Tag Archive | Rue Allyn

Rue Allyn and “A True and Perfect Knight”

“When life hands you lemons. . .”

Susana, thank you very much for inviting me back to share with your readers. I recently suffered a serious setback (sorry, the details involve others, and I respect their privacy) and am still trying to regain my balance. I know all that stuff about making lemonade and closing doors that cause windows to open. However, in the moment of receiving a life blow, I can’t say that I feel like doing much of anything, let alone writing a blog. Nonetheless, I made a commitment, so here I am, typing madly away to make my deadline. And luckily enough, I have a readymade use for even the worst experience. I give it, or some part of it, to my characters.

TrueAndPerfectKnight-A300The concept for A True and Perfect Knight—a widow suspected of pushing her spouse (now dead by hanging) into treason falls for his best friend and a knight ordered to marry the woman he believes caused his best friend’s death—required that I show immediately how difficult my heroine’s life had become. She’d been bombarded with setbacks and tragedy, and there was more to come before she would see her HEA. As a sample take a look at the opening of A True and Perfect Knight.

Pre-order A True and Perfect Knight here.

Please leave a comment and share with me how you handle setbacks or sorrows.

“Rumor says that the bottom of a privy is more attractive than Roger’s widow.”  Privately, Sir Haven De Sessions wished the widow to the devil along with the incessant rain.

“No noble woman could be that ugly, especially one from the court in Paris,” protested Soames, Haven’s second in command.

Haven thought of the execution he’d witnessed and felt his jaw clench.  “If God is just, Genvieve Dreyford’s face will expose every coil and stain in her black soul.  ’Tis only right that the true nature of the woman who led my best friend to treason show on her face.”

Soames shook his head at his commander’s remarks.  “Do you suppose that is her?”  He slanted his head in the direction of six sodden figures huddled some distance from the by-way.

Haven followed Soames’ glance.  “Possibly.  We have come almost a league from the castle.  That is the distance the bailiff claimed he had taken the widow and her entourage when the new lord threw her out.  But, I doubt…” His words trailed off as he peered through the downpour at the figure that stepped to the front of the pitiful group.

The woman stood tall and straight.  Shoulders back, legs braced.   She anchored herself, as if by sheer will alone she could defend the others.  A young boy clung to her skirts.

Could this be the suspected traitoress who caused the downfall of his best friend, Roger Dreyford?  Haven wanted to see her face, to see if she appeared as evil as he believed her to be.  Distance and the obscuring rain defeated him.

“But what, Sir?”

Soames question shook Haven from his musings.  “But I doubt a woman like Roger’s widow would stand out in the rain or tolerate such a humble abode.”

About Rue Allyn

HPIM0613.JPGAuthor of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures.  Learn more about Rue at http://RueAllyn.com.

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Rue Allyn and “One Day’s Loving”

The Shy Heroine

I love series books, especially when a family (yes, metaphorical families are fine) is involved. What I don’t like is when every family member feels like the same person with a slightly different appearance. You know the type—they talk alike, walk alike, even make love alike. Every man is the MOST handsome and every woman is the BRIGHTEST beauty. I don’t know a single family where all the relations are exactly alike.

When I set out to write my Wildfire Love series about the Alden sisters of Boston the first two books, One Moment’s Pleasure and One Night’s Desire, came easily because Edith (the oldest) and Kiera (the middle child) were both bold. Edith was more of a planner than Kiera and a bit less of a risk taker. Edith was attractive, but not beautiful. She knew how to present herself. Kiera never had to worry about her appearance. She was stunning in a potato sack. These women let me know right up front who they were and what they wanted.

roses2Not so with their youngest sister Persephone Mae. As the youngest, she’d always been sheltered and protected by her siblings. She grew up shy and unassuming and a bit on the dowdy side. When circumstances leave her on her own to deal with the disasters caused by her grandfather’s will, she’s forced to come out of hiding. But getting her there wasn’t easy.

Have you ever dealt with an extremely shy person? Someone who is too awkward and/or ignorant to be able to express what he/she wants. Someone who lacks the experience and confidence to act assertively. I feel for the shy ones in life because all too often they are ignored or derided and they don’t even realize they don’t have to put up with ill treatment.

Because she’d been sheltered all her life, Mae had no idea what she was capable of. For her, simply traveling from her home to the attorney’s office for the reading of the will was a challenge. She went, despite her worries. Once I got her out of the house, I wouldn’t let her go back to hiding until she recognized that a shy, retiring life wasn’t what she wanted or needed. I won’t spoil all the fun by telling you how Mae changes her life. I will tell you that despite all the difficulty of dealing with a shy heroine, I think she’s the most courageous of the three Alden sisters. She is absolutely not a mirror image of her siblings, but is her own woman.

Please leave a comment and let me know if you like heroines who are shy, feisty or somewhere in between.

If you’d like to know more about Mae and discover the answers to some of the questions raised here you may read a longer excerpt at http://rueallyn.com/2c3ODLexcerpt.html.

One Day’s Loving will be released on November 18, 2013 and is the third book in the Wildfire Love Series. Freedom or love? Courage or comfort? Unless Mae Alden meets the terms of her grandfather’s outrageous last testament she will lose everything. She’s ready to sacrifice all creature comforts to preserve her principles, but is she willing to lose her one chance at love?

Available

You can find the first two books of the series here, or you may pre-order One Day’s Loving here.

About the Author

HPIM0613.JPGAuthor of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures.

Contacts

WebsiteBlog • FacebookTwitterGoodreadsAmazon Author Page

Readers’ Treasure Blog Hop: November 1-4

RTBH1

The following authors are each offering a prize for some lucky reader. Susana’s consists of a lovely wooden book box with lots of great treasures (see below). Click here for the Rafflecopter.

treasure hunt4

lovely wooden book box • Mary Queen of Scots ornament (from Scotland) • Ellora’s Cave playing cards • thumb drive • heart note pad • post-it note pads • A Twelfth Night Tale Christmas bracelet (silver-plated) • Treasuring Theresa key chain • silver ball key chain • high heeled shoe bookmark (Kristina Knight) • flashlight key chain (Constance Phillips) • four pens • aromatic pencil (peppermint) • fizzy bath crystals (from Scotland) • heather-scented soap (from Scotland) • bookmarks • signed cover flats • magnets

Participating Authors

Constance Phillips

Kristina Knight

Jayne Kingston

Shay Lacy

Rue Allyn

Ray Wenck

Readers’ Treasure Blog Hop

From the time I learned to read, I’ve been obsessed with reading. I even got in trouble with my second grade teacher because I was reading a book on my lap instead of attending to her arithmetic lesson. Sorry, Mrs. Stover and all my subsequent math teachers, but words are so much more compelling than silly numbers!

Words have a magical power to help me convert the colorful images in my mind into stories that (I hope) others find entertaining. At a very early age—maybe six or seven—I used to tell stories to my younger sister while we were doing dishes. I used to climb up the tree we called “the treehouse” and imagine it was a real treehouse—I always wanted one after we read a story in first grade about Trudy’s treehouse—and serve tea and cakes to imaginary guests. I’d go into the old barn—we lived out in the country on a farm—and pretend it was my house and make up stories. When I was mowing the lawn with the riding mower, I’d be Nancy Drew zipping along in her “roadster.” When my little sisters came along,—I was already a teenager by then—I’d tell them stories about the soap suds’ families while giving them baths. They still remember that today, even with children of their own!

Reading opens up worlds that a young girl living on a somewhat isolated Midwestern farm doesn’t see. I’m sure that’s what sparked my interest in foreign countries. I can’t remember when I didn’t have the travel bug.( I went on my first overseas trip at 17.)There’s just something about walking down a street between buildings constructed in 500 or more years ago, or exploring the maze constructed by Henry VIII or standing in the very spot where Anne Boleyn lost her head. It’s not just in my head, however. I’m convinced there’s something in the air—spirits or snippets of emotions or something—that grips me and takes me back to the years gone by.

And so began my interest in history—not the dates and the battles that seemed to predominate history classes—but in historical people—how did they live, what did they think, what made them tick? I’d love to go back in time and see for myself how it really was, but without that option, historical novels are, for me, the next best thing. I started with Georgette Heyer, moved on to Jean Plaidy, and went on from there. It became an obsession with me, but decidedly an enriching one. Besides the historical knowledge that I’ve absorbed, it’s also given me the ability to correlate current events with the past. After all: those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it.

So yeah, I’m a historical nut, but I read pretty much everything: paranormals, futuristic, suspense, contemporaries. They all satisfy my mind’s yearning for new worlds, new characters, new stories, new insights. For me, a world without imagination is a world without soul.

What about you? Tell me about your reading experiences.

