Tuesday, February 28, 2017

#amwriting a dog in romantic #suspense #Tirgearr-- Sweet Pea and Sherlock

I write romantic suspense and feature a dog in every book.  Yes, I am a dog lover, and our dogs, Mae-belle and Harvey, have appeared in previous books.  Can you smell these wet, salty dogs who are enjoying a day at the beach? 

In romantic fiction dogs give characters something to do while showing depth.  To give you an example, Sweet Pea, a cocker spaniel, belongs to a secondary character in Deadly Alliance.  Sweet Pea warms up the alpha hero, Finn Donahue, when he helps his dad play a trick on a neighbor next door.  Sherlock, a blood hound belonging to heroine Tori Morningstar in Unholy Alliance, comes in handy for searching. What reader wouldn’t love a dog who saves lives?
Most pet owners consider their pet a member of their family, meaning they let their animals sleep with them, take them on vacation, buy them Christmas presents and celebrate their birthday (ah—guilty). But it is more than that; perhaps there has been a sort of meeting of the minds between people who consider animals pets, and people who consider animals as having a job to do. Each type now seem to have a new appreciation of the ways animals enrich our lives—in both work and play.  
And our romance books reflect that. More and more, the animals in our stories have a specific job to do, maybe as a member of a K-9 police or military unit, or a therapy dog or search and rescue dog.
Excerpt featuring Sweet Pea from Deadly Alliance:
Papa’s lungs rattled with each breath. “Aren’t you glad you taught me how to text?” The grin on his lips spoke of his capacity for jocularity. Papa stood, and the men hugged, patted each other’s backs, and then split apart.
“Can I do anything for you before I leave?” Finn asked.
Papa nodded. “Rip the cover off my National Geographic. It’s sturdy enough.”
“Sure,” Finn said, all too familiar with his dad’s scheme to move Sweet Pea’s leavings from his yard to Dolly’s front steps. The operation required finesse— moving it without disturbing its shape. “Papa, it was dark last time.”
“Yup, and that night a star was born,” Papa said. “You sneaked out and made the perfect transfer.” Mick really wanted him to do it.
“Where’s Dolly?” Finn asked.
“Riding the senior van to the store.” Papa crinkled his nose. “Well then?”
Finn nodded. “It’s an honor to be chosen for this task.”
“You’re about to win another metal.” Papa looked at him with genuine pride.
How often did Finn do something simple but greatly rewarding? The only the negative consequence would end up on the neighbor’s shoe. His dad beamed, and Finn relished the rush it gave him.

Excerpt featuring Sherlock from Unholy Alliance:
She closed the door and veered around. On the driver’s side, she flipped up the seat, stowed her supplies behind it, and sunk next to Sherlock. She’d become accustomed to the bloodhound riding shotgun. She ruffled his ears, and he snorted in response. As she drove, she stared straight ahead, willing the red light to change to green. She sneaked a glance at him, and he held the toy bloodhound in his mouth.
The light changed, and she lurched into the intersection. The sudden movement slammed Sherlock against dashboard and bounced him onto the floorboard where he crashed into the empty plastic water bottles she’d meant to recycle.
“Sorry! Next time I’ll use the seat belt.”

Sherlock looked at her with his soulful eyes, no worse for the wear, but stayed on the floor with his chin on the seat.

Friday, February 24, 2017

#Tirgearr #pre-order #99cents Unholy Alliance Irish American romantic suspense

Announcing a new release going live on March 29th. Unholy Alliance is up for a pre-order price of 99cents, but after the release date will be retail at 3.99.  Unholy Alliance is book 2, A Donahue Cousins Novel.


A decade ago, Tori Rourke, and her cousin, Vivienne, ran from the Irish mob after witnessing a brutal murder. Tori was framed by the mob, and while she served time in prison, she worried that the killer, Seamus McGinn, had kidnapped her missing cousin.

Attorney Grady D. Fletcher, defender of the wrongly condemned, appeals Tori’s case and wins her release. Now, going by Victoria Morningstar, she runs a food truck from a seedy waterfront neighborhood, hoping to find her cousin's kidnapper.

