Legacy of Hunger is NOW AVAILABLE for Preorder on Amazon!!!!

Christy Jackson Nicholas, Author and Artist

Morrigan

After much ado, several years, and lots of pain, sweat and tears, my first novel is now ready to purchase! Release date is October 23, 2015.

It is currently ON SALE for $0.99 on Amazon. The price will go up to $4.99, so get your copy now!

You can order it here!

For other formats in the future, please see my author page at Tirgearr Publishing

*******

Ireland is no promised land in 1846. It is wracked by a crippling potato blight, and people are dying. But Valentia McDowell doesn’t know that.

From her father’s prosperous farm in Ohio, young Valentia is haunted by tales of an abandoned family and a lost heirloom. She travels to her grandmother’s homeland with her brother, Conor, and two servants, to find both. Her delight in the exciting journey on one of the first steam ships to cross the Atlantic is shattered by a…

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**Author Spotlight** Award-winning and Bestselling Author Barbara Devlin

Weekly Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Award-winning and Bestselling Author

Barbara Devlin

August 31 – September 6

This week Duchess of Romance welcomes Award-winning and Bestselling author Barbara Devlin.

About the Author LOB

Meet The Author:

Barbara Devlin was born a storyteller. A Texan, through and through, Barbara hasn’t been without a book in her possession since she was in kindergarten. She wrote her first short story, a really cheesy murder-mystery, in high school, but it was a Christmas gift, a lovely little diary with a bronze lock, given to her in the fifth grade that truly inspired her love for writing.

After completing part of her undergraduate studies at the University of London, Barbara returned home and began a career in banking. But the late 80’s weren’t too promising for the financial industry, and every bank that hired Barbara soon folded. So she searched for a stable occupation, and the local police department offered the answer to her prayers.

Initially, Barbara wasn’t too sure about her new chosen career in law enforcement, but she soon came to love being a police officer. However, on an uncharacteristically cold and icy day in December 1998, Barbara was struck by a car and pinned against a guardrail while working an accident on a major highway. Permanently disabled, she retired from the police department and devoted her time and energy to physical therapy.

Once Barbara got back on her feet, she focused on a new career in academia. She earned an MA in English, continued on a course of study for a Doctorate in Literature and Rhetoric, started writing historical fiction in her spare time, and completed five full-length novels featuring her fictional knighthood, the Brethren of the Coast. The Lucky One, book six in the series, debuted March 29, 2015, and a spinoff series, Brethren Origins, premiered in July 2015, with the release of Arucard.

Social Links LOB

Connect with Barbara:

Website: http://barbaradevlin.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barbara-Devlin/536542626431032

Twitter: https://twitter.com/barbara_devlin

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6462331.Barbara_Devlin

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Devlin/e/B00GLGNPYA

Email: http://barbaradevlin.com/contact/

Newsletter: http://barbaradevlin.com/subscribe/

barbara devlin all books banner

Barbara’s first series of books entitled The Brethren of the Coast, five books in all starts off with Enter the Brethren. All this week I will be featuring one of Barbara’s books as our Book of the Day, keep watch each day to learn more about these amazing books and for links where you can buy them!

Here’s what Barbara has to say about the series:

Things are changing fast in the world of the Brethren. The series in its entirety quickly climbed the lists on Amazon, and My Lady, The Spy occupied the #1 spot in Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, and Hot New Releases. While my current stories are Peninsular War-era historical works, given reader interest, I have decided to write the adventures of the five original Templar Knights: Arucard, Demetrius, Morgan, Aristide, and Geoffrey. A lot has happened in 2015. First The Lucky One, which is Dalton and Daphne’s story, debuted at #1 in Hot New Releases on Amazon, and then this summer, Arucard: Brethren Origins Book 1, the first Medieval romance of the spinoff series, also debuted at #1 in Hot New Releases. In the fall, I will finally give so many of my nautionniers just what they’ve been asking for: Blake’s story. Yes, my hotheaded duke finds a bride in Love with an Improper Stranger. So feel free to peruse the pages and learn a little bit more of the world I’ve created just for you.

About the Book LOB

Barbara’s latest release is Arucard the first in the new Brethren Origins Series.

Arucard (Brethren Origins Book 1) ***#1 Bestseller***

barbara arucard cover

WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE.

It is the year of Our Lord 1307, and by papal decree, Templar Knight Arucard of Villiers is a hunted man. One of a handful of mariners to escape the Inquisition and Philip the Fair’s treachery, Arucard sets sail for England, where good King Edward II has outlawed torture. While the Crown is more than happy to offer exile and create a new Order to accommodate the famed warriors of the Crusades, such assistance comes with a price. But is the cost one Arucard is willing to pay?

The world in which Isolde de Tyreswelle exists defines her as chattel. Nothing more than a means to an end, she is a puppet in her unscrupulous father’s dastardly play and is thrown into the courtly arena. To further her family’s political aspirations, she is betrothed to a man she has never met and, with her husband, must fight to survive the intrigues and betrayals of her new life. With good reason, she fears men. Can Isolde learn to trust Arucard before they are destroyed by their enemies?

Other Books By Barbara:

Loving Lieutenant Douglas: A Brethren of the Coast Novella

 barbara loving lieutenant douglas cover

About:

It is the Age of Sail, England is on the brink of war with France, and Royal Navy First Lieutenant Mark Douglas is not looking for a wife. As is so often the case, fate has other plans, and Mark sets his sights on a fiery society miss with a spirit to match his own. But can he redeem himself after inadvertently insulting his prospective bride?

Lady Amanda Gascoigne-Lake is at first smitten with and then disappointed by the impeccable naval man. After all, is it not a woman’s prerogative to change her mind? When a soldier disparages her reputation, Mark defends her honor and wins his lady. What happens when her father rejects Mark’s suit, and an ancient brooch with mystical powers portends doom?

A Jewel in Time: A Sultry Sisters Anthology

 barbara jewel in time cover

About:

Three incomparable women, one incredible jewel…

It is the Age of Sail, and First Lieutenant Mark Douglas of the Royal Navy has set his sights on a fiery society miss with a spirit to match his own. What happens when Lady Amanda Gascoigne-Lake’s father rejects the sailor’s suit, and an ancient brooch with mystical power portends doom?

In WWII Europe, Lady Grace Corvedale flees Paris as the Germans approach, but Hitler has learned her brooch may have mystical powers, and he vows to possess it -at any cost. Lt Robert “Dix” Dixon, an unofficial attaché to the British Embassy, is dispatched to rescue her, but can he outwit The Fuhrer to save Grace?

When a series of tragic events leaves Olivia DuBois stranded in Boston during a blizzard, a handsome Brit rides to her rescue, and the California girl falls hard. Emerson Gascoigne-Lake manifests the quintessential knight in shining armor, but does a family heirloom foretell true love or destroy it?

 

 Teasers LOB

barbara arucard teaser 1 barbara captain of her heart teaser 1 barbara captain of her heart teaser 2 barbara enter the brethren teaser 1 barbara enter the brethren teaser 2 barbara enter the brethren teaser 3 barbara loving lieutenant douglas teaser 2 barbara loving lieutenant douglas teaser barbara my lady the spy teaser 1 barbara my lady the spy teaser 2 barbara the lucky one teaser 1 barbara the lucky one teaser 2 barbara the most unlikely lady teaser 1

Book Review Image

I have read every one of Barbara’s books and they are truly masterpieces, works of art and a labour of love. Her Brethren of the Coast Series is absolutely pehenomenal, each story is filled with deep and rich historical accuracy and research but none is void of vivid imagination and creative genious. I highly suggest these stories, you will be drawn into the magical world which she creates. Truly a one in a million author with such immense talent!

Be looking for my detailed and individual reviews to be posted every week in September and October as we continue to spotlight this amazing author!

