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.


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.
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: 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?


Monday, January 4, 2016

Special Guest Authors: Historical Romance Anthology


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.   

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.  

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. 

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? 

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.

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. 


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:,, or

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,, or

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:,,,

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:,

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:,,

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:,,

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:,,

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:

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