SCP Historical Blog Hop

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Writing a historical isn’t so much a challenge as it is for me. Could it be because I’ll lived so much of it, seeing events first hand?

Okay, I’m not that old or am I? After all my first pet was a T. Rex and the Dead Sea wasn’t even Tyrannosaurus_Rex_coloredsick when I was growing up. I learned to write with a stylus on a clay tablet while in the shadows of the Tower of Babel.

My favorite time was and still is the Regency period in England. Gentlemen were chivalrous while the ladies are raised to be demure. That is until I came along and wrote Spy Catcher.

Sure the hero, Lord William Gerrard, stands by his lady, Miss Debbi Overstreet, but she won’t stand behind him. That’s one of her conditions on accepting his offer for marriage.

Besides being an expert fisherwoman Debbi knows her way around a sabre, to the point where she challenged him on learning he’d lie about his whereabouts to her.

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Blurb-

While acting as chaperone to Lady Aleece at a house party, little does lady’s maid Debbi realize how her life will change.

Not prepared to fall in love nor see a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to her, Debbi’s world begins to turn upside down.

After several attempts on her life, and a run-in with yet another look-alike, she uncovers her true heritage, as the unknown daughter of a countess. Having been raised and trained as a lady’s maid, but educated alongside her employer, Debbi begins to wonder in which world she truly belongs.

Only when her new love’s life is threatened does Debbie claim her rightful place and do what’s necessary to save him.

Excerpt-

Later, curious to the sounds outside William stood staring out the window of his room which overlooked the forecourt. What interested him wasn’t so much the ducal seal on the traveling carriage door which was opened by Thomas, but the second of the two ladies who he assisted out.

The first he knew to be Lady Aleece, only child of the Duke and Duchess of Carlisle. The second young lady, if he were to hazard a guess, appeared to be much of the same age as the lady.

“This couldn’t possibly be the companion Thomas was talking about. She’s much too young and pretty.”

From the angle he was watching them greeted by Whitchurch’s offspring, it would appear the other woman was known to them as well.

With the skill of an artist he studied her. Slim but not too as the traveling gown gracing her form hugged every curves suggested. From under her fashionable bonnet he observed wisps of blonde hair tossed about by the gentle breeze.

He wondered what colour her eyes were. Would they be blue, green, hazel or brown? With her lips, so pleasingly full and turned up slightly at the corners, he wagered passion would fill her beautiful orbs when kissed. Something he wagered he’d be doing before week’s end.

He watched as she glanced around her surroundings and when he saw her raise her head to take in the front of the mansion he ducked behind the heavy dark blue curtain. Once done he felt foolish for hiding from a woman, something he’d never done.

Thus, he knew the effect, even from a distance, this goddess had on him.

So, now do you see why I not only love reading but writing the time period.

Spy Catcher is scheduled for release by Secret Cravings Publishing on July 30.

Leave a comment along with your email address and you’ll be entered in a drawing for an eBook copy on its release in your choice of format.

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A little about me-

What does it take to be a bestselling author? Determination, skill, talent, luck or taking a risk with a venture into a totally new genre. For me it was a little of some and a lot of the others.

In 2008 when I got two books published I thought it was due to skill; little did I know it was more luck than anything. Over the next three years I wrote, submitted, got rejected. I then did what I tell everyone who asks; I wrote some more. I didn’t give up.

More on a dare than anything I tried my hand at a regency, one of the most difficult genres because of the rules, which I might add I broke almost every one. Within two days of its release the book was on a best seller list and stayed there for two months.

Turns out it is all of the aforementioned.

After two failed marriages, one from divorce while with the other died unexpectedly I decided upon retirement to move. That opportunity came in September 2012 when I migrated to Texas.

For me, as a multipublished author, it was one of the best things I’ve done to date. Now, every day I can write, creating stories to take my readers to places they can only dream about.

I’m also a member of the Published Authors Network (PAN) by the Romance Writers of America (RWA).

Where you can find me-

Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/lindsay.downs.7

Twitter- @ldowns2966

LinkedIn- http://www.linkedin.com/home

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3210224-lindsay

A Jessica Sales blog- https://ajessicasalesnovel.wordpress.com/

Lindsay Downs-Romance Author- http://lindsaydowns-romanceauthor.weebly.com/

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Posted in Regency, Romance, Secret Cravings Publisher, Spy Catcher, Suspense | 11 Comments

Tuesday Tales

This week we’re writing to a picture prompt and this is the one I chose as it fits nicely with my regency WIP, The Lost Earl. Please forgive any mistakes you might find.

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Toby slowed when he got to the entrance to the Carlisle estate. He was amazed at the broad expanse of the park laid out before him. Not even seeing smoke rising from the kitchen fires he suspected he still had a ride ahead.

Lifting his eyes to the sky he couldn’t help but notice several dark clouds had formed in the distance. “Aye, seems a storm might be brewing. But is it coming from the heavens or with whom I will be speaking with shortly?” he wondered aloud.

He suspected not even the brightness of the sun to the west wouldn’t save someone, him most likely if the duke’s reputation held true.

To the left of his eye he caught movement so he focused on it. Sheep scattered around the pasture, some munching on the grass while others lying down. He let the corners of his lips curl upward on spying several kids romping around their mothers. In the distance a shepherd rested against a framed structure with several herding dogs napping at his feet.

Swinging his head to the right he took in a well-tended forest, something he’d not expected to see. The trees all grew straight and large. It was no wonder this lumber was so sought after by builders of mansions and shipwrights.

Where the grass, neatly trimmed by sheep he guessed, met the woods he noticed several hares feasting on the shouts of flowers. Raising his gaze a little higher he saw deep within the trees several deer, one barely out of spots.

The sound of a hammer being cocked fully back brought him back to reality. Releasing the reins he raised his arms.

“My name is Toby Bowes. I’m a Bow Street runner here to speak with Miss Overstreet.”

“You may lower your hands,” a deep voice said.

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Posted in Jessica Sales, Lindsay Downs, Mystery, Picture Prompt, Regency, Romance, Secret Cravings Publisher, Suspense, The Lost Earl, Tuesday Tales | 10 Comments

Cover reveal

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COVER REVEAL FREYA’S SPELL BY KATHLEEN ANN GALLAGHER     COMING TO SECRET CRAVINGS PUBLISHING AUGUST 2013

 

BLURB

The passionate, sex-starved witch, Freya Meyer is tired of wasting time with unsatisfying lovers. She’s in search of a man who can keep up with her.  Prospects are slim in Bartlett, the sleepy little town in the White Mountain Region of New Hampshire.

A sultry stranger with a French accent behind the counter at the Country Store is new to town. Family commitment and an unsettled past leads Paul Marton back to his childhood roots. On the rebound from a scandalous romance, Paul tries to ignore Freya’s advances, and he doesn’t let on how he falls prey to her seductive ways.

When Paul ignores her advances, Freya knows what she must do. A love spell is bound to cast the shy stranger straight into her arms. With the help of the full moon, Freya’s wishes may come to fruition. Can a lonely witch capture one night with her dream lover… walk away, and never look back? Is there a way to tame a wild witch’s heart?

Here’s where you can find Kathleen. 

Kathleen’s blog. http://kathleensplacetoreflect.blogspot.com/?zx=e33c25154ce308d9

Website.http://www.kathleenanngallagher.net/

Twitter https://twitter.com/Kathleenwrites

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.a.gallagher?ref=tn_tnmn

Posted in Cover Reveal, Jessica Sales, Kathleen Gallagher | 1 Comment

Tuesday Tales

Welcome back to another scene from my regency WIP, The Lost Earl. Please excuse any mistakes you might encounter as you read it. This week the word prompt is court. Enjoy.

As Toby stepped in the Bow Street Courthouse he knew, from the noise level and people rushing around, court wasn’t in session yet. With this information he knew the Chief Magistrate should have time to see him, which he desperately needed.

