Book Promo: “Scandalous Endeavors” by Amanda Mariel

Synopsis

Lady Amelia has only known the comfort of life in mid-eighteenth century English aristocracy. But when first her mother and then her father die, she finds herself alone, grief-stricken and… not of age. Her appointed guardian, an American uncle, has ordered her travel to his plantation where she must remain for at least two years when she will come of age.

With the help of Lady Grace and Lady Sarah, Lady Amelia gets her uncle to agree to give her four weeks to settle her affairs and unbeknownst to him…find an English lord to marry so she can remain in her beloved England. Despite her mourning period she endeavors to trap one of London’s eligible bachelors in matrimony.

Lord Goldstone, Lady Grace’s nephew is devilishly handsome, but a Scottish Duke and so entirely unacceptable as a possible husband. After all Scotland is not her beloved London and environs. He also has a nasty habit of showing up at all the wrong moments and thwarting her carefully laid plans to ensnare a suitable husband. Sparks fly as the pair find themselves at odds with each other and drawn to each other at the same time. Can they find a way to stop arguing long enough to explore their growing passion? Is it strong enough to make Lady Amelia give up her English home after all? Or will Lady Amelia find a suitable English lord and avoid social exile in America? Time is running out.

Author Links 

Book Promo: “Outlaw Muse” by Lauren Linwood

Synopsis

Separated from her twin during the Orphan Train selection, schoolmarm Serena Sullivan searched for her brother Bill over fifteen years. Just as she gets a lead on his whereabouts, she is railroaded by a crooked sheriff and set to hang for the murder of the sheriff’s best friend.
English playwright Daman Rutledge has come to the American West on business for his brother when he witnesses a woman about to be executed. On impulse he rescues the beautiful stranger and goes on the run with her across the Kansas prairie. Along the way Daman finds the muse he’s been missing and loses his heart to the raven-haired beauty with haunting amber eyes.
As they try to escape the long arm of the law, Daman seeks to prove Serena’s innocence before it’s too late. They find love—and the truth—on a journey that changes their lives.

Lauren Linwood Author Bio and Links

As a child, Lauren Linwood gathered her neighborhood friends together and made up stories for them to act out, her first venture into creating memorable characters. Following her passion for history and love of learning, she became a teacher who began writing on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones.
Lauren’s novels focus on two of her favorite eras, medieval times and the American Old West. History is the backdrop that places her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grows into the deep, tender, treasured gift of love.
Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for Pinterest and House Hunters addicts.

 

Book Promo: "Romance and the Royal Menagerie" by Ruth J. Hartman

Synopsis:

Francesca Hartwell adores cats of every kind. Lions, leopards, tigers. And they all love her. Good thing she gets to see them every day since her father is their caregiver in the Tower of London’s Royal Menagerie. She’d love to find a man with whom she could share her love of animals, but so far, no one has stolen her heart. And there’s the added snag that whoever she marries must not have anything to do with nobility, as her mother had left her and her father for an earl.

John Fairgate has three rules given to him by his uncle. Inherit the title of baron upon his uncle’s death. Give up ornithology. And marry a childhood acquaintance. The first two, John will abide by, but won’t like. But the third, marrying a shrew who makes his skin crawl, he simply cannot do. Meeting Miss Francesca Hartwell at the zoo, however, has given him other ideas for a wife. But she’s not titled or wealthy. How will he be able to convince his uncle that she’s the woman of his heart?

Ruth Hartman
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Book Promo – "The Deadly Truth" by Joyce Proell

SYNOPSIS

Tainted in the eyes of Victorian society by his wife’s suicide, Doyle Flanagan turns a deaf ear to the baseless gossip and harsh rebukes. Ignoring his shattered reputation, he goes about his business, making money and enemies, and doing good works whenever his conscience gets the best of him. Arrested for murder, he is forced to rely on a feisty school administrator to solve the puzzle. As he struggles to prove his innocence, he realizes gaining the trust and loyalty of Cady Delafield may be more important than his freedom.
On a quest to locate a missing student, school matron Cady Delafield enters a stranger’s house and discovers the woman murdered. Driven to see the murderer brought to justice, she is determined to prevent any further tragedy even if it means joining forces with the very man accused of the atrocity. Against the wishes of her powerful family, she risks her job and reputation to learn the truth. But will the truth, once revealed, drive her away from the man she has come to love?
Passion and murder collide in 1880’s Chicago as they race to keep one step ahead of the police who want Doyle to pay for his crime. As the attraction between Cady and Doyle sizzles, they battle suspicions, lies and lethal actions to uncover the murderer before he destroys them both.
AUTHOR INFORMATION: Joyce Proell grew up in Minnesota and attended college and grad school in Chicago. After working in mental health, she retired at a young age to write full-time. Her first book, Eliza, was published in 2012. When she isn’t writing mysteries or historical romances, she loves to travel, walk, read, and do crossword puzzles. She and her husband make their home in rural Minnesota in her very own little house on the prairie.
Visit her website: www.joyceproell.com
Visit Facebook page: Facebook.com/JoyceProellauthor 
Buy links:
 

On A Personal Note . . .

As an author myself, there are times in my own career I become consumed with my work.  Currently,  I’m at the end of my first draft for The Price of Love, which is third in a series that I have written (The Legacy Series).

If you are an author, you know how very time consuming this process can be for a writer.  I’ll be revising and editing in the months ahead, which will need my full attention.  Due to that heavy schedule, I may not be promoting very much in August or September on Long Ago Love until after my own book is released and I can relax.
In the future, I am dedicated to supporting the works of others. However, I need to prioritize my own work in the process.

Nevertheless, you will still see occasional posts and reviews in the months ahead, but the blog will not be as active.

Thank you for your understanding!
Sincerely,
Vicki
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” ― George Orwell

Book Promo – "Blind Allegiance" by Violetta Rand

Soul Mate Publishing

Synopsis

It’s a risk of a lifetime loving a man you’re supposed to hate…

Betrayed by a brother she hardly trusted before the bloodthirsty Viking, Jarl Randvior Sigurdsson, attacks her home, Noelle Sinclair is conveniently bartered as a means to save her cowardly sibling’s skin. Forced to leave her homeland and accompany the petulant Viking to the untamed wilderness of central Norway, Noelle is ever-aware of the burgeoning dangers around her—including her weakening resolve to resist Randvior.

Should Noelle surrender to his resplendent charms and seduction, or fight with every ounce of strength she possesses to get home?

Excerpt

Dark clouds always gathered in Noelle Sinclair’s dreams. Hundreds of nightmares had played out in her mind since childhood. Why should tonight be any different?

The smell of burning wood invaded her sleep. Smoke snatched her breath and she tried to purge her lungs by taking deep breaths. She ran for the great hall and all she could see were scorched rafters and floorboards. Guards scrambled to the battlements, while women and children fled the castle. She searched for her sisters among the people migrating outside …

“Fire!”

Noelle’s eyes snapped open at the sound of dire warning. By God, this was no dream! She flung blankets aside and rolled over, shook her older sister awake, and jumped out of bed.

“What’s wrong?” Margaret asked sleepily.

“The castle’s on fire. Get up, now!”

Margaret scurried from bed and ran with Noelle to the windows overlooking the eastern edge of the castle. Through the swirling fog, Noelle could make out a tangle of men with torches and weapons in the courtyard below. She further scanned the shoreline where the North Sea pounded against the rocks and dunes. The castle was under siege and poorly defended. Most of the soldiers and her father were in Ireland, leaving only her brother and a skeleton army behind.

Her gaze still locked on the beach, Noelle caught sight of three, silvery-white longships anchored beyond the walls. Their blood-red sails snapped in the wind. She stared in horror as the pattern on the sails came into focus—the shape of a dragon.

 About the Author

Violetta Rand holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and a master’s degree in Environmental Management. Serving as an environmental scientist in the state of Alaska for over seven years, she enjoys the privilege of traveling to remote places few people have the opportunity to see.

Violetta has been “in love” with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, at five, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband, Jeff. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading whatever she can get her hands on, music, and losing herself in the ancient worlds she enjoys bringing to life in the pages of her stories.

Author’s Website

 

Book Promo: "Just Perfect" by JoMarie DeGioia

Synopsis:

William Chesterton, the Earl of Chester, might be the perfect gentleman, but his feelings for Constance Bridgewater are anything but gentlemanly.
Constance Bridgewater, the daughter of the late Earl of Bridgewater, might be the perfect lady, but her feelings for the Earl of Chester are anything but ladylike.
They both know that if they were together, everything would be just perfect.
So what is keeping them apart?

 

Buy Link:   Amazon

 

J

Historical Tidbit: "The Victorian Wedding" by Vicki Hopkins

While writing my award-winning novel, Dark Persuasion, I spent a fair amount of time researching Victorian courting, wedding preparations, weddings, and honeymoons.  The entire process felt so romantic to me that I focused quite a bit about the wedding between my heroine and hero.

Below are a few excerpts from previous blogs that I’ve written regarding that research.  I hope you enjoy!

The Wedding Trousseau

In Dark Persuasion, because my heroine is blind, her sister is actively involved in preparations for the wedding. One task is helping prepare Charlotte’s wedding trousseau.

