Monday, September 23, 2013

Aloha to Lily Dalton and NEVER DESIRE A DUKE

Never Desire a Duke

Debut author Lily Dalton wrote in her bio (link),

Lily, since her earliest days, has found a friend in books. Raised an Army brat, her family moved often, and books were constant companions who always smoothed the transition to a new location and a new set of friends.

You know how much I lurv hosting romance authors with military connections!  Lily joins me for a cozy chat ...

Kim:  I'd love to know more about your life as an Army brat - do you have a special memory? 

Lily:  There are so many! Growing up I found comfort in falling asleep to the distant sound of artillery from the practice range, and waking up to the sound of soldiers running cadence. I still get a big thrill when a Chinook or an Apache helicopter flies overhead. If I had to pick my favorite memory, it was New Year’s 1983, when I was in the ninth grade. I lived on Fort Clayton, Panama, but had gone to visit my best friend on adjacent Albrook Air Force Base. It was midnight, and we went to sit on a hillside overlooking Panama City to watch the fireworks go off all over the city. It was a spectacular view, and no one else was there. That’s because in order to get that view, we’d…er…kind of snuck into the base General’s back yard. But there wasn’t a fence, and it didn’t look like anyone was home, and we were way down at the furthest edge of the terrace…We sat watching the fireworks for about fifteen minutes before we realized there was an MP (military police officer) standing with a German shepherd on a leash not five feet behind us. He never said anything, and neither did we. We watched for another ten minutes or so and left. I’ll always remember that night because a nice MP and his guard dog let two teenage girls sit and watch the fireworks, in a place where they really weren’t supposed to be. I loved being an Army brat, and even married another one! 

Albrook AFB was home to the 6th AF prior to WWII.
Public Domain (link)

Kim:  Tell us about Texas - what is your favorite sight, smell, and sound?

Lily:  My favorite sight: In spring, you can see huge, rolling fields of bluebonnet wildflowers. They are best around Burnet and Marble Falls. People drive out in droves to take pictures in them, but you have to be careful not to sit on a rattlesnake! (Really!)

My favorite smell: Barbeque!

My favorite sound: cicadas at night. George Strait singing to 80,000 fans at Reliant Stadium. The 12th Man. Mariachis! (oops! I couldn’t stop with just one!) 

File:President George W. Bush and Laura Bush pose for photos with singer Shaila Durcal, Dorio Ferreira Sanchez and the Mariachi Campanas de America.jpg
Mariachi Campanas de America visit the White House
on May 5, 2008
Public Domain (link)
Kim:  Who or what helped you along your path to publishing? 

Lily:  All the friends I’ve made through Romance Writers of America, the West Houston RWA and Northwest Houston RWA chapters in particular. They really are the most supportive and inspiring group of people and RWA as an organization is tops at keeping us educated on all aspects of writing and publishing.

Kim:  NEVER DESIRE A DUKE is a Regency romance with a holiday cover. Can you share something unique about celebrating Christmas during the Regency Era?

Lily:  In Regency times, Christmas was a low key affair compared with how we tend to celebrate the holiday now, and mostly involved a day spent with the family enjoying a nicer-than-usual-meal, and doing some sort of charity for those less fortunate. Christmas trees weren’t a custom for most, but many would hang greenery above the mantle or around the chandelier. In London, greenery—to include mistletoe--would be brought in from the country to sell on the street corners. There’s a very sweet old grandfatherly fellow in NEVER DESIRE A DUKE, Sir Keyes, who carries around a sprig of mistletoe and uses it to get kisses from the young ladies. But he’s only got so many berries on the sprig, and every time he claims a kiss he has to pluck a berry off that sprig and discard it. When there’s no more berries—there can be no more kisses claimed! Sorry, gentlemen, but those were the rules of mistletoe during Regency era Christmases! 

File:Mistletoe Postcard 1900.jpg
Public Domain (link)

Kim:  What inspired NEVER DESIRE A DUKE?

Lily:  I wrote the proposal for this book when I was having a very un-Christmassy Christmas. We were in the middle of a move from one house to another, so we didn’t decorate that year. We didn’t even have a tree. It was also unseasonably warm outside, at nearly 90 degrees. This book was my escape into an unabashedly romantic Christmas, with all the fantasy trimmings: piles of snow, gingerbread and a couple who desperately needs a Christmas miracle.

Kim:  What's next for Lily Dalton?

Lily:  The theme of my series is “One Scandalous Season” and the books tell the stories of the three Bevington sisters. In DUKE, Sophia’s scandalous season takes place at Christmas on a snowbound country estate. NEVER ENTICE AN EARL, however, opens at the height of the London Season--but not in a ballroom, as it should. Instead, in a valiant effort to save a friend, debutante Daphne Bevington masquerades on the stage of a scandalous bawdy-house. As a consequence, she finds her life--and her heart--tangled up with that of a mysterious earl, bent on revenge against someone who may or may not be very close to her. It’s been a really fun book to write, and I hope readers enjoy Daphne and Cormack’s story.

Never Desire a Duke

Mahalo, Lily, for joining us today!  NEVER DESIRE A DUKE is next on my TBR stack ... 

The Duchess Sophia has long been estranged from her husband, His Grace, Vane Barwick, the Duke of Claxton, whose rumored list of amorous conquests includes almost every beautiful woman of the ton. Yet a shocking encounter with him in a crowded ballroom—and a single touch—are all it takes to reawaken her furious passion for him. But how can she trust the man who crushed her dreams and took away the one thing she wanted most?