After the off chance meeting with Lady Ann a short while ago he needed to leave London for an indeterminate length of time. One for him to get her out of his mind and for her, for he was positive from her expression on seeing him, to forget him.

Stomping down the corridor he headed for the magistrate’s office. Stepping in he was met by his secretary.

“Hello Tubby is his lordship in. I need to see him immediately,” Toby announced walking up to the man’s desk.

“Yes he is but only for a short time. Afternoon court is about to start and he received word of a possible robbery and kidnapping over a day’s ride from here.”

“Wonderful. Announce me please,” Toby demanded.

In less than a minute he stood before the Chief Magistrate of Bow Street.

“My Lord, I understand a new case has come across your desk. As I’ve finished with the murder of the shopkeeper and he’s not due for trial for several weeks I’m available to investigate it,” Toby said, confidence in his voice.

“Wonderful. I was about to send for you since I thought this would be up your ally.”

Toby cocked him a quizzical glance wondering what he meant. That was all needed to get the magistrate to open up more.

“Yes. The men won’t talk. Seems someone has scared them into silence but I know you have a certain way with those types of people.”

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Posted in Jessica Sales, Lindsay Downs, Regency, Romance, The Lost Earl, TT, Tuesday Tales | 10 Comments

An editor talks about editing

Today I’ve got Sue Toth, from Secret Cravings Publishing, talking about her job as an editor. I guess after reading this post they really aren’t the enemy just not so friendly friends who help us make a good book great.

You’ve worked long and hard on your novel. You’ve slaved over the plot, fallen in love with the characters, researched to make sure the setting is just right. Your masterpiece is finally complete.  Now it’s time to put it in the hands of an editor.

Sometime later, you get your manuscript back from the editor and it’s filled with—what is this??–red track changes! Lots of them! How could this be? This is your blood, sweat and tears, and the editor didn’t like it? This is impossible. How could the editor not like your book?

Contrary to popular belief, most editors don’t dislike a book. Even though it may seem that way, we editor types really are just trying to help you make your book better. So what, exactly, goes into the editing process?

Well, of course we correct things like spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. We make sure that periods are inside of quotation marks, things like that. We also check for consistency. If the hero’s eyes were blue in the opening scenes and suddenly turn green halfway through the book, we’ll ask you what color you want them to be, and then make sure they stay that color throughout the book. We also check for continuity in scenes. For example, if a character is in a room, we make sure that he or she got there in a plausible way, and hasn’t just magically appeared in the scene.

One of the most important ways that editors can help, though, is to make sure your novel is as reader-friendly as possible. And that includes things like removing extraneous dialogue, shortening scenes that go on for too long, and just overall looking at your manuscript with an objective eye.

Don’t forget, editors are readers too. We just happen to be pretty good at those pesky rules of the English language. Most of all, we’re not you. We’re a fresh set of eyes, and we really are here to help, not condemn.  And we’re happy to explain changes, answer questions and work with you to make your novel the best it can be.

So ask us questions, and help us help you (thank you Jerry McGuire).

A collaborative working relationship between an author and editor can only help make a novel better.

 

Sue Toth

Posted in Ice Queen, Jean Joachim, Jessica Sales, Kathleen Ball, Kathleen Gallagher, Lindsay Downs, Mystery, Red Queen, Regency, Rodeo Queen, Romance, Snow Queen | 1 Comment

Who says sex doesn’t sell-

Today I’ve got erotic author and friend Em Petrova stopping by to talk about her newest release, book that is.

Writing Sex Scenes

As an erotic romance author, I get questioned about how I write the hottest damn sex scenes most people have ever read. First of all, a dirty mind helps. Yes, I naturally think that way when it comes to stories. And well…even when I’m not telling a story. *grin*

Visual stimulation helps a lot. Sexy pictures of naked limbs and snippets of porn offer up manna to the erotic writer. It’s a tough job to “research” for my characters, but someone’s gotta do it.

When actually writing a sex scene, though, I’m all about the build-up. Sex is nothing but senses unless you’re unlucky enough to be penning your shopping list in your head. Senses are the reader’s foreplay. I slip into the character’s bodies and try to see through their eyes. What are they thinking, feeling? How deep is their ache for their lover? I use every sense—touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing. Actually, I’ve found that now I’m hyperaware of these senses in my own lovemaking, and it heightens my experience. Readers rely upon the author’s use of senses to bring them into the moment and titillate them too.

Also, in writing a sex scene, exaggeration is key. No reader wants a wham-bam-thankya when they can have a full service job. As a reader of erotic romance, I’ve been thrown into bed with a character, pumped and had my legs ratcheted over my head, and been thrust into the next scene without as much as a soft stroke. That’s why when I’m writing, I work hard to show readers loving caresses and long, deep gazes as well as the needy bucking of hips. In life, sex happens too quickly for the most part. In books, it can last for many pages or a whole chapter!

Writing about love is the best job in the world. I’m thankful each day that I get to push the boundaries of two (or more) people who love one another, as well as explore new kinks and obsessions.

EM_SlickRider_coversmRead on for a steamy excerpt from SLICK RIDER http://www.loose-id.com/genres/series/the-quick-and-the-hot/the-quick-and-the-hot-slick-rider.html

The bell for room four pealed for the third time in a quarter of an hour. Lilly Hall whirled around and glared at the light flashing over the door. The normally quiet alarm sounded like a gong in her head.

“Bed four needs something, Lilly. Don’t keep your patient waiting,” her fellow physical therapist assistant Katie said with a grin. Short-staffed as always during late summer. Everyone went on vacation and left the physical therapists to answer call lights.

“He needs something all right.” A kick in the chaps—bound and gagged. The insufferable cowboy was driving Lilly’s patience to the brink. If she heard his country drawl one more time, she was going to do something very bad. Like hog-tie him with a resistance band.

Juss Rossie, star of the rodeo circuit, was injured and on her turf. He was everything Lilly had dreamed he’d be—his game was smoother than aged whiskey and every hard inch of his body spoke of the power and control he exerted over the bulls he rode.

Now he was confined to a sling and a splint after taking a fall from Bushwhacker, one of the meanest, ugliest bulls on the Professional Bull Riders Tour. Juss had ridden it for seven seconds before he was flung off laterally, tearing his knee and dislocating his shoulder and popping several ligaments. They’d brought him in gritting his teeth in pain, refusing to take any pain meds. The first thing Lilly had done was help hold him down while a nurse administered a big fat shot to his tanned butt cheek.

Yes, he was wonderfully tanned—all the way to his toes.

And horribly infuriating.

The light over his door kept flashing. Having a long shift with a frustrating patient made Lilly grind her teeth and remind herself why she loved physical therapy. For two more weeks she was stuck with him in this private rehab center. Unfortunately, Juss Rossie had assigned himself to her every waking moment of those two weeks. Money could do that.

If she was being honest with herself, she’d admit she was like a cat in heat for the panty-drenchingly-sexy cowboy. How many times had she watched him on the Jumbotron being jerked all over the place and wished she could mount a man with that much skill?

As a physical therapist’s assistant, she often traveled to the arena with Doctor Paddington, who personally saw to several of the riders. She’d never seen Juss up close and personal before though. She would have remembered those steely biceps, corded forearms, hard chest…and the hat he would have worn dipped low over those smoldering black eyes that went with a blacker reputation.

They called him Slick Rider because he’d started out riding broncos, and it was rumored he liked to ride bareback. Actually, his reputation was that he preferred everything bare.

A tingle ignited between Lilly’s thighs. She contained the urge to squeeze them together. Getting hot and bothered at work was a pitfall of hanging around so much muscled flesh. An almost constant parade of rodeo riders visited this private center.

Lilly hadn’t ever dated a cowboy, but it was on her bucket list. Still, not one of the cowboys who had visited the center had ever lit a spark in her. She’d spent half of last night dreaming about being with Juss—bent over, pinned beneath him, and riding him.

The last image had finally awakened her, and she’d had to finger herself to get relief. Taking control of a powerful man like Juss was a dream she’d never forget. But the reality paled in comparison to her fantasies.

“Lilly,” Katie warned when Lilly continued to ignore the flashing light.

“Jeez— All right!” She burst through the door of room four.

He lay there like a tanned god. Long, sooty lashes framed gorgeous chocolate-colored eyes that melted every woman in his vicinity. He always wore a goatee, but since coming here he’d trimmed it extra short. Probably because he’d injured the shoulder of his dominant hand—his left—and was forced to use his right.

Her heart squeezed at the sight of his lazy smile. “Glad to know my money is employing the most attentive staff available,” he drawled.

Insufferable man. Fucking gorgeous, yes. But insufferable.

A crease lived between his dark brows, and his mouth was drawn.

But those eyes—there’s something deeper there than he lets on.

She leaned against the door and stared at him. “How’s your pain level on a scale of one to ten, according to that chart?” She gestured toward a mint-green paper taped to the wall, sporting ten faces in various stages of distress.

“Ten,” he said, his eyes unwavering.

“Is that so? I’m sorry to hear it. One would think a big strong cowboy who gets hurled off the backs of two-thousand-pound beasts could handle a little postsurgical pain. Ah, no matter.” She came forward, withdrawing a pen from her pocket but concealing it in her palm.

He waved her away. “Get out of here with that syringe. Damn, girl, you’re a wildcat.”

“Let me show you my claws.” She grinned and uncapped the pen with her teeth.

Realization sparked in his eyes. He leveled his gaze at her. “You gonna try to pump me full of ink for my pain? Try it and you’ll be sorry, Whiskey.”

She jerked to a stop. Confusion settled in her mind, but warmth tightened her belly. He had a nickname for her?

Em Petrova

~hardworking heroes—in bed and out~

http://www.empetrova.com

Posted in Em Petrova, Erotic, France, Ice Queen, Jessica Sales, Lindsay Downs, Mystery, Red Queen, Regency, Romance | 2 Comments

Tuesday Tales

Welcome back for another week of great scenes by fantastic writers based on the word prompt long.

This is from my new regency WIP, The Lost Earl. It’s the sequel to Spy Catcher releasing later this month from Secret Cravings Publishing. I don’t know, as of yet, if this scene will make it into the final version of the book, only time will tell.

Toby knew it was only to instill fear in the youngsters which usually worked but not now and not with him. He let his eyes drift to the man’s hand which held a small piece of foolscap, which he thought was almost antidotal since the friar was a fool.

“The proctor has found a place for you, one which he’s been holding for the right person to fill.”

Toby took the piece of paper and read the direction to where he was going, 20 Newcastle Street. Easily he ran through the different locales until his mind set on the fastest way to the building. He then remember many times, as being one of the brightest, traveling to the street to deliver psalms or other liturgical missives to be printed. This address was that of The Gazette, one of the most popular broadsheets with the wealthy but owned by a hard master.

He wondered if his life hadn’t gone from bad to worse than knew it hadn’t. Anything would be better than being under the switch of his current master. At least now if need be he could escape into the slums where no one could or would find him.

“Well, what are you waiting for? Off with you, you ungrateful whelp.”

“With pleasure if it means I don’t have to look at your pockmarked mug anymore,” Toby spoke, barely ducking in time to prevent the long willow switch from striking him across the face.

Standing outside the door of The Gazette he glanced up and down the street, smile then stepped inside.

“Ah Toby, what brings you here today, and with a sack over your shoulder,” Mr. Hobbs the broadsheet’s owner queried.

“Afternoon sir. I have this letter for you from the abbot. It will inform you that I’m to request an apprenticeship with you,” he replied, passing the missive over.

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Posted in Don't Cross the Countess, Erotic, Fantasy, France, Ice Queen, Jean Joachim, Jessica Sales, Lindsay Downs, Mystery, Red Queen, Regency, Romance, Secret Cravings Publisher, Snow Queen, TT, Tuesday Tales | 8 Comments