Secret Realm New Year’s blog hop

BookcoverCCC2The contest is over, but Hand-Turned Tales is still free. Read on to find out more.

Welcome to my blog.

Whether you are hopping through the blogs or are a regular visitor to these pages, today you can enter to win here, and click on through the blogs to enter for more great prizes. Or go to the event page, here.

Happy New Year. In 2016, I’m planning to publish at least three novels, plus at least two novellas and other shorter stories and vignettes. First up is a surprise with the Bluestocking Belles in March, to be announced in February (so watch for it. In May, I’m releasing Embracing Prudence, which tells the story of Prue and her colleague and lover David the thief taker—sorry: David prefers the term enquiry agent.

farewell to kindness RGB2I hope you’ll join me often in 2016 to talk about books, and writing, and historical research.

Would you like to win Candle’s Christmas Chair, Farewell to Kindness, or A Baron for Becky? I’m giving away twelve ebooks through a Rafflecopter. To enter, all you have to do is read the excerpt below and answer the question. You’ll get a bonus entry for subscribing to my newsletter, and another for following me on Amazon. When Rafflecopter chooses the 12 winners, I’ll send them a message asking which books they want.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s the excerpt, from A Baron for Becky.

A Baron for BeckyBecky and Sarah were waiting when Lord Overton arrived at two o’clock, just as he had promised. Becky paused on the doorstep. He had borrowed a curricle from Aldridge; she recognised the horses. It would be a tight fit for the three of them.

Sarah had no such qualms, and was already down in the street, renewing her acquaintance with Prince and Brown Beauty, chattering away to the groom Lord Overton had also borrowed, another old acquaintance.

“We’ll tuck Sarah between us where she will be warm, and out of the wind,” Lord Overton said, correctly interpreting her concern. “Neither of you are large. We will fit.”

It was a tight fit, and at first Sarah shrunk away from Lord Overton. Soon, though, she was telling him everything she knew about the horses, as they made their way through the streets to the park, the groom up behind.

With his focus divided between Sarah and the horses, Becky was free to watch him, and to wonder what life would be like as his wife. If he continued to be kind and respectful, if he were not putting on an act, if this plan of Aldridge’s worked…

By the end of the drive, Sarah and Lord Overton were friends, and he cemented the friendship by producing sugar cubes for her to feed the horses. She went to her governess and the schoolroom in full charity with him.

Lord Overton stood in the hall, smiling, watching her skip up the stairs.

“Do you intend to charm me by charming my daughter, Lord Overton?” Becky challenged.

He turned, laughing. “Is it working, Mrs Winstanley?” Then, serious again, “But no, I wanted to charm her, as you call it, for her own sake. Is she always so quiet and good?”

“She does not take easily to strangers,” Becky said. Sarah had reason to be wary, and Becky would do well to remember it. Still, Lord Overton’s attempt to win Sarah’s favour was more to his credit than not.

He returned for dinner that night, and it became the pattern for their days: an outing in the afternoon, dinner in the evening, and afterwards, cards, chess, or reading together. And they talked. Lord Overton had read many of the same books she enjoyed. He agreed with her views on enclosure. She did not share his confidence in the military genius of General Wellesley, but acknowledged that his own background as an army officer gave him the edge in judging such a thing.

She asked about his estate, and about his daughters, who would be her daughters, too. Perhaps. If she dared…

And at night in her bed, she wondered whether his shoulders were as broad, his hips as slender, as they looked.

Hand-Turned Tales2I also have a free book for you. Hand-Turned Tales contains three short stories and a novella. Just click on the link to find some of the eretailers where you can download it. And I’ll give away a print copy of Hand-Turned Tales to a random commenter.

But the hop isn’t over. There are more great prizes today, and even more in the days to come.

So thank you for visiting, and good luck at Lauren Royal’s website, on the next stop.

Or link back to the event page, here.

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Christmas Party Blog Hop

On 20th December (or 21st if you’re my side of the date line) I’m joining 24 other authors to invite you to join us and our characters on a Christmas party in the blogosphere.

XMASbloghop

More news, and the list of places to party, will follow, but I just wanted to ask you whether you’d rather:

  1. visit with Candle Avery, his mother, and his nabob uncle for Christmas 1804. Candle’s love story, which I’ve been publishing as a serial while I wrote it, will be launched during the party, and will be free to download. It is set in the months leading up to Christmas 1805, so the possible blog post would be a prequel.
  2. have a description of the kind of games played at Christmas house parties in the late Georgian era.

(Or both. I have trouble with making choices, so often choose both.)

Thank you to the lovely Helen Hollick, author of the Sea Witch Chronicles, for organising the blog hop and inviting me to join.

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