Welcome to Amy Rose’s Parlour… Sasha Cottman, Historical Romance Author

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Award winning author, Sasha Cottman is visiting my parlour today to talk about her latest Regency romance release in the The Duke of Strathmore series, The Duke’s Daughter. I’ve read the first two books in the series – Letter From a Rake and An Unsuitable Match – and loved them both so I’m certainly looking forward to reading the next instalment. Sasha shares an excerpt from The Duke’s Daughter and a classic French recipe from the Regency era (which I must try – I love cooking).

Welcome and take it away, Sasha…

The Regency recipe I am sharing is cassoulet in honour of Paris where part of The Duke’s Daughter is set.

He chuckled softly. It was Tuesday. Madame Dessaint always cooked cassoulet on Tuesdays.

The Duke’s Daughter

Cassoulet

Cassoulet is a traditional French, slowed cooked casserole. The dish is named after the earthenware pot in which it is traditionally cooked in, the cassole. Varying meats can be used in the recipe including duck, goose and even mutton (lamb). For this recipe we used chicken.

Cassoulet

Ingredients

1 cup (215g) dried cannellini beans

2 teaspoons olive oil

500 g pork belly cut into small pieces

200 gm bacon cut into small pieces.

2 garlic or spicy sausages.

2 piece of chicken Maryland (or breasts)

2 brown onions roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 sprig thyme

1 sprig rosemary (fresh is best if you can find it).

400 g can chopped tomatoes

1 litre of chicken stock

1 ½ cups of breadcrumbs

30g melted butter

Method

This is a good Saturday afternoon recipe. If you start it mid- afternoon, it will be ready in time for dinner.

Soak the cannellini beans in a bowl of fresh water overnight. (Or you could use the tinned variety, washed and drained if you want to cook the recipe all in one go).

Preheat the oven to 140C/280F

Cook the pork in a stovetop pan. Recipes often call for small batches, but if you have a big enough pan then you can cook it all in one go. It will take about 6 minutes to brown the pork.

Set the pork aside in a large bowl.

Next cook the bacon in the pan until it is brown. Then put it in the bowl with the pork.

Then cook the sausages in the pan until well done. After you take them out of the pan, slice them up thickly and put them in the bowl with the pork and bacon.

Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes either side until browned. When cooked put them in the bowl with the rest of the cooked meats.

Now cook the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes until they are soft. Add the pork, bacon, sausage and chicken back into the pan. Add the thyme and rosemary.

Drain the beans which have been soaking. Add the bean, tomatoes and stock to the pan. Heat for 2 mins.

Transfer all the ingredients to a casserole dish and cover (unless of course you have been using an oven proof pan on the stove top which is very clever of you).

Bake the cassoulet, covered for 1 ½ hours.

Take the cassoulet out of the oven and cut up the chicken pieces before returning them to the dish.

Combine the breadcrumbs and melted butter in a bowl. Sprinkle this mix over the cassoulet and then bake the cassoulet uncovered for another 40 minutes in the oven until the top is golden.

Remove from the oven and serve.

Serving it with bread is a nice touch as you can use the bread to soak up any of the lovely remaining juice in the bottom of the cassoulet.

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Excerpt from ‘The Duke’s Daughter’

Chapter One

By every measure of her own behaviour, Lady Lucy Radley knew this was the worst.

‘You reckless fool,’ she muttered under her breath as she headed back inside and into the grand ballroom.

The room was a crush of London’s social elite. Every few steps she had to stop and make small talk with friends or acquaintances. A comment here and there about someone’s gown or promising a social call made for slow going.

Finally she spied her cousin, Eve. She fixed a smile to her face as Eve approached.

‘Where have you been, Lucy? I’ve been searching everywhere for you.’

‘I was just outside admiring the flowers on the terrace.’

Eve frowned, but the lie held.

Another night, another ball in one of London’s high-society homes. In one respect Lucy would be happy when the London social season ended in a few weeks; then she would be free to travel to her family home in Scotland and go tramping across the valleys and mountain paths, the chill wind ruffling her hair.

She puffed out her cheeks. With the impending close of the season came an overwhelming sense of failure. Her two older brothers, David and Alex, had taken wives. Perfect, love-filled unions with delightful girls, each of whom Lucy was happy to now call sister.

Her newest sister-in-law, Earl Langham’s daughter Clarice, was already in a delicate condition, and Lucy suspected it was only a matter of time before her brother Alex and his wife Millie shared some good news.

For herself, this season had been an unmitigated disaster on the husband-hunting front. The pickings were slim at best. Having refused both an earl and a viscount the previous season, she suspected onlinepharmacies247.com/levaquin_generic.html other suitable gentlemen now viewed her as too fussy. No gentleman worth his boots wanted a difficult wife. Only the usual group of fortune-hunters, intent on getting their hands on her substantial dowry, were lining up at this stage of the season to ask her to dance. Maintaining her pride as the daughter of a duke, she refused them all.

Somewhere in the collective gentry of England there must be a man worthy of her love. She just had to find him.

What a mess.

‘You are keeping something from me,’ Eve said, poking a finger gently into Lucy’s arm.

Lucy shook her head. ‘It’s nothing. I suspect I am suffering from a touch of ennui. These balls all begin to look the same after a while. All the same people, sharing the same gossip.’

‘Oh dear, and I thought I was having a bad day,’ Eve replied.

‘Sorry, I was being selfish. You are the one who needs a friend to cheer her up,’ Lucy replied. She kissed her cousin gently on the cheek.

Eve’s brother William had left London earlier that day to return to his home in Paris, and she knew her cousin was taking his departure hard.

‘Yes, well, I knew I could sit at home and cry, or I could put on a happy face and try to find something to smile about,’ Eve replied.

Eve’s father had tried without success to convince his son to return permanently to England. With the war now over and Napoleon toppled from power, everyone expected William Saunders to come home immediately, but it had taken two years for him to make the journey back to London.

‘Perhaps once he gets back to France and starts to miss us all again, he shall have a change of heart,’ Lucy said.

‘One can only hope. Now, let’s go and find a nice quiet spot and you can tell me what you were really doing out in the garden. Charles Ashton came in the door not a minute before you, and he had a face like thunder. As I happened to see the two of you head out into the garden at the same time a little while ago, I doubt Charles’ foul temper was because he found the flowers not to his liking,’ Eve replied.

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When handsome army officer Avery Fox unexpectedly inherits a fortune, he instantly becomes one of the season’s most The Duke's Daughter - hi res covereligible bachelors. More accustomed to the battlefield, he has no patience with the naive debutantes who fill the ballrooms of London.

Honest and impetuous Lady Lucy Radley is a breath of fresh air, guiding him through the season and helping him to avoid any traps. So when Avery is left with little option but to marry Lucy, he can’t help but feel he’s been manipulated. Nor can he shake the feeling that a duke’s daughter should be out of his reach.

From the wildly beautiful Scottish Highlands to the elegant soirees of Paris, Avery and Lucy go on a journey that is full of surprises for them both.  But will their feelings for each other be strong enough to overcome the circumstances of their marriage and survive the ghosts of Avery’s past?

THE DUKE OF STRATHMORE SERIES:

Letter from a Rake

An Unsuitable Match

The Duke’s Daughter

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Sasha Cottman’s Bio and Bits:sasha cottman author pic

Sasha Cottman’s debut novel was published in 2013. Letter from a Rake, was a Romantic Book of the Year finalist in 2014 and won the Book Junkies Choice Award in 2014.

Her books are centred on the theme of love, honour and family. Her current book series, The Duke of Strathmore, covers the story of the love lives of a group of siblings and their cousins.

Sasha’s second novel An Unsuitable Match, was a four time ARRA finalist in 2015. The third book in the Duke of Strathmore series, The Duke’s Daughter, was released in August 2015.

Sasha divides her time between the city of Melbourne, Australia and her family beach retreat at Torquay. She and her family have discovered all the places the family cat disappears to whenever it realises they are about to head home on a Sunday night.

Before accidently enrolling in a course for romance writers a number of years ago, she had always had a love of history. While her writing career may appear at odds with her professional career as a finance executive, it means she can spot a poorly written company board report at twenty feet.

A self-confessed ‘hopeless’ cook, she writes a blog, In the Regency Kitchen, where she recreates recipes from the Regency/Georgian era. Her family have so far managed to survive being the test subjects of her culinary efforts.

The little time she has left during the week and weekends is spent trying to beat her husband at Fitbit challenges and trying to find where the pair to that sock really went.

Sasha is published by Destiny Romance a digital imprint of Penguin Random House.

To connect with Sasha:

You can follow Sasha and find out more about her and her books on her website .

Follow her In the Regency Kitchen Blog where she attempts to recreate Regency Recipes with mixed success

Follow her on:

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Sasha’s newest release The Duke’s Daughter is released through Destiny Romance.

Book Trailer

Welcome to Amy Rose’s Parlour… Thamsine Granville, the heroine of Alison Stuart’s ‘The King’s Man’

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Award winning historical romance author, Alison Stuart, visits my parlour today to talk about her recent release, THE KING’S MAN, the second novel in her trilogy set around the time of the English Civil War.

Welcome and take it away, Alison…

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today, Amy. For your readers, I am running a rafflecopter contest for the launch period of THE KING’S MAN … to enter click HERE .

I love having the opportunity to chat to my characters, particularly as both Kit and Thamsine were particularly strong minded and chatty during the course of writing THE KING’S MAN.

Kit Lovell, the hero (or anti-hero) has already had his chance for a chat with readers… click HERE to read his interview… so let’s take a moment to interview Thamsine Granville, heroine of THE KING’S MAN.

AS: How do you pronounce your name, Thamsine?

TG: TAMZIN – Thamsine and Thomazine (an innumerable variations) were both popular names during the seventeenth century.

AS: You have just escaped the accusation of attempting to assassinate Oliver Cromwell, do you mind me asking why you threw the brick at his coach?

TG: That was a bit of a mistake on my part. I wasn’t really trying to kill Cromwell, I just wanted a distraction. I had no idea it could potentially land me in so much trouble.

AS: Distraction from what?

TG: I’d rather not say… shall we leave it as – a person I did not particularly want to meet.

AS: What is the worst thing that has happened in your life? What did you learn from it?

TG: My life over the last couple of years has gone from bad to worse, but ending up on the run in London, with no money in the middle of winter, probably has to count as a new low in my life. What did I learn from it? Not to try to kill people.

AS: What is the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone? Why?

TG: I tried to kill someone because he was trying to persuade me to marry him in the worst way possible. He only wanted my money but he would take both me and my fortune by force if he could.

AS: How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?

TG:   Since Kit Lovell saved me from the noose and found me a job in a tavern, life has improved considerably, but I would still rather be back in my own home. I really wasn’t brought up to be a tavern wench and I’m not very good at it.

AS: Ah, Kit Lovell. What attracts you to him?

TG: Attracts? Alison, really we’re just friends… Oh well since you ask, just between us girls, how could one not be attracted to a handsome man with a slight French mentalhealthupdate.com/adderall.html accent, some intriguing scars, a limp and a penchant for rescuing fallen women off the streets of London, but he’s not mine…

AS: Not yours?

TG: Alas he has a wealthy and rather pretty mistress who indulges him shamlessly. I don’t have the money to keep Kit in the manner in which he has clearly become accustomed.

AS: What would you like to change about him?

TG: I wish he would learn to forgive himself. Something has happened in his past, which of course he won’t talk about (men!), but I think it has set him on the course of something that will end badly. All those secret meetings in the inn parlour for starters… I just have a bad feeling…

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ABOUT THE KING’S MAN

The second in a tantalising trilogy from award-winning author Alison Stuart, about warriors, the wounds they carry, and the women that help them heal.TheKingsMan-Harlequin SMALL

London 1654: Kit Lovell is one of the King’s men, a disillusioned Royalist who passes his time cheating at cards, living off his wealthy and attractive mistress, and plotting the death of Oliver Cromwell.

Penniless and friendless, Thamsine Granville has lost everything.  Terrified, in pain, and alone, she hurls a piece of brick at the coach of Oliver Cromwell, and earns herself an immediate death sentence. Only the quick thinking of a stranger saves her.

Far from the bored, benevolent rescuer that he seems, Kit plunges Thamsine into his world of espionage and betrayal – a world that has no room for falling in love.

Torn between Thamsine and loyalty to his master and King, Kit’s carefully constructed web of lies begins to unravel. He must make one last desperate gamble – the cost of which might be his life.

 

Buy Links

Buy THE KING’S MAN on KOBONOOKiBooks and AMAZON

(Australian readers can still buy THE KING’S MAN for just 99c on AMAZON AUSTRALIA and the first book in the series, BY THE SWORD is currently free)

ABOUT ALISONAlison Stuart hat

Award winning Australian author, Alison Stuart learned her passion from history from her father. She has been writing stories since her teenage years but it was not until 2007 that her first full length novel was published. Alison has now published 6 full length historical romances and a collection of her short stories. Her disposition for writing about soldier heroes may come from her varied career as a lawyer in the military and fire services. These days when she is not writing she is travelling and routinely drags her long suffering husband around battlefields and castles. Connect with Alison on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

 

DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE RAFFLECOPTER CONTEST: Click HERE (The prize is a kindle Ereader)

(And if you would like a smile, THE KING’S MAN is featured in an ABC Art Nation program called ‘My Secret Art Life’… Australian readers can view it on my website… click HERE)

 

Welcome to Amy Rose’s Parlour… Konstantin Volkov, the villain of Caroline Warfield’s ‘Dangerous Weakness’

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Fellow Bluestocking Belle, Caroline Warfield, visits my parlour today to share an exclusive excerpt of her soon-to-be-released (on the 30th September) Regency romance, Dangerous Weakness.

Welcome and take it away, Caroline…

Lily Thornton, heroine of Dangerous Weakness, overheard something she shouldn’t in Saint Petersburg, something that put her in danger. Now she is on the run and the villain has not given up. This scene does not appear in the novel, but it could have.

Thasos, Ottoman province of Macedonia, 1818

Konstantin Volkov shivered. The blanket wrapped around his head and shoulders chafed his cheek and ears, and the smell of stale seawater wafted up to irritate his nostrils. After a week on the godforsaken island, he had enough of the Mediterranean to last a lifetime. When he returned to Mother Russia in triumph he would forget this place and every rocky horror like it.

More to lay at the feet of Lily Thornton. She will pay when I have her, pay dearly, he thought. She would pay most of all for betraying his agent in Thessaloniki. Now the man’s head hung on a pike and Volkov ran with a price on his head. It would take all his charm and no small amount of deviousness to redeem himself in St. Petersburg.

Hope of redemption and hatred for Lily almost made his temporary discomfort bearable. He paid well to know where she hid herself. Foolish woman. She could not stay in the Seraglio forever. They would discover what she was and put her out. After some time on the streets of Constantinople she might even welcome Volkov’s protection. He would take his pleasure on her as long as he wanted and how. Then— A quick death would not suffice. He entertained himself inventing ever more creative punishments.

Movement caught his eye. He forced his mind onto the light bobbing up the winding path toward his hiding place. Perhaps that worthless tavern keeper brings good news along with his watered wine and disgusting victuals.

Volkov clenched his teeth to stop their chattering. Even in summer the nights were cold. A long impatient wait later lantern light blinded him. “Word has come, Ser, as you wanted,” a disembodied voice said.

“Put that ugateamunited.com/online/ lantern down, you blasted fool, and give me the message.” He grabbed a crumpled piece of foolscap. How many eyes had read this thing? He looked down. All it had was a number. A very large number.

Volkov began to laugh. He laughed until he convulsed with it. Rais Hamidou must think I am Midas. Let him think it.

“Where is he?” he demanded out loud.”

“His anchorage is nearby,’ the tavern keeper said, eyes shifting to one side.

“Yes, yes, secret coves and that nonsense. Tell him I agree. Go quickly.”

The man scurried out. Volkov had sent the last of his money with his offer to the Barbary corsair. Let him think there is more. After he gets me safely inside Constantinople and we take Lily, I will deal with him.

Thessaloniki_overview_Cousinery

Vue générale de Thessalonique, 1831 by E. Cousinéry

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How far will he go to protect her? How far will she run from her fears?DANGEROUS WEAKNESS2 (5)

If women were as easily managed as the affairs of state—or the recalcitrant Ottoman Empire—Richard Hayden, Marquess of Glenaire, would be a happier man. As it was the creatures—one woman in particular—made hash of his well-laid plans and bedeviled him on all sides.

Lily Thornton came home from Saint Petersburg in pursuit of marriage. She wants a husband and a partner, not an overbearing, managing man. She may be “the least likely candidate to be Marchioness of Glenaire,” but her problems are her own to fix, even if those problems include both a Russian villain and an interfering Ottoman official.

Given enough facts, Richard can fix anything. But protecting that impossible woman is proving to be almost as hard as protecting his heart, especially when Lily’s problems bring her dangerously close to an Ottoman revolution. As Lily’s personal problems entangle with Richard’s professional ones, and she pits her will against his, he chases her across the pirate-infested Mediterranean. Will she discover surrender isn’t defeat? It might even have its own sweet reward.

Pre-order Buylinks

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To connect with Caroline Warfield:

Carol Roddy - Author

Carol Roddy – Author

Visit Caroline’s Website and Blog

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Welcome to Amy Rose’s Parlour… Vikki Vaught-McCombie, Historical Romance Author

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Fellow Secret Cravings Publishing author, Vikki Vaught-McCombie is visiting my parlour today to talk about her new historical romance release Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey and to share a fascinating piece of background history related to her story. Vikki also shares an excerpt of the first-meet between the heroine Anissa, the Marchioness of Overton and the dashing hero, Captain Alex Hawks.

Welcome and take it away, Vikki…

I want to thank Amy Rose for having me on her blog. I’m very exciting about my new release, Lady Overton’s Perilous LadyOvertonsPerilousJourney_fullresJourney. This is the first book in my Honorable Rogue series. The story is set in early 19th century England & America, and I loved delving into a bit of American history for my novel. I’d like to discuss some of the fascinating research I did for my book.

I originally set this story in 1809, but after further research I discovered Thomas Jefferson convinced the U.S. congress to pass the Embargo Act of 1807, which stopped foreign trade. While Jefferson did not want to involve the U.S. in the conflict between France and England, he needed to put financial sanctions in place that could possibly hurt these countries economically. This act devastated the U.S. economy. American ships literally remained in port rotting in the harbors. Illegal trade became the only means of getting goods from foreign shores. Many of the items needed by Americans were brought in through Canada and prices sky-rocketed.

Here is some background history that led up to the embargo. Britain and France resumed their war in 1803, causing relations to become strained between any countries deciding to remain neutral. In 1806, France passed a law against trading with neutral countries, and since America did not take sides in the conflict between the two countries, the French began plundering U.S. ships. In 1807, Britain passed a bill prohibiting trade between France and neutral countries. The British began waylaying American vessels and demanded that the ships pull into their ports before they were allowed to trade with other countries.

The British also started boarding American vessels and began seizing sailors they deemed were deserters from the Royal British Navy. This infuriated the U.S. and thousands of American sailors were unlawfully impressed into the British Navy, leaving destitute families behind.

During the last sixteen days of Jefferson’s presidency, a bill was passed replacing the Embargo Act with the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809. While this act opened up trade again, it did not allow trade with Britain. Since my story has my heroine fleeing England on an American vessel, I needed to move it to a different year, prior to the escalating issues between the two countries. Since 1802 was the only year that England and France were not at war for more than twenty years, I decided to place my story in that year.

This was by no means the only research I did for Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey, but was certainly the most important. While this is a novel of fiction, I wanted to ensure that the happenings within the story were possible.

I hope you’ll enjoy the romance between Alex and Anissa as much as I enjoyed writing their love story. Happy reading!

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Excerpt

She cuddled her sleeping child close as she scanned the overcrowded common area. Her insides churned as she wove her way through the crowded tables, the chairs filled with dirty, unsavory-looking men. The strong smell of sweat mingled with ale threatened to turn her stomach and had her breathing through her mouth.

Anissa approached the man the stable boy had described. “Sir, are you Captain Hawks?”

He turned around, and in a drawling voice, he answered, “Well, darlin’, that’s my name.” He swept his tri-corn hat from his head, stood and bowed. “Captain Alex Hawks, at your service. What can I do for you?”

Anissa gazed up into the blackest eyes she had ever seen and wanted to fall into them. Mesmerized, she blinked as a shiver ran across her shoulders. This was not the time to notice this man’s ciprobuyonline.org eyes, no matter how compelling they were. Now was the time to use her charms to convince him to take her on his ship.

“My name is—” she quickly searched for a name, not wanting to give him her identity, “—Mrs. Carlson. I would like to pay for passage on your ship. I understand you are leaving for America this morning.” Then, thinking of a city she had heard of in America, she added, “I need to go to Boston, where some of my family lives. Would you be able to help me?”

Captain Hawks gave her an appraising stare, which unnerved her. This man was intimidating, to say the least. “I’m not going to Boston. And, I don’t normally take on passengers. I’m headed to Baltimore, and it’s a far piece from Boston, darlin’.”

“Please take me. I have to leave for America as soon as possible.” Anissa had to convince him to allow her passage. “And as far as your destination is concerned, I’m sure once I am in America, I shall be able to travel to Boston from there.”

“Darlin’, do you even know where Baltimore is and how far it is from Boston?”

Anissa wished he would quit calling her darling. It was quite presumptuous of him, and she did not appreciate it at all. Of course, she did not want to anger him, so she kept her feelings to herself. “Well, no, not really. How far is it?”

“It’s over four hundred miles,” Captain Hawks explained, as if he were speaking to a child, which further irritated her, tugging at her frazzled nerves. “You would be better served if you found a passenger ship going there. I have an associate who should be arriving in a few days, and his ship is going to Boston. He also takes passengers. I’m sure he would be happy to take you on board.”

Oh, dear, why did I say Boston? Please, Lord, let me convince him to take me.

Every hour brought her closer to the chance of discovery. She could not afford to wait for another ship. She needed to get as far away from Lord Howard as possible, immediately.

“Captain, I do not have a few days to wait. My uncle is dreadfully ill. He may only have a few months to live, so I need to leave right away. Please allow me to travel on your ship.” She looked up at him, willing a few tears into her eyes, praying to gain his sympathy.

Captain Hawks sighed and rolled his obsidian eyes toward the ceiling. “I know I’m going to regret this. All right, darlin’, if it’s that important, I’ll take you. I hope you realize how uncomfortable this voyage will be for you and the child. The cabin you will be in barely has room to turn around in. Are you sure you don’t want to reconsider?”

“We shall be fine, regardless of the conditions.”

He shook his head, sending her heart to the floor.

Oh, Lord, please don’t let him change his mind.

What shall I do if he has?

______________________________________________

When her son’s life is threatened, Anissa, Marchioness of Overton, seeks refuge by sailing to America. BeforeLadyOvertonsPerilousJourney_fullres the ship reaches the high seas, sparks fly between her and Captain Alex Hawks. Although the young widow may be lonely, and afraid, she cannot risk the diversion a romantic entanglement could bring, no matter how much she wants to lose herself in the captain’s embrace.  

The Captain vows to protect the young Lord Overton, but can offer no assurance that the marchioness will leave his ship with her virtue intact. Alex is drawn to Anissa’s beauty and courage, as a hummingbird is to the nectar of a flower. How long can he fight a losing battle before he surrenders and makes her his own? 

Will Alex be able to keep this remarkable woman and her child safe? Will his passion for Anissa be enough or will their differences keep them apart?

 

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Welcome to Amy Rose’s Parlour… Isabella Hargreaves, Historical Romance Author

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Isabella Hargreaves is visiting my parlour today to share a little about her writing and her latest release, ‘Wanton Widows’, a collection of three, hot Regency short stories. Isabella also shares a short excerpt from one of the stories, ‘The Widow’s Wedding Night’.

Welcome, Isabella! I must say, the cover for ‘Wanton Widows’ is just gorgeous. 

Can you share something about your writing? 

I think I always wanted to be a writer, but didn’t dare dream that big. My love of historical fiction began in my childhood, but I didn’t start reading historical romance until my twenties. I began trying to write about 25 years ago and wrote my first novella about 20 years ago. However, it’s only three years since I started writing historical romance in earnest.

What story are you working on at the moment? 

Currently, I have a backlog of novellas I wrote last year. They’re set in a variety of historical periods – Anglo-Saxon England, English Civil War, and Australia in the 1870s and 1920s. They need to be published before I get lost in another large writing project, but a sequel to The Persuasion of Miss Jane Brody is planned.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

It sounds so boring but I’m a plotter, otherwise, I would never finish a story!

Do you write to a schedule or when the muse decides to visit?

I try to write to a schedule but it doesn’t always work out that way. I’ve learnt to let the muse have her way if I want to write with ease.

What helps you get into the mood to write?

I listen to positive thinking recordings and watch YouTube videos of period movies and excerpts!

Where do you get your inspiration? E.g. are you inspired by people, places or actual historical events?

My stories are often inspired by people from the past as I read lots of biographies. Mary Wollstonecraft’s life inspired The Persuasion of Miss Jane Brody and a biography of a World War One VC recipient was the initial spark for All Quiet on the Western Plains. However, events have also inspired some of my forthcoming novellas, in particular those set in the English Civil War and in Anglo-Saxon Britain.

Do you have a particular period of history you are passionate about?

I do love the Regency era, however, I’m fascinated by so many periods of history, I’ve read and written stories set across a millennium!

Do you enjoy research? Would you like to share a snippet of research related to your work-in-progress or an upcoming/recent release?

I’m a historian – I love research! Finding out about period clothing is my interest at the moment and I’m avidly pinning my finds on Pinterest.

Who would you love to cast as your genericpropeciabuyonline.com main characters if your book was made into a movie/TV series?

