Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 9/25/16 A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe: A Mind of Her Own

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This should be the final snippet of Heart of Delight, which released this week, however, A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe is FREE thru midnight tonight, so I thought I should excerpt it instead. And show off my new cover for it!

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Jenny and the other young people at her aunt’s Christmas house party are out in the woods cutting greenery for decorations. They spy a mistletoe ball high in a tree and begin to play a game of running beneath the mistletoe. The forfeit for being caught ~ a kiss.

Jenny leaped forward, so intent on running her feet tangled together. She stumbled to a halt not a yard from Lord Somersby’s tall figure; another awkward step and she would have sprawled at his feet.

His face lit up in a self-satisfied grin. He nodded almost imperceptibly, as if acknowledging a signal.

Did he think she had done that on purpose? That she wanted him to catch her? She had, in fact, set out to be caught, but that smug smile changed everything. Determination fired her spirit. She’d show him she had a mind of her own. Springing forward, she raced away just before Somersby launched himself at her.

A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe is available at Amazon currently on sale for FREE!

Blurb:

Is one kiss ever enough?

Jenny Crowley has been duped! At her eighteenth birthday celebration her parents announce that instead of having the London Season she’s dreamed of for years, Jenny has been betrothed from birth to Alexander Isley, son of family friends and heir to a title. A distraught Jenny refuses point-blank to marry Alec, and when her aunt offers to whisk her away to a Christmas house party, complete with many eligible young bachelors, Jenny jumps at the chance to enjoy a variety of entertainments, be courted, and perhaps fall in love.

Alec Isley is between a rock and a hard place. He desires a marriage with Jenny no more than she does, but when his family’s dire financial status is revealed, he follows Jenny to the house party in hopes of convincing her to marry him after all. When he discovers who else is courting her there, Alec is frantic to keep her from making a dreadful mistake. Struggling with new-found feelings for his childhood friend, can Alec convince her of his love in time to save her from being ruined under the mistletoe?

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

 

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Cover Reveal: A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe by Jenna Jaxon

Today I’m revealing the new cover of the first book  in my Regency series, Handful of Hearts. I published it last Christmas, with a cover I designed myself. However, once the super-talented cover designer, Danielle Fine, created the most gorgeous covers for books 2 and 3, I had to have one just as beautiful for book 1. So here is the new, incredibly romantic and beautiful cover for A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe.

 

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And to celebrate the new cover–and the recent release of Heart of Desire and Heart of Delight (Books 2 ad 3)–A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe will be FREE at Amazon from Friday,  September 23 thru Sunday, September 25, 2016.

Here is the blurb for A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe, the prequel to the series. 

Is one kiss ever enough?

BLURB:

Jenny Crowley has been duped! At her eighteenth birthday celebration her parents announce that instead of having the London Season she’s dreamed of for years, Jenny has been betrothed from birth to Alexander Isley, son of family friends and heir to a title. A distraught Jenny refuses point-blank to marry Alec, and when her aunt offers to whisk her away to a Christmas house party, complete with many eligible young bachelors, Jenny jumps at the chance to enjoy a variety of entertainments, be courted, and perhaps fall in love.

Alec Isley is between a rock and a hard place. He desires a marriage with Jenny no more than she does, but when his family’s dire financial status is revealed, he follows Jenny to the house party in hopes of convincing her to marry him after all. When he discovers who else is courting her there, Alec is frantic to keep her from making a dreadful mistake. Struggling with new-found feelings for his childhood friend, can Alec convince her of his love in time to save her from being ruined under the mistletoe?

 

And an excerpt:

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Somersby stepped into the center of the ballroom floor. “I propose a game of Blindman’s Bluff until the orchestra returns. As I deem myself a superior huntsman, I will take the first turn as ‘It.’” With easy dexterity, he wound the lacy white French scarf around his eyes and tied it at the back. “The rules are simple. First, you may not stray off the dance floor as it has been designated by Lady Marbury.”

