Archives

My Divinely Decadent Duke–an Interview of His Grace, Gordon Sedgewick of Althorn

My Divinely Decadent Duke is the second book of The Duke Series by Sandra Masters. Today, we have an interview of His Grace, Gordon Sedgewich of Althorn. To set the stage, here is a description of the book:

Orphaned and abandoned by family, Lady Cassandra Montgomery yearns for love. Beautiful and innocent, she attracts the attention of a renowned rake, the Duke of Althorn. When her security is threatened, she offers him a proposal for an arranged marriage in exchange for his guarantee of safety for her and her ward. After her first taste of desire in his arms, she finds the sexual attraction irresistible. Finding herself in a family way, she leaves his home, unsure of his love.

The Duke is at first enraged by the brazen behavior, yet he sees Cassandra as a captivating caregiver for his mother and impossible to resist. He agrees. The arrangement becomes inconvenient because love and sex enter the equation.

Will she believe her husband truly loves her and return to his waiting arms?

Will the Duke admit his love and use his rakish skills to woo Cassandra back to his bed?

INTERVIEW

Q. Your Grace, when you first met the former Lady Cassandra, what did you think of her?

A.  To start with, I sat in a wing back chair sipping a liqueur in front of a warm fire in the drawing room of a manor house where I attended a ball. I was startled by a conversation between a man and a woman who had entered the room totally unaware of my presence, The bounder had just summarily broken their engagement in favor of someone who had a higher status than she. I looked for a moment when I could interrupt and leave their presence, but that didn’t happen. A book flew across the room, as well as a paperweight of sorts. He left rather quickly. I stood up, announced myself, and offered my handkerchief and my glass of spirits. Do you know what she said? Something like, “Is this my night to meet nothing but scoundrels?”  But she did take the cognac and my handkerchief. That is how I met my future wife.

Q.  What happened then?
A.  Kindly remember I was an acknowledged rake and proud of it. The last thing I needed was a woman who needed comforting, like a wounded puppy. I’ve a fondness for such creatures. Imagine my surprise, when she took the arm I offered and we walked out of the room, only to meet her now ex-fiancé’. She excused herself for a moment and walloped him with her fist. Bravo, I thought. Great spirit. He wasn’t going to get the best of her. She and I then left him to nurse his cheek, and we joined the others at the ball.

Q. When did you meet again?
A.  Two weeks after that evening, I was on my daily walk on Brighton Beach and I saw an enchanting woman peering through a telescope and when she looked toward me, we recognized each other immediately. The lilt of her warm greeting pleased me. One thing led to the other, need I say more?

Q. Tell us something we may not know about you?
A. I was the second son of my father, therefore, not the heir. That suited me fine. I loved my brother. We were schooled together and then we were tutored at home. We learned the dead languages of Greek and Latin, and not too much else. The fate of second sons was a choice of the divinity or military. I cared for neither but did convince my father to allow me to travel to Barbados and learn about the sugar plantation and factories we had there. The good thing is that it showed me a different part of the world and commerce. The bad thing was that I contracted malaria and after four months on the island, I had to be transported home because foreigners were susceptible to the disease that could kill. Kalinya, a native woman I cared about, arranged for a witch doctor to ink me with a tattoo of a lion so my ancestors could protect me.
Tomas, my good friend from school days, went with me and therefore had the opportunity to transport me back home to England where I barely survived the ocean journey.  Without realizing it, my island life was left behind. Then everything changed.

Q. What happened?
A. My mother greeted the ship with footmen, a physician, solicitor, vicar, and a tutor whom I recognized. That somber sight could have sobered a drunk. I wondered why she was outfitted in black. Tomas assisted me to the carriage. When she saw me, she broke into tears. My father was dead, and three weeks later, my brother died in a carriage accident. That left me as the sole heir to the Duke of Althorn. There I was, totally unprepared for my dynastic responsibilities. My carefree life was over. I could never see Kalinya again. I did apply myself after my health returned, but it was a lonely existence. So I sought out former school chums, and I freely admit, we got into mischief in many ways. My mother tried to talk sense into me, but it was to no avail.

Q. You are a well renowned duke, honored by all. What caused you to change your ways?
A. To say I loved my family would be an understatement. All I had left was my mother, whom I adored. When she fell and sustained an injury, I determined it was time to remember who I was and to emulate my father in all things. Above all, he was an honorable man. Honor became my personal signature. Now, I do not expect anyone to believe I became a saint. Not true by any means, but I was discreet. I did believe that personal integrity, respect, dignity and pride would distinguish my dukedom from others. My mother’s illness was the catalyst to my epiphany. I became aware Cassandra and her ward, Alicia, were also friends of hers, who visited my mother annually. I should say technically that Alicia was her brother’s ward, but the little girl belonged to Cass in every sense of the word. I never really cared to notice, until one day I was at home, when I overheard a conversation between Cassandra and the professional caregiver as to the unkind treatment she rendered my mother. As I listened, I realized this was not the compassionate aid my mother required, so I summarily terminated the nurse. I had to start the search again for I had terminated at least four others.

Q. You speak of your reputation, were all the allegations true?
A. I did acquire notoriety with the ladies, a small part was deserved. The other was conjecture, fodder for the scandal sheets, and wishful thinking. If I had all the liaisons attributed to me, my manly parts would have fallen off from overuse. Beg your pardon, Lady Masters, for my risqué banter. I am a model husband now, ever in love with my wife.

Q. How did the romance progress?
A. Rather quickly. It was clear I had an interest in her, but she came with a ‘package’, her ward, Alicia, a tow-headed blonde who resembled Cassandra. The unkind talk of the town was that the little girl was the issue of a liaison gone wrong. Cassandra was the sister of the earl, so she was semi-accepted in society. While there was no proof of such indiscretion, tongues wagged. The simple truth was that Alicia was the daughter of her best friend who died in childbirth. Cass, that’s what I sometimes call her, agreed to honor (there’s that word again) her promise to raise the child as her own. That’s courage I admired considering her circumstances..

Q. What caused you to propose?
A.  I didn’t. She offered me a business arrangement. She’d care for my mother if I would offer protection for her and little Alicia. In other words, it was a marriage of convenience. No mention of love or sex. I refused the proposition twice out of pride. Then I recalled how difficult it was for her to make such an offer to someone like me. My arrogance repelled me. One day I officially offered and we did marry. We now have two sons, two dogs, Runt and Giant, and there were a few puppies, also. And yes, then there was the traitorous mother dog who went everywhere with Cass, my dowager mother, and the children who frolicked on the beach. I was captivated from the start.  If you wish to know anymore, I suggest we reschedule.

Q. I say there, Lady Masters, I’m getting thirsty. Are you going to offer me a libation?
A. You have such a wicked smile. It makes me sigh. So sorry, your grace, kindly allow me to pour your favorite, since I know what it is.

Q. Your grace, I assume if readers want to know anything further, they should read the book My Divinely Decadent Duke?
A. Absolutely, I’m sure you can use the proceeds to fund future stories.

End of Interview

About Sandra Masters

From a humble beginning in Newark, New Jersey, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ at the age of fourteen, retiring from a fantastic career for a play broadcasting company in Carlsbad, California, to the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park, Sandra traded in the Board Rooms for the Ballrooms of the Regency period and never looked back.

Sandra wrote her first book at the age of fifteen and since then she has always traveled with pen and paper in hand. She loves to write. Romance is at best a gift and her passion is the Regency period. Admittedly, she would prefer to be the sister of a duke or an earl…perhaps even a princess? Or the other endless possibilities of a widow. Hmmm.

Not being able to time travel, she now writes about what she loves and it has been worth every headache and heartache. She has been blessed with a great content editor, Cindy Davis, a lot of helpful The Wild Rose Press staff.

For a new author, it was nothing she expected, but everything she dreamed. However, her first love will always be for Regency Romance. There are five books in process in her DUKE series. ONCE UPON A DUKE is available from Amazon and the Wild Rose Press. Her new second release, MY DIVINELY DECADENT DUKE will have its worldwide release on January 29, 2016.

Her third book, THORN, SON OF A DUKE, is the prequel to her fourth book, THE DUKE’S MAGNIFICENT BASTARD, which is a multi-cultural romance story of a young couple defeating all odds.

P.S. Sandra love bears of all sizes and shapes. However, she prefers to view the real life ones from afar.

kris BANNER USE THIS

Advertisements

Guest Post — TATTOOS – All You Never Needed to Know

by Sandra Masters

Sandra MastersNot sure why exactly, I became fascinated with tattoos and did an immense amount of research. I even thought of getting a tattoo myself, but felt at my age, I didn’t want the pain, so I opted for washable tattoos.  What fun! I appeared at a writers group with an Egyptian type tattoo just below my neck. It was a great conversation piece. Move over, Nefertiti.

My second book MY DIVINELY DECADENT DUKE, was released January 29th featuring the cover below. My duke originally did not have a tattoo, but as the hero in the book called to me, this author decided he would have a tattoo inked on him by a Barbados witch doctor to protect him from evil. He has a Lion Clan tattoo. Thanks to RJ at The Wild Rose Press and my graphic artist, Debbie Taylor, my cover is picture perfect.

Book CoverThe history of tattoos goes back centuries and is referred to in the bible. It was common around the world, especially in China, Japan, Asia and Polynesia. It spread throughout Europe like wildfire. It already held a place in Central America and Australia. In fact, some anthropologists claim that the history of tattoos may date back as long as 15,000 years. Certainly, we know that many of the ancient civilizations used tattooing techniques.

Throughout history, tattoos have been used as:

Signs of status and place in society
Magical amulets against evil (My novel’s reason)
Punishment
Reminders of a religious belief
Adornments for the sake of beauty
Gang members to establish identity

lionBetween 1766 and 1770, Captain James Cook made three voyages to the South Pacific. When Cook and his men returned home to Europe from their voyages, they told tales of the ‘tattooed savages’ they had seen. The word tattoo itself comes from the Tahitian tatau and was introduced into the English language by Cook’s expedition (though the word ‘tattoo’ or ‘tap-too’ , referring to a drumbeat, had existed in England since at least 1644.

It was in 1769 that Cook first noted his observations about the body modification and is the first recorded use of the word tattoo to refer to permanent marking of the skin. He recorded it in his Ship’s log book. This method is a painful operation and is performed but once in their lifetimes.

anchorCook’s Science Officer and Expedition Botanist, Sir Joseph Banks, returned to England with a tattoo. Banks was highly regarded as a member of the English aristocracy. Cook brought back a Tahitian Chief whom he presented to King George and the English Court. The talk of many in society was the tales of the “tattooed savages.” Many of Cook’s men, ordinary seamen and sailors, came back with tattoos, a tradition that would soon become associated with seamen and men of the sea in the public’s mind. In the process, sailors and seamen re-introduced the practice of tattooing in Europe and it spread rapidly to seaports around the globe.

In fact, many tattoo artists held permanent residences in the ports of England, Spain, France and Italy. It is claimed there was a tattoo artist in every major port city.

Some Popular Symbols:

  • swallowAnchor: Refers to a someone who has sailed across the Atlantic
  • Dragon: Refers to a sailor that has served in Asia
  • Fully rigged ship: Represents traversal of Cape Horn
  • Golden Dragon: Means a sailor has crossed the International Date Line
  • Harpoon: Refers to a member of the fishing fleet
  • Rope around the wrist “Hold Fast” across the knuckles” Represents a sailor who was a deckhand
  • Swallow: Obtained when first setting out to sea. It was considered good luck.

By the 19th century, tattooing had spread to British society but was still largely associated with sailors and the lower or even criminal class.

dragonIt is said that aristocratic and royal families of Europe may well have been the first celebrities to indulge in the taste for tattoos. The royal court was fascinated and the Tahitian Chief’s tattoos were admired. The Chief was presented to King George V and he himself got inked with the “Cross of Jerusalem” when he traveled to the Middle East in 1862. The Dukes of Clarence and the Duke of York were similarly tattooed in Japan while serving in the British Admiralty solidifying what would become a family tradition.

In later years, Lady Randolph, Winston Churchill’s mother, sported a snake tattoo around her wrist, and for formal occasions, had a specially made diamond bracelet to cover it when she was in society. Winston Churchill also had a tattoo!!

Hope you enjoyed knowing more than you’ll have to about tattoos worldwide.

SANDRA MASTERS

An Offer and Free Book Opportunity from Best Selling Author Debra Salonen

How’s your summer going? Fantastic, I hope.

I was excited to be part of the huge Romance Writers of America Literacy Book Signing in San Diego a week ago. Connecting with readers –and other authors — never gets old. I came home with some fantastic books to read and a few copies of my own print books to giveaway.

Email your “snail mail” address (anywhere in the world works for me) to debsalonen@gmail.com and I’ll send you one of my cool new bookmarks, PLUS, I’ll enter your name in a drawing to win one of my print books, either: BLACK HILLS BABY or MONTANA MIRACLE.

I’ll announce the four winners in my next newsletter.

I have some exiting to news to share, too. I’ve been invited to write a book for The Inheritance Project. If you haven’t heard of this fabulous collection of books and authors, you’re in for a treat. My book will be a new addition to my Black Hills Rendezvous series, called: BLACK HILLS LEGACY. I’m working on the details now, but I can tell you it will involve The Mystery Spot.

You can find out more by liking our Facebook page: THE INHERITANCE.

If you’d like to check out the most recent Inheritance Project release, you’re in luck. Author Margaret Daley’s romantic suspense, Deadly Legacy, just released. It’s definitely on my #mustread list.

Amazon      iBooks       Kobo       Google        B&N

Legacy of Secrets. Threats and Danger. Second Chances. From USA Today Bestselling author, Margaret Daley, is another romantic suspense from her series Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations.

One More Second Chance–an Engaging Contemporary by Jana Richards

perf5.000x8.000.inddDr. Alex Campbell has an agenda—finish his contract to provide medical services in Maine, pay off his medical school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego. But when he meets Julia, all his carefully laid plans are put in jeopardy.

Julia Stewart, Lobster Cove’s high school principal, swears she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home she loves. Her aging parents need her, and the Cove is where she wants to raise her daughter. When her mother’s illness brings her and the big city doctor closer together, panic sets in. Her marriage taught her men don’t stay.

Can she put aside the heartaches of the past and trust Alex enough to accept the love he’s offering? Or will her fear of abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?

Available at:

Amazon
Amazon UK
Amazon Canada
The Wild Rose Press
Kobo
Chapters/Indigo
iBooks
All Romance Ebooks
Bookstrand
Barnes and Noble
Google Play

PRINT COPY GIVE AWAY CHANCE: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/193319

Excerpt

They drank their tea in silence, but the silence didn’t feel awkward. Julia felt soothed, the stress slowly leaving her body. Perhaps her grandmother had been onto something. The tea seemed to be working.

She finished the last of it and set down the cup. “I should be going. I left Ava with Tracy, and she’s probably hungry by now.”

Julia got to her feet and headed to the front door, with Alex following her. “Thanks for the tea, and for listening. I guess I needed both today.”

“Anytime. Seriously, Julia, anytime you need to talk, about anything, give me a call.”

She wondered if he was speaking as a doctor, as a friend, or as a man. Which one did she want him to be?

“Thank you.”

“I’ll try to keep an eye out for your folks, see if there’s anything I can do for them.”

She was touched by his offer. “I really appreciate that, but I know how busy you are.”

He waved away her concern. “It’s no big deal. I appreciate my grandmother’s neighbors checking in on her, and I’d be happy to do the same.”

He really did understand how she felt. “In that case, thank you.”

She opened the front door and stepped outside. Turning to Alex, she smiled. His thick hair had begun to dry, and the dark strands gleamed in the spring sunshine. Her breath caught in her throat at his beauty.

“Bye, Alex.”

“Bye. Take care.”

Julia hurried down the steps and across the lawn to her car. An appreciation for his looks was as far she could take any relationship with him. Her life was too complicated, too full already. And she would never get involved with a man who planned to leave Lobster Cove in only a few more months.

About the Author

Jana RichardsWhen Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com.

From the author: “I’m giving away a print copy of ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE. For your chance to win, please enter my Goodreads giveaway at https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/193319.”

Find Jana at:

Independence Day Release: Irresistible Desire by Susan V. Vaughn

 

irresistibledesireHis playful seduction was hard to resist…

Music teacher Ann Green moved to Bay Shore to protect her heavily-guarded heart. But when she meets a handsome fisherman who tests her resolve to stay single, she loses all control. Now she is stuck between the painful memory of her father’s betrayal, and the man who just might be her future.

A boundless hunger has taken over…

Andrew Rybak has taken care of his two younger siblings since his mother’s ongoing drug addiction began. But he secretly aches to escape Bay Shore, and leave all his responsibility behind, until a beautiful stranger moves into town, and opens his eyes to a new future. But will she trust him enough to open her heart? Especially as his inner passions are ignited, and everything he’s been holding back comes pouring out at once.

Buy Links:

About the Author:

Romance Author, Susan V. Vaughn understood the meaning of sarcasm before she could walk.  Her childhood in the suburbs of Detroit was spent mainly trying to outwit her six creative siblings.  When she wasn’t working on the next soul crushing jab, she sharpened her imagination on romantic literature and day dreamed about her knight in shining armor.

It didn’t take long for Susan to take her passion for reading romances into writing her own unique love stories.  Susan lives her life finding laughter in all situations, and delights in marrying sarcasm with romance to create realistic falling-in-love stories in the unlikeliest of scenarios.

Susan lives on the shores of Lake Huron with her real life knight in shining armor and enjoys watching their three children learn the art of sarcasm and wit.

Websitewww.susanvvaughn.com

Twitter-@susanvaughn1124

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Susan-V-Vaughn-123758787958942/

Excerpt:

“Ann, wait,” he called with desperation, jogging to her side. “Can I come in?”

“What?” She turned to him, clearly caught off guard by his question, even though
she shouldn’t be. He was standing in her backyard, for Christ’s sake. His intentions
were obvious. “You want to come in?”

He nodded. If he didn’t talk, maybe she wouldn’t see how anxious he was for her to
say yes. Maybe he would gain her trust.

“Well, I…” She paused, looking conflicted. He could tell by the way Ann was looking
at him now that she saw his desperation, but something inside of her was softening
to it. “I don’t know. I have work later today.”

“Please, Ann,” he begged. If his vulnerability was on display and it didn’t repel her,
then he would let it show. He was too tired to fight it back, anyway. It had been too
damn long since he last slept. And this woman was giving him peace. He couldn’t
let her push him away, not tonight. “I can’t sleep. My head is a mess. I need someone
to talk to.” He grabbed onto her shoulders and looked into her eyes, appealing to
her feminine compassion. “I need you.”

A Compelling New Release: Blood Stones–The Haunting of Sunset Canyon by Krista Lynn

What magic is this? Supernatural? Witchcraft? The Shaman’s Curse?
Or…something other? 

BloodStonesFinalWebDeep in the Arizona desert, the love a young woman feels for her mysterious Indian lover grows deeper every year, though her heart stopped beating over a century ago—stilled by the one she loves. What magic could cause this? What ancient Native American witchcraft could hold her spirit captive and make her part of The Haunting of Sunset Canyon? Could the legends of ghost warriors who guard the treasure of the Lost Blood Stones Mine be true? 

When Darcy Peel left Dry Creek, Arizona, to go to graduate school, she thought she had left for good. She never imagined she would come back to the small community nestled in the shadow of Prospector’s Mountain. But now she is compelled to return and find her sister who is lost in the red gorge canyon. On her trail to the truth, Darcy meets Alan Brandt, a young deputy who possesses hidden abilities that link him to stories of ghost warriors. Can she trust him to help find her sister as he promises? Or is she being trapped by the canyon’s magic—seduced by her attraction to a man with an uncanny connection to the deadly legends?

Blood Stones is available now from:

Her eyesight faded while outside the cave the shape of Prospector’s Mountain scraped the skyline and covered the canyon in shadow. The soft pressure of his lips lingered on her ear – this gift of pleasure her last human sensation.

“Emm-ma-line,” he whispered. “There is one thing I can do.”

The timbre of his voice, the voice she loved, soaked into her waning consciousness. His words receded with her into the dark void and replaced the beat of her heart.

“Stay with me…”

— 1911, Sunset Canyon

Reviews

“The story has a strong and intricate plot, with plenty of fast-paced action, adventure, and suspense. If you love a good chilling ghost story/romance, you can’t go wrong with Blood Stones.”

==Taylor Jones

“Blood Stones combines Native American legends with modern-day mystery and intriguing, complex characters to create a spine-tingling thriller with a little something for everyone. This one is definitely hard to put down.”

–Regan Murphy

About the Author

KL_PPix

Krista Lynn is a late-comer to the author’s world, with a long academic career in earth sciences in her wake, instead of years of fiction writing. But wind has filled all the sails this year, with the release of Blood Stones: The Haunting of Sunset Canyon, the first book in The Canyon Series.

It’s no mystery why Lynn writes about the high desert of Arizona. She grew up on a gold mine about sixty miles north of Phoenix. The closest neighbor was six miles or so down the Agua Fria River, or another twenty miles by dirt road. To say it was a gold mine is technically correct, but very little gold was ever mined. It did, however, keep gas in the jeep and food on the table. The real treasure of this placer gold-mining venture was the lasting impressions of living wild in the desert with her brothers and a menagerie of dogs, goats, and donkeys. And experiencing the magic and spirit of a rugged, isolated landscape, where mysteries were carried on the wind and whispered in your sleep. Years later, these experiences are the multi-colored threads woven into her series of romantic supernatural suspense set in the high desert of Arizona.

She now lives in California with her husband and a menagerie of dogs, goats, and one spoiled horse.

Learn More at: