Happy Release Day – When A Lady Dares

When A Lady Dares Cover

I’m excited that my new suspenseful Victorian romance is taking its bow today. When A Lady Dares features Sophie Atherton, who first appeared in When A Lady Deceives. In When A Lady Dares, Sophie gets her own love story.

Drawn into a sinister plot, covert agent Sophie Atherton and rakish archaeologist Gavin Stanwyck heat up Victorian London. Passion awakens their hardened hearts, but love could be their biggest downfall.

Available now at major retail outlets:

Entangled Publishing: https://entangledpublishing.com/when-a-lady-dares.html
Amazon: http://ow.ly/i1fL30bUE3y
Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/WGjZ30bUEaj
iBooks: http://ow.ly/S6aC30bUEe8
Kobo: http://ow.ly/3SVU30bUEAB
Google Play: http://ow.ly/tLl430bUEFF

This entry was posted on May 22, 2017. 4 Comments

In Praise of Happily-Ever-After

WhenALadyDeceives_500X750-2

A Daring Woman…A Dangerous Man…WHEN A LADY DECEIVES releases August 22. Click here to Read an Excerpt.

Dear Readers…I’d originally written this post for my home page, but since it’s been displaced by my gorgeous new cover (which is also here…I can’t stop showing it off…I’m over the moon…) and news of my upcoming release, When A Lady Deceives, the first novel in the Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service series, I’m posting it in its new home, with a few tiny tweaks. I hope you’ll agree with me that reading romance is one of the most enjoyable escapes from the bad news that bombards us on a day-to-day basis. Welcome to my blog!

Oh, you write…romance…

The slight narrowing of the eyes. The perfectly-plucked-brow arch.  The pursing of the lips, or its counterpoint, the wide-eyed jaw drop. How can someone so sensible, so practical, so independent write romance?

Actually, I can’t imagine writing anything else. I’m sensible. I’m practical. I’m independent. And I’m an avowed romantic. I love happy endings, the oft-ridiculed happily ever after. Oh, I have nothing against a good drama. I treasure a story that makes me think, that brings important issues to the forefront and opens avenues to rich discussion. But why-oh-why is a happy ending often regarded as a bad thing?

Not in my book! A good love story brings joy to my soul, the sense that I’ve gone along for the ride with characters who’ve managed to meet and fall in love despite whatever obstacles the author tossed into their path. And a good author will make the road to true love a minefield. Just like those relationships that survive and thrive in real life, the hero and heroine in a romance face road blocks along the way, whether those trials involve villains out for their blood, the challenges of balancing two careers while forging a life together, or their own inner demons.

I love a hero who’s not afraid to show his chivalrous side (yes, I do believe chivalry still exists) and a heroine who can hold her own with the hero and any antagonists who come her way. My favorite romances have an adventurous bent, a touch of the paranormal, or depict the battle-of-the-sexes with a hefty dollop of humor thrown in for good measure. Raiders of the Lost Ark contains one of my all-time-favorite love stories – the interactions between Indiana Jones and Marion are priceless!

I write the kind of books I love to read. Love stories laced with romantic intrigue and adventures of the heart.  And, it goes without saying, a well-deserved happily ever after.

 

Meet The Characters Blog Hop

Kathleen Bittner RothMy dear friend and critique partner Kathleen Bittner Roth invited me to become a part of this blog hop. Kathleen is a wonderful writer of evocative historical romance; her most recent release is A DUKE’S WICKED KISS, a Golden Heart finalist that treats the reader to a sweeping adventure that spans two continents during the era of Queen Victoria’s Empire. Here’s a little about A Duke’s Wicked Kiss:

While on a secret mission for the Crown, a proper duke falls for an improper daughter of an Indian royal and A Duke's Wicked KissBritish noble.

Miss Suri Thurston knows the pain of abandonment. Intent on confronting the grandmother who tossed her to the lions, she travels from England to her birthplace in India. Her plans run afoul when she encounters the man who, ten years prior, left a mark on her soul with one stolen kiss. But he is a duke, and far beyond the reach of even her dreams.

The Duke of Ravenswood, secret head of the British Foreign Service, has no time for relationships. His one goal is to locate and eliminate key insurgents involved in an uprising against the British East India Company before it’s too late. But when Suri appears in Delhi, his resolve is tested as he finds his heart forever bound to her by the one haunting kiss they shared once upon a time.

With Suri’s vengeful Indian family looking for her death, and insurgents intent on mutiny tearing their world apart, can their love rise above the scandal of the marriage they both desperately want?

Kathleen’s debut novel took its bow in June. The Seduction of Sarah Marks is a passionate and touching Victorian romance with a hint of mystery, and I’m so looking forward to the debut of her When Hearts Dare series. Celine, a delicious American-set historical romance and the first installment of the series. Celine is already receiving rave reviews. Publisher’s Weekly had this to say: “The complex characters and rich sensuality make this a story to be savored.” You can find out more about Kathleen on her website and Facebook.

Like Celine, my historical romance series Secrets & Spies is set in America. The stories of daring Civil War spies and the loves that make an indelible mark on their hearts are interwoven with danger, adventure, and intrigue. And of course, heroes and heroines who deserve their hard-won happily ever afters. Here’s a little about the heroine of the first book in the series, Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies.

Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little LiesMeet My Character – Major Cole Travis

About the character:

Union Major Cole Travis is a dedicated military man, a no-nonsense agent with a reputation for efficiency, courage, and honor. It’s this sterling reputation that leads his superiors to select him for a mission he regards as little more than bodyguard duty—retrieving a Senator’s daughter turned runway bride, a beauty who just might be a traitor to the Union. Capturing Emma Davenport is the easy part. Protecting her from the dangers pursuing them and his own desire is another story entirely.

The backdrop for the story:

During the American Civil War, Senator’s daughter Emma Davenport has impetuously run away to a rendezvous with a charming businessman who’s also a traitor to the Union. Cole is tasked with taking her from the train carrying her to her destination and returning her home to Washington.

What drives Cole?

Cole is a man fiercely dedicated to protecting the Union and to carrying out his duties. He’s a man with a strong sense of personal responsibility, as well as a deep-seated and well-deserved hatred for the scoundrel Emma Davenport has set her cap to marry. At first, duty drives Cole to protect Emma, but as his heart is drawn to Emma, he’ll risk everything to save her from the danger that surrounds them.

What draws Cole to Emma?

Cole discovers the woman he’s abducted is a tender-hearted, spirited woman who’s been smothered by her cloistered existence under her father’s roof. Their hearts are drawn to one another…and it certainly has nothing to do with her culinary skills! You’ll read more about those in the story J

I’m supposed to tag a few authors to follow next week, but I’m going to follow my friend Ashlyn Macnamara’s example and tell you if you’d like to participate, consider yourself tagged. Drop me a message on Facebook if you’re interested in the details.

 

Author Cynthia Owens – Romance in a Charming, Wind-Swept Irish Village

Author Cynthia OwensI’m pleased to welcome Cynthia Owens today to discuss the newest book in her Claddagh Series, Everlasting. Here’s Cynthia.Everlasting Cover

Hello, Tara, it’s such a pleasure to be back with you again!

It gives me great joy to announce the release of my newest historical romance novel, Everlasting, Book IV of the Claddagh Series, releasing later this month. It’s Shannon Flynn’s story, and it’s set in Ballycashel.

Those of you who have read the Claddagh Series will recognize Ballycashel as the tiny wind-swept, West of Ireland village where the first two books in the series, In Sunshine or in Shadow and Coming Home, take place.

For those of you who haven’t read the stories, here’s a quick introduction to the village.

Ballycashel (in Irish baile caisleán) means “town of the castle.” It’s located nine miles from Galway City on Ballycashel Bay. The main village includes Ballycashel House, where Rory O’Brien, hero of In Sunshine or in Shadow, and his family live, many small tenant farms, and Donahue’s Pub.

Myths and legend abound in Ballycashel. Ballycashel House sits on the castle ruins of the ancient Celtic King, Sean Donnelly. It’s said that the ghost of that chieftain appears to forewarn of a death in the family.

That’s not surprising. Situated as it is near the Atlantic Ocean, Ballycashel can certainly seem haunted on a dark night, when the wind sighs through the trees and a cold mist blows in off Ballycashel Bay.

But it’s that very bay, and the sea that feeds it, that was the salvation of the village. During the Famine, the people of Ballycashel were able to harvest the fruits of the water, from oysters to mackerel to the dulse (seaweed), dragged in by the frequent storms.

“The town, with all its residents, was at times like one character in itself.” ~ Kenda Montgomery, Author, on In Sunshine or in Shadow.

Ballycashel is, of course, a fictitious village, but it’s based on many such villages in salt-sprayed Western Ireland.

In Everlasting, we see a little bit more of the village, including the old church of St. Gerald’s, and the old graveyard. And we’re introduced to Trasnavan, the neighboring village twelve miles from Ballycashel, ruled by absentee landlord Bennington and his agent, Brendan Doyle, Liam Collins’s sworn enemy.

Here’s a little about Everlasting:

Where does justice end and retribution begin?

She was driven by anger

When her fiancé died trying to feed his family, Shannon Flynn vowed to punish those responsible…even if it alienated her from her family, even if it put her—and them—in danger.

He returned to exact revenge

Eight years after he was forced to flee his beloved Ireland, Liam Collins returns to Ballycashel to find his family devastated and the person he holds responsible for his exile dead.

Can these two wounded spirits come together to battle a common enemy? Or will anger and pride destroy them both?

Sounds like an engrossing story!

To contact Cynthia or check out more of her historical romances:

Website: http://www.cynthiaowensromancewriter.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCynthiaOwens?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cynwrites1

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Owens/e/B003DQ1V2E/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 

Welcome Guest Author Samanthya Wyatt!

Samanthya WyattI’m pleased to welcome Samanthya Wyatt to the blog today. Samanthya is an author of historical and contemporary romance. Her debut novels released in June. Welcome Samanthya!

Please tell us a little about your story: 

Dark lords are sexy. Every girl dreams of a strong hero and every man wants a sexy woman. The idea of mistaken identity intrigued me and I needed a hook. As I put my story to paper I created conflicts. This is the result.

Morgan Bartholomew Langston, Earl of Whetherford, has finally decided to accept his fate. Tired of dangerous The Right Oneassignments and putting his neck on the line, he has returned to his ancestral home to accept the title of his birthright and produce the required heir. But, when he arrives, he finds his home has been invaded and a female has taken off with his mother’s jewels. Morgan decides the traitorous jade will not get away, so he sets into motion a plan to bring her back. When he abducts the wrong woman, his reaction to her brings him dangerously close to breaking his vow of forbidden emotions.

Katherine Elizabeth Radbourn is a strong, independent woman, and at the age of twenty three is still unwed. In a desperate attempt to find her brother, she is abducted which leads her on a journey to love and mistaken identity. Once she meets her captor, fear and indignation dissipates to an overwhelming awareness. Even though he tells her she is the wrong one, Kat realizes she has finally met a man that—not only she is attracted to—but has awakened her woman’s body. Does he really care for her or does he secretly yearn for the woman she is supposed to be? Uncertainty makes her risk the very man she has given her soul.

 

Tell us about your future releases? What are you most excited about?

I’ve had such good response with my first historical that Soule Mate Publishing has offered me another contract in the One and Only Series for book #2, “The True One” with a release date as early as December. I better get busy.

What earns a book a place on your keeper shelf, real or virtual?

Any book that captures my attention – a love story in any genre – I LOVE romance.

Who would you cast to play your hero and heroine in an adaptation of your story?

Chris Hemsworth would be great for book #2 as Stephen. But for this one, I’d have to interview—or should I say LOOK – OGLE a score of men. He has to be just right for the dark lord.

If you could live during any era in time, when would that be? Why?

I would love to be in the Regency time period or the Civil War Period. Maybe a southern belle. What young girl wouldn’t love going to a ball, and the wide open space in the country with lots of horses—heavy sigh.

Oh, I love the Civil War era. I used that as a setting for my Secrets & Spies series…growing up in Virginia, you’re immersed in the history.

What’s your all-time favorite movie? Why?

Iron Man. Something about that movie I could watch over, and over, and over again. I love Robert Downey, Jr. and he’s perfect for the part.

Oh, I love that movie! There’s something about Robert Downey, Jr. It’s more than his looks. He’s so charismatic and intelligent. My favorite Robert Downey, Jr. movie is Sherlock Holmes. Just love it!

If you could wake up stranded on a desert island with one celebrity hunk, who would it be? Why?

Liam Neeson. I think he’s a hunk! But I’d love to just talk with him. Deep discussion.

I’d love to listen to his voice…so deep and love the accent.

Thank you for stopping by today, Samanthya. If you’re interested in learning more about Samanthya’s books, check out her website at http://www.samanthyawyatt.com.

Welcome Cynthia Owens – Author of the Wild Geese Series

Cynthia Owens headshotIt’s my pleasure to have Cynthia Owens, author of the Wild Geese series, on the blog. This series is set in America after the Civil War (one of the settings for my Secrets & Spies series of historical romances) with rugged and wonderful Irish heroes. Welcome, Cynthia!

Hi Tara! Thanks so much for having me here today. I’m thrilled to be talking about My Dark Rose, Book III of the Wild Geese Series, which will be released later this month.

My Dark Rose is set in New York City in 1867. In order to win the heart of Róisín Donavan, a young woman who lives in a tiny tenement flat with her five younger siblings, my hero, Dary Greely, is determined to show her some of the delights of the city. He takes her to Delmonico’s Restaurant, the zoo, and the opera. But one evening he decides to take her to Central Park.

He takes her “rinkulating.”

Before I began writing My Dark Rose, I’d never heard of rinkulating, but when I began to research where Dary could take Róisín on a date, I My Dark Rose coverdiscovered that it mean roller skating. Now that I had heard of! Intrigued, I researched “rinkulating” and decided it was the perfect pace not only for a bit of romance, but for Róisín to meet some of Dary’s friends in a relaxed, non-threatening atmosphere.

Roller-skating became popular in the mid-1850’s, and by the 1880’s, roller rinks were everywhere. The sport was introduced to New York City in 1863. The floors, or rinks, were made of hard maple. Women wore special skating dresses that allowed for more freedom of movement that conventional fashions.

Admission to the rinks was between 15-50 cents per person. Live bands would play popular music of the day, allowing couples to skate to the music. Popular songs also centred around skating, including “Roller Waltz,” “Roller Skate Galop,” and “Girl on the Roller Skates.”

Competitions and demonstrations expert were also held, and sometimes there were theme nights. On carnival night, skaters came dressed in costumes and wearing masks. Singing and skating were often interspersed/

Of course, not everyone approved of this popular new activity. Telephone girls were forbidden to roller skate in New York because they came to work the next day exhausted from skating the evening before. And one rink prohibited gentlemen from skating who didn’t appear in a full evening suit.

The popularity of rinkulating didn’t last long. Disapproval from some, and new activities such as bicycling and spectator sports came into fashion. But roller skating was reborn in the 20th Century, and is still immensely popular today.

Fascinating, Cynthia! Roller skating was one of my favorite activities when I was a teen. Now I wonder if my ancestors were also roller skating. Thanks for the informative post. Now, here’s a little about My Dark Rose

…Like the Wild Geese of Old Ireland, five boys grew to manhood despite hunger, war, and the mean streets of New York…

He was the lucky one…

Dary Greely is the only one of his brothers and sisters to survive the hunger in Ireland and the coffin ship to America. He was the one whose parents made a bit of money, the one who emerged from the war virtually unscathed. He was the lucky one…but when the war ended, his luck ran out.

She was burdened by too many responsibilities…

Róisín Donavan is an Irish girl who lives in a Five Points tenement room. She dreams of a future as a great diva and sings Irish songs at Paddy Ryan’s Pub. But her stubborn Irish pride won’t allow her to abandon her family, even if it means sacrificing everything for them.

Can Dary make Róisín see her true worth? Can Róisín heal the festering wounds that tear at Dary’s soul? And can love truly mend their grieving hearts?

Contact Cynthia at:

Website: http://www.cynthiaowensromancewriter.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCynthiaOwens?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cynwrites1

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Owens/e/B003DQ1V2E/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Here’s a little about Cynthia:

I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of  Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.

My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.

A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.

I’m the author of The Claddagh Series, historical romances set in Ireland and beyond, and The Wild Geese Series, in which five Irish heroes return from the American Civil War to find love and adventure.

I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. A lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada, I still live there with my own Celtic hero and our two teenaged children.

Blockheads & Petticoat Holds – A Look at Regency Slang with Ally Broadfield

I’m pleased to welcome historical romance author Ally Broadfield today. Welcome, Ally!

Just A Kiss CoverTara, thank you for having me as a guest on your blog today!

Regency readers are very smart and savvy, and they notice when an author uses a word that wasn’t in use in during the period. I utilize both The Online Etymology Dictionary (etymonline.com) and The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary to look up words to try to ensure I’m not using a word that didn’t exist at the time. One of my favorite words is “suss.” It’s quintessentially British to me, and I was sad to discover that it’s a modern word and was not around during the Regency. It came into use during the 20th century as a shortened form of “suspect.” I wish I could use it in one of my books, but I’m glad I looked it up so I didn’t make that mistake.

There were some really fun slang words and phrases that I’m hoping to work into a future book, like “Dub the jigger.” It sounds inappropriate, doesn’t it? It means “open the door.” Or “Petticoat Hold,” which refers to a man who has an estate during his wife’s life.

There is a scene in Just a Kiss where several people were unhappy with one of the characters, and I had a wonderful time researching words they could use to show their displeasure. Though I wasn’t able to use all of them, these are some of the words I considered:

Clodpoll=blockhead

Numbscull=a stupid fellow

Blockhead=stupid person

Nick Ninny= a simpleton

Mutton-Headed=stupid

I’m sure you can see a pattern here. I’m afraid you’ll have to read Just a Kiss to find out which words I used.

Just a Kiss

Blurb: Charlotte Lightwood has one season to find a husband or she’ll be forced to marry her guardian’s loathsome cousin. With no title or dowry, she doesn’t have much hope of making a good match. Sebastian Wilkinson, the Earl of Marley, has been the most eligible bachelor on the marriage mart for more years than he cares to count and is very aware of his duty to marry a woman who will add to the wealth and stature of his title. Sebastian makes Charlotte an offer she can’t refuse: he will pretend to court her to help her attract more suitors in exchange for her advice about which ladies he should pursue. As they work together, their mutual attraction grows. When they realize they just might be perfect for one another, they must decide whether to bow to the dictates of society or follow their hearts.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Just-Kiss-Novella-Entangled-Edge-ebook/dp/B00JI0RS1M?tag=entangpublis-20&link_code=ur2&creative=9325&camp=211189

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-a-kiss-ally-broadfield/1119127247

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/just-kiss-its-in-his-kiss/id856964058?ign-mpt=uo%3D8

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/just-a-kiss-an-it-s-in-his-kiss-novella

 

Bio: Ally lives in Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, five dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and several reptiles. Oh, and her husband.  She likes to curse in Russian and spends most of her time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia.

Links:

Website: http://allybroadfield.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/allybroadfield

Twitter: http://twitter.com/abroadfield

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/AllyBroadfield

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZZ98KE4QU__pnI5mkiWAeg/videos