Theme Gardening

Theme gardens can be fun for adventurous gardeners who want to shake things up with Colorful annuals. Their raison d’etre, reason for living, is to bloom and make seeds. To keep them full of their bright and beautiful blooms, frequent culling of the old blooms is the secret. Paying attention to color combinations will enhance bedding petunias such as blue and yellow; red, white and blue; primary colors-red, yellow and blue; all pastels.

Read more abut theme gardening in my recent guest post about Theme Gardening – Set the Theme, Set the Mood – at fellow author Sloane Taylor’s blog!

 

Friday Features Emma Janis Lane Tutored by a Duke

C.D. Hersh

Friday Feature

Is

Emma Janis Lane

Author of

Tutored by Duke

Thanks for letting me visit, Catherine and Donald. I always enjoy hanging out around this lovely web site. When I conceived the story of Elisabeth and the duke, I imagined how funny it would be for an ingenue demanding a male childhood friend teach her how to kiss. She assumed it was a simple technique while her poor male friend would rather kiss his puppy than his friend. From there it was but a chuckle more to imagine an eavesdropper at the other end of the room–the duke! The more serious question asked and finally answered in the story was ‘Could trust broken ever be regained?’ Here then is Elisabeth and her incognito duke in a Regency romantic romp. Hope you have as much fun reading as I did writing about these characters. Emma Janis Lane.

Blurb:

The…

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Author Emma Lane & Her New Regency Romance With Raspberries On Top

Leigh Goff

Not only is Emma Lane an accomplished Regency author, she is also a marvelous cook. Settle back and enjoy Emma’s two treats in one, her delicious Chocolate Raspberry Parfait and a peek at her latest book Tutored by a Duke which is now available for pre-sale. March 18 is the official debut. And I can’t wait to get my copy!

Okay, Emma, the kitchen is all your. Work your magic!

Hi Everyone! This dessert is easy, but elegant. Chocolate pudding made the day before is layered with marinated raspberries and whipped cream. This recipe serves one, so repeat the process for each guest.

Chocolate Raspberry Parfait with Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry

Chocolate pudding
Fresh raspberries
Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry or rum
Whipped cream

Marinate eleven raspberries in a small cup with three tablespoons cream sherry. Let stand an hour at least.

Carefully layer in a parfait goblet in the following…

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Now Available: The Duke and Miss Amabel Hawkins with a Bonus short story: The Duke Comes Home

I love to write stories about strong women, but The Duke and Miss Amabel Hawkins is by far my favorite. She not only manages a large estate with ease, she is horrified the duke would allow his own property to go to ruin. When he dresses her down for “meddling” in his affairs, she can only assume he has lost his mind. Growing up without a mother and not much of a father, Amabel never dreams the person out of line is she. Women were thought to be mentally handicapped during the 1800’s, but Amabel is convinced the duke is insane.
How much different is society today? It’s startling to realize women vote only recently in history. How many ways can you think of that have changed the way women are treated—and how many ways can you think of that the unfair treatment of women still remains.
The Duke and Miss Amabel Hawkins’ story has a happily ever after ending, after a mighty struggle and much compromising on both sides. I hope you enjoy their journey to partnership and eventually to love, even as you despair of ever getting a fast ride on Fat Pony.
NewDuke

Can an arrogant duke overcome his prejudice against a beautiful but managing female in time to find true love and happiness? The Duke arrives home to find his estate under the firm control of a beautiful but managing female. His suspicions are fueled by his recent task of spy-hunting and he wonders if Amabel Hawkins is just who she seems. While a dastardly spy lurks, a wicked man poses as her cousin threatening to take over the guardianship of her young brother. Amabel might be falling in love, but she knows for certain the duke would never approve of a meddlesome woman, and she decides to flee his estate. Will the duke finally realize the true value of the woman he loves or will his prejudice ruin his chances forever?

