I want to thank Layna for having me on her blog today. I’m very exciting about my new release, Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey. This is the first book in my Honorable Rogue series. This series is set in early 19th century England & America. I’d like to discuss some of the fascinating research I did for my book.
I originally set this book in 1809, but on further research I discovered Jefferson convinced the U.S. congress to pass the Embargo Act of 1807, which stopped all foreign trade. While Jefferson did not want to involve the U.S. in the conflict between France and England, he wanted to put in place financial sanctions that could possibly hurt these countries economically. This act devastated the economy. American ships literally remained in port rotting in the harbors.
Here is some background history that led up to the embargo. Britain and France resumed their war in 1803, causing relations to become strained between any countries, deciding to remain neutral. In 1806 France passed a law against trading with neutral countries, and since American did not take sides in the conflict between the two countries, the French began plundering American ships. In 1807, Britain passed a bill prohibiting trade between France and neutral countries. The British began seizing American vessels and demanding that all ships pull into their ports before they were allowed to trade with other countries.
The British also started boarding American vessels and began seizing any sailors they deemed were deserters from the Royal British Navy. This infuriated the U.S. and thousands of American sailors were unlawfully impressed into the British Navy.
During the last sixteen days of Jefferson’s presidency, a bill was passed replacing the Embargo Act with the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809. While this act opened up trade again, it did not allow trade with Britain. Since my story has my heroine fleeing England on an American vessel, I needed to move it to a different year, prior to the escalating issues between the two countries. Since 1802 was the only year that England and France were not at war, I decided to place my story in that year.
This was by no means the only research I did for Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey, but was certainly the most important. While this is a novel of fiction, I wanted to ensure that the happenings within the story were possible.
I hope you’ll enjoy the romance between Alex and Anissa as much as I enjoyed writing their love story. Happy reading!
When her son’s life is threatened, Anissa, Marchioness of Overton, seeks refuge by sailing to America. Before the ship reaches the high seas, sparks fly between her and Captain Alex Hawks. Although the young widow may be lonely, and afraid, she cannot risk the diversion a romantic entanglement could bring, no matter how much she wants to lose herself in the captain’s embrace.
The Captain vows to protect the young Lord Overton, but can offer no assurance that the marchioness will leave his ship with her virtue intact. Alex is drawn to Anissa’s beauty and courage, as a hummingbird is to the nectar of a flower. How long can he fight a losing battle before he surrenders and makes her his own?
Will Alex be able to keep this remarkable woman and her child safe? Will his passion for Anissa be enough or will their differences keep them apart?
She cuddled her sleeping child close as she scanned the overcrowded common area. Her insides churned as she wove her way through the crowded tables, the chairs filled with dirty, unsavory-looking men. The strong smell of sweat mingled with ale threatened to turn her stomach and had her breathing through her mouth.
Anissa approached the man the stable boy had described. “Sir, are you Captain Hawks?”
He turned around, and in a drawling voice, he answered, “Well, darlin’, that’s my name.” He swept his tri-corn hat from his head, stood and bowed. “Captain Alex Hawks, at your service. What can I do for you?”
Anissa gazed up into the blackest eyes she had ever seen and wanted to fall into them. Mesmerized, she blinked as a shiver ran across her shoulders. This was not the time to notice this man’s eyes, no matter how compelling they were. Now was the time to use her charms to convince him to take her on his ship.
“My name is—” she quickly searched for a name, not wanting to give him her identity, “—Mrs. Carlson. I would like to pay for passage on your ship. I understand you are leaving for America this morning.” Then, thinking of a city she had heard of in America, she added, “I need to go to Boston, where some of my family lives. Would you be able to help me?”
Captain Hawks gave her an appraising stare, which unnerved her. This man was intimidating, to say the least. “I’m not going to Boston. And, I don’t normally take on passengers. I’m headed to Baltimore, and it’s a far piece from Boston, darlin’.”
“Please take me. I have to leave for America as soon as possible.” Anissa had to convince him to allow her passage. “And as far as your destination is concerned, I’m sure once I am in America, I shall be able to travel to Boston from there.”
“Darlin’, do you even know where Baltimore is and how far it is from Boston?”
Anissa wished he would quit calling her darling. It was quite presumptuous of him, and she did not appreciate it at all. Of course, she did not want to anger him, so she kept her feelings to herself. “Well, no, not really. How far is it?”
“It’s over four hundred miles,” Captain Hawks explained, as if he were speaking to a child, which further irritated her, tugging at her frazzled nerves. “You would be better served if you found a passenger ship going there. I have an associate who should be arriving in a few days, and his ship is going to Boston. He also takes passengers. I’m sure he would be happy to take you on board.”
Oh, dear, why did I say Boston? Please, Lord, let me convince him to take me.
Every hour brought her closer to the chance of discovery. She could not afford to wait for another ship. She needed to get as far away from Lord Howard as possible, immediately.
“Captain, I do not have a few days to wait. My uncle is dreadfully ill. He may only have a few months to live, so I need to leave right away. Please allow me to travel on your ship.” She looked up at him, willing a few tears into her eyes, praying to gain his sympathy.
Captain Hawks sighed and rolled his obsidian eyes toward the ceiling. “I know I’m going to regret this. All right, darlin’, if it’s that important, I’ll take you. I hope you realize how uncomfortable this voyage will be for you and the child. The cabin you will be in barely has room to turn around in. Are you sure you don’t want to reconsider?”
“We shall be fine, regardless of the conditions.”
He shook his head, sending her heart to the floor.
Oh, Lord, please don’t let him change his mind.
What shall I do if he has?
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Vikki Vaught started her writing career when a story invaded her mind and would not leave.
Over the last few years, she has written more than a half dozen historical romances and is presently working on her next. Her new release, Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey, published by Secret Cravings Publishing is the first book in her Honorable Rogue series.
Vikki loves a "Happily Ever After", and she writes them in her stories. While romance is the central theme of all her books, she includes some significant historical event or place in all her novels.
While all her books are love stories, she has also written short contemporary sweet romances as Vikki McCombie and erotic romances using the pen name of V.L. Edwards.
For the last decade, Vikki has lived in the beautiful foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with her beloved husband, Jim, who is the most tolerant man in the world to put up with her when she is in a writing frenzy. When she is not writing or working her day job, you’ll find her curled up in a comfortable chair reading her Kindle, lost in a good book with a cup of tea at her side.
Amazon Author Page: http://smile.amazon.com/Vikki-Vaught/e/B008EE7TG2/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1433778387&sr=1-2-ent
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5208041.Vikki_Vaught
ASHES OF WATERLOO: by Olivia Andem
Library of Congress LCCN: 2015907625
release date: August 15, 2015
April 1815-Rumors of Napoleon’s war plans spread across the French border into the Province of Brabant. The caretaker’s stepdaughter dreads the arrival of Napoleon’s soldiers with good reason...she knows their violent ways only too well. One fateful afternoon, Lisette is left in charge of the empty chateau. During the dark days that follow, a vow of revenge mars her efforts to make new friends and bask in the attentions of a rugged British officer. All too soon the battle of Waterloo erupts and the three men she cares about face the ordeal. While fleeing the catastrophe of war, every step is fraught with perils, brigands and heartache-
Lisette, a soldier’s daughter with iron will and a kind heart, refuses to surrender to hardship or vile threats... when faced with defeat by the past, she must find a way to protect those she holds dear and win a most precious victory.
Ashes of Waterloo ©2015 Olivia Andem
The turreted spire of its church, the highest point in Genappe, loomed a few miles distant from the entrance gates to Chateau Austerlitz. The vista remained just as it was some weeks ago, when she left with Henri and his friend for Valois-la-Ville, believing she’d never dare return.
“Do not come back!” Stepfather Pollard’s shout still rang in her ears.
Lisette and Henri had accused their mother of being heartless. It was too soon to regret her decision to deliver Henri’s warning today; after all, a family obligation should not be ignored because of guilt or fear.
When no one was around in the hotel kitchen this morning, she left a note on the table and crept out the back door. Less than two hours later, she arrived at her destination, thanks to Mr. Darbin’s kind assistance.
Indeed, Darbin was a strong and handsome name. She should have guessed the Englishman was a learned man; right from the first moment they met, he was exceedingly polite and spoke French in a formal manner.
Whilst riding in the wagon beside her brother’s friend, she fell into a glowing mood where nothing else mattered but being in his company.
Not revealing his full name hinted of some dangerous thing she was not allowed to know, the mystery added to her fascination but she happily accepted the name of Darbin as real. When they arrived at the chateau’s gates, he helped her from the wagon; a strange happiness filled her senses when she leaned upon his hand for support.
She forgot to say she enjoyed his company; a mumbled ‘thank you’ was hardly enough. However, Mr. Darbin’s harsh warning was unexpected.
“I hope to see you in Brussels, perhaps soon,” he said, holding her by the hand. “However, once you hear cannon or rifle fire, these woods will harbor all manner of soldiers, cowards, deserters and stragglers. Be careful and do not travel until it is safe.”
The grave look in his eyes left no doubt...Brabant was on the verge of destruction.
Fear raged inside; she turned away before he could see her tears and hurried towards the chateau.
THE AUTHOR, a native of Texas, lives in Southern California and enjoys speaking to book clubs, library and civic groups about the historic Georgian era that inspired The Hawthorne Diaries saga and Ashes of Waterloo. Olivia is a member of Romance Writers of America and is an avid reader and researcher of her English heritage. Aided by the encouragement of family and support of a Yorkie terrier, Harley-Girl, current projects include works of both romance and historical fiction.
“KNOW YOUR OWN HAPPINESS.
YOU WANT NOTHING BUT PATIENCE
OR GIVE IT A MORE FASCINATING NAME,
CALL IT HOPE.”
Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility 1811
The best thing about my author journey so far has been hearing from a reader who says, "I loved your book, I couldn't put it down!"
Courtship in the time of Jane Austen! Those decades are rich in historical detail and were the inspiration for my series, The Hawthorne Diaries. (My debut novel, Patience Becomes a Lady, is rereleased with the label, The Hawthorne Diaries I, second edition.)
My latest and more dramatic venture is Ashes of Waterloo...releasing in August 2015. A soldier’s daughter refuses to surrender. Two lives are entangled in the tragedies of life and love.
A lovely large print of an English cottage imbues my office with great atmosphere while writing or editing. However, I have been known to compose in coffee shops, airports, medical waiting rooms and in the car on a lapboard. I like to listen to music when I am working on a very emotional scene. My favorites are Mozart and Beethoven piano concertos.
I enjoy speaking to book clubs, library groups and civic organizations on the subject of courtship in the Regency period and also the era of the Battle of Waterloo.
What is your next project? I am often asked. At this time, I think newlywed Patience will be swept into a truly harrowing misadventure. Of course, my title character, Patience Hawthorne is my favorite creation. I am transported back to the Georgian era through her experiences and feelings. Sifting through historical details is very challenging but rewarding when the detail fits the story like a glove.
What are your three top writer tips?
1/Write. 2/Rewrite. 3/Do the best you can!
Author website: www.OliviaAndem.com
Video book trailer: (1min11secs) http://youtu.be/76zygLnvBZw
Buy link with sample of book available: https://smashwords.com/books/view/563182
Olivia Andem's Smashwords Author Profile: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/oandy37
Deflowering Daisy by Kathryn Kane
“She cannot remain a virgin!”
For so she was, after nearly a decade of marriage. When she was sixteen, Daisy had willingly, happily, married a man more than fifty years her senior, to escape a forced marriage to a man she abhorred. Though Sir Arthur Hammond had been a wild rake in his youth, he was so deeply in love with his late, beloved first wife that he never considered consummating his second marriage, certainly not with a woman he considered a daughter. But now, knowing he was dying and that he would be leaving sweet, innocent Daisy ignorant of the physical intimacies which could be enjoyed between a man and a woman, he felt that it was imperative she be given the knowledge which would prepare her for the life of a wealthy widow. Armed with the knowledge of physical intimacy, she would be much better prepared to deal with any fortune hunter who might try to seduce her into marriage for her money. And who better to initiate Daisy into the pleasures of the bedchamber than his godson. David had become nearly a recluse since a tragedy which occurred while he was serving the Crown against the forces of Napoleon Bonaparte. Prior to that, his skill as a tender and considerate lover had been bruited about in certain circles. Therefore, Sir Arthur believed that David was just the man to introduce Daisy to physical pleasure. And what might spending time with true and gentle Daisy do for David?
Jupiter Gardens Press
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"She cannot remain a virgin!"
"You want me to rape your wife?" David Everard rose from his chair, shocked to his core. Sir Arthur Hammond, a man whom he had admired and respected all his life, his godfather and the man he loved as dearly as a father, was asking him to deflower his wife.
"No!" exclaimed Sir Arthur. "No, of course not. She is as dear to me as a daughter."
"And yet, in six weeks’ time, you propose to give this young lady into my keeping for the express purpose that I violate her person and take her virginity. A young lady, I might add, whom I have never met, a young lady to whom I will be a complete stranger." His eyes narrowed as he fixed his godfather with the same withering stare which had broken more than one enemy agent under intense interrogation. "She does not know who I am?"
"No, I am sorry to say, she does not," the older man responded with equanimity, and a note of sadness. Sir Arthur met his gaze without flinching. "I have not spoken of you, David, to anyone, even George, from the day I gave you my word I would not. I keep my promises, young man!"
"Yes, sir, I know. It gave me hope you would be safe."
"I made that promise to you only because you asked it of me. I was never afraid."
"But I was," he admitted. "It was necessary that everyone believed my friends and family had cast me off. I did not want to take the chance anyone might think they could get to me through you or George. I wanted the world to think I was nothing to you, nor you to me. I had to know you were both safe in order to do what I had to, for England."
"And you have, my boy," Sir Arthur said. "But the war is over now and Boney is put away for good, in no small part thanks to you, I am sure."
"Don't try to make me into a hero, Arthur," he said. "I am nothing of the sort."
"Hrrmph! I will never think you anything else, no matter what you say," came the staunch rejoinder.
Though he did not reply, deep in his soul, David felt again a wave of infinite gratitude for his godfather's unconditional loyalty to him. Without it, he was not sure he would have been able to endure these past few months as the social exile he had become since that day on Beachy Head.
"You have spent most of this past decade risking life and limb here and on the Continent, to protect England. Have you not the courage to spend one week to protect a kind and gentle young lady and a host of orphans?"
"Protect her by taking her to bed? If she is as you say, I am sure you can find any number of men willing to bed her"
"There is no one else I can turn to, no one else I can trust. You are like a son to me."
"So, now you are advocating incest?" David asked, his voice thick with sarcasm. "You want a man you consider a son to violate the woman you consider a daughter?" Was it possible for this to get any more repugnant, he wondered to himself.
"God's teeth, David!" the older man shot back. "You bloody well know that is not what I am asking. Or why." He took a long, slow, deep breath. "You have a reputation for having a way with women. It is said you give your bedmates pleasure equal to what you take, that you are a kind and considerate lover. That is what I want for Daisy. She is a complete innocent. She should be initiated tenderly, gently, by a man who will appreciate her quality."
"Then find a man of quality to initiate her, not some spawn of hell unfit to associate with civilized people." David walked the few paces to the fireplace as his bitter words fell into silence. When Sir Arthur did not speak, he turned. "I have not touched a woman in nearly a year and I have never taken a virgin,” he admitted. “I am the last man of whom you should ask this."
"You are the only man I can ask, David," the older man replied. "Despite your words, I know you to be the most decent and honorable man of my acquaintance. And Daisy is a very special girl, a loyal and generous soul whose sweet spirit should not be crushed by a cold-hearted bedding. I know you would never do that to her."
"She is your wife. You can do the deed yourself," David reminded him.
"No, my boy," Sir Arthur said on a sigh. "Even if I were not much too old for her, there was only ever Millie for me. From the day I met her I never wanted another woman. Even though she is more than eleven years gone, there will never be anyone else."
"Then encourage her to take a lover," David suggested, trying to keep the desperation from his voice. He dropped back into his chair.
"I have tried for years, but she has never shown interest in any gentleman to whom I have introduced her. Of which there are few, near our estate in Kent," he admitted. "And I can seldom get her to leave the country in order to broaden her acquaintance in London. She is determined to be a devoted and faithful wife, even though I doubt she has any concept of what unfaithfulness would entail. And now, it is too late. I cannot leave her so exposed, at such risk."
"Why? What is so different now?"
Sir Arthur seemed to slump in his chair. "I am more than three-and-eighty, my boy. I am not well. I could cock up my toes any time. You know my wretched relations would instantly plot to snatch my property any way they can. They already suspect my marriage to Daisy is chaste, which means they know the poor child is completely ignorant of the ways of the world. She is as innocent, perhaps even more so than, the new crop of debutantes which are paraded on the marriage mart each year—but without the protection of an eagle-eyed mama to shield her. As a wealthy young widow she would have no protection at all. She would be easy prey for any smooth and experienced Lothario which Gladys might set at her. And mark my words, that profligate wife of my lazy nephew will find such a one before I am cold in my grave!"
"But if she has shown no interest in men up to now, what makes you think they will have any success?"
David caught what could only be an expression of guilt on the older man's face before he spoke again. "I have wronged her David, though I never intended it to be so. She was treated very badly before she came to me. Even so, she was so young and sweet-tempered, so much the daughter I would have liked to have had with Millie. I shielded her from the harsh realities of life in every way I could to preserve that sweetness. Though I have established a number of foundling homes, I only let her visit the one in Kent, near our home, and I made sure only the very youngest children were sent there. The older children, who had had too much experience of life on the streets, were sent to other homes." He smiled for a moment. "You should see her with the children, David. She is very kind and caring, yet she can be quite firm when they don't do their sums or won't eat their vegetables. Even so, they all adore her."
"It sounds to me like you have given her a very good life. How can you say you have wronged her?"
"I have left her in complete ignorance of physical relations between a man and a woman. She will be vulnerable, defenseless in the face of any man determined to have her. Once a woman has given herself to a man and has experienced all that entails, only then does she truly understand her own body, her own physical reactions to a man who attracts her. Until that time, she is at the mercy of her body's responses without the knowledge to understand and control them. There are men who prey on such innocents for that very reason. I do not want Daisy to be one of those helpless innocents. There is too much at stake, both for her and for our charities. Gladys will find some handsome, practiced gallant to seduce Daisy into marriage in order to get her hands on my money. Once Gladys is in control, Daisy will have nothing. She will be left destitute, or worse, bound in marriage to a man who does not care for her. Gladys and Cyril will stop funding my charities. My life's work in memory of my dear Millie will have been for naught."
"Arthur—" David began.
"Please, David," Sir Arthur cut in, leaning forward. "I have wronged Daisy. But you can make amends for me. I have never begged anyone for anything in my life. But I am begging you now. Spend a week with Daisy. Teach her the pleasures of the bed-chamber, teach her to understand the sexual responses of her own body and all those tender intimacies which can be shared between a man and a woman. Please, do this for me. For Daisy."
David leaned back in his chair. He owed Arthur more than he could ever repay. He was the one person who had always stood by him. How could he refuse him now, when the man was begging? He could not. "All right, Arthur. I will do as you wish," he agreed, with great reluctance. "But you must prepare her beforehand for what will happen. And she must agree. I will not take her against her will or by force."
Kathryn Kane is a historian and former museum curator who has enjoyed Regency romances since she first discovered them in her teens. She credits the novels of Georgette Heyer with influencing her choice of college curriculum, and she now takes advantage of her knowledge of history to write her own stories of romance in the Regency. Though she now has a career in the tech industry, she has never lost her love of the period and continues to enjoy reading Regency novels and researching her favorite period of English history.
Web Site: http://kathrynkane.net/index.html
Kathryn Kane Romance: https://kathrynkaneromance.wordpress.com/
The Regency Redingote: https://regencyredingote.wordpress.com/