Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
Enter the world of mummers and traveling troubadours in Lauren Linwood's medieval romance,
Music for My Soul.
As the third wife of an abusive French vineyard owner, Madeleine Bouchard hasn’t produced the expected heir after three years of marriage. Fearing he plans to kill her, she flees during a trip to England. Unable to make her way home, she joins a troupe of traveling mummers and reinvents herself as the only woman troubadour in the land, captivating audiences with both song and story.
Nobleman Garrett Montayne’s fascination with Madeleine causes him to pay the troupe to bypass their next stop in order to journey to his estate. Though he suspects Madeleine of being a thief with dark secrets, love blossoms between them under the magical moon of summer solstice.
But Madeleine’s past is about to catch up with her, as her husband is set to arrive to conduct business with Garrett. Madeleine determines to free herself from her loveless marriage and make a new life with Garrett, no matter what the cost.
Garrett peered into the angry face of the woman who haunted his dreams by night and left him absent-minded by day. Their encounter had been brief, but he doubted he had ever met a more remarkable woman. Not even his petite Lynnette had brought such a sweet longing to his loins as did the bewitching creature before him.
Her honeyed hair, loosened from its intricate braid, curled around her shoulders. Tiny beads of sweat had formed just above her upper lip. Without thinking, Garrett reached his thumb towards her and wiped it away. She flinched slightly, her dark, amethyst eyes glowering at him.
Garrett smiled in spite of himself, offering her a hand to pull her to her feet. He had forgotten how very tall she was as she stared at him, her cheeks flushed with anger.
“Perhaps we could arrange a trade?” he suggested.
She eyed him suspiciously. “I’m not sure if I could trust you, my lord,” she countered.
“Trust me?” he sputtered. “This, from the woman who traipsed about the countryside claiming to be my wife?”
She shrugged nonchalantly, an almost Gallic air about her. She didn’t sound French, but there was an unmistakable manner to her movement. Garrett spent enough time in France to recognize the behavior. However, when she spoke, he quickly put it from his mind.
“I chose a bloody awful name to scare away anyone who accosted me on the road! How was I to know I’d run into you?” She snorted in an unladylike fashion. “I had heard tales of the wicked Lord Montayne, how he frightened old and young alike and gobbled up babes for his dinner. Why, the very mention of his name would cause grown men to plead for their lives and their loved ones. Oh, no, my lord, I was an honest liar. You were the one who resorted to trickery and hid your true identity from me."
Her accusation so startled Garrett his jaw flew open. No sound came out for a moment. The woman lifted her chin high and turned on her heel. That brought Garrett into motion.
He grabbed her elbow and pulled her around to face him. “Not so fast, my lady.” He studied her a second. Her eyes narrowed at him, but she remained silent. Finally faced with her visage square in front of him, Garrett was at a loss of what to do. His emotions swirled out of control as he spoke.
“’Tis curiosity,” he sputtered.
She looked puzzled. “Curiosity?” she echoed.
He nodded, his words spilling forth rapidly. “I know not who you are, nor where you come from. I’ve dreamed of you since that night only to awaken to an emptiness.” His voice became low and tinged with sadness. “I don’t even know your name.”
Amazon e-book copy: http://www.amazon.com/Music-For-My-Soul-ebook/dp/B00CSC14SA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1368759384&sr=1-1&keywords=music+for+my+soul
Have you ever wondered how much an author might write of herself in a book? Read on to find out what bits of Lauren are in her newest book, a contemporary romantic suspense,
Leave Yesterday Behind
Writers always sneak little bits of themselves and their own history into the novels they write. At least I know I do!
In my new romantic suspense release, Leave Yesterday Behind, I had the action start in New York City. As a native Texan, I grew up thinking New York had to be the most glamorous city on the planet. I’ve visited the Big Apple several times over the years, both with friends and family, and I never run out of things to do.
My heroine Callie is a soap opera star. In the first chapter, I have her leaving the New York studio where she films the show. I’ve visited the ABC Studios in New York and had seen fans waiting for actors to come out. Callie’s the biggest star in daytime TV, so naturally she has fans (or fanatics??) waiting for her.
Other bits I sneaked into my novel from my real life include:
Callie has huge white dog named Wolf. So did my next door neighbors many years ago, a Japanese Akita that was huge and had a heart of gold.
A former student of mine won the Cy Young baseball award last year, and my hero Nick is a former professional pitcher who also won that award while playing for the Dodgers.
