Historical Book Blast Friday: Jana Richards

It’s Book Blast Friday! My guest today is fellow Wild Rose author Jana Richards. Her newest novella, Home Fires, is set during World War II. Welcome, Jana!

Home FiresHomeFires_6865_680
by Jana Richards

Anne Wakefield travels halfway around the world for love. But when she arrives in Canada from England at the end of World War Two, she discovers the handsome Canadian pilot she’d fallen in love with has married someone else. Heartbroken, she prepares to return to London, though she has nothing left there to return to. Her former fiancé’s mother makes a suggestion: marriage to her other son.

Badly wounded and scarred during the war, Erik Gustafson thinks he’s a poor substitute for his brother. Although he loves Anne almost from the first time he sees her, he cannot believe she would ever be able to love him as he is – especially as he might be after another operation on his bad leg.  Anne sees the beauty of his heart. The cold prairie winter may test her courage, but can she prove to Erik that her love for him is real?

 Excerpt:

She whirled around to glare at him, her eyes blazing. “No! I’m not a child! I don’t have to be mollycoddled and babysat. I spent six years in a war zone, hiding in bomb shelters, never having enough to eat. I worked in a hospital treating blitz victims with wounds so horrendous grown men would gag to look at them. I faced those horrors every day. Sometimes things were so bad I thought I couldn’t go on. But I did. Because I had to. And I’ll face things here, too. So don’t tell me to give up, because I won’t!”

Erik pushed himself out of his chair to face her, awed by her spirit and courage. She lifted her chin as if defying him to contradict her, her hands clenched at her sides. Her dark hair curled in wild abandon as it dried, framing her pale oval face like a halo. Her beauty and ferocity were magnificent.

“I think you’re the strongest woman I know.”

Her eyes widened in surprise, her hands unclenching. He caught the quiver of her chin as she fought to hold back tears.

“I made such a mess of things,” she whispered. “I’m sorry for all the fuss I caused everyone.”

Erik took a step toward her. “It’s not your fault. I shouldn’t have let you go alone in the dark.”

“You didn’t know I would stupidly walk out onto thin ice.” She shook her head. “I wanted to help. I wanted to be useful. I can’t stand feeling so bloody useless.”

“You’re not useless. You’re an amazing woman. Anders is a fool for letting you go.”

She stared at him, her eyes filling with tears. “Thank you.”

He opened his arms and she stepped into them, wrapping her arms around his waist, clinging to him. He held her tightly, inhaling the sweet, clean scent of her, never wanting to let her go.

“Don’t cry. Everything’s all right now.”

“I know I’m being stupid. Tears don’t solve anything,” she said against his chest. “But I was so cold, and so scared. I thought I was going to die.”

He tightened his hold and kissed her hair. “Don’t think about it anymore. You’re safe now.”

He heard her sigh, felt her relax against him. “Yes. I’m safe.”

She lifted her head to look into his face, her dark eyes shiny with tears, her lips slightly parted, and Erik stared at her mouth, wanting desperately to kiss her, to capture her sweetness. He slowly lowered his mouth to hers. To his surprise, she didn’t run off or turn away in revulsion. He was so close her breath mingled with his, her breathing shallow and erratic. His heart slammed against his chest, his body thrumming with need. For the first time in over three years, he felt alive.

HOME FIRES (e-version) is on sale for .99 cents at all major e-retailers between December 4 and 17, 2015.

Buy Home Fires at these retailers: The Wild Rose Press | All Romance Ebooks | Amazon | B & N | Bookstrand |Google Play | Kobo | iBooks | BAM

Jana RichardsJana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side.  She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm, working at her day job as an Office Administrator, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, Jana can be found on the local golf course pursuing her newest hobby.

Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren, and a highly spoiled Pug/Terrier cross named Lou.

You can find out more about Jana and her books at these sites:

Website:  http://www.janarichards.com
Blog:  http://janarichards.blogspot.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JanaRichardsAuthor
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/JanaRichards_
Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards
Newsletter Signup: http://www.eepurl.com/m3UnT
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2892274Jana_Richards
Google+ Profile:  https://plus.google.com/100820406211390323245

Book Blast Friday: Sheridan Jeane and Giveaway!

This week I am delighted to introduce you to friend and NEORWA chaptermate, Sheridan Jeane, who writes action-packed Victorian era romance. The third novel in her Secrets and Seduction Series, Once Upon a Spy, released this week. Welcome Sheridan!

Upon Upon a SpyOnce Upon a Spy Cover
by Sheridan Jeane

Robert, Earl of Wentworth, isn’t a spy, and he never wants to be one, but when his brother is injured and needs his help stealing an important book from the Russian embassy, he can’t refuse.

Antonia has lost everything. If she wants her life back, she needs that book. The problem is, Lord Wentworth just stole it from the Russian Ambassador.

The reluctant spy and the daring thief find themselves at cross-purposes. Who will win in this dangerous game of nations— especially when their hearts are at stake as well?

Excerpt:

London, January 6, 1854

The turning point in a man’s life isn’t always accompanied by a crash of thunder. Sometimes it’s marked by something much more subtle and easier to miss, like the flash of a silver gown, or the rich hue of a twist of chestnut hair.

Lord Wentworth managed to dismiss his turning point.

As he caught sight of the woman across the ballroom, her strong allure caught his attention, certainly. But he ignored it, believing his immediate visceral response to be nothing more than a reaction to her beauty.

For him, there could be no future with her. Nor with any woman.

She represented a precipice. Danger. One he needed to avoid.

He chose to turn his back on the silver-gowned woman and her pull of destiny. Instead, he stepped out onto the patio to let the chill January air envelop him. It drove away some of the oppressive heat of the ballroom. 

“Robert, come over here,” his brother called to him. “Lord Percival is telling the most preposterous story.”

He closed the embassy door. The glow of the flickering torches allowed him to identify Frederick sitting with a group of men at a stone table near the edge of the lawn. 

As he strode across the paved patio, Robert considered how fundamentally wrong it was for the Russian Ambassador’s winter solstice celebration to be held in a building so overheated the temperature drove the guests outdoors.

 His brother shifted his chair and made space for Robert to join the group. The low oil lamps on the table illuminated the listeners’ rapt faces as Lord Percival recounted his latest yarn.

Everyone greeted Robert with brief smiles and nods before they returned their attention to Percival. He appeared well-groomed, with his neatly trimmed, sable-colored beard, his white gloves, and his perfectly tailored evening coat all speaking to the excellence of his valet, but something seemed slightly off about him. As expected, an aroma of tobacco emanated from this particular group, but Percival’s whiskey-laden breath came as a surprise. The evening was still a fresh, young thing, with flawless skin and a lively demeanor. Wobbly-looking Percival must have been drinking all afternoon to be so inebriated the odor oozed from his pores.

 “You’ll love this,” Frederick murmured as he glanced at Robert. The corners of his eyes crinkled as he smiled.

Lord Percival took a puff on his cigar, pausing for effect, and said “…and I forcibly tossed him from the carriage. He landed directly in a steaming pile of manure!” He slapped his hand down on the marble table to emphasize his words, but he clipped one of the oil lamps.

The container flipped over. Oil flew out, splashing onto the table and the cigar Percival clutched. The cigar immediately burst into flame. He dropped it, letting out a sharp shriek of pain and fear. The cigar landed on the table in the spreading puddle of oil. The men jumped back, knocking the chairs to the ground. In less time than a the flutter of a hummingbird’s wings, fire swept down a large swath of the tabletop. 

Frederick jumped back too, but his thin evening gloves were already drenched in oil. With mounting horror, Robert watched as his brother froze for an instant. Flames erupted from his hands.

The sickening image chilled him. If Frederick had been a performer on stage, the audience would have burst into applause, but this was no trick. No sleight of hand. It was real, and Frederick’s hands were on fire. 

Find Once Upon a Spy and Sheridan’s other books on Amazon.

 

Once Upon a Spy RB Giveaway Graphic

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Sheridan JeaneAbout Sheridan:

Sheridan Jeane writes exciting and emotion-packed historical romances set in the Victorian Era that confront issues of trust and conformity.

With the advent of the industrial age, life was changing. Many people tried to hold on to the old ways of life while others embraced the new opportunities open to them. Join Sheridan as she explores the clash between the old and the new.

Sheridan has always loved books, history, and stories about amazing people who blaze new trails.

Despite naming their daughter Sheridan because they thought it might someday look great on the cover of a book, Sheridan’s parents urged her in a more practical direction for college. Sheridan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with a minor in English.

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: 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.

Father’s Day–Better Late than Never

I was supposed to post this last Sunday, but I was traveling from Oklahoma to Missouri and, well, too lazy to write anything.

So today, in a belated tribute to Father’s Day, I thought I’d write about notable fathers in romance novels–I’m referring specifically to the father of the hero or heroine, not heroes who are fathers, as there are a fair number of those–Google “fathers in romance novels” and you’ll see what I mean. There aren’t that many of the other kind. If they are mentioned at all, they are either gravely disappointed in their child, villainous, or dead, so the fathers who are not any of those things are significant. Here are a few of my favorites:

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

C’mon, you knew this had to be first on the list. Mr. Bennet is justifiably famous. “Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three-and-twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character.” His affection for Lizzie is surpassed only by his long-suffering tolerance of his wife. He is flawed, of course–his habit of hiding in his study instead of taking a more active role in the raising of his headstrong younger daughter does get them all in trouble–but that makes him all the more relatable, even 200 years after he was written.

 

The Viscount Who Loved Me, by Julia Quinn

The father of the titular viscount in this book is, in fact, dead, but his influence is felt so keenly by Anthony Bridgerton that he is almost another character. Anthony so adored his father, who died unexpectedly at age 38, that he “simply couldn’t imagine ever surpassing his father in any way, even in years.” That sentiment so colors his thought that he puts his own happy-ever-after in serious jeopardy.

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

Yes, I know, it’s trendy to bash Twilight, but I never bash other authors. We put too much of our heart and soul into our books to deserve the shaming that is sometimes heaped upon us. Plus, I enjoyed the series quite a bit. Charlie loves his daughter, Bella, but he doesn’t understand her at all, and his awkward attempts to parent her are endearing.

 

This Thing Called Love, by Miranda Liasson

Olivia’s father is protective of his daughter–at one point he threatens to castrate the hero “like a county-fair hog”–but he also respects her enough to make her own decisions. “Frank Marks looked around. His gaze did a panorama of Brad’s naked chest, Olivia’s wild hair, Annabelle’s drooly smile, and the spread of food at the table. He chucked the baby under one of her chins and sat down. ‘Well, I don’t know about you all, but I’m starved.'”

The Reluctant Debutante, by Becky Lower

“Ginger watched her father’s jaw flex. He was not an imposing man, but he had a will of iron. He needed a strong constitution to have successfully raised nine children and to have provided a privileged life for all of them. So, when she saw the movement of his jaw, she knew what it meant. Things were not going to go her way.” I love this description of the patriarch of the Fitzpatrick clan in Becky Lower’s first book. He is a strong, serious, and thoughtful man, but he loves his children and would do anything for them.

StirringUptheViscount_w9340_750Stirring Up the Viscount, by Marin McGinnis

Last but not least, I love the hero’s father in my first book. Lord Longley is a bit like Mr. Bennet, in that he would rather leave the running of the household, and the children, to his wife and stay out of it, but there the similarity ends.  “The man never met a stranger. He likes everyone, and everyone likes him. Her ladyship is a bit more practical, but she has a fun side, too. She and his lordship are always laughing, and I’ve seen ’em kiss a time or two when weren’t no one looking.”

I’m sure there are more out there–do you have a favorite father in a romance?

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