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Spotlight on Grace Burrowes

I know you will all join me in welcoming the fabulous Grace Burrowes back to the blog!! (curtseys please ladies, any gentlemen may bow) She is also gracious enough to offer up one copy of the book! You know the rules, in order to win leave a comment saying you want the book.

Give Grace a big hand, and look at this gorgeous cover!!

Lady Needs cover

Naturally, we have a blurb.

Lady Joan Flynn has been sorely taken advantage of by an aristocratic scoundrel, and is now cast into the company of Mr. Dante Hartwell’s family as they travel into the Highlands. Mr. Hartwell owns the very train cars, and yet has been unsuccessful at finding a wife among Edinburgh’s polite society…

 

And here is the excerpt!

Mr. Hartwell put his flask away and patted Joan’s hand. “Tell me his name. I’ll pass along my compliments.”

The hand covering Joan’s knuckles would close into a delightfully formidable fist.

“That won’t help anything,” Joan said, “and it might try the gentleman’s meager store of discretion. I was exceedingly stupid.”

Exceedingly stupid. You have an English way of making that sound dire indeed. I suppose the bastard kissed you?”

Bastard was such a hard word. Joan’s free hand went to her belly, which had calmed a bit, while her other hand remained in Mr. Hartwell’s warm grasp.

“I do recollect kissing.” Then had come struggling. Joan had struggled, and now recalled this for the first time.

“Doesn’t sound like he got the kissing bit right. You poor wee thing.”

Joan was skinny. She would never be wee. “Poor wee exceedingly stupid thing.”

“A spouse will probably expect some kissing, you know.” He gave her fingers a squeeze.

Mr. Hartwell had been married, and he was a father twice over. He was not a fussy, proper fellow who’d blush beet red at matters pragmatic and biological. Joan pushed out a question before the tattered remains of her dignity could stuff themselves into her mouth and silence her.

“How soon might a lady experience digestive upset upon conceiving a child?”

He reached into his coat for his flask, his hand stilling short of its goal.

“Some presuming twit needs killing. You must have menfolk who can see to the matter.”

Mr. Hartwell did not sound as if he were teasing.

“As heartening as the notion of justice for my partner in folly might be, that would not solve my problem.” Joan tossed her dignity out a figurative window, and seized her courage with both hands. “Such measures would not solve a child’s predicament either.”

The train swayed along through the cold darkness for a few moments, while Joan marveled that she’d confided in a man more stranger than friend.

“I like you,” Mr. Hartwell said, his pronouncement the sort of gruff, unpolished sentiment Joan suspected hadn’t aided his cause in the ballrooms. “You are honest, and you don’t put on airs. Do you suppose you might stand to kiss me?”

Then he went and said things like that. Joan withdrew her hand.

“I am not wanton, Mr. Hartwell. If I’ve said anything to make you think my favors might be available in the general case, then you’re sadly, severely mistaken. I made an egregious, imbecilic error—one misstep—which I sorely regret and have no intention—”

He put his hand over her mouth, gently. “I meant no insult, ye ken?”

Joan managed a nod.

“If you can’t abide my company, then all you have to do is say so. Before I offer you marriage, we’d best establish first that we can tolerate a shared kiss, aye?”

Buy links: http://graceburrowes.com/books/needs.php

About Grace.

graceburrowes-headshot-01

Grace Burrowes started writing as an antidote to empty nest, and soon found it an antidote to much that makes life a challenge. She has written nearly thirty historical titles, spanning Georgian, Regency, and Victorian periods. Her books have won RT Reviewer’s Choice awards; been named Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and iBookstore Best Books; and nominated for the RWA RITA Award. She’s a practicing family law attorney living in rural Maryland, and she loves to hear from her readers.

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Please welcome Liza O’Connor back to the blog! Today she’s talking about automobiles and her latest book, The Missing Partner,  not on pre-order.

Because we like book giveaways, she will give a copy of The Troublesome Apprentice to someone who tells her you want the book!

Liza Investigates

Why it took years for England to get its first car.

In 1895, the Honorable Evelyn Ellis purchased and brought the first automobile in England. It was a Panhard-Levassor from France.

URL: http://datchethistory.org.uk/Link%20Articles/Ellis/ellis.JPG

The Panhard-Levassor had been available for sale since 1890 in France. Thus, in my story, I have my character, Mr. Robinson buy the car in 1894 upon hearing the Hon. Ellis planned to buy one.

