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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Welcome Jenna Jaxon!

Jenna has been a internet friend for several years. I feel like we know each other so well, and yet we haven't met face-to-face. Maybe one day!

Jenna has a new release and I can't wait to share it!


A Scandalous Dance—The Waltz During the Regency Period


Most people know a waltz when they see one—a romantic ¾ time lilting dance for partners where they hold each other at the hand and waist as they twirl around the dance floor. Not quite so during the Regency period.

The Regency waltz, as it was danced in the early 19th century, was very different from the form we know today, but still had the reputation of being scandalous. In fact, young ladies who were just out in society in their first Season had to get permission from a Patroness at Almack before she could dance the waltz at the Assembly rooms.

So what made this particular dance so shocking?

Walter Nelson in an article titled “The Shocking Waltz” describes the movements of the Regency waltz as “a strikingly intimate and sensuous dance, which is a major departure from the group dances and stately minuets of earlier generations. To a society that focused so much attention on harnessing teen age libido to the purpose of making a good marriage, this was rather disturbing.”

The article goes on to comment that although English Country Dancing, considered imminently respectable, contained both direct eye contact and body contact but in very limited amounts. In the waltz, however, “the eye contact is continuous and unflinching and so is the body contact -- with hands, ... resting on any number of body areas, and lingering there for a while.”


You can understand how the matchmaking mamas watching all this very physical contact might get very nervous about the attention their darling daughter was paying to one particular gentleman—who might not be a very nice gentleman in the end. As the hero of Heart of Desire says, the waltz should be danced only by married couples. Of course, he’s dancing it with a woman who is not his wife when he says it, which draws her caustic comment to be sure!

Here is a youtube clip of how the waltz was danced - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nwwYlm-G1s

HEART OF DESIRE

Follow your heart to find your desire

Miss Katherine Locke is irked to start her third season dancing with the disagreeable Lord Haversham, her brother’s friend and her own arch enemy. After three years out, however, she’s finally interested in the dashing Lord Finley—only to find out her cousin has set her cap for him too. To make the man jealous, Kate feigns interest in Lord Haversham, only to be shocked to find the handsome lord apparently falling for her. With time running out, should she accept his suit and risk falling in love despite herself?


Marcus, Lord Haversham, is in a tight pinch. His estates are failing and worse, he’s just lost three thousand pounds to his best friend, Lord Ainsley. Ainsley’s solution: have Marcus marry his shrewish sister and he’ll cancel his gambling debt plus give him ten thousand more pounds for her dowry. With nowhere to turn, Marcus agrees, praying he can keep word of the wager from Miss Locke long enough to charm her into marrying him. But can he avoid falling in love himself?

EXCERPT

The music had a lively air and Miss Katherine Locke would’ve thought herself fortunate to be out again in Society after a long, cold, dull winter in Somerset save that her partner, Lord Haversham, was the rudest man in London. Well, his lordship was about to discover that Kate Locke was not one to suffer fools lightly.

“So you refuse to allow your sister to waltz, yet you are quite willing to stand up with me and dance this, according to you, most scandalous of dances.” Kate smiled into the odious wretch’s face. “My lord, I should say that smacks of hypocrisy.”

“Indeed.” Lord Haversham turned them skillfully at the end of the floor. “I would say it showed a want of character in your brother for allowing you to dance it with me. The waltz should be danced by married couples and no one else.” He pulled her close against him, so their bodies almost touched.
She gasped at her proximity to the rogue. How dare he make a spectacle of them on this crowded dance floor?

“You see?” he whispered, peering into her face, his gaze intent upon her mouth.

All she could see were his cool gray eyes, as the crisp scent of his sandalwood cologne filled her nose.

“Ainsley should be horsewhipped for allowing it.”

“I’ll see to it he horsewhips you if you don’t let me go.” Kate gave a hopping step and smashed her foot down on top of his.

Lord Haversham lurched forward, actually falling onto her.

For the briefest moment, they stood pressed together in a warm embrace that made Kate tingle all over. Then outrage swept through her, and she pushed him away. “How dare you,” she seethed, trying to pull away from him.

“That was your fault, and you know it. And if you make a scene that results in me having to marry you, I swear I will lock you in the tower at my grandfather’s castle and throw away the key.” Lord Haversham righted himself and smiled at her with clenched teeth.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jenna Jaxon is a best-selling, multi-published author of historical romance in periods ranging from medieval to Victorian.  She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and two rambunctious cats, Marmalade and Suger.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is very active in Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

FIND JENNA HERE:

BUY LINK: 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Web Site Launch!!

Introducing…

I have an actual website, and I’m excited to tell you all about it and share it with my friends. This website is easy to maneuver, and the pictures are very eye-catching. (I had to keep up with my awesome book covers, right?) I have a few new features. Along with the books section, I have one for my blog—which links to my old one—and I have a contact page, a contest page, and a book signing page that will let you know where I’ll be signing next. Be sure to check them out!

One of the new features I like is my newsletter sign up section (located on the home page and ‘about me’ page). So to give my website launch the kick-off it deserves, I’m offering a FREE book if you sign up for my newsletter. The book I’m giving away free is:

CHAMPION (Fairy Tale / Robin Hood Romance)

When you wish upon a star…

All romance novel photographer Payton Fox really wants is a hero in her life. A man that is dashing and honorable… a man worthy of his own fairy tale! One particularly frustrating evening she casts a fleeting wish upon a shooting star. She doesn’t actually believe anything will happen, but in the blink of an eye the man from her fairy tale wishes—a regular Robin Hood—materializes right before her. He even claims to be the legendary Lord of Loxley, and goes by the name of Archer. Uncertain what to believe, Payton is shocked when this hero rescues her time and again, and she can’t help but be swept off her feet.

Slowly she accepts that this strange and noble man might truly be the fairy tale character of her dreams. Unfortunately, Archer isn’t connecting with the modern-day world and longs to return to his time. She also discovers that if he stays with her, his story will cease to exist.

Can she send him back, knowing he’ll take her heart along with him? Can she deprive the world of his story? How can she do that to those looking for their Champion - the perfect hero?

Now, without any further distractions, I invite you to wander through my new website – www.mariehiggins.com.  Or just click on the "HOME" tab at the top of this page. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Welcome Karen Aminadra

I'm very happy to introduce you to Karen Aminadra. I met Karen on Facebook, and I instantly fell in love with her writing. She writes CLEAN romances, just like I do!!

So, Karen, take it away...



Today I am celebrating the launch of my eighth novel! Yes, eighth!
I cannot even believe I am here already! It has been such an exciting journey and wonderful four years since I published my first novel.




The Suitable Bride is book 2 in The Emberton Brothers series and is a clean Regency romance novel.
In the first novel, we followed the story of Richard, the eldest of the three brothers. In this book, we follow Edward the middle one.

Edward is the driven one out of the three. He has spent years working hard at achieving his dream. He’s a politician and dreams of being Prime Minister of Britain one day. He knows the advantages there are to be had in marrying and is eager to find a bride from amongst the set who will help advance his career.

Frances Davenport is the daughter of a lord. She is privileged and has led a life that has had its ups and downs…literally speaking ;-) She’s a little naughty. She doesn’t believe there is one single man out there who can please her as a husband and is resigned to that fact. Until she meets Edward, that is…



To celebrate the release of The Suitable Bride I am having a bumper giveaway with a big list of goodies! Please visit my blog to enter! And good luck! https://kjaminadra.wordpress.com/

BLURB
Edward Emberton wants to be Prime Minister. He has a passionate vision for the future of England, which includes the abolition of slavery. As the son of a tradesman, his journey to Parliament has been a difficult one, but there is only one thing left to cement this foothold on the steps to Parliament – a suitable bride. She must be of noble birth, reasonable intelligence, mild temperament, and extraordinary beauty.

Frances Davenport is most of those things. And a suitable marriage to Edward isn’t only the answer to her prayers; it’s a way to keep her secrets. Edward is handsome, driven, and better still, enchanted by her beauty. It’s more than a suitable match; it couldn’t be more perfect.

But appearances are often deceiving, and Frances’ beguiling beauty comes with its own set of problems. Edward and Frances are about to discover that there’s more to marriage than suitability because neither is as suitable as they seem…

AMAZON LINK -
http://amzn.to/29yA0FP

Author bio -
Karen is a multi-genre author who writes novels within many different genres; Historical Romance, Historical Crime, and modern Chick-Lit.

She can usually be found sat at the computer either writing a novel, writing down new ideas or on social media chatting!

Her love of reading, writing short stories, and her childhood imaginary world led quite naturally to writing novels. Encouraged to read by her bookworm father and grandmother and by winning a writing competition in just her first year of secondary school, she was spurred on, and she has been writing stories ever since. Her love of mystery and plot twists that she put into that first story continues today.

She has travelled to and lived in many countries, not just in her imagination, and has gained an insight into people’s characters that shines through in her work. Today, with her feet firmly back in the United Kingdom, she travels the world, the universe and in time through her imagination and her novels.

She is now the author of eight novels;
Charlotte – Pride & Prejudice Continues,
Rosings – Pride & Prejudice Continues book 2,
Relative Deceit – Death in the Family,
The Uncanny Life of Polly,
It’s a Man’s World – Lettie Jenkins Investigates,
Wickham – Pride & Prejudice Continues book 3,
The Spice Bride – The Emberton Brothers Series book 1.
The Suitable Bride – The Emberton Brothers Series book 2.

In 2012 she received a B.R.A.G Medallion ™ for her debut novel Charlotte – Pride & Prejudice Continues.

In 2013 she was once again honoured with a B.R.A.G Medallion ™ for Rosings – Pride & Prejudice Continues book 2.

In 2016 she received another prized B.R.A.G Medallion™ for Wickham -Pride & Prejudice Continues book 3.

For more information and to download a free book visit  www.karenaminadra.com



Thursday, July 14, 2016

GIVEAWAY!

I've decided to have a GIVEAWAY!!

Did that capture your attention?

For all of my readers who have read my short story, "Worth Fighting For", please leave a comment with your email and I'll send you an ebook copy of  "Take My Heart" which is book #1 of my Heroic Rogues series.




Lindsay Lennox, daughter of the governor of Turkey, worries she’ll never have the chance to meet a man and fall in love. Being the youngest of eight daughters, it is customary for all of her sisters to marry before she can be out in society and even meet a man. Her twenty-fourth birthday is coming quickly, and she’s running out of hope. Desperation takes hold and she disguises herself as a servant in order to slip through the palace gates. Disaster strikes when she meets a handsome sea captain and is mistakenly whisked across the sea to England. Lindsay knows her only hope of salvation will be to find her Whitton relatives in England and beg for help. Unfortunately, the devastating Captain Braxton proves more temptation than her lonely heart can resist.









Mercedes Maxwell is devastated when her twin sister is driven to take her own life by none other than her husband, William Braxton. Determined to make her brother-in-law pay for the injustice, Mercedes travels to Philadelphia to find him. She is shocked to find that William is unaware of his wife's death, and when Mercedes is mistaken for her sister, she decides to pose as her twin to glean some answers. Mercedes embarks on an adventure she never dreamed of in hopes of bringing justice to her sister. Instead of justice, Mercedes uncovers a plethora of secrets and mystery. As she works to unravel the mystery and discover who she can trust, Mercedes finds that all is not as it seems, and that William Braxton may be the one man she can trust.




Saturday, June 18, 2016

SNEAK PEEK - Prince Charming is a Liar

I can't believe I'm nearly finished with this story. I've only been working on it for sixteen days, and yet, the story is flowing perfectly, and my characters are having so much fun...well, as much fun as one can have in a murder mystery story. And, believe it or not, this book will start a new series - "Your Every Day Hero." I'm going to try really hard to have this baby available for purchase by the end of the month.


