Spotlight on Heather Graham and her …

Civil War Trilogy

One Wore Blue (Cameron Family Saga, #4) 

hg owbSTORY: Her Rebel Spirit Defied His Yankee Soul

She was velvet and silk, emerald eyes and sunstruck hair, Kiernan Miller had married one man to protect her from another. She hated Jesse Cameron with a fierce passion. But she was a widow now, and he was the enemy at her door, come with weapons of fire to melt her icy heart …

His Traitor’s Touch Ignited Raging Passions

He wore a Yankee uniform with inimitable Southern style, as true to the Union cause as he was treasonous to his rebel roots. Even as war engulfed them all, he would find his greatest adversary in the beauty who’d branded him a traitor, the woman he was born to possess.

hg aowgAnd One Wore Gray (Cameron Family Saga #5)

STORY: In the sequel to One Wore Blue, the other Cameron brother, Daniel, is bewitched by Callie Michaelson, a wild beauty who hates the South but who could make him forget the horrors of the war.

And One Rode West (Cameron Family Saga #6) hg aorw

STORY: In the aftermath of the Civil War, when raids on rebel plantations threaten her family property, Christa Cameron coaxes a young Union officer into marriage, secretly vowing to keep her purity intact.

REVIEW: When I took upon myself to read this Civil War Trilogy, I didn’t know that it was a part of a six book Cameron Family Saga series, which starts off with The North American Women trilogy [Sweet Savage Eden (Cameron Family Saga #1), A Pirate's Pleasure (Cameron Family Saga #2), Love Not a Rebel (Cameron Family Saga #3)]. You may be an old fan of this author, but she’s new to me and I thought this would be a perfect way to see if I may like her stories, and now knowing that I liked the latter part of this series, I’m determined to hunt down the first three books and read the Cameron Saga from its begining.

Let’s start this review with a genre. If you’re not a fan of western genre, you’ll not bother with these books. However if you’re a historical romance lover, I think you’ll enjoy these stories as much as I have. Especially the history part of it. Ms. Graham must have done a ton of research for these books, and it shows in her telling of these tales.

The trilogy tells a tale of three siblings, two brothers and their sister, that are faced with life altering decisions of which side to be on when civil war brakes.

The sister stays on their plantation while brothers chose opposite sides and one fights for the north and one for the south.

This first story is happily ever after of one of the brothers, Jesse Cameron and his love for Kiernan McKay. The two grew up together in the south, and the war cruley separates them as Jesse decides to wear a blue uniform of the north, and leaves Keirnan heartbroken.

As the war rages, our couple goes through hardship and pain, before their love is given another chance. And that road is what gave this story its heart and purpose. I also understand the ‘saga’ part of this series’ title. It is a wonderful narrative that chronicles the lives of the members of Cameron family.

If you know your history, than the theme will be familiar; country along with many families is divided; brothers take arms against each other as they fight on opposite sides, but what Ms. Graham gives this story is richness of each character she introduces. You’ll love them all. Oh, and it never hurts to have a sensual, sweet and satisfying [read scorching] romance.

‘One Wore Blue’ is the beginning of an awesome journey and I’m so glad to have read it. It had everything I love about western romance and then some.

In ‘And One Wore Gray’ we follow Daniel Cameron who ends up hurt and Callie, a Yankee widow living in Maryland on Mason-Dixon line, is the one who saves his life, and in the process she’s forced to betray him.

If you love stories with betrayal, heartbreak and plenty of sensuality, this one’s going to be one book you’ll be happy to read and reread. The characters were well defined, the plot and conflict well written, and the pace just perfect for a ‘saga’. I also think you’ll be very impressed with this authors research as she brings the Civil War to life.

‘And One Rode West’ is a third [sixth of the Cameron Saga] and last book of the Civil War trilogy, finally comes time for Jesse’s and Daniel’s baby sister Christa Cameron to find her own piece and happiness.

By now we’re familiar with her as we met her in both of the previous books, ‘One Wore Blue’ and ‘And One Wore Gray’. Ms. Graham picks up this story where the last one left off and we watch this feisty little Southern belle as she is faced with a decision to make about the plantation. While her big brothers were away, she was the one to hold things together at home. She is constantly forced to make hard choices, especially defending the plantation from the Yankees. And that’s how she gets herself in trouble, choosing to wed Jeremy McCautley, her sister in law Callie’s Union Colonel brother, and thus saving her home from destruction. Her plan to get an annulment doesn’t sit well with her groom, who has a plan of his own.

And then the war ends and her brothers with their families have safely arrived home to Cameron Hall and she is forced by her own choice to wed, to leave one familiar place she loved above all else, and follow her husband out West.

I liked this one the best. The love/hate relationship between Jeremy and Christa was well written and as they looked for compromises in their growing relationship, the reader is left to find and accept them as well.

As usual, Ms. Graham’s story is well-researched, and well written. I can’t praise this book, and the other two, enough.

All the main characters as well as supporting ones were wonderfully defined and written. The setting in Ms. Graham’s hands was brought to life in all its glory and heartache. I realized that it took someone with deep understanding of this conflict to write such poignant and heartwarming stories. You should read them all. I’m off to my local book store to track down the first three while all these stories are fresh in my mind.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Ruined by Rumor’ by Alyssa Everett

ae rbrSTORY: After waiting five years for her fiancé to return from the war and marry her, Roxana Langley has been jilted! She may have longed for excitement, but this was not what she had in mind…

Who could possibly throw over a woman as beautiful and vivacious as Roxana? Certainly not Alex Winslow, the Earl of Ayersley, who has spent years trying in vain to forget his unrequited love. When he learns she’s been abandoned by her cad of a fiancé, he finds himself offering a shoulder for her to cry on. Comfort soon turns into a passionate kiss—-and scandal when they are caught in an embrace.

Only one thing will save Roxana from certain ruination: marriage to the earl. The match may save her reputation, but responsible, tongue-tied Ayersley is a far cry from her dashing former fiancé. She’s convinced Ayersley is merely doing his duty…while he’s sure Roxana is still in love with another man. Are they trading one disaster for another?

REVIEW: This was another awesome read and I’m happy to recommend it to you. The romance, as in all of Ms. Everett’s, is slow-building but oh so sweet.

This trope, marriage of convenience, has been done to death, but in this author’s hands, with a beta hero, it is perfection.

There are misunderstandings, some feelings of guilt and underneath it all, a love blossoms. It was easy to fall for this hero. He’s just a perfect man, yet a bit shy about his feelings and a deep abiding love he’s carried for this woman who was misguided by another and confused about her growing affection for him.

I tried to figure out why Ms. Everett’s stories are so appealing to me, and the only thing I came up with was that her work is a mix of Mary Balogh and Carla Kelly, yet she is still unique in her prose as well as plotting.

If you’ve never read her work, please seek her out. You won’t be sorry.

Melanie for b2b

‘Lord of Secrets’ by Alyssa Everett

ae losSTORY: Lord of Secrets is the story of a young woman, Rosalie Whitwell, who’s spent most of her life sailing the globe with her father. When he suffers a fatal heart attack in the middle of the North Atlantic, she turns in her panic to a fellow passenger–the moody, mysterious Lord Deal.

Having witnessed his father’s suicide years before, David Linney, Marquess of Deal, has withdrawn from society, living the life of a recluse. Even so, he’s drawn to his pretty shipmate, like him the victim of family tragedy.

The end of the voyage spurs David to propose. But on their wedding night, Rosalie meets with an unwelcome surprise: her handsome husband is strangely unwilling to consummate the marriage. Is her own lack of allure to blame, or is there some other reason for David’s reluctance? To find the answer, Rosalie must unlock the secret of David’s past.

REVIEW: Have you ever read a book with the title that’s had you scratching your head? I did. Many times. This book has even got a title perfectly right.

Now, I must say that the pace of this one was slow, but I liked it only because it afforded me to get to know both main characters better.

As for the secret, I was surprised at it and I would have liked it if the author had revealed it just a bit sooner.

As for everything else, I have no complaints. This author is now firmly on my keeper shelf.

I do recommend it to all of you who appreciate a good intrigue, sweet romance, brooding heroes and an unusually slow pace.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘An Heir of Uncertainty’ by Alyssa Everett

ae ahouSTORY: Yorkshire, 1820

Lina, Lady Radbourne, thought being a countess would rescue her from poverty. Unfortunately, her young groom failed to plan for the future, and his drunken accident left her widowed and pregnant. Now Colonel Winstead Vaughan—Win—will inherit her late husband’s fortune…unless she gives birth to a boy. Win is her natural enemy, so why can’t she stop thinking about him?

Win is stunned to learn he stands to inherit a vast fortune. He’s even more surprised to find himself falling for the beautiful, spirited Lady Radbourne, who is the one woman who stands in the way of a life he’d only imagined.

When someone tries to poison Lady Radbourne, suspicion falls on Win. There’s a clever killer in their midst, and if Win doesn’t solve the mystery fast, Lina may perish. He needs to win her trust, but how can he prove it’s she he wants, and not the fortune?

REVIEW: Another great book from an author that’s all new to me. This one I may have even liked better than her début, ‘A Tryst with Trouble’ which was quiet good. Every time I meet a well written story from a brand new author, I wonder where they have been hiding. At times their writing is better than many of the authors that have been around for ages.

Alyssa Everett can tell a beautiful story; she can plot the most clever of mysteries; her prose is subtle as are her characters; her romances are sweet and I adore the sharp and clever dialogue that comes out of her characters.

I can’t tell you how delighted I was to discover this author. I highly recommend this book along with all her other titles.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘A Tryst with Trouble’ by Alyssa Everett

ae atwtSTORY: London, 1820

Lady Barbara Jeffords is certain her little sister didn’t murder the footman, no matter how it looks…and no matter what the Marquess of Beningbrough—Ben—might say. She can scarcely help it if his cousin is the only other suspect. In fact, she wants nothing to do with ruggedly handsome Ben; he reminds her of all the insensitive clods who passed her over.

For years Ben has been dogged by painful gossip about his father’s rumored homosexuality. His gruff shell hides a passionate nature, and he’s also fiercely loyal—which is why he’ll never let the clever and beguiling Lady Barbara pin a murder on his cousin.

Sparks fly as the two compete to defend their loved ones. But as strange new clues emerge that neither can decipher alone, they have no choice but to compare notes and sleuth in tandem. A tenuous bond develops that soon faces its toughest challenge when Ben himself becomes a suspect…

REVIEW: This was a début book for this author, but I couldn’t tell. It’s that good!This story and characters within are a bit quirky and much different from the usual regencies I read, which attracted me to it. I found that the author perfectly blended two genres that I love, romance and gothic mystery.

I loved the humor, the mystery and a dialogue that was superb, but none of this would have worked if the hero wasn’t so lovable and cute!

If you like clever written tales, with humor and some gothic feel to them, please check this one out. It really is one refreshing read.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

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

‘The Earl’s Enticement’ by Collette Cameron

cc teeSTORY: She won’t be tamed. 

A fiery, unconventional Scot, Adaira Ferguson wears breeches, swears, and has no more desire to marry than she does to follow society’s dictates of appropriate behavior. She trusts no man with the secret she desperately protects.

He can’t forget.

Haunted by his past, Roark, The Earl of Clarendon, rigidly adheres to propriety, holding himself and those around him to the highest standards, no matter the cost. Betrayed once, he’s guarded and leery of all women. Mistaking Roark for a known spy, Adaira imprisons him. Infuriated, he vows vengeance. Realizing her error, she’s appalled and releases him, but he’s not satisfied with his freedom. Roark is determined to transform Adaira from an ill-mannered hoyden to a lady of refinement. He succeeds only to discover, he preferred the free-spirited Scottish lass who first captured his heart.

REVIEW: The story of Adaira Ferguson and Roark Marquardt, the Earl of Clarendon, who were briefly mentioned in ‘Highlander’s Hope’ is in this third book of the Castle Brides series. It’s not necessary for you to have read the first two books in order to follow their HEA, as the story can be stand alone.

As in the previous two books, Ms. Cameron crafts a well thought out plot, then gives it a fast pace and a wonderful dialogue that keeps this story interesting and always moving. I loved both main characters very much and their first meeting was superbly executed.

Talk about mistaken identity! And talk about appropriate punishment for our little ‘hoyden’ of a heroine! I also liked the way these two ‘sizzled’ off the pages. No matter what they did, fight or love, sparks were flying, left and right.

But what gives this story its depth is the richness of the characters within it, and that’s something I always look for in my romances. I hope you’ll give this author a go. She has a lot of great tales in her and I’m looking forward to her telling of them.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author