THE BACHELORS OF BOND STREET is out in the world! Here’s a preview of my novella, A SECOND CHANCE FOR LOVE

 

Here’s a peek at the first chapter…..


A Second Chance for Love

Minerva Spencer

One

London

1817

 

Justin squeezed his eyes shut and rubbed his eyelids—hard—the soft leather of his gloves cool on his hot skin. 

But when he opened his eyes, she was still standing there.

“Well I’ll be damned,” he murmured. He closed the door to his carriage with a soft click and slumped back against it, unable to move his gaze from this specter from his past. 

Juss was some distance away, and the light was dim, but he could see her clearly enough, and he’d know that prim mouth, turned-up nose, and fiery red hair anywhere—although most of it was covered with a hideous cap right now.

Even though he could see her with his own eyes, he had a hard time believing it. 

She was carrying a large wooden crate down the back steps of Madam LeMonde’s stylish Bond Street dress shop. There was a small lantern perched on top of the box and it was illuminating her face in an eerie fashion. Judging by the way she was staggering, the box was heavy. 

A gentleman would help her, his conscience prodded.

But I’m not a gentleman. Juss thought the word with all the loathing he felt for the breed. 

He’d known his share of so-called gentlemen and a goodly number of them would just as likely push her against the wall and mount her as help her.

So he stayed where he was, his eyes dry from staring—as if she’d disappear if he blinked.

She paused at the bottom of the stairs and lifted one shoulder to rub at something on her jaw, an itch that had inconveniently developed while both her hands were full. The only other light in the narrow mews was from the lamp outside the back entrance of the nearest business, The Greedy Vicar public house.

It had been a decade since he’d last seen her but Justin would have recognized her even if it had been a century: Miss Oona Parker, the woman whose judgmental self-righteousness had sent his life into a downward spiral of poverty and suffering—a spiral that had, at long last, led him here. Miss Oona Parker, his damnation or his salvation, depending on how one looked at things. 

She propped the box on her hip and unlocked the heavy wooden door that led to Madam’s storage vault. Even from this distance he could see that her movements were slow, almost bone-weary. Well, working as a drudge for a harpy like Madam LeMonde could not be easy. She lifted her burden with both hands and disappeared into the black maw, leaving the door ajar behind her.

Justin turned toward his coachman; Beekman was waiting patiently, wearing his customary bored expression. The two of them had first met in the louse house—not long after he’d seen Miss Parker for the last time—many years before Justin was a wealthy, powerful businessman in a position to offer Beekman—or anyone else—employment. At least not legal employment.

“Return for me in ten minutes” he told Beekman.

“Yes, Mr. Taylor.” Beekman clucked his tongue and the four chestnuts leapt forward, quickly disappearing into the velvety darkness of Cork Lane. 

Justin didn’t normally tool around the city in his traveling coach but he’d just returned from his country house, which was a two hour drive, and he liked to work during the trip rather than take his curricle. Especially when the weather was sharp and chill like it was tonight.

He smelled snow in the air. As if on cue, a large snowflake landed on his nose—a prominent organ that attracted such assaults—and then the sky opened its vaults and the air around him swirled with white fluff that sparkled beneath the lamplight.

Fortunately he had on his heaviest woolen greatcoat even though his plans for the evening had included nothing more adventurous than stopping in at The Greedy Vicar for a meal, a few pints, and the monthly meeting with his manager before going home for the night. 

Pure chance had brought him out the back entrance of the pub tonight; otherwise Juss might never have seen her. He usually visited this property just once a month, and almost always in the evening, when most of the other shops in the string of buildings would be closed for the night. 

Yes, it had been a night like any other—until now. Until her.

Justin’s lips curved into a smile he knew was not nice. What were the bloody odds that he would see her after all these years? Especially now?

It had to be fate.

He pulled up his collar and strode through the quickly blanketing snow toward the dark rectangle that led to the building’s warren of vaults, his booted heels echoing damply as they struck the cobbles. He paused at the doorway, anticipation causing his pulse to accelerate and sending blood racing through his body. The freezing air chilled the sweat on his brow but he was uncomfortably hot beneath the layers of wool: hot with barely suppressed excitement. 

What are you doing, Juss? 

Fate has thrown her into my path, it doesn’t seem right to ignore this . . . opportunity.

It was a long, long time ago—another life. Leave it be; leave her be.

