Category Archives: Past Book Tours

Historical Romance: Madame’s Double Life by Keegan Lace @KeeganLace


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madames double life

Genre: Historical Romance

Lady Victoria was born into high society and high standards in the the English country side. The dictates of Victorian society do not provide a good fit for a 17 year old free spirit. Lady Victoria is as wild as the lavender growing on the white cliffs of Dover. She is a dreamer when her life is thrown into turmoil with the arranged marriage to the much older Lord Hawthorne.

He is the Duke of Wellington, a womanizer looking for his next conquest. Lady Victoria is just the type of woman the Duke can love and leave.

Will Lady Victoria give in to the dashing Duke of Wellington and risk causing a scandal to her husband’s name? Or will the Duke of Wellington discover love for the first time.

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Excerpt:

Chapter One:

It was late morning and Victoria was deep in slumber beneath piles of linen sheets and goose down puffs. Heavy emerald velvet covered enormous windows to shield out the early spring sunshine. The sun was a tease at this time of year. Boots were beginning to dry from the winter rains and the lawn was ready to explode with fresh sprouts. The staff at the Markham Estate was busy preparing the equipment for spring sports. The moment before the bloom, the deluge reared its head again. This Saturday was a bonus day. A peak at the summer that all of Dover would welcome.

“Good morning my Lady. There you are love. Come. It is time to reveal yourself. Tea, before we prepare for repast with the man and your brother and sisters? Your Mother is half-way to London by now. She will be with her sister at Persimmon house. She is already preparing for June social season. Your father is about and out on horse. You will want to be ready upon his return.”

Lady Victoria was in her seventeenth year. She was hopeful. Her world was getting larger as time passed and she had dreams of finding love like all girls of her age. She was sandwiched between an older brother and two younger sisters. Peter was 19, his military plans delayed due to sickness. Elaine was the baby at 15 and Mary was 16 years of age. Her mother was quick to have her children but for unknown reasons she stopped producing after Elaine. It left The Countess with time on her hands at an early age.

Countess Tompkins travelled to London in the springtime to assist her sister. Lady Sterling was preparing Persimmon House for the social season beginning in June. Peter met an appropriate girl in London the year prior and the marriage between the two was to be officially finalized. They had shared a lengthy courtship. The Honorable Jane Marley was a worthy match for Peter. She was 18 years old and guaranteed a healthy virgin. Peter would eventually inherit the entire Markham Estate and Jane was well suited to fill it with children. Victoria noticed a change come over her cherished brother with the mention of Jane. A delicate love born of mutual respect had blossomed between them. It gave Victoria hope that a similar love would fill her world someday.

“Lady Victoria. I sense the daydream in which you are lost. Time does not allow for it at this moment. Rush, you father will be waiting.”

The Earl was a brutish sort to most who only briefly made his acquaintance. Victoria knew her father was a solitary man who loved his wife and children very much. He was actually a humorous gentleman, especially among his girls who were a constant source of amusement. He was like a cat in ways. Lady Victoria’s father retained a sense of mystery and aloofness, but when treated in distinct manner by those close to him he was embraceable.

“I will be ready Esther. I want to roam the grounds in comfort today. Presentable yes, but something which allows for free movement.”

Esther pulled out a light pink cotton dress with sky blue flowers and a velvet sash. It was high in the neck. She would go uncorseted. Her coltish figure did not require such impediments when not necessitated by custom. Victoria ran wild when allowed. With the Countess away in London and Father reading in his study, she would be free to do so. Esther had been with Lady Victoria since infancy. She was her maid, but so much more. Esther was a mother figure to Victoria, as her mother was busy with the younger girls. She shared and kept all of Victoria’s privacies as she bolted through adolescence into young womanhood. Esther knew that matters between Peter and Jane were to be finalized but she was also aware that Victoria’s betrothment was keen on her mother’s mind. There was certainly something at hand. Powerless, she hoped for the best.

Victoria emerged from the washroom ready to be dressed for the day. Her alabaster skin showed a natural peach glow. Her sapphire eyes showed a good night’s rest and a lack of years. She sat at the vanity to have her gossamer hair pulled back sensibly.

“My Lady, your golden locks look as though you have just emerged from a gale. I dare not imagine your dreams as you toss and turn so much. Your night cap is always discarded next to your bed by morning.” Esther tamed her hair with a pearl handled hairbrush.

“Esther. Please, gentle. My tender scalp.” Victoria fussed until Esther laid down the paddle. She stepped into her dress and fussed a bit more. A quick glance in the head to toe mirror tilted to welcome her presence and led to a nod. “Perfect as always Esther. I love you.”

Victoria ran down the long corridor, which led to the imposing mahogany staircase. Portraits of people who Victoria had never known frowned upon her through ornate frames. She vowed never to sit for such a depiction. What could cause such ominous scowls? She thought for a moment about slithering down the black bannister. It was something she did often as a young girl, but her 5’5” delicate frame was not suited for such folly.

“Good morning father.” Victoria gently bussed her father before taking her seat at the dining table. She sunk into the ivory upholstered chair, which had become accustomed to her form. Her place was designated between her two sisters who were first to arrive. Peter sat alone across the table and father took the head. Mother’s chair remained vacant due to her travels.

“Good Morning Victoria. You are late to arrive which has become the custom. Peter is about to lead prayer. You are just in time.”

Victoria smiled at young Elaine who was rarely at a loss for words. Elaine was at times a plaything to her older siblings but even Elaine herself knew it was heartfelt affection. She enjoyed the ribbing, as it gave her relevance among the Tompkins children.

“God bless all present and Dear Mother, may she be safe in her travels. Please make the food sustaining and palatable. Amen.”

“Clever Peter. You always have a way of getting to the significant part. Your brevity is appreciated, although the words are hardly prosaic.”

“Thank you Victoria.” Peter waited until Father and his sisters were served before he devoured his oysters and bacon.

“I am happy to see you all this morning. We have no callers today. With your Mother at Persimmon House, I thought it best we not receive today. I am certain you can all busy yourselves on a sunny day. I gave notice at the stables should any of you wish to ride the grounds. I may take a jaunt myself. I would like to have tea with you Victoria, in my study at half past three”

“Yes father. I plan to stroll the hop gardens but I will plan tea. I promise to be timely. I will alert Esther of my engagements.”

****

Victoria spent the day on the many acres gardens of the Markham Estate. It was her favorite spot, encircled with stonewalls covered in early spring hops. Azalea beds showed no bloom as of yet but they would burst in bright hues come summer. As Victoria walked, she dreamed of life beyond the Estate grounds. She welcomed what London would bring. The adventures ahead seemed endless. Victoria was unaware that the machinations of the Earl and Countess. As her parents they had already forged a path towards her future.

At 17 and the eldest of 3 girls it was dictated by society that a suitable mate be found for carefree Victoria. Peter was the male heir. He would inherit the title of Earl and everything that would entail including land and other assets. A man of means and title would care for Victoria. She would provide him with an ample flock of descendants. Dreams of ambling down the Champs Ellysees with a man whom she loved were to be just that – dreams. It was not an urgent reality. She remained blissful.

“Come along now Victoria. Your Father will look for you at half past. We must begin our journey back to the house. You have a time for a quick refresher before tea.”

“Always prompt Esther. We must arrange for a change of fragrance. I am tired of Lavender. It has become too youthful and common. I prefer something mature. Fetch me some samples as the week passes. More sophisticated and dare I say – alluring.”

Esther laughed, amused by the request.

****

“Hello Father. I am weary from the afternoon and ravenous.” Victoria fell onto the cushioned sofa.

“My dear Victoria, I need not ask you to make yourself comfortable.”

“If you expect formality you u have chosen the wrong Tompkins to join you to tea.” Victoria filled her mouth with smoked salmon on toast. It was rare to have tea alone with her Father in his study. It was a dark and comfortable room. To be invited to his inner sanctum was an honor. Books lined the shelves, which reached the ceiling. She imagined he had read them all, as he was not one for show in his private space.

“Victoria, we anticipate your mother’s arrival home by next week end. Any longer and I worry she will never find her way back to Dover. She gets lost in the excitement of London as the season approaches.”

“I shall welcome her of course. She will need time to recover before we should receive visitors. The staff will be alerted. Everything will be in place for her return to Markham. Is there anything specific I should arrange upon her return?” Victoria shifted as she expected to receive instructions.

“We will receive a caller the day following the Countesses return. He is a gentleman. He is Lord Hawthorne from the upper region of Kent. He has joined us for a hunt in years past here at the estate. He travels with his brother, Lord Damian. He is a widow and a pal from years ago. Victoria, he is a dear friend similar in years to me and a man of superior manners.”

“Yes father. I shall make plans for his arrival. Are overnight accommodations required?”

“Juliet and Samuel are preparing quarters for them. I will expect you to be dressed in your finest attire for receiving a guest of his high honor. Preparations have already begun for Lord Hawthorne’s arrival.”

Victoria became confused by the grandeur behind Lord Hawthorne’s visit. She awaited her Father’s explanation.

“My dear daughter, you are to be married to Lord Hawthorne.”

“Oh.” Ann was speechless and astonished by her father’s announcement. She was not planning to be promised to another before laying eyes upon him. Her dreams only hours past were unattainable musings. A man her father’s age was a sour joke. “No father.” Her face grew wet in reaction to the horrible news.

“Your mother and I have considered the matter carefully. It is to be Victoria. Lord Hawthorne can provide you with substantial wealth and a proper place in society. You are betrothed to Lord James Hawthorne. Go to your quarters and rest up before dinner. Allow time for the shock of the announcement to settle in.”

“I ask to be excused from dinner father. The day has proved too much.”

“Good day Victoria. I will see you when the sun rises on a new day. You know what is expected.”

****

Victoria returned to her room and collapsed on a chaise. She was devastated with a hyperventilating fit. Drops fell from her eyes. Esther came to console the sweet girl she helped bring into the world. She cradled Victoria’s head in her fleshy arms.

“Esther, I must tell you what my parents have done. They….” Victoria was cut off.

“I knew this was coming me dear. I was powerless.”

“Oh, Esther. You knew and you held it a secret? You are like me mum. How could you keep secrets? The whole world is against me.”

“I let you dream. I could not devastate you with the impeding arrangement.”

“I will not be happy. I will wish for the day I die.”

 


About Keegan Lace:

Keegan Lace was born and raised in North Carolina, currently residing in the Charlotte area. She has always loved books, especially romance novels and wished that everyone would find love, romance and happiness.

When she is not writing, reading, or being a wonderful mother to her children; she can be found enjoying some of her favorite hobbies: yard sales, house hunting and traveling.

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Murder in Middleton by Charlotte Gerber @CatsPajamasNote (Mystery, Paranormal)


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Genres: Mystery/Horror/Paranormal

Shannon O’Reilly is a teenager with a problem – she can see her ancestors’ ghosts, and they want her to solve their 100-year old murder mystery. Annabelle and Lily Edmonson have been waiting a long time for someone to see them so that they can tell their story of betrayal, and finally reveal their true killer.

When Shannon begins researching the murders at the local library, someone takes notice. She begins receiving threatening notes and photographs taken of her without her knowledge. An explosion at her home takes away what she holds most dear – her parents.

A secret society steps in and offers to help Shannon fine tune her psychic abilities and to assist in protecting her from those bent on eliminating her. Someone is willing to pay any price to keep the truth, as well as her ancestors, dead and buried.

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Excerpt:

Shannon held her breath for a moment and waited for her mother to join her. A loud explosion erupted from the rear of her house. She started to run around to the side of the house, but huge flames were shooting outwards and upwards from the area where her back porch had been.

“Mom, Dad!” she screamed into the night.

Shannon couldn’t see anything in the wreckage and she almost caught herself on fire trying to get back into the house when a man’s arms grabbed her from behind.

“Stop!” he yelled in her ear. “The fire truck will be here any minute!”

Shannon tried to wrestle her way out of the man’s arms, but he held on to her tight and pulled her backwards away from the house.

A crowd started to form near the Opportunity Shop and the sound of sirens could be heard from where Shannon stood. They whined louder and louder until they appeared on the street before her house. It seemed like total chaos had broken out as the firemen raced with their hoses to the rear of the house.

Another fireman ran to the front of the neighbor’s house and attached the hose to the fire hydrant. In a few moments the men had a large fountain of water pointed at her back porch and they wrestled the snake of a hose in an effort to control the blaze.

The sheriff wasn’t very far behind and he arrived with the lights on the top of his car flashing. Thankfully, he had his siren off and the growing crowd moved to allow him to park his car close to the house.

“Where’s the O’Reillys?” he yelled to the fire chief above the chaos.

Shannon stared at him and knew he would be turning to face her any moment.

“I don’t know where the other two are,” and he nodded towards Shannon.

She knew the two men were talking about her parents. Her mind started to race and she thought it just wasn’t possible that they were actually in that fire. It wasn’t possible to have this many bad things happen in rapid succession.

The chief pointed at Shannon and the sheriff made eye contact with her. He purposefully strode up to her and the man who was now holding her close.

“I’ll take it from here Fred,” the Sheriff said.

The man who had been holding her was their next-door neighbor, Mr. Bickham. He slowly let go of her and turned away with tears filling his eyes. Shannon was left standing alone in the side yard of her house staring at the blaze as if in a trance.

“Shannon, what happened here?” the fire chief demanded, not quite believing himself that their house had exploded.

Shannon could only manage to shake her head. Tears slowly began to roll down her bright pink cheeks. The sheriff got down on one knee and took her hands in his.

“I’ll find someone to help, it’ll be okay,” he said unconvincingly.

A woman forced her way through the crowd and said boldly, “I’ll see to her.”

Shannon didn’t even bother looking up to see who her champion was. Nothing mattered anymore; she felt completely alone.

Myrtle Green helped Shannon to her car and buckled her into the front passenger seat. She knew not to ask Shannon any questions; there would be plenty of time for that later. They drove back to her house having not said a word.

Myrtle got out of the car and then went around to Shannon’s side and unbuckled her from the seat like a small child. She held out her hand and helped her out of the car. Shannon stared ahead blankly and allowed herself to be led through the now familiar gate and walkway up to the house.

The smell of cookies and chocolate still hung in the air when they opened the front door. Tears started rolling down Shannon’s face again when she realized it had only been a little while since she had left a happy little party in this house with her mother. Now her parents were gone and they weren’t going to come back. Ever.


About the Author:

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Charlotte Gerber began her writing career after becoming disabled in 2004. Since then she has been a writer and editor for LoveToKnow.com, and most recently covering disability issues for the New York Times on their About.com website.

Murder in Middleton, the story of a psychic teenager trying to solve a century’s old murder mystery, was her first book. A holiday novella, A Very Merry Middleton Christmas, is scheduled for release during the holiday season this year. I Dream of Zombies, the story of Rose Lee, a zombie social worker, will be released on Halloween this year.

A third book, Curiosity Killed the Cat, is scheduled for release in early 2014.

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Western: Red Dust by Ben Dixon and Sam Campbell @TheLostParty


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Red Dust by Ben Dixon and Sam Campbell


red dust
 

Genres: Horror, Short Stories, Westerns, Thriller, Zombies

Red Dust is a series of zombie western short stories.

Red Dust: The Fall is the first trilogy of short stories in the Red Dust series. These stories are The Lost Party, Feud and The Last Rider.

The Lost Party

When a party of settlers go missing on the Wasatch Mountains of 1846 America, a lone mountain man tasks himself with finding the lost pioneers. Upon the discovery of the remnants of a diary, George Masterson finds himself pulled into the dark story that befell the ill-fated travellers.

Feud

America 1853, seven years since the disappearance of the lost party, the undead have emerged from the wilderness crossing the Great Plains to assault the civilised world. Communication has broken down and settlements now stand alone as the Rising Plague spreads across the eastern border.

In the town of Little Rock inhabitants of the New World thrive to create normality in the midst of chaos. With the arrival of a mysterious rider named Griffin, the true dangers of the town become clear. The illusion of civilisation quickly dissolves as Griffin’s appearance sparks the violent conclusion of a deep-rooted vendetta.

The Last Rider

The Rising Plague continues to spread mercilessly across America, leaving the remnants of the US government to lead a desperate defence in defiance of the undead. Yet in the face of their doom, the beginnings of a civil tension arises, as the Southern State’s succeed, leaving a dire split across the US and its people hopelessly divided.

Isaac, a young courier, volunteers himself to deliver a mysterious package for the Union military. His task will lead him deep into the heart of the unknown, through the decaying civilisation of a country that he can no longer call his home, as his eyes are opened to the horrors of the New World.

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Excerpt:

They would say that he came from across the sea.

The lone figure astride a horse emerged from the emptiness of the hot, dusty plains that expanded like a sea encompassing the solitary town of Little Rock. In the dying light of the evening sun, it was those who survived on the border of the settlement who witnessed the rider first. The poor and the sick, all victims of the time in which they lived, now stood transfixed, mouths agape and eyes wide as the stranger cantered through the slum like area of ragged tents and rotten cabins, oblivious to the absurdity of his arrival.  Even as he trotted right pass them, the borderland residents still believed he could have been a mirage, that their minds had finally betrayed their rationality in the madness of this new world. No one had come from the plains in months, and never before alone, it did not belong to the living anymore.

Upon passing through the fringe of the shanty town, the Stranger made his way down the central road, riding into the heart of Little Rock, passing the traffic of people as they closed shops and businesses before escaping to the false refuge of homes or the ignorant bliss of drinking holes.

Silently and furtively, he studied the canvas that opened up around him, mapping everything to detail in his head. The stranger knew what types of side arms the people carried. He could see from a man’s eyes who would fight, who would run, and who he would have to kill. He did not want to have these thoughts, not anymore, but they were innate, created by a nightmare of past experiences, fighting down in the mud and hell below.


Author Bio:

Ben Dixon and Sam Campbell are friends who met during University studying History. We have had a few different ideas including graphic novels and fantasy novels but the work we started with was Red Dust, a story of the Wild West plagued by zombies. In between working our regular jobs we try our best to write and publish.

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Medical Mystery: A Jealous God by Dee Wilbur


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a jealous god

Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Medical Mystery, Beach Read

Compellingly told from multiple points of view, A Jealous God follows Emma on her labyrinthine journey in search of the truth at all costs. A brilliant attorney with unflappable focus, she becomes consumed with learning who is responsible for several similar birth defects originating in her hometown. Her quest introduces her to a number of colorful characters. One of these is Jon, the local attorney whose largest client—Hays Chemical—is the target of Emma’s investigation. Jon embarks in pursuit of answers of his own, only to come to the realization that the suffering heaped upon these children dates back far further than he, Emma, or Hays Chemical could have ever imagined. It was, in fact, foretold in the oldest book of all.

A Jealous God … dishes up a fast-paced mix of mystery and intrigue.”
New York Times best selling author Ellen Tanner Marsh

“A thought provoking formula that will haunt your daydreams.”

Herman W. Brune, national award winning author

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Excerpt:

After a few minutes, Emma re-entered the room. She was wearing a blue negligee of the thinnest silk Jon had ever seen. Jon looked at her perfectly formed breasts through the silk. All Jon could think was Ol’ Doc Coleman certainly got his money’s worth. The negligee stopped short, leaving her long graceful legs uncovered. It was all that Jon could manage to set his beer down without dropping the bottle. He hoped that he wasn’t actually drooling. He stared and tried to remember that she was a woman with a mission, not a table dancer.

Emma whispered softly as she sat next to him on the couch, “I’ll do anything to get that information, anything! You don’t have to show me the files, just tell me. Talk to me, Jon.” She ran a beautifully manicured finger up and down his thigh. Jon’s pulse doubled, then kicked up again. He closed his eyes briefly and then turned to face her, putting his hand over hers to still it.


About Dee Wilbur:

Beatrice Dee Pipes and Charles Wilbur Yates, Jr. write under the pen name Dee Wilbur, a combination of their middle names.

Both are Texas natives and both graduated from Rice University. Ms. Pipes runs And Take Names, a company that assists other companies with marketing, project management, and other tasks. She has been married to her husband Bryan for thirty-five years. They reside in Houston. Charles Yates is retired after thirty years in the practice of radiology. He has been married to his wife Sally for fifty years with four children and eight grandchildren. He tends his garden in Richmond, Texas.

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Contemporary Erotic Romance: Academy of Love by Kate Deveaux @KateDeveaux


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academy of love

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Publisher: Red Sage

Release Date: August 1, 2013

Boarding School was never this much fun….

Love smolders and the sex is red hot when Cassianna Baxter leaves behind a glamorous teaching career in Italy to return to her old Alma Mater, Lewiston Academy for Girls as the Deputy Head Mistress. No sooner does she arrive at the Academy than she walks smack into sexy Lawrence Taylor, her first love and ex-lover. He’s been looking for her ever since he was forced to leave her and now that she is back at the Academy he knows he has to win her back. And not just in his bed.

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Excerpt:

Lawrence watched her as she left the dance floor, he was rather getting used to watching her walking away. He didn’t mind the view, but he knew this time was different. She would be his as long as he didn’t frighten her off first. Feeling his growing need straining against his jeans, he followed her request and walked slowly away, and then to her cottage.

The moonlight streamed across her porch and lit a sliver of light across the threshold to the cottage as he stopped and took a deep steadying breath. The only thing separating him from what he wanted more than anything was her front door. Barely able to calm the pounding in his chest he took the porch steps two a time and placed his hand on the screen door. It squeaked as he opened it and then the wood door next.

“In here,” Cassianna whispered to him from the darkness, “and shut the door behind you, I don’t want anyone to see you here.”

“Oh, Cassie,” he said, seeing her silhouetted against the fireplace in the darkened living room. He couldn’t wait to get her out of those jeans. Unable to contain his emotions another moment, he moved to her side in a split second, gathered her up in his arms, his mouth finding hers and their urgent passions meeting. He’d waited too long for this and now he was finally going to have her. His mouth was hungry as his tongue found hers and he kissed her deeply. He pressed his body hard against her; he wanted to feel all of her touching him as his lips explored her luscious mouth making his cock hard with want. His body tensed under her nimble hands as she ran them along his shoulders and across his back, as his hands roamed her curves, remembering every part of her body as if it were yesterday.

Breathing heavily, they both stopped and looked at each other. “I want to remember this,” he said, as he undid her scarf, throwing it carelessly over his shoulder and then turned his gaze to her shirt buttons. Slowly, one, by agonizing one, he undid each button. Her body quivered with excitement as his fingers grazed her nipples but only teasing her by passing over them as her shirt slipped off easily and he continued his caresses lower. He knelt slowly down in front of her.


About the Author:

Kate Deveaux is a contemporary erotic romance writer and die-hard romantic. A former wedding planner, she has always been “in love” with love! It was after reading Jane Eyre in high school, that she became hooked on the idea of writing about romance, excitement and drama. Kate has been penning stories, from the sensual to the sinfully sexy, ever since!

Born in London, England, Kate has lived in the U.K, Canada, and the U.S. She and her husband currently reside in Arizona. When she’s not writing or reading, Kate can be found on the tennis court—yes, there’s even “love” in that game too!

Kate is currently working on several fictional stories for release next year – each filled with sexy romance, heroines who are no shrinking violets and heroes who make your heart skip a beat. She is a member of Savvy Author, Romance Writers of America (RWA) and their erotic romance chapter, Passionate Ink.

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