Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday Threads: The Earl's Enticement by Collette Cameron



The Earl’s Enticement
by Collette Cameron


Genre: Regency-Scottish
Heat Level: Sensual


The Earl’s Enticement Cover Blurb:

She won’t be tamed.
A fiery, unconventional Scot, Adaira Ferguson wears breeches, swears, and has no more
desire to marry than she does to follow society’s dictates of appropriate behavior. She trusts no man with the secret she desperately protects.

He can’t forget.
Haunted by his past, Roark, The Earl of Clarendon, rigidly adheres to propriety, holding himself and those around him to the highest standards, no matter the cost. Betrayed once, he’s guarded and leery of all women.

Mistaking Roark for a known spy, Adaira imprisons him. Infuriated, he vows vengeance. Realizing her error, she’s appalled and releases him, but he’s not satisfied with his freedom. Roark is determined to transform Adaira from an ill-mannered hoyden to a lady of refinement.

He succeeds only to discover, he preferred the free-spirited Scottish lass who first captured his heart.


Excerpt:
“Halloo,” he hollered. “Is anyone there? I’m the Earl of Clarendon. I’m being held prisoner.”

She shook her head, sending him a contemptuous scowl. “Stop shouting, you dolt. It’s but a weasel or a stoat, perhaps even a squirrel. They come in through the drains or gaps where a stone’s gone missing in the wall.”

She motioned with the pistol for him to move away from the door once more. “I’m surprised none have paid you a visit as yet. As for Ewan, he’s away in London, just now.”

With what could only be described as a derisive grunt, Marquardt obliged her and sauntered away from the door. He rested against the far wall, ankles crossed, crunching on the apple.

A muffled thud, as if someone had bumped into something, echoed through the lower chambers.

He perked up. “That was no pest.”

Adaira whirled to peer into the gloom.

“I say, can you hear me? I’m locked in a cell.”

She spun back around.               

He’d moved to the door, his hands fisted around the bars. Drat it. She was losing control of the situation. His presence mustn’t be known to anyone other than Brayan yet.

She bent to retrieve the sack. No doubt Brayan had come looking for her at one of her parents’ behest. Marquardt absolutely must not see him. Brayan would boast he’d helped lock the man up. From the sound of the crashing about, he’d sampled the flask a good deal more and was utterly bosky.

“Blast and da—” She stopped as Marquardt’s eyebrows flew to his hairline in obvious disapproval.

Lowering her voice, she hurried on. “Ewan’s expected back any day. When he returns, I’ll tell him I apprehended you. He can do with you what he wants. I’m quite sure it will involve the authorities.”

“Apprehended?” He shook his head. “You’re still sticking to the absurd notion that I’m Edgar?”

He tossed the apple core between the bars. It bounced before rolling to a stop barely three feet beyond her. A rat promptly appeared, scrambling to snatch the core in his pointed, yellow teeth. The little beast raced down the passageway with two other rodents squeaking their outrage in its wake.

Marquardt had done that on purpose, the lout.                                               


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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Thursday Threads: Taming Miss Tisdale by Jessica Jefferson

Taming Miss Tisdale
Jessica Jefferson

Series: 2nd in the Regency Blooms Series from Soul Mate Publishing
Heat Level: Sensual

A bit about the book –
Miss Tamsin Tisdale believes herself to be completely unsuitable for London life. After a myriad of social mishaps, and the potential ruination of her family name, she’s shipped away to her cousin’s northern estate. Only after she accepts the type of existence Society dictates she must follow will she be welcomed home.
Marcus Winston, the Duke of Grayson, has a lackluster reputation. The last in a dying line, he’s endured a protected life—rank with privilege, but encumbered by isolation. After a brief encounter with rebellion, he learns the devastating consequences of his carelessness and willingly accepts living life from inside his gilded cage.
However, a chance meeting with the brazen Miss Tisdale gives Marc the opportunity to reinvent himself into the man he’s always dreamed of being. But when his deception comes to light, and ghosts from both their pasts threaten to unravel the intimacy they’ve come to cherish, will either of them set their fears aside long enough to embrace love? Or will Miss Tisdale’s stubbornness divide them?

A little bit of the book -
Marc watched the faint outline come across the dense morning fog, becoming more discernible as it approached. The tall, thin figure was riding along at a perilous speed, given the morning’s lack of visibility. He thought perhaps it was some gangly young man misguided in the fog. It wouldn’t be the first time someone accidentally stumbled upon the vast property that made up his family’s immodest estate.
Then the fog parted in an almost biblical manner, revealing his gross inaccuracy.
Were those ... breasts?
Marc closed his eyes and thought for a moment. Typically, women didn’t ride alone at such an hour and they certainly didn’t wander unexpectedly across his property. It’d been quite a while, his last birthday to be exact, since his last intimate encounter with a woman—a gift, compliments of St. Regis—so there was always the possibility that perhaps his half-drunk, sex-starved mind had conjured up the sensual image.
He shook his head, opened his eyes, and looked back again toward the horizon.
Yes, those were most certainly breasts.
And she was most definitely not a young man. The woman’s riding habit pulled taut against her body as she raced toward him. Her hair was blowing behind her—various hues of auburn and gold, like wild flames curling about in the wind. Then a decidedly feminine voice burst through the morning’s silence, interrupting his self-doubt.
“Oh, thank goodness I found you!”
This was no mirage. She was indeed very real.
And very loud.

A bit about the author –
Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago.  She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novel-but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy.  She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read more of her random romance musings.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

#FirstWorldProblems

I’ve been without hot water for two weeks. I bought a house. My plumber stopped taking my calls. I’m currently writing this sentence in a ceiling-less kitchen. Last Saturday, I visited a park (Ew! Nature!) and was attacked by a giant, woman-eating arachnid with murder in its eight or twelve or thirty-three eyes. Did you know new refrigerators start at $400? My doc is tweaking my medication regime, which makes my poor tummy constantly boil, roil, toil, and trouble. My sorta-in-laws visited. Tomorrow I’m writing a check for $1300 just to have my air vents cleaned. Until last week, I didn’t even know air vents had to be cleaned. My second-oldest cat is costing me several hundred dollars in tooth extractions. I had a hot water repairperson tell me* I was lucky my house didn’t explode. I need a haircut and an auto tune-up. I’m having difficulties composing the first scene of my next book.

Normally, I’m as laid back as they come. Sanguine. Maybe even a little lazy. These past two or three months, though, have been a-bustle with far-too-many mortgage snafus, emergency calls, and plumbing disasters. I’m someone who likes to spend most of her time in her head, smiling distractedly while concocting story ideas and classroom activities. This being constantly present, tending to endless small fires and chatting with way, way too many people on the phone, has kept me locked away from the comfortable, all-encompassing fantasyland inside my noggin.

If this is what it means to be a middle-class, functioning adult, I wanna grab my coloring book and crayons and hide underneath the kitchen table. You know, the one I don’t have. In a kitchen without a ceiling.

I offer this not because I want sympathy. Actually, no; scratch that. Overload me with sympathy and love. I need it. Yeah, I know if this post had hashtags, they would look something like #FirstWorldProblems, #MiddleClassWhining, or #BooHooNoHotWaterfor2WeeksWhen780MillionPeopleLackAccesstoCleanWater. I’m shameless in my literal and figurative bellyaching, I know, but acknowledging I’m better off than 90% of the world really doesn’t really make me feel better. In fact, now I just feel guilty for being overwhelmed. Sigh. Nothing like buying a house and repairing the older one to find oneself locked inside the middle-class, Matrix-esque version of the American Dream, whining about HVAC specialists and convertible water heaters.

OMG, I've become a pod person. Aargh! Quick, let me back in my head so I can escape this kind of uncomfy introspection.

Okay. In spite of all the existential angst, I wrote this post to explain my absence and beg your forgiveness. I have tons of blog ideas and will be knocking out some posts in the near future. In the meantime, please excuse my random bursts of blog.

I got my hot water back this morning, and tomorrow begins the long journey toward rebuilding my kitchen ceiling. Inch by inch, I’m scratching my way back up toward my usual safe, boring existence. In the meantime, and with with mint-smelling hair and freshly depilated legs, I shall contemplate the irony and politics of my new bourgeois existence . #MiddleClassWhining 



* Erroneously. As it turns out, he had no idea what he was talking about. However, he charged me $125.08 for this misinformation as well as such gems as, “You weren’t up to code. I had to disconnect the heater” and “Yeah, it would definitely suck if your house blew up. I’d probably get named in the lawsuit.”

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thursday Threads: The Bride Gift by Sarah Hegger



The Bride Gift 
by Sarah Hegger
Genre: Historical Romance (Medieval)
Heat Level: Sizzling
Blurb: 
It’s 1153 in the period dubbed ‘The Anarchy’, King Stephen and Empress Maud are not the only ones embroiled in a fierce battle of the sexes.
Determined to control her own destiny, willful Helena of Lystanwold has chosen just the husband to suit her purposes. But, when her banished guardian uncle attempts to secure her future and climbs through her bedroom window with a new husband by a proxy marriage, she understandably balks. Notorious warrior, Guy of Helston, is everything Helena swore she would never marry: a man who lives by the sword, like the man who murdered her sister.
This marriage finally brings Guy close to his lifetime dream of gaining lands and a title. He is not about to let his feisty bride stand in his way. A master strategist, Guy sets out to woo and conquer his lady.
Against a backdrop of vengeance, war and betrayal, Guy and Helena must learn to forge a united front or risk losing everything.

Excerpt 
Slowly, Helena turned and approached her husband.
His large body barely fit in the wooden tub. He sat with his knees almost to his ears. A slight frown creased his dark brows.
Helena dipped her hand in the soft soap they kept for bathing; more jasmine. She rubbed it between her fingers to create lather. When they next made soap she would need to produce something less feminine for Guy.
From this position, his head was almost on a level with her breasts. A feeling akin to excitement fluttered through her belly.
He watched her face as she leaned forward to soap his head, working it through his cropped hair. The bristly ends tickled her palm.
She reached for a bucket of rinsing water. He closed his eyes as soap and bubbles streamed down the strong planes of his cheeks. Droplets clung to his lashes. They were almost ridiculously long and so incongruous with the rest of him. Probably the only part of him that could be called soft.
He dropped his head forward onto his knees so she could finish rinsing.
Guy presented the broad expanse of his back, and she laid her hands across the sun-darkened skin. He was warm under her fingers and beneath the smooth skin, his muscles bunched slightly as she spread the soap. This might be bearable. When she rubbed her fingers on either side of his spine, he made a soft purr of enjoyment.
Her pulse jumped.
"Soft hands," he said.
Her fingers traced a long, puckered scar running beneath his shoulder blade and disappearing around his side.
"A lance man with poor aim," he murmured.
The skin on his back was firm, but marked by the scars of a lifetime spent wielding a sword. "It appears you really do fight," she commented lightly.
For some reason those accumulated injuries and the pain they had caused angered her as well as rendered her sorry for his suffering. Helena steeled her resolve. It was just these sorts of wounds that made him perfect for her purpose.
She lathered soap across his shoulders and down the thick, corded muscle of each arm. Her belly reacted with another odd little quiver as her fingers slid across his skin like oil poured from a vial.
Guy raised his eyes to her face. A slumberous warmth made them glow nearly silver.
Her breath quickened in her chest as if she had been running; her hands tingled where they touched him.


Sarah is always delighted to hear from readers. She can be reached at any and all of the following places: