Today I’m pleased to share with you the release of Minstrel’s Serenade from author Aubrie Dionne! I have her book in my TBR pile right now and can’t wait to dig into a story full of fantasy, romance, and of course music!
About Minstrel’s Serenade:
He’s sworn to protect her, but can he save her from himself?
Danika Rubystone has hated the minstrels ever since her mother ran away with one. As Princess, she’s duty bound to marry Valorian, a minstrel from the House of Song. But problems in the kingdom are mounting. With her father dead she’s the sole heir to an imperiled throne, and wyverns attack Ebonvale’s southern shores. But after Danika finds a lone survivor of a wyvern’s attack who holds the key to protecting the kingdom and she finally meets the enchantingly sly Valorian, everything changes.
As Ebonvale’s Royal Guard sails with the minstrels to smite the uprising of wyverns, Danika dances a line between sticking by duty like her father, or following her wild heart like her mother.
Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her books have received the highest ratings from Romance Times Magazine and BTS Magazine, as well as Night Owl Reviews and Two Lips Reviews. She has guest blogged on the USA Today Happy Ever After Blog and the Dear Teen Me blog and signed books at the Boston Book Festival, Barnes and Noble, and the Romance Writers of America conference. Her books are published by HarperImpulse, Entangled Publishing, Astraea Press, Spencer Hill Press, Inkspell Publishing, and Lyrical Press. When she’s not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras.
To learn more about Aubrie, check out her website, blog or follow her on twitter.
If you weren’t able to attend RT earlier this year, and if you’re sad like me you won’t be able to go to RWA in San Antonio later this month, the good news is you can still snag a copy of the Lyrical Press Summer Sampler for free from Amazon.
Kensington put together the sampler to showcase the opening pages from a number of Lyrical authors writing in different romantic genres.
Authors include Eden Ashe, Stacey McKitrick, Jenna Jaxon, Rhonda Leah, and myself (along with many more). So check it out if you are still debating whether to buy my book Siege of the Heart or if you are looking for something new and naughty from one of my Lyrical Press sisters.
You won’t be disappointed!
Join me this week at the British Romance Fiction Blog where I talk about how Siege of the Heart came about!
I didn’t realize just how much I didn’t know when I first started writing my medieval romance Siege of the Heart. I came at it in a roundabout way: the origins of the book were distinctly fantasy but I found the worldbuilding too overwhelming. Better to fit my story events into a historical time period—a ready-made framework to build my book around….
Historical romance author Glynis Smy hosted me in her Getting to Know the Author series. Check it out!
What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
I write historical romance, particularly focusing on the medieval time period. There was a time growing up when I wanted my very own knight in shining armor to whisk me away on a grand quest. I’ve found medieval times come the closest to evoking the world of fairy tales I was so fond of as a child, but the history gives it a gravity I appreciate as an adult.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
Usually, I have a couple of different projects at different stages that I can move between to keep from getting bored or overwhelmed by any one story. So, for example, I have a story that I’ll be starting a final draft on soon, but I’m taking a break by brainstorming an outline…
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I had such an amazing time at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in New Orleans this year, I’m still processing the experience over two weeks later.
With only one book under my belt, I’m relatively new to the field. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from such a large conference. I figured at the very least I’d be able to make some new writing friends and spread the word at bit more about Siege of the Heart at the Kensington events I’d get to participate in. What I got was a heck of a lot more.
It started when I first arrived in New Orleans that Tuesday. This was my first trip to Louisiana, and after checking in, I started exploring the French Quarter. First stop was a seafood lunch then coffee and beignets at Café du Monde.
And yes, it was as good as it looks. After walking around some more and taking in the sights, I ended up at Emeril Lagasse’s NOLA restaurant and treated myself to more fabulous seafood and the wine pairings that came with it.
The next morning I got registered and snapped up my goodie bags before I started hitting the panels. Lunch, I spent with the wonderful Pamela of Badass Romance. She hosted me on her blog awhile back, and I’ve always found her posts to be insightful, in-depth examinations of the genre. Her post on the visual impact the RT conference made is a must-read.
That evening was the multi-publisher sponsored party at Madi Gras World, which was as fun as you might expect it to be. It was fascinating to walk around the different floats—the colors and craftsmanship was amazing.
At the party, I was able to meet some of my Lyrical Press sisters—Eden Ashe and Stacy McKitrick. Eden writes fantasy romance about dragon shifters and Stacy has a steamy series of vampire novels. It was great to finally connect the name with the face and talk shop!
What I liked so much about RT was how even the most innocuous events—standing in line at the Marriott Starbucks or waiting for the bus ride from the party back to the hotels were wonderful opportunities to meet people in the field—bloggers, booksellers, readers and writers. To be able to talk so freely about the books I love with people who feel the same way? That rarely happens, even at my local RWA meetings. I also had the opportunity to get a signed copy of Jeannie Lin’s The Lotus Palace (yay!) and had a few fangirl moments that are best left unmentioned.
The next day, more panels. I took a break from the convention for lunch (yes, sometimes I need to embrace my inner hermit) and decided to go to the Central Grocery, known to have the original muffuletta sandwich—a wonderful concoction of Italian meats, cheese, olives, and capers. Yummy!
Then it was time to prepare for the Kensington book event. Since paperback versions of my book aren’t available yet, we had Lyrical Press samplers to sign, which included excerpts from everyone’s book. I also had my own swag (which surprisingly was quickly snapped up), and Kensington gave us snow globes to hand out, which had our book covers inside them. I kept one to put on my desk back home to keep me inspired!
Afterwards, the Pub Crawl down Bourbon Street. Kensington was stationed at Pat O’Brien’s where I had my very first Hurricane and chatted with my publisher Renee Rocco and marketing director Ellen Chan. These wonderful ladies made me feel so welcome to the Lyrical/Kensington team.
With the Pub Crawl behind me, Stacy McKitrick and I grabbed a late meal at Red Fish Grill, where I had more amazing seafood and great conversation about all things writing. If you love paranormal romance, check her books out.
Friday was my last day in New Orleans. I made the most of it attending some morning panels, then meeting the lovely Juliette Cross for lunch. She has a new series coming out with Lyrical—be sure to check out her gorgeous cover reveal.
I was also interviewed by Dabney Grinnan from All About Romance (!), featuring a number of authors in attendance. I was thrilled to be in such august company. Check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (which includes me!), and Part 4.
Then it was time for me to return home. Tired, out of swag, and brimming with the energy the conference gave me. I’m disappointed I won’t be around for RWA this year—don’t feel too bad as I’ll be in Barcelona with my husband. But RT exceeded my expectations—I think it may have something to do with the “Published Author” ribbon I got to wear. Either way, I look forward to next year!
Mae Clair interviewed me on her Pen Pals blog series where we talked a little bit about me, my writing process, and my novel Siege of the Heart. Check it out!
Elise, please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.
I’ve been writing since my teen years, but was always afraid to admit I wanted to be a writer. So let’s just say there were a lot of secret notebooks in my room. I majored in English in college, went to grad school, and even worked in academia for a few years. But none of that made me happy. So I pulled out an old story, reread it, and realized it wasn’t that bad. Looking back it seems so naive. But I rewrote and revised and workshopped that story and many others over the next few years, and here I am.
Good for you! As writers we encounter…
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The wonderful Cd Brennan hosted me over the weekend on her recurring interview series with writers, Sundae with Nuts. I had a blast answering her questions, so please check it out!
I’ll be in New Orleans this week to celebrate all things Romance at the RT Convention. Be sure to check out the following events, where you’ll have the opportunity to meet me and my fellow Kensington authors:
MARDI GRAS WORLD CARNIVALE — Wednesday 5/14 @ 7:15pm – 12:00am — Kensington will be hosting the Bananas Foster dessert station, so be sure to come hungry!
KENSINGTON PARTY — Thursday 5/15 @ 5:15pm – 6:15pm (3rd floor ACADIA Ballroom) — Books, swag, and a chance to chat with Kensington authors!
PUB CRAWL — Thursday 5/15 @ 6:30pm – 8:30pm (Pat O’Brien’s @ 620 Bourbon Street) — Come mingle and be merry with Kensington authors and get a taste of Bourbon Street.
If you spot me at these events or at the conference, be sure to say hi. I’ll have some nifty Siege swag too, so don’t be shy!