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K.J. Watters: The Sale of Woodhouse Glass (Giveaway)

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The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About The Sale of Woodhouse Glass

“Touching and intelligent, The Sale of Woodhouse Glass isn’t your ordinary romance. Kali Woodhouse is a widowed mother-of-two who spends her days running her deceased husband’s business, Woodhouse Glass, and flirting with the town police officer, who is exactly right for her in every way. He’s certainly a better choice than the bad-boy, screw-up she’s known since childhood, and who just so happens to need a job and has the necessary skills for Woodhouse Glass.

“No, this isn’t the generic storyline you’ve seen before with flat characters who play their roles according to the formula. Watters eschews cliche and instead tells a touching story about love, loss, family, and finding happiness again after tragedy.”

-Author of “Someone Else’s Fairytale” E.M. Tippetts

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Excerpt

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00063]Within half an hour, the lawyers had arrived with their paperwork and it was done. Kali and Spencer walked out side by side into the warm summer day, a sense of finality clinging to them.

“How do you feel, fancy suit-wearing business owner?”

“Excited. And sad.” Spencer stopped walking to turn and look at her. He pulled on his collar. “And hot.”

Kali laughed. “A mixed bag. Such is the life of the self-employed. I guess I’m off to the life of the unemployed for now.”

“You sure you don’t want to keep your job?” Spencer looked hopeful.

“Nah. No offense, but I sold it to get away from you, so that would kind of defeat the purpose.”

Spencer nodded with a good-natured chuckle. “Fair enough. But if you change your mind…”

Kali smiled sadly. They both knew that wasn’t going to happen, and they stood looking at each other for a moment, neither exactly sure how to walk way.

“Hey, um, give the kids a hug for me. I’m gonna miss ‘em. Would it be weird if I signed up to coach Ryder’s soccer team this year?” He wasn’t serious about the soccer, but she knew he would miss the kids. They would miss him, too. They already complained about not getting to see him much. Now they wouldn’t see him at all.

“Single thirty-something man with no children signs up to coach six-year-old soccer. Yeah…I’m thinking it might be weird.”

He laughed as he reached for her and pulled her into a tight embrace. It was the first time they had touched in weeks. “I’m gonna miss you, Kal.”

Kali rested her cheek against his silky tie and freshly pressed shirt. This was goodbye.

“I kind of hate you, Spencer.”

“I kind of hate myself, Kal. But I love you.” He didn’t let her go.

“I love you, too.”

When he finally released her, his eyes looked a little bit glossy, the way hers felt. He kissed her on the forehead and turned to walk to his truck, leaving her standing in the sunshine, not quite sure if she was supposed to feel relieved or heartbroken to have reached the end.

About the Author

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheSaleOfWoodhouseGlass copyK.J. Watters is the author of The Sale of Woodhouse Glass, a solitary journalistic article, and a large number of unfinished manuscripts.

She has an underutilized degree in Communications, selected for its minimal math requirements. She married her math tutor who is now a CPA in southern Oregon.

Her hobbies currently include reading, writing, and watching beginner level gymnastics, ballet, and soccer practices. When she isn’t writing or being a mom, she also teaches high school conflict resolution classes part-time.

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Kimberly Keyes: Lover’s Leap (Giveaway)

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Kimberly will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

Welcome to today’s interview of Candace and Logan, the heroine and hero in Kimberly Keyes’ contemporary romance, Lover’s Leap.

Interviewer: Candace and Logan, the two of you are involved in a wildly passionate relationship and anyone who sees the two of you together can’t miss the fact you’re meant for each other, but as we understand it, when you met, starting a relationship with each other was the furthest thing from either of your minds. The word is your paths crossed by chance when both of you wound up vacationing at a mutual friend’s luxury vacation home in Tahoe. Can you tell us a little bit about how you both ended up there at the same time? And also, what held you back from acting on the attraction the two of you so obviously share?

Logan: I wasn’t on vacation in Tahoe. More like on sabbatical. Trying to decide what direction I wanted to go in my career—and my life, for that matter.

Candace: I wasn’t actually on vacation, either. I went to Tahoe to work—I’m a romance writer—and to clear my head. The house belongs to my agent, who also happens to be my very good friend, Eric. He offered it to me after a certain…um…traumatic event put my life into turmoil.

Logan: She walked in on her fiancé in bed with another woman.

Candace: (Laughs) Yep. Eric was worried about my ex badgering me into taking him back. I knew that would never happen. I can’t stomach cheaters, especially not after the way my dad treated my mom. But I did want to examine why I wasn’t more broken up about ending my engagement.

Logan: She didn’t love the guy. (Grins) She loves me, though.

Candace: (Gazes at Logan) I sure do.

Interviewer: So you both had reasons for hiding out in Tahoe. And?

Candace: After Eric offered me the house, he belatedly realized his quote-unquote special friend, Logan was already staying there. At that point, he almost rescinded his offer to me! And that’s where the confusion came in. You see, Eric’s gay. When he said he had a special friend at his vacation home, I figured that meant…

Logan: She figured I was Eric’s lover. I was pretty shocked when I realized she thought that. And a little peeved. Eric had (clears throat) given me strict instructions to keep my hands off his quote-unquote special friend, Candace, so I thought he’d told her he and I were lovers to insure my cooperation.

It struck me as way over the top—at first—primarily because Eric was my late twin, Luke’s partner. But after spending, what? Five minutes in Candace’s presence? I knew there was something really special about her.

Candace: He got the hots for me.

Logan: There was that…but also, she was a breath of fresh air. For most of my adult life, women have kind of…how do I say…

Candace: They throw themselves at him.

Logan: I was going to say, they come on strong when they’re interested.

Candace: Which any single woman is bound to be.

Logan: See? Told you she loves me. So…back to my guilty conscience over having it bad for Candace when I’d promised to steer clear. I tried not to notice her pretty eyes that saw right into me, and I tried not to follow her around like a puppy dog just because she really listened to me when I talked, and I never meant to get possessive and protective over her when I learned about her idiot ex cheating on her.

Candace: Or when the store clerk offered to help me.

Logan: (frowns) He seemed aggressive.

Candace: Whatever you say, Logan.

Logan: Okay, okay. Maybe I wanted you all to myself and that clerk was showing just a little too much interest.

Candace: Logan had taken me sightseeing in Tahoe, and practically ran off the cute male store clerk. At the time Logan and I were still firmly in the friend phase. I picked up on the boyfriend-ish vibe, but decided I was just wishful thinking, because, after all…

Logan: I was supposedly Eric’s boyfriend.

Interviewer: Okay, so if I understand you right, you each felt an attraction for the other, but felt you couldn’t act on it?

Candace: Guilty.

Logan: Absolutely. And it only got worse after we slept together.

Interviewer: Excuse me?

Candace: (Laughs out loud) It’s not how it sounds. We just had occasion to wind up in bed together in the middle of the night. The dreams I had about Logan…

Logan: and I had about Candace…

Candace: Still make me blush. But that’s a story for a different day.

Interviewer: You were attracted, but felt each other were off limits. How did you get over that hump?

Logan: I had to leave Tahoe. Had some personal business in San Francisco, and I wasn’t supposed to come back to the lake house. My God, I was gone something like twenty-four hours—

Candace: Not even.

Logan: …and I missed her like hell. But I resisted calling her because she’d been through enough with her jerk ex. I figured she didn’t need any Loganesque complications.

Candace: I missed Logan, too. I pretty much decided I needed to have my head examined. I finally felt a soul-deep attraction for a man, and he was completely off limits—or so I thought. But then a killer storm hit Tahoe.

Logan: (takes Candace’s hand) And I came rushing back.

Candace: He came rushing back to me.

Interviewer: And? What happened next?

Candace: (Smiles at Logan; Logan smiles at her) You’ll just have to read Kimberly Keyes’s Lover’s Leap and find out!!

About Lover’s Leap

After finding her fiancé in bed with another woman, Candace, a twenty-something, up-and-coming romance novelist takes off for a friend’s vacation home in Tahoe. The good news? She’ll share the place with fellow house guest, Logan, her best friend Eric’s latest lover. Except…

Logan, the nearly-irresistible-to-women photographer, isn’t Eric’s lover. Not now, not ever. He’s in Tahoe licking his own personal wounds, and before he’s allowed near Candace, he’s sworn off of her. No problem. Except…

There’s something about Candace. She’s not simply beautiful and enticingly off-limits. It’s in the way she doesn’t flirt with him. In the way she treats him like he isn’t a shallow pleasure-seeker. In the way, somehow, she brings peace to his world-weary soul.

Too bad she thinks he’s gay. But even if he can clear that hurdle, can he really entrust Candace’s heart to his own haphazard keeping?

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Excerpt

MediaKit_BookCover_LoversLeap copyExhausted. Soaked. Muddy. Hair plastered to his forehead, blinding him. He dug his elbows into gravel and dragged himself further away from the drop off, then rolled onto his back and closed his eyes. He would definitely lecture Candace. Just let him catch his breath first.

“Logan, are you all right?” Candace demanded, not content to wait for him to recover his strength. She crawled onto his chest and put her ice cold hands on either side of his face, pushing his hair out of his eyes. “Logan, answer me.”

Logan cracked his eyes open and studied her. Her fair hair was soaking wet and plastered to her skin. Water droplets slid down her cheeks, and off her nose.

“You told me you were safe, you silly man,” she half-yelled, half-sobbed. “You’re lucky your car stopped where it did instead of crashing into the gorge.”

Shivers racked her slight frame. Was she frightened? Cold? He lifted one exhausted arm and swiped her hair back from her cheeks. “Let’s get you home,” he said.

For a moment she stared at him with the blankest expression—then laughter burst from her lips. “You’re crazy.”

“I’m crazy? You just took a joy ride in the middle of a tropical storm.”

She sat back on his stomach and just smiled at him. A big beautiful smile that lit up her whole face. Something warm and wonderful filled Logan’s chest and he did the only thing he could do at that moment. Grasping her nape with one hand, and her shoulder with the other, he dragged her down and kissed her.

About the Author

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_LoversLeap copyKimberly Keyes knew before she was old enough to drive, writing was her passion. Specifically, writing romance. Once she got up the courage to start typing, she never looked back—although some of her earlier works will never get further than underneath her bed!

She writes single title contemporary and historical romance, Victorian era, and is most comfortable working on two books in the two different genres, simultaneously.

The bulk of her time she spends writing, and re-writing, plotting, and dreaming up ways to perplex the characters living inside her head.

She’s lucky to have the unswerving support of her family, and most especially her two faithful companions, Pappillon, a twenty pound rescue puppy from Puerto Rico, and Frank, a.k.a. “President of the Black Dog Club,” also a rescue. The two are constantly by her side offering love and encouragement, and occasionally demanding chewies.

Lover’s Leap, a contemporary romance, is her first published book. The Trouble With Tigers, a Victorian romance will be released soon, too! Both books are published by The Wild Rose Press.

 

 

Tricia O’Malley: Wild Irish Heart (Giveaway)

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Tricia O’Malley will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Wild Irish Heart

It is time…

An ancient book, a power untouched, and a heart unloved lead Keelin O’Brien from her graduate studies in Boston to a small village on the coast of Southern Ireland. Determined to unearth the secrets lying hidden in the enchanted waters of the cove, Keelin has little time for a surly Irishman who infuriates her during the day and haunts her fantasies at night.

Inexplicably drawn to the woman who has stepped from his dreams and into his world, Flynn fights a stubborn battle against his increasing attraction for Keelin. Forces unknown have better plans for the two.

Only the secrets of the cove can show Keelin who she really is, the beauty of her mysterious power, and a love that will break the bounds of what she knows.

From New York Times Bestselling author, Tricia O’Malley, comes a new romance series set on the rocky shores of Ireland.

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Excerpt

“Have you heard of the famous pirate queen, Grace O’Malley?”

“Of course; she is legendary throughout Ireland. She was notorious for her fierceness in battle. I know she married twice and had several children. She was famous for being ruthless, yet at the same time is credited with preserving much of Gaelic history.”

“Absolutely, and she was a woman that knew her own mind. Did you know that Grainne is the Celtic name for Grace?” Margaret asked. Both Keelin and Margaret’s middle name was Grainne.

