Guest Author: Beverley Oakley and The Duchess and The Highwayman

The Duchess and the Highwayman
By Beverley Oakley

Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate and an ebook The Mysterious Governess.to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here

BLURB: 

A duchess disguised as a lady’s maid; a gentleman parading as a highwayman.
She’s on the run from a murderer, he’s in pursuit of one…

In a remote Norfolk manor, Phoebe, Lady Cavanaugh is wrongfully accused by her servants of her brutal husband’s murder.

There’s little sympathy in the district for the duchess who’s taken a lover and made clear she despised her husband. The local magistrate has also vowed revenge since Lady Cavanaugh rebuffed his advances.

When Phoebe is discovered in the forest wearing only a chemise stained with the blood of her murdered husband, she persuades the noble ‘highwayman’ who rescues her that she is Lady Cavanaugh’s maidservant.
Hugh Redding has his own reasons for hunting down the man who would have Phoebe tried and hanged for murder. He plans to turn ‘the maidservant with aspirations above her station’ into the ‘lady’ who might testify against the very villain who would see Phoebe dead.

But despite the fierce attraction between Phoebe and the ‘highwayman’, Phoebe is not in a position to admit she’s the ‘murderous duchess’ hunted across the land.

Seizing an opportunity to strike at the social and financial standing of the man who has profited by her distress, Phoebe is drawn into a dangerous intrigue.

But when disaster strikes, she fears Hugh will lack the sympathy or understanding of her unusual predicament to even want to save her a second time.

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Excerpt:

Hugh ran his fingers through his curls and tried again. This was not going well.
But she didn’t give him a chance to speak. Angrily Phoebe faced him across the room. “Let me understand this, sir,” she whispered tightly, holding herself up with all the dignity she could clearly muster. “You’ve just had news your sister is arriving unexpectedly and now suddenly I am relegated to the servant’s quarters. Yesterday you were very happy to take what I offered, but now you are sated after twenty four hours of my charms. Like a discarded toy you’ve grown weary of, I am to be sent back where I came from.”
He crossed the room in a few strides and gripped her hands.
“Please don’t be hurt. You make it sound as if I regard you as a novelty when nothing could be further from the truth.” Kissing her knuckles, he was filled with genuine regret. “Phoebe, you’ve bewitched me and that is the truth! But my sister is a gently reared young woman who cannot possibly know you. No gentleman would introduce his….”
She raised an eyebrow at his want of the right word.
“Doxy?” she supplied.
“He shook his head vigorously and a strange and unexpected sensation filled him from his boots upwards. Not lust. Well, not that alone. “Mistress,” he whispered. His mouth parted slightly and he held her back from him, almost as if he were seeing her for the first time. “My mistress, Phoebe. Do you know, I’ve never taken a mistress. Oh, I’ve had women and liaisons that have entertained me for weeks at a time. But I’ve never…”
“Kept a woman as you would a wife only without offering her the security of a marriage contract.”
He shook his head in frustration. “You really do have ideas above your station, don’t you?” But his humour was growing. She really was a wild piece. “You know as well as I do that gentlemen do not marry lady’s maids. But we’ve had some fun over the past twenty-four hours and I am very much anticipating the fun we’ll have for a good deal of time to come.”
He moved to wrap his arms about her but she remained stiff.
“How much time do you anticipate I shall continue to amuse you, sir?”
He pushed her resisting hands down to her sides and gently sprinkled kisses along her jawline. “I can’t begin to tell you when you are so very vexing at the same time as you constantly surprise me with your sweet charm, my lovely Phoebe.” He gripped her shoulders and she sagged against him, resting her head on his shoulder.
He touched her cheek, then, unable to help himself, slid his hand down into her bodice. “Just be assured that I am a gentleman, and I will do what is right by you, but also what is right by my sister,” he whispered as the mere feel of her, and her awareness of him, began to take possession.

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Author Info: 

 

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.
Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.
Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.
Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.
You can get in contact with Beverley at:

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Happy Independence Day

This Week’s Quote:
“Our flag honors those who have fought to protect it, and is a reminder of the sacrifice of our nation’s founders and heroes. As the ultimate icon of America’s storied history, the Stars and Stripes represents the very best of this nation.” – Joe Barton

Have a Happy and Safe Independence Day

Friday Favorites- Taking a break

This Week’s Quote:
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy 

Friday Favorites is taking a break through the summer, however, here’s a few quotes to tide you over until the fall:

From Abraham-Hicks

“You’re picky about the car you drive. You’re picky about what you wear. You’re picky about what you put in your mouth. We want you to be pickier about what you think.”

“What others are doing around you seems very important when you have not found your own steadiness. You want to say to them, “Don’t rock my boat! If you rock my boat, I can’t be steady.” But the truth of it is, you’re the only boat-rocker in your world. Only you can rock your boat.”

“Appreciation is the magic formula you’ve been seeking.”

Debut and Guest Author J.J. Montgomery

I recently had the pleasure of getting to know fellow Wild Rose Press author, J.J. Montgomery. In GUN FOR HIRE, we meet Sam, a sassy former cop, just trying to make ends meet for her and her sister. When you check out J.J.’s debut novel, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Welcome, J.J.

–What is your writing process? Plotter, pantser or a hybrid of both?
I wish I were a plotter, but I am a total pantser. *buries head in shame*

In Gun for Hire, it just hit me – I was on a beach and I saw this woman fighting with a bunch of cops and tourists and she was this private security guard – and I thought, dear God, what would drive you to take a job like that where everyone yells at you every day? And I knew I had the premise for a great character. The first draft just flew together, but it was a long way from what ultimately ended up becoming the final draft. Which is why I say I wish I were a plotter — because those last few drafts would have been a lot less painful for me and everyone around me.

–Do you participate in a critique group? If so, tell us about your experience. If not, why not?
I don’t participate in a group but I have this network of angels who are blessed with the ability to be truthful and to hold nothing back. One of my critique partners in particular — Mary Cain, who is a phenomenal writer and editor – is like the gut punch of critique partners. I always have to pour myself a very large glass of wine before I read her comments, but you know what – she’s right, almost every time. I wouldn’t be where I am without her.

–These are a few of my favorite things…
Chocolate. Steak. The smell of my husband’s skin and my children’s heads. Flying first class. Soup. The way my sister dances. Cat-eye liner. My girlfriends, the Generic Brunettes. A really cold martini, three olives, please.

–How did you get started writing?
I wrote my first romance when I was maybe 12 years old. Which means I was stealing my mom’s romance novels when I really shouldn’t have been. I didn’t even really know what French kissing was and I thought orgasms were literal fireworks, which – wouldn’t that be amazing? This romance novel – I’m sure it was terrible but I wouldn’t torture myself by actually going back to read it. And it doesn’t really matter anyhow, because I loved the process of writing it. I loved being a writer. Of course, then I grew up and got a job and it took me a long way to come back around to what I love.

–At the end of your career, what do you want to be remembered for?
I hope I made someone’s flight seem shorter, or their wait in the doctor’s office less stressful. I hope I gave someone a few minutes of happiness at the end of a long day, or that someone couldn’t stop until they flipped just one more page.

–Please feel free to share anything you’d like our visitors to know about you or your books.
I would love to hear from my readers! Even if it’s criticism, that interaction is the greatest thing for me. Find me at www.jjmontgomery.com, on Instagram (my favorite!) at www.instagram.com/jmontgomerywrites or Facebook www.facebook.com/authorjjmontgomery, a platform that still confounds me every time I log on. I also highly recommend checking out some new authors at www.17scribes.com — I’m on there, too!

About J.J.:

I wanted to write from the time I was very young, but it took a coup d’etat and a nationwide curfew to finally get me in front of the keyboard to finish something I’d started. I’ve been living overseas my entire adult life and I’d seen a lot of crazy things, but from my house high on a hill over the city, I watched tires burning in front of the Presidential Palace and thought, gosh, now seems like the time to try writing a book.

In retrospect, I just have a hard time being idle and I was probably pretty scared and needed to distract myself. I spent days locked in a top floor room of that house, making up a murder mystery that, frankly, sucked. But it’s like the first time you see your child draw with a crayon — I was so proud of myself, and it was addictive.

It took a long time and a lot of painful rejections before I wrote Gun for Hire, but I loved this story and its characters more than I’d ever loved anything I’d written. I was blessed to find an agent and editor who felt the same way, and here I am! A published author for the first time.

Gun For Hire Blurb:

The job should have been easy—patrol a swank beach that serves as a backyard for Maui’s rich, kick out the riffraff, and get a tan in the process. But rent-a-cop Samantha Winters didn’t anticipate a deliciously grumpy cop, Sergeant Grady Roark, who comes down to the beach to bust her chops and instead leaves her breathless…and wondering why the one man who could help her seems determined to thwart her at every turn.

Grady is keeping secrets from Sam that have him walking the line between attraction and duty. But when Sam becomes the target of a shadowy organization, Grady will have to choose between the law and the temptation of a woman who has him breaking every rule he’s ever known.

The job should have been easy, but when the bullets start flying, Sam learns nothing is as easy as it seems when you’re a Gun for Hire.

Gun for Hire Excerpt: 

I looked out over the peninsula that separated Secret Beach from Makena Beach, nearly at Maui’s southernmost tip. A lone surfer, dark-haired and gleaming like a seal, ducked beneath a giant, rolling wave. I held my breath as he went under, waiting for him to emerge, and had to expel air before his head finally surfaced, yellow surfboard beneath, his strong arms propelling him outward to sea. Even at this distance, I could see the hard outline of his muscled back, saltwater streaming off him as those muscles worked before he came to a rest, sat up on his board, and turned his face toward the sun.

See, why couldn’t I fall for a guy like that? Someone who was carefree, uncomplicated, and unbelievably hot? Why was it my hormones only raced when confronted with grumpy, distant, and unobtainable? And hot, I reminded myselfMy hormones at least had that part right.

Friday Favorites

This Week’s Quote:
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” – Muhammad Ali 

11 Writer Survival Tools. From Writers In the Storm. By Fae Rowen. Read more…

Intuition & Writing: What Happens Next? From Writer UnBoxed. By Gwendolyn Womack. Read more… 

Give A Star A Star Speech. From Writing Wednesdays. By Steven Pressfield. Read more…

Like Riding A Bike. By Seth Godin. Read more…