I’m so glad it’s time for What to Read Wednesday :) Please help me welcome author Megan Frampton to the blog. She’s talking critique partners and then sharing her latest release Put Up Your Duke, book 2 in the Dukes Behaving Badly series.
After you check out her blurb and excerpt, don’t forget to enter her wonderful giveaway! The links are at the end of the post :)
Take it away Megan…
No author writes in a vacuum (because, you know, that sucks!). Many authors, me included, have a critique partner—someone who reads the work as you’re writing, who offers encouragement, advice, and a sounding board for when you’re not sure just when the hero and heroine should kiss (spoiler: I write romance).
When you’ve found the right critique partner, as I have, you know the person will have your back, even if they don’t agree with you all the time.
Take, for example, my relationship with my critique partner, Myretta Robens. Myretta is as crucial to my process as my own hours at the keyboard. She tells me to ‘just keep writing’ whenever I worry the book is terrible (that happens a lot), she lets me know if my ideas and characters work, and she reins in my language when I’ve used something not current to the period (I’m writing early-Victorian historical romance, so I can’t say something is totally awesome, for example).
She also tolerates my idiosyncracies. Namely, my love for large-nosed men, many of whom have acted as inspiration for my heroes. I can date my fascination for the Victorian period to my first viewing of North and South, the miniseries based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s book of the same name. More specifically, to the miniseries’ hero, played by Richard Armitage.
Let’s pause a moment to swoon, shall we?
But Myretta does not agree with my assessment of Mr. Armitage’s particular charms. In fact, when I first started talking about him, she dubbed him ‘Ratface’ because of his large schnozz. I have to admit, it is rather long and pointy. That’s why I like it. And why I like David Gandy, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Takeshi Kaneshiro.
So when we first started working together, I would share pix of Armitage to illustrate what my hero looked like, and she would respond, shortly and succinctly, ‘Ratface.’ Eventually, she shortened it to ‘RF.’
But that’s the beauty of a critique partner’s feedback—you can take what works for you (in this case, that Myretta knows word origins and makes sure my words are of the period) and what doesn’t (that Richard Armitage looks like a rat). If the worst thing she ever tells me is that the actor I find to be the most gorgeous thing in the entire world looks like he might steal my cheese, I’m okay with that.
Put up Your Duke
Dukes Behaving Badly #2
By: Megan Frampton
Releasing June 30, 2015
He was once happily bedding and boxing, but in the newest DUKES BEHAVING BADLY novel, Nicholas Smithfield has inherited a title and a bride…
To keep his estate afloat, the new Duke of Gage must honor an agreement to marry Lady Isabella. Stunningly beautiful, utterly tempting, she’s also a bag of wedding night nerves, so Nicholas decides to wait to do his duty-even if it means heading to the boxing saloon every day to punch away his frustration.
Groomed her whole life to become the perfect duchess Isabella longs for independence, a dream that is gone forever. As her husband, Nicholas can do whatever he likes-but, to Isabella’s surprise the notorious rake instead begins a gentle seduction that is melting every inch of her reserve, night by night…
To his utter shock, Nicholas’s discovers that none of his previous exploits were half as pleasurable as wooing his own wife. But has the realm’s most disreputable Duke found the one woman who can bring him to his knees-and leave him there?
And then, then when she felt like she might be going cross-eyed from staring so closely at his mouth, he leaned forward and pressed those lips against hers.
His fingers moved to behind her ear, holding her gently in place. His mouth felt warm and delicious, and she imagined she could feel the contact of his lips all over his body, even though they were only touching in—one, two, three places. Their mouths, his fingers behind her ear, his thigh pressed against hers.
How was one supposed to breathe? She didn’t want to exhale from her nostrils onto his face, since that seemed like it would be unpleasant, and she couldn’t exactly breathe with her mouth, since it was otherwise occupied.
Thankfully, it seemed that he had to breathe as well, since he disengaged and drew back for just a moment, giving her enough time to draw a deep breath, before returning his mouth to hers.
Only now—now it felt as though his lips were parting, and she could feel his breath in her mouth, only it didn’t seem odd at all. It felt as though they were joined together in just that one spot, breathing the same air, almost the same person.
Except that he was a very tall, very charming, apparently-very-conversant-with-such-matters duke, while she was a not as tall, very polished, but not-very-aware-of-anything-that-might-happen-between-a-man-and-a-woman duchess.
He drew back again, but only just barely. She felt her insides flutter as his eyes met hers. “You haven’t been kissed before.”
It wasn’t a question, but instead of the sharp, irked feeling she got when her mother said such things, she felt as though he’d spotted something about her no one else ever had. That no one else had ever gotten close enough to know.
That no one had been privileged to know before.
“No,” she said, shaking her head a tiny fraction.
An almost arrogant smile came across that mouth, and she felt her own mouth start to curl up in response.
“Is that some sort of thing men like? To be the first one a lady has kissed?” she asked, startled by her own boldness. Not to mention her own ability to form a sentence, given how fluttery she felt.
“Not usually.” It sounded as though he was actually pondering her question rather than giving her the expected answer. “But with you—you’re different. Somehow it feels different,” he said in a wondering tone of voice.
But before she could respond to that, he lowered his mouth to hers and kissed her again, this time using his lips to coax her mouth open as well.
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/05/put-up-your-duke-dukes-behaving-badly-2.html
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/127805-dukes-behaving-badly
Megan Frampton writes historical romance under her own name and romantic women’s fiction as Megan Caldwell. She likes the color black, gin, dark-haired British men, and huge earrings, not in that order. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and son.
Avon is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for Three Signed Copies of PUT UP YOUR DUKE