Excerpt
Fatigue and the effects of the brandy on top of the ale now gave his gait a distinct wobble. He chuckled, amused at his condition.
As he reached for the portrait of great Uncle Barney, he lurched into the back of the red leather sofa in front of the cosy fire. “Deuce take it,” he exclaimed when a rounded arm rolled into view. He spotted the gentle curve of a hip and walked around to the front, where he spied a tumbled haze of dark curls hiding a face. It is indeed a female—a sleeping female.
Who was she? The gown was too rich for his household staff. Curious, he knelt beside the sofa.
“Only one way to find out,” he whispered and moved one dark curl. He sat back, satisfied when a handsome face swam into view. She sighed and rolled over, revealing a generous figure and a pair of rosy lips. She might be Sleeping Beauty—but not one of my relatives. He leaned over and kissed those tempting lips.
As he lingered there, she sighed and came partially awake. He could not resist. He deepened the kiss and sounds of satisfaction like yum and umm came from those delicious lips. Her hand stroked his face, then reached around his head to pull him closer. Delighted with this turn of events, the Duke of Westerton complied enthusiastically and extended an arm around a slender waist. How much of the ale and brandy had he imbibed? Dizziness overcame his senses as he slid down on the floor and knew no more.

Buy Now at Amazon or Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited!

Son of the Moonless Night, The Turning Stone Chronicles, Book Three by CD Hersh, guest author

Genre – Paranormal Suspense Romance

Heat Level – Sensual

Release Date: Mid May 2015

 

Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own SON OF THE MOONLESS NIGHT_505x825kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different-love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?

 

Excerpt:

A crash in the alley stopped Katrina Romanovski mid-stride. Like the October mist swirling in off the lake, her gypsy blood stirred sending her intuition into high gear. Something unnatural was happening.

Go see what’s wrong. She heard her father’s voice as clearly as if he stood next to her.

On the heels of his words came her mother’s pragmatic warning in clipped British tones. You know what curiosity killed. Katrina pushed the ever-present warning aside. Mom never approved of Dad’s supernatural hunts and even less of his drawing her into them.

Pulling the oversized cross she always wore out from under her shirt, Kat looked around for a weapon. Please, not a vampire. I hate vampires! A piece of wood sticking out of the trashcan at the front of the alley caught her eye.

Grabbing it, she broke the end off into a sharp point. The mist-filled air filtered the light from the single bulb over one of the alley doorways. The wind swirled the loose trash around making a quiet approach difficult. Sidestepping the paper, with the stake in one hand and holding the gun she took from her purse in the other hand, she crept into the alley.

A roar echoed against the buildings, the sound nearly sending her running. That roar wasn’t a vampire. It sounded more like an animal. Kat inched closer. In the yellow pool of light from the back door of the building, a black bear, over seven feet tall, reared on its back legs and swung its paw at the man standing at the edge of the light. He crashed to the ground, shirt torn open from the slashing claws. Blood covered the fabric, and he clasped his left hand over his shoulder to stem the flow. The bear bent toward him, teeth bared in a smile. A wicked smile.

Kat aimed her gun, but before she could pull the trigger, a shot rang out. The flash of gunpowder lit the face of the injured man. The blast reverberated against the buildings. With an enraged bellow, the bear staggered backward against the wall. Shaking his head, the animal dropped to all four paws. Weaving like a drunk, he lumbered toward his attacker. The man took aim again, shooting the animal between the eyes. Animal and human collapsed on the dirty, littered pavement.

As she started to move forward, Kat’s gypsy senses crawled over her skin like angry red ants. As she slipped back into the shadows, the bear shed fur. Changing size. Then, finally, turning into a man.

Shape shifters. Her stake wasn’t any good against them, and her bullets weren’t silver. This one appeared dead anyway. Had the wounded man seen the shift? Tossing the stake aside, she paused by the shifter and quickly moved to the wounded man. Out cold. Still human.

When she touched him, his eyelids fluttered open. “Did I get it?”

“What?”

“The bear.”

 

Amazon buy links:

The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1):
eBook: http://amzn.com/B00DUMODKI
paper back: http://amzn.com/1619353504

Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2):
eBook: http://amzn.com/B00OVNFC8W

The Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3):
eBook coming soon

 

Bio:

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first two books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. The third book in the series Son of the Moonless Night is to be released mid-May by Soul Mate Publishing.

 

Where you can find CD:

Website: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/

Blog: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/blog-2/

Soul Mate Publishing: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cdhershauthor

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/C.-D.-Hersh/e/B00DV5L7ZI

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCDHersh

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/CDHersh

 

Welcome spring!

Welcome spring!

Coming soon: New books for your pleasure. MUSA PUBLISHING has closed its doors and we are working on new manuscripts and covers. Until then, enjoy our old posts and we’ll update very soon. Thanks for your patience!

Emma J. Lane

What is a Regency Romance?

awonderfulwickedduke-200We’ve discussed many times what exactly a Regency Romance is, a period of time in English history when King George III was unable to conduct the country’s business and his son was appointed in his place as a “Regent.”  I call the stories of that period a relaxed read and hope readers agree. Certainly I enjoy writing these light stories with a sweet rating and a historical setting.  I tell folks to remember that Jane Austenscandalousdesign-200 wrote the first Regency novel, but for her it was a contemporary. This wonderful author gave us a firm glimpse of life in the English countryside for a gentleman and his family.

Georgette Heyer was probably the next most influent author for the Regency period. Her light touch and sense of humor (writing in the ’50’s) keeps her books popular long past her own lifetime. Aficionados of the genre appreciate the many examples which follow and are now available.  Examples of this short period of time, 1811 until King George IV was crowned in 1820, are still popular and a favorite genre.

DukeAndMissAnabel

 

Welcome guest blogger Alina K. Field

In Bella’s Band, the heroine, Annabelle Harris, takes a coach trip on a snowy December day. Research for her journey led me to E. W. Bovill’s English Country Life, 1780-1830, and a fascinating discussion of English hedgerows.

Because timber was a valuable commodity needed in ship construction, landowners planted trees in the boundaries of enclosed fields. Oak was too slow-growing to be an effective commodity. Ash was favored for its quick growth, but it competed with crops for nutrients. Landowners settled on the elm as the perfect hedge tree. Faster-growing than the oak, a good neighbor to other crops, it yielded a durable under-water timber used for ship keels, drain pipes, and canal gates.

Horticulturalists have been hard at work developing cultivars that are resistant to the Dutch elm disease that devastated the species in the last century. When Annabelle Harris was making her journey, the stately elms still ruled the hedgerows of England.


Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but she found Alina K. Fieldher true passion in reading and writing romance. Though her roots are in the Midwest, after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a mid-century home with her husband and a blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.

She is the author of the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner in the novella category, Rosalyn’s Ring, a Regency novella; and the novel-length sequel Bella’s Band, both Soul Mate Publishing releases.

Visit her at:
http://alinakfield.com/
https://www.facebook.com/alinakfield
https://twitter.com/AlinaKField

 

Excerpt for Bella’s Band:

Bullets, bladeBella's-Band-Final-(med)-copys, and incendiary bombs—Major Steven Beauverde, the latest Earl of Hackwell, belongs in that world, and is determined to get back to it. His brother’s murder has forced Steven out of the army and into the title, but he has no interest in being the Earl, and worse, no idea how to salvage the depleted estate. A rumor that his brother had a son by a woman who may be a) the murderer, and b) his brother’s wife, sets Steven on a mission to find her, the boy, and—Steven ardently hopes—proof of a secret marriage that will set Steven free.

Annabelle Harris is a country heiress and a confirmed spinster resettled in London to find her sister, the mistress to the Earl of Hackwell. While she searches, she fills her home with orphans and street urchins. When the Earl is murdered, Annabelle’s sister thrusts the Earl’s illegitimate child into Annabelle’s care and disappears. Now, with suspicion pointing at her sister, Annabelle has begun a new quest—to find her sibling and clear her name.

When their paths converge, the reluctant Earl and the determined spinster find themselves rethinking their goals, and stepping up to fight back when the real murderer shows up.

Buy Bella’s Band at Amazon.

Gardening Fall ‘14

Mums are starting to fade and some growers swore to you they were perennial, right? You planted them last year and initially they came up, then died. What did you do wrong? Nothing, I assure you. Mums are shallow rooted and sometimes spring freezing and thawing will heave them out of the ground and they actually die from lack of water.

They came up but grew tall and straggly. Well, did you pinch them a couple of times during the growing season? Professional growers do just that to cause them to bunch up and form those lovely, smooth mounds. Natural growth is what you see when they are not pinched. Either way is pretty, but your expectations probably need adjusting.

Mums need to be separated and moved about every other year. They are prone to diseases and this keeps them healthy. In the spring take a small spade and cut the clump into quarters. Then pick a new location in your garden or share with a neighbor.

Now is the time to bring in all your house plants. (Inspect for bugs.)When the night temps are around 40 degrees or below, they must come in. Initially the new acclimation will cause them to drop leaves. Probably they will recover; don’t over water. Some easily adjusted plants are spider plants, asparagus fern, and wandering jew. A pot of geraniums will thrive in a bright window and bloom most of the winter.

 

MMurderintheNeigh_850URDER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a COZY MYSTERY set in the Fall in small town America, Hubbard, NY.