Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Update - New Releases!

Newly Released:
 A Romantic Regency Murder Mystery:
Book Blurb:
It is 1814 Regency England, and Captain Jack Trevellian RN (Royal Navy) has returned home to South Devon. But on the eve of his return, a young woman is murdered. Three more murders occur in quick succession, and Captain Jack is convinced someone wishes to see him dangling from a hangman’s noose. Determined to uncover the identity of the killer, Captain Jack and his army friend Captain Lester Knight, stir more trouble than anticipated when their aristocratic neighbour brings rank to bear in matters of the judicial system.

Although young women in the district are warned to travel about in pairs, when the vicar’s daughter and a young lady (of whom Trevellian is rather attached) hear blood-curdling screams in Lyn Woods, they are thankful Captain Jack provided an armed guard to keep them safe. Nonetheless, wilful, bold and daring, and all for love of Captain Jack, Alathea Velvet Hawkesworth attempts to lure the murderer from the shadows at a grand masque ball. The true identity of the murderous villain is not as imagined, and she fears she will die a terrible death whilst laughter, music and heady scent of roses drift on a balmy evening breeze, and all within a palatial setting.


See Left Hand Column for point of sale. All my novels and novellas are available via all Amazon bookstores.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

"Meet my Character" blog hop!

The lovely D.B. Schaefer asked me to participate in a fun “Meet My Character” blog tour. 
Her latest and first release “Me and Georgette” is out on release, and you can read all about it at her blog.

Is "Me and Georgette" a Time-slip or Traditional Regency Romance novel? Well, that you must find out for yourselves...

Waffle aside and getting to the crux at issue, which of my characters did I choose? Well, in short, I have so many charming characters riding around in the 17th century,  and others who strut their stuff in the Georgian City of Bath. Then there are those who are familiar with Bath during the Regency era, thus it was a case of straws at dawn. And so... Please meet Rupert Marquis of Rantchester, who’s a tad more familiar with pistols at dawn and oft referred to as The Dark Marquis.


There was a questionnaire for this blog hop, but Rebel that I am I’ve cast aside the questionnaire, and I think you’ll agree, the following reveals all you need to know about Rupert.

Rupert is a true blood Regency aristocrat who has a commodious house in Upper Belgrave Street, London; a smaller residence in the Royal Crescent, Bath; and of course, his father’s country estate a short distance from Bath serves purpose in the hunting season. Unlucky in love, Rantchester has finally met a young widow, and Estelle has indeed won his heart. But Estelle has a secret, so does Rantchester. And, when Estelle is introduced to the Duke of Leighdon her aspirations for future happiness with her beloved is dashed outright. Worse, an old flame of Ranchester’s, the luscious Caroline Lady Somerville, stirs unrest in many quarters for she too is now a widow and will resort to any means at her disposal to oust Estelle from Rupey’s thoughts.
Thus, torn by love for Estelle, sense of duty to a past fancy of his, and a bethrothed he cannot abide, Rantchester is drawn back to the darker side of his former existence.

As secrets, lies and half truths begin to surface a much greater threat is stalking in the shadows. A fatal riding accident suddenly becomes a case of murder, and when a portraitist falls foul to a dreadful death Estelle is in the wrong place at the wrong moment. Fearing she will be the killer’s next victim, her household staff rally to her aid and all find themselves besieged within her country retreat bar for one brave young soul who risks her life to save Estelle. But it is Caroline’s near murder that finally sets Rantchester on the trail of the killer. Fearing the villain will strike again, The Dark Marquis rides to death or victory his heart on his sleeve, but is it already too late?
A Romantic Regency Murder Mystery (steamy).
I've tagged three lovely authors to reveal a little about their chosen character/s.
The Lovely Sasha Cottman:
Born in England, but raised in Australia, Sasha has a love for both countries. Having her heart in two places has created a love for travel, which at last count was to over 55 countries. A travel guide is always on her pile of new books to read.