A hum of excitement ran around the room, accompanied by squeals and an occasional shriek as ladies pressed back to the edges of the floor and were pushed forward by enthusiastic partners.

“The other one is that whomever I catch and identify, pays a forfeit, and becomes ‘It.’”

“What’s the forfeit, Somersby?” Stephen called from the end of the floor.

He grinned wickedly. “Each person chooses his own forfeit for his ‘victim.’”

The crowd burst into a low rumble of comment.

“Now I will turn myself in a circle three times.” He held his arms straight out and made a slow, dance-like circle in the middle of the empty floor. “When I stop, whoever is on the floor is fair game.”

Jenny skipped back, almost bumping into Lord Claremont. She giggled and made a dash across the floor to Celinda who stood behind several young men.

“This seems much more wicked than the game I played as a child,” she whispered to her friend.

“I daresay it will be for you, my dear.” Celinda leaned toward her. “I believe Somersby aims on catching only one person.”

Jenny’s head went up, her gaze drawn back to Somersby who stood like a beagle sniffing the air, turning his head from side to side.

“I think you’re going to be it.” Celinda laughed and scooted away as Lord Somersby made a rush toward them.

Jenny squealed and dodged around his outstretched arms, barely escaping the fingers that stretched toward her. She inched around the side of the ballroom, trying to slip behind some of the other players. They, however, kept constantly pushing her and the other girls into Somersby’s path. She held her breath, her back pressed against the onlookers at the side of the room as the young lord made his way toward her.

What would his forfeit be if he caught her? It couldn’t be but so scandalous. They were in front of dozens of people, and in the home of her aunt and uncle. Surely nothing…

Somersby stopped in front of her and the air whooshed out of her lungs. He stood still, and again the image of a hunting hound scenting the air arose in her mind.

“Now who might this be?” He stretched out his arms.

About to duck, Jenny took a step backward when a sudden push propelled her straight into Somersby’s waiting arms. She twisted her neck around and caught her cousin Eric sniggering. The dirty dish had pushed her.

Somersby bent his head down, sniffing her hair. “Ah, Miss Crowley. How lovely to see you again.” He released her and pulled the scarf from his eyes, a roguish grin spreading across his face.

“How…how did you know it was me?” Jenny gazed into the handsome face and her stomach clenched.

“The smell of jasmine will forever be linked to you in my mind, my dear,” he whispered in her ear.

Drat it. Her new perfume had betrayed her. Not that she truly minded being caught by him, but her body froze with dread at the thought of paying his forfeit. Oh, what would he ask of her?

“And for your forfeit, Miss Crowley, I claim…”

Another dance. Please, let him ask for another dance.

“A kiss.”

Jenny gasped as did most of the room around her. She’d be humiliated, ruined.

He grasped her hand and pulled her toward him.

 

 

Capture Mistletoe

HANDFUL OF HEARTS SERIES

A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe (Book 1) is available for FREE this weekend on Amazon.

Heart of Desire (Book 2) is available on Amazon.

Heart of Delight (Book 3) is available on Amazon.

And now for the announcement of the WINNERS of the GIVEAWAY celebrating the release of Heart of Delight:

WINNERS

WINNER OF THE $10.00 GIFT CARD

CATSLADY

WINNERS OF A COPY OF HEART OF DELIGHT

RHONDA KIRBY

CLARE RODEN

LINDA

MELISSA KEIR

LIZA O’CONNOR

AND MY VERY BEST SWAG BAGS GO TO

SHERI FREDRICKS

EVELYN HILL

ELF AHEARN

JACKIE

KALEENA KADERABEK

BARBARA BETTIS

LSLOUCK

Thank all of you so much for helping me celebrate my newest release!  Have a great weekend and I will be contacting you shortly to arrange for your gifts to be delivered.

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Release Day for Heart of Delight!

Happy Release Day for Heart of Delight, my Regency Cinderella story that is Book 3 of the Handful of Hearts series.

To celebrate today, I’ll be giving away copies of  Heart of Delight, swag bags, and an Amazon gift card! Simply leave a comment telling me what you like best about historical romance. I’ll pick winners at random and announce them on the blog at the end of the week, when the new cover for A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe is revealed.

 

Heart of Delight

 

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.

 

Excerpt: (This excerpt is the scene that the cover depicts!)

“What are you doing here?” She wiped her fingers on the hem of her petticoat and got to her feet.

“I told you I’d meet you here.” He grinned, showing very white teeth in the dark, as he stalked toward her like a lynx. “I am a man of my word.”

“I see you are.” She could not hold back a smile. Why was she so pleased to see him? Much as she wanted to believe it was merely for the introduction she hoped he’d arranged, the rush of her heart said differently. That didn’t bear thinking about. She needed no distractions to deter her from her quest. And Monsieur Carpenter might prove a dangerous one.

“You look beautiful this evening. Très belle.”

“You cannot even see me in the darkness.” She tossed her head, though his words sent an alarming thrill through her.

“I can see enough.”

“You are very bold for a valet who has stolen away from his master.” She certainly didn’t want him to be dismissed on her account. “Shouldn’t you be cleaning the marquess’s boots?”

He laughed and motioned her back toward the bench. “They are already taken care of. My master doesn’t mind if I step out once my duties are finished. But it’s sweet of you to be concerned about me.”

“I would hate to think I caused you to get the sack.” She clutched the slats of the bench to keep from fidgeting. Lord, he made her want to fly to pieces.

“Thank you, but I will be fine.” He relaxed against the back of the bench, his presence hulking, and dangerous, and exciting. “Are you well?”

Oui. As well as one may be with madame calling for me every moment she is not eating, sleeping, or paying calls. Tant pis. It is my lot.” As soon as she met the duke, however, all of that would change, Dieu merci.

“You must be very skilled that she relies so heavily on you.” He never took his gaze off her, which should have made her uncomfortable, but did not. Not even when it seemed to linger on her mouth.

“She is overly concerned with how the people of the ton think of her. Possibly in the past they have been unkind, and she is now determined to be above reproach in her appearance.” She shrugged. “Lady Chalgrove annoys me at times, but she has served her purpose in getting me to England.” Now it was up to her, and perhaps Monsieur Carpenter, to meet the duke.

“So, have you managed to see the Duke of Rother yet?” He shifted, and the faint moonlight blazed in his eyes.

Non. Yesterday, madame went for a drive with the duke, and I thought it might be my chance, but I caught a glimpse of him only.” She fisted her hands in her lap. Mon Dieu, why was a simple introduction so difficult? “I suppose you have not been able to arrange a meeting either, Monsieur Carpenter?”

He freed her hand from the folds of her gown, his grin broadening. “As a matter of fact, mademoiselle, I have.”

“What?” She squeezed his hand, shock making her grip him tighter than she should have. Her quest was at an end. Her dream would come true at last. “Why did you not tell me immédiatement? This is wonderful.” She threw her arms around him, unable to contain the joy within her. “Oh, merci. Merci beaucoup.”

Her lips met his, and suddenly nothing else mattered. The world disappeared as she clung to him, her anchor in a turbulent sea. When, at last, loud laughter from the house brought her back to herself, she thought she might die of shame. She twisted away, her face hot as though she’d stood too close to a fire. Indeed, she had scorched herself in his flames. “Mille pardons, Monsieur Carpenter. I should not have done that.”

“I didn’t mind, Gabriella.” He smiled, rubbing his finger over his lips. “And having done it, I insist you call me Horace.”

Her whole body like a lit match, realizing too that he had called her Gabriella, she jumped up and stumbled away from the bench.

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Heart of Delight, Book 3 of Handful of Hearts, is available on Amazon!

Heart of Desire, Book 2 of Handful of Hearts, is available on Amazon today for .99.

A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe, Book 1 of Handful of Hearts is also available on Amazon.

Please enjoy Heart of Delight!

