Historical Book Blast Friday: Marlow Kelly

It’s (slightly delayed) Historical Book Blast Friday! This week I’m featuring the latest release from fellow Wild Rose author Marlow Kelly, entitled A Woman of Courage. Thanks for joining me today, Marlow!

AWomanofCourage_w9622_750A Woman of Courage
by Marlow Kelly

When an injured Fianna Byrne turns up at Connell O’Neill’s gate twelve years after their separation he knows this could be his last chance to find happiness with the woman he loves.

False accusations against Fianna had strained relations between their clans and forced Connell, under Irish law, to divorce her. Their disastrous three-month relationship left Fianna pregnant and heartbroken. She has avoided Duncarraig and her ex-husband ever since.

But with her home obliterated by the Vikings, Fianna must face her past in order to save her son, and prove once and for all she is a woman of courage.

Excerpt:

Connell held Fianna’s hand as he led her inside. Was this really happening or was it a dream? He had to turn around and check. He had imagined this moment for the last twelve years. His attraction to her was more than physical. He enjoyed her fire, and her spirit. She lived by her own moral code and did not bend to the will of others without reason. These were the characteristics his father had abhorred, but then, Seamus had enjoyed weak women. Pretty, mindless things he could hang on his arm.

Had his father been threatened by Fianna’s strength? After she was gone, Connell had come to realize her depth of character made her special. She had been his confidante, lover, and friend. Her intelligence did not overwhelm his intellect, as his father had suggested, but enhanced it. For those brief months he enjoyed her counsel, and had missed it every day since.

He glanced at her again. Even with everything that had happened this night she had the bearing of a queen, an indomitable woman who could never be conquered.

You can find A Woman of Courage at these retailers:
The Wild Rose Press
Amazon
Nook
ARE

Marlow Kelly Author PhotoAbout Marlow:

After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories and her curiosity regarding the lives and loves of historical figures are the inspiration for her characters. You can visit Marlow at www.marlowkelly.com

You can also find her elsewhere online on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marlowkelly?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/want2write
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/Marlowkelly14/

And for more about Marlow, check out the author interview I posted earlier this year.

Historical Book Blast Friday: Beth Trissel

It’s Book Blast Friday! This week I’m featuring the latest release from fellow TWRP author, Beth Trissel, called Traitor’s Curse.

MediaKit_BookCover_TraitorsCurse_w9629_med (1)BLURB:

Halifax, North Carolina, 1783.

Captain Stuart Monroe returns home from the Revolutionary War to find Thornton Hall threatened by a peacetime foe: debt. He knows the location of a treasure amassed to pay for the capture of Benedict Arnold that would restore his manor to its former glory. The catch, it’s hidden in the graveyard, and coveted by old enemies.

Hettie Fairfax inherited the Sight from her Cherokee ancestors, and her otherworldly visitors warn her, and Stuart, away from the buried treasure. Half-dead from fever, she delivers a message: the treasure is cursed. But will he believe a girl half out of her mind with illness? Even when a very real enemy attempts to poison her? Stuart soon wants to marry Hettie, but she fears her “odd ways” will blemish his reputation. The spirits have their own agenda, however, and the battle against darkness tests everything the couple holds dear, including their love for each other.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT:

Stuart clasped her shoulders. She was flesh and blood beneath his grip, yet seemed not of this world. “What did he say?”

“To watch for your coming.”

“How could they possibly anticipate my visit?”

“That has not yet been revealed.”

Her answer baffled him, as did she. “Why did you call me master? Are you a servant?”

“No.”

He’d doubted she was in anyone’s employ. Her smooth hands, opulent coverlet, and refined manner, all bespoke gentility. And she smelled of violets, a costly scent.

He gazed deeply into those mesmerizing eyes. “Why are you here?”

“I seek the living among the dead.”

A peculiar reply from the haunting stranger. “Who?”

“You. Stuart Monroe.”

Again, the sensation of ants scattering down the nape of his neck. “How did you know I would come?”

“I was told. In a dream.”

She spoke like one in a dream. The cold mist, the woman—an apparition in the fog—seemed unreal. Yet she was no ghost.

“You can foresee events?” A sense of dread possessed him.

“In glimpses. Your father appeared to me.” Her barely perceptible voice faded entirely, and her eyes fluttered, then closed. She swayed against him, any further explanation muffled by his coat.

Stuart held her fast and kept her from sliding to the cold earth. What did his father have to do with this visitation? Was the woman in his arms some sort of witch?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can find Traitor’s Curse at these retailers:

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TraitorsCurseMarried to her high school sweetheart, Beth Trissel lives on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by her children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, her love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into her work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of her inspiration. She’s especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. In addition to historical romance, she also writes time travel, paranormal romance, YA fantasy, and nonfiction.

For more on Beth visit her blog, One Writer’s Way, connect with Beth on Facebook and Twitter, and visit her Amazon Author Page where all her books reside.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Beth is awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter, so please comment below! You can also follow Beth’s tour at http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2015/07/book-blast-traitors-curse-by-beth.html.

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SBB_TourBanner_TraitorsCurse copy

Historical Book Blast Friday: Me!

This week’s historical book blast features…me! Today is the release day for my second novel, Secret Promise.

Squee! Time out for little happy dance…..

Okay, I’m good. 🙂

 

SecretPromise_w9701_750

Secret Promise tells the story of the long-lost brother of the heroine in my first book, Stirring Up the Viscount. For the record, on the cover he looks almost exactly the way I pictured him. Many thanks to RJ Morris at The Wild Rose Press for designing such a fabulous cover.

Falsely imprisoned as a blockade-runner during the American Civil War, Edward Mason yearns to go home. But when after seven years he finally returns to England, the life he expected is gone. His parents are dead, his home destroyed, his father’s legacy stolen, and his girl—his girl is now the single mother of a child Edward never knew.

Abandoned by the man she loved and disowned by her family, Anna Templeton has learned to stand on her own two feet and make a home for her son. Now the successful owner of The Silver Gull tavern, she’s not about to put their happiness in the hands of the one man who let her down so badly.

Edward is determined to regain Anna’s love and be a father to his son. But when a series of suspicious accidents threaten him and those he loves, he must stop the man responsible, or lose everything.

Here’s an excerpt:

“What are you doing here, Edward?”

“How can you ask that? I have spent the last seven years trying to get back to you.” He reached for her and she backed up, one side of her mouth quirking down in annoyance.

“Really? Why did you never write, then?”

“I did, at least at first. After that, I couldn’t. I was, um, detained.” It sounded pathetic even to his own ears, and he knew she didn’t believe him. He couldn’t tell her the truth, not yet.

“I don’t need you,” she said, “and I don’t want to see you at all. Leave my pub, now, or I’ll summon the constable.”

“But…”

“But nothing! Get out, Edward, I mean it.” She grabbed a rolling pin from somewhere behind the door and held it menacingly. He had little doubt she would hit him with it if he didn’t go, but he couldn’t help himself.

“Anna, what the hell is going on? What are you doing here, in a pub? Why has your father thrown you out of the house?”

Anna’s pale face suffused with color that rivaled her hair. “Because I had a child, you ass. Your child. And you never came home!” She slammed the door in his face, and he heard the bolt slide home.

I hope I’ve whet your appetite! If so, you can buy Secret Promise at these retailers:

The Wild Rose Press
Amazon
B&N
Kobo

And you can enter to win an ebook of Secret Promise in the Rafflecopter below.

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Historical Book Blast Friday: Louise Lyndon

Today I am pleased to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press historical author Louise Lyndon. Louise’s latest book, Of Love and Betrayal, releases today. Happy book birthday, Louise!

perf5.000x8.000.inddOf Love and Betrayal, by Louise Lyndon

Aveline de Bondeville is on the run. Determined to keep out of the hands of the cruel Raimbaut de Blois she will do whatever it takes to stay alive. And so when she finds herself in the company of Troy de Gysborne she must quickly decide if she can trust him. But can she confess to murder knowing it would mean her certain death?

Troy de Gysborne did the unthinkable; he tore the bonds of brotherhood and left a path of destruction in his wake. And now Troy must face those he betrayed, including the father who long ago renounced him. But to confess to the crime he committed will cost him everything. Including Aveline. But can he remain silent if it means losing the woman he loves?

Excerpt:

Aveline’s scream burned her throat; she tasted blood. Eudes staggered forward, his eyes wide. He looked at her as he fell to his knees and then slumped forward. Bright red blood rushed from his wound and pooled on the ground. She looked at Raimbaut.

“This time you shall not escape.”

She picked up her skirts and ran headlong into the forest and did not slow her speed as branches slapped her in the face and tore at her arms. The ground beneath her feet was icy and uneven. She risked a glance over her shoulder and did not stop even though Raimbaut was nowhere to be seen. He may not have been behind her, but it did not mean he was not stalking her.

Sweat trickled down her face and burned her eyes. Her heart pumped, her lungs gasped for air. She came to a skidding stop and looked wildly around. Should she keep running straight, go left or right, or make her way back to Gysborne? She turned in a circle and shoved her hair from her eyes.

A twig snapped behind her. She stilled and held her breath. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a blur rush by. Was it an animal? Was it Raimbaut?

She ignored the pain in her chest and her sudden need to loosen her bladder. But she could not ignore her trembling. She clutched her arms to her chest. A sour taste flooded her mouth as she did not see how she would be lucky enough a second time to escape from Raimbaut.

You can find Of Love and Betrayal at these retailers:
Amazon US 
Amazon UK 
Kobo
Nook
iBooks 

Author PicAUTHOR BIO:

Louise grew up in Victoria, Australia, before moving to England, where for sixteen years she soaked up the vibrancy of London and the medieval history of England. She has since returned to Australia and now lives in Melbourne.

In 2013, Louise won first prize in the historical romance category of the Crested Butte Sandy Writing Contest for her story, The Promise, which has since been retitled and is now known as Of Love & Vengeance.

When not writing, Louise can be found covered in mud, crawling under barbed wire and hoisting herself over twelve foot walls!

Find Louise here:
EMAIL:  louise_lyndon@yahoo.com
WEB:
  www.LouiseLyndon.com
FACEBOOK:
  www.facebook.com/pages/Louise-Lyndon/1472910852955051
TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/LouiseLyndon1
PINTEREST:
llyndon3513
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/LouiseLyndon

 

 

Historical Book Blast Friday: Linda Bennett Pennell

Happy Friday! If your week has been anything like mine, TGIF baby! Today’s book blast features author Linda Bennett Pennell. Her latest novel, a World War II romance called Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn, released from The Wild Rose Press in August.

CasablancaAppointmentatDawn_w9590_medCasablanca: Appointment at Dawn
By Linda Bennett Pennell

Will seven days be enough to save the Allied war effort and the girl he loves?

Casablanca, 1943: a viper’s nest of double agents and spies where OSS Officer Kurt Heinz finds his skill in covert operations pushed to the limit. Allied success in North Africa and the fate of the First Allied Conference—perhaps the outcome of the war—hang on Kurt’s next mission. The nature of his work makes relationships impossible. Nonetheless, he is increasingly torn between duty and the beautiful girl who desperately needs his protection and help.

Sarah Barrett, U.S. Army R.N., is finished with wartime romance. Determined to protect her recently broken heart, she throws all of her time and energy into caring for her patients, but when she is given a coded message by a mysterious dying civilian, she is sucked into a vortex of danger and intrigue that threatens her very survival. The one person who can help Sarah is Kurt, a man with too many secrets to be trusted.

Excerpt:

“I’m Heinz. What do you want?”

“Oh. It’s you.”

“Yeah?”

“From the restaurant on New Year’s Eve.”

Kurt was silent for a moment, then it came back to him. “I remember. Sarah, right? You’re the girl who refused to dance with me.”

A red flush crawled from her throat onto the apples of her cheeks. “Yes. I’m sorry if I was rude.”

“I’ve been cut dead before. I got over it.”

The girl’s eyes glittered. “I’m sure you did. Are you going to keep me standing here on the doorstep for
everyone to see?”

“Why? I’m not expecting company. Would it be a problem?”

“It certainly might if the people who tore my apartment apart followed me here.”

Kurt looked into her eyes with complete attention for the first time since opening the door. Whatever had
happened to this girl, she looked terrified and angry. Not a particularly good combination for the covert
activities he and Phelps were up to. Kurt made a quick decision. He stepped back and pulled the door wide while raising his voice. “You better come inside and tell me why you think what happened to your apartment has anything to do with me.”

When they stepped into the living area, Phelps had disappeared. Kurt gestured toward the sofa and the girl
sat down.

Propping himself on the sofa’s arm, he looked down into her frightened eyes.

“Now tell me how I can help you, Miss, uh…”

“Barrett, Sarah. US Army. RN.”

“Well, Nurse Barrett, what can I do for you?”

The girl stuck her hand in her coat pocket and whipped out a scrap of paper that she waved in his face. “By telling me what’s on this paper and why it’s so important that somebody took a knife to my furniture.”

You can find Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn at these retailers:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

0449.highresAbout Linda:

I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.

As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to her or himself, “Let’s pretend.”

I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl.

Favorite quote regarding my professional passion: “History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” Voltaire

For more about Linda and her books, check out these links:

Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel from Soul Mate Publishing
Confederado do Norte from Soul Mate Publishing
When War Came Home from Real Cypress Press
Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn from The Wild Rose Press
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLindaBennettPennell
Website: http://www.lindapennell.com/
Twitter: @LindaPennell
Blog: https://historyimagined.wordpress.com
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lindabennettpen/

Author Interview: Barbara Bettis

Today I am pleased to welcome fellow Wild Rose author Barbara Bettis, who writes wonderful medieval era romance. Her first book, Silverhawk, was re-released on October 6. Welcome, Barbara!

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I live in a rural area in Southwest Missouri. How rural? This morning, my alarm was the sound of cattle, bawling about something in the pasture next to my house. Actually, it sounded as if they were outside my window. It was almost 6:30 a.m. On a Saturday.

My fiction writing started about seven years ago although, like most of us, I’ve been writing off and on for years, but never fiction for publication. I did spend several years as a newspaper reporter and editor, but it wasn’t until I took early retirement from teaching that I decided to write romance.

Sounds quite pastoral. 🙂 What inspired you to write Silverhawk? (I love that cover, by the way!)

This book, SILVERHAWK, is actually the second I wrote. The first is hiding out under the bed. 🙂 That one was a medieval and I wanted to do another one. The idea for Sir Giles came to me as I thought about how lonely a life a mercenary knight must have, although mercenaries had a bad reputation overall. What about a knight for hire who wasn’t cruel, who lived by a code of honor and loyalty—but who was driven by a need for his own personal revenge.

What does your writing process look like?

I say I’m a pantser, but I’m somewhere in between, actually. I know the story’s outline, I know how it ends, I know major points along the way. But how the story gets from point to point is fluid. The idea of formal plotting gives me anxiety attacks. 🙂 Seriously, though, in college when we were asked to do detailed outlines of our plots, by the time I’d finished one, I felt like I’d already written the story and I’d lose interest in it. So now writing books, I try to walk a line of some general plotting, but not so much it seems I’m writing it twice.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I actually went back to teaching a year after that early retirement. I’m an adjunct (part time) English instructor at a local college.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m wrapping up a novella featuring two characters from this book and my second published book, THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX. The novella has a working title of Lady of the Forest and is the story of how Lord Henry and Lady Katherine meet.

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?

Right now, I have just the one. Although it did fairly well, finaling in and winning a few contests, it needs major work toward the end. It’s the story of Sir Roark and Lady Alyss (Henry and Evie’s sister).

I tend to work through story ideas when I’m driving or in the shower, both of which are, of course, places I can’t write anything down. Do you have any strange writing habits?

Oh, yes. Driving is mine. Somehow the whole plotline stretches clearly when I’m on the road. Like you, I can’t write it down. I did try a voice-activated tape recorder, but that didn’t work. I can’t leave myself messages on voicemail when I’m driving.  Plus, I feel odd talking out loud when I’m alone.

I don’t have that problem–I talk to myself all the time! Neat freak or not so much?

Oddly, the older I get, the more I want neatness.  I have a great capacity for focusing on what I’m doing, so I can ignore a lot!  But it takes less and less for me to say, ‘That’s enough. Gotta clean.’

Thanks so much for having me here today, Marin. I’ve loved visiting with you and your friends.

Silverhawk--new coverHere’s a look at Silverhawk, by Barbara Bettis:

He’s everything a proper lady should never want; she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

Sir Giles has come to England to kill his father, who seduced and betrayed his mother. First, however, he’ll seek sweet revenge—kidnap the old lord’s new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What’s a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.

Lady Emelin has had enough. Abandoned in a convent by her brother, she finally has a chance for home and family. Yet now she’s been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won’t allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape.

Rescuing the intrepid lady—while hunting traitors—is a challenge Giles couldn’t anticipate.  But the greatest challenge to Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them. For he’s everything a proper lady should never want, and she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

 Excerpt:

Sir Giles found her on her knees, pulling weeds in the Lady’s Garden.

Lady Emelin sat back on her heels with an exaggerated sigh. “Would you move your shoulders, Sir Knight? They block what meager light I’ve found.”

If a tone could cross its arms and tap its toe, hers did.

A lightness inside him felt shockingly like a smile. That’s why he was here. She amused him.

“Where would you like me to move them, my lady?”

“London, I should think.”

I love that line: “A lightness inside him felt shockingly like a smile.” So vivid! Thanks for visiting, Barbara!

You can find Silverhawk on Amazon. And you can visit Barbara at: 

Website: www.barbarabettis.com
Blog: www.barbarabettis.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBettisAuthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/BarbaraBettis

 

 

Historical Book Blast Friday: Laura Strickland

Today I’d like to welcome historical romance author Laura Strickland to the blog. Laura’s most recent book, The White Gull, part of The Wild Rose Press Lobster Cove series, was released on October 2, 2015.

perf5.000x8.000.inddWhen the trawler White Gull was lost in a storm off the coast of Lobster Cove, Lisbeth O’Shea’s husband, Declan, was lost along with it. At least that’s what Lisbeth believes until, a year later, she hears Declan’s voice in the night and sees him haunting the shore near their tiny cottage. Then she wonders… Has grief affected her mind? Or is someone playing a cruel trick?

Town blacksmith Rab Sinclair has loved Lisbeth ever since he arrived in Lobster Cove. Lisbeth has never had eyes for anyone other than the charming, feckless Declan O’Shea, but Rab knows Declan was not faithful to Lisbeth. How can he convince the grieving widow she’s pinned her heart on the wrong man? And when dangerous secrets come to light, how can Rab protect the woman who means more to him than his own life?

Here’s an excerpt:

Lightning flashed once more, flooding her eyes with brightness. In the doorway of the bedroom stood a figure wearing dripping oilskins with only the sou’wester missing from his bare head.

Declan.

In the sudden darkness that followed the lightning she moaned his name and then shouted it.

“Declan? Declan, Declan!” She heard movement, the scrape of a boot on the floorboards, the flap of his coat as he turned and left the doorway. With a sob, she followed. Hands stretched before her like a blind woman, she felt for him, stubbed her bare toe on the leg of the bedstead and faltered. She blundered from the room in his wake.

The cottage boasted but three rooms: this bedroom they had shared, another smaller bedroom she’d dreamed of someday using as a nursery for her children and the main room which combined parlor and kitchen. The darkness of the main room enfolded Lisbeth like black velvet. She had but a glimpse of paler darkness as the front door opened and closed again.

“Declan!”

She followed after him, her heart torn between gladness and pain. He was here! But if he truly were here, returned by some miracle from the same sea that had stolen him, why would he go from her? She reached the door, tore it open and stared out into the storm. Waves and salt spray poured over the stones in front of the cottage. Static filled the air and lightning arced overhead, the thunder competing for dominance with the crash of the rain. Wearing only her nightgown, Lisbeth was immediately soaked to the skin. The wind tore at her hair as she strained to catch sight of the figure she had glimpsed in the doorway.

From the cottage, as well she knew, a path led either north to a narrow strip of shingle or south towards Lobster Cove. Which way might he have gone? She could see nothing but storm, the raging elements that matched the furor now in her heart. Would he head down to the sea? Most this coast consisted of sheer rock but the O’Sheas possessed that stony beach where they had hauled up their boats and readied their lobster traps.

The boats were all gone; the White Gull lay in pieces. Why would Declan go there? Having come home to her, why would he leave at all?

She walked barefoot to a break in the rocks where the sea poured in like a gray beast, alive and wild. No one but a madman would be down on that strip of shingle now.

She turned her head toward the track but saw nothing. The thought came to her: maybe I imagined it. But she had heard the scrape of his boots on the floor. She had seen his hair ruffled by the force of the storm.

A dream, then. She’d had them before, yes, but never, never so real. She returned to the cottage where she shut the door and hurried to the fireplace. With clumsy hands, she searched for matches and the stub of a candle. Her fingers shook so violently it took her three attempts to put flame to the wick.

The light took hold slowly and seemed pitifully inadequate. Thrusting it aloft, Lisbeth retraced her steps to the door of her room, careful to keep her now-sodden garments swept back, her eyes on the floor.

A trail of wet led its way to the bedroom door and culminated on the threshold.

The very place where he had stood.

The candle tumbled from her suddenly numb fingers and the flame went out.

You can find The White Gull, and Laura’s other books, at these retailers:
Amazon 
Amazon Canada 
Amazon UK
The Wild Rose Press 
Barnes and Noble
All Romance eBooks

Laura Strickland Publicity PhotoBorn and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her “fur” child, a rescue dog. Author of Scottish romances Devil Black and His Wicked Highland Ways, as well as The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy consisting of Daughter of Sherwood, Champion of Sherwood and Lord of Sherwood, she has also published two Steampunk romances, Dead Handsome: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure and Off Kilter: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure and two Christmas novellas: The Tenth Suitor and Mrs. Claus and the Viking Ship. Her Lobster Cove Historical Romance, The White Gull, will be followed by a Lobster Cove novella, Forged By Love.

Contact Laura at her website, www.laurastricklandbooks.com, or on Goodreads.

 

Historical Book Blast Friday: Becky Lower

This October–my favorite month–I’m starting something new. I love historical fiction of every kind–romance, mystery, fantasy, young adult, you name it–and I want everyone else to love it too. So to introduce you to some historical authors you may not have encountered before, I’ve started a Friday Book Blast series for historical fiction. (If you’re an author interested in scheduling a Book Blast, contact me here.)

48988_1025007027_4423_nTo kick off this new series, it’s fitting that I feature an author who is a master of writing series romance: the award-winning historical romance author Becky Lower. Becky is a fellow member of NEORWA, a resident of the small college town I called home for four years, an exhaustingly prolific author, and an all around lovely person I am honored to call a friend.

Becky has two new releases this month (did I mention she was prolific?): The eighth installment in her Cotillion Ball series, and a novella about the couple who started it all.

9781440578991

A Widow’s Salvation

In 1862 America, the Civil War has raged for twelve months. Pepper Fitzpatrick Brown’s heart was broken when her husband died with the first volley at Manassas. Now she’s a widow raising three young boys and plans to honor his sacrifice by volunteering at the army hospital.

 When Colonel Elijah Williams can grab a few minutes to nap between his duties as head surgeon at MacDougall Army Hospital in the Bronx, his sleep is invaded with nightmares of the atrocities he’s seen. His life has narrowed to nothing but the bloody war … until he meets Pepper Brown. But her father is concerned Elijah doesn’t have the best intentions, and Pepper is fearful of loving and losing again.

 It’s hard to find happiness in a war-torn United States, but these two stand a fighting chance—if they can save what’s left of their hearts.

A Widow’s Salvation and all the books in the Cotillion Ball series are available from Amazon.

9781440594458An Unconventional Courtship

George Fitzpatrick had boarded the new omnibus intent on nothing more than a ride from one point to another. Until a gorgeous young blonde named Charlotte Ashcroft suddenly claims he is her chaperone. What’s an up-and-coming young banker to do but help a lady out?

This story is featured in a collection of historical romance novellas called Rogues, Rakes, and Romance. You can find it at Amazon.

For more information about Becky and her books, visit her website at www.beckylowerauthor.com.

Author Interview: Shereen Vedam

Today I’m joined by fellow Wild Rose Press author Shereen Vedam. Welcome, Shereen!

Weeping SequoiaHello Marin, thank you so much for having me over on your beautiful blog. Love your bookshelf! I’m very happy to be here.

Thanks, Shereen! Tell us a bit about you. 

Though I was born in Sri Lanka, my roots are now firmly planted on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Sandals and shorts for 9 months of the year suits my lifestyle to a T. I love Vancouver Island’s magical rain forest, with its ancient cedar, red-barked arbutus and giant weeping sequoia. I have one of the latter trees in my front garden! Neighbors will probably start to complain once it’s full grown (they can live for +100 years, grow up to 30 feet high, with an 8-foot spread). For now, it’s a nice, spooky guard at the bottom of my driveway, inspecting each tiny Halloween trick-or-treater as s/he considers the wisdom of approaching the long driveway up to the house.

I have never been to British Columbia, but it’s definitely on my bucket list. It’s sounds gorgeous! What inspired you to write A Devilish Slumber?

A Devilish Slumber is Book I of The Rue Alliance series, three fairytale-inspired Regency paranormal romances. As for what inspired this first book, well, it’s a given that I love fairy tales, but I have always been particularly fascinated by the Sleeping Beauty tale. It has such a haunting feel (a bit like that Weeping Sequoia above on a foggy morning). The ending of this story could so easily have gone totally wrong for the poor be-spelled heroine (and it has in some versions of this fairy tale). Probably why so many people like home alarm systems. Who knows what might be going on while we’re sleeping? But all that negative thinking aside, what woman isn’t touched by the romantic concept of a kiss from her true love bringing her back to life?

The trick with writing a re-make of such a classic story, however, is how to instill a fresh perspective on an age old tale. So, in A Devilish Slumber, I aimed for a unique take on what first startles this beauty awake, and what peril she will face once she is completely present in her sinister new world. As for the resident villain, Maleficent goes by a different name in my book. But then, evil can wear many faces. And it certainly does in this shape shifter book, in which people can literally, magically, change how they look.

It sounds great! Definitely on my TBR pile. What does your writing process look like?

I used to be a firm plotter, and in fact, all three books of The Rue Alliance series were plotted first, then written. That changed with the three books I’m currently working on, which have so far been written entirely by the “seat of my pants.” A big difference in the two styles of writing is that being a panster takes way more time to finish a book than being a plotter. But it’s also more fun. And one day, I’m (fairly) certain, that I’ll finish this series too.

I tried being a panster, then a sort of hybrid plotter/pantser. With my current WIP, I’m trying the plotting route. Hopefully it will get me through the dreaded middles. What are you working on now?

My current WIP is also set in a Regency world, though now fantasy plays a major role, transforming these Regency romances into alternate history fantasies. In this new world, witches and warlocks, fleeing from a dying world, had transported themselves to earth in the 1500s. Unfortunately, shortly after arrival they discover that their mind magic doesn’t work quite the same on earth as it had on their world because this new world has an overprotective god who is fiercely defensive of earth’s human inhabitants’ right to use free will. Three hundred years later, after the horror of witch hunts when more humans were killed than anyone else, witches (females) or warlocks (males) have had a falling out on how they should interact with the native human population. They’re hiding in England, with witches occupying Cornwall, and warlocks ruling Wales, and Regency life was never the same.

Sounds fascinating, but complicated. I know I could never manage to create a whole new world like fantasy authors–I’m envious! What do you do when you’re not writing?

I work full time as a data coordinator for a ferry company. So I spend my days arranging numbers and designing graphs, and my nights dreaming about wizards and dragons playing Quidditch using pie charts.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I’ve written lots characters with various types of paranormal abilities, but only one ever had the “feel” of a superpower, which makes me wonder if that might be the superpower that I secretly crave. The character with this extraordinary ability is Christopher de Wynter, and he is the hero of A Season for Giving, a Christmas short story Regency romance, inspired by the fairytale Goldilocks. It’s in an anthology called One Winter’s Night. Christopher can scale walls and leap across London’s frosty rooftops with ease. I’d love to be able to do something like that. Wouldn’t you?

Absolutely. 🙂 What’s first on your bucket list?

I just completed the first item on my bucket list. Though I was born in Sri Lanka, I hadn’t been back there since I was five years old. For years I’ve wanted to visit, but there was fighting taking place there. But hostility has finally stopped, and this year, in mid-July 2015, I had a chance to return to this tiny island located at the southern tip of India. I stayed for one month, spending one week with family, two weeks on a wonderful tour, and the last week back with family, before returning home. It was a memorable trip. I suspect it might have changed who I am. If you want to read a little bit about my trip there, I’ve listed a few of my impressions here: http://shereentwo.livejournal.com/25607.html

To find out more about Shereen and her books, visit:
Website: http://www.shereenvedam.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ShereenVedam
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShereenVedam
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Shereen-Vedam/e/B005A53Q10/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3415603.Shereen_Vedam
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A DEVILISH SLUMBER - a Sleeping Beauty taleA Devilish Slumber by Shereen Vedam

Beauty awoke, and then the trouble began…

Since dealing with the death of her sister, and her abandonment by Sir Phillip Jones—the man who professed to love her—Lady Roselyn Ravenstock has lived as if sleepwalking. Mired in grief, she sequestered herself in her home, avoiding all callers. Then she meets Mrs. Helen Beaumont, and Rose starts to come to life . . . until Helen is murdered. But this time, Rose isn’t going back to sleep. Vowing to avenge her friend, Rose dons a costume and goes out into the night looking for a killer.

Sir Phillip, the Regent’s favored spy, returns from war determined to win back the woman he was forced to leave three years ago. But when he witnesses Rose covered in blood, racing from a brutal scene while gripping the murder weapon, he goes on a desperate mission to unravel what he hopes is a case of mistaken identity.

The investigation leads Rose into a world of enchantment, where people can reshape their features, fires are begun with a snap of fingers, and objects move of their own accord. But the real magic is the blazing attraction that is re-awakened between her and Phillip.

Will Rose ever get her happily ever after? Possibly. But first, she’ll have to convince Phillip of her innocence—before the killer strikes again. . . .

Excerpt from A Devilish Slumber:

Soon, with her arms full of musty old garments, she climbed down the creaking stairs, taking care to not to trip over her skirt hems. Once she kicked shut her bedroom door, she set her candle on an end table and dropped her handful of clothes on the bed and a pomander rolled to the floor and bumped against her slipper. She retrieved it, inhaling an elusive scent of orange and vinegar. Orange had been her father’s favorite scent.

She quashed a sudden longing for his advice, and straightened her shoulders. Quickly, before she might change her mind, she put on his shirt, breeches, neckcloth, waistcoat, and coat. Then she sat on a chair and tugged on his Hessians. Wearing his clothes was oddly comforting, and reminded her of the many times that she and Eve had played “dress-up” with their mother’s clothes and shoes.

Chin lifted in defiance of all the propriety and comportment lessons heaped on her by the governesses her grandmother had employed, Rose strode before her tall oval looking glass for inspection. Her father had not been a big man, so his attire, though a little loose, was presentable.

For a moment, she could have sworn she felt someone pat her on her shoulder and whisper, There is my brave girl.

With a firm breath, she next resurrected the most dangerous part of her disguise—to magically change her body. Shifting, her grandmother called the ancient family gift.

This shift would be more difficult than any she had done before, for, if her plan was to succeed, she must be able to convince a stranger that she was a man. Only a man would be able to delve into the details of Helen’s death with impunity. Rose called on her talent and felt cold satisfaction as her magic sprang to life. Every part of her tingled with animation.

She began her transformation at the top of her head by shrinking her shoulder-length blond hair until it hugged the curves of her skull like a snug cap. The Cimaruta immediately warmed, like an alarm rung. Ignoring its caution, she reshaped her pert nose into a snub shape. The sensation was similar to twitching her nose in reaction to an oncoming sneeze.

Then she set to work on her distinctive sea-green eyes. Her sight went out of focus before the candlelit room became clear again. Her eyes were now a muddy forgettable brown. She then dulled the fullness of her lips into a thin straight line. Finally, she flattened her breasts. That felt akin to a wide steel band being strapped across her chest, or a corset tied too tight, too high. And in the looking glass, Rose vanished, and a male stranger appeared.

For the length of a pent-up breath, she stared with critical scrutiny at the image of a nondescript, ordinary, and she hoped, forgettable, young man.

With top hat in hand, she picked up her father’s walking stick and headed outdoors, muttering, “I will avenge you, Helen. You have my word.”

You can find A Devilish Slumber at these retailers:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Barnes and Noble
iBooks
Kobo
Google Play

Bio: Once upon a time, Shereen Vedam read fantasy and romance novels to entertain herself. Now she writes heartwarming tales braided with threads of magic and love and mystery elements woven in for good measure. She’s a fan of resourceful women, intriguing men, and happily-ever-after endings. If her stories whisk you away to a different realm for a few hours, then Shereen will have achieved one of her life goals.

The Reform of a Plantser

I’m late to post today, because I’ve been plotting. *Insert wicked cackle here*

For weeks–well, truth be told, just about the entire summer–I’ve been stuck. Every time I open up WriteWay Pro to write, absolutely nothing comes. I have two stories halfway done, but they are both a hot mess.  Weak conflict, boring characters, yadda yadda. Now this has happened with every single book. I get to the middle and wham! No idea what to write next. I know how I want it to end, but I just can’t get it there. With the first two books, I did finally break through, but these two, not so much.

I finally decided to put them aside and work on something else for awhile, inspired by two things: one, the agent I pitched at RWA Nationals, who told me that the story I pitched (one of the hot messes above) would never sell; and two, the story idea I mentioned to her would be of interest, assuming I actually started to write it.

But I knew that this time my hybrid plantser style would never work. If I was going to sit down and write a book straight through, past “the dreaded middles,” I was going to have to learn to plot. *shudder* So I bought and read Blake Snyder‘s Save the Cat. I had halfheartedly browsed it before, even had a partially-finished beat sheet for my third book. But I didn’t really take it to heart until I read it all the way through, and finally understood what his beats actually meant. (Insert “duh” here.) So I roughed out a beat sheet for the new book, and it started to take shape, until I got to–yes, you guessed it–the middle.

Another week went by while I puzzled over this. I started to do some historical research, and as I hoped, it got the juices flowing, but I still had the middles problem. What was going to happen to these two people? For the past two days I have been digging through story tropes and story generators, and randomly Googling words that had to do with plots and story structures. Finally, today I found Jami Gold’s website, where she has tons of incredibly helpful posts for writers. Reading them, and then re-reading a few things in Save the Cat, was the final push I needed to figure out the middle, and voila, I now have a completed beat sheet for the next book. I wish I could thank Blake Snyder, but fortunately I can thank Jami. Thanks, Jami!  🙂

And now, I’m off to get some words on the page, but if you’re a writer, I hope you’ll feel free to share your thoughts on getting past those middles. What resources do you find helpful?

 

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