Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Blog Tour: Fall In Love with Historical Romance from Lyrical Press (Excerpt + Giveaway)

I'm so pleased to be part of the Lyrical Press Virtual Tour for WAGON TRAIN CINDERELLA by Shirley Kennedy, CINDERELLA AND THE GHOST: The Cursed Princes # 5 by Marina Myles, TEMPTATION HAS GREEN EYES: The Emperors of London # 2 by Lynne Connolly, and THE SPINSTER BRIDE by Jane Goodger releasing with Lyrical Press in February 2015.

As part of the tour, Kensington will be hosting a Tour Wide iBook Bundle Giveaway of all titles! (Enter via Rafflecopter below.) To follow the rest of the tour, click here.

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About the books:


Love can lead you out of the wilderness ...

1851, Overland Trail to California. As a baby, Callie was left on the doorstep of an isolated farmhouse in Tennessee. The Whitaker family took her in, but have always considered her more a servant than a daughter. Scorned by her two stepsisters, Callie is forced to work long hours and denied an education. But a new world opens to her when the Whitakers join a wagon train to California -- guided by rugged Luke McGraw ...

A loner, haunted by a painful past, Luke plans to return to the wilderness once his work is done. But he can’t help noticing how poorly Callie is treated -- or how unaware she is of her beauty and intelligence. As the two become closer over the long trek west, Callie’s confidence grows. And when disaster strikes, Callie emerges as the strong one -- and the woman Luke may find the courage to love at last ...

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Author Info:

Shirley Kennedy was born and raised in Fresno, California, where I graduated from Fresno High School. I lived in Canada for many years, enjoying skiing and riding horses, and am a graduate of the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada with a B.S. in Computer Science. 

I've had many jobs in my lifetime, including working for several years as a computer programmer/analyst. However, my true passion has always been writing. Even as a little girl I could always be found in a corner reading a book. Finally I took a big risk and decided to devote myself to writing full time. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

Now, after writing and publishing several traditional Regencies, published with Ballantine and Signet, I have switched genres and have just published my latest, Looking for Lucky, on Amazon. I'm hoping everyone who cares for animals will enjoy reading this book.

I have two daughters and am forever proud of their accomplishments--and grateful, too, that both are the kind of loving, supportive daughters every mother hopes she'll have. I live in Las Vegas, Nevada, where I belong to the Las Vegas chapter of Romance Writers of America.

Author Links:
Website: http://www.shirleykennedy.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shirley-Kennedy-Author/151586474888151
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1016395.Shirley_Kennedy

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When her demanding stepmother died, Ella Benoit knew just how far their fortunes had fallen, unlike her spoiled stepsisters. So she never expected the bequest from her late father. A chateau in France and the freedom to live her own life, all at once!

The chateau has seen better days, but Ella knows she can put the ruined house to rights. The life-size portrait of its first owner, Jean-Daniel Girard, seems to watch her work with approval, even pleasure. With bright blue eyes, strong features, and an athlete’s body, the viscount is a tempting sight even now, more than three hundred years after his tragic death. But the more she looks at the portrait, the more convinced Ella is that she’s met Jean-Daniel before. In another life, perhaps -- or maybe, as the form who haunts the halls at night, invading Ella’s dreams ...


Among the inky midnight shadows, Jean-Daniel Girard, formerly le vicomte de Maincy, stirred inside his portrait. It was stifling behind the two-dimensional canvas, but it wasn’t the stuffiness that made him want to escape it. Instead, the profound sense of change JeanDaniel felt inside his beloved home was prompting him to emerge tonight.

Peering through the darkness, he materialized from the life-sized painting as easily as water flows from a faucet.

Even though I’m dead, I sometimes come alive at night.

He would have laughed aloud at the joke—if he weren’t a ghost.

That was the kind of man he’d been over three hundred years ago.

Blithe sense of humor. Carefree demeanor. Lover of life and all it had to offer.

Now, of course, Girard was nothing more than a spirit doomed to haunt his former residence. Since 1703, he’d been floating around the sprawling grounds and vast rooms of Château de Maincy. Trapped inside the perimeter of the dilapidated estate, he was the specter of a man who’d suffered a tragic death. And as a phantom, Jean-Daniel could hardly believe he had been dead so long.

At least I’ve had plenty of time to play my favorite game: hide-n-shriek.

He laughed inwardly at that one. Who says you can’t take your sense of humor with you?

Mouth quirking, he turned and looked back at his painted image.

The so-called “masterpiece” showed him posed in front of Château de Maincy, garbed in early eighteenth-century attire. God, he hated the solemn expression plastered across his face.

In his defense, nobody smiled in portraits centuries ago.

As a strange ripple of energy filtered through the drawing room, he touched his wig. Damn ugly thing. It had itched immensely when he sat for the portrait. That painter had been an irritating fellow. Had to get every detail right.

Now Jean-Daniel was stuck with the unsightly head piece forever.

Since then, Jean-Daniel had winced at the comments people muttered when they passed Michél’s painting. “My goodness! What a dire looking fellow that vicomte was!” Or, “His portrait makes me so sad.” Truth be told, Jean-Daniel had been anything but solemn and morose during his time as one of France’s distant heirs to the throne. Instead, he’d been the epitome of a lighthearted bachelor, sweeping women off their feet, disappearing from the château for weeks at a time to indulge in wine, dancing, and pleasure.

Those were the days.

Grinning, his stare landed on the brown and white hound dog that sat at his feet in the portrait. Jean-Daniel gave a loud whistle. Rémy stirred, stretched, and then emerged in ghostly form outside the painting.

“Good boy!” He gave the dog an enthusiastic pat before he crouched and scratched the animal behind both ears. “Thank God I have you to keep me company.”

Rémy lifted a paw as if to say, “It’s just you and me, Master.”

Jean-Daniel frowned. “You seem anxious tonight, boy.” Rémy whimpered.

“I know,” Jean-Daniel said as he glanced around. “I feel it, too.

The lady from the management company set off a strange energy when she came here yesterday. She hasn’t been around in a while and I think she’s readying the house for a new owner. I sense it in my bones. If I had bones, that is.”

Rémy let his tongue hang out in an amused pant.

Jean-Daniel stood. “Do you think the new owner is her?” The dog let out a firm “yap.”

“If it is, my heart will finally mend.” He exhaled. “And maybe we’ll be released from this purgatory.”

Rémy barked louder.

Before Jean-Daniel died a tragic death, he hadn’t known much about ghosts. Now, unfortunately, he knew too much. Whenever someone died under heartrending circumstances, they manifested as a spirit at the scene of their passing. People asserted Jean-Daniel’s untimely death had been a result of murder or possibly suicide. Of course, he knew the truth about how he died. Well, she knew, too—the woman he’d loved beyond all reason.

With lapis-blue eyes, a stunning face, and gleaming ivory hair, Ella had come to Château de Maincy weeks before his death.

Now, if she resurfaced here in present day (in reincarnated form or whatever one calls it), Jean-Daniel would have to get her to enter his painting and travel back in time. Once she succeeded in returning to 1703, Jean-Daniel wanted her to alter the course of what happened to him.

A fate etched in blood.

He shuddered. Would he recognize Ella when they met for the first time in the eighteenth century? He feared he wouldn’t. Yet he held out hope that they’d gradually fall in love—as he remembered them doing all those years ago.

Only then could they rewrite the scene of their tragic parting.

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Author Info:

Although Marina Myles lives under the sunny skies of Arizona, she would reside in a historic manor house in foggy England if she had her way.

Her love of books began as soon as she read her first fairy tale and eventually led to a degree in English Literature. Now, with her loyal Maltese close by, she relishes the hours she gets to escape into worlds filled with fiery—but not easily attained—love affairs.

She’s busy being a wife, a mother, and a member of Romance Writers of America, but she is never too busy to hear from her amazing readers. Visit her at www.marinamyles.com.

Author Links:
Website: http://www.marinamyles.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormarinamyles
Twitter: https://twitter.com/marinaauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7104310.Marina_Myles

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She holds the key to more than a fortune ...

There’s more to love than meets the eye ...

The daughter of a wealthy merchant, Sophia Russell has no interest in marriage, especially after a recent humiliation -- and especially not to Maximilian, Marquess of Devereaux. But it’s the only way to save herself from fortune hunters -- and those who wish to seize a powerful connection she prefers to keep secret -- even from her future husband ...

Marrying Sophia is the only way Max can regain the wealth his father squandered on an extravagant country palace. And while Max and his bride are civil, theirs is clearly a marriage of convenience -- until a family enemy takes a questionable interest in Sophia -- one that may lead all the way to the throne. Forced to become allies in a battle they hadn’t foreseen, the newlyweds soon grow closer -- and discover a love, and a passion, they never expected ...


Sophia was sick of fielding questions about the young men she might consider marrying. Her father, his good mood flowing over to the dinner they held that night, kept the gentlemen in the dining room longer than usual, and Sophia, perforce, had to entertain the ladies in the drawing-room.

One lady suggested that John Hayes would be growing impatient.

He could get as impatient as he liked, but he wasn’t coming anywhere near her again. She forced a smile and gave a non-committal, “Really?” with a touch of aspersion.

Another lady, a younger one, and the wife of one of London’s most daring investors, said, “But what about that handsome marquess?”

Immediately Sophia’s thoughts flew to the Marquess of Devereaux, and inwardly she groaned. He barely noticed her, probably didn’t know her name. “He is my father’s business associate. I admit he is handsome, but City and County don’t mix, do they? More tea?” She lifted the pot, shaking it a little to make sure there was enough left.

She’d noticed him from the moment his tall, lean form entered the banqueting hall at the Guildhall, at the formal dinner she was attending with her father. He’d made her feel underdressed and inconspicuous, but not from anything he did. He was punctiliously polite. He had exchanged a few innocuous words with her and moved on, leaving her gaping at his sheer masculine beauty and his elegance.

He probably wouldn’t remember her name if she met him again. Or perhaps his impeccable manners had led him to commit it to memory. Sophia wasn’t fooled, though. He’d only spoken to her because he was courting her father. No gleam of interest sparked his astonishing green eyes, no warm words or a request to visit her home.

Half an hour later, she closed the door on the last guest with a weary sigh.

The door opened. A figure stood shadowed against the light from the hall. “Sophia, are you all right in here with no lights?”

“I was just putting them out, Papa. The servants will bring their own once they come to clear up. No sense wasting best beeswax when there’s nobody in here.”

“I have some news for you, and I don’t wish to wait. You are ready to wed. I spoke with the marquess at some length today and offered him a new contract to accompany the other.”

“Oh?” The implications of what he was leading to struck her after her mild expression of interest. Her father had spoken before of her going back into society. Perhaps he wanted the marquess to sponsor her re-entry, under the aegis of a suitable female relative.

A light approach would work best. “Does the marquess know a suitable candidate?” Her heart beat faster, and she tried to breathe normally. Her laces were tighter than usual, so her bosom would reveal her state of agitation if she didn’t take care.

“He does.” Her father’s sly smile sent chills running through her.

“If your mother and I had had more children, that would have helped to dissipate the effect, but we did not.” He regarded her steadily. “As well as signing the original contract, we agreed another. Your marriage contract with Lord Devereaux. You will sign it on Friday, when it has been drawn up properly, and marry on Monday.” He smiled broadly. “Daughter, I saw how you looked at him at the Guildhall dinner. You wanted him. I got him for you.”

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Author Info:

Lynne Connolly was born in Leicester, England, and lived in our cobbler’s shop with my parents and sister. It was an old house and most definitely haunted, but I didn’t find out until I left that my great uncle had hung himself in the living room! But I think our ghost might have been older than that. It was built on the site of the old Roman cemetery, and the land had been constantly inhabited, being in the centre of town. Then, when the council bought the house from us to build a road, my grandfather retired and my father went and worked for the Post Office. My mother was a sample machinist; that is, she worked with designers on the prototypes (models or samples) of garments. So I was very well dressed! We bought a relatively modern house in the country, and my mother was blissfully happy. It’s all very well living in a large old house, but it’s a dreadful task to keep it clean and warm!

My mother's side of the family are Romany gypsies, although sadly we haven't any of the old trailers that are so astonishingly beautiful. I was taught to read the Tarot cards, and I usually use two packs; the Rider pack for simple readings and the Crowley Thoth pack for the complex stuff. I've always had an interest in the paranormal and it's been a delight to be able to put some of this into my novels

Author Links:
Website: http://lynneconnolly.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LynneConnollyAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lynneconnolly
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/355692.Lynne_Connolly

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Mr. Charles Norris needs help finding a wife ...

For he has the unfortunate habit of falling for each Season's loveliest debutante, only to have his heart broken when she weds another. Surely Lady Marjorie Penwhistle can help him. She's sensible, clever, knows the ton, and must marry a peer, which he is not. Since she's decidedly out of his reach, Charles is free to enjoy her refreshing honesty—and her unexpectedly enticing kisses ...

Lady Marjorie Penwhistle doesn't want a husband ...

At least not the titled-but-unbearable suitors her mother is determined she wed. She'd rather stay unmarried and look after her eccentric brother. Still, advising Mr. Norris is a most exciting secret diversion. After all, how hard will it be to match-make someone so forthright, honorable, and downright handsome? It's not as if she's in danger of finding Charles all-too-irresistible herself ...


Once in the carriage, seated across from her brother, Marjorie tried to remain calm. Those words in the cryptic note nagged at her— “negotiate the terms.” What on earth could he mean by that? Her imagination suggested every scenario from her hand in marriage, to her virtue, or one of her family’s properties. But if he wanted a property, couldn’t he have negotiated that with George? Her brother was the head of the family and quite capable of such a negotiation.

Oh, God, would he want . . . favors? Her stomach twisted as she tried to recall anything she could about Charles Norris. He was a gentleman—at least he had been raised that way. His brother, heir to the viscountcy, was a highly respected man with an excellent reputation.

In short order, the carriage pulled up in front of the townhouse on fashionable Bury Street, not far from St. James’s Square. The streets were deserted, but well lit by gas lamps hissing in the quiet of the night. With a deep sigh, Marjorie stepped down from the carriage, ignoring the concerned look of their footman, and walked up the steps to the front door. Twisting the bell, she stepped back, clutching her fists to her stomach in a desperate attempt to squelch the sick nervousness settling there. She barely had time to collect herself when the door opened to a tall Indian man wearing a traditional dhoti and white turban.

“Lady Marjorie, please come in. Mr. Norris is expecting you.”

“Lovely,” Marjorie said, stepping into the dimly lit entry hall.

“This way.” The servant walked down a long, dark hall, which only added to the trepidation in her heart. She thought she heard a strange grunting sound coming from the direction of their path, and she stopped dead.

The man turned toward her inquiringly.

“I . . . Are there no lights?”

“Ah, forgive my rudeness. I am used to walking these halls in the darkness and quite forgot you are not familiar with this house.” He pulled a match from his pocket and lit a wall sconce. “Better, no?”

Marjorie smiled. “Much better, thank you.”

“Now we can contin—” His sentence was interrupted by a very loud and very foul curse. “Nighttime can be difficult for Mr. Norris,” the Indian said cryptically, before continuing down the hall.

“Perhaps another time would be better?” Marjorie called after him.

He turned again, smiling pleasantly. “This way, my lady.”

With a sigh of resignation, Marjorie began walking toward the end of the hall, stopping when the man knocked softly at a door, which showed a dim light underneath. Here they would no doubt find the loud and foul-mouthed Mr. Norris.

“Goddamnit, Prajit, if she ain’t here yet, leave me the fuck alone!”

“Perhaps I should come back at a more respectable hour, sir?”

Charles spun around from his spot by the fire where he’d stood, hoping the warmth of the flames would soothe the agonizing pain shooting through his leg. He muttered yet another curse, clenched his jaw, and forced a smile, which even he knew probably made him look like a madman.

“Lady Marjorie, I apologize for the lateness of the hour, but I wanted this resolved as soon as possible.”

Through the haze of pain, he was aware the lady was dressed for a ball, and he had enough wits about him to realize she’d been pulled from said ball to attend him. “And I apologize again for taking you from what I imagine was a pleasant evening.”

“Perhaps more pleasant than this,” she said, raising one brow in her lovely face.

Now that she was in front of him, he realized he remembered her quite well. It was rather difficult to meet Lady Marjorie Penwhistle and not remember her. She was, in fact, every Englishman’s fantasy of what an English woman should look like—if one preferred darkhaired beauties as opposed to blondes. Her complexion was near perfection, creamy and smooth with the slightest blush along her delicate cheekbones. Her nose was small, her chin perhaps a bit strong (a gift, no doubt, from her mother), but she was in no way mannish. Her eyes were dark, and in this light, he couldn’t tell if they were dark blue or perhaps brown. Her entire countenance gave her an air of authority and intelligence—and coldness. No, he wasn’t the least bit attracted to her.

She would be perfect for him.

Buy Links:

Author Info:

Jane Goodger lives in Rhode Island with her husband and three children. Jane, a former journalist, has written seven historical romances. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, walking, playing with her kids, or anything else completely unrelated to cleaning a house.

Author Links:
Website: http://www.janegoodger.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JaneGoodgerBooks
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JaneGoodger

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As part of the tour, Kensington will be hosting a Tour Wide iBook Bundle Giveaway of all titles! (Enter via Rafflecopter below.) To follow the rest of the tour, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. OMGoodness, the excerpts on this post are exceptional! Cinderella and the Ghost sounds wonderful with its fairytale romance of a painting coming to life...and Temptation Has Green Eyes had my heart going a bit faster (what a wonderful father who slyly contracted a marriage for his daughter with someone she has admired!). Thank you so much for this post so that I could become familiar with these authors' writing styles. jdh2690@gmail.com

  2. OMGoodness, the excerpts on this post are exceptional! Cinderella and the Ghost sounds wonderful with its fairytale romance of a painting coming to life...and Temptation Has Green Eyes had my heart going a bit faster (what a wonderful father who slyly contracted a marriage for his daughter with someone she has admired!). Thank you so much for this post so that I could become familiar with these authors' writing styles. jdh2690@gmail.com

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