Historical

Mine To Tell By Colleen Donnelly

Blog Diva - Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Not every love story begins or ends with the passion of a bodice-ripper. Some develop slowly – an occasional look or a chance word the only spark they ever know. Some endure adversity – lies, infidelity, or opposition creating flames of distrust that thaw and warm a hesitant heart. And some are so unlikely, so unexpected – no one sees the connection coming, not even the lovers themselves.

“Mine to Tell,” a RomCon 2014 Reader’s Crown finalist in Historical Fiction, captures every type of scenario as it entwines and explores the lives of two women, generations apart, who discover what love truly is. Julianne Crouse was labeled an adulterous wife by her rigid and unforgiving husband, leaving a mantle of disgrace on the Crouse family women ever since. It is her great-granddaughter, Annabelle, who senses the story passed down about her great-grandmother isn’t the whole story at all. It is others’ story, not her great-grandmother’s, and until Annabelle can know the truth about what happened those days Julianne disappeared, she will be unable to love, really love as a whole woman is meant to. Desperate to see herself, her mother, and future Crouse women freed, Annabelle defies her family, breaks from the suffocating mold, sacrifices the one relationship she was expected to uphold, all so she can uncover the truth – the story that was Julianne’s, the one Julianne said was, “Mine to Tell.”  Read More

Keepsake by Heather Boyd

Blog Diva - Tuesday, September 09, 2014

I’m so pleased to be on RomCom today to announce the release of my latest regency romance novel, Keepsake. Keepsake is the fifth book in the Distinguished Rogues series and it completes a plot line that was first mentioned in Chills, Book 1 of the series. A little about Keepsake: The Marquess of Taverham married young and fast with his eye firmly on his bride’s dowry as the means to repair the family fortunes for the next generation. Too late he discovered his new wife wasn’t going to make achieving all of his dreams that easy.

An Excerpt from Keepsake:

“I believe you are seated in my place.”

Kit closed his eyes and willed the voice of his wife to leave him in peace. Miranda’s place at his side had been empty for so long. He had at last reconciled to never seeing her or hearing her voice again. It’s too late now.

Emily jostled against his sleeve. “I don’t agree.”

Had he spoken out loud? He’d been a poor escort so far, burdened by a heavy heart in the face of his decision. “Forgive me, my dear,” he murmured. “My mind wandered for a moment and I spoke out of turn.” Read More

In Perfect Time By Sarah Sundin

Blog Diva - Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Bold, sophisticated, and flirtatious, World War II flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

Excerpt:

For Lt. Kay Jobson, flight nursing meant more than physical care. It meant reconnecting a broken soldier with the shards of his humanity.

Kay assessed her planeload of patients en route from Italy to Tunisia. A restless lot, downhearted. That wouldn’t do.

She headed to the front of the C-47 cargo plane, past six men confined to litters and eleven in seats along the sides of the fuselage. The soldiers had been wounded on the battered beachhead at Anzio or in one of the many bloody failed attempts to take Cassino. “Say, fellows, what do you think about the ’44 baseball season? Starts soon, doesn’t it?” Read More

Zanna's Outlaw By Julie Lence

Blog Diva - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Enduring the Summer Heat

Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve had a love for the old west. Give me a sprawling ranch house, a corral filled with horses and a hunky cowboy and I’m there. John Wayne was and always will be my favorite cowboy, and while he battled outlaws and fought for justice, something else in his movies and in western television shows always caught my eye; the women. I envied Maureen O’Hara and Linda Evans for the costumes they wore. Whether a simple blouse and skirt or an elaborate gown, both looked comfortable in their attire. Fast forward several years and I now wonder how they could wear layers of clothing and not faint from the heat of studio lights. How the ‘real’ women of the old west didn’t faint from heat exhaustion.

Life as a rancher’s wife wasn’t easy. There were floors to scrub, meals to cook over a hot stove, fields to tend and children to raise. A woman had to be strong, determined, and she had to work from sun up until sun down wearing petticoats, knee-length drawers, thick stockings, long sleeved shirts, full length skirts and lace-up boots. Unlike today’s women, exposing any amount of skin from the neck down was taboo. Air conditioning was a breeze blowing in through the window, and lounging beneath a shade tree with a cold drink in the middle of the day was unheard of. Cooling off came at night when the children were asleep and a woman could strip off her clothes. Or on bath day, which wasn’t every day, as is the norm for today’s society. Water had to be hauled from creeks to the homestead and wasn’t wasted on regular bathing.  Read More

Enticing Miss Eugenie Villaret By Ella Quinn

Blog Diva - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I’m so excited to be back on RomCom for my latest release, Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret. Book 5 in The Marriage Game. The book is set in the Danish West Indies in 1816, and the excerpt I’m going to share with you is of my hero’s, William, Viscount Wivenly’s first look at St. Thomas’s Charlotte Amalie harbor.

Will braced his feet on the ship’s deck and held the telescope to his eye. A large group buildings stood at the water’s edge. “That’s it then, the free port of Charlotte Amalie?”
“Indeed.” Captain Black grinned. “It will soon be one of the largest ports in the West Indies, if not the entire Caribbean.”

“What are those spaces on the hills?”

Black looked where Will pointed. “Stairs used as streets. They are called step streets. They make going up and down the hills easier. I’ve heard some European cities have them, as well.”

Anything to make hills easier would be welcome. Drat, he hated hills. He’d been ecstatic when his family had moved to Hertfordshire, where it was nice and flat. Read More

Beleaguered By Jenna Jaxon

Blog Diva - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

EXCERPT FROM Beleaguered:

Geoffrey hurried on with a suggestion. “’Twould be the work of a few moments for me to teach it you, my lady.”

It would have to serve. She shot a look over her shoulder at her husband, who nodded and laughed with the princess though his eyes were trained on her. Best get on with it then. The sooner ’twas done, the better.

“Your skill at dancing is such that you would certainly learn the steps with but slight instruction from me.” Geoffrey leaned so close his voice, against her ear made her jump and recall herself. She stepped back and looked at him.

His practiced courtier’s smile flickered at her, and she caught something deeper shining in his eyes that she fought not to see. Her heart stuttered a beat.Her body flushed with the anticipation of dancing with him again even as misgivings swirled in her mind. No good would come of this dance, but Thomas watched closely to see that she acted cordially to Geoffrey. Would that it was an act.  Read More

Just Deserts By Elizabeth Bailey

Blog Diva - Tuesday, July 01, 2014

THE ENGLISH THOROUGHBRED

I got the idea for Just Deserts from a signpost labelled Chiddingly Stud. But I knew very little about horse racing and even less about breeding. A friend’s son happened to be horse-mad and loaned me a stack of books on the subject. I rewarded this kindness by giving his name to my hero’s trainer Tidmarsh.

I discovered that the English thoroughbred, considered among the elite of race horses, was a product of 18th century breeding programs. The best champions were bred from mixed Arabian and English stock. Your canny breeder would import horses from the Arab lands and the Moorish countries of the North African Barbary coast.

Between the Arabian and the “Barb” there was not much difference. Both were compact horses, with short backs, arched necks and fine small heads. Other characteristics were large expressive eyes and full and flaring nostrils, as well as sensitivity and intelligence. The Arabian was a little faster, but the Barb had endurance. Either one, when mixed with the sturdy English horse, produced animals of stunning beauty.

You can see wonderful examples in the paintings of George Stubbs, a prolific animal artist of the time. There’s a fine painting of Letty Lade on horseback, a redoubtable woman who went from mistress to a highwayman to marriage with Sir John Lade. She was a notable “whip” and an enthusiastic racer on her own account. Read More

The Wicked Bargain By Gina Danna

Blog Diva - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Arabella raced into the house, her main concern was Ethan. Passing the Marquis’ rooms for her own, she quickly shed the ball gown but left the undergarments on, and throwing on her robe, she grabbed her medical satchel. She opened the dressing closet door and took the back way to his room.

Ethan sat on edge of the bed. His trousers were unbuttoned, the shirt, jacket and waistcoat had been hung across the chair. His movements so sluggish at taking his shoes off, she figured Malik must have assisted in the earlier part.

“I can’t seem to get them off,” he muttered as she pulled the dress shoe off and then peeled the stocking down, throwing it to the side.

His voice sounded strained. A fast glance showed her the hard news. The pupils were constricted and his skin was pale. Fever.

“Ethan,” she called as his eyes began to shut. Panic flooded into her. “Ethan!”

“Um?” he murmured.

“I need to get these pants off of you.”

“Oh honey, so glad—” Read More

The Earl’s Enticement Excerpt By Collette Cameron

Blog Diva - Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Roark prowled his cell. Ten irate paces to the wall. Ten fuming paces back. The lone candle flickered but valiantly continued to burn despite being scarcely more than a nub.

His last one.

The weak flame cast meandering shadows across the rustic walls. On a stone above the table, he’d discovered one hundred and seventeen etched marks. Some pitiable sot had spent almost four months locked in this cell.

What time was it? Miss Ferguson promised to return after dinner. Where was she? He shot a glance to the candle before returning his gaze to the sooty darkness beyond his cell. At most, it would burn another hour.

He tried to conserve the tapers. His fear of the dark, particularly the inkiness caused by being a good twenty feet beneath the keep, had him burning a light constantly. Roark wrinkled his nose. They stunk too, worse than he did. Likely they were made of mutton fat. He sniffed. The whole place reeked of mildew and dank, musty dampness.  Read More

The Heart’s Pursuit By Robin Lee Hatcher

Blog Diva - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A jilted bride desperate to save her family from ruin. A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past. An arduous trek toward justice—or redemption.

Silver Matlock and Jared Newman know traveling together is a bad idea. Bad for Silver’s already tarnished reputation in her small Colorado town. Bad for bounty hunter Jared’s secret, single-minded mission for revenge. But Silver is determined to track down the rogue who left her at the altar and stole the last remnant of her father’s fortune. And Jared’s in a hurry to hunt down the murderer who destroyed his family—even if Silver is too distractingly beautiful for comfort.

The pair takes off over mountain and desert, past bleak homesteads and raw mining towns, hot on the trail of the two villains who took what wasn’t theirs to take. Soon supplies dwindle, secrets emerge, and suspicion leave Silver and Jared at odds when they need each other most. To confront an enemy deadlier than desert rattlesnakes and rocky cliffs, Silver and Jared must learn to forgive and trust and face the question they haven’t dared voice: What happens next? Read More