Monday, April 11, 2016

Release Day: Her Deviant Lord, New Historical Romance by Layna Pimentel

Her Deviant Lord 
Pleasure Garden Follies, Book Three
by Layna Pimentel
Release Date: April 11, 2016
Genre: Erotic Historical Romance


Her Deviant Lord from romance author Layna Pimentel, is the third installment of the Pleasure Garden Follies series. This historical romance features a sexy earl, second chances at love, and plenty of kink for good measure.

Bastian Wycliffe, the Earl of Wendelhem, has finally moved on…or so he thought. En route to a hunting trip after over-indulging the night before, he endures a frightful and terribly embarrassing swoon. He’s seen a ghost and her name is Cordelia Waite, the Duchess of Downsbury.

Mrs. Weylen, formerly a duchess, has a secret. All it took was the chance meeting in the inn that fateful night for her memories to come back and haunt her. She makes haste returning to London incognito with the intent to clear up misconceptions and to deliver an ultimatum to her former lover.

Yet, when a newfound obsession refuses to accept the truth, and her imprisoned husband discovers she’s still alive, their lives and relationship may be in danger. Second chances have never been more precarious.



Excerpt 

Cordelia nodded as the marquess ran through her instructions. The beautiful, dark blue gown that he and his wife had gifted her with was reminiscent of the style of gown that suited her the most. Since having Matthew, although she had kept her hourglass figure, she was a bit more top heavy as she was still nursing him. The black velvet cape that Isabel had loaned her covered every nuance of her body that would make her recognizable to the ton.

The marquess stepped out of the carriage and helped her down. Cordelia kept her gaze on the cobblestones leading up to Bastian’s door.

“My lord, ma’am. If you will follow me to the library, I will see if my master is up for a visit,” the butler declared with a scowl.

“I hope he is not too busy? We have much to discuss, and it is very important. Let him know that an audience with him is imperative.”

Overly tall and lean, the man had to be near ancient. He furrowed his brows, squinting for only a moment, as if discerning how to deliver—or more accurately, interrupt, Wycliffe. “Very well, sir, please wait here in his library.”

“That went well.”

“That is only the beginning. I wonder…Cordelia, if you were to stand in the corner by that bookcase…” He pointed to the opposite side of the room where it was dark.

She nodded and made haste before anyone walked in on them.

“Perfect,” the marquess commented a short moment before the butler entered.

“His lordship will join you momentarily. He only needs to dress. May I offer you and the lady some refreshment?”

“No, that will not be necessary. I do not plan on staying long.”

The butler bowed and left, Bastian arriving soon after. Cordelia noticed that his hair was mussed at the back. Has he been entertaining a woman upstairs? Has he truly moved on and found another lover? Her heart sank at the prospect. How could he replace me so…so…so…soon? It has not even been a full year.

Her hands trembled beneath her cape, and she could barely stand on her own. How she wanted to throw her arms around him and tell him how much she missed him.

“Thompson! What is so important that it could not wait until morning? Has anything happened?”

“Be easy, man. I assure you, Isabel and Emily are fine. I simply came here to escort a woman who desperately wanted to see you.”

He scoffed. “If this has anything to do with Mary Elizabeth, I—”

The marquess nodded, and Cordelia stepped forward into the glowing light of the fireplace. Bastian turned toward her, and when she lifted the hood of the cape, his eyes widened and his mouth gaped before he crashed to the floor from swooning.

“Oof! I have to admit, I did not quite expect that response.”

Cordelia abandoned her cape where she stood and ran over to him, dropping to her knees. Good heavens! What have I started? The man probably thought he was staring at a ghost. “Wake up, my love!” she whispered as the butler walked in.

“What happened?”

“He just swooned. I have it under control. If he was entertaining upstairs, can you see to the lady and have her sent home immediately? He will need some rest, and I am certain he will want some privacy.”

“Certainly, sir. I shall have her removed immediately.”

So, he was entertaining another woman. How could he… Fury simmered beneath the surface of her calm facade. Why had he never come to confirm if the reports were true? She always knew Richard would never waste a minute on her, but Bastian…They were so close. Kindred spirits. He should have been able to feel, somehow, that she was alive.

Disappointment washed over her. Instead of fawning over his swoon, Cordelia jumped to her feet, walked over to sideboard, and grabbed a bottle of port. Then, she returned to him and began to unscrew the cork.

“Cordelia, what are you doing?”

“Getting him to come out of his swoon.”

“With that?”

“Yes. Do you take issue with my course of action, my lord?”

The marquess stepped away and waved for her to continue.

“If you would rather leave, I am quite capable of waking and caring for him.”

“I will leave the two alone once I am assured you can stay. Though we should not stay too late.” 

“And I assure you, my lord, once I have said what I have to say, he will probably want me removed from the premises immediately.”

“In that case, I will wait in the hall for you.”

Once his lordship closed the door behind him, she dumped the bottle of port over Bastian’s face. He sputtered at first, and when his eyes opened wildly, followed by oaths being muttered, he stared at her and jumped to his feet.

“Damnation, woman! You are alive!”

He practically collided into her to embrace her, and all she could do was slap him. Her hand stung from the impact. She instantly regretted her action, but how else was she to express her displeasure at his courting another woman?

Bastian growled at her. “What in the world was that for?”

“That was for not looking for me! And if I were you, I would stay back. I am liable to slap you again for entertaining other female guests.”

“Cordelia…please!”
***
About the Author

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Layna discovered her love of reading at an early age. She’s a bestselling author at All Romance eBooks, and multi-published author of historical, paranormal and contemporary erotic romances. When she isn’t devouring salacious romance novels or writing, she enjoys losing herself in researching ancient history and mythology, weaponry, and hiking. She lives in Northern Ontario, with her husband and two daughters.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Catching Up With Contemporary Romance Author Brenda Margriet

Today I am thrilled to welcome Brenda Margriet to the blog for a chat! Brenda has brought us a peek at her brand new romance, When Time Falls Still. Check it out! 

***

When Time Falls Still is set in winter in Northern British Columbia. What made you choose that location and season?

When I first started writing, I wanted to concentrate on character and plot, and figured that having to deal with an unfamiliar location would just add to the strain. So I set my first romantic suspense, Mountain Fire in my hometown of Prince George, and have continued to do so for four of my five finished manuscripts, including When Time Falls Still. One of the things I like best about the area where I live is we have four distinct seasons. Summers can reach 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit for you Americans ), Autumn is crisp and bright, and Winter is usually a snow-lovers paradise (Spring is probably my least favourite. I call it “The Melt” and it can be pretty ugly for a while.) We also get a lot of sun in the winter, which makes the short days bearable and beautiful at the same time. I wanted to celebrate all that.

What is your writing process like? 

As I have a demanding full-time day job, I can only write in the evenings and on weekends, yet in the last four years I have completed four manuscripts. I can only do this by being very efficient, which has led me to be a confirmed plotter. Each new manuscripts starts out as a list of scenes in an Excel (yes, Excel!) spreadsheet. As I’m writing, I allow myself to deviate from the spreadsheet, but it is very useful when I hit a “where do I go from here?” moment. I can go back, review what I thought I was doing when I first started writing, revise the spreadsheet, and use my initial notes to help me move forward. I’ve toyed with the idea of writing scenes out of order, like Jessica does, but I’m afraid I’ll just write all the fun ones and never have the incentive to go back to do the necessary-but-not-as-fun scenes. Writing chronologically, I have the carrot of an exciting scene ahead, as long as I can get there. 

What, aside from writing, do you like to do best? 

Well, reading, of course. I’m a bit of a speed reader, so I often go through two or three books a week, despite my busy schedule of work and writing. I also enjoy gardening, although I like the planning and planting part better than the maintaining and weeding part. Photography is something I like to do as well, especially when my husband and I are camping or travelling, two more things I love to do.

Justice Cooper had the all-Canadian dream in his grasp – a chance to play in the National Hockey League. Are you a fan of hockey? 

As a Canadian, I think I have to say yes or give back my passport! But in all honesty, I do love the sport. It’s fast and gritty and skillful, demanding partnerships with teammates and a commitment to hard work. Like most team sports, it’s a great way for kids to learn how to work together and to be unselfish in the pursuit of a common goal. The National Hockey League may be the golden dream for many young boys, but from the tiny tots to old-timers it’s a game that is simply part of our psyche as a nation.

What kind of research did you do for this book? 

Charlotte is a university professor, teaching medieval poetry. My main research, other than online sources, was to talk to my oldest daughter. She started out as an English/History major, and is now working on her Master’s Degree in History at the university where I set my story. When it came to the workings of the University of Northern British Columbia, how to get a doctorate, how professors are awarded tenure and things like that, she was my go-to girl.

I have a small confession to make about research. I’m still shy about approaching people outside my circle of friends and family. So for this book, I didn’t talk to any security guards about what their normal days and duties are like. Someday I’m going to have to break out of that insecurity. I know it will add another layer of credibility to my writing, even if I have to ignore some of the realities in order to write the story I want to write.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you so much for hosting me today, Jessica! I’d also like to invite people to join my newsletter. It will be a great way to keep up with what's new in my writing world, but I promise emails will only be sent a few times a year. As an incentive, all new subscribers will get a FREE e-copy of my short story, The Life She Had Before. You can sign up on my Author Page or my website.

And one more thing! I’m giving away 5 copies of When Time Falls Still.  Enter here by April 15th for your chance to win!
When Time Falls Still
by Brenda Margriet

Professor Charlotte Girardet is focused on one thing – securing tenure at a large, prestigious university. 

Her career is firmly on track, but her life is complicated by her attraction to rough and rugged security guard Justice Cooper. It isn't only Charlotte's heart in danger, however. Tensions blaze on campus after several students are viciously attacked. 

Struggling to balance her ambitions and her growing passion, Charlotte takes a leap of faith, and trusts Justice with her deepest secret. But when the assailant's attacks escalate to kidnapping, will Charlotte have the chance to decide between her long-held dreams or a new life with Justice?

Excerpt

Charlotte braced herself against the motion of the elevator, but not before her breasts, protected only by thin fabric and thinner lace, brushed Justice’s chest. He was standing so close she felt overwhelmed. Not intimidated—he didn’t scare her—just...swamped by his nearness.

Or maybe it was the heat in his eyes.

Ocean depths had nothing on the blueness searing into her, she thought wildly. Vertigo weakened her knees, but she couldn’t look away.

"I—" She broke off, swallowed, and tried again. "I don’t know what to say." He toyed with the end of her braid, and she swore she could feel the touch of his fingers fizzle up the strands, down her spine and into the soles of her feet.

"Did you honestly think I wasn’t attracted to you?" His voice rumbled, low and sexy.

The doors slid open. Thank God the hallway was empty. Her legs felt disconnected from her body, but she managed not to stumble. She unlocked her office, seeking refuge inside. Justice followed.

"Charlotte?"

He wasn’t going to let it go. Perseverance was his greatest strength—and his most irritating habit, she thought peevishly. "I threw myself at you and you walked away."

"I just about took you up against your front door." Frustration coloured his tone. He scrubbed his hands over his close-cropped head.

"Fine. Maybe you were right." She lifted her satchel off her shoulder and tossed it into a nearby chair. "Maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly enough."

"Maybe." He crossed his ankles and leaned against the wall, the casual stance belying the tension evident in the fists jammed in his pockets, the set of his shoulders. "Now what?"

"I don’t know." The collar of his uniform jacket had kinked up on one side. Without thinking, she stepped forward to smooth it down. He caught her hand and held it. Her fingers curled into his.

The connection felt good. It felt right. Maybe she should stop thinking altogether, and just go with her gut.
She never did that. She planned and researched and debated and planned some more. Trying to regain her equilibrium, she tugged away and escaped behind her desk.

"Let’s look at this rationally," she said. His scarred eyebrow arched and amusement flickered in his face, but she battled on. "We are both healthy, single adults. For some reason, we seem to have strong physical chemistry."

"Some reason?" The amusement was uppermost, now. His lips remained firm and straight, but she could see it in his eyes, as usual.

"Don’t take this the wrong way, but you are not the kind of man I ever thought I’d be attracted to."

​He lowered his lids and regarded her through narrow slits. "Right back at you."

She bristled, but took her own advice and let it go. "Regardless, we could take advantage of this mutual appeal."

"There’s the professor I know and...admire," he murmured.

She ignored the sarcasm. "I’m only here for a few more months." The exam today was the last she needed to invigilate. As soon as they were marked and the results submitted, she was flying out to spend Christmas with Sonny and family, returning a few days before the start of the winter session. "Are you in any of my classes next semester?"

He shook his head, watching her closely.

"Would you consider a short-term, exclusive relationship, with a predefined end date?" There, she thought. That sounded mature, sensible. No need to let emotions colour what promised to be a satisfying adult affair.
He straightened from the wall, looming to his full height. "Would this so-called relationship be strictly physical? Or could it involve social aspects as well?"

Once again, she sensed an underlying current of laughter, but she ignored it. "I can’t see why not."

"And it would come to an end the same time as your contract?"

"Or earlier, of course, should either of us find it no longer meets our needs."

"I thought English professors were supposed to be romantic."

Romance. Love. That’s what hurt you. Sex, on the other hand, was just sex. "Not all of us."
***

Reviews

"If you're looking for a great contemporary romance, WHEN TIME FALLS STILL is the book for you. The romance between Justice and Charlotte was full of ups and downs but their connection, friendship and attraction a constant. A fantastic introduction to a new-to-me author, I will happily browse through Brenda Margriet's backlist." - The Romance Reviews 

"Margriet’s voice produces a smooth flowing narrative, intriguing sexual tension, and a well-plotted romance that takes it’s time developing as Margriet sets out to address and resolve the internal issues of the protagonists while flirting with a light suspense filled subplot." - Smexy Books 

Buy Links

Brenda Margriet writes contemporary romances with heroes you'd meet at the grocery store. And by that she means real-life men – sexy, smart and looking for the love of their life. Her heroines are bold, savvy and determined to accept nothing less than the man they deserve.

A voracious reader since she was old enough to hold a book, Brenda's idea of the perfect holiday involves a comfortable chair near the water (ocean, lake or pool will do), a glass of wine, and a full-loaded e-reader.

She lives in Northern British Columbia with her husband, three children (all of whom are taller than her) and various finny and furry pets. 

Join Brenda's newsletter and be the first to know about new releases and other exciting news! Plus, receive a free c-copy of her short story, The Life She Had Before.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cover Reveal: Once by M.S. Kaye

Once
Book One, by M.S. Kaye

Her first and also her once.

Jonathan and Rebecca’s paths cross at exactly the right moment, when each most needs to hear what the other has to say.

But Jonathan is three days from entering the priesthood, and Rebecca leaves him to his peace. But he is unable to find peace.

Without each other’s comfort and strength, they must each struggle to forge a new path, with only memories of the one day that changed everything.

But are they able to forget and let go?


Will be released July 2, 2016 from Inkspell Publishing.



Once & Again
, book two


Will be released September 4, 2016 from Inkspell Publishing.

She was once his secret desire…will she be again?

Father Aiden, an ex-marine and new priest, falls in love with Maylynn, but he struggles to stay away from her. He’s successful for many years, though he can’t keep her out of his dreams. 

Then one day she shows up for a pre-marital counselling session with her fiancĂ©, Davis. Aiden soon realizes Davis isn’t who he says he is, but what does that mean for Maylynn, and for himself?

Once & Forever, book three

Will be released December 2016 from Inkspell Publishing.

Eden, a nun, is constantly struggling against her dark past of living on the streets, and her attraction to Trace, an ex-convict farm worker. After a twelve-year separation, Eden is finally reunited with her brother, Thomas, but why hadn’t she reached out to him in all those years? As Eden and Trace grow closer, confessing their pasts to each other, will they be able to resist getting too close?


***
Excerpt from Once

“What’s the answer?”

He paused. “A switchblade.”

With my fingertips, I reached out and traced the scar across his cheek. “Did you win?”

He removed my hand and closed his eyes. “Yes.”

I slid his Book back to him. “This says we can find forgiveness.”

His eyes still closed, his jaw clenched. He bowed his head. “It also says ‘Thou shalt not kill.’”

I took his hand in both of mine, petted his rough skin, and then brought it to my lips. He had a talent for guiding invisibly, but I didn’t know how to do that.

He watched me again. His eyes were intense, like the black of the night sky, and his forehead was furrowed, as if his emotions were scattered, as if he was shocked at my reaction, as if he had been sure his answer would drive me away. But I knew him. Already, I knew him.

“You’re still a good person,” I said.

His jaw clenched. “I’ve been trying to believe that.”

“I have faith in you.”

He continued to watch me. His forehead never smoothed, as if he was fighting for strength, but his eyes softened. He slid around the booth, closer to me.

I didn’t move, not sure what to do, what was right, what he wanted.

He leaned closer.

I only watched him.

He touched his lips to my cheek, the faintest pressure. I struggled to sit still, to keep my hands in my lap, not to grab hold of him. And then his lips were gone, such brief contact that I couldn’t be sure if he had actually kissed my cheek or if I wanted his contact so much that I’d imagined it.

He spoke in my ear. “You must be some kind of final test.”

My heart pounded into my ribs, against the point of the blade. “Are you going to pass?”

His lips brushed against my jaw. “I don’t know.”

He trailed to my neck, his mouth softly pressing. My hand curled into his hair, the other on his shoulder, holding, clutching. His mouth found mine, barely touching. His warmth invaded my head.

“God give me strength,” he murmured.

The door slid open, and the compartment filled with laughter.

He closed his eyes. Then he slid away from me.


***
Author Bio

M.S. Kaye has several published books under her black belt. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband Corey in Jacksonville, Florida, where she tries not to melt in the sun. Find suspense and the unusual at www.BooksByMSK.com.

To receive news on upcoming releases, sign up for email updates on her website. 


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