Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Longlisted for the HNS Indie Award

I'm happy to tell everyone that the Historical Novel Society reviewed my novel The Craigsmuir Affair and gave it an Editors Choice Award.  I'm still bouncing with pleasure over that, and you can read the review at: https://historicalnovelsociety.org/post_type=&s=craigsmuir+affair&submit=Search

Here's an excerpt to whet your appetite for an entertaining tale set in 1893 when young Daisy and Adam Grey fist meet....

Excerpt:

Clennell Castle, Northumberland, 1893


Daisy Charlton swept the sheaf of papers into her arms, cast a final, satisfied glance around the small room that had been her work place for the last week and then closed the door behind her with a triumphant flourish. She hurried along the gallery toward the stairs, swung one-handed around the newel post and scampered down the first steps into the main body of the library. Now she had time to relax and enjoy herself.
Someone below snapped a newspaper straight.
Diverted, she looked down. A gentleman’s sun-browned hands held a newspaper open. She could see nothing of him but legs clad in riding breeches and brown leather riding boots. Her feet tangled in the folds of her long skirt. Her stomach lurched; she stumbled, missed the shallow tread of the stair and turned her ankle on the edge of the next.
‘No-o-o!’
She grabbed for the banister, missed and pitched forward. Her precious papers sprang into the air and fluttered around her like a cloud of newly released doves. Her hip and shoulder collided painfully with the shallow riser and she yelped as she bounced and rolled down the stairs.
‘Good God!’ The sound of crushed newspaper followed the exclamation.
Daisy struck something hard. Dazed and breathless, she inhaled the mixed scents of smoky sandalwood, starched linen and something spicy like black pepper. She lay unmoving for a long moment and registered a steady, rhythmic thud against her ear. She opened her eyes and stared at the fawn moleskin and engraved silver buttons of a gentleman’s waistcoat. Her right hand clutched the rough tweed of his sleeve. Her left trailed on the parquet floor.

and for the UK -

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Gybford Affair ~ New Release from Jen Black

The quiet life of Frances, Lady Rathmere, is disrupted forever the day Jack, 4th Marquess of Streatham, arrives from London and almost rides her down. At the same time a stranger arrives in the locality, makes a play for her young cousin and scandalous letters accusing Frances of an illicit liaison appear in the national press. Is Jack their author? Frances is convinced he is, and has no idea the trouble those letters are going to bring in their wake.



EXCERPT:
“Gyp! No! You will be soaked!” Rolling to her knees, Frances stared across the grass. Too late. Gyp’s front paws were already in the water. “Gyp! No!
The faint sound of hooves distracted her. At the end of the meadow she saw a flicker of white against dark foliage. Her eyes narrowed. No gentleman of her acquaintance would ride without jacket, gloves and hat on Gybford land. Shirt sleeves were for the gypsy or the common field labourer.
Whoever he was, he turned his horse and hurtled across the ford in a shower of spray. Frances sank back on her heels, frowning. Ought she to be wary? Strangers were rare in the district, though vagrants and gypsies occasionally travelled the old route by the river. Frances opened her mouth to call her dog, and realised that would bring Gyp into the path of the horse.
The vibration from the great iron-shod hooves thudded up through the grass into her spine. Really, there was no need for such speed. One would think the snorting grey was in a race. The rider aimed for the gap between the river and the beech tree and gave no sign of having seen her.
Faster than she would have believed possible, the huge grey horse filled her vision.
Forgetting her dignity, Frances scrambled to her feet and lunged for safety behind the beech tree. She caught a glimpse of the wide-eyed rider gaping at her.
Gyp sprang up from the river bank like a red flame in the sunshine and loosed a loud bark beneath the horse’s nose. The horse veered sharply away from both dog and the river.
The rider flew out of the saddle, struck the bank with his shoulder and disappeared over the edge. Water droplets rose in a huge shower, sparkled for an instant and fell back into the stream.
Frances hesitated, one palm clasped to her mouth, suppressing a breathless urge to laugh. It served him right, really; but she ought not to laugh. One should not mock another’s misfortune.
The stallion snorted, wheeled and tore across the field, hooves flinging clods of grass high in its wake. Gyp followed, barking, but returned when Frances called her name. The horse was in no danger and would soon slow and stop of its own accord.
The rider, however, might need careful handling. She’d suffered similar falls as a child when she had not paid attention to her pony, and knew how foolish he would feel, which might mean an outburst of some kind.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Where Dragonflies Hover now released!

Where Dragonflies Hover is released today! Yay!
I really enjoyed writing this story. It's the first time I wrote a split-era novel (modern/1915).
I think having two strong heroines worked in this case. From the diary she finds, Lexi learns a lot of about life and love from Allie, the diarist.
WWI is an interest of mine. The first World War was a time of change in so many ways. Allie as a nurse experiences first hand the effects of what a tragic and perilous time it was. The biggest thing she learns, however, is that life is short, we never know when our time is up, so make the most of it. I totally agree with that lesson, and it is one that Lexi learns, too.

