‘The Sinning Hour’ by Elise Rome

Mel’s Author Recommendation: Today I’d like to jump in myself and tell you about this author I discovered a couple of years ago. Her name, then, was Ashley March

I honestly don’t know how we got introduced to each other [we never met in person] but from the start, we hit it off. It was like we’ve known each other forever. I remember being scared to pick one of her books to review because I was dreading it being bad!

In the end, I was so glad I started to read them. 

Have you ever read a book that grabbed you from the first sentence? The opening scene? Well, that’s Elise Rome aka Ashley March. Her stories are character driven by heroes and heroines breathing life to the story she’s telling. Her plots are fun and entertaining. 

When I asked her if she’d like to stop by and be featured this month, she politely declined as the book she is writing now has yet to be finished. That, however, didn’t stop her to offer to push her fellow author Carrie Lofty. She recently read ‘His Very Own Girl’ and was blown away by the story and wanted to spread the word to all of us bookworms out there. What a class act this woman is!

Ashley March will have her new book, under her brand new name of Elise Rome, out probably some time next year and I for one will be here to welcome her under that name.

And as we all are waiting for it, I thought why not give you a taste of her prose? Now, get a cup of coffee, tea or whatever poison it’s the closest to you, and enjoy this short excerpt.

Clicking on the cover, you’ll find a two chapter excerpt. For further information about Elise, please click on her photo or the links provided.

EXCERPT:

“Miranda wrapped the shawl around her shoulders then returned the bonnet to her head, carefully tying the ribbons in a bow. Shadows edged her vision as she watched Mr. Astley stride back to his chair.

Envy curled in her chest at the way he moved: no tucking of the chin or stooping of the shoulders for him. No hurrying as if through dank and filthy lanes, constantly looking to the salvation of the next alley. No fear of being preyed upon inside this grand hulking town house, where servants guarded his every step and power made his words both currency and weapon.

Her gaze flew to the plate of food on his desk. The tower of food. Pastries stacked so thick and high, with golden, flaky crusts, and he ignored them all. Hadn’t even spared them a glance while toying with her earlier, moving his books into their own sturdy little tower.

Cherry. They would be cherry tarts, she was certain. The sauce sweet and voluptuous, juice exploding from the bits of fruit and gushing over her tongue. A buttery shell, so soft and moist as it crumbled against the roof of her mouth—

God. Saliva ran slick over the insides of her cheeks. Her stomach clenched with greedy fervor.

Wicked, her father had called her, for daring to seek work from a nude portraitist. Wicked, he’d said she would become, warning that her duties in such a depraved household would likely be the same as a harlot’s.

Perhaps he’d been right, Miranda thought, swaying a little. She’d stood in Astley’s house for less than an hour and already felt quite wicked. Envy and greed and taking the Lord’s name in vain. Soon she would succumb to the sins of theft and gluttony. Lust, presumably, could not be very far behind.

Astley had hired her. Hired, when everyone else had threatened to fetch the constable or sneered in her face. And all she could think about was snatching the plate of pastries and scurrying away like the mouse he’d likened her to, hunkering down in the nearest corner as she shoveled the tarts into her mouth—one, two, three…there would never be enough to calm the gnawing inside.

“Miss Post?” Suddenly he was there, in front of her again, his hand cupping her elbow.

How she resented him—for his casual disregard of the pastries, for knowing he need only ring the servants’ bell to summon more food from his kitchens. He should have emptied the plate as soon as it was delivered; the contents should now be stretching and warming his stomach rather than lying there untouched, taunting her.

He probably knew nothing of the sour taste of hunger, of these awful black shadows that dimmed sight, of the cold and numbness and hollowing inside. He’d likely dripped with sweat under the summer sun, when even at noon in August she’d been forced to wear a shawl and her thickest stockings in a futile attempt to keep warm.

Indeed, he was hotter than the sun now: the fingers he wrapped around her arm sent heat sinking into her skin, through her flesh, to her very bones. Miranda fought the instinct to lean into him, to climb up and wrap her body around his. She could steal his food and all of his heat and not have to worry about becoming hungry or cold again until the next day.

Hired. The word whispered again in her mind. She’d not yet settled her faith on it, though. It sounded like a promise. A very nice promise, but then she knew how transient promises could be. And this one wasn’t nearly as substantial as the endless ache she woke to and fell asleep with each day.

“Miss Post?” he repeated, neither altering the inquiry’s volume or tone. He seemed to employ patience like some men used a blade; it made her wary. “You denied illness yet appear as if you might collapse at any moment. And retrieving you from the floor would be very inconvenient. The mud, you see.”

The whores across from the tenement would have crawled all over themselves for a chance at Mr. Simon Astley, so kind and chivalrous was he.

“Come now,” he coaxed. She wondered whether he was conscious of stroking the inside of her elbow with his thumb, whether a caress—like patience—was just another of his preferred tools in extracting information. She wondered whether he realized there was mud at her elbow, too. “We’re not strangers anymore, are we? You may tell me the truth.”

She hadn’t said it in nearly two months. She’d rather have stolen the pastries, but his grip was too tight for her to escape. She darted another covetous glance at the plate and immediately felt her pulse throb with regret. Foolish. Foolish. Confessing her weakness in such a way.”

 

FEATURED AUTHOR:  Elise Rome [aka Ashley March]

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

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‘His Very Own Girl’ by Carrie Lofty

BOOK BLURB: After the War took the lives of Lulu Davies’s parents and her fiancé, she promised herself she would guard her heart carefully and concentrate on her great love–flying the biggest and best airplanes in the sky. Lulu is a pilot in the British civilian air force, ferrying planes around Great Britain and keeping her eye on a coveted spot in a training program for world-class pilots. She’s perfectly content to strive for greatness in the skies, and dance with a few GIs on the way.

Brawny, quiet American medic Joe Weber signed up with the paratroopers to escape his checkered past; he’s hoping that jumping out of planes and patching up soldiers will earn him respect and a hopeful future. Joe’s first real test of medical skill is on a pilot whose plane takes a hard landing in a training field; after rushing to the crash scene, he is stunned to come face-to-face with a gorgeous Rita Hayworth lookalike. And when the two cross paths at a dance hall a couple weeks later, he can’t resist the urge to find out more about this spirited, dark-haired beauty.  

Their flirtation breaks all of Lulu’s rules, but dance by dance, week by week, walk by walk, she finds herself falling in love with this honest, vulnerable man on the run from his demons. But as Lulu and Joe’s undeniable attraction gains momentum, World War II steadily intensifies toward D-Day. Only time and hope will tell if the two lovers can overcome the past to form a beautiful life together in peace-time.

EXCERPT:

A gal pushed between him and the man to his right. Without a word or a spare glance, she picked up Joe’s beer and took a long swig. Joe frowned, then his jaw went slack. It was her.

She thumped the empty stein on the counter and daintily wiped the corners of her ruby lips. Smiling when she met his eyes, she said, “I daresay I was thirsty.”

“You’re that pilot.”

“And you’re that medic.”

Nearly as dazed as when he’d first seen her in that downed Hurricane, Joe didn’t know what else to say. He needed a drink, but someone had just polished off his beer.

“Jamie,” he said, signaling the thin Limey behind the bar. “Two more, please.”

The woman grinned when the bartender brought the drinks right away. “However did you manage that?”

Joe shrugged, then handed over the unfamiliar money. “Enlisted men tip better than the officers.”

“Knowingly? You just gave him twice as much as you ought.”

“We got our beers, didn’t we?” He lifted his drink. “To second chances.”

“Soldier,” she said, tapping her stein against his, “you’re going to need more than second chances to survive this muddle.”

Joe laughed. “To eighth chances, then?”

“That sounds about right.”

“How’s your knee?”

She glanced down. “Better. I was laid up for a few days, but you were right. All things considered, I was lucky.”

Joe realized she was wearing slacks. The unfamiliar dark blue uniform sat neatly along the curve of her bosom, the inward nip of her waist, and the rounded flare of slender hips and athletic legs. He’d never thought slacks on a woman could be arousing, but they suited her: tidy, slim, conservative but with a heavy undercurrent of daring. Her hair was parted down the center and piled in waves that framed her pale face.

Those wide brown eyes, eyes he hadn’t been able to forget, remained unchanged–still a little screwy, but her gaze was keener now.

“Can you dance?” he asked, surprising himself.

“Slow dances, if you don’t mind.”

“Not at all.”

She smiled anew. Forgotten parts of Joe perked up and screamed for attention. Female attention. She was beautiful and completely unexpected. He wanted to touch her, kiss her, lay her across the bar . . . Jesus, his imagination had no manners.

He hurtled back to himself and wrapped both hands around his stein. Damp pewter would have to do when he really craved warm, womanly skin. Smoke clogged his nostrils and music pounded in his head.

“What’s your name?” he asked, staring at the froth of her beer.

“Second Officer Lulu Davies, Air Transport Auxiliary.”

“Lulu.”

“Short for Louise.”

“I like that,” he said.

“Me, too. Now it’s my turn to guess.” She took hold of his shoulders and turned his upper body to face her squarely. Joe shivered when she gave his biceps a quick squeeze. A secret smile tilted the corners of her perfectly painted lips. “Only one chevron,” she said, glancing at his tunic sleeve. “Poor private.”

“First class, at least.”

“You don’t think I’d be seen with any less, do you?”

“I wouldn’t presume.”

She touched the insignia of wide eagles’ wings affixed above his right breast pocket. “No stars above your jump wings, which means despite being with the 82nd Airborne, you haven’t yet seen combat.”

“I’m impressed.”

“You shouldn’t be,” she said with a dismissive wave. “Simply means I’ve idled with too many soldiers. Now all I need is your name.”

“Joe Weber.”

Lulu finished her drink and nodded for Joe to do the same. He complied. The beer wasn’t strong enough to cool how hot his blood was running. Not by half. She took his hand. “Well, Pfc. Joe Weber, I’ll have a dance now.”

FEATURED AUTHOR: Carrie Lofty

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*One lucky Commenter will end up with this eBook.

*Giveaway US only!

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.