Kathryn Le Veque’s World of De Wolfe Pack goes live on Amazon…

World of De Wolfe Pack Header

Welcome to Kathryn Le Veque’s World of the de Wolfe Pack – a Kindle Worlds fan fiction site that I’ve had the pleasure of writing for. Below you’ll find my new release in this world along with all the other participating authors and stories that are helping to launch the world today. If you love great adventure and romance, no matter the genre, you’ll find it here in the de Wolfe Pack World. We have bestselling authors of all kinds writing in this world, and you don’t want to miss this magic!

After checking out the wonderful stories below, make sure to visit the fan page on Facebook for all kinds of updates, giveaways, news, and more. Don’t forget to join us on November 6th as we celebrate with a big launch bash! Come learn all about the fascinating characters that make up the new World of the de Wolfe Pack. Join the party.

Thank you for going on this journey with me and I sincerely hope you enjoy the World of the de Wolfe Pack!
Something for everyone
The Wolfe
BRETON WOLFE CatherineKean_AKnightsDesire_HR DeWolfesHonor-wKW HighlandDawn_Anna Markland Lone Wolfe Barabara Devlin LovesLegacy new cover Never Cry DeWolfe Violetta Rand Primise of a Knight _Eliza Knight TheSiegeofLadyAloria1800x2700 Logo ready Together Again Cover Trusting the Wolfe Lana WilliamsDragon Fire Final2Wolfe of the Wes

Guest post by bestselling historical author Regan Walker–The Raven Banner of the Vikings…

Happy Wednesday, I know its been a while since I’ve posted on A Splash of Romance. I’ve been in the writing cave, preparing for 2016. I’m thrilled to have Regan Walker here today, she’s a great source for historical treasures, and a talented author. So let’s get to it, how can I resist Vikings?

The Raven Banner of the Vikings
by Regan Walker

In the course of my research for Rogue Knight, my latest medieval romance, I delved into the Danish warfare practices, their weapons and their longships. In 1069, the Danes sailed up the Humber River heading toward York, England with 240 of their longships, intending to do battle with William the Conqueror for control of the North. It was highly likely their longships carried the raven banner with them.

 

Raven banner flag

The first known Danish banner was the “banner of the raven”, a piece of red cloth with a black raven. As depicted in Norse artwork, it was roughly triangular with a rounded outside edge from which hung a series of tabs or tassels. It bore a resemblance to ornately carved “weather-vanes” used aboard Viking longships. The banner was feared and well known as the rallying place of the Vikings. It was during the time of the Danish raids against the Normans in the early 11th century that the banner of the raven became the national symbol.

It is believed that the raven banner flag was a symbol of Odin, the Norse god who was often depicted accompanied by his two ravens named Huginn and Muninn (“thought” and “memory”). The raven banner was believed to instill fear into the Vikings’ enemies and convey victory to whoever carried it into battle. The raven were also linked to the Valkyries who chose who would live and who would die.

Odin

The raven banner was a flag that had been flown by various chieftains and Scandinavian rulers during the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. Cnut the Great, King of England, Denmark and Norway, carried it into battle. So did King Sweyn II (King Swein is a character in my story). They were not alone.

If you remember that the Normans who came to England in 1066 descended from the Norsemen, raiding Vikings who conquered the north of France, it is not surprising that they, too, held the symbol of the raven in high regard. William the Conqueror was, after all, descended from the Viking Rolf the Ganger. Although the Normans spoke French and considered themselves to be Frenchmen (the Conqueror referred to his men as such), they were only a little removed from their Norse ancestors.

Banner

Indicative of their beginnings, a raven is included in the Bayeux Tapestry, which records the events of the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Tapestry, which is actually embroidery, was commissioned by Bishop Odo, William the Conqueror’s half brother, who would have been familiar with the standards his brother carried. In one of the Tapestry’s panels, a charging Norman knight is shown with a semicircular banner emblazoned with a standing black bird. This despite the fact William the Conqueror was a Christian, loyal to and endorsed by the Pope in Rome, he carried the raven banner into the Battle of Hastings. Some traditions live on.

 

Cover

York, England 1069… three years after the Norman Conquest

The North of England seethes with discontent under the heavy hand of William the Conqueror, who unleashes his fury on the rebels who dare to defy him. Amid the ensuing devastation, love blooms in the heart of a gallant Norman knight for a Yorkshire widow.

A LOVE NEITHER CAN DENY, A PASSION NEITHER CAN RESIST

Angry at the cruelty she has witnessed at the Normans’ hands, Emma of York is torn between her loyalty to her noble Danish father, a leader of the rebels, and her growing passion for an honorable French knight.

Loyal to King William, Sir Geoffroi de Tournai has no idea Emma hides a secret that could mean death for him and his fellow knights.

WAR DREW THEM TOGETHER, WAR WOULD TEAR THEM APART

War erupts, tearing asunder the tentative love growing between them, leaving each the enemy of the other. Will Sir Geoffroi, convinced Emma has betrayed him, defy his king to save her?

Excerpt…

Dear God.
She crossed herself and covered her mouth, fighting the urge to spew at the sight of so much blood and so many bodies strewn about the clearing, blood congealed on their clothing, their vacant eyes staring into space. Some of the blood had pooled on the ground to catch the rays of the sun. The metallic scent of it, carried by the wind, rose in her nostrils.
At her side, the hound whimpered.
So many.
Until the Normans had come, Yorkshire had been a place of gentle hills, forests and thatched cottages circling a glistening jewel of a city set between two winding rivers. A place of children’s voices at play, some of those voices now silenced forever, for among the bodies lying on the cold ground were mere boys, their corpses cast aside like broken playthings.
At the sound of heavy footfalls on the snow-crusted ground, she jerked her head around, her heart pounding in her chest.
A figure emerged from the trees, so close she could have touched him.
She cringed. A Norman.
A tall giant of a knight, his blood-splattered mail a dull gray in the weak winter sun, ripped off his silvered helm and expelled an oath as he surveyed the dozens of dead. The sword in his hand still dripped the blood of those he had slain. He was no youth this one, at least thirty. His fair appearance made her think of Lucifer, the fallen angel of light. A seasoned warrior of death who has taken many lives.
Had he killed people she knew? Her heart raced as fear rose in her chest.
Would she be next?

Love the cover and excerpt, Regan, thank you for sharing!

Links:

Amazon buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Rogue-Knight-Medieval-Warriors-Book-ebook/dp/B014ZCMWZ4
On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26237656-rogue-knight
Author website: http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/regan.walker.104
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RegansReview

New release, Tempted by Pleasure (Secret Invitation Part One) by Devon Hart…

Tempted by Pleasure releases June 3…

Tempted by Pleasure Large

Welcome to a game of risk and indiscretion.

The prize: a night of passion.

The price: your silence.

Nothing exciting happens to someone like me. I live between the lines, only dreaming about breaking the rules. My chance at love disappeared the night I left home to escape my old life.
Eight years later, I never expected that “old life” to resurface in my bookstore.

Foster Wagner is the type of man most women would crawl through fire or broken glass to possess. And judging by the way he’s staring, that danger goes both ways.

I’m in trouble.

Excerpt…

Minutes later, when the car stops, I look up, surprised we’re in the parking lot of a gated condominium complex. “Wait,” I say before the driver gets out. “This isn’t a restaurant.”

He twists around. “No, ma’am, it’s not.”

“Mr. Wagner assured me we were meeting in a café, not in a private home.”

“This is the company condo, ma’am, complete with a private chef and ocean view.”

“Chef?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

I find some comfort in knowing we won’t be alone. “All right.”

He gets out, then opens my door. He escorts me upstairs, knocking on the front door. I hear heavy footsteps and Foster answers wearing faded jeans and a Dallas Cowboys jersey. The bastard told me no jeans. I frown, but appreciate how good he looks in denim.

“Erin.” His lingering gaze makes me squirm. “Please, come in.”

I brush past him, eyeing the interior, curious what he’s planned. Sunshine fills the great room and the dining room table is situated along a wall of glass that offers the ocean view the driver mentioned. The table is set for two, and a bouquet, identical to the one Foster brought me yesterday, graces the center. I suck in a breath as I walk to the windows. No resteraunt downtown offers this kind of seascape. Although I live on Padre Island, two blocks from the beach, there’s something special about gazing across the water a dozen stories up.

“Time has been kind to you, Erin.”

I turn. Foster is standing behind me. “You told me not to wear jeans.”

“Sue me.” He shrugs. “I wanted to catch a look at those legs, baby.” He bites his fist.

“Legs are legs.”

“Au contraire. Yours are beautiful, like ivory pillars.”

Not original at all. I’m thinking Song of Solomon. His legs are like pillars of marble. Foster always knew how to sweet-talk his way into a girl’s heart, then between her legs. Seeing him grown up, just a bigger and more dangerous version of himself, makes me feel vulnerable. I can’t ignore his southern-boy charm or the fact that when he glides his tongue over his full lips I feel something. Warmth spreads up my body.

“What are you thinking, Erin?”

I feel the blood drain from my face. “How full of shit you really are.”

He palms my hip and I jerk away, catching his smirk.

“Relax,” he says. “I’m glad you’re here.” He steps forward, trapping me between the glass and his hulking frame. He slides a finger up my arm, evoking such a deep, violent shiver my sex clenches. “Are you hungry?”

Not for anything he has to offer. That’s a complete lie. I want to suck his tongue into my mouth. And if I had any courage, I’d take care of my little virginity problem right now. I don’t value my innocence like some women. I see it as a handicap. I’m a business owner, educated and cultured, world-travelled, and an extrovert. But I’ve never made love. And this man has the power to shut me down. Why?

He gently tugs me from the corner. “Want a drink?”

Wine will help you relax. “Please.”

He walks to the credenza and opens a door, retrieving two glasses. “I have a bottle of Lafleur open, or do you want something lighter?”

I’m accustomed to the finer things in life, but once I left home, I learned to budget. Foster seems to have no limitations. I accept the drink and take a tiny sip, tasting licorice and raspberry. “A simple red would have satisfied me.”

His permagrin stretches wider. “There’s nothing simple about you.”

“Stop it.”

“What?”

“Saturating everything with sexual innuendo.”

“Can’t help it.” He moves to the table and pulls out a chair. “Join me?”

I feel safer sitting down. Every measured step he takes, every move, reminds me of a stalking panther. And at the moment, I’m his only prey.

“Tell me everything about yourself, Erin.”

He takes a long drink, then sets his glass aside. Our gazes meet, and I can’t resist admiring the incredibly thick lashes that frame his dark eyes—coffee bean brown with specks of gold if the sunlight hits them just so. Or if I were being less complimentary—shit brown.

I clear my throat, wondering where I should start. He altered my future drastically, gave me every reason to leave home. “After I graduated, I attended college at Texas A & M.”

“You know we missed each other. That’s where I did my undergrad.”

I’d heard rumors about him being around. Maybe that’s why I chose to study instead of socializing. “It’s a small world.”

“Too small.” He cradles my hand in his, massaging the soft flesh between my thumb and ring finger. “Feel it?”

“What?” The more disinterested I act, the quicker he’ll get the message. I hope.

“Want me to spell it out?”

“Stop imagining things, Foster.”

“Am I?” He caresses my neck.

As if on command, I sigh with pleasure.

He smirks and blows on his fingers. “Haven’t lost my touch.”

I roll my eyes. “Lunch.”

He leans back in his chair. “But I’m enjoying the conversation. I’ll change the subject if it will help you get more comfortable. Why a bookstore?”

“I majored in literature and always appreciated the classics. After Grandmother died, I decided to use my inheritance to invest in something I loved.”

“Is it profitable?”

“Depends on what your definition of success is. My store does better than most independently owned shops in South Texas. The publishing world is in flux. With the closure or downsizing of so many national chains, readers rely on small stores like mine.”

“And the name, Shakespeare’s Quill?”

“I’m fond of The Taming of the Shrew.”

He chuckles. “Didn’t you land that role in theatre freshman year?”

Feeling complimented, I say, “I can’t believe you remember that.”

“How could I forget? You were hot, but didn’t have a lick of acting talent.”

I punch his shoulder playfully. “That’s a horrible thing to say.”

“That red dress put you on my radar and half the football teams.”

I laugh so hard it hurts. “What about you, Mr. Peacock? Strutting around on the football field like you were God’s gift to the sport.”

“I was.”

“You had a mullet.”

“Bullshit.” He shoves his chair back and launches himself at me, his strong fingers digging into my sides, tickling too hard. “Mullet?”

“There’s proof. Glamor shots!” I practically scream.

“You still have that picture?”

“I-I . . .” Can’t breathe anymore. “I’m going to hyperventilate.”

He stops, and I slowly catch my breath.

“Where’s the photo?” His lips twitch.

“In my bottom drawer at my parents’ house.”

For a moment he’s quiet, studying me. He cracks another boyish grin, warming my insides. “Make sure it stays there or I’ll pay them a visit.”

Like Devon Hart’s Facebook Page…

https://www.facebook.com/devonhartromance

Where to find it…

http://www.amazon.com/Tempted-Pleasure-Devon-Hart-ebook/dp/B00Y1R4O6Y/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433279135&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=devn+Hart

Book spotlight, Son of the Moonless Night, The Turning Stone Chronicles, by C.D. Hersh…

Time to start my summer read list, and husband/wife team C.D. Hersh’s latest release in The Turning Stone Chronicles is at the top of my pile. Let’s find out more about this exciting story…

hersh_small

Blurb…

Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different-love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?

Hersh

Excerpt…

A crash in the alley stopped Katrina Romanovski mid-stride. Like the October mist swirling in off the lake, her gypsy blood stirred sending her intuition into high gear. Something unnatural was happening.

Go see what’s wrong. She heard her father’s voice as clearly as if he stood next to her.

On the heels of his words came her mother’s pragmatic warning in clipped British tones. You know what curiosity killed. Katrina pushed the ever-present warning aside. Mom never approved of Dad’s supernatural hunts and even less of his drawing her into them.

Pulling the oversized cross she always wore out from under her shirt, Kat looked around for a weapon. Please, not a vampire. I hate vampires! A piece of wood sticking out of the trashcan at the front of the alley caught her eye.

Grabbing it, she broke the end off into a sharp point. The mist-filled air filtered the light from the single bulb over one of the alley doorways. The wind swirled the loose trash around making a quiet approach difficult. Sidestepping the paper, with the stake in one hand and holding the gun she took from her purse in the other hand, she crept into the alley.

A roar echoed against the buildings, the sound nearly sending her running. That roar wasn’t a vampire. It sounded more like an animal. Kat inched closer. In the yellow pool of light from the back door of the building, a black bear, over seven feet tall, reared on its back legs and swung its paw at the man standing at the edge of the light. He crashed to the ground, shirt torn open from the slashing claws. Blood covered the fabric, and he clasped his left hand over his shoulder to stem the flow. The bear bent toward him, teeth bared in a smile. A wicked smile.

Kat aimed her gun, but before she could pull the trigger, a shot rang out. The flash of gunpowder lit the face of the injured man. The blast reverberated against the buildings. With an enraged bellow, the bear staggered backward against the wall. Shaking his head, the animal dropped to all four paws. Weaving like a drunk, he lumbered toward his attacker. The man took aim again, shooting the animal between the eyes. Animal and human collapsed on the dirty, littered pavement.

As she started to move forward, Kat’s gypsy senses crawled over her skin like angry red ants. As she slipped back into the shadows, the bear shed fur. Changing size. Then, finally, turning into a man.

Shape shifters. Her stake wasn’t any good against them, and her bullets weren’t silver. This one appeared dead anyway. Had the wounded man seen the shift? Tossing the stake aside, she paused by the shifter and quickly moved to the wounded man. Out cold. Still human.

When she touched him, his eyelids fluttered open. “Did I get it?”

“What?”

“The bear.”

Where to find the series…

The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00DUMODKI

paperback: http://amzn.com/1619353504

Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00OVNFC8W

paperback: http://amzn.com/1619358271

Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00XK3E172

Thanks for sharing your latest project C & D, I always enjoy your stories!

Bestselling authors share favorite/inspirational quotes…

I love to hear what motivates authors–especially inspirational quotes or quirky mottos. Some are completely new to me, others are friendly reminders. Regardless of their origin, there’s wisdom everywhere.

 

Wisdom

 

B.J. Scott – “Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.” C.S. Lewis

Stacey Kennedy – “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss

Ella Quinn – “Spit in one hand and wish in the other, see which one gets full faster.”

Ria Cantrell – “Don’t discount the power of forgiveness.”

Sandra Owens – “Life is like a mustache. It can be wonderful or terrible, but it always tickles.” Nora Roberts.

Collette Cameron – “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.” Anonymous.

Suzan Tisdale – “If I wake up in the morning without a toe-tag dangling from my big toe, I have no complaints.” Unknown

Victoria Zak – “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” Stephen King

Jessica Jefferson – “If when you wake up in the morning you can think of nothing but writing…then you’re a writer.” Rainer Maria Rilke by way of Sister Act 2

Gina Conkle – “You reap what you sow.” Bible Quote

Kathryn Le Veque – “Great minds think alike.” Possibly from Dabridgcourt Belchier

Violetta Rand – “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” Mary Shelley

Interview/spotlight with USA Today bestseller, Christi Caldwell…

Absolutely thrilled to have Christi Caldwell here today–the sassy mom–superstar who writes amazing stories that touch so many people…

 

 

USA Today bestselling author, Christi Caldwell blames Judith McNaught’s “Whitney, My Love,” for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and try her hand at writing romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections and she rather enjoys tormenting them before crafting a well-deserved happily ever after!

Christi makes her home in Southern Connecticut where she spends her time writing, chasing around her feisty six-year old son and caring for her twin princesses in training!

 

books

 

Describe the moment when the romance bug hit you. What did you do with your first completed manuscript, share it with the world or hide it in a bottom drawer.

I discovered Jude Deveraux’s “Eternity” when I was 13 years old. I read that book. And then every other book she’d written. I moved on to Julie Garwood and Judith McNaught. I loved writing from that early age as well, but didn’t sit down to ‘seriously’ write until I was a graduate student at UConn. I wrote night after night. And queried (the old fashioned style) by mailing it off to agents and editors with SASE.

Thank God it’s 2015!

With an incredible career and loyal fans lining up to get your next story, are any of your own books or characters especially memorable to you?

All of my books are my ‘babies’ in some way. Yet “Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride”, “Once a Wallflower, At Last His Love” and my entire Heart of a Duke collection are deeply personal to me. When my son was born and I discovered he had Down syndrome, I remember reading a number of romance novels and feeling a disconnect with the perfect heroes and heroines presented upon the page. I wanted to connect with real heroes and heroines who faced adversity and triumphed with the ultimate happily-ever-after. That drove “Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride”. “Once a Wallflower, At Last His Love” explores some of the fears, hopes and dreams I have as the mother of a child with special needs for each of my children; so that was particularly poignant for me as the author.

As for the Heart of a Duke series; the idea for twin heroines came to me when I was expecting my own twin girls. I was prepared at 20 weeks to lose them due to my preterm labor complications. (That is something you can never prepare for.) So I allowed my hopes and dreams for these counter-opposite sisters to play out upon the pages. It saved me from dissolving into the fears that were threatening to consume me.

Tell us about your latest release.

My latest release, “The Love of a Rogue” tells the story of a brokenhearted heroine, Lady Imogen Moore, whose sister ran off with her betrothed. Imogen has sworn off charming rogues like the man she’d had her heart broken by. Enter, Lord Alex Edgerton—her best friend’s brother, and a notorious rogue. Sparks fly from the get-go. Of course, there is more to Alex than Society sees—but it is up to Imogen to see that…and it is up to him to let her see it.

Can you share a favorite scene?

My hero and heroine have a shared love and interest in everything Shakespeare. I thought it was interesting to explore a rake with a love for the master poet. There is a scene in which they are at the theatre; and he begins to seduce her with the words of Shakespeare. I think there is something sexy about a man who quotes Shakespeare!

I love first impressions, what was the hero’s first impression of the heroine?

Tart-mouthed, frowning, and eager to be free of her! LOL.

 

Kilt-Costume

 

Regency is such an incredible and competitive genre to write in. However, if you could be a bestseller in any other genre, what would you choose? Why?

I’d write Scottish romance. I have had a love affair with well-crafted historical romances set in Scotland since early on when I’d read Julie Garwood’s “The Secret”!

Name your favorite real life hero. How has he/she influenced your life?

I say my life can be split into two parts; who I was before my son Rory was born. And who I became after. When Rory was born, I learned he had Down syndrome. I had this tiny little human-being, so beautiful, and yet who had to work so very hard for everything he did. Things that came natural to most babies and people; eating, rolling, walking, talking—all of that, he fought to accomplish. He taught me the meaning of strength and courage and real power. Through him, I looked at my imperfect world and saw the true splendor in imperfection. I celebrated that what makes us unique, makes us interesting…and those are the heroes and heroines I strive to capture—real individuals with struggles we can relate to.

Any suggestions for new authors attempting to master the complicated world of marketing?

I wish. I spend my days writing and mommying all day so the ‘marketing’ end of the industry is my weakness.

What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned from your journey as a writer?

It can be quite shattering to submit your work to publishers and/or agents and be told no, time and time and time (or in my case, easily 150 times). At one time, that rejection devastated me. It is hard because as writers, we pour pieces of our heart and soul into each book. However, I’ve come to accept that I tell the story that speaks to me and some will connect with the words upon the page, but not everyone will—no matter how much we wish it, hope for it, or strive for it. There will be readers/reviewers/editors/agents who just don’t connect. If you become mired in pleasing everyone, then you can never truly hear the voices of the heroes and heroines asking to have their story told.

 

Lightening Round

Favorite Color: Blue

Favorite Actor/Actress: Bill Nighy

Favorite Movie: Love Actually

Favorite century and why?: the 19th century—so much amazing history; though heartbreaking for the years of war.

Favorite Food: Pork Fried Dumplings

Least favorite vegetable: Beets

Favorite romantic place: Bald Head Island

First boyfriend/How old?/Why did you like him?: Doug/15/He was tall and powerful but quiet and kind. (In fact, I ‘liked’ him so much, I married him!

Describe yourself in 5 words: Dedicated, Compassionate, Loving, Hopeful, Determined

The gorgeous cover…

 

Caldwell

 

 

Excerpt:

Alex leaned close. His breath tickled her ear. “See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O, that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might caress that cheek.”

Her heart fluttered and she dropped her hand to her lap, clutching the fabric. “T-touch,” she corrected. “That you m-might touch that cheek.”

“Yes, and yet a caress is so much more meaningful than a mere touch, wouldn’t you say, Imogen?” Alex slid his gloved hand over hers, staying her distracted movement.

Yes, oh goodness, she quite agreed. His touch coupled with his knowledge of Shakespeare was heady stuff, indeed. “You read Shakespeare,” she said, unable to keep the shock from her statement.

He turned the very question she’d put to him that last week, on her. “Are you surprised?” Suddenly, he stopped that gentle stroking and she mourned the loss of that seductive little movement. She bit the inside of her lip to keep from begging him to continue.

“N-not at all.” She was however, surprised he read the romantic words of William Shakespeare. Nor did she care for this side of Alex. This shared love and fascination of The Bard’s works that made him more human than rake.

“I find myself surprised by you.” He slipped his fingers into hers, intertwining the digits. His hand strong and powerful, hers fragile and delicate against it, and yet somehow perfectly paired. “You intrigue me.”

“Why would that be?” Her heart thumped erratically at his touch, his words. With the exception of her broken betrothal and flaming-red hair, nothing had earned the notice of anyone—until Alex. “There is nothing unordinary about me.” William’s fickle interest had proven testament to that.

“There is everything extraordinary about you,” His lips nearly brushed her ear and when he spoke in that husky, mellifluous whisper, she could almost believe it. “You quote Shakespeare, sweet Imogen?” His strong, powerful fingers tightened about hers in a seductively possessive grip.

Here in the midst of polite Society with a theatre full of lords and ladies looking for the next piece of gossip, he’d enthralled her. “I do.” Not always intentionally. Imogen swallowed and stole a glance about, but Chloe sat perched at the edge of the box, engrossed in the show below. She looked about the theatre. How could anyone not see that with each stroke of his hand over hers, Alex threw her world into greater tumult?

“You hate shopping, but you enjoy the theatre.” With infinite slowness, he rolled her satin theatre glove slowly down her arm and then freed each finger from the restrictive confines. Imogen darted her gaze about. Surely someone knew the seductive game Alex now played. Yet even two seats apart, her friend remained engrossed in the production below. Wholly uncaring of who might observe his bold touch, Alex whispered, “What manner of woman are you?” He rested her glove upon his lap.

She sucked in a breath at his intimate caress. “Wh-what are—?”

“Shh,” he whispered. Alex stroked his thumb in small, soothing circles about her palm eliciting all manner of delicious shivers that radiated at the point of contact and spread through her.

Her chest heaved up and down with slow, shallow breaths. His was just a hand and his fingers moved in a really innocuous movement, except… Imogen bit her lower lip as he rubbed his thumb over the wildly fluttering pulse at her wrist. The small, seductive grin upon his lips indicated he knew he’d roused her senses.

“Romeo had the wrong of it, Imogen.” His husky murmur stirred her belly.

She shouldn’t engage in this seductive game with him. It was outrageous and meant nothing to him. “I-in what way do you believe?” She could no sooner quell the question on her lips than she could stop the beating of her own heart.

He studied her through thick, black lashes. “I’d not feel your gloved hand upon me. I’d have your naked palm caressing me, touching me.”

God forgive her. Her lids fluttered madly. She still was the same weak, romantic fool she’d always been. Alex had only opened her eyes to the passion she carried inside, made all the more dangerous by the shred of hope she clung to—to love and be loved.

 

 Where to connect with Christi…

http://www.christicaldwellauthor.com/

Where to find her book…

 http://www.amazon.com/Love-Rogue-Heart-Duke–Book-ebook/dp/B00UVMXUUE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1428516423&sr=8-3&keywords=christi+Caldwell

 

Thanks for stopping by today Christi, hugs.

 

Release Day for Blind Confession (Viking Romance)…

I’m incredibly happy to share the fourth book in the Blind Series, Blind Confession (available Feb. 25th). Dear to my heart, out of all my projects this year, Vikings remain my first love.

Sorry I’ve been absent on my blog–but from here, I have lots of fun things planned, so stay with me.

 

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A heart closed to love …

Abandoned by the woman he loved, Captain Marteinn wants to escape his misery by winning the summer games in Lagenheim. The champion is entitled to ask one favor from the jarl and he’s prepared to request his freedom.

A woman desperate for passion …

Taken to Scandinavia after the Normans invaded England, Mercia works hard to prove her loyalty to the Vikings. Despite multiple offers of marriage, she fears she’ll never find true love. Until she meets a brooding warrior, who ignites a hidden passion she can’t ignore.

 

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Excerpt…

What kind of man leaves a woman standing half naked in the woods? Mercia couldn’t put it out of her mind as she labored in the kitchen. After a restless, almost torturous night spent tossing and turning in bed, she’d gone downstairs well before sunrise and volunteered to help prepare the morning meal. She scooped eggs and smoked pork onto trenchers, then placed them on a large tray.

“Do you want me to serve the men?” a thrall asked.

“No. Prepare another dozen plates and I will return to get them.”

She stalked into the great hall, setting the plates in front of hungry soldiers, then returned to the kitchen. She repeated her effort five times before reaching the high table. Tyr and Rachelle were not awake yet, but several captains waited. By the time she reached the end of the table, she found Marteinn staring blankly at her.

“Good morning,” he said.

She wanted to smack the smug look off his handsome face. “Is that all you have to say?”

“Tis a common enough greeting in the day.”

“If you’re on kind terms with the person you address.”

“Shall I wish you a cursed existence instead?”

Mercia slammed her tray down, then snatched the trencher off it. “Perhaps you were weaned in a stable next to a pack of jackasses, but in the Trondelag, we extend a certain amount of courtesy to the women that serve the meals.”

“All right,” he said, leaning forward on his elbows. “Do you know how beautiful you are when you’re angry?”

She bristled, his praise only served as a bitter reminder of his cold rejection. “I’d rather you called me an ugly whore.” She dumped the food on his lap, followed by the plate. “Now you know how I feel.” She stormed away, the rising laughter from the soldiers quickening her retreat.

***

“One night and you’re already wearing the food.” The man seated next to Marteinn slapped his back. “A viper is less poisonous than Mercia.”

“We’ve all felt the sting of her wicked tongue,” another teased. “Just not on the right spots.”

“She’ll not hike her skirt for anyone,” a man called from below. “I wager cobwebs keep those slim thighs stuck together.”

Marteinn could attest that her legs opened quite easily for him, but not for these fools. Bastards. He stood, the trencher clattered to the floor and he brushed the food off his lap.

“Should I order another serving for you?” his tablemate asked.

“Only if you want me to shove it down your bloody throat,” Marteinn roared. “Never insult the woman in front of me again.” He eyed the kitchen door, determined to confront her.

In private, she could sling insults at him until she couldn’t speak. But in public, no woman, high or low born, would get away with embarrassing him. He entered the kitchen and the servants stared.

“Where is Mercia?”

One pointed toward the back.

He nodded and headed that way.

He watched intently as she kneaded, pounding dough with both hands, then rolled it into large balls. She set it aside and reached for more.

“Are you wise to speak to me the way you did?”

Her shoulders stiffened at the sound of his voice. “Get out. Some places are sacred to women.”

“You consider yourself a woman?”

She spun around, fury flashing across her face. “Woman enough to defend myself against an animal like you.”

“Defend?” He laughed. “Who resisted who last night?”

She fisted her hands at her sides. “Why do you insist on tormenting me?”

“Look at me.” The large stain covering his crotch made it look like he’d pissed himself. “There’s only one reason my braes should have a wet spot.”

She clucked her tongue. “Arrogant fool. You made your opinion well known to me. If you prefer the company of boys, check the stables.”

He lurched closer, angry that she’d even suggest it.

She slapped his face. “Get out!”

Marteinn cupped his cheek, shocked and amazed by her violent reaction. He grabbed her shoulders, snapping her to his chest. “I believe you asked me for something last night.” His mouth collided with hers, his unforgiving tongue invading her mouth. By Odin, she tasted like paradise.

She attempted a protest, but he swallowed her words, one of his hands cupping the back of her neck. He slid the other up her chest, palming her breast. He moaned as his prig begged for release. It wouldn’t take much to lift her onto the edge of the work table, hike her skirt, and ride her until she screamed.

She dug her fingernails into his arms and he kissed her harder, sucking the air out of her lungs. Her body relaxed then, and she returned his kiss with fiery enthusiasm. But when she boldly squeezed his arse with both hands, he broke away, staring down at her in wonder.

“Did I surprise you?”

He smirked. “The only surprise will be when I bend you over …”

“Mercia?” Rachelle called as she came down the hallway. “Did I hear correctly? You and Captain Marteinn exchanged unpleasant words in the great hall?”

Mercia blushed as she wiped her hands on her apron, then stepped around him. “Just a misunderstanding.”

Marteinn faced Rachelle.

Her gaze darted between them. “Did I interrupt something?”

“Nothing of importance.” He brushed past her.

Damn his uncontrollable temper. If he’d been paying attention last night, this would have never happened. How she’d managed to ever sneak up on him was disturbing on many different levels. He hadn’t slept well in days, but never let his guard down, even when he was drunk.

Undeniably, Mercia needed taming, sooner rather than later. And if he didn’t do it, one of those slobbering miscreants in the great hall would.

 

Where to find it…

http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Confession-Viking-Romance-Book-ebook/dp/B00TBKE1AK/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1424820809&sr=1-6&keywords=violetta+rand