Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Scandalous Proposal...with Darcy Burke and Giveaway

Darcy Burke is the USA Today bestselling author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily-ever-after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations.

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids-who each seem to have inherited the writing gene in some form-and two Bengal cats. In her "spare" time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say "no," but she keeps having to start over. Her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge.

| Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

A scandalous proposal on Christmas Eve with Darcy Burke

Happy holidays everyone! I’m so thrilled to be a part of A Historical Christmas Eve this year! My theme is a scandalous proposal on Christmas Eve. I’d originally planned to write about an existing set of characters, probably a couple from my Secrets and Scandals Series, but then I had an idea to write a scene using ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas as inspiration. This is a stand-alone “story,” but you never know, you might just find out what happens to Miss Spall and the duke next year! So without further ado, I bring you . . .

More Than a Rogue

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the ball
Not a wallflower was dancing, not even Miss Spall.

She tapped her foot in time and hoped for a glance
A spinster by fate, this was Miss Spall’s last chance.

It was all right, she’d reasoned. Her sisters were wed,
She would tend Grandmother, confined to her bed.

The ballroom sparkled with candlelight and cheer
Festive garland with mistletoe and . . . who was here?

A formidable figure strode onto the scene.
Felicity knew him—the Duke of Aberdeen.
Not knew him of course, but recognized him for sure
If he asked you to dance, you must simply demur.

For he was a scoundrel, a rogue, a right scandalous sort
His reputation outrageous and seduction his sport.
When he turned toward Felicity, she stifled a gasp,
Then he came toward her. Was she about to dance at last?

“Miss Spall,” he said, his voice deep and thrilling.
“Might I have the next waltz, if you are willing?”

Felicity’s heart raced though she had to decline.
But if she accepted, it could be so divine.

“Your grace,” she said, “I don’t think that would be wise.”

He arched a black brow. “It’s not a compromise.
We’ve been introduced, albeit long ago,
Unless you’ve been promised to some other beau?”

“I have not, but then even you must admit
If we dance, I shall be the latest on-dit.”

He smiled. It was dazzling, anyone would agree.
Her knees turned to jelly, and her gut churned like the sea.

What was the harm in accepting his invitation?
It wasn’t as if they were starting a flirtation.

“All right,” she said, because this would be a memory to be saved,
It would warm her when she regretted all the times she’d behaved.

He led her to the dance floor and took her into his arms
Looking up into his face, she saw every one of his charms.

The touch of his hand on the small of her back
Was enough to provoke a vapor attack.

But she retained her wits and delighted in his embrace,
And without thinking, asked, “Why me, your grace?”

He chuckled low and deep, the sound tickling her spine,
“Because you are the one with whom I would align.”

She nearly tripped then, his words shocking her greatly.
“Align how?” She tried to continue sedately.

“In marriage of course. I realize this is abrupt,
But I’m in need of a partner, one who isn’t corrupt.
I’m weary of debauchery and require a mate
Who will care for my castle and happily steer me straight.”

Felicity blinked and frowned, trying to puzzle this out.
She was a wallflower, a spinster, somebody to flout.

“Oh, don’t do that.” His voice was soft as fresh snow.
“You’re far too pretty to wrinkle your face so.”

“You flatter me, but then that’s what I expect from a rake.”

“Perhaps get to know me, and your own opinion make.”

She could see she had cut him—was no one else aware
That he was a gentleman beneath his raffish air?
Just as she was a lady no one cared to discover,
Perchance he was more than a rakehellish lover.

“I’m still quite perplexed. I have little to offer
My dowry is small, a most meager coffer.”

“I have wealth enough. No, what I need is finesse,
You’ve spirit and beauty, I’m smitten, I confess.”

As he twirled her around, she tried to make sense
Of all he had said and came up feeling dense.

“I do not understand,” she said with great confusion.
“You scarcely know me at all, this must be an illusion.”

He laughed warmly then, sparking a heat in her belly
“It’s real, I assure you. I’m not Machiavelli.”

He looked into her eyes, his gaze most sincere.
“Trust me, Miss Spall, please say yes to me, my dear.”

‘Twas a scand’lous proposal, asked in an unusual way
Yet it was the most romantic thing she’d heard anyone say.

Her life stretched before her, lonely and dull
Why not say yes, and end this empty lull?
“I’m not smitten with you, but I’m willing to try,
You seem more than a rogue, so my answer is aye.”

The music drew to a close, and his smile grew wide
“You will do me great honor when you become my bride.”

With that, he steered her to where the mistletoe swayed,
Then kissed her hand and said, “You are more than I prayed.”

Her heart swelled with hope and happiness beyond reason
She’d never be alone through another long Season.

