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1. Spotlight and Giveaway: One Rogue at a Time by Jade Lee

The second in Jade Lee’s saucy Rakes and Rogues series, One Rogue at a Time, comes out this December! To celebrate, Jade played a quick round of ‘Would You Rather?’ with us and sent an excerpt from the book to share.

Would you rather never be able to speak again or only be able to speak in pig Latin? Never speak again. I’ve never managed pig Latin even though I’m counted quite clever at times. Plus, I mostly write and text these days anyway. It would be easy to adapt to an electronics-enhanced life that speaks for me. (Or is that cheating?)

In this excerpt our heroine (nicknamed Bluebell) is angling for our hero to take her to London where she can meet her father for the first time. She’s bargained for speaking lessons, and now she’s bartering for a ride to London. But she isn’t prepared for the price he demands.

“You want me to take you to Oxfordshire and then on to London,” Bram accused. “You want me to dress up this fine carriage and let you appear before your relations like a fine lady. You’ve been planning that from the moment you met me.”

“Ooo, an’ me a simple maid from ’Ull. Wot makes ye think I could muster all that?” She exaggerated her accent such that his back molars ground together in disgust.

“Admit it. That’s what you want.”

She lifted her chin. “And what if I do? You’re free t’ say no.”


“There. Fine. Ye’ve said it. But I can pay—”

He grabbed her chin, pulling it—and her—toward him. Part of him thrilled at finally touching her pristine skin. Part of him watched how her eyes widened and the pupils darkened, her mouth slipping open on a gasp. Was she afraid of him? Yes. Obviously. And he tried to care. He tried to tell himself that he didn’t want to punish her for crimes she hadn’t committed. But she was a schemer just like the others, and so he damned her all the same.

“I will take you to London,” he said, his voice low, his breath hot.

She didn’t answer, and he didn’t care.

“But there’s only one payment I’ll take.”

“No,” she whispered. “I’m a lady.”

“Say it all you like, Miss Bluebell, but I know the truth.”

She swallowed, trying to pull herself back, but she was still sitting on the barrel, so she had nowhere to run. She stilled and her eyes narrowed.

“Wot truth? That I want to go to London? That I want proof o’ my father? Or that you’re nothing but a man with ruttin—”

He kissed her. He wasn’t slow, and he wasn’t remotely gentle. And the fact that she was completely untutored in the way of kissing infuriated him even more. She was a lie. She deserved all the pain he could give her. She was…

She was an innocent, and he had to soften. He had to become gentle with her, and so he did. He didn’t want to, contradictory beast that he was. He liked his anger. Stoked it to a hot flame, but not against her.

So he softened. He gentled.

Where before he had simply wrenched her mouth to his, he now petted her chin. And though he had forced his tongue into her, he eased his penetration. He teased her and then pulled back.

“You are a lie,” he said to her panting chest.

“You are a brute,” she answered, anger vibrating out of her.

“Yes, and worse. I’m a bastard.”

“You’re not even ashamed.”

Oh, he was. He was riddled with shame, but he wouldn’t let her see it. She had to know the truth about him before she tried to play her games. “I’ll take you wherever you want to go, Miss Bluebell. But I’ll be taking you as I do it.”

He felt the impact of his words on her body. She shuddered, but she also licked her lips. Part of her wanted him, brute though he was.

“I am a lady.”

“Ladies spread their legs for me all the time.”

“Not me.”

“Then I’ll not take you anywhere.”

He felt her accept the truth of his words. Her body bowed, and her shoulders drooped. But when she spoke, her voice was strong with conviction.

“I don’t need you to take me. I’ve coin eno’. The mail coach goes to Oxfordshire and London.”

“You’ll be prey to every bloke who sees you.”

She finally jerked her chin away from the stroke of his fingers. “’At’s been true since I first started filling out a dress.” And then before he could anticipate her move, before it even registered that he was in danger, she lifted her knee.

How she’d maneuvered it so perfectly, he didn’t know. But one moment he was hard as a rock, still thinking of ways he could make her willing. The next there was a blinding flash of white-hot pain, and he was crumpled onto the ground.

He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t think. He just knew pain. And one word:


Title: One Rogue at a Time

Author: Jade Lee

Series: Rakes and Rogues, #2

Pubdate: December 1st, 2015

ISBN: 9781492605027

USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee continues her saucy, vibrant Rakes and Rogues Regency romance series with a high-society outsider who may have met his match…

A brown-eyed bastard with nothing to lose

As the illegitimate son of a duke, Bramwell Wesley Hallowsby grew up tough, on the fringes of society, learning to hide his hurt and cynicism with charm and Town polish. He’s carved out a place for himself as a mercenary, serving as bodyguard and general strong arm for the peerage. Bram has nothing to lose… and he’s exactly what Maybelle “Bluebell” Ballenger needs.

Meets his match in a blue-eyed beauty with everything to hide

Maybelle needs a mentor to teach her to speak and act like a lady, so she can claim the place in society she was denied. As they team up to take on the ton, Bram knows she’s hiding something even from him. Despite the deception he sees behind those sparkling blue eyes, Bram wants to believe that Maybelle’s love is no lie. But it seems fate has served him up his just desserts in the likes of this determined damsel.

USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee has been crafting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ballgowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with the Regency began. An author of more than 40 romance novels and winner of dozens of reader awards, she brings laughter into the sexy nights of England’s elite. Quirky characters and sexy banter are her hallmarks. Find out more at her website www.JadeLeeAuthor.com, or check out her wild contemporary half at www.KathyLyons.com.

Buy Links:

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

Apple: http://apple.co/1W51eGq

BAM: http://bit.ly/1SBnt3Q

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

Chapters: http://bit.ly/1Qt8yLv

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1YfzAYf

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2. Spotlight and Giveaway: In Search of Scandal by Susanne Lord

This December, debut author Susanne Lord releases the first in her London Explorers series, In Search of Scandal! To celebrate, Susanne is here to share one of the facts she uncovered while researching for this adventurous new series:

Explorer Fast Fact: In 1850, the fastest clipper ships to deliver explorers from England to Asia could travel at a rate of up to 20 knots (approximately 23 mph), while steamships could manage only around 12 knots/13 mph.

Title: In Search of Scandal

Author: Susanne Lord

Series: London Explorers, #1

Pubdate: December 1st, 2015

ISBN: 9781492623502


All of London is abuzz with the tale of Will Repton. The lone survivor of a massacre in Tibet has returned to England a hero, but the traumatized explorer has no time for glory. Another dangerous expedition awaits. Nothing will deter him from his quest, and no one will unearth his secret—until Will meets Charlotte Baker.


Vivacious Charlotte Baker also has a mission—to find a man whose bold spirit matches her own. When she meets Will Repton, she immediately recognizes him as her soul mate, and she’s naively willing to turn her back on the rules of propriety to ensnare him. Will is torn between his fascination with Charlotte and his vow to finish his quest. He knows what it is to risk life and limb—but what if his most perilous adventure doesn’t lie across an ocean, but within his own lost heart?

Susanne Lord is a writer of Victorian-era romance and author of the London Explorer series published by Sourcebooks. Originally from Okinawa, off-base and on, she now makes her home in Chicago where she is an active member of Chicago North RWA. When not writing, attending theater or reading, she enjoys hiking the English countryside and visiting historic homes and gardens.

Buy Links:

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

Apple: http://apple.co/1LkuiBr

BAM: http://bit.ly/1j6rkdk

B&N: http://bit.ly/1S2tjvd

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

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1HWOskN



An Excerpt:

Charlotte caught her breath and unclenched the grip she had taken upon his hand. “You cannot pretend to like me, Mr. Repton. I just wonder—I have always wondered what I have done to offend you.”

His arm tightened and his lips were right back to hovering over her ear. “Wait…”

More silence. Honestly! She would not stand here and let him trample her heart.

She ripped herself from his arms. “It is fine. I hardly require every man to like me, Mr. Repton. Be assured I am aware of your feelings and you will not have to suffer my attentions anymore.”

She whirled to leave but a steel hand gripped her arm.

God! Blast it! Now what have I done?” he growled, his blue eyes wintry in the moonlight. “I thought we were getting on. I wouldn’t mind being your friend, as long as you understand that’s where it ends.”

Wouldn’t mind? I have more friends than I can count, I hardly need—”

He yanked her hard against him. “Then what do you want?”

“I…I will not argue—”

His hands gripped her waist. “What do you want, Charlotte?” He growled. “What do you want me to do?

Her words died in the face of his rising frustration. What did she want? What had she ever wanted but him? She wanted him still. From the first sight, the first instant. Every day, every hour, she wanted him. In a deep, tender, precious place she could not touch with reason. And all he did was sneer and push her way.

“Why didn’t you ignore me as you normally do?” she asked hollowly. “Why did you talk to me at all tonight?”

He said nothing. He didn’t move. Something furious and wild thundered through her breast. “You don’t belong here!” Her fist clenched, wanting to slap that frozen look off his face. “Say something!” She launched against him, gripping him about his hard neck. “Say anything!”

But his stubborn lips were sealed, and before she could stop herself, she mashed her mouth against them.

Instantly, she regretted it. Their chins knocked, their teeth scraped, and a grunt of surprise sounded from his throat.

Oh God, what was she doing? She didn’t know how to give a kiss and he certainly didn’t want hers. His hands dropped off her and she sobbed sharply against his mouth. Mortified, she crumpled against his neck.

Oh God, oh God, how will I face him?

A hard hand seized her neck and forced her head up. Blue eyes blazed into hers. “Damn it all!”

Warm lips clamped to hers expertly. Shocked, she sank to her heels but his arm tightened and locked her against the hard wall of his body.

His deep groan shook her.

But it was a sound of surrender.

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3. Guest Post and Giveaway: Dukes Are Forever by Anna Harrington

Anna Harrington dropped by to answer a few questions and share an excerpt of her release Dukes Are Forever.  Be sure to enter the giveaway, too!

1. ­ What would readers be surprised to find out about you?

I have a pilot’s license. I took flying lessons at Chicago Midway and eventually earned both my private license and instrument rating in Chicago Center and my complex/high-performance sign-off at Gary Regional Airport. (And I deeply apologize to Southwest Airlines and to the tower controllers for any problems I might have caused.)

2. Tell us about your writing process. Do you start with an idea or a character? Do you know what’s going to happen from the beginning or do you figure it out as you write?

I usually start with a problem and work out from there, creating the characters, places, and conflicts that radiate from that central problem. For DUKES ARE FOREVER, the problem was simple: what if a new duke was forced to take a ward who wasn’t a child but a full-grown woman? Then, the ideas just ripple out from that like circles in a pond. The first thing I do is sketch out the external and internal conflicts, then I write out the basic plot and backgrounds for the two main characters, which is usually about 2 – 3 pages long. I then start filling in details. When I’m finished, I’ll have what I consider the “outline draft”—about 20 single-spaced pages. Then, I start writing. And 95K words later, I’m finished and dive into a big bowl of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!

3. Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?

Dr. John Stratton, my college writing instructor, who told us repeatedly, “Writing isn’t about you. You’re just the author. What matters is the reader. If you’re not giving the reader what he or she wants, then you’re not writing.”

4. Is there one thing you have to have when writing?

COFFEE!!! And during the season, I keep a vase of cut flowers from my garden on the table where I write. It’s in my sunroom, so I have wonderful views of the yard, the wooded hill behind the house, and the creek.

5. How did you choose the names of your characters?

For DUKES ARE FOREVER, I picked Katherine because I’ve always loved that name. It’s feminine and classic but also strong, and the nicknames for it are perfect for reflecting different parts of her personality: the nickname Kate sounds so fiery and no-nonsense, but when the servants call her Katie, there’s affection and love in it. As for Edward…well, when I pictured him in my mind, he just LOOKED like an Edward. Aunt Augusta because she could ONLY be an Augusta. Edward’s brother Stephen was named after King Stephen.

6. How has music played a role in your life and in your writing?

I love all kinds of jazz and symphonic music, and I always have music playing in the background while I’m writing. What I listen when I write, however, depends on the type of writing task I’m working on that day…music to set the mood.

7. When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?

I was in third grade, and we were supposed to write a paragraph about an everyday. I don’t know why, but I wrote about a hammer owned by President Jimmy Carter and the story of that hammer’s life…from the hammer’s first-person POV! My teacher read it to the entire class and gave it a place of honor on the board for the upcoming parent-teacher conferences. At that point, I was hooked. I had a talent for writing, and the praise was addictive. I started writing then, filling spiral Mead notebooks by the dozen, and in my early teens I had my first publications, contest wins, and two one-act plays staged by a local drama club. I was hooked. I haven’t stopped writing since, although the genres have certainly changed over the years.

