Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles: A Celebration of Waterloo

Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles: A Celebration of Waterloo

The first 20 years of the 1800s were an extraordinary time, not just in England, but nearly every country in existence. There were enough major events to stock a century’s worth of days, and multitudes of larger-than-life players to inhabit these international stages. Politicians, statesmen, military heroes (and a few losers), musicians, writers, artists, architects: there must have been something in the water to have encouraged all these stellar personalities.

The year 1815 may well have been the epitome, considering that Napoleon was finally banished from France, thus his glorious plans for European dominance came to nothing.  A lesser-known hero played a supporting role in the battle that ended the Napoleonic Wars.

Thanks to friend and fellow-Regency devotee, Susana Ellis, here is his story. It is factual: believe me, we couldn’t have made this up. It wouldn’t have been half as entertaining!

The Story of Lord Uxbridge’s Leg

Henry Paget, Earl of Uxbridge, later Marquess of Anglesey, lost his leg at Waterloo. That really isn’t so unusual, as army surgeons hacked off many limbs to save soldiers’ lives. But what’s interesting is the journey that Lord Uxbridge’s leg took before it finally met its end.

Lord Uxbridge must have been something of a romantic fellow, because in 1809 he left his wife of fourteen years and ran off with Lady Charlotte Cadogan, who was married to the Duke of Wellington’s younger brother at the time. Perhaps not the greatest choice for a military man, but the course of true love generally does not run smoothly, or so they say. In any case, you can’t hold a good man down, and by the time a culminating battle with Napoleon came around, Uxbridge was made second-in-command and given charge of the cavalry, which gave a good account of itself at the Battle of Quatre-Bras two days before Waterloo.

Unfortunately, Lord Uxbridge’s right leg was hit by cannon fire. He famously said to Wellington, who was nearby, “By God, sir, I’ve lost my leg!” Wellington’s response: “By God, sir, so you have!”

During the amputation, Uxbridge was quoted as saying, “I have had a pretty long run. I have been a beau these 47 years and it would not be fair to cut the young men out any longer.”

He must not have done too badly, though. He had six  

more children with his second wife—they had each 
divorced their former spouses and married in 1810—
for a total of eighteen children (ten with his first wife and eight with the second).

The saw used in the amputation is on display at the National Army Museum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Army_Museum in Chelsea.

So… what happened to his right leg?

The leg was removed at Lord Uxbridge’s headquarters, which was still occupied by a Belgian by the name of M. Hyacinthe Joseph-Marie Paris, who requested and was given permission to bury it in his backyard.

Amazingly, the site became somewhat of a macabre tourist attraction. Visitors were shown the bloody chair on which Uxbridge sat during the amputation, and then were escorted to the garden, where they saw the grave maker that said:

Here lies the Leg of the illustrious and valiant Earl Uxbridge, Lieutenant-General of His Britannic Majesty, Commander in Chief of the English, Belgian and Dutch cavalry, wounded on the 18 June 1815 at the memorable battle of Waterloo, who by his heroism, assisted in the triumph of the cause of mankind, gloriously decided by the resounding victory of the said day.

Paris and his descendants made a nice profit from Uxbridge’s leg until 1878, when Uxbridge’s son came to visit and found the bones on open display. Apparently they had been exposed in a storm that uprooted the willow tree next to them. The Belgian ambassador demanded the return of the bones to the family, but the Paris family offered to sell them instead. Ordered to return them, the family kept them hidden, and in 1934, after the last M. Paris died in Brussels, his widow found them in his study. Fearful of a scandal, she incinerated them in her central heating furnace.

So no, you can no longer visit Lord Uxbridge’s leg or its burial place. However, one of his artificial legs is on display at Plas Newydd http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plas_Newydd_(Anglesey), the country seat of the Marquess of Anglesey (a title Uxbridge assumed later).

Loss of his leg did not prevent him from continuing his military career. He rose to Field Marshal and Knight of the Garter, served twice as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and twice as Master-General of the Ordnance.

= = = = =
Susana Ellis is one of the nine contributors to a new anthology, to be officially released tomorrow, April 1. Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles: A Celebration of Waterloo

June 18, 1815 was the day Napoleon Bonaparte's Grande Armée was definitively routed by the ragtag band of soldiers from the Duke of Wellington's Allied Army in a little Belgian town called Waterloo. The cost in men's lives was high—22,000 dead or wounded for the Allied Army and 24,000 for the French. But the war with Napoleon that had dragged on for a dozen years was over for good, and the British people once more felt secure on their island shores.

