20 August 2013

Tuesday's Tales 20th Aug ~ Rough

Welcome to
Tuesday's Tales
A place where books are born.
This week's prompt is 'Rough' and I am going back to chapter six in my WIP

She nearly leapt from her chair when her phone rang. Who would ring her at two in the morning?

Then, without hearing his voice, she knew. Rafe. Heat flamed into her face and without thinking she pulled the folds of her dressing gown over her legs.


“I wasn’t sure you’d be awake.”

She heard the rough edges of emotion in his voice.

“I hope I didn’t wake you.”

“No, I’ve come down for that chocolate drink.” She’d heard his intake of breath, followed by a muffled string of curses.

“You were asleep by the time it was done.”

Amusement at Rafe’s obvious discomfort booted her earlier embarrassment right out the window. Not wanting to add insult to injury she stifled the laughter that bubbled in her throat. Better not to go there, she decided, and changed the subject.

“What are you calling about?” Had he really said, ‘To hear your voice.’

“I intended to leave a message for you to get back to me so we can arrange a meeting.” Nothing in the cool tone of his voice indicated the frustration she thought she’d heard in his muttering, but then she probably imagined them.

“Oh, right.” Was that disappointment she heard in her tone? She must still be addled from her short sleep.

“I have a couple of overseas conference calls in the morning that I can’t cancel, but I hope to be clear by midday. Do you have any free time around then?”

Finishing her hot chocolate, Samantha rose and headed for her studio. “Give me a moment to check. I don’t think so, but I do know I have an early afternoon sitting booked. I can’t remember the time.”

She flicked on the light and stopped dead in the doorway. It wasn’t a mess, but whoever had been in here was either sloppy in hiding his efforts or didn’t care if she knew someone had invaded her inner sanctum. Paintbrushes lay scattered over her work surface and her pictures set against the wall had been shifted and not replaced in the right order.
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13 August 2013

Tuesday's Tales 13-08, Picture prompt

Welcome to Tuesday's Tales
A place where books are born.
This week is picture prompt week, and I'm jumping well forward in my wip, and setting my heroine and hero on the beach.
Escape became essential to Samantha. The further away the better. Preferably abroad. Bbut with the ongoing police investigation all she could contemplate in her immediate future was the loathing in her eyes every time Adele looked at her. Had Adele known the truth all this time? If so, in Samantha’s eyes that made her an accessory to the fact, whether before the fact, or after, mattered little to her. It was the knowledge that the woman who’d always shown her kindness had been party to, and benefitted from the theft of her inheritance. And now she acted as if Samantha was the villain of the peace.
The audacity of it.
From Adrian she’d expected nothing less than the vitriolic attack, from his wife, her step-mother, well no; it turned out she wasn’t even that. The one truth Adrian had uttered in his whole life was about his status as her parent.
She needed a hug and could only think of one person whose arms would fit round her so perfectly, but Rafe was in Italy consulting with his father. Guilt ripped through her. She’d been instrumental in exposing his step-bother’s actions. How could she turn to Enzo’s son for comfort when she’d caused so much grief to his family?
The beach. Never mind a December gale was blowing; walking on the beach always comforted her. Without a second thought she shot through the house turning off light, collecting her bag, coat and car keys and slammed the front door behind her.
Fifty minutes later, with the evening sun glowing golden on the waves racing up the shore, Samantha bent down, tugged off her shoes and stood upright to see Rafe standing yards away dong the same.
“I saw you leave and followed you. What else could I do?”

Thank you for reading this week's offering, I love hearing your thoughts.
You'll find more great reads at

10 August 2013

SCP Sweet Romance Blog Hop 10th/11th August

Celebrating 'sweetness' and abiding love.

There has been a lot of discussion in the publishing world about 'what IS a 'sweet' romance.' And in doing a little searching around online for this weekend's blog I have been surprised by the variety of opinion. And yet, underlying those differences is a common denominator best summed up by a comment I came across in another discussion back in 2011.

"I can see the sex anytime, anywhere. Give me the heart when I want to escape into a book."
And there, for me too, is the crux of the matter. As I understand this comment the reference to the heart equals love as opposed to sex which in this instance is equalled to lust, a short-term quick satisfaction before moving on to the next experience. And while few romance books finish on this note, there is a growing readership who are looking for the deeper 'something' in the relationship between the hero and heroine. 
Author Nell Dixon explains it "The best ones (sweet romance stories) have terrific tenderness, emotion and warmth."
 Happily there are also a growing number of publishers who offer a 'sweet' genre within their stable. Sweet Cravings Publishing being one of them.
The 'sweet' romance covers a whole host of genres from contemporary, historical, regency, paranormal, Sci-fi, mystery, and even murder. the difference is that even a hard impacting story is considered 'sweet' if the romance hinges round love rather that lust, so there's plenty to choose from.
My Regency romance, No Job For a Woman, revolves around the heroine, widowed Deborah Stavely's 
determination to live and self-dependent life. Back in those days a woman, upon marriage, became her husband's property!
Julian Fanshaw answers a call for help from his life-long friend Lord Worth to help keep his friend’s widowed sister, Deborah, safe from her increasingly vindictive neighbours. It doesn’t take long to realise him or Freddie long to realise the Grangers aren’t using her as a long-promised act of revenge against them; but are playing a deeper and far more sinister game of their own.

Deborah Stavely is determined to overcome the increasing harassment from her neighbour without calling on her brother for help. So she is not pleased when Freddie intervenes and involves his friend, Julian Fanshaw.

Circumstances demand Julian and Deborah learn to work together and Julian dares to dream that he might gain the love of the only person he’s ever given his heart to.

But will Deborah live long enough to discover that by releasing everything she values, she will gain everything her heart desires?
Leave an answer to the following question, including your email address and using random.org I am giving away a pdf copy of No Job For a Woman to one lucky winner---

Q: What do you look for when choosing a 'sweet' romance?
Don't forget to hop on over to meet more authors of 'sweet' romances over at http://secretcravingspublishing.blogspot.com/ 
and the opportunity to win some fabulous prizes.
Other outlets for No Job For a Woman

7 August 2013

Lindsay Downs interviews Lord and Lady Gerrard

Lindsay- Today I’m visiting with Lord and Lady Gerrard at the baronial estate in Sussex. Thank you for letting me stop by so I can ask you some questions my readers have sent me.
Lady Debbi- We’re honored to have you.
Lindsay- *glances to Lady Gerrard* When you met each other at the Whitchurch house party what was your first reaction to Lord Gerrard?
Lady Gerrard- *peers over tea cup rim with loving eyes to her husband* The first time I saw him was only the briefest of glimpses as he was looking out his suite window to me. Even from a distance I was starting to fall in love with him and it only got stronger when we met later face to face.
Lord Gerrard- *Blows wife a kiss* Yes, and knowing she and Lady Aleece, now the Marchioness of Langdonly, would be down for tea I hurried to get to the back lawn. I wanted to be the first gentleman to greet her, after Lord Langdonly that is. When our hands met I knew my days as a rakehell were over as she immediately captured my heart.
Lady Gerrard- *blushes* and later a few other parts of your body but not until our wedding night. *looks to Lindsay* We did share several passionate kisses in the book though.
Lindsay- Yes, yes. Anyways, What was your reaction on seeing the Thompson boy at the party?
Lady Gerrard- Quite disheartening I can assure you. It wasn’t until much later I found out why we bore a resemblance.
Lindsay- Which brings up another interesting point? Mr. Toby Bowes, your half-brother.
Lord Gerrard- My darling, might I answer this one? *He smiles loving to receive her nod of approval*. It was a surprise to all of us. In the long run everything turned out quite well for all concerned.
Lady Gerrard- Yes, and now I not only have a loving husband but also a brother who is about to have the title of Earl of Bowes restored to him.
Lindsay- While we’re on the subject of family, without giving anything away, can you tell us how you learned about your mother?
Lady Gerrard- As with learning I had a brother meeting my mother, Lady Jenelle, came as a surprise. I had seen her around town on several occasions when Lady Aleece and I had shopping to do. If the opportunity arose we might exchange a nod but never spoke.
Lindsay- Can you tell me where she’s staying now that her safety is assured?
Lord Gerrard- Up until a week ago we had the privilege of having her stay with us much to my father’s pleasure. Something tells me there might be a romance blossoming there as he’s a widower, but I digress. Lady Jenelle is now at the Bowes estate helping to get things organized for the pending Earl’s entitlement restoration and supplementing the staff.
Lindsay- Speaking of the future earl, are there wedding bells in his future?
Lady Gerrard- Most definitely but that’s all we’re at liberty to say at the moment.
Lindsay- I can understand and see our time is up. I’d like to thank you for letting me visit and take time from your busy day.
Lady Gerrard- I know your readers will enjoy Spy Catcher.
Lindsay- I agree. Now I must be off. Thank you for taking the time to let me visit.
While acting as chaperone to Lady Aleece at a house party, little does lady’s maid Debbi realize how her life will change.
Not prepared to fall in love nor see a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to her, Debbi’s world begins to turn upside down.
After several attempts on her life, and a run-in with yet another look-alike, she uncovers her true heritage, as the unknown daughter of a countess. Having been raised and trained as a lady's maid, but educated alongside her employer, Debbi begins to wonder in which world she truly belongs.
Only when her new love's life is threatened does Debbie claim her rightful place and do what’s necessary to save him.

As the carriage gently rocked to a stop, Debbi was surprised when, not a footman as dictated but Mr. Thomas swung open the door. Patiently, she waited while he assisted his love out. She started to slide over to climb out unaided when he offer her his hand.
“Allow my assistance, Miss Overstreet.”
She felt her face warm when he called her by her new name. Quickly, she marshaled her thoughts, “Thank you sir,” she said settling her hand in his big, strong one.
“Please, Miss Overstreet, I insist you call me Thomas, as I have so requested from Lady Aleece.”
“If that be the case, then call me Debbi.” She paused, glancing around for the Earl and Countess but only saw Susan and Jeffrey approaching.
As they got close Debbi gave the appropriate curtsy according to their rank. Rising, she clasped her hands in front of her while Aleece warmly greeted them.
She tried not to act surprised when Susan stepped over and embraced her as she’d done with Aleece.
“Miss Overstreet, what a pleasure to finally meet you. Aleece has told me all about you, and I know we’ll get along famously.” She paused and turned to her brother. “Now let me introduce you to Jeff, but don’t worry— he may look dangerous but he’s harmless. His fiancée sees to that.”
After she was introduced to him, Debbi stepped back to survey her surroundings. Many times she’d come to house parties but always stayed in whatever coach was assigned and would enter the mansion by the servants entrance, making sure the trunks got to the appropriate rooms. This would be the first time she’d cross the threshold through the main doorway.
Without warning a shiver coursed down her spine, which unfortunately brought Aleece’s attention.
“Are you all right? It’s just like walking through any door. Take a deep breath,” she whispered.
“I don’t think it’s that, Lady Aleece. I fear I feel eyes on me, and I don’t know if it’s good or what,” she replied in a hushed tone.
Stepping back from the small group Debbi peered around, letting her gaze carry up to a window overlooking the forecourt. There she spied the reason for the unnerved feeling, the most dashingly handsome man she’d ever seen in her life. Even more, the sight of his appearance before he hid was exactly as she’d envisioned.
Taller than her, with pitch-black hair and broad shoulders, the brief sight of him set Debbie’s heart to fluttering. It was his lips deadly to a woman’s heart in the way he smiled down at her which unnerved her. Before he ducked behind a curtain she noticed he was dressed in a Bath superfine coat with a crisp white shirt and his cravat tied in the latest style.
Available from:-  Secret Cravings Publishing-
AmazonUS   AmazonUK

6 August 2013

Tuesday's Tales - Smooth

Welcome to Tuesday's Tales
A place where books are born.
This week's prompt is smooth so I have gone backwards and found a snippet from chapter two of my current wip.
My hero and heroine are at the Ballet. -The Nutcracker - and Rafe is returning to his seat with a box of chocolates for Samantha when he starts comparing her to the various dances of sweets in the upcoming second act.
Published: November 18, 2007
       Which would she be? Chocolate? No, too smooth given the acerbic attitude Ms. Brown displayed on the phone, although she had the bite and disposition of a passionate Latin temperament suitable for the Spanish dance.

The next dance then. Arabian? Coffee? She struck him as more spiky than flamboyant, but the adrenaline buzz of caffeine? Yes that could match what he’d learned of Ms. Brown during his discussions with her as well as his more extensive research.

Tea? He thought of the aroma of Earle Gray and shook his head. Too ephemeral. His visit to her studio didn’t remind him of tea.

And, as far as he was concerned the Mirlitons Dance, representing marzipan, or a shepherdess or flutes, according to one source of information about the Nutcracker, didn’t begin to correspond to the artist either.

With his drink, a bottle of sparkling cold water and the chocolates balanced in his hands, Rafael wove his way through the stragglers and headed back to his seat while he thought about the last two dances.  Ginger, the dance of ginger, he laughed low in his throat and ignored the curious glances cast in his direction.  Yes!  Ginger, spicy, sharp, compatible with so many other things, that was the nearest he could come up with to describe Samantha Brown.

And what about the sugar plum fairy and her knight? Well no matter how hard he tried, he failed to imagine wings sprouting from her back. As for the fairy’s knight, Rafael had a sudden desire to ask Samantha to join him for dinner after the show.
**Since setting this post up for TT, the file corrupted and I lost most of chapter two, so this scene has kinda become an involuntary 'discard.'**

Thank you for reading this week's offering, and please hop on over to read everyone's offering for this week's Tuesday's Tales prompt.

4 August 2013

Rachel Van Dyken - Best-sellign Author Presents

Bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken has taken the book world by storm with back to back chart toppers The Bet and Elite. Recently Ms. Van Dyken announced that her beloved uncle Jobob was in his final stage of cancer, which has left his family in debt from medical expenses. It’s hard to sit back and do nothing--the waiting game is never easy, so Rachel decided to do something and is looking to her fans for support in more ways than one for her next book. Due to be released on August 12, 2013, Ruin is dedicated to her uncle, mother in law, and all cancer survivors and families who have lost loved ones to the disease.
Blurb: I'm not your typical girl. I've been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness...until Wes Michels offered to be my light. I didn't know that time wasn't my ally -- that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer--each moment as it came--but it would never be enough. Sometimes when you think it's the end, it's only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn't--I wouldn't ever be the same. And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.
For the first two weeks Ruin will be priced at $2.99.
Proceeds from the sale of Ruin will be donated to her uncle and his family to help with the insurmountable medical bills. How can you help besides buy a copy?
Share with friends and family of course! Mark it as WANT TO READ on Goodreads. Read it? Leave a review! Loved it? Tell everyone you know!

2 August 2013

Patricia Kiyono's new release Love's Refrain

Blurb: Lady Laura Montgomery would much rather spend her summer at the family estate, but instead she must act as her stepsister's chaperone for the London season. She takes solace in her poetry books and in her love of music. They're all she has to comfort her as she once again faces the one man who stole her heart ten years ago. Andrew Bradford, Earl of Covington, needs an heir, but he's not looking for love. His mother has made her selection, but he can't help being drawn to the girl's chaperone. Can he hope to make a match based on more than beauty and suitability?

Bio: Love's Refrain is Patricia Kiyono's seventh release with Astraea Press. During her first career, she taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her children and grandchildren. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures.

Excerpt: Andrew had just settled back in his chair when the most beautiful music floated through the open window. At first, he thought it was his imagination. But the uplifting of his soul was not imagined. The smile on his face was real, as was the voice he heard. Quiet at first, as if the singer tried to hide it, the smooth soprano melody was barely discernible. But gradually, the singer gained confidence, and the volume grew, to Andrew’s delight. The song was one familiar to him — a Scottish air his nanny had sung to him when he was small — and he absently hummed the melody along with the singer. He leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. Suddenly, the weight of his worries drained away. The dull ache in his forehead eased, and he breathed more easily. Who was the mystery singer? The voice was cultured and had the maturity of a woman but without the force of one trained for the stage. Still, the music was pleasing to his ears… and to his world-weary soul. He settled back to enjoy the performance. But as soon as it had begun, the singing stopped. An undistinguishable voice called out a command, the singer responded, and footsteps receded away from him. And as the volume of her footsteps decreased, so did his state of euphoria. Silently, he thanked the singer for providing a welcome respite from his daily drudgery. It had been a pleasant interlude, but now it was time to return to his life and responsibilities. With a rueful twist of his mouth, he sorted through the day’s correspondence.

Author links: Patricia Kiyono can be found at her WEBSITE |BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

Purchase Links: ASTRAEA PRESS | AMAZON |