Because I'm so excited about this story, I thought I'd share an excerpt. Aren't I nice?


When Detective Brittany Russell goes undercover to expose a murderer, she had no idea what she was getting herself into—especially after meeting wealthy businessman, Austin Reeder…who happens to be a suspect. He is hiding something, and Brittany is determined to bring him down. Unfortunately, to catch the killer, she might have to break a few rules. The longer she talks with the charmer of women, the more she’s drawn to the gorgeous man. Thankfully, her partner, Kurt Hamill, is the one who has always kept her out of trouble. Loving him comes easy. But now she’s stuck in the middle of a love-triangle. Too bad she doesn’t know which Prince Charming is telling her the truth.

**unedited excerpt**

Detective Brittany Russell from Seattle’s west precinct, raised her fist to knock on the door, but when she placed it on the hard wood, the barrier pushed open. She held her breath and listened for signs of movement inside the penthouse apartment. Why would the door just open when her informant assured her Austin Reeder would be in a meeting all day? Apparently, her informant wasn’t very accurate.
She cleared her throat and called into the quiet apartment, “This is Detective Russell with Seattle Police Department. I need to ask you a few questions.”
Still, she heard nothing.
She opened her decorative, black, beaded purse that hung over her shoulder, and grabbed her phone, quickly dialing her partner. Hamill here. I’m busy, so leave a message.
She growled. Where was he? He was supposed to be here with her. “Kurt, get your butt over here, pronto. I’m at Austin Reeder’s suite, and I think there might be a break-in…or maybe even another murder scene. The door is cracked open, but I don’t hear anything inside. So get over here—” click. The phone disconnected. He really needed to make the phone message time a little longer than that.
“Mr. Reeder?” she called into the room. “Are you there? Are you hurt?”
Once again, silence greeted her.
Glancing at the elevator, she tried to decide what to do. She couldn’t go inside the suite until Kurt showed up. It was too dangerous to go in alone. But because her partner wasn’t answering his phone—
A heavy thud came from inside the penthouse suite. Her heart knocked against her ribs harder, and she quickly grasped her glock inside the purse. She still didn’t dare go inside. She was overdressed for this particular assignment, but when Captain Martinez told her to check out one of the suspects—insisting it was to be done now—who was Brittany to argue? Besides, when the captain wanted something immediately, he didn’t want to hear excuses. Trying to explain that Brittany was at her father’s, and soon-to-be stepmother’s, afternoon engagement party wouldn’t have hit the stubborn captain’s ears, anyway.
Her red, silk dress that showed too much of her legs, and the matching jacket she wore was definitely not the required uniform. Anybody would think she was a Charlie’s Angel wannabe in this getup. Unfortunately, she was here to do her job, no matter what she looked like. However, her precinct would get a hardy chuckle out of this. She wasn’t sure she was ready to laugh along with them. Not yet.
Another heavy thud came from inside. “Mr. Reeder? Can you hear me?”
When she didn’t hear him, instinct told her that she needed to go inside and check it out. Taking careful steps, she entered the room with her G42 weapon held high. She quickly swept her gaze around the room, but so far it appeared the occupant wasn’t at home.
She wasn’t surprised to see Mr. Reeder’s place decorated with expensive Chippendale chairs, antique furniture, and Persian rugs. The man was extremely wealthy. Then again, he did own three banks and this luxury hotel where his penthouse apartment was located.
As she took three more steps, her three-inch heels tapped on the floor of the entryway. Silently, she groaned. This was one of the reasons she’d wanted to go home and change, but Captain Martinez wouldn’t have it.
“Is anyone here?” she called out again but received no reply.
Although she really should turn and leave, her gut feeling told her to stay. She had heard heavy thuds. If Mr. Reeder wasn’t here, perhaps this was a break-in after all. That would certainly explain why the front door was cracked open.
Brittany should certainly search his penthouse suite. He was a suspect of a murder, after all.
The victim of the brutal murder was twenty-six year old, Hillary Banks. Brittany remembered the woman from high school. They weren’t in the same grade, but being a year younger, Brittany watched everyone and knew a lot about them, as well. Even back then, her detective instincts were taking control of her life.
Hillary had been a religious girl in high school, but once she graduated, she went to college at WSU in Pullman, and Brittany hadn’t heard what happened to the woman. Only two days ago, Hillary had been murdered in her family’s home right here in Seattle. Her parents were at work, and her younger brother was at school. Hillary had just gotten out of the tub and wrapped a robe around her body. Within moments of leaving the bathroom, the woman was smashed over the head with a large object, crushing her skull, and killing her instantly.
Suspiciously, the murder weapon was not found on the premises. No fingerprints were found on the crime scene, except for the family who lived there. The only thing the police had to use for leads was the list of men written on a piece of paper that was folded and found in Hillary’s robe.
Since that discovery, her team had been trying to locate the men on the list and interview them. Austin Reeder’s name was at the bottom of the list. Brittany and her partner, Kurt Hamill, had planned to visit Mr. Reeder tomorrow. Why Captain Martinez wanted this done immediately, Brittany wished she knew. And where was Kurt? As her partner, he should have been here to back her up.
She reached into her beaded purse again and pulled out her cell. Just like before, it went to his voicemail.
“Hamill, where are you?” she growled. “I know you received Martinez’s call, so why are you ignoring me?”
As she put the cell back in her purse, she seriously hoped he was on the way. Back up was most important in her line of work.
A bead of moisture trickled down her neck. Good grief! Why did it feel overly warm in here? It was early summer, so unless he was trying to cook food on his counter top, the temperature shouldn’t be this hot. Either that, or she’d found a hidden trap door into Satan’s lair.
She clutched her G42 and walked into the room further. The wealthy businessman had a glass case liquor bar, a large dining area, and living room. The three bookcases filled from edge to edge. It would seem he didn’t have a social life, and probably stayed at home reading. She’d had almost this many books when she was in college, and of course, she really didn’t have a social life, either.
She took another step, heading toward the hallway, but before reaching it, the floor creaked. She jerked to a stop and listened closer.
The door to one of the rooms opened, and out walked a man. He was tall, built like a quarterback, and wore a black bathrobe that reached his knees. His wet hair was slicked back on his head, and his face appeared freshly shaven. His attention was on his ipod as he scrolled through it. In his ears were earphones with a cord attached to the electronic device.
Inwardly, she groaned. No wonder he hadn’t heard her calling out, announcing herself! A good detective checks every room, Russell. But in her defense, she was about to when he walked out.
Panic hammered away in her chest, bringing a momentary shut-down to her brain…and her lungs, because at this moment as she stared at his bathrobe and the muscular bare legs, she couldn’t breathe. Her worst nightmare—for today, anyway—had come true. She’d been caught in the suspect’s apartment looking like a girl going to her first prom, and holding a G42, no less! What kind of bad horror flick was this?
The rhythm of her heart was as fast as a speeding train, and she knew it would derail and crash at any moment. If that happened, she’d be standing in the middle of his room, looking like a complete idiot in a fancy dress, with a gun.
What would he think when he saw her? Although she could imagine plenty, it worried her that she didn’t look like a police detective. Naturally, he’d think someone was here to end his life. She definitely didn’t want him thinking that.
Without another thought, she pushed the glock back in her beaded purse. Just then, the man raised his head and saw her. He stopped. His mouth hung open as his gaze moved over her. It didn’t bother her the way he scanned up and down her body like some kind of hungry coyote, but what concerned her was the way her mouth dried so quickly and cotton had taken up residence in her throat. This man was absolutely the most handsome man she’d ever laid eyes on—and she’d seen many in her twenty-five years. 


Watch book trailer-


Here's what book two will look like. Isn't it romantic?