Release date: October 18
Now available for pre-order at Amazon, Kobo, iTunes and B&N.
Interested in having a sneak peek into the box set? Get the first chapter of each book for free at Amazon, Kobo or B&N.
You’ll love this heartwarming collection of 20 all-new Christmas stories from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Every title in the set is from a Christmas song suggested by a reader. Here’s just a sample of the wonderful variety in these pages: In LAST CHRISTMAS, after a year of heartache, a young woman confronts the man who ran out on her the December before. Can SILVER BELLS bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the Christmas gift she wants most? HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS showcases a young couple confronting the dilemma of an unwanted pregnancy. In FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, the collection turns from angst to humor when two strangers and a cute but mischievous Samoyed puppy are stranded by a freak snow storm in the Alaskan bush. And then there’s the shopkeeper in WHITE CHRISTMAS who’s hit by a car and goes into a coma—or is she really at Santa’s workshop? All these and the rest of the collection will launch you into the Christmas spirit.
Release date: October 18
Now available for pre-order at Amazon, Kobo, iTunes and B&N.
Interested in having a sneak peek into the box set? Get the first chapter of each book for free at Amazon, Kobo or B&N.
Book 3 in the Emerging from Darkness Series
I’d been given promises in the past, all of which were broken.
Inevitably, they broke me.
I wouldn’t let those broken promises stop me from believing in new ones, though.
Matthew Moi was different.
His dimpled smile and witty sexual banter has held me spellbound since day one.
Falling in love with him came easy.
Marrying him—a dream come true.
Now, he wants something I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for.
As I struggle, he faithfully remains at my side.
Through it all, his protective nature shields me from an evil I didn’t see coming.
Together, we have it all—love, passion, trust.
Apart, the possibilities are endless, even death.
Finally at ease with his mother, Matthew laughed, realizing that she, too, must have had a hand in teaching Jess how to cook.
“I was happy to help. She’s going to be an excellent cook and mother, for that matter, one day.”
Her words squeezed at Matthew’s heart. He ran a hand through his curly hair, struggling with how to reply. “I’m not sure we’ll have kids. Jess, she’s off. Something’s up.”
“Wedding planning can be stressful,” Marise offered.
“No. It’s not that. At first, I didn’t know what trigger was setting her off. But I finally realized when I mention anything about children or babies, she checks out completely.”
“Any idea why?”
Matthew wasn’t one to speculate. Jess, not being ready to talk about it, wasn’t helping him understand. But he knew history could be painful to overcome. He motioned toward a bench, acting on a strong desire to sit down and reflect. Following his mother, he sat and looked down at the sand, a pensive expression on his face.
How could he tell Marise that Jess had been pregnant when she found out Jake had cheated on her, and that the day of the divorce hearing, she went into preterm labor? Or that a discrepancy in Jess’s mind had her, in retrospect, believing she should have done everything possible to save her baby, but didn’t, opting instead for comfort care in her own arms?
Matthew knew the truth of the matter. He’d seen the dates on the ultrasound, finding it one day as it slipped out from between the pages of a book, and spliced together a corrected timeframe. Jess had been barely twenty weeks along. And as she would have known from nursing school that because the chances of survival were thought to be impossible at twenty weeks, parents were advised to do exactly what she had done.
Whether at twenty-two weeks or twenty, she’d died inside that day. And to this day, Matthew was fairly certain she still harbored a belief that she had made a grave mistake and was endlessly blaming herself for the outcome. It was no wonder she’d fallen into a deep depression. Matthew wanted nothing more than to help her.
After a long moment in thought, he shrugged, still uncertain what, if anything, to say to his mom.
Marise caressed his back, then shifted on the bench to look at him. “Being psychiatrists makes it challenging for us not to want to help, especially when we think we can. It’s what we are trained to do. But sometimes, we are too close or simply aren’t the best option for those we love. Even though they know we love them, they’re not always ready to let us in.”
“You’re right. Jess said she would open up when she’s ready.” Though it made Matthew feel she wasn’t comfortable enough with him to tell him what was truly bothering her. And that hurt him. “I want to talk with her about starting a family, but I don’t think it’s something she wants.”
“Darling, there’s no hurry. Enjoy making memories of the two of you first. In fact, you can start with a trip home. This Christmas.”
