Monday, June 6, 2011

Stefanie Sloane, In the Lair

Hosted by Donna MacMeans

It's my great pleasure to welcome Stefanie Sloane to the lair. Stefanie has burst onto the historical romance scene with three wonderful stories set in the Regency period. Romantic Times gave Stefanie's second release, The Angel in My Arms, a 4.5 Top Choice review calling it "powerfully emotional, sexually charged love story that will keep you up all night." Sounds like my kind of story!

Welcome, Stefanie! We love call stories in the Lair. Would you like to share yours?

First, a friendly hello to the Romance Bandits and buddies! And thanks so much for inviting me to chat. My call story involves mutli-tasking. And barking dogs. And my mom. And IM. Oh my! I was busily and quite effectively procrastinating—cleaning the kitchen sink, if I remember correctly—when my agent called with the offer. As she filled me in on the specifics, I dashed off an email to my mom with the exciting news. I mean, you can’t expect a writer to keep such news to herself! Then, just for good measure, I sent an instant message to my husband.

He responded, you know, instantly, with big, smoochie congratulations and questions about where to go for dinner and when and... Then my mom’s congratulatory email popped into my in-box. She wanted to know EVERYTHING! All the while, my agent is talking about important stuff and I’m trying really hard to concentrate. And write an email. And an instant message. And then my darling, adorable dogs start barking--for no apparent reason.

Thank God my agent sent a follow-up email outlining everything I needed to know about the deal, because I’m pretty sure I would have agreed to be paid in Monopoly money without ever knowing it!

Who are the Young Corinthians, and how does this story fit within the Regency Rogues series?

The Young Corinthians are an elite spy organization that operates within the English government. Made up almost entirely of the titled, the group is known to only a handful of officials, and the agents undertake their life-threatening missions to defend country and crown in absolute anonymity. No one, not even their loved ones, are aware of the danger that these men face on a day to day basis.

THE ANGEL IN MY ARMS continues the mystery introduced in my debut book, THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE, but instead of the glamorous ballrooms and glittering ton of London, this intriguing and adventurous story takes place in the wilds of Dorset, on the Weymouth coast.

Tell us about the hero and heroine in The Angel in My Arms.

Marcus MacInnes, the Earl of Weston, is a man without a home. Half Scottish, half English, he’s searched for his place in the world with little luck. The Young Corinthians provide him with the only sense of comfort he’s ever known, until he meets Lady Sarah Tisdale. She’s everything he’s not looking for—an unconventional beauty whose lust for life is rivaled only by her ability to drive Marcus to distraction. When Sarah’s life is in jeopardy, Marcus discovers that the passion between them can no longer be denied—and he’ll do anything to keep her in his arms.

Did you encounter anything interesting writing-wise while working on your second book?

Actually, yes! When my dear friend, Julia Quinn, read through the first draft, she suggested moving the “cute meet” scene which takes place late in the first chapter to be the opening scene of the book. I completely understood why—after all, it is one of my favorite scenes in the book—but I had my reasons for ordering the scenes in such a way and I stuck to my guns. I’m very much a linear writer, so the thought of moving scenes about was a new one—and, honestly, interesting. Even though I didn’t decide to go with JQ’s suggestion, it was a fascinating exercise and one that I’ll make use of in the future.

Brave you! May we see an excerpt?

Of course! This is from the scene that JQ thought should be moved to the very beginning of the book. See if you agree!

A high-pitched scream shattered the quiet and stopped Marcus in his tracks. A second scream followed and Marcus ran, willing his wounded leg to keep pace with the rest of his body as he crashed through a bank of quickthorn bushes.

He fought his way through the thicket, the branches lashing his arms and legs until he broke into the open. The castle lake lay before him, sparkling in the sunlight.

He scanned the water’s surface, then the shore from left to right, but failed to find the source of the screams. Something moved suddenly in his peripheral vision. He narrowed his eyes and once more, searching the lake. Water rippled in a circle too large to have been caused by a jumping trout.

