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Guest Interview–Sharon McGregor

Welcome today to Sharon McGregor, an author with Prism Book Group.

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I ‘m a prairie transplant to the West Coast, trying to run away from winter.  I  am moving this month to the warmest spot I can find and still live in Canada- on Vancouver Island, where I will be a block away from the beach. I grew up on a quarter-section farm on the prairies and attended a one-room country school of the sort where  Maggie has come to teach  in Autumn Dreams. Unlike Maggie, I have always loved horses.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I’m a history buff. My favourite period is the time of the Plantagenets. I want to do some travelling if I can ever get away and I plan a trip to the UK with friends next year. I like watching my grandchildren with their sports.  Any time I spend with animals is time well spent. I love horses, dogs, and my cat Zoey as well as any others that cross my path.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

I would say the two main characters first. Some of the other characters just show up as the plot develops.  In Autumn Dreams, I wanted to start with a teacher of the sort my aunts were when I was young. Then Maggie just walked in and said, “This is my story.”

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I do about sixty percent planned and the rest freestyle.  I don’t feel comfortable without a structure to work within. Then I often change things as I go and the outline goes out the window. An outline is sort-of like your reserve parachute-it’s comforting to know it’s there even if you don’t use it.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

I lived the location. Maggie was just a little before my time but close enough that the farm, the people the school and the families all seem to be familiar on a personal level.

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?

The first thing I try is take the dogs for a long walk.  That usually clears my head and I find on my feet is the best way to think.  Second best is my Lazy boy, but sometimes I goof that one up and doze off.  If I am stuck for too long, I set the story aside for a couple of days and tackle something else-maybe a short story or plotting another book.  Then some little thing hits you and you’re back on track with your work.

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Blurb:

Autumn Dreams takes place on the prairies in the late 1940s.

Maggie arrives at her new teaching job, to board with a family she’s prepared to like. What she isn’t prepared for is her landlady’s brother Marshall who seems to hate her on sight. She is captivated by Ellen’s six year old daughter Emma who is having identity problems when faced with the arrival of a new baby. Then Ellen goes into labour in the middle of a storm and Maggie must face her fears to help. Along the way she helps a family grow closer together but what about her hopes for the future? Can she get past the wall Marshall has set up and does she really have a future here amongst the people she has grown to care for?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

From a 5-star review:

This charming story weaves little touches of 1940s history with romance and endearment. The story is so well written, with delicate description, a great storyline and believable characters. The heroine, Maggie, not only has to adjust to a new life and job, but overcome her fear of horses and find romance along the way, a true inspiration to us all.

Sharon McGregor

 

Excerpt:

Maggie stood in the barn doorway watching for a moment as Marshall threw forkfuls of soiled straw onto the stoneboat.  It was a warm day and his shirt hung on a wooden peg on the wall.  Maggie wasn’t used to seeing a man’s naked torso.  When her father came home from the hardware store, he might take off his jacket and loosen his tie but that was as casual as he got.  She watched in admiration as each muscle moved and realigned when Marshall lifted. She could feel an unfamiliar warmth in her own body as she watched.  She knew from the way his shoulders tightened that he was aware of her presence.

“Ellen says supper will be ready in a half hour,” she said.

“I figured.”  He stopped briefly and stood, fork in hand, one foot resting on its shoulder, a slight smile pulling the right side of his mouth upward.  “Is there more?”

“You used to live here, right?”

“It was our family farm.”

“Your parents aren’t still living?”

“No.”  He pointed through the open north door to a hillside. “My father was cultivating that hillside when the tractor wheel hit a large rock and threw it off balance.  The tractor rolled over on him. He was dead before help came.  Mom died a year later.  Farm life isn’t all baby calves and collecting eggs, you know.  It’s a hard life.”

“Why didn’t you stay on the farm?’

He picked up the fork again.  “Do you always ask so many questions?  If you want to make yourself useful, grab a fork.”  His eyes travelled over her from head to toe sending a shiver down her back. “On second thought, you’d better not.  Those shoes weren’t made for shovelling manure.  Wouldn’t want to soil them.”  He turned dismissively back to his work.

