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Release Party: Bared to the Viscount by Lara Archer

Break out the champagne, it’s Lara Archer’s release party. Happy book birthday, Lara!

Wait, who is this Lara character, you may ask? She’s a long-time friend and incognito Ruby who also writes under a different pen name. And today I’m happy to announce is her historical erotic romance debut with Bared to the Viscount.

Let’s get right to the good stuff, shall we?

Bared to the Viscount by Lara Archer

Poor, plain spinster Mary Wilkins has no business falling in love with Viscount Parkhurst. They may have been best friends in childhood, but he’s the wealthy, powerful lord of the manor now, and everybody knows he’s bound to marry a beautiful local heiress. Mary tries to resign herself to a life of hopeless yearning, but when she and the viscount find themselves entangled in a stand of wild blackberry vines, unexpected passions flare.

The viscount can’t seem to keep his hands off her. But is he planning to make her his wife—or only his secret mistress?

Available Now at Amazon.com

Find out more at Lara Archer’s website

 

The story has both the lovely restraint of a period romance combined with the sexy fun times of an erotic romp. After a very lovely weekend curled up with the Viscount, I was eager to find out more so I cornered Lara for an exclusive interview.

Jeannie: Congratulations on your debut, Lara. What a sexy, fun read! How did this story come about?

Lara: The story of the poor clergyman’s sister and the handsome viscount first popped into my head as a sexier version of a mainstream romance I was working on—inspired by two characters who behaved in a much more restrained and proper Regency manner in the other book, then took on new life of their own once I let them out of the box. They were so much fun to hang out with, the story just flowed onto the keyboard. I love the freedom and energy of writing erotic romance. It’s a little harrowing to actually send it out into the world today (blush, blush), but I can’t seem to stop myself from writing more!

 

Jeannie: What was the part you loved most about writing it?

Lara: The hot sex!!! I’ve always been drawn to love scenes—and erotic romance is built around those! (I know…I’m in the minority among romance writers in finding those scenes the easiest to write.) I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I have a very scholarly background, and I’ve always been fascinated by the evidence that people in the past weren’t nearly as repressed as modern people tend to assume they were. Compare parish records on marriage dates and dates for baptism of first children—it sure looks like a LOT of couples got a jump-start of quite a few weeks on consummating their wedding vows. The series is called The Rites of May because all the stories take place around May Day, which had an important place in British folk culture since ancient times. Springtime is full of pagan energy—even the rule-bound Regency aristocracy must have felt its sensual pull. For me, though, lush romance is really at the heart of these stories. I love the element of sexual passion, but in the end it’s about souls finding each other, and peeling away all the barriers society makes us put up to hide our deepest selves.

 

Jeannie: That’s what I loved about the story. Not only was a sexy, angst-ridden romance, but the historical and atmospheric details were such wonderful touches throughout. The May Day element was a great choice — a sensual and pagan backdrop to what, on the surface, appears to be a very straight-laced society. What part was the hardest to do?

Lara: Ha! There was one scene, which came to be known to me and my CP as “Forest Sex.” It took WEEKS to finish…I don’t know why. Probably because it’s the biggest emotional turning point in the book. I had to get everything right. I swear I set off fireworks on the day I finally wrote the last word of it—but now it’s one of my favorite scenes in the book.

Second hardest thing: imagining telling my older relatives the title of the book. Or imagining any of them reading it. Nope, nope, nope…just full of nope. They’re not supposed to KNOW I know some of those words. I considered not telling them about the existence of Lara Archer, but I’m just so excited about this new series coming out, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. Sorry, Grandma!!! (Honestly, I think Grandma’s going to love it!)

 

Jeannie: Tee hee. I think I know what scene you’re talking about. And yes, Grandma probably would love it. Lara wasn’t exactly delivered by the stork, after all.

Now everything really starts heating up when the hero and heroine get stuck in some blackberry vines. Was this incident inspired by any true-life incident?

Lara: LOL! I’ve been tangled in plenty of blackberry vines in my time, but it never ended in quite such a steamy way for me. More like getting scratched up and ripping my parka getting my long-haired retriever dogs unsnarled. But that’s the beauty of Romance novels, isn’t it? Anything can turn into a love scene. (For the record—I’ve got some dramatic claw marks down my cleavage just now….but only because my husband decided to empty the freezer ice tray while I was holding our very-paranoid cat.) Truth be told, a good portion of my misspent youth was spent with handsome gentlemen outdoors. There’s just something about starshine and fresh air and a soft blanket of grass that I’ve never been able to resist. Hmmm….I wonder if Grandma would take the kids for a few days so my husband and I could go camping…..

 

Jeannie: TMI alert! LOL. I noticed that the book is part 1 of a series. Do you plan out an entire series before you write or go book by book? Do you already know who all the other couples are going to be?

Lara: Once John and Mary’s story started rolling, this whole wonderful little village of Birchford took shape around them, and stories began clamoring in my head for the supporting characters –the scandalous widow, the vicar, the wounded war hero… My CP threatens to throw me in a sack with a rabid coyote if I don’t get to Sam Brickley’s story soon. (Can I admit I also have a big crush on Sam?) Sam’s story is coming eventually, but the vicar, Thomas Wilkins, gets his story first…with Rosamund Lawton, the beautiful heiress he’s been trying for years to block from his dreams. They’ll be finding their happy ending in Book 2 of the series, BARED TO THE HEIRESS, which should be coming out August 20. Ooh, shall I do a cover reveal right now??? Yes, yes, I shall:

LaraArcher_BaredToTheHeiress_800px

Jeannie: Niiiiiiiiiice!! And Thomas and Rosamund?!!!! I totally didn’t see that coming!
Now for a quick lightning round:Charlotte Bronte or Jane Austen?

Lara: DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE!!!! I’m a mega-fangirl of both Charlotte and Jane. I love Austen’s snarky, satirical take on society, but I’m also a sucker for all-out angsty, rebellious heroines of Bronte’s books. I hope my stories have a little bit of both.

 

 

Jeannie: Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen?

Lara: Love both versions of Mr. Darcy, but I’m gonna have to go with Colin. Oh, those sad, yearning brown eyes staring at Elizabeth, unable to speak their buried passion…. Nobody does repressed-but-seething-under-the-surface English gentleman like Mr. Firth. As a Regency author, I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I hang out on Tumblr a lot, and you’d be amazed by how many girls in their teens and twenties are obsessed with Colin Firth (OBSESSED.) That boy’s got it.

 

Jeannie: Clotted cream or butter?

Lara: Um….Greek yogurt!!!

Jeannie: BUZZZZZ!!!!! Wrong! The correct answer is both, Ms. Archer. The correct answer is both. *pokes squishy middle*

Lara: I adore describing rich Regency fare—lobster bisque, quail, mountains of buttery scones—but in real life I prefer healthier 21st century foods. Which is a pretty good metaphor for my books: lavish Regency setting, but with a fresh, modern sensibility. (Okay, okay…you didn’t put Talenti Sea-Salt Caramel Gelato on the list….if you had, I’d totally have picked that. Not everything I eat is healthy. But I always have fun!)

Jeannie: Yet no one got fat in the Regency, despite all those fancy meals! Oh, wait. I think I’ve just been staring at Kiera Knightly for too long. Thank you so much Lara and congratulations on the debut. I had a great time reading it.

***

READ THE EXCERPT: Bared to the Viscount

Here’s a Ruby-blog-appropriate excerpt. In the aftermath of the blackberry encounter, Mary dares to going a-Maying in rather less clothing than a typical Regency gentlewoman was supposed to wear:
 
It was a shocking thing to do, to have her body bare beneath her dress. A bit of sunlight behind her, and anyone could see she wore no underthings.
 
Her curls blew softly across her cheeks, the fabric of her dress brushed her breasts and fluttered about her thighs. She felt the shape of her own body beneath it, for once not feeling straight and scrawny, but subtly rounded, feminine, alluring. Her flower basket beat against her hip, and even that small pressure sent shocks of physical awareness through her. A strange, restless energy tinged with desire seemed to ripple through the very air as she moved. Her blood heated and sang.
 
Oh, what if she could be here with John?  
 
She shouldn’t think of him, but the thoughts flowed in anyway. In fantasy, at least, she might have him. In this world that felt so magical, they wouldn’t have to remember the restraints of civilized life. They could lie down together among the bluebells, loosen what little clothing they wore, and let the surge of new springtime life carry them away.
 
She came up over a rise lined with sweet blooming hawthorn trees, agilely dodging their thorny branches, drinking in their perfumed scent, feeling more alive and vigorous than she had any right to feel.
 
And she saw him.
 
John.
 
Standing right there in the clearing she’d been heading towards.
 
The sun made a halo of his golden hair, and a bright nimbus of the loose white linen of his shirt. He wore breeches and boots, but no hat, no jacket, no waistcoat, no neckcloth, and his sleeves were rolled up to his elbows. In nearly the same state of dishabille as she was.
 
His throat and a bare expanse of his chest beneath it gleamed like bronze. He was too beautiful—a young pagan god.
And he shouldn’t be there—he wouldn’t be there, like that.
 
She must be dreaming him up.
 
She stopped dead, but she made no move to cover herself. Surely, the sunshine around her rendered her dress all but transparent without her underthings beneath it to block the flow of light. But this wasn’t real. This was a dream—a fantastical bit of magic conjured by the May Day sprites.
 
His gaze was raking over her form, clearly taking in the sight of her light-limned body beneath the thin linen of her dress, and his fists clenched so hard, the muscles of his forearms bunched.
 
And then he spoke. “Mary,” he said. “I knew I would find you here.”
 
The sound of his voice was enough to break the charm.
 
She wasn’t imagining him. He was real, and flesh and blood, not a magical illusion.
And it was very, very dangerous to be alone with him, in this strange, loosened state she was in. She might not be strong enough to resist him, and she knew she had to resist him, for his sake, if not for hers.
 
No, it was for her own sake as well—she had to keep her distance from him so she could keep something of her inner self alive when he married elsewhere.
 
“What are you doing here?” she said, her voice trembling slightly. “Only the ladies are supposed to be out now.
 
Gentlemen are supposed to stay at home in their beds.”
 
The line of his jaw tightened. “I know. I tried. I tried very hard. And then I kept thinking about you out here.”
 
“You shouldn’t. You shouldn’t think about me.”
 
He took a step closer. “I’m finding it hard to avoid these days. Especially when I’m in bed.”
 
A flutter went through her abdomen at his words. “Stay back.”
 
But he didn’t stay back. He took another step toward her. “This morning I thought of you walking in the woods,” he said, and his tone was low and urgent. “I imagined you with your hair down, walking through the flowers. I tried to convince myself that was only a fantasy, that you’d never dare do it in truth.” His breath held a moment, then released on a sigh. “But, damn it all, look at you. Better even than I imagined.”
 
A steamier excerpt can be found at:
 
***
Thank you Lara! Heels clicking for an awesome debut for you.
 

Leave a comment today to win one of three e-copies of the book!

Available Now at Amazon.com

Find out more at Lara Archer’s website

 

73 responses to “Release Party: Bared to the Viscount by Lara Archer”

  1. Happy release day, Lara!!!!! Love the premise! I’m thrilled for you and I wish you every success — you deserve it!

    Loved the interview, Jeannie! I have my very own copy of Bared to the Viscount, so no need to enter me in the prize draw. Now I’m off to check out the rest of the book…and find some salted caramel gelato…and Colin Firth…

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    • Lara Archer says:

      Thanks, Vanessa!!!

      So funny to be hear under the “new” name…I feel like one of those Regency heroines at a masquerade ball.

      I hope you enjoy the book (and Colin Firth…and the gelato.)

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  2. Oh, HUZZAH!

    I loved the excerpt and I can’t wait to jump into this wonderfully steamy story. So glad that Lara found her voice in historical erotic romance, because I know readers are going to want MORE!

    Congrats and thanks so much for sharing!
    Cheers, EE

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    • Lara Archer says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth!!

      It’s very scary having something out to the public for the first time….I’m trying to only squint at what’s going on on Amazon and keep my focus on finishing Book 2. (A third book is actually closer to being finished…but more on that later.)

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  3. Rita Henuber says:

    Happy HAPPY Book Birthday.
    Wonderful interview and the excerpt is brilliant.
    Very much agree things were not as repressed as we’ve been led to believe.
    Sex scenes that are emotional turning points are more time consuming to write. Conveying the huge internal arc for one or both characters isn’t easy. But as an author so rewarding when the words swirl and flow satisfactorily. I do believe the reader enjoys it also. 😉
    Congrats and much success.

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    • Lara Archer says:

      Thanks, Rita!!

      I remember a great aunt of mine who enjoyed reading spicy novels laughing over a particularly…um….vigorous scene, and saying, with a beaming expression,”Well, we didn’t necessarily know all these positions in my day, but we certainly had fun!!”

      I have pictures of a different great aunt hanging out on beaches in the 1920s in what was a pretty skimpy bathing suit for the time, with her arms draped over quite a variety of handsome men…

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  4. Elizabeth Langston says:

    Congratulations, Lara. Great interview and excerpt.

    And it’s so true that our fore-fathers and -mothers were less repressed. When I was researching 18th century America, I discovered that 50% of brides were pregnant at their weddings. Yup.

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  5. Diane Kelly says:

    Woo hoo! So happy for you! Sounds like the perfect thing to read by the pool this summer. Off to buy my copy!

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  6. Kate Parker says:

    Well done, Lara. And nope, they weren’t repressed, they just had to be better at sneaking around. No available hotels at the time.

    For the record, give me clean sheets every time. I lost my love of doing it on the beach by 30. I can’t imagine blackberry vines.

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  7. jbrayweber says:

    Hi Lara~
    Beautiful covers, and equally yummy excerpt. I think I swooned.

    You and I have something in common. Love scenes come easy for me, too. I get lost in the push/pull, the forbidden, the unbridled passion, and how rational thoughts can just disappear – all in vivid skin-on-skin detail. 🙂

    Congrats on your release! Congrats on this new journey! I can’t wait to read more from you.

    Jenn!

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    • Lara Archer says:

      Thanks, Jenn! Shout out to Kim Killion for both the covers.

      And I LOVE the way you describe love scenes….that’s what it feels like for me, too. They just FLOW.

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  8. Anne Barton says:

    Congrats, Lara!!! Loved the excerpt, can’t wait to read the rest. 🙂

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    • Lara Archer says:

      Thanks, Anne!

      It was fun last night trying to pull out a section that was PG enough for the Ruby blog.

      Not that it’s wall-to-wall love scenes. Like Jeannie said, it’s still a period romance with lots of dialogue and humor and trying-really-hard-to-be-dutiful-and-repressed angsty-ness…

      I like to think of it as “if Jane Austen wrote dirty.”

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  9. Hope Ramsay says:

    Congratulations on your book’s birthday, Lara. Loved the excerpt!

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  10. Abby Sharpe says:

    Hooray Hooray Hooray Lara!!! I loved hearing about how the book came about and I’m SO PROUD of you!!! Wishing you many sales and great reviews. <3

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  11. Tamara Hogan says:

    Congratulations, and happy book birthday, Lara! I loved the excerpt, and can’t wait to read the whole thing.

    Speaking as someone who was an in vitro guest at my parents’ wedding, yes – our ancestors were anything but repressed. 😉

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    • Lara Archer says:

      Love it, Tammy!!

      My mom was similarly a guest at her parents’ wedding.

      My grandmother decided that, since she was knocked up, she wasn’t going to wear white. Instead, she wore a cut-on-the-bias blue velvet sleeveless sheath that hugged her curves and swept to the floor, with matching over-the-elbow satin gloves.

      She looked like a screen siren. MUCH more satisfying than poofy white lace.

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  12. Jeannie Lin says:

    So happy for your big day! Congrats!! And lookee here….a second book already on it’s way. *grabby hands*

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  13. OMG!

    “Even the best of men can give in to temptation.”

    Shivers. I tell you, that tag line gave me shivers!!

    And then I got to this: His breath held a moment, then released on a sigh. “But, damn it all, look at you. Better even than I imagined.”

    Woman, you can certainly weave a tale and get a reader excited for the rest of the story! Congrats on the release and here’s to many, many happy readers clamoring for more!

    Hugs

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  14. Happy release day, Lara! Loved reading this post, your book excerpt and seeing your new covers! Awesome!!

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  15. Congratulations, Lara, and happy release day! It sounds so good. Looking forward to reading it! Enjoy this fun time.

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  16. Caroline says:

    I’m so heartbroken I won’t get to meet you in NY! I think we need to toast to our debuts!

    GREAT post, Lara!! I can’t wait to read more! I confess I’m not usually a Regency girl, but Jane Austen sucked me in and now you did too! I just know I’m going to love this!!

    Congratulations on your premiere!! Wishing you many happy fans!!

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    • Lara Archer says:

      Awww…hugs, Caroline!! I’m so proud to be sharing a debut release day with you!!

      And hopefully we’ll meet up in San Diego in 2016…with a few more books out, and awesome sales!!

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  17. I can’t say enough squealy, gushing, fabulous things about this book. I was lucky enough to read it in its early stages, and it bowled me over then. Imagine my surprise when I opened my copy this morning and immediately got sucked in to a story I’d already read twice — it’s gotten even better!!

    Congrats, Lara, on this long-awaited release. I can’t wait for everyone else to dive in and discover what an astoundingly effortless and engaging writer you are.

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  18. Yay!!! Congratulations, Lara. 😀

    I love that your series is set around May Day. How fun! They look like fabulous stories.

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    • Lara Archer says:

      Thanks, Anne Marie!!

      I was really drawn to May Day given all its ancient ties to wild fertility rites.

      It seems like the perfect antithesis to Regency notions of propriety and duty…and a great way to lure those uptight aristocrats into some bad, bad behavior!

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  19. 1-click purchase? Yes, please!

    Congratulations and good luck today! I’ve been waiting for you to be published for YEARS. I’ve always thought you were going to be one of the big-time breakout chart-topping Rubies, and I’ve been perplexed by New York’s utter ignorance of your genius.

    Screw ’em. We don’t have to wait around for people to hand us our credentials anymore.

    (Looks like you’re already on the top-100 lists for your categories!! WOW!!)

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    • Lara Archer says:

      Thanks, Jamie!! You’ve been an awesome supporter from the start!

      To tell the truth, New York didn’t ignore me, I ignored New York.

      I’m very perfectionistic and very, very pigheaded and like to forge my own path (kind of like a hippie with OCD.) I’ve watched and waited and decided traditional publishing just wouldn’t be a good route for me, at least not yet.

      Hence, Lara Archer was born.

      Not sure yet which way I’ll go with the Golden Heart books under my other pen name…but we’ll see.

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  20. Shoshana says:

    Happy book birthday, Lara! Can’t wait to read it.

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  21. Sandra Owens says:

    Happy Book Birthday! Great cover and loved the excerpt. *swoons*

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  22. Congrats on the release, Lara! Excerpt is wonderful! Can’t wait for the full set!

    Liese

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  23. Liz Talley says:

    Read the interview when I got up and two chapters of the book! Forgot to leave a hearty congrats! So proud of you and that saucy book!

    Enjoy your day in the sunshine 🙂

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  24. Emily Allen says:

    Happy Release day! Sounds like a book I need to add to my ‘To Read Pile’ 🙂

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  25. Looks fabulous, Lara! Congratulations! I’m definitely going to check it out. : )

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  26. Tracy P says:

    Congratulations!! Great excerpt, “Lara.” May this be the first of many fun, great selling books!

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  27. Gwyn says:

    You took the plunge, now, here’s hoping the water’s just right. Congrats, Ruby Sis!

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  28. Lara Archer says:

    Thanks, Gwynlyn!! Big hugs!!

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  29. June Love says:

    Congratulations, Lara!! I’m so thrilled for you. You got this writing thing down, girl, now run with it. You’re going to be a huge success. 🙂

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  30. Kim Law says:

    So loved this interview!!! Lara, I can seriously FEEL your excited bouncing off my screen. So happy for you, and I’ve been looking forward to you getting out there, woman! I’m expecting you to do well 🙂

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    • Lara Archer says:

      Thanks, Kim!!

      Yes, a great deal of bouncing has happened today. I’m really not sure I’m going to sleep tonight.

      But tomorrow when I wake up, I have to switch my focus 100% to finishing Book #2. Thomas and Rosamund are suffering, and want their happy ending!

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  31. SUPER DUPER CONGRATULATIONS, Lara!!! I am thrilled for you!!! Big cyber hugs and wishes for every success!!! Hugs, Heather

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    • Lara Archer says:

      Thanks, Heather!!

      It’s so lovely to see my friends from other Golden Heart years stopping by! I’m so glad to finally be joining the rest of you in the ranks of the published!!

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  32. Lara Archer says:

    Thanks everybody for being here with me today!!!

    It’s been a blast. And apparently VISCOUNT made it onto the top 100 list of Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Historical Romance. I’ll take it!

    The most difficult part about today: learning that my father and his wife were both READING THE BOOK. One of them said something about it becoming very popular in their circle of friends….and I just had to stick my fingers in my ears and pretend nothing of the sort was said.

    It’ll be an adventure!

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  33. Congratulations, Lara, on your first book birthday! Fascinating about May Day. Can’t wait to read your unique blend of scholarly and passionate! You’ve worked hard for this success. May it be the first of many!

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  34. Jen Gilroy says:

    Congratulations on your first book! I suspect after reading it, I’ll never look at the blackberry bushes in our nearby English country park in quite the same way!

    Like you, I have a scholarly background and having spent considerable time in archives, have also been struck by what people got up to in times past.

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    • Lara Archer says:

      LOL, Jen! I may have to hit you up for some insider botanical and weather information…. I hope you don’t read it and think, “Dear Lord, England is never anything like this!”

      It is set in a year with rather aberrant weather…

      Thanks for stopping by, and see you on the blog tomorrow!!

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  35. Lara Archer says:

    Time to announce the winners of e-book copies of BARED TO THE VISCOUNT (if any of you already have a copy, please pass it on to someone else!):

    Caroline
    Emily Allen
    Tracy P

    I’ll be in touch via email!

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