Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A RANCHER'S REQUEST -- VICTORIAN AMERICAN WESTERN

My newest book is set partially in Virginia and partially in Wyoming shortly after Wyoming became a state. The fun part for me was being able to go to Franklin, Virginia, and study the old map while imagining what it was like in those days. I also looked at the houses and how far the walk would be to different places.

And a few times I worried that one of Franklin's finest would come up with his lights flashing and want to know what I was doing. There are times I don't want to explain that I'm an author. But sitting on the top of that hill, looking at the little town, knowing my heroine would be doing it, or looking at the river and the little park, was something I don't ordinarily get to do while writing a story. It was wonderful! Franklin remains a quaint town and the old railroad station has been well preserved over the years. Today it's a quiet place where everyone knows one another. But in 1890 it was a bustling little place.

Let me whisk you away to a time long ago when Duncan Lorde asked his father to find him a wife.


 


BLURB

Zadie Larkford, recently graduated from an Eastern women's college, lives a quiet life in her hometown of Franklin, Virginia. Content to spend her days painting by the river and watching her friends marry, she is shocked to learn that her father has promised her hand in marriage to a complete stranger. Ultimately unable to disobey, she leaves her childhood home to travel – unaccompanied – to Creed's Crossing, Wyoming to meet her betrothed.

Raised in a seafaring community in North Carolina, Duncan Lorde made the decision to leave his father's prosperous fishing venture to make a life for himself in the west. Determined to succeed in the treacherous and unpredictable pursuit of cattle ranching, he has land, a small cabin, and a herd. All he needs now is a wife–a good woman who will cook, clean, and provide him with strong sons to help on the ranch. When Zadie arrives in Creed's Crossing, the young daughter of his father's old friend is far more independent and strong-willed than he expected.

The young would-be-couple has barely begun to forge a bond when the forces of man and nature collide, impeding Duncan and Zadie as they struggle to fulfill... A Rancher's Request

EXCERPT

Zadie’s dad had relieved her of the household chores, but Zadie found herself doing things to help Abilene. By midday, it was too hot to work, and Zadie often spent her afternoons on the side porch. If there was going to be a breeze, even a hot one, the side porch always caught it. Her mother and Abilene often joined her as she painted.
Abilene would sit in such a way that she could keep one foot on a treadle that worked an overhead fan. Zadie wasn’t certain what Abilene was crocheting with such tiny cotton thread, but whatever it was, it was growing daily. Zadie’s mom often read. And Zadie worked on several paintings. The egret picture was almost done, as was the still life of the peonies that were in her mother’s favorite vase. And she had completed several watercolors of the flowers that bloomed throughout Franklin and the various fruits as they came into season. She figured she could decorate the bedrooms and her dining room with the cheerful watercolors.
A knock on the front door sent Abilene scurrying to answer it. The heat of summer had kept her father home in the afternoons, unless he absolutely had to see a patient. But it wasn’t unusual for one to come to him.
A few minutes later, Zadie could hear her father and another man laughing. The sound of her father’s laughter rolled over her, bringing flashes of pleasant childhood memories. “I have a feeling that whoever came is a friend and not a patient.”
“I believe you are right,” Zadie’s mom answered. “I haven’t heard him laugh like that in years.”
“I’ve worried about Poppa. I’ve never seen the heat get to him as it has this summer.”
“He’s fine. We’re getting older, and he’s no longer that invincible young man I married.” Her knitting needles clicked nonstop as she spoke. “He’s always believed in being careful, and he washes his hands and everything around him all the time. I think he’s been extra careful as he’s aged.”
“Oh, you and Poppa are not old. Did you not say that Abilene raised Poppa? She must be twice as old and look at her energy.”
“Hardly twice as old. She was in her early teens when your father was born and she refused to leave when the war ended. And yes, she’s spry for her age. I know she’s enjoyed teaching you this summer and having your help.”
“You should have had me learn sooner.”
“But you would have complained bitterly if we had--”
“Zadie, come here,” her father called. “I want you to meet someone.”
She glanced at her mother as a feeling of horror raced through her. Quickly she wiped her hands on her paint cloth and attempted to untie her paint frock that covered her old faded green and white day dress as she made her way to her father’s office.
She had managed to undo the top portion of the frock so that it folded over the skirted portion and at least hid some of the paint splatters. “Yes, Poppa.”
Come in, my darling daughter, and meet your future father-in-law. This is Reginald Lorde. Reginald, my daughter, Zadie.”
Her vocabulary escaped, along with every sensibility. By sheer rote, she managed to offer the man her hand.
“I’m pleased to meet you, Zadie. I certainly would never have recognized you from your picture.” Reginald Lorde was a fine-looking man for his age and impeccably dressed. His skin was weathered, his eyes were hazel, and his hair was an ash blond with slight curl.
“M-m-my picture?”
“Zadie, please sit,” her father ordered, as he pointed to a chair situated near his desk.
She sat and waited, certain that she knew what was coming. The tingle up her spine ended with a series of stabs someplace behind her eyes and a fog threatened to whisk her away.
“Why did you send this to Duncan?”
She gazed at the drawing she had made of the chinless, big-eared woman. Bucked-toothed and extremely snubbed nosed, with beady eyes, the image appeared to be of a woman who was older than dirt. Then she shifted her gaze to her father before settling on Mr. Reginald Lorde. She couldn’t hold back the giggles that bubbled from her. “It was a joke.”
Mr. Lorde stood, came to her, and took her hand. “Miss Larkford, my son knew your drawing was a joke, but he was very concerned about your willingness to marry him. He doesn’t want you forced into a marriage where you will be unhappy.”
 ***

is available on Amazon as an ebook or you can read it for free in Kindle Unlimited. 
It will soon be available in paperback and in large print.


