Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
Today on Medieval Monday I am hosting the first book in The Highlander's Bride series, The Highlander's Accidental Bride..
Set in the Scottish Highlands in 1375, it began with a feud, a royal order, and a kidnapping.
Chaos reigns between the Scott and Barde clans in 14th century Scotland. To end the generations-long feud, King Robert II of Scotland decrees Eaden, Laird Scott, and Lady Miriam Barde wed with all haste. When marriage negotiations break down, King Robert threatens Eaden with the loss of his lands and title. Forced to take matters into his own hands, the laird kidnaps his bride, only to find the young woman he mistakenly drags to his marriage bed is not Laird Barde’s daughter, but her lady companion.
Mary Marsh fights for her freedom from the laird and the unwanted marriage, refusing to accept her new life as Lady Scott. Realizing his error, Laird Scott develops an attachment to the feisty young woman he has accidentally married. Can he win her heart and convince her she is more than just a ‘duty’ to him? Or will the bond forged between the lady’s companion and the laird be destroyed by secrets and the feud that will not be laid to rest?
* * *
King Robert sighed. “So ye married the wrong lass and she wants to go home,” he summarized with a frown.
“And the Lady Miriam has run off and married Du Melville’s youngest son, leaving us without an alliance between yer clans?”
“I thought ye had this well in hand,” King Robert groused.
Eaden, fully aware the king was no more pleased to sort this mess out than he was, silently cursed all stubborn men and women who couldn’t simply do as they were told. Of course, he had to admit his assessment probably included the majority of King Robert’s subjects.
“So. Will ye let her go back to Bellecourt?”
“Nay,” Eaden replied evenly.
King Robert straightened from his resigned slouch in his chair and stared at Eaden, amusement lighting his eyes.
“If I remember correctly, ye were no’ happy with the marriage to begin with. I am to assume ye’ve changed yer mind, then?”
Eaden narrowed his eyes but did not answer.
“She’s uncommonly beautiful, perhaps?” King Robert prompted.
Eaden refused to respond.
“Passably good-looking, then?”
Eaden took a deep, fortifying breath. “She’s aye lovely,” he allowed.
“She’s knocked ye on yer arse!” King Robert exclaimed with accuracy and triumphant humor.
The look Eaden gave his king was anything but humorous, but the king continued, undeterred. “So ye mean to keep her.” He stroked his chin thoughtfully. “And she wants to leave.” He cocked his head to one side. “And yer well-known charm that had ladies vying for the title of ‘wife’ of this handsome, wealthy earl, who may or may no’ have his lands at the end of this day, isnae working?”
Eaden ignored the threat, but his scowl must have given the king the answer he sought. “So, if the lass doesnae want wealth, or prestige, or the much-touted delights of yer bed—what does she want?”
Eaden’s face turned dark and foreboding as he gritted out the truth. “A divorce.”
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The Highlander's Accidental Bride is available from Amazon.
Find Cathy MacRae on facebook, Twitter @CMacRaeAuthor and watch for upcoming books and fun stuff on her blogs at cathymacraeauthor.com
Neva Brown is back on Thursday's Threads with her contemporary romance, A Pretty Penny.
Wealthy, arrogant Clayton Brandt knows well the costs of a woman. Not until Penelope (Penny) Jones comes into his life does he know the value of a woman.
Anger at Clayton, her new boss, causes Penny to snap out of the lethargy she’s experienced after seeing her husband killed. She puts to use all her innate abilities, learned skills, and intuitiveness to cope with the overbearing Clayton and the women in his life. Penny, in time, knows she loves him, but will not become one of his women—not on his terms.
On her terms, they marry only to be parted by federal agents before they leave their wedding reception. The ensuing intrigue, danger, and antics of Clayton’s ex-wife play a part in Penny being in eminent peril.
Even after their love survives all this, it is once again threatened by a letter from a vindictive woman who is dead. The letter devastates Clayton and crushes his hopes for happiness.
How Clayton and Penny find their happy-ever-after is a breath-holding adventure at times and a breathtaking love story at other times.
Today on Medieval Monday, I am featuring Unbidden, Book One in Jill Hughey’s Evolution Series which will take you to the rarely explored medieval world of Charlemagne’s Empire where aristocrats, warriors, merchants and servants find love in the most unexpected places! If you like swoon-worthy yet mildly flawed heroes and independent not-too-perfect heroines, then step in to a Jill Hughey Romance.
Rochelle of Alda, a feisty Frank noblewoman, expects to continue her industrious life managing her family’s estate. When her emperor summons her to the palace to meet the skilled soldier she is required to marry, Rochelle engages in a battle for independence from David of Bavaria. As her own deceptions multiply, she suspects another of also plotting against their marriage. To her surprise, and too late, David’s passion and patience begin to win her heart. Can their love survive the tangled web of her schemes and the secret adversary David refuses to see?
* * *
In this excerpt of David and Rochelle’s first meeting, David has arrived to take Rochelle to the palace for the betrothal, and is dismayed to learn her mother has told her nothing about it.
David turned his head as the noise from the door escalated, unsure what he expected to enter his life. Given her mother’s shocking hair, he didn’t hold his hopes too high for the girl’s appearance, no matter what Theo said. The need for deception to even get her to Aix did not indicate a particularly biddable personality. Based on the increasingly violent rattling from the latch, she couldn’t even open doors for herself.
He was about to climb the steps to offer assistance when the door finally wrenched open, releasing a storm of muttering about city workmanship and rotten carpentry carried in a whirlwind of deep blue linen. She all but flung herself onto the narrow staircase. Not exactly light of foot nor entirely graceful, she rushed down the stairs, noticing his presence in time to abruptly stop on the bottom step.
She stared at him.
From across the room he could feel the chill of cold caution. Even so, his concern about her looks evaporated. She stood taller than her mother, clear skinned, with eyes of a soft green. The gold circlet on her head held her veil neatly in place, covering what it was intended to cover. An unexpected desire to see the color of her hair shot through him. He could only approximate it from her eyebrows: not quite brown, but certainly not red either. And her female attributes remained a mystery to him as well, hidden under layers of varying shades of blue, though a heavy gold girdle studded with aquamarines suggested narrow hips.
“Mother?” she queried.
David reluctantly turned to Marian, who, it appeared, had been watching him stare at her daughter. A small smile quirked her lips. Her tightly clasped hands now lay on her chest as if in prayer. She did not find her voice until David cleared his throat expectantly.
“Rochelle!” she said too loudly. “Theophilus, the gentleman who has helped us so much, sent this burly young man to escort ye to yer audience with the emperor. He is called David. A Bavarian, no less!”
David raised his brow at her rather obtuse explanation of his role in the upcoming event. Marian gave him a slight warning shake of her head. Well, if the woman hadn’t the courage to tell this girl the truth of the matter, he certainly did. He didn’t know much about getting along with women, but he guessed that starting his marriage with deception – and necessarily short-lived deception at that – could not be wise.
As he opened his mouth to explain exactly who he was, Rochelle spoke, “I do not see why I need an escort. I found the palace yesterday.” She lowered herself off the last step and strode toward him with a confident swing of her arms. “But if Theophilus wants to share his guard, so be it.”
Marian bobbed her head. “It was quite thoughtful of him.”
David held up a hand. “I am not Theo’s guard. And did you just suggest you were wandering about the city yesterday, alone?”
Rochelle studied him assessingly. Yes, assessingly was the only word for it and, God help him, she was lovely up close. Her not brown, not red brows arched over green eyes flecked with hazel. A dusting of freckles decorated a thin nose that flared pertly at the nostrils. Her soft pink lips were slightly parted exposing straight teeth.
“Not alone. Our servant, Gilbert, was with me.”
“Gilbert, the bag of bones who opened the door?” David scoffed. “He could not keep a street rat away much less a pack of thieves. From this day forth, you will not leave here without an able-bodied man at your side.” She smelled nice.
Rochelle placed her hands on her hips, pleasantly outlining a slim waist beneath her clothing. “What has given you the idea you can make pronouncements such as that to me? I will go where I wish, when I wish, escorted or not, as I wish!” Her chest heaved a bit and there were breasts under that tunic, he could tell, and damn it when was the last time he’d lain with a woman? He mentally bridled himself. First, betrothal. Betrothal was the task set before him today. It was time to attend to that task.
He stepped forward, purposely crowding her and letting his hard gaze bore into her fiery eyes, daring her to challenge him. “I will tell you what gives me the right –“
Marian made a strangled sound before finding her words. “Ye should be going! It will not do to be late to the palace.”
Rochelle eyed first him, then Marian, before backing away to grasp her mother’s hands. “Mother, I do wish you would reconsider. Certainly the nobles have forgotten your circumstances by now. Father would want you to have the honor of meeting Charlemagne’s son.”
Marian laughed a bit shrilly. “No, that is no place for me. Ye shall have the glory today, daughter. Here is your cloak.” She kept babbling as she closed the gold and aquamarine clasp at the neckline of the pale blue garment. “David will keep you safe. Do as he says, my dear. He is in charge of you today. And possibly tomorrow.”
Rochelle chortled. “Mother, do not be ridiculous. This will be over in an hour or two and then we are going home! Home, where I also do not require an escort!” She fixed David with a significant look before she walked to the door, wrenched it open with relative ease, and stepped onto the street without him.
END OF EXCERPT
Amazon – http://viewbook.at/unbidden
In Print at CreateSpace https://www.createspace.com/3733078
iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/unbidden-evolution-series/id803456753?uo=4″ target=”itunes_store”>
For more about Jill Hughey visit her website at www.jillhughey.com. Subscribe to her occasional newsletter at www.jillhughey.com/contact.
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I hope you are enjoying Medieval Mondays. Feel free to tweet about us using #MedievalMonday. Next week's author is Ashley York.
TITLE: The Turning Stone Chronicles
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
HEAT LEVEL: Sensual
Three ancient Celtic families. A magical Bloodstone that enables the wearers to shape shift. A charge to use the stone’s power to benefit mankind, and a battle, that is going on even today, to control the world. Can the Secret Society of shape shifters called the Turning Stone Society heal itself and bring peace to our world?
Find out in The Series The Turning Stone Chronicles
Excerpt from book one of the chronicles titled “The Promised One” currently available in eBook and paperback on Amazon at: http://t.co/yW59QqvkLh
* * *
I know it’s been years since you’ve heard from me, not since my brother’s murder, but Alexi’s time has come. I tried to shield her from the destiny, teaching her only the basics of the ring and waiting until she was an adult to start any training. I didn’t want to push her, but now she is developing skills I’ve not taught her. I need someone from the Council to come and assess her, and I can’t think of anyone I trust more than the man I fought beside in so many battles. After making such a mess of Sylvia, I don’t trust my judgment. I need an advocate on the Council and your advice. If you agree with my assessment, I want to present Alexi to the Council this coming Samhain. Please come as soon as possible…
The letter’s date and postmark indicated Baron had written the letter about two weeks prior to his death. Prickles crept over her arms. My time? Present me to the Council? Sylvia’s comment about the Promised One came back to her. Had Baron sent for Eli because of the great destiny he always insisted she had? Alexi closed the door and rested her forehead against the solid surface. Life was already too complicated. She didn’t need this.
* * *
Excerpt from book two of The Turning Stone Chronicles titled “Blood Brothers” coming this fall from Soul Mate Publishing.
The telephone jangling pulled Delaney Ramsey out of a deep sleep. Moving the digital clock on the nightstand closer to her, she squinted at the bright green numbers. Three a.m. She fumbled for the receiver.
“If you’re calling at this ungodly hour, someone better be dead,” she mumbled into the phone.
“Delaney, ’tis Eli McCraigen.”
Sitting up, she pulled the duvet cover with her. Why was the Keeper of the Stone calling her? “What’s wrong, Eli?”
“Dinna worry yerself. ’Tis good news.”
Slumping against the headboard, she yawned, the adrenalin draining away with his words. “If it’s such good news, why couldn’t you wait until tomorrow?”
“I need ye tae call a special meeting o’ the council before they get away from the city.”
“Nay, only the senior council. I’ve a new Promised One tae present.”
“Why wasn’t he presented last night at Samhain?”
“He hadnae committed tae the cause, and he dinna have a ring until minutes before midnight.”
“This is highly irregular, Eli. I don’t know if I can get the council to agree.”
“Ye have tae. He’s a verra special man.”
“A Promised One who hasn’t even had his ring more than a few hours. That’s unheard of. How can you expect someone like that to pass even one proof test?”
“He’s already shown me two--and they’re not the paltry tests most Promised Ones have failed. He has the elusive, legendary powers, and he did them using the power of other shifters’ rings.”
She snapped awake. “Other shifters’ rings? Whose?”
“Mine, Alexi Jordan’s and Sylvia Jordan’s.”
Delaney switched the light on, knocking her reading glasses to the floor with the motion. Great. She’d just bought them. Leaning over the edge of the bed, she retrieved the glasses and put them on. “Sylvia Jordan Riley?”
“’Tis that what the she-witch is calling herself now?”
“Seems so. Her name has come across my desk in her official capacity with Homeland Security.”
“That’s the other thing I need from ye. Sylvia’s butting intae Rhys’ and Alexi’s jobs and personal lives. I’m pretty certain she knows what he is, too. I need reinforcements.”
In all the years she’d known Eli, he’d never asked for assistance. And he comes to me now. At the worst possible time. “I’m honored you’d think of me, but I can’t do more than call the council for you. Ask one of them to get your reinforcements.”
“Fine, the council can arrange that, but I need ye on a more personal mission.”
“I’m in the middle of something very important and time consuming. I can’t help.”
“Dinna ye know who’s asking ye, lassie?”
She knew all right. The most powerful man in the entire Turning Stone Society. She was crazy to even consider refusing him. Her position on the council rested on his say so. However, finding her daughter meant more to her than anything else. “Normally I’d be willing to die for you, Eli, but--”
“Let’s pray dying won’t be what we’ll be needing. But I could be putting ye in a verra dangerous position.”
That did it. No way could she help if it might cost her life. Not now. Not until she found Lila. “I’m sorry. I can’t.”
“I need ye, Delaney. Come tae University Hospital and see me. I’m in ER.”
“ER? Are you all right?”
“We had a little run-in with a panther.”
* * *
LINKS for C.D. Hersh
Amazon buy link for The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles): http://t.co/yW59QqvkLh
Social Media Info:
Soul Mate Publishing: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/C.-D.-Hersh/e/B00DV5L7ZI
This is a surprisingly yummy bit of research Paty did for her book, Staking Claim.
In my recent release, Staking Claim, a historical romance which starts out on a clipper ship and they end up in America, I had to research the modes of transportation in 1899 from England to America. Once I picked the type of ship, I had to research the accommodations.
In the 1890’s it was the beginning of the luxury cruises. Steamships were taking over not only the freight across oceans but also the passengers. They could cover the same distance in half the time as the clipper ships dependent on wind to fill their sails and carry them across the water.
In 1899, at the time of my story, there were still some clipper ships taking passengers. These were usually people who weren’t in a hurry and liked a less populated ship. This was the case with my hero in Staking Claim. He needed time to think and was a loner. So the slower pace and less people of the clipper ship fit his idea of smooth traveling.
I was surprised while researching to discover the delicacies that were served on the Steamships. Here is a list of items found on a menu for a First Class passenger on a steam ship.
Soups: Turtle and Spring.
Fish: Scotch Salmon and Sauce Hollandaise.
Entrees: Blanquettes de Poulet aux Champignons. Filets de Boeuf a la Bordelaise. Cailles sur Canapes.
Joints: Saddle of Mutton and Jelly. Beef and Yorkshire Pudding. York Ham and Champagne Sauce.
Poultry: Roast Turkey and Truffles. Spring Ducklings.
Vegetables: Pommes de Terre Duchesse. Asparagus. Potatoes. Parsnips.
Sweets: International Pudding. Rhubarb with Custard. Strawberry Jam. Tartlets. Sandwich.
Pastry: Genoese Pastry. Marlborough Pudding. Gooseberry Souffles. Lemon Cream.
Dessert: Seville Oranges. Black Hamburg Grapes. English Walnuts. Madeira Nuts. Cantaloupes. Café Noir.
This is a copy of the food a second-cabin dinner could get on a steamship:
Fish.—Boiled Rock Fish, butter sauce.
Meats.—Haricot of mutton ; roast beef, baked potatoes ; boiled mutton, caper sauce ; mashed turnips ; potatoes.
Desserts: Rice pudding ; apple tart ; small pastry. Biscuits and cheese.
Further research didn’t turn up an exact menu for the clipper ships. It only said they were fed as well as the second class passengers on a steamship, but instead of being served individually the tables were set up family style. Bowls of food were put on the tables and everyone dished up their own.
Have you ever been on a cruise ship? What was your favorite food they served?
* * *
Book Two – Halsey Homecoming Trilogy – Colin’s story
Deceit, contradictions, and lies.
On a ship bound for America, Colin Healy encounters a contradictory woman, whose beauty and grace intrigue him.
Livie Leatherby boards the ship as an imposter to get the information she needs to save her family. Befriending Sir Colin Healy is easy with his chivalrous tendencies. But she soon realizes discovering his past marks him for death.
Forced together to stay one step ahead of the Lord set on killing Colin for his estate, can these two get beyond the lies and deceit that has brought them together before one or the other meets their demise?
The captain took his seat at the head of the table to her left. “Do you like turtle soup, Miss Leatherby?”
“Ah don’t know. Ah don’t believe ah’ve ever had any.” She glanced at the captain. Merriment danced in his eyes.
“You’re eating it at the moment.” He smiled and slurped a spoonful.
She stared down into her bowl. Should I have known it was turtle soup? Is it something that is served often to the gentry?
“Don’t worry. I was taken back the first time I was told I was eating turtle soup.” Sir Healy’s calm, quiet voice broke into her self-recrimination.
She glanced up into his eyes. There wasn’t mirth or superiority shining in the color of a clear summer day. Maybe she hadn’t buggered her job.
“You don’t have to eat the soup, there will be several courses.” Sir Healy’s voice reminded her she’d stopped eating.
“It’s delicious.” She dipped the spoon and continued to eat.
The clatter of utensils against dishes and the murmuring of other conversations muffled around her, letting her be quiet and sink into her own thoughts. After dinner she should suggest taking a walk on the deck to Sir Healy. Then she’d get him to talk about his estate and his childhood. Wilfred wanted to know more about the family and where the deed to the estate was hidden. He’d sent people into Meath Hall as servants and no one could find the papers Wilfred wanted to disprove the inheritance.
Sir Healy nudged her arm, spilling the soup in her spoon back into the bowl. She peered at him.
“Captain Whiteside asked you a question.” Sir Healy’s gaze moved from her to the captain.
“Oh, ah’m sorry. Ah was lost in thought.” Her cheeks burned with embarrassment. She’d been so deep in her thoughts, she’d ignored those around her. A quick peek at Wilfred only heightened her unease.
“The letter from your father said you were traveling to visit a sister in New York. What is her husband’s name? I know quite a few businessmen in the area.” The captain leaned back in his chair having finished his soup.
What name did Wilfred tell her? Did it matter? They were made up anyway. She wanted to glance at Wilfred, get some guidance but that would signal there was more to their acquaintance than she wanted Sir Healy to know. Bugger!
* * *
Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
Her first book was published in 2006 by Wild Rose Press since then she has published seventeen novels, two anthologies, and five novellas. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.
You can learn more about Paty at her blog; Writing into the Sunset her website; http://www.patyjager.net or on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/#!/paty.jager , Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1005334.Paty_Jager and twitter; @patyjag.
Amazon / Nook / Apple / Kobo / Windtree Press
Beginning today, I will be co-hosting Medieval Mondays with other Medieval romance authors. This means you can get a peek at new authors and find out about upcoming books from authors you already love.
Be sure to check in each Monday!
So, let's start with my latest novel, The Highlander's Reluctant Bride. The setting is 1377 and King Robert II is on the throne of Scotland. Though relatively quiet at this point in his reign, the time is still fraught with peril from pirates roaming the western coastline and the English control of much of the Lothians and the border lands to the south. In the first book of the series, The Highlander's Accidental Bride, King Robert demands the end of a feud between two Highland clans. Though he allows his southern earls to engage in activities to regain their lands from the English, he has less tolerance for Highland clan feuds- especially when they are continually brought to his notice. In The Highlander's Reluctant Bride, the king responds to a plea for help against the pirates.
Book cover blurb, The Highlander's Reluctant Bride:
Determined to keep the Macrory clan’s holdings out of the clutches of marauding pirates, King Robert II sends his man, Lord Ranald Scott, to hold Scaurness Castle. There, Laird Macrory lays dying, awaiting word from his son who is missing on the battlefields of France. If the son is not found before the old laird dies, Ranald will take over as laird—and marry Laird Macrory’s headstrong daughter.
Lady Caitriona sees no reason she cannot rule the clan in her brother’s stead, and is bitterly disappointed with the king’s decision to send a man to oversee the castle and people. Not only is Ranald Scott only distantly related to the Macrory clan, but he was her childhood nemesis. She has little trust or like for him.
Her disappointment turns to panic when the king’s plan is completely revealed and she realizes she must wed Ranald. Pirates, treachery, and a 4-year-old girl stand between her and Ranald’s chance at happiness. What will it take for them to learn to trust each other and find the love they both deserve?
* * *
“So, the king forced Eaden to wed,” she murmured. Her gaze caught Ranald’s. “What will he do to me?”
Ranald noted Riona’s sudden pallor, her gray eyes widening until they were naught but huge silver orbs glowing against her skin. Now was as good a time as any to tell her what King Robert intended for her, but he could not force the words.
“Ye are a laird’s daughter,” he reminded her. “And an heiress. Yer mother’s dower lands north of here are of great value to the king.”
“And I am of little worth, aye?” Riona flared.
“Nae. Ye are of great worth.”
“But a pawn to the king.”
Ranald sighed. This was not going as he planned. “We are all pawns in one way or another, Ree. The king willnae let ye stay on yer own. Ye are a ward of the crown, now.”
“So, he’ll marry me off to some rebellious laird he wants to drag over to his side, using me and my lands to hold him?”
“Nae. No’ so bad as all that.”
“Mayhap to a wealthy laird who’s all but doddering in his cups, hoping I’ll no’ breed an heir before he dies, giving title of the land to the king and my next husband?”
Ranald lifted an eyebrow. The lass was getting worked up over nothing. “Marriage, yes. Doddering auld man, no.”
Riona snapped her head to one side, a glower on her face. “Then, who?”
Ranald swallowed and offered a crooked smile.
* * *
Amazon Buy Link: www.amzn.com/B00J1PNPPC/
Please visit with me on my website: www.cathymacraeauthor.com
or on facebook_ Cathy MacRae or Cathy MacRae Author
I love to hear from readers!
Thanks for checking out this new series of posts! What is your favorite Medieval place/time?
No, Freki is not a character in my next book (though her name comes from Norse mythology, after one of Odin's wolves). Freki is the newest member of the MacRae household. She entered our family yesterday and immediately stole our hearts.
Even at 8 1/2 weeks old, this sweet German Shepherd puppy seemed to meld seamlessly into our arms as we drove the 2 1/2 hours home, leaving her 3 siblings and kennel mates behind. She slept most of the way home, obviously feeling quite safe and content. We are amazed at how completely she became part of the family and how much she trusts and wants to be with us.
How did the Short Dog team respond? Exactly as we had predicted. Dixie, arthritic and 10 1/2 years old, does not want an exuberant puppy bouncing off of her. Freki's attempts at bumbling friendship have been met with a curled lip and one emphatic 'no'. Freki backed around the corner, sulked for a moment and went off to find better things to do. Dixie is ok with that.
Ben, once assured he is still mom's best boy, was eager to play. However, he tops out at 35 solid pounds of spring-loaded muscle. Not an ideal playmate for an awkward baby who just learned to navigate the back porch steps yesterday. They did have a bout of tug-of-war this morning, but he pretty much dragged her across the room.
Yes, it is a bit chaotic right now. We did, after all, introduce a new baby into the family Saturday, and the older 'siblings' were quite happy with the status quo on Friday. We used to have week end morning sleep-ins; last night we were up 4 times to take Freki out to potty and morning started at 6am. We used to have 2 dogs that cleaned out their bowls in 30 seconds flat. We now also have one who has to eat (and drink) with one foot in the bowl (and adds to the kitchen floor clean-up), and manages to finish in, oh, 10 minutes or so.
But we also have sweet puppy kisses, and a puppy who goes absolutely every step with us and sits patiently by our feet as we go about our daily chores. She is a wise dog wrapped in a puppy package, and is too cute for words.
What are our plans for her? Obedience work with an emphasis on tracking, and, hopefully, work as a search and rescue dog. During the next several weeks, she will be out in public every possible moment, learning about the world she is entering. 'Socialization' is the big word for raising a puppy who has confidence in every situation. Though her nature is to assess things before diving in, we want her to respond with thoughtful intelligence, not fear.
So, keep a watch for Freki and her adventures. They should be fun!
Today's Thursday spotlight is on Laryn Ford's book, Rescued. Come read an excerpt from this sizzling paranormal romance.
Fiercely independent and determined to be taken seriously in a man's world, PI Rose Baxter will do whatever it takes to find the kids who are disappearing from the streets and bring them home safe, even teaming up with PI Marty Brown, a man hot enough to burn whatever part of her gets too close--her fingers, her sheets, her life, and her other nature's whiskers.
But her other nature knows whiskers grow back and will accept nothing less than this man as her mate for life, a plan Marty is all in on. Sparks fly when she refuses to be the little woman. Besides, those kids need her and their time's running out. But thrown together 24/7 can she fight it?
Rose heard the unmistakable sound of duct tape stripping from its roll. Her hands, bound together behind her back and another piece loosely secured the bag around her neck. Her memory of stored scents identified Mabel and Stan even before they spoke.
"Take her to the lab. I'll stash her car." Mabel's footsteps hurried away. As soon as the front door closed behind Mabel, Rose stiffened her body and formed an impossible to move statue. Her arms flexed and ripped the tape to separate her hands. Stan grabbed for her to regain his grip. She spun around to deliver a kick toward the sound of his astonished breathing. He collided with the floor and skidded to a stop when he smacked into the cabinet doors. As he scrambled to right himself, the knives rattled in the butcher block on the kitchen counter.
She ripped the tape from around her neck and yanked the pillowcase off her head in time to see the man lunge toward her. She side stepped his attack.
Shouting rang out from the living room. "Let go of me!" One sniff confirmed Logan and June had entered through the front door. Mabel would cause no more trouble.
The kitchen windows vibrated. The backdoor burst into splinters as Marty stormed through. His roar rattled the dishes stacked in the drainer when he spotted Stan holding a knife on his mate. "Nooo!"
Before she could blink, Marty swung one arm and backhanded Stan, sending him crashing thorough the window and out onto the patio. The stunned man scrambled to his feet, hobbled around the side of the house to his SUV, and hightailed it out the driveway.
Marty gripped Rose gently by the shoulders and turned her to face him. "Are you okay? Did he hurt you?" His eyes were intense. "Rose, answer me?"
"I'm fine. Did they catch Stan? I heard a vehicle leave." She turned to the living room where Mabel sat in a huff.
"Oscar just called. The SUV's have left the park and headed west out of town. I've called the police to come and pick her up. I'm assuming you'll be pressing charges for kidnapping?" Logan had handcuffed Mabel and planted her in a chair. June stood ready in case she tried to escape.
"I want a few minutes with her first." Rose turned to Mabel. Her nostrils flared and the fire from her inner animal flashed in her eyes. No, as much as she'd like to, she wouldn't inflict the bodily harm this woman so deserved for her part in this whole scheme. She'd like to body slam the bitch to the floor, but her daddy had taught her the self-control she needed to work this job and work it right.
Getting some answers now was her primary concern. She wanted answers. While she wouldn't physically injure the woman, she wasn't above scaring the crap out of her to get the information she needed.
Mabel sneered at her and rolled her eyes. "And just what do you intend to do with your few minutes? Do you think I'm afraid of a mousy little thing like you? Oh, help, the little mousy girl is going to scare me," she humphed in a mocking tone.
"Oh hell," Marty said. He adjusted the hat on his head, glanced Logan's way with a y'all best look out expression, and stepped back out of the way to give Rose room to work.
"June bug. Move back, honey," Logan said as he steered his wife to the corner by the door and positioned his body, brick wall style in front of her for her own safety, just like an alpha male. Everyone read Marty's message loud and clear.
Mabel's expression changed from glaring sarcasm to certain fear as she watched the woman she had labeled as little make her way slowly toward her.
Rose's eyes narrowed and focused on the woman. Her hands flexed from tight, curled fists to stiff, extended fingers, and back again. Her nails lengthened, exposing her razor sharp claws as she stepped over to the mouth woman. Her eyes never left her target.
She leaned down to bring herself nose to nose with the evil before her. "Where are you really taking those kids and what are you going to do with them?" She spoke in an even voice, accentuating every syllable.
An increasing layer of fear replaced the smug expression on Mabel's face. "You- you don't scare me," she stuttered. "I'm not telling you anything." She attempted to bring her tough side back to the surface but was less than convincing.
Rose placed one petite hand on Mabel's shoulder and pressed down. She held back to a mere vice-like grip. Not the bone crushing strength she was more than capable of using.
Mabel sucked in a pained breath and flinched back, drawing on her last bit of resolve. "We know you're not normal. You're some kind of freak with super blood. Don't think we won't come after you again." She let out an injured cry from the pressure applied to her shoulder. "You'll pay for this!"
* * *
Contact me links:
Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/larynnfordauthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Larynn-Ford/e/B00CELS1V8/
Book Buy Links:
In My Wildest Dreams http://www.amazon.com/My-Wildest-Dream-Laryn-Ford-ebook/dp/B00CE3B11I/
Christmas Blessings in All I Want for Christmas Is A Soul Mate http://www.amazon.com/All-I-Want-For-Christmas-Soulmate-ebook/dp/B00GH2I458/
Welcome back to Bits n Bobs, Caroline. Is this the actual release day for Dangerous Works?
It is! Soul Mate Publishing has made it available on Amazon. I’m delighted to finally have it out there for readers. Here is the buy link:
Congratulations! Now, tell us a bit about the story. What works are so dangerous?
Women in the regency era led pretty constrained lives. Some people (ok some MEN) believed too much education would actually harm their delicate sensibilities. My heroine, Georgiana, despises that attitude. When she gets deep into the poems with the help of a very attractive tutor, however, she begins to understand why some people might think her work is dangerous. A little Greek is one thing; the art of love is another. Before she knows it her heart is in danger alongside her virtue.
What is your favorite scene?
There is a scene in which she is furious with the hero for taking steps to publish their work without consulting her. She stomps up the stairs to his study thinking up every insult she can hurl at him only to fall into his arms at the top of the steps.
Where did you get the idea for a story about woman who translates Greek poetry?
I love the Regency era but I try to avoid the conventional London drawing room. I’m always looking for settings and stories about smart women. Women scholars now study women writers in the classical era. I asked myself what a woman would have faced in the early 19th century if she attempted that research. She would have been barred from the best universities and libraries. It was fun to put her in Cambridge.
Your hero is pretty beaten up. Where did that come from?
I have a weakness for damaged alpha heroes. In this case I needed a reason for a soldier to be returning home to a university town. Georgiana uses his injuries as a way to insinuate herself into his life and manipulate him into helping her with her work.
Are you looking for settings for your next book?
Dangerous Secrets will be out next winter, also from Soul Mate Publishing. It is set in Rome in 1820, when Keats and Shelley lived there. The hero is another veteran of Waterloo, this one down on his luck and hiding out.
Another intriguing story! Thank you so much for sharing with us today! I wish you much success as a writer!
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