Matthew stared out to sea, mulling over his desires, Jess’s fears, and an impromptu trip to France. Marise draped her arm over his shoulders, the sound of the waves the only noise breaking their silence.
“I know it’s been a long time since you’ve had Christmas at home with us, but we’d love to have you. You could make a full holiday of it and take Jess to Paris. You certainly don’t have to stay confined to the guest house.”
“The guest house?” Matthew grimaced, uncertain as to why she hadn’t offered their house to them.
“You’re welcome to stay anywhere you’d like. But if you’re in need of some privacy, I suggest the guest house.”
Privacy. His eyes darting from the ocean to Marise, Matthew pulled his mother to his chest. “You may have just helped me.”
Marise laughed and returned the embrace. “I’m more than happy to help, with anything. You need only to ask.”
Matthew leaned back, this time frowning. “There’s something else going on with Jess you should know about.”
“Someone wants her dead.”
About the Author:
J.M. Maurer started working as a registered nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where she cared for critically ill children, transported them from outlying hospitals, and even picked up overtime hours treating patients of all ages while inside a hyperbaric chamber.
When not writing, you can find her spending time with family and friends, exploring the outdoors, or attempting most any sport. She resides in Chicago with her husband and son.
Find out more on her Website, Facebook page, Twitter,
Goodreads, and her Amazon Author Page.
After a blind date stands her up, Catrina Striker stops in O’Leary’s Pub for a sandwich, nothing else. Then Tony Bates, North Salem’s resident playboy, sits down next to her and destiny takes over. Cat knows all about Tony’s reputation, but that doesn’t stop her from doing something she’s never done before: invite him back to her apartment.
Tony Bates has always looked at Catrina as nothing but his buddy’s little sister, until a chance encounter one summer night changes all that.
Since the sudden death of his college sweetheart, Tony has kept all his relationships casual and fun. Everyone knows that, which is why Cat and Tony agree to keep their involvement a secret rather than risk Tony’s friendship with her brother. However, what starts out as a secret fling soon becomes much more, and Tony must decide if he’s ready to risk his heart again or lose the woman who completes him.
Across the café, Cat stopped to speak with Sue Adams, and she looked in his direction. She gave him the tiniest of nods and then said something to Sue before joining the line at the counter.
Thanks to the location of his table, Tony could watch her as she waited in line without anyone the wiser. While she waited, she spoke with the other customers in line, and he couldn’t look away.
Cat radiated friendliness. She had this sunny personality that called people to her. A person couldn’t be around her and remain in a bad mood. Even people she didn’t know well appeared at ease and happy around her.
He told himself that was one of the reasons he couldn’t stay away from her. He simply liked the way he felt around her.
Brendan Michaels, another lifelong North Salem resident, joined the line behind her. Right away, he placed a hand on her shoulder and started up a conversation. As Tony watched her shake her head at whatever Brendan said, he forced himself to remain seated rather than bolt across the room and rip Brendan’s arm off. Although many people wouldn’t mind seeing Brendan put in his place, residents would wonder why Tony had intervened because, by the looks of it, Brendan and Cat were only talking.
Tony ground his teeth together as she said something in response to Brendan’s statement. What was taking so long anyway? How hard was it for Skye to make Cat a cup of coffee? From behind the counter, Skye handed Cat her order. Cat stopped two more times before reaching him.
“Hi, Tony. How did the game go?” She made no move to sit. Instead, she sipped her coffee.
“We won by three touchdowns. It was like Beverly sent their JV team to play today.”
His hands itched to reach out and pull her close. Since that was out of the question, he wrapped his hands around his coffee mug.
“Big plans for the afternoon?” he asked.
“I’m meeting Kelsey here. What about you?”
“Waiting for my mom. She asked me to meet her. Why don’t you sit and keep me company until Kelsey gets here.”
She took the seat next to him, her knee bumping into his leg.
“So what kind of trouble are you and Miss Bancroft planning to get into today?”
She scooted her chair a little closer to him. “Shopping. She needs something for Mrs. O’Brien’s wedding.”
No one would ever call him a saint. Tony released his coffee mug and reached under the table. “A Saturday night at the mall, where’s the fun in that?”
