Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Release Blitz & Review ~ One Night of Surrender - The Wicked Dukes Club by Darcy Burke

ONS - rb banner.jpg

Meet the unforgettable men of London's most notorious tavern, The Wicked Duke. Seductively handsome, with charm and wit to spare, one night with these rakes and rogues will never be enough…


One Night of Surrender, an all-new standalone in the historical romance series The Wicked Dukes Club from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke, is available now!

ONOSurrender-cover-Amazon.jpg

After one passionate night a decade ago, Valentine Fairfax, Duke of Eastleigh, never forgot Isabelle, the intelligent, witty and forbidden daughter of a head of college at Oxford. However, since suffering a disastrous marriage to an unfaithful wife, the duke has vowed never to succumb to temptation again. Until the day he discovers his friend’s governess is the one woman who still haunts his dreams.
Once penniless, Isabelle Cortland has finally saved enough money to finance a school for impoverished girls. But when a chance encounter rekindles buried desires, Isabelle knows she can’t be a duke’s mistress and a headmistress at the same time. No longer a naïve girl, Isabelle won’t repeat the past. Not even for one night of surrender...

ONS - AN.jpg
Download your copy today!
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2L8JNcS



Dynamite High 5 Stars for the newest from USA Today Bestselling Author Darcy Burke: One Night for Surrender, Wicked Dukes Club Series! I absolutely loved this tale and Burke sure takes you on one deeply passionate and romantic tale! You will fall in love with Isabelle and Valentine, such a powerful couple! I Highly recommend this to any die-hard historical romance fan!

ONS - Teaser 1 AN.jpg

About Darcy:
Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, emotional historical and contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. Join her reader club at http://www.darcyburke.com/readerclub. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, two Bengal cats and a third cat named after a fruit.

740B2310 Darcy.jpg

Connect with Darcy:
Stay up to date with Darcy by joining her Reader Club today:








Thursday, April 25, 2019

Book Tour & Review ~ To Love an Earl - Mayfair: Book 3 by J R Salisbury


To
Love an Earl
Mayfair
Book 3
by
J R Salisbury


Genre:
Historical Romance

One
of the worst snow storms in over a decade hits England. What's the
worst that could happen?

Lady
Jane Blackmont finds herself stranded at the Earl of Norwood's
estate. Not looking for love of any fashion, she finds herself
falling for a neighbor and one of her brother's friends.
The
Earl of Norwood rescues the young woman after her carriage careens
off the road. Right in front of his estate. Norwood's been unlucky in
love, but finds himself intrigued with the smart and talented Lady
Jane. Does he dare open himself up to love?
Life
is about to hand the pair more than most young couples have to deal
with in a life time. Lady Jane shows Norwood she's up to the
challenge.












You will need a nice pot of tea for this book! I give To Love an Earl by J R Salisbury a lovely 4 stars! At first, we meet Lady Jane and her maid who are traveling to the country to one of her brother's lavish parties. Whilst on their journey their carriage tips over on the icy roads and fortunately, a stranger comes along, who just so happens to be the Earl of Norwood. He takes the ladies to his home to wait out the storm, thinking that they would be on their way the following day but the snowstorm was much worse than they'd all predicted and the ladies had to stay for several days. During the course of the coming days, Lady Jane and Norwood begin to fall for one another but neither are open to love. Will Norwood be able to open his heart once more? Will Lady Jane allow herself to love? 

This is a lovely story but I felt at times the pacing was too slow and then too fast, in some areas we needed more details and in others it seemed too much info dumping. Otherwise, I felt the story very well written and definitely a wonderful story to read on a dreary winter's day!

I've
always been a creative individual. Writing is just a facet of that
creativity...


My careers in public relations in and around the
entertainment industry, photography, editing,  artist
management, modeling and special event planning all elevated my
passion for writing, not to mention gave me a treasure trove for
story lines.

I write women's fiction; contemporary romance (as
Jamie Salisbury) and historical romance (as JR Salisbury) which is
ever evolving. I am fortunate enough that writing (and marketing of
said product(s)) is my full-time job, although I always have one or
two other projects going at the same time.

