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!

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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…

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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.

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

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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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