Tag Archive | historical

Adrienne deWolfe and “Scoundrel for Hire”

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Adrienne will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour; a Professional Story Critique of Chapter 1 of your novel (a $125 value) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour; an ebook copy of TEXAS OUTLAW (Book 1, WILD TEXAS NIGHTS) to to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour; an ebook copy of HIS WICKED DREAM (Book 2, VELVET LIES) to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and character worksheets to write Heroes, Villains, and Sidekicks for your novel to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Scoundrel for Hire: Book 1, Velvet Lies Series

Raphael Jones is a Kentucky-born scoundrel, who has never played by the rules. When Colorado mining heiress, Silver Nichols, hires him to stop her precious daddy from marrying a golddigger, Rafe sets out to seduce Silver and win her fortune.

Cover_SCOUNDREL FOR HIREBut beneath Silver’s cool veneer, Rafe encounters a sweet vulnerability and an aching secret that threatens to send his whole world up in smoke.

Now the wily scoundrel must choose: walk away or wager the one thing he can’t afford to lose—his heart.

Excerpt

Rafe Makes Mischief at the Party

Oblivious to the knife that was twisting in Silver’s chest, Papa blew his fiancée a kiss. Celestia pinkened like a bonbon. Clasping her well-corseted bosom, she made a great show of blowing back her answer, and Papa chortled, reaching up to catch it.

It was more than Silver could bear.

“Papa,” she said tersely, “perhaps it’s time you introduced Lord Chumley to your fiancée. I’m sure Celestia might be persuaded to tear herself away from her palm-reading long enough to… uh…” She tossed a withering glance at Rafe’s preposterous, chartreuse waistcoat and outlandish muttonchop whiskers. ” … Meet such a distinguished member of the British House of Lords.”

“Odds fish,” Rafe drawled, squinting through his quizzing glass at Celestia’s equally outlandish costume. “A palm reader, is she?”

“She sure is,” Papa said proudly. “She talks to spirits, too. Why, we’re planning on having a séance to talk to that pesky ghost,” he continued over Silver’s sputtered objections. “You know, the one that’s been haunting our mine and driving all the shovel stiffs away.”

“A ghost, you say?” Rafe looked like he might burst out laughing. “Lud, what rotten luck. Can’t be good for business, what? My great grandmummy’s castle was haunted once,” he improvised brightly. “The bugger kept driving her sheep away. It was deuced inconvenient; they kept drowning in the moat. Turns out, Sir Harry—that was our ghost—had it in for the critters. Choked to death on a leg o’ lamb, you see. So he’d ring a cowbell to lure them over the drawbridge.”

Silver narrowed her eyes at her playactor’s ad-lib. “Fortunately, there are no sheep in Silver’s Mine.”

“But there is a bell,” Papa added thoughtfully. “‘Course, it’s supposed to be a warning bell, but it’s got all the men spooked ’cause it rings for no danged reason. Or at least, that’s what we used to think. But maybe Nahele’s been trying to warn us away. Do you suppose that’s why he’s resorting to more drastic measures, like snuffing out lanterns and dumping lunch pails into the abyss?”

“Papa,” Silver ground out, ever-conscious of the newsman who was trailing after them, “Nahele is not roaming our tunnels, upsetting lunch buckets. The very idea is ludicrous.”

“Now, daughter, you can’t be so sure. No one knows for certain what happens to the spirit after it leaves its fleshy abode. Celestia says we can ask Nahele anything we like during the séance, and I mean to ask him to stop harassing our shovel stiffs. Besides,” Papa added more ominously, “who knows what Nahele might do next if we keep ignoring him?”

“A séance is a rather novel approach to avoiding a miners’ strike,” Buckholtz interjected snidely.

Silver scowled. So much for trying to keep that headline out of the newspaper.

“Our miners are reasonable men,” she told the newsman with long-suffering dignity. “I’m sure their peculiar set of grievances can be logically explained. With safety being our primary concern, of course, I shall direct our mining engineers to re-inspect the timbering for buckling and cracking. I’m sure this will allay the Union’s fears.”

