Book Review – The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I loved this book. It was hard to read at times with the truth of the times it was set and the place; Jackson, Mississippi. This was a time in US History that I really didn’t know a lot about, being born in 1963. It was hard to read of what the maids put up with to have a job. The idea that these women were trusted to raise their bosses children but not trusted with the silverware was a world I had never seen.

Everyone should read this book.

Jill James

Zombies!!!

Anyone who knows me knows I love zombie books. Even better, there have started to be zombie romance books. No ewwws out there. Not zombie sex, hot zombie hunters sex. LOL

The latest I’ve read is Plague Town by Dana Fredsti. It is an amazing story of a slightly older, going back to college woman, complete with boy toy, until the zombie apocalypse hits in her small college town.

I loved that Ashley is older and slightly wiser. I love that this is the beginning of a series with Plague Country and Plague World coming soon. The zombie action is intense enough for zombie fans but most of all I loved Ashley’s interactions with the people around her, especially those in authority.

Definitely an A+++ read   Jill James

Allison Brennan is back!!

I love Allison Brennan’s Lucy Kincaid and her boyfriend Sean Rogan. They are available in a new adventure in her latest, Silenced. The plot of prostitutes and blackmail is gripping and things change from chapter to chapter. But best of all, is the relationship between Lucy and Sean. I love them together. Each book brings a new depth to their relationship and growing love.

The story is a roller coaster ride of blackmail, politics, families, and the evil that men do. I loved it!!!

Jill James

Blog The Book – She Cried Wolf

She Cried Wolf  by Lee Lopez

This is an amazing debut suspense/thriller by Lee Lopez. Irene Carlotti and Rio DeJesus are great characters to root for when danger finds Irene even when she’s done everything to hide herself away from the world. Rio is the contractor bringing Irene’s old Victorian back to life and her only connection to the outside world. When she is sure she sees an evil man from her past it seems no one will believe the woman who cried wolf one too many times.

A great A++ read.  Jill James

 

Available at Amazon, BN.com, and Smashwords

Blog The Book – Badwater by Toni Dwiggins

I discovered this Indie book on the Kindleboards. The author was working on a blurb for her new book and mentioned how easy the other one had been. Someone asked her about the other blurb, which was:

Forensic geologists Cassie Oldfield and Walter Shaws embark on a perilous hunt–tracking a terrorist who has stolen radioactive material that is hotter than the desert in August. He threatens to release it in America’s most fragile national park, Death Valley.

But first he must stop the geologists who are closing in.

As the hunt turns dangerous, Cassie and Walter will need grit along with their field skills to survive this case. For they are up against more than pure human malice. The unstable atom–in the hands of an unstable man–is governed by Murphy’s Law. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

And it does.

I went and bought it right then. I was sucked in from the first page. I learned about forensic geology, the topography of Death Valley, one of the US’s most unique National Parks. I visited Death Valley as a kid and was instantly fascinated by its harsh beauty. It is like visiting a different planet.

Ms. Dwiggins book is part geology lesson and part ecological thriller. The writing in this book brought the characters of Cassie and Walter to life. With the twists and turns you are never sure who are the bad men and women and who are the good. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. I hope it is every bit the roller coaster ride of excitement that Badwater: The Forensic Geology series was. AA++ for an excellent read.

Jill James

Blog The Book – The King’s Mistress by Emma Campion

I have a fascination with historical novels. I love losing myself in another time. I don’t usually enjoy first person point of view but it felt right for this novel. To understand that Alice Perrers felt helpless to change her course of action meant the writer had to have us right there with Alice as everyone and everything around her is not who or what they seem and everything is done without Alice’s ability to change anything.

This book was rich in details to bring the period of King Edward III of England to life. The clothing, the housing, the littlest details of royal life. This book was an AAA+++ read.

Jill James

Linda LaRoque – Blog Tour Guest

Today I’m honored to host Linda LaRoque

on the next whistle-stop of her blog tour for A Marshal of Her Own. She is sharing some awesome stuff she learned while researching for her book.

Make sure you read all the way down because Linda has some amazing contest prizes and giveaways going on for her blog tour. Enjoy!!

Courting In The Old West by Linda LaRoque

We often hear conflicting stories on a woman’s desire to marry during the Victorian Era. Marriage was a woman’s only means of security, a home of her own, and children. So, with these privileges, came many hardships—being tied to the home, bearing and caring for five to seven children, endless household tasks, and in a sense, being a servant to her husband. Therefore, many women, though desirous of the joys of marriage, had ambivalent feelings regarding the establishment.

Men, however, had a different outlook on the subject. They viewed marriage as a positive enterprise. Marriage meant sex, pampering, and maid service. For the man trying to ranch or farm, marriage meant someone to help him work the land as well as cook, care for the home, and any children born to them. Often the man was a widower and married just to provide his children with a mother. Love wasn’t a prerequisite. A couple was lucky if respect grew into affection.

Though we realize the above was probably true for the majority of couples, there had to be exceptions. If not, how would writers be able to write those wonderful western historical love stories, the ones with strong, independent women and tough men who weren’t afraid to show their softer side? True, many women had cruel husbands who saw their wives as baby machines and servants, and often abused them. But I believe there were just as many men who adored their wives, who wanted a wife to work alongside them as an equal.

So, how did men and women meet, get acquainted, fall in love, and marry on the frontier in the 1800s? Many met at church, church socials, wedding, corn husking bees, barn raisings, and other socials that usually involved food, music, and dancing. Courting in the old West usually took place at an older age for girls than it did back east. Women were usually in the early twenties when they married. Men married in the middle to late twenties.

Public displays of affection, like kissing at corn husking bees, were more acceptable in the old West than in the east, especially during the earlier part of the century when women were in scarce supply. For dates, the couple took walks, took the buggy or wagon out for picnics, took horseback rides, hayrides, cuddled in the hayloft, and danced at socials.

For men in areas with few women, there were subscriptions to heart-and-hand clubs. The men received newspapers with information about women they could correspond with. Often photographs were included. Over a period of correspondence, the man might convince the woman to join him in the West and marry. Other men found their spouses as picture brides. They might see the picture of a friend’s sister or cousin and invite them to join them in marriage.

In 1849, Eliza Farnham encouraged women to travel to California to meet men and marry. Since only two women accompanied her, Eliza’s efforts weren’t considered successful. Later, Acer Mercer organized two different trips to take women to Washington to become brides to the men living there. Do you remember the 1968-1970 television show Here Comes The Brides? Three brothers risk their logging business to bring 100 women to Seattle to live for a year and hopefully become wives and remain to help settle the territory.

History is loaded with stories to tempt our imaginations. I love writing time travels and observing the reactions to the social mores of the nineteenth century. A Marshal of Her Own is one of those stories. I hope you’ll take a look.

Enjoy an excerpt from A Marshal of Her Own:

Dessa stood still and watched as they conversed. Something stank to high heaven about this entire situation. Why were the cops chasing robbers on horseback? It’s not like Fredericksburg was that isolated. She glanced at the captured men. The boy moaned, and she made a step to go over and help him. The Marshal spun, and the expression in his eye froze her in place.

 “He needs first aid.”

“He’s fine. The Doc will tend to him when we get to the jail.”

“You could at least call 911 and let them patch him up for you.” She nodded to the man lying so still with his eyes closed. “Your other prisoner doesn’t look so good. He’s going to die on you if you don’t start CPR or get him some help.”

“Lady, no one is going to hear a yell from out here. Never heard of any 911 or CPR.” He propped the hand not holding the shotgun on his hip and threw her a disgusted look. “Are you blind? That man is dead, shot through the heart.”

Her head swam for a moment, and she struggled not to give in to the sensation and faint. She drew in deep gulps of air. “Well…well…, what about the coroner and the meat wagon, not to mention the CSI folks? If you don’t get them to record the scene, how are you going to cover your butt? The authorities might say you shot him in cold blood.”

He looked at her like she’d sprouted an extra head. “I don’t know what the hell you are talking about woman. No one will question my authority. I’m the law in this county. Now, be quiet, or I’m going to gag you.”

A Marshal of Her Own will be available now at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and other online book stores. It is the sequel to A Law of Her Own available at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble.com and other online book stores. I’m awaiting a release date for A Love of His Own, the third story in the Prairie, Texas series.

My release contest for A Marshal of Her Own began November 9th. I’ll be giving away this vintage rhinestone typewriter pin. To enter the drawing, go to my website or blog and sign up for my newsletter. Don’t forget to verify your email address. If you already receive it, email me at linda@lindalaroque.com with A Marshal of Her Own contest in the subject line. Contest ends December 15, 2011.

Leave me a comment or ask a question today and you’ll be entered into a drawing for an ecopy of A Law of Her Own.

Also, today’s blog post is part of 2 blog tours—this one for A Marshal of Her Own and starting December 4th, one for Born in Ice. Follow along each day and leave a comment to be entered into the grand prize drawing and learn about my Born in Ice contest.

The Blog Tour schedule will be posted on my blog and website. It will last 25 days and the Grand Prize is a Kindle. Leave a comment each day and your name will be entered 25 times. Pretty good odds, huh?

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Jill!

Linda, it was great having you here today.

Next Stop: Tomorrow, Dec. 3, Linda will be on Jeanne Guzman’s blog at http://romanceinflight.blogspot.com/ talking about The Invention of the Sewing Machine.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Linda LaRoque

Writing Romance With a Twist in Time

www.lindalaroque.com

http://www.lindalaroqueauthor.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tinyman#!/linda.laroque

http://twitter.com/#!/LindaLaRoque

Blog The Book – Lady Northam’s Wicked Surrender by Vivienne Westlake

If you’ve ever had an old flame that you never could forget, someone who made every touch, every conversation feel intense and vibrant? A love that could make you abandon all sense of control and propriety?

That’s what it is like for my heroine, Rowena, whenever she sees Simon. The six years apart fade into nothing when he is in the room and she can barely contain her rioting emotions–or her rising desire. Though she shouldn’t trust him, her body longs for the exquisite pleasure that he promises.

Fall in love with Simon, Lord Rutherford, in Lady Northam’s Wicked Surrender. Yield to his determination and skillful hands. It is an experience you won’t forget.

Back cover blurb:

A midnight encounter between two estranged lovers rekindles a passion beyond their wildest dreams…

Rowena, Countess of Northam, is surprised to find her former suitor has returned from India and is on his way to the very house where she is staying. When he appears in her room late at night, she can only believe it is a dream. Her fantasy soon becomes reality when Simon makes every effort to seduce her.

Despite his six year absence, and the fact that Rowena married his best friend, Simon is determined to have her back now that she is a widow. It soon becomes clear that while her body craves his affections, she doesn’t trust him enough to give her heart. Can Simon forget her past betrayal and convince her to surrender to the greatest love they’ve ever known?

Now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Visit Vivienne’s website for more details.

Excerpt (R Rated):

Rowena hesitantly made her way down to breakfast. She’d managed to arrive without encountering anyone in the hall. Though earlier she could swear she’d heard Simon humming in a nearby room. Her mind must be playing tricks on her. She had, after all, spent the entire night dreaming erotic fantasies about him.

A hot red crept up her cheeks now as she walked in and spotted Simon by the window. She froze. When had he gotten here? She didn’t remember hearing him arrive. Could last night have been real? Had Simon entered her room last night and attempted to make love to her?

The temptation to walk out of the room overwhelmed her. She did not want to see him. Fortunately, his back was turned. Did he know she was here? And, if he had been in her room last night, what must he think of her now? Seeing him in the light of day made her heart beat a jarring rhythm. He was here, in the same house, just a few feet away from her.

She didn’t know what to do. It was very possible that the heated kisses they’d shared were real. Which meant he had held her in the night, when she’d dazedly woken from her dream and thought she’d gone from one sensual illusion into another.

It had been Simon, not her imagination, that had spread her legs open and caressed her in the most intimate place. It was Simon that had held her close and kissed her so deeply her very fingers trembled from it. She had to know for sure. How much was real and how much was fantasy?

Lord Rutherford had indeed returned. Her worst fear, her deepest dream, was now her reality. And she had no idea what to do.
Should she pretend nothing had happened? If it was a dream, no one ever had to know. But, if it was real, she’d nearly let him ravish her last night. What were his intentions? It did not speak well of him to awaken a lady in the middle of the night and take liberties that should be reserved for a husband.

Agitated, Rowena squeezed and rubbed her fingers with her other hand. She stood there, unmoving, not sure whether to run or whether to pull Simon aside and reprimand him.

“Good morning,” Alice called to her.

She straightened her back and opted for cordial formality. She would be damned if she would let him think she was affected. “Good morning, Alice,” Rowena responded, her awareness still on the imposing man at the window.

Though the room was large, he filled the space easily, commanding it with his very presence the way he commanded everything. Was it any wonder that she couldn’t stop thinking about him, even in her dreams?

Alice looked from her to Simon and back again. “Lord Rutherford is just returned from India.” She stood up. “Simon, you remember Lady Northam. She and her sister are staying with us this month.”

He turned and the light caught one cheek, while the other side of his face stayed in shadow. The darkness suited him and she couldn’t help but remember the way he looked last night, pinning her body to the bed.

* LADY NORTHAM’S WICKED SURRENDER is now available on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords! *

Vivienne Westlake Romance
The Playground of Sassy Witches & Demons, Clever Ladies, and Redeemable Rakes

www.viviennewestlake.com
My Blog

Available on Kindle, Nook and Smashwords – Lady Northam’s Wicked Surrender

Blog The Book – The Sidhe Princess by Loucinda McGary

Please, sit down on this comfy blanket beside Loucinda and me as she tells us a tale of The Sidhe Princess. The grass under the blanket is soft, the strong trees shield us from the sun, and the blooming flowers scent the air. Grab a cup of tea and some scones as we listen.

Jill: Loucinda, what is The Sidhe Princess about?

Loucinda: In the rural Northern Ireland of the 1960s, sixteen-year-old Moira Mullins is newly released from her second stay in a mental institution. Her problem is that she can’t seem to escape the notice of the other-worldly inhabitants of the wild lands bordering her family’s farm. Creatures nobody else can see or hear.

When one of these beings, a fairy princess called the Maid of Ulster, offers to foretell the future, Moira jumps at the chance. But the Maid has ulterior motives that could have tragic results for Moira, who learns the future is sometimes better unknown.

Jill: So intriguing. Fairy creatures, knowing the future, and an awesome cover. What do you mean you haven’t seen the cover. Here it is!

Jill: I can hear of your oh’s and ah’s, but we would like an excerpt from Loucinda, wouldn’t we?

Loucinda: (turning on her ereader) Here we go.

This hadn’t been Moira’s first stay in the sanitarium. No, that had happened over three years ago, the spring before she’d turned thirteen, and that time had been far worse. The visions or hallucinations or whatever they were had never happened to her before. At least not with such intensity, and telling the truth was never going to set her free of the horrid place.

Fee had been the one to tell her that revelation, and advise her to hide pills under her tongue and spit them out later. Just as Fee had been the only one who believed the creatures Moira saw and heard were real, not some sickness in her mind.

This go round, Moira had been far wiser to the doctors and nurses and their ways, and she’d only been forced to stay three months. The fact that her sister had visited almost every Sunday afternoon, her day off, helped too.

But Fee was gone now, far away across the pond in the city of Philadelphia, and Moira was back in County Armagh on the old homestead – the place of her torment. As she emptied her battered old satchel and put her few things away in the single bureau, she gazed out the only small window in the attic room.

Outside beyond the ragged edge of the back yard and the weed choked meadow lay the misty expanse of the fens. The thickly overgrown brush and gnarled trees that obscured the shores of Lough Neagh seemed to beckon to her, at the same time enticing and sinister. People in the village whispered tales about the fens, of strange goings on and how some folks who went in never came out.

How many times had Mum told her and Fee that the fens were dangerous? That they shouldn’t play there? But of course they did anyway. And when she was thirteen, Moira discovered the creatures from another realm lived there. Strange, beautiful and wild beings that appeared for her alone. Her mistake had been talking about them.

She knew it would only be a matter of time before she succumbed to their siren call, and the madness that awaited her within them would send her back to the hated, sterile confines of the sanitarium.

###

Nine days later, she first saw the new apparition. Mum and Da went off on their usual Saturday shopping expedition, and Moira elected to stay home alone.

Though Mum looked worried, Da actually took Moira’s side. “She’s not a wee lass any more, Mary,” he scolded. “You don’t need her right by your side every waking moment.”

He’d given Moira a wink behind her mother’s back when they climbed into the ancient farm truck that was their only means of transportation. With hearty calls of “Be home for tea!” they rumbled off in a cloud of dust.

The day was far too fine to stay inside ironing, so a couple of hours later, Moira slipped her little yellow transistor radio into her apron pocket and went outside to simply enjoy the sweet autumn sunshine. Even if she felt relief at coming and going as she pleased, she did feel oddly alone after the constant voices and presence of the staff and patients in the
sanitarium. Not that she missed the place, far from it!

She missed her sister.

On the radio, the Beatles crooned about “…please me like I please you…” and she sang along. But by the end of the song, the signal was fading. She turned the radio off and wished she’d asked Mum to pick up new batteries while she and Da were out.

As she slid the radio back into her pocket, her fingers brushed over Fiona’s letter. Moira had already read it more than once. In fact, she’d given Mum her reply to mail in the village today. But she walked over to the stump at the edge of the yard to read the letter yet another time.

Something about the letter wasn’t right. It wasn’t so much the things Fee wrote, but more like what she hadn’t. Moira couldn’t shake an uneasy feeling that not all was well. However, she also knew Fee wouldn’t say anything for fear of worrying Mum and Da.

The thin onion-skin paper rattled like the waxy stuff wrapped around the fancy scones that came from the village bakery. Moira smoothed the folded sheets across her lap and read Fee’s sprawling script, heard her voice in the written words as she described the crazy city traffic all going in the wrong direction. The Richardsons had a brand new Lincoln Town Car and Mrs. Richardson intended to buy herself a car too, as soon as she found one
to her liking.

Moira closed her eyes and imagined what it must be like to be so rich you owned two new cars and a fine house so big that your three children each had a bedroom and the nanny had one too. While she pictured the lovely wall-papered room Fee had described, the sound of childish laughter invaded Moira’s daydream. Her eyes popped open and she scanned the brushy border of the fens, catching a glimpse of a white figure.

“Who’s there?” Moira cried, shoving the letter back into her pocket and jumping to her feet.

The fens could be a dangerous place for a child, full of boggy spots and stickery piles of brambles, as Mum had never failed to tell her. But as Moira crossed the over-grown expanse of the meadow and drew closer to the fens, she heard the giggling again. A scrap of doubt tugged at her mind, making her hesitate. Something about the sound wasn’t childish. Or even human.

While she paused, the being came into view. Small as a child of nine or ten and clad in a long gown of gauzy white, the girl’s golden hair streamed behind her, strands of it braided around bird feathers or woven into bits of metal or bright colored beads. Her skin was almost the same shade as her hair, like rich honey, and when she stopped to regard Moira, her dark eyes shone with the same flecks of gold.

One of the fae, Moira guessed, and the most exquisite wee thing she’d ever seen.

“You can see me as well as hear me, can you not?” asked the small woman. The proud way she stood and the commanding tone she used were not the least bit childlike.

Moira nodded mutely and twisted her hands into her apron. ‘Twas not the first time she’d seen and even spoken to other-worldly creatures, though never before had one been so bold in approaching her. Nor so beautiful.

Jill: Loucinda, thank you so much for a tease of your lovely tale. Here is where everyone can get the rest of the story.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/rmaPBi

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/95446

and here is where you can find Loucinda McGary

My website: www.LoucindaMcgary.com
My FaceBook author page: https://www.facebook.com/loucinda.mcgary
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/LoucindaMcGary
Group Blog: http://romancebandits.com/

Thank you so much Loucinda for a lovely look at your book and a lovely day among the Fae.

Jill James

Blog The Book – Hidden Wives by Claire Avery

Recently I took a trip to Texas to see Pvt. Tim at Ft. Hood. I needed a book for the plane trip so I picked up one at the airport store. Hidden Wives looked like a great read about polygamy. I’ve read The 19th Wife and several books by Natalie Collins and the idea of a patriarchical society totally run for the males in the society’s benefit with underage brides and multiple wives is fascinating to read about. You find yourself asking questions. Why don’t the women protest? Why don’t they leave? What will the men do to keep them in line and keep them in the closed world?

Hidden Wives dug deep. It really showed the closed world, the cult these women live in. The only world they know is twisted and presented as right. The book tells of two sisters who escape the abuse and make lives for themselves.

A great read that will have you asking questions late into the night. Jill James

Blog The Book – Brodie’s Bride by Amie Louellen

I’m welcoming Amie Louellen and her fabulous book Brodie’s Bride back to Jill James Writes.

Here is a little tease about Brodie’s Bride, along with that luscious cover.

Waking up next to a beautiful golden-haired stranger isn’t the worst thing that has ever happened to Brodie Harper, but staying in a fake marriage in order to gain a new construction contract could very well be. 

Savanna Morgan just wanted a way out of an engagement to a man she didn’t love. 
Marrying Brodie seemed liked the perfect answer at the time.  Less perfect the next morning when she finds herself disowned by her father and flat broke.  Now she must make it through the weekend. Monday they can get it all annulled and forget it ever happened. 

The real problem may be keeping their hands off each other until then.

Makes me want to rush out and get this book. If you need a little more enticing, here is an excerpt from the story.

 “Married,” the official supplied with a happy nod.

For the first time since the blonde had screamed and set off the pounding in his head, Brodie noticed the band that circled the fourth finger of his left hand. Married. Images of a scarlet chapel and gold rings flitted through his mind. Lost in the fog of straight shots of tequila, the whole ordeal seemed liked a dream. But if what the man said was true…

Holy heaven. The last time Brodie had gotten drunk had been the day his grandfather died. Then, he’d only acquired a tattoo, but this time… Married? And to a hooker? A gorgeous hooker. An expensive hooker by the depleted state of his wallet, but a hooker none-the-less.

“Where’s my dress?”

Brodie half-turned as his hooker-bride stumped down the stairs, her naked glory covered by the rumpled satin sheet. One red, high-rise pump was missing.

“I wouldn’t know,” he replied, his headache tripling.

“You took it off. You find it.” She punched him hard in the chest with one red lacquered fingernail.

“You want it. You find it,” he countered.

“That dress was an Armani. And you—”

Brodie leaned away from the blonde and closer to the man behind the counter. “Are you sure we’re married?”

“Quite certain.”

“Married?” she squeaked.

“One hundred percent sure?” Brodie added.

“It was a lovely ceremony.”

“Married?”

Damn, Brodie thought. He was too nice of a guy, but he couldn’t stand the panic he heard in her voice. He faced her and took her left hand in his own, turning them both so she could see their identical rings.

“Seems we tied the knot last night, sunshine.”

Brodie’s Bride is available from The Wild Rose Press

Amie Louellen loves nothing more than a good book.  Except for her family…and maybe
homemade tacos…and shoes.  But reading and writing are definitely high on the list. When she’s not creating quirky characters and happy endings she enjoys going to little league baseball games and boy scout meetings. Born and bred in Mississippi, Amie is a transplanted Southern Belle who now lives in Oklahoma with her deputy husband, their genius son, a spoiled cat, and one very hyper beagle.

Find Amie at her website: www.amielouellen.com

author email : amielouellen@gmail.com

Jill James

Blog The Book – Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff

This was a wonderful read. A true historical, but the author interjected modern ways and modern things to compare Cleopatra’s life to. Comparing money spent on a party to a modern equivalent made reading the book fun. I spotted the cover at my local Costco first, but the back cover copy dragged me into the story of the most famous woman in history.

I loved the idea that the author dug a little deeper than Cleopatra was a femme fatale and used her sexual wiles to turn every man into a lap dog. The author outlined the ways in which Cleopatra was a true ruler of her country and took care of it and its people.

It was still very much a man’s world and if Cleo used her femininity to get what she wanted; so be it.

It was a well-written history and a fun read. Always an AA++ in my book.

Jill James

BSP – Blatent Self Promotion

But hey, I can do that because it is my blog. I’m a little brain-dead at the moment with just 4 hours of sleep last night. But, here is my newest adventure in this crazy career we call writing: my first Indie book.

 

Buy Here!

Also at BN.com and Smashwords.

I’ll be adding excerpts and blurbs this week.

Thanks, Jill James

Blog The Book – Dangerous Charade by Elizabeth Means

Please welcome The Wild Rose Press author Elizabeth Means to the blog. Her just released book, Dangerous Charade looks like an exciting read. But, I’ll let you judge for yourself with this exquisite cover and a teaser of a blurb.

To escape an arranged marriage Gabrielle Broussard flees her home to become an undercover investigator with an elite, all-female investigative agency.  Her first ssignment, as governess at Westford castle to investigate the suspicious death of the Countess of
Westford, quickly becomes complicated when she finds herself attracted to her number one suspect.

Lord Julian Blackwell is a survivor.  After his father’s bankruptcy, he becomes a self-made man in Victorian England’s booming industrial era.  Trapped into a loveless marriage, he has survived the shock of his wife’s sudden death.  But now he must survive rumors and outright accusations.  Hiring a private agency to investigate and prove his nnocence seems like a good idea … until desire threatens to compromise both the case and the life of the investigator.

Wow, Charlie’s Angels in Victorian England with a little gothic mystery thrown in. Can’t wait to get this book. Let’s add an excerpt of the book to enjoy the voice and world-building of the author.

Watch out.” Patience warned Gabrielle. “My brother is on a rampage, and he’s looking
for you.”

Gabrielle sighed. It was time to face the music. She’d had time to cool off since Julian’s ill-mannered remark. But apparently he hadn’t forgiven her for leaving him with Elisabeth.

“So what did you do to him?” Patience teased.

“I left him to fend for himself with Elisabeth McGovern.”

Patience gasped with horror. “You left him with that evil hag? How could you! I told you
how miserable she was to him.”

“I know, I know. But you didn’t hear what he said to her about me. He was completely out of line. I didn’t appreciate it, and I let him know.”

Patience listened to Gabrielle’s protests with a knowing smile and a dreamy gaze.

“Patience? Hello?” Gabrielle waved a gloved hand in front of her. “Did you hear what I said?”

“I’m sorry, no. I was thinking about the wedding,” she responded.

“Whose wedding?”

“Yours. And Julian’s. Oh, look, there’s the duchess. I really must speak with her.” She sauntered away before Gabrielle could utter a protest. 

Gabrielle collected herself and moved closer to the balcony rail to study the crowd of masked revelers below. Her head ached dreadfully again. She needed to find Julian. With any luck, he would be ready to leave.

With one hand on the banister and one foot in the air, she started to descend the marble steps. At that moment a hand landed on her back and roughly pushed her forward.

“Oh!” She stumbled and grasped at the railing with her other hand. Her foot slipped off the step and she fell sideways.

Using all her strength, Gabrielle managed to maintain her grip on the rail. She landed ungracefully on her knees, barely saving herself from a plunge head first down the marble steps.

A gentleman ascending the stairs hurried to help her to her feet. “Are you all right, miss?”

“Y-yes.” Gabrielle’s heart raced. “I think so, thank you.”

“You’re very lucky.” He glanced back down the steep marble staircase. “That could have
been a deadly fall.”

“I think someone just tried to push me down the steps. I’m not sure I would call that lucky.” She looked up at the small crowd gathered at the top of the steps.

“More than likely it was a drunkard who doesn’t even realize he bumped you.” The gentleman helped her down the stairs and made sure she was steady on her feet at the
bottom of the staircase before releasing her elbow. “Can I get you a drink?”

“No, but thank you, you’ve been most kind. Don’t let me keep you. I’m fine.”

“You’re certain?”

“Positive,” she said firmly, having fully regained her composure.

The man continued on, and Gabrielle took one last look at the group of revelers standing at the top of the steps. Her eyes narrowed when she spotted a gold mask watching her from within it. It was none other than Elisabeth McGovern.

A large hand grasped her shoulder from behind and she jumped. “Ah!”

“I believe we have a conversation to finish.” A deep voice said in her ear. She whirled around and found herself staring into Julian’s furious green eyes.

Well, I surely what to read more. You can get Dangerous Charade at TWRP and Amazon and BN.com

About the author: Elizabeth Means lives in Missouri with her wonderful husband. She enjoys reading and writing in a wide wariety of genres, but historial romance has always been one of her favorites, especially Victorian era romance stories fueled by forbidden love and a murder…or two. The foggy streets, swirling coat tails and grand castles found in the genre make it difficult to resist.

Elizabeth holds an undergraduate degree in biology, and when she’s not working or
writing she can usually be found enjoying the great outdoors.

You can also find Elizabeth at her website: www.elizabeth-means.com

Jill James

Blog the Book – Sector C

Sometimes you find a treasure amid all the millions of bargain eBooks now available. I discovered Sector C by Phoenix Sullivan on the Kindleboards. I’m a huge fan of Michael Crichton and Robin Cook, and I would proudly place Sector C on my bookshelf with them.

First, I have to be honest, the cover did nothing for me, but the story was awesome. I grew to know and care about Donna the veterinarian and Mike, the CDC statistics guy. Ms. Sullivan also made me care about the blameless ranchers and sheep herders and pet owners in the story.

The feel of the story was one of believability. This COULD happen. It probably WILL happen, it is just a matter of time. Just like in Jurassic Park, we have to ask ourselves, just because we could, does that mean we should.

There was enough medical jargon to make me believe Ms. Sullivan knew what she was talking about with prions, vectors, and viruses, but not enough to overwhelm me.

Excellent read AAA+++

Jill James

Blog The Book – Dangerous to Her by Virna Depaul

Dangerous to Her was an exciting read. Ms. Depaul took her knowledge of the courtroom system and placed us right in the middle of the action. Det. Dominic Jeffries thinks of the one he left behind, until his current undercover case brings them again, face-to-face.

Mattie Nolan has spent her life wanting safe and average. Until Dominic comes back into her life and forces her to rethink that safe and average can’t compare to hot, sexy, and dangerous.

This is Ms. Depaul’s debut with Harlequin Romantic Suspense. An AA++ read

Jill James

Blog The Book – Where All The Dead Lie

Available for pre-order

I’ve read all of J.T. Ellison’s Taylor Jackson books, but this one and the one just before it (So Close The Hand Of Death) are my favorites.

In the beginning of “Where”, Taylor is recovering from being shot in the head and can’t speak. For such a strong woman, this is painful at best and downright impossible at worst. To top it off, she is buried in remorse for all her friends who were hurt by the guy who shot her in the head.

Ellison does great characters. They are alive and jump off the page. Taylor, her friend Samantha, her squad of fellow cops, her lover John Baldwin, and Memphis Highsmythe, who offers his drafty Scottish castle for Taylor to recuperate. But are there strings attached?

The isolation and strange characters populating the castle soon have Taylor worrying about more than just her missing voice and which man she truly loves.

I don’t want to spoil anything in this story. So please, get it for yourself and enjoy!!!

Jill James