Locked Boxes and Sexy Covers

Pretty sure you all know this, but I’m a cover whore. I see a sexy or unique or in any way interesting book cover, and I’m at the very least reading the description on iBooks or Amazon. Sometimes, often, I’m reading the book before five minutes have passed. Yeah, it’s bad. Or, really, it’s good. I mean, check out this cover:

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Yeah, pretty damn awesome, huh? I’d like to get locked in a box with that guy… Oh, wait, that’s exactly what happens to that lucky girl behind him. What? Read on…

Synopsis
Julia Bennett isn’t having a great day. Funding for her video game is running low, her IT job is sucking her dry and to cap it all off she’s locked in a police station with the very handsome, extremely married guy she’s been avoiding at all costs.

Max Connor isn’t having a great year. He’s getting divorced, his best friend is squatting in his spare room, and his inappropriate crush on the IT girl is getting dangerously out of hand. And that was before he locked the two of them in an evidence room for the weekend. Surrounded by three decade’s worth of drugs, guns and floppy disks, Max and Julia are forced to confront the heat that lies between them with dangerous, funny and occasionally toe-curlingly sexy results.

teaser

Teaser: Gaming, cider and RAM are all things young IT woman Julia Bennett understands. Her agonising crush on a seemingly married cop? Not so much. Julia’s been avoiding Max Connor for six years but now they’re spending the weekend trapped in an evidence room full of whiskey and mice. Locked Box is a novel about two people with an unspoken connection who are forced to look each other in the eye and say “I really, really, really want to make out with you.”

 

 

Steamy excerpt guaranteed to make you want more…

Without thinking he seized both her wrists, pulling them down to her sides. Julia drove her forehead into his and sparks exploded behind Max’s eyes. “Ow, fuck!”

Instinctively he forced Julia back, pinning her body to the floor and parting her legs with his thighs. She jerked her hips, trying to throw him off. He pressed down, trapping her under his weight. “Gotcha. Not so tough now are you?”

Julia’s smile was wicked. “No I’m not Max.”

Oh no. Oh fuck. He was on top of her, his hips were bearing down on hers, their eyes were level, their mouths were level. The curve of Julia’s upper lip was inches from his, her. He couldn’t kiss her could he? His heart would give out if he even tried. He waited on the edge of everything for a sign, some confirmation of what to do. His head was pounding, his cock was pounding, his hands still holding her wrists were shaking.

“Max…” Julia’s breath was coming out in light shallows pants. “I-I want you. I’ve wanted you for ages.”

She kissed him soft and slow. Bright spots popped behind Max’s eyes as pleasure twisted like amphetamines in his blood. This is it, he thought. This is fucking it, though what that meant he couldn’t begin to explain.

Julia’s hands stroked through his hair and he pulled away, unsure of what was happening.

“Was that bad?” she asked.

“That was the furthest fucking thing from bad.”

He raised a hand to his lips, stroking his tingling mouth. They’d kissed. The girl he liked kissed him. The sensation was as fresh as it had been at fourteen. This is it. This is fucking it.

Before he knew what was happening they were kissing again that graceless, all-consuming way teenagers kissed, like you needed swallow the other person whole and fuck them through their clothes at the same time. Julia stroked his back and shoulders, reaching between them to caress every muscle she could find. She was greedier than he could have possibly imagined and the idea got him hot enough to melt steel. He did a little exploring of his own, sucking on her tongue as he cupped her breasts, kneading the sweet little mounds until she sighed into his mouth. They consumed each other, hips moving restlessly and Julia wrapped her legs around his waist, pressing her jeans against his aching dick. “More.”

Max kissed her neck. “More what baby?”

“Just more. I need more of you.”

He held back, needing to hear her say the words. “Tell me what to do and I’ll do it.”

 

Author Bio
Eve Dangerfield has loved romance novels since she first started swiping her grandmother’s paperbacks at the age of fourteen. Now she writes her own unapologetically sexy tales about complex women and gorgeous-but-slightly-tortured men. Eve currently lives in Melbourne with her lovely sister and a rabbit named Billy. Locked Box is her second novel.

Relevant links:

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Buy Links:

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PS – This book just released today!

Happy reading!

It’s A Party At Versailles!

Today, I have a special guest on my blog. His name is Jack Sharpe, and he’s the adorable hero from The Long Way Home, Jessica Cale’s most recent release from the Southwark Saga. Jack and Alice’s story was released on Monday. If you like amusing, adorable romance, if you like historical romance, if you like romance at all, you will love this book. It’s fun, it’s dangerous, it’s compelling… Can you tell I like this book? A large part of the reason I like it so is because of Jack. He’s such a perfect hero. Don’t believe me? Here, check out his interview…

HRthelongwayhomeThe Long Way Home

(The Southwark Saga, Book 3)

By Jessica Cale

Release Date: February 29th, 2016

Genre: Historical Romance, Adult Fairytale, Romantic Comedy, Action/Adventure

A paranoid king, a poison plot, and hideous shoes…it’s not easy being Cinderella.             

~~~

Jessica Cale, The Long Way Home. Interview with hero, Jack Sharpe

What’s your favorite restaurant? The Rose & Crown in Southwark. There’s something comforting about going down to the local for a pint and pie. It’s the cleanest place for miles, the bread is more than edible, and there’s this girl who works there…

Tell me a joke. A joke? My life is a joke. Have you heard the one about the pickpocket son-of-an-actress who went off to fight for a country not his own? He has camp followers in his bed every night but he never touches them because he’s paralyzed with kindness. He’s in love with a painting and he’s tolerably clever, but when he opens his mouth, only rubbish spills out. That’s funny, isn’t it?

What would you do if you woke up and found an elephant in your room? I would assume Harry got me drunk and dumped me in the menagerie when I was sleeping. Again.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Alice Henshawe smiling at me over a pint of good dark beer.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I’m useless at speaking. I couldn’t be more awkward if I tried. I don’t act until it’s too late, and then I go too far. I’m cool-tempered until I’m not. Few things set it off, to be fair, but I am violently opposed to men who hurt, take advantage of, or otherwise dishonor women. I cannot bring myself to regret that, but I’ve been known to, erm, react badly if I see it.

What do you most dislike about your appearance? I don’t give it much thought, but I used to be very short, and now I’m tall and gawky. I think I was an ordinary height for about a month when I was seventeen. Now I’m more than two yards tall and I feel like I’m all elbows. Would it have been too much to ask to be ordinary?

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Efficiency. That doesn’t sound very romantic, does it? It’s just that Alice has this way that she moves…she flits about like a fairy as she works, every movement quick, confident, and necessary. I used to watch her waiting tables and she was so fast, it was like time was different for her — her world was spinning faster while the rest of us were sleeping. She always seemed very sure of herself and her place in the world, unselfconscious and graceful, spinning between tables with plates in her hands, blowing hair out of her face. I’ve never seen a woman move like that. There’s so much life to her, but she’s quiet, so you have to watch her to see it.

What is your most treasured possession? (pulls a miniature out of his coat) Harry painted this portrait of Alice years ago, when she was perhaps thirteen. He dropped it in my bag before left for the Continent, and I didn’t find it until I’d been in Flanders a week. I’ve been grateful for the company all these years. It’s a piece of home I can carry with me. It’s been useful, as well. Alice has gone missing and I’ve been searching for her for weeks. Come to think of it, have you seen this girl? English, quite short?

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Still curious? Here’s what the book is about…

After saving the life of the glamorous Marquise de Harfleur, painfully shy barmaid Alice Henshawe is employed as the lady’s companion and whisked away to Versailles. There, she catches King Louis’ eye and quickly becomes a court favorite as the muse for Charles Perrault’s Cinderella. The palace appears to be heaven itself, but there is danger hidden beneath the façade and Alice soon finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue, murder, and Satanism at the heart of the French court.

Having left his apprenticeship to serve King Charles as a spy, Jack Sharpe is given a mission that may just kill him. In the midst of the Franco-Dutch war, he is to investigate rumors of a poison plot by posing as a courtier, but he has a mission of his own. His childhood friend Alice Henshawe is missing and he will stop at nothing to see her safe. When he finds her in the company of the very people he is meant to be investigating, Jack begins to wonder if the sweet girl he grew up with has a dark side.

When a careless lie finds them accidentally married, Alice and Jack must rely on one another to survive the intrigues of the court. As old affection gives way to new passion, suspicion lingers. Can they trust each other, or is the real danger closer than they suspect?

“Really brilliant writing that’s so engaging with such endearing characters! I especially love the way Jack and Alice are both so devoted to each other! I was totally absorbed in this exciting and fascinating world Jessica Cale created from the very first paragraph to the last! I read this all in one sitting, staying awake late to finish, just had to!” – Romazing Reader

Add to your Goodreads TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28499321-the-long-way-home

Get it through the publisher, Liquid Silver Books: http://www.lsbooks.com/pre-order-coming-soon-romance-books-c322.php

 

Or here: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-long-way-home-62

Find the entire series here: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW

There was a The Long Way Home Leap Year Ball this past weekend, if you want to check it out: https://www.facebook.com/events/1040328009352362/

Win a 7” Kindle Fire! Contest open from 2/22-3/14. Go to Jessica Cale’s website to enter: WIN BIG

 

About the author

Jessica CaleJessica Cale is the award-winning author of the historical romance series, The Southwark Saga. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in North Carolina.

Website: http://www.authorjessicacale.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacale

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaCale @JessicaCale

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rainbowcarnage

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997.Jessica_Cale

Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/bMas0P

 

Jessica, like plenty of other awesome authors, likes to hang out in my Facebook group, Come Wine With Tami. You should hang out, too.

Come Wine With Tami Lund-2

 

Ready for Your Heart to Race?

He hadn’t looked up from his phone as they introduced themselves. Now he continued to stare at the screen, swiping and tapping, oblivious to the silence that had fallen on the group. Greta studied him, noting that he was the only one in the room dressed in casual attire. He wore a blue faded cotton shirt, sleeves rolled up to reveal tan arms crisscrossed with scars, some white, fresher ones pink. His chair was pushed away from the table, and he had one long leg crossed across his knee, which she could see through a large hole in his ragged jeans. His feet were clad in brown leather hiking boots. His right foot bobbed up and down as he concentrated on his phone.

Ben cleared his throat, but the man didn’t seem to notice. “Dylan.”

He looked up at the sound of his name, and Ben pointed to Greta. “This is Greta Larsen, our final candidate for today.”

The man turned his gaze toward her and grinned, revealing a very small chip on one of his front incisors. She found herself unaccountably charmed by it. Combined with his indigo eyes and untidy black hair, that smile must have captivated a good number of women. She felt her face growing warm at the turn her thoughts had taken. She resisted the urge to fan herself.

“I’m Dylan Delaney, founder and CEO of Dylvan Technologies.” He extended his hand to her and when she shook it she felt calluses and scars.

Curious? Wondering what book this intriguing excerpt is from? Check out the blurb below:

When it comes to adventure, she’s stop and he’s go. When it comes to romance, he’s yes and she’s no.

Can billionaire Dylan Delaney overcome his adrenaline addiction with life coach Greta Larsen’s help before he loses his technology empire? Can she move past the death of her husband to find love again?

When Greta finds herself attracted to her very rich, very handsome new client, she sees it as a betrayal of her late husband. Despite her feelings of guilt, she can’t walk away from Dylan, especially when she learns he harbors his own grief.

His secret sorrow is the key to Dylan’s love of danger. Greta is determined to unlock his mysterious past so he’ll stop courting death. What she doesn’t count on is the passion she frees.

Dylan’s never met a woman who could slow him down. Until now. Greta teaches him to be mindful of the moment, but soon his every moment is filled with thoughts of her. Has he replaced one addiction with another?

