Friday, February 27, 2015

#EGGCERPTEXCHANGE "LADY ELINOR'S ESCAPE" by LINDA McLAUGHLIN

Today, I bring you something fun and exciting, and something we've never done before on the blog. Allow me to present historical-author Linda McLaughlin's interview with one of the characters from her book Lady Elinor’s Escape. It's 19th century English Barrister Stephen Chaplin.
Let’s hear what he has to say:

I recently visited barrister Stephen Chaplin, Esquire at his offices in London’s Lincoln’s Inn.

LM: Mr. Chaplin, thank you so much for agreeing to meet with me. Can you tell me a bit about yourself? For instance, are you originally from the London area?

SC: No, my family is from Lincolnshire. I grew up on a small estate with my elder brother and my younger sister, Olivia.

LM: Where did you attend university?

SC: Cambridge, of course. The men of my family have done so for several generations. Then I came to Lincoln’s Inn to read for the law.

LM: Did you always want to be a barrister?

SC: Not as a child, of course. Boys always have dreams of being brave warriors or finding one’s fortune at sea. But Father said I wasn’t cut out for the military--not obedient enough--though he thought I would do well in Parliament, since I seemed to enjoy arguing.

LM: You do think for yourself. What do you like most about the legal profession?

SC: I find it most gratifying when the law and justice align, which doesn’t always occur. Many of our laws are unnecessarily harsh, and I’d like to do something about that one day. In the meantime, I do what I can to help those in need of protection.

LM: What are your reading tastes?

SC: The Times, of course; all the London newspapers, for that matter. I rarely have time to read for pleasure, unlike my sister, Olivia, who devours every Gothic novel she can get her hands on, no matter how ridiculous. She even has hopes of publishing her own romantic novel one day. I’ve told her in no uncertain terms that she may not use my life experiences as fodder for her novel, or she will be very sorry!

LM: Hmm. What is the oddest thing that’s ever happened to you?

SC: (With a smile) That would have to be the day I met the mysterious Mrs. Brown, a.k.a. Lady Elinor Ashworth. I was in the West Country, having a peaceful breakfast when a madwoman in widow’s weeks came bursting through the door, demanding immediate passage to London. She appeared to be in need, so naturally I volunteered to assist, not knowing she would disrupt my life, destroy my peace of mind and make me fall madly in love with her.


BLURBS FOR LADY ELINOR’S ESCAPE

Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him.

There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a rescuer of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled by guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with the secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.


EXCERPT FROM LADY ELINOR’S ESCAPE

In this excerpt, Stephen shows up at the dress shop on a rainy spring day with a basket of flowers.

He handed her the basket of flowers, then shrugged out of his coat and handed it and his hat to Peggy O’Shea. She gave him a flirtatious smile in return before hanging the wet items on a nearby rack.

Elinor stepped forward. “Flowers, Mr. Chaplin?”

He turned toward her. “Ah, Mrs. Brown. Yes, I thought these spring blossoms just the thing to brighten Madame Latour’s shop on such a dismal day.”

“How very kind you are,” said Ellie. “But an entire basketful?”

He smiled. “The young girl selling them was in despair over the lack of customers. She appeared to be almost drowned and nearly in tears, so I bought all she had, including the basket.”

“And paid far more than they were worth, I am certain,” Elinor murmured.

“Did you say something, Mrs. Brown?” he asked with a raised brow.

“Nothing of importance.”

He rummaged through the basket and produced a nosegay of bluebells, which he presented to Dolly. “These are for you, to match your eyes.”

Her blue eyes grew wide with wonder as she accepted the nosegay. “Oh, sir, no one ever give me flowers afore.”

“Well, I am certain this will not be the last time,” he said gallantly. Ignoring Dolly’s worshipful look, he returned to the basket for another nosegay, white violets this time, which he gave to Peggy.

She bobbed him a curtsy. “Oh, thank ye, yer lordship.”

He gave her a warm smile. “You are very welcome, Miss O’Shea. But I am not a lord, merely a mister.”

“No matter. ’Tis a fine gentleman ye are, to be thinking of us working girls.”

“Girls, why do you not go on home?” Mimi asked. “You have all worked so very hard today, and there will be no more customers, n’est-ce-pas?”

With glad smiles for Mimi, and more thanks and curtsies for Stephen Chaplin, the girls donned their cloaks and left the shop.

“I will get a vase for these lovely flowers,” Mimi said. “Please come into the parlor, Monsieur Chaplin, and warm yourself by the fire. I have made the coffee and there is water for tea.”

“Thank you,” Stephen Chaplin said. He delved into the basket one last time before handing it to Mimi. As she left the room, he handed Elinor a bunch of purple violets.

Elinor held them to her nose and breathed in the sweet, delicate fragrance. “‘A violet in the youth of primary nature, forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,’” she quoted.

“‘The perfume and suppliance of a minute; no more,’” he added softly.

