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I’m back from vacation, mostly, but I’ll tell you about that in a little bit. First, lets start with the winner of Sally MacKenzie’s book, What do to with a Duke.  What To Do With A Duke finalCongratulations goes to Neva Brown!


Before I went on holiday, I turned in book #2 of The Worthingtons. As you know, I’m an not good with titles, although I did like Unscrambling the Marquis. My editor did not agree and suggested When a Marquis Choses a Bride. Which I have to admit is a better title than mine. Then again, he’s been thinking up titles a lot longer than I have. A few days later he sent me the line edits. Included in the package were several of these! FlatsMost of them are going to go to my assistant, because she is more easily able to send them out to people, but I’m going to give away one of them today. Leave a comment if you’d like it. And, naturally, since I have cover flats, I’ll also be receiving ARCs sometime before the book releases.

Here is a larger copy of the front cover.

Three Weeks To Wed reviseand the blurb.

In the first book of her dazzling new series, bestselling author Ella Quinn introduces the soon-to-be Earl and Countess of Worthington—lovers who have more in common than they yet know. The future promises to be far from boring…

Lady Grace Carpenter is ready to seize the day—or rather, the night—with the most compelling man she’s ever known. Marriage would mean losing guardianship of her beloved siblings, and surely no sane gentleman will take on seven children not his own. But if she can have one anonymous tryst with Mattheus, Earl of Worthington, Grace will be content to live out the rest of her life as a spinster.

Matt had almost given up hope of finding a wife who could engage his mind as well as his body. And now this sensual, intelligent woman is offering herself to him. What could be more perfect? Except that after one wanton night, the mysterious Grace refuses to have anything to do with him. Amid the distractions of the Season he must convince her, one delicious encounter at a time, that no obstacle—or family—is too much for a man who’s discovered his heart’s desire…

And an excerpt.

Dawn had still not broken when Matt awoke. Soon he would be an engaged man. He finally understood the looks of love and possession he’d seen in his friends’ faces when they glanced at their wives. That was exactly what he wanted with his lady. Later, after the sun had made an appearance, he’d discover her name and how soon they could wed. Reaching for her, his hand found nothing but a cold, empty sheet. He listened for any sign of her in the chamber, but there was nothing. Hmm, she must have gone to her room, but why? There was no one in the inn but them. Perhaps she was concerned about servants. Although none of them seemed to appear until called.

Rising, he donned his dressing gown, walked down the corridor, then opened the door to her chamber. Empty. Nothing to even indicate she’d been there.

The clock on the mantel showed five o’clock. He went back to his room and tugged the bell-pull. In a few minutes, the boots brought hot water for him to shave.

Matt waited until the water was poured into the basin. “The lady who was here last evening, is she downstairs?”

“I donno, my lord. Ain’t seen no lady,” the lad mumbled and left.

Matt finished dressing and descended the stairs. His groom, Mac, was in the common room eating. “Where are the others?”

Mac finished chewing and swallowed. “Gone, my lord. Their coach ain’t in the yard.”

Something wasn’t right. Why would she have left and not told him? “Be ready to leave in half an hour.”

He looked around for the landlord and, not finding him, entered the parlor. Covered dishes set on the table, with one place setting. He wished he was sharing the meal with her and conversing as they had the night before. Hell. He wanted to be in a warm bed with her next to him.

Mr. Brown knocked on the door before entering. “My lord, you was wishful of seeing me?”

Finally, Matt would get some answers. “Yes, I want to know the lady’s name.”

The innkeeper opened his eyes wide. “What lady, my lord?”

Matt bit the inside of his lip and tried to keep from losing his temper. “The lady that was here last night. The one I shared dinner with.”

The landlord started backing out of the parlor, shaking his head. “Weren’t no lady here, my lord.”

Matt choked back an angry response. Losing his temper would do him no good so he tried to reason with the innkeeper. “I can understand she would not want it known she was here alone and without her maid. But you may tell me who she is. I plan to marry her, and I need to know her direction.”

“I’d like to help you, my lord, but I can’t.” The man closed the door.

Matt stood so quickly his chair crashed to the floor, but by the time he got to the hall, the innkeeper had prudently taken himself off.

“You there.”

The young woman glanced at Matt wide-eyed. “Yes, sir?”

“Where is Brown?”

“Me Da had to go to the farm.”

“When will he return?”

She furrowed her brow. “No tell’n how long he’ll take.”

“Do you know the lady who was here?”

“I just got her, meself. I only work during the day and weren’t here at all yesterday.”

Matt stalked off. “Damn the man.”

He strode outside to find his curricle ready and Mac standing next to it. “Did any of the lady’s servants mention where they live?”

“No, my lord. One of the younger men said somat about a hall, but the others shut him up right quick.”

Matt clenched his fists. “Hall! Hall does me no good at all. Half the bloody houses in England are called the Hall. How the devil am I to find her?”

Mac closed one eye and stared at Matt. “You sure she weren’t married?”

He glared at his groom. “Yes, quite sure.”

Three Weeks to Wed releases on April 5th and is now on pre-order.

Amazon ~  Kensington ~ B&N ~  BAM

Stay tuned for several contests I have planned leading up to the release. Now a shameless plug for my newsletter. I’ve become much better at giving my newsletter readers the first shot at all the upcoming news, and I’ll be running some newsletter only contests.

On to boat news. When last I left you, we were heading to Mystic, CT for some sightseeing and to ride out a squall. All went well, and we were able to tour Old Mystic which is an open museum.

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Mystic Anchorage 2






Old telescopeOld Mystic Seaport bed













Having renovated an old house in England, one of my pet peeves is door hardware. This is what one would typically find an a house before the late 1840’s. In fact, a turning door knob was invented in 1847 in the USA.

Latch 2 Old Mystic Seaport Door latch old Mystic Seaport














From there we went to New London and Groton, where I indulged in a food memory and had a grinder. For those of you who have never lived in the CT region, it is sort of like a hoagie, but the bread is very important. It must be freshly made and not soft.

New London 1

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After that, we sailed over to Block Island, RI, where I ate fried clams and steamers. Another childhood memory. We also met up with friends we’d met elsewhere during our travels and formed a nice little boat neighborhood.

BI anchorage 3


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We are now in Newport, RI, where we’ll be for about a week before heading south again. Newport 1







Newport Anchorage







Newport 4

How has your summer been going? Do you have food memories from your childhood?



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While I’m on vacation, I’ll share Angelyn’s blog!

Originally posted on Angelyn's Blog:

“And now for the fascinating Adelaide; the epitome of fashion, and the best specimen I can give you of the reigning mode..”

— Letter from a Young Married Lady to her Sister in the Country

La Belle Assemblee, January, 1818

Adelaide is a featured character in the Magazine’s Cabinet of Taste. She is the niece of Lady Charlton, who has, like a kind of “Lady Bountiful,”  taken in her dead sister’s  young “town-bred” daughter.  It helps immensely that Adelaide is an heiress.

Maria advises her sister that the cornette is in fashion: "It is composed of the finest Mechlin lace and net; it is lined with soft blush-coloured satin, and fastened under the chin with a quilling of fine lace...the hair is entirely concealed, except a few ringlets that are made to sport around the face." -- print from Ackerman's Repository, May 1818Maria advises her sister that the cornette is in fashion: “It is composed of the finest Mechlin lace and net; it is lined with soft blush-coloured satin, and fastened under the chin with a quilling of fine lace…the hair is entirely concealed, except a few ringlets that are made to sport around the face.” — print from Ackerman’s Repository, May 1818

The letter-writer, Maria, describes her dashing new acquaintance in a series of letters…

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Gone sailing

After a series of computer and internet problems, I’ve decided to take a short vacation. I’ll be back on August 28th when I have guest author Sally MacKenzie back on the blog.

Have a great couple of weeks!


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I’m sorry, but there will be no Sunday News today. I do hope you’ll enjoy these delightful colored pictures!

Originally posted on The Library Time Machine:

Hugh Thomson, whose illustrations to the 1903 edition of Frances Burney’s Evelina formed the basis of a recent post, was a prolific and popular illustrator. He produced drawings for some editions of Shakespeare, did illustrations for all of Jane Austen’s novels and also drew pictures to accompany editions of poetry and plays.

I was at pains last time to demonstrate Burney’s local connection in order to justify a post about Thomson’s work. So again I have to point out the local connection of his collaborator, Kensington resident J M Barrie, who had a couple of addresses in Kensington including 133 Gloucester Road, a house I walk past every day, up till now not realising who had lived there.

Before the success of Barrie’s Peter Pan play he enjoyed another stage sensation in London and New York with a play called Quality Street. And yes, they did name the famous tins of chocolates…

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This has been a busy week, and it’s about to get busier!! But first, let’s start with the winner of one of Miranda Neville’s books. Congratulations to Glenda!

Lady Beresford’s Lover, book #7 in The Marriage Game, releases on Tuesday!! Needless to say, I am very excited!!! The early reviews have been fabulous! Here are some examples.

lady beresford's lover_ebook

Bodice Rippers:  “What Ms Quinn does so very well is tangle the knots. Taking a simple, direct situation and turning it Gordian. What a gift! Her books stay with a reader and every time I pick up a new one I fall in love all over again. Lady Beresford’s Lover is a perfect example.”

Book Talk with Eileen: I mentioned this was a multi-layered story which makes me feel I’m watching different rings at a circus.  It is really a hilarious, whirlwind read.  Somehow all the threads of the story are all tied up in a most satisfactory end.  There were quite a few happy ever afters in this one.

The Reading Wench: Ella Quinn knows how to write a story that will keep you reading long into the night.  Her characters are fascinating, funny, sweet and the love story is beautifully written with sensual scenes that are riveting.  I loved this book and enjoy Ella’s writing very much.

Right now, Amazon has Lady Beresford’s Lover on a preorder sale! Amazon

Other buy links: KensingtonB&N ~ Kobo

I’m in NYC for the Romance Writers of America conference. If you’re in the area, please come to the literacy signing at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. If you stop by my website tomorrow, my book tour will be posted.

On to boat news. As you have probably figured out, we’ve been sailing a lot over the past week. Last Monday we did a short walking tour of  Havre de Grace, MD. It’s a cute little town with a mixture of Victorian and Federalist houses. There is also a statute of the Marquis de Lafayette.

HDG Victorian row house HDG 1801 house HDG Victorian row house 2 Ferry sign

On Tuesday we departed Havre de Grace and sailed across the Chesapeake, anchoring not far from the C&D Canal so we could catch the tide the next morning. There are a lot of bald eagles in the area. Unfortunately, they seem to be camera shy.

Bohemia AnchorageBohemia River Anchorage.


After that we sailed down the Delaware River and anchored at Cape May for a few days waiting for a weather window. Hubby and I took a dingy tour of one of the canals.

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We are now in Brooklyn, anchored not farm from Ft. Hamilton.

Brooklyn 2Brooklyn 1

Tomorrow we go into our slip at the 79st Boat Basin Marina. If you’re around, stop by and say hello!

Next Sunday, I’ll be at the Book Obsessed Chicks’ BBQ at Lido Beach!

Where have you been doing, and where are you?

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Honestly, if it wasn’t for my blog posts, I wouldn’t know what day of the week it was at times. There has been a lot of discussion about secondary characters lately, so let’s have some excerpts involving them. Don’t forget your buy links!

Here is mine from Lady Beresford’s Lover, which releases in 9 days!!

lady beresford's lover_ebookNick started to trail her at a reasonable distance when a gloved hand, adorned with rings, stopped him. “I don’t believe I’ve made your acquaintance, sir.” An older woman with a purple turban complete with large floppy feathers addressed Hawksworth. “Hawksworth, make the introductions, if you would.”

Nick wanted to bark a laugh as his friend paled.

Hawksworth bowed. “My lady, allow me to introduce the Earl of Beresford. My lord, Lady Bellamny, my godmother.”

Ah, the dragon of the ton. Only Almack’s patroness had as much influence. “My lady, a pleasure to meet you.”

“Well, you’re one of the few young men who think so.”

He choked, quickly turning it into a cough.

“I’ll leave you now before you have apoplexy.” She patted his arm. “Miss Corbet is safely back with Lady Telford. If you wish to court her, here is your chance.”

It was apparently Hawksworth’s turn to change a laugh into a cough.

“You misunderstand,” Nick said firmly. “I have no interest in the lady, nor does she have any in me.”

“Indeed.” Lady Bellamny leaned toward him a bit. “In that case, the two of you should not spend so much time watching one another.”

Before Nick could think of a reply, she left to accost another innocent guest.

“Better you than me,” his friend muttered. “Thank you for absolutely nothing.”

Hawksworth shrugged. “When it comes to Lady Bellamny, it’s each man for himself. The woman scares me to death when she’s in Town, and I have known her all my life. However, if you wish to marry, she will do all she is able to assist you into the parson’s mouse-trap.”

Nick scanned the ballroom. Silvia was being led out to dance with a man of middling height who looked to be several years older than he. “Who is she with now?”

“Lady Bellamny?”

“No, Miss Corbet.”

Hawksworth fixed his quizzing glass on the dance floor. “Bumfield. He is a widower with several children. Perfectly harmless.” Nick must have done something, for the next thing out of his friend’s mouth was, “Why the devil don’t you just ask her to stand up with you?”

“She won’t do it,” he answered, hoping his tone wasn’t as petulant as he felt.

“Oh, I think she will. As long as there is a space left on her card. After all, if she turns you down, she can’t dance for the rest of the evening.”

Nick had forgotten that small nicety. She would probably annihilate him later, but it might be worth it. “Do you know Lady Telford?”

“Yes, why?”

“You’ll have to introduce me. I plan to do a bit of reconnaissance before springing the trap.”

Hawksworth shook his head. “You were in the army for far too long.”

“Be that as it may.” Nick grabbed his friend’s arm. “I need an introduction, and you will need to perform it. And I was in only a year longer than you.”

A few minutes later, Nick bowed and Hawksworth did his duty.

“It is a pleasure, my lord.” Lady Telford glanced from Hawksworth to Nick.

He cleared his throat. “I’d like to ask Miss Corbet to stand up with me.”

The older lady languidly waved her fan. “Then ask her.”

His cravat tightened. “I wanted to know if she had any sets left this evening. She is quite popular.”

Her ladyship’s lips curved in a catlike smile. “She is indeed, and your luck is not in this evening, my lord. However, I believe she still has a few dances open to-morrow for the Torrington ball.”

As luck would have it, he had accepted an invitation to the event. “Thank you.” He moved to the side a bit and watched Silvia gracefully perform her part of the cotillion. It might be a good idea to ask her with her ladyship close at hand.

He waited until Silvia’s partner returned her to Lady Telford, and bowed “Miss Corbet.”

Her fine dark brows drew together. “My lord?”

“I wish to ask you to dance with me at the Torrington ball.”

She opened her mouth and shut it again. “I—I don’t know what I have available. My dance card for that entertainment is at home.”

“Come, my dear.” Lady Telford seemed to purr. “I remember you had a country dance and the supper dance. Though I believe Lord Oliver intends to request the supper dance. It is a waltz.”

Lord Oliver be damned. “I’d like the supper dance.” Hawksworth poked Nick in his back. “If you would be so kind.”

Her ladyship nodded approvingly, while Silvia’s glare shot darts at him. But his friend was right. He had trapped her. She couldn’t do anything but accept.

With a smile he knew he’d pay for later, she responded, “Thank you, my lord. It would be my pleasure.”

At least she hadn’t gritted her teeth.

“I look forward to to-morrow.” He bowed to both the ladies before making his escape. If he remained too long, she was sure to think of a way out of standing up with him. “That didn’t go badly at all.”

“I hope she doesn’t carry knives,” Hawksworth remarked.

“No, not metal ones at any rate.” Though her tongue could flay the flesh off a man.

Buy Links: Kensington http://bit.ly/1Ea6UJU

Amazon http://amzn.to/1HcQ1NV

B&N http://bit.ly/1aRNi0f

Kobo http://bit.ly/1BT2OFE

Now it’s your turn!! Let’s see what you’ve got!


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Please welcome the wonderful Barbara Monajem back to the blog. Barbara is here to day to tell you about her latest book, To Kiss a Rake!! She will also give away one copy to one of you who tells her you want it!

As always, we’ll start with the cover!

To Kiss a Rake 600x900

Now the blurb.

A perfect lady with a secret.

A rake with a code of honor.

The scandal of the season…

And a very inconvenient marriage.


I’m beginning to think the Marriage of Convenience trope should be divided into two – the truly convenient marriages made for financial or social reasons, and the forced marriages, which usually come about through some mishap or other. The fun of this trope, either way, is that usually the couple are obliged to go through their courtship after they marry. They have no choice, and having no choice is often what is needed to make people change and grow.


Here’s the blurb of To Kiss a Rake, which is up for pre-order now and comes out July 29th.



Melinda Starling doesn’t let ladylike behavior get in the way of true love. She’s secretly helping with an elopement, when she’s tossed into the waiting coach and driven away by a notorious rake.


Miles Warren, Lord Garrison, comes from a family of libertines, and he’s the worst of them all—or so society believes. When Miles helps a friend to run away with an heiress, it’s an entertaining way to revenge himself on one of the gossips who slandered him.

Except that he drives off with the wrong woman…and as if that wasn’t scandalous enough, he can’t resist stealing a kiss.

And here’s an excerpt:

Setup: Melinda Starling was abducted by mistake and is now being returned home by her abductor. She falls asleep in the carriage.

Melinda dreamed she was safe in the arms of a truly wonderful man. He adored her with a passion that knew no bounds; she loved him with all her heart. The swaying of the coach pressed them together. She inhaled his warm, male scent and snuggled closer, savoring the way her breast rubbed against his arm. She ached for the pressure of his lips on hers, yearning, yearning… She always woke before her dream lover kissed her.

Not this time. His lips were warm and soft, his breath hot and laced with brandy. Her lips parted instinctively beneath his, and she heard herself give a little moan of pleasure. The tip of his tongue slipped between her lips and touched hers.

The coach came to a halt. Her eyes fluttered open as she woke. The obnoxious lord who’d sworn he wouldn’t touch her broke the kiss, still holding her in his arms. She shoved at him, but he held fast.

“How dare you?” she cried.

The interior of the coach was still cloaked in gloom, but dawn was well on the way. She caught a glimpse of amused eyes before he pulled the brim of his hat over his face. “You fell asleep and slid right into my arms,” he said, his calm voice feeding her rage. “I couldn’t resist.”

She wiped a hand across her mouth. “I was—I was—” She couldn’t get the words out. She’d been saving her first kiss for the man she would marry, and this dastardly person had stolen it.

Thank God she was home. She wrenched herself from his arms just as the groom opened the door. She tumbled out of the coach without waiting for the steps, gathered the skirts of her costume, and ran up the pavement to the house.

She lifted the knocker and rapped it hard against the door, and rapped it again. And waited, shivering in the chill dawn wind, her arms tight about herself. Hurry!

No one answered. The servants must be asleep, but surely Grandmama would have left someone on watch for her. She knocked once again. And waited.

Silence, but for the shuffling of the horses, the barking of a dog, and the rumble of a wagon in the next street. London was coming to life.

She turned, anxious now. Why did the coach still wait? “You needn’t stay any longer. Someone will wake up and let me in.”

“Someone should already be awake and waiting,” the man said irritably from within the coach. He didn’t give the order to leave.

Melinda rapped again. What was going on? She thought she heard a sound within the house, thought she heard a voice, and knocked once more… Nothing. This was ghastly. She had to get indoors before someone saw her.

“Miss Starling, are you sure this is the right house?” The man who’d kissed her was framed in the coach window, his hat low over his brow once again.

“Of course I’m sure. Why don’t they answer?”

“Try the area stairs,” he suggested softly.

She’d never gone in by the servants’ entrance, but it was a good idea, the sort she would usually think of herself, but she couldn’t get her mind to work properly. She lifted the latch and hurried down the steep, winding stairs, shivering now from anxiety as much as the chill dawn air. She banged hard on the door. It was close to the housekeeper’s room, so surely that kindly woman would hear.

From inside the house came a furious bellow. “No! Do not open that door.”

Melinda froze. That was Grandma’s voice. She was…ordering the housekeeper not to let Melinda inside.

Her shiver became a tremble. She stumbled up the steep, narrow stairs and through the gate. She gaped at the dark house, her home, its curtains drawn like the blank eyes of a statue, cold and forbidding and utterly silent again.

“Damn,” the man who had kissed her said. “What the devil is going on?”

The sky lightened, and it finally dawned on Melinda. Grandmama wasn’t going to let her in. She’d been turned away from her own home.

“Did I hear her say not to open the door to you?” the man asked in a low, disbelieving voice.

Melinda blinked back hot, horrified tears and faced him, away from the house and the grandmother who had always wanted to be rid of her. “She used to threaten to wash her hands of me,” she said. “And now she has done it.”

Buy links: AmazonAmazon UK  ~  Amazon Canada  ~  Amazon AU

About Barbara.

BarbaraMonajem300x400I grew up on the west coast of Canada among the mountains and cedar trees. I’m not much into putting down roots–I love moving around–but roots have minds of their own. Mine go deep into those mountains and are entwined with the cedars, and no matter where I live, there’s a part of me that always, always longs for home. It’s a magic place which never lets go, and that’s all there is to it. I’m pretty sure that magic is what started me writing paranormals, because I wrote my first at only eight years old.

I lived in Oxford, England for a year when I was twelve, and I have roots there, too, but they’re mostly cultural. My ancestors are English, with some Scots and Irish farther back. Oxford is heavy with the magic of centuries. I loved it there–everything from playing twosy-ball against the school wall, to helping out at an archaeological dig, to spending my pocket money in Blackwell’s bookshop. I think it’s that year in England, coupled with all the Brit lit I read as a child, that inspired me to write historicals.  My foray into teen melodrama, best forgotten, also sprang from that year in England.

I spent several years in Montreal, and now and then I miss the winters–they’re long, but nothing beats the cold, bright, silent magic of a winter’s night. And the French spoken all around me–I miss that, too. Sometime during the years in Quebec and on into the move to Georgia, I started writing paranormals again, in the form of fantasy for my kids. This resulted in my middle grade novel, The Secret of the Stolen Mandolin.

I live in Georgia and spend a lot of time in south Louisiana, so now I have roots in the southern U.S. as well. I love the dense, humid air (well, usually), the lightning bugs and kudzu (so spooky), the live oaks and resurrection fern. On my first trip to Louisiana, I succumbed to the magic of New Orleans. I love it all: Bourbon Street, beignets and the levee, the Mardi Gras parades, the spicy food and hot nights, the dark and lovely moods of the French Quarter, and the swamps to the north. New Orleans is my inspiration for the funky little town of Bayou Gavotte, with its fetish clubs… and vampires… and who knows what else.







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