Wednesday 27 June 2012

Far After Gold

Far After Gold by Jen Black
Product Details

The paperback has been lying forgotten on my shelves for a couple of years since Quaestor
ceased trading in 2010 due to the owner's ill-health. The book had just over a year of life as a viable paperback, and I suddenly thought - why waste all that effort? why not put it up on Amazon Kindle?

Checking my pc, I didn't have a file for it. None of my USB sticks held a copy. The thought of re-typing it all from the paperback, or scanning it, was not encouraging. Finally I found a copy on an old hard disc, which reminded me How Things Have Changed in a few years!

So I began with an old computer version. I put it into text to take out all the Quaestor formatting, and then began the laborious task of putting all the punctuation back in again. It takes time. As I inserted paragraphs and suchlike, I began tweaking the words themselves; a word here, a deletion there, but soon, I was taking out and rewriting whole chunks. All I can say is I wrote FAG, as I call it, about six or seven years ago, and I've learned a lot since then.

So, it's now a smart, sexy, romantic tale of a young Christian girl bought as a slave by a young Viking warrior.  It's on Amazon at a very low price!

Here's an excerpt:

“Come with me.”

Emer stood rooted to the deck. Flane reached the gangplank, turned and beckoned.

 Emer scowled and did not move.

 Flane clicked his fingers. Astounded, Emer lifted her chin, turned her head and stared pointedly out to sea. From the corner of her eye she saw one sailor nudge another and both stopped what they were doing to watch what would happen next. Memories of the overseer and his cane flashed through her mind, and she decided moving might be her wisest choice even though he treated her like his favourite hound. Pride stiffened her spine as she halted before him.

 “My name is Flane.” He tapped his chest and repeated the words, as if she were stupid, and then sighed. “Trust me to pick a girl who doesn’t understand the language.” He drew his dagger, and the fierce blade flashed silver in the sunlight.

 Emer’s heart leapt into her throat. Would he kill her because she could not speak his language? What other reason could he have? Should she speak now, before it was too late? She met his blue glance for an instant even as she took a swift step back, ready to run, heedlessly, in any direction.

 He caught her wrist and dragged her in close.

 Her heart thudded wildly at the sudden contact of chest, hip and thigh. Mesmerised by his steady blue gaze, she stood there in the thin sunlight with the sound of water lapping against the ship and the smell of seawater and seaweed in her nostrils. She drew a swift, choked breath of air. Her last moment in the world had arrived, and she could not free her tongue to speak. Dear God…. She shut her eyes, awaiting the bite of cold steel at her throat. Dear Lord, accept my soul this day

 He hooked one finger under her leather slave collar. Surprised, she opened her eyes and flinched at the sight of the steel blade flashing wickedly in the sunlight.

 “Steady, steady,” he murmured, as if to a nervous animal. “I thought you’d rather be free of this.” He gave a couple of gentle tugs on the leather collar at her neck, and before she grasped his intention, the steel sliced through the hated thing. She never even felt the coldness of the blade.

 He dangled the strip of leather with its attendant piece of rope in front of her. “Do you want to keep it?”

Visit Jen's blog at  and find out about castles....
Furious at being frightened and then gentled like a nervous horse, Emer seized the hated collar and hurled it far out over the loch.

Sunday 24 June 2012

5* Review of Tangled Love

Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris set in England in Queen Anne's reign 1702 - 1714

A highly enjoyable read!
Maggi Andersen (Australia)  
In 1693, loyal to his oath of allegiance to James II, ten year old Richelda's father follows James to France. Before her father leaves he gives her a ruby ring and makes her swear an oath to try and regain their ancestral home, Field House.

The story begins when Richelda at 18 is orphaned, and lives in run-down Belmont House with her mother's old nurse and her dog, Puck. Richelda can only dream of living the life she was meant for and hopes her childhood friend, Dudley, will honor his promise to marry her.

When Richelda's wealthy aunt, who had been disinterested in her welfare up to now, takes her to London and arranges her marriage to Viscount Chesney, the new owner of Field House. Richelda is both delighted and dismayed. She cannot trust the handsome Chesney, even though she is desperate to honor her oath to regain Field House.

I enjoyed this historical romance very much, it's well written and Morris knows her history and understands the society of the period well. The heroine and hero are both attractive and likeable. I wanted to see them get together in the end. What stood out for me in this romance is the shrewd knowledge of human nature, Morris displays. Her character's rash actions, mistakes and foibles are always understandable, and never detract from the good characters of both.

Friday 15 June 2012

Sunday's Child a Traditional Regency Romance

I am delighted to announce that Sunday's Child has been released today.

I need to keep on pinching myself to realise that I really am a published author.

It's not enough for Sunday's Child to be bonny and blithe and good and gay, she must find the strength to protect her sisters and make the right choices.

And it is not sufficient for Major Tarrant a veteran of the Peninsular Wars against Napoleon to admire Sunday's Child, he must overcome his own demon,

All the best,

Available from:

Thursday 14 June 2012

Interview - Bill and Susan Hayes

1. Your descriptions of Egypt (in TRUMPET) are so colorful. Did you actually see what you describe?

Did we ever! Yes, we trudged the dusty, spittle-bedecked, splendid streets of Cairo. Crept into the pyramids and stumbled over the stones of Abu Simbel (now relocated to higher ground). We sailed into Alexandria and Bill was actually arrested by the Egyptian government, while I, his loving, supportive spouse, flew home to do our television show Days of Our Lives on NBC. But that’s another story, all quite true, you can find in our first book “Like Sands Through the Hourglass” our double memoir.

2. When writing about Sarah Siddons’s retirement, were there actual people you’ve worked with who came to mind?

Certainly, there is no lack of great British actresses we can envision, and Mrs. Sarah Kemble Siddons was the most celebrated drama queen of her day. As a little girl I worked for years with Billie Burke, a famous beauty and widow of Florenz Ziegfeld, also Sarah Churchill. Bill worked with Shirley Booth and Claire Trevor, Shirlery MacLaine and Frances Reid, among hundreds of other fabulous ladies. Of course since we both have made a living as performers all our long lives, we’ve encountered quite a few memorable types, not all of whom achieved greatness or even had it thrust upon them; but most actors believe greatness is always just around the corner. That keeps them young and hopeful!

3. Were Lizzie’s acting lessons based on your study of your own craft?

Goodness yes, especially the conflicting advice. The reality she strives for was just beginning to take hold on the stage in the early nineteenth century. We researched in the London Theater Library and handled playbills, reviews and programs from the Regency Period. Fame and folly haven’t changed much. The shows, scenes, and spectacles we describe are more based on fact than fancy. Bill has sung many of the songs and we included our favorites. Yea, Mozart!

4. Was Lizzie’s home on Duncan Terrace based on a real place? Chickens? Stump? Etc.

Bill’s grandmother killed many a chicken for Sunday dinner exactly in the manner described. Duncan Terrace is one of the many London locations we personally visited looking for Lizzie’s roots and Octavia’s sin-soaked digs. What fun we had, especially touring beneath the stage of Drury Lane. Georgie’s duty was a great excuse to go off to Belgium and visit the battlefield of Waterloo. Every item described from the salt pig to the Egyptian erotica was seen and photographed in a museum or historic house by your intrepid writers. Some of it required very serious study!

5. Having been performers all these years, what experiences inspired your story?

Opening night terrors and bliss for example? Bill starred on Broadway for Rodgers and Hammerstein in “Me And Juliet" was the most famous voice in America when his Ballad of Davy Crockett won a gold record. Susan began her career in grand opera at the tender age of four. Together and apart we have played rodeos, radio, nightclubs, live television, telethons, interview shows (Oprah, Carson, Merv) motion pictures ( Bill worked with Otto Preminger, that great tyrant of a film director), documentaries, game shows (had a ball doing Hollywood Squares) and even bar mitzvahs. Soooo, we’ve seen a lot.

6. What about those show biz characters?

The dancers, singers, impresarios, carpenters clowns and scribes are all real, and we love them. Carlo Tomassi is based on a treasured friend. His dialogue wrote itself. The family is our family, and the people from history are themselves as we believed them to be.

7. Why did you include the secondary plot of Georgie being a soldier in the Napoleonic Wars?

The struggle against Bonaparte consumed the blood, treasure and very souls of the English people. How could we neglect a conflict so parallel to modern wars? Families sacrificed their sons in battles, fought on foreign soil to protect the homeland for years. It swept up all classes of people in a grinding maelstrom that was the first modern war.

8. In what ways does Lizzie’s dream of performing relate to your own lives?

Everything about Elizabeth Trumpet is part of our own DNA. From her first enchanted hours in the audience to her faltering debut onstage, she is Hayes and Hayes. Change the costumes and the scripts to the twenty-first century and we imagined ourselves in her place. Really, we didn’t have to image her struggles. We knew.

