Friday, August 19, 2016

Books, Chocolate and Wine with Lily Raine

It’s Friday! We’ve been busy this last month reading and writing. I just helped one of the community services I work with and bought school supplies. I can’t believe it’s almost time for school to start. Today, my guest, Lily Raine shares a character interview with us. Anastasia, Ana for short has a lot to share.
What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?
What with running away from demons and accidentally turning bears into humans, there was quite a lot of action. But my favorite scene in the book is finding comfort in a place you wouldn’t have thought possible. The scene where Daniel told me he loved me without actually having to say the words was my favorite part. It was where I realized how much someone could care for you without needing anything in return. His caring nature will only continue to support and protect me.
Do you like the way the book ended?
There was some closure about who the leader of the Demon Organization, Destria, was but not enough for me to be fully satisfied. I know there will be two more books, so I am sure to find the answers I need eventually.
Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined?
There will definitely be a sequel and then one more book. I think I’m ready to get back into my story and see where the writer takes me. I know there is more developing to do with my relationship with Daniel. And with the Demon King still at large, we need more time to find him.
What is your least favorite characteristic your writer has attributed to you?
My ability to learn languages and remember words and pictures usually serves me well, but it also tends to isolate me from people. Despite living in a gated community near New York City and engaging in dance lessons, I don’t have many friends because my intelligence makes me come across as strange.
Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?
After losing my mother and father at a young age, I know how important family can be. If my uncle had taken my sister and I into his home, I don’t know what would’ve become of us. Yet, he’s never held that over my head or insinuated we are any less his family. If I could, I would want to adopt a child one day and give them that same sense of family.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing my cousin and best friend, Mason. After losing my mother, I couldn’t bring myself to speak. I conveyed my feelings through other avenues, like dancing, but actual words wouldn’t come to me. Mason’s persistence at getting me to speak and always standing by my side, even against blood thirsty mermaids, is the reason he’s my rock.
Who was your first girlfriend/boyfriend and what do you like most about them?
Daniel. I met him at Joya Del Mar Arts Academy when I got roped into going snorkeling with my cousin, Jo, and her two friends. He was on the same boat as us. Daniel is the most caring individual I’ve ever met. His ability to play music as though it were his friend is remarkable and his British accent is cute too.
What other profession would you like to try?
I want to be a genetic scientist. Mason has always been somewhat sickly and I want to try and find a cure. Then I can help other people whose lives are destroyed by senseless violence.
Back Cover Copy:
Anastasia has always been different, and not just because she knows over fifteen languages and prefers to be alone. After she was attacked while visiting family in Russia over seven years ago, Ana has been able to heal rapidly amongst other things. Unable to accept her own immortality, despite increasing proof, she goes away to Joya Del Mar Arts Academy with her two cousins, Jo and Mason. Instead of worrying about recitals and dance steps, Ana discovers a secret world of demons, mermaids and angels. Their only connection however, seems to be an increasing need to find her so that the demons can force Ana to bring back their master. After transforming a bear into a human boy, Ana can no longer hide her abilities and struggles with the idea that she is not human, although she does not know what she is.
When a mysterious man in a mask continues to stalk Ana with the intention of getting her to eat a blue flower, Ana gets the sinking suspicion that the man in the mask is the same young man who destroyed her life seven years prior. When Ana discovers a secret lair hidden beneath the waves where the demons are regrouping, Ana realizes she has a terrible choice to make. Sacrifice her life and the life of the mermaids who fuel the underwater power source, or escape and allow the demons free reign to destroy the human world. But if Ana chooses to accept her immortality, then the life of her cousins and boyfriend, Daniel, will forever be compromised.
 “I was awed by the writing from this very talented author. This is the first YA I've read and I was hooked, especially by this author. The plot was complicated and moved along very well. The characters were well developed. My only problem with the book was that it ended. Now I have to wait for the next book in the series.” -                 5 Star Amazon Review Starla K. Criser
Buy Links:
Coldness spread through my body like a disease when I saw a faint blue color glowing from the woods. It alighted brightly and then dimmed down before becoming completely aglow again.
Without hesitation, I ran towards the light, feeling the heavy pressure of my shoes thumping against my back.
I felt tricked. Each time I neared the blue light, it was extinguished and then relit farther away from where I was standing. Taking a deep breath, I looked at the trees around me and stayed completely still so I could catch movement.
I realized I had gone in a sort of circle chasing the light, but there was a faint directional pattern it seemed to prefer. Acting quickly, I ran in the direction I thought the blue light would appear, stumbling over roots.
For being a small island, the woods were intricate and I was already far away from the road. Regaining my composure, I felt my hands stinging where I’d braced my fall and tried to pull myself to a sitting position, but my legs were tired from hours of dancing.
“Oh, Aria,” The voice was deep and firm. My legs trembled and my fingers twitched in anticipation. “Don’t you want to look at me?”
I started to shake my head, but curiosity made me gave in.
He was abnormally tall. I would guess he was well over six foot, but he was extremely slender. With the right leverage, a person might think they could knock him over. But I saw the sturdy muscle wrapped around his arms, abdomen and legs underneath his tight outfit.
He wore dark pants, dark shoes, and a white shirt with a tie. Over his ensemble was a dark vest and attached hood, a kind of look a modern day Jack the Ripper would wear. His hood was down, exposing a curly black hair and fair skin. His mask was of a kind of monster. Around the bulging eyes of the mask was a type of skeleton, but the cheeks looked like a hollowed out animal. His eyes were a deep purple.
“Do I know you?” I asked quietly as I found my footing and pulled myself up. I wrapped my hands around my bag protectively. I felt foolish for thinking he wanted a pair of Pointe shoes.
The man nodded before walking along the small clearing I had followed him to. “You used to know me.”
My heart became cold. I tried to imagine him without his demon mask. Tried to put a knife in his hand and a scar in the corner of his mouth, but he didn’t feel the part.
“Thousands of years ago.”
I wondered if he was sick and had escaped from somewhere. Or if he was simply a very rich teenager who enjoyed dressing up and frightening young women. I knew it wasn’t uncommon in Bay Shore for bored young men to do so.
To disguise my fear and slight confusion, I spoke with logic. “Human life doesn’t extend that far.”
He stopped moving and placed one hand inside of his small vest pocket. “Who said you were a human?”
I stared blankly at him. “What are you then?”
“You know several languages don’t you?”
I blanched, suddenly angry. Hidden beneath my bed in locked chests were books about medicine, animals, languages and mathematics. There was no way he could know what I studied unless he’d violated my privacy. I took a breath and stepped away. “How do you know?”
“I know a lot about you.”
My foot touched a branch I carefully stepped over. “Why?”
“Would you like to see something?” He asked, changing the subject abruptly. Before I could respond, he had withdrawn his hand and was waving a kind of orb in front of me. A bluish glow surrounded the orb, making it impossible for me to see what it actually looked.
“What is that?”
“You’ll find out.” He whispered softly, replacing the object inside his pocket and once again casting us into darkness. “You see, I’m going to let them find it. Shouldn’t take them long to figure out what it is.”
I was so confused about what he was saying, I didn’t realize he’d strode towards me. With him standing clearly in front of me, I felt my body shiver, his height immense.
“I have to test you. I have to make sure.”
I gripped my bag tightly again, prepared to swing if he came much closer. “You speak in riddles.”
He tipped his head to the side and from underneath his mask, I could see a faint smile. “And you speak denial.”
There wasn’t enough time for me to react and before I could even swing my bag around, I felt his hand close around my throat. Screaming would be pointless and would raise my pulse to an even higher rate. I closed my eyes, willing my heart to flow to a natural rate, slowing my anxiety. I heard him whisper one last word before the grass beneath me felt weightless. “Aria.”
About Lily Raine:
Lily Raine, author of the Anastasia Series, is happy to be part of World Castle Publishing. Lily lives in Michigan where when it's not cold, the weather and the lakes are beautiful. Lily married her best friend, Thomas, when she was eighteen years-old. They live together with their two cats, Misaki and Mason.
 Lily enjoys biking, swimming, dancing, painting, and going anywhere there are animals. She is currently working on her Master's Degree from Wayne State University. Afterwards, she hopes to own her own practice.
Lily loves young adult novels, particularly ones with paranormal elements. She also really enjoys LGBT literature with young adult characters and wishes there were more with paranormal aspects.
Feel free to send an e-mail to
 Social Media contacts:

Twitter: @AuthorLilyRaine

Friday, August 12, 2016

Books, Chocolate and Wine: A Letter from Diana Cosby

Dear Ruth and Books, Chocolate and Wine
Fascinated by the Knights Templars, I was thrilled at the opportunity to write The Forbidden series.  After hundreds of years, many questions remain of where the Templars fled, what treasure they took, and how were so many valiant knights able to disappear without a trace. In The Forbidden Series, I weave my character’s journey, where they face challenges, and in end fall in love, around these questions and more.
Story ideas come to me in numerous ways.  With Forbidden Legacy, the first book in The Forbidden Series, the hero, Stephan MacQuistan, Earl of Dunsmore, woke me up demanding I write his story.  I spent the next year and a half researching the Knights Templars, and continued researching while crafting Forbidden Legacy. 
With an alpha hero, I knew my heroine needed to be strong, and Lady Katherine Calbraith, a fierce, independent woman, was born.  I added tension to the story by forcing her and Stephan into a marriage of convenience, in a setting of Scotland at war.
As a major plotter, I enjoyed weaving in the fascinating history of the Templars into my story along with my speculation as to where their fleet and many of the Brotherhood could have escaped to prior to the arrests beginning in France on the 13th of October, 1307.  In this myth-rich topic, the question of where they could have hidden their treasures still intrigues many today.
I hope you enjoy Stephan and Katherine’s journey where they are forced into a union neither wants, and throughout their danger-ridden adventure, secure the Templar treasures from prying eyes, and in the end find love.
Diana Cosby
Romance Edged With Danger
A Knights Templar, Sir Stephan MacQuistan desires no bride, only vengeance for a family lost and a legacy stolen.  A profound twist of fate tears apart the brotherhood he loves, but offers him an opportunity to reclaim his legacy – Avalon Castle.  Except to procure his childhood home along with a place to store Templar treasures, he must wed the unsuspecting daughter of the man who killed his family. To settle old scores, Stephan agrees aware Katherine is but a pawn in a dangerous game, not a woman he will ever love. 
"I was totally swept off my feet by this tale! Fantastic writing, loved Forbidden Legacy!" — Barb Batlan-Massabrook, Reviewer
“Forbidden Legacy, the first book in a powerful with excitement & rewarding conflicts woven around the 'falling in love!'” – Cindy Nord, Best-Selling Author, IN, USA  
“I loved loved loved Stephan & Katherine's story! Brilliant writing!!! — Barb Batlan-Massabrook, Reviewer
Forbidden Legacy — A total masterpiece! — Barb Batlan-Massabrook, Reviewer

After a deep breath, Stephan stepped across the threshold.  He paused, unsure if he was more stunned to discover the king nae alone, or to find a beautiful woman with hair gold as the desert sand standing rigid at his side.  Confused by her presence, more so by her unyielding stance, he closed the door.
At the soft thud, the lass turned.  Her eyes riveted on him, flared with anger.
Far from intimidated, Stephan held her cool gaze.  His arrival displeased her.  Whatever caused her upset wasna his affair.  He had enough problems without adding hers.
Paces from the throne, Stephan halted, and then bowed.  “Your Grace.”
 “Sir Stephan.”  King Robert Bruce nodded toward the woman.  “May I introduce my goddaughter, Lady Katherine Calbraith.”
 “My Lady,” Stephan said, smothering the wash of irritation her surname wrought.  ‘Twas coincidence her family name matched that of a man he loathed.
 “Lady Katherine,” Robert Bruce said, “may I introduce, Sir Stephan.”
Sapphire blue eyes narrowed on him, and she gave a slight nod.  “Sir Stephan.”
Her cool tone prodded Stephan.  Between his participation in the crusades and years in service to the Grand Master in France, never had he and this woman met.  Yet, the lass acted as if through sheer resolve she tolerated his presence.
 “’Twould indeed seem a fortuitous day,” the king said into the thick silence, “as each of your requests to me will be fulfilled by the other.”
Fulfilled by the other?  God’s blade!  “Your Grace, Lady Katherine is nae what I seek.”  A fact the king bloody knew!
 “Nor I a knight, Your Grace,” she said, ice carving her words.
A slight smile touched the sovereign’s mouth.   “Your petitions have been made, entreaties I shall grant.”  His hard gaze shifted to the woman.  “Sir Stephan is a man of the highest caliber, a knight who has proven himself many times over on the battlefield, and warrior who will lead his knights to reclaim your home.”
Her face paled.  “But—”
 “Nay,” the king interrupted.  “Earlier this day you agreed to my terms.  Now, you will abide by them.”
Her fingers clenched the elegant folds of her travel-worn gown.  “Aye,” Your Grace.”
Robert Bruce’s gaze leveled on him.  “And you seek a stronghold, one that I will bestow upon you with your marriage to Lady Katherine.”
About the Author
A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense.  Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series are translated in five languages.  Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,”, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.
After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world.  With the release of the third book in The Oath Trilogy and the e Box Set of the MacGruder Brothers series, she is now preparing for the release of the first book in The Forbidden Series, Forbidden Legacy, on 16 August 2016!
Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.

Social Media Links:
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Monday, August 8, 2016

Medieval Monday with Cathy MacRae

We end this round of Medieval Monday nature posts with an excerpt from Cathy MacRae’s The Highlander’s French Bride. You can almost taste the salt air in this scene where Kinnon says his good-bye to Brother Padraig. Enjoy!
Excerpt from The Highlander’s French Bride:
Seagulls shrieked as they circled overhead. The promise of spring was in the warm breezes and the green grasses. Young boys hurried after their wooly charges as the sheep eagerly sought the new fodder, tiny lambs tottering behind their dams on shaky new legs across the rocky landscape.
Brother Padraig clasped Kinnon’s shoulder. “My friend, ye are doing the right thing. Some serve in the world by preaching the Gospel, and a few give themselves over to God in solitude and silence with constant prayer and penance.” He smiled. “Yet others are called to married love, mayhap bringing new life into the world. I pray ye find whom ye seek, but there are always places to tend the poor and needy in this world. Ye need not take vows to help God.”
Kinnon gripped the monk’s upper arm, conveying his thanks in the strengthening grip, the earnestness of his gaze. “I have no words powerful enough to thank ye, Brother. Ye have given me much to contemplate, and have healed more than my poor body.”
“Rest is a balm for the soul and healing for the body,” Brother Padraig quipped. “I will take good care of wee Angus. `Tis a good thing ye decided to leave him here. After these past months without battling the rats for the last of the winter stores, I fear we would have had an uprising amongst the monks had ye insisted he go with ye.” He grinned. “Take care, my friend. If possible, I would hear word of yer travels.”
Kinnon stared deep into the monk’s kind eyes, hesitant to bring himself to the moment of parting. But the gentle thumping of the waves against the boat’s waiting hull reminded him the time to tarry was over.
Ranald’s men-at-arms met him as the boat docked on Mull, a horse saddled and waiting for him. Kinnon greeted them warmly, wondering at the sense of freedom stealing over him. It had begun as a flash of clarity the moment he’d resolved to search for Melisende. At first he wasn’t sure if he simply needed to be certain she and her sister had survived and were doing well, or if he truly longed to be with Melisende again. But the idea that she could have married in the years they’d been apart struck his chest with a peculiar agony that was a curious mix of anticipation and fear. The thought of another man holding her, loving her, being the center of her life, sent strong jolts of alarm through him.
It was then he realized he had to find her—for himself, not so he could worry less, but so he could care more.
Back Cover Copy for The Highlander’s French Bride:
Heir to a lairdship, Kinnon Macrory is driven to prove his worth by fighting the English on the battlefields of France. His dreams of heroic valor are destroyed by the realities of war—the atrocities visited by fellow soldiers on the very people he is sworn to protect. Three years in a French prison for a crime he did not commit leave Kinnon longing for the one thing of beauty in his war-torn life—a young woman of great kindness and wisdom named Melisende.
Melisende de la Roche struggles to stay one step ahead of soldiers who would imprison her for helping an injured Scotsman wrongly accused of treason. She finds refuge in her uncle’s shop—until a chance encounter sends her fleeing into the unknown once again, haunted by the beguiling friendship with the troubled young Scotsman she is certain she will never see again.
Determined to find the woman of his dreams, Kinnon returns to France, only to discover a trail of clues to Melisende’s whereabouts. Their reunion will open the doors to passion, but half-truths and lies from the past could destroy the one thing they both are willing to fight for—each other.

Buy Link: Amazon

Friday, August 5, 2016

Books, Chocolate and Wine with Victoria Pinder

It’s Friday and time to celebrate another week. The summer is zipping by and there is still so much I want to do, although sitting by a pool and reading seems to be the perfect activity for this weekend. Each person has their preferences for spending their down time just like they have preferences for how they work. Today, my guest, Victoria Pinder tells us how she writes.

1.      What is your process for writing a book? For example, are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you start at page 1 and write your book sequentially or do you skip around? Do you start with your characters or the plot?
The first ten thousand words are easy. I’m getting to know my characters. I’m getting what happened to them. Then around that word count I have to stop and ask myself, ‘what’s the plot?’ I have to spend a day thinking about what might happen to these characters, but honestly, if I believed that the plot was set in stone, I’d never write another word. I have to think about it and let the characters rule the story. Most of the time it is sequentially, but it’s not exactly a fully formed plot either. I consider myself a hybrid in writing style.
2.      Do you write multiple drafts or barely need revisions when typing, The End?
I wish I didn’t need revisions! I generally complete the manuscript (but not always if I feel something is absolutely horrible about the story. Then I have to think about it until the fix hits me.) This doesn’t mean it’s done though. Revisions are my friend.
3.      When you are writing, who is in control? You or your characters?
If I’m in charge the story is awful! If I’m in the character’s head then I’m in the zone and the story flows easier.
4.      What advice do you have for other writers?
Never listen to negativity that is not meant to be helpful. People will always try to steal your shine. On the other side, there are great experts who will be critical in order to help you. If you can distinguish the difference, then you’re in the best position.
5.      Why did you decide to become a romance author?
Write what you love to read and think about. I loved reading romance novels. I read thousands of them. So when my imagination soars the story usually ends in a happy-ever-after. Once I realized I wanted to try my hand at writing then the genre was the easy choice.
6.      What books can we expect to see in the near future?
I have my Secret series that will be out by the end of the year. It’s my ode to prime time dramas where it meets a romance novel, so expect surprises and lots of dramatic turns.
7.      What makes a man attractive to you?
This was my favorite question! It made me think about lots of options that are attractive. Nice hair, sexy eyes, five o’clock shadows, some body hair, muscular body. Oh so much to think about, but the truth is I’m far more attracted to man with brains. Intellect and the ability surprise me in conversation… this is the most attractive part of a man. I’d pick brains over brawn every time.
8.      Tell us a little about the state/country you live in.
I live in Miami, FL.  I moved from cold Boston to the warmth of the subtropic weather. In the winters I don’t regret it at all. In the summer, the humidity is swampy and sticky and makes you not want to move. I live in a multicultural climate that is unlike anywhere else. It makes you appreciate different foods, different cultures and so much. I highly recommend it.
9.      If you were a millionaire would you still write?
ABSOLUTELY! I could write even more! If I didn’t have to go to the day job, then I could devote myself to my family and my writing. If I had a billion dollars, I’d write, travel and spend time with my family.
10.  Cat or dog person?
I grew up with cats. They are interesting, fun, and unique individuals. Other people’s dogs are fun, but if I have to choose, I’m going with a cat.
Back Cover Copy for Favorite Coffee, Favorite Crush:

Penny moves back to Miami to start her new job. She must start on Monday, so she has a list of things to accomplish.
  1. Find a place to live.
  2. Avoid her mother.
  3. Reconnect with old high school friends. There was her best friend, Sandra, the dramatic Eva, the dark Michael, her half-brother Wyatt, and her old high school crush Jay.
Jay may have kept her firmly in the “friend zone”, but that didn’t stop her from wanting more. Her five friends have stood by her through some difficult times and she’ll need their help now to accomplish her first two goals. As soon as Jay sees Penny, he puts his plan into motion. His investors need to see him with a stable woman, one who isn’t all flash and no brains; Penny fits the bill perfectly. There’s just one hitch—he wants more. 

Their pretend date sets off a whirlwind of plots. From mothers who want to control their children’s lives to the loss of her exciting new job, Penny’s world turns upside down. She knows she can overcome all obstacles except one—she’s falling for Jay all over again.

Excerpt from Favorite Coffee, Favorite Crush:

“Home, sweet, err…coffee.”
Getting out of her car, Penelope brushed her worn jeans to get out a small wrinkle. Not that it mattered. She smelled the coffee drawing her to the door. The delicious aroma of freshly brewed java that could wake her up waited inside. Gainesville had coffee shops, but nothing that held her heart like this place. In high school, this place was her mecca. Her stomach grumbled for the familiar drink.
The coffee shop looked almost the same as it had years ago, except for the aluminum tables and wooden chairs with red cushions. She remembered the plaid chairs and brown tables, but the place still calmed her, like she was coming home.
She stepped up to the counter. “I’ll have a cinnamon dulce nonfat latte, please.”
Leaving Gainesville after college had always been the plan. Just never back to Miami, but she’d changed. She could live here now.
She checked her lip gloss while she waited for the latte at the counter.
When she accepted the promotion from part-time to full-time, she knew she would have to face her mother and the catch of the month, Lars, her mother’s plastic surgeon. What that woman would do for a free tummy tuck.
The job she’d accepted had offered to triple her salary, provided she moved to the Coral Gables office. Somehow, she’d avoid her mother until necessary. What was the man’s name with money this week? Penny ignored that last call, knowing the man with the largest wallet always took precedence over whatever Penelope needed. She watched the barista get the nonfat milk and finish her latte. She’d succeed here, now. She had to.
She’d call Sandra, Eva, John, and Michael later. Wyatt, her half-brother, was stationed overseas, so she’d wait for his weekly call. These people were her real family.
The man handed her the latte. The first sip gave her the strength to do this. The tightness of the ride dissipated while she tasted her liquid savior. Sighing, she tasted heaven, the wake-up to her day.
Though the unmistakable voice was deeper, she knew who it was without even turning. Her high school crush, who never noticed her beyond her brain. Pulling at her pink tank top, she wished she’d worn better clothes. “John Jay.”
His steely blue eyes and sandy blond hair were the same color, but his build had grown more muscular. The leanness of his youth had given way to broad shoulders and hard, muscular arms. He had a straight, faded scar on his left cheek that was new—probably a bar fight. Rich boy wore his fancy, perfectly fitted polo and jeans, and was definitely hotter with age. His million-dollar smile and devastating dimples sparked a warm flush that sped through her all the way to the tips of her toes.
“I’m going by Jay these days. It’s less formal.” He winked at her, turning off his tablet and pointing her to his table.
“It’s a good name, but I still prefer Dimples,” she teased. “It’s what I called you on online whenever I needed you.”
His rich, deep laugh sent that familiar spark through her.
Damn. Rich boy knew his effect on women, including her. He could manipulate her when she went quiet, but she’d learned a lot in college. She’d not let him weaken her.
Purchase Link: Amazon:

About the Author:
Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, after passing many tests proving how easy Math came to her. Then hating her life at the age of twenty four, she decided to go to law school. Four years later, after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hates the practice of law. She refused to one day turn 50 and realize she had nothing but her career and hours at a desk. After realizing she needed change, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is rewarding, but writing is a passion.
During all this time, she always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, and Victoria spent too many years living other people’s dreams, but when she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious. The middle school year book when someone wrote in it that one day she’d be a writer made sense when she turned thirty.
She’s always been determined. She is amazing, adventurous and assured on a regular basis. Her website is
Member of Florida Romance Writers, Contemporary Romance, Celtic Hearts and Savvy Authors.
For a free novella of Returning for Valentine’s Please Click here:

Contact Information

Monday, August 1, 2016

Medieval Monday with Jenna Jaxon

Summer is just zipping by. It’s already August! To my guest is Jenna Jaxon. This is a lovely garden scene. I haven’t got a green thumb. Black is my color. Instead of me speak to plants they talk to me and beg me not to touch them. Enjoy the garden walk.
Excerpt from Time Enough to Love
Snipping the stems of a sweetly-scented pale lavender Apothecary’s rose, she started when a shadow fell over the flower in her hand. She looked up to find Thomas standing before her, smiling at her basketful of blooms.
“You wish to take a part of Knowlton’s Keep with us when we leave, my lady?”
Her answering smile masked the strange thumping that became the beat of her heart. “I hope you approve, my lord. I would dry the petals and use them to remind us of home while we journey so far from it.”
“Of course, my sweet. Whate’er your heart desires is yours.” He took a dark pink blossom from her and held it to his nose. “Sweet.” The warm brown eyes held her blue ones. “Thank you.”
Alyse stared at him, uncertain what he meant. “I beg pardon, my lord?”
He placed the rose in her basket. “’Tis what the dark pink color means. In the language of flowers. Thank you. At least,” he grinned at her, “according to my mother that is what it means. I am not sure how she came by this knowledge.”
Curious idea. “What do the others mean?”
He drew her arm through his and led her to a bush with snowy-white double blooms. “This is the Cheshire rose. The white blooms stand for purity.”
Alyse bent to smell the delicate scent. “I suppose that would be expected.”
Thomas took her shears and snipped the bloom, adding it to her basket. “Purity, for a pure heart.”
Beside the Cheshire grew a large bush of clear pink blooms. “And this?” She could not contain her eagerness. The names and meanings of the roses had stirred up the banked embers in her soul. Or perhaps the nearness of Thomas’s masculine body excited other, more passionate yearnings. Suddenly, the feel of his arm in hers filled her senses.
What was happening? Why this sudden lift in spirits?
She had been more melancholy of late, ever since Thomas had abandoned her bed. But it made no sense.
Did she not still love Geoffrey, heart and soul?
The thought sobered her. The sharp pang of sorrow that always stabbed her heart at the thought of him had dulled. Was she coming to regard Thomas as her husband and long for him as such?
“This is my favorite.” He clipped another pink bloom and held it under her nose. “What do you smell?”
Puzzled, she sniffed the showy pink blossom, but he moved the stem and leaves for her to smell instead. A wonderful scent assailed her, but one she did not associate with roses.
A smile lit his face as he placed an entire stem of the flowers, leaves and all, into her basket.
“But what is it called?”
“Eglantine or Sweet Briar Rose.” He looked down at his thumb where a fat drop of blood welled. “The latter is probably the more apt name.” He smiled ruefully.
Seeing his glance, she took his hand and, without thinking, raised the injured thumb to her lips. She gently kissed the drop away, and he gasped. Their gazes met, his frankly searching hers for an answer.
Back Cover Copy for Time Enough to Love
When Lady Alyse de Courcy is betrothed to Sir Geoffrey Longford, she has no choice but to make the best of a bad bargain. The hulking knight is far from her ideal man, and although he does possess some wit and charm, he is no match for the sinfully sensual man she secretly admires, Thomas, Earl of Braeton, her betrothed’s best friend. 
From the first, Sir Geoffrey finds himself smitten by Lady Alyse, and, despite her infatuation with his friend, vows to win her love. When Geoffrey puts his mind to wooing Alyse, he is delighted to find her succumbing to his seduction. But when cruel circumstances separate them, Geoffrey must watch helplessly as Thomas steps in to protect Alyse—and falls in love with her himself.
As the three courtiers accompany Princess Joanna to her wedding in Spain, they run headlong into the Black Plague. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both the men she loves. But which love will survive?
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