Friday, June 30, 2017


Jane Goodger

Date: 6/13/17

Welcome to St. Ives, the charming
seaside town where even a down-on-her luck bride might find her way
back to love . . .

As if being left at the alter for the
third time isn’t bad enough, Lady Alice Hubbard has now been dubbed
“The Bad Luck Bride” by the London newspapers. Defeated, she
returns to her family’s estate in St. Ives, resolved to a future as
a doting spinster. After all, a lady with her record of marital
mishaps knows better than to dream of happily-ever-after. But then
Alice never expects to see Henderson Southwell again. Her beloved
brother’s best friend disappeared from her life soon after her
brother’s death. Until now…

Alice is just as achingly beautiful as
Henderson remembers. And just as forbidden. For the notorious ladies’
man made one last promise to Alice’s brother before he died—and
that was never to pursue her. But one glimpse of Alice’s sorrow and
Henderson feels a powerful urge to put the light back in her lovely
eyes, one lingering kiss at a time. Even if it means falling in love
with the one woman he can never call his bride . . .


If only her fiancé had died five minutes after the ceremony instead of five minutes before, Alice wouldn’t be in her current, unfathomable, situation.

A terrible thought, yes, but there was never a truer sentiment to go through her mind.

He was late. Her current and very much alive fiancé was terribly, horribly, embarrassingly late, and the vicar was giving her sad looks and the congregation was whispering, and Alice felt like she might scream for them all to just shut up. Harvey Reginald Heddingford III, Viscount Northrup, whom she actually liked (the first of her three fiancés whom she actually had liked) had apparently grown ice cold feet.

It wasn’t much of a surprise, actually.

The night before he’d seemed…off. Distracted. Overly nice. Guilty. That’s when the first niggling feeling of doubt touched her but she forced herself to ignore it. Certainly three men couldn’t leave her at the altar. Though to be fair, Bertram Russell, her second ill-fated fiancé, was ousted by her enraged father long before she’d set foot in the church. Bertram had been found out—not one week before their planned nuptials—to be a complete fraud. He made ordinary fortune hunters seem like innocent children dabbling at seducing marriage out of highly placed, rich women.

One dead. One fraud. One very, very late.

This could not be happening again. She stood in the vestibule with her father and sister, dread slowly wrapping around her like a toxic fog, making it almost impossible to breathe. As she waited for her groom to make an appearance, knowing he would not, Alice vowed she would never, ever, be put in this position again. When she saw Vicar Jamison coming toward the spot where she stood with her father, Alice knew it was over. She couldn’t seem to gather the energy to cry and in fact had the terrible urge to laugh, something she sometimes did at the worst possible moment. Actually, other than feeling a bit off kilter and extremely humiliated, she felt nothing at all. Certainly not heartbroken.

“Lord Hubbard,” the vicar said, giving her father a small bow. “It may be time to address the congregation.”

Her dear, dear, papa looked at her, his eyes filled with sorrow. “I think I must.”

Alice nodded and pressed her hands, still holding her silly bouquet, into her stomach. God, the humiliation. This was far worse than Bertram and, well, poor Lord Livingston was deemed a tragedy, not a humiliation. People at least felt sorry for her when her first ill-fated husband-to-be dropped dead waiting for her to walk down the aisle. Just five more minutes and she might have been a widow, and a widow was a far better thing to be than a jilted bride.

It was all her sister’s fault. Christina had been fussing with her gown, fixing something in the bustle, insisting that Alice would never get the chance to be a bride again (what a lark) and everything must be absolutely perfect for that most important day when Alice would have become a baroness. And then Lord Livingston died, right then, right as he walked toward the front of the church. Dropped like a stone without warning and was dead before he hit the hard marble floor with a sickening thud. Instead of Lady Livingston or Lady Northrup, she was still Miss Hubbard and it looked like she would be Miss Hubbard for the rest of her days.

Christina stood, eyes wide with horror, as their father walked slowly to the front of the church. The large room became deathly quiet, and Alice turned, grabbed her sister’s arm, and walked out the front door of the church. She couldn’t bear to see the pity in their eyes, nor the tears in her mother’s. Certainly Mama had never suspected her eldest daughter would once again be abandoned by her groom. Thank God they’d decided to get married in London and not St. Ives, where the villagers would have likely gathered to celebrate her marriage. No one was about except for the normal crowds.

“I’ll murder him,” Christina said feelingly when they reached their carriage. The startled footman hurriedly dropped the steps and then handed the sisters into the carriage, which was meant to carry the happy couple to their wedding breakfast.

Alice tore off her veil then gave her ferocious sister a weak smile. “I think he was in love with Patricia Flemings.

“No!” Christina said with the conviction of someone who cannot accept the fact that anyone could choose a Flemings over a Hubbard. 

Their father, Lord Richard Hubbard, was the third son of the fifth Duke of Warwick, and though he held no title, his connection to the great duke had put their family firmly in the lofty realm of the ton. Christina adored working “my grandfather, the Duke of Warwick” into as many conversations as possible, no matter what the topic. At eighteen, Christina was looking forward to her first season and was no doubt wondering how this latest wedding debacle with her sister would hurt her chances of making a good match.

Alice realized she was officially a hopeless case, and would no doubt become the terrible punch line to jokes told from Nottinghamshire to Cornwall. You’ve heard of Alice Hubbard—or is it Miss Havisham? Charles Dickens had done her no favor by portraying a jilted bride as such a bitterly tragic character. Alice didn’t feel bitter, at least not at the moment, but she suspected she could not escape the label of ‘tragic.’ Now she would have to hide away for a time at their country estate in St. Ives, which wasn’t such a sacrifice, as St. Ives was her favorite place in all the world. Perhaps in her elder years she could be chaperone to her sister’s beautiful daughters. She would be known by them as “my poor spinster aunt who never found love.”

Three fiancés and she had hardly tolerated any of them, never mind loved them. She’d only loved one man in her life but he, of course, did not love her. And that, perhaps, was the most humiliating thing of all.

Jane Goodger lives in Rhode Island with
her husband and three children. Jane, a former journalist, has
written seven historical romances. When she isn’t writing, she’s
reading, walking, playing with her kids, or anything else completely
unrelated to cleaning a house.

the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

Thursday, June 29, 2017


by Ruth Bainbridge

GENRE: Suspense Thriller



June 2017. New York is suffering under the worst heatwave in centuries, but it’s the barrage of grisly murders that has city dwellers on edge. Since the homicides don’t fit a pattern, the NYPD is treating them as unrelated, but Detective Grace Jarrod isn’t so sure. Graffiti left at the crime scenes points to the crimes being linked and part of a rampage.

The delivery of a cryptogram to her precinct proves her theory correct. A group calling themselves CREEPZ takes credit for the deaths and for the war they wage. They promise not to stop until a societal revolution is achieved. Jarrod leads the investigation and goes after the madmen that strike at will and profess to kill for love. Little does she know that the group of homeless drifters is led by a genius who believes himself God.

CREEPZ Excerpt:

The summer started like a hellion on crack.

No one was expecting it … no one was prepared. The mild spring weather had lulled the denizens of the Big Apple into thinking it would always be that way. But before they knew it, the fantasy was swallowed by a rapacious heat that burrowed its way into the concrete and wouldn’t let go. And now? Now there was heat. Overbearing, suffocating heat that came up from the bowels of hell and melted the hardest of hearts, reducing them to sweat and then steam.

For two weeks, the people suffered under the sun’s merciless rule, and the weather forecaster’s oral fandango only promised more of the same. A burst of a turbulent red sky at sunset turned that threat into a reality as New Yorkers braced for another brutal repeat of today.

The day dwindled into twilight as the light was snuffed out by a phantom’s hand. A strong ocean breeze pushed the mugginess aside long enough to breathe. The beleaguered New Yorkers were grateful to have survived and sought solace in the blackness of the oasis offered. Apartment dwellers oozed into the streets in droves—all to enjoy the cooler evening temperature crowned by a silver moon tinged by the color of blood.

Da da dum dum da da doo doo hey …

In the horde of people, the strange little man humming a tune went unnoticed. The crowd at 34th Street was enjoying itself too much to care about one more drifter … one more oddball that New York seemed to attract.




AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ruth Bainbridge was born in the idyllic, sleepy town of Ithaca, NY, and has been a lover of mysteries for her entire life. Ever since a child, she’s consumed detective stories at regular intervals, becoming enamored with all the superstars of crime. She loved matching wits with Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Thomas Pitt, Lord Peter Wimsey, Richard Jury and Edward X Delaney. In fact, she was so inspired by their brilliance that she began trying to emulate her writing idol's achievements by composing her own short stories. However, life interfered with her plans of becoming the next hopeful to try a life of crime--on paper at least. But the empty nest syndrome happened and gave her the impetus to return to her first love--murder.

Her works include: THE CURT SAVAGE MYSTERIES (a four-part series that should be read in order); DEADSPEAK, a detective Twin Peaks; and ONLY ONE WILL FALL, the first in THE NICK CROSS MYSTERIES. CREEPZ is her eighth published work. The most intense read of the season, it’s a complex adrenaline rush that’s filled with suspense.

Twitter: @Ruth_Mysteries



Ruth will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour and, (US/CANADA ONLY)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Ruth is hosting an EXTRA CONTEST. The prizes are a Kindle Fire HD8 and (5) $10 gift certificates. It's a CRYPTOGRAM CONTEST and all winners will be randomly drawn via Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


My newest book is set partially in Virginia and partially in Wyoming shortly after Wyoming became a state. The fun part for me was being able to go to Franklin, Virginia, and study the old map while imagining what it was like in those days. I also looked at the houses and how far the walk would be to different places.

And a few times I worried that one of Franklin's finest would come up with his lights flashing and want to know what I was doing. There are times I don't want to explain that I'm an author. But sitting on the top of that hill, looking at the little town, knowing my heroine would be doing it, or looking at the river and the little park, was something I don't ordinarily get to do while writing a story. It was wonderful! Franklin remains a quaint town and the old railroad station has been well preserved over the years. Today it's a quiet place where everyone knows one another. But in 1890 it was a bustling little place.

Let me whisk you away to a time long ago when Duncan Lorde asked his father to find him a wife.



