Saturday, 16 August 2014

Saturday Promo - Welcome Elise Cyr...


1) What was your favorite subject in school and why?

English, of course! I’ve always loved to read. Whenever we were assigned books in class and had to read a chapter a week, I always ended up reading ahead because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. In college, I also studied English and really enjoyed analyzing the different techniques authors use to tell their stories.

2) Coffee, tea, bottled water or a glass of wine?

All of them. I start my day with either coffee or tea, then graduate to water. At the end of the day when my husband comes home from work and I finally step away from the computer, we open a bottle of wine and unwind.

3) If you had your choice between the mountains, beach or large city, where would you choose to vacation?
Since I currently live in the mountain foothills of New Mexico, I'd have to say beach. I grew up going to the Delaware and New Jersey shore every summer with my family. We also vacationed in Hilton Head. Now that I’m I bit more landlocked, I really miss the saltwater tang in the air, the constant murmurs of the waves, and the gentle breeze that comes off the water.

About Siege of the Heart

He fought for king and country, but that battle is nothing compared to the one he’ll wage for a woman’s heart.

Still reeling from the news of her father’s death during the Norman Conquest, Isabel Dumont is unprepared when trouble arrives at the castle gates. Alexandre d’Èvreux, a Norman knight with close ties to England’s new king, has arrived to secure the land and the loyalties of the Dumont family. Desperate to protect her people, Isabel strives to keep the confounding knight at arm’s length and hide the truth about her father’s death.

For Alexandre, the spoils of war come with more than just a generous gift of land. They come with Isabel Dumont. Vowing to marry only for love, Alexandre finds himself in a difficult situation as a conqueror granted dominion over the land and its people. Isabel is the one person capable of helping him win the regard of those living in the war-torn country…if he chooses to accept her.

Just when Alexandre finds a spark of hope that he and Isabel have a chance at love, she vanishes. His quest to find her plunges him deeper into the conquest’s fallout. Was she taken? Or did she leave?

CONTENT WARNING: Entering into this novel may cause extreme affection toward knights of old, admiration for strong-willed women, and the overwhelming belief that love really can conquer all.

Excerpt from Siege of the Heart
They stood there like hunter and prey, but she would be no man’s quarry.
“I am Alexandre d’Évreux. But you, my dear, can call me Alex. I am here to escort Lord Dumont and his family to London, where he is to greet King William. I chose to ignore your questionable arrival when you were with fever.” He walked toward her with a decided prowl to his gait. “Now, I will wait no longer for answers.”
Isabel lifted her chin. “I have questions of my own.”
“I am sure. But first, Lady Isabel, you will explain to me why Matilde thought it necessary to hide your identity from me.”
“I know not.” Her gaze swept over him once more. “Perhaps she thought your intentions were dishonorable.”
A muscle worked in his jaw. “Matilde is extremely loyal to you, no doubt. I assure you, I am acting under orders from William himself. No harm will come to you or your family, but I expect your cooperation.”
She stiffened. “Am I a prisoner?”
“Non, not unless you refuse to cooperate. I only intend to be your family’s escort to London. How easy or difficult that is will be up to you.”




Thursday, 14 August 2014

Old, Yet Older Still….By JoAnn Smith Ainsworth

Who would have thought that Middle Ages homes would have a lot in common with my grandparents’ home? Until doing research, I didn't realize that many of the cooking utensils and household tools in use at the turn of the 20th century were similar to those used in the Middle Ages.

When I carried wood as a pre-teen so my Great Aunt Martha (born in the 1880’s) could stoke up the iron stove to prepare dinner, I wasn’t thinking, “I could use this in a novel someday.” Yet, the homesteading skills I learned from my horse-and-buggy ancestors translated into the details making the backdrops for my medieval romantic suspense novels, MATILDA’S SONG and OUT OF THE DARK. Here are a few:

  • The biggest surprise was the grinding wheel. My grandfather had one in the garage to sharpen knives. I found the only modern difference was that my grandfather’s wheel had a section of rubber tire to hold water to wet the stone.

  • My great aunt used wooden spoons for cooking and pewter platters for serving. She dried her long waist-long hair in the sun. 

  • Chamber pots were under the bed and the outhouse was down the path. 

  • Ceramic basins in bedrooms were filled from pitchers of warmed water brought upstairs from the kitchen. A washcloth and sudsy water in a basin were used for daily bathing. The Saturday night bath was in the metal washtub and set up in the kitchen to be close to the water boiled on the cooking stove and the only source of running water inside the house. (My great aunt had a hand pump outside.) The kitchen location for the washtub also made it easier to drain the water afterward. 

  • My great aunt had a root cellar dug into the ground which kept her stored foods at a cool temperature. Berries and nuts were gathered from the woods and canned or dried to eat during the winter. Throw rugs were draped over the clothesline and the dirt beat out of them periodically with a wire carpet beater. 

  • She made her own starch and the lye soap for doing the laundry. A metal iron was heated on the wood-burning stove before ironing her clothes.

  • The local farmers brought to the door, freshly slaughtered meat or harvested fruits and vegetables. 

Those days are gone and that's fine by me. Hanging heavy, soaking, dripping wash on the clothesline in the cold of winter with my fingers freezing to the clothespins was not my cup of tea. The backbreaking work tending a vegetable garden and farm animals was also not for me. A well-stocked grocery store suits me just fine.

What I got from those times spent with my grandparents’ generation was a sense of their daily lives before technology. No plastic, no vacuum cleaners, no wash machines and dryers, no t.v., no phones, no cars, no jet planes, no Internet.

I transfer those “historical” details into MATILDA’S SONG and OUT OF THE DARK to create for you a vivid experience of daily life in medieval times. 
I’m wondering, did you grow up with family members who were young at the turn of the 20th Century? What did they teach you?

For more, visit:
Contact her at
Twitter @JoAnnAinsworth or Facebook’s JoAnn Smith Ainsworth Fan Page.

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Keywords:  medieval romantic suspense novels, 1880’s, horse and buggy, Middle Ages Britain 

Monday, 11 August 2014

Back from Rhodes…what a holiday!

As I type this post, I am smiling having only returned from the best vacation of my life just four short days ago. I've always wanted to visit Greece, so when my husband and I decided on a family holiday to the beautiful island of Rhodes I was beside myself with excitement.

We were not disappointed…the people, the sights, the gorgeous food and wine were everything we wanted for a relaxing two weeks.

The first week was spent pretty much laying on a sunbed watching the world go by and slowly turning from my usual pasty white to a satisfactory golden brown. The second week, it was time to explore some of the island. Rhodes old town was a gem of a find! Not just because of the beautiful harbor, the breathtaking castle or endless alleyways of the most amazing shops…it was because I instantly knew I would set a story there. How could I not?

The following day, the writing bug was upon me as I scribbled notes about the sights, smells, sounds and tastes I experienced. I have no idea when I will write the story or what entirely it will be about or even the characters that will play their parts, but what I do know is it just might be one of my most romantic books yet. The setting dictates it to be so!
Through the laughter, eating, drinking and inevitable reading, I also wrote on a terrace overlooking our private pool and the beach just a stone'a throw away. My work in progress (my fifth Harlequin Superromance) took on a life of its own in that last week and I feverishly wrote over 12,000 words. What did I learn from this vacation? I need to write more until I achieve that elusive bestseller - that way, I'll have the money to write each future book in a different country.

Sound good?? It certainly does to me!

Rachel x

Latest releases:

What Belongs To Her - Harlequin Superromance
Barnes & Noble

The Temptation of Laura - Victorian romance with EKensington
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Saturday, 9 August 2014

Saturday Promo - Author Sharon Struth

1. Do you prefer a man in a tuxedo, uniform, jeans and flannel or Speedos?

Any of the above except the speedo. Of course, the right body in the Speedo could make a difference in my answer.

2. If you had your choice between diamond earrings, a strand of pearls or a gold navel ring, which would you prefer?

            Pearls, because they are simple and can be worn dressy or casual. In Share the Moon, a secondary character—Veronica Sussingham, who is featured as heroine in Book #2 of the Blue Moon Lake Novels—always wears her signature pearls.          

3. Tease us with a blurb/short except from Share the Moon.

From Chapter One:


Sophie adjusted her crooked scarf. “Living here will be a big change.”

“I know. I’ve always loved this place, though.” Duncan reached out and tenderly brushed a leaf off Sophie’s shoulder. His gaze flowed down her body like a slow trickle of water.

An unexpected burn raced up her cheeks.

He lifted his brows. “Hey, I never knew the lake went by another name. The town website said the original name came from an old Native American word.”

She nodded. “Puttacawmaumschuckmaug Lake.” The long name rolled off her tongue with ease, the pronunciation a rite of passage for anyone born and raised around the body of water. “It either means ‘at the large fishing place near the rock’ or ‘huge rock on the border.’”

“What?” He chuckled. “Puttamaum…”

She shook her head and repeated the difficult word. “Puttacawsch—”

“Nope. It’s a toughie. That’s why a reporter who visited here at the turn of the century suggested in his column we change the name. He said the water’s beauty was as rare as a blue moon, and the phrase stuck.”

He grinned, easy and confident. “My kids will love this place.”

Kids? Sophie buried her disappointment. “Are you and your wife looking at the other towns bordering the water?”

“No. I like Northbridge. Oh, and I’m not married,” he said matter-of-factly. His gaze arm-twisted her for a response.

Blurb from Share the Moon, Book #1~Blue Moon Lake Novels:

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

Share the Moon Trailer:

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Other Links:
Musings from the Middle Ages & More:

Twitter: @sharonstruth

Monday, 4 August 2014

Nightmare Vacation Or Most Excellent Adventure? by Mackenzie Crowne

August is vacation month here at Tempting Romance and seeing as my friends call me Vacation Mac, it makes sense I kick off the topic. For me, vacation isn’t about where you go—although I’ve visited some amazingly beautiful and interesting places over the years—it’s who you go with.

For those who don’t know me, I come from a huge, Irish clan. Despite being scattered all over the country, my family gets together often and our gatherings are always full of love, teasing and laughter. One such trip, a week long house boat excursion on scenic Lake Powell, shouldn’t be my favorite, but I can’t help myself. I mean, how can you beat the combination of endless sunshine, warm water, towering sandstone canyons—and near death experiences?

My oldest brother is in the habit of providing t-shirts to mark each of our family trips. We should have known we were in for trouble when his prophetic Lake Powell offering depicted several panicked passengers in a sinking canoe.

The seventeen hour drive to the marina was bad enough, but our caravan of one very heavily loaded RV, and a pickup truck pulling our speed boat, hit its first snag, in the form of a blown tire, at the base of a solid rock wall. On a desolate road in the middle of Monument Valley, we rolled to a stop beside a twenty foot high sign that reminded me of that scene in The Wizard of Oz right before the flying monkeys attack. “I’d Turn Back If I Were You!”

Apparently the road ahead of us, once paved, was about to become a switchback laden dirt path, barely wide enough for the RV, that climbed to the top of that two thousand foot cliff. The giant warning sign provided a list of banned traffic, including, you guessed it, RV’s and trucks pulling trailers. My sister and I immediately began pouring over the map to reroute the trip, but we were overruled by the males in the group. The guys insisted those HUGE red words were simply suggestions.

I kept my eyes shut as we crept along the edge of deadly drop offs for the next twenty-five miles. My sister mumbled prayers while lying flat on the RV floor. Obviously, we made it to the lake in one piece, but the harrowing trip took its toll. My sister, a sister-in-law and I cried ourselves to sleep that first night.

Over the course of the next week, another sister and a sister-in-law, both pregnant, nearly delivered early after being tossed about on choppy waters. The rented jet skis provided several tense moments. Apparently, they don’t have brakes, as a sister and niece found out while approaching the houseboat with a little too much gusto. We also discovered that getting lost on a lake with almost 2000 miles of shore line is a foregone conclusion when the person at the helm of the speeding water craft is an eleven year old boy. I’m not even going to mention how difficult it is to navigate while in seven foot swells, but I will say, cramming twenty people into a boat designed for ten is a really bad idea.

Then there was that incident while leaving the marina after refueling. If you ever consider this type of vacation, here’s an important tip. High winds, a sixty-five foot, two story vessel and a captain who’s blind in one eye (long story), is a recipe for disaster. I can still hear the shouts of the angry boat owners lining the docks as Popeye manhandled the drifting houseboat out onto open waters.

The day is too short to share the many other crazy events from that week, like my father’s near concussion, and the night one of my nieces spent several hours primping for dinner in a stranger’s lodging she thought belonged to us. It’s highly doubtful my family will ever call for a re-do of Lake Powell, but whenever we gather and talk about good times and bad, memories of that most excellent adventure bring the most laughter.

What about you? Have you ever had a nightmare vacation? And do you look back on it now and smile?

An award winning author, Mac writes sweetly sensual romance with a side of sass. You can find her and her titles at her home on the web, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Saturday Promo - Casey Dawes...

1.     High heels, sneakers or flip-flops?

 It’s summer in Montana – definitely flip-flops, unless my DH and I are hiking. Then it’s hiking boots.  Sneakers are for camping.  My sexy self wants to wear really awesome high heels, but my feet don’t think it’s such a cool idea.

2.     Coffee, tea, bottled water, or glass of wine? Wine. Was that even a question? 

3.     Tell us about your first car. 

My first car was a little yellow Datsun pick-up truck. I drove it from Montana to the East Coast more than once. I loved that little truck because it gave me a sense of freedom. Unfortunately, I smashed it into a bridge by Glacier National Park at the end of May one year. Unbeknownst to me, the bridge was slick with ice.
 Book Blurb

Caterer Mandy Parker doesn’t want to turn out like her mother, an aging bi-polar actress desperate for the love. Avoiding anything Hollywood-related is vital for Mandy’s sanity. Her ideal man has a nine-to-five job and coaches Little League—someone true to her and to their family, unlike her philandering Hollywood producer father. But when waitress shifts at Costanoa Grill are cut, she’s forced to find additional work as a movie caterer.

Since the woman he’d loved had married his best friend, movie set location manager James Lubbock has put women far behind advancing in his career. The assistant caterer is attractive, but he’s more focused on figuring out who was sabotaging his set. If he can’t determine the culprit, he’ll lose everything he’s worked for over the last five years.

Sparks fly between Mandy and James, but can they overcome their painful pasts to risk a chance on each other?

Buy Links

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Mandy dumped her discontent and walked into the Costanoa Grill for her evening shift. Waitressing in an upscale restaurant in a beach town in the summer was a decent job. One she was lucky to have in this economy.
As she entered the staff room, a fellow waitress tapped her on the shoulder. “Good looker just sat down at Table Nine. He was here last week, too. No wedding band. Jill says he’s a good tipper. Lucky you.”
Mandy smiled. Big tips meant more money in her savings account. Her car was still running, but the high mileage made her nervous. “The tips will be great, but I’m not interested in anything else.”
“You should be. You’re not getting any younger.” The woman tossed her coffee cup in the overflowing trash and went back to work.
Twenty-five isn’t old.
Mandy glanced at the man seated at Table Nine. His lean profile and square jaw were classically handsome.
If I was in the market for a man, this one would do just fine.
Plucking a sweating water pitcher from the tray, she made her way through the scattered tables to a two-seater by the window. As she picked up his glass to fill it, she smiled at him and said, “Hi, I’m Mandy, and I’ll be your server this evening. Would you like anything to drink besides water?”
His lips curled into a grin, revealing the straight white teeth of a Hollywood smile, a smile that went all the way to his sea-green eyes. The wrap-around sunglasses perched on his sun-blond hair gave him a casual elegance belied by the Rolex on his tan wrist.
Her heart beat a little faster.
Good thing I’m a professional.
She put the water glass down without spilling a drop. “We have an excellent wine list if you’d like to see it.”
“How do you know I’m a wine connoisseur and not a Bud man,” he challenged.
She gestured to his pressed short-sleeve shirt. “A Bud man wouldn’t be caught dead in that.”
He laughed. “You’re right about that!”
Heat rose in her cheeks. “I’ll get you that list.” She brought the water pitcher back to its tray, hoping her face cooled on the way.
Moments later she was back with the thick, imitation-leather-bound book. “I don’t know if you realize this, but you’re at the edge of one of the oldest wine regions in California. We have a nice selection of local beverages on our menu. The Santa Cruz Mountains appellation is particularly known for Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, although there are a few outstanding Cabernet vineyards, too.”
She snapped her mouth shut, wishing she could cut down on her ability to over-share.
“Glad to see your enthusiasm for your job.” He gestured to the purple streak in her hair. “Neat color.”
“Thank you. I’ll return in a few minutes.”
She checked in with her other diners, all the while trying to squash her awareness of the masculine vibe emanating from Table Nine.
He was exactly the type of man she wanted to avoid--too handsome, self-important, and probably involved in a career that would expose him to women who had no care for the feelings of wives. The same type of man her father had been.
Not the kind she wanted at all. Her ideal was a man with a nine-to-five job, who coached Little League in the summers—a man who’d be true to her and to their family.


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