Jenna Jaxon and …

Eight Fun Facts about Medieval Times

ma1During my extensive research for Beleaguered, and all the books of Time Enough to Love, I have come across a plethora of information regarding the times, people, and customs of the Middle Ages.  Some of these facts found their way into the books in one form or another.  But I couldn’t use everything without sounding like a history book rather than a romance novel.  So I thought I’d share some of these little know facts about Medieval Times.

  1.  During the Middle Ages people bathed a lot more than people today give them credit for. In noble households they might have private baths with servants to assist.  For the masses, there were public bath houses that often also served meals to the bathers.
  1.  Weddings were held outside the doors of the church.  No priest was needed to officiate and if there were no witness, the marriage was still deemed valid as long as the couple had spoken their vows and had given and received a token (such asma2 a ring).
  1. Marriages were usually arranged by the parents of the bride and groom, who were often very young indeed.  The age of consent during the Middle Ages was 12 years for a girl and 14 years old for a boy.
  1. The Bubonic Plague that hit Europe in 1348 was actually three strains of plague.  The bubonic plague is the classic disease of the lymphatic system, carried by fleas from rats, that manifested itself in large buboes or swollen lymph nodes in neck, armpit, and groin. The second strain was septicaemic plague was an infection of the blood and pneumonic plague was an infection of the respiratory ma3system.  The latter two strains had almost a 100% mortality rate.  The Bubonic plague was closer to 50%. During the mid-14th century pandemic nearly one third of all people in the affected areas died of it.
  1. During the Middle Ages women rode  horses astride for travel and hunting.  Sidesaddles did not become fashion until the 15th century and then only for ceremonial occasions.  Women rode astride into the 16th century.
  1. Royal banquets lasted for many hours and consisted up to six courses.  Courses consisted of such dishes as civet of hare, a quarter of stag, sturgeon cooked in parsley and vinegar covered in powdered ginger, chickens covered in yolk of eggs and sprinkled with spice.  The point was to serve many intricate dishes from whichma4 guests took only a bit and then passed it on.
  1. Archery was one of the most popular sports of the medieval period.  Also popular were bowls, colf (forerunner of golf), hurling (forerunner of hockey), horseshoes, and stoolball (a forerunner of cricket).
  1. During the Middle Ages, when a woman went into labor, she was shut into a room with the doors closed and the windows covered until a month after the baby’s birth. She was attended by a midwife, her assistants, and several of the mother-to-be’s friends and relatives.

Beleaguered3BELEAGUERED

BOOK BLURB: When death holds sway in the world, can even the greatest love survive?

Finally in France, Alyse and Thomas return to their roles as courtiers to Princess Joanna.  Their passion for one another continues to smolder hot and deep—until one fateful encounter changes everything.

During a formal banquet, Alyse must share an intimate dance with Geoffrey, her first love. His searing touch proves Alyse’s love and desire for him is as strong as when they first met. Tormented by this revelation, Alyse is bitterly torn between the love of her life and her love for her husband.

Into this agonizing situation, the disaster of the Black Death rears its head, decimating the princess’s retinue and threatening all their lives.  Alyse, Thomas and Geoffrey must try to save the princess from the ravening disease but at a dire cost to themselves.  With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both of the men she loves.  But which love will survive?

Buy Links: Amazon / Smashwords

TEASER: 

The men continued to talk, but she paid them no heed, caught in a private hell from which she had believed herself safe. She would have to be vigilant to ensure neither she nor Thomas were burned by the fire that had been kindled months ago between her and Geoffrey Longford. She could not trust any of them now—neither her husband to keep his jealously in check, nor Geoffrey to cease his pursuit of her, nor herself to keep him at bay.

She had believed she loved Thomas enough to lay the ghost of Geoffrey to rest in their bed. But from the moment she had seen him on deck this morning, her beloved still, she knew deep in her very core that Geoffrey had been right: it would never be over between them until they were dead and in the tomb.

This realization frightened her beyond all reason. It was as though she had been two people in one body all day, each belonging to a different man. As long as they lived that would never change. She played with fire each time she met with or spoke to Geoffrey, and one day the banked embers would flame up and consume them both.

There would be hell to pay one way or the other. The only question was how much damage would be wrought. Immortal souls hung in the balance, waiting for Judgment Day.

>>>>> $50 Amazon GC - RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY <<<<<

jjAUTHOR BIO: Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical  and contemporary romance.  She is currently finishing revisions to  her fifth full length novel, To Woo A Wicked Widow, set in Regency England and the first book in her five part series, The Widow’s Club.

Only Scandal Will Do is Book 1 in her Georgian  House of Pleasure series and Only Marriage Will Do, second book in the series is with the editor. Her medieval trilogy, Time Enough to Love, is being published by Rising Phoenix Publications. Book 1, Betrothal is currently available.  Book 2, Betrayal, will be available later this fall.

Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

Social Media: WebsiteTweeter / Facebook

Debbie Mason’s Five Favorite …

Christmas Ornaments

1. Last year my husband bought me a Grinch ornament to celebrate the release of THE TROUBLE WITH CHRISTMAS. The ornament below is on this year’s wish list to celebrate the release of CHRISTMAS IN JULY. You can find it on http://www.zazzle.com.

ornament1

2. To celebrate my publisher buying the next three books in the Christmas, Colorado series, I’ve put these beautiful Colorado ornaments  on my Christmas wish list. You can find them on http://www.acoloradochristmas.com

ornament4   ornament2   ornament3

3. The ornament below is one of Grace Flaherty’s favorites. Grace is the heroine in CHRISTMAS IN JULY.  You can get it on http://www.zazzle.com

 

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4. These felt ornaments are Grace’s son Jack Junior’s favorites. You can buy them in a pack of 12 at Linens and Things.

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5. This is the ornament Grace’s husband Jack is buying her this year. You can find it at http://www.zazzle.com

ornament7

 

Christmas in July: A Christmas, Colorado Novel: Book 2

Mason_ChristmasinJuly_MM (2)BOOK BLURB: Grace Flaherty had given up hope of ever seeing her husband again. After all, it’d been over a year since he went missing in combat. So when he strides through the door of her bakery in downtown Christmas one sunny afternoon, she can hardly believe her eyes. But her happily-ever-after is going to take some effort – because Jack has no memory of his family.

All Jack Flaherty remembers about Christmas is that he couldn’t wait to leave town. Now he’s a local hero with a wife and son he doesn’t know. Even as he struggles to rekindle the romance with his wife, he knows in his heart what he wants: a second chance at love.

EXCERPT: 

He leaned against the counter, crossing his arms as he studied her. The movement pulled the white stretchy fabric tight across his broad chest, and she found herself paying more attention to the corded muscles in his arms than the flicker of concern in his laser-blue eyes. “You always have a problem sleeping or is it more recent?”

This was ridiculous. She couldn’t think straight. He doesn’t feel anything for you. He doesn’t want you, she reminded herself sternly. The thought had the same effect as standing under an ice-cold shower. At least she could think clearly again. “Jack Junior took a while before he learned nighttime was for sleeping. I think it messed with my internal clock,” she answered, adjusting the temperature on the oven. In truth, she hadn’t slept through the night since Jack went missing. She’d been able to deal with the fear during the day, but it haunted her at night. But like her lusting after him, it wasn’t something he needed to know.

“What do you do to help you sleep?”

Pray. Imagine what it would be like when you came home. Figure out how I’ll go on if you don’t. “Warm milk with a banana.”

“I’ll have to remember that.”

She wondered if he meant for her or for him. If he was having trouble sleeping, it was something she needed to know. Despite how peaceful and sweet they’d look lying together in the big bed, Grace knew enough about PTSD to be cautious and had returned Jack Junior to his crib. The military trained their warriors to cope with being captured. And Jack was one of their best. But that didn’t mean warriors didn’t break. He hadn’t been fine when he left.

“Are you having trouble sleeping?” she asked, placing the pie in the oven. He didn’t answer right away, and she glanced over her shoulder.

His gaze slid up her legs to her face. As if embarrassed to be caught checking her out, he uncrossed his arms and shoved his hands in his jeans pockets. It was somewhat heartening to discover he wasn’t totally immune to her.

“No, not at all. Why?”

“So you’re not having nightmares or flashbacks?”

“Is that why you didn’t leave Jack Junior in bed with me?”

“No, of course not. I didn’t want him to fall out or for you to roll over on him.” He raised a brow and held her gaze. She sighed. “Okay, so the thought crossed my mind.”

“If you were worried about it, you should’ve asked me. For the record, I don’t have PTSD.”

“It’s a little early to say that for sure. There can be a delay in symptoms.”

“We’ll have our pie, and then we’ll talk about—”

Stunned, she interrupted him. “You want to talk about it?” She’d begged him to open up to her last time, to help her understand what was going on with him. But every time she did, he’d shut her down.

“Honestly? No. I’m one of the lucky ones. I survived. I came home. But you have legitimate concerns, and we should discuss them.”

This was the man she’d fallen in love with, the one she’d prayed would come back to her. At that moment, the desire for him to remember her, to remember them, was painful. She had to remind herself she was lucky to have him home at all. She forced a smile. “I appreciate that. Thank you.”

Opening the cupboard, she took out a plate. He reached around her and took out another one.

“I said we’ll have our pie and talk. That’s the deal. Take it or leave it,” he said when she went to object.

“I told you—”

“Yeah, I know what you told me, but I don’t believe you. I’m home now. You don’t have to worry about me anymore.”