He caressed her thigh, wishing she had on a skirt instead of jeans.
“Shopping can be fun, especially when you plan to get a few new things for yourself. Ella told me about the two new stores that opened last week. I can’t wait to check them out.”
He’d gotten an earful from his mother after her last trip to the mall about one of the new stores. She’d gone on for a good thirty minutes about how inappropriate the outfits on the mannequins were and how the store shouldn’t be allowed to hang photos in the windows. He loved his mom, but sometimes she could be a bit of a prude.
“Besides, it won’t take all day. I told Kelsey I need to be home by seven because I have other things to do.”
Under the table, Cat ran her fingertips over his hand, and it reminded him of the way she’d caressed his chest earlier that week.
“How does that sound?” she whispered, her voice almost inaudible.
Visions of her in some new lacy outfits formed, and his heart rate accelerated.
“Four sounds better,” he answered, grateful for the noise in the café.
“Kelsey loves to shop. If I’m lucky, I’ll get her out of the mall by five.”
“I’ll be at your place by six then.” An hour should be enough time for her to get home. “Text me if you get home earlier,” he whispered.
Under the table, she squeezed his hand. “Your mom just walked in.”
Tony looked up as his mom walked toward them. Right away, Cat released his hand and reached for her coffee.
“Catrina, how are you?” His mom joined them at the table.
“Great, Mrs. Bates, and you?”
“Fabulous. I love being retired. Right after Maureen’s wedding, I’m off on a cruise with my sister for a week.”
He shifted in his seat as his mother and secret lover discussed Maureen O’Brien’s upcoming wedding, an event the entire town was talking about.
“Do you want a coffee or anything, Mom?” Anything to get him away from the table.
Get your copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks or Kobo.
About The Author:
I started writing at the age of 10 on my grandmother's manual typewriter and never stopped. When I am not driving my 3 daughters (ages 8, 6, and 6) around to their various activities or chasing around our three dogs, I am working on a story or reading a romance novel. Currently, I have two series out, The Sherbrookes of Newport and Love on The North Shore. You can visit my website www.christinatetreault.com or follow me on Facebook or Twitter to learn more about my characters and to track my progress on my current writing projects.
Who ever thought a coin could get you killed?
A cunning killer trusted his secret was safe, an innocent woman holds the key to his destruction, and an intelligence officer must keep her alive before the madman can strike the fatal blow.
When Gabriela Martinez finds a mysterious coin in the French Riviera, she is thrust into a struggle between governments, terrorists, and madmen, all seeking knowledge she doesn't know she has. Richard Harrison, the intelligence officer assigned to protect her, has all he can do to keep her safe. But when the psychological games to terrorize Gabriela escalate beyond his control, Richard must find a solution, if not, it may be too late for them both.
Set in the exotic French Riviera, The Coin is a story of hatred, betrayal, love and duty—of terrible and painful choices that, nonetheless, bring about personal triumph.
Available now for 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo and Smashwords.
View the video trailer here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra is a romantic suspense author with a unique point of view. Her adventure novels take place in locales across Europe and the United States, reflecting her international upbringing and extensive time as a global traveler. In her duology, The Coin and The Book of Hours, her characters, Gabriela and Richard, walk the same paths as their creator, though her life was never in so much danger.
Ms. Alonso-Sierra’s writing career began circa age thirteen with a very juvenile science fiction short story, but the writing bug hit, and she has been writing, in one capacity or another, ever since. She has worked as a professional dancer, singer, journalist, and literature teacher (and not necessarily in that order—she likes variety) and holds a Masters in English literature. She loves to hear from readers and, when not writing, roams around to discover new places to set her novels.
Ms. Alonso-Sierra is currently working on her third novel, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and her dog, Amber.
Romantic suspense novella from NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author Joan Reeves.
Her husband found her, claimed her, rescued her. David’s touch makes Tessa throb. Desire flashes between them like heat lightning on a summer night. Her body knows David, but when she looks at him, he is a stranger to her. Not a flicker of memory is left of him or their life together since she awakened from a coma.
Amnesia has left her with nothing but questions. Who is she? Why does David seem to hate her even as he pulls her into his arms? What is he hiding? How can she trust him when her gut says, “Trust no one”?