Zadie Larkford, recently graduated from an Eastern women's college, lives a quiet life in her hometown of Franklin, Virginia. Content to spend her days painting by the river and watching her friends marry, she is shocked to learn that her father has promised her hand in marriage to a complete stranger. Ultimately unable to disobey, she leaves her childhood home to travel – unaccompanied – to Creed's Crossing, Wyoming to meet her betrothed.

Raised in a seafaring community in North Carolina, Duncan Lorde made the decision to leave his father's prosperous fishing venture to make a life for himself in the west. Determined to succeed in the treacherous and unpredictable pursuit of cattle ranching, he has land, a small cabin, and a herd. All he needs now is a wife–a good woman who will cook, clean, and provide him with strong sons to help on the ranch. When Zadie arrives in Creed's Crossing, the young daughter of his father's old friend is far more independent and strong-willed than he expected.

The young would-be-couple has barely begun to forge a bond when the forces of man and nature collide, impeding Duncan and Zadie as they struggle to fulfill... A Rancher's Request


Zadie’s dad had relieved her of the household chores, but Zadie found herself doing things to help Abilene. By midday, it was too hot to work, and Zadie often spent her afternoons on the side porch. If there was going to be a breeze, even a hot one, the side porch always caught it. Her mother and Abilene often joined her as she painted.
Abilene would sit in such a way that she could keep one foot on a treadle that worked an overhead fan. Zadie wasn’t certain what Abilene was crocheting with such tiny cotton thread, but whatever it was, it was growing daily. Zadie’s mom often read. And Zadie worked on several paintings. The egret picture was almost done, as was the still life of the peonies that were in her mother’s favorite vase. And she had completed several watercolors of the flowers that bloomed throughout Franklin and the various fruits as they came into season. She figured she could decorate the bedrooms and her dining room with the cheerful watercolors.
A knock on the front door sent Abilene scurrying to answer it. The heat of summer had kept her father home in the afternoons, unless he absolutely had to see a patient. But it wasn’t unusual for one to come to him.
A few minutes later, Zadie could hear her father and another man laughing. The sound of her father’s laughter rolled over her, bringing flashes of pleasant childhood memories. “I have a feeling that whoever came is a friend and not a patient.”
“I believe you are right,” Zadie’s mom answered. “I haven’t heard him laugh like that in years.”
“I’ve worried about Poppa. I’ve never seen the heat get to him as it has this summer.”
“He’s fine. We’re getting older, and he’s no longer that invincible young man I married.” Her knitting needles clicked nonstop as she spoke. “He’s always believed in being careful, and he washes his hands and everything around him all the time. I think he’s been extra careful as he’s aged.”
“Oh, you and Poppa are not old. Did you not say that Abilene raised Poppa? She must be twice as old and look at her energy.”
“Hardly twice as old. She was in her early teens when your father was born and she refused to leave when the war ended. And yes, she’s spry for her age. I know she’s enjoyed teaching you this summer and having your help.”
“You should have had me learn sooner.”
“But you would have complained bitterly if we had--”
“Zadie, come here,” her father called. “I want you to meet someone.”
She glanced at her mother as a feeling of horror raced through her. Quickly she wiped her hands on her paint cloth and attempted to untie her paint frock that covered her old faded green and white day dress as she made her way to her father’s office.
She had managed to undo the top portion of the frock so that it folded over the skirted portion and at least hid some of the paint splatters. “Yes, Poppa.”
Come in, my darling daughter, and meet your future father-in-law. This is Reginald Lorde. Reginald, my daughter, Zadie.”
Her vocabulary escaped, along with every sensibility. By sheer rote, she managed to offer the man her hand.
“I’m pleased to meet you, Zadie. I certainly would never have recognized you from your picture.” Reginald Lorde was a fine-looking man for his age and impeccably dressed. His skin was weathered, his eyes were hazel, and his hair was an ash blond with slight curl.
“M-m-my picture?”
“Zadie, please sit,” her father ordered, as he pointed to a chair situated near his desk.
She sat and waited, certain that she knew what was coming. The tingle up her spine ended with a series of stabs someplace behind her eyes and a fog threatened to whisk her away.
“Why did you send this to Duncan?”
She gazed at the drawing she had made of the chinless, big-eared woman. Bucked-toothed and extremely snubbed nosed, with beady eyes, the image appeared to be of a woman who was older than dirt. Then she shifted her gaze to her father before settling on Mr. Reginald Lorde. She couldn’t hold back the giggles that bubbled from her. “It was a joke.”
Mr. Lorde stood, came to her, and took her hand. “Miss Larkford, my son knew your drawing was a joke, but he was very concerned about your willingness to marry him. He doesn’t want you forced into a marriage where you will be unhappy.”

is available on Amazon as an ebook or you can read it for free in Kindle Unlimited. 
It will soon be available in paperback and in large print.

E. Ayers, Author

E. Ayers is a true believer in love at first sight because it happened to her. She thinks everyone should find that special someone. When it happens, it's magical. Writing about that love is what she enjoys doing and when she's not spending time with her two dogs and waiting for his royal highness (the cat), she's busy writing. The official matchmaker for all the characters who wander through her brain, she likes finding just the right ones to create a story.

