Monday, October 29, 2018

What I've Been Reading - More Mysteries

Baby's First Felony is the long-awaited seventh book in the Cecil Younger mystery series. It’s fabulous—but I say that about every one of Mr. Straley’s books. Just read the cover quotes and you’ll see that I’m not the only one who loves his writing. The Alaska setting just adds to the reading pleasure. I must say, though, that although Baby’s First Felony can be read as a standalone, you’ll appreciate it much more if you read the other six books first, starting with the The Woman Who Married a Bear. Cecil Younger is a completely screwed-up yet nevertheless adorable character, and reading Baby’s First Felony was like visiting an old, much-loved friend. Great mystery, chilling suspense that was almost unbearable (I had to read ahead), and some wonderful bursts of humor. Highly recommended.


At some point this month I needed an old, familiar read, so I turned to Dorothy Sayers. The Nine Tailors is one of her Lord Peter Wimsey stories. Lord Peter is a delightful character who also feels like an old friend, since I’ve read all the books about him more than once, some of them several times. The secondary characters in The Nine Tailors are fun, too – the absent-minded vicar and his capable wife, the villagers who ring the church bells, and of course Bunter, Lord Peter's valet. The mystery is both intriguing and educational. I love learning something new as I read, in this case about change ringing – a musical art form in which bells are rung in varying sequences according to a prescribed pattern. At least I think that’s more or less right – if you want more, Google it. If you haven’t read Sayers, start with the first in the series and read them all. They will surely become lifelong favorites.

The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson totally blew me away. I’m so glad I read it – thanks to fellow author Marguerite Kaye, who finds the most amazing dark historicals and reviews them on Goodreads. The story takes place in London in 1727, mostly in a ghastly debtor’s prison. It’s violent and often horrifying, but so realistic and well written that you just have to keep going. The mystery is excellent, and the central character, Thomas Hawkins, is one of those wild, restless, totally endearing characters who make for a great series. I’m already reading book two, The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins, and looking forward to book three, A Death at Fountains Abbey.

Happy Halloween!


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Upcoming Giveaway in November

Just a quick note: I'm participating in this giveaway, along with a zillion other authors. Lots of opportunities to win prizes all through November.

I think my contest (a multiple choice question just like back in school, LOL -- but it's easy to find the answer) is Nov. 2nd, but regardless, any day (or every day) is a great day to enter.

Till next time,


Thursday, October 4, 2018

YAY! Once Upon a Christmas Kiss is out!

I love writing historical novellas about Christmas, and I'm happy to say that this year two of them are in an anthology -- or is it a boxed set? (I never know what to call these collections.) Anyway, Once Upon a Christmas Kiss is available now - 9 novellas for only 99 cents.

The blurbs for all the stories are below. In the interest of full disclosure, please note that both of my novellas, The Reluctant Seductress and Love at First Dance, were previously published in other anthologies which are no longer available. I'm pleased to publish them together (under the collective title Yuletide Nights) for the first time -- because they share some of the same characters, and they follow one another during the same Christmas season.

Also, there are two other novellas in the same story universe. Under a Christmas Spell and Under a New Year's Enchantment take place the previous Christmas in book time (but were published several years ago in real time). They are available separately, and also may be found in Harlequin Christmas collections from time to time.



Step away from the Christmas rush this season and fall in love again with this amazing set of Historical Christmas tales by USA Today and bestselling authors! This set includes -

One Knight Under the Mistletoe by CATHERINE KEAN –
Kissing Lord Renfred de Vornay under the mistletoe was the last thing Lady Liliana Thornleigh expected days before Christmas. When she learns Ren’s dangerous secrets, will her hatred of him intensify, or will she accept his love?

Mhàiri's Yuletide Wish by CATHY MACRAE -
What Mhàiri and Michaell receive this Yuletide season could prove more than they had ever dreamed.

Unkissable Knight by ANNA MARKLAND -
Dervenn de Roure is a hero of the Battle of Hastings, the same conflict that left Victorine de Toeni orphaned and facing poverty. She must marry to survive. Dervenn's scarred face bears testimony to his sacrifice, but the haughty Victorine cannot overlook the fact he is a Breton, not a Norman. It might take the scheming of an unlikely matchmaker like William the Conqueror to make her see Dervenn is the man she needs.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree by AMANDA MCCABE –
Spend the holidays in Regency England! Seeking an heir to her fortune, a widow challenges her family to a wild holiday scavenger hunt in the novella "A Partridge in a Pear Tree"--and two people find a lasting love seeking the Twelve Days of Christmas...

“Solid characters, a family secret or two, and some clever writing make this the best story in the collection” – All About Romance

National Reader's Choice Award Finalist--Best Novella

Christina, A Bride for Christmas by HILDIE MCQUEEN -
After being dispatched to Blanchard Creek, Wyoming by her mother as a mail order bride, Christina Mills tumbles from one mishap to another. A story of hurt, scars and the healing power of love.

Yuletide Nights, a Regency Novella Duet by BARBARA MONAJEM -
Book One, The Reluctant Seductress: Forced to work as a spy due to her mysterious seductive powers, Lettice Raleigh emerges from the war with her virginity intact and her reputation in tatters. She hasn’t a hope of marrying—but she doesn’t reckon with the very proper Lord Hadrian Oakenhurst, who has one besetting sin: curiosity.
Book Two, Love at First Dance: Sir Colwyn North’s uncanny skill as a lover made him an excellent spy—but it also gave him the worst of reputations. His only hope of winning the hand of the very proper Lady Jane Dew is to trick her into marriage. By way of seduction. While in disguise.

Mistletoe Magic by LAUREL O’DONNELL –
A confident knight arrives home to find his childhood friend grown into much more then he remembered. The lady of the castle keeps a dangerous secret that threatens all she holds dear. Will Mistletoe Magic save them?

Dancing Under the Mistletoe by LANA WILLIAMS –
A woman running from her past. A man unwilling to face the future. A stolen moment under the kissing bough. Can one kiss and the magic of Christmas unite two lonely souls?



Merry Early Christmas!