#Medieval Monday16, Conflict in Silverhawk by Barbara Bettis

Today, author Barbara Bettis visits us with an excerpt from her medieval romance, Silverhawk. Please leave her a comment and let her know what you think of the excerpt.

Silverhawk--new+cover (1)Blurb:  He’s everything a proper lady should never want; she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

Sir Giles has come to England to kill his father, who seduced and betrayed his mother. First, however, he’ll seek sweet revenge—kidnap the old lord’s new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What’s a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.

Lady Emelin has had enough. Abandoned in a convent by her brother, she finally has a chance for home and family. Yet now she’s been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won’t allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape

Rescuing the intrepid lady—while hunting traitors—is a challenge Giles couldn’t anticipate.  But the greatest challenge to Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them.

Excerpt: Here is Lady Emelin’s first meeting with her brother since he confined her to a convent five years earlier. Now he’s betrothed her to someone without her knowledge.

Ortha had just finished braiding Emelin’s hair when the door burst open. Sir Garley strode in, his bulk filling the space. He jerked his head, and Ortha slipped into the passageway. Emelin shot to her feet, chin raised. The long forgotten fear nibbled at her heart, but she refused to show it.

He loomed closer, looked over the borrowed gown she wore, and picked up a braid. Lips curled in a snarl, he gave it a hard yank before he dropped it. “Too bad we can’t do something about that color.”

Blood-shot eyes narrowed. He grabbed her chin between his forefinger and thumb and forced up her head. She tried to pull away from the stench of his breath, but he pinched harder. “Don’t do anything else to spoil this arrangement.” His voice grated like rusty steel. “I need the payment Langley made for you. I will not return it.”

Garley gave her head a final shake. “Do not interfere in my plans,” he repeated.

Emelin jerked back. Rebellion overpowered the hurt, and she spoke without thought. Again.  “Or what? You’ll immure me in a convent? I believe we’ve done that already.”

Garley’s slap caught the side of the face, sent her staggering onto the bed. “Keep your mouth shut.” His voice held no trace of emotion as he strode to the door. “At least until after the wedding. Then you’re his problem. Just remember, there’ll never be a place for you at Compton. Give the old man a son, and you’ll want for nothing. Fight him and you may find yourself back at the convent—if you’re lucky.”

Amazon has surprised me by running a 99 cent sale for Silverhawk.

#MedievalMonday16 Conflict in Dragon Knight’s Shield by Mary Morgan

Cover Art for Mary Morgan's Dragon Knight's ShieldThis week’s #MedievalMonday16 guest is Mary Morgan giving us a sample of conflict from her newest release Dragon Knight’s Shield.

“Never have I seen a woman command men as she does,” commented Robert coming alongside him.

Angus kept silent. He knew his friend had set his sight on the woman as well. He had flirted with her outright at the table last evening, stirring the outrage of Hugh. The man dared to tempt fate to the edge of his life, and Angus wanted to slice out Robert’s tongue with a blade.

Rubbing his hands together to ward off the chill, Robert removed his cloak. “I believe ’tis my turn at a lesson or two.”

Without thought, Angus blocked his progress with an outstretched hand. “Nae. My turn.”

The man raised an eyebrow in amused contempt and took a step back.

As Angus stepped into the clearing, he saw Deirdre’s eyes go wide in surprise. As he gave the others a passing glance, they understood his meaning and retreated to the trees. Removing his cloak, he faced her.

“There is nothing I can teach you, Angus. I’ve seen you fight.” She rubbed her hands down the sides of her gown, and he took this as a nervous gesture.

His steps slowed as he circled her, making her turn as he did. “Ye show the others. Why not me?

“Because there are some techniques…umm ways…to improve…and they asked, since they believe me…”

“Ye are rambling. Not good for a hunter.”

“I’m not playing this game, MacKay,” she hissed.

“This is no game we play, Flanagan. There is a real danger that cannae be fought with strength alone.”

“Then you’re the fool if you don’t think I understand. The Fianna have told me about the magic of this evil druid. But what they haven’t told me is why he wants to claim the relics of the Dragon Knights.”

Angus clenched his fists. They had no right discussing his past with her.

“Does that upset you?”

He continued his spiral movement around her. “Why would it?”

“Because it shows in your eyes. They go from light brown to blazing amber.”

His smile became predatory. “Ye are a keen witness.”

“Tell me about your relic, Angus?”

Chuckling softly, he kept silent. Her gown twisted as her steps faltered, and he realized she had not mastered moving in the clothing.

She stomped her foot in anger. “Stop moving!”

In one swift move, he had her hands behind her back with his face mere inches from the lips he wanted. “Ye have now become my prey.” He could feel the rise and fall of her breasts with every breath she took, and he fought to control his body. By the gods how he wanted her. She smelled of the woods, wild and untamed.

She blinked and he found desire staring back at him. Twisting her head away from his, she spat out, “Let me go.”

If the others were not around, Angus feared he would have claimed her right there in the snow. He shook his head of the blinding lust and released her. “Ye are correct, Deirdre. There is naught ye can teach me.” Turning slowly, he started to walk away when he felt the blade at his back.

“The first lesson, Angus, in any battle is never to turn your back on the enemy. You have forgotten the basics in defense.”

He held his arms out wide. “Then strike for the kill, Deirdre and pray ye have the strength to aim true.”

She punched him hard in his lower back, causing him to stumble a few feet. “Trust me, I have the strength.” Her words sent a chill down his spine, and the beast became unleashed.

As Angus whirled around, he reached for the arm that held the blade. Her gown twisted and she slipped, bringing them both to the ground. Wasting no time being so close to her heated body, he stood. Shoving a hand through his hair, he then pointed to her bunched up gown. “And the first lesson ye should master is to fight in your clothes. They will be your undoing.” Hissing out several curses, he stormed off to the trees, whistling for Artair.

As he passed one of the pines, a blade flew past his head and landed with a loud thump into the wood. The fire danced off his fingertips, but he made no move to turn around. “Ye missed.”

Blurb:

Angus MacKay, leader of the Dragon Knights, failed his brothers and his clan upon the death of his sister. Now he must fight the darkness of despair tempting his soul. Back on Scottish soil, he comes face to face with Deirdre who can wield a sword as mightily as his warriors, and he takes her captive. Yet, with each passing day, the fire dragon inside him roars to claim the one woman fate has destined for him.

Famed mystery writer, Deirdre Flanagan, is unprepared for the next chapter in her life. On a vacation to Scotland, she steps through the mists and enters into a skirmish alongside a Highlander. However, the fight has only begun, and now she must battle Angus as well as evil in order to claim the love of this Dragon Knight.

Will their love be powerful enough to shield them from danger, or burn them to ashes?

Buy Links:

Amazon  Apple iBooks   Barnes&Noble Nook   Kobo   The Wild Rose Press

Journey to “The Star World Colonies” with Author, Catherine E. McLean

CatherineEMcLeanKIFEL SPACE STATION

“The Jewel of Sol”

“The Gateway to the Star World Colonies”

In the vacuum of space far from Earth, beyond the colonized Centauri Star System, between the feared Dethramossan Territory and the mineral-rich Empire of Triangulum Australe, hovers Kifel Space Station, guardian of a galactic portal (a star gate jump point).

Kifel is also a city, a commercial port, a pseudo pleasure palace, and a military fortress. The space station is the gateway for thousands of maritime space traders and colonists seeking their fortunes and a new way of life. But some say the station is a taskmaster to the crews that man and maintain her.

In truth, there are a million stories to tell of those beings, human and aliens, who pass through the portals and walk the labyrinths of Kifel Space Station.

The above was jotted down in 1993, when I first conceived Kifel Space Station for a short story. Over the years, and several short stories and novels later, I ended up with a three-ring binder for all things Kifel that included: the history of why, who, and how the station was built, sketches of deck layouts and compartments (which are crude because I’m no artist), the personnel requirements, the caste system of jumpsuit colors used by workers on the station, and whole lot more.

That binder is my “bible” that keeps things consistent when I write a new story. And, yes, new stories sometimes add things to Kifel or makes me rethink areas. The binder also allows me to update the oldest stories so they are consistent with the published ones.

A writer is told to write what they know, but that’s difficult when you’re writing about the future and outer space. Yet, there is a trick a writer can use to extrapolate a future that seems believable to a reader. That trick is to base the future world, in this case, a space station, on what currently exists or will exist in the near future. To get an idea of the size and look of Kifel, I did research. I extrapolated data from cargo container shipping yards (and how much room they needed to store, stack, and move containers about). From city layouts, I got various ideas of infrastructure. Cruise ship layouts showed me how compact compartments were and how many quarters could fit in a given area. Then there were the waste management-recycling facilities, hospital-emergency care facilities, hydroponic farming, and a whole lot more. The results kept making the space station bigger and bigger. I even took a look at the Star Trek technical manuals (the ones done by real engineers), but I did not use them for designs, only verification that what I was doing was feasible, realistic, believable.

As to the shape of Kifel Space Station, I knew from my engineering husband that circles were most efficient in space and so Kifel ended up being a circle divided into twelve pie-shaped wedges, with a center core through which energy (power, etc.) flowed. Beacons, communications dishes-antennas, scanners, etc. were necessary and went at the top and bottom of the station. Other communication and scanning devices were also needed about the landing-departure decks and for the military.

Then I started from the top and went down a sheet of paper listing one item per line that represented appropriate footage. For the massive warehousing and freight decks, I put in additional lines proportioned for their heights. When I was done, a pattern had formed on the page of an elongated “diamond” – like a kite.

I could envision that “diamond” glittering with all its exterior lights as it spun in the blackness of space to maintain its gravity— like a diamond in the sky.

And thus was born the phrase “The Jewel of Sol.” Sol being a poetic term for Earth’s star, the sun.

A lot of romance writers gloss over setting details in their futuristic/sci-fi worlds because the plot of the lovers journey is more important. However, a writer should take the time to look at, sketch out, and find the little things that bring their setting to life for the reader so the reader suspends disbelief.

Like Marlee and Deacon, when you read HEARTS AKILTER, you’ll feel right at home on Kifel Space Station.

Hearts AkilterHeartsAkilter_w9882 high resolution

Love, vengeance, attempted murder, and a bomb…No reason to panic.

When a medical robot insists he’s having a heart attack, Marlee Evans, a pragmatic maintenance technician, has every reason to panic. There’s a bomb inside him.  Since Marlee can’t risk the bomber discovering she’s found the device, her only option is to kidnap Deacon Black, an unflappable bomb expert, and secretly convince him to disarm it.  Things go slightly awry when Deacon sets a trap for someone who is trying to kill him, and inadvertently captures Marlee instead.  Instantly intrigued by her refreshingly forthright and gutsy attitude, he’s smitten.  Unfortunately for Deacon, Marlee recently hardened her heart and swore off men, especially handsome ones with boy-next-door grins.  But as Marlee and Deacon attempt to identify and prevent the bomber from detonating the device, they discover that love may be the most explosive force of all.

Available Now

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1faTnHp

Nook: http://bit.ly/1HDMrii

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1fhzVIp

All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/1GvpqqT

The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/1HDhwAT

About Catherine E. McLean

Besides Catherine being a wife and mother, she has ridden and exhibited Morgan Sport Horses. She’s an avid clothing and costume designer, an award-winning amateur photographer, a 4-H leader, and a Red Hatter who loves bling.

She lives on a farm nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania. In the quiet of the countryside, she writes fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal stories where a reader can escape to other worlds for adventure and romance.

Her short stories have appeared in hard-copy and online anthologies and magazines. Besides having two novels published, soon to be released is her lighthearted fantasy/sci-fi romance HEARTS AKILTER. Catherine also gives writing workshops, both online and in-person. A schedule is posted at http://www.writerscheatsheets.com/workshops.html

Catherine’s website for writers is  http://www.WritersCheatSheets.com and she blogs at http://writerscheatsheets.blogspot.com/

Hub Website: http://www.CatherineEmclean.com

Connect with Catherine at: http://www.catherineemclean.com/contact-me.html

Or on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CatherineMcLea7

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catherine.e.mclean.5

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/catherinemclean/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1Ievnjp

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1I64GqK

The Stuff in My Office—5

BKSHELF1Yep, I’ve got even more stuff to tell you about now that our short pause is over. The four pictures in this blog are of the wall length bookshelves opposite the corner where my desk sits (desk stuff in a later installment). There are six shelves (I couldn’t fit the top self into the camera frame, each roughly 10 feet in length and completely filled with paperback romance novels (and yes, those novels absolutely get included on the list of stuff I like that makes me happy). I won’t describe any of the books, but I will mention some of the other items.

In the foreground of the picture at the left you can see a couple of the items I discussed in the 4th installment of this series. You can also see part of the floor lamp that stands between the table (see installment 4) and my reading chair (also installment 4). I love that shade because it turns this lovely glowing gold color when the bulb is on, and it gives terrific light for reading.

Moving on to the next picture (below right) you see the rest of the lamp. The small needlework pillow peeking out from behind the lamp is another gift from my mother in law. That pillow was sitting on her royal blue sofa in her living room the first time my sweetheart brought me to their home for dinnerBKSHELF2 and to meet his folks. I was scared spitless because I knew about her upper crust Boston background. Mom was everything that is gracious. Nonetheless it took me several years to get over being intimidated, mostly because of my personal fears. I like to think that we now have a very friendly relationship. She certainly remembered that first visit, because one of the few things I managed to say was how lovely the pillow was. Who wouldn’t like a pillow with irises (Mom used to grow award winning Iris blooms) in varying shades of blue, including cobalt. On the shelf above the pillow are four framed covers from my books. Below those is yet another gift from my mother in law. This gift is more recent (just this past Christmas), yet I treasure it almost as much as the pillow. The seascape set into the tray is one of my favorites, and since I love the sea (add that to the list too) I keep the tray where I can see it.

The third picture (at left) shows the enBKSHELF3tire tray, and above that the remaining four covers from my books. If you look closely you can see a small two-tone brown box at the end of one of the shelves. That is a recipe box that my own mother gave me. It holds my grandmother’s recipes for Swedish coffee bread, dream cookies, and depression era frosting (made with flour, milk, butter and granulated sugar). The confectioner’s type of sugar that is usually used in frostings was nearly impossible to get during the depression, so flour was substituted. Even granulated sugar was expensive, so frosting on cakes was a real treat. The Dream Cookies are another depression era recipe, requiring only flour, granulated sugar and butter. Preparing Dream Cookies requires careful attention because the butter must be melted and browned to a point just shy of burning. The caramelized bits in the melted butter create the delicate flavor of these cookies. Once baked they have a very crumbly texture. My grandmother called them dream cookies because they practically melt in your mouth and disappear so fast that you feel as if you imagined eating them. Dream Cookies (along with homemade pecan sandies) are my favorite cookies, so they go on the list too. I’ve made the Swedish coffee bread—which is an all day project. Grandma used to fill hers with citron (candied dry fruit). I prefer un-candied dry fruit and more nuts—especially pecans. The bread was a daily item in my life while I was in school during the years when my grandparents lived with us (they moved into a small apartment in our house once neither of them could drive). I would come home from school and Grandma and my mother would be sitting at Grandma’s kitchen table having coffee and buttered coffee bread. They always had at least one piece waiting for me. I’d savor the bread and listed to Grandma and Mother share memories of their early lives. That’s how I learned about depression frosting and the origin of Dream Cookies.BKSHELF4

The last image (at right) shows the end of two more shelves, one of the two windows in my office and the stuff that sits below the window. I’ll write about the window stuff next time. Right now, I want to mention that the elephant bookends were a gift from me to my own mother and probably one of the first purchases I made with money I earned. I got elephants for her overflowing bookshelves so she would never forget where they came from and how much we both loved reading. The elephants came back to me when Mother passed away. Below those sits a small basket containing old checkbooks. I don’t know where the basket came from, but I like open containers. I tend to forget things when they are out of sight. I want the checkbooks in plain sight so I remember to throw them out when I no longer need them as tax records.

So those bookshelves contain a lot of stuff ranging from the treasured to the mundane, and as always a host of memories. Do you have memories of your parents and grandparents; stories and/or recipes that have been handed down and treasured for generations; little knick knacks that hold meaning only for you? Please share with a comment.

The Stuff in My Office–4

SideTABLESometimes life gets in the way and not just of writing blog posts and novels. Take a look at the table (above) that sits next to my easy/reading chair (the chair’s picture is below). What a mess. Wish I could tell you that wasn’t normal. The truth is that much of my life is very messy because I consider myself too busy to be neat. Oddly, I had a  character in one book who was the complete opposite; she was excessively busy and neat. Her claim was that she didn’t have time to be messy and always looking for things which she could find easily if she kept her life tidy. So about the stuff on the table and what it might tell you about me.

The table itself is a ‘gift’ from my mother-in-law when my DH and I moved into our first home shortly after we married. The top of the table needs refinishing. Mind you, we just celebrated our 38th anniversary, so a lot of life has gotten in the way of that particular task. The items on top of the table are used when I’m not ‘writing,’ i.e. pounding on the keyboard at my desk across the room. Under the scissors (I have no idea why the scissors are there, I use them to open packages and trim paper) is a small portfolio containing an 8 X 5 pad of paper and a pen used for taking notes. Behind that is a box of tissues. I have year round allergies, so I keep tissues all over my house. The large can of peanuts is empty (rescued from my DH who ate the peanuts) and is used to keep sweets. At the moment because I’m being good about my diet the can is empty. On top of the can is the hand held massage tool that I use on my sore feet when I get home from my ‘day’ job. Beside the can are two small stacked plates. If I’m working—research reading, revisions—or relaxing—reading for fun, watching TV on my desktop monitor, napping—I often bring lunch or dinner upstairs so I don’t forget to eat. The top plate is cobalt blue glass, and while you can’t see it well, the bottom plate is cobalt blue on white china. Guess what else you can add to the list of stuff that I like and makes me happy. I’ll give you a hint. It’s a color. In front of the plates is another pen and two more small pads of paper. Those migrated to the table with me when I moved from desk to easy chair for revising work. I’d forgotten I already had the small portfolio on the table. The orange cloth under most of the stuff is just there to protect the largest part of the unfinished table surface. Yep, that’s a straw wrapper in front of the second pen. I was sick recently, and I baby myself with straws in my drinks when I’m forcing liquids. Last the brown and white tile is another treasure given by my mother-in-law. It depicts the Old Dutch Church at Sleepy Hollow. Her family hails from New England, so she has a trove of mementos that she shares with all of her children. She well knows how much the written word and authors mean to me, so her gifts often have some connection with the literary world. In this case the connection is to Washington Irving and the 19th century New England school of authors that included, Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau and others. Oh yes, before I go and ask for your comments, note the two bookshelves visible behind the table. The black shelf unit is the one that contains the chotchsky shelf described in the first two posts of this series. The bare wood shelving, I installed myself when we moved in. Both units hold many of my 3000+ books.

Lots of stuff in this post to comment on or ask questions about. If nothing else see if you can list all of the ‘stuff’ that I’ve said I like from The Stuff in My Office posts given so far. Who knows, I might draw a winner and use his/her name in my current WIP, The Valentine Tycoon. Can’t wait to hear from you.

EasyCHAIR

The Stuff in My Office–2

Remember that chotchskie shelf in my office? I still have eight items to tell you about.

OfficeSTUFFblog1Four of them are butterfly art two shiny propped up against the back of the shelf and two flat yellow and black lying on the horizontal surface. The black one is really hard to see and looks more like a splotch against the bottom of the bigger shiny butterfly. The other four items are more interesting, since they all hold memories for me. The painted wooden heart was made by my youngest son when he was in first grade as a Valentine’s Day gift. The flat piece of metal is another key fob, given to me after two years working at the University of Michigan. Next to the fob is a smashed copper penny my husband gave me on our honeymoon. The gold painted wooden shoe was carved by my Swedish grandfather, who when I was five was my favorite person in all the world. I loved him so much that when his visit to our home ended and he was boarding the train to head back to Florida, I was inconsolable. I would not stop crying and wailing until my mother told me that if Grandpa didn’t leave he couldn’t come back. At five I was so puzzled by that piece of information that I shut up instantly, kissed my grandfather and almost didn’t notice when the train left the station. It didn’t occur to me until much later that if he didn’t leave he didn’t have to come back. That’s just one of many memories I have of my grandfather. He was a very special man—told me stories, showed me how to see the small things in the woods, and played his guitar while I sang. He encouraged me to try the new and the different but always in the context of the familiar. Despite some problems we had later in life, I miss him terribly.

Leave a comment and tell me what kinds of stuff you keep to remember your loved ones and the very special times you shared. I’ll have another piece of my office to discuss tomorrow.

All That Glitters

Readers Treasure Hop Nov. 1 - 4, 2013Authors Rue Allyn, Susana Ellis, Jayne KingstonKristina KnightShay LacyConstance Phillipsand Ray Wenck  bring you the first ever Readers Treasure Blog Hop.

The theme of this hop is Readers Treasure. Now all of you, as readers, know that we aren’t talking about gold and other ‘glittery’ treasures but the treasure of books and stories. The authors participating in this hop (check out the links/list under the hop logo in my sidebar) have a proverbial trove of fiction to offer. To add to the wealth as part of the rafflecopter grand prize treasure box drawing and celebrate the Nov. 18, 2013 release of One Day’s Loving, Wildfire Love # 3, I’m offering a free download of One Moment’s Pleasure, book one of my Wildfire Love Series. Click here to enter the drawing. Don’t forget to visit the other authors and  join the conversation on The Readers Treasure Facebook page.

Cover Art for One Moment's Pleasure  Cover Art for One Night's Desire   Cover Art for One Day's Loving

One Day’s Loving is the story of the youngest Alden sister. Persephone Mae Alden is the invisible Alden sister, quiet, industrious, generous, kind-hearted, loyal and reliable. The words used to describe Mae remind her of a well-trained dog. She’s not happy about it, but what can she do? She likes her quiet life and would be seriously upset if she had to defy convention like Edith or act on instinct like Kiera. But everything changes when necessity forces her to bravery and she must choose between love and family.

A horrifying bequest convinces Boston attorney James W. Collins V that Mae Alden needs a husband, and she’s just the type of wife he wants. The two of them will be a perfect match. Refusing his offer makes no sense, so why won’t the woman accept?

Sadly only one person can win the treasure chest including prizes from all participating authors. However, the first two books in the series One Moment’s Pleasure and One Night’s Desire are available at http://www.amazon.com/Rue-Allyn/e/B00AUBF3NI, or you may pre-order One Day’s Loving here.

Leave a comment telling me your thoughts about blog hops and giveaways. Who knows I may just give away an ARC of One Day’s Loving to some lucky commenter.

About Rue Allyn: Author of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures. Learn more about Rue at her website, on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

Back from a Working Vacation

This past week I spent several days in Chicago. While my DH sat in conference sessions all day, I wandered the streets of Chicago doing research for a book. My adventures took me to the Chicago History Museum, the Navy Pier, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

I’d been to the Navy Pier before, so I came prepared with my camera. If you’ve never been to the Pier, you may not know that one of the best attractions is the Smith Museum of Stained Glass. On display are gorgeous examples of some of the finest stained glass ever made. Here are just two examples.

StainedGlass3Chicago2013 StainedGlass2Chicago2013I love the vibrant colors and natural arrangement of the leaves and flowers. I will definitely find a way to put stained glass into the book I set in Chicago.

Please leave a comment and let me know about your vacation.

ABOUT RUE: Author of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures. Learn more about Rue and her books at http://RueAllyn.com.
Her latest release, One Night’s Desire is available from Amazon and other e-tailers. Isn’t the cover lovely? Check out the following blurb, with following excerpt and buy links

Cover Art for One Night's DesireOne Night’s Desire Blurb:
A WOMAN ON THE RUN: Rustlers, claim jumpers and fire, nothing will stop Kiera Alden from reuniting her family. But an accusation of murder threatens her dreams and sets Marshall Evrett Quinn on her trail. She may be able to escape prison bars and eventually prove her innocence, but she can’t escape Quinn’s love.

A LAWMAN IN HOT PURSUIT: Marshall Evrett Quinn is relentless in pursuit of law-breakers, and pretty Kiera Alden is no exception. Clever and courageous, she evades him until a chance encounter turns the tables. Finally he has this elusive desperado under arrest, but success is bittersweet when she captures his heart.

One Night’s Desire EXCERPT LINK: http://rueallyn.com/2c2ONDexcerpt.html

One Night’s Desire BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Nights-Desire-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00DL3ALFC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373029464&sr=1-1

Find Rue on-line at–
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Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5031290.Rue_Allyn
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rue- Allyn/e/B00AUBF3NI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Blog: http://rueallynauthorblog.com/

Cerise Duval Defends Her Actions

Please Welcome Madame Cerise Duval, arch nemesis of Dutch Trahern from One Moment’s Pleasure.Cover Art for One Moment's Pleasure

Madame Allyn claims I am a villainous. While my actions do appear to be evil, I have my reasons. Some of you might say that my actions are indefensible. I peddle flesh for a living; I’ve killed, whored, lied, cheated, abused children, bought and sold lives. If there is a sin in the world I’ve probably committed it. So why should I bother trying to defend myself to anyone. Because I’m a mother. My daughter doesn’t know about all the crimes I’ve committed, the people I’ve victimized, and I intend to keep it that way.

I want you to understand that I was born a slave in New Orleans, bred specifically by my owner to be a whore—a plaything for rich white men. I was educated by tutors and could hold my own in conversation with any man. Hell, I could think circles around most of them. It didn’t take me long to become bitter about my lot in life. After that I plotted my escape to San Francisco. The gold rush was on and the California territory was a ‘free’ territory. Once I got there, I realized that the greatest profit would be made by those who sold goods and services to the fools searching for gold. I had only one asset and one skill, so I used my body to get the money to be able to set up a high class bordello which gained me even more money. I admit that I sank to the depths of depravity in every way except as a mother. It broke my heart to send my baby daughter, Independence away to live with my mother. As soon as possible after the war of rebellion, I sent Independence to an exclusive school in New Jersey and provided excellent guardians for her in my will. She will never know who her mother is, but she will also never know slavery or poverty. She is my reason for every action I take, and I offer a mother’s love in defense of those actions.

Cover Art for One Night's DesireTwo Chances to Win a Free Download of One Night’s Desire.

Leave a comment about this post, the representation of African Americans in historical romance fiction, or any topic you prefer.

AND/OR

Leave a review of one of my currently available books at Amazon. Just check my author page for book details http://www.amazon.com/Rue-Allyn/e/B00AUBF3NI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1.

I’ll be collecting entries throughout the entire One Night’s Desire release tour (June 13 – July 29—find the schedule of appearances at http://rueallyn.com/4News.html). The winner will be announced July 31st on my blog http://rueallynauthorblog.com/.

If you’d like to know more about One Night’s Desire here’s the blurb followed by a link to an excerpt.

A WOMAN ON THE RUN: Rustlers, claim jumpers and fire, nothing will stop Kiera Alden from reuniting her family.  But an accusation of murder threatens her dreams and sets Marshall Evrett Quinn on her trail.  She may be able to escape prison bars and eventually prove her innocence, but she can’t escape Quinn’s love.

A LAWMAN IN HOT PURSUIT:  Marshall Evrett Quinn is relentless in pursuit of law-breakers, and pretty Kiera Alden is no exception.  Clever and courageous, she evades him until a chance encounter turns the tables.  Finally he has this elusive desperado under arrest, but success is bittersweet when she captures his heart.

EXCERPT LINK: http://rueallyn.com/2c2ONDexcerpt.html

One Night’s Desire and its sister book One Moment’s Pleasure are heavily discounted at Amazon for the entire month of July

BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Nights-Desire-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00DL3ALFC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373029464&sr=1-1

ABOUT RUE: Author of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures.  Learn more about Rue and her books at http://RueAllyn.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/RueAllynAuthor
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/RueAllyn
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5031290.Rue_Allyn
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rue-Allyn/e/B00AUBF3NI
Blog: http://rueallynauthorblog.com/

History Lovers Grand Tour and Scavenger Hunt–Courting Rituals and Ghirardelli Chocolate

 First things first: HOW TO WIN ~ For a chance to win a Ghirardelli chocolate gift card read the post then answer the following question in the comments section. Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing for the gift card. The winner will be announced here on July 29, 2013. Make sure you complete the entry form on the Grand Tour home page so you can move to the next post, just  click here or on the Grand Tour Logo at the right.

NOW ABOUT COURTINGCover Art for One Moment's Pleasure
Dating and courting rituals in the American west during 1870 varied greatly depending on the particular community involved. San Francisco, despite its wild growth during the gold rush years had developed a core of decent citizens with strong family units. Among those citizens courting was a formal, highly chaperoned process. Parents had a great deal of say in where their daughters went and who could escort them. Rides both in carriages and on horseback in the countryside were possible. Night time forays into the Barbary Coast were not.

Yet that’s what happens to Dutch and Edith of One Moment’s pleasure. Edith is a stranger to San Francisco and without friends or family in the city. Dutch, whose protective instincts are roused, tries to convince her that going out on her own at night is a bad idea, so he takes her on horseback to the worst sections of the Barbary Coast. Lucky for them both they are able to return home without being assaulted (although Dutch does have to rescue some kittens before Edith is convinced he’s right).

Between the settled communities in the mid-west and San Francisco lay vast tracts of ‘unsettled’ territory. The coming of the railroad would change all of that, but in 1870 the transcontinental railway was just beginning to exert its influence. A woman alone in the wilderness had to set her own courtship rules. In One Night’s Desire, Kiera Alden is the one who seduces upright preacher’s kid Marshal Evrett Quinn. She uses a small injury and a healing hot spring to get the job done. Of course, Ev was already half in love with her, or he never would have yielded to temptation. Good thing he did or their story might have ended very differently.Cover Art for One Night's Desire

SCAVENGER HUNT QUESTION:Which couple had a date in the Barbary Coast district of San Francisco and which couple courted in a hotspring?

If you’d like to know more about One Moment’s Pleasure ~ Wildfire Love # 1 and One Night’s Desire ~ Wildfire Love # 2 here are blurbs for each followed by excerpt links.

One Moment’s Pleasure Blurb:

One Moment’s Pleasure will become a lifetime’s passion when spinster, Edith Alden, embarks on a search for her missing sister. Pretending to be a rich bored woman looking for an interlude with an anonymous male Edith enters the San Francisco bordello where her sister was last seen. She escapes the bordello almost too easily, but she can’t escape the passion ignited by a stranger’s kiss.

Born and raised in the brothels of the California gold rush, Dutch Trahern worked for years to erase a childhood spent committing petty crimes and worse in order to survive. That past comes back to haunt him in the form of a woman he rescues from prostitution. Now his hard won respectability is threatened by an irresistible desire for a woman he shouldn’t want.

One Night’s Desire Blurb:

A WOMAN ON THE RUN: Rustlers, claim jumpers and fire, nothing will stop Kiera Alden from reuniting her family. But an accusation of murder threatens her dreams and sets Marshall Evrett Quinn on her trail. She may be able to escape prison bars and eventually prove her innocence, but she can’t escape Quinn’s love.

A LAWMAN IN HOT PURSUIT: Marshall Evrett Quinn is relentless in pursuit of law-breakers, and pretty Kiera Alden is no exception. Clever and courageous, she evades him until a chance encounter turns the tables. Finally he has this elusive desperado under arrest, but success is bittersweet when she captures his heart.

One Moment’s Pleasure EXCERPT LINK: http://rueallyn.com/2c1OMPexcerpt.html

One Night’s Desire EXCERPT LINK: http://rueallyn.com/2c2ONDexcerpt.html

One Night’s Desire and its sister book One Moment’s Pleasure are heavily discounted at Amazon for the entire month of July

One Moment’s Pleasure BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Moments-Pleasure-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00BFCUTSA/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373044493&sr=1-4

One Night’s Desire BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Nights-Desire-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00DL3ALFC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373029464&sr=1-1

ABOUT RUE: Author of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures. Learn more about Rue and her books at http://RueAllyn.com.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/RueAllynAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RueAllyn
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5031290.Rue_Allyn
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rue-Allyn/e/B00AUBF3NI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Blog: http://rueallynauthorblog.com/