You can currently get all FIVE of my Wessex Regency romances for the price of ONE.
Fancy some mouth-watering bestsellers for just 99 cents each? Check out
second-chance steamy DISTRACTING THE DUKE https://bit.ly/2zXNVpZDtD,
teasing romp UNMASKING THE EARL
sweet governess romance VANQUISHING THE VISCOUNT
heart-pounding adventure A PERILOUS PASSION
quirky road trip with a rogue A POTION FOR PASSION
PLEASE NOTE- This sale only lasts a couple more days!
My favourite word is “book”. If I’m walking in a strange town and I see a sign saying “Books”, I feel right at home. Sometimes my partner has to physically come between me and such signs, or we’d never reach our destination…
Online book sales are less dangerous because the books take up no space. So with a clear conscience I can tell you that ALL my Wessex Regency Romance Series books are on sale RIGHT NOW at just 99 cents each! Pick and choose which ones you want from my Entangled Publishing Page HERE, which also gives you the full range of booksellers, or use the universal Amazon links below for specific books. I’ve put the books in publication order, but to be honest, you can read them in any order. Just click on the links to find out more.
And finally, on sale for the first time since publication…
Guess what my second most favourite word is? You guessed it. SALE!!!
Today I’ll be giving away Victorian romances by myself and Eve Pendle, as well as a $10 Amazon Gift Card. It’s to celebrate the release of LORD OF DECEPTION, available to read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited or to buy for just 99 cents. Grab your copy here- http://mybook.to/deception
This is what one reader says about this unique Elizabethan romance- “Keysian…injects a real sense of place and time into the prose and dialogue, without leaving the modern reader feeling lost. She achieves that perfect balance that can sometimes be hard to master for historical authors, especially as for stories set as far back as this one is.
I enjoyed this one immensely, and I can’t wait to read the others that have been announced as they come out. I recommend this to historical romance lovers who love the Tudors.” Courtney, Goodreads
The takeover is going to be entertaining- I know you’ll love my silly quiz. I just hope I’ve worked the time zones out correctly!
You can join the fun here-https://bit.ly/3elTvT9dbrdrsgp
This lovely review of LORD OF DECEPTION comes from Courtney at Goodreads. It’s so good when a reader really ‘gets’ what the author’s trying to do. Thank you so much, Courtney!
“Tudor romances are an under appreciated subset of historical romance, so I snapped this one up upon reading the blurb. It promised the passion and intrigue I love about the Tudor period, and the fact that it involved Walsingam’s spy ring also piqued my interest.
And it delivers on its premise. Kit is a wonderful hero, and I rooted for him as he tried to figure out what was going on at Selwood Manor, and went from suspecting the innocent Alys to working to protect her from the corruption going on around them.
Poor Alys! While the setup for her arc feels a little cliche, Cinderella-esque at times, I still rooted for her through it all. And I like that their love was really tested as well, a trait I love about the handful of Tudor romances I’ve read.
Keysian also injects a real sense of place and time into the prose and dialogue, without leaving the modern reader feeling lost. She achieves that perfect balance that can sometimes be hard to master for historical authors, especially as for stories set as far back as this one is.
I enjoyed this one immensely, and I can’t wait to read the others that have been announced as they come out. I recommend this to historical romance lovers who love the Tudors.”
This book hits the shelves Tuesday 23rd June 2020 and will also be available to read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Grab your copy now!
My Victorian historical saga is available on pre-order at 99 cents for a very limited time. I can claim expert knowledge of the background to this book, as I used to work in a museum based on the history of a local woollen mill. We actually had one of the machines still up and running! I did some research into workhouses too, and came up with this authentic tale, following young Bella Hart’s unfortunate upbringing, the love this lonely outcast finds in a busy factory town, and the tremendous obstacles of class distinction and behaviour with which she’s faced. There’s some heart-stopping drama, and some plot twists I can guarantee you never saw coming! The book’s up on Amazon now, so grab your discounted copy today and prepare for an absorbing read! http://mybook.to/workhouse
Bella Hart fumed and fretted in the Punishment Cupboard. She was tempted to ram her fist against the door, but what she’d rather be doing was ramming it in Marie Froggatt’s face. It was all her fault, with her spiteful insults which had goaded Bella into giving her a slap. It had only been a little one, but Marie had flown wild, and Bella’s back still ached from the blows rained down upon it. But when she got out of here, the other girl would pay for it—oh yes, she would!
