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#8Sunday – WeWriWar April 19th The Gentle Knight

Yay! It’s Eight Line Sunday at WeWriWar. My excerpt from The Gentle Knight continues with Brighit caught in a very compromising situation. Enjoy:

The Gentle Knight by Ashley York

Will honor and duty eclipse their one chance for happiness?

An unfamiliar laugh. His laugh. A slight tremor responded through her insides.

“Mort,” the handsome man called to someone.

The indistinct image of a shorter man with a gaping mouth came to mind. “Yes, my lord?”

“I believe this man was about to take a terrible misstep with his fist. Does it seem to you these men have a certain…lack of knowledge?” he asked.

 

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Foody Friday – Easy Nutella Toffee Pie and #GIVEAWAY

My guest today for Foody Friday has an amazing and easy recipe for dessert. Do you like Nutella? I have never used it but have to try it now.  So what is it? According to their website:

Nutella® spread, in its earliest form, was created in the 1940s by Mr. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and founder of the Ferrero company. At the time, there was very little chocolate because cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing.

So Mr. Ferrero used hazelnuts, which are plentiful in the Piedmont region of Italy (northwest), to extend the chocolate supply.

I like to know 1) the ingredients and 2) the history which makes me a lot less leery about trying new  things. As always, please let me know if you try any of the featured recipes and what your experience was. I love to hear from other cooks. Enjoy :)

In the Emerging From Darkness trilogy, we meet Jessica Winters, the registered nurse who spends more time eating chocolate than making anything from it, and Matthew Moi, the witty sex therapist who knows a great deal about the sexual benefits of cocoa, but prefers caramel. Throughout their growing relationship, the two are constantly waging a loving war, using each of their second loves—chocolate and caramel—to rile the other. So, it is only fitting that today we whip up something they both can enjoy:

Easy Nutella Toffee Pie JM Maurer ToffeeNutellaPie

Ingredients:

8oz Cream Cheese (softened)

12oz Cool Whip

2/3 Cup of Nutella (Okay, I’ll be honest, I use a tad more)

1 Cup Toffee Bits

1 Graham Cracker or Oreo cookie pie crust (I use Oreo, of course)

Directions:

In an electric mixer, mix together cream cheese and Nutella. Add cool whip and mix on LOW until combined. Stir in ¾ of the bits. Pour mixture into crust and top with the remaining bits.

***Chill for at least 2 hours***

Then ENJOY!

Warning: This recipe works very well with strawberries—You get the idea. If not, Dr. Moi is accepting new patients. ;-)

Title: Seeking Love (Emerging From Darkness Book 1)

JM Mauer coverBlurb: Every day, Jessica Winters does what she does best—bury herself in patient care within the walls of the neuro intensive care unit, keeping herself busy to escape the dark sadness that controls her life. But the day she sees Matthew Moi, the intriguing man seated at her new patient’s bedside, her shattered heart begins to frantically beat once again.

As Matthew pins his mesmerizing gaze upon her, trying to distract her with his humorous and playful banter, she does her best to ignore him. Somehow he already knows a great deal about her, breaking down Jessica’s barriers and awakening her soul, drawing her out of the darkness and into his arms.

When her painful past resurfaces, revealing truths that threaten her future, Jessica struggles through her issues and fights to stay on a healing path . . . seeking love.

Excerpt:    One thing I knew: I wasn’t that woman anymore. I wouldn’t be her anymore.

My heart was racing at the thought of being separated from Matthew by only the door, and I watched as it opened, knowing he stood mere feet away. I drew in a deep breath to calm my frantic nerves and steady my racing heart. It was the moment my eyes would see him again, and the same moment I knew all involuntary muscle movements would cease.

As Matthew stepped in and around the door, his alluring eyes captured me. The feeling was nothing new. I’d been imprisoned by his gaze before. And locked in it again, I watched as he drifted to me, the indisputable chemistry between us palpable and absolute. His mesmerizing eyes had hypnotized my burning soul, completely bewitching me.

“Hello, Jessica,” he murmured, pointing to an open area of the bed. “Mind if I sit?”

I gave a slight shake of my head, having difficulty forming the simple word “no,” and watched as he made himself comfortable facing me. His crisp charcoal-colored trousers bunched as he scooted on the bed. My sight roamed along his classic plum-colored dress shirt and stopped searching once I focused on his face.

Buy Links:

Amazon US: bit.ly/SeekingLove

Amazon UK: bit.ly/SeekingLoveUK

Amazon CA: bit.ly/SeekingLoveCA

iBooks: bit.ly/SeekingLoveiBks

Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/SeekingLoveBN

Kobo: bit.ly/SLKobo

Smashwords: bit.ly/SeekingLoveSW

ARe: bit.ly/SeekingLoveARe

About the Author: JM Mauer picture

J.M. Maurer lives with her family in Chicago. She makes it a point to never work on a full moon and cringes when a coworker uses the “Q” word—never, ever say, “It’s a quiet day today,” at her day job.

