With the holidays approaching, the stores are filled with deals that beat all deals. Well, today is a special “deal” because instead of highlighting one book and one author, I get to show off eight wonderful stories by eight fantastic bestselling authors.
Once Upon A True Love’s Kiss is an eight book box set that is currently available for pre-sale and will be released January 4, 2016.
USA Today Best-selling author, Julie Johnstone, joins best-selling, award-winning authors, Katherine Bone, Collette Cameron, Jillian Chantal, Samantha Grace, Alanna Lucas, Lauren Smith, and Victoria Vane in this delightful limited edition, containing eight tantalizing kiss-and-tell stories. Meet dashing, wildly charming rogues, spies, pirates, rakes and their extraordinary, intrepid heroines as they whisk you along on sweet to sizzling romantic romps in these wickedly entertaining historical romances.
AFTER FOREVER by JULIE JOHNSTONE
Lady Julia is hired to turn a rogue into a gentleman and receives lessons in love and desire.
Widowed Lady Julianna Barrows never wants to fall in love again. But when the notorious former boxer Nash Overton hires her to transform him into a gentleman, Julianna quickly becomes the student, learning more about passion than she’s ever known, and more importantly, learning how to love again. 2 1/2 Kisses
THE PIRATE’S DUCHESS by KATHERINE BONE
A duke masquerading as a pirate to “rob from the rich and give to the poor” sheds his darkest-kept secrets to keep from losing the duchess his wife has become.
Duty forces him to take on the pirate code, but honor brings him back.
Prudence, Duchess of Blackmoor, has one desire—to be happy again. After struggling to overcome the horrifying death of her husband, she accepts an earl’s offer of marriage, confident she’s taking a step in the right direction. But demons, refuse to die, and Prudence finds herself caught in an intricate web of deceit that threatens the very foundations of all she holds dear.
Tobias, the Duke of Blackmoor, crosses the line when an assassination attempt on him fails. To restore the reputations of friends under attack by the same villain, and ensure his wife’s safety, he stages his own death, becoming The Black Regent, a notorious pirate bent on brandishing justice, never thinking he’d survive. But to his amazement, he has, and now the darkest-kept secrets are not worth losing the duchess his wife has become. 2 1/2 Kisses
HER SCANDALOUS WISH by COLLETTE CAMERON
A marriage offer obligated by duty . . . an acceptance compelled by desperation.
Philomena Pomfrett is resigned to spinsterhood, but to ease her dying brother’s fretting, she reluctantly agrees to attend a London Season with one purpose—to acquire a husband. Stumbling upon her hiding in a secluded garden arbor during a ball, Bradford, Viscount Kingsley doesn’t recognize his first love, yet something about the mysterious woman enthralls him, and he steals a passionate, moonlit kiss.
Caught in the act by Philomena’s brother, Bradford is issued an ultimatum—a duel or marry Philomena. He offers marriage, but even impoverished and with no other decent prospects, she rejects his half-hearted proposal until her brother collapses. Now, Philomena’s faced with marrying a man who deserted her once already. 2 Kisses
MILADY AND HER SPY by JILLIAN CHANTAL
A lady, a spy, a traitor… a battle of wills.
Raised in the country after her mother’s death with only the company of three unruly brothers, Lady Augusta Covington is more proficient at fencing, riding and playing cards than being prim and proper. Myles Cuthbert, a spy in His Majesty’s service on a mission to find and expose a traitor, crosses paths with Lady Augusta when she rides to the aid of her brother, believing him to be injured. With the assignment at risk, Cuthbert agrees to accept the assistance of the troublesome lady eager for intrigue. As they move forward, his sense of obligation to her and the danger involved stir his soul. 1 Kiss
KISSED BY A SCOTTISH ROGUE by SAMANTHA GRACE
Scottish land steward Fergus McTaggert calls a temporary truce with his employer’s companion only to discover their passionate battles have been masking their hidden desires.
His Mother Insists He Needs a Wife.
Fergus McTaggart, Aldmist Fell’s land steward, has no time for wife hunting. Any day his employer’s sisters will be arriving at the Scottish castle for a long overdue reunion. Fergus is determined to make their stay memorable, but all anyone is likely to recall are the loud rows between him and his employer’s cheeky paid companion.
She Insists He Needs a Good Knock to the Head.
Edith Gallagher has been charged with watching over her employer’s youngest sister while the family winters in Scotland, but the stubborn land steward interferes at every turn. Eventually, she and the Scot call a truce for the sisters’ sakes only to discover their passionate battles are masking hidden desires. 2 Kisses
STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT by ALANNA LUCAS
A rake, an heiress, and stolen kisses…this seduction could be his last.
