For A Chat With. . . I am very happy to welcome award winning author Tarah Scott to Chicks Rogues and Scandals, so take a seat get a cup of tea and lets get to know a bit about the lovely Tarah.
Award winning author Tarah Scott cut her teeth onauthors such as Georgette Heyer, Zane Grey, andAmanda Quick. Her favorite book is a Tale of Two Cities, with Gone With the Wind as a close second. She writes modern classical romance, andparanormal and romantic suspense. Tarah grew up in Texas and currently resides in Westchester County, New York with her daughter.
The Reading Chick : Hi Tarah, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals, Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today, Firstly what five word’s would you use to describe yourself?
Tarah : Five words that best describe me… Determined, Joker, Curious, Adventurous, Serious
Reading Chick : Very Nice. If you could live in any era and place, When and where would it be? And Why?
Tarah : I would love to visit medieval Scotland, but living in that era would be tough. If I could live anywhere, it would be Victorian Scotland. It’s just modern enough so that we don’t have to worry about being run through with a sword—at least on a daily basis—and old enough to get a good look at life in a time very different than ours.
Reading Chick : Oooh! that’s a good one, Who was your childhood hero?
Tarah : Wonder Woman. (Anyone who knows me isn’t surprised.)
Reading Chick : Wonder Woman, I like that, OK on we go. What is your favorite time of the year?
Tarah : That’s a tough question. I actually like all the seasons very much. I must admit, I do like the Christmas holiday. The lights, the fun parties. I just ignore the commercialization.
Reading Chick : I do like to mix a few hard ones in to keep the little grey cells active *Grin* Out of all your work, who is your favorite character and why?
Tarah : My favorite characters are always the ones I’m currently working on. I will admit to a particular affinity for the heroine in Seduced. She’s a Mississippi Deputy Sheriff. Very cheeky, but confident.
Reading Chick : Your book’s are incredible, where doe’s your inspiration for them come from?
Tarah : My inspiration literally comes from the world at large. I can get an idea from a movie, a song, a headline, something someone says to me. The world is my oyster!
Reading Chick : Very Interesting, What three tip’s would you pass on to an aspiring author?
Tarah : Write, a lot. Write more. Write more. Read. Write more. Find three people who will be honest with you and let them read your work. Then seriously consider their feedback. Then write more. Read more. Then write a whole lot more.
Reading Chick : Those are some fabulous tips Tarah Thank you, If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, dead or alive)
Tarah : Charles Dickens, Wonder Woman, and Captain Kirk. (Bet you didn’t see that last one coming!)
Reading Chick : That is one very interesting guest list and very surprising Tarah, thank you for sharing.Thank you again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today Tarah, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun. . .What is your all time favorite naughty but nice food?
Tarah : One of my all time favorite naughty but nice foods is oysters. Chocolate is right up there, as well.
Reading Chick : Oooh Very posh, Thank you Tarah.
Tarah : Thanks so much for having me on Chicks, Rogues and Scandals!
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Read on for two excerpt’s from Tarah’s book’s Claimed and To Tame a Highland Earl
Sometimes the hero must be the villain… Fourteen months ago, Lady Rhoslyn lost her husband and infantson to a fever. Now, by order of King Edward I, she is yankedfrom the healing tranquility of a convent to marry the king’sfavored bastard knight. Rhoslyn has no intention of returning tothe home where her husband and child died. Neither does sheintend to hand over her fortune to the ‘Dragon’—no matter hissweet promises and warm kisses. Talbot St. Claire tires of war. Seventeen years is enough. KingEdward will never release him from service, but the kingpromises Talbot will find some peace in front of his own hearth.Talbot expects to find a horse-faced, hostile woman in theScottish heiress Edward commands him to marry. Instead, hediscovers a fiery Highland beauty worthy of a man’s respect…andlove. Talbot determines to do anything to win his new bride’sacceptance. Anything except the one thing she demands: betrayhis king and embrace his Scottish heritage.
“You have made yourself comfortable in my home,” she said.
“My home,” he replied. Anger knotted her stomach. “King Edward is not a priest, and our marriage hasno’ been ofciated or consummated.” Sweet Jesus, she must sound like a madwoman.
He straightened. “You are right.” He reached her side in three steps. She was forced to tilt her head back to maintain eye contact. He grasped her arm, but she pulled free and retreated a step.
“What are you doing?”
“Do you plan to stay here the night?” he asked. She glanced at the chest. “Never mind the chest,” he said. “We will lock the door when we leave.”He didn’t wait for an answer, but grasped her arm again and drew her toward the door.
She wanted to protest, wanted to return the small chest to its hiding place—more than anything, she wanted to grab the dagger from the larger chest—but wants would not help her at this moment. He stepped into the hallway, then pulled the door shut and waited. She lifted her chin. “You must have a key. Lock the door yourself.”He shrugged.
Rhoslyn cried out when he pulled her against his side. “What are ye doing?”
“I have no wish to be conked over the head or stabbed in the back while I lock the door.” His tone was mild as he opened his palm to reveal the key he’d been holding.
“For pity’s sake, release me,” she said. “I dinna’ plan to kill you by stabbing ye in the back.” His arm tightened around her waist as he inserted the key and she was suddenly aware of his fingers pressing into her stomach and her arm wedged against the hard muscle of his chest. Her heart picked up speed. He turned the key in the lock and his fingers flexed when he withdrew the key and straightened.
“So you intend to look me in the eye when you kill me?” he asked.
“Aye,” she replied. He drew her down the short corridor without loosening his hold.
“I am gratifedmy wife has some honor.”
“I am no’ your wife.””Aye, you are.” They reached the stairs and he urged her up ahead of him.
In the kitchen, he grasped her arm and led her into the great hall. Men stood in half a dozen clustersabout the room. Rhoslyn caught sight of a priest sitting with his back to them at the table nearest the hearth.
“Why is Father Crey here?” she demanded, but knew the answer.
Her headwhirled. What was she going to do? How could she stop this? Could she stop this?
“Were ye no’ on your way to help my grandfather?”
“Then how can we have a wedding?” He looked down at her.
“Even by your Scottish law we are already wed. I am willing to say the vows simply to please you.” Rhoslyn understood.
“Ye will help my grandfather only if I say the vows. Along with being a murderer and kidnapper, you are an extortionist.”
“You forgot thief,” he said.
“I have forgotten nothing.” They neared the priest and he rose.
“I will help Seward because he is your grandfather. Is that not enough?” St. Claire asked.
“And if I do no’ say the vows?” He shrugged and she wanted to scream. “Then you can await me in my bedchambers until I return—or your bedchambers. I imagine there is no secret passageway in the lady’s room as thereis in my chambers. I will bring your grandfather back with me and then come to you.” Rhoslyn stared openmouthed.
“Fear not, lady. I am not so uncouth as to come to your bed straight from the battlefield. I promise to bathe first.”
To Tame a Highland Earl
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A man torn between two worlds. Both needhim…neither wants him. Groomed for a life amongst the Englisharistocracy, Lord Erroll Rushton is unexpectedlythrust back into his father’s Scottish worldwhen the Englishwoman he compromisesrefuses to marry him.No gentleman breaks into a lady’sbedchamber…but then, no lady sleeps with apistol under her pillow. Miss Eve Crenshaw will marry for love or won’t marry at all.When London’s most notorious rakehell breaks into herbedchamber in the dead of night and compromises her beyondrepair, Eve plans a daring escape that shocks even the Earl. To Tame a Highland Earl
March 1807, Manchester, England
If ever a woman deserved to be shot, it was Miss Crenshaw. But dawn appointments weren’t meant for the weaker sex. Weaker sex. The lady was anything but weak, which is why Erroll intended to thro”le her.
Erroll laid a shilling in the innkeeper’s palm.”You understand the need for discretion.”
“Indeed, I do, my lord,” the man replied. “Your betrothed’s reputation is safe with me.” Erroll managed to maintain a bland expression as the innkeeper handed him the key to the lady’s room.
So news of his impending nuptuals had sped from Coventry to Manchester even quicker than he had—which meant London society would hear the news by morning light and the story would cross the borderto Edinburgh just as quickly. Which of the gossip mongers had he to thank for that?
He was grateful to the heavenly powers that his mother had remained in Scotland and not accompanied his father to England this month. God help him if she got wind of this entanglement before he had a chance to extricate himself from the tenacious claw of the husband-hunting wench.
“A beautiful woman is hard to resist,” the innkeeper said.
“Indeed,” Erroll murmured, glad the man had interrupted the mental picture of his mother ousting the deceitful huntress in her wedding dress. No bachelor’s mother was more determined to see her son wed than Erroll’s own dear mamma, and since his return from the navy, his father had put his considerable weight behind her eforts.
He whirled toward the stairs, climbed to the second floor and made a left down the hall. At the third door on the left, he stopped. Erroll had endured his father’s hour-long diatribe that ended with the command to marry the woman who had accused him of compromising her—a woman he’d never laid eyes on—before he finally broke away to discover his accuser had fled Coventry.
The hard five hour ride to catch her before she reached her father’s estate would have been in vain if not for the fact a wheel on her carriage broke forty miles distance from Manchester.
This experience would teach him to dally with the women outside of London. Had he satisfied himself with the eligible ladies in Town—if those females could be called ladies—he wouldn’t have gone to Coventry and a “ended the damn house party that had go”en him into trouble.
The fact he’d spent a pleasurable hour with a lady in the hostess’ gardens had only served to put him in the very place his accuser said he’d been.
Erroll felt sure the cunning creature was well aware he’d been in the gardens, and therefore claimed to be the object of his attentions.
Erroll quietly unlocked the door, slipped into the darkened room, then eased the door shut and slipped the key into his pocket. Faint moonlight filtered in through thin curtains and outlined the sleeping figure in the bed. Erroll crept forward until he reached the bed. He braced a knee against the side of the mattress, then placed a hand on each side of the woman and brought his face to within an inch of hers.
She shivered in her sleep and lush breasts grazed his chest. He wondered how long it would be before she became aware a man was in her bed, then concluded that since she hadn’t awoken with a shriek she must be accustomed to having a man in her bed. He should ravish her as she’d said he had just for good measure. The thought froze at the pressure of a pistol jammed against his abdomen.
“I am a crack shot.” The feminine voice was steady—as was the hand holding the gun.
“But even the worst shot in Great Britain couldn’t miss.” The gun dug deeper into his belly.
“Move away.” Erroll considered. Her calm response to his presence almost made him think she’d expected him. “If I’m to be shot, I should at least commit the crime for which I’m accused.” The click of the pistol’s hammer being pulled back was his answer.
“I see you do not agree.” He straightened off the bed.
“Step back,” she ordered. He retreated two paces.”More.” He moved back another two paces.”I promise you, sir, my aim is as true at such short a distance as it was when you were an inch from my face. Back against the door.” Erroll complied.
A light click indicated she had released the hammer back into place. She rose, a small figure in the shadows, and picked up something from the night table.
The clink of glass was followed by the scrape of a match on wood, then light flared and he got his first look at the woman who claimed he had ravished away her innocence.
Dark brown eyes pinned him with a hard stare. Honey-brown hair tumbled down her shoulders. The top of her head was no higher than his chest. The muff pistol remained pointed at him as her attenton shifted to the lamp on the nightstand. She bent slightly and her full breasts strained against the nightgown as she lit the wick. His cock jerked and he couldn’t deny his good fortune in not having met her at Lady Baldwin’s party.
He very well might have fallen prey to her charms and been guilty of her accusations. She blew out the match and tossed it onto a metal tray, then took a step toward him.
The lamplight illuminated the outline of her body through the nightgown. The curves he discerned were fuller than were fashionable and the kind he’d sought without success. His cock began to lift. He might end up shot after all.
“You are no common housebreaker,” she said. “Who are you?” Erroll’s mind snapped to attention.
The wench didn’t recognize him. Fury doused his lust. He gave a mocking smile and bowed. “Lord Erroll Rushton, at your service.”
Shock registered on her face, then an answering 8re appeared in her eyes.
“I see we shall have to break you of the habit of entering a lady’s room uninvited.””You use the term lady too loosely.”
“That is the pot calling the kettle black.” He nearly laughed.”One would think a prospective groom could keep his cock in his pants with his wedding but two days hence,” she said.
“Three days,” Erroll corrected. That was how long it would take him to get the special license his father ordered him to procure. “Pray tell, what sort of lady carries a gun?” He didn’t ask what lady used the word ‘cock’ as easily as the word ‘groom?’ That was perhaps too obvious.
“The sort who knows what to expect of a man,” she replied.
“The very sort who understands a man might object to being forced into marriage?” he said.
She gave a derisive laugh. “You are a rakehell, sir.”
“I never denied being a rake, madam, but I am no liar.” She wasn’t what he’d expected. He’d been told this was to be her second season, but this woman was nodebutante and, given the way she unabashedly stood before him in her nightclothes, he would wager she was no virgin.
“Surely, you’re a little old for this game?” he drawled.
Her brow knit, but he detected no shame. She was too collected. But a level head—along with a liberal dose of nerve—is exactly what it took to accuse a complete stranger of compromising her.
“Did you really think you could get away with it?” she asked.The question startled him.
“Now who is the pot calling the kettle black?” he said. She shifted and Erroll could have sworn he discerned a dark patch between her legs. “A shame we met under these circumstances.” He flicked a glance at her breasts. “We could have been friends.” Her mouth thinned.
“By God, I really should shoot you.”
“Tut tut, love, not until the vows are said and I claim what is left of your virtue.”She drew in a sharp breath.”Your righteous anger is completely undone by the fact that you’re nearly naked.” Her mouth twisted in a derisive smile.
“Forgive me, my lord. Had I known you were coming, I would have dressed for the occasion.”
“You are impeccably dressed for the occasion.”
Did she have any idea how visible the contours of her body were with the lamplight behind her…or how her nipples pressed against her nightgown? She shifted, widening her stance slightly and his cock jerked harder.
Oh yes, the witch knew.
“I should send you to hell this instant,” she said.
He lifted a brow.
“The marriage vows will take care of that—had I any intentions of marrying.”
“My father will ensure that you do not escape this time.”
“That sounds as though you think I am getting what I deserve.”
“You do not deserve such a good and innocent wife.” Erroll laughed.
“Innocent? A woman who puts herself in such a position is no innocent.”
“How dare you?” she hissed.
“How dare I? I understand there were several suitors for the honorable Miss Crenshaw’s attentions at Lady Baldwin’s party. I wager none of them were as good a prospect as I, which is why you gambled that no one would notice if I was included on that list.” He didn’t miss the way her fingers flexed on the gun.”Everything I’ve heard about you is true,” she said. “You have no conscience.”
“In that we are alike. Should my father succeed in coercing me into marriage, I will make the worst sort of husband you can imagine. I will not settle down and sire an heir as he expects. Instead, I will send my wife to the family estate in Scotland while I go about my pleasures in London.”
“So the choice is desertion or ruination?”
“Be honest, the ruination was done long before you concocted this plan.”
“Plan?” she repeated. “I feel certain I can convince the magistrate of self-defense. After all, you broke into my room.”
“Think again.” Erroll reached into his pocket.
“Beware,” she said.
He slowly withdrew the key from his pocket and held it up.
“The innkeeper was very obliging. He feels nothing should stand in the way of true love.”She frowned, then comprehension cleared her expression.
“I should have guessed. You think you can browbeat me into helping you avoid the marriage vows. You, sir, are the worst sort of knave.”
“So we do understand one another.”
“You are a fool,” she muttered. He’d had enough.
“You are the fool if you believe I will marry you.”
“Marry me? What—”
Erroll started toward her. She took a faltering step backwards and he lunged. She gave a startled cry. He seized the hand holding the gun and shoved it upward in their tumble backwards. They landed on the bed, him on top of her. Her lush body yielded beneath his hard planes—his stifening cock in particular.
To his surprise, she didn’t struggle, but released the pistol. The weapon bounced off the mattress and struck the carpet with a thud.
“Is this how you described my having ravished you?” he demanded. Shock registered on her face. He blew out a frustrated breath. He’d come ready to battle the vixen and she was already crumbling. Moisture appeared in her eyes.
Ah, there it was.
She was simply moving onto another tactic.
“Lies, pistols, tears, and…” He moved suggestively against her breasts and felt the rigid nipples beneath his shirt. “Your arsenal of weapons is impressive, madam.””I tell you, mamma, I heard a scream.” A woman’s voice penetrated the door on the right wall. Erroll jerked his gaze in that direction as the door swung open. Two women stood in the doorway staring, one young—in her second season, he would guess—the other, the mamma the girl had addressed.
Erroll looked at the woman lying beneath him.
“I thought that was a closet.”