The French word trousseau refers, of course, to a bride’s bundle of personal possessions amassed prior to the wedding that include undergarments and clothing. Late in the 19th and early 20th century a collection of household wares (tablecloths, towels, linens, etc.) were also included.

My story is set roughly around the 1885-1890, so Charlotte’s collection of personal items deal mainly with fine undergarments and clothing. Below is an excerpt from Vintage Connection describing a typical trousseau around 1884. It would include the following:

“… a dozen chemises trimmed with embroidery or insertions, a dozen nightdresses, six well-trimmed combinations, a dozen drawers, nine trimmed petticoats, one French petticoat, nine camisoles, six vests, five flannel petticoats, two dressing gowns, three bed jackets, a dozen pairs of fine-quality Lisle stockings, three pairs of silk stockings, two dozen handkerchiefs, a pair of French corsets, a bustle, a satin nightdress and a lace-trimmed sachet.”

The Wedding

Everything in the Victorian era seemed to be dictated by proper etiquette. Weddings were no different. There were rules about fashion, the time to wed, and the reception. It was quite an interesting read doing research about the subject. I tried to incorporate as much as I could within my text in hopes of ducking any criticism about getting it all wrong.  Here are a few short, but interesting facts.

If the bride married in a church, a gown with a long train and a veil of the same length was the style of the era. The veil remained over the bride’s face until after the wedding ceremony. I’ve read conflicting statements regarding kissing at the altar, but I allowed a smooch anyway for my characters.

Pure white had not yet become the standard of choice in wedding dresses. Colors varied. The dress pictured in this post is from roughly 1890. I like to visualize it as Charlotte’s dress, my blind heroine, in the story. I love the detailed bodice, the fabric, and the long train (not shown here). Bridesmaids often wore the same color of dress as the bride.

Superstitions abounded. There were rhymes about what day of the week was best to wed, the color of a bride’s dress, and, of course, the famous saying: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a lucky sixpence in your shoe.”  Each item had a meaning and purpose like the sixpence, which was meant to bless the wedding with wealth and prosperity.  No one married on Sunday, but the other days all had meaning:
Marry on Monday for health
 Tuesday for wealth
 Wednesday the best day of all
 Thursday for crosses
 Friday for losses
Saturday for no luck at all.

(Obtained from The Victorian Wedding)

After the service, the tossing of rice, grain, or birdseed was used for good luck when it came to fertility. If it were a wealthy couple, a carriage drawn by four white horses waited for the bride and groom after the service to take them to the reception. The reception was usually held at the bride’s home. Weddings took place in the morning around 11 o’clock, and the reception consisted of a wedding breakfast.

An area for a receiving line would have been set up for the bride and groom at the reception. Brides were addressed first, unless the guest only knew the groom. In that instance, the groom would introduce the bride. I must laugh when I discovered that the bride was never congratulated, as the honor of marriage was conferred upon her already for agreeing to marry the groom. (Lucky spinster finally finds a husband, I guess.)

Guests enjoyed their breakfast, but there was no entertainment at the reception. Evening receptions, with dancing, only occurred at lavish wedding affairs.

After the reception, the bride changed into another dress for her honeymoon journey. Only the groom and the best man knew the location, which by tradition was a well-kept secret.

There are many websites regarding Victorian-era weddings. The link in this post has quite a bit of detail. However, the Victorian era spanned many years, as you know, so traditions changed somewhat as the years progressed.

Such is the romance of the Victorian ages.

Vicki

Review: "The Rogue’s Prize" by Katherine Bone

Crimson Romance
Traditional Publisher

 

The second book in the historical romance trilogy “Nelson’s Tea,” The Rogue’s Prize is a thrilling amorous adventure that captivates its readers from the very beginning. I’ve read only this novel by Ms. Katherine Bone, I’ll make sure to look into her other books soon.

Regardless whether you read the first book in the series or not (I haven’t), this one is a pretty standalone adventure with an array of interesting characters; from men in uniforms, double agents and a damsel in distress.

I won’t go into the details of the story (as I’ll post the summary at the end), but I was entranced by Captain Guffald and his entourage immediately. If you have a soft-spot for pirates and life at sea, this is a book I recommend.

The story has nice twists to it, good dialogue and clear descriptions. The author balances out the importance she gives to the romancing as much as she gives to the action scenes. Some hot, sensual loving wasn’t missing which, speaking frankly, we always anticipate in these novels. Lady Adele and Captain Guffald are two strong characters with as much different temperaments and characters as they are each others’ equals and even though us ladies tend to spiral in favour of the Captain (aye, aye!); you will be pleased not to be reading about a whiny lady concerned with her hair and her dress.

Whilst loving the story, it doesn’t mean I would change anything either. For starters, I would have loved to see more twists. The verbal skirmishes between the hero and heroine were interesting, and I would have liked to see them clash more rather than read their repetitive musings.

Captain Guffald whilst being a handsome navy captain, he is also a recurring character from the previous novel. Ms.Bone gives us ample information; through his thoughts to learn about his past adventures that took place in the other book, however sometimes it feels like his musings are too cumbersome for this book and for the man himself. For readers of the first book, this aspect might be a bit boring and repetitive. For new ones like me; it actually helped me to get inside the man’s head but after half the book was over I felt that maybe I didn’t really need to read the first novel at all as he provided major spoilers. Nonetheless, Ms.Bone’s tactic is similar to the human mind and how some traumatic experiences are relived on a daily basis which shows also the depth of the character.

Finally, my verdict would be a 4 Crowns – Princess of a Charming Story. The plot was good, the characters interesting and so is the dialogue. It is wonderfully written and for a pirate-lover like me; this novel was ideal to start my Summer reading spree with.

(Review by Countess Samantha)

 

Accepting Books for Review

We are now accepting books for review.  You are welcome to submit your title, but I cannot guarantee we’ll be able to accommodate every request.  
However, if you have a book you’d like reviewed, please submit through the link below, and I’ll offer to our reviewers for consideration.  Traditional and independent authors are welcome. 

Our rating guidelines are below:

5 Crowns – Sovereign Queen of Historical Love

4 Crowns – Princess of a Charming Story

3 Crowns – Duchess of a Good Read

2 Crowns – Baroness of a Feudal Romance

1 Crown – A Lady in Waiting

Our staff is looking forward to reviewing your stories!  Also, if you’d like to be a reviewer, let me know and we can discuss.

You can read biographical information on our current review team HERE.

Request a review HERE.

Happy Writing and Reading!

Vicki

Book Promo: “My Highland Lord” by Tarah Scott

Award-winning author Tarah Scott cut her teeth on authors such as Georgette Heyer, Zane Grey, and Amanda Quick. Her favorite book is a Tale of Two Cities, with Gone With the Wind as a close second. She writes modern classical romance and paranormal and romantic suspense. Tarah grew up in Texas and currently resides in Westchester County, New York with her daughter.

 

Synopsis

London Heiress kidnapped by the Marquess of Ashlund, read the headlines. Yet no one tried to save her.

Phoebe Wallington was seven years old when a mass assassination attempt rocked Regency England. Her father was the only accused traitor to elude capture. Now as a grown woman and a British spy, she is no closer to learning what really happened that day.

Phoebe’s quest for the truth takes a sudden turn when she’s kidnapped by a suspected traitor. But Kiernan MacGregor, the Marquess of Ashlund, may not live long enough to stand trial. Someone wants him dead. And Phoebe stands in the killer’s way.

 

Short Story Promo – "Treasuring Theresa" by Susana Ellis

Synopsis
At the betrothal ball of the man she had expected to marry herself, Lady Theresa latches on to Damian Ashby, hoping to divert attention from her own humiliating situation. Of course, she’s not seriously interested because he’s a useless London fribble, in her opinion. He is not favorably impressed with her either.

Still, she’s the daughter of an earl, and he’s the heir to her father’s title and estate, so they are destined to spend more time in each other’s company . . . sooner rather than later. And who knew that the two of them would develop an unlikely attraction to one another?

But can a London swell and a country lady ever make their diverse lives and interests work together?

Author Bio
 
A former teacher, Susana is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical—Regency in particular—is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.

In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France, and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around England and visit many of the places she’s read about for years, and it was awesome! She is a member of the Maumee Valley and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.

http://www.susanaellis.com/

Book Promo: “Upon Your Return” by Marie Lavender

Victorian Era Romance (1853)
Solstice Publishing (February 13, 2013)

Synopsis

 

Fara Bellamont has been back in society for a year after leaving Cluny Abbey, where her uncle sent her long ago. When he chooses a suitor for her for marriage, she fears that she will be forced to marry a stranger and live a miserable life.

But, Fara finds herself thrust into an adventure of a lifetime when unforeseen circumstances cause her to place her trust in a strange man for protection. His intervention not only saves her, but puts her in an even more compromising position.

Grant Hill, a trading captain, is enchanted by the young heiress not only because of her beauty, but because she is hardly conventional. Underneath her ladylike exterior lies a tigress. Grant cannot help but offer his protection as she is in need and he is far from immune from her charms.

Fara just never bargained on the passion that she feels for Grant Hill. As events unfold, she must decide whether her desires and the dictates of her heart should trump the rules of society.

Purchase Book

Amazon – Upon Your Return
Solstice Publishing
Create Space
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords
Kobo Books

Contact Author

Website: Marie Lavender, Romance Writer
Blogs: Marie Lavender Blog and Marie Lavender Books
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