Friday, August 29, 2014

Favorite Hero Friday with Marlow Kelly--Meet Duncan Campbell #historical #romance #Highlanders

Hey guys!

I’ve got fellow Wild Rose Press author Marlow Kelly with me today. Marlow and I did an exchange on each other’s blogs, each of us sharing our favorite heroes. My personal favorite is what I call the “balpha” hero (I think I stole this term from fellow agency author AJ Nuest, but I can’t recall). But essentially, he's an alpha with a soft side, he's a little beta. Marlow is sharing her love of the alpha.

So glad to have you, Marlow!

First I’d like to say thank you to Joanne for having me on her blog, it’s a pleasure to be here. We’ve have been discussing heroes and the type of hero we look for when we choose a romance novel. Joanne prefers the balpha hero. If you’re wondering about balpha heroes you can read about them on my blog. Personally, I have always been partial to alpha males. I like a man’s man, who means what he says, and says what he means, and that’s what gets him into a heap of trouble, especially with the heroine because she’s a strong woman who can resist his charm.

There are a lot of alphas out there, but one of my favorites is Ben Lewis from Hearts of Fire by Linda Howard. Ben is an Amazon riverboat guide and Jillian Sherwood is an archeologist who knows where a lost city and a secret treasure are located. Women are interchangeable for Ben until he meets Jillian. He demands to know the location of the lost city, when she refuses to confide in him they clash. She stands up to him, and defies him, which is something new.

And of course, she’s attracted to him because like all alpha males he’s tall, muscled, and can hack his way through the Amazon Jungle all day and still have enough energy left to try and seduce her. You gotta love it. But when things take a turn for the worse Ben is there to protect her even though she still doesn’t trust him. He knows she’s special, knows that he loves her, but there’s still a flaw in his reasoning that sees money as the answer. Jillian sees her discovery as cultural and intellectual treasure and until Ben can change his thinking he will never be able to make her happy. It’s a fundamental difference between them. One that is resolved in the end, because an alpha male always gets his girl. 

Duncan Campbell, my hero in “A Woman of Honour” is an alpha male. He’s a giant of a man, and although I don’t say so in the book, I picture him to be at least 6ft 8in tall, and over 2ft wide at the shoulders. But that’s perfect because my heroine, Isabel, is about 6ft 2in in height.

They meet in a pitch-black dungeon and her first reaction upon meeting him is to punch him on the nose, being a man’s man this doesn’t deter him at all. He gets a kick out of her primness and enjoys provoking her. But from the beginning he knows he wants Isabel and works to erode her resistance. He warms her when she’s cold, feeds her when she’s hungry and in the end puts himself between her and death. Sigh. What’s not to love about an alpha male?

A Woman of Honour by Marlow Kelly
Worldwide Release Date: 27th August 2014

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.

 Duncan 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.


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.

Marlow Kelly Bio
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. You can visit Marlow at, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest   

Marlow and I were critique partners for a bit. I actually remember this book. And I loved it. Duncan is a great hero. He really is an alpha, but he's one I found myself drawn to. If you like historicals and you like alphas, pick up this one. It's a fantastic book. 

Have you read either of these books? What did you think? 

If not, who's your favorite alpha?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blitz: The Marriage Agenda PG by Sarah Ballance

The Marriage Agenda by Sarah Ballance
Contemporary Romance
Date Published: August 18, 2014

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There's a scandal brewing in Washington... 

Knox Hamilton wants his father’s recently vacated Senate seat, but the only way his conservative constituents are going to vote for Knox is if he loses his playboy reputation. Which means Knox needs a wife. There’s only one woman with whom he's willing to share his life, but after the way he broke things off with her, will she give him another chance?

Chloe Lochlan's job is on the line. If she doesn't grab a big headline, she'll be ousted from her gig at the major newspaper where she works as a reporter. Knox's offer of marriage chills her to the bone. He already crushed her heart once and she has no intention of letting it happen again. But being with him gives her the kind of access to top tier social events rarely granted to media, access that could land her the story of a lifetime. When the truth she uncovers threatens to destroy the man she still loves, will she bury the story...or his career?


As she stood alone in the bar, second thoughts closed in. No one had approached claiming to be her date. Had he taken one look at her and left? Patience—and nerve—waning, Chloe scoured the room, hoping for a sign she should leave. And she found one. A big one.

Watching her intently from a corner table was her ex-everything. And in spite of a strict never-again policy for all things Knox Hamilton, her body melted in traitorous anticipation. His trademark bedroom-tousled hair, the same luscious brown hue as those smoldering eyes, did little to kill the energy coursing through her at the speed of orgasm. Her knees weakened, further threatening her unsteady perch on the stilts a salesclerk had tried to pass off as a wardrobe staple.

Chloe stared at Knox, an uneasy feeling crawling through her chest.

All her synapses fired “flee,” but her GPS was off. Her attempt at escape landed her at the corner of his table, where she nearly collided with a waiter setting something in front of Knox that was suspiciously akin to Chloe’s favorite drink, a strawberry daiquiri. Though the beverage seemed to confirm her suspicions, she eyed the glass with a touch of misplaced jealousy. It wouldn’t surprise her if he had a date. Well-known and filthy rich, up-and-coming politico Knox Hamilton had everything, including his pick of eligible women.

“Chloe.” He drawled her name, adding a seductive syllable or two. “You look amazing.”

Her mouth watered at the sound of his voice. “Hi.” Her voice squeaked with a less-than-dexterous reply.

He grinned. “It’s been too long. Have a seat.”

She eyed the daiquiri. “Actually, I have a date. As do you, it seems.”

His gaze met hers over the deep amber mouth of his beer bottle. “I ordered that drink for you.” The words simmered with the husky promise of the bedroom, slipping from his lips with an odd amount of reckless, deliberate ease.

Entranced, she caught herself staring at his mouth.

He leaned back in his chair, giving her a good, long look at the way his torso shaped his neatly buttoned and pressed shirt. “Will you join me?”

He had no right to look so good. She swallowed, getting a full taste of memories she’d sooner forget. “My date—”

“—is one unlucky bastard tonight. That is, of course, if you’ll sit.”

If she was smart, she’d give Knox a view of her amazing legs and phenomenal ass as she teetered out of the bar on those damned stripper heels. But curiosity would make a dead cat out of her yet.

About the Author

Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids.) When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or in search of that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.  To learn more about her work in contemporary, historical, and supernatural romance and romantic suspense, please stalk accordingly.

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$25 Amazon/ BN gift card tour wide via Rafflecopter to one reader (winner’s choice)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Favorite Hero Friday with Linda Trout -- Meet Sam Tarkington, hero from Last Hope Alaska #romance #heroes

Morning everybody! I've got fellow Wild Rose Press author, Linda Trout with me today, sharing her favorite heroes! Welcome, Linda!

Who’s your all-time favorite hero?

From the millions of hero’s in books (there are millions, aren’t there, because it sure seems like that many to me), I’m choosing Sam from Lord of the Rings. What? But he’s a secondary character you say. Yes and no. Yes, he wasn’t the main focus of the book, Frodo was the keeper of the ring. Only Sam was more heroic.

Even when Frodo basically told Sam to get lost (my interpretation), he still followed Frodo, saving his bacon time and time again. Sam didn’t lose sight of the main goal (well, almost never) and encouraged Frodo to destroy the ring. AND, in the end, it was Sam who got the girl and lived happily ever after. See? The hero. J

Now tell us about a hero from one of your books. What makes him who he is? 

My favorite hero from one of my books would have to be Sam (hmm, I’m seeing a pattern here) from Last Hope Alaska. He has been dealt one hard knock after another most of his life, yet didn’t lose his decent inner core. Sam could be described as a big teddy bear. He doesn’t “want” to help the damsel in distress, but can’t turn his back on someone down on their luck. However, as big and tough as he is, he meets his match in Emily.


When Emily glanced at the bar, the taller of the two bartenders stared back at her, unblinking. He said something to the other man and slipped under the pass through. Deliberately, he made his way toward her, stopping only when he reached her table. She told herself not to stare, but she couldn’t take her gaze off him.

The white shirt emphasized his wide shoulders. His blond hair hung to the collar of his shirt, reminding her of a mountain man, totally at home in the Alaskan wilderness, knowing where he belonged.

He towered over her a moment as she craned her neck. Quickly he pulled a chair from the table opposite her, turned it around and straddled it, bracing his arms across the back. Emily expected him to smell of alcohol, but instead the only odor she could detect was earthy—as if he truly were from the woods. His square jaw spoke of a quiet strength.

“Whiskey.” He barely breathed the word. The formation of the word caused his full sensuous lips to draw her gaze.

“I beg your pardon?”

It took a heartbeat or two for him to answer. “Your eyes. They remind me of rich, amber whiskey.” He held her gaze for a long time.

“Um, thank you. I think.” The longer he sat there, the closer he leaned toward her. It startled her to realize she didn’t mind. He seemed so down to earth So totally opposite of Dominic and his kind.

“I’m Sam. Sam Tarkington. Best bartender in town.” He winked, then grinned. The movement caused his steel gray eyes to soften.

Her shoulders relaxed as she truly smiled this time. His comment sounded like a smarmy come-on, but she liked it anyway.


Emily Redfern's ex-fiancĂ© learned to kill on the back streets of New York.  Now, she is his target.  Broke, exhausted, and a step ahead of the man she once loved, she clings to one last hope: the wilds of Alaska.  The quiet safety of her hide-a-way becomes addictive as she grows to care for the man who offers her refuge.

Released from prison after a wrongful conviction, native Alaskan Sam Tarkington is determined to regain his business, repair his reputation, and rebuild his life.  But when he meets a desperate and vulnerable woman, guarding secrets of her own, she tugs at his heart.  She's a distraction he can't afford. Sam must choose Emily or achieving his dreams.

Like Emily's life, the peacefulness of the wilderness is an illusion as danger lurks in the distance.  Does Sam hold the key to her survival or will her past cost them everything?

About Linda:
A retired accountant, Linda Trout is a true romantic at heart, living with her real life hero and various dogs and cats in northeastern Oklahoma. They own ten acres of semi-wooded land, where the “wild” keeps creeping forward at a pace faster than they can keep up with. Getting lost in a good book is one of her favorite pastimes as well as riding alongside her hubby on their Harley’s.
Twitter: @LindaTrout2

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Blast: Traitor's Legacy by Beth Trissel @GoddessFish #HistoricalFiction #romance

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Beth will be awarding a $35 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

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?
Now enjoy an excerpt:

She 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. 

Married 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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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

5 Facts About Duncan Jamieson, Hero of Share the Moon--by Sharon Struth #FWRST

Hey guys! I have friend and fellow agency author Sharon Struth with me today, celebrating the release of her latest novel, Share the Moon. Scroll down to take a peek at her hunky cover. ;) She's dishing about her hero!

Welcome, Sharon!

Hi Joanne! Thanks for hosting me today.

Duncan Jamieson is the president of Resorts Group International. Personal reasons take him to Northbridge, Connecticut, where he outbids local resident, Sophie Shaw, on some farmland that formerly operated as a vineyard. Of course, he doesn’t know who he outbid. Controversy surrounds the large-scale resort that he’s proposed, but the corporate giant has no trouble when it comes to business and puts on a tough exterior.

            But he’s really not a bad guy.

Here’s a little peek into his life, a few moments that might soften your heart for him.

1.                            Duncan has never fully given his heart to a woman. Even his wife. He believed he loved her, but after her death, he realized he still kept part of himself in reserve. Not the way one should behave for true love.
2.                            There is one thing Duncan loves…Sailing. For many years, he raced his boat, “True Love,” competitively. Swept away by the breezes, put in the hands of nature, he had tools to control the outcome. Love with another person can’t be controlled.
3.                            When his brother, Trent, was down and out, facing addiction and fired from his father’s law firm, Duncan offered Trent a job and helped him on the road to recovery.
4.                            Duncan remembered Sophie from summers he’d visited Blue Moon Lake as a kid, but she doesn’t remember him. Around her now, despite being over forty years old, he still feels like the same nervous adolescent boy, who had watched her from a distance.
5.                            Duncan stopped smoking years ago, but when he’s stressed, instead of a cigarette, he always reaches for a hard butterscotch candy.  These can be found in his candy dishes all over his office and in the pockets of all his jackets. Must be because of his Scottish heritage.

Duncan’s move to Northbridge, Connecticut turns out to be more than he bargained for. Here’s an excerpt where Sophie shows him how to appreciate a good wine, a moment when he realizes how much owning the vineyard had mattered to her before he came along and bumped her offer:

From Share the Moon~

“Now, gently swirl the wine.” A slight twist of Sophie’s wrist rotated the glass.

Duncan copied her moves, realizing she made the gesture fluid, easier than his attempts.

“This gives the molecules a little nudge to entertain us. I mean, who doesn’t like to be entertained.” She waved a playful brow. “Once you get them moving, stick your nose up close and take a whiff.”

Sophie brought her straight nose close to the rim. Her lids dropped, as if prepared to receive a scent from heaven. She inhaled. Passion-filled concentration dominated her expression, leaving him mesmerized, unable to stop watching even as he lifted his own glass. He copied her movements, contemplating the aroma in a way he’d never done before.

When he opened his eyes, she’d been watching. “Anything stand out?”

He took a second, shorter whiff. “Pepper, I think.”

Her mouth turned into a half-surprised, half-pleased smile. “Very good.”

A sensation fluttered in his gut, her approval an unexpected joy.

“I smelled some kind of berry too. Now take a decent taste. Let the liquid coat your entire mouth. It’ll feel different on your tongue versus the roof of your mouth or the inside of your cheeks. There are all kinds of hidden flavors. Some bold, others more subtle.”

She brought the glass to her lips then stopped, leaned across the counter, and placed her soft palm over the hand where he held the glass. A sweet floral scent drifted from her hair. She dropped her voice, now low and sexy. “A ready guy like you should take your time with this one.” She cocked a loaded brow. “Really work hard and you’ll detect the wine’s secrets.”

Heat crept up his neck again.

The microwave buzzer sounded but she kept her gaze on him as she tipped back her goblet. Her full lips brushed the rim with the delicate touch of a first kiss.


Share the Moon Blurb:

Sometimes trust is the toughest lesson to learn.

Sophie Shaw is days away from signing a contract that will fulfill her dream of owning a vineyard. For her, it’s a chance to restart her life and put past tragedies to rest. But Duncan Jamieson’s counter offer blows hers out to sea.

Duncan still finds Sophie as appealing as he had during boyhood vacations to the lake. Older and wiser now, he has his own reasons for wanting the land. His offer, however, hinges on a zoning change approval.

Bribery rumors threaten the deal and make Sophie wary of Duncan, yet she cannot deny his appeal. When her journalistic research uncovers a Jamieson family secret, trust becomes the hardest lesson for them both.

Author Bio:
Sharon Struth is an award-winning author who believes it’s never too late for a second chance in love or life. When she’s not writing, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail. Sharon writes from the small town of Bethel, Connecticut, the friendliest place she’s ever lived. For more information, including where to find her other novels and published essays, please visit her at

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Twitter: @sharonstruth