Historical

Enticing Miss Eugenie Villaret By Ella Quinn

Blog Diva - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I’m so excited to be back on RomCom for my latest release, Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret. Book 5 in The Marriage Game. The book is set in the Danish West Indies in 1816, and the excerpt I’m going to share with you is of my hero’s, William, Viscount Wivenly’s first look at St. Thomas’s Charlotte Amalie harbor.

Will braced his feet on the ship’s deck and held the telescope to his eye. A large group buildings stood at the water’s edge. “That’s it then, the free port of Charlotte Amalie?”
“Indeed.” Captain Black grinned. “It will soon be one of the largest ports in the West Indies, if not the entire Caribbean.”

“What are those spaces on the hills?”

Black looked where Will pointed. “Stairs used as streets. They are called step streets. They make going up and down the hills easier. I’ve heard some European cities have them, as well.”

Anything to make hills easier would be welcome. Drat, he hated hills. He’d been ecstatic when his family had moved to Hertfordshire, where it was nice and flat. Read More

Beleaguered By Jenna Jaxon

Blog Diva - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

EXCERPT FROM Beleaguered:

Geoffrey hurried on with a suggestion. “’Twould be the work of a few moments for me to teach it you, my lady.”

It would have to serve. She shot a look over her shoulder at her husband, who nodded and laughed with the princess though his eyes were trained on her. Best get on with it then. The sooner ’twas done, the better.

“Your skill at dancing is such that you would certainly learn the steps with but slight instruction from me.” Geoffrey leaned so close his voice, against her ear made her jump and recall herself. She stepped back and looked at him.

His practiced courtier’s smile flickered at her, and she caught something deeper shining in his eyes that she fought not to see. Her heart stuttered a beat.Her body flushed with the anticipation of dancing with him again even as misgivings swirled in her mind. No good would come of this dance, but Thomas watched closely to see that she acted cordially to Geoffrey. Would that it was an act.  Read More

Just Deserts By Elizabeth Bailey

Blog Diva - Tuesday, July 01, 2014

THE ENGLISH THOROUGHBRED

I got the idea for Just Deserts from a signpost labelled Chiddingly Stud. But I knew very little about horse racing and even less about breeding. A friend’s son happened to be horse-mad and loaned me a stack of books on the subject. I rewarded this kindness by giving his name to my hero’s trainer Tidmarsh.

I discovered that the English thoroughbred, considered among the elite of race horses, was a product of 18th century breeding programs. The best champions were bred from mixed Arabian and English stock. Your canny breeder would import horses from the Arab lands and the Moorish countries of the North African Barbary coast.

Between the Arabian and the “Barb” there was not much difference. Both were compact horses, with short backs, arched necks and fine small heads. Other characteristics were large expressive eyes and full and flaring nostrils, as well as sensitivity and intelligence. The Arabian was a little faster, but the Barb had endurance. Either one, when mixed with the sturdy English horse, produced animals of stunning beauty.

You can see wonderful examples in the paintings of George Stubbs, a prolific animal artist of the time. There’s a fine painting of Letty Lade on horseback, a redoubtable woman who went from mistress to a highwayman to marriage with Sir John Lade. She was a notable “whip” and an enthusiastic racer on her own account. Read More

The Wicked Bargain By Gina Danna

Blog Diva - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Arabella raced into the house, her main concern was Ethan. Passing the Marquis’ rooms for her own, she quickly shed the ball gown but left the undergarments on, and throwing on her robe, she grabbed her medical satchel. She opened the dressing closet door and took the back way to his room.

Ethan sat on edge of the bed. His trousers were unbuttoned, the shirt, jacket and waistcoat had been hung across the chair. His movements so sluggish at taking his shoes off, she figured Malik must have assisted in the earlier part.

“I can’t seem to get them off,” he muttered as she pulled the dress shoe off and then peeled the stocking down, throwing it to the side.

His voice sounded strained. A fast glance showed her the hard news. The pupils were constricted and his skin was pale. Fever.

“Ethan,” she called as his eyes began to shut. Panic flooded into her. “Ethan!”

“Um?” he murmured.

“I need to get these pants off of you.”

“Oh honey, so glad—” Read More

The Earl’s Enticement Excerpt By Collette Cameron

Blog Diva - Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Roark prowled his cell. Ten irate paces to the wall. Ten fuming paces back. The lone candle flickered but valiantly continued to burn despite being scarcely more than a nub.

His last one.

The weak flame cast meandering shadows across the rustic walls. On a stone above the table, he’d discovered one hundred and seventeen etched marks. Some pitiable sot had spent almost four months locked in this cell.

What time was it? Miss Ferguson promised to return after dinner. Where was she? He shot a glance to the candle before returning his gaze to the sooty darkness beyond his cell. At most, it would burn another hour.

He tried to conserve the tapers. His fear of the dark, particularly the inkiness caused by being a good twenty feet beneath the keep, had him burning a light constantly. Roark wrinkled his nose. They stunk too, worse than he did. Likely they were made of mutton fat. He sniffed. The whole place reeked of mildew and dank, musty dampness.  Read More

The Heart’s Pursuit By Robin Lee Hatcher

Blog Diva - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A jilted bride desperate to save her family from ruin. A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past. An arduous trek toward justice—or redemption.

Silver Matlock and Jared Newman know traveling together is a bad idea. Bad for Silver’s already tarnished reputation in her small Colorado town. Bad for bounty hunter Jared’s secret, single-minded mission for revenge. But Silver is determined to track down the rogue who left her at the altar and stole the last remnant of her father’s fortune. And Jared’s in a hurry to hunt down the murderer who destroyed his family—even if Silver is too distractingly beautiful for comfort.

The pair takes off over mountain and desert, past bleak homesteads and raw mining towns, hot on the trail of the two villains who took what wasn’t theirs to take. Soon supplies dwindle, secrets emerge, and suspicion leave Silver and Jared at odds when they need each other most. To confront an enemy deadlier than desert rattlesnakes and rocky cliffs, Silver and Jared must learn to forgive and trust and face the question they haven’t dared voice: What happens next? Read More

The Heart’s Pursuit By Robin Lee Hatcher

Blog Diva - Friday, May 16, 2014

A jilted bride desperate to save her family from ruin. A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past. An arduous trek toward justice—or redemption.

Silver Matlock and Jared Newman know traveling together is a bad idea. Bad for Silver’s already tarnished reputation in her small Colorado town. Bad for bounty hunter Jared’s secret, single-minded mission for revenge. But Silver is determined to track down the rogue who left her at the altar and stole the last remnant of her father’s fortune. And Jared’s in a hurry to hunt down the murderer who destroyed his family—even if Silver is too distractingly beautiful for comfort.

The pair takes off over mountain and desert, past bleak homesteads and raw mining towns, hot on the trail of the two villains who took what wasn’t theirs to take. Soon supplies dwindle, secrets emerge, and suspicion leave Silver and Jared at odds when they need each other most. To confront an enemy deadlier than desert rattlesnakes and rocky cliffs, Silver and Jared must learn to forgive and trust and face the question they haven’t dared voice: What happens next? Read More

Montana Christmas By Alanna Lucas

Blog Diva - Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Over the past several weeks I have been asked numerous times how do I find “stuff” to write about? For me, inspiration and ideas for my novels come in a variety of forms and media. Sometimes it is from a song I hear while driving, an image on a billboard, or even while shopping. The latter was the case with the inspiration for Once Upon A Montana Christmas.

It was my daughter’s birthday and she decided that the mall was the best place to celebrate. What was to be a simple (ha!) trip to the mall turned into a marathon shopping excursion with my teenager, little man, and grandmother. Towards the end of the day, my little man spotted a Lego store and begged to go inside for a quick browse. It took some convincing, but my daughter acquiesced when her grandmother agreed to take her to a more- and I quote- “fashionable” store, leaving my little man and I to explore to our heart’s content.

Building with Lego’s has become a favorite past time for my little man and I. Sometimes we give each other challenges, other times we collaborate and build within a specific theme. There have been several times when he decided that I needed inspiration for my writing and has surprised me with his own special creation. My favorite to date is a plane that he attached a banner to which read, “Write romance.” Read More

Love And Vengeance By Gina Danna

Blog Diva - Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Gustina stood before him, terrified, angry and numb. As the door shut behind her, fear coiled down her back but she refused to acknowledge it. He was just another man. Like the rest. No better and no worse.

Ah, but he’s so much better looking, her mind teased. Still dressed in the pure white linen cloth, the folds placed so precisely over his cock, his skin weathered from hours spent outside in the sun, muscles rippling over his chest and stomach, he was a god. Apollo or maybe even Hercules. His bare feet rested on the dirt floor, corded tendons and contours ran up his legs. She couldn’t tear her gaze from him. He knew it, just sat and drank her in.

The puckered seam stood out on his chest and the scrape above it. His lower lip puffed slightly, as if he’d been beaten, but it was hard to tell when his square jaw ticked.

Those brown eyes, dark, desire brewing at the surface.

The pull to him came from deep within. Her heart skipped a beat, the air in the cell became heavy and she couldn’t breathe. She tried to swallow but her mouth was too dry. Heat spiraled inside her, deep, pooling in her lower stomach. A small voice inside her screamed and fought for control—a control she could no longer maintain. Read More

The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sara Ladd

Blog Diva - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Excerpt ©2013 Thomas Nelson Publishers

He watched as her fingers made quick work of smoothing the linen strips. He didn’t realize he was staring at her face until her eyes flicked upward, her face close to his own. She nearly jumped back when their eyes met at such close proximity and dropped his arm against the table. Crimson flushed her pale cheeks, almost matching the rims of her eyes, reddened, no doubt, by the smoke’s effect. “I…I, uh, I mean, I did not mean to be so close.”

Her innocence fascinated him, distracting him from the pain. She wiped her hands on her robe and brushed long locks of loose hair from her face. “That should be good for a couple of hours, Mr. Sterling.”

She fastened the lid back on the ointment and rolled the linen strips with trembling fingers.

He was clearly having an effect on her.

Or was in presumptuous to think so?

But what he could not account for was how this quiet woman had such an effect on him.  Read More