Please help me welcome author Sharon Cullen to the blog today. If you haven’t checked out any of Sharon’s books you’re missing some wonderful stories. Sebastian’s Lady Spy is the latest in the Secrets and Seduction series from Loveswept. Sharon has a wonderful writing style and the way she weaves her words together makes for a real page turner.
Sharon is sharing with us why she writes historical romance. Afterward, click on the link at the end of the post to enter her giveaway!
Take it away Sharon…
First of all I want to thank you for having me on your blog today. I’m thrilled to announce the release of Sebastian’s Lady Spy, my 15th published book. Whew! That makes me feel tired just thinking of it.
The very, very first book I wrote, way back when, was a historical romance along the lines of Julie Garwood (one of my favorite historical romance writers). I had no idea what I was doing and attacked that Word document with all the gusto of someone who has a story to tell but not a clue how to tell it.
It was in 10 pt Times New Roman font. Not sure what I was thinking writing like that other than I wanted to kill my eyesight. I didn’t tell my husband what I was doing because it was my secret and I didn’t really know if this writing thing was going to work out.
Well here I am, fifteen books later and I think this writing gig is going to stick.
That first historical is buried somewhere. Hopefully I deleted it. If I remember correctly it didn’t have much of a plot. It was just a rambling love story that really didn’t go anywhere. I think I threw some ghosts in as well.
I moved from writing historical to writing contemporary because it was easier—there wasn’t as much research involved. Then I moved to paranormal romance because at the time paranormal romance books were flying off the shelves and that’s when I received my first contract. I’ve tried everything in between—romantic suspense, contemporary and finally, a few years ago I tried my hand again at historical romance and it was like coming home.
I like writing all those different genres, but it’s the historical that I love the most. The research draws me in to the point that I have to force myself to stop researching. I like trying to figure out how to get my characters out of tight situations without the use of modern day electronics or the easy way we have of communicating in today’s world.
And the clothes! Oh, the clothes. The gowns, the breeches, the waistcoats. I love the clothing.
But really, whether I’m writing historical, contemporary, suspense or paranormal romance it all comes back to the characters and it just goes to prove that love is timeless. If you tell a good story and you have interesting characters the setting rarely matters.
Sebastian’s Lady Spy is a story of two spies who fall in love months before but have to leave each other and basically forget that they even knew each other. At the beginning of the story they’re forced back together and must confront a threat to the crown and the love that lay simmering in their hearts. However, they’re both so hard-headed and stubborn that neither will give an inch. It’s the ensuing battle that was so fun to watch and so wonderful to write.
I hope you enjoy Sebastian’s Lady Spy. While it is part of the Secrets and Seduction series, it does stand alone, like all of the novels in the series. So if you haven’t been introduced to the Addison family you might want to consider Claire and Nicholas’s stories as well as their best friend Phin’s story.
Sebastian’s Lady Spy
Secrets & Seduction # 5
By: Sharon Cullen
Releasing March 31st, 2015
Seduction abounds in Sharon Cullen’s steamy historical romance! For the Crown’s top agents, love is a hazard best avoided—until an unforgettable affair exposes their undercover hearts.
Sebastian Addison has a powerful secret. To society he is the Earl of Claybrook, the patriarch who raised his siblings after the death of their parents. But to the king, Sebastian is Britain’s top spy—a position that has taken an emotional toll on him. Contessa Gabrielle Marciano has also been living a lie, her title a cover devised by the Office of Intelligence. The femme fatale was plucked from a life of crime and prostitution and trained to restrain her passionate nature. Until she meets the earl.
For three deeply sensual days and nights, Sebastian and Gabrielle drop their masks, indulging in pleasures that seem too good to be true. Then the lovers go their separate ways. Seven months later they reunite when inside sources report that an English aristocrat has been aiding France in a plot to topple the Crown. Their objective: to find the turncoat. Their greatest challenge: to keep their wild, wounded hearts from derailing a mission of life and death.
He had not told her he was an operative, and she had not told him she was. They had followed the protocol and played by the crown’s rules. Why he was so furious at her, she didn’t know, for she had not revealed any more or less than he had in those far too few days together.
He moved with quiet grace and determined purpose, his bright blue eyes boring in to her. His mouth, that sensuous, beautiful mouth, was a slash of anger, and yet she could not seem to look away from it. Her body tingled at the memories of what that mouth had done to her. If she could have, she would have leaned on something and fanned her overheated face. The memories were too much, coming too fast. She hadn’t expected that. She thought she’d been prepared.
She’d been very, very wrong.
He stopped before her and looked down at her with no expression. But she saw and she knew. He was conservatively dressed in black and white, and he towered over her, using his considerable height to intimidate. If only he knew that he was doing the opposite. He made her insides quiver and that private spot between her legs ache with repressed memories.
“Contessa Gabrielle Marciano,” Lady Eastman said. “May I present Sebastian Addison, earl of Claybrook. My lord, Lady Marciano.”
Lady Eastman stepped back, and just like that, their mission began.
Sebastian bowed. “My lady, a pleasure to meet you.”
He smiled, and for a moment Gabrielle forgot to breathe. It was the smile he had bestowed on her all those months ago, when the outside world was nothing but an inconvenience. The smile that had been accompanied by a loose laugh as they lounged in bed, talking about everything except what was truly important. Because the important things were taboo. The important things reminded them that an outside world awaited. A world that would not accept them as a couple.
Brought back to reality and the ball and the man who was now a stranger standing before her, she realized his smile merely stretched his lips and never reached his eyes.
She curtseyed and smiled back. “My lord. I have heard much about you and am pleased that Lady Eastman introduced us.”
The crowd watched avidly. Gabrielle had no doubt they were cataloging every word, every eyelash flutter. It was rare for the earl of Claybrook to appear at a ball. His introduction to her, a woman with a tarnished reputation whose presence was merely tolerated, was beyond the pale and fodder for a week’s worth of gossip.
“Would you care to dance, my lady?”
What she wanted to do was turn around and walk out, to return to Venice and her apartment. To forget this Sebastian Addison and remember the other Sebastian Addison. Since that wasn’t possible, she took his arm and allowed him to lead her to the dance floor.
Conversations faltered. People stared. The pieces were in place.
When they reached the center of the dance floor, Sebastian turned and held out his hand. She placed hers against his, preparing for the minuet to begin. She refused to allow her memories to overtake her. Yet the images persisted of Sebastian sprawled across her bed, wearing nothing but a lazy smile and the scent of their lovemaking. The sound of his laughter haunted her lonely nights.
The music started, and he moved expertly though emotionlessly. He knew the steps and executed them flawlessly, but there was no emotion behind them. No joy. Nothing.
He looked down on her. On her. Not at her. A seductive smile played around his mouth, but she was no fool. At least not anymore. It was all for show. He was playing his part well, as she should have expected from a decorated veteran spy.
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/01/sebastians-lady-spy-secrets-seduction-5.html
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23167091-sebastian-s-lady-spy?ac=1
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/137236-secrets-seduction
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo
Sharon Cullen is the author of the historical romances The Notorious Lady Anne, Loving the Earl, and Pleasing the Pirate, as well as many novels of romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. If you’d like to find out more about the author and her books, you can visit her blog or her website. She is addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion: books.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
*Loveswept is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $25 eGift Card of Winner’s Choice Bookseller, Loveswept Mug and Nail Polish*