New Release: AN UNSUITABLE DUCHESS by Kathleen Buckley

perf5.000x8.000.inddAN UNSUITABLE DUCHESS by Kathleen Buckley

Historical Romance

Released May 19, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

After her guardian’s death, Anne Sinclair comes to Town seeking a man with broad interests, rather than broad estates. She possesses a competence and a pretty face, so why did her late guardian think it might be difficult for her to make a match? The question becomes urgent when she discovers that London can be perilous for a young lady of inquiring mind—especially when she has a hidden enemy.

Lord John Anniscote unexpectedly inherits the title and responsibilities of his dissolute brother, the Duke of Guysbridge, including houses, servants, tenants, and the need to provide himself with an heir. Formerly poor, cynical, and carefree, he finds himself hunted by marriage-minded females. When a plot against a young lady up from the country touches his honor, can the new duke safeguard her reputation and repair his own?

Author Bio:  When she was three years old, Kathleen Buckley’s father bought a set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Big books! With all kinds of words (and pictures) in them! By the age of twelve, she knew she wanted to write fiction (she also wanted to be a journalist, a spy and a spaceperson—but NASA wasn’t accepting female spacepersons then. She never became a journalist because she hates asking pushy questions, nor a spy, because she’s not good with foreign languages, has bad eyes and is not athletic. In semi-retirement, she began to write full-time, at least when not pursuing her other hobbies: reading, cats, cooking, costume, and spinning wheel repair. And no, she can’t spin. That will have to come after the spinning wheel repair. 

Book Excerpt: OUT OF SIGHT by Melissa Klein

OutofSight_w11613_750

OUT OF SIGHT by Melissa Klein / Book 2 of the Out of Uniform series / Contemporary Romance / Released July 5, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

When tragedy upends her life, Mia Jones must fight to regain her lost memories and win the man she loves.

After a brutal attack leaves Mia Jones with a traumatic brain injury, she learns the key to discovering her attacker’s identity lies within her damaged brain. As she battles to recover from her injuries, she finds it’s not her fiancé by her side but her foster brother, Hank.

When navy pilot, Hank Taggart ditches his plane in the sea, he thinks the worst has happened—until he returns home to learn Mia, the closest thing he’s ever had to family, is in ICU. While struggling to accept the end of a career that defines him and battling his own medical diagnosis, he must also suppress his newfound feelings for Mia.

With Hank rejecting her love at every turn and the bad guys upping the stakes, Mia wonders, which fate is worse: falling into the hands of her enemy or losing the man she loves.

Excerpt:

“What about your long-term prognosis?”

Mia shrugged. “Doctors are being optimistic. So. I. Don’t. Give. Up.”

He couldn’t image her doing that. “You’ve been through so much, angel. It just isn’t fair.”

She barked a laugh. “Haven’t. You. Heard? Life. Not. Fair.”

“But you’ve had more than your share of trouble.”

“Everything happens—for a reason.” She let out a breath. “Mrs. Brooks says. ‘God doesn’t. Give. More. Than. We. Can. Bear.’”

“Then God must think you’re a badass.”

Mia smacked him on the leg. “You’re. Naughty.”

“No,” he said, teasing back. “I’m just telling it like I see it. You’ve been through a hellova lot and you deserve a break.”

“We both do,” she said, her smile fading. “Both. Of. Us. Have.” Her brow furrowed. “Why. You. Should. Date. Be happy.”

She’d found her Prince Charming in Charles Brooks III. As much as he loathed the too-slick, Gone With the Wind throwback, he wouldn’t stand in her way if Tripp made her happy.

A few droplets of rain pelted them. “I guess we better head back inside.”

“Maybe it won’t get worse.”

“Better not chance it.” He scooped her into his arms. “Sugar melts.”

Holding Mia in his arms felt more right than anything in a long while, which was why he needed to get himself gone. She belonged to another man. Hank let himself breathe in her scent and absorb the way her breath tickled his neck for the time it took to return her to her room.

 

Contemporary Author Melissa Klein talks about her new release OUT OF SIGHT

Klein13024-12-8x10[1]Melissa Klein writes contemporary romance about everyday heroes fighting extraordinary battles. Whether facing the demands of caring for a child with special needs or the struggles of a soldier returning home, her characters take on the challenges life throws at them with perseverance, courage, and humor. Melissa won Georgia Romance Writers Unpublished Maggie award in 2013 and Rose City Romance Writers Golden Rose award in 2012. She lives in Atlanta with her family and can be found at www.MelissaKleinRomance.com

 

 

OutofSight_w11613_750What led you to write this book? Three years ago, a skiing accident left my daughter with a traumatic brain injury. She experienced the same memory loss and aphasia as Mia Jones, the heroine in Out of Sight. My daughter’s tenacity and willingness to work hard inspired me to write about a woman who triumphed over a similar life-changing event. I dedicated Out of Sight to Laura and the medical professionals at the trauma center where she was Life Flighted. Without their skill, Laura wouldn’t have gone on to lead an independent and happy life, just like Mia.

What do you hope readers take away from your work? In Out of Sight, Hank Taggart also faces life-changing events and struggles. I want readers to rethink what it means to be a hero. Everyone deserves their own version of happily ever after, even former naval pilots who must trade dog fighting in the skies for AA meetings.

Do you have a reoccurring theme to your books? I find myself repeating the theme of second chances in my books. I believe everyone deserves another chance to correct past mistakes and a second chance at love.

What do you do when you are not writing? When I’m not writing, I like to garden and travel. I have a small yard where I enjoy planting southern perennials I remember seeing in my grandparents’ gardens. This year my gardenias and hydrangeas are especially beautiful. I recently returned from visiting my daughter and was able to add Rhode Island to the list of states I’ve visited. Only 9 more to go.

What’s next for you? Out of Time, the third book in the Out of Uniform series will release sometime in August. I’m also completing another book in my Magnolia Springs series. My current work is progress is a departure from my usual military romance. It’s a humorous contemporary romance that starts when the hero and heroine attempt to stop their respective parents from marrying.

Social media: 

https://www.facebook.com/Melissa.Klein.Romance .

@klein_klein344

www.pinterest.com/gryphonmoonston/

What’s the big deal about SENSE8? Sensates speak out.

MV5BMTU3OTQwOTY2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjIzMjYxMjI@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_From the first cord of the theme song, vivid images of our diverse world flash before us and intensify with the music as we are plunged into SENSE8.

The first image is a bridge. A brilliant start to a series about 8 strangers who suddenly develop a link, a bridge, to one another. I am struck by the vibrancy of the pictures and the passions the people show for life as the music reaches a crescendo.

 

Dave – USA – Sense8 imagines a world in which empathy is a superpower. In which our connection with each other becomes the strongest part of us. A world in which no one has to be alone, where everyone can be understood. Sense8 offers a vision of the power people give to each other when they share themselves and all that brings them joy. The characters of the show, within this vision, suffer for each other, rejoice with each other, laugh with each other, and fight for each other. They are united because they understand each other too well not to be. They are united not because they are the same, but because they know the others are worth fighting for.

The first of June saw Netflix cancel Sense8. Twenty-nine days later they announced a two-hour movie.

What changed their mind?

Sensates. Fans of the show.

‪ Stephanie, Tennessee, USA – Sense8 showed me love, laughter, and the power of finding others who think like you. I may not be exactly the same as any other Sense8, but I am also a we. And that makes me laugh, smile & cry b/c there are a LOT of other members of that same worldwide cluster surrounding the show.

Klaudia, Poland – Sense8 is something I didn’t know I needed until I saw it. Somehow I found myself completely in love with 8 people from all around the world, who were all different but also like me. As a lesbian, it’s just so hard to find representation that gives us justice – but Nomi and Amanita are that. They love and support each other no matter what, and it’s so beautiful to see. It all is beautiful – the relationships between all of the characters give me hope, that someday I’ll find someone I’ll be just as close to.

I was about ten years-old when I realized something about my uncle. He was gay. I loved my uncle. We shared a love of books and Star Trek. He was funny and smart and a smartass. He could piss you off and make you laugh at the same time.

On this day we were heading to a bookstore. I wanted the book Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask. He was the only person in my life that I could ask to get it for me. I was riding in the backseat and he and his friend were in the front. I watched them interact and I knew. I knew they cared a great deal about each other. A slight brush of the hand, a smile and I knew. I also knew he was happy.

Later I told him I liked his friend. His smile turned to panic as he realized that I understood the nature of their relationship. He begged me to promise him that I would never tell anyone. Of course I promised, but I never forgot that look on his face. I also never saw him with his friend again.  He distanced himself from the family and I seldom saw him happy.

My uncle was funny and smart and a smartass and about twenty years ago he was murdered because his secret life made him vulnerable and alone.

Ellen, Oregon, USA – For me, the show speaks to our universal longing to emotionally connect with others and to be accepted no matter who we are. Each person has value, gifts, things to cherish along with problems, dangerous situations, criminal behavior. None is better than or less than any other. Just different. And our differences are beautiful.

Sense8 is something else my uncle and I would have shared.

Jenny – ‪ In this age of technical connectivity, where people are often virtually connected yet still isolated as units yearning for a stronger connection through flashing screens, Sense8 brought us the promise of an elevated form of humanity. Where our existence is beyond physicality and time; where our existence hangs strong and fragile on the kindness of the humanhood. It is a show that is not afraid to embrace deeper philosophical questions about what it means to be human, and still, true to the spectacle of great television, embrace the bubbly, vibrant, and camp within all of us.

If you have seen Sense8 you understand.

If you haven’t seen Sense8 we hope you will join us.

RELATED ARTICLE:

Netflix Revives Sense8: Read Lana Wachowski’s Heartwarming Letter

New Release & Excerpt: MAGIC IN HER EYES by Donna Dalton

perf5.000x8.000.inddMAGIC IN HER EYES by Donna Dalton / Spicy Historical / Released June 23, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

Excerpt:

“Do you also have an aversion to being touched?”
Meredith looked up and met the lieutenant’s taunting gaze. It was a challenge she couldn’t ignore. She hefted her chin. “Not if I have given permission to be touched.”
One corner of his mouth twitched. Surely that wasn’t a smile. From what she’d seen, the most his lips could manage were frowns. 
He held out his hand. “May I help you into the wagon, Miss Talbot? In the name of expediency?”
Straw rustled behind her. One child hummed. Another thrummed on the wagon boards. The children were getting restless. She could contain herself long enough to be lifted onto the wagon.
“Very well. I give my permission.”
His hands curled around her waist. Heat seeped through her blouse and branded her skin. Her stomach started doing odd little summersaults like the ones she’d seen Chinese acrobats perform at a local fair. So much for containing herself.
His grip tightened, and he lifted her up and onto the wagon bed as if she weighed no more than a rag doll. His hands lingered a moment before he released her. Gray-brown eyes fused with hers. A strange connection churned between them like the rush crowding the air before a storm.

Review: MORTAL HEART by Robin LaFevers

51szrPzZtOL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Mortal Heart – His Fair Assassin – Book 3 by Robin LaFevers, HMH Books for Young Readers, November 2014 – 5 Stars

Blurb:

In the powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever’s New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins trilogy, Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind, doesn’t mean she has.

 Review:

 Annith watched her friends, Ismae and Sybella leave the convent of St. Mortain to confront the enemies of their country and ruler, Duchess Anne while staying behind. When will it be Annith’s turn to go to battle? One of the nuns, Sister Vereda who has the ‘Sight’ and foretells the future has fallen ill so she can’t be depended upon to help Annith gain her freedom and face her destiny. To her dismay, she overhears the Abbess tell another nun that she, Annith will be the next Seeress who sends out the Handmaidens, young students, on their deadly quests.

Being locked up for the rest of her life frightens Annith and she decides to fight, to do whatever she needs to do to escape this fate. A skilled assassin, the best in the convent with a bow, a knife, on a horse or the ground, she doesn’t believe her future lies behind the walls of St. Mortain’s. She prays for aid, careful not to tell the Abbess or other nuns that this godlike figure the women serve isn’t a secret to her – she actually ‘sees’ him and remembers previous conversations with him. Of course, this spiritual information would only cause the women in charge to ‘know’ Annith ought to be the next Seeress regardless of her protests.

Discovering that the recent change in expectations for her comes from the mortal authorities, not Saint Mortain leads Annith to escape. She forges a note from the Abbess, currently gone on a trip to court, collects food and weapons ~ her is the bow and arrows, then steals her favorite horse and heads off to connect with her friends. On the journey, Annith meets up with a group of unearthly riders known as the ‘harlequin’ who find the recently deceased and escort them to the Underworld or possibly Limbo. Their leader, a warrior known as Balthazar intrigues her. She finds herself joining the band for a while, but not quietly. She wants to know more about the members and interviews them.

Through Annith’s narrative, LaFevers explains the ‘harlequin’ want to help the ‘lost souls’ because it shows there is ‘rest for all souls eventually’ even for them. As they travel closer to their destination, she becomes increasingly drawn to Balthazar and wonders if this is the first time they’ve met. Choosing to investigate further, she discovers he has the arrow she crafted for her ‘god’ during a holiday celebration. While unsure precisely why he has the gift, she seizes a sudden opportunity to escape the ‘harlequin’ and this decision becomes the catalyst for more conflict in the future, especially when she learns that another handmaiden failed, dying on her maiden mission.

In Rennes, Annith reunites with her friends and confronts the Abbess about Mateline’s death, but more mysteries remain to be solved. Since Mortal Heart is the culmination of the trilogy, LaFevers has several unanswered questions from the previous books to resolve. Ismae’s and Sybella’s leaving the convent becomes one of the largest conflicts that Annith faces especially since she’s sent to complete a lethal assignment – killing Chancellor Crunard. While enroute to the city where he’s imprisoned, she faces Balthazar yet again. She must decide if she’s found a mortal or immortal man to love and what will be the cost of her choice?

More twists and turns abound, but the pacing never slows in the turbulent plot. The setting is as well-developed as that in Ismae’s and Sybella’s stories with all of the details from that historical period. Characters from the earlier works continue to evolve. As before, LaFevers effectively utilizes her heroine’s point of view to narrate the story. Readers never lose sight of Annith’s clear perspective, creating a wonderful resolution to a terrific adventure.

Review: DARK TRIUMPH – His Fair Assassin by Robin LaFevers

51OahoGngaL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Dark Triumph – His Fair Assassin – Book 2 by Robin LaFevers, HMH Books for Young Readers, April 2014 – 5 Stars by Shannon Kennedy

Blurb:

Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

 

Review:

In this second installment of the His Fair Assassin trilogy, Sybella came to the convent of St. Mortain already a killer, half insane from the demands of her power-mad father who intends to steal the throne from the rightful ruler of Brittany, thirteen-year-old Duchess Anne. Forced by the convent to return to his castle, Sybella does her best to undermine him while she waits for permission from St. Mortain to kill him. When D’Albret tries to force Anne to marry him, Sybella determines to do anything to protect the girl, not simply because of her age and innocence; Sybella knows her father murdered all six of his previous wives including her mother.

Damaged by her past, Sybella may be a flawed character who longs for death at times and is angered because Mortain constantly denies her. Rage is the one quality that she consistently portrays and yet she also has an inherently kind heart which she vehemently refuses to admit. She pities those who stand up to her father and die for their principles yet she also attempts to help whoever she can to escape him, even if it’s only two orphaned household servants. Readers will want this poor, pathetic teenager to live, to learn that there is hope and she has a chance not only for peace but also for a happy, decent future, but how can this happen in her desperate situation?

To complicate matters, Sybella receives orders from the convent and the abbess to rescue Sir Benebic, the Beast of Waroch currently trapped and tortured in her father’s dungeons. She is to return him to the court of Duchess Anne. During this dangerous hunt, Sybella also discovers the extent of her ‘father’s’ horrendous plans. D’Albret intends a gruesome death for the valiant soldier and plans to send pieces of the man’s body to the teenage ruler. It’s a measure of her integrity that Sybella decides if she can’t get Sir Benebic out of the dungeon, she’ll grant him a merciful death, much kinder than the hanging, drawing and quartering described so effectively by LaFevers.

Using the means provided by the convent, i.e. drugs that cannot only kill but also the garrison of soldiers to sleep, she bribes the night-soil man for his cart. However, she doesn’t expect the so-called, Beast of Waroch to knock her unconscious and take her to Duchess Anne’s court with him. The journey lasts several days and Sybella finds herself drawn to the giant, battle-scarred warrior. It is symbolic of LaFevers’ skilled writing that she never allows her heroine to find the ‘Beast’ a super handsome, brilliant hero. Instead, Sybella consistently reminds herself of his physical flaws. When she insults him, he laughs, finding her more amusing than she appreciates. He also respects her lethal abilities. She’s as skilled with her daggers as he is with his sword which comes in handy when they’re forced to confront their pursuers. To her amazement, Waroch wants to protect her from her evil relatives, a new experience for a girl who has always defended herself.

Sybella lacks Ismae’s innocent belief in the convent, its leaders and the saint or god of Death. Because of her dysfunctional upbringing, Sybella doesn’t trust anyone and often feels betrayed since she was promised that her father, D’Albret has been ‘marqued’ for death and she will have the opportunity to kill him, the reason she returned to his environs. So, it comes as no surprise to her that when she and Waroch arrive at the Rennes and the royal court, the abbess plots to ruin any chance of peace Sybella may have found. With the country at war, she may be the only asset they have to spy on her traitorous father and Waroch may not have enough influence to keep her safe.

Fifteenth century politics become the backdrop for this unusual young adult alternate history. As before the setting of this book adds to the depth of the novel. Ismae and Duval are integral to the plot and it’s wonderful to watch their romance continue to unfold. Some readers may have trouble with Sybella and the Beast’s unconventional love story. His attempts to protect her aren’t ‘PC’ for our time, but remain historically accurate. Her unwillingness to share everything she knows creates conflict, but is perfectly understandable considering how much guilt she feels over the past.

Another problem may be her incredible ‘warlike’ abilities. She has an intriguing skill-set when it comes to killing others. Unlike most teen protagonists, Sybella doesn’t hesitate to dole out death and feels no particular emotion toward her victims. They get what they deserve. An odd element is that neither she nor Beast exhibit much survivor guilt or PTSD symptoms. They are warriors determined to see the war through to its end and hopefully they will win both life and love in the process. However, there aren’t any guarantees and these two characters accept that more easily than readers may.

On Monday’s blog – Review of Book 3 MORTAL HEART by Robin LaFevers