Showing posts with label Regency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Regency. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

"Abigail" by Jess Heileman


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Abigail
by Jess Heileman

Abigail by Jess Heileman

Abigail by Jess Heileman has just been released and is FREE today only (22 January).


This book blast and giveaway is hosted by I Am A Reader.


Description
For Abigail Blakeslee, becoming a debutante and entering Society is happening far too quickly. But now, foregoing her first Season has brought an unwanted invitation to join her aunt and cousins for a summer at Timpton House, the large estate of the Stanton family.
Reluctantly accepting, Abigail is thrust into the vexing world of social propriety and match making. More vexing still is her cousin’s suitor, the young Timpton heir - Edwin Stanton. Moody and distant at times, remarkably endearing at others, Edwin seems a puzzle she can never solve, but can never quite put away. But then, Abigail has her own secret to hide - her own mystery to conceal. Perhaps such puzzles are better left unsolved, or perhaps love can find a solution.

Excerpt
The library was filled with books, and it reminded me of the one at Easton Manor with overstuffed shelves, large windows, and numerous seats for reading. I grabbed a thin book off a nearby shelf and held it in my hand. I traced my finger over the title, The Tempest. It had been sometime since I’d picked up a book. Mother taught me to read and had given me the joy of new worlds and unforgettable stories. I’d spent countless afternoons tucked in a chair in our library, unable to stop reading; but when Mother died, I found little delight in anything, including the things she’d taught me to love.
“Have you read it?” Edwin asked peering over my shoulder.
“Of course!” I answered placing it back on the shelf.
“And I presume you enjoyed it?”
“Very much. I admit I am easily satisfied by a happy ending.” I kept my eyes searching the books, having little desire to receive the look of censure awaiting me. “The Shakespeare writings I enjoy most are those that end well—Twelfth Night, Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew—the ones where love is victorious.”
“A common ideal among ladies, I believe, and the reason his comedies are so popular.”
I turned towards him, “Life has enough of tragedy and grief, is there something wrong with finding satisfaction in love and happy endings?”
“There is,” he said. “The harm is believing in something that isn’t real, Miss Blakeslee.” He stepped closer, and my feet faltered. “Love only brings misery. To think otherwise is foolish. You just declared life is full of tragedy—”
“And that is why love is needed!”
“And that is what love causes!”
Neither of us moved and I could feel his warm breath on me. It was only then I realized how close we stood, my neck craning to look up at him, but I had no desire to move away.
“You do not understand love then,” I whispered.
The resentment in his gaze caught me by surprise. “And you do?”
“Yes! Love has saved me.” His eyes searched mine, “The love I know has the power to lift and to heal, to see past weakness and turn it to strength.”
“Love is fickle and will fail you.”
“Never.” I said shaking my head as tears stung my vision. “I do not know what counterfeit you describe but the love I have found is faithful and unconditional.”
He said nothing and after a moment his eyes drifted from mine in contemplation. After taking a deep breath he looked down at me again. He wore the stern expression I knew so well and took a step backward. “I hope you are correct in your judgment,” he said with a brisk nod. “Thank you for telling me.”
As he turned from me I wanted to call out to him, but I was too confused to contrive a response. I followed him to the study in a daze. Edwin positioned himself near the desk with his eyes cast to the floor as Diana glanced between us bewildered.
“How is it you’ve found something to quarrel about already? You were in there less than five minutes! Perhaps I should take on the role of mediator instead of chaperon for the two of you.”
Neither Edwin nor I smiled.
“This will not do! What was the disagreement this time?”
“There was not a disagreement,” Edwin said. “Well, at least that is not what caused the discontent.”
Curious what the cause had been I glanced in his direction, anxious for him to finish. A knock interrupted his revelation.
Diana shot to her feet and reached out her arm towards me, “We will go out the library.”
Edwin blocked our retreat, “You are fine to leave out the study door.” He shifted his gaze at the repeated knock, “Come in!”
The butler opened the door, his eyes gliding over Diana and me, “The Slytons are here to see you, Mr. Stanton.”
“Show them in.”
The Slytons? I was familiar with the name, but surely they were not the same as I had known. My heart picked up pace regardless of what I told myself. The door opened again and a tall, wiry lady and a shorter, burly man stepped through the door. They were older and somehow uglier, but it was them. My knees nearly gave out, and I tightened my hold on Diana’s arm for support.
“Mr. and Mrs. Slyton, I am pleased you finally agreed to make the trip to Timpton. This is my sister, Mrs. Ellis, and our friend, Miss Abigail Blakeslee.”
Mrs. Slyton nodded in our direction but abruptly turned her attention back to Edwin. “With such a gracious offer, how could we resist?” Her scratchy voice brought a slew of memories that made my body tremble.
I cautiously turned to find Mr. Slyton inspecting me through squinted eyes. Did he recognize me? I hadn’t seen him since I was a little girl, and I hoped the years had done their job adequately enough to disguise me. I lifted my chin, attempting to appear unaffected by his presence and was relieved when Mr. Slyton turned towards Diana, appraising her with the same disgusting grimace he’d given me. I looked to Edwin and found him returning my gaze, a peculiar expression on his features.
Edwin moved to my side and placed a firm hand around my waist, guiding me to the door. My ears were ringing, and I was confident he said something to me, but I couldn’t be sure. As we walked from the study, his touch retracted, and Diana took his place directing me back down the corridor.
I was uncertain where I was being led and soon found myself seated in a distantly familiar room. “Bring refreshment at once!” Diana’s voice echoed through my mind. My head was spinning, and I rested it against the chair as my vision faded into blackness.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“I cannot even express exactly how much I loved this book!! I have no doubts recommending it to everyone who loves great writing combined with a gripping story line. The author's writing is beautiful and she's an excellent storyteller! It was so well done and I loved every minute of it! It truly is an incredible book. Her characters are so complex that it was easy to care for them (honestly, even within the first couple of pages I was already hooked). Jess Heileman wove a great story that had layers to it that any regency reader would love. I'm so, so excited to have this on my bookshelves!” ~ Loretta Porter
“Coming from a person who is not much of a reader, this book took me by surprise. It hooked me at the prologue. Abigail had me laughing out loud, tearing up and blushing. It was my show that I couldn't wait to get back to. It was a clever, easy read that had me guessing, what could possibly happen next? A perfect escape! Time for a squeal! Loved it!” ~ David Brundage
“This is one of the best books I've read in a long time! I'm thoroughly impressed with her ability to completely captivate me with her amazing storytelling. I've never heard of this author before, but I'm going to read everything of hers I can find! Well done! Once I started, I couldn't put it down!” ~ HeavenlyMarie
“Jess Heileman has a wonderful way with words that caught me up in Abigail’s world from the first page. […] I couldn’t help but love this absorbing historical novel, with its engaging characters and mysterious plot twist!” ~ Emily Farlow
“I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and the relationships they build through out the book. It was full of surprises that will make you laugh and cry all at once. I never saw the end coming. It's clean and uplifting. It is a book I would be comfortable letting my teenage girls read it. It is a book that I will read over and over again.” ~ Wallaceandgrommit

About the Author
Jess Heileman
In kindergarten, Jess won a first prize ribbon for her original creation “Pigs in Wigs”. It was a solid storyline: there was this pig that wore a wig - and it rhymed. Not impressed? Neither were her children when shown the very masterpiece that influenced her to become an author. “You won a ribbon for that?” Yes. Yes, she did.
Thankfully, life has since exposed her to a thorough education with its share of awards and accolades - and, more importantly, to the trials and human experiences that form the heart of a storyteller and the substance of great stories.
Besides her love of writing, Jess is an avid reader, shameless people observer, international café loiterer, and partially retired photographer. She loves being a mother to five amazing humans and a wife to the greatest man she knows.

Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.

Links



Thursday, December 13, 2018

12 Days of Clean Romance featuring Donna Hatch

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Christmas Secrets
by Donna Hatch

Christmas Secrets by Donna Hatch

During the month of December, we will be featuring 12 authors who write clean romance. Today we feature Donna Hatch with Christmas Secrets, ON SALE for $0.99 for one day only (15 December - please note change of date).


This book blast and giveaway is hosted by I Am A Reader and Clean Wholesome Romance.


Description
A stolen Christmas kiss leaves them bewildered and breathless.
A charming rogue-turned-vicar, Will wants to prove that he left his rakish days behind him, but an accidental kiss changes all his plans. His secret could bring them together … or divide them forever.
Holly has two Christmas wishes this year; finally earn her mother’s approval by gaining the notice of a handsome earl, and learn the identity of the stranger who gave her a heart-shattering kiss … even if that stranger is the resident Christmas ghost.

Excerpt
This scene takes place when everyone on Christmas Day takes a turn kissing their spouse or sweetheart underneath the mistletoe ball. Now the group turn to Will and Holly, who have only known each other a few days, and start goading them into sharing a mistletoe kiss …
“Come now, don’t be shy,” her sister called. “It’s tradition.”
The others called out encouragements.
Apology edged into Will’s uncertain expression. “Do you mind?”
Holly’s palms grew sweaty inside her gloves, and her smile probably came out wobbly. “Who are we to go against tradition?” Did she sound desperate in her desire to kiss him?
Will held out a hand. She placed hers in it and walked at his side to the kissing ball. They stood, hand in hand, facing each other. His neck cloth shifted as he swallowed. He leaned in. Her heart stumbled and her knees shook. She closed her eyes. Aching, she lifted her face. His cinnamon-spiced breath warmed her mouth.
He kissed her cheek.
Stunned, she opened her eyes. The watching guests groaned and some chuckled.
“No, no, that won’t do at all,” Joseph’s voice rang out. “Give her a proper kiss.”
Will froze. That intensity she occasionally saw in him returned. “Holly.” He swallowed again but instead of nervousness, a hunger that sent a flurry of shivers through her overtook his expression. “May I?”
She nodded. It didn’t matter if he saw how much she wanted this, wanted him. Let him know. Let the whole world know.
He touched her chin, lifted it, and leaned in. Again, she closed her eyes. This time his lips touched hers, pliant and unbelievably gentle. Heat exploded at the contact and shot through her all the way down to her tingling toes. Different from her mystery kiss, this one sang of affection and respect and a deep longing to be accepted. Sweeter, more chaste, more filled with caring, Will’s kiss brought her a level of joy she’d never known. All the world faded away leaving Will and the power of his affection, his touch, his kiss. Every moment of her life seemed to have been designed to bring her to this single, perfect moment of bliss and wholeness.
“Ahem.” Father cleared his throat conspicuously.
Will pulled away all too quickly. A tiny sound of distress caught in Holly’s throat. It was over too soon. But oh, what a glorious kiss!
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“I can always count on Donna Hatch to weave a delightful tale with vivid characters and swoony kisses. Christmas Secrets does not disappoint.” ~ Reading is my Super Power
“Filled with delightful holiday traditions, growing attraction between Holly and one of the guests, a mother set on a desirable match for her daughter, and a few heart-melting kisses, this novella is the perfect book to cuddle up with this holiday season.” ~ Remembrancy Book Reviews
“It’s been some time since an author made me believe their characters like this, but Donna Hatch writes it so beautifully I was quickly drawn into the idyllic past.” ~ Silver Wood Sketches Book Reviews

About the Author
Donna Hatch
Donna Hatch is the award-winning author of the best-selling Rogue Hearts Series and is published in sweet Regency romance and fantasy. Her professional memberships include Romance Writers of America (RWA)and American Night Writers Association (ANWA). A sought-after workshop presenter, she juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, not to mention her six children (seven, counting her husband), and still manages to make time to write. A native of Arizona who recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.


Also by Donna Hatch:


Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Links

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

12 Days of Clean Romance featuring Rebecca Connolly


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Spinster and I
(The Spinster Chronicles Book 2)
by Rebecca Connolly

The Spinster and I (The Spinster Chronicles Book 2) by Rebecca Connolly

During the month of December, we will be featuring 12 authors who write clean romance. Today we feature Rebecca Connolly with The Spinster and IAlso available in The Spinster Chronicles series: The Merry Lives of Spinsters.

The Merry Lives of Spinsters by Rebecca Connolly

This book blast and giveaway is hosted by I Am A Reader and Clean Wholesome Romance.


Description
Poor, unfortunate Spinster …
Prudence Westfall, spinster, has unexpectedly had the greatest misfortune of all: she has inherited a fortune, and is now an heiress. But as a Spinster, and a stammering shy one, nothing could be worse than having a bevy of suitors pay her attention. Opportunity strikes at a house party when the most unlikely person offers the perfect solution.
Camden Vale is no gentleman, and he’s not prone to saving anyone, but something about Prue changes all that. When his offer to befriend her extends beyond the house party, and his feelings extend beyond expectation, no one is more surprised than he. Except, perhaps, for the other Spinsters, and they have much to say on the subject.


Excerpt
“Didn’t you hear how they flattered me? You said yourself, men lie through their teeth.”
He hissed, and she looked over at him only to see him shaking his head. “Prue, I didn’t mean… Sometimes we are sincere. Sometimes we do mean everything we say. And you should like it and take it as a compliment.”
Prue smiled a very tight, thin smile. “They never have before, so I have no taste for it.” She exhaled and looked back into the ballroom, clasping her hands before her. “I just wish to be left alone.”
“Well,” he sighed, “then we have another problem.”
She looked up at him wryly. “And that is?”
He shrugged, something new in his dark eyes. “I don’t think I can leave you alone.” He stared at her for a long moment, his hand stilled on her back, and added, “I know I can’t.”
Her head tilted in a question. “Why not?”
“Because I see you,” he admitted with a rawness she did not anticipate. “And I like what I see.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“You know we say ‘a good clean book’ to indicate, yes there is no sex, no obscenities and very little kissing but a good read nonetheless? There is no ‘nonetheless’ here. It is a good book without qualification. Nothing was missing. Prue was a character who faced serious debilitating problems communicating with others and villainous family members and Cam, who fought his own demons, helped her as she helped him. Her blossoming was realistic and touching. The writing was good and the treatment of characters and flaws sensitive and well developed. A good read.” ~ Amazon Customer
“Rebecca Connolly creates vivid characters who want to fight for, to laugh and cry with. Sweet and breathtakingly romantic. I read this book in kindle unlimited, but now I’m going back to purchase it. I really like Ms. Connolly’s books!” ~ Susie
“I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Prue and Cam. They appear to be complete opposites but they truly are wonderful for each other. I especially love how they helped each other heal without even trying or realizing. And of course, I love both Prue and Cam’s friends. So much loyalty. A wonderful clean read for a hopeless romantic like myself. The next book can’t come soon enough! Thank you for another enjoyable read Rebecca Connolly, I needed this escape!” ~ Jasmyn Johnston
“I loved the wit, and the strong women. There are so many characters in this series that I can’t wait to see more of!” ~ Jessie C
“Touching and well written, with excellent dialogue and character development. This is a story that will resonate with anyone who has dealt with shyness and social anxiety.” ~ LucyB

About the Author
Rebecca Connolly
Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.





Also by Rebecca Connolly:

Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Links

Monday, September 3, 2018

Falling in Love featuring Elizabeth Johns

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Through the Fire
(A Series of Elements Book 1)
by Elizabeth Johns

Through the Fire (A Series of Elements Book 1) by Elizabeth Johns

During the month of September, we will be featuring 20 fabulous authors who write clean romance. Today we feature Elizabeth Johns with Through the Fire, ON SALE for only $0.99 to 7 September.


Through the Fire is the first book in her A Series of Elements series. Also available: Melting the Ice and With the Wind.


This book blast and giveaway is hosted by I Am A Reader and Clean Wholesome Romance.


Description
When two people have walked through fire, can love bring the healing and help they need?
Spurned by love, Lady Margaux Winslow, daughter of the Marquess of Ashbury, has no use for the other eligible gentlemen of London. Despite her beauty, her sharp tongue soon earns her a reputation as a dragon. Convincing her parents to let her retreat to their Scottish estate, a home for abandoned young women, Margaux feels she can do something meaningful with her life. At their wits’ end, her parents believe a few months in seclusion will teach her to appreciate her privileged existence, and accept the next gentleman of worth who offers for her. Margaux has no plans to yield. But neither she nor her parents bargain for the proximity of the gorgeous, blue-eyed Scotsman on the neighbouring estate.
Gavin Craig, content with his life as a country doctor, is unexpectedly thrust into the world of aristocratic society after the accidental deaths of his brother and nephews. With all the duties his new title entails, and his adoption of three orphans, Gavin desperately needs a wife. She should preferably a lady, trained since birth to manage a noble house, servants and family. His former disdain for a marriage of convenience has been rapidly overcome by the colossal task of learning to run a large Scottish barony. One lovely candidate is right next door … except that she’s inexplicably determined to be a spinster …

Excerpt
Gavin looked at the letter in his hand in utter disbelief. His heart was tearing in two. His brother, wife, and children had been killed when their carriage had slipped down the side of a cliff.
“This canna be true.” He shook his head and fought back tears.
“I am afraid it is, my lord.”
“My lord? No. I doona wish for it. I’m a simple country doctor. I have a humble life and practice here.”
“I am terribly sorry for your loss, my lord. But you are, in fact, the eleventh Baron Craig now, and thus have some rather large holdings that are your responsibility.”
“This was not supposed to happen. Iain had three strapping young lads!”
The solicitor looked grave. “Perhaps, my lord, it would be best for you to return to Castle Craig and see for yourself.”
The solicitor was met with a blank stare from a set of startling blue eyes; a look that was common to those who had been met with grievous news, but who had not yet assimilated the ensuing change in circumstances.
“Verra well. I will join you there as soon as I have made arrangements.”
Gavin went through the motions of closing up his house and seeing his practice into the capable hands of his apprentice, a graduate of Lord Easton’s school. Of late, Gavin had taken many trips into England to the school in Sussex and had toyed with joining it as an instructor on a full-time basis, but he had never been able to cut ties with Scotland. How would he practice medicine as Lord Craig? He would have to find a way, while at the same time doing his best to carry on with his brother’s works in Parliament.
Gavin had seen more death than most, but he had not been prepared for the loss of his brother, or of Iain’s wife and children. They had been the last family he’d had left. He had never before given a thought to running the large Castle Craig estate, and hoped desperately that his brother had appointed a trustworthy steward.
His carriage was loaded with immediate necessities. His servants would send the rest of his belongings with those of his staff who wished to join him at the new residence. He had one final stop before setting off to bury his brother and begin his new life.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Johns’ wonderful, well-crafted characters come alive in this engaging series … These characters are well written and lovable and will keep readers turning the pages.” ~ Library Journal
“Elizabeth Johns is now one of my top 5 authors! Her style of writing is easy to follow and keeps you hanging on.” ~ Lavender24
“Great googily moogily. Scotsmen in kilts… This is a good one.” ~ The Doctor’s Companion

About the Author
Elizabeth Johns
National bestselling author Elizabeth Johns was first an avid reader, though she was a reluctant convert. It was Jane Austen’s clever wit and unique turn of phrase that hooked Johns when she was “forced” to read Pride and Prejudice for a school assignment. She began writing when she ran out of her favorite author’s books and decided to try her hand at crafting a Regency romance novel. Her journey into publishing began with the release of Surrender the Past, book one of The Loring-Abbott Series. Johns makes no pretensions to Austen’s wit but hopes readers will perhaps laugh and find some enjoyment in her writing.
Johns attributes much of her inspiration to her mother, a retired English teacher. During their last summer together, Johns would sit on the porch swing and read her stories to her mother, who encouraged her to continue writing. Busy with multiple careers, including a professional job in the medical field, author and mother of small children, Johns squeezes in time for reading whenever possible.

Also by the author:

Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Links