Guest Author: Beverley Oakley and DEVIL’S RUN

Devil’s Run 
Scandalous Miss Brightwells series
By Beverley Oakley


Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner 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 rigged horserace and a marriage offer riding on the outcome. When Miss Eliza Montrose unexpectedly becomes legal owner of the horse tipped to win the East Anglia Cup, her future is finally in her hands – but at what cost?

 

George Bramley, nephew to the Earl of Quamby, will wager anything. Even his future bride.

Miss Eliza Montrose will accept any wager to be reunited with the child she was forced to relinquish after an indiscretion — even if it means marrying a man she does not love.

But with her heart suddenly engaged by handsome, charming Rufus Patmore who has just bought a horse from her betrothed George Bramley in whose household her son lives as a pauper child, the outcome of the wager is suddenly fraught with peril.

**This is book 3 in the Scandalous Miss Brightwells series, though it can be read as a stand-alone.
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Excerpt: 

Chapter One
“And there’s nothing else you’d like, my dear? No?” Straightening after receiving a polite rebuff, George Bramley found it an effort to keep the syrup in his tone. His bride-to-be had not even looked at him as she’d declined the piece of marchpane he’d been certain would win him at least a smile.
Hovering at her side, he weighed up the advantages of a gentle rebuke, then decided against it. Until yesterday, he’d thought her quiet demeanour suggested a charmingly pliant nature. Now he was not so sure. In fact, suddenly, he was not sure of anything.
“A glass of lemonade, perhaps, my angel? Or a gentle stroll?”
“I would prefer to be left alone.” Miss Montrose waved a languid hand in his general direction, while she continued to gaze at the still lake beside which their picnic party had situated itself.
The languid arm-wave had not even been accompanied by a demure thank you as subtle acknowledgement of her gratitude that not only had Mr Bramley, heir to a viscountcy, stepped in to rescue Miss Eliza Montrose from impoverishment, he was prepared to treat her publicly as if she were as fine a catch as he could have made.
A soft titter brought his head round sharply, but the ladies behind him, bent over the latest Ackerman’s Repository, appeared occupied with their own gossip as they lounged on cushions beneath the canopy that had been erected to protect them from the sun.
Awkwardly, he looked for occupation as he continued to eye his intended with a mixture of irritation and desire—both lustful desire, and the desire to put her in her place.
The idea of the latter made him harden. She was beautiful, this quiet, apparently retiring, young woman who said so little, but whose eyes spoke such volumes. The afternoon sun glinted on her honey-gold hair and imbued her porcelain skin with a warm glow. The skin that he could see, at any rate.
He pushed back his shoulders. On their wedding night in six weeks, when he’d at last take possession of her, he’d rip that modesty to shreds. The skin she was so at pains to hide would be his, not only to see, but to caress and taste. When she was his wife, the beautiful, distant Miss Eliza Montrose would no longer get away with paying George Bramley so little attention. No, he’d have her screaming and writhing at his command. He would make her like the things he did to her; or at least, show him she did if she enjoyed harmony as much as she appeared to. None of this languid reclining like a half-drugged princess in his presence. He’d keep her on her toes, ready to leap to his bidding at the sound of his footstep. She’d learn to be grateful.
Feeling ignored and superfluous, he turned to his uncle’s detestable wife, Lady Quamby, and said with a smile, “Perhaps you and Miss Montrose would like to accompany me to the turret. Since you appear to have enjoyed this new novel, Northanger Abbey, so much, you might be interested to know there is an excellent view of the ruined monastery not far from here.”
He was just priding himself on being so attuned to the feminine inclination for pleasure, when Lady Quamby half turned and sent him a desultory smile. “Oh, I think Miss Eliza looks perfectly comfortable, and Fanny and I are having such a lovely little coze.” As if imitating Miss Montrose, she waved a languid hand in his general direction. “Why don’t you take Mr Patmore off to see it? The two of you can tell us all about it when you return.”
The fact that Miss Montrose didn’t deign to even speak for herself, much less glance in his direction, sent the blood surging to Bramley’s brain. By God, when he was married to Eliza Montrose, the limpid look of love so lacking now would be pasted onto her face every time he crossed her line of vision. She’d soon learn what was good for her.
He inclined his head, hiding his fury, and was on the point of leaving when Lady Quamby’s sister, Fanny —for he’d be damned if he’d accord the little strumpet the title of Lady Fenton—leapt up from her chair. She’d been poring over the latest fashions, but now she smiled brightly up at him.
“I’ll come with you, Cousin George. We’ll have an excellent view of the  children learning to row from the battlements. I told Nanny Brown she could take them in the two boats if they’d been good.”
Bramley stared down her liveliness. In fact, he was about to give up the idea of going up to the battlements altogether when his other guest, Rufus Patmore, suddenly rose and joined Fanny’s side with a late and unexpected show of enthusiasm.
“Capital idea!” declared Rufus.
George flashed them both a dispassionate look. He’d chosen to invite his betrothed, Miss Montrose—whose chaperone was currently tucked up in the green bed chamber nursing a head cold—to be his guest at his uncle’s estate, Quamby House, after receiving intelligence that Ladies Quamby and Fenton would be safely in London with their husbands and children. Instead, the brazen Brightwell sisters—as they’d infamously been called when he’d first made their acquaintance—had altered their plans, and were now in dogged attendance, reminding him as they always had, of some awful tenacious climbing plant, determined to find a foothold wherever they could in order to rise in the world.
Rufus, a last-minute addition and acquaintance from his club, Boodles, was here because he’d just purchased a horse from Bramley the night before. Now, Rufus was gazing at Lady Fenton, with the same dewy-eyed fondness George was used to seeing reflected in the eye of his uncle, the Earl of Quamby, who called the Brightwell sisters his precious rose-buds. To George, they were common dandelions! And now they had overridden Quamby House, the rambling Queen Anne manor house and estate that would have passed to George the moment his uncle quit this mortal coil, were it not for the snotty-nosed infant Lady Quamby had borne far too early in her marriage to George’s uncle.
George shook his head. He’d changed his mind. Only, there was Rufus striding across the lawn, skirting the lake with Fanny at his side, and George didn’t want to be seen as petulant for having offered the suggestion in the first place. Or have his snubbed and ignored status so much on parade, since the two remaining ladies—Miss Montrose and Lady Quamby—had their heads bent together in deep discussion, with no apparent interest in seeking his company.
By God, he thought, clenching his fists as he set off after them at a brisk trot, they’d all rue the day they showed George Bramley so little respect.
~*~*~*~*~*~
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:

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.

Buy Links: 
Amazon | All other buy links

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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.

~*~*~*~*~*~
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.