Archive for the ‘Guest Author’ Category

Please welcome Amara Royce back to the blog! She’s here to tell us about her new book and she’s giving away on copy. All you have to do is tell her you want it!


First the cover.


Now the blurb.

In bustling Victorian London, a desperate woman turns to the last man who would ever want to come to her aid…

Years ago, when Helena Martin escaped to London with a dashing captain, she had no idea she was endangering her entire village. Little did she know, the arranged match she fled was the little town’s last chance at prosperity. Now, with her beloved grandmother’s health failing, Helena must face the damage she wrought. And she must do it with an unlikely escort: her jilted fiance’s brother. 

Daniel Lanfield is undoubtedly attracted to Helena—and furious with her. Though it was unintentional, her thoughtlessness has caused great misery to their village. Yet Daniel is uniquely positioned to help her return home, and strangely compelled to keep her close along the way. For no matter what their pasts, the desire between them now is ever-present…


And an excerpt

As her friend spoke, she froze, a chill spreading downward from the crown of her head to engulf her. Daniel Lanfield. It couldn’t be. There must be plenty of Lanfields in England. After so many years and so many miles, what were the odds that one of the Marksby Lanfields would visit London—would be here at this place and this time? Inconceivable. They were devoted to the village and to their family’s business and held a disdain for anything metropolitan. Still, with dread sinking into her skin, she turned to look fully at the man beside her.

He looked nothing like the boys—young men—she remembered, but much change was bound to happen over a score of years. No, she was wrong. He did look like the boy who was supposed to be her brother-in-law. His brown eyes could be Daniel’s eyes. The shape of his face was perhaps broader from time and age but still that same strong square that marked the Lanfield men. His broad shoulders and his bearing reminded her of the elder Mr. Lanfield. The fall of curling hair beneath his cap, that was what had always distinguished him from his brother Gordon, who’d kept his straight hair closely cropped. This could be Gordon’s brother. Please, heavens, let it not be him.

“Someone should stay with you to make sure you don’t suffer a relapse,” he said, his accent nostalgically familiar and his faint smile achingly conscientious. She couldn’t deny it any longer. While his older brother had been rather distant and stern, Daniel had always been the kind one, the attentive one, the one to reach out to help others. The polite concern and deference in his eyes now said he didn’t recognize her. Best to keep it that way.

“No, no, sir. You should feel free to go about your business. You too, Mrs. Clarke—I’m sure the boys need more attending than I do. Now that I am free of those chaotic masses, I will be quite well.” She had to make him leave before he figured out who she was. Averting her eyes, she said pointedly, “I do not do well in the presence of large groups of people. I would be much better off by myself.”

Marissa nodded and said a hasty good-bye to Mr. Lanfield, exchanging cards with him and insisting he dine at the Clarke household as an expression of gratitude.

“Far be it from me to cause you discomfort, Mrs. Martin,” he said after Marissa left them. “I’d not feel right, though, leaving you unattended. ’Tis no trouble to spend a few moments in your company while you indulge your sons. This visit to London has been filled with activity—meetings, dinners, interviews. Today’s been my first chance to breathe all week.”

“You are not from London?” She shouldn’t ask, shouldn’t encourage conversation, but she craved information about her childhood home. It had been so long.

“Does it not show? I’m but a country bumpkin from a small village to the north, near the city of Bradford. Surely, I must stand out like a pig amid a herd of sheep.”

“Not at all,” she replied honestly. His speech and mannerisms were as cordial and appropriate as any of her husband’s business associates had been. He didn’t have the smoothness of a metropolitan industrialist, but his forthright demeanor held its own appeal. And that voice, the stretch and twist of the vowels…it stirred a deeply buried longing for the home she’d given up when she ran off with Isaiah, breaking her engagement with Gordon. If this truly was his brother, Daniel, she prayed he wouldn’t realize her identity. “But I really think I would benefit from some quiet. I hope you understand.”

“Aye, of course. ’Twas a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Martin. I wish you well.” He stared at her a fraction too long for her comfort. She nodded and was relieved when he finally turned and walked away, his gait slow and hesitant, as if he was reluctant to go.

She put her bonnet back on and had just finished tying the ribbons when she felt a strange awareness and looked up. He hadn’t gone far, it turned out, and he looked at her with a puzzled expression. Then, to her chagrin, he began walking back in her direction. She calculated what she could do, where she could go, before he returned, but there was no way to escape without being obvious.

“Mrs. Martin,” he said, coming to stand before her again. “Forgive me if this seems intrusive, but I can’t help feeling that perhaps we have met before. May I know your husband’s name and, if I may be so bold, his occupation?”

Now she had a choice to make: tell him the truth and risk his recollection, or lie and risk him later finding out the truth from Marissa, assuming he accepted her dinner invitation. Despite that one long-ago promise she’d broken, she strove to maintain her integrity in all things, and this could be no different.

“My husband was Captain Isaiah Martin,” she said formally, a tendril of pride wreathing through her. Even now, she sometimes couldn’t believe he’d chosen her to be his wife those many years ago. And she couldn’t believe how fortunate she’d been to choose him as well. “When he retired from the military due to injury, he worked in various capacities for what is now the LNWR.”

Daniel Lanfield blinked twice, gave the curtest of nods as his expression turned ominous, and then turned on his heel and walked away without another word.

So apparently he hadn’t forgotten her.

His reaction was better than she’d expected.


Buy Links: Amazon  ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo ~ iTunes ~ Google Play

About Amara.

Amara's photoAmara Royce writes historical romances that combine her passion for 19th-century literature and history with her addiction to happily ever afters. She teaches English literature and composition at a community college in Pennsylvania. When she isn’t writing, she’s either grading papers or reveling in her own happily ever after with her remarkably patient family.


Read Full Post »

Please welcome Christy Carlyle back to the blog!! Christy is here today with her latest release, One Tempting Proposal!! She is also giving away a copy to one of you. All you have to do is tell her you want it!

We begin with the beautiful cover.


Now the blurb.

Becoming engaged? Simple. Resisting temptation? Impossible.

Sebastian Fennick, the newest Duke of Wrexford, prefers the straightforwardness of mathematics to romantic nonsense. When he meets Lady Katherine Adderly at the first ball of the season, he finds her as alluring as she is disagreeable. His title may now require him to marry, but Sebastian can’t think of anyone less fit to be his wife, even if he can’t get her out of his mind.

After five seasons of snubbing suitors and making small talk, Lady Kitty has seen all the ton has to offer…and she’s not impressed. But when Kitty’s overbearing father demands she must marry before her beloved younger sister can, she proposes a plan to the handsome duke. Kitty’s schemes always seem to backfire, but she knows this one can’t go wrong. After all, she’s not the least bit tempted by Sebastian, is she?

And an excerpt.

He would leave. The duke was already two steps away from the threshold, and there was a firm, decided solidity in the line of his back. The man seemed quite finished with her and their strange encounter. Then he shocked Kitty by halting midstride and spearing her with a glance over the wide span of his shoulder.

Those eyes of his were a nuisance.

“Perhaps we can dispense with a bit of formality, Your Grace.” She paired the words with one of the simpering smiles she’d perfected over the years. It wouldn’t do to make an enemy of the man. “Please, call me Kitty.”

Many called her by the diminutive. There was no true intimacy in what she offered, but he wouldn’t know that. Gifting the concession drew people in and tended to soften them toward her.

He turned fully and snapped his head up, his inscrutable gaze tangling with hers. His eyes widened, but irritation still furrowed lines between his brows.


Ignoring his incredulous tone, Kitty lifted a hand to her elbow and pulled her white evening glove snug on her right arm. She brushed a fingertip across the spot where he’d touched her. Held her. As if he had any right to do so.

“That’s what my friends call me. So you must do so too.” She pasted on a grin and turned her chin down at the precise angle to allow her eyes to tilt up at him flirtatiously.

He’d succumb like all the others, and she would choose what he called her and when he touched her, if she ever allowed him to touch her again.

Then he stalked toward her, and her sense of control faltered. A tremor skittered across her skin, but she refused to retreat. She stood firm, only reaching up to twine her long strand of pearls through her fingers, twisting the gems tight to cover her pulse where it flickered wildly at the base of her throat.

He tipped his head and studied her in a slow agonizing perusal. “No, I think not.”

“No?” With him standing close, his rich verdant scent scrambling her wits, she wasn’t certain what he refused.

Her name. He was denying the invitation to call her Kitty. No, that wasn’t the way of it. Men didn’t refuse her. She refused them.

He closed the distance in one long stride. Warm man and the aromas of oak moss and bay assaulted her senses. Shock arced through her body. Shock that he affected her, and that she craved any man’s body so near.

“Is that truly what others call you? It can’t be your name. There’s nothing kittenish about you.”

She gasped, to breathe him in, to catch her breath, and when he moved his arm, she had the mad notion he might reach up and trace her lips with his fingertip, and then claim her mouth with his, letting her taste his woodsy cologne directly from his skin.

His gaze locked on her eyes.

“You’re not a kitten. You prowled that ballroom as sure-footed as any woman I’ve ever seen. And while you manage to appear disinterested in everyone and everything, I’d wager nothing escapes your notice.”

He lifted a hand as if to touch her but hesitated.

She held her breath, drawn taut and tense.

“You’re much more cat than kitten.” He grinned, the lines between his brows softening, and a glint of satisfaction lighting his gaze. “Yes. Kat suits you far better than Kitty.”

Buy links. Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Google Play ~ iTunes ~ Kobo

About Christy.

Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, Christy Carlyle writes sChristy Carlyleensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.

Read Full Post »

It is my great pleasure to welcome my friend and fabulous Regency author Louisa Cornell to the blog! Louisa is here to tell you about the Christmas box set she and three other talented authors have put together. And she is giving away a copy to one of you. All you have to do is tell her you want it!

We begin with the cover.

CR - ebook cover


Next the blurbs.

Let the Revels begin—again! Four new stories with four distinctive voices:

The Vicar’s Christmas – Margaret Trent never needs anything or anyone, but when two London solicitors show up on her doorstep, she needs a hero. Enter Henry Ogden, mild-mannered village vicar. Hardly the stuff of heroes . . . until adversity brings out unexpected talents.

A Christmas Equation – A chance meeting between a reluctant viscount and a self-effacing companion revives memories of their shared past—a time when they were very different people. With secrets to keep, Sarah Clendenin wishes Benjamin Radcliff gone . . . but he’s making calculations of his own.

Crimson Snow – A trail of blood drops leads Jane Merrywether to a wounded stranger—the only person standing in the way of her wicked guardian becoming an earl. John Rexford, long-thought dead, has returned to claim his inheritance and his promised bride . . . if he can survive a murderous Christmas.

A Perfectly Unregimented Christmas – After years at war, Viscount Pennyworth returns to his ancestral home to find some peace and quiet and to avoid the holiday he loathes. But four naughty boys, a bonnet-wearing goat, a one-eyed cat, a family secret, and one Annabelle Winters, governess, make this a Christmas he’ll never forget.


And an excerpt.


“Belle.” His voice a hoarse whisper, he traced her face with kisses—her closed eyes, her cheeks, her nose, her jaw, and the tender spot at the side of her neck. Like the hawk soaring from an ash tree into an endless sky, her heart flew. “My Annabelle.”


Oh no. What had she done?

Belle pushed against his chest.

He did not release her but rested his forehead, eyes closed, on hers. “I won’t apologize. Not for a single moment of it.”

“There is no need, my lord. I am equally to blame.” She gulped a breath. Her body shook, and she prayed he would believe it was the cold. One by one, she tucked every sensation he’d stirred into the secret recesses of her mind. Every woman had a place she kept the few precious memories life had afforded her. Belle’s place was now filled with the last few moments.

He opened his eyes. Then opened his hands, still fisted against her back. Belle backed away. She shook out her cloak and patted her disheveled hair. She took a step down the path toward the house. Lord Pennyworth—Ben grabbed her arm.

“We should return to the Hall. They will wonder—”

“To hell with what they will wonder. What is it, Mrs. Winters? What secrets are you keeping from me? Who are you, Annabelle?”

For the first time, she read every unspoken word in those stark features. She’d allowed herself to grow weary. Comfort and a place to let someone else be strong was a powerful lure. To not take what he offered broke her heart.

“I am a woman who knows the price of kisses, my lord. And it is a price I cannot afford.” She walked toward the terrace she saw dimly through the snow and whatever else blurred her vision. “Stop questioning the boys,” she said without turning around. “It is unfair and beneath you, Lord Pennyworth.”

In that moment, so was she.

Buy links. Amazon ~ B&N ~ iTunes ~ Kobo

About Louisa.

LouisaLouisa Cornell read her first historical romance novel, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, at the age of nine. This inspired her to spend the next three years of her young life writing the most horrible historical romance novel ever written. Fortunately it has yet to see the light of day. As Louisa spent those three years living in a little English village in Suffolk (Thanks to her father’s Air Force career.) it is no surprise she developed a lifelong love of all things British, especially British history and Regency-set romance novels. (And Earl Grey tea!)

During those same three years, Louisa’s vocal talent was discovered. Her study of music began at the London College of Music and continued once she returned to the States. After four music degrees and a year of study at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, Louisa was fortunate enough to embark on a singing career in opera houses in Germany, Austria, and most of Eastern Europe.

Now retired from an active career in opera, Louisa has returned to her first love – writing Regency-set historical romance. Her publication debut, A PERFECTLY DREADFUL CHRISTMAS (from the anthology Christmas Revels,) won the 2015 Holt Medallion for Best Romance Novella.

Two time Golden Heart finalist, three time Daphne du Maurier winner, and three time Royal Ascot winner, Louisa is a member of RWA, SMRWA and the Beau Monde Chapter of RWA. She lives in LA (Lower Alabama) with a Chihuahua so grouchy he has been banned from six veterinary clinics, several perfectly amiable small dogs, and a cat who terminates vermin with extreme prejudice.

You can learn more about Louisa and her future publication plans at :   www.louisacornell.com and https://www.facebook.com/RegencyWriterLouisaCornell or follow her on Twitter @LouisaCornell.


Read Full Post »

Please welcome our guest today, Nicola Davidson. She is here with her latest book, One Forbidden Knight. And she’s giving away a copy to one of you!! All you have to do is leave a comment telling her you want it.

We begin with the cover.





















Next the blurb.

Catherine Linwood is amongst the favored of Tudor Queen Mary–until her physician father dies mysteriously. She’s distraught, shunned and desperate for answers. Catherine’s only ally is Sir Brandon FitzAlan…who is willing to risk his life to protect hers. While the handsome stranger’s courage and wit soon capture her heart, his true allegiance and purpose is uncertain.

Brand is well used to the lies and shadows of court. Yet nothing prepares him for his sizzling attraction to innocent Catherine, or the deadly plot she is tangled in, for her father took a secret to his grave that could tear Catholic England apart. With one chance at salvation, Brand and Catherine begin a cross-country journey that reveals the shocking truth…and a burning passion that could save or destroy them both.

And now an excerpt.

Taking a shaky breath, forgetting every one of the edicts Papa had ever taught about ladylike behavior, Catherine turned, shoving and

elbowing her way through the rapidly gathering crowd to run in the direction of the Grand Duke Inn. Brand was there, waiting for her. He would know what to do, how to make sense of the words she’d heard, the sickening scene she’d just witnessed.

Blindly, she stumbled along the street, pushing past washerwomen, children splashing in puddles and a group of men huddled around a crate with cards and coins piled on top.

“Mistress Linwood!”

Even as she desperately wanted to ignore the call, her head twisted to see the guards attempting to barrel their way through the throngs of people behind her. Forcing her aching legs to continue forward, she sent another prayer heavenward when she finally saw the familiar high wooden sign of the Grand Duke dangling from a wrought iron hook in the distance.


Terror nearly robbed her of breath at the furious roar, but this time she didn’t pause to see how far behind the guards were. The inn was near. So near. Thirty feet at most. If she could just make it inside without causing a stir, Brand would find and protect her.

Some instinct compelled her to slow to a brisk walk—no lady burst into an inn scarlet-faced and panting—and she swiftly reached up to check her elegant velvet hood was still in place. There and secure. Thank heavens. If she looked like a criminal, she would be thrown straight back out on the street—

The thought vanished in a surge of icy panic as two steel-like arms closed around her body. One crossed her breasts, clamping both elbows to her sides and leaving her hands dangling helplessly, the other sliding up so a large palm could seal her mouth, rendering an instinctive cry for help into nothing more than a muffled squeak. Finally she was spun around like she weighed no more than a feather, away from the relative safety of the open street and into a dark, fetid alley.

Sweet blessed virgin.

They’d caught her.

Buy links. Amazon ~ B&N ~ Kobo

About Nicola.
Nicola DavidsonNew Zealander Nicola Davidson always adored words, romance and history, so writing historical romance was a logical career progression…er, eventually. After completing a communications degree and journalism diploma she left to teach English in Taiwan and travel through Asia before returning home to work in television. Jobs in tertiary education, local government communications and print media followed, but the lords and ladies in her head wouldn’t hold their peace a moment longer and so began the years of professional daydreaming. When not chained to a computer writing wickedly sexy, witty and twisty turny stories, Nicola can be found ambling along a beach, cheering on the champion All Blacks rugby team or driving her nearest and dearest batty with her history geekisms, chocolate hoarding and complete lack of domestic skills.
Keep up with Nicola’s news on Twitter (@NicolaMDavidson) Facebook (Nicola Davidson – Author) or her website http://www.nicola-davidson.com


Read Full Post »

Please join me in welcoming Ally Broadfield back to the blog. Ally is here today with her latest book Say You’ll Love Me, and she’ll be giving away a copy! All you have to do is tell her you want the book!

We begin with the lovely cover!


Now the blurb.

She may be his favorite mystery…

All of Lady Abigail Hurst’s dreams seem to be coming true when at long last her childhood sweetheart asks for her hand. But when a maid is found dead, and her betrothed is the chief suspect, Abigail begins to wonder just what manner of man she’s marrying…

The Marquess of Longcroft, Edmund Townsend, has always preferred complex mathematical equations to the trappings of society. And love? Love is a non-quantifiable concept. Still, Lady Abigail is his sister’s friend, and he finds himself drawn into the mystery of her affianced… even as he begins to anticipate Lady Abigail’s company with unfathomable pleasure.

Investigating the murder may reveal more than the sordid truth. It may just reveal the love Abigail always wanted… a little too late.

And an excerpt

Edmund helped the ladies exit the carriage and they entered a dress shop where Abigail thought they might have a fichu made for his mother. Discomfort overtook him the moment they entered. Though it was quite fancy for a shop, the air was close and he appeared to be the only male in the building. There were far too many things crammed into the space.

Abigail led them up to the counter and inspected several lengths of silk. “What colors does Lady Longcroft favor?”

Edmund frowned. “She only recently switched from black to grey, so it is difficult to say.”

“She has also been wearing lavender recently,” Henrietta said.

“Lavender? Like the flower? Isn’t that just purple?” Women had so confounded many names for colors.

Abigail raised a brow at him. “Lavender is used for half-mourning and is generally much lighter than purple, which is seldom worn by ladies unless they are attempting to attract attention to themselves.”

“Aren’t women always attempting to attract attention to themselves?”

“Of course not,” Georgiana said. “Henrietta tries never to draw attention to herself, and Abigail could certainly do with less attention right now.”

Suitably chastised, he said, “Of course. My apologies.”

“To get back to the matter at hand, Mama used to enjoy wearing shades of green and gold before Papa died,” Henrietta said.

“Let us hope we can convince her to go back to wearing those colors, then, in which case we shall need to choose a fabric that will coordinate with many colors.” Abigail turned to him and stared into his eyes, sending his heart pounding.

“Are her eyes the same shade of brown as yours?

He nodded, unable to look away from her intense scrutiny.

“Then gold, or perhaps bronze would suit her well. It shall be up to you and your sisters to convince her that it is time for her to shed her mourning and wear color again.”

He must have looked terrified by the prospect because Abigail nearly choked attempting to hold back her laughter.

“What type of fabrics does she favor?”

He shrugged. “The types of fabrics ladies use for gowns, I guess.” He pulled at his cravat and shot a panicked look at his sisters. “Henrietta? Georgiana?”

Henrietta spoke first, having spent the most time with their mother at social events. “She used to favor silk, though she may prefer something simpler now that she’s a widow.”

Abigail’s eyes narrowed in consideration. “Still, if she prefers lighter fabrics, she may find she is cold at some of the functions. Perhaps a shawl would be better than a fichu, and easier to remove when the ballroom becomes hot, as it always does.”

Edmund nodded. “Yes, that sounds like a practical idea.” He understood practical a lot better than he understood fashionable.

She cast him a sideways glance. “No lady ever wants to hear that a gift was chosen for her for practical reasons.”

His comfort was short lived. “So ladies prefer impractical gifts?”

Abigail grinned. “Not necessarily, but we don’t want to be told that you chose a gift because it was practical. Do you see the difference?”

“Not in the least.”

Georgiana exchanged a glance with Abigail and shrugged as if saying, he’s all yours.

Abigail returned her gaze to him. “You’re supposed to choose a gift because it’s pretty or because it made you think of the lady you are purchasing it for. If it’s practical that’s fine, but for heaven’s sake, don’t point it out to her.”

Edmund momentarily closed his eyes and took a deep breath, recalling the relaxation techniques his fencing master had taught him. “Now I remember why I hate shopping.”

Buy links: Amazon ~ B&N ~ iTunes ~ Kobo


About Ally.

bio pic largeAlly has worked as a horse trainer, director of marketing and development, freelance proofreader, and a children’s librarian, among other things. None of them were as awesome as writing romance novels (though the librarian gig came closest). She lives in Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, four dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and assorted reptiles. Oh, and her husband.

Ally likes to curse in Russian because very few people know what she’s saying, and spends most of what would be her spare time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She has many stories in her head looking for an opportunity to escape onto paper. She writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia.

Read Full Post »

Please welcome Lauren Smith back to the blog! Lauren is here today with her latest release, Tempted by a Rogue! And she’ll be giving away a copy to one of you who tells her you want it.

We begin with the beautiful cover.

tempted by a rogue_4

Now the blub.

The rogue’s temptation would be her undoing…

Gemma Haverford knows exactly who she will marry: James Randolph, the man she’s had a secret understanding with for the last eleven years. With every letter written between them while he’s been off at sea, their love has grown. Now they will be reunited with his return to England.

There’s just one problem. The man whose words she’d fallen in love with isn’t James at all…

Jasper Holland, a gentleman rogue of the first order, is trapped. Talked into a scheme by his best friend, he pretended to be James for eleven years as he wrote to Gemma, even though he’d promised James he’d break it off. But now with his return to England, his secret will come out – and he’ll lose the one woman he can’t live without.

What began as a game of words, now becomes a game of hearts, and Jasper will pay any price to call Gemma his.

 And an excerpt.

“What can I do for you, Lady Greenley?” Gemma asked.

“Can I depend upon you to rescue me from these unruly young bucks? Take them about the garden, and see that they don’t scandalize my party, won’t you?” Lady Greenley demanded of Gemma, a wicked glint in the older lady’s gray eyes. With her crafty mannerisms and being rather boisterous for her age, no one dared to cross her.

“Of course, Lady Greenley,” Gemma answered politely.

Both men grinned at her. The direct attention from both James and Jasper heated her skin with an embarrassing blush. There was nothing decent in either of their gazes. She could understand a look like that from James, after what they had shared, but Jasper? He should not be eyeing her form with such a bold look of appreciation like he did at that exact moment.

Lady Greenley watched this odd triangle of looks with an arched brow of interest, and Gemma thought she saw the old woman hide the beginnings of a smile beneath her ridiculously foppish bonnet. Where James’s gaze seemed to outline every curve of her body with speculation, Jasper’s gaze had the deep sensual sweep of such force that she almost felt his hands stroking her rather than his eyes…it was a knowing gaze, like he knew just how the flesh of her breasts would tighten, her legs tremble and her breath quicken beneath his touch…

“Why, is that really you, Miss Haverford?” James exclaimed with a broad smile and a deep bow. It did little to dispel the ensnaring enchantment of Jasper’s heated gaze which distracted her from James.

Gemma forced a soft laugh, letting James take her hand and kiss it, but the tingling rush of contact she expected did not come. His voice did not seem quite the same as the night before, perhaps because it was disguised by his whispering tone…

“Mr. Randolph, Mr. Holland, I’m so glad to see you both returned to Midhurst in good health.” Her gaze was strangely drawn back to Jasper, who watched her in deep concentration and she didn’t know what to make of his scrutiny. She nibbled her bottom lip, studying Jasper intensely. His shoulders were wide…a little wider than James’s now that she compared them so diligently.

James dropped her hand and glanced between her and Jasper, one brow raised.

“Er…we’re quite glad to be home, Miss Haverford,” James added, trying to draw her attention again. “I see Midhurst has treated you well over the years, Gemma.” His voice deepened, but still Gemma didn’t tear her gaze away from Jasper.

Was it possible to have a battle between a man and woman based on eye contact alone? She did feel as though she were battling this man, what she couldn’t understand was why. His lips twitched, her eyes narrowed and her heart gave a strange little flip in her chest when his gaze lowered, inch by inch to focus on her lips.

We’re strangers, after all these years. I should not be fascinated by him.

When he spoke to her, however, her body responded with a terrifying thrill of recognition.

“You are looking well, Gemma.” The way he caressed her name…she went suddenly pale. That voice! Jasper’s voice was the voice in the garden, the voice that belonged to the body which had…

No, no! He could not be the man I… Gemma wavered on her feet when a cloud seemed to cover her mind and she couldn’t quite control her legs enough to stay standing.

“Now you’ve done it you rogues! Gone and frightened the girl. Shame!” Lady Greenley struck Jasper in the chest with the pointed end of her parasol.

Jasper grunted with the impact of the parasol’s blow to his navy waistcoat and doubled over as though in pain. James ducked when Lady Greenley’s parasol whirled through the air where his head had been moments before.

“Have at you, you devils!” Lady Greenley cried, waving the parasol aloft like a saber as she started forward to continue the attack.

Both men got control of themselves and flashed smiles in Gemma’s direction and looks of amused fright at the crazy, old battle-axe before turning tail and running toward the garden like any sensible rogues would do when threatened by the likes of such a woman aiming a parasol at their jugulars.

Buy Links: Amazon ~  BN ~  Kobo

About Lauren.

Lauren_Smith_2014Lauren 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.

Check her out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LaurenDianaSmith, her blog http://theleagueofrogues.blogspot.com/ or follow her on twitter at @LSmithAuthor.

Read Full Post »

Please welcome historical author Pamela Nowak to the blog. Pam is here to tell us about her latest book Escaping Yesterday!! And she’ll be giving away a copy to on of you who tells her you want it!

Let’s start with the beautiful cover!

EscapingYesterdayFront.high res (2)

Now the blurb.

1905 Elitch Gardens… an amusement park on the verge of expansion… two troubled people escaping traumatic pasts… one very present danger… and a love neither expected. Lottie will risk everything to save her daughter. Caleb believes she is a manipulative huckster intent on conning his friends and ruining the park’s tranquility. But when Lottie’s past catches up to her, they unite, standing together against a treacherous villain and facing the complicated memories haunting them both.

And an excerpt.

Denver, 1905

A fierce wave of protectiveness swept Lottie Chase as she watched her daughter traipse toward the ornate sandstone train depot. Once again, Lottie had done what she had to do. She glanced at Rupert Gennick, her one-time close friend, and wondered what had caused him to change so much since they’d been trusted pals. She prayed he’d wait until Elsa was out of earshot before he launched into his tirade. He’d been steaming all morning, ever since they’d missed the San Francisco–bound train and had to wait three hours at Denver’s Union Station.

As soon as Elsa slipped inside the building, Rupert glared at Lottie. “I tell ya, baby doll, the kid is slowing us down. I don’t see why you’re so set against sending her home.” He jammed his hands into his pockets.

Lottie glanced up from her bench and reined in the urge to rise and shake him. She knew that look. She’d seen it often enough on the trip. “I’ve already told you. Elsa is not going back to New York. Not now, not ever.” Rupert’s invitation to join his trip had offered her an unforeseen chance to save Elsa. Now that Elsa had grown old enough to catch Uncle Edward’s eye, Lottie wasn’t about to stay there and watch the old lecher prey on Elsa as he’d preyed on her. She peered at Rupert from the corner of her eye, resigned to humoring him until he calmed down. “It wasn’t Elsa’s fault we were late, you know.”

“So you say.” He kicked at a stone and watched it roll toward the big iron “Welcome” arch. “You wanted the kid to see the country. She’s seen it. It’s time to send her home. I didn’t sign on to babysit your cousin for the rest of my life. She’s in the way. B’sides, you don’t send her home soon, her ma’s gonna have our skins.”

“Nobody’s going to have our skins,” Lottie said with a certainty she didn’t feel. She had no doubt Aunt Aggie was glad to see them gone but she imagined Uncle Edward was livid that she’d disappeared with Elsa. He’d threatened before to pursue her if she ever took the girl away.

Lottie stilled her pounding heart. They hadn’t wanted her when they’d taken her in all those years ago. Aunt Aggie had claimed Elsa as her own, intrigued by having a baby to raise, until she’d discovered she wasn’t maternal after all. Uncle Edward had been indifferent at first but had grown more and more possessive of Elsa in recent years. A tiny finger of apprehension snaked its way up Lottie’s spine. Uncle Edward wouldn’t have searched beyond New York for Elsa, would he? Lottie looked toward the depot, wishing now she had followed Elsa to the restroom.

“How’re we gonna break into the big leagues with a brat in tow?” Rupert said. “I got things to do, Lottie. Soon as we get to San Francisco, I got people to see, rides to sell. I’m gonna make it big and I don’t want the kid slowing things down. I have too much staked on this.”

Lottie sighed, tired of this new trait of Rupert’s—his constant predictions of his future success. Despite being the son of a renowned amusement ride manufacturer, he’d failed to break into the business thus far. He had big ideas but a serious lack of follow-through. She doubted a change of locale would make any difference.

She glanced at Rupert and pasted a smile onto her face. “Having a ten-year-old isn’t going to affect whether or not you make sales.”

Rupert plopped onto the bench and stretched his arms along its wooden back. A slow mountain breeze drifted through the morning air, lifting his blond hair. “I don’t see you paying for her tickets or her room and board,” he said.

Lottie stared at him. It was the first time he’d complained about the added expense, and guilt stabbed at her. Once she realized the danger Elsa was in, Lottie had seized the chance. Granted, she’d misled Rupert about her own intentions and conned him into bringing Elsa along, but she hadn’t had any other choice. Still, he’d put out his own money in good faith, and it wasn’t right. “I’ll get a job,” she offered, “repay you for our tickets.”

“We’re a pair, Lottie. A team.” He rubbed her shoulder with his hand and offered a lazy smile, the same one that had first drawn her to him back when they worked together at Coney Island. His voice was a mellow drawl—the bewitching tool of a master salesman. “That’s how it was supposed to be when we planned this. You and me, together, schmoozing the park owners. A doll like you in on the deals and I can’t go wrong.”

If it were any other situation, Lottie knew she’d be tempted to be his partner, maybe even his girl. When he wanted to, Rupert could charm his way through a person’s resistance faster than anything. But she had Elsa to think of. She had to keep her daughter safe, no matter what. “Elsa stays,” she said. Her gaze again shifted to the depot.

Rupert’s fingers drifted to her neck, the massage now a caress. “And night after night, you share her room instead of mine.”

Lottie started, goose bumps rising on her skin. She’d been afraid it would come to this. She’d flirted with him a little, let him kiss her a couple times and allowed him to believe they might become more than friends, but it had been an act. However promiscuous Aunt Aggie accused her of being, she’d never been with anyone . . . except Edward. She shied away, turning her body to the side. “Is that what this is all about? You think that it’s only Elsa keeping me out of your bed?”

“You’re the one who agreed to board the train without a chaperone and come West with me.” His teeth flashed, brilliant in the June sun, and an all-too-familiar glint sparkled in his malachite eyes. “Add in the kisses and the message was pretty clear.”

Damn those ill-conceived kisses. They had convinced Rupert to bring Elsa but she’d never offered intimacy and she didn’t plan to. The goose bumps turned into a cold, clammy sweat. Uncle Edward used to look at her the same way. Panic rushed through her. Not again. Not ever. She lurched to her feet and glared at him. “Yeah, well, it worked, didn’t it?” she blurted.


She shrugged her shoulders, only now digesting the implications of her hasty words. She affected nonchalance as her mind scrambled to put together some sort of plan. “You brought us along.”

“You suckered me?” Still sitting, Rupert leaned forward and shook his head.

Elsa emerged from the far door of the depot, and Lottie let out the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. “I had no choice,” she said, her gaze on Elsa.

“Well, I do,” Rupert said, rising. He spun Lottie around until she faced him. Fear sliced through her at the angry set of his mouth. “I got several choices. Being suckered isn’t one of them. It’s time we got on with what you’ve been promising, Lottie, whether you meant it when we left New York or not.” His grip softened, but the glint in his eyes remained. “I’m crazy about you. But I’m tired of your games and the stories you can’t keep straight. No more babysitting your cousin. Send her home and let’s quit pussyfooting around.”

Lottie drew a breath and met Rupert’s stare. “She’s my daughter, damn it, and I’m not sending her anywhere.”

Shock replaced the lust in his eyes and his hand dropped away. “Fine, baby doll. Have it your way. From here on out, you’re on your own.”

Buy link. Amazon

About Pam.

Nowak_M03_1 croppedPamela Nowak’s most recent novel, Changes, received the 2014 Colorado Book Award for genre fiction and a HOLT Medallion Finalist Award. Previous honors include the HOLT Medallion and HOLT Medallion Finalist Award, a WILLA Finalist Award, a listing among the “Top Ten Romance Novels of 2008” by Booklist, and being named the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ 2010 Writer of the Year. Pam has been in love with history and rich characters for most of her life. She has a B.A. in history, has taught history to prison inmates, served as project manager for the Fort Yuma National Historic Site and ran a homeless shelter. Pam and her partner Ken live in Denver. Please visit her at http://www.pamelanowak.com or friend her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/pamela.nowak.142).

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 16,372 other followers

%d bloggers like this: