Schroeder said...

Ahhh, you are too sweet! I do love my historicals, to write and to read:) I might have another book in the series, I have not decided on if I am going to write it yet. And like I said on my facebook fan page, I will be writing a free short story/novella to go with the digital release of The Spy Who Loved Her.

Brandy W said...

Hmmm let me think......

I'm not sure where I would fly off too. I think definitely back in history but I'm not sure when or where. Men in kilts conquering the land. Ancient Egypt like from The Mummy. Great clothes back then. Maybe England so I can attend a ball with candle lit rooms and the men all dressed up.

To many choices and I just can't make up my mind.

Melissa Schroeder said...

LOL, I am like you, Brandy. With my love of history it would be hard to pick just one. Definitely Scotland and Egypt. That would be cool.

Ali said...

Not entering in contest, but just wanted to answer question :)

As much as I would love to go back in time to meet Jane Austen (I'm a fan, hehe) I'll have to say the future. Everything has moved so fast the last couple of decades that I wonder what things will be like a hundred years from now. Truth be told, though, I'm a bit scared about what I'll see there, lol.
Ooh, I wonder if we'll have a space fleet like Star Trek *bg* (I'm a fan of them, too, hehe) Now, that would be awesome! I'd want to join, lol

Melissa Schroeder said...

Part of me would love that, if I stayed there. I am not sure I could handle having to leave all the cool stuff they have in the future. I mean, think, if you had traveled from 1960 to 2010, it would be hard to give up computers, internet and hell, the CELL PHONE. I have to have mine on me all the time:)

Brandy W said...

I just have to saw you're killing me Mel. I knew I shouldn't have read the excerpt. Its my personal deadline day for that short story. But I have to run up and grab my copy and read.

I've put it down and gone back to work but....

joder said...

I'd want to go back to Regency times. I'm intrigued by the clothing and all the partying they did.

Ali said...

I'm addicted to my cell phone, too... it truly is my crackberry *sigh*

Colleen said...

Hmmm... I would not want to stay in the past, but I would not mind visiting to see how things were... some interesting times would be The Old West, Victorian, maybe pagan Ireland...

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I'd love to go back to Elizabethan times and meet Elizabet 1, Shakespeare, Francis Drake, Walter Raleigh....sigh.

I've read all these titles in e-format and LOVED them!! I, of course would love to have a print copy to show off on my shelf.

All the best!!

Valerie
valb0302@yahoo.com
in Germany

Melissa Schroeder said...

Brandy, I try, lol.

Joder, Oh, I know. I mean, what kind of a life. Party until almost dawn, sleep the day away...


Colleen, Yeah, I would not mind going and coming back. I would just not want to see all the fun inventions of the future and have to give them up to come home, lol.


Val, thanks! One of these days, I am going to make it to Germany, I SWEAR TO GOD. Actually, it is probably sooner than later. We will have to get together.

desi said...

i would love to go in the past just to see what any time period in the past was really like compaired to what we think it was.
deslauree3 at aol dot com

Cathy M said...

Hi Mel, loved the except.

I would go forward and look in on my kids 50 years from now. Take a look around and (hopefully), see a peaceful world, and maybe get a peek at my grandchildren.

Melissa Schroeder said...

Desi,
You know that would be really interesting. History is always written by the winners, so it has a slant on it. It would be cool to find out just what went on. To see if our history books are as accurate as we think.

Melissa Schroeder said...

Cathy,
LOL, that would be fun. You could see our descendents like in Back to the Future!

Jane said...

I would like to travel back and experience life in Ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt with all its political intrigue and innovative architecture and art.

flchen1 said...

Wow... I'm not sure! I guess I've always been curious to see how it might have been in ancient China; I'd prefer to visit as someone wealthy though--I think the life of the poor in most times has been pretty dreadful :(

Also, I've always been curious about the future--that would be fun to take a peek at, too! It'd be great to see whether the inventions in scifi turn out to be real ;)

And I cannot wait for The Spy Who Loved Her--I recently finally indulged in The Accidental Countess and Lessons in Seduction and LOVED them.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Mel.

Whenever you get over here, we'll get together for sure!!!!

Valerie
in Germany

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