NEVER TEMPT A ROGUE by Christy Carlyle

This is from Christy Carlyle’s NEVER TEMPT A ROGUE. 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


An infamous rogue meets his match in a feisty chaperone who has all but given up on love.

Felicity Beckett’s uncle has tasked her with one goal for Lord and Lady Forsythe’s country house party. Keep her innocent cousin away from the notorious rake, Lord Lindsay. The man’s Rogue’s Rulebook has earned him the most scandalous of reputations, but no one warned Felicity how irresistible a rogue can be.

Alex Evering, Lord Lindsay, agrees to attend his aunt and uncle’s party for a bit of enjoyment before embracing the duties of his newly inherited title, but he loathes their scheme to redeem his reputation and marry him off to a proper young lady—until he meets Miss Beckett.

Excerpt :

“Lord Lindsay, there will be no more of these. If you send any further unwanted communications, I will tell Lord and Lady Forsythe of your outrageous behavior.”


He was surprised she could say so much when fury stiffened every line of her body.

Perhaps he was as debauched as he pretended to be in The Rogues’ Rulebook, because her ire aroused him. He liked the way it made her lips quiver and infused her cheeks with blood. When her eyes sparked, he could smell anger curling off her like the burn of an electric charge after a lightning storm.


“I have no idea who sent that or what it says.” He didn’t need to examine the folded missive to know it had nothing to do with him. “I assure you, I’ve only arrived half an hour ago and spent much of that time on this balcony. I haven’t sent a note to anyone.”


She faltered, her sensual mouth quivering even more in her uncertainty. A mad impulse made him want to claim those lips, use her trembling moment of doubt to break through her fury. Now, when he might taste all that passion.


Unfolding the letter in her hands, she held it up in front of him, a wall of paper between them.


“Is that not your initial? Signed with an L. That’s you.”


“It is not. My name is Alexander, though my friends call me Alex.” He tipped his head toward her and caught a whiff of vanilla. “I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume we’ll become friends. You may call me Alex.”


He’d never been more eager to hear a woman say his name, to watch her mouth form the word, her pink tongue playing over the syllables. A wave of lust rocked him as he considered what else he could teach her to do with her tongue.


She glanced at the paper in her hand and then up at him, studying his face as if attempting to decide whether or not he could be trusted.


“What’s your name?” He knew enough of decorum to realize their whole encounter was inappropriate, but he was damn well going to know her name. She was the first indication that coming to his aunt’s house party might have been a good decision.


“My name is irrelevant, my lord.”

“I’m very sorry to hear that. Your parents were cruel to name you such a thing. A lady like you deserves a much prettier name.” He couldn’t resist teasing her. Later he’d be a gentleman, perhaps even apologize for his behavior, but now, when this woman stood looking at him as if she’d like his head on a spike, he could only think of ways to make her eyes to flare again.


“My name,” she bit out, her straight white teeth clenched in a grimace, “is Felicity Beckett.”


Laughter rumbled up his chest. “Felicity?” He looked at her lovely flushed face and roared with mirth. He hadn’t laughed in six months, and it felt freeing and glorious. “You do know what that word means, don’t you?”


She scowled. “I assure you I am very happy when men like you don’t provoke me.”

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Excerpt from Ione’s Dilemma by Linda Carroll-Bradd

I’m excited about my involvement with a multi-author wholesome historical romance series titled Grandma’s Wedding Quilts. The prequel and eleven stories by award-winning and bestselling authors of the Sweet Americana Book Club will release during the month of January, 2017.  The premise was to create a typical multi-generational family tree for mid-century 1800s, meaning a woman who had two husbands, and have stories about her descendants. The group came up with the idea of the woman, Mary, being a quilter (which some of the authors are) and having her create a quilt for each of her children and grandchildren for a wedding present. As was typical, too, of families in this era, some children remained close to where the parents lived and others sought their fortune somewhere else in the expanding United States. Having an author is our midst whose hobby is genealogy was definitely a help. I had a lot of fun writing Ione’s Dilemma, my story about a big-city girl taking on the role of schoolteacher in a frontier Texas town and the carpenter intent on wooing her.


When Ione Forrester calls off her wedding, she becomes the social pariah of Des Moines, Iowa. Much to her society parents’ chagrin. To escape the gossip, Ione accepts a teaching job in Dorado, Texas, vowing to avoid scandal at all costs. Relocating from a doctor’s household with cook and maids to a room in a boarding house is quite an adjustment. Then she has to face her biggest challenge—a schoolhouse full of students.

Carpenter Morgan Shipley’s business is doing well and now he’s looking for companionship. An ad for a mail-order bride brings a deluge of letters, which prove more than he can handle. To his surprise, an intriguing woman from a big city arrives in his small Texas town. Correspondence is nothing like interacting with a flesh-and-blood woman every day. But gossip-leery Ione wants nothing to do with Morgan’s attempts at courting, which makes him try even harder.

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Morgan tracked the woman’s progress around the backs of the occupied chairs to the empty one to Penn’s right. He noticed everyone else watched her movements, as well. Strangers in this small town were always objects of speculation—like he’d engaged in hours earlier. Lowering to his seat, he again forced himself to look away to avoid appearing rude.

“Ivey, will you announce tonight’s menu?” Missus Treadwell unfolded her napkin then started serving big spoonfuls onto plates and passing them.

As she pointed to the meat platter, Ivey grinned. “The main course is a ragout of pork with mushrooms, wild onions, and turnips.” She gestured toward other bowls. “Mashed potatoes with chopped garlic and parsley, pickled beets and artichoke hearts, buttered corn, and rolls.” She removed the cover from the closest bowl and scooped a spoonful of potatoes onto the plate before handing it to her left. “As is probably obvious, I’m the cook here at the boardinghouse.”

“Berg Spengler, town blacksmith.” The bear of a man ducked his head as he passed the plate.

“I’m Maisie Treadwell, and I’m the maid.” The woman with honey-blonde hair served a portion of beets and handed the plate top the next person, quickly repeating the gesture with the next one.

“I hope the potatoes don’t have too much garlic.” A dark-haired boarder giggled. “I have to work tonight.” She added a serving of cut corn and passed the plate. “Oh, I’m Olivia Domingo, and I am a barmaid at the Golden Door.”

Morgan glanced across the table in time to see the new woman’s eyes shoot wide and her backbone straighten before she passed the plate to Penn.

Then she pulled her expression back to neutral. “My turn, I suppose.” The stranger leaned forward and gave a little wave.

Ah, she speaks. Morgan savored the sweet sound of her voice.

“My name is Ione Forrester, and I have been hired to be Dorado’s new schoolteacher.”

“Welcome to Dorado, Miss Forrester. We’re glad you’ve joined us.” The rapid words spewed from his mouth before Morgan gave them any thought. Which made him look like an awkward schoolboy.


As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication–a confession story. Married with 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters, Linda now writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor from her home in the southern California mountains.





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Presenting Lady Gus by Sydney Jane Baily

Presenting Lady Gus by Sydney Jane Baily is another wonderful 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


Augusta Brenville needs a husband, preferably a wealthy one, to save her beloved estate. Unfortunately, holding onto her inheritance seems impossible when nary a suitor remains standing, nor alive for that matter. That is until a seasoned captain arrives, daring and intrepid . . . and a tad uncivilized for the lady’s liking.

For the sake of owning Thornbury Castle, Captain Rolf is willing to marry its rather awkward yet endearing mistress, regardless of her penniless state. First, however, he must thwart an assassin with a penchant for poison, fire, and arrows. Can he keep both himself and his betrothed alive until their wedding day?


Augusta sighed. So much for first impressions. She knew she looked ridiculous now and momentarily considered whether to pull the rest of her pins out and wear her hair all unfashionably down or try to put the three errant locks back up? Before she could make more of a mess, Millie had pinned her curls to resemble the rest of her hairstyle.

To top it off, Augusta’s knees stung terribly where they had come in crushing contact with the stone walkway. At least her future husband now knew what to expect in the way of beauty and grace.

Her husband! She raised her eyes to him. He was tall, as a royal army officer should be. He was young, too, perhaps in his late twenties or early thirties—praise be, she muttered. He was not ugly, nor did he look cruel. He was, however, dirty—extremely so. His hair, which hung long around his neck, was coated with dust from the journey and his face was smeared with grime, as were his worn clothes. Not at all what she’d hoped from a wealthy suitor.

Why had he not bathed at an inn the night before or at least stopped to wash in one of the many streams round about the area? For certainly, by the look of his wet pants, he had crossed a few on horseback. At the very least, he could have spat on a cloth and wiped his face.

Still, she smiled as he took her hand. She looked down to see how her hand looked in his and was shocked to see black under his fingernails. She swallowed and looked up at his face. It was pleasant, even handsome under the grime, she reminded herself. She heard Rolf clear his throat.

“Lady Brenville, reports of your beauty and charm do not do you justice.”

She couldn’t stifle the laugh. It broke from her, and she nearly choked. Poor man, what a thing to say, clearly rehearsed and so demonstrably wrong. As if anyone had ever reported anything of her beauty and charm. She laughed until tears came to her eyes. He was nervous, too, she realized. What a relief.

Rolf looked disconcertedly toward her father, who merely shrugged, hardly helping with his round face in a false smile. Finally, it appeared that Rolf understood he had not offended her, and he smiled too.

Augusta’s laughter died instantly. Buggers! She couldn’t help but stare at the dark hole where a tooth should be. At least it was not right in the front of his mouth. Some might view the gap on the left of his smile as quite dashing. And most likely, she consoled herself, he could whistle well.

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Spring Fling by Stacey Joy Netzel

Hello everyone! Thanks to Cynthia for having me as a guest. I wanted to share with you my book Spring Fling (currently on sale for $0.99). The best part of writing this book was the scenes with the stray dog Trevor almost hits with his car during the middle of an ice storm. I used my parents’ German Shepherd, Madison, as a template for the energetic little dog and it was fun to develop the relationship between her and my hero.

Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt – again, it’s the middle of an ice storm, Trevor’s from CA and ended up in the ditch after avoiding the dog, and when Tessa happens along, what’s a girl to do but be a polite Wisconsinite and offer a guy (and his dog) a place on her couch to weather the storm—and a shower to ward off any chance of hypothermia.

Oh, yeah, Gizmo is Tessa’s cat. Hope you enjoy!

Spring Fling, Romancing Wisconsin Book 7

(each book in the series can be read as a standalone)

A week of no-strings fun is never that simple.

Tessa Sullivan figures she can handle a no-strings-attached fling with the handsome stranger she meets at her sister’s Spring wedding. After all, she doesn’t believe in love. Or so she tells herself.

Trevor Jackson’s painful past leaves him adamant he’ll never open his heart again. But a week of uncomplicated fun with the beautiful bridesmaid? Now that’s an arrangement he can work with.

All’s well that ends well—a mutually enjoyable relationship that will end as simply as it started—until someone breaks the rules and falls in love.



The dog’s whining attempt to climb out of the utility tub soaked the front of her shirt and brought her back to reality. She blamed the flush of heat in her face on the steam filling the small room, and the effort it took to restrain the increasingly energetic animal. Once the dog was rinsed, she towel-dried its fur as much as possible before lifting her from the tub.

After one good shake from head to tail, the Shepherd took off through the open door.

“Hey, wait—” Tessa ran after her, afraid she would go after Gizmo again. “Come here, girl.”

But the dog rounded the corner in the opposite direction and bounded up the stairs. A moment later, she began whining and scratching on the bathroom door in the loft.

“Oh, come on.” Tessa groaned under her breath, taking the stairs two at a time. At the top, she patted her thighs and spoke in a high, excited voice. “Come here, girl. Come on. I’ll get you some treats. They’re kitty treats, but they’re still good.”

