Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 5/29/16 A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe: The Kiss

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This is the last day for  A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe itobe  “Book of the Month” so here’s the last snippet of this midwinter Regency.

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Miss Jenny Crowley has found out on her 18th birthday that instead of getting her long-promised season in London, she’s instead been betrothed to the boy-next-door, Alec Isley. To give her a chance to socialize before her parents insist she marry, her aunt invites her to a Christmas house party where she can meet other young men. Jenny is attracted to Lord Somersby, who proposes a game of Blind Man’s Bluff between sets in an evening of dancing. Lord Somersby has just caught Jenny and has demanded a kiss as her forfeit.

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

He grasped her hand and pulled her toward him.

She stretched backward, turning her face away from him. Would no one help her?

Lord Somersby lifted her hand and placed a chaste kiss on the top of her glove. The crowd roared its approval as he drew her back toward him.

“That’s not to say more may not be forthcoming before the week is out,” he said, sotto voce. “We must find the mistletoe at the Christmas Eve Ball.”

Then he stepped back and held out the scarf to her asking, “Would you like my assistance, Miss Crowley?”

A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe is available at Amazon currently on sale for $.99.

Blurb:

Is one kiss ever enough?

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

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

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

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Posted in A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe, Historical Romance, On Regency Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

In Memoriam: Jo Beverley

Jo Beverley at the Literacy Signing RWA Convention 2015

Jo Beverley at the Literacy Signing RWA Convention 2015

It is with absolute devastation that I discovered yesterday that my favorite romance author, Jo Beverley, has died.

 

Mary Jo Putney, a member of her blogging group Word Wenches, posted about Jo’s life and death, which you can find here. It is a wonderful memorial to her long-time friend.

This brief post will tell you a bit about my personal feelings for Jo, who was a great inspiration for me as a writer.

My introduction to Jo Beverley’s writing was in a short story, “The Determined Bride,” setMarried at Midnight in the Georgian period. It so enchanted me with the characters and the neat way she plotted it, that I started collecting her books, both Regency and Georgian. And immediately grew to love anything she wrote. I read them mostly out of sequence, picking up the paperback books through Amazon, used book stores, thrift stores, and when new ones came out, at Barnes & Noble.  I remember clearly seeing The Secret Bride at a Food Lion and grabbing it.

I don’t think I have any of her books, save one novella, as an  e-book. I always wanted her books in my hands, as though that tangible object brought me one step closer to her somehow. I love all her books, some more than others, naturally, but my two favorites are from the  Malloren series, 9780451199973Something Wicked, and Devilish. They are the only books I’ve ever read that when I re-read them, I’m on the edge of my chair, wondering if the couples will get together in the end. No matter that I know the outcome, it always feels like the first time.

Then, at the Atlanta RWA National convention, I met Jo for the first time. I was at a PAN authors event and I saw her standing talking to someone. Quaking in my shoes, I waited until she was free and as I approached her, she opened her arms and hugged me. Then, she stepped back and said, “Oh, please forgive me, I thought you were someone else.” (Like I would be offended that she’d hugged me!) I told her I was an author, and my name, and she said, “Oh, yes, I’ve heard of you.” That’s when I came very close to losing it. I didn’t, but I proceeded to fan-girl all over myself as we talked for a few minutes.

I met her several other times during that conference and at both the San Antonio National, where I attended her workshop on English Titles, and at the New York conference last year. Each year I went to the Literacy Signing, but I only have two books signed by her, because I was signing books myself in San Antonio and didn’t get to her booth that year. A major regret.

My Georgian series, The House of Pleasure, and particularly the first book, Only Scandal Will Do, was inspired by Jo’s Malloren series, which I’ve read and re-read many times. I did get to tell her that in Atlanta and I plan to dedicate the third book in the series, Only A Mistress Will Do, to Jo for her inspiration and the countless hours of reading enjoyment she’s given me.

I bought her latest, The Viscount Needs A Wife, last Sunday and I plan to savor it ratherViscount needs a wife than gobble it as I usually do with a Jo Beverley book. And all of Jo’s fans will rejoice even in their sorrow to know that she’d completed one final book that should be released next spring, according to Mary Jo Putney’s post. So there is one last encore to look forward to.

