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Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles: A Celebration of Waterloo

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June 18, 1815 was the day Napoleon Bonaparte’s Grande Armée was definitively routed by the ragtag band of soldiers from the Duke of Wellington’s Allied Army in a little Belgian town called Waterloo. The cost in men’s lives was high—22,000 dead or wounded for the Allied Army and 24,000 for the French. But the war with Napoleon that had dragged on for a dozen years was over for good, and the British people once more felt secure on their island shores.

The bicentenary of the famous battle seemed like an excellent opportunity to use that setting for a story, and before I knew it, I had eight other authors eager to join me, and to make a long story short, on April 1, 2015 our Waterloo-themed anthology was released to the world.

You are all invited to

Our Stories

Jillian Chantal: Jeremiah’s Charge

Emmaline Rothesay has her eye on Jeremiah Denby as a potential suitor. When Captain Denby experiences a life-altering incident during the course of events surrounding the Battle of Waterloo, it throws a damper on Emmaline’s plans.

Téa Cooper: The Caper Merchant

The moon in Gemini is a fertile field of dreams, ideas and adventure and Pandora Wellingham is more than ready to spread her wings. When Monsieur Cagneaux, caper merchant to the rich and famous, introduces her to the handsome dragoon she believes her stars have aligned.

Susana Ellis: Lost and Found Lady

Catalina and Rupert fell in love in Spain in the aftermath of a battle, only to be separated by circumstances. Years later, they find each other again, just as another battle is brewing, but is it too late?

Aileen Fish: Captain Lumley’s Angel

Charged with the duty of keeping his friend’s widow safe, Captain Sam Lumley watches over Ellen Staverton as she recovers from her loss, growing fonder of her as each month passes. When Ellen takes a position as a companion, Sam must confront his feelings before she’s completely gone from his life.

Victoria Hinshaw: Folie Bleue

On the night of the 30th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Aimée, Lady Prescott, reminisces about meeting her husband in Bruxelles on the eve of the fighting. She had avoided the dashing scarlet-clad British officers, but she could not resist the tempting smile and spellbinding charm of Captain Robert Prescott of the 16th Light Dragoons who— dangerously to Aimée— wore blue.

Heather King: Copenhagen’s Last Charge

When Meg Lacy finds herself riding through the streets of Brussels only hours after the Battle of Waterloo, romance is the last thing on her mind, especially with surly Lieutenant James Cooper. However, their bickering uncovers a strange empathy – until, that is, the lieutenant makes a grave error of judgment that jeopardizes their budding friendship…

Christa Paige: One Last Kiss

The moment Colin held Beatrice in his arms he wanted one last kiss to take with him into battle and an uncertain future. Despite the threat of a soldier’s death, he must survive, for he promises to return to her because one kiss from Beatrice would never be enough.

Sophia Strathmore: A Soldier Lay Dying

Amelia and Anne Evans find themselves orphaned when their father, General Evans, dies. With no other options available, Amelia accepts the deathbed proposal of Oliver Brighton, Earl of Montford, a long time family friend. When Lord Montford recovers from his battle wounds, can the two find lasting love?

David W. Wilkin: Not a Close Run Thing at All

Years, a decade. And now, Robert had come back into her life. Shortly before battle was to bring together more than three hundred thousand soldiers. They had but moments after all those years, and now, would they have any more after?

About Lost and Found Lady

On April 24, 1794, a girl child was born to an unknown Frenchwoman in a convent in Salamanca, Spain. Alas, her mother died in childbirth, and the little girl—Catalina—was given to a childless couple to raise.

Eighteen years later…the Peninsular War between the British and the French wages on, now perilously near Catalina’s home. After an afternoon yearning for adventure in her life, Catalina comes across a wounded British soldier in need of rescue. Voilà! An adventure! The sparks between them ignite, and before he returns to his post, Rupert promises to return for her.

But will he? Catalina’s grandmother warns her that some men make promises easily, but fail to carry them out. Catalina doesn’t believe Rupert is that sort, but what does she know? All she can do is wait…and pray.

But Fate has a few surprises in store for both Catalina and Rupert. When they meet again, it will be in another place where another battle is brewing, and their circumstances have been considerably altered. Will their love stand the test of time? And how will their lives be affected by the outcome of the conflict between the Iron Duke and the Emperor of the French?

Amazon: $.99 for a limited time

 peninsular war map

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Jillian Chantal and “Moon Dance”

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Complete List of Tour Stops

Jillian will be awarding a free backlist e-book to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop, and a Grand Prize of a moon charm/crystal necklace (see below) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Commenting on the other stops of the tour will increase your chances of winning!

Geographical Insights on Moon Dance

I based Moon Dance in London, England as I love the United Kingdom and it inspires me in many ways.  The bulk of the action takes place in the Southwark area of the city. This part of the city is on the opposite side of the Thames River from the Tower of London. This area has Waterloo tube station as well as a number of interesting pubs and theatres including what is now called The Old Vic and the recreation of the Globe theatre.

I used several real restaurants in the story. I’ve eaten at Weatherspoons, a chain of pubs in the UK. They have good food and a nice atmosphere but sadly, they do have a chain-type restaurant look about them. If you’re looking for an authentic pub experience, you’re better off not going to Weatherspoons. They do have a wicked good curry night, though.

One of the things I threw into the story is a real phenomenon I noticed and made a note of as I came out of the Weatherspoons near Tower Bridge. Right next door to the pub is a police station.  Next to that is a municipal court building and on the far side of that is a jail. How cool is that? You can get drunk and rowdy, be arrested, taken to court and jailed all in the same block.  Mind you, I’m not recommending that as a plan of action.

Caffe Nero is a chain of coffee shops in the UK and I also used one of those at a pivotal point of the story. The heroine grabs a coffee there just before a catastrophe befalls her.

I had the heroine talk about visiting the Churchill museum on the Southwark side of the Bridge but it got cut in the final version. Sometimes, too much detail can bog down the story and my editor suggested the cut. The story is stronger because it was cut but if you ever get to London, it’s a pretty cool museum to visit.

I have the hero and heroine cross the river to visit the British Museum and its Elgin Marble exhibit. When I travel, I like to make notes of where things are and figure out the transportation to get there so I had them discuss which tube stop to get off at for the museum since there are two in the area.

Green Goblin cider is a really good hard cider that is served in a lot of pubs. The British are cider drinkers and I’ve become a bit of an addict to some of them as well but they are hard to find here which I guess is a good thing for my liver.  I have the heroine bring some Green Goblin to the hero’s flat when she’s trying to make up with him over a small spat.

I love to travel and collect maps as well as other items and books to use when I sit down and write. I think it’s very important to get that true flavor of where the characters are at any given moment. The realistic use of food, drinks, setting and geography is very important and I do all I can to make the scene shine in the reader’s eyes.

Have any scenes in books you’ve read made you feel as if you were really there? If so, tell me about them.

prizeJillian will be awarding a free backlist e-book to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop, and a Grand Prize of a moon charm/crystal necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

About Moon Dance

Olga Quinn hopes her relocation to London to work on their space shuttle program is the life changing move she needs after the loss of her co-worker in a workplace explosion.  She meets Gabriel Swicord, a fireman turned celebrity radio personality and deejay. He lost his sight while rescuing a family in the line of duty and has immersed himself in music and work since then. For a few days, Olga and Gabe burn hot for each other and then things turn cold.

Someone is murdering women who patronize the club where Gabe spins records. It appears that he’s the connection to the dead women and his name and face are plastered all over the news. Things are not looking good for Olga’s peaceful new life and when the killers turn kidnappers, things really begin to heat up.

