Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
For a sizzling blend of Medieval romance and passion, read Camulus, by Bambi Lynn.
Camulus Vass wants a simple life, absent the power and responsibility that can consume a man. But being laird of a clan as large as the Munro does not offer such luxury. Always under the domineering heel of his uncle, Cam has allowed himself to become a pawn. But the arrival of a mysterious newcomer awakens a beast within him that will not be tamed.
Màili has been given the task of rooting out the spawn of an ancient god. It’s the only way to take her revenge against the man who betrayed her. But getting what she wants means taking the life of the man she loves. Will her hunger for a mortal man wreak further havoc on her already bleak future?
Cam pulled the linen from his shaggy, ebony mane and locked his rich brown eyes, glistening with excitement, on hers. He stepped out of the tub, dropping the linen to the floor. "Come to me, woman." Cam wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her against him. He claimed her mouth with his, prying her lips open and invading her with the sweetest tasting tongue she had ever known.
Màili lost herself in that kiss. The power of it sent jolts of pleasure to every pore in her body. She tingled all over, her senses melding until she could no longer remember anything other than the man before her. She kissed him back with all the self–pity of a woman who had been betrayed by love and yearned to get even a piece of herself back.
The power of her desire for Cam surprised her. Màili was certainly no stranger to the ways of men and women. She had learned a lot over the centuries. This was the first time she had found anyone she thought could teach her anything. A nagging possibility tickled the edge of her thoughts, but she pushed it aside.
Màili dragged her mouth from his, nibbling along his jaw and across the pulse at his throat. With her hands on his chest, she urged him back toward the bed all the while trailing her lips, her tongue down his body. He tasted like nectar and all Màili could think of was more, more, more.
This week on Thursday Threads I have Meggan Connors and her Highland romance,
Heat Rating: Sensual
Genre: Historical Romance
When Kenneth Mackay, long-banished rogue and thief, returns to the Mackay holding at the request of his brother, he has no idea what he might find. He certainly doesn’t expect to be confronted with his twin’s imminent death, or with the plan his brother has concocted.
Ten years before, Malcolm made a tragic mistake, and, to preserve the family name—and his own skin—he allowed Kenneth to take the fall. Now that he is dying without an heir, Malcolm plans to atone for his mistake: by giving Kenneth his life back. All Kenneth has to do is assume his brother’s identity. But complicating matters is the unexpected return of Lady Isobel Mackay, the daughter of an English marquess and the wife Malcolm didn’t want.
Isobel barely knows the husband who abandoned her even before their marriage, and she’d long since given up hope on having a real marriage with him. Yet when she returns to the Mackay holding far earlier than expected, she finds her husband a changed man. Despite the hurt between them, Isobel’s heart responds to this man who cares for his entire clan as if there were family. Who, for the first time, cares about her as if she is, too.
Falling in love with her husband had never been part of Isobel’s plan. But when their future is suddenly in peril, Isobel must find a way to save him—from himself and from the deception threatening to tear them apart.
She ignored Grant’s angry protests behind her and ran for her husband’s bedchamber. Slamming open the door, she stumbled inside.
Malcolm lay in the great bed. Alone.
Alone. She tried not to speculate about what meant.
His breathing was shallow, as if he’d been running. As the door bounced back and closed, his sky-bright eyes shot up and met hers.
No, not sky-bright. Darker, the color of the forget-me-nots that bloomed in the gardens in spring. The color of the night sky as it lightened with the first rays of dawn.
“Milord.” She gasped for breath.
Malcolm had never looked at her like he did now. This time, when he studied her, it was as if he didn’t dislike what he saw.
Being honest with herself, Malcolm had never disliked her. After all, the term dislike implied a depth of feeling he almost certainly lacked.
Grant was suddenly at her back. “Sir, I apologize. She’s faster than you’d think.” He laid a hand on her shoulder, as if to steer her from the room.
She shook him off.
“Indeed.” Malcolm smiled, and a charming dent in his cheek appeared.
How had she not noticed that before?
“We will leave at once.” Grant took her by the arm.
She wrenched out of his grasp. “I’m not going anywhere. Not until I have my audience.” She glanced around the room and saw no sign of Malcolm’s mistress.
“Lady Mackay,” Grant began.
Malcolm held up his hand. “‘Tis fine, Grant. I can always make time for my lady wife.”
Isobel barked a hollow laugh, alleviating the ache, just a little.
“Are you certain?” Grant’s eyes shifted from Isobel to Malcolm and back again. A wrinkle formed between his brows, and the muscle in his cheek worked as he ground his teeth together.
He’d only ever done that when he was agitated or anxious.
But there was no reason for that, as Malcolm had never truly cared enough to keep secrets from her in an attempt to spare her feelings. Nor had he ever forced others to do the same.
Malcolm’s eyes met Grant’s, and something passed between the two men. Her husband gave Grant a clipped nod. “If you’ll excuse us, Grant.”
Grant released his breath slowly. His eyes narrowed first at Malcolm, then at Isobel. Scowling, he bowed his head. “Mackay,” he said stiffly. He turned to Isobel. “Lady Mackay.”
