Monday, 21 December 2015

Happy Holidays from Ex Libris with a MEGA Giveaway!

Hey Everyone!

The holiday season is upon us and as a thank you for being a reader of Ex Libris I wanted to host this giveaway for 5, yes FIVE holiday romance bundles you could win!

The giveaway is very simple: just leave a comment and tell me which bundle you'd like to win (you can enter your name for any or all of them) either for yourself or as a gift to someone, and fill out the Rafflecopter form. There are some extra entries you could also gain.

Here is a bit more about the prizes:


For friends Clara, Abby and Lily, only one thing is more delicious than the Pine Mountain holiday cookie exchange – finding the right man before they ring in the New Year!

Where There's Smoke. . .
USA Today bestselling author Donna Kauffman

When flames from a recipe gone disastrously wrong send hunky firefighter Will Mason to pretty Clara Parker's rescue, the sparks really begin to fly! And once Will gets a taste of Clara, he aches for more than just a little sugar from the famously single food columnist. . ..

"Donna Kauffman writes smart and sexy, with sizzle to spare!" --Janet Evanovich

The Gingerbread Man
National bestselling author Kate Angell

Folks have always told fun-loving Abby Denton that her anatomically correct Gingerbread cookies are. . .impressive. But those erotic cookies have nothing on the sexy stranger Abby saves from a snowy country road. Could Lander Reynolds be the Christmas treat she's truly been longing for?

"No fan of the genre should miss Angell's surefire romances." –Booklist

Sugar And Spice by Kimberly Kincaid

When caterer Lily Callahan goes up against hotshot pastry chef Pete Mancuso in the bake-off of the season, the stakes are high--and scandalously passionate. Will the gorgeous gourmand steal Lily's heart--and the top prize in the Christmas cookie competition?

"A mouth-watering, heart-warming, toe-curling holiday romance!" --Amanda Usen, author of Luscious



SIXTEEN ALL-NEW, NEVER-BEFORE-PUBLISHED SWEET (PG-rated) CHRISTMAS ROMANCES

Ring in the Christmas cheer with sixteen all-new sweet and heart-warming romances from New York Times, USA Today bestselling, and award-winning authors. Don't miss out on this romantic collection of Christmas tails…uh, tales as adorable pets with fins, paws, feathers, and hooves bring holiday magic with the gift of true love.

Golden Christmas - Helen Scott Taylor
Two wounded hearts are brought together at Christmas by a golden retriever puppy.

Two Loves for Christmas - Mona Risk
Her German shepherd is her only friend until Josh teams with Rino to love and protect her.

Dog-Gone Christmas - Melinda Curtis
A handsome neighbor and his friendly St. Bernard mooch food and kisses from a merry widow.

His Christmas Promise - Alicia Street
A stray dog brings an ex-Army helicopter pilot and a single mom together.

We Wish You A Ferret Christmas - Nikki Lynn Barrett
Can a lost and found ferret bring two fractured families together?

Christmas Lovebirds - Rachelle Ayala
Can two little lovebirds and Christmas cheer open Melisa's heart to giving Rob another chance?

Christmas on Cougar Mountain - Nancy Radke
A Cinderella story on Cougar Mountain, with an escape artist playing fairy godmother, and a child getting a fresh start.

The Vet & The Christmas Pet - J.L. Campbell
A near accident brings Toni and her daughter a homeless dog and a man she’d prefer to keep in her past.

Tails, Time, and St. Nick - Mary Leo
Kris Timemaker uses a magic clock to bring his daughter's missing Westie and estranged wife back to him.

Graced - Jade Kerrion
Noelle, armed with several goldfish and a kitten, brings Christmas cheer to a widower and his children.

Unexpected Gift - Chantel Rhondeau
Far from home, a lonely young woman strikes up a friendship with a lost cat and his secretive owner.

Minty's Kiss - P.C. Zick
One kitten, a broken-hearted girl, and long lost loves are brought together for a special mountain Christmas.

The Christmas Wish - Michele Shriver
Will a fall from a horse bring Hayley's parents back together in time for Christmas?

Dante's Gift - Aubrey Wynne
Seventy years ago, a collie mix brings two hearts together in war torn Italy. Will their story help their grandson find his own Christmas love?

Mavy's Christmas Miracle - Sharon Coady
Anne takes a rescue kitten to the vet, only to discover he's the man who broke her heart.

The Impossible Rescue - Annamaria Bazzi
A handsome stranger gifts a cute Pomeranian puppy to a woman in need of rescue.



HO! HO! HO! Santa’s bringing love this Christmas…and a little spice. From hauntings to bad boys to matchmaking dogs, SPICY CHRISTMAS KISSES delivers the joy and warmth of the season. But be careful–some of these ELEVEN romances are HOT HOT HOT!

This collection of spicy holiday stories is on sale for a limited time only. A STEAL at 99 cents, so grab your copy today!

Christmas Flirt - Rachelle Ayala
Naughty girl Lacy Reed gets more than she bargained for when her naked selfies turn up on her boss’s phone. What will it take for her Christmas wish to come true?

Cole For Christmas - Kelly Collins
When Interior Designer Chloe Craig thought of Christmas, her mind overflowed with trees trimmed in twinkling lights and doorways adorned with mistletoe. Using her infectious joy, she attempted to soften the heart of her new employer, but was it possible to turn a Scrooge into Kris Kringle?

Not-So-Blue Christmas - Bonnie Edwards
Kirk Fontaine has lived in the dark for months, unable to bear living or even talking to people, until one small mutt forces him to see the sun. Miranda Bailey’s hoping for one more Christmas miracle, but can’t believe a grouch like Kirk could be it.

Naughty and Nice (A Rough and Tumble Novella) - Crystal Green
Reclusive, gruff army veteran Jesse Navarro could deal with a Secret Santa who only wrote to him online. But when she shows up at the Rough & Tumble Saloon in the flesh, she has something even naughtier than a regular gift exchange in mind—and it's perfectly suited for some wicked nights in Sin City...

Tangled in Tinsel - Stacy Eaton
Casey Lowe is new in town and her next-door neighbor Thad Wagner is the kind of guy you want to have around, especially when something breaks. Thad is easy on the eyes and great with his hands, but will he be able to mend her broken heart?

Haunted - Jade Kerrion
Holly Langford has given up on love but the Christmas season unexpectedly ignites her bleak and solitary life with three men who represent her past, her present, and her future. Which man offers the gift of true love and happily ever after?

The King and the Pawn - Lyssa Layne
Frankie has concocted the perfect plan to get her father to release her trust fund early—a fake boyfriend he'll hate. The only problem is, the more time Frankie spends with her fake boyfriend, the harder it will be to let him go.

Christmas Choices- Sharon Coady
Kellen Slade is a bad boy builder who rides a Harley almost as hot as he is. Rhian St. Clair is a rich girl who wants out of Savanah and out from under her father’s rules to follow her passion as a painter.

8 Hounds a-Howling - Marcia James
Celebrity photographer "Jax" Jackson volunteers to shoot the Klein's K-9s' dog-themed "12 Days of Christmas" fundraising calendar. His hidden agenda: Convince past love and calendar coordinator Amy Walters to give him a second chance.

Tinsel, Tidings, and Temptations - Kimmie Easley
After a nasty divorce and a life of isolation, Naomi Compton rents a luxury cabin in the woods for her first Christmas alone. The property just so happens to come with its own hunky groundskeeper, Henner Willliams, who’s more than happy to show Naomi what she's been missing out on all these years.

Loving Lucy - Chantel Rhondeau
Issued a challenge at the company Christmas party, reserved accountant Blake Carmichael determines to catch Lucy Brier’s interest, a woman he’s lusted after for years. Lucy’s determined to win her bet: quit flirting and stay single until next Christmas…a full year without a man, next to impossible for the audacious brunette.




This holiday season, warm your heart with 12 connected sweet holiday romances set in Christmas Town from 12 Harlequin Heartwarming authors who are USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.

There are four connected books in A Heartwarming Christmas. That means each set of three novellas shares characters and storylines! This collection of PG-rated holiday romances are all set in Christmas Town, a location introduced in the 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release Christmas, Actually. A Heartwarming Christmas will bring you laughter, tears, and happily-ever-afters (no cliffhangers), for more than 1200 pages. Foreword by small town lover and New York Times bestseller Kristan Higgins.

Book 1: Coming Home to Christmas Town by Melinda Curtis, Anna Adams, & Anna J Stewart: Three adopted siblings gather for the holiday season and closure after their father dies.

Novella 1: The Comeback Christmas by Melinda Curtis, award-winning, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Novella 2: Bells Are Ringing by Anna J Stewart, award-winning, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Novella 3: A Home by Christmas by Anna Adams, award-winning, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Book 2: The Fisher Brothers Christmas by Carol Ross, Cheryl Harper, & Amy Vastine: Three brothers with a Christmas Eve family tradition in jeopardy until love leads them home.

Novella 1: The Christmas Bell by Carol Ross, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Novella 2: Making Up Under the Mistletoe by Cheryl Harper, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Novella 3: My Christmas Hero by Amy Vastine, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Book 3: Gifts of the Heart by Tara Randel, Leigh Riker & Cari Lynn Webb: In the spirit of Christmas, three siblings reconnect to find romance, special gifts - and each other.

Novella 1: An Unexpected Gift by Tara Randel, Barnes and Noble bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Novella 2: A Gift of Home by Cari Lynn Webb, Harlequin Heartwarming debut author.

Novella 3: His Christmas Gift by Leigh Riker, award-winning, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Book 4: The Gingerbread Men by Liz Flaherty, Patricia Bradley & Rula Sinara. When two sisters and their widowed mother are reunited for the holidays, falling in love isn't on any of their Christmas wish lists, but sometimes the best gifts are unexpected...

Novella 1: The Gingerbread Heart by Liz Flaherty, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Novella 2: The Gingerbread Pony by Patricia Bradley, award-winning, Amazon bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Novella 3: The Gingerbird House by Rula Sinara, award-winning, Harlequin Heartwarming author.




This holiday season, warm your heart with 14 Sweet Christmas Kisses, a bundle of PG-rated romance novels and novellas from USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.

Sweet Christmas Kisses takes you from small-town USA to England, Scotland, and even Ecuador; from the beach to snow-capped mountains, and to the wild--sometimes magical--west. The Sweet Christmas Kisses bundle will bring you laughter, tears, and always joy, for more than 1600 pages. Foreword by New York Times bestselling author, Brenda Novak.

Almost Perfect Christmas by Donna Fasano, USA Today bestselling author. Aaron wants to give his daughter a perfect Christmas and elicits Christy's help to do it. When they're talked into a make-believe wedding, can a real one be far behind?

Mistletoe in Maine (Holiday Brides Book #3) by Ginny Baird, Award-winning and National bestselling author. A single mom takes her kids on vacation in Maine and meets a handsome innkeeper, a young widower with a teenage son. A winter wonderland love story about faith and new beginnings.

The Army Doctor's Christmas Baby (Army Doctor's Baby Series) by Helen Scott Taylor, Award-winning and National bestselling author. An army surgeon with twins falls for the nanny, but will her secret destroy their happiness?

Stormy Times by Beate Boeker. International author. A rock star, vet, and puppy meet in a blizzard and sparks fly...

The Christmas Promise by Melinda Curtis, USA Today Recommended Read, Award-winning and National bestselling author. When a chocolate heiress bumps into a wounded warrior during Christmas, chaos ensues thanks in part to three fairy godmothers...er, a trio of meddlesome nuns.

Merry Christmas, Darling by Denise Devine, Award-winning author. A desperate bachelor enlists his neighbor to pose as his wife to appease his dying mother and unexpectedly finds love under the mistletoe.

Some Christmas Magic by Raine English, Award-winning and National bestselling author. She's been dumped... He wants to win her back... A last-ditch effort to save her Christmas might result in her most romantic holiday ever.

Christmas in White Oak by Aileen Fish, National bestselling author. Forced to face his past, a young widower tries to grant the Christmas wish of his first love.

Lucky Break Christmas: Homecoming by Patricia Forsythe, Award-winning author. Their marriage is in trouble...until a judge, two kids, a quirky hometown of old friends, and the Christmas spirit of forgiveness step in.

Beach Christmas by Grace Greene, Award-winning and National bestselling author. Jessie Dawson hopes to arrange the perfect beach Christmas for her family, but when it all falls apart a special delivery from the past may inspire a new Christmas wish.

Her Christmas Cruise by Mona Risk, Award-winning and National bestselling author. The perfect fiancé is a cheater and the Christmas wedding is off, but the would-be honeymoon cruise may offer Julia a dream companion.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 4 January 2016!

Ebooks will be gifted through Amazon

Happy Holidays! :-)

Guest post by Bronwen Evans + Giveaway

Today I am happy to welcome back to Ex Libris Bronwen Evans  who's here celebrating the release of A Whisper of Desire, book #4 in her Disgraced Lords series. So join us as she's dancing the night away with the handsome heroes of the series and enter at the end of the post for the chance to win a fantastic gift basket!

Dancing with a Rogue on Christmas Eve with Bronwen Evans

Dear Readers,

This Christmas I’ve made it my goal to dance with all the rogues I can, starting with my six Libertine Scholars from my Disgraced Lord’s series.

The men are determined to enjoy Christmas this year because they have caught the villain of the series (revealed in book #5 A Taste of Seduction Aug 2016), but it’s kind of reserved as Arend Aubury is still missing (book #6 A Night of Forever Jan 2017).

I really wanted to dance with Arend. Of course he’s handsome, they all are, but in addition he’s dark, mysterious (he still has not revealed everything about himself and I’m supposed to be writing his story), but most of all I want to chase away the clouds of sadness in his eyes.

So, if I can’t dance with Arend, I will choose to dance with Christian, my badly scared hero from book #1 A Kiss of Lies. He’s happily married so I will have to keep my hands to myself (worse luck).

I know you don’t want to read about my dance, and perhaps I want to keep it as a special moment for me alone, so I’ll share a dance between Beatrice and Sebastian from A Promise of More (book #2 in the Disgraced Lords series). Beatrice emotionally blackmailed Sebastian, the ton’s leading rogue, into marriage, he was happy to oblige, wanting a wife who did not stir his senses, but little did he know…

***
This evening, in his finery, Sebastian was every woman’s fantasy. And Beatrice knew every woman here would be envying her, for his soft blue—grey eyes seemed to deliberately entice, a temptation sent to make women want to sin.

The introduction for the first waltz cut through the hypnotic moment. His eyes held hers and he read the invitation there. His fingers closed about her hand and he lifted it fleetingly to his lips. Then he elegantly bowed, his eyes never leaving hers. “My dance, I believe? I’d like to dance with my beautiful wife.”

She gave him a dazzling smile, gratitude beaming from within her face. At that precise moment he truly was the most wonderful man in her world, her knight in shining armor. She owed Sebastian everything. She inclined her head, and let him draw her to the floor.

Her body responded as soon as he gathered her close and steered her into the swirling throng. Her chest felt tight, and her skin came alive. She became a young giddy schoolgirl, taut with anticipation, expectations. No longer the staid old spinster of twenty-five. She remembered his naked body lying next to her from earlier this afternoon and her gaze dropped to his groin.

“If you keep looking at me like that I’m going to embarrass myself on the dance floor and we won’t be able to leave it.”

She gave a delighted smile and raised her eyes back to his face. His face seemed harder, more chiseled, more austere. His body seemed more powerful and there was something in his eyes as they rested on hers. It was warmth. There was warmth glowing from his eyes. Since the argument over Henry, they had wordlessly agreed to start again, starting a new life, one that she looked forward to.

“I shall look forward to staring at you later this evening when we get home.”

Typical man. He was trying to stop the smile hinting at the edges of his lips. “I look forward to that immensely. Perhaps you’ll even do more than stare?”


About Bron:

USA Today bestselling author, Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Evans is a three-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand with her dogs Brandy and Duke.

Connect with Bronwen at her website - blog - Facebook - Twitter

A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans

Sensual heat melts the ice in the new Disgraced Lords novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans, as a marriage of convenience leads to delightful pleasure—and mortal danger.

Lady Marisa Hawkstone’s nightmare is just beginning when she wakes up naked, with no memory of the night before, lying next to Maitland Spencer, the Duke of Lyttleton—a man so aloof and rational, he’s nicknamed “the Cold Duke.” A scandal ensues, in which Marisa’s beloved beau deserts her. As a compromised woman, Marisa agrees to marry Maitland. But on her wedding night, Marisa discovers the one place the duke shows emotion: in the bedroom, where the man positively scorches the sheets.

Taught from a young age to take duty seriously, Maitland cannot understand his new wife’s demands on his love and affection. Marisa’s hot-blooded spirit, however, does have its attractions—especially at night. In retrospect, it seems quite silly that he didn’t marry sooner. But being one of the Libertine Scholars requires constant vigilance, even more so when the enemy with a grudge against his closest friends targets Marisa. Now Maitland must save the woman who sets his heart aflame—or die trying.

Buy at Amazon - B&N

GIVEAWAY RULES:


To be entered in this fabulous giveaway just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

Good luck!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Q & A with Erica Ridley + Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome back to Ex Libris Erica Ridley, who is here celebrating the release of the latest instalment of her Dukes of War series: The Pirate’s Tempting Stowaway, which got released on 1 December! Read on to get to know Erica a bit better and get your first taste of The Pirate’s Tempting Stowaway and if you tell us who's your favourite pirate character you might even win an ebook copy of The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress, book^#3 in the series!

Q: Tell us about the Dukes of War series, and The Pirate’s Tempting Stowaway!

Erica: The Dukes of War historical romance series features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.

Clara Halton, the heroine for this book, is the mother of the heroine from the second book. Twenty years before, Clara was disowned and banished for being a teen mom in a time period when losing one’s virginity either led to a hasty marriage or social ruin. As an empty nester before the age of forty, I felt it was past time for this smart single mom to get a Happy Ever After of her own. And I had just the man in mind.

When I thought about my ideal pirate, I wanted a hero somewhere between Jack Sparrow and The Princess Pride. Someone strong, sexy, and sure of himself. Someone who could be counted upon for carefree quips and rollicking adventure...with a deep capacity for love that will bring him to his knees. That man is Mr. Gregory Steele, better known as the infamous Captain Blackheart. But how will a man who lives for the sea win the heart of a woman who puts down roots on land?

Q: When you were young, what was your favorite children's story?

Erica: I loved Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. I might even have both books memorized!

Q: Who or what helped you along the way to publishing?

Erica: Joining the Romance Writers of America was the smartest thing I could’ve done. Through workshops from my local chapter, I learned so much about the publishing industry and the craft of writing. Romance authors tend to be wonderful about helping each other out, so networking at conferences often turns into lifelong friendships. I met my literary agent, Lauren Abramo of Dystel & Goderich, the old fashioned way—query letters and postal mail—and she has also been an invaluable resource and a great friend.

Source: Danielbefree
Q: Where do you live?

Erica: I was born in the United States, and have lived in six different countries. I currently live on a macadamia farm in the rainforests of Costa Rica, and love it immensely. (Except when I’m missing the crepe vendors of France or real Italian gelato.) Given my wanderlust, I wouldn’t be surprised if I found myself somewhere else a few years from now, but for now I’m happy in Costa Rica.

Q: You have to listen to the same song to 72 hours, or your family gets it. What song do you choose to listen to on repeat?

I'm pretty sure I actually did this when I was younger, back in my mixtape days. Hmm. After 72 hours of the same song, I would probably never listen to it again, but I have to go with one I love: "A Charming Spell" by Splashdown. The first time I heard that song, I was trying to park my car and I sat there with the engine running until the song was over.

Q: What was the first concert you ever went to? Would you go again?

Erica: I went to a hair metal concert, I believe, back in grade school. And I would absolutely go again. I love concerts, and would see anyone I liked, regardless of how long the band has been around. I saw Tommy James & the Shondells a few years back and those guys had more energy than I did!

AND Book #1 is currently FREE on Amazon so you can start the series and get hooked! ;-)


Book #6 in the Dukes of War series

Captain Blackheart leads a simple life of roving the seas, wenching and treasure-hunting. He steers clear of romantic entanglements that could tie him to land. He shouldn't have any trouble keeping his hands off the gently-bred lady he's commissioned to abduct — except his cargo turns out to be feisty and passionate! She'd be a prize worth treasuring, if having her aboard didn't jeopardize everything...

Clara Halton thought the worst loss she could suffer was to be stripped of her family, stricken with consumption, and left to die alone. Then she meets Blackheart. Their attraction is ruinous...and irresistible. When he delivers her like so much plunder, his mission is over — but hers has just begun. She'll force him to acknowledge their connection, even if she must storm his ship to do it!

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - B&N - Kobo - iTunes

Excerpt

In this scene, Clara has been abducted from her home on horseback and is en route to the docks with Mr. Gregory Steele (secretly Captain Blackheart). Because of the distance, they were forced to spend the night in an inn. Clara doesn’t trust Steele—but she is desperate to get to England and reunite with her daughter before Clara’s illness makes such a reunion impossible.

When she awoke the following morning, a breakfast tray sat on the small table on the other side of the room. Seated to one side was Mr. Steele, looking appallingly bright-eyed and refreshed at what had to be an ungodly hour.

“What time is it?” she croaked.

“Half eight.” His eyes crinkled at her from across the top of his teacup. “Have you always been this slothful?”

“Half eight?” she repeated in amazement. It wasn’t the crack of dawn. She’d slept over ten straight hours, for the first time in…well, long before the consumption diagnosis. She doubted she’d had a sound night’s sleep since the day she’d become a widow. “Shouldn’t we be on our way?”

“After you break your fast. The innkeeper is readying a carriage for us. We should be to the port by tomorrow evening.”

“I thought you said it only took you two days to get from your ship to my house.”

“Correct. We, however, will take longer. A coach simply can’t travel as fast as a horse.”

“How about two horses?”

He raised a brow.

She gripped the back of a chair. “If we’re each on a horse, can’t we still make it by nightfall?”

“If we’re each on a horse, you might fall asleep and tumble off. Or have a coughing fit and tumble off. Or succumb to chills and tumble off. That’s why we’re taking a carriage.”

Desperation clawed at Clara’s chest. She still wasn’t convinced she’d recover from her illness. But if he was right… The sooner they were on that ship, the sooner she could see her daughter. Make sure Grace was all right. Ensure the child’s grandparents were treating her with the love she deserved. “A single horse, then.”

He buttered a slice of bread without responding.

“We’ll take one horse, and we’ll get there tonight. I’ll hold on as tight as I can and I won’t fall asleep.”

He added a dollop of marmalade to the bread.

“I’ll sit in front,” she said, hating the pleading note in her voice. “You can keep your arm about me the entire way. You’ll see that I’m fine.”

He pushed the plate of marmalade bread toward her. “Eat your breakfast.”

She glared at him for only a second before hurrying behind the curtained bed to exchange her nightrail for a day dress. They obviously wouldn’t be going anywhere until he deemed her ready for travel. Therefore, she wouldn’t give him any ammunition to hold against her. She swiped a comb through her hair and returned everything to her traveling bag before going to join him at the table.

He watched her in silence as she added two cubes of sugar and a splash of milk to her tea before turning her attentions to her plate.

The bread was warm and fresh, the marmalade sweet and tangy. Clara hadn’t had either for so long, the familiar taste nearly brought tears to her eyes.

But the only thing she wanted more than to savor this meal was to reach the docks as quickly as possible. To get back to her daughter. And to never let her out of her sight again.

Just as she popped the last bite into her mouth, Mr. Steele rose to his feet and held up her spencer.

She slid her arms through the sleeves, then frowned when he offered her a thick woolen scarf. “Is that yours?”

“I’m afraid I have this monstrosity instead.” He pointed to his cravat.

Frowning, she allowed him to bundle her up to his liking. She couldn’t repay him for any part of the journey. He claimed the Earl of Carlisle was covering all expenses, and she hoped that was true. She already felt indebted to him for rescuing her from loneliness and despair. She was still tired, still coughing, still unsure the surgeon had been wrong in his diagnosis. But her heart now held a spark of hope. And a spark, once lit, burned brighter as it grew. She could almost smell her childhood home.
England. It would feel so good to be home. To hold her daughter. To finally face her parents.

When Mr. Steele offered his elbow, she took it, and let him lead her down the stairs and out the front gate, where a single horse was tied to an iron post next to a stepping stone.

Her eyes narrowed. “I thought you said the innkeeper was readying us a carriage.”

“Hmm, did I?” His eyes twinkled as he hoisted her up and hauled her into his lap. “I thought you said you preferred to ride with me.”

She opened her mouth to respond.

Her words were snatched away on the breeze as the horse shot away from the inn to hurtle down the dirt road.

Since he couldn’t see her expression from his vantage point, she allowed her lips to curve into a reluctant smile. The insufferable man had manipulated her into doing precisely what he wanted, and didn’t even bother to hide the evidence of his duplicity. He was positively shameless.

’Twas a very good thing that they were both on the same side.

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - B&N - Kobo - iTunes

Author Bio

Erica Ridley is a USA Today best-selling author of historical romance novels. Her latest series, The Dukes of War, features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.

When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.

Get free stories and 99¢ new releases HERE

Connect with Erica at 


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Erica has generously offered an ebook copy of The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress by Erica Ridley to a lucky reader!


To be entered, just leave a comment and answer the following question: Who is your favourite pirate character? (May be male or female, movie, book, TV, etc.)

Here is the list of the series so far:

Book #1: The Viscount's Christmas Temptation - FREE on Amazon!
Book #2: The Earl's Defiant Wallflower
Book #3: The Captain's Blue Stocking Mistress
Book #4: The Major's Faux Fiancée
Book #5: The Brigadier's Runaway Bride
Book #6: The Pirate’s Tempting Stowaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 18 December 2015!

Good luck!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

And the winner is...


Hey Everyone!

A giveaway has ended and that means I've got some winner announcement to make! 

So congrats, the lucky winner of a $10 Amazon gift card offered by Christina Phillips is


@tessaa99

Congratulations! I have sent you a notification e-mail, please get back to me within 48 hours or I will have to draw a new winner. Thank you!

Don't forget to enter all the ongoing giveaways you can find a direct link to each one of them at the top of the blog.

Have a fantastic weekend!
 

Friday, 16 October 2015

Guest post by Wendy LaCapra + Giveaway

Please give a warm welcome to the historical romance author Wendy LaCapra, who is celebrating the release of the 3rd book in her Furies series, Duchess Decadence! Read on to learn more about the novel, the research Wendy did and for your chance to win the books in the series!

 
Interesting notes from my Furies Series Research
by Wendy LaCapra

All three books in The Furies series, Lady Vice, Lady Scandal and Duchess Decadence take place in 1784 either in London, or within 2 day’s travel. So what was a day in the life of Late Georgian London like? Well, the early 1780’s pre-date the French Revolution, and so the atmosphere was more open, liberal and, in many ways, more licentious. Cyprians and Bawdy houses were in abundance, and from 1757-1791 an annual register of prostitutes called Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies printed about 8,000 copies a year. (The 1787 Version details that Mrs. K—ng of 17 Union Street is, among other things, ‘in every way formed for giving and receiving pleasure’)

In the pricer parts of town, night watchmen kept oil lamps on decorative posts lit through the night and called out the time and status. Georgian Terrace Houses were common in London. Dirt was swept out during the night and collected by scavengers before the streets were cleaned by watercarts. One would breakfast at 11, but if his lordship wished to review the news, the illustrious publication known as the London Times was, until 1788, called the Daily Universal Register.

Late spring through fall, pleasure gardens were a popular diversion. One of the most frequented was referred to as Vauxhall, but the garden’s official name, New Spring

Gardens, wasn’t actually changed to Vauxhaull until 1785.

The American war of Independence ended in 1783, and the loss of the colonies was still fresh. India and the East India Company were very much on the minds of the men in Parliament, and the turmoil led to the dismissal of the ministers and an election, and those events play a small roll in all three books of The Furies series. Want to know one of my favorite anecdotes which did not make it into the books? During the 1784 election in Westminster, the famous Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire reportedly gave out kisses to those vote-holders who promised to vote for the Whig Politian Charles James Fox.

The fashion for men was still bright colors with elaborate lace and stitching. Fullness in the rear and hips was the rage in ladies fashion and quite a few sources remark on large and elaborate hairstyles. The hair powder tax was not implemented until 1795, and so white powder and white wigs were still very much in use. I did find some references that referred to ladies tinting their hair powder with pink and lavender, so the heroine of Lady Scandal appears with pinkish hair when she first meets with the hero. Pink hair? See, every fashion comes round again given a few hundred years!

Duchess Decadence by Wendy LaCapra

Book #3 in The Furies series

Thea Worthington, Duchess of Wynchester divides her time between social engagements and playing her luck against fickle fortune. Yet every gamble is only a bluff—a means to hide from the pain deep within her, and the loss of a babe she never held in her arms. Now Thea's luck is about to run out. Her estranged husband has returned and seeks a reunion...

Plagued with guilt over what happened to his wife three years ago, the Duke of Wynchester has kept his distance. The duke is resolved to piece his family back together, especially now that he's discovered his beloved brother—long thought dead—still lives. But Thea's lovely, porcelain facade is on the verge of cracking...spurred on by the duke's brother's secretive, malevolent animosity.

With everything riding on her future, Thea plays a daring game of chance for love and her marriage...and this time, the dice are most certainly rigged.

Buy at Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Kobo

Excerpt

“I win.”

In an invisible mind-cup, he twirled the black dice of their future. His rudderless ship could reach only one port—he had to choose. He could open to the invitation within her parted lips. They would have a second chance.

Or, he could declare her false north, and proceed as he had drunkenly resolved—the production of an heir and then a return to quietly separate lives thereafter.

The latter would keep the Wynchester title from oblivion and keep him safe from the danger in her eyes. The spirits he’d ingested burned in his stomach.

Haddon!—unbidden, a dormitory-taunt using his youth’s courtesy title rose in his mind—heard your mama died and your father married a whore. You think she likes your mama’s bed?

With determined effort he’d risen above such taunts. No one had dared besmirch the Wynchester title since he’d become the duke. No one except Thea Marie. She’d shunned him and joined her friends on the edges of respectability, leaving him a laughingstock.

I hear the duchess has a gift with cards, Wynchester. Why don’t you wager her for a night in her bed?

His cheeks grew as taut as a spring-trap. Tonight, in a manner of speaking, he’d done just as the fools suggested. Although she—not he—had issued the wager. A wager he’d won. Which meant she would have to return…and she would have to make every effort.

“I will show you,” his words came out murky and low. “I will show you.”

Her eyes grew wide. “Show me?”

He nodded, not trusting his voice for more. He had no idea—no idea—what would become of them. Between here and his black-dice future hid recriminations with teeth as sharp as iron leg-traps. All he knew was that he must show her he was—

“My dear Duke,” she said, “there is no need—”

“Yes,” he interrupted. He was her dear duke—hers to have and to hold, for better, for worse—and he was going to take her home. Now.

“I will not let you forget this time, Duchess.”

She shrieked as he swept her off her feet. She was surprisingly light for so tall and troublesome a creature.

“What,” she yelped, “do you think you are doing?”

He stalked to the door. “Open!” he yelled, as if the door itself would heed his command.

Lady Vaile swung open the door and took a swift step back. “Oh dear,” she cried. “Max!”

He strode out into the larger room, ignoring both lady and guests.

“Wynchester!” the duchess pleaded. “Good God, everyone is looking.”

“Let them sketch the image and take it to Grub Street, for all I care.” He ignored the sudden silence in the room and headed for the hall and beyond that—his carriage. “I am taking,” he said loudly, “my duchess home.”

On the far side of the room, Lady Sophia stood on her toes, stretching toward the Earl of Randolph.

Bah. First Harrison, now Randolph. And, worse, he had bet Harrison a cask of his best brandy Lord Randolph and the fiendishly pretty little Fury would never come together. Then again, losing his cask was not the worst—he swayed as he pressed onward—he’d had enough brandy for quite some time.

“Sentiment,” he spat with disgust.

“That’s it,” the duchess said with a look of pure horror, “put me down.”

“No.”

Sentiment may be a weasely creature with ferret-sharp teeth, but at the moment he rather enjoyed its effects. Strength surged though his limbs and his intent was startlingly clear—bed.

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Wendy LaCapra has been reading romance since she sneaked into the adult section at the library and discovered Victoria Holt & Jane Aiken Hodge. From that point on, she dreamed of creating fictional worlds with as much richness, intrigue and passion as she found within those books. Her stories have placed in several contests, including the 2012 Golden Heart®. She lives in NYC with her husband and loves to hear from readers.


Connect with her at her website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads


GIVEAWAY RULES:

1 Winner will win signed copies of Lady Vice, Lady Scandal & Duchess Decadence with swag (compact mirror, 2 oz. Lady Scandal Rose Bath Salts, and pens!) USA/CA shipping ONLY

7 Winners will win an eBook copy of ONE of the following books from the ladies from www.PastThrills.com:

• The Accidental Duchess, by Madeline Hunter
• Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, by Vanessa Kelly
• Good Earl Gone Bad, by Manda Collins
• The Dukes Daring Debutante, by Ann Lethbridge
• The Love List, by Deb Marlowe
• I Spy a Duke, by Erica Monroe
• Reckless Wager + Bonus Novella Wanton Wager, by Christy Carlyle

To be entered to win simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

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Good luck!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Excerpt: First Season/Bride to Be by Jane Ashford + Giveaway

The weather is quickly turning to chilly, so what better way than to curl up on the sofa with a heart-warming historical romance to spend the afternoon? Today I'd like to share with you an excerpt and giveaway of Jane Ashford's recently released duology: First Season / Bride to Be! Read on and enter the giveaway at the end for a chance to win yourself a copy.


Two classic Regency romances by beloved bestselling author Jane Ashford celebrate the adventures of a London Season.

FIRST SEASON

Widowed Lady Anabel Wyndham was married right out of the schoolroom and has never before experienced the delights of a London Season. She’s dazzled by the attention of the fascinating Sir Charles Norbury, a man whose touch seems to melt her very soul, but a notorious rake. She’s drawn to handsome friend-of-the-family Christopher Hanford and the comfort and serenity he offers. But how does one choose between two such charming suitors? Anabel is finding that love is so much more dangerous the second time around.

BRIDE TO BE

Emily Crane is the toast of the ton—and she couldn’t find it more tedious. Until she encounters the darkly sensual stranger whose life she once saved and the London Season becomes infinitely more exciting. Recently returned from the wilds of South America, Lord Richard Sheldon has only contempt for tiresome London chits, but he finds himself stunningly intrigued by the dauntless Emily Crane. When the two become embroiled in a budding scandal and are forced into an engagement, they discover a passion more dangerous than any killer…

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First Season Excerpt

“There you are,” said someone from the hall below. “They said you had gone upstairs.”

Anabel looked down to find Sir Charles Norbury gazing up at her. A tingling shock ran through her body, and the candle trembled a little, dripping wax.

“You have missed the first waltz,” he added, meeting her at the bottom of the staircase and taking the candlestick from her hand. He snuffed the flame between forefinger and thumb and set it aside. “And I came early especially to engage you for it.”

“I wanted to look in on the children.” As always, his presence overwhelmed her. He seemed to tower over her, yet his pale green eyes felt close and compelling. She found it hard to breathe.

“It is a country dance now, unfortunately. Mayn’t we wait outside here for the next and hope?” He smiled and reached for her hand to lead her across to a small empty anteroom.

Anabel knew she should say no, but her voice seemed to have died, and she went with him silently and allowed him to escort her to a sofa and sit beside her, his arm thrown along its back.

“You look exquisite tonight,” he said softly. “The loveliest woman at the ball.”

This outrageous compliment revived her. “What a plumper. There are dozens of prettier ones.”

“No.”

“Flatterer.” She smiled, but when she met his eyes, they were very serious.

“No,” he said again. “To me you are the most beautiful.” He held her gaze for a moment, then slowly bent forward and took possession of her lips, his arm tightening around her shoulders.

Anabel’s slight trembling increased, and her mind dissolved in confusion. She should pull away, part of it cried; this was terribly fast, and someone might come in at any moment. But another part urged her on, fascinated by Sir Charles’ attractions and filled with curiosity.

His kiss was very expert, and nothing at all like her deceased husband’s, Anabel’s only standard of comparison. His lips seemed to draw all strength out of her, leaving her limp and pliant, yet she felt disconnected from the expected sensual pleasure. He knew how to draw response from her body, clearly, but her heart and mind remained in turmoil.

Norbury, on the contrary, was in the grip of feelings stronger than any he had ever experienced, and for him the kiss confirmed a decision. This was the woman he wanted. Never had his passions been suffused with such emotion. Beyond thinking, he moved his free hand to Anabel’s knee and slid it upward caressingly, savoring the curve of her waist under the thin satin dress and cupping his fingers around her breast. She drew her breath in sharply.

A scuff of footsteps in the hall, followed by a scrap of conversation and a laugh, jerked Anabel upright. She pulled away from him only just in time to avoid being caught by two couples coming into the room. But it was obvious in the way that the newcomers stopped, smiled, and apologized that their appearance gave them away. Anabel rose and hurried from the room, Norbury behind her. Her cheeks were flaming, and she felt that she could not possibly face the crowd in the ballroom.

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Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Her historical and contemporary romances have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, Slovenia, and Spain, as well as the U.S. Twenty-six of her new and backlist Regency romances are being published by Sourcebooks. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She is currently rather nomadic.

Connect with Jane at her website - Facebook - Goodreads


GIVEAWAY RULES:

To be entered to win simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

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Friday, 25 September 2015

Interview with Christina Phillips + Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome to the blog Christina Phillips, who is on a blog tour, celebrating the release of Hold Me until Morning, the second book in her Grayson Brothers series. I got to sit down with Christina and ask her all about it, so join us, read her interview, and once you got to know Cooper and Paris, pick up your copy of Hold Me until Morning. :-)

Stella: Hi Christina, welcome to Ex Libris! Tell us a bit more about yourself.

Christina: Hi Stella! I’m an ex-pat Brit now living in Western Australia with my lovely family and adorable cats (who think they’re being incredibly helpful when they stroll across my keyboard…) I’m addicted to Earl Grey tea, good coffee and enjoy a regular fix of chocolate. My bottom doesn’t thank me for this ;-)

Stella: Your brand new release Hold Me until Morning is Book #2 in your Graysons Brothers series. Can you tell readers who are not familiar with the series a bit more about it, and the Brothers?

Christina: The Grayson brothers survived a horrific childhood with their brutal father, and none of them believe in love or happily-ever-after. Although they now own a successful bodyguard and security business the legacy of their past haunts each of them.

The underlying theme of all three books is redemption. Each brother is consumed by guilt about what happened in their past, and during the course of their book they each face what happened, and learn to move on. In HOLD ME UNTIL MORNING Cooper finally accepts the fact he isn’t responsible for the choices that other people make (in his case, the choice his brother Alex made twelve years ago).

Stella: And what can we expect of Hold Me until Morning?

Christina: This is the youngest brother Cooper’s book. He agrees to help out his best friend by keeping an eye on his younger sister, Paris, for a week while she hides from the paparazzi. It’s been ten years since they last saw each other when they were kids, and neither is prepared for the instant sizzling attraction between them when they meet again :-)

What starts off as a bit of sexy fun soon turns into something much deeper as Cooper discovers another side of life he’d never dreamed existed before, and Paris learns to trust again.

Stella: Could you whet our appetites for Hold Me until Morning in Twitter-style (in 140 characters or less)?

Christina: A bad boy bodyguard and Hollywood princess hide out in a mountain cabin. Strictly business? Not likely…

Stella: Could you introduce the hero and heroine of Hold Me until Morning to us?

Christina: This is Paris’ first impression of Cooper when she sees him again after ten years:

He was nothing like the faded memories of the devil-may-care fourteen-year-old boy from when they’d lived in the same rundown neighborhood.

She was having a hard time tearing her gaze from his breathtaking biceps, which bulged just the right amount. How would it feel to have those arms around me? She licked her lips and tried to shove the thought from her mind.

Except she couldn’t get past the way his black T-shirt stretched over his impressive chest.

Holy crap. His pecs are to die for.

And this is Cooper’s first reaction when Paris arrives at the mountain cabin:

He pushed the car door shut. Her gorgeous tanned legs came into view, along with sexy denim shorts that barely covered her cute ass.

Whoa. Whatever else he did this week, he definitely wasn’t hitting on his best friend’s little sister.

So stop looking at her ass.

“Paris?”

She slowly turned around. Massive sunglasses hid her eyes, but there was no mistaking those pouty lips, or the face that had been described as angelic by those who hadn’t known her as a daredevil kid.

“Hey, Cooper.” Her voice was husky, as though she’d just woken up, and graphic images flashed through his mind, of her tangled in bed sheets wearing nothing but her own designer perfume.

Damn. She’s hot. Guilt prickled down his spine. Scott’d rip his head off if he knew the dirty thoughts running through Cooper’s mind right now.

It’s going to be a long week.

Henry Cavill
Stella: Yum! ;-) And now let’s have some fun! Paris and Cooper had to be holed up in a cabin, who would you choose to be holed up with? (Any actors, singers or fictional characters are fair game ;-)

Christina: I would definitely choose Henry Cavill! That man is so ridiculously beautiful, I could happily stare at him all day :-)

Stella: You are a soul sister, Henry Cavill would be my top choice as well! ;-p 

If Hold Me until Morning was made into a movie/TV series, who would you cast for the roles of Cooper and Paris?

Hayden Panettiere
Christina: I’d have Liam Hemsworth play Cooper and Hayden Panettiere as Paris – with auburn hair :-)

Stella: When will we get to read Alex’s story? Any little teaser you’d like to torture us with? (

Christina: Alex’s book, HOLD ME UNTIL FOREVER, is coming out on 15th January 2016. It’s a friends-to-lovers/unrequited love story and his heroine is Ella, literally the girl next door. Alex has quarter shares in an exclusive BDSM club, Excalibur, and when Ella drops the bombshell that she’s leaving her job at Grayson’s, they finally give in to the simmering passion between them :-)

Here’s a little teaser…

She wasn’t looking for anything serious. Not with him. She just wanted good times.

He could do that. She’d get her kicks and he’d get something he’d craved for eight long years.

Ella in his arms. Every which way he wanted. But most of all she’d be safe from the destructive force that lived inside him. Because the sex would be confined to Excalibur, where there were rules and regulations, and it wouldn’t be personal.

Not the way it’d be personal if he took her here, in her apartment, the way he goddamn wanted to.

Don’t do it. This was Ella. She deserved so much more than him. But he couldn’t help himself.

“You want to come to Excalibur with me?”

Stella: Would you like to share with us your future plans, what shall we be on the lookout next?

Christina: I have a couple of joint projects in the works. Next up is a second boxed set with Cathleen Ross and Mel Teshco – Taken by the Billionaire. And a super secret project that’s still in the very early planning stages with my two fabulous CPs that we hope to get off the ground in the New Year!

Stella: And now, can you tell us something not many people know about you?

Christina: When I was 18 I had an out of body experience. I was in hospital having my wisdom teeth out, and I remember clear as anything looking down at this body on a gurney, that was thrashing about and moaning. I can still remember thinking what a racket that person was making :-) I was very Zen like and not in any pain. Then I saw a nurse approach and bend over the figure, and next thing I know I’m back in my body with the nurse standing over me. I’ve been in hospital and under anaesthetic lots of time since and nothing like that ever happened again. So I’m not convinced it was the drugs. Something weird happened…

Stella: Uh, spooky... Thanks so much for stopping by Christina!:-)

Christina: Thank you for having me, Stella!

Hold Me Until Morning by Christina Phillips

Book #2 in the Grayson Brothers series

She's the one girl he should never touch...

Cooper Grayson is supposed to hole up in a mountain cabin and protect his best friend's little sister from the paparazzi for a week. That's it. But Paris O'Connell isn't a kid anymore, and it's hard to remember this is strictly business when she bats her big green eyes at him...then crashes through all his carefully placed boundaries.

Paris loves a challenge. And gorgeous Cooper Grayson is the most dangerous challenge she's faced yet. He ignores the sizzling attraction that keeps her awake at nights, and he doesn't care about her fame or her contacts, only seeing her. When they finally kiss, Cooper leaves her bare. Exposed. His for the taking. And take he does...

For one incredibly hot week, Cooper fulfils her every fantasy. But when the real world crashes in, so does reality. And reality tells them there's no way a Hollywood star and a bad boy from the wrong side of town could ever have a future together...

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Christina Phillips is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her high school sweetheart and their family. She enjoys writing paranormal, historical and contemporary romance where the stories sizzle and the heroine brings her hero to his knees.

She is addicted to good coffee, expensive chocolate and bad boy heroes. She's also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.


Connect with Christina at her website - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads


GIVEAWAY RULES:

There are TWO giveaways:

You can enter to win a print copy of Hold Me until Morning at Goodreads, HERE.



Christina also generously offered a $10 Amazon gift card to a lucky commenter!


Just leave a comment answering this question: If you had to spend a few days with someone in a remote cabin, who would you choose to be holed up with?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 10 October 2015!

Good luck!

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