Mae Clair’s Book Spotlight: Shunned No More by Christina McKnight

One of the earliest author friends I connected with when originally venturing online was Christina McKnight. Naturally, when I heard she had a new release out, I jumped at the chance to showcase it here.

Book cover for Shunned No More by author Christina McKnight depicting a Regency-era woman in a flowing lavender gown looking over her shoulder

Series: A Lady Forsaken, Book 1
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: May 30, 2014
Word Count: 78,000
Cover Artist: LFD Designs for Authors

A Lady Shunned by All… 

Lady Viola Oberbrook only wanted to forget the ill-fated early morning duel that took the lives of two young, wealthy, promising men of the ton and sent her fleeing for her father’s country estate. Eight years later, she has her life in order: a fulfilling business, a few trusted friends, and no plans to return to London society. What she doesn’t expect is to come face to face with her past.

A Lord Betrayed by One… 

Brock Spencer, Earl of Haversham, only wants vengeance. Recently returned from his military service to the King, his plans include repairing his family estate, finding a bride, and destroying the girl responsible for the untimely death of his twin brothers. What he doesn’t anticipate is falling in love with the only woman who should never be part of his future.

An Impossible Match, Destined to Be…

Christina McKnight, authorAbout the Author:

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since. Currently, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

Follow her on Twitter: @CMcKnightWriter

Keep up to date on her releases: www.christinamcknight.com

Like Christina’s FB Author https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaMcKnightWriter

Add Shunned No More to your Goodreads List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16099744-shunned-no-more-a-lady-forsaken

Tera Shanley on Friendship, Romance, and Westerns with An Unwilling Husband

I’m delighted to welcome my Lyrical Press/Kensington Books sister, Tera Shanely, back to my blog to share her newest release, AN UNWILLING HUSBAND. I love the idea behind this story and can’t wait to devour it from cover to cover. I’ve always had a soft spot for westerns. Today, I’m turning my blog over to Tera for a very cool guest post about friendship. Check it out!

~ooOOoo~

A Closer Look at the Importance of Companionship in the Wild West

Hello all! My name is Tera Shanley and I’m the author of the brand new Historic Western Romance release, An Unwilling Husband. First off, a huge thank you to Mae for letting the unruly Wild West come to visit today!

Have you ever read a book where a secondary character stands out to you long after you’ve flipped the last page? For An Unwilling Husband, Lenny is that character.

Originally, when I started writing the book, Lenny and her uncle, Cookie, were only supposed to be in the background. But as the story started taking place, and the characters spoke their wants louder and softer as is natural in a writer’s head, Lenny catapulted herself into this position of significant friendship for our dear Maggie, heroine of the book. She ended up playing a huge part in helping Maggie to find her strength in a world that was determined to bring her to her knees. Lenny never looked at her as a silly proper lady in the wrong place, or as a fragile woman incapable of big things. From years of friendship with Garret, Lenny knew the high durability a woman had to have to secure our reluctant hero’s affection, and determined, she pressed Maggie to grow stronger for him.

She comforts Maggie through tragedy, teaches her the ropes around the ranch, and when Maggie’s life is on the line, it’s Lenny who finds help. With Lenny’s unwavering aid, Maggie learns to cook, shoot, and run a ranch, and all without a single word between the women, because they don’t speak the same language. She is Comanche, you see. But through the story, Lenny proves that true friendship trumps a language barrier any day.

She was a blast to write and research, and I loved the challenge of giving her a voice without really using her voice.

I hope you’ll check out An Unwilling Husband and read for yourself why Maggie and Lenny’s friendship is hitting such a sweet chord with reviewers.

5 Huge Stars –

I loved Cookie and Lenny, especially Lenny, she’s amazing and beautiful and just perfect for Maggie to have as a friend.” – Nanee of Up All Night, Read All Day

AUH Blog Tour Cover

An Unwilling Husband
By Tera Shanley
Genre: Historic Western Romance
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation/Imprint: Lyrical Press
Length: 310 pages

BLURB:
For adventurous Margaret Flemming, arrived from Boston to be with her father, the Old West town of her childhood is a far cry from the drawing rooms and balls of the high society life she’s used to. Her fancy gowns and proper manners have no place in the dusty, cruel land inhabited by Indians and rough cowboys. And her fiercely independent streak constantly gets her in trouble. When tragedy strikes, there’s only one person she can turn to–her childhood friend, Garret Shaw–but he’s disgusted with her Society ways.

With his ranch under attack from the land-grabbing Jennings, the last thing Garret needs is to be saddled with a high-falutin’ lady. Even if she is his friend’s daughter and her kind ways tug at his hardened heart. Duty to her father forces them to wed, but he knows sure as anything, when the chance comes along, she’ll go back to Boston. No matter how much he wants her, loving her is not a risk he can take.

Will Maggie choose a life of luxury and ease over struggle and hardship with an ill-mannered cowboy? Only her heart can answer.

author picAUTHOR BIO:
Tera Shanley writes in sub-genres that stretch from Paranormal Romance, to Historic Western Romance, to Apocalyptic (zombie) Romance. The common theme? She loves love! A self-proclaimed bookworm, she was raised in small town Texas and could often be found decorating a table at the local library. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband and two young children and when she isn’t busy running around after her family, she’s writing a new story or devouring a good book. Any spare time is dedicated to chocolate licking, rifle slinging, friend hugging, and the great outdoors. For more information about Tera and her work, visit www.terashanley.com.

Connect with Tera and the following haunts:
Facebook 

Blog
Twitter 

Website 
Goodreads 

Purchase AN UNWILLING HUSBAND from:
Amazon
Kobo 

iTunes 
Barnes & Noble

 

 

AN UNEXPECTED SIN: Limited time 99 cent introductory price & $50 Giveaway

Welcome to Sarah Ballance, a wonderfully supportive friend and prolific author. I’m pleased to have her back on my blog with her latest release, AN UNEXPECTED SIN, a historical romance that plays off the Salem Witch Trials. She’s even got fab giveaway taking place to celebrate the second book in her Sins of Salem series.

I think you’ll be even more intrigued when you see what Sarah has to say . . .

Sarah Ballance: Why Salem?

I’ll be the first to admit a book set during the Salem witch trials doesn’t exactly scream romance. For that matter, the setting doesn’t even whimper romance—at least not at first glance. I mean, there were hangings and rotting jail cells and constant fear—not just of the evil that supposedly lurked among the people of Salem, but of being accused of so-called affliction and being sent to die. This fear was tangible. It lived and breathed among these people as if it were one of their own, and I admit my initial draw to Salem had a whole lot to do with its dark history.

But then came the challenge.

This wasn’t just a terrible period that tends to get a lot of play on the History Channel each October. It was a time in which people (or the lucky ones who survived) lived. They loved, they lost, they feared, and they had stories. Looking back, it was a relatively brief, terrifying period, but for those who lived it, it was so much more. Not just death, but life. And through the pages of my Sins of Salem series, I hope to connect you to what’s largely been left out of the history books.

To the romance.

For more on the Sins of Salem series, please click here.

AUS_500.jpgAN UNEXPECTED SIN (A Sins of Salem Novel)

Colonial Salem

The moment the stranger’s dark eyes meet hers, Anne Scudder’s world is immediately overthrown by chaos. That single flare of desire is immediate, driving away all notions of propriety. Instead, Anne is consumed with sinful thoughts – ones that no unmarried girl should ever have for a man who isn’t her husband…

But Josiah Cromwell is no stranger.

It’s been six years since Josiah stole kisses from Anne, his best friend’s younger sister. Six years since Josiah left after his best friend’s death, burdened by the knowledge that he was responsible for destroying Anne’s family. Now he’s returned to claim the woman he can’t live without. But even as their desire threatens to consume them both – body and soul – the dark workings of suspicion and witchcraft are afoot.

Because in Salem, too much passion can lead a woman to ruin… and condemned to death.

Find it @
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Amazon.uk | Amazon.ca | Google Books | Goodreads

  • Title: AN UNEXPECTED SIN (Sins of Salem #2)
  • Author: Sarah Ballance
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Release Date: April 14, 2014
  • ISBN 13: 978-1-62266-547-1
  • Available format(s): ebook

EXCERPT

She raked his hair. Clutched desperately at his back. Found it was she who moved against him, for he had eased his grip in favor of taking fierce hold of her breasts. In the dark and through her clothes, he put his mouth over first one, then the other. Desire toppled her sensibilities until she was left arching her back, every part of her begging to be closer. Begging for the kind of fulfillment she knew in her heart only he could deliver.

Begging until he broke free.

Breathing heavily, he bathed her in the lopsided, boyish grin she had long adored. “Your father will see me to the gallows for this,” he said in his low, husky voice.

Though the logic of his words found her, she wanted not for sensibilities. She wanted Josiah. “My father sleeps upstairs.”

Josiah took a deep breath. “It is not often I wish to be a lesser man,” he said, “but a lesser man has a certain advantage when a beautiful woman comes to him in the dark of the night.”

A beautiful woman. Anne had never imagined such a description could belong to her. “You could never be a lesser man.”

“Rest assured, if you return to my room in the dark of the night, I will be nothing more.”

Though his tone was light, she did not miss its undercurrent. His serious nature made his words all the more thrilling, for they left little doubt as to what he wanted—or how badly he wanted it. She could not keep the smile from her voice as she asked, “Are you saying I need only walk from the room for a minute’s time to make a lesser man of you?”

“I would like to think myself more honorable, but I make no promises in my current state.”

“Perhaps we should test that supposition.”

He grinned and leaned in, kissing her softly. “As much as I ache to know every inch of you,” he said, “it is not my desire to make off with your honor like a thief in the night.”

She splayed her fingers across his warm, bare chest and took a deep breath of courage. “You have long stolen my heart. My honor will not be far behind.”

Read the entire first chapter for FREE at Entangled Publishing. (No registration or cartwheels required.)

GIVEAWAY
To enter the $50 giveaway, please click here.

Sarah BallanceABOUT SARAH BALLANCE
Sarah Ballanceis a multi-published author of contemporary, historical, and supernatural romance and romantic suspense. She’s been married to her own romantic hero for what he calls a “long, long time” (and no, he’ll never hear the end of saying that). Together they have six children … and clearly too much time on their hands. She currently writes for Entangled and has upcoming releases from both Entangled and Samhain Publishing.

North Parish Book Tour with Rohn Federbush #Giveaway

Today, as a Buy the Book Tour participating host, I’m welcoming Rohn Federbush as she tours with her new release, North Parish. I was initially drawn to this book by it’s gorgeous cover and title, then after reading the blurb, knew I had to showcase it. Please welcome Rohn as she shares her background, writing process, and what inspires her creativity. There’s also a Rafflecopter giveaway link at the bottom, so be sure to enter!

Tour banner for North Parish by Rohn Federbush~ooOOoo~

I lived on farms in Illinois until I was fourteen. Those wind-swept plains can’t compare to the storm-free, surrounding hills of my adopted state of Michigan. I’m dyslectic and uncomfortable in crowds. I’m happier in my old-age than I ever was in the riotous, experimental years of youth. Who hasn’t wanted to know everything about everything?

I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I was sixteen. My sister’s baby died after not completing a day of life. Her name was Diane Thaddeus Schultz. I was shocked because my high-school English class remained unaware of my family’s loss, or the world’s. So I wrote a poem and eulogized my niece, hooking me forever on the potency of catharsis and the power of adding to the remembrance of a lost child. What gave you your first clue that you were one of us, unable to stop putting words on paper?

How long does it take you to read a book? My first writing draft is finished in about three months, but the editing takes even longer. I’m usually at my writing desk by 9:00 in the morning. I outline. I use Elizabeth’s system from “Write Right” and Michael Hauge’s “Six Stage Plot Structure,” which is a furtherance of Debra Dixon’s “Goals, Motivation, and Conflict” structure for characters. I put the finished outline, which includes one-sentence scene descriptions into the body of my manuscript and start writing the Rough Draft. Nothing is ever final, the outline, the sequence of scenes, etc. But the skeleton exists. The next day’s scene can be reviewed before bed and embellished in the morning. If I get stopped, I interview the characters to find out where we’re going.

I’ve been writing full time since 1999, when I retired from the University of Michigan as an Administrative Assistant. Of course, I take breaks, and lunch. However, I try not to stop until I have ten new pages or 4:00 arrives. My completed books are piling up, but I am still happiest and better balanced when new work is created. It is tempting to market full time, but the writer work-ethic in me rebels.

My ideas for books follow my curiosity. How does it feel to be this character or that one? Could I live in this place or that climate? What if I had lived in those times, in that war, or among those gardens? What if my goal had been to be a race-car driver, or a ghost-hunter, or a forest ranger? While I yet live, the wonder of life keeps me intrigued.

When I’m not writing, I paint cartoonish pictures in oil and even watercolors. I love the control over colors. I paint in primary colors, heavy on the brush. After fifteen years of steady fictional work output, my family has pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that I’ll be writing on my death bed. One sister-in-law thought I might have missed a career as a painter, but she received one of my better oils.

I’ve completed 15 novels. The three historicals about Michigan and Ann Arbor history are my favorites. But the one I’m working on, editing or writing new scenes, always claims my heart. When an idea presents itself for a story, the title usually comes first and then the resolution. I think we all write with a purpose. Sure to entertain is required, but to last in the world of more books than people, the need to share an understanding of how life works and my belief in a Higher Power, Our Father’s presence in our lives motivates me.

Hiring my GirlFriday, Florence Price, has saved me from frustrating chores I don’t have the patience to learn. Such as my website design, promotion ideas and an increasing number of tasks I ask her to undertake.

I like being married better than living alone. Of course, I am married to the best man in the universe. I’m also thankful for moderate good health in old age. My grandchildren are perfect and my children claim every ounce of affection I own. Isn’t this  every woman’s dream?

Have you read any of my books on Amazon, yet? I’m on Linkedin and have two               Facebook pages. Feel free to contact me at rohn@comcast.net. My website is             www.rohnfederbush.com

NORTH PARISH BLURB

An Ann Arborite, Professor Silas Douglas, became the first president of Michigan’s Historical Society. He was a teenager who witnessed the 1818 Maumee River treaty signing by seven tribes for President Monroe’s Erie Canal. The names of the tribes and the individual natives have been preserved in the Ann Arbor Public Library.

North Parish follows the diplomats around the Great Lakes.

* * * * *

Book cover for North Parish by Rohn FederbushParish North is the blonde adopted son of a Huron native, and with his manhood-quest completed in time for his father’s trip with a Jesuit bishop, he’s allowed to participate in the efforts to secure powwow agreements from seven tribes around the Great Lakes for the building of the Erie Canal. During the trip, Parish recognizes his vision temptress in Dorothy Evans.

Hoping to join the delegation, Dorothy Evans dreams of escaping duties as her mother’s cook-helper at Fort Detroit. Exciting windows to the wider world open for the girl in the Fort’s Jesuit library. Two centuries worth of European books convince her everything good and pure comes from nature. And when Dorothy meets the blond native, Parish North, she feels her heart quicken when he smiles in her direction. She’s positive Parish is half of her future.

When a bishop assigned to the trip persuades Dorothy’s mother to allow him to chaperon her intelligent daughter on the trip to facilitate her education, Dorothy’s mother accepts his kind offer with the comforting knowledge that Dorothy is under the protection of a man of the Church. But the Bishop’s intentions may not be as pure as they appear and Dorothy’s virtue is in danger. Will the Bishop’s unholy plan succeed?

EXCERPT:
Fort Detroit, Fall, 1817

Cheers from the fort’s crowd drew sixteen-year-old Dorothy Evans to the river’s shore. Two high-ended Algonquin canoes from Lake Erie and a smaller French trapper’s canoe advanced toward them on the Detroit River. With each new shout, more yellow aspen leaves tumbled to the ground, crushed under the feet of soldiers and civilians rushing along the riverbank. The sober clothing of the throng clashed with the riotous colors of the maple trees.

A Chippewa runner had arrived the night before to warn, or rather to assemble the fort’s population for Bishop Pascal’s arrival. Father Sebastian, the Jesuit pastor, rose on his tiptoes to peer down river. Dorothy and her mother stood on either side of the nervous priest. Elizabeth’s short, plump figure advertised her success as the rectory’s cook. Dorothy considered herself a competent but reluctant cook’s helper.

Preparations for meals left little time to think, to read, to dream. She hurried through her daily chores to escape into the priest’s extensive library. For more than a hundred years, the Jesuits at Fort Detroit had collected Europe’s finest literature. The tomes whetted her appetite for adventure and romance.

As Dorothy waited for the Bishop, histories of Florence, its free thinkers, faces of popes and red-garbed cardinals swam in her head. The band of young and seasoned soldiers from the fort held no interest. They smelled, and treated her as the stuck-up cook’s daughter. She was only someone to hand out an extra cookie or two when their buddies weren’t around to tease. But in her secret heart, Dorothy was a mysterious spy, an adventurous temptress, a princess waiting to be rescued.

No hint of cardinal reds were in the approaching crafts, only more drab brown and black clothing. Dorothy sighed, breathed in the cool, tannic-scented air and prayed for patience as the ceremonies began. Her chores awaited and her fingers itched to re-open the Italian history she had set aside.

After the first boat emptied its passengers, a sergeant among the troops yelled, “Attention!”

The thirty or so men lined up, tucked in their shirts and squared their shoulders. The newly arrived, tall, mustached officer with soft gray eyes under menacing bushy eyebrows introduced himself to the sloppy, disgraceful bunch. “Lieutenant C. Louis Cass.” He returned their salute and marched past them taking time to point out an unbuttoned tunic, dusty boots, or straighten a jauntily placed cap. “Where is your commanding officer?”

“Abed.” A young private in the rear yelled without fear of detection.

“This way,” Father Sebastian motioned for the Bishop to follow the troops on the half-mile trek back to the fort.

Dorothy’s mother gestured for her to follow, but Dorothy shook her head. Elizabeth delayed and tidied her hair until Dorothy relented and drew closer for what she thought would be a reprimand. Her mother merely whispered. “They’re going to take more land from the natives. Mark my word.”

“Not again. Where will they let them farm now? Is that why the Bishop came?”

“Father says the seven tribes around the Great Lakes will be affected.” Elizabeth tucked a loose black strand of hair behind Dorothy’s ear. “I guess the Bishop thinks a missionary is needed to persuade the tribes to attend the new treaty powwow.”

Dorothy shook her head. “What chance do the natives have to survive, if they disagree?”

“Hurry back to help me.” Her mother scurried away to catch up to Father Sebastian.

Dorothy wandered closer to the river. Dark clouds threatened to stop the sunshine’s play with the sparkling waves. The second smaller canoe purposefully tread water in order not to be drawn ashore. Dorothy examined its crew. A tall, straight-backed Huron sat in the front of the boat. Behind him a younger native caught her eye. The shifting sunbeams highlighted the man’s blond hair. His face seemed lit from within.

His eyes dreamily swept the shoreline past her, then sharply returned as if he had been startled into remembering something. Something important.

Me, Dorothy thought. He’s looking at me. For a moment her breath seemed to stop.

She couldn’t help rushing forward to mingle among the native men helping the two pull the boat onto the sandy shore. The natives nearly bowed before the tall Huron. He spoke kindly to each. Did he personally know their families? Then he introduced the younger man to them, “My favored son.” The older man inclined his head proudly in the direction of the blond young man, whose ethereal bearing evoked the capability of walking on water.

Noticing Dorothy among the group, the older man said, “They call me Ponthe Walker.”

Dorothy nodded but could not keep her face turned away from the infinitely more interesting younger man.

“And my adopted son, Perish North.”

“I’m…I’m,” Dorothy was sure she’d never remember her own name. “Dorothy Evans. My mother is Elizabeth, the rectory cook.”

Perish stepped forward. “A pious believer then?”

Dorothy gained full use of her tongue. “More of a favorite doubter of the Lord’s. Like Saint Thomas? You know the one who had to put his hand in Jesus’ side before he would believe in the resurrection?”

Ponthe seemed to lose interest, but Perish didn’t move.

“I’ve just returned from my vision quest,” he said.

Dorothy believed he grew an inch before her eyes. She slipped a glance down to his boots to see if he’d stretched up on his toes. As she brought her gaze up, she noted his waist adornments, his broad shoulders covered in buckskin. His light blue eyes seemed bleached by the sun, or his vision.

“The manhood rite,” she said, trying not to check. A stiff breeze lifted her hair, cooling the nervous sweat on her brow.

“You’ve heard of the Midewiwins?” Perish took a step closer.

Dorothy could smell a scent of juniper. “I have, but aren’t you too young?”

Perish laughed.

A thrill passed through her at the clear, rich tones of his voice.

When his father began to lead the natives back to the Fort Detroit, Dorothy boldly pulled at Perish’s elbow. “Walk with me.”

Perish slowed to stroll beside her.

Dorothy smiled as winningly as she knew how. “Tell me.”

“I can only share Orenda’s vision message with family.” His face was serious but his eyes were friendly.

“Adopt me,” Dorothy said, then raced ahead of the group. Aware of her silliness, she knew her mother would be needing help.

*

Author, Rohn FederbushABOUT ROHN FEDERBUSH
Rohn Federbush retired as an administrator from the University of Michigan in 1999. She received a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing in 1995 from Eastern Michigan University. Frederick Busch of Colgate granted a 1997 summer stipend for her ghost-story collection. Michael Joyce of Vassar encouraged earlier writing at Jackson Community College, Jackson, Michigan in 1981. Rohn has completed fourteen novels, with an additional mystery nearly finished, 120 short stories and 150 poems to date.

Connect with Rohn Federbush at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ 

PURCHASE NORTH PARISH FROM:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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$15 Amazon Gift Card
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