I now live in a
suburb of Atlanta. Some of my other interests include photography,
equestrianism, reading, and of course, travel.

I sincerely
hope my writing will entertain, enlighten, and inspire others to pick
up the pen and pursue their own dreams. I love to be contacted by
readers, writers, and history buffs.








Follow
the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!





Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Review Blog Tour ~ Her Midnight Sin - A Shadows and Silk Novel by Sofie Darling


Meet the Author:


Sofie Darling is an award-winning author of historical romance. Her debut novel, THREE LESSONS IN SEDUCTION, won the Writers’ League of Texas’ Manuscript Contest in the Romance Category in 2016.

She spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized she simply had to write the books she loved, she finished her English degree and embarked on her writing career. Mr. Darling and the boys gave her their wholehearted blessing.

When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.

Connect: Site | Facebook | TwitterGoodreads



About the Book:



Like a vengeful Norse god, Captain John Nylander has come from the sea to steal the only home that Callie has ever known. And that might not be all he’s after.

Can a Viking…

Orphaned as a child, Nylander has never known a real home. Now he is ready to leave the dangers of his past behind and put down the roots he has always longed for. The only thing standing in his way is a lanky aristocratic lady who is more at home on the farm than in the ballroom. And she has secrets…

And a Viscountess…

Callie, the Dowager Viscountess St. Alban, has poured all her energy into making Wyldcombe Grange her home. Managing an estate is not what she dreamed of, but her late husband’s rejection made it clear that love and a family would never be hers. Now she may lose even that to the sinfully handsome Captain. But Nylander is making her dream again…

Turn passion into love?

Nylander inspires a recklessness in Callie that she can’t control. Soon she finds herself conspiring with pirates and contemplating midnight trysts with the very Viking who has turned her life upside down. For Nylander, being with Callie embodies everything he’s always wanted—home. As midnight strikes, will all their secret, sinful dreams come true?

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Excerpt:

Nylander fixed his gaze on the curious woman beyond Jake’s shoulder. She stood quietly, a straight vertical line of a woman, tall and not a curve on her. Her hair shone the fiery red of an East Indian sunset.

Jake cleared his throat. “Shall we toast to your safe arrival?”

Nylander jutted his chin toward the woman. “If you’ve still some business to conduct, I can wait.”

Jake’s brow darkened, as if unhappy to be reminded of her. “Just finishing up some business with the Dowager Viscountess St. Alban.”

A Dowager Viscountess. Right.

She stepped into the light of a gas wall sconce. She was all long limbs, gangly like a colt who had yet to grow into her legs. High cheekbones. Strong nose. Eyes, not conventionally blue and round, rather dark and almond shaped. A mouth too wide and full to be called pretty, but appealing. Her individual features were none of them fashionable, but they synthesized to form a face attractive and compelling. She was a difficult woman to look away from. He couldn’t if he wanted, so strong was the magnetic pull of her.

Yet she stood glaring at him with the hostility of a woman who had a serious bone to pick. He’d never encountered her in his life; he would’ve remembered. So why was she looking at him like she would strap lead weights to his ankles and toss him into the sea rather than lay eyes on him ever again?

Jake glanced back and forth between them, a deep furrow in his brow. “Shall I introduce you?”

“There shan’t be any need for that,” she said tightly.

Shame, bitter, hot, and familiar, sliced through Nylander, a shame he’d never been able to shed. Its stigma wrapped tentacles around him and squeezed. Though he was dressed in the finery of a nob, this woman wasn’t fooled. People of quality always saw straight through to who he was, who he really was. Jake didn’t see it, because he loved him like a brother, but this woman did with those coal dark eyes of hers that pierced and burned. She knew him for what he was: an orphan, a cast-off, a man to be used and discarded when the whim suited her.


Perhaps not that last part for her. Unlike many a lady before her, she clearly wanted nothing to do with him, not even the pleasure his body could offer hers . . .

Add to Goodreads



Oh, be sure to brew a huge pot of tea for this book, and make it a steamy one too! Her Midnight Sin by Sofie Darling is well-deserving of 5 stars! This book is truly impeccable, Darling' weaves such a beautiful tale of deep passion, love and lots of steam! The characters are just wonderful and Nylander would capture the heart of any woman! I truly loved this book and would highly recommend to all!

Giveaway:

  • $15 Amazon Gift Card!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, April 19, 2019

Blog Tour & Review ~ One Night for Seduction - Wicked Dukes Club by Erica Ridley

ONfS - BT banner.jpg

Meet the unforgettable men of London's most notorious tavern, The Wicked Duke. Seductively handsome, with charm and wit to spare, one night with these rakes and rogues will never be enough…


One Night for Seduction, the first standalone in the all-new historical and romantic The Wicked Dukes Club Series from New York Times bestselling author Erica Ridley is available now!

ONFSeduction-Cover

When the Wicked Duke dares the Duke of Colehaven to find a suitor for an unmanageable ward, Cole immediately accepts. He's on a winning streak, and besides, how unmarriageable can a pretty young lady be? He appoints himself bodyguard and duenna, only to discover his own desires may be the greatest danger of all.

Supposed wallflower Diana Middleton lives a double life, bringing dishonest businessmen to justice. Shaking off a meddling duke should be child's play. Yet the more they lock horns, the more she wants to lock lips. Her scandalous secrets would derail his political career. But surely there’s no harm in one little seduction…

IG_now-available

Download your copy today!

Excerpt:

Movement caught the corner of the Duke of Colehaven’s eye and he turned to see a maid slip into the receiving salon. Possibly sent to offer him some sort of refreshment as he waited but, given how the mission was unfolding thus far, more likely the girl was simply going about her normal routine. Shaw would return at any moment to inform Cole his mistress had no wish to make his acquaintance.

He gave a subtle nod to acknowledge the maid’s presence and moved out of her way to sit upon the edge of a sofa.

The maid tilted her head as if considering him, but the brim of her mobcap flopped too low for Cole to discern the direction of her gaze. Of course a servant wouldn’t be so ill-trained as to stare rudely at her masters’ guests. Likely she was deciding between carrying on with her duties or returning later once the unexpected guest had gone.

“You’re one of Diana’s friends?” came the soft query.

Cole wasn’t certain what startled him more: confirmation that Diana Middleton did indeed have friends, or surprise that a maid would dare to address him directly.

Perhaps that was why his mouth answered automatically, “I’m here to see Miss Middleton, yes.”

Even that small evasion caused a ripple of discomfort beneath his skin. It was none of the maid’s business what the Duke of Colehaven was or was not up to, but Cole prided himself on being scrupulously honest in all his dealings, regardless of situation or class. Yet he could not bring himself to say No, I am not her friend aloud. Honesty was paramount, but so was honor, and he was not here to besmirch Miss Middleton’s.

“Is she expecting you?” the maid asked.

“She is not,” he replied tightly, and made a show of arranging his long limbs in the opposite direction as though he had become struck with sudden fascination at the wallpaper on the other side of the parlor.

There. That should put paid to further inquiries.

“Then why are you here?” the maid insisted. “Have you come to press a suit?”

Nothing like that,” Cole blurted out more forcefully than he intended. He gave up on the far wallpaper and turned to glare at the impertinent maid in the doorway.

She was no longer in the doorway. The maid now stood an arm’s width from the other side of the sofa. Her enormous mobcap still flopped too low for her eyes to be visible, but her slender fingers worried at each other against the starched panel of her apron.

The chit ought to be worried. If one of the Middletons caught her interrogating a guest… Or if the head housekeeper should spy her underling shirking her duty…

“Haven’t you anything to do?” Cole said at last. He was not rude by nature, but then again, he normally did not find himself in conversation with other peoples’ chambermaids. Reminding her of her duty was doing her a favor, he told himself. If she lost her post due to such antics, Cole would not be to blame.

“I have more to do than time to do it,” the maid said.

Cole did not doubt this. He gestured toward the opposite side of the parlor. “Don’t let me stop you from what you came to do.”

To his surprise, her lithe hands retrieved a small journal from the pocket of her apron, jotted a quick note with the nub of a pencil, and tucked both objects back inside as though they’d never existed.

“Where’s your chaperone?”

I don’t require a chaperone. It’s Miss Middleton who—” He broke off as a sudden thought occurred to him, unlikely as it might seem. “Are you the young lady’s chaperone? Have you come to assess my character?”

“Did you hope for a stolen moment alone with her?” the maid countered.

“Heaven forbid.” He could not repress a shiver of horror. “I would never be caught alone with a marriageable young lady.”

“You’ve no wish to marry?”

“None,” he replied firmly. And definitely no wish to be compromised against his will.

“Then what makes you think Miss Middleton has any intention to marry?”

“Of course she intends to marry,” Cole said in exasperation. “All proper young ladies hope to find a worthy husband and become an equally worthy wife. What else is she going to do?”

“Mathematics,” the maid replied without hesitation.

He blinked at this non sequitur. “What sort of woman prefers mathematics to marriage?”

“A wise one,” the maid snapped. She ripped off her mobcap and glared at him, revealing a beautiful pair of angry blue eyes. “I’d rather devote the rest of my life to applied sums and long division than spend a single second in the presence of yet another man who thinks he knows what a woman wants without bothering to perform the most perfunctory of information gathering interviews to determine—”

“Miss Middleton?” stammered from his mouth, but Cole need not await verbal confirmation to recognize the truth. “Why are you dressed like a maid?”

“Why are you alone with me in this parlor?” she countered, hands on her hips.

At this unfortunate moment, Cole noticed that when the “maid” entered the salon, she’d shut the door behind her. His stomach bottomed in abject fear. If she hadn’t known he was coming, why on earth was she wearing a disguise? Had she known he was coming?

“Please tell me this was not an elaborate trick to compromise me into marriage,” he managed, every muscle tensing in anticipation of the worst.

“No,” Miss Middleton said, blue eyes flashing, “it is leverage which I intend to use to force you to leave me alone.”

“You mean to extort a duke?” He paused as full realization set in. “Into not marrying you?”

“Is it working?” she demanded.

He rose to his feet with alacrity. “I harbor no wish to marry you. None. At all.”

“Splendid,” she said. “Now hear this. I don’t need you or any man. Understood? If you’ve any sense of self-preservation, you’ll find your way out of this town house before someone catches us alone together and both our lives are ruined.”

God help them both.

He dashed to the door and flung it open wide, to prove no nefarious seduction was underway in the guest parlor. But Miss Middleton was right. Lack of misdeed would not be enough. He needed to make haste before the distinct lack of chaperonage in the parlor forced them into an unwanted marriage.

Sensing any act of politeness would only serve to irritate her further, Cole tipped his hat as he swept past her. “Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss Middleton. Have a lovely day.”

“I’m already delighted never to have to see you again,” she called after him, her plump lips pursed in victory.

He smiled to himself as he slipped on his gloves.

That was where the fiery Miss Middleton went wrong. They would definitely be seeing each other again. After all, he had a ten-year winning streak to protect.

And the Duke of Colehaven never backed down from a dare.




An absolutely wonderful read, you will definitely need a full pot of tea for this amazing new book by Erica Ridley! Truly magical characters filled with love and passion, I truly fell in love with Cole and Diana, they truly are the best match! Ridley is truly a masterful storyteller!

About Erica Ridley


Erica Ridley learned to read when she was three, which was about the same time she decided to be a writer when she grew up.

Now, Erica is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of historical romance novels.

The Dukes of War features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.

In Rogues to Riches, Cinderella stories aren’t just for princesses… Lovable rogues sweep strong-willed young ladies into whirlwind adventure.

The 12 Dukes of Christmas is a laugh-out-loud historical romance series of heartwarming Regency romps nestled in a picturesque snow-covered village.

When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.


Connect with Erica
Stay up to date with Erica by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2Dnul5w





Now Available on Audible ~ Choosing Heart or Home by Chris Karlsen


🎧 Now Available on Audible!  🎧
Listen to your copy today!
Choosing Heart or Home by Chris Karlsen


Book Blurb:
London - Christmas, 1889.
The widowed Queen Victoria reigns over an empire on which the "sun never sets", and London is bright with holiday decorations. Detective Rudyard Bloodstone's career is moving along well as Holborn Station's lead investigator. His year had gotten even better when he met London's celebrated music-hall star Honeysuckle Flowers. As he and his lady embark on celebrating the holidays, Rudyard grows homesick for Wales and his family there.
He makes plans to see his parents and thinks it is the perfect time to introduce Honeysuckle to them. To his unhappy surprise, his mother paints her with a trollop's brush. His mother is firm: He is loved and missed and most welcome in the family home, but his lady is not. He must choose between them, and to choose means the risk of losing the other.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Sale Blitz ~ 99 Cents for A Limited Time ~ The Duke of Ice - The Untouchable's by Darcy Burke

✮ ✮ ✮ 99¢ SALE ALERT! ✮ ✮ ✮


The Duke of Ice, a standalone historical romance from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke is ON SALE NOW for only 99¢ for a limited time only!

Download your copy today!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/DukeIce

Everyone Nicholas Bateman ever loved has died. Except Violet Caulfield, which must mean he never loved her. Eight years after she threw him over to marry a viscount, Nick is a widowed duke who prefers isolation. When a friend convinces him to leave his lair of self-imposed solitude, he considers taking another wife, provided she agrees to his terms: no emotional attachment of any kind.

Now widowed, Lady Violet Pendleton hopes for a second chance with the man she’s always loved. But she isn’t prepared for the desolation in his soul or the animosity he still bears toward her. Despite those obstacles, it’s clear their passion hasn’t dimmed. However, the heat between them isn’t enough to melt the Duke of Ice, and this time Violet may find herself the jilted party. Can love, once so tragically lost, finally be found?

Book Tour & Giveaway ~ Silk by Vicarious Silk


Silk:
Confessions of an Online Sex Worker
by
Vicarious Silk

Genre:
Adult 


Silk
brings fact and fantasy together in one continuous stream of stories
and memories of her life as an online sex worker. Working with men
seeking normal activities as well as fetish and erotic taboo.
Featuring everything from BDSM to naughty one-time encounters, Silk
takes you behind the scenes and introduces you to all the men and
women in her life. Follow her as she travels from mild-mannered
conservative woman to sex Goddess in one passionate year. Discover
the secret world of online sex worker’s inner thoughts and workings
with this up close and personal look at the men that frequently seek
them out. Meet the women that take care of these men one session at a
time.









Vicarious
Silk, best known as Goddess Kiki Silk, makes her writing debut with
Silk Confessions of an Online Sex Worker. A middle-aged southern
woman that has moved into the lifestyle of an online sex
worker.


Writing
her memories, experiences, and sexy stories for everyone to enjoy.
Finding the humor in the daily work is an added bonus and creeps into
her writing both in books, short stories, and her blog. Follow Kiki
on her blog to find out more about this GILF.

When
not writing she can be found working on various platforms gathering
new material.










Follow
the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!





Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Release Blitz ~ One Night for Seduction - Wicked Dukes Club by Erica Ridley

ONfS - RB banner.jpg

Meet the unforgettable men of London's most notorious tavern, The Wicked Duke. Seductively handsome, with charm and wit to spare, one night with these rakes and rogues will never be enough…


One Night for Seduction, the first standalone in the all-new historical and romantic The Wicked Dukes Club Series from New York Times bestselling author Erica Ridley is available now!

ONFSeduction-Cover.jpg
When the Wicked Duke dares the Duke of Colehaven to find a suitor for an unmanageable ward, Cole immediately accepts. He's on a winning streak, and besides, how unmarriageable can a pretty young lady be? He appoints himself bodyguard and duenna, only to discover his own desires may be the greatest danger of all.
Supposed wallflower Diana Middleton lives a double life, bringing dishonest businessmen to justice. Shaking off a meddling duke should be child's play. Yet the more they lock horns, the more she wants to lock lips. Her scandalous secrets would derail his political career. But surely there’s no harm in one little seduction…

IG_now-available.png

Download your copy today!

About Erica Ridley


Erica Ridley learned to read when she was three, which was about the same time she decided to be a writer when she grew up.

Now, Erica is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of historical romance novels.

The Dukes of War features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.

In Rogues to Riches, Cinderella stories aren’t just for princesses… Lovable rogues sweep strong-willed young ladies into whirlwind adventure.

The 12 Dukes of Christmas is a laugh-out-loud historical romance series of heartwarming Regency romps nestled in a picturesque snow-covered village.

When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.


Connect with Erica
Stay up to date with Erica by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2Dnul5w





Monday, April 15, 2019

Yet Another Craft Haul! Check out these lovely Easter and Summer Goodies!

Book Blitz ~ Three Star Island by Kat Caulberg


Three Star Island
Kat Caulberg
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: April 10th 2019
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance, Time-Travel
Stepping through a time portal into 1716, historian Penny Saunders didn’t expect to get stranded in the past. Five years later, now a pariah to the townsfolk of Three Star Island, she endures solitude and ridicule until a hurricane tosses a dangerous castaway onto her shores.
William Payne’s history precedes him. Pirate, outlaw, and ruthless captain, he’s a monster among men. . . or so it seems. Desperately seeking redemption for his blood-soaked past, he upends Penny’s world by showing her a passion she’s never experienced.
But time is closing in on them; the governor of the Carolinas has rescinded his pirates’ pardon, the locals are growing suspicious of Penny’s new houseguest, and she can’t keep her secrets from William forever. When everything falls apart, she must use both wits and weapons against lawmen and pirates alike to save the one man who would tear down the world for her.
EXCERPT:
Penelope stood in the crater the time portal had sliced into the tree line. Sheared-off branches sprouted new growth overhead, and grass choked the scorched ground, concealing most of the sand that had been fused into glass globules by the rift. Frowning, she dislodged one of the spheres with the tip of her shoe and kicked it into the dunes. This gate hadn’t opened in months.
Two days prior, a hurricane had ravaged Three Star. Alone on the southern tip of the island, Penny had ridden out the storm in her farmhouse while gales ripped up centuries-old live oaks by their roots and tossed debris through the walls of her outbuildings. She’d seen a time gate’s flicker in the immediate aftermath half a mile from where she now stood on the beach, but there had been no reason to dash out into the dwindling rain in hopes of reaching it before it shut.
None of them would let her go home again.
Grasping her skirts in one hand, she made her way through the oat grass to ascertain what the storm had offered her in compensation. The summer of 1721 had been a blistering one, providing scarcely any rain to offset the heat. With few thunderstorms of much note, ships in the area had enjoyed a season of calm, returning to port with full holds and happy sailors, and Penny’s larder suffered for it. Without wreckage to pick through, she’d survived on meager rations from her garden and the bones of a sloop that ran aground on the shoals to the south.
Yesterday threw one more long, hard bout of rain at the island, keeping her inside until dusk. Now, with the sun a few hours into the sky, she hurried to collect her share of the shattered remains of dead men’s fortunes. This time, she was determined it wouldn’t bother her. She tucked a short strand of hair behind her ear, knuckled her glasses higher, and proceeded to the shore.
The sea mirrored the heavens, flat and tranquil. Whitecaps lapped the sand, pulling back to reveal a stripe of broken shells stretching as far as she could see. Currents funneled past the rock barrier jutting out into the water, and a smattering of planks and splintered crates gathered on the sand bars the rising tide would soon submerge.
Penny stooped to dip her fingers into a mountain of sea foam. Lacework-white and delicate, it dissolved at her touch. A flicker of movement caught her eye. Slanting toward the beach on a downdraft, a laughing gull shrieked its peculiar, broken cry and swooped over a figure lying in the surf.
Her stomach dropped. The waves had disgorged a body.
Straightening, she fidgeted with her apron strings. The tide was rising. Soon, the ocean would reclaim the life it had taken, leaving no trace of the drowned man behind. Here, he was alone and unknown. Somewhere else, however, he would be an empty seat at a hearth, a bed half-filled, a promise unkept. Like her, he could never go home again.
Penelope sighed. Unable to bury him, she could at least bear witness to his return to the sea. Keeping close to the water, she trudged toward him.
She stopped when his arm moved. It was a tiny motion she could’ve mistaken for a trick of the wind, his sleeve toyed with by the breeze, yet when his fist clenched the sand, she was certain.
He was alive.
“Son of a . . .”



Author Bio:
For as long as she can remember, Kat Caulberg has been obsessed with history and the paranormal. Somewhat to the dismay of her parents, her interests led her into both museums and graveyards as a child, a trend which has continued into her adulthood. This has influenced her reading tastes and her writing, whether it be a good ghost story, thrilling tales of time-travel, or devouring endless volumes of ancient warfare.
She signed a contract with Soul Mate Publishing in 2018 for her first novel, Three Star Island, a time-travel story set in 1721. She enjoys writing strong, quirky heroines, and has a weakness for cheeky heroes who have as much compassion as they have flaws.
Kat currently lives in North Carolina with her Englishman and a few cats.

GIVEAWAY!
XBTBanner1

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway ~ The Impaler's Wife by Autumn Bardot



Part of a Fearless Women in History series
Historical fiction, Historical Romance, Gothic Romance
Published Date: April 3, 2019

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

The year is 1464 and young King Matthias controls Hungary, his family, and the fate of the world’s most notorious political prisoner, Prince Vlad Dracula. 

 Ilona Szilágy, the king’s cousin, is young and ambitious. Dracula is determined to marry into the Hunyadi family. It is love at first sight…but the king has other plans. The Impaler Prince, however, never takes no for an answer.

This begins Ilona’s journey into the treacherous world of court intrigues, family betrayals, and her husband’s dark desires. Eager to become Vlad’s trusted confidant, Ilona soon discovers that marriage to man tortured by his past comes with a price.

Woven throughout is a peek into the life and times of one of the world’s most enigmatic and maligned rulers…the man before the legend.

With Bardot’s decadent period detail and a cast of gritty evocative characters, The Impaler’s Wife offers a fierce yet sensuous glimpse into the violent 15th century.



Excerpt:

Prince Vlad rests his hand on the small of my back. “Come, Lady Ilona, look at the faces of anarchy and villainy, and see how much they resemble your friends and family.”

“I will not.” I back away from the entrance where moans rise from the bowels of the labyrinth like a demon’s song.

“The choice is yours, of course.” His tone is low and gentle, but in the lamplight his stare is wolf like.

I shift from foot to foot, look away, only to glance back. Does he hear my heart knocking against my breast?  Can he smell my fear as it beads wet on my neck? Do I want to rise to this challenge? Or am I a fool for allowing him to bait me?

My fingers tighten around the lamp’s clay handle. “I will humor you, my lord, but only because Father taught me courage and graciousness.”

“Mihály taught you well.” He holds out his hand. “My lady.”

The lamp divides the darkness like a saber, each foot forward lighting our descent into hell. Ghostly groans from below seep through the rock. I sink into Vlad’s fur-lined coat as though their suffering will soak into my soul.

Vlad pauses before descending the narrow rock steps leading into the labyrinth’s deepest level. “Are you certain?” His eyes glint with challenge. “A weak constitution is nothing to be ashamed of.”

I lift my chin and glare with pretended insult. “I am the daughter of Michael Szilágyi and Margit Báthory. Iron courage flows in my blood.” I push back my cuff and show him the blue-forked veins in my wrist. “I am as brave as Hadak Ura, our ancient pagan warlord.”

“I believe you, my lady. I will not doubt again.”

The clanking chains and eerie moans get louder with each step down, the noises merging into a demonic choir like that of Ördög’s requiem to the Underworld. My legs shake, my neck wet with icy prickles, and my skin tightens around my chest.

I lift the lamp into hell.

The circle of light shines upon a pockmarked man stretching his arm between the bars, his fingers curled like claws. “Bless me, good sister.”

In the cell next to him, a naked wretch spits onto the ground. “Menj a fenébe!”
“I am innocent!” A third prisoner grabs the bars and presses his wild-bearded face against the iron. “Tell His Highness there is a Turkish spy in his court. He is in danger! You must warn him!”

My head swivels toward Prince Vlad.

“There are always spies,” Vlad whispers.

I walk with measured pace and let the lantern reveal each doomed prisoner. Most stare, empty-eyed; the whips, chains, skin shredders, bone crushers, and strappado take away all hope and spirit. Others shout obscenities. One man kneels, hands in prayer, and mutters the Hail Mary.

The weight of their misery crashes down, squeezes my heart, and crushes my breath. This place must be worse than hell’s torments because these wretches yet live, have all their faculties! No one deserves this! It is inhumane! Sadistic and depraved!

My breath comes in shreds and clumps. I cover my nose with Prince Vlad’s cape, the stench of rotting flesh enfolding me in its putrid embrace. My pace quickens. It is time to end this test of my courage.

“You!” A milky-eyed wretch points to Prince Vlad and begins chanting in a foreign tongue.

Prince Vlad guides me away from the cells. “You have thrice over proven your courage tonight.”

“What language was that man speaking?”

“He recites from the Corpus Hermeticum.” Dracula takes the lantern and illuminates the stairwell. “It’s a pagan book of alchemy, astronomy, and metaphysics.”

“It sounded like he cursed us.”

“Pay no attention to a madman’s rants. That particular book is nothing but Egyptian and Greek nonsense.”

I tread upwards, evil’s chill clinging to my limbs. At the top, I try to purge the dungeon’s misery, malice, and madness with a long exhalation. Yet the horror sticks like nettles in my soul.

“This way.” I move past the dark tunnel and enter the lighted one, relieved to put space and distance between the prisoners and me.

The tunnel ends at a large grotto where Prince Vlad pauses to light the ring of torches affixed to the walls. I wait on a stone bench near the baptismal fount, sighing with relief as the golden glow of the church-like arches infuses peace into my troubled soul.

Prince Vlad sits beside me. “We go from hell to heaven.”

I tuck a stray lock behind my ear. “This was Father’s favorite grotto. God’s Buried Cathedral, he called it. His second favorite has a Titan-sized head emerging from the ground—like a god got stuck in molten rock. I was only in that grotto once. It reminded me of an insect trapped in tree sap that ages to amber—the insect forever entombed—never aging, almost alive in its resin grave.”

“Do you find that horrific or beautiful?” His eyes search mine.

“Both I suppose.” My shoulders move into my sigh. “Caves are dreary places.”

“I rather enjoy them. Tunnels have saved my life several times.” Dracula stands. “I think we are both ready for fresh air.” He offers his hand, its warmth a familiar comfort.

Together we walk through the tunnel lit by small lanterns that flicker like fireflies all the way to the exit.

Prince Vlad gives the stubborn iron-crossed door a hard yank and it groans open. Outside, a sapphire dawn drapes over Buda.

“On no.” My hands fly to my face. “It’s so late it’s early.” Were we in the tunnels that long? If my aunts discover I never returned to my room…I spin about, my voice edged with panic. “I have to go back. Now.”

Vlad’s brows crease with concern. He tugs a handkerchief from his robe and touches it to my lips as though dabbing at a smudge. “There’s something I must do first.” He lays the linen over my lips and sets his mouth on mine.

Even through the thin fabric, his lips sear my own. I part my lips, feel the linen moisten with the breath of our lust. I collapse into him, my body sizzling with desire. I am about to rip away the fabric and taste his lips when he breaks the kiss.

Vlad Dracula steps back, the handkerchief between thumb and forefinger. “If you marry Luigi della Scala you will still be chaste.” He drags the handkerchief across his mouth. “I will always have this.”

Chaste? Prince Vlad just violated my heart and corrupted my flesh!

Back in my chambers, I touch my lips that still burn with the memory of our kiss—my first kiss—and groan. Vlad Dracula used my virtue, conceit, and fears to study the labyrinth’s secrets. He took advantage of my desire for romantic adventure to learn the escape route.


About the Author






Autumn Bardot writes smart erotica and historical fiction about sassy women, spicy sex, and daring passions!
 Her erotica includes Legends of Lust, ( Cleis Press )and Confessions Of A Sheba Queen ( Cleis Jan 2020).  Autumn has a BA in English literature and a MaEd in curriculum and instruction. She’s been teaching writing and literary analysis for fourteen years. Autumn lives in Southern California with her hubby, rescue pooch, and ever-increasing family.  Her favorite things include salty French fries, coffee, swimming, and a great book.


Contact Links



Purchase Links

RABT Book Tours & PR