Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday Tune



It was time for some silly music, and no one was sillier than Ray Stevens back in the day!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Tuesday Tales - Bloom



Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales.



Today we have another chapter for Wind in White Birch and our word prompt is "Bloom".
Don`t forget to visit the other talented Tuesday Tales authors. Thanks for stopping by!




I inhaled a good gallon of icy lake when I first felt the cold water rushing up under my coat. The shock was incredible, making my brain freak out momentarily. I splashed and kicked instinctively, my head breaking the surface. Peter had tugged me upward. Now it was my turn to help him. I tossed my hair from my eyes, gathered the shivering young man to my side, and pushed through the chunks of ice floating atop the blue-green water. It was extremely slow going with only one arm to use, but Peter was now shuddering so violently he couldn`t speak let alone swim.
I had to pause about three feet from the shoreline to pound on a fault-line with a fist. My fingers were so cold I couldn`t feel them and I had only been submersed for a couple of minutes. Pete must be dangerously close to hypothermia. I hammered with all I had, flogging wildly between hits to keep the two of us afloat. I could just feel the deep sloping side of the lake with the tips of my toes. If I were a foot taller I`d be able to stand and keep our heads out of the water. I went under quickly, came back up coughing and sputtering, and then wailed on the large block of ice barring our path. Pete was burrowed into my side listlessly. I shook the boy. He mumbled something vague. I grew even more panicked and slammed the side of my fist downward. That one I felt. The pain was astronomical. Black dots swam in front of my eyes.
 Peter slipped from my grasp. I pulled his face out of the water. Shouts echoed off the frozen lake and through the trees. I couldn`t tell which direction the cries were coming from. Peter`s head rolled to my neck. Jonah and Julia appeared to my left. I waved and slid under the water momentarily, pushing like a madwoman on Peter`s limp form. I had to keep his head above water . . .
Someone`s hand tightened around the back of my jacket. I came out of the lake gasping wildly and shouting for Peter. Jonah gathered me into his arms and waded back to shore, each step out of the water making me tremble with increased vigor.
“W-W-W-W-Where`s P-P-P-Peter?” I asked as those long, powerful legs of Jonah`s pushed us from the floating chunks of ice.
“With his mom,” Jonah informed me. I was thrilled to hear it. I tried to lift my head to see if I could find the sounds of mother and sons, but Jonah`s neck was too warm. “I swear I can`t let you out of my sight for ten minutes,” the man carrying me said. It was supposed to be funny but his trembling voice told me he was just as scared as I was.
“G-G-G-Guess you b-b-b-better keep m-m-m-me close by t-t-then."
“I plan on it.”


*~*~*

An hour later Peter and I were both sipping our third mugs of hot chocolate in front of a fire so enormous I feared the massive stone fireplace might not be able to contain it. Jonah was seated behind me, pulling his fingers through my damp hair and muttering in his native tongue. Peter`s mother was dabbing inside the lads ears with the corner of a blanket the boy was wrapped in, she too grummoxing in Seneca. Pete and I kept giving each other sideways glances.
“Thanks for saving me,” Jonah`s nephew said into his mug. His cheeks were blooming pink with heat and embarrassment.
“You`re welcome,” I smiled, eying a tiny marshmallow floating in my cup. “I didn`t do too good of a job though. If not for your uncle simply plowing through the ice to reach us . . .”
“If not for you he would have never made it,” Julia cut in sharply.
“Jules is right. I just hauled you in a couple feet. You must have swum with him for twenty feet, Dana.”
“It wasn`t that far,” I argued.
“Yeah, it was,” Jonah argued, pulling me back to rest against his chest. I went willingly, scooting my ass across the glossy hardwood flooring. “Distance is deceiving on water. Trust me. I saw where knucklehead here was when he went in. What the hell possessed you anyway? Didn`t I tell you not to step foot on the ice this time of year?”
“Yeah, but there was this humongous shape under the ice,” Peter sighed. His brothers were sitting silently on either side of our little clump, nibbling muffins and drinking cocoa. “I tried it, you know, and it felt strong. I was just going out a little bit,” the boy said, shrugging a shoulder that made his blanket slide down over his arm. Julia quickly covered him back up, tucking the blanket under his chin just as I do for Rhett.
“Maybe next time you`ll listen to Jonah when he tells you something,” Julia huffed, rustling the boys ebony hair with a towel. “Sometimes he knows what he`s talking about,” she said, catching me looking at her. “Thank you," she mouthed. A mother-to-mother thing passed between us.
“You`re more than welcome,” I smiled. She swallowed that down then returned to clucking over her oldest child. Jonah wrapped his arms around me. I felt the sofa creep an inch when we both leaned back into it.
“You and me, we got some serious talking to do,” he whispered beside my ear as his sister chided her sons repeatedly. With Jonah`s arms around me and dry clothes, I was warming up very nicely indeed. Whatever he wished to discuss would have to wait though, because suddenly a nap sounded like the best thing since sliced bread.



Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey

*~*~*

Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the Tuesday Tales authors.


See you next week!


Monday Author/Book Spotlight - M.S. Spencer's The Penhallow Train Incident





Today the talented M.S. Spencer is visiting us  again! This time she has some info on her new release, The Penhallow Train Incident. She also is sharing a wonderful recipe with us!




Thanks for having me, Vicki. I hope your readers enjoy the excerpt and my little extra gift, a recipe!

Today I’d like to look at our hero, Griffin Tate. When not pursuing Rachel Tinker or a mysterious map to the tomb of the Queen of Sheba, he is expounding on his theory of recipe migration in the Middle East.

It is generally accepted that the similarity among many dishes found from the Horn of Africa to Kazakhstan is due to the influence of the Ottoman Turks. Turkish food, some would argue, represents the epitome of Middle Eastern cuisine. However, Griffin, hero of the Penhallow Train Incident has a different theory, worth considering for those of you interested in how recipes travel. A retired Middle Eastern history professor, he hypothesizes that dishes such as çaçik (yogurt cucumber salad) or tabbouleh (bulgur and tomato salad) actually came from the south and west and not from the north and east. In other words, perhaps they arrived with the cooks in the Queen of Sheba’s train when she visited King Solomon.

Here is my recipe for tabbouleh, stolen (and modified) from a Palestinian friend many years ago:



1 cup fine bulgur
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup scallions, minced
1 large bunch parsley, chopped
½ cup fresh mint, chopped
1 cup lemon juice
4-6 tablespoons olive oil (preferably Greek)

Soak bulgur in ½ cup water, ½ cup lemon juice for 15 minutes until soft.
Add all ingredients and toss. Serve immediately.

However, as the excerpt below shows. Griffin does not limit his palate to Middle Eastern dishes.



M. S. Spencer
79,450 words (260 pp.)
Sweet Cravings Publishing (June 23, 2015)
Romantic Suspense/Mystery, M/F, 2 flames




BLURB:

In the sleepy coastal Maine town of Penhallow, a  stranger dies on a train, drawing Rachel Tinker, director of the Penhallow Historical Society, and Griffin Tate,  curmudgeonly retired professor, into a spider’s web of archaeological obsession and greed. The victim’s rival confesses that they were both after a map to the Queen of Sheba’s tomb, and with his help they set out to find it. Their plans are stymied, however, when a tug of war erupts between the sheriff and a state police detective who want to arrest the same man—one for murder and one for bank robbery. It falls to Rachel to solve both crimes…and two more murders, if she is to unlock the soft heart that beats under Griffin’s hard crust.

BUY LINKS:


EXCERPT (PG): Salmonello’s

He sat back. “Okay, turn left here. Now right on Union Street. There it is—Salmonello’s.” He chuckled. “Not what you’d call a felicitous choice for a restaurant name.”
They walked into what a native Mainer might envision a traditional Italian trattoria to be. That is, if a traditional trattoria consisted of a room filled with Formica tables and farm implements, a salad bar, and a wall of pinball machines. “Doesn’t look like lobster roll is on the menu. Too bad,” Griffin said jocularly.
The place was empty except for a group of women at the bar talking in loud voices. A girl of about sixteen with a long braid and braces skipped over to them. “Anywhere.”
Rachel knew that Griffin was biting his tongue to keep the retort at bay and loved him for it. “Thanks.”
They found a table as far away from the din as possible, which wasn’t. Griffin ordered a carafe of their house wine—”please, God, at least make it Italian”—and they perused the menu. Without looking up, Griffin asked, “So, how did George strike you?”
“He only hit the furniture.”
“No, I mean, do you think he’s telling the truth?”
“About what?”
“Really Rachel, I’d hate to think you’re being deliberately obtuse. His story of Masri’s perfidy.”
“I don’t have any idea. You’re the Middle East expert. Does it make sense?”
“There are lots of stories out there of fanatical academics pursuing the elusive tomb or artifact. It’s not impossible. I have a call in to a friend at Harvard.”
“Harvard? Oh, right, about George.”
“And one to a friend at Cairo University about Masri.”
The waitress plunked a basket of bread and a glass carafe on the table. Drawing two plastic wine glasses from her pockets, she inserted the bowls into the bases and set them down. And left. Griffin poured a smidgen of wine into his glass. With an affected simper, he rotated it, then sipped, holding the wine on the tip of his tongue before swallowing it. His eyes opened wide. “Whaddya know? It’s excellent. How refreshing.”
Rachel sipped hers. “You’re right. Go figure.”
He called the waitress over. “My dear child, can you tell me the name of this delightful beverage?”
“Huh? Oh, the wine? I’ll go ask Dad.” She shuffled back a minute later and read from the back of her hand. “Tig…Tin…Tignanello, he says.” She read further. “Two thousand nine vintage. Dad gets it from his cousin in Tuscany. He says it’s ready to drink now.” She smiled perkily, the fluorescent light pinging off her braces.
“Tell Dad he’s right. Thanks…”
“Sally. You want some more time?”
“No, we’re ready. Rachel?”
“I’ll have the tagliatelle al ragu Bolognese.”
“The spaghetti in meat sauce. Gotcha. You?”
“How’s the veal?”
“My brother just brought it in from Kenworthy Farm. You know, the place that raises all those weird breeds? Calf got its leg caught in a fence and they had to put her down. Butchered her yesterday. That’s why it’s on special.”
With a slightly green face, Griffin handed her the menu. “I’ll have that.”
Rachel laughed. “For a tough guy you can be pretty squeamish.”
He produced a rueful grin. “I suppose if I’m going to eat it I should be able to hear how it made its way to my plate.”
Sally returned and slid tiny simulated wood bowls of wilted lettuce drenched in what looked like tomato soup under their noses. “Your salads.”
Rachel took a gulp of wine to fortify herself and said with determination, “I’m going in.”
Griffin watched her take a forkful, chew slowly, and push the bowl away. “I hope the wine and not the salad is a portent of things to come.”
They took a moment to gaze into each other’s eyes before waking up to the fact that they were gazing into each other’s eyes. In the lull, while both desperately sought something to say, a raspy female voice rang out.
“I tell you, Jackie, that sheriff was way outta line. He as much as told me I’m a liar!” They both turned to see a woman of about fifty with a staggering cascade of pumpkin-colored hair. Her red lipstick was a little smeared and her lashes, thick with mascara, blinked rapidly.
Rachel nudged Griffin. “I think that’s Noreen Fowler, Stan Holiday’s girlfriend,” she whispered. “At least she looks like the woman Edna Mae Quimby described.”
Confirming Rachel’s guess, a tiny woman with a nose that could follow a cold scent twittered, “Well, Noreen, you gotta admit your story sounded pretty flimsy. I mean, there were witnesses who saw John on the train.”
“Witnesses? A bunch’a tourists who were busy watching that moronic cowboy show. Probably didn’t give him a second glance. John’s not exactly a standout in the looks department. I love him for his personality.”
“Personality? Or money?” The klatch broke out in snickers.
“Laugh all you want, Ellen. I’ll swear he was with me that day.”
Someone in the back of the pack cried out, “And what day was that, Noreen?”
She hesitated. “Last week. I forget the day exactly.”
Jackie piped up. “It was last Saturday.”
“Wait a minute.” A tall, gaunt woman in jeans spoke slowly. “Wasn’t Stan Holiday up here with you last Saturday? I thought I saw you two on the sidewalk by the cafe.”
Noreen gulped down her beer. “That was earlier, Betty Jo. John came by later.”
Betty Jo seemed to mull this over, then stubbed out her cigarette. “But I ran into Maude Jewett in the Penhallow co-op last week and she told me Stan was supposed to drive the train.” She wagged her chin. “That he missed it because he was with you, Noreen.”
The voices rose and intertwined in a cacophony of anger and insults and the women spilled out the door.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five continents, the last 30 years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director, and parent. She has two fabulous grown children, and currently divides her time between the Gulf coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

CONTACTS:


AUTHOR PAGES:

Amazon Author Page:

OTHER BOOKS BY M. S. SPENCER

Romantic suspense and mystery, they are available in ebook and print from Secret Cravings Publishing and all fine on-line book stores. For more information, visit http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com/p/my-books.html


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Exclusive Clean Sweep Excerpt!



In just over three weeks the first Venom book will be released! To say that I'm excited about the women of my fictional team hitting the ice would be an understatement. I am thrilled to be able to share these wonderful ladies with my readers. I hope that you enjoy each book. I know I ran a full range of emotions with Clean Sweep as I wrote it. Laughter and tears were my constant companions as Jane and Tore's book flowed onto the paper. 



In this blog exclusive excerpt Coach Jane takes a ride over the river  to check out her new team with Tore Ahlberg, her ex-husband. Make sure to add Clean Sweep to your Goodreads Want-To-Read shelf! I hope you enjoy the snippet.