Excerpt

“Ouch.” Olga Quinn dropped the soldering iron on the marble countertop. It landed with a clatter and rolled off onto the tile floor of the lab. She sucked on her index finger with tears streaming down her face. “After all these years, you’d think I wouldn’t do that anymore, wouldn’t you? I mean, really, I’ve been making prototypes forever.”

“It has been a while since you worked really hands on, though, hasn’t it?” Olga’s co-worker, Gina Boudreau said. She bent down and picked up the soldering iron.

“Yeah, in Houston, I was assigned to the design team. I created ideas and other people made the models to test them. Over here, it seems we do all the jobs. I’m glad they have someone to clean the bathrooms or we might get sucked into that as well.”

MoonDanceCover“We’re much smaller here at British Aerospace than NASA, but I don’t think they’ll put us scientists to work in the loo.” Gina giggled. “I do wonder why you decided to move here, though. You had a pretty cushy job. I’m a little jealous and why you’d give that up, I’ll never understand.”

Olga made herself smile as she swallowed the lump in her throat that thoughts of Texas always brought. “I wanted a change of pace for a while. I’m here on loan only. I’m sure I’ll head back across the Atlantic someday.”

“Maybe you’ll decide you love the motherland so much that you’ll want to stay forever.”

“Not likely since England isn’t my motherland.” Olga moved over to the stainless steel sink and ran some cold water over her hand that still stung from the burn from the solder.

“I thought all you Yanks were descended in some way from the Anglo Saxons.”

Olga shook her head. “Nope. I’m part Russian and part Inuit.” She dried her hand off, opened a drawer in the closest cabinet and reached for some burn ointment for her finger.

“So that explains the darkness of your soul.” Gina laughed.

“You sound like you’re stereotyping my people.”

“I’d never do that. Unless I was kidding around.” Gina grinned. She pulled off her lab coat. “Quitting time soon. Come out tonight to the club with me and the gals. We’ll have fun. They have a brilliant celebrity deejay there and I want you to hear him. He’s quite good.”

About the Author

AuthorPicJillian Chantal lives on the gulf coast of Florida. She’s an avid traveler and enjoys using her experiences in other places as the background and inspiration for her stories. Writing Romantic Adventures with an International Flair is her favorite type of story to focus on. She loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at:

Contacts

Website • Email • Twitter • Facebook

Desert Breeze Publishing • Sweet Cravings Publishing • Bookstrand

Guest Interview: Jillian Chantal

Susana: Today my guest is Jillian Chantal, who’s here to share a bit about herself and her new release, Doctor, Lover, Baronet.

Jillian: Thanks for inviting me over today and interviewing me, Susana.  

Susana: What inspired you to start writing?

Jillian: I work as a lawyer in my day job and it’s quite stressful. Writing fiction is an escape valve for me. I have a hard time turning off my mind and writing is a good way for me to focus on something besides cases.

Susana: How long have you been writing?

Jillian: Fiction since 2006. I started a novel in 1998 but my computer crashed and I lost it so it took me a while to get back to it since I had small children and I was devastated by the loss of those eight chapters.

Susana: What advice would you give writers just starting out?

Jillian: Join a writing group. My craft improved once I did. It’s amazing what you can learn from other writers and critique groups. It’s also a great way to learn industry news as well.

Susana: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Jillian: I haven’t had this issue but I think if I did, I would watch movies and study them for the way the story is told and dialogue. I’d hope that would inspire me.

Susana: What comes first, the plot or the characters?

Jillian: Characters. Usually the hero. For some reason, I always get the male protagonist first. His quirks, his personality and his back story.

Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb. 

Jillian: The hero in this story, Colin, is a British man who is obsessed with American culture. He quotes movies, television shows and other pop culture references throughout the story. I think it adds a fun element to the novel.

Susana: Are you working on something at present you would like to tell us about?

Jillian: I’ve started polishing and editing my NaNoWriMo novel from 2012. It’s a romantic suspense that takes place in Los Angeles and Puerto Vallarta. The hero is an undercover DEA agent and the heroine is a lawyer.

Susana: What are you reading now?

Jillian: I just finished a book called Blood Money by James Grippando which is a present day thriller set in Miami. I’m planning to start reading  The Yard by Alex Grecian next. It’s set in 1880s London. I like all kinds of stories and settings.

Susana: What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Jillian: As far as the mystery components, Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve been a fan of mysteries since childhood.

Jillian: I also love thrillers and Harlan Coben is my hero in that genre.

Susana: What is your work schedule like when writing?

Jillian: I write in the evenings and weekends. Having an intense day job, I get the most work done on weekends.

Susana: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Jillian: A lawyer. Funny, I know, but that was the goal since I was eight. Once I met that goal, I was ready to take on new ones. I think we should always be growing and learning.

Susana: What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?

Jillian: I love Italian food. Pretty much any kind except the Alfredo sauce ones. I hate tuna fish and raw tomatoes.  I can’t deal with the smell of tuna and if my family makes tuna salad they have to eat it all as I can’t deal with it being in the refrigerator.  Raw tomatoes have a slimy texture I can’t stand but I love them cooked. Preferably in an Italian dish.

Susana: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Jillian: Pantser all the way. I sometimes start a novel on little more than a hero’s name, occupation and back story.

Susana: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

Jillian: I once went sky diving and loved, loved it. I only went once because the friend who took me crashed a few weeks later and broke his pelvis. I decided maybe jumping out of planes wasn’t a grand idea after all.

Susana: Is there a writer you idolize? Is so, who?

Jillian: I don’t know about idolize but I admire the heck out of Harlan Coben. The man has mad skills in the thriller department.

Susana: What would we find under your bed?

Jillian: Dust, old empty boxes and some holiday decorations. A shotgun in case of intruders is also there. Thank God I’ve never had to use it.

Susana: Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book. Where would you most likely want to go?

Jillian: Egypt. I’ve never been and would love to set a story on the Nile. I’m fascinated by the place. Both the ancient pyramids and the 1920s golden era of discovery in the area intrigue me.

Susana: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?

Jillian: It’s an Aristotle quote. “It is the sign of an educated mind to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it.” This to me means we can listen to others’ opinions but we need to make up our own mind about things.

Susana: Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?

Jillian: I write romance and have illusions that I will write a thriller one day. I love to read thrillers and I try to insert a bit of mystery or suspense in my romantic fiction. I hope someday to venture into that genre.

Susana: What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

Jillian: I’d like to increase my readership. I love my characters and want to share them with more folks. I’m not about bestseller lists but I want to have readers who love my stories like I do.

jc-doctorloverbaronet3130110_0340About Doctor, Lover, Baronet:

Donya Spencer, a busy art gallery manager in London, finds herself battling double vision and dizziness. She doesn’t have time to be ill and finds herself battling the national health care system for months. When she finally gets to see a specialist, she finds the man to be sexy, handsome, and very much her type. Knowing there can be no relationship due to medical ethics, she tries to resist his charming manner.

Colin Knight is the heir to a baronetcy whose father is pressuring him to marry and have children. This is an impossible task for Colin. He’s also a neurosurgeon who hasn’t opened his heart to love since the death of his young girlfriend many years ago. He works hard at the career he pursues relentlessly in an effort to somehow atone for the accident that killed his love. He meets Donya, and the comfortable bachelor life he’s made for himself is turned upside down.

Excerpt:

She looked around and noticed Alec St Clair standing sideways in the doorway talking with someone she couldn’t see. The other man had his back to the room. She rose, shook off her melancholy, and approached Alec.

“Hey, Alec, remember me from the gallery?” She touched him on the shoulder.

He turned around. “Of course I do, Donya. You’re the other bridesmaid—the one that planned that huge art show. Do you know Colin Knight?”

She glanced up the man who had been speaking to Alec. “Yes. We’ve met. How are you?” She held her hand out to be shaken. Oh, God. It was her doctor. She hoped he wouldn’t say anything. This was pretty awkward.

“I’m fine. And you?” He smiled down at her and shook her proffered hand.

“Passable.”

“Sorry, guys,” Alec said. “I’m going to have to leave you for a second. I think Roxanne has had too much to drink. I recognize the signs that she’s going to fall out. I better go get her a chair.”

“Alec, there you are in your role of rescuer again.” Donya laughed.

“Yep. That’s me. I’m a regular knight in shining armor. Although I shouldn’t say that as a true Knight is standing there beside you.” He laughed at his own joke and made his way across the room to Roxanne.

Donya looked up at Colin. “I had rather hoped for a certain Dr. Knight to be my knight in shining armor to fix my head. But, alas, I’m afraid it’s going to be too late.”

“I do intend to be your surgeon. What do you mean, too late?”

“I lose more vision by the day, and the surgery couldn’t be scheduled as quickly as I’d been led to hope for by you.”

“What do you mean? When’s it scheduled? I told my nurse to set you first available.”

“It’s set for two weeks from this coming Monday.”

What? That’s not acceptable. I had no idea.”

“That was what your nurse told me. She said the operatory would not be available for me until then. Apparently, they were booked solid for three weeks.”

“Damned National Health Service,” he muttered. He took her hand. “Donya. I promise you, I’m going to see what I can do to move up the date. I’m sorry about this. I have no real control over the availability of the facilities. There’re so many rules and regulations involved. But I promise, I’ll do what I can.”

“I understand that there may be people in more urgent need than me, but I’m frustrated with the whole thing.”

“I know. I know. Believe me, I get that way, too. Sometimes I wonder why I’m still trying to help people. The system needs some serious revamping.”

Tara danced over, with yet another glass of wine in her hand, to where Colin and Donya were talking. “Why are you so solemn? This is a party, and I command you to dance. Now.” She spun off. She took a big swig of her wine and spilled most of it down her shirtfront.

Colin shrugged at Donya. “She has had some wine tonight, huh? Would you like to dance?”

“Sure. If you think it proper to dance with one’s surgeon.” Can I handle him holding me in his arms? He’s so magnetic and handsome, I may pass out.

“I wasn’t sure if they knew I’m your surgeon, so I didn’t say anything. I think it may be harder for you if you refuse my offer, as Tara seems a bit worse for wear and she may make a scene. Even though she looks pretty in pink, I know she can be an arse sometimes.”

“I have no intention of turning down your invitation to dance, and no, they don’t know you’re my surgeon and I prefer to keep it that way. Was the ‘pretty in pink’ comment a reference to the movie?” she asked.

“Yeah. And me being your surgeon is our secret.” He took her hand and moved toward the dance floor.

They approached the floor. The tempo changed and a slow song, Gerald Alston singing the Sam Cooke song “You Send Me,” came on. Colin held out his arms to Donya, and she stepped into them. They swayed slowly across the floor. “I thought I recognized you from somewhere when you came in my office,” Colin said. “I couldn’t place you, but I knew I’d seen you. What Alec said reminded me of where. It was at the gallery gala night. Are you an artist? Is that how you know Tara?”

“No. I’m not an artist. Just an art lover and former magazine junior editor who went to Oxford to obtain a History of Art degree when I got bored with editing. I’m the manager of the gallery. I saw you there that night, too. If you recall, you caught me in the hallway and told me I needed to see a doctor. Why didn’t you tell me you were a doctor?”

“Why didn’t you say anything that day in my office?” he asked, seeming to deflect her question.

“I was afraid that you wouldn’t perform my surgery if you knew we had mutual friends.” The truth was, she was terrified to lose her chance to get well, but she wasn’t ready to share that with him.

“No. Actually, that’s how I get a lot of referrals.” He smiled down at her

Buy it at: http://www.bookstrand.com/doctor-lover-baronet

www.jillianchantal.com