A Halloween Tale

In keeping with the spooky atmosphere of the evening, I give you one of my short stories. I hope you enjoy it.

A Halloween Tale

by

Melanie Robertson-King

Brian and Emily climbed off their bicycles outside a large three-storey, red brick house in the west end of the city. A huge sign bearing a griffin and the words Bed and Breakfast hung from a post in the front yard. “Is this the place, Em?” he asked.

“I think so,” she replied, sliding her heavy rucksack off. She dug into its small outside pocket and pulled out the confirmation e-mail. Scanning it, she looked at the house and sign. “Yes. We’re here.”

Emily slung her pack over one shoulder. They walked their bikes to the side of the house and leaned them against the wall before going to the front door. Just as Emily reached out to ring the bell, the inside door opened. Startled, she jumped back.

“You must be Brian and Emily. I’ve been expecting you,” the grey-haired, bespectacled woman said, craning her neck to see past them. “How did you get here? I don’t see a car.”

“Bicycles,” Brian answered.

“Come in, you must be exhausted. Your room is this way.”

Holding hands, the young couple followed the proprietor to their room.

“Here you are,” she said, opening the door. “I serve breakfast from seven to nine o’clock. You’re on your own for lunches and suppers but there are a number of places to get a good meal further along into town.”

“Thank you, Mrs. … ” Brian began.

“Griffin. Miriam Griffin.”

Meanwhile, Emily had walked to the window and was looking out at the street below. “We passed a couple of cemeteries just west of here,” she commented, turning to face Brian and their hostess. “What can you tell us about them?”

The woman’s face suddenly went pale. “Y-you don’t want to be going to the cemetery on the south side of the road,” she stammered. “Rumour has it, it’s haunted.”

“We do. I think my ancestors are buried there and that’s why we came. We’re doing a bit of genealogical research and want to take some rubbings of the family stones and photograph them for the book we’re writing.”

“If you think you must go there, go early in the day so that you’re away from there well before dark.”

Emily dropped onto the bed and ran her hand over the white duvet. “Tell us more. This sounds intriguing.”

“Well, it was 200 years ago this Halloween that young Emily McPherson disappeared. My, but your name is Emily, too, isn’t it?”

“Yes. Please go on.”

Brian sat down on the bed and put his arm around Emily’s shoulders.

“The story goes that a young girl lost her fiancé – a soldier – in a tragic accident in the early part of the war of 1812. His ship was carrying a load of explosives and it blew up. Everyone on board was killed.”

“What does that have to do with the cemetery?” Emily prodded.

“Well, they say she visited his grave every day until she disappeared and was there as always when a terrible storm blew up and folks never saw hide nor hair of her again. But before she vanished, a blood curdling scream was heard over the thunder – and then nothing. Just silence. The storm cleared as quickly as it had formed and Emily was gone. Alarmed by the terrible scream that came from the direction of the cemetery, some men sprang into action. When they reached the grave where the poor, bereft young woman spent most of her time, she was gone. No sign of a struggle. No sign that she had been dragged off – just the bluish glow that surrounded the headstone. From that night on, no one had ever set foot in that corner of the cemetery. You see why it’s imperative that you’re out of there before dark.”

“What a tragic, yet romantic story. We must find that grave, Brian,” Emily said, her eyes sparkling.

“We will but tomorrow after breakfast. Today, we scope out the town.” Brian stood and helped Emily up from the bed. “Thank you for sharing that, Mrs. Griffin. Em, here, well she’s a sucker for a cemetery and a love story,” he said squeezing her shoulders.

***

Out on the street, Emily wrapped her arms around Brian’s waist. “I wish we didn’t have to wait until tomorrow.”

“Come on, Em. If anything untoward is going to happen in that cemetery, it will be tomorrow on the actual anniversary. Not today.”

“I suppose you’re right,” she muttered.

Brian took her hand and they walked towards the town’s centre, stopping first at the local museum where the genealogical society’s archives were housed.

Emily scanned the floor to ceiling shelves lined with books, binders, maps and the society’s own publications. If the McPherson girl’s disappearance were such a big deal, then there had to be something written about it. She found a binder of newspaper clippings dating back to the beginning of 1812, sat down at one of the tables and flipped through it. Emily found the article about the explosion and couldn’t believe how much detail had been included on the crews’ injuries. Still, she took the page from the binder and made a photocopy. A few pages later, she found the other piece including a photo of the alleged haunted grave. halloweenWhile she looked through newspaper clippings, Brian busied himself with the old maps. When Emily photocopied the second article, two older women came down the stairs. They spoke in hushed tones about the anniversary of the McPherson girl’s disappearance.
Having the information she wanted, Emily and Brian left the museum and went to a nearby pub for a late lunch. Over a pint and burger, they shared their findings.

“According to the one article, Emily got engaged on June 1st and her fiancé was killed on June 2nd,” she said, taking a sip of beer.

The longer they stayed in the pub, the more uncomfortable Emily became. She felt as if she were being compared to the long-since missing girl. “Let’s get out of here,” she said, “these people are creeping me out.”

“If you want,” Brian replied, picking up his pint and draining the last of it.

After leaving the pub, they wandered in and out of some of the more eclectic stores on the main street. In a second-hand shop, Emily bought a cherry amber pendant. While she fastened the clasp, another young couple entered the shop, talking about the cemetery. They say that grave is haunted. Emily overheard. Yeah, I know. Even in the daylight people don’t go near it.

When Brian and Emily returned to the Bed and Breakfast, she emptied the contents of her rucksack onto the bed ensuring she had everything she needed for the next day. Camera, extra batteries, blank newsprint, and charcoal sticks in a baggie. She added the photocopies to the essentials and repacked her bag.

***

At breakfast the following morning, Mrs. Griffin begged them to reconsider visiting the cemetery. “It’s just all of the talk about how the poor girl vanished and this being the 200th anniversary,” she moaned, wringing her hands.

“We’re leaving as soon as we’re finished breakfast so will be back long before it gets dark,” Brian reassured her. “If it makes you feel better, we’ll stop here before we go to supper.”
Emily slipped on her leather riding gloves and heaved her rucksack onto her back. “Don’t worry. We’ll be back late this afternoon.” Pausing by the front door, Emily turned back. “Bye, Mrs Griffin. We’ll see you later,” she called cheerily as they exited.

It took about five minutes to reach the cemetery’s entrance. After dismounting, they walked their bikes along the narrow road and parked them against a tree near the river. Emily took her camera out and shot a few wide angle shots of the area for comparison later on.
Since they hadn’t gotten away from the Bed and Breakfast as early as they would have liked, Emily decided they should split up in order to cover twice as much territory. She gave Brian some of the sheets of newsprint and a couple of the charcoal crayons. He had a small point and shoot camera so could photograph the stones as well as take rubbings.

A row of white stones, beginning with two substantial ones followed by smaller ones caught Emily’s eye and she walked to them. It appeared to be an entire family – parents, and their ten children. She carefully photographed each one planning on looking into the family at a later date. Emily glanced over her shoulder and saw that Brian had worked his way out to an older section near the highway.

Walking along the narrow road, Emily spotted a flight of stone steps leading to an area sheltered by trees. As she climbed them, she noticed a small headstone next to a bathtub-like sarcophagus. Then she looked up onto the rock about four feet higher than the ground where she stood. A solitary monument occupied the space. Emily pulled the newspaper articles out of her rucksack. This headstone matched the one in the photocopy. The thick canopy of oak, pine, and maple trees kept the area in darkness even at his time of day. A gust of wind rustled through the tree tops overhead and a leaf fluttered to the ground, landing on the carpet of brightly coloured autumn leaves. What was once a stately oak tree stood guard over the site; its trunk and remaining branch denuded of bark and pocked with woodpecker holes.

HalloweenUp close, the headstone didn’t look menacing. Emily walked around it, feeling its roughness under her fingertips, and read the inscription which told the sad tale of a young man who lost his life tragically in a ship’s explosion. She photographed the inscription.

“Brian, come quick,” Emily yelled. She turned and waved her arms to get his attention. “I think I’ve found the haunted monument!”

He looked up and waved back but made no attempt to approach.

When he didn’t respond a second time to her calls, she scampered off the rock, pausing to take more photos then ran to him, stumbling over the uneven ground. Breathless when she reached Brian, Emily found it difficult to tell him she had found the headstone of the young soldier.

“You’ll remember where it was, Em? I’d like to get some rubbings of the stones in this section. Let me finish up here and we’ll head over,” Brian answered. He pulled Emily close and kissed her forehead.

Another stone with a worn but interesting inscription soon held their interest and they became engrossed in it – Emily with her camera and Brian with the newsprint and charcoal. They were so preoccupied that they didn’t notice the skies darkening.

HalloweenNot wanting to leave without a final visit to the haunted grave, Emily ran off towards it, Brian following close behind. It was dusk when they reached the location. As they drew nearer, the hairs on the back of Emily’s neck stood on end.

Suddenly, the sky turned pitch black. Not even the glow of the city’s streetlights could be seen. Emily couldn’t see Brian, yet they were only arms length apart. A brilliant flash of lightning and a simultaneous, deafening clap of thunder frightened Emily and she screamed. The pungent smell of ozone filled the air. The headstone now bathed in that ominous bluish glow, made her entire body tingle.

***

The next day, once it was realized they had failed to come back to the Bed and Breakfast the night before, a search party went to the cemetery to look for them. Just as it was when Emily McPherson disappeared all those years ago, there were no signs of a struggle, no signs of the young couple at all. But at the base of the stone, one of the searchers found a pendant – the same one the young woman was last seen wearing when she and her partner left for the cemetery. On the back was an inscription which read, ‘to my Emily June 1st, 1812. All my love BW’. The searchers looked at each other incredulously, then at the headstone. BW – Brian Wolfe. Were these two young people the ghosts of Emily and Brian?

Deputy’s Bride by Anita Philmar #FallingIntoLove Exchange

Deputy’s Bride by Anita Philmar – COVER REVEAL

This book contains adult content – not suitable for readers under 18 or those of a delicate nature.
Anita1

Hi, everyone,

I’m so excited to tell you about the next book in my Naked Bluff, Texas series.

Remember back in book one “In Deep Water,” we meet Texas Deputy Bo Kildare.