As Wanton Widows is a book of short stories, I can choose a few great actors. Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) would have to be the gorgeous Sir Nicholas De Courcey from ‘What a Widow Wants’ and Emma Stone (Crazy, Stupid, Love) would be super as the determined heroine, Lady Caroline Newberry. For ‘The Widow’s Wedding Night’, Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre) should be the sweet heroine, Arabella Linfield, with Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) as the intriguing, slightly disturbing hero. For ‘Wooing the Wealthy Widow’, Matthias Schoenaerts (A Little Chaos) has the right mix of looks, tenderness and depth to fit the role of the hero, Sir Hercules, who is wooing the discerning and wealthy widow, Viscountess Helena Tremoyne, whom I can see being played by the coolly elegant, Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth).

Who is your favourite historical go-to author or what is your favourite historical romance book of all time?

My favourite historical go-to authors are Mary Balogh and Liz Carlyle. My favourite historical romance book of all time remains Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh. Its characters, structure and plot grab me every time I read it, which is about once a year.

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Isabella’s ‘Wanton Widows’ was released this month. Please read on and enjoy a short excerpt from “The Widow’s Wedding Night”...

Excerpt

For long minutes Arabella sat at her dressing table. With a sigh, she rose to wander around the room, examining the ornaments occupying the mantelpiece and recessed shelves. The Ormolu clock struck the hour. It was late. Impatient, Arabella decided to wait in Jerome’s room for him, knowing something important must have delayed him. She turned the doorknob to his chamber and passed through his dressing room. The scent of shaving soap pervaded the room. The space beyond was a vast chamber like her own, but lit only by the moon shining through the open curtains. She inched through the unfamiliar space towards the wooden four poster bed, which was much larger than her own. The covers were turned down, so she slipped between the sheets. She expected them to be chilly but they weren’t. She wriggled towards the middle of the bed and gasped in surprise.

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Wanton WidowsWanton Widows_final - LOW RES (244x325)

Three Regency-era widows seek new partners in unconventional ways. 

‘What a Widow Wants’
The young Dowager Lady Caroline Newberry plans to snare a lover.
‘The Widow’s Wedding Night’
Arabella Linfield dreams of a wedding night to remember, but the reality is a surprise.
‘Wooing the Wealthy Widow’
Can Sir Hercules Standfast pass the wealthy widow’s twelve tests for penniless suitors?

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Welcome to Amy Rose’s Parlour… The heroine of E E Carter’s ‘Moonstone Conspiracy’, Lady Abigail Houghall

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Lady Abigail Houghall, the heroine from Elizabeth Ellen Carter’s latest release ‘Moonstone Conspiracy’, visits Amy Rose’s parlour. Read on to find out more about this enigmatic woman…

  1. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? 

An excellent question. They either love me or hate me. You see, people are very good seeing what they want to see in other people. They don’t actually see you. What they see is a mirror that projects their own fears and desires. They will either see the exciting, notorious demimondaine or they will see a manipulative whore.

  1. Describe your ideal mate. If you found that person would you want to marry?

That surely is the most fanciful question I’ve ever been asked! Let me see if I can do it justice. I would want a man who is more than just a handsome face. He would need to be resourceful, strong – I don’t mean physically strong, but have a strong character. He would need to love the real me. And I wish I knew who that was.

  1. Do you wish to marry? If so, what is your idea of a good marriage? Do you think that will happen in your life?

Is this a serious question? Who would marry someone like me – someone who has been a mistress to other men? A card sharp? A quick-tempered shrew? Someone who cares little for the opinion of other people?

A good marriage… I suppose such things do exist. My friend Lady Jane Ashton and her husband Thomas seem to have a good marriage. She utterly adores him and he dotes on her dreadfully.

  1. What is the worst thing that has happened in your life? What did you learn from it?

The worst thing? I imagine people will say being arrested by Sir Percy Blakeney on a charge of treason or conspiracy or some such thing.

  1. What is the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone? Why?

But I think the worst thing I’ve done was trampled on someone’s genuinely held feelings for me. It wasn’t even so much the unfaithfulness, it was just sex, just the excitement and the pursuit of pleasure. Even if James had never found out about my affair, I knew it. One way or another the die was cast and it killed his love for me. My consolation has been that he has genuinely fallen in love with a young woman who loves him truly. I wish him every happiness, I hope one day I can attain the same.

  1. How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?

Right now I’m trapped. I’m trapped in Bath with my insufferable Aunt Philomena and some useless branch of the family tree who claim connections because I was once a Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Charlotte and yet on the other hand spread the most salacious gossip about me – most of it untrue.

I want to be free again. I want to be out from under the thumb of Sir Percy Blakeney who could have me clapped in irons at a whim. My only choice is to make my own fortune under his nose and escape to Italy before he knows what I’m about.

  1. What attracts you to the Honourable Daniel Ridgeway?

Not you too. Lady Jane insists she can see some kind of attraction, but then she’s a hopeless romantic.

What is attractive about Ridgeway… Yes, yes, he’s handsome. Well, since you press for an answer, he’s very handsome, intensely infuriating, an accomplished dancer and… I, ah, well, um… he seems to look at me as though he actually sees me.

It’s strange, I don’t know how else to describe it.

  1. Why will you be better people together? What can you give each other?

Well Sir Percy Blakeney seems to have hopes in that regard. No, no, no! I mean he seems to think we will work well together. We have to.

I’ve been told that there is plot to blow up the fleet in London and to set off a series of riots across the country to force England into a revolution and Ridgeway has been ordered to work with me to stop it.

Daniel seems anxious to slip back into France. It seems a friend of his has been left behind and as for me, I need money, my dear. Lots of it. I need to get away from here as quickly as I possibly can and Sir Percy is going to have to make it worth my while.

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Elizabeth Ellen Carter’s ‘Moonstone Conspiracy’ was recently released on the 2nd July. Please read on and enjoy a short excerpt.

Excerpt

The Red Lion Inn, built during the reign of the Tudors, was a single ourhealthissues.com/product/propecia/ story stone and thatch building hunkered low and squat in the hills just outside Bath. The rain that accompanied them up from the town had eased to a drizzle by the time they stopped.

The coachman dropped nimbly from his seat and knocked on the closed door of the inn. A panel opened in the door, spilling yellow light through the aperture. Abigail shifted to see if she could glimpse the figure inside, but could not. Daniel slid along the bench beside her and brushed his hand against her arm as he looked over her shoulder to the scene outside.

“We’ll wait until we’re called,” he instructed softly. She nodded absently, but did not move her hand away and watched. The inn door opened a sliver and the driver sidled his way through it before it slammed closed behind him.

With no more to see, Abigail straightened. She felt the firmness of Daniel’s thigh against hers and the solid warmth of his body against her back as they looked out the window. She could smell his cologne, a mix of cinnamon, clove, and lime, as it mingled with her own rose and jasmine scent.

“Why are we here?” Abigail whispered, although she supposed there was no need for it. They were alone in the middle of nowhere.

“Sir Percy has news about the Radical plot to set off a bomb in London,” Daniel answered, his voice close to her ear. “I don’t know any more.”

They waited.

Despite the fact no lightning split the night sky, a charge filled the carriage. A persistent thrum of arousal settled low in her, and Abigail savored the sensation. It had been such a long time since she had been in any man’s arms, let alone one she was beginning to care about.

Just as she wondered if she had misread Daniel’s feelings for her, his arm moved from the back of the seat to encircle her. She could feel raised gooseflesh with the warmth of his breath as he leaned forward to drop a light kiss on the back of her neck.

Her sigh was accepted as encouragement, and Daniel drew her closer to him with both arms. His kisses deepened where her flesh was bared, on her neck and shoulders; his fingers slightly caressed the curve of her waist and teased the undersides of her breasts.

Abigail’s own hands stroked the soft wool of the jacket that covered his arms. She was restless for more…restless for him.

“Daniel…”

She whispered his name with longing and started to turn so her lips could claim the kisses he was lavishing elsewhere.

Bang!

The inn door slammed shut against the rising wind that had driven away the rain. The sound of booted feet crunching on the gravel heralded the approach of an occupant from the inn.

Abigail turned completely to look at Daniel. In the dimness of the carriage, his face was edged in shadow. Even so, she could see the stiffness of his posture, the tension in the line of his jaw. His nostrils flared as though he had just run a mile and the brightness of his eyes attested to the desire now being restrained.

“Abigail.”

Her name sounded like agony on his lips as he reached out to stroke her cheek tenderly.

__________________________________________

Revolution in France, rebels in England, and one woman caught in the crossfire… MoonstoneConspiracy_ByElizabethEllenCarter-453x680

For her unwitting participation in a plot to embezzle the Exchequer, Lady Abigail Houghall has spent the last two years exiled to the city of Bath. A card sharp, sometime mistress, and target of scandalous gossip by the London Beau Monde, Lady Abigail plots to escape her gilded cage as well as the prudish society that condemns her. But the times are not easy. France is in chaos. The king has been executed, and whispers of a similar revolution are stirring in England. And because of her participation in the robbery plot, the Spymaster of England is blackmailing her into passing him information about the members of London’s upper crust. 

When the dashing English spy Daniel Ridgeway takes a seat at her card table and threatens to expose her for cheating, she has no choice but to do as he demands: seduce the leader of the revolutionaries and learn what she can about their plot. As she’s drawn deeper into Daniel’s dangerous world, from the seedy backstreets of London to the claustrophobic catacombs of a war-torn Paris, she realizes an even more dangerous fact. She’s falling in love with her seductive partner. And the stakes of this game might just be too high, even for her.

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Exciting news from the Bluestocking Belles!

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The Bluestocking Belles have a new look and some great new projects on the go. If you didn’t make it to our recent ‘Christmas in July’ party on the 20th July on Facebook, you might have missed a few announcements.

  • Firstly, we have a wonderful new logo – featured above – designed by our own Belle, Mari Christie. Isn’t it lovely?
  • We also announced the name for our Bluestocking Belles’ Christmas themed boxed set of novellas  – “Mistletoe, Marriage and Mayhem” – due for release on November ordergenericpropeciaonline.com 1st. Stay tuned for more news on the cover reveal in September…
  • We also launched our first joint venture – a fabulous Regency themed games book entitled ‘The Belles Guide to a Good Time”. It’s more than 50 pages of games and reading – all the Belles have contributed some wonderful excerpts from their books. It’s available on the Bluestocking Belles’ website for download as a PDF, or follow the link to purchase a bound copy for $4.99 to support the Malala Fund.

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Welcome to Amy Rose’s Parlour… Hugh, Baron Overton from Jude Knight’s ‘A Baron for Becky’

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Jude Knight’s upcoming release on August 5th, ‘A Baron for Becky’, is featured in Amy Rose’s Parlour today. Jude has also generously offered to gift an e-copy of her book to one random commentator. Read on to find out more about the baron in question, Lord Overton. At the end of the post there’s also a wonderful short excerpt!

Hugh, Baron Overton searches his soul. 

Hugh, Baron Overton = Portrait of Pierre Jean George Cabanis (by Merry-Joseph Blondel)

Hugh, Baron Overton – Portrait of Pierre Jean George Cabanis (by Merry-Joseph Blondel).

Hugh, Baron Overton sat cradling a tankard of ale. The man from the newspaper had asked a lot of personal questions. Hugh had refused to answer, of course. One didn’t talk about such personal things. And one certainly didn’t talk to the newspapers, even if they followed one all the way from London to rural Lancashire.

Of course, they really wanted to talk about the latest escapades in London. He and Aldridge had not hit the headlines, precisely. At least, not by name. The power of the Duke of Haverford was too strong for that. But everyone knew who Baron O. and the M.M. were.

Still, it wasn’t the questions about their amorous adventures that echoed in his head. Instead, he found himself formulating answers to questions that struck far closer to the bone.

  1. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?

They see my scars and they don’t look beyond them. I’ve seen them stare. I’ve heard what the women say… I can’t deny I’ve had some success in the bedroom in the last few years, but even then, I think it’s the novelty value. Beauty and the Beast, and I’m the beast.

  1. Do you wish to marry? If so, what is your idea of a good marriage? Do you think that will happen in your life?

I’ll never marry again. It was a mistake last time. If she had only been honest with me… if she had told me that she was disgusted by my scars; that she didn’t want to marry me… But she needed to marry, and I was the only man who offered. It was a mistake that I won’t repeat.

  1. What are you most ashamed of in your life?

I didn’t work hard enough to save my marriage. I should have made her talk to me; made her explain. Instead—when she wouldn’t receive me except in the dark, when she refused her bed to me at all after that first year—I ran. I was working for the family, I told myself; rebuilding our fortune from the mess my uncle left it in. And I did have to travel. But not as much as I did, and I could have taken her with me. She died, and the baby with her, and it’s my fault.

  1. Tell me about your best friend. How did you meet? What do you like about this person? What do they like about you?

The Marquess of Aldridge has been my best friend since we were two lonely boys getting into mischief together at Eton. People don’t understand Aldridge. He’s more than just a rake; much more. He’s a faithful friend, a good steward of his father’s duchy, and a kind and generous man. I think he likes that I don’t suck up to him. I might be the only person in his world, apart from his parents and his brothers, who doesn’t. Well, my title might be less elevated than his, but it’s older. And we were boys together, as I say.

  1. What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

I’d like it to say: Here lies Hugh Baron Overton, who lived and died doing his duty.

  1. What is your greatest fear?

I’m afraid of failing those who depend on me. And fail them I must. I cannot perform the most basic duty of all peers. It can’t be helped. I’ve tried, as God is my witness. I won’t buydiazepamsite.com/valium-price.html fail them in any other way: my daughters, my tenants, my friends. I couldn’t live with myself if I let anyone else down.

______________________

‘A Baron for Becky’ is currently available for pre-order and is due for release on the 5th August. Please read on and enjoy a short excerpt. And don’t forget to leave a comment to be in the running for an e-copy of  ‘A Baron for Becky’.

Excerpt

Aldridge was early. She crossed to the sideboard where she kept his favourite brandy, and was pouring him a glass by the time she heard his steps in the hall. Two sets of steps? Who did Aldridge have with him?

The other man was as tall as Aldridge, but dark to his fair. He must once have been stunningly handsome, and one side of his face was still carved by a master; subtle curves and strong planes combining in a harmonious whole that spoke of strength and, in the almost invisible network of lines at the corners of his eyes, suffering.

On the other side, dozens of scars pitted and ridged the skin, as if it had been torn and chewed by an animal; an animal with jaws of flame by the tell-tale burn puckers. Thankfully, whatever it was had spared his eye, which, she suddenly realised, was glaring at her.

“Well,” he demanded, and she was shaken anew by his voice, rich and mellow. She had been staring. How rude. But for some reason, she didn’t apologise as she should, but instead blurted, “I was just feeling glad that what injured you spared your eye.”

He looked startled, and suddenly a lot friendlier. “Thank you. I am glad too.”

That voice! He could read a linen inventory and she would listen for hours.

“An unusual approach to an introduction,” Aldridge observed. Becky collected herself and smiled at her protector. “No one is more important than the man who keeps you,” a mentor had once told her. “When he is present, you notice no one else except as it reflects well on him.”

And Becky had never before had her attention so focused on a guest that she had been unaware of presenting her cheek to Aldridge for his kiss, giving him the expected squeal in return for his squeeze, and returning the kiss.

“An introduction would be polite, Aldridge,” she said.

“My dear, you have heard me speak of my friend, Baron Overton.”

_________________________

She was a fallen woman when she met them. How can they help her fall on her feet? 

 

BfB cover final smallBecky is the envy of the courtesans of the demi-monde – the indulged mistress of the wealthy and charismatic Marquis of Aldridge. But she dreams of a normal life; one in which her daughter can have a future that does not depend on beauty, sex, and the whims of a man.

Finding herself with child, she hesitates to tell Aldridge. Will he cast her off, send her away, or keep her and condemn another child to this uncertain shadow world?

The devil-may-care face Hugh shows to the world hides a desperate sorrow; a sorrow he tries to drown with drink and riotous living. His years at war haunt him, but even more, he doesn’t want to think about the illness that robbed him of the ability to father a son. When he dies, his barony will die with him. His title will fall into abeyance, and his estate will be scooped up by the Crown.

When Aldridge surprises them both with a daring proposition, they do not expect love to be part of the bargain.

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Candle’s Christmas Chair (free novella)

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Welcome to Amy Rose’s Parlour…Viscount Fitzmarten from Mariana Gabrielle’s La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess

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Author Mariana Gabrielle’s upcoming release La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess is featured in Amy Rose’s parlour today. Read on to find out what Viscount Fitzmarten thinks of the mysterious Kali…

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Schuyler Gildeforte, Viscount Fitzmarten, known as Fitz to his friends, accepted the invitation to this house party purely at the urging of his good friend, Jasper Hargreaves, Lord Arlington, with whom he shared quarters at school. All week long, he has found himself beset with fortune-hunting chits and their terrifying mothers, all of whom wish nothing more than to snare the heir to the Marquess of Coventon—long before he wishes to be snared.

In defense of his virtue—such as it is—he has invited Arlington to the library, where they can lock the door against importunate females and make a dent in their host’s supply of brandy.

“Brandy, Arlington?” Fitz searches through the decanters. “Perhaps whiskey? The claret at dinner was execrable, and one builds up a strong thirst playing at charades.” Taking the stopper from one of the cut crystal carafes, he pours a tall measure of brandy, than adds a bit more.

“Brandy, if you don’t mind, my friend.” Arlington loosens his damnably tight cravat. “I would rather build up a thirst engaging in more salacious activity, though. It’s a shame Lady Montagu left so early.”

“Lady Montagu?” Fitz raises one brow as he pours a second tumbler. “She’s finally taken up with you, has she? Does she not prefer her men a bit… dimmer?” Flipping the tails of his black dinner jacket, he seats himself on a de Cuvilliés sofa, swirling the amber oblivion in his glass. “Though I suppose your randy spaniel imposture carries sway with a certain type of… lady.”

Arlington smirks as he takes the glass. “Well, it takes one to know one, Fitz. Wasn’t your nickname at school, Fitz-terrier? But as far as I know, Lady Montagu’s tastes run to men with stamina.” He sighs and takes a sip of his drink. “Although, perhaps it is best she left when she did. I’m not sure if I’m up to anything much tonight, after all.”

Fitz unties his cravat and unbuttons his waistcoat as he reclines on the sofa, resting his well-shod feet on the arm, putting his free hand behind his head. “Now, that is worrisome. One hates to think you might be losing your stamina.”

Arlington shrugs and grimaces. “Old war wound. What’s your excuse?”

“Oh, I have plenty of endurance, which any of the young ladies at the Masala Rajah would tell you, were we there and not at this miserable house party. Did you hear the hostess going on about battledore and shuttlecock?” He shudders. “Perhaps if we drink enough, I will be too ill to take part in the festivities on the morrow.”

The long-case clock in the corner chimes eleven, and they both studiously ignore it. It has been far too long since they had the chance to make each other bosky.

“I would like to get back to London soon,” says Fitz eventually. “I have a bit of business. Do you think it would be taken amiss were I to make my excuses?”

Arlington yawns and stretches out his legs toward the fire. “Hard to say really, unless our hostess was counting on you to be her source of amusement this week.” Arching his brow, he casts his friend a speculative look. “Must be something quite urgent if you’re ready to cut and run so soon. It wouldn’t be unfinished business at the Masala Rajah, would it?”

Fitz bolts his drink and rises to go back to the decanters, hoping to hide the blush he can feel stealing up his cheeks. “Unfinished… or rather, not started.” Pouring slowly, to give himself time to gather his dignity, he mumbles, “If it ever will be…”

Arlington snorts with laughter. “Oh, how the mighty have fallen. If you feel the need to unburden, I’m all ears.”

Fitz thumps back onto the couch, dropping the glass so hard onto his knee he nearly spills it on his trousers. “Never in my life have I been told by a procuress not to touch the merchandise! Can you imagine? I am a viscount, and a wealthy one at that!”

Arlington sits upright, his brow creasing with concern. “Steady on, Fitz.”

Without acknowledging the comment, Fitz continues, waving his hand so expansively there would soon be whiskey soaking both couch and carpet. “If the girl weren’t so… God help me, she is so young. She can’t be but a year or two older than my sister. I have no wish to be one of those depraved men who preys on innocents, but she is the most… I cannot stop thinking about her. It cannot be long now before Madame Falodiya—Mayuri, the owner of the establishment—offers her contract to someone, and I will be damned if it’s not me!”

“Good Lord. You are in a state, man. What’s the chit’s name, if you don’t mind my asking? She must be quite a houri.”

“Kali. Her name is Kali. Presumably named for the Hindu goddess of destruction, which should be some sort of divine portent, but is somehow no deterrent.” He bolts the second glass and pours a third, holding out the decanter to Arlington.

Arlington frowns as he pours ourhealthissues.com/product/valium/ himself another sizeable brandy. “Sounds like a moral dilemma, indeed. Forgive me, I can’t quite recall the age of your sister. So how young are we talking here?”

“Oh, good God, man! You cannot think that of me! The girl would be old enough for a come-out, were she not… were she not… unfit for the haute ton. But she is an innocent, nonetheless. I would be contracting, in part, for the pleasure of relieving her of her virtue. And Devil take me, it would be an unimaginable pleasure.”

“Sounds like you find her quite imaginable to me.”

With another blush rising, Fitz stands and wanders, a bit unsteady, to the hearth, where he stares into the fire, following the flames with his eyes. Finally, he admits, “You should see her dance, Arlington. I’ve never seen anything like it. And if not I, then some other man at the Masala Rajah will buy her contract—some brute who will not treasure her as he ought.”

Arlington rises from the settee and approaches Fitz. “I must say, I’m rather surprised at your reaction. I’ve never seen you so… affected by a female before,” he remarks in a gentler tone. “This young lady—Kali—if you care for her… wellbeing, why not offer for her? You are between mistresses, are you not? Better you than some other devil who might mistreat her. The way you describe her, she sounds like a rare jewel indeed.”

Fitz wipes a hand down his face. “I have offered! More than I paid my last five mistresses combined. It is Madame Falodiya. The damned woman will not give a yea or nay!” He drops with a huff back onto the couch, elbows on his knees, twisting the glass between his fingers, reaching toward, then away from, then toward the brandy decanter, wrapping his numbing fingers around the neck, once more filling his glass. He is feeling the effects—finally and gratefully.

“She just keeps telling me Kali is too young to entertain offers. But she is dancing in the kotha now, once in a while. Madame Falodiya is introducing her about. Everyone knows she will be contracted soon, but when anyone says a word about it, the accursed woman just says,” he mimics the older Indian woman’s heavy accent, “Kali is much too young to think of such things.”

“Well…” Arlington returns to his seat and a grim smile twists his mouth. “It seems to me blackmail might be your only other option if this Madame Fallow—fallow-whatsit—won’t be swayed. The question is, how far are you prepared to go to get want you want?”

Fitz looks up from the fourth glass he was draining much more rapidly than was prudent. “Blackmail? Whatever can you mean by that?”

Arlington shrugs. “Hire an investigator, find out what you can about Madame—the woman’s business. You say Kali is young. Perhaps there are other tastes Madame caters to, tastes she would prefer to keep from the more fastidious elements of society. It couldn’t hurt to try.”

Fitz laughs into the glass, keeping himself from choking by only sheer luck.

“Nothing at the Masala Rajah would pass muster with the fastidious elements. No one wants to believe rarified gentlemen of the ton, such as my exalted self, might consort with dark-skinned women inside the borders of England. But tempting as it is to force Mayuri’s hand, more lives than Kali’s would be put in danger if the Masala Rajah were closed. And quite frankly, I simply can’t stomach the iniquity. I prefer to keep the illusion I am still an honorable man.”

Swilling the last of the drink, Fitz sets the tumbler carefully at the edge of the table, only just managing not to drop it on the floor. Lying back on the sofa to keep the spinning at bay, forearm across his eyes, he concludes, “No, better I leave for London at first light and simply haunt the place until she writes the contract.”

[Note: Jasper, Lord Arlington appears in Amy Rose Bennett’s Regency Christmas novella ‘All She Wants for Christmas’ due out in November 2015 as part of a Bluestocking Belles’ Christmas boxed set. Stay tuned for further details…]

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Meet Kali and read her story in La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess, to be released June 10, available for pre-order now.

Sired by a British peer, born of a paramour to Indian royalty, Kali Matai has been destined from birth to enthrall England’s most powerful noblemen—though she hadn’t counted on becoming their pawn. Finding herself under the control of ruthless men, who will not be moved by her legendary allure, she has no choice but to use her beauty toward their malicious and clandestine ends.

When those she holds most dear are placed in peril by backroom political dealings, she enlists some of the most formidable lords in England to thwart her enemies. But even with the help of the prominent gentlemen she has captivated, securing Kali’s freedom, her family, and the man she loves, will require her protectors stop at nothing to fulfill her desires.

Pre-order now for June 10 delivery:
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Introducing the Bluestocking Belles!

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I am thrilled to have recently joined the ranks of the Bluestocking Belles, a group of eight committed romance authors who write novels set in the Regency era. Why not stop by our website to meet all of the authors and find out about their books. We have lots of exciting plans for the future including boxed story sets, contests and a book club. As a group, we also support the Malala Fund, a charity that supports education for girls.

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To celebrate our launch, we are having an online buyambiennorx.com ‘Housewarming Party’, March 14 from 12noon to 8pm EDT. We’d love it if you could drop by and kick up your heels with us at one or all three of our party venues:

All the wonderful Belles will be attending and there’ll be giveaways and games galore. You can also enter the fabulous Rafflecopter giveaway we’re running—the grand prize includes books, swag and other gifts from the Belles. It’s open now!