8. Do you have any favorite book boyfriends of your own?

Well, of course Mr. Knightly from Emma! But other favorites include Sullivan Waring from Suzanne Enoch’s After the Kiss and Sebastian Carlisle from the book I’m currently writing (and brother of Josie Carlisle in HOW I MARRIED A MARQUESS). And although he’s a based-on-a-book-TV boyfriend, I’m desperately in love with Ross Poldark from Masterpiece’s Poldark series.

9. What are five books on your night stand/bookshelf?

Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester, The Groucho Letters by Groucho Marx, Cottage Living, Catch-22, and a book by whatever Regency romance writer I’m currently reading.

10. What’s your favorite quote or scene from your book?

My favorite bit occurs when Kate tries to explain to Edward why he’s the type of man not used to being told No, only to dig herself deeper into embarrassment. The attraction between them sizzles, so do the back-and-forth barbs and Edward’s cool as he rakishly lets out just enough rope for to hang herself. (But I also like the running joke about the boy’s breeches she wears.)

11. If your couple’s relationship had a theme song, what would it be?

“Good Things” by the Bodeans

12. Tell us about the cover process. Is this what you had in mind?

I love that she’s holding a rose in her hand! I have a rose bush in my garden that exact same shade. It’s a David Austin rose called Grace, and it’s the pride of my garden.

13. If your book was being made into a movie, who would you include in your dream cast?

For Kate, I’d pick Amy Adams—she has the red hair and the feistiness but can still portray a feminine vulnerability that Kate has. For Edward, Aidan Turner. For Aunt Augusta I always picture the stepmother from Walt Disney’s Cinderella—Augusta isn’t evil, of course, but she had that same regal, imperial bearing as the stepmother…but I’d settle for Dame Judi Dench. J

14. Where do you find inspiration for you writing? Do you use real people/places as a foundation?

Creating atmosphere is important, so I try to I use real places where I’ve been for the settings. Because my novels are set in Regency England, and I lived in London during college, I’m fortunate to have first-hand experience with the atmosphere of the city, the look of the countryside, and the wonderful people who live there. I’ll often find a house or building which strikes me, and then the story might take off from there. I don’t use real people as models for the characters, but the characters seen to evolve organically from the places.

15. Do you have any hobbies or activities that you enjoy outside of writing?

During the past two years, since I’ve moved into my new house, I’ve taken up gardening, and I love working outside in the beds, especially with the roses. I’ve planted all kinds of trees, azaleas, hydrangeas, roses, and even blueberries and strawberries. I also love to travel and visit every museum and tourist trap I can, and I like dreaming that someday I might also take a photography class or two so I can take better pictures. I also love to hike and go trekking by all kinds of means—I’ve been pony trekking in Wales and elephant trekking in Thailand, and I’ve love to go camel trekking in Morocco. I love history and archeology, and I love visiting ancient ruins and new cultures all over the world.

16. Would the 10 year-old version of yourself kick your butt or praise you for what you’ve accomplished in life?

The 10 year-old version of me would say, “Well, this life is exactly what we planned, teaching and writing and experiencing adventures all over the world…minus the pony.”



Battlefields and barrooms hold much more interest for Edward Westover, Duke of Strathmore, than a little girl’s fondness for dolls and lace. When he takes possession of his enemy’s estate, everything that villain held dear-including his daughter-belongs to Edward. Hire a governess, arrange a dowry, give a few reassurances, and be off on his way-that’s Edward’s plan. But he’s in for the shock of his life. For his new ward is a beautiful, impetuous, and utterly irresistible woman . . .
. . . AND WAR
Kate Benton is stunned. Who is this arrogant, infuriating man who’s invited himself into her home and taken over her life? Her vow: to do everything in her power to convince him to leave her-and Brambly House-alone. Yet as chilly days melt into sultry nights, Kate sees glimpses of kindness underneath Edward’s cool façade . . . and a passionate nature that takes her breath away. There’s so much she doesn’t know about this man. But does she dare trust this devilish duke with her heart?

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1SATdWP
B&N: http://bit.ly/1l3udg0
iBooks: http://apple.co/1LHiLRu
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1OPglBp
BAM!: http://bit.ly/1QKyNMT

About Anna Harrington

Anna is an English professor in Chattanooga Tennessee and a lover of all things chocolate and coffee. She’s a member of RWA and when she’s not hard at work writing her next book or planning her next series, she’s watching BBC and piloting her own aircrafts. 





“If she isn’t downstairs in five minutes,” Edward warned Mrs. Elston through gritted teeth, “I will go up to her room and drag her down myself!”

The old governess bristled. “As I told you, Miss Kate is feeling unwell—”

A sharp curse exploded from him, telling her exactly what he thought of Miss Kate’s sudden illness.

Your Grace,” her brows shot up, offended, “with all due respect—”

He rolled his eyes, knowing that whatever she was about to say would lack all respect.

“—you have swept into our home without warning, upset both my little Katie and the entire household, and are now making demands as if you own the place.”

“I do own it,” he drawled.

“Brambly House is entailed,” she informed him pointedly. “It is owned solely by Miss Kate to be relinquished only to the gentleman she marries.” Her emphasis clearly implied that despite his title, she found him to be no gentleman. “If she wishes to forgo your company, you should have the decency to give her peace!”

She stood squarely in front of him and blocked the stairs like a bulldog guarding its dinner. While ordinarily he would have found that loyalty admirable, tonight he was ready to throttle her for it.

“Mrs. Elston,” he growled, tired from a long day of traveling and now hungry since dinner was an hour late, “if Miss Benton doesn’t come downstairs, I swear I’ll—”

“You will do what, your Grace?” a soft voice challenged from the landing.

He glanced up, and when he saw her, the rest of the threat vanished from his lips. Sweet Lucifer, she was a vision. Although a decade out of fashion, the ice-blue silk gown she wore was cut just carefully enough to tantalize without being improper, with its fitted bodice accentuating her slender waist and its neckline revealing a hint of firm breasts beneath. As she descended toward him, her upswept red hair shining like fire, the dress shimmered enticingly over her curves with each move.

She stopped two steps from the bottom, her eyes level with his and just the hint of a self-assured smile at her lips. The sweet scent of honeysuckle wafted down to him like a cloud, and his gut clenched with unbidden arousal.

The disheveled woman who greeted him earlier had transformed into a beautiful woman, like a caterpillar into a butterfly. She left him speechless.

“You’ll do what?” she pressed.

His lips twisted impishly at his now-empty threat. “Throw you over my knee and spank you.”

“Your Grace!” Mrs. Elston swung her gaze at him, appalled that he would even suggest such a thing.

Kate raised her head defiantly, her green eyes blazing. “I’d like to see you try.”

Good God. His cock twitched at the temptation.

“Miss Kate!” Mrs. Elston blurted out, aghast at her charge’s scandalous behavior.

Ignoring the old governess and fighting back an amused chuckle, Edward held out his hand. “Truce?”

She hesitated.

“Until dessert at least?”

She placed her gloved hand into his and allowed him to help her down the last two steps and toward the dining room as she conceded, “Until dessert, your Grace.”

“Edward, please,” he corrected.

“Then you must call me Kate,” she insisted, a mischievous glint in her eyes. “All my guardians do.”

“You have a lot of guardians, do you?” he asked dryly.

“Oh, yes.” She gave a flippant wave of her hand, the mocking gesture indicating how ludicrous she found their situation and her desire to be free of it. “Lately, it seems there’s a new one dropping by every day.”

He paused in mid-step, then slid her an irritated sideways glance as she continued walking, slipping her hand away from his arm to proceed him into the room. As his gaze roamed down her backside, the curves beneath the gown and the soft sashay of her hips once again reminded him that this was no child in need of a guardian. This was a woman.

Worse, he thought grimly as the man now responsible for guarding her reputation, she was beautiful. The moment she debuted, every man would set his sights on her. And it wouldn’t be with the intention of marrying her.

Heaven help him, he was in serious trouble.


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4. Spotlight and Giveaway: My Lady Gloriana by Sylvia Halliday

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Sylvia Halliday 
Releasing Nov 24th, 2015
In this twist on the Pygmalion story, a duke makes a wager that he can bed the uncouth Lady Gloriana. But the bet takes on a life of its own…
The year is 1725. Lady Gloriana Baniard is a beautiful fish out of water. Brought up on the mean streets of London, she is a brash, blunt, obscene force of nature. But thanks to a brief marriage to a disgraced aristocrat, she is forced to live with his noble family and endure the humiliating process of learning to be a lady. Rebelling, she runs away to Yorkshire, where she intends to be a blacksmith, a skill at which she excels. She knows she’ll need a manservant to front for her. When John Thorne appears, she hires him, stirred as much by his irresistible attraction as by his strength.
John Haviland, Duke of Thorneleigh, is an arrogant, indolent gambler and womanizer. Having seen Gloriana just once, he yearns to make her his own. When he learns she has run away from her family, he makes a wild bet with his wastrel companions?he will find the lady and bed her. Disguised as a humble servant, he becomes her assistant, learning the blacksmith trade. The clash of wills between these two proud people creates more sparks than a blacksmith’s anvil, as Gloriana learns to be a lady, Thorne learns humility?and desire deepens to love.


(John Haviland, duke of Thorneleigh, has gone for a midnight walk in the country.)

The night was more glorious than he would have imagined. The sweet scents of new grass and spring flowers filled the air with their delicate perfume, soothing his troubled soul. Impulsively, he rolled up his sleeves, then laughed and pulled off his shirt completely. He half-expected to hear the voice of his long-ago nursemaid, chiding him for common behavior that didn’t suit the heir to an ancient dukedom. Gentlemen didn’t go around half-clothed.

“Rest in peace, Nurse,” he murmured, recalling her with tenderness. He’d stripped naked many a time since those days—and for far less innocent reasons. It was a mild night. Maybe he’d further scandalize Nurse’s memory by going for a swim.

He felt young, adventurous, free—yet strangely sad and melancholy. What had happened to the carefree lad he once had been? What had turned him into this idle dissolute? Surely there was a moment he had missed—a turning point that might have taken him in a different, more satisfying direction.

No. Tonight, with the earth wrapped in silvery moonlight, was for magic. He felt as though something extraordinary was about to happen. Something that would change his life, lead him to a path more splendid and glittering than the moon-dappled one he now followed.

He pulled off his shoes and stockings and stripped off his breeches. The sensual night air caressed his nakedness like a harlot’s hand; he felt a quivering and stirring in his groin. He suddenly ached for a woman. But not a clumsy slattern, like the innkeeper’s wife. Nor even a perfumed beauty who strolled St. James’s Park by day and slept on satin sheets by night. He wanted a goddess, as magical and lovely as this moon-kissed midnight.

He heard the soft whinny of a horse, the gentle thud of hoofs upon packed earth. The sounds seemed to be coming from the far end of the clearing. He shrank back against the tree trunk, concealing his naked body, and waited. The woman galloped onto the sand, magnificent upon her horse—a vision of perfection that took his breath away.

His longed-for goddess.



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Award-winning author Sylvia Halliday’s first historical novel, written as Ena Halliday, was chosen by Pocket Books to launch their Tapestry line. She subsequently wrote for Popular Library/Warner and Harlequin Historicals under the pen name of Louisa Rawlings, the name of her maternal great-grandmother. She has written for Kensington/Zebra under the pseudonym of Sylvia Halliday. She has published 14 historical romances. Her FOREVER WILD earned 5 stars from RT Book Reviews and Affaire de Coeur, and was a RITA finalist for the Romance Writers of America. Her latest offerings, published by Diversion Books, are MARIELLE (The French Maiden Series, #1), LYSETTE (The French Maiden Series, #2), DELPHINE (The French Maiden Series, #3), DREAMS SO FLEETING, GOLD AS THE MORNING SUN, THE RING, and SUMMER DARKNESS, WINTER LIGHT. FOREVER WILD, STOLEN SPRING, and PROMISE OF SUMMER, written by her as Louisa Rawlings, are available from Samhain Publishing.

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5. Guest Post and Giveaway: A Talent for Trickery by Alissa Johnson

Guest Post: 5 Things a Lady Trickster Never Leaves Home Without by Alissa Johnson

I’m delighted to introduce A Talent for Trickery, the first book in my new Victorian-set “Thief-takers” series. Our hero, Private Investigator Owen Renderwell, is on the hunt for a thief and murderer. And he knows just how to catch his man. All he needs is a little help from our heroine, Miss Charlotte Walker-Bales. The daughter of an infamous confidence man, Lottie is in a unique position to offer insight into the mind and motives of a hardened criminal. There’s just one flaw in Owen’s otherwise excellent plan. Lottie hasn’t spoken to him in eight years. She has no interest in working alongside a man of the law, and certainly not the one who betrayed her trust, endangered her family, and broke her heart.

To celebrate Lottie’s unusual background, I’ve compiled a list of five things Lottie would never leave home without.

1. Lock Picks. Two of the earliest lessons Lottie learned from her father were how to open a locked door, and how to free herself from a set of manacles. Good lock picks are an essential tool in every thief’s bag of tricks. Hair pins, however, will do in a pinch.

2. Hidden pockets. These days, Lottie is focused more on keeping her family safe than she is on fleecing an unsuspecting population, but there was a time when she would have had hidden pockets sewn into all her gowns. Those filched goodies had to go somewhere.

3. If going a long distance – A carriage. There are a lot of things Lottie does well, but riding a horse is not one of them. If she has reason to go further than her legs can take her, she goes by horse-drawn carriage or railway.

4. Her accomplice. Lottie never worked alone.

5. A cover story. Few people know that Lottie, Esther and Peter Bales are, in reality, the Walker family—children of the late, but still reviled confidence man, William Walker. They have an entirely fabricated family history, and Lottie needs to remember every detail of it. All the time. One slip-up, and the entire house of cards she built to protect her siblings could come crashing down.

Book Information

Title: A Talent For Trickery

Author: Alissa Johnson

Release Date: November 3, 2015

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: The Thief-takers, Book 1


The Lady is a Thief

Years ago, Owen Renderwell earned acclaim-and a title-for the dashing rescue of a kidnapped duchess. But only a select few knew that Scotland Yard’s most famous detective was working alongside London’s most infamous thief…and his criminally brilliant daughter, Charlotte Walker.

Lottie was like no other woman in Victorian England. She challenged him. She dazzled him. She questioned everything he believed and everything he was, and he has never wanted anyone more. And then he lost her.

Now a private detective on the trail of a murderer, Owen has stormed back into Lottie’s life. She knows that no matter what they may pretend, he will always be a man of the law and she a criminal. Yet whenever he’s near, Owen has a way of making things complicated…and long for a future that can never be theirs.

Buy Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/AmazonTalentTrickery

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/BNTalentTrickery

Sourcebooks: http://www.sourcebooks.com/store/talent-for-trickery.html

Author Biography

Alissa Johnson is a RITA-nominated author of historical romance. She grew up on Air Force bases and attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She currently resides in the Arkansan Ozarks where she spends her free time keeping her Aussie dog busy, visiting with family, and dabbling in archery.

Social Networking Links

Website: http://www.alissajohnson.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alissa.johnson.313

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alissajohnson2

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1983627.Alissa_Johnson

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6. Spotlight and Giveaway: His Most Wanted by Sandra Jones

Enter to Win a
$15.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Seller
The River Rogues #2
Sandra Jones
Releasing Nov 17th, 2015

It’ll take more than a badge to get her to confess her secrets.

Kit Wainwright only meant to stop the thief making off with his beloved uncle’s ashes. He wants to hang up his gun, become a law-abiding citizen and leave his violent past behind. But the mayor takes notice of his sharpshooting skills, slaps a badge on his chest and puts him in charge of cleaning up this lawless town. Starting with tracking down the notorious Velvet Grace.

Bordello owner Cora Reilly never meant to become a crusader. But after shooting the last corrupt sheriff in self-defense, she’s spent the last few months turning her hastily donned disguise into a local legend to defend the girls in her town from riff-raff.

There’s no way Cora can trust the handsome new sheriff. Yet Kit’s kisses leave her wanting to open her arms—and her bedroom—to soothe his grief. Even if it brings him too close to the truth that could send her to the gallows.

Warning: Contains a reluctant sheriff with a keen eye for a moving target, and a take-no-crap madam who isn’t about to let him get close. Okay, maybe just a little bit closer. Just this once…



The gun, still warm from shooting the sheriff, fit just right against Cora Lynn Reilly’s

ribs, wedged beneath her breasts between her corset and her blouse. Her heart thundered

like a cannonball as she looked for a way to exit the room that wouldn’t require going near the body on the floor, but unfortunately, there wasn’t one. The sound of the blast would likely bring someone upstairs to check on the man, and she couldn’t be caught alone with him.

Balancing on her toes to miss the blood spreading across the boards, she stepped over the first booted leg, her skirt spanning Bill Sidlow’s bloated thighs. She lifted her hem to avoid dragging her petticoat across the man’s torso, now damp and crimson, and set her left foot down with care between his side and his spread-eagle arm.

Don’t look, don’t look. But morbid curiosity got the better of her. She had to be absolutely

certain the bastard was dead, so she glanced down at Sidlow’s face. His sightless eyes stared back at her, familiar enough to make a frisson of terror run down her spine again after he’d cornered her against his apartment wall with demands of sex.

“Shoulda known better,” she scolded beneath her breath. But whether she’d directed her

words at the sheriff or herself, she wasn’t sure.

He gave no response, his flaccid mouth and sagging jowls glistened with spittle—no

different than in life, she supposed. When he’d visited the club earlier that night, he’d pulled her aside to invite her here to his place for a private word, and even then his breath against her ear had been wet and disgusting.

She’d assumed he wanted to talk about business away from the girls and their customers,

because if he’d wanted to make any advances of a sexual nature, where better than the

Willows, the popular social club she owned on the Row? But she’d been wrong. The sheriff had wanted more than to talk. He’d wanted to take, and that was something Cora wouldn’t allow.

Now, one mistake and a bullet later, she had to get out of his apartment fast before

anyone found her here.

Tearing her stare away from the sheriff ’s corpse, she set her body in motion for the

door, but the sudden tread of boots on the stairs outside stopped her in her tracks.

“Sheriff? Was that your gun I heard?” Mrs. Murphy, wife of the boarding house owner,

called from a short distance below.

Cora’s pulse raced. She scanned the room again. There was a window, but she didn’t

recall seeing a way down. She was certain no one else had seen her enter the building. She

couldn’t let Mrs. Murphy find her now, for who would believe a bordello madam who’d shot the sheriff with her pearl-handled pistol in his own bedroom?

No way would she allow anyone to hang her for the likes of Bill Sidlow. She’d never shot

anyone else in her life and hadn’t even taken her gun out of its case before tonight. The only reason she’d brought the weapon was in case she was accosted by one of the drunks in the streets outside.

Besides, her girls needed her. Especially now that there would be no one to keep the

town’s worst ruffians from their doorstep, and God knew, Fort McNamara had its share of those.

She swept another glance around the room for something she could cloak herself

in. The bed was stripped to the sheet, but a long blue velvet drapery hung above the lone

window. It would have to do.

A knock sounded at the door. “Sheriff? You all right?” Mrs. Murphy asked again.

Cora vaulted over the body and yanked the heavy fabric from the rod. Returning to

the door, she swirled the drape around her head and shoulders until she’d fully cocooned

herself, then she waited for a chance to escape.

The door metal rattled. When Mrs. Murphy peeked in, Cora threw her weight against

the wood panel, knocking the woman outside off balance, and then barreled past. She

descended the stairs, running as fast as she could in the tight wind of her drapery cloak.

As she reached the front door of the boarding house, she heard the woman’s shriek of

horror at discovering her boarder’s remains. “Murder! Help, the sheriff ’s been murdered!”

Bursting outside into the darkened street, she kept to the shadows, holding the fabric

closed at her neck as she dodged drunken cowboys looking for good times. She averted her face, praying no one would recognize her until she made it back to the bordello.

One thing she knew for certain, after this night, she had better get used to carrying her



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Sandra Jones is a multi-published author of historical romances. A former bookseller and librarian, she’s always had her nose in a book.

When not researching or writing her next novel, she enjoys being with family, reading, cooking for her husband, and watching British TV. At home in the South, her house overlooks a river and a farm, where most days you can find her working to the sounds of wildlife and cattle.
Sandra loves to hear from her readers. Visit her website at www.SandraJonesRomance.com

Don’t Miss the first in the River Rogues Series

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7. Let the Hurricane Roar (1932)

Let the Hurricane Roar. Rose Wilder Lane. 1932. 118 pages. [Source: Borrowed]

After reading Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder earlier this year, I was curious to read Rose Wilder Lane's Let the Hurricane Roar. If memory serves me, Rose Wilder Lane borrowed freely from her mother in terms of character and plot. That is while she was reading and editing and preparing her mother's manuscript to be sent off for possible publication, she was beginning to write her own pioneer-inspired novels, one of which is Let the Hurricane Roar. It has been a good six months or so since I read Pioneer Girl, so I don't remember the details clearly. This mother-and-daughter team were definitely writing at the same time about the same things, though I suppose for different audiences. Little House in the Big Woods was published in 1932, I believe, and Let the Hurricane Roar was published in 1933.

Let The Hurricane Roar is a historical fiction with a touch of romance. One could possibly say that it "celebrates" the pioneer spirit, but, it doesn't so much celebrate it and honor it as it does present it realistically. Life was hard, tough, at times seeming bleak and hopeless. The only thing abounding was often pride, stubbornness, gumption, if you will, and diligence. In short supply? Money and neighbors and life's luxuries.

Molly and David are the main characters of the novel. These two head out west, and it isn't long before Molly finds herself with child. Fearing to leave their new claim unsettled, she becomes enthusiastic about going with him to the claim and having the child all by herself. Who needs neighbors, friends, family, a midwife or a doctor? Molly proves to be just as proud and stubborn and spirited as her husband. (David DOES play the fiddle. And the two do endure several blizzards.)

To sum it all up, the book is more an account of horrible things happening to them within the first two or three years of settling their claim than anything else. That's not to say that the book lacks characterization. But it does lack characters, in some ways, since Molly and David are essentially on their own. Swedish neighbors, I believe, appear midway through and then depart again. And Molly does visit the nearest town in one or two chapters. But essentially it's just the three of them! (The baby doesn't do much if I'm honest.)

I liked it okay. It wasn't a great book that I simply loved and delighted in. But it was a solidly good read for anyone interested in pioneers.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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8. #774 – World War I: Why They Fought by Rebecca Rissman

Today is Veteran’s Day, the perfect day to remember not only the brave men and women who fought for this country’s safety and freedom, but also a war that stunned many—the first World War. November 11th, 2015 marks the 96th anniversary of Armistice Day, the date Germany and the Allies signed an agreement to stop …

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9. Historical Fiction

If you write historical fiction, you'd better enjoy doing research.


0 Comments on Historical Fiction as of 11/8/2015 4:44:00 PM
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10. Grace Burrowes True Gentleman Tour + Giveaway

“You Might Be A True Gentleman or Gentlewoman If…” by Grace Burrowes

How do you know if your Sig-O is a true gentleman/lady? Ask yourself a few questions…

First, do his or her best moves, smoothest lines, and cleverest flirtations only come out in public, or are the housework sessions equally likely to produce the verbal roses and melting glances from across the laundry pile?

The hallmark of a player is that their repertoire is best displayed when there’s an audience to play to. The true gentleman or lady isn’t playing, so the good stuff can come your way any old day or night of the week.

Second, does he or she deliver the fun and flirtation in you statements (“You look good in anything… and in nothing at all.”) Do they keep to the I-statements when the topic is difficult? (“I can come off irritated any time we talk about money because I’m afraid I’m not pulling my share of the load. I don’t mean to sound that way, and I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.”)

The guy or gal who lapses into the you-always, and you-never accusations in the middle of a difficult conversation hasn’t learned to fight fair. Time to whip out a few remedial lessons from the relationship Code Duello, or find another waltzing partner.

Third, does he or she have the touch? Always respectful in public—even when respectfully affectionate—always cool with your respectful affections too?

The ladies and gents who treasure us the most know better than to cross that line, and we treasure them right back for their gallant attentions.

Fourth, do they listen to us? We’ve all had the experience of being on a date or in a discussion, and the person we’re with has checked out. They’re eying the door, the clock, their cool new app, or if there’s a mirror on hand (store window, shiny plate, mirror app), themselves. Um… that would be a no.

Fifth, are they honorable? Do they give you the sense that at all times, the person you’re with will be guided by kindness and honesty, even when neither is convenient for them? If that’s the consistent vibe—truth and compassion as their defining values—you are in the company of a true lady or a true gentleman.

Here’s the best part: True ladies and true gentlemen tend to be discerning people, for all they are also gracious, kind, honest, and excellent company. If you’ve found a true lady or gentleman for your very own, and they reciprocate your regard, chances are they have found a true lady or gentleman in you too!


Book Information

Title: Daniel’s True Desire

Author: Grace Burrowes

Release Date: November 3, 2015

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca


An honorable life
Daniel Banks is a man of the cloth whose vocation is the last comfort he has left-and even his churchman’s collar is beginning to feel like a noose. At the urging of family, Daniel attempts to start his life over as vicar in the sleepy Kentish town of Haddondale, family seat to the earls of Bellefonte.

Challenged by passion
Lady Kirsten Haddonfield has resigned herself to a life of spinsterhood. Then the handsome new village vicar, Reverend Daniel Banks, becomes a guest of the Haddonfield family while the vicarage is being renovated, and Kirsten finds herself rethinking her position. Lady Kirsten does not know that Daniel’s past is about to cast a shadow on love’s future.

Buy Links

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1R7I6Eg

Barnes and Noble – http://bit.ly/1L8mc22

iBooks – http://apple.co/1RDfSSt

Author Biography

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

Social Media Links

Website: http://graceburrowes.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grace-Burrowes/115039058572197

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraceBurrowes

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4152482.Grace_Burrowes

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11. Spotlight and Giveaway: The Duke’s Temptation by Addie Jo Ryleigh

Enter to Win a
$10.00 Amazon eGift Card
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Men of Circumstance #1
Addie Jo Ryleigh
Released Oct 14th, 2015
Soul Mate Publishing

A Duke. A Runner. An Earl.
Three men, each born into different circumstances.
Each fighting to overcome their own adversity.
All striving to change their past.
Gabriel St. James, Duke of Wesbrook, desires any birthright other than being the son of a hideous man. Unfortunately, Gabe knows the exact moment he became like his father—a night that has haunted him for seven years. Resigned to his future, he is unprepared when his illegitimate—and more importantly unbeknown—young daughter appears on his London doorstep. With no one to care for her but him.
Lady Elizabeth Blakely has loved only one man—her brother’s longtime friend, Gabe St. James. Not even his rakish and, oftentimes, wicked behavior dissuades her. Yet it all seems hopeless as he continues to overlook the woman she has become.
When Elizabeth learns Gabe is in need of assistance with his daughter, she seizes the opportunity. Gabe, less than thrilled with the situation—mostly due to his fierce desire for his best friend’s sister—has no option but to concede. Besides, a more sinister threat lurks; someone is blackmailing Gabe with his darkest secret. Through it all, Gabe vows to resist Elizabeth, no matter how tempting.
Sometimes it’s better to surrender . . .

He’d already been subjected to a sleepless night battling the possibility she could be carrying his babe. Part of him leapt with joy thinking of her slender frame, rounded from increasing.

Mostly, he felt worry. And fear, that his future son would, despite Gabe’s best efforts, grow to be like him and all the previous Wesbrook scoundrels.

Afraid or not, if it came to pass, he would do the right thing and marry her. In no way would he leave her vulnerable to the vicious ton. Besides, if things were different—if he were different—he would whisk her to Gretna Green right now and attach her to him for the rest of their lives.

Instead, he would love her the only way he was capable of—from afar. And someday hope he found the strength to break from the person his past had made him.

If only he knew how to inform Elizabeth they could no longer be together intimately. She would fight him on it. Of that he was damned sure.

Thinking of how her face brightened, and her eyes flashed with light when she became so determined, sent shivers of enjoyment through him.

Absorbed with all the wicked ways he’d like to turn the light in Elizabeth’s eyes to burning embers, he didn’t notice the door opening until it clicked shut.

When he realized who’d entered, uncharacteristic heat rose in his cheeks. His only excuse for the boyish flush was that being caught in the middle of erotic thoughts by his three-year-old daughter wasn’t an everyday occurrence. Thank God.

A bit unclear as to how to interact with the half-sized person before him, Gabe chose to remain silent and let her make the first move. It might not be very manly, but it was by far the wisest decision he knew of.

He remained seated as her blue eyes scanned the room before she finally spotted him sitting at the desk. It was so bloody adorable the way she set her tiny chin in a determined angle and headed straight toward him—a small doll clasped in each arm—that he almost circled his desk to greet her.


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Addie Jo Ryleigh writes historical regency romances that feature rakish heroes and strong feisty heroines.
Addie Jo lives in the same cold winter and hot summer area of Minnesota where she was born and raised. And frankly, wouldn’t live anywhere else. Sharing in the raising of her three extremely rambunctious boys is her very understanding husband that so graciously enabled her to fulfill her dream of writing. Keeping Addie Jo company while she writes (besides her wonderfully loud children) is her yorkipoo, Bella, who is never far from Addie Jo’s side.
Addie Jo has always had a love and passion for romance books and became engrossed in historical romance (particularly Regency) soon after graduating from Lurlene McDaniel’s young adult books. Currently, Addie Jo reads any genre that has a great emotional story that keeps her reading into the early hours of the morning.
Addie Jo has a bachelor degree in accounting and is a financial coordinator when not driving her children around central Minnesota, cuddled up with a good book, or writing her next story.

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12. Guest Post and Giveaway: Daniel’s True Desire by Grace Burrowes


The Joys of True Gentlemanliness… by Grace Burrowes

About twenty books ago, I lamented (whined) to one of my brothers that coming up with ways to challenge a romance hero into facing his worst fears and risking all to win the heroine’s heart was taxing my imagination. My brother, without a heartbeat’s pause said, “Make him choose between the competing demands of honor.”

THAT was great advice. Make the hero choose between the woman who needs him, and the military unit depending on him. Make him choose between avenging injustices from his past, or respecting the wishes of the pacifist woman he loves. Make him decide whether to be publicly vindicated or privately forgiving… Delightful stuff, for an author!

And yet, to travel along these brilliant character arcs, our hero must have one characteristic: He must have a well-developed sense of honor. To me, that means this fellow must be honest and kind. He can be poor, grouchy, lacking in charm, without prospects, unlucky in love—Daniel Banks is nodding his head—but ideally, he will still be a true gentleman at heart.

The true gentleman, alas for him, can be tormented from page one by the author and by the story, but from the start, the true gentleman will play by the rules of decency.

Rules are tough. The true gentleman will never misrepresent himself, which means Daniel Banks must inform Lady Kirsten that a) he’s married, and b) he won’t disrespect his vows. Too bad for Daniel, this honesty only raises him in the lady’s esteem, when he’s trying to emphasize his unsuitability.

The true gentleman will lend a hand—or an ear—to those in need. When Daniel Banks realizes that Lady Kirsten has been overlooked by her entire family, and is as lonely as an earl’s daughter can be, the least he can do is listen when she explains the misery in her past. Again, his respect for, and understanding of her increases, but what else could a gentleman have done?

The true gentleman is kind. He does not ignore the suffering of others, even if that means, he’s left with a bigger helping of suffering on his own plate. When Lady Kirsten needs a champion to fight her battles with an overbearing brother, Daniel steps up, though it might cost him his position. Once again, Daniel’s decency only gets him in hotter water, because now Kirsten’s brother is also viewing the impecunious, reserved, sometimes grouchy, vicar with renewed respect.

This business of being a true gentleman is darned hard, and darned heroic. What Daniel has to learn, though, is that true gentlemanliness begins at home. When he’s honest with himself, and shows himself the compassion we all deserve, all the inconvenient rules, tough choices, and honorable standards turn out to have been his second-best friends.

Lady Kirsten is, of course, his very best friend, being a true lady. But that’s another story…  

Excerpt from Daniel’s True Desire

Daniel Banks is the new vicar in Haddondale, temporarily a guest of Lady Kirsten’s family. They’ve dragooned him into tutoring some of the local boys, and Kirsten is managing the staff who’ll turn the dower house into a place of learning. What Daniel doesn’t know is how a married man, even one estranged from his unworthy spouse, can resist the allure of friendship with Lady Kirsten…

“I dread crossing the garden,” Lady Kirsten said. “Susannah has taken up reading old issues of La Belle Assembleé, Della is memorizing DeBrett’s, and the countess talks only of fashion. Nobody does anything.”

“Most would envy them their idleness,” Daniel said, though he did not. The earl gave a good account of himself, tending to significant acreage and mercantile interests, but the women were bored.

One of the women was mortally bored, though never boring.

“I want to take the vicarage in hand,” Lady Kirsten said, marching from the pantry. “I doubt I’ll have time before we leave for Town the week after next. Lemon and beeswax won’t cure rising damp any way.”

Nothing cured rising damp save for replacing every scrap of affected wood. “You’re leaving soon, then?”

The prospect of distance from Lady Kirsten should have been a relief. She was unconventional, discontent, and unpredictable. Worse yet, she was patient with small boys, had a strong streak of domestic competence, and could not dissemble even to appease appearances.

Most troublesome of all, Daniel liked her. A lot.

“I smell fresh bread.” Lady Kirsten’s pace increased, then she halted to twist a sachet from behind a curtain. “Nicholas told George that in addition to Digby and the Blumenthal brats, you’re to take on both of Squire Webber’s sons. He aspires to send them to public school, but they lack a foundation.”

And years of dedicated tutors had been unable to remedy that lack? “I think you had better join me for lunch,” Daniel said resuming their progress toward a hot meal.

“I believe I shall. I adore a hearty beef stew with bread and butter on a cold, rainy day. Cook uses Mama’s recipe, and I’m partial to it.”

Peasant fare, for an earl’s daughter. Daniel liked her entirely too well.

A scullery maid set places for them at a wooden table heavy enough to double as a threshing floor, while Lady Kirsten served up bowls of steaming stew and Daniel sliced the bread. Daniel held the lady’s chair, and then, without even a nod in the direction of further small talk, took shameless advantage of his companion.

“I want to know every detail you can share about my scholars, Lady Kirsten. They’re shaping up to be a pack of ne’er-do-wells, scamps and scapegraces. One wonders if the parish isn’t attempting to run me off rather than welcome me.”

She snapped her serviette across her lap. “They’re out and out rotters, every one save for Digby, but George says he’s showing dubious potential. Don’t steal all the butter.”

Daniel passed her ladyship the plate of butter, small golden molds in the shape of roses.

“Your butter, and Lord-we-thank-Thee-for-this-food, amen. Now tell me about these scoundrels.”

Lady Kirsten sat back, her smile indulgent. “I’ve known them since they were babies, Mr. Banks. They’re full of energy and mischief, and there’s not a Latin scholar among them. They are truly, truly awful.”

She loved these rotten boys, and—greatest possible inconvenience—Daniel regarded this her most attractive quality of all.


Book Information

Title: Daniel’s True Desire

Author: Grace Burrowes

Release Date: November 3, 2015

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca


An honorable life
Daniel Banks is a man of the cloth whose vocation is the last comfort he has left-and even his churchman’s collar is beginning to feel like a noose. At the urging of family, Daniel attempts to start his life over as vicar in the sleepy Kentish town of Haddondale, family seat to the earls of Bellefonte.

Challenged by passion
Lady Kirsten Haddonfield has resigned herself to a life of spinsterhood. Then the handsome new village vicar, Reverend Daniel Banks, becomes a guest of the Haddonfield family while the vicarage is being renovated, and Kirsten finds herself rethinking her position. Lady Kirsten does not know that Daniel’s past is about to cast a shadow on love’s future.

Buy Links

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1R7I6Eg

Barnes and Noble – http://bit.ly/1L8mc22

iBooks – http://apple.co/1RDfSSt

Author Biography

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

Social Media Links

Website: http://graceburrowes.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grace-Burrowes/115039058572197

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraceBurrowes

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4152482.Grace_Burrowes

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13. Spotlight and Giveaway: Forever and Always by Leigh Greenwood

This November marks the release of Forever and Always, the final book in Leigh Greenwood’s Cactus Creek Cowboys trilogy. To celebrate, we’re sharing an excerpt from the book!

“What are you doing here?” he asked.

“I was hoping to catch you before you left.”


“To tell you not to come in to work tomorrow. The swelling seems to have gone down a little, but you aren’t looking very strong.”

Something inside him gave way. It was a moment before he realized it was his resolve to keep his distance from this woman who obviously cared for him a great deal. He was sure she believed the swelling had gone down because she wanted it so badly. Knowing that removed the final barrier, and he reached out to take Sibyl’s hands. It was almost too much for his self-control when he received an answering squeeze.

“How could I have been so lucky to find someone to care as much as you and Kitty?”

“We wouldn’t care so much if you weren’t so wonderful.”

The sincerity in her voice was his undoing. Any shred of restraint vanished. Before he knew what he was doing, his arms were around Sibyl, and he was kissing her with an ardor all the more intense for having been denied so long. When he realized she was responding just as eagerly, it was nearly too much. Still, he fought to keep control. It almost wouldn’t matter if he dropped dead afterward. He would have had this one moment of indescribable happiness.

Finally, Sibyl broke the kiss. “You’ve got to take better care of yourself. You may not care what happens to you, but I care very much. Now before I say something I can’t retract, I’m going back inside.” She kissed him again—quickly this time—then turned and almost ran back around the corner of the house.

Logan was unable to move for several moments. His life had taken a turn so abrupt that it had thrown him off balance. Did Sibyl love him as much as he loved her? It seemed impossible that could be true. Still, she had responded to his kiss and kissed him again. Surely she wouldn’t have done that out of mere sympathy. The euphoria started to wear off, leaving him feeling week and shaken. Needing to sit for a few minutes, he walked over to the steps and sank down. Trusty approached and whined softly.

“I’m not going to fade out on you yet,” he told the dog. “In fact, once I get my strength back, I’m going to do everything I can to live. I might even see that doctor. I never knew holding a woman in my arms could make me feel like I’ve been half asleep for my whole life.”

Title: Forever and Always

Author: Leigh Greenwood

Series: Cactus Creek Cowboys, #3

Pubdate: November 3rd, 2015

ISBN: 9781402284526

From USA Today Bestselling Author Leigh Greenwood comes a historical Western romance filled with gritty cowboy heroes, strong-willed heroines, and a whole lot of heart in the Wild West.


Logan Holstock, oldest of three brothers orphaned on the Santa Fe Trail, has always been content knowing his brothers were alive and happy somewhere in the vast and brutal West—until he learns he may be dying. Certain he has little time left, Logan sets out to find them and end his days near a family he’s never known…and stumbles across a strong yet vulnerable widow who makes him yearn for what can never be his.

Logan knows he shouldn’t love Sibyl Spencer—he couldn’t bear leaving her a widow all over again. But as he finds himself drawn deeper into the lives of this small Western town, he can’t escape the longing to find peace in her arms. When he discovers that his death sentence is anything but, Logan swears he will do whatever it takes to prove himself to the woman he loves…and show he believes their love is worth fighting for.

Leigh Greenwood is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Seven Brides, Cowboys, and Night Riders series. The proud father of three grown children, Leigh resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. He never intended to be a writer, but he found it hard to ignore the people in his head, and the only way to get them out was to write. Visit him at www.leigh-greenwood.com.



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14. Spotlight and Giveaway: One Wild Winter’s Eve by Anne Barton


As the Duke of Huntford’s sister, Lady Rose Sherbourne follows the rules of well-bred society. Always chaperoned. Never engaging in unseemly behavior. Well, except for that one summer, years ago. And yet she’s never been able to forget that handsome stable master or the stolen moments they shared. She’s always wondered what might have happened if he hadn’t disappeared without a word . . . Now she’s about to find out.


Charles Holland never expected to see Lady Rose again. And yet the years haven’t lessened his devotion-or his desire-in any way. Despite their differences in class, Charles cannot stop himself from wanting to possess her. But as they uncover one intimate secret after another about her family, they realize that, this time, their love may come at a very dear price . . .






About Anne Barton

Anne Barton began swiping romance novels off her mom’s bookshelf as a teenager, so when she had the chance to spend a semester in London-home to her favorite heroes-she packed her bags and promptly fell in love with the city, its history, and its pubs. She dreamed of writing romance, but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.
Fortunately, a few years and a few careers later, Anne found her way back to writing the stories she loves and in 2011 won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® for Regency Historical Romance. She lives in Maryland with her husband (who, sadly, is not a peer of the realm-but a great guy nonetheless) and her three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever she quotes Jane Austen. Her weaknesses include reality TV, cute-but-impractical shoes, and caffeinated beverages of all kinds.





“What are you doing?”

The voice was authoritative, rich, and deep. And hauntingly familiar.

She turned, hiding the letter behind her. She made a clumsy attempt to shove the drawer shut with her bottom but only succeeded in bumping the desk, which rocked on spindly legs. The man must be a servant. If she could manage a haughty tone, she could probably talk her way out of the situation. But she’d never been particularly good at haughty. Her face burned.

“I was looking for something.” She looked at the man, hoping he wasn’t half as intimidating as he sounded, and froze.

Dear God. It couldn’t be.

“Rose?” He blinked, clearly as stunned as she, then quickly corrected himself. “Lady Rose?”

“Charles.” The sound of his name on her lips was surreal. She’d thought that her feelings for him had withered, dried, and blown away like dead leaves.

She’d been wrong.

He was the same as she remembered—confident, solid, and steady. But he was different too. His hair had turned a darker shade of gold, and he seemed to have grown all over. His neck was thicker, his jaw stronger. He’d traded the patched trousers and threadbare shirt that he’d worn in the stables for buckskin breeches and a nicely tailored jacket, both of which showed his strong physique to advantage. But the biggest change in him was the way he looked at her.

And it nearly broke her heart.

For instead of looking happy to see her, like he was anticipating a few stolen moments of summertime bliss, he looked suspicious. The laughing amber eyes that had always welcomed her to the stable glowered, chilly and remote.

She choked out the obvious question. “What are you doing at Lady Yardley’s?”

“I could ask the same of you.” The words, formal and clipped, didn’t fit with the Charles she knew.

She raised her chin and matched her tone to his. “I’m acting as a companion to Lady Bonneville, and we’re guests of the countess.”

“You’re a companion?” He raised a brow, skeptical.



Once, she would have willingly explained everything to him. For even before she’d regained her voice, she’d shared her whole being with him—she’d been as honest and open as it was possible for her to be. But now, his question irritated her. It presumed too much—a connection, a trust, a bond.

“I don’t see where it’s any concern of yours.”

“Forgive me.” But the look he leveled at her belied his apology. It said, Fine. We can play it that way if you’d like.

Fighting the urge to shiver, she folded the letter behind her back. She felt for the drawer, slipped the note through the crack, and slid the drawer shut. “You’re no longer a stable master.” It was an idiotic thing to say, but she had to say something—anything—to fill the vast and unnatural gulf between them.

“No.” His stiff smile didn’t reach his eyes.

“And I think it’s safe to presume,” she stated saucily, “that you’re not Lady Yardley’s companion.”

“I am not.” This time, his smile was genuine.

Dangerous, that. She gripped the edge of the desk behind her to keep her knees from wobbling.

He took one step toward her. “I’m her steward.”

Ah, he’d been too busy moving up in the world to reply to her letters. She couldn’t blame him for wanting to better his station in life—that had always been his dream. Perhaps he wanted no reminders of the days he’d spent mucking out stables. But those days happened to be the ones she most treasured.

“Congratulations are in order then.”

“I’m grateful to Lady Yardley for giving me the opportunity.” He took another step toward Rose. “And I am in her debt.”

The show of loyalty to his employer stung—especially since he seemed to have forgotten the sultry summer days and the confidences they’d shared. “I’ve no doubt you’ve proven yourself worthy.”

He strode closer, till only an arm’s length separated them. His clothes might have been more refined, but the man beneath them was not. He looked like he’d be more at ease chopping wood and hammering nails outdoors than reviewing ledgers and attending to correspondence in a study. The merest shadow of a beard covered the lower half of his masculine face, but his lips, soft and full, captured her attention. She’d imagined kissing him so many times that she could almost convince herself she had.

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15. Historical Fiction

If you're writing historical fiction, you have to do the research.


0 Comments on Historical Fiction as of 10/23/2015 6:03:00 PM
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16. Spotlight and Giveaway: The Wrong Bride by Gayle Callen



By Gayle Callen

Hi! I’ve begun a new trilogy, “Highland Weddings,” set in Scotland. The first book is THE WRONG BRIDE, a story about an arranged marriage meant to bring peace to two warring clans. Here are a few Fun Facts to put you in the mood for my Scottish romance:

1) Scotland is a new country for me! I’ve never set a book there, and I didn’t know what I was missing. Technically, in the early eighteenth century, Scotland and England were united as Great Britain, but the Highlanders believed they’d been robbed of their rightful king. That gave me lots of conflict for my heroine, raised in England, and my hero, a Scottish clan chief.

2) I also tried a brand new century. My medievals were set in the fifteenth century, my Elizabethans in the sixteenth, my Victorians in the nineteenth century. My new Scottish trilogy is set in the Georgian era, the eighteenth century. Everything was different: the clothes, the transportation, the political problems. Lots of research—but I love research!

3) I’ve set the book at Larig Castle, a craggy fortress high in the mountains overlooking a beautiful loch (lake). This part was fun for me, because the first 6 books I wrote were medieval, and it was like I was returning home to an old friend.

4) My heroine Riona is the Cinderella of her family—a cousin not much considered by the earl. She’s not the one betrothed to Hugh McCallum. But when the earl is regretting sending his precious daughter to the wilds of the Highlands, and tries to get out of it, Hugh won’t have it. Since Hugh has never met his betrothed, the earl substitutes Riona for his daughter, and Hugh ends up kidnapping Riona and stealing her away to Scotland.

5) Hugh McCallum is the chief of his clan, but he wasn’t raised among his people. He was taken away to protect him, and now he has to return to win the respect of his clan. He thinks bringing home the promised bride, the path to peace, will win him acclaim. Whoops, he won’t be happy when he discovers he’s got the wrong bride!

So please check out THE WRONG BRIDE and find out why I now love Scotland!

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(US Only)

Highland Weddings #1
Gayle Callen
Releasing Oct 27th, 2015
Avon Romance
The first in a wonderfully engaging series set in the Scottish Highlands, USA Today bestselling author Gayle Callen creates an unforgettable story of mistaken identity and irresistible attraction.
Shaken from sleep during the night, bundled off to the Highlands by a burly Scot, Riona is at first terrified, then livid. Hugh McCallum insists they were promised to each other as children to ensure peace between their clans. The stubborn laird refuses to believe he’s kidnapped the wrong Catriona Duff. Instead, he embarks on a campaign of slow-burning seduction…
At first, Hugh cares only what their marriage can do for his people. Now he’s starting to crave Riona for her own sake. But her true identity jeopardizes his clan’s contract. And unless she chooses to risk all to be his bride, he’ll lose the only thing he prizes more than the lands he’s fought so hard to save-the passionate marriage they could have together.

From Gayle: A first kiss is always such a fun scene to write. They’re usually filled with conflict and chemistry and confusion—the three Cs!

Riona shivered, but it wasn’t from the bathwater’s chill. It was from the frightening realization that there was something powerful between them, something that called to her, that made the risks Hugh had taken to have her for himself seem arousing, not just self-serving. There was a place inside her she’d never sensed before, surely a recklessness, a weakness.

“Ye’re strangely quiet, lass,” he murmured.

His gaze lazily moved over her face, dipping to her breasts, where the upper curves were displayed above the soapy water. Her skin felt … prickly, sensitive, even inflamed.

“I’m not done fighting you,” she said at last, almost wincing at how breathless she sounded.

A slow grin curved his mouth, even as he reached his hand to cup her face and tilt it toward him. The shock of his warm palm settling so gently on her skin made her tense, but she didn’t pull away, as if that would show that she’d given up, that she was afraid of what he could do to her … what he could make her feel.

He leaned over the tub and kissed her, his palm guiding her head. She wanted to show him he didn’t move her, that this display meant nothing to her. But his lips were warm, and glided over hers with purpose, parted gently as if he wanted to taste her. She’d never been kissed … She felt her head swim at the sensation that seemed to travel down her body, to her breasts, to the pit of her stomach and between her thighs as if he’d touched her in her most secretive places.

When his tongue traced her lower lip, she jerked back in surprise. He didn’t laugh, just studied her with those gray eyes that were considerably warmer. He kept his hand on her face, and his thumb caressed her cheek over and over.

“Our first kiss bodes well for the future,” he said.

He glanced down to her breasts again, and she stiffened. With a faint smile, he let her go and stood up.

“Dry off,” he said, back to ordering her around. “We have things we need to discuss.”

Not the topics she wanted to discuss, apparently, but she didn’t argue. He turned his back and went to the window, while she hastily dried herself and pulled on a dressing gown Mrs. Wallace had laid out for her, trying to forget the feel of his mouth on hers, and how instead of being afraid or disgusted, she’d felt … aroused. Her cousin Cat had told her one could feel overwhelmed when in intimate situations with a man, and Riona hadn’t been able to understand what she meant. She did now, and felt a new kind of fear—fear of her own reaction and response to this compelling persuasion of his.


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After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, GAYLE CALLEN found the life she’d always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than twenty historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion, the Laurel Wreath Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, and been translated into eleven different languages. The mother of three grown children, an avid crafter, singer, and outdoor enthusiast, Gayle lives in Central New York with her dog Uma and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero. She also writes contemporary romances as Emma Cane. Visit her website at www.gaylecallen.com.
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17. Spotlight and Giveaway: First Season / Bride to Be by Jane Ashford

Enter for your chance to win First Season / Bride to Be, which have both been long out of print!

First Season Excerpt

“There you are,” said someone from the hall below. “They said you had gone upstairs.”

Anabel looked down to find Sir Charles Norbury gazing up at her. A tingling shock ran through her body, and the candle trembled a little, dripping wax.

“You have missed the first waltz,” he added, meeting her at the bottom of the staircase and taking the candlestick from her hand. He snuffed the flame between forefinger and thumb and set it aside. “And I came early especially to engage you for it.”

“I wanted to look in on the children.” As always, his presence overwhelmed her. He seemed to tower over her, yet his pale green eyes felt close and compelling. She found it hard to breathe.

“It is a country dance now, unfortunately. Mayn’t we wait outside here for the next and hope?” He smiled and reached for her hand to lead her across to a small empty anteroom.

Anabel knew she should say no, but her voice seemed to have died, and she went with him silently and allowed him to escort her to a sofa and sit beside her, his arm thrown along its back.

“You look exquisite tonight,” he said softly. “The loveliest woman at the ball.”

This outrageous compliment revived her. “What a plumper. There are dozens of prettier ones.”


“Flatterer.” She smiled, but when she met his eyes, they were very serious.

“No,” he said again. “To me you are the most beautiful.” He held her gaze for a moment, then slowly bent forward and took possession of her lips, his arm tightening around her shoulders.

Anabel’s slight trembling increased, and her mind dissolved in confusion. She should pull away, part of it cried; this was terribly fast, and someone might come in at any moment. But another part urged her on, fascinated by Sir Charles’ attractions and filled with curiosity.

His kiss was very expert, and nothing at all like her deceased husband’s, Anabel’s only standard of comparison. His lips seemed to draw all strength out of her, leaving her limp and pliant, yet she felt disconnected from the expected sensual pleasure. He knew how to draw response from her body, clearly, but her heart and mind remained in turmoil.

Norbury, on the contrary, was in the grip of feelings stronger than any he had ever experienced, and for him the kiss confirmed a decision. This was the woman he wanted. Never had his passions been suffused with such emotion. Beyond thinking, he moved his free hand to Anabel’s knee and slid it upward caressingly, savoring the curve of her waist under the thin satin dress and cupping his fingers around her breast. She drew her breath in sharply.

A scuff of footsteps in the hall, followed by a scrap of conversation and a laugh, jerked Anabel upright. She pulled away from him only just in time to avoid being caught by two couples coming into the room. But it was obvious in the way that the newcomers stopped, smiled, and apologized that their appearance gave them away. Anabel rose and hurried from the room, Norbury behind her. Her cheeks were flaming, and she felt that she could not possibly face the crowd in the ballroom.

Book Information

Title: First Season/Bride to Be

Author: Jane Ashford

ISBN: 978-1492630944

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Imprint: Sourcebooks Casablanca


Two classic Regency romances by beloved bestselling author Jane Ashford celebrate the adventures of a London Season


Widowed Lady Anabel Wyndham was married right out of the schoolroom and has never before experienced the delights of a London Season. She’s dazzled by the attention of the fascinating Sir Charles Norbury, a man whose touch seems to melt her very soul, but a notorious rake. She’s drawn to handsome friend-of-the-family Christopher Hanford and the comfort and serenity he offers. But how does one choose between two such charming suitors? Anabel is finding that love is so much more dangerous the second time around.


Emily Crane is the toast of the ton—and she couldn’t find it more tedious. Until she encounters the darkly sensual stranger whose life she once saved and the London Season becomes infinitely more exciting. Recently returned from the wilds of South America, Lord Richard Sheldon has only contempt for tiresome London chits, but he finds himself stunningly intrigued by the dauntless Emily Crane. When the two become embroiled in a budding scandal and are forced into an engagement, they discover a passion more dangerous than any killer…

Author Bio

Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Her historical and contemporary romances have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, Slovenia, and Spain, as well as the U.S. Twenty-six of her new and backlist Regency romances are being published by Sourcebooks. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She is currently rather nomadic.

Social Media

Website: http://www.janeashford.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jane-Ashford-154028944714495

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/842700.Jane_Ashford

Buy Links

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

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

iBooks: http://apple.co/1jf7ixV

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18. Spotlight and Giveaway: Thunder on the Plains by Rosanne Bittner

Enter for your chance to win Thunder on the Plains by Rosanne Bittner!

Thunder on the Plains Excerpt

Sunny held her chin higher and faced him. “I’ll race you,” she told him.


She gave him a daring look, a new boldness in her eyes. “I said I’ll race you. If you catch me and manage to pull me off my horse, you’ve won!” She charged away, and Colt sat there a minute, wondering what she was up to. What was this sudden change in conversation? She was like a crazy woman today, and she had turned his feelings a thousand different ways.

Colt watched her, the way her bottom fit her saddle, the way her hair blew in the wind. Her daring look stirred his pride, and the race was on. He kicked Dancer into a hard run, manly desires stirring in him at the challenge of catching her. He held the reins with one hand and smashed out his cigarette against his saddle horn with the other, tossing the stub aside and leaning into the ride. “Get up there, Dancer,” he shouted to the horse.

Dancer’s mane flew up into Colt’s face as he galloped up and down more sandhills. He noticed Sunny veer to the west rather than north, and he turned Dancer, taking a cut between two more sandhills and emerging near Sunny as she came around the end of one hill. She screamed and laughed when she saw him, and now he knew he could catch her.

He came closer, the determination to reach her now a burning need. It went against all reason, was totally foreign to all sense of maturity. They were like children for the moment, and yet not children at all. The emotions it stirred in him to think of catching her were dangerous, yet he could not stop himself. He came ever closer, and now he was on her!

Sunny screamed when she felt his strong arm come around her. Suddenly, she was free of her horse and sitting sideways on Dancer, a powerful arm holding her. She covered her face and laughed as Colt slowed his horse. “Now you are my captive,” he teased.

She threw her head back and faced him, and both of them sobered. For a moment they sat there breathing heavily from the ride, watching each other.

“We had better go catch your horse,” he finally told her.

“We’ll find it later,” she answered. She moved her hands to touch his powerful arms, ran her fingers over his bare shoulders. “Tell me, Colt. What does an Indian do with his captive?”

For a moment everything went silent for him. Nothing existed but the utterly beautiful woman in his arms, her tempting mouth, her open blouse, her blue eyes, her golden hair. He moved a hand to rest against the flat of her belly. “He takes her to his tipi and makes her his slave,” he answered, his voice gruff with passion.

She touched his face. “That’s what I want you to do with me, Colt. Make me your slave—today, tonight, tomorrow.”

He shook his head. “Sunny—”

She touched his lips. “Don’t say it, Colt.” Her eyes glistened with tears. “I don’t know what’s right and wrong anymore, and today I don’t care. I just want you. I’ve always wanted you.” A tear slipped down her cheek. “It can’t be anybody else, Colt, not the first time. I—”

His kiss cut off her words, a deep, hot kiss that removed any remaining inhibitions. She could barely get her breath for the thrill of it, the ecstasy of his hand moving to her breast, the ache of womanly desires that surged in her when his tongue moved between her lips. Dancer moved slightly, and she clung to Colt. He left her lips for a moment, keeping one arm around her as he slid off the horse and pulled her after him.

Book Information

Title: Thunder on the Plains

Author: Rosanne Bittner

ISBN: 978-1492631200

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Imprint: Sourcebooks Casablanca


With more than 7 million books in print, RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award–winning and USA Today Bestselling author Rosanne Bittner pens a historical Western romance filled with dangerous cowboys, capable heroines, and an epic love story that sweeps across the Old West.


Sunny Landers wants a big life—as big and free as the untamed land that stretches before her. Land she will help her father conquer to achieve his dream of a transcontinental railroad. She won’t let a cold, creaky wagon, murderous bandits or stampeding buffalo stand in her way. She wants it all—including Colt Travis.


Like the land of his birth, half–Cherokee Colt Travis is wild, hard, and dangerous. He is a drifter, a wilderness scout with no land and no prospects hired by the Landers family to guide their wagon train. He knows Sunny is out of his league and her father would never approve, but beneath the endless starlit sky, anything seems possible…

Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Vdn1cv

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

iBooks: http://apple.co/1h0y3nP

Author Bio

USA Today bestseller and award-winning novelist Rosanne Bittner is known as the “Queen of Western Historical Romance” for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity. Her epic romances span the West—and are often based on Rosanne’s personal visits to each setting. She lives in Coloma, Michigan, with her husband and two sons.

Social Media

Website: http://www.rosannebittner.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosannebittner

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/67759.Rosanne_Bittner

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19. Spotlight and Giveaway: Bold Seduction by Karyn Gerrard

Enter to Win a
$15.00 Amazon eGift Card

The Hornsby Brothers #1
Karyn Gerrard
Releasing Sept 1st, 2015
Lyrical Press

No offer is more daring…


An Intriguing Proposition

Passion. Seduction. Pleasure. These are the qualities of any courtesan worth her salt. As owner of The Starling Club, London’s most notorious house of ill-repute, Madame Philomena McGrattan has seen it all, heard it all, done it all. There is little that surprises her anymore, and even less that excites her. So when she is presented a chance at an irresistible seduction, she can’t help but rise to the challenge.

A Dangerous Game

Studiousness. Practicality. Discipline. Such are the attributes of a good scholar, and such are the principles Lord Spencer Hornsby has built his life around. Alone in the Welsh countryside, with only his wolfhounds for company, Spencer has thrown himself into his work. There is little time for the pleasures of society, not even to think of the joys of the fairer sex. But when an unexpected guest arrives at his isolated hunting lodge, Spencer cannot help but be baffled by the presence of this dangerously beautiful woman. And when he discovers the reason for her arrival, and the pleasures she promises, he cannot help but find himself irresistibly intrigued . . .

Finally, he asked, “And who are you, her replacement?”

Her? A housekeeper? Should she pretend to be a servant? Bugger that. “Hardly. I believe the old hag had plans to leave anyway as her bag was packed and at the ready. I’m here at the invitation of two of your acquaintances. Mr. Jacob Williamson and Mr. Clive Christopher.”

The professor frowned. At least she thought he did. It was hard to read his expression under the wiry thatch of hair surrounding his mouth. He rifled through a pile of unopened correspondence. “Oh? I do not recall any recent note from those gentlemen.”

“I believe I am to be a surprise present for your birthday tomorrow.”

His owl eyes blinked rapidly as if he could not process what she said. “I do not require a maid, though you tell me Mrs. Brickell has departed. It appears I could use a housekeeper…”

He had absolutely no idea why she came to him. His mind did not even consider the fact it could be for carnal reasons. What a sheltered life he must lead. “I’m no servant, though you need tidying up as much as your home does. You bear a striking resemblance to a painting of a French Canadian trapper I saw in a book once. All wild and shaggy—all that is missing is the plaid coat and the beaver pelts.” She gave him a sweet, smug smile.

With his lips pressed into a straight line, he sat back and regarded her. “Oh? You read a book once?” His elegant voice dripped with self-righteous sarcasm.

“Touché, Professor. Well aimed. A direct hit.” Phil pointed to the dogs who still stared at her. Their unblinking attention followed her every minute move. “Should I be afeared for my life? Your animals are intimidating.”

“Justinian. Theodora. Easy.” The hounds relaxed at his command, laying their heads on their paws. “They are Irish Wolfhounds. ‘Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.’”

Phil placed a hand on her hip. “Does that saying apply to you as well, Professor Hornsby?”

Did he smile slightly? Again, hard to tell under the facial hair. Phil pulled a chair toward the desk and placed it a few feet away. She raised one leg to the chair.

“Now, I don’t claim to be a blue-stocking, but I am able to read.” Phil grasped the hem of her green striped gown, and with a slow, deliberate movement, raised it past her ankle boots. She glanced at the beast behind the desk. His gaze remained steady as it slid down to where she continued to raise her petticoats to reveal one of her shapely legs. At least she’d been told they were shapely. No matter. Running her hand over the sheer white stocking, she lingered near her silk garter. “I do not think they are blue. You better come closer and inspect the shade of my stockings for yourself…Professor.”

He coughed and looked away. She made him uncomfortable, and she would wager to guess–a little aroused. No sound could be heard in the room except a whimper from one of the dogs and the huge clock in the corner ticking away the awkward minutes.

Hornsby faced her. “Who are you, madam, and why are you here?”

She continued to fondle and caress her leg, and having the unkempt man watch her caused a slow roll of heat to travel through her. Again, his voice. Like molten gold or a cello played by a master that vibrated with life, power, and resonance.

“My name is Philomena McGrattan. I am indeed a madam and hired to relieve you of your virginity.”

There was no further reaction from the professor whatsoever. This did not bode well.


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Karyn lives in a small town in the western corner of Ontario, Canada. She whiles away her spare time writing and reading romance while drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea. Tortured heroes are a must. A multi-published author with a few bestsellers under her belt, Karyn loves to write in different genres and time periods, though historicals and contemporaries are her favorite.

As long as she can avoid being hit by a runaway moose in her wilderness paradise she assumes everything is golden. Karyn’s been happily married for a long time to her own hero. His encouragement keeps her moving forward.



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20. Spotlight and Giveaway: The Highlander’s Bride by Amanda Forester

This morning I have a spotlight and giveaway for The Highlander’s Bride by Amanda Forester!

Meet the Hero, Gavin Patrick

Full Name: Sir Gavin Patrick

Nickname (if applicable): Gavin

Height: 6’1”

Hair Color: Dark brown

Eye Color: Brown

Age:  22

Originally from: born in 1337 near Balquidder, Scotland

Describe yourself in 200 words or less:  Hullo. I am Sir Gavin, pleased to make yer acquaintance. I hail from the Highlands, under the clan MacLaren, where my uncle is laird. I came to France several years ago on a quest, which remains undone. It grieves me to leave it unfinished, but I was ‘requested’ (neatly tricked, if ye care for the truth) to escort the spoiled Lady Mary Colette to the Highlands to her new husband. When I saved the life o’ the duc de Bergerac and he promised me a rich reward, escorting his brat of a daughter, wasna exactly what I had in mind. But, I am a man o’ my word, so the lady will be deposited wi’ her affianced husband as soon as may be. And trust me, it canna be too soon.

What matters the most to you in your life?  Beyond serving the Good Lord, as every knight is sworn to do, my family and my clan are the most important things in my life. That is why I sought this quest, to find the resting place o’ my father, who died in battle in France, and mark it wi’ the honor that is his due. I regret I have not been able to find this place. And yet, in my return, I ken my mither will be greatly pleased to see me, so I shall be content in that. Perhaps when I return to the Highlands I shall find a bonny lass o’ my own and start a family. As soon as I can rid myself o’ the Lady Colette, that is.

What is your favorite way to pass the time?  I have’na had much time to pass in leisure, truth be told. Since I have been in France I’ve been busy lending my sword to help the French fight against the increasing presence o’ the English. They are clever bastards they are, and they know how to fight, I’ll give them that. Back home, I did enjoy a bit o’ fishing. It shall be good to get back to the quiet life—if I can manage to sit still long enough to enjoy it!

If money was no object and you had 3 weeks free of responsibility what would you do with your time?  That is a question that is. I am looking forward to seeing my clan again. ‘Tis not easy being a Highlander in the French court, wi’ some little noble always looking down their nose at me, or actually looking up their nose at me for I am taller here than any other knight I’ve met. And yet, I’ve got a bit o’ the wanderers soul to me, and I would no’ mind travelling a bit to see the world. Though I prefer to travel alone and no’ saddled wi’ this French lady and all her ladies and all her belongings. Saints preserve me!

An Excerpt:

France, 1359

Lady Marie Colette had one chance. She needed to secure the Highlander’s agreement to decline marrying her, and she needed to do it quickly, before her father returned. She had never before defied her father, but if he thought he could protect her by arranging a marriage with a Highland warrior and send her far away to Scotland of all places, he was much confused.

In truth, Sir Gavin was a fine specimen of a man. She was fair enough to admit it. He was a young man and built on a large scale, towering over most men. He had broad shoulders and a muscular chest, well-defined beneath the formfitting surcoat. His dark brown hair hung down to his square jaw and had a bit of a thick wave to it. He was clean shaven, a surprise considering he was a barbaric Highlander.

“I have heard rumors o’ yer beauty, but ye’re bonnier than anything I heard described.” Sir Gavin spoke in a rich tone with a lyrical accent, pleasing to her ears. However, if he thought he could win her over with compliments, he was much mistaken. She had been told so often she was beautiful that the words no longer had meaning.

“Please understand. It is impossible for me to marry you. But if you make an arrangement with me now, you will not leave empty-handed. Name your weight in gold to walk away.” Her heard pounded to make such a blunt offer. In truth, she would never have made such a crass offer to a French knight, whose honor would have been greatly impinged, but Sir Gavin was a foreigner. A Highlander. Were they not only here in France to profit off of the long war?

Sir Gavin’s eyebrows rose for a moment before falling back down in resignation. “I will no’ take the fortune of a lady, nor will I force anyone to marry me.” He spoke in a careless manner, as if what she offered was nothing to him.

Colette released a breath she had not realized she was holding. Had he just agreed not to marry her? Would he simply walk away? “So you will tell my father you will not marry me?”

A wry smile played about his lips and she had the distinct impression he was not taking the situation as seriously as she thought it deserved. “I am yers to command. If ye wish me to leave, I will go.”

Relief washed over her. She would not be banished to the wilds of Scotland with some strange, albeit attractive, man. “Thank you, Sir Knight. My father, he wished to protect me by sending me far, but I cannot see myself in such a wild, foreign place. We would be most unequally yoked.”

Gavin leaned a shoulder against the stone wall and stared out the dark window into the night. “The Highlands are a rugged place and my home is no’ nearly as grand as this fine castle. ’Tis a wild place, but in the evening, when the sun’s rays touch the high peaks, setting them aglow with the fiery light, ’tis so beautiful it robs yer breath. No finely decorated hall could ever compare.”

Colette opened her mouth but no words came.

He turned back to her, appraising her finery with a critical eye. “Someday, God willing, I shall take my bride there, a bride who chooses me above all men. We will no’ be surrounded by courtiers or pageantry or fancy clothes or ridiculous pointed shoes.”

Colette swallowed, heat creeping up the back of her neck. Had he seen the points of her shoes?

He stepped close to her, moving with a fluid grace that made her heart beat faster. “In the Highlands we dinna have all yer comforts, but what we do have we fiercely defend.”

“What do you have?” she asked in a voice barely above a whisper.

“Freedom. In the Highlands, m’lady, ye would be free.”

Free? She stared up at him. He dangled before her the one thing all her riches could never buy. He offered her freedom.

He leaned nearer and her eyes fell to his lips, which inexplicably appeared soft. She could not help but respond to the irresistible pull of his inviting mouth. He moved slowly, bending down so that their lips drew dangerously close. She breathed in the scent of him, an intoxicating mix of wood smoke, fine wine, and pure man.

The door creaked and her father strode back in the room as both Colette and Gavin jumped away from each other. The duc de Bergerac spread a scroll out on a table. “This is the marriage accord I have made with the Baron of Kintail.”

“Wait…who?” Colette tried to gather together her swirling thoughts in order to form speech. She glanced at Sir Gavin. The careless smile was gone. They had both made the wrong assumption.

Gavin wasn’t meant for Colette at all.

Title: The Highlander’s Bride

Author: Amanda Forester

Series: Highland Trouble, #1

Pubdate: September 1st, 2015

ISBN: 9781492605430

Their attraction is forbidden

All Highland warrior Gavin Patrick wants is to get back to his native Scotland. But before he can leave the battlefield, he’s given a final mission—escort Lady Marie Colette to her fiancé. Under no circumstances is he to lay hands on the beautiful, clever-tongued heiress…no matter how desperate the temptation.

Their desire, undeniable

Forced to pose as a married couple to make their escape from France, Gavin and Marie Colette find themselves thrown into peril…and each other’s arms. As the danger mounts, so does their forbidden passion. But it isn’t until Marie Colette is taken from him that Gavin is forced to decide—is he willing to lose the woman who stole his heart, or will he jeopardize his honor, defy his promise, and steal her in return?

Amanda Forester holds a PhD in psychology and worked many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance was way more fun. A Publishers Weekly Top Ten author, her books have been given starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews. Whether in the rugged Highlands of medieval Scotland or the decadent ballrooms of Regency England, her novels offer fast-paced adventures filled with wit, intrigue, and romance. You can visit her at www.amandaforester.com.

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21. Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

May Contain Spoilers


I’m so glad my local library received this book so soon after release date!  I actually had an eARC, but a Kindle version wasn’t available, and I could not get the ePUB file to load on my iPad.  Talk about frustrating!  Vengeance Road was probably my most anticipated summer read, and having that broken file on my tablet was driving me nuts.  Turns out the library saved the day!  This book is so good, I urge you to run to your own library and borrow it right away!

After Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the no good Rose Riders, she does what any brave frontier woman would do.  She vows to chase them to purgatory, dresses like a boy, and sets off after them.  She makes a short stop on the way, because she promised her father that if anything ever happened to him, she’d seek refuge with his friend Abe.  Only she learns that Abe’s dead, kicked in the head by a horse.  His sons give her a letter, written by her father, that they had been keeping in case she ever showed up.  Discovering that her parents had discovered a gold cache in the Superstition Mountains before her mother’s death, Kate, pretending to be Nate, loads her guns and heads off in search of the gold.  Where there’s gold, she figures, there will be a thieving, murderous band of outlaws.

Kate gets unexpected company when Abe’s sons, Jesse and Will, stubbornly join her.  They argue that three riders are safer than one, and they can keep an eye out for each other, since they are traveling in the same direction.  They’ll ride with her until they have to veer off for a cattle drive they’ve been hired for, and since she can’t get rid of them, Kate reluctantly agrees that some company won’t be too bad.  Will it?

Kate is one angry young woman.  Her rage consumes her.  All she can think of is riding down the Rose Riders and killing them, slaughtering them as callously as they murdered her pa.  She rebuffs Jesse and Will’s overtures of friendship, afraid that they’ll figure out she’s a girl, and that they’ll cause headaches for her that she doesn’t need.  When the three are ambushed by the Rose Riders, Kate reluctantly fills them in on her missions, and the thought of all of that gold gets Jesse’s attention.  He’s tired of scrabbling in the dry earth to feed his siblings, and some gold would help make improvements to their homestead.  Despite Kate’s reservations, they head off for the mountains, looking for the gold cache and the outlaws Kate wants dead.  What she doesn’t tell Jesse or Will is that she has no regard for her own life; as long as she achieves her revenge, she’ll die a content woman.

Kate is the type of heroine I love. She doesn’t sit back and wait for someone else to solve her problems; she fixes things herself. Even when she makes a muck of things, she still focuses on achieving her goals. Does she let her anger get the best of her? Heck, yes. Is her goal productive, or going to make her happy? Heck, no! But still she charges forward, convinced that her pa’s spirit can’t rest, that she can’t rest, until the Rose Riders are dead.

Vengeance Road is packed with lots of great action, features a vivid Western backdrop, and is full of challenges, challenges, challenges everywhere Kate goes. This immersive story is high octane reading at it’s best.  Highly recommended.

Grade:  A-

Review copy borrowed from my local library

When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there’s room for love in a heart so full of hate. 

     In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.

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22. Guest Post and Giveaway: First Time with a Highlander by Gwyn Cready

This October the second in Gwyn Cready’s Sirens of the Scottish series, First Time with a Highlander, comes out! To celebrate, Gwyn’s here to tell us a little bit more about the inspiration behind her time-travel romances AND play a quick game of “Would You Rather.”

“People often ask me why I like to write time travel romance, and it’s a two-part answer, because there are really two questions in there—why do I like to write romance, and why do I like to write time travel.

I began to write with the intention of getting published in June, 1997 to honor my younger sister, who was a poet and photographer and who had died suddenly the month before. The sort of book I wanted to write was a book like the one a friend had given me a few months earlier—Outlander. At that time, I’d never read a romance before, and I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN. Jamie is the best sort of hero—devoted, funny, brave, smart, and supportive of the heroine. I was so hopped up on the first three Outlander novels, it was pretty much all I could talk about in the spring of 1997—and it was one of the things I talked to my sister about since her college boyfriend had been named Jamie and like the heroine in Outlander, my sister’s name was Claire. It was the last conversations I ever had with her.

So there I am, in 1997, wanting to honor my sister with a book, and certain the book I want to write is a romance like Outlander. Time travel fit in nicely for me. Outlander is a time travel novel, of course, but I’d been a time travel fan before that. The Back to the Future movies are my holy grail of time travel. I loved Somewhere in Time, of course, as well as the Terminator movies, Time After Time, and Groundhog Day. Time travel lets you quickly throw your character into adversity and see if he/she sinks or swims. The question you want readers asking in romance novels is “How, with all these challenges, will the hero and heroine still end up together?” Time travel adds another layer to that tension, specifically, “How will they end up together when each is destined to be in his/her own time?” In my mind, one of the most heroic things a character can do is give up his own time in order to be with the person he/she loves, and that’s always a tender and gripping moment to write in my books.

Which brings us to First Time with a Highlander. Serafina and Gerard were such fun characters to chase through a novel. As with Just in Time for a Highlander, the first book in the Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands series, I wanted to shake things up a bit by having the hero be the person who travels to the past. Gerard is an ad man—and since I spent twenty years working in brand management at a big pharma company, I know what ad men are like. The women in this series hold positions of unusual power for women in the eighteenth century, and Serafina is no exception. She inherited a shipping concern from her father, but her blackguard of an ex-fiancé has run the business into the ground. He’s ruined her socially and financially, but Serafina is not one to take things lying down. She uses herbs she’s, ahem, “borrowed” from a famed spell-caster to summon a man to help her claim the cargo from the ship’s final voyage before her fiancé can get his hands on it. She only needs a man for one night and…well, you can imagine what that leads to in the hands of an inexperienced spell user. But Serafina is willing to pay the price—in fact, she’s quite willing once the smart, dashing Gerard appears.

Would You Rather Question: Would you rather be able to shape-shift or time travel?

I’ve always wanted to be a hawk. They’re so beautiful and hang on the breeze with barely a movement. The downside, of course, is eating mice—gah! Time travel, of course, would be great, too. And there’s always the chance to find Jamie Fraser before Claire does. I’m pretty divided on this one. I think life should be measured by the experiences we gather, and either of these scenarios would have to top.

Title: First Time with a Highlander

Author: Gwyn Cready

Series: Sirens of the Scottish, #2

Pubdate: October 6th, 2015

ISBN: 9781492601968

From the “master of time travel romance”, award-winning author Gwyn Cready continues her steamy Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands series.

She needs a man—but only for a night

What do you get when you imbibe centuries-old whiskey—besides a hangover the size of the Highlands? If you’re twenty-first century ad exec Gerard Innes, you get swept back to 18th-century Edinburgh and into the bed of a gorgeous, fiery redhead. Gerard has only a foggy idea what he and the lady have been up to…but what he does remember draws him into the most dangerous and exhilarating campaign of his life.

Be careful what you wish for…

Serafina Seonag Fallon’s scoundrel of a fiancé has left her with nothing, and she’s determined to turn the tables. If she can come up with a ringer, she can claim the cargo he stole from her. But the dashing man she summons from the future demands more than a night, and Serafina finds it easier to command the seas under her feet than the crashing waves he unleashes in her heart.

Gwyn Cready is a writer of contemporary, Scottish, and time travel romance. She’s been called “the master of time travel romance” and is the winner of the RITA Award, the most prestigious award given in romance writing. She has been profiled in Real Simple and USA Today, among others. Before becoming a novelist, she spent 25 years in brand management. She has two grown children and lives with her husband on a hill overlooking the magical kingdom of Pittsburgh.


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23. Interview with Jaime Lee Moyer, author of AGAINST A BRIGHTENING SKY

Hey guys! Jodi here.

Today, I’m pleased to introduce a long-time writing friend of mine, Jaime Lee Moyer, author of DELIA’S SHADOW, A BARRICADE IN HELL, and the third in the series, releasing tomorrow (October 6, 2015), AGAINST A BRIGHTENING SKY. (Tor.)

Jaime and I met on the same online workshop over eleven years ago and we’ve been reading each other’s work ever since. I’m a huge fan of Jaime’s series. History, ghosts, murder, mystery, seances, and a bit of swoony romance. I can’t recommend these books enough!

cover for Delia's Shadow
Cover for Barricade in Hell
Cover for Against a Brightening Sky

1. What is the biggest, most important thing you want readers to know about AGAINST A BRIGHTENING SKY?

That this is the story I wanted to write, a book about hope for the future, friendships that endure through every test and trial, and the memories of loved ones that live on in all of us. Books about the struggle to push back the shadows, and protecting those you love, are just as important to me as books that focus on shiny ideas.

Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of shiny ideas in AGAINST A BRIGHTENING SKY, but the story is about the people.

2. How much input did the cats have when it came to plotting the trilogy?

My cats, Morgan and Gillian, have been pushing for co-author credit of Delia’s books since day one. They claim that giving Delia a ghost hunting cat in the second book was all their idea. That’s not even remotely true, but I’m not going to fight with them over it.

You know how cats can get.

3. Over the course of the trilogy, what were the three most interesting things you had to research?

The most interesting weren’t always the most pleasant or the most fun. It’s also really difficult to narrow this down to just three.

a. The decomposition rate of a body in salt water, the damage fish and other sea creatures can do, and how quickly rigor mortis vanishes in cold temperatures. You know you’re a writer when you can read about this stuff and not lose your lunch. That bit of research was really gruesome and still really interesting.

b. Shell shock in The Great War. Today we’d call it Post Traumatic Stress, but this syndrome or condition had almost never been seen in solders before WWI. There might have been individual cases scattered over the years, but not the huge numbers of men affected during The Great War.

c. Trance lecturers and their spirit guides. This was really fascinating. Trance lectures became a popular form of entertainment as spiritualism spread, and was tied to many of the mid to late 1800s social reform movements. While in the trance, the person giving the lecture–many if not most of them women– were seen as being under the control of their spirit guide. If a spirit guide voiced opinions on women’s rights, slavery, or marriage that ran counter to societal norms and practices, no one could hold the woman at the podium responsible. The spirit was in control.

I thought that was a neat, if to our modern eyes somewhat sneaky, way to get your message out into the world, and to bypass the restrictions on what a woman could say in public.

4. Do you have any encouraging words or pieces of advice for new writers? What about writers with a book or two already out?

I have the same thing to say to both groups.

Keep writing. Believe in yourself and your work even if no one else does. Don’t give up. The universe will send you a passel of conflicting messages, but no matter how dark and dire the future looks KEEP WRITING.

5. If you could have a drink with any of your characters, which one would you choose, and what would you drink?

I’d love to have a drink with Dora. She could tell me stories of the places she’s been and all the things she’s seen, of the battles between the light and the dark most of us never see. Dora probably wouldn’t approve of me drinking beer, but the whiskey she drinks would likely kill me. Time with her would be well spent.

All my characters carry a part of me inside. Isadora Bobet holds the biggest piece of my heart.

6. Pub brawl! A huge fight has broken out. What’s your weapon of choice?

Tranquilizer darts, fired from behind an overturned table. Once everyone’s had a good nap and calmed down, hopefully they won’t feel the need to fight.

Cover for Against a Brightening SkyA ghost princess and a woman with nothing but a name to her fortune might change the course of history.

By 1919 the Great War has ended, peace talks are under way in Paris, and the world has been forever changed. Delia Martin, apprentice practitioner of magical arts, and her husband, Police Captain Gabriel Ryan, face the greatest challenge of their lives when fragments from the war descend on San Francisco.

As Delia prepares to meet friends at a St. Patrick’s Day parade, the strange ghost of a European princess appears in her mirror. Her pleasant outing becomes a nightmare as the ghost reappears moments after a riot starts, warning her as a rooftop gunman begins shooting into the crowd. Delia rushes to get her friends to safety, and Gabe struggles to stop the killing—and to save himself.

Delia and Gabe realize all the chaos and bloodshed had one purpose—to flush Alina from hiding, a young woman with no memory of anything but her name.

As Delia works to discover how the princess ghost’s secrets connect to this mysterious young woman, and Gabe tracks a ruthless killer around his city, they find all the answers hinge on two questions: Who is Alina…and why can’t she remember?

Against a Brightening Sky is the thrilling conclusion to Moyer’s glittering historical fantasy series.

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JAIME LEE MOYER lives in a land of cactus, cowboys, and rhinestones, while dreaming of tall trees and the ocean. She writes novels about murder and betrayal, friendship, ghosts and magic, and she feels it’s only fair to warn you that all her books are kissing books. You can learn more about Jaime and read samples of her writing at www.jaimeleemoyer.com

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24. Spotlight and Giveaway: Chance the Winds of Fortune and Dark Before the Rising Sun

The second and third books in Laurie McBain’s Dominick Trilogy are finally available!  Enter for your chance to win the entire series!

Chance the Winds of Fortune Excerpt

Rhea blinked in disbelief. “What an insufferable man you are. And whether you are, as you would have me believe, a marquis, or whether you are a tinker, I would still find you the rudest, most vulgar individual I have ever had the misfortune to encounter.”

“I am impressed by this splendid show of ladylike disdain, feigned though it be, but well done nonetheless. But the light of truth has revealed you in my cabin. Now, how do you explain yourself out of that?”

Dante glanced down at the map, which was lying at his feet. “Since the map is still here, I must deduce that was not your intended object in stealing on board the Sea Dragon. Rather, you wanted to make my acquaintance. Perhaps you imagined that a marquis makes love differently from other men you have known. I assure you, except for my own personal preferences, I am no different from any other man.”

Dante eyed the girl up and down, noting with distaste her limp hair and dirty clothes, and guessed she was eighteen or older. Probably older to have so arrogant a demeanor and the derring-do to beard the lion in his den. But one thing was for certain, she was old enough to be held accountable for her misdeeds. She needed to be taught a sobering lesson, one that she would not soon forget, Dante decided, for he was in no mood tonight to show leniency to anyone. Besides, odds were, if she’d had a pistol tucked away somewhere, he would be lying dead at her dainty, secondhand shoes right now.

“So, you wish to get to know me better,” Dante commented. “You have been rather inept at engaging anything more than my displeasure thus far. If your scheme is to succeed, then you will have to make a few concessions to me. You should have taken more care to learn my likes and dislikes. I am a very particular fellow about whom I let into my bed. And right now, you haven’t a ghost of a chance to fulfill that wish of yours.” Dante was pleased to see an expression of concern passing across her grimy face.

“However, that can be remedied quite easily,” he continued. “I’ve never been one to stand in the way of another’s ambition, as long as it does not interfere with mine.” He sounded almost friendly, but Rhea was not deceived, for his painful grip on her wrists had not lessened.

“Either you are hard of hearing or extremely obtuse,” Rhea declared furiously. “I despise the very sight of you and would find the burning fires of hell preferable to sharing a bed with you. I do not care if you have an arm’s length of titles to your wretched name, whatever that might be. All I desire is to get off this ship, and away from you.”

“Ah, come now, no more protestations against sharing my bed, for we both know how hollow they are,” Dante responded easily. His smile was forced, though, for this insolent chit had a way with words that cut deeply into a man’s self-esteem, and his had already been inflicted with a few jabs of late.

Dante’s gaze clashed with the violet eyes that were glowing with hatred of him, and he resented the fact that such beauty should belong to a dirty little street urchin, who would spit in his face if she thought she could get away with it unscathed. Her contempt for him was visible in every quivering ounce of her, and yet she was the one who had set out to entrap and deceive him. He was the one with the grievances, although to look at her one would think she had been the victim of foul play.

Dante allowed his eyes to linger on the contours of her face for a moment longer, a moment which seemed endless to Rhea. Then he smiled, and it was a strangely beautiful smile in spite of its coldness. Abruptly, he released her wrists, picked up the map, and walked away from her.

Book Information

Titles: Dark Before the Rising Sun and Chance the Winds of Fortune

Author: Laurie McBain

Series: Dominick Trilogy books #2 and #3

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Imprint: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Chance the Winds of Fortune

Lady Rhea Claire, kidnapped and shipped to the Colonies as an indentured servant, manages with wits and courage to escape…straight into the arms of a ruthless English pirate.

For all his worldly ways, Dante Leighton, Marquis of Jacqobi and captain of the Sea Dragon, never expected to discover his redemption and his greatest treasure within the amethyst eyes of a beautiful English refugee.

Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1FBdXwa

Dark Before the Rising Sun Summary

Newly-wed, Lady Rhea Claire and Dante Leighton must return to England, where their reception is anything but warm.

Now armed with wealth and power, Dante is a target for the murderous smugglers who despoiled his family home, while Rhea’s father, the powerful Duke of Camareigh, vehemently rejects their marriage.

The two lovers thought themselves invincible together. But in the riveting conclusion of McBain’s epic trilogy, Dante’s determination to reclaim his family seat and Rhea’s desperation to win over her father threaten to cause an insurmountable rift that could break them apart forever.

Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1iCYvVG

Author Bio

Laurie McBain became a publishing phenomenon at age twenty-six with her first historical romance. She is a winner of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Historical Romance Author. All of her romances were bestsellers, selling over 11 million copies. Laurie’s books have been out of print for over 5 years.

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25. These Shallow Graves: Review

If you enjoy historical fiction with a spunky female lead, some romance, and a murder mystery thrown in for good measure, you might want to pick up Jennifer Donnelly’s latest book, These Shallow Graves. I admit, I was lured in by the promise of a spunky female lead in this case – a girl who secretly dreams of being a writer and defying societal expectations! – ’cause that’s my jam all the time. In turn-of-the-century America, no less! (An aside: my love for American history has been totally revitalized by the release of the soundtrack for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton: An American Musical, by the way. And this is … a century later! Where’s my Revolutionary War YA when I need it?) Anyway. Ahem. Back to business! Despite the spunky female lead, while I liked many aspects of These Shallow Graves, I didn’t connect with it emotionally in the way that I wanted... Read more »

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