If you’re like me, you’re busy busy busy. I love to visit blogs, but it seems I never have time to get by in a timely fashion…and never in time to win anything! Well, no worries about that here. The Historical Reader Salon will be open all month long and you can come by anytime during the month to join the conversation and enter to win! No rush, no hurry…just a nice relaxing visit (or three) at your leisure. Each month, I’ll throw out a topic for discussion as well as ways for you to win. We’ll keep the conversation going in the comments section and just see how our Reader Salon grows. Hopefully it will develop into a thriving community centered around what we all love—historical romance!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Day 6: The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne!

Welcome to day six of March SWEET Madness—a month long party to celebrate the upcoming release of my novel, SWEET MADNESS, available April 2, 2013.

Today’s featured author is the fabulous Joanna Bourne—another author who makes choosing one book to feature so incredibly difficult! In the end, I went with BLACK HAWK, mainly because it was selected as one of the top 10 romances of 2011 by the Library Journal. But also because who can resist a little man chest on the cover? I hope you enjoy The Black Hawk.

Here is what the book is about:

Attacked on a rainy London street, veteran spy Justine DeCabrillac knows only one man can save her: Hawker, her oldest friend . . . her oldest enemy. London's crawling with hidden assassins and someone is out to frame Hawker for murder. The two spies must work together to find who's out to destroy them...

An excerpt…

His chin was shadowed with a need to shave. She had known a boy three years ago. She did not really know this young man.

I do not know how to ask. Everything I can say is ugly. I do not want this to be ugly.

She gave her attention to pouring hot water onto the tea leaves. Rain drummed on the roof. Since they were not talking, since they were not looking at each other, it seemed very loud. He said, “As soon as you drink that, you should leave. It’s getting worse out there.”

I must do this now, before I lose my courage. “I am hoping to spend the night.” She chose words carefully, to clarify matters beyond any possibility of misunderstanding. “It is my wish to spend the night with you, in your bed.”

Hawker was silent. He would be this self- possessed if tribesmen of the Afghan plains burst through the door and attacked him with scimitars. The refusal to be ruffled was one of his least endearing traits.

Time stretched, very empty of comment, while she swirled the teapot gently and he was inscrutable. Finally, he took the oil lamp from the end of the mantel and busied himself adjusting the wick, lighting it with a paper spill from the fire. “The hell you say.”

And now for the fun part—your chance to win! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below. Contest will be open for 2 weeks—US & CANADA only, please).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don’t win (or just can’t wait to start reading!), here’s where you can get the book!

Buy it at Barnes&Noble

Buy it at Amazon

Buy the Large Print edition at Powell's Book Store

Overseas, buy it at the Book Depository

In Australia, buy it at Rendezvous

And to find out more about Joanna, you can visit her website at:

I am also giving away a copy of either my debut, SWEET ENEMY or SWEET DECEPTION (winner’s choice) EVERY DAY of March SWEET Madness! (you will need to enter this contest separately every day for a new chance to win! OPEN INTERNATIONALLY)

Sweet Enemy

Beakers and ball gowns don't mix, so when lady chemist, Miss Liliana Claremont, goes undercover as a husband-hunter to investigate Lord Geoffrey Wentworth, the earl whose family she suspects murdered her father, romance isn't part of her formula. But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can't control...

Read the Prologue and First Chapter HERE...

Sweet Deception

Lady criminologist, Miss Emma Wallingford, unknowingly finds herself tangled up in the dangerous final mission of Lord Derick Aveline, a spy who also happens to be her long-lost first love. But when deception, however sweet, is the name of the game, no one can be trusted. And every love--and every life--is at risk.

Read the First Chapter HERE.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And don’t forget SWEET MADNESS, coming April 2, 2013!

There’s a fine line between love and insanity…

Ever since her husband’s sudden and tragic death, Lady Penelope Bridgeman has committed herself to studying the maladies of the mind, particularly treating traumatized soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars. It is this expertise that brings the Marquess of Bromwich’s family to her door.

Gabriel Devereaux’s unexpected and unpredictable episodes are unlike any Penelope has studied. The once proud soldier has been left shaken and withdrawn, but she manages to build a fragile trust between them. Strangely, Gabriel seems completely lucid when not in the grips of his mania, and in the calm between bouts, she is surprised by how much she is drawn to him.

Despite his own growing feelings, Gabriel knows that he is fit for no one, and is determined to keep Penelope away from his descent into madness. But even though she knows firsthand the folly of loving a broken man, Penelope cannot stop herself from trying to save him, no matter the cost.

Read the Prologue and First Chapter HERE...

"In this emotional, compassionate romance...the powerful love story will sweep readers away."
~RT BookReviews, 4 1/2 stars

“The brilliance of Sweet Madness shines strongly and completely. Heather Snow is cutting edge…a master storyteller. Sweet Madness is a magnificent story.”
~Book Obsessed Chicks 5 stars

See you tomorrow, where our featured author is Grace Burrowes!!!

And don’t forget, giveaways are open for TWO weeks, so if you’ve missed any of the fabulous authors featured, visit the archives section and enter!


  1. I'm a firm believer in equality and women's rights, so really gender has nothing to do with it. I'm guessing being a spy is way more about skill and training.

  2. OMG Black Hawk is a story I really want to read, someone suggested it to me but I forgot about it. Very good comments about this book by Joanna.
    Both women and man are equally skilled to be spy, but in different ways.
    My favourite spy books are The Malory Brothers series by Johanna Lindsey! I loved all 10 books!
    Thank you Heather and Joanna for the nice giveaway! see you tomorrow!!

  3. James Bond 007 is my favorite fictional spy, without a doubt! But some of my favorite historical romance authors have written stories with a hero/spy such as The Black Cobra Quartet by Stephanie Laurens and Jenna Petersen with her Lady Spies trilogy. Love those books.

  4. Wow, BLACK HAWK sounds like a great read! I think both men and women can make an excellent spy. My favorite one is James Bond.


  5. From movies I have to say James Bond! The Bourne movies were good to (tho he wasn't really a spy during them); and the old TV show 'I Spy' was always fun.

  6. I don't think gender makes a difference, it's the individual and the circumstances that effect the outcome.

  7. Love the swashbuckleing look of the cover of Black Hawk... Agent 99 was one of my favorites!

  8. I think women would because they wouldn't bring as much suspicion.

  9. My favorite fictional spy is the Scarlet Pimpernel. As far as which sex makes the better spy, I think they're probably equal.

  10. for the life of me i could not choose a spy in a book but then i thought a women and the only one i can think of right now is the CIA spy on the TV show Covert Affairs.... :-)

    1. men or women? lately i have enjoyed the "spy couple" on Tv ( i know i know i do read...lol but i watch the shows with hubby) i like Fiona and Micheal on Burn Notice and i just rewatched ( is that a word... lol) True Lies an old moive that i love with jamie lee cutis and Arnold schwarzenegger...

  11. I like Angelique from the first Joanna book! Women for sure... they are more observant in general...

  12. I love Jenna Petersen's Lady Spies series. Maybe women make better spies.

  13. Guys make better spies. Love James Bond :)

  14. I don't think, as a whole, that men or women are better at being spies.. although there probably are certain scenarios that would fit one gender better than the other :)

  15. think they both make god spies

    like the characters from Mr. and Mrs. Smith

  16. The Pink Carnation from the Pink Carnation series

  17. I love spy books! I would have to choose Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen and Jillian Stone's The Scotland Yard series.
    Mr. and Mrs. Smith would be my pick for film.

  18. I don't think gender makes any difference. Look at the strong character of Sydney Bristol in Alias. And now a new program The Americans which, if you haven't seen it yet, is about Russian KGB spies posing as Americans. Keri Russell has the female lead. Very good program too, BTW.

  19. Loved the excerpt! I have to say I liked the bumbling Maxwell Smart. LOL And I don't think men are better spies than women. Both can be good at what they do.

    Marcy Shuler

  20. My fave movie spy series is, of course, Ian Fleming stories via James Bond! And my fave one of those was originally Goldfinger with Sean Connery, but now is the last one with Daniel Craig (Skyfall). I love suspense and romance mixed together!

  21. Boy, that's a good, but hard, question. Who makes better spies, men or women? Hmmm. Well, I think it depends on the era you are talking about. Probably men and women are equally good at spying. But in the "olden days," women were put in their place--at home--so men were, of course, the better spies at that time. But nowadays with women seeking their own livings and doing what they want--I think men and women are about equal in the spying category.

  22. My favorite spy series is The Bastion Club by Stephanie Laurens, and my favorite spy from the series is Dalziel, Royce Varisey, the spy master himself.

  23. I don't think gender makes a difference if they are good at spying. My favorite spies were 007 (Sean Connery), Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen, and Agent 99 in the Maxwell Smart TV show.

  24. Chuck (from the TV series) is my favorite spy. I think women can make better spies, but it depends on the person.

  25. I don't think it matters if the spy is a woman or a man. Some of my favorites are Lexi Graves series and Gemma Hollidays series

  26. In movies it's got to be James Bond. In books, I enjoyed Shana Galen's Lord and Lady Spy, Adrian and Sophia, as well as Agent Blue.

  27. Both are good, have their own qualities and capabilities.

  28. I loved Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen.

  29. I love Joanna's books. I can't wait to read the next one!

  30. Oh no, I missed Heather part of the giveaway :( Ah well, my favorite spy is probably Cammie from the Gallagher Girls series!

  31. I know I've read books with female spies but the titles elude my memory.
    I haven't read this book yet and thanks for the chance :)
    lorih824 at yahoo dot com

  32. All I can say is my favorite is Bond or to be accurate " MI6 James Bond, "007" which was based on the book by Ian Fleming called Casino Royale and published in 1953.

    I first met Bond, or may I can him James, in 1967 when the movie was released and I was going to college in Arizona. I think all the girls in my dorm wished their boyfriend looking as suave as he did - remember we lived through the hippy generation and the basic art of dressing well was momentarily forgotten!

    Oh I almost forgot - there were the fantastic cars as well. Give me a handsome spy with a fast car any day!

  33. James Bond and Jason Bourne I think were my favorite spies in movies