She flushed as she felt her anger rise at his off-handedness.

She marched past him skirting the flailing fork handle. She knew she’d seen a pair of rubber boots earlier by the corner stall. She pushed her feet out of her shoes and into the boots.  A little big but they’d do. She reached for a fork hanging on the barn wall aware of his stillness as he watched her.

“Not that one; that’s a hay fork. Take the one next to it.”

She lifted the shorter heavier manure fork and tentatively shoved it into a pile of damp, smelly straw. As she lifted, most of it fell off but she managed to fling some of it onto the stoneboat. The second forkful went better. Marshall had turned his back but she knew by the way his shoulders moved that he was laughing at her.

I’ll show you she thought. She closed her nose to the stench and wondered if you ever got used to the smell of manure. ‘Oh Dora, if you could only see me now.”

///

Maggie bit the side of her lip and plunged in, partly because she wanted answers and partly just to say something to cover her confusion. “So why didn’t you stay on the farm?  Don’t sons usually take over?”

He gave her an amused look. “You never give up with your questions, do you? Well, let’s see if I can satisfy that curiosity bug of yours.” He leaned back in his chair balancing it on the rear two legs and closed his eyes for a moment. “When our parents died, Ellen was already married to Ray and I was turning eighteen.  That was when the war came.  Ray couldn’t join up; he’s always had weak lungs.  That’s why he keeps getting those bouts of pneumonia.  But I was young and idealistic so I enlisted.  Ray and Ellen moved in and ran the farm.  When the war finally ended I was restless like so many others and I wandered around the country for a bit before coming back to Timber.  Ray and Ellen had put so much into the place and I wasn’t really anxious to become a farmer, so they bought out my share.  I started the lumberyard with a friend and here we are.”  He bounced the chair back to an upright position with a bang.  “Does that answer all your questions?”

“All but one.”

He stood and set his cup down as if to show he’s given her all the time he would allot her and said “What might that one be?”

“Why do you dislike me?”

He gave her a long slow look. “Yes, I can see where you’re one of those people who needs to have everyone like them.”

She flushed and was about to protest when he moved closer and said, “The short answer is I don’t dislike you.” He put one arm around her shoulder turning her to face him and leaned down to kiss her, gently at first and then with a ferocity that shook loose all her feelings for this intriguing man and replaced them with sensations she had never felt before.  Warmth swept through her very essence. Just as she felt she was going to fall over the edge of a cliff he released her, swung around so quickly she couldn’t see his expression and walked out the door.

Bio:

Sharon McGregor is a west coast transplant from the Canadian prairies. Her imagination and story weaving got its start when she was an only child living on a farm. She’s moved on from cowgirl dreams to romance and mystery, but hasn’t lost her love for horses.
In spite of her eternal quest to escape the cold, she does spend time at ice rinks watching her grandchildren figure skate and play hockey.
When she can summon up the nerve to get on a plane she likes to visit with her son and grandchildren who are still knee deep in the prairies.
Sharon loves endings with happy resolutions which is why she enjoys writing romance.

Web Links:

Web site

Blog

Facebook writer page

Twitter name: @sharonmcgr

Google+

Goodreads

Guest Promotion–Rachel Brimble

Brimble cover

Here’s a spotlight on Rachel Brimble’s latest release, Christmas At the Cove from Harlequin Superromance.

More family for Christmas?

Scott Walker doesn’t have time for a relationship. The sexy mechanic has career ambitions, not to mention a mother and three sisters to take care of. The last thing he needs is Carrie Jameson, the beauty he never forgot, arriving in Templeton Cove over the holidays with some unexpected news.

Scott still finds Carrie irresistible, and he’s not one to shirk responsibility. Scott’s issues with his own dad make the prospect of parenthood a minefield. But if he and Carrie can overcome their fears, this Christmas could bring them the best gift of all.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT:

She glanced around the garage. “I’m sorry to turn up unannounced like this, but I’m here and we need to talk.”

He stared at her in disbelief as questions, demands and weaknesses hurtled around inside him, battling with the intense sexual frustration storming through his body. “Just like that, you turn up and say, ‘We need to talk’?” He shook his head and turned away from her, lest he get caught in the snare of her wide, impossibly gorgeous eyes. “Go away.”

“No.”

Keeping his back to her, he uncrossed his arms and planted his hands on his hips. He tipped his head back and smiled as insanity rushed his bloodstream. He wanted to grab her, shake her, kiss her and make love to her. God, he wanted to drop to his damn knees in front of her and beg her to tell him where she’d been and now she was back, was she back for good?

“Scott?”

He closed his eyes, barely resisting the urge to cover his ears with his hands and block out her tempting voice, achingly laced with the unmistakable sound of a plea. “Whether you want to see me or not, I have to talk to you, and I won’t leave the Cove until you hear me out.”

Her heels clicked closer and his body tensed, waiting for what came next. The dangerous, musky scent of her perfume wafted under his nostrils and he inhaled. She approached the bench beside him and put down a business card. “My number’s on there. I’m staying at the Christie. Call me when you’re ready to talk. It’s important or I wouldn’t have come.”

He glanced at the card. Carrie Jameson. Producer.

She turned and walked away. He let her go, feeling like a smashed up car after a hurricane, tossed and turned through the air before being spewed crudely across the highway, left to rust and burn.

He picked up the card. His hand shook and the rare sting of tears shamed him. What the hell was he supposed to do now? Carrie was back and his libido told him only too clearly there was no way in hell he wouldn’t go to her. How was he supposed to let her go a second time when he’d lived the last three years regretting he didn’t stop her the first time?

RBrimble RBrimble

AUTHOR BIO:

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance and a further three in 2013. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington–her debut was released in April 2013, followed by a second in January 2014 and the third is released Jan 2015.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Links:

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

 

Fabulous 99cent sale today only

 

I’m starting November 2014 with something special. I’m adding 20 fabulous books to my digital library.

It’s a privilege to join these writers with the inclusion of my holiday novella THE RING THAT BINDS, a western historical that was released in December 2012. But that’s the great thing about historical—they don’t become outdated. In case you missed it, November 1st would be a good time to pick it up. If you already have it, consider giving it to someone as an affordable but oh-so-thoughtful gift: an early Thanksgiving gift, a birthday gift, a thank you gift or “just thinking of you” gift.

Below are the books I’ll be buying November 1st. This list has books of all sizes including popular genres like romance, mystery, fantasy, suspense, paranormal, and historical. Wow. Not only will I be buying these books for my own reading pleasure, but at this price, I can gift several to my reading friends.

Yes, you got it. This diverse list includes books I know will score me points with friends who have birthdays in November or family members who will love reading the book over the long Thanksgiving weekend, for friends who are traveling in November and need a good book to read on the plane, and friends who will be cheered knowing I was thinking of them.  At 99 cents, each of these books will cost far less than a greeting card and a stamp, will arrive faster, and the joy of reading the book will last far longer.

The Amazon links are included below. Hope this gives you and your loved ones a happy Saturday and a fun start to November. Enjoy!

NAME Title Buy link
Kristy Tate Stuck With You http://amzn.com/B00KQ9JT5C
Jackie Hyman Calling All Glass Slippers http://amzn.com/B00N97L532
Michelle Knowlden Jack Fell Down http://amzn.com/B00LYNHVTU
Susan R. Hughes Heart’s Desire http://amzn.com/B00KTT0SUO
Lou Nelson Emerald Fortune http://amzn.com/B008S4PH1W
Shauna Roberts Claimed by the Enemy http://amzn.com/B00LNE709G
Kathy Bennett A Deadly Denial http://amzn.com/B00MAGGHKY
Kitty Bucholtz Unexpected Superhero http://amzn.com/B00D4FOLHQ
Michael Payne Neighbors http://amzn.com/B00O4CRCOC
Angie Ray Ghost of My Dreams http://amzn.com/B00JJGB8CA
Laura Taylor Love at the Beach (3 books *) http://amzn.com/B00OJ47DOY
Debra Salonen Judy Uncensored http://amzn.com/B00NJCK5EC
Linda Carroll-Bradd The Ring That Binds http://amzn.com/B00AM0OQSK
Geralyn Corcillo She Likes It Tough http://amzn.com/B00NNXWFAE
Chris Marie Green Shadows Till Sunrise http://amzn.com/B00NHYS8WS
Barbara McMahon The Bachelor’s Baby Promise http://amzn.com/B006Q64YYK
Donna Fasano The Single Daddy Club: Derrick http://amzn.com/B00AN7524Y
Adrianne Lee You Don’t Know Jack http://tinyurl.com/l7awb7g
Jan Hudson Big and Bright http://amzn.com/B00AB4FW30
Kathleen Creighton Demon Lover http://tinyurl.com/puk7opn

 

Release Day–Spooktacular Seductions

Happy Book Birthday Spooktacular Seductions!

Genre: Romance Anthology
Release Date: October 31, 2014
Publisher: Roane Publishing

 

Falling in love can be terrifying.

 

Eight tales of spooky romance brought to you just in time for Halloween.

Bewitching Gypsy by Linda Carroll-Bradd
Garden of Souls by Michelle Ziegler
If This Be Madness by Echo Shea
Encantado by Havva Murat
Do You Believe in Ghosts by Anne Higa
Ghost of a Chance by Lily Carlyle
Where Angels Tread by Christy Thomas
Spooky Hollow Café by Lisa A. Adams

Purchase Links:



Tour Schedule

Book Blitz & tour-wide giveaway: paperback copy of Spooktacular Seductions and a $10 Amazon gift card!


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.

 

Release Promotion–Shriek Week

Spotlighting another selection from the Hauntings From The Garden series released by The Wild Rose Press. This one is Shriek Week, a cozy mystery by Anne Kol.

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Tagline:

It’s hard to fit in when you’re suspected of murder. It’s even harder to lay past ghosts to rest.

Blurb:

Events organiser Maggie Ballater has a new career, a new Island home and a new life and intends to make the most of it. But two things stand in her way. One is the dangerously attractive guitarist who brings back past memories she’d rather forget. The other is the inexplicable murder of the lead actor in her ShriekWeek pageant.

Bram Jenkins wants to clear his name after being imprisoned for a crime he swears he did not commit. He has no time to be distracted by an opinionated woman he  suspects of working for his enemy.

Solving the ShriekWeek murder means they both have to face up to the past before they can lay their ghosts to rest and find out whether they have a future.

Excerpt:

She felt rather than saw someone watching her.

Breath caught in her throat, but there was nothing to be frightened of. Bram leant propped on the door jamb, his right ankle crossed slackly over the left.

“Sorry I’m late finishing.” She hated how teenage she sounded. “Are you waiting to set up class in here?”

“Just came to see you.” He wandered in, picked up worksheets and laid them down again, stopped at the dominoes and started matching the words to the pictures.

She had to apologize. She had rehearsed what she was going to say often enough. She cleared her throat, suddenly thick with nerves. “I wanted to say sorry about last night. I didn’t mean—”

He waved a hand dismissively. “No worries. Forgotten.” But his eyes when she looked were shuttered and told a different story.

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Get in contact with Anne:

Website

Facebook

Twitter  @AnneKnol1

Rafflecopter contest ending November 1st for $25 gift certificate from The Wild Rose Press

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Interview–Mary L. Ball

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Hi Linda, it’s great to be on your blog. Allow me to introduce myself.

I’m an inspirational fiction author and live in North Carolina between the wondrous mountains and beautiful beaches. My writing is about real-life problems, blended with suspense or mystery and of course, romance.

My one hope is that the books I scribe will encourage readers to see the wonder of love and a divine guidance that awaits us all.

My novels include, Escape to Big Fork Lake, Stone of Destiny, Postmarked Ever After and Redemption in Big Fork Lake.  I also contributed to 21 Stories of Faith.

When I’m not working on the latest story, I enjoy fishing, reading, and singing with my husband at church functions.

 Where were you raised?

I was born and raised in Salem, Virginia and still have family there.When I was a teenager, my mother moved to NC. That’s where I’ve lived since the age of sixteen.   

What’s your favorite participation sport?

I guess I don’t have any, unless you count being an angler. Is fishing a participation sport? I suppose it can be.  Actually, it is when hubby and I go. LOL

What are your reading tastes?

I enjoy all inspirational and clean fiction books.

List your favorite movie of all time and why.

I’m a softy at heart, always looking for a story with a spot of romance and a good ending. I know “You’ve Got Mail” is by no means a classic, but I enjoy watching it. I still cry at the end when they meet in the park and realize they’re meant to be together.

Where did you go for your most recent vacation?

Sunset Beach, NC. Hubby and I always go somewhere on the coast of NC for our anniversary.

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Blurb for Postmarked Ever After

A delayed letter and a message from afar unite two hearts.

Recently widowed, Serena Gray battles the daily drama of the Emergency Room, as well as her grief. When a mysterious letter arrives, it raises questions about a past she’d only heard her beloved husband speak about.

While on hospital rounds, she witnesses a child’s brush with death and recounts a vivid dream that bears a message.

Will she risk happiness for the truth or keep a secret from the past?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Smashwords

Mary Ball

Get in contact with Mary:

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

Release Promotion–Love Her Like The Devil

perf5.000x8.000.inddHighlighting another selection from The Wild Rose Press’s Hauntings In The Garden series of Halloween-themed stories. This one is a contemporary western by Stacy Dawn.

 

Tag Line:  Kick up your heels in the local honky tonk for Halloween…but beware the devil in red cowboy boots…

 

Blurb:  A chance meeting in a honky tonk on Halloween finds Luke in the arms of a brown-haired beauty. But if the stories he overhears are true, she may be far more than she seems…and he’s more than ready to find out.

Excerpt:

He adjusted his Stetson and sidled up to the bar, tossing a leg over the stool next to the buxom beauty. A heady breeze of cheap perfume plumed around him as she turned and graced him with a perfectly wicked smile.

Looks like my lucky nigh—

“I wouldn’t if I were you.”

Luke glanced over his shoulder to find a pair of deep brown eyes laughing at him beneath a smooth raised brow.

“You’re the sixth guy she’s hit on since I’ve been sitting here.”

He frowned and turned back to the blonde he’d had his sights on…except her sights were now on a Captain Jack Sparrow wannabe.

“Thanks a lot,” he grumbled, swiveling to face the bar.

“You’re very welcome.”

Buy Link

The Wild Rose Press

To Contact Stacy

Website

Blog

Rafflecopter contest ending November 1st for $25 gift certificate from The Wild Rose Press

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Promotion–Autumn’s Kiss

AutumnsKissBookCover

Ten sweet romance writers have combined their efforts to bring you Autumn’s Kiss, a collection of love stories set in the fall. Whether you enjoy contemporary, historical, or paranormal romance, you’re sure to find something you like in this anthology! Here are the stories included:

AUTUMN VOWS. Patricia Kiyono. Contemporary

For 30 years, busy wife and mother Yolanda Murray pushed aside her career for family. With the kids grown now, it’s her turn. But her husband Craig needs surgery, and his worries extend far beyond his health issues. Will this couple survive the changes in the autumn of their lives?

CAROUSEL MAGIC. LaVerne St. George. Contemporary.

For Thomas Martin, feelings don’t get in the way of business. As the new owner of an amusement park, he’s determined to replace the old carousel with video games. Mayor Ginger Fairchild is equally determined to save the vintage carousel. Can the carousel’s magic touch two more hearts?

THE FALL APPLES AND MR. CRAIGSON. Kathy Bosman. Contemporary

Trina knows most men are out for her money, so a fantasy rich husband acts as her shield. She hires attractive Seth Craigson to cut down unwanted trees, certain he won’t discover her secret. As Trina’s heart leans toward Seth, he sees past her lie. Does he accept her for herself or see only her wealth?

FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN. Beth Barany. Paranormal/Time Travel

Sexy Medieval stonemason Julien relies on his fiancée Rose to adapt to 21st century life and struggles to find his place in modern times. Holding down two jobs to support her and Julien in expensive San Francisco, software expert Rose has no time for romance. A weekend getaway may provide just the spark these time-crossed lovers need.

A HARVEST OF HOPE. Debby Lee. Historical  

After putting away a crooked bootlegger, Meggie and Luke Preston set out for California, hoping for a second chance at life. When their past catches up with them, Meggie must find the courage to face the issues that have driven a wedge into her marriage… or she may lose everything.

THE LONELY SHOPKEEPER. Cindy Flores Martinez. Contemporary

Lately, Judy has been too busy for love. Running a small business in her hometown occupies all of her time. When she meets Graham, a visitor from Scotland, it’s chemistry at first sight–and impossible. He’s not here to stay. She’s not willing to move. What will happen when they fall in love?

RUNAWAY LOVE. Nicole Zoltack. Historical

After harvesting his crops, the last thing Corin Jannings expects is rescuing a woman tossed from a runaway horse. A woman who can’t remember who she is. She’s highborn, obviously, so it’s only a matter of time before someone comes for her. And since she’s a lady, Corin cannot dare risk falling for her.

SOFT BURGUNDY NIGHTS. Ruth Roberts. Contemporary

For the first time since she was abandoned, Jessica Rayne has a real home and her dream job as manager of Marchetti Vineyard. After ten years, Rafaele Marchetti has returned from New York, still bitter over his father’s mistakes. Rafaele may take away everything Jessica’s worked for… or make her dreams of love come true.

VIKING FOR HIRE. Jo Grafford. Historical.

Branwyn O’Tyre is convinced her estranged brother plans to arrest her for witchcraft, so she drinks a protection potion before he arrives. A Viking sea captain, living under a curse, witnesses her magic and offers her an escape if only she will help him. The hitch? If she fails, Branwyn’s heart will be his forever.

THE WITCHING WELL. KristyTate. Time Travel

Celia Quinn holds Jason West responsible for the demise of her grandmother’s dress shop, so when she takes a sip of water from the witching well and is transported back to Regency England, Jason West is the last person she wants to see–or kiss.

Autumn’s Kiss is available now on Amazon.

Release promotion–The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia

The title featured today is The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia by Rachel A. James, a medieval romance published by Prism Book Group.

2D Ebook Cover Image (Medium)

Blurb:

It is 616AD, and one fatal night the ancient Kingdom of Elmetia falls. Saxons kill the Elmetian King, and capture Princess Teagen. Teagen poses as a slave girl and works for the Saxons in the Kingdom of Deira, until she discovers her brother is alive. She finds a way to escape, and her path crosses with Ryce the Warrior.

Struggling with his past, and angry against the tyrant Saxon king, Ryce helps the princess in pursuit of her brother. But just as the connection between them intensifies, obstacles get in their way. The Saxon king now wants vengeance, and will stop at nothing to get it.

Excerpt:

616 AD, The Kingdom of Elmetia

Teagen scrambled under the table as the first fire-drenched arrow shot through the sky. Within seconds, thatched rooftops blazed and smoke bellowed throughout the palace. Frantic screams replaced the joyful music playing moments before.

“Princess,” Teagen’s nurse hissed from behind a wooden bench. “Are ye injured?”

“Nay.” She cast a wary glance as the battle unfolded before her. “What’s happening? Is it Saxons?”

Her nurse stretched her arm over and stroked her hair. “Aye, princess. Seems to be. Now stay put here while I find yer brother.”

Teagen flinched. “Don’t leave me Dera, please—Niall will be with Papa, they’ll be safe.”

Dera’s face paled. “I hope not, lassie, for yer brother’s sake, I pray he’s not.”

What could she mean? Was Papa in trouble?

She jumped out from her hiding place. “Then I’ll come with ye—”

Dera pushed her down firmly. “Nay, ‘tis not safe. Whatever ye do, do not let them capture ye, understand?”

She nodded, dumbfounded as Dera disappeared.

Grabbing the bottom of her long silk dress, she covered her face in an attempt to subdue the nausea that welled within. She wouldn’t look. She couldn’t. Where was Papa? She needed him right now, to hold her, and keep her safe.

“Teagen.”

A wave of relief washed over her. “Papa!” Teagen ran toward him, tears threatening her eyes.

“Shhh, lassie.” Her father scooped her up and headed for the kitchen just off the Great Hall. He opened a small stone cupboard and placed her inside.

“Stay in here, do ye understand? Do not come out until yer brother gets ye.”

“Please don’t leave me, Papa. Everyone keeps leaving me.” She tasted the salty tears that streamed her face.

Her father stroked her cheek. “Oh, lassie, I love ye so much. Ye know this, don’t ye?”

She nodded.

“Now be a brave girl and stay put.”

She gave her father a lingering hug and breathed in his comforting musky scent, her eyes averting his blood stained tunic. As he shut the cupboard door, the sound of the latch closing sent shivers through her body. The darkness did not mask the coldness of the damp stone walls, or the stale air which stifled her breathing. A sob lodged in her throat. I need to be brave for Papa.

Muffled sounds from outside grew louder—the clash of iron on iron, the collapse of buildings, and cries for help.

“King Ceretic is dead!”

Teagen stopped breathing. It could not be true.

“And what of the rest of the family?”

“Not yet found.”

“We do not leave until they are dead. Burn everything, and gather the survivors—we’ll take them to the slave market.”

She squeezed her eyes together, shutting out the fuzzy sensation that threatened to overtake her.Please, God. Nay. There surely must be some mistake.

Teagen could wait no longer. Despite her father’s strict instructions, she pushed open the door and fell on the kitchen floor. She gasped in a huge breath of air and scrambled to the doorway. Soldiers littered the outside, and in the centre, stood the Saxon King—Edwin the Tyrant. Her stomach lurched as she saw the remains of her father’s body.

Oh, Heavenly Father.

She collapsed to the ground. If her father was dead, it meant her brother Niall would likely be too. She studied the hem of her fine tunic and caressed the intricate beading Dera had sewn on the day before.

She stiffened. If they discovered her true identity as the king’s daughter, she too would be slain. She had to get out of these clothes. Her eyes rested on the dead bodies piled up outside the kitchen entrance and her heart broke as she spotted one of her friends lying on the ground. She kept low, reached out and pulled her friend further inside the kitchen.

“I’m sorry, Hilda,” she whispered to the girl, “but I’m going to need yer clothes. Ye won’t have use for them anymore.” She closed the girl’s eyelids, said a quick prayer, and removed the simple tunic and redressed her young friend in her own grand attire.

She ran out of the kitchen and toward the oak tree at the top of the hill, knowing she would be seen. She perched under a sloping branch and gazed out—her entire world ablaze. Soldiers rummaged through the dead bodies looking for valuables to keep for themselves. Teagen covered her ears as cries penetrated the night. Curling herself into a ball, she cradled her arms around her knees and rocked herself back and forth watching her kingdom fall. They were coming for her, it was simply a matter of time. To survive this night, her identity would have to be forgotten.

Buy on Amazon

Rachel A James

BIO:

Rachel grew fascinated with the medieval time period as a child. Dubbed a bookworm from a young age, Rachel found herself surrounded by places steeped in history and adventure. She enjoyed trips with her family to visit nearby derelict castles and Roman ruins, and that coupled with a zealous imagination and love for stories, sparked her interest in knights, fortresses and ancient kingdoms.

Born and bred in England, Rachel writes adventure driven historical romance, she is also a pastor’s wife, and has three beautiful little princesses. She minored in creative writing at university and strives to entertain, inspire and encourage others in their own spiritual journey. She’s also captivated by romantic tales… combine it with a little history and a hot cup of tea, and she’s smitten! Find her at www.rachelajames.com for more information.

Connect with Rachel:

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Caster’s Unfriendly Ghost by Alicia Dean

Here’s another selection from The Wild Rose Press’s Haunting In the Garden series.

Caster’s Unfriendly Ghost by Alicia Dean

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BLURB

A year after her husband’s death, Emily Tillman is ready to start dating again, and hopefully, find what she’s always wanted—marriage and children. But the man who broke her heart five years ago is back. And he’s anything but the marrying kind.  Confirmed bachelor Reese Caster is perfectly content with his life—and he’s finally over Emily, the one woman who almost made him commit. Now, his world is rocked when her dead husband shows up, demanding that Reese pursue Emily to keep her out of the clutches of her latest suitor—a jerk who is only after her money.  Being around Emily again has made Reese reconsider his bachelor life style. But now that the threat of the other man is gone, the pesky ghost wants Reese to break things off. Can he and Emily find the love they were denied, or will the ghost of her dead husband destroy their chances?

EXCERPT

“Emily is the kind of woman you have to take things slowly with.”

“Sure, if this was real. But you have to step it up, turn on the charm. You need to show you care, that you know her, buy her things that she loves. Her favorite flowers are white roses, she loves dark chocolate, and her favorite wine is Merlot. You need to move in on her, hard.”

Caster gave a humorless laugh and shook his head. “Do you hear yourself? You were her husband, for God’s sake. Have some respect.”

Joey’s face flushed. “I do respect her. That’s why I don’t want this asshole putting one over on her. She deserves to find someone who will truly love her and give her the things I couldn’t.”

A note of pain in his voice almost made Caster feel sorry for him. But not as sorry as he felt for the family who lost a loved one less than half an hour ago. “Listen, I’ve performed back to back surgeries today, and had my night capped off by an emergency surgery that ended with a young girl’s death. So, you’ll understand why I’m not in the mood for this right now.”

“I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do about that. My concern is with Emily. And I need you to follow through with your end of the deal.”

“Deal, my ass. You blackmailed me into going along with this bullshit. Well, I’m out. I’ll finish the haunted forest thing, but no more of this romancing Emily crap. I can’t use her like that, I can’t break her heart again.”

“Break her heart? You sound pretty sure she’ll fall for you. My, my. Someone’s full of himself.”

Caster stood and stalked to the door. “Look, I don’t know if she will or not, I just know I can’t do this any longer. You can destroy everything I own, keep me up every night for the rest of my life, but I’m done.”

He put his hand on the door, but Joey’s voice stopped him. “I’ll tell her.”

Caster paused and turned to face him. “You’ll what?”

“Not only will I continue to screw with you, even on the job, but I’ll appear to Emily, tell her about our little scheme. What do you think she’ll think of you then?”

“You’re bluffing. You wouldn’t hurt her like that.”

Joey shook his head and closed his eyes. When he opened them, they were suspiciously damp. “I don’t want to. But I’ll do anything to keep her from making the biggest mistake of her life.”

Caster let out a resigned sigh and shook his head. “Nah, getting mixed up with the two of us was the biggest mistake of her life.”

Website:

http://aliciadean.com/

Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Casters-Unfriendly-Ghost-Hauntings-Garden-ebook/dp/B00NQMV4NQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412516933&sr=8-1&keywords=caster%27s+unfriendly+ghost

Nook:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/casters-unfriendly-ghost-alicia-dean/1120455662?ean=2940150463943

Wild Rose Press:

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=242_177_139&products_id=5840