From my crew to yours, I wish you all a blessed day of fellowship, family, and friendship.
Wishing you following seas,
This year I’ve experienced a lot of ups and downs, but one of the things I am most proud of is writing my first Victorian Christmas book, A Sprig of Mistletoe. And today is the book’s birthday. Huzzah!!!
This book has everything I love in it: Christmas; orphans; inspiration from A Christmas Carol and The Man Who Invented Christmas; Charles Dickens; a heroine who wants to change the world, a Scrooge-like hero; and the Victorian Industrial Age. As part of the Miracle Express Series, it also includes steam engines. Trains were a huge part of my childhood. My grandfather longed to be a train conductor, but his mother advised him against the profession, preferring him to study music. ‘Grandy’ honored his mother’s wishes, received his doctorate in music, and taught organ and piano at East Texas State University. During his free time, however, he studied trains and their engines, planning adventures and vacations around them. I suspect in his lifetime he rode every steam train still in existence.
And so, me hearties, A Sprig of Mistletoe comes from the heart, and I hope readers will read this story and come away with the spirit of Christmas.
She’s unconventional . . .
Lady Catherine “Kitty” Egerton leads a quiet life in Hertfordshire riding horses, reading extensively to improve her mind, and entertaining one disappointing suitor after another. She desires to marry, but the men her father introduces her to detest a headstrong woman. Kitty wants to help the poor, and Christmas provides ample opportunities when women cannot join organizations that fund these efforts. When she’s invited to London to visit Field Lane Ragged School, it’s the opportunity she’s been waiting for. But she’s only allowed to go if she agrees to spy on her brother and his elusive friend—a key investor in the formation of a new Poor Law Union, a man who’s refused to visit their home in Christmases past. Kitty agrees because she has an ulterior motive: her dearest friend is in love with her brother, and the railway journey to London allows her time to play matchmaker.
He is not who he says he is . . .
Bartholomew “Bart” Fernsby inherited his wealth from a kind man who liberated him from the workhouse in Holborn. Sent to upper-crust schools, he received every consideration: lodging, food, clean clothes, except what he desired most—his mother’s love. But to whom much is given, more is required. Haunted by his parents’ deaths and a scandalous past, he’s determined to change other children’s fates by beating back the crushing blow of poverty taking London by storm. Putting his money to good use, he becomes one of the founding members of a Poor Law Union, which seeks to educate the poorest districts in the city, and enlists an old friend’s help to raise funds for Field Lane Ragged School. Another friend, Charles Dickens, has written A Christmas Carol, hoping the book will draw sympathy for the city’s poor and downtrodden. Bart purchases multiple copies for the Ragged Schools, but there’s only one problem—he hates Christmas.
Can Kitty’s love and a sprig of mistletoe mend Bart’s broken heart?
Happy Birthday, A Sprig of Mistletoe!!!
#Holiday Romance, alpha male, Author, blogger, Cathy Skendrovich, Christmas, faithful, guest, hero, historical, historical fiction, Historical romance, Holidays, love story, New Release, pirate, pirates, release day, rich, romance, Sexy, willing
Welcome aboard, Author Cathy Skendrovich. We’re super jazzed you’ve come to share your new release with us today. Holidays and pirates! What’s not to love, eh? And you’re bringin’ ’em both. Huzzah!!!
Lady Cathy: Ahoy, and thank you for having me aboard, Lady Katherine!
For those of you who don’t know me, I write historical and contemporary romance. Today I’ll be talking about one of my favorite characters, pirate captain Andre Dubois, and giving you five reasons why you’ll fall in love with him in my Christmas novella entitled The Pirate Bride’s Holiday Masquerade, coming from Literary Wanderlust publishers on Oct. 1st. You first meet him in my novel The Pirate’s Bride, when he is forced to marry Sophie Bellard, a spitfire with whom he eventually falls in love. He’s an extreme Alpha male of whom readers, and Sophie, can’t seem to get enough. Read on for a few reasons you might want him for yourself. Continue reading
#Holiday Romance, #Recipe Exchange, Alpha Lover, Brenda Sparks, Christmas Holidays, demons, Festive Holiday Punch, Holidays, paranormal, paranormal romance, recipes, romance, Russia, tourists, vampire, vampires, Vodka
Christmas is almost here! ARR you busy preparing your holiday feast? If so, don’t forget the punch! As part of Author Tina Gayle‘s #Holiday #Recipe Exchange, Paranormal Romance Author Brenda Sparks is sharing her FAVorite and Festive Holiday Punch. So don’t delay, me hearties! Check out the recipe we’re sharing today. Woot!
