Exclusives

A Chat With. . .Author Faye Hall #Exclusive #AuthorInterview #AChatWith @FayeHall79

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Hello my lovely readers! Today I have the huge pleasure to welcome historical romance author, the very lovely Faye Hall to the blog for an exclusive chat, we will be talking all about her latest release; Envy and Favour, writing and oodles more, plus I have an exclusive excerpt for you all to devour. Take a sea, grab a cuppa and enjoy.

About The Author

Faye Hall spent her early years listening to stories about the families – including her own – who settled townships in and around her hometown in North Queensland, Australia. The local townspeople, including her own parents, told her stories of corruption and slavery, along with family secrets and forbidden love.

Desperate to remember what she’d been told, along with her already growing love of writing, Faye began to write about the history of her local area. Never could she have imagined the history of her small home town in Australia would become a growing list of published books.

Faye’s passionate stories combine controversial subjects and provocative encounters as her characters struggle to survive the lifestyle in early rural townships throughout Australia. She explores slavery and abortion, drug addiction and murder, as well as forbidden love and passionate affairs of the heart.

When she’s not writing, Faye enjoys sharing a bottle of wine with her husband in their ever-growing garden, and encouraging the varied interests of their combined family of nine children.

Explore the world of Faye Hall, Australian Historical Romance Author at her website.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / BookBub / Tumblr / Pinterest / Instagram / Youtube

***

Interview

Frankie : Hi Faye, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.

Firstly, what five words would you use to describe yourself?

Faye : Quirky, Tattooed, Mother, Quiet and Introvert.

Frankie : Can you tell us a little about your latest/up and coming release?

Faye : My latest release is Envy & Favor, and it’s the sixth book in my Sins of the Virtuous series. Even though it’s part of a series though, it can be read as a stand-alone book.

It’s the story of Atol, a chap hard on his luck who wants to move to North Queensland with the woman he loves. When a situation presents itself that he can finally move north, he finalizes his family business and goes to collect Anna, the woman he loves. He finds her gone without a word. Desperate to be reunited with her, he travels to where he’s certain her father has moved them, only to find the man who murdered his father trying to force Anna into marriage.

There are morphine addicts, and stolen orange sapphires and drama that threatens to tear Anna and Atol apart for good.

Frankie : That sounds amazing, it is definitely going on to my towering TBR,

When not writing, what do you like to do to relax?

Faye : Relax is a foreign word in my house with 5 school age children still at home! That said, I do try to find time to unwind in our garden, or sitting under our pergola sharing a bottle of wine with my hubby.

Frankie : My goodness, you certainly have your hands full, If you could have a holiday home anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Faye : Ireland – my mother’s family comes from there and I just love the country and history there.

Frankie : If you could have one of your books made into a film, which book would it be and who would play your lead character’s?

Faye : I’d love to see Heart of Stone made into a film because it’s quite gritty and scandalous what with it’s story line involving slavery and forced marriage. I think Josh Lucas (Sweet Home Alabama) would be perfect as my hero Ruben and the heroine Bella should be played by Aviva Baumann (NCIS).

Frankie : When writing, do you plot or do you go with the flow?

Faye : I always try to start with some kind of a plan that’s usually handwritten. Then I type that into the computer and wait for the characters to tell me where to take the story from there. I usually don’t know the ending until I write it though.

Frankie : What three tips would you pass on to an aspiring author?

Faye : Have broad shoulders as the writing industry can be quiet cruel at times. Write from your heart so then every word you put down is pure. And love what you do otherwise it will just become a ‘job’ like everything else and the words will lose their appeal.

Frankie : That’s brilliant, thank you! If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite?

Faye : Sherlock Holmes, Dame Judy Dench and Agatha Christie – should prove to be some interesting conversation around the table haha.

Frankie : Now that would be tea party I would love to attend!

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, Faye, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun; What is your favourite snacking food?

Faye : I love cheese and onion potato chips!

Frankie : Yay, one of my favourites too, Thank you Faye, it has been so lovely chatting you with today. X

***

Exclusive Excerpt

Damn it, Anna,” Atol cursed. Hurrying to mount his horse, he flicked the reins on its rear and sped off after her.

As he closed the distance between them, he knew he was being a fool running after this woman yet again. He needed to stop dropping everything every time she beckoned him. He needed to, but he couldn’t. Anna was everything he could ever want in a woman, and he would follow her to the ends of the earth should she ask him to.

His heart ached as he reminded himself how pointless such a sacrifice would be. Their fathers would never allow any kind of relationship to eventuate between them other than the friendship he had insisted they keep.

It wasn’t just her friendship that he wanted though. He wanted… His fingers brushed against his lips, remembering her soft kiss moments before. It was one of only a few he had been blessed with since they’d moved to Rockhampton, but he treasured them all, fearing this was all

He would ever be able to share with Anna.

Remembering how easily this most recent show of affection had come about, he again began to wonder if he shouldn’t just defy their fathers and confess his true feelings to her. After all, a woman didn’t give a man such affections unless she desired—

Hurry up, Atol,” she yelled to him from up ahead, interrupting his thoughts.

Looking in the direction of her voice, he saw her dismounting and tying her horse up before undressing down to her chemise and drawers. Captivated by the image she made, he slowed his horse to a walk and approached the swimming hole.

He dismounted and tied his horse near Anna’s, then he slipped off his shoes and removed his shirt, throwing it over a branch of a nearby bottlebrush tree. Strolling toward the bank of the creek, he stalled and rolled up the legs of his jeans before entering the cool water.

You took your time getting here,” she chided him in a playful tone. “I was starting to think you’d changed your mind.”

He waded toward her, suddenly forgetting the distance he usually insisted stay between them. “If a beautiful woman asks you to go for a swim, only a fool would refuse.”

Will Father really be mad when he finds out you didn’t finish those papers?” she asked.

He shrugged, no longer caring about where he should be right now. All he cared about was this woman and how she was making him feel. “No doubt he will be furious, but I’m certain he’d be more furious to learn where I am with his daughter right now.”

She held his gaze. “But we’re just swimming. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

He studied her, unsure if she meant what she was saying. “Surely you know there’s nothing so innocent about a man and woman sneaking away to swim. The assumption would be that any man left alone with a woman of your beauty would be unable to control himself.”

Yet you seem to have ample control.” She waded toward him, stopping a breath away. “I’ve invited you to swim with me so many times and never once have you touched me inappropriately.”

His hand cupped her cheek, his thumb brushing her lips. “Even you must know every man has their limits.”

***

Book Spotlight

Envy and Favor by Faye Hall

What happens when a resentful man is determined to win the favor of the one you love?

For years Atol Livia has desired only one thing—to move north, far from the corruption of his father’s business, and start a life with the woman he loves. That is if Anna Jenel can look past his poverty and will agree to marry him. When Anna informs him that she gave her heart to him long ago, never once caring about any wealth he might have, he’s elated. But their plans are delayed when Atol’s father is found murdered. Once Atol has finally settled his obligations and is able to leave town, he goes to collect Anna but discovers that she is gone.

Anna doesn’t understand why her father whisked her away in the middle of the night to travel north. When they arrive, she finds a fully operational cattle station, and an associate of her father’s willing to do anything to gain possession of it—even marry her.

When Atol arrives up north, all he can think of is being reunited with Anna. But he soon discovers that the man who murdered his father now has his eyes set on Anna and will do whatever is necessary in order to have her as his wife. This man is determined to gain possession of Anna’s cattle station and the orange sapphires hidden there.

Will Atol and Anna be able to protect each other from a murderer, or will they fall victim to the envy of this man and lose each other forever?

Content Warning: contains sex, strong language, and some violence

Genre(s): Historical Romance

Beech Walk Press / Amazon / Itunes / Barnes and Noble

 

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#BlogTour | The Turncoat by T.J London #TheTurncoat #Review & Exclusive Extract @TJLondonauthor @hfvtb #HFVTBBlogtours

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Hello my lovely readers! I have the huge pleasure to be todays stop on this wonderful blog tour, for The Turncoat by T.J London. Not only will I be sharing my review of this rich and gripping book, but I also have an exclusive excerpt, plus a chance for you to win some amazing goodies. So grab a cuppa and enjoy.

The Turncoat by T.J. London

Publication Date: May 23, 2019
Format: eBook & Paperback

Series: The Rebels and Redcoats Saga, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Spy. Redcoat. Traitor.

After Captain John Carlisle’s dance with death, he’s retreated to the serenity of the Oneida village with his beloved Dellis McKesson, trying to hide from the inevitable truth: war is coming. But when duty calls, and John’s expertise is needed to negotiate a treaty between the Six Nations of the Iroquois and the Crown, he’ll once again be faced with a decision: his King or his conscience.

Many truths that have yet to be revealed, and a deal with the Devil made in desperation, threatens to ruin Dellis and John’s hard-won love. As ghosts of the past resurface, and bitter family rivalry exposes betrayal from those closest to her, Dellis is dragged down a devastating path to the truth of her parents’ murders.

Now, the die is cast as war comes to the Mohawk River Valley in the Summer of 1777. St. Leger and his native allies siege Fort Stanwix. They’re also plotting a secret attack that will force the Rebels and the Oneida to face off against the Crown and their allies, further dividing John’s loyalties, leaving him on the precipice of another decision: Rebel or Redcoat?

Available in eBook and Paperback

***

Exclusive Excerpt

John addressed Brant with a nod. “Tell me your plan, Chief?”

The colonists will be coming from the east, down the old military trails from German Flats towards Stanwix,” Brant said in his low, distinct voice.

John reached into his tunic and pulled out the maps from his breast pocket. Nervously, he fumbled through them, looking for the ones he made when he was living at The Thistle. Dropping one on the ground, General St. Leger leaned over and picked it up, taking a moment to unfold it.

With a grin, St. Leger pointed to the paper. “An interesting map you have here, but have you marked off all the strategic places a man should pay attention to when in pursuit?”

Excuse me?” John eyes widened with confusion, and then suddenly, it dawned on him what the General was referring to. “I’m sorry, sir. That wasn’t meant—”

She’s quite striking.” The General turned the picture, taking a moment to admire it. “Is this your wife?”

John bit back a yes for her protection; the fewer people who knew about his association with Dellis, the better. “A former mistress.”

One so lovely should not be former, Captain. When this war is over, if I were you, I’d remedy that situation… with haste. And the good thing is, the war will be over very soon.” The General handed the picture to John. He folded it up and stuck it back in his tunic, close to his heart.

With a deep breath, John unfolded one of the maps and placed on the table. “Sir, this shows all the military roads from Fort Dayton in German Flats and the path through the forest to Stanwix.”

John pointed to the map, drawing an imaginary line with his finger. “The best place to approach the colonists would be here.” With his fingertip, he directed their attention to a little spot on the map near Oriska. “There are two ravines; at the bottom of the first one is a swamp and a small bridge, and after that, the road does a sharp climb and then turns southwest to bypass another ravine just over here.” He pointed to the right of the road. “The road turns west, climbs through the woods, and then dips into another ravine and across another creek.” He looked up at St. Leger and the men standing around the table observing. “This is a perfect location; you have the advantage. The colonists will be on low ground, condensed as a group, and unable to see due to the thick foliage and the slope of the road.”

This is what I said!” Joseph Brant yelled, pointing to the map. “You trust his word and not mine?”

No, my friend,” St. Leger said calmly, putting his hands up, trying to placate the volatile Mohawk. “We merely wanted to confirm it. As you can see, Captain Carlisle was able to provide us with a map we can use to better plan your strategy.”

I disagree with this whole idea. We outnumber the Rebels here at Stanwix, and we can outnumber them on the road. Why not send a parley before this turns into a bloody battle?” Colonel Johnson asked.

