Yesterday, the Bluestocking Belles announced the name of our 2017 box set, out in time for holiday reading on November 1. You’ve heard me talking about my story for the set: Forged in Fire. Here’s the description of the book as a whole, and of each story in it.
Eight authors and eight different takes on four dramatic elements selected by our readers—an older heroine, a wise man, a Bible, and a compromising situation that isn’t.
Set in a variety of locations around the world over eight centuries, welcome to the romance of the Bluestocking Belles’ 2017 Holiday Anthology.
It’s Never Too Late to find love.
25% of proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.
(Read on below the buy links for individual story blurbs.)
Preorder Links (will add other eretailers as the links go live):
The Piper’s Lady
True love binds them. Deceit divides them. Will they choose love?
Coira does not regret traveling with her grandfather until she is too old to wed. But perhaps it is not too late? At Berwyck Castle, a dashing knight runs to her rescue. How can she resist?
Garrick can hold his own with the trained Knights of Berwyck, but they think of him as a piper, not a fighter. When his heart sings for the new resident of the castle, he dares to wish he is something he is not. Will failure to clear her misunderstanding doom their love before it begins?
Her Wounded Heart
An injured knight trespassing on Mary Bennett’s land is a threat to the widow’s
already frail refuge. Even so, she cannot turn away a man in need and tells him he has her husband’s leave to stay until Christmas.
Doran Ward wishes only to survive for one more day. However, as he begins to
heal and to pay for his lodgings by fixing the rundown manor, the wounds to Mistress Bennett’s heart intrigue him.
Can two desperate souls find hope in time for Christmas?
A Year Without Christmas
Edward Rothschild returns home from war defeated in more ways than one. His friends killed and his property seized, he is an earl in name only. His family and his servants have all deserted him– all except his housekeeper, Lillian Virtue.
Lillian feels like home in a way that nothing else does, but as his servant and a recent widow, it would be impossible for them to be together. Then again, Christmas has been banned and the social order fractured; can one more impossible thing happen this year?
The Night of the Feast
As a spy deep in the heart of Revolutionary France, Michael St. John hopes to make amends for a wasted life his by helping the citizens of the Vendée stage a counter-revolution.
Jacqueline Archambeau, tavern owner and cook, accepts that life and love have passed her by. She never dreamed she would fight her own countrymen for the right to keep her customs and traditions.
When they plot together to steal plans at a regimental dinner will they risk their lives—and their hearts?
The Umbrella Chronicles
George & Dorothea’s Story
Lord George St. Vincent doesn’t realize it, but his days as a bachelor in good standing are numbered.
He has a fortnight, to be precise—the duration of the Marquess of Dansbury’s house party.
For I, Lady Harriett Ross, have committed to parting with several items of sentimental worth should I fail to orchestrate his downfall—er, betrothal—to Miss Dorothea Wythe, who is delightful, brilliant, and interested (or will be).
If I have anything to say about matters, and I always have something to say about matters, they’re both doomed.
Did I say doomed? I mean, destined—for a life filled with love.
I’m just an old woman with opinions. On everything.
A Malicious Rumor
Vauxhall gardener Alice Crocker has had to defend herself from encroaching males all her life, but the new violinist is a different sort. So when she discovers that he is the victim of a malicious rumor, she naturally wants to help.
Peter de Luca greatly admires the lady gardener, but this is his problem to resolve.
What will it take to prove to this pair that they would be stronger together as a harmonious duo than two lonely solos?
Forged in Fire
Burned in their youth, neither Tad nor Lottie expected to feel the fires of love. The years have soothed the pain, and each has built a comfortable, if not fully satisfying, life, on paths that intersect and then diverge again.
But then the inferno of a volcanic eruption sears away the lies of the past and frees them to forge a future together.
Roses in Picardy
By Caroline Warfield
After two years at war, Harry is out of metaphors for death, synonyms for brown, and images for darkness. Color among the floating islands of Amiens and life in the form of a widow and her little son surprise him with hope.
Rosemarie Legrand’s husband died, leaving her a tiny son, no money, and a savaged reputation. She struggles to simply feed the boy and has little to offer a lonely soldier.