“I am yours, Aberdeen.” Their future seemed bright.
“Happy Christmas to you,” he said, “And good night.”

Major Elijah Hollister never wanted to be an earl, particularly not when it meant losing his brother. When a bold adventuress shows up at his door seeking a treasure map, Elijah suspects his brother’s death may not have been accidental and that the lady knows more than she’s willing to share. Whether she’s a friend or foe, Elijah plans to keep her close—and hope the temptation of her kisses doesn’t ruin them both.

Miss Catriona Bowen can almost taste the fruits of her years-long quest to find one of Britain’s greatest treasures. The discovery will deliver the recognition and respect she deserves as an antiquary, despite the fact that she’s a woman. However, to find the map that will lead her to success, she must ally herself with a stoic, yet provocative gentleman with a different goal. And when a villain threatens their lives, she realizes too late that love is the greatest treasure of all.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | All Romance | Smashwords |

 Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 eBook copy of The Code de Valery and Romancing the Earl

To Enter: 
  • When I was growing up, my dad always read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to my brother and me, and now I read it to my kids. Do you read it? What are your favorite holiday traditions?
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter for entry.

**Don't forget to enter the grand prize giveaway!

Good Luck! 

Special thanks to Darcy Burke for sponsoring this giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. love your little poem version of Twas The Night Before

  2. My favorite tradition is baking cookies and a Christmas cake. I still use my grandmothers recipes and in this small way she is with us during the holidays :-)

    1. I am spending my day baking as a matter of fact!

  3. My favorite family tradition is baking candy every year.

    1. We did this a few times when I was a kid, but aside from my mom making fudge every year, I stick to baked goods. Maybe I should try candy again!

  4. I usually read it to my girls when they were little. Our biggest tradition is cutting down a Christmas tree every year. As the girls got older, they wanted to help carry the tree. Now I don't even carry it anymore, they do with my husband!

    1. Fun! We cut down our tree too. This year it's been nonstop rain, so we ended up at a farm where they cut our selection down with a chainsaw then hauled it to our car via ATV with a trailer. Very handy!!

  5. I have enjoyed making cutout Christmas cookies with my grandchildren using my mother-in-law's cookie cutters many of which were made by my father-in-law. The children get so excited decorating the cookies and make special ones for Santa with gobs of frosting and sprinkles. (Poor Santa - indigestion!) My daughter-in-law always gathers her four children around her and reads "The Night Before Christmas." A lovely tradition.

    1. I love this Connie, especially the homemade cookie cutters! We make cut out cookies too and decorate them with Grandma. Looking forward to spending the day with her this week. :)

  6. Love the story.....I always watch every version of A Christmas Carol. I have them all on my DVR.

  7. Love this poem! When the kids were young we always read Twas the Night Before Christmas, once they were in high school we had stopped. We also always put out reindeer food in the yard when they kids put out cookies and milk for Santa.

    1. We feed the reindeer too. My daughter's kindergarten teacher gave us the food and we've just added to it (mostly oats and sparkles, lol) over the past ten years. That's been a fun tradition on Christmas Eve.

  8. I liked your version of Night before Christmas. I read it to my daughter when she was small but my son wouldn't sit still long enough to listen to it. Enjoyed reading about this new series too. I have other books of yours and have enjoyed them too.

  9. Christmas doesn't begin until we watch Its A Wonderful Life. That is usually Christmas Eve before or after we give our gifts out to each other. Christmas Day is when Santa Claus makes his visit.

    1. I love that movie. It never fails to make me cry. :)

  10. We always have the Yule Log on when we wrap presents and decorate the tree and house

  11. I love your poem. One tradition was reading The Night Before Christmas to our seven kids. Now they do it with their own cihildren. We also get together for midnight mass on Christmas Eve every year. Then eat together on Christmas Day.
    Happy Holidays.
    Carol L
    Lucky450 (at) aol (dot) com

    1. Email is supposed to be Lucky4750

    2. Thank you so much Carol!! (You have a fantastic holiday name, lol.)

  12. We did read that when the kids were younger, and also had a cute book version of The Twelve Days of Christmas. We usually watch a Christmas movie on Christmas Eve.

    1. My son likes to make up new versions of the Twelve Days of Christmas, typically involving Transformers. ;)

  13. Waking early to enjoy Mexican hot chocolate and tamales, listening to Christmas carols and watching husband Harry admiring his Christmas tree.

    1. I was just discussing the joy of Christmas tamales with some friends last night!

  14. On Christmas Eve we usually watch THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL and eat pizza.

  15. I love your poem! My favorite Christmas tradition is our stockings. We stuff them full of good and/or funny things. We have to stand them up along the couch because they're too heavy to hang. LOL

    Marcy Shler

    1. Ours are also too heavy to hang and were that way when I was a kid too. My favorite things to get in my stocking (and something we got every year) were comic books and chocolate coins.

