Message From The Author

Author's Message

Id like to tell you that ESCAPADE is the best thing since sliced bread. However, much as I adore this book, I know the world could probably keep turning without it. I dont know if we could make it through without peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, though.

Id also like to tell you that ESCAPADE is the Great American Novel. Except that I havent written the Great American Novel. Oh, I started it once, in second grade. Unfortunately, the only indelible thing about it was that I preserved my deathless prose on the new wallpaper in our upstairs hallway. If I sit alone at night and close my eyes, I think I can still hear my mother screaming.

Anyway, if ESCAPADE isnt the best thing since sliced bread, or the Great American you-know-whatthen what is it?

Ah, so happy you asked.

ESCAPADE is the story of Callie Johnston and Simon Roxbury, and their uneasy (and rather unholy) alliance as they go about trying to bring down a real Regency rotter, one Noel Kinsey.

Callie wants to shoot him. Simon thinks she ought to seduce himsort ofjust enough so that Kinsey isnt really paying attention as Simon wreaks his revenge.

But first, Callie has to learn how to go about in societyas she explains to the
horrified Simon in the following abridged version of the scene.

Excerpt

It will take more than a dowry to make me unique, bring me to Noel Kinseys particular attention.

You could always tackle him in the gardens, Simon suggested.

Youre deliberately not understanding me, arent you? I suppose I shall just have to say this baldly. I want you to teach me how to flirt, attract a man. How to, if needs must, even kiss him. Ive never done that, you see. Kissed anyone.

You, Simon said, slowly recovering his breath, you want me to what?

Oh, stop acting as if Id just asked you to burn down Parliament! I thought you said we were friends.

Friends? Kissing. The proper way
to flirt. I dont even know where to begin, how tooh, all right, lets get started.

But we start small. He lifted her hand
to his mouth, placing a perfunctory
kiss on the back of it. That, brat,
is acceptable.

Callie fought the unexpected tingle that had begun to run up her arm.

Simon kissed her hand again, this time her fingertips. Now that is rather more intimate, and not to be allowed unless the man in question is the prancing French dancing master I will employ for you.

Callie blinked twice, trying to concentrate her mind on the subject at hand. Too intimate. And what should I do about that?

You are to withdraw your hand at once and stare the miscreant into stunned apology, at which point he will beg your forgiveness and probably ask to lead you into the dance. You will then be wonderfully polite and agree, because if you refuse you are forced to either retire or sit the whole evening long, turning down all other offers. If, however, you take him in dislike, then I suggest to make it a point to trod on his toes a time or two, just so that he knows he may be forgiven his forward behavior, but the insult has not been forgotten.

Youre teasing me, arent you? Callie asked, still very much aware that Simon had not let go of her hand. That he was looking at her in the strangest way. Because I have to tell you, Simon, thats above everything silly!

Society is silly, Callie, Simon
pointed out, mentor to pupil, then raised her hand to his lips once more, his eyes on her face. And now, your final lesson for today.

This time he turned her hand at the last moment and pressed a kiss squarely in her palm, the tip of his tongue tracing a faint, tormenting circle against her skin before he allowed her to withdraw from his grasp. There. Now, my dear student, my little country miss, how do you respond to that?

Like this? Callie answered shakily, feeling as if her entire world had somehow suddenly shifted on its axis. And then she slapped him flat across his wickedly grinning face.

See? Not the Great American Novel.
Not even an American novel, but a Regency historical. I wrote it for fun, for laughs,
for love, and to hopefully entertain, because thats exactly what I want from a book. I hope you find Callie to be as loveable as she is infuriating, and that you enjoy watching Simon twisting himself inside-out as he realizes the totally unsuitable Cinderella hes launching
into society is also the only woman he
can ever love.

You can contact Kasey Michaels
c/o Warner Books, Time and Life Building, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, or e-mail her at KCMI@aol.com.


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