VALENTINE COUNTDOWN BLITZ, DAY 11 – AUTHOR DONNA HATCH – THE STRANGER SHE MARRIED





Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.


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When her parents and twin brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor’s prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. She meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, and her heart whispers that this is the man she is destined to love, but his tainted past may forever stand in their way. Her choices in potential husbands narrow to either a scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret.

Cole Amesbury is tormented by his own ghosts, and believes he is beyond redemption, yet he cannot deny his attraction for the girl whose genuine goodness touches the heart he’d thought long dead. He fears the scars in his soul cut so deeply that he may never be able to offer Alicia a love that is true. When yet another bizarre mishap threatens her life, Alicia suspects the seemingly unrelated accidents that have plagued her loved ones are actually a killer’s attempt to exterminate every member of her family. Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger to her heart. And Cole must protect Alicia from the killer who has been exterminating her family before she is the next target.

This romantic story of loss and betrayal, forgiveness and redemption, and strangers marrying, will leave you laughing, crying, and swooning. Sprinkled liberally with suspense, mystery, and heart-melting kisses, this is not your ordinary historical tale of an arranged marriage nor of redeeming the rakes. Fans of Victorian and Regency Eras as well as those seeking clean and wholesome romance with plenty of chemistry, not to mention the redemptive power of love, will love this story!

Dance with a duke, outwit pirates, save a kingdom, and fall in love. Believe in happily ever after.

The Rogue Hearts Series:
The Stranger She Married
The Guise of a Gentleman
A Perfect Secret
The Suspect’s Daughter

Praise for Donna Hatch:
“Donna Hatch is one of the masters of clean romance with electric tension and smokin’ hot kisses.” ~ Reading is My Super Power Reviews


“Written with heart and depth, Donna Hatch’s books are absolute must-reads for any fan of swoon-worthy historical romance.”  ~ Sarah M. Eden, USA Today best-selling historical romance author

Join the Cover Reveal for the 5th book in the Rogue Hearts Series




Q&A With the Author :

1.     Why do you choose to write romance? Do you write any other genres?
I write romance for two reasons. The fist reason is because a true romance, unlike other genres, guarantees that the story will end well. So many other genres can have sad or bittersweet endings, and I need a book to end leaving me hopeful. The second reason I write romance is because they usually have good character development. Usually, by the end of the story, the characters have overcome at least one major character flaw that allows them to defeat the villain, solve the crime, or whatever it is depending on the subgenre, and who, by the ending love and accept another special someone, who, in turn, loves and accepts them. A romance should feel wrapped up, and the characters should be better, stronger people by the end. Plus, you know, in love. Really, it’s all about hoping tomorrow will be a better day.

2.     How long does it take you to write a book, typically?
That depends on the book—the subgenre, the length of the story, and how easily it all comes together as well as what’s going on with my personal life. Sometimes my family needs don’t leave time for writing, and also I can’t write if I’m overly stressed or if I have fallen into a depression, which is a chronic battle. Once, I wrote, revised, and edited a novella in less than a month. A couple of novels took me years to complete and be ready for publication. Sometimes I write them straight through; other times, I set them aside to work on other projects. The only thing that really guarantees that I’ll finish a project within a specific time is having a contract deadline. I always meet those even if I think it’s going to kill me.

3.     Since a lot of romance books show both male and female perspectives, share with us the most difficult thing about writing the perspective of the opposite gender?
One of my biggest challenges is making sure I hold true to each character’s voice for the chapters or sections written in their point of view so the chapters don’t all feel like they could be told from anyone’s perspective. I want to make sure the perceptions and descriptions are worded in a way that holds true to that character’s personality.

4.     What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to write to instrumental music such light classical—harp or piano in particular—or New Age. I can’t write to lyrics or a drumbeat, and I don’t like silence.

5.     Tell us a bit about a future project you are working on? Do you have any little sneak peeks you can share?
I’m almost finished with book 5 of my Rogue Hearts Series, Not a Fine Gentleman, and hope to have it released this summer. It’s about Lady Margaret who is accused of murdering her estranged husband.

6.     What is the most romantic date you have ever been on? Or, what is your idea of the perfect Valentine Date?
One of my most memorable dates was when my husband took me to an Italian restaurant that had waiters who went around serenading the diners. Then, after dinner, we took a Venetian-style gondola ride down a canal. The lights along the waterway reflected in the gently rippling waves and a sultry breeze carried the scent of desert flowers. It was lovely and so romantic.  




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VALENTINE COUNTDOWN BLITZ, DAY 10 – AUTHOR AMEY ZEIGLER – THE SWISS MISHAP




Amey loves writing about different places because she grew up moving all around the United States. In her books, she explores the whole world. She is also the author of Baker’s Dozen, a Romantic Suspense Mystery. The Swiss Mishap won a Swoony for 2019’s Best New Adult Contemporary Romance.

She lives with her husband and three children near Austin, TX. Follow her on BookBub @ameyzeigler and sign up for her newsletter at www.ameyzeigler.com









For the last twelve years, more than half her life, Lainey Peterson has prepared to design, create, and produce quality chocolate bars. But when she discovers her chocolate internship at Switzerland’s prestigious Alpine Foods has been canceled, she vows to do whatever it takes to get to Chocolate. 

Yves Claremont, a young, ambitious department chair, would sacrifice everything to rise to vice president at Alpine Foods and redeem his father’s name. Impressed with Lainey’s resume and charming determination, Yves offers her an internship in his Pet Care department, promising a recommendation for Chocolate if she does well. 

Lainey is drawn to the enigmatic and passionate Yves Claremont. He cannot deny his growing attraction to her. But inter-office relationships are strictly forbidden by Alpine Foods, and a perceptive co-worker, jealous of Yves’ success, will undermine Yves and Lainey any way he can.

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Q&A With the Author:

1.Why do you choose to write romance? Do you write any other genres?
I write romance because I think being in love and falling in love and being loved are the greatest feelings in the world. I love sharing that feeling with others. Romances celebrate love, its complications, its highs and lows. I want to capture it all.

I do write in other genres. I have a romantic suspense/mystery and I’ve submitted a women’s fiction for consideration for publication. But to me there always has to be a relationship. It’s part of life.

2.How long does it take you to write a book, typically?

The first two books I published took me several years to write them because I was still trying to figure out how to tell the story. I have since streamlined my story telling. Now it takes me about a month to write and a few months to revise and edit.

3. Since a lot of romance books show both male and female perspectives, share with us the most difficult thing about writing the perspective of the opposite gender?

I actually prefer to write from the male perspective. (Don’t read too much into that). I like that men are more introspective. I love getting into the minds of my male heroes and find that internal dialogue. I think with men, so much is going on below the surface that they aren’t even aware of, it makes a fun challenge to dig deeper and find those fears, those hidden motives for things.

4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I write fast but I revise super slow. 

5. Tell us a bit about a future project you are working on? Do you have any little sneak peeks you can share?

My next publication through The Wild Rose Press will be a novella as part of their Deerbourne Inn series. They chose the setting and each author had to come up with a story. They chose a B&B in Vermont. It’s a sweet story about a writer who meets the literary critic who gave her a scathing review of one of her books.

After that, I have the woman’s fiction about a broken woman, a broken house, a broken neighborhood and a casserole dish to fix them all.

And I’m working on a mystery series set in Monte Carlo.

And ice cream story set in Alaska, A Summer of Sundaes.

And a sequel for my first romantic suspense, called Most Certainly Will Die. A young American woman sleuth, a South African marital artist and a British gambler team up to find a girl who was kidnapped in Scotland.

6. What is the most romantic date you have ever been on? Or, what is your idea of the perfect Valentine Date?

Perfect Valentine’s Date? I’d love to head to the south of France where they grow all the roses for Chanel #5 and breath in the fragrant air. Then stroll hand-in-hand along the Mediterranean Sea. Then munch on a picnic atop of the medieval town of Eze where the cobblestones run up to curved wooden doors. 





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VALENTINE COUNTDOWN BLITZ, DAY 9 – AUTHOR ANGELIQUE CONGER – ABANDONED HOPE



Angelique Conger discovered the wonders of writing books later in her life. Books, however, have always been important to her. As a little girl in a small town, she was given her own library card at the tender age of five, highly unusual in those days.
     Angelique reads a book, or three at once, much of the time. She reads most genres of books and until recently only toyed with writing them. Since beginning, she has spent many hours each day learning the craft of writing and editing.
     Many would consider Angelique Conger’s books Christian focused, and they are because they focus on early events in the Bible. She writes of a people’s beliefs in Jehovah. However, though she’s read in much of the Bible and searched for more about these stories, there isn’t much there. Her imagination fills in the missing information, which is most of it.
     Angelique lives in Southern Nevada with her husband, turtles, and Lovebird. She enjoys visits with her grandchildren — and their parents.


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A string of beads …
… and a forbidden book.

Daphne’s trading adventure with her papa into the dangerous city of Nod turned out better than she thought. She found the owner of the beads and a handsome man. Unexpected danger and loss make things difficult for her. When robbers try to force her to give up her secrets, she must make a choice.
Her father…
…or a new life?
Abandoned Hope is the third of the continuing saga of Lost Children of the Prophet. You’ll love this uplifting story of faith in difficult times.
Get it now.








Q&A With the Author:

1.Why do you choose to write romance? Do you write any other genres?
I have been writing Womens Biblical Historical Fiction/Family saga. I didn’t intend to write romance. When I was a little more than half through this book, I realized I was writing a romance. Until then, I hadn’t even read many romances, though my husband and I watch “chick flicks” because he chooses to. Since writing Abandoned Hope, I have purposely written other romances as part of the series. I am seriously considering writing more Historical Romance in the near future.

2.How long does it take you to write a book, typically?
My romance books are part of a family saga. Most of them are longer than the usual romance. I can write 90,000 words in about 6 weeks. Editing and other final work takes me about another month, so my books take between two and two and a half months to go from idea to publication.

3.Since a lot of romance books show both male and female perspectives, share with us the most difficult thing about writing the perspective of the opposite gender?
Who knows what goes on in the mind of a man? I try to look at my husband and five sons and try to guess. They don’t respond to things like a woman, they don’t think like women. Men are a mystery!

4.What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Quirks? I’m not sure I have any. I write into the dark. I rarely have any idea what will happen in my stories more than a few sentences ahead. Sometimes I will plan the next three scenes or chapters if I am going to sprint, but I rarely follow the plan. My characters take over the story and I let them.

5.Tell us a bit about a future project you are working on? Do you have any little sneak peeks you can share?
I’m finishing up my Lost Children of the Prophet series. I have three more books to publish, before I turn to Historical Romance or Time Travel Romance. I like the time period I write in and want to stay there.
The next book to be published, Love Defied, has romance subplots and mature love throughout. 
A little snippet:
Merab stood with daughters and granddaughters on her front porch seeking the faces of the men she loved. Where was Tiqvah? As one of the commanders, he had been in other battles. Still, she worried every time they left to fight.
And another:
Merab nodded her head. “Ormh is an intelligent man. He will find a way.”
“Has he and Elke decided to wed, yet?”
“Ormh would like to marry her. Elke is struggling to make that decision. She is hurt from the way she has been treated by her parents and brothers. She doesn’t trust anyone now,” Tiqvah said.
“From what I’ve learned, it isn’t surprising that she has lost trust,” Grandpapa Nat said.
“No. Her life has not been good. She has been hurt by those who should protect her. Since her mama left her, she struggles to feel safe,” Merab said.

6.What is the most romantic date you have ever been on? Or, what is your idea of the perfect Valentine Date?
When we were newlyweds living on the island of Guam, my husband was a poor enlisted man. He got a tiny paycheck. He took me to the nicest hotel on the hill overlooking the island, and their nicest restaurant. He had arranged for a seat near the window where we could see the island as the lights came on below us. Waiters came and went, attending to our needs. The owner even stopped by to be sure all was right with the food and service. We talked of our plans for the future. We drove home to our little quanset hut home through the moonlit streets. That night was long ago, but I still remember the service and the care taken by my new husband to make it special for me.





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VALENTINE COUNTDOWN BLITZ, DAY 8 – AUTHOR JEAN ORAM – THE PROMISE




Jean Oram grew up in an old schoolhouse in a Canadian town, population 100 (cats and dogs not included). She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author of feel-good, tingle-inducing, heartwarming romances.

Jean lives in Canada with her husband, two kids, cat, dog, and the pesky deer that wander into her yard to eat her rose bushes and apple trees. She can often be found outdoors or reading a book. (And of course at her laptop writing your next irresistible read!)

Follow Jean on social media  www.instagram.com/jeanoram_author or subscribe to her newsletter: www.JeanOram.com/FREEBOOK.”





When worlds collide…opposites attract


Devon Mattson has never been as captivated as he is by Olivia. She’s smart, witty and rich. But above all is the fact that even though they come from different worlds she understands him, his small town charm and his need for speed.

He knows that to be together they’ll both have to give up a lot, but he’s promised to always be there for her. Now, in college, and afterward too. Forever.

Olivia Carrington has never felt more alive than when she’s with Devon. She no longer feels the suffocating weight of expectations—just the freedom and support to follow her secret dreams and to become the person she’s always been afraid to be.

But when reality comes knocking their dream world begins to collapse. Will these two young lovers find their way back to each other or will their hearts become shattered beyond repair?

Fall in love with this prequel novella–a bonus companion story for Devon and Olivia’s novel The Surprise Wedding–about opposites attracting. Grab your tissues and start reading today!

This book is FREE today on Amazon

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Q&A With the Author:

1. Why do you choose to write romance? Do you write any other genres?
I write romance because it is fun! I love it when my characters banter and fall in love. But it’s hard, too. Right now my characters are supposed to be breaking up and I don’t want them to.

2.How long does it take you to write a book, typically?
 Some first drafts take me a few weeks to write and some take me months and months.

3. Since a lot of romance books show both male and female perspectives, share with us the most difficult thing about writing the perspective of the opposite gender?
Sometimes figuring out what the male character wants is tricky. If the heroine has made the story very much HER story sometimes it is hard to figure out what the man wants and why he’s not getting it and how his story fits into hers. But otherwise, writing the opposite gender is fun!

4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have absolutely no idea what an interesting writing quirk of mine would be!

5.Tell us a bit about a future project you are working on? Do you have any little sneak peeks you can share?
Right now I am working on a Texas series which will release later in 2020. It’s still unnamed and the sneak peeks are very rough drafts so I will keep those hidden for now. But what I can say is that it is about a close knit family of five brothers set in a small town. Some want to keep the family ranch and some do not. Like brothers they are all very different…and also very alike. Lots of fun and conflict as well as history between them!

6.What is the most romantic date you have ever been on? Or, what is your idea of the perfect Valentine Date?
My husband and I don’t do a big thing for Valentine’s Day. We’re actually kind of unromantic about “events.” We do try to go on dates every week or two and I always kiss him every day and tell him that I love him. And honestly, that constant love that continues to grow and strengthen between us (20 years strong!) is probably the most romantic thing I can think of.





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VALENTINE COUNTDOWN BLITZ, DAY 7 – AUTHOR LAURAINE HENDERSON – A COOKIE AND A KISS




Lauraine Henderson began writing as a child, poems and journaling, until babies, building houses, and bookkeeping jobs usurped her world. 

Now, well established in Oregon and with the children grown, she devotes her time to writing her favorite genre: clean romance. Years of life experience translate into plots, calamities, and happily-ever-afters as she writes her inspirational and romantic stories about fictional people who seem so real, you’ll want to know what happens after the book ends! 

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Where’s the harm in pretending to be engaged for a couple months?

Elliott Palmer’s brilliant impulse to propose a fake engagement to his sister’s teacher in order to get rid of a stalker may be the biggest mistake of his life. Or it could be the best thing to happen since his cookie empire went national. 

Charlotte Bloomberg feels like she’s walking a tightrope at work after the scandal last year that almost cost her teaching job. Yet…Elliott’s proposal could be the answer to her saving face with not only her co-workers, but her family, too. 

As the two work through school calamities, nosy family members, and a stalker getting closer all the time, the lines between real and fake start to blur when hearts get involved. But what happens when the police insist a wedding date will bring the stalker out in the open, and Elliott suspects Charlotte of being a crook?

~ Universal Amazon Link

       


Q&A With the Author:

1. Why do you choose to write romance? Do you write any other genres?
I love writing clean romance because I love reading clean romance. There is so much negativity and hardship in the world, people with disabilities of one kind or another, and societal unrest. I want my readers to be able to escape their everyday challenges and relax for a couple hours. I don’t write any other genres at this time. I’ve thought about writing some non-fiction and I may do that someday.

2. How long does it take you to write a book, typically?
Typically, it takes me about six weeks of steady writing to write a book. Unfortunately, I don’t always get to spend my time steadily writing, which means my books take a lot longer. Once the first draft is completed, it usually takes two to three more weeks of editing and revisions before I get to the final manuscript.

3. Since a lot of romance books show both male and female perspectives, share with us the most difficult thing about writing the perspective of the opposite gender?
The hardest part of writing from a man’s perspective is getting the emotions right. I know men and women think differently and feel differently. I use music and listening to the comments of men in my world to figure out my hero’s perspective. 

4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
This is a difficult question. I guess I would have to say that sometimes, when I’m writing, my character will say something that changes the direction of the scene and I will usually go with it, letting the story write itself in many ways.

5. Tell us a bit about a future project you are working on? Do you have any little sneak peeks you can share?
I’m working on the second book of the Cookie Romances, A Cookie and a Promise. This is the story of Elliott’s sister, Kelly, and her ex-boyfriend, Brandon. They were both supporting characters in the first book, A Cookie and a Kiss. The time is five years later, after Kelly and Brandon are out of college. Kelly hasn’t seen Brandon since the summer before senior year in high school, when Brandon broke up with her. Now, Kelly is done with school and excited to take her place at her brother’s side in their family cookie business. Brandon was promised an internship by Elliott and he takes it. When it’s obvious they still have some unresolved feelings to work through—read: they can’t seem to stop fighting at work—Elliott forces them to collaborate on a new cookie recipe or they’re both fired! Collaboration leads to reconciliation, but all is not at it seems when the cookie recipe fails and Kelly and Brandon have no one to blame but each other.

6. What is the most romantic date you have ever been on? Or, what is your idea of the perfect Valentine Date?
My husband provides me with a lot of inspiration. Our first date—yes, the very first one—was one of the most romantic dates ever. He picked me up in the morning, we double-dated with another couple and tried to go boating, but the boat wasn’t working, so we came home. To make up for the wasted day, we went out for dinner and he let me pick the restaurant. I chose a restaurant at the top of a hotel in downtown Portland. We dressed up in long dresses and suits and had the most elegant dinner. He said it was the best steak he’d ever eaten. Great conversation and lots of laughs over the calamities with the boat. Once dinner was over, we dropped off the other couple and he took me to “the top of the world,” a deserted street at the top of a hill that looked out over the lights of the valley. He parked the car, turned on the radio (hey, it was before the days of iPods and cell phones), and we slowed-danced in the street. Then he took me home and tenderly kissed me good-night.






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VALENTINE COUNTDOWN BLITZ FEATURING AUTHOR SALLY BRITTON




Sally Britton is a bestselling indie author, with four historical romance novels. She contributes to the Historical Hussies blog and teaches a young writer’s class at her local library. Sally received her BA in English from Brigham Young University. She’s always read voraciously and eclectically. 

Sally started her writing journey at the tender age of fourteen on an electric typewriter and she’s never looked back. Sally lives in Arizona with her crime-fighting husband, four children, and their dog. She loves researching, hiking, and geeking out over her favorite books and movies.




A scarred and lonely viscount and an independent young woman are forced into an arranged marriage. What hope do they have for a happily ever after?

Rebecca Devon lives under the severe eye of her aunt and the iron will of her father. Though she wears what she is told and befriends the people they choose for her, she spends every moment longing to do as she wishes. Knowing freedom will only come through marriage, her hopes for a happy union are stolen away when her father arranges her marriage to a complete stranger.

Christian Hundley, Lord Easton, has learned the hard way that English society won’t accept a person who looks or behaves differently than their ideal. He has hidden himself away from scornful eyes for years, until his aging grandfather takes matters in hand and finds Christian a bride. Knowing he must agree to the marriage, Christian shields his heart. If the whole of society cannot accept him, why should his bride?

Rebecca knows she must have love in her life, but Christian is convinced there is nothing so fraught with danger and pain as entrusting one’s heart to another. Rebecca does everything she can to change his mind, but Christian is determined to remain aloof. Can an arranged marriage ever be anything other than a business partnership?

While this is the fifth book in the Regency romance series, Branches of Love, it can be read as a stand-alone romance.



Snippet:

“This is not a game, and you are not a child,” Christine said firmly. “This is your life. Not a broken toy, or a spoilt holiday. Loving someone is not so easy as determining not to let the rain ruin a picnic.”
“Why not?” Rebecca asked. “It is all a matter of perspective. If I meet this man and choose to see the good in him, the qualities that one would admire and love in another, it may be enough.”
Christine didn’t appear convinced. “And if that doesn’t work? What is your next dazzling idea?”
“To be friends, of course. To find a way to make a marriage between us amicable.”
“What if he is cruel? What if he treats you terribly?” Christine pressed the issue, her dark brown eyes full of apprehension.
“There is no use worrying on it until it proves to be the case,” Rebecca said, then cleared her throat when she heard the tremble in her voice. “If I have no choice in who I marry, I must at least hold onto the possibility of choosing how I go about my life with this man. Don’t you understand, Christine? Hope and my wits are all I have.” 






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VALENTINE COUNTDOWN BLITZ FEATURING AUTHOR DONNA K. WEAVER









Award-winning author, wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Army veteran, karate black belt, and online gamer girl.






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As the eighth earl of Kellworth, Gareth is accustomed to getting what he wants. Then he encounters a woman he suspects is from the future–a utopian future that he feels compelled to see. He intends to get what he wants, but it will involve dealing with fae magic. And that could lead to disaster–for his heart.



Dr. Catherine Ryan is drawn to the handsome guest at Twickenham Manor, with his odd combination of childish excitement and old eyes that have seen too much pain. She loses her heart to him before she discovers the truth of when he’s from. Now she faces the biggest decision of her life!






Snippet: 

Dead? The comment brought a macabre feel to the evening, and Catherine’s curiosity-itch flared. She peered at the stairs again with narrowed eyes; she had to investigate.
But, if Aunt Nellie were to discover Catherine up there, would she be banned from coming to Twickenham again? She reminded herself that “curiosity killed the cat.” In her mind, her grandmother’s voice finished the old adage, “But satisfaction brought him back.”
Still, Catherine needed to ask herself if the risk would be worth it. These balls had become the one bright spot in her life. If she were to lose them too . . .
Then the ever-present pull gave a stronger tug, the sense that there was something else going on and she must investigate. The American woman had said “they” were dead. Catherine was a doctor. Surely she had a responsibility to investigate.
Glancing to make sure she was alone, she picked up her skirts and began the climb. Winded by the time she reached the last landing before the fourth floor, she paused to catch her breath, vowing to start exercising regularly. Catherine had been blessed with a fast metabolism, so people were forever thinking she was fitter than she was.
She climbed the last flight. The hallway was unremarkable, lined with paintings. Listening for the sounds of movement, she examined the portraits as she went down the hallway. She heard nothing, and she didn’t smell blood.
One door stood open, so she let the tug lead her inside. The long room held nothing but more paintings. How odd. There were a few chairs scattered around, but it didn’t look like it was meant to be a regular gathering place for people to sit together and talk.
Most of the pictures were busts of individuals, but in the center of the room hung a large painting of five people, three women and two men. Catherine blinked. It was the Americans, and their painted images wore the same clothing the five had on tonight. She shivered.
The young man she’d danced with hadn’t attended the Regency immersion vacation, having only arrived that day. When had someone had time to paint him? She’d also never heard that Twickenham had an artist on staff.
She studied the rest of the pictures in the room. Some were dressed in Regency clothing, but there were many others that spanned several eras. The one with the Americans was the only picture of such a large group. Whoever had arranged the paintings lacked any sense of design, leaving large sections of the walls empty.
That pull came again, as though Catherine had a string attached to her chest that drew her. This time it was to a portrait of a man placed to the right of the one with the Americans. Catherine came to stand before his painting, wondering who he was.
He appeared to be a little older than she was with a few silver strands at his temples. He also had what she’d call a regal bearing. She worked with enough surgeons and specialists who were used to being in charge, and this man had that look about him. He also wore an expression of someone with a fierce determination, the type of man people would steer clear of.

Catherine stepped closer to the painting. Behind the force of will that he projected, he had pain etched on his face. Her heart ached for him. What had happened to mark him that way?





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VALENTINE COUNTDOWN BLITZ FEATURING AUTHOR STAN CROWE







Stan published his first book at age 5, when he managed to win a local writing contest for the library.
He’s matured (slightly) since then, and has switched from writing about a boy and his dog, to clean contemporary romance, murder mysteries, and light fantasy/sci-fi.
Along with his wife,  9 (and counting) children, and a ninja cat, he inhabits a place with a pair of national parks in his backyard.
He considers himself really rather blessed.

~ Website ~

   



Jim Sharp is the only widower in the senior class of Mendon State University. Still reeling from the tragedy that claimed the love of his life, he struggles to pick up the pieces and close his heart forever to love. 

When an otherworldly encounter places him squarely in the path of new love, Alex sees no way to give his crushed heart away a second time. 

His wife, however, has other plans.











Snippet:

I collected my books mechanically, checking off the titles on my list. I rounded a corner for my final item and nearly tripped over myself when I noticed I wasn’t alone in the aisle. A pixie cut blonde in a light blue polo shirt and dress slacks was slipping books back on to the shelf. At first, I guessed it was another bookstore employee, but then she turned just enough that I caught a glimpse of her shirt. A silver pirate brandishing a sword was embroidered over her right breast, encircled by the words “Smithville” and “High School,” and underscored by the graduating class right after mine. I hadn’t seen another student from my old stomping grounds in almost two years. Most of my peers had either stayed home to farm, joined the Army, or gone to the local community college.
I hesitated. My eyes wouldn’t let go of her. That was a serious problem.
Jim—go get her, said a painfully familiar female voice in my head.





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VALENTINE COUNTDOWN BLITZ FEATURING AUTHOR DONNA HATCH




Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.


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Fleeing an unwanted engagement, a young harpist follows her music passion to London. Becoming entangled with a handsome violinist who seems too aristocratic for a working-class musician may be more problematic than dodging her erstwhile fiancé, sleeping in the streets, or staying alive when a madman targets her for murder.



Snippet:

Excitement bubbled up inside Susanna at the possibilities that lay before her. “Oh, Martha, I do want to go to London to find work as a harpist. How would I get there?” 
How would she get there? Susanna froze. She must travel alone, unprotected, and in the company of strangers. Still, remaining here seemed infinitely worse. 
Martha frowned. “It doesn’t seem right, a gently bred lady like yourself traveling all alone.”
“Other people manage somehow,” Susanna said, trying to be brave. 
The maid-turned-confident paused. “That’s true. I came here from London on the mail coach. It took three days. It is an uncomfortable way to travel because it only stops to change horses and drivers. That’s when we stretched our legs and bought food at the posting inns. I didn’t have to worry about paying for a bedchamber. But I’m used to being on my own.”
Susanna considered. “I know where the nearest posting inn is. But once I reach London, I wouldn’t know where to begin. I don’t know all the theatres, nor how to go about getting a position, nor even where I’d stay.” The unknowns all loomed before her like an endlessly high wall. 
“I can’t help you with getting a position, but I know the theatres.” Martha started counting off on her fingers. “There’s the King’s Theatre, Covent Garden, Drury Lane, Lyceum….”
Susanna smiled at the sweet maid. What a dear she was for trying to help her! “I can see I should have spoken to you sooner.”
Martha added, “I still can’t like the idea of you traveling all the way to London alone, miss, but I admire your courage.”
Courage or desperation? Either way, the more Susanna thought of it, the more determined she was to flee. Fear and excitement and anticipation tugged at her from every side, creating nervous anticipation. She’d never felt so terrified. Or so alive.






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VALENTINE COUNTDOWN BLITZ FEATURING AUTHOR J.L. PETERSEN





J. L. Petersen lives in Denver with her husband. She finds inspiration in her adopted state of Colorado and her belief love is the most powerful positive emotion we can experience.











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Logan, the eldest of the MacBride clan, is thrilled at his brother Clay’s pending nuptials to Sandy. But when Sandy’s sister RJ arrives at the family’s ranch, Logan’s world is turned upside down. 

However, the sisters’ shared past has created scars and barriers against love testing Logan’s ability to push aside his need and patience to win RJ’s trust and ultimately her unwavering love.











Snippet:

RJ ached for her sister. Sandy was always the starry-eyed sister. But she was hurt by how Sandy could have been going through this and never saying one word to her. She had to know. “Why couldn’t you talk to me about this?”

“I’ve struggled with how I was going to answer that,” Sandy said, holding up her hand to forestall RJ interrupting her. “I know I should tell you the truth but I think my truth will hurt you. I never want to hurt you.”

“I’d be more hurt with lies,” RJ told her. She’d learned early to protect herself from the cruelties her family could dish out and instinctually threw up her emotional guards.

Sandy nodded. “Alright. I didn’t want you to ruin it for me. I know you wouldn’t see it that way but you’re so against love and marriage, I just didn’t want you to pop my bubble until I figured out what I felt and wanted.”

RJ felt those comments like a physical blow. No barriers she could erect stood a chance against her sister thinking she would ruin her chance for happiness. She couldn’t speak.

“Oh, RJ! Don’t cry. You never cry,” Sandy wailed when she saw the silent tears in her sister’s eyes. She started crying also as she grabbed her sister’s hands. “I’m so sorry. Please, please don’t cry.”

RJ slowly pulled her hands free from her sister’s grasp. “Why do you want me here, now?”

“Because I love you. I want you to share this with me. I know you want me happy. I just didn’t want logic and family history to interfere. I wanted to understand, on my own.

RJ couldn’t tell if she was breaking up inside or freezing up. Afraid she would break down in pain she stood. “Sandy, I can’t do this right now. Can I call you tomorrow morning?”

“I thought we were going to spend the night together?” Knowing she’d hurt her sister crushed her.

“Please. Tomorrow.”

“Okay,” she said standing, then wrapping her sister’s stiff body in a hug. “I love you.”

Nodding, RJ strode away before she lost it. She didn’t look back.




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