Claxton has never forgiven himself for the youthful mistake that ruined his marriage to Sophia. Now, after nearly a year abroad, the reformed rogue vows to win back the only woman he’s ever truly loved. He’ll do whatever it takes to prove he can be the honorable husband she deserves—and the passionate lover she desires. As the snowdrifts deepen outside their ancestral home, can they rekindle the flame that burned so bright and find a new path to forever?

Publishers Weekly Starred Review: “Dalton’s Regency debut resonates with genuine feeling. [...] Unlike some onenote tortured heroes, Vane is sincere and appealing. Sophia’s pain is very real, and every interaction is fraught with honest emotion. As they struggle to recapture their romance, readers will feel deep sympathy with both characters and hope for them to find happiness.”

One Scandalous Season, Book 1
Grand Central Publishing/Forever (September 24, 2013)
ISBN-13: 9781455524013 ♦ ISBN-10: 1455524018

Read an Excerpt

ORDER PRINT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | B-A-M
Book Depository | Chapters | IndieBound

ORDER EBOOK: Kindle | Nook

I am giving away an English Holiday Treat to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about holiday traditions - do you have a special one for your family?  It can be any holiday - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, etc.

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 28, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on  Sunday, September 29.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

To learn more about Lily, her books, and contact info, check out her website at

Never Entice An Earl
Coming Spring 2014


  1. I love Dukes, I love Christmas, and I love reading about rekindled romances. And, I would love to read "Never Desire a Duke".

    Our Christmas tradition is to get together with our kids, and their families. I like us to have a traditional English Christmas dinner, which is Turkey and all the trimmings, along with roast potatoes, mash potatoes, two vegetables, cranberry sauce, and we also have Yorkshire puddings, and gravy. For pudding, we have Christmas pudding and Brandy Sauce and Fresh Cream Trifle.

  2. We have two. Our family has a pumpkin carving party every year - this year the oldes tis 91 (my mom) and the youngest is 1 (my nephew's son). I've also started a tradition of having a tree trimming party and now my one daughter does it too.

  3. Our Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition is a "traditional" turkey dinner with all the fixin's.

  4. We always decorate the tree after Thanksgiving dinner.

  5. We have some sort of tradition for almost every holiday. Growing up those would be looking for Easter eggs in the garden, or the advent calender as Christmas time came close. Now it's more like baking a st Michaels day bread, or making pumpkinsoup for Halloween. When we where kids it felt magical to have those traditions, now it feels like a fabulous bonding moment & it brings back so many amazing memories.

  6. My family are very big on traditions. We have so many that I just love at Christmas time. Decorating the tree for one. The youngest person present gets to put the Angel on the very top of the tree.

  7. WE love doing gag gifts after all the other gifts have been given. Most time we like them the most.

  8. On Christmas Eve we all go to an early church service, come back for dinner and opening presents.

  9. Our family has a meatless Christmas Eve....and I have the honor of making all the fish!!!!

  10. The adults buy stocking stuffers for each other and are opened Christmas morning at breakfast.. Who doesn't love playing Santa!!

  11. Good morning Kim! And hello, everyone! I'm really enjoying reading about everyone's traditions! Diane D, I've never made a Christmas pudding, but I've scrutinized the recipes and techniques. Maybe this will be the year! Danielle, I wouldn't be opposed to a meatless Christmas Eve. It's the rest of the carnivores in my family I'd have to convince!

  12. I think I grew up with traditions for the major holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas being the best. Christmas Eve mas and then everyone gathering for a big meal consisting of seafood only.Christmas is the whole lot of my kids, their families meeting at my home and celebrating together and handing out gifts. These traditions contain so many beautiful memories for us and so that to me is where the real gift is.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  13. On Christmas Eve we have a fondue.

  14. Regency Christmas. Hmm. What's not to love? Regency era + Christmas holiday + second chances + romance makes for a wonderful story. Sounds fantastic to me! Christmas is my favorite holiday as everyone (usually), even strangers, are more congenial, more jolly, more generous. I wish they were that way all year around...but I'll take Christmas for now.

  15. Every year we have our family Christmas on Christmas Eve. We started that so our daughter could stay home on Christmas morning and play with her presents after opening them. There's nothing worst than telling a kid with new toys that they have to leave them so we can go to another family members house.

  16. Not really... For Halloween, it's our favorite time because the girls love it! But we just dress up and give out candies!

  17. there's something about a story with a Duke that draws me in ....

    We have a lite supper on Christmas Eve before heading to the Carol sing around the town green and then a candlelight church service, then home for dessert

  18. don't really have any traditions

  19. We get Cinabons every year for Christmas morning breakfast.

  20. I'm really sad to say that we have no traditions. Hubby could care less about any holiday. My daughter moved out of state this year and we aren't going to get to see each other for the holidays.

  21. It's never too late to start some new traditions. One we started in just the last five years is to have tamales for dinner on Christmas Eve. I'm from Texas, so we can get them here! Tamales on Christmas Eve is a tradition for lots of people, but it's something we've only recently taken up. (By the way, there are no tamales in Never Desire a Duke! :D )

  22. We have tons of holiday traditions in my family...baking certain cookies at Christmas, watching football on Thanksgiving (and the day after,) having a children's egg hunt at Easter. One of my favorite childhood memories from south Louisiana was dressing in costume for Mardi Gras and having a family picnic on Main Street before the parade arrived. Since I'm in Texas now, I can't keep that one going. I am thinking about tamales on Christmas Eve, though.

    Congrats on the book!

  23. What a sweet lovely memory of fireworks with a friend and your own body guards. :-) We have a tradition of taking our granddaughter to Disney at Christmas time every year. Either Disneyland or Disneyworld. Snow after the fireworks, you cant beat it.