Tag Archives: historical romance

Sex and the Single Romance

“Show me the money!” screams Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the film Jerry Maguire.  In porn parlance, it’s called “the money shot.” Yes, romance novels are often associated with sex—an image promoted by torrid covers of shirtless men clutching panting heroines in the throes of passion.

Is there anything wrong with that? No, of course not. It’s all good fun; escapism had for less than the price of a movie ticket. I used to gobble up bodice-rippers when I was a hormonal teen. White lines would appear on the spine of the paperbacks where the particularly juicy scenes could be found. Sometimes, with historical romances, I would actually learn something other than intimate details of procreation.

In this topsy-turvy world, writing romance novels without “money shots” has actually become controversial.  Unless the book specifies it’s Amish or Christian, some people expect a little friction between the sheets.  Even if the story is categorized as Young Adult, readers often look for the spice…and get annoyed when it fails to materialize.

In traditional Regency romance (romance set during the British Regency from 1811-1820), no explicit sex occurs. The last few years have seen the rise of a more modern Regency romance; romances of a non-traditional sensual variety (ie: more “marketable”).

So why on Earth would an author swim against the tide of filthy lucre (money) and write what might be termed “clean” or “sweet” romance…especially considering reader expectations?  Call me crazy, but personally I think readers should have choices. I don’t think novels and stories without explicit sex scenes need be antiseptic or anemic.  In my romances, for example, my characters have sexual feelings and thoughts. For me, the money shot is the kiss!  I also tend to put  exciting adventure in my stories…fisticuffs, sword fights, and escapes from death.

If you’re looking for a good time that doesn’t involve *ahem* “biology,” check out Clean Indie Reads. The blog features “flinch-free” fiction in a variety of genres.  Clean Reads (slogan All Story. No Guilt) is a publisher specializing in sweet romance and fiction in various genres.

I guess you could say “clean” fiction is now edgy.  And I guess I can call myself a maverick. ~ S.G. Rogers

 

 

 

 

Seductive Lies – Colleen Connally’s Newest Gothic Romance

seductiveliesfinalstandardNew release by author Colleen Connally! If you like Gothic and/or historical romance, this is for you…

Blurb:

Only love can heal a heart betrayed…

Harriet Burke has long been haunted by a family scandal. Abandoned by her mother as an infant, she has grown up in the shadows of the events that led up to that scandal. But all changes when she meets the future Viscount of Daneford. The dashing young Lieutenant Arthur Hammett defies his grandfather. Professing his undying love, he proposes to Harriet. Harriet quickly learns that all is not what it seems. Secrets, lies, and betrayal shatters Harriet’s life, leaving Harriet little choice. She has to begin life anew…

They were destined to be together but fate has other plans…

Lord Arthur Daneford made a rash decision years ago that cost him greatly…his biggest regret. Now, though, his past has reemerged. Chilling information has been called to his attention that Harriet’s life is endangered. He will stop at nothing to ensure her safety, but will she accept his help before it’s too late?

ABOUT:

Family scandal…Forbidden love…Ghosts and Curses

Harriet Burke has been cursed or so says her grandfather. In her youth, a gypsy’s blessing gave Harriet the ability to disregard the boundaries of death. Lord Arthur believes it is total nonsense, but he cannot deny there is no explanation for her knowledge. Haunted by visions of wrongs once done, Harriet fears there will be no escape.

Available for the Kindle on Amazon HERE, and for the Nook at BN.com HERE, or on Smashwords in all formats HERE. If you crave an old fashioned paperback, you can get it on Amazon HERE.  Enjoy!

Sweet, Sweet Scones with guest author Heather Hiestand

[I’m turning my blog over today to my guest, lovely author Heather Hiestand. Take it away, Heather! ~ S.G. Rogers]

HeatherHiestandinahatcroppedHi, I’m Heather Hiestand. I’m 44 and live in Washington State with my husband and four-year-old son. Both of them keep me on my toes. Technically I’m a full-time writer, which means I mostly get to work when my son is at preschool. I first sold in 2004, a mystery short story, then sold my first novel in 2006. Marquess of Cake is my 9th novel (I think).

Marquess of Cake is the first book in my new historical romance series, The Redcakes. My idea for the series came from two places. A dream I had about an austere, yet charismatic hero, who I dubbed Michael Shield, Marquess of Hatbrook, and an overindulgence in cake decorating competition shows, which led me to invent a Victorian tea shop/bakery/market called Redcake’s Tea Shop and Emporium. From there it was a matter of fleshing out the hero’s family and the people surrounding my tea shop.

Yes, I have to admit I once wanted to own my own tea shop. It was the early 1990s, and I was a frustrated computer programmer who loved fancy tea and all kinds of scones, cookies, tea breads, cakes and pastry. I was so dedicated I kept a notebook of baking notes on my experiments. I miss those days when I could bake every weekend, eat the results, and not need to diet! Possibly as a result of those years, I’ve been on a diet since 2005…While my baking notebook is long lost, I still have my sweet cookbooks from that era.

Though my heroine is a cake decorator, the first thing she ever serves my hero is a plate of scones. Here is one of my favorite recipes, from the 1988 cookbook, Simply Scones. Everyone needs an indulgence sometimes, so bake them up and enjoy! ~ Heather Hiestand

Apple and Spice Scones

Oven at 375 degrees. Oiled or buttered cookie sheet1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
¾ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
Dash nutmeg
Dash mace
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup chopped dried apples
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/3 cup currants or raisins
 
Mix together all the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into small cubes and add them to the flour, then cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Then mix then wet ingredients together separately and stir to combine everything. Last, add in the fruit and nuts.
 
Divide the mixture into 10 scones and drop onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
 
Yum! 🙂
 

Here’s the blurb for Marquess of Cake:

Coffee. . .tea. . .or a pastry chef sweeter than any confection. . .The Marquess of Cake eBook300200

Scotch trifle fit for Queen Victoria, scones with clotted cream. . .Alys Redcake knows the way to a man’s heart. Yet she is unaware that with each morsel–and flash of ankle–she is seducing the handsome marquess frequenting her father’s tea shop. Unmarried at twenty-six, Alys’s first love is the family business. But thoughts of the gentleman’s touch are driving her to distraction. . .

With his weakness for sugar, the Marquess of Hatbrook can imagine no more desirable woman than one scented with cake and spice. Mistaking Alys for a mere waitress, he has no doubt she would make a most delicious mistress. And when he finds himself in need of an heir, he plans to make her his convenient bride. Yet as they satisfy their craving for one another, business and pleasure suddenly collide. Will Hatbrook’s passion for sweets–and for Alys–be his heart’s undoing?

Excerpt:

Michael forced his eyes from the avowed city girl’s generous curves, which were ornamental indeed. He couldn’t get that blasted Scotch trifle out of his head. The memory of that heather-honey flavor of the Drambuie in the sponge, reminding him of simpler times, had his mouth watering anew.

“A dish of the special holiday trifle, if you will, and coffee.”

“I’m so sorry, sir. We’re all out.” The cakie’s voice didn’t change tone as she delivered this tragic news.

“That’s ‘your lordship,’ young miss,” Theo said, mischief dancing in his eyes. “You can’t refuse trifle to the Marquess of Hatbrook.”

A woman at the next table gasped and nudged her neighbor, whispering, “A marquess, that is!”

The waitress swallowed sharply, but then her pointed chin went up. “I’m sorry, your lordship, but it’s all gone to Buckingham Palace for a celebration.”

“Buck House,” whispered the other gossip at the next table. “How fancy!”

“Very tiresome,” Michael said, enjoying the waitress’s show of spirit. An attractive girl with heat in her eyes was as welcome as Scotch trifle. He wondered if she ever put those rosy lips to use in other passionate endeavors. “Instead, I’ll have a plate of scones with honey.”

“Would you like some Drambuie with that?”

A gasp went up from the other table. “Did she just offer his lordship spirits? I thought this was a respectable place?”

The waitress flushed scarlet, but her chin stayed up. Her gaze had regained the besieged fire he saw outside.

“That won’t be necessary.”

“Yes, your lordship.”

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To read about Marquess of Cake go to http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/22722 You can purchase there or find all the links to your favorite etailer. The two largest are:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Marquess-of-Cake-ebook/dp/B00BNKMFGS

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-marquess-of-cake-heather-hiestand/1114794300?ean=9781601831118

To learn more about Heather Hiestand and the stories she creates go to: http://www.heatherhiestand.com or http://blog.heatherhiestand.com or http://www.twitter.com/hahiestand

Heather is on a blog tour during the month of July. Check her blog to find out where she is. Many of the blog spots have prizes!

She also has a large contest set up on her website HERE

Duke of a Gilded Age – Perils of 1890 Transatlantic Travel

Long before the maiden voyage of the Titanic (1912), luxury steamships were crossing the Atlantic Ocean.  One such vessel was the twin screw steamer, SS City of New York (pictured above). First class accommodations were meant to evoke the interior of a luxury hotel, with such amenities as a sumptuous dining room (saloon), library, smoking room, drawing room, hot and cold running water, barber shop, walking track on the promenade deck, electric ventilation and electric lighting.  As enjoyable as ocean travel might for the monied elite aboard these luxury liners, it was not without difficulty. Deadly icebergs would frequently break off from the western coastline of Greenland and float south through shipping lanes. The thick Atlantic fog that often surrounded these huge steamers would obscure hapless fishing vessels, leading to collisions. Should a ship suffer some sort of mechanical failure, it would be at the mercy of passing vessels to render aid. Opportunistic passengers known as cardsharps might also pose a danger to wealthy gentlemen who enjoyed a high stakes game of cards or two. In addition, stormy seas often led to lengthy bouts of sea sickness. Nevertheless, the lure of a relatively quick voyage (a little over six days in 1890) between continents far outweighed the potential dangers.

Such is the setting for my upcoming release Duke of a Gilded Age: When American-born Wesley Parker inherits a dukedom in 1890, he must learn to be an aristocrat. Assigned to the task is his attorney’s daughter, prim Belle Oakhurst. As they travel to England together on a luxurious ocean liner, their tempestuous relationship encounters more than rough seas. Although Wesley is increasingly attracted to Belle, she is already engaged. While Belle begins to regret her hasty promise to marry, she is bound by honor and duty to keep her pledge. Furthermore, a thoughtless fabrication on her part threatens to expose her as a liar. Neither Wesley nor Belle can foresee that their voyage across the Atlantic will be fraught with peril, and will cost more than one man his life.

Excerpt:

Wesley crossed to the far side of the ship as it skirted Brooklyn on its way to Lower Bay. The cheerful sunshine that had heralded their departure had disappeared, blocked by dark clouds rolling in. Erratic gusts of wind threatened to blow his hat over the side of the railing, so he removed it and held it in his hand. As the ship cleared Rockaway Peninsula, the ship’s bell tolled the half‐hour. Belle joined him.

“It looks like stormy weather ahead, but I overheard one of the stewards saying the tide is in our favor,” she said. “As soon as we’re on the other side of the Sandy Hook lighthouse, it will be full steam ahead.”

“That’s good news.”

“Are you terribly sad to be leaving New York?”

He glanced at Belle, whose pretty features were etched with concern.

“Not really. Since my father died, I can’t think of a happy memory…until this past week.”

“I take that as a compliment,” she replied with a smile. “You didn’t have a sweetheart in Brooklyn, did you?”

“Er…I was rather fond of Liam Kennedy’s younger sister for a while, but after he turned against me, so did she.”

“Oh, dear. Since you’re now a duke, I expect Miss Kennedy will never let her brother forget you, will she?”

Wesley laughed. “I hadn’t thought of it, but you’re quite right. She has a redhead’s temper, so it may be some time before Liam receives a kind word from her.”

“That notion should lighten your mood! Listen, I’m going to my cabin to freshen up and I’ll see you at the captain’s bon voyage reception in the saloon.”

“I’ll look forward to it.”

Wesley watched Belle walk away. A gust of wind lifted the hem of her skirt, revealing her slender ankles. He rather enjoyed the spectacle until he noticed Stephen Van Eyck watching Belle too.

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To celebrate the release of Duke of a Gilded Age on Friday, June 28th, my first historical romance The Ice Captain‘s Daughter will be FREE on Amazon HERE, from Wednesday, June 26th (12 a.m. PST) until Sunday, June 30th (11:59 p.m. PST). TICDFINALEnjoy the download, and don’t forget to tell a friend! Psst… there’s a free sample chapter of Duke in the back! To add Duke of a Gilded Age to your Goodreads list, go HERE.

Regency Romance – Only a Hero Will Do

I’m turning my blog over to author Susan Lodge today.  If you like historical fiction, you’ll enjoy hearing about her novel Only a Hero Will Do!  ~ S.G. Rogers  Flourish

About Me

I have been IMG00020-20111021-1020 (640x479) (2)writing stories for ever but only in the last few years seriously started marketing my work. My first success was a short story published in a national woman’s magazine in the UK. This small but long awaited success prompted me to finish my novel Only a Hero Will Do.

Having lived at some of England’s most historic ports I have been surrounded with maritime history, so it is not surprising that my book is partly set at sea in the year 1810.

Only_a_Hero_Will_Do-200(3)

About – Only a Hero Will Do 

Hetty’s desperate gamble to avoid an odious match lands her all at sea. Can an overbearing ship’s physician really be the hero she needs to escape her treacherous family?

Blurb

Marriage to a cruel dandy is not how Hetty Avebury envisions spending the rest of her life. Determined to raise funds to escape the match she earns money the only way she knows how—gambling. Her plans go astray and she finds herself onboard a man-of-war under the care of its stern physician. But Hetty soon realizes that the disapproving Doctor Withington is not at all the man she had first imagined.

If it wasn’t bad enough declaring one of the pressed men as a woman, Robert has been tasked with the tiresome job of returning her safely back to her dysfunctional family. It was ten years ago when his father gambled away his inheritance, home, and any chance of marrying the woman he loved. So when Robert discovers Hetty gambling he takes drastic action to cure her of the habit.

Excerpt

“Annie, will you please walk beside me? Try to remember, I am supposed to be your brother not your employer. You must keep your arm on mine.” Annie pursed her lips but did as she was told.

At five foot four, Hetty was tall enough to masquerade as a male. Her disguise was not of fine quality this time, as she had no desire to stand out in the crowd. It was serviceable and clean, if a little ill-fitting. She resembled a rather youthful clerk.

They had left in the early hours after Hetty had written her aunt a short note to tell her not to worry. She couldn’t risk anything else, as she knew Stark and her father would ask too many questions. If she knew nothing, Aunt Amelia wouldn’t have to lie—something she didn’t like to do.

After a moment, Hetty and Annie searched for a respectable inn, both having missed breakfast. It was only after they had seated themselves in the Boar’s Head and ordered a modest meal that Hetty realized it was a bad choice. The tables were occupied by groups of unsavoury looking males, half of whom were staring at Annie in a very vulgar way. Hetty looked around with a feeling of foreboding while picking at a cold rabbit pie. The room started to empty as a strange murmur of discontent rippled through the establishment.

Annie fidgeted beside her. “I don’t like it, Miss Hetty! It ain’t right.”

Hetty groaned. “Harry—not Miss Hetty! For heaven’s sake, Annie!”

“Beg pardon…Harry,” she said, as though the name was blasphemous, “but I think we should go now.”

Hetty agreed and prepared to rise when the door shot open and the remaining customers scattered in all directions. A small party of hefty men, armed with wooden batons, sauntered in and stopped in the centre of the room, assessing the occupants.

Annie grabbed Hetty’s arm. “It’s the press-gang!”

It took a moment for Annie’s words to register then Hetty swallowed violently. If only her skirts were back on. One of them noticed her and narrowed his eyes with a terrifying gleam like a predator. He pointed his finger her way. “Now, lad, I reckon you look ripe for adventure. Eager to serve your king, I wager.”

Hetty shook her head and grasped Annie. “No, sir, I have my sister here to look after.”

The man wandered closer, his fleshy face beamed and his voice cajoled. “What’s your name, lad, and how old are you?”

“Harry Blake. I am fourteen.” Surely that is too young.

The man considered her for a moment, and Hetty didn’t dare to breathe.

“Bring him.”

Logic ceased. Hetty ducked under the table and tried to crawl toward the door, but one of them crunched a foul-smelling boot down on the small of her back, and her breath escaped in one whoosh of pain. A large hand hoisted her up by the neck cloth and placed her on her feet.

Links:

Available at Musa Publishing  – http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14&products_id=336

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Only-Hero-Will-Do-ebook/dp/B008NB7Z6U/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1343903185&sr=1-1&keywords=only+a+hero+will+do

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/only-a-hero-will-do-susan-lodge/1107076321?ean=2940014973380

Please visit me at my website –  http://www.susanlodge.com

Facebook  –  http://www.facebook.com/susan.lodge.39

Twitter – https://twitter.com/pagehalffull

The Samurai’s Garden — Guest Post by Author Patricia Kiyono

I’m pleased to welcome wonderful author Patricia Kiyono back to Child of Yden, as she discusses how her rich family heritage found its way into her latest release. Enjoy!

~ S.G. Rogers

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, S.G! I’m very excited about the release of The Samurai’s Garden. In writing this, I drew on my own Japanese heritage, and I thought today I’d share a little bit about it.

Growing up, we celebrated American holidays like our friends and neighbors did. My dad, though he was of Japanese descent, was born and raised in America, so our home looked much like everyone else’s, except for a few touches that my mom, who lived in Japan until she married her Japanese-American soldier, insisted on. In our living room, beautiful kimono-clad dolls posed in glass cases. In various places of the house, streamers of origami cranes attested to her belief in their ability to grant wishes. And occasionally, when I got home from school, I’d hear the stereo playing recordings of traditional Japanese songs.

In one corner of the living room was a small case with a picture of my deceased grandparents. It had a candle in front of it, and every day mom would put fresh water and fruit. Sometimes she would put a small bowl of rice there, too. She would bring the food and water, ring a little bell, and then bow. This was the family shrine, or obutsudan. I didn’t know much about the traditions surrounding these rituals. Maybe it’s because I didn’t ask. My brothers and I just accepted these actions as part of mom’s life.

Now that I have a home of my own, I realize these rituals were an important part of who mom is. My living room also has touches of Japan. I have a two-foot tall Japanese doll in a glass case—a wedding gift from my relatives. She stands in a place of honor, next to my piano. She’s a reminder of where I came from. This reminder was one of the reasons I needed to write a story full of the traditions and history of the land of my birth. And so The Samurai’s Garden came to be. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about them, and about the characters who bring these traditions to life.

Blurb:

Hiro Tanaka prepared for a life as a samurai warrior. But his world changed when Japan’s feudal system was abolished by the Emperor. Now, he must find a new vocation. Disillusioned with fighting and violence, he travels alone, going north to the island of Hokkaido.  Many other samurai wander through the country and are known as ronin. Some have forsaken their honorable way to prey on the less fortunate.

Hanako Shimizu experienced first-hand the devastation caused by these disreputable wanderers.  The previous winter, they raided her farm and killed her husband. Now, she needs to rebuild but has no money and no prospects — except for the dubious intentions of the town merchant.

When Hiro, tired of his wandering, encounters Hanako in the market, arguing with the merchant, he poses as her late husband’s cousin then offers to help her on the farm in exchange for a place to stay.  Working on the land, Hiro finally finds the peace he has been seeking. But the reappearance of the rogue ronin, led by an unscrupulous leader from Hiro’s past, forces him to take up his swords again. But now, the stakes are higher.

This time, he’s fighting from the heart.

The Samurai’s Garden is available at Astraea Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Patricia Kiyono can be found at her website, blog, facebook, and on Twitter (@PatriciaKiyono)

The Road to The Heart Gem by Isabella Macotte

On the heels of her new release The Heart Gem, author Isabella Macotte stops by Child of Yden to let us in on her path to sucess.  Enjoy! ~ S.G. Rogers

After spending years enjoying wonderful books written by fabulous authors, I wanted in.

I figured writing a book should take just slightly longer than reading one. As a speedy reader able to wolf down a story in an evening or two, writing a manuscript should take a couple of weeks. Not one to place undue pressure on myself, I generously allowed a month. Tops.

GMC? What the heck is that? I never thought about a goal for my heroine besides living happily ever after. Motivation? Well, getting to live happily ever after with a hunky hero is pretty motivating, right? Conflict? Ha! I’ll give her a few impediments, I suppose, but who likes stress? Point of view?  Readers are smart. They’ll figure out the scene’s perspective.

So wrong and naïve.

What is it they say about best-laid plans? For me, as in most ventures, nothing ever comes easy. Drafting a manuscript entailed learning everything from the ground up. Thankfully I had a group of wonderful writers and readers who nudged, poked, pulled, kicked, and instructed me along the way.

Once my feet were planted on the right road, the process of putting together the manuscript for my newly published book, The Heart Gem, involved more time learning, reading, listening, and working than I could have ever imagined.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Receiving an email from the editor at The Wild Rose Press offering a contract for my romance novel, The Heart Gem, was one of the most thrilling moments of my life.

~ Isabella Macotte

BLURB:

In 1885, a proper Victorian woman’s place was in the home. Convention never appealed to Hallie Pinefoy.

But plans for financial independence through a successful doll-making venture have one impediment. She’s inherited a curiosity shop and a handsome business partner who’s proving to be a delicious distraction.

When Bremen Tyler inherits a shop in coastal England, he breaks from the mystical Ancestral clan to live a normal life. The only way to guarantee a permanent break is to marry his Heart Match, a perfect soul mate. Bremen recognizes the captivating Hallie as his true love, but she isn’t cooperating with his courtship.

If he can retrieve the stolen Heart Gem, an Artifact of Love, he can use it to prove their match. The surface of the Gem reflects the essence of a couple’s future life, but the risks are great. More importantly, will Hallie realize true love doesn’t need proof?

MODIFIED EXCERPT (PG VERSION) 

Hallie stepped over to the small desk. “Please wait. I’ll get the monies owed from the payment made at the Dockhouse.”

“No.” Bremen answered.

“No?”

“Partake of a glass of wine with me instead.”

Surprised, she looked to the man’s face and paused. Those dark eyes seemed almost hypnotic, and a sudden vision came to mind of looking into those eyes right before his lips moved in closer and closer, toward her mouth. She forced herself to look away.

He held out a hand. “Just a glass of wine? Perhaps we can pretend to have just been introduced under less dramatic circumstances?”

“I think not. However I’m grateful for your assistance.” She held out the coin.

“I never accept money from a lady.”

“Do you make a lady feel obligated then? That’s your preference?”

“I’d hope the lady would forgive me for my churlish behavior by allowing a contrite man to make amends.”

Was he mocking her?

“One glass of wine. Please.” He seemed to notice the hesitation. “On the Wrightsville Inn’s front porch in full view of all.” His face softened. “With a repentant gentleman.” He held out a hand. “I’m Bremen Tyler. The apologetic Bremen Tyler who wishes to make restitution to a lady offended with loutish behavior.”

“Again, I must decline the offer.”

He paused for a moment. “Are you afraid?”

“Afraid? Of you? I most certainly am not.”

“Sit with me then. You can berate me for my temper, comment on my lack of good manners, and insult me for my lack of wholesome attributes. I put myself in your hands for as long as you wish to partake of my poor company.”

Being the one in control was intriguing. After having spent the past hour feeling foolish and taking directions, she found these pleas for forgiveness and companionship quite appealing.

Buy links: Amazon (ebook) (paperback), The Wild Rose Press (ebook) (paperback), BN.com and wherever online books are sold.

Biography

Isabella Macotte grew up in Chicago and now lives in the Midwest. Ever since she can remember, she was reading. Not just fiction but everything she could get her hands on. Science, romance, history and paranormal. Especially paranormal…anything scary, creepy, or gory, she loves it. From light paranormal elements to terrifying monsters, she’ll make up a story to amaze or scare you.

Isabella Macotte writes the kind of romance she loves to read: a story with delicious dialogue, seductive encounters, a dash of the paranormal, and an irresistible hero you will never forget.

Passionate about books, Isabella keeps busy reading, writing and working in a library. But if a few moments remain at the end of the day, she spends them with a wonderful family and sweet bichon pup named Daisy.

Oh, What A Tangled Web

Author Carrie James Haynes is my guest today, talking about her latest release, Daughter of Deceit.  Stay tuned because right below her post is a special offer you won’t want to miss!  ~ S.G. Rogers

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”~

Sir Walter Scott~ the inventor of the historical romance.

A tangled web impossible to escape is the premise of my newest release, Daughter of Deceit.

For years no one has questioned that Alyce’s father was England’s worst traitor…a spy for the Americans during the American Revolution…selling English guns and gun powder for his own gain. Caught in the web around him, he took his own life. There is only one problem. Alyce doesn’t believe her beloved father was the man the world believes him to have been and she will stop at nothing to prove his innocence. Then strange things begin to happen. Voices call to her…warning her…for now someone wants her dead.

For years Lord Julian Casvelyn has mourned his brother’s death, murdered by England’s most hated man, but one eventful night has changed everything Lord Julian believed about his brother’s death. Never did he suspect the woman he has just saved from certain death is the daughter of that man. Julian is caught in midst of a conspiracy and desire for a woman where he soon discovers he might well want all to remain secret.

Excerpt:

Thankful she could breathe again at least for a moment. She turned to stand by Lissa, but instead she froze upon the sight. The last person she ever expected to see this night stood in front of her.

His wide mouth curved into a vague smile which could easily turn hard she suspected. He looked quite striking, handsome and elegant in his crisp black and white evening clothes. His dark eyes darkened intensely upon her. Before she had a chance to protest, his arm gripped her elbow firmly.

“Oh, no, my dear, I think not,” his utterance carried a hard edge which startled her. “I have long tried to gain an audience with you and have been reputed one way or another. If you choose to make a scene, it will not bode well for you. You may have been hiding in the nest of the Arungdon, but I can guarantee you that legally you are still the ward of my grandfather and I…”

“Please, Lord Casvelyn, you do not have to resort to threats,” she turned her head to see if any other’s attention lay upon them, but none seemed interested. Her gaze shifted back to him. “What, pray, could you have to talk to me? Charles did send his appreciation for you saving me. He assured me he had taken care of the situation and the magistrate…”

“Come. Come. Miss Rufford…or should I say Hythe. I believe there is much we could talk of.”

She glanced back over her shoulder as he edged her along beside him. “Where are you taking me? It will not be proper…”

He cut her words short. “No one will see, I can assure you. I have arranged how I can I say this a few minutes where we will not be disrupted. Then you can rush back to your lordship.”

She watched Lord Casvelyn nod to a man in front of him, a tall man tawny hair and blue eyes. The man nodded back. Immediately, she felt herself being flung into a side door, closing tightly behind her. She could only imagine why Lord Casvelyn thought it necessary to have a guard at the door.

The room was small, quaint in appearance. There was no fire lit nor candle only the moonlit shone in light. He gestured to her to sit upon a settee. She hesitated, but then complied. To her dismay he sat beside her.

She found it difficult to catch a breath with him so near. He stared at her in a manner which made her remember all too well being in his arms with his lips upon hers.

“Now will you please explain yourself so I can rejoin Charles.”

“Ah, yes, the love of your life. I have heard. Unfortunately, I tend to doubt your proclamation of feelings.”

She stared at him and he returned it. He sat close to her, too close. She scooted back but he moved, allowing only her a scant space between her and this man who made her skin shiver with just his touch. “How dare you,” she uttered under her breath. “You don’t know me. Charles and I love each other greatly…”

“Do you?” he asked in a low voice. “Are you in the habit of sharing kisses with another while in the deep throbs of love for another? Come. Do not think I have forgotten having you in my arms. Kissing you, touching you…if not interrupted, perhaps it would have lead to more than…”

She slapped him, hard, and attempted to rise. He thwarted her with his two strong hands, pulling her down to him.

“You are no gentleman!”

“Perhaps,” he answered her, but his voice softened. “Perhaps.”

His hands released her back to her seat. What did he do to her that made her act as if she had not a reasonable thought in her head?

“Tell me, Miss Hythe, what are you up to? What plan do you have? Don’t think your friend, Lord Tregilgas can save you. If I so desire, I can have you escorted out under my care.”

“You make no sense, Lord Casvelyn. You come to me with demands that I return with you. Why should I? True, Colonel Tolworthy is my guardian, but in truth I barely know him. I have been on my own for a great deal of time of my life. Why should I be a burden to him now? It is only a few months more than I will not be.”

“Listen to me carefully, my dear. I had no knowledge that you still resided within England until three weeks ago. In all I find the whole of the situation unacceptable. I’m trying to rectify this. Believe me. I believe you are in danger.”

“Then do not worry about me. Charles has seen to my safety. You may question me, but I trust Charles. He would never allow harm to befall me as I would never allow harm to him.”

“Answer me this. Do you know no matter if you hold your father is innocent, the world does not? No matter if your young Marques holds to you, you are walking into social damnation, fair or unfair. It will not be pleasant. How long do you think it will take for someone to figure out who you are? I would wager it will not be long. And then there is the matter of the threat upon your life?”

“You are mistaken that I am trying to run from my name. I am not. Since my father’s death, I have faced his disgrace. No one thought it necessary to inform me how my father died until I was seventeen. All I knew was that he was dead. Not until Charles told me. He has been my only true friend, my Lord. I have only once visited my father’s grave and it was only through Charles I did so. Do you know what it is like to see your father’s grave ostracized from holy ground for they deem he committed suicide?”

“I know lost. I feel it every day. I dealt with my brother’s death knowing that the fiend that killed him also lay in the ground. But with your words you uttered to me, I find myself questioning all about my brother’s death. And with those words, I questioned the wisdom in allowing you this Season.”

As he spoke, he astonished her with his movement, transforming her back to that night, that room, that embrace. He moved closer, so close it seemed she could no longer claim air between them. His arms encircled her and pulled her face upward toward his. His touch startled her. She looked at him in surprise. She saw his intent, yet made no resistance. Wanting to protest, her body rebelled against the thought.

A gasp escaped her lips as he lowered his head to hers. His lips moved against hers, firm yet yielding. She melted into the sensation his kiss inflicted, the thrilling excitement and warmth flowing through her body. Her mind told her to resist though her body paid no attention to the warning. Instead, she responded to him. Gently he prodded her lips with his tongue to part. Slowly as if giving her time to get used to the idea, he slipped his tongue inside.

Within her a voice called to her to be sensible. He was dallying with her, no more, no less to prove his point. Yet, she ignored the voice choosing instead to surrender to the want within her and parted her lips fully to admit him. An intimacy flowed within her, so wonderful, awakening parts of her body she didn’t know were alive.

His arms tightened around her as pleasure cascaded through out her body. His kiss lingered. He didn’t stop with one. He kissed her again and again, astonishing her and evoking shivers that flowed down her body. A series of pleasurable sensations left her crying for more. He kissed her again, more aggressive, more demanding. Within her she had long lost any rational thought for he had her mesmerized.

She felt his hand move up and down her back. Her skin felt hot with his touch. His hand moved upward until it cupped her nape, caressing her. She could not believe what his meandering touch did to her. His lips descended down her chin to her neck. A cry escaped her when his lips found a sensitive spot which sent vibrations cascading through out her. Sensations she had never known yet desired. She had never been held in this way by anyone. Never had she felt so alive.

The next moment he held her head in his hands as if she was his captive. He ravished her mouth. Shock tensed through her. She could feel the need within him for her submit. Then as if reason took hold, he drew back. His eyes never left her widen eyes. He reached over and in a slow gentle motion caressed her face.

“Tell me now of this undying love you have for another,” he said demanding an answer from her.

Buy: Amazon

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Interview With Bri Clark on Writing What Sells

In my quest to delve a little deeper into writing what sells, I asked literary strategist and consultant, Bri Clark, to answer a few questions for me.  She’s graciously consented to an interview.

Bri, we spoke before about what’s hot and what’s not in the book market.  You’d mentioned Regency Romance and Highland Romance with slight paranormal elements as trending well.  Why do you suppose?

Both are historical. Both have the classic formula of a rake who did not want to fall in love being brought to his knees by an equally strong woman. Historical romance will and always has been a market to sell to. As for Regency era I think that is has a lot to do with the fairy tale element of balls, with royalty and aristocracy. All little girls, who grow to be women, dream of being a princess swept away by a knight. Then you throw in the added bonus of the fact this was an era in history that was true…making it all the more believable. As for Highland romance with paranormal elements. Hannah Howell is a great example of this. She has over 20 books out in this genre with slight paranormal elements. But here’s the catch – they are a series. The clans and characters all connect in some way through the generations. Highland lords are written as handsome, slightly dangerous but chivalrous with their own code of primitive loyalty and possessiveness toward their people but most especially their women. What woman wouldn’t love that? As for the paranormal it’s the play on magic or talents beyond the norm. For example in Howell’s books they can have a “healers touch” or have “seeings.” All very paranormal for the time but not so much for today’s standard.

So, if an author can manage to tap into a reader’s inner fantasy, they might be on their way to commercial success?  Ok, but many new authors scoff at the idea of writing to the market and instead insist on writing only what they want to write. Are there any pitfalls to this approach?

This comes down to that age old question of are you a hobbyist or a professional? You come to a point where you have to say “OK, I need to make money…where is it at?” I myself have faced this! Luckily I also have another job in the industry that supplements and affects that question. I find that sometimes what is popular now won’t be in a few months. The key that an author and as well as agents have to figure out is what will be the “next” popular genre and having that novel found, prepped and ready for release when it happens.

That doesn’t sound particularly easy! How do you, as a literary strategist, determine what’s strong at the moment?  Are there any discernible trends in the market right now that predict the future?

Bear in mind I’m not a publisher or an agent. I don’t necessarily have to know what’s strong but I do know how to sell to my clients’ genre. Right now Regency is strong, historical itself is always solid. YA romance has slowed a tad, it’s actually breaking out into its own sub-genres being based on age I’ve heard. Like 18 and under, 21 and up. I expect YA will take a spike in the spring/summer toward vacation time. I also predict that contemporary will take a spike. Most people went to historical when the economy crashed for a thorough escape. Now that things are getting a little better they will want a break from that and come back to modern times. Especially for beach reading.

That’s good to know! I’ve noticed many publishers and agents don’t want to see ‘sparkly vampire’ manuscripts or themes they feel have been ‘done to death,’ but these books still seem popular.  Is there a disconnect between readers and tastemakers?

Like I said before, publishers and agents have to be looking out for what’s next…not what’s now.

Thank you Bri for your words of wisdom!

~ S.G. Rogers

Bri Clark works as an editor, agent, and promoter for multiple publishers in addition to her career as an author and speaker. She can be found on her personal blog BriClarktheBelleofBoise. Bri is also a featured speaker for the upcoming Idaho Book Extravaganza in additional to her most recent engagements at Ignite Boise and Story Story Night at the Rose Room. After moving to Boise from Tennessee she was quickly dubbed The Belle of Boise for her hospitable nature, forward attitude, and sassy nature. Find Belle Consulting HERE.

Thoughtful Girl: © Dmitry Yashkin | Dreamstime.com

Swans: © Pakhnyushchyy | Dreamstime.com

Handful Money: © Anatoly Tiplyashin | Dreamstime.com

Reading: © Ctacik | Dreamstime.com