Take it away, Lady Brenda! 😉
Festive Holiday Punch
” Make a day in advance to allow the flavors to meld.”
Starved for blood, vampire, Nicholai Peterhof is greatly relieved when two tourists, in Russia for the Christmas holiday, decide to grace his restaurant, but one sip from the pretty brunette and his world is forever turned upside down. Juliette Staint-John is everything he could have asked for in a heartmate; pretty, smart, built with curves in all the right places…and totally unavailable.
Juliette doesn’t want anything to do with the handsome, young-looking Nicholai. As if their differences aren’t enough, the acute grief over the loss of loved ones keeps her heart guarded. He may be her fantasy, but that’s all he can ever be.
To get past Juliette’s defenses and in order to keep her safe, Nicholai must prove himself worthy of her love and trust. Unbeknownst to the couple, her personal demons are not the only ones threatening their relationship. Hiding virtually unseen by the vampires, Demon Royalty plots to destroy not only the couple but the entire vampire breed. Luckily, Nicholai will do anything for Juliette—even if it means sacrificing himself.
~ Excerpt ~
Julie’s gaze swept the landscape. The moon’s rays glittered on the snowy bows. The birch trees stood with their trunks painted white to match their limbs. Thick pine branches held fast under the weight of the new fallen snow, making them appear as if they wore white blankets made of virginal cotton about each limb. Sparkling mounds cluttered the ground between the trees, hiding the forest’s treasures beneath.
Save the sound of the hooves pounding on the ground, they journeyed through the silent night to a clearing in the trees. Nicholai clicked to his stallion, and with a flick of the reins, the steed increased into a rolling canter up a steep incline. Julie’s thighs pushed against the sides of the horse as she tried to match the new rhythm.
Nicholai’s breath warmed her ear when he spoke. “Not too much further. It’s right up ahead.”
“What’s up ahead?” Just as the words left Julie’s mouth, they crested over the ridge.
The frozen valley below took her breath away. A glaciate waterfall stood still as a statue against the rocky terrain. The cascading water, stopped as if by magic, reflected the moon’s soft rays and cast tiny prisms on the snow below.
Julie’s breath hitched in her throat. She took in the serene beauty of the land as they cruised at a slow trot. Debris rolled under Kedar’s hoofs. It created a hollow rattle in the night, barely audible to Juliette.
When they reached the valley, Nicholai pulled up the stallion and handed the reins to Julie. She patted the horse’s steaming neck as her lover dismounted with a fluid grace. He turned, grabbed Kedar’s reins, then reached up for Julie. Her thick coat seemed to melt as his strong hands clasped around her waist. She put her hands on his shoulders, and the bulge of muscle under his coat played under her fingers when he helped her down. A thrill went through her body.
Her breath frosted the air in a white plume. The lovers held each other, his hands about her waist, hers resting on his shoulders. Quiet as the moon above, they stared deeply into each other’s eyes. Nicholai captured her lips in a gentle caress that welcomed her to this special place.
Born in Virginia, Brenda Sparks now resides in the Sunshine State. Balancing her professional commitment to the local school district with her writing is challenging at times, but writing suspenseful paranormal romances is a passion that won’t be denied. Her idea of a perfect day is one spent in front of a computer with a hot cup of coffee, her fingers flying over the keys to send her characters off on their latest adventure. Brenda loves to connect with readers. Please visit her online or stop by her website to say hi.
Ports of Call:
Thank you for sharing your Festive Holiday Punch recipe with us, Lady Brenda! Happy Holidays! 😉
Wishing you following winds,
#Holiday Romance, #Recipe Exchange, Alina K. Field, Christmas, Christmas Holidays, Christmas novella, Golden Cups, Historical romance, Holidays, Marquess, Midwife, novella, recipes, regency, Regency Romance, romance, Tina Gayle
Ahoy, me hearties! Author Alina K. Field is here to share one of her FAVorite holiday recipes. So gather ’round a cask or two. There be gold in them cups!
Take it away, Lady Alina!
My sister-in-law gave me this recipe many years ago. With all the butter, nuts, and cream cheese, it’s rich and yummy, a holiday favorite at my house!
2 cups flour
¼ tsp salt
1 cup margarine or butter
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese
Cream together margarine and cheese. Add flour and salt. Mix and then chill dough a couple of hours. Once chilled, divide dough into 4 equal parts, then divide each part into 12 balls and place in miniature muffin tins, pressing around sides and bottom.
December is a joyous time and Author Tina Gayle‘s recipe exchange proves once again sharing recipes is a good thing. Got a hankering for cookies? Author M. S. Kaye is packing a cookie broadside today. So sit back and prep your taste buds, me hearties. Lady M.S.’s recipe is sure to satisfy your sugar cravings.
Take it away, Lady M.S.! Huzzah!!!
It’s Black Friday! Did you enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing, or special feast, along with all the fixin’s? Were you able to spend quality time with loved ones? Or are you joining millions of others in the quest for the holy grail of Christmas gifts by taking advantage of Black Friday sales?
I love turkey, especially leftovers. In order to get plenty I can use in the weeks to come, I usually buy a 20 lb. turkey so that I can make sandwiches and have plenty of meat left for Turkey Pot Pie or Turkey soup. (The freezer is my best friend, especially when I’m on deadline.) Huzzah!!!
No matter how you celebrated Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to share an article I wrote titled Squanto for my Hidden Truth, Historical Treasure feature in the Heart of Dixie’s Heart Monitor. The very first immigrants to America would never have survived their first winter in America without the help of one man, Squanto. Thank goodness, he came along when he did!
“One hundred and two English colonists first landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620. Newly separated from the Church of England, these brave men and women, known today as ‘puritans’, had previously fled to Holland where they lived in the Dutch settlement of Leiden before sailing to the new world. Financed independently of the Plymouth Company, they could not know their lives would drastically change when they reached what is now Providence Harbor and formed an acquaintance with an Indian who surprisingly spoke English. Through the Plymouth Company, which dispatched Captains George Weymouth, Sir Ferdinando Gorges and John Smith on explorations off the coasts of Penobscot, Maine and Massachusetts, a man named Tisquantum, also known as Squanto, had been groomed for such a feat. His fascinating life journey had placed him in the Pilgrim’s path precisely when they needed him most.
Known as Tisquantum, Squantum, and Squanto, Squanto hailed from the Wampanoag community of Patuxet, a village which held two thousand tribal members and stood exactly where the pilgrims would later erect their homes.”
Squanto is packed with FANtastic information about two cultures working together for the greater good. The rest of the article can be found on my website links page here. Squanto led a fascinating life. (Just look for the article titled Squanto.)
If you are an author or are simply fascinated by historical dining elegance in the Georgian, Regency, or Victorian eras, I hope you’ll check out the post I wrote for Embracing Romance this week titled Thanksgiving Elegance. (There are recipe links to historical dining in the eras listed above, as well as some Downton Abbey links.)
Thanksgiving and Black Friday mark the beginning of the holiday season, a time packed with seasonal fun and celebrations galore. A perfect remedy to the negativity we’ve faced the past few weeks.
What is the one December tradition sure to make you happy?
Wishing you following winds!
A Writers Life, authors, Ava Stone, Beppie Harrison, Buried Under Romance, Catherine Lynn, Doing Some Reading, EE. Burke, Elizabeth Johns, giveaway, Hildie McQueen, Holiday, Holidays, Janet Nitsick, Katherine Bone, Kathryn Albright, Kristy McCaffrey, Lily Graison, My Book Addiction and More, RJ Writes, Robyn Echols, Romancing the Book, Rose Gordon, Ruth Ann Nordin, Squanto, Sue London, Thanksgiving, The Book Review, Turkey Trot Blog Hop, Two Rings for Christmas, Zina Abbot
Welcome to the Turkey Trot Blog Hop, sponsored by Author Rose Gordon and over twenty authors and bloggers, through November 22-24!
Entries end at 11:59 p.m. Central on Nov. 24th so don’t delay!
Read on for instructions on how to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway and each author’s individual giveaways.
Note: My giveaway is listed at the bottom of this post.
Thanksgiving is an American celebration, a day to enjoy the year’s bountiful harvest. I can personally say that I’ve been mightily blessed this year. I’m uber thankful for my rogue, my children and their families, our health, and the FABulous opportunities I achieved in the publishing world. The last book in my Nelson’s Tea Series and the first two books in my Regent’s Revenge Series came out this year. Huzzah! My oldest daughter remarried and we inherited two more grandchildren (AND our first granddaughter!). We got to visit our oldest son and his family in Okinawa, Japan, after two long years. And my rogue and I got to travel to Jamaica for the very first time.
My heart is full!
book giveaway, Captain Jack Sparrow, Christmas, cookies, Cooking, Darlene, free, gift, giveaway, historial, Historical romance, Holidays, parrots, Patricia Preston, pirates, pralines, recipe, To Save a Lady
The month of December is all about sharin’ gifts, recipes, and gatherin’ with family and friends. (Sharin’ is carin’, eh?) Even better, there’s nothing like parlayin’ on exciting topics here at Rogues, Rebels & Rakes. What better way to get to know an author then to learn their favorite recipes? So without further ado, Jack and I would like to welcome back Author Patricia Preston.
(I met Lady Patricia in my local RWA Chapter many years ago and I’m extremely happy and proud to call her my friend.)
“Aye, she’s tastes better than a Tortuga tart.” Jack winks.
“Jack! Lady Patricia isn’t here to talk about those kinds of tarts.”
Aileen Fish, Ava Stone, celebration, Christmas, Christmas Holidays, Claudia Dain, Deb Marlowe, dukes, Facebook, Facebook party, giveaways, Holidays, Jane Charles, Jerrica Knight-Catania, Lily George, lords, Marie Higgins, match-making, Rose Gordon, treasure
The powerful Duke of Danby is at it again, me hearties! 1816 was the year without a summer, but what a Christmas it will be when His Grace finally turns his matchmaking machinations to distant branches of the Whitton family tree. Yo Ho!!!
Join Authors Ava Stone, Lily George, Rose Gordon, Aileen Fish, Claudia Dain, Jane Charles, Deb Marlowe, Marie Higgins, and Jerrica Knight-Catania for a holiday celebration that you’ll never forget at The Duke’s Christmas Party on Facebook, November 3, 2015, from 4 p.m.-9:40 p.m. (EST)!
I’ll be sailin’ in with me own brand of swashbucklin’ shenanigans and Christmas treasure at 8:20 p.m. (EST)!
“Will there be rum, luv?”
“We never leave home without it, Jack.” Saucy wink.
Happy with Katherine’s answer, Jack saunters over. “Then don’t hold back. Pray, tell me more.”
To celebrate their upcoming release of the new Duke of Danby’s Christmas Collections, the authors of this wonderful set are offering some super fun giveaways in time for the holidays!!! Yeeaauuss! That’s spectaculARR treasure to them what knows!
Each time a pre-order goal is reached, they will randomly draw the name of a prize winner. All you have to do to be eligible to win is enter your name and email it to: http://goo.gl/forms/ZcXQnlkHSG (No purchase necessary!)
I hope to see you at The Duke’s Christmas Party on Facebook. And I wish you the best of luck in this FABulous treasure hunt!
The Dale Amidei Weblog
This Jane Austen blog brings Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th C. historical details related to this topic.
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