Startled, she gazed into his warm honey-brown eyes and her pulse began to race. She would have to guard her heart around this man? Why did he have to have such an effect on her? Was it simply because he was the only eligible gentleman she had ever known?

No, a gentleman who brought flowers to poor shop girls and quoted Shakespeare was surely out of the ordinary. What a catch he would be for some young lady. But of course, not for her.

WHERE YOU CAN BUY THE BOOK:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00CHSNEII
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/lady-elinors-escape/id645217449
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lady-elinors-escape-linda-mclaughlin/1100559263
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/lady-elinor-s-escape
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/312406

AUTHOR BIO:

Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it's only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O'Farrell.

You can find Linda online at:
Her website: http://lindalyndi.com
Blog: http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindaMcLaughlinAuthor

Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

#EGGCERPTEXCHANGE "SUMMER'S GROWTH by TINA GAYLE

Happy to have author Tina Gayle on the blog. Tina is a multi-genre author, delving into mystery, romance, and the paranormal.

This post will focus on Summer's Growth, just one of the many books by this author.

Blurb for Summer’s Growth:

In the spirit-haunted Winston estate in Ohio, rooted in time and occupied by the lingering ghosts of a great family, the torch is about to pass...

Mattie Winston, sober, sensible, and steady, has served as Keeper to the family for decades. Amber Harrison, hovering on the edge of flunking out of college, unsure what she wants out of life, has barely even heard of the Winston estate. The family, however, has decided that it's time for the changing of the guard. These two exceptional women soon find themselves dealing with violence, murder attempts, and old family mysteries while each finding the love of her life. Two romances and a growing friendship, all twined around a brooding family tragedy, make for an outstanding paranormal mystery offering depth and charm beyond the commonplace. The growing love of Amber and Carter and of Mattie and Quincy offer readers a tender and engaging first novel in a winning new paranormal series.

Excerpt:
Standing by the bay window in the front room, Mattie watched the car approach. Her new recruit’s arrival had goose bumps popping out on Mattie’s skin, adding to her anxieties.
She wanted to run, but instead glanced at the kindhearted spirit of Opal, her distant grandmother. Dressed in her best early American gown, the many layers of her petticoat swished with a soft hiss when she moved.
“There’s no reason to be nervous. Once you meet Amber, you’ll see she caps the climax,” Opal voiced in a soothing tone. “Your Aunt Rachel is absolutely thrilled to have a descendant from her branch of the family as keeper.”
Looking beyond her at the rest of the room, Mattie searched for the other members of the family council. They always offered her their support when she faced a big decision. Yet, today they were conspicuously absent. 
“Don’t worry. The whole family is behind you. We just thought it better if we didn’t all hover.”       
Shifting from foot to foot, she wrung her hands together. A simple process of a changing of the guard for them, Amber’s arrival marked the end of the life Mattie loved. 
The beautiful spirits around her didn’t understand how cruel humans could be to each other. What if she screwed up and the girl left? Or the girl hated living with a house full of spirits?
Unease pricked at Mattie’s mind. She had no experience in dealing with strangers. All her business associates understood her likes and didn’t force her to attend any social events. 
A quick glance out the window, and a car rounded the fountain. She wasn’t prepared to entertain Amber. How could she be? She never invited guests to the estate. 
“Now, Pumpkin, there’s no need to worry. It’s time another branch of the family realize what a pain it is to be keeper.” Opal smiled, offering her special form of reassurance. “We’re all here to help with the transition.” 
The high notes of Beethoven’s Fifth sprang from the piano. Mattie jumped in surprise at the sudden noise. She whipped around to see Uncle Samuel, the artist of the family, standing next to the piano. 
“The game is afoot.” He arched his eyebrows and grinned, then disappeared.
“I’d better leave.” Her aunt patted Mattie’s shoulder. “Just remember, the girl is uneasy too.” 
Opal disappeared.
With a deep breath, Mattie turned and gripped the cold metal knob in her hand.
Soon her home would belong to a stranger, and then what would she do?

Purchase ebook at: 

Bio:
Tina Gayle grew up a dreamer and loves escaping into a good romantic book.

She is currently working on two different series. The last book in the Executive Wives’ Club series will be coming out 2014.  This series combines elements of women fiction with the passion of romance. 
The Family Tree series has two books out with Fallen Leaves release in April of 2014. A paranormal romantic suspense series, the books follow the keeper of the Winston manor and the trials she has to overcome to remain in the house of her ancestors.

Find Tina Gayle everywhere


Saturday, February 7, 2015

HOW TO CURE WRITER’S BLOCK IN TWO EASY STEPS

"Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
via Wikimedia Commons - 
I never get writer's block. Writers who get writer's block think story is the most important element in writing. It's not. It's how you feel about a thing that's most important. A great writer uses story to express his or her feelings.


Learn to feel. Then write a story that will convey, metaphorically, how you feel. If you do these two things, you'll never, ever get writer's block.