#medievalmonday Princess of Bretagne

Welcome to the third installment of the Medieval Monday Author Exchange. A little change of pace here with Book One of Vijaya Schartz’s amazing series The Curse of the Lost Isle entitled Princess of BretagneIt’s set in 806-very interesting. This cover is just breathtaking. Enjoy:


From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse… but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.

Curse of the Lost Isle – Book One

806 AD – Alba (Ancient Scotland)
As the Vikings raid the coast of Alba, Pressine of Bretagne sets out to seduce King Elinas of Dumfries, chosen by the Goddess to unite the tribes against the foreign invader. Elinas, still mourning his departed queen, has no intention to remarry. Head strong and independent, Pressine does not expect to fall for the very attractive, wise and noble ruler… Furthermore, her Pagan nature clashes with the religious fanaticism of the king’s Christian heir, who suspects her unholy ancestry and will stop at nothing to get rid of her.


Without waiting for an invitation, Elinas stormed into the bedchamber.

Pressine shuddered at the loathing in his dark brown eyes.

“Whatever made you think you could violate the apartments of my beloved queen?” Stopping short in the middle of the room, Elinas glanced around, eyes wide with disbelief.

Pressine struggled to sound casual. “Surely your gracious queen would have wanted these rooms light, warm and clean, even alive with laughter, rather than dark, sealed, and stinking of decay.”

The king’s jaw tightened under the short black beard as he towered over her. His hands balled into fists at his sides. “I alone decide in my castle.” The low voice turned to a raucous whisper, more threatening than the shouts of any battlefield. “I shall not tolerate defiance of any kind under my roof. Restore these rooms to their previous state and leave.”

Barely able to slow her heartbeat, Pressine feigned distraction, dusting her blue riding dress. “It simply cannot be done.”

“You dare challenge me?” His surprise would have been comical, if not for the menacing tone.

“The old linens were burned,” Pressine said with a calm she did not feel, as if lecturing a child. She rose to fetch the bundle wrapped in blue silk and handed it to him.

Elinas looked at it suspiciously. “What is it?”

“Her comb, mirror, distaff, spindle, and other keepsakes.” Pressine waved her hand, encompassing the room. “The apartments themselves will never look the way they did before.” She had made certain of that.

The king’s eyes, velvety brown and soft this morning at the spring, now burned with the fiery amber of a wild cat’s glare. Elinas looked ready to pounce. He snatched the bundle from her arm. “Out!”

Pressine showed none of the apprehension gripping her. The king’s heart, beneath the leather gear, had more mettle than she anticipated.

“Remember that I have your sword.” She paused, observing the sobering effect of her words. “Only this morning, you gave it to me, swearing you would honor your oath of keeping me safe in your halls. Does a king’s word count for so little in Strathclyde?”

“I curse the ill fortune that made me hear you sing, lady.” Eyes tightly shut, Elinas tensed, fists at his side, obviously struggling for emotional control. “I should have known that a princess who refuses to bow to the will of men can only bring strife.”

Encouraged by the spark of reason returning to the distraught Elinas, Pressine hoped he could now face his grief. “I am sorry if I offended you. I meant no disrespect.”

“I have enough Vikings, Angles, Picts and Scots to give me trouble. The gods know I do not want feuds in my home.” Stillness made his stare frightening.

Pressine refused to be intimidated. “Will you honor your word and protect me, then?”

“I should throw you to the wolves!” His voice boomed.

“Wolves?” Pressine repressed a chuckle. She loved wolves. “What would your people think of a king who throws a defenseless princess to the wolves?”

“Defenseless?” The king’s face reddened.

“Everyone in the castle expects to see me at your side at the Beltane feast. If I do not attend, there will be questions. The rules of hospitality state that…”

“Let them ask,” Elinas snapped. “The rules of hospitality do not apply to princesses who misbehave!”



Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/vijayaschartz

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/vijaya-schartz
FB: https://www.facebook.com/vijaya.schartz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Vijayaschartz

Wasn’t that great? Come back next week for tales from Sherwood with Laura Strickland.


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#8sunday WeWriWa 9/21/14

Welcome to the Weekend Writing Warriors eight sentence Sunday. Here’s more from The Saxon Bride:

He did not want to hurt her but he could not say why not. It was certainly what she deserved.

“I was…” She glanced again at the ground. “…shocked at the sight.”

“At my arousal?”

She nodded slightly but did not look at him.

He moved in closer, gently grasping her chin, tipping her head so he could see into her eyes. “You have never seen a man’s arousal before?”

Tears trembled in her lashes and his heart went out to her.TheSaxonBride2_300-1.jpg

Available now:  The Saxon Bride

Check out other great excerpts at www.wewriwa.com


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#medievalmonday Dragon Knight’s Sword

Welcome to the Medieval Monday Author Exchange. I am starting off with a burst of fire – like from a dragon :) My exchange today is with the lovely Mary Morgan. A good friend and amazing writer, I hope you enjoy this little tease of a great book! Enjoy:

DragonKnightsSword_w7485_300 (2)

Duncan Mackay will do anything to lift the curse from his family – even forfeit his own life. But his plans change when he encounters the woman from his dreams, literally. She is from the future, somehow has his lost sword, and can talk to the Dragon that is able to lift his family’s curse.

Brigid O’Neill has spent her life listening to the mythological legends from Ireland and Scotland. So, when an ancient sword lands at her doorstep and she starts dreaming of a rugged Highlander, she drops everything and takes on a quest that will alter everything she believes.

Before their journey ends, not only will Duncan and Brigid battle an ancient curse, they must also find the courage to believe in the destiny that brought them together.


He stood next to the waterfall. Beads of water glistened from his dark locks.

Brigid watched as they trailed down his chiseled torso, traveling down to where his tartan was wrapped low on his waist. The wind whipped at the folds of his plaid, the power coiling within and around him, as mystical as the land he stood on.

“Ancient warrior,” she uttered softly.

When she looked up into his eyes, they smoldered with desire, and it startled her. A sensual shiver ran through her, wanting to be crushed within his embrace. The raw desire to be in this man’s arms, touching and tasting him, was so potent, she could feel her heart hammering inside her chest.

He tilted his head to the side, as if studying his prey.

Brigid didn’t know if she should run or step into his massive arms.

He took a step toward her, and her pulse quickened. The very air around her seemed electrified. He then took another…and another, until he stood
merely inches in front of her.

Her breathing became labored, as he bent his head leaning close to her ear. She was engulfed in a sensual haze wanting his lips to touch her anywhere and put an end to her torture. His mouth was so close, she could feel a dark lock of his hair against her cheek, and she shuddered.

“Bring me back my sword,” he growled into her ear.

Brigid’s eyes flew open, clutching the sheets as the last fragments of her dream faded.

Buy Links:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, TWRP – The Wild Rose Press

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Be sure to come by next week for another Medieval Monday author – Vijaya Schartz.



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#8sunday Weekend Writing Warriors 9/14/14

Welcome again to the Weekend Writing Warriors eight sentence Sunday. It’s a challenge to select an eight sentence excerpt! Here are eight more lines from The Saxon Bride:

“You have me.” Her words sounded breathy, her hands gripped tightly at her side.

“It would appear I do not.” He watched for any shift, any acknowledgment that she feared being discovered but he saw none.

“It would appear then that you do not desire me.” She lifted her nose slightly.

“I say it was quite apparent that I do, but then you rushed out of the room last night.”

Her eyes rounded as if with pain at the statement.TheSaxonBride2_300-1.jpg

Available now: The Saxon Bride

Check out other great excerpts at www.wewriwa.com



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#medievalmonday The Saxon Bride

Historical Romance writer Ashley York loves history and intrigue. Her latest book, The Saxon Bride, is the first in her Norman Conquest Series. Here is a little about the book:

In war torn England the battle lines between Saxon and Norman are clearly drawn. The Saxons must fight for everything they have in the hopes of winning their country back from the Normans who are determined to break their resistance.

Rowena Godwinson, the sole remaining member of the defeated royal family, stands proudly against the Normans that would trample them underfoot but her nobility and grace make her an ideal pawn in the Norman King William’s play for power with the Saxon people. When he decrees she marry a powerful Norman knight, her subjugation appears to be complete. The handsome soldier with the kind brown eyes and gentle touch is a threat to her determination to defy the interlopers. Can she hold firm to her Saxon heritage and refuse to give in to his advances?

John of Normandy wants only to prove himself worthy of the king’s trust. He is rewarded for his service and loyalty with land, titles and a Saxon beauty for a bride. John balks at the marriage, driven by the secret guilt of knowing Rowena’s father died at his sword. However, John’s reluctance is soon replaced by a burning desire to please this woman and win her over as well as her people.

As their people look to them for guidance and peace, can John and Rowena find a love that unites all of England?


Excerpt from The Saxon Bride:

Pacing the small area like a confined animal, she finally paused to look out the window. The dreary day reflected her feelings, rain threatening at any moment. “Do you know when my husband will be returning?”

“I am back now.”

John stood in the doorway handsomely dressed as befit the new Lord of Essex. Rowena’s breath caught in her throat. She looked away before the immense pleasure she felt at his return showed on her face.

Joan quickly gathered her sewing and removed herself from the room, closing the door behind her.

“Will you attend me, my lady?”

Rowena went to him and helped him remove his surcoat before seeing to the heavier chainmail. He smelled of horses and leather. Manly. Rowena tried not to close her eyes as she drank in the intoxicating smell of him. Why would a dirty, sweaty man make her feel so light headed? She stepped away when she realized why, the chainmail slipping forward off his arms. His hooded eyes told her that he knew what she was feeling.

“Is there a problem?” His deep voice seemed to reverberate through her body.

Quickly putting the heavy material down, she headed to the door. “I will order a bath for you.”


Rowena froze with her hand on the latch and heard him coming toward her. He stood close behind, his breath soft against her cheek.

“Yes?” Be done with this. Her body yearned for his arms to pull her against him, to feel his kiss again. She licked her lips.

“Why are you leaving in such a hurry?” His hand lightly touched the side of her head as he spoke, pushing her hair away from her face. He leaned in closer to her exposed ear. A responding shiver ran down her body. “Are you afraid of me?”

She backed up to the door with a thud and faced him. Her pulse was racing as she lied. “No, my lord. Methinks you have a rather strong odor about you and I would have you take a bath before the evening meal.”

John backed away quickly, his eyes flying open. “I am sorry if I offend you. Please see to the bath.”

Rowena felt only slightly guilty when he turned away from her, standing like a lost little boy in the middle of the room.

Buy link:  The Saxon Bride  available now.

Ashley York loves to hear from her fans. Visit her at ashleyyorkauthor@gmail.com, Facebook, Twitter, and her website www.ashleyyorkauthor.com





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Weekend Writing Warriors 9/7/14

Welcome to the Weekend Writing Warriors 8 sentences post. Some of the best eight liners I’ve seen have been through this site. So here’s mine from my latest novel, The Saxon Bride.  Enjoy:

“Your choice, my lord. Whatever you desire.” She blanched and he supposed it was her choice of words when she turned her reddening face away in embarrassment.

“You are what I desire.” John wished he could take those words back. He did not want her to know how she made him feel, how deeply she affected him.

“You have me.” Her words sounded breathy, her hands gripped tightly at her side.TheSaxonBride2_300-1.jpg

Available now: The Saxon Bride

There are even more great excerpts to read at www.wewriwa.com


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How Medieval Monday Author Exchange Works


Two authors agree to exchange information about their books. Each post the information on their blog site with book cover, blurb, excerpt, links to other author’s site and buy links to the book. This begins on Monday, September 8 when we start it off by posting our own information on our blog and what we’ll be exchanging.

Arrange the dates ahead of time and exchange the information via email.  It’s a great way to promote your book.

Contact me to reserve your date – ashleyyorkauthor@gmail.com

Here is just a sampling of upcoming author’s I’ll be exchanging with so be sure to stop by every Monday for a new medieval romance you’re sure to love.  It’s going to be great!

Jenna Jaxon

Cathy MacRae

Laurel O’Donnell

Mary Morgan

Maria L. Cecilli-Crust (Ria Cantrell)


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The Freedom to Read What You Choose

Welcome to the Freedom Hop 2014.  At this hop, you’ll find all different genres and heat levels. Maybe you’ll even find an author you’ve never heard of before or become interested in a genre you never thought you’d like. Enjoy the journey. Reading, whether on an e-reader or paperback, is a treasured freedom. Don’t take it for granted. Happy Fourth of July.

Here is an excerpt from my upcoming release The Saxon Bride, book one of The Norman Conquest Series. Enjoy:

TheSaxonBride2_300“Methinks your way is more than clear.”

“No,” John’s voice was quiet again. How could he convince her he was not like other men? “You called out to me as sure as a Siren’s song.”

She shook her head, her lips in a tight smile. “So now you are a hero that legends are written of?”

He searched her face before he spoke, “I came across a beautiful woman I would rather die than not have.”

Her lips parted with her quiet gasp, her silver eyes rounded with the longing he’d sensed in her response to him.

John stepped toward her and continued, “I was a drowning man and you were refreshing water.”

Rowena seemed to lean toward him as well.

A knock at the door startled him, breaking the spell.

“Who is it?” They responded at the same time.

After a long pause, a woman’s timid voice answered. “It is Joan.”

“Come in.” Rowena’s voice held a note of desperation.

“Go away.” John commanded.

At the sound of the retreating steps, a crest-fallen look swept across Rowena’s face. He had hurt her yet again. But she was not screaming at him or beating his chest. She glanced at the ground.

John fought the need to take her into his arms and finish what he’d started. His hands clenched at his sides to stop from reaching out to her.

Her eyes finally met his, the look of longing replaced by anger. “Why have you come back?”

“I have come to be your husband.”

Coming soon to Amazon.com

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Vonda Sinclair – Award Winning Author of Historical Romance

My guest today is Vonda Sinclair whose favorite indulgent pastime is exploring Scotland; from Edinburgh to the untamed and windblown north coast. She also enjoys creating hot Highland heroes and spirited lasses to drive them mad. Her historical romances have won an EPIC Award and a National Readers’ Choice Award. She lives with her amazing and supportive husband in the mountains of North Carolina where she is no doubt creating another Scottish story.

Welcome, Vonda. Thank you so much for visiting with me today. I just finished reading My Rebel Highlander, the latest addition to your Highland Adventure Series. I have to say how much I enjoyed the non-traditional heroine in this story. She’s well behaved, a lady in fact, and yet knows how to survive no matter what life throws at her. Fiesty! But then only the hero, Rebbie, needs to know about that side of her. It was very enjoyable. 

Please tell us a little about your writing journey.

I’ve been writing for many years and I’ve been published since 2011. I have six books out now, the last one (My Rebel Highlander) released just a few weeks ago. I write Scottish historical romance. I’m nuts about Scotland so writing stories set there is a perfect fit for me. My favorite thing to do is visit Scottish castles and do research.

Vonda at Loch Assynt 108

What’s your favorite thing about being an author?

One of my favorite things is the actual writing. I have a lot of fun discovering and exploring the emotions of my characters and then putting them into high tension situations. I enjoy creating Scottish settings using words. I also enjoy hearing from readers, either by email, on social media or from reviews they do. I also enjoy the research in Scotland. Basically, writing is the perfect job for me! I love most everything about it. :)

That is very nice. You have the perfect occupation then. If you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.  I’m curious, are there any similarities between you and any of your characters? Or have you created any characters that you especially relate to? 

That is a tough question to answer. On the one hand, all my characters come from my mind and my soul. I put a lot of heart into them. It’s possible they share some of my beliefs. On the other hand, I doubt anyone would see any similarities between me and most of my characters. When I write, I become my characters in much the same way an actor becomes a character in a play or movie. I feel like I relate to all of them in one way or another.

And how much time do you spend on  a weekly basis working towards completing a book?

Some days I spend around eight hours writing or promoting. Other days it’s more like twelve or fourteen hours.

What do you do the rest of the time? 

I relax and watch TV sometimes at night if I’m tired. I enjoy gardening and taking walks in the evenings. Also, though I don’t enjoy it, there are chores that have to be done. I enjoy writing so much, it is also what I do for fun. I also enjoy travel but don’t get to do that very often.


And you take lovely pictures, too, like this one of roses from your garden. Is there anything you’d like to add before we close?

I would just like to say THANK YOU for reading my books. To help express my gratitude, I dedicated My Rebel Highlander to all of you who are reading the Highland Adventure Series. :)

Well, as one of those who are reading the series and enjoying it very much, I ‘d like to say you’re very welcome. Keep on writing. 

Vonda wants to know – Do you like your hero with a sense of humor or a wry wit? She’s giving away an e-copy of her latest release for one lucky visitor.

My Rebel Highlander is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

My Rebel Highlander

Known for his wicked wit, fierce loyalty, and skills in battle, Robert “Rebbie” MacInnis, the Earl of Rebbinglen, loves freedom and has no plans of marrying anytime soon. But when his father, a powerful Scottish marquess, signs a contract betrothing Rebbie to an earl’s young daughter, he is furious. If he has to marry, he’s determined to choose his own bride, though he has no inkling who he would wish to wed until fate intervenes to remind him of one fair-haired, nameless beauty and the passionate night they spent together years ago. A night forever etched in his memory.

Lady Calla Ferguson, a penniless widow with a young son, is forced to seek employment as her cousin’s companion in order to pay her late husband’s massive gambling debt. Having been ignored or mistreated most of her life, Calla has become a resourceful survivor who will stop at nothing to get what she wants—safety and security for her son and herself. Wealthy merchant, Claybourne cares little for the money the Earl of Stanbury owed him; he simply wants the earl’s beautiful, voluptuous widow and he’ll do whatever it takes to get his hands on her, even kidnapping and blackmail.

When Rebbie happens upon Claybourne abducting Calla, he rescues her and hides her in a secluded castle deep in the wild Scottish Highlands. Calla conceals her passionate spirit beneath reserve and duty, along with closely guarded secrets which, if exposed, could ruin both her life and her son’s. Years ago, she lost her heart to a dark-eyed stranger she never thought to see again, but now he’s her protector. Rebbie craves another pleasurable night like the one they shared in the past, and she cannot resist the fiery passion that echoes deep in her heart and soul. Soft but strong, Calla sparks within Rebbie a desperate hunger and a need to protect her. But will her secrets tear them apart?

Links – www.vondasinclair.com

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/VondaSinclair

Twitter – https://twitter.com/VondaSinclair

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5083448.Vonda_Sinclair

Blog –  http://fierceromance.blogspot.com/

And be sure to sign up for her newsletter



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Lauren Smith Creates Wicked Designs

I’m very excited to have Lauren Smith on my blog today. Her debut novel, Wicked Designs, was intriguing, adventurous, sexy, and the perfect spring-board for so many more regency novels. The story was well told with deep characters and a hunky hero. Well, actually more like five heroes but the heroine, Emily, only had a heart for one of them-Godric St. Laurent, the twelfth Duke of Essex.

Welcome to my blog, Lauren. I was so intrigued by your story, I read it in one day! This League of Rogues you created was a very neat idea. Did it come from your imagination? It takes place in 1820 and being a historian, I can’t help but wonder if you did research that might have inspired you.

The League of Rogues did come from my imagination, but I was inspired by the time I spent during two summers in college studying at Magdalene College (one of the colleges at Cambridge in the United Kingdom). I fell in love with the atmosphere there and couldn’t help but imagine what if a group of young men met there under tragic circumstances and forged a bond that would bind them together for the rest of their lives and brand them as the League of Rogues, men who are the ultimate bad boys but who will eventually find redemption with the women that will change their lives and their hearts.

Nice. These men were well crafted, each with their own personal qualities that a reader could fall in love with. I think I love Ashton the best, though, because he really championed Emily’s cause. 

Many readers love Ashton, he’s a complete softie when it comes to defending Emily, but he’s a hardened business man on the outside. I can hint for those of you who will read the series, that Ashton will meet his match in a fiery Scottish widow who will turn his world upside down and his business. 

I can’t wait. Tell us about Lauren Smith, the author.

I have been writing since the third grade, but only really started writing withLauren Smitha goal for a career during college back in 2007. I didn’t know I wanted to write romances until 2009. My first book Wicked Designs came out January 2014. I have two more books due to come out September and November of this year and at least four more next year (possible more). I write historical romances, modern gothics and edgy contemporary with romantic suspense elements.

What do you like the best about being an author.

I love being able to tell a story and to entertain or emotionally engage other people. Creating worlds with words and drawing people into sensual, emotionally driven stories is one of the most fun and rewarding parts of writing. It’s great to hear from readers who loved the books and share their favorite parts with you.

I have to say you are very successful, especially the emotional part. If I may quote from your book “Emily was surprised, pleasantly so. She remembered little from that first night, but she had a vague memory that a handsome prince had stroked her face and nearly kissed her, a fanciful, fairy tale dream, she’d thought” brought tears to my eyes. And when Emily asks “But what did I do?” [and Ashton answered] “You really don’t know, my dear?” Emily shook her head. “You kissed him from the depths of your heart.” So well done. I was definitely emotionally engaged.

Are there any similarities between you and any of your characters? Or are there are characters you particularly relate to? And then naturally, why?

All of my characters, even sometimes my villains have pieces of me inside them. I write best when I write what I have experienced or know about first hand and often times my hero or heroine will bear a trait that I have or have experienced at some point because it makes them more human and relate-able. Even characters that bear no physical or mental similarities to me still have connections to me. For example, I have a red-haired bombshell gorgeous outspoken heroine in one my books coming out next year, and she secretly is afraid of heights (like me), but that’s where the resemblance between us ends.

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?
I work as an attorney full-time so I spend anywhere between n 40-60 hours a week doing that. It doesn’t leave a lot of extra time for writing, so come five pm I’m at my computer or with my notebookDSC_0680 (2) and I’m getting caught up on my current writing projects. In the rare moment where I’m not writing or doing my day job, I’m usually at museums (I love them), or I’m going to the renaissance faire with my friends or just relaxing and watching some TV.


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

I tend to be drawn to bad boys when I write, and I definitely encourage any readers out there who love bad boys to check out my League of Rogues historical romance series. They are the ultimate bad boys in London! I think the attraction to writing and reading about bad boys is the fact that once they fall in love, they are devoutly loyal and will do anything to protect the woman they love and the journey through the story getting heroes to that point is incredibly to read.

Ah, yes, loyalty is definitely high on my priorities list as well and available in abundance with your League of Rogues.

Here is a blurb for your reading pleasure:

The League of Rogues takes what they want—but have they taken on too much?

For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.

It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.

Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love.

Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric’s shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard—and rob him of the woman he can’t live without.

Warning: This novel includes a lady who refuses to stay kidnapped, a devilish duke with a dark past, and an assortment of charming rogues who have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into.

Thanks so much for visiting with us, Lauren.

So what do you all think is the most important trait for a hero to have? Lauren will be giving away a free e-book copy of Wicked Designs to one lucky visitor. 

Available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon



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