Thursday, May 17, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with DEBUT Author Darcy Burke

Time to welcome to the blog a debuting author whose releases I am dying to read! She's a RWA Golden Heart finalist and shares my love of cherry coke and thesaurus' ; Get use to seeing her name around, because she's sure to make a splash with her historicals! Without further adieu:

About the Author:
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,

Find Darcy Online: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

About the Book:
She was his savior
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.

He was her downfall
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.

Get Your Copy Today:
Amazon (Kindle) | Barnes & Noble (Nook)

Also available on: Smashwords and in print on Amazon

Guest Post

Introducing Lady Miranda Sinclair, Rakehellion

First, let me thank Rita for having me here today! I’m so excited to introduce you to the heroine of my debut, Her Wicked Ways: Lady Miranda Sinclair, rakehellion. That’s my new word for a female rake. Miranda isn’t a classic rake in the masculine sense. She doesn’t take a bevy of lovers or gamble excessively. She does, however, tread the line of respectability, and sometimes steps clean over it. She gads about London with a group of similarly-minded young ladies and gentlemen doing things like watching fights at Covent Garden, strolling (and smooching) along the Dark Walk at Vauxhall, or trying to sneak into Tattersall’s to see a horse auction. Her wicked ways get her banished to rural Wiltshire where she immediately runs afoul of a highwayman. What’s a rakehellion to do? Offer him a kiss in lieu of money or jewels (which she was compelled to leave in Town).

Like typical rakes, Miranda the rakehellion is arrogant, strong-willed, and committed to doing what’s necessary to get what she wants, regardless of the consequences. But unlike her male counterparts, Miranda doesn’t necessarily embrace her wickedness. She believes rules are made to be broken and anything’s game—provided one doesn’t get caught. Male rakes wear their roguishness like a badge of honor, whereas Miranda would offer a flirtatious smile and say, “Oh, come now. I’m not that bad.”

Lest you think Miranda is a self-centered snob, she has a steadfastly positive outlook, despite being parented by two of the coldest, most arrogant people in England. Her faith in things turning out for the best stems from her unending desire to please them—surely they’ll come around. This belief serves her well in other areas, particularly when her banishment includes working at a local orphanage. Though, while Miranda means well, she has a long road before becoming a true altruist. For only a rakehellion like her would inadvertently encourage a young woman to consider life as a courtesan or start an epic belching tournament at luncheon. But as with any rake, this rakehellion just needs to find the love of a good person.

Excerpt time! I wanted to find just the right passage to illustrate Miranda’s rakehellionishness, but there are so many! I settled for her first meeting with Montgomery Foxcroft, a handsome, if tragically attired, provincial gentleman whom she mistakes for a retainer instead of the owner of the orphanage where she’s been sentenced to work. In this snippet, “Fox” has shown Miranda to a washroom where she can clean up after delousing orphans.

Mr. Foxcroft dropped his arms, his left hand smacking down against the rim of the basin, crushing a large spider she hadn’t seen crawling toward her. “Excuse me.” He moved to take her place in front of the basin, and she barely jumped back before their bodies could occupy the same space.
He rinsed his palm in the water and then grabbed the towel she’d so recently discarded. “You misunderstand. We do our best to find a place for them, either here in Wootton Bassett or elsewhere in the district. Some leave and find their own way. It’s entirely up to them what they make of themselves. We merely try to give them some useful skills and at least a rudimentary education.”
“How kind of you.” That seemed an inadequate observation, but she could think of nothing better. She’d never before met anyone who would invest such time and energy. “And what is it you provide?”
He blinked. “Everything.”
“Well, if that’s the case, you should repair the leak in the hall. It smells dank and the chill is pervasive. I’ve the impression it’s been leaking for quite some time.”
His eyes narrowed, and his lips pressed into a firm line. She caught herself staring at them again and shook her head at her fancy.
“It hasn’t been leaking long, actually. And I will repair it. I’m certain things happen very quickly and perhaps without due consideration in your sphere. How fortunate you must be to have the benefit of time, wealth, and ability.” Ice hung from his tone. He might be able to match her father in haughtiness. And she was right sick of being talked to that way, by her father, her mother, everyone.
Miranda turned toward him and propped her left fist on her hip. “There is no call to be rude. You don’t know anything about my ‘sphere.’”
“I can well guess. Just look at the gown you wore to delouse orphans.” His gaze flicked over her, further pricking her ire.
Miranda gritted her teeth. “I didn’t know I would be delousing orphans.” What else could she say? She’d no idea dressing for a tiny hamlet would be as complicated as dressing for London. “Don’t you have a roof to fix?”
His eyes were ablaze with emotion. “I’ll leave you to your chores.” He turned away, and she wilted a little without the fervor of his stare.
What a disagreeable man! As he strode toward the door, she gave in to devilish impulse. “I’d be happy to give you a lesson in wardrobe selection and the latest fashion in men’s hairstyles.”
Mr. Foxcroft paused but didn’t turn. Miranda waited, breathless, for his response. He left without another word.
Mrs. Gates appeared in the doorway. “Are you ready to continue? Neville is waiting for you in the hall.”
Miranda’s stomach knotted. She’d rather hoped she was finished. No. She could do this. She’d prove to all of them—her parents, the Carmodys, that insufferable Foxcroft—that she was made of the sternest stuff. She squared her shoulders. “Lead the way, Mrs. Gates.”
The headmistress’s eyes lit with appreciation. “Since Bernard’s infested, you’re like to find other cases. I’ve asked Beatrice to help. She’s got enough experience with this for both of you.”
Beatrice rounded the corner just then. “Are you coming, Lady Miranda?” Her sharp tone and pursed lips revealed her judgment: she found Miranda as empty as Mr. Foxcroft had.
Oh yes, she was ready to prove them all wrong. Miranda smiled sweetly. “Of course.” Then she carried herself into the hall with all of the regal poise her three governesses had instilled. She’d conquered London. Wootton Bassett couldn’t possibly be more difficult.
Resolved to show Beatrice she was no London ninny, she faced the young boy awaiting her on the chair then bit her cheek to keep from cringing. For he was quite earnestly and thoroughly scratching his scalp.

And now I turn it over to you, dear readers. Do you have a favorite rakehellion? Are there other stereotypes you’ve seen reversed or reimagined?

Sign up for Darcy’s newsletter on her website (link to by May 25 and be entered into a drawing to receive an advanced ecopy of her June release, His Wicked Heart.
The author will be giving away a copy of her debut release, HER WICKED WAYS, to 1 lucky visitor! To enter, just answer Darcy's question (at the bottom of her guest post) in the comments AND fill out the raffle copter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for a great post and excerpt :) Rakehellion... I like it :) ummmm... the only one that comes to mind right now is Lady Kate from Eileen Dreyer's Drakes Rakes series.

  2. Enjoyed the excerpt. I look forward to reading it. Olivia from The Duke is Mine is sorta a rakehellion

  3. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to know enough rake hellions to have a favorite. Still looking though.

  4. I really like those old sailors or army guys who raised a lot of trouble before settling down. Those are rake hellions, aren't they?

  5. Very nice post and excerpt. I don't have a favorite rakehellion. This is an interesting reversal of roles. Sounds like a good book.

  6. I think some of Loretta Chase's heroines fall under the rakehellion category. Love her books!
    Thank you for the giveaway!

  7. Thanks for stopping by everyone! Loving the rakehellion recommendations, so keep 'em coming! Claudia, if you can imagine, I *just* read Lord of Scoundrels last year. LOVED it! Agree that some of LC's heroines are definitely rakehellions!

  8. Thanks for sharing your excerpt! Congrats on your release! I love your cover =)

    1. Thank you so much! My cover designer, Hot Damn, is a-mazing! You should see the next two over on my website!

  9. I don't think I've come across a book with a rakehellion yet - probably why you had to invent the word?! I did come across a (wonderful may I add) book that had a hero who was a virgin whereas the heroine was a courtesan "the experienced one". It was beautifully told - Courtney Milan's Unclaimed.

    1. Courtney writes awesome, awesome everything. :) I hope you're reading her new Brothers Sinister series. Swoon!

  10. Looks like a super book! And I love the cover. I shall add it to my 'to read' list.

    Hannah x

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