Hosted By:

Duchess of Romance Blog Image

 

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**Book Blitz** Cinder’s Bride by Kathleen Ball

Cinders Bride - Banner

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Cinders’ Bride
SERIES – Mail Order Brides of Texas book one
AUTHOR – Kathleen Ball
GENRE – Historical Western Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – 7/2/15
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 50,000 words152 pages
PUBLISHER – me
COVER ARTIST – Aria Tan


Cinders Bride - CoverBOOK SYNOPSIS

Mail Order Brides of Texas Book One
Shannon McMurphy travels to Asherville, Texas as a mail order bride expecting to marry a rancher. Instead, her intended is a saloonkeeper. Her refusal to marry enrages John Hardy and he slices her cheek with a knife so no other man would want her. She runs into the street and no one helps her until Cinders comes along.

Sexy, Rancher Cinders saves Shannon and offers her a job. To protect her reputation he marries her. They both agree it’s a marriage of convenience. He admires her spunk and willingness to learn everything about surviving the Texas frontier. He waits for her to ask to go home but she never does.

They learn a lot about each other through, stolen horses, Indian troubles, a cattle drive and the busybodies of the town. Their attraction for each other grows, but can they learn to trust enough to love?

Cinders Bride - Teaser 1

BUY & TBR LINKS

AMAZON KINDLE USAMAZON KINDLE UK


Cinders Bride - Teaser 2

EXCERPT

The world seemed eerily quiet as she pushed herself up from the hard packed dirt, only to fall back down. Her ankle hurt. Tears filled her eyes, as she glanced around. There stood the women from the mercantile, staring, and their eyes full of terror. She’d get no assistance from them.

John Hardy strutted into the street and laughed while he gestured for two of his men to pick her up. “Come on, honey, it’s time for our honeymoon.”

She heard the clomping of hooves and the turn of wagon wheels behind her but the wagon didn’t stop to help her either. By this time, a crowd had gathered and now there were men standing with the group of women. She tried to plead for help with her eyes but they glanced away.

Two men grabbed at her to haul her back into the saloon when a loud cocking of a gun erupted from behind.

“Put her down.” A man’s voice threatened.

John stepped forward, thrusting out his chest. “Listen, Cinders, this is none of your business. It’d be in your best interest to leave things be.”
The world began to dim and spin, the smell of blood was the last straw. She fainted.


 

Cinders Bride - Author PhotoAUTHOR BIO

Sexy Cowboys and the women who love them…

Finalist in the 2012 RONE Awards.

Top Pick, Five Star Series from the Romance Review.

Kathleen Ball writes contemporary western romance with great emotion and memorable

characters.Her books are award winners and have appeared on best sellers lists including

Amazon’s Best Sellers List, All Romance Ebooks, Bookstrand, Desert Breeze Publishing and

Secret Cravings Publishing Best Sellers list. She is the recipient of eight Editor’s Choice

Awards, and The Readers’ Choice Award for Ryelee’s Cowboy.

There’s something about a cowboy….

***Order of my Books***

Lasso Spring Series
Callie’s Heart
Lone Star Joy
Stetson’s Storm

Dawson Ranch Series
Texas Haven- FREE
Ryelee’s Cowboy
*Alice’s Story- free prequel on my website

Cowboy Seasons Series
Summer’s Desire
Autumn’s Hope
Winter’s Embrace
Spring’s Delight

Mail Order Brides of Texas
Cinder’s Bride

FOLLOW LINKS

WEBSITE / BLOGFACEBOOKTWITTER


GIVEAWAY PRIZES

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Skinvigorate™ Cleansing Brush
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CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PRIZE

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**RELEASE DAY!!** SPECIAL AGENT MAXIMILIAN by Mimi Barbour

Special Agent Maximilian
by Mimi Barbour
Series: Undercover FBI, #3
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 25, 2015

Identical twins but different men – she loves both!

In this electrifying romantic suspense set in the steamy streets of New Orleans, Lieutenant Commander Nik Baudin, accidently meets up with an identical twin he never knew existed. When his brother Max goes missing, Nik assumes his identity as Special Agent Maximilian. This gives him access to FBI files making it easier to arrest the gangsters who attacked his brother and to stop their trafficking of underage girls. Being that Nik has specialized commando training, he’s the perfect man for the job – that’s if his PTSD doesn’t kick in and leave him cowering in a corner.

Special Agent Maya Barnes can’t believe it when she spots her partner, Max Foster, wandering along the French market without a care in the world. Since he’d been beaten and had gone missing weeks earlier, they all believed him dead. There’s only one problem… though this man might look exactly like the missing agent, she knows differently. In all the years they’ve worked together, she’s never wanted to have mind-blowing sex with her partner before.

Mimi Barbour is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who’s sold over 500,000 copies of her books world-wide. Her five romance series: The Vicarage Bench/ time travel at it’s best, Angels with Attitudes / angels love romance, Vegas / fast-paced plotting, Elvis / make a song a book and her newest, Undercover FBI / with sizzling conflicts and lots of humor.

Mimi’s been heard to say: “I’m an author who loves to read uplifting stories about romance. Add in some time travel, or maybe an angel, or even a little romantic suspense and it makes the story more fascinating because of the incredible possibilities.

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***Cover Reveal*** Inconceivable by Cherrie Mack

inconceivablereveal

About the Book

Inconceivable E-Book Cover

Title: Inconceivable

Author: Cherrie Mack

Genre: Romance / Fantasy

When Prince Charming comes looking for the woman who stole his heart at a Manhattan shoe store, he instead finds her stepsister, Allie. Allie doesn’t leave the best impression with the handsome Zach Brady, who quickly dismisses her as the maid. But an unusual fairy godmother with bulging biceps, long hair, and a cool demeanor has plans for her. Can Allie keep herself from falling for the wrong man and convince him to help her snag Zach? This duo quickly learns that sometimes if the shoe fits, the pair could be all wrong.

Author Bio

Cherrie Mack is a multi-published romance author who grew up in Flushing Queens NY, the youngest child of six. The city’s diversity gave her a great appreciation for many different cultures and lifestyles. After love finally claimed the girl from the city and dragged her to the suburban madness of Long Island, she settled into a quiet life with her new husband. Two children and one mini-van later, the family found themselves moving towards the sunny skies of Florida where they currently reside.

Cherrie is happiest sitting behind a keyboard doing the one thing she loves most—writing. However, when she isn’t writing, she is struggling to man her website, promote her books, keep up with social media and run a household. She loves to hang out with her 12 and 10 year old kids and spend time with her smart, sexy, fun loving husband. She struggles to master the art of meditation but with so many people living inside her head, demanding a story of their own, the task is daunting. She takes time to relax by playing with her best friends–Bailey and Simba.

Cherrie continues to flourish, writing contemporary erotic romance, romantic comedy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance and her latest venture into sci-fi. Her ability to cross genre’s fuels her imagination and gives her the desire to continue to push her boundaries and branch out as a writer. Although she hasn’t settled into any given sub-genre, she is confident her ability will lead her down the right path.

A member of Romance Writers of America, Cherrie is slowly spreading her wings as a romance author. Look for her books at all digital bookstores such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookstrand, ITunes, Nook, Kobo and many more.

Links

Blog: http://cherriemack.wordpress.com

Website: http://www.cherriemack.com

Author facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/CherrieMack

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CherrieMack

Google email: mackcherrie@gmail.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.cherriemack.com

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**Cover Reveal** Say You’re Mine by Diane Alberts

SYM_Coverreveal

Today we are revealing the cover for SAY YOU’RE MINE by Diane Alberts. This book is being released by Entangled Publishing’s Brazen line this December, and it is part of the Shillings Agency series. Check out the blurb and giveaway below!

 

SayYoureMine_500

BOOK BLURB:

She’s a challenge he can’t afford to lose…

Navy SEAL Steven Thomas has only ever been able to count on three things: waking up in the morning, going to sleep sometime during the night, and Lauren Brixton. She’s been his best friend since grade school, and what they have is the only relationship he’s managed not to ruin.

Until one drunken night puts that all in jeopardy.

