Dear Reader…What’s Your Hero “Type”?

Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little LIes

I’m planning the next book in my Secrets & Spies series and I’m curious…readers, what type of hero would you like to read about next? Of course, he’s got to be gorgeous and studly and definitely swoon-worthy. That goes without saying. Are we in the mood for a brawny Scotsman? A reformed outlaw? A lawman straddling the line? A man who looks like a bookworm but really knows his way around a gun…and the ladies? A cowboy…or two? I’d love to know your thoughts.

Share your thoughts for a chance to win a Kindle copy of the latest installment in my Secrets & Spies series, Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies. I’ll announce the winner on Sunday, January 19, just in time to get a hot spy story to warm a cold January weekend and heat the rest of your week.

Secrets & Spies ~ Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies

Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little LiesThe second book in the Secrets & Spies series, Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies, is now available. Here’s a little about the story:

Passion flares when an alluring but no-nonsense petticoat spy recruits a daring Union agent for a desperate mission.

Like any good secret agent, Amanda Emerson knows how to get what she wants—in this case, a man with guts and a gun—a man heroic enough to break a notorious double agent out of a Confederate prison. But first, she’ll have to save her hero’s own neck.

Caught with Rebel plans and set for a hanging, Union spy Steve Dunham’s luck has run out—until a cunning beauty shows up at the jail and engineers his escape. Of course, she’s there for a reason besides preventing him from dangling at the end of a noose—he’s the key to her daring scheme.

Steve may be trading one execution for another, but the tempting—and off limits—operative draws him into the perilous mission. Falling for Amanda is a complication he can’t afford, but Steve’s never been one to play it safe. The spoils of victory will be Amanda’s surrender. And the terms of surrender promise to be sultry and sweet.

Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies is now available exclusively for Kindle.

This entry was posted on January 13, 2014. 2 Comments

Drumroll Please…Mistletoe Madness & Cover Reveal Book Winners

Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little LiesThank you to all who stopped by my blog during the Mistletoe Madness blog hop. If you’re one of the winners listed here, please contact me with your email address in order to win your prize, a Kindle copy of Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies. Please contact me at AuthorTaraKingston@gmail.com or send me a message on FB. Once again, thank you to all who participated in this awesome blog hop!

Jill Prandstatter

Eva Millien ~ you supplied your email…just wanted to let you know you’re a winner  🙂

bn100 ~ you supplied your email…just wanted to let you know you’re a winner  🙂

Dragonstar

I also have a winner for the Cover Reveal contest: Congratulations, Girlfromwva! Please contact me with your email address so that I may send you your Kindle copy of the book. Thanks to all who participated!

Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop – The Joys of a Victorian Christmas

Holiday Giveaway 2013-2

Trimming the Christmas tree is a favorite tradition in my family. Every year, I relish the chance to reflect on cherished memories triggered by ornaments that have a sentimental place in my heart and add to my ornament collection with new and beautiful acquisitions that will someday become treasured favorites. I can’t imagine Christmas without a beautiful tree. Without the influence of the Victorians, decorated Christmas trees as well as many other holiday favorites  might never have become beloved traditions.

Victorian Christmas traditions were centered around the family. Of these enduring celebrations, perhaps the most beloved is the Christmas tree. Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert,  brought the custom of a decorated Christmas tree from his German homeland. Not long after his marriage to Victoria, Prince Albert had the first Christmas tree displayed in Windsor Castle in 1841. Several years later, the Illustrated London News published a drawing of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their children celebrating the holiday with a Christmas tree, and soon thereafter, families throughout England boasted a decorated tree during the Christmas season.

Many other popular Christmas traditions became popular during Victoria’s reign. Some of these include:

* Christmas Cards ~ the combination of the halfpenny postage rate, which allowed a letter or card to be mailed throughout England inexpensively, and the advances in affordable color printing technology brought Christmas cards to popularity. By 1880, more than eleven million cards were produced each year.