Juss ignored the voice and peered into the darkness beyond, allowing his eyes to adjust: he’d never listened to his better angel in the past, so why start now? 

He knew it would be wiser to take this new information home and think about an approach, but there was no way in hell he was going home without seeing her—talking to her. His mind was blank just now, but he’d know what he wanted to say once he said it. That was his way: quick and confident. That was how he’d grown his measly few pence into shillings and then a handful of pounds, and, finally, into hundreds and thousands of pounds. 

On that thought, he headed toward a flicker of light off to the left some fifteen feet ahead. He knew that was where she would be, because that was the storage area reserved for Madam Cecile LeMonde’s dress shop. Justin had known Dotty LeMonde since his first year in London, a decade earlier. The woman was from Old Saint Nichols Street and was no more French than he was.

Juss heard Miss Parker before he saw her. There was the sound of something being dragged—a ladder maybe—and the dull clunking of wood on stone. 

When he reached the door to the storage area she was at the far side of the large room, perched on a ladder to replace large spools of thread on dowels that had been attached to the low crossbeams. 

Justin crossed his arms and leaned against the doorframe to watch her. 

He still had no idea what he was going to do—perhaps speak or perhaps just slip away—but he’d do it after she came down off the ladder. 

A large, worn overcoat covered her slender body from neck to feet. The only part of her clothing he could see was the high neck of her gown—a serviceable gray—long sleeves, and worn brown ankle boots. She was facing away from him so he studied her shoulders, narrow but straight, her posture so rigid she appeared to have an iron rod in place of a spine.

The stable lads had called her Miss Oona Purity and had taken every opportunity to put themselves in her path. They’d never been openly disrespectful, just teasing and mocking. Of course not far beneath that mockery was desire—at least that’s the way it had been for Justin—because she was one of the most beautiful women he’d seen before or since. Small and shapely, with hair like spun copper and big green eyes.

She had ignored them, not even bothering to glance their way most of the time, as if they were the dregs of humanity sprung up from the gutters. Many of them were the dregs—including Justin—so it wasn’t as if her judging looks were slanderous. 

The competition to help her mount and dismount her horse had been fierce but Juss had always made certain that he was the one to slide his hands around the beautiful—and haughty—young woman’s tiny waist.

Now that Juss was older he realized she must have been rather alone in the viscount’s household. Unlike the other servants she ate her meals in her room or sometimes the schoolroom, and had very little interaction with the rest of them. She couldn’t have been very old—certainly younger than twenty—and the governess position must have been her first. 

He’d only spoken to her a few times and she’d kept their conversations brief and to the point, an action that had only made her more unattainable and therefore desirable.

Juss had slept with his first woman at fourteen and they’d not stopped throwing themselves at him ever since. He’d been an arrogant little fuck by the age of twenty-four—which is how old he’d been when he’d met Miss Oona Purity—certain of his ability to charm the birds out of the trees. Or at least to charm one pretty young governess out of her shell.

But she’d barely given him the time of day. 

His lips curled up. Well, not until she’d run squealing to the viscount about catching him and Clara.

And here she was in the flesh: Miss Oona Purity.

Juss waited and watched in silence, his mind on the last time he’d seen her—the day his life went to hell.

***

Oona’s fingers were so cold they actually hurt with it. She’d put on her coat and scarf but, foolishly, hadn’t pulled on her gloves. She’d wanted to hurry and finish this before Madam came into the back room after serving her last customer.

The older woman wasn’t cruel, but she tended to get short-tempered with her five employees, especially Oona, the only one of the workers who had no skills to offer other than a nimble mind and strong back. She was also the newest employee, having come to Madam just five months ago.

Oona took the last spool from the box and raised it over her head. The dowel was behind her and she’d either have to get down and move the heavy ladder to reach it, or . . . . 

It was foolish and dangerous, but she arched her back and stretched, holding the spool over her head. She’d just put the hole near the dowel when her foot slipped a little and sent the rickety ladder wobbling. She shrieked as the spool slipped from her fingers and plummeted to the floor, her body right behind it. 

Time stretched and slowed, giving her a moment to imagine how it would feel when she hit the cold stone floor. Oona squeezed her eyes shut, gritted her teeth, and prepared for the worst. And then she slammed into a pair of strong arms, their owner grunting from the force of impact, his knees pressing into her back as he bent to absorb her weight.

The first thing she saw when she opened her eyes was the underside of a masculine, angular jaw. Her rescuer tilted his chin down and eyes like blue flame burned into her as he cradled her body against his broad, unyielding chest. 