I agree.” Butler added, “This could turn into an ambush, and it may not be necessary. We should parley.”

You’re weak fools. They won’t parley! Don’t you understand?” Brant yelled, his face turning red with rage. “Not a week ago I encountered Cox and some of the militia. They’re preparing to fight to the death. The Oneida and Tuscarora have sided with them; surely, they’ll be there, too. It’s a betrayal, both by the colonists and our brothers. We must strike swiftly and now! If you’re not brave enough, my men and I will go alone.”

Brant, we’re just as disturbed by the actions of our brothers, but if we can try and salvage our relations, then we should,” Cornplanter said, his calm voice in stark contrast to the rantings of the Mohawk.

St. Leger’s eyes flashed to John. “How should we do this?”

The weight of the world had once again been thrust on his shoulders, but he held on tightly, rising to the challenge. “What men are you taking with you?”

Colonel Johnson will lead the group with two-hundred men, consisting of rangers and some Jägers; Joseph Brant and Cornplanter will bring five hundred of their natives to assist.”

John looked at the map, sizing up the attack. “I’d wait until the full brigade was between the two ravines, catch them when the rear is on the bridge of the first ravine and the front regiment is climbing the slope of the second ravine. You have the perfect locale for a frontal assault of the first regiment; hit them hard and prevent them from advancing, and they won’t be able to back up or move with the rest of their men coming up the ravine. They’ll be trapped in the lowland. Then, the rest of the men can attack the body of the army in-between on the high ground. Have a group on either side of the road taking shots at them. Make sure you bring Lights; you’ll need your best shooters to be effective in the environment. The forest is so dense in that area that it practically blocks out the sun.”

Is this not what I told you!” Brant raged again.

Yes, it is.” General St. Leger nodded at Brant in appreciation. “Thank You, Captain Carlisle, for your information. It was most helpful.”

John stepped back, his eyes scanning the map, making sure every detail he provided was correct. After a moment of quiet, St. Leger spoke. “Tomorrow morning, we strike. Colonel Johnson, you’ll lead the contingent, and Brant will coordinate and plan the attack. It’s settled.”

***

When I featured the cover reveal for this earlier this year, I thought; “Oooh, this sounds so good, I definitely need to read this one.” and it didn’t disappoint, it has everything I look for in a historical fiction book; huge amounts of brilliantly researched history, great, edge of your seat, page-turning story and a lovely romance. But for me, I felt like I was standing on the outside looking through a tinted window trying to grasp what was going on, which let me first point out has nothing at all to do with the authors writing, or the story, but everything to do with me not reading the previous books.

Full disclosure I hadn’t read this authors work before this, I was fascinated though, personally speaking I did have this feeling that I had missed out on something profound that I think comes from reading the series in order. I did get a sense that you need to read the books in order to fully grasp the love story between John and Dellis, but apart from my personal misgivings about it – which really are my own doing for not reading the first books – this is great read, it has got a great energy fluidity to it that keeps you reading, for me it is the realism in the dialogue and the descriptions that really grab your attention, yes there are parts when I went; “Ooh, did I really read that?” but this is an historical and that means there must be the more ….eye opening and uncomfortable moments.

The story opens with the lead characters John and his intended preparing for their wedding, now I did get the feeling this is a on going storyline through the books, I’m not sure if that is true or not, but that’s how I read it. John is trying to stay out of the fighting, all he wants is to stay with Dellis and be at peace, but we all know that isn’t going to happen, don’t we? And true to form, he gets the worst possible news he can get; he must once again pick up arms and do his duty. He has been tasked with negotiating a treaty between the six nations and the British, you can imagine how John is feeling right at this moment. Being a British Spy and now being apart of the Oneida family, he is torn between his love and his country.

As you might expect this is an explosive read, there is a drama galore, passion, danger, spies and a really twisty, intriguing tale of love, honour and duty. The writing is flawless, it entwines a passionate, bloody history with a complex story about a man who only wants to the right thing.

For those who love their deeper detailed historical fiction then this is the book for them.

***

About the Author

T.J. London is a rebel, liberal, lover, fighter, diehard punk, and pharmacist-turned-author who loves history. As an author her goal is to fill in the gaps, writing stories about missing history, those little places that are so interesting yet sadly forgotten. Her favorite time periods to write in are first and foremost the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, the French and Indian War, the Russian Revolution and the Victorian Era. Her passions are traveling, writing, reading, barre, and sharing a glass of wine with her friends, while she collects experiences in this drama called life. She is a native of Metropolitan Detroit (but secretly dreams of being a Londoner) and resides there with her husband Fred and her beloved cat and writing partner Mickey.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

Do visit the other blogs which are participating in this blog tour.

Monday, July 8
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, July 9
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, July 10
Guest Post at Passages to the Past

Thursday, July 11
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Friday, July 12
Excerpt at Words and Peace

Saturday, July 13
Feature at Coffee and Ink

Monday, July 15
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, July 16
Review at Gwendalyn_Books_

Wednesday, July 17
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Review & Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Thursday, July 18
Review at Historical Fiction Reviews

Friday, July 19
Review at Broken Teepee
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away some fabulous prizes! To enter, please use the Gleam form below here : The Turncoat

1. A Signed copy of each of my Revolutionary books
2. A bag with my Revolutionary Author Logo
3. A Sterling Silver Tricorn hat charm, so you’re always in style
4. My favorite T-Shirt to wear when I write my Revolutionary tales, that says: The original New England Patriots, from 1630 in Boston
5. A stuffed founding father doll by Little Thinkers to inspire the Rebel in you
6. And a Founding Father book of quotes. Seditious banter from our brash Rebels!

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

#BookBlast | Vikings: Nine Alpha Warrior Hero, Historical Romances. #Vikings #HistoricalRomance

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Hello my lovely readers! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing with you all an up and coming new Viking Anthology, that available for pre order today, so why not check it out, it does look amazing.

NINE CONQUERING REASONS TO SURRENDER

Filled with action and suspense, this summer’s hottest beach read comes in the shape of Vikings!

Battle-hardened and broad-chested, with arms strong enough to sweep you off your feet, these warriors are pure muscle, with shoulders built for carrying you to bed.

You’ll be wriggling with anticipation for these steamily smouldering stories, filled with scorching scenes of sexy sizzle.

A big hooray for Ashe Barker, Lily Harlem, Felicity Brandon, Gianna Simone, Vanessa Brooks, Sassa Daniels, Sky Purington, Emmanuelle de Maupassant and Jane Burrelli – who’ve created a shared-world series of supreme alpha hotness, guaranteed to have you page-turning into the late hours.

A tiny Scottish settlement at the mercy of its enemies.

A harrowing bargain struck for nine fearful and reluctant brides.

Delivered into Viking hands, the brides of Achnaryrie now belong to their conquering masters but, as wedding nights bring surrender to duty, will fierce lovers also surrender their hearts?

The Highland wilderness is savage, life is perilous, and the future uncertain, but each Viking has sworn protection, and there are no lengths to which a man will not go to safeguard the woman he loves.

Against the forbidding backdrop of medieval Scotland, join these indomitable heroes and intrepid heroines as they discover that the raging storms of fear and passion can transform into enduring devotion.

Heat Level: Volcanic

Nine conquering reasons to surrender

Brandr by Ashe Barker / Steinn by Lily Harlem / Jerrik by Felicity Brandon / Magnus by Emmanuelle de Maupassant / Graeme by Gianna Simone / Thorolf by Vanessa Brooks / Garth by Sassa Daniels / Ragnar by Sky Purington / Bjorn by Jane Burrelli

This delicious set of all-new Viking romances is currently on pre-order for the heavily discounted price of 99p/99c.

On sale across all outlets until 18th July, then entering Kindle Unlimited (you’ll find it solely on Amazon after that date – and there will be a paperback available).

Like what you see? Then go and check it out:

Books2Read / Goodreads Amazon

***

To find out more about the authors of this anthology, then click on the authors name below to visit their Goodreads page.

Emmanuelle de Maupassant  / Ashe Barker  / Felicity Brandon  / Lily Harlem  / Sky Purington  / Gianna Simone  Sassa Daniels / Vanessa Brooks

#BlogTour : Listen To The Wind (The Orphans of Tolosa #1) by @Susanne_Dunlop #Review & #GuestPost #ListenToTheWind #TheOrphansOfTolosa @HFVTB

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Hello everyone! I have the great pleasure to be todays stop on this wonderful blog tour for; Listen To The Wind by Susanne Dunlap. Let me tell you that I have a mammoth post for you all today; Not only will I be sharing my review of this splendid book, I also have an exclusive guest post by Susanne for you all – and it is an amazing post and there is a chance to win a cop of Listen To The Wind. So without further ado, sit back and enjoy.

Listen to the Wind by Susanne Dunlap

Publication Date: April 22, 2019
Publisher: Bellastoria Press
Format: eBook & Paperback; 388 Pages

Series: The Orphans of Tolosa, Book 1
Genre: Historical Fiction/Medieval

 

 

Sent away from their families for their own protection when they were very young, Azemar and Azalaïs become separated when they are forced to flee from the band of outlaws who served as their supposed protectors. Armed only with scraps of memories and the wits and intelligence that have helped them survive brutal conditions, they struggle to find each other again and discover the mysterious past that links them across distance and time. Who are they? And do they hold the secret of the legendary Cathar treasure? All they know is that knights and monks spell danger, and they must find a way to survive at all costs if they are to fulfill their destiny—and preserve their vanishing culture.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Kobo

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Guest Post by Susanne Dunlap

One of the best things about being a historical novelist is having the opportunity to delve deeply into a period and imagine the world as it was at that time. Perhaps that’s why, in order to put in the months (or years) of researching and writing a historical novel I have to become completely passionate about my subject and my characters—real or invented.

Most of my novels have taken place in the modern world, from the 17th-20th centuries. But something about the world of thirteenth-century Languedoc caught me and simply wouldn’t let me go.

It all started in grad school. I was studying music history at Yale University, working toward a PhD, and loving every minute of the research and writing. When in the medieval seminar I found out about the women troubadours (trobairitz) of Languedoc in the 12th and 13th centuries, I was utterly intrigued. Apparently all 20 of the trobairitz historians know of came from one small region of what is now southern France, but was then its own patchwork of political entities and its own culture. They didn’t even speak French, but spoke what is now referred to as Old Occitan, and was then sometimes referred to as Lemozin.

The troubadours and trobairitz wrote courtly poetry in very complex metrical forms. The subjects were love, of course, but in the case of the trobairitz, the love was decidedly earthly. They spoke of disappointments, of unrequited love, of friendship, and passion—where the men tended to go in a more esoteric direction, making the object of their love poetry the idea of a lady rather than an actual living, breathing, woman.

So, I thought, these women who weren’t afraid to be honest must have been strong, intelligent, educated, and imaginative. What’s not to like?

Very little is known about the real lives of the trobairitz, so I found myself creating characters and a story that integrated the poetry and music, and captured the volatility of the period. Because trobairitz came from the educated upper classes, Jordane de la Moux d’Aniort, daughter of a baron, is the trobairitiz in Listen to the Wind.

The Orphans of Tolosa trilogy (of which Listen to the Wind is book one) takes place as the culture of the region is being crushed by the inquisition, which not only sought to eradicate the Cathar heretics, but to impose the legal systems of northern France and subsume the region into the territories ruled by the King of France.

Although the region is now fully part of France, a modern version of the language is still spoken, and the descendants of those fiercely independent people cling to their cultural heritage. In recognition of this heritage, what used to be known as Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrenees is (as of 2016) now referred to as Occitanie, and if you visit there, you’ll see many street signs in both French and Occitan.

It is my hope that readers will not only be drawn into the adventures of the characters in Listen to the Wind, but also appreciate the culture that inspired the story.

More historical tidbits and a glossary of Old Occitan terms featured in the book is at https://orphansoftolosa.com.

***

Well, what can I say about this book? Thrilling, engaging, illuminating and brilliantly entwined with history and a wonderfully complex story. It takes you on a real adventure through 13th Centaury France, the colourful writing makes every scene so beautifully detailed and vivid you can see it playout like a film in your mind.

I haven’t read any of Susanne Dunlap’s work before, but after reading this – or should that be; devoured – I will definitely be reading more, her writing is so imaginative and atmospheric that you become completely lost in the story and before you know it you have whiled away a full afternoon.

The story opens with siblings; Azalais and Azemar who are living in a orphanage in Tolosa, they live a happy simple life roaming around the woods and surrounding area, making up games with the other orphans abuts knights in shining armour and damsels in distress. Everything in their life is good, that is until a illness spreads throughout the area and the people who were supposed to be protecting them soon turn on them and the other orphans, thinking it them that has caused all this illness and death. The children flee for their lives and in the melee Azalais and Azemar become separated, promising to meet up.

But, all doesn’t go to plan and what should have been a simple meet each other again in the next town turns into years of uncertainty and adventure for our two youngsters. What at first appears to be a very simple story of these two young people trying to forge their way through such hardships and attempting to find one and other again, you soon realise that this is far more then that. There is a ethereal and magical quality to the story, that is both surprising and addictive reading. We soon see that there is more to these two then meets the eyes, they have secrets buried within them that even they don’t know and even though once they have separated and when they try to find their feet they are more intricately entwined to one and other then originally thought.

So when they meet again years later, which is an amazing and gorgeous scene their shared past and destined future soon becomes clear.

This is an intriguing and complex story with lots of secrets and lies interwoven within the characters personal stories, it is charming, exciting and mesmerising. Ms Dunlap’s writing is wonderfully immersive and brilliantly atmospheric, there is a real starlight quality to this book which will grab any readers attention.

Definitely a must read, I cannot wait to see what comes next in this series.

This was a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, thank you Susanne and Amy.

***

About the Author

Susanne Dunlap is the author of six works of historical fiction. Two are for adults (Emilie’s Voice and Liszt’s Kiss, both published by Touchstone books of Simon & Schuster). Four are for young adults (The Musician’s Daughter, Anastasia’s Secret, In the Shadow of the Lamp, and The Academie, published by Bloomsbury). A graduate of Smith College with a PhD in Music History from Yale University, Susanne grew up in Buffalo, New York and has lived in London, Brooklyn and Northampton, MA. She now lives in Northampton with her long-time partner, Charles, has two grown daughters, three granddaughters, a grandson, a stepson and a stepdaughter, four step-grandsons and one step-granddaughter—that’s a total of four children and nine grandchildren!

In her spare time she cycles in the beautiful Pioneer Valley.

For more information, please visit The Orphans of Tolosa website. You can follow author Susanne Dunlap on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, and BookBub.

***

Blog Tour Schedule

Make sure you go back through the blog tour and check out all the blogs which have participated.

Monday, May 13
Review at Bibliophile Reviews

Tuesday, May 14
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, May 15
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, May 16
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, May 17
Review at Bookish Sarah
Review at Comet Readings
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, May 20
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, May 21
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, May 22
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, May 23
Interview at Donna’s Book Blog

Friday, May 24
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, May 27
Review at Macsbooks
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, May 28
Review at Coffee and Ink
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review & Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away one copy of Listen to the Wind by Susanne Dunlap! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – Listen to the Wind

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

#BlogTour : No Other Duke But You (Playful Brides #11) by Valerie Bowman #Review & Exclusive #Extract #NoOtherDukeButYou #PlayfulBrides @StMartinsPress

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Hello my lovely readers! Do I have a great post for you today?! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this great blog tour for No Other Duke But You by Valerie Bowman, no only will I be sharing my review of this No Other Duke But You, with you all, but I have an exclusive extract for you all to feast your eyes on. So, do grab yourself a cuppa, take a seat and enjoy.

SINGLE LADY SEEKS DUKE

Lady Delilah Montebank has her marital sights set on the Duke of Branville. There’s just one problem: he barely knows she exists. But no matter, she’s got a plan to win him over with her charm, her wit—and perhaps the love potion she has in her possession wouldn’t hurt her cause…

Lord Thomas Hobbs, Duke of Huntley, thinks his best friend Delilah’s quest to become a duchess is ridiculous. He’s always said he’d rather give up all the brandy in London than commit to one person for life. Besides, he knows that Delilah’s love potion can’t possibly win over Branville…since she accidentally gave it to him instead. But perhaps this is the excuse he needs to show her he’s always loved her…

Delilah can’t believe she gave the potion to the wrong duke. Then again, Delilah could do a lot worse than win the hand of her handsome best friend. Could it be that the right duke has been before her eyes all along?

Purchased Here

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Exclusive Extract

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

Delilah glanced up and down the dim hallway. It was well past three in the morning, she was still dressed in the pink ball gown she’d worn to the party, and she clutched the small vial of Cupid’s Elixir in her sweaty, guilty palm. She pressed her back against the shadowed wall not far from the Duke of Branville’s bedchamber. She could do this. More importantly, she would do this. She’d come this far, hadn’t she? What did a little sneaking about in the middle of the night matter?

She’d got detailed instructions to Branville’s room from Derek, who thankfully hadn’t asked any questions about why she wanted to know. According to him, the room was four doors to the right, just past the staircase on the third floor. The third floor was where all the bachelor gentlemen were sleeping. It would be a complete scandal if she was found lurking about alone at this time of night, but she’d waited until the household seemed quite asleep and then waited a bit longer for good measure. Anyone who saw her now would be skulking about themselves, which meant they would hardly be in a position to judge her. She briefly wondered if she’d run into Lavinia.

It was not as if she was out to do anything particularly scandalous. It was more silly and frivolous than anything else. She’d simply die, however, if Branville woke up and asked her what she was doing sprinkling pixie water in his eyes. She’d already decided to pretend as if she were dreaming, thinking she was Puck in the play. Sleepwalking. That would make all the sense in the world. Wouldn’t it? She swallowed hard. Probably not, but she wasn’t about to let the fear of being caught stop her. Besides, all of her and Lucy’s matchmaking had turned into a colossal mess. If a spray of perfume could sort it out, so be it. Of course, Delilah’s conscience reminded her that she hadn’t offered any of the perfume to Rebecca to use on Thomas. She didn’t want to even contemplate that. She’d already shared it with one other person, and that made her guilty enough. The image of Madame Rosa’s disapproving, craggy face had haunted her all evening.

Delilah shook off the thought and turned her attention back to the matter at hand. Pressing her empty palm against the darkened wall, she inched her way along until she came to Branville’s door. She felt like a spy. This was how professional spies did such things, wasn’t it? Too bad she was too embarrassed by her actions to ask the veritable house full of professional spies who happened to be asleep behind other doors right now.

She transferred the vial into her opposite hand and slowly reached to grasp the door handle. The metal was cold in her bare hand. She’d discarded her gloves, deciding that they would make her actions more clumsy. The last thing she needed tonight was to be more clumsy than usual. Decidedly, she needed to be less so.

She clutched the door handle like a lifeline and closed her eyes, steadying her shaking fingers on the knob. She was close, so close. Praying that the door wouldn’t squeak, she turned the handle slowly. The only sound was the thumping of her own heart in her ears.

When the handle was turned as far as it would go, she pushed it, praying fervently that it wasn’t locked. It took a moment before she realized the door was opening. Its hinges silent, merci a Dieu. Completely silent.

She slipped inside the cool, dark room. Steady, deep breathing came from the bed. Thank goodness, she hadn’t woken the duke with her entrance. She could barely see a thing, but she didn’t dare light a candle. A tiny stream of moonlight filtered into the room through a small opening in the curtains on the far window. She used that to identify the hulking bed in the center of the room. She tiptoed over to it slowly, taking care in case there was anything to trip over. No doubt she would find it if there was.

She made it to the foot of the bed without incident and paused, trying to quell her nerves and dispel her guilt. She clutched the vial more tightly in her palm, shaking with fear and anxiety. Now that she was here, she had no earthly idea how to drop liquid on a man’s eyes without awakening him. Besides, how much of it was she supposed to use? Surely not much. She would employ the tiniest drops possible so as not to disturb him, but she also needed to ensure the perfume touched his eyelids. Tricky business, this being a fairy. She had a sudden appreciation for Puck.

Holding her breath, she lifted her skirts with her free hand and tiptoed to the right side of the bed. Because it was summer, the bed curtains weren’t drawn. The window was open, and a slight breeze blew through the crack in the curtains.

The outline of the duke’s body was barely visible in the moonlight. He was turned away on his side, his back to her, his face toward the window. She would have to lean over his body to sprinkle the elixir on his eyes. The bed was tall. She must carefully climb up to do this task properly. She only hoped she didn’t jostle the mattress enough to wake him.

She waited in silence for a few moments to ensure his breathing remained steady, then she carefully lifted first one knee and then the other, bracing them on the mattress and pulling herself up, still clutching the vial. She winced as he moved slightly in his sleep, but he kept his face turned away. Blast it.

Once she was fully atop the bed, she paused and hoped the hammering of her heart didn’t wake him. He smelled good, a combination of soap and maleness that she wanted to breathe in. There was something vaguely familiar about his scent.

Shaking away that unhelpful thought, she moved gingerly across the mattress on her knees until she came to a stop at his side. His shirt was off. The beam of moonlight hit his smooth, muscled arm. She swallowed. The man’s chest was positively swoon-worthy. She took a deep breath to calm her nerves and uncorked the vial. Then she carefully leaned over as far as she could to locate his eyes. They remained shrouded in the dark, but she took a guess as to their general direction and tipped the little vial as slowly and carefully as she could. He turned then, and she was afforded enough light to see that the first tiny drop of liquid did indeed fall directly onto his eyelid.

He blinked, and she held her breath. When he settled back into sleep, she closed her eyes and said a brief prayer that she would get away with it a second time before tipping the vial once more to allow another tiny drop to fall on his other eyelid.

He blinked and rubbed at his eyes while Delilah held her breath again, paralyzed with fear. Soon, he settled back into his pillow and his breathing returned to its steady pace.

She pressed a hand to her throat. It was over. She was done. All she had to do was extract herself from the bed and the room without being seen or heard. The difficult part was behind her.

Still praying he wouldn’t stir, she backed away from the duke. Slowly. Slowly. She’d nearly made it to the edge of the bed when he flipped over to face her. A beam of moonlight slid over his sleeping features.

Delilah gasped.

From No Other Duke But You. Copyright © 2019 by Valerie Bowman and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

This is book eleven in the ‘Playful Brides’ series, and even though I haven’t read them all, I have thoroughly enjoyed all that I have read, these books are a lot of fun to read Valerie Bowman has a real witty way with words that never fails to amuse. She has genuine gift for her play on words and her imaginative storylines ….plus, not to mention her amazing heroes!

Delilah has come to the point in her life where she really must wed, after all she can’t very well keep going around like a feral child for the rest of her life now can she? She knows who she wants to marry, the only problem is to catch his attention. So, she devises a ‘not so’ brilliant plan to lace her intended with a love potion that will have him falling to his knees in love with her, then she can live happily ever after. Sounds like a good plan, right?

Unfortunately for Delilah her great plan doesn’t go to plan as the man she wanted doesn’t end up drinking her potion, but instead the man she has always seen as a best friend does. Oops!

Thomas has always had feelings for Delilah, he has never had any inclination to get stuck in the parsons mousetrap himself, yet when he sees his friend so adamant on becoming a duchess and her infatuated with another man he starts to have stirrings which shows themselves as true love for her. So, he starts to show her exactly how much she means to him.

Will Thomas finally prove to her that he has always loved her? And will they finally have their happily ever after?

The story which follows is a fun, clever and imaginative and quirky; friends to lovers romance. Even though this is a very fun, light-hearted and easy to read book and there is a real playful element to it which I found very entertaining, yet for me it wasn’t the best I have read of the series. It did feel as though there was something lacking, it didn’t quite have the same magic as the other books did. It has all the ingredients of a brilliant Valerie Bowman book; imaginative and fun plot and sensual, charismatic and lovable characters. But whether because it’s the last book, it has lost some of that much loved sparkle.

Overall this is a charming, little story that has a real warmth and wit to it that will entertain, those who love Ms Bowman’s work will devour it in one.

This was a complementary copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour.

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About The Author

Valerie Bowman grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzers, Huckleberry and Violet. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.

A Chat With….Author Charlotte Brentwood @charbrentwood, #Exclusive #AuthorInterview #AChatWith

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Hello my lovely readers! Today I have the great pleasure to welcome Charlotte Brentwood; author of The Hearts Of Amberley series to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals for an exclusive chat.

About Charlotte

Charlotte developed serious crushes on a series of men from age fifteen: Darcy, Knightley, Wentworth and Brandon. A bookworm and scribbler for as long as she can remember, Charlotte always dreamed of sharing her stories with the world.

Earning a degree in communication studies, she was seduced by the emerging digital world and has since worked with the web and in marketing. She is a member of the Auckland chapter of RWNZ. 


Now mother to an adorable human tornado, Charlotte is trying to find the time for reading, seaside walks, warbling at the piano and quaffing far too many hot chocolates.

Author website / Goodreads / FacebookTwitterPinterest

Interview

Frankie – Hi, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.

Firstly what five words would you use to describe yourself?

Charlotte Mother, writer, music-lover, speed-walker, fast-talker

Frankie – If you could take a holiday in any era and place, When and where would it be? And Why?

CharlotteI would love to travel back to Regency England so I could see what it was really like! Was it as elegant and beautiful as the period dramas would have us believe? What was it like to go to a ball or ride through Hyde Park? And did men really look as handsome as our favourite heroes?

Frankie – Can you tell us a little about latest release? This can be your most recent or up-and coming release.

CharlotteMy new release (out April 20th) is GLOVED HEART, a sweet regency romance. This is the second book in the “Hearts of Amberley” series but it can be read as a standalone. As a new mother, I poured my heart into writing about Amy Miller, who is coming to terms with having a newborn in less than ideal circumstances. Now afraid of men, can she open her heart to Henry, who has loved her all along?

FrankieWho was your childhood hero?

Charlotte – I think the people I looked up to the most were my parents.

FrankieIf you could have one of your books made into a film, which book would it be and who would play your lead characters?

Charlotte If GLOVED HEART was made into a film, I would have Toby Stephens play the hero Henry, because he’s a redhead and he looks hot in period clothing! The female lead is harder (and not so fun to spend hours dreaming about on Pinterest). I always think she looks like the lady on the book cover.

Frankie – Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?

Charlotte – At the moment, my favourite would be my hero Henry. He is so selfless and giving, and he never gives up on Amy, the heroine. Plus he’s a farmer, so he’s big and strong 

Frankie – Where does your inspiration for your books come from?

Charlotte From my imagination! Stories, characters and situations fly into my brain from all kinds of places. It could be when I’m doing some historical research, when I’m watching a movie, or when I overhear a conversation. Quite often ideas come from a mishmash of other things I’ve scene – what would happen if that person had to deal with this other thing?

FrankieWhat three tips would you pass on to an aspiring author?

Charlotte Write what you want to write. Write often. Read widely.

FrankieIf you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, from any era)

Charlotte Jane Austen, Jo March, Anne Shirley

FrankieThank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun . . . What is your all-time favourite naughty but nice food?

Charlotte – Tiramisu – creamy, chocolatey, spongey and coffee-flavour… what’s not to like?

Mmmm, Yummy! Thank you for chatting with me today, Charlotte.

 About the Book

Gloved Heart by Charlotte Brentwood

Can she ever trust again?

Amy Miller is struggling to come to terms with her new life as a mother, while being a reluctant guest in a rigid gentry household. A victim of abuse, she is determined to never trust a man again.

Henry Russell has loved Amy for as long as he can remember, but his family want nothing to do with her. A chance encounter with Amy rekindles a friendship which might save them both.

The discovery of a secret which holds the key to Amy’s past will change them forever, and jeopardise any chance they have for happiness. Can Henry show Amy that true love will give her everything she could ever need?

Note, although this is a ‘sweet’ read, there is some subject matter that may offend sensitive readers, including mention of a rape and very mild violence and coarse language.

Gloved Heart Can be Purchased from Amazon

 

A Chat With….Author; Penny Hampson @penny_hampson #AChatWith #AuthorInterview

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Hello my lovely readers! Today I have the great pleasure to welcome Penny Hampson, author of A Gentleman’s Promise and An Officers Vow to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals. We are talking reading, writing and eating brownies, do take a look.

About the Author

Having worked in various sectors before becoming a full time mum, Penny Hampson decided to follow her passion and studied History with the Open University. One B.A. Honours degree and an MPhil later, Penny found her dream role at a leading academic institution, helping academics, publishers, researchers, and others find the images or text they needed in that institution’s extensive special collections. Flash forward nineteen years, and Penny decided to indulge her other main passion, historical fiction; this time not just reading it, but writing it too. Encouraged by friends, family, and professional writers, three years later Penny published her debut novel A Gentleman’s Promise.

Penny lives with her family in Oxfordshire, and when she is not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, swimming, and the odd gin and tonic (not all at the same time).

Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon / Facebook

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Author Interview

FrankieHi, 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?

Penny Committed — I like to see things through

Inquisitive — I love research and discovering new things, especially about the past

Grumpy — when there isn’t the time to do everything I want to do

Happy — when I’m with my family, especially my two year-old granddaughter

Oblivious — when I’m lost in my writing, I lose track of time

FrankieIf you could take a holiday in any era and place, When and where would it be? And Why?

Penny This is difficult, there are so many places and times I’d like to witness. I suppose if pushed I’d opt for attending the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball in Brussels on the 15th June 1815, the eve of the Battle of Quatre Bras and Waterloo. It was attended by Wellington, who knew Bonaparte was marching towards him and that a showdown was imminent. Wellington, with his usual sang-froid, gave no indication to the other attendees that he and his army would be engaging the enemy in a matter of hours. I’d love to be able to whisper in his ear ‘Don’t worry, things will be bad, but your allies will turn up and Napoleon will finally be defeated.’

FrankieCan you tell us a little about latest release? This can be your most recent or up-and coming release.

Penny An Officer’s Vow tells the story of two people who discover life doesn’t always play out as expected.

Nate is depressed, thinking his life of action is over, thanks to the wound he sustained at the Battle of Talavera. He’s contemplating ending it all when his path is crossed by runaway heiress Lottie Benham. She needs to stay in hiding until she comes into her inheritance, but achieving that is not as easy as she thought.

They join forces, but matters don’t go according to plan…

An Officer’s Vow is the second book in my Regency-set Gentlemen Series, following the exploits and misadventures of a loosely linked group of friends. Some characters will appear in more than one book, but each story can be read as a standalone

FrankieWho was your childhood hero?

Penny Peter Pan — I always wanted to fly!

FrankieIf you could have one of your books made into a film, which book would it be and who would play your lead character’s?

Penny Oooh, I wish! An Officer’s Vow would make a good film, it has intrigue, romance, and lots of interesting locations!

For me, Richard Armitage is Major Nate Crawford and Emma Watson would be a lovely Lottie Benham. The late, great Alan Rickman was the inspiration for my Duke of Wheatley and I always imagine Sean Evans as Francis Heslop.

FrankieOut of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?

PennyIt has to be the Duke of Wheatley (he appears in both my books). Is he a saint or a sinner? I haven’t made my mind up yet. His character is ambiguous — he’s done bad things, he uses people, but his love for his sister and Francis is very real. I’m building up to giving him his own story, but that will be a long way off!

FrankieWhere does your inspiration for your books come from?

Penny Lots of places. Watching television programmes or films, I’ll catch myself thinking ‘I’d have done it differently’. Snatches of conversation and phrases in the coffee shop, on the bus, or on the train. Visiting stately homes and wondering what life was like for the people who lived there in the past. Sometimes ideas appear spontaneously from nowhere.

FrankieWhat three tip’s would you pass on to an aspiring author?

PennyIt’s good to find time to write everyday, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t manage it. I’ve had to accept that I won’t always get the time I need to write, I just write when I can.

Always have a notebook handy — you never know when a brilliant idea will occur!

Get an editor. If you are a self-published author, an editor is essential to point out errors and enable you to compete with traditionally published authors.

FrankieIf you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, from any era)

Penny Samuel Pepys — he could tell some tales about Restoration England, he enjoyed scandal and was not above being rather scandalous himself on the quiet (of course, I’d have to confess that I knew all his secrets). The Duke of Wellington — calm, cool, and collected, but he enjoyed gossip too, and was very popular with the ladies. Queen Elizabeth I — she ruled alone for nearly forty-five years, avoiding marriage at a time when it was universally believed that a female couldn’t manage without male guidance. She’s keep the other two male guests in order!

FrankieThank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun . . . What is your all-time favourite naughty but nice food?

PennyCake, no question. Most types, but chocolate cake for preference (I love a chocolate brownie).

Mmm, yumm! Thank you, Penny for chatting with me today!

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About the Book

An Officer’s Vow

The future looks bleak to Major Nate Crawford. Depressed after being sent home from the Peninsular Campaign as unfit for service, he contemplates ending it all. Then an unexpected opportunity for adventure beckons in the shape of a delightfully intriguing runaway heiress. He will prove his worth as an officer and a gentleman by offering his help. He has a plan…
Lottie Benham is desperate. Her life is in danger and she needs a place of safety until her next birthday. The unexpected proposal from this attractive, but intimidating officer could be the answer to her prayers. Not normally a risk-taker, she decides to gamble all by placing her trust in this charismatic gentleman, who she suspects might be more in need of help than she.
But the best laid plans…
Caught up in conflict, danger, and deception, will Lottie and Nate survive to find the perfect solution to their problems?

Purchase book HERE

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Penny’s book A Gentleman’s Promise is currently on offer at 99p over at Amazon UK, why not grab it it while you can, here’s a little about the book.

A Gentleman’s Promise

Emma has struggled across a Europe devastated by Napoleon to get her brother back home, but when she arrives she finds her family all but destroyed.

She meets a stranger who claims the estate now belongs to him. Who is this man? Emma doesn’t know. What she does know is that it would be madness to fall in love and surrender her freedom…

Richard never wanted the title and estate he’s now inherited. He hadn’t even known of his connection to the family until his solicitor revealed it to him. But when Emma and her brother turn up claiming to be the estate’s rightful heirs, he can’t ignore his suspicions. Nor can he ignore his growing feelings towards Emma. Could she be the woman he’s been searching for?

Independent and strong, Emma never wants to marry. Richard is looking for a docile, obedient wife. Can their quest to catch a killer teach them that what they both wish to avoid is exactly what they need?

Purchase book at Amazon UK