Sasha lives in Melbourne with her husband, teenage daughter and a cat who thinks sitting on the keyboard is being helpful. Her family have managed to find all but one of her secret chocolate hiding places.When not writing, she is busy working full time as a Chartered Accountant. On the weekends Sasha loves walking on the beach while devising new ways to torture her characters.
"Letter from a Rake": Sasha is offering a Free copy for a Happy Winner!!
Finalist 2014 Romantic Book of the Year. (Ruby).
Winner 2013 Book Junkies Choice Award for Historical Romance.
Finalist in the ARRA Awards Best Historical Romance and Best New Author.
Sasha’s newest release An Unsuitable Match is released through Destiny Romance on 16th September 2014.
The Lovely Renée  Reynolds

Author Renée Reynolds grew up all over the world as the daughter of a globe-trotting Marine father and spirited and supportive mother. Their family motto: you can never learn too much, travel too much, or talk too much. She majored in majors in college, and after obtaining a handful of degrees she decided not to use any of them. Instead she writes about what she cannot do - go back in time to dance at balls, flirt with lords and scoundrels, and gallop unfashionably down Rotten Row during the most fashionable hour.
After dodging a few Collinses and Wickhams, Renée happily snared a Darcy. Her HEA turned out to be in Texas, where she resides with "the hubs, the kiddos, a boisterous menagerie of indoor and outdoor animals, and a yard of meticulously maintained weeds." She has happily tagged on this addendum to the family motto: you can never read too much, too often, or too late at night.
Buy links:
 Website:   Facebook:  Twitter:   (@eenayray)
The lovely Catherine, better known as Madame Gilflurt.

Glorious Georgian ginbag, gossip and gadabout Catherine Curzon, aka Madame Gilflurt, is the author of A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life. When not setting quill to paper, she can usually be found gadding about the tea shops and gaming rooms of the capital or hosting intimate gatherings at her tottering abode. In addition to her blog at  Madame G can also be spotted on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Thank you ladies for taking time out to join with this blog hop!


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Blog Hop - My Writing Process - Want to take up the Baton?

I've been nominated to take part in a Blog Hop by the lovely author, Margaret James, and if you've not read her "Charton Minster Trilogy"
 you've truly missed out on gem reads: all three!


The Blog Hop is titled "My Writing Process...."

1. What am I working on?

Think Regency England, a romance, several murders and mystery.
I can tell you, "For Love of Captain Jack" has been a tough novel to write. Albeit this novel is one of several Georgian and Regency Romantic Murdery Mysteries, I think my previous post on here gives insight to where I was at, not so long ago, in writing matters, being that of the hair-pulling kind. Thankfully I'm now past the "maze" stage in which characters were leading me up and down blind alleys, and where red-herrings were cropping up all over the place in order for the villain to carry out his wicked deeds. I am... Wait for it ... YES!!!  On the home run of last chapter.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Ha, well... I'm not Baroness P.D. James, who ventured from her world of contemporary murder mysteries (crime novels) to the historical realms of the Regency era with her book and TV dramatisation of Death at Pemberley. Oh no, my chosen historical world fits glove-tight with my love and studies in history, and lifelong expertise in rolling equipage and equine pursuits. I do feel at one with my chosen historical periods, and I duly take risks with depicting life as it was and not by way of a rose-tinted perspective. I suppose I'm a bit of rebel at heart, and rather than parade prissy misses around the Assembly Rooms in Bath or the stench-laden streets of London, with either a chaperone or whingeing mama, my heroine's are more likely to "dare" in gracious manner within country settings and indulge the occasional jaunt into town.              

3. Why do I write what I write?

I recall my nanny once saying: "You were most definitely born several hundred years too late, my girl" and all because I likely had my head within a 17th century swashbuckling tome (Alexander Dumas), that of Jane Austen or Ann Radcliffe novels, and my secret reading was that of the salacious harlot "Angelique" - a series of novels by Sergeanne Golon (Serge and Anne Golon) a French husband/wife team. Hence historical novels have been my life-blood entertainment, though not to the exclusion of a darn good read in any genre, even gothic vampire novels.      

4. How does your writing process work?

PORTRAITS and DREAMS! In all honesty portraits are usually the catalyst to a novel, whereby the image is stored in the conscious mind - the what is she/he thinking, what made her/him smile that way, why are the eyes laughing? From such thoughts the subconscious leaps into play with overnight dreams, thus in cinematic glory characters step forth their story revealed. My task then becomes one of turning a movie into a book, by painting with words what I have seen.   

