Monday, September 24, 2018

The Half Breed (Secret Fires) by Bobbi Smith (VNBtM, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post by author Bobbi Smith. Unfortunately, the beautiful pictures sent with the guest post are not showing up on my end (yep, ELF and technology are NOT friends), but hopefully I'll have them later, so please come back tomorrow to see them!'s Bobbi!

Hi Everybody! 

My blog question today is – What would be your dream place to visit and why?

I love to travel. My family went on a lot of driving vacations when I was a kid, and I fell in love with all of the U.S. From the Arizona desert to the snow-covered mountains to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, it’s all breathtaking and endlessly fascinating to me.  

The one thing that stayed with me from my childhood, though, was something I learned in French class during my freshman year of high school. We watched a filmstrip series about a girl named Margot and her uncle, and how they toured the chateaux on the Loire River in France. Wow! What magnificent architecture! I’d grown up living in flats in the city and always loved looking at big houses on lots of land. It was fun to imagine what it would be like to live in one. When I saw these castles, I was awestruck. I certainly would love to visit them, but I wouldn’t want to have to clean them!  J 

I came close to visiting “castles” when I toured the Southern plantations in Louisiana and Mississippi. I spent the night at Nottoway Plantation on the Mississippi River while I was researching my first book, Rapture’s Rage. What a wonderful experience. I got up early and went to walk the grounds. There was a heavy mist that morning, and that’s how I came up with the title The Mist and The Dream for my book. (Only later, after I’d sold the book, did I discover that the publisher has control of the title, and they changed it to Rapture’s Rage.) If you like beautiful mansions, check out Nottoway, Madewood and Oak Alley. 


by Bobbi Smith


GENRE: Historical Romance




In the midst of the vast, windswept Texas plains stands a ranch wrested from the wilderness with blood, sweat and tears. It is the shining legacy of Thomas McBride to his five living heirs. But along with the fertile acres and herds of cattle, each will inherit a history of scandal, lies and hidden desire that threatens to burn out of control.


Chase knows he has no legitimate claim to the Circle M. After all, his father made it painfully clear he wants nothing to do with his bastard son or the Comanche girl he once took to his bed. But Chase has his own reasons for answering Tom McBride's deathbed summons. He has a job to do as a Texas Ranger, and a woman to protect—a woman whose sweet innocence gives him new faith that love born in the darkest night can face the dawn of all his tomorrows.



When the raiding party passed out from the liquor they’d been drinking, their captive Faith made her escape on foot. Terror drove her on through the darkness. She had been running for hours when she finally saw the faint glow of a campfire in the distance

Faith moved stealthily onward.  She hoped it was a company of cavalrymen or ranch hands.

Her hopes were dashed as she surveyed the scene below.

Sitting before the low-burning campfire was a bare-chested warrior.  Faith did not recognize him as one of the raiding party, but there was no mistaking the aura of danger about him.  As she was watching, he looked up in her direction.  She remained still, barely breathing, until he looked away.  Her fear turned to fury as she slipped away.  She had to save herself.

Chase McBride knew someone was nearby.  He hadn’t survived this long by ignoring his instincts, and they were screaming a warning right now.  He was puzzled, for if someone was out to kill him, they would have taken a shot by now.  Continuing to act naturally, he stretched out on his bedroll, pretending to fall asleep.  With his gun in hand, he waited.

Faith believed the warrior hadn’t seen her.  She hoped to steal his horse before he could catch her.  

She returned to watch the campsite and was relieved to find the warrior asleep.  She felt a flicker of hope.   Slowly, cautiously, she made her way toward his horse.       

Amazon link


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

After working as a department manager for Famous-Barr, and briefly as a clerk at a bookstore, Bobbi Smith gave up on career security and began writing. She sold her first book to Zebra in 1982.

Since then, Bobbi has written over 40 books and 6 novellas. To date, there are more than five million of her novels in print. She has been awarded the prestigious Romantic Times Storyteller of the Year Award and two Career Achievement Awards. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists.