Heat Lightning, the first novella in a new series: Outlaw Ridge, Texas.
Heat Lightning is available on Amazon for pre-order. It will publish on July 21, 2015. Click here to buy for only 99 cents: http://amzn.com/B010MQ3QP2
Joan Reeves is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of
Contemporary Romance. Available as ebooks and audiobooks, her romance novels all have the same underlying theme: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.” Joan lives her happily ever after with her husband in the Lone Star State. Sign up for Joan's email list for readers: http://eepurl.com/Yk61n.
La Déesse Noire:
The Black Goddess
Sired by a British peer, born of a paramour to Indian royalty, Kali Matai has been destined from birth to enthrall England’s most powerful noblemen—though she hadn’t counted on becoming their pawn. Finding herself under the control of ruthless men, who will not be moved by her legendary allure, she has no choice but to use her beauty toward their malicious and clandestine ends.
When those she holds most dear are placed in peril by backroom political dealings, she enlists some of the most formidable lords in England to thwart her enemies. But even with the help of the prominent gentlemen she has captivated, securing Kali’s freedom, her family, and the man she loves, will require her protectors stop at nothing to fulfill her desires.
Showing not the slightest displeasure, and without disturbing him in the least, Kali quietly and efficiently arranged her life to best suit him. She changed the height of her heels, the length of her fingernails, the depth of her décolletage. Hors d'oeuvres, hats, horses, hand cream, all subject to his explicit or implicit approval, and he barely needed to say a word.
She kept his pipe tobacco, port, and claret, subscriptions to his preferred papers, and when he declined an asparagus salad, he never again saw that particular vegetable on her table. Kali arranged three full sets of clothes by Weston, measured to his last order, to be kept at her residence—a morning coat with trousers, breeches and a dinner jacket, and riding attire with buckskins and boots, all perfectly cut and of better quality than anything in his armoire at home.
When he found himself vexed by an off-the-cuff, but accurate, analysis of a potential investment he knew he shouldn’t make, he was forced to apologize and explain his annoyance did not justify her swallowing opinions. As the weeks wore on, she became comfortable enough to express her thoughts more freely, and when he grumbled, only teased, “Are you not the man who prefers I not please him in all things?”
Find the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, All Romance eBooks, Smashwords, and Goodreads.
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About the Author
Mariana Gabrielle is a pseudonym of Mari Christie, a professional writer, editor, and designer with almost twenty-five years’ experience. Published in dozens of nonfiction and poetry periodicals since 1989, she began writing mainstream historical fiction in 2009 and Regency romance in 2013. In all genres, she creates deeply scarred characters in uncommon circumstances who overcome self-imposed barriers to reach their full potential. She is a member of the Bluestocking Belles, the Writing Wenches, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Her first Regency romance, Royal Regard, was released in November 2014.
Facebook Launch Party, June 10, noon - 8 pm EDT
Learn more about Mariana on her Website and Blog,
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon Author Central, and
Goodreads Author page.
Ruined (Martini Club 4 - The 1920's)
by Alicia Dean
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books
Genre: Vintage Historical Romance
Release Date: February 26, 2015
Length: 120 Pages
She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans...
After the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped.
When Vince Taggart’s childhood friend disappears, he heads to New York in search of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation. Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away, especially when he learns Eliza may be the key to finding his missing friend.
Eliza sat on a barstool at Club 501, her legs crossed, sipping a White Lady. The joint was wall to wall people. There weren’t many places as nice as Club 501 that sold liquor. Most were seedy, dangerous. Club 501 had opened a few days ago. The two level speakeasy was as luxurious as a palace with its rich gold and mauve tones, velvet upholstery, and long oak bar.
Meggie was on stage singing “Crazy Blues.” She wore a one-shoulder peach calf-length gown with a scalloped hemline trimmed in shimmery silver braid. Her eyes were half closed, blonde curls glistening beneath the spotlight.
Eliza closed her eyes and let the loveliness of Meggie’s voice soothe her. Uncanny how she could sing without the hint of an accent.
In the worst of times, Eliza used a mind trick where she traveled to another place and removed herself from whatever was happening. She’d had to use the trick many times as a scullery maid, and when Lord Renwald had trapped her in the barn, but the night he’d nearly raped her, that had been something altogether different. Rather than using a mind trick, she’d fully escaped. Meggie’s voice brought her that kind of escape. She was transported to another place.
The song ended, and Eliza opened her eyes, clapping more loudly than anyone else in the place. Meggie winked and curtsied, then went into her next number. Some day, she was going to make it big, Eliza just knew it.
“Need anything else?” Charli appeared at her shoulder, holding a tray full of empty glasses at shoulder level. She wore the Club 501 uniform—a mauve dress that came to mid-thigh with sheer voile that fell to her ankles. She’d acquired a position as cocktail waitress a few days after Meggie had been hired as a singer.
“No, thank you. Last night was a late one. I ought to take it slowly.”
Charli wrinkled her pert nose. “What a sweet deal you landed, while I’m stuck in this dive slinging booze.”
Eliza pursed her lips. “Now, Charli, this is hardly a dive. Serving drinks here might not be the wealthy lifestyle you’re accustomed to, but things could be worse—much worse.”
Sympathy shone in Charli’s brown eyes. “I know, luv. Selfish of me. I know what you’ve been through, how awful things were for you before we found you on the docks, then again when you arrived and had to take a position at that ghastly old factory.” She let out a sigh. “It’s just that I had such high hopes. I wanted so much to start a great life doing what I love most.”
Eliza squeezed her friend’s hand. “You’ll get your bakery, I know you will. You keep schmoozing Mrs. Carter, and you’re a shoo in.” Mrs. Carter was a successful businesswoman who owned a string of department stores. Charli all but panted after the woman.
Charli giggled and playfully slapped Eliza’s knee. “I do not schmooze her. I just find her interesting.” She glanced over her shoulder. “Sorry, gotta run. These blokes might perish if I don’t keep the hooch flowing.” She cocked an impish grin. “See ya, luv.”
Eliza scanned the crowd. Jess was supposed to come in, but so far, Eliza hadn’t seen her. She was feeling slightly abandoned. At least Oscar wasn’t present. Now that he was her employer, she could barely relax when he was at Club 501. She always felt she was on the clock.
Her gaze bounced over a man, then zeroed back. The bloke was looking directly at her. She caught her breath. He was leaning on the bar a few stools down, talking to Charli. He had this…magnetism, some kind of forceful presence that made it impossible to look away.
He was broad, muscular and dressed like a dock worker with brown suspenders over a yellow shirt and a newsboy cap over his dark blond hair, but what caught her attention right off was his smile. His white teeth flashed, and a dimple creased the right side of his face.
Charli moved away, and the man looked up and caught Eliza staring at him. His grin widened. His eyes were so blue—so electrifying, that Eliza could feel their allure even in the dimly lit, smoky bar.
He winked and gave her a finger salute off the brim of his cap.
A tingle ran from her toes, all the way through her body, making her head swim. My, but he was a fresh one. With superhuman effort, she dragged her attention away, but it didn’t keep her heart from racing faster than a thoroughbred at Churchill Downs.
She swallowed and took a deep breath, fingering the pendant at her neck, trying to slow her heart rate. What on earth was wrong with her? She met plenty of handsome men—men more pleasing to the eye than he with his workmen clothing and slightly crooked nose. But never had any man sent her blood rushing through her veins like this.
She gulped from her glass. Get ahold of yourself. She was not the kind of girl to pick up strange men in bars—even if they did have a devil of a smile and eyes like an angel.
About Alicia Dean
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Award-winning, multi-published author Alicia Dean began writing stories as a child. At age 11, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who happened to share the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals. She is a freelance editor in addition to being an editor for The Wild Rose Press.
Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, New Girl, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.
Can tragedy mend a wounded family?
While faced with the challenge of his mother’s escalating Alzheimer’s disease, Logan McKinnon discovers secret journals that leave him questioning everything he knows about his family. With no one left to ask, Logan must find a man mentioned in the journals to discover a truth he may not want to know.
Excerpt from Tangles:
Logan sat at his home office desk, staring at the latest e-mail from AmStarInc. In the two months since the contract was finalized, his life had become a whirlwind of meetings, red-eye flights, and restaurant food on the run. He was home for the time being, at least until another situation arose requiring his personal attention. He’d never been happier.
Another e-mail popped up as the phone rang. He absently grabbed for it as he continued to read.
“It’s Dad. Am I interrupting something?”
“Just reading e-mail. How are things?” He relaxed in his chair and rubbed his eyes.
“Don’t give me that ‘everything is just fine’ crap, Dad. The truth, please,” he scolded his father, who laughed.
“We’re doing fine. Mom isn’t any worse, so I look at it as a good day. She’s on what the doc calls a plateau. When things change, I’ll tell you. How is business?”
“Hectic. I just got home from Houston last night and may need to go again. But I’m keeping up.”
“You must be tired, so I won’t keep you long. I saw something in the AARP Magazine I thought you should know about. Have you heard of the Elf Virus? It’s supposed to hit around Christmastime.”
“I guess I missed that one.” Logan glanced at his computer screen and saw a new e-mail. He opened it while his dad talked.
“I’ll send the article to you. Sounds like a bad one.” Joe paused. “Have you made your vacation plans for next summer yet?”
“No, haven’t thought that far ahead. Why?” He perused the document on the screen.
“Just an idea I had. I was thinking we could all make a trip home to Henley next summer. The boys are big enough to do some fishing, and I thought it would be fun to take them to the mountains. You always liked to fish when you were that age.”
“Still do,” Logan said. He closed one document and opened another. “That would be fun. Hannah will be a year old then, so it’ll be easier to take her along. I’ll talk to Melissa about it.”
“Maybe we could drive by the old house and see if the young pup who bought the place is taking care of the orchards right.”
“He isn’t such a young pup anymore, Dad. I graduated with him, so he must be forty-three or forty-four.”
“I suppose you’re right…” He trailed off. “Do you think the old Apple Blossom Café is still there?”
“It’s gone,” Logan said. “There’s a Lowe’s Hardware there now.”
“Oh, yes, I remember reading about that now you mention it. Old Tony sure made a good apple pie. Left all the apples in big chunks, not those skinny little slices. Maybe we could drive up Lang’s Hill for a look-see around the valley. Your mom would enjoy it.”
“We could,” Logan said, “but you can’t see much since a gated community went in. It’s prime real estate now.”
“Oh well. That’s progress, I suppose. A lot of memories sit on that hill,” Joe said. “You know I proposed to your mom up there.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“She was so pretty. When we were dating, we’d sit on Lang’s Hill sometimes, listen to romantic music, do a little kissing,” he said with a chuckle. “Things were different back then. One thing stayed the same though.”
“Lois is still the prettiest woman I’ve ever seen. Fifty-four years we’ve been married, and she’s still the prettiest.”
They continued to talk about the old times until Melissa stuck her head in the door and said she was heading to bed. Logan checked the clock and decided he needed to get moving as well.
Tangles is available now for pre-order. Visit Sharleen's website or her Amazon author page.
Romantic-suspense author Sharleen Scott is taking a brief detour from her CAUGHT series with the release of Tangles, a novel dedicated to her mother-in-law who succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease. Sharleen lives in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Brett, two college kids, and two spoiled cats.
Sharleen is forming a walk group, Team Tangles, and is participating in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 19 in Yakima, Washington. Join the fight either by joining the walk team (if you are in the northwest) or donating to the team. Together, we can make a difference.
Visit the Alzheimer’s Walk team page.
Virtue’s Lady is the second book of The Southwark Saga, my new historical romance series set in seventeenth century London. One of the best parts of writing a historical series is doing the research. Along with learning about what people ate, drank, and wore, you will always find some interesting facts and fun surprises in history books. It’s these little details that help to breathe life into a period that might feel unfamiliar.
One of the most interesting things I researched for Virtue’s Lady was seventeenth century marriage. Among the poorest in society, formal weddings were not common, and the contracts tended to be verbal only. All that was needed to make a marriage was for the couple to state their intent to marry or to name each other “husband” or “wife” in front of witnesses, and this was a binding verbal contract. A blessing in a church was an unnecessary expense that few could afford.
Marriages took place later in life for most. The mean age for the first marriage for men was between twenty-seven and twenty-eight, and for women, it was between twenty-five and twenty-seven. Single adults usually lived independently of their parents and they tended to wait until they were financially independent before they married, meaning that many never married at all. It was common for couples to cohabit before they married, sometimes for years. Postponing marriage meant that families were smaller, too.
It may have been just as well. Childbirth was the most common cause of death for women in this period. Lack of sanitation and poorly-trained, over-worked midwives meant that almost half of all women giving birth died as a result of it.
When Jane Ramsey arrives in Southwark in Virtue’s Lady, unusual wedding customs are just one of the many things she has to get used to. As an earl’s daughter, marriage for her would have been very different, involving formal contracts, a wedding ceremony, and a dowry. For being so close geographically, Southwark and her father’s estate could not have felt further apart. Life among the poor in Southwark is a shock for her, but Jane must learn quickly if she is to survive. Southwark may be frightening as it is filthy, but the alternative--an engagement to a syphilitic earl--is much worse, and Jane is willing to do what it takes to live a life of her choosing.
Thank you for reading!
(The Southwark Saga, Book 2)
By Jessica Cale
Out today, April 13th from Liquid Silver Books
Lady Jane Ramsey is young, beautiful, and ruined.
After being rescued from her kidnapping by a handsome highwayman, she returns home only to find her marriage prospects drastically reduced. Her father expects her to marry the repulsive Lord Lewes, but Jane has other plans. All she can think about is her highwayman, and she is determined to find him again.
Mark Virtue is trying to go straight. After years of robbing coaches and surviving on his wits, he knows it’s time to hang up his pistol and become the carpenter he was trained to be. He busies himself with finding work for his neighbors and improving his corner of Southwark as he tries to forget the girl who haunts his dreams. As a carpenter struggling to stay in work in the aftermath of The Fire, he knows Jane is unfathomably far beyond his reach, and there’s no use wishing for the impossible.
When Jane turns up in Southwark, Mark is furious. She has no way of understanding just how much danger she has put them in by running away. In spite of his growing feelings for her, he knows that Southwark is no place for a lady. Jane must set aside her lessons to learn a new set of rules if she is to make a life for herself in the crime-ridden slum. She will fight for her freedom and her life if that’s what it takes to prove to Mark—and to herself—that there’s more to her than meets the eye.
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Also in this Series:
Tyburn (The Southwark Saga, Book 1)
By Jessica Cale
Notorious harlot Sally Green fights for survival in Restoration London. When a brutal attack throws them together, Sally is torn between the tutor who saves her and the highwayman who keeps her up at night; between new love and an old need for revenge.
Winner of the Southern Magic Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence 2015.
Available at Liquid Silver, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance E-Books, iBooks.
About the Author
Jessica Cale is a historical romance author and journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent.
Connect with Jessica on her website, Facebook, Twitter,
Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Tsu, Amazon Author Page, Goodreads Author Page
One of my favourite scenes in my newest contemporary romance, Forever Your Valentine, is the scene in which Cole and Faith fly in a small two-seater plane to visit Pelee Island, ON. Faith has never stepped foot in a plane and is scared to death. But she screws up her courage and puts her trust in Cole’s piloting skills. The trip to Pelee Island represents a positive change in Faith, when she begins to let go of the fears and inhibitions that have held her back since childhood.
I knew when I started plotting the book that I wanted to include a flying scene, but writing it was a challenge. I’ve never been in a small plane. Thankfully, I have friends with flying experience who were willing to help me put the scene together. My fellow author Joan Reeves used to own a plane and answered many of my questions so I could draft the scene. When it came to polishing the scene and making it shine, my friend Beth Fischer provided invaluable help.
Beth is a talented illustrator (you can see her work here). Another of her passions is flying. She grew up in Ontario and now lives in Germany with her husband. Since childhood, she wanted to learn to fly. She finally earned her private pilot licence at the age of thirty-three, and later, her commercial licence.
An avid outdoorswoman, Beth dreamed of working as a bush pilot in Canada's wilderness. She says, “I had always wanted to see what the birds see and to experience their freedom. Flying is amazing. The aircraft feels awkward on the ground and especially on water, but once it breaks free of the surface, you realize that it is meant to be in the air, despite being at the mercy of the wind and weather.”
Thanks, Beth, for lending me your passion and knowledge in the writing of my book. I couldn’t have done it without you.