Susana adds, “The bicentenary of the famous battle seemed like an excellent opportunity to use that setting for a story, and before I knew it, I had eight other authors eager to join me, and to make a long story short, on April 1, 2015 our Waterloo-themed anthology will be released to the world.”
There are other pages at this site devoted to the anthology, especially the one dated March 26, which provides individual story blurbs and another copy of the truly gorgeous cover.  It is currently available for pre-order at Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V4TAP38

In addition,  all readers are invited to:
·        the Book Release Facebook Party on April 1st 
·        the Website and Facebook Page
·        the Rafflecopter (ends April 18th)

There will also be a print version. Details will be at the BBB web-site, as soon as available.    Enjoy!       

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Long Awaited Stone Hard SEALs Duet—Get it now at a discounted price! #New Tiara Giveaway

His mouth was hot and sweet and demanding as he took hers. Tantalizing. Delicious. In that harsh coupling, she tasted a savage rejoicing. And she gave it right back.


Last summer, Hot Alpha SEALs took the book world by storm, getting rave reviews for this collection of scorching military romances, and earning spots on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.

Ryder’s story was such a hit, readers asked to read Drake’s story as well. Here, now, for the first time, are BOTH adventures!

The duet (a full length novel) will retail for $2.99, but I wanted to offer it at a discounted price of 99¢  during preorder for those of you who  have read Ryder’s story and have been waiting so patiently for Drake. This is a great deal as well for your friends who missed the Hot Alpha Collection and are new to this exciting read.

A Duet of Steamy SEAL romance by NYT and USA Today Bestselling author Sabrina York

Book One: Ryder
A hostage rescue mission turns Ryder “Stone” Maddox’s world on its ear when he comes face-to-face with his greatest fear: A woman he cannot resist. But he has to resist Lily Wilson. He’s vowed never to fall in love. Besides, as the daughter of a senator, she is definitely off-limits. Lily sees things differently. Irresistibly drawn to this hot, hard SEAL, she is determined to prove they belong together…and that her man does not have a heart of stone.  (Originally published in the NYT and USA Today Bestselling Hot Alpha SEALs collection)

Book Two: Drake
Drake Ronan is all man—a rock hard SEAL who doesn’t need help from anyone. Doesn’t need anyone. But when he’s shot during a dangerous rescue mission, and has to rely on a beautiful nurse to survive, he realizes he has to rethink his resolution. Suddenly he can’t imagine his life without Brandy in it. It’s a damn shame she has a secret that could ruin everything.

“Are you hungry?” He asked because her belly growled loudly enough to attract pirates on the mainland.
“A little.” She licked her lips. “But I’m really thirsty.”
He pulled out the straw of his CamelBak and leaned forward, holding it to her lips. He should have shuttled off all his gear and just handed the damn thing to her because when she leaned in close and he got a whiff of her, he nearly passed out. You would think a woman who had been held prisoner by filthy pirates for nearly a week would smell bad. She did not. She smelled like heaven. There was a light musky odor of sweat—it was hot in the tropics—but it twined with something that was essentially female.
He’d never felt such hunger. It screamed through his soul.
And, on top of that, their faces were close. And she was sucking on the nozzle. And fuck. He was a warrior. A trained weapon. On a mission.
This was no time for a hard on.
But he was hard. Damn hard.
Her lashes flickered as she glanced up at him; she moaned as she swallowed. A shiver walked down his spine. Walked right down his spine and coiled in his balls.
When she sat back with a sigh, he put the nozzle to his lips as well. Not because he was particularly thirsty, but because he wanted a taste of her mouth, while it was still fresh.
What he really wanted was to kiss her. But she was the senator’s daughter and he was a grunt. That wasn’t going to happen. It couldn’t.
“Did…did you say something about food?” Damn lashes. Fluttering again. He had the urge to grab his Gerber and snip them off.
He pulled an MRE from a pocket on his left leg, read the label, and grimaced. He hated the meatloaf. He should have paid more attention when he prepped his gear. He had more in his pack, but this would do for now. “I have this.”
Her nose wrinkled as she studied the silver foil.
Yeah. Wait ’til she got a taste. He ripped open the packet, broke off a piece, and handed it to her. It was messy, because of the gravy, but he didn’t want to unload everything to find an implement. They needed to eat and go.
She took a bite. Her eyes widened. “Yuuum,” she said in an unconvincing tone.
It was all he could do to hold back his laugh.
“What…” She swallowed heavily. “What is this?”
“An MRE.”
“What does that stand for?”
His lips quirked. “Meals Rarely Edible.”
Her brow wrinkled, and then she laughed.
And ah, what a laugh. A melodic trill. Some kind of sound he figured you might hear in heaven.
“Do you eat these often?”
“Not if I can help it.” He shoved a chunk in his mouth and fired it back. “But we have a long way to go today, and these have a lot of calories.”
She froze, a niblette of mystery meat halfway to her mouth. “How-how many calories?”
“About twelve hundred a meal.”
She gaped at him. “Twelve hundred?” She glared at the meatloaf as though it were made of turds. Then again, it might have been. “And you gave it to me? To eat?”
“Yeah. You’ll need it.”
“Why didn’t you warn me?” She smacked him. It was like being batted by a kitten. “Twelve hundred calories is my whole day!”
He grinned. He could burn that much with a good fart. “Perfect. It’s probably all you’ll get. Eat up.”
“For twelve hundred calories, I could have eaten a cheesecake.”
He looked around for the cheesecake.
She shoved her tiny chunk of meatloaf at him. “Here, you eat it.”
He pushed it back. “You eat it. We have a lot of ground to cover today.”
“We do?” She tipped her head to the side. “Where are we going?”
“There’s an island to the south.” He grabbed a stick and sketched out a quick map. “We’re here. At the north end of this island. And the secondary extraction point is here.”
Her throat worked. “How will we get to the other island?”
She paled. “I-I can’t swim.”
It was probably rude to stare. But really? She couldn’t swim? Who couldn’t swim? “You never wanted to learn?”
“Oh, I wanted to.” She sighed. “My mother was afraid I would drown.”
“Not drowning is kind of the point of swimming.”
“She wanted to keep me safe.” He didn’t miss the exasperation in her tone. “I didn’t get to do a lot of things. Which is probably why— And wouldn’t you know it? The first time?” She gazed at him as though she’d finished a sentence. As though he’d understood a bit of what she’d said.
“Well, don’t worry. We’ll get you home safe. And then everything will be just the way it was before.”
Her sudden frown mystified him.

"An action-packed and fun read, a great addition to any collection." –I am Indeed

"I loved, loved, loved this story." –Coffee & Books

Buy Link:
KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/stone-hard-seals
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Stone-Hard-SEALs-Sabrina-York-ebook/dp/B00V7JWF4C/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Sabrina York
Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & snarky to scorching romance.  Connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york, on Facebook or on Pintrest. Check out Sabrina’s books and read an excerpt on Amazon or wherever e-books are sold. Visit her webpage at www.sabrinayork.com to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Free Teaser Book: http://sabrinayork.com/home-2/sabrina-yorks-teaser-book/ And don’t forget to enter to win the royal tiara!

Follow my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sabrinayork
Like my Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/SabrinaYorkBooks
Follow me on Twitter @sabrina_york https://twitter.com/sabrina_york

Check out my Pintrest boards: http://www.pinterest.com/sabrinayork/boards/

Friday, March 27, 2015

Research, it's what's for lunch! Tales of what it isn't by That Wandering Gal, Cerise.

Research is always that little, idly-bitty project you do that becomes The Thing That Would Not Die...or (as hubby calls it), the Hanging of the Draperies, or The Tidbit That Makes Your Readers Love You.

The Thing TWND is the challenge that many novice writers face when they have researched their topic until the end of time and logic.  When you know absolutely nothing about what you wish to write, The Thing comes out to play. He can then inhale you like The Alien he is, and keep you absorbed in a subject way beyond his usefulness or place in the play.

And as that famous Elizabethan once said, the play's the thing. Really....it is.

I've been known to work in company with The Thing. This is especially possible with the ease of access to the internet. Pinterest, Wikis and Word Tracers, maps and historical sites of all kinds beckon and beguile. A girl could develop a cold.

Capturing all that good stuff (or so you think in the moment) becomes yards of bookmarks on your computer screen, lots of notes and pretty pix. Oh, God. What a mess. I have to constantly warn myself, "Five minute warning! Dive! Dive! Or you disintegrate." Actually, what happens is I forget why I went in the first place. Sigh. Lost in minutiae.

The Thing TWND gives you far far more than you should ever want. For this book. And lures you like fine champagne to the basis for another novel. (Dear god, let me finish this one!) He tells you how to dress for breakfast in 1820 as opposed to 1810, what climate was like in 1868 or how the crops grew. (Do I need this? Hmm. Well, yes, actually. Might provide that smidgen of verisimilitude, you know.) He tells how to kill people without a trace. How many fought at the Battle of Waterloo, and only an estimate, sadly, of how many died both civilian and military in La Grande Guerre.

Ultimately The Thing must be wrestled to the ground (or you escape him because the dog has not peed since dawn or hubby needs his dinner—and you, by George, need a damn drink!) The Thing is what you learn to do to find specific information. You read like a undergraduate fool for love about your general subject matter and then you go find the specifics.

Specifics may include:

  • an interview of an expert. (Do visit him so you can leave when you want. Do not take a friend with a similar project. Do take a tape recorder and notes. Do list him in your Acknowledgements.)
  • a visit to the library. (Do take coins in case you have to make photocopies. Do not copy the Encyclopedia. Reserve the books you need ahead of your visit.)
  • a visit to a specialist museum. (Do work with the subject matter librarian or archivist. Do tell him what you want and why. Be specific. Saves him time and you heartache. Take your camera.)
  • visit to the country or locale where you have set your novel. (Do research before going. Plan day trips which are less expensive than formal tours. Talk to the museum directors, etc. even if by email before hand. And yes, do ENJOY every minute of this one! Take Significant Other, too.)
Gargoyles of the Basilica of Saint Denis
in Paris where all the kings and queens of France
are buried!
Afterward the temptation to Hang the Draperies may afflict you. This is a disease. Treat it as such. This comes upon you when you are so marvelously imbued with delights about your infusion of Knowledge that you are certain no one else knows and, by Jove, they should. 

You become a missionary, a barn-burner, in short, a royal pain. This condition occurs in the virulent onset of the disease. Fortunately as you recognize that your various audiences are Bored To Tears, you back off. (Or they no longer do lunch with you, talk on phone, invite you to speak to their group.)

But you are still so tempted to write all that stuff into your novel that your tight little 50K mystery becomes the War and Peace of the Kill-Em genre. How to cut the Draperies? A fine editor will quickly tell you if you are pumping her full of extraneous junk.  Hire one. For your genre. Hire her by  mid-book if you suspect you are hanging too many draperies per chapter. It will be the best money you ever spent.

Finally, after years of OD-ing on all these delightful yummy kernels of truth, you realize that to use all you know, realistically, might never occur. Or needs to. That the little tickle that readers get from your books may often have to do with one bright pop of fact. One solid hunk of meat that you threw them in the midst of building character, tension, plot twist or viable denouement!
Gare de L'est famous window
This train station (where trains leave for the east) is where
American troops in WWI left for the front lines.

So here with my pix of my most recent Paris trip, I give you a few kernels from some of my travels (which I lovingly call research, baby, for the IRS, too, donchaknow.)

Here's one for you: The town of Varennes in eastern France is a peaceful place where American Doughboys walked through on their way to the Argonne. They passed the church where Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette and their two children had fled for sanctuary against the Terror. The townspeople discovered them there, told the revolutionaries who came and carted them back to Paris. There they killed all of them. A plaque stands there to commemorate the sad event. We ate across the street and those there were thrilled to have Americans who took the time and energy to visit and learn about their town.

The crossroads in Varennes where nearby lie more than 17,000 American
Doughboys and American nurses who served in the First World War.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles: A Celebration of Waterloo

June 18, 1815 was the day Napoleon Bonaparte's Grande Armée was definitively routed by the ragtag band of soldiers from the Duke of Wellington's Allied Army in a little Belgian town called Waterloo. The cost in men's lives was high—22,000 dead or wounded for the Allied Army and 24,000 for the French. But the war with Napoleon that had dragged on for a dozen years was over for good, and the British people once more felt secure on their island shores.

The bicentenary of the famous battle seemed like an excellent opportunity to use that setting for a story, and before I knew it, I had eight other authors eager to join me, and to make a long story short, on April 1, 2015 our Waterloo-themed anthology was released to the world.

You are all invited to

our Book Release Facebook Party on April 1st 
our Website and Facebook Page
our Rafflecopter (ends April 18th)

Our Stories

Jillian Chantal: Jeremiah’s Charge
Emmaline Rothesay has her eye on Jeremiah Denby as a potential suitor. When Captain Denby experiences a life-altering incident during the course of events surrounding the Battle of Waterloo, it throws a damper on Emmaline’s plans.

Téa Cooper: The Caper Merchant
The moon in Gemini is a fertile field of dreams, ideas and adventure and Pandora Wellingham is more than ready to spread her wings. When Monsieur Cagneaux, caper merchant to the rich and famous, introduces her to the handsome dragoon she believes her stars have aligned.

Susana Ellis: Lost and Found Lady
Catalina and Rupert fell in love in Spain in the aftermath of a battle, only to be separated by circumstances. Years later, they find each other again, just as another battle is brewing, but is it too late?

Aileen Fish: Captain Lumley’s Angel
Charged with the duty of keeping his friend’s widow safe, Captain Sam Lumley watches over Ellen Staverton as she recovers from her loss, growing fonder of her as each month passes. When Ellen takes a position as a companion, Sam must confront his feelings before she’s completely gone from his life.

Victoria Hinshaw: Folie Bleue
On the night of the 30th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Aimée, Lady Prescott, reminisces about meeting her husband in Bruxelles on the eve of the fighting. She had avoided the dashing scarlet-clad British officers, but she could not resist the tempting smile and spellbinding charm of Captain Robert Prescott of the 16th Light Dragoons who— dangerously to Aimée— wore blue.

Heather King: Copenhagen’s Last Charge
When Meg Lacy finds herself riding through the streets of Brussels only hours after the Battle of Waterloo, romance is the last thing on her mind, especially with surly Lieutenant James Cooper. However, their bickering uncovers a strange empathy – until, that is, the lieutenant makes a grave error of judgment that jeopardizes their budding friendship...

Christa Paige: One Last Kiss
The moment Colin held Beatrice in his arms he wanted one last kiss to take with him into battle and an uncertain future. Despite the threat of a soldier’s death, he must survive, for he promises to return to her because one kiss from Beatrice would never be enough.

Sophia Strathmore: A Soldier Lay Dying
Amelia and Anne Evans find themselves orphaned when their father, General Evans, dies. With no other options available, Amelia accepts the deathbed proposal of Oliver Brighton, Earl of Montford, a long time family friend. When Lord Montford recovers from his battle wounds, can the two find lasting love?

David W. Wilkin: Not a Close Run Thing at All
Years, a decade. And now, Robert had come back into her life. Shortly before battle was to bring together more than three hundred thousand soldiers. They had but moments after all those years, and now, would they have any more after?

About Lost and Found Lady

On April 24, 1794, a girl child was born to an unknown Frenchwoman in a convent in Salamanca, Spain. Alas, her mother died in childbirth, and the little girl—Catalina—was given to a childless couple to raise.

Eighteen years later…the Peninsular War between the British and the French wages on, now perilously near Catalina’s home. After an afternoon yearning for adventure in her life, Catalina comes across a wounded British soldier in need of rescue. Voilà! An adventure! The sparks between them ignite, and before he returns to his post, Rupert promises to return for her.

But will he? Catalina’s grandmother warns her that some men make promises easily, but fail to carry them out. Catalina doesn’t believe Rupert is that sort, but what does she know? All she can do is wait…and pray.

But Fate has a few surprises in store for both Catalina and Rupert. When they meet again, it will be in another place where another battle is brewing, and their circumstances have been considerably altered. Will their love stand the test of time? And how will their lives be affected by the outcome of the conflict between the Iron Duke and the Emperor of the French?


September 14, 1793
A beach near Dieppe, France

“I don’t like the look of those clouds, monsieur,” Tobias McIntosh said in fluent French to the gray-bearded old man in a sailor hat waiting impatiently near the rowboat that was beginning to bob more sharply with each swell of the waves. “Are you sure your vessel can make it safely all the way to Newhaven in these choppy seas?”

The old man waved a hand over the horizon. “La tempête, it is not a threat, if we leave immédiatement. Plus tard…” He shrugged. “Je ne sais pas.”

“Please, mon amour,” pleaded the small woman wrapped in a hooded gray cloak standing at his side. “Allow me to stay with you. I don’t want to go to England. I promise I will be prudent.”

A strong gust of wind caught her hood and forced it down, revealing her mop of shiny dark locks. Tobias felt like seizing her hand and pulling her away from the ominous waves to a place of safety where she and their unborn child could stay until the senseless Terreur was over.

“Justine, ma chère, we have discussed this endlessly. There is no place in France safe enough for you if your identity as the daughter of the Comte d’Audet is discovered.” He shivered. “I could not bear it if you were to suffer the same fate at the hands of the revolutionaries as your parents did when I failed to save them.”

She threw her arms around him, the top of her head barely reaching his chin. “Non, mon amour, it was not your fault. You could not have saved them. It was miraculeux that you saved me. I should have died with them.”

She looked up to catch his gaze, her face ashen. “Instead, we met and have had three merveilleux months together. If it is my time to die, I wish to die at your side.”

Tobias felt like his heart was going to break. His very soul demanded that the two of them remain together and yet… there was a price on both their heads, and the family of the Vicomte Lefebre was waiting for him in Amiens, the revolutionaries expected to reach them before midday. It was a dangerous work he was involved in—rescuing imperiled French nobility from bloodthirsty, vengeful mobs—but he had pledged himself to the cause and honor demanded that he carry on. And besides, there was now someone else to consider.

“The child,” he said with more firmness than he felt. “We have our child to consider, now, Justine ma chère. The next Earl of Dumfries. He must live to grow up and make his way in the world.”

Not to mention the fact that Tobias was human enough to wish to leave a child to mark his legacy in the world—his and Justine’s. He felt a heaviness in his heart that he might not live long enough to know this child he and Justine had created together. He could not allow his personal wishes to undermine his conviction. Justine and the child must survive.

Justine’s blue eyes filled with tears. “But I cannot! I will die without you, mon cher mari. You cannot ask it of me!”

“Justine,” he said, pushing away from her to clasp her shoulders and look her directly in the eye. “You are a brave woman, the strongest I have ever known. You have survived many hardships and you can survive this. Take this letter to my brother in London, and he will see to your safety until the time comes that I can join you. My comrades in Newhaven will see that you are properly escorted.”

He handed over a letter and a bag of coins. “This should be enough to get you to London.”

After she had reluctantly accepted and pocketed the items beneath her cloak, he squeezed her hands.

“Be sure to eat well, ma chère. You are so thin and my son must be born healthy.”

She gave him a feigned smile. “Our daughter is the one responsible for my sickness in the mornings… I do not believe she wishes me to even look at food.”

She looked apprehensively at the increasingly angry waves as they tossed the small boat moored rather loosely to a rock on the shore and her hands impulsively went to her stomach.

“Make haste, monsieur,” the old sailor called as he peered anxiously at the darkening clouds. “We must depart now if we are to escape the storm. Bid your chère-amie adieu maintenant or wait for another day. I must return to the bateau.”

“Tobias,” she said, her voice shaking.

He wondered if he would ever again hear her say his name with that adorable French inflection that had drawn him from their first meeting.

“Go, Justine. Go to my family and keep our child safe. I promise I will join you soon.”

He scooped her up in his arms and carried her toward the dinghy, trying to ignore her tears. The old sailor held the boat as still as he could while Tobias placed her on the seat and kissed her hard before striding back to the shore, each footstep heavier than the last.

He studied the darkening sky as the sailor climbed in the boat. “You are sure it is safe?”

“La Chasseresse, she is très robuste. A few waves will not topple her, monsieur.”

“Je t’aime, mon amour,” she said to him plaintively, her chin trembling.

“Au revoir, ma chère,” he said, trying to smile, although his vision was blurring from tears.

Will I ever see her again?

He stood watching as the dinghy made its way slowly through the choppy sea to the larger ship anchored in the distance, grief-stricken and unable to concentrate on anything but his pain. When the ship finally sailed off into the horizon, he fell to his knees and prayed as he had never done before for the safety of his beloved. He remained in that position until drops of rain on his face reminded him of the Lefebre family waiting for him in Amiens.

With a deep breath, he rose and made his way to the nearby forest, where his horse waited, tied to a tree.

“Come, my friend. We have a long, wet journey ahead of us.”

Setting foot in the stirrup, he swung his leg over the saddle and urged the horse to a gallop, feeling his heart rip into pieces with every step away from his beloved.

About the Author

Susana has always had stories in her head waiting to come out, especially when she learned to read and her imagination began to soar. Voracious reading led to a passion for writing, and her fascination with romance and people of the past landed her firmly in the field of historical romance.

A teacher in her former life, Susana lives in Toledo, Ohio in the summer and central Florida in the winter. She is a member of the Central Florida Romance Writers and the Beau Monde chapters of RWA and Maumee Valley Romance Inc.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Loving our Soldiers throughout History

In romance, we love our heroes, don't we? The men and women who are passionate about something—usually home and family but sometimes something even more altruistic—have to be respected and admired. Think crusaders and knights, William Wallace, the Duke of Wellington, and our modern day Navy Seals. Romance is filled with soldiers (and sailors)!

2015 is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, and to commemorate the event, a group of Regency romance authors banded together to write novellas with a Waterloo theme. Beaux, Ballrooms and Battles will release on April 1, no foolin'!

For Readers who enjoy a bit of history with their Romance…

A historic confrontation

Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles is a celebration of the bicentenary of the showdown between Wellington’s “Infamous Army” and Napoleon’s Grande Armée. Wellington’s Allied Army consisted of a hastily organized mélange of inexperienced men from several countries who didn’t even speak the same language.

A backdrop of war

While life in Regency England continued much as it had been, the war with Napoleon was a constant source of preoccupation as young men who eagerly set off to become heroes in battle sometimes returned with life-changing injuries or worse, didn’t return at all.

Nine stories of love tested by the trials of war

A collection of sweet Regency stories of courage, hope, and the miracle of love surviving in uncertain times, brought to you by nine distinguished historical romance authors.

Jillian Chantal • Téa Cooper • Susana Ellis • Aileen Fish • Victoria Hinshaw • Heather King • Christa Paige • Sophia Strathmore • David Wilkin

Watch for the buy links on our Facebook Page and join us for our Release Day Party.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Using Place Names When You Write @kayelleallen #amwriting #reference

Tarthian Empire Companion 
All authors build worlds. Some recreate the world of Regency England. Others prefer the Highlands of Scotland, the battlefields of World War II, or fantastic starways and planets across the galaxy. Whatever you write, you create a setting for your characters. Here are a few things to consider when doing so.

Consider that place names have a history. Is it called the Mill Road because there's a mill? Is it still a functioning mill or was it torn down centuries ago and no one knows why it's called Mill Road anymore? Are any place names called by family names of current characters? Towns are sometimes named for prominent families, and that can carry over into present day and cause havoc for characters whose families might not have been on the best terms with the founding clan. Conflict is the heart of a story, and sometimes your characters can create it simply by being in a place with a history they'd rather avoid.

Record family names and places for use in future stories. A chart with meanings is handy. Like all things pertaining to world building, don't take it so far that you never write the book. Use it to build the background and develop the characters, setting, and conflict.

Compound words link known words to create a new meaning, as in my word "bagbot." A bagbot is a robotic suitcase. Although the word itself might not relay the meaning, using it in context conveys enough so the reader is comfortable with its use. For example, if a character is going on a trip, and packs a bagbot with his belongings, the concept and use become clear. When the bagbot follows him around the starport and becomes a closet when he deploys it, readers will not only understand, they'll want one.

Taken from the Tarthian Empire Companion, an illustrated World-Building Bible and Guide to Writing a Science Fiction Series, by Kayelle Allen.
For the science fiction writer, this volume teaches you how to build believable worlds, track details of your story, organize your writing, and lay out your story bible. Novice or experienced, you will pick up tricks and tips. The EPIC eBook Award winning writer shares organizational tips, links to marketing sites, groups supporting writers, science fiction groups, and more. Material from the author's 90+ page website is included.
For the science fiction fan, the Companion reveals the worldbuilding magic that makes Kayelle Allen's Tarthian Empire tick. She shares every character in every book, 10k years of future history, offers inside peeks at scenes and stories, lays out a quick tour of the Empire, and dishes up a surfeit of secrets, all in one illustrated volume.
Original art by Jamin Allen and Kayelle Allen.


Would you like the free Top Stops edition of the Companion? Top Stops is 24 pages of images and info about Tarth and other places in the empire. http://bit.ly/1DtJ1fm
Tarthian Empire Companion

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Kayelle Allen is a best-selling, multi-published, award-winning author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.
Unstoppable Heroes Blog http://kayelleallen.com/blog

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Ides Of March

Well the Ides of March is March 15 so we've passed it but since we are still in March I thought I'd post on it today for fun. You know I love history which is why I  write all those historical romances. The Ides of March is the day Brutus assassinated Julius Caesar.

Gaius Julius Caesar was born in 102 or 100 B.C. in the month of Quinctilis, now called July in his honor. His motto was "Veni, vidi, vici" I came I saw, I conquered. Not something you would expect a priest to say. Which is probably why, as a teenager, Caesar left his position as high priest of Jupiter.

Several events followed which shaped Caesar into a solider, politician, and emperor. His attitude about politics was greatly affected when in he married Cornelia, daughter of L. Cornelius Cinna, one of Sulla’s greatest enemies. When Sulla overthrew the Marian party in 81 BC and assumed dictatorship he tried to kill all his enemies, including Julius. Caesar decided that it was a good time to leave Rome.

So at the age of 20, he went to fight in the eastern campaigns and was rewarded with the highest military decoration Rome could bestow. An incident which revealed the type of emperor he would become took place in 75 BC. While traveling by boat to Rhodes to study oratory, Scythian Pirates, the scourge of the Mederanian, attacked and overran his ship. Caesar sent his staff to gather the ransom the pirates demanded, fifty talents of gold. During the 40 days that he was held by the pirates he often warned them that when he was free he would crucify them. He always smiled when he said it. The pirates laughed at the outrageous threat. But as soon as he was released, Caesar took a ship and a small force of men, tracked down the pirates, and hung them on crosses to die in the blistering Mediterranean sun.
Spartans - Houston Con 2014
These aren't Romans but their costumes are so cool
I had to add them

Though physically fit and robust Julius had epilepsy but instead of weakening him the malady strengthened his resolve for power and control. He also had a well-earned reputation as a ladies man. He was tall, handsome, of fair complexion, with firm, shapely limbs, and dark, unfathomable eyes. He was a sharp dresser, usually attired in a tunic with a broad purple stripe and long fringed sleeves that hung to his wrist.He seduced many illustrious women. But his most famous tryst was with Cleopatra, who came to him rolled up in a carpet. He even called her to Rome where he bestowed rich gifts upon her. He allowed her to give his name to the child, which she bore. According to many Greek writers of the time, this child looked just like Caesar. But his great love was Servilia, the mother of Marcus Brutus. He gifted her with a pearl so large and lustrous it cost six million sesterces.

Julius stretched the boundaries of Rome by conquering Gaul and invading Britannia. At home he maintained his power by defeating his friend and rival Pompey. Caesar gained so much power traditionally held by the Senate that the senators felt threatened and conspired against him.

Caesar’s astrologer, Spurinna, told him there was danger but, if he took care on the Ides of March he would be safe. At first, Caesar decided to stay in his bedroom on the 15th of March. However, his friend, Brutus, convinced him that the astrologer was wrong so he went about his daily business. On his way to the Senate, Caesar ran into his astrologer and told him "The Ides of March are come." Spurinna said, “Yes, they are come, but they are not past." Later that day Caesar was assassinated in the Pompey Theater, at the foot of Pompey's statue. He is remembered to this day as the greatest emperor Rome ever had. We still call the 7th month July in his honor.

These pictures of Romans and Celts are snap shots I took of reenactors at the Austin Celtic Festival. I have three books set during the days of the Celtic/Roman battles: Druid Bride, Druid Quest, and Timeless Voyage, you can read more about them at http://CelticRomanceQueen.com

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Happy Accident (With Vikings!)


While surfing the Web one day I had a happy accident. During research for an article I was working on, I stumbled across unrelated information about the gods, demi-gods, and Light Elves of Norse mythology. The lore drew me in, and I wanted to learn more.

I’d never heard of Light Elves—the angel-like beings whose sole purpose was to serve the gods and humanity. These celestial creatures lived in Alfheim (Elf Land) “the place between heaven and earth” in “the west beyond the seas” and could communicate with both deities and mortals.

The Light Elves were described as tall, blond celibate males so handsome they were “fairer to look upon than the sun.” In the middle of the night they would come to earth surreptitiously to complete the chores of deserving individuals. My creative mind went into overdrive when I pictured a handsome immortal cleaning house!

What would happen, I wondered, if a Light Elf got caught? And what if the woman who found him was beautiful? Would he risk the wrath of his god and put his tasks aside after centuries of celibacy to make love to her? If they fell in love, how would he commit to her and reconcile the distance between heaven and earth? My questions formed a story idea that became a manuscript.

In my new release, HER IMMORTAL VIKING, Gunnar of Alfheim is a warrior unjustly cast into eternal servitude and made a Light Elf by an angry god. When he falls in love with Penelope, a modern day mortal, he must find a way to link heaven and earth and cross the divide of a thousand years to clear his name and claim her.


Divine intervention. That’s all Penny asks. Freedom from overwork and mountainous debt. She sings songs of praise, chants like a yogi, and rubs her belly like Buddha until the crystal charm on her navel shimmers, all hoping to draw the attention of someone—anyone—“up there.”

In the west, beyond the seas, from the place between Heaven and Earth, an immortal hears Penny’s cries. Once a renowned Viking warrior, Gunnar has been cast into eternal servitude by an angry god. Now, while Penny sleeps, he comes to Earth to grant her wishes. But Penny is about to wake up, and so is every desire she’s ever known. To claim their fairy-tale ending, Gunnar must find a way to clear his name. Not only must his sword arm and courage stay strong, but their powerful love must cross the divide of a thousand years.

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