Jenna’s 411 ~ 4/01/2015

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Welcome back to another week’s installment of Jenna’s 411! 

Book Chat ~ Cover Reveal!

After almost a year, I have finally been given the go-ahead by Kensington to reveal the cover for my upcoming release of my Georgian romance Only Marriage Will Do. And although the cover has technically been released, the reveal event is scheduled for this coming Monday, April 6th. Lots of hoopla, tweeting, and Facebook entries. :) There may even be a contest or two.

I’ll also be sending out my very first newsletter to those who have subscribed which will include an exclusive excerpt from Only Marriage Will Do. So sign up between now and Monday to get a big sneak peek at Book 2 of The House of Pleasure series. So come join the party!

On the Home Front ~  Fool For Love

rnc_bhmh9923a-300No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke! LOL I just now entered my late-Victorian romance As Long As You’re Mine into the Virginia Romance Writers’ Fool For Love contest. I very rarely enter writing contests, but I’ve been wanting to enter this one for years and the timing just never worked (always looked it up after the deadline).  I’m supposed to hear from them around May 8, so I’ll keep you posted!

 

Jenna Fun Fact of the Week

"Number Form--colored". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Number_Form--colored.jpg#/media/File:Number_Form--colored.jpg

“Number Form–colored”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Number_Form–colored.jpg#/media/File:Number_Form–colored.jpg

I believe I have a very mild form of synesthesia. Whenever I think of days of the week or months of the year, they appear in color. We’re in April now and April is pink. We just left March, which is grassy green. The months also revolve around a large almost egg shape, with the summer being the wide end of the egg and December and January on either side of the pointed end. How fun is that?

So, how’s your week been?

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Spotlight on Ashley York and The Gentle Knight

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BLURB:

A medieval soldier returns home to find his lover died in childbirth just as his own mother had. Believing he is cursed, Peter of Normandy turns from love. When he must give escort to an Irish princess more noble than many knights, he struggles with his decision to live a solitary life. Can he take the chance that his love won’t be a death sentence and possibly make them stronger?

Padraig MacNaughton’s death bed decree rips his daughter, Brighit, from the shelter of her protective clan in Ireland. Forced to take vows at a Priory in England, she finds herself in the hands of lecherous mercenaries with their own agendas. Dare she trust the Norman knight to see her safely to her new life as a nun? Even when she finds in him the fulfillment of all she’s ever wanted?

Or will honor and duty eclipse their one chance for happiness?

 

Buy links for The Gentle Knight:   Apple    Kobo    Amazon    Barnes and Noble

Website: http://www.ashleyyorkauthor.com

email: ashleyyorkauthor@gmail.com

Excerpt:

“Well?” Peter asked.

She started at his voice. Indecision held her immobile. If he could be distracted before the woman returned, she could grab that little knife.

She would engage him and get him to leave. “I’m sorry?”

“As well you should be, but what will it be?”

What will it be? What was he going on about? He did not seem inclined to leave. She glanced toward the back door. She had only a fleeting moment to act.

She leaned closer to the table, her fingertips curling around the wooden edge. She pushed herself up, swung to face him, and scooped the blade into her hand.

Brighit stood, squared her shoulders, and held her head high. Behind her back, she clenched the hilt of the pilfered knife. Elation coursed through her body like a river overrunning it’s banks. She now had a means to defend herself against anyone who would harm her. She bit her cheek to keep from smiling.

His brown eyes were unusually bright. The hint of a playful on his full lips.

“Is this stubbornness now?” Peter moved in close, his steps a little unsure.

“Not intentionally stubborn.” He misread her yet again.

He licked his lower lip. When his gaze dropped to her breasts, the air was knocked out of her. A full smile now. He was appraising her with total appreciation. The way a man looks at a woman he desires. Her breath returned with a solid whoosh.

Posted in Book Spotlights, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, New Release, Promotion, Spotlights | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 3/29/15 Only Marriage Will Do

 

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!

I’m back again this week but with my soon to be released Georgian historical Only Marriage Will Do. This is the  book some of you might have been waiting for, as it is the next book after Only Scandal Will Do in which we will find out just what happened to the Marquess of Dalbury’s sister, Juliet.  There has been some very creative punctuation demonstrated in this snippet this week to make it 8 sentences. Please forgive the awkwardness.

To catch you up: Lady Juliet is fleeing London and the French viscount who claims she is his wife. She has stopped at an inn on her way to her brother’s northernmost estate, but finds she can’t sleep. She has sent for a hot bath and is looking for a soothing oil to relax her.

400px-Perfume_bottle_and_stopper_IMG_1122“Come in, Glynis,” she said as she uncapped a vial and sniffed the contents to find it jasmine and not for the bath.

The door opened.

“Are they bringing the tub? I think the lavender oil will help me relax.”

“Very good, my lady,” came the deep masculine voice that froze her, vial in hand.

Her head snapped up.

A towering male figure stood shadowed in the doorway.

Dear God, Philippe had found her.

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Blurb for Only Marriage Will Do:

Not every happy-ever-after begins at “I do.”

When the hero of her dreams rescues Lady Juliet Ferrers from the man claiming to be her husband, she is sure she has found her one true love. But is she free to marry him? Not to be deterred, Juliet arranges for her hero, Captain Amiable Dawson, to escort her to her family estate, hoping that along the way she can win his love.

Amiable is charmed by the sweet, beautiful woman he rescued, and although he has grave reservations about her marital status, he allows himself to be swept up into Juliet’s romantic spell and the promise of a happy-ever-after.

The spell breaks when legal questions arise and Juliet faces the horror of not knowing if she is married to her knight in shining armor or the cruel viscount who is determined to have her at any price.

Only Marriage Will Do is on pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

That’s all for this week. Hope you enjoyed it!

I am so excited because next week is my official cover reveal for Only Marriage will Do, and I can’t wait to show off my gorgeous cover.  So please visit my blog on April 6th to see it at last!

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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Posted in Historical Romance, House of Pleasure, House of Pleasure Series, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Only Marriage Will Do, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Jenna’s 411 ~ 3/25/2015

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Welcome back to another week’s installment of Jenna’s 411! 

Book Chat ~ Cover Reveal!

17541736_mI’ve been in touch with my fabulous cover designer, Danielle Fine, and she’s assured me that I can have my cover reveal for Beloveds on April 6th! Yippee! That’s the day a new round of Medieval Monday starts, and my promo this round will, of course, be Beloveds, which I’m hoping will release in late April. :) I’m so excited by the response of my beta readers I can’t wait to get this book out to all my medieval fans. Erotic fans will probably like this one too. LOL But if you don’t want spoilers, you should read my medieval trilogy first. This picture is just a pic I’ve used before to illustrate the trilogy, but I though the steamy nature of Beloveds warranted bringing it back. :)

 

On the Home Front ~  Reader’s Theatre

800px-Charles_Canada_&_Eva_Abrams_01AThis is production week for me at work. We are doing a Reader’s Theatre piece, which is much less work than a full blown production, yet it still taxes the time and the creativity to make an audience believe a story is being enacted before them with no set, no props, and minimal costumes. And yet Reader’s Theatre is a wonderful way for actors to delve deeply to explore the interpretation of their characters, confined to the chair they sit in. If you ever get to experience Reader’s Theatre–do it!  You won’t be sorry you did!

 

Jenna Fun Fact of the Week

House Mouse

House Mouse

I hate mice. Well, not the little fuzzy ones that look so cute behind a glass pane in a pet store, or the funny ones on the cartoons (loved Tom and Jerry!), and of course I love Mickey Mouse. But I don’t like the little gray furry ones that my cats continue to insist on bringing home  and depositing on my BED!  Although I’m grateful they are such marvelous hunters, I wish they would keep the spoils of war to themselves! They leave bits of mouse parts everywhere and I simply can’t boil sheets four times a day! :)

So, how’s your week been?

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Property Rights of Victorian Women by Liza O’Connor and Spotlighting Well Kept Secrets

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Property Rights of the Victorian Woman

Before 1870, any money a wife earned, gained from investments, received as a gift, or inherited became her husband’s upon marriage. Any she acquired afterwards was his too. He could dispose of all ‘movable’ property as he wished. And while she could ‘own’ land & houses, she had no say what could be done with them. She could neither rent, sell, nor order repairs. Only her husband could do so.

Simply put, she had no further say in her wealth, because she was legally seen as a femme covert to her husband and not seen as a legal entity allowed to possess property. There were ONLY two ways a woman could be considered a legal entity with control over her own life and money. A) She never marries anyone. B) Her husband dies and she never remarries.

In either of these cases she would be considered a ‘femme sole’ in the eyes of the law and could make all decisions concerning her property.

Since society pushed young women to marry, most lost the first option before they even knew such an option existed. A great deal of ladies would marry the man their father chose. And not all husbands were the charming fellows in our romance books. To protect a beloved daughter, a father would sometimes ensure the fiancé sign a pre-nuptial document returning the property to her name, but for most women, they lost all rights. For example, had Jane Austen married, her rights to all her books would have transferred to her husband. For authors, our stories are like children we’ve nurtured and grown. I can completely understand why she would remain single, rather than lose all her book children.

Given the loss of rights and property when a woman married, it’s no wonder why arsenic became such a popular poison in the late Victorian era. It’s tasteless and odorless, and if fed in small portions in the husband’s food, could slowly kill him without anyone discovering the truth, for arsenic was quite prevalent in manufactured goods at that time and a slow poisoning could be mistaken for accidental poisoning.

Finally, in 1882, wives legal identities were restored, allowing them to retain the property they owned. Not surprisingly, a great deal of men didn’t like this, and sought ways around the new law. One way was to lock one’s wife away in a room, declaring it necessary to assure the husband of his conjugal rights, and while she remained confined, he could do whatever he wished with her property.

This actually happened, and my proof is that in 1891 the Court of Appeals finally ruled a man could not confine his wife in order to enforce his conjugal rights.

So did these scoundrel husbands throw their hands up and say, “I give up. You get to make your own decisions now.” I seriously doubt it. They simply found other reasons to confine a wife.

Which is why in book 2.5 Alice’s mother gets tossed into Bedlam where the guards were paid not to feed her. And the problem continues in book 4.

 

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The great Victorian sleuth Xavier Thorn and his partner Vic Hamilton take a case close to home. Their youngest staff member, L’il Pete, discovers his mother murdered in the alley. Jacko is called up from the country to assist in solving the crime. The good woman’s murder proves to be tangled up with a much larger and shocking list of crimes perpetrated by a powerful man who may truly be above the law. Making matters more complex: Vic discovers her recent weight gain may be the result of a condition that could destroy her life and everything she loves.

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“Margaret. You cannot go home to the man who put you in an asylum.”

The old woman’s eyes turned glassy. “I don’t understand why he did that. I would never tell a soul what I discovered. I am his faithful wife.”

Vic was tempted to turn the carriage around and take the old bat back to Bedlam. After all their effort, she wasn’t even going to cooperate? “Well, at least we saved the wolfman, so our night was not a complete waste.”

“How dare you!” Lady Thurman snapped.

“No, ma’am, how dare you!” Vic yelled in return. “Your husband is part of a criminal ring that helps husbands get rid of wives while keeping their property. Yet, even after he has sent you to hell, you still protect him so other women will be placed in Bedlam and die.”

When no one came to her rescue, the old woman burst into tears. “It is horrible, I know…and then to blackmail the gentlemen afterwards…I could hardly believe it was my Mr. Thurman. I went to him, confessed I had found the papers while scrubbing off the old wax on the cherry cabinet. I wanted him to tell me it was all a misunderstanding and his letters meant something else altogether.”

Lady Meridan took pity on her and provided her a handkerchief. After five minutes of the woman snorting into the cloth, Xavier lost patience.

“And did he?”

With another minute of sniffles, she finally replied. “No. He just kissed me on my forehead and said he would miss me. I thought he meant to kill himself so I begged him to reconsider. God would forgive him for those minor sins, but not suicide.” She paused. “He promised he had no intention of taking his life, not when he was so close to being First Minister. Then he told me to go upstairs and sleep. He would make this problem go away.”

Vic finished the old woman’s story. “And you woke up with a very nasty headache in Bedlam.”

links

Book 4

Well Kept Secrets

AMAZON

Free with Amazon Kindle Unlimited

 

Need to catch up?

Book 1

The Troublesome Apprentice

 

Book 2

The Missing Partner

 

Book 2.5

A Right to Love

 

Book 3

The Mesmerist

All Xavier books Free with Amazon Unlimited

About the author liza

Liza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved normally. But all those bad behaviors have given her lots of fodder for her humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.

You have been warned.

Mostly humorous books by Liza:

Ghost LoverTwo British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. And there’s a ghost cat that roams about the book as well. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)

Untamed & UnabashedThe youngest of the Bennet sisters, Lydia, tells her story. A faithful spinoff from Pride & Prejudice.

A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)

Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.

Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.

Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.

Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.

The Adventures of Xavier & Vic Sleuth series: (Late Victorian/Mystery/Romance)

The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.

The Missing Partner — Opps! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.

A Right to Love A romantic detour for Jacko. Want to see how amply rewarded Jacko was when he & Vic save an old woman from Bedlam?

The Mesmerist The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.

Well Kept Secrets L’il Pete’s mum is murdered, and discovering who & why reveals a great many secrets.

 

Social Networking

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

LIZA O’CONNOR

Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

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Posted in Book Spotlights, Guest Bloggers, Historical Romance, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Medieval Monday: Spotlight on H. K. Carlton

 

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It’s Medieval Monday again and I’m spotlighting fellow medieval romance author,

HK Carlton!

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Scotland – 1307 – During the Scottish Wars of Independence

Gard Marschand will stop at nothing in his pursuit to regain what is lost. Concealing his true identity, he will associate with his enemies, kill his own countrymen, even sell his soul to the devil if all else fails. He will lie, cheat, steal, rape and siege his way across two countries gaining power and reputation in his malevolent wake. His determination all consuming, until King Edward commands Gard to lay siege on Ross-shire holding, where Braelynn Galbraith obliterates his single-minded purpose.

Braelynn Galbraith wants peace for her beloved Scotland, marriage to her childhood sweetheart, Callum, and a house full of children. In that order. But evil incarnate in the form of Gard Marschand, turns her life inside out and destroys all hope of a decent marriage.

Can Gard abandon his deep-seated need of revenge for a love that might just save his soul, or will he succumb to the demons that hound him and surrender to the devil within?


Excerpt

She stood on wobbly legs, feeling nauseous. Her limbs trembling and weak, she stumbled between the men. One tried to help her but she swatted his hands away. He had not come to her rescue when she needed it, she denied his assistance now.

Her thigh throbbed painfully as she put one foot in front of the other. Warmth trickled down her leg every other step. Where would she go? Home. She would go home. And as soon as she thought the word fresh tears streamed. Home. Sanctuary. Safety. Father.

Brae blindly staggered past the burned out armoury. Where was Ross, their overlord? How could this have happened? They’d been attacked. Again. What of her parents? Had they sought the shelter of the holding? Was it safe to go home? She didn’t have a choice, needed to stop the bleeding. She grew weaker, not only from the attack but the blood loss.

The croft was empty when she reached it. Her father would have joined the men to fight the fire if he was able, and her mother would have gone to help the injured. But she was injured and could use some attention herself.

Brae lifted the basin of water from beside the door and tried not to spill it as she picked her way gingerly to her room. She stripped out of her ruined clothing. The bodice was torn and she hadn’t even realized it. Her skirt felt heavy with the amount of blood it had soaked up.

The bloodstains on her legs had begun to dry, but blood still flowed from the wound. Wetting a rough cloth she cleansed the red streaks from her flesh. When she’d finally managed to clean enough to inspect the wound, the basin of water ran red. The jagged gash marred the upper part of her thigh. When she closed her legs, the cut met with the other leg. The location of the wound and the friction of her walking home must have helped keep it open with every step. The flap of skin resembled a crescent moon. It would need to be stitched or it would never stop bleeding. She needed a physician. But he would have escaped to the holding as well for protection or to help with the casualties.

Her mind went back to Marschand. The man. The demon had spared her for a reason. And for some inexplicable rationale she felt obligated to keep this wound a secret, to protect him as he had done for her.

Brae pulled a fresh chemise over her head, holding onto the bedpost for support. Her stomach lurched. Her peripheral vision blurred as she groped along to find her mother’s sewing kit and her father’s whiskey.

She sat on the edge of the bed with the needle threaded and poised to plunge into her skin, but she couldn’t do it. There was no way she was going to be able to stitch her own flesh together.

Brae took a long drink of the brown liquor. It burned her raw throat, causing her to sputter and cough. She poured some over the thread and needle, as she’d seen her mother do countless times when sewing her father’s wounds, and waited for the numbness to settle into her limbs. But by the time she began to feel it, her fingertips and eyesight were affected as well.

She pinched the puckered lip of skin closed and took a deep breath. She pierced the tip of the needle through the deepest section of the C shape, yelping at the pain. “One stitch. Please jus’ one stitch.” She prayed for help.

Brae pulled the thread through her flesh. It burned like fire, pain worse than the cut, flaming worse than the nettle she’d gotten into as a child. She breathed shallowly in and out through her teeth and forced the needle into the other part of her leg. Brae made one round stitch in a loop, gathering the two sides together pulling the string tight. She quickly knotted it, cut it, and promptly passed out.

Buy Links:

Amazon   http://viewbook.at/DevilTake

 

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Posted in Blog Hops, Book Spotlights, Historical Romance, Medieval Mondays, Medieval Romance, Medieval Times, Promotion, Spotlights | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cover Reveal: A Taylor-Made Love by Kary Rader

It’s been a long time coming. Some might say too long.

Seven years ago while I was pregnant with my youngest child, my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma cancer. He went through surgery, chemo and was pronounced cancer-free two weeks before my son Brady was born. During that season things moved so fast. I never dealt with the emotions I experienced while he was sick. But three years ago when a friend’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer, all of them came flooding back. As a result, I wrote A Taylor-Made Life.

A Taylor-Made Life became an Amazon Bestseller and I received letters from all over the world (e.g.UK, France, Uganda) saying how the story has touched hearts. It recently won the 2014 RomCon Reader’s Choice Award and was a finalist in the 2015 Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition’s (EPIC) eBook Awards. ATML also won several RWA chapter contests. It continues to touch people with its special message.

Now, two years after its release into the world, the next chapter in Taylor’s life is ready to be told and today we’re unveiling her new cover. I hope you love it as much as I do. Without further ado…

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A Taylor-Made Love, Book Two Taylor-Made Series

Contemporary New Adult

by Kary Rader

When fate spares your life, your destiny is always love

 

Twenty-year-old widow and cancer survivor Taylor Smith-Taylor is running her late husband’s billion-dollar gaming business because she’s made a vow to keep TME—and Gavin’s memory—alive. But she’s falling hard for her sexy attorney Brad Richards, and it’s not just their professional connection that has her tied in knots.

When Taylor’s new idea takes off, she relies on Brad to help. Using company funds to back the innovative project, they begin a tumultuous affair and a multi-million dollar negotiation that could dominate the market or put the company in jeopardy.

As the corporate dealings escalate, their volatile relationship leaves their priorities more tangled than their bed sheets, and a fatal accounting error divides them. Brad pushes Taylor to embrace her idea, and him, by selling TME—a decision that, for her, goes deeper than money. When she refuses, it seems easier for both to walk away, and only a perspective from the grave can help her realize her future comes down to one choice: the love she’ll lose or the love she’ll make.

Please add A Taylor-Made Love to your GOODREADS TBR List

A Taylor-Made Love is available for pre-order on Amazon

And for a chance to win a $25.00 gift certificate, visit Kary’s blog here!

 

Posted in Cover Reveal, Guest Posts | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments