Life in the Lucky Zone by Patricia B. Tighe #ReleaseBlast @chapterxchapter @patriciabtighe @swoonromance

LifeintheLuckyZoneTour

Giveaway Information:  Down below

Life in the Lucky Zone Cover

Life in the Lucky Zone (The Zone #2)

by Patricia B. Tighe

Publication Date:  April 5, 2016

Publisher:  Swoon Romance 

 

Seventeen-year-old Lindsey Taylor has been living a charmed life—always the lead in school plays, possessor of a healthy entourage and a hot boyfriend. But halfway through her junior year, the unthinkable happens. Her boyfriend dumps her. She screws up her audition for the spring play. And to top it all off, her theater teacher wants her to run lines with Trey Berger, a gamer guy who irritates her practically every time he opens his mouth. Lindsey needs to find some better luck and quick.

Trey Berger can barely tolerate Lindsey Taylor. It’s bad enough that their best friends are dating and he has to see Lindsey at group hangouts. Now they have to rehearse together. Berger would rather do just about anything else, even chill with his grandmother, whose dementia has forced her to move in with his family.

But as the semester continues, Berger discovers there’s more to Lindsey than the drama queen

persona she puts on for everyone else’s benefit. And the person behind the mask might be someone he cares about. A lot. So what exactly is he going to do about it?

And while Lindsey desperately tries to change her luck and heal from the breakup, she slowly realizes Berger has become her best friend. This video-game-playing boy makes her laugh. And holds her when she cries. Could he possibly become something more?

Guest Interview:

Thanks, Diana, for having me on your blog!

1)Do you have a favorite character?

I enjoy different things about each of my characters, but Berger has definitely been a fun character to write. Oh, the things that come out of his mouth …

2) Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?

Not within one novel, but Berger was a minor character in LIFE IN THE NO-DATING ZONE, and not long after I started writing him, I knew he needed his own book.

3)What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?

My writing process is to sit down at my computer, waste about an hour on social networking, and then get busy. If I’m unsure of what happens in a scene, I’ll brainstorm by writing whatever comes to mind for ten minutes or so. Then I take the bits I like and run with them. In general I like silence, but there have been times when approaching a deadline that having music on helps me to focus and ignore distractions. I can’t write with the music really loud though.

4)Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?

I have a general outline that is basically a list of scenes. What happens in those scenes will often change as I draft the story.

5)Which actors & actresses they would like to see play the characters in their books in a movie version.

AnnaSophia Robb with auburn hair and Matthew Lewis with glasses—especially now that he’s grown up to what I’ve seen described as “nerd hot.”

add-to-goodreads

Goodreads

images1

Amazon

Patricia B. Tighe

The mother of two grown sons, Patricia B. Tighe lives in El Paso, Texas, with her husband and two dogs. Her love of the written word caused her to get a journalism degree from Texas A&M University in 1980 and an MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2008. When not writing or reading, she can be found walking the dogs or yelling at the TV during an NFL game. She’s also a fan of British TV shows. Downton Abbey, anyone?

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads Tumblr | Instagram

Giveaway Information:  Contest ends April 15, 2016

 

  • One (1) winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of Life in the Lucky Zone by Patricia B. Tighe (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Chapter-by-Chapter-blog-tour-button
I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

The Daydreamer Detective by SJ Pajonas #BlogTour @spajonas @lolasblogtours

The daydreamer Detective banner

This is my stop during the blog tour for The Daydreamer Detective by SJ Pajonas. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 4 till 8 April, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.

The Daydreamer DetectiveThe Daydreamer Detective (Miso Cozy Mysteries #1)
By SJ Pajonas
Genre: Mystery/ Cozy Mystery
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 31 march 2016

Blurb:
Luck? Forget it. Mei Yamagawa is fresh out of it. She’s just been downsized from her 3rd job in five years and her bank account is dry. Now, to keep her head above water, she must leave Tokyo and move back to her rural Japanese hometown. And there’s nothing worse than having to face your old rivals and ex-boyfriends as a failure while starting life over as a farm girl.

But when her best friend’s father is murdered, and her best friend is named the main suspect, Mei turns her daydreaming ways towards solving the crime. Between dates disguised as lunches with the town’s hottest bachelor chef, searching for clues, and harvesting sweet potatoes, Mei has a lot of non-paying work cut out for her.

Will she catch the killer before her bad luck turns worse? Or will she fry in the fire with the rest of her dreams of success?

You can find The Daydreamer Detective on Goodreads

You can buy The Daydreamer Detective here:
Amazon
B&N
Kobo
iBooks

 

Excerpt:

Every time I went into the barn during harvesting, I avoided the loft, but at the end of the week, I was finally ready to climb up there and inspect the remains of my past. The stairs creaked as I ascended into the dusty space above the tractor we used in the spring. On the right, under the window, sat the old couch I used to sit on and read, the spot where Tama and I slept together for the first and many times after. A plastic tarp covered it, and I could imagine the upholstery underneath was pristine. Mom was pretty thorough about taking care of this place. My old canvasses, some half drawn on or painted, others blank, leaned against the adjacent wall, next to my easel and tackle boxes of paints. On the left, Mom’s fire-proof file cabinets sat against the wall, carrying her precious documents and other things she needed to run the farm.

The Mount Fuji painting used to take up the space to the rear of my canvasses, but the wide wall stood empty, begging to be filled. I grabbed the top tackle box and popped it open. Tubes of acrylic paint lined the top tray, like I’d left them in there yesterday. Several were unopened and moved when I squeezed them, but a few had seized up. Wow. I was lucky! I’d heard acrylic paint could last ten years or more, especially if they were kept in the fridge, but the temperature fluctuated up here and I expected worse.

I flipped through the few canvasses left and placed one on the easel. I had scratched a few hasty pencil sketches onto it, but nothing seemed familiar. Hmmm. I turned the canvas around 180 degrees and there! Yes. I had planned to paint a lake with a torii gate and a mountain in the background. I never understood this about myself. I loved modern life. I loved my phone, my computer, and the city. Yet, when it came to painting, I only ever wanted to capture the world in its splendor, natural and real. I didn’t paint people. I didn’t paint animals. I hadn’t tried abstract or modern, though I loved to look at both. I was attracted the most to natural landscapes.

I was a host of perplexing contradictions.

The Daydreamer Detective teaser 1
The Daydreamer Detective teaser 2

 

The Daydreamer Detective teaser 3
The Daydreamer Detective teaser 4
The Daydreamer Detective teaser 5

SJ PajonasAbout the Author:
Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, amateur astrologer, Capricorn, and Japanophile. She loves foxes, owls, sushi, yoga pants, Evernote, and black tea. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing or spending time outside, unless it’s winter. She hates winter. Someday she’ll own a house in both hemispheres so she can avoid the season entirely. She’s a mom to two great kids and lives with her husband and family outside NYC. They have no pets. Yet. When it comes to her work, expect the unexpected. She doesn’t write anything typical. Find her online at http://www.spajonas.com.

You can find and contact SJ Pajonas here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Tumblr
Instagram
Youtube
Wattpad
Amazon

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Daydreamer. There will be two winners:
– One US Resident will win: One paperback copy of Adult Coloring Book Japan, One Signed Copy of The Daydreamer Detective, One signed copy of Removed, and a surprise flavor of Pocky!
– One International Resident will win: One ebook copy of The Daydreamer Detective, One ebook copy of Removed, and One ebook of each Rice Cooker Revenge, Washing Statue Wanderlust, and Mamachari Matchmaker

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

April Brazen #ReleaseBlast @Nina_Croft @BrazenBooks @JoyaRyanAuthor @mstessabailey

Forget the latest binge watch on Netflix. Skip that do-I-really-have-to-be-here meeting. Ignore those dirty dishes. Brazen’s serving up three mouth-watering new heroes you won’t want to miss. Everyone is talking about them… why not you?

 

Her Fantasy Husband by Nina Croft
 
She’s had the fantasy, now it’s time for the real thing…
 
Security Company CEO Josh Slater put his life on hold when he said “I do” to protect a stranger. While his marriage was never meant to be real—he hasn’t evenseen his wife in five years—Josh can’t shake the idea that he’d be cheating if he moves on. Now he’s a man with a mission: chase down his “wife,” get an annulment, and finally indulge in a little no-strings sex.
 
Heiress Alexia Slater entered into a marriage of convenience straight out of high school to gain control of her inheritance before her not-so loving family squandered the whole thing. She doesn’t want the marriage to be real—she’s fought hard for her independence—but that hasn’t stopped her from spending the last five years fantasizing about her gorgeous husband.
 
Then he shows up.
 
Josh wants an annulment. Lexi needs to stay married. When the chemistry explodes between them, there’s no stopping the battle of wills only one of them can win…

 

 

Bring home your copy of HER FANTASY HUSBAND:

 

 
About Nina Croft: Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of nine-to-five work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. Nina writes all types of romance, often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
 
Connect with Nina Croft
 
 


○ • ○ • ○ • ○

 

 

Tell Me You Crave Me by Joya Ryan

 


Easton Ambrose has spent half his life protecting Natalie St. Clair from guys like himself. It’s not like he wants to interfere with her dating life, but what’s he supposed to do when she insists on going out with the wrong kind of guy? Kiss her, of course. But now she’s pissed. And what starts as an apology turns to heated words…then just to heat.

Jumping East was the worst idea in the history of ideas. The guy is Natalie’s older brother’s best friend, the definition of off limits. But she’s tired of the safe guys who couldn’t light a fire with a flamethrower. Time for a little dangerous—even if dangerous always blows up in your face. Because even if they survive their bedroom antics, it’s only a matter of time before they’re caught…

Bring home your copy of TELL ME YOU CRAVE ME:



About Joya Ryan: National and international bestselling author Joya Ryan is the author of the Shattered series, which includes Break Me Slowly, Possess Me Slowly and Capture Me Slowly. She has also written the Sweet Torment series, which includes Breathe You In and Only You. She loves writing spicy Brazens which include The Chasing Love Series. Passionate about both cooking and dancing (despite not being too skilled at the latter), she loves spending time at home. She resides in California with her husband and her two sons.

Connect with Joya Ryan



○ • ○ • ○ • ○

 
Thrown Down by Tessa Bailey
 
Overachiever River Purcell was never supposed to be a struggling single mom, working double shifts just to make ends meet. Nor was she supposed to be abandoned by her high school sweetheart, breaking her heart into a thousand jagged pieces. Now Vaughn De Matteo is back in town, his sights set on her…and River is in danger of drowning a second time.
 
No one believed Hook’s resident bad boy was good enough for River. Not even Vaughn himself. But he’ll fight like hell to win back the woman he never stopped loving, to keep the daughter he never expected, and convince himself he’s worth their love in the process―even if he has to rely on their fierce and undeniable sexual chemistry.
 
But even as River’s body arches under his hungered touch, the demons of the past lurk in the shadows. Waiting for Vaughn to repeat his mistakes one last time…
 
Bring home your copy of THROWN DOWN:
Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Entangled | Goodreads
 
About Tessa Bailey: Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.
Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.
She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.
 
Connect with Tessa Bailey

I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Mastered by the CEO by Opal Carew #ReleaseDayBlitz @bookenthupromo @OpalCarew

Mastered by the CEO.2

release day blitz

MasteredbytheCEO

Book Title: Mastered by the CEO
Author: Opal Carew
Genre: Erotic Romance (BDSM) (Office)
Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

book blurb

How did I wind up in King’s bed, playing the sex slave?

He says I never do what I’m told—which is true—so is this simply penance for past sins? Or if I prove I will follow his commands without question, will he let me keep my job?

I don’t know. And frankly, when I’m with him, I don’t care. When I’m in his arms, all I care about is staying there. Forever.

~~~

She insists she can change, that she’ll do exactly as she’s told. But becoming my submissive for a week will prove to her it will never work. I just hope I can handle losing her again after I experience the sweetness of her submission…

excerpt

Her eyes, green with specks of gold, remained fixed on her glass. He’d commanded her to be silent and she’d actually obeyed, as much a shock to her, he was sure, as it was to him.

Heat washed through him. He liked the feeling of her following his orders. But then, he’d always known he would.

When she’d called him Mr. Taylor, his heart had leapt. Of course, she always called him that in a professional setting…but here, when they were alone… His heart pounded. If she were to call him Sir, he’d probably burst at the seams.

As he gazed at her now, however, memories of the hot, sensual sessions they’d shared in his office had him longing to hold her in his arms. Longing to feel her naked body against him, her soft sensual murmurs whispering in his ear. To glide his cock deep onto her warm, welcoming body.

His cock swelled, but the band aid on her head reminded him she was in no condition to even walk straight let alone have wild, savage sex like they used to.

An even deeper craving swelled through him… to do something he’d never done with Rachel. Something he’d yearned to with a force so strong he’d had to hold himself back with an iron fist.

To dominate her. Totally and completely.

But if he’d even tried, he’d been certain she would have run for the hills. Most of the time, she wouldn’t even do what he told her as her boss. Trying to command her as his lover… Well, that was doomed to fail.

She lifted her gaze from her glass briefly, then dropped it again when she found he was watching her. At her uncertainty… the slight confusion in her green eyes… protectiveness surged through him.

He loved the fact she needed him right now. Loved that she’d agreed to stay the night so he could watch over her.

The predatory male in him couldn’t resist her frailty. Not to take advantage of her, but to take care of her. To know she was his woman and he would protect her.

Even if only for one night.

teasers

MB_CEO-Promise-white-Available Apr 5

MB_CEO-Rachel-blurb-V2-Available Apr 5

meet the author

As a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of erotic contemporary romance, Opal Carew writes about passion, love, and taking risks. Her heroines follow their hearts and push past the fear that stops them from realizing their dreams… to the excitement and love of happily-ever-after.

Opal loves crystals, dragons, feathers, cats, pink hair, the occult, Manga artwork, Zentangle, and all that glitters. She earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, and spent 15 years as a software analyst before turning to her passion as a writer. She grew up in Toronto, and now lives in Ottawa with her husband and three cats. One of her sons just finished a Masters degree at Sussex University in the UK and is now pursuing a second Masters at Carleton University in Ottawa. The other son just finished his undergraduate degree at Carleton University. Yes, mom is proud!

social media websiteblognewsletter signuptwitterFacebookpinterestGoodreads

buy the book

MasteredbytheCEO

amazon usamazon UKB&Nkobo

500x500 BEP Square

 I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

A Better Man by Candis Terry @TastyBook Tours @CandisTerry

A Better Man by Candis Terry

Enter to Win a Sweet, Texas Print Bundle
Includes: ANYTHING BUT SWEET,  SWEETEST MISTAKE, 
SOMETHING SWEETER, SWEET SURPRISE & TRULY SWEET

 

A BETTER MAN
Sunshine Creek Vineyard #1
Candis Terry
Releasing March 29th, 2016
Avon Romance

 

In Candis Terry’s first novel in her
Sunshine Creek Vineyard series, the handsome Kincade brothers convene to rescue
their legacy-but the last thing they expect to find is love….
Sooner or later…Hockey star Jordan Kincade wasted no time ditching Sunshine Creek for the NHL,
but his sports career has overshadowed everything else-a truth Jordan confronts
when his parents’ deaths bring him home. Now his little sister Nicki is
flunking out of school, and only one teacher can help Jordan save her-the shy
but incredibly sexy Lucy Diamond, the same girl whose heart he broke years ago.
But he’s determined not to make the same mistake twice. If only Lucy would give
him the time of day.

Love has a way of catching up with you.

Lucy has no intention of drowning in Jordan’s deep blue gaze again, even if he
seems to have turned over a new leaf. Still, his devotion to his sister is
impossible to ignore. As they team up to salvage Nicki’s future, Lucy soon
discovers that Jordan’s sweet caresses and lingering kisses might just be
everything she needs.

 

Excerpt-Banner

Today, she was a different person. Stronger because of the things she’d lived through. Smarter because she’d found a way to survive and come out the other side in a happy place. She knew exactly where she belonged, and that was teaching and helping students like Nicki. Which was why, right now, she was going to pull on her big girl panties and face the boy who had disappointed her head on.

Lucy managed to pull herself together as Jordan removed his sunglasses and slid them to the top of his head. His smile lifted a masculine pair of lips that somehow managed to look cruel and sexy at the same time.

The boy had turned into a man times ten.

Tall and broad shouldered, his chest looked a mile wide. Judging by the smooth ripples beneath his snug shirt he was packing muscle, not pounds. Jeans, worn and frayed at the stress points, accented his long muscular legs and trim waist. His longish nearly black hair gleamed beneath the overhead lights. And his sharp blue eyes focused intently on her.

It was all she could do to keep her heart at a normal pace and her legs solidly beneath her. If ever a man could be described as delicious, Jordan Kincade would be a menu’s specialty of the day.

Too bad he was such a jerk.

“Ms. Diamond?” He came forward and stretched out his very large hand. “Jordan Kincade.”

And clearly he didn’t remember her.

Lucy smiled as a funny little tickle moved through her chest. Maybe this was going to be fun after all. Rarely was she ever given the upper hand or the opportunity to have even the slightest edge.

When he moved closer his warm palm engulfed hers and her triumph died with a sizzle.

Close up she got a better look. She inhaled his sexy scent of worn leather and warm man. Every square inch of her female DNA perked up like it was party time. She hated to disappoint the little darlings but today was all about helping someone else.

“Please.” She kept the handshake brief and formal before she disengaged and motioned toward the chair in front of her desk. “Have a seat.”

He glanced at the standard school chair with a you’ve got to be kidding me lift of his brows. When he sat down, the orange plastic chair creaked and seemed ridiculously small beneath the scope of his height and muscles.

Lucy took her own seat and noticed that the difference in chairs made her tower over him and seemingly give her another advantage. But when he leaned back and crossed an ankle over a knee, he appeared completely comfortable.

So much for one-upmanship.

“I apologize if I seemed taken aback just now.” She opened the folder and pulled out Nicole’s progress report as well as several exams and the few assignments Nicole had actually turned in. Late, of course, but complete nonetheless. “I expected your brother Ryan.”

“He had business at the vineyard and sends his regrets.”

She couldn’t help notice how very deep and smooth his voice had become. Like hot buttered rum on a cold winter night. He had the kind of voice a woman could imagine whispering sweet nothings in her ear while he caressed her in places that tingled beneath his touch.

“I understand.” Snapping out of the fantasy, she imagined the enormous scope of duties Ryan Kincade must need to tend to after the death of their parents. Her heart sank a little further for the family. Especially for Nicole, who was so young and really needed the love and guidance of her mom and dad. “I hope you’ll accept my condolences. And I sincerely apologize for having you come down at this sorrowful time to deal with what might seem insignificant but—”

“Anything regarding my sister is important, Ms. Diamond. Now more than ever.” His brows dipped in a no nonsense fashion. “So don’t judge me when you don’t even know me.”

Oh, she knew him.

Knew he was the type who’d make a promise then shatter it without ever looking back.

But that was then, and this was now.

“My apologies, Mr. Kincade. That was certainly not my intent.”

His piercing eyes perused her face for a long, uncomfortable moment and she had to admit that the look did something funny to the beat of her heart.

Especially when with a slight tilt of his head he asked, “Why do you look so familiar?”

“Do I?” That erratic heartbeat kicked up another notch as she let go a chuckle to cover up what was really going on inside. “People say that all the time. I guess I just have one of those faces.”

She pushed Nicole’s schoolwork in his direction. “If you’ll take a look at these projects, you’ll see that even though she didn’t complete the assignment exactly as it was defined, Nicole has an enormous gift.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s a lie.”

“Excuse me?” Irritated, Lucy’s gaze shot up to the slight smile curling his lips. “How can you say that without even reading anything? I guarantee your sister has a multitude of talent.”

“I’m not talking about my sister’s work. I’m talking about you just having one of those faces.” He uncrossed his long, muscular legs and leaned forward without even looking at the papers she’d put in front of him. “So now I’m wondering why you sidestepped my question.”

Good God the man was intense. There was something in the combination of that nearly black hair that fell over his ears and his nape in perfect waves and those deep blue eyes that seemed almost otherworldly. She could imagine how he’d intimidate an opponent on the ice.

And it had nothing to do with his size.

But as far as admitting who she really was? Not going to happen. No need to dredge up a bad memory when all she really wanted was to help his sister.

“I apologize.” Her heart beat erratically as she avoided the intensity of his gaze. “But I would like to stick to the subject of your sister’s grades—or lack thereof—that may prevent her from graduating with the rest of her class. I genuinely care about her which is why I noticed a problem way before the loss of your parents.”

“And now you won’t even look at me,” he said. “Why is that?”

As he leaned in, his intoxicating scent came with him. Normally such things didn’t affect her. Well, at least not with her colleagues who tended to wear either too much aftershave or worse, too much body odor. Jordan wore his masculine scent like a sexual promise and Lucy swore he should come with a warning label.

 
BUY NOW
Amazon | B
& N
 | Google
Play
 | iTunes | Kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Candis Terry was
born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her
home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working
in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing
has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the
push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own
happily ever after.

I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

SIX DEGREES OF SCANDAL by Caroline Linden @TastyBook Tours @Caro_Linden

SIX DEGREES OF SCANDAL by Caroline Linden

#ReleaseBlast

Enter to Win a Print Bundle of the Scandalous Series Books 1-3, 
Includes LOVE AND OTHER SCANDALS, IT TAKES A SCANDAL 
and LOVE IN THE TIME OF SCANDAL

 

 
SIX DEGREES OF SCANDAL
Scandalous #4
Caroline Linden
Releasing March 29th, 2016
Avon Books
Olivia Townsend is in trouble and
out of options. Pursued by a desperate man in search of a lost treasure, which
she doesn’t have, she’s got only two things in her favor: her late husband’s
diary, which she was never meant to see… and the man who was her first-and
only-love. Losing him broke her heart, though she’s been careful to hide it for
the last ten years. But when he comes to her aid and vows to stand by her this
time, no matter what, she can’t help but hope things will be different this
time.
James Weston has blamed himself for letting Olivia down when she needed him
years ago, and he will not do it again. Fortunately, his unusual life has
equipped him well to outsmart the villain chasing Olivia. Unfortunately, being
so near her again threatens to expose every secret in his heart…even those that
should stay hidden forever.

50 Ways to Sin

Click on the image below

http://www.carolinelinden.com/50Ways-No1.pdf

Excerpt-Banner

James pulled off his boots, and then his stockings, and then—to Olivia’s shock—he climbed up and stood on the highest rock, letting the water foam over his feet and wet his breeches. “Don’t you want to climb up?”

She looked longingly at the rocks. The thought of water running over her feet and ankles was tempting, but not worth it. “I’d get wet, and my mother would be displeased.”

“Pity that. It’s great fun.”

Slowly she looked down at her shoes and stockings. Maybe if she held up her skirts, very high . . . But that would also be improper. “I’d better not.”

“Oh,” he said in disappointment. “You’re a coward.”

Olivia’s eyes widened. “How rude!”

He shrugged, kicking at the water and sending a spray over the grass. “I can tell you want to get up here but you won’t.”

“I’d get all wet . . .”

“So walk around until your feet and skirt dry. That’s what my sisters do.”

Olivia stole another look at the frothing stream. “Your sisters climb up there?”

“And they’re even younger than you. But if you’re too scared . . .” He started to climb down.

Her mouth firmed. She was not scared. “Those rocks are slippery. I don’t want to fall.”

He grinned as if he knew he’d won. “I’ll hold your hand.”

And he did. Olivia peeled off her stockings and slippers, folded up her skirts as high as she dared—all the way above her knees—and carefully stepped into the water. She gasped at the cold initially, but it was a hot day and soon the water felt blissful. James held her hand as promised and coaxed her to stand on the topmost rock at the edge of the waterfall. She balanced on the wide flat stone and a grin spread across her face. The water rushed over her toes and ankles and she thought she’d never done anything this daring in her whole life. “How did I never discover this?”

Still holding her hand, James laughed. “Good girls stay at home.”

“So I’m a bad girl for coming out here?”

“No,” he said. “A curious girl. I like that kind.”

That allayed Olivia’s moment of worry. Curious didn’t sound so terrible. She exchanged a tentative smile with James.

When their feet had gone numb, he helped her climb down and back onto the grass.

“Do you play dolls still?” he asked as he put his boots back on.

Olivia shook out her skirts, relieved to see that she had kept dry except for a small spot on one side. “Sometimes.”

“Good. Follow me.” He started off.

“Mr. Weston!”

He turned at her indignant cry. “Call me Jamie. James if you must. You might as well come meet my sisters, who drove me from the house today with begging me to play dolls. My mother said I had to entertain them but they don’t like the way I play dolls.” He made an aggrieved expression. “Why can’t a doll put on a fine dress and then have a sword fight with another doll? What else have dolls got to do all day?” He shrugged. “You probably know better how to do it the way they want.”

“But—I can’t—”

“Why not?”

“I can’t go into town without permission,” Olivia finally said. Privately she was curious to meet the Westons. Her parents didn’t view most of the local families as their equal, and Olivia and Daphne weren’t allowed much contact with other children. And even though she didn’t spend as much time with dolls as Daphne did, she wasn’t immune to wanting to see the Weston girls’ dolls, which were sure to be much finer than anything at Kellan Hall. But if Mother saw her, she’d be in such trouble.

He grinned as if sensing another victory. “We don’t live in town anymore. We took possession of Haverstock House this week, right over the hill.”

Her eyes popped open. Haverstock House was the finest house in the county, and lay between Kellan Hall and town. It belonged to the elderly Earl of Malke, who rarely visited since his wife’s death. Now the Westons owned it?

“I expect my mother will call on your mother soon, now we’re neighbors,” he went on. “Will she let you come visit then?”

Olivia doubted it. “Perhaps.”

Jamie Weston flashed his confident grin once more. “I’ll wager a copper penny she will.”

 

BUY NOW
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Caroline
Linden
 was born a reader, not a writer.
She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software
before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, three Red Sox
championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision.
Her books have won the NEC Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier
Award, and RWA’s RITA Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes
this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one. Visit her online
at www.carolinelinden.com.

 

I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl