Sunday, July 17, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

Great review for THE SEDUCTION OF LADY CHARITY

Great review from InD'Tale Magazine for THE SEDUCTION OF LADY CHARITY - The Baxendale Sisters Book Four.

Charity Baxendale just wants to paint. She is not concerned about marriage because she’s afraid she will be forced to give up her dream of painting portraits. Robin, Lord Stanberry does not want to be a Duke, but when it is forced upon him, he realizes he needs a wife to help him in his new role. His first proposal to Lady Charity is disregarded, but Robin does not give up on his pursuit. Will his willingness pay off or will he be left holding the proverbial bag?
“The Seduction of Lady Charity,” is a tale fraught with insecurities, friendship, hopes, dreams and quiet love. Maggi Andersen has created a wonderfully intriguing cast of characters. They are interesting, they have real depth, and they are likeable as well as relatable. Ms. Andersen is creative and has a gift with the written word. She is able to make her words jump from the pages of her books and come to life right before her reader’s eyes. Although a new spin on an old tale, there are enough twists and turns to make it distinctive. As the fourth book in the Baxendale Sisters series, “The Seduction of Lady Charity,” can stand alone but readers might find themselves returning to the first book of the series just to see what they might have missed from Ms. Andersen’s original stories.
Mary-Nancy Smith
InD’Tale Magazine
 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Released Today! DIARY OF A PAINTED LADY

Hi Readers,
Maggi here, talking about what inspired me to write my novel, DIARY OF A PAINTED LADY.
I’m a fan of black-and-white movies, especially those set in the Victorian era, such as Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, The Woman in White, Wuthering Heights, The Secret Garden and Gas Light.
I planned to write a Victorian Gothic romance, but after seeing the movie, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, I decided instead on a split era novel, set both in the contemporary world and in the Victorian era.
For research, I delved into my mother’s art books on the pre-Raphaelite artists of the 19th Century.
My historical heroine, Giovanna Russo is a model for her artist stepfather, Milo Russo. I envisaged his work to be similar to these fabulous artists.



John Everett Millais’ Ophelia
 

Lady Lilith by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

In Victorian England, two powerful men desire the beautiful artist’s model Giovanna Russo. One is enchanted by her and decides to make her his mistress. The other wants her dead.
When Gina’s diary is discovered in a book shop over a century later, the murderer of her step-father, renowned pre-Raphaelite artist, Milo Russo, is revealed.
During the making of the movie, PAINTED LADY, based on the diary, two actors, Dylan Shaw and Astrid LeClair discover the meaning of true love.

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Enjoy an Excerpt:

Read a little about the two actors, Astrid LeClair and Dylan Shaw.
When she came down the stairs dressed in the Valentino black satin bustier dress with its billowing white taffeta underskirt, black stockings and Jimmy Choos shoes, Philippe finally smiled. “I’ve brought your diamonds.” He unlocked his valise and removed a blue-velvet lined box.
Later, at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, they walked the red carpet with the flashes popping. Astrid had become better known in England. Fans leaned over the barricade and called to her. Journalists, curious to learn her plans for future movies, constantly interrupted their walk. Astrid gave them just enough. She had become adept at evading leading questions.
The awards were entertaining although Maureen lost to Tilda Swinton. At the after-party, Astrid introduced Philippe to her fellow actors, including Dylan who arrived with a blonde actress on his arm.
Astrid left Philippe who had met a French director he knew, and crossed the room to the hall that led to the powder room. A tall man in a black dinner suit stepped into her path. Dylan’s warm gaze brought that thrill rushing back making her heart beat faster.
“You look beautiful tonight.”
Merci,” she said smiling. “You look very handsome.”
“Come and talk to me a while.”
Astrid shook her head. “Philippe—”
“Does he remind you of your dear Papa?”
She frowned. “You are very badly behaved.”
He shrugged. “Then I apologize.” If an apology, it was a poor one. Astrid was about to chastise him further but found she didn’t want to. She gazed over his shoulder at Philippe still in heated discussion.
“You make me want to be bad.” Dylan’s hand caught hers. He subtly stroked the inside of her wrist with a thumb. He must have known how her pulse raced. “I want to throw you over my shoulder and run off with you.”
“To your cave?” She managed a flippant tone, despite the charge of excitement at his touch. She stepped back, cautioning herself. She’d had several glasses of wine and her head felt woolly. She didn’t handle alcohol well. It relaxed her body and her resolve. The thought of slipping away with Dylan had become too much of a temptation.

More on Maggi’s Website:
Victorian Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, Artists, 19th Century Art, Pears Soap, Maggi Andersen, Irish hero.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

106 Free romance Ebooks and a Giveaway!

Prizes!
US Giveaway:
1 x Kindle Paperwhite
1 x $50 Amazon Gift Card

UK Giveaway:
1 x Kindle Paperwhite
1 x £25 Amazon Gift Card

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Caroline and the Captain - A Regency Novella


 PUBLISHED!

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Captain Nicholas Bonham of Wellington’s Peninsular Regiment, the 52nd Light Infantry, returns from fighting the Napoleonic wars to see his brother laid to rest. A skilled rider, George’s death remains a mystery, as does the parlous state of his finances. Debenham Park must be sold unless Nicholas can find a swift solution.
George’s former fiancée, Miss Caroline Mirringham, harbors a secret. She has trusted no man except her father and George, and now considers her future to be a desolate one. When her father proposes that Caroline marry Nicholas, she is filled with dread. The captain is nothing like his amiable brother. He looks altogether too strong and harsh. He would demand far more from her than she could give.

Excerpt:



When Caroline arrived at Debenham Park with her parents, the mourner’s carriages were lined up along the gravel drive. The rambling stone house, which she’d begun to think of as her home, looked unfamiliar and unwelcoming, as if George’s spirit had left it. Inside the long drawing room, everyone gathered in a quiet huddle while food and drink was served by the sober-faced servants. She knew every member of the staff. They had suffered a sad loss too. George was universally liked.
The new earl stood with his Aunt Henrietta, holding a glass of Scotch, while recalling episodes from his and George’s childhood, his mellow baritone voice at odds with the stark expression in his eyes. Caroline stood close enough to hear him praise George: his love of horses and his skill at riding to hounds. The earl recalled how George had ridden bareback from an early age. “Taught me a few riding tricks too,” Lord Debenham said. “They came in handy at times on the Peninsular.”
Two of the guests standing behind her spoke of how strange it was that this had been George’s ultimate demise. “A woman can be a dangerous distraction,” one gentleman said.
Caroline flushed angrily and turned to glare at him. He had the grace to look shamefaced. She despised the opinionated men of the beau monde. She’d never met one she liked except George. George’s brother had given her little reason to warm to him, either.
When the captain spoke of his brother, his taut features softened. Seeing him vulnerable had a disturbing effect on her. George could never have been called handsome, but Nicholas undoubtedly was. Even while he stood with a glass in his hand, he seemed like a coiled spring. He tightened his chiseled jaw when he glanced at her, and his brown eyes drilled into hers, causing a nervous stirring deep in her belly.
Caroline smiled at Harold, the house’s lone footman, who, like Kettle, the butler, had been in service at Debenham Park for many years. She refused his offered plate of food, fearing her stomach would reject it. The image of George lying dead still flashed into her consciousness. A vigorous rider forever stilled. Her fingers trembled and she put down the crystal tumbler of lemonade on a table. Would that image never fade? It might be easier if she didn’t meet Nicholas Debenham again. She calmed herself with the realization that as her father hardly ever attended parliament and then only the Commons, he was unlikely to run into Lord Debenham. He rarely went to London these days preferring to remain in the country. It was unlikely she’d meet the earl socially here either so her withdrawal from society could continue undisturbed.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Destiny, Love. DIARY OF A PAINTED LADY Available on Pre-Order


DIARY OF A PAINTED LADY

Pre-Order
Released 1 July 2016

 In Victorian England, beautiful artist’s model Giovanna Russo is desired by two powerful men. One is enchanted by her and decides to make her his mistress. The other wants her dead.
When Gina’s diary is discovered over a century later, it reveals the secret of her step-father, renowned pre-Raphaelite artist, Milo Russo’s untimely death, struck down at the height of his fame.
When actors, Dylan Shaw and Astrid LeClair make the movie Painted Lady, based on the diary, they discover through Gina’s story the meaning of true love.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Peers and the Peerage by Maggi Andersen

I researched into Peers and the Peerage when writing my “friends to lovers” story, THE SEDUCTION OF LADY CHARITY.
In the case where there is no son or heir, the heir presumptive succeeds. After the funeral and the executor had dealt with the will, the heir presumptive must then petition the Lord Chancellor for a writ of summons. He has to prove how he is related to the deceased, and that he and his father and all others between him and the deceased were legitimate and were dead. Once the proofs are accepted the new peer is sent a writ of summons.
When another person makes a claim the case must be heard by the Committee on Privilege of the House of Lords. Each claimant must then prove his case by showing his relationship to the deceased and the ancestor they had in common.
Lord Robin Stanberry becomes the Duke of Harwood after a family tragedy, a position he was not prepared for. He leaves all he knows behind for a castle and a vast estate in Northumberland. And it now seems that the woman he believes to be his soul mate will never be his wife.
Lady Charity Baxendale is determined to realize her dream of becoming a renowned portrait artist, and when she paints the portrait of a rakish Scottish baron, Robins suffers paroxysms of jealousy.
As he begins to discover how he can use his newly entrusted power for good, a new claimant on the title appears.  
SeductionofLadyCharity,The_Nook

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Enjoy an excerpt:
Harwood Castle, Northumberland
Robin walked with Charity along the corridor. She paused to examine a fine tapestry depicting a hunt. “Your new home is magnificent.”
He smiled, pleased. “You haven’t seen much of it, yet.”
“I would very much like to see the gardens; their beauty is renowned.”
“Then you shall.” He directed her into the library, feeling ridiculously delighted to be able to share it with her.
“Oh, this is breathtaking.” Charity turned slowly on the Aubusson carpet, her arm gesture encompassing the rows of bookshelves reaching almost to the high-coffered ceiling.
She strolled across and turned the world globe on its stand. “Have you been well?”
Robin was still reeling from the explosion of feeling he’d suffered at the sight of her in his salon. He walked up behind her and forced himself to stop a few feet away, admiring her elegant back in the cream velvet spencer and the way the blue dress skimmed her hips. Her dark blonde hair was swept up from her tender nape. He could so easily shape her waist with his hands and draw her against him. Wasn’t that why he’d angled to get her alone? “Why, I am the very ‘pinke of curtesie,’” he said, quoting Romeo and Juliet. “And you?”
She turned, and they were almost at kissing distance. Her cheeks grew pink. Did he imagine something passed between them beyond an appreciation for Shakespeare? His blood thudded through his veins. Might he dare hope that she would reconsider his proposal? No, now was not the time to risk his heart again and be rebuffed out of hand. For that would leave him defeated. And it would finish things between them.
She straightened her shoulders. “Now, where are these books?” she said briskly, reminding him of a governess talking to her charge.
He strolled over to a table. “These are some I’ve been perusing. I would have ferreted out more had I known you would call.”
She bent her head, absorbed, flicking through each book. “Look at these wonderful botanical drawings. Breathtaking!” Was she enamored of that annoying Scot or merely grateful? Her recent success might make her even more determined to concentrate on her art. Any move on his part now would be unwise. He would have to woo her—remind her of their interests in common that she was unlikely to share with Gunn. At least the baron was not here in Northumberland. Robin would have her to himself for a while.
She chose two of the books and hugged them to her chest, foiling his view of her rounded breasts. “Thank you for these. I shall enjoy them and have them sent back.”
Sent back? Not on your life, he thought. “No need. I’ll come to you. I’d like to see your parents again.”

I also had to research castles.

There are so many beautiful castles in England and Ireland. Do you have a favorite? Here’s one of mine.Bodiam castle in Sussex was built from 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge.
bodium
Wikipedia Commons

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Shopping in Regency London Part I



When My Regency Heroines Go Shopping

By Maggi Andersen


Burlington Arcade opened to great acclaim in 1819. Situated between Piccadilly and Old Burlington in the heart of Mayfair, London, Burlington Arcade was originally a covered mall of small exclusive shops. And unique to the mall, they had the oldest and smallest police force in the world, the Burlington Beadles.
Lord George Cavendish, younger brother of the 5th Duke of Devonshire, later Earl of Burlington, built one of Britain’s earliest shopping arcades after he inherited the adjacent Burlington House. The mall was erected on what had been the side garden of Burlington House, reputedly to prevent passers-by throwing oyster shells and other rubbish over the wall of his home, ‘for the sale of jewelry and fancy articles of fashionable demand, for the gratification of the public’. Since then, it has been patrolled by the Burlington Beadles who uphold a strict code of conduct dating from Regency times.  
Originally recruited by Lord Cavendish from his regiment The Royal Hussars, the Beadles still wear their uniform of Victorian frock coats, gold buttons and gold-braided top hats.


The arcade originally housed seventy-two small two story shops, selling all kinds of hats, hosiery, gloves, linen, shoes jewelry, lace, walking sticks, cigars, flowers, glassware, wine and watches. Many of the shopkeepers lived either above or below their shops and in the early days, the upper level of the arcade had quite a reputation for prostitution.

Pimps used to burst into song or whistle to warn prostitutes who were soliciting in the arcade that the police or Beadles were about. The prostitutes working on the upper level would also whistle to the pickpockets below to warn them of approaching police.  
The Burlington Beadles still enforce the rules and even today, singing and whistling are two activities banned from the arcade. Rumor has it, however, that Sir Paul McCartney is the only person currently exempt from the ban on whistling....


Above: Burlington Arcade today
Regency ladies must have been delighted with what Burlington Arcade had to offer:

“I must go,” Althea said, putting down her napkin and standing. “I promised to escort my aunt to the new Burlington Arcade in Piccadilly. She is keen to visit the shops. There’s so many of them!”
“It’s quite extraordinary,” Horatia said. “Everything one might need is there.”

 TAMING A GENTLEMAN SPY - The Spies of Mayfair Book 2

Available in e-book and print




Coming next: Shopping in Oxford Street and an excerpt from THE EARL AND THE HIGHWAYMAN'S DAUGHTER Released July