Isobel watched him go then waited until the door had closed behind him. “So, where is she?”
Malcolm arched a dark brow. “Where is who?”
“You know. Her.”
He lifted a single shoulder, as if she didn’t have a right to know. “I doona ken.”
The silence that fell between them was deafening, damning.
Finally he said, “Your arrival was unexpected.”
She breathed a mirthless laugh. “I have no doubt.” She expected him to look ashamed, but his expression didn’t hold even the slightest hint of remorse. She swallowed against the betrayal rising in the back of her throat and tried again. “Why are you abed?”
“I’ve been ailing. Naught to fash yourself over.”
She approached his great bed tentatively. “Ailing how? Has your cough worsened?”
He glanced down at his coverlet and then brought his gaze back to her face. “For a time, aye. I believe I’m on the mend now.”
Isobel pressed her hand to his forehead, then his cheek. His skin felt cool beneath her palm, if a little damp.
His breath hitched, then he cleared his throat. “Satisfied? As you can see, I am on the mend.”
“Perhaps,” she whispered. She ran her hand around to the back of his neck, then descended to his back.
He wore a thin linen shirt, unsuitable for the cool nights of the Highlands in late fall. She placed her hands between his shoulder blades. He was thinner than she remembered, but there was no mistaking Malcolm’s unique strength.
“Breathe,” she said, and then reminded herself to do the same.
“I hardly think—”
“If you want me to leave you be, you will appease my curiosity. Breathe.”
Malcolm tilted his head up and studied her.
She fought the desire to look at him for as long as she could before meeting his gaze. Her heart skipped a beat as she saw something in his eyes she hadn’t seen before.
“Breathe, milord.” Heat spread up her neck to her face, and, to keep her free hand from shaking, she clenched a fist. The warmth of his body seeped through his nightshirt, scalding her hand not with fever but with something else.
The corners of his lips tilted upward before he smoothed his features. He paused for a moment too long, then held her gaze as he took an extended, deliberate breath.
She shoved the raging emotions aside and forced herself to view him as a person who needed her help.
She felt no hint of the cough that had been nagging him before she’d left.
Swallowing hard, she slid her hand between the linen and his skin, against his chest.
His heart rate kicked up.
“Breathe.” She struggled to force the word out.
I feel nothing. Nothing. He needs my help.
She closed her eyes and listened to his breathing, feeling the rise and fall of his chest beneath her hands, the steady beating of his heart. His skin scorched hers.
Her mouth dried, her tongue thick and heavy. She removed her hand. “You seem to have mended nicely.” Even to her own ears, her voice sounded strangled.
His gaze searched her face. “Aye.”
Isobel cradled her hand against her chest and stepped back from the bed, nearly tripping over her own feet. “I will leave you now, sir.”
Malcolm gave her a clipped nod. “Very well, my lady wife.”
“I—I will be in my chambers should you require me.”
He didn’t laugh, as he normally would have. “Then I shall find you there if I do. Or I will send for you.”
She backed up a few paces, bumped into a trunk, and immediately turned her attention to her skirt, trying to smooth wrinkles undoubtedly permanent from long days of travel. It was better than looking at Malcolm.
“By your leave.” Her eyes locked on the floor as she dipped into a hasty curtsy and fled.
The moment the door closed behind her, she put her back against the cold, stone wall, cradling the hand that had touched him as if she had injured it.
She’d touched his skin, felt the heat of his body, and the responding heat of hers.
He hadn’t forced her hands away. He hadn’t mocked her.
Instead, for the first time since their marriage, he’d called her wife.
Today I have CD Hersh on my blog with a unique look at some research they did for Son of the Moonless Night, due to be released tomorrow, May 27.
Some of what they uncovered was eye-opening to me! Read on!
Thanks so much for allowing us to share our research and book with your followers.
One of the fun things about writing a book is the kind of research you get to do. For our book, Son of the Moonless Night, we delved into the world of poison, because our hero, Owen Jordan Riley, is a forensic scientist with a toxicology specialty. Ever since Owen read the story of Snow White and the poison apple, poisons have fascinated him. In one scene of the book, he nearly destroys the heroine’s appetite when he launches into a dissertation on poisonous foods and plants. Here are a few poisonous foods we didn’t know about. P.S. we left out the ones Owen used to spoil the heroine’s appetite. You’ll need to read the book to find those out.
Amanita Mushrooms - These extremely toxic mushrooms have symptoms that develop six to forty-eight hours after ingesting them. By that time it’s too late to seek medical attention. Symptoms include sudden onset of extreme stomach pains, vomiting, thirst, and bloody diarrhea. Finally, you will lapse into a coma and die.
Ackee - Jamaica’s national fruit will give you Jamaica Vomiting Sickness. If you eat it before fully ripe it can cause coma or death. Don’t eat the seeds they are always toxic.
Elderberry - If the little old ladies in the play, Arsenic and Old Lace, had added roots and other parts of the tree to their elderberry wine, they might not have needed to put in the arsenic. While the berries can be eaten, the roots and other parts of the tree are highly poisonous.
Almonds - are full of cyanide. Before consumption almonds should be processed to remove the poison. Don’t worry. It’s illegal in the U.S. to sell raw almonds. So your bag of raw almonds have been heat treated to remove the cyanide.
Cherries - are in the same family as almonds. But only the cherry seed, which produces hydrogen cyanide when chewed, is poisonous. So don’t bite the cherry pip. You’ll not only break a tooth, you’ll poison yourself.
Potatoes - The stems and leaves are poisonous and so is the potato itself, if it is eaten green. Death normally comes after a period of weakness and confusion, followed by a coma.
Lima Beans - contain a high level of cyanide if you eat them raw. Be sure to cook them thoroughly, uncovered to allow the poison to escape as a gas. Don’t drink the water they are cooked in either.
So what is your favorite food that is hazardous to your health?
Title – Son of the Moonless Night, The Turning Stone Chronicles, book three
Author – C.D. Hersh
Genre – Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Suspense Romance
Heat Level - Sensual
Release Date: May 27th, 2015
Thrust back into the world of paranormal huntress, Deputy Coroner Katrina Romanovski must unravel a string of murders she believes are vampire attacks. When she discovers the shape shifter she’s in love with is the murderer, she must reconcile her feelings for him, examine her life of violence against paranormals, and justify deceiving him in order to bring him to justice.
Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.
Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different-love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?
A head of lettuce and a grapefruit escaped from the paper grocery sack as Katrina leaned sideways on tippy toes to get the topmost lock. The vegetables rolled across the small concrete patio at the bottom of the stairway well and stopped against a leg of the wrought iron café table. Whispering an expletive, she pushed the door open and placed her purse and grocery sack on the entryway table just inside the door. Then she swiveled to get the runaway vegetables.
A very pleasant and interesting sight greeted her. A pair of dark trousers caressed a toned posterior of the man bending over to retrieve her vegetables. She fought to rein in the path her mind started down. Been too long, Katrina, she said to herself as the vision straightened and turned around.
“Oh!” he exclaimed. “I thought you had gone inside.”
The way he held the vegetables out in front of him made her wonder what his hands would feel like if he held her breasts in that manner.
“Hello? Are you awake?”
“Ah, ah,” Katrina sputtered as she focused on his face to get her mind out of the gutter.
“Okay. Awake, but not here yet.” The corner of his lips started to rise.
“You,” she breathed when she recognized him. “Where’s my grandmother’s afghan and my Cleveland Brown’s hoodie?”
“Nice to see you, too, and thank you, I’m feeling fine.”
She crossed her arms tightly over her chest. “If you hadn’t run off I’d have known you were okay.”
The smile inched up the side of his cheek, lighting his electric blue eyes. “You worried about me. How sweet.”
“Sweet, my patootie. I just . . . You could have bled . . . Oh, crap. Where’s my stuff?”
He took another step closer to her. The deep blue ring around his amazing eyes seemed to darken.
She leaned back from him.
Without taking his eyes off her, he nodded to a brightly colored gift bag on the ground beside the door. “I got blood on the afghan so I had it cleaned. It wasn’t badly stained. The blood came out. The hoodie’s a different story. I couldn’t salvage it, so I bought a replacement.” Balancing the vegetables in one hand he lifted the gift bag to her. “Forgiven? Please?”
* * *
Amazon buy links:
The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1):
Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2):
Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3):
Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.
Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first two books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. The third book in the series Son of the Moonless Night will be released May 27th by Soul Mate Publishing.
Where you can find CD:
Soul Mate Publishing: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/C.-D.-Hersh/e/B00DV5L7ZI
Ashley York joins me for this week's Medieval Monday post with book 2 in her Norman Conquest series,
The Gentle Knight.
BLURB: A medieval soldier returns home to find his lover died in childbirth just as his own mother had. Believing he is cursed, Peter of Normandy turns from love. When he must give escort to an Irish princess more noble than many knights, he struggles with his decision to live a solitary life. Can he take the chance that his love won't be a death sentence and possibly make them stronger?
Padraig MacNaughton's death bed decree rips his daughter, Brighit, from the shelter of her protective clan in Ireland. Forced to take vows at a Priory in England, she finds herself in the hands of lecherous mercenaries with their own agendas. Dare she trust the Norman knight to see her safely to her new life as a nun? Even when she finds in him the fulfillment of all she's ever wanted?
Or will honor and duty eclipse their one chance for happiness?
EXCERPT:. She had dreamed of him! All at once it came to her. He had taken her into his strong arms and held her tight against that hard body. Every muscle pressing into her. Then the touch of his warm lips sliding along her cheek to meet her mouth with a hungry kiss. Brighit had actually felt his lips on hers and that same heat swirled through her now.
She sighed. Yes. It was a very nice dream.
The shock of cold air accompanied with the sound of the curtain being dragged back had her eyes flying open. There in front of her was the man from the lake... the one in her very real dream. In the flash of a second, his eyes changed from wide with shock to a look she’d swear spoke of pleasure.
“And what is this?” He tipped his chin toward her, a knowing smile gracing his pleasing face.
Brighit covered herself. One arm across her breasts and one hand over her private parts. She felt like Eve posing in the Garden of Eden.
The sudden silence stole her breath away. She refused to confirm it but knew all eyes were on her.
“Do you mind?” Ivan’s voice cut through the awkward moment as he stood next to the carriage. He yanked the curtain from the fine-looking man’s hand, dropping it back in place. Brighit was again cocooned in darkness.
“Yours?” The man’s voice was low, resonating through her core. It was as appealing as his body.
She took a steadying breath, trying to calm her nerves enough to cover herself. She couldn’t have done a better job of calling attention to herself if she’d tried.
Just how many men were out there? How many men had seen her without so much as a stitch of clothing? She yanked the chemise down but it refused to cooperate. The sopping material bunched at her hips. She grabbed at her gown, her hands shaking with the rage coursing inside her.
That now familiar sound of fist-against-flesh cut through the silence.
An unfamiliar laugh. His laugh. A slight tremor responded through her insides.
“Mort,” the handsome man called to someone.
The indistinct image of a shorter man with a gaping mouth came to mind. “Yes, my lord?”
“I believe this man was about to take a terrible misstep with his fist. Does it seem to you these men have a certain…lack of knowledge?” he asked.
Ivan’s angry face came to mind. She shivered. The handsome man did not know who he was dealing with.
“I would say that it does.” The shorter man was closer now.
“Mayhap some learning is required?”
“Do you believe it’s possible, my lord? Are they trainable?”
“They have a naked woman in a carriage while they fight out here over who will get her.”
She gasped, a soundless intake of air. Like a standard being dropped, the men talked at once. Tears threatened and a few leaked down her cheek. She wiped them away. She was only trying to clean herself not be fought over. Who was he to say such cruel things about her?
The morning had started out so promising. They’d had a nice time breaking their fast with very little interaction at all. Cole’s offer of extra water had come as a surprise but not one she wanted to miss.
Sudden silence. Brighit held her breath.
“And what would your name be?”
“I am called Ivan.”
“And this…young lady?”
This was just getting worse and worse. His words fairly dripped derision.
“Brighit.” She answered for herself albeit through a clenched jaw from within the carriage.
“Ireland? You’ve taken her from Ireland?”
Brighit was surprised at his ability to name where she’d come from. She wished she were still there... any place but here. This was infuriating. She could not go out there now. They may have imagined her naked and their occasional lustful glances assured her that they did. But to have them actually see her was beyond embarrassment. Embarrassment only increased by the fact that at least two of them weren’t even known to her.
“That I have.” Ivan’s smug voice drifted to her.
“Please clothe yourself forthwith.”
He must be facing her now for he sounded very close. A warmth tingled up her spine. No! His voice may be low and quiet but there was nothing intimate about this situation. She struggled with the ties up the front of her dress.
“It’s what I’ve been trying to do.” Her irritation came through in her tone of voice. Good!
“And I wonder why you have not been successful thus far.” He had the nerve to sound irritated? “Just do it... and be quick about it.”
Arrogance oozed from the man!
“Yes, my lord.” She clipped her words, struggling with her wimple, and hoped her sarcasm carried through the curtain.
“I am hurrying!” Her thick hair refused to cooperate but she was not about to go out there with so much as a single strand visible.
The man cleared his throat. Brighit would like to take a knife to it. He may be pleasant to look at but his manners lacked even the slightest courtesy.
Buy links: Apple Kobo Amazon Barnes and Noble
With me on the blog today is Sherrie Hansen, author of the Wildflowers of Scotland series. She is sharing her latest book, a romantic suspence, Shy Violet.
Buy Link – Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00XLUEE9E
When a poor choice and some wild fluctuations in the space time continuum leave school teacher Violet Johansen stranded in the car park of Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland, Violet wonders if she’ll ever find her way back to her comfort zone. She has two choices – to trust a piper who looks exactly like someone she dated a decade ago, or a band of nefarious pirates.
Pirates. Pipers. People and mistakes from the past that threaten to haunt you forever... A castle that’s been ravaged and rebuilt... Will Violet and Nathan’s fragile new friendship survive the storm and see love reborn?
Shy Violet Excerpt:
“I’ve a passenger who needs transporting,” the red- headed girl said to the pirate at the stern of the sailboat. “She needs to go far, far away and stay there until everyone is gone.”
The girl didn’t appear nervous, but Violet was. The man didn’t look like a tour guide. He looked like a real pirate. His hair hung in long, matted dreadlocks around skin stained dark from too much sweat and sun.
“Will ye do it? We have precious little time.”
“For the price of the rest of the day’s tours.” The pirate used his fingers to scratch his skin under the greasy headscarf tied around his forehead. “Lost revenues, I cannae afford. Much as I’d like to help the lass.”
“I have no money.” Violet blinked away tears for the first time. She’d been so close.
The man must have sensed her desperation. “Climb on board. We’ll take ye for a spin in the loch and find a way to work things oot.”
A stream of tourists spewed out of the mouth of Eileen Donan castle and began to cross the moat. She took the hand that was offered, leapt aboard, then ducked and crawled to the deepest part of the boat. Her legs were crossed under her, her head bowed.
“Ahoy, mateys.” There was a clatter as the anchor was raised and ropes cinched and drawn, then a creaking noise as the boat left the dock. The waves hit with a jolt, swell after swell, a roller coaster ride of fear and regret and wonderment and terror.
“What’s yer name, fair lassie?”
She dared not look up for fear Alexander would see her. She let out a deep breath. He was more likely checking the bathrooms, consulting the authorities, or asking around to see if anyone had seen her. Would the red-haired girl be able to resist his charms? He was a knight with a thick pocketbook. He had ways of getting what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to use them, especially on young women who giggled at his good looks and swooned when he wooed them.
She’d been such a fool. “Violet. My name is Violet. Violet Johansen.”
A wave splashed over the gunnels and doused her. She clutched her glasses to make sure they hadn’t been knocked loose, and tried not to cower – it was just water. Water couldn’t hurt her. But it was bad enough, being scared silly and at the mercy of a bunch of marauding pirates who were complete strangers. She did not want to be cold and soaked besides.
The pirates swayed with the rhythm of the waves that were rolling the boat from side to side and talked among themselves, a half indistinguishable mishmash of conversation and sailing lingo in Irish brogues and the lyrical cadence of Scots.
The sea calmed, and she resisted the urge to sneak a peek at the water, the heather-covered hills and the blue-hued mountains she’d glimpsed from the castle.
“So, you’re not really pirates, right?” She didn’t dare lift her head for fear Alexander was eyeing them from the dock or using the binoculars he always traveled with to scope her whereabouts.
“Depends on how ye define pirate.”
She still couldn’t see their faces, but the voice that spoke was deep and husky.
A second voice spoke, softer and gentler. “So if I be a pirate, does that mean ye be the cooking wench from me fantasies, come to feed us delectable morsels and pleasure us on our long voyage, far from land?”
“Um. No. Sorry to disappoint you.”
The other pirates laughed, a few in silly, nervous-sounding dulcets, the rest in deep, frighteningly raunchy hoots.
“There be a group of prospective passengers waiting in line at the dock,” another voice said. That made three. She’d barely looked at the motley group when she’d jumped on the boat, but thought she remembered five or six total crew members.
“What’s this gent look like – the one ye’re hiding from? If he has a defining characteristic I could pinpoint with my eyepiece, perhaps we can determine if it be safe to swing back and pick up some paying passengers.”
Okay. She got the point. She’d always hated being a nuisance. She swallowed her pride. What choice did she have? “He’s wearing a black sports jacket with an ascot around his neck. Red, I think. He was wearing sunglasses and carrying a satchel over his shoulder for his camera, Kindle, and binoculars.”
“Ye were dating a man who carries a purse?”
She pushed her glasses higher onto her nose. “It’s not a purse. More like a backpack only smaller – and designed for men.” Why was she defending him? The man was a blimey bastard. Let them think what they would.
“I’m afraid I’ve lost all respect for ye noo. Ye know what they say aboot women who love men with purses,” said the pirate with the deep, husky voice.
“Got him in my sights,” the gentler-voiced pirate said. “We nae can turn back noo. He’s got his binoculars trained right on us.”
Her fear meter soared off the chart and she jerked involuntarily. She felt like her lungs were being crushed.
“Stay down, lass. He can see twice what I can at this distance. Take a look, Hoodie.”
“Do ye think if we returned her, all nice like, he’d give us his binoculars as a reward?” a gruff voice asked.
Great. Untrustworthy pirates. Just her luck. She mustered her courage and tried to sound intimidating. “Knowing Alexander, he’d have you charged with kidnapping and hauled before Scotland Yard.”
“It weren’t us who kidnapped ye. It were ye who commandeered our ship and made us do yer bidding.” This one had a thick brogue.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to drag anyone else into this mess. As for the money you’re missing out on, I’ll make it up to you somehow.”
“Oh, we’ll find a way to extract it from ye awright – sooner or later.”
A new voice. Was it the chill in the wind, or did this one sound more menacing than the others?
* * *
Twenty-three years ago, Sherrie rescued a dilapidated Victorian house in northern Iowa from the bulldozer's grips and turned it into a bed and breakfast and tea house, the Blue Belle Inn. Sherrie has also lived in Colorado Springs, CO, Augsburg, Germany, Wheaton, IL, and Bar Harbor, Maine. She grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota. After 12 years of writing romance novels, Sherrie met and married her real-life hero, Mark Decker, a pastor. They now live in 2 different houses, 85 miles apart, and Sherrie writes on the run whenever she has a spare minute. Sherrie enjoys playing the piano, photography, traveling, and going on weekly adventures with her nieces and nephew. “Shy Violet” is Sherrie’s eighth book to be published by Second Wind Publishing, a mid-sized, independent press out of Kernersville, NC.
www.BlueBelleInn.com or www.BlueBelleBooks.com
Books Titles: Wildflowers of Scotland novels - Thistle Down (a prequel novella), Wild Rose, Blue Belle, Shy Violet. Night and Day, Love Notes, and the Maple Valley Trilogy – Stormy Weather, Water Lily, and Merry Go Round.
Are you a fan of sci-fi romance? Check out Elle Hill's book, The Tithe!
Genre: Science fiction romance
Heat level: Sensuous
“Every seven years, seven persons from each of the ten towns must go into the desert, where they will enter into the realm of Elovah, their God.”
No one knows exactly what happens to these seventy Tithes, but everyone knows who: the “unworkables,” those with differing physical and mental capacities. Joshua Barstow, raised for twenty years among her town’s holy women, is one of these seventy Tithes. She is joined by the effervescent Lynna, the scholarly Avery, and the amoral Blue, a man who has spent most of his life in total solitude.
Each night, an angel swoops down to take one of their numbers. Each night, that is, except the first, when the angel touches Josh… and leaves her. What is so special about Josh? She doesn’t feel special; she feels like a woman trying to survive while finally learning the meanings of friendship, community, and love.
How funny that she had to be sacrificed to find reasons to live.
The lights in the Great Room went out.
No flickers, no dimming, no sizzling sounds—nothing. Just darkness where light used to be.
A man cried out and several people gasped.
“It’s all right, everyone,” Marcus called. Really, he was beginning to annoy Josh, too. He didn’t know that. No one did. “I’m sure this has—”
A whooshing sound, like air displaced, sliced through the room. For a tiny, tense moment, no one spoke.
“Is it an angel?” a child’s voice asked.
Several voices broke out then, some in shouts, some in startled cries, one or two in terror.
Just like the night before, the fold and crack of feathered wings in motion breathed through the room. Weak light from the multiple hallways leaked through the perimeters. Now that her eyes had adjusted to the sudden darkness, Josh found she could identify vague outlines.
Someone a few seats down leapt to her feet and hurled herself toward Josh, perhaps seeking the sterile safety of the kitchen. She stumbled over Josh’s outstretched legs and hurtled to the ground. Josh gasped in pain.
And still, the snap and sigh of wings overhead.
Josh wanted to stand up, to defend herself. She wanted to shrink into the upholstery, to make herself as small as possible. In the end, she sat still, trembling in indecision.
“The angels!” someone cried in something like terror, or perhaps ecstasy.
“Keep them away from me!” Someone—she thought it might be Len—shrieked.
Several people jumped to their feet and pushed their way through the room, seeking some kind of safety. The woman who’d tripped over Josh lay whimpering on the ground.
Whump, whump . . .
A warm arm encircled Josh’s shoulder. She shrieked before realizing it belonged to Blue. The baggy sleeves of his black tunic partially covered her head. She turned to him, and he pressed her closer.
I don’t think I want to court you, she remembered him saying, and almost sprayed laughter. Who knew they’d practically snuggle later that day?
The thump of wings grew closer. An outline of a human-sized object hurtled through the air and the darkness toward her. What had to be its wings spread around it, moving and tilting. Some stray ray of light gleamed whitely off the area where eyes should be. They seemed fixed directly on her.
* * *
Book buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Tithe-Elle-Hill-ebook/dp/B00MVCPJFG
Barbara Bettis gets the spotlight today on Medieval Monday with her book, The Heart of the Phoenix.
"Some call him a ruthless mercenary; she calls him the knight of her heart"
Lady Evelynn’s childhood hero is home—bitter, hard, tempting as sin. And haunted by secrets. A now-grown Evie offers friendship, but Sir Stephen's cruel rejection crushes her, and she resolves to forget him. Yet when an unexpected war throws them together, she finds love isn’t so easy to dismiss. If only the king hadn’t betrothed her to another.
Can be cruel
Sir Stephen lives a double life while he seeks the treacherous outlaws who murdered his friends. Driven by revenge, he thinks his heart is closed to love. His childhood shadow, Lady Evie, unexpectedly challenges that belief. He rebuffs her, but he can’t forget her, although he knows she’s to wed the king’s favorite.
When his drive for vengeance leads to Evie’s kidnapping, Stephen must choose between retribution and the love he’s denied too long. Surely King John will see reason. Convict the murderers; convince the king. Simple. Until a startling revelation threatens everything.
“I don’t believe you heard me, Sir Stephen.” Evie’s words dripped honey. “I’m going home on orders of my brother. If the travelers Davy were to join haven’t appeared, then he can accompany me.” She shot a glance toward the youth, deep in conversation with the maid.
The back of Stephen’s neck tingled, and he clenched his hands. God’s blood, she made him so angry he longed to grab those soft arms and shake some sense into her.
“You are not remaining at the monastery, and you are not traveling to England.” His words came out in a growl. He stepped forward, and she tilted back her head to meet him eye to eye. “Must I tie you to that horse?”
She leaned in. “Just you try, Sir Stephen-the-Bully.”
He glared and crossed his arms against his chest, daring her to continue.
“Do as you think you must.” She echoed his stance, her crossed arms pushing her plump breasts higher.
Not that he noticed, blast her.
“I vow I will return the moment I’m free,” she added. “You have no authority over my movements, for you are no relative of mine.”
“And I thank God for it. How Henry has put up with you all these years I do not know. A more troublesome, contentious wi...woman I’ve never seen.”
“Did you call me a witch?”
Buy Links: Amazon:http://amzn.to/1vSZgLF
Do you love time-travel? Today my guest author is Red L. Jameson. Her book, Enemy of Mine, the first book in her Glimpse Time Travel series, is on sale for 99 cents!
Barnes & Nobel: http://bit.ly/1vhG9O8
Kidnapping mortals to different eras is such fun. Trickster muse sisters, Clio and Erato, call it a glimpse, but military historian Minerva Ferguson, Erva, is fairly certain she’s gone nuts when she wakes two hundred miles from her apartment. And two hundred years in the past to Brooklyn, 1776. In an unfamiliar manse, during the American Revolutionary War, she’s not too sure how to regain her sanity. Especially when she realizes whose mansion she’s just woken in, the one British general she studied more than anything else, Lord William Hill.
When Will hears Erva’s screams of panic, he breaks down a door to save her, even if he can’t quite remember why she’s visiting. She calms, though, the instant she sees him, as if they’ve known each other for eons. From the second he sees her dressed in a toga made from a bed sheet to later when she’s with his troops, wooing them with her musket skills, he realizes he’s smitten. But he’s a weary soldier, shrouded in grief, while she reminds him of a sun goddess. Is she too good for him? Lord, how he wants her to want him.
How could Erva not fall for a guy who accidentally quotes a Cheap Trick song? But now she has to get to the bottom of if Will is really a rake, how to stop one of the most important battles of the war, and lastly how to stop her insane crush on the general. After all, he’s going to die in less than a week.
The muses have to work fast for this glimpse. But that’s when they work best. And as explosions erupt through New York, sometimes it’s not from the artillery.
* * *
“Why are you—” She stopped herself again. This time she bit her lush bottom lip and looked away.
“Why am I what?” He should have let her question falter, but he had to know for himself if she were a spy or not. The more questions she asked, the more she would reveal herself.
The anomalous thought flittered through his mind though that he wasn’t too sure if he cared if she were a spy.
She glanced back up at him, her eyes wide and timid. “Why are you here?”
That, he hadn’t expected. A spy would wonder about his men, his drills, his arms, anything else that mattered to the war. Not a philosophical question about why he was here. But even the reason why he was here could be used against him, if court martialed. He hadn’t realized that thus far. Then again, he’d thought he wouldn’t have survived this long in the war. In his mind, he would have no reason to be court martialed. He wouldn’t be alive for it.
She licked her lips and slightly shook her head. “I mean, you didn’t vote for any of the acts the Americans protested. The newspapers said that you didn’t support any kind of action against the Americans. You don’t support this war, yet here you are. Why?”
“Why not?” He tried to deflect the conversation.
She narrowed her eyes, no longer looking sheepish but challenging, ruthless, and so lovely. He liked her best like this, shooting faster than most of his men, speaking of sedition to his superiors, the Howe brothers. Lord, how he liked it when her eyes caught fire and turned back into dark red-brown honey. His veins pumped his too hot blood through his body.
“Why not, hmm?” She gave him a wicked smile. “Why not, indeed. I think you don’t want to be here.”
“On the contrary, there is no other place I’d rather be.”
She blinked, then caught his meaning that standing so close to her was exactly where he’d love to be. Arching a blonde brow, she said, “You know what I mean, obtuse man.”
He silently chuckled at his new name.
“I think you don’t want to be in this war.”
He felt his own mirth leave his face. “You might be right.”
“Then why are you here? Why do you fight? Especially so efficiently?”
She growled, making Will grin again. “Quit evading the questions with your own.”
“Why? This is fun.”
She smacked one of his shoulders, then he caught her small hand in his.
“Is this fun for you too?” he asked, carefully gauging her reaction as he twined his fingers through hers.
She didn’t look at their hands. Instead, her gaze was focused on his chest. He especially enjoyed that, as if she found him desirable. Lord, he hoped so, that he wasn’t making a fool of himself.
She never answered, but looked up at him, her long lashes batting. He took hold of her candle and set it on a nearby table. In so doing he’d gotten that much closer to her, and just as he was thinking of holding her other hand, she reached up, probably on her toes, and kissed him.
This time he reacted immediately. His lips melded with hers. She tasted strongly of mint, and he licked the seam of her lips to enjoy. She opened for him, and he dove his tongue into her mouth. God, she was sweet. Her arms wrapped around his neck, and he pulled her closer by holding onto her not-corseted waist. Next her tongue was inside his mouth, and he couldn’t help but pull her even closer, her stomach against his, her breasts crushed against his chest.
Will felt Erva fiddle with the ribbon at the nape of his neck, and his hair was released from its hold. Instantly, her hands raked through his mane. It gave him silent permission to finally take hold of her tresses with one of his hands. Pure silk ran through his fingers. He loved her long hair, so wild and free this moment. Like the color of corn silk, Erva’s locks were close to white with a light dandelion sheen. He fisted what he held, which tilted her head back, all the better to deepen the kiss. She moaned into his mouth. All his blood rushed south. That little noise was his undoing.
* * *
As a military historian by day, sometimes Red does feel a bit clandestine when she writes romance at night. No one knows that while she researches heroes of the past and present, she uses everything for her characters in her books. Her secret's been safe . . . until now.
She lives in Montana with her family and far too many animals but never enough books.
She loves her readers, so please feel free to contact her at http://www.redljameson.com
Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/Gvd2vq
* * *
From Sandra Jones we have a Medieval Welsh romance-
HIS CAPTIVE PRINCESS
Earned respect is sweet…but deserved revenge is sweeter.
Warren de Tracy was assured the Welsh village of Dinefwr would be an easy conquest, as would the widow of its fallen prince. Wedding her will appease the locals and win the respect of his liege, the usurper King Stephen.
Instead, Warren is ambushed, taken prisoner by a hooded Welshwoman with skin that glows like moonlight. If he must die at her hands, at least his honorable death will silence the whispers of disloyalty hanging over his name.
Princess Eleri has never seen a knight as stoic—and as eager to die—as Warren. She’d love to oblige the bastard, but something in his ocean-blue eyes stays her hand. Plus, suspicion nags at her, for the arrows that wounded him and killed his men are Norman, not Welsh.
A ghostly prophecy portends danger that thrusts the enemies closer together, where hate explodes into passion that won’t allow Eleri to surrender Warren to her vengeful clan. But returning him to his king breaks more than it mends…and for Warren, retaliation will be sweet, indeed.
Contains a Norman warrior with a thirst for justice, a Welsh rebel princess with second sight and a steady bow hand, magical prophecies, and a plot of royal proportions.
“‘Your Highness’?” Warren jerked in astonishment, pulling against his bonds. The ropes chafed his raw skin, sending a fresh wave of pain down his arms. “You’re of royal blood?”
She leaned over him, reaching for his bonds. “Hush! In addition to your arrow wound, I trow your tongue has healed as well these past days. It would behoove you to use it less and just be grateful you’re alive.”
Her breasts hovered inches above his face. In fact, if he lifted his head, he could bury his face between them. What would she do, this spirited wench, if he chose to do so? He would’ve enjoyed finding out if circumstances had been different. “I’d rather be dead than be a prisoner. But first...I’ll kiss your feet if you’d scratch my nose.”
She made a choking noise in her throat that almost sounded like amusement.
He felt a tug at his ropes and the friction of a knife. By the saints, she was freeing him. He couldn’t allow it.
Air stung his raw skin as soon as one of his wrists came loose. With his one arm still useless in its restraints, he shot out his free hand and clutched her forearm. Using all his strength, he turned her over beneath him, wedging her between his torso and the bed. Nose to nose, he could make out her eyes gone wide with shock in the darkness. “No!” he growled. “Do not let me leave here alive.”
Suddenly, her warrior was upon him and his knife back against Warren’s throat. “Get off the princess, you cur!”
The woman’s blade touched his chest plate. She could dispatch him with ease. Her arms were strong and lean. Her body was far from frail, and he recalled her skillful defeat of his conroi. She twisted beneath his pelvis defensively, and the grinding of her soft mound awoke his sex. Shame heated his cheeks at his sudden need and dark desires. This one time, he would allow himself to speak his mind. “If you release me, Princess, I’ll go to Kidwelly and inform my commanders what has befallen my five men at the hands of you and your people. The king will strike at the subjects of Cantref Mawr with vengeance such as you’ve never known.”
Her expression shifted from stark panic to slow derision as her saucy lips curved up at one corner. “You think I don’t know what you’re capable of?” Her eyes flashed downward meaningfully, and he knew she’d noted the turn of his wicked thoughts. “You want to have your way with me. To tear my clothing from my body and part my legs. But you know nothing of my people, Norman. You haven’t even bothered to learn the language—” she broke off, slurring in Welsh at her vassal.
The burly guard grabbed Warren’s bandaged shoulder, twisting it back until bile climbed in his throat. “Umpff!” While he convulsed in pain, the woman slipped loose and turned him on his back, pinning his groin beneath two very sharp knees. He hissed through his teeth, “Par les saints!”
If he’d been successful in his mission, this devil-wench would’ve been his bride?
“You are my prisoner, knight.” She planted the flat of her hand against his neck, leaving no doubt of her desire for domination as her angry pulse drummed against his skin. “I am the Princess of Deheubarth, widow of Prince Owain ap Daffyd, murdered by your Norman peers. It will be my pleasure keeping you alive. We’re taking you to those who will do with you what they will. I care not. Until then, you are my dog. My captive. My slave. And you will obey."
Buy Links: (Samhain store) https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5407/his-captive-princess
(Barnes & Noble) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/his-captive-princess-sandra-jones/1121228851?ean=9781619224452
(All Romance) https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hiscaptiveprincess-1748538-161.html
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