Clean Sweep on Goodreads

*~*~*

         A door attendant doffed his cap at us as we stepped out under the porte-cochѐre. Tore left me with the doorman, a jovial black man by the name of David Colby Jr., to fetch his car. When the silver Jeep Cherokee pulled up five minutes later, I jumped inside, wishing I had brought a thicker coat.
            "Have a good day now, Jane," David said then closed my door soundly.
            "He calls you Jane? After five minutes?" Tore asked his tone a wee bit possessive. I peeked through my lashes at the man as I buckled my seatbelt.
            "I happen to be a people person, unlike you, who are happy to lounge in a corner sipping Aqua Velva, or whatever that stuff was you pulled out every Christmas."
            "Akvavit." He gently corrected as he pulled out into morning traffic. "I could never keep up with your outgoing personality that much is true."
            "No, you couldn`t." I turned my head to try to drink in the city that I would be calling home. It was all a big blur though. None of it sank in. My mind was spinning in reverse, taking me to a holiday season umpteen years in the past. One that involved Tore and I making love in front of a live fir covered with lights, bows, and little gingerbread men he and I had baked while we sipped akvavit from tulip-shaped glasses. When next I peeked at him, we were on I-95 headed for Trenton. He was intent on the road ahead of him, his shoulders tense, his jaw set, like a pilot trying to avoid a barrage of surface-to-air missiles. I felt a need to break the ice. But how?
            "You don`t need to worry. I won't forget to stop to get you some new clothes. Those smell like wet dog."
            Well there was a conversational opening if ever I heard one.
            "Thanks." He threw me a fast look then returned to navigating the interstate. And there went that conversational opening. Shit balls. I cleared my throat. Let it never be said that a Bratkowski could not find something to converse about. "So you ever get remarried?"
            Our eyes met over the console. The Jeep swerved a bit. Someone hit his or her horn. Tore turned his attention back to traffic.
            "No. No, never."
            "Once bitten, twice shy?" I asked with humor. The jest zoomed over his pale head.
            "I thought about it once. She was a nice woman who dated me for over a year. Pretty and a decent cook. No zip though," he said with a toss of a shoulder into the air.
            "What had no zip? Her food?" I asked, keenly interested to discuss the nice woman who had almost won over Tore.
            "She had no zip. She was flat, lifeless…fireless."
            "Oh." I looked straight ahead, suddenly acutely aware of myself, the slight stink of dog rising off me, and the slow creep of heat slithering up under the freckles on my cheeks. I chewed on my tongue, and several other things, until Tore took a right off I-95. We pulled into a chain store with lights just blinking to fluorescent life. I exited the Jeep like a thief. The store manager gave me a dour look as she unlocked the front doors. The entire five minutes it took me to pick out a skirt, blouse, and ugly old lady shoes, I thought about what Tore had said about the fireless nice woman. It took all the fortitude I possessed to walk across that empty parking lot after paying for my clothes. Bolstering my flagging courage, I yanked the door open. Tore was sipping on a hot beverage. One awaited me in the console. The interior of the Cherokee smelled like a Starbucks.
            "Black, one heaping sugar." He nodded at my coffee. I tossed the bag into the back, closed the door, and then took a long sweet sip of starter fluid.
            "Perfect." I sighed, my lashes fluttering with pleasure. He smiled. The dimple appeared. The coffee in my stomach gurgled. We found an exit then merged back into traffic. After emptying half my jumbo cup, I unsnapped my belt then climbed over the console into the back.
            "What are you doing?" Tore asked over the pinging of the seatbelt alarm and the soft rock radio station.
            "Getting changed," I said as I wiggled around. I glanced up to see his eyes in the rearview. "Pay attention to the road, Ahlberg."
            "You're so prim of a sudden." He chuckled then looked from me to the cars in front of him. I kicked off my still damp sneakers, peeled off my shirt, then wriggled out of my jeans.
            "God, who picked this shit out?" I muttered as I looked over the frumpy brown skirt and vivid yellow blouse. What the hell had I been thinking? I avoided yellow, red, and orange like the plague normally. See, this is what mooning over a man does for you. It makes you pick out gruesome clothes at a chain store. When I returned to the front, Tore gave me a fast once-over. Wisely, he clamped his mouth shut. "I know I look like something a cat regurgitated on the carpet. Thank you for not pointing it out."
            "You're the prettiest cat puke I ever saw."
            "You Swedes sure know how to sweet talk a lady." I smiled into my coffee. The rest of the trip to Jersey felt a trifle less constrictive. Maybe it was Seals & Croft playing on the radio. Or maybe it was the soft humming of the big man seated on my left? Hell, maybe it was the superlative coffee. It sure as hell wasn't this damned hideous blouse. 




Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday Tune



Boy howdy, was Del Shannon dreamy! I bet the girls were all sorts of googly-eyed over him back when he was singing and strumming away. Sadly another talent lost too soon.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Tuesday Tales - Tiger



Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales.


Today we have another chapter for Wind in White Birch and our word prompt is "Tiger".



Don`t forget to visit the other talented Tuesday Tales authors. Thanks for stopping by!





            “I`m rather good with kids,” I tacked on, figuring that since I had a son that might sweeten the deal. I was willing to offer up the pink slip on my car if I could avoid the battle that was going to break out.
            “Fine,” Julia finally said. “Get your fishing stuff from the car. Jonah, I`ll meet you around back.”
            Jonah and I watched Julia exit. He looked down at me as the boys roared out the kitchen door, leaving it wide open.
            “Coward,” Jonah mumbled before dropping down into a crouch beside me. I nodded in total agreement of the sharp character analysis of my flaws. “I will get this settled today, Dana, okay?”
            “Jonah, you can`t force her to like me. She`ll come around. She just has to see that I won`t hurt you,” I cupped his cheek. He turned his head to place a kiss to my palm.
            “Maybe I can`t force her, but I can damn sure tell her to back the . . .”
            His nephew`s coming back in with poles and a bucket of worms cut short the rather crude statement my lover was about to make. Within ten minutes, the four of us were bundled up and headed along the path that led to the magical trout lake. It didn`t take me long to get the three Windtalker boys names down. Peter was the eldest at twelve, Drew was the middle son at ten, and Archie was the youngest at seven. The boys talked amongst themselves, voices filled with excitement, poles over their shoulders as we walked. The air was crisp but held a touch of spring. The buds on the trees and the song of robins and red-winged blackbirds only added to the ‘spring-is-coming’ concerto.
            When we arrived at the lake in under ten minutes I`ll admit I was more than shocked. It was a huge chunk of iced-over water, four times bigger than Mud Puppy Lake where I had met Jonah.
            “Are you boys sure about this?” I asked, padding up to the edge of the freshwater lake. “I bet it`s really cold out there.”
            “We`re not going out to the middle of the ice this time of year,” Pete told me with a definite ‘DUH’ tone. “We`ll just knock a few holes near the edge." He swirled the small hatchet their uncle had given them back at the lodge. I was dubious about the whole thing, but who was I to say? Peter and Drew made a hole about a foot wide for Archie then ran off. The youngest Windtalker looked up at me with his empty hook dangling in the breeze. I was not ready for this.
            “Let me guess, your Uncle Jonah baits your hook, right, Tiger?” I asked. Archie nodded then shoved the rod into my chest.
With a dramatic sigh, I somehow managed to skewer the fat, wriggly worm onto the hook. I looked at my work and decided that it was crappy. So, with Archie telling me what to do, I finally got the worm hooked through in three places. Just as Archie and I were exchanging pleased smiles, someone shouted my name. I handed Archie his pole, turned around, and saw Drew trying to slide out onto the ice on his belly. I screamed at him to stop, and it was then I saw his older brother trying valiantly to scrabble out of the frigid water where he had fallen through.
            I`m not sure exactly how I got down to Drew as fast as I did. I am no sprinter, but the screams of a terrified child does amazing things to your system. I bulled past Drew, who was frantically screaming at his brother.
            “Take Archie and go get Jonah!” I yelled at the middle Windtalker boy. He blinked tears away, ran down the shore, grabbed Arch who was frozen in fear, and then pulled his sibling into the woods. I put one foot on the ice and it cracked ominously. Peter was crying and clawing in a panicked state. I wanted to ask him what the hell he had been thinking but the sound of his teeth chattering pushed that question aside for later. I eyed the ice, trying to think of something to do. Drew`s shouts for Jonah had dwindled. Now it was just the wind sloughing through the trees.
            “Dana, get me out!” the lad screamed. It shook me from my stupor. I dropped to my hands and knees, locked onto Peter`s light blue lips and wide brown eyes and began moving slowly across the frozen lake. Praying that the ice would support me if my weight were spread out, I slid closer and closer to Julia`s son.
A sound like a starter’s gun filled my ears. I froze and glanced over my shoulder to see a jagged crack forming at the shore and racing towards me. It then began to spread outward in a thousand different directions. I did the only thing I could do. I inhaled deeply, threw myself forward, latched onto Peter`s trembling cold hands, and then plummeted into the spring fed lake.


Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey

*~*~*

Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the Tuesday Tales authors.


See you next week!




Monday Author/Book Spotlight - Vikki Vaught's Lady Overton's Perilous Journey

Please welcome Vikki to our little nook of the internet! Today she's here to share some info on her wonderful sounding book, Lady Overton`s Perilous Journey. 

*~*



I want to thank Vicki for having me on her blog today. I’m very exciting about my new release, Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey. This is the first book in my Honorable Rogue series. This series is set in early 19th century England & America. I’d like to introduce you to my hero:
Captain Alex Hawks:
Height: 6’2”
Hair color: Dark Chestnut
Eye color: Dark brown, almost black
Age: 28
Alex sails the high seas on his ship, Renegade, traveling from America to ports across the Atlantic. His company, Hawks Shipping is homed based in Baltimore. He is driven to succeed in a career he did not choose. Alex graduated from Harvard with a law degree, but when his father died, he stepped in and took over Hawks Shipping and has never looked back.  
When Alex meets the Marchioness of Overton and her young son, the marquess, he suspects his life will be turned upside down. While he finds Anissa beautiful, the last thing he wants is an entanglement with an aristocratic lady, but when he learns of her plight, honor demands he help her.
Alex Hawks has many layers to his personality and life has not dealt him the best cards, but he refuses to allow anything to keep him from doing his duty. One personal hurt has made him cynical toward women with good cause. Whether he wants it or not, he has met his match in Anissa.
I hope you’ll enjoy the romance between Alex and Anissa as much as I enjoyed writing their love story. Happy reading!

Anissa, Marchioness of Overton
Charming Widow
Height: 5’2”
Hair color: Golden blonde
Eye color: Blue
Age: 26
Anissa has been a widow for seven months, deeply mourning her late husband. She learns that her son’s great-uncle has evil plans for her and Harry. Her only goal now, is to keep her son safe, no matter the cost, even if it means leaving her home and her country to do it. That is why she travels to America on Alex Hawks’ ship.
The last thing she needs is the distraction of the annoying, yet vastly attractive captain, but she has been so lonely, and seeking shelter in his warm embrace is very tempting. Her desire for Alex wages war with her conscious and her guilt.
Anissa was not raised in an aristocratic household, but she learned how to navigate the ton when she married her first husband and has adopted the aloof manners of an aristocrat. When she arrives in America, she is surprised at the easy camaraderie between Alex and his servants. She finds Americans so much friendlier and open than English society. If not for Harry, she could see herself being quite happy living in this bright new world.

Tagline:
While Lady Overton’s high-spirited son, the little marquess, may distract Captain Hawks’ cabin-boy and crew, he suspects the lovely lady may threaten his well-protected heart.
Book Blurb:
When her son’s life is threatened, Anissa, Marchioness of Overton, seeks refuge by sailing to America. Before the ship reaches the high seas, sparks fly between her and Captain Alex Hawks. Although the young widow may be lonely, and afraid, she cannot risk the diversion a romantic entanglement could bring, no matter how much she wants to lose herself in the captain’s embrace.  
The Captain vows to protect the young Lord Overton, but can offer no assurance that the marchioness will leave his ship with her virtue intact. Alex is drawn to Anissa’s beauty and courage, as a hummingbird is to the nectar of a flower. How long can he fight a losing battle before he surrenders and makes her his own? 
Will Alex be able to keep this remarkable woman and her child safe? Will his passion for Anissa be enough or will their differences keep them apart?

Author Bio:
Vikki Vaught started her writing career when a story invaded her mind and would not leave.
Over the last few years, she has written more than a half dozen historical romances and is presently working on her next. Her new release, Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey, published by Secret Cravings Publishing is the first book in her Honorable Rogue series.

Vikki loves a "Happily Ever After", and she writes them in her stories. While romance is the central theme of all her books, she includes some significant historical event or place in all her novels.

While all her books are love stories, she has also written short contemporary sweet romances as Vikki McCombie and erotic romances using the pen name of V.L. Edwards.

For the last decade, Vikki has lived in the beautiful foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with her beloved husband, Jim, who is the most tolerant man in the world to put up with her when she is in a writing frenzy. When she is not writing or working her day job, you’ll find her curled up in a comfortable chair reading her Kindle, lost in a good book with a cup of tea at her side.

Metadata tags: Historical, Romance, Romantic suspense, Sea captain, Regency, England, America
Tweets:
What’s more than important: Love or duty @vvaught512 #Historical #Romance #Suspense Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey
Honorable Rogues: Got to love them @vvaught512 #Historical #Romance #Suspense Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey
Will Alex Hawks save the day or lose it all? @vvaught512 #Historical #Romance #Suspense Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey
For the love of a child: Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey @vvaught512 #Historical #Romance #Romanticsuspense
Romance on the high seas: Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey @vvaught512 #Historical #Romance #Romanticsuspense
Release Date: July 11, 2015 for Lady Overton’s Journey @vvaught512 #Historical #Romance #Suspense
Contest verbage: Vikki will award a commenter a $5 Amazon GC. One lucky winner will be randomly drawn.

