Happy Monday, everyone. Today I have Diana Rubino and Piper Huguley visiting with their combined story of Oney's, My Escape From Slavery. Let's see what the story is about!
Teenaged Oney Judge was Martha Washington’s ‘favorite servant.’ Oney and Martha both longed for freedom, but in very different ways. Martha hated being confined to the president’s house, forced to entertain politicians and foreign diplomats. Oney hated being someone else’s property, forced to do labor and wait on her owners day and night.
After President Washington served one term as president, he wrote his farewell speech. He and Martha started packing for their retirement at Mount Vernon, but it was not meant to be. He was elected again—unanimously. He did not want to serve another term, but gave in under pressure.
Martha had no say in it whatsoever. But as she hosted her tea parties and levees, she became close friends with several forward-thinking women, such as Abigail Adams and Judith Murray, feminists of the time. Their radical ideas rubbed off on Martha—education and job training for women to be self-supporting instead of depending on husbands. By the end of George’s term, she experienced a steep character arc. She even changed her attitude toward slavery. When Oney escaped at age 20, at the end of George’s final term, Martha was very resentful: “She was more like a child to me than a servant.” The Washingtons knew that she’d escaped to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and made several attempts to recapture her. But in a sudden act of lenience, Martha gave up on Oney and let her remain free. During her husband’s presidency, Martha complained, “I am more like a state prisoner”, so perhaps she put herself in Oney’s place and realized she deserved liberty, too.
As our first First Lady, Martha Washington evolved from a grandmotherly wife and homebody to an outspoken champion of women’s rights. She provided freedom for her slaves at her death.
While living in Portsmouth, Oney married a sailor, Jack Staines, and had three children. She outlived her husband and children, and lived her remaining free life in Greenland, New Hampshire. Somewhat of a local celebrity, she lived in poverty, but the locals supported her and she took in sewing to supplement her meager income. She declared in an 1847 interview, “I am free now and choose to remain so.”
An Excerpt from ONEY, MY ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY
The hour finally came—while they ate dinner.
Nothing heavied my heart—not remorse, not guilt, not sadness upon fleeing my master and mistress. Raw thirst for freedom overcame all that. I walked straight past the Washingtons and out that door. When I shut it, I left them—and my forced bondage— behind me.
I tore through the muddy streets in pouring rain. Gasping for breath, soaked to the skin, my heart slamming in terror, I glanced behind me, again and again. No one pursued me—yet. I dreaded and expected pounding footsteps, a clap on my shoulder. But, I asked myself, who would chase me through the driving rain? No, it is not possible, I affirmed—they didn’t even know I’d left the kitchen.
At the Jones house I slowed and caught my breath. When Absalom opened the door, I staggered inside, laughing, sobbing, gulping for dear life.
I spent the night pacing the attic room, hands clasped. “I beg of you, dear God, walk beside me on this journey. See me through this safe. Don’t let them capture me. I only want to be your servant, no one else’s.”
As daybreak nudged away the darkness, I fell to my knees, weary with fatigue. “Thank you, dear God, for ending my final night of bondage.”
Serendipity at Work
In May 2014, popular romance author Brenda Novak had her annual auction for diabetes—authors donate books, critiques, etc., and people bid on them, similar to Ebay. I donated one of my other books, and I also donated a free manuscript critique. An author named Piper Huguley won the critique auction, but the auction ended and I never heard from her. I thought oh, well, she doesn't want it after all. About 3 months later, she wrote me and sent me her story, A CHAMPION’S HEART, to critique. It's a romance about an African American girl, set in rural Georgia in the 1910s. Very moving and powerful story. I loved it. It was published in 2016 by Liliaceae Publishers.
I'd been wanting to find an African American author to go over my Oney novel, but never looked for anyone. I thought of asking one of my grade school classmates, but just didn't get to it...well, one day I decided to ask Piper.
Right after I asked her, she wrote back and said she'd be happy to help. Then I went on Facebook and saw that Piper just posted that her mother passed away that morning. So I sent her a message of condolence. Then she wrote this back to me:
And I appreciate your kind comments about my mother. You see, I see your request as "heaven sent" for I think I told you about how my mother told me about Oney. I know that she would want me to work on anything, do anything to forward that story. So, even in the midst of a difficult time, I look forward to helping you--something I really didn't expect after you had helped me so much. Thank you for that.
I don't remember her telling me that her mother told her about Oney. I've heard so many stories about people who pass away, and send 'signs' etc. to their loved ones, this was just too strange to be coincidence. Piper helped me a great deal with Oney’s story and became my co-author. We dedicated the book to her mother.
A very interesting read!
Let's find out about the two authors!
About Diana and Piper:
Diana writes about folks who shook things up. Her passion for history and travel has taken her to every locale of her stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. Her urban fantasy romance FAKIN’ IT won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. When not writing, she runs CostPro, Inc., an engineering business, with her husband Chris. In her spare time, Diana bicycles, golfs, plays her piano and devours books of any genre. She spends as much time as possible just livin' the dream on her beloved Cape Cod.
Piper Huguley is a two-time Golden Heart ®finalist and is the author of the “Home to Milford College” series. The series follows the building of a college from its founding in 1866. Book #1 in the series, The Preacher’s Promise was named a top ten Historical Romance in Publisher’s Weekly by the esteemed historical romance author, Beverly Jenkins and received Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Contest of Self-Published e-books in 2015.
Her new series “Born to Win Men” starts with A Champion’s Heart as Book #1. A Champion’s Heart was named by Sarah MacLean of The Washington Post as a best romance novel selection for December 2016.
She blogs about the history behind her novels at http://piperhuguley.com. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.
Connect with Diana and Piper:
Thank you, Diana and Piper, for visiting today and sharing an excerpt from this story. I hope you both have great success.
For those of you visiting, please leave us a comment and let us know who visited. We love to hear from our readers!
Thank goodness, it's Friday. Welcome to my blog! Today I have Michael D. Smith visiting with his book, CommWealth. Let's check it out!
I used some of my amateur theatrical background in CommWealth, which focuses on a theatrical group called Forensic Squad as its stages antihero Allan Larson’s mediocre plays and in fact explodes into bitter accusations of marital infidelity and political espionage during a rehearsal. As an actor, my major talent was my ability to memorize my lines, reflected in Allan’s snotty dismissal of the supermodel Erica: “She just sorta memorizes her lines and delivers ’em. That’s not acting.”
In any case I was exposed to both mediocre actors and directors, and talented ones with large but fragile egos, and I suppose my ego was also on the line since I was acting as the War Correspondent in a comedy I wrote about high school romances called Total Annihilation: Camouflage! By the third performance my fellow Rice University student actors had grown bored and set out to sabotage my play with numerous absurd onstage antics. At the beginning of the third act, as the lights came up, the War Correspondent was to kneel with a handkerchief and mop up a small quantity of stage blood, show the gore to the audience, and declaim in traumatized tones about the apocalyptic quality of young love. “This … this is all that’s left ...” However, as the lights came up on the parquet floor on Night Three, the War Correspondent was confronted with an entire bottle of ketchup poured into a twelve-inch puddle. Gamely he knelt and sought to mop up the mess with his tiny handkerchief; his hands became soaked with dripping ketchup and he struggled to suppress his righteous authorial anger even as he fought not to laugh. Somehow he managed to deliver his memorized lines.
I think that reliving this episode was what made writing the silly theater scenes in CommWealth so rewarding.
The CommWealth system, has created a society in which there is no legal claim to any kind of private property. Any object from your house to the clothes you’re wearing can be demanded by anyone, to be enjoyed for thirty days before someone else can request it. As actors in the Forensic Squad theatrical troupe attempt to adapt to this chaos, their breaking of the Four Rules sustaining the system, as several members navigate betrayals, double agents, and murder to find themselves leading a suicidal revolution.
Rule One - You are free to enjoy the chosen object for thirty days. During this period no other person may request it.
Rule Two - The requestor is untouchable for thirty days by the person asked. Attempts at retaliation, such as demanding unusually large quantities from the original requestor after the thirty-day period, carry stiff penalties.
Rule Three - Once you ask somebody for something, you can never ask him or her for anything else again.
Rule Four - You can never ask for the same thing back from the person who got it from you, not even after his or her thirty days of enjoyment.
Allan shivered at the reflection of his black overcoat and his striding legs on the wet sidewalk. Up ahead someone with a DreamPiston Electronics bag opened a shiny red
Porsche glistening with thousands of water beads.
“Okay,” Allan said, “I’ll take your car.”
The mustached little twerp looked up. “Ahhh, crap...”
“C’mon, don’t give me any trouble. Gimme the key.”
“Look, it’s raining. And I just got these MP3 players and the new Fappy tablet—”
“Not my problem. Fork the key over.”
“Look, my umbrella’s in the car—can I just get my umbrella so my stuff—”
“Forget it. The umbrella’s part of the car as far as I’m concerned. Anything in the car. Besides, I just lost my umbrella a couple blocks back. I’m soaked.”
“C’mon, I just got this car the other day!”
“Don’t hand me that. The sticker on the plate says you got it a month and a half ago. You’re overdue, buddy. Now hand me the key.”
“Got trouble there?” A bright blue City of Linstar police car idled in the rain. “Got a Hoarder there?” a huge officer grinned.
“Uh, no... not at all...” said the twerp. “I just—I just can’t find the key—”
“Yeah, right—you just unlocked the damn car with it,” Allan said, turning to the policeman. “He is giving me a lot of crap about it.”
“C’mon, sir, you know better than that.” The officer’s name tag read BARCLAY.
The twerp snarled. He separated the Porsche key off his key ring, thrust it at Allan, then spun around and fastened on a man coming down the sidewalk. “Give me that umbrella! Right now!”
The man grunted, surrendering his umbrella to the twerp, who grabbed it and hoisted it above his DreamPiston bag.
“We really got the Christmas spirit here, don’t we?” Barclay said.
“Really,” Allan said. “Some people...” He examined the Porsche key in the rain. “Thanks for your help, officer.”
“Oh, I’m sure it wasn’t really necessary. People are basically good, you know. Give ’em time to adjust and all, that’s what I say.”
The twerp leapt into traffic with his new umbrella and his bag, waving his free arm. A little green car skidded to a halt. The twerp ran to the window and pounded on it. “Give me this car! Right now!”
Barclay was out of his patrol car in a second, hand on his hand on his holster. “Sir, that’s not the right way to go about it. We need to be respectful. That’s the CommWealth way.”
CommWealth is available at:
Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/dystopian/commwealth-6022015-08-14-23-29-50-detail?Itemid=0
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/commwealth-michael-d-smith/1122537291?ean=2940152097313
What an interesting excerpt and story behind the book!
Let's check out and see who Michael D. Smith is....
Michael D. Smith was raised in the Northeast and the Chicago area, before moving to Texas to attend Rice University, where he began developing as a writer and visual artist. In addition to exhibiting and selling paintings and drawings, he’s completed fifteen novels.
Smith’s writing in both mainstream and science fiction genres uses humor to investigate psychological themes. On his blog, he explores art and writing processes, and his web site contains further examples of his writing and art. He is currently Technology Librarian for McKinney Public Library in McKinney, Texas.
CommWealth is his first novel published by Class Act Books.
Find out more about Michael at:
Website: , www.sortmind.com,
Blog: www. http://blog.sortmind.com/wordpress/
Thank you, Michael, for stopping by and sharing your story with us. I hope you have great success with the book.
Visitors, please leave us a comment and let us know that you've stopped by. We love to hear from our readers!
Thanks much and have a great weekend
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog today. I have have Kristin Wallace visiting and she's sharing an excerpt from her book, Least Likely Heiress. Before we delve into the book, let's hear a little humorous event about a boat she didn't have listed for sale!
Don’t think this ever wound up in one of my books. Several years ago I started receiving a bunch of calls from people wanting to buy my boat. Only I don’t have a boat. Apparently, there was a “For Sale” sign up somewhere advertising a boat, and it somehow had my phone number or one close enough to it that people misdialed and got me. I had to keep saying. “Not me, don’t have a boat.” Finally, this one lady called me several times. I kept saying, nope…still me…and I still don’t have a boat. Then she got mad…at ME! She insisted that I hang up so she could call back, only this time I shouldn’t answer. Because apparently the call would magically connect with the mysterious boat owner if I didn’t pick up???? When I told her, she would still get me, and to please stop calling, she called me bitch. Then she hung up…finally.
Wow, how dare you not have that boat for sale! LOL.
Let's find out about the book!
Title: Least Likely Heiress (Book 1, The Heiress Games)
A fortune…and love…is at stake
Eccentric heiress, Victoria Armington, has died and left her vast fortune to her pet pig, Matilda. Now three Armington descendants have been chosen to compete for custody of the pig…and control of the money. Then there’s the lawyer in charge of overseeing the competition, and his two best friends, who arrive to make sure nothing goes wrong.
Welcome to The Heiress Games…
Heiress #1: Eve Bennett – The Least Likely Heiress
She’s a struggling single mother whose claim to the Armington name stems from an affair between Palm Cove’s founder and his mistress. Winning the money will mean her family will never want for anything again. There’s just one big, knee-weakening, mouth-watering problem…the talk, dark and gorgeous lawyer in charge of the Heiress Games.
For high-powered attorney, Cameron Reed, sorting out the craziest will he’s ever encountered could mean a partnership at his firm. He’s survived becoming an orphan and an endless round of foster homes, and now he’s one step away from realizing his dream. If only he can keep from losing his heart to the one woman who could ruin all his plans.
As Cam and Eve fight their feelings, there’s also a saboteur at work. Someone who might stop at nothing to make sure no one wins.
ALERT! The Heiress Games is like no other series. You’ll actually see the same events unfold in Books 2 (Not Quite An Heiress) and 3 (The Forgotten Heiress), but from the other characters’ points of view. Each romance will come to a satisfying conclusion, but you’ll have to wait for the ultimate winner to be announced at the end of the series. The author apologizes in advance for writing a cliffhanger, but knows you’ll love the journey to the grand finale.
Looking up, Cam realized he’d already reached the diner. A blonde-haired waitress stood out front, talking on a cell phone. His heart stuttered to a stop. Then started again. Something dark and rich settled in his gut. His scattered brain managed to record a few critical details. Golden hair. Rounded hips. Legs that seemed to go on forever. And lips, he noticed, as he drew closer. Amazing, entrancing, have-to-taste-them lips.
The golden goddess pocketed the phone and went to sit on a bench under a big tree. She moved like heaven. Despite the ugly pink uniform, the woman sparkled like a polished gold coin.
Wait a minute…a blonde in a waitress uniform?
In an instant, Cam knew he’d found his heiress, along with a mountain of temptation.
He walked over to the bench. For one brief second Cam hoped he was wrong. Maybe his heiress was still inside and this woman just looked a little like the picture in the file. Eve was part of the grand scheme cooked up by Victoria Armington, which meant Eve was as good as a client, which meant she was off limits. He couldn’t get personally involved with her in any way.
Her head lifted. “Yes?”
He was so screwed.
“I’m Cameron Reed,” he managed to say. “Attorney for Victoria Armington.”
“Okay…” She shifted on the bench, confusion settling over her perfect features.
He wanted to smooth line between her eyes. Make sure she never had to look confused or scared again. Make sure she would never again be at the mercy of men like Will Garvey.
Are you out of your mind?
Cam cleared his throat. He needed to get himself together. He’d seen attractive women before. Miami was practically crawling with exotic, beautiful women.
“Are you aware that Miss Armington passed away?” he asked.
“Aware?” she repeated in amazement as a golden eyebrow arched. “The whole town shut down for her funeral. She was the last of the Armington dynasty.” Her lips pursed. “The acknowledged ones anyway,” she added, with a heavy dose of bitterness.
“Well, she decided to acknowledge you,” Cam said.
“You’ve been invited to the reading of Victoria Armington’s will.”
Her cupid bow mouth opened and then she threw her head back and laughed. The sound tickled down his spine like gentle fingers.
Stop that, Cam. She’s a client. No trickling fingers – no nothing – down the spine.
The book sounds great! I can't wait to read it.
So, let's see what we can find out about Kristin.
Growing up Kristin devoured books like bags of Dove Dark Chocolate. Her first Golden Bookled to Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, C.S. Lewis and the Sweet Valley High series. Later, she discovered romance novels and fell in love all over again. It’s no surprise then that Kristin would one day try her hand at writing them. She writes inspirational romance and women’s fiction filled with love, laughter and a leap of faith. When she’s not writing her next novel, Kristin works as an advertising copywriter for clients that have included the Miami Marlins, Discovery Networks, The Peabody Hotel, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises and Sea World. She also enjoys singing in her church choir and worship team and playing flute in a community orchestra.
Thank you so much, Kristin, for stopping by and sharing the excerpt from your book. I hope everyone enjoyed the blog today, and if you are visiting, please leave us a comment and let us know you stopped by. We love to hear from our readers.
Hello everyone, welcome to my blog. Today I have Toni V. Sweeney visiting with her book, The Man from Cymene. Before we delve into the book, let's hear her story of visiting someone in another country and finding out what pancake on a stick is.....
Recently, a friend of mine asked me if I’d like some pancakes on a stick. I thought she was joking but decided I’d play along and see what happened. She brought me a baggie with these weird little things in it, popsicle sticks with what looked like a frozenT ater Tot on the end. I took one out and put it in the microwave, nuked it for a minute, then sampled it. Darned if it wasn’t a little ball of sausage dipped in batter and fried and frozen…a pancake on a stick. Slathered in maple syrup, it was dee-lish, and no utensils to wash and no sticky fingers.
When I wrote The Man from Cymene and got to the part where Trygare finds himself and his son in a strange country with dinnertime coming on, I decided to use that episode as my way to find my hungry travelers.
Hmm, interesting. It's amazing about different foods in different cultures isn't it? So let's find out about The Man from Cymene!
Trygare kan Ingan was a boy of sixteen when the Drune priest told his parents he was to be the father of kings.
Sent into the world on a short-legged hill pony, his father’s sword at his side, the young glyndweller sets out to fulfill the prophesy.
Along the way, he’ll slay dragons and men, find love and lose it, and feel the horror of the Bloodsong coursing through his veins before the moment he becomes the ancestor of the dynasty foretold to rule his planet for three thousand years.
There was dust in the air and the smell of animals and cooking food, intermingled with the sweet scent of flowers and ripe fruit. Looking down the street, Trygare saw a stall where bouquets of blossoms rested in pottery urns, a riot of color on long and short stems, some full-blown, others barely budding. Next to it, someone was selling herbs and spices, little bunches tied by string to the supports of his stall. Nearby, a man rolled dough bits between his hands, skewering them with little sticks, and dropping the balls into a vat of hot oil resting on a brazier in which a small fire blazed.
The frying dough made a loud sizzle and sent a greasy but mouth-watering smell into the air.
Trygare stopped Mist and slid off the pony’s back. The man looked up. He nodded and Trygare returned the gesture.
“What’s that you’re cooking?” Speaking in caravansi, he peered into the pot, being careful not to get too close to the fire.
The balls of dough were becoming crispy, little brown boats floating upright, the sticks like miniature masts.
“Battercakes on a stick,” the man replied. “You interested?” He nodded at Riven. “They’re easy for little ones to handle and you can eat while you ride.”
They certainly looked good. Trygare glanced at Riven, saw the child’s tongue lick across his lower lip as he took a deep breath.
“You’re travelers?” The man studied Riven a moment, smiling.
The child stared back before hesitantly returning the smile.
“That’s not a Francovian accent you have.”
“On our way to Aljansur,” Trygare admitted.
“In that case, I’ll give you a discount,” the vendor decided. “Two cakes for one copper. You’ll need money for lodgings,” As Trygare frowned, he went on, “Aljansur’s at last a day’s ride from here. Your horse, or whatever you call that creature…” He glanced at Mist who snorted. “…carrying two will probably make it in a day and a half.”
Trygare fished the required coin out of his purse and handed it over. The man dropped it into his cashpot, then asked, “Now then, do you want sausage in your cake or do you wish it plain?”
There was a pause while Trygare thought about that. “Is meat extra?”
The man shook his head.
“Then yes, please.”
“It’ll take a few minutes.” Seizing the wooden sticks, the man lifted out the cooking cakes onto a platter, then reached into the bowl for more dough and into a second bowl for a sausage mixture.
When the cakes were done, he placed them beside the others on the platter. Reaching for a small crockery pot, he seized one of the little sticks and dipped the cake inside.
