Category: Books In The Wind ‘N Air


Buy-book link:

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250243270 

How to Love a Duke in Ten days_MM

Synopsis:

These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.

LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS

Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.

Author Bio:

Kerrigan Byrne

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

Q&A With The Author:

Q: What inspired you to write How to Love a Duke in Ten Days?

A:  I’ve always been one of those women who have enjoyed fierce female friendships. I think that soulmates, even for heterosexual women, can be just as necessary with other women as with men, and a real hero must not just love and respect you, but also your tribe. I wanted to write a series where historical heroines could truly have it all, education, dreams, businesses, wealth, genius, revenge, hot sex, AND true love. Where the sacrifices were made on their behalf instead by them, and where their heroes learn to lift them up in all ways, heal their pains, calm their fears, become their best friends, and protect them with what I hope is a great balance between alpha hotness and progressive sensitivity. 

Q: Is there one thing you would like readers to take away from this story?

A: That’s tough because I packed a lot in there! I would say the one thing from this book, specifically, is that happiness is attainable against the odds, even when overcoming the worst that people can do to one another. Even though I’m a grown up and a cynic, I still like to write books that remind me that true love conquers all, because that love can come from so many people. 

Q: Can you describe your typical day writing this book?

A: This book was especially difficult for me to write, so I spent a great deal of time in my bathrobe. I would get up, my fantastic husband would make me coffee, I’d call my critique partner and we’d do a bit of brainstorming, and I’d write and rewrite for hours, stress, cry, throw things, walk the dog, eat, snack, eat some more, facebook way too much, and then finish under word count, binge a tv show or a book until I stared at the ceiling into the wee hours. Oh, and there was drinking in there at regular intervals.

Glamorous, I know!

Q: Describe the hero and heroine of How to Love a Duke in Ten Days in three words each.

A: The Duke of Redmayne: Wary. Wounded. Wicked.

Lady Alexandra Lane: Brave. Brilliant. Beautiful.

Q: What is the one thing that the heroine, Alexandra, can’t live without?

A: She cannot live without her two dearest friends in the entire world, Miss Cecelia Teague, and Lady Francesca Cavendish. They literally buried a body for her, and would defend her to the death.

Q: What was your hardest scene to write in How to Love a Duke in Ten Days? Your favorite?

A: As with many (most) of my novels, the prologues are the hardest to write, and read, I suspect. Usually I take the characters to the very edge of their breaking point, often times pushing them over so they have what seems like insurmountable conflicts to overcome both internally and externally. So, for this book, Alexandra’s assault was the most difficult thing to get through, and boy did I enjoy being able to help Piers put her back together, because he was just the perfect hero for her. Tender, empathetic, a good sense of humor, and a large dose of protective alphaness.

Q: Why do you write historical romance? 

A:  I’ve always romanticized the past. I can’t help it. I love the pace and the aesthetic, the gowns and the suits and the manners and the manors. I love to do historical research and it’s so fun to see how much we are influenced by the past and how, even though so much has changed through the centuries, people really haven’t. Also, it’s fun to play with language, mystery, and sex in a time when a scandal was still possible. *wink.

Q: Is there another particular author that inspires you or that you enjoy reading? 

A: There is a LIST! I would say in historical romance, though, it’s always always Lisa Kleypas. She has a grasp on the characterization of historical folks that I can never hope to attain. I’m just in awe of her every word.

Q: Where do you go or what resources do you use to make sure your novels are historically correct? 

A: I love to find books about a time period at B&N or my local bookshops. I go to Harper’s Bazaar for fashion, and a slew of Victorian references for the time period. I do read blogs and sometimes consult with historians and experts.

Q: Did you learn anything surprising while researching for this novel?

A: Many things! I learned how truly difficult it was to attain an education as a woman as little as a hundred years ago. It’s really incredible how far we’ve come in a century. 

Q: What do you do when faced with writer’s block, if you ever are? 

A: Oh man. I often am. I usually try to shake it loose with a brainstorming conversation with a few friends I have who always seem to be able to unstick me. I rely heavily on the creativity of others as well as my own.

Q: How did you feel the first time you realized one of your books was a big success? 

A: I didn’t believe it. It seems surreal every time I truly realize that a story I wrote entertained another human. Let alone more than one. I’m like… they paid to read it? WHAT? 

Q: What’s next for the Devil You Know series? 

A: I’m especially excited for the next book ALL SCOT AND BOTHERED because it’s about Alexandra’s best friend the curvy vicar’s daughter, Cecelia Teague. She inherits London’s most infamous and successful brothel, and one imposing, surly Scottish enemy along with it. She and Lord Ramsay, the Lord Chief Justice with an axe to grind against her establishment, can’t be in a room together without the sparks flying. I can’t think about this book without smiling.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A: I hope you enjoy this trio of roguish redheads as much as I enjoyed writing them!

*************************************************************************************

And A Peek At Chapter One:

Maynemouth, Devonshire, 1890 Ten years later

Alexander,

Accept the invitation to Castle Redmayne. I’m in danger. I need you.

—Frank

Alexandra Lane had spent the entire train ride from Lon- don to Devonshire meticulously pondering those fourteen words for two separate reasons.

The first, she had been unable to stop fretting for Fran- cesca, who tended to give more than the appropriate amount of context. The terse, vague note Alexandra now held was more of a warning than the message contained therein.

The second, she could no longer afford a first-class, pri- vate railcar, and had, for the last several tense hours, been forced to share her vestibule face-to-face with a rough- featured, stocky man with shoulders made for labor.

Alone.

He’d attempted polite conversation at first, which she’d rebuffed with equal civility by feigning interest in her cor- respondence. By now, however, they were both painfully aware she needn’t take four stops to read two letters.

It was terribly rude, she knew. Her carpetbag remained clutched in her fist the entire time, except when her hand would wander into its depths to palm the tiny pistol she always carried. The sounds of the other passengers in ad- joining vestibules didn’t make her feel safer, per se.

But she knew they would hear her scream, and that pro- vided some relief.

For a woman who’d spent a great deal of the last ten years in the company of men, she’d thought these painful moments would have relented by now.

Alas, she’d become a mistress of manipulating a situa- tion so, even if she had to endure the company of men without a female companion, there would be more than one man. In the circles she tended to frequent, people be- haved when in company.

It had worked thus far.

Alexandra braced herself against the slowing of the train, breathing a silent prayer of relief that they’d finally arrived. She’d been terrified that if she’d glanced up once, she’d be forced into conversation with her unwanted com- panion.

Rain wept against the coach window, and the shadows of the tears painted macabre little serpents on the conflict- ing documents in her hands. One, a wedding invitation. The other, Francesca’s alarming note.

A month past, she’d have wagered her entire inheritance against Francesca Cavendish’s being the first of the Red Rogues to capitulate to the bonds of matrimony.

A month past, she’d assumed she’d had an inheritance to wager.

Their little society had seemed destined to live up to the promise they’d once made as young, disenchanted girls to never marry.

Until the invitation to an engagement masquerade— given by the Duke of Redmayne—had arrived the same day of her friend’s cryptic and startling note.

The invitation had been equally as ambiguous, stating that the future duchess of Redmayne would be unveiled, as it were, at the ball. Included in Alexandra’s particular envelope was a request for her to attend as a bridesmaid.

The subsequent plea for help from Francesca—Frank— had arrived in a tiny envelope with the Red Rogue seal they’d commissioned some years prior.

Alexandra hadn’t even known Francesca had returned from her romps about the Continent. Last she’d heard, the countess had been in Morocco, doing reconnaissance of some sort. Nothing in her letters had mentioned a suitor. Not a serious one, in any case. Certainly not a duke.

Francesca had a talent for mischief and a tendency to interpret danger as mere adventure.

So, what could possibly frighten her fearless friend?

Marriage, obviously, Alexandra thought with a smirk.

A risky venture, to be sure.

From How to Love a Duke in Ten Days. Copyright © 2019 by Kerrigan Byrne and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

“Once Upon A Cowboy” Jack Reardon is trying to run away from the tragedy of his life, find a new purpose and get back into horse training. Being a horse trainer at Rosemont Castle is supposed to be his next lease of life, but crossing paths with Megan Perl definitely was not in the plan of his life.

OnceUponACowboy-AlmostRoyal#2-RacheclLacey-Jul2019

A tragic accident leaves Megan Perl to hide herself for the most part behind a camera, but working at Rosemont Castle gives her a chance to face her fears and insecurities, and a hobby that becomes a passion to pursue. Spending time with the handsome horse trainer sure makes it even more appealing, igniting a spark of hope and love.

Two lost souls, brought together by fate (and Rachel Lacey), and bound by destiny.

Another interesting love story by Rachel Lacey, as she pens a stunning read of second chances, friendships and love, second in her “Almost Royal”series.

Received an ARC from the author for an honest review.

Description

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathryn Fox comes the first in the hot new Blue Bay Crew series that follows the sexy, blue collar Owens men who take over their family’s construction business in the small town of Blue Bay, CT.

Summer Wheeler is on the run. Hiding from the men who killed her father, Summer is on her way to her childhood cottage in Blue Bay when she runs into Sean Owens, the forbidden bad boy from her past. After giving him a fake name, she gives in to one steamy night with him, never expecting to see him again.

Sean isn’t sure why Summer is pretending to be someone she’s not, but he’ll play her game if that means he can indulge in one of his oldest fantasies – a night with Summer. He’s shocked to see her when he returns to Blue Bay, and even more surprised when Summer offers him a job renovating her old family cottage. Hot workdays turn into hotter nights, but when Summer’s secret catches up with her, she’ll have to decide if she can trust Sean with her heart—and her life.

Demolished nails the perfect combination of emotion, scorching intensity, and a touch of suspense that will draw readers to this fantastic new series!

Fox_Demolished

DEMOLISHED by Cathryn Fox

SMP Swerve

Publication Date: August 29, 2017

ISBN: 9781250152954; Price: $3.99

Author Bio

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathryn Fox is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie), pizza, and red wine. Cathryn has two teenagers who keep her busy and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. When not writing, Cathryn can be found laughing over lunch with friends, hanging out with her kids, or watching a big action flick with her husband.

Author Links

Website: www.cathrynfox.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCathrynFox

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writercatfox

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071743C81

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/demolished-cathryn-fox/1126437549

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781250152954

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/demolished-1

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=pK0kDwAAQBAJ

*************************************************************************************

Excerpt: 

Summer Wheeler.

All grown up.

I can hardly believe I’m walking out of a Dick’s Inn and Diner—and hopefully into one of its rooms—with sweet Summer Wheeler, the girl I’ve always crushed on but couldn’t do anything about. Christ, back in the day two years might as well have been a chasm, but today, not so much.

Jesus, she’s gorgeous. Has lush curves that every guy’s dreams are made of. Her once blond hair is now as dark as the night sky, rich, luxurious, citrus scented, and damned if I can’t wait to see those curls spill across my pillow. She still has that sprinkling of freckles on her nose that make her look young and adorable, and those lips . . . Goddammit, never have I seen lips that were so plush, so damn kissable. A bolt of lust hits like a sucker punch, and my body trembles, anxious to taste her heat, to discover what she’s wearing under her professional clothes. Fuck, it’s all I can do not to back her up against that big truck of hers and take her right outside in the parking lot.

Yeah, sure, I’m supposed to be getting my shit together, turning over a new leaf, becoming a productive, upstanding citizen of Blue Bay and every other stupid fucking idiomatic expression that meant I needed to do better for my family. But I’m not in Blue Bay yet, headed back to a place where everyone knows my name—and the cops don’t like me—to take over my dad’s construction business. Yup, I get it, it’s time to step into the role I’d been groomed for since I could hold a hammer, and spend less time on the road satisfying my own selfish urges. When I get home I’ll be on the straight and narrow: no women, no distractions, and no trouble with the law. Until then, however . . .

I put my hand on the small of her back and the heat that fires between us is almost catastrophic. Jesus. Who’d have thought that after all these years there’d still be such a powerful pull? I shake my head. Chemistry like this doesn’t come along every day.

The warm night air falls over us as I push the lounge door open and guide her into the night. I pause and glance up and down the long strip of black street. I’d been in this Podunk town in the past, circling through as I went from one sponsored motocross event to the next. Hell, all I need is a place to lay my head, but seriously what is Summer really doing in a shit place like this? Designer clothes. Expensive truck. She is so out of her element. Where exactly is she headed, and who is this friend she’s visiting? More importantly, why is she pretending she doesn’t know me?

I’m pretty good at reading people and I spotted the recognition flashing in her whiskey-colored eyes the second I met them. Then again, maybe she doesn’t want to acknowledge me because . . . well . . . because for her, this is just a quick hot affair as she passes through town. Fine, if she wants to play it that way, I can, too. No names. Anonymous sex. This isn’t my first rodeo and all cards on the table, it’s for the best. I don’t have time for more.

“This town doesn’t have much, but there’s a pizza joint two blocks down. It’s decent.” Her dark lashes flash over darker eyes, meeting my gaze straight on. She doesn’t even look like she’s breathing, which gives me the distinct impression that this isn’t something she does on a regular basis. I brush my knuckles along her arm, and she shivers. “Unless you’d prefer to just—”

“I’d prefer,” she whispers.

My cock throbs. Apparently little Sean prefers that, too. I pull a key card from my back pocket, and the letter stuffed inside nearly falls out. I shove it back, not wanting to think about the stabbing pain behind each written—and unwritten—word. Later I’ll wallow in my own misery, kick my stupid fucked-up ass, and condemn myself for my selfish ways. Christ knows there’ll be plenty of time for that in the coming months.

“My room or yours?” I ask.

She grins at the cheesy comment, the tension easing a bit from her body. “Yours.”

 

Veteran puzzle editor Fred Piscop created the cryptic puzzles that will appear inside the jacket in the hardcover edition of Secrets in Death, on sale September 5, 2017. Below is a behind-the-scenes exclusive interview. Enjoy!

http://view.mail.macmillan.com/?qs=b0150ade44eb8e5e50f467bd32cf99de11bb62ec5ed99b062142d9aace7122b1edfe8ebb1a3d90063891bfba6e5389dab281c7c8515276571d4ee68c16e5eab75583d3fba493e528

SecretsInDeath-J.D.Robb-Sept2017

Veteran puzzle editor Fred Piscop created the cryptic puzzles that will appear inside the jacket in the hardcover edition of Secrets in Death, on sale September 5, 2017. Below is a behind-the-scenes exclusive interview. Enjoy!

“Cryptic clues always involve some sort of wordplay. Moreover, cryptic clues are usually divided into two parts: a straight definition and a bit of wordplay, both leading to the same answer word.”

SMP: Hi Fred, thank you so much for creating such terrific puzzles for Secrets in Death. How did you get started creating puzzles?
FP: I’ve been a puzzle person practically all my life. When I was eight years old, I was placed into an experimental program in which 4th through 6th grades were done in two years. My teacher for both years was George Bredehorn, who introduced me and the class to anagrams, word games, mathematical brainteasers and all sorts of other creative stuff. George and I remained close until his death in 2012. If not for George, I probably would never have gotten into the puzzle biz.
I started creating cryptics in the 1980s and conventional crosswords around 1990. Perhaps not surprisingly, I found that I was pretty good at it. I constructed puzzles part-time until I got laid off from my computer job. Since then, I’ve been a full-time puzzler.

SMP: How many puzzles do you think you have created? 
FP: I estimate that I’ve created over 7000 puzzles so far.

SMP: Where else might people find puzzles you’ve created?
FP: My puzzles also appear in Newsday (Creators Syndicate) – in August my 1000th Newsday puzzle was published; The New York Times (I create a monthly bonus puzzle for online subscribers, and have taken over creation of Split Decisions, a variety word puzzle, following the death of its inventor, the aforementioned George); Crosswords with Friends (a new offering from Zynga, the folks who brought you Words with Friends – I’m proud to be part of that team); and several other outlets. And, I’m currently the editor of the USA Today Crossword.

SMP: How much math is involved in creating these puzzles?
FP: Interestingly, people who are good at math or music or both (I’m good at both) tend to be good at puzzles; while people who are literary (English majors and the like) tend not to be good at puzzles. Puzzle construction is mathematical in the sense that the constructor has to think in two dimensions and has to be cognizant of letter sequences that are more common than others, and letters that appear more commonly than others. A simple example: N is much more common in the alphabet than M, but if you look in a dictionary, you’ll see that the M section is four or five times as big as the N section. On the other hand, words end with N much more commonly than they do with M. So if you have a choice of starting a word with M or N, it makes mathematical sense to choose M – but the opposite is true with ending a word.

SMP: How do you come up with the clues for the puzzles?
FP: It’s an easy matter to just select clues from any of the massive databases out there, but I try to come up with original stuff when I can, using Google searches. Often I’ll find something interesting that I’ve never seen before. I recently clued ARM as “Tommy John surgery site.” It’s a fresh clue that I haven’t seen (not to say that it’s never been done).

SMP: With your love of puzzles, do you read mysteries? 
FP: I don’t read mysteries, but I have contributed crosswords to several books in the “Puzzle Lady” mystery series, authored by Parnell Hall. You have to solve the puzzle to discover a quip that is relevant to the mystery.

SMP: So you created two puzzles for SECRETS IN DEATH, a Crossword and a Cryptic. They look the same, what’s the difference?
FP: Actually they don’t look the same at all. Conventional crossword diagrams are fully interlinked; every letter is contained by an across and a down word. But in a cryptic, only every other letter in a word is crossed. And the clues have different formats: conventional crossword clues are generally straightforward, while cryptic clues always involve some sort of wordplay. Moreover, cryptic clues are usually divided into two parts: a straight definition and a bit of wordplay, both leading to the same answer word. (You can learn more about cryptics from my book Cryptic Crosswords & How to Solve Them).

SMP: What surprised you most as you created the SECRETS IN DEATH puzzle and cryptic?
FP: Actually I surprised myself that the cryptic construction went so smoothly. I hadn’t constructed one in over 20 years.

SMP: So many people do crosswords to relax. What do you do to relax?
FP: I solve the cryptic in the Guardian (a British paper) every day. I do my best to stay in shape: run, bike, go to the gym and play senior softball. And I’m a musician too, a keyboard player. I play at a few jam sessions every week, but don’t really gig anymore. My favorite jam these days is on Tuesday night at Katie’s of Smithtown. The house band consists of world-class players including drummer Bobby Rondinelli, who has played with Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, Rainbow, Leslie West, and a host of others too numerous to mention here. And I take my niece’s dog Dina out for a long walk every day.

SMP: Thanks, Fred!

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