The dog sat facing the door, twisting her head almost upside down to turn and look at Tessa as if to say, Just open the door, would ya?

Oh, she’d like to. Love to, in fact. The thought of actually seeing Trevor soaping up his tall, firm body was giving her one hell of a hot flash.

“Come on…girl.” She frowned and muttered, “Man, you need a name.”

When she sank down onto the top step, the dog rushed over to give her wet kisses under the chin. Such a cute little thing now that she was cleaned up, and sweet as could be. It made her wonder what the dog had been doing out in the storm. Was she lost, or had she been abandoned? Trevor said he planned to take her to Whispering Pines, but she had a feeling the Shepherd had other ideas.

Tessa tried to scoop her up, but the dog wriggled out of her arms and ran back to the door. She sighed. Did she leave and chance her scratching the door to hell, or did she risk opening that door to the temptation that lay beyond?

She knew exactly what she wanted to do, but her mind convinced her to stay on the safe path, so she started back down the stairs.

Two steps down, the dog’s loud whine and another scratch spun Tessa around and brought her over to the door. She reached for the handle just as the door swung open.

Though the shower was still running, standing directly in front of her was the dripping wet main attraction, with one of her towels clutched about his lean hips.

The dog gave a happy little yip and rushed forward to lick the water from Trevor’s bare legs. Tessa lifted her gaze, but didn’t get farther than the moisture glistening on his tanned chest. Oh, man, real life was so much better than her imagination. Drops of water tracked down broad slabs of muscles, and her gaze focused on the one trickle that made it all the way down to the ridges of his tight stomach.

The moisture had almost reached the towel when she realized she was staring.

Eyes up, Tess—eyes UP.

“Um, hey…” Damn, his eyes were gorgeous highlighted by those dark, spiked lashes. Golden brown—and heating up with each steamy second that passed. She quickly looked down at the dog, still swiping its tongue across his leg. “She ran up here and started scratching at the door, so I was just going to let her in to lie on the floor so she doesn’t ruin the door. Gram would not be happy.”

“O-kay.” His voice pitched high on the second syllable when the dog reached the bottom edge of his towel and nosed underneath. He clutched the ends together as he leaned down to push the animal back. “Geez, dog. Okay. Sit.”

Again, the Shepherd did as commanded.

“You need to give her a name.”

Trevor’s head jerked up. “I’m not keeping her.”



Oh, little does he know, right? Grab your copy now while it’s on sale for just $0.99 to find out what Trevor names his new admirer, along with the rest of the romance.

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Once Upon A Valentine – Sylvia McDaniel

Thanks Cynthia for having me on your blog today and giving me the opportunity to tell your readers about  the new box set I’m in called Once Upon a Valentine. One hundred percent of earned royalties go directly to the American Society of Autism to help fund programs that support families with children on the spectrum. For only 99 cents you get twelve new stories and help a great cause.

            I’m thrilled to have a new book in the box set called CUPID STUPID. Now wait…I’m not saying that Cupid is stupid, but sometimes he makes people act a little crazy. And in the small town of Cupid, Texas not only is there a statue of the God of Love, but also a superstition. At midnight dance naked around the Cupid statue in the town square and you will find your true love.

After a night of drowning their sorrows in a bottle of wine, my heroine and her friends decide to test the superstition. Three upstanding women in the communitiy, dancing naked in the town square…leads to trouble and maybe even love.

Here is an excerpt from my story Cupid Stupid.

Squealing, they ran the final two blocks to the fountain. They arrived, huffing and puffing, and stopped to stare at the sculptured God of Love.

“Dancing around this statue is going to help us find the man of our dreams?” Kelsey questioned. “Whoever made up this shit is sitting back somewhere laughing at how many fools stripped off their clothes and danced in the moonlight.”

“In the middle of freaking winter,” Meghan added.

Part of Taylor agreed with Kelsey, but the other part, the more reckless and wild part, urged her on. “Come on, girls, we’re doing this. We’re going to prove this is either the biggest farce in town, or it’s going to work for my friends. Just not for me.”

“I hope this is worth it,” Meghan said as they all began to remove clothing, each one looking to make certain they weren’t the only one stripping.

“Will it look funny if I leave my boots on?” Kelsey asked.

“Naked. You have to be naked according to the superstition,” Taylor said, yanking off her footwear, the cold stones hard against her feet.

“As soon as the church bell strikes midnight, we’re going to dance around the statue for one minute. Then I’m putting my clothes on and walking home,” Meghan said, shivering in the buff. “You girls are going to be the death of me yet. If I come down sick–”

“We’ll have a hot looking guy deliver you a box of Kleenex and chicken soup.”

Kelsey started laughing. “Look, girls, I got a boob job while I was in college. Aren’t they nice?”

She held up her tits for all to see and Meghan turned away groaning. “What am I doing?”

“I’m not looking at your breasts,” Taylor said, giggling as she removed her bra. Maybe this wasn’t one of her smarter ideas. The cold had her own poor nipples shriveled to the size of a raisin.

“Hurry, midnight is almost here,” Meghan said, her words slurred from the alcohol. “Let’s do this and put our clothes back on before we catch pneumonia.”

“We better get some action from this,” Kelsey replied, jumping up and down on the sidewalk, nude.

“And not legal action,” Taylor said with a giggle.

After she finished undressing, she folded her jeans and sweater neatly and placed them on a bench. “Okay, I’m ready. Let’s do this.”

Passing the bottle of wine one more time, laughing and chuckling and hoping the alcohol would give them some much needed warmth, Taylor tried not to look down.

“We’re being so naughty,” Meghan said, giggling drunkenly. “Never again.”

“Oh, come on, next week we’re taking you skinny dipping at the lake,” Kelsey said.

“Not during the winter, we’re not,” Taylor replied.

The church bells started to chime. With a scream, they laughed and began to run and dance, giggling hysterically as the three of them ran around the God of love.

“Oh, Cupid statue find us our true love,” they chanted as they danced nude around the fountain in the town square, laughing at the absurdness of what they were doing.

“Nuts,” Meghan said. “All this is going to do is give us frostbite on our girly bits.”

Taylor thought she might be right, but what a way to go. It felt freeing and exhilarating and she couldn’t think of a single crazy thing that could top this outing.

Headlights turned onto the street and they glanced at each other, their eyes wide. Shrieking, their hands trying to cover their female parts, they ran but their clothes were too far away.

“Oh no,” Meghan said.

Red beacons flashed on top of the car. A shiver of fear raced down Taylor’s spine setting panic into motion.

“Run, girls,” Taylor yelled. “Run, it’s the sheriff. Everyone split up, he can’t arrest us all.”

Kelsey and Meghan ran in different directions, running down the intersecting streets, leaving their clothes and purses behind.

Taylor wasn’t departing without her boots. The footwear had set her back almost a month’s pay and she couldn’t leave them on a park bench. Grabbing her stuff, she tried to pick up her friends’ as well, but her arms were full.

Lights shined on her.

“Halt,” a man’s voice instructed. “Drop everything.”

Oh great, she was the one who would be going to jail for dancing in her birthday suit in the public square.

Proceeds go to Autism from February 14 to March 14! Available for .99 cent Preorder Now

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A Visit with Angelique Armae

What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I write Romances in several genres – paranormal, fantasy, contemporary and historical.   I started writing paranormals, both contemporary and historical, but then I also began writing non-paranormals in the same categories.  I came to find out that I love writing stories where everyday girls fall in love with princes and vice-versa.  In my books, the hero is always a prince, even if he’s a vampire, shifter, or a bodyguard. My everyday heroes are princes in their own right.

Tell us about your current series.

My current series is a Scottish wolf-shifter series – Shifters of Dundaire.  These are contemporary tales of strong heroes in kilts! They just also happen to be a bit different from the average guy. They’re wolf-shifters and vampires.  I just couldn’t resist a shifter in a kilt!

What inspired your latest book? As I mentioned above, I couldn’t resist a shifter in a kilt. But what really prompted me to write my Shifters of Dundaire was that I had done some family heritage research and learned that my Irish ancestors traced their roots back to the Highlands of Scotland. Then I had no choice but to write shifters in kilts!

What is your favorite part of writing? 

Craftwise – creating the characters and the world’s they live in. This is so much fun.  Outside of craft – I love connecting with readers. When a reader tells me how much they loved my book, it makes me really happy that I was able to touch someone’s life.  So many books have done that for me, that if I can give back, it makes me happy. Fans are the best.

Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

Honestly, my ideas come from all over the place. Sometimes it’s just a name that will prompt me to think up a character, other times it’s a scene I have in my head and I know I have to write a book around it.  I love visiting historical sites. I get a lot of inspiration from old houses.

What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish? 

First, you need to know it’s a lot of hard work. Trust me on this!  But if you’re not afraid of that, don’t ever give up because word about a good book does get out and readers appreciate new stories. I would also say to concentrate on series at the moment as opposed to individual single-title books.

What is your favorite dessert/food?

Buttered popcorn!

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

If you’re family, you need to worry lol!  If you’re a reader, you don’t have anything to fear J

Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in?

I’ve always had a love for paranormal romance and historical romance, Regency-era in particular.  But recently I’ve been having a lot of fun writing contemporary royal romances, too.

What did you want to be when you were a child?  Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Part of me always wanted to be a writer. But I studied design and then switched to International Government and thought about going into politics.  I’m glad I decided to follow the writing path instead!

Excerpt from Christmas Wolf by Angelique Armae featured in the anthology, WINTER MAGIC

Greer made little noises, a few oohs and aahs as she searched the boxes on the lower shelves. Her enthusiasm for the task went straight to Rhys’s heart. It sounded almost as if she’d never had a Christmas tree before. “I had planned on coming back early Christmas Eve to put up a small tree in the great room. But since I’m here now, would you mind helping me with that tonight?”

Greer beamed. “I’d love to, though I’m not sure I’d be much good at it as Eithne doesn’t put up a tree, so I’ve never decorated one.”


She shook her head, her long black hair falling over her shoulders, drawing even more attention to her too tight top.

“Well, we’ll fix that straight away. A beautiful lass such as yourself should not be deprived of doing up a Christmas tree.”

“For a wolf, you’re quite sentimental.”

“That’s the second time I’ve been told so today.”

“Really? What was the first about?”

He let out a deep breath. “The Viking. But I dinna care to go into it.”

Greer offered a sweet smile, her green eyes bright with happiness. “I think you like Vidar, despite saying otherwise.”

“Bite your tongue, wumman. The man calls a kilt, a skirt. I canna be friends with such a beast.”

Says the wolf who was quite the beast earlier.

A pink flush graced Greer’s cheeks.

“That was nothing, kitten.”

Her cheeks grew red. “That thought was not for you to know.”

“I’ll try to be good next time.”

“I don’t think you’re capable of being good.” She turned away and focused on the boxes of tree toppers.

“You, kitten, are a playful little thing.”

A slight giggle fell from Greer’s mouth. “I think we need to concentrate on this angel you’re looking for.” She tilted her head. “That top box looks like it has some gold fabric in it. It could be an angel’s skirt.” A second later Greer’s knee was on the wire shelf, her arm stretching for the container.

Rhys ran over. He placed his hand on the small of her back. “Easy. I dinna need you to fall.”

Heat radiated against his palm, intensified his thoughts about Greer’s damn top. The wumman belonged in his bed. And being this close to her was doing nothing to tame the beast inside. He wanted her more now.  More than he’d ever wanted anything.

Greer was going to be his tonight.

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ISBN: 978-1-942346-07-4

WINTER MAGIC – 5 Tales of Paranormal Romance from USA Today and International Bestselling Authors. Enchanting stories perfect for escaping winter’s cold days. Time-travel, werewolves, angels, elves and more all wrapped up in one book for those long, cold, winter nights.



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Angelique Armae – BIO

National best-selling author Angelique Armae / J. C. Makk is a native New Yorker who loves all things royal, can trace her Irish roots back to the Scottish Highlands, is half Italian, and is owned by a long-haired Tuxedo feline. She spends most days writing, unless her cat deems otherwise.

A visit with Helen Henderson

Thank you Cynthia for letting me stop by. I’m Helen Henderson, and have been called a tour guide to the stars, the Old West, and worlds of imagination. I love chocolate in whatever form is at hand, white wine rather than red, and scallops with steak and shrimp on the side. My sign is Gemini, hence my writing crosses genres, among them science fiction and fantasy. My alter ego, Jessie Treon, takes credit for the historical westerns. My latest release is Windmaster Legacy and I’ll talk a little more about it later.

Was your road to publication fraught with peril or a walk in the park?

When my first short story was published, there was a dozen completed ones in my drawer. And that didn’t include the ones that I had tossed out during periodic cleanings when I felt I would never make it as a writer. By the time the first contracted book was released, three more were written and/or storyboarded.

Like many writers before the proliferation of ebooks and self-publishing, I followed the accepted path of the time. First you had short pieces published in magazines then once a certain level of skill was achieved, you expanded to a full-length book. That is the dry recitation of facts. However, there is the flip side, and it goes beyond rejections.

I’ve had publications close, editors pass on, and publishers disappear overnight. During one editorial change, the incoming person returned several pieces that had been accepted and were awaiting contract signature. Even worst was the cancellation of a requested book just before publication. Not because he didn’t like the book, or that it wasn’t saleable. He didn’t even read it. The casual discarding of what was then years worth of work for the group was done on the basis of “just because.”

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

School taught me to hate writing. Diagramming sentences, outlining, and forced writing assignments took away the passion and joy of writing and it took me many years to find it again. Becoming a published author was never on the agenda even though I love books. Did I say I LOVED books? So for many more years than I want to admit, I planned to work where I would be surrounded by books… I would be a librarian. A change in curriculum requirements halfway through college ended that dream but later education opened another. In my various misspent lives I’ve been a computer programmer, systems analyst, marketing communications, correspondent, and feature story writer. Each position honed various writing skills until eventually I could add “published author” to the list.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

My most recent release, Windmaster Legacy, is book 2 of the fantasy series, The Windmaster Novels. The books are described as action-packed, romance-filled tales that a reviewer said should come with a warning label. “This fascinating story will keep you up all night, turning those pages!” The series covers the exploits of Lady Ellspeth, captain of Sea Falcon and Lord Dal, archmage of the world. In the first book, revenge set Ellspeth on the path to her destiny, but prophecy controlled the journey. Trapped within the Oracle’s Temple, she must choose between her own survival, saving the future of magic… or love.

Windmaster Legacy takes readers on a different journey. Ellspeth and Dal, escort his mother to her ancestral lands on a distant continent. While Dal searches for the rogue wizard, Bashim, Dal’s mother is fatally wounded by mercenaries under Bashim’s command. Ellspeth is captured. Her sole hope for escape is Nobyn, an untrained wizard going through the throes of awakening magic. However, Nobyn is Bashim’s apprentice and under the rogue wizard’s total control.

This time it is Dal who must make an impossible decision — Rescue Ellspeth, save his mother, or thwart Bashim’s plans. As archmage, Dal might be able to survive killing the future of magic, but as a man could he live with the knowledge he caused the death of a loved one.

Tell us about your hero.
Dal is a series of contrasts. The younger son of a chieftain he would never inherit the ruler’s chair, yet his destiny required him to assume a monumental responsibility. Secure enough in himself to teach others to wield magic, his battle-tested weaponry skills contrast with his sensitivity. Dark-haired, handsome, everything you want in a man, Dal knows that a woman needs to face her own destiny, even if it is at the cost of their love.

And as for that woman? Ellspeth was awarded command of the newest ship of the line at the age most captains were still junior officers. She was skilled enough in the ways of the sea to command the respect of the crew and an experienced enough fighter to lead them in battle. However she was not a cold, unfeeling robot. To her, her crew were kin. The pain of losing one sent her on the vengeance trail.

What do you have planned for the future? / What is your next project and when will it be released?

There are several projects in the works, but no release dates at this point. When the characters stops fighting me, the Windmaster Novels are to continue with a story based on the next generation of mages and Windmaster Legends, a story taken from the mists of history. In my other romantic fantasy series, the Dragshi Chronicles, a story of duty and honor, love and loss, sometimes of the past, sometimes of legend, was recounted, if however briefly. In First Change, these legends are given their full due. As with any tale from history and legend, some contain larger than life deeds. Others are the simple story of a man or woman doing what must be done, regardless of the cost. And like life, a happy ending is not guaranteed

As to who are the dragshi? They are more than just a man or woman, but two beings—one human, the other a dragon. The pair share one body in space and time and are able to change forms with the other at will. But be warned, a dragon form comes with more than just the freedom of the sky.

Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
Research and learn. The great thing about today is that depending on luck and talent, a variety of paths are open to a writer from independent publishing, small press, agented, or the big New York City publishers. Investigate what fits your personality. Writing organizations and critique partners are invaluable sources for helping you learn your craft. You’ll hear plotter and pantser tossed around, or some other process of writing. Discover what works for you but remember one thing. Each project is unique and in its writing you change. What worked for one book might not for another so don’t be afraid to do something different. The critique group whose mix made perfect sense before your first release might not be as helpful when book ten is conceived. And my final bit of advice, when you reach whatever level of success you wish, remember to pay it forward.

Excerpt from Windmaster Legacy

The pressure eased as Dal raised an arm and pointed out the window. “Aren’t those stars Iol and Pelra, the lovers who were turned into shipfish? You told me the tale on our first sail together.”


“I remember something else about that sail,” Dal’s voice held a hint of mischief.

Ellspeth closed her eyes at the memory of how she had rejected magic. “I almost lost you.”

Dal’s arms moved to Ellspeth’s shoulders to turn her around to face him. “There was no way I would have let you go. From our first meeting on the dock, magic or no magic, I knew we would spend our lives together. The servants are gone for the evening and Eilidh stayed at Kurrin’s clanhold. We have the house to ourselves tonight.”

Moonlight showed the desire on his face. She became aware of the heat rising on her skin where Dal’s hands lay on her shoulder. He lowered his mouth to hers. Ellspeth’s lips parted to welcome him. His kiss sent her afloat on a wave of emotion.

Long moments later, he pulled back enough for air to pass between them. His hands traced patterns on her skin to Ellspeth’s waist, slipping the gown from her shoulders as they went. Lines of fire followed the path. The feather light touch of his lips as they followed the curve of her neck sent shock after shock racing through her nerves. Before her senses overloaded, Dal’s strong arms picked her up and carried her to the bed.

“That is a nice outfit you bought in Letralia,” he murmured. “Too bad it never stays on long.”

Whatever response she had planned to make was lost as Dal’s lips again pressed against hers.

Windmaster Legacy Available at Amazon

About Helen:
A former feature-story writer and correspondent, Henderson writes action-filled, romance-laden fantasies. Among her body of work are two series: the Dragshi Chronicles and The Windmaster Novels. Excerpts of her work, writing tips, and information on new releases can be found on her blog,

Find her elsewhere online at:
Author website

The Viscount’s Salvation and what I learned by Vikki Vaught

Thank you, Cynthia for having me on your blog today. I have long been a fan of your historical romances. I always know I’m in for a treat when I read one of your books. I recently released The Viscount’s Salvation, Book 3 in my Honorable Rogue series. I thoroughly enjoyed doing the research for this book, and I thought I would share some of it with your readers.

The Viscount’s Salvation has been another exciting journey for me. While this book is set in 1803, a time when the medical profession did not understand or have a name for PTSD, Cortland, my hero, suffers from it. There were no methods of treatment, and the men and women who suffered from PTSD hid their affliction for fear of their own families placing them in insane asylums.

Thank goodness, today, society has some understanding of mental disorders. My heart goes out to all individuals who live with this disorder or suffer from other forms of mental illness. The medical profession still has a lot to learn about the workings of the mind. Much of the treatments that exist, are found by trial and error, even today.

There are two young French children in my novel. I enjoyed researching the French countryside and the language. Thank goodness for Google Translate, it helped immensely with short phrases to add flavor for the children and to help the setting in the beginning of this book.

One of the things I enjoy most when writing historical romance is the research. I’ve loved history from childhood. My mother read historical fiction, and I devoured many of her books during my teen years. I especially enjoyed her Frank Yerby novels. I would sneak them into my bedroom at night and read for hours. The reason I had to sneak them in was because they were quite risqué for a teenager!

The love of history and reading were two things, among many, I shared with my mother. While she passed away at the end of 2011, just as my writing career was beginning, she was there to celebrate my first book, Lost Pleasures Found, when it was published in January 2011. She was so proud of my accomplishment. I’m sure she is looking down upon me and smiling her gentle smile as I travel this road as an author.

My Honorable Rogue series started with the award-winning novel Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey. I have quite a few other characters clambering for me to write their stories. The next book in the series is supposed to be John’s story, but Lord Renwick from Miss Kathleen’s Scandalous Baron, Book 2, is shouting the loudest, so his story may very well be next. One those books will definitely come out in 2017.

While each book has some characters in common, The Viscount’s Salvation can be read as a stand-alone, but I hope you’ll decide to read them in order to fully grow to love my characters as much as I do. Happy reading!

Book Description:

Vikki Vaught’s Honorable Rogue series started with the award-winning novel, Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey. The Viscount’s Salvation, Book 3, brings you her brother’s story. A historical romance of high suspense and sensuality. Buy this book now to find out how he survived his ordeal in war-torn France.

Captain Cortland Wallingford returns a broken man, plagued by horrific nightmares. While attending a ball, Cortland meets Lady Mary, an Earl’s daughter. Her calm demeanor brings him a peace that has evaded him since his imprisonment.

Lady Mary learns of her father’s diabolical plan, one that threatens her life. She’s desperate to find a way out of marriage to a notorious marquess, more than twice her age. When Cortland discovers the danger Mary faces, he offers her an escape from the earl’s evil intent.

Can Mary chase away his nightmares, or will the person who wants him dead achieve their goal before she has a chance?


Lady Mary hummed as she thumbed through the bookshelf on the upper level of her father’s library in his Grosvenor Square townhouse. As she looked for a novel to read before bed, she heard the door open. She blew out her candle as she ducked behind the drapes concealing the window seat. Her father would be livid if he found her at this time of night…and in her nightclothes. The Earl of Melton believed in strict discipline and did not spare the rod, especially with his nineteen-year-old daughter. Mary held her breath, praying he had not seen the light nor heard her when he entered.

She listened as he began speaking. “Please take a seat. I’m surprised by your visit this late. What do you want, Worthington?”

Mary shrank further into her hiding place. The marquess was one of the men her father brought to the house for his vile, debauched parties. The man had cornered her on more than one occasion, and she had barely escaped with her virtue intact the last time.

Why did her father sound so disturbed? Normally, he was on good terms with the marquess. She wanted to sneak to the railing and peek over it, but she dared not risk it.

“You know why I am here, Melton,” the marquess sneered. “I demand you honor your marker.”

Her father blustered, “I need another month, or…perhaps we can work something out. I have seen the way you look at my daughter. She would make you a fine wife. I would be happy to give her to you if we can come to terms.”

Mary’s heart dropped to her feet. Worthington was a notorious rake and more than twice her age. Surely her father could not be serious.

Author Bio:

Vikki Vaught started her writing career when a story invaded her mind and would not leave. Ever since then, the stories keep coming and writing is now her passion. Over the last five years, she has written almost a dozen romances and is presently working on her next, while fighting off the other future characters shouting my turn!

