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Archive for March, 2015

A wonderful post on a Regency man getting ready to go out.

Angelyn's Blog

Rusticus, that erstwhile town buck now turned country gentleman, obliged the Listener (and his readers) and returned to London, for the purpose of recording what it is like to re-enter Society. This he did, detailing a progression of experiences during one night on the town which tended to arouse discomfort in others and disgust in himself.

Self-conscious of the figure he would cut, Rusticus began his preparations at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. It was a good thing, too, that he began these early, as he encountered considerable difficulties making his person presentable.

Summer recess ball dress: frock of white crape, Venetian gauze, richly embellished at the border with small double Indian roses of a beautiful pink colour, and mingled with leaves of crape and pearls...the headdress consists of a double wreath of Indian roses...white satin shoes and white kid gloves. Summer recess ball dress: frock of white crape, Venetian gauze, richly embellished at the border with small double Indian roses of a beautiful pink colour, and mingled with leaves of crape and pearls…the headdress consists of a double wreath of Indian roses…white satin shoes and white kid gloves.

For instance, his hairdresser took entirely too long to “turn” the curls on the top of…

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Today, let’s post excerpts from our WIPs. It can be one you’re just starting, finishing, or editing.

Here is mine from the second book of my next series. The working name is Dotty.

They resumed ambling on the side of the path. Suddenly there was a commotion and a shout from behind. Dotty turned. A small dog had grabbed the tassel on a man’s boot and was backing up growling with its tail wagging trying to shake its prize. Foolishly, the man kept kicking out at the dog, making the animal think he was playing.

She put a hand over her mouth to keep from giggling, yet when he lifted his cane to strike the poor little thing, she rushed forward. “Here now, sir! What do you think you’re doing?” She bent to the dog who turned out to nothing more than a puppy. Turning to the man, she narrowed her eyes and scowled. “Shame on you.”

Dotty worked on releasing the tassel from the puppy’s grip, but each time the man shook his leg, trying to get the animal off, the puppy held on harder, growling and shaking his head. “Stop moving. Are you so stupid you cannot see the dog thinks you are trying to play?”

“Get him off me.” The man’s high voice made him appear frightened. “Someone will pay for this. Is he your beast?”

Determined ignore him, she counted to ten, took a breath, and finally managed to release the gold bobble from the puppy’s sharp teeth. “There now.” She picked up the dog and stroked its wiry fur. “Where is your master?”

Two school aged boys came running up. “Oh, miss. Thank you so much. We’ve been looking for Bennie all over. He got away from us.”

By this time Bennie was snapping at the ribbons of her bonnet. Dotty laughed as she tried to free them. “Here now. Those are not for you either.” She saved the ribbons and handed the dog to one of the boys.

“We’ll pay you for the damage, miss.”

“It’s no bother.” She smiled at both of them. “Use the money to buy a lead. That will keep Bennie from running away.”

“He’s only twelve weeks old,” the other boy said proudly. “We didn’t think he could run so fast.”

“Or so far,” added the other.

“Thank you,” they both said in unison.

Ah, well. Puppies would be puppies and boys would be boys. “Run along now, and keep Bennie out of trouble.”

“Wait just a minute,” the man with the tassels growled. “You owe me compensation. Your vicious beast ruined my boots.”

“Stuff and nonsense.” Dotty closed her eyes for a moment before addressing the man. Using her firmest tone, she said, “It was entirely your fault. If you had acted like a sensible person and just picked the poor puppy up, your boots would not have suffered any damage.”

Now it’s your turn.

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We will start with the winner of Lauren Smith’s book, His Wicked Seduction!his wicked seduction

Congratulations to

I’m steadily getting the editing done on book #2 of the next series, but that won’t release until sometime in 2016. So, I thought you might be more interested in the book coming out in July, Lady Beresford’s Lover. lady beresford's lover_ebook

Vivian hesitated. “The dance floor is the other way.”

“I know.” The last few days of being in her presence, and always with others, had decided him. She was his, and this evening he would not share her. It was past time she was made to realize how he felt, how much he wanted her.

Rupert placed his lips close to her ear. “I wish to be alone with you.”

Her eyes widened in surprise. “You do?”

She was so beautiful, his heart ached with wanting. The pulse at the base of her throat throbbed, as his must be doing as well. “More than anything.”

He guided her around the edges of the rapidly filling ballroom, onto the balcony. It was blessedly empty. The music began, and he took her in his arms. For a moment she was stiff, then she relaxed and allowed him to pull her close. “You are intoxicatingly beautiful.”

Behind her mask, her lashes lowered. “I have to say, I’ve never seen a more handsome Mark Antony.”

“Nor I a more lovely Cleopatra. Stay with me.”

“But I can only dance with you twice.”

“Not tonight. That is one purpose of a masquerade. Who is to know who we are?”

“Oh, I see.” She pulled her full lower lip between her teeth. “I—I—”

Twirling her into the shadows, he brought them to a halt. With one finger, he raised her chin. “Be with me.”

He lowered his lips to hers. Touching softly, tasting, allowing her to grow used to his attentions . .

My editor has been at a conference, so I won’t have a decision as to the name for the new series before later in the week.

I’m trying to build my Facebook likes to 2000 by the end of this month. If you can help, I’d appreciate it immensely. All you have to do is go to my fan page, and click the like button at the top. http://www.facebook.com/EllaQuinnAuthor

In a couple of months I’ll be at The Romantic Times Readers Conference taking part in an historical event, Take a Walk on the Historical Side. For this I need to decide on what to put in my goody bags. Naturally, there will be books, but what else would you as readers like to see?

Hubby and I left St. Thomas last Sunday and cleared into the BVI. We’ve had a lovely week in the BVI and only one problem. One of our through hulls broke, and we had to get hauled for the night. Today the windless (the thing that lowers and raises the anchor) stopped working.

Here are some photos.

Tall ship 52015-03-10

Tall ship 22015-03-10Turtle in Cain Garden Bay 2015-03-08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015-03-14 15.19.03

 

 

 

 

 

2015-03-12 15.56.07

As I write this, we are sailing to Anegada, the only coral atoll in the Virgin Islands. After an early dinner, we’ll start our journey down to St. Martin.

What has your week been like?

Ella

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Please welcome the wonderful Lauren Smith back to the blog!! She is here today with her latest release, His Wicked Seduction, The League of Rogues, Book 2, and she’ll be giving away a copy of the book! All you have to do is tell her you want it.

First the cover.

his wicked seduction

 

Now the blurb.

Can the League’s most wicked rakehell be tamed? Or has this Rogue fallen too far?

Horatia Sheridan has been hopelessly in love with Lucien, her brother’s best friend, ever since he rescued her from the broken remains of her parents’ wrecked carriage. His reputation as London’s most notorious rakehell doesn’t frighten her, for under his veneer of cool authority she has glimpsed a man whose wicked desires inspire her own.

Lucien, Marquess of Rochester, has deliberately nurtured a reputation for debauchery that makes every matchmaking mother of the ton quake with fear. His one secret: he is torn between soul-ripping lust for Horatia, and the loyalty he owes her brother.

That loyalty is put to the test when an old enemy of the League threatens Horatia’s life. With Christmas drawing near, he sweeps her away to his country estate, where he can’t resist granting her one wish—to share his bed and his heart.

But sinister forces are lurking, awaiting the perfect moment to exact their revenge by destroying not only whatever happiness Lucien might find in Horatia’s arms, but the lives of those they love.

Warning:  This book contains an intelligent lady who is determined to seduce her brother’s friend, a brooding rake whose toy of choice in bed is a little bit of bondage with a piece of red silk, a loyal band of merry rogues and a Christmas love so scorching you’ll need fresh snow to extinguish it.

And an excerpt.

She is going to be the death of me.

“Lucien! You’re not even listening to me, are you? I’m in desperate need of a new valet and you’ve been woolgathering rather than offering suggestions. I daresay you have enough for a decent coat and a pair of mittens by now.”

Lucien Russell, the Marquess of Rochester, looked to his friend Charles. They were walking down Bond Street, Lucien keeping careful watch over one particular lady without her knowledge and Charles simply enjoying the chance for an outing. The street was surprisingly crowded for so early in the day and during such foul wintry weather.

“Admit it,” Charles prodded.

Lucien fought to focus on his friend. “Sorry?”

The Earl of Lonsdale fixed him with a stern glare which, given that his usual manner tended towards jovial, was a little alarming.

“Where is your head? You’ve been out of sorts all morning.”

Lucien grunted. He had no intention of explaining himself. His thoughts were sinful ones, ones that would lead him straight to a fiery spot in Hell, assuming one wasn’t already reserved for him. All because of one woman: Horatia Sheridan.

She was halfway up Bond Street on the opposite side of the road, a beacon of beauty standing out from the women around her. A footman dressed in the Sheridan livery trailed diligently behind her with a large box in his arms. A new dress, if Lucien had to hazard a guess. She should not be out traipsing about on snow-covered walkways, not with these carriages rumbling past, casting muddy slush all over. It frustrated him to think she was risking a chill for the sake of shopping. It frustrated him more that he was so concerned about it.

“I know you think I’m a half-wit on most days, but—”

“Only most?” Lucien couldn’t resist the verbal jab.

Charles grinned. “As I was saying, it’s a bit obvious our leisurely stroll is merely a ruse. I’ve noticed we’ve stopped several times, matching the pattern of a certain lady of our acquaintance across the street.”

So Charles had been watchful after all. Lucien shouldn’t have been surprised. He hadn’t done his best to conceal his interest in Horatia Sheridan. It was too hard to fight the natural pull of his gaze whenever she was near. She was twenty years old, yet she carried herself with the natural grace of a mature and educated queen. Not many women could achieve such a feat. For as long as he’d known her, she’d been that way.

He’d been a young man in his twenties when he met her, and she’d been all of fourteen. She’d been like a little sister to him. Even then, she’d struck him as more mentally and emotionally mature than most women in their later years. There was something about her eyes, the way her doe-brown pools held a man rooted to the spot with intelligence—and in these last few months, attraction…

“You’d best stop staring,” Charles intoned quietly. “People are starting to notice.”

“She shouldn’t be out in this weather. Her brother would have a fit.” Lucien tugged his leather gloves tighter, hoping to erase the lingering effects of the chill wind that slid between his coat sleeves and gloves.

Charles burst out into a laugh, one loud enough to draw the attention of nearby onlookers. “Cedric loves her and little Audrey, but you and I both know that does not stop either of them from doing just as they please.”

There was far too much truth in that. Lucien and Charles had known Cedric, Viscount Sheridan for many years, bonded during one dark night at university. The memory of when he, Charles, Cedric and two others, Godric and Ashton, had first met always unsettled him. Still, what had happened had forged an unbreakable bond between the five of them. Later, London, or at least the society pages, had dubbed them The League of Rogues.

The League. How amusing it all was…except for one thing. The night they’d formed their alliance each of the five men had been marked by the Devil himself. A man by the name of Hugo Waverly, a fellow student at Cambridge, had sworn vengeance on them.

And sometimes Lucien wondered if they didn’t deserve it.

Lucien shook off the heavy thoughts. He was drawn to the vision of Horatia pausing to admire a shop window displaying an array of poke bonnets nestled on stands. Her beleaguered footman stood by her elbow, juggling the box in his arms. He nodded smartly as Horatia pointed out a particular bonnet. Lucien was tempted to venture forth and speak with her, possibly lure her into an alley in order to have just a moment alone with her. Even if he only spoke with her, he feared the intimacy of that conversation would get him a bullet through his heart if her brother ever found out.

Charles had walked a few feet ahead, then stopped and turned to kick a pile of snow into the street. “If this is how you mean to spend the day then consider me gone. I could be at Jackson’s Salon right now, or better yet, savoring the favors of the fine ladies at the Midnight Garden.”

Lucien knew he’d put Charles out of sorts asking him to come today, but he’d had a peculiar feeling since he’d risen this morning, as though someone was walking over his grave. Ever since Hugo Waverly had returned to London, he had been keeping on eye on Cedric’s sisters, particularly Horatia. Waverly had a way of creating collateral damage and Lucien would do anything to keep these innocent ladies safe. But she mustn’t know he was watching over her. He’d spent the last six years being outwardly cold to her, praying she’d stop gazing at him in that sweet, loving way of hers.

It was cruel of him, yes, but if he did not create some distance, he’d have had her on her back beneath him. She was too good a woman for that, and he was far too wicked to be worthy of her. Rather like a demon falling for an angel. He longed for her in ways he’d never craved for other women, and he could never have her.

The reason was simple. His public reputation did not do justice to the true depth of his debauchery. A man like him could and should never be with a woman like Horatia. She was beauty, intelligence and strength, and he would corrupt her with just one night in his arms.

Within the ton, there was scandal and then there was scandal. For a certain class of woman, being seen with the wrong man in the wrong place could be enough to ruin her reputation and damage her prospects. These fair creatures deserved nothing but the utmost in courtesy and propriety.

For others, the widows still longing for love, those who had no interest in husbands but did from time to time seek companionship, and that rare lovely breed of woman who had both the wealth and position to afford to not give a toss about what society thought, there was Lucien. He seduced them all, taught them to open themselves up to their deepest desires and needs, and seek satisfaction. Not once had a woman complained or been dissatisfied after he had departed from her bed. But there was only one bed he sought now, and it was one he should never be invited into.

He glanced about and noticed a familiar coach among the other carriages on the street. Much of the street’s traffic had been moving steadily and quicker than the people on foot, but not that coach. There was nothing unusual about it; the rider was covered with a scarf like all the others, to keep out the chill, yet each time he and Charles had crossed a street, the coach had shadowed them.

“Charles, do think we’re being followed?”

Charles brushed off some snow from his gloved hands when it dropped onto him from a nearby shop’s eave. “What? What on earth for?”

“I don’t know. That carriage. It has been with us for quite a few streets.”

“Lucien, we’re in a popular part of London. No doubt someone is shopping and ordering their carriage to keep close.”

“Hmm,” was all he said before he turned his attention back to Horatia and her footman. One of her spare gloves fell out of her cloak and onto the ground, going unnoticed by both her and her servant. Lucien debated briefly whether or not he should interfere and alert her to the fact that he and Charles had been following her. When she continued to walk ahead, leaving her glove behind, he made his decision.

Lucien caught up with his friend still ahead of him on the street. “I’ll not keep you. Horatia’s dropped a glove and I wish to return it to her.”

“Plagued by a bit of chivalry, eh? Go on then, I want to stop here a moment.” He pointed to a bookshop.

“Very good. Catch me up when you’re ready.”

Lucien dodged through the traffic on the road and was halfway across the street when pandemonium struck.

Bond Street was turned on its head as screams tore through the air. The coach that had been shadowing him raced down the road in Lucien’s direction. Yet, rather than trying to halt the team, the driver whipped the horses, urging them directly at Lucien.

He was too far across the street to turn back; he had to get to safety and get others out of the way. Horatia! She could be trampled when it passed her. Lucien’s heart shot into his throat as he ran. The driver whipped the horses again, as if sensing Lucien’s determination to escape.

“Horatia!” Lucien bellowed at the top of his lungs. “Out of the way!”

Buy links:

Amazon ~ Barnes and NobleiTunesKoboSamhainGoogle Play Store

About Lauren.

Author PhotoAmazon Best Selling author, Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets: a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

 

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I so wish I could have gotten this up yesterday, but we did not have an internet connection. Last week we did a first meet. Today, let’s do the first meet from the other character’s POV. As always, feel free to post either your buy links or your social media links.

Here is mine from A Kiss for Lady Mary, which releases on May 26th!

A Kiss for Lady Mary

Mary took in Mr. Featherton’s broad shoulders, his fashionably styled chestnut-brown hair and piercing blue eyes. The most beautiful eyes she’d ever seen.

Of all gentlemen who could have appeared, why did it have to be Mr. Perfect? If only she hadn’t talked herself out of what she knew in her heat was true.

Featherton. The one man who had completely ignored her during her only full Season, and here she was posing as his wife. A person of no importance, her foot! What had her grandmother been thinking?

The humiliation of that first Season came flooding back. That no one knew about it other than her mattered not at all. She knew that he’d danced with almost every young lady except her. She’d even saved dances for him, hoping he would ask her, but he never claimed them, forcing her to make excuses about needing a flounce mended in the ladies retiring room, or being too warm and requiring a glass of lemonade.

How could she have been so wrong? More than once he’d been heading straight in her direction, and each time she could have sworn he was finally going to request to stand up with her, but he always veered away at the last moment to ask another girl to take the floor or to speak with some gentleman. She must be the last lady he wanted to see at Rose Hill. It didn’t matter. He had never cared about her, and she did not want him.

Still, she could barely breathe. It was a miracle she was not laying in a dead faint. His tone was soft, but menace and heat lurked in his tone.

She focused on his words. Husband? She drew a shallow breath. Consequences? Oh, Lord. What would happen to her now?

Remember your breeding.

She tried to smile, forcing the corners of her lips up. “Yes, of course. If only you had given me some notice, I would have been prepared.”

Buy Links: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ B&N ~ Apple

Now it’s your turn.

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Let’s start with the winner of  Jane Ashford’s  book, Married to a Perfect Stranger! Married to a Perfect Stranger-mCongratulations to Sharlene Wegner.

 

This has been mainly a boat week, but I did get some editing done. I still do not have a name for my next series, so I’m asking for your help. As an added incentive, I’ll give a copy of any of The Marriage Game series books to the everyone who picks the name my editor selects. This includes the ones I’ve thought of. That doesn’t mean you can agree with all of them. Pick one or give me another choice. Here are the names I’ve come up with.

Love in a Season

A Season of Love

The Worthingtons

Barbara Monajem reminded me that I should tell you something about the series, so here goes.

The stories are all about the Worthington family, which is a blended family. The hero and heroine both had guardianship of their brothers and sisters. Of course, Lord Worthington now has custody of all the children. So there is a total of 10 children in all ranging in age from 18 to 5. Technically, because Worthington is a title name, it is not the name of the children. They are Vivers and Carpenters.

Now to boat news. We finally got cushions for the cockpit, and, much needed, new sunshades. After that, we had to re-provision.

Back sunshade (1)

Back sunshade (2)

Cushions finished

Although we very carefully lined up the back cushions, Alicianna insists that they make good steps when she wants to get down from the deck.

This morning we’re leaving for Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

How was your week?

Ella

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Please help me welcome historical author, Jane Ashford, to the blog!

We’ve decided to do something a little different today. Jane has written a post. She will also be giving away a copy of her book, Married to a Perfect Stranger. To be eligible, please leave a comment saying you want the book.

We begin with the lovely cover.

Married to a Perfect Stranger-m

 

Now the blurb.

Time and distance have changed them both. Quiet and obliging, Mary Fleming and John Bexley married to please their families. Almost immediately, John was sent on a two-year diplomatic mission to China. Now John is back, and everything they thought they knew about each other seems to be wrong… It’s disconcerting, irritating, and somehow very exciting.

Buy links.

AmazonBarnes and NobleIndieboundBooks a MillionIndigo

 

“Recognizing” True Love

True love is at the heart of every romance, and I imagine those two words can mean different things to different people. For me, and the books I write, the key to finding it is recognition.

Of course love often begins with physical attraction. As Springsteen sings, “You can’t start a fire without a spark.” We can all be rendered breathless and stammering by an incredibly handsome, gloriously built, fashionably dressed, extremely rich, insanely witty stranger. : ) Sexual tension adds lovely sizzle to a story.

But there’s more to true love. I think couples have to discover, and come to cherish, each other’s real nature before they can find their happy endings. Both have to be truly seen and valued by another.

This is particularly important in my new book Married to a Perfect Stranger. The hero and heroine have been defined as the less promising, less accomplished son and daughter by their families. They’re the “white sheep” from whom not much is expected. They have to fight these limiting labels in order to succeed, and their journey together in the story helps each of them do that. It’s not easy; there are many bumps and misunderstandings along the way. In the end, though, each recognizes and supports the amazing person the other has come to be. I think that’s true love. And with this strong foundation, their marriage will be strong and sweet.

What word means true love for you?

Thanks for having me on the blog!

About Jane.

JaneAshfordJane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was entranced by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight was part of what led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Jane’s historical romances have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Spain, as well as the U.S. She has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews.

 

Website www.janeashford.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jane-Ashford/154028944714495?ref=bookmarks

 

 

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