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Archive for November, 2014

Walking Down the Avenue – Going Back in Time to 18th Century England

My Sexy Saturday

This week’s theme is Sexy Down the Avenue. We’re sure you’re wondering just what we mean by this. When picking themes for the rest of the year, we realized that we hadn’t picked anything historical in a while. Sexy Down the Avenue reminds us of carriage rides in London or any European city. Of course, it could be any other sexy historical setting as well. Say American West or maybe even the Russian Court. Maybe we’re talking about what it was like in Australia or the South Pacific or…yes, the possibilities are endless…

I love historical romances. I have two favored eras that draw me: World War II and 18th Century England. Both are time periods that I have to really search for when I want to read a historical romance. Right, I decided. If I can’t find the right books, I’ll just have to write them myself.

You can find my historical romances on my book page.

Today I thought I’d feature Mistress of Merrivale, a book set in 18th century England. The hero is a plain mister (although he owns land) and the heroine is an ex-mistress. Not your typical characters. They enter into an arranged marriage—one with benefits for both and the scene I’m featuring is when they’re just getting to know each other. The spark is present, and they’re ready to fan the attraction into something more Smile

“There aren’t any ghosts hanging around the manor?” Despite the lovely evening and his presence, a preternatural nippiness kept her glancing over her shoulder.

“None that I know of,” he said. “But the servants will tell you of ghosts and spirits wandering the moors. Witches and goblins and even the odd dragon.”

“Now you’re trying to scare me.”

A rusty chuckle came from him. “I was aiming for romantic. Don’t most women enjoy a romantic tryst with their husbands?”

“Yes.” Jocelyn sensed he was trying to put her at ease. He wanted her to feel happy in their marriage. The knowledge soothed her dread, and she pressed closer, her reservations about Arabella fading under his attentions. “I’ve heard it said a kiss adds to the romance.”

He stopped abruptly and turned to face her. Shadows screened his face, making her guess at his expression. Her pulse beat a little faster. He cupped her face, and lowered his head until his breath warmed her lips.

“Mr. Sherbourne.” She laced her hands behind his neck and rose on tiptoe to reduce the inches separating them. Their lips met, tentatively, then with decadent warmth. Heat and sensation darted along her veins, and she pressed against his chest, straining to move as close as possible. Her breasts brushed his vest, shooting awareness, yearning through her body. Proof. This area of their marriage wouldn’t prove a problem, despite the contrasting unease fluttering in the pit of her belly.

Mistress of Merrivale

BLURB:

A marriage of convenience…full of inconvenient secrets.

Jocelyn Townsend’s life as a courtesan bears no resemblance to the life she envisioned in girlish dreams. But it allows her and her eccentric mother to live in relative security—until her protector marries and no longer requires her services.

Desperate to find a new benefactor, one kind enough to accept her mother’s increasingly mad flights of fancy, Jocelyn is nearly overwhelmed with uncertainty when a lifeline comes from an unexpected source.

Leo Sherbourne’s requirements for a wife are few. She must mother his young daughter, run his household, and warm his bed. All in a calm, dignified manner with a full measure of common sense. After his late wife’s histrionics and infidelity, he craves a simpler, quieter life.

As they embark on their arrangement, Leo and Jocelyn discover an attraction that heats their bedroom and a mutual admiration that warms their days. But it isn’t long before gossip regarding the fate of Leo’s first wife, and his frequent, unexplained absences, make Jocelyn wonder if the secrets of Merrivale Manor are rooted in murder…

Warning: Contains mysterious incidents, a mad mother who screeches without provocation, scheming relatives, and a captivating husband who blows scorching hot and suspiciously cold. All is not as it seems…and isn’t that delicious?

Samhain Publishing| Amazon| All Romance ebooks| Barnes & Noble| Koboicon| iBooks| Google Play|

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13 Events From This Week in London History

 

Thursday Thirteen

I’m currently reading The London Book of Days by Peter de Loriol. For my TT this week, I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of some of the things that happened this week in London history.

Thirteen Events from London History

1. Nov 24 1434 – There was a severe frost. The cold snap continued until Feb 1435 and the river Thames froze over. Frost fair alert!

2. Nov 24 1740 – A man called William Duell was hanged at Tyburn. His body was prepared for dissection by surgeons, but they found he was still breathing! They ended up deporting him instead.

3. Nov 25 1944 – World War two is in full swing. By this date 251 V2 bombs had been dropped on London. The first V2 bomb was dropped on 8 Sep 1944.

4. Nov 25 1952 – A murder mystery play called The Mousetrap, written by Agatha Christie, opened at the New Ambassadors Theatre. This show is still running in London at St Martin’s Theatre. I’ve seen the show twice and loved it both times.

