Second Chance Marquess, new Historical romance from Jessica Jefferson

BLURB:

When Wilhemina Turner’s younger sister runs off with a young Lothario, she has no choice but to turn to the notorious rake who broke his promise and her heart, for assistance. George Bartlett, the Marquess of Chesterton, hasn’t forgotten the woman who hurt him so many years ago, but can’t deny her request, knowing that his brother’s reputation, and fortune, is at risk. A series of misfortunes leave the straight-laced widow and committed bachelor stranded, sharing both close quarters and old secrets. But when morning comes, will this unlikely pair find a second chance at love?

AMAZON

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EXCERPT:

“Are you accusing Kitty of going after your brother for his money?”

“She wouldn’t be the first.”

Willie set her jaw firmly, just as she always had when she was angry. “A decade later and you’re still following your father’s example. You still think the worst of women, don’t you?”

“I’m simply waiting to be proven wrong.”

“You were,” she said quietly, almost too low for him to hear.

“Once, Willie, and even that’s debatable. Every woman after you has fulfilled my lowest expectations.”

She looked away, a pale blush spread across the creamy pale skin of her chest. “Mrs. Turner,” she reminded him, facing him once again. “Kitty’s not like that. She doesn’t need his money.”

“Both your parents are gone and last time I knew, you hadn’t a penny to your name. How can she not need my brother’s money?”

“Because I make sure she’s taken care of. I’d do anything for that girl, no matter how silly or naïve she is. She’s still mine to take care of.” She jutted her chin proudly, just as she always had. George had to remind himself that this was no longer the stubborn, hopeful young woman he once knew, but a strong, experienced widow standing before him.

“Mr. Turner left you comfortable then?”

“My finances are none of your concern. We are doing quite well considering our circumstance.”

He found that hard to believe. “Beg your pardon, Mrs. Turner, but a vicar and a viscount are two very different things. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll need to get on the road soon. I heard mention that there might be a great deal of rain coming, possibly snow, and I doubt the weather will hold off much longer.” He turned his back to her and continued gathering the necessary items from around the study.

“I can’t allow you to go by yourself,” Wilhelmina protested, ignoring his less than subtle hint that their discussion had ended. “There’s no way I could possibly trust you to address this situation fairly after the unwarranted judgment you’ve already made regarding Kitty’s character.”

“It’s only unwarranted if it’s not true and that remains to be seen, now doesn’t it?”

“I won’t let you do it, George.”

The use of his given name stopped him cold. He took a deep breath, then turned to her, arms folded across his chest. “What exactly do you propose I do then, Mrs. Turner?”

“Take me with you.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in Almost-Chicago with her husband, two young daughters, French bulldog Lulu, and English bulldog Pete. When she’s not busy trying to find middle-ground between being a modern career woman and Suzy-Homemaker, she loves to watch “Real Housewives of [insert city here]” and performing unnecessary improvements to her home and property.

Jessica writes Regency-era historical romance with a modern twist where she invites her readers to fall in love with romance again.

Links and social media:

http://www.JessicaJefferson.com and http://www.embracingromance.com
Like me at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessica-Jefferson/545243542195152
Follow me at https://twitter.com/authorJessicaJ/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7376474.Jessica_Jefferson
Amazon Author Page- http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Jefferson/e/B00GI20W2K
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorjessicaje/

Buy links: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Jefferson/e/B00GI20W2K

AMAZON

 

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“The Second Time Around,” Regency romance from Ella Quinn

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Can a beautiful Worthington widow find love again? Depends on who’s asking…

Before he died, Patience was the Earl of Worthington’s second wife. So why shouldn’t Patience be allowed a second chance at marriage, too? Of course, finding a new husband was not something the mother of four had ever planned on. But a surprise encounter with her first love has suddenly made the impossible seem possible all over again…

It seems like a lifetime ago that Richard, Viscount Wolverton, was halfway around the world, looking for adventure…while Patience, at her coming-out, was left with no choice but to take old Worthington’s hand. Richard never forgot the woman whose heart he yearned for—and now that he’s back, he’s not going to let her slip away again…

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Excerpt:

Patience gasped. Not loudly, she was much too self-contained to draw attention to herself. But Richard could feel her pulse jump, and he was pleased that he still had the ability to shake her calm, to make her react to him. He wondered if her old husband had been able to command her attention in the same way. The corners of his lips twitched. Probably not. Whether she knew it or not, she was his and always had been.

If only he hadn’t been such an idiot. Who forgets the year of his beloved’s come out? A young man who had traveled halfway across the world looking for adventure, that was who. By the time he had returned home, it was just days before her marriage to Lord Worthington. He had argued with her father to be able to see her, but it was as if her parents had locked her in the house. When they’d traveled to Town for the wedding, he had followed. However, his pains had been to no avail. Neither her mother nor father was going to let him ruin their plans for Pae. After all, an earl outranked the heir to a viscount. There was also the scandal that would ensue if she broke the betrothal just days before the nuptials. He would not have cared, but he was the only one. Even his parents would have been appalled if Pae jilted Worthington for Richard.

Too late. That is what everyone had told him. But he wasn’t too late now.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:Ella_Quinn headshot

Bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually, her love of historical novels led her to start writing them. She has just finished her first series, The Marriage Game, and her new series, The Worthingtons, began in April 2016.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat cruising the Caribbean and North America. Europe is next!

Website: http://www.ellaquinnauthor.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EllaQuinnAuthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ellaquinnauthor
Blog: http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpress.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Ella-Quinn/e/B00CAE0FSQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0

Buy Link:  Amazon.com

Review of “Kiss Me, Sheriff,” from author Wendy Warren

RITA Award-winning author Wendy Warren’s MEN OF THUNDER RIDGE series continues with a second book, “Kiss Me, Sheriff,” a March 2017 release from Harlequin’s Special Edition line.kiss-me-sheriff-cover

Pastry chef Willa Holmes has come to Thunder Ridge, Oregon to live privately and bake anonymously. But when she makes the mistake of kissing local sheriff Derek Neel, then pulling away and running, tall, dark and sexy Derek decides that Willa is more than worth his time to chase and win. He can’t understand why she’s so scared of the very things he wants most—love, family, and forever.

I loved the give and take and the emotional ups and downs of “Kiss Me, Sheriff.” There’s plenty of sexual chemistry but the book is still a clean read, with nothing more than flirting and some steamy kisses. Characters from the first book in the series, “His Surprise Son,” reappear here and there to help Willa and Derek’s romance along, as well.

I’m pleased to give this sweet romance a 5-star rating. It’s a good read with a nice pace, a gripping, yet gradual, reveal of why Willa is so hesitant to give her heart to Derek in the first place, and a lot of reasons to cheer this couple on. I’d recommend “Kiss Me, Sheriff” for readers who like realistic contemporary romance with a guaranteed HEA, but don’t want graphic love scenes.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  B&N  HARLEQUIN

The Soldier’s Woman, Regency romance from author Kelly Lyonns

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by Kelly Lyonns

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GENRE: Historical Romance – Regency

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BLURB:

It is 1810 somewhere in the chaos of war-ravaged Napoleonic Portugal. Miss Charlotte Everslea, dedicated member of an ancient secretive Guild and skilled paranormal artefacts hunter, has found herself trapped behind enemy lines. Colonel Maximillian Bladewood is used to giving orders and having them obeyed, both on and off the battlefield. But the petite golden-haired hoyden, to whose accidental intervention he owes his life, challenges both his authority and his sanity. Their cross-purposed journey will reach a crossroad where one or both of them  will need to compromise.

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EXCERPT:   When Charlotte met Maxmillian

He was still holding her, and she wasn’t quite sure what to do next. There was a pause as she felt him lean back a little, probably trying to catch a glimpse of her face. It was extremely silly, but despite everything she had already faced, she couldn’t look him in the eye, couldn’t bear him seeing the red puffy proof of her crying.

“I wish I had a handkerchief to offer.” The deep quiet voice above her head paused, “Sadly, mine are with my dress uniform in a supply wagon, somewhere on the other side of this battlefield I should think.”

She was grateful for his attempt to invoke the humour and even a little civility to their situation.

“I most sincerely apologise, Sir.” Heavens above, her voice came out as a wavering snuffle. She could absolutely not look up.

He neither moved nor answered for some long moments. She felt a little trill of something like panic building in her chest. When he did speak, the words were all gentleness, despite the dust roughened rasp.

“It is of no consequence Madam. I think that we find ourselves in an unusual situation.” He cleared his throat before adding quietly, “I have seen strong men break down and weep after a battle. There is no shame in this.”

The little alarm that had been building evaporated. She still stood inside his arms. He had made no attempt to release her, but then neither had she made any sign that she wished it. Suddenly realising she needed to do exactly that, she stiffened in his arms and gave the barest push with her hands. Was it her imagination, or was there a moment of hesitation before he let her go?

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:mediakit_authorphoto_thesoldierswoman

After earning a living as a freelance environmental scientist, writer and editor, Kelly Lyonns has evolved into a creative writer. She cohabitates with three cats, two children and a husband in a house so packed with characters, even the termites live next door. Burning questions about ecological sustainability and how to tie a Regency bodice, keep her on the internet deep into the night.

She enjoys tea, meditating, Jane Austen, solar punk, science fiction, sculpting and science. She frequently succumbs to the need to write. She rarely succumbs to the need to vacuum.

Connect with Kelly at:

Website: http://kalyonnswrites.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KellyLyonnsAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kellylyonns

 

“Holiday Ever After,” a romance short story anthology from LARA!

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I’m thrilled that my sensual Regency short story, “Bed of Sweet Surrender,” was chosen to be included in this amazing new collection of contemporary, historical and paranormal holiday romances from LARA – the Los Angeles Romance Authors. All proceeds benefit the chapter, so please download your copy today from the buy links below and find some wonderful new stories (and maybe some “new-to-you” authors, as well!) to get you in the mood…for the holidays, that is!

Amazon.com    B&N.com   Kobo.com   iTunes.Apple.com

EXCERPT from “Bed of Sweet Surrender”:

By the middle of the carol, when the Wise Men came from country far, John wondered where Miss Jennings had disappeared to. Standing at the rear of the group assembled around the pianoforte, he slipped away and went to look for her. His plan to see his fiancée often and convince her of his affections had so far been less than successful.

He paused at the open door to the dining room and found her there, seated alone, with no servant in sight. For once, she looked relaxed, her eyes closed as she put the last bite of a piece of gingerbread in her mouth, then licked the crumbs from her fingertips and sighed in pleasure, savouring the taste. Her honey-blonde hair shone in the candlelight, making her an entrancing sight to behold.

For a moment, he forgot to breathe. “Miss Jennings,” he found his voice at last, even if it came out barely a whisper.

Her blue eyes flew open and she gasped, bolting upright in her chair. “Mr. Ashton, I’m sorry, I—”

“Don’t.” He held up his hand to stall her as he advanced into the room. “You have no reason to apologize. Once we’re married, if you wish to eat gingerbread every day of the year, you may do so.”

She stood then with a sway and clung to the table for support. “I fear the wine has gone straight to my head, sir.” He covered the distance between them in seconds and pulled her against him, afraid she might fall if he did not. She turned her face up to his, looking startled.

Whether it was the two cups of the punch he’d had or simply the opportunity, he would never know, but he would kiss her now or die in the attempt.

 

 

Beautiful exhibit of costumes from “Outlander” season 2

I had the pleasure of a leisurely visit to The Artistry of Outlanderat the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. From the critically acclaimed STARZ and Sony Pictures Television series, the exhibit showcased many iconic costumes designed by Emmy-winning costume designer Terry Dresbach.

Set in 18th century Parisian society, Season 2 of Outlander is based on Dragonfly in Amber, book 2 in the best-selling series of historical romance, adventure and time travel, written by the very talented Diana Gabaldon.

Though I’m not a professional photographer, I wanted to share a few of my pictures. Enjoy!

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“Making the change to e-books” from author Carol Browne

I’m very happy today to welcome author Carol Browne, who’s here to share her epiphany about e-readers and why she’s now a believer. Carol, the site is all yours!

Photo by adamr.

Thanks, Kadee!

As a voracious book reader, I have lived my life believing in the superiority of the printed book; then my beta-reader kindly gave me her Kindle. Once I had figured out how to use it (three weeks well spent), my perspective underwent a sea change.

When I bought my first eBook and saw it download to my Kindle, it was a magical moment. I was also delighted to discover the device doubles as a flash drive.

There’s something amazing about travelling around with an entire library of books at your disposal and in these days of multi-tasking, being able to read, eat and drink at the same time in total comfort is most welcome. To someone like me on a low income, the availability of cheap or free eBooks is a blessing too.

From an eco-friendly point of view, no trees are cut down to make eBooks. Digital publishing also allows more authors to put their work before the reading public, often publishing great work that traditional publishers have rejected because they aren’t commercial enough.

I once assumed the device itself would be a distraction but, if you’re an avid bookworm, the body of an e-reader is no more of an intrusion than the body of a paperback; no more of a hindrance to your enjoyment than a screen is when you are watching a good movie.

Many will disagree. A teenage friend of mine prefers printed books because he likes the act of turning the pages. For me, the Kindle’s page-turning function is quicker and easier. Plus, you can say good-bye to the exasperation of having your bookmark fall out and not being able to remember where you were up to.

Meanwhile, another friend of mine is changing her opinion about eBooks. While moving to a smaller house, she regretted her vast collection of paperbacks that would have to be accommodated in less space—and then discovered many of them were moldy and infested with mites. Yuk. She’ll be buying her first Kindle soon!

There is still a place for printed books in my home. I have about a dozen I will always cherish, but these books belong to an exclusive club. It’s unlikely I’ll be adding new members.

Unless they’re written by me, of course!

Carole Browne writes speculative fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is also a ghost blog writer, proofreader, copy editor, and copywriter. Along with a passion for gardening, Carol is an avid animal lover. Stay connected with Carol on Facebook and on Twitter.

Memorial Day in the United States

Today, let’s join with my fellow author Stan Hampton in remembering those who have served and those who have fallen in the service of the United States. We pray that everyone has a safe Memorial Day weekend.

Memorial Day

by SS Hampton, Sr.

Today is Memorial Day. It is a 3-day weekend for much of the country—a weekend of family get-togethers, BBQs, and great sales. That is fine.

But please do not forget the real meaning of Memorial Day. Though there had been several local observances, a national Decoration Day was created by “an organization of Union veterans” on 5 May 1868, to be observed on 30 May of that year by the nation in “decorating the graves of war dead with flowers.”

It was after World War I that Memorial Day came to recognize all of those who fought and died in America’s wars. From the American Revolution (1775-1783) to Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-1991), the total American combat deaths number 651,031; the greatest number of war dead was 291,557 suffered by the Greatest Generation during World War II (1941-1945) .

As for the Global War On Terrorism (2001-), or the Long War as some may call it, according to the Defense Casualty Analysis System, 5,363 men and women have died in combat.

Unfortunately, the world is not a safe and secure place. Yet, we know that in our nation there will never be a shortage of uniformed volunteers willing to stand between unarmed men, women, and innocent children, and the senseless evil in the world.

On Memorial Day this year remember the “National Moment of Remembrance”—at 3:00 PM local time across the country, everyone is encouraged to take a moment to reflect on those who have given their lives for our country. Whatever war they fought in, all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice have names, whether those names loom large in history books or are known only to their families.

And some of us know the names of comrades who made that sacrifice during the GWOT.

Finally, if you have never heard Taps, the final farewell to fallen comrades, take a moment to listen. Take a moment to remember, and to whisper, “Good bye. And thank you.”

~Stan

 

SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, and a published photographer and photojournalist. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Nevada Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007) with deployment to northern Kuwait and several convoy security missions into Iraq.

He has had two solo photographic exhibitions and curated a third. His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.

In May 2014 he graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Photography – Commercial Photography Emphasis. A future goal is to study for a degree in archaeology—hopefully to someday work in and photograph underwater archaeology (and also learning to paint). He is currently enrolled as an art student at University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

As of April 2014, after being in a 2-year Veterans Administration program for Homeless Veterans, Hampton is officially no longer a homeless Iraq War veteran.

Hampton can be found at:
Dark Opus PressEdge Science Fiction & Fantasy PublishingMelange Books – MuseItUp PublishingGoodreads Author Page – Amazon Author PageAmazon UK

All About April – Fools and Showers

Thanks to the “Jane Austen’s London” blog for this wonderful drawing from Regency satirical illustrator Cruickshank! 🙂

Jane Austen's London

April showers

These days April is famous for its showers and its fools, and I love this illustration by Cruickshank showing two ladies caught out in the rain while everyone else is either sheltering under an archway or buying a new umbrella from J. Gingham, Umbrella Depot. I’m not sure what the three lads are doing – possibly they are up to some kind of April Fool’s Day prank. As always with these tiny Cruickshank drawings the fun is in the details – behind the pieman with his basket is a shower bath standing outside T. Brass, Ironmonger. And, of course, the scene is set in St Swithin’s Lane. There is a real lane of that name in London, running between Cannon Street and Lombard Street in the City. St Swithin’s Day is July 15th, but the connection with rain was obviously too much for the artist to ignore.

St Swithun’s day…

View original post 225 more words

Christmas traditions in the time of Jane Austen

Regency Christmas dinner complete with pudding

The Regency period of English history was technically only the years 1811-1820, but practically ran the adult life of King George IV, from the late 1700’s through to 1830, and is sometimes referred to today known as the “long Regency.” Christmas in those days was most definitely not the commercial holiday we celebrate today. There was no mad rush to shop for the latest gadgets, no stockings hung by the fire with care, and certainly no white-bearded gentleman with a sleigh and reindeer flying through the night skies.

Attending church service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day was a must for the English in Regency times, although only a few of the carols we sing now would have been sung in church then as hymns, such as The First Nowell.(Yes, that spelling is the correct one!)

Instead of everyone looking forward to just December 24th or the 25th, a Regency Christmas was a much longer celebration of dancing and dining spread out over the period of ‘Christmastide,’ from Christmas Eve to January 6th, Twelfth Night. (Hence, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas.’)

Preparations, however, began long before December 24th. ‘Stir-up Sunday,’ the Sunday before Advent, marked the unofficial start to the Christmas Season, so-called because of the traditional church service held that day, but also becoming the day that Christmas puddings and cakes were prepared, in order to allow enough time for them to ‘mature’ (which called for regular doses of brandy!)

Jane AustenChristmas was a time to reflect upon one’s religious faith and to enjoy the companionship of friends and family. Jane Austen mentions Christmas in each of her six major novels. For instance, in Emma, she wrote, “At Christmas everybody invites their friends about them, and people think little of even the worst weather.” In addition, the aristocracy and the landed gentry were expected to entertain their tenants and neighbors and show generosity through charitable acts.

During the four-week period from Advent until Epiphany, the upper classes held balls, parties, dinners and other social events, welcoming both family and friends. Since everyone was usually together, it was also a time for courtships and weddings. Even though there was no Santa Claus, December 6th, St. Nicholas’s Day, was marked by the giving of small gifts. There was no exchange of presents on the 25th itself, but giving ‘Christmas Boxes’ of food and gently-used items of clothing and household goods to servants and to charity was the custom on St. Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas, now celebrated as ‘Boxing Day.’

Holly, ivy, evergreen and laurel were brought into the house on Christmas Eve, since it was considered unlucky to bring greenery inside before Christmas. These remained in place until the Epiphany on January 6, when they were taken down and often burned to prevent bad luck for the rest of the year. Indoor decorated trees were rare and found only in a few houses of wealthy families with German connections, where they were a long-standing tradition.

Of course, we can’t forget mistletoe, although the custom was more likely practiced below stairs than above. (The requirement of plucking a berry every time a kiss was stolen beneath the bough was already in place, and once the berries were gone, alas, the kissing was over.)

Christmas Day meant Christmas dinner, with the best a family could afford…turkey, goose (the most traditional), mutton, or venison might be served, and for the rich, the table could be laden with all of these at once. A Christmas dinner would not be deemed complete without the aforementioned pudding. The pudding would be doused with even more brandy and then set aflame, a key theatrical aspect of the holiday celebration.

(For the brave of heart among you, or for those who just enjoy setting their food on fire, some traditional holiday pudding recipes can be found at: http://britishfood.about.com/od/christmas/a/xmaspud.htm )

Epiphany on January 6th marked the official end of Christmas festivities. It was yet another feast day to mark the coming of the Magi, and as a result was the traditional day to exchange gifts.

Joseph-Grimaldi_1630699cOne final English Christmas tradition that was present in Jane Austen’s time and is still alive today is the Christmas pantomime. The pantomime usually opened on Boxing Day. Joseph Grimaldi, the famous clown who lived from 1779 to 1837, regularly performed in one at Drury Lane Theatre in London, a theatre often visited by characters in Regency romances.