Monday, August 21, 2017

Blackheart by Raelle Logan

BLACKHEART
by Raelle Logan

Genre: Historical Romance






No memory of his past, sentenced to death for a duel gone horrid, Lochlanaire Blackheart is commanded by King William to hunt Siren Rain. She’s the illegitimate daughter of ousted King James II. In capturing his prey, Lochlanaire must retrieve the ruby signet Siren dons. That jewel is the talisman of King James II, which proves Siren’s ancestry. Lochanaire, however, is unaware that at the moment he casts sail aboard his ship, Siren’s been kidnapped by his pirate brother, Zore. Lochlanaire must battle this cutthroat for the princess, spinning Siren into his web of treachery. Afterward, they’re shipwrecked, entwined in a union of inconvenience when Lochlanaire weds Siren under the witchery of gypsies. Lochlanaire soon enlightens Siren of her true father’s identity. She seduces her captor, desperate to conceive Lochlanaire’s child. She believes he cannot surrender her to die at King William’s hangman’s noose if their blood unites. When Lochlanaire’s stalked by a ghoul slaughtering the pirates aboard his ship, he never realizes that this fiend possesses a wicked secret. Siren must unravel all the Blackheart brothers’ secluded evils and save Lochlanaire, for he threads together a travesty by which to sacrifice himself to King William, all while opposing the two seething brothers who seek his demise for the tragedies reaped in Lochlanaire’s shattered past. If Lochlanaire fails to evade the death shroud shadowing his footfalls, Siren will lose the breath-wrenching privateer who is her assassin hunter, the possessor of her lusty soul, and her only love.




Siren watched the door to her newest prison open. She recoiled and rebuked her captor’s every move. Once he tossed the decanter onto the desk and advanced on her, she scurried for the bed’s farthest end.


Lochlanaire throttled her right hand and drew it outward.


Siren fought him.


His biting hold never wavered, however, and as her eyes brushed his scarred wrists that irons once trussed, Lochlanaire tore the ruby ring off her finger.


Siren’s arms wrapped around her legs. “Why?”


He moved off to the rain-washed window. Lochlanaire slipped King James II’s signet onto his pinky and searched rolling waves. Dully he spoke, “Who are you, Siren Rain?”


You kidnapped me. You should know who I am,” she reprimanded.


Lochlanaire questioned, “Why did Zore accost you?”


“Who is Zore?”


“Zore is the captain that held you prisoner aboard the Vengeance.”


“I never saw the tyrant until he came to the Virginian in Norfolk,” Siren admonished.


“The Virginian?” Lochlanaire removed one silk shirt from a shelf. He unlaced the soaked shirt that clung to his body and divested himself of it.


The witchery of his eyes captivated hers and then Siren’s gaze caressed his chiseled flesh, which tapered to his waist. Lochlanaire’s shirt was thrown to the captain’s chair. Siren’s breath wrenched, her glance touched the flog scars that desecrated his body.


Lochlanaire turned his body away so she couldn’t see his chest or back.


Siren recovered her wits. “The Virginian is a hall. I served the men food and drink while they gamed.”


Lochlanaire fluttered the shirt to cover his body; the laces remained untied to his waist. He fully faced her. “This is where you met Zore?”


Siren replied angrily, “I never met the bastard, in the manner you suggest. He kidnapped me in the alley and caged me as his prisoner aboard his vile ship. All he said was that he intended to return me to England. He would not even tell me his bloody name, leaving me alone for months in that hellish cabin. I have no hint of what I’ve executed that prompts such sacrilege.” Glaring, for he sat on a chair, Siren demanded, “My ring?”


Lochlanaire casually retrieved another decanter. He tore the cork loose, and hurled it to the desk. He shook his head, mulling upon the ring glinting on his finger. “The ring is mine.”


Siren seethed, “That ring is all I possess of my father. I want it.”


His eyebrow arched. “You were acquainted with your father?”


“No, I’ve never met him. My mother gave me the ring. It was a token of his love for her. I command my ring’s immediate return,” she ordered.


Lochlanaire never uttered a word.


Siren dared his piercing scowl.


A knock clattering the door battered the anxious silence. “Captain? Grayson requests a word.”


Lochlanaire vaulted onto his feet, dropped the decanter upon the desk, ignored his captive and retreated to the door.


Siren yelled, darting to her feet, her fists clenched, “My ring…give me my ring!”


Lochlanaire strode to her. He clutched the neck of Siren’s shirt, his eyes seared hers, and then they fondled her heaving breasts.


Siren breathed greedily, searching his fiery stare that journeyed to hers. Siren’s lips challenged.


Lochlanaire pushed her to sprawl across the bed. Hunching, his arms splayed around Siren’s sides. He snarled, “No.” Spinning, he walked to the door, unlocked it and departed.


Siren faltered to sit and crept a hand to her racing heart. My God, what sordid trap had she stumbled into, and why did her flesh quiver under this sorcerer’s eyes?











I’ve been writing stories since I was a very young child. Back then, my writing interests were mainly in a Western genre, owing to my Dad being a HUGE Western movie fan. My mother worked at a local library and one day she brought home several books she hoped would keep me occupied throughout the summer months while I was out of school. Several of those books were written by author Victoria Holt. Needless to say, I was hooked on romance. After I threw out the Western manuscript I had written, I delved into the romance genre with hearty gusto, reading every book I could find. In later years, after marrying a racecar driver, a neighbor tossed an old laptop over the fence in our backyard into my husband’s arms, as he wanted to help with my husband’s racing career. I got curious about the computer, sat down one day and starting writing on the notepad, only to discover, to my absolute horror, that I couldn’t save my work. I bought a new computer and have been writing since. After writing my first manuscript, I realized I wanted to write a book about pirates that was more true to the reality of their real lives than is usually portrayed in books and film. Having only the limited knowledge of what I had seen in paper and moves, I took a year off in order to do historical research, learning about pirates and their ships, weapons, clothing and, language. I even read the WEBSTER’S dictionary so I could use words for the time period I write about. BLACKHEART is my first published manuscript. Currently I live in Littleton Colorado with my husband and our cat Ransom.





Friday, August 18, 2017

Scandal's Child by Pamela Gibson

SCANDAL'S CHILD
by Pamela Gibson

Genre: Regency Romance







Miranda Comstock, widowed and impoverished, accepts a position in London caring for a child who was blinded in a fire. When she discovers the child’s mysterious guardian is the lover who seduced and abandoned her five years earlier, her first thought is to flee. But nine-year-old Phoebe depends on her and is blossoming under her care.


Jeremy Montague returns from Jamaica to take up his duties as the new Earl of Longley and is shocked to find his former lover is his ward’s nurse. Believing she played him for a fool, he vows to remove her from his household, especially when she played him for a fool, he vows to remove her from his household,


But there is a mystery afoot involving a long-ago disappearance, Miranda’s resemblance to a society debutante, and the child’s suppressed memories of the fire, which are starting to emerge. As Phoebe’s memories become sharper, Jeremy begins to suspect that he and Miranda were pawns in a twisted game. And both must learn to trust again, if they are to find their way back into each other’s hearts.






A glass of brandy awaited her when Miranda reached the parlor. Jeremy handed it to her without asking, and she accepted it gratefully. The fiery liquid brought her back to reality.


As she sat in the chair in her room, watching Phoebe go to sleep, a languid feeling had overtaken her. Her fight and energy had dissolved once she knew the girl was safe. All she wanted was to sink back into sleep. Now she was wide awake again, although her arms and legs still threatened to buckle under her.


Jeremy leaned against the mantle. She hadn’t noticed in the flurry of activity he’d lost his cravat and he was not wearing a waistcoat. Her only thoughts had been for Phoebe. Now every nerve ending was on edge as she studied his tall frame, his tight pantaloons, and the dark curls peeking from the top of his unfastened shirt. She remembered how soft they had felt against her bare breasts, how they tickled her nose when she lowered her lips to coax his nipples into hard buds. Warmth seeped between her thighs, making her squirm in the hard chair she had chosen. Shaking her head, she took a deep swig of the amber liquid and swallowed, making herself choke.


“Are you all right?” He came over and patted her back as she leaned forward.


“I am not accustomed to strong spirits,” she said between coughs.


“I’m sure you are not, but we all needed some tonight. Or is it morning?”


As if in response, the clock on a nearby table chimed twice.


Miranda blinked and gritted her teeth. Remember, this is the man who deceived you, who already had a mistress and a child when he was promising to marry you. This is the man who sailed away without a word, who never sent a letter, who left you enceinte and alone.


Be fair, he didn’t know you were increasing.


She stilled her inner voice and answered the question.


“It is morning as you heard. Shall we get on with this discussion, so we can all get some sleep?”


He sauntered over to the chair opposite hers and sat down. His lips were drawn in a straight line, and his eyes were cold.


“Now then, tell me exactly how this happened.” He lifted the crystal glass to his lips and drank deeply. Candlelight sparkled from its beveled surface. Miranda watched in fascination as points of light seemed to blur in front of her eyes.


“Miranda? Did you hear me?” He gave her arm a gentle shake. “Are you awake?”


He’d called her Miranda. She blinked and refocused on his lips. That was a mistake. All she could think about was how she longed to taste them, how she burned for the feel of them on her neck and breasts and thighs.


God, she must be exhausted to be having these thoughts.







Award-winning author Pamela Gibson grew up loving books, history, and small towns. Her first career was a newspaper reporter, but when she returned to college to get a master’s degree, it was in public administration which eventually led to jobs running cities…not as an elected official, but as a city manager, the chief appointed one.


Writing was still her passion and when not busy—with the activities of two children and a lot of volunteer work—she was contracted to write several books on local history. Taking an early retirement at the urging of her very supportive husband, she turned to fiction and began writing the happy ending novels she loves to read.


Sign up for her quarterly newsletter on her website. New followers are eligible for a random drawing for two $5 Amazon gift cards prior to each edition. Author of six small-town contemporary novels, Scandal’s Child is her first historical novel.




Tuesday, August 15, 2017

GENTEEL SECRETS by S.R. Mallery

GENTEEL SECRETS
by S.R. Mallery

Genre: Historical Romance






What do a well-bred Southern Belle and a Northern working class Pinkerton detective have in common? Espionage . . . and romance. At the start of the U.S. Civil War, while young men begin dying on American battlefields and slavery is headed toward its end, behind the scenes, female undercover work and Pinkerton intelligence are alive and well. But in the end, can this unlikely Romeo and Juliet couple’s love survive, or will they be just another casualty of war?


CHAPTER TEN


“The course of true love never did run smooth.”
––William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream


“Finally, we meet again,” he said so low, so deeply, she almost couldn’t hear it. Truth be told, she probably wouldn’t have been able to hear much of anything he said, her heartbeat was rattling so loudly inside her chest.


When he took her hand to kiss it, it amazed her how wobbly and unsteady her knees felt, as if she had just been hit hard by a low-lying branch. Yet, she didn’t fall. Instead, for the first time in weeks, a broad smile appeared on her face.


“Oh Hannah,” he murmured and leaned in close, still holding her hand. “Why didn’t you ever come back to me?”


“I swear I tried, truly I did, but I kept being stopped by my family.”


. . .“Shall we go out onto the balcony?” he asked.


Nodding, she let him guide her outdoors, away from the waltzes, and the general conversation growing more sonorous by the hour. The evening chill had remained at its peak and the distant sound of soldiers maneuvering in their tented camps served as a soft, pleasant background. . .

.
Standing side by side overlooking Washington, they heard the occasional clacking of carriages over the cobblestones and saw the glow of street lamps casting long shadows everywhere.


“Still reading Wordsworth and Harriet Beecher Stowe?”


Laughing, she touched him lightly on his arm. “Always.”


She could feel that same gravitational pull overcome her, the same urge to touch him as she had felt that day on the park bench, only now, with the closeness of their bodies, it was stronger than ever. She thought about what it would be like to be in his arms, to feel his breath on her face, feel his broad shoulders underneath his jacket.


When he gently kissed her, it didn’t last long. It gave her just a hint of his lips. Still, she didn’t know how to handle the new sensations instantly sparking in her body. This was unchartered territory. He kissed her again, slightly longer this time as he encircled her waist with his arms and drew her up against his broad chest. Her only thought was she wanted, no, needed, more. The third time he kissed her, she could feel the urgency sweeping them both into some unknown cavern of pleasure, and when he kissed her a fourth time, it was long and deep. She lost consciousness of anything else but how he was making her feel. When he began gently kissing her neck, her breasts tilted upward to be touched, and as shameful as she always had assumed it was, she was no longer able to suppress the ache she was experiencing between her legs––her ‘thing,’ as she once overhead a couple of the slaves call it when they were discussing a topic no self-respecting, well-bred white southern girl would ever discuss.


“Hannah, we must stop,” he growled.


“Oh, my,” she managed, her breath shaky, her chest heaving.


He drew a large, wavering breath as well. “Exactly. That’s why I had to put a stop to this. You mean too much to me, Hannah, to let things go any further.”










Let’s face it. S. R. Mallery is as eclectic as her characters. Starting out as a classical/pop singer/composer, she next explored the fast-paced world of advertising as a production artist while she simultaneously dipped her toe into the Zen biosphere as a calligrapher. Having started a family and wanting to work from the home, she moved on to having a long career as an award-winning quilt artist and an ESL/Reading instructor before settling on her true love––writing. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In the Dirt. Her quilt articles have appeared in Quilt World and Traditional Quilt Works.