b2b is Three!

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Someone pinch me! Has it really been THREE years already?! WOW!

Another year just whooshed by me…Personally, it has been another year filled with health issues I just wasn’t ready to deal with, but then when are we, right?!

Through it all I found that my hubby’s love can get me through everything life throws at me and that is a blessing I don’t ever want to take for granted.

As always, I still feel blessed with so many of you that are faithfully stopping by, commenting and making me laugh out loud. Your support is appreciated and always welcome. I’m really humbled by the romance community all over the world!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all!

This year saw our Krissie leave us, but we welcomed with opened arms two of our faithful followers with their unique reviews, Connie and Leah. I was seriously considering shutting the blog down when they jumped in and literally saved me. Please help me welcome them with a huge HIP-HIP-HOORAY!

Since last year our one month-long PUSH-A-BOOK celebration was such a great hit with readers and authors alike, we thought why mess with something that ain’t broke?

Clipart Illustration of a Bunch Of Floating Party Balloons With

So get ready, our bookworms as we’re kicking off our ONE month long celebration on November 1st with Vanessa Kelly and ending it with Anna Campbell.

Throughout the month we’ve invited some of the most hard-working, amazingly creative and way too talented people in the romance community to stop by and help us celebrate. Our invitations once more answered with so much enthusiasm that we just might schedule some visits in twos and threes!

Here’s just a few of the authors that will be coming over… Delilah MarvelleVicky DreilingEileen DreyerDanelle HarmonMaureen Driscoll, Anna CampbellGrace BurrowesMia MarloweMarilyn BrantVanessa KellyLouise AllenShana Galen, Elise RomeNicola CornickJillian StoneSaralee EtterPatricia RicePriscilla ShayBethanne Strasser, Valerie Bowman, Bella Love, Monica BurnsElla Quinn, Caroline LindenSandra OwensTerri BrisbinVictoria Vane, Jenn LeBlanc, Norah WilsonAmanda ScottDonna CummingsNicky Wells, Marguerite KayeBarbara MonajemSaralee EtterDeborah Doucette, Lila DiPasqua, C.C. HumphreysTracy Anne Warren…and a few surprise guests too! There will be prizes…books, and books and some more books, a bookworm heaven, right? There will be many surprises and a Grand Prize as well!

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Won’t you help us celebrate with:

1) Telling us which ‘Book’ would you like to ‘Push’ and why…

2) Subscribing to our Blog…

3) ‘LIKE’ -ing us on our Facebook!

All three are required for a TRIPLE chance to win in the Grand Giveaway!

However, if you’re already a follower and our FB buddy, all you need do is…COMMENT on the upcoming posts and you’re all set to go. Are you ready to PARTEY?!

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‘Snowbound Wedding Wishes’ Anthology

STORY: Three Regency Christmases to remember…

An Earl Beneath the Mistletoe by Louise Allen

Hugo, Earl of Burnham, hates Christmas! Snowbound in widow Emilia Weston’s cozy alehouse, with her young twins, he’s surrounded by festive preparations. Hugo’s cynical heart is in danger of being melted…. How much longer can he avoid the mistletoe?

Twelfth Night Proposal by Lucy Ashford

Leaving London to claim his newly inherited estate, Theo Dalbury finds remote Derbyshire as foreign to him as his feelings for country girl Jenna. Christmas evokes painful memories for him, but Jenna is bringing out his festive spirit…and will give him a yuletide that he’ll never forget!

Christmas at Oakhurst Manor by Joanna Fulford

Vivien Hastings is looking forward to a quiet Christmas at Oakhurst Manor, until she realizes she’ll be sharing it with Max Calderwood. It’s been years since he broke her heart, but one hot glance from his cool gray eyes shows her that she’s just as vulnerable to him as she ever was….

REVIEW: An Earl Beneath the Mistletoe by Louise Allen

I loved this story of a hardened soldier Hugo, Earl of Burnham, who’s not so fond of Christmas. He gets snowbound in a small and cozy alehouse, owned by a widow Emilia Weston who is living there with her two little boys.

Hugo and Emilia turns out had much in common and by the end of the story we’ve been charmed by the little hamlet as much as with Emilia’s twins.

For a short story, this was well written, sweet and tender. All the characters were well-rounded and very likable.  Loved it!

Twelfth Night Proposal by Lucy Ashford

I must admit that this story left me …cold. There were many reasons for it, but the most important one is that Theo and Jenna never really ‘took’.

It felt like the author couldn’t make up her mind about who this girl was. She started off by a girl wearing men’s clothing, yet didn’t pretend to be a boy; she goes from being strong to being meek; cold then hot toward Theo.  Both characters felt a bit bland and I blame the dialogue that was too stilted and predictable. But what disappointed the most, was the love-making scene…Just couldn’t buy it. Too rushed and really not necessary.  Everything was rushed, therefore characterization and plot suffered.

I failed to connect with this story which in the end I thought could have been better told.

Christmas at Oakhurst Manor by Joanna Fulford

This story was actually very fun. The heroine, Vivien Hastings was one strong and well-developed character for a short story. As a matter affect, I got a kick out of all the characters in this story.

Max Calderwood, the hero who ten years ago broke Vivian’s heart, gets a second chance with her now as they meet by chance at their host’s Christmas party.

Another well written, sweet, funny and delightful story of ‘the one that got away’. I’d say this one’s a ‘grown up’ love story of true love that survives distance, forced marriage and trust issues both Max and Vivian face before they accept each other as the people they became after their separation. Loved it!

I bought the book.

‘Snowbound Wedding Wishes’ by Louise Allen, Lucy Ashford & Joanna Fulford

BOOK BLURB: Three Regency Christmases to remember…

An Earl Beneath the Mistletoe by Louise Allen

Hugo, Earl of Burnham, hates Christmas! Snowbound in widow Emilia Weston’s cozy alehouse, with her young twins, he’s surrounded by festive preparations. Hugo’s cynical heart is in danger of being melted…. How much longer can he avoid the mistletoe?

Twelfth Night Proposal by Lucy Ashford

Leaving London to claim his newly inherited estate, Theo Dalbury finds remote Derbyshire as foreign to him as his feelings for country girl Jenna. Christmas evokes painful memories for him, but Jenna is bringing out his festive spirit…and will give him a yuletide that he’ll never forget!

Christmas at Oakhurst Manor by Joanna Fulford

Vivien Hastings is looking forward to a quiet Christmas at Oakhurst Manor, until she realizes she’ll be sharing it with Max Calderwood. It’s been years since he broke her heart, but one hot glance from his cool gray eyes shows her that she’s just as vulnerable to him as she ever was….

EXCERPT:  ’An Earl Beneath the Mistletoe’ by Louise Allen

How do you melt the heart of a cynical man who does not believe in family – or love?

The ground came up to meet him with a force that jarred his tired legs as he slid out of the saddle in front of the front door and he steadied himself with a hand on the pommel while he thudded on the panels with his other fist.

No reply. Damn it, he would break in if he had to and pay for the damage afterwards…

The door swung open spilling light and heat into the rain. Hugo blinked against it, looked down to meet the concerned gaze of the woman holding the door open and said the first thing that came into his head. ‘You are as wet as I am.’

Hell, she’ll think she’s facing a lunatic. But it was true. Wide hazel eyes smiled up at him out of a freckled face that was rosy with damp heat. Brown curls stuck to her forehead and cheeks, her sleeves were rolled up to reveal hands and forearms that dripped water and her wide white apron was soaked and glued to her skirts.

‘But not as cold, I will wager,’ she said with a laugh in her voice, turning to call over her shoulder, ‘Boys! Quickly. Come in,’ she added, ‘Before you drown. You will not be going any further tonight, that is for certain.’

EXCERPT:  ‘Twelfth Night Proposal’ by Lucy Ashford

Christmas evokes painful memories for Theo Dalbury but country girl Jenna will give him a Christmas he’ll never forget…

‘You – you are asking me to be your paid mistress?’ She pulled herself away; Theo saw the colour had drained from her face.

‘Jenna,’ he said almost harshly, because his body was fiercely – painfully – aroused. ‘We both want each other – you know that. You would be secure here, you and your mother!’

‘Is it so very obvious?’ she whispered.

‘What on earth do you mean?’

She didn’t answer. She’d already turned, and was hurrying away. ‘Jenna!’ he called. ‘For God’s sake…’

She’d disappeared, up the stairs. Theo cursed. Damn it, she’d enjoyed his kiss all right – she’d melted into him with all the sweetness of a young and eager temptress! Painfully he fought down his arousal. The rich new lord of Northcote Hall had come to pay a Christmastide visit, and she was making the most of it, before he left…

Wrong, Theo. He ground the heel of his palm against his temples. He was utterly and completely in the wrong. Wasn’t it bad enough that he’d tried to seduce her? What possible grounds did he have for putting the blame on her, when it was all his fault in the first place for luring her into trusting him, then lunging at her like some skirt-starved trooper?

 

EXCERPT:  ‘Christmas at Oakhurst Manor’ by Joanna Fulford 

It has been years since Max Calderwood broke Vivien Hasting’s heart but she finds herself as vulnerable to him as she ever was…

‘Only you could find entertainment in that sordid little scene.’

‘Entertainment at his expense, not yours.’

‘Really?’ Her chin tilted to a militant angle. ‘I have another theory.  I think the whole charade has just been part of the Christmas festivities as far as you’re concerned.’

His amusement faded. ‘No, never that.’

‘Perhaps I should be flattered to know that I can still amuse you.’

With that she turned on heel and headed for the door.

‘That isn’t what I meant.  Vivien, wait!’

She flung the door wide and kept going.  Half walking half running she reached the side door to the garden, so angry that even the icy air had no power to deter.  She was fifty yards along the path before Max eventually caught her up.

‘Vivien, please stop!’

She swung round to face him. ‘What now?’

‘I apologise if I hurt your feelings.  That was not my intention, I swear it.’

‘You may not have intended it, Max, but you did all the same.’ The blue gaze locked with his. ‘You’re good at it.’

FEATURED AUTHORS:

Louise Allen

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Lucy Ashford

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Joanna Fulford

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*THREE  lucky Commenters will end up with one copy each of this book/eBook.

Giveaway INTERNATIONAL!

Won’t you join our celebration by:

1) Telling us which ‘Book’ would you like to ‘Push’ and why…

2) Subscribing to our Blog…

3) ‘LIKE’ -ing us on our Facebook!

All three are required for a TRIPLE chance to win in the Grand Giveaway!

However, if you’re already a follower and our FB buddy, all you need do is…COMMENT on the upcoming posts and you’re all set to go.

*Clicking on the author’s name/pic will give you their contact info, website or bio. 

*Clicking on the cover of the book/s will take you to Amazon.

The Elegant Inteligencer Report by Miss Louise Allen, Literary Correspondent

Lady Perdita recovers from her ordeal on the Isles of Scilly

The Elegant Inteligencer 12 March 1809

An exclusive report has just been received from our Calcutta correspondent, dated December 8th 1808, describing the departure of some of the leading lights of Calcutta Society for England.

Dear Readers, I was fortunate enough to secure an invitation for a glittering reception last night at the Residence of the Governor of Calcutta and write this report in haste, before the sun has risen, in order to send this report to the next ship leaving for England. I know, Gentle Readers, that the arrival in London Society of several of the most interesting of our eligible residents after their sojourns in India cannot fail to interest you.

The great Marble Hall of the Residence was a blaze of colour last night as the Governor hosted his reception for those leaving on the East Indiaman, the Bengal Queen at the end of this week. So many dashing gentlemen in the scarlet uniforms of the East India Company’s army, so many gallant naval officers and, of course, the refined style of the cultivated members of the Company’s staff. The ladies, in the silks that are so abundant here (and which would fill the hearts of every discerning London shopper with the deepest envy!), filled the Hall with grace, colour and some quite marvellous arrays of gemstones. My dears – the Burmese sapphires!!

The most prominent of the ladies who will be sailing on the Bengal Queen is Lady Perdita Brooke, the lovely and vivacious daughter of the Earl of Wycombe of Devon. You, Dear Reader, will recall that Lady Perdita (or Dita to her intimates) left London society somewhat mysteriously to travel to India. At the time it was said she was visiting her aunt and, naturally, I pay no heed to the whispers that this was following an elopement, foiled by her papa. It is most natural that such a spirited young lady would wish to travel.

There was quite a stir at the reception at the unexpected appearance of Alistair, Lord Lyndon, heir to the Marquess of Iwerne who, we learn is also returning to England. (Editor’s Note: our correspondent was unaware, as is the viscount himself, that in his absence his esteemed father has passed away and he is now the marquess himself).

Lord Lyndon is a neighbour of Lady Perdita, their fathers’ estates marching together, but I was most intrigued to note that they greeted each other with surprise and no great cordiality. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Lady Perdita was positively frosty! When one considers that the handsome viscount is only just recovered from wounds inflicted by a Savage Tiger while performing a Daring Rescue, one can only wonder at what lies behind this froideur! How will these two leading lights of Society survive four months or more together in the close confines on board ship, one wonders?

Accompanying Lady Perdita is Miss Averil Heydon. While lacking the beauty and connections of her friend, one cannot but note that this attractive and shy young lady is a notable heiress, daughter of East India nabob Sir Jeremiah Heydon. Miss Heydon travels back to England to marry Lord Brandon: a most piquant journey, for she has never met the noble lord and one wonders about her emotions under these circumstances!

Much vivacity was provided at the reception by Mr Daniel Chatterton, one of the handsome twin brothers of the Earl of Flamborough. Mr Daniel C is renowned as, if I may be excused the use of slang, a Choice Spirit and the life and soul of the party. It is said that Mr Daniel is returning to wed his childhood sweetheart, Miss Sophia Langley, a true romance that will warm the hearts of every one of my Fair Readers, I am certain.

Mr Callum Chatterton, also returning with his twin, is rumoured to be taking up a post of great responsibility with the East India Company in London, a reward for his diligence in his duties while in India. One might have expected the Sensible Twin, if one may so designate him, to have been the first to become betrothed, and there are even suggestions that he does not approve his brother’s connection, made when both parties were so young. That aside, one hears great things of his future prospects and no doubt the prudent mothers of young ladies in the Marriage Mart will have their eyes upon this gentleman.

Our company here will be diminished by the departure of these notables from our midst, but you, Fair Readers, will have all the pleasure of their company by the summer of next year. Now I must prepare myself for a picnic to be given in honour of the arrival in the city of the Raja of Kalatwah, a notable ally of the East India Company. My report will follow, you may be assured.

The Elegant Intelligencer 25th March 1809

We are desolated to report, so soon after our bulletin from our Calcutta correspondent, that the East Indiaman the Bengal Queen  struck a treacherous reef off the Isles of Scilly during the night of the 15th inst.

Some, miraculously, have been plucked from this hideous wreck. Lady Perdita Brook is safe, thanks it is said, to the courage and endurance of the Marquess of Iwerne who has not only had to face the disaster of the wreck but the news that, in his absence abroad, his respected father passed away. Lady Perdita returns to her family, confident, we are certain, that the scandal that led to her leaving England has been forgotten and forgiven. It seems that, despite his gallant rescue of the lady, she and Lord Iwerne are still at odds, a most intriguing situation!

