Colorado Bride by Cynthia Woolf

My newest book is called Colorado Bride. It is book 4 in the Matchmaker & Co series. Below is an excerpt for your entertainment.


Emily Loring survived the last few years as a governess to a rich family’s children. But when the lord of the house can’t keep his hands to himself, she’s left with no option but to risk everything as a mail-order bride. Raised in a New York orphanage, she’s always dreamed of a husband and children of her own, but even that small dream always felt out of reach. The city is all she’s ever known, but the promise of a family, a place to call home, drives her to risk everything and head for the wilds of the Colorado Territory, and the arms of a stranger.

Ben Logan fell in love once, to a city girl who left him at the altar to run off with another man. A mail-order bride appears to be the answer to his need for a wife to warm his bed, as long as she loves the country life as he does. He doesn’t need much, but he won’t risk his heart again. When Emily arrives, her curves tempt him nearly as much as her smile. But his ex-fiancée is back, and determined to have Ben for herself, even if it means murder…


While Ben unloaded the grain from the wagon, Emily walked over to one of the stalls. Inside were a beautiful golden horse and a pure white baby one.

“They’re so beautiful. The mama with her yellow coat and white hair on her neck is striking. Will the baby stay white or change color?”

“The mare is a palomino and, yes, more than likely, the colt will gain the same coloring as he gets older. But he could possibly stay white, which is what I’m hoping for.”

She turned to face him where he stood at the end of the wagon.

“Will you teach me how to ride? I don’t know anything about horses, but I believe that I should learn in case I need to go somewhere.”

He shrugged. “Sure I’ll teach you. I’m surprised you don’t know anything about ranching. I was pretty specific about it as one of my requirements.”

“You said you wanted someone with farming or ranching experience, I know how to milk cows and gather eggs which qualifies, and I’m willing to learn whatever else I need to. I’m a fast learner.”

The mare came up to the stall gate where Emily stood. She turned and reached over to pet the horse. Her nose and mouth felt like velvet.

“Oh, she’s so soft. I never imagined…”

Ben came up behind her.

“Her name is Champagne, because of her coloring. She doesn’t belong to anyone yet. Would you like her?”

“Oh, yes. Can she really be my horse?”

He must at least like me or he wouldn’t gift me with my own horse, and such a beautiful one to boot.


She turned and Ben was standing right there. Emily reached up, snaked her hand behind his neck and brought his head down to hers. Remembering the kiss he’d given her at their wedding, she mimicked that kiss. She meshed her lips with his and opened just enough to put her tongue out and touch his lips. She felt him smile and open for her exploration.

He let her take what she needed, let her control the kiss and she was pleased. When she finally pulled back she was breathless and her body hummed with awareness of him.

He held her with his arms wrapped loosely around her waist.

“Well, that was some kiss, wife.”

“Just following your lead…husband.”

She liked the sound of that. Husband. She’d begun to believe that she’d never marry and certainly never to anyone like Ben. His arms were strong with muscle, she felt them through his shirt. His stomach was flat and hard. She felt that, too. And she could tell his manhood was primed for her as well and knew she blushed.

“Now, look at what you’ve done to me. I can’t go to the house like this. You better stop kissing me.”

She smiled and shook her head. “Nope. You can ask a lot of things of me, but that isn’t one of them. I’ll always kiss you. Even when we fight, I’ll kiss you because no fight is worth my marriage. And kissing reminds us that we are married.”

“All right, I agree. Besides, I like kissing you.”

She raised an eyebrow and cocked her head. “You should. I only know what you taught me.”

He tightened his hold on her. “And that pleases me.”

“Why? You’ve kissed other girls and that doesn’t bother me. Why should it bother you if I’d kissed another man?”

“Because I want to know that I’m the only man in your life, at least until we have sons.”

The thought of having babies and how babies are begot made her blush. At this rate she’d be colored pink all the time.


Amazon Worldwide~





Cynthia Woolf is the award winning and best-selling author of twenty-five historical western romance books and two short stories with more books on the way.

Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and her great critique partners for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.





A FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS – A Montana Sky Series Novella – Kindle Worlds

KISSED BY A STRANGER – A Montana Sky Series Novella – Kindle Worlds
THORPE’S MAIL-ORDER BRIDE – Montana Sky Series – Kindle Worlds

THE HUNTER BRIDE – Hope’s Crossing, Book 1
THE REPLACEMENT BRIDE – Hope’s Crossing, Book 2
THE STOLEN BRIDE – Hope’s Crossing, Book 3
THE UNEXPECTED BRIDE – Hope’s Crossing, Book 4
GENEVIEVE, Bride of Nevada, – American Mail-Order Brides Series
GIDEON – The Surprise Brides
MAIL ORDER OUTLAW – The Brides of Tombstone, Book 1
MAIL ORDER DOCTOR – The Brides of Tombstone, Book 2
MAIL ORDER BARON – The Brides of Tombstone, Book 3
NELLIE – The Brides of San Francisco 1
ANNIE – The Brides of San Francisco 2
CORA – The Brides of San Francisco 3
SOPHIA – The Brides of San Francisco 4
AMELIA – The Brides of San Francisco 5
JAKE – Book 1, Destiny in Deadwood series
LIAM – Book 2, Destiny in Deadwood series
ZACH – Book 3, Destiny in Deadwood series
CAPITAL BRIDE – Book 1, Matchmaker & Co. series
HEIRESS BRIDE – Book 2, Matchmaker & Co. series
FIERY BRIDE – Book 3, Matchmaker & Co. series

COLORADO BRIDE – Book 4, Matchmaker & Co. series
TAME A WILD HEART – Book 1, Tame series
TAME A WILD WIND – Book 2, Tame series
TAME A WILD BRIDE – Book 3, Tame series
TAME A HONEYMOON HEART – novella, Tame series




Heiress Bride by Cynthia Woolf

Here is an excerpt from my book HEIRESS BRIDE. It’s another fantastic book from the ONCE UPON A KISS boxset. Check out the blurb and a short excerpt below, then buy the box set from one of the links at the bottom of the excerpt. You can’t go wrong ten books, ten fantastic authors for one low price of  $0.99


Heiress Ella Davenport survived a carriage accident that killed her father.  Her life saved in exchange for savage scars marring her beautiful face.  Her friends, socialites, showed their true colors, casting Ella aside like damaged goods and leaving her a social pariah. Even her wealth can’t buy her the kind of marriage she wants. Desperate to find a husband who can accept her despite her scars and, without knowing about her money, she seeks to become a mail order bride.  Matchmaker & Co. is her one chance to start over and leave the pain and betrayal far behind her.

Nathan Ravenclaw was run out of town by the father of the girl he was courting once he discovered Nathan’s Arapaho heritage. It didn’t matter that Nathan was a successful rancher, businessman, and a positive member of society.  The white community suddenly saw only a half-breed. Even his money couldn’t buy him a wife. That was ten years ago.   He moved and rebuilt everything that cold rancher once took from him.  He has it all…except a wife.  Matchmaker & Company promises to send him a woman willing to start a new life with him.  But Nathan’s battered heart lacks the ability to trust. He longs for children, not romance.  His new bride, scarred and cast aside like himself, promises to be perfect for him.  Until he meets his mail order bride.  Fierce desire and an even more dangerous hope roar back to life within him.   Two things he swore never to indulge in again.

And love?  For these two battered souls, that’s the biggest risk of all


She arrived in Denver on April 6, 1871.  A date she would forever remember as the start of her life.  It was almost like another birthday.

The weather was cold.  The wind rushed off the plains and collided with the mountains to the west, keeping the chill in the air.  The buildings weren’t as tall as in New York, but the wind still whistled between them and over the platform where she stood.  She was glad of her good wool coat and lined boots.  They kept her warm while she waited for Mr. Ravenclaw to find her.  There wasn’t anyone else wearing a veil so she didn’t think he’d have much problem identifying her.

She wasn’t really sure what she expected, but it wasn’t the tall, devastatingly handsome man that approached her.  He had a square jaw shaved clean and a tiny dimple in his chin.  Black eyebrows slashed over his eyes, the color of which was hidden by the shadow from his hat, pulled low on his head.  For once she was glad of her veil.  He wouldn’t be able to see her mouth hanging open, gawking at him.

“Miss Davenport?”

“Yes.  Are you Mr. Ravenclaw?”

“I am.”

Ella was surprised to find her hand trembled as she held it out to him.  “Ella Davenport.”

He removed his glove and enveloped her hand in his big one.  His fingers brushed the skin of her wrist just above her glove.  The tingle that traveled clear to her toes was unexpected and her gaze snapped up to his.  She looked up into the most beautiful blue eyes.  They seemed to question the chemistry between them as much as she did.

He held her hand for what seemed like a lifetime and they simply starred at each other.

“Miss Davenport….”

“Ella.  Please.”

“Ella.  I would like for you to lift your veil.”

“Are you sure you wish to do this in public.  It can be…shocking.”

“I’m sure.”  He squeezed her hand and then let go.

“Very well.”  She lifted the heavy lace, prepared for him to be taken aback by the ugliness of it.  She wasn’t prepared for him to lift his hand and gently trace the thin, putrid purple scar all the way from her left eye over her cheek and down her neck to the top of her collar.

There was no disdain on his face.  His blue eyes took in everything and accepted it, but even so he said the last thing she expected.

“You are a very beautiful woman.”

She stood there with her mouth open until he raised her chin with his knuckle.

“Why are you surprised?  Surely you have heard the compliment before.”

She shook her head to clear it and find her tongue.  “Not since the accident, except from my brother.  But he’s biased.  He loves me.”

“He but states the obvious.  Your scars do not detract from your beauty.”

“I must thank you because good manners dictate it.  However, I believe we should see about getting you some glasses.”

He laughed.  A rich, deep baritone.  “I’m glad you have a sense of humor.”

“Who was joking?”

Here are the buy links for ONCE UPON A KISS. Remember just 99 cents.

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Angel’s Assassin by Laurel O’Donnell

Here is an excerpt from my book ANGEL’S ASSASSIN. It’s another fantastic book from the ONCE UPON A KISS boxset. Check out the blurb and a short excerpt below, then buy the box set from one of the links at the bottom of the excerpt. You can’t go wrong ten books, ten fantastic authors for one low price of  $0.99

Short blurb –

Damien is an assassin, a man with a tortured past. Sold into slavery, he is trained to kill. Lady Aurora of Acquitaine is the epitome of purity and goodness. When Damien enters Aurora’s life, tempting her with promises of forbidden lust, he threatens to tear her peaceful world apart.

Angel’s Assassin Excerpt –

Aurora climbed to her feet.

“Where is my sword?” Damien demanded, searching the forest floor.  He could not look at her.

“Here.”  It had been hidden beneath the flare of her dress when she was lying down.

Damien nodded in satisfaction.  He picked it up, pausing as he looked into her eyes.  They sparkled a pale blue in the moonlight.

Aurora stared at him for a long, pensive moment.  Then, she dipped her head in thought.  The furrows of her brow deepened as her gaze stopped at his thigh, lingering on his wound.  “How do you feel?” she asked.

“Well enough to see you back to your castle.”  He sheathed his weapon and took a step toward Acquitaine.

“Damien,” she called.

He hesitated.  He didn’t want her to fear him.  Would she condemn him now for his violence?  The silence stretched.  Finally, he turned to her and his breath caught in his throat.

She stood in middle of the forest, bathed in a pool of moonlight.  Her blonde hair, loose from any constraints, fell to her waist in thick waves.  Her back was straight, her tiny body alluring and curvy and delectable.  But it was her eyes that captured his attention.  He saw no fear in her eyes.  It was concern.  Had he mistaken fear for concern?

Damien had never felt such an overwhelming need for anything in his life.  He trembled with his want of her.

A swirl of emotions played over her face.  Concern, regret, helplessness.

It took all Damien’s willpower not to go to her and sweep her into his embrace.  He didn’t want to scare her.  He didn’t want to harm her.  He didn’t want to taint her.

“I will never leave you,” she finally confessed and tears entered her eyes.

Damien came toward her then, like a tumultuous storm cloud.  “You don’t know what you are saying,” he warned in a savage whisper.

Aurora did not run for cover; she did not shrink from his approach.  She stared up into his face with those damned clear orbs.  And for the briefest of moments, Damien saw himself reflected as she saw him.  A hero, a good man.  A man worthy of all he could attain.

He stood before her, stunned.

The sound of horses thundering through the clearing pounded a warning through the ground.

Damien grabbed Aurora’s hand in one hand, and drew his sword in the other.  He watched the group of men approach through the forest, clumsily maneuvering their steeds through the tight trees.  He pulled Aurora behind him.

These men were no brigands.  They wore heraldry, and while Damien couldn’t be sure, he suspected they were from Acquitaine.

As they drew closer, his suspicions were confirmed.  One of them called out, “Lady Aurora!”

Damien refused to relinquish her.  For just one moment, she had been his.  And it had been the most glorious moment of his life.

“Lady Aurora!” another called.

His time alone with her was over.

“I am here,” Aurora called out, a reluctance in her tone.

Four men came forward, three of whom wore red tunics with a white dove embroidered onto it, the symbol of Acquitaine.  But the leader wore a different crest.  A black lion on a white background.  He reached them first, reining his horse to a stop before them.  His blonde hair waved gently in the breeze.  His dark eyes swept them.  “Lady Aurora,” he gasped, dismounting.  He brushed his blonde hair aside and knelt before her.  Practiced, polished.  Fake.

Damien hated him on sight.

Aurora stiffened.  She released Damien’s hand and stepped toward the knight.  “Count Ormand,” she greeted.

Ormand stood and his gaze shifted to Damien with just the right disdainful curl of his lip, then back to Aurora.  “I came to rescue you as soon as I heard an attempt was made on your life.  Imagine my surprise at finding you gone.”

“We were attacked by an assassin.  Damien was struck by a poison arrow.”

One of Ormand’s eyebrows rose.  “Another assassin?”  He looked at Damien, then back at Aurora.  “Were you hurt, m’lady?”

“No,” she said.  “Damien saved me.  Again.”

Ormand looked at Damien.  “This must be the amazing Damien.”

Aurora nodded.  “Ormand, this is Damien.  Damien, this is Count Ormand.”

“I am Aurora’s betrothed,” Ormand stated with a slight lifting of his chin so he could stare down at Damien.

Betrothed.  The word rang in Damien’s head like a thunderous bell and his teeth clenched.  Betrothed.  Betrothed.  What did it matter?  But the word did not stop clanging in his thoughts.  Betrothed.

Ormand’s pompous stare swept Damien suspiciously from head to foot.  “Why is he half naked?  And what in heaven’s name were you doing out in the forest knowing that your life is in danger?”

Bio –

Award winning author Laurel O’Donnell lives in Illinois with her four cherished children, her beloved husband and her mischievous cats. She finds precious time every day to escape into the medieval world and bring her characters to life in her writing.

Here are the buy links for ONCE UPON A KISS. Remember just 99 cents.

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The Prince’s Passion by Nancy Morse

Here is Nancy Morse’s excerpt from her book THE PRINCE’S PASSION. Another fantastic book from the ONCE UPON A KISS boxset. Check out the blurb and a short excerpt below, then buy the box set from one of the links at the bottom of the excerpt. You can’t go wrong ten books, ten fantastic authors for one low price of  $0.99


By secret decree, Nicholas Romanov, a prince of Imperial Russia, is next in line to the throne. Driven by dark passions and yearning for freedom, he has sworn to avenge the death of his father who led an ill-fated revolt against the Tsar and the murder of his mother who spurned the Tsar’s love. But the dangerous charade he plays is threatened by those who would stop at nothing to prevent him from reaching the throne, and by the fiery American beauty who teaches him that, without love, freedom is just an illusion.

What begins for Alana Welles as a capricious European holiday turns into a journey of deceit and betrayal, where friends become adversaries and misguided affections lead to heartbreak. From the blood-soaked sands of the Spanish bullring to the verdant English countryside, from the war-ravaged Crimea to glittering St. Petersburg, Alana follows her reckless heart into the arms of the handsome Russian prince whose secrets can topple an empire.


“Leaving so soon?” Nicholas asked. He stepped in front of her, barring her path with his tall frame. “Tell me, what is your name?”

She answered with all the courtesy due royalty.

“Ah, the Senator’s daughter from America. If I am not mistaken, your room should be on the floor below this one. Are all Americans so lacking in direction? Or is it discretion?”

Alana’s blue eyes flared. “I told you, Your Highness, I lost my way.”

His green eyes sparkling brightly, he said with a laugh, “I assure you, Miss Welles, the title is as decorous as the uniform. I don both for special occasions. As you can see, my personal tastes are somewhat simpler.”

He had removed the jacket with the gold buttons and was dressed casually in a plain white cambric shirt that was opened to expose a chest of darkly curled hair. The black trousers tucked into the tops of well-worn riding boots and the wind-tossed look of his hair told her he’d just come back from an evening gallop. Without the garnishment of his uniform and jewel-studded scabbard, there was nothing to distract from his alarmingly good looks. That, and his disarming candor, threw Alana off her guard.

“Why do you dress like that, then?” she inquired.

“They have come to expect it to me.”

“And you oblige them?”

He shrugged elegantly. “Whenever I can.”

She began to grow uncomfortable beneath the heavy weight of his stare. Gathering her skirts in her hands, she brushed past him. “If you will excuse me, I’ve been gone far too long and I wouldn’t want Monica to worry.”

He stepped aside with a speculative look. “I see. But it is rather uncommon of you to care what others think, is it not?”

The accuracy of his remark took her back. “How would you know what is uncommon of me?”

With a cool but devastating smile, he replied, “Just a guess.”

Alana started for the door.

“Will you join me for a ride in the morning?”

His invitation sounded more like a command, causing her to bristle. Tersely, she replied, “I have promised someone else.” She saw no particular reason to tell him that she had already committed her morning to Ross.

“Perhaps you would consider changing your plans to accommodate me.”

She whirled to face him, indignation brimming in her blue eyes. “I realize you must be accustomed to having your way,” she said heatedly, “but in this case, I’m afraid you cannot.”

“Oh?” he ventured. “And is that a guess into my character?”

“Not at all,” she replied. “Your reputation has simply preceded you.”

She was almost blinded by his luminous smile “I will take that as a compliment.”

“It was not intended as one.” And with that, she swished past him out the door.

Here are the buy links for ONCE UPON A KISS. Remember just 99 cents.

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A visit with Wanda Ann Thomas

How did you get started writing?

Two books were milestones for me prior to my taking up writing. Pride and Prejudice introduced me to the world of historical romance. I was always drawn to historical novels, but adding a romance totally enchanted me. Julia Quinn and Mary Balog books are on my keeper shelf. In my search for historical fiction containing a great love story, I eventually stumbled onto Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I loved, loved, loved Jamie and Claire, and they provided the inspiration for me to try my hand at writing.  As an odd juxtaposition, I had also read the works of the ancient historian Josephus, and fascinated by that time period I wrote several Christian Fiction/Romance hybrid books. Once I had honed my writing skills I published a three-book series – The Herod Chronicles.

The time period limited my word choices, but stretched me as a writer. Most clichéd phrases and similes are too modern to work in ancient times, which forced me to be creative. The Herod Chronicles is a family drama, and I learned I enjoyed creating a world centered around the love, joys, trials, and tribulations of a dynamic family. The experience also taught me that I enjoyed writing the romance more than the history.


Tell us about your current series.

When I decided to write Sweet Historical Westerns I knew I wanted to write romance focused stories. I centered the series around a family of adopted brothers struggle to carry on the legacy of operating a cattle ranch dedicated to rescuing homeless boys.  The cowboy heroes of the Brides of Sweet Creek Ranch have been fun to write.  The tone of these books is lighter, a change that is a better fit for me.


What genre do you write in and why?

I love writing historical romance for the same reason I love reading it.  The chance to escape into past worlds, with larger-than-life heroes and heroines finding their happily ever after.  If I ever venture outside writing historical romance, the only genre that holds any appeal is a post apoplectic / syfy story.  Which makes a strange sort of sense, as it is an escape into a future world of limitless possibilities.

Excerpt – The Mail-order Bride Carries a Gun – Book One Brides of Sweet Creek Ranch

Ella jumped at the knock on the plain wooden door. The tinkle of out-of-tune piano music drifted up from the saloon. She smoothed the wrinkles of her blue woolen dress. “Come in,” she called, her voice too shaky for her liking.

Ty Haven ducked through the door and removed his hat. Sandy-blond bangs slid over dark perfect eyebrows. “Miss Hunter…ma’am, may I call you Ella?”

Good glory, a justice of the peace was waiting below to make them man and wife. Ty Haven would be her husband before the next song on the piano faded. How was she going to marry the man who killed Johnny? “Call me any name you like, Mr. Haven.”

“Call me Ty, ma’am…um I mean Miss Ella.” A slash of red showed on strong cheekbones and he held out a box tied with a rose ribbon. “A wedding present.”

She backed up and bumped into the narrow bed. Ty Haven’s towering presence stole her breath. “You didn’t need to do anything special.” Heart pounding in her ears, she ran her fingers over the smooth satin bow.

She stared into Ty Haven’s golden-brown eyes for the telltale signs of the man she’d seen twenty years ago. She wanted to snatch up her journal and compare the photo pasted inside with the man standing before her. Could this man who took in homeless boys be the same person who had murdered Johnny?

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

What was wrong? She was attracted to a no-good Yankee devil, and sweating like a thousand-pound hog, and her brain was in danger of turning to mush. She didn’t come to Wyoming Territory for pretty presents. She was here to take back Johnny’s saber.

She shoved the box at Ty Haven. “Are you prepared to uphold our agreement?”

His eyes clouded. “A man doesn’t forget a small matter like agreeing to not consummate his marriage on his wedding night.”

Author Bio

Wanda Ann Thomas is the author of Sweet Historical Western Romances and Historical Christian Fiction. She adores heart-felt love stories, featuring honorable heroes and courageous heroines. Men and women who will brave any danger for loved ones and who struggle against overwhelming obstacles to win their happily ever after.

A native of Maine, Wanda starts each day bright and early at her computer writing and drinking coffee. When the weather allows she and her husband average three rounds of golf a week. She confesses to being overly fond of chocolate chips cookies, winter vacations spent in sunny Florida, and her large boisterous family.

Author Website

Amazon Author Page


The Sweet Taste of Love by Anna Markland

The Sweet Taste of Love is by Anna Markland. Here are the blurb and excerpt for your enjoyment. It’s another fantastic book from the ONCE UPON A KISS boxset. Check out the blurb and a short excerpt below, then buy the box set from one of the links at the bottom of the excerpt. You can’t go wrong ten books, ten fantastic authors for one low price of  $0.99


 Bound by guilt, freed by love

Riddled with guilt after the drowning deaths of his parents, Aidan FitzRam takes himself off to Lindisfarne in Northumbria, determined to atone. He immerses himself in caring for the bees essential to the production of mead the abbey is known for.

Nolana Kyncade is a Scot fleeing the tyranny of a cruel stepfather when she bumps into Aidan at the market.

Smitten with her, Aidan quickly realizes that he is not cut out to be a monk.  But her stepfather intends to marry her to an older man who will pay handsomely for the privilege.



Aidan was ready to collapse with fatigue. He had never been a lethargic man. His mother had often complained he had too much energy. He and Blythe had on occasion led their parents a merry dance when they were growing up. What he wouldn’t give now for a scolding glance from his mother.

He raked his fingers through his hair and leaned back against the wooden frame of the stall, brushing away the horseflies drawn by the honey. What would it be like once he was tonsured? His hair had always been long, dark like his father’s.

Memories of his parents filled his head. A lifetime would not be enough to atone for the manner of their deaths. Their bodies had never been recovered. His father’s long-held desire to be interred alongside his father in the crypt at Montbryce would not be fulfilled.

A shuddering breath caught in his throat. He eyed the containers of mead, estimating how much longer they would remain in the crowded marketplace. His sandaled feet were caked with dust, his throat bone dry. Idly wondering how he might filch a sip of the precious mead without the Abbot noticing, he closed his eyes, absorbing the sounds of commerce around him.

A fly buzzed in his face. He swatted at it and forced one eye open. A young woman was walking to the haberdashery stall across the way. At least, he thought she was a young woman. How odd to be shrouded by a playd on such a warm day. But her bearing and figure bespoke a young person. He stood up straight to get a better view. Her garb indicated she was a Scot, but not a lowlander, and not a person of low birth. Her léine had been dyed saffron. She reached out to finger the colored ribbons hanging from the crossbeam, glancing around furtively, drawing the brown playd further over her head.

She’s afraid.

His gut clenched. When she turned to look directly at him, her obvious nervousness did nothing to detract from her loveliness. His mouth fell open. She turned back to the stall, reaching up to point to a particular ribbon. The merchant handed it to her. She raised her arms. The playd fell to her shoulders, revealing the flame red bounty of her hair. Aidan’s breath caught in his throat. For once he was glad of the shapeless robe. His erection was a rod of iron.

She replaced the shawl quickly and paid for the ribbon. Four or five armed men came into view, sauntering through the market. He did not recognize the devise they bore on their tunics. The woman lowered her head, turned away and hastened in the direction of the stall selling mead.

Jesu! She’s coming this way!

Here are the buy links for ONCE UPON A KISS. Remember just 99 cents.

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A Knight to Remember by Catherine Kean

This is the blurb and an excerpt from A Knight to Remember by Catherine Kean. Blurb: A Knight to Remember © Catherine Kean. It’s another fantastic book from the ONCE UPON A KISS boxset. Check out the blurb and a short excerpt below, then buy the box set from one of the links at the bottom of the excerpt. You can’t go wrong ten books, ten fantastic authors for one low price of  $0.99

Blurb: A Knight to Remember © Catherine Kean

When widowed Lady Aislinn Locksmeade finds a naked, unconscious man in the forest, she wonders if he’s Hugh Brigonne, her first and only true love. When he wakes, he can’t remember who he is or what happened to him.

Does she dare to love the roguish stranger, or is there far greater danger to Aislinn than risking her heart?

Excerpt: A Knight to Remember © Catherine Kean

Aislinn walked toward the man, who was lying exactly as when she’d first spied him. The nettles and dock slid against the hem of her cloak, making a soft hissing sound. Her view was partially blocked by the greenery, but he was clearly a broad-shouldered, well-muscled fellow. No doubt he fought for a living, whether as a knight or an outlaw.

Nearing him, her eyes traveled the expanse of naked flesh, mottled by the sunlight filtering though the boughs overhead. Blotchy red patches covered his arse. Her focus shifted, running up the curve of the man’s spine. His back was also dotted with red spots—places where he’d been stung by the nettles, she realized.

His sun-bronzed flesh also bore the scars of long-healed wounds. Such marks were common for a man who’d trained from an early age to first become a squire, then a knight, and who’d fought in battles. The torso of her late husband, Matthew, had borne many scars, most from local skirmishes or weapons training. The marks on this man in the forest could have come from wounds he’d gotten while on Crusade in the Holy Land with England’s late king, Richard the Lionheart.

Of course, he could also be a mercenary, a killer who fought for money.

Tilford emerged from the trees. “He is alive, milady, although badly wounded.”

“Thank you.”

His sword held ready for attack, Tilford headed back into the undergrowth.

Aislinn’s gaze settled on the tangled mass of the injured man’s chestnut-brown hair, then slid to his left arm, reaching out as though he’d tried to fend off attackers. Around him, plants lay crushed. A tremendous struggle had taken place. A tingle of admiration, of gladness that the man hadn’t fallen easily, raced through Aislinn. Ridiculous, since she had no idea who he was, but the emotion was still very real and poignant.

“God’s bones,” Gilly whispered. She stood behind the prone figure of the man, her gaze on his bare buttocks.

Aislinn walked down the length of his body to his feet, then up the other side of him. The man was a magnificent creature, his skin satiny and bronzed, his arms and legs bulging with muscle. A large, ugly bruise darkened his right hip, as well as his right forearm.

She dropped down in front of him. His eyelids didn’t flicker, his breathing didn’t change, and he didn’t stir or give any other sign of being aware of her. He had strong features—high cheekbones, a prominent nose, a bold jawline darkened with a day’s growth of stubble. His lashes, where they lay against his face, were long, dark, and thick. His features held a harshness that suggested his life hadn’t been easy or kind.

Disquiet raced through her. His face wasn’t one she recognized. Twelve years ago, when she was just ten and five, she’d known—loved—a young lad with hair as dark and silky as this man’s, and with a mouth as wide and sensual. She brushed away the memory of Hugh Brigonne and the accompanying anguish, for ’twas unlikely this was the same man but twelve years older. Indeed, ’twas about as likely as a hard frost in July.

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A Breath Taken by Bonnie Edwards


The mysterious spirits of Perdition House are up to mischief again, but this time lives are at stake. . .

Blue McCann wants a second chance to live. Drawn into a vintage clothing shop by a mysterious woman, she tries on an antique corset…and wakes up in 1913 in the body of another woman.

Dr. Colt Stephens has been attracted to a woman he first met in Perdition House. Unfortunately, he made the wrong assumption about her role in the famous, exclusive, “gentleman’s retreat.”

But now it seems by saving her life, he’s in her good graces and in her bed. She’s everything he’s ever wanted…even if she’s not the woman he thinks she is.

Can Blue McCann learn how to stay in this life she’s been given or will she have to return to the present where death awaits her?

In the fifth instalment of Tales of Perdition, secrets are revealed and answers are found…


Blue McCann traced the lines of the corset through the glass of the store window. Ivory satin and lace, the exquisite vintage piece looked way out of her league. She admired the delicacy of the hand stitching, as perfectly even and precise today as it had been a hundred years ago. Timeless, the handcrafted corset pulled her toward the window every time she passed by.

Timelessness was alluring to people whose time was up. Today, she’d gone out of her way to stop by just to look. Silly to dream of having a piece of clothing like this one. Still, the corset pulled at her, made her dream of wearing it. She smiled through her next cough. That’s why she came here in spite of the rain and the unrelenting coughing and pain; the corset reminded her she was a woman and still a sexual being. If she wore something like this corset she might be desired, maybe even loved.

Loved? She must be delusional. A cough wracked her chest and she turned away into the wind. Rain lashed her face so she turned back, chilled. She had to get home before the wind pushed the rain through her clothes.

The coughs deepened. She bent over, hating the hollow feeling in her chest. She leaned on the glass for a moment to catch the little breath she could. Love, the idea was ridiculous, coming from a woman whose very name described the color of her skin when she was found in a restaurant trash bin. The cop told the Head Nurse the newborn girl he’d found had been so blue he thought she was a painted doll.

On another gust of biting wind and rain, the shop door opened and a woman stepped out. “May I help you? Need to use the facilities? Or maybe a phone?” She stepped around Blue and put her hand on her shoulder. Warmth radiated where the woman touched, even through her thin jacket and thinner sweater.

She’d heard of hands like this–healing, warming hands. Blue had always hoped she had them.

The woman’s body shielded Blue from passersby and the nasty wind. “This corner is a raceway for wind gusts,” the woman said. Her warm hands firmly urged her toward the entrance to the store and Blue couldn’t resist the softness of the warm air that drew her into the store.

Out of the corner of her eye, the corset shimmied, but a truck went by and rattled the glass. That was all it was. The weight and rumble of the heavy truck had made the glass shiver. She couldn’t have seen the corset move on its own.

“Thanks.” She nodded at the woman. “I was just…” she hesitated, knowing she was silly to ask. “How much is that corset? It’s beautiful.” The heat from the woman’s hands infused her back and made her feel stronger. She straightened and squared her shoulders.

“Come inside out of the rain and I’ll take a look. I can’t remember the price. But with your coloring, it will look fabulous on you.” Her husky, amused tone made it seem like a done deal, but Blue was broker than broke and living on nothing but dreams and whimsy. And not for long, either.

As Blue stepped to the door, she tried to see the price, but a draft twirled the tag like a leaf in autumn. “Whenever I try to check the price, the tag’s facing the wrong way.” She coughed again and the woman helped her to a stool by the cash desk. The woman’s healing hands fell away and Blue sank onto the stool, appalled at how weak she felt.

“I don’t want to cause you any grief with your boss,” she said when she could. She knew how she looked. This kind of store didn’t entertain her kind of customer. The broke kind and now that–

“My name’s Faye Grantham,” the woman’s voice cut off Blue’s thought, “and I am the boss. Welcome to TimeStop.


Multi-published author Bonnie Edwards has written novels, novellas and short stories for Carina Press, Harlequin, Kensington Books and Robinson (UK) although now she publishes her work herself.

Sometimes her stories have a paranormal twist, likes curses and ghosts, other times not. But they’re always entertaining and guarantee a happy ending.

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VAIN  by Jill Hughey

Here is Jill Hughey’s excerpt from her book VAIN. Another fantastic book from the ONCE UPON A KISS boxset. Check out the blurb and a short excerpt below, then buy the box set from one of the links at the bottom of the excerpt. You can’t go wrong ten books, ten fantastic authors for one low price of  $0.99


Lily had her life planned, neat and tidy as thread on a spindle, until her mother died and her father snipped at the seams of her future by abandoning Lily in their shop. A nobleman unexpectedly gives her hope when he brings fabric for a special garment. Lily survives on his first payment, and immerses herself in sewing and embroidering an incomparable tunic for him, as her tidy plan continues to unravel.

Theophilus, Lord of Ribeauville, takes his responsibility to his townspeople seriously and, therefore, does not dally with local women. Desire wars with duty when Lily glances up at him while adjusting the hem on his Easter tunic. As her deteriorating circumstances push them together, Theo and Lily learn that the path to his heart just might be through his wardrobe, though the exquisite outfit she creates is the only part of her that fits in his precarious aristocratic world.


She rushed out the door, flustered. What had happened? Everything had been fine until she’d begun making adjustments to his hem. That had felt horribly awkward to her. Had it bothered him too? She had been trying to do her job briskly, just as her father had always done. Maybe a man did not mind another man touching his hem but very much minded a woman doing so. Lily sighed, pressing her back against the wall, then resting her head there, as well. Even though she occupied the same world she always had, every day brought unforeseen and unfamiliar questions and challenges. She did her best to guess and fool her way through it all. In truth, the only time she felt comfortable in her own skin was when she worked on the lord’s tunic. Or at least she felt comfortable when her lord was not in the tunic as she worked on it.

She sighed. If only her father had returned. He would have that hem rolled and marked in a thrice. He would explain Riculf. He would talk to Cluny and set her life on the right course again.

Her lord emerged, once again smartly attired in the green tunic and mantle she had sewn last spring about this time. He did not know she had sewn it. Her father had done the fitting. She had made every cut and stitch. “Father is never coming back, is he?” she blurted.

The question did not surprise him. He stood straight and proud and confident in his own comfortable life. “Not soon enough,” he said.

At first she did not understand the answer. Then it clicked. Not soon enough to help you. Not soon enough to manage Riculf or Cluny. Not soon enough to return you to normalcy or even respectability. “He lives with a woman?” she asked, eager to familiarize herself with all the ugliness at once.

Her lord cursed softly under his breath. “Yes. He misses your mother desperately.”

Her hand flew up, and she pressed the back of it to her mouth, stifling an unwanted sob of distress. She turned away to compose herself. “It must be very difficult for him,” she observed with the feeling of seeing things from a great distance.

“I did try, Lily. I reminded him of his duty to you. I reminded him of your mother. I tried every argument.”

Unwarranted resentment boiled up in her. Who was this Theophilus to involve himself in her life? Why should she feel gratitude when he stood so calmly to tell her how bad things were? Why should he be allowed to make her uncomfortable in her own shop? How dare he? She bit the inside of her cheek against the angry, unfair slander she wished to shout at him. “Thank you, my lord,” she gritted as meekly as she could manage. “I appreciate your efforts today. I am sure you have pleasanter plans for tomorrow. Now, I must continue my work.”

She forced herself stiffly through the door. She did not close it until she heard her lord’s retreating footsteps. The tunic waited, lovingly spread on the worktable. Her strange, quick anger receded, replaced with the more sane and familiar despair. Her fingertip traced across the slightly overlarge shoulder to the clever neckline. This neckline was the only perfect thing left in the entire world, as near as she could tell. Tonight, she would rework the shoulders. Tomorrow, she would sew the pleats and join the body pieces and sleeves. Soon, she promised herself, she would make tiny invisible stitches around this neckline, and that would be one right thing. And she must consider the embroidery. She must devote some time to the pattern.

Blessedly immersed in her work, she did not let herself think about Father anymore.

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Love & Reckoning by Gina Danna

Love & Reckoning by Gina Danna is another one of the fabulous books that are included in the ONCE UPON A KISS boxset. Check out the blurb and a short excerpt below, then buy the box set from one of the links at the bottom of the excerpt. You can’t go wrong ten books, ten fantastic authors for one low price of  $0.99

Love & Reckoning blurb –

Rome 100 CE

Conquered, beaten, sentenced to die in the Colosseum, Ganius of Gaul escapes his execution only to find himself enslaved as a gladiator. His rise to champion ensures his life, but does nothing to lessen his desire for vengeance against the Roman soldiers who destroyed all he knew.

Locked into a repugnant betrothal, the beautiful Roman Aurelia turns to her brother’s champion gladiator for help. Promising him his freedom if he helps her escape, Aurelia soon discovers she wants not only Ganius’s help, but to capture his heart as he’s captured hers.

In love with his sworn enemy, Ganius realizes Aurelia is the key to his freedom. But to take her with him would risk both their lives, yet leaving her behind to be a pawn in her brother’s machinations is a wretched alternative. Ganius must choose – love of a Roman or freedom to make the Romans pay. This is a fight the champion gladiator might lose…


Love & Reckoning

Rome 100 CE – The Colosseum

Aurelia sat rigid on the bench, quiet as a mouse, like the rest of the crowd. The Celt, condemned to die with his countrymen, stood victorious on the sands. He was the one with that mark upon his arm. Her gaze riveted to him, amazed, appalled and so attracted to him that it sent a thrill through her.

Suddenly, the stands burst into applause and demanded for him to live.

The man stood, in the midst of a filthy, blood-covered arena, the remains of the dead and dying lay around him. He was covered in sweat, blood and sand. His muscles—prominent from fighting the gladiators—were corded, detailed like the statues of the gods, and the effigies of dead victorious gladiators, both forms standing virtually nude throughout the city. But he was living, breathing, on fire. When he shot a glance up at the podium, where the Emperor’s appointee sat in his absence. Even Aurelia could see the flames of violence tangible in his stare. She could not pull her eyes off.

Aurelia’s brother had secured them the box seats next to the podium, quite a sign of position she usually didn’t give a moment’s consideration, but today was more than thankful because they were very close. She gazed at the Celt and in the sunlight, despite his dirty appearance, his eyes glowed, the color like amber in the brightness.

He looked like a god.

“Caius,” she whispered to her brother. “Don’t you need a new man for your stable of fighters?”

He laughed. “What a strange thing for you to say, dearest.” He looked beyond her to see her fascination. “Aurelia…”

“Oh Caius, can you imagine? He defeated three gladiators! The odds stood against him!”

“They were not from the best house…”

“But they were gladiators,” she argued and bit her lip. “Brother, the man must be blessed by the gods to have won so, and to win over the crowd to spare his life.” She gave him her innocent but pleading look. With the exception of severing her betrothal, he never denied her anything.

“She is right, Caius,” Aulus joined in. “I could have him trained. His winnings would bring you considerable coin.”

Caius looked at her. His eyes narrowed. They darted to the Celt in the arena and back to her. The air grew heavy as she waited, though the longer he took to say a word usually meant she won. Holding her breath, she silently prayed to Jupiter.

Caius’s lips slowly curled up into a smile. “So be it. Aulus, let us see if we can’t alleviate the state of her impertinent prisoner.” He kissed her cheek. “And my darling sister, don’t push me for any more extravagant dresses or jewelry, for I fear this animal may take many coins to train before I see the favorable results.”

As he walked away, Aurelia’s gaze returned to the man on the sands. As the property of her brother, a slave, she’d have easy access to see the mark on his arm. Her lips curved at what other opportunities might be available to own a man so blessed by the gods…

Here are the buy links for ONCE UPON A KISS. Remember just 99 cents.

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