When Grady agrees to defend a new client, Samuel Peterson, who’s been accused of beating to death the wife of a noted professor, the evidence mounts. The professor is missing, as well as his laptop that contains data dangerous to national security.

And Seamus McGinn is back, and rumors of a massive annihilation is about to begin. As they race to assist the FBI, the bonds between Grady and Tori are about to be tested. It becomes clear Grady and Tori are falling fast for each other, but what to do about it is a different story. He’s a divorced dad who wants more time with his kid. She brings danger to his front door.

Grady has questions of his own; Is Vivienne at the center of the mob’s operation? How much will it cost Tori before she learns the truth? All Grady knows is the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.
Pre-order at 99 cents!


Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unholy-Alliance-Donahue-Cousins-Novel-ebook/dp/B06X9DY642

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

#Tirgearrpublishing is 5 years old #birthdaybash #giveaways

Join Tirgearryens at the 2 week long celebration.  The rafflecopter goes live March 22nd.  Click the hot link to enter and win a Kindle or books in a variety of genres.


Tirgearr Publishing's Big Birthday Bash


It's our birthday, but we're giving the presents!

Join us
22 February through 8 March
to help us celebrate our 5th birthday.
_______________________________________________

~ Wednesday, 22 March ~
The party starts with our annual birthday radio show:

1-3pm PST | 4-6pm EST | 9-11pm GMT

We'll chat about Tirgearr's first five years, and visit with some of our newest authors:
Susan Clayton-Goldner, Jennie Marsland, and Maya Tyler.

This is a live chat show, so tune in via the web,
and use the open chat room to post your questions.
Dellani will read them live on the air.
_______________________________________________

Our Big Birthday Bash begins Wednesday, 22 February and runs for two week.
Enter via Rafflecopter for your chance at one of these amazing prizes:

Grand Prize
All-New Kindle Fire HD8 Tablet
(winner's choice of color: black, magenta, blue, or tangerine)

Box Set Print Books
Highland Chiefs series by Kate Robbins (4 print books)
Chastity Flame series by KA Laity (3 print books)

Stand-Alone Print Books
Dublin's Fair City by Cathy Mansell
Sister Agatha: The World's Oldest Seriel Killer by Domhnall O'Donoghue
A Sure Thing by EH Ward
Lady of the Two Lands by Elizabeth Delisi
Murder in Mornington by Kemberlee Shortland
My Husband's Sin by Mary T Bradford
Stray Ally by Troy Lambert
The Mandarin Stakes by EH Ward

All print books will be personalized and autographed for each winner and posted directly to you!

Additional Prizes

House of Tirgearryen T-Shirts
Dozens of eBooks

If you can't wait for competition results, most of our books are available at just 99c/99p on Kindle.
Simply visit our website to browse titles, or log into www.amazon.com/tirgearrpublishing

To enter our competition, simply visit Rafflecopter.
What are you waiting for?!
Many books are just 99 cents (on Amazon only) including Deadly Alliance





Sunday, February 19, 2017

#bookfriends hot #romance spotlight on Desire, Deceit, and the Doctor @KryssieFortune

Please welcome talented author, Kryssie Fortune. Today I have the spotlight on her new release, Desire, Deceit, and the Doctor


Tagline
After Adam Montgomery walked away and left her pregnant, dare Mandy trust him with her heart again?
Blurb
Twelve years ago, Mandy Devlin moved away from her friends and family--under threat. If she returned in the next ten years or told anyone who fathered her baby, her boyfriend’s great-aunt would bankrupt her family. She’s a single mom who dreams of her lost love and a good spanking. When she’s finally free to return to Westhorpe Ridge, the last person she expects to see is Adam—the man she loved and lost so long ago. 

Dr. Adam Montgomery doesn’t know he has a son. Thanks to his great-aunt’s will, he has nine months to find a bride or he loses Montgomery Hall and the fifteen million dollars she left him. Although he seduces Mandy on his first night home, he still believes she betrayed him twelve years ago. No way would he marry a woman like her. 

As Valentine’s Day looms, someone tries to kill Mandy. Is Adam trying to get rid of her? Or can Mandy trust him to protect them?

Buy links
Loose id     http://bit.ly/2kTGqp5 
Kobo          http://bit.ly/2kH27b8

Kryssie's author page:
https://www.amazon.com/Kryssie-Fortune/e/B00J5AQOBU


Social Media – Kryssie loves to hear from her readers.
Facebook      –  https://www.facebook.com/KryssiesFortune
Twitter         –  https://twitter.com/KryssieFortune,
Blog             –  http://kryssiefortune.blogspot.co.uk/



Friday, February 10, 2017

#amwriting #Tirgearr how to write weddings in a #romance

Here are a few tips on writing your “happily ever after”.  Ninety percent of the romance reader population are women, and more men fall into the romantic suspense category.  A wedding is a superb ending or at least a promise for the future.

In Deadly Alliance (on sale at Amazon for 25% off) my protagonists are charismatic and appealing but have insecurities and flaws. Perfect people are boring. Both hero and heroine must be worthy of the other’s love.  They are good inside. Bring your hero and heroine together quickly. At least mention them in the first scene with conflict with each other right off the bat. Their first meeting should be explosive emotionally. It should make them be attracted to, and hate, each other from the beginning. Then let something interesting happen. I like at least three conflicts over the span of a novel with emotional highs and lows.  Readers want to love and get involved with.
Each character should use slightly different pet words and phrases. To guard against your dialogue sounding stilted, use lots of contractions, incomplete sentences, one-word answers, silences, and body language. Women tend to speak in more complete sentences than men do, and they express their feelings more. In Deadly Alliance I had fun writing a pontoon wedding on Lake Arrowhead.  They motored to a hotel where the reception took place.  The bride's colors are yellow and pink because the hero gives her yellow and pink flowers in the book.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

#bookfriends #historical #romance Dark Brew blurb and excerpt @DianaLRubino

Please welcome Diana Rubino, author of Dark Brew, now available in paperback as well as many ebook formats. At the end of this post Diana shares an Irish recipe.

DARK BREW
A time travel romance
Learn from the past or forever be doomed to repeat it.


Accused of her husband’s murder, Kylah McKinley, a practicing Druid, travels back through time to her past life in 1324 Ireland and brings the true killer to justice.

Two months of hell change Kylah’s life forever. On her many past life regressions, she returns to 14th century Ireland as Alice Kyteler, a druid moneylender falsely accused of murdering her husband. Kylah’s life mirrors Alice’s in one tragic event after another—she finds her husband sprawled on the floor, cold, blue, with no pulse. Evidence points to her, and police arrest her for his murder. Kylah and Alice shared another twist of fate—they fell in love with the man who believed in them. As Kylah prepares for her trial and fights to maintain her innocence, she must learn from her past or forever be doomed to repeat it.  

An interview with Diana about Dark Brew 

Where did the story come from? 
The story took 12 years from start to finish. I’m a longtime member of the Richard III Society, and in the spring of 2004, I read an article in The Ricardian Register by Pamela Butler, about Alice Kyteler, who lived in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1324, and faced witchcraft charges. After her trial and acquittal, she vanished from the annals of history. I couldn't resist writing a book about her. 

How did you decide to make it a paranormal? 
I’m a believer in reincarnation, and I go on paranormal investigations whenever I can. I’ve gone on several past life regressions. Cape Cod has a lot of history and paranormal activity. I’ve been on many ghost walks and ghost hunts there. I wanted to connect Alice in the past with someone in the present, her reincarnation. 

Was Alice Kyteler famous in 14th century Ireland? 
Not at all but she was the richest woman in Kilkenny, and for that reason the villagers hated her, especially the men. They accused her of killing her first husband, but she was acquitted. Then they accused her of killing her fourth husband, John LePoer, with witchcraft, the accusations more absurd than those of the 1692 witch hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts. Chancellor Edward de Burgh arrested Alice because her stepsons claimed she had murdered John by casting a witch’s spell with malefecia…and she used the enchanted skull of a beheaded thief as her cauldron. 
She went to trial and her dear friend Michael Artson had her acquitted, but she vanished into the annals of history. According to legend, she went to England. But no one knows for sure. 

Why did you make it a time travel? 
Because my heroine, Kylah McKinley, is a druid and has done many past life regressions, she knows she’s the reincarnation of Alice. So she has to go back and find out what happened to Alice, because too many weird things are happening to her in this life that parallel Alice’s life. 
Kylah lives on my beloved Cape Cod. She’s a druid, a ghost hunter and owns a new age store in a restored Revolutionary War-era tavern. She was also the target of a hit-and-run. Another hit-and-run crippled her husband Ted. That’s no coincidence—she’s convinced someone’s out to get them both. 

She brews an ancient Druid herb mixture, goes back in time and enters Alice’s life to find out exactly what happened and who killed her husband. 
These two months of hell change her life forever. Kylah’s life mirrors Alice’s in one tragic event after another—she finds her husband sprawled on the floor, cold, blue, with no pulse. Evidence points to her, and police arrest her for his murder. Kylah and Alice shared another twist of fate—they fell in love with the man who believed in them. As Kylah prepares for her trial and fights to maintain her innocence, she must learn from her past or she’s doomed to repeat it.  

Have you ever spoken to Pamela Butler, who wrote the article about Alice? 
Yes, we’ve corresponded. She lives in New Mexico, so we’ve never met in person. I asked Pam what inspired her to write about Alice. I’d never heard of Alice until I read her article, “Witchcraft & Heresy. She replied: 
“You asked why I wrote about Alice Kyteler, who preceded Richard by a century-and-a-half. I only wrote it because others on the listserv encouraged me to write about witchcraft, a subject about which I knew very little. I ordered three books from Amazon.com on the subjects of witchcraft, heresy, Satanism, etc. for research reasons. That was my basis, plus I searched the Internet. The Malleus Malleficarum was published in 1487, just two years after Richard's death, so it's almost contemporary. I chanced across Alice in this reading and thought that it was an interesting case. Witch burning was fairly rare in Ireland, and wasn't as bad in England at that time as it had been on the Continent. I wish that the M.M. had never been published; still, the fact that it was published and accepted may reveal the mindset of those times.” 

An excerpt from Dark Brew 

Kylah shut Ted’s den door. She couldn’t bear to look at the spot where he gasped his last breath. His presence, an imposing force, lingered. So did his scent, a blend of tobacco, pine aftershave and manly sweat. Each reminder ripped into her heart like a knife. Especially now with the funeral looming ahead, the eulogies, the mournful organ hymns, the tolling bells . . .
These ceremonies should bring closure, but they’d only prolong the agony of her grief. She wanted to remember him alive for a while longer, wishing she could delay these morbid customs until the hurt subsided.
Throughout the house, his essence echoed his personality: the wine stain on the carpet, the heap of dirty shirts, shorts and socks piled up in the laundry room, the spattered stove, his fingerprints on the microwave. But she couldn’t bring herself to clean any of it up. Painful as these remnants were, they offered a strange comfort. He still lived here.



“I’ll find that murderer, Teddy,” she promised him over and over, wandering from room to empty room, traces of him lurking in every corner. “I’ll do everything in my power to make sure justice is served. Another past life regression isn’t enough anymore. I know what I have to do now. And I promise, it will never, ever happen again—in any future life.”

She inhaled deeply and breathed him in. “Go take a shower, Teddy.” She chuckled through her tears as the doorbell rang. She cringed, breaking out in cold sweat when she saw the black sedan at the curb.

“Not again.” No sense in hiding, so she let the detectives in.

“Mrs. McKinley, we need your permission to do a search and take some of your husband’s possessions from the house,” Nolan said.

“What for?” She met his steely stare. “I looked everywhere and found nothing.”

“Mrs. McKinley, the cupboard door was open, four jars of herbs are missing, and the autopsy showed he died of herb poisoning. Those herbs,” Nolan added for emphasis, as if it had slipped her feeble mind. “Foxglove, mandrake, hemlock—and an as-yet unidentified one,” he read from a notebook. “The M.E. determined it was a lethal dose.”

Sherlock Holmes got nothin’ on him, she thought. 

“Where’s this cupboard, ma’am?” Egan spoke up.

“Right there.” She pointed, its door gaping exactly the way she’d found it that night. Nolan went over to it and peered inside.
“Ma’am, it would be better if you left the house for a half hour or so. Please leave a number where you can be reached,” Egan ordered.
Nolan glanced down the hall. “Where is your bedroom?”
What could they want in the bedroom? “It’s at the top of the stairs on the right. But we didn’t sleep together,” she offered, as if that would faze them. It didn’t.
After giving him her cell number, she got into her car and drove to the beach.
An hour later, she let herself back in and looked around. They’d taken the computer, her case of CDs, her thumb drive, her remaining herb jars, Ted’s notebooks, and left her alone with one horrible fact: This was now a homicide case and she was the prime suspect. 

Purchase Dark Brew





Contact Diana









A Recipe to Try While Reading DARK BREW

DARK BREW is set on modern-day Cape Cod, when Kylah isn’t traveling back in time to 1324 Ireland. I have a home on the Cape, and spend as much time there as I can when the weather cooperates. The Cape Cod Irish Village is a restaurant/pub/hotel where my husband and I have been going for many years. We have a traditional Irish dinner there and dance up a storm to the live Irish music they always have. I mention the Irish Village in DARK BREW and their great Irish cuisine.

Traditional Irish fare has been a long-standing theme at the Irish Village where Chef Chris Lynch has headed the kitchen for the better part of 16 years. New American cuisine with a slant on old Irish staples is how Chef Lynch would characterize the menu at the Irish Village. Having spent many years honing his craft in kitchens all across the Northeast, Chris realized that most of the guests who come to the Cape and have frequented the Irish Village for decades in some cases want to feel at home and his team tries to match the daily specials to their memories of meals taken at the tables of their own families. Simple and plentiful is a formula that has kept many repeat customers coming back to the Village year after year.

Here’s a recipe from Chris for “Breadan Eireann”

This recipe serves 4 people

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
4 ea. – 6oz Salmon Fillet
4 ea. – Jumbo Shrimp
12 oz. – medium sea scallops
4 cups mashed potato
1 cup sauteed onions & mushrooms, sliced thin
6 oz. dry sherry
8 oz. clarified butter

DIRECTIONS


In a baking dish or in individual casserole dishes arrange salmon, scallops & shrimp closely together.  Pipe mashed potatoes around salmon and seafood encircling all of the fish.  Pour 1 ½ oz. of sherry and 2 oz. of butter over the fish and potatoes.  Bake in oven for approximately 20 minutes or until salmon flakes under the touch.  Remove and top with ¼ cup sautéed onions & mushrooms.  Return to oven for 2-3 minutes to finish browning the potatoes and to heat the onions & mushrooms.  Serve immediately.   

Monday, February 6, 2017

#eggcerpt for your basket #contemporary #romance Marketing Exec’s Widow @AuthorTinaGayle

Isn't springtime for renewal? I'm a huge fan of Tina Gayle's writing.  Take a look at Marketing Exec's Widow, from her amazing Executive wives series.

Four women...
One fatal car wreck...
Everyone's lives changed...


romance with strong women fiction elements


Blurb --- "Marketing Exec’s Widow”



Letting go and rebuilding a life comes at a price.

Having come to terms with losing her husband, Jennifer is ready to move on, but she faces opposition from her friends, in-laws, and brother-in-la. He see himself as her future husband. None of them know of Jen’s marital problems and she is afraid of their reaction when they learn she has a date for Friday night?


Hagan Chaney is not anything like Craig. He tempts Jen into the future but is she willing to give love another chance after the heartache she faced the 1st time around?



Excerpt –
Friday night, sitting at a booth in a nice, romantic restaurant, Jen silently wished she could enjoy the subdued atmosphere, and order a rib eye steak. Instead, her hands shook and her stomach churned with doubt. The survival skills she’d learned after becoming a real estate agent demanded a calm, composed front, but she couldn’t pull it off.
Hell, who was she fooling?
After ten years without a date, what made her believe she could do this again? She stared at the menu. Could she even swallow a bite of beef? And if not, what should she order?
She lifted her gaze to the drop-dead gorgeous man on the other side of the table. Hagan Cheney, a Greek god incarnated, had strawberry blond hair glowing like gold around his head. Wide shoulders and strong arms were encased in a hunter-green cashmere sweater. Apollo himself wouldn’t look any better.
Why in heaven’s name did he ask her on a date?
And why did she care?
She had no plans other than a casual dinner for two.
He glanced up, and a pretty-boy grin crossed his lips. The twinkle in his hazel eyes softened the square line of his jaw. “So have you decided what you want?”
Heat simmered low in her belly. Oh, yeah, answering that question the wrong way could get her into a world of trouble.
Tempted by wicked ideas, Jen blinked and stared at the menu. She’d do better if he didn’t know the wild directions of her brainwaves. “I’m not sure I can eat. I haven’t been this nervous since my first date with Craig.”
Ah, shit, I wasn’t supposed to mention him. Fire burned her cheeks. Her gaze jumped to Hagan’s befuddled expression.
“Craig?” Hagan lowered his menu.


Purchase Links

Amazon    |  All Romance Ebooks   |  B&N     |  Kobo    | Apple  | Smashword

An author with over 30 books, Tina Gayle writes in a number of different genres: Romantic contemporary (as Tina Gayle) and  Erotic Romance. Her books range from contemporary, paranormal to mystery and suspense
As an indie author, she has worked hard to have a social presence and reach her readers. You can visit her website and read the 1st chapter of any of her books.  Or you can download a free ebook and join her newsletter group.


Find Tina Gayle everywhere

Home - www.tinagayle.net
Blog - www.tinagayle.blogspot.com
Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle
Goodread - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1641826.Tina_Gayle
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle


Thanks for hosting me on your blog and I hope everyone has an awesome holiday season,

Tina Gayle

Sunday, February 5, 2017

#amwriting #asmsg #Tirgearr star-crossed lovers-- ideas on how to write this trope

Are you thinking about writing a romance with star-crossed lovers? Lovers whose relationship is doomed to fail are said to be “star-crossed” because those who believe in astrology claim that the stars control human destiny. William Shakespeare used the phrase to describe the lovers in Romeo and Juliet. In modern day romance no matter what they go through or how tragic their love story is or how incompatible they really are, you root for them to be together. What keeps them apart—betrothed to another, different countries with conflicting duties, station in life (servant/king)? My work-in-progress, ONE NIGHT IN HAVANA, which I will submit to Tirgearr Publishing for their City Nights series, takes place in a communist country.  They meet at a conference where they compete for the same grant in oceanography. She’s a New Yorker, and he is tightly aligned with his government. Both love their countries.  If he leaves the door will shut behind him allowing no return. Will love for her and his secret hopes, and dreams push him to seek a life of freedom or will he decide to remain in his insular world.  


Thursday, February 2, 2017

#bookfriends #excerpt western #romance Lily and the Gambler @LyndiLamont

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Kathleen Rowland!

I’m thrilled about my latest release, Lily and the Gambler, a Western romance set in the California Gold Country.


My husband and I toured the area twice some years ago and I fell in love with it. Gold Country is best enjoyed by driving State Highway 49. We started at the southern end, in Mariposa, and drove north to Sacramento, and then Grass Valley and Nevada City, where my book is set Valley in September 1868. I recall scribbling descriptions of the scenery as we drove along.

She watched mile after mile of open spaces pass by, all bathed in brilliant sunlight. In the distance, clusters of dark green trees dotted a hillside, standing out in contrast to the lighter yellow-green of the grass. Wispy white clouds, without a hint of rain in them, streaked the sky, separating shades of blue ranging from pale turquoise to bright azure.

We made the trip twice, first strictly as a vacation, though I kept thinking how I’d like to set a book in the area. The second was a research trip for me, if not for my DH. At one point, he threatened to divorce me if I dragged him through one more mining museum!

A lot of the old Victorian homes have been turned into bed and breakfasts, and we took advantage of that to stay in some lovely old homes.

Interesting stops along the way include:

Sonora, a lovely little town that hosts the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. For the kid in all of us.

Columbia State Historic Park, the best preserved Gold Rush town.

Angels Camp, where Mark Twain heard a story on which he based his short story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."

Placerville, formerly nicknamed Hangtown for the zeal of its law enforcement.

And my favorite, Grass Valley, a charming town with the attraction of having the wonderful Empire Mine State Historic Park, a fascinating glimpse into the lives of 19th century miners.

If you’re up this way, do take a side trip to Sacramento, the state capital, with its charming Old Sacramento historic area, and the amazing California State Railroad Museum. This is one of my all-time favorite museums. It was fun to climb aboard the old trains and imagine a different time.

Grass Valley was especially interesting to me because of the large Cornish population in the 19th century. This area had deep gold veins that couldn’t be panned. The Cornish miners were encouraged to come because of their experience in the tin mines of Cornwall, which were petering out. To this day, the Cornish pasty is a local treat, and the city still celebrates a Cornish Christmas.

Lily and the Gambler by Linda McLaughlin


Blurb: Respectability is in the eye of the beholder, or so Lily hopes. After her lover’s death she pretends to be his widow and travels to California to marry a mine owner. Then she meets King Callaway, a charming gambler. King knows he’s found his Queen of Hearts. But can he convince her to take a chance on a foot-loose card sharp? Only Lady Luck knows for sure...

Excerpt:

“Do you tell fortunes, too?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. Is the lady interested?”

“Perhaps,” she said, aware he was flirting with her again and annoyed with herself because she was enjoying it. “There should be a deck of cards here somewhere.”

“No cards required. Just let me see your palm.”

Unable to stop herself, Lily stripped off her gloves and let him take her hand. He held it in his left hand, and with his right index finger, traced the lines on her palm. Shivers ran up her arm at each caressing touch. His scent, a mixture of bay rum, male musk, and a faint hint of tobacco, overwhelmed her.

“What do you see?” she asked, her voice suddenly breathless.

“Health and long life.”

“What, no handsome stranger?” she joked.

He raised his head and stared into her eyes. “Oh, yes, I see romance ahead for you. With a dark haired fellow. But he isn’t a stranger.”

For what seemed an age, she stared into his green-gold eyes while her pulse quickened and warmth stole through her veins. It would be so easy to surrender to the feelings he evoked.

“I also see a fork in the road ahead,” he added softly. “You have a decision to make. A very important decision.”

She snatched her hand away, knowing she couldn’t afford to be distracted by him. It wasn’t as if he had made her any promises. “I think you need to practice your fortune-telling skills, Mr. Callaway.”

He chuckled. “There’s something else I’d like to practice.” Cupping her chin, he stared at her, his eyes full of half promises. “Oh, hell, I may get my face slapped for this, but…” His hand moved to the back of her neck as he lowered his head and captured her lips in a kiss that stole her breath away.

For a moment, she closed her eyes and gave herself up to the kiss. Then a door slammed somewhere in the house, reminding her of where they were. She pushed him away. “How dare you?” she hissed.

He gave her a lazy grin. “What’s that old saying? Nothing ventured, nothing gained?”
“I think you’d best be going.”

He paused at front door, turned and held her gaze for a moment, then left.

She sighed and leaned against the doorjamb. What had she been thinking to let him kiss her, however briefly?

Author bio:

Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of history, so it’s only natural that she sets most of her books in the past. A native of Pittsburgh, she now lives in Southern California.



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