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Blog Tour – Interview + Giveaway – KEEP FOREVER by Alexa Kingaard

Welcome to the blog tour for KEEP FOREVER, a standalone adult historical romance/women's fiction, by award-winning author, Alexa Kingaard

Welcome to the blog tour for KEEP FOREVER, a standalone adult historical romance/women’s fiction, by award-winning author, Alexa Kingaard. See below for information on the book, buy links, my exclusive interview with the author, and details on her giveaway.

KEEP FOREVER by Alexa Kingaard

KEEP FOREVER by Alexa Kingaard

About the Book
Title: KEEP FOREVER
Author: Alexa Kingaard
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Release Date: April 30, 2020
Genre: Adult Historical Romance/Women’s Fiction
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
“Unlike some war stories that focus on intense, harsh and graphic depictions of post-combat trauma, this tale unfolds gently, like an Edna Ferber novel, spread across many decades, detailing the impact this soldier’s illness has on an entire family, including children and grandchildren. KEEP FOREVER is a wonderful, emotionally satisfying read that I highly recommend. ”
GARY SEIGEL, author of “Haskell Himself”

Paul O’Brien’s idyllic childhood in Southern California comes to a halt when his mother dies in the summer before his senior year of high school and a very different persona of his father emerges – isolating himself inside the house, turning to alcohol for comfort, and barely noticing his only child. Simultaneously, the war in Vietnam is sending shock waves around the world and young men from one coast to the other are being called upon to serve. Paul enlists in the Marines before receiving his draft notice.

Elizabeth Sutton is eager to gain some independence from her father’s old fashioned notions and looking forward to her first year in high school.  At fifteen years old, tragedy strikes with the loss of both parents in an auto accident, turning her childhood into one of responsibility and worry overnight.  The four siblings are scattered when her nine-year-old twin sisters are sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle on Nantucket Island, and Elizabeth is left behind in Boston with their grandmother.  Her older brother, Sam, enlists in the Marines, eager to join the conflict a world away as opposed to dealing with the one unfolding at home.

A bond develops between Paul and Sam in Vietnam, and both are injured in a bloody battle that costs Sam his right hand and sets the stage for a lifetime of nightmares and sleepless nights for Paul.  Matched by similar tragedies at a young age, Elizabeth and Paul’s first introduction by Sam upon their return from Vietnam is the beginning of friendship and love that survives five decades.

After marrying, welcoming their first child, and inheriting a small beach house, the couple adapts to their new surroundings, but distant memories of Vietnam continue to haunt Paul.  In an era when veterans refuse to speak of their pain and the government denies that thousands of soldiers are coming home irreparably damaged, he is left to deal with the challenge of caring for his loved ones amidst his his erratic flashback episodes and moods. As their lives unravel from the lingering effects of PTSD,  Elizabeth learns to accept the burden that Paul brought home, and together they make their own memories to keep forever.

Inspired
By
A True Story

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Interview
Q: I see that KEEP FOREVER is inspired by a true story. Can you tell us a little more about that?

A: Anyone who was a teenager in the 60s’ and 70s’ has Vietnam firmly embedded in their history. It’s the story of my generation, and many of my girlfriends married veterans either right out of high school or when the men returned. Women were a part of this war, mostly as nurses and unsung heroines, but it was mostly a war fought by middle and lower class males, those who were not college bound or who were unable to get a deferment. As with every conflict, combat veterans bring home mental and physical burdens, but none were vilified like the young men and women who fought in Vietnam. 

It stained their psyches, and many passed it down to their children – the second generation suffering the effects of this conflict. Wives were kept in the dark, the VA was not established until the late 80s’, and PTSD didn’t have a name. Aftercare was minimal, and many kept their unseen wounds bottled up for decades. I fell in love with a Vietnam veteran in 1969, nine months after he came home. This guy, and many like him, were just kids. Surfing and attending community college one day, picking up a machine gun and participating in a bloody fight for their lives the next. We married almost a decade later, had two children, and divorced after eleven years. But there was always that link that never faded, and a lot of guilt that I carried because I didn’t have the insight to deal with or understand PTSD at the time.

Q: What inspired you to tell this story now? 

A: September 27, 2011, my veteran and I had become close again and spent almost all our free time together. His health was failing, he suffered from depression, but not lately, and on this day, he was on the top of his game. We were returning from a coffee date in the Village about a mile away from  home. I was the driver – I always drove – and as I waited at the bottom of the hill to make a left turn a half a block away from the house, we were rear-ended by a large vehicle, twice as heavy as mine, going 50 miles an hour. Physically, we were not hurt. My car sustained $6,000 worth of damage, and the impact and collision triggered a PTSD episode in my veteran. Seventeen days later, October 13th, he committed suicide.

Q: What kind of research did you have to do to get all the historical details right?

A: I lived through most of it. People who know me recognize what is true, and what is embellished, but when I sat down to write, I didn’t have to think very hard. It was effortless, even though the first edition may not have been very polished. I was 68 years old and never published, never thought about writing a novel – ever. But shortly after my veteran died, I joined a Veteran’s Writing Group that welcomed me as the collateral damage that was never discussed. Most were Vietnam veterans, and I was a fly on the wall for five years. I was also a mess, but little by little, the story evolved in my head. Every month I listened to stories these men shared, never with their wives and families, and sometimes it felt like they forgot I was even there. Their memories were raw and gut-wrenching, fifty years after they returned. I was compelled, I had to tell this story. It is my mea culpa and tribute to my veteran, and every other service member who fought and was affected for a lifetime by this war.

Q: How do you think this story differs from one that would be told about PTSD today?

A: Thanks to the Vietnam veterans who fought for decades for better care, the younger veterans have a more stream-lined manner in which to apply for benefits. Even though they may need to wait 12-18 months for approval of an application, Vietnam veterans are literally falling apart, and are still getting denied in record numbers. I am grateful that as of five years ago, the Vietnam veteran now has their own day set aside for them, March 29th. But it took fifty years. Today, we also have wonderful non-profits, like the Gary Sinise Foundation, who have brought the struggles of our returning military into the light. But PTSD is the same in every war, just different settings and conflict. It is still a struggle for families and loved ones to watch and understand what their veteran is going through on a daily basis.

Q: What is the most important thing that you want readers to take away from KEEP FOREVER?

A: That the burden brought home is shared by everyone, from family members to government entities. Even if a veteran physically survives, it alters their entire life once they have seen combat. I can’t even imagine, even though I am closer than most to the reality that accompanies a veteran home.

Q: If you had to pick a theme song for the book, what would it be?

A: That was an easy one.. ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’  by Paul McCartney.

Q: What are you working on now? And what stage are you in?

A: I write a newsletter every month for my website subscribers, but throughout the quarantine, I have been keeping a journal. The situation and my thoughts change daily, sometimes hourly, and some of my friends suggested I share my unique experience with my readers. I tend to think that we are all in the middle of our own unique experiences, but I started to publish my thoughts every week, blog-style, on my website.

I have also written the first twelve chapters of my third novel, MIRACLE. Don’t hold me to the title, it could change. I’m not sure where these little nuggets of inspiration come from, but after KEEP FOREVER and MY NAME IS ROSE, I noticed that I like writing about nostalgia. I also write about characters that are normal and ordinary, faced with difficult and extraordinary circumstances. It’s the human condition that moves my stories forward.

Q: Switching gears, how are you coping with being quarantined? I see from your Instagram account that you are not riding it out at home. Has that impacted your ability to write?

A: Thank you for noticing! What had started as an extended visit to Oahu to assist my niece and her family with their relocation from the East Coast, has turned into lock-down situation from the first week. Schools were closed almost immediately, resorts and tourist attractions were shuttered, coffee shops and restaurants closed, and all the tourists were sent home. Flights in and out are being closing monitored and if an individual does not have a place to stay when they arrive, either with family or friends, perhaps an Air B&B, they are being given a free, one-way ticket back to where they came from. These strict measures are keeping the number of confirmed cases fairly manageable, but I have now been in total quarantine for over four weeks with my niece, her husband, their daughter , and a German Shepherd. Nothing but walks, but I can’t complain about the weather. 

It’s not been easy keeping a kindergartener entertained, but overall, I think my family unit has risen to the occasion and we are doing our part to remain healthy. My stay has been extended to whenever, and I’m anxious to get home to Southern California, but my circumstances are far better than many. As far as writing, I’m more determined than ever to complete the first draft of MIRACLE, whether I decide to publish it or not. I can write almost anywhere, alone or in the midst of others – but I need to be productive. I need to have something tangible to show for my weeks of no excuses that I didn’t have enough time to write or be creative. I’m limping along on a refurbished iPad and my phone, sometimes long-hand, but I’m moving quickly.  The whole story is in my head, just have to get it typed out on paper.

Q: Have you seen the meme about picking a house to live in during quarantine? A lot of them are going around, but I’m going to give you a unique one. Pick a house from the list below and tell us why you chose it.

House 1:
JK Rowling
Ruth Bader Ginsberg
Kanye West
Jon Stewart

House 2:
Stephen King
George W. Bush
Britney Spears
Samantha Bee

House 3:
Janet Evanovich
Michelle Obama
Tom Cruise
Jimmy Fallon

House 4:
Paulo Coelho
Colin Powell
Miley Cyrus
Ellen DeGeneres

Of course, there are one or two in every house that don’t make my short list of people to socialize with, but the most well-rounded one to me would be House #1. The wisdom of Ruth, the sharp and intelligent humor of Jon, and the persistent, never-give-up attitude of JK would make for an interesting household.

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Author Alexa Kingaard

Author Alexa Kingaard

About the Author
ALEXA KINGAARD, a California native, currently resides in Carlsbad and is the mother of a son and daughter who continue to be her biggest fans and cheerleaders.

October 13, 2011, was the day that changed her life forever when her ex-husband, a Vietnam veteran, took his life during a PTSD flashback episode. Inspired to share this tragedy that continues to rob husbands and wives of their spouses, children of their parents, mothers of their children, brothers and sisters of their siblings, and comrades of their friends, Kingaard relied on her own experiences to shed light on this crisis. The burden brought home is not partial to Vietnam, but is an insidious aftershock endured by combat veterans of all conflicts.

Kingaard continues to pursue her literary career, writing about nostalgia and the human condition, the common denominator of our lives.

 

Where to Find Alexa Kingaard
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – CAPTURING THE BRIDE (The Kidnap Club Series) by Samantha Holt

Welcome to the book blitz for CAPTURING THE BRIDE, the first book in the adult historical romance series,The Kidnap club, by USA Today bestselling author, Samantha Holt

Welcome to the book blitz for CAPTURING THE BRIDE, the first book in the adult historical romance series,The Kidnap Club, by USA Today bestselling author, Samantha Holt. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

Cover for CAPTURING THE BRIDE, the first book in the adult historical romance series,The Kidnap club, by USA Today bestselling author, Samantha Holt

CAPTURING THE BRIDE (The Kidnap Club Series #1) by Samantha Holt

About the Book – Read for Free on Kindle Unlimited
Title: CAPTURING THE BRIDE
Series: The Kidnap Club Series #1
Author: Samantha Holt
Publisher: Helstone Press
Release Date: April 7, 2020
Genre:
 Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
If one is very, extremely desperate, then one may call on the services of a clandestine group of men.

The Kidnap Club—known to few—specialize in helping women out of difficult situations.

Arranged marriages to awful men, for example.

Miss Grace Beaumont is at her mercy of her uncle who is determined she marry the depraved Mr. Worthington. Desperate times call for…well, the Kidnap Club.

It seems insane. Perhaps it is. But anything is better than being married to that man.

Lord Nash Fitzroy has looked after many a kidnapee over the past few years, but none make him want to break the cardinal rules as much as Grace. Her determined spirit, quick wit, and, let’s be honest, her pretty looks have him struggling to remember his role in this.

Protector, defender, and occasional shoulder to cry on.

His way with women and the almost derelict offerings of his ancestral home as a hideaway make him a perfect pretend kidnapper. He doesn’t much mind the money involved either, seeing as his father cut him off.

Which means, he cannot afford to get this wrong. No matter how tempted he is to show Grace that Worthington is not a prime example of how a man should be and burn the damned rule book.

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Quotes from CAPTURING THE BRIDE, the first book in the adult historical romance series,The Kidnap club, by USA Today bestselling author, Samantha Holt

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Excerpt #2
NASH SHOULD HAVE declined. Said no. Told her to scram. Nein. No. Nyet. 

It would have been easy enough. But, no, he had to ask her to help and put himself in such a position that he was struggling hard to control his body. 

He peered at the top of her head. There was nothing exciting about the top of a head, he told himself. In fact, Grace went out of her way to make the top of her head exceedingly dull. He never once saw her with an elaborate hairstyle or some curls gracefully touching her skin. Her dark, glossy hair remained tied tightly in a no-fuss sort of a knot and a parting down the center, revealing a pale line of scalp. 

Exceedingly dull really. 

However, being so close to her was anything but dull and no matter how much he considered how unexciting her hair was, his body would not listen. 

Drawing in a long breath, he gripped the vine in his gloved hands. He’d had some thoughts that doing a little physical labor might dampen his needs but even after an hour of ripping and pulling at weeds, his desire would not be abated.

And there was no denying it now. Hell, he’d almost kissed her the other night. She’d been ready for it too, eyes closed, lips pursed. It would have been so damned easy to take what he wanted.

“Hold it firmly,” he ordered, groaning inwardly at the image that created. “And give it a little tug at first.”

Good Lord, what the devil was wrong with him?

He closed his mouth and they pulled on the vine together. The stubborn plant refused to give way, so he let go and used his knife to cut away some of the smaller offshoots that clung stubbornly to the window. 

“This is harder than I thought,” she commented.

He stared at her. 

“What’s wrong?”

Nash shook his head and took up his position behind her again. The woman had no idea what she was doing to him. First, he’d nearly broken his promise to the others that he would never, ever touch any of the women in his protection, and now he had taken up manual labor in some odd bid to impress her. The fact was, her words still grated—the idea that he did nothing aside from sit around and play the country gent. 

Of course, her words still grated because they were somewhat true. He did whatever he could for these women and was not unproud of helping them but his role as protector had never meant doing much. He’d certainly never had to worry about awful uncles or violent fiancés potentially chasing them down. 

He could not help but wonder if, perhaps, his father had been right too. He hadn’t done much with his life and would have continued to remain aimless had they not fallen out.

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CAPTURING THE BRIDE, the first book in the adult historical romance series,The Kidnap club, by USA Today bestselling author, Samantha Holt is out now

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USA Today bestselling author, Samantha Holt

Author Samantha Holt

About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author Samantha Holt lives in a small village in England with her twin girls and a dachshund called Duke. If you’re not sure where to start why not try…

▶ Amelia and the Viscount (Bluestocking Brides #1) for a fun, slightly hot shorter length read. Meet the Chadwick sisters and follow their adventures in each of their standalone stories.

▶ You’re the Rogue That I Want (Rogues of Redmere #1) is a longer read with heat, witty dialogue, a feisty heroine and adventure. All books in the series are standalone.

▶ Sinful Confessions is the first in the Cynfell Brothers Series. These are all novella length and standalone–ideal for a quick dip into the world of the sexy Cynfell brothers.

▶ Wake Me With a Kiss is a sweet, fairytale romance. Twists on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are also available if you love a clean, fun read.

▶ To Steal a Highlander’s Heart is a full length dive into the world of sexy highlanders. For those who love braw Scots, some steamy scenes, and medieval romance, this series is a perfect escape.

Where to find Samantha Holt
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – REVEREND OF SILENCE by Pamela Sparkman

Welcome to the book blitz for REVEREND OF SILENCE, a stand-alone young adult, coming-of-age historical romance, by Pamela Sparkman

Welcome to the book blitz for REVEREND OF SILENCE, a stand-alone young adult, coming-of-age historical romance, by Pamela Sparkman. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

Cover for REVEREND OF SILENCE, a stand-alone young adult, coming-of-age historical romance, by Pamela Sparkman

REVEREND OF SILENCE by Pamela Sparkman

About the Book
Title: REVEREND OF SILENCE
Author: Pamela Sparkman
Release Date: January 14, 2020
Genre:
Young Adult Coming-of-Age Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
A coming of age story about faith, love, and overcoming society’s prejudices during the American Antebellum period.

In 1810, Lucy Hallison suffered from a severe illness at the age of three, and later recovered, a deaf-mute. Unable to relate to the world in which she lives, she’s often ignored and sometimes treated with cruelty. Until a boy, Samuel Burke, steps into her life at the tender age of seven, coloring her world and showing her what it means to be seen, to not be invisible, to be understood.

The two become inseparable childhood friends, and as they grow and mature, there is the promise and hope of something more that also grows between them. But the hope of something more is put on hold so she can attend The American Asylum at Hartford for the Deaf and Dumb, the first of its kind, requiring her to leave the only home she’s ever known and the only boy she’s ever loved.

But while she is away, tragedy strikes, and Samuel is now the one unable to relate to the world in which he lives, unable to find his own voice, and withdrawing from everyone and everything he’s ever known.

When Lucy returns home from school, she has one goal in mind—to put color back into his world the way he had once put color into hers.

Because Samuel Burke had been her voice when she had needed him most.

Now, she is determined to be his.

Note: Inspired by real people and true historical accounts.

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Teaser from REVEREND OF SILENCE, a stand-alone young adult, coming-of-age historical romance, by Pamela Sparkman

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Excerpt #2
“He ordered me out?”

Papa Burke removed his spectacles, then rubbed a hand down his face. He looked like he had aged ten years in the last ten days. He pulled out a chair at the kitchen table and gestured for me to sit across from him as he put his spectacles back on. 

I sat and waited for him to answer my question, the one I hadn’t asked him. Why? Why had Sam ordered me from his room? My hand came to rest over my heart. It ached from his rejection.

Days. I had spent days at his bedside, waiting for him to wake up, hoping that he would, caring not only for him but for his parents every second of those days. Never in my wildest imaginings did I think he would toss me out the moment he did. If he had kicked me in the teeth, I don’t think it would have hurt this badly. It took everything in me not to cry right here at this table. 

Papa Burke leaned forward, his eyes searching mine. “I’m sorry,” he signed. “You didn’t deserve that.”

My eyes burned. I knew that. I wanted him to tell me something I didn’t know. I leaned forward as well and asked, “Why was I tossed out?”

 He tapped his fingers on the table, a silent beat I couldn’t hear. He looked like a man trying to gather thoughts to put into words. I waited, watching his fingers as they moved up, down, up, down. Until his fingers went still. Then they formed the words, “Sam doesn’t want you to see him like this. He feels weak.”

I frowned, signing my response. “I don’t fault him for being weak. He’s injured!” I stood, feeling agitated. “He’s had a fever! He almost died! I know he’s weak!”

Papa Burke also stood and came to stand before me. “Not that kind of weak.”

I blinked, trying to understand his meaning. 

“He doesn’t feel like a man.” Papa Burke eyed me pointedly. “He has no pride. He doesn’t want you to see him like that,” he emphasized, pointing above our heads to the second floor.

Oh. 

I reclaimed my seat and shut my eyes. Stupid, stupid man. Yet, at the same time, my heart broke all over again. For Sam. I knew from watching my father how hard men could be on themselves. I’d just never thought Sam would.

Papa Burke put his hand on my shoulder. I glanced up. 

“Go home, Lucy.”

My breath caught. That was the first time I’d been issued that command. Everyone was tossing me out? No one needed me anymore? Noah had left without saying goodbye, and now the Burkes were telling me to leave?

“I don’t want to go home,” I signed with a trembling hand. 

Papa Burke’s face was sad. He lifted me up to stand. His hug was sympathetic. He released me and said, “Then go back to school. Sam needs some time.”

My nose tingled. My jaw ached. My eyes stung. My chest felt like it was being cut from the inside. Sam needed time. He just didn’t need me. Message received. 

I glanced around the room, taking in all the details and all the memories. I packed them all away, but I didn’t know where to place them. My heart felt too fragile. My mind too burdened. 

So I left them right where they were and walked out the door.

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Teaser from REVEREND OF SILENCE, a stand-alone young adult, coming-of-age historical romance, by Pamela Sparkman

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Author Pamela Sparkman

Author Pamela Sparkman

About the Author
Pamela Sparkman grew up in Alabama. She became an avid reader at a young age. The written word has always fascinated her and she wrote her first short story while still in elementary school. Inspiration for her stories always begins with a song. She believes music is the pulse of life and books are the heart of it.

When she isn’t writing, however, she’s spending time with her family and taking one day at a time.

 

 

 

Where to Find Mary Ann Marlowe
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – MADAME FIOCCA by Suzy Henderson

Blog Tour for MADAME FIOCCA, a young adult historical based on a true story, by Suzy Henderson

Welcome to the blog tour for MADAME FIOCCA, a stand-alone young adult historical, based on a true story, by Suzy Henderson. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

Cover for MADAME FIOCCA, a young adult historical based on a true story, by Suzy Henderson

MADAME FIOCCA by Suzy Henderson

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: MADAME FIOCCA
Author: Suzy Henderson
Publisher: Avis Press
Release Date: December 13, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Historical
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT

Synopsis
A must-read gripping adventure based on the true story of Nancy Wake, Gestapo’s most wanted. Soon to be a major feature film.

February 1933: Nancy Wake is a gregarious twenty-year-old looking for adventure. Having fled her unhappy family home in Sydney, she becomes a journalist and is thrilled when she is posted to Paris. The city is glamorous, brimming with journalists, artists, and a growing number of refugees.

Later, in the French Riviera, she uncovers more than news following a chance encounter with wealthy industrialist, Henri Fiocca. Their relationship blossoms as Hitler makes waves across Europe. While on an assignment in Vienna in 1938, she witnesses Nazis whipping Jews on the street and she vows to fight for justice if ever the opportunity arises.

When Henri is called to the Front to fight, Nancy, determined to help the war effort, joins the Red Cross as an ambulance driver. Every day she witnesses atrocities. When Paris falls, Nancy flees the German oppressors and returns to Marseille.

A chance encounter with a British officer draws Nancy into the heart of the Garrow escape network, despite Henri’s reservations. Soon she finds herself caught in a deadly game of espionage.

As the iron fist of the enemy tightens, neighbours denounce neighbours. When the enemy closes in, Nancy and Henri face an impossible choice. Has she done more harm than good?

Based on a true story, Madame Fiocca weaves an extraordinary tale of survival and redemption in wartime.

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Excerpt #3
‘Halt!’ A man yelled.

I turned to see several Milice running towards me. I pushed on, shoving people out of the way. I had to get through, had to flee, but as I heaved and jostled at the dense mass of people, there was little give in their ranks, and I realised the jig was up. A heavy hand on my shoulder lashed my spine with chills, and I froze, turning to face my captors who led me away to the trucks. Wild thoughts filled my head. Were they looking for me? I felt as if I was going to throw up, my skin cool, clammy. I swallowed and sucked in a breath.

The cell was dark, damp and empty. I glanced down at my grazed knees, stockings shredded from when the guard had roughly shoved me inside, and I’d fallen to the rough stone floor. Reluctantly, I sat on icy flagstones in a corner, legs outstretched. The metallic tang of blood filled my mouth, my bottom lip full and stinging like hell. The blow had been a shock, pathetic really as I ought to have expected it. How was I going to escape? I suddenly thought of the Maori midwife who had brought me into the world. ‘The spirits will take care of her,’ she’d told my mother. ‘Well, if you’re listening, help me, please.’ My side nagged and ached. It was one thing to slap a woman in the face, but quite another to punch her in the gut. The Milice enjoyed being able to rough people up, especially women. Blasted brutes. My mouth was dry, so dry, and there had been no offer of water or food, not that I was hungry. A sliver of honeyed light slipped in through the barred window above, stretching out a golden finger across the cell floor. Dawn. Soon, my captors would return.

I huddled tight in the corner, faced the wall where vivid green moss sprang like a sponge in clumps between the joints in the stone, the damp, mouldy odour filling my nose. I closed my eyes and thought of kinder times, of happier days with Henri. Our strolls through the Vieux Port of Marseille. Parties, my work friends, and finally, family. Dear Stan, still serving with the navy. How was he? Please, God, let him be safe. I thought of my sisters, Ruby and Gladys, and of the siblings I’d lost, Hazel and Charles. And Mum. I sucked in a deep breath, exhaling slowly. I screwed my eyes tight shut as I summoned their faces, and Henri’s. Beloved Henri. My vision swam as I tried to stifle the sob, my chest aching. Those bastards weren’t going to see me fall apart.

Somewhere above a door slammed, the noise crashed into the bowels of the building – the echo of footsteps. Milice HQ was awake, preparing to commit more cruel and inhumane acts.

Footsteps fell on the stairs leading down to my cell, a jangle of keys and a whiff of ersatz coffee. A young Milicien grasping an enamel mug and a small plate with a thin piece of bread and jam.

‘Good morning, Madame.’ He crouched down to open the small flap in the door of my cell and set the mug and plate on the stone floor. He shot me a glance, his mouth forming a weak smile. ‘Hurry, Madame, before they come for you.’ He stood up tall, stepped back and glanced nervously up the stairs.

He’d taken a risk for me. There was still some humanity. Well, I didn’t need prompting. I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I’d drank or ate. The bread was verging on stale, but the delicious strawberry jam made up for that, and while the ersatz had always been repulsive, right now it was heavenly. ‘Merci.’ Touched by his kindness, I passed the plate and cup through the flap.

The guard smiled, nodded briskly before heading up the stairs.

Within five minutes, two guards appeared, grabbed me roughly by the arms and dragged me upstairs to the grand office of the Vichy Commissioner, a plump man, probably in his fifties, slouched behind a grand, mahogany desk. He glanced up from a stack of papers and put down his cigarette. ‘Bonjour, Madame. Please, sit.’

The guard who had a vice-like grip on my left arm shoved me into a chair.

‘It would seem you’ve had a rough night, Madame.’ The officer stood up and walked towards the window.

A flash of red and black caught my eye at the window as the wind grabbed at the Nazi flags that shrouded the building, tugging them in anger. I’d already decided, just like yesterday, that I wouldn’t talk. I’d withstood the first beating and could do so again. 

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Historical Fiction Author Suzy Henderson

Author Suzy Henderson

About the Author
Suzy Henderson lives with her husband and two sons in Cumbria, England, on the edge of the Lake District. In a previous life she was a Midwife but now works from home as a freelance writer and novelist.

While researching her family history, Suzy became fascinated with both World War periods and developed an obsession with military and aviation history. Following the completion of an Open University Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, she began to write and write until one day she had a novel.

She writes contemporary and historical fiction and is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Suzy’s debut novel, “The Beauty Shop”, has been awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion. Her next novel, “Madame Fiocca” will be published in December 2019.

Where to Find Suzy Henderson
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – MARRIED TO THE EARL (The Wallflower Brides Series) by Samantha Holt

MARRIED TO THE EARL Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for MARRIED TO THE EARL, the third book in the adult historical romance series,The Wallflower Brides, by USA Today bestselling author, Samantha Holt. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

MARRIED TO THE EARL (The Wallflower Brides Series #3) by Samantha Holt

MARRIED TO THE EARL (The Wallflower Brides Series #3) by Samantha Holt

About the Book – Read for Free on Kindle Unlimited
Title: MARRIED TO THE EARL
Series: The wallflower Brides Series #3
Author: Samantha Holt
Release Date: February 10, 2020
Genre:
 Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT

Synopsis
Going from vivacious society belle to widow wallflower can leave a lady wanting…

Joanna Lockhart is trapped in a mire of grief and boredom. Still recovering from the sudden death of her husband, the beautiful widow is tired of being treated like a fragile porcelain doll. But when a severe illness nearly claims her life, Joanna finds the perfect outlet for her natural vitality—a charity.

Unfortunately, her sudden interest in all things philanthropic is marred by the presence of one Ambrose Creassey. For some unknown reason, this handsome cad has decided to cast aside his reputation as a rake, and take up the mantel of charitable patron.

As the Earl of Newhaven, Ambrose has enjoyed his life of delicious debauchery. But recently the earl has hungered for more noble pursuits. A charity seems to be the perfect outlet for his newfound desire to be more than just a rake. And of course, he doesn’t mind the aid of a beautiful, well-connected woman like Joanna… Especially when he cannot resist riling her a time or two.

After all, she does rise so beautifully to the challenge.

Focusing on their work is harder than either of them thought. There’s no denying the attraction between them, but is Ambrose truly prepared to cast aside his hedonistic history? And even if he does, is Joanna ready for a new love?

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Excerpt #1
“It is hard to see how this will become a hospital,” she murmured.

“I should imagine you would rather see it as a grand house once more, ready for a ball.”

She glared at him. “Considering we hardly know one another, Lord Newhaven, it is a wonder you can imagine anything that I might think.”

He shrugged. “It is not hard to take a guess.”

“If we wish to take guesses, I would rather expect you would prefer this house to be used for raucous house parties.”

His lips quirked. “I suppose we should cease guessing then.”

“That would be preferable, yes.”

“Let us continue our tour.” He opened another door, leading through into a drawing room. 

No furnishings existed and a thick layer of dust coated the grand stone mantlepiece. Beneath her feet, the rugs were worn and frayed. “This is going to take a lot of funds.”

“My understanding is we have enough to ensure the house can be converted into a hospital, but our current pledges will not cover the ongoing running of it.”

So, he knew something about his charity. That was interesting. She could not be certain why the earl had decided to take a closer look at how things were run but he was not entirely ignorant. However, if he was to be interfering with her work, she would have to speak up. They had far too much toil ahead of them for him to be causing any chaos. 

She paused by the fireplace and turned to face him as he wrenched open the shutters on one window. Blinking in the sudden influx of light, she tilted her head. “Why exactly have you decided to assist the charity? Mr. Bartlett told me you are only a figurehead.”

“Well, that is incorrect. I am also the biggest donor.”

She lifted a brow.

“Does it surprise you that I might wish to actually have a hand in the running of the charity?”

“Frankly, yes.”

A smile curved his lips. “Well, I do enjoy a frank woman.” He strode over to join her by the fireplace. “And why have you taken up the mantle as the charity’s latest philanthropist?”

She could come up with some pithy remark perhaps. Some flippant reply that would have him eyeing her with amusement once more, but she could not help feel they had reached some odd moment of honesty. She blew out a breath. “I should like to find something useful with which to occupy myself. Being a widow is a tiresome occupation.”

“For someone like you, I imagine it is.”

“Someone like me?” She stiffened her shoulders.

“Someone as vivacious and as intelligent as you.”

The air flew from her lungs. She let her shoulders drop. “Oh.” for some reason, the flattery made her cheeks warm.

 Preposterous.

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MARRIED TO THE EARL Teaser

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: MARRIED TO THE RAKE
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT

Book 2: MARRIED TO THE LORD
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT

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Author Samantha Holt

Author Samantha Holt

About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author Samantha Holt lives in a small village in England with her twin girls and a dachshund called Duke. If you’re not sure where to start why not try…

▶ Amelia and the Viscount (Bluestocking Brides #1) for a fun, slightly hot shorter length read. Meet the Chadwick sisters and follow their adventures in each of their standalone stories.

▶ You’re the Rogue That I Want (Rogues of Redmere #1) is a longer read with heat, witty dialogue, a feisty heroine and adventure. All books in the series are standalone.

▶ Sinful Confessions is the first in the Cynfell Brothers Series. These are all novella length and standalone–ideal for a quick dip into the world of the sexy Cynfell brothers.

▶ Wake Me With a Kiss is a sweet, fairytale romance. Twists on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are also available if you love a clean, fun read.

▶ To Steal a Highlander’s Heart is a full length dive into the world of sexy highlanders. For those who love braw Scots, some steamy scenes, and medieval romance, this series is a perfect escape.

Where to find Samantha Holt
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – FINDING OUR MORNING by Mickie B. Ashling

FINDING OUR MORNING Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for FINDING OUR MORNING, a stand-alone adult historical romance/mystery, by Mickie B. Ashling. See below for information on the book, by links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

FINDING OUR MORNING by Mickie B. Ashling

FINDING OUR MORNING by Mickie B. Ashling

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
FINDING OUR MORNING
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Release Date: January 28, 2020
Genre: Adult Historical Romance/Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT

Synopsis
May 1977

Ginny Tate bides her time on the family stud farm in San Antonio, Texas, waiting to start veterinarian school in the fall. Bullied as an adolescent, she’s finally shed her old skin, but the emerging beauty still harbors insecurities and would rather hang out with horses than people.

Sponsored by his uncle, the Shah of Iran, Dariush—David—Akbari, a twenty-five-year-old NYU grad with a degree in International Law, is also a skilled polo player. He joins the royal traveling team for a tournament in Plano, Texas.

A decade in America has gradually altered David’s views on certain aspects of his culture. Torn between familial obligations and his adopted country, David resists the idea of returning to Iran so soon after graduation.

At the traditional after-party, David strikes up a conversation with Ginny, who is refreshingly honest. He receives an invitation to visit Tate Stud Farm and, on the pretext of buying another polo pony, persuades the shah to make a detour.

Great horsemanship coupled with self-effacing charm sets David apart from the entitled braggarts who normally populate the sport, and Ginny falls hard. His visit turns into a life-changing week that neither can foresee. Will they walk away unscathed or live to regret their impulsive behavior?

Inspired by events preceding the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty, Finding Our Morning is a love story that catapults us from Texas Hill Country to the epicenter of a monarchy on the brink of collapse. 

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FINDING OUR MORNING Teaser

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Excerpt #1
So much time had elapsed since Ginny issued the invitation, she didn’t know what to expect when David called two weeks later to arrange a meeting. Was he passing through town or was this an intentional stop? Either way, the days leading up to his arrival were pure torture.

On the morning in question, Ginny took longer than necessary to get ready. She left her hair loose instead of tying it back in her usual ponytail. Her luxurious locks were the only thing she could count on to draw eyes away from her face. The dark blond strands fell in a silky curtain to her midback and had been compared to a palomino’s coat on many occasions. As for the rest of her, it was business as usual. Faded jeans, a checked cotton shirt, and her favorite red cowboy boots. Her complexion was clear this morning, thank God, and she took her time applying eye makeup. It was out of the ordinary to get dolled up during the day, and her parents noticed as soon as she sat down to breakfast.

“Going to a party?” Margery asked.

“No, but you know the Shah of Iran is about to grace our doorstep, and I thought I’d look nice for a change.”

“You always look good,” Ray commented. “Anyone who thinks otherwise is a blind fool.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

“What about your chores?” Margery inquired. “Won’t your hair get in the way?”

“I’ll get ’em done,” Ginny promised.

“See that you do,” Margery replied. “I know you want to make a good impression, sweetie, but those foreigners aren’t coming to socialize. We have to present our best, and a clean, well-organized farm is just as important as our livestock. You wouldn’t eat in a dirty kitchen.”

“For Christ’s sake, Marge. Leave the girl alone.”

“Seriously, Mom. You’re overreacting as usual.”

“Then explain why you look more like a debutante than a rancher’s daughter this morning?”

“He offered dinner and dancing the last time we were together. I don’t want him to change his mind.”

Aghast, Margery exclaimed, “The shah?”

“God no,” Ginny said. “David.”

“Which one is he again?”

“Their number-three player.”

“He was good,” Margery recalled.

“Right?”

“What are you going to wear tonight?”

“I’m not sure it’s happening, but I bought a new dress in case.”

“What color is it?”

“Black.”

“You’re too young to wear black,” Margery opined with a tsk.

Ginny rolled her eyes. “Give it a rest, Mom. I’m eighteen.”

“Black is more appropriate for someone older and more experienced.”

Ginny refused to take the bait. Her mother was being overprotective, given her dating history, and was understandably worried. Nonetheless, it was too early in the morning to argue. She scooped up the last of her egg yolk on a piece of toast, swallowed it down with orange juice, and stood up to go. “I’ll catch you guys later.”

Standing on the steps outside the kitchen door, she paused and scanned the horizon. The sun was already a bright ball of pulsing heat in the cloudless blue sky, and she could tell it was going to be another scorcher. Ginny hoped the Iranians had the good sense to come early to avoid the worst of it.

As she headed toward the stable where they kept the horses for sale, she scrutinized their property and tried to see it through the eyes of a stranger. Theirs was a small operation compared to other stud farms, but they had a stellar reputation. Margery Tate was the driving force behind their prosperity. The woman was a stickler for order and quick to remind new employees that pride in ownership was as important as a good pedigree.

Margery acquired her code of ethics from her parents who’d started the stud farm with one stallion and a few mares. As their only child, she’d inherited the bulk of the estate, with small portions divided among the loyal ranch hands who had been around until her father finally passed, a year and a day after her mother died of cancer. Her gender had never been a good enough excuse to avoid the hard work necessary to ensure the success of the farm, and Margery expected her only daughter to work as tirelessly as the rest of them.

She did have a point, Ginny conceded begrudgingly, but her advice was often framed in criticism, which usually rubbed people the wrong way. Horse breeding could be a messy business when things got out of hand, and organization was key.

She made the rounds swiftly this morning, inspecting each area with a critical eye, paying particular attention to the horses for sale. This would be their first stop and she wanted the area to be in tip-top shape. She could only imagine what the royal stables must look like with dozens of helpers at the shah’s beck and call. Well, they might not have his manpower, but over the years, the stud farm had gained a well-earned reputation for their excellent stock and integrity.

By the time the shah and his entourage arrived two hours later, her nerves were frayed. The group of six, dressed in casual attire, climbed out of a gleaming limousine. Ginny wasn’t sure what to expect, given their status, but these men looked like any prospective buyer, albeit better dressed. Her parents greeted the Iranians deferentially and offered to be their guides as they toured the premises. While they concentrated on the shah, Ginny walked up to David with an outstretched hand.

“I’m glad you could make it.”

“Was there any doubt?” he asked, stepping forward and clasping her hand in his. He was so close she could smell his sweet breath, overlaid with a hint of coffee. His eyes weren’t black as she’d first thought. They were deep brown with a touch of caramel and were gazing at her appraisingly. Now that he was actually here, Ginny’s confidence faltered as she met his intense scrutiny. Had he come to buy a horse or check her out? Her heart rate sped up as nerves and anticipation made her breath falter. It was at once unexpected and exhilarating. Ginny withdrew her hand and stepped back, laughing off the moment awkwardly.

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FINDING OUR MORNING Teaser

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Author Mickie B. Ashling

Author Mickie B. Ashling

About the Author
Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multi-published author who resides in a suburb outside Chicago. She is a product of her upbringing in various cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West.

Since 2009, Mickie has written several dozen novels in the LGBTQ+ genre—which have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Lately, her muse has been nudging her in a different direction, and she’s learned through past experience to pay attention to creative sparks that show up unexpectedly. Her pen name is a part of her now, and will travel along on this exciting new journey, wherever it might lead. She promises to be very specific in her book blurbs and cover art to avoid any confusion.

 

Where to Find Mickie B. Ashling
Goodreads | Website Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt – THE SINFUL SCOT (Saints and Scoundrels Series) by Maddison Michaels

THE SINFUL SCOT Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for THE SINFUL SCOT, the third book in the adult historical romance series, Saints & Scoundrels, by Ruby Award winning author, Maddison Michaels. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

THE SINFUL SCOT (Saints & Scoundrels Series #3) by Maddison Michaels

THE SINFUL SCOT (Saints & Scoundrels Series #3) by Maddison Michaels

About the Book
Title: THE SINFUL SCOT
Series: Saints & Scoundrels #3
Author: Maddison Michaels
Publisher: Entangled Amara
Release Date: January 27, 2020
Genre:
 Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | !ndigo

Synopsis
Constance Campbell, the Duchess of Kilmaine, once believed that all she needed in life was a duke. But everything unraveled when she realized her perfect husband was a perfect monster. Now broken beyond repair, she hides her misery behind a perfect Society mask…even from her childhood friend, Alec.

Dr. Alec McGuinness reluctantly finds himself back in Scotland, and checking up on the only woman to ever get under his skin, Connie. After she spurned him many years ago, he knows his humble life as a doctor could never be enough for her. But when the Duke of Kilmaine is murdered in cold blood, with Connie sleeping right next to him in bed, Alec knows he must protect Connie at all costs from those who would frame her for the duke’s murder.

Now on the run, Connie feels a freedom she only ever dreamed about before, and an unexpected attraction to the man who is keeping her safe. But even if they can win her freedom and clear her name, could she ever open her heart up to someone again?,

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THE SINFUL SCOT Teaser

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Excerpt #3
“Oh my goodness. Are you jealous?” She’d always been scared when Duncan had been jealous, but with Alec, the thought thrilled her, especially because she knew he would never hurt her. And it also meant he cared, even if it was only a little bit. 

“Dammit! You want the truth? Then, hell yes I am.” 

The admission sent an arrow of warmth to her heart. To hear he was jealous not because of memories of Elise but instead because of Connie’s own interactions with Iain was such a relief. “I’m glad.” 

“That’s all you can say? You’re glad?” He dragged a hand through his hair. “I wanted to rip my brother’s throat out for daring to look at you like he was. I have never, ever had such impulses before. Even when I caught him kissing Elise, I didn’t think of wanting to pummel him, instead I was just coldly furious. But it’s different with you. You seem to bring out my primal instinct, and it scares the hell out of me.” 

“There is no need to be scared. I know you would never act on those impulses. You heal people, Alec, not hurt them.” She leaned over and grabbed the collar of his jacket, slowly pulling his head down toward her own. “I’m glad you were jealous, because it means you care.” 

“This is a very bad idea,” he gruffly whispered as his mouth lowered ever closer to hers. 

“Shh,” she hushed him. Before her lips pressed against his. 

A feeling of sublime delight coursed through her at the touch of his lips. She’d been wanting to kiss him again ever since their first time. 

Initially, she could tell he was battling his inner demons, but his resistance crumbled in a second when his hands grabbed her skirts from behind and pulled her tightly against him. 

She groaned as she felt the hard length of him pressing against her belly. Reaching her hands up farther over his shoulders, she pushed herself even closer toward him, her breasts now firmly against his chest. 

It was he who groaned this time before his lips began to gently devour hers. Softly at first, they teased her mouth open, and then his tongue began caressing her own, and Connie thought she would combust. 

The kiss deepened, both demanding more of each other. 

Her heart was racing, and all she wanted him to do then was cart her off to the nearest bedroom. 

The sound of someone’s throat clearing gradually penetrated her awareness. 

With a start, Alec and she pulled apart. 

Malcolm was standing just down the hallway, a grin splitting his face from ear to ear. “I do hate to interrupt, but I’d come to see if you wished to go down to the celebrations. Though I see you’ve begun them early.” 

Connie didn’t know whether to laugh or feel mortified. Perhaps a combination of both. 

“God damn it, Malcolm, you have the world’s worst timing,” Alec cursed. 

In reply, the grin on Malcolm’s face grew only wider. “Come on, then, you two. Let’s get a move on.” 

Glancing over to Alec, she was comforted to see he was breathing as hard as she was, and there was a hunger in his eyes that he couldn’t disguise. It filled her with confidence. Clearly, their kiss had affected him as much as it had her. And she was going to use that knowledge. 

As soon as she could get him alone. 

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THE SINFUL SCOT Teaser

 ————————————————————————————–

Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: THE DEVILISH DUKE
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | !ndigo

Book 2: THE ELUSIVE EARL
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | !ndigo

 ————————————————————————————–

Author Maddison Michaels

Author Maddison Michaels

About the Author
Indoctrinated into a world of dashing rogues and feisty heroines when she was a teenager, Maddison Michaels is a bestselling, award-winning Australian romance author, who loves to write sexy history with a dash of mystery! Her debut novel, THE DEVILISH DUKE, won the 2019 RWA Australia Historical Romance Book of the year. Maddison lives in Sydney with her gorgeous hubby and daughter, and always starts her day with a cup (or two) of liquid gold… coffee (just quietly, she’s addicted to the stuff)!

 

 

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.

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Where to find Maddison Michaels
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | BookBub

 

Release Day – THE SINFUL SCOT (Saints and Scoundrels Series) by Maddison Michaels

THE SINFUL SCOT Release Day

Today is release day for THE SINFUL SCOT, the third book in the adult historical romance series, Saints & Scoundrels, by Ruby Award winning author, Maddison Michaels. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

THE SINFUL SCOT (Saints & Scoundrels Series #3) by Maddison Michaels

THE SINFUL SCOT (Saints & Scoundrels Series #3) by Maddison Michaels

About the Book
Title: THE SINFUL SCOT
Series: Saints & Scoundrels #3
Author: Maddison Michaels
Publisher: Entangled Amara
Release Date: January 27, 2020
Genre:
 Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | !ndigo

Synopsis
Constance Campbell, the Duchess of Kilmaine, once believed that all she needed in life was a duke. But everything unraveled when she realized her perfect husband was a perfect monster. Now broken beyond repair, she hides her misery behind a perfect Society mask…even from her childhood friend, Alec.

Dr. Alec McGuinness reluctantly finds himself back in Scotland, and checking up on the only woman to ever get under his skin, Connie. After she spurned him many years ago, he knows his humble life as a doctor could never be enough for her. But when the Duke of Kilmaine is murdered in cold blood, with Connie sleeping right next to him in bed, Alec knows he must protect Connie at all costs from those who would frame her for the duke’s murder.

Now on the run, Connie feels a freedom she only ever dreamed about before, and an unexpected attraction to the man who is keeping her safe. But even if they can win her freedom and clear her name, could she ever open her heart up to someone again?,

 ————————————————————————————–

THE SINFUL SCOT Teaser

 ————————————————————————————–

Excerpt
Taking a deep breath, she turned around, only to be caught in Alec’s penetrating gaze. She’d forgotten how handsome he was. A strange combination of rugged athleticism mixed with the air of a scholar. But there was also a steadiness to him, a gentle strength, that Connie felt drawn to. This was a man who would have no need to take out his anger on anyone weaker than he. She’d never met a more honorable or honest man. 

She cringed with the thought of how badly she’d once treated him. Often ignoring him at assemblies and the like, simply because he hadn’t fawned over her like the other men had. 

She’d been a fool. 

“Sophie sent you, then?” was all Connie could think to say. She must sound like an imbecile. 

“She asked me to check on you.” He paused, staring steadily at her. “So how are you, Lady Connie?” 

He was still calling her by her maiden title, and there was something so familiar about him doing so, it reminded her of a time long ago. A time she wished she could escape back to. 

Unable to withstand his close scrutiny, she strode over to the hearth and closed her eyes for a second, fighting the urge to cry again. She’d thought her tears from earlier were well and truly dried up. 

It would be so easy to tell Alec what had been happening. He would believe her. Probably try to save her, too. But what could he do, when up against the powerful Duke of Kilmaine, whose word was law in these parts? And though she knew Alec could defend himself in a fight, Duncan never fought fairly. Her husband had enough servants and guards around the estate to ensure that Alec would be outnumbered.

 

No. She couldn’t risk getting him hurt. She’d never forgive herself if he did.

 

Filling her lungs with a hearty breath, she turned back to face him, and once again, she plastered a serene smile on her face. “Everything is fine. Absolutely fine, in fact.” 

But Alec didn’t smile back. Instead he frowned. “Don’t lie to me, Connie.” He strode across to her, until she found herself staring at the crisp white cravat covering his neck. 

She gasped softly as his hand gently tilted her chin upward, until her eyes met his. Warring with the frisson of fear from having a man touch her was a giddy sensation fluttering in her stomach. She couldn’t remember the last time anyone had touched her with such tenderness. If ever, actually. 

“What’s going on? And I’ll have the truth this time, please.” Alec’s voice was firm, but she could hear the concern in it. It had been so long since she’d felt that anyone cared. 

“As I said before, everything is fine, Doctor McGuiness.” She carefully reached up and very deliberately pushed his hand away from under her chin. “And you take too many liberties touching me and calling me by my first name. I am a duchess now. Or have you forgotten?” Perhaps if she sounded condescending, as she’d often done in the past with him, he’d believe her, and go. 

“Aye. I’m well aware of that fact.” He stepped back and bowed stiffly. “Forgive me, your grace.” 

There was contempt in his voice, and Connie felt her heart sink. He would forever remember her as being a coldhearted shrew, she was sure of that. And though a part of her hated knowing he would, at least he’d be safe.
“You can tell Sophie that all is well.” She was glad her voice sounded steady, when inside she felt like she was shattering into tiny pieces. “Now if you will excuse me, I have duties to attend to.” She inclined her head at him before sweeping past him toward the door.

 

She extended her hand toward the doorknob when, from behind her, Alec reached over her shoulder and pressed his palm against the wood. Preventing her from opening it and leaving. 

“You’re not going anywhere, duchess. At least not until you tell me what the devil is going on.” 

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THE SINFUL SCOT Teaser

 ————————————————————————————–

Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: THE DEVILISH DUKE
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | !ndigo

Book 2: THE ELUSIVE EARL
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | !ndigo

 ————————————————————————————–

Author Maddison Michaels

Author Maddison Michaels

About the Author
Indoctrinated into a world of dashing rogues and feisty heroines when she was a teenager, Maddison Michaels is a bestselling, award-winning Australian romance author, who loves to write sexy history with a dash of mystery! Her debut novel, THE DEVILISH DUKE, won the 2019 RWA Australia Historical Romance Book of the year. Maddison lives in Sydney with her gorgeous hubby and daughter, and always starts her day with a cup (or two) of liquid gold… coffee (just quietly, she’s addicted to the stuff)!

 

 

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.

.

Where to find Maddison Michaels
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | BookBub

 

Prerelease Blitz – Excerpt – THE SINFUL SCOT (Saints and Scoundrels Series) by Maddison Michaels

THE SINFUL SCOT Prerelease Blitz

Welcome to the prerelease blitz for THE SINFUL SCOT, the third book in the adult historical romance series, Saints & Scoundrels, by Ruby Award winning author, Maddison Michaels, releasing January 27, 2020. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

THE SINFUL SCOT (Saints & Scoundrels Series #3) by Maddison Michaels

THE SINFUL SCOT (Saints & Scoundrels Series #3) by Maddison Michaels

About the Book
Title: THE SINFUL SCOT
Series: Saints & Scoundrels #3
Author: Maddison Michaels
Publisher: Entangled Amara
Release Date: January 27, 2020
Genre:
 Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | !ndigo

Synopsis
Constance Campbell, the Duchess of Kilmaine, once believed that all she needed in life was a duke. But everything unraveled when she realized her perfect husband was a perfect monster. Now broken beyond repair, she hides her misery behind a perfect Society mask…even from her childhood friend, Alec.

Dr. Alec McGuinness reluctantly finds himself back in Scotland, and checking up on the only woman to ever get under his skin, Connie. After she spurned him many years ago, he knows his humble life as a doctor could never be enough for her. But when the Duke of Kilmaine is murdered in cold blood, with Connie sleeping right next to him in bed, Alec knows he must protect Connie at all costs from those who would frame her for the duke’s murder.

Now on the run, Connie feels a freedom she only ever dreamed about before, and an unexpected attraction to the man who is keeping her safe. But even if they can win her freedom and clear her name, could she ever open her heart up to someone again?,

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THE SINFUL SCOT Teaser

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Excerpt
She took in a deep breath of air. You can do it, Connie, she began to say to herself, over and over again. After all, she had to do it. She had no other choice. 

Turning back into the room, she hurried over to the bed and gathered up the makeshift rope she’d hidden under the bed frame, which she’d made from knotting together the sheets. She tied one end of it tightly to the leg of the bed and then dragged the rest across to the window before throwing it over the sill. 

The lock to the door suddenly turned, and the door opened. Connie felt her heart stop, and she had to stifle the scream about to burst out of her mouth as she swiveled around to face the threat. 

There, standing at the entrance, was Alec, with a rather purposeful expression on his face. He glanced to the open window and the rope hanging through it. “I thought they used bedsheet ropes to escape only in those gothic horror novels you used to read as a girl?” 

“How the devil did you get in here?” Connie demanded, ignoring his question, though slightly thrilled he had remembered something he’d oftentimes teased her over in the past. “You nearly frightened me to death!” 

“I’m here to rescue you. I did mention to be ready.” There was a grim determination in his voice, before a small smile twisted at the corners of his mouth, transforming his already altogether too handsome face into something even more compelling. “Though I think we can leave via the staircase, rather than with that.” He glanced down at the bedsheet rope, now dangling loosely from her hands. “Were you really going to use it?” 

“I didn’t have a lot of options,” she replied, unwilling to give him the satisfaction of knowing that she had in fact gotten the idea from one of the gothic novels she’d read years ago. 

Alec picked up the length of rope from her hands. “The knots do seem strong enough, so I daresay they would have held your weight.” His eyes met her own. “Rather resourceful of you.” He sounded impressed. “Come on, we need to go.”

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THE SINFUL SCOT Teaser

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: THE DEVILISH DUKE
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | !ndigo

Book 2: THE ELUSIVE EARL
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | !ndigo

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Author Maddison Michaels

Author Maddison Michaels

About the Author
Indoctrinated into a world of dashing rogues and feisty heroines when she was a teenager, Maddison Michaels is a bestselling, award-winning Australian romance author, who loves to write sexy history with a dash of mystery! Her debut novel, THE DEVILISH DUKE, won the 2019 RWA Australia Historical Romance Book of the year. Maddison lives in Sydney with her gorgeous hubby and daughter, and always starts her day with a cup (or two) of liquid gold… coffee (just quietly, she’s addicted to the stuff)!

 

 

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Where to find Maddison Michaels
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | BookBub

 

Cover Reveal – KEEP FOREVER by Alexa Kingaard

KEEP FOREVER Book Blitz

Acorn Publishing and award-winning author, Alexa Kingaard, are revealing the cover to KEEP FOREVER, a standalone adult historical romance/women’s fiction, releasing April 30, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

KEEP FOREVER by Alexa Kingaard

KEEP FOREVER by Alexa Kingaard

About the Book
Title: KEEP FOREVER
Author: Alexa Kingaard
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Release Date: April 30, 2020
Genre: Adult Historical Romance/Women’s Fiction
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
“Unlike some war stories that focus on intense, harsh and graphic depictions of post-combat trauma, this tale unfolds gently, like an Edna Ferber novel, spread across many decades, detailing the impact this soldier’s illness has on an entire family, including children and grandchildren. KEEP FOREVER is a wonderful, emotionally satisfying read that I highly recommend. ”
GARY SEIGEL, author of “Haskell Himself”

Paul O’Brien’s idyllic childhood in Southern California comes to a halt when his mother dies in the summer before his senior year of high school and a very different persona of his father emerges – isolating himself inside the house, turning to alcohol for comfort, and barely noticing his only child. Simultaneously, the war in Vietnam is sending shock waves around the world and young men from one coast to the other are being called upon to serve. Paul enlists in the Marines before receiving his draft notice.

Elizabeth Sutton is eager to gain some independence from her father’s old fashioned notions and looking forward to her first year in high school.  At fifteen years old, tragedy strikes with the loss of both parents in an auto accident, turning her childhood into one of responsibility and worry overnight.  The four siblings are scattered when her nine-year-old twin sisters are sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle on Nantucket Island, and Elizabeth is left behind in Boston with their grandmother.  Her older brother, Sam, enlists in the Marines, eager to join the conflict a world away as opposed to dealing with the one unfolding at home.

A bond develops between Paul and Sam in Vietnam, and both are injured in a bloody battle that costs Sam his right hand and sets the stage for a lifetime of nightmares and sleepless nights for Paul.  Matched by similar tragedies at a young age, Elizabeth and Paul’s first introduction by Sam upon their return from Vietnam is the beginning of friendship and love that survives five decades.

After marrying, welcoming their first child, and inheriting a small beach house, the couple adapts to their new surroundings, but distant memories of Vietnam continue to haunt Paul.  In an era when veterans refuse to speak of their pain and the government denies that thousands of soldiers are coming home irreparably damaged, he is left to deal with the challenge of caring for his loved ones amidst his his erratic flashback episodes and moods. As their lives unravel from the lingering effects of PTSD,  Elizabeth learns to accept the burden that Paul brought home, and together they make their own memories to keep forever.

Inspired
By
A True Story

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KEEP FOREVER Teaser

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Author Alexa Kingaard

Author Alexa Kingaard

About the Author
Alexa Kingaard was born in San Diego, CA and has lived most of her life in the area. She currently resides in Carlsbad and is the mother of an adult son and daughter who continue to be her biggest fans and cheerleaders. A realtor for fifteen years, she remains involved with her profession and praises her brokers and clients for giving her the nod to be creative.

She gives all the credit for completing her debut novel, KEEP FOREVER, to her inspiration and late ex-husband, Jeff, who battled the residual effects of the Vietnam War for decades after his return.

Her second novel, MY NAME IS ROSE, will be released through Acorn Publishing March 15, 2019.

 

 

 

Where to Find Alexa Kingaard
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Book Review – THREE STAR ISLAND by Kat Caulberg

THREE STAR ISLAND by Kat Caulberg

THREE STAR ISLAND by Kat Caulberg

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Stepping through a time portal into 1716, historian Penny Saunders didn’t expect to get stranded in the past. Five years later, now a pariah to the townsfolk of Three Star Island, she endures solitude and ridicule until a hurricane tosses a dangerous castaway onto her shores.

William Payne’s history precedes him. Pirate, outlaw, and ruthless captain, he’s a monster among men. . . or so it seems. Desperately seeking redemption for his blood-soaked past, he upends Penny’s world by showing her a passion she’s never experienced.

But time is closing in on them; the governor of the Carolinas has rescinded his pirates’ pardon, the locals are growing suspicious of Penny’s new houseguest, and she can’t keep her secrets from William forever. When everything falls apart, she must use both wits and weapons against lawmen and pirates alike to save the one man who would tear down the world for her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
If you’re a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER, you will fall in love with Kat Caulberg’s THREE STAR ISLAND. Set on a small island off the coast of Carolina in the early 18th century, Penny is literally centuries ahead of her time. An historical researcher, she was understandably drawn to a time gate, having traveled too and from this time period before getting stuck in the past for nearly five years. While she waits for the gate to open once more, desperate to return home, she stumbles upon a victim of the recent hurricane and nurses him back to health. She finds him alluring, sexy even, before realizing he’s the subject of much of her research; a pirate with a wicked reputation. But his renown doesn’t fit with the man she’s getting to know and before long, the two are battling an attraction to one another that is ultimately an unwinnable fight for both of them. Always a bit of an oddity around town, Penny sticks to her island as much as possible, but now that Will is by her side, she ventures into town, unleashing a series of events that will seal both of their fates forever.

Plot
Penny is just biding her time until she can return to her own era. After rescuing a man on the beach, she finds herself drawn to him, until she discovers his true identity. With equal parts fear and attraction, Penny gets to know Will for who is beyond the history books. And the more she learns, the more she fears history has done him wrong. But the secrets she’s keeping are as dangerous to her as they are to any budding romance with the dashing pirate. The author tells a compelling tale of love set in Colonial America between a modern day time traveller and a man with attitudes well ahead of his time. There’s danger, steamy romance, and a hefty dose of historical reality that keeps things anything but easy.

Characters
Penny is fantastic as a woman out of time, trying to survive on her wits and anonymity. But a woman alone in the early eighteenth century makes keeping to herself nearly impossible. Will is swoony as they recovering pirate with a sordid past. The rest of the cast rounds out nicely, within the confines of the era they inhabit.

What I Loved About THREE STAR ISLAND
1. The Romance.
 It’s hot, steamy, burning, but oh so romantic.

2. Time Travel. It’s my favorite sub-genre of all. And while no actual time travel takes place during the book, the fact that she brought a bit of the future to the past with her, adds to the story as well as the world building.

3. History. I’m a fan of historicals, but what I love even more is one that places a modern day hero into a historical setting and watching them navigate this foreign world.

4.Will. He’s no Boy Scout, but he’s got a heart of gold and would do anything for Penny.

5. Penny. She’s fiery and passionate and is anything but a damsel in distress.

Bottom Line
A steamy time-traveling historical romance. Everything I love all bundled in one great story.

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About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited

Title: THREE STAR ISLAND
Author: Kat Caulberg
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: April 10, 2019
Pages: 230
Genre:
 Adult Historical Time-Traveling Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT

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Author Kat Caulberg

Author Kat Caulberg

About the Author
For as long as she can remember, Kat Caulberg has been obsessed with history and the paranormal. Somewhat to the dismay of her parents, her interests led her into both museums and graveyards as a child, a trend which has continued into her adulthood. This has influenced her reading tastes and her writing, whether it be a good ghost story, thrilling tales of time-travel, or devouring endless volumes of ancient warfare.

She signed a contract with Soul Mate Publishing in 2018 for her first novel, Three Star Island, a time-travel story set in 1721. She enjoys writing strong, quirky heroines, and has a weakness for cheeky heroes who have as much compassion as they have flaws.

Kat currently lives in North Carolina with her Englishman and a few cats.

 

Where to Find Kat Caulberg
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt – SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

SOME LIKE IT PLAID Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for SOME LIKE IT PLAID, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by USA Today bestselling author Angela Quarles. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

About the Book
Title: SOME LIKE IT PLAID
Author: Angela Quarles
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Release Date: November 18, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary/Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
When Ashley Miller sees a Craigslist ad for an all-expense paid vacation to Scotland with a handsome Highland “escort”, she’s all over it. Worn out from working two jobs to pay off the debts her scam artist ex-husband left her with, she just needs a friggin’ break already. Rolling, misty mountains of the Scottish Highlands, here she comes!

But one minute she’s sipping a latte and the next she’s zapped to the 2nd century and promptly informed she’s managed to wed her handsome Highlander without even an “I do.” Oh, hell no.

After a devastating tragedy, Connall’s tribe is left with few marriageable women. When his Druid priest suggests a place filled with bonnie lasses, he of course agrees to go fetch one for himself. But nothing prepared Connall for his sassy new wife, nor his tribe for a woman determined to see equal rights for all women.

Now the men are threatening revolt if he can’t rein his young wife in, but it might be too late. The women are demanding the men get “woke”—which of course makes no sense because they already woke that morn—and give women “the vote,” whatever the bloody hell that is. Despite all that, Connall can’t stop wanting to convince his wife to get naked, and he’s starting to wonder if he’s been bewitched.

Only the more he gets to know her, the more he starts to think she’s just what they needed. If only he survives her next demand…

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SOME LIKE IT PLAID Teaser

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Excerpt
She gave a choked laugh, though it was still tinged with the heat of her anger. “This is not the job I signed up for.” 

“It’s not a job. I’m not sure why you keep insisting this. Regardless, I told you what you could expect before you left.” 

“When?” 

“At the coffee shop, just before you agreed to return here with me.” 

Her gaze went unfocused and then pink tinged her cheeks. “I, um…I didn’t quite hear all that.” 

“I said them plainly in your tongue.” 

She flapped her hands. “I was under the spell of your biceps, okay?” 

“Biceps? That sounds like a word in your tongue not mine.” 

She marched back to him. And pointed. At his upper arm muscles. “Those. Happy now?” 

A surprising burst of pleasure filled his chest, but he kept very, very still. 

Then she folded her arms and lifted her chin. “Anyway, I can’t stay here. This is not where I belong.” 

He held his tongue. She was wrong. He was sure of it. She only needed time to adjust. She’d come around. 

But having confirmation of her attraction gave him a new idea. He’d been mulling over the druid’s explanation of the magic. If he teased her, drew this attraction out longer, she’d eventually give in to her desire and join with him. 

The way he saw it, if she initiated, she was telling the magic she belonged here. 

He would simply have to exercise restraint. Somehow. 

“I’m assuming we’re too far back for a shower?” she said. 

“Shower?” This word was also in her tongue, as if the magic didn’t have an equivalent. 

“A bath? Where’s the bathroom?” 

He frowned, which made her eyes get rounder. 

“Oh shit. Don’t tell me.” She flapped her hands around. “Where am I supposed to pee?” 

That he understood. He pointed to a bucket in the corner. 

She turned slowly back to him. “You have got to be kidding.” 

“Why would I jest about such matters?” At the horror dawning across her features, another stab of uncertainty hit him as to whether his land was a better alternative. Of a certainty, they had a more efficient method for such matters. 

“Why, indeed,” she whispered. She turned pleading eyes to him. “I can’t pee in a bucket. Not with you watching. What am I supposed to do with it after?” 

“Throw it over into the south ravine like everyone else.” 

She pointed to herself, then waved a hand around. “Me. Not where I belong.” 

He sighed, stepped into the crisp night air, and closed the door behind him, giving her the privacy she required. Her adjustment might be harder than he figured.

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Author Angela Quarles

Author Angela Quarles

About The Author
An avid reader herself, Angela Quarles writes books she’d like to read–laugh-out-loud, smart, sexy romances that suck you into her worlds and won’t let you go until you reach The End. She is a RWA RITA® award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, time travel, and steampunk romance. Library Journal named her steampunk, Steam Me Up, Rawley, Best Self-Published Romance of 2015 and Must Love Chainmail won the 2016 RITA® Award in the paranormal category, the first indie to win in that category. Angela loves history, folklore, and family history and combined it with her active imagination to write stories of romance and adventure.

 

 

 

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Where to Find Angela Quarles
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | PinterestAmazon

 

Release Day – SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

SOME LIKE IT PLAID Release Day

Today is release day for SOME LIKE IT PLAID, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by USA Today bestselling author Angela Quarles. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

About the Book
Title: SOME LIKE IT PLAID
Author: Angela Quarles
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Release Date: November 18, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary/Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
When Ashley Miller sees a Craigslist ad for an all-expense paid vacation to Scotland with a handsome Highland “escort”, she’s all over it. Worn out from working two jobs to pay off the debts her scam artist ex-husband left her with, she just needs a friggin’ break already. Rolling, misty mountains of the Scottish Highlands, here she comes!

But one minute she’s sipping a latte and the next she’s zapped to the 2nd century and promptly informed she’s managed to wed her handsome Highlander without even an “I do.” Oh, hell no.

After a devastating tragedy, Connall’s tribe is left with few marriageable women. When his Druid priest suggests a place filled with bonnie lasses, he of course agrees to go fetch one for himself. But nothing prepared Connall for his sassy new wife, nor his tribe for a woman determined to see equal rights for all women.

Now the men are threatening revolt if he can’t rein his young wife in, but it might be too late. The women are demanding the men get “woke”—which of course makes no sense because they already woke that morn—and give women “the vote,” whatever the bloody hell that is. Despite all that, Connall can’t stop wanting to convince his wife to get naked, and he’s starting to wonder if he’s been bewitched.

Only the more he gets to know her, the more he starts to think she’s just what they needed. If only he survives her next demand…

 —————————————————————————

SOME LIKE IT PLAID Teaser

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Excerpt
“Head out? Where are we?” That trickle of unease bloomed in her heart, her breath catching. Because his words were different. Somehow, he was speaking in a lilting but foreign language, and she’d not only understood every single word, but had answered in the same language. 

To distract herself and, well, because her stomach chose that moment to growl, as if it knew she’d just been handed food and was all, Gimme, woman, she took a bite of bread. 

The yeasty flavor burst on her tongue, along with the taste and crunch of oodles of grains. No dream she’d ever had was this vivid. The details were sharp, down to her being cold. And to the odd taste and texture of the bread. And her hunger. 

The taste, though—a fuzzy memory poked. She took another bite, trying to chase it. Whatever it was, it had been buried so far in her past she couldn’t form it. Except for a fleeting, wonderful feeling of being cherished. 

“Aye, we need to break camp and head to my tribe’s stronghold. And we’re in a land called Scotland.” 

That last word was not in the same language—instead it was in her own—and he said it as if it were a strange word to him. 

“What happened? How did we get here?” She’d asked this last night, but maybe he’d change his answer. 

He strode toward her and knelt. She appreciated he would no doubt repeat himself but took the time to listen to her and patiently explain. “Mungan, our spellcaster, weaved strong magic. Brought me to your land, and then brought us both back here.” He held up a round stone incised with two parallel deep grooves around its center. As if that explained everything. 

The hell it does. Some dude, even in a dream, was just whisking her about? 

He waved to the two horses. “They left us mounts to ease our journey.” 

She swallowed, trying to work moisture into her parched throat. “How long will it take to get to your…stronghold?” 

“Only part of the morning.” 

“How many hours?” 

“Hours?” 

“Yeah, how long? How many hours?” Was her Star Trek Universal Translator on the fritz already? The word “hours” had come out in English. 

He shook his head and frowned. Then he pointed to the sun just barely visible as a pale glow behind morning clouds. “As long as it takes the sun to travel from there”—he slid his finger just a few inches away—“to there.” 

She pulled in a deep breath. Oookay. 

He marched over to a shaggy brown horse, grabbed the saddle, and swung himself up into it with one swift motion, like she’d seen in old cowboy movies. 

Wow, that was hot. 

She’d ridden her share of horses growing up in Nebraska but had never perfected that technique. She stepped up to her horse and stroked its mane, pulling in the musky scent of the beast, letting him smell her, adjust to her. The animal’s fur was thick and curly, its coarse hairs springing through her stroking fingers. 

Is this real? 

She stared at the imposing but gentle Highlander, and then at the horse she was supposed to ride. If she did as he asked, she’d no longer be “playing along” with her dream. She’d have to face what she hadn’t wanted to admit yet— hopping onto this horse would be accepting this wasn’t a dream. This step, this moment, felt real. Tangible. 

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Author Angela Quarles

Author Angela Quarles

About The Author
An avid reader herself, Angela Quarles writes books she’d like to read–laugh-out-loud, smart, sexy romances that suck you into her worlds and won’t let you go until you reach The End. She is a RWA RITA® award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, time travel, and steampunk romance. Library Journal named her steampunk, Steam Me Up, Rawley, Best Self-Published Romance of 2015 and Must Love Chainmail won the 2016 RITA® Award in the paranormal category, the first indie to win in that category. Angela loves history, folklore, and family history and combined it with her active imagination to write stories of romance and adventure.

 

 

 

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Where to Find Angela Quarles
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | PinterestAmazon

 

Pre-Release Blitz – Excerpt – SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

SOME LIKE IT PLAID Pre-Release Blitz

Welcome to the pre-release blitz for SOME LIKE IT PLAID, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by USA Today bestselling author Angela Quarles. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and an exclusive excerpt.

SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

About the Book
Title: SOME LIKE IT PLAID
Author: Angela Quarles
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Release Date: November 18, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary/Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
When Ashley Miller sees a Craigslist ad for an all-expense paid vacation to Scotland with a handsome Highland “escort”, she’s all over it. Worn out from working two jobs to pay off the debts her scam artist ex-husband left her with, she just needs a friggin’ break already. Rolling, misty mountains of the Scottish Highlands, here she comes!

But one minute she’s sipping a latte and the next she’s zapped to the 2nd century and promptly informed she’s managed to wed her handsome Highlander without even an “I do.” Oh, hell no.

After a devastating tragedy, Connall’s tribe is left with few marriageable women. When his Druid priest suggests a place filled with bonnie lasses, he of course agrees to go fetch one for himself. But nothing prepared Connall for his sassy new wife, nor his tribe for a woman determined to see equal rights for all women.

Now the men are threatening revolt if he can’t rein his young wife in, but it might be too late. The women are demanding the men get “woke”—which of course makes no sense because they already woke that morn—and give women “the vote,” whatever the bloody hell that is. Despite all that, Connall can’t stop wanting to convince his wife to get naked, and he’s starting to wonder if he’s been bewitched.

Only the more he gets to know her, the more he starts to think she’s just what they needed. If only he survives her next demand…

 —————————————————————————

Excerpt
She swallowed the hot ball of emotion gathering in her throat and sat up straighter, determined to shift the conversation to the reason they met in the coffee shop. “So, about this job…” 

“Not sure why ye insist on calling it a job.” 

“It entails washing and cooking, your ad said. In exchange for my trip there?” How hard could washing and cooking duties be? Especially if it was just half a day and she could explore the rest of the day. 

Explore Scotland

Working herself to the bone to pay off her bastard of an ex-husband’s debts, well, she needed a breather. A break. A ray of sunshine to peek through the gray clouds choking her present circumstances. So she’d know all this hard work was worth it

He was answering her question, but the enormous bicep parked right next to her pulled her focus from his words. How was a girl supposed to think? Well, about anything other than—would it be rude to put her thigh alongside and see which was bigger? Because, honestly, she wasn’t sure if hers was. She nodded along and managed to ask the one thing she wanted to be clear on. “This is just for part of the day, right? Four hours a day?” 

She picked up the muffin, but nervousness had taken up all the room in her stomach, so she set it back down. 

“Well, that’s much less than the other women in my village, but aye, I might have an idea of other ways you can spend your time.” He gave her a charming wink. 

He spun around on the stool and faced her, placing his hands on his knees, his fingers long and strong. It put him more in her personal space, and it was all she could do not to match his movements and face him. He leaned forward, his two braids swinging toward her. “So we’re in agreement?” 

She pulled all the giddy parts of her into a tight ball so this feeling wouldn’t control her, and took a deep breath. She could do this. She deserved this. “Yes.” 

“Then let us depart.”

 —————————————————————————

Author Angela Quarles

Author Angela Quarles

About The Author
An avid reader herself, Angela Quarles writes books she’d like to read–laugh-out-loud, smart, sexy romances that suck you into her worlds and won’t let you go until you reach The End. She is a RWA RITA® award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, time travel, and steampunk romance. Library Journal named her steampunk, Steam Me Up, Rawley, Best Self-Published Romance of 2015 and Must Love Chainmail won the 2016 RITA® Award in the paranormal category, the first indie to win in that category. Angela loves history, folklore, and family history and combined it with her active imagination to write stories of romance and adventure.

 

 

 

.

Where to Find Angela Quarles
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | PinterestAmazon

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – PRINCES OF LOWER EAST SIDE (Scalisi Family) by Meredith Allison

PRINCES OF LOWER EAST SIDE Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for PRINCES OF LOWER EAST SIDE, the second book in the adult historical thriller series, Scalisi Family, by Meredith Allison. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

PRINCES OF LOWER EAST SIDE (Scalisi Family #2) by Meredith Allison

PRINCES OF LOWER EAST SIDE (Scalisi Family #2) by Meredith Allison

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
PRINCES OF LOWER EAST SIDE
Series: Scalisi Family #2
Author: Meredith Allison
Release Date: October 28, 2019
Genre: Adult Historical Thriller
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Mia Scalisi returns in this highly anticipated follow-up to Blood & Whiskey!

Sicily is a paradise on earth Mia Angela Scalisi doesn’t want to leave, but after over a year of peace, obligations—like being Hyman Goldberg’s It Girl at his new nightclub—call her back to New York City.

But everything she’s known in New York has changed…and that might even include the men she once thought were her friends.

When a new, ambitious gangster threatens to take over the old neighborhood, bringing devastation to the poor families who live there, Mia can’t ignore the bonds that tie her to the underworld way of life that killed her brother and set her upon a merciless, bloody path of revenge.

With her brother’s widow, her niece, and a mysterious, devoted bodyguard at her side, Mia must reclaim her position as head of her dead brother’s business, establish herself as the reigning queen among the princes of the Lower East Side, and make the ultimate decision: who lives, and who must die.

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Excerpt #1
Gloria said, hands on her hips. “You promised my husband to watch out for me and Em, but he would want me to watch over you, too. You need someone to look after you, Mia. To care for you. Even if you don’t think you need anyone.”

“I have Paolo.” Mia had asked him once if he’d known what she’d done in America. He understood English, so she spoke both Sicilian and English to him. Paolo had responded with a single, firm nod. And that had been the only time they had discussed it—as much of a discussion as could be had with a mute man.

When she’d announced to her family two weeks ago that she was returning to New York, there seemed an unspoken understanding Paolo would also make that trip. Nevertheless, Don Catalano, who had made the arrangements for her, had told her in no uncertain terms the fierce Sicilian man would be accompanying her as her bodyguard and remaining by her side in New York.

She had come to appreciate his silent presence, his protective hovering. It was hard to understand why he had chosen her to devote himself to, but it wasn’t a gift she was interested in questioning.

“I don’t trust Paolo,” Gloria said. “How do you trust a man who can’t talk?”

“I find him the most trustworthy of men for that reason alone.”

“You can’t travel and live on your own with a man you’re not married to,” she insisted. “You’re still just a young girl, after all.”

“I’ll be twenty-three in September.”

“You are a child,” Gloria repeated softly.

Mia smiled, a little bitterly, down at her small case of cosmetics, dropping the envelope on top. When she was a child, she’d lost both of her parents—her father to a heart attack when she was just a toddler. Her mother had died in a terrible fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, leaping from the top of the building in order to avoid being burned by the flames. Mia and Nick had been forced to hustle the streets, begging for handouts, learning poker to swindle the gangsters, stealing food, freezing nearly to death in their filthy tenement. She’d become a vaudeville performer, because young girls telling raunchy jokes to older men made money. When Nick had been drafted to the war, she’d worked a dozen hours a day for an abusive woman in a dress factory, just to keep a little food in her stomach. She’d known more about being an adult at twelve than most women her age knew now. Once she might have been proud of that, but now, it only made her sad. 

Finally, she looked at Gloria. “I haven’t been a child for a very long time.”

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: BLOOD & WHISKEY
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Author Meredith Allison

Author Meredith Allison

About the Author
Meredith Allison has embraced her nerdiness from youth, with minor jaunts of attempting to be “cool” during high school and college. Spoiler alert: she was unsuccessful at fooling anyone. After this dark period, she returned to the light, embracing her bookish nature and penchant for action and horror films, bloody survivalist video games (she’s looking at you, Resident Evil and Call of Duty) interspersed with the occasional sweeping fantasy adventure RPG (Final Fantasy, anyone?). Along the way, she developed her knack for storytelling, which began when she was a mere child-person many moons ago.

Meredith is a writer (and reader) of many kinds of fiction, but in particular spy thrillers, military-esque suspense, and historical crime. A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, she is by proxy a Huskers fan (GO BIG RED!), as UNL is her undergraduate alma mater, and moonlights as an obligatory Blue Jays fan due to completing her graduate MFA studies at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

When she emerges from her writing cave, blinking in dismay at having to be exposed to the cruel light of day yet again, she can be found romping with her two Pomeranians, serving her overlord cat, hanging with her husband, battling it out with the undead or practicing a new kind of magery on her PlayStation, or simply huddled in a dark corner somewhere with just enough light to read a favorite book. Other interests include baking, cooking, and blogging about new restaurants.

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Release Day +Giveaway – RIBBONS OF SCARLETT – by Laura Kamoie, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb, and E. Knight

RIBBONS OF SCARLETT Release Day

Today is release day for RIBBONS OF SCARLETT, a stand-alone adult historical novel by New York Times bestselling authors, Laura Kamoie, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb, and E. Knight. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.

RIBBONS OF SCARLETT – by Laura Kamoie, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb, and E. Knight

RIBBONS OF SCARLETT – by Laura Kamoie, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb, and E. Knight

About the Book
Title: RIBBONS OF SCARLETT
Author: Laura Kamoie, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb, and E. Knight
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Adult Historical
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | indiBound | Audible

Synopsis
Ribbons of Scarlet is a timely story of the power of women to start a revolution—and change the world.

In late eighteenth-century France, women do not have a place in politics. But as the tide of revolution rises, women from gilded salons to the streets of Paris decide otherwise—upending a world order that has long oppressed them.

Blue-blooded Sophie de Grouchy believes in democracy, education, and equal rights for women, and marries the only man in Paris who agrees. Emboldened to fight the injustices of King Louis XVI, Sophie aims to prove that an educated populace can govern itself–but one of her students, fruit-seller Louise Audu, is hungrier for bread and vengeance than learning. When the Bastille falls and Louise leads a women’s march to Versailles, the monarchy is forced to bend, but not without a fight. The king’s pious sister Princess Elisabeth takes a stand to defend her brother, spirit her family to safety, and restore the old order, even at the risk of her head.

But when fanatics use the newspapers to twist the revolution’s ideals into a new tyranny, even the women who toppled the monarchy are threatened by the guillotine. Putting her faith in the pen, brilliant political wife Manon Roland tries to write a way out of France’s blood-soaked Reign of Terror while pike-bearing Pauline Leon and steely Charlotte Corday embrace violence as the only way to save the nation. With justice corrupted by revenge, all the women must make impossible choices to survive–unless unlikely heroine and courtesan’s daughter Emilie de Sainte-Amaranthe can sway the man who controls France’s fate: the fearsome Robespierre.

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RIBBONS OF SCARLETT Teaser

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Exclusive Excerpt

National Convention
Paris, France
December 1792

“There she is, the harlot . . .”

La femme Roland . . .”

“Traitorous slut . . .”

The whispers followed me as I made my way across the floor, looking neither right nor left. It was the first time a woman had been called to address the Convention, and I’d dressed for the occasion as though it were an honor: a blue gown that foamed about my feet as I stalked to the bar, a white fichu pinned with my tricolor cockade, red ribbons twined through my hair. A revolutionary patriot, top to toe. When I turned to face the questions, I let my eyes travel, bold and confident, to the high bleacher seats where the radical Jacobins held court.

Before the proceedings could even begin, some heckler from their ranks called, “How do you answer the charge of treason, citizeness?”

I replied with calm contempt. “The charge is ludicrous, and all here know it.”

It was a smear job of the crudest kind: an unsavory informer reporting he had discovered a London conspiracy to restore the king, and that my husband and I were complicit. My husband had already been summoned to account for himself and had perhaps not done as well as he might: he couldn’t hide his indignation, and he became flustered when the tone turned sneering. I would not give my questioners a chance to sneer.

“The informer states clearly, Citizeness Roland, that you—”

“I did not summon him.” I spoke briskly, taking the reins before my questioner could bring down the whip and speed this interrogation to the pace my enemies wanted. This was going to go at my pace, not theirs. “From my files of letters I can see the man wrote to me, asking for an interview with Minister Roland. I receive dozens of such requests every week.”

“You do not deny you received the man?”

“He paid a brief call, and from his probing I concluded he was sent to sound us out about some scheme or other.” I smiled. “Or perhaps I was wrong. I am a woman and not skilled in these matters.”

The questioner took turns with his colleagues, trying to turn my words on me, trying to talk me in circles. As long as I had listened to politicians drone over my dinner table, I could talk anyone in circles. I shredded their accusations and stamped the shreds underfoot, feeling the color rise in my cheeks—not embarrassment, but the fierce heat of pride. Was this what Roland felt when he addressed the Convention? This rush of power that tingled the fingertips, the confidence that my words were deploying like obedient soldiers and the crowd sat in the palm of my hand? Why would anyone who had command of this floor ever leave it?

Finally, I was excused to the sound of ringing applause among the deputies, the charge dismissed in full, the honors of the session formally accorded to me. I looked from Robespierre to Danton to Marat with a wide bland smile as I glided out, and the smile became a beam as my husband drew me into the nearest empty hall.

“Thank goodness it’s over.” His face was creased with relief. “Let me take you home, calm your nerves.”

“My nerves are calm, and I can take myself home. You stay, speak with those who need reassuring.”

He kissed my forehead. “I hated seeing you up there,” he muttered, before rushing back inside.

He’d hardly gone before a low voice spoke behind me, prickling my skin. “I loved seeing you up there. You were born to it.”

I turned, smile draining away. The man who loved me stood feet planted wide, arms folded, dark hair rumpled—he must have been waiting to catch me alone. “Citizen,” I managed to say, not daring to put his name through my lips.

“You were brilliant,” he said quietly. “Brave as a lioness.” A voice of calm power for a man not yet thirty-three. Six years younger than I, what did that say about me? “They should have known better than to try to trap you in so crude a snare.”

“That shabby excuse for a conspiracy might have been crude, but it was real, even if we had no involvement.” I kept my voice brisk, turning the conversation to safer waters. “As long as the king lives, there will be plots to restore him. The matter will have to be dealt with.”

“The king is just a man, and a small one.”

“With a long shadow.”

We both smiled involuntarily. It had always been like that with us, the eager cut-and-thrust of our minds. “If you wish to speak to my husband . . .”

But the man who loved me took my hand.

“Manon, I honor Roland and support him always. But I am here for you.”

RIBBONS OF SCARLETT Teaser

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Author Laura Kamoie

Author Laura Kamoie

About Laura Kamoie
New York Times and USA Today bestseller Laura Kaye is the author of over forty books in romantic suspense and contemporary and erotic romance and has sold more than one million books in the U.S. alone. Among her many awards, she won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense of 2014 for Hard As You Can. A former college history professor, Laura grew up amid family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Laura also writes historical fiction under the name Laura Kamoie, also a Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today bestseller.

Laura is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Maryland Romance Writers, the Washington Romance Writers, and she is past president of the RWA-Contemporary Romance Writers..

Where to find Laura Kamoie
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter

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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – A SCATTERING OF LEAVES (Keeper of the Souls) by Patricia Reynolds

A SCATTERING OF LEAVES Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for A SCATTERING OF LEAVES, the second book in the young adult historical fantasy series, Keeper of Souls, by Patricia Reynolds. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

A SCATTERING OF LEAVES (Keeper of the Souls #2) by Patricia Reynolds

A SCATTERING OF LEAVES (Keeper of the Souls #2) by Patricia Reynolds

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: A SCATTERING OF LEAVES
Series: Keeper of Souls #2
Author: Patricia Reynolds
Publisher: Old Crow Publishing
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Following his Vision Quest in A Scattering of Crows, Hidden Spirit continues the journey after an unsettling vision of his sister, Chasing Rabbit, in danger. He races against the clock to find the boarding school where Preacher Jim continues to indoctrinate the Sioux children. He fears he will be too late and wonders about the fate of his beloved, Morning Star.

Surviving insurmountable odds, Hidden Spirit rises to the harrowing challenge. Quelling his anger, his inner warrior and magical powers begin to surface and develop in ways he never thought possible. Along the way, he meets some unsuspecting friends and allies that help forge this epic journey.

 

 

 

 

 

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A SCATTERING OF LEAVES Teaser

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Excerpt #3
“I wish I had seen your Hidden Spirit,” Ellie says, enviously. “He sounds wonderful.”

“Well, he is and it was… like… magic. Hidden Spirit can do mysterious things you know. He’s our hero,” she says, proudly. Little Moon is so excited that she stands up, hops on one foot, grabs a wet dress, and twirls in circles. “He must be near, Ellie. He must be. I have prayed to the Great Spirit every night to guide him to us so that he will take us home.”

“Home?” Ellie repeated, grabbing the girl’s wrists. “That’s marvelous news, Little Moon… to leave this god-awful place.”

“You know,” she says, beaming, “The elders knew he was going to be special, the day he was born. They said he is destined for real big things and that Hidden Spirit’s, grandfather, was going to teach him big secrets from another place… so he could be a really good medicine man. His grandfather is dead, but still has the power. The crows became his friends when he was little, and, when he shot one of them, they taught him a big lesson. Now they protect and guide him. Hidden Spirit is brave,” Little Moon says with her newfound confidence. “He’s a warrior, too. Our people have lots of powers, you know. They wouldn’t scalp you or anything like that, like the white people say.”

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A SCATTERING OF LEAVES Teaser

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: A SCATTERING OF CROWS
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Patricia Reynolds

Author Patricia Reynolds

About the Author
Patricia Reynolds lives in Washington State with her partner of many years, along with their adopted family of dogs and cats. She has a passion for nature and the environment, and a soft spot for animals of all kinds. Patricia’s primary goal in writing this book was to lend a voice to the forgotten. Her young adult fantasy series: Keeper of the Souls, is based on actual events.

 

 

 

 

 

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Where to Find Patricia Reynolds
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

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Cover Reveal – RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE (Lost Lords) by Cassandra Dean

RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE Cover Reveal

Award-winning author, Cassandra Dean, is revealing the cover to RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE, the second book her her adult historical romance series, Lost Lords, releasing November 26, 2019See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and preorder links.

RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE (Lost Lords #2) by Cassandra Dean

RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE (Lost Lords #2) by Cassandra Dean

About the Book
Title: RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE
Series: Lost Lords #2
Author: Cassandra Dean
Release Date: November 26, 2019
Genre:
 Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
From Award-Winning Australian author Cassandra Dean comes the second book in her delicious new Regency romance series, Lost Lords.

The girl he’s always loved
Oliver, Earl of Roxwaithe, has always regarded Lady Lydia Torrence as a sibling even as she’d declared one day they would wed. Fourteen years her elder, Oliver was convinced Lydia felt only a crush and when she inevitably declared her love, he had to refuse. After she left for the Continent, he told himself he didn’t miss her, that she had always been too young, and if perhaps he’d noticed she had become a woman, that was best left unsaid.

The man she’s always adored
Lydia had always known she loved Oliver and he loved her. Furious he would claim she was too young, she determined to take the Continent by storm, to hone her skills and become an expert in flirtation. Upon her return to London, she’d show him she was a fully-grown woman who knew what she wanted—and she wanted him.

Oliver is stubborn in his resolve until a new suitor for Lydia puts Oliver’s resolve to the test. Will he discover the girl he’s always loved has become the woman he will forever adore?

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RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE Teaser

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: FINDING LORD FARLISLE
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Author Cassandra Dean

Author Cassandra Dean

About the Author
Cassandra Dean is an award-winning author of historical and fantasy romance. She is proud to call South Australia her home, where she regularly cheers on her AFL football team and creates her next tale.

 

 

 

Where to find Cassandra Dean
Goodreads | Website │ Facebook │ Twitter | Instagram

 

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – ACADEMY OF LITTLES by Allison West

ACADEMY OF LITTLES Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for ACADEMY OF LITTLES, a collection of three adult historical romances, by Allison West. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

ACADEMY OF LITTLES by Allison West

ACADEMY OF LITTLES by Allison West

About the Book – Read for free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
ACADEMY OF LITTLES
Author: Allison West
Publisher: Blushing Books Publications
Release Date: September 18, 2019
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
He demands you enroll in the Academy of Littles. You have no other choice. He takes what’s his.  You.

You hold on to your most prized possession. Your virtue. What happens when you give yourself over and learn to submit completely?

Three women. Three Papas. Three scandalous stories of love, passion, and learning to obey. Not for the faint of heart.

Publisher’s Note: This is a collection of three steamy, dark romance tales – Enrolling Little Etta, The Nanny, and Little Secrets – which contain power exchange and scenes which may trigger some readers.

 

 

 

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ACADEMY OF LITTLES Teaser

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Excerpt #1
“Tell me, when was the last time you felt the innocence of being a child: carefree and without worry?” he asked gently. 

Sighing and allowing her shoulders to collapse in a slump, she answered. “I do not remember ever being carefree and without worry, Mr. Hartley. I do not have the luxury in life to do so.” 

“Do you not wish sometimes that you could be like a child? Have no worries, no concerns of misfortune, and no hard decisions to make. Have you ever wished to have someone take care of you, fully take care of your every need? Have you ever wanted to be tucked in at night, kissed on the forehead and told to have sweet dreams, and you would, because someone who loves you very much has already chased the bad dreams away?”

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Author Allison West

Author Allison West

About the Author
Allison West is a #1 International Best-Selling Author in Erotica, BDSM, Romantic Erotica, Sci-Fi, Victorian, and Historical Erotica. She also writes young adult novels under the name Ruth Silver.

Allison West has been inventing worlds and writing stories for years. Her favorite novels are those that leave a lasting impression, long after the final page is read. You can find more about Allison on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog “Spanking Author.” http://spankingauthor.com

 

 

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Where to Find Allison West
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Blog Tour – Excerpt – DECEIVED BY DESIRE (Gilded) by Marie Force

DECEIVED BY DESIRE Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for DECEIVED BY DESIRE, the second book in the adult historical romance series, Gilded, by New York Times bestselling author, Marie Force. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

DECEIVED BY DESIRE (Gilded #2) by Marie Force

DECEIVED BY DESIRE (Gilded #2) by Marie Force

About the Book
Title: DECEIVED BY DESIRE
Series: Gilded #2
Author: Marie Force
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google

Synopsis
Wealthy American industrialist Aubrey Nelson has invited the Duke and Duchess of Westbrook to visit his family’s Newport seaside “cottage” for the summer. With his parents’ departure from New York delayed, Aubrey’s mother sends him ahead to oversee preparations for their guests. But when he arrives, he’s surprised to find the house and staff in disarray . . .

With much to do and little time, Aubrey comes to rely on the housekeeper, a lovely young Irish woman named Maeve Brown. And when he also finds himself confiding in Maeve about more personal matters, he tells himself it’s merely their close proximity that draws him to the compassionate, hard-working beauty. Yet when he suspects Maeve is in danger, Aubrey realizes his feelings for her have grown much deeper than they should have. For what will his mother, who dreams of a society match for her son, have to say when she arrives to discover he’s lost his heart to a girl of the working class?

Praise for Duchess by Deception (book 1)

Force has crafted a masterpiece with the perfect amount of romance.”
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

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Excerpt
June 1903
Newport, Rhode Island

Chapter 1

He first noticed the alluring curve of her neck. The delicate stretch of pale skin suggested elegance, a sweetness that begged to be explored and an aura of strength that intrigued him. Aubrey stood in the doorway to the drawing room for the longest time, riveted by a woman’s neck for the first time in his life, before clearing his throat to let her know he was there.

Startled, she whirled around, letting out a gasp of surprise as the oversized feather duster she’d been using fell to the dirty marble floor with a loud clatter. She would need a hundred feather dusters, perhaps a thousand of them, to wipe the layers of grime from every room in the house. How had it gotten so filthy over the winter?

That was one of many mysteries confronting him since his arrival thirty minutes prior at Paradis Trouvé, his family’s summer home on Newport’s Bellevue Avenue. The name meant “paradise found” in French. It had been bestowed upon the home by a previous owner, and unfortunately, his parents had embraced the pretentious name when they acquired the property.

Aubrey cursed himself for scaring the young woman as he entered yet another room in complete disarray. What the hell had happened to their “cottage” since the family left last September? “Pardon me.”

The woman took a step back, immediately on guard. Her reddish-brown hair had been gathered into a neat bun, and her drab olive-colored shirtwaist dress—muslin if he wasn’t mistaken—was serviceable at best but showcased interesting curves. However, her face was the showstopper. Her alabaster complexion reminded him of the cameo his grandmother had worn—ivory perfection with a dusting of freckles across her nose and brown eyes that were at once shrewd and suspicious.

“Wh-who are you?” The lilt of an Irish brogue danced through the dusty air like music.

Captivated, Aubrey had to remind himself that she expected a reply. “I apologize for frightening you.”

“Are you the new butler? It’s about time you showed up.” All business now that the fright had passed, she bustled across the room toward him, removing work gloves as she went.

He ought to set her straight but decided in a prescient flash to let her think he was the butler. At least until he had a chance to find out more about her. His dusty, wrinkled travel clothing and hair damp with sweat from the unusually warm weather wouldn’t give him away as a member of the family that owned the forty-room seaside monstrosity. His father had bought it six years ago from a member of the Astor family. Under normal circumstances, the Italian Renaissance–style palazzo was all gold and glitter and ostentatious excess, but Aubrey had been shocked by the filth and disrepair. He’d been sent by his mother to oversee the preparations for his illustrious guests, the Duke and Duchess of Westwood, who would arrive in three weeks, along with the other friends Aubrey had invited.

“I’m Maeve Brown, the housekeeper. I have no earthly idea what’s become of the rest of the staff, but Mrs. Nelson will be arriving in two short weeks, and as you can see, the house is in complete disarray. Did the agency inform you that the Duke and Duchess of Westwood will be visiting this summer? Apparently, they’re friends of the Nelsons’ son, Mr. Aubrey. Mrs. Nelson is the daughter of a British earl, so needless to say, she has exacting expectations, especially when entertaining a duke and duchess.” Maeve bit her deliciously full bottom lip as she seemed to debate whether she should say more.

Aubrey wanted to beg her to continue, just so he could listen to her melodic voice that spoke of culture and breeding far above a housekeeper’s station.

“From what I was told, the previous staff quit in protest of Mrs. Nelson’s treatment of them. In this day and age, there are plenty of other homes that treat their employees with respect and dignity. I was told a new staff had been hired, but no one has come.”

“If Mrs. Nelson is such an ogre, why are you here?”

Maeve’s cheeks flushed with a rosy glow that enchanted him. “By the time I arrived in New York, this was the only housekeeper position remaining for the Season. However, Mrs. Nelson’s reputation is well known, which is probably why the rest of the staff never arrived. Unless we both want to find ourselves out of work and without references, we’ll need every minute until she arrives to prepare for her guests.”

“I’m not afraid of hard work. Are you?”

“Certainly not.”

He’d known her for two minutes and already wished he could sit and talk to her for hours, until he knew everything there was to know about Miss Maeve Brown, formerly of Ireland. His mother would have an apoplexy over the thoughts he was having about the housekeeper, which was all the more reason to have them. After both of his older brothers had sworn off marriage, it had fallen to Aubrey to continue the Nelson name, a predicament his mother took far more seriously now that the family had become ridiculously wealthy. Prior to that, she hadn’t given a fig about the family name. Defying his mother had been one of his favorite activities as a child and younger man. With her pressuring him relentlessly to make an “appropriate marriage,” admiring the curve of the Irish housekeeper’s neck would be the last thing she’d want him doing.

But it was a splendid neck, perhaps the most delightful neck he’d ever beheld, and he’d seen some truly excellent female necks in his day, most recently last year in London where he’d endured a second Season to placate his mother. She’d positively salivated at the thought of him marrying into the British aristocracy. Alas, it was not to be, and he was through with that charade. The only thing that had kept it from being completely unbearable had been his friendship with Derek Eagan, the Duke of Westwood, as well as Derek’s cousin Simon and their mutual friend Justin Enderly, who was the second son of an earl. With Derek and Simon now married, and Justin avoiding the social scene, Aubrey had flat-out refused to return to London this spring. His mother had been furious, but he’d stood his ground.

Now with a summer in residence with his mother about to transpire, Aubrey fully expected another charade to unfold that would have to be endured rather than enjoyed. However, the Newport house was his favorite place in the world, and there was nowhere he’d rather be, even with his mother and her many charades to endure.

“Sir?”

Aubrey realized Miss Brown was talking to him.

“I asked if you’d like me to show you to your quarters before you get to work.”

“Yes, please.” Aubrey knew he ought to end this misunderstanding immediately, but something stopped him. He couldn’t say what, but rather than confess to not being the new butler, he followed her through familiar hallways thick with dust and spiderwebs to one of the back corridors and the stairs that led to the servants’ quarters on the third floor. As they went up the stairs, Aubrey tried not to notice the gentle sway of her backside. He failed utterly as her backside was almost as intriguing as the curve of her neck.

“I cleaned this room yesterday after we received word of your impending arrival. There’re fresh towels in the wardrobe and a bathroom down the hall. Mr. Nelson had plumbing put in the house two years ago, and it’s quite delightful.”

Aubrey agreed. Indoor plumbing was delightful, and so was she. “How did the house get so filthy?”

“I was told by one of the other housekeepers in town that after Mrs. Nelson left at the end of last summer, the remaining staff opened the windows and left them that way. When I arrived a week ago, the house was filled with rodents and seagulls. I almost didn’t stay.”

Horrified, Aubrey didn’t know what to say. She’d had to contend with that alone? He was also ashamed that he’d stopped paying attention to his mother’s high-handed behavior years ago. That she mistreated her staff to the point they’d leave the windows open for the harsh New England winter came as a shock to him and was something that would have to be addressed as soon as she arrived. At least he had a couple of weeks to dread that conversation.

“Didn’t the pipes freeze?”

“Apparently they were spared because the water had been shut off. For that we can be thankful.”

“Indeed. Why did you stay?”

She hooked her fingers together and looked down. “I need the position.”

Her quiet dignity touched him deeply. He wanted to know her story, where she came from, what had brought her to America. “We’ll see about getting you some more help.”

“It’s going to take a miracle to have this house ready for the arrival of the duke and duchess.”

“You needn’t worry about them. They don’t stand on formality.”

Her brows knitted adorably. “And you know this how?”

Damn. Aubrey realized he’d spoken as their friend and not as the new butler. “People speak of them in New York. The duke is well regarded in social circles in London, and his duchess is said to be very down to earth.”

“Who were your employers in New York?”

He had to think quickly to come up with a name she’d recognize. “The Smiths.” Thankfully, he’d gone to Choate with Adam Smith and knew the family.

Her eyes widened with amazement. “They’re one of the wealthiest families in America.”

“Yes, they are.”

“So why are you now employed by the Nelsons?”

“I wanted to come to Newport, and the Smiths don’t summer here. Mrs. Smith has an aversion to the sea. Her father drowned while rescuing her from a rogue wave when she was a child.”

“How awful!”

“She’s never forgotten it.”

“How could anyone forget such a thing?”

“It’s very tragic indeed.”

She gave him a look that had him wishing his hair was clean and his face shaved. “You’re very . . .”

Aubrey held his breath, waiting to hear what she would say.

“. . . young for a butler.”

He was young for a butler—by decades, in fact. “While I was with the Smiths, their butler and under-butler succumbed to typhoid, and I was the head footman. The family promoted me to butler.” Where was this nonsense coming from? He told himself to stop it, to tell her the truth, to end this ridiculous farce.

“I see. Would you like something to eat before you begin work?”

“Yes, please. I’d appreciate that after the long journey.” He left his bag in the room she’d assigned him and followed her down the backstairs, where his sisters’ children hid from their governesses.

They went down three flights to the kitchen and the servants’ dining room in the basement.

“This is the new cook, Mrs. Allston. Mrs. Allston, this is the new butler . . .” Maeve turned to him, her face flushing with a pleasing shade of pink. “I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name.”

“It’s Jack. Jack Bancroft.” The name of the duke’s estate manager popped into Aubrey’s head.

“A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Bancroft.” A stout, sturdy woman with ruddy cheeks and neat gray hair, Mrs. Allston stood watch over a pot of something that smelled delicious.

Aubrey’s stomach growled loudly.

Maeve laughed, and the delicate sound traveled through him the way a bolt of lightning might. He wanted to hear that laugh again and again. He wanted to hear it in his dreams and in his every waking hour. As a man who’d relished his freedom and independence, the feelings she evoked in him were frightening and unprecedented, to say the least.

Aubrey glanced at her. “I beg your pardon. I’m apparently hungrier than I thought.” He’d taken the overnight steamship from New York and had been served an elaborate breakfast several hours before the boat docked at Newport’s Long Wharf.

Mrs. Allston ladled soup into two bowls and set them on the rough-hewn wooden table along with a basket of freshly baked bread. “There you are then.”

He waited for Maeve to be seated before he slid onto the bench across from her. The huge table would easily accommodate thirty people. When the house was fully staffed, there would easily be that many in service, if not more.

They ate the delicious split-pea soup and bread in silence, but he was aware of her every move, her every breath. In all his thirty-two years, through hundreds of hours spent in London ballrooms and New York social clubs, in music halls, opera houses and at countless society dinners, picnics and house parties, he had never once responded to a woman the way he had to her.

His reaction to her defied explanation.

It defied belief.

It would infuriate his mother.

Aubrey smiled to himself, imagining her reaction to hearing that he’d finally found the woman he wanted, and she was the new Irish housekeeper at their Newport estate.

Once the epicenter of the cotton, rum and slave trades, Newport had become the place to see and be seen in the months of July and August when most of New York society relocated to their cottages by the coast. The social climbers came to make their annual impression on the hostesses who determined whether one was in or out—and if you were out, there was little chance of ever getting in.

His mother, the ultimate social climber, had made a blood sport out of climbing the rungs in Newport. Imagining her reaction to learning he’d developed a sweet spot for the Irish housekeeper had Aubrey picturing her exploding into a rage the likes of which would be talked about for years to come. He’d seen her rages before, most of them directed at others, including his siblings, but had never been the reason for one.

Compared to his far more rebellious siblings, Aubrey had been her good boy, her golden child as his siblings liked to say chidingly. Perhaps it was time for him to take his turn in stirring her ire. He had a feeling that Miss Maeve Brown, formerly of Ireland, would be worth the hell his mother would rain down upon him.

As he surreptitiously watched Maeve eat her soup, he noted the way her lips closed around the spoon and how her throat moved when she swallowed.

How was it possible that the pedestrian act of eating soup could be so impossibly erotic? A surge of heat to his groin had him holding back a groan.

“Are you quite all right, Mr. Bancroft?”

That voice. Dear God, the sound of her words was the sweetest music he’d ever heard. He could listen to her speak all day without ever tiring of the sound. It wouldn’t even matter so much what she said, as long as she never stopped talking to him. Aubrey summoned his composure, which had deserted him the second he first laid eyes on the appealing curve of her neck. He nodded in response to her question. “I’m quite well, thank you.”

“And the soup is to your liking?”

“It’s delicious.”

“I agree. Mrs. Allston is a wonderful cook. We’re lucky to have her, especially in light of the reputation this house has with those in service.”

Aubrey wiped his mouth on the cloth napkin, made of much coarser cotton than the linen he was accustomed to upstairs. “So there’re exactly three of us then?”

“I’m afraid so, at least until the others turn up. If they turn up.”

“And the task before us is . . .”

“Monumental. Wait until you see the wreckage that is Mrs. Nelson’s room.” She shuddered. “It’s a travesty.”

“If we were to take it a room at a time, focusing on the public spaces and the bedrooms required by the Nelson family and their guests, we might be able to get it done in time.”

“We have two weeks until Mrs. Nelson, her daughters and grandchildren are due to arrive and three until the duke and duchess are expected.”

“I’ll see what I can do about getting some more help. Surely there have to be more people seeking positions for the summer.”

“I certainly hope so, because without more help, I can’t envision how we’ll ever be ready for the duke and duchess. I quite fear Mrs. Nelson’s infamous rages.”

“Don’t you worry about her. We’ll have everything in place for her and her guests.”

“Thank goodness you’re here.” She took a sip of the hot tea she had steeped for them both. “I have felt quite like I was climbing a mountain all by myself with no possible way to reach the summit in time.”

“We will get there together.” As he said the words, he considered the double meaning of the two of them reaching the summit together. A shiver rippled through him, making him shudder from the desire that gripped him. He thanked goodness for the table that hid his obvious reaction from her.

“Are you sure you’re well? You seem rather . . . flummoxed.”

That was a good word for how he’d felt since first laying eyes on her. Flummoxed indeed.

He was about to respond to her when another man came into the kitchen, looking as road weary and dusty as Aubrey imagined he did, too. This man was older, with silver strands mixed in to his dark hair, his face craggy with age and wisdom, his eyes red with fatigue but friendly.

“May I help you?” Maeve asked.

“I’m Joseph Plumber, the new butler. The agency indicated I should report today.”

Maeve’s shocked gaze shifted to Aubrey. “If Mr. Plumber is the new butler, then who, pray tell, are you?”

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: DUCHESS BY DECEPTION
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DECEIVED BY DESIRE Teaser

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Author Marie Force

Author Marie Force

About the Author
Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception. 

All together, her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction. 

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news..

Where to find Marie Force
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Reader GroupTwitter | Pinterest | YouTube | BookBub

 

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