Friday, December 16th, 2016 | Broadswords and Ballrooms 1.5 | No Comments
As you all know, I adore my characters. And when I was writing HOW TO TRAIN YOUR HIGHLANDER, a scene showed up with Alex and Catherine in it (my lovers from book 1) we couldn’t use it, but it was so cute I’ve included it below. Happy Holidays to all of you, and happy reading!
Just after Catherine sees Mary Elizabeth kiss Harry, she goes straight to Alex with the news. This is the scene that happens just before Alex goes down to confront Harry in the library. He is NOT okay with any man, even a duke, kissing his little sister.
Catherine met her husband in their room, feeling clandestine to be closeted away with him in the middle of the afternoon. Alex, it seemed, had no such qualms, and was already trying to undo the tapes on her gown as soon as she closed the door behind her.
“Alex!” she said. “I need to speak with you.”
Catherine felt his lips on her throat, caressing the underside of her ear, and she shivered, for that was one of her favorite places on Earth to be kissed. She felt her resolve wavering, but knew that she had to speak up, for Mary Elizabeth’s sake.”Alex,” she said, this time a little less vehement, and more than a bit breathless. “Mary Elizabeth has been flirting with the duke.”
To her surprise and chagrin, at this revelation, her husband did not pause in his antics. He almost had her bodice open, and her skirt to falling to the floor. That was when she knew that she must rally, or all would be lost, at least for the next half hour. Catherine drew on her fortitude, and stepped away from her husband’s hands.
Alex, for his part, looked as dumbfounded as if she had struck him. She never before turned down his caresses.
“Shall I fetch the leather gloves you love?” he asked
Catherine felt herself blush at the very thought of that black leather against her skin, though she was a married woman of almost two months. He saw her blush, and smiled, beginning to cross the room to her, even as she tied up her gown.
“Alexander Waters, attend me.”
“I am trying to, leannan. You keep running away.”
“Alex, listen to me.” Catherine hid behind a large armchair, though she knew it was not large enough to hold him off for long. She needed to be quick.
“Mary Elizabeth has been flirting with the Duke of Northumberland.”
For the first time, Alex seemed to hear her. “The Recluse Duke?” he asked. “No one has seen hide nor hair of him since Mary Elizabeth and Robbie arrived two days ago.”
“I saw him not half an hour ago in the portrait gallery.” Alex frowned to hear it, and she went on. “I may have seen the duke, but Mary Elizabeth has been kissing him.”
Alex frowned like thunder then, and straightened his waistcoat. It was Catherine who had to move fast that time, to get between him and the door.
“Alex, don’t go running mad. We’re His Grace’s guests and we must be civil.”
Her husband set her aside, gently, but with determination. “His High and Mighty Worship set civility aside when he kissed my sister.”
Monday, October 3rd, 2016 | Guests and Fun, The Writing Life | No Comments
Welcome to the lovely Gina Conkle author of the Viking romance TO FIND A VIKING TREASURE. So let’s ask Gina some questions and then take a gander at an excerpt…
- How did you go from Georgian romance to Vikings?
Actually I went from Vikings to Georgians. My first book was Norse Jewel (started around 2003). I worked on Vikings and some medieval exclusively until 2009 or so when I needed a break from the Norse hammers in my head.
Meet the Earl at Midnight (my first Georgian romance) poured out of me. It was a “dark and stormy night” kind of beginning with a mysterious man, his collar flipped up over his nose and tricorn pulled low. That’s what usually happens. A man shows up and I have to write down what he’s doing and saying. Sometimes he’s Viking, sometimes he’s Georgian.
- What is your favorite romantic hero and why?
As a reader and as a writer, I don’t have a favorite romantic hero. It’s more like what kind of hero am I in the mood to read. Sometimes I want the all-out alpha male. Other times I want to read a brooding, broken hero who scrapes through life (until a woman comes along to upend his world). Then again, sometimes I want the lone wolf or the adorable nerd. I also have a thing for stodgy uptight heroes. Reading how a woman drives those men mad can be so entertaining. Ironically, I don’t have stodgy Vikings. There is one stodgy Georgian hero, a secondary character (Samuel Beckworth, friend to the hero Marcus Bowles in The Lord Meets His Lady, book 3 in the Midnight Meetings series). Samuel will get his own story.
- How do you feel about strong women protagonists? Do your ladies stand up to their Viking lovers?
A strong woman is a must! However, I take different approaches to strength. In the Norse series, my first heroine, Helena, uses a special talent to stand up to Hakan. In book 2, To Find a Viking Treasure, Sestra uses a combination of sensuality, facing certain fears, and a willingness to challenge herself to ultimately stand up to the Viking scout, Brandr.
Another heroine, Gisla uses humor to stand up to the bad boy hero called the Black Wolf. It’s not always the iconic shield maiden fight-with-a-sword way of standing up to the hero. In two upcoming Norse series books, the women outsmart the men and use battle prowess.
Description of TO FIND A VIKING TREASURE:
Survival’s in his blood…
Rough-souled Brandr’s ready for a new life far from Uppsala, but the Viking has a final task —protect the slave, Sestra. Her life’s full of hardship…until she learns the location of a treasure. With war coming, stealing the enemy’s riches will save lives, but only one man can defend her —the fierce Viking scout, Brandr.
The two have always traded taunts, now they must share trust. Passions flare as secrets unfold, leading one to make a daring sacrifice on their quest To Find a Viking Treasure
A Glimpse into the Novel:
“You’re afraid someone will steal our little fishing boat?”
He dusted off his hands, his ribs expanding from labored breaths. The fire steel he’d found when they arrived flashed across his mind. This morning he’d stuffed the piece away to shelter Sestra, but the brave woman he saw in the clearing deserved the truth.
“If someone passes by tonight, sees the damaged boat, they will come ashore.” He slung his leather bag over his shoulder. “You should rest.”
“I’m not a highborn woman to sit aside and do nothing,” she said, planting a hand on her hip. “I can help. You know I can.”
Sestra tried for her usual brazenness, but sleepy-eyed and draped in his bulky fur she was no more ferocious than a kitten. She stood her ground, red curls falling free around her mud-smeared face. He stood squarely before her, breathing scents of fresh water and clean earth from her skin, good smells to a man who preferred forests to longhouses and women doused with scented oils.
In a moment of weakness, he tucked the fur’s open ends over her breasts. “It pleases me to take care of you.”
Sestra’s lips parted and starlight showed an entrancing indent on her bottom lip. How easily his mouth had fit there. It could again. If he kissed her, he’d test the tiny dip with his thumb, gently stroking her lip and the tantalizing freckle at the corner of her mouth. He’d not rush; he’d savor every part.
“All this time I thought you couldn’t wait to be free of me,” she said, her honest brown eyes searching him.
His pulse quickened, spreading molten heat through his chest, landing hot and hard between his legs. Sestra embodied Odin’s test, the one woman he had no business touching, yet his hands rubbed the fur over her nipples as if he had every right to her. And by the cadence of her breath, a tender flame kindled Sestra’s flesh hidden under layers of fur and wool.
If he didn’t take control of his impulses, he’d steal more than a kiss.
With a slow growl, he let go and slid the bag off his shoulder. “If you want to help me, take this and wait by the pine tree.”
She took the humble leather pouch. “What is it?”
“All my worldly possessions.” His voice was raw and mocking in the dark.
Sestra tested the weight easily with one hand, her cinnamon brows furrowing. “How is it a warrior of your stature and experience has so little?” Her gaze touched Jormungand’s hilt over his shoulder. “Yet you possess the finest of swords.”
“Maybe I stole it?”
“Maybe you did,” she said softly. “By strength alone you can take what you want.”
Challenge lit her eyes. The flame-haired thrall dared him to spill another truth about himself. Why did she want to pry open his deepest places?
“I’m good at taking what doesn’t belong to me.”
Sestra’s mouth curled in a tolerant smile when he glowered at her breasts swelling under his sleeping pelt. Fur lay flat where his hands had pressed the pelt.
She touched his arm and he nearly jumped out of his skin, the pressure of her hand palpable against his leather arm brace. “You’re good at a great many things, raiding, scouting, rescuing a woman dangling from a cliff.”
“But never enough to keep a woman.”
A thick red curl blew across her mouth. “I’ve never known you to want one.”
Behind him, water tapped the narrow shoreline, the rhythm of time and tides, a gentle going in and pulling out. Were the gods taking turns testing him? He was sure the wind carried Freyja’s seductive laughter. The goddess could laugh all she wanted. His will would be stronger.
Author bio (social media links on next page)
Hi, I’m Gina Conkle and I write Viking and Georgian romance, which makes for interesting characters in my head. I grew up in southern California and despite all that sunshine, I love books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles. Now I live in Michigan with my favorite alpha male, Brian, and our two sons where I’m known to occasionally garden and cook. Living in snow gives me the perfect excuse to get lost in reading and writing. I’d love to connect with you on social media.
Newsletter for Free Reads & Giveaways: http://ginaconkle.com/join-ginas-mailing-list/
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 | The Goddess Diaries | No Comments
As part of Aphrodite’s blog tour, here is an interview I had with Meg at A Bookish Affair…I had such a good time!
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 | The Goddess Diaries | No Comments
I am thrilled to find that Luxury Reading has given my latest book baby five stars! What a lovely thing!
Thank you for reading Bethany!
Please hit this link if you want to read her thoughts. Needless to say, I am over the moon!
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