Today we are at Buckingham Palace and what an amazing place it is. There are 775 rooms which include 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. My head spins to think about cleaning them. If you love Downton Abbey, just imagine a spinoff of Buckingham Palace. Oh, if those walls could only talk.
We’ve got lots of authors coming with things to get this party started. Allie Boniface brought a beautiful centerpiece bouquets of English Tea Roses. Hope Ramsay is coming with Ruby, who she calls the best hairdresser. Jill Limber is in the spirit with a carriage pulled by four high-stepping greys, a platter of handcrafted chocolate truffles, carried by a handsome butler in livery, and a maid to help with hats and gloves. Leigh Duncan and Nicole Jordan have tiaras and fans for everyone. Mari Carr is wearing her best fancy hat. What party at the palace is complete without a lovely, one-of-a-kind hat. Maybe one of these would do?
And here comes the food. Amy Ruttan is carrying in a five layer Mexican dip since she’s a sucker for the chips & dip. (Not sure how often they serve that at Buckingham Palace.) Rock Cakes are from Barbara Monajem. Evangeline Holland went all out with quintessential Edwardian English treats–scones, spicy, Seville orange marmalade and luscious clotted cream, Victoria sponge; creamy slices of Stilton and cheddar cheese with juicy grapes, Pondicherry, cucumber, and marmite and watercress sandwiches, and of course, a pot of hot (but not to boiling) tea–China or India?
Grace Burrowes says she has popcorn, suitable for throwing (not sure what she means, but everyone parties differently). Heather Snow will bring Herbed Vidalia Onion and Cheese Tea Sandwiches with Lemon Mayonnaise—made especially from a selection of healing herbs from her heroine’s own medicinal collection. Monica Burns is visiting again today, and she’s bringing some of Bertie’s, the Prince of Wales, favorite foods. For lunch there’s beef, Yorkshire pudding and roast lamb. At high tea we’ll have poached eggs, petit fours, rolls, scones, hot cakes, cold cakes, sweet cakes and shortcakes. Later this evening she’s hosting Bertie at a 12-course dinner. She promises you won’t go hungry.
.Kathryn Kennedy’s going to bring a tray of petite fours, layered with lots of icing, and decorated with pink roses. And to pass them around, she’ll bring along a handsome liveried footman in tight breeches. Very, very tight breeches. Champagne, Pom, cashews, brie, baguettes & sliced mango are from K.T. Wells. More champagne from Kelly Jamieson, but not just any kind, it’s a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne. Michelle Diener said, “I’ll be bringing orange tarts, one of Henry VIII’s favorite dishes.”
The whipped cream and strawberries are compliments of Patti Shenberger. Renee Bernard just wants to hang out and serve high tea. Shayla Black brought chocolate and some “Delicious” servers, while Tina Donahue is pouring champagne. Victoria Janssen is carrying stacked boxes of chocolates from Philadelphia favorites John and Kira’s, Maron, and Eclat. Laura Florand says her heroes make the best chocolate in Paris (and, according to them, the world). Their chocolate is definitely fit for royalty, but of course…is royalty good enough for them?
By Friday all the ladies (and gents?) should be a little tired. The Dark Haven Maven (Dark Haven Book Reviews) has arranged for the palace guard to give her a room not too far from the maddening throng of all the activity in the palace. The Maven has hired 20 male masseuses to give foot and back massages to those in need. After all the dancing, partying and general cavorting the last four days, the darlings are in need of some tender loving care. White wine spritzers and sparkling mineral water will be served along with light hors d’oeuvres of chilled shrimp, Joe’s Stone Crab Claws (flown in from the states) Foie de Volaille pate Carr’s Water Crackers and assorted veggies and cheeses. The masseuses are not on the menu, my dears, but what they do on their own time is up to them…and you. Bon appetite! I’m off to get a look at the Crown Jewels.
For entertainment, Georgie Lee said, “I’ll bring a troop of scantily clad and well-oiled gladiators who will fight for our amusement. They won’t kill each other, because we don’t want to waste any beefcake. All gladiators will be available after each fight to pose for pictures with the guests.” While Judith Glynn is bringing two classical guitar players from Spain. Mina Khan says, “I’ll be bringing my male harem of sexy djinns/genies and they’ll be giving out wishes and dark chocolate kisses because Rukh O’Shay, is all about granting the heroine’s deepest desires and he tastes like dark chocolate too!”
RC Ryan is sending over some sexy cowboys, because everything is just plain better with cowboys! (She does know we’re at Buckingham Palace, right?) Here comes Robyn Carr with Jack from Jack’s Bar and his boys, all in Marine uniform, since service uniform is the accepted mode of dress in Buckingham Palace! For the more boisterous party goers, Sabrina Jeffries will provide entertainment by way of a dangerous and daring chariot race! Desiree Holt says “I’ll be arriving with Jackie Joyride, the inspiration for the book, the hottest bass guitar player around. We’ll have six bottles of wine, scented candles, chips and dip.”
And Ellora’s Cavemen cover models are here to dance for your pleasure, wearing tiny loincloths and big smiles. For eye candy and delicious cuisine, Sophia Knightly is bringing along Argentine/Italian chef, Paolo Santo.
Elizabeth Hoyt wants us to look good in case we ruin into Will & Kate at the palace, so she is sending over gowns and shoes. Marilyn Baron and Sharon Goldman are bringing “a sexy, shirtless edger to trim the grounds around Buckingham Palace (how’s that for decoration and entertainment?) and an ice cold pitcher of lemonade to cool us down. But watch out, we don’t want any more dead bodies turning up on the royal property. ”
Dawn Cartier is slinking in the corner and said, “Look! I found a bag full of royal jewels and I’m passing them out to everyone. (don’t ask where I found them) I think this diamond and ruby crown will look great on Barbara. I’m keeping the heart shaped diamond necklace. (shh) And I brought some chocolate filled King Cakes for the Royal Court too. They will be too busy eating to notice me sneaking out with this bag.” Vicky Dreiling knows you can’t meet a queen without some bling, so she’s sending over jewelry to help us accessorize. (Maybe that’s what Dawn found.)
Marcia James walked in with Homicide detective Zack Crawford, who will lead tours of the Buckingham Palace’s kennel for all those who want to see Queen Elizabeth’s Welsh Corgis. There are several new litters of adorable puppies! N.J. Walters is handing out mini tapestries to all the female guests. If you wish hard enough, maybe it will whisk you away to Javara and into the hands of a pair of hunky brothers. (But we just got here to Buckingham Palace.)
And finally, Naomi Bellina offers, “What happens at Buckingham Palace stays at Buckingham Palace.”
Bottom Line: Buckingham Palace will never be the same after this group gets done with it.
Here’s the rules. Leave any comment and get an entry to win one of the fabulous prizes. You can comment more than once for more chances. Winners will be picked daily and posted on the blog March 12th. Winners will have one week to claim their prize.
Many thanks to the following for their generous prizes:
Grace Burrowes One Kindle with 3G
Dark Haven Maven (Dark Haven Book Reviews) A Kindle 3G Wireless
Allie Boniface Downloads of both my contemporary romance audio books, ONE NIGHT IN MEMPHIS & LOST IN PARADISE
Amy Ruttan 2 copies of any e-book on my backlist
Angela Breidenbach Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life (1 winner) and Creative Cooking for Colitis ebook (2 winners) and Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance ebook (2 winners)
Anju Gattani A copy of DUTY AND DESIRE and the following: one matching bookmark, one wedding invitation (made in India) from golden, silk fabric, inviting the reader to the fictitious wedding of Sanjeet and Sheetal ‘The wedding of the decade’ (the opening of the story).
Barbara Monajem Two historical e-novellas, The Wanton Governess and The Unrepentant Rake.
Carol Morgan Signed copy of Of Tapestry, Time and Tears (historical fiction
Casey Crow ebook copy of CAN’T FAKE THIS (INT, f/m contemporary erotic)
Cathryn Fox ebook, Torn Between Two Brothers, and Waves of Seduction
Dawn Chartier Diamonds e-book & Heart necklace (ship in U.S. only)
Desiree Holt 3 signed copies of Joy Ride (each with a cover card signed by Jackie, the cover model and 1 Lightnin’ t-shirt (the band in the book)
Elizabeth Hoyt 5 ARCs of THIEF OF SHADOWS (provided by publisher)
Evangeline Holland Kindle e-book copies of To Marry An English Lord by Gail McColl & Carol McD. Wallace, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by The Countess of Carnarvon, and The Glitter and the Gold by Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan
Georgie Lee An e-copy of my ancient Rome novella Mask of the Gladiator
Heather Snow A signed copy of SWEET ENEMY encased in a decorative book case, much like one that plays into the mystery of her story.
Hope Ramsay 5 copies of LAST CHANCE BEAUTY QUEEN (provided by publisher)
Hope Tarr One signed copy of VANQUISHED, Book #1 in Hope’s Victorian-set “Men of Roxbury House” trilogy
Jill Limber Any one of my books from Boroughs Publishing Group, winner’s choice.
Judith Glynn Ereader copy or POD: “A Collector of Affections: Tales from a Woman’s Heart”
Julia London The Cedar Springs series for the contemporary day (Summer of Two Wishes, One Season of Sunshine, and The Light at Winter’s End), The Two books in the Secrets of Hadley Green series (Year of Living Scandalously, Revenge of Lord Eberlin) for the historical day
Laura Florand A signed early copy of KISS THE BRIDE, which features the novella “All’s Fair in Love and Chocolate” which pre-launches my Paris Chocolate series, plus novellas by Deirdre Martin and Christie Ridgway, and a box of Miel Bonbons chocolates, because it’s cruel to make someone read about such good chocolate without letting them taste some.
Leigh Duncan 1 copy Rodeo Daughter, Harlequin American Romance
Lucy Monroe A copy of FOR DUTY’S SAKE
Marcia James Canine Cupids tote bag filled to the brim with dog-themed goodies and two autographed books featuring matchmaking, four-legged, furry characters.
Marilyn Baron and Sharon Goldman Murder. Mystery. Romance. A free PDF copy of our new humorous women’s fiction, The Edger, and a 22 X 11 signed (by award-winning Florida artist and coauthor Sharon Goldman), unframed giclée on canvas of “Backyard Lagoon,” the painting that inspired the novel’s cover artwork.
Mina Khan A Kindle copy of THE DJINN’S DILEMMA
Monica Burns Two winners of a set of historicals consisting of Pleasure Me, Kismet, and Dangerous
Nicole Jordan Fit for Royalty, triple dangle glittering CZ earrings
Patti Shenberger pdf copy of Undercover Seductions, Book Five of The Zodiac Clue series
PC Ryan 5 copies of QUINN (provided by publisher)
Renee Bernard a signed copy of my absolutely newest book, “Passion Wears Pearls” releasing March. 6.
Robyn Carr A signed copy of the first Virgin River novel, titled (you guessed it!), Virgin River, plus a Virgin River T-shirt
Sabrina Jeffries To the victor go the spoils! A deck of Hellions cards, $25 Barnes & Noble gift card & all five books in Sabrina Jeffries’ bestselling Hellions of Halstead Hall series.
Sharon Sala ebook copy of A Field of Poppies
Shoshanna Evers 5 winners will get their choice from my backlist, in any ebook format
Shayla Black Signed copy of Wicked Ties (book 1 in Wicked Lovers Series) in a bag of Shayla Black SWAG!! Lots of goodies!
Teresa Medeiros Autographed copy of THE PLEASURE OF YOUR KISS
Tina Donahue Winner’s choice of one of my backlist ebooks, including: 1. Adored 2. Deep, Dark, Delicious 3. Lush Velvet Nights 4. In His Arms 5. Sensual Stranger 6. The Yearning 7. Take Me Away
Vicky Dreiling 5 copies of HOW TO RAVISH A RAKE (provided by publisher)
Victoria Janssen A copy of her erotic historical novel The Moonlight Mistress – World War One and also some werewolves.
N.J. Walters A download from my backlist (winners choice)
Ellora’s Cave Free ebook of readers choice
Sophia Knightly WILD FOR YOU (Tropical Heat Series, Book 1) and SOLD ON YOU (Tropical Heat Series, Book 2)
Naomi Bellina One e-book of the winner’s choice.
Stephanie Barko paperback of historical novel Unrest in Eden by Florence Weinberg
Kathryne Kennedy an autographed copy of The Lord of Illusion
K.T. Wells A copy of Nobody’s Angel
Mari Carr Autographed copy of Wild Days
Kelly Jamieson a signed copy of my erotic romance Lost and Found.
Michelle Diener same Copy of IN A TREACHEROUS COURT (either paperback or ebook, winner’s choice)
The Outlaw Demon Wails audio book Kim Harrison
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult