Writer Wednesday – Elaine Violette and Regal Reward

This morning as part of my Writer Wednesday feature I’m featuring Elaine Violette and her Regency novel Regal Reward.

If you follow this blog, you know I love romantic stories with a captor/captive plot. Here’s another one that I’ve found. This one has the flavor of a a traditional Regency. If you find yourself skimming racy scenes in other books, you won’t have to worry in this one, because the bedroom door stays closed.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

Marielle Henley, privileged and betrothed to Richard Craymore, has a EV Regal Rewardsecure future until her rebellion leads her into the path of the ruggedly handsome highwayman, York Blackstone. York, the first son of an Earl, turned thief, lives to avenge his family’s demise. His captive’s beauty and her sauciness makes it difficult for him to keep his focus on the prize, a hefty ransom for her return; that is, until she reveals the name of her betrothed. He discovers that she can bring him something money can’t buy, his birthright lost to him when his father was falsely accused of treason.

Marielle is unable to dismiss York’s contradictory behavior, one moment a tyrant, the next a gentleman, a much too attractive one. Is York Blackstone a fiendish rogue or the orphaned elder son of a once highly respected aristocrat? York’s cunning and invulnerable nature, hardened by life on the streets, is tested by Marielle’s alluring presence, but he will stop at nothing or allow anyone, including his lovely captive, to divert him from avenging his father’s disgrace.

York and his unlikely conspirators join together to bridge the gap between the power of the privileged and the determination of the discarded in society. York and Marielle’s passion for one another is seemingly lost in the web of conflicts. Could a meddling elderly aunt create the perfect plan to bring the two lovers back together?

I found the story fun, engaging, and full of twists and turns until the very end. You have to grab this book, if for no other reason than there’s also a sweet dog and puppies!

Elaine, tell my readers what appeals to you about the Regency period.

I love stories of aristocratic society, its customs and social seasons so different from our own; yet, the heroes and heroines of Regency novels share the same desires, emotions, virtues and vices that we can easily relate to since human nature rarely changes.  I am fascinated with the fashions, the elegant balls, the carriages, sporting events, and the expectation not only for women of the period but for titled men. The dashing hero, the lowly governess, the scoundrels, dukes and duchesses create a world that still values innocence, respect, and appropriate behavior, on the surface. It’s the novelist who digs deep into the hearts of the well mannered gentility and draws out the secrets, the desires and desperations of the debutantes and lords as well as the villains, the rogues and rapscallions. In my two eBooks, just released by Kindle, Regal Reward and A Convenient Pretense, I try to capture all the above.

What do you like most about these books and their characters?

In Regal Reward, I love the character of York Blackstone. He’s a man who began his life as the privileged first son of an Earl and ends up on the streets of London as a beggar. He turns to thievery to live and to care for his mother and younger brother. But, his inherited aristocratic bearing makes him a leader in his world of thieves. He’s obsessed with clearing his father’s name, reclaiming the title and lands lost, and making the villain who destroyed his family pay for his misdeeds. The younger brother, Martin, has his own story in A Kiss of Promise, Book Two of the Blackstone saga. Marielle, the heroine in Regal Reward, is spunky and defiant and never expects she’ll fall in love with the tyrant, York, who wants to use her as a pawn in his vengeance.

           I really should mention Aunt Cornelia since she was so much fun to write about. In a note to her niece Marielle, she writes, “My dear, I am an avid collector of the myths of the moment, relics of rogues and rapscallions and tales of meek mice, married to old bores, who give extravagant parties then scamper around at night in guest rooms, nipping on the tail of their newest catch.”

I love her perspicacity and her spirit! Regal Reward can be purchased on Amazon at  http://amzn.com/B013TRQ9C8.

 

In A Convenient Pretense, my second Regency, the heroine, Emily Grace, is a poetess, and one of my favorite female characters. I enjoyed being able to include a bit of fun poetry in the story. Emily observed her father and mother’s failed marriage and has chosen a single life much to her father’s dismay. Here’s a snippet of the opening poem which is a self-proclamation of her views on marriage.

Foolish is a maiden who sets her heart a flight   

with dreams of wedded bliss that surely lead to strife.

She might best consider a single life…

When her father forces her to go to London to find a husband, she must obey. That is, until she figures out a way to avoid the marriage mart. She devices a convenient pretense of courtship with the like thinking Lord Marcus Deming, only to fall in love with him.  Little does she know when she escapes London and returns home, a more sinister pretense is afoot, one that will destroy her family.  Only Marcus, the man she’s run from can untangle the deception. Are Emily and Marcus too much alike to realize they belong together?  A Convenient Pretense is available on Amazon at http://amzn.com/B014Q1EKU4

Fortunately, both these books were well received when traditionally published with excellent reviews. Regal Reward was a Golden Leaf finalist. When I chose to regain the rights and self-publish, it was to have more control over my writing and the business of writing.  I can choose better pricing and the covers that suited my characters and stories.  Regal Reward and A Convenient Pretense began my writing career. I will always be grateful to have begun with a traditional publisher. In the end, however, my books are products of my hard work and it’s a nice feeling to be in control of how my writing goes out into the world.

For more information on these and future books, I welcome readers to visit my website at www.elaineviolette.com and sign up for my newsletter, and “like” me on Facebook for more news at www.facebook.com/elaineviolette.author. I appreciate and reply to all comments.

Thank you, Lily, for celebrating with me on my new self-pub journey!

Thanks, Elaine, for stopping by! I wish you the best of luck in your publishing endeavors.

About Elaine

Elaine is a veteran English teacher and holds a BS in English Education from OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe University of CT and an MS in Educational Leadership from Central CT State University.  She presently teaches public speaking part time at a local community college. She is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America, CT Romance Writers (CTRWA) and Charter Oak Romance writers (CORW). She resides on the Connecticut shoreline and especially enjoys being a wife, mother, and grandmother.

 

Writer Wednesday – Meet Andrea Cooper

I am pleased to bring back Writer Wednesday and welcome Andrea Cooper to my blog. Her new release Stolen Hearts released in the past few weeks. Here she is to talk about it.

Stolen Hearts Book 1 – Contemporary Romance Suspense

Tagline: She stole a cop’s heart… will this thief pay for her crime?StolenHeartsThumbnail

Blurb:

Crystal was raised as a thief, bent on revenge. She uses her talents to target the corporation that destroyed her family and her innocence.

When a handsome undercover cop enters her life, Crystal worries she’ll be caught before her mission can be completed – or lose her heart to the one man she can’t trust.

Kade lost his partner in Texas and is looking for a fresh start in the NYPD. Catching the thief whose been targeting the Westridge Corp. will help his transfer become permanent.

Will Kade discover the truth, or will he blame Crystal for stealing his heart?

 

Excerpt: 

Crystal shimmied down the drainpipe with her trophies tucked inside her backpack and computer files loaded onto her USB, hung around her neck disguised as a locket. This was too easy. Not like the Warren job where the COO kept changing the menu and supervised their catering to ensure they had followed the strict rules of kashrut.

She landed on the concrete with a thump, then removed her mask. Usually she worked at night when the catering gig didn’t provide the necessary cover, but she had a date this evening.

A blind date.

Her sister’s fiancée had called earlier that day to let them know his cousin from Texas would join them for dinner and would Crystal come along? As far as Crystal was concerned, it was the closest thing she’d come to as a real date in a long time. She’d take it.

Thankfully, her catering appointment with Westridge canceled yesterday. While she enjoyed cooking, it was only a cover for her and her sister’s illegal activities. What she excelled at was computers, but having a career in that field, now, would be too suspicious. Her IT skills far exceeded a Level One Help Desk worker. She despised working for Westridge, the man who had her mother killed and her dad thrown into jail, but catering was the easiest way into her target’s homes without suspicion. And she refused to pose as a cleaning lady and scrub their filth.

Years ago, Dad found what he thought was a series of accounting errors. For his honesty trying to help Westridge correct the problem, he was thrown in jail to rot. Westridge and his company framed her dad for embezzlement and sharing confidential information with preferred suppliers to obtain favors. Now she and her sister were halfway toward exonerating him and exposing Westridge and his corporate crimes. To see the look on Joshua Westridge’s face when he was convicted would make all her and her sister’s sacrifices worth it.

Thunder boomed as she weaved through alleys, stinking of rotting food and urine. She barely made it to her car before thunder rumbled.

Crystal checked the time on the dashboard, almost seven. No time to waste. Paul and his cousin, Kade, were picking up her and her sister at seven-thirty. Her car hummed to life as she stashed her backpack behind her seat. The stolen cash, including a recently purchased blood diamond necklace, lay inside. Hopefully the money and necklace would throw off Westridge’s Sales Manager to the fact that computer information had been the real prize. And hopefully, they wouldn’t discover the truth until it was too late. For now, another piece of the puzzle to exonerate their dad and lock Westridge away lay on her chest inside her locket.

She whipped into traffic and hit the wipers as fat drops of rain slapped against the windshield. Great. Ahead, a red light flickered as taxis and cars lined up behind it. She debated taking Ninth, but decided against it. Construction was still ongoing and traffic would be worse than this.

Maybe squeezing in a job before dinner wasn’t such a great idea.

 

Like the sample? You can grab it at Amazon here: Stolen Hearts

About Andrea:

andrearcooper_1361058981_140Andrea R. Cooper writes fantasy, paranormal, historical and romance suspense. She traded in Nancy Drew books for Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie novels at the age of nine.

Her real life hero brought love and magic into her life and showed her that true love never gives up. Today, she is happily married with two sons and a daughter.

Andrea believes in the power of change and delighting in each moment. But most fervently, she believes in the magic of love.

Writer Wednesday – Romantic Suspense Author K.L. Docter

Can you believe we are at the end of the year? This is my last Writer Wednesday this year. Over Christmas, I’m working on revamping the whole website, so next time you visit I’ll have a facelift.

I’m welcoming K.L. Docter to my blog today, a romantic suspense writer extraordinaire. She put the suspense in romantic suspense. I told her if it weren’t for the sultry love scenes, she could crossbrand into the thriller category, easy.

Today we are talking about Killing Secrets, the first book in the Thorne’s Thorns series.

The Blurb:

Some secrets are better left dead.

Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her little girl — the child is his key to controlling the James fortune. Frightened, Rachel flees to Denver with the child who hasn’t uttered a word since her daddy went to prison.

Contractor Patrick Thorne wants nothing to do with another of his parents’ charity cases. He failed his own wife so abysmally she took her own life as well as his unborn son’s. After two years, it’s time to concentrate on the bid he’s won and the saboteur trying to destroy his construction firm.

There is no room for trust in either of their hearts. But trust is all that will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a little girl of her silent prison, and save them all from a serial killer who stands too close.

(A Thorne’s Thorns Novel)

KLDocter Cover

It’s difficult to tell a writer’s style from a blurb, so here’s a brief excerpt:

Excerpt from Killing Secrets

© Copyright 2014 – K.L. Docter

 

Denver, Colorado.

At the first crack of gunfire, Rachel dove headfirst into the garden she was weeding. Listening for the second report she expected to follow, she prayed Amanda stayed at Patrick Thorne’s house where she’d gone an hour ago to play with her new friend, Suze.

Gasping for air, she inhaled the rich, spicy scent of freshly turned soil and crushed nasturtiums instead. Dirt and grit bit into her cheek and the bare flesh exposed by her cutoffs and T-shirt. The mid-afternoon sun beat hot against her shoulders and legs, and all she could do was lie there and watch a fat bumblebee dip into a russet blossom three inches from her nose.

Had she run almost nine hundred miles only to die like this, grubbing alone in the dirt like a spineless worm?

A surge of anger gave her impetus to lift her head. She peeked over the flimsy wall of twelve-inch annuals between her and the street. A second gunshot rang out, belched in a cloud of black smoke from an ancient Volkswagen bus that disappeared around the corner.

Backfire?

She groaned, more relieved than embarrassed by her overreaction. Her chin dropped. Taking several deep draughts of the thin Colorado air, she worked to calm the pound of her heart against her ribcage. Her efforts made her head swim. A minute later she was able to push herself out of the three-foot section of garden she’d mown down.

Her nerves had been on edge since she fled Dallas on Friday, five days ago. If she weren’t so overwrought it would have occurred to her Greg would never stand at a distance and take potshots at her. No. Greg liked to look into her eyes when he meted out his punishments.

An icy shiver skimmed her skin. Each day that passed without his appearance should have reassured her she’d made the right decision to accept Katy’s arrangements with the Thornes. As long as Greg didn’t track her and Amanda to Denver, they were safe.

Problem is she hadn’t felt safe since Amanda was born and she discovered what kind of man she’d married. Now she couldn’t pluck enough weeds from Evelyn Thorne’s gardens by day to tear the anxiety from her heart at night. Her growing sense of trepidation kept her awake long after the morning stars dimmed above the mile-high city’s cloudless skies.

How could the justice system simply hand Greg a “get out of jail free” card?  She’d always known the man had connections in high places, but how had he arranged for the evidence in his case—evidence she’d risked everything to provide—to disappear before he even went to trial?  If he’d accomplished that feat while behind bars, how in the world was she and Amanda going to stay out of his clutches?

She felt like there were giant bull’s-eyes painted on their backs, that it was only a matter of time before Greg tracked them down. During their marriage the man would spend weeks, even months, laying meticulous groundwork for one of his cons. He’d had six months to plan dozens of new punishments for his betrayer.

“‘Til death us do part, darlin’.”

His words echoed over the expanse of time and distance, ringing a fresh peal of dread in Rachel’s breast. With one hand, she brushed clumps of soil off her tangerine T-shirt and whispered a small prayer. Please don’t let him find us!

**

Karen has a style that’s easy to read, with realistic dialogue and fast-paced action. This isn’t a quick mystery, coming in at over 300 pages. She is a master at weaving multiple story lines together and keeping you guessing until the very end. If you need something to keep you company these long winter nights, this is the book. You can grab it on Amazon for the steal price of $3.99, or read it as one of your Prime or Kindle Unlimited selections.  Purchase it here: Killing Secrets (Thorne’s Thorns Book 1)

 

Bio

K.L. Docter writes two different kinds of romance novels….KLDocter Pic

Romantic Suspense w/a K.L. Docter: Women hunted by killers…men who’d die to protect them.

Contemporary Romance w/a Karen Docter: Romance…With a Kick!

K.L.’s romantic suspense novels are filled with romance, although the dangers the hero and heroine face are intense, usually because a serial killer is bent on ending one or both of their lives before they can fall in love.

Her contemporaries (written as Karen Docter) are cute & spicy romances. She loves writing about real men and women with dreams and goals that don’t allow for a relationship just so she can throw them in each other’s path…with a tickle and a smile.

K.L./Karen’s an award winning author, a four-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist, and won the coveted Kiss of Death Romance Writers Daphne du Maurier Award Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Unpublished division.

When she’s not saving her characters from death and destruction or helping them fall in love, she loves camping and fishing with her family, reading, gardening & cooking. If she can do most of those things over a campfire, all the better!

To find out more about all of Karen’s books, check in with her online at http://www.Karendocter.com.

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Before you go, if you haven’t grabbed it yet, my second novel (Under His Protection) is on sale at all major retailers for $2.99.  Grab it quickly, because it won’t stay at this price long! All the links can be found here: Under His Protection.

Give Karen/K.L. a shout-out in the comments to make her feel welcome, and sign up for my newsletter before you go. I shoot for monthly, but it’s been less than that lately. Each month I reach ten new subscribers, I’m giving away a Starbucks giftcard.

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