First Draught

The Governess Was Wicked Is Out Now! (Plus a Giveaway)

The wait is over! Today is release day for The Governess Was Wicked, and I couldn't be happier that the book is now in the hands of readers like you! The Governess was Wicked Elizabeth Porter is quite happy with her position as the governess for two sneaky-yet-sweet girls when she notices that they have a penchant for falling ill and needing the doctor. As the visits from the dashing and handsome Doctor Edward Fellows become more frequent, Elizabeth quickly sees through the lovesick girls’ ruse. Yet even Elizabeth can’t help but notice Edward’s bewitching bedside manner even as she tries to convince herself that someone of her station would not make a suitable wife for a doctor. But one little kiss won’t hurt...

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The love story between Elizabeth and Edward was a lot of fun to write, and it also introduces one of my favorite characters I've ever written — Lady Crosby (those of you who read The Lady Always Wins will recognize the acerbic matriarch).

The next books in the series, The Governess Was Wanton and The Governess Was Wild, are still available for preorder and will be coming out in October and November. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter so you don't miss any future release dates!

If you want to learn a bit more about how the entire series came to be, First Draught dedicated an entire episode to my path to publishing story:

I'm also over on T.J. Kline's blog where she grilled me about the books and gave me a quick pop quiz.

Plus I'm on XOXO After Dark talking about dream casting all my heroes and heroines.

And last but not least, I'm giving away two huge prize packs thanks to a little help from my author friends. You could win ebooks, signed paperbacks, audiobooks, and an Amazon gift card!. All you have to do is enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One Week in December and More

It's a little cliche, but aren't the holidays crazy? I've been on deadline working on a new series of three Victorian governess books for Pocket Star (coming out late next year!) as well as getting myself together to travel to London for Christmas. And, naturally, amid all of that I've also released a new book! In honor of the holidays, the women behind One Week in Love have released a short, sweet anthology of stories called One Week in December. Since I now spend my Christmases in London, I decided to set my story "Kiss Me at Midnight" in my adopted home away from home. I hope you enjoy a little romance in December!

Speaking of holidays, First Draught spends every December talking about the one subject we may love more than writing: food. Elisabeth Lane was kind enough to come on and speak to us about her holiday traditions (and share some tips and tricks for getting through all of the cooking). You can check out the video on YouTube or by subscribing to our First Draught iTunes and Soundcloud page.

You can also get some more holiday ideas from Elisabeth's First Draught holiday foods Pinterest board. It includes her banana fosters waffles recipe which sounds amazing and I can't wait to try.

And finally, I'm going to spread some holiday cheer and share one of my favorite recipes that I always make for Christmas.

Cranberry Orange Bread

Adapted from The Silver Palette Cookbook


  • 2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ c sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2/3 c fresh orange juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ c coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1¼ c cranberries, fresh is best but frozen works
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest


  1. Grease or use non-stick spray on an 8 x 4½ x 3 inch loaf pan.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Mix in the orange juice, eggs and melted butter until all together, but do not overmix.
  5. Fold in the walnuts, cranberries and orange zest carefully.
  6. Pour into pan and bake on center rack for 45 to 50 minutes, or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove.
  8. Allow to cool completely then wrap and store for a day or two before serving or giving away.

Author Branding on First Draught Tomorrow!

A quick reminder for you that First Draught is coming up tomorrow at 8:30 PM EST! Alexis, Mary Chris, and I are very happy to be welcoming Laura von Holt and Amy Jo Cousins on for a discussion about building your author brand. We'll talk about why branding is important, how you should go about creating your online and in real life presence, and why it's important to start now even if you don't have a book out. RSVP to our live event to be sure you don't miss a minute of our live conversation. If you can't make it on Tuesday, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel or check out our brand-new First Draught website!

Laura Von Holt HeadshotLaura von Holt is a marginally famous writer and performer from Hawai’i who lives in New York. She writes paranormal romances about mermaids, and literary fantasy about the dark side of fairytales. She is also a Pulitzer-nominated playwright and the Co-Artistic Director of Little Lord, a Brooklyn-based theater company. Laura is best known as her pinup and performance artist alter ego, von Hottie. When Laura is not on the ground, she is in the air as the sparkly half of the international aerial comedy duo, Flaming Mermaid Broken Star, which creates and performs "stunning feats of how-dare-they" on the regular.

Visit Laura's website:

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Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series.

Fun facts: Amy Jo can get back into a kayak in the open water if she falls out of it, taught herself and her son how to say I love you in seventeen languages, and once ran the table in a game of eight ball.

Visit Amy Jo's website:

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First Draught & The "I Love You"

Just a few quick things to tell you about today. Read

I'm over on the Contemporary Romance Writers' blog talking about why your characters don't always have to say, "I love you," at the end of your romance.


I will be speaking at the NECRWA "Let Your Imagination Take Flight" conference from April 24-25. Audra North and I are presenting a practical guide to self-publishing an anthology or box set with great tips about idea creation, organization, and royalties distribution. I'll have more details on that appearance in the coming weeks, but if you plan to be there please say hello and introduce yourself.


The women of First Draught are back at it again talking about problematic heroines. Why can it be so tough to get a heroine just right? Are we harder on our heroines than our heroes in romance? Plus we dish on the heroine tropes we just can't stand.

Also keep an eye out for updates about One Week in Hawaii, the next anthology in the One Week in Love series featuring novellas by Audra North, Alexis Anne, Alexandra Haughton, and myself. We're getting ready to release our very sexy cover and get this book up on preorder.

If you would like to be the first to see that cover and help us spread the word about One Week in Hawaii, check out this quick form.

And don't forget to sign up for newsletter for the very latest preorder and release date information as well as exclusive excerpts!

First Draught

larger logoI feel as though every month I sit back and say, "I can't believe another First Draught is already here!" This month is no different. Seriously, where is the time going? For October, we will be discussing pulling out that old, abandoned manuscript, ripping it apart, and revising it. Both Alexis Anne and Mary Chris Escobar have taken a forgotten draft through to publication, so catch the chat for all of their tips, tricks, and advice!

RSVP here to make sure you don't miss the live chat Tuesday, October 7th, at 8:30 PM EST!

Mark Your Calendars!

larger logo Mark you calendars! First Draught is back this Tuesday at 8:30 PM EST (can you believe that it's already a new month?). A.L. Parks is joining Alexis Anne, Mary Chris Escobar, and myself (and maybe a surprise special guest) to talk about research and writing. We'll discuss how we approach research in our different subgenres, and why it isn't just the responsibility of historical authors to get the details right. RSVP to let us know you'll be watching live, or keep an eye out for our YouTube video after the show is wrapped.

REMINDER: First Draught Is Tonight!

Just a reminder that at 8:30 PM EST the women of First Draught and a couple special guests will be running you through everything you need to know in the run up to RWA in San Antonio. We're talking packing lists, schedules, book transportation, parties, workshops, lunches, everything! RSVP here for the live talk show or check back to find the archive YouTube video after we're off the air. We can promise you plenty of laughs and hopefully some helpful advice!

VIDEO: So You're Going to RWA 2014!

RWA is less than two weeks away (at least for those of us arriving on Tuesday), and I couldn't be more excited. At this point last year I was pretty deep into a month-long freak out about what to wear, who I would meet, and whether anyone would eat dinner with me. Turns out my clothing was fine, I met some women who have become my closest friends, and I never had to eat alone if I didn't want to. First Draught is doing a couple videos to get you ready for RWA. Right before the 4th of July we tackled our first about why you would even want to pony up all this cash for a conference. I also hope we put some newcomers at ease, letting them know that people will be friendly and want to talk to them. If anything, you can all come and talk to us!

This is the video of that first chat:

Next Tuesday, July 15th, we're talking about the practical side to RWA14. We'll go over what you should pack, how to handle your schedule, and why you should definitely hit up the hotel bar after dinner. You can RSVP to the live video chat by clicking on this link (and that's where you'll find the archive video too).

We hope to see you Tuesday, and if you're new and going to RWA know that it's going to be a great, overwhelming, inspiring experience.

VIDEO: Everything You Wanted to Know about Critique Partners (But Were Afraid to Ask)

There's something about the start of the summer that always sends me into a flurry of activity. This year between an international family move, a college reunion, and a friend's wedding all of of my energy focused on traveling. Unfortunately that meant letting some things go by the wayside. I was in London the week that I would normally tape First Draught with Alexis Anne and Mary Chris Escobar, so when we reconvened on June 3rd we decided to give you a nice, long video discussion. We tackled all of the questions we commonly get about critique partners. How do you get one? How do you keep one? When is it time to let your CP go?

If you have any follow-up question we'd love to hear them! Just leave a comment here or tweet us.

First Draught: Music as Muse

I love technology. It lets me write and edit so easily I often take it for granted. It's brought some incredible people into my life and helped me keep in touch with old friends and family. It's fantastic. Until it doesn't work.

That's what happened Tuesday when the women behind First Draught and I tried to talk about music and writing. Our chat experienced major technical difficulties both as we were trying to get on air and then while it was going. However we pushed through, and here it is in all its hot mess, hilarious glory.

As always, comments and questions are welcome!

Coming Up: April's First Draught Chat

photo2 On April 1st the ladies of First Draught will be talking about music and writing with a couple special guests! We'd love to hear from your comments and questions while we're broadcasting live! You can RSVP to the Google Hangout here. And be on the look out on Facebook and Twitter as we gear up for the big day.