It came out dripping with honey. The vendor held it upside-down a moment, letting the excess honey drip back into the pot, then offered it. As Trygare took it, handing it to Riven, he did the same with the other. Trygare took that one, also.
“Careful,” the vendor warned, looking at Riven. “It’s hot. Best let it cool a moment.”
Nodding, Trygare caught Mist’s reins and turned away. He bit into the cake, looking back to see Riven cautiously doing the same.
The little boy chewed, swallowed and announced, “It’s good, Da.”
“Aye,” Trygare agreed.
It was good. Just like the battercakes Cormac’s cooks made. The extra surprise taste of sausage in the center, all of it surrounded by a coating of honey, made it delicious. He made short work of his, startled by how quickly he’d eaten it.
Guess I was hungrier than I thought.
Paperback from the publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/component/virtuemart/fantasy/the-man-from-cymene-8222017-07-13-18-52-58-detail?Itemid=0
e-Book/Kindle from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Man-Cymene-Arcanian-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B073YFFPVP/
A very interesting excerpt, Toni, thanks for sharing.
Let's see what we can find out about Toni!
Toni V. Sweeney has lived 30 years in the South, a score in the Middle West, and a decade on the Pacific Coast and now she’s trying for her second 30 on the Great Plains.
Since the publication of her first novel in 1989, Toni divides her time between writing SF/Fantasy under her own name and romances under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone. In March, 2013, she became publicity manager for Class Act Books (US). She is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books and the Paranormal Romance Guild. In 2016, she was named a Professional Reader by netgalley.com.
She is an amazon reviewer, and is in the 1% of reviewers for Goodreads.
As of 2017, Toni currently has 61 novels in print, including 3 series, and 3 trilogies.
Find out more about Toni:
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BLQBB8
Happy Tuesday everyone! Today I have Nia Mars on my blog with her books, The Oath Forger Series. Let's check this sci-fi romance out!
Oath Forger #5
The Oath Forger Series - A Reverse Harem Sci-fi Romance
By Nia Mars
Nia has a fantastic giveaway on her website for the books on your Amazon wishlist up to $100. Go here to learn more https://niamars.com/wishlist-giveaway
Each book in the series is featured for three days. Be sure to follow along to read more about each book. You may find the tour stops here
Thank you for sticking with Ava and her Five and being part of the adventure!
You are cordially invited to Merim to celebrate Earth officially becoming a Federation planet.
See you at the Oath Forger's palace!
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ ebook/oath-forger-book-1
Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/oath-forger-nia-mars/ 1127934596?ean=2940158812217
Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Nia_Mars_Oath_ Forger_Book_1?id=sspKDwAAQBAJ
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/oath-forger-book-1/ id1347422464?ls=1&mt=11
Other Books in the Series:
Oath Forger #2 Amazon Buy Link
Oath Forger #3 Amazon Buy Link
Oath Forger #4 Amazon Buy Link
ABOUT ME: Books. Reading. Writing. Playing with the dog. That's my life, in a nutshell. I love discovering new authors and new trends. Hello Reverse Harem novels!!!! Where have you been all my life? I love everything sci-fi, paranormal, and fantasy. I eat enough chocolate that at this point, I'm probably made of chocolate. OK, chocolate and coffee.
WHAT'S NEW: I've just published OATH FORGER, a soon-to-be bestselling, post-apocalyptic, reverse harem, sci-fi romance serial. Ha! Say that three times fast. :)
WHAT ELSE: If you'd rather try a standalone sci-fi romance from me, grab WARLORD. And make sure you don't sit near anything flammable while reading it. Because it's HOT. Whatever level of heat you're thinking right now? Double it. (Not recommended if you don't have AC, or at least a ceiling fan.) You've been warned.
IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR A DRAGON: Check out DRAGON LORD, my upcoming dragon-shifter romance. And be prepared to lose your heart to a sexy, grumpy dragon. The best kind!
MY WISH LIST: (In case my fairy grandmother is reading this.)
1. For the OATH FORGER series to find readers who love these stories as much as I do.
2. Finishing my Master's Degree in (what else) Writing Creative Fiction. (When I'm not writing books, I'm doing homework.)
WARRANTY: Your satisfaction is very important to me. If you have a complaint, please write it on a box of 50-piece Assorted Godiva Chocolate Truffles, and mail it to my office. I promise to personally see to all complaints.
Thank you Nia, for visiting and sharing your Oath Forger series. I hope you have great success with it!
Visitors, please leave a comment and let us know you've stopped by. We love to hear from our readers!
Hello everyone, Happy Monday and welcome to my blog. Today I have Addison Brae on my blog with a little bit of information about her book, Becker Circle. Please join me in welcoming Addison.
Who hasn’t had a fresh start? Many people need a reboot because they’ve lost a job. Others run to their new beginning to fulfill a dream. Some escape from an unbearable event or situation and desperately need a do-over.
Authors almost always write some of themselves into their novels. Thanks Connie for allowing the opportunity to share a piece of me that ended up in “Becker Circle,” my debut romantic suspense.
The inspiration for the Becker Circle neighborhood came to me during one of my fresh starts after a horrible marriage. I moved to a trendy urban community. It came with a built-in social life in the restaurants, swimming pools and bars any resident could find with a block or two walk from their front doors.
The actual story idea originated from a conversation with another author after a writing workshop. I mentioned I was in a bit of a hurry to make it to my friend’s bachelorette party (a friend I met while living in this neighborhood). The author asked me why someone “our age” would go to a bachelorette party. I answered the only way I could, with the truth. “My friend’s getting married.” Our conversation made me realize how stuck in social norms and expectations we are. Those expectations can ambush anyone’s fresh start if we let them.
Gillian, the main character in “Becker Circle,” escaped an abusive boyfriend to seek her dream of being strong and independent for her fresh start. She schemed and worked her butt off to graduate Harvard a semester early and slip out of Boston while her boyfriend was away for the holidays. Gillian wasn’t choosey about her destination as long as it was far away from him, came with a great job offer, and gave her room to breathe. That’s how she ended up in the trendy urban area of Dallas called Becker Circle.
Like Gillian, and all of us, fresh starts come with experimentation. We screw up. The sting reminds us we can still feel. Mistakes are how we know we really are starting over. When Gillian moved into Becker Circle, she made many bad choices—some even put her life in danger. She owned up to them, learned from each one, and tried to not repeat the same mistakes. She always knew they were her choices and no one else’s.
We’re never too anything for a fresh start, to try something new, have fun—or go to bachelorette parties.
Live your fresh start!
Blurb: Where no one has to be a victim and everyone deserves a second chance. Will Gillian find hers?
My first and only boyfriend believed I was too gutless to leave. He was dead wrong. My name’s Gillian, and I graduated Harvard early and left his hot temper and everyone else behind for Dallas. Determined to make it on my own, I land a second job bartending at the neighborhood pub smack in drama central where most every jerk in the neighborhood hits on me—at a huge price.
A week into the job, the neighborhood’s very popular drug dealer falls to his death a few feet from the table I’m serving. The cops say suicide, but the hot guitar player in the house band and I suspect foul play, and I intend to prove it. We dig deeper, grow closer, and make a shocking discovery. We know the murderer.
Publisher link: http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Brae_Addison/becker-circle.htm
Buy links: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo, B&N Nook
And now, a little bit of information about Addison.
Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. As a child, she was constantly in trouble for hiding under the bed to read when she was supposed to be napping. She has been writing since childhood starting with diaries, letters and short stories. She continues today with articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant.
When she’s not writing, Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She’s still addicted to reading and enjoys jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy.
Thank you Addison, for stopping by.
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Oh my goodness, thank you for Fridays! It's been a rough week of emails not getting through, posts not getting loaded, and another 6 to 8 inches of fresh new snow....Today, I have Icy Snow Blackstone on my blog with her new release, Three Moon Station. Before we get to the book, she shares a little anecdote that is quite comical. Welcome, Icy Snow Blackstone!
Goodness, Connie! You certainly picked a brain-teaser. Something amusing that might’ve been incorporated into a novel… Nope. Can’t think of a thing like that.
I do have an anecdote that’s amusing, however. I used to be a dancer and once my partner and I were invited to dance for the Baconsfield Country Club. They were having a dinner with entertainment afterward. We were told we’d be given dinner also, after we performed, so, sure enough, we found ourselves at a table tucked into a corner with plates of turkey, candied yams, dressing and new potatoes. (It was a Thanksgiving dinner.)
Another performer was onstage at that time, so we started eating. Unfortunately, the new potatoes were small, round, and very difficult to cut. Every time I pressed my knife against one, the blade slipped and hit the plate, making a loud tap! Even more unfortunate, the sound carried onto the stage and inserted itself into the song being sung which was Ave Maria, like this…
Aaah (tap) Vayyy (tap) Mariii (tap) iiiyah (tap)
Not only the singer but the entire audience could hear. No matter how careful I was, every time I used the knife, it slipped. Finally, my partner and I began to laugh and of course, the harder we tried to be quiet, the funnier it became.
The singer, trooper that he was, finished his song, but when he came offstage, he gave us both a glare that should’ve fried us where we sat.
Can’t say I blame him.
I think you were just trying to help the guy by adding an extra beat! LOL. That's hysterical!
Tell us a little about Three Moon Station!
Where do you go when nowhere on Earth is safe? You go to another planet, of course.
That’s what Katherine Rawls does when she witnesses a murder and finds herself with two hit men on her trail. Boarding a ship transporting women as Domestics to a pioneering planet seems the best escape route. Katy figures she’ll lay low for a while then come back and turn the evidence over to the authorities. She doesn’t count on finding herself bought and paid for…as a station owner’s bride.
Now Katy faces a danger of another kind. Sarkin Trant maybe sympathetic to her predicament and he’s agreed to protect her, but he also expects full husbandly benefits in return.
“Mr. Trant. I guess we’d better have that talk now,” she began and he nodded soberly. She walked a little closer, looking up into those bright eyes. Careful, Katy! Don’t get too close. You might fall into that blueness and drown.
“There’s so much we need to discuss. W-we haven’t even talked about how much I’ll be paid.”
“Paid? You expect to be paid for—”
“Of course,” she interrupted. “I believe it’s customary.”
He thought about that a moment. “Guess that tells me something about you I hadna wish to know, Sunshine.”
“After all,” she reminded him. “I do have my own welfare to think about.”
His expression was serious as he said softly, “What wouldya consider fair payment, Katy?”
“I guess that’s up to you. What do you think my services are worth?”
“Truthfully? I doubt I have that much money.” He looked a little flustered. “But… The women in town…at Larkin’s…ge’ ten Federals per toss, so…”
“I’m sorry,” Katy interrupted. “What’s a toss?”
“Maybe they call it something else on Terra.” He startled her by seizing her shoulders, saying with an earnestness that made her frown, “Katy, I want you to know I’ll ne’er hold your old life against you.”
She smiled at this statement of reverse snobbery. Since she had no intention of ever letting him know that her uncle was one of the richest, and also one of the most criminally unscrupulous, men on Terra’s Northern Hemisphere, she didn’t answer.
Katy decided to name her own salary. “How about you pay me five hundred credits a month? For services rendered?”
“What kind of services?” he asked, suspiciously.
“The usual kind.” She shrugged, wondering why he looked even more confused. “But I think we should get one thing straight. I fully intend to uphold my end of the Agreement and work hard for you b-but…” Taking a deep breath, she pulled herself free of his grasp. “I won’t sleep with you.”
“Na right now, you mean.” He didn’t look too upset.
“No. Not ever.” She shook her head, adding, “I’m sorry.”
“’Tis I who’s sorry, Sunshine, most definitely. But I do na understand. If you intend to adhere to the Contract, how can you refuse to—”
“I’m certain the Federation didn’t send me here to satisfy the lust of some sex-starved colonist, Mr. Trant.”
“Is that what you think I am? A sex-starved colonist?” He didn’t looked insulted, as she’d expected, just a little more bewildered.
“Of course not,” she denied.? “Not really.” She took a deep breath. He’d obviously expected it to be so easy. “I’ll be a good housekeeper, Mr. Trant but I just won’t sleep with my employer. I can’t.”
“Employer?” he repeated. His face underwent a startling change, disbelief, amusement, relief, she wasn’t certain which. “That’s what you think I am? Your employer?”
“Of course,” she nodded. “You hired me to be your housekeeper—”
He stopped whatever else she was going to say, by laughing out loud.
“What’s so funny?”
A hand went to her shoulder. “Sunshine, I’m na your employer. I’m your husband.”
Paperback from the publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/cat-romance/three-moon-station-356-detail
e-Books/Kindle from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Three-Moon-Station-Book-ebook/dp/B00G8P26US/
Oh my, I am now left to think about how she reacted! This will definitely have to be added to my TBR list. Thank you for sharing. Now, let's find out a little about Icy Snow Blackstone!
Icy Snow Blackstone was born in 1802, in northern Georgia where her father, the Reverend John Blackstone, was prominent in local politics. She married a minister, raised seven children, and lived there all her life.
Two hundred and five years later, her great-great-great-great-granddaughter began using her name as a pseudonym for her romance novels. The present Icy Snow Blackstone lives far from her Southern roots in Lancaster County, Nebraska, where she continues to write romances.
As of 2017, Icy Snow has eleven novels published by Class Act Books. Her contemporary romance, Tuesday’s Child, was given the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers Choice award for Best Contemporary Novel of 2014. A SciFi romance, Earthman’s Bride and Vietnam-era romance Jericho Road, have also received awards
That's a lovely photo of you, Icy Snow. Thank you for joining me on my blog today, I wish you great success.
If you are a visitor, please leave us a comment and let us know you stopped by. We love to hear from our readers!
Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! Today I have Reet Singh visiting to tell us about her book, No Escape From Love. First, she tells us about this cute little puppy named Coco.
My sister, Trveen, has two doggie-babies. One of them, a Cocker Spaniel called Coco, is an apple fiend. You cannot cut an apple anywhere in the house without him turning up and beseeching with his melty, chocolate-brown eyes.
Worse, if you even pick an apple up - with the intention of stealing away to a secret place so that you can eat it in peace – he is likely to land up at your feet and do the whole ‘I’m really, really starving because my mother doesn’t feed me’ thing.
His mother doesn’t encourage snacking so, one day, I was stealing away on tippy-toes with a plate of freshly cut fruit, when, unnoticed by me, a creamy-brown ball of fur darted ahead to place itself in a strategic position in my path. It was cleverly done, because when I crashed into the ball of fur, only the fruit went flying – I didn’t.
The fruit was gone in seconds, even before I could catch my breath enough to say ‘Coco!’ in a ‘too-late’ sort of way. I ate a banana instead, that day, but I haven’t given up trying to outwit Coco. And I am going to work this incident into my next book, make no mistake. Who knows, maybe my next book will be about ‘Coco – the apple thief’?
While I plot and plan, here’s Coco reading my recently released Romance – No Escape from Love.
Awwwww, look at that cute little Coco. Who could ever resist an innocent look of a puppy?????
So, tell us Reet, about your book, No Escape From Love!
Will the demons from their past succeed in tearing them apart?
After personal tragedy strikes, Mohini Kapoor runs away from the city to her grandparents home in a village in Punjab. Though she manages to pick up the pieces of her broken self, and even builds a life for herself, the horror of her experience is difficult to forget. She buries it deep down inside her subconscious mind until the arrival of a stranger threatens to resurrect the old demons.
Reputed photojournalist, Aalok Ahuja, has to hide out for a few days to escape circumstances beyond his control. When his friend recommends Tejopur, a remote village in Punjab, Aalok expects life to be simple there and, perhaps, even boring - instead, his world is thrown into chaos by a woman more desirable, and vastly more complicated, than any he has ever known.
When their destinies collide, attraction flares, but secrets threaten their new found feelings. Should they cut and run or give love a chance?
This close up, in the silvery light of a full moon, he looked quite beautiful. Harmless even. She crept closer, ostensibly to pick up her cell phone, but she couldn't look away from the sleeping form of the man who plagued her so much.
Although she wasn't even remotely interested, it was silly to pretend that Aalok wasn't a fabulous specimen. Now that she could stare without fear of embarrassment, she noted spiked lashes that fluttered ever so slightly as he slept. His jaw was strong and square, a determined contour - no wonder he walked about as though he owned the world. At this late hour, his chin was shadowed with the hint of a stubble making him look raffish - very bad-boyish and rather more attractive than was strictly fair.
Mohini itched to know the truth. Was he running away from something? How absurd for a city slicker to come out all the way to a village he had never been to before. Even more absurd was for him to come unannounced.
The city slicker muttered something unintelligible, and Mohini nearly fell over backwards, perched perilously as she was on knees and toes. Her heart sped up - but he didn't waken, and she took in a heaving gulp of air. She was certain her thundering heartbeat would rouse him, but he continued to breathe evenly, his nostrils flaring with every breath he took.
As her pulse settled to a more placid rate, Mohini's gaze moved willy-nilly to his mouth. She gulped - she didn't want to dwell on it, but it was noticeably full and rather fabulously curvy. If she were to grade it, it would merit a ten as far as sexy mouths went.
Whoa! She closed her eyes. So she was a voyeur now?
Your book sounds very intriguing, I think I may have to add this to my TBR pile. Thank you for sharing. Tell us a little about you!
My love affair with books began when I was a tot. A fabulous mother, who recognized the power of the written word, read to me and my sisters every night, introducing us to the wonderful world of the imagination.
I am a doctor, but make time for my other passions – reading and writing stories, watching romantic comedies, and doing creative things with wool and a crochet hook. I also love solving the cryptic crossword, and - when my muse is elusive - I enjoy pitting my wits against my husband's at Scrabble®. When I have no other choice, I can be found in the kitchen putting together my 'world-famous' one-pot meals.
I’ve been published traditionally by Mills and Boon® after I won a two-book publishing contract courtesy of Mills and Boon® India's ‘Passions’ Contest in 2013. 'Scorched by His Fire' was followed by 'The Cure was Love', both in 2014. ‘No Escape from Love’ is my first attempt to publish independantly on KDP.
Thank you so much, Reet, for visiting and sharing your book. I hope you have great sales with it.
If you're a visitor today, please leave us a comment and let us know you've stopped by. We love to hear from our readers. Thanks much.
Happy Hump Day everyone and welcome to my blog. Today I have Tony-Paul de Vissage visiting with an excerpt from his book, The Andrieson Clan. Welcome, Tony-Paul, what can you share with us today?
When I learned of the subject for this blog, I sat down and strained my brain trying to think of something amusing that had happened to me.
At last, I came to the conclusion that I’m a very dull person for I couldn’t think of a single thing. Frankly, I’ve never done much of anything that was notable, and certainly nothing that could be incorporated into a novel. I’ve always been a solitary soul, spending my time pursuing solitary projects…reading…writing…walking along the beach…
Wait! Walking along the beach? That brings to mind an incident, happening so long ago now I’d nearly forgot…that time I met those rather odd tourists at Savannah Beach. At least they said they were tourists, and I did incorporate that incident into the prologue to my novel The Clan Andriescu…and I just happen to have an excerpt from that incident with me…
Vampires can have as much trouble with love as anyone else. Take the members of the Clan Andriescu, for example…
MARIUS – older brother and leader of the Clan. He can’t understand why the one woman he truly loves doesn’t want to renew their affair. What does it matter if fifty years have passed since their last meeting. Isn’t love eternal?
VALERIUS – running away from an arranged marriage and straight into the arms of a woman he could really love, but she’s human, so marrying her is a no-no. What’s a vampire to do?
TIMON – Being husband to the author of the world’s most famous vampire tales can be fun, until she write a novel proving the Undead exist. Now Tim and Laura have a big problem…
Join the Clan Andriescu as they find love and struggle to keep it.
LOL, Okay, I got it. That would certainly be an interesting meeting! Can you share an excerpt from the story?
He looked down the beach into the gathering darkness. Just back from the tideline, something was moving. At first, it seemed a large bulky shadow. Abruptly, it separated, becoming three figures trudging through the sand toward him. One hung back, seeming to play Chicken with the tide. He’d dash in, wait until it was surging toward him, then just before it touched his feet, he’d dart out of splashing range, again and again.
They were almost to him now, looked up, and stopped. For a moment, strangers and boy stared at each other.
All were tall, all dressed in dark coats. Like Neo’s in The Matrix, long-skirted with that odd little stand-up collar. The wind came up, blowing inland, whipping straight dark hair about broad shoulders. The one who’d been teasing the surf put up a hand to tuck several strands behind an ear. TP allowed himself a small smile. In the twilight, the ear looked slightly pointed.
“Good evening, young sir,” the tallest of the three said.
“Hey. What you dudes doin’ out heah this time o’ night?”
“We’re tourists,” the man went on. Behind him the other two nodded. “Are you a native of this town?”
“Oui?” The surf-teaser’s head came up, interest in his eyes. They seemed to sparkle in the moonlight. “Vouz parlez francaise? How can that be if you’re from this Sa-van-nah Beach?”
The last word came out more like bitch and TP snickered.
The second man glared. TP was startled to see what looked like a flash of red sweep through his dark eyes. “Say, did your eyes just turn red?”
“No.” The man shook his head. “It was the light of the setting sun. Reflecting.”
Sure it was. The sun had set a half-hour before. Besides, human eyes didn’t reflect light. Right. Tony-Paul decided he’d better keep his distance until he found out more about these guys.
“Pardon my cousin,” The third man spoke up, stepping forward. “He gets a little…uh…cranky when he’s tired. He needs a nap.” He shot his cousin a glare which was returned. “We should introduce ourselves. Val Andriescu.”
He held out a very slender, very pale hand. After the slightest hesitation, Tony-Paul reached out and shook it. It was ice cold, but so were his own. The water was chill tonight and he’d gotten his hands wet picking up shells.
“Tony-Paul de Vissage.”
“This is my brother, Marius.” Val indicated the first man who’d spoken. Marius didn’t offer to shake hands but simply nodded. “And our Cousin Timon.”
That one nodded also, then said, abruptly, “Hi,” and smiled.
It was a brilliant smile, friendly, warm…if a bit pointy. Were his eyeteeth just a little too elongated? Before TP had a chance to make sure he’d seen what he thought he saw, Timon looked away, mouth clamped shut.
“We were wondering if you could give us directions to a specific tourist attraction,” the third man went on.
“Sure. Glad to help.” So all they wanted were directions? “What are you looking for? The Davenport House? The Savannah History Museum?”
“None of those. The historic place we wish to see is Bloody Marsh.”
“Bloody Marsh!” This time, TP didn’t mean to laugh. It just happened.
“You find that amusing?” Timon’s tone was just short of insulted. He had a right, TP supposed. It wasn’t polite to laugh at strangers, though his current persona would naturally do so.
“Man, you’re ’way off-course. Bloody Marsh is on St. Simon’s Island, near Ft. Federica. Not at Savannah.”
“Ah.” Marius looked thoughtful. Val looked perturbed. Timon simply looked. “That will be a little far for us to travel tonight. Could you perhaps answer a couple of questions about it for us?”
“Certainment.” At the same time, TP decided to satisfy his own curiosity about something. “Say, where are you folks from, anyway?”
“We’re from…Transylvania.” Marius looked around at the others. Val and Timon nodded and he turned back to TP.
“Transylvania? You mean the one in Kentucky?”
“Un…yes, that’s right.” He appeared surprised TP might know of it. “ Transylvania… University…in…uh, Lexington, Kentucky.”
“So you’re college professors?”
“That is correct.”
Right and if that’s so, I’m an astronaut. TP couldn’t envision any of the three lecturing to a roomful of somnolent students. With accents like that, they’re more apt to be spies than teachers. Russian Mafia, maybe? Aloud, the boy asked, “What would you like to know?”
“The guidebook says…” Here Timon reached inside his coat and produced a well-worn paperback, from the back pocket of his leather jeans. Leather? He consulted a page. “…the marshes ran red with blood.”“Probably did,” TP agreed. “So what’s your question?”
“Where did the blood go?” The words came out in an eager rush. “Did they use buckets to take it away? Did it soak in? Does it float to the surface on warm nights?”
TP began to laugh. Again. Timon stiffened. Even Marius and Val looked a little angry now. The boy thought he heard a triple chorus of hisses. “I’m sorry…it’s just that…Man, there’s no blood. It’s called Bloody Marsh because so many people got killed there. Nearly five hundred English and Spanish, I think. As for any blood that was spilled…”
“Yes?” The word came out a little too eagerly.
“I imagine it was washed out to sea. It certainly isn’t there now. Why, that was almost three hundred years ago.”
“A mere flick in Time, my young friend,” Marius snapped his fingers.
“You mean there’s nothing there?” Timon appeared disappointed. More than disappointed. Distraught. “Nothing?”
“Nothing but sand and marsh grass. Sorry.”
“Damn it!” Timon struck a fist in the air. He turned on his cousin. “I told you it was too good to be true. What are we going to do now?”
“Tim, calm down.”
“Calm down?” Those quiet words seemed to infuriate him. “All right for you to say. You’ve got better fortitude than I. Damn it, I’m thirsty!”
“Hey, Mister, don’t get your knickers in a twist. It’s nothing to get so upset about.”
“Ahhh.” Timon seemed to inhale forever. He whirled away, muttering something under his breath. It sounded like, “Humans, give them opposable thumbs and they think they own the world,” but TP couldn’t be certain.
“If you’re so darned thirsty,” he went on, helpfully. “There’a Coke machine at the Information Station near the beach entrance.”
“I don’t think so.” Suddenly, Timon was standing in front of him. How’d he gotten so close so fast? “I’ve some other liquid in mind.”
“They also have Sprite and Fanta Orange…” Tony-Paul went on. His voice trailed away as Timon put a hand on his shoulder.
He was standing very close now, the dark eyes glowing…yes, they were glowing.
For the first time since they’d appeared, Tony-Paul felt a chill of fear. Stupidly belated but there it was.
“You know…” He took a step backward, sliding from under the hand tightening on his shoulder. “My Maman told me never to talk to strangers and I think I’d better do just that. Right now.”
Paperback from the publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/cat-romance/cat-romance-paranormal/the-clan-andriescu-pod-print-detail
e-Book/Kindle from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Clan-Andriescu-Tony-Paul-Vissage-ebook/dp/B00G829Z0A/
Uh oh. Now I'm left to wonder, did Tony-Paul get away? The story has me sitting on pins and needles and now I'll have to read the book to find out more. Let's see what we can find out about Tony-Paul de Vissage.
Tony-Paul de Vissage is a Southerner of French Huguenot heritage, whose first movie memory is of being a six-year-old viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter, on television. He was subsequently scared sleepless—and that may explain a lifelong interest in vampires.
He is now paying back his very permissive parents by writing about vampires.
TP currently has twenty-four novels published, twenty-two under the Class Act Books imprint.
Learn More about TP at:
Wow, twenty-four novels? That's great! I hope you have great success with this book. Thank you so much for joining my blog today.
If you are a visitor, please leave a comment and let us know you've visited. We love to hear from our readers!
Hello everyone, welcome to my blog. Today I have Mageela Troche returning to my blog with her book, The Marriage Alliance. Let's see what Mageela has to share with us today.
An embarrassing moment that always makes me burst out laughing is one that happened when I was about seventeen. It was summer here in Manhattan and everyone—and I mean everyone I knew was outside, talking and hanging out while listening to the radio. I had to go home for a moment and one of my best friends was accompanying me. We were standing at the curb waiting for the traffic to past when I heard my other friends talking about something (what that was I cannot remember). Being nosy, I turned around just as I took a step off the curb.
Well, there was a hole in the street and my foot landed right in it. I went straight down to the ground. Laughter rang out around me but it blended along with my own. Now the thing is when I laugh really hard I snort. So there I was, laying down face first on the hot tar, snorting with laughter and tears running down my face.
Sure, my ankle hurt a little but I wasn’t bleeding. The story kept everyone entertained that whole day.
Wow, LOL. I'm glad you weren't hurt!
Tell us about The Marriage Alliance.
Her hand in marriage could secure peace and safety for those she longs to protect.
Lady Ailsa Cameron is not the most patient of souls. She has even slept through a few high masses. Still, this gentle lass never did anything wicked enough to deserve her father’s pronouncement that she must wed the dread Black Duncan, Laird of Clan MacLean.
As leader of the Spartans of the North, Duncan MacLean has inspired many a gruesome tale throughout the majestic highlands and beyond. Duncan accepts Laird Cameron’s offer of his daughter’s hand in marriage and pledges to make war against their shared enemy, Clan MacKinnon.
Duncan aches to possess his ravishing bride as passionately as he vows never to lower his defenses again. Love blooms between them nonetheless, until betrayal incites a war. Clan MacLean is in danger as are Ailsa and Duncan – but the thing in most peril is their love.
Can past enemies become lovers at last? Or will the flame in their hearts be consumed by the fires of war?
Scottish Highlands, 1256
Surely, Ailsa Cameron never managed anything in her score of a lifetime so wicked to deserve this cruel punishment. She never took the life of another. Admittedly, she dozed through a few masses in her lifetime. Others were guilty of such sin and never punished so harshly. Maybe, it was the many times she took the Lord’s name in vain. That vile curse hadn’t passed her lips for some time, not since her last penance forbade her from speaking for a sennight. She had remained silent until the noon meal but her guilt still lingered. Even that did not warrant her wedding the dreaded Duncan MacLean.
Nay, she journeyed along the stone-littered tract to the MacLean fortress because of men and one in particular, her father—Laird Cameron. His fierce desire to merge with the Spartans of the North appointed Ailsa the maiden sacrifice to appease the ferocious dragon. Who was the dragon—her father or her husband-to-be?
Either way, Saint Peter would throw open the pearly gates for her since she behaved as the dutiful daughter, pledging the rest of her days to Laird MacLean.
Not that she had many days to live.
MacLeans would rather kill a Cameron than share the air…of course, after they cut out her tongue.
Especially since bloodthirsty MacLeans enjoyed a savory meal of human flesh.
Would her tongue be roasted before consumed or eaten raw?
No doubt raw.
That meal probably accounted for the clan’s immense proportions. Few men towered over Highland men yet most Highlanders struggled to stand shoulder to shoulder with MacLean men. Muscular forms of others appeared scrawny beside the mighty MacLeans. And the women were no smaller, just about the height of an average Highlander, convenient since both sexes lugged around basketfuls of enemies’ fingers. Ailsa strained to reach her brother’s wide shoulders. She’ll never fit in.
She wanted to escape to the mountains rising in the distance behind her. If she veered her mare around, she could gallop away to freedom in the harsh environment, where she could starve to death or, if luck were on her side, be eaten by wild animals.
Maybe, it wasn’t too late to be a bride of Christ. She could live in a convent and not starve or have her flesh ripped from her bones by the sharp fangs of wolves. Then again, the nunnery might not be the best place. Even though Ailsa perfected the serene visage, her talents rested elsewhere. Besides, she had slumbered through quite a few more masses than she admitted. Another sin she added to her mental count. Taking the veil would be a disaster for her and the nuns.
So, Ailsa rode onward, up the cresting hill. The impressive fortified castle soared on the rocky outcrop overlooking the loch at the path’s end. A towering curtain wall hugged the craggy contours as the loch’s water lapped gently against the rocks. Harsh Highland elements weathered the structure’s limestone to a mixture of grays, browns, and whites cloaking the structure with a dismal aura Ailsa believed her life would become once behind its walls.
Even her gentle mare, dismayed by the sight ahead, stumbled on a stone strewn on the trail meandering to the gatehouse and her doom.
“We shall be well, Joy.” Her mare tossed back her head and neighed, not believing her.
Patting her lean crest, she peeked through the veil of her hair to her father. He wore a pleased looked on his face that bode ill for others. She glanced at her elder brother. Alec sent her tentative smile then turned his gaze. He was as happy about this marriage as she was. As the heir, Alec tried to persuade their father from his determined course but to no avail. Father had a plan, and his children must submit to his commands.
“Come along,” Laird Cameron demanded, placing himself between the two siblings. She sucked in a lungful of crisp highland air, slowly exhaling until the straining muscles in her face eased. Unlike the countless other times, her calming technique failed so she decided to ignore him.
Glancing upward to the lofty battlements, she spotted two heads. Oh God’s eyes, she forgot that gruesome tale! She gawked and swallowed her squeak.
MacLeans decorated their parapets with their enemies’ heads on spikes as a warning to those foolish enough to attack. For the rest of her short days, she’d have to see ghastly heads…until she was propped next to them.
“By marrying the brute, my influence will extend to these lands, and I can get what is mine. Girl, you’ve been an annoyance since your first breath,” Laird Cameron snarled the exact words he had grumbled since her first breath.
Ailsa craned her neck, scanning the ramparts for more spiked heads when her father jerked Joy to a halt, whipping her head forward.
“Finally, you serve some good.”
Well the father certainly doesn't sound very nice. The story sounds very intriguing and I look forward to reading it!
Let's see what I found out about Mageela.
An Air Force brat, Mageela Troche has lived throughout the world then landed in New York City. She wanted to leave the same day she arrived. Yet, with her stubbornness, Mageela learned to like the place and the libraries were the main reason. Since she was a little girl, Mageela wanted to be an author and an actress, however, once in college, she changed her life plan in the pursuit of money. After all, college loans must be repaid.
With life’s twists and turns, she returned to writing and focused on the romance genre. Mageela Troche’s first break came when she sold a short story to a magazine. She sold two more before the publication of her historical romance novel, The Marriage Alliance. She has gone on to write four more novels and a novella.
Mageela is currently writing in the cramped corner of her Big Apple apartment. She is the proud owner of a Black-masked lovebird named Boobula. She loves to hear from her readers and can be found online at MageelaTroche.com
Thanks so much Mageela, for stopping by again with your book, The Marriage Alliance. I wish you great success with it.
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