5. Nov 26 1703 – A hurricane struck London. It ripped off roofs, destroyed spires and turrets and forced ships from their moorings.

6. Nov 26 1962 – The Beatles recorded their single Please Please Me at the Abbey Road Studios.

7. Nov 26 1969 – Margaret Thatcher said in an interview, “No woman in my time will be Prime Minister…Anyway, I would not want to be Prime Minister, you have to give yourself 100 percent.”

8. Nov 26 1983 – Gold bars worth 26 million pounds were stolen from Brink’s-Mat security warehouse at Heathrow Airport. The resulting investigation took almost 10 years and most of the gold was never found.

9. Nov 29 1814 – The Times newspaper was printed by steam instead of manual power. The steam printing press could print 1100 sheets an hour.

10. Nov 29 1855 – A public meeting was held at Willis’s Rooms to raise funds for what became the Nightingale School of Nursing.

11. Nov 29 1934 – Prince George, Duke of Kent married Princess Marina of Greece at Westminster Abbey.

12. Nov 30 1016 – King Edmund II of England was reputedly stabbed in the bowels whilst in the outhouse. He died on the same day.

13. Nov 30 1936 – A small fire at Crystal Palace, Sydenham raged out of control and destroyed the entire building. 88 fire engines were deployed to fight the fire. Melted glass was everywhere.

The London Book of Days is a really interesting book full of snippets about London history. If you enjoy history, you’ll love flicking through this book.

Holy Tomatoes!

A few weeks ago hubby planted two tomato plants in tubs and put them in our patio area. I’m in charge of watering and have been diligently doing my job. They’ve grown like Jack’s beanstalk and look really healthy. No fruit setting yet, but the two plants have heaps of flowers.

Tomatoes

The strawberries are also growing well. They’re huge this year, and I’ve just been out to the garden to pick a bowl full. Delicious!

Part-Time Lovers is due out at Samhain Publishing today. If you enjoyed Farmer Wants a Wife then you’ll want to read Part-Time Lovers since this book features Nolan Penrith, and he finally finds love. Read an excerpt for Part-Time Lovers here.

Recipe: Lavosh Crackers

Lavosh Crackers

I’ve been looking for a cracker recipe for ages – something to eat with cheese or to serve with a dip. This is one of Annabel Langbein’s recipes. I’ve made it several times now and the end result is always good. These are moreish! They’re also very easy to make.

Ingredients:

1 cup plain white flour

1/3 cup wholemeal flour

2 Tablespoons black sesame seeds

2 Tablespoons white sesame seeds

1 Tablespoon fresh oregano (chopped) or substitute dried and reduce amount to 1 teaspoon

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 cup water

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 165 C.

2. Place dry ingredients, seeds and herbs into a bowl.

3. Mix the oils and water together and add to dry ingredients. Mix to a dough.

4. Split dough into four and roll out each part as thin as possible.

5. Cut into strips and each strip into a cracker size.

6. Bake on a baking paper-covered tray until crisp and golden – about 15 – 18 minutes.

7. Cool and store in an airtight container.

 

Shelley’s notes:

1. I didn’t have any sesame oil and used all olive oil in my crackers.

2. I’ve substituted other herbs such as rosemary and other spices such as cumin seeds. Ms Langbein suggests chili or parmesan.

3. Hubby made this recipe and rolled the dough through the pasta machine to make it extra thin. I use the rolling pin. Winking smile

Seven Signs That Summer is Here

Pohutukawa tree

Signs that summer and Christmas are really on the way…

1. Some of our native pohutukawa trees have burst into flower. The trees growing near the sea have started to flower and the others closer to our home should start flowering soon. The pohutukawa tree is known as New Zealand’s Christmas tree.

2. Daylight saving has kicked in and our days are longer. We’re starting to take the puppy for a walk after dinner.

3. All the local malls have put up their Christmas decorations.

4. I heard Snoopy’s Christmas (one of my fave Christmas songs) for the first time today.

5. I received an email from one of my favorite cafes telling me I’ll receive a free muffin since it’s my birthday. My birthday is at the beginning of December and slap-dab in summer.

6. Some days it’s hot enough to wear shorts. Now all I have to do is make sure my legs are silky smooth!

6. The strawberries are ready to pick. Yum!

What is the first sign of summer for you? And if you’re in the Northern hemisphere – what is the first sign of winter for you?

Exiting The Dark Tunnel

For the last few weeks – well, since I arrived back from holiday really—I’ve been working crazy hard on my writing. I’m finally almost out of the tunnel with some completed books in hand.

Fringe Benefits, one of my older titles, is now out with a pretty new cover.

Fringe Benefits Fringe Benefits

 

Claimed & Seduced, the second book in my House of Cats series is on the home stretch and should be available for purchase in late November/early December.

ShelleyMunro_ClaimedandSeduced200

BLURB:

Shapeshifter Prince Jarlath Leandros of Viros is a man who understands duty. As heir, he’s had his future as leader of the House of the Cat mapped since childhood. Boring! Jarlath yearns for an indefinable more.

Keira Cloud is beautiful and sexy, she’s independent and confident, and not only is she an enemy from the House of Cawdor, but her stepchildren accuse her of murder. Not a suitable woman for the prince, but Jarlath aches to claim her.

When the House of the Cat comes under attack, Jarlath is thrust into the middle of danger where life or death is the only option. A war is brewing, one that brands Jarlath and Keira enemies, yet their hearts shout otherwise and their animal selves—the leopard and the crow—care nothing for conventional barriers. Right or wrong, passion blooms out of control and with the city under siege soon Jarlath’s life is anything but boring. Now all he needs to do is survive…

 

I’ve also been working on a Christmas story called Merry & Seduced. This is part of the House of the Cat series and features the cast of characters from Captured & Seduced as they visit Earth for Christmas. It should be out shortly after Claimed & Seduced.

ShelleyMunro_MerryandSeduced_200

BLURB:

All roads lead home at Christmas…

Cyborg Amme Vanak is wired to care for children and since her current charge is grown, she’s feeling edgy. She’s hoping a Christmas visit to Earth with her friends will offer distraction and maybe even a fling with a sexy Earthman before she flies on to Viros for a new adventure.

Wealthy entrepreneur Marcus Polo is single with a rockin’ social life until an unexpected Christmas gift throws his existence into chaos. A chance meeting with exotic Amme deepens his turmoil. She might be the solution to his problem, but she’s different from his exes, and she pushes every one of his sexual buttons.

Amme is torn. Marcus Polo is handsome and kind and so, so attractive. Even better, it seems the fascination is mutual. Amme is having a ball on Earth, but as departure day creeps closer, she becomes increasingly conflicted about leaving. Then there’s the whole alien thing. Somehow, she doesn’t think Earth and Marcus are ready to accept aliens are fact and not science fiction.

Warning: Contains a bunch of aliens intent on relaxing and enjoying a New Zealand Christmas, some canoodling under the mistletoe and addictions to chocolate.

Along with these three books, I have a new release on 25 November from Samhain Publishing. Part-Time Lovers is Nolan’s story, and he certainly meets his match in Yvonne.

After all this writing, I’m hoping I’ll have more time to do some baking and experiment with some new recipes. I’ll definitely have more time to blog Smile

I’m Too Sexy – Fringe Benefits

My Sexy Saturday

The theme for My Sexy Saturday is I’m Too Sexy. While the following excerpt doesn’t fit the bill one hundred percent, I wanted to feature Fringe Benefits this week since it’s a new release.

A whisper of sensation across one breast stirred her. Suspecting a fly, she swished a lazy hand. Then warm, wet suction closed around her nipple and her eyes flew open.

Kelvin pulled away to smile at her, a slightly lopsided smile with a heap of charm, and her pulse rate went from speedy to fast and choppy.

“I couldn’t resist. I love your breasts. A big handful of sexy.” His dark brown eyes challenged her, dared her to tell him to stop.

As if. Marie wanted to grab him by the ears and direct his mouth back to her breast. She wanted to bossily order him to suck her nipple hard in easy, rhythmic pulls that would echo in her pussy and start the journey to pleasure. Instead, she cleared her throat. “You okay?”

A shadow crossed his face. “It’s Friday and a long weekend. Why shouldn’t I be okay?”

Neat avoidance of her question. If he didn’t want to talk about Saffron, fine. “Have you seen my bikini top? I couldn’t find it.”

“I like you better without.” Mischief lit his eyes as his fingers, callused from his carpentry job, drifted across the lower curve of her breast. A prickle of heat shot from the spot he touched to settle in an ache between her legs. As they watched, her nipple pulled to a crest. “Much better,” he murmured with masculine appreciation, then lifted his gaze to hers. “Pretty blue eyes, curly brown hair.” He tugged a lock and watched it spring back into shape. “A hell of a way to improve my day.”

Fringe Benefits

BLURB:

Flatmates. Best friends. Casual lovers.

Life’s good—a friends-with-benefits deal works perfectly with her male flatmates, but Marie Wright secretly craves more. A hot threesome. Erotic pleasure. Silken touches from both Shane and Kelvin. One hot summer day the sensual tension explodes between the three friends. For Marie each caress is a slice of ecstasy. It’s seductive magic, and she’s bewitched. Momentary pleasure isn’t enough. She wants a future with her lovers—a permanent ménage a trois—but if she makes a wrong move, she might irreparably destroy their friendship and lose everything.

Purchase links:

iBooks NZ| iBooks US| Amazon| Barnes & Noble| Kobo|All Romance ebooks|

 

To check out other My Sexy Saturday snippets, follow the links below:

A Day of Firsts ~ Part-Time Lovers

MSS_button 250x250

The theme this week is Sexy First. My next release, Part-Time Lovers, is due out on 25 November, so I thought I’d feature that this week. Yvonne and Nolan used to be lovers, but they’re not anymore…

A little introduction:

Yvonne is at work in the local cafe. It’s been busy and her feet are sore.

A flood of whispers stormed the café. Stray words struck Yvonne like bullets. Farmer. Reality show. Susan. Nolan.

“Yvonne.” The familiar masculine voice hurled her into the past…

A dark bedroom.

Naked bodies sliding together.

Mind-numbing touches.

Pleasure storming her body, culminating in sweet, sweet bliss.

Stellar sex. Superior and awesome and stellar sex.

Part-Time Lovers

BLURB:

The heart’s best defense is a lusty offense.

Clare Chronicles, Book 1

Now that Nolan Penrith is finished with the Farmer Wants a Wife reality show, he’s ready to get back to the farm and a normal life free of publicity. Normal also means resuming his relationship with divorced, solo mother Yvonne McDonald.

Except she seems determined to resist any talk of reconciliation. On to plan B: woo her to his way of thinking. And if persuasion includes plenty of raunchy sex, he’s ready to man up.

Yvonne McDonald might still have feelings for Nolan, but she resents the way he expects to pick up right where they left off. Still, she’s a healthy woman with a body that—damn it—melts for him, so maybe she can twist this situation to suit her needs.

All she needs to do is hold her heart out of reach, hold her head high, and enjoy his brand of lusty sex without a care in the world. Easy-peasy. At least until her plan gets a little kink in it…

Warning: Contains hot country loving between an arrogant, sexy farmer and a woman who intends to prick his confidence and slap him down—her way!

Pre-order now:

Samhain Publishing| Amazon| Koboicon| All Romance| iBooks| Barnes & Noble

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Date Night. Speed Dates. What fun!

My Sexy Saturday

The theme for My Sexy Saturday this week is Date Night. When I thought about it, my characters aren’t daters. They often start off as friends and know each other well or else they’re charging around outer space, blasters in hand, trying to stay alive. Not the time or the place for a date!

Then I thought about a scene from The Bottom Line where the group of friends go Speed Dating. Close enough, I thought, so I give you an excerpt featuring Maggie speaking with one of her speed dates.

Saved by the bell. Surely the dates couldn’t be all as bad as Stewart?

She slipped into the next seat and smiled a welcome. To her relief he wasn’t as bad. He just wasn’t very interesting either. Her mind drifted to spanking and her blog.

“Is there anything you’d like to know about me?” he asked. “Maggie?”

“Yes, what do you think of the idea of spanking in a consenting adult relationship?”

The man’s mouth opened and closed before he replied. “Spanking? During sex, you mean?”

“That’s right,” Maggie said in a crisp voice. She almost felt sorry for him. Almost.

“I haven’t thought about it,” he said. “Er…I suppose I could try it. What would you spank me with? Would it hurt?”

The Bottom LineHere’s the blurb for The Bottom Line, the first in my Love and Friendship series:

Spicing up her sex life sounds exciting…until the fantasy hits the fan.

When Maggie Drummond buys an erotic romance novel by mistake, she gets more than an unexpected eyeful. She gets an introduction to a world that arouses her to a fever pitch: Spanking.

Her boyfriend isn’t interested in pushing his vanilla-flavored sexual boundaries. Then there’s Connor Grey, who haunts her fantasies like a magical genie. As a source of masculine advice for her and her female friends, he’s off limits. The only safe place to explore her fetish is her anonymous blog.

The recent changes in Maggie don’t escape Connor’s notice. Now that her boyfriend has dropped her, he can finally—carefully—make his move. Given his family history, laying a hand on any woman, even in fun, is a line he’s reluctant to cross. But for Maggie? Anything the lady wants.

As Maggie gives in to the temptation to let Connor add some sin to her life, she finds herself juggling lies, half-truths, friendship and sensual delights. Her job is in jeopardy—and she’s falling in love. Exploring her fantasy is one thing, but she’s beginning to question if indulging her own pleasure is worth the cost to everyone around her. Especially Connor…

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