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Welcome to A Naughty Christmas Carol, a holiday story video told with pictures and words.

The idea for the story came from the heroine in my Harlequin Spice novel, The Blonde Samurai, nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award. The Blonde Samurai is the story of Katie O’Roarke, an Irish American heiress who goes to Victorian London to wed a British lord.

It’s 1873 and Katie O’Roarke is headed to Japan as a virgin bride after marrying Lord Carlton. There she falls in love with a handsome samurai, but not before she spent a Season in London, far from the woods of her Pennsylvania home. As Lady Carlton, she was privy to the comings and goings of the British aristocracy and their fascinating and often incorrigible mores.

Here is one such story she heard whispered in Mayfair drawing rooms, a holiday tale called A Naughty Christmas Carol.    

In Episode 1, we meet Sir Harry,” though that is not his real name, as a young man. It’s Christmas Eve and he’s being very disagreeable with Lady Florentine, the gentlewoman who loves him, and his mistress, Nellie Rose, a fine lass whose mum is sick, as he makes his way to Madame Moiret’s bawdy establishment on York Street…

Join me next week for EPISODE 2 of: 

“A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL”

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Rampant by Saskia Walker

The world of geisha is all about sisterhood.

In my coming-of-age erotic romance, The Blonde Geisha, when my heroine enters the teahouse, she is assigned a “big sister.”  She is the “little sister” and observes the more experienced geisha as part of her training to become geisha.

Belonging to the Romance Writers of America is also about sisterhood. 

Each year members come together for a conference to talk about writing and the publishing business.  I was thrilled to meet fellow Harlequin Spice author, Saskia Walker, at the RWA conference in San Francisco. 

We talked about her Spice April 2010 release, RAMPANT, before we joined the Harlequin team and authors for a fabulous dinner.  I made a video of our talk and you can see it here:

Saskia Walker at RWA San Francisco

I’m excited to announce that Saskia is guest blogging over at NAUGHTY AUTHOR CHICKS on Monday, March 29th.

Be sure to stop by the NAC Blog Monday and meet this fabulous Brit!!!


The Blonde Samurai
She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

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Ladies of the 1870s

by Lady Carlton née Katie O’Roarke, heroine of “The Blonde Samurai”

My wedding was perfect. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

As in bluebood.

I am speaking about his lordship, Lord James Carlton, born to Braystone House, a fifteenth-century limestone goliath situated somewhere in the Midlands and unknown to me.

‘Tis true that I, Katie O’Roarke, married an English lord in the summer of 1872. Like many titled “land-rich but cash-poor” Englishman, James needed funds and I needed a husband.

But not just any husband.

To please my sainted mother, I did as many American heiresses did. I sailed across the pond to England and joined the ranks of British royalty since its American counterpart of New York society matrons with the dubious moniker of Knickerbockers would have none of the likes of me.

I was among the first young American ladies to attach my person and the family fortune to a member of the British peerage. And what a time I had of it, me with my inquisitive nature and sassy mouth. Be it known my looks were plain and my opinions brash, but a grand journey it was…until I headed to Japan and discovered that all the palaces and finery in the world cannot compare to being with the man you love.

But I digress, dear lady reader.

Today’s post is not about romance but marriage. A mariage de convenance as the French are wont to say. And so I shall attempt to enlighten you with the extravagant and wildly dazzling world of the American heiress in 1870s London.

Where shall I begin?

The O’Roarkes were nouveau riche, what I like to call gritty rich since my da was a man who wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty to make an honest dollar. And that he did in railroads. He was among the self-made millionaires who could easily afford to spend what they made.

Even though my mother furnished our New York brownstone with elegant chairs in blue velvet inlaid with ebony and ivory and adorned herself in pleated skirts in watered silks, the snobbish society ladies would have nothing to do with us. No invitations to dinner parties or fancy balls. Her silver tray designed to hold such invitations remained empty.

But you don’t know my Irish mother. Undaunted after being snubbed by the elitist New York Society, Mama insisted we head for Paris.

And from there to London where the H.R.H, the Prince of Wales, a royal with a reputation for the ladies, harbored no prejudice against Americans, but rather welcomed the company of Yankee heiresses with fortunes to spend and who looked charming in the latest Parisian gowns while doing so.

They called us buccaneers since we set out to plunder the titles of England like pirates in silk petticoats, the doors to a glittering new world opening up to us with invitations to all the London Society soirees.

I made my mother proud when I was among the first to marry a member of the peerage (I have since heard that Jennie Jerome married Lord Randolph Churchill.***

I soon discovered that while being Lady Carlton afforded me great prestige, it left me with a lonely heart…

Until I arrived in Japan, the land of cherry blossoms and samurai, where I learned the way of the way of the warrior: loyalty, honor and self-respect from a samurai called Shintaro, one of the most mysterious, elusive and enigmatic men in all Japan.

 

[***Jina’s note: Jennie Churchill was the mother of Sir Winston Churchill]

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February 2010: meet The Blonde Samurai
“She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”   

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