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Review – Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley

Death Below StairsDeath Below Stairs is a historical mystery and it is set during the reign of Queen Victoria (after Albert died). It is the first in a new series.

Here’s the blurb:

Highly sought-after young cook Kat Holloway takes a position in a Mayfair mansion and soon finds herself immersed in the odd household of Lord Rankin. Kat is unbothered by the family’s eccentricities as long as they stay away from her kitchen, but trouble finds its way below stairs when her young Irish assistant is murdered.

Intent on discovering who killed the helpless kitchen maid, Kat turns to the ever-capable Daniel McAdam, who is certainly much more than the charming delivery man he pretends to be. Along with the assistance of Lord Rankin’s unconventional sister-in-law and a mathematical genius, Kat and Daniel discover that the household murder was the barest tip of a plot rife with danger and treason—one that’s a threat to Queen Victoria herself.

Review:

The main protagonist is Kat Holloway, a cook in Lord Rankin’s employ. Kat is new to the job, and she takes her work seriously. Her assistant is found dead—murdered—in the pantry, and Kat feels responsible for the girl. Everyone thinks the murder is a robbery gone wrong, but Kat thinks differently and starts to investigate. Along the way, she recruits people to help her learn who murdered Sinead—-her friend the mysterious Daniel, another friend of Daniel’s who is a whiz with math and accounts, and the eccentric Lady Cynthia who prefers to dress as a man.

Kat is a professional when it comes to her cooking and this book is full of interesting cooking details plus mentions of what the family ate for dinner. I enjoyed these fascinating snippets just as much as the mystery part of the plot.

The characters are fascinating since they run the gamut of social ladder, yet they pull together to solve the mystery of Sinead’s murder. Kat has strength and integrity while Daniel is a man of mystery. He loves and cares for his teenage son and it’s obvious he has a thing for Kat. The romantic thread between the two is subtle, but it’s there and made me happy.

The characters pull this story along and kept the plot moving at a steady pace until the climax when we discover why the murder happened and who did it. The plot kept me guessing and the way it intersected with the politics and problems of the time made this an entertaining read. If you enjoy historical mysteries with well-rounded characters and a fast-moving plot, you’ll enjoy Death Below Stairs as much as I did.

Scandal Above Stairs, book two in the series released recently, and I enjoyed that one just as much.

For a quick introduction to Kat and Daniel you can also check out A Soupcon of Poison, which is a short story.

A Soupcon of Poison – Amazon
Death Below Stairs – Amazon
Scandal Above Stairs – Amazon

The One Where Rosalind Snatches a Kiss

My-Sexy-Saturday-1024x226

Welcome to My Sexy Saturday, a fun blog hop. Here are the details: every Saturday, published and unpublished authors will be sharing 7 words, sentences, or paragraphs from a work-in-progress or an already published story.

My snippet this week comes from The Spurned Viscountess, a historical romance. Rosalind has an arranged marriage with Lucien, Viscount Hastings, and unfortunately Lucien isn’t interested in her. Rosalind is determined to grab security and have babies, so she isn’t going easy on poor Lucien. Something weird is happening at the castle and Rosalind is investigating. Lucien just happens to get in her way and she seizes the chance to further her cause. Just quietly, he doesn’t stand a chance!

MY SEXY SATURDAY:

Rosalind screwed up her face in a frown as she heard Hastings whistle to Oberon through the door. The black whickered softly in return. What was she going to say? What was she going to do? She imagined Hastings standing on the other side of the door. Excitement shot through her veins, despite her predicament.

The hinge creaked when the door opened. Rosalind watched with a combination of trepidation and anticipation. The gap widened to reveal Hastings’s shiny black boots, his mud-splattered stockings and breeches. Her eyes rose to his gray shirt and black jacket. Her mouth dried, her pulse pounding with expectancy, excitement. She swallowed and lifted her gaze to loose black hair and his…mouth. Finally, she met his astonished eyes.

Speak, she thought frantically. Quick before he asks what you are doing here. Distract. Attack. Something. Anything.

“You’re back,” she cried and planted a kiss on his beguiling lips.

He tensed. In shock or astonishment, Rosalind wasn’t sure but ceased to care. His lips were as soft as a baby’s skin. Her hands curled into his shoulders and she leaned into him, enjoying the play of hard muscles and the earthy masculine scent of him.

“What are you doing?” he demanded finally, pulling away enough to glare at her.

“I’m pleased to see you.” A stupid half-wit would sense his bewilderment. But along with confusion lay shocked enjoyment. And that, decided Rosalind, was a good thing.

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BLURB:

Cursed with the sight and rumors of witchcraft, Rosalind’s only chance at an ordinary life is marriage to Lucien, Viscount Hastings. She doesn’t expect love, only security and children of her own. Determined to go through with the wedding, she allows nothing she encounters at the gloomy Castle St. Clare to dissuade her.

Recently returned from the Continent, Lucien has no time for the English mouse his family has arranged for him to marry–not when he’s plotting to avenge the murder of his beloved Francesca. He has no intention of bedding Rosalind, not even to sire an heir.

Though spurned by her bridegroom, Rosalind turns to him for protection when she is plagued by mysterious accidents and haunted by terrifying visions. Forced to keep Rosalind close–and tempted into passionate kisses–Lucien soon finds himself in danger of falling in love with his own wife…

Purchase The Spurned Viscountess

To read more Sexy Saturday posts, check out the links at My Sexy Saturday

The King of Threadneedle Street

I bring you a historical with a very interesting title today—The King of Threadneedle Street. It was the title that grabbed my attention and made me look closer. Please welcome, Moriah Densley, and make sure you leave a comment to go into the draw to win some beautiful jewelry.

BBT The King of Threadneedle Street Banner copy

King of Threadneedle StreetTHE KING OF THREADNEEDLE STREET

By

Moriah Densley

BLURB:

He owns three shipping companies, a diamond mine, and his own castle.
He knows Portuguese, Hindu, Mandarin and Morse code.
His assets net thirteen million.

Lord Preston wants the one thing money can’t buy…

Andrew Tilmore, Lord Preston, the financial prodigy dubbed “The King of Threadneedle Street” wants the one prize out of reach: his childhood sweetheart. The papers can waste a sea of ink scandalizing over his lavender-eyed Alysia; so what if she is the daughter of his father’s mistress?

Alysia Villier learned the craft of the courtesan from her infamous mother―by osmosis apparently. A gifted artist who almost won the Prix de Rome, Alysia is not interested in following in her mother’s footsteps, since Andrew ruined her for any other man. But with her legal guardian—Andrew’s father―in control of her inheritance, she has little choice in the matter.

Keeping Alysia out of trouble and away from eager suitors becomes a cross-continental quest for Andrew. Not his old-fashioned family, the disapproval of the ton, nor even Alysia’s dedication to duty and propriety will stop him. Playing newspapers and investors like pawns, tumbling world markets, inciting riots… has he gone too far?

EXCERPT: Ballroom scene

After being threatened with ruin by Andrew Tilmore Lord Preston’s parents, Alysia Villier runs away to Paris. With the help of people she thinks are her friends, she makes a living as a painter and an artist’s model. The same night she learns she’s in danger, her knight in shining armor comes to the rescue…

Perhaps the people around her were speaking; she couldn’t say, for she was momentarily stunned and not sure why. Then she heard the voice again. A British, bass voice. “Excuse me, pardon.”

Was it her imagination? She shook her head.

Evigny and Ramsgate were pushed aside, and there stood Andrew, a head taller than the others and gloriously angry. Her heart stalled then kicked. She couldn’t breathe.

He gave her a low, formal bow. Pressed a slow kiss on the back of her gloved hand before turning it to press the palm to his face. Closed his eyes and inhaled deeply at her wrist. Grazed his nose along the inside of her forearm, as though hundreds of eyes were not observing.

One of the men nearby, probably Ramsgate, scoffed, “And without an introduction! Such presumption! Come now, who is—”

“We have met,” Andrew took her glass, and for the second time that evening, Leduc found himself holding it while another man cut in.

“Andrew.” Her voice caught, and her throat felt swollen. A dozen gasps sounded around her, seeming to echo.

She became aware of a chorus of lowered voices. “That is Lord Preston!” or jealously, “How does he know Miss Villier?” said as though her name meant horse manure.

“Lord Preston, The King of Threadneedle Street.”

“Lord Preston, youngest peer to sit in the House of Lords.”

All hail Lord Preston, the demi-god. Who should not be here.

She was suddenly conscious of how she must look to him, no longer the plump, modest country maiden to whom he had bid farewell over a year before. After a year of Madame Desmarais’ strict diet of vegetable juices, sprouts, and deprivation of sweets, Alysia was a noticeable one or two stone lighter. She thought she was an inch taller, as well.

But that wasn’t mortifying. Alysia resisted the urge to cover herself with her fan. She didn’t want him to see the pleated silver bodice in translucent gossamer, wasp-waist corset and low Parisian décolleté. Wisps of gossamer—a poor excuse for sleeves—sat low on her arms, exposing her shoulders and half her back. The cosmetics, the exotic perfume, her hair coiffed in semi-dishabille topped with jeweled combs…

She must truly look a harlot to him. Did he think so? He was certainly staring.

Ignoring the protests of her so-called admirers, he led her to the dance floor just in time for the next waltz, oblivious to her wooden movements. He pulled their dance position completely closed. Pressed against him from shoulder to knee — oh, the shock! His thighs rubbed hers, leading the steps as he had over a year before at his sister’s wedding. It seemed ages ago.

Constrained in the corset, she couldn’t draw a clear breath. If the dizziness grew worse, she would faint in his arms. At least his shoulder blocked her view of the room. Alysia had no desire to survey all the curious and accusing glares she knew were aimed at her.

Oh, why did Andrew have to appear this evening? She felt like an opium addict locked in a closet saturated with the scent, smoke, and juice. Tentatively his fingers moved over the exposed skin of her back, across her shoulders, blazing a sensation strangely like fire and ice together. His head turned a little and rested against hers. He hummed softly in her ear as though it was perfectly ordinary that they should be waltzing at a ball in Paris on a random autumn evening.

CONTEST: Go into a draw to win a genuine Victorian-style pearl jewelry set inspired by the book, including necklace, bracelet, and earrings. To receive more chances of winning follow the rest of Moriah’s The King of Threadneedle Street tour.

MEDIA KIT Reader Prize KTS_BlogTourPrizeJewelry_READER

AUTHOR INFORMATION:Moriah Densley

Moriah Densley sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and four children. Published in historical and paranormal romance, Moriah has a Master’s degree in music, is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist, 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award “Best First Book” finalist, and 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award finalist in historical romance. She loves hearing from readers!

LINKS

GIVEAWAY LINK (picture of Victorian-style jewelry set + entry info):

http://moriahdensley.com/2013/05/26/win-this-victorian-pearl-jewelry-set/

Website + blog: http://moriahdensley.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MoriahDensley

Twitter: http://twitter.com/moriahdensley

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/moriahdensley/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17826397-the-king-of-threadneedle-street

Available now in e-book:

Astraea Press

Amazon

B&N

Smashwords

Enticing The Spymaster by Julie Rowe

Today I’m thrilled to host Julie Rowe with her new release Enticing the Spymaster. A blend of historical and medical romance, Enticing the Spymaster is book two in Ms. Rowe’s War Girls series. The perfect read for historical romance lovers who want a change from Regency set romances!

 

Enticing the Spymaster Button RDB

Enticing the SpymasterEnticing the Spymaster
War Girls, Book Two

Julie Rowe

Genre: Historical romance, medical romance

Publisher: Carina Press

Date of Publication: June 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-14268-9556-2

ASIN: B00BZPJSV6

Number of pages: 153

Word Count: 34,000

Cover Artist: Millennium Promotions, Inc.

Amazon | Amazon Canada | B & N: http://bit.ly/ZxH4sL |

iTunes: http://bit.ly/XNVg2s

Book Description:

German-occupied Brussels, Belgium, April 1915

Judith Goddard is hiding in plain sight. A dual citizen with family ties to Belgian royalty and the British military, she works as a Red Cross nurse in a German hospital, learning what she can, ever fearful her true allegiance will be discovered.

British Expeditionary Force Captain Michael Lawrence is on a mission to rescue the daughter of his mentor. He doesn’t expect to find a strong beautiful woman in place of the naïve girl whose love he rejected years earlier.

Jude is shocked when Michael turns up in her hospital, wounded and in German uniform. Though he broke her heart, she agrees to flee Belgium with him—she has information about an imminent attack that she must deliver to the British War Office, before it’s too late.

Posing as a married couple, Jude and Michael journey to the border, in constant danger of discovery—and of giving in to their mutual passion…

clip_image004About the Author:

Julie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she’ll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, “No one would believe them!”. In addition to writing contemporary and historical medical romance, and fun romantic suspense for Entangled Publishing and Carina Press, Julie has a short story in the Mammoth Book of Medical Romance.

Her book SAVING THE RIFLEMAN (WAR GIRLS) won the novella category of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in several magazines such as Today’s Parent, Reader’s Digest (Canada), and Canadian Living.

You can reach her at www.julieroweauthor.com , on Twitter @julieroweauthor or at her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/JulieRoweAuthor

Website: www.julieroweauthor.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JulieRoweAuthor

Twitter: @julieroweauthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/julieroweauthor/character-inspiration/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5272597.Julie_Rowe

Review – Hero of My Heart by Megan Frampton

Hero of My Heart

In this emotional and powerfully erotic tale of love and redemption, a tender vicar’s daughter and a tortured war hero discover that sin may be their only salvation.

When Mary Smith’s corrupt, debt-ridden brother drags her to a seedy pub to sell her virtue to the highest bidder, Alasdair Thornham leaps to the rescue. Of course the marquess is far from perfect husband material. Although he is exceedingly handsome, with a perfect, strong body, chiseled jaw, and piercing green eyes, Alasdair is also too fond of opium, preferring delirium to reality. Still, he has come to Mary’s aid, and now she intends to return the favor. She will show him that he is not evil, just troubled.

Review:

Alasdair Thornham is a good man, but he’s addicted to opium. He finds himself in a pub where an auction is taking place. Mary Smith’s brother is selling off his virginal sister in order to earn money to pay his debts. Alasdair realizes something is wrong with the woman, suspects the use of drugs, and decides to act. He buys her, and thus starts an adventure that changes both of their lives. At first Mary fights the situation, but Alasdair decides they should travel to Scotland and get married.

Both Mary and Alasdair are great characters. Alasdair, in particular, is interesting and not your typical hero. He’s addicted to drugs, and although he doesn’t care about himself, he tries to do the right thing for Mary and to protect her with his name. Once she is safe, he’s determined to complete his downward spiral into drugs and oblivion. Mary will be his last good deed. Meanwhile, Mary hopes to go to London to find her missing mother—she’s recently discovered her mother is still alive and that her parents weren’t married—then she intends to disappear and leave her husband to his insanity. Both main characters have solid goals and set about trying to make them happen. But the stakes change when they make love. Gradually, their feelings for each other shift, and it was wonderful to watch.

The secondary characters—Mary’s brother and Alasdair’s cousin—are both determined to stop the marriage. They’re both motivated by greed and money, and make suitable villains, forcing our hero and heroine to take action.

Hero of My Heart is an unusual historical because it takes place away from the social scene of London. The hero and heroine attempt to steal in order to get what they need, and suffer the consequences when things go wrong. I liked the unexpectedness of this story, and enjoyed the closure at the end. An unusual and satisfying read that takes the reader on an emotional journey while two people learn what they want isn’t exactly what they need. Recommended.

ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hero of My Heart is out on 8 April 2013

Amazon  Barnes & Noble

13 Things to do with Ghosts and Ghost Hunters

The Victorian Lure

I’m thrilled to welcome Sky Purington, author of The Victorian Lure, a paranormal/time-travel/historical blend to my blog today. Since the hero of Sky’s book is a ghost hunter, I asked her to tell us a little about ghosts and ghost hunters today. Over to Sky.

13 Things To Do With Ghosts and Ghost Hunters

1. First and foremost, be logical minded and debunk before labeling paranormal. Many older houses have copper wiring and extremely high EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) readings. These homes affect sensitive people and make them see things that aren’t there, not to mention influence their health. If the EMF readings are off the charts, there’s a very good chance the home is not haunted. It’s highly recommended that the homeowner hire an electrician as soon as possible.

2. Be patient when ghost hunting. It’s not like what you see on TV. It often takes a full night of investigating to gain one nugget of evidence.

3. Have plenty of extra camera battery packs. Paranormal activity is well known to drain battery life in under a minute.

4. Record a disembodied voice with an EVP (Electro Voice Phenomena) recorder. When trying to get one, be sure to ask clear, concise questions and give the spirit time to answer.

5. Catch a fluctuation in the magnetic field with an EMF Detector. Before doing so, walk-through and establish all places that already have an EMF reading such as light fixtures, electrical outlets and wires in walls.

6. Feel first-hand what a cold spot is. This is a very small area that sharply drops in temperature for no reason. Chances are a spirit’s nearby.

7. See an orb (AKA-energy ball). These are unexplained circles that often appear in places reported to be haunted.

8. Witness unexplainable heat fluctuations in a thermal camera. Again, be sure to debunk first. Even rodents have a small heat signature.

9. Be sure to bring flashlights with screw-off tops. They’re a good tool for trying to get spirits to interact.

10. Bring along flour to sprinkle over places reported to have active disembodied footsteps. Makes for good potential evidence.

11. Capture doors that shut and open on their own. Another one to watch for debunking. Often times in old houses the floor is tilted and a person’s weight on the floorboards can make doors swing without being near them.

12. Catch a face in a window. That’s when things definitely get creepy. Don’t forget to rule out reflections caused from everyday things both indoors and outdoors.

13. See a full bodied apparition. This is as good as gold to ghost hunters. Have your camera handy so it’s captured on film! Smile

Do you think you’d like to go ghost hunting?

Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter Sky’s contest:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Victorian LureThe Victorian Lure

Calum’s Curse Ardetha Vampyre

Book 1

Sky Purington

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

ISBN: 1601549903

ASIN: B00654CY2W

Number of pages: 310

Word Count: 80,000 words

Amazon Barnes & Noble

Book Description:

Is it true love…or is the magnetic pull just another part of the Victorian’s lure?
Dakota Allerton depends on no one but herself, but then she’s never needed a ghost hunter. When her dream home becomes a house of horrors that is holding her hostage, her only hope is a Scotsman who investigates the paranormal.
The supernatural is nothing Leathan Stewart can’t handle. However, trapped in Dakota’s cursed Victorian home, he finds himself falling back in time. Only those who persevere can survive the dark domination.
Fear has a way of drawing two people together…but so does the need to be loved. Dakota and Leathan must fight against unknown enemies, discover the secrets of Calum’s Curse and defeat a vampire bent on finishing the legacy it began.


Sky Purington

Author Bio:

Best-selling author, Sky Purington lives in southern New Hampshire with her son and husband. The written word has been her obsession from the very beginning. Purington writes time-travel paranormal/fantasy romance heavily influenced by history.

From Irish Druids to Scottish Highlanders many of her novels possess strong Celtic elements. More recently, her vampire stories take the reader to medieval England and ancient Italy.

Enjoy strictly paranormal romance? Sky’s latest novels follow three haunted houses in New England and the sexy ghost hunters determined to make sense of them. Make no mistake, in each and every tale told you’ll travel back to another time and revisit the romanticism history holds at its heart.

Sky loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at Sky@SkyPurington.com Interested in keeping up with Sky’s latest news and releases? Visit Sky’s Website, www.skypurington.com to download her FREE App on iTunes and Android.

Website: www.skypurington.com

A Writer’s Mind Blog: www.skypuringtonwrites.blogspot.com

Sky’s Paranormal Blog: http://paranormalromancedeepdarkanddelicious.blogspot.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/skypurington

Facebook: www.facebook.com/skypurington

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1228627.Sky_Purington

Oooh, Baby! with Kris Starr

Thursday Thirteen

Greetings, all! Kris Starr here. I write erotic romance and erotica, and I am so very happy to be hanging out today at Shelley’s blog – thanks, Shelley, for the opportunity!

Lovely by Kris StarrI am also thrilled to be a Carina Press author along with Shelley and a bunch of other absolutely fabulous folks. There are some great books available from CP, so if you haven’t checked ‘em out yet, do so! My novella is called Lovely, and it’s an erotic historical set in Paris in 1900.

But I’ll get to that shortly.

Lovely launched on June 21st, and as some of you may know, I got the best launch-day gift ever. On June 22nd, I gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl. So needless to say I am slightly brain-dead as a result, and I hope you can forgive me if this blog post meanders into the realm of “WTF is she talking about??”

Shelley suggested a baby-related TT, and I figured, that’s a great idea, and hey, how hard can it be to come up with thirteen baby items?

Um, remember that brain-dead comment from earlier?

Yeah.

But I did plug along, so without further ado, here’s your Thursday Thirteen!

1. Your brain somehow atrophies with the birth of your child. Or disintegrates. Or completely vanishes. Or, or…something. Whatever it is, I forget.

2. Time becomes like something out of an episode of Star Trek – before baby arrives you’ve got more of the damned stuff than you know what to do with. You read books! Spend time on your hobbies! Linger over lunches with friends! After baby arrives you can barely squeeze in five minutes for yourself to have a shower, toss in a (neverending) load of laundry or unload the dishwasher – and which activity you choose can be determined by whether you have any underwear left, just how gross your hair has become, or if there are any plates in the cupboard.

3. You no longer have anxiety dreams about appearing naked in your high school chemistry class, late for your final exam – you now dream about forgetting/losing/dropping the baby.

4. Five straight hours of unbroken sleep is the most decadent, delightful thing on the face of the planet.

5. You can no longer go anywhere without fifteen minutes of prep time before you go out the door, and you now must lug seventy-three extra things with you. Every single time. Because if you don’t have extra diapers, wipes, burp cloths and clothing with you, you’re screwed.

6. It’s only when you’ve got the baby bundled up in a wrap/carrier that she spits up all over herself…and you.

7. Along the same vein as #6 — all known infant bodily fluids (drool, poop, pee and spitup) now become a part of your regular, everyday life and you are guaranteed to get at least one of them (more likely two or three) on you on a daily basis.

8. And along the same vein as #6 and #7 — you thank whatever higher power/spiritual being you believe in that you have access to a washer and dryer and are not required to scrub baby clothing and other items on rocks in the riverbed.

9. Just as you sit down to dinner, the baby begins to fuss. You forget just what hot food and/or eating with the rest of your family feels like.

10. Forget makeup, hairstyling and dressy clothes. Now it’s sweats and tees, ponytails or headbands and that “natural” look. For all occasions.

11. A receiving blanket or burp cloth becomes a fashion statement that goes with anything. Trust me. Bunnies, daisies and hearts are hot this season.

12. Sex? What’s that?

But most importantly…

13. There is nothing more beautiful or precious on this planet than the sweet, tiny angel asleep in your arms, and you realize every time you look at her just how lucky and blessed you really are.

And that none of the other stuff matters in the least.

Now, to Lovely…

As mentioned earlier, Lovely is set in Paris in 1900, and it’s the story of a prostitute named Angelique. Here’s the blurb:

They call me Lovely. But I know I am not.

Once I had another name. Now, as Angelique, I do what I can to please les messieurs. What would they say if they knew I felt no pleasure? To them I am wanton, insatiable. I alone know the truth.

So I am mystified by my reaction to my latest caller. Alexandre. Handsome. Well-bred. With an air of innocence that intrigues me. And true pain in his eyes. A mere kiss on the hand inflames me as never before. In moments this man disconcerts me like no other, and soon I can think of nothing, no one else. And yet, he barely touches me.

I know my true purpose is to mend his wounds, but I wonder what lustful appetites are buried deep within him. I will do what I can to discover his secrets…

Lovely is available now from Carina Press.

Well, the baby is starting to fuss in her cradle, so that means it’s time for me to wrap up. Thanks again to Shelley for having me, and I hope you’ll swing by my blog or shoot me an email and say hello or let me know what you thought of Lovely! You can also follow me on Twitter (I don’t Tweet much yet – I’m still trying to get the hang of it in general. That brain thing, y’know?).

Cheers!
Kris

Kris’ Bio:
Kris lives in the wilds of Northern Canada with her two daughters and science geek husband. She spends her time attempting to control household chaos, indulging her crafty side with various knitting, sewing and miscellaneous handmade projects, and creating stories for Carina Press and Ellora’s Cave. Kris has been writing since the age of ten, beginning with a Nancy Drew-style mystery story featuring herself and a couple of her friends. Future leanings became clear, however, when she started penning naughty stories for high-school friends, featuring Scott Baio, Rick Springfield or any member of Duran Duran.

Kris’ blog
Twitter ID
Kris’ email

CONTEST: Everyone who comments on Kris’s post will go into a draw to win a download of Lovely. Tell us about your baby memories, comment on Kris’s baby thirteen or about her new release, Lovely

Amorous Antics

Thursday Thirteen

I mentioned earlier this week that I’m doing some research into Regency England. What started me on this path? I picked up a copy of The Amorous Antics of Old England by Nigel Cawthorne when I last visited the library. Reading it sparked a story idea.

I give you thirteen tidbits from The Amorous Antics of Old England.

1. Dating agencies are not a new thing. Matrimonial clubs were set up as early as 1700 where members aided each other to make a good match.

2. Bundling was practiced widely until the 19th century. During the colder months when a household retired early, a young lover would go to bed with his intended. The young couple were expected to keep on their clothes. Sometimes the girl was sewn into a bundling sack so that things wouldn’t progress too far. Of course this bundling procedure didn’t always go according to plan!

3. In old Scotland a couple could get engaged by going to a nearby stream at night, washing their hands in its waters and then joining hands across it. Poet Robert Burns was betrothed to Mary Campbell this way.

4. Originally an engagement ring was three rings held together by a small rivet. Together they were called a gimmal. At the engagement, one part was given to the man, one to the woman and the third to a close friend who witnessed the betrothal. They would wear the three parts until the wedding, where the gimmal was recombined to make the bride’s wedding ring.

5. During Anglo-Saxon times, if a man had many daughters he was deemed rich because there were many women in his household to do the cooking and cleaning, raise crops and tend livestock. When he lost a daughter to marriage, he needed compensation in the form of a mund or purchase price.

6. In the north of England, young men who attended a wedding vied to pluck the garter from the leg of the bride as soon as the ceremony was over. The bride wore special ribbon garters, which were easily detached. She also wore them low on her leg to discourage over familiar hands. As part of the deal the bride was meant to scream and run away. Sometimes the young men knocked the bride over in the melee.

7. In old England, women wore charms around their necks to preserve their virtue. This meant both charm and virtue could be dispensed with easily!

8. If an Englishman was cuckolded, he advertised the fact. A ship’s captain found his wife in a compromising situation with one of his sailors. He had her stripped naked and put astride a mast with her lover on the other side. They were them bedecked with streamers and carried around East London. A band and a crowd of onlookers followed.

9. Wife selling was another way to deal with an adulterous or unsatisfactory wife. They were sold through small ads in newspapers. Sometimes a husband was disposed of in the same manner, although this was rarer.

10. Prostitution was big in London. It wasn’t necessary to pick up a girl on the street. A book called Harris’ List of Convent Garden Ladies was published with around 80 women appearing in each edition. The listings included their name, physical attributes, specialties and charges. Around 8000 copies of the book were sold of each edition.

11. In the 18th Century there were brothels catering to women as well. The owners would often cater to women of a better class who wished to amuse themselves with young male clients.

12. In the late 18th century, it was widely believed that the cure for venereal disease was to have sex with someone unaffected. This led to the rape of a large number of underage girls.

13. When James I came to the throne, he introduced sumptuous new fashions. He also passed an act requiring young women to be seen in public with their breasts exposed to the nipple. This was seen as a sign of their virginity. In the court of Charles II, women who weren’t virgins exposed their necks, shoulders, arms and breasts. This was condemned.

So, who wants to time travel?