October 10

#TellTaleTuesday with Luanna Stewart and Love & Mayhem

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Author Luanna Stewart joins us this week to share the story behind her novel Love & Mayhem.

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Thank you so much, K.J., for letting me visit with your readers.

[K.J. here – thanks for coming to visit, Luanna!]

One of my favourite scenes in my latest release, Love & Mayhem, is right at the start when the hero and heroine meet. They’d known each other before but hadn’t seen each other in many years due to unforeseen circumstances. I wanted to convey Sybil’s feisty independence and her apparent disinterest in male persons. She’s convinced she’s happy as a spinster on the shelf, occupying her time with running the family sheep farm. But when she sees Max she can’t believe the young man from her past has become this mature and handsome man – truly hero worthy.

Max, the hero, had been away for several years and had all but forgotten the sister of his friend. He certainly had no recollection of her being particularly beautiful. So when they meet again he’s thrown for a loop, no longer sure of his plans for the future. In that first meeting he’s confronted by a female who doesn’t act at all as females should, and his curiosity is piqued.

The whole reason I wanted to write this story was to turn the usual trope – young woman must marry because she has the hots for the guy but won’t sleep with him until they’re wed – on its head. Sybil has the hots for Max but there’s no way in heck she’ll get married. She enjoys her independence and a husband will just get in the way. She’ll take a lover instead. She pursues him, and has the devil of a time convincing him to participate. Also, she’s unschooled in seduction and has to do research. Needless to say, shenanigans ensue, hehe.

Blurb

Sybil is happily on the shelf, tending to her sheep. But she fears she’ll depart this life without experiencing physical love, which she suspects is rather enjoyable. When her long-lost fiancé returns from sea, she decides he’s the lucky man who’ll receive her virginity.

Max is eager to return to his sugar plantation and has no intention of remaining long in London. However, he didn’t bargain on a wilful, pretty, exasperating spinster determined to take him to her bed.

He insists on marriage but she wants only his body. Her heart is not part of the deal. Unfortunately, love doesn’t always follow the rules.

Excerpt from Chapter One

London, England, 1882

Sybil Woodbridge shut the door and sank onto the hard chair behind the desk in the study of the rented house. She glanced at the threadbare carpet, more dirt than pattern, then at the dirt under her fingernails. She was filthy from scrubbing the top layer of grime in the rooms they’d use. If it were up to her, she’d—

But it wasn’t up to her. A spinster sister had few rights even in these more enlightened times. Married women had even fewer. Thank goodness that at the ripe old age of twenty-nine offers of marriage had dried up.

She shivered as the damp cold penetrated her gown. That smell was in this room, too. She was used to strong odors, being a sheep farmer, but those smells were the natural result of raising animals. She enjoyed them: hay, damp fleece, manure. This smell—she wrinkled her nose. She suspected several mouse carcasses lay within the walls. A rodent crypt.

She got up and stirred the fire, then placed a few more lumps of coal on the grate. Late February was frigid this year, and the house was impossible to keep warm. No wonder her brother had been able to rent it so cheaply.

Seated again at her desk with heat from the fire warming her back, she moved her journal to one side and shuffled through papers and ledgers. Balancing the accounts from the previous year should have been done weeks ago. But with one thing and another, the tedious chore had been moved from one day’s list of tasks to the next. And the next, and the next. Most days she could find any number of things she’d rather do than sit in the virtual counting house. Most days—well, all the time—she had a farm to manage and fields to tromp.

Unfortunately, her silly brother had gotten an idea in his head, and so here she was, in London, in a rented house, with naught to do but add income and subtract expenses—the larger of the two sums.

Squirming in the chair, she rubbed at her leg. Dratted wool stockings, always prickling and itching. And crawling—

Crawling. Blast. Sybil hiked up her skirts. The sensation of tiny legs scrabbling over her flesh increased tenfold. Now the buggers were on her thighs heading toward—

She pulled the skirts to her waist, spread her legs, and searched the skin.

Oswald had rented a flea-infested hovel!

Where were the buggers? She felt them crawling through the hair on her head and up her back. Blast it all to—when she saw her brother again…

The door opened.

“Christ.”

She raised her head to verbally skewer the speaker, but it wasn’t Oswald. It was a man, though. An attractive man. The handsomest man she’d ever seen. Or imagined. Tall, swarthy, with brilliant blue eyes staring at her—oh!

Sybil tried lowering her skirt but it had become tangled with itself and the hem was caught on the arm of the chair.

Oh heavens, her face burned. She was not a pretty blusher, but instead looked like she’d been slapped hard. Finally, finally, she got her legs covered and again met the man’s gaze. “Who are you?”

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Maxwell Bretherton closed the door at his back and leaned against the solid wood. Sybil, in the flesh. And what gloriously pale, smooth flesh it was, covering slender legs. All the way to her frilly drawers.

What a sight for sexually deprived eyes. He’d not gazed on a woman’s naked body in months. Not that she was naked but he’d like her to be. He’d forgotten how pretty she was. Blonde hair gleaming in the lamplight. Green eyes wide, surprised, embarrassed.

Angry?

His cock stirred. Definitely too long since he’d slept with a woman. Though, since his mistress never came to his house, and he never spent the night in hers, sleep didn’t enter the picture. Best to give it the proper name—tupping, fornicating, fucking.

Finding Sybil with her legs spread wide put all those words at the front of his brain.

“I said, who are you?” Definitely angry.

“Don’t you recognize me? I knew you instantly, even with that charming distraction.” He moved closer to the heat from the fire. And into the circle of light.

“Good heavens.” Her voice barely above a whisper, her eyes widened farther and the color drained from her cheeks. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Where to Purchase

The Wild Rose Press / Amazon

iTunes / Kobo / Barnes and Noble

Author Bio

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother’s stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Luanna writes full time, concentrating on sexy romantic suspense, steamy paranormal romance, and spicy historical romance.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna has recently returned to the land of her birth with her dear husband and two spoiled cats. When she’s not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.

Under her previous pen name of Grace Hood she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press.

Luanna’s Online Playground

Website:  http://www.luannastewart.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Luanna_Stewart

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Luanna.Stewart.nau

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/luannastewart/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14104212.Luanna_Stewart

Amazon Author Page:  www.amazon.com/author/luanna_stewart

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July 27

Somewhere My Lady by Beth Trissel

I’m excited to welcome the lovely Beth Trissel to the blog today, with her newest release Somewhere My Lady, Book 1 in the Ladies in Time series.

I had a chance to read this, and it’s wonderful, full of romance and laughs, and the hero on her cover looks kind of like Benedict Cumberbatch. 😉 (which I wasn’t the first to notice, but still…)

Somewhere My Lady is a fun supernatural romance that will have you slipping in and out of the past and future as if you were a spirit yourself.’’ ~Colleen’s Book Reviews

Somewhere My Lady is available from all major online booksellers. In Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B071VTNC7V

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White Phlox at Dawn, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel

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And Here’s Beth…

Thanks for having me on your blog, K.J., (ed. Thanks for being here! ~ K.J.) to share my new release, Somewhere My Lady (Book 1, Ladies in Time). The meld of fantasy, history, and paranormal I include in time travels intrigues me. My fabulous Wild Rose Press editor, Nic D’Arienzo, has given me a free rein, and I enjoyed writing Somewhere My Lady.

Two things that most inspired me were Edith’s Theme, the hauntingly beautiful song from the Crimson Peak soundtrack, and my love of old homes. I’ve lived in them most of my life, and visited plenty. I also love gardening  and have sprawling beds filled with heirloom flowers and herbs. Some plants have been here for ages and our farm-house was built in the 1870’s. Old homes exude an indefinable sense of place, and are never really empty. Perhaps the spirits of those who once dwelt there come back and visit, or leave a part of themselves behind. I don’t know, but I like a good ghost story.

Harrison Hall, the colonial era home in Somewhere My Lady, is loosely based on Shirley Plantation, a magnificent 18th century home, built along the James River in Virginia. In the story, this wonderful manor sized house is a paranormal hot spot, concealing a deadly mystery Hart and Lorna must solve.

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Brilliant coreopsis and Queen Ann’s Lace by Elise Trissel, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel

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Story Blurb

Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn’t expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.

Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart’s life before the Midsummer Ball.~

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double apricot hollyhock, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel

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Excerpt

 Something about him held her spellbound…the tilt of his head, arch of his brow, glimpse of his profile… She followed his every move with the fixity of an owl.

He turned blue-gray eyes toward her and sensuous lips curved into a smile on his handsome face. Hands down. No contest. He was the hottest guy ever. Her heart beat a thrilling new rhythm.

He circled closer to where she stood rooted in the foyer, not moving a toe, scarcely drawing breath. Did he truly see her backed tremulously against the wall, or did it only feel that way?

Unlike the others in the ghostly assembly, his eyes didn’t skirt past her. He paused in the dance. Bending at the shoulders, he tipped his hand to her in a genteel flourish.

 He’d freakin’ bowed. Her jaw dropped. He most definitely saw her. And she sure as heck saw him.

A sparking sizzle jumped between them, awakening her as she’d never been roused before. Even more than when the house charged through her at her arrival. It was as if she were plugged in—to him.

How that could be, she had no idea, but when he gazed into her eyes, time seemed to stop. She spiraled into moonless stars, and back again to this dizzying realm. To him. Even if she were dreaming, she’d never forget this moment.~

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Bunch of Abraham Darby Rose, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel

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About the Author

Author Beth Trissel in the old family home place — Chapel Hill, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. I’m especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. And I love a good ghost story. In addition to Young Adult and New Adult fantasy romance, I also write historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction.

Beth Trissel Online

Her Website, One Writer’s Way

Facebook Beth Trissel

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Twitter @BethTrissel

Amazon Author Page where all her books reside

August 10

Lost Pleasures Found by Vikki Vaught

Finalized eBook Cover - Lost Pleasures FoundSome of you may remember Vikki from when she (as Vikki McCombie) and her book A New Beginning for Nancy were featured on my blog. I’m pleased to welcome her back to share the journey of her novel Lost Pleasures Found.

~K.J.

P.S. To purchase Lost Pleasures Found, click on the cover image or go here. To add on Goodreads, go here.

P.P.S. Isn’t that cover gorgeous?!

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Thanks Keiti for having me on your blog today. [I’m happy you’re here! – K.J.] It’s always a pleasure. I originally wrote Lost Pleasures Found in 2010, before I knew anything about writing. The story came to me in late 2009 after reading a book, and I went around for months saying “Somebody need to write that book.” I ended up with some time off from my job in June 2010 and decided to spend two hours a day writing it. Three weeks later I had an 80,000-word manuscript. Obviously, I spend way more than two hours a day, more like twelve. The story flew onto the pages! Wish that would happen again!

That’s went the real work began. I spent months re-writing it, trying to get it in shape. I sent it out to agents and publishers and received plenty of rejection letters. Then my husband told me of a publisher a friend of his used. Not knowing any better, I contacted them and they sold me big time!

When I look back on my naiveté, I have to laugh. I thought I was going to sell thousands, even millions of copies. Wrong! I mostly sold copies to dear friends and family, but that’s okay today. It encouraged me to keep on writing and as time went by, my writing improved.

Lost Pleasures Found is near and dear to my heart, but it needed a lot of revisions, so I took it back from that original publisher and made lots of changes. I believe I ended up re-writing almost every sentence before I was through. This edition is new and improved, and I hope you will take the time to read it. Melody and Henry’s story is filled with trials and tribulations that try to keep them apart and destroy their love, but in the end, love wins out. And, that’s…why I love romance!

Lost Pleasures Found by Vikki Vaught

Publisher & Release: Enticing Pleasures Romance, July 14, 2016
Time and setting: 1814, England
Genre:  Historical Romance/Regency
Length:  386 Pages
Heat Level: 2 Flames

Book Description

After many years of war, England is finally at peace. Captain Lord Henry Montgomery, second son of the Duke of Sanderford, returns home, ready to sample the many delights London has to offer. After facing death for six years, he deserves a chance to carouse with his friends before accepting his responsibilities to the dukedom.

While attending a London ball, he meets the enchanting Melody Canterfield-Smyth and his life…will never be the same. He is captivated by the beautiful innocent young miss with the sherry-colored eyes. Determined to make her his own, he pursues her relentlessly, intent on winning her heart. After a whirlwind courtship, they settle into wedded bliss.

When Bonaparte escapes from Elba, Henry must return to the battlefield. Torn apart by war, distance, and circumstance, will their love survive, or will all they have endured separate them forever?

Originally published in 2011. This book had been revised and updated.

Excerpt

Lord Henry Montgomery strolled from the overcrowded ballroom to get away from the deafening noise and sweltering heat. Pulling a cheroot from the inner pocket of his jacket, he put it between his teeth. Before he lit it, a vision in saffron yellow caught his eye. She stood with her back to the balustrade, eyes closed. His breath hitched as he took in the sight of the beautiful young woman. A gentle breeze blew tendrils of her golden locks across her heart-shaped face. Her cupid’s bow lips were slightly parted, and her pert little nose was turned up toward the heavens.

A frisson of desire swept through him and stirred his dormant male urges. It had been an age since he’d had a woman, having recently returned from helping guard Napoleon Bonaparte on the Mediterranean island of Elba. The goddess before him managed to accomplish that feat when the courtesans of Paris had left him cold, and yet, she must be an innocent, young miss.

As he walked toward her, he straightened the cuff of his jacket. He stopped in front of her and gazed into her incredible sherry-colored eyes. “I know I shouldn’t converse with you; I must ask…why have I never seen you before?”

Her cheeks blushed to a lovely shade of rose. “I’m sorry, sir. I shouldn’t speak with you. After all, we have never met.”

He took a step closer, but not close enough to frighten her away. “You look so lovely standing here against this glorious moonlit night. Your beauty…it leaves me breathless.”

Her eyes widened, resembling a startled doe. “I…I don’t know what to say.”

He bowed and took her dainty, gloved hand in his, then brushed her knuckles with his lips. “Let me introduce myself. I’m Henry Montgomery. May I ask your name?”

She hesitated. “M-melody…but I shouldn’t. We have not been introduced.” Her sweet, melodious voice had his heart skipping a beat. “I must return to the ballroom, before my aunt realizes I’m missing. Excuse me, sir.” She moved around him and hurried toward the French doors leading back to the ballroom.

He called after her. “Wait, who is your aunt? How can I find you again?” She paused, possibly tempted to turn back to him, he hoped. Then she stepped through the terrace doors and disappeared from sight.

Author Bio

photo (2)Vikki Vaught started her writing career when a story invaded her mind and would not leave.

Over the last few years, she has written more than a half dozen historical romances and is presently working on her next.

Vikki loves a “Happily Ever After”, and she writes them in her stories. While romance is the central theme of all her books, she includes some significant historical event or place in all her novels.

While all her books are love stories, she has also written short contemporary sweet romances as Vikki McCombie and erotic romances using the pen name of V.L. Edwards.

For the last decade, Vikki has lived in the beautiful foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with her beloved husband, Jim, who is the most tolerant man in the world to put up with her when she is in a writing frenzy. When she is not writing or working her day job, you’ll find her curled up in a comfortable chair reading her Kindle, lost in a good book with a cup of tea at her side.

Vikki Online

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