Well, he’s back in a book of his own. This story is a little longer than the first two books in the series.

What can I say, lawmen can be so demanding.

Release date is Oct. 31.

Now available for Pre-order at Amazon -

TG-DBRiDE-300x450

See book in Kindle Store

Deputy’s Bride is an erotic, historical western that is a stand-alone story with a satisfying HEA.

Texas Deputy Bo Kildare is looking for a special kind of lady, one that is willing to meet his special requirements. No sweet little virgin will do, he wants a woman who knows how to please a man, perhaps two.

Recently widowed, Sarah Elizabeth Foster-LaFever has lived in the public eye for the last few years and wants out. Her reputation as Micah LaFever’s wife has left her penniless and without many viable options until Bo comes calling.

Now, she believes she found the perfect man until her past rears its ugly head.

Can murder and corrupt dealings keep these two lovers from making it to the alter?

Excerpt:

“God, when is he going to get here,” Sarah muttered and strolled to the freestanding, oval mirror in the corner.

Critically, she examined her silk dressing gown’s high collar. Unable to breathe with every button running down the front of garment secured, she’d only connected a few at her waist. The dark red robe highlighted her creamy complexion and light blonde hair.

Through the open at the top, she viewed the curve of her breasts and the tight fit of her corset. The cream color almost matched her skin, creating the illusion that she was nude underneath.

Tugging aside her wide skirt, she examined the long line of her legs. She’d opted to omit her bloomers. One, because with the fire raging in the fireplace, she was hot. Two, because she thought Mr. Kildare should get a glimpse of what he’d receive if he decided to make her his wife.

Granted from what Madeline had told Sarah, the man wanted more than a dutiful wife. He sounded as if he were more like her deceased husband. Micah enjoyed playing extreme bedroom games.

She frowned, thinking how much she’d missed sex in the last year. Not because she hadn’t had the chance to indulge. More because she hadn’t wanted to fall victim to the same power hungry crowd that Micah had belonged. She’d done enough for those bastards and she had no intentions of doing…

Knuckles hammered against her door.

Brushing a nervous hand over her hair, she offered up a silent prayer that everything would work out before she rushed back to the doorway. After a quick breathe, she asked, “Who is it?”

“Bo Kildare, I was sent by Madeline Cowden.”

A masculine tone rang from the other side.

His voice alone sent shivers racing over her skin. She flipped back the lock and inched open the door. “Yes, she said you might be stopping by.”

About the author:

Deputy's BrideAnita Philmar likes to create stories that push the limit. A writer by day and a dreamer by night she wants her readers to see the world in a new way.

Influenced by sci-fi programs, she likes to develop places where anything can happen and where erotic moments come to life in a great read.

Naughty or Nice?

Read her books and decide.

You can follow Anita at these links:

Website:  www.anitaphilmar.com
Blog:  http://anitaphilmar.blogspot.com
Twitter: @anitaphilmar
Facebook: www.facebook.com/anita.philmar
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/anitaphilmar”
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Anita-Philmar/e/B002BMBE8C
Email: anitaphilmar@yahoo.com

 

It’s Tell a Story Day

It’s “Tell A Story Day”!

Well, in Scotland and England it is. And since my heart belongs to Scotland, and I have family and friends in both countries, need I say more?

Okay, so in keeping with the day, here’s my story…

tell a story

Blurb:

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages; powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

Now isn’t that a great story? I think so, but then I’m biased.

~~~~~~~~~~

You can buy A Shadow from the Past in print or ebook from:

Publisher:  http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/robertson-king.php
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Past-Melanie-Robertson-King-ebook/dp/B00IGLS692/
Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-shadow-in-the-past-melanie-robertson-king/1112348992?ean=9780983801887
Kobo:  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/a-shadow-in-the-past-1

You can follow me here at Celtic Connexions or at:

Website: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melanie-Robertson-King/221018701298979
Twitter Account: @RobertsoKing https://twitter.com/RobertsoKing
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6543072.Melanie_Robertson_King

 

PROMISES TO KEEP by Patricia Sands

Promises to KeepBlurb:

After falling in love in the south of France, Katherine’s future seemed full of promise. Christmas in Provence would be magic. Until the note appeared … and a secret threatened to destroy everything …

~~~~~~~~~~

Synopsis:

Falling in love with the south of France was no surprise to Katherine. Choosing to walk away from her past and start over was completely unexpected. A new country, a new lover, and the promise of a bright future beginning in mid-life … who knew?

Now there were the exciting dreams of restoring the property on the Cap, of beginning a new career, of experiencing the traditions of Christmas in Provence, of falling even more deeply in love with the man who inspired these hopes.

It was all so perfect, until it wasn’t. The anonymous note left on the windshield was just the beginning.

Katherine had embraced new possibilities in life and given her heart only to discover something was being kept from her. Something terrible from her lover’s past. Something that could destroy everything.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, had become her mantra. Would it be enough?

 ~~~~~~~~~~

My review of Promises to Keep:

☆☆☆☆☆ After reading the first book in the Love in Provence series, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one. I had to find out more about Katherine and Philippe.

Patricia didn’t disappoint. She drew me into the story immediately and kept me hooked until the very end. The vivid descriptions of the locations were breathtaking. Except for Paris, I’ve never been to France yet, I could see every street, house and shop as if I was there.

I can’t wait for the third book in this series! Well done, Patricia. Another winner.

 ~~~~~~~~~~

Please tell us a little about your books and favorite locales.

Promises to KeepMy stories are full of hope and enticing locations. I’m a travel junkie and a photographer so settings are an important part of my novels. Some readers say my stories are “the best trip I took without leaving home.” Sharing my love of travel through settings makes writing all the more rewarding for me!

The Bridge Club is very Canadian with settings ranging from the peaceful Eastern Townships of Quebec to cottage country in Muskoka to spectacular Whistler, British Columbia.

The Promise of Provence is set in Toronto, Paris, the countryside of Provence, and the French Riviera. A 55-year-old woman is suddenly on her own and steps out of her comfort zone in hopes of rediscovering her joie de vivre on a home exchange in Provence. It’s a coming of age in mid-life … at a time when some people feel they might be too old to change. There’s that message again: it’s never too late to start something new.

The Promise of Provence, the first book in the Love in Provence series, is a must-read for anyone who loves the south of France. I have been traveling there since I first fell in love with the country as a young backpacker in 1967 and this novel is partly my love letter to France.

Since my readers let me know they love stories set in France and I spend part of each year in France (often through home exchange, by the way), it will be a pleasure to continue writing about that part of the world.

In fact, I had overwhelming response from readers asking for a sequel, so my third novel and the next book in the Love in Provence series is Promises to Keep, which is set on the Côte d’Azur.

~~~~~~~~~~

You can buy Promises to Keep at:

amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
iTunes Books
Kobo

You can follow Patricia on:

Her website: http://patriciasandsauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.sands.9
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPatriciaSands?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/patricia_sands

 

A Guy and A Girl by Victoria Adams #FallingIntoLove Exchange

Victoria Adams’ latest A Guy and A Girl and #FallinginLove

Tagline

Lies, deceits and secrets – not a good way to begin a relationship.

A Guy and A Girl

Blurb

After an ugly past forced Hunter Connolly to escape to Europe, the talented hockey player is back in North America and determined to land a position with a professional team. But he can’t hide from his past forever, especially when his beautiful classmate, Chelsea, forces him to reexamine his life. Soon, hockey is not his first priority anymore.

Chelsea Henderson is a bright co-ed working towards her dream of being a professional dancer. She forms a unique friendship with one of her father’s newest recruits and would love nothing more than to take it to the next level. However, there’s just one small problem. He doesn’t know she’s his coach’s daughter.

Amid the deceptions, danger lurks closer than they could ever imagine. Will fate contrive to rip the young lovers apart? Or will Hunter and Chelsea have their shot at love?

Excerpt

“Come on in.” Hunter called from his spot sprawled on the floor in front of his sofa.

Chelsea walked into the living room. “Hey.”

He nodded, grabbed the remote and muted the television.

Chelsea spun a kitchen chair around and sat on it. “Okay, the silence’s killing me. I’ll start with some lame conversation and you just leap in. How was the bio midterm?”

“Passed it. Should write all my exams with a hangover.”

She tapped her fingernail on her thigh. “Guess that was the end of the conversation starters.”

Hunter levelled a glare at her. “What do you want, Chelsea?”

“I want you to sound less angry. I want to talk. I’d like to try and explain. First off, I’m so sorry the cops hauled you in.”

“No.”

“No?” Her voice squeaked.

“Todd was stalking you. The cops had no idea if it was him or me. And from the questions asked, I’d say some pretty weird things’d been happening.”

She shuddered. “I kept thinking I was being paranoid or something. But that’s not why I’m here.”

Hunter slammed a fist on the carpet. “I damn near slept with the coach’s daughter! Why the hell didn’t you tell me?”

Chelsea watched the tiredness in his eyes shift to rage. “Because… because….”

“I wouldn’t date you if I knew who you were.”

“Yea and that’s not fair.” She sat up taller and matched her gaze with his. “It’s not my fault your coach is my dad.”

Hunter closed his eyes and sighed. “I don’t know what to do, Chelsea. My head hurts too damn much to think.”

“Damn it, Hunter, I really like you. I don’t want to lose you as a friend. I don’t want to lose us.”

“I don’t know if there’s going to be an us anymore.” He rubbed his temples.

Chelsea sat behind him on the sofa, slipped her hands under his and began massaging his head.

Hunter pushed her hands away. Although it hurt him to say it, he said, “Go home, Chels. I need time to think.”

He refused to look at her. He couldn’t. He knew he’d give in, wrap his arms around her and beg her to stay.

Latest release – exclusively at – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L2GRD1U

A Guy and A Girl

A Bit about Victoria Adams

I live in Ontario, Canada with my husband and pets. Daughter’s grown up and is now teaching. I like to garden, cook and study Raqs Sharqi (Egyptian belly dance). I’ve been writing since I was little. Being an only child, long car rides were filled with making up stories in my head about the people I saw out the car window. I wrote my first full manuscript in 10th grade. When my daughter was younger, I made up stories that she suggested. I’d say – Once upon a time there was a…. She’d shout an answer – chicken! And the story went from there. Great creativity exercise as it turns out. Now, my writing style has taken a split to contemporary romance for adults and contemporary romance for new adults.

Circles Trilogy is my first series.

Dancing in Circleshttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B009PFNPMG

Circles Divided http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BBKNDAC

Circles Interlocked - Ebook link – http://www.amazon.com/Circles-Interlocked-ebook/dp/B005S8LI46

Print – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/circles-interlocked-victoria-adams/1113052929?ean=9781475268928

(Books 1 and 2 will be out in paperback in the not too distant future.)

Where to find Victoria

Blog – Pages of Romance – http://victoriaadams.blogspot.com

FaceBook – http://www.facebook.com/victoriaadams.romancewriter

Facebook Author Page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Adams/244325918978641

FaceBook – Circles Trilogy Page – http://www.facebook.com/CirclesTrilogy?ref=hl

Twitter – http://twitter.com/_VictoriaAdams

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/101309354959026073738/posts

Wattpad – http://www.wattpad.com/user/VictoriaAdams

I’d love to hear from my fans. It helps to connect with what my readers what to read.

Lady Elinor’s Escape by Linda McLaughlin #FallingIntoLove Exchange

Lady Elinor’s Escape
by Linda McLaughlin
Sweet Regency Romance 

Blurb:

Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him

There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a rescuer of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with his secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party

Lady Elinor's Escape

Interview with Stephen Chaplin of Lady Elinor’s Escape by Linda McLaughlin

I recently visited barrister Stephen Chaplin, Esquire at his offices in London’s Lincoln’s Inn to interview him.

LM: Mr. Chaplin, thank you so much for agreeing to meet with me. Can you tell me a bit about yourself? For instance, are you originally from the London area?

SC: No, my family is from Lincolnshire. I grew up on a small estate with my elder brother and my younger sister, Olivia.

LM: Where did you attend university?

SC: Cambridge, of course. The men of my family have done so for several generations. Then I came to Lincoln’s Inn to read for the law.

LM: Did you always want to be a barrister?

SC:Not as a child, of course. Boys always have dreams of being brave warriors or finding one’s fortune at sea. But Father said I wasn’t cut out for the military–not obedient enough–though he thought I would do well in Parliament, since I seemed to enjoy arguing.

LM: You do think for yourself. What do you like most about the legal profession?

SC: I find it most gratifying when the law and justice align, which doesn’t always occur. Many of our laws are unnecessarily harsh, and I’d like to do something about that one day. In the meantime, I do what I can to help those in need of protection.

LM: What are your reading tastes?

SC: The Times, of course; all the London newspapers, for that matter. I rarely have time to read for pleasure, unlike my sister, Olivia, who devours every Gothic novel she can get her hands on, no matter how ridiculous. She even has hopes of publishing her own romantic scribblings one day. I’ve told her in no uncertain terms that she may not use my life experiences as fodder for her novel, or she will be very sorry!

LM: Hmm. What is the oddest thing that’s ever happened to you?

SC, with a smile: That would have to be the day I met the mysterious Mrs. Brown, a.k.a. Lady Elinor Ashworth, now Mrs. Chaplin. I was in the West Country, having a peaceful breakfast when a madwoman in widow’s weeks came bursting through the door, demanding immediate passage to London. She appeared to be in need, so naturally I volunteered to assist, not knowing she would disrupt my life, destroy my peace of mind and make me fall madly in love with her.

~~~~~~~~~~

If you want to know exactly how Lady Elinor turned Mr. Chaplin’s life upside down, the answers are in Lady Elinor’s Escape.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00CHSNEII

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/lady-elinors-escape/id645217449

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lady-elinors-escape-linda-mclaughlin/1100559263

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/lady-elinor-s-escape

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/312406

~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

The Horse and Cart Inn bustled with business when Stephen Chaplin entered the common room. The scent of frying bacon soon had his stomach growling. A fire burned brightly in the smoke-blackened fireplace, dispelling the morning chill.

He had no sooner taken a seat at a small table than a young blonde woman with a rounded belly and a beaming smile on her freckled face approached him. “Good morning, sir, did ye sleep well?”

“That I did, Nancy. Are you glad to be home?”

“Yes, sir.” Her pale blue eyes stared at him earnestly. “I can’t be thanking ye enough fer what ye done for me. I don’t know how I’d have managed, with a babe on the way and all.”

“Yes, well, the next time a charming rogue comes along, perhaps you’ll think twice before going off with him.”

“Oh, I’ve learned me lesson.” A blush suffused her face. “Now, will ye be havin’ tea or coffee with yer breakfast?”

“Coffee, please, and toast.”

Nancy fisted her hands on her hips. “Now that isn’t enough breakfast for the long trip to London. I’ll bring ye some of our fine Wiltshire bacon, too.”

Stephen laughed. Ever since he’d arrived, one Wainwright or another had been pressing food and drink on him. “Very well, Nancy. Toast and bacon.”

She turned and walked away, weaving between the crowded tables. She seemed like a different girl than the half-starved waif his housekeeper had taken in two months ago. He frowned, remembering her tale of being lured to London by a smooth-talking stranger only to be abandoned as soon as she had conceived. What kind of cad deserted a woman in a delicate condition? The only thing worse was a man who used his fists on a female, like that blackguard Northam.

Stephen closed his mind to that line of thought. Deborah had been gone for six years now, and if not forgotten, at least the pain of her death had faded. At her funeral Stephen had vowed never again to walk away from a woman in need, which was how he found himself at an inn in Wiltshire during the Season.

When Nancy returned with his breakfast, he applied himself to the large slab of bacon and toast dripping with butter, and then washed it all down with strong black coffee.

Rescuing damsels in distress was hungry work.

~~~~~~~~~~

Author bio:

Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it’s only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O’Farrell.

You can find her online at:

Website: http://lindalyndi.com

Blog: http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindaMcLaughlinAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/lindamclaughlin

Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont

 

 

Stormy by Tina Gayle #FallingIntoLove Exchange

Stormy

Now available for preorder on Amazon goes live Oct. 15

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N8797R4

Blurb –

A widower, a divorcee, co-workers, lovers…a future together…marriage?

Consoling each other for years over each other’s misfortune, Karen and Daniel turn a friendship into a weekend of unbridled red-hot passion. The heat between them leads to thoughts of a future together. That is…

Until children, an ex-husband, an unexpected heart-attack, a conniving trophy-wife, guilt, and personal choices come between them. Will the heat of their passion let them break from the past and move into the future?

Hot read for mature adults – a second chance at love.

Excerpt:

“Daniel, if you’re in the bathroom come out this minute.”

The entrance opened, and he stood in the doorway.

Problem, he wore only a towel.

Awe, shit…she didn’t need to see his bare chest covered in crisp dark hair, the sculptured muscles of his arms and shoulders, developed pecs, and thick thighs.

Damn, how was she supposed to resist such temptation?

Desire added with the anxiety she’d already experienced on her drive here, lit her anger. “Why the hell didn’t you answer your phone? I’ve been calling and texting you for the last two hours.”

A confused frown passed over his handsome face. Instead of responding, he stepped to the bedside table. He lifted his cell phone and clicked a few buttons.

Unable to contain her impatience, Karen stalked forward.

He glanced up when she grew closer and showed her the phone. “I don’t understand it. I don’t show receiving any messages or calls. The signals must have gotten lost because of the storm.”

She’d suspected as much. Still, she refused to let him off the hook because he could’ve contacted her before he left town. “You should’ve called me. But no…”

Having endured his inability to communicate for months now, she stabbed her finger through the air at him. “You never call. You always expect me to phone you. Well, I’ve had it.”

The distance closed between them and she stood inches from him. Her fingertip tapped his chest. Static electricity sparked between them and her fist unfolded. She stumbled backward.

“Whoa.” Daniel caught her around the waist with one hand and held her close. His phone landed on the bed before he circled his other arm around her. His strong grip held her steady and didn’t allow her to step away. “You’re right. I guess I’m just use to…”

“Don’t say it. I’ve heard it too many times. Sharon might have resented the interruptions but I’m not her. I’m never in any type of meeting that you could possibly disrupt.” Karen spread her hands over his chest and worked to maintain a smidgen of distance. Nevertheless with him so near, his warmth surrounding her in a seductive cocoon, she had to fight the urge to melt against him.

“Yes, but if I called you whenever I wanted we’d never get off the phone.” The husky tone of his voice pulled her gaze upward.

Author Bio

Tina Gayle grew up a dreamer and loves escaping into a good romantic book.

She is currently working on two different series the Executive Wives’ Club and the Family Tree series both combine elements of women fiction with the passion of romance. Read the 1st chapter of any of her books on her website.

Home - www.tinagayle.net

Blog - www.tinagayle.blogspot.com

Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle

Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1641826.Tina_Gayle

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle

 

THE BULLETPROOF GHOST by Jake dh #FallingIntoLove Exchange

The Bulletproof Ghost

Blurb

Kyle Richard is constantly picked on by a group of bullies. One day, they took it too far and killed the young boy. Kyle awakens as a cybernetic killing machine created by a mysterious man only known as William. Kyle makes new alliances and reforges connections with old friends as the action packed climax comes to a fever pitch. Will Kyle obey his creator’s will or forge his own destiny?

Excerpt

Four saw Kyle on the gym floor bleeding to death in Irene’s arms. She was screaming, “No,no no nononono,” Kyle was coughing up blood. The other younger, uninjured Kyle was still at Four’s side staring at him with angry tears rolling down his face.

Four turned away. He never had been disturbed by anything before, but this… “No… make it disappear, Kyle.”

“Why? Isn’t this what you wanted?!” his eyes were filled with tears of rage, “This is how I died! Bleeding and scared. I didn’t understand,” Kyle dropped to his knees and screamed in rage, pounding the floor. The gym shattered when his fist hit the linoleum, “Why did I have to die…?” the white nothingness Four inhabited at the beginning remained,

Author Bio

Jake dh has written for Examiner for years, but now he delves into the world of fiction. He just released his first book, The BulletProof Ghost: Prototypes. This is the first book of many in this riveting new scifi series.

Jake lives with his wife Sarah and baby son, Xander in Evansville, IN. He enjoys gaming, genre movies, anime and comics. He also roller blades when he gets the chance.

Purchase Links

Amazon Kindle - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MK30EC4#
Amazon Softback (physical) - http://www.amazon.com/The-BulletProof-Ghost-Prototypes-Invincible/dp/1495448118/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/470168

Author Links

Website – www.thebulletproofghost.com
Author Shout - http://authorshout.com/author-shout-bookshelf/jake-d-h/
Author Central - http://www.amazon.com/Jake-d-h/e/B00N8LTYNM/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Blogger - http://thebproofblog.blogspot.com/

FAIRY TALE IN NEW YORK by Nicky Wells ~ Cover Reveal

Fairy Tale in New York

Fairy Tale in New York Paperback

Blurb:

When rock star Jude gets stranded in New York with his family on Christmas Eve, he has no idea that he is setting in motion a chain of events that will turn their Christmas into the most magical one yet…

No good deed goes unpunished, or so it seems to Jude and Carrie on the morning of the twenty-fourth of December. The previous day, they gave up their London-bound flights to someone in crisis. And now, a spectacular whiteout is grounding all planes, and Jude, Carrie, and baby Maya are stuck far from home.

Tired, hungry, and just a little panicked, Jude loads his family into a cab and returns to their hotel. But there’s no room at the inn, and not even a platinum credit card will make a difference. Snow is falling heavily, and the family is facing a very bleak night indeed.

How do you celebrate Christmas with no place to stay, no food, and no presents? Join Jude, Carrie, Maya and a cast of colourful characters in this fairy tale story of Yuletide in New York.

Excerpt:

‘I can’t believe it’s all over. Where did three weeks go?’

Carrie smiled at Jude while shifting their baby daughter, Maya, onto her other hip. The check-in queue at JFK airport had ground to a complete standstill, and Carrie was beginning to struggle with her six-month-old’s weight. Unperturbed, Maya gurgled happily and snuggled her head onto Carrie’s shoulder.

‘She’s half asleep again,’ Jude commented and stroked his daughter’s rosy cheeks. He planted a quick kiss on Carrie’s forehead before responding to her question.

‘It’s crazy, isn’t it? Three weeks on tour all over the US, and suddenly it’s done. Seventeen gigs in twenty-one days. My God, I’m not half knackered.’

‘It was worth it, though. You were a runaway success.’ Carrie grinned with proprietorial pride at her rock star boyfriend. ‘They loved you.’

Jude chuckled. ‘They did, too, didn’t they? Gosh, San Francisco was a riot. I thought they’d take the stage down.’

‘I’ve never seen so much underwear flying your way. You’re gonna have to watch it, mate, or your girlfriend might get the wrong idea,’ Carrie teased.

‘Oh no, she won’t. She knows I love her.’

Jude looked Carrie deep in the eyes. He hoped she knew how much he loved her. One of these days, he ought to make an honest woman out of her. He had planned to, of course. He even had a ring. But what with Carrie having fallen pregnant, she hadn’t wanted to get married before the baby was born. ‘I don’t want to waddle down the aisle,’ she had joked when they had talked about it almost a year ago now. ‘I want to float, serenely.’

Add the band’s recording deal and the UK and European tours into the mix of their crazy life, and there hadn’t been the right time. There hadn’t been any time. They had just about managed to furnish a nursery for Maya, but that had been it on the family front.

New Year’s Eve, Jude resolved silently. I’ll propose to her then, and we’ll marry in the summer.

He snapped to abruptly when he realised Carrie was still talking.

‘I think Dan was a little put out at not getting quite so much attention himself after you gave up the stage,’ she was saying.

Dan was the mentor, manager, and record label owner behind Jude’s band, The Blood Roses, and also the lead singer of his own band, Tuscq. He was now on his way to Toronto for a special Christmas Eve show.

‘Dan was fine. He’s thrilled that it’s going so well for us. And I am looking forward to a lovely quiet Christmas at home, just me and my girls.’

Jude wrapped Carrie and the now sleeping Maya into a hug. The Blood Roses weren’t opening for Tuscq for the Toronto gig and had therefore gone their separate ways. Jude and Carrie elected to go back to London straightaway, but the rest of the band had added a short trip to Las Vegas to their itinerary.

‘Home. Ha. If we ever get there,’ Carrie grumbled. She yawned widely. It was only five-thirty a.m. Their flight to London Heathrow was due to leave in a little over two hours, but the queue hadn’t advanced for at least fifteen minutes. ‘Here, can you hold Maya a minute? She’s getting rather heavy.’

Jude took the baby out of Carrie’s arms and rocked her contentedly. He hadn’t expected to become so utterly bewitched by a toothless, hairless, and demanding little being.

Quite suddenly, the distant babble of voices that had been permeating his consciousness rose to a shouted exchange. Jude turned towards the front of the queue, curious to see what the commotion might be.

‘I really, really need to get on this flight,’ a harassed-looking man in an expensive suit reiterated. He wiped his brow with a monogrammed white handkerchief and tapped his fingers on the counter impatiently. Jude couldn’t help but eavesdrop along with the rest of the terminal.

‘Look,’ the man continued, adopting a more reasonable tone. ‘I know I’m not booked on this flight. But tomorrow is too late for me. I’m willing to pay anything at all to get a seat, any class. First class, cattle class, I really don’t care. I need to get home.’

My Review:

Homeless for Christmas. Of all times of the year, it has to be the worst. Jude, Carrie and baby Maya find themselves stranded in New York City over Christmas when a snow storm closes JFK Airport.

I’ve enjoyed all of Nicky’s books and this one is no exception. Having never been to New York City and only seen it in movies, her narrative brings the city to life under the cover of magical, Christmas snow.  Nicky’s writing is strong, and makes you want to keep turning the pages to find out what happens to this family.

Heartwarming~even the most miserly curmudgeon will enjoy this Christmas novella.

A 5-star read!

Portrait6About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

Ultimate rock chick author Nicky Wells writes romance with rock stars—because there’s no better romantic hero than a golden-voiced bad boy with a secret soft heart and a magical stage presence!

Nicky’s books offer glitzy, glamorous romance with rock stars—imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill! If you’ve ever had a crush on any kind of celebrity, you’ll connect with Nicky’s heroes and their leading ladies.

Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. Nicky loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s a wife, mother, occasional knitter, and regular contributor at Siren 107.3 FM with her own monthly show. Rock on!

Nicky’s books: Sophie’s Turn | Sophie’s Run | Sophie’s Encore | Spirits of Christmas | Fallen for Rock

Good news! Fairy Tale in New York is now available for pre-order via Amazon Kindle.

Find it in the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00O98EMRG/  and the US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O98EMRG/ and, of course, in all other Kindle stores. One-Click today, and the novella will magically appear on your Kindle on its official launch day of 10 November 2014.

Join Nicky:  Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Romantic Novelists’ Association |Sapphire Star Publishing | Amazon | Goodreads| Pinterest

Did you know? There’s a single out now by Nicky’s fictional rock band Tuscq come to life! “Love Me Better” is available for download from Amazon, iTunes and many other places.

 

 

The Saxon Bride by Ashley York #FallingIntoLove Exchange

The Saxon Bride buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Saxon-Bride-Norman-Conquest-ebook/dp/B00M08LCJI/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1411140570

Blurb:  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.

When the new King 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 resists marriage and wants only to prove himself worthy of William’s trust but when rewarded by King William with the gift of an earldom and a Saxon bride, he balks at marriage, driven by the guilt of knowing her father died by his sword. However, John’s reluctance is soon replaced by a deep 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?

Bio:  Always an avid romance reader herself, Ashley York enjoys bringing history to life through vibrant and meaningful characters, writing historical romance novels full of passion and intrigue set in the 11th and 12th century British Isles. Her newest release, The Saxon Bride, is the first in the Norman Conquest series.

When she is not writing, talking about writing, or thinking about writing, Ashley relaxes with visits to the local pubs listening to live Celtic tunes. She lives in southern New England with her husband and 3 very spoiled animals.

Links:

www.ashleyyorkauthor.com

email: ashleyyorkauthor@gmail.com

Twitter: @ashley1066york

The Saxon Bride

EXCERPT:

A Norman. I have been given to a Norman to wife.

Rowena Godwinson, daughter of the late Earl of Essex and the last living member of that powerful Saxon family, stood before her reflection in the polished brass. The wedding gown passed down through three generations of Godwin women before her, draped softly across the shoulders, skimming down her waist and falling over the tips of her deerskin slippers. She blinked back with vacant eyes.

Fear tripped up her spine and her stomach clenched. She had lived among the victors for nigh on five years now. Their disdain for her people was quite obvious. Now the man who had usurped her own uncle as rightful king at the Battle of Hastings had ordered her to marry. With both parents dead, she was his ward.

Rowena clenched her teeth and turned to the window. She glimpsed the slate roof of the chapel beyond the trees where the nuptials would take place this very day. Her family’s chapel. Countless celebrations with uncles, close friends, and more cousins than she could name, had taken place there. Those were happy years.

“My lady?”

Rowena looked at the drawn face of her handmaiden, Joan. The blonde sheen of her hair, long gone with the stress of the circumstances and occupation they were all forced to live under.

“Yes?”

Joan gulped. “Do you think he will be kind to you? Tonight, I mean?”

Rowena’s breath caught in her throat. The marriage bed. How would her husband treat her? With kindness? As her husband, he gained much by this union. A lot of responsibility, yes, but also power. Some men loved power.

She tipped her chin up.

“I believe he will be kind as I will give him no reason not to be.”

Joan’s eyes rounded. Rowena smiled tightly.

“Fear not, Joan. I will be amicable.”

“My lady, would that I could impart upon you my own knowledge, but I have none. Your mother’s death before she prepared you leaves you in a bad way.”

“Perhaps he will be a gentle man. John.” His name was all she knew.

“Yes, my lady. He is one of William’s most trusted knights.”

“A warrior.” Rowena’s tone was flat and for an instant she saw again her father. Cold and dead. Blood all around. She forced the memory aside. “Then he will be a good protector.”

“Yes, but of whom?”

 

 

My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King

Copyright © Melanie Robertson-King 2008-2012 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form, or by any means electronic, mechanical or photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Should you wish to use material from this site, please e-mail melanie@melanierobertson-king.com for permission.