I hope you enjoy reading Where Dragonflies Hover as much as I did writing it.
AnneMarie Brear

 
 
Where Dragonflies Hover blurb:

Sometimes a glimpse into the past can help make sense of the future …

Everyone thinks Lexi is crazy when she falls in love with Hollingsworth House – a crumbling old Georgian mansion in Yorkshire – and nobody more so than her husband, Dylan. But there’s something very special about the place, and Lexi can sense it. 
Whilst exploring the grounds she stumbles across an old diary and, within its pages, she meets Allie – an Australian nurse working in France during the First World War.
Lexi finally realises her dream of buying Hollingsworth but her obsession with the house leaves her marriage in tatters. In the lonely nights that follow, Allie’s diary becomes Lexi’s companion, comforting her in moments of darkness and pain. And as Lexi reads, the nurse’s scandalous connection to the house is revealed …

 
Excerpt:

The late sunshine enveloped the house in a golden glow. Again, it seemed to call to her, begging for attention. A path on the left of the drive looked inviting as it meandered through a small strand of poplars. Lexi grabbed her keys, locked the car and took off to explore again. She had nothing to rush home to now, and if she got caught for trespassing, then so be it.
The overgrown pathway brought her out on the far side of the grounds near the end of a small lake. She gazed over the water towards the back of the house and noticed a paved terrace area. From there the lawn then sloped down to the water. She’d not been around the back before and fell even more in love with the property. She could imagine the serenity of sipping a cool drink on a hot summer’s day and looking out over the lake.
Lexi stepped out along the bank. A lone duck swam by, its movement serene on the glassy, dark surface. This side of the lake was in shadow from large pine trees, and she stumbled on fallen pinecones hidden in the long grass. On the opposite side of the water were some small buildings, a garage, fruit trees in early blossom, and an overgrown vegetable patch, complete with a broken, rejected-looking scarecrow.
She wandered over to a narrow shed on her left and peered through its sole, dirty window. Unable to make out much in the dimness, she walked around to the front and was surprised when she was able to pull the bolt back on the door. Why didn’t people lock things? A covered rowboat took up most of the space inside. She smiled, seeing herself rowing it on the lake. Growing more excited, Lexi edged around it to peer at the workbenches and the odd assortment of tools and useless things one found in abandoned sheds. It was like treasure hunting in an antique shop. She used to love doing that with her grandfather.
She glanced about and spied a dusty painting leaning against the wall. The scene was of a child and a brown dog. Behind the canvas were more paintings, some framed, some not. Lexi flicked through them. The ones that caught her attention she took out and set aside.
She looked for somewhere to sit and study the paintings. A small tin trunk wedged under a workbench seemed the only offering. Thinking it empty, she went to tug it out, but it remained fast.
Using both hands, she heaved it out and was showered in a puff of dust. Squatting down, she inspected the latch that was held tight with a small lock. ‘Why are you locked?’ she murmured. The shed was open to anyone passing by, yet this ugly little chest had a lock on it. The trunk was nothing special, plain and in parts rusted. No ornament or writing hinted at its use.
Intrigued, she grabbed a hammer from the workbench, but then hesitated. She had no right to open someone else’s property. Lexi closed her eyes momentarily. What was she thinking of breaking into the trunk? What am I doing? Never had she broken the law and here she was guilty of trespassing and breaking and entering! She looked around the rowboat as though expecting someone to jump out and arrest her.
Something inside urged her on. She knew she couldn’t stop now. Sucking in a deep breath, she bent and hit the lock hard. The ringing sound was loud in the quiet serenity of the garden. The metal dented and with another few solid whacks the lock gave.
Shivers of excitement tingled along her skin. Gently, she eased up the lid.

 Buy links:


Also available in Apple ibooks, etc.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Life as a British Governess in Russia

Hiring a British governess was quite fashionable among Russian aristocracy during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. They loved English style and wished their sons to turn into little Lord Fauntleroys. Being able to speak English was considered to be a necessary social accomplishment. French was also fashionable so employing an English governess who could speak the language was ideal. A tutor might also be hired to provide instruction in the Russian and history, and perhaps someone to teach the piano or violin. Lessons would take place in the mornings with the afternoons devoted to teaching drawing, painting and sewing for their daughters. Boys spent the afternoons taking part in field sports and fishing. Very much in the style of British aristocracy.

Books were hard to find. Those brought into the country were often assumed to be politically suspect and not allowed, a situation which worsened once the revolution started. Education was seen by the Bolsheviks as a snare which tended to make people unruly. Families who owned precious books learned to keep them hidden away.

Children were expected to take afternoon tea and dinner with their parents, and the governess must accompany them. This requirement differed very much from the situation in England where a governess was held in something of a limbo between servants and master. Millie was thankful that she’d learned about aristocratic etiquette from her former employer. The children, however, were quite capable of embarrassing her.

Discipline was an important part of a governess’s job. Not always easy with children who had led sheltered, spoiled lives. Some governesses lost patience and made them stand on a table, or put sticky paper over their mouth. Millie did not approve of such punishment.

A governess was also expected to attend church with the family most Sundays. The congregation would stand throughout the long service, even the Tsar and Tsarina, and all servants of the household must wear their best clothes. A fine hat was essential, the more flamboyant the better.

She could also visit the British and American Chapel in St. Petersburg on her day off, which Millie did, once she had convinced the Countess that she was entitled to some free time of her own. After the service the governesses would get together to chat as this wasn’t simply a place of worship, but also a social club. It provided evening classes, a library, chess club, choir, amateur dramatics and jolly picnics. It was the place to make friends, and hear of new jobs on the chapel grape-vine. Very much a home from home for ex-pats. It was here that Millie met the love of her life, but did he feel the same way about her?


Set against the backdrop of revolutionary Russia, The Amber Keeper is a sweeping tale of jealousy and revenge, reconciliation and forgiveness. English Lake District, 1960s: A young Abbie Myers returns home after learning of her mother’s death. Estranged from her turbulent family for many years, Abbie is heartbroken to hear that they blame her for the tragedy. 

Determined to uncover her mother’s past, Abbie approaches her beloved grandmother, Millie, in search of answers. As the old woman recounts her own past, Abbie is transported back to the grandeur of the Russian Empire in 1911 with tales of her grandmother’s life as a governess and the revolution that exploded around her. As Abbie struggles to reconcile with her family, and to support herself and her child, she realizes that those long-ago events created aftershocks that threaten to upset the fragile peace she longs to create.

Published by Lake Union Imprint.
Amazon

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Two novels free for 5 days!

Two of my historical novels are free: 5 days only! Enjoy the bargain!

The Day Embroidered & Woodland Daughter.

http://goo.gl/dDhjJc

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Where Dragonflies Hover

Although this is a contemporary, it also has another story within it that is set in World War One.
 
 
 
Where Dragonflies Hover blurb:

Sometimes a glimpse into the past can help make sense of the future …

Everyone thinks Lexi is crazy when she falls in love with Hollingsworth House – a crumbling old Georgian mansion in Yorkshire – and nobody more so than her husband, Dylan. But there’s something very special about the place, and Lexi can sense it. 

Whilst exploring the grounds she stumbles across an old diary and, within its pages, she meets Allie – an Australian nurse working in France during the First World War.

Lexi finally realises her dream of buying Hollingsworth but her obsession with the house leaves her marriage in tatters. In the lonely nights that follow, Allie’s diary becomes Lexi’s companion, comforting her in moments of darkness and pain. And as Lexi reads, the nurse’s scandalous connection to the house is revealed …

 
Excerpt:

The late sunshine enveloped the house in a golden glow. Again, it seemed to call to her, begging for attention. A path on the left of the drive looked inviting as it meandered through a small strand of poplars. Lexi grabbed her keys, locked the car and took off to explore again. She had nothing to rush home to now, and if she got caught for trespassing, then so be it.

The overgrown pathway brought her out on the far side of the grounds near the end of a small lake. She gazed over the water towards the back of the house and noticed a paved terrace area. From there the lawn then sloped down to the water. She’d not been around the back before and fell even more in love with the property. She could imagine the serenity of sipping a cool drink on a hot summer’s day and looking out over the lake.

Lexi stepped out along the bank. A lone duck swam by, its movement serene on the glassy, dark surface. This side of the lake was in shadow from large pine trees, and she stumbled on fallen pinecones hidden in the long grass. On the opposite side of the water were some small buildings, a garage, fruit trees in early blossom, and an overgrown vegetable patch, complete with a broken, rejected-looking scarecrow.

She wandered over to a narrow shed on her left and peered through its sole, dirty window. Unable to make out much in the dimness, she walked around to the front and was surprised when she was able to pull the bolt back on the door. Why didn’t people lock things? A covered rowboat took up most of the space inside. She smiled, seeing herself rowing it on the lake. Growing more excited, Lexi edged around it to peer at the workbenches and the odd assortment of tools and useless things one found in abandoned sheds. It was like treasure hunting in an antique shop. She used to love doing that with her grandfather.

She glanced about and spied a dusty painting leaning against the wall. The scene was of a child and a brown dog. Behind the canvas were more paintings, some framed, some not. Lexi flicked through them. The ones that caught her attention she took out and set aside.

She looked for somewhere to sit and study the paintings. A small tin trunk wedged under a workbench seemed the only offering. Thinking it empty, she went to tug it out, but it remained fast.

Using both hands, she heaved it out and was showered in a puff of dust. Squatting down, she inspected the latch that was held tight with a small lock. ‘Why are you locked?’ she murmured. The shed was open to anyone passing by, yet this ugly little chest had a lock on it. The trunk was nothing special, plain and in parts rusted. No ornament or writing hinted at its use.

Intrigued, she grabbed a hammer from the workbench, but then hesitated. She had no right to open someone else’s property. Lexi closed her eyes momentarily. What was she thinking of breaking into the trunk? What am I doing? Never had she broken the law and here she was guilty of trespassing and breaking and entering! She looked around the rowboat as though expecting someone to jump out and arrest her.

Something inside urged her on. She knew she couldn’t stop now. Sucking in a deep breath, she bent and hit the lock hard. The ringing sound was loud in the quiet serenity of the garden. The metal dented and with another few solid whacks the lock gave.

Shivers of excitement tingled along her skin. Gently, she eased up the lid.

 

Pre order for just $1.99
 
Buy links:



Also available in Apple ibooks, etc.
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Countdown to release! 14 March! SEVEN NIGHTS OF SIN #HistoricalRomance Anthology!

SEVEN NIGHTS OF SIN  99cents


This is my contribution to the fabulous anthology!.


ONE SCANDALOUS NIGHT
 by Maggi Andersen
 
Can one night with a rake be enough for a lifetime?

Miss Bella Lacey desires to accomplish two things before settling into an unfulfilling marriage to the man her father has chosen. First, she intends to inveigle a goodly amount of money for her orphans from a man of means and, second, to have one night of passion to help her endure the dreary years ahead.

When Derrick, Lord Eaglestone, a wealthy viscount with a scandalous reputation, agrees to donate to Miss Lacey’s charity, he has only seduction in mind. Little does he suspect that Miss Lacey has already chosen him to debauch her before she weds another. The lady has virtually fallen into his lap, but much to his annoyance, he finds himself reluctant to oblige her.

Excerpt:

The champagne was delicious, and she drank thirstily. Holding the half-empty flute, she took in the trees in summer leaf and banks of bright flowers. It was quite perfect. At the thought of Lord Eaglestone attempting to seduce here on the blanket, her toes curled. It must happen during the night and would require perfect timing. She took a deep sip of champagne, thinking of what was hopefully to come.

Eaglestone showed little inclination to seduce her. He began to remove plates, silverware, and napkins from the hamper. Delectable foods followed.
She sipped the champagne while watching him pile her plate. “Oysters!”
He pinned her with his gaze. “You like oysters?”
“Yes, very much.”
He took a small penknife from his pocket, wiped it clean, and levered open a shell.

“Why then, the world’s mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open.”

Surprised, Bella laughed. It seemed incongruous for him to quote from Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.
“You find that amusing?” A smile lifted the corners of his mouth. He was very appealing when he smiled.
The wine banished her nerves and loosened her tongue. “Most appropriate. I must confess I didn’t expect to hear Shakespeare quoted from someone who denounced verse so ruthlessly last night.”
“You are quite wrong. I only denounce my own paltry attempts.”
He leaned over and held the oyster shell to her lips. When she parted them, he tipped the oyster in. “Swallow it whole,” he said, his eyes on her mouth.
Her mouth filled with the smooth, salty taste. She closed her eyes as the oyster slipped down her throat. “Mmm, lovely.”
“You look very lovely eating it,” he said in his husky voice. He leaned forward and kissed her.
With the light touch of his lips, Bella’s breath caught. Her hand fluttered to his shoulder before common sense prevailed. “Sir!” Flushing, she drew back. He must first agree to her request.
“Merely a small kiss between business associates, Miss Lacey.” He lay back on his elbows on the rug like a sleepy panther, watching her.
Bella’s whole body tingled. The kiss, brief as it was, had turned her insides to honey. Was he laughing at her? She sensed he wasn’t as relaxed as he made out. Fighting to keep hold of her objective, she forked up a piece of chicken from her plate. “Do you often picnic in the park with a lady?”
“Not as a rule.” The sight of him biting a chicken leg with his strong white teeth made her feel hot, imagining him nibbling on her.
That he was here with her made her suspect she’d become part of an exclusive group of women who’d gained his attention. She couldn’t help but be flattered, although she wasn’t fooled into believing she was any more special to him than the rest. It hardly mattered. After one night, they would part. She drew in a breath; she really must stop her mind racing ahead to that night.

BUY

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Historical saga: The Day Embroidered

The Day Embroidered



The Day Embroidered
blurb:
1899. A life altering event led Catrina Davies to hide from her family and society. Alone in The Highlands she exists in a lonely world cared for only by her saviour, a kind old gentleman. When she receives a surprise visitor, Travis Millard, the man she used to love, her head and heart are thrown into turmoil. 
Travis is determined to save her from this poor life and return her to her family where she belongs. No one is more surprised than he when she agrees to marry him. 
When Catrina arrives back at her family estate, Davmoor Court in Yorkshire, she is stunned to see the changes. While her father clings to life, Davmoor is nearly ruined by her brother's gambling obsession, and there is something strange about his new wife. 
As Catrina adjusts to her regained position in society and being with Travis, her marriage comes under attack from Travis's grandmother, who has her own secrets and reason for loathing the Davies family. 
When one of her brother's adversaries comes to stake his claim on the estate, the resulting chaos threatens not only Catrina's home, but the very lives of those she loves the most. 
Can she find the strength to fight once more for the right to be happy?

The Day Embroidered is available in paperback or ebook from all places such as Amazon USA and UK, etc.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

SEVEN NIGHTS OF SIN Available on Pre-Order Grab it now for 0.99! Released 14 March!



SEVEN NIGHTS OF SIN
One night, one tryst can change everything...
Seven Sensuous stories by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Sabrina York, with bestselling and award-winning authors Maggi Andersen, Lynne Connolly, Eliza Lloyd, Suzi Love, Hildie McQueen, and Victoria Vane. Enter a world of passion and mystery where dashing heroes and dauntless heroines come together in a scorching conflagration that will will tip your world on its end. 
LUSCIOUS by Sabrina York
Revenge...or redemption? Which will he choose?
ONE SCANDALOUS NIGHT by Maggi Andersen
Can one night with a rake be enough for a lifetime?
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Victoria Vane
 She found heaven in the devil’s arms.
UNDER A SILVER MOON by Hildie Mcqueen
The shadows of the past fall over a man and a woman attempting to start anew.
MY DEAR MR. FORRESTER by Eliza Lloyd
He can't resist a woman in trouble. Will he ever learn?
WHAT HE WANTS by Lynne Connolly
Love hides in unexpected places...

PLEASURE HOUSE BALL by Suzi Love
Love revealed at a courtesan’s ball.

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iBooks:

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FULL BLURBS:
LUSCIOUS by SABRINA YORK
When Deveny Hargrove rescues a waif in a rainstorm in the middle of nowhere, he has no idea that she represents his long-awaited chance at vengeance. When she offers him her virginity—in an attempt to escape an unwanted society marriage—he has to agree. To his surprise, very little of his motivation stems from punishing her brother.
The fact is, Matilda Paddington represents his chance at revenge...or redemption…but his choice could destroy them both.
ONE SCANDALOUS NIGHT by MAGGI ANDERSEN
Can one night with a rake be enough for a lifetime?
Miss Bella Lacey desires to accomplish two things before settling into an fulfilling marriage to the man her father has chosen. First, she intends to inveigle a goodly amount of money for her orphans from a man of means, and second, to have one night of passion to help her endure the dreary years ahead.
When Derrick, Lord Eaglestone, a wealthy viscount with a scandalous reputation, agrees to donate to Miss Lacey’s charity, he has only seduction in mind. Little does he suspect that Miss Lacey has already chosen him to debauch her before she weds another. The lady has virtually fallen into his lap, but much to his annoyance, he finds himself reluctant to oblige her.
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by VICTORIA VANE
When dealing with the Devil, it's easy to get burned…

Who can find a virtuous woman… Beautiful, respectable, and dutiful, Lady Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley has long resigned herself to her twelve-year loveless and childless marriage to a feckless husband…until his gambling pushes them to the brink of financial ruin.
Sometimes the devil is disguised as a gentleman… Viscount Ludovic, "The Devil” DeVere is accustomed to taking what he wants heedless of the cost, until he encounters a woman who won't be had at any price.
She found heaven in the devil’s arms... When Diana discovers a secret that shatters the carefully built façade concealing her private pain, she seeks aid and comfort from the most unlikely place…the devil's arms. But will a single night of heavenly passion damn them both forever?



UNDER A SILVER MOON by HILDIE MCQUEEN
The shadows of the past fall over Silver City, Idaho casting its darkness over a man and a woman attempting to start anew. 
When US Marshal Lucas McKade and new deputy of Silver City decided to settle down, he didn't consider how his presence could bring complications to the townspeople of his new home.  Against every instinct he seeks out apothecary owner Camille Johnston, a woman who calls to his basic nature to protect and to make his. 
Camille Johnston knows that eventually the secrets of her past will come to haunt, yet she hopes to keep things hidden as long as possible and enjoy her lonely but peaceful existence in Silver City.  The new deputy brings with him desires she'd thought firmly shut away.  A relationship of any kind comes with very dangerous consequences. 
A story of Lucas and Camille, who attempt to leave a past behind only to find true happiness, comes when they face it.
MY DEAR MR. FORRESTER BY ELIZA LLOYD
He can't resist a woman in trouble. Will he ever learn?
Joshua Forrester is a man of the world, returning to London after receiving a wound in a Parisian duel. He's done it again - out to save all womankind. When will he ever learn not all women want to be saved? In London, he is reacquainted with a family friend and now widow, Char Dunlevee. He is charmed - and appalled. He knows her secret and is furious his friend, Char’s now dead husband, could have left her in such circumstances. He can save her, if she will only say yes to his proposal.
Char has other plans. Joshua would make a perfect husband—for one of her sisters. She doesn’t need to be saved. Seduced perhaps…? With one kiss, Char forgets her plans as she is drawn closer to the enigmatic and dear Mr. Forrester.
WHAT HE WANTS by LYNNE CONNOLLY
Love hides in unexpected places...
London businesswoman Annie Cathcart can’t bring herself to enter into another business arrangement masquerading as marriage. When her current landlord demands her hand in exchange for her continued use of the property, there is only one answer—she must find another house.  Upon inquiring after a property owned by the dashing Earl of Carbrooke, the last thing she expects is an indecent proposal. Forced to choose, should she risk everything she’s worked so hard for and trust a man she hardly knows —or sink back into her lackluster life?
Upon unexpectedly inheriting the Earldom of Carbrooke, Gerald Dersingham fears his carefree days are behind him—until a sensuous widow inquires after his former residence. Unable to resist the temptation to have one last liaison before settling down with the lovely but boring Lady Elizabeth, he offers her one night of passion in return for the lease, little knowing how explosive and far reaching the consequences will be....
PLEASURE HOUSE BALL by SUZI LOVE
Love revealed at a courtesan’s ball.
Brenton, Lord Mallory, attends his first courtesan’s ball in ten years to appease his concerned friends, though he’d rather stay home and read to his motherless daughters. To protect his friend, Lady Lillian Armstrong, Brenton hides her in a wardrobe, but his resistance, and years of self-imposed celibacy, shatters when her soft curves press against him. 
Though mortified that Brenton unmasked her at the scandalous ball, Lillian doesn’t regret their night together. But will the object of her girlish adoration still treat her as his best friend’s little sister, or will he now see her as a mature and willing woman?    

Friday, February 19, 2016

Historical Women's Fiction Sale

My historical women's fiction book, To Gain What's Lost, is about to start a three day price reduction promotion on Amazon UK and Amazon USA.
It will be on sale for .99c starting Friday 20th until Monday morning.
Amazon UK
Amazon USA


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Morcar the Northern Earl and His Captive. Bk 4 of the Medieval Captives Series by Lindsay Townsend

PRE-ORDER NOW - AVAILABLE Tuesday, February 2nd.

Morcar the Earl is a pagan, hated by the Norman Bishop Cyril. Cyril and his bastard son Gaspar plot to unseat Morcar and kidnap his son Thorfinn to raise as a puppet manipulated by Cyril. Morcar is overcome and flung into a cave chained to a young woman, the witch Hemlock. Hemlock has herself been betrayed by Gaspar, who had forced her to be his mistress and then abandoned her once she became pregnant. Hemlock has just lost her unborn baby and is highly distrustful of men. 

 As a pagan, Morcar believes in many gods and worships the ancient stag god, whose horned tattoo he bears on his arm. It is partly for fear of the god that Cyril’s men dared not murder him, instead manacling him to Hemlock and leaving them both to starve. Can they work together to escape? Can they recover Thorfinn? In the end, what future can there be between an earl and a witch? A BookStrand Mainstream Romance.


STORY EXCERPT

Chapter 1

Fall of the Year, 1133, Northern England
Someone petted his hair. At least he still had a head, although it felt like a splintered log, which Morcar decided was better than the alternative. But what had happened?
Without opening his eyes, he flexed his fingers and toes, a rush of gratitude sweeping through him as he realized his limbs were also still attached.
And they may not have been.
A memory fell into him like a striking hammer on an anvil. Sudden fist and knife blows from behind, from unseen unanticipated enemies, wild fighting, his son—
Morcar reared up with a shout. The slim fingers petting his hair pushed him back down.
“Your lad is alive,” a voice breathed by his ear. “Alive and whole. The church-men took him. Sleep.”
“Do not order…”
The hand resumed carding through his hair and Morcar wallowed back into unconsciousness.
* * * *
Later he blinked again into wakefulness. His brains no longer felt to be seeping from his skull and his shoulders burned, which he assumed was an improvement on the hollow ringing that had throbbed through his body earlier. Shifting slightly, he forced his eyes open wider, seeing an orange, flickering glare against a black backdrop. Is it night or am I underground?
“Sage tea. Want some?”
Jerking aside, Morcar rolled onto his back and yelped, his vision blurring afresh for an instant.
“You have grazes and knife cuts and deep bruises down your spine but you can move so you will heal up tight. Tisane?”
He smelled the fresh, head-clearing sage tea, then, and watched a cup wobble in out of the gloom in front of him. Squirming onto his side, Morcar tried to clasp the cup and failed, tried again and succeeded.
He groaned as the hot drink almost scalded the back of his throat and then thirstily drained the rest of the cup.
“More?” the voice suggested.
“Please.”
His clearing vision showed a pair of startled hazel eyes and a heart-shaped, delicate face, framed by a melee of tangled tresses. The spiky brown hair looked surprisingly pretty on this urchin, though he had only seen short hair for women on female prisoners before. But what was he rambling about? Focus. A girl. My nurse is a girl. Her brilliant eyes reminded him sharply of Maud, his wife. My wife! Mother of our son. Thank the Gods she died in her sleep three winters past, at peace and ready to join the old ones. He could not have borne her suffering, else, or her knowing that their child had been stolen away.
Thorfinn, their son. Small and dark-haired like his mother, with a gap-toothed grin and a low, chortling laugh. Thorfinn, with his secret bedtime toy of a raggedy cloth robin and his favorite bright red boots. Named for the God Thor and Maud’s father, Finn. Five years old and already a fearless horseman and a merry, good-natured soul who would share his supper with any who looked hungry. Thorfinn would be a generous lord, leading his people with a high heart. Unless the church-men corrupt him. That is why they kidnapped him, to act as regents in my—his—lands and to raise him as they see fit.
Remembering Thorfinn’s wild sobbing as the bishops’ men took the boy away was the worst sound he had ever heard. Grief bit into his lungs, harsh as a Viking blood-eagle, and Morcar choked.
“Sit up, please,” the girl beside him coaxed. “You will breathe the easier.”
“Thor’s hammer! Do not order me—” Morcar’s rasped complaint subsided into a new bout of coughing. The wretched girl seized the advantage. Hauling him up under his arms like a bag of tools, she dragged him into a sitting position, bracing his back with a knobbly knee. Another cup of sage tea appeared and Morcar drank it, scowling at his rescuer. She was small and prickly, like a hedgehog, if such a creature ever dressed in a faded, ruby-colored gown and with grubby bare feet.
“My name is Hemlock.”
At his stifled snort, the girl flicked her bangs back from her forehead like an irritated mare shaking its mane and went on, “I am a hedge-witch, though by no means as powerful as Elfrida, Magnus’s wife.”
Morcar nodded his understanding, feeling a little ashamed now of smirking at her unusual name. The church-men disliked witches nearly as much as they disapproved of pagans.
“You follow the old ways?” he asked, wondering where they were.
Hemlock’s answer had him twisting round to stare at her. “Always. After my parents died, my greedy brother sold me to Gaspar, the bishop’s son. He baptized me by force and re-named me Mary. He cut off my long hair and sold it. I worked in his household for two years. Despite my protests and distaste, he kept me as a mistress until I got with child because I no longer possessed the herbs to make a pregnancy-stopping tisane. Then the pious bishop’s son called me a whore and cast me out.”
Hemlock stopped speaking, the sound of her quickened breathing very loud and echoing faintly. We are in an enclosed space, then, possibly close to the sea from the faint tang of salt I can smell and taste in the air.
“Why should Gaspar do that?” he asked, feeling still very slow and stupid as he caught up with Gaspar’s casual cruelty. To shear off a woman’s glory, her hair and then sell it, and worse, to throw her from his household when she was pregnant—Morcar shuddered, strongly, once. Children were a gift from the gods. “Why?” he asked a second time.
“He wants no bastards,” snapped Hemlock. She had gone pale, white to the lips. In the dark of the cave her face hung beside his like a death mask on a pole.

Friday, January 15, 2016

PASSIONATE PROMISES - HISTORICAL ROMANCE ANOTHOLOGY



PASSIONATE PROMISES: An Embracing Romance Anthology
Nine Promises to Stir Your Passions from award-winning, bestselling authors. Enter the dazzling world of brawny Vikings, Regency rogues, and sexy scoundrels as they take you on one romantic journey after the other in these tantalizing historicals filled with betrayal, intrigue, and passion.
To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood by Bronwen Evans
A Promise of Love by Ella Quinn
A Kiss for Miss Kingsley by Collette Cameron
Stirring Passions by Maggi Andersen
A Pledge of Passion by Victoria Vane
Never Tempt a Rogue by Christy Carlyle
Wanted by the Warrior by Violetta Rand
A Highwayman's Honor by Michelle McLean
Lord Quickthorn's Bargain by Barbara Monajem


To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood by Bronwen Evans
A darkened garden, a case of mistaken identity, a drunken kiss, and a dropped emerald earring, leads Henry on a Cinderella hunt.

A Promise of Love by Ella Quinn

A Kiss for Miss Kingsley by Collette Cameron
A sweet Regency historical of love relinquished and redeemed as once betrothed Allen Wimpleton and Olivia Kingsley meet again after a three year separation only to discover, their love is stronger than ever.

Stirring Passions by Maggi Andersen
A passionate promise should never be taken lightly.

A Pledge of Passion by Victoria Vane
Only a madman makes a promise in the heat of passion...And only a fool believes him....

Never Tempt a Rogue by Christy Carlyle
An infamous rogue meets his match in a feisty chaperone who has all but given up on love.

Wanted by the Warrior by Violetta Rand
In a land where vendettas and magic separate the north and south, forbidden love is brewing between two ancient rivals…

A Highwayman's Honor by Michelle McLean
He's honor bound to protect his enemy's daughter; but he never counted on losing his heart.

Lord Quickthorn's Bargain by Barbara Monajem
To save her sister’s virtue, will she sacrifice her own?



To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood by Bronwen Evans
A darkened garden, a case of mistaken identity, a drunken kiss, and a dropped emerald earring, leads Henry on a Cinderella hunt.

To Live Happily Ever After….Henry St. Giles, the Earl of Cravenswood, longs to find his soulmate. Now that his two best friends, both reformed rakes, are happily married, the need becomes an obsession. When they challenge him to find a wife by the end of the season or marry his neighbor, the innocently alluring Lady Amy Shipton, he can’t believe his luck. He wins, either way. But a darkened garden, a case of mistaken identity, a drunken kiss, and a dropped emerald earring, leads Henry on a Cinderella hunt. He knows the woman he held in his arms could be the one he's searched for all his life. He just has to find her.

A Promise of Love by Ella Quinn
American heiress Genevieve McGowan has no love for the English, and has promised her father she will never marry a scurrilous Englishman. After meeting and rejecting eligible gentlemen in both America and Paris, she’s deduced her options of finding her perfect match are non-existent.  To her consternation, when she’s dragged to London for her aunt’s wedding she finds herself unexpectedly drawn to the handsome Lord Frank. Heaven help her, he’s English!

Lord Francis Trevor, second son of the Duke of Somerset, is his father’s factor. With no property of his own, he has no thoughts of marriage, until he meets the alluring Genevieve MacGowan. Rich and beautiful, she sets his pulse hammering. But her reputation precedes her. She’s not only hard to please but deeply prejudiced against the English. Determined to win her hand, he’ll do anything to convince her not all Englishmen can be so easily forgotten.

A Kiss for Miss Kingsley by Collette Cameron
A sweet Regency historical of love relinquished and redeemed as once betrothed Allen Wimpleton and Olivia Kingsley meet again after a three year separation only to discover, their love is stronger than ever.
Olivia Kingsley didn’t expect to accept a marriage proposal weeks into her first Season. Afraid her eccentric father will refuse his offer, Allen Wimpleton, heir to a viscountcy, begs her to elope. Having recently lost her mother, and concerned for her father’s health, she refuses.

Dismayed by her hesitancy, and unaware of her father’s illness, Allen impulsively demands she choose—him or her father. Heartbroken at his callousness, Olivia turns her back on their love and sails to the Caribbean for what was meant to be a one year stay.

When three years pass, Allen ruefully faces the inevitable—Oliva isn’t coming back, so he moves on. After her father dies, Olivia returns to England, and they come face to face at a ball. The flames of love ignite once again, but is it too late? Has Allen found another?


Stirring Passions by Maggi Andersen
A passionate promise should never be taken lightly.
Kate Kilgarth, yearning for passion and excitement far from her country village, refuses to marry her childhood best friend, Lord Laurence. But Kate finds excitement right on her doorstep. Lord Broughton has returned from abroad to restore the partly burnt-out Broughton Hall, reigniting an old mystery.

When Kate overhears two plotters, she is determined to save Broughton Hall from murderous foes. She cannot count on Laurie’s help, he has become quite stuffy since he left Cambridge. But can she trust Lord Broughton? And why has the beautiful Frenchwoman, Angelique, come to stay at the Hall?
As Kate falls headlong into love, she risks far more than she intended.

A Pledge of Passion by Victoria Vane
Only a madman makes a promise in the heat of passion...And only a fool believes him....

Only a madman makes a promise in the heat of passion... Three years ago, during a midnight tryst in a moonlit garden, Nicolas Needham fell in love—only to walk away. As a younger son with few connections, his pride demanded that he better his circumstances before paying his suit to her. After working several years as an undersecretary in the Foreign Service, Nicolas is finally given the opportunity to advance—by negotiating a contract of matrimony on the British Envoy’s behalf. Little does he know, the intended bride is the same woman to whom he once pledged himself.

And only a fool believes him.... Lady Mariah Morehaven has lived a quiet, almost reclusive life in the country. While she accepts that marriage is her unavoidable destiny, as a baroness in her own right, and heir to one of the oldest and land-rich estates in England, she fears becoming the target of fortune hunters.  Entrusting her well-connected cousin to present her with a list of suitable candidates, Mariah decides on a match with a diplomatic envoy, only to discover the man sent to negotiate for her hand is the one who broke her heart.

Never Tempt a Rogue by Christy Carlyle
An infamous rogue meets his match in a feisty chaperone who has all but given up on love.
Felicity Beckett’s uncle has tasked her with one goal for Lord and Lady Forsythe’s country house party. Keep her innocent cousin away from the notorious rake, Lord Lindsay. The man’s Rogue’s Rulebook has earned him the most scandalous of reputations, but no one warned Felicity how irresistible a rogue can be.

Alex Evering, Lord Lindsay, agrees to attend his aunt and uncle’s party for a bit of enjoyment before embracing the duties of his newly inherited title, but he loathes their scheme to redeem his reputation and marry him off to a proper young lady—until he meets Miss Beckett.

Wanted by the Warrior by Violetta Rand
In a land where vendettas and magic separate the north and south, forbidden love is brewing between two ancient rivals…
Lady Sophia Camerot desperately tries to behave, but simply can’t follow the rules. After a stranger saves her life, she suspects her champion is from another place. And to make matters worse, despite the political ramifications of her refusal to marry the man her father handpicked, she prays for another chance meeting with her hero.

Prince Victor Allain is the notorious heir to the Solfine throne, the last line of defense against an envious world that wants nothing more than to purge Europe of pagans. Unable to resist his attraction for Sophia, he risks everything to possess her. Hunted by enemies for breaking the law, Victor and Sophia must outmaneuver their rivals to protect Victor’s country from destructive alliances.

A Highwayman's Honor by Michelle McLean
He's honor bound to protect his enemy's daughter; but he never counted on losing his heart.
Charles II’s court is dangerous for Cromwell’s old followers; especially with a cavalier highwayman determined to dispense justice. When the notoriously gallant Highland Highwayman leaves Elizabet Harding’s family on the brink of ruin, her only option is marriage to loathsome nobleman. Until she meets devilishly handsome Lord John Ramsay, whose familiar eyes betray his secret. Unmasked, he must pay the price for her silence—marriage. John’s enemies will hurt Elizabet to get to him if they can. But he promised his protection and he’ll do whatever’s necessary to defend the woman he never expected to love. No matter the consequences.

Lord Quickthorn's Bargain by Barbara Monajem
To save her sister’s virtue, will she sacrifice her own?
Sensible Gwen Appleby is aghast when her foolish sister vows to pursue the notorious rake, Lord Quickthorn. To save her sister from certain ruin, she turns to her friend, the custodian of the fairy well. A simple spell, making Lord Quickthorn indifferent to her sister’s beauty, is all that’s required.

But Gwen’s friend is no longer at the well, and the new, mischievous, very male custodian agrees on one condition: Lord Quickthorn will turn his seductive wiles on Gwen instead. To save her sister’s virtue, must Gwen sacrifice her own? Worse, will the promise of passion make her long to do so?


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