Oona’s brain struggled with the information her eyes provided: high, sharp cheekbones, a firm chin, a prominent Romanesque nose with a bump on the proud curve, and full, sinful lips that were pulled into a mocking smile. His thick, silky black hair was cut into a fashionable crop just long enough to let a lock flop teasingly over his brow.

Her head was warm and muzzy and she felt unnaturally aware of his warm body. No. No, it couldn’t be.

“How nice of you to drop in, Miss Parker.” 

The voice was more polished, but the cockney still lurked beneath the façade. 

“Juss.” The word was out before she could catch it. Her face heated at the use of his pet name, a privilege he’d never granted her. “Er, Mr. Taylor,” she amended. 

His mouth pulled up higher on one side, his hooded eyes glinting. “Ah, so you do remember me.” 

As if anyone ever forgot Justin Taylor. Oona could tell by his smug tone that he wasn’t surprised at all that she knew who he was. 

“Are you hurt?” His low voice vibrated through her body and reminded her she was still tight against his chest.

She squirmed.

His arms clenched slightly, as if he might keep her, and her pulse thundered at the thought. But he lowered her with sudden swiftness and her feet hit the ground with a loud clack. 

Oona staggered back a step. “Wh-what are you doing here?” she demanded, tilting her head back sharply to meet his gaze; he looked nothing like his former self, and yet he did. 

“You’re welcome, ma’am.” His hat had fallen, likely when he’d caught her, and he bent to pick it up.

Oona’s face heated. “Oh. I’m sorry, of course I’m grateful that you were here to catch me. But—”

“In answer to your question, I own this building,” he said coolly, but she could hear the pride simmering beneath his words. His full lips were curved into a faint smile, the same smirk he’d always worn in repose. It was remarkable how familiar the expression was even though she’d not seen it for a decade. As ever, he made Oona feel young, ignorant, gauche; that wasn’t all he’d made her feel. 

But right now it was making her feel like an idiot. “You’re Mr. Taylor—Mr. Justin Taylor?”

“In the flesh.”

“Oh. I never put the two names together,” she said, sounding breathy and foolish. 

“Taylor is a common name, as is Justin. Why would you ever link your employer’s landlord with an impoverished, disgraced groom you knew many years ago?”

Oona frowned at the slight but menacing emphasis on the word disgraced. Did he think she judged him for losing his position so long ago? The thought made her grimace; if he only knew about how she’d lost her position. Oona cringed at the thought of the arrogant, confident, and successful man in front of her learning about her mortifying disgrace. And it was clear that he was successful. Her eyes flickered over his elegantly clad body: skintight black pantaloons and a wool overcoat that embraced his broad shoulders as closely as a lover, his leather-clad hands holding a high-crowned black beaver hat. 

What had happened to him? How had he gone from a groom to . . . this? Dozens of questions swirled around in her head like too many fish in a pond. Oona snatched at one, “How long have you known I worked for Madam LeMonde?” 

He reached into his pocket and took out his watch. “Perhaps ten minutes.”

Why did that make her feel marginally less anxious?

Did you think he was stalking you, Oona?

No, she thought no such thing. In fact, she was more than a little surprised that he would even remember who she was. 

He replaced his watch and once again turned his uncomfortable gaze on her. 

Oona swallowed, loudly, and his lips twitched: he was enjoying her discomfort.

“Why are you looking at me that way?” she asked.

His eyebrows rose. “What way?”

Oona was good with words, but she had none to describe this particular look. 

“I didn’t know you were a seamstress as well as a governess,” he said when she didn’t reply. “But then I suppose that’s not surprising as we did not occupy the same spheres—me being in the stables and you being in his lordship’s house.”

“No, I’m not—” she hesitated, uneasy at what she was about to admit to this man—a man who’d always flustered her, even when he’d been a mere groom. And now. . . 

“Yes?” he prodded. “You’re not . . .”

“I’m not a seamstress; I’m the all-around dogsbody.” She’d not meant to sound so belligerent, but there it was.

“You didn’t like governessing?”

“Yes, actually, I enjoyed it a great deal.”

“Ah, I see.”

Oona was about to ask him just what it was he saw, but then she wasn’t sure she wanted to hear the answer.

He glanced around and then stooped to pick up the spool. “Where does it go?”

“Oh, you don’t have to—”

He sighed.