Find her website

Twitter @ayersbooks

Monday, June 26, 2017


The Ghost of You and Me by Kelly Oram

How do you tell someone who hates you and blames you for the death of his best friend that you miss him?

From the bestselling teen and young adult author of Cinder & Ella comes a new heart-wrenching romance sure to bring all the feels.

The tragic death of Spencer Schott unravels the lives of the two people he loved most—his girlfriend, Bailey, and his best friend, Wes. Secrets and guilt from that fateful night keep both Bailey and Wes from overcoming Spencer’s loss and moving on with their lives.

Now, nearly a year later, both Bailey and Wes are still so broken over what happened that Spencer can’t find peace in the afterlife. In order to put his soul to rest, he’s given one chance to come back and set things right...even if that means setting up his girlfriend with his best friend.

With the emotional resonance of Jellicoe Road and the magical realism of The Lovely Bones, The Ghost of You and Me is a story about overcoming grief, finding redemption for past mistakes, and the healing power of friendship and love. Fans of John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Nicholas Sparks are sure to love this haunting new tale from Kelly Oram.

This is a clean young adult romance stand alone novel that reads like contemporary drama romance and has just a touch of magical realism.

The Ghost of You and Me excerpt: 

I open the door and slam into a solid chest. Strong hands grip my arms to steady me, and they don’t let go. I know the hands are Wes’s without having to look. “Are you okay?” he asks.
At first, I’m comforted by his presence. His smell is familiar, and the heat of his tall, lean body feels like it could thaw my frozen heart. For a split second, I melt against him. His arms come around me as if holding me is as natural to him as breathing. For a second, everything is right in my pathetic world. For a second, I’m alive again.
“Bailey, what’s wrong?” His usually smooth, deep voice is gruff.
My head jerks up at the sound of my name, and reality catches up with me. I scramble out of his embrace, attempting to swallow back my panic. He’s watching me, waiting for an answer. I haven’t spoken to him since the funeral, and I’m not sure I can do it now. It takes me a minute to find my voice, and when I do, I blurt out, “What are you doing here?”
He sucks in a breath through his nose as he steps back, gripping the strap of a bag slung over his shoulder. Seeing the backpack, my jaw drops. “Are you coming back to school?”
The genuine horror in my voice makes him flinch. There’d been a bit of light in his eyes, but it’s gone now. His face closes off. “No, I’m not coming back to school here.”
He adjusts that strap again, then switches the backpack to his other shoulder while glaring at the ground. I’ve offended him. Or maybe he just still hates me. I wouldn’t blame him. I got his best friend killed, after all. I hate me.
Seeing him reminds me of that night all over again. The events replay in my mind with vivid detail. Everything from finding Wes and stopping him from doing something unthinkable, to the kiss, to the fight, and finally the accident and Wes holding me back while paramedics did their best to try and save Spencer’s life.
One look at his face, and I can tell Wes is thinking about the same events. He closes his eyes and takes a breath. When he looks at me again, his expression has smoothed out. “How are you?” he asks. “You know…today.”
I swallow back a lump of emotion. I’m not surprised that Wes knows today is Spencer’s and my anniversary, but his acknowledgement of it feels like a knife in my heart. Why does he care? He hated that Spencer and I were together, and he used to get so cranky on this day every year.
“What’s today?” someone behind me murmurs. “It’s not the anniversary of Spencer’s death. That’s not for a couple weeks.”
A crowd of students have gathered to watch the drama. I don’t know who spoke, but I wish I could make them all disappear. Could people be any more tactless? Why can’t they just mind their own business?
When my eyes start to burn, I turn to leave. I can’t stand here any longer.
Wes puts a hand on my shoulder to stop me. “Bay, wait.”
I freeze. Aside from that night, Wes hasn’t used my nickname since I got together with Spencer and he started hating me for stealing his best friend.
Wes lets me go and rubs a hand over his head. “Sorry. I just—we should really talk.”
“Don’t.” With a quivering voice and stinging eyes, I whisper, “I can’t do this. Not today.” Maybe not ever.
I can’t take it anymore. I can’t stare into those knowing eyes for another second. My guilt is bad enough without seeing his sadness and anger.
Wes doesn’t say anything as I leave, doesn’t try to stop me. I head straight for my car and don’t care if I get in trouble for leaving. All that matters is getting far, far away from here. I’m not really running from Wes. I’m running from the past. Running from myself. Those are two things I will never escape, but I run anyway.

Author Kelly Oram

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 7/26/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 23, 2017



by Maggie Robinson

Genre: Historical Romance

Date: 6/20/17


Green fingers. That’s the British expression for “green thumb,” and it sounds so much more powerful when all your ten digits flex and help things grow. I have a modest cottage-style garden in front of our house which gives me pleasure far beyond its size, and I confess it has been the beneficiary of a few other people’s fingers other than my own.

The house was a new-build and half-heartedly landscaped before we bought it in May 2010. My middle daughter is a professional gardener, and she soon arrived with shrubs, perennials, and compost, ensuring a continuous wave of color as the seasons progressed. My husband dug deep holes for me every time I came back from the nursery with more enthusiasm than energy. Our lawn guy Mike even got in on the “fun,” and has helped me plant hundreds of daffodil, tulip, iris, and lily bulbs over the past seven years. He’s just as excited as I am to see that the chipmunks haven’t eaten everything each spring, and believe me, those chipmunks are determined little rascals, stealing birdseed from the feeders and chowing down plump, juicy strawberries in the raised bed the very second they are ripe.

During last summer’s drought, I watered every day without fail. It was very Zen, centering and relaxing as I held the hose and watched the iridescent hummingbirds dart among the drops. I spent an hour thinking—or not thinking—when I could have easily hooked up the sprinkler. But I was watching my garden grow, a great privilege. Stopping to smell the roses as it were, although I must say I’ve had rotten luck with the climbing roses we put in that just won’t climb.

Tristan, the hero of SEDUCING MR. SYKES, is an architect by trade but a gardener at heart. He’s created a memorial garden for his late brother, which has helped him heal from the loss. It’s in that garden that he discovers life can begin anew when he encounters his unwanted houseguest, Lady Sarah Marchmain. Brighter than any rose but prickly as its thorns, Sadie shows Tristan there’s more to her than he expects. Love can bloom from the smallest of seeds…as long as the chipmunks don’t get them first!

In Maggie Robinson’s sparkling new
series, the quaint village in Gloucestershire is where the wayward
sons and daughters of Great Britain’s finest families come for some
R&R—and good old-fashioned “rehab.” But sometimes they find
much more…
No one at Puddling-on-the-Wold ever
expected to see Sarah Marchmain enter through its doors. But after
the legendary Lady’s eleventh-hour rejection of the man she was
slated to marry, she was sent here to restore her reputation . . .
and change her mind. It amused Sadie that her father, a duke, would
use the last of his funds to lock her up in this fancy facility—she
couldn’t be happier to be away from her loathsome family and have
some time to herself. The last thing she needs is more romantic
As a local baronet’s son, Tristan
Sykes is all too familiar with the spoiled, socialite residents of
the Puddling Rehabilitation Foundation—no matter how real their
problems may be. But all that changes when he encounters Sadie, a
brave and brazen beauty who wants nothing more than to escape the
life that’s been prescribed for her. If only Tristan could find a
way to convince the Puddling powers-that-be that Sadie is unfit for
release, he’d have a chance to explore the intense attraction that
simmers between them—and prove himself fit to make her his bride…


Chapter 1

Puddling-on-the-Wold, September 1882

“It’s Lady Maribel all over again,” the grocer Frank Stanchfield
muttered to his wife, checking the lock to his back room. “How the girl
discovered the telegraph machine is a mystery.”

Except it wasn’t such a mystery, really. Lady Sarah Marchmain—
“Sadie” to her late mama and very few friends—had eyes, after all, and
there it was behind an open alley window, gleaming on a worn oak desk.
She had climbed in, her tartan trousers very convenient for hoisting
oneself into the building. After being caught trying to send a message to
who knows who, she was now unrepentantly inspecting the jars of candy
on the shop counter.

She might try to steal some of it, if only the shopkeepers would stop
hovering over her.

“Bite your tongue!” Mrs. Stanchfield whispered, looking over
nervously at Sadie. Apparently no one wanted another Lady Maribel de
Winter in Puddling. The first had been bad enough. Sadie had heard of
her in snatches from the villagers, and the woman’s portrait hung in the
parish hall. Her wicked reputation had outlived her, even if her decades
of good works once she married had mitigated some of it. She had been
a wild young thing who would have made Napoleon quake in his boots.
Or take her to bed. Lady Maribel had been, according to gossip,
irresistible to men. Fortunately her husband, a local baronet called Sir
Colin Sykes, had taken her in hand as best he could once they were married.

Sadie was determined never to be taken in hand.

Puddling was known as a famous reputation-restorer, a place to
rusticate and recalibrate. Prominent British families had sent their difficult
relatives here for almost eighty years. Lady Maribel was among the first
to be gently incarcerated within its limits in 1807, according to the elderly
vicar’s wife, who seemed to know everything about everyone dating back
to William the Conqueror.

Now it was Sadie’s turn to be gently incarcerated, and she didn’t
like it one bit.

The village had a spotless reputation. It was a last resort before a
harsher hospital, or worse, killing one’s own offspring. Or parent. Lady
Sarah Marchmain had angered her father so thoroughly that they’d come
to blows. When the Duke of Islesford dropped her off, he had been
sporting a significant black eye.

Well-deserved, in her opinion.

Sadie’s own eyes were unbruised and light green, the color of beryl,
or so her numerous suitors had said. Occasionally they threw in jade or
jasper—it was all so much nonsense. Right now she was examining the
penny candy in a glass jar, lots of shiny, jewel-like drops that looked so
very tempting. Sweet, edible rubies and citrine, emeralds and onyx. Frank
Stanchfield hustled over to the counter and screwed the lid on tighter.

She licked her lips. Unfortunately, she didn’t have a penny to her name.
She was entirely dependent on her housekeeper Mrs. Grace to dole out
a pitiful allowance every Friday, and Friday was millions of days away.
Sadie had spent the last of her money on a cinnamon bun earlier and had
reveled in every bite.

Her father’s draconian restrictions were designed to sting. Or so he
thought. Sadie didn’t really mind being impoverished and hungry in
Puddling-on-the-Wold. It meant she was not about to be auctioned off to
Lord Roderick Charlton, or any other idiot her idiot father owed money to.
The Duke of Islesford’s taste in men and luck at cards was, to put it
bluntly, execrable.

So far Sadie had overstayed her visit by one week. Originally consigned
to her cottage for twenty-eight days, she had somehow not managed to be
“cured” in that time.



Brought to reason.

Knuckle under was more like it. She was not getting married.

In fact, she’d like to stay in Puddling forever. It was very restful. Quiet.
The little lending library was surprisingly well stocked, and she’d gotten
a lot of reading done between lectures from the prosy ancient vicar who
instructed her daily. She also helped Mrs. Grace keep the cottage up to a
ducal daughter’s snuff.

Despite the fact that Sadie had no interest in becoming a wife, she
was remarkably domestic. It came of hanging about the kitchens of
Marchmain Castle, she supposed. The servants had been her only friends
when she was a little girl and she’d been eager to help them.

All that had changed after she was presented to the queen at seventeen,
wearing those ridiculous hoops and feathers that threatened to put out
someone’s eye. Suddenly, Sadie became a commodity, a bargaining chip to
improve her father’s ailing finances. A surprising number of gentlemen—
if you could call them that, since most men were absolute, avaricious,
thoughtless pigs—were interested in acquiring a tall, redheaded, blueblooded,
sharp-tongued and two-fisted duke’s daughter as wife. For the
past four years, she’d avoided them with alacrity, aplomb, and those
aforementioned fists.

Needless to say, her reputation was cemented in ruination.

It amused Sadie that her father was using the last of his funds to lock
her away here in this very expensive Puddling prison, hoping that she
would change her mind, acquiesce and marry the one man who remained
steadfastly interested.

Not bloody likely.

She touched the glass jar with longing.

“What may we help you with, Lady Sarah?”

The poor grocer sounded scared to death. His wife hid behind him.
Sadie batted her lashes. Sometimes this feminine trick worked, although
these Puddling people seemed remarkably impervious to charm.
They were hardened souls, harboring the odd, uncooperative, and
unwanted scions of society for a hefty fee, believing that being cruel to be
kind was the only way.

“Do forgive my transgression, Mr. Stanchfield. I so longed to
communicate with my old governess, Miss Mackenzie. Miss Mac, as I
so affectionately call her. I found a book on telegraphy in the library and
wondered if I had any aptitude for it,” she lied. Science in all its forms
confounded her. In truth, she’d read nothing but Gothic romances since
her arrival, very much enjoying the fraying sixty-year-old books written
by an anonymous baroness.

Moreover, Sadie’s old governess had been dead for six years and had
been an absolute Tartar in life. There had been little affection on her part,
Sadie thought ruefully. The woman was at this moment no doubt giving
the devil a lesson on evil and grading him harshly.

“You know that’s forbidden, miss. No telegrams, no letters. Perhaps
when you are r-r-released, you may visit with the lady. A r-reason for your
good behavior, what?”

Goodness, she was causing the poor fellow to stutter. She stilled her

“Ah.” Sadie gave a dramatic sigh. “But I just can’t seem to get the hang
of it. Being Puddling-perfect, that is. Every time I get close, something
seems to happen.”

Like stealing Ham Ross’s wheelbarrow full of pumpkins. It had been
very difficult to push her loot uphill, and so many of the bloody orange
things chose to roll out and smash along the road.

Or turning up in church in her tartan trousers...her stolen tartan trousers.
Some poor Puddlingite was foolish enough to hang them on a clothesline
to tempt her. After some tailoring—Sadie was handy with a needle—they
fit her slender waist and long legs as if they were made for her.

Her father had always wanted a son. Instead her horrible cousin
George would be the next duke, and Sadie would lose the only home—
well, castle—she’d ever known.

It wasn’t fair. She sighed again.

“Here, now, Lady Sarah. I don’t suppose I’ll miss a few boiled
sweets.” Mr. Stanchfield relented and unscrewed the jar, his wife looking
disapproving behind him. He filled a paper twist with not nearly enough,
and passed them to her.

Sadie saw her opportunity for well-deserved drama. Any chance to
appear happily unhinged must be seized with two hands, so she might
stay here in Puddling just a little longer. Dropping to the floor on her
tartan-covered knees, she howled.

She had been practicing howling at night once her housekeeper Mrs.
Grace went home. Her neighbors were under the impression a stray dog
was in heat in the village, perhaps even a pack of them.

“Oh! You are too good to me! I shall remember this always!”
She snuffled and snorted, slipping a red candy into her mouth. Red
always tasted best.

“A polite thank you would do just as well.”

The voice was chilly. Sadie looked up from her self-inflicted chestpounding
and the candy fell from her open mouth.

Good heavens. She had never seen this man before in all the walking
she was made to do up and down the hills for her daily exercise. Where
had he been hiding? He was beautiful.

No, not beautiful exactly. His haughty expression was too harsh for
beauty. Compelling, perhaps. Arresting.

But, she reminded herself, he was a man, and therefore wanting.
Lacking. Probably annoying. Not probably—certainly. Lady Sarah
Jane Marchmain was twenty-one years old and had more than enough
experience with men in her short lifetime to know the truth.

The man reached a gloveless hand to her to help her up, but it didn’t
look quite clean. Something green was under his fingernails—paint? Plant
material? Sadie made a leap of faith and gripped it anyway, crunching her
candy underfoot when he lifted her to her full height.

He was still taller than she was.

Not lacking there. Not lacking physically anywhere that she could see.
His hair was brown, curly and unruly, his eyebrows darker and
formidable. His nose was strong and straight, his lips full, his face bronzed
from the sun. His eyes—oh, his eyes. Blue was an inadequate adjective.
Cerulean? Sapphire? Aquamarine? She’d have to consult a thesaurus.
But they weren’t kind.

She found herself curtseying, her hand still firmly in his.
“Thank you, sir, for coming to my rescue.” She fluttered her
eyelashes again.

“You were in no danger on the floor. Mrs. Stanchfield sweeps it thrice
a day. One could eat off it, it’s so immaculate.” He dropped Sadie’s hand
and kicked the crushed candy aside.

The grocer’s wife pinked. “Thank you, Mr. Sykes.”

Sykes. That was the name of the family the infamous Lady Maribel
married into. Interesting.

“I only speak the truth, madam.”

Sadie considered whether she should fall to the floor again. It would be
fun to gauge this Mr. Sykes’s strength if she pretended to swoon. Would
he pick her up and hold her to his manly chest? Whisper assurances in her
ear? Smooth loose tendrils of hair behind her pins?

But perhaps he’d just leave her there to rot. He wasn’t even looking
at her anymore.

Sadie was used to being looked at. For one thing, she was hard to miss.
At nearly six feet, she towered over most men. Her flaming hair was
another beacon, her skin pearlescent, her ample bosom startling on such
a slender frame.

She had been chased by men mercilessly, even after she had made it
crystal clear she had no interest. These past years had tested her wits and
firmed her resolve. She was mistress of her own heart, body, and mind,
and determined to remain so.

Mr. Sykes probably knew that—apparently everyone in Puddling had
received a dossier on her. She’d come across a grease-stained one at the
bakeshop under a tray of Bakewell tarts, and had tucked it into her pocket
for quiet perusal, along with one delicious raspberry pastry. Theft was
apparently in her blood.

It had been most informative. The dossier, not the tart. Sadie had been
gleeful reading an account of her past recalcitrance. She rather admired
the clever ways she’d gone about subverting her father’s plans for her—
she’d forgotten half of them.

It had meant, however, that she had to exercise creativity in Puddling
and not repeat her previous pranks. No sheep in the dining room. No
bladder filled with beet juice tossed out the window. No punching
fiancés or fathers.

There was only the one father, but Sadie had endured several fiancés.
The latest, Lord Roderick Charlton, was getting impatient. He’d given her
father quite a lot of money to secure her hand. To be fair, he’d tried to woo
Sadie with credible effort.

There wasn’t anything really wrong with Roderick, she supposed. But
there wasn’t anything right about him either.

If Sadie could just resist the pressure to marry, she’d come into a
substantial fortune when she turned twenty-five. She wouldn’t have to
turn it over to some man, and her father wouldn’t be able to touch it. She
could live her life just as she liked. She might even buy herself a small
castle, if one could be found. One that wouldn’t fall down around her
ears. One that had working fireplaces and no rats.

However—and this was a huge however—the Duke of Islesford was
threatening to have her declared incompetent, seize her funds, and lock
her away in a most unpleasant private hospital. Sadie did not think it was
an idle threat, and to some, it might look as if she deserved to be there.
She was much too old now for the tricks she’d played, and four
years was a very, very long time to stall. Sadie was beginning to realize
she hadn’t done herself any favors with the pumpkins or the trousers
or the howling.

But she couldn’t succumb—she just couldn’t. No matter how many
times Mr. Fitzmartin, the elderly vicar, reminded her of a proper woman’s
place—as helper to her husband, silent in church, subordinate, obedient—
she felt her fingers close into a fist.

Maggie Robinson didn’t know she
wanted to write until she woke up in the middle of the night once
really annoyed with her husband. Instead of smothering him with a
pillow, she decided to get up and write—to create the perfect
man—at least on a computer screen. Only to discover that fictional
males can be just as resistant to direction as her husband. The
upside is that she’s finally using her English degree and is still
married to her original, imperfect hero. Since she’s imperfect,
too, that makes them a perfect match. Until her midnight keyboarding,
she had been a teacher, librarian, newspaper reporter, administrative
assistant to two non-profits, community volunteer, and mother of four
in seven different states. Now Maggie can call herself a romance
writer in Maine. There’s nothing she likes better than writing
about people who make mistakes, but don’t let the mistakes make

the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Thursday, June 22, 2017


$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Escape to Indigo Bay…
Six authors. Six Sweet Romances. One small South Carolina beach town.


Sweet Dreams by Stacy Claflin
Ever since her twin became a singing sensation, Sky Hampton has struggled to be appreciated for who she is—apart from her sister. She wards off Aspen’s fans, who beg for autographs and selfies everywhere Sky goes. She can’t even find a guy who likes her for her. Sky flees to the small coastal town of Indigo Bay in hopes of blending in and building her blossoming career.

Jace Fisher is the textbook definition of the strong silent type—nobody can break through his tough exterior. He has suffered more than his fair share of tragedies, and to protect his shattered heart, he pushes everyone away. Jace spends his days fixing the Indigo Bay cottages, and his nights… nobody really knows. He keeps to himself.

When Jace shows up to fix Sky’s AC, he barely notices her and she’s distracted with settling in. It takes an emergency situation to get them talking, and when they do, the two find they have more in common than first appeared. As their attraction grows, defenses soar. Will they be able to risk love when they’ve both been burned in the past?

Sweet Matchmaker by Jean Oram
Ginger McGinty hates liars. And she just married a spy.

Bridal shop owner Ginger McGinty excels at matchmaking unless it’s for herself. That is, until she meets the dreamy Aussie who helps her get into an event meant for engaged couples. Logan Stone is sweet, caring, thoughtful and fun—everything she desires in a man. But it turns out, her new fake fiancé could use a bit more than just a pretend engagement to get him into parties—he needs a quick marriage keep him in the country so he can be with his adopted special needs daughter.

With a marriage of convenience pro-con list longer than the average wedding veil, Ginger puts her faith in romance and offers Logan her hand in return for one thing—no lies.

But little does she know, almost everything she knows about her new husband is based on a lie.

Everything except his kisses and the way he accidentally spills his soul whenever they meet. And that’s quickly becoming a problem for Logan Stone who depends on distance and deceit to keep civilians such as Ginger safe from his enemy’s clutches.

Will the two find love in their marriage of convenience, or will everything break apart when the truth rises to the surface, shattering everything, including their trust?

Sweet Sunrise by Kay Correll
Sometimes life has a way of teaching lessons whether you’re ready to learn them or not…

The last place on earth Will Layton wants to be is Indigo Bay, but his younger sister needs him and he’s never been able to say no to her. But she left out a few details… like their father staying with her and the girl who dumped him years ago is living right next door.

The last person Dr. Ashley Harden thought she’d see in Indigo Bay is Will Layton, but he’s back in town and just as irresistible as when they were young. Seeing Will again is a complication that isn’t on her carefully mapped out life plan.

In spite of Ashley’s best intentions, she starts falling for Will again, but nothing has changed. She’s still focused on getting the townspeople to accept her and see her as more than the girl from the wrong side of town, while Will is determined to guard his heart at any cost.

Not the easiest road to true love… especially when secrets from the past are revealed and history threatens to repeat itself.

Sweet Illusions by Jeanette Lewis
Eva Malone was very young when her mother forced the family to join a violent doomsday cult, but she remembers a little about how normal life used to be. As a young woman, she escapes the cult and relocates to Indigo Bay, South Carolina to pursue her dream of peaceful anonymity.

After several tumultuous years as a policeman in Atlanta, Ben Andrews has had enough. He returns home to Indigo Bay and joins the Indigo Bay PD, where the most exciting part of the job is getting a kitten out of a tree or rescuing tourists who lose their keys at the beach.

Eva and Ben are immediately drawn to each other. But as the prophesied date of the apocalypse draws near and the cult steps up its efforts to find her, Eva realizes she can’t maintain her sweet illusion forever.

Sweet Regrets by Jennifer Peel
Melanie Dixon never thought she would find herself divorced, pregnant, and living back with her parents in Indigo Bay. Not one to let misfortune get the best of her, she picks up the broken pieces of her life and bit by bit puts them back together. She’s determined to go it alone, but her loving and equally determined family and friends have another idea.

Enter Declan Shaw, the boy next door from long ago. The boy she wasn’t quite ready to commit forever to at eighteen. Back in Indigo Bay due to a recent job promotion, Declan sees this as a second chance to reunite with the girl who has owned his heart since the day they met in their junior year of high school. But Melanie is a tougher sell on the idea than he thought she would be. Now it’s up to him to prove to Melanie that she can trust him with her heart and that he’s the man she and her baby deserve.

Will the regret and hurt of the past win out? Or will love prevail?

Sweet Rendezvous by Danielle Stewart
On her last tank of gas Elaine Mathews drives South. Spontaneity had never been her strength, but there was something about being publicly fired that had a way of changing things. An empty bank account, broken heart, and enough humiliation to last a life time was all Elaine could claim as her own. Her car choked to a stop in the quiet beach town of Indigo Bay and all she could do was sit on the curb and wait for the sun to set on her misery.

Davis Mills has a routine. Wake. Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. It hadn’t always been that way. He’d left indigo bay once and returned a broken man. Now he kept his dreams small and his schedule tight. If there was no room in his life for anything new then he’d never repeat his mistakes.

When fate has them, quite literally colliding Elaine and Davis are faced with an important question. Can you live a full life if you never take a risk? Or is life made up of every mistake, miracle and chance that comes with being in love?

amazon or paypal
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 7/17/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway