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Sandra Masters: The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard

Interview with Sandra Masters

Susana: Why did you decide to write Regency romance?

Sandra_2014 50 percent pictureA (3) copySandra: I was an only child whose parents both worked. Before and after school, I was alone, and the only reading materials my parents had was the book Heidi and The Encyclopedia Britannica. You can imagine that the Encyclopedia was dry reading. History intrigued me, particularly the historical period of the Regency era. At the age of thirteen, after a brief stint in a convent in New Jersey, I accepted that the life of a novice nun was not my calling. Interestingly, when I arrived there in Morristown, the convent was an old historical mansion with parquet floors and grand staircases, not mention a soaring ceiling, usually found in Regency mansions.

Visions of dukes, duchesses, viscounts, earls, danced in my head. So I kept on writing. I sometimes think that in another life, I was born during the Regency period. I’ve never created a duke I couldn’t love.

Online classes, seminars, conferencing, monthly meetings, networking, etc. over the past five years made me realize I had to study the craft. Decades later, when I decided that to see my name in print was a goal before I left the planet, I broke through the ceiling. My debut novel was Once Upon a Duke, released July 14, 2015. I’ve been on a marvelous journey ever since, with my fourth book in The Duke Series whose release date is November 4, 2016, The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard.

Susana: When do you write?

Sandra: Writing to me is not a pastime or a way to make money, it is an obsession. I write twelve to thirteen hours a day, every day, and then I read in the wee time of a morning, which doesn’t leave too much time to clean the house. The dust puppies will always be there.

Susana: What is the genre of your new story The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard?

Sandra: This novel is a multi-cultural Regency romance story of a seventeen-year-old Anglo-West Indian bastard, Thorn Wick, now acknowledged by his father, The Duke of Althorn, who was never made aware of his birth. Our hero admires the ward of his father from afar, an aristocratic flirtatious English lady, Alicia, who has designs on him until the reality of loving Thorn too much almost destroys her. Throw in our noble Duke, an evil witch doctor, a Barbados tribal chieftain intent on redemption, horse racing for the Regent, amazing “heavenly” Argamak Turkmen horses, a conspiracy to bring down the monarchy, and our plot thickens. Lust, desire, passion all conflict to epic proportions. Honor, truth, and justice test his values. Just when he starts to believe in fairy tales, another obstacle looms to thwart his plans. And then there’s love!

Susana: Where did you get the idea for this story?

Sandra: Ever since I can remember, the subject of bastardy fascinated. I read John Jakes eight-book series that spanned generations and centuries and decided I wanted to create a ‘magnificent’ bastard of my own.

Susana: How does Thorn react to the stigma?

Sandra: In 1820 Regency England, there is the stigma attached to our hero, Thorn Wick. Yanked from the West Indies, the half-breed, is transported to London, England where he is considered illegitimate. Can anyone imagine the emotions that consumed him? Except for the noble duke’s recognition and that of the family who supports him, acceptance is difficult. Thorn fights against all the odds.

Prepare to be transported from island life in Barbados to aristocratic England and then back to Barbados where stunning revelations wrack our hero’s world.

Susana: What stunning revelations?

Sandra: Without spoiling the story for readers, all I can say is that there is a native uprising against foreign plantation owners, the discovery of the truth about Thorn’s mother’s death, and a flight to save his life as he swims out to a waiting ship bound for England and a bad storm.

Susana: Thank you for allowing me to be a part of Susana’s Parlour.

Now, for the readers, I’d love to ask them what they like to see in a Regency romance!

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About The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard

After three years in England, Thorn Wick, the duke’s bastard son, perfectly flawed, still fights for acceptance in his father’s world as a renowned golden horse trainer. Just when he starts to believe in fairy tales, another obstacle looms to thwart his plans.

Alicia Montgomery, ward of the duke, is in love with Thorn. Strong willed and adventurous, she determines she can convince him to admit his feelings until the reality of loving Thorn too much almost destroyed her.

On a dangerous mission to Barbados at the request of his father, Thorn is stunned when secrets are revealed about his mother. Will Thorn extract revenge for the foul deed?

Can Alicia quell Thorn’s demons and prove to him love can pave the way to their happiness?

Can Thorn relinquish his past because he now has a present and a future? Will he accept the man he has become? Will he return to his father and Alicia and fulfill their destiny?

Coming November 4th, 2016, available for pre-order now at Amazon.

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About the Author

From a humble beginning in Newark, NJ, retired business executive Sandra Masters had a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ, to the board rooms of NYC to the ballrooms of the Regency period. Spicy Sensual Seduction with Swagger.

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Marlow Kelly: A Woman of Honour

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Marlow will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About A Woman of Honour

Duncan Campbell wakes to discover he is imprisoned with a woman in his enemy’s dungeon in the Highlands of Scotland. The disenchanted warrior hopes his last few moments on earth will be spent in the arms of the sweet-voiced Isabel. If only she will cooperate.

Isabel Douglas has no intention of obliging the crude captive. The penniless noblewoman considers herself too tall and thin to be desirable. She intends to become a nun. But first, disguised as a boy, she must deliver an important letter to Scotland’s hero in hiding, King Robert the Bruce.

Together, the pair make a daring escape that plunges them into the bleak countryside in the middle of winter. In the struggle to survive, they learn the true strength of their feelings for each other. But when Duncan’s animosity towards the king becomes evident, Isabel must decide between her heart and her country.

Excerpt

Cover_A Woman of Honour copyDuncan Campbell drifted into consciousness and opened his eyes to absolute blackness. He lay perfectly still on the cold, dirt floor listening. A small rustle of fabric echoed in the darkness. He cocked his head, getting a sense of the sound’s location, then rose to his feet.

“Tell me who you are before I tear you apart,” he roared, seizing his opponent. Whoever it was didn’t answer, just silence. A fist punched him on the nose. Pain ricocheted through him, and he grabbed his face. In the dark, he lost his balance and fell in the dirt, cradling his head in his hands.

“Oh my, are you all right?” asked a small voice.

“No, I’m not.”

“You threatened me, and I wanted to give you fair warning I will fight back if you touch me.”

The lyrical voice stunned him. A woman? She spoke Gaelic with a strong, lowland accent. He shook off the pain and asked, “Where am I?”

“Dunstaffnage Castle. Don’t you remember your capture? I’ve heard of people getting a bump on the head and not remembering their own name. Is that what happened to you? Did you bump your head?”

Lord, she was talkative.

“Is it?”

“I remember I was hit from behind scouting the bast….Are we in the dungeon?” He rose to his feet.

“Yes.”

He grunted. On the bright side he hadn’t gone blind. On the other hand they were in a dank, windowless cell with no hope of escape. There wasn’t even a sliver of light coming through the door.

About the Author

After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories and her curiosity regarding the lives and loves of historical figures are the inspiration for her characters.

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Beth Trissel: Traitor’s Legacy

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Beth will be awarding a $35 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Traitor’s Legacy

1781. On opposite sides of the War of Independence, British Captain Jacob Vaughan and Claire Monroe find themselves thrust together by chance and expediency.

Captain Vaughan comes to a stately North Carolina manor to catch a spy. Instead, he finds himself in bedlam: the head of the household is an old man ravaged by madness, the one sane male of the family is the very man he is hunting, and the household is overseen by his beguiling sister Claire.

Torn between duty, love, and allegiances, yearning desperately for peace, will Captain Vaughan and Claire Monroe forge a peace of their own against the vagaries of war and the betrayal of false friends?

Excerpt

Cover_TraitorsLegacy copyShe fixed those wonderful eyes on him, more lethal than a backwoods rifleman. “Shall I lead the way, Captain?”

“Certainly.” He’d be tempted to follow her anywhere. A most unsettling thought.

Nothing about this fetching young lady struck Vaughan as calculating, but for the sake of her adored brother and sacred revolution he strongly suspected she’d try to deceive him. He’d hate to have to make her arrest. In fact, he should loathe it to his core. And he’d only just met her.

Why did she have such a potent effect on him, and why did it seem his fate to encounter beguiling females on the wrong side of this infernal conflict? If they weren’t Rebels to begin with, they inevitably adopted the cause.

Could he persuade Miss Monroe of her duty to the king, to him, and win her allegiance? Perhaps. She’d conducted herself splendidly thus far, and for such a prize he was willing to give his all.

About the Author

Author Beth Trissel copyMarried to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles, and nonfiction about gardening, herbal lore, and country life.

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Kae Elle Wheeler and “The English Lily”: Lady Yarmouth’s Letter

Lady Kendra has led a long fruitful life. But as a young woman, and in a major turning point of her life, her time with Charles Thomas was cut remarkably short. To ease her mind, she sends him a heart-filled letter.

Dear Mr. Thomas,

I realize it is most inappropriate for me to send you this letter, but rest assured I have my husband’s utmost approval. It has been many years since I last saw you, and the memory still haunts my dreams I fear. I thought if I could enlighten you to my situation we might each finally move forward, where ever that might be for you now.

Since that most fateful day aboard the Cécile, I married Joseph. True, he was a most successful magician, but I am pleased to say he has proved an even more devoted husband and father. We have four beautiful children. Our eldest and heir to Yarmouth named Charles for you, my dear friend. You would be most proud of Charles, for he is a brilliant scholar and benefactor of The School for the Poor and Unfortunate.  The others fell closely in his footsteps in their efforts to realize your dreams. Aaron, our most athletic is an avid hunter and horseman. Our girls, twins, mind, Julia and Jane, followed in their father’s way with his magic. Oh, not that Joseph would allow them to tread the boards! But he taught them all of his silly parlour tricks on which the two took to perfecting and creating with havoc of their own.

For many years, I kept in very close contact with your mother, to her very end. I am proud she called me Friend. Finally, you will be most happy to know my husband reads a beautiful poem or story to me each and every night when we retire, and on occasion, I find I quite enjoy reading one to him as well.

I hope this note will offer you the peace that is descending on me as I pen it.

Yours forever, most devotedly so,

Kendra Frazier, Lady Yarmouth

About The English Lily

TheEnglishLily7366_300Lady Kendra Frazier is devastated. The love of her life just married another, and now all she desires is to be as far away as possible. Viscount Lawrie, Joseph Pinetti Gray, is facing financial ruin and needs a wealthy heiress.  Luckily for him, Kendra’s impetuous nature has handed him the fortuity he requires to save his family’s downfall. But Joseph’s carefully cultivated plans come to a grinding halt when he finds himself falling in love for what should have only been a marriage of convenience. And how can an old cursed doll help?

Excerpt

He rushed over.  “Thank God,” he whispered.  He crouched down next to her.  “Thank God,” he said again, touching his forehead to hers.

“Joseph?  Lord Lawrie?”  Her voice cracked.  Her white glove was no longer white.  He wished he could have protected her from that.

Leaning back, he peeled the stained fabric away.

Her hand clenched.  “My hands—”

He brushed his lips over the tiny scars. “Your hand is perfect,” he said.  “We’ll have to marry, you know.”

“Married.  I’ve dreamed of marrying,” she whispered, smiling.  Her eyes were dry, but in them he read the shock and fear.

Something tight squeezed Joseph’s chest, he found he could hardly breathe.  Death hovered over them.  While he might fail in creating bliss for Kendra’s last moments on this earth, he could offer her the whimsical fairytale.

Joseph dropped her hand and cupped her head with both hands.  “Lady Kendra Frazier, would you do me the honor of becoming my wife, mademoiselle, s’il vous plaît?”

With a stately incline of her head, she replied with a trembling smile.  “I shall be honored, Viscount Lawrie, Chevalier Joseph Pinetti Gray.  Lord Hardwick’s Marriage Act was enforced in Scotland, in fifty-four, so we’ve no need to post the banns.”  A small hysterical laugh erupted.  “Shall we escape to Gretna Green, my lord?”

Her spirit touched him as nothing else could. Even in the throes of shock and danger, she managed to recall his full proper name and title. He pulled her to him as heavy steps echoed on the wooden planks just beyond the door.  But for a moment he could pretend they would live a long and fruitful life together. “Oui, Gretna Green suits my purposes, perfectly, love,” he whispered against her lips, before crushing them beneath his own.

The door crashed back.

Available

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Wild Rose Press 

About the Author

IMG_8577Kae Elle Wheeler has a BA degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in Management Information Systems that includes over forty credit hours of vocal music.  As a computer programmer the past fifteen years, she utilizes karaoke for her vocal music talents. Other passions include fantasy football, NBA and  musical theatre season tickets, and jazzercise. Because to quote Nora Roberts to a one time question, if she worked out? Her reply, “You have to get off your ass.”

Kae began has been a member of the Oklahoma Chapter of Romance Writer’s of America and the RWA since March of 2007.  She grew up in the Dallas area and definitely considers herself a city girl.  She does not limit her travels to Writer Conferences in San Francisco, Washington DC, Seattle, Dallas, New Jersey, New York City and Atlanta because Jazzercise has fun conferences too (Denver, Palm Springs and Orlando). You can’t keep her at home!

She is a member of several RWA Chapters, including DARA, The Beau Monde and Passionate Ink. She has held several positions in the OKRWA Chapter, currently serving as Programs Director. As an avid reader of romance and patron of theatre, her main sources of inspiration come from mostly an over-active imagination. She currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her musically talented husband, Al, and their bossy cat, Carly.

Contacts

http://kathylwheeler.com

http://klwheeler.com

http://facebook.com/kathylwheeler

http://twitter.com/kathylwheeler

Guest Author Linda Carroll-Bradd Talks About “Dreams of Gold” + Giveaway

Thanks for hosting me today, Susana.

Today I’m talking about my sweet western historical novella, Dreams of Gold.  I love stories where one of the characters is definitely outside his or her comfort zone. That’s exactly where my heroine, Ciara Morrissey, finds herself when she acts on a deathbed promise made to her dear mother. From civilized Massachusetts to a frontier town in Wyoming Territory is quite a leap, and Ciara finds herself in all sorts of trouble.

Leave a comment here which includes your email address for a chance to win a copy of Dreams of Gold.

DreamsofGold_SMAbout Dreams of Gold

1871, Wyoming Territory

Easterner Ciara Morrissey travels west to honor a sacred promise to her mother and locate her fortune-seeking father. Three years of acting as caretaker to her grandparents and mother until their deaths has created a thirst in Ciara to see what the wide world has to offer.

Sheriff Quinn Riley has been tracking the Irish charlatan who swindled half the population of Bull City, Wyoming. He’s determined to stick close to the opinionated woman who arrived on the runaway stagecoach. Within only a few hours, easterner Ciara Morrissey upsets the townspeople by making inquires about his prime suspect. He’s duty-bound to keep her safe, even when being close to the green-eyed beauty sets off a stampede in his heart.

EXCERPT

More evidence she was a stranger to the wild circumstances of the western frontier. Anticipation of organizing the chase flitted through him. “Did they use names? Or speak to their horses?” At her head shake, he fought back the urgency rising in his chest. “Anything that might provide a clue?”

“We heard shots, and Mr. McGinnis shouted for us to do what we were told. A man rode up to the window on each side, demanding our money and jewels.” A dainty shoulder lifted in a shrug. “That’s when Miss Fairchild screamed her virtue was about to be stolen and swooned, landing in my lap.” Green eyes danced, and a high-pitched giggle escaped. “Frankly, I doubt the robbers planned on lifting anyone’s skirts.” Eyes widening, she clapped a hand over her mouth and shook her head.

Damn. Quinn had seen witnesses suddenly realize the danger they’d been in and that’s when hysterics set in. Lord, he could not abide a crying woman. “Did you notice any detail about their saddles or markings on their faces that stood out?”

Her brows scrunched low, and she squared her shoulders, pulling her jacket snug across her breasts. “I feared for my very life, sir, and you think I should have noticed their saddles?” She inhaled deeply, and then her whole body stilled. “Yes, I do remember something about the saddles.”

He watched the movement of her chest—in particular, how the buttons strained their closures. The rhythm of his heartbeat kicked up and a bead of sweat trickled on his forehead. Lifting his gaze to her face, he leaned forward, forcing himself to concentrate on what she might share. “What’s that?”

“Each man sat in one.” Her body rigid, she raised the mug to her lips and waited, an eyebrow arched high.

Excerpt © Linda Carroll-Bradd

All Rights Reserved, The Wild Rose Press

authorSMAuthor Bio

As a child, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about characters having exciting adventures in places far away. Upon reaching a landmark birthday, she decided to write one of those romances she loved so much. Easier said than done. Perseverance paid out and twelve years later, she received her first call from a publisher and a confession story was published. Now Linda writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor, and many have a tie to her previous home of Texas.

Linda currently lives in the southern California mountains with her husband of 34 years and their two spoiled dogs, Shiba Inu Keiko and terrier mix Phoenix.

www.lindacarroll-bradd.com