Tag Archives: Victorian romance

Furbaby Friday with Author Luanna Stewart!


I’m pleased to have the delightful Luanna Stewart here to share her deep love of animals and her  new Victorian historical romance, Love and Mayhem.

Luanna: I’ve had many fur babies over the years, including those with feathers and scales. For as long as I can remember my family had a pet. Four cats and three dogs lived with us at one time or another during my childhood. The best of the lot, in my opinion, was Gurgi, a lovely Maine Coon Cat who showed up at our door one day and stayed for 17 years.


(Gurgi–Maine Coon cat)

My grade 12 science class ran experiments on learning using mice. My lab partner and I built a maze and trained our mouse using either a spritz of water as punishment, or a piece of peanut as reinforcement. I don’t recall which option got the best result. But, as might be expected when boy and girl mice are housed together, there was at least one litter of babies. We were given the option of taking a mouse home, saving them from the reptile tank. My wee beastie was called Benji, a little black mouse who turned out to be female, LOL. She seemed to enjoy sitting in my shirt pocket whilst I played piano.

I became step-mom to two cats – Grey Kitty and Calico Cat – when I moved in with my boyfriend (who became my hubby). He wasn’t great at names, LOL. Grey Kitty retained her name but the other cat quickly displayed her true character and was christened Mrs. Danvers (the evil housekeeper in Daphne DuMaurier’s novel “Rebecca”). That cat lived to be twenty-two just to spite us!

When our two sons got to the age when they wanted a pet of their own we welcomed a bearded dragon and a parakeet into the family. Our cat at the time, Portia, was greatly amused.

(Portia)

Several years ago our town approved backyard chickens and we got six Rhode Island Red hens. They did a fabulous job of ridding our yard of insect pests, and gave us delicious eggs. Some might question whether they were pets, but I took them to the vet when they were ill, I worked hard to cure common complaints (bumble foot and sour crop to name two), and I cried when they died. I think they qualified as pets.

(Hens)

The two kitties currently putting up with us are Mogget and Bruno. (If you follow me on Instagram you’ll recognize these two.)

(Bruno)

(Mogget)

They are displaying great forbearance with being moved to a foreign land. They’ve settled into our temporary home (whilst our house is under construction) and are greatly entertained by all the rodent activity in and around this 180-year-old house. They’ve dispatched a grand total of one mouse. Clearly they are too well fed! Mogget is the more social of the two and prefers to be in the room with her humans. Bruno will present himself for meals, and for requests to be let outside on his leash. He does an excellent job of sleeping the afternoon away and his snore can be heard in the next room.

My latest release, Love and Mayhem, strangely and unusually doesn’t have any pets in the story. My heroine, Sybil, runs a sheep farm, and though she’s quite attached to her lambs, she doesn’t treat them as pets. And my hero, Max, is too busy sailing across vast oceans to have time for a pet. I suspect once he settles down—but I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

Sybil is happily on the shelf, tending to her sheep. But she fears she’ll depart this life without experiencing physical love, which she suspects is rather enjoyable. When her long-lost fiancé returns from sea, she decides he’s the lucky man who’ll receive her virginity.

Max is eager to return to his sugar plantation and has no intention of remaining long in London. However, he didn’t bargain on a wilful, pretty, exasperating spinster determined to take him to her bed.

He insists on marriage but she wants only his body. Her heart is not part of the deal. Unfortunately, love doesn’t always follow the rules.

Excerpt:

“I see all sorts of advantages to the married state.” He brought her hand to his mouth, kissing each knuckle in turn before kissing her palm. Then he flicked his tongue over the inside of her wrist. She bit back a moan. Who knew the wrist was such a sensitive spot?

She forced her mind back to the task at hand. Which, when you came to think of it, served the other task as well. Namely, getting him to flick his tongue on other sensitive parts of her body. She took a deep breath. “Some enjoy those advantages without the bother of a marriage ceremony.”

Buy links:

Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/non-american-historical-romance/5180-love-and-mayhem.html

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Love-Mayhem-Luanna-Stewart-ebook/dp/B072TQGG3J

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/love-and-mayhem/id1252491353?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/love-and-mayhem-1

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-and-mayhem-luanna-stewart/1126952180?ean=2940158555770

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother’s stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Luanna writes full time, concentrating on sexy romantic suspense, steamy paranormal romance, and spicy historical romance.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna has recently returned to the land of her birth with her dear husband and two spoiled cats. When she’s not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.

Under her previous pen name of Grace Hood she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press.

Website:  http://www.luannastewart.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Luanna_Stewart

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Luanna.Stewart.nau

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/luannastewart/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14104212.Luanna_Stewart

Follow Luanna’s Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Luanna-Stewart/e/B01068GXTC

Thanks for letting me hang out with your readers, Beth. And sharing pictures of my animal friends, past and present.

I am delighted to have you here and love learning more about you and your furbabies!

New Release–Paranormal-Historical Romance–Magic In Her Eyes (The Gifted Book 1)


Fellow Wild Rose Press Author Donna Dalton is sharing her exciting new release, Magic In Her Eyes, and an interesting  bit about Victorian fashion.

Donna: I noticed my grandson’s trousers didn’t seem to hold up well under a little boy’s rough and tumble activities, especially the right knee. There was always a worn spot that eventually turned into a hole. I wondered about little boy’s clothes of the past. I discovered that up until 1870, boys wore long pants with shirts and suspenders, while the adult men wore knee breeches. Then, after the 1870’s, that style switched and boys started wearing knee breeches and grown men donned long pants.

Two little Victorian boys on a pony

Fabrics for boys were often cottons, wools, and some silk. From 1860 to 1880, boys from age four to seven wore skirted outfits that were simpler than the girls’ styles with more subdued colors and trimmings. From age seven to fourteen, boys wore the knee-length knickerbockers pants. Over the next thirty years, boys donned the popular knickers at younger and younger ages. The knickers were paired with short jackets over lace-collared blouses, belted tunics, or sailor tops for the younger boys. Older boys had tailored wool jackets, stiff-collared shirts, and four-in-hand ties. I imagine even with the breeches at knee-length, they still required mending.

Magic In Her Eyes

Blurb:

Meredith Talbot has a secret. In fact, she has nine secrets – her own and those of the eight orphans at Seaton House, a home for children. Each of them has a special talent that if exposed would get them labeled as witches. It is her responsibility to protect the children and their secrets and keep them safe from persecution. Marauding Indians force them into a nearby fort where their safety is threatened by fanatical townspeople and a captivating army officer who try to unmask the children’s extraordinary abilities.

Lieutenant Preston Booth has one goal – to serve and protect his country. The military is the only life he has ever known. It’s the only life he wants. When a child is abducted and Preston goes after the culprit, Meredith has a vision of what will happen to him.

Does she risk everything by exposing her gift? Or keep her secret and risk losing him forever?

Excerpts:

“Do you also have an aversion to being touched?”

Meredith looked up and met his taunting gaze. It was a challenge she couldn’t ignore. She hefted her chin. “Not if I have given permission to be touched.”

One corner of his mouth twitched. Surely that wasn’t a smile. From what she’d seen, the most his lips could manage were frowns.

He held out his hand. “May I help you into the wagon, Miss Talbot? In the name of expediency?”

Straw rustled behind her. One child hummed. Another thrummed on the wagon boards. The children were getting restless. She could contain herself long enough to be lifted onto the wagon.

“Very well. I give my permission.”

His hands curled around her waist. Heat seeped through her blouse and branded her skin. Her stomach started doing odd little summersaults like the ones she’d seen Chinese acrobats perform at a local fair. So much for containing herself.

His grip tightened, and he lifted her up and onto the wagon bed as if she weighed no more than a rag doll. His hands lingered a moment before he released her. Gray-brown eyes fused with hers. A strange connection churned between them like the rush crowding the air before a storm.~

What a fabulous cover, Donna, and the story sounds great!

***Magic in her Eyes is available from all online booksellers. In Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Her-Eyes-Gifted-Book-ebook/dp/B072KZ2PGC/

BIO:

Donna lives in central Virginia with her husband, two sons, and a grandson. An avid reader of historical romances, Donna uses the rich history of the “Old Dominion” state for many of her story settings. She enjoys reading stories where characters overcome life’s challenges, where family is everything, and the power of love helps them succeed. You can visit her at:

http://www.donndalton.net

Facebook at DonnaDaltonbooks.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/DonnaDaltonBks

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1089939.Donna_Dalton

Author Lilly Gayle Writes Victorian Romance Laced With Danger!


I’m pleased to have my friend and fellow author Lilly Gayle here today. Welcome Lilly!  The Victorian Time period is one I’ve always found intriguing and I’ve lived in old homes from that era, so this setting appeals to me.  Your new story sounds great and is in my TBR pile.  I’ve  purchased it so I know it’s there. 🙂

I see you’re sharing insights about plot pitfalls, ever valuable to consider both as a seasoned author and one just venturing down this long and twisted road where indeed many a pitfall awaits us.

Take it away, Lilly!

Lilly: A plot is the events that make up a story, how those events relate to the main characters, and the sequence in which the events occur.

Subplots are plots or events that occur within the main plot that can alter the events or the characters and their decisions. Subplots allow for expansion of the novel and make it easier for the author to add plot twists or unexpected events. But too many subplots water down the main plot to the point where the reader no longer knows whose story it is or even what the story is about. (*Something I have to watch for).

A novel usually has subplots and twists, but if the subplot begins to overshadow the real plot then it tends to bog down the story—the same for too many antagonists or protagonist.  Adding too many subplots and characters makes it harder to tie up the loose ends—and every subplot must be resolved. (*So true)

I’m basically a pantster, but even those less meticulous writers need to know the plot of their story before they begin. (This is something I forgot while writing my current WIP.) But utilizing a basic plot outline to map out my story got me back on track. I hope others find this basic plot outline as useful as I did.

Prologue (optional)—no more than two or three pages

  • Short setup that introduces characters or events necessary to the plot
  • Usually starts with action or useful dialogue that provides backstory without backstory dumping
  • Establishes a past or history of events that “predate” the novel

The Exposition or Beginning—no more than 30 pages or 3 chapters.

  • Introduces the main characters
  • Shows basic goals and motivation of main characters
  • Reveals a challenge, possibly internal conflicts

Conflict or Rising Action

  • Introduces main external conflict
  • All major characters are known-protagonists are established
  • The protagonist understands his/her goals and begins to work toward accomplishing those goals but smaller problems emerge (subplots.)
  • Progress is made toward the smaller problems
  • Tension or complications arise or increase between the main characters (personal conflict)
  • A big event occurs

Middle (Revelation)

  • The part of the story most likely to drag if the writer isn’t careful
  • Main characters decide upon a course of action for solving the main conflict
  • Protagonists learn about others; primarily about his or her self
  • Events lead up to a  crisis

Crisis

  • All seems lost
  • Conflict/problem seems insurmountable
  • Worst moments in story

Climax (Showdown)

  • The turning point of the story.
  • Question are asked, accusations are made, and decisions are reached.
  • The protagonist and the antagonist go against one another either directly or indirectly but there is no clear winner.

Falling Action.

  • New insights for characters
  • Sometimes a false resolution is reached
  • Short section, fast paced but everything is headed toward a final resolution

Resolution(Denouement)

  • Final confrontation between the protagonist and antagonist
  • Loose ends are tied up
  • In romance, this is where the happily ever after is revealed.
  • In a love story, this is where the great sacrifice is made.

Epilogue (Dawn)—Optional but must have an Epilogue if there is a Prologue

  • Last page or two
  • Happily ever after… but…
  • Leaves a question or two, without undoing the story
  • Great for books with planned sequels~
All Excellent Points!  Thanks so much for sharing that helpful information.  
And now for the blurb from Lilly’s recent release,
SLIGHTLY TARNISHED:

When a brooding English earl with a SLIGHTLY TARNISHED reputation marries his dead wife’s American cousin to save her from her uncle’s vengeful schemes, the sea captain’s daughter with a taste for adventure sparks desires he thought long dead.

Nicole Keller has always been headstrong and independent, but after a failed business venture and a sinking ship take her father, her home, and her childhood sweetheart, Nikki must support herself and her mother. But moving to England and marrying Chadwick Masters, Earl of Gilchrest isn’t what she has in mind. And falling in love with the mysterious earl could endanger both their lives.~

EXCERPT:

“This will be your room.” He opened the door and stood to one side so she could enter. “I’m afraid you will have to continue to make do without a lady’s maid. The only household staff I employ are Mrs. Lomax, Dickens, Cook, and my groom. My driver lives in the village as do the few maids I hire on occasion to help Mrs. Lomax with the laundry and heavier cleaning.”

Nikki smiled. “That’s quite all right, Lord Masters. I’m used to doing for myself, and it’s only for a week.”

He returned her smile and leaned forward, his warm breath fanning her cheek. “What happened toChad? Surely we’ve gone beyond such formalities now, Nicole.”

Gooseflesh rippled over her skin. Her body quivered. “I don’t think it would be proper for me to call you by your given name.” She risked a glance at his face and wished she hadn’t. His eyes no longer looked worried. They were hot—almost feverish. Her skin heated.

“It didn’t stop you before,” he said, his deep voice a husky rumble. Despite the heat, Nikki shivered.

Oh my!

“I don’t think this is proper either,” she stammered when he brushed his lips against her temple. A delicious tingle skittered down her spine.

“No, probably not,” he said, nibbling her neck.

A strange tension rippled through her muscles, tightening them with pleasure. She arched her neck, granting him access as he slid his lips along the column of her throat. Her hands bunched the skirt of her plain, serviceable dress. Her stomach quivered.

“What are you doing?” she asked, breathless and giddy.

He pulled his hands from his pockets and pulled her closer. “I’m seducing you, I think.”

“Seducing me?” Her heart hammered against her ribs.

“Hmm. You’re doing it again.” Then he lowered his mouth and kissed her.~

For more on Author Lilly Gayle visit:

www.lillygayle.com

www.lillygayleromance.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/lillygaylebooks