E. Ayers, Author

E. Ayers is a true believer in love at first sight because it happened to her. She thinks everyone should find that special someone. When it happens, it's magical. Writing about that love is what she enjoys doing and when she's not spending time with her two dogs and waiting for his royal highness (the cat), she's busy writing. The official matchmaker for all the characters who wander through her brain, she likes finding just the right ones to create a story.

Find her website http://www.ayersbooks.com/


Twitter @ayersbooks


Monday, June 26, 2017

KELLY ORAM'S NEW RELEASE -- THE GHOST OF YOU AND ME









The Ghost of You and Me by Kelly Oram

How do you tell someone who hates you and blames you for the death of his best friend that you miss him?

From the bestselling teen and young adult author of Cinder & Ella comes a new heart-wrenching romance sure to bring all the feels.

The tragic death of Spencer Schott unravels the lives of the two people he loved most—his girlfriend, Bailey, and his best friend, Wes. Secrets and guilt from that fateful night keep both Bailey and Wes from overcoming Spencer’s loss and moving on with their lives.

Now, nearly a year later, both Bailey and Wes are still so broken over what happened that Spencer can’t find peace in the afterlife. In order to put his soul to rest, he’s given one chance to come back and set things right...even if that means setting up his girlfriend with his best friend.

With the emotional resonance of Jellicoe Road and the magical realism of The Lovely Bones, The Ghost of You and Me is a story about overcoming grief, finding redemption for past mistakes, and the healing power of friendship and love. Fans of John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Nicholas Sparks are sure to love this haunting new tale from Kelly Oram.

This is a clean young adult romance stand alone novel that reads like contemporary drama romance and has just a touch of magical realism.


The Ghost of You and Me excerpt: 

I open the door and slam into a solid chest. Strong hands grip my arms to steady me, and they don’t let go. I know the hands are Wes’s without having to look. “Are you okay?” he asks.
At first, I’m comforted by his presence. His smell is familiar, and the heat of his tall, lean body feels like it could thaw my frozen heart. For a split second, I melt against him. His arms come around me as if holding me is as natural to him as breathing. For a second, everything is right in my pathetic world. For a second, I’m alive again.
“Bailey, what’s wrong?” His usually smooth, deep voice is gruff.
My head jerks up at the sound of my name, and reality catches up with me. I scramble out of his embrace, attempting to swallow back my panic. He’s watching me, waiting for an answer. I haven’t spoken to him since the funeral, and I’m not sure I can do it now. It takes me a minute to find my voice, and when I do, I blurt out, “What are you doing here?”
He sucks in a breath through his nose as he steps back, gripping the strap of a bag slung over his shoulder. Seeing the backpack, my jaw drops. “Are you coming back to school?”
The genuine horror in my voice makes him flinch. There’d been a bit of light in his eyes, but it’s gone now. His face closes off. “No, I’m not coming back to school here.”
He adjusts that strap again, then switches the backpack to his other shoulder while glaring at the ground. I’ve offended him. Or maybe he just still hates me. I wouldn’t blame him. I got his best friend killed, after all. I hate me.
Seeing him reminds me of that night all over again. The events replay in my mind with vivid detail. Everything from finding Wes and stopping him from doing something unthinkable, to the kiss, to the fight, and finally the accident and Wes holding me back while paramedics did their best to try and save Spencer’s life.
One look at his face, and I can tell Wes is thinking about the same events. He closes his eyes and takes a breath. When he looks at me again, his expression has smoothed out. “How are you?” he asks. “You know…today.”
I swallow back a lump of emotion. I’m not surprised that Wes knows today is Spencer’s and my anniversary, but his acknowledgement of it feels like a knife in my heart. Why does he care? He hated that Spencer and I were together, and he used to get so cranky on this day every year.
“What’s today?” someone behind me murmurs. “It’s not the anniversary of Spencer’s death. That’s not for a couple weeks.”
A crowd of students have gathered to watch the drama. I don’t know who spoke, but I wish I could make them all disappear. Could people be any more tactless? Why can’t they just mind their own business?
When my eyes start to burn, I turn to leave. I can’t stand here any longer.
Wes puts a hand on my shoulder to stop me. “Bay, wait.”
I freeze. Aside from that night, Wes hasn’t used my nickname since I got together with Spencer and he started hating me for stealing his best friend.
Wes lets me go and rubs a hand over his head. “Sorry. I just—we should really talk.”
“Don’t.” With a quivering voice and stinging eyes, I whisper, “I can’t do this. Not today.” Maybe not ever.
I can’t take it anymore. I can’t stare into those knowing eyes for another second. My guilt is bad enough without seeing his sadness and anger.
Wes doesn’t say anything as I leave, doesn’t try to stop me. I head straight for my car and don’t care if I get in trouble for leaving. All that matters is getting far, far away from here. I’m not really running from Wes. I’m running from the past. Running from myself. Those are two things I will never escape, but I run anyway.













Author Kelly Oram


Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.





$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway


Ends 7/26/17


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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Friday, June 23, 2017

SEDUCING MR SYKES OFFERS HUMOR AND ROMANCE



SEDUCING MR. SYKES

by Maggie Robinson

Genre: Historical Romance


Pub
Date: 6/20/17




GUEST POST BY MAGGIE ROBINSON:

Green fingers. That’s the British expression for “green thumb,” and it sounds so much more powerful when all your ten digits flex and help things grow. I have a modest cottage-style garden in front of our house which gives me pleasure far beyond its size, and I confess it has been the beneficiary of a few other people’s fingers other than my own.

The house was a new-build and half-heartedly landscaped before we bought it in May 2010. My middle daughter is a professional gardener, and she soon arrived with shrubs, perennials, and compost, ensuring a continuous wave of color as the seasons progressed. My husband dug deep holes for me every time I came back from the nursery with more enthusiasm than energy. Our lawn guy Mike even got in on the “fun,” and has helped me plant hundreds of daffodil, tulip, iris, and lily bulbs over the past seven years. He’s just as excited as I am to see that the chipmunks haven’t eaten everything each spring, and believe me, those chipmunks are determined little rascals, stealing birdseed from the feeders and chowing down plump, juicy strawberries in the raised bed the very second they are ripe.

During last summer’s drought, I watered every day without fail. It was very Zen, centering and relaxing as I held the hose and watched the iridescent hummingbirds dart among the drops. I spent an hour thinking—or not thinking—when I could have easily hooked up the sprinkler. But I was watching my garden grow, a great privilege. Stopping to smell the roses as it were, although I must say I’ve had rotten luck with the climbing roses we put in that just won’t climb.

Tristan, the hero of SEDUCING MR. SYKES, is an architect by trade but a gardener at heart. He’s created a memorial garden for his late brother, which has helped him heal from the loss. It’s in that garden that he discovers life can begin anew when he encounters his unwanted houseguest, Lady Sarah Marchmain. Brighter than any rose but prickly as its thorns, Sadie shows Tristan there’s more to her than he expects. Love can bloom from the smallest of seeds…as long as the chipmunks don’t get them first!




In Maggie Robinson’s sparkling new
series, the quaint village in Gloucestershire is where the wayward
sons and daughters of Great Britain’s finest families come for some
R&R—and good old-fashioned “rehab.” But sometimes they find
much more…
No one at Puddling-on-the-Wold ever
expected to see Sarah Marchmain enter through its doors. But after
the legendary Lady’s eleventh-hour rejection of the man she was
slated to marry, she was sent here to restore her reputation . . .
and change her mind. It amused Sadie that her father, a duke, would
use the last of his funds to lock her up in this fancy facility—she
couldn’t be happier to be away from her loathsome family and have
some time to herself. The last thing she needs is more romantic
distraction…
As a local baronet’s son, Tristan
Sykes is all too familiar with the spoiled, socialite residents of
the Puddling Rehabilitation Foundation—no matter how real their
problems may be. But all that changes when he encounters Sadie, a
brave and brazen beauty who wants nothing more than to escape the
life that’s been prescribed for her. If only Tristan could find a
way to convince the Puddling powers-that-be that Sadie is unfit for
release, he’d have a chance to explore the intense attraction that
simmers between them—and prove himself fit to make her his bride…





SEDUCING MR. SYKES Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Puddling-on-the-Wold, September 1882

“It’s Lady Maribel all over again,” the grocer Frank Stanchfield
muttered to his wife, checking the lock to his back room. “How the girl
discovered the telegraph machine is a mystery.”

Except it wasn’t such a mystery, really. Lady Sarah Marchmain—
“Sadie” to her late mama and very few friends—had eyes, after all, and
there it was behind an open alley window, gleaming on a worn oak desk.
She had climbed in, her tartan trousers very convenient for hoisting
oneself into the building. After being caught trying to send a message to
who knows who, she was now unrepentantly inspecting the jars of candy
on the shop counter.

She might try to steal some of it, if only the shopkeepers would stop
hovering over her.

“Bite your tongue!” Mrs. Stanchfield whispered, looking over
nervously at Sadie. Apparently no one wanted another Lady Maribel de
Winter in Puddling. The first had been bad enough. Sadie had heard of
her in snatches from the villagers, and the woman’s portrait hung in the
parish hall. Her wicked reputation had outlived her, even if her decades
of good works once she married had mitigated some of it. She had been
a wild young thing who would have made Napoleon quake in his boots.
Or take her to bed. Lady Maribel had been, according to gossip,
irresistible to men. Fortunately her husband, a local baronet called Sir
Colin Sykes, had taken her in hand as best he could once they were married.

Sadie was determined never to be taken in hand.

Puddling was known as a famous reputation-restorer, a place to
rusticate and recalibrate. Prominent British families had sent their difficult
relatives here for almost eighty years. Lady Maribel was among the first
to be gently incarcerated within its limits in 1807, according to the elderly
vicar’s wife, who seemed to know everything about everyone dating back
to William the Conqueror.

Now it was Sadie’s turn to be gently incarcerated, and she didn’t
like it one bit.

The village had a spotless reputation. It was a last resort before a
harsher hospital, or worse, killing one’s own offspring. Or parent. Lady
Sarah Marchmain had angered her father so thoroughly that they’d come
to blows. When the Duke of Islesford dropped her off, he had been
sporting a significant black eye.

Well-deserved, in her opinion.

Sadie’s own eyes were unbruised and light green, the color of beryl,
or so her numerous suitors had said. Occasionally they threw in jade or
jasper—it was all so much nonsense. Right now she was examining the
penny candy in a glass jar, lots of shiny, jewel-like drops that looked so
very tempting. Sweet, edible rubies and citrine, emeralds and onyx. Frank
Stanchfield hustled over to the counter and screwed the lid on tighter.

She licked her lips. Unfortunately, she didn’t have a penny to her name.
She was entirely dependent on her housekeeper Mrs. Grace to dole out
a pitiful allowance every Friday, and Friday was millions of days away.
Sadie had spent the last of her money on a cinnamon bun earlier and had
reveled in every bite.

Her father’s draconian restrictions were designed to sting. Or so he
thought. Sadie didn’t really mind being impoverished and hungry in
Puddling-on-the-Wold. It meant she was not about to be auctioned off to
Lord Roderick Charlton, or any other idiot her idiot father owed money to.
The Duke of Islesford’s taste in men and luck at cards was, to put it
bluntly, execrable.

So far Sadie had overstayed her visit by one week. Originally consigned
to her cottage for twenty-eight days, she had somehow not managed to be
“cured” in that time.

Rehabilitated.

Restored.

Brought to reason.

Knuckle under was more like it. She was not getting married.

In fact, she’d like to stay in Puddling forever. It was very restful. Quiet.
The little lending library was surprisingly well stocked, and she’d gotten
a lot of reading done between lectures from the prosy ancient vicar who
instructed her daily. She also helped Mrs. Grace keep the cottage up to a
ducal daughter’s snuff.

Despite the fact that Sadie had no interest in becoming a wife, she
was remarkably domestic. It came of hanging about the kitchens of
Marchmain Castle, she supposed. The servants had been her only friends
when she was a little girl and she’d been eager to help them.

All that had changed after she was presented to the queen at seventeen,
wearing those ridiculous hoops and feathers that threatened to put out
someone’s eye. Suddenly, Sadie became a commodity, a bargaining chip to
improve her father’s ailing finances. A surprising number of gentlemen—
if you could call them that, since most men were absolute, avaricious,
thoughtless pigs—were interested in acquiring a tall, redheaded, blueblooded,
sharp-tongued and two-fisted duke’s daughter as wife. For the
past four years, she’d avoided them with alacrity, aplomb, and those
aforementioned fists.

Needless to say, her reputation was cemented in ruination.

It amused Sadie that her father was using the last of his funds to lock
her away here in this very expensive Puddling prison, hoping that she
would change her mind, acquiesce and marry the one man who remained
steadfastly interested.

Not bloody likely.

She touched the glass jar with longing.

“What may we help you with, Lady Sarah?”

The poor grocer sounded scared to death. His wife hid behind him.
Sadie batted her lashes. Sometimes this feminine trick worked, although
these Puddling people seemed remarkably impervious to charm.
They were hardened souls, harboring the odd, uncooperative, and
unwanted scions of society for a hefty fee, believing that being cruel to be
kind was the only way.

“Do forgive my transgression, Mr. Stanchfield. I so longed to
communicate with my old governess, Miss Mackenzie. Miss Mac, as I
so affectionately call her. I found a book on telegraphy in the library and
wondered if I had any aptitude for it,” she lied. Science in all its forms
confounded her. In truth, she’d read nothing but Gothic romances since
her arrival, very much enjoying the fraying sixty-year-old books written
by an anonymous baroness.

Moreover, Sadie’s old governess had been dead for six years and had
been an absolute Tartar in life. There had been little affection on her part,
Sadie thought ruefully. The woman was at this moment no doubt giving
the devil a lesson on evil and grading him harshly.

“You know that’s forbidden, miss. No telegrams, no letters. Perhaps
when you are r-r-released, you may visit with the lady. A r-reason for your
good behavior, what?”

Goodness, she was causing the poor fellow to stutter. She stilled her
lashes.

“Ah.” Sadie gave a dramatic sigh. “But I just can’t seem to get the hang
of it. Being Puddling-perfect, that is. Every time I get close, something
seems to happen.”

Like stealing Ham Ross’s wheelbarrow full of pumpkins. It had been
very difficult to push her loot uphill, and so many of the bloody orange
things chose to roll out and smash along the road.

Or turning up in church in her tartan trousers...her stolen tartan trousers.
Some poor Puddlingite was foolish enough to hang them on a clothesline
to tempt her. After some tailoring—Sadie was handy with a needle—they
fit her slender waist and long legs as if they were made for her.

Her father had always wanted a son. Instead her horrible cousin
George would be the next duke, and Sadie would lose the only home—
well, castle—she’d ever known.

It wasn’t fair. She sighed again.

“Here, now, Lady Sarah. I don’t suppose I’ll miss a few boiled
sweets.” Mr. Stanchfield relented and unscrewed the jar, his wife looking
disapproving behind him. He filled a paper twist with not nearly enough,
and passed them to her.

Sadie saw her opportunity for well-deserved drama. Any chance to
appear happily unhinged must be seized with two hands, so she might
stay here in Puddling just a little longer. Dropping to the floor on her
tartan-covered knees, she howled.

She had been practicing howling at night once her housekeeper Mrs.
Grace went home. Her neighbors were under the impression a stray dog
was in heat in the village, perhaps even a pack of them.

“Oh! You are too good to me! I shall remember this always!”
She snuffled and snorted, slipping a red candy into her mouth. Red
always tasted best.

“A polite thank you would do just as well.”

The voice was chilly. Sadie looked up from her self-inflicted chestpounding
and the candy fell from her open mouth.

Good heavens. She had never seen this man before in all the walking
she was made to do up and down the hills for her daily exercise. Where
had he been hiding? He was beautiful.

No, not beautiful exactly. His haughty expression was too harsh for
beauty. Compelling, perhaps. Arresting.

But, she reminded herself, he was a man, and therefore wanting.
Lacking. Probably annoying. Not probably—certainly. Lady Sarah
Jane Marchmain was twenty-one years old and had more than enough
experience with men in her short lifetime to know the truth.

The man reached a gloveless hand to her to help her up, but it didn’t
look quite clean. Something green was under his fingernails—paint? Plant
material? Sadie made a leap of faith and gripped it anyway, crunching her
candy underfoot when he lifted her to her full height.

He was still taller than she was.

Not lacking there. Not lacking physically anywhere that she could see.
His hair was brown, curly and unruly, his eyebrows darker and
formidable. His nose was strong and straight, his lips full, his face bronzed
from the sun. His eyes—oh, his eyes. Blue was an inadequate adjective.
Cerulean? Sapphire? Aquamarine? She’d have to consult a thesaurus.
But they weren’t kind.

She found herself curtseying, her hand still firmly in his.
“Thank you, sir, for coming to my rescue.” She fluttered her
eyelashes again.

“You were in no danger on the floor. Mrs. Stanchfield sweeps it thrice
a day. One could eat off it, it’s so immaculate.” He dropped Sadie’s hand
and kicked the crushed candy aside.

The grocer’s wife pinked. “Thank you, Mr. Sykes.”

Sykes. That was the name of the family the infamous Lady Maribel
married into. Interesting.

“I only speak the truth, madam.”

Sadie considered whether she should fall to the floor again. It would be
fun to gauge this Mr. Sykes’s strength if she pretended to swoon. Would
he pick her up and hold her to his manly chest? Whisper assurances in her
ear? Smooth loose tendrils of hair behind her pins?

But perhaps he’d just leave her there to rot. He wasn’t even looking
at her anymore.

Sadie was used to being looked at. For one thing, she was hard to miss.
At nearly six feet, she towered over most men. Her flaming hair was
another beacon, her skin pearlescent, her ample bosom startling on such
a slender frame.

She had been chased by men mercilessly, even after she had made it
crystal clear she had no interest. These past years had tested her wits and
firmed her resolve. She was mistress of her own heart, body, and mind,
and determined to remain so.

Mr. Sykes probably knew that—apparently everyone in Puddling had
received a dossier on her. She’d come across a grease-stained one at the
bakeshop under a tray of Bakewell tarts, and had tucked it into her pocket
for quiet perusal, along with one delicious raspberry pastry. Theft was
apparently in her blood.

It had been most informative. The dossier, not the tart. Sadie had been
gleeful reading an account of her past recalcitrance. She rather admired
the clever ways she’d gone about subverting her father’s plans for her—
she’d forgotten half of them.

It had meant, however, that she had to exercise creativity in Puddling
and not repeat her previous pranks. No sheep in the dining room. No
bladder filled with beet juice tossed out the window. No punching
fiancés or fathers.

There was only the one father, but Sadie had endured several fiancés.
The latest, Lord Roderick Charlton, was getting impatient. He’d given her
father quite a lot of money to secure her hand. To be fair, he’d tried to woo
Sadie with credible effort.

There wasn’t anything really wrong with Roderick, she supposed. But
there wasn’t anything right about him either.

If Sadie could just resist the pressure to marry, she’d come into a
substantial fortune when she turned twenty-five. She wouldn’t have to
turn it over to some man, and her father wouldn’t be able to touch it. She
could live her life just as she liked. She might even buy herself a small
castle, if one could be found. One that wouldn’t fall down around her
ears. One that had working fireplaces and no rats.

However—and this was a huge however—the Duke of Islesford was
threatening to have her declared incompetent, seize her funds, and lock
her away in a most unpleasant private hospital. Sadie did not think it was
an idle threat, and to some, it might look as if she deserved to be there.
She was much too old now for the tricks she’d played, and four
years was a very, very long time to stall. Sadie was beginning to realize
she hadn’t done herself any favors with the pumpkins or the trousers
or the howling.

But she couldn’t succumb—she just couldn’t. No matter how many
times Mr. Fitzmartin, the elderly vicar, reminded her of a proper woman’s
place—as helper to her husband, silent in church, subordinate, obedient—
she felt her fingers close into a fist.


Maggie Robinson didn’t know she
wanted to write until she woke up in the middle of the night once
really annoyed with her husband. Instead of smothering him with a
pillow, she decided to get up and write—to create the perfect
man—at least on a computer screen. Only to discover that fictional
males can be just as resistant to direction as her husband. The
upside is that she’s finally using her English degree and is still
married to her original, imperfect hero. Since she’s imperfect,
too, that makes them a perfect match. Until her midnight keyboarding,
she had been a teacher, librarian, newspaper reporter, administrative
assistant to two non-profits, community volunteer, and mother of four
in seven different states. Now Maggie can call herself a romance
writer in Maine. There’s nothing she likes better than writing
about people who make mistakes, but don’t let the mistakes make
them.



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the tour HERE
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

ESCAPE TO INDIGO BAY -- SIX AUTHORS, SIX SWEET ROMANCES

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway


Escape to Indigo Bay…
Six authors. Six Sweet Romances. One small South Carolina beach town.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sweet Dreams by Stacy Claflin
Ever since her twin became a singing sensation, Sky Hampton has struggled to be appreciated for who she is—apart from her sister. She wards off Aspen’s fans, who beg for autographs and selfies everywhere Sky goes. She can’t even find a guy who likes her for her. Sky flees to the small coastal town of Indigo Bay in hopes of blending in and building her blossoming career.


Jace Fisher is the textbook definition of the strong silent type—nobody can break through his tough exterior. He has suffered more than his fair share of tragedies, and to protect his shattered heart, he pushes everyone away. Jace spends his days fixing the Indigo Bay cottages, and his nights… nobody really knows. He keeps to himself.


When Jace shows up to fix Sky’s AC, he barely notices her and she’s distracted with settling in. It takes an emergency situation to get them talking, and when they do, the two find they have more in common than first appeared. As their attraction grows, defenses soar. Will they be able to risk love when they’ve both been burned in the past?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sweet Matchmaker by Jean Oram
Ginger McGinty hates liars. And she just married a spy.


Bridal shop owner Ginger McGinty excels at matchmaking unless it’s for herself. That is, until she meets the dreamy Aussie who helps her get into an event meant for engaged couples. Logan Stone is sweet, caring, thoughtful and fun—everything she desires in a man. But it turns out, her new fake fiancé could use a bit more than just a pretend engagement to get him into parties—he needs a quick marriage keep him in the country so he can be with his adopted special needs daughter.


With a marriage of convenience pro-con list longer than the average wedding veil, Ginger puts her faith in romance and offers Logan her hand in return for one thing—no lies.


But little does she know, almost everything she knows about her new husband is based on a lie.


Everything except his kisses and the way he accidentally spills his soul whenever they meet. And that’s quickly becoming a problem for Logan Stone who depends on distance and deceit to keep civilians such as Ginger safe from his enemy’s clutches.


Will the two find love in their marriage of convenience, or will everything break apart when the truth rises to the surface, shattering everything, including their trust?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sweet Sunrise by Kay Correll
Sometimes life has a way of teaching lessons whether you’re ready to learn them or not…


The last place on earth Will Layton wants to be is Indigo Bay, but his younger sister needs him and he’s never been able to say no to her. But she left out a few details… like their father staying with her and the girl who dumped him years ago is living right next door.


The last person Dr. Ashley Harden thought she’d see in Indigo Bay is Will Layton, but he’s back in town and just as irresistible as when they were young. Seeing Will again is a complication that isn’t on her carefully mapped out life plan.


In spite of Ashley’s best intentions, she starts falling for Will again, but nothing has changed. She’s still focused on getting the townspeople to accept her and see her as more than the girl from the wrong side of town, while Will is determined to guard his heart at any cost.


Not the easiest road to true love… especially when secrets from the past are revealed and history threatens to repeat itself.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sweet Illusions by Jeanette Lewis
Eva Malone was very young when her mother forced the family to join a violent doomsday cult, but she remembers a little about how normal life used to be. As a young woman, she escapes the cult and relocates to Indigo Bay, South Carolina to pursue her dream of peaceful anonymity.


After several tumultuous years as a policeman in Atlanta, Ben Andrews has had enough. He returns home to Indigo Bay and joins the Indigo Bay PD, where the most exciting part of the job is getting a kitten out of a tree or rescuing tourists who lose their keys at the beach.


Eva and Ben are immediately drawn to each other. But as the prophesied date of the apocalypse draws near and the cult steps up its efforts to find her, Eva realizes she can’t maintain her sweet illusion forever.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sweet Regrets by Jennifer Peel
Melanie Dixon never thought she would find herself divorced, pregnant, and living back with her parents in Indigo Bay. Not one to let misfortune get the best of her, she picks up the broken pieces of her life and bit by bit puts them back together. She’s determined to go it alone, but her loving and equally determined family and friends have another idea.


Enter Declan Shaw, the boy next door from long ago. The boy she wasn’t quite ready to commit forever to at eighteen. Back in Indigo Bay due to a recent job promotion, Declan sees this as a second chance to reunite with the girl who has owned his heart since the day they met in their junior year of high school. But Melanie is a tougher sell on the idea than he thought she would be. Now it’s up to him to prove to Melanie that she can trust him with her heart and that he’s the man she and her baby deserve.


Will the regret and hurt of the past win out? Or will love prevail?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sweet Rendezvous by Danielle Stewart
On her last tank of gas Elaine Mathews drives South. Spontaneity had never been her strength, but there was something about being publicly fired that had a way of changing things. An empty bank account, broken heart, and enough humiliation to last a life time was all Elaine could claim as her own. Her car choked to a stop in the quiet beach town of Indigo Bay and all she could do was sit on the curb and wait for the sun to set on her misery.


Davis Mills has a routine. Wake. Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. It hadn’t always been that way. He’d left indigo bay once and returned a broken man. Now he kept his dreams small and his schedule tight. If there was no room in his life for anything new then he’d never repeat his mistakes.


When fate has them, quite literally colliding Elaine and Davis are faced with an important question. Can you live a full life if you never take a risk? Or is life made up of every mistake, miracle and chance that comes with being in love?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway


Ends 7/17/17


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

STOLEN TIME SHOWS TRUE LOVE IS TIMELESS!


STOLEN TIME
by
Chloé Duval
Genre: Fiction, Sweet Romance
Pub
Date: 6/13/17



In a rural French village, a letter is
delivered decades late, inspiring a young woman to try to reunite two
star-crossed lovers . . .
Middle school teacher by day, romance
writer by night, and group knitter on Tuesday evenings, Flavie
Richalet leads a fairly uneventful life—until she receives a long
delayed letter meant for a total stranger. Postmarked 1971, the
yellowed envelope, addressed to an Amélie Lacombe, holds a fervent
message of love and a marriage proposal, signed only with the initial
E. Given her own fractured family history, Flavie is dreamily
determined to learn what became of the couple . . .
Flavie’s inquiries lead her to a
French seaside inn—and to E. himself, a true romantic who never
forgot the girl who got away so many years ago. But his protective
nephew, B&B owner Romaric, isn’t sure that trying to find
Amélie after all these years is good for his uncle. At odds with the
tall, dark, and impossibly passionate Romaric, Flavie must show him,
and perhaps herself, that true love is timeless—and always worth
waiting for . . .




Author Blog Post by Chloé Duval:

The “Butterflies”, Or Why I Love Feel-Good Romances.

It all began in Scotland, really. Or at least, that’s where I discovered their true power.

All through my teens, I had been an avid reader of crime fiction, making my way through all of Mary Higgins Clark’s and Agatha Christie’s bibliography, feeding off those few action-packed pages when all the pieces of the puzzle suddenly fall into place and the heroes rush to stop the murderer and save everyone. And when I wasn’t buried into fictional murders, rereading books over and over again looking for the clues I had missed, I was devouring classic novels with troubled souls and intense relationships and love as passionate as it was destructive: JAME EYRE (which, as of today, remains one of my favorite books ever), WUTHERING HEIGHTS, ANNA KARENINA, ROMEO AND JULIET, to name but a few.

And then, one summer, as a sophomore, I went to Scotland to work as an au pair. And one fine day, as the children I was taking care of were otherwise occupied with their parents, I watched a film. A romantic comedy. It was "While You Were Sleeping". That’s when I felt… them. The butterflies. They started quivering their wings in my stomach as soon as Jack appeared on the screen, and never stopped until the last image faded away with a radiant Sandra Bullock marrying the man of her dreams and riding away to her happy ending. By the time the credits were done, I had a goofy smile on my face, and I was feeling cozy, warm and really really happy. As if I was the one getting a beautiful HEA.

That day, my life changed, totally. I started reading romances, feel-good romances, watching every romcom that I could get my hands on, all for the sole purpose of feeling those butterflies again. And then, many years later, it hit me. I needed to write feel-good romances, and I needed to write them now. Reading wasn’t enough anymore. I too wanted to make people feel good. I too wanted to make people all gooey on the inside, and put a goofy smile on their lips. I too wanted to bring a little more light, a little more joy, and a little more happiness to the world. So I started writing. My first attempts were not that good, but nevertheless, I persisted, with the encouragement of my best friend.

One day, as I was stuck on a novel that didn’t want to be written, two things happened. I saw "Letters to Juliet", and heard about a postcard that made its way to its addressee quite a few decades after being mailed. Those two otherwise unrelated events made me start thinking… what if it was a love letter that got lost in the mail? What if in that love letter, a man asked a woman to elope with him, but she never received it? What if life kept them apart after that? What if… what if… Cheeks burning hot with excitement, my heart beating hard against my ribcage, I sat down with a pen and a notebook and started jotting down ideas, plots, character profiles, and that love letter that would be at the center of my story.

A few months later, STOLEN TIME was born. And it was everything that I had ever wanted to write. It was a story that put its arms around me, right from the beginning, filling me with warmth and kindness and telling me, on days when everything seemed dark, “It’s gonna be alright. You are not alone. Everything’s going to work out in the end.”

And that’s why I love feel-good romances, to read and to write. Because it’s a little spot of light in the dark, and it’s a bottomless pit of emotions in the tiny organ that is our heart.

STOLEN TIME Excerpt:

Prologue
Karouac, Brittany
September 4, 1975
It was the most important day of her life.
She’d been waiting and preparing for this day for weeks, and she should have been deliriously happy. She should have been lighthearted and smiling.

But instead, she felt strange and uncomfortable. As though she was forgetting something important. As though she was about to make a mistake.

It’s just apprehension, she told herself. The usual jitters all women feel before they commit for life.

But did all women think of their first love on their wedding day? Amélie closed her eyes, and Erwan’s beautiful face appeared in her mind. She pictured his irresistible smile, his gray-blue gaze, his unruly hair, always too wild to lie flat. She felt his rough hands on her skin, his lips on hers, as though it were only yesterday that they had lain together on the beach.

She shook her head, willing herself to dismiss the memory. It was foolish to think of him, especially right before her wedding. It had been so long ago . . . four years, almost to the day. He’d obviously forgotten her, moved on with his life. He’d never written to her, never phoned her, never gotten in touch with her. She’d waited weeks, months even, for him to reach out to her, before she’d accepted the truth. It had only been a summer fling. So she’d grieved, but then looked to the future. She’d thrown herself into her studies in fashion-design school to forget. Forget all about him.

And now she was finally happy. She’d finished school and gotten the job of her dreams with a small fashion company that appreciated her style and her slightly extravagant ideas. It was almost more than she’d ever expected. Moreover, she was about to marry a wonderful man, one who loved her more than anyone and whom she loved very much. She knew they’d have a great life together.

So why? Why was she thinking of the past, of a painful, bestforgotten period of her life, on the day she was going to marry Paul, for better or for worse?

She took a deep breath, trying to calm her heart, her nerves, her mind. She patted her veil, smoothed a few nonexistent creases in her satin and lace wedding dress. She’d designed it herself, and it was stunning, even if she said so herself. It was the dress of her dreams.Again, Erwan appeared in her mind’s eye.

“For God’s sake!” she swore, cutting herself off immediately.

Someone knocked on the door and her mother peered in. “Are you ready, sweetheart?” Viviane Lacombe asked, beaming. Amélie cast a last glance into the mirror, took a deep breath, and nodded. “I am.”

It was no longer time to wonder about the past.

So, she left her home, the home where she grew up, and, lifting the hem of her dress in one hand, her father at her side, her mother in front of her, beaming much more than her daughter was, Amélie slowly walked the short distance to the beautiful church of Karouac, where her parents had been married. Paul was waiting for her there.

Her family was waiting for her. The minister, and all their friends, were gathered here today to celebrate her wedding to the love of her life. She couldn’t wait to go in and marry Paul, the man who had always been there for her. Who loved her more than anything else. She couldn’t wait to start her life. The life she had chosen for herself.

Yet before she walked into the church, she couldn’t help stopping to gaze around, searching for a face, a smile. She shook her head and cursed the damn memories trying to spoil the happiest day of her life. She turned back and smiled at her father, took hold of his proffered arm, and waited for her cue.

Hidden in the shade of a porch, unseen, Erwan watched as the love of his life walked into the church on her father’s arm to marry another man. He’d been too late, and he’d lost her once again—forever.

He tamped down the urge to enter the church and beg Amélie, on his knees if need be, to come with him, repeating what he’d written in that unanswered letter four years ago, and walked away, his heart breaking, leaving Karouac behind him. Once again, and forever.




As a little girl, Chloé Duval dreamed
of knights slaying terrifying dragons and damsels in distress. Today,
she’s still seeking, in her stories, to find again the sweetness
and the enchantment of the fairy tales she absorbed as a child. A
Frenchwoman by birth, Canadian by adoption, and Québecoise in her
heart, Chloé lives in Montreal with her prince charming and dozens
of characters jostling around inside her head.
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the tour HERE
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Monday, June 19, 2017

TRACKING YOU IS THE NEW REDWOOD RIDGE SERIES RELEASE!



Hello, everyone! Great to be here.

Kensington/Lyrical launched the first story in my new small town rom-com series Redwood Ridge in February. Puppy Love is about a veterinarian, Cade, who's the youngest O'Grady brother and known as a bit of a playboy. What I loved most about this book (and the two releases following) is that the animals are like secondary characters. There's a clinic cockatoo, a great dane, and a cat, plus the characters' pets. So fun.

I'd been wanting to write a small town series for quite awhile and also had veterinarians in mind for potential heroes. I've always been an animal lover and my best friend is a vet tech. The stories she tells me? Hilarious! My main inspiration, though, was my beloved black lab, Willow. She was a rescue dog and was about 9 months old when we adopted her. The husband and I didn't have kids yet, but we recognized from day one she'd be great with anyone.

Gentle and intuitive, she knew I was pregnant before I did. She followed me around everywhere and kept nudging my belly. From the time we brought our twin boys home from the hospital--and 4 years later, our youngest son, too--Willow was the perfect dog. She would commando-crawl on the floor to lay beside them, careful not to smother. When they started toddling, she watched them from a distance, giving a wide berth to not topple them. And as they got older, she handled their rough-housing without batting an eyelash.

I used to study her and them, thinking to myself, this needs to be in a book. The way they interacted and played was something truly special, and so the idea for Puppy Love (later to become a series) was born. Animals have instincts we don't. They see the world in a way we, as humans, never will. They are a gift and a blessing we so often take for granted, and enrich our lives with unconditional love.

Sadly, after 15 wonderful years with our Willow, she passed away just a few weeks before Puppy Love's release. We're heartbroken and miss her terribly. Losing her is a void we won't fill. There was no other dog quite like her, but she's in a place where she can play forever. I can't help but think of the irony as well. That having her as part of our family spurned the idea to write this book, and after years of idly thinking, I finally did it, then she crossed the rainbow bridge right before its release. Almost as if to say, the boys are growing up and you're all good now. My quest is complete.

I suspect, when a decade passes and our boys are settling into their own futures, I'll look back and remember how we didn't raise them alone. How a furbaby we happened to check out at a shelter taught my husband and I more about patience and understanding than any instruction manual or piece of advice. We rescued her, but we were the lucky ones.


TRACKING YOU
by
Kelly Moran
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Pub
Date: 5/23/17





Love isn't always loud. Sometimes
it's silent.
Gabby Cosette has always been dubbed
the good girl of quaint Redwood Ridge, Oregon, and being permanently
put in the friend zone has left her dating life stagnant. With no
prospects in sight, she clings to her friends and resolves to not let
loneliness drag her under. So when the town Battleaxes set their
matchmaking sights on her, she figures it can't hurt. Yet the guy
they think is perfect for her just happens to be not only her boss at
the veterinarian clinic, but her best friend. Sure, Flynn O'Grady is
attractive and the nicest guy around, but going there with him would
topple both of their carefully constructed worlds and there would be
no going back. Even if he is starting to make her girly parts zing.

Having been born deaf, Flynn O'Grady has
already felt like an outsider most of his life. Aside from his
brothers, Gabby is about the only person who's gone out of her way to
treat him as more than a handicap. Which is exactly why he's banked
his secret attraction for his sweet, beautiful vet tech. Except his
meddling family is trying to play Cupid and ruin the best thing to
ever happen to him. Without Gabby, his work as a veterinarian, never
mind his personal life, wouldn't flow. Determined to ignore the
antics, he's secure in the knowledge she's not interested in him
romantically. But then a kiss changes everything . . . and he's
wondering if taking the ultimate shot at love might be worth the risk.



Bestselling
author Kelly Moran says she gets her ideas from everyone and
everything around her and there’s always a book playing out in her
head. No one who knows her bats an eyelash when she talks to herself,
and no one is safe from becoming her next fictional character. She is
a Catherine Award-Winner, Readers Choice Finalist, Holt Medallion
Finalist, and earned one of the 10 Best Reads by USA Today's HEA. She
is also a Romance Writers of America member. Her interests include:
sappy movies, MLB, NFL, driving others insane, and sleeping when she
can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don’t tell
anyone. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband, three sons, and
two dogs. Most of her family lives in the Carolinas, so she spends a
lot of time there as well.


Follow
the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!