Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Tour for the Secrets & Scandals series from Darcy Burke (Guest Post w/ GIVEAWAY)

Some of my favorite romance series have been in the historical genre.  There's something about that time and its bad boys that draw me in.  Darcy Burke has a new series out entitled Secrets & Scandals that I've been raving about for the last few days and that I'm introducing you to today.  So keep reading to sample the books in the series thus far as well as the opportunity to win some fabulous prizes.  First up is Darcy discussing book series.....

Thanks for having me on the blog today! Since I’m smack dab in the middle of writing my Secrets and Scandals series, let’s talk series!

For me, stories are all about character, and when you’re writing a series, you need a lot of them! Not just heroes and heroines, but a tapestry of supporting players who create a world readers want to visit again and again. Characters not only connect stories, they keep books fresh as you unravel their layers over time. The innocuous valet in book one might be an important part of someone’s story in book three. Or maybe a secondary character will pop up as a villain.

That said, you have to make sure the series is cohesive. A character can’t make an about face unless you develop that transition in a believable manner. For example, Jagger is a villain in To Seduce a Scoundrel, but he’ll be the hero of his own book*, Scoundrel Ever After. I’m looking forward to his journey over four books!

Introducing future heroes and heroines is very common in series, and I think really smart. How better to entice readers to keep reading? It also adds depth to your current story (provided you don’t spend too much time on tomorrow’s hero or heroine, which can be very tempting as their story begins to take shape in your mind and begs to be told!). Elizabeth Hoyt did this beautifully in her Maiden Lane series. In the first book, Wicked Intentions, you met the heroine’s sister, Silence, and a nasty river pirate, Charming Mickey. Something Very Awful happened between them, but you never got the details. I was positively salivating for their story (and she made me wait two books to get it!).

When writing a series, continuity is very important, but I don’t plot out the entire series. If there’s an overarching plot or thread, I pay close attention to it, but letting each book sort of develop organically as you get to it helps keeps things exciting, I think. For example, there are three books to come that will round out my Secrets and Scandals series. There’s an overarching plot that will tie those three books loosely together, but I’m not plotting the specific details of the last two books while I’m writing the current one. I have an idea of where things will go from here, but I like to follow twists and turns as they arise, just like a reader.

*I think redemptive heroes are very popular. One of my favorites is Sebastian in Lisa Kleypas’ Devil in Winter. He’s a villain in the previous book (It Happened One Autumn), but she does a wonderful job transitioning him into a hero in the very next book. And he’s utterly sigh-worthy.

What do you love about series? Do you have a favorite series and why is it your fave?


Banished from London for her reckless behavior, Lady Miranda Sinclair is robbed by a dashing highwayman en route to the country. By offering him a kiss in lieu of the jewels she had to leave behind, she commits the very type of act that caused her exile. When her dour guardians extend her punishment to performing charitable work at the local orphanage, she’s further tempted by the home’s owner, a provincial gentleman who stirs her passion in a most wicked way.

Desperate to save his orphanage from financial catastrophe, Montgomery "Fox" Foxcroft leads a double life as a highwayman. The arrival of wealthy, well-connected Miranda, whose kiss he can’t forget, presents a lawful opportunity to increase his coffers. His problems seem solved—until she rejects his suit. Out of options and falling for the heiress, Fox must risk what principles he has left and take advantage of her wicked ways—even if it ruins them both.


She sighed, a sound of deep regret. “I told you, I have no money.”
“You’re lying. You reek of wealth.” Fox sniffed loudly to punctuate his statement and got a nose full of her alluring scent for his trouble.
“I know.” Her lips curved into a small, almost seductive smile. It stole his breath. Literally. When he finally remembered to take air, he did so quite audibly. Her mouth widened then, and her face shone like the sun on the brightest summer day.

What the hell kind of highwayman fixated on some chit like a cheap Byron impostor?

Fox reined in his wayward lust. “You must have something of value. A piece of jewelry? A quizzing glass?”
She arched a brow. “What do you take me for? A doddering dowager?”
Good God, no. Never that. If they’d been anywhere else, he would’ve laughed.

Instead, he called out to Rob, as much to distract himself from her as to determine his steward’s progress. “How are you doing over there?” He was careful to lower his voice lest Carmody determine his identity. Highway robbery shouldn’t be this bloody complicated.

“Coming along. Gent’s being quite accommodating.”

He returned his attention to the girl, disappointed she hadn’t sprouted a wart in the last few seconds. “I don’t have time to discuss the finer points of your doddering or lack thereof. Return to the carriage and retrieve whatever it is you have of value. I’d hate to have to use my pistol.”

Her gaze flicked downward. “Your pistol?”

Hell’s teeth, had she just looked at his crotch?

“You’re not even pointing it at me.”

She was quite maddeningly correct.

My review is posted HERE.


Jasper Sinclair, Earl of Saxton, made a bargain with his devil of a father to marry in one month’s time. But instead of shackling himself to an acceptable debutante, he indulges his baser needs. He joins a fighting club and pursues a delectable woman who may not be what she seems. Soon he finds himself battling addictions that threaten his already wicked heart.

Orphaned seamstress Olivia West wants the chance to lead an honest, respectable life, but the arrogant Earl of Saxton launches a daunting campaign to make her his mistress. Destitute and desperate, she agrees to one night with the dangerous lord, hatching a scheme to take his money and keep her virtue. However, Jasper uncovers her deception and vows to claim what he's owed—not his money, her.


Olivia stood taller and thrust her chin at him. “I came from Devon several months ago and took a position at the theatre as a seamstress. I only filled in onstage for an actress who left temporarily to care for a sick relative. It was then I had the misfortune of encountering—and being bedeviled—by you.”

Bedeviled? He’d show her bedeviled. Jasper closed the gap between them until they nearly touched. “And when is it exactly that you came from Devon?”

She tipped her head back, but didn’t shrink from him. An auburn curl loosened and grazed her ivory cheek. “March.”

He took in the graceful sweep of her neck, partially covered from his hungry gaze by the starched collar of her shirt beneath the deep sage green of her riding habit. His lust threatened to destroy any semblance of propriety, which, alone as they were in the gallery, was nonexistent. “So you really are from Devon.”

“Yes.” Her voice deepened, stirring his desire further.

He tucked the stray lock of hair behind her ear. “And your parents died last year. Were they ill?”

Her breathing hitched as his fingers skimmed the outer shell, and he felt a surge of triumph. “A coaching accident.”

“You said you didn’t own any horses.”

The flash of disquiet in her eyes confirmed the lie. She drew back, and his body regretted that his mind had pursued this course instead of kissing her senseless. “They’d borrowed someone else’s carriage.” A plausible excuse, but he still didn’t believe her.

So disappointing—both her dishonesty and his unquenched lust. “Ah, and therein lies the tragedy.”

She turned, quickly, before she showed him any emotion.


My review is posted HERE.


Quintessential debutante Lady Philippa Latham is determined to avoid scandal at all costs so that she may marry well. When her mother’s outrageous behavior threatens their family’s reputation, Philippa unwittingly follows her to a party no unmarried Society girl would risk attending. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Philippa is “rescued” from disaster by England’s most notorious scoundrel, which sets them both on a path to public and personal ruin.

Lord Ambrose Sevrin is infamous for ruining his brother’s fiancée and refusing to marry her. Content to remain among the fringe of the upper ten thousand, he is an intriguing enigma to London’s elite. Philippa thinks she’s met the true Ambrose—a gentleman who would fight to defend her and help her secure a husband before it’s too late. But he can’t be that husband, even for her. He won’t tolerate redemption—or love—for his crimes are far worse than anyone can imagine.


“Is that what you’ve been doing with your dance partners tonight? Husband hunting?” The notion filled Ambrose with a disturbing sense of nausea.


They danced apart again and Ambrose took the opportunity to mentally review the men he’d watched her with. When they came together, he said, “That foreign boy…you danced with him out of obligation, not because you’re considering his suit?”

Philippa smiled up at him, her ale-colored eyes sparkling beneath the glow of hundreds of candles. “Oh, stop. I’m not considering his suit, but he’s perfectly charming.”

“Charm is your chief requirement in a husband?”

Her body moved with precision and grace. “Along with honor and kindness.”

“You might do better with a dog.”

She laughed as they danced apart again. Such a warm, lovely sound. He would miss it.

When they came together, she gave him a contemplative look. “Is there a breed you recommend?”

“Something loyal who’s ready to defend you.”

“Like you?” She gazed at him alluringly and he had to work to focus on the dance steps.

“That is not how I’d describe myself.” Unfaithful, selfish, arrogant…these were far more accurate adjectives.

“But your ability to defend me and my honor is well-established. And here you are with me again tonight.” She shook her head, her lips set firmly together. “I’m dubbing you loyal.”

He leaned forward slightly and lowered his voice to just above a whisper. “Please, stop. You’re going to reverse my black reputation. I can’t have that.”


Darcy Burke wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. An RWA Golden Heart® Finalist, Darcy loves all things British (except tomatoes for breakfast, or any other time of day, actually) and happy ever afters.

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her devoted husband, their two great kids, and three cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. She’s also a fair-weather runner, and her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge. Visit Darcy online at, follow her on Twitter at, or like her Facebook page,


Darcy will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, a copy of the anthology Born to Bite (out in August), an ebook of The Runaway Countess by Leigh LaValle, and a Sara Ramsey ebook. (She is also running a contest on her website: sign up for her newsletter during the tour and you might win a $10 Amazon gift card.)

 -Giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE!
-One commenter will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more tour stops you make a comment on the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 8/25.


  1. When I fall in love with characters or a world I just want the series to go on & on. One of my favorite series is A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE by George RR Martin.


    1. I haven't read the books yet, Mary, but I watch Game of Thrones on HBO and can't get enough!! Thanks for following the blog tour!!!

  2. I love series since once I start with the first book and love it I know that I have a couple more books waiting out there that I will love too, it just make it so much easier to pick out books

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

    1. Shannon, I agree! I'm always sad when a series ends. But good news! I have a new series all cooked up and waiting for when this one is done!! :)

  3. I love a series. Sometimes you meet a character and want to know more so connected books are fun.

    1. I love recurring characters, Kit! Thanks for following the blog tour!!

  4. I love the way you write. I love all the excerpts. I have read book one, and can't wait to read all of them. If they are as good as the first one, they are all winners.

    1. You are so sweet MomJane! I like to hope each book is better than the last, so I really hope you enjoy them!!

  5. Thanks for having me today and for the wonderful reviews. You made me tear up. ;)

    1. Thank YOU for being here today! I've thoroughly enjoyed your series thus far with its amazing group of manly men who are the epitome of heroes. I'm so excited to see that more books are on the way and can't wait to see Lockwood and Jagger and knew you'd match them up with the ladies you chose, it makes for some intriguing couplings (you do have your work cut out for you with making Lydia more likable and less catty, but I totally have faith).

    2. LOL! I think readers will be surprised to learn what's really up with Lydia. Can't wait to share her story with you!!

  6. I like series books because you find out more about the characters after their happily ever after. I like the BDB series.


  7. I'm just wading into series's good to learn about the side characters you like in future books!


  8. I love series, one of my favorites is the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Series are my downfall...once I start one I never want it to stop. My pet peeve is when an author just decides not to finish one. I know they have their reasons, but it drives me nuts now knowing how things end up.