When she's not working on her novels, she is frequently a guest speaker for writer's groups. Bobbi is mother of two sons and resides in St. Charles, Missouri with her husband and three dogs.
You can follow Bobbi on Facebook

Bobbi has been awarded the prestigious “Storyteller of the Year” Award from Romantic Times Magazine (New York) and has attained positions on the New York Times Best Seller List, the USA Today Best Seller List, the Walden’s Best Seller List, B. Dalton’s List, and the Wal-Mart and K-Mart Best Seller Lists.

The foreign rights to Ms. Smith’s books have been sold to China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Russia and Sweden. Smith’s current publisher is Amazon. Bobbi has written two faith-based contemporary novels - Haven and Miracles  - using the pseudonym of Julie Marshall.

Copyright © 2018 Bobbi Smith.



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The tour dates can be found here

Friday, September 21, 2018

Taking Control: Rick's Story by Morgan Malone (Spotlight, excerpt, and review) ADULT title

Taking Control: Rick's Story

 Morgan Malone
  ADULT title

Publisher: Independent
Pages: 170
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Summer on the Jersey Shore and all Rick Sheridan wants is some solitude at his beach house. Then he spots a lean, leggy blonde coming out of the surf and his plans are shot to hell. And the dangerous looking knife strapped to her arm tells him this is no damsel in distress. As a not-so retired Marine, at 51, Rick’s learned that nothing is for certain, plans can spin out of control and shit happens.

Wounded and weary from one too many wars, Britt Capshaw thought a summer at the Shore, hanging out in her family’s beach cottage, would help her heal. And figure out what to do with the rest of her life. Out of the military, disillusioned and distrustful of any two-legged male, Britt’s one love is Alex, the yellow Labrador retriever she rescued from Afghanistan.

Rick and Britt are immediately attracted to one another, but after years in combat, they are wary of letting down their guard, of giving up control. The summer heats up and fireworks are flying between them even after the Fourth of July. But, ghosts from their pasts haunt them and finally bring them face to face with some dark secrets that may destroy the fragile trust they’ve built.

Can Britt trust Rick with her dangerous past? Will Rick be able to let go of the rigid control he needs to keep Britt and himself safe from more heartbreak? These two brave souls fight against surrendering their hearts and finally finding love. Who will win?


He stood before the French doors to the deck, with a large mug of steaming black brew cradled in his hands, letting its warmth take away some of the chill that had surrounded him for the last several months. I’m freezing. And it’s not the air-conditioning. It’s my damn frozen heart. Rick pushed the doors open, letting the heat of the sun and the smell of the ocean sweep into his house. He stepped outside, breathing deep, relaxing just a little. Yeah. This is what I need. A summer at the Shore, a few projects, and plenty of quiet—then I’ll be back to my old self. Chuckling as he mentally reminded himself of just how “old” his self was, Rick raised the cup to take a long sip of coffee.

He saw the figure emerging from the waves almost directly in front of his cottage at the same moment he heard the loud barking of a nearby dog.

What the hell?

She was a modern-day Botticelli’s Venus, with the waves foaming around her legs. Long, long legs, lean and tan, disappeared into a bright blue bikini bottom, just visible under the blue and white swim T-shirt that covered a long, muscular torso. Her arms were raised, her hands brushed back sodden strands of platinum blond hair. A swim mask dangled from her left elbow, dropping down into her hand as she lowered her arms. When she stepped from the surf, the woman gave an all-over body shake, drops of ocean water flying off her, glistening for an instant like diamonds in the early morning sun. Then she dropped to her knees so suddenly that Rick lurched forward, splashing coffee as he looked down for a place to leave the heavy mug before he rushed to her aid.

He needn’t have bothered. From the deck of the cottage to his left, a huge yellow dog was bounding down the wooden stairs two at a time in a mad dash to the woman. She stretched out her arms to the animal just before the happy hound collided into her, rolling her into the sand. The woman’s laugh floated on the ocean breeze. Rick straightened, still grasping his cup of coffee and stepped back into the shadows cast over his deck by the second-floor balcony. From his vantage point, he watched the woman ruffle the dog’s fur, the animal prancing and shaking in spasms of pure pleasure. When had he ever experienced such unfettered joy? Rick couldn’t remember. A long, long time ago…maybe.

Who was she? The owners of the cottage next door were an older couple who spent half the year in Florida and half the year on the Shore. Could she be a granddaughter or niece? Or had the couple decided to rent this year? Rick made a mental note to contact his property manager who handled many of the shore homes and make inquiries. He had not planned on having to deal with a stranger; he just wanted some peace and quiet.

             The woman and dog were walking up from the water’s edge. Rick eased toward the open doors of his living room, thinking to disappear into the shadows. He just didn’t feel like an early morning encounter with anyone, certainly not the mermaid with those incredible legs who was ambling slowly in his general direction. He stopped suddenly when something caught the corner of his eye. A glint of sunlight on metal. He reached for his pistol, but his waistband was empty. Damn. What is that woman doing with a diving knife strapped to her right bicep? Who the hell is she?

About the Author

Morgan Malone is the pen name of a retired lawyer who turned in her judicial robes to write romantic memoir and sexy contemporary romance, which always features silver foxes and the independent women who tame them.

Morgan fell in love with romantic heroes after reading her mother’s first edition of “Gone with the Wind” when she was 12 years old. Rhett Butler became the standard by which she measured all men. Some have met the mark, most have failed to even come close and one or two surpassed even Rhett’s dark and dangerous allure.

Morgan lives near Saratoga Springs, NY with her beloved chocolate Lab. She can be found on occasion drinking margaritas and dancing at local hostelries, but look for her most often in independent book stores and the library, searching for her next great love in tales of romance, history, adventure and lust. When she can’t find the perfect man, she retreats to her upstairs office and creates him, body and soul, for her pleasure and for yours. Remember: love, like wine, gets better with age.

Her recent novel is the contemporary romance, Taking Control: Rick’s Story.






My  review:


4.5 out of 5 stars

Taking Control: Rick’s Story by Morgan Malone is the second book in the ‘Love in Control’ series. This contemporary romance does a lovely job of portraying the dance of attraction that plays out between two wounded veterans as they fortuitously share time on the Jersey Shore. Both Rick Sheridan and Britt Capshaw have retreated there to heal and evaluate their respective lives and neither wants to deal with a pesky neighbor, or so they think.

I love the way each backstory is gradually revealed (although I ache at the revelations) as well as the unique twist provided by the military background that these two characters have, which colors both their reactions and their interactions. The charismatic dog Alex naturally steals whichever scene he is part of and I was intrigued by the Saratoga WarHorse program that provides therapy for our wounded warriors, although I wanted more detail about the experience. I was drawn into this story instantly and delighted that these two are mature characters who have to fight to let down their walls enough to be comfortable showing their scars (both physical and emotional). There is a nicely balanced combination of poignancy, romance, and sensuality that keeps one invested in this lovely tale of two courageous people who are struggling to heal and lead a meaningful life. This is the first book I have read by this author but I will definitely be on the lookout for more of her titles.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Unwrapping His Heart (Hearts on the Line, #1) by Karrie George (Book blast, excerpt, and review) GBP ADULT title


Karrie George
ADULT title

Publisher: Little Storm Press
Cover Artist: Madelynne Ellis
Release Date: August 23, 2018
Genre/s: MM romance
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 76 000 words 

A standalone book, but the first in a series


Matt is sexy, single, and fabulous. His career at a fancy magazine is going from strength to strength. He has great friends, a nice flat, and a healthy bank account. Life is wonderful.

In truth, Matt is unhappy. Convinced he’s not worthy of love, he flits from club to bar, in search of temporary amnesia from the demon on his shoulder that tells him he’s never going to find “the one”. Which is ironic, because his heart already belongs to the one man he knows he can never have—his straight best friend, Zeke.

Zeke has always dated women. He can’t fathom why he’s so upset about Matt’s latest lover, the wildly successful and attractive Dieter, but refuses to accept that he’s jealous, because to do that, he might have to do some soul-searching of his own.

Meeting Dieter turns Matt’s ordered life on its head, and opens Matt’s mind to the possibility that he can make a meaningful connection. However, to take a gamble on love, Matt has to learn to trust people with his secrets. And, more importantly, to overcome his shame regarding the one part of him he refuses to change. If he can’t – or won’t – learn to love himself, it’s doubtful anyone else will see the real man behind the mask.

The only question is whether he’s brave enough.



The hairs on the back of his neck lifted; he was coming closer. The thick carpet muffled his steps, but Matt’s internal compass had apparently shifted and now only had one direction.

Sørensen didn’t speak as he approached, and Matt didn’t move from his position, concentrating furiously on a Porsche as it made several attempts to parallel park. Then his breathing hitched as a hand landed on his shoulder.

“I think you should call me Dieter.”

“Okay.” It was an effort to force the two syllables out. Still neither of them moved. The air between them crackled and Matt swallowed. He wasn’t imagining it now; Sørensen - Dieter- was interested. He raised his eyes a fraction and risked checking the reflection in the glass. Before he could process anything, he was suddenly moving, then his back was pressed against the window as a mouth came down on his and his vision blurred.

Dieter kissed without mercy, his lips hot and hard and insistent. Matt barely had time to register that he tasted of mint before a tongue demanded entry, forcing rather than coaxing, and any resistance he might have summoned crumbled under the assault. He moaned and his head fell back, at the same time as his hands rose to grip the lapels of Dieter’s suit jacket to tug him closer.

A hand grasped the back of his head and strong fingers raked through his hair. Matt responded by sliding his arms under Dieter’s jacket and clawing at the fine material of his shirt, desperate to find skin. Pulling back suddenly, Dieter tore off the offending jacket, letting it drop to the floor, then did the same with Matt’s leather one, before mashing their mouths together once more. He ground into Matt, every roll of his hips sparking nerve endings that screamed for release as the pressure grew.

Matt didn’t usually kiss much. Frantic gropes in the dark corners of clubs didn’t lend themselves to more than getting off as quickly as possible, and he wasn’t yet sure he was in the market for romance, but something about the way Dieter tried to consume him was addictive. He couldn’t get enough. Air wasn’t necessary; getting moreof everything, was. He realised he’d moaned again, and the noise evidently pleased Dieter. “Let me get you off,” he murmured, “are you close?”

Matt was close, tooclose. He turned his head suddenly, smacking it against the cool glass. Releasing his hold on Dieter, he pressed the heel of one hand against his groin, then used the other as a shield, palm up against Dieter’s chest. He could feel the galloping heartbeat under his fingers and the thought that Dieter was similarly affected pleased him.

“Gissa moment,” he choked out, willing his erection to subside enough to allow him to think.

To his credit Dieter didn’t crowd him, but his eyes were puzzled. “You don’t want to come?”

Matt laughed, a small, pained sound. “Yeah, but not in my clothes.”

Dieter smiled. “We can rectify that simply. But I think perhaps we are the same size. It would have been no trouble to lend you something. Come to bed with me, Matt.” He tipped forward and pressed their foreheads together gently, a direct contrast to his previous full-on attack. “You do want to?”

“Fuck, yeah. But not tonight.”


Because if we do that, you’ll think I’m a fucking weirdo and ditch me before we get as far as the bed. “You took me by surprise. Also, it’s not very professional if I’m going to be working for you.”

Buy Links

About the Author 

Karrie George considers caffeine the most important food group. She’d like to think of herself as delightfully eccentric, but has grudgingly accepted that “socially awkward weirdo” is nearer the mark. Books and music have been the backdrop to her life so far, and she sees no reason for this to ever change. Karrie lives in the wilds of Scotland with a long-suffering spouse and several children. The voices in her head are great at encouraging her to leave the dust bunnies in favour of playing with plot bunnies. Possibly unrelated, she owns a number of pristine dusters.

Social Media Links




My review:

3.75 out of 5 stars

Unwrapping His Heart by Karrie George is a m/m contemporary romance that follows Matt Lee as he works his way through relationships that prompt him to reexamine his priorities and insecurities. His connection to a sexy business mogul complicates his comfortable long-term relationship with his roommate and forces him to decide what is most important in his life, no matter how painful the revelation might be.

This is the first story in the ‘Hearts on the Line’ series and centers on the premise that one must be comfortable in one’s own skin before asking someone else to accept the entire package. I thought the story was mostly a slow burn for the romance but there were several intriguing twists that gave more depth to the main characters. I enjoy the friends-to-lovers trope and I think the author did a great job of highlighting the broad spectrum of sexuality in this story. It was a little difficult to understand some of the interconnections with the secondary characters and at first I thought this was a sequel but I think some of the dangling threads are being addressed in subsequent stories.

Some of the story felt a bit like a series of vignettes that are tied together but I think that is partly due to the challenges of establishing the series. There are poignant elements that make one ache for all of the lost souls but it would be nice to get a bit more depth to all of the characters. This was an entertaining light read and I look forward to learning more about these folks in subsequent tales. 

A copy of this title was provided to me for review

Monday, September 17, 2018

Lovesick Titans by Amanda Meuwissen (VNBtM, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT ADULT title

I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post by author Amanda Meuwissen who answers my question...

What do you do to mentor others?

AM:  My mentoring of others for writing began with my work as Managing Editor for the indie publisher BigWorldNetwork. As much as I adore writing, I enjoy editing as well and helping people craft their work.

I helped edit over 60 novels and many more online series, and I consider the five years I spent with the publisher some of the most rewarding, both for how I advised other authors and my editing team.

The most important thing to me was to ensure that what we were editing never took away from the voice of the author but was more technical focused while also being conscientious of any plot/scene moments that weren’t coming across clearly. Readers don’t want cookie cutter voices from their authors, so everyone doesn’t need to be exactly the same in execution.

I also went out of my way to give feedback on those submissions we received that weren’t accepted, still providing edits, suggestions, and the opportunity for repeat submissions if authors went back, revised, and tried again. We even published a few who were initially rejected. Other publishers simply don’t do that.

I love telling aspiring writers to not compare themselves to other authors because we’re not competing with each other, readers always want more to consume, we only compete with ourselves, bettering ourselves and our writing. I think approaching publication that way helps a lot.

I’m also just a natural cheerleader who wants to see others succeed. Writers who are wary of putting their work out there? I’m here to tell you to believe in yourself and try, especially when it comes to some of the amazing fanfiction I’ve read over the years.

Most of my novels are adapted fanfic, and I like sharing that with readers and writers I engage with online to encourage them to consider how they might adapt their fanfiction to reach a broader audience. Often fanfics are better than the ‘best-selling’ novels out there. Most fanfic authors do so just in their spare time and never consider their work going beyond a website, but fanfiction is just as valid as any other writing and is one of the best tools for beginners to build their skills and craft their voice.

The other bit of advice I never stop giving is to write every day. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriNo) was the kick in the pants I needed a few years ago to jumpstart my writing habits, and I’ve never looked back. With NaNo you HAVE to write every day, and the tendency stuck with me and only for my benefit.

So, I say—don’t give up. Take a chance. You can be a teenager or full-time accountant or middle-age mother of four, it doesn’t matter, you can still share your writing, and I aim to encourage as many people as possible to embrace that and share their stories.


 Amanda Meuwissen


GENRE:   Gay Romance, Superhero



Not even a Titan can always stand up to a God.

Malcom Cho is in over his head, wrapped up in a love affair with his superhero nemesis Zeus, who most people in Olympus City only know as Detective Danny Grant.

Lovesick Titans begins where Lovesick Gods left off, after a heist gone wrong that ended with a museum guard dead and Mal and Danny beaten and exhausted from their fight with the new threat in town, Cassidy Ludgate—Hades.

Unaware that Ludgate’s true motivation is revenge for the death of his father at Zeus’s hands, Mal wants only to keep Danny close, while Danny races to solve the cases surrounding Ludgate to stop him from whatever he has planned for them next.

What Mal doesn’t know is that Danny didn’t pursue him with the purest of intentions but sought to break his heart in retaliation for not being there when he needed him in the fight against Thanatos. Even though Danny no longer seeks that end, the lies between them loom like a shadow about to descend upon them both.

And Hades has only begun to toy with them…



Danny let Mal hold his hand in place on his arm, while his other hand strayed, drifting down to Mal’s hip and resting at the edge of one of his larger scars. Mal had many, from years of abuse and a hard way of living. Normally, when Danny touched one, he pushed on with confidence, but tonight, the raised scar tissue made him snap to his senses like he’d been in a trance.

“Sorry,” he said and pulled both hands away.

But Mal reached for them, hung onto them, and brought Danny’s hands back to his skin. “It’s okay. Broken bottle one night when Dad got drunk. Now I get to add another knife wound to the collection.” Mal smirked as he nodded at his bandaged arm.

Danny smiled with him, but it was a sad, shattered expression. He teased the tips of his fingers over the scar tissue. “Are all these really from…” With a startle, he tried to pull away again as if he’d said something he shouldn’t.

“My father?” Mal said, refusing to let him go. “Not all. Most though. Some are from prison. Some dumb mistakes. Fights like tonight. But most…yeah, they’re his.”

Taking Danny’s hand still resting on his hip, Mal drew it upwards, guiding it across his bare chest until he reached his shoulder and the faint circular scar tissue near his clavicle. 

“Freezer burn. From his powers. Because I broke my leg when I was eight and I cried. He wanted to teach me a lesson. Teach me how to keep pain in and never let anyone see it. So he held the tip of a frozen finger there until it burned.”

Danny’s brow furrowed with indignant anger. 

Mal trailed the hand lower to a particularly bad scar across his stomach—his worst and the one he remembered the clearest. “First knife wound. Caught me with a boy in my room. Would have killed him if I hadn’t stood in the way. I took the brunt of it. Let him run off. Never brought a boy home again, not ‘til Dad was gone. Brought a couple girls home,” he shrugged.

“Girls?” Danny asked with a touch of humored skepticism bleeding through his concern. He splayed his hand flat against Mal’s stomach, warm and intimate in his touch.

“Occasionally. Not as often.”

Danny nodded but his smile quickly faded, his eyes trained on the scar and the affectionate way he traced it with his fingers. “Sometimes…I think my dad hates me because…” he trailed and the motion of his hand slowed. “There’s something I never told you. About the night I killed Thanatos.”

The smile dropped from Mal’s lips as well as he waited for Danny to continue. 

“He killed my mom.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Amanda Meuwissen has been writing and posting online for many years, including maintaining the website and blog for the software company Outsell. She is an avid writer and consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games, and is the author of the paranormal romance trilogy The Incubus Saga and young adult novel Life as a Teenage Vampire. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their two cats.

Author web links:



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Saturday, September 15, 2018

HRR--Historical Romance Retreat 2018


I have been a bit buried in edits for the past few weeks...which is a good thing on the one hand, but a little frustrating since I can't catch up on my reviews or anything else. Life has been a bit challenging for the past few months and I find myself constantly trying to re-center myself and achieve that peaceful frame of mind. I've started reading posts by Marc and Angel and have found them to be wonderful inspiration.

One of the many subgenres of romance that I enjoy is historical. My Saturday Seven post a while ago lists some of the historical romance authors I love (link) and when I discovered that this year's Historical Romance Retreat (HRR) was NOT in Washington, but rather in Riverside, I was thrilled.

Today was the Reader Signing day, so I inquired about helping set up and was thrilled to be able to volunteer and caress (ahem, arrange) all of the beautiful new books! I am definitely a print book person (and my messy house attests to that fact) even though I do a lot of e-book reading nowadays.

If there is ever one of these events in your town, I strongly encourage you to at least attend the Signing day, since those are usually open to the public at no charge, you get a chance to put a face to the name you have seen so many times as you devour their books, and there is always lots of lovely swag.

Today I had the opportunity to renew my acquaintance with many of my favorite authors and to learn about new great books to read. It was lovely to interact with my "tribe" and to share in the camaraderie of fellow booklovers plus admire all of the lovely costumes. I definitely am a fan of the venue, a historic and picturesque hotel called The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa and I had a blast visiting old friends and making new ones.

I apologize that the pictures are a bit fuzzy, but I turned the flash off so I wouldn't blind the poor authors. I'll try to share over the next few days but don't hold your breath, life sometimes gets a bit hectic!


The wonderfully prolific Amy Jarecki looked stunning in her costume and the covers on her books were definitely drool-worthy!


Caroline Warfield's beautiful display was accented by her lovely kimono and those of you who are fans of Christmas tales will be delighted to know her novella, Lady Charlotte's Christmas Vigil, is only $.99 (please check price before buying).

As you can see, it was great fun! More to follow in a few days.