Exclusive

Cover Reveal – A Country Gift Shop Collection by Vivian Conroy

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The perfect cosy crime bundle, featuring all three Country Gift Shop mysteries.

Glen Cove is a rather murderous place.

Dead to Begin With

Vicky Simmons is looking for the simple life. She’s ready to trade in London for a slower pace by opening a British Country Gift Shop in her old hometown on the coast of Maine.

All is looking rosy until Vicky finds herself face-to-face with a dead body and Michael is the prime suspect. When the sheriff links the motive for murder to the unsolved disappearance of a teenage girl twenty years ago, Vicky must turn amateur sleuth. She’ll stop at nothing to save Michael…and unmask the real killer!

Grand Prize: Murder!

Inviting the bestselling cozy crime author Bella Brookes to town is going to be the best business move Vicky Simmons has made yet. Not only is Bella going to sign her books to kick off Glen Cove’s annual One-Mile Book Market, but she’s also running her famous scavenger hunt right in town. That’s sure to win over the townsfolk!

All is going to plan until a dead body is discovered, drawing Vicky straight to the scene of the crime. After the last murder Vicky had vowed to stay out of Sheriff Cash’s way, but when death comes to town she finds herself embroiled in the investigation.

Written into the Grave

Vicky Simmons’s life was supposed to be relaxing after she moved back home to the coast of Maine, but instead of baking bread and gardening she’s been chasing down killers and it’s time to stop. Vicky is ready to slow down again and vows to start focusing more on her roses than solving crime.

That is until she reads the new serial in the paper over breakfast, describing a brutal murder that takes place on a cliff top road just above a beach. Only to find herself moments later, walking Coco and Mr. Pug, face to face with a dead body on the sand. The murder victim described exactly as he was in the story…

A Country Gift Shop Collection is available for pre-order at Amazon

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A Chat With….Author Eve Pendle

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I have the very, great pleasure to welcome Historical Romance author; Eve Pendle to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals for an exclusive chat.

About Eve

Eve writes snarky, angsty and passionate historical romance. She loves dresses, chocolate,
equality, liberty, her husband, her dog and her cat (not necessarily in that order). Living in South-West England, she gets inspiration from the beautiful old houses and countryside around her.
You can chat with Eve on twitter about what she’s writing and reading at the moment, and get a
free sexy story from her website

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Amazon / Goodreads

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

Eve Nice place! Thanks for inviting me. <Sips tea, takes a bite of biscuit.>

Frankie It’s a pleasure! Firstly, what five words would you use to describe yourself?

Eve Snarky. Tenacious. Curious. Caring. Liberal.

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

Eve For a pure holiday, where I can’t go and try to do any good or change anything, I’d probably go to Victorian London to see the Great Exhibition in 1851 at the crystal palace. I’d wear a crinoline and corset, buy lots of souvenirs, people watch, and look at all the amazing Victorian innovations. Young, old, rich, poor – everyone went to the Great Exhibition to see the technical wonders of the age. The massive glasshouse that housed the exhibition burned down some years later, so all we have is the place name in London left to remember it. So that period is unique. We don’t have anything left of what the exhibition was like, which is unusual for the UK.

(View from the Knightsbridge Road of The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park for Grand International Exhibition of 1851. Dedicated to the Royal Commissioners., London: Read & Co. Engravers & Printers, 1851. Courtesy of Wikipedia. )

Frankie Oh, that is perfect! Can, you tell us a little about latest release? This can be your most recent or up-and coming release.

Eve Six Weeks with a Lord is what happens when an author who loves marriage of convenience reads Cecelia by Frances Burney and hears about rinderpest. Cecelia was written in 1780 and the eponymous heroine has to marry a man who will take her surname or she won’t inherit. Rinderpest is a cattle disease that devastated the English countryside in the mid 1860s. These make up the central conflicts for Grace and Everett respectively.

It also explores the fall-out of an aristocrat taking what he wants without any regard for anyone else. i.e. acted as most powerful men do, then and now. The repercussions of that selfishness, and the naïve arrogance of Grace’s father, flow through the book.

All that makes it sound very serious, and it’s not a frivolous book by any stretch, but it has moments of levity. Not sure whether it’s for you? I made a quiz to help you figure out if you like it…..HERE 😉

Frankie I love it, I’m reading it as we speak and loving it! 😊 That quiz is so good, Thanks! Who was your childhood hero?

Eve I wasn’t much for heroes when I was a kid. But I suppose I thought my Aunt and Grandmother were pretty amazing. They bought the best presents and they always looked so beautiful and poised. They were both funny, too. My aunt had a cat, and I loved that. My grandmother was so cool, she would talk to me about boys and sex and tell me what to wear. So yeah, my Aunt and my Grandmother were my heroines when I was a kid.

Frankie That is perfect, and something I totally agree with. 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?

Eve I’d love to see A Pineapple in a Pine Tree as a Hallmark movie or a BBC drama. It’s my novella coming out in charity Christmas anthology (in aid of Planned Parenthood) and I can imagine the Regency costumes, the snow, and the setting like Downton Abbey. It would be visually stunning. Amelia, the heroine loves embroidery and has a clandestine business making embroidery for women who want the appearance of accomplishment without the hassle of actually sewing. Sarah Jessica Parker would be perfect as Amelia. The hero is Robert, a quiet botanist widower who loves his daughter. Colin O’Donoghue has his vibe of tortured but kind.

Frankie Oooh!! Sounds good, Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?

Eve She’s not published yet, but I have a short story featuring Lady Charlbury. She sponsors science and engineering innovations – i.e she’s a patron of the sciences. She’s also not averse to a bit of pain and pleasure in with her business, especially when she’s in control. She’s a widow, damaged in some ways, incredibly strong, and utterly no nonsense. Unlike most of my other characters, she doesn’t suffer from crippling self-doubt (author self-own there?). I’d like to write a full novella or novel for her, maybe just to spend some time with someone who doesn’t second guess herself.

Lady Charlbury is in The Price of Patronage and it’ll be in the next Erotic Teasers anthology published by Cleis Press. I’ll probably give it away as a freebie to my new releases email list subscribers. Hint-hint. 😉

Frankie Where does your inspiration for your books come from?

Eve I don’t know, sorry. It just turns up. And the harder I work, the more turns up. Inspiration is easy. Finding time to get ideas down coherently is more of a problem.

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

Eve Don’t do it. Just really, don’t. Honestly.

Ah. Sorry. I guess you probably want something more nuanced than that.

  1. Don’t do it for the money, there is none. Do it for the love, because there is lots of that.
  2. Bring people up. Bring them with you as crit. partners, big-up your favourite authors, appreciate the beauty in what someone writes even if it’s not your thing, and celebrate the lovely things you write sometimes.
  3. Enjoy the journey, try not to stress about the destination. You might never be a famous best-selling author, but you can make something you’re proud of. You can bring people joy and be joyful whilst doing it.

Frankie That’s brilliant. Thank you! If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, from any era)

Eve Queen Elizabeth I, who ruled solo and brought peace and tolerance to a divided Britain. Lady Ada Lovelace, who came up with the concept of programming a computer. Emily Wilding Davidson, who was a key leader of the suffragette movement for women’s suffrage. I’d like to tell them about the progress we’ve made, and hear what they think we should do to take things further.

Frankie Brilliant, just brilliant! Now, that is a dinner party I would love to attend. Thank you, Eve 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?

Eve Bendicks bitter mints are the best. They’re like really classy Junior Mints. They’re practically orgasmic.

Thanks so much for having me. It’s been fun! If you’d like to chat to me about mints, Victoriana, romance or British wildflowers, you can find me on twitter as @evependle. 😉

Thank you, Eve, it has been a pleasure!

About the Book

Six Weeks With a Lord

Grace Alnott is out of time. To save her younger brother from an abusive guardian, her merchant father’s will demands she must marry a peer. Handsome but destitute Everett Hetherington, Earl of Westbury agrees to her offer of a marriage of convenience but stipulates she must live with him for six weeks. No matter how honorable he seems she can’t allow him to get too close, because the aristocracy cannot be trusted.

Six weeks. Major Everett Hetherington, new Earl of Westbury, has exactly six weeks to convince the very independent Grace Alnott to spend the rest of her life with him. Despite her belief she doesn’t belong in his world, he must tempt the alluring Grace into staying, because he has fallen for her. Hard. He just has to ensure she never discovers his secret.

Six Weeks With A Lord is to be released on 25th June and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

A Romantic History by Lynne Shelby

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A Romantic History by Lynne Shelby

A boy and a girl grow up together in the country and fall in love. He is lured away by a sophisticated woman from the city, she is pursued by two other men, but eventually the young couple get back together and marry. It sounds like the plot of a romantic novel – and it is – but this particular book, ‘Daphnis and Chloe,’ was written in ancient Greece, around 1,800 years ago. Unsurprisingly, as they were written on papyrus scrolls, only five romantic novels have survived from that time, but I like to imagine that the ancient Greeks, when they weren’t inventing politics, philosophy and maths, liked nothing better than to settle down with a cup of wine and a good romance!

Daphnis & Chloe

Skip a few centuries to the Middle Ages, and people were still reading or listening to love stories, particularly tales of heroic knights rescuing damsels in distress and winning their love. The epic poems and other fiction of Medieval times aren’t ‘novels,’ as we think of them today, and they have far fewer happy endings than we might like, but they are certainly romantic, and the names of the couples whose often doomed love affairs are told by Medieval authors are still well known – think of Tristan and Isolde or Lancelot and Guinevere.

Tristan & Isolde

Another popular romance was that of Troilus and Cressida, which takes place against the background of the Trojan War. In the 14th Century, Chaucer, better known as the writer of the ‘Canterbury Tales,’ wrote a version of this story, ‘Troilus and Criseyde’ in which the hero doesn’t believe in love – until he sees the heroine. He falls for her, she falls for him, there is an exchange of love letters, a night of bliss, mistaken jealousy – all the ingredients of a romantic novel, although, sadly for a modern reader, the story does not end well.

Troilus & Criseyde

Love stories have been told and retold for centuries, but the first romantic novel in the modern sense, ‘Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded’ by Samuel Richardson, written entirely from the heroine’s POV, was published in 1740. In the novel, Pamela Andrews, a young serving maid, constantly fights off the attempts of her master, Mr B, to seduce her, and he eventually rewards her virtue when he proposes. Back in the 18th Century, marriage between a lower class maid and a landowning squire was considered shocking, and Pamela has to wait for her happy ending until Mr B’s family accept her as his wife. More shocking to modern readers is the fact that Mr B appears to be a serial sexual predator, but in its day the novel was a huge success – there were even playing cards and ladies’ fans printed with scenes from the book.

Pamela

Half a century later, in 1811, Jane Austen published ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ the first of her six books that were to ensure the continuing popularity of the romantic genre and inspire romantic novelists right up to the present day. The romance between the feisty Elizabeth Bennet and the proud Darcy, an iconic alpha hero if ever there was one, in ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ their love overcoming the obstacles of her prejudice and his pride, has surely influenced most romantic novels that have been written since.

Jane Austen
Mr Darcy & Elizabeth Bennett (BBC Pride & Prejudice Series)

Fast forward to the 20th Century, when, with mass market books readily available to all, and the publishers Mills & Boon starting to sell books in newsagents and supermarkets, the popularity of romantic fiction continued to grow.

In 1919, ‘The Sheik’ by E M Hall became a best-seller. Again, modern readers would find much of the plot, in which the hero rapes the heroine, completely horrific, but back then, the book’s extraordinary success led to it being made into a film starring heartthrob of the day, Rudolph Valentino, that broke box-office records.

The Sheik (novel)

Much more palatable to modern readers, are the books of Georgette Heyer. Her first novel, The Black Moth, published in 1921, was set in the 1750s, but she is still best known for her popular Regency romances, that with their impeccably researched historical background, essentially created and established the historical romance.

Georgette Heyer

Another book that had a lasting influence, is ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ by Helen Fielding. Published in 1996, this novel, inspired by ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ was one of the first books to be described as chick-lit, and with its hapless yet likeable heroine, it certainly set the tone for many rom coms written since.

Bridget Jones Diary

And no look back at 20th Century romantic fiction would be complete without mention of Dame Barbara Cartland, one of the most prolific and commercially successful romantic novelists of all time, with 723 books published between 1925 and the year 2000.

Times change, and today’s romantic novels have evolved to reflect the 21st Century lives of their readers. Sweet young innocent heroines who resist the advances of overbearing males have given way to independent women of all ages, with careers and past relationships. What hasn’t changed, is the love story at the heart of the book.

About The Author

Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance, and her new novel, The One That I Want, is published on 26 July 2018. When not writing or reading, Lynne can usually be found at the theatre or exploring a foreign city – Paris, New York, Rome, Copenhagen, Seattle, Reykjavik – writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads / Amazon

A Chat With… Author Elisabeth Hobbes, Exclusive Interview!

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I have the great pleasure of welcoming back wonderful Medieval Romance author; Elisabeth Hobbes to Chicks, Rogues and Scandal, Elisabeth is  the writer of naughty knights and brooding heroes for Harlequin, Mills and Boon.

About Elisabeth

Elisabeth’s writing career began when she entered her first novel into Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest in 2013 and finished in third place.  She was offered a two book contract and hasn’t looked back!  Since then she has published six Medieval romances with Harlequin Mills & Boon and doesn’t have any plans to stop.

Elisabeth works as a Primary teacher but she’d rather be writing full time because unlike five year olds, her characters generally do what she tells them.  When she isn’t writing, she spends most of her spare time reading and is a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book.  She loves historical fiction and has a fondness for dark haired, bearded heroes.

Elisabeth enjoys skiing, singing, and exploring tourist attractions with her family.  Her children are resigned to spending their weekends visiting the past.  She loves hot and sour soup and ginger mojitos- but not at the same time!

She lives in Cheshire with her husband, two children and two cats with ridiculous names because the car broke down there in 1999 and she never left.

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Social Links

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Mills and Boon / Harlequin

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

Elisabeth Hi, thank you for having me. It’s great to be here.

Frankie Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself and your books?

Elisabeth I’ve been writing seriously since 2013 when I entered Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest and finished third. I never expected to get beyond the submission, let alone be offered a two-book contract as a result! I’m a perpetually frazzled mum to two pre-teen Aspies and also a teacher so the fact I manage to write anything constantly amazes me. I’d love to write full time. Maybe one day…

My books are set in the Medieval period which is one I adore. My heroes tend to be the underdog rather than the nobility. The era was brutal and hard and I don’t want to gloss over that so my books are quite grisly in places. Readers should be prepared for a bit of blood and suffering as well as lots of romance, and of course the all-important Happy Ever After. One reader described them as ‘romance in a post Game of Thrones era’ which I loved.

Frankie Wow! Where do you get the time and energy? That is one of the things that I love about your books, it is very real. If you could take a holiday in any era and place, When and where would it be?

Elisabeth I would love to visit Rome. Probably under the reign of Vespasian when the empire was a little more stable and enjoying a break from the more nutty rulers. Luckily there are plenty of sites still available to go visit and imagine myself back then.

Frankie Do you plan out yours stories, or are you more for going with the flow of the writing?

Elisabeth I always set out to plan them – I generally know how the HEA will happen and a few key scenes – but my characters have a habit of doing their own thing and changing the story. I do wish they would behave!

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

Elisabeth My new release is called Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight. It’s set shortly after the Norman Conquest of England and is a companion to The Saxon Outlaw’s Revenge. That book had a Norman heroine and Saxon hero so I wanted to twist things around in this book. My heroine Aelfhild is from York, which was still very much a Viking city at the time, and my hero Gui is from Brittany.

Gui is asked by his friend Gilbert to go fetch Gilbert’s promised bride, Sigrun, from the priory she has been living in. To gain admission he pretends to be Gilbert. Sigrun is terrified of marriage so her maidservant Aelfhild poses as her. Gui and Aelfhild are instantly attracted to each other but both believe the other one is someone else- and already spoken for.

Frankie Do you have a writing ritual?

Elisabeth I work four days so I have one day for writing. I drop my daughter at school then go to the library where I know I won’t be tempted to go online and waste my day away on social media. Apart from that I try to grab any spare time I can to write or make notes and always have a notebook with me in case inspiration strikes.

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?

Elisabeth I’d love my Danby Brothers miniseries to be filmed but I couldn’t choose between the brothers so can I be greedy and say two? I’d love Aidan Turner to play Hal in The Blacksmith’s Wife and Clemence Poesy would play Joanna. I’d pick Santiago Cabrera as Roger in Redeeming the Rogue Knight and Margot Robbie as Lucy.

The Blacksmith’s Wife

 

Redeeming The Rogue Knight

Frankie Oooohh! Yes, now they would be films I would love to watch! What is it about the Medieval era that catches your attention?

Elisabeth I love the scope for danger and action. The period allows for grittiness and conflict that makes for so much excitement and drama. Characters can be put into dangerous situations that make their eventual victory and HEA even more satisfying. It was when the code of chivalry and idea of courtly love emerged, leading to honourable men willing and able to protect the women they love.

Frankie Your Medieval books are amazing, would you ever consider writing a book set in a different era? And if so which?

Elisabeth Thank you, I’m really pleased you enjoy my stories. I’m actually changing time period for my new book. It’s one of four books in a series set in Scotland that I’m writing with my friends Janice Preston, Lara Temple and Nicole Locke. They’re each set in a different era and mine is set in the early Tudor period. Luckily it is a time I studied at university and isn’t too great a leap from the Middle Ages so I’m partly familiar with it. I have a story I’d love to write set in the 1920s but I’m keeping that to myself until (if) I have time to write it.

Frankie Oh, wow! This new series sounds like it’s going to be great, I hope you do get the chance to write you 1920’s story.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, Elisabeth. I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun. What is your ideal girly night?

Elisabeth I love a night in with a bottle of wine and a good film, something like A Knight’s Tale or Hairspray. And we’d have to remember the 3 Cs – Crisps, chocolate and Comfy trousers!

Frankie Hahaha! I love it and I am so with you on the three Cs.

Thank you, Elisabeth!

***

About the Book

Beguiled By The Forbidden Knight

He’s her enemy…

…and she must not fall for him!

When her mistress is taken as an enemy Knight’s betrothed, handmaiden Aelfhild knows it would be too dangerous for her Lady – she must go in her place! But there’s more to the scarred Knight than she first thought…she isn’t expecting to fall for him! As the line between friend and enemy blurs, Aelfhild realises she might be protecting her mistress, but not her heart…

Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight is to be released on 31st May and can be pre-ordered at Amazon

Tempting The Laird (Highland Grooms #5) By Julia London, Review & Giveaway

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Mystery and desire cloak the Scottish Highlands

Unruly. Unmarried. Unapologetic. Catriona Mackenzie’s reputation precedes her everywhere she goes. Her beloved late aunt Zelda taught Cat to live out loud and speak her mind, and that’s exactly what she does when Zelda’s legacy—a refuge for women in need—comes under fire. When her quest puts her in the path of the disturbingly mysterious Hamlin Graham, Duke of Montrose, Cat is soon caught up in the provocative rumors surrounding the dark duke. Never one to retreat, Cat boldly goes where no one else has dared for answers.

Shrouded in secrets, a hostage of lies, Hamlin must endure the fear and suspicion of those who believe he is a murderer. The sudden disappearance of his wife and the truth he keeps silent are a risk to his chances at earning a coveted parliamentary seat. But he’s kept his affairs tightly held until a woman with sparkling eyes and brazen determination appears unexpectedly in his life. Deadly allegations might be his downfall, but his unleashed passion could be the duke’s ultimate undoing.

My View

Oh, my word! This is incredibly good! I have been a fan of Julia London’s work for ages now and I have been avidly reading this ‘Highland Grooms’ series with relish but this, I have to say is the best of the series, so far. I will admit that the last book; Aulay’s story didn’t live up to the previous book’s, after reading Rabbie’s and Cailean’s stories I didn’t think that this series could get any better and along come Catriona and Hamlin.

After her auntie Zelda’s death, Catriona is left to run Kishorn Abbey on her own, for it is in fact a refuge for women who for whatever reason need a safe place to turn to. Catriona has had a lot to deal with, she was by her auntie Zelda’s side through her illness and slowly she withdrew from society and public life and now she is practically a shell of what she used to be. To an extent that her family are worried, she is drinking heavily, unsociable and severely unhappy. She maybe proud of her spinsterhood and the fact that she doesn’t want or need a man in her life, deep down she is lonely.

Which is why they plot against her and send her to recuperate at her uncle Knox’s, Catriona doesn’t intend to spend her days lounging about she fully intends to get her wealthy English uncle’s support to help save Kishorn Abbey from being taken by the crown. But her well laid out plan’s soon take a turn when she meets the mysterious and devilishly handsome Duke of Montrose. As soon as she sees him across the Inn for the first time in years she feels alive and intrigued by something.

From the onset of meeting Catriona, you see straight way that there is a darkness hanging over her head, London has wonderful job with Catriona’s depression in the first part she hasn’t gone over done it but in those few moment’s you can get a glimpse of Catriona’s state of mind and she isn’t a happy woman. She tries to show to the world she is content but deep down she is a crying wreck.

Hamlin Graham is living under a dark and heavy cloud, of secrets, lies and scandal after the disappearance of his wife all of society think’s that Hamlin murdered her. He has lived with that hanging over his head, it has tarnished his reputation blackened his good name and now driven him to live a lonely and isolated life. It would all be well and good if he didn’t have his hopes set on gaining his seat in Parliament, after all Scotland were only allowed a handful of seats and he wanted one. He had plans to help and he could only do that once he gained that seat. But the scandal in his past and the secret he holds close to his heart are standing in his way.

That is until he meets feisty, determined kindred spirit; Catriona. Who brings the sunshine back into his dark life and makes his once dead heart begin to beat again. Catriona is the only one that knows Hamlin wouldn’t have killed his wife, he may be a huge, brawny and monosyllabic man but he she sees the goodness, she knows beneath that rude persona there lies a gentle, sensitive man.

Oh, my goodness, what a stud! Hamlin is soooo swoon-worthy, he ruggedly handsome. Kind, generous, dark and brooding. Plus, he is very good with his hands in more ways than just welding a hammer to fix his own roof, he isn’t your stereotypical duke. Part man part devil and when he looks at Catriona with those dark/black soulful eyes you melt. He is dark uncivilised and equally as sad as Catriona, they are a match made in heaven!

I love that first chapter where all the Mackenzie clan are all together after Zelda’s death, their closeness and protectiveness to one and other is so heart-warming. This is why I love this family so much, they maybe brutish men in kilts and fierce women with great mind, but they are also hugely supportive of each other and a wonderful family.

Just want to say that I am so intrigued by Nichol Bain who is Hamlin’s secretary. He is a mysterious young man, he has many secrets hidden behind those green eyes and I do hope that he will get a story of his own. He is quite a man I would love to know more about him.

This really is so good, wonderful storyline that keeps you hooked, and keeps you turning those pages to find out what happens’. Character’s that are engaging, intriguing and it’s a joy to watch as their relationship blossoms and their personal characters develop.

As I said in the beginning of the review, this is the best of the series, it’s thrilling, romantic, sexy with two of the best character’s. London has outdone herself with this, it is perfection!

This was an ARC copy via the Author’s PA in exchange for an honest review.

Tempting The Laird is to be released 26th June and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

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GIVEAWAY CLOSED

I have a wonderful and exclusive to Chicks Rogues and Scandals Giveaway, to be in for a chance to win some exclusive Julia London swag then just answer the question below.

As the Highland Grooms is set in Scotland, what is your favourite thing about Scotland?

It can be anything, from food, clothes, the highlands or something Scottish from TV, mine has got to be Outlander 😉 what’s yours?

This giveaway will be open on here and on the Chicks, Rogues and Scandals Facebook Page which means you have the chance to put your name into the hat twice.

(Eg: Comment on this post -1 entry / Comment & Like Facebook post – 1 entry)

Good luck everyone!

*Unfortunately, giveaway is only opened to US and UK, Giveaway closes on 31st May at midnight GMT. Winner will be announced as soon as possible after closing date.

A Chat With…Author Denise Lynn

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I have the very great pleasure to be chatting with historical romance author, Denise Lynn on Chicks, Rogues and Scandals. So take a seat and lets get to know a little about Denise…

Denise Lynn lives in NW Ohio with her husband, son and slew of 4-legged “kids”. She has been an avid reader of romance novels for many years, travelling to lands and times filled with brave knights, courageous ladies and never-ending love between the pages of those wonderful books.

She writes medieval romances set in England, Ireland, Normandy, France and a few fictitious islands in the waters surrounding Great Britain. When not writing historical romances, she’s likely working on paranormal romances with dragons, wizards and other assorted praeternatural beings – some set on the same fictitious islands created for her medieval.

When Denise isn’t writing, she can be found hiking, baking, sitting in front of a sewing machine, or snipping herbs for various edible and not-so-edible recipes. 

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon 

 

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

Denice Thank you for “having” me, I appreciate it greatly!

Frankie Firstly what five word’s would you use to describe yourself?

Denise Introverted. Determined. Sarcastic…flippant. Trusting. Loyal.

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

Denise 12th century Scarborough. While I’m sure it would be more dangerous than I can begin to imagine, I’ve always been fascinated by William of Albemarle – William le Gros, aka Count of Aumale, Earl of Albemarle, Earl of York and Lord of Holderness. From what I’ve been able to discover – and some of it was by sitting at the local library translating from a French Bibliography word, by word with a half-useful French to English translation book – during the war between Stephen and Matilda he basically acted like he was the King of Yorkshire. I’d like to see the construction of Scarborough Castle, I’d love to see his interaction with his wife Cicely. Per the Gesta Stephani, William took his wife back after she’d lived with another man for a year. Their daughter was conceived after their reconciliation. I find that absolutely fascinating, since he seems to have been such a badass and my nosey writer’s mind can’t let it go. (nonfiction inspiration at work)

Frankie Oooh, I like that, so original. Can you tell us a little about latest release? This can be your most recent or up-and coming release.

Denise In non-fiction, you read about younger women being married off to much older men and I’ve often thought that I’d just runaway, you know – forget that crap, I’m outa here. That’s what the heroine in The Warrior’s Runaway Bride does – her grandfather betroths her to one of his ancient warlords (who has already buried two wives) and when she gets a glimpse of him, she’s gone. When her father discovers her missing, he goes to King David I of Scotland for help, hoping to somehow find the girl before his own father discovers what’s happened.

King David sends one of his “wolves” to find the girl…but has no plans to hand her over to her father—he has another idea in mind. Elrik of Roul’s greatest talent was finding lost things, or people, and he tracks Avelyn down, returns her to David’s court where they both learn of the King’s plans – seems one of Elrik’s long lost relatives was the Lord of Roul in Normandy who died without an heir, leaving Elrik the oldest remaining Roul and now the new Lord of Roul….a Lord in need of a wife.

Lucky Avelyn finds herself in just that position – Elrik’s wife. (And yes that’s sarcasm, as she isn’t lucky in the least.) Due to circumstances in Normandy, Elrik knows he is likely going into battle for possession of his new property and has no intention of dragging a wife along—especially one who has no idea how to be a lady, how to run a keep, how to basically do anything he needs of a wife (Avelyn was a bastard child that her father didn’t know about until her mother died six years ago. She’d been raised in his village by her destitute mother who had been tossed out of the keep when the wife of Avelyn’s father discovered the woman was pregnant. While he took her in, he wanted nothing to do with her. She was housed, clothed and fed but was taught nothing of being a lady).

Since the King won’t wait to hold the wedding upon his return, he’s left with no choice but to wed Avelyn and send a missive to his younger brothers to come get her and take her to Roul Isle until his return. Unfortunately, he doesn’t realise that his new wife doesn’t take orders very well and too late he discovers that she’s stowed away on one of his ships sailing to Normandy.

#1: she isn’t about to be left behind to be handed off to complete strangers and #2 she’s sees her dastardly half-brother in the courtyard when Elrik leaves, and notices that the cur and his companions are hot on her husband’s trail – she HAS to warn Elrik. So, with the help of King David, she managed to board the last ship before it leaves the dock. Let the “fun” ensue…. Of course they argue, but Elrik learns that she’s a fast learner, his wife is no slouch and Avelyn learns that while her husband can be a tyrant at times, he will go to no ends to protect her. When his brothers show up at the new keep – because they were already under way to retrieve her when the second missive arrived telling them their services in the matter were no longer required – Avelyn knows they are there to take her away.

Without going to his husband to find out what is going on, she is certain she’s being cast aside, so she resorts back to her usual method of dealing with situations…she runs away. But Elrik is ready for her…he’s not letting the love of his life disappear quite that easily.

Frankie Oh, Wow!! That sounds absolutely incredible, and as I am reading it at the minute, I know it is just as good as it sounds. Thank you! Who was your childhood hero?

Denise We didn’t really watch a lot of television, so it depended on what book I was reading at the time….Jo in Little Women, Black Beauty…yes, I wanted to be the horse (???), or Riki Tiki (yeah, I’m such mongoose material), or Pony Boy. When I was maybe 13 or 14 my grandmother gave me my first “romance” novel – The Scarlett Domino by Sylvia Thorpe (I have a complete collection of her work that someone will have to pry out of my cold, stiff fingers someday, no actually it’s already been willed to the Popular Culture Library at BGSU) and then I wanted to be Antonia. From then on it was any heroine in any romance novel I was allowed to get my hands on…I mean, LOOK women were highway men….uh, highway women….or pirates or….you get the picture. Gosh, why, oh, why I wonder, do I write historicals????

Frankie Haha! So true, which is why I read historicals 😊 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?

Denise My current WIP – no title yet, still calling it ‘Rory-book3’. The hero would be Jason Momoa:   and the heroine would be Kiera Knightly (as Guinevere – While working on The Warrior’s Runaway Bride, I was looking up something on medieval kings of Scotland and ran across a tidbit about the Bruce’s parents that instantly sparked an entire story – seems the Countess of Carrick was so taken with the man who brought word of her husband’s death that she held him captive until he agreed to marry her. LOLOLOL.   Apparently, the woman was no mild, meek, delicate flower. Seriously, gotta love a woman who goes after what she wants…even if she later realises she might have made a mistake…

 

Frankie That sounds brilliant, and it would be a film that I would love to see. Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?

Denise It’s a toss up between: Rhys – The Lord of Faucon in Falcon’s Desire, my first book with Harlequin Historical. He lived in my head for so long that I swear at times he was almost real. And Braeden from Dragon’s Lair – my first Nocturne release. Both of them could deal with their enemies without blinking an eye or suffering any pangs of guilt, but when it came to the heroine, they were both basically putty in her hands, even if they didn’t know it. I just really liked them a lot.

Frankie Where does your inspiration for your books come from?

Denise Nonfiction. Researching has provided nuggets that miraculously turn into stories. It’s something I don’t question, or dissect, for fear the magic will disappear.

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

Denise Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t angst over every word. Let yourself feel your way to the end.

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

Denise Gosh, I really don’t know. Ah — One would be Murphy Brown. Yes, the Candace Bergen Murphy Brown – what a deliciously sarcastic wench. I loved her and always wished I could be that spot on sharp. To keep things interesting….King Stephen and the Empress Matilda. If nothing else it would likely provide much entertainment value.

Frankie Thank you Denise, 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?

Denise I suppose it’s a huge cliché, but whipped cream….

Oooh, Nice! Thank you, Denise.

***

The notorious Lord of Roul…

…must take her as his bride!

Lady Avelyn flees an unwanted betrothal to an elderly warlord only to be hunted down and returned to King David’s court by fearsome Elrik, Lord of Roul, a legendary warrior with a heart of ice—and a kiss of fire. And now Avelyn is bound to Elrik—and his bed—when Elrik is commanded to wed her instead!

Denise’s up and coming book, the Warrior’s Runaway Bride is to be released on 28th June and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

A Chat With….Author Jennie Fletcher

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I have the great pleasure of welcoming Historical Romance author and RoNA award nominated Jenni Fletcher to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals, so take a seat and let’s get to know a little about Jenni…

Jenni Fletcher was born on the north coast of Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire, where she writes Medieval, Roman and Victorian romance novels.
She studied English at Cambridge University before doing an MA on Women and Literature in English and a PhD on Victorian & Edwardian literature at Hull University. After realising that she was better at writing than teaching, she worked in a number of administrative jobs whilst trying to finish her first book, which was rejected. Thinking there must have been some mistake, she then wrote another, which was fortunately accepted by Harlequin Mills&Boon.
She spends a large part of her day obsessing about things like the Oxford Comma and whether she uses exclamation marks too often (she does!) whilst getting distracted by Twitter. The rest of the time she drinks too much caffeine, eats too much chocolate, and tries not to drop crumbs into her keyboard.
When not writing, obsessing or cleaning up after her children, she likes mountain biking, hiking and watching period dramas (her husband joins her for two of those). She knows nothing about sport or crime fiction, but can talk with authority on Minecraft, Star Trek (mainly Next Generation) and the Lord of the Rings.
Her favourite Jane Austen novel is Persuasion and her favourite Brontë is Anne. If she had to choose a romantic hero it would be John Thornton, but maybe that’s just because she’s Northern.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon

Frankie Hi Jenni, 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?

Jenni Technologically incompetent caffeine/chocolate addict.

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

Jenni I used to think the Wild West, but then I watched Westworld, so now I’d probably say the height of the Victorian era. I’d wear the biggest crinoline I could find and go to the Great Exhibition. Then I’d have Afternoon Tea (the greatest of all Victorian inventions).

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

Jenni My next book is called ‘Captain Amberton’s Inherited Bride’ and is set in a faux-Medieval castle on the Yorkshire Moors above Whitby. It’s the second in my Victorian series and I wanted it to have a different feel to the first so I’ve gone a bit gothic. My heroine has spent her whole life being oppressed by her father and my hero is a reformed womaniser who’s just been invalided out of the Fusiliers. I don’t want to say too much, except that there’s a slow-speed horse and cart chase over the snowy Moors…

Frankie Now this sounds like my cup of tea, Yorkshire, Military heroes and Victorian, perfect! Who was your childhood hero?

Jenni Jane Russell. I used to pretend to be her character (Mike) in ‘Son of Paleface’. She was a cattle-rustler/saloon singer and I thought she was fabulous. Then I wanted to be Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Apparently I like dark, sultry brunettes.

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

Jenni My next book, which should hopefully be out later this year. I don’t have a title for it yet, but it’s set on Hadrian’s Wall in 197AD and there are some action scenes I’d like to see onscreen. My heroine would be played by Eleanor Tomlinson from Poldark and my hero would be Channing Tatum (looking exactly the way he does in The Eagle).

Frankie Oh, my!! 😉 Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?

Jenni Aediva from ‘Married to her Enemy’, just because she was my first heroine. Also she’s brave and feisty and fiercely protective of her family.

Frankie Where doe’s your inspiration for your books come from?

Jenni Sometimes from visiting castles (one of my favourite hobbies), sometimes from reading history books (‘Besieged and Betrothed’ came out of my interest in Stephen and Matilda) and sometimes just randomly. I’m working on a Regency that was inspired by a biscuit!

Frankie Ha,ha,ha! A biscuit? Intriguing, What three tip’s would you pass on to an aspiring author?

Jenni Read lots, don’t compare yourself to anyone else (easier said than done) and remember that we all get writer’s block sometimes.

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

Jenni Two of my favourite Medieval women, Empress Matilda and Eleanor of Aquitaine, just to see who was the biggest diva, and Dr Janina Ramirez. I met her at a book festival last autumn and she was lovely. She gave me a hug! She’s also incredibly smart – with fabulous taste in shoes – so a great role model for women all round.

(left to right: Matilda, Eleanor & Janina)

Frankie Ooh, I like, strong women putting the world to rights! 😉 Thank you, Jenni 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?

Jenni Rocky road. That way I get chocolate AND marshmallows! Thanks for having me. X

Oh, Yummy! Thank you Jenni.

***

Jenni’s up and coming release; Captain Amberton’s Inherited Bride is to be released on 22nd March.

‘Marry me…

…And you’ll have your freedom.’

Her father’s will dictates that Violet Harper must wed or be disinherited—but she’d rather face the wilderness of the wintry Yorkshire moors than be bound to cynical, damaged soldier Lance Amberton. Lance promises a marriage of convenience that will grant Violet her independence. In exchange she must put her faith in Lance, and see beyond his gruff exterior to the man beneath…

Due for release 22nd March can be pre-ordered at Amazon.