Known for being overly superstitious, she can usually be found scraping at the remnants of a Nutella container, screaming at a hockey game, or putting pen to paper, allowing the “real” crazy voices in her head to come alive. And after all this, it’s no wonder she’s an incurable romantic and loves escaping the rat race of life to immerse herself inside the world of a really good romance book . . . because, after all, what’s better than a happily-ever-after?

Find J.M. Maurer Here:

Website: http://jmmaurer.com

Blog: http://jmmaurer.com/blog.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JMMaurerAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JMMaurer1

Goodreads: bit.ly/GoodreadsJMMaurer

tsu: http://www.tsu.co/JMicheleMaurer

Amazon Author Page: bit.ly/AmznJMMaurer

J. M. Maurer is giving away 3 signed copies of Seeking Love. Anyone interested just needs to sign up throughher website newsletter and drop her a quick hello.

See you next week.

 

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Heather Boyd – Keepsake (The Distinguished Rogues Book 5)

I have Best Selling historical author Heather Boyd on my blog today. She writes regency novels that push the boundaries of propriety. Sounds great. Welcome, Heather.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Ashley.

Tell us about you as an author.

I’m a regency historical romance author, indie published, and sole female in a testosterone fueled household. (Even the cat is male) I love old books, old furniture and houses, and research — regency era of course. My first story was published in 2010 and I’m about to publish my 26th in June.

I wonder if that makes the female character an outlet for you. A sort of friend you can relate to?

I find living in a predominantly male household helps me understand and appreciate the difference between male and female characters so much better. I don’t have favorites – guys or girls. I like to give them all an equally hard time before they get their happy ever after :)

Very diplomatic of you. Tell us the thing you like the very best about being an author.

The very best thing about being an author is I have a valid excuse for daydreaming. I write to please myself, whatever my imagination dishes up, and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a small idea that started one afternoon turn into a full-length story within a few weeks or months and eventually publishing it.

I totally agree with that sense of satisfaction. I find my daydreaming occasionally gets me into trouble. What was the name of that old movie with Danny Kaye? Ah yes, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Are there any similarities between you and any of your characters?

All of my characters start in my mind so there probably is a part of me in each.

How much time would you say you spend on a weekly basis working towards completing a book? What do you do the rest of the time?  Heather Boyd TheReadingView

I work at my writing career full-time so after I gently guide the family out the door to school and work I usually grab a coffee and settle in to write as many words as I can before midday. After lunch, words are often much slower to come by but I persist until I finish the scene I’m working on. After that I answer emails, read industry related blogs. I’m self-published, so there is always something new to discover and talk about with friends. Late afternoon and weekends is spent with my family. I don’t like to write my stories late at night. I find it hard to switch off and go to sleep. Somewhere in there I’m also on Facebook or Twitter or my posting updates on website. I try not to work on weekends and like to kick back and enjoy the view.

You sound like a morning person. I am, too. Is there anything you’d like to share with the readers?

It’s Easter as I’m writing this so my first thought was to share chocolate.

Yes – please do share chocolate!

No, really I could totally have shared chocolate if you’d been here in person. Hmm, I suppose that’s not going to work in this scenario is it? I mean how long can Easter eggs last in a house full of chocoholics? You’re right. No time at all. But I do love to hear from readers. You can find me at www.heather-boyd.com on Twitter https://twitter.com/Heather_Boyd or at Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HeatherBoydRomanceAuthor

Heather Boyd

 

A BATTLE OF WILLS…

When the Marquess of Taverham married at eighteen, he was certain his life would be smooth and well ordered—right up till the moment his exuberant bride ran away on their wedding night, never to be seen again. Ten years later, when Kit is finally prepared to set his rash marriage aside by having his wife declared dead, she makes a shocking return, still beautiful but distrustful, and once more throws his life off-balance by refusing to live with him and resume their marriage. 

…A WAR OF PASSION

Despite some lingering attraction, Miranda Reed has no love left for the heartless rogue she married. Older and wiser, she refuses to be a convenient wife for a man who expects everything to be his way with no care for her feelings. Keeping her husband at arm’s length is essential; her secrets will bring him to his knees. But in a battle of wills where hope and trust are both the prize and the casualty of war, the victor isn’t always the winner. Sometimes it takes an act of rebellion to recapture a fragile love.

Excerpt: 

The lady had the audacity to dip him a low curtsy and flutter her fan as if she were overcome. A curtsy of all things! She stepped farther into the light and the crowd in the theater gasped loudly, the theatergoers beginning to mutter to each other.

The last time he’d seen Miranda, she’d just spoken her vows after a long night of making love to him. That had been ten years ago. Since then, little had changed of her looks except she had become even more beautiful. She was still as elegant as his memory remembered, still as desirable as his fantasies supplied. His eyes lowered slightly from her startlingly direct gaze, skimming along her flawless skin and dipping into the cleavage her scandalously low-cut gown revealed.

He still wanted everything he saw.

“Darling,” she replied in a clear, strong voice that must have carried far in the unusually hushed theatre as she rose. Her gaze raked him from the top of his head to the tips of his boots with a bold, proprietary eye. “You’re looking well. The new fashions agree with you. You look very fine in blue, but I don’t suppose I’m the first to flatter you with that fact tonight, am I? Your good friend there was just complimenting you on your boundless generosity.”

He stared at the woman he’d married a decade before. Same dark hair curling around her ears and nape, same almond-shaped gray eyes that he could lose himself in. Her cheeks were flushed with hot color and her breath was quick, forcing her breasts to rise and fall seductively. However, her smile wasn’t the one he remembered from before their marriage, though that might stem from finding him attending the theatre with a pretty widow on his arm and secret plans in his mind to marry again.

Yet the fact that he was in such a position was entirely her doing. He was not in the wrong. He had finally convinced himself that Miranda must be dead and had made new plans for his life beginning tonight. He folded his arms across his chest and refused to feel guilty. “Where the devil have you been?”

Emily stood too and laid a restraining hand on his arm. “Is this the best place for this discussion, Kit?”

He nodded decisively. Miranda might still hold a certain power over his body, but he wanted everyone to know that it was not he who had driven her away. He had chosen his wife poorly ten years ago, and he would not be that unguarded, reckless man ever again. He’d paid a high price for her abandonment. Some whispered he’d murdered her for her dowry, though he’d never been outright accused of any crime.

He stared Miranda down. He would not say another word until she answered him.

“Where I was wanted.” Miranda’s eyebrow quirked upward innocently, and when she glanced at his companion, her smile was full of pity. “I am sure you are overjoyed to be witness to our happy reunion after so many years apart. I regret spoiling your first season out of mourning with my return, Lady Brighthurst, but you still cannot have him.”

As the crowd’s mutterings rose higher, Emily stepped around him to advance on Miranda. “You turned your back on a great man.”

“I’m sure you’ve been a sincere comfort to him over the years.” Miranda smirked as she drew back. “And if he’s as attached to you as clearly as you are to him, then you may continue in that vein and skulk about together in private as much as you like. But remember, you’ll never be his marchioness now unless he divorces me or kills me.”

Kit scowled at Miranda’s flippant remarks. Divorce was abhorrent to him, and while her disappearance might have angered him, even worried him, he’d never once wished her dead. He’d had enough subtle accusations of that nature to find no amusement in it.

He slipped around Emily to grasp Miranda’s arm, more to prove her not a figment of his imagination than to pull her close. One touch, however, and that same reckless attraction stirred his heart as it had when he’d first met her, as if her disappearance from his life and their estrangement had never happened. He had the unfathomable urge to pull her into his arms and kiss her right there and then before everyone.

Buy Links:  AMZ  http://bit.ly/KeepsakeAMZ

iBOOKS  http://bit.ly/KeepsakeiBOOKS

KOBO  http://bit.ly/KeepsakeKOBO

NOOK  http://bit.ly/KeepsakeNOOK

 That excerpt was very exciting. Thanks so much for being here, Heather. Please come back for a visit with your next release. We love learning more about our favorite authors.

 

 

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Medieval Monday – Beloveds by Jenna Jaxon

Welcome to Medieval Monday spring edition. Today I have Jenna Jaxon’s preview for her new release -coming next week – entitled Beloveds.  Enjoy:

Jenna Beloveds banner_200x300BLURB: Passion never dies.

Lady Alyse Braedon frets over her renewed passion for Sir Geoffrey Longford, her first love. They have pledged their hearts to one another, despite the fact that both are recently widowed. Alyse worries that she has not properly mourned Thomas and cannot think herself as true wife to Geoffrey until she puts her feelings for her first husband to rest.

And then Thomas unaccountably appears in her bedroom. She is stunned and confused. When he begins to make love to her, however, she joyfully surrenders herself to his familiar caresses and expert ministrations…until Geoffrey arrives.

Faced with the dilemma of wanting two lovers, Alyse simply cannot choose–until Thomas suggests she doesn’t have to.  Instead he and Geoffrey will share her. The scandalous proposition awakens new hungers within her. Can she allow herself to abandon all she’s been taught a proper woman should resist, and find pleasure with both her beloveds?

EXCERPT:  Alyse struggled to open her eyes, though the heavy lids fought against her.

The bed dipped as someone sat beside her. Good. Thank goodness. Geoffrey had returned. Although she would swear it had not been he who had spoken.

A soft hand cupped her face, and she pressed her cheek against it, luxuriating in its warmth. She smiled and her eyes fluttered open at last.

The man seated on the bed had shoulder-length honey-blond hair and warm, beguiling brown eyes. He also defied fashion and wore a thin mustache and beard. His eyes brightened when he noticed she was awake and his mouth turned up in the lazy smile she had come to know so very well.

“Thomas.” The name came out a croak. Holy Father, had she conjured him with her guilt and longing? She shrank back into the pillows.

His smile widened and he caressed her, running one long finger along her jaw. “Aye, sweet Alyse. ’Tis I. Do you feel better now, my love?”

“Better?” She must be dying to see such an apparition. Or mayhap she was already dead and in heaven.

“Aye. You do not shiver as you did a moment ago. I hoped that meant you felt warmer.” He picked up her hand and kissed the knuckles.

Warmth flowed through her, soothing her, making her body tingle with that single touch of his lips.

“Is it really you?” Strength welled within her and she struggled to sit up.

“As ever I was.” He smiled, his gaze sweeping down her body. His eyes darkened with the desire she remembered well.

“Oh, Thomas.” She threw her arms around him, sighing when they embraced the hard-muscled chest she had lain upon so often. “I thought you dead, my love. Did I but dream?”

“Shhh, my sweet. I am here now.” He stroked her head then pulled it back to peer into her face. “I will always be with you, love.” He sank his mouth onto hers, and she melted at the touch of his insistent lips.

Like coming home.

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#8Sunday – WeWriWar April 12th The Gentle Knight

Welcome back to another chance to check out some of the best eight lines available. At WeWriWar, authors sign up their blogs to share just a teasing little glimpse of their books. All different genres to choose from. Mine is historical romance. Drogheda, Ireland 1075. Enjoy:

The Gentle Knight by Ashley York

Will honor and duty eclipse their one chance for happiness?

She took a steadying breath, trying to calm her nerves enough to cover herself. She couldn’t have done a better job of calling attention to herself if she’d tried.

Just how many men were out there? How many men had seen her without so much as a stitch of clothing? She yanked the chemise down but it refused to cooperate. The sopping material bunched at her hips. She grabbed at her gown, her hands shaking with the rage coursing inside her.

That now familiar sound of fist-against-flesh cut through the silence.

 

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Foody Friday – Collette Cameron

Grandma Cameron’s Scottish Shortbread Cookies

My grandmother made these shortbread cookies, and my understanding is the recipe was actually my Great-Grandmother Cameron’s. She immigrated to the United States from Nova Scotia.

Shortbread cookies are my all-time favorite cookies, especially with a cup of tea. I frequently have my characters nibbling shortbread biscuits too.Collette Camerson FF April 14 AustenTeapotCookies

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (use high quality butter)

¾ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F with the rack in the center of the oven.

Combine flour and salt in a bowl using a whisk. Set aside. Beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and mix until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the flour. Form the dough into a flattened ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for ½ hour or until firm. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until ¼ inch thick. Using a floured cookie cutter, cut into shapes. Gently place cutouts on parchment-lined baking sheets and return to the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. This helps the cookies retain their shape.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies should be very lightly browned on the edges. Cool on a wire rack.

Store in an airtight container for one week or freeze. Cookies can be eaten plan, dipped in chocolate and sprinkles, or decorated with icing.

CCameron Tag

Wagers Gone Awry (Conundrums of the Misses Culpepper, Book 1)

Brooke Culpepper resigned herself to spinsterhood when she turned down the only marriage proposal she’d likely ever receive to care for her family. After her father dies, a distant cousin inherits the estate and becomes their guardian but permits Brooke to act in his stead.

Heath, Earl of Ravensdale is none-too-pleased to discover five young women call the dairy farm he won and intends to sell, their home. Desperate, pauper poor, and with nowhere to go, Brooke proposes a wager. His stakes? The farm. Hers? Her virtue. The land holds no interest for Heath, but Brooke does and he accepts her challenge.

Brooke loses, and her devastation is compounded when the cousin arrives, intending to haul the Culpepper misses off to London. Heath astounds himself and proposes in order to apply for guardianship of the other girls. Does Brooke dare marry the handsome stranger who’d been bent on compromising her? Will Heath regret his impulsive gesture, or will unexpected love flourish?  

CCameron CoverExcerpt: Never had Heath experienced such self-consciousness before. Five pairs of eyes observed his every move. What was their story? His task would’ve been much easier if they were lazy, contentious spendthrifts sporting warty noses and whiskery chins.

“My lord?” Tongs in hand, Miss Culpepper peered at him, one fair brow arched, almost as if she’d read his thoughts. “Milk or sugar?”

He flashed her his most charming smile—the one that never failed to earn a blush or seductive tilt of lips, depending on the lady’s level of sexual experience.

Her eyebrow practically kissing her hair, Miss Culpepper regarded him blandly. The twins salvaged his bruised pride by turning pink and gawking as expected. The older two exchanged guarded glances, and he swore Miss Brette hid a smirk behind her hand.

Heat slithered up his face.

Poorly done, old man.

These weren’t primping misses accustomed to dallying or playing the coquette. He doubted they knew how to flirt. Direct and unpretentious, all but the youngest pair had detected his ploy to charm them. Rather mortifying to be set down without a word of reproach by three inexperienced misses.

Miss Culpepper waved the tongs and flashed her sister a sideways glance, clearly indicating she thought him a cod-pated buffoon.

“Just sugar please. Two lumps.” He ran his fingers inside his neckcloth. The cloying material itched miserably.

Heath relaxed against the chair, squashing a cat that had crawled in behind him. With a furious hiss, the portly beast wriggled free and tumbled to the floor. Whiskers twitching and citrine eyes glaring, the miffed feline arched her spine, and then, with a dismissive flick of her tail, marched regally to lie before the hearth.

“I’m afraid you’ve annoyed Pudding.” Chuckling, a delicious musical tinkle, Miss Culpepper lifted the lid from the sugar bowl and dropped two lumps into his tea. Four remained on the bottom of the china. “She holds a grudge, so watch your calves. She’ll take a swipe at you when you aren’t looking.”

She passed him the steaming cup then scooted the small chipped plate of biscuits in his direction. Her roughened hands that suggested she performed manual labor. The other cat, its plump cheeks the size of dinner rolls, raised its head and blinked at him sleepily. The animals, at least, didn’t go hungry around here. Miss Culpepper’s keen gaze remained on him as she settled further into the couch,

The other girls’ attention shifted between him and her, as if they anticipated something. They obviously regarded her as their leader.  A log shifted, and sparks sprayed the sooty screen.

Heath took a swallow of the tea, savoring its penetrating warmth and pleasant flavor. A most respectable cup of tea, though a dram of brandy tipped into the brew wouldn’t have gone amiss.

BUY  LINKS   Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Kobo  IBooks   Google Play 

Collette CameronBio  Bestselling, award-winning author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. Author of the Castle Brides Series. Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, and Conundrums of the Misses Culpepper Series, Collette writes Regency and Scottish historicals and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five mini-dachshunds. Mother to three and a self-proclaimed Cadbury Chocolate chocoholic, Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, trivia, and all things shabby chic and cobalt blue. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels.

Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many

flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.  She’d love to  hear from you. Connect with her on her website: http://collettecameron.com and subscribe to her newsletter to hear about all of her latest news: http://tinyurl.com/regencyrose 

You can also connect with Collette here:

Blog: http://collettecameron.com/blog/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/collettecameronauthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/colletteauthor/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Collette_Author

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Collette-Cameron/e/B00CWLYXL2

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7047979.Collette_Cameron

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ColletteCameronAuthor/

 

 

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Ruth A. Casie – Knight of Rapture

Welcome to Ruth A. Casie with her new release, Knight of Rapture. It’s the second book in the Druid Knight series.

Thanks so much for being a guest on my blog. Tell us about you as an author.

Stories have been swirling around in my head for as long as I can remember. When others had an imaginary friend I had a cadre of characters playing out my stories. It wasn’t until 2009 that I even thought about writing the stories down.

I’m very active in our county shelter for victims of domestic violence. I’ve been on their board of trustees for over ten years. We always have a former client on the board to keep us grounded and working for the women and their children. For several years that person was Denise (who graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Physics). She mentioned she was going to write a book. I thought it was about her domestic violence experience. She laughed and said not at all. It was going to be a romance.

The short story here is we worked together thinking we would collaborate on a series. She would write her story and I would write mine. But life got in the way. She was college hunting with her daughter as well as training for the New York Marathon. Her writing had to go on hold. I continued on.

By the end of 2009 I had a finished story, an impressive 103,000 words, but I had no idea what to do with it. I had no experience with writers or writing groups. I did some research and found RWA and called them. They pointed me to several local chapters. With the help of my new chapter-mates I spent the next year learning about head hopping, POV, filter phrases and a lot more. By the end of 2010 I was ready to pitch my story to editors at various conferences. Carina Press, the digital first press for Harlequin bought Knight of Runes February, 2011. This is the first book in the Druid Knight series. The second book, Knight of Rapture, will release this March 30th.

I haven’t been idle for four years. The Guardian’s Witch, the beginning of a seven book series and my Druid Knight series are medieval romances. I’m currently working on an adventure series about a time traveling art appraiser which will give me the opportunity to write in both contemporary and historic voices.

The Guardian’s Witch was released in 2013. The cover is gorgeous but I had a difficult time showing it to my three critique partners. They weren’t published and while I knew they were thrilled for me, I was uncomfortable. I really wanted them to experience the excitement. I was at the RWA national conference and was determined that we would all be published by the end of the year. I called them from the conference and proposed that we all write a short story and publish it ourselves as an anthology. The girls agreed. My editor said she would work with us. A good friend who teaches short story writing at her local community college in Alberta said she’d help. We were on our way. In my excitement I told Sharon Sala and she offered to write our introduction.

Before the year was out Timeless Scribes Publishing was created. Our business model is a beach read and holiday anthology each year. Since then we have published three anthologies, Timeless Keepsakes, Timeless Escapes, and Timeless Treasures. We’re working on Timeless Vows which will release this May.

Tell us the thing you like the very best about being an author.

I think the best part about being an author is the creative expression. I love painting pictures with words. Oh wait, the best thing is a fan-girl moment with Diana Gabaldon, Eloisa James, and Madeline Hunter. And working on historic romance projects with Jo Beverly. Oh no, no, wait, the best thing is working with my critique partners. Yes, that’s it. All of the above. The best part of being an author is all the people you meet and the friends you make.

Are there any similarities between you and any of your characters? Or are there characters you particularly relate to?

Hmmm. That’s food for thought. It’s amazing what you find out about yourself when you write. I was working on a project and there were some really tough decisions that had to be made. Dammit if I didn’t hear my heroine’s words coming out of my mouth! While the thoughts and ideas have always been a part of me somewhere along the way, some of them got buried.

Like most authors, I have my recurring themes. My stories are centered on trust and collaboration. Both are important to me. All my heroes and heroines are destined to come to grips with these values to get to their happily ever after.

How much time would you say you spend on a weekly basis working towards completing a book?

I retired from JPMorgan Chase last year. It’s taken me some time to get into a routine but with our three children all grown and on their own I have the luxury to spend my day writing. I’ve continued my work ethic of an eight-hour work day. That includes my community work. All toll, in a forty hour week I spend half on writing and half on marketing and community work.Ruth and Paul Dancing

The rest of the time I like to cook, play puzzles on my iPad (they can be addictive), but most of all Paul and I love to ballroom dance. We have been taking lessons off and on for years. We do it for fun and not for competition. This past summer we went to a ballroom dance boot camp for week and danced five hours a day for five days. It was awesome.

We decided to take lessons again and have signed up at a local studio near us, Dance With Me USA. We look pretty good on the dance floor.

Is there anything you’d like to share with the readers?

I love to hear from readers, so drop me a line at Ruth@RuthACasie.com OR visit me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RuthACasie. I’m also on Twitter: @RuthACasie. If you’d like to receive my occasional newsletter, please sign up at www.RuthACasie.com.

Knight of Rapture Final Cover RACasieBLURB:  For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is the easiest part of his quest.

Bran, the dark druid, follows Arik across the centuries, tireless in his quest for revenge. He’ll force Arik to make a choice, return to save his beloved family and home or stay in the 21st century and save Rebeka. He can’t save them both.

Rebeka Tyler has no recollection of where she’s been the past five months. On top of that, ownership of her home, Fayne Manor, is called into question. When accidents begin to happen it looks more and more like she is the target. Further complicating things is the strange man who conveniently appears wherever trouble brews—watching her, perhaps even….protecting her? Or is he a deliberate attempt to distract her? Rebeka can only be sure of one thing—her family name and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall… in any century

 Amazon: http://amzn.to/1CtC7ad

Amazon Print: http://amzn.to/1EN0Hhk

BN: http://bit.ly/1McK4oC

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1NaqW7Q

iBook:  http://apple.co/1M5o92x

 

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Medieval Monday – The Gentle Knight

Medieval Monday is back! Every Monday I’ll feature a different author who writes in the medieval period. It may be romance. It may be science fiction. But it will be amazing – it’s medieval ;) Today I feature my own new release, The Gentle Knight. Enjoy!

The Gentle Knight by Ashley York

Will honor and duty eclipse their one chance for happiness?

BLURB: A medieval soldier returns home to find his lover died in childbirth just as his own mother had. Believing he is cursed, Peter of Normandy turns from love. When he must give escort to an Irish princess more noble than many knights, he struggles with his decision to live a solitary life. Can he take the chance that his love won’t be a death sentence and possibly make them stronger?

Padraig MacNaughton’s death-bed decree rips his daughter, Brighit, from the shelter of her protective clan in Ireland. Forced to take vows at a Priory in England, she finds herself in the hands of lecherous mercenaries with their own agendas. Dare she trust the Norman knight to see her safely to her new life as a nun? Even when she finds in him the fulfillment of all she’s ever wanted?

Or will honor and duty eclipse their one chance for happiness?

EXCERPT:. She had dreamed of him! All at once it came to her. He had taken her into his strong arms and held her tight against that hard body. Every muscle pressing into her. Then the touch of his warm lips sliding along her cheek to meet her mouth with a hungry kiss. Brighit had actually felt his lips on hers and that same heat swirled through her now.

She sighed. Yes. It was a very nice dream.

The shock of cold air accompanied with the sound of the curtain being dragged back had her eyes flying open. There in front of her was the man from the lake… the one in her very real dream. In the flash of a second, his eyes changed from wide with shock to a look she’d swear spoke of pleasure.

“And what is this?” He tipped his chin toward her, a knowing smile gracing his pleasing face.

Brighit covered herself. One arm across her breasts and one hand over her private parts. She felt like Eve posing in the Garden of Eden.

The sudden silence stole her breath away. She refused to confirm it but knew all eyes were on her.

“Do you mind?” Ivan’s voice cut through the awkward moment as he stood next to the carriage. He yanked the curtain from the fine-looking man’s hand, dropping it back in place. Brighit was again cocooned in darkness.

“Yours?” The man’s voice was low, resonating through her core. It was as appealing as his body.

She took a steadying breath, trying to calm her nerves enough to cover herself. She couldn’t have done a better job of calling attention to herself if she’d tried.

Just how many men were out there? How many men had seen her without so much as a stitch of clothing? She yanked the chemise down but it refused to cooperate. The sopping material bunched at her hips. She grabbed at her gown, her hands shaking with the rage coursing inside her.

That now familiar sound of fist-against-flesh cut through the silence.

An unfamiliar laugh. His laugh. A slight tremor responded through her insides.

“Mort,” the handsome man called to someone.

The indistinct image of a shorter man with a gaping mouth came to mind. “Yes, my lord?”

“I believe this man was about to take a terrible misstep with his fist. Does it seem to you these men have a certain…lack of knowledge?” he asked.

What arrogance!

Ivan’s angry face came to mind. She shivered. The handsome man did not know who he was dealing with.

“I would say that it does.” The shorter man was closer now.

“Mayhap some learning is required?”

“Do you believe it’s possible, my lord? Are they trainable?”

“They have a naked woman in a carriage while they fight out here over who will get her.”

She gasped, a soundless intake of air. Like a standard being dropped, the men talked at once. Tears threatened and a few leaked down her cheek. She wiped them away. She was only trying to clean herself not be fought over. Who was he to say such cruel things about her?

The morning had started out so promising. They’d had a nice time breaking their fast with very little interaction at all. Cole’s offer of extra water had come as a surprise but not one she wanted to miss.

Sudden silence. Brighit held her breath.

“And what would your name be?”

“I am called Ivan.”

“And this…young lady?”

This was just getting worse and worse. His words fairly dripped derision.

“Brighit.” She answered for herself albeit through a clenched jaw from within the carriage.

“Ireland? You’ve taken her from Ireland?”

Brighit was surprised at his ability to name where she’d come from. She wished she were still there… any place but here. This was infuriating. She could not go out there now. They may have imagined her naked and their occasional lustful glances assured her that they did. But to have them actually see her was beyond embarrassment. Embarrassment only increased by the fact that at least two of them weren’t even known to her.

“That I have.” Ivan’s smug voice drifted to her.

Whoreson!

“Please clothe yourself forthwith.”

He must be facing her now for he sounded very close. A warmth tingled up her spine. No! His voice may be low and quiet but there was nothing intimate about this situation. She struggled with the ties up the front of her dress.

“It’s what I’ve been trying to do.” Her irritation came through in her tone of voice. Good!

“And I wonder why you have not been successful thus far.” He had the nerve to sound irritated? “Just do it… and be quick about it.”

Arrogance oozed from the man!

“Yes, my lord.” She clipped her words, struggling with her wimple, and hoped her sarcasm carried through the curtain.

“Hurry up.”

“I am hurrying!” Her thick hair refused to cooperate but she was not about to go out there with so much as a single strand visible.

The man cleared his throat. Brighit would like to take a knife to it. He may be pleasant to look at but his manners lacked even the slightest courtesy.

Buy links:   Apple    Kobo    Amazon    Barnes and Noble

Be sure to come back next for another amazing medieval author!

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#8Sunday – WeWriWar – April 5th The Gentle Knight

 

And it’s WeWriWar eight line Sunday! Welcome back. My eight lines continue from The Gentle Knight.

TheGentleKnight5_300The sudden silence stole her breath away. She refused to confirm it but knew all eyes were on her.

“Do you mind?” Ivan’s voice cut through the awkward moment as he stood next to the carriage. He yanked the curtain from the fine-looking man’s hand, dropping it back in place. Brighit was again cocooned in darkness.

“Yours?” The man’s voice was low, resonating through her core. It was as appealing as his body.wewriwa_button

 

Apple    Kobo    Amazon    Barnes and Noble

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Foody Friday – Alina K. Field

It’s time for a new recipe! How about Chicken Posole with author Aline K. Field? Enjoy:

I got this recipe from a Cooking Light magazine several years ago. This version of Posole is lighter in color, fat and calories than regular Posole. My family loves it. In January, when three of us were sick with the bug going around, I made several pots of it. I love that it combines some of my favorite flavors from Mexican cuisine.Tomatillos, Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Probably the hardest part of the prep is “undressing” the tomatillos, otherwise, it’s just another pot of soup!

1 pound tomatillos

6 cups of chicken stock

2 cups of chopped onions

3 pounds of chicken breast halves, skinned

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers seeded and quartered

1 (30 ounce) can white hominy, drained

salt to taste

  1. Remove the husks from the tomatillos and cook them in boiling water a few minutes until softened, drain, and process them in a blender until liquefied.
  2. Combine all of the other ingredients in a stockpot, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked. The recipe says that will take 35 minutes, but I usually let it go longer.
  3. Remove chicken, bone, shred and return to the pot. Add the tomatillos and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until heated.

Serve with chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream and lime wedges for added flavor.

Officially, the recipe says this yields 8 (1½ cup) servings at 233 calories each.

Alina K. Field Bella's_Band_Final_(small)_copyBlurb: Bullets, blades, and incendiary bombs—Major Steven Beauverde, the latest Earl of Hackwell, belongs in that world, and is determined to get back to it. His brother’s murder has forced Steven out of the army and into the title, but he has no interest in being the Earl, and worse, no idea how to salvage the depleted estate.  A rumor that his brother had a son by a woman who may be a) the murderer, and b) his brother’s wife, sets Steven on a mission to find her, the boy, and—Steven ardently hopes—proof of a secret marriage that will set Steven free.

Annabelle Harris is a country heiress and a confirmed spinster resettled in London to find her sister, the mistress to the Earl of Hackwell. While she searches, she fills her home with orphans and street urchins. When the Earl is murdered, Annabelle’s sister thrusts the Earl’s illegitimate child into Annabelle’s care and disappears. Now, with suspicion pointing at her sister, Annabelle has begun a new quest—to find her sibling and clear her name.

When their paths converge, the reluctant Earl and the determined spinster find themselves rethinking their goals, and stepping up to fight back when the real murderer shows up.

Excerpt:  The rare afternoon sun lay low on the horizon when Annabelle rounded the corner to her street. The coach would be ready on the morrow. Providing the weather held fair and they left before dawn, they could make it to Brockton Manor in one very long day.

Mr. Gleason had not been able to see her, but he left word with his clerk that Annabelle should come for dinner that same night with him and Mrs. Gleason, and he would send a hackney to transport her.

Mary would, no doubt, not be happy, having had her fill of keeping the boys all afternoon while she tried to ready meals for Mr. Lewis and pack. Getting the boys caught up on their lessons and finishing the packing would be a welcome distraction from dark thoughts.

As she approached the house in the dim twilight, she saw a man on her front step, as though those dark thoughts had taken bodily form. Her front door opened, and after a moment, he stepped in.

Her pulse quickened. He was dark-haired under his tall hat. She ran the rest of the way.

***

When Steven knocked on Miss Harris’s door, he was greeted by a juvenile doorman, the alleged thief from two days ago.

And this little doorman was armed with a pistol.

Steven raised both hands. “I surrender. Take my purse.”

The boy frowned. “There’s no powder in ‘it.”

“Well thank goodness.” Up close, he could see the boy’s eyes were a deep blue, eerily like his own, or his half-brother’s. Or his father’s. “I am relieved you are not waving a loaded weapon at me. I’m here to see Miss Harris. May I come in?”

That blue gaze swept over him. “She’s not in.”

“You know me,” Steven said. “I rescued you two mornings ago. May I come in and wait for her?”

The boy shrugged and let Steven into the narrow entry hall.

To his left, the younger boy stood in a doorway, balancing a second pistol in his two chubby hands. He was equally fair-haired and blue-eyed.

“Out of the way, Robby.” The big one nudged ahead none too gently.

Steven followed them into a drawing room, well-warmed by a glowing fire.

“’Ave a seat.” The boy pointed to an empty spot on a settee spread with soldiers, and dropped behind a chair to resume play.

“Staging a battle, are we?” Steven surveyed the deployment of troops. Obviously this pile-up was either the day-before sousing or the day-after boneyard, definitely not a battle configuration. Something golden twinkled through the ranks, and he pulled two bodies away.

His heart thumped wildly. The Hackwell lion blinked at him from its nest of gold in the crown of a ring. He’d studied that ring on his father’s finger the half-dozen times he’d been allowed in the noble presence.

The missing signet. He covered it with his hand.

The door crashed open and Steven raised his head. Astonished grey eyes flashed from Steven to the toddler, and he would swear, penetrated through the chair to the boy on the other side.

Steven shot to his feet, quickly pocketing the ring.

*****

“A pistol, Mum.” The little one’s chirping matched the way he hopped from foot to foot.

Robby was younger than he looked. Three, or possibly even a very large two.

Miss Harris bent gracefully and took the gun. “I see. It is not a toy, my love. You may never play with it.” She dropped a kiss on the little boy’s head and straightened. “Thomas.”

Awareness buzzed through Steven. Both for the woman and her use of his brother’s name. Her cheeks flamed and her eyes also, with anger and perhaps fear, whether about the pistols or his presence he wasn’t sure.

“Let’s have it then, Thomas.” Steven disarmed the boy, then helped him up by his elbow. He passed the pistol to Miss Harris.

She thanked him ever so politely, her eyes riveted on the boy.

Thomas shifted. Steven realized, while Robby was big for his age, Thomas was small for his. He was older than he appeared. Perhaps nine. It was mathematically possible for him to be Thomas’s, though Thomas had only been Earl for seven years, and he’d heard no rumblings of other by-blows.

And, if the boy was nine, Thomas had been out of the country during his conception. The thought was a bit disappointing.

“Thomas,” she said, packing the soft-spoken word with a punch of guilt.

The boy tucked his chin. His eyes were scrunched and cloudy. “I checked, Mum. They wasn’t—wer-en’t—loaded.”

Both boys called her mum. For mother? Or as a corruption of ma’am?

The guns trembled in her hands. She set them on a side table, pulled a bell cord, and came back to stand in front of Steven and Thomas.

“Thomas, you and I will talk later.”

There was a promise of love mixed with the threat. He almost shifted his feet in time with the boy’s, feeling his pain and something like . . . envy?

“I suppose you’ll leave me,” Thomas said gruffly. “Or send me somewheres.”

Her trembling had settled. She didn’t move a muscle. She didn’t flinch. And yet, the boy had seen the bared heartstring and plucked it.

She loved this child. Like any intelligent male of the species, the boy saw it, and so did Steven.

BIO: Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but she found her true passion in reading and writing romance. Though her roots are in the Midwest, after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a midcentury home with her husband and a blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.

She is the author of the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner in the novella category, Rosalyn’s Ring, a Regency novella; and the novel-length sequel Bella’s Band, both Soul Mate Publishing releases.

Buy Link:  Amazon

Visit her at: http://alinakfield.com/

https://www.facebook.com/alinakfield

https://twitter.com/AlinaKField

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7173518.Alina_K_Field

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