“Fine.” She pointed to the second to last dowel. “By the navy thread.”

He had to stand on his toes to slide it onto its holder, but it was done in a blink. 

“Are you finished here?” he asked.

“Yes. I just need—” but he’d already bent to pick up her empty box and lamp. 

“Come, I’ll walk you out.” His tone was peremptory—commanding. Certainly not the tone a groom would use. But then he wasn’t a groom anymore, was he?

When he opened the door, Oona gasped. “Oh, how lovely.” She stared up at the dark sky, the view a dizzying one as thousands of glinting flakes hurtled toward her. 

When he said nothing she turned to find him staring at her from beneath heavy lids. “Yes, isn’t it?” he said, and then pulled the door shut with a sharp snap, his eyes never leaving hers.

“Um.” Oona reached a shaking hand into her coat pocket for the heavy key. “I need to—”

He held up a ring with a half-dozen keys. “I’ve already locked it.”

“Do you always—”

“Finish other people’s sentences?” His lips curved that same non-smile. “No, not always.” He gestured toward Cork Street, where she saw a luxurious black coach with four restless chestnuts. “May I offer you a ride anywhere, Miss Parker—is it still Miss Parker?” 

“No—I mean, yes.” She shook her head at her bumbling. “Yes, it’s still Miss Parker. No, I don’t need a ride as I’ve not finished work for the evening.” She remembered her manners at the last moment. “But thank you.”

He handed her the box and lamp and then bowed. “I wish you a good evening, Miss Parker.” 

Like a street urchin staring in a shop window, Oona watched as he made his way to the magnificent carriage, his booted feet muffled by the thin layer of snow. He opened the door and hopped in without steps, his greatcoat fluttering like a dark flag in the snow-dotted night. 

Oona wondered if he’d look back before he closed his door. 

But he didn’t and the carriage rolled away into the darkness. 


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Beautiful Review from BookPage!

SCANDALOUS

BookPage review by Elizabeth Mazer

In the latest installment of the Outcasts series, author Miranda Spencer shows that she has by no means lost her taste for juicy, refreshingly shocking characters that throw proper London society into a tizzy.

Martin Bouchard, captain of the Golden Scythe will be familiar to her readers. The New Orleans–born privateer has been a recurring character in the first two books of the series, and the story opens with him seizing a Dutch slave ship and finding, among the human cargo, someone he never could have expected. Sarah Fisher was born and raised in Africa and seized by the slavers along with the rest of the villagers, despite being the Caucasian daughter of British missionaries. When she’s freed by Martin—or rather, when her freedom is confirmed, since she starts the process herself through the audacious theft of the slaving captain’s gun—arrangements are made for her to be transported to England, courtesy of the Golden Scythe. While Sarah thinks of herself as plain (and tall, for that matter) and therefore entirely unlikely to entice the gorgeous, notorious, sin-poured-into-breeches captain, it doesn’t take long for her to fascinate, irritate, educate and enflame him. They clash—a lot. They say the wrong things and hurt each other—a lot. Their attraction is palpable (and very, very obvious to everyone around them) but at times it truly does seem like they’ll never be able to overcome the obstacles they keep putting in their own way.

Sarah is self-conscious about her looks and wounded by a lifetime of feeling undesired and out of place, and so she struggles to accept or even recognize Martin’s fascination with her. And Martin, wounded by secrets from his past and his own feelings of unworthiness, bristles with jealousy and what seems to be a deep streak of self-loathing that leads him to not just push but actively hurl everyone away from him. They’re complicated characters, and their journey to love and happiness is far from easy.

It would be clichéd to say that in the end, love sets them free. It also wouldn’t be quite true. Love actually comes early on, even if neither of them wants to admit it. Freedom comes later—and it’s something they have to embrace before they can truly let love in. Spencer enjoys poking at the delicate scales of power in Regency society. While her characters move in the highest echelons, they’ve all struggled with powerlessness and disdain in various forms. Sarah’s struggles would seem at first to be the most challenging—after all, she begins the story in the hold of a slave ship. But it’s Martin, a former slave himself, who carries the weight of his bondage, even years after gaining his liberty. When he lets go of that burden and finally accepts that his past doesn’t have to control his future, he’s truly set free. Free to love and accept love in return—and free to live happily ever after. 

Interview with John Charles on The Booklist Reader!

10 Questions for Minerva Spencer

Rising romance star Minerva Spencer launched her writing career with the publication of Dangerous, the first installment in The Outcasts, her Regency-set historical trilogy, in 2018. Dangerous would go on to earn a spot on Booklist’s Top 10 Debut Romances: 2018. And it was was soon followed by Barbarous, which was chosen as one of BookPage’s 14 Most Anticipated Romances of Fall 2018; and Scandalous, which just earned a rave starred review from Publishers Weekly. A transplanted Canadian, Spencer now lives happily in New Mexico on her four-acre hobby farm with an assortment of animals and a terribly tolerant husband.

Who is Minerva Spencer?

This is not a very flattering admission, but when it comes to writing, Minerva Spencer is a messy, disorganized, seat-of-my pants maniac. Just like in every other part of my life, I’m impulsive when it comes to how I tell my stories. When the muse comes to visit, I’ve written as many as 60 pages in a single day.

Of course I’m just as likely to cut all that the following day.

Here is a recent example of how my writing style can sometimes be painful: two nights ago I woke up at 1:53 a.m. convinced I needed to cut 50 pages from my current work in progress. Fifty pages represents about four average days’ work at the rough draft stage; so cutting 50 pages means throwing away four days of work. Anyhow, I dithered and tossed and generally kept Mr. Spencer from having a restful sleep until I finally put on my slippers, made a cup of coffee, and excised those pages with the ruthless precision of a surgeon.

I immediately felt better and could go back to sleep.

My writer friends who plot, plan, and outline listen to those kind of stories with expressions of horror. I’ve tried to make outlines in the past and it has been a waste of time. I might not always like my writing style, but it’s the only one that works for me.

Tell us about your new book, Scandalous.

I know authors aren’t supposed to say they have a favorite book (kind of like saying you prefer one of your children better than the others) but I have a serious soft spot for Scandalous.

I adore Martín Bouchard, the hero in Scandalous. I love the stuff that comes out of his mouth, no matter how obnoxious it is. As I was editing the story and getting it ready for publication I was definitely tempted to make Martín more acceptable to mainstream, modern sensibility. He is far from perfect and often behaves in ways that don’t cast him in a favorable light. For example, I was tempted to make him more sensitive, less arrogant, and get rid of his habit of hanging around brothels.

It’s lucky for me I have an awesome editor who loved Martín, warts and all, and didn’t want me to sanitize either his dark past or his less-than-proper behavior.

Martín might be mercurial, conceited, and selfish at times, but he is also loyal, brave, loving, and principled. Oh, he’s hot. Like, REALLY hot.

And he knows it.

When you have a character like Martín, who could easily turn into a story hog, you have to be very careful about who you pair with him.

Not only do I love Martín, but Sarah is one of the best heroines I’ve written. I’m not a religious person, but I believe that Sarah portrays the best of what organized religion purports to be, without making her into a Pollyanna in the process.

Sarah is loving, kind, open, and giving without being judgmental or rigid, but she’s human, so she’s beset by doubts and struggles to forgive. She’s also consumed by wanton, distinctly improper impulses toward Martín, even when she knows her reaction is impious and probably foolish given his reputation as a world-class rake incapable of love.

The story itself is a wonderful combination of “road trip” (they are on a ship for about half of the book) and glitzy London ballrooms.

Martín is an escaped slave who has made a fortune as a privateer, but he’s got secrets in his past he is less than eager to share. Sarah was born and raised in the jungles of West Africa, but being the child of strict missionary parents meant that she always felt somewhat isolated from her friends and neighbors in the village she considered her home.

The two outcasts bicker and banter their way to London while tentatively exploring each other’s hearts (okay, and bodies). This is definitely a story in which the journey is as exciting and enjoyable as the destination.

You have had a somewhat colorful career path. Tell us about your journey to becoming a published author.

I laughed out loud when I read this question.

It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that it occurred to me you were supposed to pick one career and stick to that. How is that possible when life has so many fascinating options?

did have a plan—of sorts—but it has never bothered me to deviate from plans.

I went to undergrad and graduate school for history and then taught on the college level for five years. I only had a part-time position and eventually decided I had two options if I was going to make a career that would support me: pursue a doctorate or do something else entirely.

What I’m about to tell you is the height of irony considering where I’ve ended up. I decided the publish or perish nature of academics—not to mention the ridiculous degree of specialization often required these days (best description of this I’ve ever read is Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis)—coupled with the constant wrangling with one’s peers over minutiae, were all things I wanted to avoid.

Having come to that conclusion, I then decided the law would be a less fraught and more straightforward career. (I never told you I made rational decisions!)

I went into law school thinking I’d specialize in tax law, the least glamorous of all legal fields. I figured that would be the perfect job for an introvert. I could work for some firm that would tuck me away in a room somewhere and leave me to myself.

True to form, I never even interviewed for a tax position. Instead, my second job out of law school was that of criminal prosecutor at the Harris County Prosecutor’s office, the fourth largest DA’s office in the country. So, it wasn’t the most laid-back and low-key of positions. My first day on the job I was given an office stuffed with cases and told I had 21 trials scheduled for the next week.

About five years after graduating law school I decided the law wasn’t for me.

At the time my husband was working for a Nigerian company and spent a good deal of time in cities like Lagos and Port Harcourt, where people in his business were often kidnapped or shot.

My legal training served me well and I was able to convince him he should quit his dangerous job and we should strike out on our own.

I had owned a bar with my ex-husband years before (did I forget to mention that career?) and knew my current husband and I were too old to live that lifestyle.

Anyhow, I somehow convinced my very traditional spouse—who’d been in the same career for almost 40 years—to jump ship after only four months of research (about three and a half months more than I usually did before making major life decisions) and buy a bed and breakfast. Because, you know, having thousands of strangers visit your house every year is such an excellent job choice for an introvert.

We ran the inn for eight. Long. Years. At the end of that time, in 2013, I seriously needed a break. For the first time in my life I had no idea what I was going to do next. My husband told me to relax, sleep in, and read a lot of books. That’s what I did for a couple of months. And then one day a story came to me while I was on a six-hour round-trip drive to the airport.

I came home and wrote the story down. And then I wrote another (without taking the drive first, this time) and another.

I wrote a pile of stories before a good friend convinced me in early 2017 that I needed to send them off to somebody.

In terms of publishing, I won the lottery and the fifth query letter I sent out got me my first three-book publishing contract.

I love my current job better than any I’ve ever had. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll keep writing books for as long as I’m having fun. If I ever stop enjoying what I’m doing, I’ll look into going to vet school . . .

What is the book (or are the books) that hooked you as a reader on romance fiction?

I think it is amazing that I actually remember the exact book: The Devil on Horseback, by Victoria Holt. It was the first romance I read and I was titillated by the taboo nature of the relationship (May-December). I recall finding it hard to believe that the young heroine could find the hero—a 35 year-old geezer—attractive. Yes, I was very young.

What three words best describe your own writing style?

Intense, emotional, unpredictable.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received about writing?

Write what you like, because if you don’t like it, nobody else will, either.

If you could be one character in literature for a day, which character would you choose, and why?

Lucy from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I still check out wardrobes from time to time.

What role do chickens play in your life?

I suppose some people (er, Mr. Spencer, maybe) would say I’m a tad obsessed with chickens. Yes, I love all birds, but chickens—one of the most abused animals on the planet—have a special place in my heart.

I’ve had a small poultry rescue for the last eleven years. I don’t buy chicks from hatcheries after learning how horrible they are (think puppy mill, but with cute fuzzy chicks!) so my flock only increases when I take in a new rescue.

Most of my birds are older because people don’t want them anymore when they don’t lay as many eggs. The second category of rescue is birds who were the sole survivors of predator attacks. For example, my newest rescue—a duck hen we’ve named Mrs. Nelly Quackenbush—was the only survivor after a bobcat got into somebody’s coop and killed 25 other birds.

Because we keep four Great Pyrenees guard dogs patrolling the property we rarely have to concern ourselves with predators.

Over the years I’ve gained enough expertise about their illnesses that the local vet has called me more than once to ask me about chicken issues in her own flock.

I guess you could say I truly love chickens. If you know of any needing a good home, bring ‘em on over.

What is next for you as a writer?

I’ve written sci-fi, detective, and fantasy stories as well as a whole lot of historical romance. I’m lucky that my agent, Pam Hopkins, encourages me to write what I like. In addition to continuing writing romances, I’m hoping you will see my name pop up in one of these other genres at some point.

How can readers best connect with you?

You can check out my website: minervaspencer.com if you want to learn more about my books or bird obsession. If you have a question it’s best to contact me by email: minervaspencerauthor@gmail.com.

Steals, Kindle Daily Deals, & Cover Reveals!

A double Kindle Daily Deal on

SEPTEMBER 3rd!

DANGEROUS or BARBAROUS

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Fantastic praise for SCANDALOUS!

Not 1, not 2, but THREE starred reviews!

*”Sexy, witty, and fiercely entertaining.” Kirkus

*”Spencer’s brilliant and original tale of the high seas bursts with wonderfully real protagonists, plenty of action, and passionate romance.” Publishers Weekly

*”Spencer is a storyteller of impressive flair.” Booklist


Check out the new cover for NOTORIOUS!

The cure for a willful wife . . .
 
Drusilla Clare is full of opinions about why a woman shouldn’t marry. But that doesn’t stop the rush of desire she feels each time her best friend’s brother, notorious rake Gabriel Marlington, crosses her path. So imagine her dismay when she finds herself in the clutches of a scoundrel, only to be rescued by Gabriel himself.  And when Gabriel’s heartless—and heart-pounding—proposal comes, it’s enough to make Dru’s formidable resolve crumble . . .
 
. . . is a smitten husband.
 
She’s sharp-tongued, exasperating—and due to one careless moment—about to become his wife. Still, something about Drusilla has Gabriel intrigued. First there’s the delicious flush of her skin every time she delivers a barb—and then the surprisingly sensual feel of her in his arms. Gabriel even finds himself challenged by her unusual philosophies. And when he discovers a clandestine rival for Dru’s affection, his temperature flares even hotter. But the real threat to their happiness is one neither of the newlyweds sees coming. If they’re to save their future—and their very lives—they’ll need to trust in each other and their growing love.


Cover Reveal for THE ARRANGEMENT !

 

 

 


Did somebody say

BOOK GIVEAWAY?!

To enter to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of the incomparable Anabelle Bryant’s

LONDON’S LATE NIGHT SCANDAL

tell me your FAVORITE HOLIDAY in the comment area below!

Giveaway is for United States only.

Winners will be chosen September 30, 2019

Awesome STARRED review for SCANDALOUS!

What a lovely surprise to get this review from PUBLISHERS WEEKLY!

SCANDALOUS by Minerva Spencer 

 “Complex characters make this historical romance a standout. The illustrious privateer Capt. Martín Bouchard has loved many women, but none has enticed or frustrated him more than the missionary Sarah Fisher, whom he saves, along with hundreds of others, from a slave ship. No matter how infuriating he gets, Sarah remains intrigued with the surly captain, and she quickly becomes admired by his crew for her strong and noble spirit. When they discover that the captain of the slave ship is Dutch royalty, they agree with port authorities to take him to England to meet his fate. Sarah and Martín keep winding up in compromising positions, unable to tame their desire for each other. Martín wants to keep Sarah at a distance to protect the secrets of his painful past and true identity, but that doesn’t stop the forgiving woman from getting under his skin and arousing emotions he’s never experienced. Blackmail makes its way into the ballroom, but Martín is a formidable adversary backed by powerful, loyal friends. Spencer’s brilliant and original tale of the high seas bursts with wonderfully real protagonists, plenty of action, and passionate romance.”

–  Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

Spring cleaning with style!

 

I know it’s pretty hard to make housework fun, but I’m going to at least try to make it more stylish!

When my brain is functioning I remember to wear gloves and an apron to clean. Not only is it better for your hands and clothes, it is yet another excuse to have a wardrobe change.

So I thought, why not make those boring old rubber gloves something to get excited about wearing? (Okay, so that probably isn’t going to happen, either…)

And then after I made the gloves I just HAD to make an apron to go with it. Because that’s the way I am.

Anyhow, I’ve tried to keep track of the glove and apron making with photos, but I’m a writer, not a photographer, so it might get dicey at times.

Do I sound demented about pinning? Yes, I do–because I AM! I hate pinning, but it is necessary. Why? So you can BLEED for your project. Okay, I’m only kidding about that.

Now, how about that matching apron I promised?

IMG_0207

NO, you can’t have my knitting chickens apron! This is just to show you what I’ll use for a pattern. My mom made this lovely apron for me several years back. It is a bit worn, but I still love it best among all my aprons.

Okay, below I’ve added a picture of the Pink Panther apron. I live in the sticks, so imagine my surprise when I learned I had NO PINK BIAS TAPE!!! How can such a thing happen? Well, it did. But I am crafty, so I thought, “Hey–why not make your own?” I’ve done it before but for some reason the geometry of folding the fabric was eluding me.

Enter Mom!

Yes, I called my mother and she talked me through laying out and cutting bias tape. In case you hadn’t guessed by now, it needs to be cut on the bias.

Here is the cut strip and then I fold it in half, and in half again, and voila!! Bias tape!

I’ve pinned both apron and pocket and now I’m ready to sew.

apron with bias tape

Apron pinned and ready to sew!

But wait, you say! How will I attach the apron? So, below are some pics of the apron ties in progress…

 

Ready for the finished photo???

So, if you want to enter to win this set just comment in the comments section below or come visit me on Facebook!

JANUARY’S Contest Winners Are….

The winner of GIVEAWAY #1 a signed copy of Vanessa Kelly’s THREE WEEKS WITH A PRINCESS is Tiffany T.

The winner of GIVEAWAY #2  a cloth SCANDALOUS tote bag is, Cyndi B.

The winner of a print copy of Shana Galen’s THE THIRD SON IS THE CHARM is Joanna C.

Thanks to everyone who entered! I’ll have more giveaways in my next newsletter.

Happy reading!

 

New Languages…New Covers…New Books!

These little lovelies- the Japanese version of DANGEROUS -just came in the mail the other day…..

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I have to admit this is the first time I’ve held a Japanese book in my hands. I keep turning it over to look at what we in the West think of as the front of the book. Of course it is the BACK of the book on a Japanese paperback.

Unfortunately I can’t read a thing except my name and the title. I’ve been considering what to do with some of the copies I received. Another writer at my RWA meeting suggested I drop off a copy at our local library or even a Japanese restaurant (sadly we have only 1 where I live!)

Any suggestions?

I also saw the Portuguese cover of DANGEROUS for the first time this week–January is a month full of excitement for me!

Here it is, and I LOVE it!

DANGEROUS Port

This will be available January 22nd 2019.

And the audio version will be available from Tantor Audio on January 30th!

dangerous book cover

BARBAROUS on sale!

Ooops! Forgot to mention in my earlier post that BARBAROUS

is on sale January 4th-8th

for

only $1.99!

Barbarous revised

He could be her ruin

Hugh Redvers is supposed to be dead. So the appearance of the sun-bronzed giant with the piratical black eye patch is deeply disturbing to Lady Daphne Davenport. And her instant attraction to the notorious privateer is not only wildly inappropriate for a proper widow but potentially disastrous. Because he is also the man Daphne has secretly cheated of title, lands, and fortune.
 

She could be his salvation

Daphne Redvers’ distant, untouchable beauty and eminently touchable body are hard enough to resist. But the prim, almost severe, way she looks at him suggests this might be the one woman who can make him forget all the others.  His only challenge? Unearthing the enemy who threatens her life . . . and uncovering the secrets in her cool blue eyes.

Praise for BARBAROUS:

“Deft writing and astute character development….Spencer shines in her sophomore effort, burnishing her reputation as an author to watch.” Kirkus

“A swashbuckling good time” Entertainment Weekly 


 

 

January Giveaway!

JANUARY’S NEWSLETTER PRIZE WINNERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AND THE GIVEAWAYS ARE CLOSED AND THE WINNERS ARE:

The winner of GIVEAWAY #1 a signed copy of Vanessa Kelly’s THREE WEEKS WITH A PRINCESS is Tiffany T.

The winner of GIVEAWAY #2  a cloth SCANDALOUS tote bag is, Cyndi B. 

The winner of a print copy of Shana Galen’s THE THIRD SON IS THE CHARM is Joanna C. 

Thanks to everyone who entered! I’ll have more giveaways in my next newsletter.

Happy reading!

 

GIVEAWAY #1

To enter to win a copy of the incomparable Vanessa Kelly’s

Three Weeks With A Princess

(along with some really cool swag–all SIGNED by the author!!)

just leave a comment below telling me the name of your favorite movie of ALL TIME. 

 

Giveaway #2
To celebrate the cover reveal for SCANDALOUS (now on pre-order)
I’m giving away a custom tote bag!
All you have to do is answer the same question as in Giveaway #1 and you’ll be entered to win.

Giveaway #3

Yes!! I have MORE historical romance!
I’ve got a print copy of Shana Galen’s THE THIRD SON’S THE CHARM just waiting to wing its way to one lucky reader’s home!

  

Again, one entry is good for all three GIVEAWAYS!

*I’ll pick a winner by January 30th 2019.