Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Jenny Holiday's New Regency-And Blog Tour $25 Gift Card

Jenny Holiday visits today with her new Regency, THE LIKELIHOOD OF LUCY.  Welcome Jenny, I'm happy you've made the Book Corner a stop on your release tour.
 At the end of her tour, Jenny will award a randomly drawn commenter a $25 Amazon gift card. So don't forget to enter, below.

 Now, Jenny, please tell us a bit about the book.


London, 1815
Trevor Bailey is on the cusp of opening the greatest hotel in London. His days as a gutter snipe are behind him, as he enjoys a life of wealth, society, and clandestine assignments as a spy in the service of His Majesty. Until one tumultuous night churns up the past he'd long left behind...

Turned out by her employer for her radical beliefs, Lucy Greenleaf reaches out to the man who was once her most beloved friend. She never expected that the once-mischievous Trevor would be so handsome and gentleman-like and neither can deny the instant attraction.

But Lucy's reformer ways pose a threat to the hotel's future and his duties as a spy. Now Trevor must choose between his new life and the woman he's always loved...


“Stop cleaning,” Trevor said.

Lucy turned. “And a good morning to you, too.” Another precept she’d always tried to instill in her pupils—a false show of confidence could sometimes lead to the real thing. Not that she was preaching affectation. Never that. Mrs. Wollstonecraft—her guiding light in all things—would not

He did not stop scowling. “You are a guest here. Guests don’t clean.”

“Well somebody has to. Beds don’t make themselves.”

“Why make them at all?”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t make mine. Why bother? You’re just going to get into it again later.”

She would have laughed, but he seemed perfectly in earnest. And she had to admit there was some logic to his position. Still, she felt compelled to defend herself. “A servant worth his or her salt would not be able to look at an unmade bed and not remedy it. You have no servants at all?”

“I’ll have an army of them when the hotel opens—a hiring spree is my next major task, in fact, and not one I’m looking forward to. For now, I have a woman who comes in for half days and cooks. But no one enters my private apartments. Ever.”

“I did.”

“Yes.” He moved to the bed and threw the counterpane back, undoing her work. “And you’re not a servant.”

She had to cover her shock at his deliberate mussing of the bed. “That’s debatable. The fate of the governess is to be forever lodged in the limbo between the household and its staff. She is not quite a servant, not quite a member of the family. Mary Wollstonecraft once wrote, ‘A teacher at a school is only a kind of upper servant, who has more work than the menial ones. A governess to young ladies is equally disagreeable.’” Clamping her mouth shut, she checked herself. There
was no need to start up with Mary. That was exactly what had landed her in this mess to begin with. It’s just that Mary’s words were always so close to Lucy’s heart. It was difficult to censor herself sometimes. But that’s exactly what she had to learn to do if she was lucky enough to secure another position.

“Be that as it may, at the Jade, you are a guest.” He set a package on the unmade bed. “Put this on, and then we’re going out. I’ll meet you in the kitchen.”

He was gone before she could answer.


BIO and Links

Jenny Holiday started writing in fourth grade, when her awesome hippie teacher, between sessions of Pete Seeger singing and anti-nuclear power plant letter writing, gave the kids notebooks and told them to write stories. Most of Jenny's featured poltergeist, alien invasions, or serial killers who managed to murder everyone except her and her mom. She showed early promise as a romance writer, though, because nearly every story had a happy ending: fictional Jenny woke up to find that the story had been a dream, and that her best friend, father, and sister had not, in fact, been axe-murdered. From then on, she was always writing, often in her diary, where she liked to decorate her declarations of existential angst with nail polish teardrops. Eventually she channelled her penchant for scribbling into a more useful format. After picking up a PhD in urban geography, she became a professional writer, and has spent many years promoting research at a major university, which allows her to become an armchair astronomer/historian/particle physicist, depending on the day. Eventually, she decided to try her hand again at happy endings--minus the bloodbaths. You can follow her twitter accounts @jennyholi and @TropeHeroine or visit her on the web at jennyholiday.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennyholidaybooks
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/jennyholiday   

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Medieval Monday: Cathy MacRae Brings her Newest, HIGHLAND ESCAPE

Cathy MacRae has a special treat for us today--a brand new title HIGHLAND ESCAPE, coauthored with DD MacRae. And from the sounds of the excerpt, Anna is one formidable heroine!
Fleeing the English army that murdered her family before her eyes, Anna Braxton rescues two young women, kidnapped by a barbaric Highland clan only to find herself unjustly imprisoned by the clan she aided. Disgusted by her treatment, she counters their belated offer of friendship with anger and distrust. But she does not count on the unexpected effect the laird’s son has on her heart.

Duncan MacGregor does not understand his da’s command to imprison the young woman who saved his sister’s life. He is more than intrigued with Anna’s skill with a bow and sword—in fact, he is fascinated by everything about her, in spite of her lack of feminine wiles. Straightforward and with a deep-seated sense of honor, Anna Braxton disrupts his entire notion of a suitable woman.

Trained as a warrior and unwilling to be any man’s chattel, Anna shuns the idea of marriage—until Duncan coaxes her into a world of acceptance and passion she never knew existed. He wants her as his wife. She will agree, but only on her own terms—conditions Duncan is not sure he can accept.

Neil led them through the double oak doors and into the great hall. A score or so men sat on stools and benches around trestle tables, eating. As their group walked past the seated men, a deep voice bellowed, "Wench, why are ye dressed like a man? Come here, and I will teach ye what it means to be a woman."

He followed his taunt with a stinging swat to Anna’s backside, hard enough to propel her forward. Anger ignited Anna's blood, accelerated by the accompanying laughter of his companions. She shot a warning look to Duncan to stay out of it, shoving his chest for emphasis.

She took a quick side step toward the man who'd hit her, bringing her knee up high to her chest. Using the momentum of the step toward this oaf, Anna released a sidekick, driving her booted heel into the center of his chest. Her stepping kick knocked the breath from his lungs with an exaggerated grunt, and sent him sprawling backward onto the floor, his head bouncing off the flagstones.
Not allowing him time to recover, Anna grasped his left hand, twisting it away from his body, locking both his wrist and elbow. Bringing one foot down on his neck and jaw, she stretched his arm out further.

"You will apologize, mongrel, or lose the use of these fingers," she snarled.

He struggled against her hold, but she had the lock cinched tight and his struggling only caused him additional pain.

"I willnae apologize to a wench who plays at being a man!" he ground out between clenched teeth.

"As you please," she answered. An audible snap sounded as Anna pulled his smallest finger out of socket at the second knuckle, causing it to protrude at an odd angle.

A loud yelp and an anatomically impossible curse flew from his mouth.

"Apologize!" she yelled at him.

"Nae, never!"

She responded by displacing his third finger, creating a louder snap. This time, his fellows groaned in sympathy with him, but none dared come to his aid.

Anna glanced at Duncan, who leaned against an empty table, arms folded across his chest, a smirk on his face. Only the taut muscles of his jaw belied his calm expression.  He warned off the MacGregor men with a glance and slight hand gesture. Before she could demand another apology, Duncan spoke up. "What is yer name, Graham?"

The man on the floor continued to hurl curses, each more creative and colorful than the last, as he struggled uselessly against her hold.

"What is his name?" Duncan calmly asked the man seated nearest to him.

"Angus, I would like ye to meet Anna of clan MacGregor. She has been adopted by our laird, my father, as a daughter, and is my future wife if she will have me."

Anna shot Duncan a look of astonishment. The expression on his face showed no emotion except the silent fury he barely contained.

"I have seen her defeat six Highlanders in battle unassisted and another two warriors from my own clan. She saved yer commander's life this afternoon. Ye might want to reconsider yer position on that apology."
* * *

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ashley York brings THE GENTLE KNIGHT to Medieval Monday

I'm thrilled to welcome my friend Ashley York to Medieval Monday with her exciting new book, THE GENTLE KNIGHT. Here's a glimpse of Peter and Brighit's story. 
A medieval soldier returns home to find his lover died in childbirth just as his own mother had. Believing he is cursed, Peter of Normandy turns from love. When he must give escort to an Irish princess more noble than many knights, he struggles with his decision to live a solitary life. Can he take the chance that his love won't be a death sentence and possibly make them stronger.

Padraig MacNaughton's death bed decree rips his daughter, Brighit, from the shelter of her protective clan in Ireland. Forced to take vows at a Priory in England, she finds herself in the hands of lecherous mercenaries with their own agendas. Dare she trust the Norman knight to see her safely to her new life as a nun? Even when she finds in him the fulfillment of all she's ever wanted?
Or will honor and duty eclipse their one chance for happiness?

She had dreamed of him! All at once it came to her. He had taken her into his strong arms and held her tight against that hard body. Every muscle pressing into her. Then the touch of his warm lips sliding along her cheek to meet her mouth with a hungry kiss. Brighit had actually felt his lips on hers and that same heat swirled through her now.

She sighed. Yes. It was a very nice dream.

The shock of cold air accompanied with the sound of the curtain being dragged back had her eyes flying open. There in front of her was the man from the lake... the one in her very real dream. In the flash of a second, his eyes changed from wide with shock to a look she’d swear spoke of pleasure.

“And what is this?” He tipped his chin toward her, a knowing smile gracing his pleasing face.

Brighit covered herself. One arm across her breasts and one hand over her private parts. She felt like Eve posing in the Garden of Eden.

The sudden silence stole her breath away. She refused to confirm it but knew all eyes were on her.

“Do you mind?” Ivan’s voice cut through the awkward moment as he stood next to the carriage. He yanked the curtain from the fine-looking man’s hand, dropping it back in place. Brighit was again cocooned in darkness.

“Yours?” The man’s voice was low, resonating through her core. It was as appealing as his body.

She took a steadying breath, trying to calm her nerves enough to cover herself. She couldn’t have done a better job of calling attention to herself if she’d tried.

Just how many men were out there? How many men had seen her without so much as a stitch of clothing? She yanked the chemise down but it refused to cooperate. The sopping material bunched at her hips. She grabbed at her gown, her hands shaking with the rage coursing inside her.

That now familiar sound of fist-against-flesh cut through the silence.

An unfamiliar laugh. His laugh. A slight tremor responded through her insides.

“Mort,” the handsome man called to someone.

The indistinct image of a shorter man with a gaping mouth came to mind. “Yes, my lord?”

“I believe this man was about to take a terrible misstep with his fist. Does it seem to you these men have a certain…lack of knowledge?” he asked.

What arrogance!

Ivan’s angry face came to mind. She shivered. The handsome man did not know who he was dealing with.

“I would say that it does.” The shorter man was closer now.

“Mayhap some learning is required?”

“Do you believe it’s possible, my lord? Are they trainable?”

“They have a naked woman in a carriage while they fight out here over who will get her.”

She gasped, a soundless intake of air. Like a standard being dropped, the men talked at once. Tears threatened and a few leaked down her cheek. She wiped them away. She was only trying to clean herself not be fought over. Who was he to say such cruel things about her?

The morning had started out so promising. They’d had a nice time breaking their fast with very little interaction at all. Cole’s offer of extra water had come as a surprise but not one she wanted to miss.

Sudden silence. Brighit held her breath.

“And what would your name be?”

“I am called Ivan.”

“And this…young lady?”

This was just getting worse and worse. His words fairly dripped derision.
“Brighit.” She answered for herself albeit through a clenched jaw from within the carriage.

“Ireland? You’ve taken her from Ireland?”

Brighit was surprised at his ability to name where she’d come from. She wished she were still there... any place but here. This was infuriating. She could not go out there now. They may have imagined her naked and their occasional lustful glances assured her that they did. But to have them actually see her was beyond embarrassment. Embarrassment only increased by the fact that at least two of them weren’t even known to her.

“That I have.” Ivan’s smug voice drifted to her.


“Please clothe yourself forthwith.”

He must be facing her now for he sounded very close. A warmth tingled up her spine. No! His voice may be low and quiet but there was nothing intimate about this situation. She struggled with the ties up the front of her dress.

“It’s what I’ve been trying to do.” Her irritation came through in her tone of voice. Good!

“And I wonder why you have not been successful thus far.” He had the nerve to sound irritated? “Just do it... and be quick about it.”

Arrogance oozed from the man!

“Yes, my lord.” She clipped her words, struggling with her wimple, and hoped her sarcasm carried through the curtain.

“Hurry up.”

“I am hurrying!” Her thick hair refused to cooperate but she was not about to go out there with so much as a single strand visible.

The man cleared his throat. Brighit would like to take a knife to it. He may be pleasant to look at but his manners lacked even the slightest courtesy.

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