Passing on the Blog Hop Baton
I hope if you've read this you won't seriously think me as mad as a hatter, but you know what, there are the odd occasions when I feel akin to Alice (Wonderland) and that I've fallen through time into a bizarre world of make-believe...
And so, to the passing on of the Blog Hop baton... Whom shall I choose? To the bridge, to the bridge... Let Pooh Sticks decide who shall be the one/s... Damn it, there's only a trickle. OK, anyone up for the Blog Hop Baton? Here are the Rules below:

1. Answer the four questions above and post on your blog
2. Link back to the person who invited you (me)
3. Name the people who will be posting next. You can name one or two, it’s up to you.

All my books are listed in the left hand column with direct links to Amazon.
The post below reveals the cover of the novel mentioned in this Blog Hop!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Trapped in a Maze - the joy of writing historical murder mysteries!

It seems like ages since I penned a post for this blog, but life and other commitments have chipped away at the days and the weeks, thus time has slipped past almost unnoticed. That's not to say I haven't been writing. I have, and murder mysteries are complicated stories in which red-herrings (fishy clues) lead readers along dark alleys, and over hill and dell not knowing when a chance sighting of the murderer will occur, if at all. 
Whilst working on the case this author has likewise ended up in a maze. Yep, the macabre murders in "For Love of Captain Jack" have led to the journal of a dead woman, but can it reveal sufficient about the murderer for Captain Jack to expose the beast and bring him to justice? Should justice be meted by sword, pistol or the hangman's noose?

More updates on this novel later...


Monday, 14 April 2014

Exposure or Assassination! (?) - Meet my Main Character/s

Fellow FB friend, Marilyn Watson, invited moi to partake in the fun of a blog/tag, which entails a questionnaire for a WIP (work in progress). The instigator of the on-going blog/tag is Debra Browne. I am posting this early as I'll not be around on the 16th April. 
So here goes, and being a rebel 'n' all I've plumped for a Series novel.


1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Ans) Fictional characters are my preference, no messing. After all, fictional beings require creative godlike input from their stepping to the page all innocent and carefree, and of course, totally unaware that a momentous event is set to rock or shatter their lives. Thus I created the Royal Series. It spans the years of the English Civil Wars and beyond (1644 – 1689), in which the households of Axebury Hall and Loxton House take centre stage.

The main characters are Anna Lady Maitcliffe and Morton Viscount Axebury.

The Gantry and Thornton families respectively take up arms and fight for King and Country. Well, not all, and there comes the rub of individual thinking. All my novels have love and romance as a central theme and I don't shy away from explicit love scenes and or violence: the latter, though, in moderation. 

Axebury Hall.

Both families are bonded by far distant ancestral links dating back to a Knight Crusader. The key to the series is the friendship between two young men and a girl who are essentially torn apart by war and divided loyalties. The two families are thus ripped asunder from within as time and war march ever onward, and so the saga begins.

Loxton House
2) When and where is the story set?

Book 1 is set in Somerset involving ongoing tussles to secure - at the time - the second most important port in England (Bristol). Throughout the period of the English Civil Wars, opposing factions were treading and retreading across the hills and levels of Somerset and farther afield.

Glastonbury Tor
The George Hotel Glastonbury
Formerly known as The Pilgrims' Rest.
3) What should we know about him/her?

The hero Morton Viscount Axebury refuses a captaincy in a Cavalier Regiment of Horse, and instead rebels by taking up the cause of Parliament. Morton’s motivation bears no religious bent but he is a young man of noted moral beliefs. He despises the profligacy of the royal court at the expense of the people, who  are forced to pay higher taxes and increased tythes. As time passes life inevitably teaches him that change is not always as one had hoped for.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Banished from Axebury Estate and as good as disinherited, Morton suffers the loss of Anna, whom he adores. Prior sworn to uphold her status as that of his father’s young ward he has always treated her akin to that of a sister. When she later becomes betrothed to his father, life as a soldier serves merely to kill the pain of losing the love of his life, and hell is waiting around every corner when he dares to step back onto Axebury land as a Parliamentarian Captain of Horse.
Equally, for Anna, life is bitter sweet when she is sure her heart’s desire has perished. Untimely deaths, though, can tear a heart in two. Thus the path ahead is fraught not only with danger but emotional turmoil. Anna, having already suffered the loss of her parents, she would not wish such pain on others. Nothing though, has prepared her for living with the enemy: a man she loves but cannot forgive.  

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

For the hero: the abolition of the divine rite of King Charles I to rule without accountability to Parliament, the very King who defies and denies Parliamentary democracy as the elected voice of the people.

For the heroine: she dreams of peace not war, love not hate, but she’s young, self-centred, and despairs of men who war and fight and achieve nothing but carnage, pillage and plunder. And yet, love and hate are strong bedfellows in the emotional stakes and while war takes it tally in death, Anna learns that selfless love comes at a price she must pay for past mistakes. I will add there is a happy ending for Anna and Morton, though not without pain and heartache. But, with the death of a king and his son in exile, how long before Charles II will challenge the right of Cromwell to rule over England?

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

By Loyalty Divided

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

The book is already published in Paperback and Kindle version.
Book 2 and book 3 are also published.

The blurb:
A 17th century story of Undying Love and Scandalous Seduction. All set against the backdrop of the English Civil Wars 1642 -1649. Co-starring Charles Prince of Wales (Charles II) and Prince Rupert.
Orphaned at royal court, Anna Lady Maitcliffe has embraced freedom from courtly restraint whilst residing at Axebury Hall Estate. Wilful and impulsive she wins hearts with ease, but Viscount Axebury duly rejects her romantic overtures, not once but twice and for good reason. Civil War is marching across England and he will soon be regarded as the enemy.
Distraught by his rejection she turns to another for solace, an older suitor whom she trusts above all others. Seduced by her feminine wiles, Lord Gantry's overt desire to possess her soon gives rise to new meaning of amour. Nonetheless she is trapped in a loveless betrothal. Fate suddenly intervenes and throws her and the viscount together, but hell lies before them and claims terrible dues in payment for their undying love for each other.



Anna had set out from Axebury Hall at dawn, and it was now late into evening. With one stop for food and wine at a small alehouse at around midday, darkness had now descended and the lights of Glastonbury town seeming ever distant. The only sound on the still night air was that of horse’ irons on stone and jingle of curb chains on mouthpieces and clanging of swords in steel scabbards. It felt strange yet reassuring to have a military escort consisting one rider to the fore leading the way, one alongside and two guarding against attack from the rear.
   In Thomas Thornton’s letter he had warned of scoundrels and vagabonds along the highways and byways, and had made mention of lone riders robbed recently in daylight and others attacked by night on the Glastonbury Way. Her safe conduct under military escort was, and at present still his to command, and she is willingly riding in company with Roundhead soldiers: Thomas their senior officer.
   She had never thought Thomas would agree to Morton’s plan of saving him from the fate of a dungeon or worse, and although at first reluctant in extreme he had finally caved and sworn allegiance to the Army of Parliament. In some respects it was all rather sad. For he was obliged to strip his Royalist attire from his body and cast all to a fire: every semblance of his former life a bed of ashes.
   But if not for Thomas she might have remained ignorant of Morton’s fate, and all she could do was pray he had not perished in the time Joseph and the troop had taken to reach Axebury Hall. Having always feared bad news, the sickness befallen Morton she thought cruel and unjust, because he was a good, honest and honourable man. It might already be too late, but she hoped not. She truly desired to make amends, and to exact forgiveness from him for all the hurt and scorn she had cast his way. Was it selfish of her to seek clemency?

 Amazon UK       Amazon US

A Prequel to the Royal Series  

Toast of Clifton - Book 2

Royal Secrets Book 3

To come in the Royal Series:

Love & Rebellion book 4


Lady of the Tower book 5


Thanks for stopping by. Please visit five authors who will follow me with posts about their main characters (tomorrow) on the 17th April.

My fellow tagees are all authors of 17th century novels: a truly swashbuckling era.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Latest Release - Romantic Regency Murder Mystery

The Reluctant Duchess is a Regency tale of romance, abduction, mystery and murder. The setting is Exmoor in Somerset, a place made famous by the novel Lorna Doone, of which the local inhabitants refer to as Doone Country.
Devon Howard, the Duke of Malchester, acquires a bride by dubious means. Well aware Liliana is a reluctant duchess, and although his new wife submits to his ardent advances on the wedding night, he cannot be sure, that even if given time, she will ever surrender her heart to him. While his past continues to damn him, he sets out to win Liliana by inciting jealousy and rivalry ‘twixt her and Serenity: a would-be mistress?

Likewise Liliana has a dilemma, for although she despises her circumstances and feigns disinterest in Devon, she cannot deny his desirability. Twice married, rumours abound. Devon has twice bedded and broken a wife. Liliana believes otherwise. Nonetheless, evil does exist within the walls of Calder Hall, and Liliana fears for her life when she’s brutally abducted from her coach whilst en route from Dorset to Exmoor. But it is Devon’s blood that is sought, and while revenge for one person proves bittersweet, for another it proves fatal.
Excerpt: The duke's thoughts and discourse with his friend, an earl, whilst travelling in the duke's coach.
    Damn it to hell, from the moment of first setting eyes on Liliana, desire had embraced him as it never had before. Youthful romantic ideals had fallen pale against the gut-twisting moment of their second encounter. Perhaps his personal experience of grasping manipulative women had turned him from carefree youth to cynical lusty libertine, but on that day, that memorable day of having signed a promissory note to her father to rid her papa of debt, Lilana had unexpectedly rushed into the room declaring ‘Papa, I shall not wed a man I neither know, nor love’.    Dear God, how his pulse had raced, his heart near stalled, and with one fleeting glance of the situation before her, horror befell her. Her violet eyes turned mutinous, her kissable lips hardened, she tossed her golden head much like a yearling filly resisting the bit, and her voice tinged with ice sliced the air. ‘You can marry me to this libertine, but I shall not succumb to him of my own free will’. Those very words, ‘shall not succumb’ had tainted the marital proceedings, had set him ill at ease and thus he had sought solace and courage from liquor prior to entering her bedchamber. And now, an evening of bliss, and a night of delight in his wake he was feeling reborn.
    Marcus drew him from reverie, with a chuckle: “Well dear fellow, ‘twould seem your smug expression doth declare the duchess finally rolled over and laid her prickles to one side.”
    “Happen she did.”
    “Oh come now, Devon, the spring in your step is that of a happy rutting swain: if ever I did see one. Serenity is sore vexed at your betrayal.”
    “How dare she, how dare she raise betrayal as a weapon to beat my hide behind my back? Long before she became my mistress, though mistress being a loose term in respect of the fact we have never shared a bed. At the outset of any woman seeking favour from my purse, I have at all times made it abundantly clear I am a selfish individual, my own desires uppermost. And yet, women have rallied to my needs, have performed fellatio in the strangest of places, daringly at times, and all no doubt in the belief they could win my heart: eventually.”
    Marcus shrugged. “Women set out to change us, it is an inherent weakness in their makeup, and in rare cases they succeed. But, for the most part, we choose to let the ladies think they have conquered all whilst we covertly carry on with amours aplenty. Though, I confess, as a carefree singleton, I am exempt from the scurrilous business of infidelity within marriage.”
    “True enough, and when husband’s are caught delving beneath another woman’s skirts, those same men endure a home existence of purgatory involving narrow-eyed disdain, sharp tongued slights, slamming doors, cold beds and what amounts to unhealthy households where children despair their parents sanity.”
    “By God, Devon, you’re not seriously looking to become a righteous family man, are you?”
    Devon thrust a booted foot to the seat opposite; nudging Marcus elbow. “What is there, that betters the delights of a warm bed and a responsive wife?”
    Marcus expressed incredulity as a second boot landed on the seat beside him. “You cannot mean you are. . . By God, you really do have every intention of casting Serenity aside and taking yourself off to the marital bed.” Marcus shook his head, sense of despair about him. “And what is to become of us, the merry libertine troupe? We shall not survive without you, you know. You lead and we follow.”
    Silence hung heavy, each staring the other down, until Marcus averted his eyes out through the carriage window and mumbled, whether to himself or Devon, it mattered not. Devon closed his eyes, and said, “Wake me when we arrive at our destination.”