Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 04/30/17 Heart of Delight ~ A Lovely Thank You

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I’m staying with my Handful of Hearts novella Heart of Delight, again this week for WWW.

 

I thought today I’d skip back and let you see that first kiss. 🙂    (Creative punctuation utilized to conform to WWW rules.)

Monsieur Carpenter, instead of letting her go, pulled her closer.

She tried to push back, but he enfolded her in his arms, drew her toward his warm body, then his mouth met hers. His soft, insistent lips sent a thrill through her she’d not experienced before. Relaxing against him, she gave herself over to pure pleasure as their mouths dissolved into one another and a delightful heat sizzled in her veins. She should not have been enjoying this, yet the tingles he caused to skitter up and down her spine could not be denied.

At last, he broke the kiss, stepped back and said, “That was the loveliest thank you I have ever received.”

Gabriella came slowly back to the balcony, the music, and thanked God for the dimness of the candles, half burned out in their sconces on the wall. Heat seared her cheeks, and she danced back from this stranger saying, “I beg your pardon, Monsieur Carpenter. You made me forget myself.”

“You can forget yourself with me any time you like, Mademoiselle d’Aventure.”

 

BLURB:

He’ll do anything to be her heart’s delight—except tell the truth.

Gabriella d’Adventure is on a mission. She has come to England as a lady’s maid in pursuit of the Duke of Rother. When she meets Horace Carpenter, valet to a marquess, she is delighted to enlist his aid in gaining her heart’s desire: a meeting with the duke. But will her growing feelings for the handsome valet interfere with her plans for the duke?

The eccentric Marquess of Halford, Hal to his friends, is tired of the demands of Society, especially his father’s decree that he marry this Season. When a breathtaking young woman intrudes on his solitude, he is captivated and introduces himself as his valet in hopes of learning more about her. Despite his fear about the true motive behind Gabriella’s quest to meet the Duke of Rother, Hal agrees to help her gain an audience with him, all the while praying his deception won’t ruin his chances of winning her love.

 

Heart of Delight is available in the Her Perfect Gentleman boxed set for just .99!

Amazon and B & N.

 

Books in the Handful of Hearts series:

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here.  There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.

 

 

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Heart of Delight, Historical Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Be My Guest! ~ Author Interview with Charmaine Gordon

 

banner-memeHello, and welcome to my new feature for 2017.

I’ve begun a Wednesday weekly post to present interviews with authors across all romance genres. Although I’m primarily an historical romance writer, I do read outside my genre and suspect a lot of you do as well. And what’s more fascinating than finding out more about either your favorite authors or new ones? I plan to change up my questions (most of them at least) every three months or so, just to keep the interviews lively.

So now gather round the tea table, grab a scone or cookies, and a cup of tea or coffee and discover a new friend in the writing world.

This week on Be My Guest, I’m sharing tea and scones with Charmaine Gordon,  author of more than twenty contemporary romances. She’s here to share a little more about her very varied career–from actress in a daytime drama to writing sketches for the U.S. Air Force. I’m going to have fun finding out a lot more about Charmaine and her most recent release, Chef’s Surprise.

Author Bio :

Years of experience as an actor on daytime drama. Stage, spokesperson and commercials plus writing sketches for Air Force shows helped prepare me for the wonders of a writing career. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time when immersed in the written words of others, that I was like a sponge, soaking up how to construct a scene, write dialogue, and paint the setting.

My writing effort came later when I wrote a two page story, sent it to son, Paul who commented, “Cool. Can you write ten pages?” Seemed impossible but the story poured from my fingers and seventy thousand words later, I typed The End.

And now let’s meet Charmaine Gordon!

Who is your favorite romance hero or heroine and why?  What qualities do they possess that make them memorable?

Lucas Davenport-hero in John Sandford’s books, humor, strength, family man

Are you a pantser or plotter? What is your process?

I sleep-write and in the morning I begin a new story and never stop until it’s finished.

Which of your own books is your favorite and why?

The Catch is the third in a series-the only male as a hero.

If you could have one wish granted just for you (not world peace, LOL), what would you wish for?

I wish my first husband didn’t succumb to his weakened heart. He didn’t fight to live.

What is the first thing you do when you get a story idea?

I never stop until I flesh it out and send it in.

Do you have any hobbies/passions outside of writing?

I discovered, sad to say, my passion for gardening and building flagstone patio’s has ended. The aging back says forget about it. I’ll have to tend to the household instead.

Who is your favorite non-romance genre author? What is your favorite book of theirs?

John Sandford’s series of police, murder and mayhem suits me just fine.

What is your favorite cuisine?

Fifty years on a gluten free diet has changed my palate to zip.

Goodness! I’ve been gluten-free for almost 10 years, but 50! It’s a challenge, but I’ve found Indian food to have the most items I can eat. And I love it too, so that’s good. 

Now, tell us a little bit about one of your books.

What was your inspiration for this story?

I dreamed about a girl in the Florida Keys, a place I’ve never been to. And so Chef’s Surprise began.

 I am a fanatic about my character names. Are the character names special in any way?

Names float like a ticker tape across my mind. It must be from reading, memorizing so many scripts for many years.

Who is your book dedicated to and why?

Almost always I dedicate to my family for their patience. Sometimes I will dedicate to my readers.

I’ve done both of those too.

How long did it take you to write this book? 

A couple of months at best.

You are quick!

Now, the Infamous Lightning Round:

What is your favorite amusement park ride? Ferris Wheel

EEP! I’m afraid of heights. I’d never get on one again!

Tea or coffee and how do you take it? Decaf black

Favorite all time movie? Shawshank Redemption is a big favorite.

I love that movie!

Chocolate or vanilla? May I have both? Oh, come on.

Indeed, you may! 🙂

Boxers, briefs or commando? (preferred for your heroes) briefs are so nice

How many states have you lived in? Everywhere as an Air Force wife.

Cat person or dog person? Canine and feline. Right now we’ve inherited 4 cats. Oh well. I want a small pooch. Really I do.

What’s the one thing you would never do? Have an affair

Oooh, good answer!

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BLURB:

One night, she ran. For the bus to freedom and a new life. She had a plan, and a small box of cash.

With grit and determination, the young girl learned more than lessons at nursing college, the first part of her plan.

Someday, she would become a top chef, but for now, she’d claw her way up the ladder.

There is payback for every crime, and sometimes the payback is more than satisfactory.

EXCERPT:

When the last note of music faded, the partners of the firm bid goodnight and the youngest partner was no where to be seen. Charming Grans tottered off to sleep. The elder gentleman, Clayton’s father, stayed up for a while, wistful in the late hour.

Last chance, thought Reva with the father alone.  She did like the young Clayton but he was just a boy in her old eyes. A quiet tap on the door and there she stood leaning against the wall still dressed in a white lace thong, bra to match. He grabbed her by the waist and entered her room.  “Hello there, handsome. I’m just getting ready for bed, alone.”

“You know what I want, Reva. Only you and right now.”

What a boy but fun, Reva thought. She shook her long red hair. “No, my friend. I sleep alone so goodnight.” He went after her. She used a maneuver learned long ago. A squeeze of the balls did it.

Clayton hobbled away, sending daggers over his broad shoulders.

After a quick shower, an intuitive feeling that something happened to Grans came over her. On went a robe and sneakers to run down the hall and find Grans private room. There the sign hung high in polished wood. Do Not Disturb. Her heart raced. Nervous, she knocked on the door to hear a light groan and hurried in. Sure enough, the elderly woman lay crumpled on the floor as if she’d fallen from her bed. Immediately the words came to Reva. Transient Ischemic Attack. She’d had a minor stroke. First she lifted Grans onto the bed and then she ran like hell to the father’s room. After rapping on his door, she opened it. “Sir, your mother has had a minor stroke. Call your doctor, 911 and an ambulance. I’ll get Clayton. I was a qualified nurse in South Florida before moving here. I can take care of her. Now hurry.”

The family crisis began.

Chef’s Surprise is available at Amazon.

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Thank you so much for being my guest this week, Charmaine! I learned so much about you and your writing! Next Wednesday my special guest will be Mia Jo Celeste. Hope you return to you favorite Wednesday spot to meet her!

Posted in Author/Character Interviews, Be My Guest, Interviews, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Medieval Monday ~ Villains ~Week #12 Sherry Ewing’s A Knight to Call My Own

 

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Villains!

 is our theme for this round of Medieval Monday!

Join us and discover some of the most evil and dastardly villains our medieval romances ever produced! And we are doing something a bit different this time around. We’re breaking our excerpts up into tantalizing little bites–only 8 to 10 sentences each week. So you’ll need to keep up to get the whole excerpt. We let you know each week whose blog we’ll be at the week so you can keep up with each Medieval Monday author’s work the same way.

This week’s excerpt is from Sherry Ewing’s

A Knight to Call My Own

 

Excerpt:

 

“Nay,” he at last answered her with a tone that clearly implied he would not change his mind.

“I will tell my kin no harm befell me, my laird,” she pleaded. “Just take me home to my family.”

“I told you, nay. I would have taken you to wife, if I could have won your hand. But I could not stand by, watching you give your affection and dowry to the MacGillivray laird.”

“And who are you to tell me where my affections should turn. I never said they went to Ian, or any other man!”

“The fact you speak of him by his first name tells me you cared enough for the man. He won plenty of matches to prove he would have you, no matter the cost. I could not afford to lose what you would bring to fill my coffers. Instead of a dowry, I shall now claim a ransom. I am sure Dristan will pay any amount I ask to have you returned to his protection.”

 

Blurb:

When your heart is broken, is love still worth the risk?

Lynet of clan MacLaren knows how it feels to love someone and not have that love returned. After waiting for six long years, she has given up hope of Ian’s return. Her brother-in-law, the Devil’s Dragon of Berwyck, is tired of waiting for her to choose a husband and has decided a competition for the right to wed Lynet is just the thing his willful charge needs to force her hand.

Ian MacGillivray has returned to Berwyck Castle in search of a bride and who better than the young girl who cared for him all those years ago. But Lynet is anything but an easy conquest and he will need more than charm to win her hand in marriage.

From the English borders to the Highlands of Scotland, the chase is on for who will claim the fair Lynet. The price paid will indeed be high to ensure her safety and even higher to win her love.

 

Buy Link:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |   iBooks  |  Kobo

Next week is the slam, bang finish to our Villains theme hop. My final snippet from Beleaguered will be here to finish where it started.

 

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Posted in Medieval Monday, Medieval Mondays, Medieval Romance, Promotion | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 04/23/17 Heart of Delight ~ A Lady’s Maid

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I’m staying with my Handful of Hearts novella Heart of Delight, again this week for WWW.

 

I thought today I’d skip ahead a little after they meet–and kiss–to Hal’s thoughts after their encounter.  (Creative punctuation utilized to conform to WWW rules.)

 

A Lady and Her Maid

And the moment he’d seen Miss d’Aventure, he’d decided he must meet the lovely creature, have one conversation without the ton dictating his behavior—have her meet the man, rather than the blasted title so many women sought. He hadn’t imagined he’d want to continue the acquaintance, yet now he could not countenance the idea of not seeing her again. Unfortunately, neither could he reveal himself without making her angry about his deception. She’d find out eventually, of course. No one who knew him would ever mistake him for his valet, the real Horace Carpenter, still he wanted to give them time to know each other as equals.

He liked Mademoiselle d’Aventure on a level much deeper than he’d have thought possible in the fifteen minutes they’d been together. Smart, funny, beautiful, stubborn—that he liked most of all. He’d wager his inheritance she could hold her own in any drawing room in London; that she could be his marchioness had crossed his mind more than once. Their kiss and her lovely figure pressed close to him had incited a riot in every part of his body.

If only she were not a lady’s maid.

BLURB:

He’ll do anything to be her heart’s delight—except tell the truth.

Gabriella d’Adventure is on a mission. She has come to England as a lady’s maid in pursuit of the Duke of Rother. When she meets Horace Carpenter, valet to a marquess, she is delighted to enlist his aid in gaining her heart’s desire: a meeting with the duke. But will her growing feelings for the handsome valet interfere with her plans for the duke?

The eccentric Marquess of Halford, Hal to his friends, is tired of the demands of Society, especially his father’s decree that he marry this Season. When a breathtaking young woman intrudes on his solitude, he is captivated and introduces himself as his valet in hopes of learning more about her. Despite his fear about the true motive behind Gabriella’s quest to meet the Duke of Rother, Hal agrees to help her gain an audience with him, all the while praying his deception won’t ruin his chances of winning her love.

 

Heart of Delight is available in the Her Perfect Gentleman boxed set for just .99!

Amazon and B & N.

 

Books in the Handful of Hearts series:

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here.  There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.

 

 

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Heart of Delight, Historical Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments

The Romance of Language: Word for the Week 4/21/17

Buzznacking:

“Gossiping from place to place.

–Francis Robinson’s Words Used in the Neighborhood of Whitby [Yorkshire], 1876

“Calletting, saucy gossiping.

–John Brockett’s Glossary of North Country Words, 1825

 

Sharing some gossip over a cup of scandal broth was a great way to pass the day in the Regency (or Georgian or Victorian eras).

      

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Posted in Romance of Language | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Winners for Only A Mistress Will Do Release Party/Birthday Party

On April 4th and April 12th we partied to celebrate my book’s, Only A Mistress Will Do, and my birthdays!

 *throws confetti*

Now on to the more fun part:

The Winners

WINNER #1

MAIRI NORRIS

The winner of the first party game is Mairi Norris. Mairi suggested the name Dark Crest for Lord Manning’s home estate in the next House of Pleasure book and I think that’s a marvelous name! Mairi joined the party on Barbara Bettis’ blog for my Birthday party.

WINNER #2

RACHEL CLEMONS

Rachel wins a book from my back listed books, and gets to have a character named after her in the next House of Pleasure book, Only Seduction Will Do!

WINNER #3

SILVATREND8553

Silvatrend wins a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card for sharing her first kiss with us!

Thank you to everyone who came out to party with Mistress, Barb and I last week! Stay tuned for more news, or sign up for my newsletter to get all the news in advance about my books and appearances.

CONGRATULATIONS WINNERS! 

NOTE: Winners, I will be contacting you later today on how to get your prizes.

 

Posted in Only A Mistress Will Do, Release Party, Winners | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Be My Guest! ~ Author Interview with Marie Higgins

 

banner-memeHello, and welcome to my new feature for 2017.

I’ve begun a Wednesday weekly post to present interviews with authors across all romance genres. Although I’m primarily an historical romance writer, I do read outside my genre and suspect a lot of you do as well. And what’s more fascinating than finding out more about either your favorite authors or new ones? I plan to change up my questions (most of them at least) every three months or so, just to keep the interviews lively.

So now gather round the tea table, grab a scone or cookies, and a cup of tea or coffee and discover a new friend in the writing world.

This week on Be My Guest, as promised, I am interviewing historical author Marie Higgins! We are currently sharing  an  historical romance boxed set, Her Perfect Gentleman, along with last week’s guest, Elf Ahearn and five other lovely ladies, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to introduce you to Marie, who I’ve known for years, and let her tell you about herself and her historical novella, The Sweetest Challenge.

Author Bio :

Marie Higgins is a multi-published author of romance; from refined bad-boy heroes who makes your heart melt to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to love them regardless of their faults. Visit her website / blog to discover more about her – http://mariehiggins.com

 

 

And now let’s meet Marie Higgins!

Who was the first romance author and book you read?

Kathleen E Woodiwiss / A Rose in Winter was my first romance novel. I was completely glued to the story, and I read all hours of the night. I couldn’t get enough of historical romance novels after that. Judith McNaught, LaVryle Spencer, and Jude Deveraux were also some of my favorite authors.

 Are you a pantser or plotter? What is your process?

I’m totally a panster! I tried a few times to plot out my stories, but because I knew what was going to happen and how the stories would end, it took me forever to finish them. From that point on, I decided panster was the life for me. I enjoy feeling the rush of excitement when there’s a new twist in the story, and I definitely cherish the heart-melting moment when my characters realize they are in love.

 Which of your own books is your favorite and why?

This is such a hard question, only because I have written / published 43 books. I love each story for different reasons. If I had to choose, however, I think I’d pick “Take My Heart”, my historical romance. I worked on that story for so many years and tried to make it my best work. The twists and turns in that plot surprised even me, and of course, the love story is to DIE for.

 If you could have one wish granted just for you (not world peace, LOL), what would you wish for?

Darn! I was going to say World Peace. lol So I’ll go with my second favorite wish. Although I’ve been writing for about 20 years, I’ve never been with a big publisher. So my wish would be to not only find a big publisher, but that my stories get me to New York Times Bestselling Author! I’m not asking for much, am I?

 What is the first thing you do when you get a story idea?

When I get a story idea, I make sure both my hero and heroine have goals, motivation, and conflict (along with my villain). Once I’ve figured that out, I find names and identities for them. Then I’ll figure out what era will be best for the plot. Once all of that is done…I start my first chapter. I usually don’t know my twists until the characters give me an idea of what they want…then I make sure they can’t get it for a while.

Now, tell us a little bit about one of your books.

What was your inspiration for this story?

The inspiration for “The Sweetest Challenge” actually came from a contemporary story I had started to write many years ago, but had never finished. I have a Regency Romance series that needed another story added to the line-up, and so I went back through my unfinished stories to get some ideas. When I ran across a woman who worked in a car shop, immediately, I thought of a woman trying to work as a blacksmith in the Regency era. DING! Then the rest of the story flew from my fingers. I love when that happens.

 I am a fanatic about my character names. Are the character names special in any way?

I have to find the right names for my characters as well. For some reason, I’m in love with the man’s name, Nick/Nicholas. Don’t know why. But I just can’t name all of her heroes that. As for the heroine…I don’t have a favorite. I have a spreadsheet with a list of historical names, and I read through them until one stands out. That’s how I pick my heroine’s name.

 How long did it take you to write this book?

As I’d mentioned previously, the idea had been created several years ago. Who knew it was supposed to be a historical and not a contemporary? lol  Usually, it only takes about six weeks to write a novel.

Now, the Infamous Lightning Round: 

Tea or coffee and how do you take it?

None. I like water or lemonade. Crazy, I know…

 Hot dogs or Hamburgers?

Hamburgers

 Favorite all time movie?

I have too many favorites, but maybe Princess Bride.

 Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate – with nuts!

 Cat person or dog person?

DOG!

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BLURB:

Melinda Stewart was far from being a debutante, but she must disguise what she really did during the day to keep food on the table. When a wealthy businessman enters her life and wants to buy her land, she’s torn between giving up her deceased father’s dream—and wanting to give her heart to this stranger.

Morgan Drake doesn’t take no for an answer, but ever since meeting the very lovely Miss Stewart, all of his business ethics have been pushed aside. Now, the lonely man who never had time for a wife, wants to change, and he wants Miss Stewart to be the woman beside him. If only he can convince her that he’s not the terrible person she believes him to be.

The Sweetest Challenge is on Amazon and other etailers!

EXCERPT:

The man jumped and spun around toward Morgan, still holding onto the hammer. The man straightened, and Morgan was surprised to see how small Mr. Stewart really was. The man’s head touched the top of Morgan’s shoulders. Then again, it didn’t matter his height, as long as he was strong and could handle the tasks given to him in order to keep his blacksmith’s shop in business.

There was a clear object hanging from the man’s helmet, shielding his face, but Morgan could still see the man’s expression. Mr. Stewart’s mouth hung open and his eyes widened. He could also tell that the man was younger than Morgan had first assumed.

Had they met before? By Mr. Stewart’s surprised expression, it certainly seemed like the man knew him.

“Pardon me for interrupting,” Morgan began. “My name is Mr. Drake, and I’m with Drake Land Developers. If you don’t mind, I would like to discuss the offer my company made you a few months ago.”

Suddenly, the surprised expression on the other man changed, and his gaze narrowed on Morgan. The man threw down the hammer and stomped past him.

Morgan held in his frustration the best he could. “Mr. Stewart, I thought we could discuss this matter like two reasonable men.”

“Then you thought wrong.” The man’s voice croaked in a lower tone.

Morgan held back the angry words he really wanted to say. “Mr. Stewart, I’ve come to offer you a better deal.”

Once again, Mr. Stewart spun around and faced him. Through the clear shield over his face, Morgan noticed how red the man’s cheeks were.

He waited for the man to say something, but so far not a word came from him. The sun shone through the window, gleaming on Mr. Stewart’s face…his very young face. Perhaps he wasn’t the owner after all. Morgan should ask to see if the elder Mr. Stewart was around.

“Are you Mr. Mel Stewart, the owner?”

Mr. Stewart yanked off his gloves and threw them on the counter. Surprisingly, the man’s hands were small. And then he flipped up the clear shield from his face. In one swipe, the man had removed the helmet looking covering. But then something else caught his eyes. The man’s wavy, blond hair floated from the helmet to cascade down the man’s neck to his shoulders, and partly over his face. And yet…now it didn’t look like the face of a man, but a woman, instead.

With petite fingers, she swept her hair away from her eyes. Something familiar tugged at Morgan’s memory. The shape of her face was delicate, as well as her chin, and especially her mouth. Last night’s images of dancing with Melinda rushed to his mind, and he couldn’t shake the feeling that he had found the woman who had intrigued him, and then disappeared abruptly.

Yet, this couldn’t be her. Where was the lovely, very desirable woman he’d danced with and held so intimately? And why was she wearing men’s clothes?

She lifted her chin and straightened her shoulders. “I’m Miss Melinda Stewart, not Mister.”

 

 

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Next Wednesday my special guest will be contemporary romance novelist, Charmaine Gordon. Hope you return to you favorite Wednesday spot to meet her!

Posted in Author/Character Interviews, Be My Guest, Interviews, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments