Book Releases

The Determined Duchess Blog Tour and Excerpt

Excerpt:

As the Duke of Wycliffe, most people treated Nicholas’s authority as a foregone conclusion.
They did not look him in the eye and demand—the audacity of her, his mother would have said—to know why he’d arrived at his own blasted property.

Even if it was property he’d never wanted, property he’d gone out of his way to avoid until it had become painfully obvious to society that he wasn’t doing his duty. He couldn’t afford the beau monde’s scorn, not if he hoped to have a better session in the House of Lords than the previous Season.

That was what mattered. Not this unsettlingly wild and dark estate, and definitely not Felicity Fields’s lack of respect for him.

After spending so many summers here, he ought to know that Felicity was not like normal people. Since arriving at Tetbery as a child, she’d never left the estate. No trips to London for a proper Season, like her position should have dictated. His aunt had insisted upon seclusion after the death of the earl, and Felicity had paid the price for it.

Not that she’d ever seemed to mind. She said the first thing that popped out of her mouth and did precisely what she wanted, with no repercussions. He envied her for that.

But like this blighted estate he’d never wanted, Felicity was his responsibility now.

So things had to change. Starting with how she spoke to him.

“This is my estate,” he reminded her, matching her coldness with his own brand of disregard—lofty hauteur, perfected from years of reminding people who he was. “And it is, after all, the holidays. I wished to spend it with the people I care about.”

That was true, at least. He cared about Felicity—he just didn’t understand her.

“Then you should have stayed in London, or gone to Wycliffe Manor. Not come here.” She peered down the bridge of her nose at him, making him feel as though he were much, much smaller than he was.

It was clear she did not share his sentiment. He ignored the tiny twinge of hurt at that realization, reminding himself that he did not need her to like him to do right by her.

 

Meet the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author Erica Monroe writes dark, suspenseful historical romance. Her current series include Gothic Brides (Gothic Regency romances), The Rookery Rogues (pre-Victorian gritty working class romance), and Covert Heiresses (Regency spies who are the children of a duke). She was a finalist in the published historical category for the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Romantic Suspense, and her books have been recommended reads at Fresh Fiction, Smexy Books, Smart Bitches Trashy Books, and All About Romance. Her favorite things include coffee, profanity, comic books, and television. She lives in the suburbs of North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, two cats.

 

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About the Book:

Death is just the beginning in this dark, emotional Gothic Regency Romance…

After the death of her beloved guardian, Miss Felicity Fields is left adrift, her future uncertain. Grief-stricken, she launches a plan to use the ancient art of alchemy to bring back to life the woman who was like a mother to her. The last thing this blunt bluestocking needs is the return of Nicholas Harding, the Duke of Wycliffe and rightful owner of her home on the wild coast of Cornwall. He stirs an unexpected passion within her, and Felicity has had enough change in her life.
When they were children, Nicholas never understood his aunt’s brilliant but unemotional ward, or her many strange scientific studies. He ought to take her back to London, so she can make a proper society match–except he can’t stop thinking about her. But with the line between life and death blurred by Felicity’s experiments, can he convince her that she’s no longer alone, and her proper place is by his side?

 

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Giveaway:

  • $10 Amazon Gift Card + an eBook copy of The Mad Countess

 

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Book Releases

The Duke of Ruin by Darcy Burke Release

DUKERUIN_RB_BANNERThe Duke of Ruin, an all-new historical standalone from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke, is LIVE!

Burke, Darcy- The Duke of Ruin (final) 800 px @ 72 dpi low res

With her betrothal to a duke in tatters and scandal imminent, Diana Kingman has two choices: live in certain ignominy or flee into obscurity. Diana wants solitude. She never wished to wed in the first place. However, her father will stop at nothing to betroth her to one of the finest titles in the realm…no matter how loathsome the bearer. Escape is Diana’s only option, and she’ll pay any price to achieve freedom.

Universally blamed for the death of his wife and unborn child, Simon Hastings doesn’t dispute his guilt over an accident he cannot even remember. He hasn’t had a drink since, nor a moment’s peace. Determined to be a better man, Simon rescues a young woman in need—only to be accused of kidnapping. They must marry to save him from prison. But how can a man haunted by the love he lost and a woman afraid to get too close find happiness together?

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About Darcy

Darcy BurkeDarcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, emotional historical and contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations.

Join her reader club at http://www.darcyburke.com/readerclub. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, two Bengal cats and a third cat named after a fruit.

Connect with Darcy

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Stay up to date with Darcy by joining her Reader Club today

Book Releases

The Pursuit of Mrs. Pennyworth Blog Tour

Meet the Author:

Callie Hutton, the USA Today bestselling author of The Elusive Wife writes both Regency and western historical romance, with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs and her top cheerleader husband of many years. Her family also includes her daughter, son, and daughter-in-law. And twin grandsons “The Twinadoes.”

 

Callie loves to hear from readers. Contact her directly at calliehutton11@gmail.com or find her online at www.calliehutton.com. Sign up for her newsletter to receive information on new releases, appearances, contests and exclusive subscriber content.

 

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

About the Book:

From USA Today Bestselling Author Callie Hutton is a new captivating and suspenseful historical romance…
 
Recently widowed, Charlotte Pennyworth is relishing her independence and it rankles to have to rely on a man to help her with an increasingly sinister stalker. Former Yardman, Elliot Baker, is reluctant to take on Charlotte’s case but despite himself and his history with another woman, he is drawn to the bright, attractive widow.
Sparks smolder between the PI and his client but neither is looking to form an attachment. Elliot thinks Charlotte is hiding something. Charlotte has no desire to marry again, especially to a private investigator, no matter how handsome, brave and kind he is. The risk to his life and her heart is too great. But more dangerous than a menacing stalker is secrets and when Charlotte’s come to light, even the passion between them might not douse the flames of Elliot’s distrust.

 

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  • $15 Amazon Gift Card

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Research · Travel

Cardiff Castle

In 2016, I made my first trip to the United Kingdom. During the trip we visited the city of Cardiff in Wales.

The keep at Cardiff Castle.
The Norman keep at Cardiff Castle.

Cardiff Castle dates to the Roman Invasion. As a result, the castle has a rich history. The current site contains a reconstructed Roman fort, a Norman Castle and a Victorian Gothic home.

The Roman Invasion occurred in 43 AD and a fort was built at the lowest crossing point of the River Taft. The fort is believed to have been abandoned after the Roman Empire fell.

When the Normans invaded, they reused the site, adding a wall to create an inner and outer ward. They also built a hill to defend a castle with a stone keep added later.

The mansion built in the 1420’s and 1430’s is defined by the lighter colored stone.

The castle was built during the 1420’s and 1430’s by Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. For a time the property reverted to the crown. In 1551, it was granted to William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke. The 2nd earl expanded the castle in the 1570’s.

A marriage brought the property under the ownership of the Bute family in 1776. The Bute family made changes to the castle, adding Gothic wings. Capability Brown was hired to landscape the property and he destroyed many of the ancient walls and buildings.

The 3rd Marquess of Bute is responsible for the Victorian alterations. The work was done by the architect William Burges.

The Arab Room was used as the ladies’ drawing room.

Lord Bute was an animal lover and they are featured throughout the castle and grounds.

The Animal Wall
This carved monkey doubles as a bell pull.

There is so much to see at Cardiff Castle that it is impossible for me to cover it all in this blog post.

If you’re interested in Gothic Revival architecture, plan a visit to Cardiff Castle. I highly recommend the House Tour which will guide you through some of the rooms of the castle.

References

http://www.cardiffcastle.com

The essential Cardiff Castle by Matthew Williams

Research

Eye Miniatures – An Anonymous Token of Love

This article was previously published but I’ve never posted it on this site and thought I’d share my research into eye miniatures here.

The sentimental jewelry used during the 18th and 19th centuries is fascinating to me. These tokens of affections are sometimes very elaborate or made from unusual items, such as a loved one’s hair.

One short-lived jewelry trend that started in France sometime in the mid 1700’s and spread to London was the exchange of eye miniatures also known as lover’s eyes. It is generally believed that the Prince of Wales, who later became George IV, popularized this form of jewelry in London.

These portraits feature only an image of the eye, allowing a person to present it to a lover while keeping their identity a secret from others. They were also exchanged among family members. Lockets, containing portraits were another popular item but contained covers to hide the identity of the person. The anonymity of eye miniatures meant they could be worn openly.

Photo Credit: Yale University Art Gallery, Unknown eye, circa 1805-10, Watercolor on ivory.

The trend lasted until the 1820’s. It is estimated that less than 1000 eye miniatures exist in the world today with the Skiers of Birmingham, Ala. owning the largest collection.

For more information on eye miniatures:

Dennis Gaffney, “Gazing Into Lover’s Eyes,” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/tips/loverseyes.html

Candace Hern, “Lover’s Eyes Brooches,” http://candicehern.com/regencyworld/lovers-eye-brooches-origin/

Emma Mustish, “The secret history of lover’s eyes,” http://www.salon.com/2012/01/21/the_secret_history_of_lovers_eyes/

Diana Scarisbrick , “Miniatures and Silhouettes,” in Portrait Jewels (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2011).

Yale University Art Gallery, https://artgallery.yale.edu/collections/objects/16212

Do you own any jewelry that holds sentimental value?