Vikki lives in the beautiful foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with her husband, Jim, who is a saint for putting up with her when she is in a writing frenzy. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her curled up in a comfortable chair reading, lost in a good book with a cup of tea at her side. She also enjoys walking her little dog, Marlee who has captured her heart!


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In the Court of Love and Loss by Jenna Ives

ivesjenna_inthecourtofloveandloss_coverinThanks so much for hosting me today, Cynthia!

Readers of science-fiction romance, futuristic time travel, or fans of strong heroines may be interested in my new book, In The Court Of Love And Loss.  I’ll be giving away a free e-copy of at the end of this blog post!

Here’s a little synopsis:

As Mistress of Justice on the planet Sirene, Kyrie is able to judge an accused person’s guilt or innocence with a mere touch. Her unique gift makes her invaluable to the planet’s dictatorial leader, Galen, but Kyrie is dying. Abandoned as a child by her people, the Ouri, when they mysteriously fled Sirene, she’s grown up among the planet’s “other” race. Now, at age twenty-five, she must find an Ourian to mate with or die. Except there are no other Ourians on the planet.

Proteus is sent back to Sirene to rescue a five-year-old child accidentally left behind when he and all the Ouri fled the threat of uprising. But through a trick of time, what he finds instead on his return is an Ourian woman he is forbidden by law to mate with, even if it means saving her life. And when the autocratic Galen forces Proteus to sexually service Kyrie, Proteus uses every trick at his disposal to keep her alive, all while plotting their escape.

Galen and Proteus are desperate to save Kyrie for very different reasons–but they both know the fate of the planet depends on her survival.

This novel is full of secrets and lies, surprising twists and unexpected revelations, with a strong heroine whose fierce loyalty to her sense of right and wrong forces her to make hard sacrifices for the good of her world. And they are choices which affect her own life in profoundly shattering ways.

If you are a fan of A Court of Thorns and Roses, and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, you will enjoy this book!

Here’s a brief excerpt:

“I can’t leave here, Proteus.”

“What?” Proteus crossed the short distance to where Kyrie was sitting.

She looked up at him, a plea in her eyes. “I appreciate that you were sent back here to rescue me. Believe me, after twenty years of wondering why I’d been abandoned when the Ouri fled, it was a relief to know I was not intentionally left behind. But if I can save even one innocent person from Galen’s false accusations—from his wrath—then this is my purpose. My destiny. I help these people, Proteus. I can’t leave here.”

“Kyrie, you are Sirene’s princess, the future of this planet. And now the woman I love. It is my fault you were left behind during the Ourian evacuation, and it is my duty to return you to your people. But there is still much you don’t know. About Galen. About your own people. You must come with me.”

“No. I made a promise to Galen that I would not leave Sirene.”

Proteus smiled. “You won’t have to leave Sirene to be reunited with the Ouri, Princess, because they are still here.”

“What? Where? No one has seen an Ourian on Sirene for the last two decades!”

“Exactly,” Proteus agreed. “And the reason for that involves a trick of time.”

 Sound interesting? If you’d like to read more, In The Court Of Love And Loss is available at:


Barnes & Noble:



All Romance eBooks:

LooseId Publishing:

For a chance to win an e-copy of the book, answer this question: What is the name of the antagonist of In The Court Of Love And Lost? Leave your email with your answer in the Comments section J One winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!

A little about me:

I’m an award-winning author who writes for several publishers under a variety of names, but mainly it’s to protect my poor sainted mother (who used to read sweet Harlequin novels) from discovering how sexy modern romances have become! I love to tango, travel and I’m obsessed with the Rolling Stones, travelling to different cities and countries around the world to see them play. You can visit my website at or my blog at Or connect with me on Twitter @JennaIvesAuthor or on Facebook, Goodreads or Pinterest.

Thanks again for hosting me today, Cynthia!

Juggling…by M. Lee Prescott

roseschoice200Thank you, thank you, Cindy for welcoming me again. I love this blog and learn so much from fellow authors. For this entry, I want to highlight my newest title, Rose’s Choice, # 4 in the Morgan’s Run Romances series (#5 coming early new year!), see excerpt below, but thought I’d say a few words about the challenges of multiple series.

If someone had told me thirty-five years ago when I wrote my first novel, that someday I’d not only be selling well, but juggling three popular series, one the Morgan’s Run Romances, and two other series, Roger and Bess Mysteries  and the Ricky Steele Mysteries, I’d have said she was crazy. Yet, here I am like so many writers, trying to keep characters, places and voice consistent while penning three very different series. The Ricky Steele books are complex, multi-layered mysteries laced with humor and dark places. Ricky’s stories are told in the first person, her distinct voice as much a character as her friends and acquaintances who people these books. Ricky lives on the river, but works in a gritty mill city that has definitely seen better days.

The quiet village of Old Harbor provides the backdrop for Roger Demaris and his team of detectives as they work to undercover secrets and apprehend killers. They are often assisted by Bess Dore, an art teacher at the village’s Quaker school, who is Ricky’s polar opposite—quiet, demure and self-effacing. As the series progresses, hot-headed Demaris discovers mindfulness, the silence offering him respite from his dark, dangerous work. In book two of the Ricky Steele books, Gadfly, Ricky and Roger meet and work together. The clash of personalities and character chemistry was lots of fun to write. Ricky also appears in my book, Jigsaw, at present a stand-alone mystery, but meant to be the first in a fourth series—the Juls and Tuck Mysteries. Yikes, how to drive oneself crazy!

Finally, there are the Morgan’s Run books and their setting in a beautiful southwestern valley, a fertile oasis ringed by mountains and desert. Although they are sexy romances, these books are very much a family saga, the large Morgan ranch drawing Ben and Leonora Morgan’s offspring home where they find refuge and love along with their friends and valley residents. I will admit that these books practically write themselves. Each return to the Valley is joyful for me. I love these characters!

So… the juggling part. It’s challenging, but I have found that I actually love working on several books simultaneously. For example, one of my current projects, Find the Children (Ricky Steele #4) is challenging with multiple plot lines, and many characters and situations. I often write myself into a corner and have to take a break from Ricky and the dangers she faces. This is also a much darker plot than I’ve told before and many days I wonder if I even want to tell this story about this beloved character. At such moments, I return to the Valley. Writing about the warm, loving Morgan family provides such a welcome break from the mean streets. Book #4 of the Roger and Bess mysteries is mostly still in my head, with a folder full of notes and clippings, but thinking about it is exciting. It’s a story I can’t wait to begin when time permits. All these musings, jumbled together in one big soup keep me writing!

Did I mention that I have a full-time job and four precious grandchildren? Frequent sabbaticals and generous vacation time help with the writing progress. I hope “someday” to get back to revisions of ten other stand-alone novels and the next adventure for Juls and Tuck. Just writing all this makes me exhausted, but also exhilarated. J I really love what I do – full-time job, writing, and family — so every day is joyful no matter what!

Please enjoy the sample of Rose’s Choice below and I hope our paths cross in future!




Rose’s Choice

Book 4: Morgan’s Run Romances


Facedown, forehead on Gracie’s cool granite counter, Sam Morgan groaned. My life, or at least my career, is over, and there isn’t a goddamn thing I can do about it. The café owner emerged from the kitchen with his burger, curly fries, and iced tea and set the food in front of him. “What’s this? Valley’s famous architect havin’ a bad day?”

He gave the tall, thin cook a crooked smile. As usual, there were flecks of food sprinkled in her frizzy salt-and-pepper hair. “Something like that. Thanks, Gracie. This looks great.”

“What’re you doin’ in town, anyway? Your dad’s always claiming you can’t get outta Flagstaff.”

“I’m out at Spark Foster’s. My team’s called so many times since construction began, I decided to come down for a few days.”

“I hear it’s a doozy.”

“Gonna be cool. Spark’s got great taste.”

“And deep pockets.”

Sam groaned as he bit into his burger. “God, this is good. Nothing like this in Flagstaff.”

“Baloney,” she said, a pleased grin on her face. “So, Foster’s house is a castle, I hear.”

He raised one eyebrow. “Would I design a castle and spoil the valley? It’ll fit right in with the landscape, promise.”

“Got it hugging a mountain, do ya?” Her gray eyes looked up as the café door swung open and Rose Dillon walked in. “Gotta get back to work, but here’s someone to cheer you up.” With a nod to the young woman, Gracie disappeared through swinging doors.

Sam turned and waved as Rose approached. Lovely as always, he thought, a pang of guilt washing over him as the lithe ash blonde neared the counter, her soft hazel eyes full of warmth. It had been almost a year since he’d seen her. In true Morgan style, he had flirted shamelessly with her at his sister’s wedding. In fact, they had danced nearly every dance together. He knew she was interested, very interested, so what did he do? Hightailed it back to Flagstaff right after the wedding and hadn’t called or written since. What a shit you are, Sam Morgan.

“Hi, Sam. This is a surprise.” The Morgan boys were all gorgeous—God’s gift to women, or so their reputation went—and Sam was no exception. His longish, dark brown hair fell over one eye, and his soft chestnut-brown eyes held a mischievous light, even today, when he looked a little down in the dumps.

               Warning bells clanged as Rose slipped onto a stool beside him. Poor guy looks like he’s lost his best friend, but it’s his problem, not yours. Stay away. Don’t get involved! This is the second Morgan brother to break your heart.

“Hey, Rose. How’re you doing?” He pushed a lock of hair from his eyes, smearing some of Gracie’s special burger sauce across his cheek. Rose resisted the impulse to reach forward and wipe it off, her senses on high alert with him so near.

“You’ve got a bit of sauce on your face,” she said.

He flushed crimson and grabbed a napkin, dabbing his cheek. “Better?”

“Yes.” Rose smiled, unable to look away from the dark eyes. A runner, Sam Morgan was thinner, lankier than his three brothers. “Are you here working on the Foster house?”

“Guilty as charged.”

“I hear it’s beautiful.”

You are too. What kind of an idiot turns his back on a gorgeous, well-respected pediatric neurosurgeon? Although she was smiling, her hazel eyes regarded him warily. Hair loose, she wore a diaphanous, sleeveless top, a light blue linen skirt, and beige sandals, her only adornment a thin silver necklace inlaid with turquoise and matching earrings. He suddenly realized he had been staring for several moments, holding the dripping burger in one hand.


m-leeprescott-resizedAbout Lee:

She writes in several genres of fiction—Mystery, Historical, Western Romance, Contemporary Romance, Romance Suspense, and books for children and young adults. Among her titles are Prepped to Kill, Gadfly and Lost in Spindle City (Ricky Steele Mysteries), Jigsaw, A Friend of Silence, Widow’s Island, and Song of the Spirit. Song of the Spirit was a finalist The 2014 International Digital Awards for Historical Fiction for Young Adults. She published five new titles in 2015, Hestor’s Way, a contemporary romance and In the Name of Silence and The Silence of Memory books two and three in the Roger and Bess Mysteries. The Morgan’s Run Romances series debuted in August 2015 with Emma’s Dream (a finalist in the 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards), followed by books two and three, Lang’s Return and Jeb’s Promise. Rose’s Choice is book four. She is currently drafting (in head and on paper) book four in the Ricky Steele mysteries and the Roger and Bess mysteries.
Lee’s “day job” is as professor at a small New England liberal arts college. Her scholarly work centers on social contexts within which children learn and she is the author of three works of nonfiction. Her current research examines the impact of mindfulness on readers and writers, work that brings her tremendous joy and satisfaction.

She lives in southeastern Massachusetts on a beautiful river. She is the mother of two sons and spends lots of time with them, their beautiful wives, and her four beloved grandchildren. When not teaching or writing (both of which she adores), her passions revolve around family, yoga, swimming, teaching mindfulness to children and adults, and walking. Lee loves to hear from readers. Email her anytime at, and visit her website to hear the latest and sign up for her newsletter.


Connect with M. Lee Prescott

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