The reason why wealthy Englishmen weren’t importing cars as their latest amusement since 1890 was because the 1865 Locomotive Act stated that self-propelled vehicles could not travel faster than 4 mph. (Egads! A horse can canter at 12-17 miles. This restriction would be like trading in a horse for a pregnant cow.)

Originally a man with a red flag had to walk before the vehicle, but that was revoked by the time Ellis bought his auto. But the speed restriction continued to thwart the auto industry in England.

Weary of waiting for Parliament to act, Ellis boldly engaged the French company to build a car to his specifications (steering device on the left, Daimler engine), which was brought by boat to England and train to Hampshire. Then the Honorable Evelyn Ellis drove his new toy home, sometimes at 5 times the legal speed limit. No officer of the law stopped him on the well promoted journey.

Mr. Fredrick Simms was Mr. Ellis’s companion on this maiden passage and he wrote a journal which was published for all to read. Here is a bit of what the fellow had to say:

We were not without anxiety as to how the horses we might meet would behave towards their new rivals, but they took it very well and out of 133 horses we passed only two little ponies did not seem to appreciate the innovation.

On our way we passed a great many (horse drawn) vehicles of all kinds as well as cyclists. It was a very pleasing sensation to go along the delightful roads towards Virginia Water at speeds varying from three to twenty miles per hour, and our iron horse behaved splendidly. There we took our luncheon and fed our engine with a little oil.

 

The trip was completed in 5 hours and 32 minutes (not including stops) at an avg. speed of 9.84 mph.

Ellis loved to give his friends rides in his car, and one passenger was Edward, the Prince of Wales, later to be King Edward the VII. Ellis’ speed terrified the poor fellow. (He was about 54 yrs old when he took this ride. While I can find no evidence that he rode with Ellis again, he did ride with other drivers and became a strong supporter of the automobile industry.)

To stop the honorable Ellis and many other high gentry from constantly breaking the law, Parliament attempted to fix the problem in the Locomotive Act in 1895, but sadly the standing Parliament fell and the bill was delayed until November of 1896, when a new Parliament allowed automobiles to drive 8 to 16 mph (local authority’s discretion).

So why did my character not get credit for having the first car in England?

Because the man turned out to be a white slaver and was sent to prison. His car was sold to reimburse the poor servants he’d abused. He didn’t deserve historical mention. Also, he’s fictional and history mostly ignores those type of people.

Here is a rare color photo of the actual car that Ellis drove.

http://datchethistory.org.uk/Link%20Articles/Ellis/br%20run.JPG

Did I time-travel to take this pic? No. It’s a staged shot with modern people dressed up as Victorians. But the car is actually the one Ellis drove. The lady is a descendant of Ellis’ and the gentleman is the Director of the Science Museum….hmmm, perhaps there was some time traveling involved.

I’ll investigate at a later date why, if the first car had the steering wheel on the left, how Britain ended up being a right sided driving country.

xnv The Missing partner Xavierfinal3400x640

 

The Adventures of

Xavier & Vic

Book 2

The Missing Partner

By Liza O’Connor

Cases to be Resolved:

The ‘New Woman’ Who Lost Her Old Mind

The Lost Servant of Dante’s Hell

The Disappearance of a Very Important Man

The Abduction of Sneaky Snake by a Grand Elephant

The Cat Who Wore Too Much

 

blurb

 

Vic Hamilton takes the reins of the investigation office, while Xavier Thorn disappears on an assignment for the British government. Her caseload is entirely ‘lost and recovery’ cases. In the midst of solving all her client’s problems, she learns that the government has lost Xavier. With the help of the gypsy pirate Jacko, and her driver Davy, Vic rushes against time to rescue everyone.

Most alarming, she befriends and hires a dangerous criminal as an employee of Xavier Thorn’s Private Inquiries—without Xavier’s permission.

An Excerpt

Despite Mr. Robinson’s instructions to his butler to assist Victor, she sensed Jonston did not relish his assignment. He sat stiff and rigid on the edge of the chair with an expression of stoic suffering.

Victor studied him, wondering how to penetrate his armored shield. She decided to sneak in, using the unreasonable employer card. “How many people work here?”

“Thirty-two in total. Eleven in the gardens, nineteen in the house and two in the auto shed.”

“The what?”

Jonston sniffed as if a foul odor assailed him. “Mr. Robinson has purchased an automobile.”

“Really?”

“Ever since he’d heard the Honorable Evelyn Ellis intended to acquire a Panhard-Levassour, Master Robinson wanted to buy one, as well. A month ago, he purchased the contraption and hired two men to keep it running.”

“Where does he drive it?”

“Wherever there are horses to frighten,” Jonston replied in aggravation. “It’s an ugly thing. A little dogcart with giant wheels. Makes a ghastly noise.”

 

lINKS

Book 1

The Troublesome Apprentice

Amazon

Don’t forget

Book 1 is free 9/15-9/21

Want a free copy of The Troublesome Apprentice?

Leave me a humorous comment with your email address below.

  

Book 2

The Missing Partner

Amazon

Available for Pre-order

 

 

About the author

 

First, I got tired of telling my proper blog. Now, I’m tired of telling my improper bio. So what’s left?

Liza O’Connor was born, raised badly, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast…and employment, there were no jobs in the Mid-west. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved normally. All those bad behaviors has given her lots of fodder for her humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. And given her past, they will likely traumatize you.

Mostly humorous books by Liza:

Saving Casey – Old woman reincarnates into troubled teen’s body. (Half funny/half traumatizing)

Ghost LoverTwo British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. There’s a ghost cat too. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Social Networking

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

LIZA O’CONNOR, XAVIER & VIC:

Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

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ellaquinnauthor:

I was supposed to have Sandra on my blog, but it didn’t happen, so this is the next best thing. Congratulations to Sandra on her contemporary. I just hope she doesn’t forget that she is an extremely talented historic author as well!! Enjoy!!
Ella

Originally posted on Rakes Rogues and Romance:

CFHbanner3.jpg.jpg

 

I’m thrilled today to have Sandra Owens wonderful book, Crazy For Her on my blog today. Sandra has been tearing up the charts with her romantic suspense love story between Logan, an ex-Navy SEAL and Dani, the wife of Logan’s best friend, Evan, who died in Afghanistan. this is a story that takes so many twists and turns but throughout it, one thing remains strong. the love story that Sandra builds slowly and superbly.

Logan you see, has always loved Dani, but his friend Evan made his move first and won her love. But Evan died tragically and Logan had made him a promise to take care of Dani and their baby. What Logan couldn’t stop was the love he had for Dani that had never died.

Dani may be one of my favorite female characters in contemporary romance. she is strong but still vulnerable. She loved her husband…

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I’m so happy Grace Burrowes is back with us again. She is not only a fabulous author, but a wonderful friend and mentor as well. She has graciously offered to give away a copy of her latest release to one of you who take the time to tell her you want it. Now, without further to do, here is the cover!!

Tell me you wouldn’t buy the book on the cover alone!

laird_4501

 

The blurb because you like them.

After years at war, Michael Brodie, Baron Strathdee, comes home to his Scottish estate to find his clan expects him to set aside Brenna, the arranged bride he left behind nearly a decade ago. To make matters worse, Michael’s Uncle Angus, whom Michael relied on to manage estate matters, is also impatient with Brenna’s independence and contrariness, though the clansmen and tenants loathe Angus, too.
 
Michael will not abandon a wife who has loyally—if angrily—waited for his return, but he soon realizes the resentments stirring among his family have deep, shameful roots, and the war he left behind was paltry compared to the battle he must fight to win his wife’s heart, and keep her in her rightful place at his side.

After all, why else to you buy a book, other than for the cover.

Michael and Brenna finally have the time, privacy and most of the trust necessary to consummate the marriage vows they took nearly a decade earlier. For Michael, the stakes for this campaign eclipse those of any he’s fought before… 

 

“Shall you undress me, Wife?” Michael asked.

Brenna set her footwear tidily beside the bed and scooted back against the pillows.

“I think not. A grown man can undress himself if he’s properly motivated.”

Michael considered her suggestion as he arranged his boots beside hers. Brenna wasn’t being entirely shy, though she was being entirely Brenna.

Making him work for his pleasures, which he was more than happy to do.

“Watch, then, and plan our afternoon while you do,” he said, unbuttoning his waistcoat. The better to entertain his wife—and the better to stop himself from falling upon her like a beast—he moved away from the bed, making a proscenium of the hearth rug.

The waistcoat he tossed in the direction of the privacy screen.

“Michael Brodie, for shame.”

Brenna wasn’t teasing, though she was watching, so Michael hung the blasted waistcoat on the back of the rocker and got busy with his neck cloth. The knot had become Gordian at some point in the day’s rambles, but he managed to wrench it open without strangling himself.

When he would have whipped the damned thing out the window, Brenna arched one fine, eloquent eyebrow.

That eyebrow promised that husbands who were cavalier with their clothing would suffer retribution at the hands of their wives. Michael folded his neckcloth and laid it tidily over the back of the rocker as well.

“Am I to be the only one sporting about unclad?” Michael asked as he took a seat on the hearth and started on his cuffs.

“The breeze is fresh. When you’re done dawdling, I’ll consider your question. One doesn’t want to suffer an avoidable chill.”

Because his head was bent toward his wrist, Michael permitted himself a smile.

“I am available to assist my wife,” he said, which was, at last, the blessed, blasted truth. He pulled his shirt over his head, draped it neatly over the waistcoat, then rose, clad only in his kilt.

Brenna remained on the bed, crossed-legged and barefoot, but otherwise fully clothed. She gave nothing of her mood away, not in her expression, not in her posture, not in her silence.

“Brenna, have you changed your mind?” Asking the question nigh killed Michael, but never, never, even by persuasion or innuendo would he prevail on his wife for favors she was reluctant to grant.

She regarded his chest, her brows knitting at a particularly bewildered angle, and that’s when insight struck: Brenna wanted to be in charge of this situation, but had no idea how to go on. She needed to be in charge, in fact, but had never traveled the path they would follow.

Whoever had betrayed her youthful trust, whoever had trespassed against her person, had left scars where a woman’s natural sense of her own urges and pleasures should lie.

Michael would deal with the rage such a conclusion provoked—later. For now, he had a wife to please. Wearing his kilt and what he hoped was a reassuring smile, he climbed onto the bed and took her hand.

“Brenna, I love you. I want very much to please you, and right now, I’m a bit nervous of my prospects.” More than a bit, though determined, nonetheless. “Can you meet me halfway?”

“Meet you halfway?”

“I am your willing slave in all that might transpire in this bed, but a slave needs instructions, hints, the occasional command. A husband needs them even more.” A husband needed them desperately, because so much that was wondrous, sweet, and nourishing to the soul might be lost if Michael misread his wife in the moments that followed.

Those delicate, lovely brows rose on the word husband.

“You are not my slave, Michael Brodie, and I will never be yours. Not your slave, your plaything, your wee pleasure, your little secret—”

She closed her eyes, as if willing herself to put aside the ire gathering in her words.

“I am your husband,” Michael said, kissing her knuckles. “I would like to become your lover, and I would adore having you for mine.” He would like to be so much more to her, too—her friend, champion, partner, confidant, most loyal opposition, lady’s maid, companion, and favorite pest, for starters.

Brenna took the hem of his kilt between her fingers and thumb and rubbed the wool slowly back and forth. “I know nothing of being a lover.”

She spoke with regret and rubbed the wool the way a child grasps a favorite blanket for reassurance.

Perhaps Michael should have waited for the dark of night, not to spare Brenna’s sensibilities, but to spare himself the sight of her bewilderment. He spun a half-truth as delicate as the dust motes wafting about on the afternoon sunbeams.

“This part of being married is not complicated, Brenna Maureen. We touch, we kiss, we pleasure each other, and pleasure each other yet more. If God is generous, we conceive a child, the first of many, and then we sigh and hold each other and wonder at all the loveliness we’ve shared.”

And Michael would wonder, too, at all the years they’d missed. For as surely as desire hummed softly through his veins, so to, did regret. He’d made decisions any soldier would be proud of, and served in a difficult position loyally and well.

Those same decisions were something any husband—any lover—would regret for all his days and nights.

“So kiss me,” Brenna said. “We’ve kissed before, and I think I have the knack of that much.”

Her posture was wary, her eyes downcast, and yet she still stroked her fingers over the hem of Michael’s kilt. Michael kissed her palm, and without giving up her hand, stretched out on his back.

“Let the kissing begin,” he said. Let the loving begin, for Brenna did love him. She had to have some form of tender regard for him, or she would not take these steps with him.

He’d amused her, though, and that was good. “I’m to do the work?”

“A little guidance to your husband shouldn’t be too much to ask.” Brenna had been guiding the entire castle for years, navigating past financial difficulties, clan jealousies, Angus’s backward notions, and Highland winters. Appealing to her sense of responsibility earned Michael a considering look that turned into a shy grin.

Brenna swung a leg over his thighs and straddled him. “Fine, then. Here’s a place to start.”

You can find the link to all the buy links here.

About Grace:

graceburrowes-headshot-01

Grace Burrowes grew up in central Pennsylvania and is the sixth out of seven children. She discovered romance novels when in junior high (back when there was such a thing), and has been reading them voraciously ever since. Grace has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a Bachelor of Music in Music History, (both from The Pennsylvania State University); a Master’s Degree in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University; and a Juris Doctor from The National Law Center at The George Washington University.

Grace writes Georgian, Regency, Scottish Victorian and contemporary romances in both novella and novel lengths. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Novelist, Inc. and enjoys giving workshops and speaking at writer’s conferences. If you’d like Grace to speak or present at your conference, contact her here. Giving back to the industry is a large part of the fun of being published!

 

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ellaquinnauthor:

I’ve been waiting days to be able to reblog this wonderful post from Angelyn!! Enjoy!

Originally posted on Angelyn's Blog:

Edinburgh has been argued as the early nineteenth century’s “capital city of modern literature.” It is there that we find the original Regency-era critic.

The Edinburgh Review was one of the first, if not the inaugural, quarterly journal to feature in-depth literary reviews. It was created by a circle of Whigs, some of whom have been the subject of this blog in the past: Sydney Smith and Henry Brougham. Joined with them were Francis Horner and Francis Jeffrey, the latter becoming the Review’s editor throughout the Regency.

Old Calton Burying Ground in Edinburgh--split in half during the Regency era

Old Calton Burying Ground in Edinburgh–split in half during the Regency era

Francis Jeffrey (1773 – 1850), later Lord Jeffrey, took the helm of the Review with the intent of producing more than just what elementary students would term book reports. His periodical aimed to publish critical reviews that would be sought out for their own merits. These reviews would illustrate a deeper inquiry into literary works of the day, examining their qualities as they relate to…

View original 326 more words

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It’s time to strut your stuff!! Today I invite you to post the first page of chapter four. If that’s not acceptable for PG-13 viewing, then please feel free to post your blurb or another excerpt. Buy links are welcome!

Here is mine from my new release, Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret.

Enticing Miss Eugenie Villaret“The Earl of Watford!” Mrs. Villaret’s eyes had widened, and her breathing had quickened.

Until then, she had been holding up quite well. Yet for some reason Will’s disclosing that he represented the earl seemed to frighten her. But why? And what the devil was she doing here in the middle of the night, alone save for another female and a sleeping escort?

Her trepidation did not last more than a few moments. He was unable to keep his eyes off her as she straightened her shoulders and raised her chin as if preparing to do battle. He had to admire the fact that even though he’d caught her in someone else’s office and without protection, she was apparently not going to back down.

Andrew sidled up to the desk, placed a hand on the ledger, and turned it toward him. “Do you even know what you’re looking at?”

“Naturally, she does,” Mrs. Villaret replied forcefully.

She reminded Will of nothing less than a tigress protecting her cub.

The blonde huffed. “Of course I do.”

“All right then.” Andrew smiled. She smiled back. “What did you find?”

Amazon US ~ Barnes and Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ Amazon CA ~ Amazon DE ~ Amazon FR ~ Amazon UK

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Hello and happy Sunday from southern Virginia. This week has been hectic to say the least! After packing, and flying up to Virginia Wednesday, I had my book release on Thursday complete with a Facebook party!

A wonderful lady, Sharlene, made up quote boxes for Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret. Here is one of them. Miss EV Quote 6

Raphaella on suitcaseRaphaella kept close tabs on me while I was pacing. She was making sure she wasn’t going to be left behind.

 

 

 

 

Raphaella not happy

 

However, once we arrived at Hubby’s apartment she looked around and was ready to leave. We both miss St. Thomas.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the view from my desk.

View from window

Just to liven things up and because Hubby was missing his cat that died in March, we got a four month old kitten. Here is Maddie.

MaddieWish us luck in our new venture!

How did your week go?

Ella

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