Spotlight: Lanterns in the Mist by Mairi Norris

My good friend, author Mairi Norris, has released a new romance today, a little out of her usual medieval historical period, but I’ve read it and it’s a fabulous book! Set in  pre-Revolutionary War Virginia, book will keep you turning pages! So without further ado…

Màiri Norris offers to readers her newest release set in pre-Revolutionary Colonial America. Slightly darker than her usual style, Lanterns In The Mist contains scenes with graphic content that may disturb some readers.

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BLURB:

Virginia bootmaker Duncan MacCabe needs a partner and wants a wife, but not both. So what is a pragmatic man to do but combine the two. When he learns a bride ship is en route to Norfolk with women aboard who might fit his qualifications, it appears his problem is solved.

Londoner Susanna Cooper is desperate. With her father’s sudden death, the family livelihood is gone. Her only sibling, a younger brother, abandons her to sail to China. All other options exhausted, she joins the complement of a bride ship headed for the Colony of Virginia. The only guarantee: employment or a husband.

Destiny joins Duncan and Susanna and love binds them, but a pitiless adversary, his desire for Susanna thwarted, plots a chilling vengeance to separate them—forever.

Màiri is pleased to gift a copy of Lanterns In The Mist to one of today’s commenters.

EXCERPT:

Susanna witnessed everything. Her eyes blinked, but she could not close them, nor could she force her gaze far enough to one side to avoid the images.

Once, blood spurted from the ruffian with such force the droplets arced to splash upon her face. Crimson colored her senses, as everything within her range of vision seemed drenched in a gushing fountain of blood.

An eternity passed.

The horror became so great she swooned. The respite lasted for an unmercifully brief period.

Finally, blessedly, the ruffian’s eyes glazed. He struggled to draw a gurgling, agonized breath through the gag, but the effort failed. Though his body did not move, it seemed to collapse. The light in his eyes faded.

Through it all, her captor hummed a tuneless croon. A beatific smile curved his lips. He pushed back the cowl and removed the mask.

That serene, euphoric gray gaze bent upon her.

 

Lanterns in the Mist is available at Amazon today!

Posted in Book Spotlights, Historical Romance, Promotion, Spotlights | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cover Reveal: Seduction at the Christmas Court by Jenna Jaxon

At long last it’s December, and I can finally reveal the beautiful cover for my soon-to-be released medieval Christmas novella, Seduction at the Christmas Court! This book continues the story of Alyse and Geoffrey from Time Enough to Love, this time at the court of King Edward III. I think this cover has all the elements I wanted: medieval, winter, Christmas, and intrigue. I hope you like it as much as I do!

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BLURB:

Christmas tidings of comfort, joy, and temptation

Alyse and Geoffrey, Lord and Lady Longford, have journeyed to the glittering Christmas Court of King Edward III in the year 1349 to wait upon the king and take part in some Yuletide merriment. However, when Geoffrey is suddenly called into the king’s service again, Alyse must remain at court, attending the queen and persuading her rebellious sister to accept an unwanted betrothal. When rumors of Geoffrey’s death arise, Alyse fends off an old suitor who wants to renew their friendship. But how long will he take “No” for an answer?

EXCERPT:

“This entertainment will be tedious. I would much rather retire for a good night’s bedding right now,” he whispered, the puff of his breath tickling her ear and sending prickles of excitement down her neck.

She laced their fingers together. “’Twill be finished ‘ere long, my love. Then you can wield your weapon with a vigor yon knights cannot.”

He laughed and drank deeply. “Aye, sweet Alyse. My skill with both weapons outshines any other knight.”

“As you will not want me to be judge of that, I think, I will demur to your claim, although I will test your skills again with the one blade ‘ere the night is done.”

At Geoffrey’s bark of laughter—so loud it turned heads on the dais their way—Alyse settled back to watch the mummers, her cheeks burning, but a pleasant anticipation building within as well.

The mummer playing St. George took the center spot in the Great Hall and began a sing-song rhyme that soon had the court laughing at its nonsense. A stream of knights—played in turn by the other mummers—approached, made their rhyming challenge, and were quickly slain by St. George, whose wielding of his sword became swifter and swifter. He slayed the knights in such short order that by the time he faced the final knight, he did no more than look at the Turkish knight than the man fell down, his toes jingling softly as he landed on the soft rushes covering the floor.

A burst of laughter and applause followed that performance as the quack Doctor shuffled forward, his “magic potion” in a large bottle, gripped in his hand.

Thoroughly engrossed, Alyse laughed and clapped her hands. She held her breath and leaned forward as the Doctor poured the potion down the throats of the slain knights, spoke his own rhyme over them, and one by one, they began to twitch and dance, the rush-strewn floor seeming to come alive as they did. The room resounded with merriment as all seven knights revived.

Loud applause burst out from the courtiers, many of whom threw gold and silver coins onto the floor. Geoffrey tossed a gold florin to the Turkish knight. “For my lady’s pleasure,” he called.

The man nimbly caught the coin and made a deep bow. “Thank you, my lord.”

With a lecherous grin, Geoffrey grasped Alyse’s arm and urged her to rise. “And now allow me to attend to my lady’s pleasure as well.”

Seduction at the Christmas Court will release on Tuesday, December 6th and be available at Amazon, Smashwords, and eventually at other e-tailers. My release party will be in full swing on the 6th, so please come back for more seduction!

In the mean time, if you’d like to explore more of my books, or especially the Time Enough to Love series (the one Seduction is book 5 of), please visit my Amazon Author Page.

Posted in Cover Art, Cover Reveal, Historical Romance, Holiday Posts, Medieval Romance, On Time Enough to Love, Promotion, Seduction at the Christmas Court | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Spotlight on Scandal’s Splendor by Collette Cameron

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SCANDAL’S SPLENDOR

Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Book 4

A determined Scottish lady

Seonaid Ferguson, a lady of Craiglocky Keep, is through with London’s Marriage Mart. After learning she has the second sight, the haut ton attempts to exploit her abilities. Even though it means she condemns herself to spinsterhood, Seonaid sets a desperate course to rid herself of her gift turned curse. As she rushes home from England, a snowstorm strands her in a crowded inn with the last man she ever wished to see again. A handsome French baron who once thought her a courtesan. And just her misfortune, only he stands between her and certain harm.

An honorable French nobleman

Jacques, Monsieur le baron de Devaux-Rousset, ventures to Scotland to oversee his new investment;  a silver mine near Craiglocky. Only a handsome profit will save his family’s destitute estate in France. But when the mine is beset with one problem after another, Jacques must instead search for an heiress to wed. He certainly should not be falling in love with the lovely, spirited sister of Laird Ewan MacTavish, a lass whose dowry is insufficient to restore his ancestral home. Nor should he consider, even for a moment, her risqué, but deliciously tempting scheme to rid her of the second sight.

A danger most dire

Matters are torn from their hands when a dangerous adversary vows to expose Seonaid as a witch, just as Jacques’s  problems at the mine escalate into deadly violence. Is it by chance, or a dark design, that both of them are beset at once …? Dare Jacques and Seonaid throw caution aside and forge a future together?

Collette would also like for you to know that today she’s giving away a copy of the first book of the Highland Heather Romancing a Scot series, Triumph and Treasure, drawn from the names of those who comment on the blog today.

EXCERPT

Scandal’s Splendor

What the hell was he doing?

If the snow fight hadn’t brought him to his senses, how far would he have gone? Seonaid deserved better, and he couldn’t offer her anything but admiration from afar.

Kissing her breathless isn’t exactly drawing room decorum.

She wasn’t a loose trollop whose skirts he could lift for a few blissful moments and be done. She was the gently-bred sister of a man he admired, and who’ warned him away from her.

Fool.

Giving her another soft kiss, he set her from him. “Forgive me, ma petite. My behavior is inexcusable.”

Cocking her head, her lips moist and reddened from his onslaught, she smiled shyly. “Don’t apologize. I enjoyed it. Very much, as a matter of fact.”

Dammit. Drawing upon Herculean strength, he managed to resist yanking her into his arms and taking advantage of the hay pile.

“As did I, but it cannot happen again. We must think of your reputation.” Jacques tenderly brushed a stray curl from her flushed cheek.

He should have considered that before he agreed to stay and watch the birth, but he’d been a selfish bâtard. Anyone could’ve seen them kissing through the window, though doubtful since they stood in the farthest, darkest corner. Nevertheless, he’d been alone in here with her far too long.

She continued to stare at him, as if she could see his soul and read his thoughts.

Mayhap she could. Had she known what would happen between them? She’d known about Freya. What else had Seonaid perceived and kept to herself? Such an intriguing, mesmerizing woman. And she couldn’t be his. Ever.

More laughter and shouting echoed outside, and again, snowballs pelted the building.

Best put a respectable distance between them, in the event someone entered. As he stepped away, she faced the cat family once more.

“Jacques, may I ask something of you?”

Unrolling one of his sleeves, he glanced up, his eyes hooded. “Oui, ma petite.”

She peered over her shoulder, an unfathomable light in her almond-shaped eyes. “I have need to rid myself of my maidenhead and wondered if, perhaps, you’d consider . . . ah, assisting me?”

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BUY LINK:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M1N6U50/

collette-cameronAuthor’s Bio

Bestselling, award-winning author, COLLETTE CAMERON pens Scottish and Regency historicals featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intelligent, intrepid damsels who reform them.

Mother to three, Collette admits to a quirky sense of humor, enjoys inspiring quotes, and anything cobalt blue. A self-confessed Cadbury chocoholic, she lives in Oregon with her miniature dachshunds.

You’ll always find dogs, birds, occasionally naughty humor, and a dash of inspiration in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances.

Connect with Collette

Website: http://collettecameron.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/collettecameronauthor

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Collette_Author

Amazon Author Page:  http://amazon.com/author/collettecameron.com/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/collettecameronauthor/

Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/regencyrose

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/collettecameron

Google+: https://www.google.com/+ColletteCameronAuthor

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/collette-cameron-bestselling-award-winning-author-66717a60

Website     Twitter   Facebook    Regency Rose Newsletter

 

Posted in Book Spotlights, Giveaways, Guest Posts, Historical Romance, On Regency Romance, Promotion, Regency Romance | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Medieval Monday: Celebration! ~ Cathy MacRae’s The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride

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Celebration

 is our theme for this round of Medieval Monday!

Join us as we celebrate weddings, holidays, and all manner of medieval events!

This week’s excerpt is from

Cathy Macrae’s

The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride

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Excerpt:

At a nod from the priest, Riona stepped forward, and Eaden placed her hand in Ranald’s. She glanced at him from beneath lowered lashes, her heart racing wildly.

“Lady Caitriona, do ye come here of yer own free will and accord, without let or hindrance, free of all moral and legal encumbrance, to enter into this contract?”

Riona inhaled a deep breath. “Aye.”

The priest’s voice droned on, and she and Ranald murmured the correct responses, pledging their troth.

“Laird Scott, will ye have Gilda as yer daughter, to act as father and counsel, granting her all the attendant rights, privileges and responsibilities?”

Riona’s gaze flew to Ranald. This was not part of any wedding ceremony she’d ever attended. What was Ranald promising?

He squeezed her hand reassuringly and motioned for Gilda to approach. Placing his palm on the child’s shining head, he faced Riona, his gaze compelling her to listen to his words.

“Aye. I will offer all this in love and custom, giving her place in law alongside such other children as may arise from this union.”

Riona barely heard the challenge from the priest for any to speak who had just cause to oppose the marriage. Nor could she stop the tears spilling down her cheeks as she strove to breathe past the lump in her throat. Before their wedding guests and God, Ranald had pledged to give her daughter all the benefits of his own children, and to love and provide for her always.

Ranald leaned close, brushing the back of a hand over her damp cheek. “Dearling, will ye say yer vows?”

Abruptly Riona realized the priest was staring expectantly at her and she gathered her scattered thoughts. She handed her bouquet of heather to Gilda and faced Ranald, taking both of his hands in hers.

“Ye are blood of my blood, and bone of my bone.” She lifted her gaze and found dark blue eyes burning into hers. “I give ye my body, that we two might be one. I give ye my spirit, ‘til our life shall be done.”

* * *

Ranald knew he had surprised Riona. By taking Gilda as his daughter, he pledged to his new wife the lass would never want for a home or honor. He meant also to prove they both would never lack for love. The trusting, earnest look in her eyes as she gave him her vows humbled him, and he answered her with a promise of his own.

“I pledge my love to ye, and everything I possess. I promise ye the first bite of my meat and the first sip from my cup. I pledge yer name will always be the name I cry aloud in the dead of night. I promise to honor ye above all others. The love we forge will be never-ending and we will remain, forevermore, equals in our marriage. This is my wedding vow to ye.”

The priest nodded and continued the ceremony as Ranald faced Riona, Gilda tucked between them. The lass rested against her mother’s gown, swinging her basket from one hand, back and forth, watching as petals drifted to the floor.

“Ye may kiss yer bride.”

“‘Tis the best part,” he replied softly, drawing an answering smile from her that lit her eyes. He lowered his head and touched his lips to hers. Riona leaned into his kiss, and his heart skipped to know she willingly sought him before the enormous crowd around them.

A subtle cough from the priest ended their pledge, and they parted, only to turn, cheek-to-cheek, to face the cheers of their guests.

Ranald straightened, pulling Riona against his side, a hand on Gilda’s shoulder. “‘Tis my privilege and honor to introduce ye to my wife and daughter. Together we invite ye to have a drink,” Ranald stared pointedly at a guest near the forefront of the crowd who already held a chalice in his hand, “as the tables are set for the banquet.”

Another cheer went up and people surged forward, congratulating them with hugs or kisses for Riona and a clout to the shoulder for Ranald.

The banquet was quickly readied and everyone found a seat. At Ranald’s left Eaden stood, raising his goblet in a bid for silence. Gradually the jovial noise subsided.

“I would be the first to make a toast. My brother has always been a lucky man, but he has outdone himself this time.”

He faced Ranald and Riona. “A thousand welcomes to ye with yer marriage. May ye be healthy all yer days. May ye be blessed with long life and peace, and may ye grow old with goodness and with riches.”

Slainte!” The cheer rose from every throat as Ranald lifted Riona’s hand and pressed a kiss to her fingers.

Blurb:

Determined to keep the Macrory clan’s holdings out of the clutches of the Lord of the Isles and marauding pirates, King Robert II sends his man, Lord Ranald Scott, to hold Scaurness Castle. There, Laird Macrory lays dying, awaiting word from his son who is missing on the battlefields of France. If the son is not found before the old laird dies, Ranald will take over as laird—and marry Laird Macrory’s headstrong daughter.

Lady Caitriona sees no reason she cannot rule the clan in her brother’s stead, and is bitterly disappointed with the king’s decision to send a man to oversee the castle and people. Not only is Ranald Scott only distantly related to the Macrory clan, but he was her childhood nemesis. She has little trust or like for him.

Her disappointment turns to panic when the king’s plan is completely revealed and she realizes she must wed Ranald. Pirates, treachery, and a four-year-old girl stand between her and Ranald’s chance at happiness. What will it take for them to learn to trust each other and find the love they both deserve?

 

Buy Link:

https://www.amzn.com/dp/B00J1PNPPC

Posted in Medieval Monday, Medieval Romance, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 11/27/16 Seduction at the Christmas Court: A French Peacock

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This month I’ll be posting snippets from my new medieval Christmas story, Seduction at the Christmas Court. This book continues the story begun in Time Enough to Love and its hero Lord Geoffrey Longford and heroine Lady Alyse de Courcy, now Lady Longford.

New cover reveal is set for December 1!

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Weekend Warriors, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with plenty of food, fun and family. I’m loving my 5 day vacation!

Seduction at the Christmas Court begins in December 1349, about seven months after the end of  Time Enough to Love.

In this snippet, which comes some pages after last week’s post, Guy de Valere, Pippa’s betrothed, has put in an appearance at the Christmas Court, much to Alyse’s dismay.  Here, Geoffrey tries to reassure her.

*Note: This excerpt is unedited and creatively punctuated to conform to the rules of WWW.

 

800px-javan_green_peafowl_1-18Geoffrey bit the inside of his mouth to stifle a curse. The man before them had challenged him, nay, tried to kill him for Alyse’s hand. ‘Sblood, he could have done without seeing this knave ‘ere Judgment Day. Well, ‘twas likely they would be more in company since Pippa was betrothed to him. To his right, Alyse’s pale face and drawn lips—pressed so closely together they resembled a thin line across her face—angered him. No one should cause his wife such distress. Their Yuletide would be much less merry with this French villain at court.

“Fear not, sweet,” he whispered to Alyse. “Yon peacock will not disturb you with his crowing, else I will pluck his feathers to make you a fan.”

 

Blurb:

Lord and Lady Longford journey to the Christmas Court of King Edward III in the year 1349 to wait upon the king and take part in some Yuletide merriment. However, when Geoffrey is suddenly called into the king’s service again, Alyse must remain at the court, attending the queen and persuading her rebellious sister to accept an unwanted betrothal. When rumors of Geoffrey’s death arise,  Alyse fends off an old suitor who wants to renew an old friendship. But how long will he take “No” for an answer?

Other Books in the Time Enough to Love series:

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Betrothal with Logo

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

 

 

 

Posted in Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, On Time Enough to Love, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Seduction at the Christmas Court, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving!

Let us all give thanks for the good things in our lives and for the strength to overcome that which challenges us.

May you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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Posted in Holiday Posts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Interview with Elf Ahearn

Today I’m interviewing good friend and fellow Regency author Elf Ahearn about her life and especially about her latest Regency romance.

First. I must say that I love Elf’s name–it’s so whimsical and it’s also the name of one of my favorite Jo Beverley heroines, Elf Malloren.🙂

But back to the interview. I’ve asked Elf some questions about her book and about her life in general. She’s a very interesting lady!

Tell us a little bit about your new release.

Alas, my “new release” is experiencing an unexpected delay, so I’m going to plug my “already released” novel, A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing. Bless it’s rootin’ tootin’ heart, in September it hit #1 in its genre on Amazon.com. It’s also garnered about 70 five-star reviews.

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There’s this one troll-acious review, however, that’s persisting in the top spot. Strangely, when it was voted down, suddenly 40 people showed up in one day to push it to the top again. When a second wave of clicks on positive reviews overtook it, another 10 negative clicks put it back into the primo spot. What’re ya gonna do, right?

What was your inspiration for this story?

They say, “Write about what you know,” so A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing is loosely based on my family. We are four blond sisters whose personalities are so vastly different (in a good way), friends have told me they can’t believe we grew up in the same house.

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

With a name like Elf, I should be picky about my character’s names, but in Rogue, there’s only one personality who might be considered to have an odd moniker. Peggity is the eldest of the four sisters. In reality, my older sister’s is Teviot, who was named after a river in Scotland. Legend has it, my parents closed their eyes over a map of Scotland and dropped their pointer fingers. No one remembers whose digit landed on the river, but my sister should consider herself lucky she wasn’t named Peterhead.

What was your process for writing this book? Is this different or the same as other books you’ve written?

Stephen King wrote that he likes to blast through a manuscript, finish it, then work on something unrelated, then come back to the original for rewrites. It takes me forever to find objectivity, but one can’t rewrite successfully without it, ergo, I’ve adopted the Stephen King method.

Do you have plans for a sequel to this book?

I’m about 1/3rd of the way through the fourth book in the series. The second book, His Lordship’s Darkest Secret, will be appearing soon either in an anthology or as a self-publication, whichever comes first. The third book, A Duke in the Rough is rough, rough, rough right now, but it’s marinating. It’ll be released next year.

Who has been the greatest influence on your writing?

Well, basically my little sister, Jenny, who suggested I write romance—specifically Regency romance because that’s what she reads. Her encouragement came at a critical time after I got laid off from a job in corporate communications during the economic collapse starting in 2008.

Stuck at home, I was casting around for something to do other than hopelessly sending out resumes, when Jenny handed me a copy of a Sabrina Jeffries novel. I wish I could remember the title, but suffice it to say, it impressed me. The pages were packed with sexiness, I was swept up by the action and characters, and, despite what literary novelists think of romance writers, the writing was really strong.

Before I became an author, I had been an actor in New York City, slogging through the constant frustration of auditioning and not getting “the call.” The last thing I wanted to do was put myself back on that endless rejection roller coaster, but romances are much easier to get published than literary novels, so I thought, this is something I’d like to.

Now, Lightning Round:

What is your favorite amusement park ride?

I hate to admit this after what I just wrote, but you cannot drag me off a roller coaster. They’re awesome. However, I am terrified of Ferris wheels. Go figure…

Tea or coffee?

Tea, definitely tea. It’s easier on the tummy, and I get to hold my pinky up when I sip it.

French manicure or color (and if color, what color)?

Toes only, and I like a dusky rose.

Beach or mountains?

Beach—I’m a swim baby. Plus, I have this great bathing suit that has a tennis-like skirt on it, which hangs half way down my thighs. My mother doesn’t like it and people stare at me on the beach, but it means I don’t have to shave, so I adore that suit.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Again, the stomach is an issue (I’m a GERD gal), so I ought to say vanilla, but is there really a choice? Chocolate is the food of the gods.

Boxers, briefs or commando?

Personally, I wear panties with the seams cut from the leg holes because I hate being chaffed, but the hubby wears briefs, so I’m going with that.

Blond, brunette or redhead? (preferred men’s hair color)

Never had a preference, and now the ol’ ball and chain is gray, so I guess I love that color best.

Would you rather skydive or scuba dive?

Scuba any day. Heights scare the bejesus out of me.

What is the most exciting/daredevil thing you’ve ever done?

Ridden a Ferris wheel (See above).

Would you rather vacation in Hawaii, Vegas or London?

I’m a Regency writer—guess.

What’s the one thing you would never do?

There is not enough money in the world to make me harm an animal. When I was a kid, we kept a running tab of approximately two to three dogs, four to five cats, two ponies, and about two to three goats. Sprinkled among these pets were chickens, pigeons, 32 tropical fish, 70 odd turtles including a tortoise, rabbits (starting with four and increasing to hundreds), and a monkey.

I’ve always felt a deep connection to animals. They are endlessly amusing, and they bring me peace, whereas people, as much as I love them, and I do, are always a bit troubling.

I’ve had that connection to animals for as long as I can remember. When I was six, in order to earn a pony, my father tested me out on goats (He stayed at a goat farm during summers as a youth, and fell in love with the creatures). We’d had Nancy and Laylie for about a week when I said to my mom, “Nancy’s going to have a baby.”

If I recall correctly, she patted my head, chuckled softly to herself, and got me in the car for a trip to the grocery store. By the time we got home, Nancy had given birth to a tiny spotted kid.

Thank you for sharing such wonderful stories with us, Elf! Now here’s a bit more about A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing.

Blurb:

In Lord Hugh Davenport’s opinion, women of the ton perpetually hide behind a mask of deception. That’s hard for Ellie Albright, the daughter of an earl, to swallow—especially since she’s disguised herself as a stable hand to get back the prized stallion her father sold to Hugh to pay a debt. If Hugh learns her true identity she’ll lose the horse and her family will go bankrupt. Somehow, though, losing Hugh’s affection is beginning to seem even worse.

Already only a step away from being snagged in her own web of lies, Ellie’s deceit threatens to spin out of control when Hugh’s mother invites Ellie and her sisters to a house party. Now Ellie has to scramble to keep Hugh from knowing she’s the stable girl he wants to marry, while simultaneously trying to win his trust as herself. Can she keep her costumes straight long enough to save her family? And even if she does, will it be worth losing his love?

Excerpt:

Ellie eyed the splattered front of her gown. “Now look what you’ve done. I’m a mess.”

The beast yanked a crumpled handkerchief from his pocket. “Use this,” he said, accidentally brushing her breast.

Ellie shied from his touch. “My Heavens, sir, cease and desist! Now, give me your handkerchief, slowly.” As she took the linen square, her hand halted in midair. The sour look she intended for her assailant melted. La, what a handsome man. And then she realized she’d seen him before, but where? Dark eyes, nearly black, met her own, a hooked curl bisected his forehead, meeting the edge of a scar that crossed the ruddy crest of his right cheek.

I’m staring. Quickly she pretended to swab a spot of wine at her waist. Her breath went shallow and her thoughts scattered, but a smile tipped the corners of her lips. She’d had the great good fortune to be trod upon by one of Devon’s most elusive bachelors, Hugh Davenport, Earl of Bruxburton – one of the few gentlemen who’d failed to call at Fairland. A pulse of pain reminded her of her foot. “I … I think I need to sit down,” she told him.

“Ah yes…” said Hugh, looking for an empty chair.

Putting the tiniest bit of weight down, Ellie received a powerful jolt. “I’m afraid I’ll not be dancing again this evening.”

Hugh’s back straightened and a hard look seeped into his eyes. Is he annoyed? she wondered.

“Well, there must be a chair here somewhere.” He moved off on the hunt.

Ellie took a few limping steps after him. “I’ll need your assistance.” He came back and eyed her suspiciously. “Your arm, in fact,” she told him.

His lips hardened, but he looped her arm through his. As they passed a row of seated grande dams, every eye watched with envy.

At an alcove, Hugh stopped to let her pass. “In here,” he said.

“I can’t go in there alone with you.”

“Did you see a free chair on the floor?” he said. “Because what I saw was a row of plump sugar plums, and none of them likely to abandon her seat.”

“People will say I’ve been compromised.”

“Nonsense. I couldn’t possibly compromise anyone in an alcove shielded by a simple palm tree. A young lady compromised in such a manner either wants to be or wants to pretend she was. Which one are you?”

dscn0573Author Bio:

Elf Ahearn, yes that is her real name, lives in New York with her wonderful husband and a pesky cat named Sufie, who believes she’s the inspiration for all of Elf’s books. (However, she is really a charming and persuasive distraction from writing, cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry.) Learn more about Elf at elfahearn.com or on Facebook. Learn more about Sufie by subscribing to The Writer’s Cat—a very infrequent newsletter about writing and apricot tabbies.

 

Author contact information:

Website: Elfahearn.com

Newsletter: Sign up for The Writer’s Cat – my very infrequent newsletter – by emailing me at elfahearn@hotmail.com

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A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing

Buy Link:

http://tinyurl.com/ju688me

 

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