Archive for the ‘Guest Author’ Category

Please welcome historical author Sandra Masters to the blog. Sandra is here today to tell us about her latest release, My Divinely Decadent Duke!! She will also give away one copy of the book to one of you who leaves a comment saying you want it.

We begin with the cover.


Next the blurb.

Orphaned and abandoned by family, Lady Cassandra Montgomery yearns for love. Beautiful and innocent, she attracts the attention of a renowned rake, the Duke of Althorn. When her security is threatened, she offers him a proposal for an arranged marriage in exchange for his guarantee of safety for her and her ward. After her first taste of desire in his arms, she finds the sexual attraction irresistible. Finding herself in a family way, she leaves his home, unsure of his love.

The Duke is at first enraged by the brazen behavior, yet he sees Cassandra as a captivating caregiver for his mother and impossible to resist. He agrees. The arrangement becomes inconvenient because love and sex enter the equation.

Will she believe her husband truly loves her and return to his waiting arms?

Will the Duke admit his love and use his rakish skills to woo Cassandra back to his bed?



Now an excerpt.

“What about love and passion?” Cassandra wondered until she realized she spoke the words aloud. Enough. Everything but the one thing I want. And you think you are not cruel, Gordon?

“They shall take care of themselves with time. I will not force myself on you…unless you wish it of me. I would like the opportunity to demonstrate to you I am a good man you may wish to know better, Cassandra. Goodness knows you’ve seen many sides of me.”

She found it easy to believe because she wanted to. Somehow the arranged marriage did not sound as insane as before. At least she wouldn’t have to marry Ashcombe, a perfect stranger. Her choices were an older, gentle man, or the younger scandalous rake she loved.

Her mind spun.

Her world twirled.

She swayed.

He held her steady in his arms.

Her heart broke.

And then he did a terrible thing.

He kissed her with tender gentleness and coaxed open her lips. Their mouths melded together. Her body molded to his and it was perfect. She heard heart beats, pulse beats, thunderous beats. To be so close to him, so near, so in need—it was so unfair. She rested her head on his broad chest and made her decision.

“You are an innocent and a temptation I cannot afford, but I want you,” Gordon murmured.

Was it better to be miserable with him than without him?

When God wants to punish you, he grants you your dreams.


Buy link. Amazon


About Sandra.

Sandra_2014 50 percent pictureA (3)Retired executive, Sandra Masters, rose from a humble beginning in Newark, NJ, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ, to the board rooms of NYC, and a fantastic career for a broadcasting company in Carlsbad, California, to the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park, she has always traveled with pen and notebook. It’s been the journey of ten thousand miles. She left her corporate world behind and never looked back.

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Hogmanay-Scots New Years

By Collette Cameron

A guid New Year to ane an` a` and mony may ye see!


“Comrie Flambeaux Procession – geograph.org.uk – 314153″ by Anne Burgess. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –


One of the main reasons I enjoy writing historical romances so much is the fun snippets of authentic history I get to sprinkle throughout my stories. My latest novel culminates around the Christmas season which was well and good for my hero (he’s British) but my heroine is Scottish, and the Scot’s didn’t celebrate Christmas.

So, she set about educating her beau-turned-husband on one of Scotland’s most celebrated festivals, Hogmanay.

The origin of Hogmanay is unclear, though several theories have developed regarding the start of the once pagan festival.

Some attribute the celebration to the Flemish influence in Scotland because “hoog min dag” means “great love day”. However, Hogmanay is most often credited to the French expression “Homme est né” or “Man is born.”

Some historians still insist “Hoggo-nott” which was a Scandinavian feast, birthed the tradition (think Vikings invaders) while others argue the Anglo-Saxon words “Haleg Monath” is where the word Hogmanay came from.

Whatever the source, the Scots love the day and celebrate with typical Scottish gusto and enthusiasm.

Here are some of the most common Hogmanay traditions:

First-footing-It was good luck to have a tall, dark, gift-bearing male be your first guest of the New Year. Slam the door in a fair-haired person’s face if they were the first to visit for it portended bad luck. (Those Vikings again!) Whisky and shortbread were gifts traditionally offered and often are today still.

Redding-A not so fun tradition consisting of cleaning the house thoroughly on December 31st (including the fireplaces ashes) to usher in the New Year. (You wouldn’t want a dirty house when that handsome, dark-haired fellow showed up!)

Actually, the custom was rooted in the idea of cleaning out the old year to usher in the new.

Handsel Day (Handselling)-This is a nearly extinct tradition where on the first Monday of the New Year, small gifts were given to children and servants.

Auld Lange Syne At midnight, everyone sings the tune Robert Frost made famous, though he based the tune on an earlier piece.

Torch and Bonfire Ceremonies –Today, firework displays and torchlight processions take the place of ancient pagan practices. In times past, hides were wrapped around sticks and lit on fire because the smoke was thought to ward off evil spirits. Torch tossing, rolling ignited tar-filled barrels down a hill, and lighting a huge bonfire were all part of the Hogmanay celebration as well.

It’s a good thing January 2nd is a holiday in Scotland!

I wonder, have you ever sung Auld Lange Syne? Were you aware of its Scots roots?



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While I’m off celebrating my thirty-second wedding anniversary, Liza O’Connor is going to tell you about her latest book, and she has a contest!

Darkest days tour banner

During Queen Victoria’s era, the royalty gene pool was a closed loop, so it was not uncommon for cousins to marry first cousins.



In Book 6, I create a cousin, Lady Haughton, for the Queen. Lady Haughton is what you would call a lesser royalty. There is no chance whatsoever that she would ever be offered the crown. So she prefers to go by the title of ‘Lady’. I have no idea if she has a fancier title. The real female first cousins of Victoria that I could find all had titles such as Princess and Empress. (There were at least ten of them) But none of these women would do, so I created a lesser cousin.

My Lady Haughton is unfortunately plagued by relatives who are frankly an embarrassment to all society. So her name has been erased from all social lists. For all practical purposes, she has been royally forgotten. Except by the Queen.

She and Queen Victoria look very much alike. Thus, Lady Haughton rarely leaves her home, least her cousin be embarrassed when people see her and think the Queen is not wearing black, or worse yet, she is laughing. (True Fact: The Queen loved to laugh, but she rarely did so in public.)

Instead, Lady Haughton lived a quiet, wealthy, solitaire life, until the ghosts came a banging.

She hires Xavier & Vic to remove the ghosts. Not believing in such silliness, their suspicion lands on a nephew she has bequeathed all her wealth to when she dies. She has a great deal of nephew and nieces, but the only one she loves is Leslie.

I must say, when ‘not quite royalty’ goes bad, they go very bad.

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When the pot has too many cooks a feast can be ruined, and that’s exactly what happens with Xavier and Vic’s new cases. Each proves more complicated than initially thought with criminals dropping out of the sky, wreaking havoc upon Xavier, Vic, and their excellent employees. By the end, Vic threatens to open a school that teaches criminals how to stay out of each other’s way.

Worse yet, a treasured member of the staff is shot in the heart while attempting to save Vic and the Queen’s cousin.

An Excerpt

Here’s a bit about Leslie, the lady’s nice nephew:

Gregory closed his eyes as if willing sufficient patience to deal with Vic. “Victor, I have no issues with you saving people. However, doing so does not preclude using proper etiquette. When bringing guests home, you must never open the front door and bellow for your butler.”

“What would you have me do? I’m not upset that you don’t spend your day standing at the door so it opens when I approach it. You were clearly busy doing something of greater importance, so I unlocked the door and entered. However, I was certain you would not approve if I settled Leslie in without letting you know, so I called, not bellowed, your name.”

“You should have knocked on the door and waited,” he scolded.

Vic stepped closer, determined to win this argument. “Well, the problem I have with your solution is that someone is trying very hard to kill Leslie. His body has more bullet wounds, garrotes and knife scars than Xavier’s. I was not about to let him die on my doorstep while I practiced proper etiquette.”


The Darkest Days

Book 6

Free with Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Need to catch up?

Book 1

The Troublesome Apprentice

Book 2

The Missing Partner

Book 2.5

A Right to Love

Book 3

The Mesmerist

Book 4

Well Kept Secrets

Book 5

Pack of Trouble


All Xavier & Vic books are Free with Amazon Unlimited


Liza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. 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 nicely. But all those bad behaviors has given her lots of fodder for her humorous books. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.

You have been warned.

Mostly humorous books by Liza:

Ghost LoverTwo British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. And there’s a ghost cat that roams about the book as well. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)

Saving Casey— Cass wakes up in the body of a troubled teen who has burned every bridge imaginable. Her only choice is to turn this life around, but that’s much harder than she ever imagined.

Untamed & UnabashedThe youngest of the Bennet sisters, Lydia, tells her story. A faithful spinoff from Pride & Prejudice.

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 Hardest LoveIs to love oneself. Sam’s story.

The Adventures of Xavier & Vic Sleuth series: (Late Victorian/Mystery/Romance)

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

The Missing Partner — Opps! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.

A Right to Love — A romantic detour for Jacko. Want to see how amply rewarded Jacko was when he & Vic save an old woman from Bedlam?

The Mesmerist The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.

Well Kept Secrets — The problems with secrets is that they always come to light, no matter how you wish to silence them.

Pack of Trouble — Changes are a part of life, but these changes almost kill Vic.

The Darkest Days — Muddled cases make Vic very grumpy.


Social Networking



Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

XnV 7in row books

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I’m so thrilled to welcome fellow Rom-vet and Kensington author Diana Cosby back to the blog!! Diana is here today with her latest release, An Oath Sworn!! Diana will also give away a copy of her book to one of you. All you have to do is tell her you want it!

First the lovely cover.

1 1aa An Oath Sworn Cover

Next the blurb.

Bound by honor to save a country they love …

The bastard daughter of the French king, Marie Alesia Serouge has just one chance at freedom when she escapes her captor in the Scottish highlands. A mere pawn in a scheme to destroy relations between France and Scotland, Marie must reach her father and reveal the Englishmen’s treacherous plot. But she can’t abandon the wounded warrior she stumbles upon—and she can’t deny that his fierce masculinity, Scottish or not, stirs something wild inside her.

Colyne MacKerran is on a mission for his king, and he’s well aware that spies are lying in wait for him everywhere. Wounded en route, he escapes his attackers and is aided by an alluring Frenchwoman…whose explanation for her presence in the Highlands rings false. Even if she saved his life, he cannot trust her with his secrets. But he won’t leave her to the mercy of brigands, either—and as they race for the coast, he can’t help but wonder if her kiss is as passionate as she is. With nothing in common but their honor, Colyne and Marie face a dangerous journey to safety through the untamed Scottish landscape—and their own reckless hearts…
And finally, the excerpt.

“Who is he?” Colyne MacKerran asked. He far from understood the importance of the question he asked.  “What does it matter who it is or the reason his men are searching for me?” Colyne shot her a wry grin.  “If I am going to risk my life escorting you, I need to know what I am up against.” Hope stumbled through Lady Marie Alesia Serouge.  “You will escort me? But—” The Scot held up his hand, any trace of humor gone.  “To my friend’s home as I offered before.  Nay more.  Once you are in safe hands, I must go.  I have my own business to attend to.” Colyne’s reaction to the knights who’d ridden by flickered in her mind. Uneasy, she cleared her throat.  “You believed the men were after you?” His expression grew shuttered. Marie tensed.  Was this Scot a threat?  She didn’t want to believe she’d miscalculated to such a degree.  But if she was wrong . . . Long seconds passed as he stared at her, his deep gaze assessing.  “Aye, they are.” “Why?” she asked. A grim smile touched his mouth.  “Well now, lass, I have my own reasons.   Ones I will nae be sharing.  And,” he paused, “you will have to trust me as well.”
Continue reading
Buy links.  Kindle ~  iTunes ~  NOOK ~  KOBO  ~ Google PlayAmazon.com (Canada) Amazon (UK)Amazon.fr (France) ~ Amazon.it (Italy) ~ Amazon.de Kindle (Germany) ~ Amazon.es (Spain) ~ Amazon.co.ja (Japan) ~ Amazoncom.au. (Australia)


About Diana.

Diana CosbyA retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series are translated in five languages.  Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.

After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. With all three books of The Oath Trilogy, An Oath Taken, An Oath Broken, and An Oath Sworn, making bestseller lists in the U.S., Canada, and/or the United Kingdom, as well as the release of the e Box Set of the MacGruder Brothers series, she is now preparing for the release of the first book in the Forbidden Series, Forbidden Legacy, in August 2016!

Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.


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Please welcome Shannon Donnelly back to the blog!! Shannon is here today with her latest release, Lady Chance, Book 2 in the Regency Ladies in Distress series

She’ll also give a copy of the book to one of you who tells her you want it.

We begin with the lovely cover.

Lady Chance_600x999

Now the blurb

Can an English lady find love and common ground with a French soldier?

In Paris of 1814, as a Bourbon king again takes the throne, the Black Cabinet—a shadowy group of agents employed by the British—is sent to unmask dangerous men and stop assassinations. When Diana, Lady Chauncey—known as Lady Chance—is recruited by her cousin to use her skill at cards to help him delve into these plots, she meets up with a man she thought dead.

Diana finds herself swept into adventure and intrigue, and once again into the arms of the French officer she tangled with ten years ago. But she is no longer an impulsive girl, and he may not be the man she once thought was honorable and good.

After the recent defeat of his country, Giles Taliaris wants nothing more than a return to his family’s vineyards in Burgundy. But his younger brother seems involved in dangerous plots to return France to a republic. To get his family through these troubles, Giles can only tread warily. When he again meets meet the English girl he once knew and thought lost to him, he finds himself torn between duty and desire. Can he find his way through this tangle—and if he does, how can he convince his Diana to give up everything for him?

An excerpt

She turned her steps toward the river and let her stride lengthen. The Seine flowed through Paris in civilized curves. It struck her as a tidy body of water with arching, stone bridges crossing it like stitches. It lacked the size and depth of the Thames—no tall sailing ships lined the shore. No warehouses or docks stood along its edges. The small islands that lay like oblong scones in the river had been built upon for centuries with their stone houses and cathedrals. Notre-Dame’s square towers rose into the sky, dark from soot. Its bells would ring soon for morning mass of some kind. Another place she ought to visit, but not with the feel of cards still stiff in her hands and champagne light in her head. Besides, what would a good Anglican do in a Catholic church other than make herself an awkward tourist?

Her walk did nothing to settle her. However, she became aware of other steps behind her. At the next corner, she turned sharp and waited to see who followed.

Taliaris stepped from a swirl of morning mist like some phantom soldier after a battle. Unfair that he should look not an ounce fatigued by a long night. He stopped in front of her. The impulse danced inside her to swing up her umbrella and poke him in the chest with its tip and tell him to go to blazes. But Jules had said she must patch things.

Cocking her head to one side, she said, “We always seem to meet at the most inopportune moments.”

“I would not bother you, but you have no maid with you, no servant. No one in fact. Paris keeps uneasy company these days.”

“But the city is so very well guarded just now, and I can manage.” Diana waved her umbrella as she might a saber. “I have been doing so for any number of years.”

“Managing to get and lose a husband?” Giles asked, his voice a low growl.

He frowned at himself. He had told himself he would not pry. Yet, as soon as he had glimpsed her in the Jardin des Tuileries like some queen from the past, so certain of herself—seemingly unknowing that even queens could die—he had decided he must follow. Too many soldiers would think any woman on her own was no better than she should be, and he did not trust the manners of either the Prussians or the Russian.

Eyeing Diana and her umbrella—not much of a weapon that—he tucked her empty hand into the crook of his arm. She made no move to object. He started to walk her back the way she had come.

She glanced at him. “You make poor Chauncey sound no more than a glove I dropped. I assure you, it—”

“Was a love match? A passion that left you broken hearted?”

“Now you sound a cynic—and, well, no, it did not—” She broke off her words and bit her lower lip. The dawn bathed her in a pink glow. She looked the goddess now for whom she had been named, lush and proud. The years fell away. Giles could feel his mood softening. “He what, ma chère?”

She made a face and looked down to where she swung her black umbrella in step with her stride. “I hate complainers, so I do not intend to become one. And I ought to apologize. Another thing I hate. But I was in the wrong to strike you. I want to make amends.”

“Now you do not sound like a Frenchwoman. You sound too English. You look it as well, with your little bonnet and your long stride.”

“You, sir, are mocking me. No, do not waste your breath with a protest. You are. I can hear it in your tone. But tell me one thing and then I promise to leave the past be. Did you at least think of me over the years? Imagined me in Surrey, at Edgcot Place, sitting by a window, pining—”

“Never that,” he lied.

“Yes, pining. Probably sighing, too, and…and knitting, or stitching. They are the sorts of things men somehow think women are born knowing.”

“A huntress with domestic skills? You malign my imagination. No, I had you slaying hearts in ballrooms and—”

“Ah, so you did think of me,” Diana said, turning to face him, her eyes bright.

He pressed his lips tight. This was why one should not ask questions. The past was the past and should be left there. He lifted a shoulder and gave her as much of the truth as he could afford. “Do you think you did not leave your mark? I am certain many a man remembers you, much to his dismay.”

“Dismay? Nothing more?”

“Come now. We met by chance years ago. I managed to be of service to you and your aunt, and that knave with you.”

“Paxten Marset. He is now my aunt’s husband and utterly respectable, I shall have you know.”

“My felicitations to your aunt. I suppose I must give them late to you as well for the marriage you had.”

“Oh, no, not for that. I ought to have listened to my mother. I could have done far better than poor Chauncey in my earlier seasons. Why there was one year I had three proposals.”


His sharp question stopped Diana.

She widened her eyes and put a hand to her mouth as if she had let the words slip. She hadn’t. She wanted him to know she had once been quite the prize. The umbrella swung between them, dangling from her fingers. She pulled her hand down and jabbed the umbrella point forward, swinging it to indicate the path back into the formal gardens. “Perhaps we should save those stories for another time. We ought to manage some courtesy to each other this late in the day. Or is it early? Ah, I know. Let us start again.”

She pulled away from him. With both hands braced on the handle of the umbrella, she offered a smile and bobbed a curtsy. “Enchante. I am Diana, Lady Chauncey—Lady Chance to almost all. But I give you leave to call me Diana, for I feel we must be good friends.” She held out her gloved hand.

He looked at it. Lifting his stare to her face, he frowned. “This is absurd.”

“No, no. It is a new day. Let us not spoil it with an argument before breakfast.”

Buy links. Amazon Kindle ~ Amazon paperback


About Shannon.

ShannonDonnellyShannon Donnelly’s writing has won numerous awards, including a nomination for Romance Writer’s of America’s RITA award, the Grand Prize in the “Minute Maid Sensational Romance Writer” contest, judged by Nora Roberts, and others. Her writing has repeatedly earned 4½ Star Top Pick reviews from Romantic Times magazine, as well as praise from Booklist and other reviewers, who note: “simply superb”…”wonderfully uplifting”….and “beautifully written.”

In addition to her Regency romances, she is the author of the Mackenzie Solomon, Demon/Warders Urban Fantasy series, Burn Baby Burn and Riding in on a Burning Tire, and the SF/Paranormal, Edge Walkers. Her work has been on the top seller list of Amazon.com and includes the Historical romances, The Cardros Ruby and Paths of Desire.

She is the author of several young adult horror stories, and has also written computer games and offers editing and writing workshops. She lives in New Mexico with two horses, two donkeys, two dogs, and the one love of her life. Shannon can be found online at shannondonnelly.com, facebook.com/sdwriter, and twitter/sdwriter.

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Please welcome Jenna Jaxon back to the blog. Jenna is here today with her Regency Christmas novella, A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe. And she is giving away a copy to one of you. All you have to do is leave a comment telling her you want it.

First we begin with the beautiful cover.


Now the blurb.

Is one kiss ever enough?

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

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

And excerpt.

Dishes of trifle finally sat at each place. Jenny itched to pick up her spoon. She could taste the berries and cream even now. She glanced at her father, who at last smiled and nodded.

“So, Charles, when is the wedding to take place?” Great-Aunt Henrietta trumpeted the question from her place at the mid-point of the table, her spoon already busy with her dessert.

“Wedding, Aunt Henrietta?”  Papa’s voice rose in a question, but he cut his eyes toward Mamma, who sent a frightened look at Jenny.

Odd, but no more so than her great-aunt’s question.  Whose wedding was she talking about?

“Yes, Charles.  Jenny’s wedding to young Alexander here.”  Henrietta nodded across the table to Alexander Isley, who sat up abruptly, staring at her aunt with wide eyes, as though he thought the old lady quite mad.

Jenny thought so herself.  A prickly sensation began at the back of her neck. She shot Alec a quick look. No, his face wore an expression of outright confusion, his brows knit over his dark brown eyes.

“She’s eighteen now, and you promised me when she was of age I’d see her married into the Isley family.  I have lived for the day that I could announce to the world that one of my family had moved into the titled class.”  She glared at Mamma, who blushed and turned to Jenny.

“It’s not as bad as it sounds, Jenny darling,” Mamma said, patting her hand.

That might have reassured Jenny, except her mother’s wide, staring eyes said yes, it was that bad. Maybe worse. Her heart began to pound and the sweet trifle turned sour in her mouth.

“Not bad?” Great-Aunt Harriet swung her gaze to Jenny and fixed her with a cold blue-eyed stare. “You should be grateful, girl. Your parents and I have arranged for you to take your place in society, as a titled lady in due time.”

“It’s not true is it, Mamma?”  Jenny could barely choke out the words in a voice that didn’t sound like her own at all. Too high, too soft. A peculiar roaring in her ears made her head light.

“Yes, my dear, it most certainly is.”  Great-Aunt Henrietta nodded with such vehemence that the feathers on her green velvet turban bobbed back and forth.  “When your mother refused to marry up, I swore none of your family would ever see a penny of my money.  Then when you were born, she came to me, begged me to reconsider, and promised that you had already been betrothed to the Isley heir here.” She pointed a finger at Alec who looked like he might dive under the table.  “She showed me the betrothal papers.”

Everyone at table sat in stunned silence.  Jenny looked down at her hands, clasped together so tightly her knuckles showed white.  All her dreams of excitement and romance during her season had just exploded in the blink of an eye.  Then the real import of her great-aunt’s word sank in and her stomach twisted. They expected her to marry Alec?

Buy Link. Amazon


About Jenna.

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as President of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. Her debut novel, Only Scandal Will Do, is the first in her House of Pleasure series, set in Georgian London. Only Marriage Will Do, the second book in the series, released in mid-June 2015 from Kensington. Her medieval serial novel, Time Enough to Love: Betrothal, Betrayal, and Beleaguered, is a Romeo & Juliet-esque tale, set at the time of the Black Death. The companion short story, Beloveds, released in early June 2015.  And a time travel novella, Crashing Through Time, also released in June as part of a boxed set about seven plane crashes that lead to love called Crashing Into Love.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

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Please welcome Jacki Delecki back to the blog. Jacki is here today with her latest audio book, A Christmas Code! She is giving away either an audio or ebook copy to one of you to tells her want it.

As always, we begin with the stunning cover.


Now the blurb.

Tis the Season…for romantic suspense!

What does Christmas have to do with espionage and political intrigue? For a romantic suspense author, everything—including a heartwarming holiday like Christmas—holds the potential to become part of the story.

For A Christmas Code, Book 2 of the Regency romantic suspense series, the Code Breakers, I combined elements from the winter holiday season to craft a story that features an attempted poisoning set against the elegant backdrop of the Regency Ton. In this story, the hero Ash is poisoned by a dose of ground up holly berries meant for the Prince Regent.

A popular accent used in Christmas decorations, holly is an evergreen shrub that can grow to be a tree, and there are more than 400 different varieties of the plant. The fruit and leaves contain a mix of caffeine-like alkaloid theobromine, caffeine and glycosides (theobromine is also found in chocolate and cocoa).

People and pets avoid the prickly leaves, but children may be attracted to the bright red berries. As few as 20 can be lethal if consumed, and eating just three berries can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe symptoms include drowsiness, slowed breathing and heart rate, coma and death.

Ash catches a lucky break, because, while holly berries are toxic, people rarely die from ingesting this type of poison. Nowadays modern medicine can treat individuals who consume holly berries, but that wasn’t always the case.

And excerpt.

Hot and breathless from performing the newly imported French dance steps of the quadrille, Gwyneth paused during the break in the music. She fanned her heated cheeks repeatedly, attempting to cool herself. Lord Henley glanced down at her. His lips were tight, his eyes dark with need. She had seen the same look on the faces of many men, but never on the face of the only man who mattered.

She wanted to see the same burning desire and possessiveness in the eyes of her childhood infatuation as she knew blazed in her eyes when she looked at the impossible but dazzling Viscount Ashworth.

The gentleman, newly arrived, had barely glanced at her despite the new gown made especially to entice the hard-headed rake. Her friend and dress designer, Amelia, obsessed with the simplicity of Greek togas, had crisscrossed sky blue silk across Gwyneth’s ample chest with a dramatic décolletage. The back of the gown was draped in the same manner with a revealing V. It was a simple design, but sensual in the way the fabric clung to her body.

She felt alluring and hopeful that tonight Ash would finally throw off all the restraints. She had felt his eyes on her back, knowing he watched her as she gaily danced the intricate pattern she had recently learned from her French dance master.

Lord Henley offered his arm as the quadrille ended. “May I take you to the refreshment table for a glass of punch? This new French dance is very demanding.”

“Thank you. I’m not thirsty. Can you please take me to my dear friend, Miss Bonnington?”

Lord Henley’s eyes clouded with emotion. Gwyneth couldn’t refuse the dance, but she needed to escape the gentleman before he embarrassed himself. She wanted to spare him the pain of rejection. After five marriage proposals this season, she had become somewhat of an expert in recognizing the signs of imminent declaration.

Lord Henley escorted Gwyneth to Amelia, who had also finished dancing and now stood alone.

“Thank you, sir, for the dance.” Gwyneth did a brief curtsy.

Lord Henley bowed. “It was my pleasure.” He hesitated, then sharply nodded his head. She didn’t want to be unkind, but there was no reason to pretend interest and encourage hope when there was none.

They watched Lord Henley circle to the other side of the room.

Amelia hid her face behind her fan, her bright eyes dancing in merriment. “Another stricken gentleman.”

“I believe he was about to ask if he could call on my brother tomorrow. I think I did an excellent job of extricating myself before Lord Henley declared his feelings.”

“Lord Henley is quite a catch. He’s heir to a vast fortune. His interest can’t be limited only to your dowry.”

“Thank you. I’m glad it isn’t only money that makes me attractive.” Gwyneth liked to believe it was her wit, her sparkling eyes, but she knew her position as sister to an earl and heiress to a hefty inheritance gave her a definite cache with the gentleman. And it was just like Amelia to tease her.

“Your following of swains has nothing to do with your luscious figure, your dramatic looks, or your amiable personality. My unique skill as a designer has brought all these gentleman to swoon at your feet.” Amelia snickered, which made Gwyneth laugh.

Tears were running down Gwyneth’s cheeks. “You do know how to level a woman’s confidence.”

The comment drove both to louder laughter.

Gwyneth noticed that Ash had turned in her direction. He smiled.

Lost in the merriment, she smiled back before she remembered her resolution not to appear as a puppy, waiting at his feet for a pat on the head. She could hide her feelings as well as he did. Forbidden by some unwritten gentleman’s code, Ash considered her off limits. She wasn’t sure if it was the age difference of eight years, his rakish past, or her position as his best friend’s younger sister.

He still kept her at a distance, maintaining that she was a mere youngster and they were simply childhood friends. She had spent the entire season trying to convince him otherwise, but she was tiring of the game.

Jacki recently released the audiobook version of A Christmas Code, which is narrated by the talented Pearl Hewitt, who also narrated two other books in this series: A Code of Love and A Code of the Heart. You can listen to an audio sample here: http://bit.ly/1ToZIx9

Buy links. AmazonBN ~  iBooks ~ Kobo ~ Google Play ~ Audible ~ iTunes

About Jacki.

Head ShotJacki Delecki is a bestselling romantic suspense writer. Delecki’s Grayce Walters Series, which chronicles the adventures of a Seattle animal acupuncturist, was an editor’s selection by USA Today. Delecki’s Romantic Regency The Code Breaker Series hit number one on Amazon. Both acclaimed series are available for purchase at http://www.JackiDelecki.com. To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about giveaways join her newsletter found on her website. Follow her on FB—Jacki Delecki; Twitter @jackidelecki.


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