“Dash it all.” Rafe donned a hangdog expression. “Does that mean there won’t be a séance? I was so looking forward to chatting with a real, live ghostie—”

Silver furtively stomped his foot.

Available

http://ebookdiscovery.com.p8.hostingprod.com/AdrienneDeWolfe.html

About the Author

Adrienne deWolfeAdrienne deWolfe is a #1 Bestselling Author and a recipient of 48 writing awards, including the Best Historical Romance of the Year.  She consistently delights readers with sexy, action-packed, western-style romances, including her Wild Texas Nights series and her Velvet Lies series.  In addition, she is the author of the bestselling non-fiction ebook series, The Secrets to Getting Your Romance Novel Published.

Fascinated by all things mystical, Adrienne writes a weekly blog about dragons, magic, and the paranormal at http://MagicMayhemBlog.com to help her research her upcoming YA Epic Fantasy series. She also writes a weekly blog with fiction writing tips and advice about the business of writing at http://WritingNovelsThatSell.com.  She enjoys mentoring aspiring authors and offers professional story critiques and book coaching services.

Contacts

Other Books in the Velvet Lies series

Book 1: SCOUNDREL FOR HIRE

Book 2: HIS WICKED DREAM

Book 3: SEDUCED BY AN ANGEL

Book 4: DEVIL IN TEXAS (Available 2014)

VELVET LIES_Trio_Adrienne deWolfe

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Dawn Marie Hamilton: Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon

BM Cover 200by300Giveaway

Dawn Marie will gift a Kindle edition of Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon to a lucky commenter who answers the question: What is your favorite gemstone and why? Be sure to include your email addy. Feeling shy? Email Dawn Marie. A name will be pulled out of the garden hat on Tuesday September 17.

Interview

Susana: What inspired you to write?

Dawn Marie: I was always a voracious reader. In my pre-teens, I wrote diaries. Glad those all disappeared. J During high school, I wrote short stories with tragic endings. I was a dark teenager. Those have all vanished too. J College and a career kept me busy for the longest time. Then one day while on a business trip to Brussels, I saw a billboard advertisement for whisky with a hunk-worthy, bare-chested Highlander, carrying a claymore, the large two-handed sword of the Scots. (Similar to the cover for the first novel in the Highland Gardens romance series, Just Beyond the Garden Gate.) It occurred to me that I would much prefer to write about men in kilts, time travel, and faeries than instruct business analysts in the use of buggy software.

Susana: How long have you been writing?

Dawn Marie: A tad more than ten years. When I started writing, I had no clue there were rules. LOL! I joined RWA and my local chapter, took workshops, joined some online chapters and a critique group, and rewrote the first novel several times. I’m happy with the results.

Susana: What advice would you give writers starting out?

Dawn Marie: Dare to dream!!! Join writing groups, take workshops, and find a good critique partner or group.

Susana: Are you a plotter or pantser?

Dawn Marie: Mostly pantser. Ideas percolate in the back of my mind for a while then I jot down a vague outline and start writing. While writing, I create character cards with character specifics. Once a couple of chapters are drafted, I use a storyboard with colored stickies to follow point-of-view shifts and plot threads.

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

Dawn Marie: Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon is the second novel in the Highland Gardens series. The High Queen of the Fae has challenged a banished faerie princess to unite three unlikely couples living in different time periods. The first match takes place in book one. Finn, the hero of the second book, started talking to me while I was writing the first so I wrote him in as a secondary character. Of course, he wanted his own story. The heroine, Elspeth, is also a secondary character in the first book. They’re prophesized to be together, but must overcome treachery from several directions in order to secure their happily-ever-after.

Susana: Are you working on something new?

Dawn Marie: I have two works-in-progress for the Highland Gardens series. Potentially a novella with a holiday theme and a novel that takes place shortly after the Battle of Flodden.

Susana: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?

Dawn Marie: Absolutely. “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” ~Michealangelo

Susana: What is your favorite color?

Dawn Marie: Peridot. It’s my signature color.

Susana: What is your favorite gemstone?

Dawn Marie: I love a rainbow of gems. My birthstone is peridot so it is my favorite. But I also love sapphires and garnets and amethysts and especially moonstones. Each couple in the Highland Gardens series has a signature gem. Finn’s and Elspeth’s in Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon is moonstone. Moonstones have unique qualities. Legends claim that some of the milky, blue stones have the ability to reunite lost lovers while others give the bearer the gift of second sight.

About Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon

What happens when a twenty-first century business executive is expected to fulfill a prophecy given at the birth of a sixteenth-century seer? Of course, he must raise his sword in her defense.

Believing women only want him for his wealth, Finn MacIntyre doesn’t trust any woman to love him. When, during Scottish Highland games, faerie magic sends him back in time to avenge the brutal abduction of his time-traveling cousin, he learns he’s the subject of a fae prophecy.

Elspeth MacLachlan, the beloved clan seer, is betrothed to a man she dislikes and dreams of the man prophesized at her birth, only to find him in the most unexpected place—facedown in the mud.

With the help of fae allies, they must overcome the treachery set to destroy them to claim a love that transcends time.

Excerpt

Finn gripped the rowan staff in one hand and leaned against the castle’s outer wall, trying to catch his breath. The short trip from the garden left him weak. If his stamina didn’t return soon, he’d go crazy. He needed to be healthy and strong so he could go after Maclay. Then he must travel home before he did something rash concerning Elspeth.

He stopped again at the castle gate and gulped air to remain standing.

Motion on the bay caught his attention. Men rowed toward the castle in several small boats of the type made from skins and wicker, the kind Highlanders called currachs. When the crafts beached, he recognized Donald MacLachlan as the man jumped from one, strode across the pebbly beach and headed toward him.

Suddenly a weight slammed against Finn, knocking the hard-won air from his lungs. His walking stick flew from his hand as he fell to the ground. Pain shot from his thigh, to his groin, to his chest. Gasping for breath, he found Elspeth’s soft body entangled with his.

Her lush curves wrapped around him, filling his senses with all that was missing from his dreams. The scents of sunshine and roses intoxicated him. His hard-on was instantaneous.

Shit! He attempted to detangle their limbs and set her away from his ill-timed erection, but her body melded with his. She felt so right in his arms. He was tempted to hold onto her and never let her go.

Elspeth caught her breath. Everywhere Finn touched her as they tried to break apart, her skin tingled. When their gazes met, everything else faded away. The world reduced to only the two of them, and his mouth dipped toward hers.

His lips grazed hers and fire blazed through Elspeth to her toes, the moment lasting an eternity. Finn’s tongue pushed between her lips, seeking entrance. Her mind reeled. With little thought, she wrapped her arms around his waist and twirled her tongue around his. Passion. Unlike the minimal pecks she’d received from Alexander, Finn’s fierce kiss conquered, possessed.

She wanted more.

The sound of a throat clearing broke the spell, and Finn’s sinful mouth pulled away, leaving behind a fracture in the foundation of Elspeth’s expectations for the future.

How could she go on as before?

“Let me help you.”

She gazed up through the haze of awakened sensation. Uncle Donald stared at her, a sly gleam in his eyes. He reached a hand down and helped her rise before assisting Finn. Unstable on his feet, Finn leaned on her while her uncle retrieved the walking stick.

She swayed—not from the burden of Finn’s weight, but the desire awakened by their kiss.

Available

Kindle • Nook

About the Author

Dawn Head Shot SmallDawn Marie Hamilton dares you to dream. She is a 2013 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist who pens Scottish-inspired fantasy and paranormal romance. Some of her tales are rife with mischief-making faeries, brownies, and other fae creatures. More tormented souls—shape shifters, vampires, and maybe a zombie or two—stalk across the pages of other stories. She is a member of The Golden Network, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal, Celtic Hearts, and From the Heart chapters of RWA. When not writing, she’s cooking, gardening, or paddling the local creeks of Southern Maryland with her husband.

Thanks for having me as a guest at Susana’s Morning Room. It’s been a pleasure to visit.

Contacts

Blog • Website • Facebook: • Twitter• Goodreads • Amazon Author Page

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Author Téa Cooper, Lily’s Leap, and a Quaint Australian Town Called Wollombi

Come and meet my muse!

I thought I was going to write contemporary romance but ‘the best laid plans’ and all that proved me wrong. I was seriously ambushed. And so my first historical romance, Lily’s Leap, was born. Let me explain!

I live in Australia in a tiny time-warp  village called Wollombi. It is very much a weekend escape kind of place. Escape to the Wollombi Valley, the B & Bs and local businesses proudly proclaim. Very little has changed in Wollombi since the nineteenth century and it is a picturesque spot with a fascinating early colonial history. This is the coffee spot today.

Wollombi©HarrisonPhotography

And this is what it used to look like! You can see not much has changed!

Wollombi©2013AClymo&WHS

In a fit of enthusiasm I volunteered to man the local museum a couple of days a month and that is how I was ambushed.

Wollombi Museum©2013AClymo

A day spent seeped in the nineteenth century enlivens the muse and after I had got over the ghosts breathing down my neck I was in business and Lily’s Leap jumped onto the page.

Come and meet one of the characters who haunts Wollombi Museum.

Bushranger©2013AClymo&WHS

This is Bushranger Patrick Bruin. He made the mistake of bailing up the local Justice of the Peace and was wounded in the arm, shoulder and chest. He ultimately died of his wounds in the lock up just outside. He had two guineas on him when he died and it was sent to the Colonial Treasurer.

The bushranger who bails up Lily in my story is nowhere near so unlucky; he gets his girl, but then it is a romance!

So now you’ve met my muse-eum and one of the fascinating characters who live there why not indulge in a romantic romp with Lily and her bushranger Tom Roscomon!

Lily’s Leap releases on May 3rd and is available from Amazon.com Amazon.uk Lyrical Press iTunes and B & N.

Follow the link if you’d like to find out more about Wollombi and don’t forget to let me know if you are passing through!

Lily’s Leap 267 x 400About Lily’s Leap

Born into privileged society, Lilibeth Dungarven finds herself married, widowed, and much to her distress, back under her father’s rule, all before her twenty-first birthday. But this spirited and independent young woman has a dream: she is determined to breed the perfect racehorse and restore the family’s flagging fortunes. An accomplished rider, she takes matters into her own hands and sets out to restore Dungarven horse stud to its former glory.

When the devastatingly attractive Captain Tom and his mismatched band of bushrangers stumble across a mob of the best horses they’ve ever seen, and the daughter of the famed Dungarven stud, they know their fortunes have changed. Their catch is worth a king’s ransom. Surely it can’t be too difficult to contain this beautiful young woman with violet eyes and skin-tight riding breeches for seven days?

Amazon Buy Link

Lyrical Press

Excerpt

Copyright 2013, Téa Cooper

All rights reserved, Lyrical Press, Inc.

Lily could see the pale ribbon of road below cutting through the trees and the bright blue expanse of sky wide-open in front of her. “Nero. You can do it,” she whispered into his sleek, shiny neck and he snorted in response. Her thigh muscles burned as she tightened her grasp on his flanks. His muscles tensed in response, attuned to her body. She gritted her teeth and willed her shaking hands to steady. “We can do this, Nero. We have to.” Her heart hammered so hard in her chest she thought it might leap right over the culvert and down the hill ahead of them.

With barely a moment’s hesitation she dug her heels into the stallion’s flanks and urged him down the hill. The last trees cleared and the sudden heat of the sun stung her face, then she crouched low over Nero’s neck. The clatter of his hooves on the sandstone surface told her they had reached the road. The blood raced through her veins, pulsing in her ears, a violent and excruciating pounding raged through her body.

“Stop.” Tom’s command echoed around her as the blocks of the convict hewn, sandstone walls reared ahead of her. Surely it wasn’t such a huge jump for a horse like Nero?

She leaned forward in the saddle and her cheek brushed the dampness of his neck. Time slowed. With her eyes squeezed tightly shut she sucked in a great gulp of air and clenched her teeth tightly together. Nero lifted into the air. His muscles bunched beneath her and he flew over the chiseled blocks and down the slope. Her knees gripped the saddle and she dragged the reins almost vertical as they plunged down. Tufts of wiry grass and small rocks littered the route. She flinched as Nero’s hooves crashed across them. Gasping in a quick breath, she prayed for the terrain to level off.

Her lungs contracted like bellows and what little air remained, whistled out through her pursed lips. Nero tensed and she shuddered as he stumbled and then regained his balance. Her heart leapt to her throat and her wrists twisted as she wrenched on the reins to slow him. He quivered to a halt. Silver spots danced in front of her eyes and she gulped in a breath to feed her starving lungs. Nero’s muscled body trembled and quaked beneath her and white froth flecked his muzzle.

“We did it, darling Nero. We did it.” The salty tang of his body filled her nostrils as she leaned over his neck murmuring endearments. She swayed with exertion and forced her rubbery muscles to respond as she squinted into the sunlight. Figures on horseback towered above her, stalled on the road. She had an overwhelming urge to wave her hand and shriek in triumph.

But she resisted; this was her opportunity and she had no time to waste. She cut away to the right praying her memory of the maps was correct as she searched for the track leading her to Laguna.

“Lil-eee. Lil-eee.” Tom’s call bounced off the sandstone walls. Shading her eyes with her hand she stared back toward the culvert wall. It was empty.

“Lil-eee. Lil-eee.” The sorrowful echo reached her, resounding somewhere deep in her gut. Her sweat-soaked curls clung to her face as she shook her head, raging at her ridiculous foolishness. After such an exhilarating and successful leap for freedom why did she suddenly feel so melancholy? Her heels bruised Nero’s flanks and she urged him away in a fast canter.

Author Photo_TéaCooper_smallAbout the Author

Lily’s Leap is Téa’s first historical romance and Harlequin Escape will release her second, Matilda’s Freedom, on 1st July 2013.

She has also written three contemporary Australia romances—Tree Change, The Protea Boys and Passionfruit & Poetry. She is currently working on her third Australian historical romance set on a schooner somewhere between Sydney and Van Diemen’s Land.

To keep up with all of Téa’s news visit her website www.teacooperauthor.com where you will find links to her blog and social media pages.

Photographs courtesy of Wollombi Historical Association and Harrison Photography.

Check out Téa’s previous posta on Susana’s Morning Room about her contemporary romancea, Tree Change and The Protea Boys.

Guest Author Cindy Spencer Pape Talks About Kilts!

There’s something about a man in a kilt that fires the imagination of women all over the world. Is it the ability to see strong, sexy legs? The curiosity about what he’s wearing underneath? There’s a lot of speculation about why, but my personal belief is that wearing a kilt signifies a man with the courage and cockiness to risk being called “girly” by his peers. That kind of confidence can’t help but be sexy.

victoriansteampunkSMThe wearing of the kilt as we know it has undergone a lot of changes through history. First of all, it was originally a Highland-only garment, considered primitive, even barbarous by Lowland Scots. However, Connor, in Cards and Caravans is certainly a Lowlander. Yet he does wear a kilt. That’s because Queen Victoria, who adored all things Scottish, popularized the garment so much that during her reign, even many English nobles got in on the act. This is when the idea of specific clan-only tartans was truly solidified. Our Scottish Knights of the Round Table certainly wouldn’t have let those pesky Englishmen steal a march on such a symbol of Scotland. So in the world of the Gaslight Chronicles, the MacKay men are proudly kilted.

Along with their popularity, kilts themselves have changed over the years. Originally, the garment was little more than a blanket—a long piece of wool, pleated and held around the waist with a leather belt and at the shoulder with a heavy pin. It could be worn up as a cloak or left to hang from the waist in warm weather. Underneath, the leine, a waist-length shirt was often made of heavy canvas and even quilted for additional protection from elements or enemies. Today, we call this a great-kilt, and you can often see them at Renaissance fairs. The great kilt shown is an inexpensive American fabric-store plaid, not any particular tartan.

great_kiltSMThe modern kilt was first seen about 1725, and consists of just the bottom part of the great kilt, but with the pleats sewn into the waistband, which usually fastens with straps and buckles. The flat front pieces overlap, so there are two layers in front, and the pleats in back. Sometimes a scarf-like fly plaid is worn from the shoulder to hearken back to the look of the great kilt. The loden-green argyle jacket shown here is from the late Victorian era, but any tweed coat can be worn by day, and a black Prince Charlie coat turns the modern kilt into evening wear. The purple plaid shown here is Pride of Scotland, a festival plaid that may be worn by everyone. The green is Irish Heritage.

modern_kiltSMFinally, the newest evolution in the kilt is the utility kilt, or commando kilt. These are made of heavy cotton fabrics or even leather and often have pockets. Worn by everyone from punk rockers to construction workers, these continue to gain in popularity. Typically worn with combat or work boots, or even sneakers, and modern casual shirts. This is the look, even though the kilts are plaids. Thanks to my spouse and younger offspring for being unwitting models.

Incidentally, the idea that one shouldn’t wear anything under a kilt has been denied by the Scottish Tartan Authority. Tartans Authority director Brian Wilton said kilt wearers should have the “common sense” to realise they should wear underwear beneath their country’s national dress. While some modern kilt wearers like the idea of swinging free in the breeze, others, including the “models” in each of these pictures, comment that sitting on rough benches and hay bales at festivals is something you don’t want to do while “regimental.”

I hope you’ll enjoy this little peek at my Victorian Scots, the latest installment in my Gaslight Chronicles steampunk romance series. Thanks so much to Susana for having me here today.

Contest

In conjunction with the release of Cards & Caravans, Cindy is running a contest for a $25 gift card to the e-book distributor of your choice, plus the chance to name a character in the next Gaslight Chronicles story. To enter, visit the “Contact Cindy” page on her website and send her a note. Mention which blog you saw this on and some little detail about the post. One entry per person per blog post. The complete rules and a list of post locations and dates are available on the “Contest” page on Cindy’s site.

About the Book

cards&caravans_coverSMCards & Caravans is book 5 in the Gaslight Chronicles steampunk romance series, and releases from Carina Press on March 18. Find out more here.

http://ebooks.carinapress.com/18727CC7-852D-47A9-82EC-607006CCC718/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=08A461B6-C699-4EAB-9A65-61DEE96E1C08

Blurb: Belinda Danvers isn’t a witch. But that won’t stop them burning her at the stake…

Connor McKay can tell at a glance that Belinda’s magickal powers are minimal at best. She can’t be guilty of murdering village children. There’s something suspicious about her arrest and lightning-quick sentence. Unfortunately, telling anyone how he knows would mean revealing his own powers. He’s been sent by the Order of the Round Table to help and he can’t just let her die.

Escaping from jail and running from vindictive villagers in her grandfather’s steam-powered caravan is more excitement than Belinda’s had in years. And despite the danger—or maybe because of it—she loves the time spent with her sexy rescuer. But there’s more to his magick than he’s letting on…

There’s something going on that’s bigger than the two of them. It’s time for good to make a stand.

Review: 4 Stars from Romantic Times: “All the trappings of a good steampunk novel are here..but most enchanting of all is the love that develops between the hero and heroine.

About the Author

Cindy Spencer Pape firmly believes in happily-ever-after and brings that to her writing. Award-winning author of 16 novels and more than 30 shorter works, Cindy lives in southeast Michigan with her husband, two sons and a houseful of pets. When not hard at work writing she can be found dressing up for steampunk parties and Renaissance fairs, or with her nose buried in a book. Catch her online at:

Website: http://www.cindyspencerpape.com (http://bit.ly/ybxKjP )

Blog: http://cindyspencerpape.blogspot.com/

Newsletter group: http://yhoo.it/ni7PHo

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CindySPape

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/gjbLLC