  16. congrats to Darcy on the new release! LOL... I haven't read that since I was a kid. Gotta go find a copy :) thanks for sharing!

  17. My favorite tradition is making cookies and candy with my sisters and all the daughters. It gets kind of hectic but so fun!

    1. I love baking, but by the time I'm done with it every year, I'm tired of it. And I realize I may be in the minority, but the more I bake, the less I want to eat any of it, lol. I did make a new cookie this year that's absolutely delicious - cream cheese spritz. So good!

  18. When our kids were little my husband was so excited for them to see what Santa brought them we always had to wake them up really early so that they could open their presents :)

    1. I LOVE this Joy! Experiencing Christmas through my children's eyes is the very best thing. :)

  19. I have to admit, I've never started the tradition of reading Twas the Night Before Christmas. My favorite tradition is when my sister and I jump in the car and drive around looking at Christmas lights. Now that I live across the country, we never get to do it anymore. But this year I was visiting for Thanksgiving, and after Thanksgiving we got to drive around and look at Christmas lights since so many people got theirs up that weekend. Yay!

  20. Family get-togethers which usually involve a lot of catching up, staying up late nights talking & food. Lots of food!

  21. I used to read it to my children also. We also watched the endless reruns of A Christmas Story.

  22. We read all of our Christmas books including The Night Before Christmas all the beautifully illustrated books by Jan Brett, The Littlest Angel, The Snow Queen, and The Litle Golden Book,
    The Best Christmas Tree Ever with Nina and Nutley!

    We have a whole tape of Christmas specials the kids taped when they were younger including Will Vinton's CLaymation Christmas and John Denver's Christmas special..

  23. We haven't read The Night Before Christmas since the kids were little. MAYBE one of these days I have grandchildren (hopefully before I'm too old & feeble to hold them) so I can read it to them.

  24. we read it every Christmas Eve!


  25. My kids are all grown so we don't read The Night Before Christmas. One of our traditions is to empty our stockings before opening the gifts under the tree.

  26. We have a annual tradition of Christmas eve hanging of stockings & awakening on Christmas morning to see which family member received coal for that year, been doing this for years lol

  27. We have a annual tradition of Christmas eve hanging of stockings & awakening on Christmas morning to see which family member received coal for that year, been doing this for years lol

  28. Our favorite Christmas Traditions is I made Chocolate drop cookies every year which we ate while opening our presents on Christmas eve. Santa's presents were Christmas morning. Our kids are grown and with kids of there own so I take them to our daughter's house for Christmas eve where we celebrate each year. Thank you for your giveaway and a chance to win. Merry Christmas!

  29. My favorite Christmas tradition is watching Christmas movies with my family

  30. My younger brother and I would read it, alternating pages, on Christmas Eve. That is, until I moved to Florida ten years ago. It's just too difficult to travel to Niagara Falls in the winter. So, I bought myself a bear who reads it and I read along. :-)

  31. We have a Yankee swap on Xmas Eve with extended family.

  32. Merry Christmas! We used to read "The Night Before Christmas" when our daughter was younger, but now that she is older..."Christmas Vacation" every Christmas Eve!

  33. The poem was wonderful! The only tradition we have is gathering at my parents house on Christmas eve. Oh, and fudge. Lol I make fudge for everyone.
    Merry Christmas all!

  34. My favorite holiday tradition is baking as a family. When we were growing up we use to do this with our Dad and even with him gone we still continue the tradition :-)

  35. We stay home on Christmas Day and make homemade pizza :)
    Merry Christmas!

  36. don't have any Christmas traditions, and the kids are on their own by now. Love the poem -- going to go find that book right now!!

  37. I used to read that, too, to my children when they were young. Our only traditions, now, are putting up the tree and Christmas dinner with the family.

  38. We do not read that book, since our kids do not believe in Santa, We do read The Nativity story. We always have a fondue party on Christmas eve.

  39. I so remember reading Christmas books (and many books) to my 2 children when they were young. I shall go re-read it! I over time read Little Woman to my daughter. I just watched the two versions of the movie this weekend. Its a tradition for me to watch the old movies (I rarely watch a new movie) on Christmas Day.

    Loved this poem! Awesome!
    Cathie (Caffey)

  40. We open one present each on Christmas Eve, and the present is always new pajamas so we will all look spiffy as we open our presents on Christmas am.

  41. The past several years we have gone to Disney World for a couple of weeks, then to one daughters house on Christmas Eve and the other daughter's on Christmas. I always read the poem and can recite most of it. There's a couple of lines that cause me trouble. Happy New Year!