ABIGAIL by JESS HEILEMAN RELEASE DAY $50 GIVEAWAY



Abigail by Jess Heileman

“A beautiful coming-of-age story with just enough romantic tension to keep you reading late into the night.”

Since the death of her mother, Abigail Blakeslee has lost all desire to become a debutante and enter Society. But now, foregoing her first Season has brought an unwanted invitation to join her aunt and cousins for a summer at Timpton House, the large estate of the Stanton family.

Reluctantly accepting, Abigail is thrust into the vexing world of social propriety and matchmaking she had hoped to avoid. More vexing still is her cousin’s suitor, the young Timpton heir—Edwin Stanton. Moody and distant at times, remarkably endearing at others, Edwin seems a puzzle she can never solve, but can never quite put away. Bet then, Abigail has her own secret to hide—her own mystery to conceal. Perhaps such puzzles are better left unsolved, or perhaps love can find a solution.



Excerpt:

The library was filled with books, and it reminded me of the one at Easton Manor with overstuffed shelves, large windows, and numerous seats for reading. I grabbed a thin book off a nearby shelf and held it in my hand. I traced my finger over the title, The Tempest. It had been sometime since I’d picked up a book. Mother taught me to read and had given me the joy of new worlds and unforgettable stories. I’d spent countless afternoons tucked in a chair in our library, unable to stop reading; but when Mother died, I found little delight in anything, including the things she’d taught me to love.

“Have you read it?” Edwin asked peering over my shoulder.

“Of course!” I answered placing it back on the shelf.

“And I presume you enjoyed it?”

“Very much. I admit I am easily satisfied by a happy ending.” I kept my eyes searching the books, having little desire to receive the look of censure awaiting me. “The Shakespeare writings I enjoy most are those that end well—Twelfth Night, Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew—the ones where love is victorious.”

“A common ideal among ladies, I believe, and the reason his comedies are so popular.”

I turned towards him, “Life has enough of tragedy and grief, is there something wrong with finding satisfaction in love and happy endings?”

“There is,” he said. “The harm is believing in something that isn’t real, Miss Blakeslee.” He stepped closer, and my feet faltered. “Love only brings misery. To think otherwise is foolish. You just declared life is full of tragedy—”

“And that is why love is needed!”

“And that is what love causes!”

Neither of us moved and I could feel his warm breath on me. It was only then I realized how close we stood, my neck craning to look up at him, but I had no desire to move away.

“You do not understand love then,” I whispered.

The resentment in his gaze caught me by surprise. “And you do?”

“Yes! Love has saved me.” His eyes searched mine, “The love I know has the power to lift and to heal, to see past weakness and turn it to strength.”

“Love is fickle and will fail you.”

“Never.” I said shaking my head as tears stung my vision. “I do not know what counterfeit you describe but the love I have found is faithful and unconditional.”

He said nothing and after a moment his eyes drifted from mine in contemplation. After taking a deep breath he looked down at me again. He wore the stern expression I knew so well and took a step backward. “I hope you are correct in your judgment,” he said with a brisk nod. “Thank you for telling me.”

As he turned from me I wanted to call out to him, but I was too confused to contrive a response. I followed him to the study in a daze. Edwin positioned himself near the desk with his eyes cast to the floor as Diana glanced between us bewildered.

“How is it you’ve found something to quarrel about already? You were in there less than five minutes! Perhaps I should take on the role of mediator instead of chaperon for the two of you.”

Neither Edwin nor I smiled.

“This will not do! What was the disagreement this time?”

“There was not a disagreement,” Edwin said. “Well, at least that is not what caused the discontent.”

Curious what the cause had been I glanced in his direction, anxious for him to finish. A knock interrupted his revelation.

Diana shot to her feet and reached out her arm towards me, “We will go out the library.”

Edwin blocked our retreat, “You are fine to leave out the study door.” He shifted his gaze at the repeated knock, “Come in!”

The butler opened the door, his eyes gliding over Diana and me, “The Slytons are here to see you, Mr. Stanton.”

“Show them in.”

The Slytons? I was familiar with the name, but surely they were not the same as I had known. My heart picked up pace regardless of what I told myself. The door opened again and a tall, wiry lady and a shorter, burly man stepped through the door. They were older and somehow uglier, but it was them. My knees nearly gave out, and I tightened my hold on Diana’s arm for support.

“Mr. and Mrs. Slyton, I am pleased you finally agreed to make the trip to Timpton. This is my sister, Mrs. Ellis, and our friend, Miss Abigail Blakeslee.”

Mrs. Slyton nodded in our direction but abruptly turned her attention back to Edwin. “With such a gracious offer, how could we resist?” Her scratchy voice brought a slew of memories that made my body tremble.

I cautiously turned to find Mr. Slyton inspecting me through squinted eyes. Did he recognize me? I hadn’t seen him since I was a little girl, and I hoped the years had done their job adequately enough to disguise me. I lifted my chin, attempting to appear unaffected by his presence and was relieved when Mr. Slyton turned towards Diana, appraising her with the same disgusting grimace he’d given me. I looked to Edwin and found him returning my gaze, a peculiar expression on his features.

Edwin moved to my side and placed a firm hand around my waist, guiding me to the door. My ears were ringing, and I was confident he said something to me, but I couldn’t be sure. As we walked from the study, his touch retracted, and Diana took his place directing me back down the corridor.

I was uncertain where I was being led and soon found myself seated in a distantly familiar room. “Bring refreshment at once!” Diana’s voice echoed through my mind. My head was spinning, and I rested it against the chair as my vision faded into blackness.





Praise for Abigail:

This outstanding novel was intelligent, fun, and romantic. I read it twice and had as much fun reading it the second time as I did the first time, if not more. The author is not only creative in developing a believable story line, but the character development kept me engaged and entertained. This was probably one of my favorite romance novels of all time; it lacked nothing. The romantic tensions kept me wondering how conflicts would resolve—creative and unpredictable twists abound. It plays out like a great movie in my mind. More from this author would be a super gift to us all; keep it coming!! – Emily, ID

I loved reading Abigail! The writing was witty and descriptive, providing a beautiful, vivid, and deep world to visit in my mind as I read. The characters were real and relatable, causing me to suffer or swoon as occasion permitted. A perfectly clean, charming yet profound, wonderful novel! – Kim, AZ

Abigail is one of those stories that sweeps you into another world and won’t let you put it down. It’s a beautiful unlikely love story that you’ve never heard before. The storyline is enchanting, and you will easily see part of yourself in Abigail’s character as she explores the world beyond the walls of her precious Easton Manor. – Wendy, NV

Most definitely a book that keeps you reading, even past your bedtime. Helps you forget about all your responsibilities in life until the last word, on the last page. – Larissa, UT

This book took me by surprise. It hooked me at the prologue. Abigail had me laughing out loud, tearing up and blushing. It was my “show” that I couldn’t wait to get back to. It was a clever, easy read that had me guessing: what could possibly happen next? A perfect escape! Time for a sequel! – Julie, CA

I enjoyed Abigail so much. The characters were developed in such a way that you felt like you were there with them, like you knew them. Surprising plot twists, charming characters and a well thought out storyline made this book one that I didn’t want to put down. I highly recommend Abigail! – Jamie, AZ

I loved Abigail! I couldn’t put it down and read into the night. Great plot and character development. I hope there’s more books to come! – Carrie, AZ

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and the relationships built throughout the book. It was full of surprises that will make you laugh and cry all at once. I never saw the end coming. It is a book that I will read over and over again. – Monika, IA

Abigail is an enchanting look into a historical time period full of tradition and social propriety. As Abigail struggles to fit into that society, she stands out for her willingness to be herself. I was quickly drawn into the story and a desire to follow Abigail through her adventure built quickly. The story does not disappoint. The visual images of places and events created in my mind were amazing. It was so engaging I couldn’t stop reading. – Kim, ID



Author Jess Heileman

In kindergarten, Jess won a first prize ribbon for her original creation Pigs in Wigs. It was a solid storyline: there was this pig that wore a wig–and it rhymed. Not impressed? Neither were her children when shown the very masterpiece that influenced her to become an author. “You won a ribbon for that?” Yes. Yes, she did.

Thankfully, life has since exposed her to a thorough education with its share of awards and accolades–and, more importantly, to the trials and human experiences that form the heart of a storyteller and the substance of great stories.

Besides her love of writing, Jess is an avid reader, shameless people observer, international café loiterer, and partially retired photographer. She loves being a mother to five amazing humans and a wife to the greatest man she knows.

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Giveaway Details
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 2/15/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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FOR THE LOVE OF LAURA BETH by AUBREY WYNNE RELEASE DAY BLAST

 

For the Love of Laura Beth

by Aubrey Wynne

 

The Korean War destroyed their plans, but the battle at home may shatter their hearts…

Laura Beth Walters fell in love with Joe McCall when she was six years old. Now she is counting the days until Joey graduates from college so they can marry and begin their life together. But the Korean War rips their neatly laid plans to shreds. Instead of a college fraternity, Joey joins a platoon. Laura Beth trades a traditional wedding for a quick trip to the courthouse.

The couple endure the hardship of separation, but the true battle is faced when Joey returns from the war. Their marriage is soon tested beyond endurance. Laura must find a way to accept the tragedy thrown in their path or lose the love that has kept them anchored for so long. With a determination that only comes from the heart, Joe relentlessly fights an invisible enemy…for the love of Laura Beth.

Praise for For the Love of Laura Beth

Warmth, compassion, heartache, faithfulness and more are emotions you will experience as you read this. I was completely immersed in this Korean War era tale, the historical details making the story come alive.

Aubrey Wynne did an awesome job with this Historical book. Thank you Aubrey Wynne for a very beautifully written story!!

An emotional read about the life, fears, and love during the Korean War! Aubrey Wynne begins each chapter with a thought-provoking quote. As a Midwesterner, who often visited Chicago in the 1950s, this romance includes well-researched historical details about Chicago, the era, and journalism. Aubrey Wynne blends history with a nicely paced full of family dynamics love story.

EXCERPT

“Son, you’ve got some mail.”

The tone of his father’s voice sent a chill through Joey. He looked over his shoulder, straightened up, and smacked his head on the hood of the Crosley station wagon. Rubbing his scalp then wiping oily hands on his overalls, he took the envelope with an official-looking seal in the corner.

Joe held it as if it were poison.

“Do you want me to open it, son?”

He shook his head, the pulse beating rapidly in his neck. With trembling fingers, he tore at the paper. The words blurred as he sunk onto the bumper of the pickup. “It’s a conscription notice,” he whispered, looking into his father’s terrified eyes. “I’m being drafted.”

“It’s my fault.” Max let out a moan and lowered himself onto the bumper. “If I hadn’t spent your college tuition, you’d be in school right now.”

“It’s nobody’s fault, Pa. You served your time, and now it’s my turn.” He waved the letter in the air. “Maybe we’ll end up with matching limps.” It was a bad attempt at humor, and he wanted to take the words back as soon as they left his mouth. Unlike many of his friends, Joe did not have any romantic ideas about soldiering. His father had been straight up with him about the horrors of war.

“I just pray you come back, boy, and you don’t have to live through what I did.” The lines on his father’s face seemed to have deepened in the last five minutes. He swiped his palms at his eyes and squeezed Joe’s arm. “When do you go?”

“It says I report for my physical January 2 at ten o’clock.” Maybe he wouldn’t see active combat. He wasn’t chicken, but his father still screamed at night once in awhile. His mother had said they were night terrors left over from WWII. “I do have a skill, Pa. I’m sure they need mechanics.”

“That’s true, son. Maybe they’ll have you keep those jeeps running for the generals.” He forced a chuckle. “Go on and get out of here now. It’s Friday night and you’ve got a purty little gal to take to the movie.”

An awkward silence ensued as both men stared at the floor. Laura Beth. How would he tell her? It was bad enough they had to postpone their wedding, but now this? It was just plain bad luck. And they’d all had enough of that for one year. The thought of the tears welling up in those clear, blue eyes made his blood cold. She’d been their pillar these past months, and now he would break her heart.

“I’ll get cleaned up, I guess.” Joe headed to the door then stopped. Without turning around he said, “She’s really gonna flip, Pa. I think telling her might be as hard as going.”

In a thick voice, Max tried to offer some comfort. “The only thing worse than war was losing your mother, but Laura Beth is a strong young woman and loyal as they come. She won’t give up on you, and it wouldn’t be fair not to let her know right away. So go on now and get ‘er done.”

 

 

Author Aubrey Wynne

Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas.

Her short stories, Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies have won Readers Choice Awards. Dante’s Gift and Paper Love received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.

In addition to her Chicago Christmas novellas, Aubrey will release two more Regency romances in 2019. Once Upon A Widow series will officially launch in March 2019, the Wicked Earls’ Club will release again just in time for the holidays.

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Instagram * Newsletter * BookBub * Amazon

 

$50 Blast Giveaway

Winner’s choice of a $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in PayPal Cash

Ends 1/2/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or PayPal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

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