About A Twelfth Night Tale

twelfthnighttale_4inchA wounded soldier and the girl next door find peace and love amidst a backdrop of rural Christmas traditions.

Without dowries and the opportunity to meet eligible gentlemen, the five Barlow sisters stand little chance of making advantageous marriages. But when the eldest attracts the attention of a wealthy viscount, suddenly it seems as though Fate is smiling upon them.

Lucy knows that she owes it to her younger sisters to encourage Lord Bexley’s attentions, since marriage to a peer will secure their futures as well as hers. The man of her dreams has always looked like Andrew Livingston, her best friend’s brother. But he’s always treated her like a child, and, in any case, is betrothed to another. Perhaps the time has come to put away childhood dreams and accept reality…and Lord Bexley.

Andrew has returned from the Peninsula with more emotional scars to deal with than just the lame arm. Surprisingly, it’s his sister’s friend “Little Lucy” who shows him the way out of his melancholy. He can’t help noticing that Lucy’s grown up into a lovely young woman, but with an eligible viscount courting her, he’ll need a little Christmas magic to win her for himself.

Available for Pre-order (Release Date: November 21, 2013)

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Excerpt

All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

A Blush® Regency romance from Ellora’s Cave

Chapter One

The Barlow Home

near Charlbury, Oxfordshire

23 December 1813

“It’s so kind of you to call, Lord Bexley. The flowers you sent are simply lovely, are they not, Lucy?”

Unable to miss the warning tone in her mother’s voice, Lucy sat up straight in her chair and smiled sweetly at their caller.

“Oh yes indeed. They are undoubtedly the most beautiful I’ve ever received, my lord.”

Of course, she did not mention that they were the first flowers she’d ever been sent by a gentleman. And considering that there were few opportunities to meet eligible gentlemen in the quiet little neck of the woods where the Barlows resided, the arrangement was quite likely to remain the only floral tribute to come her way.

Her caller beamed with pleasure. “They were the best I could find at the florist, but of course they cannot hold a candle to your beauty and sweetness, Miss Barlow.”

Lucy swallowed and forced herself to reply. “You embarrass me with your flattery, my lord.”

“Not at all,” he insisted. “You were quite the belle of the Christmas Ball last evening, Miss Barlow. I was much envied to be allowed the honor of two dances with you when so many gentlemen had to be turned away.”

The “Christmas Ball” was merely a small celebration at the local assembly rooms. Her mother had encouraged her to favor Lord Bexley, but in truth, Lucy herself had not found him objectionable. He was an accomplished dancer and quite distinguished-looking, in spite of the fact that he had at least twenty years over her.

At eighteen, she was of an age to be out in society, and Lord Bexley, a wealthy widower from Warwickshire, was undoubtedly the most eligible gentleman in the county. Recently out of mourning, he was seeking a new wife and a mother to his three children, and as Mrs. Barlow kept telling her, Lucy should be flattered that he seemed to be favoring her for the role.

Well, she was flattered. Wasn’t she? The number of young ladies far exceeded that of eligible gentlemen, and she didn’t wish to be left on the shelf. With her family in financial difficulties and four younger sisters to be married off, Lucy knew she owed it to them to marry well and do what she could to find her sisters suitable matches as well.

She was prepared to do her duty and make the best of it, but somehow, when she thought of marriage and children, it was not the kindly Lord Bexley who came to mind. It was the face of the strapping, dark-haired Adonis with laughing gray eyes who lived on an adjoining estate with his younger sister—her bosom friend Jane—who had teased her unmercifully from the time she learned to walk. She couldn’t remember a time when she hadn’t been in love with Andrew Livingston—she’d even asked him to marry her at the age of five when he’d been twelve and about to leave for Eton. He’d laughed and quipped that it would be like marrying his sister, and she’d nursed a broken heart ever since.

She sighed as she frequently did when she thought of Andrew and his affianced wife, and her mother glared at her. Fortunately, Phillips wheeled in the tea cart and Mrs. Barlow’s attention was mercifully diverted.

“Please do the honors, Lucy. An excellent opportunity to practice your housewifely skills.”

Lucy flushed. Could her mother’s intentions be more obvious? But Lord Bexley did not seem to notice. He smiled kindly at her somewhat shaky inquiry as to his preferences, and thanked her graciously when she brought him his tea and a plate of cherry tarts.

“Quite charming,” he commented as he regarded her with obvious approval. It was unclear whether he was speaking to her or to her mother, and Lucy wasn’t sure how to respond.

Fortunately, there was a shriek followed by the sound of fierce arguing from the back rooms of the house. Lucy turned instinctively to the door, which was promptly thrust open and filled by the figure of her sister Lydia, who was breathing hard and wringing her hands in agitation.

“Do come, Lucy! Lila and Louisa are having one of their rows again, in the kitchen of all places. Lila broke one of Cook’s mixing bowls, and Cook swears she’ll leave if someone doesn’t stop them and you know you’re the only one who can, Lucy!” She flushed when she saw Lord Bexley and her mother’s angry face. “Oh…pardon me, I didn’t realize we had a guest.” She backed out into the hall, shooting Lucy a pleading look as she did so.

Relieved for an excuse to terminate the social call, Lucy muttered her excuses and scrambled out of the room. But not before she heard her mother’s mortified apology and Lord Bexley’s soothing reply that he found it quite agreeable to discover a young lady so accomplished in the maternal skills.

Goodness, he really was intent on courting her! She should be flattered. She was a sensible girl, and it was pointless to set her cap at Andrew Livingston, in any case. Lord Bexley would be an excellent match for her. His three daughters could not possibly be as troublesome as her two youngest sisters, after all.

She gritted her teeth and hurried to the kitchen, the ineffectual Lydia as usual trailing behind her. The second eldest Barlow daughter was as helpless as their mother at controlling the two youngest children. When Lucy married and left the house, as she would in time, her bookish middle sister Laura was going to have to take up the reins.

About the Author

A former teacher, Susana is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical—Regency in particular—is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.

In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around the UK and visit many of the places she’s read about for years, and it was awesome! She is a member of the Maumee Valley and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.

Contacts

Web site • Email • Facebook • Twitter • Linked In • Pinterest • Google+Goodreads

Susana’s Parlour (Regency Blog) • Susana’s Morning Room (Romance Blog)

Rue Allyn: Photography in the Old West + GIVEAWAY

Rue is offering two chances to win a free digital copy of One Night’s Desire. See contest details below.

Susana, thank you very much for inviting me to visit with your followers today to tell them a little about my newest release, One Night’s Desire, and some factoids about nature photography in the late nineteenth century.

A visit to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in 2008 with a friend who is a superior photographer inspired an important detail of One Night’s Desire. Because I began to share my friend’s interest in photography (although I lack her skill) I started to look into the source of many of iconic images associated with the parks. I discovered that the expeditionary force responsible for mapping and recording the details of the Yellowstone area included a photographer by the name of William Henry Jackson. His pictures are the first of the area and are the foundation for many of those iconic images. You can read about his adventures and see copies of his photographs in Bob Blair’s compilation “The Pioneer Photographer.” The difficulties of transporting photographic equipment to remote locations and the complexities of timing exposures for just the right light, are just two of the small struggles Jackson dealt with in addition to the rigors of a years long expedition in country where survival was risky at best. One story in particular about Jackson balancing his equipment on a cliff side to capture an especially compelling image of a waterfall was especially inspiring. I was so moved that I repeated as much of the action of that story as I could in One Night’s Desire. With digital cameras, we don’t have half the struggle to create photographs that Jackson had. His efforts were truly heroic and contributed greatly to the creation of Yellowstone as a national park. I owe him not only for the inspiration he gave to my story but for the images and places that he preserved.

Giveaway: Two Chances to Win a Free Download of One Night’s Desire.

  1. Leave a comment about this post, photography, the national parks, or any topic you prefer and/or
  2. Leave a review of one of my currently available books at Amazon. Just check my author page for book details.

I’ll be collecting entries throughout the entire One Night’s Desire release tour (June 13 – July 29, the  schedule of appearances can be found here. The winner will be announced July 31st on my blog.

About One Night’s Desire

roses2A WOMAN ON THE RUN: Rustlers, claim jumpers and fire, nothing will stop Kiera Alden from reuniting her family. But an accusation of murder threatens her dreams and sets Marshall Evrett Quinn on her trail. She may be able to escape prison bars and eventually prove her innocence, but she can’t escape Quinn’s love.

A LAWMAN IN HOT PURSUIT: Marshall Evrett Quinn is relentless in pursuit of law-breakers, and pretty Kiera Alden is no exception. Clever and courageous, she evades him until a chance encounter turns the tables. Finally he has this elusive desperado under arrest, but success is bittersweet when she captures his heart.

Excerpt

http://rueallyn.com/2c2ONDexcerpt.html

Available

Amazon

One Night’s Desire and its sister book One Moment’s Pleasure are heavily discounted at Amazon for the entire month of July.

About the Author

????????????Author of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures.  Learn more about Rue and her books at http://RueAllyn.com.

Contacts

Website • Facebook  • Twitter • Goodreads • Amazon • Blog

Guest Author: Rue Allyn

TRRanniversarysmWin a $20 Amazon Gift Card and/or a Treasuring Theresa coffee mug!

Susana’s Parlour is celebrating the second anniversary of The Romance Reviews with the Treasuring Theresa Lucky In Love Giveaway. To enter the contest, click the TRR graphic at right or the Treasuring Theresa graphic in the side bar.

Before you go, leave a comment on today’s guest post for five contest entries. Be sure to include your email address in your comment!

This morning I’d like to welcome Rue Allyn to Susana’s Parlour. Rue is another member of our local writers’ group, the Maumee Valley Romance Writers of America. (Which, I’d like to add, is an incredibly supportive group of writers who are beginning to make their mark in the publishing world.)

When does a book begin?

The answer to this question depends on how you take it and who you are. Are you an author, editor, reviewer? Do you contemplate the best moment in a character’s adventure for your story to open? Do you ponder which decade, year, month, day, etc. is the best setting for your story? Are you a reader, interested in the biography of the main characters—how old they are when their story starts, what “backstory” events might have formed them? Or are you a bibliophile (book lover) interested in the evolution of the book? Each of these interests and more are covered in the general question, “When does a book begin?” Today, I’m interested in the last perspective, that of a bibliophile and will draw on my March 18, 2013 western historical romance, One Moment’s Pleasure, for examples.

roses2I could say, with some validity, that One Moment’s Pleasure’s existence began, May 10, 1869—the day the silver and gold spikes were driven into the rails at Promontory Point Utah, completing the first transcontinental railway in the USA. Without that historical event and those leading up to it, none of the fictional events in One Moment’s Pleasure could have taken place as they did. My story, the story that I wanted to tell, would not exist.

I could also argue that the forced or arranged marriage trope is the inciting element for One Moment’s Pleasure’s. I’ve always enjoyed forced marriage stories—especially when they end HEA—and have always wanted to write one. Once I began to think about writing such a tale, I wanted to turn the trope on its head (which I think I did) and make it fresh. The result wasn’t just One Moment’s Pleasure but three books: the entire Wildfire Love series of which One Moment’s Pleasure is the first. But the idea for the first book sprang from that forced marriage trope. How old is the trope? Well, forced and arranged marriages are as old as marriage itself (a subject of much debate between scholars much more sophisticated than I). Assuming that the history of marriage as an institution extends to pre-biblical times, I’d say my little western historical romance began a very long time ago.

I could produce other options for when One Moment’s Pleasure began—the day I had the first idea for a forced marriage story, the day I started research, the day I actually began drafting, etc. Please leave a comment and let me know when you think a book begins.

If you’re curious about the inciting incident of One Moment’s Pleasure, here’s the opening date and line:

Oakland Point California, July 1870

Weaving her way through the crowds thronging the Oakland Long Wharf railway terminal, Edith Marietta Alden of the Boston Aldens finally attracted the attention of a lanky Chinese man with a large wooden pushcart.

Want more? I include a blurb below, or you may follow the links below to find an excerpt and more information.

One Moment’s Pleasure will become a lifetime’s passion when spinster, Edith Alden, embarks on a search for her missing sister.  Pretending to be a rich bored woman looking for an interlude with an anonymous male Edith enters the San Francisco bordello where her sister was last seen. She escapes the bordello almost too easily, but she can’t escape the passion ignited by a stranger’s kiss.

Born and raised in the brothels of the California gold rush, Dutch Trahern worked for years to erase a childhood spent committing petty crimes and worse in order to survive. That past comes back to haunt him in the form of a woman he rescues from prostitution. Now his hard won respectability is threatened by an irresistible desire for a woman he shouldn’t want.

About the Author

????????????Author of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures.  Learn more about Rue at http://RueAllyn.com

Watch for One Moment’s Pleasure, coming March 18, 2013, from Crimson Romance publishing. Better yet, Pre-order now through Rue Allyn’s Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/author/RueAllyn.