Thursday, November 17, 2011

Looking for Reviewers!

I'm going to try something new here... I'm looking for people to read one of my stories (or all) and give me a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads. I'll give you the story for FREE as long as you can read it on a PDF file (Adobe). If you are interested, please leave me a comment with your name and email and which book you'd prefer to review. THANKS!!

Here are the stories I need reviews for:

(Colonial Romance)

Switching roles and the pursuit of freedom come together in the hunt to discover who can be trusted and who is really the traitor during the Colonial times. Mercedes Maxwell’s sister’s last wish was for Mercedes to find evidence against Kat’s husband, William Braxton, and have him hung as a traitor to the crown. Mercedes isn’t na├»ve when it comes to capturing traitors, because her own deceased husband had once been an agent for the King when they lived in England.

When she meets William Braxton for the first time, all is not as it seems. Portraying her twin, Mercedes knows this is the only way to get close enough to William to discover his secrets. What she finds along the way are little surprises she hadn’t counted on, especially when she begins to give her heart to a man who may be a spy against the crown.

(Colonial Romance)
Marcus Thorne, a notorious pirate who has taken land and become a highwayman, vows to uncover the secrets of the Royal Navy and exact revenge against the man who stole from him.  Instead, he captures the enemy’s daughter and keeps her as his prisoner to satisfy the debt.  Isabelle Stanhope sees her captor, this mysterious masked man, as a savior.  She’d much rather be in his company than participate in the marriage arranged by her father. 

Can keeping her prisoner set things right for Marcus, or is he about to suffer another theft—his heart?

 (Christian Historical Romance)
Joshua Grayson is not happy about his new sister-in-law’s visit and he uses the term ‘sister-in-law’ loosely as Careen Kennedy Grayson was a complete stranger. Joshua’s brother, Matthew, left the family ranch in the dead of night to run away and wed a woman he’d never met. The fact Matthew was killed moments after walking out of the church with his new bride merely adds insult to injury. Joshua struggles with resentment and trying not to blame Careen for his brother’s death. But it is difficult not to harbor ill feelings when he knows she’s keeping secrets. Despite his suspicions, Joshua slowly grows attracted to Careen and even starts to like her. Unfortunately, Joshua knows all too well the folly of loving a woman he cannot trust.

Careen Kennedy Grayson was married and widowed within minutes of the other. When her obsessive cousin, Luther, arrives minutes after Matthew’s death, she knows deep down he’s the one who killed Matthew. Luther is arrested and held for trial while Careen takes her husband’s body back to his family. Soon after arriving at the loving Grayson ranch, Careen learns of her mother-in-law’s heart condition. Unwilling to cause undue stress, Careen decides to wait until after Luther’s trial to speak the full truth of their son’s death. Soon Careen grows embedded in family and ranch life, getting closer to the Grayson’s with each passing day. She finds herself unnaturally drawn to Joshua and she knows their budding attraction will only complicate matters… Especially when the family discovers her cousin did indeed kill Matthew.

(Regency Romance)
Lord Trey Worthington isn’t about to give his heart to a woman. He does not want a marriage like his parents. But when his mother brings in a childhood acquaintance into the home to sponsor into society, Trey has to get Miss Faraday trained properly. The more he gets to know Judith, the more he yearns for something he doesn’t dare reach for. Judith is after a faithful husband—something Trey has been convinced most of his life he’ll never become.

Judith Faraday is only after one thing—to marry her Naval Officer and enjoy a life full of love. She’s doubtful her dream will ever come true while living as the ward to the dowager duchess. However, the longer Judith is with the dowager’s son, Trey, an attraction blossoms. Judith now wonders if God has different plans for her life, because Trey doesn’t believe in the sanctity of marriage . . . the very thing Judith cannot do without.

Friday, November 11, 2011

New book cover for "Secrets After Dark"

I'm so excited to show you my new book cover!  Can you hear me screaming with happiness over here? lol  I'm also going to give you a teasing unedited excerpt. (wink)

Thornton Manor is a place of secrets, from the ghost haunting the East Wing, to the young women who have simply vanished from the estate. Hannah Forester visits Thornton to uncover the mystery of her father’s death, but will its secrets be the death of her, too?

A knock on her bedroom door made Hannah jump. “Who is it?”
Hannah released a pent up breath. “Come in.”
Her maid bustled in. “I’m here to get you ready for bed.”
Eager to crawl between the blankets and snuggle against the pillows, Hannah hurriedly undressed. While Francine brushed Hannah’s hair, the maid babbled about the friends she’d met in the Thornton’s staff.
“Although they are very kind, I fear they are keeping secrets,” the maid said.
Hannah yawned. “What secrets, do you think?”
            “Well, there was no mention of the East Wing ghost, but instead they talked about the cursed white wolf that roams the land.”
Arching an eyebrow, Hannah met her maid’s gaze in the vanity mirror. “A white wolf? Are you certain they didn’t mean wild dogs?”
          “No dog, Miss Hannah. They definitely said white wolf—and said he was cursed.”
“Hmm, I wonder if the wolf and the ghost share tea every evening. Do they meet on the cursed island, as well?”
Francine snickered. “Your sarcasm is not becoming, Miss Hannah.”
Hannah laughed. “Forgive me. I’m tired.”
“I believe the servants,” Francine continued. “They say every full moon the white wolf comes out of hiding and feeds upon the innocent.”
Hannah scrunched her forehead. “Feeds upon the innocent? What does that mean? And how does the wolf know if a person is innocent or not? Does he ask them before he kills and eats them?”
“It’s rumored that the wolf only kills virgin women.”
“Once again, Francine. How does the wolf know they’re virgins?” Hannah rubbed her forehead. “Oh, why must you believe these stories? Haven’t you stopped to think the others are telling you this to frighten you?”
Oui.” Francine stopped the brush in mid-stroke and leaned closer to Hannah’s ear. “Why, and for what purpose? Why would they wish to scare us away?”
“Why, indeed.” Hannah tapped her finger on her chin. “I think they’re creating these stories to cover the truth.”
“Which is?”
“I don’t know, but I will find out.” 
Hannah shrugged. “That’s a good question, one I will ponder tomorrow.” She exhaled slowly. “Because tonight I plan to rest.”
Francine placed the brush on the vanity table and turned toward the door. “I shall be in my room if you need me.”
“Good night, Francine. Please lock your door.” Hannah tried not to grin. “With the roaming wolf who seduces virgins and musical ghost, I’m quite certain you’ll need as much protection as you can get.”
Francine shook her head and hurried out of the room. Hannah chuckled as she pulled back the blankets and slipped between the sheets. After switching off the lamp, she thumped her fist into the pillow and curled on her side. What she needed was a couple hours sleep if she intended to search through the house tonight. Although she didn’t believe these ridiculous ghost stories, there was still something not quite right in the manor.
Just as her body relaxed, the floor creaked. She snapped her eyes open to cloaking darkness.
She pulled the sheet to her neck. Soft noises shuffled in the room against the far wall. Her heart slammed against her ribs and her breathing became ragged.
Straining, she cocked her head toward the noise, but heard nothing more. She rubbed her eyes and tightened the sheet around her before curling back under the covers. Fear threatened to close her throat. She squeezed her eyes shut, concentrating on her surroundings. She should really pull on her wrapper and investigate, but she didn’t dare. Not yet.
She rolled in bed and peered toward the window. The moonlight peeked through the slit in the curtains, but did little to brighten the room.
So intent on listening, her forehead pounded in a quick rhythm. She breathed a deep sigh, rotated her shoulders and once more closed her eyes. Old homes settled and groaned, and certainly the manor was no different.
The floor creaked again and she stiffened.
Heavy breathing floated through the air. She focused on the dark shadows playing marionette with her sanity. Someone was in her room. But how? Her gaze darted to the closed door. Nobody had entered or she would have heard.
As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, a tall shadow appeared at the foot of her bed. She managed to discern someone dressed in a cape with a hood pulled low to hide their identity. A man, she assumed, with wide shoulders. Darkness covered his face.
Was this the ghost the housekeeper, Mrs. White had spoken of?
Hannah wanted to scream, but fear kept her mute. Should she lie still and pray he’d disappear?
The stranger’s breathing grew heavier, as did her own. The figure didn’t move. Building the courage she needed to scream, she opened her mouth, but the caped figure held up his hand, his finger pointing at her.
"You're in danger here. You must leave."


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Let the countdown begin!

Forgive me, but I can't wait until the release of my next Walnut Springs book - "Secrets After Dark". This is my first historical paranormal romance, and I'm eager to see how well it's accepted by readers. So far, all my stories have had a light, fluffy kind of theme to them with humor. Not "Secrets After Dark". This one has a Gothic theme, and it's a little...eerie and very serious.

So today I'm going to tease a little and share an unedited excerpt of my story. This will be the first of many teasers before my book is released. (grins)


** Hannah Forester is determined to find her father’s killer, but is shocked to discover the one man who can help her is not completely human. Forced to work with the mysterious Morgan Thornton to break the curse that turns him into a wolf whenever he desires a woman, Hannah stumbles across dangerous secrets surrounding the manor and Morgan’s family. In search for the truth, Hannah finds not only her father’s killer, but also a hidden strength and the only man she could ever give her heart to.  

Morgan Thornton is determined to protect Hannah from his family secrets, but he can’t stop wanting to hold her and become a man again, instead of the beast the witch’s curse turned him into. Now the witch wants Hannah because of what she knows, and Morgan will do anything to save her, even if it means destroying the witch and condemning himself to live with the curse forever.**

North Devon, England 1880
No turning back now.
Hannah Forester gripped the plush edge of the coach seat, and stared anxiously through the window as the landscape whisked past. The village of Exmoor brought shivers to her as it was, but when she spotted Thornton Manor looming ominously ahead, chills rushed up her spine as the whispered secrets of this place whirled through her mind.
Hannah’s every instinct screamed to turn tail and run, but her heart told her the answers to her father’s murder lay here.
She glanced across the coach at her French maid, Francine. The younger woman sat ramrod straight with her lips pulled tight, her gaze aimed out the window. As Thornton Manor came more fully into view the color slowly drained from the maid’s face.
“We’re almost there.” Hannah managed a tight smile, twisting her hands in her lap, a nervous habit she’d never managed to break.
Francine took an unsteady breath. “Are you certain this is what you want, Mademoiselle?” A slight tremor shook her. “After all, Thornton Manor is haunted.”
Nervously Hannah laughed. “Don’t tell me you believe all those silly ghost stories.”
Oui. They are true.”
Hannah arched an eyebrow, suppressing her own trepidations, and taking hold of logic. “Do you have firsthand knowledge?”
“No, but—”
With a flick of the wrist, Hannah brushed the maid’s concerns away. “I think the stories are told to keep people away.”
Francine nodded. “It’s working rather well, if you ask me. There aren’t many women who volunteer to stay there.”
“I have no other choice.” Hannah grumbled as helplessness filled her. “According to my father’s journals, Morgan Thornton was the last man to visit him. I need Mr. Thornton’s help if I’m to discover the murderer’s identity.”
“I understand, Mademoiselle, but there has to be another way.” Francine peeked out the window and shivered.
“When I met Mrs. Thornton in the marketplace the other day,” Hannah continued, “and she invited me to the manor to meet her brother-in-law, Jonathan, I knew this was the only way I could get inside to ask questions.”
“Doesn’t Mademoiselle Thornton think you’re coming to court Mr. Jonathan?”
“Yes, and she must continue to believe that.” Hannah adjusted the cloak over her traveling gown. “My father was a close friend with the oldest brother, Morgan. I’ve tried to contact him, but the letters I’ve sent over the past year have gone unanswered. The Thornton’s are purposely keeping secrets. I feel it. Getting inside the manor is the only way to find what I’m searching for.”
“Then I pray you find what you need quickly. I cannot bear the thought of staying longer than a week in such a haun—” Francine flicked her gaze toward Hannah, “dreary place.”
The vehicle slowed as it neared the house. Hannah leaned against the seat and in silence, and collected her wits. If only she felt as brave as the front she presented her maid. Hannah bunched her fingers in the folds of her velvet traveling dress and nibbled her lower lip. She must do this to discover the truth. She prayed she’d be able to accomplish her goal.
The vehicle jerked to stop and her uncle’s footman, Jeffries, opened the door. The older servant helped her down, and as soon as her feet touched the pebbled ground, she glanced up at the towering Thornton Manor. Trepidation clutched her throat.
“I’m not afraid,” she whispered, taking her first step toward the dark, foreboding structure. “And I absolutely do not believe in ghosts.”
For one fleeting moment, the shuffling of the maid’s footsteps fell into rhythm with Hannah’s. Her nerves eased slightly knowing she wasn’t in this alone. Francine would help her through thick and thin. Maid or no, the other woman was Hannah’s friend. Jeffries waddled closely behind the women.
The morning air settled around them still as death. Autumn leaves of red and brown littered the walkway and crunched beneath Hannah’s feet. North Devon’s chilly air nipped at her cheeks and she pulled the bonnet ties more tightly around her ears. The scent of burning fields hung thick as area landowners prepared for another planting season.
The place where she would find answers lay straight ahead, creeping closer with each step. As she walked from beneath the shade of the trees into the sunlight, the estate rose above her in a crescendo of magnitude. She stopped and sucked in her breath.
The red-bricked manor rose with breathtaking splendor into the sky. The distinctive turrets and pinnacles masterfully structured. The manor looked out over acres of parklands, gardens, lakes and woods. Francine’s gasp overrode Hannah’s. Two large rock columns cornered the house, and at least three sections sprawled from the structure. Only a few curtains hung open at the many windows, but most were hidden behind closed draperies. Her curiosity piqued. What secrets did the draperies conceal?
She stood still for several minutes, marveling at the glory before her. Yet a strange eeriness settled around the place. Darkness lurked in the East Wing as if a silent storm cloud resided.
As she studied each window on the left side, her interest grew. The curtains of one window moved. She squinted and stepped closer but was too far away to see anything or anyone.
Slowly she continued toward the manse, gooseflesh rising on her arms with each step. The nape of her neck tingled and Hannah would swear she could feel someone’s eyes upon her.
The bitter cold seeped through her cloak as she moved into the house’s shadow, and the loss of the sun added to the eerie sensations assailing her body. Her heartbeat quickened, and her palms grew moist in the folds of her dress.