Long Excerpt 1:
The heavy brass statue dropped from her hand, and Anissa, the Marchioness of Overton, touched her lips with a shaking hand. She glanced down at Lord Howard and stifled a gasp. Blood poured from the wound on his head as he lay sprawled out on the Aubusson carpet. The smell of fresh blood assailed her nostrils, causing her stomach to roll.
Oh no, what have I done?
Anissa remained frozen, as stiff and unyielding as the statue she had dropped on the carpet. Finally pulling herself out of her moment of terror, she knelt beside him and gingerly touched the side of his neck with trembling fingers. She felt a weak pulse. At least she had not killed him.
Never in a million years had she expected him to attack her in such a horrid way. Shock waves of fear raced through her heart, and she pulled the remnants of her bodice together as images of the struggle flashed through her mind. Thank goodness, she had grabbed the statue before he could ravish her.
Of course, he had tried to corner her countless times. She had always managed to evade him before. If she had known he had arrived home, she would never have chanced coming down for a book. A good thing she had, or she would never have overheard him talking to his son. Without this knowledge, she would have been dead the next day, and then there would have been no one to keep him from carrying out his diabolical plan.
The fright she had experienced when Lord Howard caught her still had her heart jumping in her chest. If his son had caught her, she could have been able to convince Bernard she had come from the kitchen after having a glass of warm milk. The poor young man was a bit slow-witted. With the die cast, she could not stop the turn of events her actions had started. She would have to get away before someone found Lord Howard and raised the alarm.
Anissa stood, went over to Lord Howard’s desk, and rummaged through the drawers, looking for the money pouch he kept hidden there. As she felt around the bottom drawer, her fingers closed around the purse. Pulling it out, she dropped it on the desk, then reached inside and pulled out a wad of bank notes.
Anissa counted the money and found well over two hundred pounds, plus dozens of guineas, and a fistful of other coins. She slipped the notes back into the pouch, along with the rest of the money, and then slipped it into the pocket of her gown. Looking back at Lord Howard, she tiptoed across the room. She opened the library door and peeked out to the darkened hall, making sure the coast was clear before she left the room.
All the servants should be in bed, although she was not sure where Bernard had gone. She prayed he had gone upstairs to his room. The last thing she needed was to run into the boy. His father had him under his thumb, scared to death of going against him in any way. After all, the lad was barely seventeen. She truly could not blame him.
As silent as a crouching cat ready to spring on an unsuspecting mouse, Anissa climbed the stairs to her bedchamber as the hall clock’s soft chime of the eleven o’clock hour followed her. After reaching her room, she sagged against the door, her fear-soaked clothing clinging to her clammy skin.
Anissa rushed over to the wardrobe and threw it open, pulled out her valise, and stuffed several black gowns, undergarments, and her nightclothes into it. She unearthed the breeches she wore when riding by herself. Thank God she had kept them all these years. After donning the boy’s clothing, she grabbed her black cloak to hide her masculine attire.
She went over to her dressing table and dumped the contents of her jewelry box into her valise. Her emerald necklace, a gift from her late husband, landed on top. Tears gathered in her eyes as she remembered Kendall fastening it around her neck for the first time, and something squeezed her heart like a vise.
Gathering her wits and dismissing the distracting thoughts from her mind, she could not give into her emotions now, not when the life of her son was held in the balance. She opened up the hidden compartment in the bottom of her jewelry box and pulled out some letters tied together with a pink satin ribbon. These letters were more precious than gold to her. Kendall had written them to her whenever they had been apart. Some might think her silly to save them. However, she gained comfort from reading them late at night when she missed him most.
Oh, why did Kendall have to die?
Anissa forced these thoughts from her mind. She could not afford to think of these things now. She needed to get to her son. She had to protect Harry and get him safely away. After she added the letters to the valise, she took one last look at the room she had lived in for seven years. Despair threatened to consume her, but she refused to give in to her terror and hurried out the door.

Short excerpt:
The heavy brass statue dropped from her hand, and Anissa, the Marchioness of Overton, touched her lips with a shaking hand. She glanced down at Lord Howard and stifled a gasp. Blood poured from the wound on his head as he lay sprawled out on the Aubusson carpet. The fresh smell of blood assailed her nostrils, causing her stomach to roll.
Oh no, what have I done?



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This has been such an exciting journey for me, and many friends have helped me along the way, from contest judges to my fellow authors of the Beau Monde Chapter of RWA. This is a fantastic group of Regency authors. Whenever I have a historical question, they always have the answer. I want to personally thank my critique partner, KaLyn Cooper. Her help with the suspense scenes was invaluable. My wonderful friend and freelance editor Tammy Souch, her advice and suggestions made this book so much better. I also want to thank my friend and co-worker, Anissa Cook, for the use of her beautiful name for my heroine. Thanks to readers everywhere, for your willingness to give a new author a chance. Last, but by no means least, my incredible husband for putting up with me when I’m lost in my world of books. The man truly has the patience of a saint. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Ramblings - Why Women`s Hockey?



I imagine a lot of readers may be wondering why I decided to write my next M/F hockey series about a women`s pro ice hockey team. That`s a good question and one that I'd love to touch on today!




When I was about halfway through the To Love a Wildcat series I had to make a decision. End the series and move onto another team in another city, or continue in Philadelphia with more Wildcats books. I felt that I had laid out all the books that I wished for the 'Cats but gosh darn it, I wanted to be able to stay in Philly as well as have the Wildcat gang make some cameos. What should I do? I couldn't really bring in another men's pro team but I could bring in a women's . . .

As soon as the idea popped up, I loved it. Why not a women`s team?! Women play sports. Many women play sports! As much as we all love our male players as romance heroes, I felt some light should be shed on women hockey players. Writing about female players would also give me more freedom to show the sport from the inside, instead of just having the leading lady watching the games. In the Venom books the women are on the ice smack dab in the middle of all the action!

Women`s hockey is growing by leaps and bounds. Look at how wildly successful Team USA was. America fell in love with those amazing women. We also have the NWHL, a new league for professional women`s hockey. I've been following the growth of the NWHL on Facebook and am super excited about it!



The time was right for a fictional women`s team to skate onto the ice at the Houseman. Once I had that decision made the rest fell into line. I'm thrilled to be able to write the stories of these incredible women who play the roughest, and most amazing, sport in the world. I hope you grow to love each of the Venom players and coaches, as well as their romantic interests. This is going to be one heck of a ride! Hang onto your helmets hockey romance fans. The Venom will be hitting the ice August 17! 

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Blurb:

 Fiery, flame-haired Jane Bratkowski is catapulted from a small college town to Philadelphia to become head coach of a new women’s hockey team, The Venom. It’s a life-changing opportunity, a dream come true until – in a cruel twist of fate that could turn into a nightmare – she comes face to face with her ex-husband Tore Ahlberg, the Wildcats' head of European Scouting.

Suddenly, Jane’s faced with more challenges than she bargained for: Will she let him distract her -- and derail her big chance to coach pro hockey? Can she build a team of relatively inexperienced, irrepressible young women into champions? Can she and Tore triumph over the gut-wrenching tragedy that ripped them apart -- or will the shocking truth of their passionate past threaten to destroy them once again?


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Throwback Thursday Tune



Oh yeah, now we're back in my heyday where the tunes were groovy and the clothes even groovier! If you don`t get up and boogie to this classic Foghat song then you must turn in your platform shoes pronto!


Monday, July 13, 2015

Tuesday Tales - Picture Prompt



Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales.



Today we have another snippet from Wind in White Birch. It`s our picture prompt and the excerpt must reflect the image and be under 300 words.  Don`t forget to visit the other talented Tuesday Tales authors. Thanks for stopping by!



            Sometimes you have to be thankful for rowdy boys. Julia`s three sons came charging into the kitchen ahead of their mother, effectively cutting off any disparaging comments she might have had brewing. Was she happy to see me here, eating her brothers food after obviously spending the night in his bed? Not at all. Her eyes glazed over like ice-hewn obsidian as she barked at her sons to settle down. Jonah, being the youngest of his brood and a first-class instigator, opened the day’s festivities.

            “Sorry you missed all the coffee, Jules. It was hard to get moving this morning,” he said with a wink. I sipped my coffee, peeking over the rim of the mug.

            “Did you and Dana work hard last night?” one of Julia`s boys asked while sneaking a flapjack from the platter.

            “You could say that,” Jonah said, eyeing his sister`s stiff back. Julia, to her credit, simply continued making a fresh pot of coffee. When she turned around my eyes widened and I slurped without meaning to.

            “So I guess me coming out to help you with the log treatment isn`t necessary now?” She leaned against the counter and proceeded to nail her brother to his seat with a glare.

            “Well, no,” he said, pushing his chair out and rising slowly. “We had other business to attend to last night.”

            “You said we could go to the lake." A young man with brilliant brown eyes and uncombed hair poked Jonah soundly in the ribs. I lowered my mug and cleared my throat. Five heads swiveled in my direction.

            “I`d be happy to take the boys to the lake,” I offered with my most cheery voice, imagining what it would look like in the summer instead of still covered with ice as it probably was now. 

            A very long, tense moment dragged by.


Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey

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