Nick is a writer, same as I am—but he’s won an Edgar award for his mysteries! Sadly enough, Nick shares with Callie how his characters misbehave all the time. They chunk the outlines he creates and go off on their merry way. My characters often do the very same thing!
My husband and I honeymooned in New Orleans. I’ve always found it a fascinating, romantic city each time I’ve traveled there. Since Callie comes home to mend physically and emotionally after she’s attacked by a stalker in New York—and since her small hometown is only half an hour from NOLA—I just had to have Callie & Nick visit the Crescent City for a romantic day.
Those are a handful of parts of me that are embedded into my romantic suspense, Leave Yesterday Behind.
Callie Chennault vaulted to fame on the nighttime soap Sumner Falls, but after a decade of playing the same role, she is ready for a new acting challenge. When Callie is attacked by a stalker on the streets of New York, she takes a leave of absence from the show and returns to her roots in Aurora, Louisiana, to heal both physically and emotionally and determine her next career move.
Former professional baseball pitcher Nick La Chappelle has also come to Aurora to lick his own wounds after a messy divorce. A Cy Young winner and one-time ESPN broadcaster, Nick longs for the quiet of a small town in order to write murder mysteries under a pen name.
Sparks fly when Callie believes Nick is taking advantage of her great-aunt’s hospitality, but they resolve their differences—and surprise themselves by falling in love. Their bond is tested when both Nick and Callie become the focus of a serial killer nicknamed Lipstick Larry. Can they outwit a murderer bent on seeing them dead and survive to build a lasting relationship?
Buy Link for Leave Yesterday Behind:
Other Books by Lauren:
Music For My Soul: http://amzn.com/B00FQ0QGZM
Outlaw Muse: http://amzn.com/B00FQ0QGZM
A Game of Chance: http://amzn.com/B00HQVHR98
Written in the Cards: http://amzn.com/B00KGM0M1O
A Bit of Heaven on Earth: http://amzn.com/B00QHMH0IU
Ballad Beauty: http://amzn.com/B00U9TV2XQ
Connect with Lauren:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lauren-Linwood/e/B00CSSG8BC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1406670019&sr=8-1
Lauren Linwood’s historical romances use history as a backdrop to place her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire for one another grows into the treasured gift of love. Her romantic suspense novels feature strong heroes and heroines who unite to defeat a clever antagonist and discover a deep, abiding love during their journey.
A native Texan, Lauren is an avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan who manages stress by alternating yoga with long walks. She plans to start a support group for House Hunters addicts—as soon as she finishes her next piece of dark chocolate.
Today's post for Medieval Monday is Lauren Linwood and her novel, A Bit of Heaven on Earth
Back Cover Blurb:
When Gavin of Ashgrove and his closest friend are captured in a fierce battle during the Hundred Years’ War, their captors demand a hefty ransom from their fathers for their return. Robert is quickly set free, but Gavin’s father refuses to pay for his son’s release, leaving him to rot in a squalid French prison. Aided by a sympathetic priest, he escapes and returns home to England, only to find he has been proclaimed a bastard and disinherited.
With nowhere to turn Gavin journeys to Kentwood, where he fostered as a boy, hoping Lord Aldred will take him on as a knight in his guard. The old warrior is close to death, but he soon realizes Gavin is his son. Aldred plots to have Gavin inherit Kentwood and marry his much younger wife, Elizabeth, a famed and opinionated beauty who remains a virgin after a decade of marriage.
Will the king recognize Lord Aldred’s first request of a marriage between Elizabeth and Robert, uniting Robert’s estate with Kentwood—or will the temperamental Edward reward Aldred’s years of service and honor a dying man’s final request?
Fear struck Elizabeth as Gavin’s lips met hers. A kiss! What was he thinking? She could not kiss him. She didn’t kiss anyone. Aldred’s feeble attempts over the years flittered into her mind. She stiffened in his arms.
Her hesitation did not stop him. His lips slowly brushed against hers. The sensation was most pleasant. A ripple of heat ran through her. His hand stroked her hair. Her scalp tingled. Her body relaxed.
Panic set in suddenly. She tensed again. She didn’t know what to do, how to respond. Yet respond she did, as if her body were no longer her own. Her knees grew watery. She gripped Gavin’s shoulders for support. He pulled her closer still. His arms wrapped firmly around her, drawing her into a muscled chest.
And still his lips worked their magic, now nipping her lower one, teasing her. He licked the corner of her mouth and trailed kisses along her jaw. Her head fell back. A shudder rushed up her spine.
This is heaven.
His kisses continued along her exposed throat. She began to throb everywhere. Her fingers kneaded his shoulder. She heard a noise that sounded like a satisfied growl come from him.
Then his lips were gone. A shiver passed through her as the gentle breeze blew. She opened her eyes, only to meet his gazing down at her. He brushed a kiss against her temple, another one on her cheek. The slow play of his mouth began again as he caressed her. The throbbing built within her, starting an ache that clamored for a satisfaction she didn’t know how to satisfy.
Elizabeth opened her mouth to speak, to ask what was happening. Gavin’s hand, tangled in her curls, caught them and pulled slightly, forcing her head back. His eyes glowed, a heat in them that frightened and excited her at the same time.
Then his mouth was upon hers, gentle no longer. She clung to him. His tongue demanded to mate with hers, taking, taking. Again and again he took from her, even her very breath, till she no longer knew where she ended and he began. His arms pinned her against him. Her breasts ached. Her bones melted. A dizziness swept across her. She wanted this to go on. Forever.
A rooster crowed in the distance. It brought her to her senses. She broke their embrace.
Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B00QHMH0IU
Please help me welcome Lauren Linwood as we take a peek at her newest Western romance novel, Written in the Cards.
Maggie Rutherford jilts her too-perfect society groom at the altar and flees New York for the American West, where she turns her travels into dime novels that she writes and illustrates under the pen name Lud Madison.
After the Civil War, veteran Ben Morgan marries his childhood sweetheart and takes her to homestead on the Great Plains. Losing her and their unborn child in an Indian attack, Ben detaches from emotion and becomes a roaming gambler. When he kills a cheating opponent in self-defense, the man’s gunslinger brother swears revenge upon Ben.
Ben hides on a cattle drive and brings in a herd to Abilene, where a waiting Maggie wants to find a rough and tumble cowboy to interview for her next story idea. Sparks fly as the dangerous drover and popular novelist wind up living in the same household, running a general store east of Abilene. But with Black Tex Lonnegan hot on his trail, will Ben run from his growing attraction to Maggie and the gunfighter’s promise of death–or will he make a stand for his life–and love?
Maggie squealed with delight. “I saw this contraption demonstrated when I was in Denver this past spring. The man’s fingers flew over . . . oh, what is it called? A keyboard, I think. He punched keys marked with letters of the alphabet, and they struck a piece of paper. The words formed along a line almost by magic. It was amazing!”
“Then let’s open the parcel and see it for ourselves.” Ben used his pocketknife to open the box. He extracted the typewriter, a small pamphlet that accompanied it, some black ribbons in cases, and a ream of paper.
“It’s heavy,” he told her. “It would be bulky for a woman to carry, much less travel with.”
She struck a pose with her good left arm, flexing a muscle. “I am stronger than I look, Mr. Morgan. I’ve had actual boxing lessons from an Irish brawler. I could probably take you on and knock you down before you knew what hit you.”
Ben’s lazy smile warmed her inside, all the way down to her toes. “You are a constant surprise to me, Maggie Rutherford.”
They unfolded the instructions, and she read them aloud while he affixed the ribbon in the prescribed manner. He then loaded the typewriter with a piece of white paper that sat upon a roll. They took turns striking the keys, marveling at the words that appeared upon the page. The pamphlet illustrated how certain fingers were designated to strike individual keys.
“Once the pattern is learned, this will be a remarkable way for me to write my novels. I’ll have to come up with stories at a faster rate, but that won’t be a problem at all. I have so many ideas that run through my brain now, I sometimes have trouble getting them all down on paper.”
“You can type out your ideas, Maggie, as well as your novels. That way you won’t lose any of them.”
She beamed at him, elated at the idea he proposed. She wished her wrist would be healed immediately. She couldn’t wait to teach her fingers to dance across the keyboard. Nothing would make her happier than quickly setting down all the storylines that skittered through her head. Nothing.
Until Ben leaned over and kissed her.
Then her idea of happiness took a seismic shift.
* * *
Lauren Linwood became a teacher who wrote on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones. Her romances use history as a backdrop to place her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grow into the deep, tender, treasured gift of love.
Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for Pinterest and House Hunters addicts.
Social Media Links:
Website Facebook Twitter Blog Amazon Author Page Goodreads Author Page About Me
Book Buy Links:
Written in the Cards Music For My Soul Outlaw Muse A Game of Chance
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