It is with deep sadness that we report the death of Mr Daniel Chatterton, leaving his twin brother Callum and his fiancée, Miss Langley, to mourn him. We are certain that they will find mutual comfort and support in their shared grief, despite persistent rumours that Mr Chatterton did not approve his brother’s engagement.

Of great concern to all that knew her is the disappearance of Miss Averil Heydon who must, it seems, be presumed lost. Her fiancé, it has to be said, is bearing up under this loss with great stoicism, but, of course he never knew the lady, only her dowry. Disturbingly there are vague tales on the Islands of the presence of a gang of mysterious, possibly piratical, men. One can only hope that Miss Heydon has not fallen into their clutches. They might even be Frenchmen!

The Elegant Intelligencer March 2012

Our Literary Correspondent reports that Miss Louise Allen, author of many works of a romantic nature, has undertaken to report the dramatic events surrounding and following the wreck of the Bengal Queen in a series of three novels under the general title of Danger & Desire. Such is the interest in these events that we report this here, despite the publication of these works by our rival company, Harlequin Mills & Boon.

Ravished by the Rake recounts what transpires in the tumultuous story of Lady Dita Brooke and Alistair Lyndon. Seduced by the Scoundrel reveals the mystery of what happened to Miss Averil Heydon and the destiny of Mr Callum Chatterton and Miss Sophia Langley is unveiled in Married to a Stranger.

Further information, excerpts and information on the purchase of these titles may be found at www.louiseallenregency.co.uk Miss Allen also converses by the medium of Twitter as @LouiseRegency

Giveaway:

Miss Allen will be giving away the book of choice

from the Danger & Desire trilogy

shipped anywhere in the world! 

‘Ravished by the Rake’ by Louise Allen

STORY: Vivacious lady Perdita Brooke prides herself on her social poise…except when faced with devastatingly dashing Alistair Lyndon. The dreamy young man Dita once knew is now a hardened rake, who clearly does not remember their passionate night together…however much it’s emblazoned on her memory!

Now Dita has the perfect opportunity to remind Alistair of their sizzling chemistry. But soon she is in over her head. Provoking him is supposed to be a deliciously wicked game, with her holding all the cards—until Alistair reveals the ace up his sleeve!

REVIEW: Lady Perdita Brooke is not your typical lady of the ton, and frankly, she never was.

At sixteen, she was an awkward, skinny but tall girl with a crush on a neighboring marquis’ son who was six years older than she, and who always thought her a nuisance until one unforgettable night, which left both with yearning dreams of each other.

Many years later, in a faraway India in exile for putting her family through a scandal, she’s shocked to see that boy who is now a man that she still finds fascinating, handsome and infuriating, all at the same time.

Lord Alistair Lyndon is not a boy any more but a man whose experiences for the past few years have left him scarred inside and out, and while the scars that could be seen are intriguing and attractive to most of the women, the ones that are hidden are haunting his dreams and keeping our hero awake at night.

As both, Alistair and Ditta, are finally ready to return to their families, they’re faced with a voyage that will set the course for their future.

The heroine is one tough cookie! She’s witty and smart but not a great beauty, which made her more real.

The hero, while Alpha all the way, Ms. Allen made sure he had the shades of Beta and that made him more real.

Together, they were a force to be reckoned with!

The setting, while it starts off in India, is made more unique by having our pair stuck on a ship for duration of three months, and there’s a lot that can happen during that time, trust me.

Ms. Allen has managed to tell an amazing character driven story that will touch your hearts. It’s also very well written, action filled and entertaining while still sensual and touching with secondary characters well-developed and waiting for their own HEA’s.

This is the first Louise Allen novel I’ve read and I loved it! As ‘Ravished by the Rake’ is the first book in the ‘Danger & Desire’ trilogy, I can’t wait to read the other books in the series. Ms. Allen, I’m going to have to stock up on your other books while waiting for the rest of this series. Welcome to my keeper shelf!