Christmas Awards 2011

Friday 30 May 2008

Wicked Temptations

Wicked Temptations/ Tambra Kendall/ Whiskey Creek Press
Ebook/66 pages

This is the first book in Volume 9 of a Celtic Love knots production. Laria was putting shortbread into a display cabinet when a gorgeous man walked into her shop. He was delivering a final offer on her property, which she will never accept. Laria invites him to dinner, but she has more than food on her mind. She wants him to represent her against the man threatening her.

Laria is the guardian of a sacred trust but it and she are danger. She must make Cameron fall in love with her – but does she need magic?

Sexy and fun!

The Dark Mist is the second book in this volume. This is a story of goddesses and druids - another tale of magic and sensual love in Ireland with a surprise at the end.

I think I preferred the second book, though both were enjoyable. Magic and sensuality go well together and if you enjoy Celtic stories you won’t want to miss this pair.

Four red roses. Morna

Before The Storm

Judith Lennox
Before The Storm
Headline/paperback £6.99
ISBN 978 0 7553 3134 5
601 pages

When Richard first sees a young woman staring out to sea in a fixed manner he is intrigued. He makes every effort to engage her interest but for a long time Isabel resists. She holds back because she has a secret she feels would make it wrong for her to marry. However, in the end Richard's persistence breaks down her reserve and she falls in love. They marry and have a family and all seems well, but wars and life intervene and cracks begin to appear. Richard is not always faithful; they hurt each other and the lives of their children bring more disruption and quarrels.

The children's lives take over for about two thirds of the book - Sara, Ruby, Philip and Theo. Ruby is the adopted daughter whose coming makes a big impact on all their lives. Ruby's father has gone missing - did he just walk out on his family, and what secrets will Ruby uncover as she searches for the truth?

What will happen when Isabel's secret is at last revealed?

This is a huge saga spanning a long period of time, beautifully constructed and written and hugely compelling. It is the kind of book I both love and hate. I love it because it is clever and absorbing, and I hate it because it drags you in and messes with your mind, making you lose all track of time. This is the kind of book that gets the dinner burned!

Joking aside this is a wonderful story that makes you think. Five red roses, Linda Sole

Wednesday 28 May 2008

Eureka Point

Eureka Point by Betty Ann Harris/ Red Rose Publishing/ ebook

Kate is in trouble. She is finding out from the FBI that her husband has been living a double life. Now he has disappeared and some people think Kate may know more than she does. Now Kate has to figure out how to get out of the trouble and stay alive while doing it. She also has to figure out how she could be blind to what was going on.

Tom is doing his job. Part of that job is protecting Kate while the search for her husband is conducted. Tom has helped many people stay alive when they are being hunted by criminals. It has given purpose to his life since the death of his wife. What Tom wasn’t counting on is how personal it was going to become protecting Kate. This job is suddenly much more important than any other he has done. Protecting Kate and keeping her alive means having a future, one to look forward to. Now all they have to do is find her husband.

Tom and Kate need to figure out what they feel while keeping the criminals at bay. Things are getting a lot more difficult.

This is a good suspense story. You never know what will happen next. It will keep you on the edge of your seat as you see what will happen next. The description of the locations makes you feel like you are there and see all the beauty that the characters are seeing.

I give this one 4 red roses.

Thursday 22 May 2008

The Dreadful Duke

Barbara Hazard/The Dreadful Duke/ Robert Hale/ hardback
ISBN 978-070-908461-7 £18.99/ 223 pages

The Duke of Severn finds his two thirteen year old daughters bathing in a lake on a hot day with a young woman he does not recognise. He calls her rude names and blames her for allowing his twin daughters to run wild, but when the truth becomes known he is left with egg on his face. He has to apologise to a rather reserved young lady who makes her dislike of him obvious. Determined to overcome her reserve and finding himself more and more attracted to Lady Juliet Manchester, the duke finds it difficult to understand why she seems to find his touch abhorrent. Meanwhile his daughters have decided they want Juliet as a stepmother and get up to all kinds of tricks to bring this about. However, Juliet has a secret in her past that makes marriage impossible.

This is a pleasing Regency romp with a touching revelation at the end. Well worth readinf. 4,5 red roses, Morna

Sarah's Journey

Ginger Simpson/ Sarah’s Journey/Eternal Press/ ebook/160 pages

Sarah is with a wagon train travelling to a new life when they suffer a savage attack by Indians. Sarah lives through it. She tries in vain to save a friend and then sets out carrying a little water but no food. During a buffalo stampede she climbs a tree and there sees a man who was not as lucky. She believes him to be pure bred Indian and when he falls from his horse she steals it. However, she is bitten by a snake soon after and the horse returns to its master. When Grey Wolf comes to his senses and sets out on the trail will he show Sarah compassion or pass by?

Grey wolf is a half-breed, treated with contempt by the white man and the Indian, but he has remained true to himself. In a time when hate ruled how could these two opposites ever hope to find love and happiness?

The Indian attack was so graphic and detailed that it brought home the horror to me far more than any western film I’ve watched. This is a story of love out of time, beautiful, poignant and sad. However, there is a surprise at the end. I’m not sure it needed the happy ending, because I loved the reality and truth of the story, but it is a lovely book and one to buy. Five red roses, Linda

Tuesday 20 May 2008

Featured Author

Jane's new book from Red Rose Publishing. I have the book and from what
I've seen so far this is another good one, Jane!

I love the cover too!

Tell us a little about yourself
Well I’m wife, mother and writer, and I try desperately to keep it in balance, though I must admit, writing sometimes becomes obsessive compulsive.
I live in New Zealand.

What do you write?
I write both historical, time travel, and contemporary. Woman of Valor my first book was a time travel set in ancient Judea, and Be My Valentine in Jamaica. Then followed several contemporaries, Always A Bridesmaid, Hiring Cupid, and He’s The One. No Sex Necessary is my recent contemporary for Red Rose Publishing, plus The Sheikh’s Proposal. My time travel Love in Waiting has also recently been contracted. Reading this, it makes me sound like I have a split personality!

Why do you write?
Because I have to. Though really I came to it late – about age 42, but once hooked, I could never, ever give it up. The chance to create characters to come to me, asking me to write their turmoil and find them ever lasting love is a task I could never refuse.

What are you writing now?
I have several on the go. A straight historical about a Huguenot girl escaping France and a contemporary set in England. Plus I’ve just written a novella, my sort of erotica LOL.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
Jeans. Casual. But if I could afford it I would have a person to do my clothes shopping. Stylish – of course!

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
I’ve been married 25 years this year. So love has lasted a pretty good time so far!

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he look like?
George Clooney! And no you can’t have him – he’s all mine!

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
Muffins and cake stuff- sadly.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
I like a good comedy. Cry – The Notebook made me cry. But laughing is best.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I like to read, though find it difficult to make time. I have two daughters and love doing girly stuff with them. We’re into vintage cars as a family and often do car runs with a bunch of other petrolheads. I’m an avid interior decorating fan and can pour over magazines for hours! Mind you, I should be gardening, the weeds are reaching mega proportions in places!

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
I like it that they make me feel special.

What do you hate about life?
The hectic pace. I’d love to have a month without stress LOL – does that sort of time exist?

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
I think the most important thing for me is being a good wife and mother. That my kids will turn round and say to me that I did a good job. We adopted our girls after 13 years of marriage, so being a mum is very special to me.

What are you going to write next?
Finish the present book, an historical. Finish the present contemporary, plus finish the present novella. Then….a time travel I think.
Then, can I please have a rest?

Thursday 15 May 2008

The Lady of Sexuality by Rorrey Lynch
Red Rose Publishing/ ebook

Aengus and her sisters are in trouble. Unless mortals start to believe in the Gods and Goddess again she is going to disappear into dust. Aengus comes down from the heavens to see what can be done.

Andrew meets a beautiful woman that wishes for him to teach her how to play the harp. April tells Andrew she wishes to learn to play but she isn’t being completely honest with him. April knows there is something special about Andrew the moment she sees him. He has been betrayed in the past and that makes him very leery of her. April knows she cares very deeply for him but he needs to face his fears and take a chance on her.

April is running out of time. She knows Andrew cares but can he admit it and face his feelings or will he realize the truth too late.

The immortals are getting restless and stalking them. The only way to survive is to face their fears and come to terms with their feelings.

Time is running out. Will April and Andrew be in time to save the Gods and Goddesses?

This is a fun and interesting book to read. I loved how Irish Mythology was weaved so expertly into the story. The touches of humor were a lot of fun to read. This is worth the time to read. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

I give this one 4 red roses.

Larena Wirum (lrwirum)

Wednesday 14 May 2008

French Twist

Sloane Taylor/French Twist/Eternal Press/47pages/ebook

Don arrives at work to discover that his French assistant has mistakenly ordered a large amount of cow manure, which has been tipped on the drive. Claudette refuses to believe him until she checks her "small" mistake. Don finds her irritating but also very sexy! Her uncle soon tells her how to solve the problem of the over large order, but Claudette is in real trouble. She needs to keep her mind clear but how can she when Don is playing havoc with her libido?

Claudette works for Interpol. Her world is one that deals with gangsters and sinister Russians. Can Don cope with what he is about to discover - and can they ever be together?

No one does short, sexy books better than Sloane Taylor! She combines sensual romance with mystery and intrigue and comes up smelling of roses. Sweet and sassy. Five red roses, Morna

Bound by Magic

Bound By Magic
Amanda Cummings
Red Rose Publishing
Ebook 91 pages

Amber lives a normal life but she is conscious of an inner loneliness, so when her phantom lover comes to her in dreams she welcomes him. He tells her his name is Tavis - who is he and why has he come to her?

Amber and Tavis are soul mates, brought together as the chosen ones, but there is evil in their world of magic and they must fight for their love.

This is a very sensual story. It is also sweet, warm and loving. The first book from this author it will be followed by others in the series and should do well. 4.5 red roses. Linda

Lord Buckingham's Bride

Lord Buckingham’s Bride by Sandra Heath
Published by Robert Hale

The year is 1802 and an uneasy peace exists in Europe. Alison Clearwell’s absent father has despatched his daughter to visit relatives in Russia, prior to his return to England to set up a new home for them in London. Alison had wanted to stay with her best friend, Lady Pamela Linsey, rather than travel to distant Russia, but the arrangements were too well advanced for them to be cancelled now. The journey to Russia was ill-fated. The British merchant ship, on which Alison was travelling, caught fire whilst anchored in Stockholm harbour. The ship’s captain was able to arrange for Alison to complete the remainder of her journey aboard another vessel, but this meant spending one night ashore in Stockholm. Alison’s accommodation in a local hostelry was adequate enough, but there she caught the eye of the dashing Prince Nikolai Naryshky of the Czar’s Imperial Guards. Prince Nikolai was fascinated by the naïve English beauty and was determined to take advantage of her, but fortunately for Alison, his plans were thwarted by the handsome Lord Francis Buckingham, who not only happened to be travelling to Russia to purchase a colt from the Imperial stables, but was also the fiancé of Alison’s best friend, Lady Pamela. Lord Francis took Alison under his protection from the unwelcome advances of Prince Nikolai, but the Prince was a dangerous and suspicious man, who did not like to be defeated and so devised a plan to abduct Alison once on Russian soil and to foil Lord Francis’s attempts to buy a colt from Czar Alexander. But has the Prince underestimated not only Lord Francis, but also the very resourceful Alison? And is Lord Francis’s real mission to Russia to purchase a colt from the Czar, or something much more dangerous?

This is a gripping novel set against the background of opulent St Petersburg. The author’s descriptions of the city create wonderful pictures in the mind and it is impossible to put the book down, as Alison is put at risk of losing her reputation, her innocence and her heart.

I award this book four red roses. PS

A Dedicated Soundrel


In Spain in July in the year of 1812, an English Lord was working for his country in the guise of an army spy, he was badly beaten and left for dead in a French camp, he had been betrayed and he believed it was by one of his own kind. Somehow he managed to survive and escape back to England, his name was Lord Justin Belforte.
In the study of his true friend, Charles Rutledge, who had been more like a father to him for a deal of his life, he related the story of his capture and subsequent escape. Charles could hardly believe his ears but he agreed, that they had indeed a traitor in their midst and also a would- be murderer. Unfortunately, Lord Justin Belforte had been dubbed a traitor himself unbeknown to him. He was charged with helping an important French General to escape. One attempt had been made on Justin’s life already, since he had returned to England but he was at a loss as to why he should be targeted.
Charles begged him to get out of the country, as he was now wanted by the authorities in England as a traitor, which was a hanging matter. But Justin refused to run away he was determined to seek out his enemy himself, however he did agree to go into the country and lay low for a while so that Charles could take certain matters in hand and try to flush out the real traitor.
Riding to his would be hideout, through quiet country lanes, Justin hears a call for help coming from a dilapidated old shed he rears in his stallion Caliban but decides it is not his business. He is about to move on when he hears another scream, cursing beneath his breath he jumps from his horse and runs into the shed which had half collapsed and is trapping a beautiful young woman and her dog. Managing to free the lady he tries to free the dog but in doing so he becomes trapped and is knocked unconscious by the roof of the shed falling across his head . When he awakes, it is to find himself in a bed in a strange room, with two ladies tending him. The accident has left him with loss of memory, which although it is short lived, for reasons of his own, he pretends to remain without a memory for sometime. He is being looked after in the home of Catherine Meade who lives with her Grandmamma and a cousin Mariah who is a widow.
He makes frequent night excursions into London when his injuries have healed sufficiently, still carrying on his enquiries. Although Catherine is strangely attracted to Justin, whom she has renamed John Smith, she cannot feel quite at ease over him and wonders what dark secrets he has in his past. There are to be hair-raising events to over come before this story is told, treachery and murder. Can Catherine ever fully trust and understand Lord Justin Belforte, can he indeed ever trust himself? This story held me from the first page to the last, it is a must for lovers of this genre and a very good read, as was another book by this author, Lady Lisa’s Luck. I happily award this book 5 Red Roses.

Tuesday 13 May 2008

Reader's Review!

Anne Ireland/A Shameful Secret/Amira Press/ ebook and print

After two days of being unable to put this book down for anything, really nothing got done in this house, until I could get to the very end of A SHAMEFUL SECRET by Anne Ireland. Even as I write this, I feel tears welling up again, for I had shed some while reading this book. It was impossible not to get close to Hester and Paul. As Hester's secret in this story was such a torture for her emotionally and the feeling of lost of her whole life from it, was so unbearable at times, but so true tho from the time setting of this book, Regency. The setting of the book was so beautifully written. I could capture everything, the clothing, the dancing, the balls, the home and so much more. Author Anne Ireland has a writing voice that so pulled me in that I would lose myself to time and place, and be right within the book as the story unfolded. As Hester struggled with growing through trying to stop the years of punishment for her! secret, you could too, touch the joy she was feeling by being with her friends and so much for her growing in love with Paul. Paul is a hero that you'd want to reach out and touch because he's so real. He was generous in his listening, in his sharing his emotions and love to Hester as well as giving her the independence to grow and make her own decisions. A protective hero he was, but Paul too was one that let Hester think and believe for herself.

This truly is one outstanding read that I can say has been the best Regency I have read this year. A SHAMEFUL SECRET by Anne Ireland is going to live within me for a long time, and its a beautiful thing. I highly recommend this book! It deserves to have all the roses it can have as well as the pedals spread out to many readers to know about this book so they don't miss a wonderful read!

Cathie Morton, reader

available from Amira Press and Amazon

Featured Author

A really gripping historical tale by Lindsay Townsend!


I'm Lindsay Townsend.

I'm a British writer of sensual and ‘sweet’ historical romance. I'm married to a super man (Alan), live in Yorkshire and like music, reading, cooking, walking.

I've written since I was six years old and have always loved telling stories, especially those with high stakes and big emotions. For me, reading and writing romance allows me to indulge all these passions! I love reading and writing about sweeping adventures in other places, other times.

I have four romantic suspense titles under my belt - VOICES IN THE DARK (set in Italy against the backdrop of opera and war crimes), NIGHT OF THE STORM (set in Greece against the backdrop of wildlife smuggling), CHASING RACHEL (set on Dartmoor in England against the backdrop of a stalker who uses arson) and THE ENGLISH DAUGHTER (set on Corfu and dealing with an unsolved murder and relentless serial killer). Details of these are on Romancewiki.

Recently I've changed from writing romantic suspense and returned to my first interest, historical romance. I love having the hero and heroine rescue each other through the story and I find that an historical setting gives me lots of scope to do just that!

Here are the blurb and opening of my most recently published historical romance, A KNIGHT'S VOW. It was given a super review by Red Roses for Authors and, I must admit, I really enjoyed writing this story.. It's part of a two-book deal with Kensington books.


England, 1138.. Set against the dangerous backdrop of the Crusades, this sweeping romance captures the story of a beautiful young woman and the dashing knight who will battle his fiercest enemies to win her undying love.

Ever since she was fourteen, Alyson of Olverton dreamed of marrying a brave, charismatic young knight. His name was Guillelm de la Rochelle - and his marriage proposal satisfied her deepest yearnings. But her father forbade their union, breaking Alyson's innocent heart. Seven years later, the valiant knight has defied rumors of his death and returned home, having no idea that nothing is the same as when he left.

Back from fighting in the Crusades, Guillelm is stunned to find Alyson entrenched in his father's ancestral castle - even worse, she was betrothed to his father before his supposed death. Despite this chilling fact, Guillelm finds himself struggling to resist the temptation to seduce her. Torn between intense jealousy and overwhelming desire, he shocks them both by proposing marriage a second time, justifying that it will be easier to keep her safe if she is his bride. Little do they know, however, that there is an enemy in their very midst - one who won't resist until he destroys their chance at everlasting love.


Chapter 1

England, Summer 1138.

‘Sir Guillelm has returned! The son of Lord Robert has come back to us!’

‘Thanks be to God, we are saved! The young master has returned!’

Alyson heard the shouts from the surviving men-at-arms and jerked her head up, all thought of prayer forgotten. ‘My Lord Dragon,’ she whispered.

Struggling to rise to her feet from the hard cold floor of the small narrow chapel, she re-pinned her simple veil and pinched color into her gaunt cheeks, feeling her heart begin to race. ‘Can it really be true?’ She had waited for him for so long, she could scarcely believe it. Guillelm, here, in his family’s castle of Hardspen. For a moment she felt stunned with happiness.

‘My lady!’ The reedy voice of her seneschal, Sericus, floated above the hubbub in the great hall of the castle, calling ahead as he tottered on gangling legs to find her, to bring her this miraculous news.

‘I am here!’ Alyson called, darting from the chapel. Sericus was lame, and to save his withered limbs she picked up the hem of her plain brown gown and hurried down the spiral staircase of the keep, a small, slender girl with a mass of long black hair, large, very dark blue eyes and delicate features whose naturally bright, high-colored complexion had been dulled by weariness and grief. Longing to see Guillelm, she was reckless in her haste on the torch-lit stair, where only her natural fleetness of foot prevented a fall.

Would he remember her? She had been fourteen years old when he had answered the call of his kinsman, Raymond of Poitiers, and gone with him to the Holy Land. He had been in the exotic, dusty lands of Outremer for seven long years and she had despaired of ever seeing him again. For the last three years, with no news of him, there had even been the terrible rumor that he was dead. But he was alive!

Was he greatly changed? Would she be the one who would have to tell him that the enemy forces ranged outside the main gate were poised to attack? That his father, the noble and intimidatingly austere Lord Robert, had been dead for ten days? That for the last month she had been living in Hardspen as Lord Robert’s intended betrothed?

Chilled and appalled by these thoughts, Alyson halted in the shadows on the final step, raising a finger to her lips as Sericus came out of the hall in search of her. Sericus, understanding her wish without the need of speech, passed by her and limped out of sight of the travel-stained men standing by the log-strewn fireplace in the great hall beyond them..

‘Lady, where are your serving women?’ he asked in an urgent whisper.

‘Gila and Osmoda remain in my chamber: they are still sick, as are many within this castle.’ Alyson had left them sleeping, no longer feverish but weak..

‘Let me summon attendants to go in with you, a maid at the very least.’

‘You will be with me, Master Sericus, and that is enough,’ Alyson replied, with a smile of gratitude. ‘You have seen to our guests’ comfort?’ She blushed at calling the new lord of Hardspen her guest, but Sericus merely nodded his head.

‘Yes, my lady. They have ale and bread. Not fresh or fine bread, I fear. The baker’s boy has been busy with the repairs and the baker has been sick.’

‘Then pray allow me an instant to compose myself. And sit a moment, I beg you.’ Sericus had been without sleep for the last three nights, as she had, helping her with the sick and with the ordering of Hardspen’s human and physical defenses - the re-mortaring of sections of walls, the gathering of stores, the checking of weapons, as their enemy outside the gate waited in arrogant strength.

‘My lady, you are ever gracious.’ Lowering himself onto the stone treads, the wiry, gray-bearded, gray-haired man sat with a tiny grimace of relief.

Standing in the gloomy stairwell, Alyson took in the scene in the great hall, the large, high-ceilinged chamber that was the heart of the keep, where in happier times Lord Robert had dined with his men on the tables and stools that were now ranged to one side. Today, long after sunset, those warriors and men still loyal to Hardspen bedded down there in their clothes on the rush-covered floor to snatch a few hours’ sleep. She recognized their plain honest faces and saw that they remained exhausted, as she was herself, but that new hope gleamed in their eyes. Because of the arrival of one man -

Sir Guillelm de La Rochelle. She picked him out easily from the small group of soldiers who drank and warmed themselves - for although it was summer the nights were cold - by the crackling flames of the sweet-smelling apple wood. Tall as a spear, he towered over everyone there, long-backed and long-legged, with broad shoulders and lean hips. He was speaking quietly to one of his men, his back to her and with the dark hood of his cloak still pulled over his head as his powerful body steamed and dripped water from the relentless summer rain outside.

‘My Lord Dragon,’ Alyson breathed a second time, using the nickname she had given him and which he had made his own. She missed the sight of that mane of bright golden hair and even more his grimly handsome face but it was enough to know he was alive and safe. Giddy with relief, she now heard him speak for the first time in seven years as a castle defender asked how he and his few retainers had passed through the enemy lines.

‘It is my guess that there is sickness and fever in that camp, as there has been here,’ Guillelm replied, in the deep warm voice which had so often gently teased her in the past, ‘Your enemy has but few watchmen to stand lookout. On a gray, wet night such as this, those few can see no farther than the rainwater streaming from their caps. We slipped past them simply enough. After that it was an easy matter to bring my commanders safely inside Hardspen: my grandfather devised secret ways into the castle bailey and keep, paths which my father showed to me while I was yet a boy.’

‘Your commanders, Lord?’ asked his interrogator hopefully, picking up on the thread that Alyson had noticed, although she was distracted by Guillelm himself. He had turned to face his questioner and she could look upon the face that had haunted her dreams for so many years.

Eagerly she stared at him, feeling like a thirsty traveler coming to a well of pure, life-giving water. His was a lean, clean-shaven face, tanned by the blazing sun of Outremer, with a faintly aquiline nose which as a girl she had always longed to trace playfully with a finger. If he had changed, it was only to grow yet more handsome, with lines of character and decision etched into every uncompromising feature. She now caught herself wondering what it would be like to kiss that firm, full mouth.

‘Some of my commanders, I should say.’ Guillelm sounded faintly amused, yet his next words were plainly intended to give heart to the men of Hardspen. ‘The others are camped with the bulk of my forces in the woods close to the eastern bailey wall.. Their presence will give your would-be besiegers something of a surprise, come tomorrow’s dawn.’

There was laughter, no doubt as Guillelm had intended. Taking advantage of the lighter mood, he called for more ale. There was a scramble amongst the oak tables set against the longest wall to retrieve the pitchers of ale that Sericus had brought up from the winter stores.

Watching how readily the men obeyed him and recalling her girlish hero-worship of the youthful Guillelm, Alyson sternly reminded herself of her duty. She must keep these unseemly feelings of longing within bounds. She was to have been Lord Robert’s betrothed, affianced in a ceremony as sacred as marriage and now almost a widow. How then dare she entertain such unruly desires for Lord Robert’s son, a wish that she might kiss him and be kissed in return, enfolded in those strong bronzed arms?

‘Let us drink to the vanquishing of all our foes!’ Guillelm said, raising his goblet. ‘Let us drink to a new beginning!’

Listening closely, keen to hear him, Alyson sensed a sadness beneath the stirring words, a sense confirmed when he lifted his cup a second time and said in solemn, tightly-controlled tones, ‘Let us drink to the most valiant of lords. To my eternal grief and shame I did not reach in time to see and embrace him, as a son should a father, before he was taken by this foul pestilence..’

He paused, a tremor of deeply-felt emotion passing across his face. Swiftly, he mastered it and continued in as strong a voice as before, ‘To my father Lord Robert - may his soul already abide in heaven!’

‘Lord Robert,’ came the somber response from the men.

‘Robert,’ Alyson whispered, tears standing in her eyes as she remembered him and also, even more painfully, the death of her own father three months ago at Easter. For Guillelm’s sake, she prayed that whoever had told him of his father’s passing had done so with kindness. Dashing her tears away with a trembling hand, she raised her head and smiled at him, hoping that, although he would not see her, he might sense her sympathy.

Incredibly, as she smiled, he looked down the length of the great hall, straight at her. His eyes, deeper-hued and richer than the rarest of velvets, widened as he saw her, capturing Alyson in his dark, compelling gaze.

I could lose my heart to Guillelm and consider the danger of his breaking it well worth the risk, she thought, while an inner voice said, You already have.

For an instant both were still, wrapped in each other’s glances, but then an indignant shout from Sericus behind her and the raking of greedy clasping fingers against her shoulder warned Alyson of another, very different kind of danger. Breaking free of the pawing hand, ignoring her foul-breathed assailant’s grumbled, ‘Give me more ale and a kiss, girl!’ she whirled away from him and sped into the great hall, furious at the laughter of the other men-at-arms, those who had arrived that night with Guillelm.

Guillelm, she saw, however, was not laughing. She watched his face darken as the stocky, unshaven man from the stairway still pursued her, bellowing in nasal Norman French, ‘What is an English wretch like you good for, if not for serving your betters?’

‘Thierry!’ Guillelm shouted, his voice full of warning, and then Alyson heard him curse violently in an unknown tongue, possibly one of the languages of Outremer. She saw him thrust his half-drunk goblet at his nearest companion and stride towards her and her unwelcome follower, reaching them in less than ten paces.

‘Let the little maid be, Thierry,’ he growled in French, seizing the other fellow’s ever-reaching arm and bending it sharply back. ‘She does not care for your rough wooing, and nor do I. Go back to the garderobe and throw yourself down into the latrine if you can find no better manners!’

He thrust the man so violently aside that Thierry careered into one of the oak tables, where he crouched, rubbing his arm and clearly glad to be out of range of his lord‘s displeasure.

Guillelm had no time for him. He lowered his head to Alyson, the hood of his cloak slipping down and revealing that glorious mane of blazing golden hair, bright as a dragon’s flame.

‘He has done you no harm?’ he asked softly in English, his deep-set eyes narrowing in concern.

‘No.’ Alyson stared up at her rescuer, more than ever conscious of her rekindled admiration for him while at the same time guiltily aware that her habitually plain clothing had in part caused this confusion. Had not her old nurse Gytha complained that she dressed more like a serving maid than a lady? ‘No, my lord,’ she said, knowing she should make some effort to give an account of herself.

She sensed from the abrupt silence in the great hall that Guillelm’s men had now been told, in hasty whispers from the others, who she was. She could feel Sericus hovering close by, awaiting his instructions, poised for the slightest signal from her to make a formal introduction to Sir Guillelm de La Rochelle on her behalf. But what was the use? she thought bleakly.

He does not remember me!

Kensington are publishing my second historical romance, A KNIGHT'S CAPTIVE, in April 2009. The settings are northern England, Anglo-Norman London and the Fens in the tumultuous year of 1066.

This year, I'm also delighted that I'm going to be published for the first time in e-book form, by BookStrand (Siren-Bookstrand).This is also an historical romance, FLAVIA’S SECRET, set in Roman Britain in AD 206, and I have to say they’ve given me a lovely cover.

Here's a brief blurb:

How far dare you trust your lover? Especially when your lover is also your master....

Spirited young scribe Flavia hopes for freedom. She and her fellow slaves in Aquae Sulis (modern Bath) have served the Lady Valeria for many years, but their mistress’ death brings a threat to Flavia’s dream: her new master Marcus Brucetus, a charismatic, widowed officer toughened in the forests of Germania. Flavia finds him overwhelmingly attractive but she is aware of the danger. To save her life and those of her ‘family’ she has forged a note from her mistress. If her deception is discovered, all the slaves may die.

For his part, torn between attraction and respect, Marcus will not force himself on Flavia. Flavia by now knows of his grief over the deaths of his wife Drusilla and child: but how can she match up to the serene, flame-haired Drusilla?

As the wild mid-winter festival of Saturnalia approaches, many lives will be changed forever.

Thank you for featuring me on Red Roses for Authors, Linda. If anyone has any questions about me or about my books, please email me anytime at

I also have a website at and a new blog at

Best wishes to everyone,


Please visit my website at

and my blog at

Lindsay Townsend our featured author writes for Kensington and Book Strand. Her stories are historical and sweep you away to a magical land of the past!

A cover for one of Lindsay's lovely books

Saturday 10 May 2008

Last Rake In London

Last Rake in London by Nicola Cornick

Mills and Boon

Edwardian Romance

May 2008


250 Pages


The Last Rake in London is the twenty-fifth book by one of the world’s favourite writers of historical romance: Nicola Cornick!

Notorious rake Jack Kestrel is determined to track down Miss Bowes and to put a stop to her vicious blackmailing of his dying uncle. But on a visit to the Wallace Collection, Jack gets distracted by a beautiful woman whose name turns out to be none other than Miss Bowes…

Sally Bowes scandalously shocked Edwardian society when she spent her inheritance on opening the infamous Blue Parrot club. Too concerned with her business and with keeping a roof over her head and her sisters, flighty Connie and suffragette Nell, to bother with romance, Sally is stunned by the attraction which sizzles between her and Jack Kestrel, who thinks that she’s nothing better than a common gold-digger with her eye on the main chance.

But when fate conspires to push the two in close proximity, Sally and Jack give in to their attraction and realize that they’ve fallen in love with one another. But will they let their scandalous pasts destroy their one chance of happiness?

The Last Rake in London is another excellent example of Nicola Cornick’s immense storytelling prowess! Exciting, passionate, romantic and simply breathtaking, The Last Rake in London features a sexy hero, a lovely heroine, a fabulous cast of supporting characters and a gripping narrative that will hold you in thrall from the very first page!

Congratulations, Nicola Cornick on ten years of outstanding historical romance! Here’s hoping for many, many, many more years of wonderful reading! five red roses. JB

Friday 9 May 2008

Witch's Heart

Tabitha Shay/Witch’s Heart/Eternal Press/ebook 303 pages

This is the second book in Shay’s great epic of witches and wakens, humans, and the struggle between good and evil.

Sage awakes to blue skies and an alien world. How did he get here and what has been going on? The opening paragraphs in this continuation of a huge involved story are beautifully written and immediately grab the reader’s attention. Bitten by a snake, he is burning up when Hannah Miller looks down at him and he realises he is in the land of human kind – witch kind’s worst enemies. Now he begins to remember why he is here.

His mind goes back to the night he was sent to kill Hannah and her friend Kirrah, who has only just begun to understand that she is a witch. Because the wakens (male witches) feared a friendship between a human and a witch, Sage was sent to kill them both. However, instead of killing her he saved her from a fall. Hannah was immediately attracted to him, but then as she sensed something in him she became scared – who was he and why had he come?

Sage had wanted Hannah so badly that he couldn’t kill her. Instead he banished her to the land of the humans. Now, after a war with the evil Melora Haven, a power-hungry witch, he was in Hannah’s world. This time he is without magic and at Hannah’s mercy. Back in Sanctuary the battle for the kingdom goes on.

Will Hannah and Sage find true love – and can they return to Sanctuary to help save their world? To discover what this is all about you must read this book and the first in the series, because this is a whole new world. All the mysteries are never going to be solved sometime soon!

This is a powerful story on its own, but it is only a tiny part of the epic unfolding in this brilliant series. I recommend that you read this book only if you want to be hooked on something that is likely to become a craving. If you read one you will be gasping for the next. This author deserves a bouquet of red roses for the sheer scale and brilliance of something like this! Linda

Witch's Brew will reveiwed at a later date.

Monday 5 May 2008

Featured Author

Our featured author Dee Dawning
Published history
 The Right Hand of Allah. – Booksurge (POD) January 11, 2007
 Fortune Cookies – Extasy Books, December 7, 2006
 Bananaz (Short Story) Sex and Seduction – Xcite Books April 15, 2007
 The Sex Therapist (Short Story) Five Minute Fantasies III – Xcite Books May 15, 2007
 LEGS – Amira Press, June 15, 2007 (The rights to Legs reverted to me on November 4th, It will be republished by Extasy Books in the near future.)
 Forbidden Passion - Dark Eden Press, July 27, 2007
 Getting Naked at the Hilton - eXtasy Books, February 14,. 2008.
 LEGS – eXtasy Books, Republished on May 15th
 Fantasy Football – eXtasy Books, May/June 2008
 Love and Seduction in Las Vegas – Book Strand, July, 2008
 By the Book – BookStrand, September, 2008
 Gizmo – BookStrand, October, 2008

I continue to write. Other than a couple racy teasers, Bathing Suits Optional and Tattoos I’m working on, my current WIP includes a sequel to Legs, a paranormal called ‘Hollywood Witches,’ a sequel to ‘The Right Hand of Allah,’ entitled ‘A Woman of Valor,’ a straight romance titled The Atheist and the Sister and a sequel to ‘Fortune Cookies,’ entitled The Fellowship of Eros. I’ve also barely started a romance novel based on Hannibal and one called The Televangelist. I’ve also completed a screenplay of Fortune Cookies, which I’ve yet to promote.
Born in Chicago, grew-up in Las Vegas, have lived in Phoenix the last eighteen years and haven’t melted yet. I’m a young fifty-fifteen, I’m about six foot, sandy brown hair, blue eyes, ruddy complexioned, a little overweight (like many of us) and if I’ve piqued your interest you can see my picture on
I started writing fiction a little over two years ago. I think of my writing as the third phase of my adult life. Prior to trying my hand at fiction I posted reviews on music, books, movies, cars and assorted other things on some websites. These reviews now total over five hundred reviews.
I write a little of this and a little of that. Long, short, in between, thrillers, chick-lit, romance, paranormal and lascivious erotica. Frankly, my writing has been all over the place. Eclectic, would be a good way to describe it. So far, the only common thread with varying degree, has been sex.
Web Pages

Web page:

My Space:



Dee has certainly been busy! His book Fortune Cookies was short listed for the Eppies and highly commended! It was such a good book and well worth reading!

This is Dee's new book!

Dee Dawning's book " Legs!" was reviewed on this blog. We loved the mystery/adventure story in that one, Dee! This books is being republished, which is what it deserves and I live in hope of a sequel!

What a fabulous cover Dee!