9. Is the character Jack Faversham someone you have known?

Like Jack Faversham, many celebrities ride on the moonbeams of their own imagined greatness. Alas. We’ve known wildly talented people who were their own worst enemies, cutting “others in the cast” until they cut too deep once too often. But remember, Jack is a hell of an actor.

10. Is Lizzie’s fascination with Jack possible?

Have you known reasonable people who lose themselves in such a relationship? We both have. Susan admits to losing her footing a few times in the wake of a romantic hero. Usually on a horse.

11. Was it difficult creating dialogue for your authentic historical characters?

We quoted them when quotes were to be found, and improvised out loud until we hit the right note. Let’s say it was “challenging” (that modern word that really means bloody hard work).

So, you may ask—though you didn’t—did you emerge after seven years of work on Trumpet, still happily married? We are thirty seven years in and still going strong. After all that creative dust from the grind of writing settled on the heaps of pages, we straightened up from the keyboard with broad smiles of satisfaction and no bruises. Susan: My acting partner, my writing partner, my life partner, is a gem. Bill: We think our love for life shines through Lizzie. Both: May it beam up from the pages to you.


Brilliant and sassy Elizabeth Trumpet fantasizes starring on the London stage, but to become an actress in 1803 is tantamount to losing her virginity in the most debasing way.

After watching her mother die and her father lose his mind, the courageous sixteen-year-old must find a way to save her family. She scores her first acting job as a fencer—the deadly skill she learned from her brother training for the military. Blessed with talent and a rare singing voice, Lizzie pursues her career, learning from theatrical characters high and low.

When reckless actor Jonathan Faversham sets eyes on Miss Trumpet, he knows he’s found the partner of his life. But Faversham carries ruinous baggage from a dark past. Entangled in lust and ambition, Lizzie gives him her heart and they reach the heights together. Until Lizzie gets more applause than he…

From the magnificence of Regency palaces and the Theatre Royal Covent Garden to the sun-baked pyramids of Egypt and the arms of a real-life Samson, Lizzie is never far from trouble. As her brother rides to glory with Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars, great events threaten her survival. Danger lurks behind stage curtains, when a madman sets fire to take her life and she lifts a sword in revenge.

Will this once innocent girl, with her rise to stardom, be remembered for her art? Or for her shame?

Trumpet is published by Decadent Publishing, and is available from Amazon UK, Amazon US, All Romance eBooks, Smashwords and all other good eBook retailers.


Bill and Susan are generously giving away two prizes on this tour! One is their double memoir, Like Sands Through the Hourglass, and the second is Bill's CD, This is Bill Hayes. Just leave a comment (please include your email address in the body of the comment) on this post to be entered. This giveaway is tour wide, and the more comments you leave, the more chance you have of winning, so check out the rest of the tour schedule here:

Sunday 10 June 2012

Pre-order Special Offer Sunday's Child Regency Novel by Rosemary Morris

Sunday’s Child – Announcement

I am proud to announce that my novel Sunday’s Child set in the Regency era will be published on the 15th of June by MuseItUp publishing, and that there is a pre-publication discount of 22%.

The idea for Sunday’s Child came while I read about modern day soldiers suffering from post traumatic syndrome, and the effect on the families of those who lost a soldier in war.  

What, I asked myself, would be the effect on Sunday’s Child whose beloved father and brothers died while fighting against the French in the Napoleonic Wars, and on a brave major who underwent a horrific experience, in the days when there was no counselling for post traumatic syndrome? How would they overcome their experiences?

Sunday’s Child
Hertfordshire, England

Fourteen year old, Georgianne Whitley leaned over the banister to watch her aunt’s butler admit a handsome cavalry officer dressed in uniform. One day, her mamma frequently assured her, she would marry such a military man, a member of her dear father’s regiment. Of course, this officer was probably too old to ever be her husband. However, in future, she was sure she would meet someone equally handsome with whom she would fall in love. She giggled. ‘Love is not the main prerequisite for marriage,’ Mamma always claimed. According to her mother, rank, lands, and wealth were more important whereas, according to Papa, love was the only reason to marry.
She turned her head to look at her cousin, Sarah Tarrant. “Who is he?”
“Don’t you recognize him? He is my half brother, Rupert, Lieutenant Tarrant.”
“Of course, but he has changed so much since I last saw him five years ago. He is taller.
Careless of whether or not he would look up and see her, Georgianne inched forward until, bent almost double, she could still gaze down at him.
Rupert removed his shako, revealing his thick, sun-kissed fair hair. 
Sarah put her arms around Georgianne’s waist. “If you are not careful, you will fall.”
Georgianne gripped the rail of the highly polished oak banister while she straightened.
“Look at your gown. It’s crushed. You’re such a…a hoyden.”
She stamped her foot. “No, I’m not.” 
“Yes, you are. My mamma says you are.”
“Well, she is wrong.” In spite of her denial, rueful, she looked down at her crumpled, white muslin gown. What would her aunt say if she knew Papa had taught her to shoot? Once again, she peered over the banister. A ray of June sunshine from the window illuminated the gold braid on Rupert’s scarlet uniform. Yes, one day she really would marry such an officer to please herself, and her parents. 

Chapter One
Hertfordshire, England
November 1813

             Rupert, Major Tarrant, caught his breath at the sight of seventeen year old Georgianne.  Black curls gleamed and rioted over the edges of her bandeau. Georgianne’s heart-shaped face tilted down toward her embroidery frame. Her hands lay idle on her gown. It was lilac, one of the colours of half-mourning. A sympathetic sigh escaped him. She wore the colour out of respect for her father, who lost a hand and leg, during the Battle of Salamanca, and died of gangrene more than a year ago.
        There had been so many deaths since he last saw Georgianne. Not only had her  brothers died during the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo but his elder brother had drowned six months ago while bathing in the lake on their father’s estate. 
        He advanced into the room with Adrian, Viscount Langley, at his side. Georgianne looked up and smiled. He caught himself staring into her hyacinth blue eyes, fringed with long black lashes. Colour crept over her high cheekbones. Her arched eyebrows drew together across her smooth forehead. Egad, she had the sweetest countenance he had ever seen; one with the lustrous, milky white sheen of china, and bow shaped rose pink lips to catch at the heart.
        Georgianne stood. 
        He bowed. “My condolences.”
        Sarah, clad in full mourning for her older half-brother, stood to make her curtsy to Langley. “I trust you have everything you require, my lord?”
        Langley bowed. “Yes, thank you.”
        “My lord, allow me to introduce you to my cousin, Miss Whitley.”
        Georgianne curtsied as his lordship crossed the parlour to make his bow. 
        Tarrant inclined his head. “Ladies, please excuse us, we must see to our horses.”
        Sarah shook her head at him. “See to your horses? The grooms can do so.”
        Georgianne gurgled with laughter. “Ah, Sarah, have you forgotten how cavalrymen fuss over their mounts?”
        “Excuse us.”

        After the gentlemen left, Georgianne glanced at her cousin. She had seen little of her since Sarah yielded to the family’s persuasion to marry Wilfred Stanton, heir to his uncle, the Earl of Pennington. 
        Despite her reluctance to leave home because of her mamma’s unfortunate habit, and extravagant displays of grief over the loss of her husband and sons, Georgianne agreed to visit her cousin Sarah, who suffered from melancholy after the birth of a son. 
        Anxious for her mamma and two younger sisters, she reminded herself Whitley Manor—on the southern outskirts of Cousin Stanton’s Hertfordshire parish—lay a mere fifteen minutes away by carriage.
        “Are you daydreaming, Cousin?”
        Georgianne pretended to be busy untangling another strand of embroidery thread. “No.”
         “Did I tell you Papa wants Tarrant to resign from the army now he is Papa’s heir?” Sarah’s needle flashed in and out of her work.    
        “Yes, several times.” Georgianne shivered, stretched her hands toward the fire, and fought a losing battle with the draughts in the old vicarage.
        “Are you not interested in dear Tarrant?”
        Georgianne bent her head. Once, she had wanted to marry a military man. However, after the loss of her father and brothers, she changed her mind for fear death might snatch him from her, either on the battlefield or as a result of wounds sustained in combat. She shook her head, remembering the dreams she harboured three years earlier when she last saw Major Tarrant. How her life had altered since then. Most of the time, she lived cloistered at home in reduced—yet not impoverished—circumstances. She spent her life in an endless round of mending and embroidery, both of which she detested. Her only escape from this drab existence consisted of daily walks, rides, or reading her beloved books. A yawn escaped her. Oh, the tedium of her days at home.
        “You have not answered my question.”
        Georgianne gathered her thoughts. “Yes, Sarah, I am interested in Major Tarrant. After all, we have known each other since we were in the nursery.”
        “Good, but what are you thinking about? You are neglecting your sewing.”
        Georgianne picked up her needle and thrust it in and out of the chemise, careless of the size of her stitches. Already she loathed the garment and vowed never to wear it.
        “Papa wants Tarrant to marry,” Sarah rattled on.
        Eyes downcast, Georgianne set aside her sewing and wrapped her arms around her waist for comfort. Before they died, her brothers and father had expressed their admiration for Major Tarrant in their letters. She shrugged. Once upon a time, she had built a castle in the air inhabited by Major Tarrant, a mere lieutenant when she last saw him.
        Mamma still insisted on love not being the prime consideration for marriage, but novels and poems contradicted her opinion. Georgianne wanted to fall in love with one of the many eligible young gentlemen available: maybe a titled gentleman like Viscount Langley, provided he was not a military man. She shrugged. Certainly her mamma would regard the Viscount favourably. His lordship was wealthy, possessed good manners, and his height and broad shoulders equalled Major Tarrant’s. However, although she found no fault with him, Mamma might not approve of the Viscount’s skin—almost as dark as a gypsy from exposure to the sun while serving abroad—and his hair and eyes, sufficiently dark to rival any Spaniard’s. Her spirits lifted. The rectory would be a happier place with two fine young men in attendance. She was glad to be here, despite her acute concern for her family.
                 Sarah’s voice ended her musing. “Have you heard Tarrant inherited his godfather’s estate and fortune? Besides his pay, his income is thirty thousand pounds a year.”
        Georgianne nodded. “Yes, I know. Major Tarrant is exceptionally fortunate.” Sarah blinked. “Why are you smiling?”
        Georgianne stood and crossed the room to look out of the window. “I am happy because, so far, Major Tarrant and Viscount Langley have survived the war, which has taken so many lives and affected everyone in some way or another.” 
        She must force herself to remain cheerful. Papa had died eighteen months ago. It was time to set grief aside, if she could only find the means.
        Thankfully, there was much to look forward to. After her presentation at court, she would be sure to meet many engaging gentlemen, one of whom she might marry. In time, she could help her sisters to escape their miserable existence.
        Georgianne drummed her fingers on the windowsill. Her thoughts darted hither and thither. She glanced around the parlour, inhaling the odour of potpourri and lavender-scented beeswax. 
        Wilfred Stanton entered the room. He stood with his back to the fire, hands clasped over his paunch. “Mrs Stanton, my uncle, the Earl of Pennington, has arrived unexpectedly, and  is resting after the rigours of his journey. Tarrant and his friend are busy with their horses. No, no, do not disturb yourself, my love. No need to bestir yourself on my uncle’s behalf.”
        Cousin Stanton’s lips parted in a smile revealing yellowed teeth. “Ah, I know what you ladies are like. Have you been matchmaking? There must be a dozen or more eligible members of the fair sex amongst our neighbours who would be eager to meet Tarrant. If they knew of his visit, I daresay all of them would harbour thoughts of marrying him.”
        “Indeed,” Sarah said in a colourless tone of voice.
        Accustomed to taking long walks every day, Georgianne fidgeted. She found it difficult to tolerate Sarah’s sedentary habits. 
         “Sarah, will you not come for a walk? You know the doctor is concerned by your continued lethargy. Do not forget he encourages gentle exercise to improve your health.” She stared out at the dark grey clouds. Suddenly they parted and sunlight bathed her. It heightened the colour of her gown and warmed her. She reached up to smooth her bodice and noticed a movement in the shadowed east wing. Was someone peering at her through the small, diamond-shaped panes? There were no menservants in the household. Could it be Cousin Stanton’s uncle, the earl?
        Sarah stepped daintily to her side, and slipped an arm around her waist. “Come, it is time to change our clothes before we dine.” 

Friday 8 June 2012

Off the Shelf Now Available as a Standalone Novella (Warning, Erotic Excerpt)

Hi everyone,

I'm just stopping by to let you know that my erotic romance novella, Off the Shelf, published by Xcite Books is now available as a standalone title on Kindle (coming to other retailers in August). It's a bargain, too! The majority of the action is set in Britain, and the characters are oh-so-very-British.

Here's the blurb: 

At 35, travel writer Annalise is fed up with insensitive comments about being left on the shelf. It’s not as if she doesn’t want a man, but her busy career doesn’t leave her much time for relationships. Sexy liaisons with passing acquaintances give Annalise physical satisfaction, but she needs more than that. She wants a man who will satisfy her mind as well as her body. But where will she find someone like that? It seems Annalise may be in luck when a new member of staff starts working in the bookshop at the airport she regularly travels through. Damien appears to tick all the boxes; he’s gorgeous, funny and intelligent, and he shares Annalise’s love of books and travel. The trouble is, Damien’s shy and Annalise is terrified of rejection. Can they overcome their fears and admit their feelings, or are they doomed to remain on the shelf?

And here's a seriously saucy excerpt - this is the beginning of the novella, I don't start things off lightly!

Pushing the ‘on’ button, Annalise moved the vibrator down between her parted legs and eased it inside her eager pussy. As the ears of the Rampant Rabbit slid into position on her clit, she groaned with pleasure and rolled her hips, desperate to get more delicious friction. Then she pressed another button on the toy’s control panel to ramp up the power another notch. As much as she’d prefer a slower build-up to her orgasm, she just didn’t have the time. She had to leave for the airport in a couple of hours, and she hadn’t even packed her case. A quick knee-trembler would have to suffice.
As the vibrator buzzed away between her thighs, Annalise closed her eyes and tried to empty her mind of anything but the pleasure she was experiencing. After a brief flirtation with the thought that she’d much prefer a hot man between her legs bringing her to orgasm, Annalise simply enjoyed the feeling of her impending climax. The busily-vibrating bunny ears pressed tightly against her sensitive flesh soon had her pussy fluttering. Then, without warning, Annalise was quickly yanked onto her pleasure plateau and immediately pushed off, leaving her writhing and shouting on the bed as a powerful orgasm overtook her body.
Annalise arched her back as waves of pleasure crashed over her, and her cunt clenched and grabbed at the toy buried deep inside. Her swollen clit throbbed, quickly becoming too sensitive for the unrelenting stimulation from the vibrator. Switching it off and pulling out, Annalise dropped the toy onto the mattress by her side and gave a satisfied moan as she rode out the remainder of her climax. Finally, when the twitches and spasms had abated and her heart rate and breathing were almost back to normal, Annalise grabbed the Rabbit and rolled across to the side of her bed where the toy box was kept. She made short but thorough work of cleaning it, then reluctantly put it in its case, popped it into the small bedside cupboard and shut the door.
Annalise hated leaving her favourite toy behind when she went away, but she just wasn’t brave enough to take it with her. She usually only took carry-on luggage, and the very thought of the distinctive shape of the Rampant Rabbit popping up on the screen of the airport scanners made her shudder. It would be bad enough for the staff to see it on their monitors, knowing what it was and giving her knowing looks; imagine what would happen if they decided to check inside her bags! She would want to curl up and die of embarrassment, she just knew it.
No, it was much better off staying here. She could make do with her right hand for a few days. Even better, she might even meet someone. Annalise smiled. She’d had some pretty steamy encounters on her travels. The desk clerk in Dubai, the gym manager in Turkey, the waiter in Corfu…
Annalise shook herself. This wasn’t the time to let her mind wander down that path and get herself all worked up. She had to go and get ready now. There’d be plenty of time for daydreaming later, when she was in long and boring queues, and on the flight.
Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story - so she did. It went down a storm and she's never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable and Robinson, House of Erotica, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Summerhouse Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour and Seducing the Myth. Find out more at Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: 

The Gentle Wind's Caress released!

My historical novel, The Gentle Wind's Caress, has been released in paperback and in digital formats. Yay!

The Blurb:Halifax, 1876. On the death of her mother and sister, Isabelle Gibson is left to fend for herself and her brother in a privately-run workhouse. After the matron's son attempts to rape her, Isabelle decides to escape him and a life of drudgery by agreeing to marry a moorland farmer she has never met. But this man, Farrell, is a drunkard and a bully in constant feud with his landlord, Ethan Harrington. When Farrell bungles a robbery and deserts her, Isabelle and Ethan are thrown together as she struggles to save the farm. Both are married and must hide their growing love. But despite the secrecy, Isabelle draws strength from Ethan as faces from the past return to haunt her and a tragedy is set to strike that will change all of their lives forever.

The except:‘He’ll be here soon.’ Hughie sat by the fire darning a sock. ‘The snow has likely held him up.’‘What keeps him out night after night?’ She stamped her foot in frustration. ‘He drinks more than a sailor does on his first day back at port!’Hughie grinned.The sound of scratching made Isabelle frown. The snowstorm grew in intensity. She could no longer see the outbuildings. The scratching sounded again. ‘What is that?’Hughie shrugged. ‘The trees on the window upstairs?’Isabelle stepped away from the window, nibbling her fingertips. There would be no market day today. She went to walk into the scullery when a thump hit the back door. She opened it and cried out as Farrell landed at her feet.Hughie dashed to her side and together they stared at her husband’s bloody form.‘Heaven’s above!’ Isabelle bent to touch him. He stirred and moaned. ‘Help me bring him inside, Hughie.’They grabbed him under the arms and dragged him down the step and onto the kitchen floor. His coat was missing and his wet woollen vest cloaked him like another skin.Farrell opened and closed his eyes. ‘Isabelle…’‘What happened to you?’ She took a dishcloth from the table and knelt to wipe the blood oozing from a cut in his forehead. She gestured to Hughie. ‘Get me some blankets off the bed and a pillow too. He’s too heavy to lift, so I’ll have to make a bed in here for him.’As Hughie ran to do as she bid, Isabelle quickly made him a cup of sweet tea and held his head up to pour a little into his mouth. Next, she rubbed Farrell’s cold hands between her own. Hughie ran into the room with the items she asked for, and Isabelle placed the pillow under Farrell’s head. ‘Heat a warming pan, Hughie.’Farrell’s eyes fluttered, he moaned between blue lips.Isabelle ran into the scullery and found an old pair of gloves. She returned and tugged them onto his icy hands. ‘Lord, what have you done to yourself?’He murmured and opened his eyes. She tucked the blanket around him more securely. ‘Lie still.’‘No…’She put the cup to his lips again. ‘Drink this now. You need to get warm.’He slowly eased himself up onto one elbow. ‘Got to hide.’ He wheezed and then coughed. His split lip began to bleed freely again.‘Hide?’ She frowned. ‘Why?’‘They’ll find me here!’ He tried to get up, but she pushed him back down. ‘Who?’‘Had to run…’Hughie knelt down beside them. ‘Has he lost his mind?’‘Heaven knows, silly man. It’d be hardly surprising if he has, being out in this weather all night.’ She made Farrell drink again. ‘Take his boots off, Hughie.’‘No!’ Farrell reared up. ‘I must hide.’ He gripped Isabelle’s arms until they hurt. His eyes were wide and frightened. ‘I can’t hide here. They’ll find me.’In a panic, Isabelle glanced up at the door as though the riders from Hell would burst through it any moment. She flung away his hands, alarmed. ‘What have you done?’ Her voice sounded high to her ears.‘They nearly caught me. Had to run.’ Farrell panted, throwing off the blanket, struggling to sit up. ‘They saw my face. I must go!’Isabelle stood and hugged herself, fighting rising terror. ‘Tell me,’ she whispered.

To Purchase:

Amazon USA
Amazon UK

Monday 4 June 2012

Jean Hart Stewart: 'Spies and Roses'

Spies and Roses is a romantic thriller set in London and Brussels, and is the tale of how the hero and heroine join forces to try to stop the assassination of Wellington at Waterloo. Lots of intrique including breaking a secret code, and falling in love after the heroine tried to shoot the hero. Here's the opening of chapter one. "London, May, 1815 Was the blasted rotter ever going to come home? She didn’t want him arriving so intoxicated he wouldn’t realize why she was shooting him. Sara peered from behind her hiding place as she heard someone enter. Another servant, blast it, not the depraved Earl. There’d been no activity since a housemaid entered the room and turned down the bed linens. A long time ago and Sara’s stiffness was beginning to worry her. The servant checked the level of wine in the decanter by the bed, then turned away. Sara’s vision wasn’t the best as she peered through the slit where the draperies almost met. At least she could focus on the main point of interest. The bed. Presumably when my Lord Wolverton finally came home he’d make for that overlarge, comfortable appearing bed. Sara shifted her position slightly. She’d not realized standing so long could be so tiring. Or that heavy drapes would be so stifling. Blast and damn to her wandering thoughts. She must concentrate on her mission. To maim, and perhaps kill, a man known to his friends as Wolf. To make sure he never raped again. She heard a click as the door handle turned. At last. The bastard had come home. He must have lit more candles, as the room became brighter. She could see a large man, elegantly dressed, stride across the room. Double drat! He moved out of her vision, and she did not dare part the draperies any further. She waited, breath suspended, as he re-appeared and sat on the bed. He arched one long muscled leg, bending over to tug at his boot. His face was in shadow, but his build was powerful, that of a more than adequate sportsman. His size didn’t worry her. A gun was a great equalizer. He meant to take his boots off himself? She was surprised he didn’t require his valet to wait up for him. An unusual bit of consideration for a servant, one she’d not expected. She’d thought she’d have to stay hidden until the valet had come and gone. Perhaps this was better, since at least he was decently clothed. Not that she’d let any missish tendencies deter her. Actually seeing a large nude male might be educational. It was time. She cocked the gun and stepped out in front of him, the barrel pointed directly at him. “You will please rise, my lord. I don’t intend to shoot a seated villain.” She felt pride in the composure of her voice. She’d worried a little about that. Wolverton did not appear unduly upset, although his eyebrows arched upward. He bent the long leg stretched on the bed and clasped both hands around his knee. “A woman. How interesting. I admit you make a very fetching young man dressed in those breeches, but your voice is definitely female. Might I inquire why you have your gun pointed at me?” She had to give him his due. His tone seemed as cool as hers, and she certainly must have been a nasty surprise. Although come to think of it, he probably often found women accosting him in his bedchamber. But surely for more pleasurable purposes, wicked cad that he was. “Stand up, my lord.” Neither her voice nor the hand holding the gun on him wavered, as Joshua Sinclair, Earl of Wolverton, slowly placed both his boots on the luxurious Aubusson carpet and rose to his feet. “Is there anything I can do for you, madam?” he inquired, as politely as if he were asking her if she took milk with her tea. She shook her head slowly, carefully lowering the gun a trifle. What a shame he was such a handsome devil, but then she should have expected no less from a despoiler of virgins. She was pleased to see him blanch a little as he realized where she aimed. “Can I persuade you to raise your gun a little? I don’t mind being shot in the chest nearly as much as if you hit the most valued part of my anatomy.” Again she gave him credit. He seemed remarkably self- possessed; no pleading, no ranting, just civilized conversation. As if they were at a blasted tea. “I am aiming precisely where I wish to aim, my lord. And I’m a good shot. You will ruin no more girls like Samantha.” At this his eyebrows did fly up. Lovely thick dark eyebrows that matched his shock of slightly tousled hair. “Madam, might we discuss this? I know no Samantha, nor do I think I’ve ever met a female named Samantha.” He sounded so sincere. Probably any other woman, one not so knowledgeable of men and their deceitful natures, would believe him. “Samantha Browning. The vicar’s daughter you forced to your will in the copse by the road three months ago. Or do you rape so many women you forget all their names? I’d not waste time talking except I want you to realize why you’re about to be maimed.” His eyes, a clear candid gray, remained on hers. He confronted her without hesitation, his air of controlled power commanding her to face him just as directly. “I can easily prove I wasn’t even in the country three months ago. Wellington asked me to come to Vienna during the Congress of Vienna. Actually, I rather resent such an accusation. I have many faults, but ravishing unwilling females is not one of them.” For the first time her gun wavered. Those sincere eyes almost made her doubt. But then of course he knew how to be convincing. Practiced seducers always were. “You told her you fought with Wellington. You also gave her your name, Lord Wolverton.” Her tone once again accused him, but his eyes did not leave hers. “Blessed hell,” he said quietly. “It’s an acquaintance of mine then.” He stood silent, his eyes hooded as he seemed lost in thought. Definitely not the way a guilty man would act. For the first time she felt a whisper of hesitation. Why didn’t he show even a slight sign of culpability? “Did she give you a description?” he questioned. “Does that also match?” “She mentioned a few details. She said you were dark-haired, good-looking, and well-dressed. And spoke like a nobleman. Oh yes, she said you were of average build.” Her voice faltered on the last few words. Those sable brows quirked upward again, as he softly challenged her. “And am I of average size, in your considered viewpoint, madam?” She flushed as she looked at him. He loomed over her, an impressive male. Well over six feet and athletically honed. No one could have a doubt the body beneath those elegant clothes was fit and muscular. He exuded the animal magnetism she’d expected, but no one could call him average. In fact she’d never seen a more un-average man. He was a superb example of masculinity. Her breath stalled."