“I did not,” Keelin said.

“Almost all of the women of a particular bloodline in Grace’s Cove carry that name. It isn’t because of the town name. It is because our bloodline is that of Grace O’Malley.”

“Shut up.” Keelin was thrilled. She was related to a famous pirate queen? How cool was that?

“Keelin, do not say, ‘Shut up.’”

“Sorry, Mom.”

“Yes, you are a descendant of Grace O’Malley, for whom Grace’s Cove is named. Your grandmother has a direct connection and experiences the effects of it.”

“Of what? I don’t understand. Is ol’ Grandma a pirate or something?” Keelin asked.

Margaret smiled. “No, not quite. Grace was rumored to have powers other than her formidable ones as a pirate queen. Some say magick. Others say a healer. Others point to almost a psychic ability to predict potential threats. It isn’t really known what all surrounded Grace, yet almost all will agree she had a level of power.”

Keelin began to nervously pick at her nails. She pulled at a loose hangnail and winced as blood came to the surface. Without thinking she covered it with her hand and the wound slowly faded.

“The cove itself is rumored to be enchanted. Almost no one will go there. Well, aside from your grandmother. And a few others. I’ve gone there. I never will again.”

About the Author

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_WildIrishHeart copyA New York Times Bestselling author, Tricia O’Malley lives in Milwaukee with her husband Josh, and their much doted-upon dogs, Briggs and Blue. On a typical day you will find her lost in the worlds of her making or working with up-and-coming authors. She loves the entrepreneurial life, is strongly resistant to the cubicle-world, and thrives on creating the life that she’s always wanted to live.

The book will be free during the tour.

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Eliza Redgold: Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva (Giveaway)

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Eliza Redgold will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

The Morning (After) Gift

 Silently he rolled away and reached over to where his belt laid cast aside on the floor. My eagle gold beside it.

A small leather pouch. He held it out it to me.

“The morgengifu. Your morning gift.”

My brow furrowed. “But we’ve set our terms.”

Coventry. Was he revoking our agreement?

He shrugged and pressed the package into my palm.

Slowly I untied the long cord.

A ring. A dull gleam of gold. Carved swirls. A large smooth gem in the centre, egg shaped. I held it up to the light.

The gem glowed red as a wood berry. “It’s beautiful.”

“A ruby.”

I’d not expected such a courtesy of him, just as I hadn’t expected the pleasure he’d given me.

I slipped the ring onto my finger. “Thank you,” I said, made shy. “Where did it come from?”

“It was my mother’s. It’s Mercian made.”

So he’d brought it with him to Coventry. The eagle belt too he must have had with him. He must carry them with him always, a family keepsake.

“And now you give it to me.” 

A beautiful old custom I discovered while writing NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva was the Anglo-Saxon custom of the morgengifu or ‘morning gift’.

The morning gift was given to a bride by her husband the morning after their wedding. It could be land, money, goods or jewels. More than a mere dowry, it defined the power relations in a marriage and between the two families of the bride and groom joined in wedlock. Negotiations could be heated and many alliances (and misalliances) were built.

In NAKED, Godiva’s morgengifu is more than the ring she receives by surprise from her new husband. Historical documents from the 11th century show Godiva’s name as a female landowner. Her status as a landowner indicates that she inherited her own estate. Godiva had a lot to offer … and a lot to lose.

Marriage was a risk for Anglo-Saxon noblewomen like Lady Godiva. As Lord Leofric puts it:

“There’s something you have forgotten.” Moving nearer still, he closed the gap I’d stretched between us. His breath warmed my cheek. “The morgengifu is given to a woman by her husband the morning after their wedding night. Not before. To wed is to gamble. In our language even the words have the same meaning.”

Godiva vows to protect her land and her people, whatever the cost. As you’ll discover in NAKED, her marriage gamble may cost her virtue, her heart… or her life.

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About Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva

We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story.

We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.

Naked is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.

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Excerpt

Magic sparkled in the sunlight, falling on the leaves as we reached the edge of the Forest of Arden.

Leofric stroked Wyrd’s neck as we tethered our horses. “This is a sacred place.”

“How did you know?”

Arden was the home of our ancient spirits but it wasn’t common knowledge beyond our borders. Many still came to worship in Arden on holy days, but only those who lived in the Middle Lands.

A shrug was his only reply as we went deeper into the forest by foot, the oaks, elms and poplars whispering their mysterious welcome. Yet I swore he bowed as we entered the deep green grove.

About the Author

MediaKit_AuthorPic_Naked copyEliza Redgold is an author, academic and unashamed romantic.

Eliza Redgold is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. Eliza has also written two upcoming Victorian historical romances for Harlequin Historical. Look out for Enticing Benedict Cole in November 2015.

NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva was released internationally by St Martin’s Press New York in July 2015.

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Amy McKinley: Hidden (Giveaway)

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One randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

I’ve been asked several times how much research I do when I write and I have this terrible knee-jerk response each time of saying, “None. I make up worlds.” Groan. That’s so not true. I do research, it’s just that it’s fun and I guess I don’t think of it as tedious or a task.

In Hidden, I poured over castles in Ireland, looking for the perfect setting for Trynd Castle, Aiesa and Xavior’s home where they raised Jade and her sisters. I found Klyemore Abby that depicted the style I’d already imagined in my head. I also had to figure out the type of stone typically used in the castle’s structure. That’s a tiny bit of detail, but it all matters in the description to make the world come to life.

Even though my novel is a paranormal romance, there are details within that I had to research, adding depth to the world building for sensory detail and creditability. If they’re in the human realm and I haven’t been to that location, I have to find out the climate, plant life, and even some of the animals. Regardless if everything was included, it gave me enough information so I could build a picture to create a sense of being there.

The next book in the series I researched blacksmiths, something I knew nothing about. Pouring over pictures of weaponry from medieval times and how they were made was fascinating. Imagining her home led me to scour pictures of canopy beds, chairs, and different designs for the stone archways or doors. I’d end up captivated until I realized just how much time I’d spent on it. And the landscape? I want to travel ten times more now than I already had. Someday, I’m hoping to be able to add traveling into my research. For now, I use the Internet, books, or talk to people I know who have been to places or done things I need to learn about.

So yes, I do research and tend to get a little too involved in some of it at times. It’s definitely worthwhile to add depth and make the story come alive.

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About Hidden

Cursed since birth, hunted by gods, and desperate for love—Jade never stood a chance.

Half-demon, half-goddess, Jade’s fate makes her a pawn in an epic battle among the gods. Hidden on Earth with her sisters, she successfully avoids the Oneiroi—the dream gods—bent on her destruction until the prophecy, long dormant, awakens a dark shadow within her.

Roen, a reclusive Worr demon known for his battles against the Oneiroi, is called to protect Jade. Together they must unlock their mysterious connection and find a way to beat back destiny. Can she outsmart the prophecy, change her fate, and find love—even when she learns who is connected to her destruction?

Excerpt

Hades kissed his wife, Persephone, one last time before reluctantly relinquishing her above ground, where her mother impatiently waited.

“Behave while I’m gone, Hades.” Persephone traced a pink-kissed nail along her husband’s dark jawline.

He was loathe to shave too often as the rough stubble against her skin excited her. “Six months is ridiculously long,” he murmured against her lush lips. “Find a way to meet me at the meadow.”

Mischief danced in her eyes as she stepped onto the boat which would ferry her along the River Styx, leading her out of the Underworld. “It’s a date,” she purred, blowing her husband a sultry kiss.

That woman slays me. He watched until she was out of sight. Once his bride was gone, his attention returned to his beloved Underworld and the current state it was in.

Hades leapt onto his chariot. A resounding crack split the air as he commanded his four black horses to lead him past boiling lava pits and stalagmites to the deepest, fiery pits of the abyss—Tartarus.

Creatures scampered out of his way. Fallen angels and demons went about their business—lest they draw his anger—as he thundered past. Tormented screams echoed off cavernous walls and pools of fiery despair. His pulse roared in his veins. He reveled at what he was about to see…

The Fates’ curse had begun.

Reining his steeds to a halt, he dismounted, his black boots crunching on a mixture of bones and jagged pieces of rock. Amidst the prisons, the things of nightmares tortured imprisoned souls.

A laugh rumbled up from his gut and rolled out. He threw back his head then ran his hands through his black hair, freeing it from its tie. Pers wasn’t here right now, due to his brother, Zeus’s, acquiescence to Demeter.

Hades ignored the slow burn in his chest at the thought of his wife being gone for six long months and focused on the game of persecuting his brother instead, for he knew a thing or two about Aiesa’s offspring that Zeus did not.

An ear-splitting scream rent the air, snapping Hades out of his thoughts. New souls.

He knew who sent them. Although he benefitted from so many entering his domain, his brother would not be happy.

What a perfect time to pay Zeus a visit.

About the Author

Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author. She lives in Illinois with her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. Her debut novel, Hidden, is the first in the Five Fates Series.

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Beth Trissel: Traitor’s Curse (Giveaway)

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Beth is awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Traitor’s Curse

Halifax, North Carolina, 1783.

Captain Stuart Monroe returns home from the Revolutionary War to find Thornton Hall threatened by a peacetime foe: debt. He knows the location of a treasure amassed to pay for the capture of Benedict Arnold that would restore his manor to its former glory. The catch, it’s hidden in the graveyard, and coveted by old enemies.

Hettie Fairfax inherited the Sight from her Cherokee ancestors, and her otherworldly visitors warn her, and Stuart, away from the buried treasure. Half-dead from fever, she delivers a message: the treasure is cursed. But will he believe a girl half out of her mind with illness? Even when a very real enemy attempts to poison her? Stuart soon wants to marry Hettie, but she fears her “odd ways” will blemish his reputation. The spirits have their own agenda, however, and the battle against darkness tests everything the couple holds dear, including their love for each other.

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Excerpt

Halifax, North Carolina, 1783.

Captain Stuart Monroe returns home from the Revolutionary War to find Thornton Hall threatened by a peacetime foe: debt. He knows the location of a treasure amassed to pay for the capture of Benedict Arnold that would restore his manor to its former glory. The catch, it’s hidden in the graveyard, and coveted by old enemies.

Hettie Fairfax inherited the Sight from her Cherokee ancestors, and her otherworldly visitors warn her, and Stuart, away from the buried treasure. Half-dead from fever, she delivers a message: the treasure is cursed. But will he believe a girl half out of her mind with illness? Even when a very real enemy attempts to poison her? Stuart soon wants to marry Hettie, but she fears her “odd ways” will blemish his reputation. The spirits have their own agenda, however, and the bat“Turn back. A man watches you.”

Again, the warning carried from the unseen source.

What man, and how did she know Stuart was observed? He could barely discern anything.

“Who are you? Show yourself.” Uneasiness lent indignation to his demand.

Through the haze, he spotted the figure of a young female dressed all in white. A death shroud?

Pray God, it wasn’t. His gut knotted, and he stood staring at her.

Ethereal, ghostly, she seemed to float toward him, but must have walked.

Must have.

A cold shiver stood the hair on the back of his neck on end. Was she flesh and blood, or spirit? Had she crossed the divide between the two worlds?

He scarcely dared to breathe.

Still, he stood rooted to the trail. And not only from fright. Fascination. Despite fear of being haunted, an aura about her drew him.

He waited, every muscle taut, poised betwixt heaven and earth, the scent of crumbling leaves in his nose. At least, that was real.

Whiteness swirling around her, she neared.

Then he spotted it, an ivory coverlet draped over her head and around her slender shoulders pinched together in front with pale fingers.

No shroud.

The blanket reached to her ankles and trailed behind along the ground. Mist muted the flowers stitched into the cloth. This accounted for him not spotting her sooner. She’d blended in with the vapor.

About the Author

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TraitorsCurse copyMarried to her high school sweetheart, Beth Trissel lives on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by her children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, her love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into her work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of her inspiration. She’s especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. In addition to historical romance, she also writes time travel, paranormal romance, YA fantasy, and nonfiction.

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Linda Bennett Pennell: Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn (Giveaway)

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Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn is set in 1943 in the weeks leading up to the First Allied Conference. The book could just as easily have been entitled Unconditional Surrender. It was at the conference that Roosevelt and Churchill set that policy with regard to surrender of the Axis powers. Might have made a nice little double entendre, no?

In the novel, the hero, OSS officer Kurt Heinz, is sent on a mission that has a high chance of proving fatal. If he is successful, no one will ever know of his heroism and that he prevented disaster from occurring for the Allied war effort. As he flies toward danger, he thinks about Sarah, the army nurse whom he loves. Their paths crossed by accident in a vortex of danger and intrigue. Falling in love was unexpected and unwanted, but became an undeniable force for both of them. Kurt scribbles a last minute letter to Sarah as he prepares to parachute into the night somewhere over the Tunisian desert.

My Darling,

I owe you an apology and I must beg your forgiveness. I still can’t tell you where I’m going or what I will be doing, but I should have been honest with you about one thing. The chances of my coming back from this are not great. I should never have talked you into promising to wait for me. It was selfish and wrong. You are young and beautiful with your whole life ahead of you. You shouldn’t spend months or years waiting and worrying, but even now, I cannot bring myself to tell you to forget me. A less selfish man would write those words and mean them.

If I don’t make it, live life for both of us. Find a guy who will love you and take care of you. You deserve happiness, marriage, children, and that little cottage with the white picket fence you said you wanted. For now, I can’t promise anything except that I love you with my whole heart and will cherish our time together as the most important and happiest of my life.

With All My Love,

Kurt

What is this suicide mission Kurt is on? Does he make it back alive? Does Sarah wait for him?

The answers are in Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn.

About Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn

Casablanca, 1943: a viper’s nest of double agents and spies where OSS Officer Kurt Heinz finds his skill in covert operations pushed to the limit. Allied success in North Africa and the fate of the First Allied Conference—perhaps the outcome of the war—hang on Kurt’s next mission. The nature of his work makes relationships impossible. Nonetheless, he is increasingly torn between duty and the beautiful girl who desperately needs his protection and help.

Sarah Barrett, U.S. Army R.N., is finished with wartime romance. Determined to protect her recently broken heart, she throws all of her time and energy into caring for her patients, but when she is given a coded message by a mysterious dying civilian, she is sucked into a vortex of danger and intrigue that threatens her very survival. The one person who can help Sarah is Kurt Heinz, a man with too many secrets to be trusted.

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Excerpt

Kurt watched in dismay as the man in gray picked up his fedora and rose from the table next to the one recently vacated by the two women. This had to be his contact. The man had watched Kurt on the sly since he arrived at the restaurant. Moreover, the guy matched the description right down to the red pocket square in his suit breast pocket and the thin, pale scar running along his left jawline. Making a quick decision, Kurt pushed his chair back and tossed some cash on the table.

“It’s been interesting guys, but I’m calling it a night. Use this to cover my tab.”

“What’s the rush, Heinz? We haven’t even ordered dinner.”

“I guess my sins are catching up with me. It’s return to quarters and bed for me.”

“You headed back with us on the return flight tomorrow?”

“Nope, I’m here with the Old Man for the duration. You boys have a good trip.”

The street was nearly deserted when Kurt stepped out onto its glistening concrete surface. Misty rain created halos around the sparse street lamps and obscured most objects more than a few feet distant. Only the two women, Sarah and Agnes, stood under an umbrella waiting for a taxi. Kurt watched them from the restaurant’s portico. Focused on their conversation, they seemed oblivious to anyone behind them.

Glancing to his right, Kurt saw his man in gray scurrying toward the cross street. He stepped onto the sidewalk and crept along a good twenty paces behind. When his quarry slowed at the corner and looked back over his shoulder, Kurt stepped into the shadow of a doorway behind the taxi stand and waited. If this guy didn’t want to make contact, he wouldn’t appreciate being followed.

About the Author

AuthorPhoto_CasablancaAppointmentAtDawn copyI have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.

As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to her or himself, “Let’s pretend.”

I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl.

“History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” Voltaire

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Other Books:

Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel (Soul Mate Publishing)

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Confederado do Norte (Soul Mate Publishing)

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When War Came Home (Real Cypress Press)

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