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A Stormy #NewRelease for Regency Romance Fans

March 28, 2021 by in category Quarter Days by Alina K. Field tagged as , , , , ,

Welcome to my Quarter Days’ post!

Last year was awful in many ways, but there were some bright spots. For me, one of those was being invited by the Bluestocking Belles, a group of historical romance authors, to be one of the guest authors in their 2021 story collection. It was a unique experience, and a great deal of fun, interweaving our stories and characters into the collection’s setting. All of the stories take place in the fictional Suffolk town of Fenwick on Sea during a “storm of the century”. It is the first week of April 1815, and Napoleon Bonaparte has just escaped from Elba.

When this opportunity arose, I was in the middle of writing Fated Hearts, my Regency-set retelling of the Macbeth story. Since Fated Hearts was set in March 1815 in the middle of the Corn Riots and in the week that ended with the arrival of news of Bonaparte’s escape, the Storm & Shelter project gave me the perfect opportunity for a secondary character’s romance.

Storm & Shelter, A Bluestocking Belles with Friends Collection

Spring has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, and this year’s April storms include the 1815 North Sea gale that is the setting for the stories in the Storm & Shelter novella collection :

When a storm blows off the North Sea and slams into the village of Fenwick on Sea, the villagers prepare for the inevitable: shipwreck, flood, land slips, and stranded travelers. The Queen’s Barque Inn quickly fills with the injured, the devious, and the lonely—lords, ladies, and simple folk; spies, pirates, and smugglers all trapped together. Intrigue crackles through the village, and passion lights up the hotel.

One storm, eight authors, eight heartwarming novellas.

A 99 cent Pre-order!

The Comtesse of Midnight

The collection includes my novella, The Comtesse of Midnight, a sequel to my full length novel, Fated Hearts. Here’s the blurb:

A Scottish Earl on a quest for the elusive Comtesse de Fontenay rescues a French lady smuggler from the surf during a devastating storm, and takes shelter with her. As the stormy night drags on, he suspects his companion knows the woman he’s seeking, the one who holds the secret to his identity.

Marielle Plessiers may dress like a boy and go out with the local free traders, but she’s really the Comtesse de Fontenay. She trades in spirits, not secrets, but the information she holds will change Malcolm Comyn’s life forever.

The other contributors are members of the Bluestocking Belles: Jude Knight, Caroline Warfield, Sherry Ewing, Rue Allyn, and Cerise DeLand.

As well as two other guest authors, Mary Lancaster and Grace Burrowes.

Here’s the full list of stories:

An Improbable Hero, by Mary Lancaster:

A runaway heiress, a mysterious stranger.

When Letty’s ship founders in a violent storm, she forges a rare bond with her rescuer.

Simon is a troubled man on a final, deadly mission—until the spirited yet soothing Letty makes him question everything. Hiding in plain sight among the refugees at The Queen’s Barque, Simon is more than capable of protecting them both. But when the floods recede, can either of them say goodbye?

Lord Stanton’s Shocking Seaside Honeymoon, by Cerise DeLand:

She is so wrong for him.

Miss Josephine Meadows is so young. In love with life. His accountant in his work for Whitehall. Her father’s heir to his trading company—and his espionage network. Lord Stanton cannot resist marrying her. But to ensure Wellington defeats Napoleon, they must save one of Josephine’s agents.

Far from home, amid a horrific storm, Stanton discovers that his new bride loves him dearly. Can he truly be so right for her? And she for him?

The Tender Flood, by Caroline Warfield:

Zach Newell knows Patience Abney is far above his touch. But he has been enchanted by her since she raced out of the storm and into the Queen’s Barque with a wagon full of small boys, puppies, and a bag of books. When the two of them make their way across the flooded marsh to her badly damaged school in search of a missing boy, attraction deepens. She risks scandal; he risks his heart.

Before I Found You: A de Courtenay Novella by Sherry Ewing:

A quest for a title. An encounter with a stranger. Will she choose love?

Miss Miranda de Courtenay has only one goal in life: to find a rich husband who can change her status from Miss to My Lady. Captain Jasper Rousseau has no plans to become infatuated during a chance encounter at a ball. Their connection is hard to dismiss, despite Miranda’s quest for a title at all cost. What if the cost includes love?

Wait for Me, by Rue Allyn:

Enemies by nature—Esmeralda Crobbin, aka the pirate Irish Red, and Captain, Lord Brandon Gilroy have met before.

Fate trumps nature—When a fierce storm creates a chance encounter and forced proximity, Brandon learns the pirate is a woman of serious honor and responsibility. Esmeralda discovers the captain is more than a uniform stuffed with rules and regulations. Both love the sea with boundless passion, but can they love each other?

A Dream Come True, by Jude Knight:

The tempest that batters Barnaby Somerville’s village is the latest but not the least of his challenges. Vicar to a remote parish, he stretches his tiny stipend to adopt his orphaned niece and nephew and his time to offer medical care as well as spiritual. A wife is a dream he cannot afford. But the storm sweeps into his life a surprising temptation—a charming young woman who lavishes her gentle care upon his wards—and him. God knows, he will forever be richer for having known her, even if he must let her go.

A Kiss by the Sea, by Grace Burrowes:

He’s not really a blacksmith, and she’s not really an heiress… Can they forge a happily-ever-after anyway?

Thaddeus Pennrith finds a way to recover from multiple griefs when he accepts the blacksmith’s post at Fenwick on Sea. Village life gives him a sense of belonging that Polite Society never could, though he must resume his aristocratic responsibilities soon. Along comes Lady Sarah Weatherby, refugee from an engagement gone badly awry, and Thaddeus is faced with both a compelling reason to reveal his titled antecedents, and a longing to keep them forever hidden….

Pre-order your copy today, only 99 cents. But hurry! The price will go up after the April 13th release!


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Giving Tragic Characters a Happy-Ever-After

December 28, 2020 by in category Quarter Days by Alina K. Field tagged as , , , ,

The Tragic Characters in Literature Project

Greetings for the holiday season! This is the time for gift-giving, and I’m devoting this Quarter Days’ post to a unique gift-giving project I’m taking part in with a group of Regency Romance authors.

We’re taking some of those dark, down-on-their luck characters from literary fiction and giving them the Regency Romance treatment!

Officially:

With complete artistic license, and an abundance of hubris, a group of Regency romance authors are retelling some of the great stories of literature, setting them in Georgian England, and giving these tragic heroes and heroines a happily-ever-after.

I am not super well-read in tragic fiction, so I settled on a story I do know: Macbeth. The real Macbeth was a relatively successful (though bloody) ruler of Scotland for about ten years in the eleventh century. Shakespeare’s Macbeth and his lady–well, you probably know their story. They die!

What’s a Romance Author to do? I decided to follow Shakespeare’s example of adding and discarding facts and characters as required. As I plunged into planning, I quickly decided that the action would begin twenty years after Macbeth and his lady’s quest for title and power and their “demises”.

In my version, a failed lawsuit, allegations of unfaithfulness and a disastrous divorce sent Macbeth off to a bloody twenty-year war with France and his lady into a tailspin of depression. Older and wiser, they meet again in London in March 1815 during the worst of the Corn Riots, in a week that ends with the arrival of news that Bonaparte has escaped from Elba.

I’ve taken the liberty of reversing characterizations (after all, Foul is Fair, and Fair is Foul) and adding others to lighten the mood for our aging lovers. Writing this, I often had to wrest my hero back from the darkness of his story. Or, as my editor gently suggested, I had to “moderate his fatalism”.

Hah! It is 2020, isn’t it?

All-in-all, it was a fun story, requiring a deep dive into the Peninsular campaign, the Corn Riots, and best of all, Highland soldiers in kilts.

Release day for Fated Hearts is December 29, 2020, and it’s available for 99 cent preorder. It won’t be at that price for long, so if you’re interested, pick up your copy ASAP.

Here’s a bit about the story and the other books in the Tragic Characters in Classic Lit series.

Fated Hearts, A Love After All Retelling of the Scottish Play

Plagued by hellish memories and rattling visions of battle to come, a Scottish Baron returning from two decades at war meets the daughter he denied was his, and the wife he divorced, and learns that everything he’d believed to be true was a lie. What he can’t deny is that she’s the only woman he’s ever loved. They’re not the young lovers they once were, but when passion flares, it burns more hotly than ever it did in their youth.

They soon discover, it wasn’t fate that drove them apart, but a jealous enemy, who played on his youthful arrogance and her vulnerability. Now that old enemy has resurfaced, more treacherous than ever. When his lady falls into a trap, can he reach her in time to rescue this love that never died?



Other Books in this Series:

The Monster Within, The Monster Without

by Lindsay Downs (Frankenstein)

When bodies start turning up in Whitechapel, Miss Steen returns to London with Lord Cartwright and the Countess of Harlow as her chaperone to solve the murders. Little does she realize she will be introduced to the last person she wants to meet — and hunting down the murderers proves a lot more difficult than they had anticipated.

I Shot the Sheriff

by Regina Jeffers (Robin Hood)

William de Wendenal, the notorious Sheriff of Nottingham, has come to London, finally having wormed his way back into the good graces of the Royal family. Yet, not all of Society is prepared to forgive his former “supposed” transgressions, especially the Earl of Sherwood.

However, when de Wendenal is wounded in an attempt to protect Prince George from an assassin, he becomes caught up in a plot involving stolen artwork, kidnapping, murder, and seduction that brings him to Cheshire where he must willingly face a gun pointed directly at his chest and held by the one woman who stirs his soul, Miss Patience Busnick, the daughter of a man de Wendenal once escorted to prison.

The Colonel’s Spinster

by Audrey Harrison (Pride and Prejudice)

Colonel Fitzwilliam is a second son, often overshadowed by his titled, older brother and his cousin, Mr Darcy. Returning from Waterloo he knows it is time to find a wife with a healthy dowry, but he longs for a love match. Unfortunately for Fitzwilliam, love doesn’t put food on the table.

Miss Prudence Bamber has never known her mother’s family. A woman with her own mind and full life, she indulges her father’s wish to visit her long-lost relations. It turns out to be a trip she won’t forget in a hurry. 

Two people looking for love, but challenged by pride, secrets and prejudice. Will they be able to overcome the odds to find their own happy ever after? Or, are they destined to remain separated by the constraints of society? 

The Redemption of Heathcliff

by Alanna Lucas (Wuthering Heights)

Her wild ways tamed, Catherine Earnshaw has launched into London society. Only none of her marriage-mart suitors excite her because her heart still lies with another; whatever happened to Heathcliff, her childhood soulmate?

Markus Bell left Yorkshire to find his true identity and turn a fortune. Now the talk of the ton, he has Catherine in his sights, not to woo her but to seek revenge; he can’t forgive how she spurned him.

Catherine is puzzled where the gossip dogging her through the season comes from. Until she meets Markus, who’s as dark and devilishly handsome as her Heathcliff, and her world is turned upside down. 

Coming in 2021:

The Company She Keeps, by Nancy Lawrence (Madame Bovary)

Captain Stanwick’s Bride, by Regina Jeffers (The Courtship of Miles Standish)

Glorious Obsession, by Louisa Cornell (Orpheus and Eurydice)

Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season and a very happy, healthy, prosperous 2021!

I’ll be back in March for the next installment of my Quarter Days’ blog!

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Books, Baking and Holidays

December 10, 2020 by in category Charmed Writer by Tari Lynn Jewett tagged as , , , ,

Last month I told you that I was finishing #12DancingSantas the final book in the #HermosafortheHolidays series and it released this week, it’s on sale through Saturday, December 12th for 99 cents on Amazon. I can’t believe the series is complete! It’s like raising your children, when you’re in the middle of it, you’re so focused on the day to day business of feeding, teaching, bathing, schoolwork, extra-curricular activities, learning and adjusting as you parent…all of the things that come with raising kids, that you sometimes lose sight of how quickly they’re growing.

Then, suddenly, they’re all grown up.

It was a similar feeling writing this series. I’ve been so busy writing, revising, editing, learning how to publish and promote, and so much more that I’m still learning…

And now suddenly, this series is done. Well, except for getting the print books out.

So, #12DancingSantas is Brenda’s story. She’s a Hermosa Beach schoolteacher, and this year she’s watched as one by one, each of her friends have gone viral on social media, and found love. Then while attending the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on the Hermosa Beach Pier, and watching the performances, including one by twelve firemen on skates…also known as the Twelve Dancing Santas. Santa whisks by, sweeps her into his arms and gives her the most magical of Christmas kisses. And when he does, he drops a boot from the bag over his shoulder.

Now, Brenda and her friends must find the Santa who fits the boot, because while there are plenty of Santas willing to try (at least twelve to be sure) she has to find the Real Santa.

Like the rest of the series, the story is a light, fun escape that I hope will bring a smile to your face…and maybe even a laugh or two.

Since Brenda, is a baker, and so am I, I thought I’d share one of my family’s favorite holiday cookie recipes with you. And I promise that while I’m baking cookies and wrapping gifts, I’m also working on the next writing project. I’ll be back to tell you about that next time!

My oldest son, Gerrod, is my cover artist, and these are his favorite Christmas cookies.

Sour Cream Cookies

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

2 whole eggs

½ cup butter, softened

8 oz sour cream

2 cups flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Frosting:

1/3 cup butter

1 ½ tsp vanilla

¼ cup milk

3 cups powdered sugar

Sprinkles if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour baking sheet.

In a large mixing bowl cream vanilla, sugar eggs, butter and sour cream until well blended. Add flour salt and soda and mix well. The dough will be sticky. Drop by large spoonful’s onto prepared pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until puffed and lightly brown on the bottom. Cool.

Mix ingredients for frosting until well blended. I like to divide the frosting and add food coloring. Frost cookies and use sprinkles to decorate.

Warning, this recipe can be a little finicky. They should puff up and become soft almost muffiny cookies, but sometimes they spread out and are thin. Don’t worry about it, they’re delicious either way. I like them best chilled in the refrigerator.

Happy Holidays whatever you celebrate, and best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year.

Love, Tari

You can find me at:

My website: TariLynnJewett.com

Amazon: Tari Lynn Jewett

Facebook group: Tari Lynn & Friends

Instagram: Tari Lynn Jewett

Twitter: Tari Lynn Jewett


The Whole #HermosafortheHolidays Series

#PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)

#SILVER BRACELETS

Buy now!
#SILVER BRACELETS

#FIREWORKS IN THE FOG

Buy now!
#FIREWORKS IN THE FOG

#HAUNTEDHERMOSA

Buy now!
#HAUNTEDHERMOSA

#12DANCINGSANTAS

Buy now!
#12DANCINGSANTAS

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Vicki Crum–Author of Love, Laughter and Werewolves!!

August 2, 2020 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , , ,

Vicki Crum writes contemporary and paranormal romance, creating tales full of love and laughter and discovering one’s soul mate in the most unlikely places. Her published works include Loving Luc, Once in a Blue Moon, Moonspell, and Blood Moon (Eternal Moon Series). Vicki resides with her husband in a charming seaside community in Southern California. She has two grown daughters and two adorable grandchildren who light up her world.

Connect with Vicki at vickicrum@homail.com, or visit her at http://vickicrum.wix.com/author and www.facebook.com/vickicrum.author

We’re spending time today with contemporary and paranormal romance author Vicki Crum. Vicki’s third book in her paranormal romance Eternal Moon series has just been released.

Jann: Your Eternal Moon series is about werewolves. What drew you to this genre? 

Vicki: A few years ago, my friend and critique partner, Mandy Baker, urged me to try my hand at writing a paranormal romance. I had only written contemporary romances prior to that, and one contemporary romance with futuristic elements. I tried to think what I could write exploring the paranormal world that would hold my interest. I wasn’t really a “vampire” kind of girl, so I settled on a werewolf. I’ve always been fascinated by wolves, and so I figured, why not? I could still create characters that were sexy and mysterious, and they could be awake during the day and eat whatever they wanted!

Jann: You received great reviews for Once in a Blue Moon and Moonspell. For this series, did you start with plot idea, a character or a theme?

Vicki: Oddly enough, I had started a contemporary romance that wasn’t really going anywhere, so I revamped it into what would eventually become Once in a Blue Moon by making the hero a werewolf. Only Jake was meant to be a werewolf in the beginning. I didn’t even know his love interest, Casey, was a werewolf until Jake did! A rare breed of werewolf with a case of latent genes, even Casey doesn’t know about her true heritage until Jake comes along. I can tell you I had some fun with this one!

In Moonspell, I give Casey’s handsome older brother, Reed, his own love story. Due to their odd family genetics, Reed is not a werewolf, but Marin, the woman he ultimately falls for, is. Each book in the series is connected by siblings. In Blood Moon, Austin is Marin’s brother.

Jann: Blood Moon, book three made its debut recently. What can you tell us about your characters Austin and Kat and their journey?

Vicki: Of all the characters I’ve ever written, I think Kat and Austin are my favorites. They completely captured my imagination and took over my life for a while. I love the way they relate to each other, their good-natured sparring, the immense and uncharted chemistry between them that sweeps them along, almost against their will, on an ultra-passionate adventure. The story takes place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Austin serves as Kat’s outdoor adventure guide. Lots of beautiful scenery, wild animal encounters, and plenty of passion-filled nights. And did I mention Kat’s stalker ex-husband, who refuses to take no for an answer? A showdown at the end exposes Austin’s werewolf heritage in a sudden and violent way, causing Kat to reexamine her feelings for him, and what a future with him might look like.

Jann: What do you want the readers to take away from this series? 

Vicki: I want them to have fun, to be entertained above all, to be carried along on a fantasy, passion-filled adventure as the characters meet and fall desperately in love, then struggle with how, despite the odds against them, to forge a future together. 

Jann: Will there be a fourth book? If so, can you tell us a little about it? 

Vicki: The next book (as yet untitled) takes us to Nashville, and yet another sibling of Marin and Austin’s. Ethan Sawyer is a popular country music star who falls for an extremely independent woman, one whose father was a famous, and very troubled, rock star. Due to Skyler’s scarred past, getting involved with a musician is a non-starter for her. She is also half Shawnee, which according to her full-blood grandmother, makes any kind of union with a shapeshifter forbidden.

Jann: Your first book, Loving Luc, is a contemporary romance. Do you have any plans to write another contemporary romance?

Vicki: Loving Luc is a contemporary romance with futuristic elements, as Luc hails from a planet in another solar system that just happens to be very similar in size and scope to Earth. But yes, I’m thinking to finish my Eternal Moon series with Ethan and Skyler’s story, and then I have several straight contemporary ideas I’d like to work on. Also, my daughter has expressed an interest in us writing a book together, so we’ll see where that idea leads.

Jann: Do you find yourself returning to certain themes in your stories?

Vicki: I would have to say the main theme in most of my books has been the tried and true “love conquers all”. I’ve paired lovers from two distant solar systems and given them their happy ending, and three of the Eternal Moon novels feature couples with incongruent genetic lines, human and werewolf. You can imagine what kinds of difficulties they might face trying to create a life together! I love the idea of discovering one’s soulmate in the most unlikely and unexpected places, wherever that may be.  

Jann: Are there any words of inspiration on your computer, in your office or in your mind when you write?

Vicki: Honestly, the quote that has always inspired me the most, and I’m sorry I can’t remember who said it, goes like this, “It makes me sad to think of all the truly talented writers who eventually gave up and went away.” When I’m feeling down and discouraged, this quote gives me heart. Never give up your dreams!

Jann: Do you have a website, blog, twitter where fans might read more about you and your books?

Vicki: You can find my website at: vickicrum.wix.com/author, and catch me on Facebook at Facebook.com/vickicrum.author

Congratulation Vicki on the debut of Blood Moon!! It’s been fun getting a peek into your world of werewolves here on A Slice of Orange.

Books by Vicki Crum


BLOOD MOON

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BLOOD MOON

ONCE IN A BLUE MOON

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ONCE IN A BLUE MOON
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Happy Holidays!

December 28, 2019 by in category Quarter Days by Alina K. Field tagged as ,

I’m back with my Quarter Days’ post!

If you celebrated Christmas a few days ago, I hope you had a merry one with family and friends. And if you’re in the midst of celebrating the eight days of Hanukkah, well, my wish for you is the same!

Which reminds me of a story my sister once shared. She was lamenting about having to choose and buy Christmas gifts for her three kids. The doctor she worked with said, “Ha! Try having to buy one gift for each night of Hanukkah for each of my three kids.” (Maybe it’s not obvious, but this was a mom-doctor, not a dad-doctor.)

Something different

Today, instead of talking about historical traditions related to the Yuletide, I wanted to share Of The Book, a new anthology–not fuzzy-feeling-inducing holiday romances, but scary, raise-the-hair-on-your-neck stories.

In a word, horror! And more specifically stories rooted in Jewish folklore.

I’m especially excited that this anthology includes a chilling story by my niece, Hadley Scherz-Schindler. (Proud aunt here!) More on her contribution, “The Baby Naming” below.

A Re-emerging Genre

Around the time I was planning this post, I received an email about a new marketing report from Alex Newton founder and proprietor of the book analytics firm, K-Lytics.

Alex has just published his first ever Horror Fiction report. He often has his finger on the pulse of the market, and he’s seen a surge of interest in straight up horror fiction. I wish that the late Joyce Ward, who once told me she loved writing Horror, was around to take advantage of this trend.

In any case, if you’re a fan of the genre, here’s a bit about the anthology:

Of The Book

For nearly 6000 years the Jewish people have been gathering stories. Stories of sheydim and golem. Stories of heroes and monsters.

For as long as the People of the Book have been, they have been storytellers. Gathered here are tales of contemporary Jewish folklore. Frightening, supernatural, uplifting and upsetting. These Jewish writers took old tropes, legends and concepts of an ancient faith and spun it into something incredible and new. From across the diaspora, they gather in Of The Book.

The blurb for “The Baby Naming”, by Hadley Scherz-Schindler

A distant Lithuanian cousin, a scholar of the Kabbalah, crashes the naming ceremony for little baby Rachel, sharing a warning about a family curse, and the sacrificial requirement to defeat the demon. But will the exhausted parents heed the warning? And what will happen if they don’t?

Short and scary, I loved this story! I’m dipping into the other eleven hair-raising tales as I get up the nerve.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Book-Corners-World-1-ebook/dp/B08286LC3M

About Hadley Scherz-Schindler

Hadley Scherz-Schindler grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, a city full of music, barbeque and ghosts. She converted to Judaism when she married into a family of rabbis and has four children who drift between college, grad school and home. Hadley still lives in St. Louis with her husband, Josh, and their collie, Frodo. 

Wishing you many blessings for 2020! I’ll be back for a new Quarter Days post in March!

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