Dark Deceit - Trailer is out!

After much ah-ing and ooh-ing - and a few select swear words - my work is finally done: the trailer for Dark Deceit is complete! ~happy dance~

Dark Deceit, a historical novel with mystery and romantic elements, is the first in The Anarchy Trilogy. It's due to be published through Crooked Cat Publishing on 10th February 2012!


Blurb:
On his return from battle at Lincoln, Geoffrey de Mortagne, under-sheriff of Gloucester and spy for the Empress Matilda, assists a dying knight caught in an ambush. Promising to look after the welfare of the knight’s only daughter, Geoffrey stays at her manor while he investigates the murder. Keen to join the Empress on her progress through England, he is torn between his oath and his duty.

Left to defend her manor following her father’s death, Alleyne de Bellac at first accepts Geoffrey’s support. As she doesn’t trust the taciturn stranger, she asks Will d’Arques, an old friend, for help. But loyalties change. Her life in danger and her inheritance at stake, Alleyne must decide which man to trust.
Discover England and Normandy divided by a brutal civil war, where vows are broken as allegiances waver.




Today at My Place - author Veronica Lynch

My guest at My Place today is Wild Rose Press author Veronica Lynch.

Over to you, Veronica! :-)


Cathie, thanks so much for inviting me to your blog. I hope we can have some fun today. In the summer of 2010, my first attempt at writing short romance fiction, Those Who Wait, found a home with Decadent Publishing and is available at www.DecadentPublishing.com. After that, I decided to spread my wings and fly with another novella, this one for the Wild Rose Press' Class of '85 series.

Over the years I've had the honor to work at a number of occupations: operating room nurse, malpractice insurance investigator, forensic nurse examiner, victim advocate, wife and mother.

Even if I sometimes wish they'd remain in the closet, the years I spent in the OR and labor floor, and later advocating for victims of sexual violence, contribute significantly to the voice of my writing. You can't spend thirty years playing hand maiden and mind reader for egotistical surgeons, then twelve years haunting police stations, Emergency Rooms, and criminal courts and not come away with a sense of rampant misogyny, overwhelming apathy, and overt bigotry. 
I retired my stethoscope and speculum a few years ago but continue to advocate, quietly, for marginalized populations through Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders. 


My Place:

I had the privilege to be one of the authors who created the original outline for Summerville mentioned below which morphed into the Class of 85 series. My own contribution to the series, The List, was released in early 2011. It was great fun and a real learning experience. For those who are interested in learning more about the Class of 85 series can visit The Wild Rose Press.

Creating Summerville:
Several years ago, four authors came together to create an anthology for submission to The Wild Rose Press. The stories were based on five men who return to their hometown twenty-five years after they graduated from high school after one of the five dies suddenly, leaving the surviving four a legacy. 

One of the first tasks involved 'inventing' the setting of Summerville, a fictional town in Upstate New York which sits on the shore of Lake Ontario. One of the authors discovered a unique neighborhood within the city of Rochester, then took photographs and brought them to the other three authors. With that, Summerville came to life?n paper that is. Sadly, the anthology never came to fruition but Summerville lives on in The Class of '85, a reunion series for the Last Rose of Summer line.   

The formal invitation to the reunion is the 'unifying factor' for the series. With the groundwork for the series already laid, submitting authors tweaked and expanded the town, its inhabitants, and created a number of reunion events. The first 'alum' to make the reunion, Getting It Right, was released in August 2010. Something Special, number 24 and last in the series will be released in February, 2012.



Here's what we came up with: 

Summerville, a large town of 25,000, sits on a bluff over-looking Lake Ontario, Queen of the Great Lakes. Water sports are a popular outdoor activity. The area is a busy assignment for the immigration authorities as well as the Coast Guard, Summerville PD  and Bison County Sheriff Department, monitoring illegal entry into the country from Canada and alcohol related marine incidents, such as drinking and boating. There is a large migrant population in this region, working the family-owned farming operations, leaving open a possibility for plots surrounding the work of activists as well as the ongoing problems of illegal immigration and human trafficking.  

Higher education:  Summerville College, inaccurately termed “The U” by locals, is a large co-ed liberal arts institution, known for its NCAA Division I lacrosse champs. 

Health Care:  The town has a full service hospital which is code red most nights [the ER is full and can only accept major chest or head trauma.] It's in desperate need of health care facilities and urgent care centers to reduce the bottleneck in the ER and residents alternatives for non-emergency care. 

Professional Sports: The Hornets are a triple A baseball team. Winners in the 80's and early 90's, the team has gone down the toilet in recent years, mainly due to ownership who doesn't know its bats from their behinds. Whatever the cause, they need a fire lit under their butts. The Red Barons, part of the Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey system.  

Law Enforcement/Legal System: The former school bully is now the Chief of Police. One of his former victims is the County Sheriff. Another former bad boy now advocates for victims of school bullies and non-responsive school systems. Several of the stories feature past 'victims' who return to claim their place in the sun and wreak havoc on those who took advantage of them.

1985 Alumni include:
Two prime time network news anchors/reporters
A retired rock star
A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner known for exposing human rights abuses, genocide and ethnic cleansing around the world. 
A world famous fashion photographer
A modeling agent who features large size and 'mature' models, male and female
A mega-millionaire computer geek, ala Bill Gates 
An award winning author/illustrator of children's books.
A Hollywood actor on the caliber of Brad Pitt, known for his work in action films.
A philanthropist [now deceased] whose legacy continues to benefit the community.

It is clear when imaginative people come together, any number of wonderful things can happen. 


Blurb:

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Twenty-five years ago, Fiona Thorpe's classmates voted her most likely to explode. Through hard work and rigorous self-control she is now every woman's fantasy, every man's wet dream. Head held high, and less than half her former size, Fee returns to her high school reunion weekend. Her goal: exact revenge on those who made her life a living hell back in the day. Her first attempts are remarkably easy and give her profound satisfaction. But no one is more shocked than Fee when she discovers the handsome, respected man seated beside her at the opening banquet is a modern day Paladin, who avenges those unable to defend themselves. To make matters worse, he is her former chief tormentor, Mick Dineen.

Are some wounds too deep to heal? Or can two former enemies find common ground?


Excerpt:

  Frustrated with the holdup, Fee glanced around the room, hoping to see Dru the minute she entered the ballroom. A hand on her arm claimed her attention. “Here comes someone you should meet.”
  "Who?”
  “Last year's Eastman Award winner, Rafe said. “And a helluva nice guy.”
  “Where?”
  “There, coming toward us.”
  One nano-second later, all thoughts of revenge evaporated like steam out of a boiling kettle. Thick gold hair flecked with gray grazed the collar of his jacket. His features were weathered, as if he'd already lived ten times over. Broad through the shoulders and chest, and narrow at the waist and hips, he possessed the long legs of a broken-field runner. Moving across the parquet floor as if born to a runway, he looked confident and  at ease with himself. Without disrupting that graceful, fluid motion, he undid his tie, then shrugged out of his suit jacket.
  She'd almost given up on finding a man like this.
  This one had The Look.


Author Link:   http://www.veronica-lynch.blogspot.com/

Buy Link:   The Wild Rose Press

Cathie's Amazing Authors Event - Highland Arms copy

The Amazing Authors Event tour has come to an end. We all had such fun, and we hope you have enjoyed reading the snippets and excerpts too.

Of course, we have a winner of a PDF copy of Highland Arms - it is on its way via email to:

Amber
VampedChik

Many congrats, Amber. I hope you'll enjoy the read.

Highland Arms is available in different formats. Check out the details on my website! :-)



The Amazing Authors Event ends today

The Amazing Authors Event has drawn to a close but there is still time to get your hands on a book of your choice!

All you need to do is answer a simple question on Ginger Simpson's fabulous blog (girls, check out that dishy cowboy while you're there! ;-))!

If you fancy a PDF copy of Highland Arms, here's my blog post where you'll find the answer to my question on Ginger's blog.

Good luck!

Today at My Place - Eleanor Sullivan

As proper winter seems to elude us, mild rainy or chilly sunny days without any hint of snow (boo!), we are happily continuing with our successful My Place series. Today I'm delighted to welcome award-winning author Eleanor Sullivan to My Place. She tells us about a fascinating historic settlement in Ohio, founded by one of her ancestors. I'm intrigued!


Without further ado, let's hear it from Eleanor:


I never knew my distant grandfather. He died in 1853. But I grew up hearing family tales about  how he led a beleaguered band of religious dissenters safely out of Germany to establish a village in the Ohio wilderness. So, after writing several award-winning books for nurses and a series of three contemporary mysteries featuring a nurse, I turned my attention to uncovering the beliefs and practices of this unusual group of believers. 

Cover Her Body, A Singular Village Mystery is the first book in a series of fictitious mysteries that I’ve set amidst the lives of these unique people. The stories feature a midwife and her cabinet-maker husband. The second book in the series, Graven Images, will be released in 2013.

I am a member of Mystery Writers of America and a member and former national board member of Sisters in Crime and various online groups. In addition, I host a weekly blog to explore interesting facts I’ve learned about the 19th century in America.


My Place:
Welcome to historic Zoar, Ohio, established in 1817 and named Zoar for the place where Lot had found sanctuary much as these settlers had in America. Their leader, Joseph Bimeler, was my great, great, great, great grandfather. His cabin still stands today. 

Bimeler Cabin
Historic Zoar remains today much as it did in the 1800s. Restored homes and buildings stand open, filled with antiques from the early days to depict the lives and work of the settlers as it was then. Reenacters demonstrate skills, such as bread baking, tin work, blacksmithing, weaving, and gardening as well as giving tours of the town. 

Anchoring the town today, as it did in yesteryear, is the Zoar Garden. A giant Norway spruce centers the acre plot, representing Christ, surrounded by twelve junipers, His disciples. Twelve paths led to the center, reminders to stay on the path of righteousness; intersecting cross paths represent temptations that await if one strays off the correct path. 

But all was not perfect in Zoar, this so-called Garden of Eden. According to historic records, Bimeler ruled with a iron hand, even keeping the title to all the town’s property in his own name until he was on his deathbed. Life meets fiction when he becomes a realistic adversary for my midwife protagonist.


Blurb:

In a strict, religious society in 1830s rural Ohio, a 16-year-old girl is murdered because she’s pregnant, but the only person who suspects it wasn’t an accident is Adelaide, a young, married midwife, who worries that the remedy she gave the girl for a “woman’s ailment” caused her death. Adelaide’s husband, Benjamin, fearful that they’ll be banned from the prosperous community, forbids her from questioning the girl’s death. But a mistake she made years ago cost the life of a mother and her unborn babe, and Adelaide vowed to never let another mother die.

Pressure mounts when Adelaide is accused of harming the girl, but the allegation only fuels her determination to find the killer, even though she begins to suspect that her husband might be involved in the girl’s death. And the more she investigates, not only does she start to question her own faith and beliefs, but she finds herself attracted to an unlikely man in the community, a man who has vowed to remain celibate. Then her questions alert the outside authorities and now this isolated community is invaded by the very society they had shunned.


Excerpt:

03 May 1833, Zoar, Ohio

  Ropes creaked as Adelaide slid off the bed and waited, clutching herself in the cold.  In the cradle next to the bed, her infant puckered her lips and let out a sigh before sinking back into sleep.  Benjamin’s side of the bed remained empty.  Had he even returned during the night?  
  Adelaide grabbed her dress from the hook on the wall, pulled it over her head, and moved on stocking feet through the cabin, her hem whispering across the wood plank floor.  With a glance up the stairs where her sister slept, she bent to button her shoes, then snatched her shawl off a peg and slipped outside.  
  The air hung heavy with moisture from last night’s storm.  Apple blossoms littered the ground by the door, their scent cloying.  Nothing stirred.  Good.  If she hurried she might have just enough time to herself before the workday began.  
  A fleeting sensation of guilt washed over her.  No good Separatist would sneak out for an unsanctioned outing.
  With a shrug, she looped her shawl across her chest, grasped her skirts, and plunged down the hill, her feet moving silently over the rough cinders.  She hurried past Benjamin’s cabinet shop and the blacksmith shop next to it, around the springhouse and the dairy, continuing on the path into the woods.  She didn’t need the moonlight nor a lantern to guide her way.  The sound of rushing water hidden below the hill drew her to a favored spot.  
  She skidded to a stop.
  The willow tree—her tree—lay sprawled in the water, its branches flailing about in the raging water. She sank onto a boulder to the side, and shut her eyes against the image.  No longer would the tree shield her from the prying eyes of her community.  Only naked spikes of its stump remained.     
  A cock crowed in the distance.  
  The river roared downstream and splattered foam on the boulder.  Adelaide tucked her skirt around her ankles, hugged her knees to her chest, and rocked back and forth.  The quarrel she’d had with Benjamin the night before lingered in her mouth like the taste of an unripe persimmon.  
  Her eyes wandered over the surface of the water, pausing on a white object bobbing in the darkness.  Blue fabric trailed in the current.  Her mind worked to make sense of the sight until horror plunged through her, tightening her throat.  
  It was a hand.  A girl’s hand.
  A wave splashed over the body and twisted it loose to bob beneath the water and spring up again.  Only a strand of tangled hair tethered to a branch kept her from plummeting downstream.  If she left to get someone, the girl might be gone.  She couldn’t let the river take her.  
  Adelaide hiked up her skirts and plunged into the water, the cold sucking her breath.  She struggled for a few steps, but her shoes filled with water, and she tumbled forward.  The panic she’d felt all those years ago when the boys had tossed her into the river came back with a rush.  She flailed about, gulping dirt-choked water, her arms splashing uselessly.  
  At last her feet touched bottom.  She pushed against it, sprang to the surface, and grabbed onto the body, its buoyancy keeping them both afloat.  She spit out muddy water and jerked the girl’s hair loose from its tangle.  Her churning legs steered them forward until the girl’s head bumped into the bank.
  She slipped off the corpse and stood in the waist-high water, shivering as a gust of wind rose from the river.  Her sodden clothing clung to her small frame, the wet-wool smell of her shawl tangled around her neck choking her.  Adelaide bent down and turned the body toward her.  
  Johanna. She stared at the open eyes of her friends’ beloved daughter as water washed over the girl’s face.  Her knees buckled as a vision of her own precious baby rose in her mind.  She clutched Johanna to her breast and rocked back and forth, the chill forgotten.  Whatever would Helga do when she learned of another daughter’s death?
  The wind picked up, and a wave splattered them.  Joanna’s lifeless arms flapped about, slapping her with icy hands.  She’s so cold, poor child.  I have to get her out.  She groaned as she lifted the water-logged body farther up onto the bank.  A whoosh of air escaped from Johanna’s lips.  
  Air?  No water?  
  She tugged again.  Only a dribble escaped the girl’s lips.  Puzzled, she rolled Johanna over gently.  The skin on the girl’s colorless face seemed as if it had been molded out of paraffin.  Adelaide reached over and closed her eyes.  
  A voice from above cut through her.  “Was machst Du?”


