Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 11/27/22 ~ Heart of Hope ~ Securing the Supper Dance

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !

Happy November!!!

Sadly, it has not been a happy month for my family. Our pets have had a rough time this month, losing our bunny, Daphne, and medical issues with two of our cats and my older daughter’s dog. Now, this past Friday, our beloved cat, Marmalade, crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We adopted her 18 years ago, so she was about 19 years old. She’d been in bad health for about a year and a half, and managed to injure herself Friday morning, sustaining a bad laceration just above her tail. When the vet tried to stitch it, her skin was so frail it wouldn’t hold sutures. They also discovered a bleeding problem that could not be controlled, so in the end we had to let her go. She was my daughter’s cat, and unfortunately she now lives in Chicago. But she was able to see her via FaceTime and say goodbye. Rest in Peace, Marmalade. I’ll bet you’re in the Great Outback enjoying chasing voles once more.

Today is the final day for snippets from my novella, Heart of Hope, part of my Handful of Hearts series, that released about a year ago. It is Bertie Symmonds and Lady Letitia Stowe’s story, so now onward to the snippets!

 

BLURB:

Wallflower Lady Letitia Stowe is determined to dance with no one at Lady Hamilton’s ball unless she knows the gentleman. When just such a man appears in the form of Albert Symmons, Letitia is suddenly eager to dance with him…until she discovers their set is the scandalous waltz. Letitia begs off and instead they talk together, each confessing a weakness. Inspired to help one another, they make a pact: she will instruct him in dancing, and he will do likewise for her in horseback riding. Their frequent meetings grow into true affection and respect; however, Letitia discovers her brother has another match in mind for her.

Can Letitia and Bertie come up with a way to change her brother’s mind or will they need to take more drastic measures to secure a “happily ever after”?

I’m skipping to the end of the chapter as Bertie gives it another try to secure a dance from  Lady Letitia. Enjoy!

EXCERPT:

“Lady Letitia, I am certain you’re fit to drop right now,” he cut his gaze at her partner, who seemed annoyed at the intrusion, “but might I ask you for the supper dance? I believe there will be sufficient time for you to recover, should you need to.”

“I say, Symmons, that sounds awfully like a disparagement of my abilities as a partner.” Kettering’s peevish voice grated on Bertie’s ears. On Lady Letitia’s as well, he hoped.

Despite his wish to shove his fist in Kettering’s face, Bertie had no desire to cause a scene. “N’tall, my lord. The lady hasn’t danced much this evening. Naturally, her first dance would be an exertion for her.”

And a little more for good measure…

The lady’s eyes, which had been dull and lifeless, brightened a trifle. “You are perfectly correct, thank you, Mr. Symmons.” Pausing, Lady Letitia peered at him, seeming to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of accepting him. Her aunt would surely wish her to dance with more than one partner tonight. That, at least, was in his favor. “I would be delighted to give you the supper dance.”

Bertie grinned from ear to ear, although why her acceptance was suddenly so important, he couldn’t say. Perhaps because he believed if Kettering had asked for it, she would have said no. Perhaps because he experienced a sudden need to protect Lady Letitia from louts like Kettering, who thought only of themselves and nothing of their partner. “Thank you, my lady. I will look forward to it.”

“Excuse us, Symmons.” Kettering had taken the lady’s arm again. “I really must return my partner to Lady Romley.”

If only there were some means to spirit her away from his lordship and escort her back to her aunt himself.

Lady Letitia sent a pleading look to Bertie and that was all it took. “As I am to be her next partner, Kettering, allow me to accompany the lady. That way you can secure your next partner as well.” He held his arm out to Lady Letitia, who disengaged from his lordship quick as a wink and linked her arm with his.

Kettering sent Bertie a chilling glare then bowed to Lady Letitia. “It was such a pleasure to have you as my partner, my lady. I hope you will allow me the opportunity to partner you again. Soon.” With an abrupt turn, he strode toward the card room.

“Thank you, Mr. Symmons.” Lady Letitia smiled up at him.

“My pleasure entirely, my lady.” Bertie smiled, utterly satisfied with Kettering’s huff. “Now let me take you back to your aunt. Don’t want her sending your brother after you.” Lord Kettering was one thing. The Earl of Haversham, however, was beyond Bertie. “I’d like to survive long enough to dance with you.”

