Wednesday, December 02, 2009

IMHO Welcomes Emily Bryan!

Well, December and the holidays are upon us, and it's time for this month's themed giveaway, "All I Want for Christmas is...".  Don't you just love this time of year?

My first guest this month is Emily Bryan, award-winning author of light-hearted historical romances. Emily learned much of what she knows about writing from singing. A classically trained soprano, she gleaned the elements of storytelling while performing operatic roles. She describes her light-hearted stories as "Gilbert & Sullivan . . . with sex!" Emily’s books have been translated into German, Dutch, Italian, Russian and Spanish. She and her husband have lived in nine different states, but she now makes her home in the heart of New England.

Emily will put a signed copy of her anthology with Jennifer Ashley and Alissa Johnson, A CHRISTMAS BALL, in the Christmas-themed tote bag full of books and goodies for one lucky person to win. Library Journal says "My Lady Below Stairs"  (Emily's novella) is "worthy of Shakespeare!" A CHRISTMAS BALL has spent 8 weeks on the top 100 romance sellers list on Bookscan. Emily invites anyone wanting to buy a signed copy at 10% off to follow this link.

IMHO: Emily, welcome back to IMHO. It's great having you here again. Now, you've approached this month's theme from your heroine's perspective. Can you share with us why?

EB: Thanks so much for having me here today, TJ. As the Christmas season approaches, I always try to keep in mind that the simple things are what really matter. A child’s smile, the look on my DH’s face when I take fresh cookies from the oven, or time spent with the family doing nothing in particular except enjoying each other. It’s a season of giving without thought of receiving, of love without deserving it, and of grace.

In A CHRISTMAS BALL, my scullery-maid heroine Jane needs to realize that love can’t be earned. It’s given freely or it’s not love.

In the short excerpt below, Jane is masquerading as her well-born half sister at Lord Hartwell’s Christmas Ball, where she is supposed to accept a proposal from a viscount. Ian, the well-muscled head groom who wants her, decides to crash the party to try to stop her.

**Excerpt from "My Lady Below Stairs" from A CHRISTMAS BALL**

“Ian, what do you think you’re doing here?”

“For a bright girl, Janie, ye’re a bit daft this evening. I’m looking at you, of course.” Ian’s hot gaze traveled down her form and back to meet her eyes again. “Ye’re well worth looking at, lassie, all flushed and rosy. Ye should wear red all the time.”

“Never mind that.” She stepped closer to him so no one would overhear them. A solid whiff of sandalwood emanated from his fine clothes, along with his own masculine scent. “How did you get that suit?”

“Same way ye got what ye’re wearing.” He folded his arms across his broad chest and leaned toward her to whisper. “I borrowed it.”

“That much I figured.” She whispered back, so she had to move even closer. Or was he drawing her in? “From whom?”

“Weel, it was more trouble than I expected. I counted on being able to waylay one of these dandies hereabouts. These fancy gents are on the puny side and I didn’t see any whose clothes I thought I could fit into for the longest time,” he said, clearly enjoying stringing out the tale. “Then I remembered that Lord Hartwell is a goodly-sized fellow—“

“Oh, Ian!” Jane’s stomach turned a back-flip. “Tell me you did not steal from the marquess.”

“Borrow,” he corrected. “Borrow from the marquess.”

“Borrow, then you stupid, big Scot.” Jane suppressed the desire to pound his chest beneath the messily tied cravat. “Why would you do such a thing?”

The musicians started a yearning tune in three-quarter time. Ian’s eyes darkened as he looked at her.

“Maybe I wanted to dance with ye, love.”

His husky voice sent a shiver over her. Very slowly, he slid a hand along the side of her waist, the silk of her gown rustling, almost purring, beneath his touch. Ian took her hand and the fight sizzled out of her.

“Waltz with me, Jane.”

IMHO: What a fun post, Emily! Thanks. I know as a fellow historical romance author, getting the details of your story's time period right is very important. What happens to what you can't use?

EB: Well, I had to do a good bit of research of Regency Christmases for this story and just for fun, I’ve posted 6 bonus CHRISTMAS BALL pages on my website . You can find them by clicking on the fancy Christmas balls on my main pages.

IMHO: Okay, IMHO readers. Tell Emily, if you could have anything for Christmas, (no limits whatsoever, on money, time, or distance) what would it be? Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win this month's Christmas-themed tote containing signed books by Emily, Jennifer Ashley, Christie Craig, Carrie Lofty, TJ Bennett, and a $20 gift certificate from



EmilyBryan said...

Good Morning, TJ! Thanks for having me.

OK, I'll start the sharing of the wildly improbably Christmas wishes. I love cruising. I don't feel like I'm on vacation unless the deck of a great ship is swaying beneath my feet. If time, money, etc was no object, I'd charter a fabulous ship and take a four month long world cruise with all my family (cousins, in-laws, weird uncles and all!) and friends! It would be lovely to visit Tahiti and Australia and Thailand and Greece and scads of other locals with all the people who mean so much to me!

Christie Craig said...

Howdy Emily and TJ!

My secret Christmas wish? That I could join you Emily on that cruise.

Happy Holidays.


EmilyBryan said...

Oh, CC! You know you're one of the friends I was talking about!

Jane L said...

Every year I ask for the same thing. On Christmas Eve I say a prayer by my tree, for my children to have continued, health, happiness and success. I have done this since they were born!

Usually I have no idea what I want for Christmas, but this year I want a sony e-reader! LOL!

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Anything, no limits? I'd want a new house, built the way I want it. I currently live in a 100+ farmhouse that has not a single perfectly square doorway or line, so a new house would be really nice.

Realistically, I just want my family to stay healthy. :)

Loved the excerpt!

EmilyBryan said...

Jane & Stacey--I'm so with you on praying for the continued health and safety of my family. Without that, nothing else matters.

But I also wouldn't say no to a Sony Reader.

Sounds like you're over the charm of 100 year old construction, Stacey. Hope you get your wish! But even in our brand new 2 year old condo, not everything is plumb. Anything made by man settles.

Sandy said...

Good morning, T.J. and Emily,

I think I'm always the last one to the party. Grin. All you early birds beat me.

I love the excerpt, Emily. I plan to read my copy of The Christmas Ball soon. I'm determined to have a break any day now.

You don't need to enter me in the contest, T.J.

Alicia Dean said...

What a great excerpt, Emily. The book sounds wonderful. And, I LOVE Christmas, so the theme certainly appeals to me.

If I could have anything in the world for Christmas, it would be unlimited health and happiness for my friends and loved ones, unlimited travel, and George Clooney, or maybe in the spirit of Christmas, twelve different hunky hotties!

Wait...did you mean, just ONE wish. Sorry to be greedy. :-)

I really enjoyed your post!

mrsshukra said...

Hi Emily! Never been on any cruise but I can understand why that's on top of your wish list! As for my Christmas wish, it would be nice if I could see my Mom who is over 5,000 miles away! Just dreaming....

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hi, ladies!

Just me, dropping in to say thanks to TJ for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book, so there's no need to enter me. Even if those goodies ARE good.

EmilyBryan said...

Sandy--Glad you're saving A CHRISTMAS BALL for the perfect reading time. Sometimes anticipation adds to the fun! Let me know how you like it!

EmilyBryan said...

Etirv, if I lived in Hawaii, I wouldn't need to cruise either! ;)

EmilyBryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EmilyBryan said...

Susan--thanks so much for cross posting on WIN A BOOK. Would you please post my December contest on my website as well? Someone will win a signed copy of A CHRISTMAS BALL at on December 31st!

EmilyBryan said...

Alicia--I said no restrictions, so it's all good! You can't have George Clooney anyway. Sorry. But isn't it fun to dream?

LuAnn said...

If I could have anything for Christmas, it would definitely be a new Lamborghini!
Then, I'd like to have the money to take that car and go on a year-long cross country road trip. Of course, I'd have to start in the south because it is winter! But, by the time spring arrives, I'll be ready to start heading north.

Booklover1335 said...

I would love an all expenses paid tour of Scotland, Ireland and England with no time be able to see and do all that I want and not to feel rushed.

I've always wanted to go, but never had the time or the money. I think that is why I love historical romances so much...I can "vicariously" travel to the places I would love to visit.

Loved "My Lady Below Stairs" Emily, and can't wait for what comes next!

QLady48 said...

Hi, nice interview!! I actually bought The Christmas Ball but haven't had time to read it yet. Wow, no limits, it's hard to even imagine what I want. I guess a trip to someplace warm for the holidays. I'm a reader, NOT a writer, not a lot of imagination here!! LOL!! Happy Holidays!! Thanks, Sue

EmilyBryan said...

LuAnn--My DH is a car guy, so he'd probably second your wish for a Lamborghini!

EmilyBryan said...

Booklover--OOoo! Scotland, yes! I've been to England and Ireland, but haven't made it above Hadrian's Wall yet. Sounds delightful! Imagine how nice it would be to have the leisure for a walking tour from one B&B to the next.

SO GLAD you loved A CHRISTMAS BALL! What's next? Stroke of Genius coming May 25, 2010! Can an artistic genius transform an American heiress into the most sought-after Original, without falling for her himself?

EmilyBryan said...

Sue--Thanks so much for buying A CHRISTMAS BALL! I appreciate it so much when someone plunks down their hard earned cash for my books. Bless your heart!

And yes, you do too have an imagination! Otherwise you'd be a TV addict instead of a reader. We authors can't do it all. You have to bring something to a book. Thanks for bringing your imagination along for the ride!

Unknown said...

If I could have anything in the world for Christmas it would be to have my children and their families have the best health and happiness they deserve. This includes financial security far into the future.

Thanks for this opportunity to share our dreams and hopes for Christmas.
I would love to read your book after reading the interview.

bstilwell12 at comcast dot net

Cory said...

An HTC Hero with the phone bill paid for a while. I'm pretty easy to please! (And I love things that I can enjoy for a long time.)

Pat said...

Living in Ireland for a year. That's on my wish list. If you're going to dream, may as well dream big. ;-)

Gail Leinweber said...

No limits on money or distance... Australia, with an unlimited budget for a couple months, I'll save the more realistic dreams for later.

The Scarf Princess said...

I'd like to say I'm wishing for peace on Earth, but in all honesty all I want is a Sony e-reader. I've cut out pictures of them and left them at my parents, my friends, and my siblings houses in hopes that they'll all pull their money together and get me one.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Jane said...

Hi Emily,
I think a cruise would be a wonderful Christmas gift. I've always wanted to go on a Mediterranean cruise. I've been wishing for an ebook reader.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading the comments.
Of course, for Christmas I would like the usual but I would really like a day for myself-to attend a spa with all of the works-manicure-pedicure, massage, etc. And a couple of noise-free hours to read, read, and read. Oh, and chocolates.

Margay Leah Justice said...

I would love to have a Kindle for Christmas - so I can keep all of my favorite authors (like Emily) right at my fingertips!


mariska said...

I'd like to give some books of mine from this giveaways to one of my friends that love to read :) IF i win though, *Fingers crossed*

thanks for such a great giveaway Emily.

Louisa Cornell said...

How about a nice book contract for a three book deal for my Gothic Regency romances? Is that too much to ask?

Okay, and a three book deal for my CP's fabulous medievals!

Martha Lawson said...

Okay since the sky's the limit here goes:

Alaskan cruise
New modern house (paid for)
trip to New Orleans.
New truck for my hubby.
World peace!!

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Esme said...

I would love to go to Christmas mass and maybe sing Christmas carols at Notre Dame. (Paris)

chocolate and croissants at yahoo dot com

TJ Bennett said...

Wow, you folks are really imaginative. I'd probably wish for that trip to Scotland, too, and to be financially secure for the rest of my life. Oh, and to make the NYT bestseller list, lest we forget.

Thanks to Emily Bryan for being such a great guest! Be sure to come back next week, everyone, to visit with her anthology partner, multi-published author Jennifer Ashley.

Take care,

EmilyBryan said...

Barb--Good health is such an important wish (after my brush with cancer last year, it certainly moved up my list!)And I think finances are on everyone's mind now.

Which is why I'm doubly humbled every time someone buys my books. Thank you all!

EmilyBryan said...

Cory--Simple pleasures are the best, they do say!

EmilyBryan said...

Pat--Oh, that's a good one! I love to travel and see how other people live. Actually living in another country for an extended time would be a worthy adventure!

EmilyBryan said...

Gail--I've made so many cyber-friends in Australia, I'd LOVE to visit there someday!

Of course, they eat bugs there. (My friend Teddyree assures me we'd call them crayfish!)

EmilyBryan said...

Joder-We all want peace on earth. Thousands of Miss America Pageant contestants can't be wrong!

Sounds like lots of us want ereaders, too!

EmilyBryan said...

Jane--The Med calls to me too. Someday, I'll see Rome.

EmilyBryan said...

Joye--As women, we're natural care-givers. A day just for us is a tempting wish!

EmilyBryan said...

Aw, Margay! That's so sweet! Hope Santa leaves a Kindle under your tree!

I haven't decided on an ereader yet. I wish they'd all play nice with each other and agree on a format.

EmilyBryan said...

Mariska--You're singing my song. It's hard to over-emphasize the importance of word of mouth for building a readership.

If you enjoy my work, please share my books with your friends!

EmilyBryan said...

Louisa--Hope you get your contracts!

EmilyBryan said...

Martha-Do save your pennies and take the Alaska cruise. It's other-worldly gorgeous! I'd go again in a heartbeat.

EmilyBryan said...

Esme--I'd love to see Paris too! And attending a service in a gorgeous cathedral is a special moment. Years ago, we went to a service at Westminster Abbey. It's such an impressive edifice and the all male choir was ethereal. It was a taste of heaven.

EmilyBryan said...

TJ--Hitting a bestseller list has been on my wishlist for a while. Now I've changed my tune. Instead I'm hoping to come up with an idea for a book that millions of people want to read. Then the list will take care of itself! LOL!

Thanks so much for having me here.

Anonymous said...

A book deal or an agent! Okay...probably not an original answer. But honest!

EmmyJo said...

What I'd REALLY like for Christmas. To own a small press. Not just to publish my "stuff," but so some other books that deserve a chance can get it.

"Just for me," the second choice, would be to spend Christmas in Willaimsburg, Va. A major project, as the family all now lives almost a continent away!

The anthology sounds really good. I'll keep a look out for it.


Unknown said...

If I could have anything I wanted for Christmas I would choose to win a few million in the lottery, then I could get what ever my little heart would desire. I could take my trip to Scotland then.

librarypat said...

At this point in time, my fondest wish would be for us to be finished with our house renovations and for it to be all cleaned and de-cluttered. That is as likely as my getting a 4 week trip to Scotland.
I bought A CHRISTMAS BALL and saved it for Thanksgiving weekend. Now I can't find it. I know it is here somewhere, I just need to find it.

Anonymous said...

congrats on yor books
love healty life
and see all my relatives and have them visit me
a new home

Anonymous said...

If I could have anything I wanted for Christmas - it would be to be out of debt - house, car, everything. Of course, I wouldn't turn down a cruise, either.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

jcp said...

no debt at all

robynl said...

it would be that the house renovations would be totally completed-- new floors, painting done, kitchen cupboards painted, carpet laid and laundry room finished.


cheryl c said...

The health, safety, and happiness of my family tops the list. I would also wish for my oldest son to meet a really nice girl to fall in love with. :-)

For the fun of it, I would like Santa to bring me a new car, instant loss of about 40 pounds, and a whole new wardrobe! I am not asking for too much, am I? ;-)

castings at mindspring dot com

Anonymous said...

There's virtually nothing I desperately want, materially. If I could have anything I wanted, it would be to figure out how to have a better relationship with my autistic son. -- willaful

Dawn M. said...

If I could have anything...I'd want a trip around the world for me and my family with time to see everything we wanted. :0)

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

throuthehaze said...

If I could have absolutely anything for Christmas I would want 1) all my bills paid off 2) a house

Kara said...

To be truly imaginative...I would want my dream vacation which is a trip to Camargue, France to see the wild white horses.

More realistically, I would really love a Kindle.

Anonymous said...

would love to read this one.


SiNn said...

hi Emily and TJ awesome post and t o answer ur question if i could have anything for christmas it would be me my fiance ourboys underone roof permanantly settled in to our dream home with our children happy and content that would be the best gift ever

CherylS22 said...

If I could have anything I wanted for Christmas I would wish for a Netbook.

Happy Holidays!