Hearts Race is the follow-up story to Riverswept and the second book in the Burns Class of Love series. The story returns readers to the small town of Burns, Virginia and also introduces them to the Blue Ridge Mountains around Charlottesville, Virginia.

Let’s not forget one of my fave parts, the cover. Check this baby out:

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Pretty hot, eh? Makes you wanna buy it, doesn’t it? You should. It releases today, and it’s guaranteed to rev your engine. Do it. You know you want to.

Hearts Race, Book 2 in the Burns Class of Love series
Publication date: December 14, 2015

Buy link: http://www.annekaever.com/books.html

Author website: www.AnnekaEver.com

Author Bio: Anneka Ever is a romance author. Her contemporary love stories are set in the mountains and small towns of Virginia. Her strong heroes and independent heroines explore their passion against the beautiful backdrop of rivers, meadows, and forests. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America. Anneka lives in Virginia with her husband and three dogs.

Come Wine With Tami Lund-2

Wanna know more about the authors I occasionally feature on my blog? Head on over to Facebook and join my group, Come Wine With Tami. It’s where authors and readers get to know each other. And once a month, I feature an author, who hangs out for an hour, to answer your questions. No spam, no hard sell. Just… hanging out. And drinking wine. Because, why not?

**DOUBLE COVER REVEAL**LIGHTBEARER SERIES**

Cover Reveal

FirstLight_LightBearer_Prequelchangeinthelight

Book Title: First Light and Change In the Light
Author: Tami Lund
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 2015 and January 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Goodreads Button with Shadow

Book Blurb

First Light

The year is 1512.

The magical Lightbearers are hiding in caves in central Mexico, trying to stay one step ahead of the shape-shifters who want to kill them. What the shifters don’t know is killing a Lightbearer isn’t the way to inherit her magic.

Xander Wulf is a shape-shifter who has spent his entire life chasing the elusive Lightbearers. When he comes face to face with Sabine Flemming, his theory about inheriting Lightbearer magic is destroyed, and he can’t say he’s all that disappointed. In fact, he’s suddenly intrigued with the idea of getting to know the fascinating female.

Sabine doesn’t understand her strange attraction to the shifter who didn’t kill her. Not that she has time to dwell on it, because James Bennett, King of the Lightbearers, is demanding her attention—and he, too, wants more than she expects.

While Sabine tries to make the right choice, the king tries to save his people, and Xander does something wholly unexpected—which just might be a solution to the Lightbearers’ pesky shifter problem.

Read the prequel to the Lightbearer Series and learn the history behind the Lightbearers’ and shape-shifters’ contentious relationship—and how it was destined to change long before Tanner and Olivia meet in book 1, Into the Light.


Change In the Light

In the fourth installment of the Lightbearer series, we shift to Detroit, where pack master Josh Tigre is obligated to take a mate and produce offspring to carry on his family line. Problem is, the woman he falls for is human. According to the rules of the pack, he can never tell her about his true nature, which means at some point, he has to give her up.

Rachel Whitaker is a human woman trying to survive in a world in which it seems the cards are always stacked against her. When she’s forced to seduce Josh in exchange for her own life, the task is no hardship—until she falls for the one she is supposed to help destroy.

Rachel decides to fight back against the man manipulating her life, starting in motion a chain of events that adversely affect two worlds—and she doesn’t even know it.

Other books in the series include:

Into the Light
Dawning of Light
Light Beyond the Darkness
Change in the Light

excerpt

~CHANGE IN THE LIGHT~

Rachel doubted very much he was literally heading toward her, but she figured this was as perfect a chance as she was going to get to meet the guy.

She released her hold on the bar and smoothed the front of her satiny dress. And then she watched as his gaze caught hers and held, until he stood directly in front of her. Clearly, he had been literally heading in her direction.

“Hello,” he said, his deep voice slightly rough, like sandpaper. Her thoughts immediately shifted to silk sheets and baby oil. So far, this whole sleep-with-a-stranger gig wasn’t turning out half bad. Not bad at all, in fact.

“H-hi.”

“I’m Joshua Tigre. Josh.”

“Hi Josh. I’m Rachel.” She offered her hand and he enveloped it in his far larger and warmer one. She spared a moment to pray he never let it go.

“I hope the prank didn’t frighten you too much.”

Prank? She racked her brain, trying to figure out what the hell he was talking about. All she could focus on was the warmth of his hand and the impressive width of his shoulders. And his smile.And his eyes. And…

“The panther,” he went on to explain. “I told him not to do it. I told him this wasn’t the place.” He shook his head, looking exasperated. “My cousin never listens to reason.”

“Your—your cousin?” She was clearly missing something.

Josh nodded, looking solemn, although there was a definite gleam in his dark eyes. “Matt. He knows better. Unfortunately, he has a tendency to react first and think later. Or not at all.” The solemn look switched to annoyed, before he wiped it clean and offered her a dazzling smile. “Like I said, a prank. Harmless.”

“O-okay.” He sure seemed hell bent on convincing her she shouldn’t be frightened. In truth, once the panther had passed without so much as glancing her way, she’d been more fascinated than scared.

Josh’s gaze locked onto her for several breathless seconds. He scanned her, from the top of her red hair to the tips of her too-high heels, and then he abruptly shifted his gaze away and looked at the crowd.

“Maybe I should escort you to your car?” he suggested. Unless she was mistaken, he was trying to get rid of her. She wondered why.

“I—I didn’t drive.” The memory of a week ago, when she’d been tied to a chair in a hotel room and threatened with death, reminded her that this was what she wanted. She needed Josh Tigre to take her home tonight. She deliberately ignored that part of her brain that was actually excited over the prospect.

Okay, no she didn’t. In fact, she allowed that part of her brain to have free rein.

His gaze sharpened. “Do you need a ride?”

She batted her eyelashes. Rachel had been blessed with her mother’s milky complexion, gorgeous red hair, and strategic curves. Looks her mother had wasted on drugs and the sleazy losers who dealt them. Rachel preferred to waste hers on sexy men in gray suits who rushed across a crowded ballroom to convince her not to worry about the fact that a live panther had just strutted through the vicinity.

“That would be wonderful,” she said, her voice practically a purr. She watched as he scoped out the room again. A man stepped through the door where the panther had disappeared a short time earlier. He vaguely resembled Josh. Rachel wondered if this was the cousin who never listened. When his gaze zoned in on them, Josh sharply shook his head. The man paused, a frown creasing his brow.

“Let’s go. I’ll take you home.”

“What?” It couldn’t possibly be this easy—could it?

“You just said you needed a ride.” He sounded confused. Rachel caught herself before she blew her opportunity. She wasn’t used to anything working quite so readily in her favor. Even when she used guys for her own means, it wasn’t usually this easy.

“Right. Of course. I’d appreciate it. Thank you.” Now she sounded overly grateful.

Taking a deep breath, she opened her mouth to backtrack, but Josh beat her to the punch. “Great. Let’s go.” He slipped his arm around her waist and for a moment, she was certain she forgot to breathe. She certainly forgot how to walk, as was evident when he put pressure on her back and then paused, a question in his eyes.

“Sorry. The shoes. I’m not very good with the heels.”

He glanced down and she lifted her skirt enough for him to admire the six-inch gold heels. When he lifted his gaze back to her face, she could have sworn his eyes were glowing.

Holy shit, it really is going to be this easy.

LightbearersTrio-Teaser

Meet the Author

Tami Lund Headshot 2014Tami Lund is an author, a wine drinker, and a lover of romance. She’s writing happily ever afters, one book at a time.

Those happily ever afters come in contemporary and paranormal. She’s got something for everyone. You should check out her website. Rumor has it there’s a free read.

Social Media

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Other Books in the Series

LightbearerSeries4x6

amazon usamazon UK

Interview With An Antagonist

More Than Words is the second book in the Madison Falls series. Ben and Tracy, best friends of Reed and Sophie, get their turn for romance.

Tracy King, the cupcake queen, has given up on getting her prince charming to notice her. After over a year of coming to her bakery, Ben Carrington, tall, dark, and…quiet, has yet to ask her out. Little does she know that Ben likes sampling her cupcakes, but his real craving is for a taste of Tracy.

A leaky roof on a rainy night leaves Tracy swamped, literally. Ben brings her home with him, knowing that actions speak louder than words. Tempting Tracy into romance is easier said than done when secrets from her past come back to Madison Falls with a vengeance. Ben has a secret of his own but can’t let it keep him from protecting his lady love. Will he finally tell her his true feelings or will he be silenced for good?

We all know how important antagonists are to romance. They help readers relate to the hero and heroine, and they often help the hero and heroine grow and fall in love, even as they are usually working to keep them apart. All month, I’ve been featuring antagonists on my blog, affectionally nicknamed Mad May. Today is no exception. I’m interviewing Luke King, the antagonist from the second book in Susan Behon’s Madison Falls series.

MoreThanWords

TT: Tell us about yourself. Do you consider yourself your author’s muse or bane of her existence?

LK: (Takes a long drag from his cigarette and gives a smarmy grin) I’m Luke King. I’m Tracy’s dad. I’m out of prison and looking for my share of my daughter’s success. I’ll do whatever it takes (legal or not) to get my due. She owes me. I suppose I’m my author’s muse since she had fun writing my dialogue.

TT: What do you think readers will like best about you? Worst?

LK: Readers won’t like me much. There’s nothing to recommend me, except that I’m damn good at being bad. The readers will probably hate me, in fact, but so what? I’m getting my money from my daughter no matter what it takes. That girl will learn to respect her kin.

TT: Wow, that’s a, um, unique perspective coming from a parent. Let’s see if we can lighten this interview up a bit. What’s your favorite beverage?

LK: (Stubs out cigarette and lights another. Blows out a stream of smoke through yellow teeth) I got a fondness for Wild Turkey and Southern Comfort. Give me the hard stuff. Beer’s for pansies.

TT: How about food? Do you prefer vegetables or meat?

LK: (Leans back and leers) I like meat. How about you, honey?

TT: (Looks down at notes and dreads the next question.) Um, do you prefer to sleep in the nude or in your pajamas?

LK: Hell, I don’t know. Most times I pass out in my boxers. What kind of man wears pajamas?

TT: (Hesitates. I should have come up with different interview questions.) Lights on or lights out?

LK: They’re all the same in the dark, darlin’. I don’t need to look at them when I fu… (Clears throat, likely after my outraged look) when I’m knockin’ boots.

TT: (Folds paper with pre-written interview questions and pushes it to the side.) Okay, let’s take this in a different direction. Are you married?

LK: Nah, the bitch left me years ago. I got my eye on lots of women. (Gives me a once-over as he takes a drag of his cigarette.) Ain’t you a pretty little thing?

TT: Um, thanks. But I’m taken. And no offense, but I like a guy who’s more into seduction, treating a girl like she’s a queen.

LK: Seduce? I don’t need to seduce when they’re asking for it. A slut might say no, but she means yes. Not that I’m listening.

TT: Well, this interview is certainly veering far, far off track. Can we focus on Tracy, your daughter, for a moment? Do you want to talk about your relationship?

LK: I wish that selfish kid of mine would see that I need that money more than she does. A girl’s supposed to take care of her daddy.

TT: Especially one who clearly loves her like you do.

(Luke sneers. I can’t tell if he gets my sarcasm or if he just doesn’t care.)

TT: If you could rewrite one scene in the book, what would it be? How would you rewrite?

LK: Now that would spoil the surprise, baby girl. I would rewrite one scene, but you’ll know what I mean when you read it.

TT: Fair enough. Here’s another one. Has your author ever put you into an embarrassing situation?

LK: Embarrassing? I don’t get embarrassed. What do I care what uppity people think?

TT: How about this. Is there anything specific in this book of which you are particularly proud?

LK: I got a few spots I’m right proud of. I teach Tracy and Ben, that boyfriend of hers, what happens when you don’t show due respect.

TT: I have a real bad feeling that isn’t exactly something a normal person would be proud of. Well, I think maybe it’s time we bring this interview to a close. Do you want to add anything before we part ways?

LK: Buy the book and you’ll see just how far I’m willing to go to get what I want. Ben tries to stop me, but he can’t stick with Tracy all the time.

TT: (Shudder) Well, thank you for this enlightening interview. I have to say, I want to read this book just to ensure you get your come-upance, to tell you the truth. And that’s a wrap, readers. Thank you to Luke King for taking the time to meet with me today. I think. Anyway, if you’re as curious as I am, you can pick upLuke’s book, More Than Words, below, and you can check out Luke’s very talented author via her social media links as well.

AuthorPhotoSusanBehonSusan Behon Social Media Links:

Website: www.susanbehon.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/suebeehny

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1dD86dc

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

Amazon Author: http://amzn.to/1zn8Igz

 

 

 

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

Nook Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1QYuixA

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1GP4wpL

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1DKFOSY

iTunes: http://apple.co/1dD5uf7

Website Order Page: http://bit.ly/1FcO2IV

 Thank you for joining us for another entertaining Mad May blog post! Keep checking back. There’s one more on May 27, before we move into Jello Shot June!

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Antagonists in Romance: The Unrepentant Mean Girl with Annette Mardis

Thanks so much, Tami, for hosting me. I’m very happy to introduce you to Monica Sims, who is an unrepentant mean girl for the majority of The Shore Thing, the debut book in my Gulf Shore contemporary romance series. Most of the action takes place at Gulf Shore Aquarium, where Monica is a marine biologist.

The Shore ThingMonica’s misbehavior costs her a relationship with aquarium photographer/videographer Evan Sanders, who dumps her after catching her cheating with the marketing director, who not only is married but also the father of newborn twins. Then, after that coworker breaks up with her, Monica files a sexual harassment claim against him, and he loses his job.

As if all that isn’t bad enough, Monica goes on to stir up trouble between Evan and his new love, aquarium education specialist Danielle “Dani” Davidson. Monica starts harassing Dani even before she and Evan officially become a couple. Here’s an example of Monica’s spiteful misbehavior:

The next day, Dani had just placed her purse in her locker when Monica strutted in, unzipping her wet suit as she went. It was obvious she didn’t have anything on beneath the neoprene, at least on top. Dani averted her eyes, not wanting to give Monica the satisfaction of noticing, but the woman veered straight for her.

“Well, if it isn’t Dori.” She peeled the wet suit down to her waist. “I almost didn’t recognize you without your puppy dog trotting along at your heels.”

“My what?”

“Your puppy dog. Evan. Last time I saw you two together, he was panting and I was waiting for him to lick your hand and sniff your ass. Maybe even lift his leg and mark his territory.”

Monica laughed as if her cutting comments were uproariously funny. Her unfettered breasts jiggled, and Dani had no doubt it was intentional. She figured it was the female equivalent of a pissing contest.

“What do you want?” Dani didn’t hide her irritation.

“I don’t want a thing, not from you, because I don’t think you can hold Evan’s interest for long.”

“Look, Evan and I are not dating. I don’t know how much clearer I can be on that. Whatever competition you think there is between you and me is all in your head. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got work to do.”

Dani slammed her locker door shut, jammed on the combination lock, and started to leave.

“Did I say we were done talking?” Monica snapped.

Dani stopped and stared her nemesis straight in the eye. “No, I did.”

“This isn’t over,” Monica warned, but Dani didn’t bother to reply as she walked away.

Monica gets her comeuppance later in the book and is forced to examine her life after her sister calls her on her bitchiness. By that point, Monica has become a pariah among her coworkers and has an Alps-sized mountain to climb to redeem herself. She eats so much crow that she nearly chokes on it.

Want to read more about how Monica gets what she deserves? Buy The Shore Thing at http://tinyurl.com/lwmdck2.

Shore Feels RightBy the opening of Shore Feels Right, Gulf Shore Book 2, Monica has become a regular at “snipe and gripe” girls’ night out gatherings at Bikini Barb’s Bar & Grill. There, she has a chance meeting with Cosby Williams, the new co-owner of Nauti-Toys watercraft rentals. He’s captivated by her beauty, intelligence, and sassiness. When she gives him and his shark-crazy nephews a personal tour of the aquarium, including a behind-the-scenes experience at Shark Pier, he finds himself falling for her.

But Monica’s bad-girl past comes back to haunt her later in the book and threatens to spoil the most promising relationship she’s ever had.

Want to find out what happens next? Buy the book at http://amzn.com/B00OFBXJIU and other e-book retailers.

* * * *

Redemption also is a big theme in Shore to Please, Gulf Shore Book 3, coming June 22 from Liquid Silver Books. Animal rights activist Tara Langley, who objects to the aquarium keeping dolphins in captivity, hasn’t made many friends around town. Gulf Shore Aquarium is the jewel of the city’s tourist district, and the locals don’t take kindly to anyone who makes trouble for the signature attraction.Shore To Please Cover

Things get even more prickly when Tara and head dolphin trainer Paul “Flipper” O’Riley become better acquainted. His boss, Kenshin Hamasaki, considers Flipper disloyal for even giving “that woman” the time of day. How will Kenshin handle it if Flipper and Tara dare to act on their mutual desire?

Kenshin’s penchant for self-preservation and playing politics may keep him in the aquarium director’s good graces, but it doesn’t endear him to Flipper and many of his coworkers. Has Kenshin forgotten the meaning of friendship and selflessness? Will he manage to redeem himself?

Unfortunately for the crew at Gulf Shore Aquarium, a more serious situation is overshadowing those personal dramas. An anonymous anti-captivity advocate is threatening increasingly vile punishments despite the fact the aquarium’s dolphins wouldn’t survive if returned to the wild.

And those threats become even more personal when Flipper finds one of the nasty notes nailed to the front door of his cottage. Will police Detective Joanna Tompkins catch the culprit(s) before someone gets badly hurt or even killed?

Shore to Please is available for preorder now at Liquid Silver Books’ website, www.lsbooks.com/pre-order-coming-soon-romance-books-c322.php. Buy it now and get a 20 percent discount!

About the series

The Gulf Shore contemporary romance series is set in the fictional west-central Florida beach town of Gulf Shore, where you’ll feel sugary white sand between your toes, the warm sun on your shoulders, and a sea breeze ruffling your hair.
You’ll meet swoon-worthy alpha males who aren’t embarrassed to cuddle a rescued baby dolphin in their muscular arms, and accomplished women looking for an equal partner who thinks that smart is sexy.
You’ll get up close and personal with sea life, join the “snipe and gripe” club for girls’ nights out, and fall in love with a talking parrot who acts like a little boy in a bird suit.
You’ll go behind-the-scenes at the local aquarium and out to the beach to rescue marine animals in distress. And once you visit Gulf Shore, you just may find yourself wishing you could stay.

Annette MardisConnect with Annette

Website: www.annettemardis.com/

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****

Thank you for taking the time to read another Mad May blog post. There are still a few days left in the month – and a few more posts – so be sure to check back regularly!

Can Antagonists be Redeemed? What Does Historical Romance Author Amy Quinton Think?

Thanks, everyone, for joining me on Tami Lund’s Mad May Blog. And thank you, Tami, for having me here. I am so happy to be celebrating the release of my first book, What the Duke Wants, a fun, new regency romance, on your site. And we’ll have more about the book later…

What the Duke Wants

…But for now, I’m talking… villains. A story is just plain boring without them. You might as well watch paint dry or grass grow rather than read a book without at least one good villain.

Villains come in all shapes and sizes – from hulking brutes who threaten our well-being… or foul weather that destroys our best laid plans… to the little pestering voice inside our head that feeds on our deepest fears.

But for the purposes of this post, let’s talk about the villains who are people in our stories. The question inquiring minds want to know is:

Do villains deserve redemption?

Well, let me say right off… Yes, I believe they do. To a point.

I do think there is a line a villain can cross at which time they become completely irredeemable. Antagonist Post Pic
Absolutely. It isn’t black and white to me, but many shades of grey. Does a man who has spent his life robbing and swindling the poor deserve a chance at redemption when he sees the error of his ways?

Or say two people are caught stealing. One comes from an impoverished family and steals food to eat. The other comes from wealth and steals food just to slake their desire to take from others. Is one ‘villain’ more deserving of redemption than the other? Sure. Are both even truly villains? Probably not.

Of course, life is rarely as simple as all that. Many factors come in to play: upbringing, environmental factors, physiological & psychological problems, extent of the ‘damage’ inflicted… I could go on… but I won’t… let’s not get carried away here.

I have a better idea. Let’s look at two villains in What the Duke Wants and decide if they are worthy of a happily ever after – or worthy of even living for that matter…

 

Villain 1: Lady Beatryce Beckett.

Lady Beatryce is a stunningly beautiful debutante, and a cousin to our heroine in What the Duke Wants, Miss Grace Radclyffe. Lady B is generally spoiled, dishonest, and vain… She’s utterly horrid. Let’s join Lady Beatryce at a ball in London (This is an attempt to compromise our heroine – planned in advance between Lady B and another villain, Lord Middlebury):

During a break in the dancing, Lady Beatryce glanced about her court of admirers and smiled behind her fan. There were a dozen young dandies vying for her attention, all of them worse gossips than any woman she knew.

One particularly young buck leaned near. “The lady dancing the cotillion with Dansbury earlier, I understand she is your cousin?”

Antagonist Pic 2Beatryce smiled to herself. This was going to be all too easy. She assumed a somber look before replying, “Yes, I’m afraid so.”

The young fop, noticing her subdued countenance, responded all too predictably, “Is that a bad thing?”

Beatryce sighed dramatically. “No, for we love her dearly and have opened our hearts to her despite her b…” Beatryce blushed convincingly. “Well, I shouldn’t say.”

“Oh please, Lady Beatryce, do tell, we shan’t tell a soul nor hold it against you. Your generosity is well known,” said the love-sick, and lying, fool. They hung on her every word in the hopes of acquiring new gossip.

“Please see that you do then, as many would frown upon what I’m about to tell you…But, well, you see, her family was in trade.” A collective gasp sounded from her circle of admirers. “And I’m afraid she has had little instruction in the art of being a lady. Now, I see you are surprised by this, yet despite how most of the ton feels about people in trade, we have opened our home to her, inviting her in when she was orphaned last year.”

The dandies panted—trade? Oh, the scandal. The horror. They tried to mask their fervor for gossip by nodding solemnly at the Beckett family’s obvious benevolence; however, eager eyes gave them away. Beatryce smiled and continued, “And though we’ve tried to give her some rudimentary instruction in proper decorum, I’m afraid she doesn’t seem to understand that there are certain…things…a lady must never, ever do in order to safeguard her reputation.”

The men around her salivated and leaned forward on their toes as Beatryce lowered her voice scandalously. They couldn’t afford to miss a word. Their faces well-nigh shouted at her to be more specific.

One particularly bold peacock said, “For instance…” his voice trailing off for Beatryce to fill in the blank.

Beatryce wanted to thank him and kiss his feet for the lead-in. “Well, I’m sure it’s because she is so kind and loving, but we cannot seem to make her realize that she cannot go off unescorted with certain…people…Men. Who are not relations, you see.”

The men’s eyes widened at the news, and Beatryce could practically read their wicked thoughts as they wondered who Grace was running off with unescorted, and more to the point, who they should relate the news to first.

Beatryce sighed with feigned exasperation as she looked pointedly across the room.

Right on cue, Middlebury.

“And there she goes again,” she said with a nod toward the potted palms across the way. “Excuse me, while I attempt to save my cousin from herself.” And before Beatryce could take another breath, the young swains scattered like cockroaches at dawn, gossip ready to slide off their wagging tongues.

Beatryce headed to the ladies’ retiring room rather than make her way across the dance floor. As if she had any intention of saving her cousin. Ha!

Yikes! Can we say Manipulative… Deceitful… Damaged?

And I could go on. A B@#%$ with a capital B, is our Lady Beatryce. And there are numerous examples of this in What the Duke Wants. She insults our heroine in public and private. She destroys some of our heroine’s things by burning them in the fireplace. She lies. She cheats. She steals. And everything she does is because she refuses to allow anything to stand in the way of what she wants.
Does a woman like that deserve a happily ever after? Is she redeemable at all? Hmmm. Before we answer that, let’s look at another villain…

 Antagonist Pic 3

Villain 2: Lord George Beckett, Earl Swindon.

Swindon is a rather disgusting, slovenly person (an understatement) who has zero respect for women. He’s selfish, stupid, intolerant and powerful – a dangerous combination to be sure. Let’s step in on a scene where he is questioning his daughter, Lady Beatryce, for not yet managing to get our hero to ask her to marry him in What the Duke Wants:

“Daughter, I ask you this. Have I not raised you and given you every comfort? Every opportunity? Your every desire?”

“Yes, Papa.” She knew better than to disagree, and she did have many fine things.Antaonist Pic 4

“Then why do you not show more gratitude by obeying me when I ask something of you? Do you not owe me? Do you not feel obliged to please me for providing for you? For giving you food and shelter and clothing?”

She knew better than to answer. No matter her response, it would be the wrong thing to say, so she sat still and attempted to look contrite yet sure, while she waited impatiently for him to continue. He would prey on her fear if he saw it.

“I’ve explained the facts of life to you many, many times before, yet for some inexplicable reason, you seem unable to remember these simple truths as I have illuminated them to you. If I didn’t know any better, I would question whether or not you are mine. It’s too late for that now, though; the world believes you are and that makes it real. So, I will remind you one more time—you are either with me, or you are against me. Period. There is no middle ground.”

He began to walk around his desk. Her eyes widened with alarm. She couldn’t help that as her fear escalated.

“So with that lesson fresh in your mind, do you recall what one specific task I asked of you this year?”

“Yes, Papa.”

“Let me hear you repeat it, daughter.” He was directly in front of her now, looking down upon her seated self. He leaned back against the desk—he was too lazy to remain standing for long—and he involuntarily grunted as the air was forced from his lungs when he did. The desk groaned ominously beneath the added load. He was breathless simply from talking and walking the short distance around his desk, so little did he get out of the house. Yet still, he was a strong man, despite the excess weight, and she was right to be scared.

Her voice was barely a whisper as she said, “I am to bring the Duke of Stonebridge u-up to scratch.” She hated that her voice caught as she spoke. She wanted desperately to stand up to this man she despised, her own father, and she hated herself for being intimidated by him.

He smiled, though it came across as a grimace as if he had just stepped on a bug or in a pile of shite—certainly no joy was reflected in his beady, piggy eyes.

“Indeed. Perhaps there is hope for you yet. Your mind might not be as unstable as I have feared. At least you are listening, at any rate. However,” and here he unfolded his arms and grabbed ahold of the riding crop with his hand. She was well and truly afraid now. “You have yet to bring Stonebridge up to scratch and that leads me to believe that rather than working with me, you are working against me. I realize you are not a beauty, and anyone who tells you otherwise is outright lying to your face; however, I do not expect that to stop you from achieving our goals. Need I remind you what is at stake should you fail?”

He raised the riding crop as he said those last words, and she screamed in terror.

“Papa! No! Please don’t hurt me!”

Her mind raced as she grasped for a way to break through to him. He had a manic look now; his anger was so fierce.

“You mustn’t strike me. It will cause unnecessarily delays. I must be seen with the duke…to further our plans. If I am injured…” She choked on her last words, too frightened to speak further. She cowered in fear in her chair and attempted to make herself small. To offer him less of a target for his fury.

However, her father simply lowered his riding crop; sense seemed to penetrate his haze of anger.

“True. Too true. Yes, you are correct, daughter, this once. I shall let you off easy then, this time, but I’m warning you. Do whatever you must to bring about the duke’s proposal, or you will dislike the consequences. For if you fail, I will have to find some other way to proceed, and you will then become completely unnecessary to me. To this family.”

He threw the riding crop across the room, knocking over a vase in the corner. It shattered when it hit the floor. Her relief at having reached through to her father was short-lived. She flinched, expecting her father’s wrath to return so he could blame her for the loss of the vase, but instead he looked at her, the smile on his face proving, as always, that he was completely unpredictable…or insane.

“You may be excused, daughter, but first, how about a kiss and a hug for your father?”

She stood and reached out to hug the man she loathed with every fiber of her being.

He was so large that her hands were unable to reach fully around his wide girth. He smelled sour, of onions and rotten turnips, and she struggled not to gag. She bussed him, reluctantly, on the cheek and tried again not to gag; then she pulled back to look up at him.

She masked her revulsion and drew on every ounce of inner strength. She forced a smile and appeared every inch the dutiful daughter as she said with conviction, “I shall make you proud, Papa.”

She would do anything to bring the duke up to scratch. And confident her father was temporarily appeased, she turned and slowly quit the room, almost regally, yet all the while, her lip quivered with suppressed emotion.

*

Antagonist Fail 5The earl watched his daughter leave, satisfied she would do what was necessary to secure his future. He began to whistle, a jovial tune, as he made his way back around to his comfy chair. His whistling didn’t last long, for he was already out of breath again with the effort…And he knew that, too, was somehow Beatryce’s fault.

 

Ugh. How vile. So… Still think Lady Beatryce is completely irredeemable or unworthy of redemption? Clearly, she’s motivated to do whatever it takes to get away from her abusive father. And what about the earl? Is he even worth consideration?

To me, the earl has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. And he doesn’t have a single excuse to justify his behavior. But then, I know a lot more about his character than I’ve shown here…. And you’ll have to read the book to learn more…

But what about Lady B? What we’ve seen here leads us to an interesting premise: Does the end result ever justify the means to get there?

We’ve all heard the sentiment before. In the case of Lady Beatryce, she absolutely believes it. She’ll do whatever it takes – even destroy other people – to be free of her father.

So, I believe that, yes, she is redeemable. Possibly. And I’m testing out that theory in my next book – What the Marquess Sees (still a work in progress). In it, our heroine is none other than Lady Beatryce Beckett herself… And I think it will take just the right kind of man to see through her numerous negative qualities to discover if she is worth saving…

What do you think?

~~~~

Amy QuintonAuthor Bio
Amy Quinton is an author and full time mom living in Summerville, SC. She enjoys writing (and reading!) sexy, historical romances. She lives with her husband, two boys, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to go camping, hiking, and canoeing/kayaking… And did she mention reading? When she’s not reading, cleaning, or traveling, she likes to make jewelry, sew, knit, and crochet (Yay for Ravelry!).

https://amyquinton.net/

 

Curious about Amy’s books?

EBook:

LS Books: https://www.lsbooks.com/p986.php

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/What-Duke-Wants-Agents-Change-ebook/dp/B00RUBIDZ6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-the-duke-wants-amy-quinton/1121008848?ean=9781622101849

KOBO: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/what-the-duke-wants-1

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Amy_Quinton_What_the_Duke_Wants?id=6ogVBgAAQBAJ

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/what-the-duke-wants/id956337561?mt=11

 

Print:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/What-Duke-Wants-Agents-Change/dp/1503304698/ref=la_B00RUHIXZ0_1_1_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1421252744&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-the-duke-wants-amy-quinton/1121008848?ean=9781503304697&itm=1&usri=what+the+duke+wants

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Social Links:

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Thanks for checking out today’s #MadMay blog post. The month isn’t over, and there are plenty more guest posts with other authors, talking different types of antagonists. Because as we all know, a good antagonist makes for a great read!

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Antagonists – A Necessary Component To All Good Romance

It’s still Mad May on my blog, and today, I welcome Anneka Ever, a fantastic contemporary romance author, who explains why antagonists are so vital to any good story. Thank you, Anneka, for this enriching addition to Mad May!

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Antagonists. They are the anti-heroes. They entertain us because they bring conflict, a vital component of most good stories.

Think about the books, television shows, and movies you consume. Now think about them without the antagonists. Game of Thrones would be pretty boring if Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen had no one opposing their goals. The Avengers face external conflict due to antagonists like Loki and Ultron, but they also deal with internal conflict due to the clashing personalities of all the superheroes. In the quieter moments of the movies, the protagonists become antagonists. That little trick maintains conflict and enriches the plot.

That’s something that happens in romance stories. We want the couple to get together, but not right away. Those little bits of conflict between them suck us into the story. Add external conflict to it with an interesting antagonist and you’ve got a good tale.

How do you make the antagonist interesting?

Writers use difference devices. I start with the physical aspects of the person. In my novel Riverswept, I rely on the traditional symbolism of light versus dark. While hero Finnley Moran is blond, full of light and warmth, antagonist Bart Martin is dark and cold, from his clothes to his attitude.

When Molly Duncan thinks of Finn, she pictures him as Helios. “Warmth radiated from him. She remembered the first time they had made love, when she had pictured him a sun god.” Bart is the opposite of Finn. The first time she meets him, he’s dressed in dark clothes: “He wore a black blazer of Italian leather, black pants, grey shirt, and expensive-looking loafers.” He gazes at her “with a dark and serious expression.”

Even the way the men move illustrates their differences. “Why would she ever crawl into bed with Bart Martin? Sure, he was handsome in his own way, but rather starchy in his bearing. Finn, on the other hand, was so laidback that he reminded Molly of a T-shirt that had been washed too often. Tattered, but comfortable.”

Near the end of the book, Bart’s wicked personality begins to manifest itself outwardly. “Behind Finn, a dark shape emerged from the water. Covered in mud, Bart looked like a monster rising up from the depths of the Burns River. He wrapped his arms around Finn’s knees and pulled. Molly tried to hold him, but she wasn’t strong enough. His hand slipped from hers and he fell backward into the river with Bart.”

The origin of the word “antagonist” includes the concept of contending for a prize. In romance the prize may be a person or, in the case of Riverswept, the prize may be the HEA (happily ever after). Whatever the case may be, the antagonist enhances the story.

Riverswept

Riverswept Buy Link: http://www.lsbooks.com/riverswept-p1013.php

__________

Anneka Ever is a romance author. Her contemporary love stories are set in the mountains and small towns of Virginia. Her strong heroes and independent heroines explore their passion against the beautiful backdrop of rivers, meadows, and forests.

An award-winning poet and short story writer, Anneka brings a fresh perspective to stories of dating and relationships.

She lives in far Southwestern Virginia with her husband and three dogs.

Anneka’s website is www.AnnekaEver.com

Social media links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnekaEver

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AnnekaEver

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Virtue’s – er – Lady?

It’s Mad May, folks, and that means it’s all about antagonists, all month long. Today, we’re going back in time, to Restoration London, where highwaymen and harlots reigned supreme.

Okay, maybe they didn’t *technically* reign supreme, but for purposes of this blog, let’s assume. Because today, the author of this supreme series, Jessica Cale, has finagled a special interview with Meg Henshawe, a barmaid with a rather large chip on her shoulder, in the form of the heroine of book two in the Southwark Saga series, Virtue’s Lady.

In this series, the characters spend a great deal of time at The Rose & Crown, an inn run by the Henshawe family. Meg Henshawe is the eldest of the five sisters who work as barmaids there. Widely regarded as the most beautiful woman south of the river, Meg is as popular as she is volatile. As Mark Virtue’s on-again-off-again girlfriend, she is less than thrilled when Lady Jane arrives in Southwark…

I am sitting across a table from Meg Henshawe, feeling a little bit like I’m about to be eaten.

We’re at The Rose and Crown in Southwark, the inn she manages for her parents. The bar is closed for the night and her shift is over, so we have the whole space to ourselves. Meg is twenty-eight, an unmarried mother of three, and up until last week, Mark Virtue’s on-again-off-again girlfriend.

I can see why. Meg is easily the most beautiful and terrifying women I’ve ever seen up close. She’s tall and blonde with a lovely face and the kind of curves that should come with a warning. If she lived in the twenty-first century, she’d easily be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She brings to mind Kate Upton if she was part barracuda. Her presence totally dominates the small space, and she’s glaring at me.

Meg: What?

Jess: Sorry, it’s just that you’re kind of alarming to look at. You’re beautiful.

Meg: (snorts) Piss off.

Jess: Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?

Meg: Haven’t got any say in it, have I? You brought me here. Ask and be damned.

Jess: Why don’t you like Jane?

Meg: Are you taking the piss? Jane? Jane?! Mincing about like she knows what it is to live in Southwark. This is my town, my inn, and Mark was mine. I’ve earned every last thing you see in here. I built my reputation, and you might not think much of it, but it’s mine. I looked after Mark for ten years and then Lady Jane Whatsit thinks she can roll out of her carriage one day and just take him from me? She has everything, and she could have any titled bloke she wants, and she’s got to go after mine? Why would I like her?

Jess: Ten years is a long time. Do you love Mark?

Meg: (deadpan) I love parts of him. What? I’ve got to shackle myself to one? Men are all alike. Mark’s better than most, and I do love him. He’s my best mate. Or was, until Jane. Now he’s lost his wits over her and I’m left to rot in this tip. Oh, I’ve got others, make no mistake, but one’s as good as the next. Only good for one thing, they are, and most of them aren’t even good for that.

Jess: What kind of man do you like?

Meg: Oh, no. I know who you are and what you’re doing. You think I’ll warm up to you and tell you all my secrets like my stupid little sister? You ought to write some sense into that one. You think I don’t know what you’re up to, but I bloody do. I’m good for more than waving my tits in blokes’ faces, whatever it is you might think. I’m a clever sort, cleverer than any one of them gives me credit for. You made me the villain of this piece, and what for? You break my nose and you think the prospect of some imaginary man is going to keep me from throwing you out of my bar? (crosses her arms) Bloody fine, I’ll play along. I like boxers. I like ‘em big and I like ‘em dark, if you must know. I am no wilting violet, me, and I want a man who can throw me around a bit, if you catch my meaning. Someone who fancies me for my brains, not just my tits, and somebody who sees that I’m only looking out for my family, and I’m not a bloody villain. Got one of those lying around, have you?

Jess: I might.

Meg: Might you? Why would you do that? You run my name through the mud in this rubbish, and then turn around and write me the perfect man? What are you going to do, give him to my sister?

Jess: Have you read Virtue’s Lady?

Meg: Can’t read much, can I?

Jess: Sorry. You might think you came across badly in this one, but I don’t think you did. You came out alright in the end. I really rather like you, Meg, and I’m not done with you yet. I’d like to properly get inside your head, and see what I can do about that perfect man.

Meg: (stares) You’re mad as a hatter.

Jess: Yes.

Meg: (smiles) I think I like you, too.

You can meet Meg Henshawe and all four of her sisters in Tyburn and Virtue’s Lady, out now!

 

virtuesladyVirtue’s Lady

Author: Jessica Cale

Genre: Historical Romance (Restoration/Enlightenment)

Publisher: Liquid Silver

Release Date: April 13th

From toiling for pennies to bare-knuckle boxing, a lady is prepared for every eventuality.

Lady Jane Ramsey is young, beautiful, and ruined.

After being rescued from her kidnapping by a handsome highwayman, she returns home only to find her marriage prospects drastically reduced. Her father expects her to marry the repulsive Lord Lewes, but Jane has other plans. All she can think about is her highwayman, and she is determined to find him again.

Mark Virtue is trying to go straight. After years of robbing coaches and surviving on his wits, he knows it’s time to hang up his pistol and become the carpenter he was trained to be. He busies himself with finding work for his neighbors and improving his corner of Southwark as he tries to forget the girl who haunts his dreams. As a carpenter struggling to stay in work in the aftermath of The Fire, he knows Jane is unfathomably far beyond his reach, and there’s no use wishing for the impossible.

When Jane turns up in Southwark, Mark is furious. She has no way of understanding just how much danger she has put them in by running away. In spite of his growing feelings for her, he knows that Southwark is no place for a lady. Jane must set aside her lessons to learn a new set of rules if she is to make a life for herself in the crime-ridden slum. She will fight for her freedom and her life if that’s what it takes to prove to Mark—and to herself—that there’s more to her than meets the eye.

 

Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com/virtues-lady-p1008.php

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Virtues-Lady-Southwark-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00VC6B9SS

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/virtues-lady-jessica-cale/1121713113?ean=9781622102051

All Romance E-Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-virtue039slady-1782182-340.html

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/virtue-s-lady

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/virtues-lady/id983809003?mt=11

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25238694-virtue-s-lady

 

If you haven’t yet, you should read the first book in this series too (and it’s best to read them in order)! 

tyburn (2)Tyburn (The Southwark Saga, Book 1): Notorious harlot Sally Green fights for survival in Restoration London. When a brutal attack throws them together, Sally is torn between the tutor who saves her and the highwayman who keeps her up at night; between new love and an old need for revenge. Winner of the Southern Magic Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence 2015.

Shortly after Tyburn released, we were able to grab Mark Virtue (hero from the recently released Virtue’s Lady) for an interview. You can read it here:  CLICK HERE

And then you can pick up Tyburn here:

Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com/tyburn-p975.php

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PQV6H9Q

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tyburn-jessica-cale/1120852744?ean=9781622101740

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/tyburn-4

All Romance E-Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tyburn-1695993-340.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tyburn/id947992086?mt=11

 

Want to get to know the author?

Jessica Cale_Author PicJessica Cale is a historical romance author and journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at www.authorjessicacale.com.

And if you want to stalk Jessica, here you go: 

Website: http://www.authorjessicacale.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacale

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaCale

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JessicaCaleWrites

Tumblr: http://authorjessicacale.tumblr.com

Tsu: https://www.tsu.co/jessicacale

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997.Jessica_Cale

~~~

Oh wait – there’s more! How about a (juicy) excerpt? I don’t suppose I mentioned Mark Virtue isn’t exactly… virtuous, did I? Curious? Read this tidbit, and then scroll back up to click the buy link. You know you want to.

~~~

The girl was beautiful.

She had him pinned to the bed. He was helpless beneath her hands. Her long fingers spanned his chest, tracing the line where the muscle dipped and gave way to shoulder. A hint of a smile played on her lips, more than just a little bit wicked. Kiss-crushed and sherry red, they were the sweetest thing he’d ever tasted.

“Like this?” She shifted back onto his hip bones.

She hovered above him like a conquering angel, all of the fearsome beauty of heaven in her laughing eyes, as grey and deadly as any steel. He could see the evidence of her ferocity in the iron poker that still projected from the door behind her head, a temptation as much as a warning.

“Getting there.” He grinned.

His hands rested on the curve of her waist, his rough, tanned skin a stark contrast to her smooth flesh, luminous and pale as the moon.

“More,” she moaned, rocking against him.

The bed slammed noisily against the wall, an insistent rapping that increased in frequency, strangely unconnected to the movements of her hips.

Somewhere in the distance, the sound of a saw.

Mark became aware of the bedclothes tangled around his legs. The stench of the river replaced the scent of her skin. She flickered as she bent over him with a sly smile, her hair falling around him like a curtain of copper silk. He was moments away from a bone-shattering orgasm. Just a little bit longer. She increased her pace, her breath quickening as she neared her peak. Her lips hovered above his, close enough to kiss, but somehow out of reach.

Her hips flickered under his hands and he heard the warble of a flock of geese.

“Jane,” he gasped, reaching out to grasp her as she disappeared, and finding only bed linen beneath his hand.

###

 

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