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1. Spotlight and Giveaway: The Rake’s Handbook (Including Field Guide) by Sally Orr

The Rake’s Handbook sounds like a cute read!  Check out the excerpt and enter the giveaway below!

The Rake’s Handbook (Including Field Guide) by Sally Orr (Historical Romance; The Rake’s Handbook, Book 1; ISBN: 9781492602118)

Summary:

The definitive guide to seduction…

The Rake’s Handbook was written on a dare, and soon took the ton by storm. Now its author, Ross Thornbury, is publicly reviled by the ladies—who are, of course, forbidden to read the handbook—but privately revered by the gentlemen. Unfortunately, Ross’s notoriety is working against him and he flees London painfully aware of the shortcomings of his own jaded heart.

Spirited young widow Elinor Colton lives next to Ross’s country estate. She’s appalled not only by his rakish reputation, but also by his progressive industrial plans. Elinor is sure she is immune to Ross’s seductive ways. But he keeps coming around…impressing her with his vision for England’s future and stunning her with his smiles.

How does one resist the man who wrote the manual on love?

About the Author:

Sally Orr worked for thirty years in medical research, specializing in the discovery of gene function. After joining an English history message board, she posted many, many examples of absolute tomfoolery. As a result, a cyber-friend challenged her to write a novel. Since she is a hopeless Anglophile, it’s not surprising that her first book is a Regency romance. Sally lives with her husband in San Diego, surrounded by too many nerdy books and not enough old English cars. 

Social Media:

Website | @OrrSally | Facebook | Goodreads

Pre-order:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound | iBooks

 

Excerpt:

“You really are a rake,” she whispered, the sight and feel of their joined hands warming her cheeks. “A proper gentleman would never hold a lady thus. I have been warned about your charms. Perhaps I too should write everything down. Pen a handbook to instruct my widowed sisters what to expect upon attempted seduction and how to fight it.”

“Factual or satirical?”

She bit her lower lip to stop an indelicate reply.

“I could write that handbook too.”

His boast made her smile. “I seem to have found another trait of a rake.”

“Humph. I’d be delighted to show you all of my traits. Perhaps start with chapter one?” The determination in his voice indicated he was quite willing to comply.

“Please do, sir,” she replied in a facetious tone, tugging her hand free. “But I can already tell that I’ll stop reading your book after the table of contents. You know, all of those funny pages in the front of the book numbered v and i.”

He chuckled softly, then stared at her until he captured her gaze. “My handbook starts with fine eyes.” He reached up and swept back a ringlet that had fallen over her eye and carefully tucked the curl under her bonnet.

Her heartbeat raced.

“The eyes are followed by a notable vee.” His gaze lowered to the upper edge of her bodice and lingered in the center.

“Oh my, if that’s the table of contents, I don’t dare read chapter one.”

“I’d be pleased to read you all of the chapters. There are a total of . . .” He glanced at her leisurely, from the top of her leghorn bonnet down to her sensible half boots. His focus returned up to her neck—almost. His chest broadened as he inhaled. “Ten.”

“Ten.”

He gave her a smoldering look from under heavy lashes. “Ten in volume one,” he continued in a silky baritone. “Let’s start with chapter one.” He leaned forward slowly, staring at her mouth, as if he might take liberties and kiss her. The distance between them shortened to inches. Close enough to feel his warm breath.

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Spotlight and Giveaway: The Rake’s Handbook (Including Field Guide) by Sally Orr appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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2. Novella Review: Meeting Her Match by Mary Connealy

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I really enjoyed Meeting Her Match.  This novella features an unconventional hero, and honestly, when we are first introduced to Marcus, all I could think was, “No!  He can’t be the hero!”  He is clumsy, he can’t look Hannah in the eye, and he’s completely tongue-tied in her presence.  Turns out our sweet hero has been in love with Hannah since he was a young lad, and he turns into a dithering clod whenever she is near. 

Hannah, who has spent many hours secretly finding matches for the eligible singles in town, has failed to find a match for herself.  She’s a busy gal, though, so it’s not surprising that she hasn’t found a man to get hitched to yet.  She’s the school teacher, she helps her sickly mother tend to her huge brood of siblings, and the timing never seems right for her.  Her fiancé was killed in a freak accident, and she’s been drifting through life ever since. 

When tragedy strikes her family, Hannah finds herself even more harried than before.  Then, when her father practically kicks her out of the house, she’s heartbroken.  She mopes about, feeling sorry for herself, not seeing the handsome, caring man that’s right in front of her.  Instead,  because of Marcus’ shy ways, she thinks that he doesn’t like her, even though nothing could be further from the truth.

With the meddling of the townsfolk, Hannah finally gets a clue.  This is a cute read, with likeable characters and a heroine who deserves a HEA.  The only glitch for me was that the ending took too long to wrap up.  Otherwise, this is a great time killer if you’ve got about an hour to fill.

Grade:  B

Review copy read on Scribd

From Amazon:

When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker’s son how much she cares for him?

The post Novella Review: Meeting Her Match by Mary Connealy appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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3. Interview with Lynna Banning, Author of The Lone Sheriff and Giveaway

 

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Good morning, Lynna!   Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Lynna Banning] Shy, smart, determined, and hard-working

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Lone Sheriff?

[Lynna Banning] I am partial to “wounded warriors,” and was drawn to an orphan of undetermined heritage (maybe part Indian, maybe part Mexican, but he doesn’t really know) who pulled himself up by his bootstraps and in adulthood worked his way up to being sheriff. I saddled him with a privileged back-East girl whom he sees as a “piece of rich fluff” but who earns his respect, then his admiration, and then his love based on her wit and strength of character.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Can you share your favorite scene?

[Lynna Banning] My favorite scene is the opening one, where Jericho meets the train from Chicago, expecting a male Pinkerton agent, and instead finds himself looking at Madison O’Donnell, who turns out to be a very beautiful lady Pinkerton detective with a feathered hat and a mint-green parasol.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Lynna Banning] Working out the push-pull dialogue and interaction between Jericho and Maddie, with his stubborn streak and her very smart one-ups-manship capabilities.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Lynna Banning] A book, whatever I’m reading at the moment.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Lynna Banning] A photograph of my husband; a straw-basket bed for my cat; and a fluffy feather duster for my computer keyboard.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

[Lynna Banning] Anything chocolate. Sometimes if I’m out of peanut butter cups I pour out a handful of chocolate chips and nibble on those.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Lynna Banning] A reporter on 60 Minutes, interviewing women historical romance writers.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week.  Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Lynna Banning] My superpower would be the ability to bring clarity of thinking and humanitarian regard to people who are abusing other people, whether in the home, the community, or the nation—any nation.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Lynna Banning] Tracy Chevalier’s “The Last Runaway”; Christina Dodd’s “Candle in the Window”; “Duty” by Robert Gates; and my annual re-reading of “Anne of Green Gables,” by Lucy Montgomery.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Lynna Banning] I love to hear from readers! Write me at P.O. Box 324, Felton, California 95018. Email me at carowoolston@att.net. My web page is www.lynnabanning.net.

THE LONE SHERIFF

LYNNA BANNING

Harlequin Western historical ~ 75k words

As if tracking down train robbers isn’t enough, now Sheriff Jericho Silver’s backup detective is a gun-toting, head-turning beauty who sure spells trouble.

Madison O’Donnell had the perfect life—a beautiful home and all the ladies

luncheons she could stomach—but it left her bored to tears. Now the determined widow fills her days with daring deeds and wild adventures, including working with Jericho. But he insists on her returning to the city where she belongs and finds she is one lady who refuses to take no for an answer.

Buy links: Amazon B&N Harlequin Romance

Excerpt:

None of them looked remotely like a Pinkerton man. A Pinkerton agent would no doubt be wearing a proper suit. But the only male who looked the least bit citified was Ike Bruhn, home from his honeymoon with his new bride.

Sandy jiggled at his side. “Ya see ’im?”

“Nope,” Jerico grunted.

“Maybe he missed the train,” his deputy suggested.

“Naw, must be here somewhere. Look for a gent in a gray suit.” Pinkerton men always wore grey to blend in with crowds. He scanned the thronged station platform again.

“Check inside, Sandy. Maybe he slipped past me.”

His deputy jogged off and Jericho perused the crowd a third time. Nothing. Maybe Mr. Detective had chickened out at the prospect of fingering an elusive outlaw gang that was robbing trains. He narrowed his eyes and turned to check the station once more when someone stumbled smack into him.

“Oh, I am terribly sorry.” An extremely pretty young woman carrying a green-striped parasol gazed up at him. Her voice sounded like rich whiskey sliding over smooth river stones and for a moment Jericho forgot what he’d come for. She only came up to his shoulder and on her dark, piled-up hair sat the most ridiculous concoction of feathers and stuffed birds he’d ever laid eyes on.

He sucked in a breath to apologize, then wished he hadn’t. Goddam she smelled good. Soap and something flowery.

Made his head swim.

He stepped back. “’Scuse me, ma’am.”

She waved a gloved hand and peered at his chest. “Oh, you are the sheriff.”

“Yeah, I am.”

She smiled and his mouth went dry. “You are just the man I want to see.”

Jericho swallowed. “You have a problem?”

“Oh, no.” She twirled her parasol. “You have the problem. I have come to help.” She waited, an expectant look on her face.

“Help?” Jerico echoed.

“Of course.” The whiskey in her voice was now sliding over some pointy rocks. “I am Madison O’Donnell. The Smoke River Bank hired me to help catch the gang robbing their gold shipments.”

Jericho stared at her.

“I believe you were expecting me?”

He snapped his jaw shut. He sure as hell wasn’t expecting her. The last thing he’d expected was this frilly-looking female with her ridiculous hat. In her green-striped dress and twirling her parasol like that she made him think of a dish of cool mint ice cream.

“Whatever is the matter, Sheriff? You have gone quite pale? Are you ill?”

He jerked at the question. Not ill, just gutshot. “Uh, yeah. I mean No, I’m not ill. Just . . . surprised.”

She lowered her voice. “Most Pinkerton clients are surprised when they meet me. It will pass.”

Hell no, it won’t.

Madison O’Donnell picked up her travel bag. “Shall we go?”

Not on your life. “Uh, my deputy’s inside the station house. ’Scuse me, ma’am.” He strode past her without looking back. Inside, he found Sandy talking to the ticket seller.

“Charlie says nobody’s come in except the two Weatherby women. You want me to hang around and – ?”

Biography for Lynna Banning:

Lynna Banning combines a lifelong love of history and literature into a satisfying career as a writer. Born in Oregon, she has lived in Northern California most of her life. After graduating from Scripps College she embarked on a career as an editor and technical writer, and later as a high school English teacher.

An amateur pianist and harpsichordist, Lynna performs on psaltery and harp in a medieval music ensemble, and she also plays cortholt, recorders, and tar (drum). She enjoys hearing from her readers. You may write to her directly at P.O. Box 324, Felton, CA 95018, USA, or at carowoolston@att.net. Visit Lynna’s website at www.lynnabanning.net.

*** *** ***

Giveaway: Seven(7) copies of The Lone Sheriff…Seven(7) lucky winners

a Rafflecopter giveaway /

The post Interview with Lynna Banning, Author of The Lone Sheriff and Giveaway appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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4. Novella Review: No Match for Love by Carol Cox

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I enjoyed Cowboy Unmatched, another A Match Made in Texas novella, so when I was browsing around on Scribd, I was delighted to see other stories from the same anthology on the site.  I quickly added No Match for Love to my library and read it Sunday night.  This is a cute story and now I want to read the all of A Match Made in Texas novellas.

Lucy’s father left her penniless after his death, and she’s relying on the charity of her friend’s family to keep a roof over her head.  Overindulged by her father, she has never learned useful skills; she can’t even make a pot of tea, let alone find employment to give her some independence.  Her only option is to marry Walter, a man who makes her uneasy and who she doubts she could ever develop feelings for.  Her friend is marrying soon, however, and she knows that she can’t live with her parents forever, so Lucy is desperate for any opportunity to present itself.

When she’s offered a job far away from Dry Gulch, she jumps at the chance to escape Walter and being a burden to her benefactors.  All she has to do is care for Andrew Simms’ elderly aunt.  Martha refuses to sell her ranch, the Diamond S, but Andrew has concerns about her mental health.  She firmly believes she saw a cow leaping over the moon, in addition to other impossibly odd occurrences at the ranch, and now Andrew is worried about her living by herself.

Lucy expects to find a doddering old woman, but instead she is introduced to an intelligent, capable woman.  One who doesn’t want a stranger living with her on her ranch.  Andrew convinces Martha that she’ll enjoy the company, and a thankful Lucy has a place to stay, at least for a while.

I enjoyed the friendship that develops between the women.  Lucy is hopeless in the kitchen, and she doesn’t know the first thing about running a household.  Gruff Martha teaches her all she knows, and the two become friends.  The only sticky point? Every full moon, something weird does happen at the ranch.  With Martha hollering into the night, brandishing her shotgun, Lucy fears for the woman’s sanity, too.  It quickly becomes clear that something, or someone, is responsible for the disturbances plaguing the ranch, and Lucy is determined to discover the reason behind them.

I thought that the romance was secondary to the mystery.  The mystery was solved a little too easily, too, but I still enjoyed the interactions between the characters, especially between Lucy and Martha.  This is a quick, satisfying read with a very sweet romance, so if you’re looking to fill a short period of time, No Match for Love is an entertaining choice.

Grade:  B

Review copy read on Scribd

From Amazon:

Andrew can’t fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?

The post Novella Review: No Match for Love by Carol Cox appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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5. The Meaning of Maggie: Review Haiku

You'll catch on before
Maggie does, but you'll love her
for her ignorance.

The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern. Chronicle, 2014, 220 pages.

0 Comments on The Meaning of Maggie: Review Haiku as of 9/17/2014 8:34:00 AM
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6. Death of a Schoolgirl (2012)

Death of a Schoolgirl (Jane Eyre Chronicles #1) Joanna Campbell Slan. 2012. Berkley Trade. 340 pages. [Source: Library]

My expectations were low, so I was quite pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable this Jane Eyre mystery was. It may not be perfectly perfect from start to finish. There might be a paragraph or two here and there that bothered me. (For example, I didn't understand why Mrs. Fairfax was pushing Jane Eyre to take the family diamonds with her on her visit to Adele's school. Here she was going to check on the child's welfare, and Mrs. Fairfax is urging her to take jewels so she can dress up for her hosts in London?! I don't know if part of me thought it was foreshadowing--for better or worse--but when she put them in her reticule, I wanted to shout WHY are you traveling with expensive jewelry?!?! Why?! And sure enough--predictably enough--Jane Eyre gets robbed on her way to London. See! I told you not to take the family jewels!) But for the most part, I found the book to be an entertaining read.

Mrs. Rochester (aka Jane Eyre) is a new mother. She loves, loves, loves her new baby boy. But. When she receives a short letter from Adele with a French message included asking--begging--for help, she decides to leave her husband and son behind to check on Adele at her boarding school. If all is well, if it is just Adele being Adele, being childish and wanting her own way, then she may leave her at the school. If the school is less than ideal, if she does not like what she sees--how she sees the children being treated, if she thinks Adele's misery is justifiable, then she may take her out of the school. Because Jane Eyre was beaten up by the thief, because she doesn't particularly look RICH and IMPORTANT, she is initially mistaken as the new German teacher who was supposed to arrive several weeks earlier. That first day Jane Eyre is a bit flabbergasted and too overwhelmed to correct anyone. She has just learned that one of Adele's classmates was murdered. Eventually, one of the teachers convinces Jane that she should continue the deception, that she should resume her teaching duties temporarily and watch over the students herself. She debates what is best. Should she take Adele immediately to safety and let others solve the crime? Or should she become an amateur detective herself and work as a team with others to help solve the case?

Is Jane Eyre the best detective ever? Not really. But to me that almost doesn't matter. I liked spending time in her company. The setting intrigued me. I had never placed Jane Eyre in the Regency time period. But here we have the sequel set during the reign of George IV, and Queen Caroline, the scandalous Queen Caroline has not died yet. This places the book within a specific time frame. The sprinkling of historical details may not speak to all readers. Little details can be easily dismissed or ignored. But to me it's the little things that help ground a book. The book does deal with prejudices and judgments: how the lower classes feel about the upper classes, how the poor feel about the rich, how the rich feel about the poor, do they see them as human, are they compassionate and kind, or, haughty or cruel. One of the characters is VERY prejudiced against French people. Again and again we see characters making judgments or being judged. Sometimes the people that are being judged in certain situations are making judgments about others just a chapter or two later.

There were places I loved this one. There were places I merely liked it. But at times it just felt RIGHT. Maybe it didn't feel RIGHT cover to cover. But I read it quickly and enjoyed it very much.
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Death of a Schoolgirl (2012) as of 9/16/2014 11:44:00 AM
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7. Interview with Lecia Cornwall, Author of What a Lady Most Desires and Giveaway

Good morning, Lecia!  Describe yourself in five words of less

Mother, Writer, Shy, Perceptive, Sentimental.

Can you tell us a little about your book?

WHAT A LADY MOST DESIRES is the third book in the Temberlay series, which began with HOW TO DECIEVE A DUKE and THE SECRET LIFE OF LADY JULIA. This book is Stephen Ives’s story. He’s a dashing, charming, elegant gentleman with a brilliant career as a soldier and a diplomat, and he’s happy with his life just the way it is, without love to complicate it. He’s tried love, and failed, and he has no interest in trying again. Ever. And if he was ever to be tempted, the last lady on earth he’d choose would be Delphine St. James, the most ambitious, flirtatious, and annoying lady in London. When Delphine sets her cap for Stephen, he sets his with just as much determination to deny her.

But Delphine is not a lady who takes no for an answer. When she and Stephen meet again at a ball before the Battle of Waterloo, she renews their acquaintance. When the call to arms sounds in the middle of their dance, they share a passionate farewell kiss that surprises them both. The battle leaves Stephen blind, wounded, and accused of cowardice, but Delphine stays by his side. Afraid and in pain, he’s surly and rude, but she’s determined to help him heal, and to at least be his friend, even if she can never be more.

As Stephen comes to know Delphine through every sense but sight, he realizes she isn’t the flighty society miss he thought she was. She’s everything he’s ever wanted. But a blind and accused coward cannot aim so high.

As a diplomat, Stephen is a man who depends on his eyes to read his opponents. Without sight, he must come to know the world through touch, sound, scent, and taste. As he falls in love with the woman he once thought unsuitable, he cannot help but wonder if she is all he sees in his mind. As they are drawn apart by obligations and accusations, Stephen desperately tries to hold on to Delphine, and in doing so, betrays her trust. He becomes the pursuer, and must prove to Delphine that he’s exactly WHAT A LADY MOST DESIRES.

How did you come up with the concept and the characters in the story?

Opposites make the most interesting pairings, don’t they? I love watching each character bend, adapt and change to find true love with their prefect match. It’s not that the characteristics weren’t there all along—it’s just that love brings the best part of us into focus, and changes us forever.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I love creating situations that force each character to become more honest, authentic, and worth loving. That involves a lot of conflict before we finally get to happily ever after. Creating conflict for my characters is such wicked fun!

What gave you the most trouble with this story?

Understanding what it feels like to be blind. I am extremely nearsighted, and without contact lenses and glasses for reading or driving on top of those, I’m just a point or two from being legally blind. Without eyewear, I see colors and shapes, light and shadow, and I am very grateful that my vision is correctable. I love nature and art and photography, and I can’t imagine never seeing the faces of the ones I love again if I lost my sight. So creating a sense of fear in Stephen and showing him managing his dark world was a very challenging part of the book.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

I think I’d choose Loreena McKennitt’s Never Ending Road. It tells of the endless journey of someone continually seeking her heart’s desire. I think that describes a writer’s life very well. You can listen to Loreena’s wonderful song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv2kmFZTDeY

Name the one thing you won’t leave home without.

I never go anywhere without a notebook, just in case an idea wanders in, clouts me over the head, holds me at pencil-point and demands to be written down at once.

Name three things on your desk right now.

There’s Emma, one of my five cats, in a box lined with her favorite sweater. There’s a miniature bottle of Writer’s Tears whiskey I got in my stocking last Christmas (half full) which I use to toast reaching the end of each manuscript I write. And there’s a small container of soil from the battlefield of Waterloo, a gift my daughter brought back for me when she visited Belgium on a school trip a few years ago. I must admit my desk is a testament to creative disorganization. Actually, “creatively disorganized” should have been two of the five words used to describe me in the first question of this interview!

If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

Anyone, present or past, real or fictional, just ONE? Remember the old TV show Quantum Leap, where the hero was part of a time travel experiment gone wrong? He ended up in a new body in a different era every episode while trying to get back to his own life. I’d try that—a new character every day. I’d be Catherine The Great one day, or Anne Boleyn (not THAT day!), or Eleanor of Aquitaine, or Wellington, or Napoleon, or Cleopatra, or Boudicca, or Jacqueline Kennedy. So many wonderful lives and adventures!

What are some of the books you’ve enjoyed recently?

Books are my worst/best addiction! I’m always reading three or four at a time (no, it’s not ADD, just the bad habit of a writer who wants to read EVERYTHING!). I just finished re-reading an old favorite, Edith Pargeter’s Eighth Champion of Christendom. Her brilliant descriptions stay with you forever. I also recently read Mary Balogh’s latest book, The Escape, and I’ve just started Larkswood, by Valerie Mendes.

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

I love to cook with my family (Moroccan cuisine is our latest favorite), and to garden—though my plants must endure good intentions, benign neglect, and Calgary’s harsh growing conditions if they want to live here. I also hook rugs when I have the time, including buying old wool sweaters at thrift shops, shrinking them down, cutting them into strips, and designing the patterns.

How can readers connect with you?

I love hearing from readers and I answer every single e-mail and Facebook comment! You can drop me a line at leciacornwall@shaw.ca, visit my website at www.leciacornwall.com for excerpts, blogs, and news, or visit my Facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lecia-Cornwall/147981455226519?ref=hl

For a visual look at each of my books, check out my Pinterest pages. You can find the one for WHAT A LADY MOST DESIRES here: http://www.pinterest.com/leciacornwall/what-a-lady-most-desires/

Or, you can leave a comment or question right here! I’ll be dropping by throughout the day to chat.

What a Lady Most Desires

The Temberlay Series # 3

By: Lecia Cornwall

Releasing August 26th, 2014

Avon Romance

Blurb

On the night before the final battle against Napoleon, Lady Delphine St. James finds herself dancing with the one man she has always wanted, Major Lord Stephen Ives. He makes it clear he has no time for a lady he sees as flirtatious and silly, but as the call to arms sounds, she bids him farewell with a kiss that stirs them both. When he returns gravely injured, she is intent on caring for him, even if his surly behavior tests her patience.
After the battle, Stephen is not only wounded and blind, but falsely accused of cowardice and theft. The only light in his dark world is Delphine, the one woman he never imagined he could desire. But she deserves more than he can give her.
As their feelings deepen and hidden enemies conspire to force them to part forever, can their love survive the cruelest test of all? 

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/what-lady-most-desires-temberlay-3-by.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18518676-what-a-lady-most-desires?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/What-Lady-Desires-Lecia-Cornwall-ebook/dp/B00H1UMOFQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406664108&sr=8-1&keywords=what+a+lady+most+desires

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-a-lady-most-desires-lecia-cornwall/1117542226?ean=9780062332400

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/what-a-lady-most-desires

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/what-a-lady-most-%20desires/id771731765?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Author Info

Lecia Cornwall is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America’s Seattle and Calgary Chapters. Her background includes all facets of writing, including running a successful freelance writing business specializing in direct marketing and advertising. Both history and writing have been lifelong passions. Lecia currently lives and writes in Calgary, Alberta, the heart of the Canadian West.

Author Links

Website: http://www.leciacornwall.com/

Blog: http://leciacornwall.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lecia-Cornwall/147981455226519?sk=app_7146470109

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Leciacornwall

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4441913.Lecia_Cornwall

GIVEAWAY!

Leave a comment to enter for a chance to this awesome bracelet (worth $59), from Victorian Trading Company.

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Print Copy of THE SECRET LIFE OF LADY JULIA)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview with Lecia Cornwall, Author of What a Lady Most Desires and Giveaway appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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8. Interview with Margaret Mallory, Author of Captured by a Laird

 

Good morning, Margaret! Tell us what inspired your new series, THE DOUGLAS LEGACY, and book 1, CAPTURED BY A LAIRD.

I first came across Archibald Douglas when I was doing research for THE GUARDIAN (THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS). I was intrigued by this handsome, young chieftain’s brazen power play in starting an affair with Scotland’s dowager queen, Margaret Tudor, so soon after the death of her husband, James IV. The affair led to lucrative appointments for his Douglas kin, and his eventual marriage to the queen put the Douglas chieftain in a position to vie for control of the young heir to the throne—and the country. For years, Archibald’s power rose and fell dramatically. He and his closest male relatives were forced to flee the country more than once to save their necks.

This series was born when I began to wonder what happened to the women of the Douglas family who were left behind when the men escaped. While information on Archie’s sisters is sparse, I found enough to suggest they were in serious danger at times. In fact, one sister was eventually burned at the stake in Edinburgh Castle by Archibald’s angry step-son James V.

Being a romance writer, I naturally wanted to give the Douglas lasses happy endings with men who would stand by them in tough times.

CAPTURED BY A LAIRD is a fictional story inspired by the real marriage between Archibald’s sister Alison and David Hume of Wedderburn. As is often the case with Scottish history going back five hundred years, history and legend are intertwined. That said, the real David Hume did capture Blackadder Castle and force Blackadder’s widow, Alison Douglas, to marry him in order to gain the Blackadder lands. I found no mention of David having any illegitimate children, and he and Alison had six children together. From that, I decided to write a story in which they fall in love after their forced marriage. I believe they did. ?

What draws readers to Scottish heroes?

Other than the kilt, the big sword, and the oh-so-sexy accent? ? The Highland warrior has a larger-than-life quality that makes him great hero material. In today’s world, I may not need—or want—a man who is as forceful and physical as the heroes in my books. But take me to 16th century Scotland in my imagination, and I want that alpha warrior!

A Scottish hero is usually fighting against terrible odds. To survive in his harsh and violent times, he has to be strong, resourceful, and ridiculously courageous. We love this hero for his unfailing courage in facing the powerful forces aligned against him and for his loyalty to his woman, his family, and his clan.

Another bonus is that the Scottish hero is surrounded by strong women who challenge and tease him. Despite how fierce and intimidating he seems to others, his mother and sisters and the old women of his clan all seem ready to set him straight when they think he needs it. And you can be sure that the heroine will have a spirit to match his.

Where to you get your inspiration for your stories?

I get a lot of inspiration from my historical research. Lucky for me, Scottish history is bursting with fascinating characters, murder, and mayhem!

Unfortunately, I can’t travel back in time, but I have been able to travel to Scotland to research my books. Every day I discovered a ruin or a legend I wanted to bring into my stories. For readers who love Scotland, I’ve posted a lot of my photos from my trips on Facebook and on the Videos & Such page of my website www.MargaretMallory.com.

As a historical romance writer, you must do a lot of research.

I’m always researching! Even though I do a lot of research before I started the first book in the series, I’m constantly looking things up while I’m writing. One thing often leads to another, and I’ll come across a legend about a historical character or a ghost story associated with a castle in my book. That’s always fun.

How much does real history play in your books?

Scottish romance readers care about history, but I think what’s more important than accurately reflecting every detail is to make them feel immersed in the time and place of your story. My readers want to be swept away to the Highlands!

I like to ground my stories in real places and historical events, though I feel free to make adjustments to suit the tale. I’ve also used bits of legends and ghost stories associated with castles and other sites that appear in my books. All that is fun for me.

I try to create characters who are true to their times and uniquely Scottish, such as seers, healers, pipers, and clan warriors. There are so many wild true-life characters in Scottish history that I usually include at least a couple of them in each book.

What drew you to Scottish historical romance?

I love history, and I have a serious weakness for stories involving castles and heroes who swing swords. ? I suspect I’m drawn to the British Isles, in particular, because of my Scottish-Irish-English heritage.

Why romance?

I love the Happily Ever After. I love that I can do justice and give a Happy-Ever-After to those who deserve it—of course, I make them suffer and earn it first. ? I’ve been married many years and am glad of it, but I enjoy writing about that intense, all-consuming, falling-in-love stage of love. Oh, to be young and in love!

What do you want readers to take away from your books?

I have an image in my mind of a woman putting her feet up after a long day and reading my book. The little time she has for herself is precious. My goal is to give her a riveting and emotionally satisfying story that she can get lost in for a few hours. I want to make her laugh, cry, and bite her nails. And when she comes to the end, I want to make her sigh because everything turned out exactly right.

Nothing makes me happier than to hear from readers who tell me they stayed up half the night or had to order pizza for dinner because they couldn’t put my book down.

What are your favorite scenes to write? What are the most difficult?

My favorite scenes to write are the ones that make me weep over my laptop. Seriously. If I’m making myself cry, I know it’s a good scene.

The hardest scenes are the first few in the book. I need to captivate my reader, immerse her in my story, and do it all very quickly. Adding to my troubles, I don’t know my characters as well as I will later in the book.

Which part of writing a book is the most challenging for you?

The first few chapters are always the hardest for me. Always. I need to capture the reader’s attention and immerse her in my story very quickly. I can’t bog things down with backstory, yet I must provide enough information about the characters, setting, and conflict so that the opening scenes are both understandable and compelling. Every word counts so much. I end up doing a lot of revising to make those first chapters work well and flow smoothly. Even deciding where to start is hard—a good book doesn’t start at the logical beginning, but at a high dramatic point when one or both main characters is on the cusp of change. Adding to my troubles, I don’t know my characters as well when I start as I will later in the book.

Every writer dreams of getting “the call.” What were you doing when yours came?

I was in a parking lot an hour and a half from home, and I had just come out of an exhausting, all-day workgroup meeting on high risk kids. Before starting my car, I saw that I had a call from my agent and called her back. She told me that Grand Central was offering me a two-book deal. I was dying to tell someone, but I couldn’t reach a soul. I left a screaming message for my husband, then I had to drive through terrible and seemingly endless road construction and rush hour traffic before I could talk to anyone. It was lucky I didn’t get into an accident!

What is the best writing advice you’ve been given?

In Stephen King’s book, On Writing, he recommends setting daily page or word-count goals. I’m a slow writer, but I am also extremely goal-oriented, so this was great advice for me. When I’m writing my first draft, I set daily, weekly, and monthly word-count goals.

Tell us a bit about your writing process.

I start with the characters and their conflict, and I usually have two or three pivotal scenes in my head. Before I write more than a scene or two, I make character sheets, and I try to have at least a sketchy outline of the plot. I figure out a lot of the plot as I go, but I write better when I know the basic direction I’m headed.

Deciding exactly where to start the story is hard—at least it is for me. A good book doesn’t start at the logical beginning, but at a high dramatic point, with one or both main characters on the cusp of change. The first few chapters are also challenging because I’m still getting to know my characters.

TITLE – Captured by a Laird

SERIES – The Douglas Legacy #1

AUTHOR – Margaret Mallory

GENRE – Historical Romance/ Highland Romance

PUBLICATION DATE – September 15, 2014

LENTH (Pages/# Words) – 319

THE DOUGLAS LEGACY
The Douglas sisters, beauties all, are valuable pawns in their family’s bitter struggle to control the Scottish Crown. But when powerful enemies threaten, each Douglas lass will find she must face them alone.
CAPTURED BY A LAIRD
Haunted by his father’s violent death, David Hume, the new laird of Wedderburn, sets out to make his name so feared that no one will dare harm his family again. The treacherous ally who played on his father’s weakness is dead and beyond David’s vengeance, but his castle and young widow are ripe for the taking. The moment David lays eyes on the dark-haired beauty defending her wee daughters, however, he knows this frail-looking lass is the one person who could bring him to his knees.
Wed at thirteen to a man who tried daily to break her spirit, Lady Alison Douglas is looking forward to a long widowhood. But when the fearsome warrior known as the Beast of Wedderburn storms her gates, she finds herself, once again, forced to wed a stranger. Alison is only a pawn to serve his vengeance, so why does this dark warrior arouse such fiery passion and an unwelcome longing in her heart?
With death and danger looming, these two wounded souls must learn to trust each other . . . for only love can save them.

BUY & TBR LINKS (Fill Out The Ones You Use)

BUY & TBR LINKS (Fill Out The Ones You Use)

AMAZON KINDLE US – http://www.amazon.com/CAPTURED-DOUGLAS-LEGACY-Margaret-Mallory-ebook/dp/B00N39NXHW/

AMAZON KINDLE CA – http://www.amazon.ca/CAPTURED-DOUGLAS-LEGACY-Margaret-Mallory-ebook/dp/B00N39NXHW

AMAZON KINDLE UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/CAPTURED-DOUGLAS-LEGACY-Margaret-Mallory-ebook/dp/B00N39NXHW/

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id917025270

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/captured-by-a-laird

GOODREADS –https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23121951-captured-by-a-laird

SHELFARI – http://www.shelfari.com/books/37933832/CAPTURED-BY-A-LAIRD-%28THE-DOUGLAS-LEGACY%29

EXCERPT (If You have a racy/erotica/steamy type book please provide 2 one for adults & one for under 18 blogs – thank you)

EXCERPT from CAPTURED BY A LAIRD © by Margaret Mallory 2014

David strode through the battle raging between his men and the castle defenders in the courtyard and headed straight for the keep, intent on his goal.

The castle would fall quickly. The defenders lacked leadership and were in disarray. His only concern was whether the castle had a secret tunnel for escape. During the siege, he had spread his men out through the fields surrounding the fortress to keep watch. But he had concentrated his forces for the attack and most were now inside the castle. If there was a tunnel, he must secure the widow and her daughters before they had a chance to escape. He did not relish the idea of having to chase them down through the fields with dogs.

The defenders had foolishly waited too long to withdraw to the keep, and most were caught in the courtyard when David’s men burst through the gate. He barely spared them a glance as he ran up the steps of the keep.

With several of his warriors at his back, he burst through the doors brandishing his sword. He paused inside the entrance to hall. Women and children were screaming, and the few Blackadder warriors who had made it inside were overturning tables in a useless attempt to set up a defense.

“If ye hope for mercy, drop your weapons,” David shouted, making his voice heard above the chaos.

He locked gazes with the men who hesitated to obey his order until every weapon clanked to the floor, then he swept his gaze over the women. Their clothing confirmed what he’d known the moment he entered the hall. Blackadder’s widow was not in the room.

“Where is she?” he demanded of the closest Blackadder man.

“Who, m’lord?” the man said, shifting his gaze to the side.

“Your mistress!” David picked him up by the front of his tunic and leaned in close. “Tell me now.”

“In her bedchamber,” the man squeaked, pointing to an arched doorway. “’Tis up the stairs.”

David caught a sudden whiff of urine and dropped the man to the floor in disgust. The wretch had wet himself.

“Take him to the dungeon,” he ordered. The coward had given up his mistress far too easily.

David started up the wheeled stairs to the upper floors with his sword at the ready. He expected to encounter Blackadder warriors, protecting the lady of the castle. But there were none on the stairs and none guarding the door on the first floor.

Damn it. She must have escaped. He gritted his teeth as he envisioned the lady’s guards leading her through the tunnel.

He was about to open the chamber door to make sure it was empty when Brian, one of his best men, came down the stairs.

“Laird, I checked all the chambers while ye were in the hall,” he said.

David’s jaw ached from clenching it.

“There’s one door on the floor just above us that wouldn’t open with the latch,” Brian said. “Shall I break it down?”

David waved him aside and pulled the ax from his belt as he raced up the stairs.

“Open it!” he shouted and pounded on the door.

He did not wait. She could be escaping through a secret door this very moment. Three hard whacks with his ax, and the door split. He kicked it until it swung open, then stepped through.

At his first sight of the woman, his feet became fixed to the floor. He felt strange, and his vision was distorted, as if as if he had swallowed a magical potion that narrowed his sight. He could see nothing in the room but her.

She was extraordinarily lovely, with violet eyes, pale skin, and shining black hair. But there was something about her, something beyond her beauty, that held him captive. She was young, much younger than he expected, and her features and form were delicate, in marked contrast to the violent emotion in her eyes.

David knew to the depths of his soul that a brute like him should not be the man to claim this fragile flower, even while the word mine beat in his head like a drum. He had no notion of how long he stood staring at her before he became aware that she held a sword. It was longer still before he noticed the two wee lasses peeking out from behind her like frightened kittens.

Anger boiled up in his chest. Every Blackadder man in the castle who could still draw breath should have been here, standing between him and their lady. Instead, she faced him alone with a sword she could barely lift with both hands.

It was a brave, but ridiculous gesture.

There was no defense against him.

AUTHOR BIO:

MARGARET MALLORY surprised her friends & family by abandoning her legal career to write tales of romance & adventure. At long last, she can satisfy her passion for justice by punishing the bad & rewarding the worthy–in the pages of her novels.
Margaret lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, goofy dog & crabby cat. With her two children off to college, Margaret spends most of her time working on her next Scottish historical romance. Visit her website for Book Group Discussion Questions, photos of Scotland, excerpts, & other info. Margaret loves to hear from readers!

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS:

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE – http://www.amazon.com/Margaret-Mallory/e/B002QZQJ5M/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

WEBSITE / BLOG – http://margaretmallory.com/

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/margaretmallory.author

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/MargaretMallory

GOOGLE+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/114714618099788790109/posts

GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2858606.Margaret_Mallory

SHELFARI – http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a2577761/Margaret-Mallory/

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9. Guest Post and Giveaway: Samantha Grace, Author In Bed With a Rogue

Please welcome Samantha Grace back to the virtual offices!  She’s here to share some private facts about Sebastian, and be sure to enter the giveaway to win a copy of In Bed with a Rogue!

Hi, everyone! I’m Samantha Grace, historical romance author of the series Rival Rogues. It’s great to be back at Manga Maniac Café talking about my newest release, IN BED WITH A ROGUE. My favorite characters to write are always the males, whether it’s the hero or a secondary character, so I was very happy to see the title for today’s blog:

Top 5 things you’d never find in Sebastian’s bedchamber

I love this topic, but I needed a little help from my street team, The Social Graces, to come up with a list. Here’s what we decided…

1) A mess—You would never find anything out of place in Sebastian’s bedchamber, and not just because he has a staff of servants. Lady Helena Prestwick notices when she first has a chance to study him at the theater that everything about his appearance is intentional, from the starch of his collar to his carefree hair made to appear as if he’d crawled from bed looking like perfection, to his high-polished footwear. “A lot of effort went into his appearance, suggesting he cared a great deal how others viewed him.” And how right she is. Sebastian believes one can never be too fastidious. “People were judged on appearances, and he took pains to set himself apart from the disheveled mess his father had become in his last years.” Sebastian’s father suffered from PTDS after his military service, which started rumors of madness in Sebastian’s family. Now that he and his sister have both been jilted before their weddings, the rumors have resurfaced, and Sebastian refuses to give any more evidence to back-up the gossips’ claims.

2) A muddy pair of Hessian boots—Even if Sebastian wasn’t a bit of a neat freak, you wouldn’t find the boots in his room because he…uh…he lost them one evening when attackers jumped him outside a tavern in Whitechapel.

His assailants ripped the coat from his back while he tried to catch his breath.

Found it!”

Another kick to his kidney paralyzed him in a cloud of pain. Two men grabbed his legs and tugged at his boots.

Not the Hessians,” he mumbled.

They laughed and ran off, the splash of footsteps growing faint.

Bloody… hell…” he said between wheezing breaths. He would have given them his purse if they had asked nicely, but no gentleman should have to part with his boots.

He rolled to his back and cried out as his muscles wrenched. If he ever learned his attackers’ identities, they were in for a shocking introduction of his foot to their backsides.

Lucky for Sebastian, Helena wasn’t far away and came to his rescue when he called out for help, even though she risked having her secret discovered.

3) A Do Not Disturb sign—Sebastian would never take his conquests home for a night of fun. He has a mother and younger sister under his care, and he would never dream of exposing them to anything inappropriate. He would, however, like to bar his sister from his room, but Evie will have none of that after he is delivered to the front stoop battered, bruised, and unconscious. (I think she burned the Do Not Disturb sign.)

He was in his bedchamber. God only knew how he had gotten there.

He smacked his lips. His mouth was dry, like someone had shoved a wad of muslin in it. With eyes still closed, he fumbled for a glass of water on his side table without success. He cracked open an eye.

Faith!” He jumped, then sucked in a sharp breath as pain sliced through his ribs.

His younger sister pursed her lips. “What happened this time? Did an irate husband chase you out a window?”

I refuse to respond to such a ridiculous accusation.” Gingerly, he probed the bandage around his middle. How had that gotten there?

Eve slid from the edge of the bed and went to retrieve a porcelain pitcher from a tray sitting on a side table. “The doctor said you bruised your ribs and knocked your head. And don’t pretend I have insulted you. I smelled the lady’s perfume on you before your valet cleaned you up.” Despite her scolding tone, her brown eyes were sympathetic when she glanced over her shoulder. “I worry about you, Bastian. God only knows what you are doing that causes you to come home with bruises. And no coat or boots at that.”

Well, it’s not bedding married women, not that you should know about such goings-on.”

4) A Letter of Complaint—Helena learns Sebastian knows her secret when he approaches her at a ball, and she thinks he intends to blackmail her. She invites him back to her town house so they can discuss the terms in private, but he suggests they wait to leave the ball separately so no one connects their names. In the meantime, Helena takes refuge in the ladies’ retiring room to avoid running into him again at the ball. She has the misfortune of crossing paths with Lady Lovelace and receives a favorable recommendation of Sebastian’s skills, although the Widow Lovelace insults him in the process. (Perhaps there’s a little jealousy at play?)

I saw you dancing with Lord Thorne.” Lady Lovelace plopped onto the tufted stool and smoothed a hand over her hair. “If you’ve a rendezvous with Sebastian, you will not regret it.”

Helena’s breath hitched.

The widow’s eyes gleamed in the looking glass. “Just as I suspected. He is worth the risk, so long as no one else finds out. Most every lady desires him in her bed, but she would be mortified if others knew she’d been bedded by a Bedlamite.”

She twittered at her joke, but Helena didn’t find her amusing in the least.

Forgive me, my lady, but you are mistaken about Lord Thorne and me.” Helena headed for the retiring room door, brushing past the attendant who wasn’t even bothering to pretend she wasn’t eavesdropping. Her owl-like eyes blinked several times at Helena.

Oh?” The widow swiveled on the seat. “You haven’t succumbed to his charms yet? You would be the only woman whose skirts he has chased but failed to lift.”

5) An Attack Cat—One of my favorite scenes involves a stray cat Helena rescued on one of her late night excursions to Whitechapel. Sebastian isn’t likely to forget his introduction to Luna.

He swept the hair from her forehead. “I want to see where you lived. And Fergus promised to take me fishing. Perhaps you and Gracie would like to come along too. Fergus said you are quite the angler. And he said his mother, the best cook in Aberdeenshire, will bake a pie in my honor. I am not one to turn down a sweet.”

She rolled her eyes, laughing, knowing sweets were not his weakness. “When did you and Fergus become confidants?”

I’ll have you know Fergus and I are the best of friends now.” Sebastian tugged his trousers over his hips. “He invited me fishing when he offered his congratulations belowstairs earlier.” His eyes flew open and he jumped away from the bed. “Damnation!”

Helena gasped in surprise. Luna was clawing her way up his leg, clinging to his trousers as he hopped and tried to shake her loose. When she sank her teeth into his thigh, a string of curses poured from him.

Luna, no!” Helena scrambled off the bed to intervene, but Sebastian pried her from his leg before she reached them.

The cat hit the floor at a run, sprang onto the desk chair and desk, then slipped on the pile of post before she gained traction and dashed into Helena’s dressing room. Letters plopped to the floor.

Sebastian turned incredulous eyes on Helena. “Did you see that hellcat? He tried to unman me.”

A laugh burst from her. “He is a she, and Luna didn’t mean to hurt you. She was playing.”

His dark scowl brought about another peal of laughter.

I’m sorry,” she said, her voice muffled by her hand over her mouth. “Are you hurt?”

He lifted a brow. When his lips twitched, she knew he saw the humor too. “You could have warned me you had a guard under the bed.”

I hope y’all enjoyed the sneak peek into IN BED WITH A ROGUE. I’d like to thank Manga Maniac Café for having me here today! I look forward to chatting with all of you.

Should we play a fun game of “In Your Pants”? The idea originally came from a Harlequin post on Facebook, but let’s put our own spin on it. I’m assuming most of us have at least one book on our bedside tables. List the title and add “In Your Pants” at the end to create a new title. I’ll go first.

The Templars and Assassins in Your Pants (That’s quite the crusade!) Now it’s your turn!

To connect with Samantha…

Samantha Grace Author | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Bio:

Historical romance author Samantha Grace discovered the appeal of a great love story when she was just a young girl, thanks to Disney’s Robin Hood. She didn’t care that Robin Hood and Maid Marian were cartoon animals. It was her first happily-ever-after experience and she didn’t want the warm fuzzies to end. Now Samantha enjoys creating her own happy-endings for characters that spring from her imagination. Publisher’s Weekly describes her stories as “fresh and romantic” with subtle humor and charm. Samantha describes romance writing as the best job ever.

Part-time hospice social worker, moonlighting author, and pilates nut, she enjoys a happy and hectic life with her real life hero and two kids in the Midwest.

In Bed with a Rogue

By Samantha Grace

Soucebooks Casablanca

Historical Romance

September 2, 2014

ISBN: 9781402286612

$6.99/£4.99

Mass-Market Paperback

He’s the Talk of the Town

The whole town is tittering about Baron Sebastian Thorne having been jilted at the altar. Every move he makes ends up in the gossip columns. Tired of being the butt of everyone’s jokes, Sebastian vows to restore his family’s reputation no matter what it takes.

She’s the Toast of the Ton

Feted by the crème of society, the beautiful widow Lady Prestwick is a vision of all that is proper. But Helena is no angel, and when Sebastian uncovers her dark secret, he’s quick to press his advantage. In order to keep her hard-won good name, Helen will have to make a deal with the devil. But she’s got some tricks up her sleeves to keep this notorious rogue on his toes…

Historical romance author Samantha Grace discovered the appeal of a great love story when she was just a young girl, thanks to Disney’s Robin Hood. She didn’t care that Robin Hood and Maid Marian were cartoon animals. It was her first happily-ever-after experience and she didn’t want the warm fuzzies to end. Now Samantha enjoys creating her own happy-endings for characters that spring from her imagination. Publishers Weekly describes her stories as “fresh and romantic” with subtle humor and charm. Samantha describes romance writing as the best job ever.

Website: http://www.samanthagraceauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Samantha-Grace/264436686918343

Twitter: @SamGraceAuthor https://twitter.com/SamGraceAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4946067.Samantha_Grace

Buy: Amazon | B&N | BAM! | IndieBound | !ndigo | iTunes a Rafflecopter giveaway

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10. Review and Giveaway: Not Quite a Wife by Mary Jo Putney

Review:

The last Mary Jo Putney I read was a Signet Regency Romance that was published in the 90s. I loved this line, and still have a box of Signet Regency paperbacks in the the basement.  When I had an opportunity to read a brand new book by Putney, I jumped at the chance.  I enjoyed Not Quite a Wife, though I did not buy into the conflict between Laurel and James.  I guess I am so indifferent to violence that I couldn’t understand why Laurel would leave her husband, James, after he defended her and himself from an assassin.  She didn’t even ask him for an explanation for his actions – she just packed her bags and walked out on her young, loving husband.

Laurel Herbert and her brother have been operating an infirmary and home for abused women and their children in Bristol.  Laurel is shocked when her newest patient is carried into the ward.  It’s James, her estranged husband.  He’s been beaten and robbed, and he’s suffering from a fever.  In the 10 years that they have been apart, Laurel has settled into a comfortable life, helping disadvantaged women learn skills to assist them in earning their independence.  Nostalgia and her confused feelings for her husband lead to a moment of passion between her and James.  Because he’s out of his mind with fever, James thinks he’s just had a very erotic, very vivid dream, and Laurel isn’t willing to divulge the truth.  Sending him on his way the next day, she returns to her duties and tries to put James out of her mind.

Unfortunately, her momentary indiscretion leaves her pregnant.  Putting on a brave front, she approaches James, confesses, and they agree to a month long reconciliation.  They’ll need to put up with each other for the sake of their child, so Laurel reluctantly agrees to accompany him to London for one month, with every intention of returning home afterwards.  Despite her misgivings about James, she knows that it would be best of all involved to attempt to reconcile.

This is an enjoyable read, but I didn’t feel that there was much conflict between the protagonists.  Laurel just can’t forgive James for taking a life, regardless of how justified he was.  James is a spy, and it’s his job to protect the Regent and all of England, but he doesn’t take any satisfaction from the fact that he’s killed.  It eats at his soul, and this darkness within him is what originally drew him to Laurel.  Though they were both very young, from the moment he saw her, James knew that he would love Laurel forever.  I think I liked that best about this story; he really did love her from that moment on, and when she left him, it destroyed him.  Determined to let her find her happiness, he respected her wishes and stayed away from her.  Now that he’s been given a second chance, he’s going to do everything in his power to keep her.  James was kind, patient, and understanding of Laurel, sometimes more than I thought she deserved.  The lack of communication between them was the biggest obstacle they had to overcome, and it took more than ten years to finally learn to talk to each other.

I’m kind of a sucker for sea battles, so the evil Captain Hardwick and his attempt to make off with Laurel’s lady’s maid was a welcome diversion.  It added a life threatening complication, and gave James a chance to be a hero.  It also gave Laurel some insight on how it felt to defend your loved ones, regardless of the consequences.  The entire abduction episode kept me on the edge of my seat, and I found the resolution to the battle fitting.

 

Not Quite a Wife

The Lost Lords # 6

By: Mary Jo Putney

Releasing August 26th, 2014

Kensington

Blurb

Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

James, Lord Kirkland, owns a shipping fleet, half a London gaming house, and is a ruthlessly effective spymaster. He is seldom self-indulgent…except when it comes to the gentle, indomitable beauty who was once his wife.

Laurel Herbert gave James her heart as an innocent young girl—until she saw him perform an act of shocking violence before her very eyes. That night she left her husband, and he let her go without a word of protest.

Now, ten years later, a chance encounter turns passionate, with consequences that cannot be ignored. But as they try to rebuild what was broken, they must face common enemies and a very uncommon love….

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/06/not-quite-wife-by-mary-jo-putney-lost.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18048060-not-quite-a-wife?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Not-Quite-Wife-Lost-Lords/dp/1420127160/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406678719&sr=8-1&keywords=9781420127164

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not-quite-a-wife-mary-jo-putney/1117555664?ean=9781420127164

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/not-quite-a-wife

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/not-quite-a-wife/id836627729?mt=11#

Author Info

Mary Jo Putney is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has written over 60 novels and novellas. A ten-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA, she has won the honor twice and is on the RWA Honor Roll for bestselling authors. In 2013 she was awarded the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Though most of her books have been historical romance, she has also published contemporary romances, historical fantasy, and young adult paranormal historicals. She lives in Maryland with her nearest and dearest, both two and four footed.
Author Links

Website: http://www.maryjoputney.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryJoPutneyAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MJPutneyNews

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/33876.Mary_Jo_Putney

Rafflecopter Giveaway (3 Print Copies of Not Quite a Wife by Mary Jo Putney )

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11. Guest Post and Giveaway: Lorraine Heath, Author of Once More, My Darling Rogue

Please welcome special guest Lorraine Heath to the virtual offices!  She’s here to share a Top 5 list about Drake, the hero of her latest release Once More, My Darling Rogue.  Check it out, and be sure to enter the awesome giveaway!

Drake’s Top 5 most irritating habits, according to his house staff  by Lorraine Heath

  1. He has no standards whatsoever when it comes to hiring staff and can set aside his qualms in favor of retribution when he discovers a lady who has given him a cut direct on many occasions has no memory and he is in need of a housekeeper.

  2. He is far too particular regarding how things are to be taken care of, insisting that clothes be folded and put away, beds made, kitchen scrubbed, hearths cleaned, boots polished.

  3. He is not averse to distracting a servant with a kiss when she is in the midst of her chores.

  4. He is incapable of washing his own back, which requires his housekeeper run her hands amuck over those broad shoulders and firm muscles.

  5. He cooks more for her than she does for him, tidies up the house more than she does, begrudgingly covers her expenses when she takes the maid next door on a shopping spree, and grumbles every time she brings home a stray animal—and yet he doesn’t make her cast out a single one. Making her fall just a little bit in love with him. Even though she knows she shouldn’t. Because, after all, he is a rogue.

Once More my Darling Rogue

The Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James # 2

By: Lorraine Heath

Releasing August 26th, 2014

Avon

Blurb

From New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath, comes the second book in a brand new series, The Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, featuring three eligible bachelors…and the scoundrels that reside within each.

Born to the street but raised within the aristocracy, Drake Darling can’t escape his sordid beginnings. Not when Lady Ophelia Lyttleton snubs him at every turn, a constant reminder he’s not truly one of them. But after rescuing her from a mysterious drowning, he realizes she doesn’t remember who she is. With plans to bring her to heel, he insists she’s his housekeeper—never expecting to fall for the charming beauty.

While Ophelia might not recall her life before Drake, she has little doubt she belongs with him. The desire she feels for her dark, brooding employer can’t be denied, regardless of consequences. So when Ophelia’s memory returns, she is devastated by the depth of his betrayal. Now Drake must risk everything to prove she can trust this rogue with her heart once more.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/08/once-more-my-darling-rogue-scandalous.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19099623-once-more-my-darling-rogue?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Darling-Rogue-Scandalous-Gentlemen-James-ebook/dp/B00H1UHLTU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407263432&sr=8-1&keywords=once+more+my+darling+rogue

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/once-more-my-darling-rogue-lorraine-heath/1117542218?ean=9780062276247

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/once-more-my-darling-rogue

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/once-more-my-darling-rogue/id771705715?mt=11

 

Excerpt

She darted her gaze to the left, the right. Without her noticing, he had managed to maneuver her into the shadows of an alcove and was now barring her way. Those she had been visiting with earlier were nowhere about. She should have known that Avendale and Langdon would side with this blackguard and escort her friends onto the dance floor, into the gardens, or off for refreshments. Blast them! Still, she’d not be intimidated by the likes of Drake Darling. “You, sir, are despicable.”

“And you’re a haughty miss who needs to be taught a lesson.”

“I suppose you think you’re the man to do it.”

His eyes darkened, his gaze dropped to her lips, and she found herself taking three quick steps back. “Don’t you dare,” she whispered, hating that her voice sounded more like a plea than a demand.

“You’ve been poking the tiger for some years now. You can’t always expect him to remain docile.”

He had the right of it there. She didn’t know why she had continually singled him out. Perhaps because she sensed a darkness in him, one that called to her, one that was dangerous to welcome.

“You’re making a spectacle of us,” she pointed out. “We’re in the shadows. No one is paying us any heed at all.”

Like some great hulking predator, he advanced on her. While she knew it to be unwise, she retreated farther into the alcove until her back hit the wall. Her heart beat out an unsteady tattoo. Within her gloves, her palms grew damp. “If you do anything untoward, I’ll scream.”

He laughed darkly. “And risk being caught with a guttersnipe? I think not.”

“You’re a black-hearted scoundrel.”

“Which is exactly why I intrigue you. You’re bored with all the fancy gents hovering around you. They’d never think of touching you with ungloved hands.”

Author Info

LORRAINE HEATH always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. After reading a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s RITA® and a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times best-seller lists.

Author Links

Website: http://www.lorraineheath.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LorraineHeathBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lorraine_Heath

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/104926.Lorraine_Heath

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 eGift Card Winners Choice Book Seller )

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12. Guest Post: Rosanne Bittner, Author of Desperate Hearts

 

Please give a warm welcome to special guest Rosanne Bittner!  She’s here to share her deadline secrets, and after learning more about her latest release, Desperate Hearts, enter for your chance to win  a copy.

Hello to Manga Maniac Café! I was asked to participate in your blog site and am happy to visit with all of you! I have been writing over 30 years, and book #59, DESPERATE HEARTS (Sourcebooks), hits stores this month. It’s a wild western romance involving a Montana vigilante who falls in love with a woman from New York City who arrives in the little gold town of Alder, Montana with no clear explanation of why she’s come there. Little does Mitch Brady know that this heroine is running from accusations of murder!

What are your top five essentials in your deadline survival kit?

#1 – Don’t procrastinate to the point that you are pushed into rushing like a maniac to get your book turned in on time. Don’t put yourself in that position in the first place.

#2 – Get your research in order early in your writing. Don’t do too much “I’ll fix this later” and wait till you’re nearly done and your deadline is approaching to suddenly start looking up the small points needed for your book.

#3 – Keep track of how long it normally takes you to write one chapter. About half way into your story you should have a pretty good idea how long your story will be and how many chapters it will be. You can then determine approximately how long it will take you to finish the book. If it will take you almost as many weeks as you have left before your deadline, GET CRACKING! Make your book your priority over personal plans, housework, whatever is in the way.

#4 – Pertaining to #3 – Even though you are pretty sure of your story and your research and think you can finish your book by xxx date, add two or three months to the due date you agree upon with your publisher so that if you have problems or something personal comes up to interfere with your writing, you have some leeway and won’t be stressed out over the due date. If you finish your book early, that’s fine and your publisher will be happy.

#5 – Have a real good idea in the first place what will happen in your story so you don’t walk into a wall and realize you didn’t plan your story with enough detail and forethought as to how certain situations will work themselves out.

I have one last word of advice on turning in your book – If a certain part of the book or a certain event in the story or any other matter involving your story really bothers you, do not send in the book with the thought that you will just wait and see if the editor notices the same fall. Fix it first!

It’s better to feel confident about your story when you send it in than to sit and worry. Your editor will appreciate it if you call her and tell her you are finished but there are a couple of areas you think need some work. Almost always an editor will gladly give you a couple of extra weeks to fix things. Most editors are so swamped they won’t get to your book right away anyway, so sometimes they are glad to know they won’t get it for another week or two.

I hope all of this helps those of you concerned about deadlines, and thanks for inviting me to visit your blog! Be sure to visit my web site, and watch for DESPERATE HEARTS in stores or online!

Elizabeth Wainwright is on the run. Accused of a murder she didn’t commit, she has no choice but to cut ties with her old life and flee West. The last thing she wants is attention, but when her stagecoach is attacked, she suddenly finds herself under the fierce protection of one of Montana’s famed vigilantes…whether she likes it or not.

Lawman Mitch Brady is sworn to uphold justice. He’s never met a man he’s feared, and he’s never met a woman more desperately in need of his help. Something’s shaken the secretive Elizabeth, but as he gets to know the beautiful city belle, he finds the only thing he wants more than her safety…is her trust. Elizabeth longs to give herself to Mitch, but when her past finally catches up with her, can she truly trust her life to the vigilante who’s stolen her heart?

Rosanne Bittner is an award-winning novelist who is highly acclaimed for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity. Her epic romances span the West—from Canada to Mexico, Missouri to California—and are often based on personal visits to each setting. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons. You can find her at www.rosannebittner.com.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1qk9EaK

BAM: http://bit.ly/1oUHG3Y

B&N: http://bit.ly/1ldx5q7

Chapters: http://bit.ly/1BudkQ1

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1sPDWIE

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1v8RxbW

Kobo: http://bit.ly/XvlKXR

The post Guest Post: Rosanne Bittner, Author of Desperate Hearts appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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13. Interview with Ellie MacDonald, Author of The Governess Club Sara and Louisa

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Ellie!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Ellie MacDonald] Humorous, intelligent, ambitious, creative, foodie.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Governess Club: Sara?

[Ellie MacDonald] Sara Collins is having difficulty adjusting to life as part of The Governess Club School and has her sights set on marrying the local vicar, a handsome, gentle man. When they get a new neighbor, Nathan Grant, a man who is tormented by something that happened to him that made him flee London, Sara finds herself attracted him and turns to this worldly man for adventure.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Ellie MacDonald]  When I create my characters, I start with who the story is going to focus on. In the prologue in the very first book, she is the one who leaves the room, who had to be convinced to join the endeavor. I thought: why was that? Suddenly, she had secrets. Her oppressive childhood gave her anxiety to the point of not being able to stand up for herself, speak her mind, or deviate from the status quo; she is a pleaser to the extent of being a doormat and finds herself swept up in the whole thing when she doesn’t even like teaching. So what does she want? Peace, of course, but even more she wants adventure, to experience life in a way her anxiety has never let her. She is tired of being this traditional, anxious person. Around that, I created Nathan Grant. He promises anything but peace. He is unlike anyone she has ever met; he rocks her boat, pushes her past her boundaries. So when Sara gets pushed to the point of finally pursuing her adventure, she turns to him. The concept grew from there.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Ellie MacDonald] I liked seeing both protagonists develop. They both were difficult for me, so finally getting a good enough grasp on them and seeing where they led me was rewarding. And Sara undergoes such a difficult transformation that it was nice to see her come out on top at the end.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with this story?

[Ellie MacDonald] This was actually a really hard story for me to write; it took me a long time to actually like my characters. I think in the case of Sara it was that she started off being such a weak person. I come from a family of very strong people – even the in-laws! – that it was hard for me to relate to her, to think like her. But on the flip side, she had more room to grow than any of her friends. I don’t think she will ever really be classified as strong, but she definitely ends the story stronger than when she started. In Nathan’s case, I had a hard time figuring out how to redeem him, but he did finally get to the point where he was putting Sara’s needs before his.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Ellie MacDonald] This changes daily! Today it is Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song.’ Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ is a good one for most days too.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Ellie MacDonald] My smartphone. That sounds sad, when I put it in writing…

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Ellie MacDonald] Pile of papers that I don’t know whether to toss or file, a picture with a flatmate from England, a coaster for all the drinks I have when writing here.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Ellie MacDonald] Prince Harry’s girlfriend, no matter who she is at the moment. Ooowee, the things we would do! ;0)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Ellie MacDonald] I am a big Grace Burrowes fan, and have loved her new series so far, with THE CAPTIVE and THE TRAITOR. I had tons of trouble putting down Sarah Maclean’s NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED. I recently binge read Candis Terry’s SWEET, TEXAS series. Two that have lingered in my mind for a few months now are from Courtney Milan’s The Brother Sinister series, THE COUNTESS CONSPIRACY and THE SUFFRAGETTE SCANDAL. And I am always anxiously waiting for the next Mary Balogh book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Ellie MacDonald]  Sleep! ;0) I read a lot, spend time with my family and friends. I watch TV, but have very little patience for shows I feel are wasting my time, so am pretty discriminating on what I watch; I usually stick to watching hockey. Facebook is also a big time suck for me.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Ellie MacDonald] My website is www.elliemacdonald.com. I have a Facebook page EllieMacdonaldAuthor and am on Twitter @elliemacdauthor

About the book:

The Governess Club: Sara &The Governess Club: Louisa

The Governess Club book 3 and 4

By: Ellie MacDonald

Releasing September 2nd, 2014 and October 7th, 2014

Avon Impulse

Blurb (Sara)

Sweet Sara Collins is one of the founding members of the governess club. But she has a secret… She doesn’t love teaching. She’d much prefer to be a vicar’s wife and help the local community. But this quiet mouse doesn’t want to upset her friends, and she resolves to help in whatever ways she can.

Nathan Grant is the embodiment of everything that frightens Sara. Which is why she can’t understand why the handsome but reclusive and gruff man is so fascinating to her. When Sara decides it’s time to take a chance and experience all that life has to offer, Nathan is the first person she thinks of.

Will Sara’s walk on the wild side ruin her chances at a simple, happy life? Or has she just opened the door to a once-in-a-lifetime chance of passion?

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22056725-the-governess-club?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Governess-Club-Sara-Ellie-Macdonald-ebook/dp/B00K53802M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1407070787&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Governess+Club%3A+Sara

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-governess-club-ellie-macdonald/1119443763?ean=9780062292261

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-governess-club-sara

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-governess-club-sara/id874398049?mt=11

Blurb (Louisa)

Louisa Brockhurst is on the run – from her friends, from her family, even from her dream of independence through The Governess Club. But sometimes it’s easier for her to hide from those she loves in order to escape the secrets of her past.

Handsome but menacing John Taylor is a former prize-fighter turned inn-keeper who is trying to make his way in society. When Louisa shows up at his doorstep he’s quick to accept her offer to help – at a price. He knows that she’s hiding something and he can’t help his protective instincts around the beautiful woman.

Their attraction grows, but will headstrong, fiery Louisa ever trust the surprisingly kind John enough to tell him the dangerous secrets from her past that keep her running? Or will the power of her feelings scare her into running yet again?
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22056682-the-governess-club

See the SERIES on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/107899-the-governess-club

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Governess-Club-Louisa-Ellie-Macdonald-ebook/dp/B00K537ZXW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1407071103&sr=1-1&keywords=the+governess+club+louisa

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-governess-club-ellie-macdonald/1119443764?ean=9780062292285

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-governess-club-louisa

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-governess-club-louisa/id874396700?mt=11

Author Info

Ellie Macdonald has held several jobs beginning with the letter t: taxi-driver, telemarketer and most recently, teacher. She is thankful her interests have shifted to writing instead of taxidermy or tornado chasing. Having travelled to five different continents, she has swum with elephants, scuba dived coral mazes, visited a leper colony and climbed waterfalls and windmills, but her favorite place remains Regency England. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada. The Governess Club series is her first published work.

Author Links

Website: http://www.elliemacdonald.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EllieMacdonaldAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/elliemacdauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7034029.Ellie_Macdonald

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/08/the-governess-club-sara-governess-club.html

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Two Digital Sets of The Governess Club Books One and Two: CLAIRE & BONNIE)

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The post Interview with Ellie MacDonald, Author of The Governess Club Sara and Louisa appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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14. Brown Girl Dreaming: Review Haiku

To be young, gifted,
black, and Jackie Woodson.
Yes, it will make you cry.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. Paulsen/Putnam, 2014, 336 pages.

0 Comments on Brown Girl Dreaming: Review Haiku as of 9/5/2014 8:22:00 AM
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15. Spotlight and Giveaway: The Earl’s Mistress by Liz Carlyle

The Earl’s Mistress

MacLachlan Family and Friends # 10

By: Liz Carlyle

Releasing August 26th, 2014

Avon Romance

Women rarely refuse the wicked Earl of Hepplewood, whose sensual skills are the stuff of legend. But when his new governess answers his proposition with a slap to his face, then stalks out with references in hand, Hepplewood finds more than his face is left burning . . .

Isabella Aldridge has brains, bravado, and beauty-but the latter is no use to a servant. With orphaned sisters to feed, eviction nearing, and Hepplewood’s words ringing in her ears, Isabella realizes she must barter her most marketable asset . . .

But when fate unknowingly sends Isabella back into Hepplewood’s arms, the earl must make an impossible choice-draw Isabella down into his sensual darkness, or behave with honor for the first time in his life.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/the-earls-mistress-maclachlan-family.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20457104-the-earl-s-mistress?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Earls-Mistress-Liz-Carlyle/dp/0062100300

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-earls-mistress-liz-carlyle/1117993473?ean=9780062100306
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-earl-s-mistress

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-earls-mistress/id833861816?mt=11

Excerpt:

“Mrs. Aldridge,” he said, snatching his shirt from the branch.  “Welcome to Greenwood Farm.  You’re a trifle early.  I shall take it as a sign of eagerness.”

Isabella stepped backward. “Eagerness?” she parrotted, her eyes fixated upon a broad expanse of bare chest. 

Hepplewood moved with a languid grace, shaking out his shirt as he came.  “I was glad to learn you’d taken my good advice,” he said, shoving an arm in a sleeve, “but the coincidence of the thing did take me aback—as it has you, too, I see.”

But Isabella couldn’t begin to make sense of it; her brain felt stuffed with wool and her lungs had ceased to work.  Hepplewood dragged the shirt on, his chest wall rippling as he drew it down his lithe, smoothly muscled torso. 

Somehow, she forced her gaze to his face, resisting the urge to run back to the carriage.  “I beg your pardon,” she said again, blinking slowly, “but whatare you talking about?”

He propped one hand on the gatepost that still stood upright, his gaze sweeping her length.  “My advice,” he said with a faint smile, “to give up the dull business of governessing for an option that better suits your . . . well, let us call them your God-given attributes.”

Indignation welled up inside Isabella.  “How dare you,” she said quietly.  “I do not know, Lord Hepplewood, just what sort of deceit you employed to trick me here, but I will have—”

“Mrs. Aldridge,” he interjected, his eyes flashing dangerously as he came around the gatepost.  “I should very much like the two of us to get on, butdeceit and trickery are not insults I’ll tolerate.”  He set a large, very firm hand on her forearm.  “Do we understand one another?”

But the word coincidence was slowly seeping into her consciousness. 

“Surely you don’t mean to claim . . . ”  Isabella cut off her words, and tried to draw back.  “Surely you aren’t suggesting this is purely—”

“Accidental?”  He gave an odd half-smile.  “Little in life is.  I saw a woman I wished to bed, but alas, she declined.  Still, women, to my mind, are very nearly interchangeable.  It was no great inconvenience to ask the resourceful Mrs. Litner to find me another raven-haired, violet-eyed beauty willing to slake my lust.  Imagine my surprise when she wrote that I should expect you.”

“Dear God.”  Isabella tried to back away, but the hand on her arm did not relent.  “I don’t believe it.”

“Mrs. Aldridge,” he murmured, his eyes roaming over her face, “you approached Louisa Litner with every intention of marketing yourself in just the fashion I suggested.  And she has sent you to—well, let’s be blunt—to charm and to flirt with and to almost certainly warm the bed of one Mr. William Mowbrey, a gentleman of very specific tastes.  What can it possibly matter to you that I have turned out to be Mowbrey?”

“I . . . I don’t know.”  Isabella tried to think.  “It just does.”

“Does it?”  His voice dropped, his eyes suddenly heavy.  “My dear, you intrigue me.” 

“I don’t wish to intrigue you,” she managed, setting a hand against his chest.  “I want n-nothing to do with you.”

But she knew it wasn’t true; not entirely.  More than once during the long drive from London, she had remembered their almost-kiss, and wondered what this man next would be like.  Would his eyes flash with fire?  Would his touch singe her through her clothes?

Oh, yes.  It would.

And she, apparently, was an idiot.

Hepplewood had caught her chin, and was holding it none too gently.  “No, Mrs. Aldridge, I was not mistaken in you,” he murmured, his voice thickening. “You are a stunning creature—and very much in need, I think, of being tamed.”

Author Info

A lifelong anglophile, Liz Carlyle cut her teeth reading gothic novels under the bedcovers by flashlight. She is the author of sixteen historical romances, including several New York Times bestsellers. Liz travels incessantly, ever in search of the perfect setting for her next book. Along with her genuine romance-hero husband and four very fine felines, she makes her home in North Carolina. You can contact her via her website at www.lizcarlyle.com.

Author Links

Website: http://www.lizcarlyle.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liz.carlyle?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lizcarlyle

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21944.Liz_Carlyle

Rafflecopter Giveaway (A full set of Liz’s St. James society books (A BRIDE BY MOONLIGHT, THE BRIDE WORE SCARLET, and THE BRIDE WORE PEARLS))

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16. Guest Post and Giveaway: Victoria Roberts, Author of My Highland Spy

 

Please give warm welcome to this morning’s special guest Victoria Roberts! She’s here with a Top 5 list, as well as a chance to win a copy of her brand new book, My Highland Spy!

Top 5 reasons Highlanders are so sexy by Victoria Roberts

Thank you so much for having me back at Manga Maniac Café. I love chatting about Highlanders. And there are many reasons why I find Highlanders sexy. See if you agree.

  1. The kilt. The mere thought of kilt wearing men make women swoon. Why? *shrugs* Perhaps it’s the mystery of what lies underneath said garment. It’s certainly something to ponder to say the least. Wouldn’t you agree? I think Lady Ravenna Walsingham does.

  1. That sexy Scottish brogue. Seriously. Isn’t it to die for? You can’t tell me whenever you hear Gerard Butler, Sean Connery or Sam Heughan speak that their voices don’t give you shivers from head to toe. Yep, pretty much every single time.

  1. Highland men have very big…broadswords and they’re not afraid to wield them.

  1. Highlanders ooze masculinity and take their alpha male roles very seriously. *raises hands* I surrender, my laird! God, who wouldn’t?

  1. Highland men know how to remove their plaids with a flick of the wrist. The men are very resourceful.

What do you love most about Highlanders? Sourcebooks will give away one paperback copy of My Highland Spy (US and Canada only, please.)

“An exciting Highland tale of intrigue, betrayal, and love.”

—Hannah Howell, New York Times bestselling author of Highland Master

“Roberts’ newest features a surprise-laden, quick-paced plot, replete with unconventional and fiercely independent characters. Her lyrical prose grabs readers’ attention, and the high level of emotional tension simply adds to the depth of the story. This book begs to be read and reread.”

—RT Book Reviews

This Highland Laird won’t bow to the Crown
Laird Ruairi Sutherland refuses to send his only son away to be educated by the English. And he most definitely will not appear in Edinburgh to pay homage to a liege who has no respect for Scotland. So he does what any laird would do-he lies to the king. The last thing Ruairi expects is a beautiful English governess to appear on his doorstep.

But this lady spy might make him…
Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a seasoned spy who is sent to the savage Highlands to uncover a nefarious plot against the Crown. Playing the part of an English governess—a job easier said than done—she infiltrates the home of Laird Sutherland, a suspected conspirator.

If she doesn’t betray him first
Ravenna soon discovers that the only real threat Sutherland poses is to her heart. But will the proud Highland laird ever forgive her when he discovers the woman he loves in an English spy?

Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1BCZNW8

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1l4KJa5

Indigo: http://bit.ly/1iSeyP0

Books-a-Million: http://bit.ly/VFXnFe

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/WR8U5Z

Website: www.victoriarobertsauthor.com

Award-winning author Victoria Roberts writes Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. She was named by RT Book Reviews as “one of the most promising debut authors across the genres” and was also a 2013 RT Reviewers’ Choice award winner for X Marks the Scot.

Represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, Victoria is a member of Romance Writers of America® and several local chapters, as well as a contributing author to the online magazine Celtic Guide.

Victoria lives in western Pennsylvania with her husband of twenty one years and their two beautiful children—not to mention one spoiled dog. When she is not plotting her next Scottish adventure, she’s dragging her clan to every Scottish festival under the sun. Visit her at www.victoriarobertsauthor.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoria.roberts.395

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5763317.Victoria_Roberts

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

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17. Spotlight and Giveaway: Nightingale by Cathy Maxwell

 

This morning I have an excerpt and giveaway for Nightingale by Cathy Maxwell.  Be sure to check out all of the stops on the tour so you can read all of the excerpts and increase you chances to win!

Excerpt:

“Please,” she said, not knowing what it was she was asking him for. To please understand? To please honor her wishes?

To please forgive her?

Dane shook his head. “You have wasted your time and mine, Lady Mosby. The challenge is not mine to withdraw. Your brother claims to be the offended party. He challenged me and I will not back down from meeting him. I have no quarrel if he wishes to withdraw, but I will not sacrifice my honor and my reputation on the likes of him.”

“He challenged you?” Jemma repeated, astounded.

“Yes.”

“But why—?” she started, then stopped. Why did Cris do anything? She had thought he was growing out of his wild stage. It had been a long time since he’d been rash and foolish, but the possibility was always there, bubbling beneath the veneer of manners. All it took was a little drink. . . .

At her abrupt silence, a muscle tightened in Dane’s jaw. In three long strides, he crossed to the door behind her and opened it. “Go home, Jemma. I can’t save your brother from himself any more than you can. And I’ll be damned before I sacrifice my pride for him.”

Or for any of them.

Jemma nodded to herself. He was right . . . and yet, what would become of her family? Cris was the last of their line, a line that stretched all the way back to Normandy, to before the Conqueror. Duty, honor, and obligation to her name had been drummed into her from the cradle. Dane had been her one defiance, and in the end, she had done what had been expected of her.

Just as she would do what she must now.

Nightingale

By: Cathy Maxwell

Releasing August 26th, 2014

Avon: Impulse

Fate has brought them together -again.

At one time, Jemma had meant the world to Dane Pendleton, but then she betrayed their young love by marrying another for his title and fortune.

Now Time has turned the tables. Dane is wealthy, respected, knighted and the widowed Jemma has nothing but her pride.

His honor for hers . . .

Dane’s name is on the lips of every beauty in London. They whisper he learned “tricks” while he was in the Orient. But has he forgotten Jemma, now Lady Mosby, and what they had once meant to each other? And will he accept her devil’s bargain?

In every woman’s life, there is that one love who slipped away. The man who makes her wonder “what if?”

But is this a momentary madness or a chance to rekindle a love that could last a lifetime?

Originally appeared in the print anthology THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/nightingale-by-cathy-maxwell.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22103882-nightingale?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nightingale-Originally-appeared-print-anthology-ebook/dp/B00JTYQIX6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406661266&sr=8-1&keywords=Nightingale+by+cathy+maxwell

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nightingale-cathy-maxwell/1119290961?ean=9780062367679

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/nightingale/id867234286?mt=11

Author Info

CATHY MAXWELL spends hours in front of her computer pondering the question, “Why do people fall in love?” It remains for her the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness. She lives in beautiful Virginia with children, horses, dogs, and cats.

Author Links

Website: http://www.cathymaxwell.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cathy-Maxwell-Fan-Page/144546442251787

Twitter: https://twitter.com/maxwellcathy

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/67037.Cathy_Maxwell

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Two Digital Copies of NIGHINGALE)

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18. Guest Post and Giveaway: Amanda Forester, Author of A Winter Wedding

Please welcome Amanda Forester to the virtual offices this morning! She took a little break from her Labor Day festivities to share some info about her handsome duke, James Lockton, and she has a copy of A Winter Wedding up for grabs!

The Trials and Tribulations of an Unmarried Duke by Amanda Forester

Can one feel sorry for a duke? The Duke of Marchford is, after all, young, wealthy, attractive, and a duke. An unmarried duke, to be exact, and that is where the trouble starts. Let us spy a moment on how he is getting along at his London house in this excerpt from Winter Wedding.

James Lockton, the Duke of Marchford, was a marked man. He heard voices coming and pressed himself against the wall, edging slowly away, careful not to make a sound. One wrong move would seal his fate.

He had tried to escape his doom, hiding at his country estate like a craven coward. It was only the pressing needs of king and country, and the early opening of Parliament to deal with a severe crisis of governance, that drew him back to London. He had hoped December would find Town desolate of company, but with the return of the members of Parliament came their families, and with their families came…

“The Duke of Marchford is sooooo handsome,” cooed a young feminine voice.

“Better yet, he’s dreadfully rich,” said another young lady. “What I wouldn’t give to be duchess of this hall.”

“Do you think we should be wandering about, Mama?”

“No, of course not, but do you think we should come all this way without an introduction to the duke? Do you really think I care a whit about that spiteful old dowager? No!” exclaimed the baroness. They were growing nearer.

Marchford knew the baroness and her daughters were coming to visit his grandmother, but he hardly expected them to make a search of the house. He darted up a servants’ stairwell and into a long hallway of bedrooms. He walked quickly toward the main stairs but stopped short at the sound of their whining voices. The woman had the audacity to come up to the private rooms!

“We’ll flush out the duke,” crooned the baroness, her voice growing louder, “say we got turned around in the house and secure an introduction. I swear I’ll not set foot from this place until you both have been asked to dance at tonight’s ball.”

Nothing to do but run.

He spun and dashed down the hall on light feet. Taking a risk, he opened one of the doors and slipped inside, closing the door carefully to avoid the conspicuous click of the latch. Now if only the bedroom were empty, he could possibly survive the night.

A small, feminine shriek behind him laid waste to that grand hope.

“Your Grace!” demanded Penelope Rose. “What on earth are you doing in my bedchamber?”

Ah, the trials and tribulations of being an unmarried duke. Of course the Duke of Marchford is not only the biggest matrimonial prize in the known world, he is also obligated to assist the Foreign Office in flushing out traitors and spies who have infiltrated London society. This is 1810, after all, and we are at war with that wretchedly brilliant Napoleon.

Is it any wonder that Marchford may feel a bit piqued at times? So how does a duke relax after a hard day of avoiding marriage-minded females and international spies? Unfortunately, Marchford could learn more of the fine art of relaxation, but here are some of his favorites:

  1. Run off to the club and spend time with his friends, the Earl of Thornton and Mr. William Grant. Trouble is, they are both recently married and are focused on such odd things as spending time with their wives and the anticipation of tiny heirs.

  2. Hide in his study and look at maps. Marchford thought there was nothing he could like more than a good dependable map… until Penelope ended up on top of one.

  3. Convince his grandmother to adopt a stray cat by telling her it is a rare Peruvian jungle house cat. His grandmother, however, declares the animal is a dog.

  4. Tease Penelope Rose by taking her beloved Christmas traditions to their literal extreme, all for the joy of seeing the shocked expression on her face along with a twinkle of amusement in her eye.

  5. Take a long hot bath with…oh wait, you’re going to have to read the book to find out more about this!

To read more about the Duke of Marchford and his search for traitors, spies, and a suitable bride, read Winter Wedding now available. To get you started in the series, the first book in the trilogy, Wedding in Springtime is being offered FREE for a limited time and Midsummer Bride is currently only $1.99. I love to hear from readers so come visit me at my website, facebook, or twitter.

What is your favorite way to relax? Comment for a chance at winning a copy of Winter Wedding!

Amanda Forester holds a Ph.D. in psychology and worked for many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance novels was decidedly more fun. Whether in the Highland hills or a Regency ballroom, Forester’s critically acclaimed novels offer fast-paced adventures filled with wit, intrigue, and romance. She lives with her supportive husband and naturally brilliant children in the Pacific Northwest.Visit her at www.amandaforester.com.

This adventurous duke…

The Duke of Marchford requires a suitable bride, but catching spies for the Foreign Office takes up most of his time. Not wanting to face another London season as an eligible man, he employs the notorious Madame X to find him a match.

Has met his match

Miss Penelope Rose knows the rules of marriage among members of the ton better than most. Her own unsuccessful attempts at matrimony did not stop her from becoming London’s most exclusive matchmaker. Marchford proves to be a difficult client, but as he draws on her social expertise to help him flush out a dangerous traitor, they find that falling in love may be the riskiest adventure of all.

Pre-Order Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vcjPpL

Apple: http://bit.ly/1orV3bN

BAM: http://bit.ly/1sxRhDC

B&N: http://bit.ly/1qXa08Q

Chapters: http://bit.ly/1pXOdMo

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1ntyXVW

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1vckp71

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19. Novella Review: The Wager by Lily Maxton

 

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I was in the mood for a short, quick read, so I turned, once again, to the Entangled library to fulfill this need.  The Wager had me at “Novella.”  Yes, sometimes even I am easy to please.

Anne loves to make wagers with her sisters, and when she’s caught “borrowing” a scandalous novel from her host while attending a social function, she’s only somewhat taken aback.  When Michael, Earl of Thornhill, catches Anne red-handed stealing a naughty book, his interest is piqued.  After exchanging a series of letters, the first an apology from Anne that lacks conviction or finesse, their paths cross again, leading to a wager between Michael and Anne.  They’ll have a late night swim race, and if Michael wins, he’ll be reward with a kiss.  If she wins, he must answer a naughty question he dodged during their correspondence.

One wager leads to another, until the final stakes are both their hearts.  Who will win?

I really enjoyed the letters, which showed a believable progression of their affection for each other.  The main conflict in The Wager is Anne’s self-doubt.  A year earlier, Michael thought himself in love with Anne’s older sister, Elizabeth, but she rejected his suit because she was in love with someone else.  Anne now feels that she’s only second best, and refuses to take their flirtations seriously.  At times this made her come across as shallow and spoiled.  She can’t accept that feelings can change, and that Michael’s infatuation with Elizabeth was fleeting.  Her stubbornness almost costs her her happiness, because she’s so focused on the fact that Michael was attracted to her sister first.

This is a quick read with a fun, if somewhat over-indulged heroine, and a very sexy earl. The romance was a bit rushed, but I blame that on the length of the story.  I’m curious to read about Anne’s sisters now.

Grade:  B / B-

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

 

London, 1818

Anne Middleton never plays by the rules. She is willful when she should be obedient and unabashed when she should be decorous. Worse still, she can never resist a good wager… or a very naughty book. And Confessions of a Courtesan is about as sensational and risque as a book can be.

Michael Grey – Earl of Thornhill – had once courted Anne’s sweet and modest sister. But whilst Anne is certainly no lady of decorum, her bold impulsiveness slips through his armor, and propriety is forgotten. Now he too is immersed in the book of forbidden delights, where each page is an invitation to sin and a guide to pleasures unknown…

Roused by heady desire, Michael tempts Anne in a way she cannot resist – a wager. Thus begins a game of chance, where coins have been replaced by a currency that is far more illicit. And the stakes of seduction are dangerous indeed…

The post Novella Review: The Wager by Lily Maxton appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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20. Revolution: Review Haiku

Freedom Summer as
you haven't seen it before.
Pair this with Delphine.

Revolution by Deborah Wiles. Scholastic, 2014, 544 pages.

0 Comments on Revolution: Review Haiku as of 8/20/2014 7:51:00 AM
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21. Win In Bed with a Rogue by Samantha Grace

I have a special treat this morning! To celebrate the release of Samantha Grace’s In Bed with a Rogue, Sourcebooks is hosting a giveaway! You can win 6 (SIX!) of Samantha Grace’s novels!

In Bed with a Rogue By Samantha Grace

Soucebooks Casablanca

Historical Romance

September 2, 2014

ISBN: 9781402286612

$6.99/£4.99

Mass-Market Paperback

He’s the Talk of the Town

The whole town is tittering about Baron Sebastian Thorne having been jilted at the altar. Every move he makes ends up in the gossip columns. Tired of being the butt of everyone’s jokes, Sebastian vows to restore his family’s reputation no matter what it takes.

She’s the Toast of the Ton

Feted by the crème of society, the beautiful widow Lady Prestwick is a vision of all that is proper. But Helena is no angel, and when Sebastian uncovers her dark secret, he’s quick to press his advantage. In order to keep her hard-won good name, Helen will have to make a deal with the devil. But she’s got some tricks up her sleeves to keep this notorious rogue on his toes…

SAMANTHA GRACE

Historical romance author Samantha Grace discovered the appeal of a great love story when she was just a young girl, thanks to Disney’s Robin Hood. She didn’t care that Robin Hood and Maid Marian were cartoon animals. It was her first happily-ever-after experience and she didn’t want the warm fuzzies to end. Now Samantha enjoys creating her own happy-endings for characters that spring from her imagination. Publishers Weekly describes her stories as “fresh and romantic” with subtle humor and charm. Samantha describes romance writing as the best job ever.      

Website: http://www.samanthagraceauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Samantha-Grace/264436686918343

Twitter: @SamGraceAuthor https://twitter.com/SamGraceAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4946067.Samantha_Grace

Buy: Amazon | B&N | BAM! | IndieBound | !ndigo | iTunes

Enter for a chance to win a 6 book bundle by Samantha Grace!

The six Samantha Grace books include:

· Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel

· Lady Amelia’s Mess and a Half

· Miss Lavigne’s Little White Lie

· Lady Vivian Defies a Duke

· One Rogue Too Many

· In Bed with a Rogue

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22. Guest Post and Giveaway: Finding Miss McFarland by Vivienne Lorret

Please give a warm welcome to Vivienne Lorret!  She’s here to answer a question and to share some information about her latest release, Finding Miss McFarland.  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

 

How does Griffin relax after a hard day saving Delaney from herself?

Unfortunately, Griffin Croft doesn’t know how to relax. In the beginning, when Delaney frustrates him to insanity, he spends much of his time boxing at Gentleman Jackson’s. Some days, he’d love nothing more than to settle down into a wing-backed chair and indulge in a slice (or two) of gingerbread. Yet, even that plan goes awry when he discovers that Miss McFarland shares a fondness for the cake.

Of course, by the end of the story, I imagine he is perfectly capable of keeping both of them thoroughly occupied and sated. 

Finding Miss McFarland

Wallflower Weddings Book Three

By: Vivienne Lorret

Releasing August 5th, 2014

Avon Romance

Blurb

Fans of historical romance authors Lorraine Heath and Sophie Jordan will adore Vivienne Lorret’s latest Wallflower Wedding novel. 

Delaney McFarland is on the hunt for a husband—preferably one who needs her embarrassingly large dowry more than a dutiful wife. After the unspeakable incident at her debut, Delaney knows marrying for love is off the table, but a marriage of convenience—one that leaves her free to live the life she chooses—is the next best thing, never mind what that arrogant, devilishly handsome Mr. Croft thinks. Delaney plans to marry for money … or not at all.

Ever since the fiery redhead burst into his life—in a most memorable way—Griffin Croft hasn’t been able to get Miss McFarland out of his mind. Now, with the maddening woman determined to hand over her fortune to a rake, Griffin knows he must step in. He must help her. He must not kiss her. But when Griffin’s noble intentions flee in a moment of unexpected passion, his true course becomes clear: tame Delaney’s wild heart and save her from a fate worse than death … a life without love.

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/06/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for_6353.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18780732-finding-miss-mcfarland?from_search=true

Series Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/115423-wallflower-weddings

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Miss-McFarland-Wallflower-Wedding-ebook/dp/B00GLS2I46

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-miss-mcfarland-vivienne-lorret/1117657323?ean=9780062315786

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/finding-miss-mcfarland/id747479279?mt=11

Author Info

I fell in love with fairy tales and the romance behind happily ever after at a very young age. Like a lot of you, I tweaked the fables bit by bit in my imagination until they suited me perfectly. By the time I was eleven, a teacher encouraged me to start writing.

Throughout the years that followed, my teachers remained my most fervent supporters, giving me the tools I needed to continue my journey as a writer.

My husband and I have two teenage boys, who are heroes in their own right. For now, we live in a small Midwestern town near Lake Michigan…until a time in the future when a new adventure calls us to other shores.

I am currently working on my next novel, but I always enjoy hearing from my readers. Feel free to email me at vivienne@vivlorret.net

Author Links

http://www.vivlorret.net/home

https://www.facebook.com/vivienne.lorret

https://twitter.com/VivLorret

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806374.Vivienne_Lorret

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23. Guest Post and Giveaway: Anna Campbell, Author of What a Duke Dares

Please welcome special guest Anna Campbell to the virtual offices!

Never Leave Home Without… by Anna Campbell

Hi Julie! Thank you so much for asking me to visit Manga Maniac Cafe to talk about my latest release (26th August), WHAT A DUKE DARES, book 3 in the Sons of Sin series.

The story opens with a proposal from my duke Camden Rothermere to his childhood friend Penelope Thorne. A proposal that goes so badly that Pen says no and runs off for the Continent to find refuge with an eccentric aunt.

So what should Pen take with her on her escape?

  1. Plenty of euros. She’s heading for Italy and I can tell you from experience, that’s an expensive destination. Oh, what’s that? This is pre-Euro? Well, what do you know? Actually the subject of Italian currency in the early 19th century when Italy was still a patchwork of different states is enough to give me a headache. Which brings me to…

  1. Given that a certain duke has given her a major headache, Pen will take lots of aspirin with her. What’s that? I’m too early for that too? Poor Pen, she really is missing out on the mod cons in her travels, isn’t she? In the 1820s, when Pen is embarking on her headlong dash, people used to smell aromatic vinegar to cure a headache or use a variety of herbal cures based on things like feverfew, valerian and lavender, some of which I suspect helped.

  1. Comfortable shoes. The half boots that Regency ladies wore were pretty practical and would stand up to the rigors of travel (and running away from marriage-minded aristocrats).

  1. Some good books. Good books never go astray, after all. And given how bad the Continental roads are, especially in the wild corners that Penelope explores with her scholarly aunt, something to read while she waits for the mud to dry or the snow to clear will be very welcome. Hmm, can I suggest the Sons of Sin series by Anna Campbell? Hours of entertainment there for a lady looking to pass the time stranded in villages outside Rome or Florence.

  1. A duke-defeating kit. Sadly, Pen left home before I could pass this invaluable piece of equipment to her, including anti-duke spray, a book of anti-etiquette and that informative pamphlet, How to Get Rid of Your Aristos: Start Your Own French Revolution Today. I have a dreadful feeling because Pen left without this, that the Duke of Sedgemoor may just show up again to disrupt her life. And without this kit, she’ll be doomed to all the adventures and passion in the rest of WHAT A DUKE DARES. What a terrible fate! Snerk.

So if you were running off to the Continent then or now, what would you take?

About WHAT A DUKE DARES

What woman in her right mind would say no to marrying the dashing Duke of Sedgemoor? Miss Penelope Thorne, that’s who. She’s known Camden Rothermere since they were children-and she also knows she’d bring nothing but scandal to his name.
Cam can hardly believe Penelope turned down his proposal. But if she wants to run off to the Continent and set the rumor mill ablaze, he can’t stop her. Then her brother’s dying request sends him to bring home the one woman he thought he’d finally gotten over.
The only way they’ll both get back to London without their reputations in tatters is to pretend they’re married during the journey. That means kissing like they mean it and even sharing a bed-until it becomes hard to tell where the game ends and true desire begins . . .

Amazon

B&N

BAM!

iBooks

Goodreads

About Anna Campbell

Always a voracious reader, ANNA CAMPBELL decided when she was a child that she wanted to be a writer. Once she discovered the wonderful world of romance novels, she knew exactly what she wanted to write. Anna has won numerous awards for her Avon historical romances including Romantic TimesReviewers Choice, the Booksellers Best, the Golden Quill, the Heart of Excellence, the Aspen Gold and the Australian Romance Readers Association’s most popular historical romance (twice). Her books have twice been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award and twice for Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year.

When she’s not writing passionate, intense stories featuring gorgeous Regency heroes and the women who are their destiny, Anna loves to travel, especially in the United Kingdom, and listen to all kinds of music. She lives near the sea on the east coast of Australia, where she’s losing her battle with an overgrown subtropical garden.

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Website

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24. Guest Post and Giveaway: Shana Galen, Author of Love and Let Spy

Please welcome Shana Galen to the virtual offices this morning!  She’s here to share a Top 5 list with us, and then you can enter to win a copy of Love and Let Spy!

What’s in Your Spy Survival Kit? by Shana Galen

I love writing about spies. My spy characters have such fun. They’re always tackling bad guys, picking locks, or sneaking past guards. As for me, I can’t even sneak out of my daughter’s bedroom without her waking back up and asking for more water. I’d make a terrible spy. Fortunately, I’ve written about enough spies to know there are 5 items any successful spy needs.

1. A good cloak

In my latest release, Love and Let Spy, master spy Jane Bonde has to do a lot of sneaking around. When she doesn’t want to be spotted, she throws a cloak over her gown and pulls the hood over her blond hair. Voila! If she keeps her head down, no one notices her. Granted, someone wearing a cloak on the street in 2014 might attract a little bit more attention, but at least you’d look stylish.

2. An exploding quill

A spy never knows when he or she might need to blow something up. Jane Bonde knows the importance of having a seemingly innocuous item, like a feather pen, at the ready in case an explosion is called for. Of course, Jane’s pen is a bit unpredictable, but those are the risks you take when you’re a spy.

3. Horse treats

Everyone knows horses like apples or sugar, and when Jane finds herself tied in a stall with a hungry horse who insists on nibbling her cloak (see above for the importance of a cloak sans horse slobber), she wishes she’d stuck a few horse treats in said cloak. She won’t make that mistake again, and when you’re preparing your spy survival kit, you may want to stash a few sugar cubes or apple slices in there too. Just to be safe.

4. Clean linen bandages

Spying is dangerous work, and as a spy, you want to be prepared in the event something goes wrong. Make sure to supply your kit with some bandages in case of unexpected stabbing or shooting. They help to staunch the blood until you can get to a surgeon for treatment.

5. A partner

You can’t pack a partner in your spy survival kit, but as Jane learns in Love and Let Spy, someone who has your back is vital. Dominic Griffyn isn’t a spy and initially he seems like the last man on earth she can trust, but he ends up saving her in more ways than one.

And there you have it, the spy kit essentials. Of course, my bag would have lipstick, milkduds, and if the agency was buying, a killer pair of shoes. What would you have in your spy kit?

Her name is Bonde, Jane Bonde…

A beautiful and eligible member of the ton, Jane has more than a few secrets: she’s one of the Crown’s most elite agents. She may be deadly, but she doesn’t know a thing about fashion, flirtation, or love…until Dominic Griffyn shakes up her carefully stirred world and asks her to be his bride. He’s exactly the kind of man she’s not looking for. And he’s dangerous, because falling into his arms is so much more satisfying than saving England from her enemies.

He’s an improper gentleman who needs a wife…

Talk, dark, and tortured, Dominic Griffyn is haunted by demons from his past. When his stepfather insists that he marry, Dominic allows himself to hope that the beautiful but mysterious Miss Bonde might help him forget his troubles. As they grow closer, it’s clear that there’s more to Jane than danger. She might be just what his neglected heart needs.

Shana Galen is the bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals. She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full-time. She lives in Houston, Texas .

Order Love and Let Spy:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1r9gG4W

Apple: http://bit.ly/1nfku4t

BAM: http://bit.ly/US3mGI

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25. Novella Review: Nightingale by Cathy Maxwell

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I am of two minds about Nightingale.  I enjoyed this novella, but I would have enjoyed it better if I liked the heroine a little more. While I was finally able to cut her some slack, most of her misery is of her own making, and while past events are always viewed with 20/20 vision, it’s that murky, uncertain future that needs a lot of trust and faith that things will work out for the best.  They didn’t for Jemma, and instead of a spoiled, willful girl, she’s now a desperate, improvised woman.  Manipulated by her parents since birth, and now willing to trade her soul to save her brother from his own folly, she is forced to turn to the man she rejected years ago with a plea to allow her brother to live.

Now, while I had some issues with Jemma, I loved Dane.  He is dark and broody, still smarting after losing the love of his life.  While he can look back on their childish promises with clearer head, he still aches for what he can’t have.  After Jemma married another man without a word to him when he was away at school, Dane was a shattered soul.  To finally seek some peace for himself, he sets off to make his fortune and to try to forget about the woman who rejected him for a title and all the wealth that accompanied it.  Dane does find his fortune, as well as adventure aplenty, but a part of himself that still belongs to Jemma continues to long for what might have been.

Imagine his twisted emotions when Jemma’s brother challenges him to a duel.  With his pride at stake, Dane accepts the challenge.  If he’s honest with himself, he would even admit that he pushed and prodded so that the insult was given and the duel would be proposed.  What better way to get back at the woman who broke his heart, but to break her heart in return?

I wish the story had been longer, because there is so much angst and so many feelings for both Jemma and Dane to work through.   Jemma realizes that she made a mistake, and after suffering through a loveless, passionless marriage, she wonders how differently things would have turned out if she hadn’t agreed to marry a older, wealthier man.  She soon found herself with nothing, as her husband was not a competent manager of his fortune, and after his death, his family gave her the cold shoulder.  So it’s with a great deal of trepidation that she approaches Dane with a bargain to save her brother from certain death on the point of Dana’s blade.  Now the tables have turned; Dane is one of the wealthiest men in London, he’s been knighted, and he’s has the respectably he lacked when he was younger. With this one duel, he thinks he will retain his pride and finally put Jemma out of his heart.

If you’re looking for a quick read between Labor Day weekend festivities, Nightingale will keep you entertained for an hour or so.  I just wish it had been a little longing, because I felt that the ending wrapped up to quickly, and left me a little nervous about a forever HEA for Dane and Jemma.

Grade:  B / B-

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Fate has brought them together—again.

At one time, Jemma meant the world to Dane Pendleton, but then she betrayed their young love.

Now Time has turned the tables. Dane is wealthy, respected, and knighted, while Jemma has nothing but her pride.

His honor for hers …

Dane’s name is on the lips of every beauty in London. They whisper that he learned “tricks” while he was in the Orient. But has he forgotten Jemma and what they once meant to each other?

And will he accept her devil’s bargain?

In every woman’s life, there is that one flame who slipped away. The man who makes her wonder “what if?”

But is this a momentary madness or a chance to rekindle a love that could last a lifetime?

The post Novella Review: Nightingale by Cathy Maxwell appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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