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Posts Tagged ‘Ella Quinn’

Today is a free for all. Post any excerpt of up to 600 words as well as your buy links or social media information.

lady beresford's lover_ebookHere is mine from Lady Beresford’s Lover which just went on pre-order.

Rupert tried not to grin as Wigman, his valet, plucked an invisible piece of lint from Rupert’s jacket. It was a ritual they had gone through every day since he was sixteen, when his grandfather Stanstead had insisted Rupert have a valet. Some gentlemen would probably become annoyed with such fussiness, but he believed in encouraging everyone to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. If that meant a few moments’ delay in dressing, so be it. “Am I presentable, Wigman?”

“None more so, my lord.” Wigman gave a small sigh. “I do regret that Mr. Brummell was allowed to hold sway over gentlemen’s clothing. There was nothing like a nice lace cuff or velvet jacket to show a gentleman to perfection.”

“I have no doubt you are correct.” Truth be told, Rupert thought the previous styles had some merit. “Though, I do have an aversion to wigs and hair powder.”

“I must agree with you regarding that particular affectation, my lord.” He handed Rupert his watch fob and quizzing glass. “You are fortunate that you do not require padding. One could more easily disguise additions to a gentleman’s physique before the styles changed so drastically.”

“Fortunate indeed.” Rupert clamped his lips together. If he didn’t depart immediately, he’d be subject to the litany of faults in Wigman’s previous employers. “I have no idea when I’ll return.”

“Yes, my lord.”

Rupert strode out of his Grosvenor Square town house to the waiting town coach. He’d considered walking to Robert’s home on Berkeley Square, but dark clouds had hung low all afternoon, and the scent of rain was in the air. Not to mention arriving at his cousin’s house for their first ball, soaked, was not a wonderful idea. Rupert settled on the soft brown leather seat, a footman closed the door, and his coachman started forward.

He attempted to tamp down the feeling that something momentous was about to happen. His parents and Robert were most likely correct that he wouldn’t meet anyone he didn’t already know. Still, he couldn’t help a surge of excitement when the carriage came to a stop. Somewhere the perfect lady was out there waiting for him. All he had to do was find her.

The coach door opened, and he caught a glimpse of pale blue skirts moving up the steps before they disappeared into the house. The urge to chase after her, whoever she was, was almost too strong to resist. Rupert could feel his pulse beating a tattoo against his cravat; still, he forced himself to calmly take his place in the line. What were the chances it was the same woman who had watched him as he traversed the Mount Street Gardens? Surely she wouldn’t wear the same gown to a ball, yet he had noticed that when a lady favored a certain color, she wore it more often than she did others.

He was being absurd. Even a bit mad. Rupert knew absolutely nothing about the woman, not how old she was, or if she was married, or what she looked like, or if it was indeed the same female. In addition, there were a great many people between him and the lady in blue. Yet there was some force pushing him forward, necessitating that he follow her.

Buy Links: Amazon ~ B&N

 

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Please welcome the fabulous Cara Elliott back to the blog!! I love Cara’s books! She is here today with her latest release, Scandalously Yours!! Cara will also be giving away a copy of her book. All you have to is leave a comment telling her you want it.

As always, we’ll start with the cover!

Scandalously Yours-CElliott

 

Now the blurb.

Proper young ladies of the ton-especially ones who have very small dowries-are not encouraged to have an interest in intellectual pursuits. Indeed, the only thing they are encouraged to pursue is an eligible bachelor. So, the headstrong Sloane sisters must keep their passions a secret. Ah, but secret passions are wont to lead a lady into trouble . . .

SCANDALOUSLY YOURS

The eldest of the three Sloane sisters, Olivia is unafraid to question the boundaries of Society-even if it does frequently land her in trouble. Disdaining the glittery world of balls and courtship, Olivia prefers to spend her time writing fiery political essays under a pseudonym for London’s leading newspaper. But when her columns attract the attention of the oh-so-proper Earl of Wrexham, Olivia suddenly finds herself dancing on the razor’s edge of scandal. With the help of her sisters, she tries to stay one step ahead of trouble . . . However, after a series of madcap misadventures, Wrexham, a former military hero who is fighting for social reform in Parliament, discovers Olivia’s secret. To her surprise, he proposes a temporary alliance to help win passage of his bill. Passion flares between them, but when a political enemy kidnaps the earl’s young son, they must make some dangerous decisions . . . and trust that love will conquer all.

And an excerpt. 

“Allow me to correct your earlier misassumptions,” John said softly. “For a skilled chess player, you seem a little quick to jump to conclusions.”

Olivia drew in a sharp breath. “So, you did recognize me after all.”

“Your face was mostly hidden in shadow during our previous encounter, but nighttime reconnaissance missions teach a soldier to have a sixth sense about that sort of thing.”

“Ah. I see.”

“Be that as it may,” he went on, “it is this evening’s exchange that I wish to speak about.”

Her silence seemed a signal to continue.

“First of all, I have absolutely no interest in discussing the weather. Second of all, I have no preconceived prejudices about the powers of the female mind.” He paused. “But then again, after your display of haughty high-mindedness, perhaps I ought to reconsider.”

A momentary flare of outrage lit in her eyes. She scowled—and then curled a wry smile. “Touché, sir. Most gentlemen aren’t willing to listen to a lady’s opinion.”

“Most ladies aren’t willing to offer one.”

“Can’t you blame us?” asked Olivia. “Society doesn’t exactly encourage creative thinking in the fairer sex. We are meant to be seen and not heard.”

“Um, yes, well, I . . .” John flushed, realizing that his gaze had slid down to her bodice. Beneath the overblown ruffles, it appeared that she had a shapely swell of bosom. “I—I also wanted to apologize for trampling on your toes.”

Her laugh, like her voice, was very intriguing. Low, lush, and a little rough around the edges, it reminded him of an evening breeze ruffling through shadowed leaves.

“Good heavens, don’t look so stricken, sir,” she said. “The fault was all mine, I’m afraid. I can never seem to keep the dance steps straight.” Another laugh. “What a pity we can’t just ignore the rigid patterns and simply follow the rhythm of the music.”

“Like wild savages, dancing around a bonfire to the sound of a beating drum?” he said slowly.

“Haven’t you ever lifted your face to moonlight and spun in circles to the dusky song of the nightingales and—” Olivia shook her head. “No, of course not. What a ridiculous question to ask.” The errant curl had come loose again and was inching close to her nose.

“Your hair, Miss Sloane,” he murmured.

“Has decided to dance to its own tune tonight,” she said tartly, brushing it back with impatient fingers. “As you see, I seem to have no control over my body’s primitive urges.”

John almost let loose a very unlordly chortle. But quickly recalling his glittering surroundings, he managed to smother it in a cough. A peer of the realm did not chortle in public.

“Perhaps . . .” A dangerous glint lit in her eyes. “Perhaps I should give in to impulse, strip off my clothing and waltz naked across the dancefloor.”

He tried not to picture her lithe body without a stitch on. Discipline, discipline. A gentleman must be ruled by reason, not primal urges.

Clearing his mind with another cough, he quickly changed the subject . . .

Buy Links: Amazon ~ B&N

About Cara:

Cara ElliottCara Elliott started writing Western novels at the age of five. However, she traded in her cowboy boots for Regency high-top Hessians after reading Pride and Prejudice in junior high school (she’s decided she must have a thing for Men In Boots) and hasn’t looked back. She graduated from Yale University, and she now lives and works in Connecticut.

 

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Usually we focus on the heroine and hero, but I though it would be fun to let our secondary characters shine today. If you have buy links or social media links, please post them as well.

A Kiss for Lady MaryHere two of mine from A Kiss for Lady Mary. Lady Eunice Phipson, is my heroine’s aunt and Mr. Brian Doust is the local vicar.

Mr. Doust twined her arm with his, drawing her close. “Invite me, and I’ll try to discover his intent.”

She gazed up at him. “You would assist in this the conspiracy?”

His eyes warmed. “My lady, I would have thought that by now you’d have realized there is very little I would not do for you and those who matter to you.”

“Oh my.” Warmth rose in her face. How long had it been since she’d blushed? “You have me acting like a girl again, and I must tell you, my salad days are long past.”

He raised her fingers to his lips, kissing them one by one. “I think you are the perfect age. I would be honored if you will call me Brian, and may I call you Eunice?”

This was more than she had expected and everything she had wished for. Pulling his head down to her, she pressed her lips to his. He moved slowly, gently at first; then she touched her tongue to the seam of his lips and he opened his mouth to receive her. Frissons of pleasure shot through her as he tilted his head, deepening the kiss. She threw her arms around him, pressing her breasts to his chest. Who would have thought a rector could kiss like this?

Their tongues tangled and caressed. He tightened his arms around her. Oh, God. How could she have lived so long alone?

Buy Links: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK  ~  Amazon France ~  Amazon Germany   ~ Amazon Canada ~  Barns & Nobel  ~ Kensington ~ iTunes ~ Kobo

Now it’s your turn!

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Happy Sunday!! Well, this has been a busy week! Let’s start with the winners.

Congratulations to:

D Foster for winning a copy of CheryDuchess by Mistakel’s book, Duchess by Mistake!

 

 

 

Aleen Davis for winnLady of the Flames Cover LARGE EBOOKing a copy of Barbara’s book, Lady of the Flames!

 

 

 

AMurder In Hindsight2nd bn100 for winning a copy of Anne’s book, Murder in Hindsight!

 

 

 

As for my books, It looks as if the next series will be titled “The Worthingtons.” So, harking back to a few weeks ago, if you had “The Worthingtons” in your title, you’ve won a book. You can pick any book in The Marriage Game series.

I can’t resist posting the cover art for the first book, Three Weeks to Wed. Sneep Peak Three Weeks to WedMoving on to The Worthingtons, I finished the second book in the series. My editor and I were conversing via email, and we touched on the idea of having novellas in between some of the full length books. I think it’s an interesting concept. What do you think?

We are still in St. Martin. Yesterday we went to the market, the bakery across the street, and a few shops. It appears fans are back in style, which thrills my historical heart. Unfortunately, they were quite pricy.

Fruit market 2015-03-28 Fans 2015-03-28 la boulangerie et patisserie 2015-03-28 At anchor Port du Marigot 2015-03-24

How have you been?

Ella

 

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Please welcome Anne Cleeland back to the blog! She is promoting her latest book, Murder in Hindsight. Naturally, she will give a copy of the book to one of you. All you have to do is leave a comment telling her you want it.

We’ll start with the intriguing cover!

 

Murder In Hindsight2

Now the blurb.

There’s an unusual killer combing London’s streets—a vigilante is at work, killing suspects from prior cases who were never convicted; those who’d gotten away with murder, in hindsight.

It’s a puzzler, though; this vigilante is staying to the shadows, and covering his tracks so that Detective Sergeant Kathleen Doyle is left to guess at his motivation.  Is the killer guilty about his own role in helping murderers get off, or is it someone who’s just had-it-up-to-here with the imperfect justice system?

Meanwhile, the crises keep piling up; Chief Inspector Acton, her husband, is up to something having to do with brassy female reporters and the heir to his estate, and when Acton is up to something, murder and mayhem are the certain result.  Not to mention she’s needed to quash a messy little blackmail plot, and do battle with the dowager Lady Acton.  All in all, it will make for a busy few weeks; now, if only the ghosts that haunt the manor house would leave her alone. . .

And an excerpt.

Detective Sergeant Kathleen Doyle was fretting; fretting and stalling until Detective Chief Inspector Acton could make an appearance whilst she tried to appear calm and composed in front of the Scene of the Crime Officers. As a newly-promoted DS, she should maintain a certain dignity and display her leadership abilities, even though she was longing to bite her nails and peer over the hedgerow toward the park entrance.   The various Scotland Yard forensics personnel were impatiently waiting because Acton was delayed, and Doyle had a good guess as to why he was delayed.  One of these fine days, someone else may make the same guess, and then the wretched cat would be among the wretched pigeons—although the mind boggled, trying to imagine Acton being called on the carpet by Professional Standards.  Pulling out her mobile, she pretended to make a call just to appear busy.

“I’ll lose the light soon, ma’am.”  The SOCO photographer approached, cold and unhappy, and small blame to her; Doyle was equally cold and unhappy, but with better reason.

“Ten more minutes,” Doyle assured her, holding a hand over her mobile so as to interrupt her pretend-conversation. “Then we’ll move forward—whether DCI Acton makes it or no.”  She wanted Acton to have a look before the corpse was processed and removed, but she could always show him the photos.

The woman immediately plucked up. “No hurry; we can wait, if the DCI is on his way.”

Has a crush on him, the brasser, thought Doyle.  Join the club, my friend; the woman probably had some private photographs she’d be all too happy to show Acton in her spare time.  The SOCO photographer used to treat Doyle with barely-concealed contempt, but her attitude had improved remarkably after the bridge-jumping incident. A few months ago, Doyle had jumped off Greyfriars Bridge into the Thames to save a colleague, and was now a celebrated hero.  All in all, it was a mixed blessing, because Doyle was not one who craved the spotlight and now she was perceived as sort of a female version of St. George—except that she’d rescued the dragon instead of the maiden, when you thought about it.

Irish by birth and fey by nature, Doyle had an uncanny ability to read people, and in particular she could recognize a lie when she heard it.  This perceptive ability had launched her career as a detective, but it also made her reclusive by nature—it was no easy thing, to be able to pick up on the currents and cross-currents of emotion swirling around her. The SOCO photographer, for example, was lusting after the vaunted Chief Inspector but bore Doyle no particular ill-will for being married to him, since she was the heroic bridge-jumper and thus above reproach.

With a nod of her head, the photographer gestured toward the victim, being as she didn’t want to take her hands out of her pockets until it was necessary.  “Is there something special about this one, then?”

There was, but Doyle did not want to say, especially before the loose-lipped SOCOs who were notoriously inclined to blather in their cups—it came from wading knee-deep in guts all the livelong day. So instead, she equivocated, “There are a few details that are worrisome, is all.  I wanted the DCI to have a quick look.”

Buy links: Amazon

About Anne.

Anne CleelandAnne Cleeland is a lifelong Southern California resident, and currently makes her home in Newport Beach. An attorney by trade, she’s been reading mystery stories since her Nancy Drew days, and especially loves Agatha Christie and the other Golden Age British mystery writers.  The Acton & Doyle series features two Scotland Yard detectives, and if you are a fan of Masterpiece Mystery, you may enjoy their adventures.

Anne also writes a historical series set in 1814 because she loves historicals, too. Being a romantic at heart, all her stories have a strong romantic element.

She has four grown children, three wonderful grandchildren, and one nutty dog.

www.annecleeland.com @annecleeland

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We’re moving the boat today, so let’s do something easy. Please post your blurbs and buy links. If you are pre-published and don’t have a blurb, post a short excerpt.

A Kiss for Lady MaryHere is mine from A Kiss for Lady Mary.

Ella Quinn’s bachelors do as they like and take what they want. But when the objects of their desire are bold, beautiful women, the rules of the game always seem to change…

Handsome, charming, and heir to a powerful Viscount, Christopher “Kit” Featherton is everything a woman could want—except interested in marriage. So when he hears that someone on his estate near the Scottish border is claiming to be his wife, Kit sets off to investigate.

                                                                                                                                                           Since After her parents’ death, Lady Mary Tolliver has been hounded by her cousin, a fortune-hunting fool after her inheritance. Refusing to settle for anything less than love, Mary escapes to the isolated estate of rakish bachelor, Kit Featherton. Knowing he prefers Court to the country, she believes she will be safe. But when Kit unexpectedly returns, her pretend marriage begins to feel seductively real…

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

Now it’s your turn!

 

 

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Yes, I know it’s Sunday, but Cheryl caught in a transportation strike and could not get her information to me until yesterday. Also, I promised you that I’d put the post up as soon as I had her stuff. So here we go. As always, Cheryl will be giving away a copy of her book to one of you who leaves a comment saying you want it.

First the cover!

Duchess by Mistake

Now the blurb.

Another of Cheryl Bolen’s classic marriage-of-convenience stories

An innocent visit to the Duke of Aldridge’s to request a donation for her war widows puts Lady Elizabeth Upton in the midst of a most shocking scandal. . .

The Duke of Aldridge offers for his best friend’s sister, Lady Elizabeth Upton, after a mix-up sends her to his bedchamber—just as he’s emerging from his bath. She most certainly does not want to force the duke’s hand, but how can she bear the shame her scandalous behavior has cast upon her dear brother, the Marquess of Haverstock?

Once she agrees to marry her childhood heartthrob, Elizabeth realizes she wants nothing more than to win her husband’s love. But capturing his heart is no easy task when former loves threaten to destroy the fragile bonds of their marriage.

And last, but not least, an excerpt.

Some time after donning a dress which matched the periwinkle colour of her eyes and topping it with matching pelisse suitable for calling at Aldridge House, Lady Elizabeth Upton found herself knocking upon the door of the Duke of Aldridge’s fine house on Berkeley Square. She wondered how many times Charles had passed through this door during his two and thirty years. Since she had only come out three years previously, she had never had the opportunity to pay a call upon the duke, owing to his long absence from England.

The white-haired butler who answered her knock looked as if he’d been in the employ of the Aldridges for at least two generations. He quickly offered her a tight smile and spoke before she had the chance to offer her card. “Please come in. His grace awaits. If you will just follow me up the stairs.”

She supposed with this being the duke’s first day back, he was entertaining callers in the drawing room. She had not considered that she would not have him all to herself. It would be difficult to beg him for the significant donation in a room full of people. Her brother had once said the duke did not like to have his charities acknowledged, preferring anonymity.

Her gaze lifted to the massive chandelier that glistened above, then she began to follow the stooped-over butler as he mounted the stairs, his movements slowed by age. All the way up the impressive, iron banistered staircase portraits of long-dead Aldridges stood almost one on top of the other and seemed to be staring at her.

To her surprise, when they reached the first floor he did not stop but continued mounting stairs to the next level. Though her experience with ducal residences was limited, she was unaccustomed to finding a drawing room so far removed from the home’s entrance. In most of the houses with which she was familiar, the third level was reserved for bedchambers.

They reached the third level. It was slightly less formal than the second level, actually looking remarkably like the third–bedchamber–level at Haverstock House. The butler turned to the right and shuffled along another corridor until he reached the first paneled and gilded door. It was closed. He teetered to a stop and turned to face her with a somber countenance. “You will find his grace in here.” Then he began to retrace his steps.

She drew in a breath, reached for the door handle, and opened it.

She heard a splashing sound before the door was fully open. How peculiar. When she had clear view of the room, she gasped. There in its center, framed by the fireplace behind him, the Duke of Aldridge was emerging from his bath. His long, glistening, gloriously formed body was completely naked.

In her entire life Lady Elizabeth Upton had never seen a naked man in the flesh. Though her first instinct should have been to run screaming from the chamber, she was frozen to the spot, unable to remove her gaze from . . . the manly part. And so much more. From his wide shoulders along his burnished skin and muscled limbs, the dark-haired duke exuded a masculinity like nothing she had ever seen.

A flood of memories of her former adoration of this man many years ago walloped her. She felt the heat climbing into her cheeks and knew she should flee from the profligate duke. Yet, like a compulsion to watch a grim sight not suitable for female sensibilities, she was incapable of turning away.

“You’re not Belle!” he said, snatching his toweling and covering the lower portion of his statue-worthy body. His voice held a note of incredulity.

No doubt, Belle was a lady of the demimonde. What a wicked man he was! To think, his first day back in the kingdom he chose to spend with a woman of that sort.

At the sound of his voice, she realized how shameless she must appear. And how very improper it was for her to be there. She came to her senses, let out a full-fledged scream, turned on her heel, and fled down the stairs.

And came face to face with her brother.

“Haverstock!” she cried.

His brows lowered with concern. “What’s the matter, Lizzie?”

She tossed her head back in the direction of the duke’s private chamber. “That man! He’s thoroughly debauched.” Then she scurried down the stairs. Never again would she come to this . . . this temple of profligacy.

***

Aldridge was having the devil of a time trying to remember where he had seen that chit before. No doubt, she was a lady of Quality. He’d likely scared the poor thing senseless. There had obviously been a serious misunderstanding.

As soon as he called for Lawford, Haverstock came striding into Aldridge’s bedchamber. When he saw that Aldridge was without clothing, his facial expressions thundered. “What in the hell were you doing with my sister?”

Oh, damn! That’s why she looked familiar! The duke grimaced. “It’s not what you think.”

Haverstock’s gaze raked over him from the top of his wet head down the full length of his nakedness. “Oh, isn’t it? My god, Aldridge, she’s an innocent! How could you?”

By then Aldridge’s valet had come striding in with fresh clothing for his master, and Aldridge began to dress. “It seems I owe her an apology. I assure you I have no dishonorable designs on your sister.”

Haverstock regarded him thoughtfully for a long, silent moment. “Then are you saying your intentions toward Elizabeth are honorable?”

“But of course. What do you take me for?”

“It appears I shall now take you for my brother-in-law.”

Buy links.

Amazon ~ Barnes & NobleSmashwords ~ iTunes ~ Kobo

 

About Cheryl.

Cheryl BolenCheryl Bolen is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of over 20 romances, both historical and contemporary mystery. Many of her books have placed in contests, including the Daphne du Maurier (romantic suspense) and have been translated into ten languages. She was Notable New Author in 1999. In 2006 she won the Holt Medallion, Best Historical, and in 2012 she won Best Historical in the International Digital Awards and she’s had four other titles place in that competition. Her 2011 Christmas novella was named Best Novella in the Romance Through the Ages. She invites readers to www.CherylBolen.com, or her blog, www.cherylsregencyramblings.wordpress.co or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheryl-Bolen-Books/146842652076424.

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