* Exchanging Christmas Presents ~ The giving of small gifts at New Year’s shifted to become a central part of the Victorian holiday tradition. Gifts were given and placed under the tree in anticipation of the holiday.

* Christmas Carols ~ Yet another Victorian tradition, the singing of favorite holiday songs (which were at the time new and popular hits) to mark the holiday season emerged during this era, as did the custom of traveling in groups from house to house to joyously sing Christmas carols.

* Christmas Vacation ~ During the Victorian era, middle class families began the tradition of taking time off from work to spend with their families.

* Mistletoe ~ Who can resist a kiss beneath the mistletoe? This girl certainly can’t! What a lovely holiday tradition!

Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little LiesThese are just a few of the more popular Victorian holiday traditions that continue to endure today. In the spirit of gift giving, I’ll be giving away a Kindle copy of Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies to one commenter each day. Simply leave a comment about your favorite holiday traditions for a chance to win. I’ll announce a winner for each day, December 13 – 20.

Make sure you stop by the Mistletoe Madness contest page to enter to win the Grand Prize, including a Best Buy gift certificate. Follow the link to enter:

MISTLETOE MADNESS GRAND PRIZE CONTEST PAGE

Be sure to check out the fabulous authors participating in this blog hop:

Visit the Mistletoe Madness Blog hop 2013 main page to enter to win the Grand Prize! Click Here

PJ Schnyder – steamy Laura Kaye – steamy Christi Barth – steamy Katee Robert – steamy Monica Burns – steamy
Christina Wolfer – steamy Cat Johnson – steamy Delphine Dryden – steamy Vivi Dumas – steamy Gabriella Edwards – steamy
Dana Marie Bell – steamy Christine dAbo – steamy Stephanie Flash Burke – steamy Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences – all ages Romance with Flavor – steamy
Simply Ali – steamy Joyfully Reviewed – steamy Books Make Me Happy – steamy Literary Escapism – steamy Sinfully Tasty Reads – steamy
Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance – steamy Thats What Im Talking About – steamy Read-Love-Blog – steamy The Book Tart – steamy Trinity Blacio – steamy
Eliza Knight – steamy Misa Buckley – all ages Leah Braemel – steamy Jodi Redford – steamy Amy Joy Lutchen – all ages
Whos Reviews – all ages AllisonGamblin.com – all ages Books Make Me Happy – all ages C. Margery Kempe – steamy Tiffany Allee – all ages
Anna Daye – steamy Val Griswold-Ford – all ages Heather Long, Author – all ages Nicole Zoltack – all ages Robyn Neeley – all ages
Sarah Grimm – steamy Ambrielle Kirk – steamy Tonya Burrows – all ages Selena Laurence – all ages Rachel Rawlings – all ages
TrulySimplyPink – all ages Kary Rader – all ages In The Pages of a Good Book – steamy Kait Ballenger – all ages Zany PNR Addict – steamy
Tara Kingston – steamy Mina Vaughn, Author – steamy Hilary Storm, Author – steamy Andrea Michelle – steamy Kiss And Tell Reviews – steamy
the passionate reader – all ages Emma Shortt – steamy

Merry Christmas! May you have a wonderful holiday season!

Tara

This entry was posted on December 13, 2013. 21 Comments

Drumroll Please: Cover Reveal – Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies

The second book in the Secrets & Spies series will be making its debut next week…I’m impatient, so I couldn’t wait that long to share the gorgeous cover. I just love it! Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little LIes

So beautiful! Share your thoughts about the cover, and you might win the first book in the Secrets & Spies series, Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies. One lucky commenter will win a Kindle copy of the book. Already have Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies? No problem – if your name is chosen, you’ll be one of the very first to receive a digital copy of Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies when it takes its bow in the very near future.

Here’s a little about Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies:

Sometimes, even a spy needs a hero.

Like any good secret agent, Amanda Emerson knows how to get what she wants—in this case, a man with guts and a gun—a man heroic enough to break a notorious double agent out of a Confederate prison. But first, she’ll have to save her hero’s own neck.

Caught with Rebel plans and set for a hanging, Union spy Steve Dunham’s luck has run out—until a cunning beauty shows up at the jail and engineers his escape. Of course, she’s there for a reason besides preventing him from dangling at the end of a noose—he’s the key to her daring scheme.

Steve may be trading one execution for another, but the tempting—and off limits—operative draws him into the perilous mission. Falling for Amanda is a complication he can’t afford, but Steve’s never been one to play it safe. The spoils of victory will be Amanda’s surrender. And the terms of surrender promise to be sultry and sweet.

Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies will be available soon! Look for details later this week.

Cover Reveal – Tracey Devlyn’s Latymer

I’m thrilled to share Tracey Devlyn’s cover for her upcoming romantic thriller, Latymer. Tracey will be giving away an Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card (winner’s choice) for $15 during her Cover Reveal Splash.  For a chance to win, enter the Rafflecopter below.

And now, the cover you’ve been waiting for:

Latymer Cover

Here’s a look at the story:

Traitor or savior…or something far more devastating?

William Townsend, Lord Latymer, lost the woman he loved because of his greed and his ultimate deception of two powerful countries. Now, he must protect his nine-year-old son from the same fate. Latymer has only one chance to escape his enemies—board a ship that would carry them both to America and a new life. But first he must find his missing son, elude a vengeful grieving brother, and kill a beautiful French assassin. Time is slipping through his fingers and Latymer has twelve hours before his ship and his future sail away.

And a terrific excerpt:

Releasing a breath, Latymer moved from room to room, floor to floor, sifting through the evening shadows with painstaking precision. White linens draped every piece of furniture, making the once-happy atmosphere feel more like that of a dreary mausoleum.

He saved Lydia’s bedchamber for last. Had he been stronger, he would have gone there first, knowing if Giles had managed to find his way home, he would’ve sought the comfort of his mother’s chamber. An instinctual response for any child, especially one who’d suffered so much.

But Latymer’s courage began to flag the moment he placed his boot on the first stair. Although he could ignore the grief, he hadn’t been able to control the longing. After the French had kidnapped Giles and forced Lydia to spy on Somerton for them, he’d come here often. This house, their possessions, her bedchamber—the only links he had left to his lover and his son. Once he’d learned of her death, he’d stopped coming.

He stared at Lydia’s bedchamber door now, praying Giles was within. If he lost his son to the French, as he’d lost the woman he loved, not even Bonaparte would be safe from his vengeance.

Turning the handle, he eased the door open and slipped inside. Low, flickering light caught his eye. “Giles?”

“No, darling, not Giles.”

Collette. His heart sank like a bag of tarnished coins into his gut.

How had she known to come here? Had she followed Giles? His gaze slashed around the chamber, searching for his son.

Nothing, nothing, nothing.

The lamplight grew stronger. “Looking for someone?” Collette’s bloodred lips tipped up into a taunting smile.

“Where is he?”

Sitting at Lydia’s dressing room table, Collette reached for a silver comb that lay next to a small pistol. She slid the hairpiece into her mass of dark locks, twisting her head one way, then the other, inspecting her handiwork. He’d given the comb to Lydia on her birthday five years ago. Seeing the special piece in his enemy’s possession sent fire streaking through his veins.

She met his gaze in the looking glass. “He?”

“Don’t play games with me, Collette. What have you done with my son?”

“We will get to him later.” She rose and turned to face him. “First, let us discuss the unfinished business you have yet to attend to.”

“There is no later. If you know where my son is, tell me now.” The steel in his voice drew forth two new bodyguards—one from the corridor and one from the dressing room—both as large as the last two he’d dispatched. “It appears you purchase your brawn in bulk.”

Her eyes twinkled. “So much more convenient that way. Now, about that unfinished business . . .”

“Oh, for God’s sake.” He threw up his hands. “The damned list does not exist. When will your superiors listen?”

She reached for the pistol. “We’re no longer interested in the piece of paper.”

“Then what?”

“Give it some thought, darling. I’m sure that brilliant mind of yours will come up with the answer.”

Latymer considered the last few weeks and the various attempts the French had made to raze the Nexus organization. They had been unsuccessful thus far, but that would not stop them. There could be only one individual they wanted more than a list of agents. “Somerton.”

She sent him an appreciative smile. “Very good, my lord. Bring him to me.”

He and Somerton had a long history of working together at the Alien Office—until Somerton realized Latymer was aiding the French. Even though Somerton was now his enemy, he was the one person Latymer trusted. To betray Somerton once again would be difficult, though not impossible. To save Giles, he would do whatever it took. But first, he had to uncover what Collette knew about his son’s whereabouts—if anything. “Show me my son first.”

“That’s not how this works, Latymer, and you know it,” Collette purred, clearly enjoying having the upper hand.

When he’d met Collette many years ago in London, fresh out of the schoolroom, she’d exuded a raw, untamed sensuality. Four days after meeting her, Latymer had taken her to bed and had spent several hours tutoring her in the carnal arts. She had been a quick and enthusiastic pupil.

Although extraordinary, her beauty had not been the reason for his interest. No, he had enticed Collette into his bed to coax from her information about her new husband and his associates within the French government. Two months into their affair, she discovered his duplicity. Undeterred, she’d asked questions . . . a lot of questions. And then she’d disappeared. Their paths crossed a few more times over the years, and every time he saw her he had been fascinated by her transformation—from innocent to victim, to predator, to killer.

“You expect me to bring one of the most dangerous men in Britain to you without any assurance that my son is even alive?”

Nodding, she lifted the pistol in his direction. “Yes, that is exactly what I’m saying.” She began to move toward him, one provocative step at a time. “You have a perfect understanding of the situation.”

“If I do what you want, I’m free of further harassment from your emperor?”

“Harassment? I do not recall you being so harsh last time we worked together.” Her gaze roamed down his frame leisurely, thoroughly, seductively.

Despite the seriousness of the situation, Latymer’s body took notice. One sultry look. That’s all it had taken to awaken memories of their brief affair. She knew how to pleasure a man and how to take a man’s pleasure. How to make him feel like a king.

“Last time we met you weren’t after my son.”

“You’re becoming quite soft on me, Latymer. So much emotional bother over a bastard.”

“Careful, Collette,” he said in a quiet, dangerous voice.

“A man with your aspirations should know better than to become attached to anyone or anything.”

“Let’s stop wasting time. Do we have an understanding or not?”

She approached him with a confident stride, though caution rode beside her like a battalion of loyal guards. Her pistol never wavered. She continued forward until the end of the barrel rested against his temple. He dared not move. If nothing else, he understood one thing about her—she would not hesitate to pull the trigger if he made any attempt to overcome her. This woman never hesitated, nor did she waste her time and energy on regrets.

Her familiar exotic scent reached his nostrils, and he could not stop his slow intake of breath—nor the hardening of his body. Whether his physical reaction was due to the threat, or to the temptation, she presented, he couldn’t be sure. Given his peccadilloes, it could be both.

A flush of pink highlighted her sculpted cheeks, and a sheen of perspiration peppered the delicate hollow of her throat. Her gaze never left his.

“Still enjoy the thrill of danger, Collette?” He dropped his voice, careful to keep himself motionless. “Is that the thunder of your heart beating? Does your womb weep for me?”

She caressed the steel barrel against his temple. “Feel free to indulge in your curiosity.”

“Is your trigger finger steady?”

Something close to a genuine smile appeared. “You’re good, darling,” she responded. “But not that deliciously good.”

“We’ll see.” All he needed was a split second of inattention. Enough time for him to wrench her weapon away and force her to reveal what she knew about Giles. “Send your dogs away.”

Her erotic gaze roamed his face, finally resting on his mouth. “I think not.” She smiled. “Etienne and Philippe won’t mind.”

Latymer clenched his jaw. Having her two guards in the room complicated things.

“Do not move your head without my permission,” she said, “or it won’t go well for you.”

“Then you’re going to have to come closer.”

“You wouldn’t be foolish enough to underestimate me, would you?”

He lowered his lids and expanded his chest. “Do I look foolish?”

She pressed the pistol against his flesh and moved close enough for the tip of her boots to touch his.

Accepting her challenge, he caressed the backs of his fingers over her silken cheek and down her long, slender neck. Her breasts rose to meet his touch, and the soft, exposed skin above her neckline invited him to linger. He did.

 

Wow, that was delicious! I can’t wait to get my hands on Latymer…

Have a Kindle and want to be notified when LATYMER releases? Go to Tracey’s Amazon Author Page and click on the “Email me when there are new releases by Tracey Devlyn” link under the Stay Up To Date section. Amazon will send you an email reminder on January 7, 2014!

Now, for the Rafflecopter entry. Latymer Giveaway Banner

Click the link to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway

A little about Tracey:

Tracey Devlyn is an award-winning author who writes historical romantic thrillers (translation: a slightly more grievous journey toward the heroine’s happy ending). She’s a co-founder of Romance University, a group blog dedicated to readers and writers of romance, and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, Chicagoland’s exciting new reading salon devoted to romantic fiction.

An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters. For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website.

Site: http://traceydevlyn.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TraceyDevlyn

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4099565.Tracey_Devlyn

 

Welcome Author Averil Reisman

To Cuba With LoveIt’s my great pleasure today to welcome author Averil Reisman. Averil writes American-set historical romance with an adventurous edge, set in the Gilded Age years of the 1890s. Averil’s new release, To Cuba With Love, is a thrilling tale of danger and passion set during the years before the Spanish American War. Averil’s here today to tell us about her inspiration for To Cuba With Love.

Welcome, Averil!

Tara, have you ever asked the question, “what if . . . ?” What if this had happened, what if that had happened? The idea for To Cuba With Love came from one of those “what if” questions.

While I was researching another storyline at the Amelia Island Historical Museum in Fernandina, Florida, I came across a newspaper article stating that Fernandina’s natural deep water port had been the capital of gunrunning ventures to Cuba during that country’s long fight for independence from Spain. I thought there had to be a romance story in there somewhere.

Shifting gears, I started researching the topic, and found a white paper titled, The Fernandina Filibuster Fiasco in a museum folder of the island’s history during the 1890s.

The document told of the failure of a gunrunning venture to Cuba financed by Cuban immigrants living in the United States. Three ships had been illegally chartered to send men and war material to Cuba in opposition to the U.S. Neutrality Act of 1794. The venture was discovered and the cargo confiscated before the ships left American waters.

Bingo! This was it. What if . . . the cargo had been divided into quarters instead of thirds, and the fourth portion hidden for another stab at delivery? To Cuba With Love grew from that germ of an idea.

Bold, dramatic, and dangerous, my illegal mission required the strength of character and the courage of a hero and heroine who were up to the task. So . . . I created Sean Nolan, an honorable, very wealthy, alpha male sea captain facing sure financial ruin, and Samantha Ethridge, a brazen, quick-thinking society news reporter, stymied by the role of women in her time—the Gilded Age.

Drawn together at first by their passion, they learn to work together, to understand each other’s personal priorities, and to let go of the lies they’ve told themselves about what they really want out of life.

Check it out at http://www.amazon.com/db/b00fpvcf2k

Thanks, Averil, for that historical nugget that inspired your story. Having read the book, I can tell you the research is meticulous. You certainly know your history!