He stripped off his coat and prepared to dive in. Two figures broke the surface of the water. A peal of feminine laughter filled the air.

“You promised!” a young male voice whined indignantly.

Marcus squinted against the sun and made out a boy, sodden hair plastered to his skull.

“I never promised, Nigel,” a woman’s voice answered teasingly, “and it’s very poor form of you to lie.”

Marcus shielded his eyes with one hand to see the woman better. She bobbed up and down in the water, clearly amused with whatever had transpired between her and the boy. She looked straight at him, her eyes widening in surprise.

And then she smiled. A brilliant, wide smile that seemed to light up the entire world. She was soaking wet, auburn curls in damp corkscrews atop her head and hanging to her shoulders. Her ivory skin flushed under the hot sun, a trailing frond of green water weed peeking out above the neckline of her dress.

And Marcus could not imagine a more bonny sight.

She seemed about to speak to him when her gaze shifted past him and over his shoulder. Shock and dismay filled her expression. “No, Titus!” She cried out. “No!”

Marcus turned his head just in time to make out a massive dog galloping toward him. The fawn-colored animal launched himself into the air, toppling Marcus backward onto the clay of the lake bank.

The weight of the beast’s body settled on Marcus’s chest and he planted a dinner-plate-sized paw on either side of Marcus’s head. Then the dog lowered his massive face, the drool from his sharp-fanged mouth threatening to drop at any moment.

Marcus held himself completely still, knowing full well the animal had the upper hand. The dog sniffed carefully, his noxious breath hitting Marcus’s nostrils with pungent force.

“Titus, get off that gentleman now. This! Very! Instant!”

The dog offered Marcus a sheepish, apologetic look before swiping his lolling tongue in friendly salute across Marcus’s face.

“Now! Get off him. You bad, bad boy!”

Another apologetic look and the dog rose, allowing Marcus to sit up.

The woman leaned down to peer anxiously into Marcus’s face.

“I must apologize for my dog’s behavior,” she began, now standing so close that Marcus felt tiny droplets of lake water hit his skin when she moved.

So what's next?

I recently finished book four in the Regency Rogues series, tentatively titled THE SAINT WHO STOLE MY HEART. I’m really excited about this one as it introduces a whole new mystery thread that will carry through to book six in the series. While I wait to hear back from my editor, I’ll write the synopsis for book five, THE SCOUNDREL TAKES A BRIDE. This is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job—just letting my imagine loose on unsuspecting characters! He he he.

Now you know all about how Marcus and Sarah meet. So tell me all about when you met your sweetie. First date or fender-bender? Love at first sight or it took time to realize that they were the one? Comment and you’ll automatically be entered to win a signed copy of THE ANGEL IN MY ARMS. Good luck!


Helen said...

Is he coming to my place

Have Fun

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Helen.

Congrats on your debut release, Stefanie. I love it when the books in a series are released back to back. Love at first sight has never happened to me. It definitely takes a little while for me to develop the strong feelings associated with love.

barb said...

well done Helen.... I was at Helens when GR teleported in LOL

Congratulations on your book, Stefanie, thse books sound very good.

My DH was a friend of my brothers and was often at our house..... it was not long before I was going out with him and as they say the rest is history LOL

Helen said...

I am back sorry I had to organise dinner LOL and Barbara was here having a cuppa with me.


I have these first 2 books on my must have list I really am looking forward to reading them I love the sound of them and the excerpt loved it.

I met my Hubby when I was 14 and we were friends but just after I turned 15 there was a group of us walking back to the train station from ice skating and he took my hand in his and held it all the way home he even walked me home then went back to the train station to catch another train home to his place LOL. It wasn't long before I knew he was the person I would marry and we did on my 20th birthday we have been happily married now for 34 years we have 4 children and 6 granchildren.

Congrats on the release of you 2nd book and the thought of many more makes me smile.
Thanks Donna for inviting Stefanie along today

have Fun

marybelle said...

I was kidnapped by my sister and her boyfriend and taken to a party. I met my man that night. Kind of romantic. It took me a while to warm to him but the rest, as they say, is history.