 

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Heart of Delight

 

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Heart of Delight, Historical Romance, On Regency Romance, Promotion, Regency Romance, Release Day Tour, Release Party | Tagged , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 9/18/16 Heart of Delight: A Gift From God

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 August’s “Book of the Month,” is Heart of Delight. It’s Book 3 in my Regency series Handful of Hearts. Here is my gorgeous new cover!

At Lady Hamilton’s ball in May 1820, Lord Halford, Hal to his friends, flirts with his cousin, Lady Celinda Graham, in hopes of gaining a wife as decreed by his father. After she leaves, someone else intrudes on his privacy. Hal is captivated by the beautiful young woman and wants to know more about her.

This week we switch to Gabriella’s POV and see how she feels about this young man.(Some adjustments and very creative punctuation have been changed from published version to accommodate WWW rules.)

Heart of Delight“Can you tell me your name, monsieur?” She batted her eyelashes at the handsome man; flirting always broke the ice.

“H…Horace, mademoiselle, Horace Carpenter. I am valet to the Marquess of Halford,” he said and glanced down at his feet.

Ah, as she’d suspected, the man should not be here any more than she.  “Then merci beaucoup, Monsieur Carpenter. You have been most kind to me,” she said, smiling sincerely this time. Such a very attractive man and if she were lucky, he could further aid her in her quest. The assistance of someone in society would be necessary to carry out her plan, and this man worked for a powerful man, a marquess, no less.

Like a gift from a beneficent God sent to her.

Heart of Delight‘s release day is Tuesday, September 20! Please come by the blog for the festivities. I’ll be giving away copies of  Heart of Delight, swag bags, and an Amazon gift card!

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 ladies’ 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. However,  her growing feelings for the handsome valet make Gabriella have to fight to continue 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 the him, all the while hoping his deception will won’t ruin his chances of winning her love and hand in marriage.

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

Handful of Hearts series:

Heart of Delight, Book 3, is available for pre-order at Amazon.

Heart of Desire, Book 2, is available at Amazon, ON SALE for .99 until Tuesday.

 A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe, Book 1, is available at Amazon.

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

Heart of Desire on Sale for .99!

Heart of Desire, my latest Regency romance novella, and Book 2 of my Handful of Hearts series, is on sale for .99 from

September 18 thru Tuesday, September 20!

This story is Taming of the Shrew meets Pride and Prejudice, with a romantic flavor all its own.

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Blurb:

Follow your heart to find your desire

Miss Katherine Locke is irked to start her third season dancing with the disagreeable Lord Haversham, her brother’s friend and her own arch enemy. After three years out, however, she’s finally interested in the dashing Lord Finley—only to find out her cousin has set her cap for him too. To make the man jealous, Kate feigns interest in Lord Haversham, only to be shocked to find the handsome lord apparently falling for her. With time running out, should she accept his suit and risk falling in love despite herself?

Marcus, Lord Haversham, is in a tight pinch. His estates are failing and worse, he’s just lost three thousand pounds to his best friend, Lord Ainsley. Ainsley’s solution: have Marcus marry his shrewish sister and he’ll cancel his gambling debt plus give him ten thousand more pounds for her dowry. With nowhere to turn, Marcus agrees, praying he can keep word of the wager from Miss Locke long enough to charm her into marrying him. But can he avoid falling in love himself?

 

Excerpt:

The music had a lively air and Miss Katherine Locke would’ve thought herself fortunate to be out again in Society after a long, cold, dull winter in Somerset save that her partner, Lord Haversham, was the rudest man in London. Well, his lordship was about to discover that Kate Locke was not one to suffer fools lightly.

“So you refuse to allow your sister to waltz, yet you are quite willing to stand up with me and dance this, according to you, most scandalous of dances.” Kate smiled into the odious wretch’s face. “My lord, I should say that smacks of hypocrisy.”

“Indeed.” Lord Haversham turned them skillfully at the end of the floor. “I would say it showed a want of character in your brother for allowing you to dance it with me. The waltz should be danced by married couples and no one else.” He pulled her close against him, so their bodies almost touched.

She gasped at her proximity to the rogue. How dare he make a spectacle of them on this crowded dance floor?

“You see?” he whispered, peering into her face, his gaze intent upon her mouth.

All she could see were his cool gray eyes, as the crisp scent of his sandalwood cologne filled her nose.

“Ainsley should be horsewhipped for allowing it.”

“I’ll see to it he horsewhips you if you don’t let me go.” Kate gave a hopping step and smashed her foot down on top of his.

Lord Haversham lurched forward, actually falling onto her.

For the briefest moment, they stood pressed together in a warm embrace that made Kate tingle all over. Then outrage swept through her, and she pushed him away. “How dare you,” she seethed, trying to pull away from him.

“That was your fault, and you know it. And if you make a scene that results in me having to marry you, I swear I will lock you in the tower at my grandfather’s castle and throw away the key.” Lord Haversham righted himself and smiled at her with clenched teeth.

 

 

Heart of Desire is now available on Amazon for just .99!

 I hope you enjoy Heart of Desire!

 

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Heart of Delight

 

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Heart of Desire, Historical Romance, On Regency Romance, Promotion, Regency Romance, Release Day Tour, Release Party | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 9/11/16 Heart of Delight: What’s in a Name?

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 August’s “Book of the Month,” is Heart of Delight. It’s Book 3 in my Regency series Handful of Hearts. Here is my gorgeous new cover!

At Lady Hamilton’s ball in May 1820, Lord Halford, Hal to his friends, flirts with his cousin, Lady Celinda Graham, in hopes of gaining a wife as decreed by his father. After she leaves, someone else intrudes on his privacy. Hal is captivated by the beautiful young woman and wants to know more about her. (Some adjustments have been made from published version to accommodate WWW rules.)

Heart of Delight

“Is there some way I may be of service to you, Mademoiselle…?” He must know the name of this beautiful creature.

“D’Aventure,” she said, with a small but graceful curtsy, “Gabriella Veronique Marie d’Aventure. Mais, non, I am fine, monsieur.”

Well, he had a name, at least. Better than complete ignorance. “Have you, come, perhaps, to watch the dancing?”

She nodded, keeping her attention on him. “Yes, my lady does not require me at the moment, so I thought it would be nice to see how the English dance.” Her smile quite took his breath away.

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 ladies’ 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. However,  her growing feelings for the handsome valet make Gabriella have to fight to continue 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 the him, all the while hoping his deception will won’t ruin his chances of winning her love and hand in marriage.

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

Handful of Hearts series:

Heart of Delight, Book 3, is available for pre-order at Amazon.

Heart of Desire, Book 2, is available at Amazon.

 A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe, Book 1, is available at Amazon.

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Heart of Desire FinalHeart of Delight

 

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Heart of Delight, Historical Romance, On Regency Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Cover Spot: Heart Strings by Donna Hatch

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This week’s  featured cover is from one of my fellow authors at Romancing Yesterday, Donna Hatch. Heart Strings is her newest release (just yesterday!) and her cover is just beautiful!

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BLURB:

Gently bred young ladies don’t run away from home to find employment, but when forced to choose between marrying a brutish oaf or becoming another man’s mistress, Susanna makes an unconventional decision. Following her passion for music, she flees to London with dreams of securing a position as a harpist. Becoming entangled with a handsome violinist who calls himself Kit, but who seems too aristocratic for a working-class musician, may be more problematic than sleeping in the streets.

Kit’s attention is captured by Susanna’s breath-taking talent, admirable grace, and winsome smiles…until a lawman exposes the new harpist as a runaway bride and a thief. With peril lurking in the shadows, Susanna’s imminent danger not only forces Kit to choose between his better judgment and his heart, but he must also embrace the life to which he swore he would never return.

Heart Strings is available at Amazon.

 

 

 

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