Author Links:




Buy Links:





Highland Arms - out six months already!

Unbelievable! Time flies...

Yes, it was six months ago that my Scottish romantic historical, Highland Arms, was released by The Wild Rose Press. I'm still excited by the fact that I can share Rory and Catriona's story.

Here's the blurb again:

Betrayed by her brother’s lies, Catriona MacKenzie is banished from her Edinburgh home to her godmother’s remote manor in the Highlands. While her father ponders her fate, Catriona’s insatiable curiosity leads her straight into trouble--and into the arms of a notorious Highlander.

Five years after an ill-fated Jacobite rebellion, Rory Cameron works as a smuggler to raise money for the cause--until Catriona uncovers a plot against him and exposes his activities. Now Rory is faced with a decision that could save their lives or destroy them both.


Highland Arms is available at Amazon US, Amazon UK, B&N and other electronic outlets.


Today also marks a new era for my new publisher, Crooked Cat Publishing, who are going to publish Dark Deceit in early February. It's their Launch Day!

Join them on their CCP Facebook page or blog for a chance to win a free copy of their first release, Tracy's Hot Mail by T A Belshaw. I've read it - it's hilarious! I was giggling throughout and particularly the scenes when Tracy learns to drive had me in stitches. A fab girlie read!


The making of Dark Deceit

Dark Deceit has come a long way since its inception.

The initial story began in south Wales, at Taffs Well train station, to be precise, in the autumn of 2003. As I waited for the train to Cardiff, the outline of a story set in medieval England and Normandy first struck me. Scribbling frantically into my notepad throughout many such waits, the story developed nicely.

Of course it helped that I spent my weekends in the company of a well-travelled re-enactment group. Clad in a handmade (not by me, I must admit) shift and dress, leather shoes and belt, a pouch hanging from it, and hair covered by a plain wimple, I enjoyed explaining historical points to visitors. Learning to be an archer - easy peasy for a Sagittarian like me - and watching the others cook (yumm, roast pork!), bake (griddle cakes, anyone?), doing needlework (I'm useless!) and making braces (necessary for an archer) brought with it a sense of an experience of a different life. People really used to live like that. Well, ok, perhaps without the large quantities of cider we consumed during our nights spent inside castle grounds. Or perhaps...

River Taff, Taff Trail, Wales
During my two years in Wales, I took many opportunities to explore not just the stunning Welsh countryside, but also what used to be known as the 'Marches', the borderlands between Wales and England. Intrigued by the picturesque landscapes of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, I knew where I had to base Dark Deceit. Bellac Manor is imaginary, but I saw many small hamlets, with small old churches and a cluster of cottages, and even market towns like Hay on Wye and Hereford to get a clear picture in my head.


La Tour Marguerite, Argentan, Normandy
In 2007, we went on holiday to Normandy, an utterly inspiring place for any historical novelist. We stayed in Argentan, to date still one of my favourite destinations. I have vowed to return! Visiting places like Falaise - home of William the Conqueror, Caen - sadly much reduced to rubble in WWII, Bayeux, and Mont St Michel provided me with much unexpected inspiration. We also took the car to Mortagne, the old home town of Geoffrey de Mortagne, my MMC. Local histories, stunning landscapes and fascinating real-life characters make these places perfect for a novel.

Over the years, the early chapters were critiqued, re-written during my Creative Writing studies, taken apart and re-assembled. Then, halfway through, I hit the brick wall. And no plotting, editing, research or looking at photos could revive it. It gathered dust for six years. One day, having completely edited Highland Arms for publication, I decided to give it a go again. The result was encouraging - ideas flowed, the storyline shifted, and suddenly Dark Deceit turns out to be the first in 'The Anarchy Trilogy'.

Dark Deceit tells the story of Geoffrey de Mortagne, under-sheriff of Gloucester and spy for the Empress Matilda. When he witnesses an attack on a knight, his life changes beyond his imagination. Originally meant to be a medieval mystery, I later changed Dark Deceit to a generic historical with mystery and romantic elements. As with Highland Arms, Dark Deceit does not fit into a specific box. Nope!


Blurb:
On his return from battle at Lincoln, Geoffrey de Mortagne, under-sheriff of Gloucester and spy for the Empress Matilda, assists a dying knight caught in an ambush. Promising to look after the welfare of the knight’s only daughter, Geoffrey stays at her manor while he investigates the murder. Keen to join the Empress on her progress through England, he is torn between his oath and his duty.


Left to defend her manor following her father’s death, Alleyne de Bellac at first accepts Geoffrey’s support. As she doesn’t trust the taciturn stranger, she asks Will d’Arques, an old friend, for help. But loyalties change. Her life in danger and her inheritance at stake, Alleyne must decide which man to trust. 

Discover England and Normandy divided by a brutal civil war, where vows are broken as allegiances waver.


Dark Deceit is due out on 10th February 2012 from Crooked Cat Publishing. I'm counting down...

Argentan Cathedral

My Place - Kat Henry Doran with Mad Dog and the Archangel

I'm a busy bee today as I also have a fabulous visitor at My Place: Wild Rose Press author Kat Henry Doran! Her romance, Mad Dog and the Archangel is part of the Class of '85 series. Check out her fabulous setting!


Handing over to Kat:
Over the years I've had the honor to work at a number of occupations: operating room nurse, malpractice insurance investigator, forensic nurse examiner, victim advocate, wife and mother. Five years ago I became Nana for the first time and, believe me, it’s the best job ever!

Even if I sometimes wish they'd remain in the closet, the years I spent in the OR and labor floor, and later advocating for victims of sexual violence, contribute significantly to the voice of my writing. You don’t  spend thirty years playing loyal serving maid and mind reader to egotistical surgeons, then twelve years haunting police stations, Emergency Rooms, and criminal courts without developing an internal alarm system for covert misogyny, rampant apathy, and overwhelming bigotry.  
I retired my stethoscope and speculum a few years ago but continue to advocate quietly for marginalized populations through Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders. 



My Place:



Summerville, NY, a fictional city on the shores of Lake Ontario in western New York State is the location for Mad Dog and the Archangel, one of the last of the Class of ’85 reunion series to be released [January 12, 2012]. Summerville is based on a real life neighborhood of Rochester, called Corn Hill. It is old and lovely and interesting with twisty narrow cobblestone streets, ivy covered mansions, small enclosed parks, one of the oldest Catholic churches in Rochester.  

The setting was the same for the Class of ’85 series, 24 in total. Several of the books feature real life locations on the cover “An Inn Decent Proposal” shows the [fictional] Summerville Inn but is in reality a huge old three story colonial mansion. “Star Power” features the famous two hundred year-old Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse which still stands, overlooking the Lake and Ontario Beach Park. 
I drive through Corn Hill every week and when I have time I love to “get lost”, giving me a reason to discover small isolated streets, some with only two or three brick cottages on them, and imagine placing a story there. Corn Hill is known for being a stop on the Underground Railroad and each July hosts a famous arts Festival which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and crafters alike from all over the country and Canada. 


Blurb:
Rafael Archangeli returns home to Summerville to bury an old friend, collect his inheritance, and then return to the only life he knows—conning wealthy women out of their money. In Rafe's world, money not only equals success, it goes a long way to obliterate the stigma of his past.
Grace Dunavan, former nun turned community activist, gave up worldly goods a long time ago with no regrets. But she's never known a man with the raw appeal of the Scourge of Summerville: Rafael Archangeli. 
Their first meeting is like an errant strike of lightning, fierce and stunning in intensity, and takes both by surprise. Has Grace turned Rafe into a changed man? Or is he using his inheritance to pull off the biggest scam of his life?


Excerpt:

Safety First.
A personal motto that served Grace Dunavan well for the past thirty-something years. She never picked up strange men. In fact, she rarely dated men, strange or otherwise. And wasn't she the first to preach the wisdom of obtaining a detailed history—family, medical and sexual before contemplating a walk on the wild side? With any man, including the brother of her best friend.
Especially one whose thick mop of jet colored hair, hooded black eyes and razor-sharp cheekbones, all of which held undeniable appeal for a good girl who always did what the nuns and her parents dictated. With a name like Archangeli he should be a protector, not a walking advertisement that proclaimed: I've Been There, Done That; Let Me Tell You All About It.
As he helped her into her coat, Grace heard Gaby murmur something about an attorney who was trying to track down Rafe. None of it made sense. What woman in her right mind could think straight when faced with a man who redefined potency?
It was a night of firsts for Grace: leaving a party with a man she'd never met before; admitting how and where she'd learned to drive; breaking the land speed record for contemplating her first one night stand. 



Author Links:
Website:  www.Kathenry.com
Blog: www.wildwomanauthor.blogspot.com


Buy Links:


Cathie's Amazing Authors Event

Woohoo, it's my turn today at the Amazing Authors Event! ~bounce~


A group of wonderful authors - and I - have recently joined together to host a blog tour: enjoy almost two weeks of tempting excerpts, wonderful stories and plenty of suggestions for your personal electronic bookshelves. But you might not even need to spend your hard earned cash - on the final day you'll get a chance to win free copies! You'll just have to answer the questions on the last blog. No worries - you'll find links to all our posts there so you can double check! It's like sitting a maths test with the result book by your side... ;-)


Right, so now let me tell you about Highland Arms. My Scottish romantic historical has been on the market for 6 months! Wow! But with my new historical, Dark Deceit, coming out on 10th February, I must quickly tell you about where the idea for Highland Arms came from. 


My in-laws live in the Scottish Highlands. On our way to visit, we pass through the most stunning landscapes - and I discovered my favourite place: Glencoe / Ballachulish. During several stays there I fell in love with the place. I found some small booklets of local history; and the idea for Highland Arms - smugglers, Jacobites and Highland rogues - was born. 




I have since returned there many times and I'm still as captivated by the stark beauty of the land as I was on my first trip. For that reason, Highland Arms will always have a special place in my heart.


Blurb:

Betrayed by her brother’s lies, Catriona MacKenzie is banished from her Edinburgh home to her godmother’s remote manor in the Highlands. While her father ponders her fate, Catriona’s insatiable curiosity leads her straight into trouble--and into the arms of a notorious Highlander.
Five years after an ill-fated Jacobite rebellion, Rory Cameron works as a smuggler to raise money for the cause--until Catriona uncovers a plot against him and exposes his activities. Now Rory is faced with a decision that could save their lives or destroy them both.

Excerpt:

Her mind made up, she rose and wrapped a thick blanket around her shoulders. As her bare feet touched the wooden floor, she hissed at the chill. With no maid to call upon, she left her room and went downstairs in search of the kitchen. The thought of a warming cup of tea raised her spirits. Then she’d continue to set her plan into motion.

She pushed the kitchen door open and stopped short. Standing by the mullioned window, in front of
a large bowl overflowing with water, was Rory Cameron. He turned as he heard the door. Catriona
caught her breath, and grabbed the handle, letting go of the blanket.

Water dripped over his head and down his torso, trickling in small rivulets over his kilt held by a broad belt with a round silver buckle in a Pagan design of interlacing swirls. The light curls of hair on his tanned chest glistened with moisture. His shoulder-length hair was unbound, falling softly over taut muscle. A dry smile told her she was staring at him. Again.

She swallowed hard. “I...” She stuttered. “I’m so sorry, Mr. Cameron.” She averted her gaze to her feet. “I was just looking for a pot of tea. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

The insufferable man laughed as he grabbed a piece of cloth and began to pat himself dry. “I don’t think you did.” He shook his head, sending strands flying before rubbing it vigorously. “And it’s Rory, remember?” He grinned. Catriona stood rooted to the spot. Words failed her. Her mouth went dry.

“But tell me...” He went on. “Do you always venture into the kitchen so early? If so, you’d better get dressed next time.”

Transfixed by his mocking gaze, her cheeks heated as she became aware of her own state of undress. What an impression was she giving him with her hair falling loosely over her shoulders, and the blanket barely covering her modesty?

Oh, dear God, the blanket!



Highland Arms is available at Amazon US / UK, B&N and The Wild Rose Press.
Dark Deceit will be released on 10th February 2012 from Crooked Cat Publishing.


So, where next, I hear you ask? Well, nip over to the fabulous Maggie Toussaint tomorrow to continue our Amazing Authors Tour:  http://mudpiesandmagnolias.blogspot.com/ 


See you over there! :-)

The Amazing Authors Event - starting Thursday!

The countdown is on! In just two days' time, a group of 13 fabulous authors (including me! ~pat on back~) are hosting a blog tour.

But not only can you discover the works of these wonderful ladies, you can also win a great read! Sounds good, doesn't it?


Every one of the authors on the tour are offering a free download - but you have to pay attention to win. Easy peasy! ;-)

On the last day of the tour, Ginger Simpson is going to post up the questions. Don't worry - she'll attach a link to each author's post so you can quickly double check. Don't miss out on a chance to win a read of your choice by simply answering a question. Not rocket science, eh? :p



Here's the glamorous line up:

Jan. 12.  Caroline Clemmons - http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com 

Jan. 13. Beth Trissel - http://bethrissel.wordpress.com 

Jan. 14. Roseanne Dowell - http://roseannedowellauthor.blogspot.com 

Jan. 15.  Cathie Dunn -  http://cathiedunn.blogspot.com - right here!

Jan. 16. Maggie Toussaint http://mudpiesandmagnolias.blogspot.com 

Jan. 17. Patsy Parker - http://plparker.blogspot.com 

Jan. 18. SG Rogers - http://childofyden.wordpress.com 

Jan. 19. Linda LaRogue - http://lindalarogueauthor.blogspot.com 


Jan. 21. Karen Nutt - http://kmnbooks.blogspot.com/ 

Jan. 22. Anna Kathryn Lanier - http://annakathrynlanier.blogspot.com/ 

Jan. 23. Barbara Edwards - http://barbaraedwardscomments.wordpress.com 

Jan. 24. Ginger Simpson - http://mizging.blogspot.com 

We're looking forward to seeing you 'on the road'!

My Place - Nowhere Left to Hide by Elle Amberley

Today I was due to host the hugely talented and popular Elle Amberley. Sadly, Elle has been unwell recently, so the friendly team at her publisher, Indio Press, have provided me with details of Elle's last release. My thanks to Sarah at Indio Press for responding so quickly. My thoughts are with Elle.

A prolific author, Elle Amberley writes Women’s Fiction, Literary, poetry, short stories and features. If that wasn’t enough she recently started writing in French and a novel is due for publication next year.  Nowhere Left to Hide, her latest novel, is based in California and charts the journey of Natasha Parker, a British student who seeks to escape her childhood ghosts. 

My Place:

Here's what Elle had to say earlier about her fabulous setting, Santa Barbara:

While I was doing some research for my novel and in a recent interview I was asked “Why did you choose Santa Barbara for the story’s backdrop? Why not San Diego?”
I love Santa Barbara, I wanted to shout back. Well, I didn’t. I’m British, you know, the old reserve and all that…
I have such good memories of the town and its friendly inhabitants. It was my first taste of America and it surprised me, not what I had expected.
I loved its Mediterranean and laid-back atmosphere, the wonderful beaches, the little boutiques, the unusual architecture, more Spanish in style than the sky-high towers I had anticipated.
I remember being greeted like an old friend by shop keepers. Big shock, I had to refrain from turning round to check they were not talking to somebody else. We don’t get such a warm welcome in our hood. Indeed you’re very lucky if you do get a greeting at all.
So this is how, many years later, Natasha (the main character) popped up in my head demanding I write her story. I knew exactly where to send her. Well, the poor girl needed a break and the further away I sent her, the safer she would be.
Santa Barbara became the perfect place for her to let go of her childhood ghosts. Where better to free herself from a painful past, find love and friendship? For, make no mistake, Natasha is a go-getter, a fighter, not a victim.
The lovely beaches feature heavily in her daily life, providing the perfect background for romance and finding herself.
Santa Barbara still holds a little piece of my heart. Perhaps one day I shall return and reclaim it, or lose another piece.


Blurb:

Novelist Rowan Coleman wrote the blurb and described it as a “heartfelt tale.”

Natasha has fled her home too many times, she’s tired of running scared. When she's offered the chance to go to California, she can't wait.

Thousands of miles to free herself from her past. She might even find love if she can shed her last fears.
But what will she do when her visa expires and her boyfriend asks her to marry him?

Elle’s particular strength is writing positive stories with a strong theme of being lost and finding yourself again. Although she broaches difficult subjects in her novels, the characters turn out to be fighters, not victims. Every emotion is conveyed and her style has been described as “lyrical” and appeals to a wide age group, which is a rarity.

Having overcome many obstacles in her life, including a very difficult childhood, she chose to reconstruct her life. Rather than writing a memoir like many abuse victims she prefers to marry fiction with some of her own experiences. Elle’s short stories and articles reflect her interests and fascinations. A passionate writer, she uses these to express her feelings and dismay at the injustices of this world.

Author Links:

Website:  www.elleamberley.co.uk
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/Elle.Amberley.Author
Twitter:  www.twitter.com//ElleAmberley

Buy Links:







Dark Deceit - released 10th February 2012

~happy dance~


My new historical novel, Dark Deceit, has a release date:  Friday, 10th February 2012! So excited! ;-)


In the final editing stages, just going through with a fine tooth comb, then it'll be ready. It's going to be released through Crooked Cat Publishing - check out my Author Page
I just love the cover! So dark, so forbidding. Laurence, who designed the cover, has caught the right atmosphere, just what I wanted to portray.


Dark Deceit, the first in The Anarchy Trilogy, is going to be available on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N and other electronic retailers.


Here's the blurb:
On his return from battle at Lincoln, Geoffrey de Mortagne, undersheriff of Gloucester and spy for the Empress Matilda, assists a dying knight caught in an ambush. Promising to look after the welfare of the knight’s only daughter, Geoffrey stays at her manor while he investigates the murder. Keen to join the Empress on her progress through England, he is torn between his oath and his duty. 



Left to defend her manor following her father’s death, Alleyne de Bellac at first accepts Geoffrey’s support. As she doesn’t trust the taciturn stranger, she asks Will d’Arques, an old friend, for help. But loyalties change. Her life in danger and her inheritance at stake, Alleyne must decide which man to trust. 

Discover England and Normandy divided by a brutal civil war, where vows are broken as allegiances waver.


My Place - One More Summer by Liz Flaherty

Happy New Year to all my friends here! I hope you've all celebrated in style. :-)

No rest for the wicked, so we're straight back to My Place to welcome the lovely Liz Flaherty whose latest novel, One More Summer, is due out on 2nd January 2012. Perfect timing!

Let's hear about Liz...



Life is new and wonderful for writer Liz Flaherty these days. She retired from the post office in 2011, promptly gained 15 pounds—she swears it was overnight—and promised her grandchildren, The Magnificent Seven, that she would make each of them a bed-size quilt. She also planned to write all day, every day.

What was she thinking?

She’s learned to write when she feels like it, sew when she feels like it, and maybe even to eat a little less. She’s gone back to school, where, yes, she is far and away the oldest kid in class. She’s learned to share the house and sometimes even the kitchen with Duane, her husband of, oh, lots of years.
And she’s having a Very, Very Good Time.

Her fifth book—she’s not really an overnight success; she just never gives up—ONE MORE SUMMER, will be released tomorrow by Carina Press. She is thrilled to the point everyone she knows rolls their eyes as soon as she opens her mouth. 

Cathie, thanks so much for having me here today. Just as my bio says, life is exciting! Starting the new year with a new book is just amazing to me. I’m not going to say much here today, but I hope visitors enjoy the blurb and the excerpt and I really hope they buy the book and enjoy that, too. 
Safe and Happy New Year to everyone!


My Place:

ONE MORE SUMMER takes place in the eastern corner of Tennessee in the sleepy little town of Peacock. The name comes from the varying and vibrant colors of the trees, one of those things no one ever thought would stick but did. It’s typical small town, with one stoplight, and one of most everything else. Maeve Malone’s Saloon, Carol’s Clip Joint, the Cup and Cozy, and the New Methodist Church all reside on Main Street. Lawyers Row is the neighborhood of Big Old Houses where the Old Families live—or used to. It has park benches, a walking boulevard down its center, and no curbs.


I always write small-town stories anyway, and Tennessee is so very beautiful I decided to build a town there after a visit to my sister-in-law who lives tucked up in the corner next to North Carolina. Peacock is the happy result.



Blurb:

Grace has taken care of her widowed father her entire adult life and the ornery old goat has finally died. She has no job, no skills and very little money, and has heard her father’s prediction that no decent man would ever want her so often she accepts it as fact.
But she does have a big old house on Lawyers Row in Peacock, Tennessee. She opens a rooming house and quickly gathers a motley crew of tenants: Promise, Grace’s best friend since kindergarten, who’s fighting cancer; Maxie, an aging soap opera actress who hasn’t lost her flair for the dramatic; Jonah, a sweet, gullible old man with a crush on Maxie.
And Dillon, Grace’s brother’s best friend, who stood her up on the night of her senior prom and has regretted it ever since. Dillon rents Grace’s guest house for the summer and hopes to make up for lost time and past hurts—but first, he’ll have to convince Grace that she’s worth loving…



Excerpt:

  Grace walked past him toward the clothesline. She was clad in the overalls and tank top that seemed to be her uniform for hot days. Dillon stood, still holding the door open, and stared after her. For a woman with no hips, she certainly did have a way about her walk. He didn’t know whether it was her long stride or the way she held her shoulders or the tilt of her head, but it was certainly…something. Then he lifted his eyes. Good God, what had she done with her hair? 
  “You’re letting flies in, Dillon,” she called over the bedspread she was hanging up. “I hope this sucker  dries,” she muttered. “Mrs. Willard and her night air.” 
  Dillon closed the door and went over to where she stood. He helped her pin the heavy bedspread to the 
line, then put his hands on her shoulders, turning her as he had Promise only moments before so that he could see the tousled cap of bronze-tipped curls from all angles. Unable to stop himself, he raised a hand and ran it through her hair, finding it as silky as it appeared. 
  “Beautiful,” he murmured. 
  She started, then shook her head, but he stopped the movement with a hand on her face. Lord, he loved 
how her skin felt. “Oh, yes,” he said softly. “Not only the hair, though it is, but the reason you got it cut. Are there no limits to friendship, Grace? Will you shave your head when Prom loses her hair?” 
  “You know.” 
  He nodded. “Will you?” He stroked her cheek with his thumb, feeling the slick spot that was the scar her father had left there. He wanted to touch his lips to the mark. 
  Well, there was another thought he didn’t want to examine too closely. 
  “No.” She pulled away, bending to retrieve the bedspread. “Unless she needs me to.” 
  The last words were mumbled, but Dillon heard them anyway. He sauntered away, smiling.

Author Link:

She’d love to have you visit her website http://lizflaherty.com/index.html or http://wordwranglers.blogspot.com/ where she hangs out with some of her best writer friends.



Buy Links: