A Quick Jump Across a Narrow Stream

November 19, 1820

While this newspaper always approaches purloined correspondence with suspicion, we wish to assure our loyal readers that this particular missive came into our possession directly from the hand of the recipient. The marchioness so named in her correspondence is at some pains to defend the reputation of her cousin, the Countess of H_____, in the matter of her husband’s death and the unfortunate involvement of the Duke of W_____. She claims the letter shows the late earl’s illnesses, which the countess blames for his untimely demise, were more extensive and long-lasting than has been widely known heretofore. We leave our readers to draw their own conclusions.


August 1819

To Charlotte Marloughe, Marchioness of Firthley
London, England

By the hand of Bella Clewes, Baroness Holsworthy
Aboard the Arabella, flagship of Seventh Sea Shipping

My Dearest Charlotte,

Can it really be fifteen years since we have seen each other? We are only days away from France now; if the winds remain in our favor, we will make landfall in less than a sennight (when I will post this letter). From Paris to London, after so many years of travelling, seems like naught but a quick jump across a narrow stream.

I cannot say how thrilled I am to be so close to the family I left behind in England, though was deeply distraught to hear of your father’s passing. Uncle Howard was the only man in my family to treat me with any respect or dignity, and I am heartbroken I will now never be able to tell him how much that has meant in my adulthood.

Royal-Regard-Cover-Art-Parts-08Lord Holsworthy and I will remain guests of King Louis and the Duke and Duchess d’Angoulême at the Tuileries Palace until they are satisfied with my husband’s report on their investments, and have decided on a course going forward. We hope His Majesty will add another ship to the fleet, as he is second only to the Prince Regent in the returns my husband has accomplished on his behalf. Knowing royalty as I now do, I expect we will either be in London within a fortnight, or I will not see you for another twelvemonth or longer. I know better than most, the whims of the nobility can never be predicted, and the higher the rank, the more capricious they become. (I shudder to think how fifteen years of marriage to a marquess has “improved upon” your youthful impetuosity.)

It is with great sadness and concern that I confess substantial fear for my husband’s wellbeing. His gout continues to progress, the chalkstones increasing in severity and frequency, leaving him feverish and, for days or weeks at a time, unable to perform the most basic shipboard tasks. Added to this constant worry, his lungs have been visited this past year by a chronic complaint, and he begins to suffer a mild loss of hearing, which he is loath to admit.

Bella Clewes, Lady Holsworthy (A Sweet Glance, Émile Vernon)

I hope to persuade Lord Holsworthy to remain in England upon our return, rather than the short sojourn he intends. His advancing years beg rest and comfort, not further travels that can never improve upon his lifetime of adventure. I am not certain I can change his mind, and I pray you ask your husband to quietly speak to any gentlemen at Court who might assist. In correspondence, His Royal Highness seems reluctant to take my part, if only because it will cut into his profits. Until he can see Lord Holsworthy’s decline for himself, I am afraid he will continue to ask too much of a man who has very nearly given his life for the Crown.

I anxiously await our reunion, and look forward, with great pleasure, to meeting my niece and new nephew.

Your loving sister,
Bella, Lady Holsworthy


Learn what happens to the Holsworthys when Charlotte and Bella are reunited in Royal Regard.Royal-Regard-cover-500x750

After fifteen years roaming the globe, the Countess of Huntleigh returns to England with her dying husband. She soon finds herself plagued by terrible troubles: a new title, estate, and sizable fortune; marked attentions from the marriage mart; the long-awaited reunion with her loving family; and a growing friendship with King George IV.

Settling into her new life, this shy-but-not-timid, not-so-young lady faces society’s censure, the Earl’s decline, false friends with wicked agendas, and the singular sufferings of a world-wise wallflower. Guided by her well-meaning husband, subject to interference by a meddlesome monarch, she must now choose the dastardly rogue who says he loves her, the charming French devil with a silver tongue, or the quiet country life she has traveled the world to find.

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Meet Charlotte and Bella as young women in ‘Tis Her Season, a Royal Regard prequel novella.

Charlotte 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.

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To connect with Mariana Gabrielle

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New Baroness Sails Away From Family Scandal

As only one of several avid news gatherers at the wedding of Viscount Effingale’s niece, Miss Isabella Smithson, to the Prince of Wales’ pet cit and latest baron, Holsworthy, of Seventh Sea Shipping, this reporter can nevertheless assure you this information is perfectly truthful, accurate, and directly from the source. You see, Readers, I myself am the source.

I sat in the same taproom—heavily veiled, of course—where the three gentlemen in question held their consultation. An invited guest to the wedding, along with the Prince of Wales and Princess Amelia and a sizable handful of lords and ladies who had traveled to Saltash on Seventh Sea’s new flagship to celebrate the wedding and the launch of the Prince’s latest enterprise, in which we are all now heavily invested.

Of course, the royals were not staying at the inn, but rather in the richly appointed quarters on the new ship, but the small village hostelry was packed to the rafters, more than half the bride’s family: the Viscount and Viscountess Effingale and their two sons, Hugh and Guy Amberly; the Marquess and Marchioness of Firthley, Charlotte and Alexander Marloughe; and the bride’s father, Sir Jasper Smithson, 2nd Baronet, and his two sons, John and Jeremy.

The baron stayed his last night as a bachelor at his parents’ cottage, a good walk away, which might have been a mistake, given what I overheard, late at night, on the eve of our latest diplomat’s departure. And not such a strange thing does it seem, now, that the bride’s father and brothers turned up the night before her nuptials, but did not appear for her wedding, for it was these three whom I overheard, discussing deeds of such infamy that I wrote to Bow Street before I wrote this column.

All I can say, Readers, is it is a very good thing Miss Smithson married money and a title and left the country when she did.


Sir Jasper Smithson, 2nd Baronet

Mr. John Smithson slipped to the back of the taproom, kicking his brother’s boot as he passed, to get Jeremy to pull his head off the table, hissing under his breath to pull the attention of his father, Sir Jasper Smithson, from the pot of ale before him.

“We must leave, and now.”

“Leave?” John’s father scoffed. “I haven’t yet spoken to the Prince of Wales about my tin mine.”

“If you speak to him of your tin mine, Father, we will all hang. We must all leave. Effingale and Firthley have been gathering evidence, and you can be sure Bella turned coat. Have you got Holsworthy’s money yet?”

“You know as well as I, we receive the money tomorrow afternoon at his solicitor’s office, after the wedding.” Jasper Smithson’s eyes narrowed. “What has she done?”

AchilleLemot-Autoportrait

Mr. John Smithson

“It will be a trap, Father. They are only waiting until Bella is gone before they take us, and I don’t doubt for a second that is the only reason for the invitation. I, for one, am leaving, with or without the two of you. I do not care to know what Bella might or might not have told them.”

Jeremy got to his feet, swaying a bit. John had fortified himself with gin for the last encounter with Bella, and now wished he hadn’t. In fact, he wished he hadn’t even come to Saltash. Jeremy had taken the same drinks, but in celebration of their good fortune, which wasn’t so very good anymore, and he didn’t have the good sense to realize he would be better off facing what was about to happen sober.

“We cannot stay in Evercreech on Effingale’s land, or the house in Bath, or anywhere else we might be expected to go.” John looked his father and brother both in the eyes to make certain they understood. “We have no money if Holsworthy withholds payment, and there is no reason for him to pay if he knows we will be in Newgate on the morrow. We can go to a big city and lose ourselves in the stews until we can make a plan. What we cannot do is stay here and attend Bella’s wedding and her departure.”

Jasper was suspiciously quiet for a normally bellicose man, accustomed to getting his own way.

Jeremy-Smithson-1stLordLyndhurst

Mr. Jeremy Smithson

“The bitch has given us up, to be sure, and I will find a way that she will pay, I promise you that, perhaps as soon as the morning. But you are right, John. We will hire horses, and you and your brother will ride to London tonight and seek out Smite. He owes me a favor and he can put you to work at his tables. We can travel together as far as Evercreech, and I will meet you in London once I have collected what I need from Brittlestep Manor. It won’t do to leave evidence lying about when there are men on the lookout for it, and it will behoove us to keep track of our insurance.”

Jeremy argued, “It is not a far piece off the same road to the baron’s estate, Father. Angel Bairstowe and her father’s land is better insurance than anything you have hidden.”

John shoved his brother in the shoulder. “You would drag her down with you? Have you not a hint of honor? Leave Miss Bairstowe alone and face the problem at hand. Father is right. Smite can give us work in the gaming hells until we gather enough money to flee to the Continent.” John opened, then closed, then opened his mouth, finally shrugging and saying, “Father, I know I cannot stop whatever you think to do to ruin my sister’s life, but you should leave Bella alone. She has done nothing you would not have done, if it came to your own preservation. She is your daughter. Wish her happy, and bear the consequences of your own actions.”

“Bah. You have no loyalty. And I shall take care of you still, ungrateful wretch, and keep your neck from a rope. I will take care of your sister, too, and hear no more about it. Gather your things, the both of you, and we shall make a stop at the Bairstowe holding on the way. I should like to at least talk to the girl’s father before I allow my heir to be taken in by her.”


Readers, it was at this point, the Smithson gentlemen took their leave—and I use the term “gentlemen” rather more loosely than I might have only days ago—and I took up my pen to contact Bow Street and make careful notes for a story I might write once the law was able to see to the matter. Less than a fortnight later, once the Holsworthy’s ship was well away from England, the news came that Jasper Smithson, 2nd Bt. died at his own hand and his sons had disappeared. Miss Bairstowe remains unmarried and, it is said, has retired to her family’s villa outside Bologne.

Separator

The events of this vignette happen between Chapters Ten and Eleven of Shipmate, now FREE at book retailers, and mentions characters and situations from all of the books in the Sailing Home series, by Mariana Gabrielle.

Shipmate Front Cover-04The heavy hands and sharp tongues of Bella Smithson’s family have left her almost too timid to converse with a gentleman, much less conduct a husband hunt. Unfortunately, her overbearing aunt and managing cousin are determined to help her escape her black-hearted father and brothers.

Thanks to the Prince of Wales, retiring shipping magnate Myron Clewes has an ever-growing fortune, a fresh-minted peerage, a brand-new flagship, and an impossible set of requirements for a bride. Not least, she must be willing to leave England and everything she knows, possibly for good, in less than two months’ time.

Bella’s Happy-Ever-After in Royal Regard had its origins in a Happier-Than-She-Expected with her first husband, Baron Holsworthy, who gave her the confidence to steady her sea legs, take her life by the helm, and command her own voice, empowering a shy, young girl and unlikely adventurer to grow into one of King George IV’s trusted advisors.

 

The Sailing Home Series

Royal-Regard-cover-500x750Book One: Royal Regard

When Bella Holsworthy returns to England after fifteen years roaming the globe with her husband, an elderly diplomat, she quickly finds herself in a place more perilous than any in her travels—the Court of King George IV. As the newly elevated Earl and Countess settle into an unfamiliar life in London, this shy, not-so-young lady faces wicked agendas, society’s censure, and the realities of a woman soon to be alone in England.

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Tis Her Season cover tempBook Two: ‘Tis Her Season: A Royal Regard Prequel Novella
(available only until March 31, 2016 in Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem; re-release May 8).

Charlotte Amberly returns a Christmas gift from her intended—the ring—then hares off to London to take husband-hunting into her own hands. Will she let herself be caught?

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Shipmate Front Cover-04Book Three: Shipmate: A Royal Regard Prequel Novella

(FREE at all major retailers)

For shy Bella Smithson, landing a husband seems laughable, so when shipping magnate Myron Clewes offers to buy her from her unfeeling family and take her to sea, she is obligated to accept his suit—and a long list of demands she might never be able to meet.

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Rose Renamed cover temp-03Book Four: A Rose Renamed
(coming Fall 2016)

Major John Smythe returns from Waterloo a broken man, determined to stay one step ahead of his former life, but when he meets Rose Allen, the sins of his past must be confronted, for without her, he has no hope for a future.

The Final Fouret

383px-Giovanni_Battista_Gaulli_-_Portrait_of_a_Man_-_Walters_371832

His hands shook as he heated the letter opener over the candle flame and slid it beneath the wax seal. Since the killing had begun in earnest, the Duke of Malbourne’s hands had been shaking more often than was seemly for a man of the nobility, but there was more reason today than most: this letter represented the last hope his one remaining family member was still alive.

Three sisters and their families had already been executed by Madame La Guillotine, twenty-five souls in all, including his newest nephews, twins, born to his third sister not even a half-year ago. He could not imagine an animal as bloodthirsty as the ill-bred, ungrateful, insolent serfs of France.

He had lost one blood relation after another until only his youngest sister was left, and then she was taken by the rabble. Not for a quick, clean, killing, but ransomed by mercenaries more interested in a share of noble wealth than fair-minded principles of equality. Even assuming her abductors hadn’t killed her within hours, any demand was more than the duke could pay, as he had been moving gold, silver, jewels, and valuables overland for several months, preparing to relocate his family and close retainers from France to England. When the letter came, he had only enough gold available for the journey. They would all be safely across the channel by now, living in relative luxury, if Marie had not defied his express command, and taken a walk in the garden.

 

Monseigneur,

I am inconsolable at the loss of your sister. I was not able to secure Mademoiselle Marie’s release. She is gone.

Further word on household activities by usual communiqué.

I am, as ever, your humble servant.

—M—

 

His hand fell to the desk like the letter weighed as much as a brick. He closed his eyes to stave off the rare tears forming. Marie. Le bébé, Marie. His youngest sister, not yet married, the sweetest and kindest of all. The last woman who had been under Adolphe Fouret’s protection, now that his wife was dead and buried these five nights past.

HalifaxGibbetAllenHe could not wait two more days for Michelle’s weekly missive from her husband’s house, the center of the revolutionary elements in Alsace. The other note he had opened this hour, from one Pierre Bouchard, another spy in different circumstances, had warned: Go now. Do not delay. Michelle’s intimate knowledge of the insurrection would do him no good if her bourgeois husband and his ilk dragged their rightful liege lord from the chateau in chains.

Goddamn Michelle! She was to have found a way to remove her former mistress from whatever peasant hovel the kidnappers had hidden her in. He had placed his inamorata, his family’s most faithful servant, in the nest of revolutionary vipers, and paid her well, to meet exactly such a need.

The plan had been to take a coach and collect Michelle on his way out of Alsace with Marie. She had been Marie’s lady’s maid since the age of fourteen, and the duke’s confidante since they were children, and would have retained both positions in exile. But if he looked on her face now, he might kill her outright. Better to leave his lover alive, to imagine he might one day mete out sufficient punishment for such a grand failure as this.

He would travel faster alone. And he had no more time to lose.

The last surviving member of la famille Fouret gave instructions to his few remaining loyal men-at-arms, ordered his horse and weaponry and provisions prepared, and walked, one final time, through the halls of the chateau built by the first noble Fouret in the seventh century.


To discover the fate of Monsieur le duc de Malbourne and his lover, read Royal Regard.

Royal-Regard-cover-500x750After fifteen years roaming the globe, the Countess of Huntleigh returns to England with her dying husband. She soon finds herself plagued by terrible troubles: a new title, estate, and sizable fortune; marked attentions from the marriage mart; the long-awaited reunion with her loving family; and a growing friendship with King George IV.

Settling into her new life, this shy-but-not-timid, not-so-young lady faces society’s censure, the Earl’s decline, false friends with wicked agendas, and the singular sufferings of a world-wise wallflower. Guided by her well-meaning husband, subject to interference by a meddlesome monarch, she must now choose the dastardly rogue who says he loves her, the charming French devil with a silver tongue, or the quiet country life she has traveled the world to find.

Amazon | Amazon UK | Smashwords

Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | All Romance eBooks


To connect with Mariana Gabrielle

www.MarianaGabrielle.com
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

Another Cross-Book Vignette from Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem

As part of the blog tour for Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem, the holiday box set by the Bluestocking Belles, characters from the novellas will be meeting up outside the covers of the book, appearing on Belles’ blogs throughout the month of October.

[This is Part One of a cross-book blog post. For Part Two, go to Sherry Ewing’s blog at: www.SherryEwing.com.]

Comment to win a print copy of The Bluestocking Belles’ Guide to a Good Time (random drawing): After reading this vignette, what do you think would happen if Guy and Sophie inhabited the same book?


At a holiday house party, there are always those young people too old for the nursery party (or so they say), but too young to participate in the dancing. At one such occasion, Sophie Templeton, from Under the Mistletoe, a fanciful child who likes to chase butterflies and kiss frogs, hoping one will turn into a handsome prince, meets up with Hugh and Guy Amberly, younger brothers to the heroine of ‘Tis Her Season. The thing about young people of this age, however, is that they are but a few years away from seeking matches of their own. One never knows if a childhood friendship might blossom into romance…

1820-januarySophie Templeton sits on a log beneath a tree watching her puppy, Tulip, frolicking in the snow. The pup gives her a bark, as if asking Sophie to join her, before diving into a snowbank. The puppy begins tunneling her way across the ground, then pokes her head up—a golden-haired snow dog with her tongue hanging out. Sophie gives into the impulse and plops down next to her dog, who begins licking her cheek. There’s nothing better than being outside in the snow, and Sophie begins creating her own snow angel, waving her arms and legs back and forth with a girlish giggle.

A young man appears on the track between the trees, ice skates slung over his shoulder, the puppy suspended by the scruff of his neck. “Is this your dog, Madam?”

Another boy sticks his head out from behind the young man’s shoulder. “Capital pup you have! Chewed a hole through Hugh’s saddlebag and ate everything before we even saw him, then led us a merry chase to get the bag back.” The boy holds up a leather sack, torn to shreds. “Smart dog, that’s certain.”

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Sophie Templeton, age 13.

Sophie sees her poor puppy suspended in the air, struggling for her freedom.

“Tulip does not like to be manhandled. Surely you must be speaking of some other misbehaving dog. Please put her down!” She stomps her foot to make her point. It has little effect on the young man holding her beloved Tulip.

Hugh holds the dog out, “A girl dog. No wonder it is a pest.”

“What a mean boy you are!”

Sophie gazes at the other boy, who is attempting to hide his laughter. She motions to the youth still holding Tulip. “Is he always like this?”

Guy rolls his eyes and laughs, “He ‘will be the viscount someday.’ Takes himself seriously, this one.” He grabs the dog and hands it back to its owner. “Guy Amberly. This is my brother, Hugh. We are visiting at the manor house with our parents.” He holds up a pair of skates that has been dangling from his shoulder. “We were going to go skating, but haven’t come across the pond. Are you from near here? Can you point us in the right direction?”

Guy and Hugh Amberly, Ages 12 and 14 - George_and_John_Soane_Jr_Owen

(L to R) Guy and Hugh Amberly, ages 12 and 14, respectively.

Grouchy though he is at the pup having eaten the luncheon in his saddlebags, Hugh is not so mean as to kick the obnoxious dog scampering about, trying to chew on his boot and jump up to bite his fingertips, and manages to get in some petting of its head, as it bounces around. “Who names a dog after a flower? Poor thing will be demoralized all her days.”

“Can she track? Will she be a hunting dog?” Guy asks.

With a sudden start, Hugh draws himself up to full height—not very tall at all. “We had better go, Brother, before this young lady gets designs on me. One cannot be too careful when one is safeguarding a peerage. I’d hate to be compromised and forced to marry someone I’ve hardly met.”

Guy shoves his brother. “You pompous prat. No one wants you to marry their daughter.”

Sophie laughs, gives Tulip a hug, and then sets the pup back down. The dog begins to prance around Guy, before sitting down and barking at her rescuer. “Thank you for returning my dog. I am sorry about your lunch but I am certainly not looking to marry either of you.” Sophie continues to plaster a smile on her face. Hugh would certainly run as fast as his feet would carry him if he learned her father was a vicar!

“My sister and I are also guests at the manor. The pond is out past the garden area, and I know they also have sledding planned. I can show you where it is, unless you are afraid I might be trying to get a parson to wed us.” She laughs again and raises her brow at Hugh… as if she would wish to marry an arrogant boy like him.

“Will you come along to the pond with us, then?” Guy asks, blushing a bit and keeping his face turned away from his brother.

At least the younger boy seems a pleasant sort of chap. “If you do not mind a girl tagging along, it sounds like fun. I am Sophie Templeton, by the way,” she proclaims with a smile. “I have my skates up at the house, and I am certain the cook will be able to provide a lunch, to make up for Tulip’s bad manners.”

Hugh looks down his long nose. “It does seem unwise for a little girl to be roaming about unaccompanied. I will take you under my protection, and under the protection of the viscountcy—temporarily.”

Guy puffs out his chest and steps in front of Miss Templeton. “I will accompany the young lady, Hugh, not you.” He waves his hands at Hugh, trying to chivvy him away, with no success.

“My, my,” Hugh says, smirking.

“He isn’t even a viscount,” Guy grumbles. “Only a courtesy baron.”

“While you have no title at all, Brother.”

Guy gallantly holds out his elbow for Sophie. “To the kitchens, then? And skating?”

Sophie reaches out to accept Guy’s arm. No boy had ever asked to escort her anywhere, let alone claim he would take her under his protection, no matter that it was temporary. She smiles at Guy, while her cheeks begin to flush. “Thank you for your gallant offer.”

Trying to think of something witty to say, she asks, “Are you a good skater?” as they begin making their way to the manor. “My sister, Margaret, taught me how to skate, although she has not had much time for doing anything fun of late. Too busy helping with all the holiday preparations. She likes to help out wherever she can. Do you have any other brothers or sisters that are here with you? I always wanted another sibling but it is just me and Margaret.” Sophie realizes she is rambling about nothing that would interest two boys older than herself. She blushes again in embarrassment.

“We are here with our parents, the Viscount and Viscountess Effingale, and our sister, Charlotte,” Guy says, “She is older, and will be betrothed soon, so she has no time for games, either. But she isn’t much fun, anyway. Bossy sort.”

“I believe Margaret shares much the same disposition. My father has been meeting with would-be suitors for her. She is not happy, but do not tell her I told you, if you happen to meet her during your stay.”

“At last!” Hugh proclaims, when they arrive at the kitchen. “I am starving.”


Meet Sophie Templeton in Under the Mistletoe, by Sherry Ewing, and Hugh and Guy Amberly in ’Tis Her Season, by Mariana Gabrielle, both available in:

Box-Set-3D-Square-WebMistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem: A Bluestocking Belles Collection
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.***

Pre-order for November 1 delivery
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iTunes Kobo  |  Goodreads Reviews

JOIN US FOR THE FACEBOOK LAUNCH PARTY
November 1, 4-9 pm EDT


This blog post co-written by:

Mariana Gabrielle
http://www.MarianaGabrielle.com

MarianaGabrielleMariana 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.

Sherry Ewing
http://www.SherryEwing.com

 SherrySherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time.


Bluestocking Belles logo-02The Bluestocking Belles Online:
— Website and home of the Teatime Tattler: www.BluestockingBelles.com
Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest: BellesInBlue
— The Bluestocking Bookshop online storytelling game

Support the Bluestocking Belles’ fundraising campaign for the Malala Fund:
www.classy.org/BluestockingBelles

 

New Title Tuesday! Anne B. Cole – Souls Estranged

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.


Souls Estranged, Anne B. Cole
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: September 30, 2015

SoulsEstranged (2) (1)Back from their adventures in Souls Entwined, Sam Daggett begins a new relationship with Gretta Dobbs, whose memories of their time traveling experience have been erased. Determined to never leave her again, Sam vows to help Gretta, despite the bad luck curse on her heirloom ring. Within hours of their return, tragedy strikes. As Sam becomes the third victim of the bad luck curse, Gretta’s memories of her time spent in the past begin to return. Unable to remember more than snippets, she realizes that anyone close to her is in grave danger. In order to keep Sam and her family safe, she flees in the middle of the night. Finding the perfect summer job in the back hills of Virginia, Gretta unknowingly crosses paths with a serial killer. With guidance from their ancestral spirits, Roxana and Katarina, Sam desperately attempts to find Gretta before the curse strikes again.

To Buy: Amazon US

Excerpt

In the dim morning light of the hospital room, Sam Daggett watched the little cat stretch its front paws before zeroing intense green eyes on him.

“Roxana?” He scrutinized the feline for the slightest twitch of recognition.

Nothing.

Doubting Roxana’s spirit remained entwined within the gray and white cat, he moved his focus to Gretta Dobbs. She slept peacefully with her hand nestled in his. Neither of their families had returned to the hospital. Her garnet ring caught his attention and immediately a sense of foreboding crept up his spine.

His heart sped as images of his time traveling, out-of-body adventure with Gretta flashed through his mind. Roxana, Gretta’s long-dead ancestor, enabled their souls to entwine within nineteenth-century lovers in order to gather information on the cursed ring. Pride, determination, and fear filled him.

“I’m so sorry we didn’t find all of the answers we needed,” Sam whispered as he lifted her hand to his lips. He watched her eyes and listened for the beep of the heart monitor to quicken, satisfied she remained in dreamland. “I know you don’t remember our time together or what we’ve been through.”

To Buy: Amazon US


Who first encouraged you to write, and how?
My parents gave me a diary for Christmas when I was nine. I wrote in it every night. After a year I realized, “Dear Diary, Today was boring….” wasn’t fun to go back and read so I started making up stories and writing them instead.

What inspired you to write this book?
Souls Estranged is part two of The Souls Trilogy. The first book, Souls Entwined ended on a ‘Happy for now’ note. Souls Estranged continues Sam and Gretta’s journey of living with a curse in present time.

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
5aAnne B. Cole is a genre bending author who enjoys combining supernatural suspense, time travel, and sweet romance with a touch of magical realism in her books.

Anne lives in Indiana with her husband and three teenage children. She teaches preschool and makes time to run so she can eat ice cream and doughnuts. Anne is currently working on Souls Endure, The Final Book of The Souls Trilogy.

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