First Kiss Friday with Tess Thompson & a Giveaway!



Hello from the San Francisco Bay Area. Today on First Kiss Friday it’s my pleasure to welcome author Tess Thompson who will be sharing an excerpt from her novel Jaded. Plus, Tess is offering an eBook giveaway of Jaded to two lucky people who leave her a comment below! Happy reading and enjoy, my lovelies!

Zane and Honor’s first kiss excerpt:

“I’m not oblivious to you now,” he said. “I can’t do anything but notice you these days.”

“Really?” She looked down, pretending to examine her fingernails as warmth flushed her cheeks.

“Really.” He scooted closer. “Can I kiss you now?”

“I suppose.”

He grinned as he took her wine and set it next to his on the table. “Now I feel awkward. Maybe I should’ve just gone in without permission.”

“If you knew how much I wanted you to kiss me, you wouldn’t feel awkward.”

“You’re so pretty it hurts,” he said.

She couldn’t move as he drew closer, inhaling his scent. What should she do with her hands now that he no longer held them? They were lumps in her lap. Should she put her hands in his hair? The last time they’d kissed, she’d been tipsy and caught up in the moment. They’d attacked each other, ripping clothes off as they made their way to his bedroom. Tonight was different. They were too cautious, unwilling to startle the other with the wrong move. When he leaned down to kiss her, all thoughts of what to do about her hands vanished. He parted her mouth and kissed her gently, like an explorer with a rare and fragile find. She kissed him back and spread her fingers into the softness of his hair.

When they parted, he twirled a lock of her hair around his finger. “Maggie says you look like a hair commercial.”

“I pay a lot for it to look this way,” she said.

“It’s worth every penny.” He cocked his head to the side. “Maggie says I should ask you to go steady.”

She almost laughed, caught up in the joy of it all, but then she remembered. The point of asking him back to her home was to tell him the truth.

“What happened?” he asked. “I lost you.”

“I have something I need to tell you. I’ve not told anyone this. Most days I try not to think about it. I’m damaged goods. In more ways than one.”

Jaded by Tess Thompson

Zane Shaw isn’t the type to cower in a corner, until he meets Honor Sullivan. She’s the most phenomenal woman he’s ever met, but he’s been burned before and so he’s doomed to fall for her from a distance. If only his past hadn’t left him so weary, perhaps he could be the man he was raised to be.

Honor Sullivan has too much at stake to get distracted by a man. But Zane Shaw isn’t just any man. He’s smart, gorgeous, and a survivor like her. Which is why she knows, deep down, that he deserves someone better than her. Someone whole and undamaged. Yet she can’t seem to contain the way he makes her feel.

These two jaded souls with an instant connection just might find that true love is a joy best savored in the aftermath of life’s hardships and pain.

The third installment of The Cliffside Bay Series by bestselling author Tess Thompson follows the interwoven stories of five best friends, the beach community they love, and the women who captivate them. Prepare to get lost in a wave of small town charm, men you would love to take home to your mother, and smart, resilient heroines you wished lived next door.

Buy links:


Barnes & Noble:




Tess Thompson writes small-town romances and historical fiction. Her female protagonists face challenges with courage and dignity. Her heroes are loyal, smart and funny, even if a bit misguided at times. While her stories are character driven, she weaves suspenseful plots that keep readers turning pages long into the night.

Her deepest wish is to entertain with her stories, but also to inspire hope in this sometimes difficult journey called life. Her stories celebrate friendships, community, motherhood, family, as well as a belief that love can change the world. If you like happy endings that leave you with the glow of possibility, her books are for you.

Like her characters in the River Valley Collection, Tess Thompson hails from a small town in southern Oregon, and will always feel like a small town girl, despite the fact she’s lived in Seattle for over twenty-five years. She loves music and dancing, books and bubble baths, cooking and wine, movies and snuggling. She cries at sappy commercials and thinks kissing in the rain should be done whenever possible. Although she tries to act like a lady, there may or may not have been a few times in the last several years when she’s gotten slightly carried away watching the Seattle Seahawks play, but that could also just be a nasty rumor.

Her historical fiction novel, “Duet for Three Hands” won the first runner-up in the 2016 RONE awards. “Miller’s Secret”, her second historical, was released in 2017, as were the fourth and fifth River Valley Series books: Riversnow and Riverstorm. The sixth River Valley book will (hopefully) release in the early part of 2019.

“Traded: Brody and Kara”, the first in her new contemporary, small town romance series, Cliffside Bay, released on February 15th, 2018. The second in the series, “Deleted: Jackson and Maggie” released May 7th. “Jaded: Zane and Honor” will be released on July 9, 2018. The subsequent Cliffside Bay books will release every several months throughout 2018.

She currently lives in a suburb of Seattle, Washington with her recent groom, the hero of her own love story, and their Brady Bunch clan of two sons, two daughters and five cats, all of whom keep her busy, often confused, but always amazed. Yes, that’s four kids, three of whom are teenagers, and five cats. Pray for her.

Tess loves to hear from you. Drop her a line at ​​

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First Kiss Friday with guest Tricia Linden



Welcome to another First Kiss Friday. It’s always a pleasure to welcome back my dear friend, Tricia Linden. Today, Tricia will be sharing an excerpt from Until She Says Yes. Happy reading and enjoy!



“Signore Kingsley. Is everything alright?” she asked, setting aside her book.

“I had to see you. I’ve come to say goodbye. I’m being sent to San Francisco, for my project. I’ll be leaving for New York soon to make the necessary arrangements.”

“Oh! So, I guess we won’t be meeting this afternoon for our time together.”

He liked that she didn’t call it a lesson, or even a session. She called it their time together. “I didn’t want to leave without saying goodbye.” He took a step forward and she stood to meet him.

“That’s very, umm . . . considerate of you.” She looked up at him with her soft, doe-like eyes and his heart melted like a piece of chocolate held too tightly in one’s fist.

An awkward moment of silence passed, and Kingsley suddenly blurted out, “I was hoping I could get a kiss goodbye.” When her expression turned to one of shock, he added, “For good luck, of course.” He couldn’t believe he had said that out loud. Holding his breath, her waited for her to answer.

“It hardly seems proper,” she countered.

Kingsley let out his breath. She hadn’t exactly said no, and she hadn’t slapped his face, or walked away. All good signs he hadn’t completely destroyed the moment, and there was still a chance he could get the kiss he wanted. “Even in the interest of good luck?” he asked taking a step closer.

Anna Maria looked slightly confused, as if considering her options. “It seems wrong to deny you good luck.”

Taking another step closer, Kingsley asked, “Have you any idea how many times I’ve imagined kissing you?”

Her eyes grew wide, and her sweet, sensual mouth formed a round little O, making her even more tempting, more desirable. Her natural innocence was both beguiling and challenging. Without even trying, she set his heart racing. His breath caught in his chest. Everything deep inside him went tight and hard with desire. Control yourself, he thought. She’s a governess, for Christ’s sake, translating Italian with me, not some courtesan in need of seducing.

Ignoring his own internal warning system, he leaned in and whispered in her ear. “I’ve often imagined kissing you here, on your swan like neck.” His hand came up to brush the slender curve of her neck. Moving his hand, his thumb padded across her cheek, “Or here.” And then, touching a finger to her sweetly curved lips, he added, “or here?”

Anna Maria’s eyes locked onto his, and as if by the sheer power of his will, she seemed frozen in place. Lowering her lashes, she leaned in, narrowing the gap between them. All he needed to do was pull her into his arms. Going slow to test her resistance, he tilted his head and reached for her, covering her luscious lips with his mouth. Oh, the sweet taste of her: spicy and exotic, and slightly forbidden. Warm and inviting, her lips parted ever so slightly and he felt the tip of her tongue brush lightly against his mouth. Encouraged, he pressed harder, with greater passion. Melting against him, her hands came up and cupped his head, grabbing tufts of his hair.

A second later, she pushed him away, and took a quick step back, breaking the spell. “I thought it was only a kiss for luck you wanted. This leads me to think you want something more.”

Until She Says Yes

The socially awkward eldest son of a prominent New York family must defy his family to secure the love of the Italian governess rejected by his mother.

When Anna Maria Lucci leaves her home and family in Italy to work as a governess in the prosperous city of New York, she soon finds herself carelessly shuffled from one wealthy family to the next. She resents their control over her life, but what can she do?  After being banished from her father’s house, she needs the job.

When Kingsley Goddard needs help translating an old Italian text book, he naturally turns to Miss Lucci, the new governess his mother has hired for his younger siblings. It soon becomes clear that spending time with his attractive tutor is much more appealing than the text book she’s helping him translate.

But when Mrs. Goddard learns the governess is flirting with her eldest son she sends Anna Maria packing. She’ll not allow a servant to sit at her table, much less marry her son.

Willing to defy his family, Kingsley must find Anna Maria and hopefully convince her he’ll do whatever it takes until she says yes.

Read it for Free in Kindle Unlimited!
Available at Amazon


Tricia Linden ~ Author of Timeless Romance
with a Touch of Magic.

An International Banker by trade, and a romance writer by desire.

In this lifetime, I’ve lived in five states, on two islands, and on a farm, and am now living in Northern California. My travels have taken me to Guam, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong, England, Scotland, several countries in Europe, and several states in the US.  Besides my love of reading and writing romance, I have a great fondness for zydeco dancing, classic rock and best of all, Pink Flamingos. Over the years, I’ve gathered a rather large collection of the fun pink birds.

I believe in life, love and the pursuit of romance and am living happily ever after with my soul-mate in Northern California. “My life is magical, I am truly blessed.”

Visit Tricia at:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  | Email

Medieval Monday with If My Heart Could See You


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Hello, my lovelies. Today is Medieval Monday and I’d like to go back to the beginning with an excerpt from my medieval novel, If My Heart Could See You. It’s hard to believe that this month will mark the fourth year that I’ve been a published author. I’m pretty proud of the work I’ve done and I think you’ve been enjoying my books, too. I hope you enjoy this look back to the chapter when Dristan is riding out along the strand and he espies a lady waking up from her slumbers. Happy reading and enjoy!


Dristan was about to let Thor have his way and let the beast fly his way back to the security of the castle, when a slight movement by the edge of the forest caught his eye. He blinked once and tried to refocus his vision ’til he noticed a person lying wrapped securely in a MacLaren clan’s tartan. He watched in fascination as the person stretched and unfolded and the unmistakable form of a woman became abundantly clear.

Apparently, the woman had not realized she was no longer alone. She rose from her bed on the sand and began to shake the tiny granules from her clothing and hair. Finally, in frustration, she grabbed both ends of her tartan, which she had used as a cape of sorts, and raised it above her head, shaking out the contents that had found every fold to hide in. ’Twas only as she settled the garment around her head and fastened a broach to keep everything in place that she chose to at last look up, and a startled expression crossed her face.

Dristan gave a brief smile as he took off his gloves, dismounted, and made his way towards the woman, knowing Thor would remain where he was left. The closer he came, the more pleasantly he was surprised, ’til she pulled the tartan close about her features. Although only allowed the slightest glimpse of her face, this woman appeared as an angel with porcelain skin, a neck as graceful as a swan’s, and high cheekbones. A small pert nose and lips begging to be kissed were now hidden by the plaid she used to conceal her appearance.

His hands would no doubt be able to span her small waistline; her breasts were not overly large but he knew they, too, would fit well within the palm of his hands and then some. Her hair was the color of flames or the sky just as the sun was about to set as a few loose tendrils blew in the ocean’s breeze.

She shifted her feet in the sand in indecision, and he noticed no shoes covered her feet, which even appeared perfect to his eyes. Surely there must be some flaw with the girl, Dristan thought to himself but he could find none. First the lady in the mist had consumed his thoughts, and now this woodland nymph had come to confuse him even more. Mayhap he could hope the damsel was not wed or spoken for.

“A good morn to you, mademoiselle,” Dristan said, with a slight bow. “You are far from the village so early. Mayhap I can offer my assistance and see you back to your dwelling?”

A negative shake of her head was all Dristan was awarded, and he watched as she took several steps backwards towards the haven of the trees behind her.

“Come now… I mean you no harm, mistress, as I am lord of yon keep,” he declared with a wave of his hand towards the castle. “As a knight of King Henry’s realm, I fear you must humor me as ’twould be most unchivalrous to leave one so lovely unprotected to the elements of both man and beast alike. May I escort you to the village perchance?”

Once again, her hooded head gave no answer whilst she clutched the tartan closer to her, as if it offered the security she stood in need of.

“No? Well, I cannot in all good conscience leave you here to fend for yourself. A name then,” he encouraged, “tell me your name?”

“My n-name?”

Dristan heard her whispered words softly teasing his senses. “Aye, mistress, your name. Surely you have one?”

He stood fascinated as the head of the woman swiveled quickly in his direction. For one brief moment he beheld eyes of violet, reminding him of the heather on the Scottish moors. Still he waited patiently for her answer and yet she provided nothing to give her identity away.

Merciful heavens, what was she to do? His words hung in the air between them, and her consciousness frantically screamed to find an answer to give him and quickly! Yet, no rebuttal came to her frozen mind as Amiria stood there in total indecisiveness. She knew she could not allow him to get too close on the off chance he might recognize her, even though her face was clean from the grime and mud usually gracing it these days. ’Twas the words he uttered, haunting her as he had spoken them to her once afore, although she was now in a different guise.

“Somehow, I do not think giving you my name would be in my best interest, my lord,” she said quietly and took but an instant more to gaze at him afore her eyes became downcast. Her mind was racing, thinking of only how to escape the predicament she now found herself in with no horse to hasten her journey.

Dristan gave a soft chuckle at her words. “Mayhap not, but ’twould please me to know it just the same.”

“It matters not to me if you are pleased, so I will keep it unto myself I think,” she retorted sharply.

“I see a task afore me that I might coax it from your lips,” he prompted, taking a step in her direction. For each footstep he advanced, Amiria took one in the opposite direction towards the forest ’til he halted.

“Call it as you see fit, but ’twill still not gain you what you seek.” Amiria watched as he laughed out loud, but she could not find the humor of the situation from her words she had spoken.

“I do so love a challenge,” he argued humorously.

“Do you?” she asked sarcastically. “And what, pray tell, do you achieve if you should know my name, my lord?”

Dristan looked on her with a slight smile set upon his handsome face. “Why I achieve the name of a beautiful woman I would like to know better.”

She contemplated him again, wondering at his ploy. “And how know you I am beautiful with just one glimpse of my face?”

“Anyone with eyes in his head could tell, fair damsel, you are indeed a fine looking woman.”

“They say beauty is not everything, my lord Dristan. Perchance I have a shrewish nature, as I have been told such afore.”

“Somehow, I think not.”

“Do you?” she repeated the same words of but seconds ago.

He interrupted her. “Besides, ’tis not fair you should know who I am, but I am not granted the same.”

“Any and all would be a fool not to know the Devil’s Dragon of Blackmore now claims his lair in Berwyck Castle.”

“Then you have heard of me and my reputation has proceeded me,” he cajoled.

“Aye, my lord, I have indeed knowledge of you.”

“I see you do not fear me, as some do upon first encountering me. Why is that, I wonder, when you in truth do not know my nature?” he questioned honestly.

“I fear no man,” she answered, as she raised her head defiantly with a flip of her head, “or beast for that matter!”

Dristan threw his head back and laughed. It sounded pleasant to her ears. “Well said, damsel. Mayhap in you I have finally met my match!”

If My Heart Could See You ~ The MacLarens, A Medieval Romance


When you’re enemies, does love have a fighting chance?

For Amiria of Berwyck, defeat does not come easily as she watches her home and clan being ripped asunder. When the very enemy who has laid siege to her home demands her fealty, she will do whatever it takes to protect her people including a hastily concocted ruse that quickly begins to unravel. All too soon, she starts to question whether she can forgive herself for betraying those she has sworn to protect.

Dristan of Blackmore, champion knight of King Henry II, has a reputation to uphold as the Devil’s Dragon. After his invading army conquers Berwyck castle, he sets out to manage the newly claimed estate by training its knight in the art of proper defense. At first, everything appears as it should be, or is it? Betrayed by those he believed he could trust, he must first set aside his anger before he can make room in his heart for love.

Together they are tied by an unspoken bond. As they begin to rebuild the land and unite their people, forces beyond their control attempt to tear apart their fragile truce and only time will tell if love will forever bring them together.

Buy Links – Read for #FREE in Kindle Unlimited
Available in eBook and paperback:

 Amazon US |Amazon AU |  Amazon BR  |  Amazon CA  | Amazon DE  |  Amazon ES |  Amazon FR  |  Amazon IN  |  Amazon IT  |  Amazon JP  |  Amazon MX  |  Amazon NL  |   Amazon UK

If My Heart Could See You is also available as an Audiobook. Come listen to how Marian Hussey has made my novel come to life!
Narrated by Marian Hussey

Audiobook Buy Links:
Amazon  |  Audible  |  iTunes

First Kiss Friday with Bambi Lynn


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Today on First Kiss Friday I’d like to welcome back Bambi Lynn who has been here before along with our Medieval Monday hops. Bambi is sharing an excerpt from her novel, Mask of the Highlander. Happy reading and enjoy, my lovelies!

Mask of the Highlander First Kiss excerpt:

Kenna curled her lip as she drew closer. She closed her eyes and tried to imagine that he was someone else. Anyone else. Old Angus the pig farmer would have been better. Ty’s warm breath made her want to retch, not that it was unpleasant. The scent of cinnamon wafted up to her as his lips touched hers.

She expected the sudden urge to heave, not the fiery jolt that shocked her right down to her toes. Her body tingled all over, but her mouth…

Her lips parted seemingly of their own free will. The instant they did, Ty plunged his tongue inside. The courtyard disappeared, leaving them alone even though the bailey still teemed with people. Kenna kept her fists clenched at her sides. Ty’s grip on her upper arms was firm, but not painful. He pulled her closer still until her breasts pressed against his chest. A groan rumbled from deep inside him, vibrating against her own pounding heart.

Kenna let her eyes slide open to be sure it was him, stunned at the emotions roiling within her. His lips were soft, his tongue like velvet gliding across hers. Her breath caught in her throat as excitement threatened to overwhelm her. She was a young girl again, experiencing her first kiss.

But this man was not Gavin. She was not lying amongst the heather in a field overlooking her father’s lands. She was at Castle Vass, a veritable prisoner in her enemy’s lair. The last time Ty Vass had touched her, there had been no hint of tenderness, only pain and humiliation. He had left her scarred, both inside and out, with a longing to end her life. She might have done just that if not for the baby.

The thought of Isla jolted her back to her senses. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to pull back from him. To her utter surprise, he let her, keeping a tight hold on her until she remained steady on her feet. She stared at him, unable to read his thoughts but startled by the raw passion in his expression.

That was a look she knew well. The look of her husband overcome with lust and eager to take what he wanted, by force if at all possible. It had haunted her dreams and led her to the parapets more than once. How many times had she stared at the ground from the top of the castle’s tallest tower and wondered how much it would hurt when she hit the ground?

Hoping to distract him before he kissed her again, she asked, “How did you lose your eye?” Her voice shook with trepidation.

Ty shrugged and reached up to touch the black patch that covered his injury. “Battle scars, a ghrá.” He lifted his hand to her face.

She instinctively drew away, regretting it almost immediately. He had trained her well not to pull away from him, but to suffer his abuse unless she wanted it intensified.

He smiled sadly and tucked a wayward curl behind her ear. “Ye need not fear me, Kenna.”

Mask of the Highlander blurb:

Once she was afraid to touch him. Now she’s afraid to let go.

Forced to marry to avoid war between clans, Kenna Cleary endured three days of her new husband’s painful brutality, unaware of his demon heritage. Leaving her for dead, he rode off to battle the English. In the five years of his absence, she bore him a daughter, increased his holdings, and gained the love and respect of his people. Now he’s home. Must she and the clan learn to endure his cruelty once more?

Can an ancient Celtic god find peace in the mortal world?

The Laird of Domhnul has returned from war a changed man—moreso than his wife can possibly know. Now the warrior faces a new battle, one for his wife’s heart, and his peoples’ trust. He must walk the knife’s edge of deception and danger, all while learning to manage the supernatural power flaring inside him and discovering a heritage he never imagined.

But when his father embroils both them in a deadly plot, can the couple find a way to prevent war between their clans?

Buy Link:

Read it for #FREE in Kindle Unlimited or but it on Amazon here.

Bio and Social Media links:

Bambi Lynn graduated from the University of Maryland European Division with bachelor’s degrees in English and History. She writes Paranormal Romances and Viking Erotica.

Yes, Bambi is my real name.

I grew up on a farm in South Georgia. My high school was very small with a graduating class of less than 100 people. Shortly after high school, I met my wonderful husband who took me to Belgium, where a three-year tour turned into fifteen. While living in Europe, I nurtured my love of all things medieval. I often get homesick for Belgium, but with the world wide web, I’m home with the click of a mouse. I now live with my husband and son in the deep South.

When not plugging away at my keyboard, I teach World History. I love to ride my big, black Tennessee Walker, Jamaica. My husband and I each have a Harley to go with our collection of classic cars and hot rods.

Connect with Bambi online:


First Kiss Friday with guest Mary Morgan


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It’s First Kiss Friday and today’s returning guest is my friend Mary Morgan who will share an excerpt from Oath of a Warrior. Isn’t this cover gorgeous? Happy reading, my lovelies, and enjoy!


Erina studied the man as he went to the animal. “He has never taken to another.”

He ruffled the fur on the animal’s head. “He is a wise dog.” Thane thumped his tail in obvious approval.

“I am happy he has found another friend.” She leaned against the cool stone.

Reaching for a dry cloth, Rory wiped his face and tossed it aside. “What about your sheep?”

“What about them?” she asked, her eyes growing wide as Rory stepped near her.

“Should ye not be on your way to find them?”

Once again, Erina found herself tongue-tied and unable to move. She tried to move away, but he loomed over her. “Aye, but I am lost.”

Placing a hand on the stone behind her, he cupped her chin. “Ye have never been lost, Erina MacIntyre.”

“How can ye be so sure,” she whispered, noting the shift in his eyes. “We have not known each other for verra long.”

Rory leaned close. His breath was hot against her neck, and she shuddered. His lips grazed the soft spot below her ear. “Because I am.”

Closing her eyes, she turned her head. All she sought was one kiss—to taste the man on her lips. Rory stirred desires within her Erina had never known. She burned in places that required release.

“Open your eyes, Erina.”

Her lashes flickered open and raw desire gazed back at her. Kiss me, Rory MacGregor.

His groan echoed within the far reaches of her mind as he captured her sigh with his mouth. The touch of his lips was a delicious sensation, and sent her body into a wild swirl of pleasure. She reveled in the feel of his mouth on hers and passion drove her onward for more. As she wrapped her arms around his neck, he angled his head and deepened the kiss. When his tongue demanded entry, Erina opened fully. It was a kiss for her tired soul to melt into, and she was shocked at her own eager response. Emotions whirled and skidded as she caressed the tendons in the back of his neck.

Rory’s fingers trailed across the skin above the lace on her gown and she shivered, aching for more. Erina felt confined in her gown, longing to strip the material free from her body. She ached to have his skin against her own. His lips seared a path down her neck and her knees weakened. “More,” she pleaded, splaying her fingers through his dark locks.

Releasing her, he placed his hands above her. His breathing came out in short gasps, and she saw the battle he fought, since Erina had to battle her own personal restraint. She lowered her hands to her sides. She dared not move. Confused on what to do next, she barely heard his words.

OATH OF A WARRIOR, Legends of the Fenian Warriors, Book 2 by Mary Morgan


“You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights series. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!”

Fenian Warrior, Rory MacGregor’s love conquests are legendary, but he has never spoken of the one mortal female who captured his heart. After his dark secret is finally revealed, he is ordered to return and seal the wounds left open by her death. Yet, he finds the timeline altered and swears an oath to rewrite fate, even if it brings about his own death.

Erina MacIntyre is known for her healing herbs and love charms. Determined to aid others, she refuses to listen to the whispers that call her a witch. When a Highlander steps forth into her path, he ignites a thread of strange familiarity and sparks a flame of desire she is unable to control.

Can the destiny of two lovers find love once more among the ashes of death and betrayal? Or will history repeat itself, leaving a scorching path of destruction for both mortals and Fae alike?

 Buy Links:


BN (Nook):


The Wild Rose Press:

Author Bio: 

Award-winning Celtic paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.

Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling–writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.

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Congratulations to my winners!


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Last month I went to my first RT Booklovers convention in Reno, Nevada. Let me just say that I had so much fun I didn’t want to return back to the day job.

I love to collect swag and then turn around and have giveaway contents for those who are in my Facebook street team or my newsletter subscribers. Congratulations go out to those in my team who were randomly chosen as the winners of my giveaways: Sandra N., Sheila M., Jonni C., and Faye Ann C.! I also offer my congratulations to Sandra M. who was also randomly chosen as the winner of a Vera Bradley purse, a signed copy of my novel Nothing But Time: A Family of Worth, Book One, and other swag from conference. Special thanks to my marvelous critique partner, Tricia Linden, for donating the purse! I hope everyone enjoys their goodies!

Not part of my Facebook street team? Join Sherry Ewing’s Timeless Knights & Maidens here!

Not a newsletter subscriber? You can keep up to date with what I’ve got on my plate by subscribing here.


First Kiss Friday with guest Jude Knight & a FREE eBook


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Welcome, my lovelies, to another First Kiss Friday with my friend Jude Knight. We’ll be turning up the heat with this excerpt and be sure to get your #FREE copy because everyone enjoys a freebie and Jude’s writing is exceptional! Take it away, Jude!

Thank you, Sherry. This excerpt is from The Prisoners of Wyvern Castle. My hero and heroine met for the first  time a few hours earlier, at their wedding. They’ve been forced to marry, and threatened with dire consequences if they do not immediately consummate the marriage. (His sister and her brother want an infant they can control to be the holder of Rupert’s title.

Rupert and Madeline are both virgins, so they need to follow their instincts and whatever information they’ve picked up from breeding animals (he breeds farm horses, she breeds dogs). Plus Rupert’s vague memory of some naughty pictures he saw when he was eleven, before the accident that made him blind.


Madeline hardly noticed the chill of the night air bringing goosebumps to her arms as she gaped at her new husband. She had known, of course, that men were different than women. He was angular where she was curved, his shoulders broad and muscular, his chest tightly defined planes. Where her skin was smooth and bare, his bore dark hair in the shape of a rough cross, the horizontal reaching from side to side, the vertical arrowing down to…

Her mouth dried as her eyes followed to where the line pointed. More dark curls, and among them, thicker and longer than she expected, his…  Her kennel master called it a pizzle, but no dog had one that size! Of course, dogs were smaller altogether, and puppies, too, much smaller than a human child, and some people clearly enjoyed what was about to occur if the scandalous behaviour at harvest time could be taken in evidence.

Lady Wyvern, too, undoubtedly allowed Graviton… So it wasn’t just the lower orders, and why would it be? A pedigree showed no more discretion than a mongrel when in heat, and the kennel hands needed to be alert to keep a determined bitch confined so she didn’t…

He was reaching for her again, and all the words chattering on in her head tumbled to silence when she dragged her fascinated gaze upward to his intent face.

“May I?” He was asking for permission to touch her, and his courtesy was reassuring. Suddenly bold, she moved forward so his hands encountered her left arm and her right breast, and she put her own hands deliberately on his chest. Husbands could touch wives, of course. But surely wives could also touch husbands?


Rupert froze. She had her hands on him, resting softly on his body, just above his nipples. Would she move them? Would she explore him as he did her? Oh, he hoped so! He set the example, stroking his hand down her arm to the elbow and then inward, to curve around her waist and draw her nearer, at the same time cupping whatever his other hand had fallen upon. Her breast, it must be. It filled his hand beautifully, and the skin was soft, like warm satin, like the nose of a new-born foal.

The scent of citrus teased his nostrils again, and he bent closer to inhale. Yes. It was her hair. “You smell of lemons and violets,” he murmured, hardly aware he was speaking, with so much of his mind absorbed in documenting the feel of her skin, of her curves, and revelling in the slow, halting movements of her hands as she shaped the muscles of his chest, his shoulders, his upper arms, then back to his chest.

Where would she touch next? His own hand traced the flare of her hips, then reached further to curve his long fingers around one buttock, as his other hand continued to stroke the breast, brushing over the… did they call it a teat in a woman? No. Nipple. It was a nipple. He took it between two fingers and rubbed gently, and Madeline squirmed, rubbing up against him.

She spoke, her voice sounding as distracted as he felt. “My hair.”

“Mmmm?” What about her hair? He reluctantly let go of her breast and felt his way up the side of her face to run his fingers into her hair. It was silky and fine, and stray tendrils clung to his skin, escaped from the tight plait.

“I perfume the soap with oil of violets and use lemon verbena in the rinse water,” Madeline explained. His question. She was answering the question he had forgotten asking.

He let his hand drift down to her breast again, and she shivered as it ran over her naked skin. He should tell her what he wanted, but if he asked her to take his shaft in her hands, she might be offended. He should be more subtle, perhaps. “Do you like that? I like the way you are touching me.”

“I like it,” she repeated.

Coaxing her to describe what she liked, asking her specific questions, telling her how her hands felt on his chest, his flanks, his arms—it excited him further but, paradoxically, helped him to keep from flinging himself on top of her. Mating had its own rhythm, just as music did, and his wife was not a mare to correct him with her teeth and hooves if he rushed her. He would need to repeat the same motifs in all their variant forms until the symphony reached its exposition, the fulfilment of the primary melody.

At his gentle urging, she became bolder, and firmer in her strokes, her hands tending closer to what he hoped would be their goal.

As he caressed her, he formed an image in his mind. She was small, much smaller than he, and curved in interesting ways, from her soft arms to the globes of her breasts, bigger than he expected, but still small enough for him to cup with one hand. Below the breasts, her body narrowed to a tiny waist he could span with his long fingers, and then flared out again. He brushed his hand across the soft curls he found in the spot he yearned for. He had curls in the same place, but otherwise, she was completely different.

Kissing her behind the ear, which made her squirm with what he hoped was pleasure, he dipped a finger down from the curls into the one part of her body he had not explored. She was warm and wet, and he was fascinated by the folds of skin he found. Completely different.

She pushed herself against him when he found the place he would soon be filling. The part he would use was throbbing and twitching with eagerness. He would spend if he did not soon enter her, and his tutor had always assured him that spending, except as God commanded¾in marriage and in one’s wife¾was a wicked sin that would send him to hell. Well, now he had a wife, and she was ready, surely?

“Are you ready?” he asked, just to be certain.

“Rupert,” she answered, pushing herself still harder, and he took that as a yes, lifting himself over her. He guided his tip to her entrance and then could wait no longer. With a surge, he was fully seated, and it felt wonderful. Better than he had imagined.

He had plunged several times before he realised she was not moving. With a mighty effort, he froze in place. “Madeline? Are you all right?” She was rigid below him, and though the tightness felt wonderful, he did not think she was enjoying it.

“It hurts,” she said, voice trembling with tears.

“I’m sorry.” He made to pull out, cursing the ignorance that had caused him to hurt this little wife he had somehow acquired. But she held onto him, both hands gripping his hips.

“No. It is feeling better now. I am not… Stay. Please.”

And because he wanted to, he let himself be persuaded, but held as still as he could while he kissed her, horrified to find her cheeks wet under his searching lips.

“I hurt you,” he grieved, and again tried to pull away. Again, she held him in place. “I am better, Rupert. It feels good. Please stay.”

He rested his weight on his elbows, caged her face with his hands, and covered her with kisses, trying to focus on the meeting of their lips while his hips trembled with the need to surge and pump.

She met him with her own lips, pressing little kisses all over his face, and after a long moment, he could feel the tension in her ease. Slowly, cautiously, ready to clamp the iron control back over the animal within, he eased slightly away and then back. Again. And again.

When she began tentatively lifting her hips to meet his thrusts, he could hold himself in check no longer. His body took over as his mind, his sensations, his whole universe narrowed to the heaven of the elusive, approaching, present, completed release.

Hand-Turned Tales

The Prisoners of Wyvern Castle is a novella in Jude’s free book of lunch-time reads, Hand-Turned Tales.

Hand-Turned Tales is designed so that readers can try Jude’s story-telling before they buy her other books. Or, if you already like her books, enter her fictional world again in four different situations

In The Raven’s Lady, Felix returns home in disguise after 13 years. He plans to catch a smuggler then take up his viscountcy. He does not expect the smuggler to be Joselyn, his childhood sweetheart. (Short story: 5,500 words)

In Kidnapped to Freedom, Phoebe is stolen away from her plantation by a handsome masked pirate. (Short story: 5,100 words)

All that Glisters is set in New Zealand in the 1860s, a time when gold miners poured into the fledgling settlement of Dunedin. Rose is unhappy in the household of her fanatical uncle. Thomas, a young merchant from Canada, offers a glimpse of another possible life. If she is brave enough to reach for it. (Short story: 13,000 words)

The Prisoners of Wyvern Castle is a gothic historical romance set in the world of my novels and novella. Rupert has been imprisoned by his wicked sister, and forced to wed. His new wife, Madeline, has likewise been threatened into saying her vows. Forced into marriage, they find love, but can they find freedom before it is too late? The Prisoners of Wyvern Castle is a prequel to Revealed in Mist.  (Novella: 23,500 words)

Links and more information:

About Jude Knight

Jude Knight’s writing goal is to transport readers to another time, another place, where they can enjoy adventure and romance, thrill to trials and challenges, uncover secrets and solve mysteries, delight in a happy ending, and return from their virtual holiday refreshed and ready for anything.

She writes historical novels, novellas, and short stories, mostly set in the early 19th Century. She writes strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, villains you’ll love to loathe, and all with a leavening of humour.

Website and blog:

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Amazon author page:

First Kiss Friday with guest Ashley York & a Giveaway!


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Welcome to another First Kiss Friday. Today’s guest is Ashley York who has been one of the featured authors on Medieval Monday. Ashley is sharing the first kiss scene from Daughter of the King. In fact, she’s also offering an eCopy as a giveaway to one lucky winner who leaves her a comment! Happy reading, my lovelies, and enjoy.


When she finally turned back, her expression had softened. “I do not normally prevaricate.”

He crossed his arms about his chest. “If ye say so.”

“I do say so. Ugh!” She blew an irritated breath. “I canna convince ye when ye won’t believe what I say.”

Brighit’s nose flared in irritation just before she shook her head in a most defeated way. The idea came to him in a flash, and Darragh smiled at his own thought before sharing it.

“A kiss. A kiss will convince me.” He half expected her to slap his face for even suggesting such a thing.

Only she didn’t. Her eyes widened, and she glanced at his lips before wetting her own. She was excited by the idea. Could it be she’d never been kissed before? He’d bet his favorite horse she had not, not with Sean as her father.

“Ye are willing then?” Her look told him she was not only willing but eager. With the slightest movement, he slipped his hands beneath the mantle to graze his open palms up her arms until they rested on her shoulders. Her lips glistened and the vein in her neck throbbed. With a low voice, he asked, “Would ye seal our agreement with a kiss?”

The sharpest tip of her head, barely a nod at all, but Darragh would not quibble. He slid a hand from beneath the heavy material to tunnel it under her thick, silky hair and cup her neck, the skin there still cool from her swim.

She leaned in, meeting him halfway. His mouth slanted across hers, a gentle caress, before he slipped his tongue between her parted lips. She gave as good as she got, deepening the kiss to where he was no longer certain who was doing the kissing. He was glad he hadn’t wagered his horse on her inexperience, though mayhap she was simply an extremely fast learner.

Without warning, she released him and backed out of his hold, wiping the back of her hand over her mouth. Her heaving chest matched his own.

He reached for her. “Brighit, I—”

She raised a hand, shaking her head, and put more distance between them. It was a long time before she spoke again. “We will wait the fortnight.”

Daughter of the King Blurb

A mistaken identity. A gruesome murder. The uniting of two powerful clans.

Trained as a warrior…

Brighit of Clonascra is the only daughter of the fearsome overking, Sean, but despises the trappings and demands of womanhood. She’s far more comfortable training for battle than preparing a meal. Long held alliances require she set aside selfish dreams and take Darragh as her husband. The union intended to promote peace between the clans is interrupted by the shocking murder of a neighboring king and she quickly discovers there are far worse things than being wed.

Trained to be king…

Darragh of Drogheda has no wish to follow in the path of his father, Tadhg, but he is an obedient son and supports his father’s plans. His marriage to Brighit, however, will be no hardship at all since he finds her most intriguing especially when she fights him at every turn. A she-warrior indeed. Her persistent dismissal of him merely blows the fire aflame and sets him down the path to discovery of all her most tightly held secrets.

When she stands accused of the murder, can they finally come to an agreement that will give them each what they truly desire?

Buy Links:

AMAZON  |  Barnes & Noble | iBooks  |  Kobo


Aside from two years spent in the wilds of the Colorado mountains, Ashley York is a proud life-long New Englander and a hardcore romantic. She has an MA in History which brings with it, through many years of research, a love for primary documents and the smell of musty old libraries. With her author’s imagination, she likes to write about people who could have lived alongside those well-known giants from the past.

Connect with her online at:




Twitter: @ashleyyork1066

First Kiss Friday with guest Elisabeth Hobbes


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Welcome to another First Kiss Friday! Today’s guest is the fabulous Elisabeth Hobbes who has been here a time or two especially with our Medieval Monday blog hop. Today Elisabeth has an excerpt from Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight. Happy reading, my lovelies, and enjoy!


They watched each other, eyes locked in challenge. They were standing closer than they had been in the river. Much closer. He could smell the slight scent of lavender, which made him want to bury his face in the soft spot behind her ear to see if she was the source of it. The room seemed to grow hotter as the intensity of her gaze held him fast.

‘What would happen to you if I told the prioress?’ Gui asked. ‘You really didn’t want me to admit to having met you, did you? I think you weren’t supposed to be there.’

It was not a threat, but her eyelids flickered. Long and pale, her lashes framed those almost colourless eyes of watery blue. He remembered how he had considered she might be a simpleton when he first saw her, but her eyes blazed with a fierce intelligence that made him draw a sharp breath. She licked her lips nervously. They were wide and soft, made for kissing. He’d bedded women since coming to England, but he never kissed them, too conscious of his scarred lip. He wanted to kiss this sprite more than he’d wanted anything for a long time. Perhaps he should do it and risk the consequences. Let Gilbert return and find his bride for himself.

‘If you kiss me now, I won’t tell anyone how we met,’ he said daringly.

‘Why would I do that?’

Gui was pleased to note it was surprise rather than disgust that sang in her voice.

‘So you can say you kissed a dweorgar and lived to tell the tale.’

She covered her mouth to hide a smile, then quick as lightning lifted on to her tiptoes, put her hands on his shoulders and pecked at his cheek. He turned his head and their lips met. It did not last more than a couple of heartbeats, but their mouths melded together, her warm lips moving in unison with Gui’s and slightly parting with an eagerness that hinted at the promise of what she could offer. He sighed with longing when she broke away.


He’s her enemy…

…and she must not fall for him!

When her mistress is taken as an enemy Knight’s betrothed, handmaiden Aelfhild knows it would be too dangerous for her Lady – she must go in her place! But there’s more to the scarred Knight than she first thought…she isn’t expecting to fall for him! As the line between friend and enemy blurs, Aelfhild realises she might be protecting her mistress, but not her heart…

Buy links





About Elisabeth:

Elisabeth’s writing career began when she entered her first novel into Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest in 2013 and finished in third place.  She was offered a two-book contract and hasn’t looked back.  Since then she has published six Medieval romances with Harlequin Mills & Boon and doesn’t have any plans to stop!

Elisabeth works as a Primary teacher but she’d rather be writing full time because unlike five year olds, her characters generally do what she tells them.  When she isn’t writing, she spends most of her spare time reading and is a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book.  She loves historical fiction and has a fondness for dark haired, bearded heroes.

Elisabeth enjoys skiing, singing, and exploring tourist attractions with her family.  Her children are resigned to spending their weekends visiting the past.  She loves hot and sour soup and ginger mojitos – but not at the same time!

She lives in Cheshire with her husband, two children and two cats with ridiculous names because the car broke down there in 1999 and she never left.





First Kiss Friday with guest Caroline Warfield


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Today on First Kiss Friday I’d like to welcome back my dear friend, Caroline Warfield who will be sharing an excerpt from her upcoming release, The Unexpected Wife. Before this scene, Charles has gone missing inside the city of Canton, forbidden to foreigners, for three days. Happy reading and enjoy!


One other thing took shape and came into focus so sharply she couldn’t turn away. She loved Charles Wheatly, heart and soul. A desperate laugh, half sob, half hysteria escaped her at the thought. She finally fulfilled her mother’s fondest wish and found a man she could respect and love—one that offered little hope of a respectable future. She had no idea what to do with the thought. As it turned out she had little time to consider it.

“Who is here?” Charles demanded. He stood outlined in the light from oil lamps in the corridor behind him. Caught between love and fury over the fear he caused, she flung herself from the chair.

“Thank God!” She didn’t know whether she would hug him or slap him until she threw herself into his arms and was being kissed senseless.

He pulled his lips from hers and kissed his way down her neck. “What is this foolishness?” he asked against a tender spot beneath her right ear. His gentle hands began to roam.

She captured his mouth again, invading before he could object. “Where have you been?” she asked between moans of pleasure, “Don’t ever frighten me like that again.”

He shifted and pulled her closer, kissed her more deeply. She felt one of his hands, warm against her skin, slip under her lose jacket.

Zambak melted against him, but reality intruded as the initial heat subsided. “You stink!” She pulled back a few inches, his arms still holding her, and wrinkled her nose.

“I slept behind a tannery last night, in an alley ridden with some dubious substances. I meant to clean up before reporting to you.”

She pulled away reluctantly, one hand clinging to his, and picked up a candle from his bedside to light it from one of the oil lamps in the hall. She looked him up and down with disgust, put the candle down, and began undoing the heavy robe. “Let’s get you undressed,” she said setting words to action.

“Lady Zambak Hayden how inappropriate—and how utterly delightful,” he said allowing her to have her way with him. The outer robe hit the floor and she kicked it to the corner. She began undoing the fasteners on his shirt, but he brushed her hands aside and pulled it over his head. “I’ve ordered a bath, will you help me with that too?”

Heat surged through her at the image he conjured. Her face burned momentarily, but the sight of the seeping bandage on his arm sent ice water through her. “My God, Charles, you’re hurt!”

“It probably needs to be looked at, but I wanted to clean up first.”

She unwound the filthy strip of cloth, cringing at the seeping wound running almost the length of his upper arm. “Cow slop! This can’t wait. You spent the night in filth.” She punched his shoulder then.

“Ow! What was that for?”

“Stupidity. This could fester and I’ll have to fear for you all over again.”

About the Book: The Unexpected Wife

Children of Empire Book 3

Crushed with grief after the death of his son, Charles Wheatly, Duke of Murnane, throws himself into the new Queen’s service in 1838. When the government sends him on an unofficial fact finding mission to the East India Company’s enclave in Canton, China, he anticipates intrigue, international tensions, and an outlet for his frustration. He isn’t entirely surprised when he also encounters a pair of troublesome young people that need his help. However, the appearance of his estranged wife throws the entire enterprise into conflict. He didn’t expect to face his troubled marriage in such an exotic locale, much less to encounter profound love at last in the person of a determined young woman. Tensions boil over, and his wife’s scheming—and the beginnings of the First Opium War—force him to act to rescue the one he loves and perhaps save himself in the process.

Zambak Hayden seethes with frustration. A woman her age has occupied the throne for over a year, yet the Duke of Sudbury’s line of succession still passes over her—his eldest—to land on a son with neither spine nor character. She follows her brother, the East India Company’s newest and least competent clerk, to protect him and to safeguard the family honor. If she also escapes the gossip and intrigues of London and the marriage mart, so much the better. She has no intention of being forced into some sort of dynastic marriage. She may just refuse to marry at all. When an old family friend arrives she assumes her father sent him. She isn’t about to bend to his dictates nor give up her quest. Her traitorous heart, however, can’t stop yearning for a man she can’t have.

Neither expects the epic historical drama that unfolds around them.

The Unexpected Wife, will be released on July 25.

Here’s a short video about it:

About the Author

Traveler, would-be adventurer, former tech writer and library technology professional, Caroline Warfield has now retired to the urban wilds of Eastern Pennsylvania, and divides her time between writing and seeking adventures with her grandbuddy. In her newest series, Children of Empire, three cousins torn apart by lies find their way home from the far corners of the British Empire, finding love along the way.

She has works published by Soul Mate Publishing and also independently published works. In addition she has participated in five group anthologies, one not yet published.

For more about the series and all of Caroline’s books, look here: