Monday, November 23, 2015

Books in paperback!

Over the last few weeks I've been creating some of my books into paperbacks so they are available on Amazon for those people who don't have Kindles. I'm very pleased with the results. I wish I had done it ages ago, but they are done now and I hope readers feel they are worth it. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Women suffered many Post-War Issues

When World War II ended there was a feeling of anti-climax, as if the bright blue, sun-filled sky had clouded over, leaving a feeling of uncertainty about the future. A grey chill seemed to hang over everything. But then the country was in a mess, near bankrupt. There were bombed areas and rubble everywhere, homes lost or wrecked, many empty shops and huge bomb craters everywhere.

Women had become much more hardened and independent, having worked hard jobs usually occupied by men, spending endless sleepless nights in shelters fearing they could be killed. And suffering years of anguish worrying over the fate of their loved ones in the war.

When the fighting men returned, these problems were not always taken into account, the husband too beset by his own problems. Women lost their jobs, expected to concentrate on being a wife and mother again by creating a family and home. Housework did take much more time in those days, of course. Even so, many of them resented this change in their lives. They were also urged to no longer wear plain looking suits, trousers or overalls, but to be bright and pretty females again.

She might also have to cope with a shell-shocked or injured husband, outbursts of violence, depression or infidelity. A soldier having been trained to kill was not always the same civilised a person he’d once been. He could be far too accustomed to giving orders and inflicting punishment in order to achieve his aim, for him to show much patience for her. Or he might feel in desperate need for peace and quiet and hardly move or speak.

Many men suffered from sleepwalking, nightmares, or shouting in their sleep. Settling back into Civvy street was not easy, nor was finding a home and employment. He might be missing his pals, decide she’s grown old and become bored with her. Lives had changed and relationships were often badly affected, not least because couples had seen little of each other as leave generally were quite short, and many men had gone overseas. Even letters were often late and much of them blacked out. Whatever his reaction to the traumas he’d suffered, she would largely be the one left to cope. There was little in the way of counselling or assistance.

Cathie is remarkably patient with her fiancé, perhaps a little too kind and vulnerable. She does her best to help by listening to the advice given out over the radio and from the WVS. But then finds there is a price to pay.

Christmas is approaching and Cathie Morgan is awaiting the return of her beloved fiancé, Alexander Ramsay. But she has a secret that she’s anxious to share with him. One that could change everything between them. Her sister has died and she wants to adopt her son. 

When the truth is finally revealed, Alex immediately calls off the wedding, claiming that the baby is actually Cathie’s, causing all of Cathie’s fears to be realised. As Cathie battles to reassure Alex of her fidelity, she must also juggle the care of the baby and their home. 

But then Alex crosses the line with a deceit that is unforgivable, leaving Cathie to muster the courage to forge a life for her and her nephew alone. Will Cathie ever be able to trust another man again and as peace begins to settle will she ever be able to call a house a home… 

Published by Mira books. 

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Monday, November 9, 2015

New Release! LADY HOPE AND THE DUKE OF DARKNESS-The Baxendale Sister Series Book #3



In her first Season, Hope Baxendale attracts the interest of a powerful English duke, the husband all debutantes wish for and some will fight dirty to get. If only the handsome Frenchman Daniel Brienne, Duc du Ténèbres wasn’t distracting her from her course. Daniel shows little interest in marrying again, and surely, it is only the sadness in his deep brown eyes that pulls her to him:
Daniel yearns for solitude. When his very existence is threatened, he wakes to the possibilities of a life passionately lived. He knows just whom he wants in his future, but the weary hawk, the Duke of Winslow, circles. And is it fair to ask Hope to leave her family and her country for him?
A heavyset man halted beside Hope. When his way forward was blocked, he lost his temper and pushed against her. His foot crashed down on her instep, unprotected in her thin evening slipper. Hope cried out in pain, but the man merely ground his shoe into hers to gain momentum and pushed on.
With an angry scowl at the man’s back, the duke took her arm and pulled her sideways. He frowned down at her. “Did he hurt you?”
She grimaced. “My foot is a little sore.”
Hope limped as he drew her toward the open French doors.
When they reached the doors where the curtains flapped in the breeze, they escaped out into the cool, welcoming fresh air. The terrace was deserted. A small party of guests, who had braved the weather, disappeared amongst the trees to admire the gardens lit by braziers.
Hope had left her evening cloak when she’d entered the mansion. She shivered and rubbed her arms. Her foot throbbed horribly, and she’d begun to hobble.
The duke put an arm around her and led her to a garden seat. He shrugged out of his coat and wrapped it around her shoulders. “I’ll fetch your parents.”
Hope clutched his coat, still warm from his body to her chest and breathed in his musky, masculine scent. “It will be difficult for you to locate them in that crush.” She looked toward the open door. “I expect they’ll soon find me.”
“Then please allow me to see the extent of your injury.”
Hope cautiously lifted her gown high enough to expose her foot and ankle as the duke knelt at her feet.
She muffled a gasp as his gloved fingers took a gentle hold of her ankle and his dark head bent over her foot. Her skin tingled where he touched her. The only man who had ever paid attention to her ankle was the groom who’d taught her to ride. The duke removed her slipper, revealing an obvious swelling beneath her damaged stocking.
“You’ll have a nasty bruise, but I don’t think you’ve broken a bone,” he said, lifting his head and pinning her with his deep, soulful dark brown eyes.
She sucked in a breath and fought to compose herself. He didn’t look beguiled. In fact, he sounded like their doctor. She’d thought him quite sociable when they’d last danced, but tonight, there was more distance between them despite his proximity. It was impossible to know what he was thinking. She supposed she didn’t present well from this angle. She now had a big hole in her soiled stocking. “I was to ride in Hyde Park on Sunday. I suppose I shan’t be able to, now,” she said. “And I was looking forward to it.” She closed her mouth firmly, aware she was rambling.
“I doubt this injury will prevent you. You like to ride?”
“I do. Riding gives one a wonderful sense of freedom.”
“Well put.”
“Although Rotten Row is a little restricting. One cannot gallop there. My father disapproves of women galloping. He says sidesaddles are dangerous.” She pressed her lips together.
“They have been proved so.”
“I would love to ride astride, like men. I don’t see why women cannot.” Rambling and opinionated. She was so nervous she seemed unable to stop.
“In the future perhaps, when you marry.” He straightened, but having him stand so close didn’t improve her breathing.
“A husband would permit it?”
“I don’t see why not in the privacy of his estate.”
“Then you agree?” she asked, curiosity getting the better of her. “You would allow your wife to ride astride, I mean.”
He paused to consider it. “It would be entirely my wife’s decision.” His smile softened the firm set of his jaw and turned his eyes to brown satin. “But I imagine you could persuade your husband without a great deal of difficulty, Lady Hope.”
It wasn’t a criticism, for his tone was warm. He might even like her a little. In fact, his gaze was a soft caress, and oddly, it seemed to bring him closer, although he hadn’t moved an inch. A lurch of excitement shocked her and brought her back to the present. They were at a rout, surrounded by the beau monde. Her dress was rucked up, and he was holding her shoe!
“We’d best replace your shoe before your foot swells.” The duke dropped down again and returned to his task.
He was holding her ankle in his long fingers while slipping on her shoe when her father stormed out of the door with her mother following on his heels.
For a moment, Hope held her breath as her father surveyed the scene. Thankfully, he did not rush to judgment. But neither was he pleased. His brows snapped together. “Thank you for rescuing my daughter from that infuriating melee, Your Grace.” He strode over to Hope. “We feared you’d been trampled underfoot, my dear.” He eyed her foot. “It seems you have.”
Fortunately, she and the duke were not alone, for several guests had emerged from the gardens and approached the terrace steps.
Having replaced her shoe, the duke straightened. “Your daughter has suffered a slight injury.”
“I’m grateful for your assistance,” Father said, his tone brisk. He whipped the duke’s coat from Hope’s shoulders and held it out to him. “Most grateful.”
The duke shrugged into his coat. “Lady Hope finds it painful to walk.”
“Come, Hope.” Her father took hold of her arm and led her across the terrace.
A sharp pain shot through her instep, and she staggered. “I can’t walk, Father.”
“Dashed infernal entertainments, so called,” her father muttered. “How on earth are we going to get through that crowd?” He swung Hope up into his arms.
Hope held on to her father’s shoulder and peered around at the duke, who nodded to her as she was carried inside. “Thank you,” Hope mouthed.
Her father blustered his way through the throng, which was thankfully dispersing, her mother behind them. Reaching the front porch, he set Hope on her feet. “Never ask me to attend another of these ridiculous routs again,” he said to her mother through clenched teeth. “I’d rather brave Billingsgate fish wharf.”
“Are you overset my dear?” her mother asked. “He actually had his hand on your ankle! The French do not have the same sense of proprieties that we English do.”
“He wore gloves, Mama.”
“Nevertheless. He might have seen more than was fitting.”
“He did see my foot and my ankle. I believe he will recover from the experience.”
“Don’t be impertinent,” her father said. “Your mother is quite correct.”
At least her parents were now in agreement.
As they were led to their vehicle, the duke strolled onto the porch. Footmen stood to attention while others scurried for the carriage. His fingers on her ankle had been gentle and impersonal, and he’d showed no sign that he found her irresistible. Why would he? It had been kind of him to bother with her. He was a puzzle, however, welcomed with respect in English ballrooms and sought by those in high office, but at the same time, there seemed a wall between him and the rest of the world.

Maggi Andersen's Website:

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Guest Author: Jessie Clever

To Be a Lady: A Spy Series Short Story by Jessie Clever


She planned for everything except him.

Miss Jane Black enjoys a comfortable position in society.  As the daughter of a respected genteel farmer and former agent for the War Office, Jane has had the pleasure of planning a future filled with domesticity and quiet reflection.   But when her dying grandfather swears her to a dangerous promise, Jane’s expectations are shattered. 

Fighting to keep her promise, Jane sees danger lurking everywhere, and when her near kidnapping throws her into the arms of the Marquess of Evanshire, another danger she didn’t know to fear emerges: the danger of love.

The short stories in the Spy Series:
1.     To Be a Spy
2.     To Be a Duke
3.     To Be a Lady

The Spy Series short stories take place after the conclusion of the Spy Series.

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About the Author:

In the second grade, Jessie began a story about a duck and a lost ring.  Two harrowing pages of wide ruled notebook paper later, the ring was found.  And Jessie has been writing ever since.

Armed with the firm belief that women in the Regency era could be truly awesome heroines, Jessie began telling their stories in her Spy Series, a thrilling ride in historical espionage that showcases human faults and triumphs and most importantly, love.

Jessie makes her home in the great state of New Hampshire where she lives with her husband and two very opinionated Basset Hounds.  For more, visit her website at

Connect with Jessie…

March 1833

Richard Black, the Duke of Lofton, died peacefully in his bed.  It was a Tuesday, as unremarkable as any other Tuesday, and he had gone to bed as he had any other Tuesday for the whole of his eighty-three years.  It was only as dawn broke through the curtains that his wife, Jane, found him gone when she woke beside his cold body.
His colleagues and friends had all remarked on such a virtuous end to a life lived in constant pursuit of death.  For in his work with the War Office, Richard Black had more than once traveled into the vicinity of death, caring not for the safety of his person but for the safety of an entire nation.  To have death finally come when one had lived a life as full as it was wide, having escaped attempt after attempt on his life by nefarious traitors and the like, it was a rather remarkable feat and oft mentioned at the clubs by those that survived him and admired him.
His funeral was quite the spectacle with everyone in attendance including the Earl Grey.  It was rumored even Peel would have appeared if he had been in the country at the time.  As it was, St. Paul's ran over with the respectable and noble, the pews crammed with the latest in mourning fashions.  The people were all there to see the great Richard Black, the Duke of Lofton, celebrated spy for the War Office, and in his later years, tremendous supporter of the reform acts sweeping through the House of Lords, laid to rest.
It was an exultant affair for all that those types of things could be.  His life was carefully articulated by his sons, each milestone given its due.  His achievements were itemized in detail and revered with exuberance by Lord Crawley, a man simply referred to as exemplary in his work alongside Lofton at the War Office.
As Richard Black's merits rang through the dome of St. Paul's, the attendees all bowed their heads, absorbing the passage of time, reflecting on their own life's achievements or lack thereof, and all pondered on the greatness of the man they had lost.
All except one, that is.
One slight head bent not in reflection but in fear.
Fear of the days ahead.  Fear of the unknown.
Fear of not being able to keep the last promise she made to her grandfather.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The richest young widow in England....

Frances Bowes, the richest young widow in England, saves Jack Slade from drowning, but Jack, living in his own private hell after the death of his wife, is not grateful. Newcomer Holbrook dazzles the neighbourhood in his glorious regimentals and Frances’s mother, match-making hat firmly in place, claims that he’s admirable husband material. Frances remains unimpressed, but when the newspaper publishes an ugly letter questioning her reputation, she realizes someone is trying to force her into something she definitely does not want.

An absorbing tangle of emotions and a heart-rending denouement.


His clothes… She ran her eye over the long length of him, took in the riding breeches and top-boots, both of a quality far beyond the pocket of a mean highwayman. Her mouth twisted. What did she know of highwaymen? His left hand, relaxed and long-fingered against the stony ground, bore a heavy gold ring on the third finger, and as she watched, the sun raised a scarlet gleam from the embedded stone. A wedding ring?
Thoughts tumbled through her mind at amazing speed. She ought to check his head and see if the wound still bled, but to do that she must touch him. Such a small thing; yet she hesitated.
Frances! Touch him, or else call yourself a coward.
Her hand trembled in the air above him and then closed upon itself and retreated, curling into a fist against her throat. Even with him unconscious, she did not like the thought of touching him.
Marriage to Rathmere had left her with a huge dislike of physical contact. But this man, she told herself, looking down at him, offered no threat. He needed her help.
Do it. Do it now.
Taking a deep breath, she reached out before her fears caught up with her and touched his brow. Her fingers sprang back as if she encountered fire. Frances shook her head at her foolishness.
His skin was cold beneath her hesitant fingers, but a pulse beat slowly in his neck. Drat the proprieties. And be damned to her fears. If he died, she would never forgive herself.
“Wake up, you silly creature.” Growing bolder, she shook him by the shoulder. “Wake up. Speak to me. Who are you?”
Perplexed, she flopped down on the wet mud beside him. He was far too heavy to lift. She could not drag him up the slope to the meadow, even with Gyp’s assistance.
Hugging herself, rocking back and forth, she dithered. If she knew what to do, she would do it, but she had no idea what would be best.
Gyp whined, shuffled closer, stretched out her neck and licked the man’s neck with long, curious strokes.
Stimulation. Frances smiled. Of course.
She gripped the man’s shoulder. He looked uncomfortable, sprawled on his side, one cheek flat against the mud. He proved far heavier than she expected, and as soon as she let go, he flopped back again. Odd sounds and a trickle of water came from his mouth. Encouraged, she tried once more, and failed again.

“Oh for pity’s sake!”