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There are some fantastic snippets to be read.

Next week I’ll go into Christmas mode with snippets from my newest Christmas novella, The Christmas Pact, available this coming Monday in the 2022 Christmas anthology, Nine Ladies Dancing.

Heart of Hope is available on AmazonSmashwords , B & N, Apple, and Kobo.

 

The Handful of Hearts series

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Blog Hops, Handful of Hearts series, Heart of Hope, Historical Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 11/20/22 ~ Heart of Hope ~ ” I Will Dance This Set With You”

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !

Happy November!!!

This month I’m going to my novella, Heart of Hope, also part of my Handful of Hearts series, that released about a year ago. It is Bertie Symmonds and Lady Letitia Stowe’s story, so now onward to the snippets!

 

 

BLURB:

Wallflower Lady Letitia Stowe is determined to dance with no one at Lady Hamilton’s ball unless she knows the gentleman. When just such a man appears in the form of Albert Symmons, Letitia is suddenly eager to dance with him…until she discovers their set is the scandalous waltz. Letitia begs off and instead they talk together, each confessing a weakness. Inspired to help one another, they make a pact: she will instruct him in dancing, and he will do likewise for her in horseback riding. Their frequent meetings grow into true affection and respect; however, Letitia discovers her brother has another match in mind for her.

Can Letitia and Bertie come up with a way to change her brother’s mind or will they need to take more drastic measures to secure a “happily ever after”?

I’m continuing on directly from last week’s snippet as Bertie asks Lady Letitia to dance. Enjoy!

EXCERPT:

“Then we must remedy that immediately, Lady Letitia.”

Letitia jerked her head up, frowning at the unfamiliar voice that had barged in on their private conversation.

A young gentleman with an eager face had crept up on her unawares while she and Mr. Symmons talked.

Letitia wrinkled her brow. She should remember him if they’d been introduced. The man was dressed in flawless black evening dress, complete with white waistcoat and an elaborately tied cravat with a flashy gold and diamond pin affixed in the center of it. But she’d been introduced to many of the gentlemen in attendance this evening and at some point had stopped paying attention. Had this been one of them?

And a little more for good measure…

Aunt Alexandra seemed to have the same question. “Have we been introduced, young man?”

“Yes, Lady Romley” He bowed elegantly. “Lord Kettering, ma’am. Son of the Earl of Pytchley. We were introduced briefly by Lady Hamilton, at which point I determined I must ask Lady Letitia to partner me in a set this evening.”

Drat! Caught like a mouse in a trap. Letitia looked from Mr. Symmons, with whom she wanted to stand up, to Lord Kettering, with whom she now must dance, to Aunt Alexandra, who was shooting daggers at her from coal black eyes. Letitia sighed. If she had her wish, she’d be in bed alongside her sisters right now.

“Yes, Lord Kettering, I will dance this set with you.” Resigned, but trying not to show it, Letitia sent one sorrowful look to Mr. Symmons before Lord Kettering placed her hand in the crook of his arm and led her onto the dance floor.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There are some fantastic snippets to be read.

Heart of Hope is available on AmazonSmashwords , B & N, Apple, and Kobo.

 

 

The Handful of Hearts series

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Blog Hops, Handful of Hearts series, Heart of Hope, Historical Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 11/13/22 ~ Heart of Hope ~ The Wretched Bee

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !

Happy November!!!

This month I’m going to my novella, Heart of Hope, also part of my Handful of Hearts series, that released about a year ago. It is Bertie Symmonds and Lady Letitia Stowe’s story, so now onward to the snippets!

 

 

BLURB:

Wallflower Lady Letitia Stowe is determined to dance with no one at Lady Hamilton’s ball unless she knows the gentleman. When just such a man appears in the form of Albert Symmons, Letitia is suddenly eager to dance with him…until she discovers their set is the scandalous waltz. Letitia begs off and instead they talk together, each confessing a weakness. Inspired to help one another, they make a pact: she will instruct him in dancing, and he will do likewise for her in horseback riding. Their frequent meetings grow into true affection and respect; however, Letitia discovers her brother has another match in mind for her.

Can Letitia and Bertie come up with a way to change her brother’s mind or will they need to take more drastic measures to secure a “happily ever after”?

I’m continuing on directly from last week’s snippet as Bertie approaches Lady Letitia and her aunt. Enjoy!

EXCERPT:

“I say, it’s Lady Romley, isn’t it, and Lady Letitia?” Mr. Symmons smiled broadly and bowed to them, his tall frame jerking oddly with the effort.

“It is indeed, Mr. Symmons,” Aunt Alexandra said, pursing her lips. “You claim an acquaintance with my niece?”

Mr. Symmons peered at Letitia then nodded vigorously. “At least I think it’s you. We spoke about bee stings rather at length after one popped me on the nose at a garden party. You kept chipping the ice from a block and putting it in a handkerchief so I could stop the swelling.” He grinned at Letitia. “It worked too,” he felt his nose, “never better despite the wretched bee.”

And a little more for good measure…

Letitia returned his smile wholeheartedly. “I’m so glad you had no further ill effects from the sting, Mr. Symmons.” She had to keep him talking about the garden party or bees or something until he got the idea to ask her to dance. If only he would, she’d be happy to fulfil her promise to Aunt Alexandra.

“Thank you, Lady Letitia. No, no ill effects at all, at least not for me. Can’t say for the bee, you know.” He shrugged.

Letitia laughed. He had a good sense of humor. Why was Aunt Alexandra so disparaging of him? “Well, that is good to hear, Mr. Symmons.” She couldn’t suggest they dance, so how to suggest he ask her? “You seem to be in fine fettle tonight. Have you been enjoying the dancing?”

“Tolerably well, my lady. I’ve stood up with an old friend, Miss Locke, and with Miss Powell, but I haven’t had much luck otherwise gaining partners. They all seem to have filled their dance cards immediately upon arrival at the party.”

“As any young lady is wont to do, Mr. Symmons.” Her aunt sniffed at him then looked him over with a keen eye. “If she has a grain of sense.” Aunt Alexandra’s gaze moved onto Letitia. “She must fill her dance card before the dance, else she may have to stand around conversing about mundane topics with gentlemen who will be satisfied with second best.”

“Is your dance card filled, Lady Letitia?” A hopeful lift to his eyebrows made Letitia glad she could answer him in the negative.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There are some fantastic snippets to be read.

Heart of Hope is available on AmazonSmashwords , B & N, Apple, and Kobo.

 

 

The Handful of Hearts series

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Blog Hops, Handful of Hearts series, Heart of Hope, Historical Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 11/06/22 ~ Heart of Hope ~ “I Went to a Garden Party”

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !

Happy November!!!

November is here and I hope you had a Happy Halloween! My week started off fine, however, Friday we lost one of our bunnies, Daphne, Countess Grey. I’ve been distraught and Earl Grey (her companion) is looking kin of lost without his friend. I’m seriously thinking of getting another companion for him.

Meanwhile, this month I’m going to my novella, Heart of Hope, also part of my Handful of Hearts series, that released about a year ago. In it, although not the section I’ll be taking snippets from, the reader is introduced to Lord Seaton and Miss Powell, alive and well at Lady Hamilton’s ball in May. But this is Bertie Symmonds and Lady Letitia Stowe’s story, so onward to the snippets!

 

 

BLURB:

Wallflower Lady Letitia Stowe is determined to dance with no one at Lady Hamilton’s ball unless she knows the gentleman. When just such a man appears in the form of Albert Symmons, Letitia is suddenly eager to dance with him…until she discovers their set is the scandalous waltz. Letitia begs off and instead they talk together, each confessing a weakness. Inspired to help one another, they make a pact: she will instruct him in dancing, and he will do likewise for her in horseback riding. Their frequent meetings grow into true affection and respect; however, Letitia discovers her brother has another match in mind for her.

Can Letitia and Bertie come up with a way to change her brother’s mind or will they need to take more drastic measures to secure a “happily ever after”?

EXCERPT:

One tall, slender gentleman in well-cut evening clothes, his hair a little longer than the current fashion, was heading this way, although perhaps he was simply strolling in her general direction. Letitia peered at him, something familiar about the lanky figure and swaying gait. “Aunt Alexandra, who is that gentleman coming this way? The one in the burgundy waistcoat?”

Her aunt applied her quizzing glass to the gentleman then sniffed and dropped it. “That is Bertie Symmons–Mr. Albert Symmons, rather–and a more annoying young man I have never met.”

“Really?” Letitia looked at the gentleman again, her interest piqued. “I believe I am acquainted with him, aunt. We met at Lady Rosamond Cowper’s garden party a little over a year ago–he was smelling a rose and got stung by a bee.”

And a little more for good measure…

Mr. Symmons had taken the sting in stride, although his nose had swollen rather horrendously. They had talked about being stung as children as they applied ice to the welt. He’d certainly had an amiable disposition as he recovered. Letitia had not seen the man since that day, though of course she’d been in the schoolroom and only allowed to attend the party because Lady Rosamond was a cousin somewhere on their father’s side and Marcus hadn’t wanted to go alone.

Perhaps dancing with Mr. Symmons wouldn’t be bad at all. They had talked without any awkwardness at the garden party. If he remembered her, they could reminisce about the bee sting during the times they weren’t actively dancing. Then she could keep her promise to her aunt with little distress to herself. She gazed eagerly at Mr. Symmons, who did indeed seem to be heading directly for her. Her cheeks flushed, and the room suddenly got terribly hot. As the gentleman in question stopped in front of her, Letitia forced herself to continue breathing.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There are some fantastic snippets to be read.

Heart of Hope is available on AmazonSmashwords , B & N, Apple, and Kobo.

 

 

The Handful of Hearts series

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Blog Hops, Handful of Hearts series, Heart of Hope, Historical Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 10/30/22 ~ Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve ~ “Unmask! Unmask!”

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !

Happy October!!!

It’s autumn and October, my favorite season and month. Counting down to Halloween all month! And in honor of everything spooky, I’m sharing snippets all month from my Halloween short story, Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve, part of my Handful of Hearts series.

One little news flash–this year I entered the Fall in Love New England Readers’ Choice Contest with an unpublished novel I was revising called As Long As You’re Mine. This past week I was informed that I won first place!

My agent is sending it out now (revision done) so I’ll let everyone know what happens!

BLURB:

When Miss Cecilia Powell attends her very first masquerade on All Hallows’ Eve, she’s thrilled when a mysterious reveler pays court to her. As their encounter continues, Cecilia is charmed, then smitten with this masked stranger, even though she senses something odd about him. Is he truly the man of her dreams, or will Cecilia find her dream a true nightmare?

I’ve skipped ahead to the end of their dance, so we can have the unmasking!  🙂 Enjoy!

EXCERPT:

“I believe I met and danced with your brother at Lady Hamilton’s ball in May–you whirl your partner in just the same breathtaking way he did,” some of the lightness left her, “I was very distressed when I heard he had—”

“Drowned?” The clock almost smothered his voice as it continued to chime the midnight hour.

“Yes, may I extend my belated condolences to you?” He must be grieving still, for his lips had tightened.

“I accept them with heartfelt gratitude, however, I fear you are mistaken.”

“Mistaken?” Was he not the new Lord Seaton after all?

“Yes, you see, I had no brothers.”

The clock chimed one final time and cries of “Unmask! Unmask!” rent the room.

And a little more for good measure…

Slowly, the stranger reached behind his head and untied his mask. It came away from his face, revealing the intelligent eyes, straight noble nose, high cheekbones, and sensual lips she had longed to feel on hers even on first acquaintance. Lord Seaton as she remembered him from their encounter in May.

“You are not Lord Seaton’s brother?” Cecilia stared at him, confusion muddling her thoughts. The man could be his twin.

“No, my dear,” he said gently, taking her hand. “I am Lord Seaton, although in actuality the title has passed to a cousin of mine.” He firmed his grip on her hand, as though he feared she would pull away.

“But you cannot be Lord Seaton.” Cecilia stared, breath quickening with fear. Her heart beat fiercely as a rush of cold air enveloped her. “Lord Seaton is…”

“Dead, yes.” The gentle voice soothed her even as she gawked at him, horrified.

“You are a ghost?” she whispered, scarce able to form the word in her suddenly dry mouth. Was he teasing her about this for some horrible reason or, God forbid, was he in earnest? What must she do? She could scream. That would bring all manner of people to her side. But he looked so forlorn. And his hand holding hers was firm and warm. Not at all ghost-like.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There are some fantastic snippets to be read.

Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve is now available on Amazon and Smashwords for .99. But you’d better hurry to claim your copy. This Regency ghost story only appears during the month of October. Come the witching hour October 31 it will disappear for another year!

UPDATE on my House of Pleasure series! At long last, the series is now available on Amazon and on KU for free! This includes all five House of Pleasure novels plus the boxset! Grab your copy(s) today!

The Handful of Hearts series

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Blog Hops, Halloween, Halloween stories, Hearts at All Hallows' Eve, Historical Romance, Holiday Posts, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 10/23/22 ~ Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve ~ No One Knows One’s Partner

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !

Happy October!!!

It’s autumn and October, my favorite season and month. Counting down to Halloween all month! And in honor of everything spooky, I’m sharing snippets all month from my Halloween short story, Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve, part of my Handful of Hearts series.

BLURB:

When Miss Cecilia Powell attends her very first masquerade on All Hallows’ Eve, she’s thrilled when a mysterious reveler pays court to her. As their encounter continues, Cecilia is charmed, then smitten with this masked stranger, even though she senses something odd about him. Is he truly the man of her dreams, or will Cecilia find her dream a true nightmare?

I’ve skipped ahead a few paragraphs, in which Cecelia sees another happy couple getting ready to dance. So now the stage is set for…something to happen. 🙂 Enjoy!

EXCERPT:

His graceful, light carriage sent more anticipation buzzing through her and Cecilia could not stop staring as he halted in front of her and made a deep bow.

“Goddess Astraea, I come to make obeisance to your loveliness, fair one, for I am rendered weak by the beauty and grace that stands before me.” The rich, deep baritone of his voice fell oh-so-pleasurably on her ear.

Disappointment tugged at her, however, when she didn’t recognize his voice. It was softened somewhat by the charming compliment, which caught her by surprise and sent a wave of shyness cascading through her. “Thank you, sir, for your kind tribute–Astraea is always appreciative of those who worship at the altar of innocence and virtue, but I fear you have me at a disadvantage. From my garb, you have apparently easily ascertained my identity,” she swept her hand down the white and silver Grecian gown, “although how you did so is a wonder, for I could have been any number of goddesses instead of Astraea.” Making her curtsy, she continued, “I give you great credit and must bow to acknowledge the sharpness of your acumen.”

He smiled, and her heart melted at the warmth he radiated.

And a little more for good measure…

“Would you do me the honor of dancing this waltz with me, Astraea?” The blue pools deepened to darkest sapphire.

“Oh, yes,” she whispered and extended her hand. She would dance after all tonight, and with a mysterious and exciting gentleman. Still, caution raised its bothersome head. Goddess or not, there were rules to be followed. “At least, I should find my mother and inform her of my intention. I can’t think why she has left me alone all this time.”

“Of course, my dear. Do you see her?” The dark stranger turned his head this way and that. “What manner of costume is she wearing?”

“She is wearing…” Cecilia knit her brows, trying to concentrate. But the mere nearness of the man seemed to steal her wits. “I must sound very dull-witted when I tell you that I cannot recall how Mama is dressed this evening.”

What on earth was the matter with her?

“Not at all.” His soothing tone calmed her. “I am certain it will be permissible for you to partner me and enjoy the dance together. It is a masquerade, after all. No one knows who one’s partner is until midnight.” He drew her arm through his and patted her hand.

At his touch, confidence returned to her. “Of course, how silly of me. It is, as you say, a masquerade ball. We have this good company to act as chaperones, even if we have not been introduced.”

“But we have been, I assure you.” He chuckled as he led her onto the dance floor.

“Then you know who I am beneath my disguise?” A trifle disappointing. The point of the masquerade was to remain as anonymous as possible for as long as possible. To think this man knew her already took a little of the joy from their encounter. But only a little.

“I confess I do know you, Astraea. Or I should say, Miss Powell. And I hope you will remember me when we unmask.” He nodded to the longcase clock just visible in the corridor through the open doors of the ballroom. Its hands stood at ten minutes to twelve. “Once we finish our dance, I believe it will be time.”

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There are some fantastic snippets to be read.

Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve is now available on Amazon and Smashwords for .99. But you’d better hurry to claim your copy. This Regency ghost story only appears during the month of October. Come the witching hour October 31 it will disappear for another year!

UPDATE on my House of Pleasure series! At long last, the series is now available on Amazon and on KU for free! This includes all five House of Pleasure novels plus the boxset! Grab your copy(s) today!

The Handful of Hearts series

 

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Blog Hops, Halloween, Halloween stories, Hearts at All Hallows' Eve, Historical Romance, Holiday Posts, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 10/16/22 ~ Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve ~ A Shadow Come to Life

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !

Happy October!!!

It’s autumn and October, my favorite season and month. Counting down to Halloween all month! And in honor of everything spooky, I’m sharing snippets all month from my Halloween short story, Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve, part of my Handful of Hearts series.

BLURB:

When Miss Cecilia Powell attends her very first masquerade on All Hallows’ Eve, she’s thrilled when a mysterious reveler pays court to her. As their encounter continues, Cecilia is charmed, then smitten with this masked stranger, even though she senses something odd about him. Is he truly the man of her dreams, or will Cecilia find her dream a true nightmare?

I’ve skipped ahead a few paragraphs, in which Cecelia sees another happy couple getting ready to dance. So now the stage is set for…something to happen. 🙂 Enjoy!

EXCERPT:

Cecilia sighed. She had had hopes in May, though quite briefly, that she had found that certain someone. Such a shame, too, as the gentleman had danced so well, and their conversation had been lively.

Leaning her back against the cool marble pillar, Cecilia smiled, remembering that dance. The orchestra had tuned up now. For a waltz, perhaps? Then Lady Haversham would have gotten her wish. Really, she must find Lady Hamilton and request help in finding a dancing partner, or this whole evening would be a failure.

Gazing about the room, still hopeful she could catch someone’s eye, Cecilia glanced into one of the darker corners of the room. The black wall hangings stirred, as if by a breeze, and a hooded figure emerged, a shadow come to life.

And a little more for good measure…

A thrill of fear shot through her, and she pressed her back to the unyielding marble, trying to melt into it. Goose skin rose on her arms as the apparition continued forward. Toward her. Her breath stopped, and she stood as if rooted to the floor, unable to move or speak.

The black form reached up to its head, and gold suddenly glinted in the candlelight. A glittering half-mask of intricate design concealed the gentleman’s face, though it revealed black, curly hair and the strong chin and jaw of the wearer.

Cecilia gasped, unaware until then that she’d been holding her breath, as realization struck that the man—for certainly it was a normal man who stood before her—wore a black domino to disguise his identity. Most revelers had chosen more colorful clothing, but this gentleman was garbed in one of the simplest and most elegant of costumes, the classic hooded cape that enveloped him in black entirely, save for his shimmering gold mask.

Relentlessly, he continued toward her, creating new flutterings within. Excitement rather than terror, she was sure.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There are some fantastic snippets to be read.

Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve is now available on Amazon and Smashwords for .99. But you’d better hurry to claim your copy. This Regency ghost story only appears during the month of October. Come the witching hour October 31 it will disappear for another year!

UPDATE on my House of Pleasure series! At long last, the series is now available on Amazon and on KU for free! This includes all five House of Pleasure novels plus the boxset! Grab your copy(s) today!

The Handful of Hearts series

 

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Blog Hops, Halloween, Halloween stories, Hearts at All Hallows' Eve, Historical Romance, Holiday Posts, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 10/09/22 ~ Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve ~ No Danger

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !

Happy October!!!

It’s autumn and October, my favorite season and month. Counting down to Halloween all month! And in honor of everything spooky, I’m sharing snippets all month from my Halloween short story, Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve, part of my Handful of Hearts series.

BLURB:

When Miss Cecilia Powell attends her very first masquerade on All Hallows’ Eve, she’s thrilled when a mysterious reveler pays court to her. As their encounter continues, Cecilia is charmed, then smitten with this masked stranger, even though she senses something odd about him. Is he truly the man of her dreams, or will Cecilia find her dream a true nightmare?

EXCERPT:

Cecilia smiled to herself. As she’d suspected, Lord and Lady Haversham were the god and goddess of love, having a merry war of words once more. They’d disliked each other for years then, suddenly, after Lady Hamilton’s ball in May, they’d apparently been seized with a tendre for one another and married within the month.

Though she wished them happy, it disappointed her that she was not married by now as well. Likely she’d never get a husband if she couldn’t even manage to find a man to partner her in a dance. She’d never had this much trouble during the Season’s entertainments. Perhaps Mama, or better yet, Lady Hamilton, might introduce her to someone new tonight. All Hallows’ Eve would be much more fun with a partner.

Gliding past other couples in search of her hostess, Cecilia moved furtively from candlelit sconce to candlelit sconce, avoiding the darker recesses of the ballroom. Not that there would be danger here in the ballroom, still, all the strange costumes and masks unsettled her, so she preferred to take a route that kept her in the light.

And a little more for good measure…

A giggling golden-haired shepherdess, towing a dark-haired shepherd, cut in front of

Cecilia. The couple’s eyes were locked on one another rather than on where they were going. Stopping short, Cecilia scowled at such rudeness, but shrugged it off. The pair was obviously smitten, and who was she to frown on love?

Je t’adore, mon amour,” the woman crooned, suddenly serious.

The shepherd pulled her to him. The candlelight flamed in his eyes. “And I adore you, my little shepherdess. Shall we go outside and count sheep?”

Giggling anew, the shepherdess grasped his hand once more. “I can think of better things to do, mon coeur.”

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There are some fantastic snippets to be read.

Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve is now available on Amazon and Smashwords for .99. But you’d better hurry to claim your copy. This Regency ghost story only appears during the month of October. Come the witching hour October 31 it will disappear for another year!

UPDATE on my House of Pleasure series! At long last, the series is now available on Amazon and on KU for free! This includes all five House of Pleasure novels plus the boxset! Grab your copy(s) today!

The Handful of Hearts series

 

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Blog Hops, Halloween, Halloween stories, Hearts at All Hallows' Eve, Historical Romance, Holiday Posts, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 10/02/22 ~ Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve ~ Her First Masquerade

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !

Happy October!!!

It’s autumn and October, my favorite season and month. Counting down to Halloween all month! And in honor of everything spooky, I’m sharing snippets all month from my Halloween short story, Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve, part of my Handful of Hearts series.

BLURB:

When Miss Cecilia Powell attends her very first masquerade on All Hallows’ Eve, she’s thrilled when a mysterious reveler pays court to her. As their encounter continues, Cecilia is charmed, then smitten with this masked stranger, even though she senses something odd about him. Is he truly the man of her dreams, or will Cecilia find her dream a true nightmare?

EXCERPT:

Shivering, Cecilia Powell gazed uneasily around Lady Hamilton’s ballroom. The walls, shrouded in a darkness broken only by the flickering light of candelabras and sconces, seemed to move with an unseen current. Her first masquerade ball, so she’d not known what to expect, but the eerie quality of the room itself set her teeth on edge. Everyone had dressed in whimsical costumes and masks, making the room even more fantastical to her sensibilities, like a scene from that dreadful book The Monk, by Mr. Lewis. The deep gloom surrounding her quite upset her nerves. Anything might happen in such an atmosphere. Perhaps she should seek out Mama.

Cecilia skirted the dance floor, where couples had just finished a country dance. Pink-cheeked ladies in half masks, like her own, stood about talking and laughing with gentlemen dressed in a variety of costumes, some charming, others rather frightful. She longed to join in the dancing, but so far this evening, she’d had no offer of a partner.

And a little more for good measure…

Everyone seemed to have paired off after this past Season. She passed an Aphrodite and Cupid bickering good-naturedly.

“I fear the songs of love this orchestra has chosen to play do not inspire me to dance, Cupid, dear. Do go ask them for a waltz soon.” Setting her hand on her tall companion’s shoulder, Aphrodite smiled and stroked the bare flesh. “I do adore a scandalous dance.”

“As we are married, my sweet, I see no reason not to oblige you,” Cupid whispered, just as Cecilia passed by. The winged messenger drew an arrow from a small quiver strapped to his back and playfully tapped the point above Aphrodite’s heart. “You will drive me to shoot someone in earnest, Kate. And I fear it will be myself.”

 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There are some fantastic snippets to be read.

Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve is now available on Amazon and Smashwords for .99. But you’d better hurry to claim your copy. This Regency ghost story only appears during the month of October. Come the witching hour October 31 it will disappear for another year!

UPDATE on my House of Pleasure series! At long last, the series is now available on Amazon and on KU for free! This includes all five House of Pleasure novels plus the boxset! Grab your copy(s) today!

The Handful of Hearts series

 

Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Blog Hops, Halloween, Halloween stories, Hearts at All Hallows' Eve, Historical Romance, Holiday Posts, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 09/25/22 ~ Pride of Lyon’s ~ An Alternate Suggestion

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !

 

Sorry I was AWOL last week but I was “on the road again” coming home from a signing event in southwest Virginia. Had a great time, but got home and went to bed!

This week I’m continuing with snippets from Pride of Lyon’s, which released in June. This will be the final week for Pride of Lyon’s. I’ll move on to another book in October (haven’t decided which one yet!).

BLURB:

Enter the world of the most notorious gambling den in London, where matches are made… unusually. Welcome to the world of THE LYON’S DEN: The Black Widow of Whitehall Connected World, where the underground of Regency London thrives… and loves.

What’s a young lady to do when a powerful lord tries to abscond with her and make her his mistress?

When you’re Miss Honoria Quinn, you leap from his carriage and run like the wind to find some place to hide. Trouble is, Honoria mistakenly chooses The Lyon’s Den, a disreputable gambling house as her sanctuary, a move that ends up with her having to make another choice at the hands of the Den’s match-making proprietor Mrs. Dove-Lyons: wed a complete stranger or become the lord’s mistress.

No good deed goes unpunished…

Thomas, Lord Braeton agrees to attend a wager at The Lyon’s Den only to keep his brother-in-law out of trouble. What he doesn’t count on is becoming embroiled in one of Mrs. Dove-Lyons’s schemes to marry him off. But when he tries to come to the aid of another peer, Thomas finds the only honorable thing he can do to save Miss Quinn’s reputation is put aside his hopes for a love match for himself and instead offer to marry her.

As Thomas and Honoria set out on a wary journey to matrimony, can they learn to live together and hope love will grow between them? Or are they doomed to a loveless marriage of convenience from which one or both will want to escape?

I’m continuing with the meeting of Miss Honoria Quinn and Thomas, Lord Braeton in Mrs. Dove-Lyon’s office. I have, however, skipped ahead a little bit. Thomas and Geoffrey are having a discussion about whether Thomas should marry Honoria or not.

EXCERPT:

“Were I given my choice, Geoffrey, I should marry for love, not status,” Thomas sighed. He’d cherished the hope of a life with a woman he could love by his side,  however, that now seemed unlikely. “That was but a fancy and I am certain I will be just as happy with Miss Quinn as with any other gently bred young lady.” God, he hoped he would. She was comely enough and had a good bit of spirit–he did like that about her. She’d stood up to Danford and given him a cracking good slap. “In any case, I will let the lady decide.” He made as if to turn back toward the ladies when Geoffrey’s grasped his shoulder again.

“What if she could marry someone else?” Geoffrey’s tone was insistent, and Thomas pivoted back to him.

And a little more for good measure…

“Are you perhaps offering yourself as potential husband instead of me, Geoffrey?” That raised Thomas’s eyebrows not a little. His friend was somewhat high in the instep, so such an offer would be completely out of character.

“Of course not.” The snort of distain was more the Geoffrey he knew. “But Mrs. Dove-Lyons could find her someone. It’s her business, don’t you remember?”

Oh, yes. Thomas was well aware of the Black Widow’s penchant for helping unsuspecting gentlemen to a bride. “I do. And I suspect that is why she asked me to come in here with Danford. She’s tried to trap me into marriage before. I was able to avoid it that time. Today’s outcome will likely be different.” The woman had played her cards well. Somehow, she’d known of his stance on honor. Known he’d not let a woman suffer the loss of her reputation when he could so easily remedy it. “She will earn her fee today.”

Geoffrey’s face had drawn down in a monstrous frown. “Only if you allow yourself to be used by her.” Biting his bottom lip, his friend cocked his head. “What if you pay the fee, but ask her to find some other gentleman in want of a wife?”

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There are some fantastic snippets to be read.

Pride of Lyon’s is available on Amazon and on KU for free.

I also wanted to let you know that my House of Pleasure series is now available in a boxset format on Amazon, Smashwords, and  B & N. All five House of Pleasure novels in one volume! Grab your copy today! (It remains at half-price until the end of the month.)

 

 

The House of Pleasure series

Posted in Blog Hops, Historical Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Pride of Lyon's, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments