St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 1250008956

Young, widowed, and penniless, Lily Andrews, the Countess of Merrill, has strong opinions on marriage. When she spots a certain engagement announcement in The Times, she decides to take action. She will not allow another hapless girl to fall prey to a man—particularly the scoundrel who broke her heart five years ago. Anonymously she writes and distributes a pamphlet entitled “Secrets of a Wedding Night,” knowing it will find its way into his intended’s innocent hands…

Devon Morgan, the Marquis of Colton, desires a good wife and mother to his son—someone completely unlike Lily Andrews, the heartless beauty who led him on a merry chase five years ago only to reject him. When Devon’s new fiancée cries off after reading a certain scandalous pamphlet, he vows to track down the author and make her pay. But when he learns it’s his former fiancée Lily, he issues a challenge: write a retraction or prepare to be seduced—to find out how wonderful a wedding night can be…


London, April 1816
Boom. Boom. Boom.

The blows on the door echoed through the foyer. Lily heard them all the way in the study where she was poring over the dismal household accounts for the hundredth time.

“I demand to see the countess,” a deep male voice thundered.

Lily stopped scribbling. She glanced at Leopold, the scruffy brown terrier who sat curled on a worn cushion at her feet. “Demand? Good heavens.” She shook her head. “Which one of my so-called admirers is at it today?”

Returning her attention to the ledger, she mumbled, “Who knew? Apparently, twenty-two-year-old widows are all the rage this Season. That is, twenty-two-year-old widows reportedly worth a small fortune.”

Leopold cocked his head and barked. Lily bit her lip. “Or it could be a debt collector.”

Evans appeared in the doorway. Lily regarded her old friend with a weary sigh. “Which is it? A fortune hunter or a creditor?”

“My lady, Lord Colton is in the white salon. He insists upon seeing you.”

Lily sat up straight. “Colton?”

“The Marquis of Colton,” Evans clarified, clearing his throat.

Leopold yipped as if he recognized the name. Evans gave the dog a dubious glance indicative of the strained relationship the two had shared over the last several years.

Lily rubbed the feathered tip of her quill against her nose, her brows knitting together. “Hmm. This is an interesting development.”

She was grateful Evans had been awake to answer the door. Her butler had an unfortunate penchant for falling asleep at the most unexpected times. Though she suspected the racket had roused him.

Plopping the quill back into the well, she stood and smoothed her palms down her worn, gray skirts.

“Tell Lord Colton I’ll be in momentarily, Evans.” She nodded, enjoying the jolt of anticipation that leaped to life in her belly.

Devon Morgan, Marquis of Colton, in her house. Well. Of course she’d relish a distraction from the depressing house accounts, but there was something else. She’d relish the distraction from the simpering fops who’d been appearing on her doorstep smelling of too much sweet cologne and desperation. Lord Colton might be trouble, but there was nothing desperate about him.

Valerie Bowman is an award-winning author who writes Regency-set historical romance novels.

Valerie's debut novel, SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT, is the first in the Secret Brides trilogy. Book two, SECRETS OF A RUNAWAY BRIDE, will be released in Spring 2013 and SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS MARRIAGE will be released in fall 2013.

Valerie has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a minor in History from Smith College. By day, she is a technical writer and editor at a computer software company. By night, she combines her love of writing, history, and romance to craft stories about people falling in love.

Originally from Rantoul, Illinois, Valerie lives in North Florida with her two rascally dogs. When she's not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or watching Hoarders.

ANGI: How often do you get lost in a story?
VALERIE: Not as often as I'd like! My reading time has decreased significantly since I began writing. But I try to read at least one great book each month.

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading? 
VALERIE: I'm not sure it's the first book but one of my favorites that I read again and again as a child was These Happy Golden Years which is part of the Laura Ingalls Wilder set. Love, love, love those books.

ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
VALERIE: The sound of my dog snoring really softly. It's so cute when she's all snuggled up in bed asleep.

ANGI: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
VALERIE: Fairy Tale o' course. With a smart, strong heroine!

ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?
VALERIE: It was called The Three Little Chickens and I was in kindergarten. These three chickens lived together in an apartment. The drama ensued when one of them got a job at KFC and almost got cooked. My grandmother punched holes in the sides and tied it together with a ribbon. I still have it!

ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
VALERIE: One of my favorites is The Shawshank Redemption. I just love it when a clever storyline results in supreme justice. Plus, it has one of my favorite lines of all time in it: Get busy living or get busy dying. Stephen King is a master storyteller. Though I have to say I'm a total scaredy cat so I don't read most of his work.

ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
VALERIE: Three-way tie between Sauron from The Lord of the Rings, Dr. Evil from Austin Powers, and Mr. Potter from It's a Wonderful Life. If those three somehow managed to get together, there would be universe-wide destruction!

ANGI: What is your biggest vice?
VALERIE: Strawberry cupcakes!

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: Mr. Potter from IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE… Hmm…  An unusual villain. Any chance there are some “Mr. Potter’s” in your writing?
VALERIE’S GOTTA ANSWER:   The villain in SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT is a man named Gilbert Winfrey who is a thief and a gambler. Known as the King of the Underworld, he's a dangerous man who pits his skill at the card table against Devon. And loses of course.

Contact     Website    Facebook    Twitter @ValerieGBowman    
Goodreads   DashingDuchesses  Pintrest   Blog Tour Info

St. Martin’s Press
March 26, 2013

St. Martin’s Press
Fall 2013

HOW TO FIND THE PRIZE: Leave a comment and your email for a chance at 2 (two) copies of Valerie’s SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT. 

Valerie continues her blog tour and give-aways, check her calendar. 

Valerie will mail internationally.  Note: COMMENTERS are encouraged to leave a contact email address to speed the prize notification process. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.  

DON’T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter #GetLostStories or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Join me tomorrow when I host Carolyn Brown. And come back Friday when Alexa hosts Vonda Sinclair. ~Angi

HOW TO FIND A QUESTION:  If you wrote a book, what type of book would it be? Suspense, adventure, romance, thriller, etc. (Leave a comment and your email contact for a chance at a free copy.)


  1. Congrats on your debut release, Valerie. I love Agatha Christie's books, so I would love to write a murder mystery set at a country estate.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  2. Thanks, Jane! I could never keep the details of a murder mystery straight. My hat is off to anyone who can write a mystery!

  3. Hi Valerie. Congrats again on your smashing debut. Let's see...if I were to write a book...hummm it is sooo hard...LOL. Well I WISH I could write suspense. I just can't keep all the details straight and keep it suspenseful. I give too much away. Ah well.

  4. Gee... I'm thinking, if I wrote a book, it would probably be a modern love story. Maybe set mostly in Wyoming. With... oh, I don't know... a cowboy or something? :)

    I think a suspense and paranormal would be hardest for me. Suspense because of all the hints and red herrings and need for organization!

    And I can see the appeal of a strawberry cupcake, but only if it has chocolate in it, too! YUM. Oh, and don't enter me in the drawing - I already have my copy! And I bet you all are jealous!

  5. Definitely romance - with a touch of mystery AND adventure thrown in. Chickaboom, chickaboom; wink, wink; nod, nod. Can't have too much romance in the world.
    seytype at hotmail dot com

  6. Good Morning Valerie and welcome to GLIAS. How's the weather in Florida? Cause here in North Texas we're having fantastic 70 degree weather that makes me want to do nothing but sit outside.

    Oh well...if I wrote a book, it might actually be set somewhere close to here. It might incorporate personalities of my high school friends, and the hero might have an identical twin....OH WAIT! I am writing that story. LOL

    SO GLAD TO finally be able to hold your book in my hands. Can't wait to read it. Did you get a shelf picture from all 50 states?

  7. Got my copy of "Wedding Night" last week and loved it! What a fun heroine and hero - and who can't relate to worries about bill collectors in the first chapter? (Uh, TMI?)

    Good luck with this wonderful debut!

  8. I would write a romantic adventure. Secrets of a Wedding Night sounds very intriguing. Great interview.

    yenastone at aol dot com

  9. I would love to write a romantic suspense novel.
    Congrats on your new release and thanks for having this contest.
    grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

  10. I'd write a romantic fantasy; in a world where magic exists, & with dragons.

    Congrats on your debut book! Looks awesome!


  11. Happy release of your debut! The covers are so pretty :)
    I'm intrigued by the all the characters including the villain.
    If I were to write a romance it would be a romantic suspense. I would make the hero and heroine have quite a journey full of danger and tender moments.


    1. Interesting, Na. What would you do differently than the ones you read?

    2. Great question, Angi, Na, are you a writer? Ever tried it?

  12. Valerie, welcome to Get Lost in a Story. Okay, one, the excerpt is delicious (do they really make 22 year old widows), and your kindegarten story proves that you are and have always been a writer. You understood conflict even way back then, imagine a poor chicken working for KFC and almost cooked ;) Looking forward to reading your work!

  13. Thanks, Donnell! I often think that at least I got the conflict right in Three Little Chickens. Ha!

    And Angi! It's still balmy here in Florida. I so miss autumn!

  14. I think it'll have to be a romance since it's the only type of books that I like.

    1. YAY MAY !!!
      What's your favorite thing about Romance?

  15. Sounds like a great book!
    I'd write Romantic Suspense.

    chey127 at hotmail dot com

    1. Chey,
      Same question as Na... do you write and where would you set your romantic suspense?

  16. Probably a suspense.


  17. If I wrote a book, it would be urban fantasy or paranormal romance because I think it would be easier to make up a whole world than try to get all the details straight in a realistic setting.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  18. Interesting point, Barbara, about making up your own world. My sister writes paranormal. I wonder if that's why. : )

  19. Thank you so much, Angi and the GLIAS authors! I so appreciate you hosting me on the blog! I had a wonderful time!

    Na & Linda
    You've each won a copy of Valerie's book:

    Since you both left your email, I was able to email. Congrats again and thanks for supporting our guest authors.