Time passed, and gradually, the regular noises of the workhouse died away. Bella knew it must be bedtime. But there was nowhere to rest her head. The only thing in the cupboard with her was the noisome pot in the corner in which to relieve herself. She’d have to grope around when she needed it—the cupboard was dark as pitch. Had the people who built this place, with all their good intentions, made this stupid cupboard for a purpose? There had never been anything in it but the chamber pot, the now invisible curls of dust and the smell of mouldering wood. Perhaps it was always intended for a prison, a place to punish small girls like Bella who couldn’t keep their tempers.
She wasn’t even sure what all the insults had meant. But the tone had been enough to infuriate her. She’d lashed out, and the fight had begun. Some adult women had come, and finally, the Matron arrived to find the girls separated and hanging—faces flushed with tears—in the arms of their captors. Marie’s quick tongue had got her out of trouble, so she’d be all comfortable in her bed now. But Bella would get her revenge—that bed would never be safe again for Marie Froggatt.
“Bella? Are you asleep?”
Miss Ainsty! What was she doing here? She should have been home long ago. Lessons had ceased many hours since, and the teacher was usually doing her sewing at this time—before the daylight died and the gas flared too dimly.
“No, Miss.” Her voice sounded small, sullen.
“Ah, Bella.” Miss Ainsty’s sigh whispered through the chink in the door. “Child, when will you ever learn to mind your temper?”
“But it’s not fair, Miss. She started it by calling names.”
“Did that make it right to hit her?”
“It was only a little slap.”
“After all I’ve told you, Bella. You’re a great disappointment to me.” Miss Ainsty’s voice was soft, for the child was one of her favourites.
“Can you let me out?” pleaded Bella.
“I haven’t the key. Matron’s got it. You’ll not be out before breakfast, I’m afraid. Have you had any supper?”
“No. Not allowed.”
“Why do you do this? You’re your own worst enemy.”
Bella digested this information and found she disagreed. “If I hadn’t hit her, she’d have done it again. Anyway, what she said about me was a lie. And that’s a sin, to lie, Miss, isn’t it?”
The gentle sigh came again. “Dear Lord! I don’t know why I waste my time with you. You’re a bright girl, very bright. You could make something of yourself—yes, even in a place like this. How many times have I told you how to behave properly, how to rise above these people?”
Bella wondered if she was supposed to count and give an answer. But before she could speak, something rustled in a corner and she squealed. “Rats! Oh, Miss, rats! I hate rats!”
Rustling and thumping came from behind the door, followed by Bella’s whimper. “Oh Miss, can’t you get me out of here?”
Miss Ainsty smiled ruefully. Where was all that bravado now? The belligerent child was now a little girl again, sniffling and squirming in her prison.
“Please Miss… rats!” as if it was the worst thing in the world. She should be used to rats by now—there were plenty in the workhouse yards. But everyone had their Achilles Heel.
The girl in the cupboard was sobbing now. “Please get me out of here, Miss Ainsty. I don’t like it when there’s rats.”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
The teacher stood up and dusted down her skirts, picturing in her mind the terrifying mountain of a woman she would have to confront. She was no coward, but the Matron was enough to quell even the stoutest heart.
Cowering in a corner, the girl heard the light footsteps fade away. If she kept very still and quiet, perhaps the rat would not run over her foot. But she didn’t know if she had the courage to do it.
If you want to read more, you can do so soon. Order your copy NOW!
I’m thrilled to be able to offer an excerpt from Crusader’s Path as part of the Coffee Pot Book Club Blog Tour!
Ribbon lightning flashed across the darkened sky as Duke Robert and Etienne reached the outer castle walls. Crackling thunder shook the ground beneath them as they dismounted near the stables. The grayish clouds burst open, sending a deluge of water upon the earth. Strong winds whipped the rain, stinging the face as the men fled inside, pulling their mounts behind them. The animals neighed, standing on their hind legs, threatening to trample anyone in their way.
“All is well, hush,” Etienne said, trying to calm the horse, rubbing its face and neck with his hand.
Duke Robert managed to get his stallion into its stall and proceeded to inspect the length of the barn, comforting the animals.
“I think it best to stay here until the storm passes,” Etienne said.
Sitting on a bale of hay, Etienne leaned against the wall. Looking at the loft, he remembered a stormy night when he and Isabella took shelter on a warm summer’s day. He recalled her laughter, her wet hair sticking to her face, her eyes sparkling when he touched her cheek. Invigorated by the smell of freshly cut hay, they tumbled in the straw, satisfying their desire numerous times until the rain stopped.
You need to go home, Etienne thought.
“Has there been word of Henry?” Duke Robert said, sitting across from his favored friend. “But I have interrupted your thoughts.”
“I was just wondering how long the storm will last. As for your brother’s whereabouts, the spies have not returned. He cannot be far.”
“Have you given His Holiness’s call for an Army of God much thought? I dare say I am intrigued. My soul is in need of saving, but the peasants would revolt if I taxed them to pay for such a lengthy campaign.”
“He did say full remission of our sins,” Etienne said. “I am tempted, but my sword is yours, Your Grace.”
“Ah, that is good to hear, because, my friend, I am inclined to join the campaign. It would free me from this useless fighting. And William Rufus would probably lend me the money, or I could ask Henry. Upon our return, they would not dare to rise up against me, lest they be excommunicated.”
“If that is your wish, so be it. I would visit Argences before we leave. Isabella can rule in my absence, as she has done in the past, until we are safely home.”
Do you LOVE medieval romance? Then you are going to adore this book by Mary Ann Bernal.
Here’s the story-
From the sweeping hills of Argences to the port city of Cologne overlooking the River Rhine, Etienne and Avielle find themselves drawn by the need for redemption against the backdrop of the First Crusade. Heeding the call of His Holiness, Urban II, to free the Holy Land from the infidel, Etienne follows Duke Robert of Normandy across the treacherous miles, braving sweltering heat and snow-covered mountain passes while en route to the Byzantine Empire. Moved by Peter of Amiens’ charismatic rhetoric in the streets of the Holy Roman Empire, Avielle joins the humble army of pilgrims. Upon arrival in Mentz, the peasant Crusaders do the unthinkable, destroying the Jewish Community. Consumed with guilt, Avielle is determined to die fighting for Christ, assuring her place in Heaven. Etienne and Avielle cross paths in Constantinople, where they commiserate over past misdeeds. A spark becomes a flame, but when Avielle contracts leprosy, Etienne makes a promise to God, offering to take the priest cowl in exchange for ridding Avielle of her affliction. Will Etienne be true to his word if Avielle is cleansed of the contagion, or will he risk eternal damnation to be with the woman he loves?
Here’s the gorgeous cover-
And here is where you can get your hands on the book-
I personally cannot WAIT to read it!
Excerpt from “Lord of Deception”
Available on pre-order HERE at only 99 cents!
Suffolk, England 1585
Alys Barchard glared at her cousin and waited for the blow to fall. Kate Aspinall was wearing that expression again—a jest was coming, and it would be at her expense. It always was.
“So, what think you to a wager?” Kate rested her elbows on the railing of the wooden platform that gave them a view across the knot garden.
A wager? A trap, more likely. Alys frowned. “But you know I have nothing to stake.” “Oh, don’t be such a dullard. What about your embroidered pocket, the one you finished
the other day? What use have you of that when you’ve naught to put in it?”
“It took me all spring to fashion.” Alys meant to wear her hanging pocket as often as possible, to show off her skills as a needlewoman. Not that any men were likely to take an interest in her, forever eclipsed by her beautiful, wealthy cousin.
Kate’s eyes narrowed. Aye, here came the pout, the spoiled-child face that usually preceded stinging words. Since the loss of her husband last year, Kate’s faults had magnified a hundredfold.
Nonetheless, sympathy curbed Alys’ tongue. “Very well. Let my pocket be my forfeit. What are we wagering on?” She’d have to ensure she won the wager.
The sulky look vanished. “It concerns a man.”
“Which man?” The only regular male visitors to Selwood Manor were Sir Thomas Kirlham and his friend, Richard Avery, neither of whom Alys liked.
“My new gardener.” Kate’s gaze roved across the garden.
Alys’ fingers tightened on the railing. “The one your steward picked out at the hiring a sennight since?”
“The very one. Is he not a sight to set the hardest heart a-racing?”
The new gardener was in full view, but hopefully out of earshot. He was crouched down, snipping some errant stems from a rosebush, his shirt clinging to a broad expanse of muscled back. His heels pressed against tight buttocks, clad in a dusty pair of hose.
Alys swallowed. “Mayhap.”
“Mayhap? Fie on you, Alys—you have milk in your veins, not blood. He’s the handsomest fellow I’ve seen in a twelvemonth. Do you not see how gracefully he moves?”
Of course, she saw, but she wasn’t prepared to own it. Any confidence shared with Kate became common knowledge in an instant. Besides, it mattered not if the man was good- looking—he was but a servant.
“So, you admire him. But what part does he play in our wager?”
Kate’s smile was sly. “My challenge is this, to see which of us can steal the first kiss from that desirable mouth.”
Kiss the gardener? Had Kate taken leave of her senses? The idea sent a shiver skittering up Alys’ backbone. A sinful shiver.
Kate grinned as the man got to his feet again and tilted her head towards Alys. “Look at those long legs. I’ll warrant he could sit a horse admirably. Of a certain, he would ride a woman just as well.”
By the rood! If she weren’t so beholden to Kate, she’d slap her face for such wickedness. The woman must be taken in hand soon, or she’d drag the great name of Aspinall down into that same mud the gardener now brushed from his hands.
As if sensing their perusal, he turned as he stood, and bent a dutiful knee. His brown eyes flickered over them before he politely averted his gaze. Was there a mocking tilt to that firm mouth? Alys shivered again.
“You’re playing the fool, Kate. I can’t be party to such impropriety. Let’s go within—the wind is biting.”
“What wind? You mean this light summer breeze? You will accept my wager.” Kate’s blue eyes were hard, determined.
A pox on the woman! After a brief hesitation, Alys bowed her head. Kate would kiss the fellow and win the precious embroidered pocket. She must concede defeat—it was the only way to maintain harmony at Selwood Manor.
But what if the gardener preferred to kiss her? No, she couldn’t ask him—not even a poor relation like herself would kiss a mere servant. No matter how desirable he looked.
“Very well, I accept. What shall your stake be?”
“I’ll give the rosary that belonged to our grandmother.”
Alys blanched. What need had she of a rosary? Their use had been banned, and anyone caught using one would be branded a traitor. Kate had offered her a wager she couldn’t win and staked an item she couldn’t accept. She might as well give her the pocket now, and be done with it.
Kate’s lips thinned in triumph. “I don’t think kissing him will be any hardship. But which of us will he choose, do you think? Me, with my golden curls and eyes of cornflower blue, or you, with your disapproving frown and eyes like a puddle on a stormy day? Ah, see how he lifts that water butt with barely a blink! I’ll warrant he could last the race and more besides.”
Something stirred in Alys’ belly. A vision of the handsome gardener, poised naked over her, slick with sweat, sprang into her mind’s eye and refused to be banished, no matter how hard she tried.
“I’m going back to the house.” Why did her voice sound hoarse? What manner of beast had Kate unleashed in her head?
“But our wager—”
“I care not for kisses from servants, however dark of eye or long of leg. You shall have my pocket. Only I beg you not to kiss him. ‘Tis most unseemly.”
“Odd’s blood, Alys, you sound like a Puritan. Are not young widows entitled to a little diversion? Ah, I know what baits you. You don’t want me to show interest in a man, for fear I might lie with him, and conceive a child to deprive you of your inheritance.”
Alys bit her tongue. Kate had been spending most of that inheritance this past year— Alys didn’t expect to have more than two Angels to rub together should her childless cousin die first. But if she spoke out any more than she already had, there was a risk of spiteful reprisals.
“Whatever pleases you.”
“So, you accept my terms? Shall I do it now, right in front of you?”
Before Alys could point out that several of their servants were currently in view, Kate had swept down from the viewing platform and crossed the parterre to the rose arbor, where the subject of their discussion labored. He rose to greet her, the lithe grace of his movements a refreshing change from the stocky villagers normally employed on the manor. Kate looked a mere child before him, and as she stretched on tiptoe towards him, he ducked his head to hear her. A lock of his long dark hair fell forward, shadowing his face and his slender-fingered hand hovered protectively by her elbow but did not touch her.
Groaning inwardly, Alys prepared to endure the shameful spectacle of her cousin making a fool of both herself and the gardener.
Smiling smugly, Kate returned to the platform, the gardener’s gaze apparently riveted by the sway of her hips. His expression was unfathomable—the only clue to what had passed between them was a touch of color on his high cheekbones.
“What did you say to him? Did he refuse to kiss you?” Alys let out a breath as hope kindled about the embroidered pocket.
Kate swept past her, heading towards the yew walk. “Don’t be so hasty, Coz. The game is all the better if it does not end straightway, the prize all the sweeter if not quickly won. You’ll just have to wait, and watch for me to fulfill my part of the bargain. If you wish to kiss him yourself, you must make your move.”
Alys’ fingers dug into her palms. She had tasks enough to do without having to dawdle around after the mercurial Kate, playing her games. Yet if she didn’t give her the requisite attention, life would be Purgatory for the next week at least.
She ran a finger over the platform’s rough handrail. Oh, what she would give to escape from this prison of hers. The only freedom she could hope for was by Kate’s death, or by her own marriage. Due to Kate’s jealousy, the latter was unlikely—and Kate was in robust good health. The vibrant colors of the gardens blurred before her eyes as her cousin disappeared in the direction of the back moat.
“What is it that saddens my lady so?”
Alys’ head snapped up. How could anyone approach so swiftly without making a sound? The gardener stood below the platform, looking up at her, his dark gaze too deep, too knowing.
She flushed. “Impertinent fellow! Who bade you speak?”
“I beg your forgiveness. I’ve been commanded to bring you a tussie-mussie by your cousin. I did not mean to pry.”
She accepted the little handful of lavender and sweet Williams in trembling fingers. The gardener had to reach up to offer his gift due to the platform’s height, but he was still too near for her liking. In close proximity, he grew in stature and disquieting beauty, like a spark springing to a flame.
She thanked him with cool courtesy. The urge to ask what else Kate had whispered was strong, but she mustn’t demean herself. The gift of the flowers was just part of Kate’s attempt to goad and confuse her.
He still stood below her. She felt his eyes on her face, an impertinence. Why could she not meet them?
“You may return to your work.” She rolled the flower stems vigorously between her hands. “We are expecting visitors, and they may wish to walk in the gardens.” Her voice sounded weak and shaky. This would not do at all—she should not be discomfited by a servant.
Silence grew between them, heavy as a millstone. She had just steeled herself to look into the dark eyes, to put the man in his place, when the stillness was broken by the clatter of hoofbeats in the lane, accompanied by the rattle of wheels.
He stiffened, his fingers clenching on the sun-warmed wood of the platform. “Who may your visitors be?”
She gazed down at his hands, browned from outdoor labor, smudged with dirt, and green-stained. Beautifully-shaped masculine hands, strong, purposeful, gentle. Too fine for a gardener.
“What business is it of yours who visits? I’ve a good mind to have you punished for your effrontery.” Lord! She hated how she sounded—she usually got on so well with all the staff. But this man was different. Disquieting.
The fingers removed themselves, and he backed away, head and shoulders bowed, a picture of apology. “Your forgiveness, lady, if I spoke out of turn. I just wanted to know the best flowers to pick for a table display—if ladies are visiting rather than gentlemen, I’d choose differently.”
A heavy step crunched on the gravel outside the walled garden. Alys’ heart thundered as the gate opened, revealing the menacing form of Sir Thomas Kirlham. She felt herself jerk like a child caught with his thumb in the cream pot.
“Oh!” She looked down, but the gardener had gone, as softly as he’d come, and a glance around revealed him exiting the garden by the other gate. Good. Her censure must have reminded him of his place. If he had any sense, he wouldn’t approach her again, regardless of Kate’s orders.
As she gathered her skirts and swept down from the platform to greet Sir Thomas, she vowed it would have to be Kate who kissed the alluring gardener, not her. Mistress Alys Barchard must never stoop so low, not even in defense of her embroidered pocket.
Fancy a gritty, romantic saga, set in the dark satanic mills of Victorian England? Then look no further!
Here’s your introduction to this fabulous author-
Born in St. Louis MO with a degree from University of Missouri, Mercedes Rochelle learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. A move to New York to do research and two careers ensued, but writing fiction remains her primary vocation. She lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.
Now find out more about her latest book, THE KING’S RETRIBUTION.
If you read A KING UNDER SIEGE, you might remember that we left off just as Richard declared his majority at age 22. He was able to rise above the humiliation inflicted on him during the Merciless Parliament, but the fear that it could happen again haunted him the rest of his life. Ten years was a long time to wait before taking revenge on your enemies, but King Richard II was a patient man. Hiding his antagonism toward the Lords Appellant, once he felt strong enough to wreak his revenge he was swift and merciless. Alas for Richard, he went too far, and in his eagerness to protect his crown Richard underestimated the very man who would take it from him: Henry Bolingbroke.
Excerpts, insights, and more can be found on the Mercedes Rochelle blog tour.