Desperate times call for drastic measures as Miss Aveline Redgrave enters her third season. Fearful of fortune hunters, she attempts to stay clear of Lord Leybourne, a rogue who is not to be trusted. But his seductive smile and enticing kisses awaken a passion that threatens her common sense. No stranger to scandal, Leybourne is determined to save his family from ruin whatever the cost, even marrying an heiress he doesn’t love. But an unexpected desire and need to protect threatens his plans. Will past heartaches and a devastating wager destroy their future or will true love’s kiss triumph? 3 Kisses
TEMPTED BY A ROGUE by LAUREN SMITH
Gemma never planned on falling in love with her childhood sweetheart’s best friend, Jasper, when he returns home, but she can’t resist the naval officer’s brooding charm.
Gemma plans to marry James, her childhood sweetheart. With every letter written between them while he’s been off at sea, their love has grown. Now they will be reunited with his return to England. But the man whose words she’d fallen in love with isn’t James…
Jasper, a gentleman rogue of the first order, is trapped. Talked into a scheme by his friend, he pretended to be James for eleven years while writing to Gemma. He’s promised James he’d break it off. But when he returns home, his secret will come out – and he’ll lose the one woman he can’t live without. 4 Kisses
THE REDEMPTION OF JULIAN PRICE by VICTORIA VANE
She gave him a chance to bury his past… but the price would be his heart…
Burdened by the past…Orphaned at a young age and left to run wild, at eighteen Julian Price joins the fight against Napoleon in the hope of attaining honor. Devastated when his best friend, Thomas, is killed in battle, Julian returns home burdened with guilt, only to find his wastrel uncle has squandered his inheritance.
Desperate to live her own life… Facing a future of drudgery caring for her aging mother and raising her brother’s children, Henrietta Houghton believes her chance at a real life died with Thomas, the only man who ever wanted her. But Henrietta is still full of dreams. When her wealthy aunt, offers her a gift of ten thousand pounds, Henrietta finally has the chance to choose her own destiny.
Everything has a price…With a fortune at her command, Henrietta offers Julian a marriage of convenience, unaware that she really offers Julian a means of salvation—not just his fortune, but his very soul. 3 Kisses
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
JULIE JOHNSTON – is an USA TODAY best-selling author of edgy Regency Romance. She feels she’s living the dream by working with her passion of creating worlds from her imagination. When not writing, she’s chasing her precocious children around, cooking, reading or exercising. Julie loves to hear from her readers. To connect with Julie or learn more about her books, visit: www.juliejohnstoneauthor.com, www.facebook.com/authorjuliejohnstone, or www.twitter.com/juliejohnstone
KATHERINE BONE – is an Amazon #1 best-selling Historical Romance Author passionate about history since she had the opportunity to travel to various Army bases, castles, battlegrounds, and cathedrals as an Army brat-turned-Officer’s-Wife. Now she lives in the south where she writes about Rogues, Rebels and Rakes, aka Pirates, Lords, Captains, Duty, Honor, and Country and the happily-ever-afters every alpha male and damsel deserve. To connect with Katherine or learn more about her books, visit www.katherinebone.com, www.twitter.com/katherinelbone, or www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Katherine-Bones-Official-Fan-Page/134578253291785,
JILLIAN CHANTAL – is a 2015 RONE Finalist and lives on the beautiful coast of Florida, and even though she loves her little slice of paradise, she’s an Anglophile at heart. Writing in a variety of romance genres makes her happy, but she has a particular fondness for the Georgian/Regency era as it was the age she adored as a teen and as her introduction to the world of happily-ever-afters. Living on the gulf coast also reminds Jillian, daily, that even though she loves the past, she needs the present. Air conditioning is vital for her survival. To connect with Jillian or learn more about her books, visit: www.facebook.com/jillian.chantal, www.twitter.com/JillianChantal, www.JillianChantal.com,
COLLETTE CAMERON – is an Amazon #1 best-selling and award-winning Historical Romance Author of more than ten Scottish and Regency Romances featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intrepid damsels who reform them. Mother to three and self-proclaimed Cadbury chocoholic, she makes her home in Oregon with her husband and five mini-dachshunds. You’ll always find animals, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. To connect with Collette or learn more about her books, visit: www.collettecameron.com www.facebook.com/collettecameronauthor, www.twitter.com/Collette_Author
SAMANTHA GRACE – is an Amazon best-Selling, RITA-nominated Historical Romance Author who discovered the appeal of a great love story at the age of four, thanks to Disney’s “Robin Hood”. She didn’t care that Robin Hood and Maid Marian were cartoon animals. It was her first happily-ever-after experience, and she wanted the warm fuzzies to go on forever. Now that Samantha is grown, she enjoys creating happy-endings for characters that spring from her imagination. Publisher’s Weekly describes her stories as “fresh and romantic” with subtle humor and charm. Samantha describes romance writing as the best job ever. To connect with Samantha or learn more about her books, visit: www.samanthagraceauthor.com, www.facebook.com/pages/SamanthaGrace/264436686918343?ref=bookmarks, www.twitter.com/SamGraceAuthor
ALANNA LUCAS – is an Amazon best-selling author and grew up in Southern California, but always dreamed of distant lands and bygone eras. From an early age she took interest in art, history, and travel, and enjoys incorporating those diversions into her writing. However, she believes that true love is the greatest source of inspiration and is always an adventure. Alanna makes her home in California where she spends her time writing historical romances, dreaming of her next travel destination, spending time with family, and staying up too late indulging in her favorite past time, reading. To connect with Alanna or learn more about her books, visit: www.alannalucas.com, www.facebook.com/alannalucas27, www.twitter.com/alannalucas27
LAUREN SMITH- an attorney by day, is an Amazon best-selling, award winning author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets: a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat, and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being a New England Reader’s Choice Winner, Greater Detroit Bookseller’s Best Award Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award. To connect with Lauren or learn more about her books, visit: www.laurensmithbooks.com, www.facebook.com/LaurenDianaSmith/, www.twitter.com/LSmithAuthor
VICTORIA VANE – is an Amazon #1 bestselling author of smart and sexy romance. Her works range from comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance and have received over twenty awards and nominations to include: a 2015 Red Carpet Finalist for Best Contemporary romance (SLOW HAND), 2014 RONE Winner for Best Historical Post Medieval Romance (Treacherous Temptations), and Library Journal Best E-Book romance of 2012 (The Devil DeVere series). Victoria also writes romantic historical fiction as Emery Lee. She currently resides in Palm Coast, Florida with her husband, two sons, a little black dog, and an Arabian horse. To connect with Vicki or learn more about her books, visit: www.victoriavane.com, http://on.fb.me/YVeXrf, www.twitter.com/authorvictoriav
For the purpose of this anthology, the following ratings apply:
One Kiss–Stories will either not have consummated love scenes, or subtly sexy undetailed scenes behind a closed bedroom door. You’re not invited inside. Sorry.
Two Kisses–Stories are more sensual than sweet with some love scenes that are more sensual than graphic. You might blush, but you won’t need a fan.
Three Kisses–Stories are sexier and bolder with more explicit love scenes and the language used to describe them may be more graphic. A fan and a cool beverage might be in order, but you won’t experience everything. *Wink*
Four Kisses–Stories have frequent, graphic love scenes with explicit language. Be prepared to blush and stand in front of the air conditioner, a tall, iced drink in hand. Clothing is optional.
Five Kisses–Stories have frequent graphic, descriptive love scenes and/or contain subject matter some readers may find objectionable. Blushing guaranteed, and you might learn a thing or two or three. But never fear, we won’t tattle if you don’t.
While I’m wrapping up my virtual book tour, I’m handing the reins over to historical romance author Madelyn Hill. In addition to sharing her current release, Heather in the Mist, she is revealing her secrets on how to hone the craft of writing.
Welcome Madelyn and thank you for sharing your wisdom!!
As a writer, I feel you need to constantly work on your craft. There are numerous ways to do this and each author works differently, however here are a few of my methods for being a life long learner.
Listen to your editor: For my first novel Wolf’s Castle, I accepted ALL of the comments, grammar, and structure recommendations. With For The Love Of A Gypsy, much of the same, but I also discussed a few of the changes. For Heather In The Mist, there weren’t as many line edits, however more of plot questions from the editor and I made huge changes and sent back first edits with a very different book. In my opinion, the comments from the editor helped me re-evaluate what I had and with a cold eye I cut those darlings.
Read, read, and read some more: A writer has to be a reader. I know some authors who do not read any books written in the genre they write. I can see the logic behind this. I, however, read everything and anything. This includes books, magazines, and newspaper (online and the old fashion paper ones) articles. You never know where inspiration will strike. Although I am a historical writer, a contemporary situation may influence my story, something I can tweak to make it historically relevant.
Craft Articles: I haven’t been to conferences in a few year, but in the past I did enjoy going to writing classes and attending workshops. Over the summer I read a ton of articles on the writing craft. I searched them out and read them one after another. As a tech geek, I decided there has to be a better way, so now I use the RSS feed to have articles funnel to my Twitter feed. Now I can look at articles from several writing blogs. Here are some of the articles I recently read:
There are so many intelligent voices out there in blog land and I like the various topics that range from conflict to characterization to social networking for authors. All tools to add to my writer toolbox!
What do you do to keep perfecting your craft?
Heather in the Mist Back Cover Blurb:
Forced to wed to save her clan, Lady Rogan Cameron agrees to wed without love.
What her father doesn’t know is Lady Rogan has plans of her own—plans to keep her from a loveless marriage. Can she save the clan before she has to say “I do?”
Ian Albright abolished all ties to Scotland after his family betrayed him and he is now nursing a wounded ego due to an unfaithful fiancée. He pledges never to return to his home until the fateful day he accepts an invitation to his dear cousin’s wedding. The minute he sees his cousin’s betrothed, his heart is captured. If only she didn’t belong to another . . .
Lady Rogan and Ian have known each other since they were young and bent on vexing each other. Now, the only thing they find vexing is the fact Rogan is betrothed to another. Together they fight their growing attraction while investigating the forces bedeviling the clan. Yet at every turn their foe appears and wreaks havoc. When tragedy strikes, their hopes are dashed again.
Can Lady Rogan and Ian’s love win when fate seems determined to keep them apart?
Buy Link: Amazon
Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could read and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn’t be happier!
A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They now have 3 children and keep busy cooking, watching their children’s sporting events, and of course reading!
As I’m off enjoying my blog tour, I’m putting Random Ramblings into the hands of talented, multi-published author Joanne Guidoccio. And she comes bearing gifts. Not only is Joanne sharing her recent release, The Coming of Arabella, but she knows how I crave yummy treats. Welcome Joanne and congratulations on your release.
Addie Jo, thanks for hosting me today!
In The Coming of Arabella, ex-mermaid Barbara Davies visits Arizona, hoping to reinvent herself in the desert paradise of Sedona. While there, she participates in a retreat facilitated by a world-renowned psychic who also happens to be an ex-mermaid from the Mediterranean Kingdom. Between sessions, Barbara munches on muffins. Her favorites – banana muffins.
Here’s a family-tested recipe from my mother’s kitchen:
3 large bananas
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup melted butter
Makes 12 muffins
On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancé. So when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.
Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.
Arabella’s eyes blazed like burning embers of coal. “You don’t know or want to know what I capable of.” She snapped her fingers. “I can discredit you just like that.”
Barbara laughed. “Discredit me without discrediting yourself? I’d like to see you try that.”
As Arabella got closer, Barbara could smell that flowery scent she had always associated with Belinda. It did not suit Arabella in the least. The younger woman needed a muskier scent, one that would blend in better with her predatory nature.
“You’ve already lost Graham and Gwen. Mama and Paul are on my side. Do you want to lose Sharon as well?”
“There’s nothing you can do or say that will turn Sharon or anyone else in this office against me,” Barbara said. “So, don’t waste your breath.” While she maintained a tight smile and spoke in an even tone, Barbara could hear her pulse pounding as tremors of anger shot through her limbs. She wanted desperately to sit down but would not give Arabella any more physical advantages.
Arabella smiled smugly. “Sharon doesn’t like secrets or people who keep them. I wonder how she would react if I told her about your . . . our origins.”
“You wouldn’t dare!”
Arabella shrugged. “I don’t care one way or another. Stewart is encouraging me to write about our lives. He thinks it has the makings of a bestseller.” She laughed. “In addition to the erotica, of course.”
She’s bluffing. Barbara ignored the intrusive thought as memories of Stewart rushed back. He was the consummate businessman and enjoyed being on the cusp of the latest trend. His artist clients produced edgy and controversial art that had been rejected by more conservative agents. Vast stores of family money allowed Stewart to be more daring and sometimes even provocative. What could be more daring and provocative than a mermaid wife?
Amazon (US): http://is.gd/DQhWmI
Amazon (Canada): http://is.gd/JrwC1l
Amazon (UK): http://is.gd/fJ2x4E
Amazon (Australia): http://is.gd/6KovIe
In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
Connect with Joanne
Next week marks another big first for me, the start of my two week virtual book tour with Tasty Book Tours.
Since the release of The Duke’s Temptation, my days have been filled with marketing, blogging, emotional highs with amazing reviews (and a couple dips with mediocre ones), and meeting some great people. All while trying to make edits to book two of the series and finish writing book three. It has been a thrilling ride and one I wouldn’t undo for the world.
Starting November 2nd, I’m excited to embark on the book tour that will take me to multiple blogs daily where I will meet many more readers and authors.
The complete tour information can be found at Tasty Book Tours. A huge thank you to Lisa and the rest of the Tasty Book Tour staff for making the experience wonderful and the process painless. Oh, and for the beautiful banner. Stop by their site to see what other great tours they have going and just because it is so pretty. I love cruising around it and checking out the book covers. Yes, I’m a dork.
Below is the schedule. Please stop by and say hi.
Nov 2nd – Happy Ever After Book Reviews -Rev/Exc
(Stop 2) – Ellesea Loves Reading -P/Exc
(Stop 3) – Written Love Reviews – P/Exc
(Stop 4) – reily’s point of view -Promo
(Stop 5) – Gwyn Plummer – Rev/Exc
Nov 6th – Lush Book Reviews – P/Exc
(Stop 2) – Manga Maniac Cafe -P/Exc
(Stop 3) – Diana’s Book Reviews – Rev/Exc
(Stop 4) – Will Read for Feels -Rev/Exc
(Stop 5) – Alexis’s Musings – P/Exc
Nov 9th – Moonlight Rendezvous -P/Rev
(Stop 2) – Queen of Night Reviews – P/Int (2)
(Stop 3) – Romantic Historical Reviews – Rev/Exc
(Stop 4) – Books That Hook – Rev/Exc
Today I’m going to put my feet up and bask in the joy of surviving my very first release yesterday by turning things over to multi-published, award winning author Alina K. Field, who has her own exciting news to share. Welcome to Random Ramblings, Alina.
Thank you for hosting me today, Addie Jo!
I’m excited to share the release of my latest Regency novella, Liliana’s Letter. After I finished my novel Bella’s Band I went to work on another Regency series. But a character from Bella’s Band, the hero’s uncle, nagged at me to tell his story, so I put aside my other project to reveal the story of how Lord Grigsby, the dependable, conscientious, dutiful Baron, found his own true love. This was a great deal of fun to write, also a bit of a challenge because it’s a prequel to the novel. I found myself going back and forth between the published novel and the manuscript, thanking my lucky stars that I had not gone into a lot of detail about the characters in the novel!
I love that the baron found his true love and I hope readers will enjoy the story, too!
Lord Grigsby wants nothing more than to retreat to his study, but a promise to his long-dead sister has forced him back into society to broker the marriage of his nephew to the heiress whose money can save the young man’s earldom. If only the young lady’s starchy hired companion would move out of the way.
Hired to launch an heiress’s society debut, seemingly straitlaced spinster Liliana Ashford’s future as a professional chaperone depends on the girl’s successful marriage. But Liliana had her own close encounter with a scoundrel years ago, and she won’t let her charge be forced into marriage to the same kind of rogue, no matter how hard the man’s widowed uncle tries to woo Liliana around to the match.
Secrets and a Scandalous Murder
A shadow from Liliana’s past appears bearing an unfortunate letter she wrote long ago, and then the earl is murdered, evoking the scandal of the season. While she scrambles to make a respectable match for her charge before her own past can be exposed, Grigsby sets about finding his nephew’s killer—and Liliana’s secrets.
The woman at Grigsby’s side was like a lightning rod expecting a bolt to strike, or like a Fury about to deliver one. This close, scent wafted from her, roses and lemon, he’d guess. Tall, straight, and stiff, underneath her self-possession was a temper ready to unleash. He would bet on it.
Intriguing. He dared to poke her ire. “You clearly don’t approve of the match. Do you intend to openly oppose it?”
Her head whipped around, and she glared. “It’s not for me to approve or disapprove. Katie—Miss Mercer—will decide.”
Passion flashed in her eyes, sending an answering spark through him. She was magnificent—though so very mistaken. “Really? Then her father is more liberal than I expected.”
She looked him over more closely. “What do you know of this matter?”
I might ask you the same question. Her tone had been stiff, like the crystallized dome covering bubbling lava. He fixed her with his sternest glare, not entirely surprised at her cheek.
His glower didn’t impress her. She lifted her shoulders higher. Stood a little taller, proud, lovely, and filled with indignation.
Quite righteous indignation. He gave into an unmanly sigh, truly weary of his responsibility for Thomas. “I know a good deal, Miss Ashford. I have been negotiating for these nuptials. The arrangement is my doing as much as Mr. Mercer’s. Much more than it is my nephew’s. He is probably the least culpable, except for his abominable behavior.”
She clenched her hands tightly. “I see.”
“Thomas’s mother was my older sister. I made a promise to her that I would look after him.” Her gaze softened, and she bit her lip in a way that made him want to taste the part that she was nipping.
And where had that thought come from?
“And your nephew needs money and an heir.”
He nodded. As a woman of the ton, of course she would understand how marriage worked. Marriage wasn’t about love, or the bride’s approval, or a plump lower lip that begged to be kissed.
“He needs money most of all. He has a younger brother in the army who would make a far more dutiful earl.”
He covered his mouth with his hand. The words had rolled out, shocking him. He rarely spoke this frankly with any woman.
Very well, he never spoke this frankly with any woman.
She released a soft breath. “And there is the matter of the ore.”
His mouth gaped and he quickly closed it. Mr. Mercer had shared that information? Well. “That part of the county is rich with newly discovered veins of iron.”
That information brought her up straighter. She looked away, gazing intently at a thick, dark spot of foliage, making him want to pry into that sharp mind.
“I see,” she said. “I believe we should go back in now.”
Not yet. He tucked her hand over his arm but did not move. “I had hoped we were not finished talking. I’ve learned your Christian name is Liliana, but I don’t know anything else about you. I don’t know where you’re from or anything about your family.”
He sensed her bristling, and waited for some reaction, perhaps a slap, verbal, or, with a woman of her passion, even a physical one. Strictly speaking, he was importuning her, and damn if he wasn’t enjoying the nerves rippling through her.
Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but she found her true passion in reading and writing romance. Though her roots are in the Midwest, after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a midcentury home with her husband and a blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.
She is the author of the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner in the novella category, Rosalyn’s Ring, a Regency novella; and the novel-length sequel, a 2015 RONE Award finalist, Bella’s Band, both Soul Mate Publishing releases.
Three short days until the release of The Duke’s Temptation.
It has been a journey. One that can be counted in years, not months. And certainly not days. Not unless you want to count really high. I’m talking using your fingers, toes, and the fingers and toes of about everyone you know…and then some.
It was a time filled with countless edits, added plot lines, and some cheer-worthy awards. There might have been a few-or several-moments of doubt that overshadowed the voice that vowed I would get there some day. Thankfully that little voice is rather persistent and like myself, rarely quiet.
It seems almost surreal that the end result is almost here. When I can officially call myself a published author. Even now, when asked, I find it hard to say, “I’m an author.” I can usually get “I write” to stumble past my lips but I still feel as if I’m telling a bit of an exaggeration.
Is it Wednesday yet? 😉
The Duke’s Temptation available October 14th on Amazon.
Today I’m going to switch things up a bit. As much as I love writing books, I enjoy reading them just as much (a little obsessively actually). In honor of that, I’ve decided to add a new element to my Random Ramblings…guest authors. And my first guinea pig-guest-is fellow Soul Mate author Anne B. Cole.
Today is a special day for Anne as it is release day for Souls Estranged, Book Two of The Souls Trilogy. It is also a special day for us since Anna is not only sharing her wonderful book but will be tempting our taste buds with a recipe that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Anne, welcome to my Random Ramblings and thank you for being the brave first volunteer.
Thanks, Addie Jo for hosting me today! I’m very excited to share Souls Estranged. Even though it is the second book of a trilogy, it is not necessary to read the first book to enjoy this one. Souls Entwined has Sam and Gretta time traveling, entwining their souls within two young lovers in 1829, in order to unlock the mysteries behind Gretta’s cursed ring. Souls Estranged continues Sam and Gretta’s story in the present. Spirits, curses, and settings in the purgatories are woven throughout, making Souls Estranged a romantic suspense with paranormal elements.
In Souls Estranged, Gretta loves to eat chocolate chip cookie dough straight from the fridge. My second daughter LOVES to bake chocolate chip cookies and we all snitch the dough sometimes. I know this is not a safe thing to do due to the raw eggs so we found this recipe for Chocolate chip cookie truffles. Easy and Yummy!
Chocolate Chip-Cookie Dough Truffles
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
4 ounces dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces chocolate-flavor candy coating, chopped
1 tablespoon shortening
1. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with waxed paper; set aside. In a medium bowl beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Beat in flour just until combined. Stir in chocolate pieces. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place on prepared baking pan. Cover; freeze about 30 minutes or until firm.
3. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Using a fork, dip balls into chocolate mixture, allowing excess chocolate mixture to drip back into saucepan. Place dipped balls on the baking sheet. Let stand or chill about 30 minutes or until set. Lightly drizzle with the remaining melted chocolate mixture.
Place truffles in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
This recipe makes about 26 truffles.
Here’s a picture of my truffles!
I hope you enjoy the truffles and Souls Estranged!
“She fled to save him from the curse. Now she must flee to save herself.”
Back from their adventures in Souls Entwined, Sam Daggett begins a new relationship with Gretta Dobbs, whose memories of their time traveling experience have been erased. Determined to never leave her again, Sam vows to help Gretta, despite the bad luck curse on her heirloom ring. Within hours of their return, tragedy strikes.
As Sam becomes the third victim of the bad luck curse, Gretta’s memories of her time spent in the past begin to return. Unable to remember more than snippets, she realizes that anyone close to her is in grave danger. In order to keep Sam and her family safe, she flees in the middle of the night.
Finding the perfect summer job in the back hills of Virginia, Gretta unknowingly crosses paths with a serial killer. With guidance from their ancestral spirits, Roxana and Katarina, Sam desperately attempts to find Gretta before the curse strikes again.
In the dim morning light of the hospital room, Sam Daggett watched the little cat stretch its front paws before zeroing intense green eyes on him.
“Roxana?” He scrutinized the feline for the slightest twitch of recognition.
Doubting Roxana’s spirit remained entwined within the gray and white cat, he moved his focus to Gretta Dobbs. She slept peacefully with her hand nestled in his. Neither of their families had returned to the hospital. Her garnet ring caught his attention and immediately a sense of foreboding crept up his spine.
His heart sped as images of his time traveling, out-of-body adventure with Gretta flashed through his mind. Roxana, Gretta’s long-dead ancestor, enabled their souls to entwine within nineteenth-century lovers in order to gather information on the cursed ring. Pride, determination, and fear filled him.
“I’m so sorry we didn’t find all of the answers we needed,” Sam whispered as he lifted her hand to his lips. He watched her eyes and listened for the beep of the heart monitor to quicken, satisfied she remained in dreamland. “I know you don’t remember our time together or what we’ve been through.”
He shuddered at the memories. His gaze fell back to the ring. Frustration filled him. The urge to rip it off her hand pounded through him, but he remembered she remained cursed with or without the ring.
Control. I must control my emotions.
He refocused his thoughts on the present and relished in the gratitude of simply being in the same room with her.
A soft sigh escaped her lips and she squeezed his hand before slipping into a deeper slumber.
“With you, nothing is impossible.” Careful not to bump his broken collarbone, Sam leaned closer and murmured, inches from her ear, “Brave and beautiful. Ready and willing to face pirates, spirits, and the horrors of the purgatories to end the family curse.” His heart hammered in his chest as memories of seeking treasure, falling in love, and losing it all flashed within his mind.
“I love you, Gretta. I’ll do everything in my power to earn your love.”
Tracing his fingers over the back of her hand, he touched the face of the ring’s oval red stone. He remembered every moment of their time together, while Gretta’s memories had been erased. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t prevent his thoughts from wandering. Concern prickled his skin as he recalled their quest to understand the ring’s curses.
The most dangerous one, a curse of bad luck, remained a mystery.
He inhaled and pushed his failures away. “Katarina told me to keep my distance from you because of potential tragedy. Nothing will keep me away. I vow to protect and love you forever.”
Gretta’s grip on his fingers tightened. With her hand remaining in his, he brushed a stray lock of hair off her cheek. She released his fingers and nuzzled into his palm with a tiny sigh. He closed his eyes, content to be back in his own body and time with her.
Yet uneasiness crept deep within and the dreadful feeling of impending tragedy grew stronger with every passing minute.
Souls Estranged continues The Souls Trilogy, combining supernatural suspense and sweet romance in a novel attractive to a wide range of readers.
In addition to writing, Anne teaches preschool and is raising three very active teenagers with her husband of twenty-three years. Her hobbies include running so she can indulge in her cravings for ice cream, donuts, and chocolate chip cookie dough. She squeezes in time to read and write between practices, competitions, and meets. Her pet cat, Monster, keeps her company as she completes the final book of The Souls Trilogy, Souls Endure, tentatively scheduled to be released summer 2016.
Connect With Anne
To follow Anne’s publishing journey and connect with her, check out her website and find her on Twitter and Facebook.
Click to see Souls Entwined Book One of The Souls Trilogy on Amazon.
Click to see Souls Estranged Book Two of the Souls Trilogy on Amazon.
This last week was long and difficult. And one I’d rather not repeat.
A month ago we learned our six year old lab, Sidney, had contracted Lyme Disease and was suffering kidney failure as a result. A diagnosis I was familiar with, having lost a lab to the same condition about eight years ago.
I was hopeful. She still acted like the same crazy Sid we’ve loved since she was an adventurous pup intent on destroying everything.
The same dog that was patient and kind with my boys. The one that would play fetch with them endlessly (even though my youngest had to sit on her to get her to drop the dummy – I think she did this on purpose for the extra attention).
She remained the same ball of energy I swear could jump ten feet. Bound over my flower beds in a single leap. The one that never seemed to tire.
That was four weeks ago. Four weeks spent treating the disease while holding on to hope she would recover. Days of pills morning and night. A diet that would reduce stress on her kidneys and hopefully give them a chance to recover.
At first I thought we were winning. That everything we were doing would pay off. That Sid would conquer the illness.
But as time went on, moments of difficulty crept in and my surety she would win wavered. Doubts started to overshadow our days together. Tears silently appeared.
I started to prepare the boys for the possibility of having to say goodbye to a friend.
Then a week ago a light went out in her. She’d lost her spark. I knew she was running out of strength to fight. The days to follow were the hardest. With each one, more of Sid the Kid slipped away and I knew the inevitable was close.
As hard as it was for her, I saw her struggling to hang on. Like she didn’t want to leave us. Seeing her beginning to suffer, I asked for her to let go. That we would okay without her. That our dogs of past (Lady, Thor, Xena) would be there to greet her and she would finally feel well again.
On Tuesday, as she basked in the sun lying among the Black-eyed Susan’s in my flower bed, Sidney slipped away from us.
To get through it, I told myself and the boys, she is better now. She is no longer in any pain. Wanting her to stay would have been selfish. That she wouldn’t want us to be sad. Not that it kept the tears at bay. They still fell. But life must go on and with it we will keep Sidney in our hearts and remember the good times. Remember the energetic dog that was a member of the family.
So with renewed tears, I say, “Goodbye, Sid. We love you. And you will be missed.”
I love coffee. Especially when I’m writing. There is just something about having a steaming cup of coffee sitting next to my computer as I type away. Or clutched in my hand as I’m about to pull out my hair attempting to determine exactly what my characters are trying to tell me. It only gets better if it is a rainy day…or as in Minnesota, a snowy one.
But as much as I love coffee, I think I love coffee mugs more. If I had endless cupboard space, I’d fill it with mugs. Even at my non-writing job, I have about 5 mugs stashed in my office. Always important to be prepared for whatever mug mood I’ll be in. And if I happen to have a cappuccino or my favorite Gevalia Caramel Macchiato (it is heavenly…see below how yummy it looks), I will need my oversize white cappuccino mug. It wouldn’t taste the same without it.
Then a couple years ago, I found it. The almost perfect mug. It had a handle that seemed to be made for my hand. It was red and had large multi-colored snowflakes. And even with its winter theme, I used it year-round. About a year ago, my oldest son accidentally broke the handle off (he felt bad so I didn’t cry). Instead of it being the death of the mug, I painstakingly super glued the handle back into place and it was like new again…plus a few cracks.
After that the mug continued to hold my coffee and got me through many days of writing (when a different mug mood didn’t strike). Then last week happened. There were a couple things that led to the disaster. First, our 8 year old dishwasher went kaput. Second, since I’m incapable of making a quick appliance purchase decision (enter days of research and mind changing), I had to resort to washing dishes by hand. *gasp*
Finally tragedy struck. The hot water combined with the length of time I let the mug soak, softened the glue and the handle fell apart in my hands (I know, I also thought super glue could survive Armageddon. Apparently not). But no worries. I’d glued it once, I’ll glue it again.
Well, the mug must have thought it was time to say farewell because instead of the handle sticking in the perfect position, all I managed to do was glue my fingers together…and to the mug. The unavoidable staring me in the face, I said good-bye to my old friend.
Not one to morn (and let’s face it, it was a coffee mug), I moved on. I still had other mugs to step-up and do their duty, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted a new mug.
Enter perfect idea!!
Why not put my new release on a mug? I’ve seen others do it for promotions. Why not make my own very special mug to showcase one of my greatest accomplishments? And seriously, who wouldn’t want Gabe’s face on a coffee mug?
So I did it. I opened Photoshop and went to work. This is what I ended up with.