In anticipation of the June release Gambling On A Dream, Kensington Publishing has put Gambling On A Secret and Gambling On A Heart on sale!
Not every happy-ever-after begins at “I do.”
When the hero of her dreams rescues Lady Juliet Ferrers from the man claiming to be her husband, she is sure she has found her one true love. But is she free to marry him? Not to be deterred, Juliet arranges for her hero, Captain Amiable Dawson, to escort her to her family estate, hoping that along the way she can win his love.
Amiable is charmed by the sweet, beautiful woman he rescued, and although he has grave reservations about her marital status, he allows himself to be swept up into Juliet’s romantic spell and the promise of a happy-ever-after.
The spell breaks when legal questions arise and Juliet faces the horror of not knowing if she is married to her knight in shining armor or the cruel viscount who is determined to have her at any price.
London July 2, 1761
The brass lion-head knocker under Amiable Dawson’s hand sent a sharp rap through the dark walnut door of Dunham House for the second time. The hot July sun hadn’t done his temper any good as he waited on the marble stoop for entrance to the Marquess of Dalbury’s townhouse. He’d been in a foul mood ever since the news of his beloved Katarina’s marriage to the marquess had reached him. Blast it to hell, he was supposed to have married the girl. At least he could make sure she was well and well taken care of by this man she had married.
At last a short, dark-haired maid opened the door. She took one look at him, gasped, and stepped back into the house. Her eyes widened and she glanced to her right, wringing her hands. “Who may I say—”
A man shouted from within. “No, I do not believe you.”
“It is true, I tell you!” A woman’s voice, raised and sharp with terror, sent a chill through Amiable.
Katarina. What in God’s name?
He barged past the stunned girl and strode down the hall toward the commotion. He burst through the doorway, expecting to defend the woman he loved, only to stop dead at the sight of a man lunging across a sofa and grasping a woman by the wrist. Amiable had half drawn his sword before he realized the woman was not Katarina, but a complete stranger. He dropped it back into its scabbard. This was none of his affair.
The young man, foppishly dressed in a robin’s egg blue satin coat dripping too many layers of frothy lace at throat and wrists looked at Amiable, a snarl on his lips.
Taking advantage of the distraction, the woman wrenched her arm from the man’s grip. “Praise God. Here he is.” She staggered as she righted herself. “Now you will have to believe me, Philippe.”
The fop scrambled back off the sofa and groped for a black lacquer walking stick that lay on the floor. Lips pressed together, he glowered at the woman. “That remains to be seen, ma chere. In any case, I have shown you the papers. They speak for themselves.”
The woman ran from behind the sofa to Amiable’s side, grazed a kiss over his cheek and whispered, “For God’s sake, help me. I am alone here and he is trying to take me away. Please, agree with whatever I say.”
Smiling into her pleading face, he grasped her hands and gave them a gentle squeeze to signal his acquiescence. “Whatever is the matter, my dear?” Hell if he knew. But he could play his part, even with little information. Let the lady lead and he’d follow as well as he could.
The woman smiled then took a deep breath. “My dear, may I present Viscount St. Cyr?” She nodded toward the fop. “Philippe, this is my husband, the Earl of Manning.”
First of all I want to thank you for hosting me today. I’m so excited about the release of Sebastian’s Lady Spy. This was a fun book to write because these two characters were so suited for each other but too hard-headed to realize it until it was almost too late.
Usually when we hear about spies, we hear about male spies but there were plenty of female spies throughout the ages that had an impact on history.
Here are five of the more interesting ones:
Secrets & Seduction # 5
Releasing March 31st, 2015
Seduction abounds in Sharon Cullen’s steamy historical romance! For the Crown’s top agents, love is a hazard best avoided—until an unforgettable affair exposes their undercover hearts.
Sebastian Addison has a powerful secret. To society he is the Earl of Claybrook, the patriarch who raised his siblings after the death of their parents. But to the king, Sebastian is Britain’s top spy—a position that has taken an emotional toll on him. Contessa Gabrielle Marciano has also been living a lie, her title a cover devised by the Office of Intelligence. The femme fatale was plucked from a life of crime and prostitution and trained to restrain her passionate nature. Until she meets the earl.
For three deeply sensual days and nights, Sebastian and Gabrielle drop their masks, indulging in pleasures that seem too good to be true. Then the lovers go their separate ways. Seven months later they reunite when inside sources report that an English aristocrat has been aiding France in a plot to topple the Crown. Their objective: to find the turncoat. Their greatest challenge: to keep their wild, wounded hearts from derailing a mission of life and death.
About the Author:
Sharon Cullen is the author of the historical romances The Notorious Lady Anne, Loving the Earl, and Pleasing the Pirate, as well as many novels of romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. If you’d like to find out more about the author and her books, you can visit her blog or her website. She is addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion: books.
A Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Seller and Loveswept Mug & Nail Polish)
Hello Sarah, it is great to be back. I will be awarding two lucky people who comment each a paperback or PDF of their choice. The choices are: Murder Most Foul, Wicked Intentions, Twisted Love, The Crime of the Century, Flagitious, Loves, Myths, and Monsters, or Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between.
Before writing a word, take some time to jot down key story points. As you’re writing, the story will want to take on a life of its own. Having a handy reference of key points will help keep your story on track and you from pulling your hair out. A list of key points is also helpful when outlining the story plot. You may very well find that the story begins to unfold as you’re writing down the key points. If this happens…let it! Write down any ideas or details that come to you, they’ll come in handy later.
Some key points to consider are; what is the mystery? This is the underlying theme to the entire story so be as in-depth as possible (has there been a murder or a theft or a kidnapping? If so, how and where was it committed?).
Hunt for the culprit. Every good story has at least one antagonist, but what steps must the hero or heroine take to find him/her? How will the villain evade the hero? How is the mystery solved? In mystery writing there are a lot of twists and turns. Write down your initial thoughts for plot twists, red herrings to throw the readers off the trail of the true villain, and of course the final stages of how the good guy will prevail…or does he? You need to decide whether or not the hero or the villain wins in the end. Many hero’s die trying to solve their case. Many are involved in physical altercations with other characters. You must decide how many altercations, the number of characters involved, and what weapons if any are used. It is not a good idea to only engage your characters with fist fighting. Throw in some knives, chains, falling from windows, or my favorite, a poisoning, and other nasty assaults.
Every great story has well rounded characters. We read fiction because we want to be entertained and develop a connection with the characters. Outlining items such as personality traits, physical features, and quirks can help bring your characters to life; a speech impediment, or limp, or a nervous twitch.
For the Protagonist, decide the name, age, where does he/she live, does he/she have a family or pets, what is their driving goal for taking on this particular case? Is the hero a police officer, a person sworn to honesty, pride, and valor. Or is the good guy a private detective being paid to find a certain someone. Or your main character could be a parent or sibling searching for a missing loved one.
For the Antagonist, decide the name, age, where does he/she live, is there an underlying reason for being the antagonist? Perhaps this person is a career criminal. On the other hand, maybe he/she is a good person that suffered an unjust and turned to crime out of bitterness and despair.
Then you have your support characters, who are the color of the story. They provide depth to the story whether good or bad. A support character could be as simple as a loud mouth hot dog vendor standing on a street corner or as in-depth as the villain’s partner in crime. In writing a mystery story, support characters can take on a life of their own with the reader, so make them interesting. Just because they are labeled support characters does not mean they are any less important than the main characters.
Next is the location of the story. When and where is the story set? These two key elements are what bring your story to life. Mystery story writing is a broad genre and could be set in any time period and in any place. When working with actual locations it is a good idea to do research on the location first. Readers want to feel as though they are there with the characters, so being able to accurately describe a location is vital. Time periods are no exception. If the story is set in 1940’s New Orleans, the reader will want to see their surroundings, not just be told the story is taking place in a speakeasy or church. Be descriptive!
A mystery story is not a story without a solid well thought out plot. Some things to consider when developing the story plot: What is the driving force of the mystery? To solve a murder, or rescue a kidnap victim? What does the villain do to thwart the hero? Does the villain get his goons on the hero? Is the hero being set up by the villain and now he is being hunted by police. What other obstacles get in the way of solving the mystery?
One of the most important elements of writing a mystery story is suspense. Giving away too much too soon will bore the reader. It is best if the suspense is sprinkled throughout the story; bring the mystery to light within the first few chapters, then as the story progresses add a clue here and there without revealing the outcome until the final chapter. Do not be afraid to add a “red herring” or false clue, within the stories context. Readers love nothing better than to think they have everything figured out only to find in the end they were mistaken the entire time.
The final few chapters of the story should hold the climax of the conflict and resolution between the hero and villain, including how all of the clues scattered throughout the story cumulatively solves the mystery. A good conclusion gives the reader a sense of closure in finding out how the hero solved the mystery. Remember that not all mysteries have to be completely solved or have a “happy” ending. If you are writing a series of stories, the villain may get away at the end of story #1 with the hero using clues from story #1 to track down the villain in story #2. In mystery story writing, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Author News: Murder Most Foul is being transformed into a screenplay so that I may offer it to production companies for a film project. Wish me luck.
Blurb for “Murder Most Foul” – a detective/mystery
When two dismembered torsos wash up on the banks of the local river in the small industrial town of Pleasant Valley, residents are horrified. Between contradicting statements, police ineptitude, lust, lies, manipulation, incest, the motorcycle gang The Devil’s Disciples, crooked cops, and a botched crime scene, everyone becomes a suspect.
The young beautiful Jackie Reeves, a registered nurse, believes the killer is a man from her past. She contacts the dangerously handsome FBI Agent Walker Harmon. An arrest is made, but Harmon and Jackie believe an innocent man is being railroaded by local cops. How far will these lover’s go to solve this heinous crime before anymore killings. Determined to find the truth, Agent Harmon and Jackie are forced to run a gauntlet of deep trouble and turmoil, which marks them for death.
Unbeknown to the killer, his actions set off a chain of events that turned Pleasant Valley upside down, terrified some into moving elsewhere, and left everyone asking, “Why?”
Someone not living in the county, but also disturbed by the carnage was F.B.I Special Agent Walker Harmon, from Columbus. The type person capable of committing such savagery weighed heavily on the mind of the thirty-four year old bachelor who promptly contacted Sheriff Brown.
“It is imperative we meet and discuss my suspicions of Terry Jenkins,” Harmon urged.
“What the hell is goin’ on? What could you guys from Columbus have to say about Terry Jenkins?” Sheriff Brown asked angrily.
“Sheriff, I received a copy of the psychological profile performed by a State University Criminologist concerning the murders. The profile exactly matches Terry Jenkins.”
Snapping at the Federal Agent, the sheriff said. “I also received that psychological profile and, in my opinion, it fits a lot of people in this hick town, most especially Vernon James. I have my men on the case, and we’re gettin’ closer to solvin’ this crime.”
“Sheriff Brown!” Harmon beseeched. “We must join forces. Can you divulge the caliber of the bullets killing the victims?”
“No, I can not!” he said. “That information is privileged to only case personnel. I will not divulge it to anyone, not even a big city detective like you.” He then abruptly hung up on the agent.
Reviews for “Murder Most Foul”
Review: The author recreates the scenes with dramatic fashion, adding characters that are so realistic; it feels like you’re living the moment right along with them. She is a wonderful storyteller, paying attention to every intricate detail and leaving you hanging onto every word. If you’re a fan of crime thrillers, this book will definitely not disappoint!
Review: What can I say about this book? I absolutely loved it. It is one of those books that when you start it is very hard to put down. Everything is very descriptive and exciting it will always keep your interest peaked for more. Maybe the only way it could be better for me is reading it aloud to others around a campfire. It is a wonderfull read. Well done JoAnne Myers, well done.
I have been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I canvas paint.
When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill’s Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams. My original canvas paintings, can be found at: booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com
Other books by JoAnne:
“WICKED INTENTIONS” a paranormal/mystery anthology
“LOVES’, MYTHS’ AND MONSTERS’,” a fantasy anthology
“THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY,” a biography true-crime
“POEMS ABOUT LIFE, LOVE, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN”
“TWISTED LOVE,” a true-crime anthology
“FLAGITIOUS,” a crime/mystery anthology
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/joannemyers
Facebook Author Page: http://facebook.com/authorpage.joannemyers
Website: Books and Paintings by JoAnne
Books and Paintings by JoAnne Blog: http://www.booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com/page29
Jo Anne’s Blog: http://joannemyers.blogspot.com/
JoAnne’s WordPress Blog:
Jo Anne’s Postings: https://joannemyers.wordpress.com/
Barnes & Noble Paperback:
Today I’m sharing a snippet from A Cowboy’s Heaven, part of the boxed set COWBOY UP 2
Which releases today!!
From the hell of lost love, can they find heaven together?
Katie Chester is alone in the world. After losing her husband and then her parents, she’s left to run Heaven, a thousand-acre ranch encompassing nearly an entire Montana mountain. She rents out a suite of rooms, but ends up with a boarder who shakes her to her foundation.
When Pennsylvanian ex-Army doctor Collin Kirkpatrick lost his wife a year ago, he lost his world. He needs to escape the pain, and where better than in an isolated town in the West? He answers an ad for resident doctor in Evansville, Montana, but is surprised to find Heaven and the angel residing there.
But can they leave their grief and pain in the past to blaze a new path into the future?
She cleared her throat and tilted her head to meet his gaze. “I don’t want you to think I’m—uh—somehow hurt by you wearing this stuff. Jimmy was never a cowboy, and he rarely wore that coat.” With a smile, she patted his arm and the strange light in her eyes hit him like a punch. “I’m glad it fits you. I was afraid it wouldn’t. You’re a bigger guy than he was.”
They were so close he could have leaned down and kissed her. His voice caught in his throat at the naked depth of her crystalline eyes. She was experiencing the same wild, perplexing emotions as him, and the realization staggered him. What was happening between them?
“Yes?” Her voice came out breathy, and the sound of that simple word went straight to his groin.
“Thank you.” The words passed his lips on a husky whisper, but he wasn’t only thanking her for the use of a coat and gloves. Despite the confusion and the feelings of betrayal to Christy, she was forcing him to feel again, and for that he was grateful.
Find more great Sneak Peeks HERE
Today on Sneak Peek Sunday, I’m sharing another snippet from A Cowboy’s Heaven, part of COWBOY UP 2, a boxed set to be released in March….
She shifted away from his scrutiny and headed to the coffee maker by the sink. As she dumped aromatic grounds into the filter basket and filled the pot with water, she swallowed. “My husband died fifteen months ago.”
She sensed more than heard him come over to the long island that separated the space between them. “I’m sorry.” At the compassion ringing in the deep timbre of his voice, she looked over her shoulder at him. He looked down at his hands. “I lost my wife a little over a year ago, too.”
“It’s a bitch.” She looked out the kitchen window. The first flakes of snow were drifting in the air. Although she had to get back out with the boys and get those cattle down the mountain, she couldn’t move. Katie never talked about the pain she’d felt since Jimmy’s death, but this stranger made her want to divulge all of her hurt and fear. She turned and leaned on the sink. The only sounds were the refrigerator fan and the gurgling of the brewing coffee. “Jimmy had pancreatic cancer. It was discovered too late for any successful treatment, and he only lived six months after getting the awful diagnosis.”
He looked up. “Christine was killed in a car accident on her way to work at the hospital last June a year ago. A tractor trailer truck cut her off, and she lost control of her car on the highway. She ended up going over the grassy median and hitting another truck going south. We’d just moved back to the Johnstown area after I got out of the Army. She was also a doctor, a surgeon.” He swallowed hard, and his lips thinned as if he didn’t like talking about his wife’s death and didn’t quite understand why he was blabbering now.
“You loved her a great deal.” Somehow she knew this as truth.
Nodding, he captured her gaze and held it. “I did, but I know holding onto the past isn’t good. Christy would hate that I stopped living after her death.” He shrugged one shoulder. “I moved out here for a fresh start.”
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Welcome to Sneak Peek Sunday. Today I’m sharing a snippet from my upcoming release A Cowboy’s Heaven, part of a second boxed set from the same group of authors who brought together the internationally bestselling hit COWBOY UP–Which is now being offered in print!!!
Katie Chester is alone in the world. She lost the love of her life when her husband died a year and a half ago. Then she lost her parents, leaving her with Heaven–a thousand acre ranch encompassing nearly an entire Montana mountain. She decides to rent a suite of rooms out as a way to move on from the loss of so many loved ones. She never expected her first boarder would be a man who would shake her to her foundation.
Ex-Army doctor and Pennsylvania born, Collin Kirkpatrick is running from his grief over the loss of the only woman he ever loved. When he lost his wife over a year ago, he lost his world. He knew he had to escape, and where better than to some of the most isolated parts of the West. When he answered the ad for a resident doctor for the small town of Evansville, Montana, he never expected to find Heaven.
He turned toward the tap on the window and pressed the button to lower the window.
A woman wearing jeans and a heavy coat leaned down from the saddle of a horse nearly as tall as the car. She pushed a brown cowboy hat back from her forehead over long golden blonde hair braided and hanging over one shoulder and smiled. Eyes matching the blue of the bright late September sky peeking out of the gray clouds danced with what he suspected was amusement. “Hi there. You lost?”
Maybe he was in heaven, because she was one of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen. She had to be an angel. That voice. Was this the woman with the sensual voice who lured him out here? He blinked and looked toward the house again to break the sudden spell she wove around him. Damn, he hadn’t been this rattled by a woman since the second day of med school when he’d dropped his anatomy textbook onto the foot of the woman he’d eventually marry. “Ah… I don’t know. I’m Collin Kirkpatrick. I spoke to a Mrs. Katie Chester about a month ago concerning renting a room.”
She swung out of the saddle, surprising him not only with her agility, but her grace. A medium sized, white and copper spotted dog—a shepherd of some kind?—sat next to her with its ears perked. Its blue eyes nearly the same uncanny color as its mistress’s. The bluish gray horse towering beside her was a magnificent animal. As petite as she was, how the heck could she even get on the back of that thing?
As she stuck her gloved hand through the open window, she flashed him another smile. “Dr. Kirkpatrick, welcome to Heaven. Evansville surely has been exited to hear you were coming. We’ve been out of a doctor for two months now since my uncle Doc passed on.”
He stared at the worn leather glove and she laughed. The sound tickled over his senses like a warm tropical breeze, and despite the cold air rushing through the open window, he flushed warm.
“Opps. Sorry.” She yanked off the glove and stuck her hand back through the window. “I’m Katie Chester. I’ve been expecting you. The room is at the house.”
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Thank you so much for hosting me, Sara, and helping me celebrate the release of my new book To Eternity, the second book in the Timeless series.
I hope those of you who enjoyed meeting Magnus and Sian in Timeless will enjoy this next step in their story. I hope those of you meeting them for the first time in To Eternity will want to find out about their past in Timeless.
I am presently in the process of writing Out of Time, Book Three in the series and hope to have it completed this year.
One of the elements I enjoyed writing most in To Eternity was the development of the relationship between Magnus and Sian. As the story unfolded they moved forward as a couple, learning from each other and dealing with the difficulties their specific relationship must cope with. I mean, let’s face it, falling in love with a guy who is several hundred years old can’t possibly be easy and the fact he’s a werewolf too doesn’t make for a simple situation. I have always enjoyed Sian’s courage and she didn’t let me down in To Eternity. I’ve picked a little excerpt to illustrate.
I do hope you enjoy this.
A man in a set of old-fashioned green overalls, carrying a steaming bucket and a broom, headed toward the path down to the lake. That was Monty. She’d best let security know he belonged on the estate. The photographers, too, just in case they need a few extra shots.
Oh, my God. Magnus knew! He must have contacted Monty to clean up. That’s what had upset Magnus so much this morning. He knew Franklyn had been here and what he’d done. Oh, why hadn’t he said?
She called the guard from her phone. “It’s okay. I know the old boy down by the lake. He’s one of Mr. Johansson’s people.” She could hardly call Monty a servant. “He’s been sent down there by Mr. Johansson.”
“We’ve checked everyone, Ms. Armstrong, everyone is accounted for,” the guard said.
“Excellent. By my estimation, the crew will be ready to leave by one, the band before then. I want them all checked out as they leave the grounds. You call me when the kit and props are loaded onto the wagon because I want to personally see everyone is off-site.”
“Yes, Ms. Armstrong.”
In the meantime, she’d inspect the rooms used yesterday for even a nick in the paintwork, and try to work out a way to explain to Magnus what had happened. Only once she’d done that, would she contact Franklyn.
The haunting first chords of her favorite song from the Timeless album met her as she entered the long corridor to go along to the music room. For some crazy reason, tears stung her eyes. The strength of love to last eons, to right all manner of wrongs, and most of all, to protect the one you cared for.
She nodded at the last sobbing note of the guitar. The certainty grew. She’d give anything to protect Magnus from his fears, as well as the nuisance Franklyn made of himself.
All she had to do was hold it together and be strong. Somehow she would do it.
Thanks for reading.
To Eternity-wild beneath the moon- Book Two in the Timeless Series.
For four centuries Magnus has lived according to the dictates of the moon, his heart isolated by the domination of his wolf nature. Now fate has brought the beautiful, independent Sian to his house at Darnwell and their irresistible attraction has exploded into a white-hot passion. Yet she is not wolf, and the time has come for her to embrace the change. But once she completes the ritual and claims her place next to Magnus, the rivals will appear on the horizon…
You can read Chapter One of To Eternity free on my blog in the My Books section. Take a peek.
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