New Historical Fiction from Jude Knight

A Raging Madness

By Jude Knight

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Ella survived an abusive and philandering husband, in-laws who hate her, and public scorn. But she’s not sure she will survive love. It is too late to guard her heart from the man forced to pretend he has married such a disreputable widow, but at least she will not burden him with feelings he can never return.

Alex understands his supposed wife never wishes to remarry. And if she had chosen to wed, it would not have been to him. He should have wooed her when he was whole, when he could have had her love, not her pity. But it is too late now. She looks at him and sees a broken man. Perhaps she will learn to bear him. 

In their masquerade of a marriage, Ella and Alex soon discover they are more well-matched than they expected. But then the couple’s blossoming trust is ripped apart by a malicious enemy. Two lost souls must together face the demons of their past to save their lives and give their love a future.


Excerpt

17973986_803367466479488_289686069_n17976696_803367609812807_756542353_oAlex poured the coffee, his rinsed shaving mug doing service for Jonno’s portion. Ella sat and sipped while Jonno cleared the table and pushed the serving trolley out of the way. At Alex’s gesture, he sat on the stool again.

“Now, Lady Melville. What trouble are you in, and how can we help?” And should he believe a word she said? She did not act like a lunatic, apart from appearing half-naked in his room in the middle of the night. Apart from the panicked response to her brother-in-law.

That she had taken opium in some form was beyond a doubt. The contracted pupils, the loss of appetite, the shaky hand, the restless shifting in her seat, all spoke to that. Thanks to his injury, Alex had far too close and personal an experience of the symptoms to mistake them. The bruises on her jaw hinted that the drug taking might not have been voluntary, but perhaps her keepers needed to drug her to keep her calm.

Sane or not, Alex hoped he would not need to hand her back to Braxton. Her fear might be irrational, but when she had stood at bay, begging for his help, he had been thrown back ten years. Not that she begged him then. But he left camp on a short trip for supplies, and returned to find Ella married and much changed, her fire banked; her joy extinguished. That time, he had ignored her plight, hardened his heart and left her to the fate she had engineered. And had suffered with her as the consequences quenched her vitality and sucked away the last of her childhood. Suffered, and been powerless to help.

“I have been drugged,” Ella said baldly. “Twice a day. For weeks now. They won’t tell me why. If I refuse, they force me.”

“‘They’ being Braxton and his wife?” Alex prompted.

“And Constance’s dresser.”

“Go on.” He was careful to show no disbelief, no surprise.

“I have been kept in my room. They locked the door. They took all my clothes, my shoes. I saw you out the window and so I came. Will you help me, Alex?”

“I can take you to the rector.” Even as he said it he remembered the plump little man greasing at Braxton’s elbow. Ella would find no help there.

“No!” Her rejection was instant and panicked. “He will give me back and they will send me to that place. No, Alex. You do not know what they plan for me.” She was weeping. Alex had seen her calm under cannon fire, dry-eyed at her father’s funeral, efficient and unemotional in the midst of the carnage of a hospital tent after a battle. He had never seen her weep.

He captured her hands, and kept his voice low and soothing. “I do not, Ella. Tell me.”



About the author

10726384_438048036344768_1967130616_nJude Knight’s writing goal is to transport readers to another time, another place, where they can enjoy adventure and romance, thrill to trials and challenges, uncover secrets and solve mysteries, delight in a happy ending, and return from their virtual holiday refreshed and ready for anything.

She writes historical novels, novellas, and short stories, mostly set in the early 19th Century. She writes strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, villains you’ll love to loathe, and all with a leavening of humour.



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Historical Fiction Book Tour: The Yankee Years

The Yankee Years Books 1-3

By Dianne Ascroft

da-cover

After the Allied troops arrived in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland during the Second World War, life in the quiet, rural county would never be the same again.

The Shadow Ally

June 1941: When Ruth Corey finds a letter her journalist beau, Harry Coalter, has written, revealing details of the secret construction of an American flying-boat base, she fears it could destroy America’s neutrality and land him in serious trouble. The letter must not be posted. She enlists the help of attractive Italian-American civilian contractor Frank Long to help her stop Harry. Can Ruth safeguard this military secret and protect her beau?

Acts of Sabotage

December 1941: After the attack on Pearl Harbour, the new American flying-boat base must be ready when the first US troops arrive on Northern Ireland’s shores. But, despite Frank’s best efforts, religious conflict within the workforce and thefts on the construction site threaten to scupper the project. Frank confides his worries to Ruth and the pair devise a plan to catch the thieves. Can they stop these acts of sabotage and then what does the future hold for them?

Keeping Her Pledge

June 1942: Pearl Grainger’s life is much more exciting since the Allied troops arrived but she is unprepared for the harsh reality of war, and her RCAF boyfriend is determined to protect her from it. Can Pearl keep her pledge to do her bit for the war effort without losing the man she loves?


Links for Purchase
Amazon US
Amazon UK


About the author

da-bio-picDianne Ascroft writes historical and contemporary fiction, often with an Irish connection. Her series The Yankee Years is a collection of Short Reads and novels set in World War II Northern Ireland. After the Allied troops arrived in this outlying part of Great Britain, life there would never be the same again. The series brings those heady, fleeting years to life again, in thrilling and romantic tales of the era.Her other writing includes a ghost tale inspired by the famous Coonian ghost, An Unbidden Visitor; a short story collection, Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves, and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars.


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Historical Fiction Book Tour: Sedahlia

SEDAHLIA

By

Cynthia D Toliver

After fleeing post-Civil War Georgia, John Masters, Sr., his wife Virginia Masters, and their rebellious servant Jessie Lindsey have built new lives in Texas ranch country.  Now their offspring, Johnny Masters and Rachel Lindsey, are in love.  On the isolated, sprawling Sedahlia ranch, their youthful dalliances are largely overlooked until Rachel becomes pregnant, forcing Rachel to leave Texas for a freedman’s school in Georgia.

From the insulated Sedahlia ranch to the Jim Crow south, the rails both separate and unite – parting lovers, reuniting family, pushing out the old, bringing in the new.  It is in these settings that the Masters and Lindseys live and love, and their personal needs and mores clash with society.  The repercussions rumble through this family and the surrounding community, tearing them asunder and bringing them together as only love and tragedy will.



Links for Purchase 


About the author

Cynthia D. Toliver is a 1980 graduate of Rice University and a native Texan. She has enjoyed a varied career as an engineer, environmental consultant, educator and author. Sedahlia is her second novel and third book. She has two previously published works, Crown’s Jewel, a historical novel and Come See a Man, an inspirational book. She also hosts a Christian blog, Back to Eden at cynthiatoliver.blogspot.com.
Follow Ms. Toliver at http://www.cynthiatoliver.net.

Inspiration

My inspirations come from multiple sources. Sometimes it is a word or title. Other times it may be a thought, observation or dream. From that seed, I will develop my characters and write an outline. The seed for Sedahlia was a dream about disparate lovers. Their story sprouted and grew to the family saga it is today.
I love the creative process, from beginning to end. My books are very much character driven. As a writer, I become invested in the characters and their stories. If I’ve crafted them well, my readers will do the same.
Other Links
Author website www.cynthiatoliver.net
Christian blog, Back to Eden http://cynthiatoliver.blogspot.com/
twitter @ctoliver58

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New Title Tuesday! Dr. Gloria G. Brame – Different Loving Too

On New Title Tuesday, you will find books that have been out for less than three months or will be released within two weeks in all different genres, with all sorts of authors. If you would like to be featured on NTT, use the contact form to let me know.


Different Loving Too, Dr. Gloria G. Brame
Genre: Sexuality, BDSM, LGBT (Non-fiction)
Release Date: January 2016

dl2smallDifferent Loving has really grown up with its audience. The original volume, cataloging the interests and practices of people within the BDSM scene, was an elegant and vital introduction. But as I learn and grow I find that what is most interesting in kink is not the trappings, but the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects that lead people to kink in the first place.  Different Loving Too focuses on all those things. It references peer-reviewed science, and interviews practitioners on their community, on their ethics, and on their needs. Different Loving Too brings Dr. Brame’s work full-circle, from raw sensation to the subtle beauty of a knowing glance.

—  Joy S. Grape, Moderator, Sex and Gender Lab (FaceBook)

If you think all people who practice BDSM are the same, think again. Different Loving Too illuminates the wide range of motivations, meanings, and practices of kinksters, and offers a fascinating look behind the dungeon (and bedroom) door. No matter how much experience you do or don’t have in the scene, you’re sure to learn something new.

— Rachel Kramer Bussel, Editor, Dirty Dates: Erotic Fantasies for Couples

To Buy: Amazon


Who first encouraged you to write, and how?
I’ve been a bit of a graphomaniac since I was a kid, always scribbling poems and thoughts and revelations into notebooks, always treating life like I was the fly on the wall observing how people behaved.  I knew by age ten that I wanted to be some kind of a writer, thanks to my fourth grade teacher making me write her letters all summer.  The most meaningful source of support for me came from public school teachers and then college professors who encouraged me to keep writing. They made me believe I had talent.

What inspired you to write this book?
This book was a project of the heart.  I always wanted to follow up the original Different Loving, but things changed so quickly over time, that I didn’t know where to begin.  How do you even describe the changes in perceptions that the Internet has brought?   But I finally decided I had to do this before I got too old (I’m 60 now), and somehow, I did find a way to encompass the literal revolution in BDSM/fetish sex.  I focused on the people who lived it, and let their stories tell the real story of how BDSM has changed and, more importantly, how they have maintained healthy, loving relationships despite what all the critics of this lifestyle always claimed.

What do you think is the most important quality to cultivate to be a successful writer?
Self-discipline in the face of self-hatred, maybe.  Writers can be their own worst enemies, dredging up every anxiety and insecurity in the process of writing, and treating their book like a dysfunctional stepchild.  I’ve known writers who get hives or puke when they write, others who can’t do it without alcohol.  It took me decades to be able, finally, to drown out the insecurities by sticking to a mindless routine of writing every day at the same time.  Treating it like a job leaves less room for self-pity, IMX 🙂


About the Author
DrBrame-38Gloria G. Brame, Ph.D., sexologist, award-winning sex expert, and best-selling author of 8 ground-breaking books about sex, including Different Loving and The Truth About Sex.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Amazon  |  Goodreads

New Title Tuesday! A.E. Snow – Meadow Perkins, Trusty Sidekick

On New Title Tuesday, you will find books that have been out for less than three months or will be released within two weeks in all different genres, with all sorts of authors. If you would like to be featured on NTT, use the contact form to let me know.


Meadow Perkins, Trusty Sidekick, A.E. Snow
Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance
Release Date: December 9, 2015

Meadow-Perkins,-Trusty-Sidekick_500x750 (1)Meadow has always been someone’s sidekick. It stinks, but it has always kept her safe. On the last day of school, Emilia, her so-called best friend, deals her a blow in the form of public humiliation and her spot in a prestigious art school is compromised. Meadow is knocked out of her sleepy existence and realizes she needs to make some big changes, starting with Emilia.

When Isla moves in across the street, she inspires Meadow to take charge of her own life and her own heart. Her heart just won’t shut up about the brooding Alejandro, or about Jack, who is tall and funny and totally gets her.

Being caught between two boys isn’t all bad, but after Meadow makes a shocking discovery, she realizes that she must stand on her own two feet and fix the mess she’s made. Will her new friendship survive and can Meadow win back the boy she like likes?

To Buy: Amazon


Who first encouraged you to write, and how?
I had some great English teachers who were very encouraging. But my mother was the most encouraging. She is still my biggest supporter.

What inspired you to write this book?
About five years ago, I had this idea for a book. It’s been so long, I don’t quite remember the initial inspiration. I just loved the characters and I wanted to get to know them more. I had a new baby and I needed a little escape from those difficult infant days. I also knew that plus-sized characters were underrepresented in YA and I wanted to see more of that. In the end, I just wrote what I wanted to read.

What do you think is the most important quality to cultivate to be a successful writer?
Discipline. I don’t write every single day, but I do when I’m working on something. The discipline to keep writing even when it’s the last thing you want to do. That’s why it took me more than two years to write Meadow Perkins, Trusty Sidekick. These days, it’s easier to commit to and finish projects.


About the Author
authorphotoA.E. Snow is a writer, mother, pet wrangler, and lives for books. She lives in a tiny mountain town with her husband, two children, three cats, a dog, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

New Title Tuesday! Suzie Jay – Merry Christmas, Eve

On New Title Tuesday, you will find books that have been out for less than three months or will be released within two weeks in all different genres, with all sorts of authors. If you would like to be featured on NTT, use the contact form to let me know.


Merry Christmas, Eve, Suzie Jay
Genre: Chick-Lit/Romance
Release Date: November 30, 2015

final kindle versionEve Taylor, a self-confessed Christmas addict, should be at home decorating her tree and baking cookies for Santa. Instead she’s stuck in a snowed in airport the night before Christmas Eve. Another lonely Christmas seems inevitable until Grayson Parker and his two small children come barging into her life. Will Grayson be able to melt Eve’s heart in time for a Merry Christmas or will events conspire to pull them apart?

To Buy: Amazon


Who first encouraged you to write, and how?
My entire life I had people telling me to write. My mother when I was writing 20 page stories at the age of 4, every teacher I ever had at school, friends, family and pretty much most people that knew me. It never struck me to make it a career though. It was just something I loved doing. I would use writing to get me out of trouble for not doing the work I should have been doing at university and at school. I would just dazzle them with bullshit and hope for the best. It usually worked so how could you not love that? I became a school teacher and spent my days forcing kids to read and write and be creative. Most of them hated it, the few that loved it made it worthwhile. Then I realized I wanted to write the stories instead of forcing students who didn’t want to.

What inspired you to write this book?
My entire life has been me training for this event. I love Christmas, I’m a grumpy bitch most of the year but come the festive season, I turn into one of those annoying Christmas caroling, hallmark movie watching, and cookie baking Christmas machine. I have a heap of Christmas traditions that I force my family to follow and partake in and I’m a bundle of irritating cheer. I needed to write a Christmas book, if I could make a movie, I’d do that too.

What do you think is the most important quality to cultivate to be a successful writer?

Well I’m not particularly successful at this time so I’m probably not the person that should be preaching the top ten steps to success. I am however having a ball. This writing gig is the best time of my life and I enjoy every minute of it. If I had to give you something I would say that yes it’s important to learn the writing rules and just as important to disregard them at times, get a good editor, tell the story your way but most importantly, take the business seriously but don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun, make friends surround yourself with people you can bitch too and laugh with and have a go. Wait… did I actually answer the question?


About the Author
11079132_10153114656668930_446310047_nSuzie Jay is a writer of Romance and Chick Lit novels. She lives in Australia with her husband, children, and half a zoo of pets.

She has a teaching background (please don’t hold that against her.) but needed to escape.

Suzie is a massive foodie and used to own a business baking and decorating cupcakes and birthday cakes (How can that even be considered a job right?). Most of her books mention food, recipes, cooking, eating and some even include recipes. She just can’t help herself.

She is also a reality TV junkie and a movie buff. She claims it’s a side effect from working with teenagers for the last 10 years. She loves to read but mostly Chick Lit (romantic comedies), biographies, true stories and a little bit of romance.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google+  |  Amazon

New Title Tuesday! Colleen Myers – Must Remember

On New Title Tuesday, you will find books that have been out for less than three months or will be released within two weeks in all different genres, with all sorts of authors. If you would like to be featured on NTT, use the contact form to let me know.


Must Remember, Colleen Myers
Genre:

Sci Fi/Fantasy Romance
Release Date: November 2, 2015

must remember ecoverNineteen-year-old Elizabeth ‘Beta’ Camden is a survivor.

When the E’mani—those pale alien freaks—destroy Earth with a plague of madness and scoop up the remains, Beta is one of the ‘lucky’ ones. For years, she endures their tortures, experiments and games. Then one day, she manages to escape their ship with her life, and no memory of her time with them.

Stranded on their world, Beta wanders the mountains, looking for a way home. She stumbles onto the Fost—the E’mani’s ancient enemy.  Their war with the E’mani is old and rooted in magic that the Fost once had and the E’mani crave. Magic Beta soon discovers she’s developing along with strange tattoos and disturbing glimpses of her past. The Fost take her in and train her in their ways. As she spends more time with them, she falls in love with their culture and with Marin—he of the hot hands and slit eyes.

But the E’mani took her for a reason and they want her back—dead or alive. If Beta doesn’t remember that reason soon, they’re all going to die..

To Buy: Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  Kobo  All Romance/ARE Café  |  Champagne Books


Who first encouraged you to write, and how? (Also: What inspired you to write this book?)
I first started writing after I read one of my favorite authors and absolutely hated her ending.  Per my husband  I bitched about it for days until one day he said to me, “If you don’t like it, write your own ending.” And it clicked. I started plotting out my first book the next day.  My husband was also the kick in the butt for me to start publishing. I spent two years writing and in his words, putzing, then my husband got cancer and he asked me to publish for. He is my inspiration and my muse.

What do you think is the most important quality to cultivate to be a successful writer?
Self discipline is a must. Today’s writer needs to promote their books and may fall into the depths of social media instead of writing.  I try to write 500 words in my WIP before I click on email or social media.


About the Author
IMG_0703TRcpColleen plays many roles. Not only is she a veteran, a mother, and a practicing physician, but she is also a writer of science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romances. Colleen’s dreams include surviving her son’s teenage years, exploring every continent on this planet, except Antartica, cause that’s way too cold, and winning the Nobel peace prize. Dream BIG! She just recently published her first novel, MUST REMEMBER, in November of 2015 with its follow up already slated for June 2016, CAN’T FORGET.  Until then look for her at Three Rivers Romance Writers, at Facebook  Colleen Myers, and at @ColleenSMyers.

Website  |  Facebook  |  TwitterGoogle+  |  Instagram  |  Linked In  |  Goodreads

New Title Tuesday! Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem… Mariana Gabrielle

For New Title Tuesdays from Oct. 13 – Nov. 24, you will be introduced to my fellow Bluestocking Belles and contributors to Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem, our 2015 box set of Regency romance novellas, which will release November 1. Each Belle will introduce her own novella for the set, and answer holiday-themed interview questions. To get more information about the Belles or the box set, you can go to our website at www.BluestockingBelles.com.


‘Tis Her Season: A Royal Regard Prequel Novella, by Mariana Gabrielle
featured in: Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem

Genre: Regency romance, novella length
Release Date: November 1, 2015

Box-Set-3D-Square-WebCharlotte Amberly would rather eat a lump of coal for Christmas dinner than marry the Marquess of Firthley, so when her parents cancel her London Season in favor of a rush to the altar, the feisty debutante takes husband-hunting into her own hands.

Alexander Marloughe, reluctant heir to a marquessate, would rather not spend his holiday dashing through the snow after a flibbertigibbet just out of the schoolroom, but no woman before Charlotte has ever led him such a merry chase.

About the Set
In this collection of novellas, the Bluestocking Belles bring you seven runaway Regency brides resisting and romancing their holiday heroes under the mistletoe. Whether scampering away or dashing toward their destinies, avoiding a rogue or chasing after a scoundrel, these ladies and their gentlemen leave miles of mayhem behind them on the slippery road to a happy-ever-after.

***All proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.***

Buy Links
Amazon  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon Australia  |  Amazon Canada
Barnes & Noble  |  iTunes  | Kobo


Excerpt

Lord and Lady Effingale joined arms and led the two girls to the door. Immediately upon entering, before she had even removed her cloak, a familiar voice spoke in her ear as a set of large hands helped her off with her outerwear. She shuddered at the contact.

“You look charming, my dear, and so lovely in green. I believe this shade perfectly matches your eyes.”

Tossing his hands off her shoulders, spinning on her heel, she narrowed the eyes that matched her outfit and her jewels and snarled, as quietly as she could manage, “You do not have permission to touch me, Sir, and I do not appreciate your forward behavior.”

“But dearest…” He smiled in that infernally appealing way, one side of his lips turned up, and his eyes sparkling the way they did when he laughed. “Surely you cannot object to your betrothed merely touching your arm.”

She turned away from his low bow with a harrumph. When he offered his elbow to lead her to the ballroom, she stared at it like he was hiding a snake in his sleeve, until her mother grasped her hand and placed it under Lord Firthley’s arm, hissing in her ear, “You. Will. Not. Make. A. Scene. Smile, Charlotte Amberly, or I will make you wish you had.”


Interview questions

How did you fit the winter holidays into your novella?
The story begins a few days before Christmas, with Charlotte awaiting the arrival of the old man her father has decided she will wed. She runs away from Brittlestep Manor to London on Christmas night, because she knows her engagement will be announced the next night at her mother’s Boxing Day supper.

What was the best writing-themed holiday gift you ever received?
Every time I have ever been given a writing class as a gift, it has had profound results.

What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
It’s not a family tradition, per se, but it is my favorite, anyway. Every year, I put together a “Not-for-Mixed-Company Mari Christie-mas” 2-CD Holiday Music Mix, about fifty songs annually, representing a goodly handful of winter holidays and moods, from Christmas to Kwanzaa, cheerful to maudlin, heavy metal to Gregorian chants, traditional to extremely irreverent. I’ve been doing it since 2006; I keep thousands of holiday songs to pick from; and I collect more every year.


About the Author
MariMariana Gabrielle is a pen name for Mari Christie, who is not romantic—at all. Therefore, her starry-eyed alter ego lives vicariously through characters who believe in their own happy-ever-afters. And believe they must, as Mariana loves her heroes and heroines, but truly dotes on her villains, and almost all of her characters’ hearts have been bruised, broken, and scarred long before they reach the pages of her books.

She is a professional writer, editor, and designer with almost twenty-five years’ experience, and a member of the Bluestocking Belles, the Writing Wenches, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She has written two Regency romances, Royal Regard and La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess, and two Royal Regard prequel novellas (with more yet to come), and a mainstream historical, Blind Tribute, to be released in 2016).

Connect with Mariana: Website | FacebookTwitterPinterest | The Bluestocking Belles

 

 

New Title Tuesday! Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem… Caroline Warfield

For New Title Tuesdays from Oct. 13 – Nov. 24, you will be introduced to my fellow Bluestocking Belles and contributors to Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem, our 2015 box set of Regency romance novellas, which will release November 1. Each Belle will introduce her own novella for the set, and answer holiday-themed interview questions. To get more information about the Belles or the box set, you can go to our website at www.BluestockingBelles.com.


A Dangerous Nativity, by Caroline Warfield
featured in: Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem

Genre: Regency romance, novella length
Release Date: November 1, 2015

Box-Set-3D-Square-WebThe Earl of Chadbourn loves nothing better than to care for his fields, his flocks, and the people who earn their living from the land. Trapped by his brother-in-law’s death into responsibility for his traumatized nephew, grieving sister, and an estate gone to ruin, loneliness overwhelms him. The first-rate husbandry of a neighboring farm and the woman who runs it draw him like a moth to flame. With Christmas coming, can he repair the damaged estate and far more damaged family? Dare he hope for love in the bargain?

About the Set
In this collection of novellas, the Bluestocking Belles bring you seven runaway Regency brides resisting and romancing their holiday heroes under the mistletoe. Whether scampering away or dashing toward their destinies, avoiding a rogue or chasing after a scoundrel, these ladies and their gentlemen leave miles of mayhem behind them on the slippery road to a happy-ever-after.

***All proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.***

Buy Links
Amazon  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon Australia  |  Amazon Canada
Barnes & Noble  |  iTunes  | Kobo


 

Excerpt

He walked down the lane bathed in contentment, drawn by the need to absorb the place’s serenity and order until barnyard chaos upended his fanciful notions. He had stumbled onto a domestic crisis. He chuckled as he went.
Piglets ran in several directions while a goat charged up the hill toward him, eyes wide with panic. Two boys ran in circles trying to catch rioting pigs. The more they ran, the more they sent a flock of geese into a frenzy of honking and feathers. A dog barked frantically on one side, only to run to the other and bark more. In the center of the chaos a woman stood, one hand raised above her head and the other holding her skirts above the confusion.
Will’s vision narrowed to the woman. Tall and serene, she put him in mind of Athena, striding above the fray to command calm. Intense longing for her serenity, for her strength, and for order filled him. For a moment he could think of nothing else.
Frantic bleating brought him back to earth. The goat pelted up the hill toward him. He caught the piece of rope dangling from a loop around the animal’s neck before it could charge past him. The panicked beast sent Mercury skittering to the side. A hard yank brought the bleater to an abrupt stop and a gentle hand and soft voice calmed it. He could see that the rope had been violently torn from a longer piece. There’s a story here, he thought, a smile twitching his lips. He led the goat down the lane trusting his horse to follow.

Interview questions

How did you fit the winter holidays into your novella?
The entire story is wrapped around Christmas. It begins with my hero stumbling onto chaos in a barnyard. He is stunned—and amused—to discover that two boys’ had caused the chaos in their attempts to use the family livestock to create an all-animal nativity tableau. When the boys meet their unexpected cousin Charles, the three of them continue their plots and plans, extending them with ideas to make Charles’s gloomy home more holiday-like. The sister of the two boys and the earl try to keep the boys in check, offer support to his traumatized sister and her wounded father while they work out their own special mistletoe moment.

What was the best writing-themed holiday gift you ever received?
I keep hoping for mugs and shirts, but no one seems to take the hint. I’ve gotten some nice pens and papers though.

What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
Sometimes you have to reinvent yourself. When our children reached young adulthood we took a year off (it involved Disney World and the Everglades), and sorted out what, if anything, we missed. The advent wreath made the A list, as did stuffing stockings with funny and creative small gifties. In recent years, our holidays have been quiet and multicultural. Our daughter’s family celebrates Chanukah and we enjoy sharing it with them, and our son rarely makes it home. Greg and I still enjoy lighting the Advent candles in prayer and Midnight Mass but we keep it simple. I’ve begun collecting multicultural nativity sets. My favorites are from Peru and Indonesia.


About the Author

Caroline Warfield grew up in a peripatetic army family and had a varied career (largely centered on libraries and technology) before retiring to the urban wilds of Eastern Pennsylvania. She is ever a traveler and adventurer, enamored of owls, books, history, and beautiful gardens (but not the act of gardening). She is married to a prince among men.

Connect with Caroline: Website | Facebook |  TwitterPinterest | The Bluestocking Belles

New Title Tuesday! Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem… Susana Ellis

For New Title Tuesdays from Oct. 13 – Nov. 24, you will be introduced to my fellow Bluestocking Belles and contributors to Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem, our 2015 box set of Regency romance novellas, which will release November 1. Each Belle will introduce her own novella for the set, and answer holiday-themed interview questions. To get more information about the Belles or the box set, you can go to our website at www.BluestockingBelles.com.


Under the Mistletoe, by Susana Ellis
featured in: Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem

Genre: Regency romance, novella length
Release Date: November 1, 2015

Box-Set-3D-Square-WebOn the eve of her wedding, Julia realizes she cannot marry her fiancé after all, no matter that it’s been her dream for eight long years. Too distraught to face him, she follows in her mother’s footsteps and flees to the future for a brief reprieve.

Oliver knows he has bungled things badly, but he is determined to win the woman he loves, even if he must travel through time to do it.

About the Set
In this collection of novellas, the Bluestocking Belles bring you seven runaway Regency brides resisting and romancing their holiday heroes under the mistletoe. Whether scampering away or dashing toward their destinies, avoiding a rogue or chasing after a scoundrel, these ladies and their gentlemen leave miles of mayhem behind them on the slippery road to a happy-ever-after.

***All proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.***

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Excerpt

She’d been standing there a few minutes, beginning to feel the sudden chilling of the air through her fur-lined cloak when the door to the house opened and a stout, middle-aged woman gestured for her to come inside.

“Weren’t you told to come in through the back entrance? We’ve been expecting you for over an hour, you know. Dear me, you must be freezing to death out there… might have a bit of snow this evening, or so they say.”

Julia’s mouth fell open. They were expecting her? No, of course not. She was being mistaken for someone else.

“I don’t think…” she began, but was interrupted by another, taller, woman, who unhooked her cloak and dragged her into a back room.

“The hair needs some work,” she commented as she surveyed Julia’s appearance. The dress is the right period, but the freckles! The agency surely knows proper ladies of the Regency did not have freckles.”

Julia’s eyes narrowed. She’d heard enough of that nonsense in her early years. “I assure you, they did, madam, if that was the complexion they were born with.” Scrubbing them with lemon juice and taking parasols everywhere had never made much of a difference, so she had learned to accept hers gracefully.

The tall woman raised her eyebrows and mumbled something about the “impertinence of young people these days,” and the other woman brought her some coffee and biscuits, and before she knew what was happening, her hair was restyled, her gown brushed and tidied, and she was sent upstairs to the “Striped Drawing Room” to mingle with the guests and talk to them about what it was like to live in “the Regency.”

There was an awkward moment or two before she learned that “the Regency” was the period from 1811-1820 when the Prince of Wales ruled as his father’s proxy until the king’s death in 1820. The Prince had been Regent for nearly two years in her own time, but nobody she knew called it “the Regency.” And she hadn’t, of course, known the date of the King’s death. That caused a tear or two until she realized suddenly that he had been dead for nearly 200 years, and so was everyone else she knew. Even she herself. Just thinking about it made her head spin.

But she didn’t have long to brood, because there were visitors to talk to. And other interesting things to learn—more awkward moments—such as the name of the house—Apsley House—and its most famous occupant—the Duke of Wellington, who turned out to be Arthur Wellesley, a particular friend of her father’s who, in her time, had only recently been made a marquess. From listening to the guides of some of the groups who toured the house, she learned that Wellesley had triumphed against the French emperor in a famous battle in an obscure Belgian town called Waterloo… that he had been showered with lavish gifts from all over the world, and even become Prime Minister. How intriguing!

Although she found it amusing to speak with the visitors about attending balls and dinners and answering a multitude of questions about the period in which she lived, she was relieved when the young woman whose place she had taken finally arrived, and she could leave to continue her explorations of the London of the future. What else might she discover before returning to her own time?


Interview questions

How did you fit the winter holidays into your novella?
The Ultimate Escape is a time travel story set in London in late November 1812 and 2015.  Lady Julia Tate “lands” in 2015 Hyde Park, which has been transformed into a (for her) mind-boggling Winter Wonderland celebration of Christmas brimming over with lights, music, food, and astonishing mechanical devices such as she’s never seen or even imagined. Not to mention the appearance and behavior of the visitors. I imagine she was as overwhelmed by what she saw as I would be on a visit to the starship Enterprise!

What was the best writing-themed holiday gift you ever received?
I’ve only been writing seriously for the past four years, and I actually don’t believe anyone has ever given me a writing-themed holiday gift. Unless you count a gift to myself, which might be any number of things, such as laptops, printers, software, etc.

What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
Holiday decorations, baking, Christmas music, and old movies. Remembering the excitement of Christmas as a child.


About the Author
SusanaSusana has always had stories in her head waiting to come out, especially when she learned to read and her imagination began to soar.

A former teacher, Susana lives in Toledo, Ohio in the summer and Florida in the winter. She is a member of the Central Florida Romance Writers and the Beau Monde chapters of RWA and Maumee Valley Romance Inc.

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