Guest Post, Excerpt, & Giveaway: MOONLIGHT ON MY MIND by Jennifer McQuiston

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*Avon is hosting a TOUR WIDE Rafflecopter Commenter Giveaway for Prize Pack Including: Print Copy of WHAT HAPPENS IN SCOTLAND, and SUMMER IS FOR LOVERS, Pack of Mother Mae’s Chocolate Chip Scottish Shortbread Mix and a Delightful Ceramic Shortbread Pan. 

Book Info:

Title: Moonlight on My Mind
Author: Jennifer McQuiston
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: March 25, 2014

Book Blurb:

To ruin a man’s life once takes a regrettable mistake.To do so twice takes a woman like Julianne Baxter.
Eleven months ago, Julianne’s statement to the authorities wrongly implicated Patrick, the new Earl of Haversham, in his older brother’s death. The chit is as much trouble as her red hair suggests, and just as captivating. Now she has impetuously tracked him to the wilds of Scotland, insisting that he return home to face a murder charge and save his family from ruin. A clandestine wedding may be the only way to save her reputation—and his neck from the hangman’s noose.

Julianne has no objection to the match. More and more she’s convinced of Patrick’s innocence, though when it comes to igniting her passions, the man is all too guilty. And if they can only clear his name, a marriage made in haste could bring about the most extraordinary pleasure…

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Guest Post:

Pets in Romance

It’s no secret I love animals.

No, no, not like shape-shifter animals.

Pets. After all, I’m a veterinarian by training, and I have always been a loud, proud proponent of the human-animal bond. Pets round out and enrich our lives, and studies show they also make us better people. According to the Humane Society of the United States, 62% of American households own at least one pet.  That means a whole lot of real-life heroes and heroines love their pets.

Although animals are featured prominently in my first book, What Happens in Scotland, in my newest historical romance, Moonlight on My Mind, they almost steal the show. The hero, Patrick Channing, is a Victorian veterinarian who owns a scruffy 3-legged terrier named Gemmy. Gemmy is an unruly pet who is prone to all sorts of misbehavior, and who provides a measure of comic relief (like all dogs, he has to be ordered from the bed before thoughts can turn to things of a more amorous nature.) In contrast, the heroine, Julianne Baxter, owns a small white lap dog of indiscriminate origins named Constance. Constance looks small and dainty—but like her owner, she hides a core of steel, and she can put Gemmy in his place with little more than a well-placed growl.

In many ways, these two pets symbolize the personalities of their owners. But in my opinion, Gemmy and Constance’s real contributions as secondary charactersare that they humanize the hero and the heroine. There is a lot of romantic conflict in Moonlight on My Mind…Julianne has accused Patrick of murdering his brother. Patrick has married Julianne with the secret intention of silencing her testimony. Neither action is very heroic at first blush. But through the protagonists’ interactions with their pets, you see early elements of kindness and empathy that don’t always come through in their heated interactions with each other.

Gemmy is modelled after my family’s dog, Koda, who was rescued from a Tennessee roadside as a puppy. Kodais joined by Emma (a very smart and slightly neurotic rescued border collie), three barn cats, two fish, and a pony. My girls are being raised to expect their future husband to love pets as much as they do, and when they find that man, I know they are much more likely to have found a spouse who treats them and others kindly.

The idea of pets as part of the family is not a new concept. Dogs have been domesticated for more than 10,000 years, cats around half that. In the art world, it was once very common for historical painters to portray their subjects standing next to beloved pets.It stands to reason we ought to similarly see pets prominently featured in historical romance novels. Yet, I can think of only a handful where I have seen pets featured in meaningful ways, including Sarah MacLean’s One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (the heroine has a hound named Trotula), and Valerie Bowman’s Secrets of a Wedding Night, (which features a memorable dog I suspect is modelled after the author’s own pet.)

But I feel sure I am missing some!

So, I would love to hear about your favorite historical romance novelsthat featured pets. After all, I can always add to my mountain of a TBR pile!

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Buy Links:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes

Excerpt:

He opened the kitchen door, preparing himself for the necessary business of discharging the dog to a recalcitrant owner, but froze as a far different dilemma inserted itself front and center. Miss Baxter stood with her back to the door, leaning over the cook stove in a state that went somewhat beyond simple dishabille. She was still missing her shoes.

But now she was also missing her bodice.

No, not missing it, exactly. She was holding it. In her hands. No matter the room’s meager light, the sight of her blinding white chemise and beribboned corset felt like a stick in his eye. Even as he watched, she poured hot water from the kettle onto the bunched fabric and began to rub the two sides together. He almost laughed at the absurdity of it. Any usual variety of fool knew pouring hot water on a blood stain only made it set up faster.

Not that Miss Baxter appeared a usual variety of anything, standing in his kitchen in only her skirts and unutterables.

Too late, Patrick thought to shield her from the visitor’s eyes. Unfortunately, Reverend Ramsey’s labored, excited breathing told him as clear as words she had already been spotted.

“Julianne,” he said curtly. Too late, he realized her given name had escaped his lips instead of the far more appropriate formal address.

She whirled around, giving them a first-hand view of what under other circumstances could objectively be called a delightful, cotton-clad bosom. He risked a glance down at Ramsey’s balding pate. The florid color staining the man’s scalp told Patrick that no matter his past sparse attendance at church, the not-quite-naked Miss Baxter was the one now standing in judgment here. And despite the certain danger to her reputation, despite the fact he had warned her of just such a possibility, Patrick found himself enjoying the turnabout.

 

 

About the Author:

Jennifer McQuistonA veterinarian and infectious disease researcher by training, Jennifer McQuiston has always preferred reading romance to scientific textbooks. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, their two girls, and an odd assortment of pets, including the pony she promised her children if mommy ever got a book deal. Jennifer can be reached via her website at http://www.jenmcquiston.com or followed on Twitter @jenmcqwrites.

Connect with Jennifer McQuiston:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Giveaway!!!

*Avon is hosting a TOUR WIDE Rafflecopter Commenter Giveaway for Prize Pack Including: Print Copy of WHAT HAPPENS IN SCOTLAND, and SUMMER IS FOR LOVERS, Pack of Mother Mae’s Chocolate Chip Scottish Shortbread Mix and a Delightful Ceramic Shortbread Pan.

If the Rafflecopter does not appear, you can go HERE instead.

You can follow the Tour HERE.

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9 thoughts on “Guest Post, Excerpt, & Giveaway: MOONLIGHT ON MY MIND by Jennifer McQuiston”

  1. Thank you for hosting today! I still remember some of the animals and their crazy antics in some of my favorite romances!

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  2. Congratulations on your new release. Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas is about a heroine who loves animals, so several pets are featured. The book even has a picture of the dog at the top of one of the pages.

    Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia series features a dog and a raven and Eloisa James’ novel, A Duke of Her Own, has a dog.

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  3. I’m dying to get my paws on Moonlight on My Mind! Patrick was great in What Happens in Scotland. 🙂

    Jill Shalvis has a whole series with animals aptly title the Animal Magnetism series. I’ve only read one of them so far.

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  4. Hi Ms. Mcquiston! I’m surprised you didn’t mention Laura Kinsale’s historical romances; she incorporates pet animals in wonderfully written ways – I’d suggest Prince of Midnight and Midsummer Moon for starters.

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