“How did you know?”

“Let’s just say you wouldn’t make a very good poker player.”

“Is that right? Well, how do you explain the fact I beat you every time we played?” She grinned at his shocked expression.

“Huh. I wouldn’t have taken you for a poker player. What did we play, Five-card stud, Texas Hold’em?” he asked as though he didn’t believe her.

She took the pie out of the oven. “Strip poker.”

“Sorry, I missed that.” He leaned into her, his warm breath ruffling her hair. “What did you say?”

“I think you heard me just fine,” she said in a breathy voice, trying not to melt into his lean, muscled body.

“Maybe I’m in shock. You don’t strike me as the strip-poker type.”

“What type do I strike you as?” she asked, placing first his slice of pie, then hers, on the plates. She handed him his. “I have ice cream if you’d like. Häagen-Dazs dulce de leche.” She wondered if he remembered the brand was his favorite.

“Do you even have to ask?”

“You remembered.”

“Yeah, I remembered,” he said quietly.

As she took the container from the freezer, he said, “Bridge. I would’ve figured you for the type of woman who played bridge. When I first saw you, that’s who you reminded me of—wealthy women who do lunch and are involved in good causes. Elegant and refined, polite and cultured.” Grace kept her back to him so he wouldn’t see the face she made. He could be describing her mother. “You’re also sweet and have a great sense of humor. And you’re a wonderful mother. Our son is lucky to have you.”

She blinked back tears, pretending to fight with the ice cream lid. She didn’t want him to see how his words had affected her. “Thank you.”

They were lovely words, but that’s all they were. She didn’t think the qualities he ascribed to her would be enough for him to fall in love with her again if his memory didn’t return.

Buy Links: B&N / IndieBound / iTunes / Amazon

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Debbie MasonAbout the author: “My dream of becoming a published author took a backseat to raising my children and running several businesses with my husband. In 2007, we sold the businesses and our youngest graduated from high school, giving me time to focus on my writing. I joined two romance writing groups and began letting my characters do and say what they wanted to.”
Praised as a “writer to watch” by RT Book Reviews, Debbie Mason also writes Scottish-set historical paranormals as Debbie Mazzuca.  Her MacLeod series debuted in April 2010 and is said to “combine the passion of Hannah Howell’s Highand romances with the seductive fantasy of Karen Marie Moning’s bestsellers.”
 
Social Media Links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads
Christmas-in-July-Blog-Tour

Spotlight on Bob Van Laerhove and …

bvl tbrBOUDELAIRE’S REVENGE

BOOK BLURB: It is 1870, and Paris is in turmoil.

As the social and political turbulence of the Franco-Prussian War roils the city, workers starve to death while aristocrats seek refuge in orgies and seances. The Parisians are trapped like rats in their beautiful city but a series of gruesome murders captures their fascination and distracts them from the realities of war. The killer leaves lines from the recently deceased Charles Baudelaire’s controversial anthology Les Fleurs du Mal on each corpse, written in the poet’s exact handwriting. Commissioner Lefevre, a lover of poetry and a veteran of the Algerian war, is on the case, and his investigation is a thrilling, intoxicating journey into the sinister side of human nature, bringing to mind the brooding and tense atmosphere of Patrick Susskind’s Perfume. Did Baudelaire rise from the grave? Did he truly die in the first place? The plot dramatically appears to extend as far as the court of the Emperor Napoleon III.

A vivid, intelligent, and intense historical crime novel that offers up some shocking revelations about sexual mores in 19th century France, this superb mystery illuminates the shadow life of one of the greatest names in poetry.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N

GIVEAWAY: 2 print copies/ 2 Winners!

US/Canada only.

bobvanlaerhovenAUTHOR BIO: Bob Van Laerhoven has written more than thirty books in Holland and Belgium.

Bob Van Laerhoven became a full-time author in 1991. The context of his stories isn’t invented behind his desk, rather it is rooted in personal experience. As a freelance travel writer, for example, he explored conflicts and trouble-spots across the globe from the early 1990s to 2005. Echoes of his experiences on the road also trickle through in his novels. Somalia, Liberia, Sudan, Gaza, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar… to name but a few.

During the Bosnian war, Van Laerhoven spent part of 1992 in the besieged city of Sarajevo. Three years later he was working for MSF – Doctors without frontiers – in the Bosnian city of Tuzla during the NATO bombings. At that moment the refugees arrived from the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. Van Laerhoven was the first writer from the Low Countries to be given the chance to speak to the refugees. His conversations resulted in a travel book: Srebrenica. Getuigen van massamoord – Srebrenica. Testimony to a Mass Murder. The book denounces the rape and torture of the Muslim population of this Bosnian-Serbian enclave and is based on first-hand testimonies. He also concludes that mass murders took place, an idea that was questioned at the time but later proven accurate.

All these experiences contribute to Bob Van Laerhoven’s rich and commendable oeuvre, an oeuvre that typifies him as the versatile author of novels, travel stories, books for young adults, theatre pieces, biographies, poetry, non-fiction, letters, columns, articles… He is also a prize-winning author:  in 2007 he won the Hercule Poirot Prize for best thriller of the year with his novel De Wraak van Baudelaire – Baudelaire’s Revenge.

For more information please visit Bob Van Laerhoven’s website. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Spotlight on Kathy Fischer-Brown and …

The Serpent’s Tooth Trilogy!

kfb led‘Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter’: Book 1 

BOOK BLURB: As a child, Anne Fairfield dreams of the father she never knew, the hero who died fighting the French and their Indian allies in a land across the sea. Her mother’s stories, and fantasies of her own devising, sustain and nurture her through a poor and lonely existence. Until one winter night, a strange man comes to call, and the life she has known comes crashing down like shattered glass.

Forced to confront sordid truths, secrets and lies, the headstrong young woman begins to learn that, like generations of women ruled by their hearts, she is destined to follow in their footsteps.

Set against the backdrop of 18th century England, Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter is the first book in “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy, which follows Anne from the rural countryside, to London society and into the center of the American Revolution.

Buy Link: Amazon / Amazon US Paperback / Amazon UK Kindle / Amazon UK Paperback / Amazon Australia Kindle

~*~

kfb ctd‘Courting the Devil’: Book 2

Four years after a near fatal blunder uproots her from her home and inheritance, Anne Darvey, daughter of the Marquess of Esterleigh, finds herself an indentured servant on a farm near Fort Edward in New York, as the British army advances toward Albany. Driven by guilt over the pain she has caused her father and grief over her lover’s death, she sets out to deliver a message. The consequences lead to the discovery that all is not as it seems, and sets in motion events that lead to love and danger.

Set against the backdrop of the American Revolution, Courting the Devil is the second book in “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy, which follows Anne from her childhood in the rural English countryside, to London society, and into the center of the American Revolution.

Buy Link: Amazon / Amazon US Paperback / Amazon UK Kindle / Amazon UK Paperback / Amazon Australia Kindle

~*~

kfb tpw‘The Partisan’s Wife’: Book 3

Faced with an impossible choice, Anne Marlowe is torn between her husband’s love and the hope of her receiving father’s forgiveness. As American forces follow up on their tide-turning victories over the British at Freeman’s Farm and Bemis Heights, Peter is drawn deeper into the shady network of espionage that could cost them both their lives.

Is his commitment to “the Cause” stronger than his hard-won love for Anne? Will her sacrifice tear them apart again…this time forever? Or will they find the peace and happiness they both seek in a new beginning?

The Partisan’s Wife follows Anne and Peter through the war torn landscape of Revolutionary War America, from the Battle of Saratoga to British-occupied New York and Philadelphia, and beyond.

Buy Link: Amazon / Amazon US Paperback / Amazon UK Kindle / Amazon UK Paperback / Amazon Australia Kindle

~*~

????????‘Winter Fire’

When Ethan Caine pulled the unconscious woman from the half-frozen creek, he had no idea that his world was about to explode. Dressed in quilled doeskin of Iroquois design, she stirred up dark secrets from his past. At the same time, she was everything he desired. But she was more Indian than white, and on the run for murder. He needed to know the truth. He needed to find it within himself to trust her.

Banished by the Seneca Indians who adopted and raised her, ostracized by the whites in the settlement, Zara Grey wanted only to be accepted. “Ethancaine” treated her with kindness and concern. It was easy to trust him. But her Indian ways disturbed him, and in her heart she would always be Seneca.

Buy Link: Amazon / Amazon US Paperback / Amazon UK Kindle / Amazon UK Paperback / Amazon Australia Kindle

~*~

*GIVEAWAY: 3 Commenters/3 eBooks

Kathy Fischer BrownAbout the Author: As a child Kathy wanted to be a writer when she grew up. She also wanted to act on the stage. After receiving an MFA in Acting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts and playing the part of starving young artist in New York, she taught theater classes at a small college in the Mid-West before returning home to the East Coast, where over the years, she and her husband raised two kids and an assortment of dogs. During stints in advertising, children’s media publishing, and education reform in the former Soviet Unions, she wrote whenever she could.

Her love of early American history has its roots in family vacations up and down the East Coast visiting old forts and battlefields and places such as Williamsburg, Mystic Sea Port, and Sturbridge Village. During this time, she daydreamed in high school history classes, imagining the everyday people behind all the dates and conflicts and how they lived.

Claiming her best ideas are born of dreams, Kathy has written a number of stories over the years. Her first published novel, Winter Fire, a 1998 Golden Heart finalist in historical romance, was reissued in 2010 by Books We Love, Ltd., which also released Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter, Courting the Devil, and The Partisan’s Wife.

When not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, photography, playing “ball” with the dogs, and rooting on her favorite sports teams.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Fan2Author Interview with … Collette Cameron!

collette cameronBookworms, please help me welcome Collette Cameron to the blog. Her books are new to me, and the one’s I’ve read so far have impressed me. I’m so happy to welcome her today and I hope you’ll join in the conversation and ask her some questions.

Collette Cameron: Thanks so much for having me here today!

b2b: Collette, before I start with the questions, how about you tell us a bit about your writing career?

CC: I haven’t been writing all that long. I sat down at my computer in February 2011 and starting tapping out my first historical, Highlander’s Hope. After rewriting it twice and cutting the novel in half, I started the whole query process.

cc hhI was very fortunate to find a publisher in a relatively short amount of time, and Highlander’s Hope released May 2013. The next two books in the series followed with the final book of the Castle Brides Series, The Earl’s Enticement, releasing in May 2014.

I’m well into my next series, The Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, with the first book, Triumph and Treasure, expected to release this fall. I’m also a contributing author to a Viking/Highlander anthology and a historical Valentine anthology, both of which are expected to release early 2015.

As if that won’t keep me busy enough, I’m participating in an 8 book boxed novella set with seven other Regency authors.

I’m so glad school is out Friday, and I can concentrate on writing again. I’m only working very part-time from now on!

b2b: How have your characters and their stories come to you and which one/s whispered the loudest for their story to be told?

CC: Highlander’s Hope began with a single scene that popped into my head one day. I wondered if I could write an entire story around it. Not only did I do that, I created a cast of characters I so fell in love with, most of them get their own novels or novellas.

TheViscountsVow2_850Adaira and Roark from The Earl’s Enticement pestered me and pestered me to write their story from the moment I introduced them on the page in Highlander’s Hope. But I told them they had to wait until Vangie and Ian’s story in The Viscount’s Vow was told. They’d nagged me all through writing Highlander’s Hope to get their story written. My characters aren’t known for their patience!

b2b: What was your favorite book as a child?

I loved Mother Goose’s Fairytales. I remember my dad reading them too me over and over until I could recite them with him. I was only about three at the time.

b2b: Is there a book you’re never tired of reading over and over?

CC: I don’t usually read books several times, with the exception of The Flame and The Flower. That book was the first full-length romance novel I ever read, and I think I’ve always had a special spot in my heart for it

I’ve certainly read many, many incredible stories since then, but that book was the catalyst for me falling in love with the romance genre.

b2b: Do you like reading classics and is there one that you’re embarrassed to say you’ve never read?

CC: Umm, do I dare confess this? I write Regency after all. I’m whispering here. I’ve never read any of Jane Austen’s book from start to finish. Yes, I’m hiding behind my computer screen. I’ve watched the movies. Does that count? And I adore Georgette Heyer.  Can I score any points with that?

b2b: Is there a book that you recently read that you wish you had written?

CC: I don’t think I’ve ever wished I had written another author’s book, but I certainly can appreciate their work and their creativity. I might think to myself, “What a great idea,” or “Why didn’t I think of that?” but I’ve never wished the story was mine.

b2b: What’s a movie adaptation of a book that you loved or that you wish it is made?cc tee

As I mentioned above, I’ve really enjoyed all the movies derived from Jane Austen’s writing. I also adore The Count of Monte Cristo, and I just read The Bride Gift by Sarah Hegger which would make a spectacular movie. I think Ella Quinn’s books would make a fabulous movie series too.

b2b: Which book we might be surprised to learn that you loved?

CC: It’s not historical or even romance, but I’ve read Wonder to my class of third graders for the last three years. That book is amazing and teaches such an amazing lesson. I never fail to be touched and more determined to be kind after reading it.

Okay, so for the reading the book over and over bit above, I would read Wonder over and over to students.

b2b: If you were given only one genre to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?

CC: Can I just say historical romance? Then I can read everything up until about 1920. Yep, that ought to do it.

b2b: What was the last book that made you laugh out loud, and what was the last one that made you cry?

CC: The Duke of Morewether’s Secret by Amylynn Bright had me giggling. All of Amy’s books are filled with humor which is why she’s one of my favorite authors.  As far as crying goes, I don’t usually cry while reading a book, but again, Wonder made me cry.

b2b: Do you read your books post-publication?

I haven’t yet, except for editing purposes for the print versions. Maybe someday I’ll sit down with one of the print books and read it. That would be a very unique experiences, I think.

b2b: During a thunderstorm – stay inside or sit on porch watching the show?

CC: Inside, under the bed, with my cowering dogs.  Yes, I’m a chicken.

The last really nasty thunderstorm we had, lightening touched down about eight feet in front of me. I was putting my chickens up. Scared the pants off me. I literally crawled the rest of the way in the house and discovered my computer modem had been fried from the surge.

cc bjb2b: Flannels or Silk?

CC: Silk of course. Pink or blue please with copious amounts of lace.

b2b: Sports car or SUV?

CC: Oh, I’ve got my eye on a lovely white Toyota Highlander.

b2b: Cats or Dogs?

CC: I have both, but I’m really more of a dog person; especially dachshunds.

b2b: Champagne or Beer?

CC: Neither. I don’t like either one or wine for that matter.cc n

b2b: Movies or TV?

CC: Movies. I watch very little television; writing all the time, you know!

b2b: What’s your favorite TV show or movie?

CC: Favorite movie is The Count of Monte Cristo.

b2b: Collette, thanks so much for stopping by b2b and we wish you great success with this series!

CC: Thank you so much!

And now it’s time for you Bookworms to be put in a hot seat!

If you had to give up your beverage of choice, comfort food of choice, or reading romance, which would you choose and why? 

GIVEAWAY! 1 eCopy of TEE/1 Winner! *US ONLY!

To learn much more about Collette, please click on her photo, or get in touch with her through her Social Media:  Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Spotlight on Victoria Vane and…

Hot Cowboy Nights Series!

Street TeamBanner2 850x315

Hey Bookworms! I hope your summer’s going great! I have great news to share with you. My next series and its first book ‘SLOW HAND’ will be out sometime in November and it is hot contemporary cowboy series from Sourcebooks

This unique series is comprised of four connected stories (SLOW HAND, ROUGH RIDER, STRAIGHT SHOOTER and SILVER TONGUE) with an option for more. All of my heroes are true cowboys, but these are cowboys like you have never seen before. The cast of characters is unusually diverse, pairing a sassy southern girl with a Montana lawyer, a rancher/bull rider with a female stock contractor, a Marine scout sniper with a wildlife biologist and a horse whisperer with a documentary film maker. 

Although this new endeavor marks a distinct departure from historical romance, I hope you will find that my trademarks still remain—well-researched, scorching hot and emotionally compelling, character-driven stories. The first two covers are finished, and I hope you like them as much as I do. Both books are now available for pre-order as well.

Slow Hand-300SLOW HAND (Hot Cowboy Nights #1)

STORY: Wade Knowlton is a workaholic with an urge to get out. He’s close to leaving his struggling Montana law firm in the dust and going back full time to the ranch with his brothers . . . until the gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office in need of an attorney to settle her estranged father’s estate.

Nicole is a southern belle with a hankering for cowboys—but after a swell of bad seeds, she’s sworn off anything in boots. As their attraction flares into a passion they can’t avoid, will they discover that love can lead to greener pastures?

EXCERPT:

He went to work on his shirt buttons. His collar was soon wide open revealing a generous show of muscular chest that make her hands itch to rip it off him. She diverted her gaze and curled her itchy hands by her sides.

“Have no fear, cowboy,” Nikki replied in a tone meant to disguise the warm flush that had come over her. “I corralled all my wild impulses long ago.”

“Did you, now?” He still stood in doorway, head cocked. “Somehow, I think you may have missed a few strays.”

“Maybe I need to make myself clearer. I have an aversion to cocky cowboys.”

Just keep telling yourself that, Nikki. Maybe if you repeat it often enough it’ll become true.

“Is that so?” His brows flew upward. “I can’t say I ever met a woman with an actual aversion to me.”

“Don’t take it personally. It’s nothing against you in particular, but to your type.”

“And what do you think you know about my type?”

“Since I don’t have a pole handy, enough to keep you at arms-length. Besides that, this whole line of conversation is entirely inappropriate in light of professional ethics, don’t you think? You are my attorney, after all.”

“Well, darlin’,” he scratched his unshaven jaw, “there’s a little hitch to that.”

“What do you mean? You said you’d help me.”

“And I will, but you can’t engage my professional services until I know who you are.”

“I’ve told you who I am!” she insisted.

“Sweetheart, I’m a lawyer, and according to the law, your claim don’t weigh without authentication.”

“Authentication?”

“Proof.”

“So what are you saying? That you don’t believe me?”

“I’m not saying that at all. Only that our professional relationship will commence once you get your I.D. In the interim,” His gaze slid over her in a way that threatened to melt her insides, “you’d best find yourself a nice, long, sturdy pole.”

Pre-order: Amazon / November 2014

Rough Rider-300

Pre-order: ROUGH RIDER, Amazon / February 2015

GIVEAWAY 1: 1 Winner/Choice of any e-book title from my backlist!

GIVEAWAY 2: >>>  Rafflecopter <<<

Victoria VaneAUTHOR BIO: Victoria Vane is an multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling and intensely erotic romance. Look for Victoria’s sexy new contemporary cowboy series coming in summer 2014.

A lover of history and deeply romantic stories, Victoria Vane combines these elements to craft novels and novellas for a mature reading audience. Her writing influences are Georgette Heyer for fabulous witty dialogue and over the top characters, Robin Schone , Sylvia Day, and Charlotte Featherstone for beautifully crafted prose in stories with deep sensuality, and Lila DiPasqua for creative vision in melding history with eroticism.

Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.

Social Media: Web Site / Blog / Facebook / Tweeter Goodreads / DeVere Fan Site

Jenny Barden’s Book Blast of …

The-Lost-DuchessThe Lost Duchess

BOOK BLURB: An epic Elizabethan adventure with a thriller pace and a high tension love story that moves from the palaces of England to the savage wilderness of the New World.

Emme Fifield has fallen about as far as a gentlewoman can.

Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, her only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in the new America where nobody has ever heard of the Duchess of Somerset.

Emme joins Kit Doonan’s rag-tag band of idealists, desperados and misfits bound for Virginia. But such a voyage will be far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to the mysterious Doonan inconvenient to say the least.

As for Kit, the handsome mariner has spent years imprisoned by the Spanish, and living as an outlaw with a band of escaped slaves; he has his own inner demons to confront, and his own dark secrets to keep…

Ever since Sir Walter Raleigh’s settlement in Virginia was abandoned in 1587 its fate has remained a mystery; ‘The Lost Duchess’ explores what might have happened to the ill-starred ‘Lost Colony’ of Roanoke.

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Buy the Book: Amazon (AUS) / Amazon (UK) / Book Depository

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GIVEAWAY/INTERNATIONAL!

1 Print copy/ 1 Winner!

Jenny BardenAbout the Author: I’ve had a love of history and adventure ever since an encounter in infancy with a suit of armour at Tamworth Castle. Training as an artist, followed by a career as a city Jenny (Portrait 2)solicitor, did little to help displace my early dream of becoming a knight. A fascination with the Age of Discovery led to travels in South and Central America, and much of the inspiration for my debut came from retracing the footsteps of Francis Drake in Panama. The sequel centres on the first Elizabethan ‘lost colony’ of early Virginia. I am currently working on an epic adventure Mistress of the Seaduring the threat of invasion by the Spanish Armada.

My work has appeared in short story collections and anthologies and I’ve written for non-fiction publications including the Historical Novels Review. I am active in many organisations, having run the ‘Get Writing’ conferences for several years, and undertaken the co-ordination of the Historical Novel Society’s London Conference 2012. I am a member of that organisation as well as the Historical Writers’ Association, the Romantic Nevelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. I’ll be co-ordinating the RNA’s annual conference in 2014.

I have four children and now live on a farm in Dorset with my long suffering husband and an ever increasing assortment of animals.

I love travelling, art, reading and scrambling up hills and mountains (though I’m not so keen on coming down!).

Author Links:  Website / Facebook / Twitter / Jenny Barden’s Blog / English Historical Fiction Authors Blog

Spotlight on Rebecca Kanner and …

02_Sinners and the SeaSinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah’s Wife 

BOOK BLURB: The young heroine in Sinners and the Sea is destined for greatness. Known only as “wife” in the Bible and cursed with a birthmark that many think is the brand of a demon, this unnamed woman lives anew through Rebecca Kanner. The author gives this virtuous woman the perfect voice to make one of the Old Testament’s stories come alive like never before.

Desperate to keep her safe, the woman’s father gives her to the righteous Noah, who weds her and takes her to the town of Sorum, a haven for outcasts. Alone in her new life, Noah’s wife gives him three sons. But living in this wicked and perverse town with an aloof husband who speaks more to God than to her takes its toll. She tries to make friends with the violent and dissolute people of Sorum while raising a brood that, despite its pious upbringing, develops some sinful tendencies of its own. While Noah carries out the Lord’s commands, she tries to hide her mark and her shame as she weathers the scorn and taunts of the townspeople.

But these trials are nothing compared to what awaits her after God tells her husband that a flood is coming—and that Noah and his family must build an ark so that they alone can repopulate the world. As the floodwaters draw near, she grows in courage and honor, and when the water finally recedes, she emerges whole, displaying once and for all the indomitable strength of women. Drawing on the biblical narrative and Jewish mythology, Sinners and the Sea is a beauti­fully written account of the antediluvian world told in cinematic detail.

BUY LINKS: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Audible.com / B & N / Book Depository / iTunes

Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Howard Books
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio CD

 GIVEAWAY: 1 Print copy/ 1 Winner open to US only.

03_Rachel KannerAbout the Author: Sinners and the Sea is Rebecca Kanner’s debut novel. Rebecca is a Twin Cities native and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Her writing has won an Associated Writing Programs Award, a Loft mentorship Award and a 2012/2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. Her personal essay, “Safety,” is listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2011. Her stories have been published in numerous journals including The Kenyon Review and The Cincinnati Review.

Along with other authors including Anita Diamant, Michael Cunningham, Joyce Carol Oates, Russell Banks and Ron Hansen, Rebecca will be featured in the upcoming title Truthful Fictions: Conversations with American Biographical Novelists.

You can learn more about Rebecca, and find links to selected stories and essays, at www.rebeccakanner.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tour Hashtag: #SinnersandtheSeaTour

Nina Rowan’s Top Five …

… Hero/heroine requirements are …

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1. A deep, abiding passion for something and someone

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2. Unshakeable loyalty

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fear1

3. A fear that they have to overcome

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4. Perseverance

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drive to fight for what they want

5. The drive to fight for what they want

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5 Winners/5 Print copies of A Dream of Desire!

>>> RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY <<<

nr adod‘A Dream of Desire’

No Distance Can Keep Them Apart.

For most her life, Lady Talia Hall has been dreaming of the day James Forester will take her in his arms and kiss her with unrestrained passion. Tired of waiting, Talia decides to take drastic measures to make James see her as more than his best friend’s little sister. But her bold plan goes awry when the scoundrel informs her that he is leaving London—and her—for a life of adventure traveling the world. Crushed, Talia throws herself into her reform work and vows never again to let her foolish heart get the better of her.

But even halfway across the world, James can’t stop thinking of the beautiful Talia, her bold declaration . . . or her brazen kiss. And when James learns that Talia’s reform work has thrown her into the path of danger and scandal, nothing can keep him from returning to London. But a broken heart is not easily put back together, and old habits die hard. Talia and James must learn that trusting in true love is the greatest adventure of all…

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / iTunes

Nina RowanAUTHOR BIO: Originally from California, Nina Rowan holds a PhD in Art History from McGill University, Montreal, with a specialization in 19th century French and Russian art.

A librarian-at-heart, she also has an MA in Library and Information Sciences. Nina lives in Wisconsin with her atmospheric scientist husband and two children.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Goodreads

 

A-Dream-of-Desire-Blog-Tour

Jennifer Haymore’s Top Five …

 … Favorite Book Heroes & Heroines are …

Claire and Jamie (2)

1. Jamie and Claire (Outlander)

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2. Sebastian and Jessica (Lord of Scoundrels)

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3. Lizzy and Mr. Darcy (Pride & Prejudice)

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4. Rhett and Scarlett (Gone with the Wind)

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5. Peeta and Katniss (Hunger Games)

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jh tss‘The Scoundrel’s Seduction’

BOOK BLURB: Temptation Knows No Bounds . . .

Undercover agent Sam Hawkins has devoted his life to protecting king and country. So when he receives orders to assassinate a ruthless traitor, he doesn’t question his mission. But Sam didn’t know his deed had a witness–the beautiful and mysterious betrayer’s wife. Now he has no choice but to take her as his prisoner-one he can neither trust . . . nor resist.

 

Élise, Lady Dunthorpe, will do anything to escape her powerful captor–including seducing him senseless. She didn’t know of her miserable husband’s crimes, but she has secrets of her own, secrets that threaten everything she holds dear. With his piercing dark eyes and gentle touch, Sam inflames Élise’s deepest desires, but how could she ever trust a man who won’t let her go? Caught between the crown he’s sworn to serve and the woman he’s come to love, Sam will risk his heart–and his very life–to keep her safe.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / iTunes

MINI REVIEW: Ms. Haymore pens another character driven story in her House of Trent series, third and my favorite of the three, or six, as there are three novella’s that are a part of this series too.

Let me tell you, out of all the heroes from each book that Ms. Haymore wrote, Sam will forever be my all-time favorite. He was everything we readers desire in an Alpha hero: good-looking, brave, protective of his family, dedicated to his country and a spy to boot!

Elise was one of those ‘older’ heroines [if you can be called that at 28] and I liked her as her story progressed more than I did at the start of the story.

If you like your romances with an aspect of an action-adventure, than you’re in luck, this book has it.

The fast pace, a very intriguing plot that waves through all the books, made this an enjoyable read for me. I do recommend you read them in order though.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

>>> RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY <<<

jhAUTHOR BIO: As a child, Jennifer Haymore traveled the South Pacific with her family on their homebuilt sailboat. The months spent on the sometimes quiet, sometimes raging seas sparked her love of adventure and grand romance. Since then, she’s earned degrees in computer science and education and held various jobs ranging from bookselling to teaching inner-city children to acting, but she’s never stopped writing.

You can find Jennifer in Southern California trying to talk her husband into yet another trip to England, helping her three children with homework while brainstorming a new five-minute dinner menu, or crouched in a corner of the local bookstore writing her next novel.

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