Monday, September 9, 2019

Winner Announced in Book Drawing

Good Monday Morning. Our Medieval Monday Summer Theme of Villains/Bad Boys has ended and drawings have been held for book winners.

I’m thrilled to announce the winner of my drawing is fellow Rose (Wild Rose Press author) Ilona Fridl.

Congratulations, Ilona! Thank you for dropping by my blogs to comment.
I'll see everyone very soon!

And to all of you who signed up for my newsletter as a result of the tour--welcome! I'm so happy you've joined us. I usually send out a newsletter every two months with my news and news of fellow authors, along with contests and prizes.


Sunday, September 1, 2019

Medieval Monday Wraps Up Villains Theme With Free Books

Happy Labor Day, everyone. And welcome to Medieval Monday's last post in the Villain/Bad Boy themed blog tour. Today, each author is posting the last snippet from her chosen novel's excerpt. I hope you've enjoyed the series are much as we all have loved spotlighting them for you.

I've been featuring a section from my latest Wild Rose Press release FOR THIS KNIGHT ONLY. Roark and Alyss's story features a villain fans--and I--have enjoyed over a three-book span. That's the manipulative Sir Paxton. Just to give everyone the full introduction to him, I'm reprinting the entire excerpt from which all the snippets have come.

Next week, I'll announce the name of the winner of the free copy of the book. So be sure to leave your email below with your comment.

EXCERPT:


Paris, February, 1194

In a crisp, star-crinkled midnight sky, haloed by a ring of clouds, the late-winter moon hung low. Shadows spiked across the courtyard, ghostly reminders of the dormant trees from which they slipped. A smaller shadow flicked between them, moving silently toward the castle’s black bulk.



The snap of heel against rock was deadened in the closeness of the cold air, yet it seemed to ring in Sir Paxton of Corbeau’s ears. He flattened against the stone wall, then eased to the edge and carefully peered around the corner. No one in sight.


Why the hell am I trying to hide?  He was a knight returned from a dangerous mission and should be welcomed. No doubt he would be, soon. 



Sir Paxton moved quietly in the darkness, nonetheless. Prince John likely had heard of the battle’s outcome by now. The would-be king would want to know why Paxton delayed in reporting.


He’ll have his royal prick in a knot. Well, Hades. I couldn’t travel fast with a slashed arm, could I?

He scratched on the wooden panel, an entry he’d used before, counted to four, then scratched again. After waiting what seemed an eternity, the door opened a sliver, and he pushed his way in. When he saw whom he’d shoved aside— Shite. He dropped to one knee. 


“My lord.” He wasted no words. “The king lives.”


Eyelids lowered to a slit, John watched him.  “So I learned not two days past,” he at last said, softly. “Why?”


“I was wounded, my lord, and I—”


“Did I ask about your health? I referred to the outcome of the attack.”


Paxton shook his head. He eased his aching arm to rest on his bent knee. “God knows. The plan appeared to work. The king’s party was separated from the rest of the group. The fools actually went hunting. When we attacked, Cantleigh moved his men in from behind, as planned. Then something happened. A noise—a shout. It alerted the king’s men.” 



Prince John turned away and walked toward the center of the bedchamber. Candlelight muted the purple and gold of the robe he wore and etched his features, making the nose seem sharper, the intelligent eyes more menacing.  He gestured. Paxton rose and followed.



The chamber was empty but for the two of them. No woman. Surprising for this time of night.  John must have been expecting him.



Flickering light cast the men’s shadows long and narrow against the far wall. Paxton watched as those dark forms undulated in the silence. He caught smells of candle wax and heady perfume, underscored by a trace of body odor and woman’s musk.  So the royal cock hasn’t been alone. No wonder he made me wait so long at the door.



Waiting for the king’s brother seemed to be Paxton’s lot in life. And waiting for him to speak now rated worse than facing a trio of soldiers on the battlefield. He could at least defend himself there.



“Did any of Cantleigh’s men survive?” The sudden sound of the prince’s voice made

him start. 



“None of those with him.”



“Jenkins as well?”



“Dead.”  



Prince John’s pacing ended in front of Paxton, who wove slightly in pain and exhaustion. The prince pointed to a bench near the hearth. “Sit before you fall.”



His mouth pursed, John stared at him. “And what does the king say of the matter?”



“In the confusion of fighting, he couldn’t see the attackers clearly. I suggested someone may have followed from Mainz, people unhappy with the terms of his ransom. The dead carried no identification, just as instructed. Richard is convinced they were outlaws on the prowl for rich travelers.”



Looking smug, Paxton added, “As for Sir Martin and his three, the king believes they died defending him. I, myself, am recovering from wounds at a snug little farmhouse with excellent ale stocked by a charming widow.”



John nodded once. “That is the story, then. Go home. Clean yourself up and rest.”



Paxton had turned when he heard, “You identified Cantleigh?” At a nod, John drawled, “Was anything found on him?”



Incriminating evidence, perhaps? Are you becoming careless in your panic?



“Nothing.” Paxton hesitated. He dreaded to relate this part, but he didn’t dare omit it. “Two of his knights were before me when I came upon the body. One held something. It may have come from Sir Martin.”



“And this something was. . .?”



“A leather packet? I couldn’t see clearly. I hid until they left.”



“Did you know them?”


“Only Sir Roark, Cantleigh’s captain. The plan didn’t include him. Cantleight said the man had a peasant streak of morality. Has a reputation as a fighter though.” 

He paused, eyeing John. He knew that stare, had seen it countless times in the four years he’d served the king’s brother. It made even Paxton edgy. John sat, leaned back in an ornately carved wooden chair, his fingers tented before his lips. For a moment he did not speak, he did not blink, and—Paxton could swear—he did not breathe.



The silence drew out until John murmured, “Pity you were so careless as to be injured. Such an inconvenience. Still, report tomorrow. I have a different commission for you.”



Whether or not he wanted to, Paxton would be there. Time for my reward, Johnny. Oh— so sorry my royal arsehole, ‘ Prince’ John.



Time for a promise to be fulfilled.     

                                                             ****

The private door had scarcely closed when John stalked into the adjoining room. Shoulders hunched, robe tucked tightly, he walked to a window and stared past his dim reflection

in the wavy glass, out into the moon-frosted garden. The wintering plants lay dead to the look, but spring would see them bloom again. With a little expeditious pruning. Much like his plans.



He’d received word of Sir Jasper’s death from his informant at Windom. Struck down attacking a neighboring castle, the fool. John wanted that land near Nottingham secure, even if he had been forced to leave England. Sir Paxton would do it. Make that Lord Paxton.



John smiled. One problem solved. Now for another.  He needed to retrieve a certain leather pouch. Its contents should have been destroyed long since. He sighed with cynical regret. You couldn’t trust anyone these days.




Blurb:
He’ll do anything for land, even marry her; she’ll do anything for her people, except marry him.  If only either had a choice.  It’s a marriage only love can save.
Sir Roark will do anything to gain land, even beguile an unwilling lady into marriage. He knows she’s much better off with a man to take control of her besieged castle, to say nothing of her desirable person. But it isn’t long before he discovers that, although her eyes sparkle like sunlight on sea waves, her stubbornness alone could have defeated Saladin.   

Lady Alyss is determined to hold her family’s castle, protect her people, and preserve her freedom— until her brother’s dying wish binds her to a stranger. Still, she’ll allow no rugged, over-confident, appealing knight to usurp her authority, even if she must wed him. Especially since he thinks a lady’s duties begin and end with directing servants. Alyss has a few surprises for her new all-too-tempting lord.

But when a common enemy threatens everything, Roark and Alyss face a startling revelation. Without love, neither land nor freedom matters.

Buy Link

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Medieval Monday: Ashley York Brings Daughter of the King

Our Medieval Monday Bad Boy/Villain theme has nearly ended. Here in our next to last installment is award-winning author Ashley York with DAUGHTER OF THE KING, Book Three in The Warrior Kings series. Be sure to comment to be entered in the drawing for a copy of her book week after next.

You can find my current snippet at Ashley’s blog today:www.ashleyyorkauthor.com/blog

Here’s Ashley’s exciting snippet.

BLURB:

A mistaken identity. A gruesome murder.

Trained as a warrior...

Brighit of Clonascra despises the trappings and demands of womanhood and is far more comfortable training for battle. Long held alliances require she set aside selfish dreams and take Darragh as her husband. The union intended to promote peace between the clans is interrupted by the shocking murder of a neighboring king and she quickly discovers there are far worse things than being wed.

Trained to be king...

Darragh of Drogheda has no wish to be king, but he is an obedient son and supports his father's plans. His marriage to Brighit, however, will be no hardship at all since he finds her most intriguing when she fights him at every turn. A she-warrior indeed. Her persistent dismissal of him merely blows the fire aflame and sets him down the path to discovery of all her most tightly held secrets—secrets that could cost him his life. 

BUY LINK: https://www.ashleyyorkauthor.com/daughter-of-the-king

EXCERPT:
Seigine glanced at the men with him. When all nodded their agreement, he turned to face Tadhg again and said, “There was little choice. We must seek revenge. A leader is required.”

“Ye signed the treaty and we will give assistance as agreed.”

“I need only the blood of the man who killed my brother.”

Next week catch the end of Ashley’s longer excerpt on her blog at www.ashleyyorkauthor.com/blog


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Donna Hatch: New Regency Sweet Romance Anthology Giveaway


 We’re in for a treat on Welcome Wednesday with best-selling author Donna Hatch. Donna has joined up with two of her writing buddies in a lovely new anthology A WEEK IN BRIGHTON.  The trio of sweet romances just passed its first month's anniversary, having been released July 30.

In celebration of the debut, I’m giving away a copy of the book. All who leave a comment here and on my author page will be entered into a drawing for the sweet romance collection. Author page: http://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBettisAuthor

Here, Donna gives us a glimpse of the three offerings.

Every woman dreams of love, but is a week in Brighton long enough to find happily ever after?

Announcing a new release: A Week in Brighton, a collection of three sweet historical romances by three best-selling authors, Donna Hatch, Jennifer Moore, and Annette Lyon

THE RELUCTANT HEIR by Donna Hatch
Angry and grieving over his brother’s sudden death, Rowan turns his attention to finding his late brother’s long-lost love so he can personally inform her of the tragedy. One problem: he only has a lock of her hair, a miniature painting of her eye, and the name “Ann” as clues to her identity. With far-reaching dreams of being a renowned artist, Isabella has one shot at becoming one of the few women to be accepted as a student under a local art master. But when she encounters a mysterious gentleman searching for his late brother’s love, her heart tugs on her to help the lost soul. Helping him may mean sacrificing her dreams, and worse—falling in love with a man she cannot have. 
THE GRANDE HOTEL BY THE SEA by Jennifer Moore
After years of planning, Arthur Grande’s vision for a luxury hotel in Brighton is finally becoming a reality. But unlike the rest of the town, Daphne Dayley isn’t taken in by the newcomer’s cheerful smile or generous nature. She sees only a wealthy opportunist threatening to close her parents’ bakery. With the lease expiring in one week, the two clash in a battle of wills and wits. But they both come to discover that ambitions which had once seemed so clear may evolve when hearts are softened.

SIGNS OF LOVE by Annette Lyon
When the Hughes family vacations in Brighton, Julia goes exploring for fossils along the Undercliff path—a hobby she’s developed thanks to her curiosity in science. Instead of finding fossils, she stumbles upon Silas Hayward, a handsome wine smuggler, and one of his crew. She slips away undetected but is intrigued by Hayward and drawn to him later at a ball held at the Royal Pavilion. Her long-time friend Andrew is in love with Julia and declares his heart to her at the ball. She’s stunned and doesn’t know how to answer, but right then, Mr. Hayward conveniently takes her away to the dance floor. The distraction is brief, however; Julia quickly learns that the Hayward is far more than a harmless wine smuggler: he’s a traitor to the nation. If she can’t stop his plot with Andrew’s help, the country will fall to Napoleon. 


From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling & #1 Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series in Regency Romance, comes A Week in Brighton. Featuring bestselling authors Jennifer Moore, Annette Lyon, and Donna Hatch.
A Week in Brighton is a Timeless Romance Anthology® book

The Reluctant Heir by Donna Hatch

Excerpt:
Rowan trotted towards the young woman in the meadow. “Ho, there! Are you looking for a kitten?”

She halted, her stance alert. If he were to wager as to her age, he’d put her somewhere between seventeen and twenty.

Image preview
Donna Hatch
As he neared, her posture relaxed. “Oh, there you are, Mimi.” The young lady glanced at Rowan and returned her gaze to the kitten in his hand, but not before he caught her glance of appreciation. She pushed at a dark curl peeking out from underneath her straw bonnet and blushed prettily. He might have changed in many ways over the past few days, but at least he had not lost his appeal to ladies.

“Thank you, sir.” Her voice rang out in a clear contralto with the cultured tones of a lady.

“Wherever did you find my kitten?”

He waved a hand over his shoulder in the direction of the tree. “Caught in a snare.”

She reached for the furball. “Oh, you poor little thing! Naughty kitten, running off like that,” she gently scolded.

Rowan handed over the kitten without taking his gaze off the young lady. Pretty didn’t seem to quite fit. She was lovely in a way that a clear brook with sunlight glittering on the playful surface is lovely. Of course, brooks don’t generally bear a pair of kissable, full lips. A stirring inside him pressed against his barrier of sorrow.

Her gray eyes fixed on Rowan, and the girl smiled, a blast of white and joy and cheer. “Oh, good sir, how can I ever thank you?”

“A kiss would be a very nice thank you.” He turned on his most alluring expression.

Instead of blushing in shocked delight, she laughed— not the giggle of a coquette but a sound of true mirth. “It might be nice for one of us, but I daresay that wouldn’t be me.”