August 28, 2016
August 25, 2016
I welcome back Jenna Jaxon, who has a spanking new historical romance in store for us!
The Dreaded Spinster (Or Why Kate Locke Won’t Have A 4th Season)
Today the word “spinster” is an outdated term for an unmarried woman, and in light of our current independent, feminist thinking, a derogatory term as well. This was true in Regency England as well, but for a rather different reason. Now we despair of judging women who have made a choice to live without the bonds of marriage. In the Regency, the term was fraught with pity for the woman to whom it was applied.
The original word comes from the usually unmarried girls in the 14th century who spun wool for a living. They were called, obviously, spinsters. But by the 18th century it had come to mean any woman who was unmarried after the normal age at which a woman was expected to marry. This age changes with each age’s sensibility: in the 14th century women normally married between the ages of fourteen and sixteen years old; by the Regency it was any woman over the age of twenty-one.
Women grew up knowing that their major duty in life was to marry and bear children. If they came from gentry or the aristocracy, they could not hold a job without a stigma being attached to them. The exceptions were positions of governess or companion to someone of the aristocracy, but they were still looked on unfavorably by Society. In Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, the comment is made that unmarried women will lead apes in hell as punishment for not marrying. By the Regency era, the term “ape-leader” was common slang for an unmarried woman or spinster.
Girls were given three years, basically, in which to snare a husband. Three “Seasons” or summers of balls, parties, outings, all manner of ways for them to meet men and convince them to either fall in love, or that their dowry was sufficiently large enough to sway them to “come up to scratch” and propose. After the third Season, if they had not accepted a proposal from a gentleman, at the age of twenty-two they were considered “on the shelf” and not expected to marry, although it was only after they reached the age of thirty that they were declared a “hopeless” spinster.
In Heart of Desire, my heroine, Kate Locke, is in just such a dilemma. She’s in her third Season and realizes that she’s quarreled so much with gentlemen over the past two years, that all of them are avoiding her. All but one, that is. With her time running out, Kate has to decide whether she’d rather remain a spinster or accept the addresses of a man she cannot stand.
Follow your heart to find your desireMiss Katherine Locke is irked to start her third season dancing with the disagreeable Lord Haversham, her brother’s friend and her own arch enemy. After three years out, however, she’s finally interested in the dashing Lord Finley—only to find out her cousin has set her cap for him too. To make the man jealous, Kate feigns interest in Lord Haversham, only to be shocked to find the handsome lord apparently falling for her. With time running out, should she accept his suit and risk falling in love despite herself?
Marcus, Lord Haversham, is in a tight pinch. His estates are failing and worse, he’s just lost three thousand pounds to his best friend, Lord Ainsley. Ainsley’s solution: have Marcus marry his shrewish sister and he’ll cancel his gambling debt plus give him ten thousand more pounds for her dowry. With nowhere to turn, Marcus agrees, praying he can keep word of the wager from Miss Locke long enough to charm her into marrying him. But can he avoid falling in love himself?
The music had a lively air and Miss Katherine Locke would’ve thought herself fortunate to be out again in Society after a long, cold, dull winter in Somerset save that her partner, Lord Haversham, was the rudest man in London. Well, his lordship was about to discover that Kate Locke was not one to suffer fools lightly.
“So you refuse to allow your sister to waltz, yet you are quite willing to stand up with me and dance this, according to you, most scandalous of dances.” Kate smiled into the odious wretch’s face. “My lord, I should say that smacks of hypocrisy.”
“Indeed.” Lord Haversham turned them skillfully at the end of the floor. “I would say it showed a want of character in your brother for allowing you to dance it with me. The waltz should be danced by married couples and no one else.” He pulled her close against him, so their bodies almost touched.She gasped at her proximity to the rogue. How dare he make a spectacle of them on this crowded dance floor?
“You see?” he whispered, peering into her face, his gaze intent upon her mouth.All she could see were his cool gray eyes, as the crisp scent of his sandalwood cologne filled her nose.
“Ainsley should be horsewhipped for allowing it.”“I’ll see to it he horsewhips you if you don’t let me go.” Kate gave a hopping step and smashed her foot down on top of his.
Lord Haversham lurched forward, actually falling onto her.For the briefest moment, they stood pressed together in a warm embrace that made Kate tingle all over. Then outrage swept through her, and she pushed him away. “How dare you,” she seethed, trying to pull away from him.
“That was your fault, and you know it. And if you make a scene that results in me having to marry you, I swear I will lock you in the tower at my grandfather’s castle and throw away the key.” Lord Haversham righted himself and smiled at her with clenched teeth.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jenna Jaxon is a best-selling, multi-published author of historical romance in periods ranging from medieval to Victorian. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and two rambunctious cats, Marmalade and Suger. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.
Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is very active in Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA.
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.
FIND JENNA HERE:
LINK: MAZON: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KRWDMQO#nav-subnav
August 19, 2016
August 17, 2016
She had to die. Yoga instructor Ann Holloway’s sunny life is wrecked when a group of men break into her apartment and kill her sister. A rough, broody stranger snatches her from the killers’ jaw, but she has no clue who these people were or the reasons behind the attack.
He was too scarred inside to really live. Burned-out former Marine and leader of the Team, Mark Carson thought he was doing a teammate an easy favor by picking up a couple of girls. How wrong. When his friend is killed, shadows build over the Team’s loyalty, and Ann’s life starts meaning more than his own, Mark is thrown into a different game. Now it’s personal.
From New York to sunny Miami, Ann and Mark run into a maze of lie, betrayal, and death, where love is the only, terrifying certainty.
And when truth unravels, they will risk all to survive.
WHEN MARK OPENED the curtains, older memories mingled with what shone in front of his eyes. Light rose fast from the ocean, pushed by an overzealous sun; soon, that yellow ball would emerge and conquer the fading darkness.
He’d been woken up many times by it, and by the heat seeping through his body, rusted after a night on the beach.
Once again that morning, the Floridian sun-his sun-beckoned at him with its burning halo like an old friend. And like an old friend, Mark nodded with a little smile before turning his back to it.
“Ann?” he called gently, prodding at her calf with his knuckles.
She emerged from under the pillow in all her sweet languor, with hair that looked a lot like the sun’s crown of light, her frown still full of sleep. “Yes,” she murmured. “Gimme five.”
She waddled to the bathroom, a blond baby doe still learning how to walk.
Mark sat at the table, took the clip off his gun. He heard his own body shouting insults at him for the night before – enough with sleeping wrapped around her! Yeah, well, his body had better shut up, for he wasn’t gonna stop.
He punched the voice away and got on with checking the gun. It was a soothing process: the gentle friction of the slide coming off, the wiping, reassembling the pieces back together. The trigger clicked, clean and ready for action, the clip slid in place, ammo filled his pockets. He could have done it with his eyes closed. In fact, he’d done this in places so full of death, so empty of hope, that the hotel room was a paradise. Their mess was nothing compared to what he’d been through in the years of duty.
But Ann... for her it was all new. She’d lived a normal life, ups and downs, bad hair days, common tragedies and happiness.
In the past week she’d seen her sister disappear, coped with her death, saw a man murdered and almost died a couple of times. She found out that her sister had been lying to her all along.
And there she was, minutes after dawn, getting ready to go with him, not knowing what she would find next. Still able to smile, to hope, to fight without losing kindness and warmth. Feeding his own faith.
Ann walked out the bathroom, chased her tennis shoes out from under the bed with movements still awkward with sleep.
She made him want to believe her, believe the buzz in his brain droning that yes, he could see the end of this crap and lose himself in her. The thought enticed him, dangerous and sweet.
She stood in front of him, hair in a ponytail and a tight smile on her lips.
“You ready?” he asked without meeting her eyes. “Sure.” She wasn’t, as she hadn’t been from day one, but she would soldier through it all one more time. With the right training, she would have made a great Marine. Pride for his angel inflated his chest, made him feel stronger, invincible. “It’s not gonna be dangerous,” he said. Riding that wave of confidence, he dared looking at her.
“Good. I’m not eager to put your teaching to the test.” She took a long breath. “Let’s go?”
He nodded, but didn’t move.
She would be so beautiful on white sand, her ivory skin kissed by the sun, wearing a small red bikini and a white hat with a gigantic brim. He would take her to unknown paradises, stop at every secluded beach all the way up to Georgia. He remembered the spots where a boy and a girl could really turn the heat up on a summer night.
His fingers reached up for her, skimming the elegant neck and his thumb brushing her lips.
She froze. Her lips parted, waiting for him. Wanting him. All of his body tensed as the built-in alarms in his head went off. He stepped away, secured his gun in the holster and locked away all that useless dreaming and need.
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August 12, 2016
August 10, 2016
August 2, 2016
July 28, 2016
July 25, 2016
July 23, 2016
July 21, 2016
Lyndi’s Summer #RomanticIdea
“A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou” - The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
I love that quote, and it makes me think of romantic summer picnics—at the beach, by a lake, in the mountains or a park—whatever location works best where you live or vacation. But what to pack? Wine, bread, meat and cheese are a given, but don’t forget the summer fruit—ripe red strawberries, lush juicy peaches or crisp apples. There’s nothing like a taste of fruit to sweeten a kiss.
by Lyndi Lamont
Steamy Paranormal Romance
Imagine a world filled with magic, a tormented knight, a damsel in distress, an evil sorcerer...
While picking herbs in the woods, Princess Ilona is rescued from a woodsman by a wolf. When the creature licks her wounds, it is suddenly transformed into a man. A very handsome, very naked man who makes passionate love to her in a glade.
Cursed by an evil wizard, Rolf was trapped in wolf form until he tasted the blood of a royal. Now he must escort the princess on a hazardous journey back to the castle to stop an ill-fated wedding.
Passion flares between them, but both know there is no future for Ilona and her werewolf. Or is there? In a world where magic and passion combine, anything may be possible.
She sat frozen, her back to the tree. Oh, gods, don't let it see me. She tried to cast an invisibility spell, but to no avail. The wolf looked at her, golden eyes gleaming, mouth open, showing off large, sharp teeth. She closed her eyes and gripped her throat with both hands. Quaking with terror, she listened as the animal padded toward her. She felt its hot breath on her cheek.
Opening her eyes a slit, she stared into the face of the wolf. Sad eyes stared at her, and her fears receded. Perhaps he'd been tamed. She reached out with what was left of her powers, but sensed no immediate danger. "Good wolf," she stammered.
She held out one shaking fist, and the wolf sniffed it before licking her knuckles. It moved closer, sniffing her clothing. To her surprise, the animal hunkered down beside her and laid its head on her leg. Carefully, she touched it, stroking the soft fur.
Relief flooded through her. Saved by a wolf, of all creatures. "Thank the gods you showed up when you did. I'd no wish to be ravished by the likes of him."
The wolf lifted its head and seemed to smile up at her, mouth open, tongue lolling.
She smiled at the canine as she continued to pet it. "Grateful I am for you rescuing me, but 'tis not exactly what a girl dreams of. Where's my knight on a white steed? 'Tis he who is supposed to do the rescuing."
When the wolf lowered his head, sniffing between her legs, she laughed and pushed it away. "Rude creature."
The animal responded by sitting up and resting its head on her breast. She put both arms around it and hugged it close, dropping a kiss on its head. "Do not misunderstand, Sir Wolf, but I still wish you were a knight. A strong, handsome knight like my Werner."
The familiar sadness filled her at the memory of her husband. "I miss him so much, you know. Dagmar says another knight will come for me, a handsome knight to protect us and make sweet, passionate love to me."
The wolf whined and raised his head to lick her cheek. Laughing, she tried to push him away, but he licked her full on the mouth. She closed her eyes, stunned when her powers came rushing back, like a flood of magic coursing around her.
Turning aside, she summoned her basket to her side. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the wolf jump up, staring at the basket. Her vision seemed to blur as the wolf's face slowly became humanlike, then shifted back. She must have hit her head harder than she'd thought if she was seeing things. She closed her eyes and shook her head, but the aching had receded.
When she peeked again, the wolf was gone, and a naked man crouched in front of her. A handsome, well-built man with shaggy brown hair and golden brown eyes.
Interview with Sir Rolf of Klosterlupe:
Thanks for sitting down with me today, Sir Rolf. I just have a few questions for you. What can you tell us about your birthplace?
All I know is that I was born somewhere in the Kingdom of Velosia. When I was but a small cub, er, lad, my parents dropped me at Klosterlupe where the monks took me in. Apparently small werewolves are unable to control their shifts. People without magic have no idea how to deal with a situation like that. Still, I would like to learn who my people are some day.
What schooling did you have?
I was educated at Klosterlupe, home to the Brotherhood of the wolf, a chivalric order, where I was trained in the knightly arts.
What is your job?
I am a knight in the King’s Guard.
What is your most important goal?
Protecting my princess and her family, of course. I owe her a great debt, not to mention she is the love of my life.
What is your worst fear or nightmare?
Being trapped again in animal form and unable to shift. That was most disconcerting!
Lyndi Lamont is the racy alter ego of romance author Linda McLaughlin. Writing sexy stories gives her a license to be naughty, at least between the pages of her books! She has written several full-length novels plus numerous short stories and novellas, ranging from historical to futuristic. She believes that love is unending and universal, and enjoys transporting her readers into a different world where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward.
Find her online at:
Twitter: @LyndiLamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont
July 18, 2016
July 16, 2016
July 14, 2016
July 11, 2016
July 3, 2016
HAVING SUPERIOR HEARING IS NOT NECESSARILY A GOOD THING.
Molly has great hearing, which her parents discovered early on. They had her eavesdrop on a politician and then try to blackmail him. Instead, he had the parents arrested and sent to jail, leaving Molly a ward of the Family Foster system. That was a nightmare she tries very hard to forget.
Since then she’s been very careful not to let anyone know about her excellent hearing. Until she hears a drug lord telling his thug to take the puppies to the NJ Wetlands and gut them to retrieve the drugs.
Molly gasps in horror. When DTX realizes she heard his boss, he goes after her. Molly’s a good runner, but can she outlast this giant thug?
Book 2 of the
Requires Rescue Series
Sometimes even the strong
requires a helping hand.
Molly Brown always faces life with a smile, even when a frightening thug is intent upon killing her. At first, Detective Sean Cushing finds Molly’s cheery disposition unnatural, especially when he discovers the seriousness of her injuries. When she asks for police protection, he instead offers her a job and home being a nanny to his five-year-old daughter, hoping her cheery disposition can pull his child from her dark hole of misery. Never did he expect he’d be proposing marriage within a day, but life has a way of going in odd directions when Molly Brown is involved.
“Hi there. Sorry to bother you,” Molly Brown said as she flashed her smile. “Could you call 911 and tell them a scary man is following me?”
The man in a tailored suit, talking on his phone, stopped and stared as Molly continued weaving through the tourists and New Yorkers moving down Broadway.
She saw a young man up ahead and thought he might help. “Hello, could you call 911 for me?” she asked as she beamed him her dimpled grin. “There’s a very scary guy following me.”
The guy slowed and looked behind him while Molly moved on.
“Hi,” she said to a woman, who frowned and moved away from her.
She rather missed her childhood when her smile could get her anything she wanted. Now it was hit or miss, and today was clearly a miss.
“Sorry to bother you, but could you call 911?” she asked another businessman, giving him her sweetest smile. “There’s a big scary guy following me.” He frowned at her and moved away, continuing the conversation he was on.
Today, it seemed her smile wasn’t working at all.
If only she had her own phone. But she’d lost her job as a photocopy salesgirl a week ago and along with it, her very nice cell phone. She tried to get them to let her keep it as a souvenir, but her boss just gripped his forehead and shook his head.
“That’s a lovely red scarf you have,” she said to a bag lady. “I bet you have a phone.”
The woman hugged her bag and sped up.
Molly matched her stride. “I think everyone deserves to have a phone. I used to have one, but now all I have is a scary guy following me. Could you call 911 and let them know?” She finished her request with a smile.
The wheezing sound she’d been running from, then jogging, and now walking from was getting louder, alerting her that she needed to make shorter requests, or the big scary guy was going to catch her.
In desperation, she shortened her plea as she sped up her pace. “Will someone call 911? A big scary man is following me. Anyone?” She still smiled, but no longer made eye contact with the people she passed. She just smiled and repeated her plea as she rushed as fast as her pulled muscles could move her, desperate to get away from the wheezing scary guy.
BUY IT NOW!
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NOTE: EACH BOOK STANDS ALONE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.
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July 2, 2016
Welcome to the 148thweek of My Sexy Saturday.
This week’s theme: My Sexy Boss
I'm sharing seven paragraphs from my recent June 30th release:
Lord of the Jungle
Readers, please visit My Sexy Saturday at their new Author Central where they’ll share more from authors besides Saturday’s snippets. MSS would love to have you there as they start new things this month with fun and prizes along the way.
Setup: Having rescued Jane first from drowning in the ocean, then a hungry shark, and now from a jaguar, he's picked her up and climbed a tree to keep her safe from further ground-based danger.
Tarzan reached behind himself to feel for the tree’s trunk, then carefully leaned his back against the scratchy surface.The female’s arms unfolded and her body slid lower. “I hope there’s no spiders up here.”
Concerned she’d slip off entirely or lose her balance, he cupped his palms under the roundness of her butt. He’d intended to only protect her from falling out of the tree, but what his hands discovered would be forever imprinted in his memory.
The strange covering over her legs hid nothing from his touch. The female’s butt fit in his hands perfectly as his fingers tightened on each side. He lifted her up, then slid her down, closer to his straining male need.
Her heels dug into the small of his back and she exhaled a breathy sigh.
Tarzan repeated the motion, which further hardened his mating tool.
The female closed her eyes and leaned her head back. “Oh my God…”
I hope you enjoyed the selection! If you're interested in reading the rest of Tarzan and Jane's story, click on a link below.
A shipwrecked woman.
The uncharted island.
Jane Porter craves a thrill but when marauders scuttle her ship and she washes ashore onto an island inhabited by animals and one sexy wildman, that’s when the real adventure begins. Dependent upon her vine-swinging rescuer who acts more ape than musclebound man, she places her survival in his rugged hands and relinquishes her desire to his raw sensuality.
For more seasons than he can remember, Tarzan has lived among the tiny island’s gorilla band. Instinct propels him to save the female he finds half-dead in the surf, but gazing into her eyes, his mating tool dances an ancient tribal beat.
While the pirates search for their bounty, Tarzan and Jane are in danger. To survive, they’ll have to hang onto each other as they swing for dear life. Their adrenaline-rush of passion among the canopy of the jungle threatens not only a dizzying fall from a great height, but also into love.
July 1, 2016
Carmen is joining me again for a few more romantic summer ideas!
You can stalk the author here:
Here are some romantic ideas to rekindle the spark:
Learn a romantic foreign language.
Take an intro-class together for a language that neither of you speak - French, Italian, Spanish or Romanian simply sound romantic - and practice whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears, in that new language!
Cuddle up together in a horse-drawn carriage ride.
You’ll probably feel like you are in a romantic comedy, and that’s a good thing.
Read each other’s Tarot Cards.
Take turns reading each other’s fortunes using Tarot Cards. Even if you don’t believe in astrology, it will make for one fun evening spent together.
Go on a ghost tour together.
Find the nearest ghost tour in your city and head out on the adventure together. At least you’ll have someone’s hand to hold onto should things start to get a little spooky.
Feed each other fondue at home.
It really doesn’t get sexier than feeding each other chocolate dipped strawberries.
Till Life Do Us Part
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Reincarnation, Mystery, Suspense
Release date: 9th June 2016
Barbara Heyer can hear voices of dead people. They whisper of their deaths, seek comfort for those left behind, and occasionally even warn her about future events. But when Barbara’s brother, Colin, is accused of murder, it will take more than her gift to prove his innocence.
Becoming smitten with the handsome investigator, Detective Patrick Fischer, is a serious complication given his assignment to her brother’s case. Barbara senses there is something far deeper—and perhaps much older—than the surface attraction between them. Could that be why she’s visited by a mysterious woman named Emma in her dreams? Could past life regression tie all the seemingly unconnected events together?
Barbara and Patrick must overcome heartache to find the truth to save Colin, and perhaps themselves.
Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.
Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of communist oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books.
Her first novel, Shadows of the Past, was released in 2012 by Wild Child Publishing, USA.
Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog, and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.
Trailer for Till Life Do Us Part: https://youtu.be/UbuntlWISc0
Barbara stroked her chin still undecided what to do. Then leaning forward toward Patrick she took his hand in hers. “Thank you for trusting me with this, Patrick. Even if it came so late. I needed to know it.” She stood up, and to hide her emotion fiddled with the empty coffee cups on the table.
Patrick came closer and turned her to face him, gathering her into his arms. He buried his face in her hair and then he stroked it back from her face in a gesture of utmost tenderness.
Her whole body was burning with an unquenchable fever, and her head felt light as she savored his touch. She loved him so much it hurt. If only he would tell her that he loved her, too. She barely had time to register the feeling before his mouth closed over hers, possessive and eager, leaving her breathless.
“Dear Barbara,” he whispered and wrapping an arm around her waist he deepened the kiss. The scent of him assaulted her senses. His chest was hard, his masculinity overwhelming.
She quivered, wanting more of his kiss. For one blissful moment, she knew only raw heat, the sensual intimacy of his tongue twining with hers, a rush of giddy pleasure that left her senseless, blindly clinging to him.
She hadn’t expected him to kiss so hungrily. She locked her arms behind his neck and looked up into his eyes. Their bodies seemed to melt together. He bent his head and she closed her eyes, trembling a little as his lips roved over her eyelids and nose and cheeks, before settling on her mouth again.
Patrick whispered, with an unsteady smile, close to her lips. “I love you. I’ve loved you since the first day I met you. Perhaps I wasn’t aware of it right then. But later...”
“Shhh,” she whispered back. “No need for an explanation.”
Their breathing mingled raggedly, and he held her tight. Barbara shook from head to foot, overwhelmed by the rush of desire enveloping her. For a long, mindless interval they stood locked in each other’s arms, deaf and blind to anything other than the primeval forces joining them together in mutual need.
And then, he frowned and as though cold water had been poured over his head, he shook his head and let her go. His eyes blazed with suppressed desire. He cleared his voice. “I didn’t mean to do this,” he said loosening his tie. “If you and I ever progress beyond this stage, Barbara, it’s up to you to make the move. I have to go back to work now. I’ll phone you before we leave the precinct,” he said and stormed out of the room.