Donna MacMeans said...

woohoo Helen! Congratulations on the GR (and the long happy marriage)

Donna MacMeans said...

Jane - I have to agree. It's really nice when you don't have to wait a year to read the next installment in a series. I wish I could write that fast! I stand in awe.

Donna MacMeans said...

Barb - That's what brothers are for - to attract and vet their sister's future husbands! LOL Can't say that worked for me. I think my brothers intimidated their friends so much that none was willing to actually ask me out. But that' okay. It all worked out in the end.

Donna MacMeans said...

Marybeele - Just like the song - that's what friends are for. I hope you guys are still in touch.

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your new series! Your covers are really beautiful. I met my husband when I was out with a co-worker that he was friends with.

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome to the Lair, Stefanie - I've discovered a new author and will be getting your books asap! They sound fascinating!

I met my hubby at work - I'd just transferred from another division and we met in a meeting. We were instant friends, though we worked on opposite side of the table (I was in Marketing and he was in R&D!).

One of the biggest risks we ever took was taking a chance on turning that friendship into something more. Luckily, it worked out great and we're celebrating 10 years of marriage this year!

PJ said...

Congrats on the new books, Stefanie! They both sound wonderful!

I adore the scene you posted. It's a perfect opener to draw the reader in but I'd like it just as much wherever you placed it in the book. It hooked me just from being posted here in the lair!

I met my late husband at the pool in the apt. complex where we both lived. I was in the water, he was fresh off the tennis courts and we were introduced by the guy I was dating at the time. I remember looking up at this glorious golden man with rippling muscles, a bare chest glistening with sweat, twinkling eyes and a beautiful smile. Thud! I was a goner. ;-)

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Stefanie! Your meet-cute scene is definitely cute! I'll look forward to finding Marcus & his lady on my bookshelf soon!

As for my own meet-cute, it was more like a meet-late. I didn't start dating my now-husband until six weeks before I was scheduled to move out of the state. So we started dating, fell in love, then spent a year doing the long-distance thing because it seems weird to throw over a job & a planned out of state move for some guy I'd been dating less than two months.

Ah, retrospect.

Kim in Hawaii said...

Congrats, Stefanie, on your release! I met my hubby at the Pentagon. He remembered me from officer training alomst7 years before that ... and 14 years later we are living in Paradise with two kids and three cats!

Laurie G said...

My husband dated my college roommate. I first met him when I answered the door in my robe when he came to pick her up and she wasn't home from her class yet.
I didn't start dating him until a year later and I knew within the first couple of dates that he definitely was my soul mate.

Your book sounds fabulous!

Laurie G said...

My husband dated my college roommate. I first met him when I answered the door in my robe when he came to pick her up and she wasn't home from her class yet.
I didn't start dating him until a year later and I knew within the first couple of dates that he definitely was my soul mate.

Your book sounds fabulous!

Danielle Gorman said...

Congrats on yet another book of yours that I can't wait to read. This one looks especially good. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

My boyfriend and I met while working at our first job. It was at a supermarket and I remember thinking when I first met him that I could see him as being a good boyfriend for me. After a few months of flirting we started going out and that was 12 years ago and we are still going strong.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Stefanie. Congratulations on your series. Sounds wonderful. My brother introduced me to my husband and we had a whirlwind courtship and have been married 8 years.

Donna MacMeans said...

PJ - Loved that first meet! Sounds like a meant-to-be moment!

Anna - Congratulations on those 10 and counting wonderful years!

Susan - mine was a long distance relationship as well. The shared letters won my heart.

Danielle - Can I just say "Pick up on aisle 3" (Sorry, couldn't resist)

Deb said...

Congratulations on your debut release, Stefanie! I look forward to reading TAIMA!

When I had first seen my husband in Levis, cowboy boots, and a denim shirt, I was lost right away! I'd known him for about 4 weeks by then, but it struck me as how goodlooking and sexy he was at that moment. It was very much mutual attraction at first sight and we were married almost 2 years later. He wanted to get married within 6 months of meeting, but I put it off for awhile because he had been married previously and I'd never dated anyone before...But, we'll be married 13 years in October. :)

Diane D - Florida said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diane D - Florida said...

I knew my hubby before we dated as, I dated his friend. Turns out that hubby and I were better suited than his friend and I were. We've now been married almost 41 years.

Oh Stefanie, the art work on your book covers are amazing. The Art Department have done a stunning job. I loved the excerpt and am glad that you followed your instincts about where to place it. I can't wait to read the whole story and, the rest of the series too when they're released.

dpd333 at aol dot com

Stefanie said...

Good morning everyone! Wow, I am loving the stories from all of you. So many different ways to meet "the one," and fall in love.

Though we haven't heard any here yet, I must say, since the age of the internet hadn't really dawned when I was dating, I'm fascinated by people who meet and fall head over heels via an online dating service. Anyone know a couple who met this way? I do! They're perfect for each other and have been married for years now. Amazing!

PS: Helen, I'll send Marcus over ASAP!:)

jo robertson said...

Welcome to the Lair, Stefanie! Your books sound delicious and I'm whipping over to Amazon right now to download one onto my Kindle.

Congrats, Helen!

My first meet was not so dramatic as Sarah's and Marcus's. A friend of a friend kind of thing and I changed my mind, called him up to cancel and realized what an incredibly sexy, warm, masculine voice he had over the phone, so I didn't!

It was love at first "sound."

Dtchycat said...

Met my old man on an internet dating site, went for coffee at the local bookstore (plus 1 for him, he chose the place) and then he held my purse when we were at the mall when I tried on a jacket (plus 100!), knew he was a keeper then!

Pat Cochran said...

I met Honey 52 years ago at a party.
The group I was with sat at a break
in the music and one tall fellow was
still standing. I invited him to share
my chair, he did and turns out he knew
my brothers. He shared the rest of the evening with us and on his way home he
told the friend he was with that he/Ken
was going to marry me! It took longer
for me to be convinced & 2 years later
we did marry. We celebrated our golden
anniversary last month and we are so looking forward to fifty more!

gamistress66 said...

Congrats on the release, am looking forward to reading it. Gotta love those noble regency spies :). Sounds like a great meet for the couple, love the dog tackling him so ;)

Stefanie said...

Pat, congrats on the golden anniversary! That is an impressive accomplishment. Care to offer any advice on how to stay happily married for 50 years?

Jo, can't believe that you almost cancelled on your hubby, but reconsidered after hearing his voice! The man must have one smooth and sexy voice!:)

Dtchycat, any man who will hold your purse and shop with you is a keeper in my book.:)

catslady said...

I met my husband in high school. He was the new kid who had traveled the world (air force brat lol) and I had never left my hometown. I was just 16 and he 18. We got married 2 1/2 years later and this month will celebrate our 42nd anniversary (yikes).

Beth Andrews said...

Welcome to the lair, Stefanie! Thanks so much for sharing that fabulous excerpt - your books sound wonderful and I'm looking forward to picking up a copy of The Angel in My Arms :-)

I met my husband in a bar *g* My friend's brother was a roadie for a local band and my friend and I went to one of their shows. My husband ran the band's light show and there was a definite connection the first time our eyes met. Six months later we were engaged, six months after that we were married.

We celebrated our 20th anniversary in April :-)

Donna MacMeans said...

Beth - I didn't know you met your husband in a bar. i did too! Like you it was love-at-first-sight. They say those sort of meetings yield the longest marriages.

Had to laugh. Went to Lori Foster's get together this past weekend. Various authors provided the centerpieces to the tables. One author said she was bringing wedding photos of "celebrities." Turns out she brought the wedding photos of various authors that were at the event. She gathered them for the "Happily ever section" of her website. One of the photos was mine. I almost fell over at how young we were. Those were the days.

Stefanie said...

gaimstress66, I must admit that Titus, the dog who tackles Marcus, is one of my favorite characters. He's based on a mutt that I had growing up, so holds a special place in my heart.

Wow, catslady, you met your soul mate at a very young age. I bet plenty of people thought you wouldn't last considering this, but 42 years later, you've proven them all wrong. I love it!:)

Beth, I love your story! Bars, roadies, rock & roll. Awesome!:)

Donna MacMeans said...

Stefanie - one of the things I did while in Cincinnati for the get-together weekend was pre-plan my sister's funeral. No sad faces - my sister is fine. This was just one of those things that needed to be taken care of while I had my mother's inheritence.

Anyway, turns out the lady funeral director is a big romance fan. She bought three of my books (grin). But she met her husband online through eharmony. We spent a long time talking about love at first sight. When I left I told her I wish I had more people to bury - we had a blast.

I have a cousin-in-law that sort of met through eharmony. She's 50 and had never been married. The match found for her online didn't click, but he said he knew someone perfect for her - and he did! They got married three years ago.

Gannon Carr said...

Hi, Stefanie! I think your book covers are so gorgeous, and I'm looking forward to reading them all.

My hubby and I grew up in the same town, but we really didn't get to know each other well until high school---he was 2 years ahead of me. I had a mad crush on him my sophomore year of h.s., and I asked him to Sadie Hawkins. We never seriously dated, because he was getting ready to graduate and go to the Naval Academy---didn't want a long distance relationship. Anyway, we stayed in touch over the years and one Christmas we saw each other when we were home on break. We started dating then and the rest, as they say, is history. We will celebrate our 23rd anniversary next month.

Deb said...

P.S. I guess I should also mention that we didn't formally begin dating until school was out for the summer (even though we'd met in November)...I was his son's third grade teacher and I didn't think it was professional to date a student's dad while he was in my class. We had our first date (he came over for lunch) on June 1st or thereabouts of that year. :)

Sheree said...

Congrats on the rooster, Helen!

Congrats on your new release, Stefanie!

No online romance for me either; I met my boyfriend at the allergist's office. We hit it off because we had similar allergy profiles (much easier to date someone who is allergic to the same foods as I am).

Stefanie said...

Donna, my girls have so much fun looking at my wedding photos--and laughing.:) It's been nearly twenty years and let's just say the weddings in the early 90s looked quite a bit different from what you see on "Say Yes to the Dress!":)

I've had single friends complain that it's just so hard to find a good guy, and I believe them. But I hold out hope that they'll find the right one because it's everywhere--even the allergist office!:)

Nancy said...

Helen, have fun with the GR!

Stephanie, welcome! What a fun excerpt. I love dogs in books.

We were not love at first sight, though things moved fairly quickly for us.

Congratulations on your fabulous debut!

Stefanie said...

Nancy, thanks for the congrats! And to everyone, I have really enjoyed hearing all about your own love stories. So inspiring!

lindsey hutchison said...

i know i am late but im still answering. i havent met him yet. there was a guy that i love that i was sure was the one. but he let me go i just havent been able to get my heart to let go though my mind accepts it. i can tell you my dream scene of meeting would be in a crowded place my back turned yet i feel his eyes on me and when i turn i meet his eyes and i get a jolt. that would be my dream. but for right now im harboring feeling that are no longer returned.

SiNn said...

congrats on the release

how i met my betetr half

sorta a funny story i met him when i was 12 and i was carryin all my books in my backpackhis brother tugged on my back pack broke the strapi was scrambling to pick it up he looked atme smiled and helped i still didnt say much otehr then astudder of ty a few das later he nearly ran me over with his motor cycle cause i got shoved out in the street. still sta,mered but told him all about my hopes anddreams we later met again on line by a friend setting us up on ablinde chat date been together ever since

Donna MacMeans said...

And the copy of The Angel in HIs Arms goes to....Gamistress66 as chosen by Stefanie. I'll put a bandita booty post up tonight.

Gamistress - if you'll send me your contact information, I'll pass it along to Stefanie. Email me at

Thanks -