I am a great fan of the movie Shakespeare in Love, and when I heard the news about Jo’s death, I was reminded of a scene in that movie when a company of actors is informed of the playwright Christopher Marlowe’s death. Ned Allyn, the company’s premiere actor, played by Ben Affleck, says of him, “He was the first man among us.  A great light has gone out.”

For the romance community now a great light has gone out as well.

Jo Beverly, a great light indeed.

Posted in Historical Romance, In Memorium | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

Medieval Monday: Knight Defender by Rue Allyn

MedMon

Conflict/Confrontation

 is our theme for this round of Medieval Monday!

Please welcome this week’s guest Rue Allyn with her romance

Knight Defender

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Excerpt:

Mid-April 1295, the northwest coast of Scotland

“Unhand me.” She pushed against the massive chest and writhed in the arms cradling her body.

He gathered her closer, mashing her cheek against him.

For an instant, his blazing gray eyes held her spellbound as tightly as his strength gripped her body. Unable to look away, she shivered, but not with cold. The odor of damp wool and man nearly drowned her. All sound faded away save her own harsh breathing.

“Ho, ho!” His chuckle was impossible to miss. “So you are no dying, are you then? Well liars and deceivers must suffer the consequences of their actions.”

She refused to be intimidated. She forced her head away from him. “Is rudeness the customary greeting for your guests, Baron MacKai? I’ve a mind to refuse to wed you. Then King Edward will decline to pay you rent for docking his ships in your excuse for a harbor.

“You think you could resist me?” More chuckles shook his chest.

“It would be a small matter to deny an oaf such as you.”

Flames of some inner fire shone in his unyielding stare. She was unfamiliar with fear, but what else twisted in her belly and skittered just beneath her skin? She wanted to deny his effect on her but in all honesty could not.

“I could make you beg.” He growled low, like some big cat poised to pounce.

“Never.” She could be honest with herself about her body’s betrayal, but she’d plenty of reason not to give the churl any hint of her weakness.

His forward motion halted, his head dipped then stopped a finger’s width from her face. His gaze bored into hers.

Her breath froze at the frenzy of emotions she saw there. ‘Anger, threat, resentment, and something she could not identify. She refused to care. Her fingers itched to slap him, and she raised her hand.

“I wouldna, if I were you.” He anchored her hand beneath a brawny arm and started walking again.

“You’ll regret insulting me.”

His brows rose. “We’ll see about that. For now, I need you safely stowed away.”

“Stowed away!” He made her sound like bothersome chattel, useful for only one purpose. She squirmed and finally released her outer hand from his hold to beat her fist against his chest. “Beast! You will treat me with the courtesy and respect due a lord’s daughter.”

He made no response other than to quicken his pace.

She hit him harder. “You and your entire cowardly clan will rue this day.”

He stopped abruptly and shifted his grip. Her feet fell downward but found no purchase on solid ground. She hung suspended from the large hands thrust under her armpits. The heels of those palms pressed against her breasts, and heat flooded her body at the intimate touch.

“You, you …” He and every other MacKai disgusted her beyond words. Raising her head to berate him further, she stilled. Once more, the gleam in those stony eyes compelled her attention. The downward tip at the outer corner of his lids gave him a slumberous appearance belied by glints of indecipherable emotion. Those deceptive lids narrowed. She longed to hide but could not look away.

“Listen to me.”

His quiet words slid over her skin, causing a rise of goosebumps.

“You are naught but a troublesome woman. You have no power or authority here, so if you value your overly pampered English hide, you’ll no insult clan MacKai. Do you understand?”

She swallowed and nodded.

“Excellent.”

He tossed her over his shoulder, secured her legs against him with an arm, and continued walking.

“How dare…”

One of those huge palms smacked her rump.

“Oooo! I’ll make you regret you ever touched me.”

A second smack was followed by an order for silence.

Since her backside began to throb, Jessamyn subsided in favor of plotting retribution. She’d start with boiling in oil followed by a sound beating and end with banishment.

She was deciding whether or not to add tar and feathers when she heard the creak of leather hinges. They crossed a doorway, and she went flying through the air to land in a heap, face down on a feather bed.

“Dry clothing will be brought. Dinna imagine I care for your comfort. I simply canna be bothered to find another woman if you catch an ague and die.”

She struggled to right herself, sputtering and pulling her hair from her face. The brute deserved the sharp side of her tongue. She gathered breath as she turned to speak, just to see the coward disappear and the door bang shut behind him.

He was not getting away that easily. She leapt from the bed, ran for the door, and nearly jerked her arms from her shoulders when the wooden barrier refused to budge at her angry pull.

Dumbfounded, she could only stare.

He’d barred the door? Boiling oil and banishment are too good for him. I must see him drawn and quartered.

Blurb:

Baron Raeb MacKai is done allowing himself and everyone he loves to live in poverty and despair. His betrothal to a wealthy English heiress will solve a decade of problems. He will do everything necessary to defend his home and his country, but can he defend his heart?

Buy Links:

AMAZON

B & N

GOOGLE BOOKS

iBOOKS

KOBO

Crimson Romance

 

 

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

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 5/22/16 A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe: The Forfeit

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This month A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe is “Book of the Month” so here’s the next snippet of this midwinter Regency.

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Miss Jenny Crowley has found out on her 18th birthday that instead of getting her long-promised season in London, she’s instead been betrothed to the boy-next-door, Alec Isley. To give her a chance to socialize before her parents insist she marry, her aunt invites her to a Christmas house party where she can meet other young men. Jenny is attracted to Lord Somersby, who proposes a game of Blind Man’s Bluff between sets in an evening of dancing. Lord Somersby has just caught Jenny.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“A kiss.”

 

A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe is available at Amazon currently on sale for $.99.

Blurb:

Is one kiss ever enough?

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

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

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

91xBE7mBjRL__SL1500_Marriage 2TETL SET CORRECT COVERAKBTM15

 

 

Posted in A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe, Historical Romance, On Regency Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Cover Spot: MacLeod by Cathy MacRae

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This week’s  featured cover is from another of  my good friends from Romancing Yesteryear, author Cathy MacRae, who has just TODAY!!!  released her latest Scottish romance in the Ghosts of Culloden Moor series called MacLeod.

 

22 MACLEOD - Front Cover (for Amazon)

Cover Quote from Cathy MacRae~

On the cover you will find a sword engraved with beautiful Celtic runes, an emblem of the death of the men who now haunt Drumossie Moor as the 79 ghosts in this series. Each cover in the series has the same elements, but is a different color, tying them all together.

BLURB:

I was known for a time as Hugh MacLeod. I was only sixteen when I joined the glorious cause that ended not only Prince Charles’ bid for the Scottish throne on the bloody field of Culloden, but my life and secrets as well. Too young to enlist, I followed my older brothers into the Glengarry Regiment, hiding from them until I faced the English and `twas too late to turn back. Though I’d prefer my boon to be a chance to deflate the Duke of Cumberland’s arrogance for what he did to my family after the war, I will settle for a few moments with the prince.

 

Buy Links:

MacLeod is now available on Amazon.

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Posted in Cover Spot, Historical Romance, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Words That Make You Go Ewww! by Jenna Jaxon

I published this post on Nights of Passion on Sunday and since I’m on a writer’s retreat this week, I thought you might enjoy thinking about words–you know I will be.:)

Nights of Passion

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I love words. We as authors are wordsmiths. Words are our livelihood. I love language and even though its rules sometimes makes me crazy, I really do enjoy putting words together in the best way to create stories from my heart.

However, all words are not created equal.

Everyone has favorite words. Some of mine are unique, onomatopoeia, wicked, and integral. I have dozens more, and my editor will tell you they also include that, nodded, turned, smiled, and just.:)

And just as we all have favorite words, we all have words we simply hate with a passion. This is called word aversion. Nico Lang’s article, “Moist And 28 Other Gross-Sounding English Words That Everyone Hates” states that our aversion to words is linked both to phonetics and to meaning. “The linguistic formula for a disgusting word is to make sure it contains phonetically abrasive letters like “b,” “g,”…

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Medieval Monday: Lindsey by Lane McFarland ~ A New Hope

MedMon

Conflict/Confrontation

 is our theme for this round of Medieval Monday!

Please welcome this week’s guest Lane McFarland with her romance

Lindsey

 

 

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Excerpt:

The beefy guard waved his torch toward the back of the room. “Them’s the beggars goin’ to trial.”

Twisted shapes of four men, their wrists shackled to the wall and their feet barely touching the floor, came into sight. Lindsey’s chest tightened as if bands squeezed the life from her. “They’ll have to be cut down, sweets. They cannae eat or git fixed up hanging on the wall.”

The man swung his head toward her. His lip curled.

Her pulse pounded in her ears, and she trembled with rage. She wanted to pounce on him, grab his blade, and sink it into his gut. Straining to gain composure, she turned her back on the men and set her basket on the floor. Her hand trembled as she inhaled the putrid air and struggled to calm her nerves. She must maintain her heartless pretense, appear untouched by the savagery. Biting the side of her lip, she rummaged through the jars and extracted the healing salves.

Chains rattled behind her. Thumps of dead weight and groans indicated the guard had freed the men. As he marched from the cell, he cast a look at Lindsey and slammed the door. The lock clunked, and his booted footsteps grew quieter as he strode away.

Several men rushed from the huddled group to aid their fallen companions. Lindsey hurried to the first man and knelt beside him. She pushed his hair to the side and grimaced.

Logan.

Cora’s little bandits were correct.

His swollen face was blackened, and blood caked the back of his head. “Logan, can ye hear me? It’s Lindsey.”

His eyes fluttered. Moans of the injured men wafted around her. She jerked the basket to her side and brought out a flask of water, a soft cloth, and a jar of salve. “Look in my basket for more water skins,” she called over her shoulder to the other prisoners.

Logan’s friends, Adam, Thom, and Colyne lay unmoving. Dark dried blood and dirt smeared the men’s swollen, beaten faces. Their listless bodies attested to abuse and neglect.

“The commander takes delight in torturing them.”

Lindsey’s head snapped to the man who stooped beside her.

“Seems to hold a real interest in them.” He grabbed her basket and passed out containers to several others. They crowded around, snatching the bandages, salves, and potions she’d brought.

“Why?” she whispered. “What’s so special about them?”

The man squinted and indicated Logan with his head. “Collins couldn’t break him. I think that about drove the commander over the brink. He wanted to deliver information on the rebels’ stronghold to the king. Infuriated him that he failed to do so.”

The man bent over Adam and helped him sit.

While supporting Logan’s head, Lindsey held a flask to his parched, cracked lips and dribbled the liquid into his mouth. He sputtered, gulping at the water.

“Easy,” she said, giving him sips while she studied his disfigured face. “I’m here to help ye.”

One eye was swollen shut, the other barely open. His brown hair hung in filthy strands across his forehead, and a red irritated gash crossed his grimy cheek. She sat on the nasty hard floor and cradled his head in her lap. The medicinal salves would do little to heal him, but she had to try.

Her heart clenched. When she’d last seen him, the days spent with the fear of English hostilities and devastation as constant companions had not yet arrived. The soldiers had not yet destroyed her carefree way of life. They had not been concerned with the next raid or protecting the clan from enemy invasion. Instead, Lindsey and Logan enjoyed each other’s company, held the same love for horses, and had become fast friends.

He groaned. “Lindsey?”

“Aye, it’s me.” Her voice caught as she answered.

His good eye narrowed, and he grasped her wrist, his grip surprisingly strong for someone so battered. “What the hell are ye doing here? This is no place for ye, lass.”

“The Sassenachs are taking ye and yer men to the east coast in two days.” She spoke softly to him while dabbing his grimy forehead and bearded cheeks. “Yer caravan will not make it to the ship. Have faith. Stay strong. I have a plan.”

Blurb:

Lindsey

Who said life was fair? Certainly not Lindsey MacDougall. She rebels at a world dominated by men. Dressed in lad’s clothing, she manages her father’s stables, caring for, breeding and selling horses. Unwavering on performing her duty to the rebellion, Lindsey throws caution to the wind and secretly delivers missives behind enemy lines to the Scottish warriors.

Logan Ross uses his happy-go-lucky smile to warm the hearts of many willing lasses, but it also masks his pain—the pain of his birth. As a bastard son, he is unacceptable for any Laird’s daughter, including the spirited Lindsey MacDougall. However, she haunts his dreams. Determined to prove his worth, he throws himself into the middle of the rebellion, leading men into mortal danger.

After helping Logan escape from a brutal English dungeon, Lindsey fights her traitorous attraction to the virile highland warrior, vowing never to lose her heart to any man.

Buy Link:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/j98zrvd

 

 

Posted in Medieval Monday, Medieval Mondays, Medieval Romance, Promotion | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment