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It’s the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour. Nine fabulous authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. It’s a chance to meet great authors and discover exciting new books. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – I’ll leave it for you to discover whose blog is featured – with more prizes to come at the end of the tour. What will the big prize be – a Kindle, a hefty gift certificate, a unique needlepoint Kindle cover? Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner!

 

Ann Tracy Marr is the world’s worst book promoter. She has published three, but when it comes time to promote – to urge someone to lay out money for her books – she falls apart.

 

Ann lacks promoting talent but she does have a gift for storytelling. She writes for the love of it and it shows. Her view of life is a little off the wall, sometimes class clown, but with an underlying thread of realism. She likes to read about real women looking for joy, so that is what she writes.

 

Knowing we wouldn’t learn much about her books, I asked Ann questions that would reveal something about her approach to writing and life.

 

Question: Who was the toughest character for you to “get right”?

Ann: The hero in Round Table Magician took a long time to evolve. Brinston started out as a conventional Regency hero, but when I added a paranormal twist to the plot, he demanded he be a magician. Magic fit with his reclusive tendencies, giving him reasons to hide his true nature from the ton. Other than that, I struggled to cleverly convey his motives in ignoring Martha. It was a matter of finding the best tailoring for the story. Once the jacket fit, Brinston himself filled it out.

 

Question: Is there a genre that you love to read but don’t want to write?

Ann: I love the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Funny and all about vampires, you know. But I doubt I will ever write a vampire novel. I don’t have anything to add to their mystique; they scare more than attract me.

 

Question: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?

Ann: I would make an excellent Rich Bitch. It’s a full time job, but I wouldn’t mind getting up at 10 am, donning the haute couture uniform, jetting past rush hour traffic in my Maserati on my way to a five star restaurant. I’d donate freely to charity and spend money all over the place to keep the economy going.

 

Question: Can you tell us about your books?

Ann: Awestruck published my three book series set in Regency England. King Arthur and Merlin are not myth, but history. They are traditional Regencies with the addition of a splash of magic.

 

Where can readers find you?

Website: www.AnnTracyMarr.com

Purchase the books (e-book or trade paperback) on Amazon.com:

http://tiny.cc/7p0xew

 

And where can readers find Lynn Hones this week?

Head to www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

And, you all can find moi at http://www.regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

 

Excerpt from “Round Table Magician“: Short, to conserve space!

 

Brinston watched Martha, aware of her every breath. He couldn’t help but smile at the infectious levity. He could see his brother Michael with his beloved through the window. That silly Maria must have done or said something to make Martha laugh so. But when she pulled a handkerchief from her sleeve and wiped her eyes, it shook him to his soul. Just so did the duchess leak tears when she was filled with mirth.

 

It was then he realized how much Martha resembled his adored mother. Brinston could almost feel his heart tightening. They were silken bonds, those bands clenching around his heart, not painful in the least. A man could get used to them, which was a good thing. They didn’t feel like they were going to dissolve any time soon.

 

He heard the echo of his father’s words. “I couldn’t resist the way she laughed.” It was always said with a chuckle and an underlying honesty that couldn’t be doubted. It was why his father had married his mother. They were devoted to each other, but it all started with her laugh.

 

Everyone, including Brinston himself, joked at how much the son resembled the father. He stared at the sky, silently begging Merlin to have pity on him.

 

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Today I am so happy and thrilled to have author Tina Pinson visiting! I can’t wait to hear about her new book, “When Shadows Fall,” Book One in her brand-new “Shadows” Series, presented by Desert Breeze Publishing.

Regina, first, let me say thank you for inviting me to your page and making me so very welcome.

RA: As an author what makes a book great in your eyes?

A great book, a truly great book, catches a reader’s interest and imagination then carries them into the story. So far, one can almost feel themselves in the storyline. A great book, takes one on a journey, transporting them to new worlds, new realms, with characters they learn to love and sometimes hate. A great book stands the test of time and criticism.

RA: Tell us a little about what you’re working on.
I am, of course, editing to get the next installments of the Shadow Series ready for print. Shadowed Dreams is slated for release in Nov. So I am also praying readers fall in love with my characters and story in When Shadows Fall. I am also working on a sequel to Touched By Mercy, a take on Taming of the Shrew called, Tamed By Mercy and another little story, a speculative fiction, Demon Chronicles. I have a few other stories to work on, but that’s where my energies have been vested as of late.

RA: What is the hardest scene you had to write in this piece?
Death scenes can be tough, emotionally draining, but I also had an attack scene to write and those can be hard.

RA: Let’s talk about the book you’d like to promote today. How did you come with the title and where can we find it?

When Shadows Fall, the first in the Shadow Series, was actually the full title, but the book was nearly a 900 pages sooo, had to cut it down. But the whole idea behind the name has to do with the shadows that come into our lives and how we walk through them. The opening poem from the stories heroine, Rebekah, hopefully says a lot about the meaning behind the name.

Life is a mixture of joy and sorrows. Where darkness and light mingle to cast shadows upon your soul. These shadows, often fleeting, touch us far deeper than their hazy essence ever deemed possible.

Some bring a happiness that shelters one in peace like the calm after a storm. Others bring a distinct source of pain. Pain that envelopes the spirit in a fog. It holds you and drags you on a seemingly endless downward spiral of hopelessness and despair, oft times, wrought and nourished in your own mind.
There’s the shadow of a smile, the cooling shadow of clouds on a hot summer day; the shadow of tree limbs dancing on walls in the moonlight. The long shadow of a man cast across a barren land, carried on the wings of a prayer — like a dream he means to possess.
There’s the shadow of memories, some dear, some not soon enough forgotten. The shadow of sorrow and the shadow of death, boring your heart and mind — lingering long after the soul has been seared.
There’s the shadow of a kiss, and the shadow of a hand across a weary brow. Whatever they are, in whatever form, know that shadows will come, and fall where they may. However they touch you, it is my prayer that you will have a hand to hold, and a hand to guide, When the Shadows Fall.


RA: What was the first reaction when you got a glimpse of your cover art?
It was very pleased, my cover artist, Caina Fuller, really listened to my vision and brought it to life on the page.

Please give us a blurb and excerpt.

Blurb:

As the Civil War rages, Rebekah fights to keep her world intact. But loss and sorrow has seeped into her heart and mind. She sets her sights on Oregon, praying this new Eden will allow her a place of peace and a place to put her life, and that of her son’s, back together again. She travels to Independence, Missouri ready to take the train west, but is denied the opportunity to join the train because she is woman alone. Matthew battles his way through one fight after another, all the while thinking of Rebekah. The woman who holds his heart. He longs to help her west, but fears his biggest battle lies ahead of him. Will Rebekah open up her heart to him and allow him to be the one to hold her When the Shadows Fall?

Excerpt:
Matthew’s voice was soft, and appealing. Too appealing. His closeness, and the warmth radiating from his body, caused her heart to thrum. Rebekah decided to go in.
Robert had been gone and thought dead for over a year. How easy it would be to fall into Matthew’s arms. Let him comfort her like he’d done when she was a girl. They seemed like such strong arms. But she wasn’t a child anymore. She was a married woman with a child and a sick husband who needed her.
Her first love could be nothing more than a precious memory. Her heart grew heavy. She turned and was about to take her leave when Matthew asked about Robert. “If you’d rather not talk about it, I’ll understand. I only wanted you to know if you need anything, I’m here for you. I’ll help in any way I can.”
“That’s very kind. Things are okay for now. Besides, I couldn’t expect you to help the enemy.” She stood still, afraid to face him. Afraid of the concern he’d show.
“Rebekah, if you love him, and he cares for you, he’s no enemy of mine.” His reply was tender. He caught her shoulders, turned her to face him. “I mean that with all my heart.”
Rebekah nodded. He meant it. Her eyes misted. Her tears were building. If she fell into his arms, it was wrong to even think it, but… would he hold her close? Or had time changed everything? Still, she wasn’t his to hold anymore. In reality she never had been, though she wanted to be. Did he wish it were different? She wished they could go back, but they couldn’t. She had to accept that she would never be his, and be grateful for the chance to see him again.
“I should go. Can I walk you to the house?”
Raising her head, she found his gaze in the moonlight. “You go on. It’s such a lovely evening I think I’d like to stay longer. I’ll look for you tomorrow.”
“Goodnight then.” Her heart lurched as she considered him leaving. She wondered when he’d have to say goodbye. Perhaps for forever.
“Goodnight,” she whispered as she watched him cross the yard to his horse and swing his tall body effortlessly into the saddle.
“Goodnight,” he called again. She waved, and watched him disappear into the darkness — melding with the shadows on the road. Then she went to the bottom of the oak, and kneeling, tenderly brushed the ground where her old friend lay.

RA: Now the fun stuff; Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Oh my goodness, I have so many and if you found out about them I’d really feel guilty. LOL  Sometimes I like to get up and sit down with a cup of hot tea flavored with cream and honey, and watch the world go by. Sometimes I like to stay in bed and veg and might not get dressed til afternoon. Hot baths are nice and so are chocolate covered donuts, my hips especially thank me for those and pretty much any chocolate covered dessert out there.

RA: Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.

I like to garden. If I could stop killing off some of my plants I might like it more. I can veggies and preserves. I like to sing and draw.

RA: If you didn’t have to worry about counting calories or fat, what’s the first food you’d reach for?

Hmm. The first? Well, I love homemade biscuits slathered with butter and honey. I love cheesecake and lemon tortes. And of course chocolate.

RA: Since you write romance, fess up. Have you ever read the “Grande Dames” of the genre like Jane Austen, Barbara Cartland, Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts? What do you really think of their books?

I have read the “Grande Dames”. And must say they have their formulas down. So much so, I can pretty much tell you how it will turn out and that begins to take the thrill of story away for me. As for Jane Austen, though, I’ve only started to read her works.

RA: If someone read any of your work, what book would you recommend they start with and why?

Wow! Well, I would like to say the first one in print. But my first one in print was self-pubbed and riddled with errors. But the story was still good. I did go on to redo that after I’d learned a bit more. So, I’d have to say read any one of my books, I’m growing in my craft with each one. I hope. When Shadows Fall is the first book I ever finished. So it is very dear to me. I love the characters and want people to do the same. I hope they fall in love with the story.

RA: Thanks for spending a bit of time with me, and all of us at Romance Novels @ReginaAndrews’ Blog, Tina! Best wishes for continued success.

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And here’s a brief biography of Tina, plus all her links and contacts.

 

Biography, Links and Contacts
Tina Pinson resides in Mesa, Arizona with her husband of thirty plus years, Danny. They are blessed to have three sons, and five grandchildren with one on the way.


Tina started her first novel in elementary school. Her love of writing has caused her to seek creative outlets be it writing poetry, songs, or stories.

In the Manor of the Ghost and Touched By Mercy were published through Desert Breeze Publishers.


When Shadows Fall, Shadowed Dreams, and To Catch a Shadow, the first three installments of the Shadow Series about the Civil War and the Oregon Trail, will be available through Desert Breeze May 2012, November 2012 and June 2012 respectively.

My website —
http://www.tinapinson.com/
Twitter:@Tina_Pinson
Facebook– http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=754617103

Purchase my books at:

Desert Breeze Bookstore.
When Shadows Fall http://tinyurl.com/d93p77a
Touched By Mercy – http://ning.it/9OJZ5r <http://ning.it/9OJZ5r>
In the Manor of the Ghost http://tiny.cc/we4ul

Amazon:
Touched By Mercy http://tiny.cc/k5tgw
In the Manor of the Ghost http://tiny.cc/doc8w
When Shadows Fall

Barnes & Noble
Touched By Mercy— http://tinyurl.com/7ztzjno
In the Manor of the Ghost http://tiny.cc/oh767
When Shadows Fall

Christian Books Distributors
Touched By Mercy – http://tinyurl.com/72p4pml
In the Manor of the Ghost http://tiny.cc/4u5h9
When Shadows Fall

Thank you again, Tina! Now, let’s hear from everyone out there.


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COUNTDOWN TIME!!! So Exciting! “Praise of the Heart” arriving Sunday Jan 1, 2012
http://bit.ly/v34ZJs

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Today I’m so happy to welcome award-winning author Anne Patrick, who has a new release from Desert Breeze Publishing entitled “Kill Shot”. Welcome, Anne!

About “Kill Shot”:

Former combat medic Kory Wagner has been in four war zones, served three tours in Iraq, survived countless firefights, RPG’s, IED’s and even a helicopter crash. Now she’s home and out of the Army for good and someone is trying to kill her in her own backyard. Just as disturbing is the handsome sheriff who’s on the case.

Sheriff Sean Harding doesn’t quite know what to think of the decorated veteran that managed to outsmart an entire search party. What bothers him more is the body of a PI, whom she hired to find her sister’s killer, was found dead in a building Kory owns. And Kory isn’t being very cooperative with helping him find the answers as to why someone would kill her sister and want her dead. Will he be able to keep her alive along enough to discover the truth?

Excerpt

The steel door creaked as she pushed it open, the sound echoing throughout the metal building. “Mr. Urlik?” She waited for her eyes to adjust to the change in lighting before stepping all the way inside. A wide stream of light from the door spread out in front of her. “Mr. Urlik. Are you in here?”

Kory heard a sound a few yards in front of her. She quickly scanned the area. Three rows of huge metal shelves lined the interior. She inched forward, peering around the corner of the second row. Mr. Urlik lay on his side, facing her, clutching his chest. His eyes were opened and his mouth moved, but no sound came out. A heart attack? She ran to him, knelt down on the cement floor, and took his hand. It was wet, slimy. She looked down and saw his hand covered in blood. Her eyes shifted to his chest. A large crimson stain spread across the width of his white shirt from a small hole near the center. He was breathing erratically. Experience told her a bullet had pierced at least one lung and he didn’t have much time. She immediately pressed the heel of her right hand against the wound.

“I’m sorry,” he murmured.

“Where’s your cell phone?” Hers was in her backpack but she didn’t want to waste valuable time digging it out.

“No time. Get out.”

“Who did this, Mr. Urlik?”

He grabbed her right hand and squeezed it tightly. “You were right — no accident.”

His hand went limp.

Kory felt something in the palm of her hand, looked down and saw it was a key. She shoved it into her jeans pocket. A whizzing sound buzzed past her, followed by the unmistakable clink of a bullet ricocheting off metal. She instinctively threw herself over his body as another bullet struck metal. Kory felt for a pulse. There was none. She lowered her hand to his chest and felt under both arms and along his waist. I thought all PIs carried guns. Just my luck this one didn’t.

She scrambled to her feet, as more shots ricocheted around her, and dove through an opening on the first row of shelves. A piercing pain sliced through her upper arm as she took cover behind some boxes. They wouldn’t shield her from the gunfire but they would conceal her presence while she figured out how she was going to get out of there. She paused long enough to grab her cell phone from her backpack, wishing she hadn’t when another bullet tore through a box beside her. She ducked lower to the floor.

Kory ignored the throbbing in her arm and slithered along the floor toward the back of the building. As a child, she and her sister, Callie, had often accompanied her grandfather to the warehouse where he worked on boats as a hobby. She remembered a back exit that led to the side parking lot and nearby woods. If she could reach the door, she had a chance of getting out of this alive. She looked down at the tear in her shirt, drenched with blood.
This isn’t good!

Kill Shot: Book One Wounded Heroes can be purchased at most online bookstores or from my publisher – Desert Breeze Publishing: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-227/Wounded-Heros-Book-One/Detail.bok

Anne’s Bio: Anne Patrick is the author of more than a dozen novels of Romance, Mayhem & Faith, including the award-winning and best-selling Fire and Ash, Lethal Dreams and Sabotage. When she’s not killing off people or falling in love with dashing heroes, you can find her surfing the web or spending time with family and friends. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she now makes her home in Kansas.

To learn more about Anne, please visit her website: http://www.annepatrick.weebly.com or blog: http://www.suspensebyanne.blogspot.com .

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Today I am so very happy and thrilled to welcome author Shawna K. Williams! She’s here to visit and to discuss the release of her new book, “The Good Fight”, from Desert Breeze Publishing. Welcome, Shawna!

 

How did this story come to you?

After the release of No Other, my debut novel, I had several readers ask me if the sequel, In All Things — which was already under contract based on a proposal — was going to be about Roger, Jakob’s rival in No Other. When I told them that it wasn’t, they expressed disappointment. While writing In All Things, however, his character crept in unexpectedly, and in a rather profound way. He was hardly present throughout the book, but his name and the impact he’d had on Jakob in the previous book kept coming up. When In All Things released, once again I had readers asking me if I was going to write a book about Roger. As I looked at certain elements of the story, I realized that the relationship between Jakob and Roger wasn’t quite finished, and that it would also serve as the cohesion in a three book series if I chose to write another book. Furthermore, Roger was a rather interesting character with a unique angle from which to explore. So, here it is. The Good Fight is the third book in what I’ve dubbed, “The Series I Didn’t Intend to Write but My Readers Made Me Do It.”

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There are a few. First, judgmental attitudes come in all sorts. In the story Pennye has been a victim of this, but she’s also just as guilty. When she first meets Roger her reaction is to clump him into a category and her reaction toward him is affected by the judgments she made.

The second is to understand that when we give our lives over to the Lord, we are transformed into something useful and beautiful, imperfections and all. Regret is a powerful emotion and can often dominate and define a person’s life. God takes our experiences though — good and bad — and turns them into wisdom. They become something to use for His glory, and thus He removes our regret by bringing us to the realization that, in Him, we are a new creature, molded from the old. Our past is the clay from which we were made. But we can let go of the shame of that past, embrace Grace and rejoice in the beauty God creates as all things work together for His glory. This is a theme that runs through all of my stories. It’s something that I firmly believe in.

 

 

Cover blurb:
Roger Talbot’s life is defined by his devotion to public service. Having just successfully prosecuted a brutal murder case, Roger turns his attention to discovering the shady dealings of Niles Parker — the town’s former mayor, Roger’s old boss and the father of the woman Roger almost married.

 

Pennye Carrington ran away from Port Delamar with plans never to return. However, learning that her brother had murdered a family member of a famous movie star changed those plans. Pennye comes back with the hope of bringing stability to a family in disarray, but facing the torment of her childhood may be more than she can handle.

 

Roger’s mission to bring down Niles Parker and Pennye’s desire to keep her brothers out of trouble create a middle ground, where two people who couldn’t be further apart, embark on a danger-filled journey of discovery to find themselves and each other.

Can you tell us about your other books?
I have four books that are published and one that’s about to be under contract. Three of my books, including my latest release are a series. As I mentioned, the series doesn’t have a title though because initially it was only going to be two books.

All three of these books center round the small, but growing town of Port Delamar. It’s a fictional town based on Baytown, TX — the area where my husband grew up. The themes of these stories revolve around forgiveness and acceptance. There’s a tapestry woven in how the characters’ lives intertwine, and tragic events lead to good. I’m not so sure there won’t be other books in the future that tie into this town and these characters.

I have another book called Orphaned Hearts. It’s a Christmas story, but enjoyable for any time of year. It also has a similar theme of acceptance (mainly of ourselves). The story is very much about seeing the beauty within. It was inspired by my granddad, who grew up in an orphanage during The Great Depression.

What are you working on now and what’s next for you?

I edit for two publishers, so at the moment I’m playing catch-up on some work, but I’m about to sign a contract for a sequel to my Christmas story Orphaned Hearts, which released last December with Desert Breeze. This new story doesn’t have a title yet, but it’s about Caleb as a grown man, and the baby girl of the family who almost adopted him when he was a boy. Good thing they didn’t.

I’m also working on a story called Memoirs of a Ghost Town. It’s literary fiction, and it blends a contemporary story with one set in the past. I’m unsure right now as to where I’ll pitch it. I need to finish it first.

Parting comments:
Regina, thank you so much for hosting me. I love your books. I’m a little behind on reading your latest series, but everything I see about it looks wonderful, so I’m looking forward to the holidays and having some free time on my hands.

I’m hosting a contest to win a free Kindle and a $25 Amazon gift certificate. If you’re interested, details are here: http://shawnawilliams-oldsmobile.blogspot.com/2011/10/kindle-giveaway-with-new-book-release.html

For more about me:
http://www.shawnakwilliams.com/
http://shawnawilliams-oldsmobile.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/#!/shawnakwilliams
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1059888544&ref=tn_tinyman#!/pages/Shawna-K-Williams/236629884245

About Shawna K. Williams:
Shawna K. Williams is an inspirational novelist who loves telling a story through flawed characters – the only kind she can relate to. She also likes a good dose of nostalgia, which is why many of her stories are set in rural America during the first half of the 20th Century. However, being a fan of other genres, including Science Fiction and Suspense, she has a few surprises planned for future works.

When not writing, Shawna spends time with her husband and three children enjoying life on their ranch. She’s also an avid reader, book reviewer, blogger and jewelry designer.

Note from the host: As many of you know, I work for a high-end national jewelry retailer. So of course I noticed Shawna’s gorgeous necklace when she forwarded her photo for this post. I asked her about it, and the answer? Yes! She made it herself! Shawna, you are a wonderfully multi-talented individual!! Please come back again soon and visit. Best of luck with your new book!

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It’s a joy to welcome author Ann Tracy Marr today!   I am convinced you’ll be as enthralled as I was when you hear about “To His Mistress”, one of her romances. Welcome!

Thank you to Regina Andrews for offering me this spot in her Blog-String Fest. I like meeting people and consider this a great opportunity to do so. I assume you are a mix of writers and readers (as if writers don’t read). How shall I virtually bend your ears? Would you like to know how I conceived the plot of To His Mistress, one of my books?

I started with the hero, Alexander Stanton, the Earl of Shelton. He lives in England in 1814 when women wear romantic long gowns and unromantic corsets. Gentlemen gamble, ride horses, and have mistresses, as in prostitutes, to take care of their, ahem, needs. Prostitutes are for fun, not marriage.

That is how I began. Shelton has lots of experience with women, all of the whorish persuasion. Ladies — sisters, mothers, friends’ sisters and mothers — are set on a pedestal. Shelton stays far away from them because one step wrong and you end up married to them. Ladies are strictly chaperoned. They probably haven’t been kissed; God forbid some guy has touched them other than on the hand. They are to be as pure (and as sexually ignorant) as the white dresses they wear. Shelton has a mother and a budding desire to marry Lady Clarissa, daughter of another earl. He hasn’t done anything about it yet, because Shelton doesn’t really want to get married, but Clarissa looks pretty good.

Staying at an inn (think hotel off the interstate), Shelton goes to his room and finds a female in his bed. Like the guy on that TV commercial for Caesar’s Palace, he thinks he has gotten lucky, and wakes her up. Instead of snuggling, the female (her name is Katherine) screams, bringing her uncle on the scene. Uncle makes such a fuss he wakes the house and creates a scandal.

“Have you hear the latest scandal?” Gossipy old ladies will twitter. Everyone will have a field day talking about him. Laughing at him. You don’t think Shelton will like that, do you? Especially when it turns out that screaming meemie Katherine is not a whore; Uncle is a baron, there is no money to boast of, but she is still a lady, as in a never been kissed, stay away from or else you’ll end up married to her lady.

And that is what happens. Shelton has to marry her.

This is a pretty standard setup for a Regency — the forced marriage. What I did differently is that Shelton remains convinced Katherine is the next best thing to a whore. Her background isn’t distinguished; her uncle skates on the rim of disreputable. Not Katherine, but her uncle. Katherine is a perfectly nice, should be on a pedestal girl, but not to Shelton. Her uncle made such a vulgar stink at the inn, Shelton is sure it was deliberate. Katherine set him up, took advantage, forced him to marry her. Of course, she did it for his money. He doesn’t get happy with the marriage; he doesn’t fall in love and decide they can live happily ever after.

No, he wants a divorce. Then he can have the best of all possible worlds: marry rich Lady Clarissa and make Katherine his mistress. With all the Regencies I have read, I have never seen that plot.

Part of what is unique to the plot is the way Shelton treats Katherine. Remember, ladies and mistresses are not treated the same. A hero can slap a whore without the reader batting an eye, but he can’t raise a finger to a lady. Don’t swear in front of a lady, don’t stare at her breasts. Treat her like a nun or precious Waterford crystal. Have fun with the mistress — have lots of hot, steamy sex, don’t mind your tongue, relax and enjoy.

Shelton treats Katherine like a mistress. He plays with her body, acts out fantasies, and insults her, paying her back for tricking him into marriage. For the first part of the book, he is the villain. It isn’t until Katherine begins to understand the man that the reader begins to see that Shelton can be a hero. You are cheering for Katherine to win and she insists that you include Shelton in your prayers.

The result is a Regency that veers in a different direction. If you thirst for reality in books, Shelton and Katherine fill the bill. The characters are real people in a realistic situation fueled by misconceptions that fit their personal bugaboos. To satisfy those who want a little fantasy with their story, I incorporated two magicians — Shelton’s not-so-fond Mama and her butler — wagering on the success of the marriage. No spells barred, they do what they can to influence Katherine and Shelton, but they do it so subtly, you can read the book again and again without identifying the magical twists (or misidentify twists as magical).

Through it all, Shelton stubbornly insists on divorce. Oh, yes, Shelton is stubborn. He gets that trait from my husband.

When he can no longer deny that Katherine is a dyed in the wool lady — when he has to admit that he should not have treated her like a whore — Shelton has dug a pit so deep he might never manage to crawl out. How many times has a man you know done the same?

~~~
Ann Tracy Marr writes fantasy Regency romance. To His Mistress, the third book in her Banshee Brigade series, debuted in paperback October 25. Keeper of the Grail is in the works. A computer consultant in the Midwest, Marr lives with her husband, two cats, and plots that bounce off the wall.

Visit her at http://www.anntracymarr.com
Buy her books at http://www.awe-struck.net/authors/ann_tracy_marr.html

To His Mistress Ebook ISBN: 978-1-587497209
Round Table Magician Ebook ISBN: 978-1-587496066
Thwarting Magic Ebook ISBN: 978-1-587496479
Keeper of the Grail Awaiting release


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Today I am so happy to welcome the fabulous, accomplished author Karen Wiesner, as she discussed her new release, SHARDS OF ASHLEY, Book 5 of the Family Heirloom Series. Karen will also be giving away a download of BABY, BABY, Book 1 of the Family Heirlooms Series to one commenter. Welcome, Karen and thank you so much for visiting today!
Here’s a story recap and a blurb from SHARDS OF ASHLEY for you to enjoy.

SHARDS OF ASHLEY, Book 5 of the Family Heirloom Series
Karen Wiesner
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Whiskey Creek Press
978-1-61160-017-9 (trade paperback); 978-1-61160-016-2 (download)

Find out more about this series: http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/fiction9.html

Book Five Family Heirloom: Learning Trust

In order to reconcile her past, she must face the terrible truth she buried long ago…and, in doing so, she gambles with her heart and the salvation of her own soul.

Ashley Savage grew up in a troubled home with a competitive, pampered sister and an abusive, ridiculing mother who played at being a Christian when she needed to…and led Ashley to more addictions than one child could handle. As an adult, Ashley tells herself she’s put the extreme fears of the past behind her, but she spends most of her time repairing the crumbling wall holding back the horrors she’s not willing to face ever again. She’s become a woman against the world.

The one man who has the annoying habit of getting through her defenses is Jay Samuels, a military chaplain and soon-to-be pastor. Much as Ashley wants to leave him behind like she believes she has the rest of her past, Jay is ambitious to a fault where she’s concerned. He hears only what he wants to hear—and he doesn’t want to hear that she doesn’t love him as much as he loves her.

But even Jay doesn’t realize the extent of all she’s buried deep inside her own subconscious…and what keeps her from giving herself willingly to the God she knows is drawing her inexorably to Himself, to the one place she can’t run, where she can no longer hide…

Excerpt:
© Karen Wiesner

Jay Samuels knew exactly where to find his girlfriend. Not in the waiting area, eager to throw herself in his arms the minute he deboarded the plane and appeared. No, Ashley would be in the gift shop, trying to convey blaringly that picking him up was an afterthought. She’d act like coming to get him from the airport (twice a year or so) was a major inconvenience to her. Maybe it was. Maybe he’d prefer to have her tackle him with enthusiastic love. But he’d always delighted in Ashley’s mystery, her unfathomableness.

He smiled eagerly, making his way around other passengers in the tiny La Crosse airport. Even knowing he and Ashley would spend the entire week he was on leave butting heads, he couldn’t wait to see her. Since she’d moved to La Crosse when she was seventeen, he’d had to take charge to get what he wanted. She never made it easy, never fell in line with his plans without a good argument. He had a big one on his hands tonight, but he was up for it. He was spoiling for it.

Still grinning, he entered the gift shop and saw her immediately. A woman as elegant and breathtakingly gorgeous as Ashley Savage was hard to miss. She wore an utterly feminine, utterly sophisticated expensive business suit that she couldn’t have imagined even touching a decade ago. The suit she wore today was in shades of pink, a floral print, with a form-fitting jacket that followed her exquisite curves, and a little skirt. Three inch pumps showed off deeply tanned, mile-long legs. She was five-ten, only a few inches shorter than him, but taller than most women, especially in the heels. As usual, she wore her waist-length, champagne blond hair in a twist at the back of her head. Wisps hung around her delicate face. He had the feeling she thought tying up her hair the way she did made her unapproachable and unattractive to men. She couldn’t have been more wrong. While she didn’t need the make-up she wore, he had to admit she applied it with an expert hand. She looked completely natural, as if she wore no cosmetics at all. He wondered if she had any idea how beautiful…and intimidating…she was to men. Heck, she probably intimidated women just as easily. But he expected that was her goal. She didn’t allow anyone or anything to get to her.

An ache started inside him that he knew would only get stronger with every minute they spent together in this short time. Does she have any idea what she does to me? For him, no other woman could come close to her. That had never been what she intended, of course, and he’d well known it after they graduated high school and started independent lives. She’d purposed for them to become separate from each other in every conceivable way.

She’d met rich-from-birth humanitarian Amanda Grant, who’d hired Ashley at her interior design company and taught her the ropes. In a very short time, Ashley had obviously learned a lot from her mentor—she’d mastered how to dress and talk properly, but she’d also designed her own style and it was worth gold. Amanda’s clients had fallen for Ashley left and right, and she’d become a success in every sense of the word.

Since then, Jay had to concede that what they’d shared no longer fit—she’d been right about that, in not so many words. He’d ceased to harbor any more illusions about befriending someone who’d seen so much pain. Plain and simple, friendship could no longer satisfy him. Not when he’d seen her strength, the way she’d picked up the pieces of her shattered life and rebuilt herself from scratch. Wanting their relationship to move into something more romantic had become a priority to him, but she hadn’t made it easy for him. To this day, getting anything from her was a never-ending battle, but a worthwhile one that he hadn’t and wouldn’t tire of, not when she allowed him to be with her despite “the inconvenience.” I never made it easy for her either. Just the opposite. I was hell on her when we were younger—just because I enjoyed our sparring so much. Unfortunately, he couldn’t deny that he still derived pleasure from that. But sparring wasn’t all he desired anymore.

Jay’s hands clenched. He loved her, wanted her. While that desire felt old and familiar, the torture in his longing was new and nearly unbearable. The feelings between them used to be so light and fun. The last time he’d come home… Being with her constantly wasn’t enough. Having her next to me, allowing me to touch her…the ache to kiss and hold her won’t be satisfied until she belongs to me wholly. At the time, he hadn’t been sure how to make that happen. He’d wondered countless times what she would do if he told her the only future he could envision beyond being a chaplain and a minister outside the military was all about her. If his life didn’t include her forever, he wasn’t interested. This time, he’d discover one way or another what she would do when she learned he’d already taken a step into a permanent life with her. He planned to ask her to take a step of her own.

Looking at her guarded face now, he already knew the answer to that. She saw him standing here, aware he was watching her, but she wouldn’t admit it a moment sooner than she willed. She wanted to make him wait for her. That was all right with him. Her control issues had given him a chance to look at all he’d missed for months on end.

In a calculated move, she glanced up from the magazine she was perusing, pretended she’d just now realized he’d arrived, and murmured, “Oh, you’re here. Let me pay for these, then I’ll take you home.”

She dropped another fashion magazine into the basket she carried. Jay followed her to the checkout counter, stepping right in front of her just before she got there. Her expression was irritated, just as guarded as before, and it should have reminded him of something hard as ice or stone. Ashley’s intentions to keep everyone away no longer worked on him. Everything about her spoke of soft femininity to him.

“Not exactly the hello I was hoping for,” he said under his breath. He pressed up against her, and she glared at him.

“Can I help you?” the clerk called pleasantly.

Ashley stepped around him, effectively dodging his embrace to put the basket on the counter. Undeterred, Jay put his arms around her from behind. She stiffened defensively, but he held her a little tighter. He put his mouth right against the shell of her ear while the clerk went about the business of tallying her purchases. Breathing in her expensive, mesmerizing perfume, he murmured, “I’d rather not go to my parents’ right away.”

“They miss you.”

“I miss you.”

Impossibly, she stiffened even more. He nuzzled her neck, becoming increasingly intoxicated by the scent and feel of her so close. He wanted to get out of here. Now. I need to be alone with her. This wasn’t the time or place, but he couldn’t get himself to back off. Instinctively, his counselor brain started to analyze both of their actions, but he shook off the need to do that with her. When he was home, he wanted to relax and enjoy his time with her.

She paid and took the bag the clerk handed her. Gently, she nudged him away, turning to ask, “Have you gotten your luggage?”

“Nah.” Seeing Ashley had been his first and last thought when the plane landed.

She led the way to the baggage return across the lobby from the gift shop. When they arrived and watched the bags coming through, she said, “I have to drop off this fabric sample book with a client and then go back to the office…”

He didn’t care to hear the list of things she’d prepared to keep them apart. He slipped through her defenses and put his arms around her while she was still talking.

Read more:
http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/SOAexcerpt.pdf

What’s coming next:

WORLDS COLLIDE, Book 6 of the Family Heirloom Series
Karen Wiesner
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Whiskey Creek Press
978-1-61160-019-3 (trade paperback); 978-1-61160-018-6 (download)
Coming March 2012

Book Six Family Heirloom: Persevering in adversity

Dr. Marcus Samuels is a medical missionary in Japan, and his life has been God’s work despite a severe anxiety disorder associated with being far from home. After twelve years of watching his happily married siblings and their children, he can no longer deny the chronic ache inside him and knows he should start his own family life back in the States—though he has serious doubts about his wife-hunting abilities at the age of forty. Spurred into motion by his mother’s sudden illness, he’s caught off-guard when he realizes just how much he’ll miss Keiko Oichi and her brother Haruki, fellow pediatricians at the Children’s Christian Mission Hospital. The two have not only been his lifeline while in a foreign, distant place, but have also become family to him.

Keiko and Haruki grew up in the United States as foreign exchange students. It was through their host family that she and her older sibling became Christians. Her conversion to Christ, as well as getting to know Marcus, have radically altered her emotionally-detached acceptance of her traditional Japanese future. When Marcus says he’s leaving Japan for good, she feels lost at the prospect of living without her closest friend. Only with Marcus can she be the woman she truly is inside—if she can shed the cocoon of lifelong familial tradition and impossible expectations and be free.
Knowing Keiko has been betrothed since she was a child, Marcus had trained himself not to see her as a potential mate. But learning of her unhappiness and fear of being unequally yoked to an immoral man she can never love opens his eyes to possibilities he hasn’t allowed himself to consider. Who better to fall in love with than your very best friend? When Keiko’s parents learn of her conversion and feelings for a Christian man, the couple faces a crossroads in love and faith that will change both of their lives irrevocably.

Return to the quaint little town of Peaceful, Wisconsin, from Karen Wiesner’s award-winning Family Heirlooms Series, where you first met and fell in love with these colorful, lovable friends. Now you can read the stories of those secondary characters in an all-new spin-off series. Nuggets of faith can be passed down as heirlooms from friend to friend, heart to heart, soul-mate to soul-mate.
Check out this upcoming series (including back blurbs, covers, and details) here:
http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/fiction9a.html

About the Author:

Karen Wiesner is an accomplished author with 85 books published in the past 13 years, which have been nominated for and/or won 114 awards, and 13 more titles under contract. Karen’s books cover such genres as women’s fiction, romance, mystery/police procedural/cozy, suspense, paranormal, futuristic, gothic, inspirational, thriller, horror, chick-lit, and action/adventure. She also writes children’s books, poetry, and writing reference titles such as her bestsellers, First Draft in 30 Days and From First Draft to Finished Novel {A Writer’s Guide to Cohesive Story Building}, available from Writer’s Digest Books. Along with her writing, Karen enjoys designing Web sites, graphics, and cover art. For more information about Karen and her work, visit her Web sites at http://www.karenwiesner.com, http://www.firstdraftin30days.com, http://www.falconsbend.com and http://www.JewelsoftheQuill.com. If you would like to receive Karen’s free e-mail newsletter, Karen’s Quill, and become eligible to win her monthly book giveaways, send a blank e-mail to KarensQuill-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

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