Lauren’s watched Steven flit from one-night stand to one-night stand, seemingly not interested in something more. So when the long-ignored attraction between the two of them blows up in their faces, she does the only thing she can—she pretends she doesn’t want him. But all’s fair in love and war, and Steven’s not about to lose the only person in his life who matters…

 

CLICK HERE TO ADD SAY YOU’RE MINE TO GOODREADS.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.jsABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Diane 1 smallDiane Alberts is a USA TODAY bestselling Contemporary Romance author with Entangled Publishing. Under the name Jen McLaughlin, she also writes New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling books with Penguin Random House. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and four cats. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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***Author Spotlight*** Bestselling Author Jessica Cale

Weekly Author Spotlight

Jessica Cale

Author Spotlight of the Week

August 24th – 30th 2015

About the Author LOB

jessica cale

Jessica Cale is a historical romance author and journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at http://www.authorjessicacale.com.

Social Links LOB

Website: http://www.authorjessicacale.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacale

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaCale @JessicaCale

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JessicaCaleWrites

Tumblr: http://authorjessicacale.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rainbowcarnage

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997.Jessica_Cale

Author Interview

  1. Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?

I used to prefer writing at night after everyone else had gone to sleep, but now I write any chance I get! It tends to be late afternoon and early evenings, when I get done with work. I’ll make a cup of tea and curl up in bed with my laptop. The trick is to get as comfortable as possible to minimize distractions, so pajamas are essential! I write as long as I can stay focused, and I usually try to complete a whole scene or chapter in one sitting. This can be anywhere from two to twelve hours! I try to have healthy snacks nearby, and I also have a wonderfully patient husband who will periodically check to see that I’m eating.

  1. Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?

I’d love to! I am almost done with the third book in The Southwark Saga. This one is set six years after Virtue’s Lady, and follows barmaid Alice Henshawe as she gets lost in France. Jack goes looking for her, and finds her in the last place he would have looked. Alice and Jack are two of my favorite characters and I want so badly to give them the story they deserve, but it’s very challenging given some of their limitations. Still, I’ve had a lot of fun writing this one, and I very much hope that you will like it.

  1. What inspires you when you’re writing?

Once the characters exist, I kind of let them do what they’re going to do. Music helps, though. Sometimes I’ll hear a certain song and a scene will play out in my head, and then I have to listen to it again when I’m writing. I have whole playlists for every work-in-progress. Sometimes it gets weird. There’s one chapter in Tyburn that I wrote while listening to The Carny by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds on a loop in the middle of the night with no lights on. I think it went on for about six hours. I got the mood right, though, and it’s still one of my favorite scenes.

  1. What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?

I am going to have to say my cat. He walks all over it, sits on the keyboard, head-butts the crap out of me when I’m writing. Sometimes he’ll sit on my lap and I can sort of type around him. Even when he’s not being super helpful, he’s very cuddly and good for stress relief. I think it helps to have a writing buddy.

  1. What’s your favorite genre and why?

Historical romance. Big surprise, right? I love history. Historical fiction, non-fiction, romance, suspense, you name it. Any period, any location. I would say that historical romance is my favorite, though, because I think everything’s better with a love story in it. I do also read and enjoy contemporary romance, and I love classics and old-school gothic horror.

  1. Any advice you have for a blossoming author?

Keep going! When you start writing, it’s easy to look at all of these published books and feel daunted, but don’t. Everyone has to start somewhere. Keep writing and eventually you’ll have a book to work with. It’s more patience and tenacity than anything else, I promise you. Don’t wait to write until you think you have time or until you can afford to do it full-time. Carry notebooks with you and sneak in pages every chance you get, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you finish. Once you do have a draft, ask people to read it and spend time editing, re-writing, and polishing it until it shines. Send it off to publishers when you’re ready or self-publish it if that’s the way you want to go, and get started on the next one. You’ll get there. Good luck!

  1. When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I work for a great non-profit company, and that takes up a lot of my time, but I also love to bake. I’m always experimenting with new flavors of macarons. I read a lot, and I love to just hang out with my husband. He’s a pretty cool guy. 

  1. Anything else you’d like to share with your readers?

I love you…? I’m always thrilled silly whenever anyone wants to read one of my books. Thank you for reading them. Thank you for talking about them, thank you for reading my blog posts, and thank you for reading this today. If you feel so inspired, please get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or anywhere else for that matter. I would love to hear from you!

Topic of the Day Author Thoughts LOB (tens list)

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I have so many favorite authors that I’m not sure I can narrow them down to a reasonable list! To keep this at a sensible length, here are a few of my favorite romance writers today:

The first author I read growing up that really stood out for me was Jude Deveraux. I loved her historicals for the detail and the humor, and I read every book she wrote in a couple of years. My favorites are Remembrance and A Knight in Shining Armor, though I enjoyed all of them whether they were historical or contemporary.

I also love Julie Anne Long. Her historicals are vibrant and hilarious, and I’ve very much enjoyed her Pennyroyal Green series and the way the books work together to build on the story she’s telling of these two families–the Redmonds and the Everseas–and I love that each new book sort of improves the previous ones as new pieces are revealed. I could read them over and over.

I love, love, love Maggie Robinson. Her historicals are funny, smart, and very sexy. Her characters are sometimes a little off-kilter and the stories always surprise me, whether it’s because of an underused period (Edwardian) or setting (Wales!), or a cross-dressing heroine! I still have a few of her books that I haven’t read yet, and I’m rationing them for days I really need them!

My new favorite author has to be Judith Merkle Riley. Her books are quirky, and build up slowly to phenomenal conclusions. Her attention to detail and historical research are humbling, to say the least. Sometime after I read The Oracle Glass, I began researching the Parisian underworld for one of my own projects, and wasn’t surprised to find that every single thing that happened in that book was absolutely accurate. It’s difficult to imagine how much work must have gone into that!

I have recently discovered Rosanna Leo, and although her books are contemporary (gasp!), I love her writing style and can devour one in a single sitting. Her heroes are realistic but totally swoon-worthy, and her heroines are relatable and very sympathetic. I adore her. Amy Quinton is another new author I really like–her first novel, What the Duke Wants, totally blew me away. Her writing style is a bit closer to Jane Austen that many authors writing today, and I’m really looking forward to reading more from her in the future.

About the Book LOB

Jessica Cales Books

jessica cale tyburn cover

Tyburn

 Book Blurb LOB

When Survival is Impossible, Love is Everything.

Sally Green is about to die.

She sees Death in the streets. She can taste it in her gin. She can feel it in the very walls of the ramshackle brothel where she is kept to satisfy the perversions of the wealthy. She had come to London as a runaway in search of her Cavalier father. Instead, she found Wrath, a sadistic nobleman determined to use her to fulfill a sinister ambition. As the last of her friends are murdered one by one, survival hinges on escape.

Nick Virtue is a tutor with a secret. By night he operates as a highwayman, relieving nobles of their riches to further his brother’s criminal enterprise. It’s a difficult balance at the best of times, and any day that doesn’t end in a noose is a good one. Saving Sally means risking his reputation, and may end up costing him his life.

As a brutal attack throws them together, Sally finds she has been given a second chance. She is torn between the tutor and the highwayman, but she knows she can have neither. Love is an unwanted complication while Wrath haunts the streets. Nick holds the key to Wrath’s identity, and Sally will risk everything to bring him to justice.

Unless the gallows take her first.

Excerpt LOB

Darkness had fully settled over the forest and he was in no danger of being seen as they headed for the city. There were no new street lamps so far out of town, and as often as she glanced at his face, all she could see was the outline of his profile by the light of the moon. He moved soundlessly through the night as criminals must, the warmth of his hand in hers the only reassurance she had that he was still beside her.

They reached the edge of Hyde Park and Sally felt Tyburn looming near before she saw it, the residual tragedy of the gallows rippling along the field in a mournful, near perceptible howl. Because she could not look away, she turned toward the evil and saw the fearful silhouette of the triple tree dark against the violet sky.

This is your future, they seemed to whisper.

In her heart, she answered, I know.

She heard the brutal crack of Claude’s strong, young neck reverberate through the darkest corners of her memory, felt his cold lips against hers once more in a terrible promise, and in her bones she felt the stillness of one who is certain they are about to die. She was immediately aware of the unique texture of every breath she drew, the sweet sigh of the breeze whispering through her hair, and the dirt, the calluses, the very fingerprints of the hand in hers.

So little of Sally’s life had been left up to her.

She might have days, hours, mere moments left, but she would be damned if she wasted them.

Buy Links LOB

Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com/tyburn-p975.php

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PQV6H9Q

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tyburn-jessica-cale/1120852744?ean=9781622101740

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/tyburn-4

All Romance E-Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tyburn-1695993-340.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tyburn/id947992086?mt=11

 

Character Interview

Celeste Remi, aka Sally Green, heroine of Tyburn

 

Where are you from?

Normandy. I grew up in the kitchens of Chateau Lenormand.

What do you want from life?

Nick’s always asking me questions like that. He’s a romantic, and he thinks I have a choice. I suppose if I could have anything at all, I would like a kind husband with a good heart, children, and a home of my own with a working oven! As all that is unlikely, I would settle for good friends and the freedom to live my life as I choose.

Could you describe yourself to me?

I would describe myself as an indelicate-looking French woman, too obviously Gallic to be an ideal English beauty. My eyes are rather large and black, my hair is heavy, dark, and curly, and loves to frizz. I’m taller than average, and my nose is enormous. There are some who maintain that I am a great beauty, but I’m reasonably certain that drink has addled their sight, and I do not take their flattery to heart.

If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?

I would erase the last three years. I would still come to London, but instead of getting lost in Covent Garden, I’d run the other way. I’d get a job in a real kitchen, look up Mark Virtue in Southwark, and ask to be introduced to his brother! I would wish to save Bettie and to keep him with me always, and I would wish to find my father.

In your relationship with others, how are you different with family than you are with friends? Why?

I’ve never known my family, so I’m not sure I could answer that. I don’t have many friends, but I love them dearly. It can take me awhile to trust someone, but once I do, I will love them for life.

How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?

Looking back, I think I fell in love with Nick at first sight. I suppose the first time we met, I didn’t exactly see him, but he was kind to me. Then when I ran into him again in Covent Garden, I thought he was the handsomest man I’d ever seen. I’m not one to be swayed by a pretty face–I grew up with Claude Duval, after all!–but there was more to him than that. He has a goodness to him that you can see in his eyes.

Describe your ideal mate.

He’s about two yards tall, has dark hair and green eyes, and a body so beautiful it would make you weep! (laughs) He’s educated, patient, and very kind, and he looks after those he cares for. He reads to me and the sound of his voice is enough to curl my hair. Oh, did you mean generally?

What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard?

Loving is not difficult. It can’t be helped, I suppose. It’s difficult for me to trust, given what’s happened to me, and it’s painful when you love someone and know that they deserve a future better than the one you could give them. I want to give Nick everything, but there are some things I cannot give, and that’s difficult for me.

When you walk into a room, what do you notice first? Second?

I notice who’s there, how many of them there are, and I look for the doors. I am always watching for danger. Secondly, I notice the food! I trained as a baker, and it’s a habit I cannot break. I am inwardly critical of other people’s bread!

What really moves you, or touches you to the soul?

Kindness, however small. When you have nothing to give, but you share it anyway, that is true goodness to me.

What do you consider are your strengths?

I know I can survive most things, because I’ve had to. I have some useful skills as well. I can bake, sew, curl my own hair, I speak English and French, and when the situation calls for it, I can hide tools in bread. You’d be surprised how often that proves to be useful.

What do you consider are your weaknesses?

I am overfond of gin, so I have to avoid it these days.

What is one physical attribute you are proud of?

I would say my hands and my arms, because I built up my strength over years working in kitchens and now I can bake for hours without difficulty. I’ve come to like my nose, though it has brought me very little good over the years. It is one thing I got from my father, and I suppose I’m proud of that.

What one physical attribute would you change?

My back. I have a great many scars that I am very conscious of. They are proof of some of the things I have lived through, and I cannot change them. There are other scars as well that I would change if I could.

What’s the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?

I value my freedom most of all. I never gave it a second thought until it was taken away from me. I value my freedom, my health, and the friends I have left. Nick is very important to me, but I don’t feel like he’s mine to value. I love him beyond reason, but I would never assume I would get to keep him.

How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?

My life is the best it has been in years. Since Nick saved me and brought me to Southwark, I’ve made friends and have started baking again. I have my freedom back and I’ve fallen in love. Wrath may still be looking for me, though, so if I could change anything, I would strike him from this world so he could never hurt anyone else again. If I could do that, that would be good enough for me.

What are you most afraid of?

Wrath. He took my innocence and three years of my life. He ruined me, murdered my friends, and nearly killed me more than once. I’m afraid he’ll find me and try again before I can find him. I will find him, though. If it’s the last thing I do, I will find him and bring him to justice.

 

jessica cale virtue's lady

Virtue’s Lady

Book Blurb LOB

From toiling for pennies to bare-knuckle boxing, a lady is prepared for every eventuality.

Lady Jane Ramsey is young, beautiful, and ruined.

After being rescued from her kidnapping by a handsome highwayman, she returns home only to find her marriage prospects drastically reduced. Her father expects her to marry the repulsive Lord Lewes, but Jane has other plans. All she can think about is her highwayman, and she is determined to find him again.

Mark Virtue is trying to go straight. After years of robbing coaches and surviving on his wits, he knows it’s time to hang up his pistol and become the carpenter he was trained to be. He busies himself with finding work for his neighbors and improving his corner of Southwark as he tries to forget the girl who haunts his dreams. As a carpenter struggling to stay in work in the aftermath of The Fire, he knows Jane is unfathomably far beyond his reach, and there’s no use wishing for the impossible.

When Jane turns up in Southwark, Mark is furious. She has no way of understanding just how much danger she has put them in by running away. In spite of his growing feelings for her, he knows that Southwark is no place for a lady. Jane must set aside her lessons to learn a new set of rules if she is to make a life for herself in the crime-ridden slum. She will fight for her freedom and her life if that’s what it takes to prove to Mark—and to herself—that there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Excerpt LOB

She hung up the dress, admiring her handiwork. It was not something she would willingly wear, but she hoped the lady would be pleased with the final result. She heard the front door behind her as she bent to pluck a stray thread from the skirt. “We’ve shut for the day,” she called over her shoulder.

When she heard no response, she turned.

Mark Virtue stood behind the counter, his hand still on the doorknob. His long brown coat hung open over his dusty work clothes, the undyed linen of his shirt straining across his broad chest. That chest, a warm expanse of smooth skin over hard, sculpted muscle, was a work of art. Though she had willed herself to forget him, her hands remembered.

Her lips remembered, too.

She licked them with the tip of her tongue, her mouth gone quite dry.

“I didn’t believe it,” he said, his gaze moving from her shapeless leather shoes to her dirty, gloveless hands. Jane looked down, suddenly aware of her shabby work dress. Compared to the other gowns he had seen her in, it was little more than a rag, really. She had braided her hair over her shoulder to keep it out of her stitching and now she wondered what she must look like to him. She touched the end of her braid self-consciously, a touch of embarrassment coloring her cheeks.

She cursed herself for her embarrassment. She had as much right to be here as anyone, and she was done apologizing to Mark Virtue. She straightened her spine and looked him square in his devastatingly blue eyes.

Her knees may have trembled a bit. She did a good job of hiding it. “Well?”

Mark stepped toward the counter. “I sent you back to your father not a fortnight past.”

She shrugged, borrowing the gesture from Carys. “I didn’t go.”

“I see that.”

He paced around the side of the counter while maintaining what little distance he could in the close quarters of the shop.

Jane stepped back, hiding the toes of her soft leather shoes under the hem of her dress. Her slippers may have been stolen, but she still had her silk stockings. She wore them even now, not that he needed to know that.

He had rather liked them, if she remembered correctly.

She swallowed. “What do you want?”

He raised his eyebrows in surprise. “I’ve come to see the new shop girl everyone’s talking about. You look the part, I’ll give you that. Perhaps a touch more dirt, just here…” He brushed her skirt.

Jane crossed her arms over her chest. “Is that what you think this is? You think I’m pretending?”

“Rather unconvincingly, I’m afraid. All the shapeless dresses in the world couldn’t disguise the fact that you’re a lady. Lowering yourself to wield a needle doesn’t make you one of us.”

Jane clenched her jaw. “I’ve as much right to be here as you do.”

“You have no right,” he insisted. “You can’t play at being poor. This is life to these people. This is my life. You think I ought to stand by while you make a mockery of it by working in a place like this when you can leave anytime you please?”

“I’m not going anywhere,” she nearly shouted. “I told you, Mark, I gave it up. Believe it folly if you will, but it changes nothing. I am never going back.”

Mark looked away. “Give it a fortnight.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Give it a fortnight,” he repeated. “Work, and struggle, and starve with the rest of us if that is what you think you want. You weren’t made for this world any more than I was made for yours. Sooner or later, you’ll be desperate to go home.”

“I am home,” Jane said through her teeth. “I’m staying here.”

“How long do you suppose you can last alone in a bastard sanctuary with no money and no protection? How do you expect to live?”

“I have a job, in case you were not aware.” She threw out her arms to indicate the shop. “I work day and night, and I have a little apartment with a door that locks. I’ll make do.”

He tilted his head, looking at her curiously. “In two weeks on your own? Maybe you’ve got a protector after all.”

Jane might have been naïve, but she knew exactly what he was implying, and she didn’t like it. She felt the anger rush to her face, unbidden and terrifying in its intensity. She took a deep breath. “Get out.”

“Jane, be reasonable.”

Her face burned. “You’d like me to stand here while you question my virtue? You of all people? You had no trouble dispensing with it when you thought me an actress!”

Mark gave a long sigh. “For that I apologize. I was a fool. I never should have thought that someone like you…” He motioned toward her helplessly.

“Someone like me? Who might that be? Am I a lady? Am I a seamstress? Am I a whore? You don’t seem to like me as any of these things, so why don’t you tell me, Mark, who I ought to be. What kind of a woman am I?”

He took her wrists in his hands and held them to his chest, the irritation in his face replaced by something that looked a bit like shame. “That’s not what I meant.” He lowered his voice, his face close enough that she could smell the tobacco in his clothes. “Do as you please. It makes no difference to me.”

Jane’s fingers spanned his chest of their own accord, responding to his warmth. “It doesn’t?”

He shook his head, his eyes settling on her lips. “I don’t want you to get hurt,” he confessed.

She resisted the urge to lean into him with some difficulty. “I’ve done fine this far.”

“Have you?” He took her hand, turning her palm upwards to examine the damage: pinpricks, swollen fingertips, the ghosts of calluses forming where she grasped the shears.

She tugged her hand away from him but he didn’t let go. He held her gaze, his eyes searching hers, and she was struck again by their extraordinary color. Deep blue, green, and grey, shifted across his irises in restless, churning waves, the color of a storm on the river. They darkened as he raised her hand to his mouth and kissed the palm, the touch of his lips like a balm on her sore skin.

Jane held her breath, waiting to drown.

He smiled his crooked smile, a touch of condescension in the corners. “If all you wanted was another night, you didn’t have to go to such trouble.”

Buy Links LOB

Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com/virtues-lady-p1008.php

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Virtues-Lady-Southwark-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00VC6B9SS

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/virtues-lady-jessica-cale/1121713113?ean=9781622102051

All Romance E-Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-virtue039slady-1782182-340.html

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/virtue-s-lady

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/virtues-lady/id983809003?mt=11

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25238694-virtue-s-lady

Teasers LOB

jessica cale tyburn teaser

jessica cale virtue's lady teaser

Thank You!

Thank You April Holthaus Party

Thank you so much, Jessica for joining us this week on Duchess of Romance. It has truly been an honor hosting you and your books!

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**Book Blitz** Prince of Vezul: Tallen & Christmas in DC by C.A. Tibbitts

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Hey everyone – thanks for stopping by – check out both of these truly amazing books by author C.A. Tibbits – Prince of Vezul: Tallen a Sci-Fi Romantic Comedy and Christmas in DC a Contemporary Romantic Suspense. And don’t forget to take part in the authors giveaway as well. (Don’t forget to leave a comment – bloggers & authors just love those) Thank you.

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Prince Of Vezul: Tallen
SERIES – Royalty Of Vezul
AUTHOR – C.A. Tibbitts
GENRE – Sci-Fi comedy romance
PUBLICATION DATE – August 21, 2015
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 34 pages/10,600 words
PUBLISHER – eXcessica Publishing
COVER ARTIST – Amanda Walker PA & Design Services


Prince Of Vezul-Tallen - CoverBOOK SYNOPSIS

Tallen, which happens to be a prince from the planet Vezul, comes to Earth seeking a woman to become his princess. He lands just outside Las Vegas, where he spies a buxom beauty named Cari. He comes to her aid when a casino patron gets a little too grabby with Cari, whom he has already decided will be his princess.

Cari lives paycheck to paycheck in her dead-end, depressing job. When a gorgeous stranger approaches her, she assumes he must be crazy with the talk of making her his princess and having his royal babies. But when he comes to her aid, she realizes she doesn’t want him to get in trouble for defending her honor. She rushes him out the back door, only to have him kiss her.

When his technology shocks her into passing out, she finds herself on a spaceship that insists on being called “John Wayne” with this gorgeous alien on a one way trip to the planet Vezul.

Will an interspecies relationship actually work, and does love truly conquer all?

(story originally published in Mystical Royal Love box set)

Priince of Vezul-Tallen - Teaser 2

BUY & TBR LINKS

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EXCERPT

“They are. What do you mean by your world?” Cari put her hands on her hips. Yes, provoking the crazy man was probably not wise, but she was angry now! Some ass-spanking pervert accosts her, Mr. Tall Dark and Crazy saves her, so she saves him from being arrested, and he repays her by kidnapping her.

“Your world… Earth. I am sorry. Did you wish to see it before we left?”

“We left Earth?” She laughed; she could not help it. Until he muttered something indistinguishable and the walls, ceiling, and floor disappeared. Cari screamed and grabbed his black skin tight suit, except she wasn’t falling. How can I be standing among the stars? “Is that Earth?” Her voice squeaked as she spotted what looked like the pictures that NASA released from roving satellites.

“Yes. Is this what you call hugging? It is quite pleasing.”


BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Christmas In D.C.
AUTHOR – C.A. Tibbitts
GENRE – Contemporary romantic suspense
PUBLICATION DATE – August 21, 2015
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 33 pages/10,800 words
PUBLISHER – eXcessica Publishing
COVER ARTIST – C.A. Tibbitts

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.BOOK SYNOPSIS

Naomi has worked as Will’s assistant at college where he teaches law classes as she earns her degree as a Paralegal.

After Naomi graduates, she learns that Will is quitting the college to work for a Senator in Washington D.C. When Will asks Naomi to work with him and the Senator. it does not take her long to accept the position.

No longer a professor and student, the attraction of this 30-something year old couple is palpable.

A terrifying act leads Naomi to a heartbreaking discovery. Did she ever really know Will at all?

(story originally published in Wickedly Exotic Winter Erotic Wonderland box set)


Christmas In DC - Teaser 2

BUY & TBR LINKS

USCAUKBARNES & NOBLESiTUNES

GOOGLE STOREALL ROMANCEeXCESSICA


young sexy female Santa seduces man

EXCERPT

Will’s eyes looked away for a brief moment, and something else held his attention. He pushed her behind him, and she voiced a complaint before a gunshot rang out. He suddenly slumped to the floor at her feet.

Naomi screamed. She dropped to the floor beside him and saw blood spreading further and further along the front of his white dress shirt. She pushed against his chest, unsure what to do.

More shots rang out and passengers were screaming and taking refuge on the floor and beside the chairs in front of the sliding doors. A pair of bright orange tennis shoes ran by and narrowly avoided stepping on Will’s limp hand.


CA Tibbetts - ButtonAUTHOR BIO

C.A. Tibbitts lives in Oklahoma, USA, with her husband of 18 years and a bossy parakeet. She has a degree as a paralegal and worked for the District Attorney’s office, and before that, she worked as a travel agent.

Though she wrote for years as a hobby, her first published book was in August of 2014. Best known for her Pepper Valley Shifters series, she also has several short stories published with the Mystical Box Set Babes and in the Wickedly Exotic seasons series.

She loves to hear from her readers, and deeply appreciates honest reviews.

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGEWEBSITE / BLOG FACEBOOK

TWITTERGOOGLE+PINTEREST

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GIVEAWAY

2 ebooks of Prince Of Vezul: Tallen
2 ebooks of Christmas in DC

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


 

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Author Spotlight – Historical Romance Author Meredith Bond

Meredith Bond Author Spotlight

August 19, 2015

This week on Duchess of Romance, I’d like to introduce you to Award-winning author, Meredith Bond.

About the Author LOB

meredith bond photo

​​Meredith Bond’s books straddle that beautiful line between historical romance and fantasy. An award-winning author, she writes fun traditional Regency romances, medieval Arthurian romances, and Regency romances with a touch of magic. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart,” Meredith loves to take her readers on a journey they won’t soon forget. ​Merry has two ​newly ​independent children and a loving, supportive husband​ and is currently enjoying the wonders of an empty next.​

Social Links LOB

Website: http://www.meredithbond.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meredithbondauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/merrybond

Google +: https://plus.google.com/+MeredithBond/posts

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/merrybond/

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/meredith-bond/69/a64/647/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/847484.Meredith_Bond

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/merrybond​

or email me directly at merry@meredithbond.com. I love hearing from readers and will always write back.​

My Interview with Meredith

  1. Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?

I do my best writing in the afternoon. I don’t know why but my most creative time is usually 3-7pm. I have to set an alarm so that I remember to stop working to make dinner for my family.

  1. Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?

I’m desperately trying to finish up rewriting the last book in the Merry Men Quartet. It was originally published by Zebra Books as Wooing Miss Whately, but I have to admit that when I reread the book I didn’t like my heroine at all! I’m, therefore, completely rewriting her character to make her someone who I’d like to be friends with.

It’s a fun book – sort of a comedy in that everyone has a secret they’re keeping from everyone else. It leads to all sorts of problems and involves a lot of sneaking around, but it’s tricky to write—I have to remember who knows what when and how they’d react not knowing what others know. Lol!

  1. What inspires you when you’re writing? A good story and interesting characters. I love getting into character, much in the same way that an actor does, before I begin to write. I imagine myself as the character in the particular situation that they’re in and then let it go from there.
  1. What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?

My pen, whichever pen it is that day (I change pens nearly every day, rotating my collection—and I’ve got a very large collection!)

  1. What’s your favorite genre and why?

To write, definitely Regency romance and I love the magical world I’ve created so adding in that touch of magic is loads of fun (imagining the possibilities). To read, I switch back and forth between Regency romance, urban fantasy and mystery. Every so often, I’ll read something with a more literary bent just to be different (I recently finished reading The Thirteenth Tale, boy was that fun!)

  1. Any advice you have for a blossoming author?

Read. Write. Honestly, those are the two things that all new authors need to do. They need to read widely in every genre and they need to write every day because writing is like a muscle, it gets stronger the more you work it.

  1. When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I love to knit while watching sports on t.v. And at least once a week, if not more, I’ll go for a long walk either through the city where I live or I’ll find a lovely park to walk through.

  1. Anything else you’d like to share with your readers?

I love connecting with readers. I love talking with them, exchanging ideas on what makes a story fun to read and hearing about what they liked and didn’t like in mine. So, please don’t be shy, write to me! Or stop by my Facebook page and say ‘hi!’.

Meredith Bond’s Books

The Children of Avalon Trilogy

The Merry Men Quartet

The Storm Series

Teasers LOB

dandy in disguise teaser 1

MB an exotic heir teaser MB Teaser

Character Interview – Sir Arthur Dagonet

Where are you from?

A small village in England, close to the Welsh border.

What do you want from life?

To escape from it. I’ve been alive for too many years (over 1000). Enough’s enough. Too many people I’ve loved have died and I’d like to be able to join them.

Could you describe yourself to me? Physically?

I’m nearly six-feet tall (I considered very tall for my time, I’ll have you know) and weight about 13 stone. I’ve got red hair, green eyes, and, if I may be so bold, not a bad physique—especially for one as old as I. In other words, I keep fit. It helps that I’m a knight and try to keep up my fighting skills. Arthur always did insist that we train regularly and I’ve kept up the habit throughout my life—er, that’s King Arthur, naturally.

If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?

Well, first of all to die, or at the very least have this blasted curse, er, I mean, gift of Merlin’s removed. It’s what keeps me alive, you know, and has gotten rather, er, well, tiresome. If I could have the first, I would wish to be content with my life. I can’t say that I am just at the moment, I’m sad to say. It’s not an easy life I lead, travelling around the world searching for a way to remove this curse. Oh, I see a great deal of the world. I mean fascinating people. Don’t misunderstand, I love being an explorer, I just wish that I didn’t have this weight hanging over me. And finally, I would wish for others to be content. There are too many people unhappy with their lot in life. I try to help when I can, but, well… there’s only so much one man can do, don’t you know?

In your relationship with others, how are you different with family than you are with friends? Why?

Well, don’t have family any more, now, do I? They’re all dead or moved on. Stopped keeping in touch with the descendants after a while. Got too difficult, don’t you know. Too many of them and, well, it’s not very pleasant building up a relationship only to have that person die while I lived on. I’ve had enough funerals to attend in my life. I try to keep my distance now from both family and friends. Stay away from close relationships all together.

How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?

Ah, what a question! I’ve only fallen in love a few times in my life, if you can believe it. She has to be a very special person. I’m not attracted to your ordinary miss. No, I need someone strong, intelligent and clever. Lady Morgan quite ruined me for other women, don’t you know? She is absolutely the ideal of womanhood in my opinion. Beautiful, strong, determined. Knows what she wants and is able to hold her own in either a physical fight, a magical one or an intellectual debate. By God, but she’s magnificent! Er, sorry, got a bit carried away there. Anyway, the women I have fallen in love with have all been like that. Been married twice, now, you know. Both incredible women. Now as to the speed with which I fell in love, well, it really depends on how quickly I get to know someone. If I get to know her quickly—and she is all that I admire in womanhood—I imagine it could happen quite quickly. If it takes me some time to get to know, well, then slowly.

Describe your ideal mate.

Oh, er, I believe I answered that one in your last question. Sorry about that.

What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard?

Well, taking that leap, I suppose. It’s difficult to trust someone with your most closely held secrets and telling others that I don’t die, well, it’s not something I go bragging about, don’t you know? And then there’s the whole business of my looking for a way to put an end to that. Not an easy topic to confide to someone. So, er, trust. Trust is difficult. And, er, not being overly protective. I’m a knight you know. Been well drilled into me to protect the damsels, wot, wot? So here I am falling in love with a strong woman who is well able to protect herself and there I am trying to protect her. Doesn’t always go over very well, you know. Had problems with that, I have to say. The actual loving part, well, hah! That part comes easily.

When you walk into a room, what do you notice first? Second?

Anything that can be used as a weapon. Always got to be prepared. I’m also very aware of the people in the room, who they are and what they’re capable of.

What really moves you, or touches you to the soul?

Kindness. People caring for other people.

What do you consider are your strengths?

My fighting skills are top, naturally. I’m also quite proud of my ability to adapt with the times and learn new skills. It’s vitally important for someone who doesn’t die, don’t you know?

What do you consider are your weaknesses?

It’s not easy not forming relationships. Keeping myself distant is difficult. If I don’t, though, I know I’m going to be hurt when they die and I don’t.

What is one physical attribute you are proud of?

I’m rather fond of my red hair. It’s always a shame when it turns white with age, but even then my hair stays full and thick. Quite proud of that.

What one physical attribute would you change?

My height, I suppose. When I was young I was one of the tallest fellows around. Now-a-days men grow so much taller. Makes me feel quite short.

What’s the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?

Nothing really. I’ve deliberately arranged my life so that I’m not attached to anything.

How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?

Well, as I mentioned, I’m trying to put an end that. Don’t need to go into that unpleasantness again, do I? Sorry, but it is a source of endless frustration for me. Been travelling the world for the past four hundred years trying to find a way out of this endless cycle. Haven’t found it yet.

What are you most afraid of?

Going on like this forever. Honestly, it scares me more than anything you could imagine.

Thank You April Holthaus Party

Thank you, Meredith for visiting. It was such a joy to spotlight you on the blog this week.

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**Spotlight – Jude Knight** A Baron for Becky by Jude Knight

Jude Knight Author Spotlight

August 18, 2015

On Duchess of Romance today, I’m spotlighting Jude Knight and her latest: A Baron for Becky. I’m so pleased to host you on my blog today, Jude, thank you for visiting! Also, joining us for a lovely teatime chat is Hugh, Baron Overton.

A Baron for Becky

Jude Knight A Baron for Becky Cover

Genre: Regency romance, historical romance

Heat rating: R for implied sexual content, 2 out of 5 flames

Giveaway: Free copy of A Baron for Becky to random commenter

Tagline: She was a fallen woman when she met them. How can they help her fall on her feet?

Book Blurb LOB

Becky is the envy of the courtesans of the demi-monde – the indulged mistress of the wealthy and charismatic Marquis of Aldridge. But she dreams of a normal life; one in which her daughter can have a future that does not depend on beauty, sex, and the whims of a man.

Finding herself with child, she hesitates to tell Aldridge. Will he cast her off, send her away, or keep her and condemn another child to this uncertain shadow world?

The devil-may-care face Hugh shows to the world hides a desperate sorrow; a sorrow he tries to drown with drink and riotous living. His years at war haunt him, but even more, he doesn’t want to think about the illness that robbed him of the ability to father a son. When he dies, his barony will die with him. His title will fall into abeyance, and his estate will be scooped up by the Crown.

When Aldridge surprises them both with a daring proposition, they do not expect love to be part of the bargain.

Tags

Romance, Regency romance, A Baron for Becky, Aldridge, Marquis of Aldridge, The Golden Redepennings, courtesan, mistress stories, arranged marriage, Jude Knight, @JudeKnightBooks

#Romance #Regency #RegencyRomance #HistRom #BellesInBlue

 

About the Author LOB

Jude Knight

Jude Knight writes strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, villains you’ll love to loathe, and all with a leavening of humour.

Jude Knight is the pen name of Judy Knighton. After a career in commercial writing, editing, and publishing, Jude is returning to her first love, fiction. Her novella, Candle’s Christmas Chair, was released in December 2014, and is in the top ten on several Amazon bestseller lists in the US and UK. Her first novel Farewell to Kindness, was released on 1 April, and is first in a series: The Golden Redepennings.

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 Excerpt LOB

Excerpt 1 (411 words) PG heat level

Aldridge never did find out how he came to be naked, alone, and sleeping in the small summerhouse in the garden of a country cottage. His last memory of the night before, had him twenty miles away, and—although not dressed—in a comfortable bed, and in company.

The first time he woke, he had no idea how far he’d come, but the moonlight was bright enough to show him half-trellised window openings, and an archway leading down a short flight of steps into a garden. A house loomed a few hundred feet distant, a dark shape against the star-bright sky. But getting up was too much trouble, particularly with a headache that hung inches above him, threatening to split his head if he moved. The cushioned bench on which he lay invited him to shut his eyes and go back to sleep. Time enough to find out where he was in the morning.

When he woke again, he was facing away from the archway entrance, and there was someone behind him. Silence now, but in his memory, the sound of light footsteps shifting the stones on the path outside, followed by twin intakes of breath as the walkers saw him.

One of them spoke; a woman’s voice, but low—almost husky. “Sarah, go back to the first rosebush and watch the house.”

“Yes, Mama.” A child’s voice.

Aldridge waited until he heard the child dance lightly down the steps and away along the path, then shifted his weight slightly letting his body roll over till he was lying on his back.

He waited for the exclamation of shock, but none came. Carefully—he wanted to observe her before he let her know he was awake, and anyway, any sudden movement might start up the hammers above his eye sockets—he cracked open his lids, masking his eyes with his lashes.

He could see more than he expected. The woman was using a shuttered lantern to examine him, starting at his feet. She paused for a long time when she reached his morning salute and it grew even prouder. Then she swept her light up his torso so quickly, he barely had time to slam his lids shut before the light reached and lingered over his face.

She was just a vague shadow behind the light. He held himself still while she completed her examination, which she did with a snort of disgust. Not the reaction to which he was accustomed.

Excerpt 2 (478 words) PG heat level

Becky lost her next thought as he whisked her into a curtained alcove and proceeded to kiss her. She thought she knew kisses. Rough and clumsy connections, rude invasions of her mouth as the man who had purchased the right violently mauled her breasts and buttocks. Those weren’t kisses. This; this was a kiss: a firm but gentle invitation to a duet, patiently coaxing a response and then turning to a dance, a partnership of giving and taking that spun music through every vein in her body. Becky forgot where she was, almost who she was, as she melted against him, lost in a world of sensation.

Sarah. Campaign plan. She pulled back, and Aldridge let her go.

“Something on account,” Aldridge suggested.

“Perhaps.” She peeked cautiously around the curtain and then hurried away down the silent hall.

Aldridge next approached her after dinner, sitting on the other side of the love seat she’d deliberately chosen in a shadowed corner of the great parlour, out of the direct view of the earl, who was playing the pianoforte, and the countess, who was turning the pages of music for him.

“I love that shade of blue on you, Mrs Darling.,” he said.

She blushed. Her lovers had seldom bothered to compliment her, though extravagant, excruciatingly bad, poetry had been written to The Rose of Frampton by those who didn’t have her in their keeping.

“It needs something else, though,” Aldridge commented. He pulled out a tissue-wrapped package. “Not the diamonds and sapphires I thought of buying, but it is just the colour of your eyes. I had to see it on you.”

‘This’ was a shawl in patterns of blue, so fine it was small enough when rolled to fit into his jacket pocket, but large enough to wrap warmly around her shoulders. She jumped up to examine it in the mirror, and he followed her, standing inches away, but leaning forward to breathe on her ear as he said, “Exquisite.”

She should refuse the gift. Proper ladies did not take gifts from gentlemen. But they both knew she was not a lady, and she was well used to gifts with a price tag attached.

“Something on account?” she asked.

“Not this time. A present, given freely, with no expectation of reward. Because I admire you, lovely Rose.”

She had to remind herself of every rumour she had heard about the man. And even then, if she’d not heard him working his charm on Smite’s men, she might have unravelled as he clearly expected. No wonder he had left such a string of broken hearts behind him.

It would be a mistake to give in too easily.

“And in return,” she told him, “I freely give you my thanks, my lord.”

She was rewarded with a moment’s stunned amazement before the amused look reappeared. “Well played, Mrs Darling,” he murmured.

Excerpt 3 (324 words) PG heat level

The maid must have added a fresh log to the fire just before they arrived. The top was still uncharred, but flames licked up from the bed of hot embers. A twig that jutted from one side suddenly flared, turned black, and shrivelled. The bottom of the log began to glow red.

The duchess spoke again, startling Becky out of her flame-induced trance.

“What do you want for your daughter, Mrs Darling?”

“A better life,” Becky said immediately, suddenly fierce. “A chance to be respectable. A life that does not depend on the whims of a man.”

“The first two may be achievable,” the duchess said, dryly. “The third is unlikely, in the extreme, for any woman of any station. You expect my son to help you to this goal, I take it.”

Becky was suddenly tired of polite circling. “I was saving so that I could leave this life, start again in another place under another name. But my last protector cheated me and stole from me.

“I do what I must, Your Grace. Should I have killed myself when I was disgraced? I had no skills anyone wanted to buy. I could play the piano, a little; sew, but others were faster and better; paint, but indifferently; parse a Latin sentence, but not well. Should I have starved in the gutter where they threw me?

“Well, I wasn’t given that choice. Those who took me from the gutter knew precisely what I had that others would pay for. As soon as I could, I began selling it for myself, and I Will. Not. Be. Ashamed.”

Her vehemence did not ruffle the duchess’s calm. “We all do what we must, my dear. I am not judging you. Men have the power in this world, and women of the gentry are raised to depend on them for our survival. But you must know that Aldridge cannot offer marriage to a woman with your history.”

Excerpt 4 (579 words) R-18 heat level

As the door closed behind Sarah and the groom, Becky looked suspiciously at Aldridge.

“Yes,” he said. “I arranged it.”

“You knew they had kittens?”

“Or puppies, or foals, or some other small, furry distraction. It did not matter what. We have little time, Becky. I just wanted to give you something to think about between now and when we reach London.”

She stepped towards him, expecting an embrace, but he held up his hand. “No. Stay there, or I will have you right on this table, and you do not want your daughter walking in on that. But I do want to tell you precisely what I have in mind for tonight. I have been planning it as I rode. Somewhat uncomfortable, but a man must make sacrifices.”

He reached out and skimmed her shape from neck to waist, without touching.

“First, we will settle Miss Sarah in nursery, and she may have a dozen maids to keep her company and do her bidding, but prepare her, Becky, for the fact that you will be otherwise occupied.”

Becky nodded.

“Then,” his lips curved in that same wicked smile, and he deliberately and slowly licked his upper lip.

“A bath first, I think. I have one large enough for two, my dear, and it shall be waiting, piping hot and perfumed. You shall stand by the fire, Becky, where it is warm, and I shall be your maid. Or perhaps not quite, for would a maid, as she loosened and removed your stays, brush your arms with feather-light touches? Would she gently and tenderly caress your lovely thighs as she rolled down your stockings, running her fingertips up, oh so softly, almost but not quite to your most secret treasures?. Would she, when she lifted your chemise, cup your beautiful breasts and run a thumb over your nipples? They tighten and pebble. Is it the cold, Becky, that makes them so hard? Let us have you up and into the bath, then.

“Now your turn. I have gazed upon your glories. Lie back and soak up the heat, and I shall disrobe for you. Will you be pleased with what you see, I wonder? Ah…” she was about to speak, but he put his finger on her lips. “Yes, you saw me before, by the light of one candle. But my room shall have many candles, Becky, that we might enjoy the sight, as well as the touch, of one another.

“Where were we? Ah yes, you are lying in the bath, all relaxed in the hot perfumed water, waiting for me to serve at your pleasure. Picture me at your feet, dear Becky, soaping my hands. We shall order you your own soap, the softest, finest soap money can buy, and you shall choose the perfumes to scent it with, but tonight, we shall use mine.

“What shall I wash first, I wonder. These?” He reached out again, this time shaping her breasts, his hands a bare inch from her skin.

Step by step, he described how he would bring her to completion in the bath, and then what they would do after “on the rug by the fire, dear Becky, this first time, if you will allow,” and then how they would sleep, and wake again for another encounter he had also planned, and described in detail.

By the time the servant returned with Sarah, Becky’s eyes were glazed and her thighs slick with arousal.

Character Interview: Hugh Baron Overton

Joining us today on the blog, we have Hugh Baron Overton. Welcome Hugh!

“Hello, Lady Janet. Thank you for inviting me to join you today.” (He takes a seat in the shadows, turning his head so we can see only the unscarred side of his face.)

The other man was as tall as Aldridge, but dark to his fair. He must once have been stunningly handsome, one side of his face still carved by a master. Subtle curves and strong planes combined in a harmonious whole, speaking of strength and, in the lines at the corners of his eyes, suffering.

On the other side, dozens of scars pitted and ridged the skin, as if it had been torn and chewed by an animal—an animal with jaws of flame, by the tell-tale burn puckers. Thankfully, whatever it was had missed his eye

So, Hugh, tell us a little more about yourself

“Certainly. What would you like to know?”

Where are you from?

“I was born and raised in Central Lancashire. My father and mother lived in the town nearest to Overton Hall, and I spent much of my time there, with my cousins. Of course, I never imagined that I would one day be baron in my uncle’s place.”

My family are not prolific, but my grandfather had two sons, and my father the younger. I am an only child, but my uncle had two sons and a daughter. Then, five deaths in the family in one year, and suddenly, I am Baron Overton.”

What do you do?

“I am baron, as I said, so I manage my estates, but I also have interests in trade. Indeed, I rebuilt my family’s fortune through trade.”

And it had worked: those long voyages to secure cotton for the mill in Liverpool, trips to London for buyers, constant scurrying to and from the West Indies and the length and breadth of England.

What do you want from life?

“I want to do my duty. That means building a future for my daughters, my tenants and the estate, the mill and its workers. I want to, and for as long as I live I will. But after? I cannot perform the most basic duty of a peer. Ultimately, I have one chance at what I want in life. My hopes all lie with my new wife.”

The wound was always raw. The Overtons had never been prolific breeders, but they’d held this land and served these people since Charles II had rewarded a faithful ancestor at the Restoration. And Hugh would be the last.

How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?

“Love? Love was not part of the bargain that Becky and I made. I respect her. I like being married to her. She looks after my daughters, and she makes my house a home again. But that isn’t love. Is it?”

Slowly, it dawned on him that he had fallen in love with his wife. Fallen in love with her, been severed from her, and missed her like a lost limb. It was too late now. If only he had told her! He couldn’t force the words on her now, when he had hurt her so badly, and she so clearly regretted marrying him.

The house was in mourning.

If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?

“I would ask for a son to inherit the title and the land. That’s what I want above all. If I had that, I could be sure of the rest—safety and happiness for the girls, security for the people who depend on me. No. I have another wish. A contented old age together with Becky.”

What really moves you, or touches you to the soul?

“I have been really moved to see Becky with my daughters. Their own mother did not have time for them, you know. But Becky… I knew how much she cared for her own daughter, but she has taken mine into her heart with the same generous love. Nothing gives me greater joy than to see them all together.”

Hugh looked. The mother, bending over her daughter, exclaiming over the doll’s articulated arms and legs, and its wardrobe. And the child, her mother in miniature. Identical heart-shaped faces; identical dark hair, tied back but with tiny curls left loose around their foreheads; identical porcelain skin and cornflower blue eyes fringed with dark lashes.

So beautiful.

So intent, eyes full of love for her daughter, like statues of the Madonna he had seen in Catholic Italy, before he sold out.

God, he needed a drink.

What is one physical attribute you are proud of?

Hugh’s eyes twinkle and his voice drops. “I have quite a lot of… energy. That may not be the kind of physical attribute you are thinking of, but my wife appreciates it.”

Physical exercise—productive, necessary work—helped. He’d thrown himself into the harvest. This was the last farm, and they’d scythed and cocked more than half the tenant’s grain today.

Hugh stopped at the end of the row. How much progress had they made? The sun would be down soon; they had perhaps another hour of light.

“Reckon we’ll finish this field tonight, my lord,” said Beckham, whose barley crop they were getting in. Hugh nodded as he took a tankard of ale from the man’s wife. “I reckon we will, Beckham,” he agreed.

What one physical attribute would you change?

“I would remove my scars if I could. They cover all one side from my head to my knee.

She was prepared, or she would have gasped. As with his face, smooth skin on one side contrasted with seared and puckered scars on the other. Show no disgust. Nothing but polite interest. In truth, she was not disgusted, but compassion would not be welcomed, either. He would take it for pity.

What’s the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?

“My family. My wife, and the children we are raising together. They are more important to me than anything else in my life.”

He caught her then, stopped her in her stride with a hand on each shoulder. His dark eyes sought the raw wounds he and Aldridge were making of her scars. “I’ve set a plan with Aldridge to establish you safely, and I promise you this. Whatever comes, I will stand by you and your children. If you and I agree to wed, I will never abandon you.”

He was taller than Aldridge, and broader. She felt tiny next to him. But his hands were gentle and his eyes kind and sincere. Could she trust him? The quiet anonymous life of a middle-class widow would be safe, but the dream she had outlined to Aldridge was ahead of her, if she dared reach for it. Perhaps even love. He would be easy to love, this battered warrior who sheltered orphans and was prepared to change his mind when he was wrong.

Thank you so much for stopping by and chatting with us, Hugh. It was lovely meeting you!

“Thank you, Janet. I’ve enjoyed talking with you, and I wish you and your readers’ happy reading.

 

 Thank You April Holthaus Party

Thank you so much for joining us today, Jude. It was a pleasure hosting you on the blog!

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