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Blog Tour: ‘Promise of the Heart’ by Susan Berry

About the Book:

Title: PROMISE OF THE HEART
Author: Susan Berry
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 203
Genre: Clean Romance

Book Blurb:

After a distasteful first meeting, and a rocky start to their romance, Maggie Kinsley has been happily married to Desmond for the last eleven months. And although she was often alone when he traveled for business, she rather enjoyed how he passionately greeted her when returning home.

So when he received a letter naming him as executor of a property that belonged to a deceased family friend and had to leave for a few weeks, Maggie should have been content as she kissed him goodbye. But there was something about the whole thing that made her uneasy. Why was Desmond so evasive with her when she asked him about the previous owner. And why had he insisted she not tell anyone of his plans to stay on the property. Maggie soon found the answers to her questions were more than just a woman’s intuition, but rather something that not even her wildest, darkest fears could have foreseen.

“I so enjoyed the long awaited final book to the trilogy the author so lovingly created. Maggie’s story has a wonderful ending and she’ll be in my heart and mind for a long time.” – Amazon

Book Information

Release Date: February 21, 2022

Publisher:  Independent

Soft Cover: ISBN: 979-8420398647; 203 pages; $6.99; E-Book, $1.99 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3wk29M8 

Book Excerpt:

A shaking of the car startled her, as did the feeling of Desmond’s arms around her as he’d opened the door and lifted her from the seat. Now cradled in his embrace, she lost whatever control she had left. Her hands clenched the front of his shirt as she buried her head in the soft fabric. She wanted to crawl inside his skin. To get lost in the protection it offered. The warmth of his arms soon soothed her. When she loosened her grip on him, she realized he was crying too. She wiggled free and stood in front of him. With her open palm, she wiped his face, then kissed his lips. She lingered there for a moment, needing to ground herself to have any hope of gaining control over her own fractured emotions. Again, she put her hand to Desmond’s face, only this time she left it there. “Are you okay?” 

About the Author

Since Susan Berry was a young girl, she loved to write. Her imagination was filled with stories that she couldn’t write down fast enough. But it wasn’t until her grandmother had given her a Harlequin romance novel to occupy her time on a long, boring car ride, that she fell in love with reading romance. The excitement of the characters first meeting, and the dance of the heart that followed, left Susan frantically turning pages. From that day on, Susan spent her free time with her beloved grandmother, reading the latest novels they’d retrieved from a used book store, or the local second hand shop. That reading eventually turned into the writing of her own romance novels. Novels filled with characters who have not yet found love, but eventually find a way to overcome romantic troubles with humor, wit, and the consumption of lots and lots of chocolate. 

Susan’s latest book is the clean romance suspense, Promise of the Heart.

You can visit her website at https://www.SusanBerryauthor.com or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Sponsored By:

 

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Book Tour: ‘Ancient Tales and Legends Series’ by Cheryl Carpinello

“Unforgettable Characters… Ancient Mysteries Solved… Time-Defying Travel… A Teen / YA / Historical Fiction Must Read… “

Ancient Tales and Legends Series by Cheryl Carpinello

Title: Tutankhamen Speaks
Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Publisher: Beyond Today Educator
Pages: 81
Genre: Teen / YA / Ancient Egypt Historical Fiction

BLURB

From over 3000 years ago comes the voice of the Boy King.
 
Scrolls found buried in the basement of the Egyptian Museum. Transcribed in an ancient hand. Record the words of King Tut for all to read.
 
Tutankhamen answers all of the lingering questions, including the big one.
 
Discover the real story behind this famous pharaoh. Transport yourself back to an Ancient Egypt filled with mystery, magic, and danger!

EXCERPT

Growing up in Akhet-Aten

From the time I was able to walk, I had the run of our palace. Usually it was just me and Ankhesenpaaten. We played the normal childhood games.  We would run through the palace chasing and hiding from each other. The gardens and the pools were great places to hide. All too often one of us would fall into one of the pools as we raced by. Then we would move the game outside into the heat so that our clothes would dry. In Egypt’s heat, it didn’t take long. [missing text]

Sailing toy boats

When I was small, palace carpenters made me toy boats. Sometimes these were made to resemble the barges that would carry crops and animals down and up the Nile from one settlement to another. Some were fully outfitted royal barges complete with sails and the poles used when the barge was moving up river. I started playing with these in the palace pools. Later, as I got better at loading them and maneuvering them, I would find a place near the palace where the Nile ran slower. There I would dig out canals for the boats to float in. Sometimes Ankhesenpaaten would help me. One time we had so many canals built that it took all afternoon for our crop barges and the royal barges to enter into the canal system and then sail through and re-enter the Nile. I loved those days with Ankhesenpaaten and the Nile.

Senet

In the evenings we would play Senet. My sisters and I became skilled Senet players, and our games would often last late into the night. My favorite were the casting sticks.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon eBook:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E18KH46

Amazon Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/149615536X

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tutankhamen-speaks-cheryl-carpinello/1118847147

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Tutankhamen-Speaks-Cheryl-Carpinello/9781496155368

Title: SONS OF THE SPHINX
Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Publisher: Silver Quill Publishing
Pages: 189
Genre: Teen / YA / Ancient Egypt Historical Fiction

BLURB

A grandmother’s gift usually bring happiness. Rosa’s gift: a very different story. Hearing the dead alienated her from classmates. Not good for a 15-year-old.

Many times very insistent, the dead cared little for her surroundings. They even bothered her in class. Dates? Forget that.

Then one day, he shows up in her room. An old dead guy. A really old famous dead guy. In living human form!

Thrilling story of battling good and evil in an ancient world.

EXCERPT

Excerpt from Chapter 11 of Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello

A well-traveled dirt road leads back into the valley formed by the hills on either side. Although not high by my experience, rising up from the sandy floor, the Theban Hills are impressive. Jagged crevices run up and down the sides of the hills, and in many places, man-made square arches can be seen. The Tombs of the Pharaohs. I’m walking in the footsteps of an ancient people. How cool.

I hurry to catch up with him. A mistake, sweat stings my eyes and grit scrapes my cheek when I wipe my face. My shirt is sticking to me by the time I come even with him. Does Re never find a cloud to hide behind? Did I say Re? Now I’m starting to think as an Egyptian. Good grief. Must be the heat. There is no shade anywhere. Like a shimmering mirage on a hot highway, the heat rises in waves off the barren hillsides. No trees can withstand this burning furnace. The only shelter exists under the entrances to the tombs.

Tut hurries ahead, but I may never get here again, so I take my time. We pass one entrance, and I walk over closer to it. Heavy wooden doors covered in hieroglyphs bar the way. Ancient rope—rough, scratchy, and strong—twisted around the door handles and knotted tight, holds them closed. On the right door handle there is a clump of mud molded like those wax seals used on letters. It covers the handle and the rope. Symbols are pressed into it. 

“Tut, what is this for and what does it say?”

He hurries over, curious. 

“Why the rope and this lump of mud?”

“Lump of mud? Oh Roosa, you are looking at the Necropolis Seal placed here by the priests. That it is still here means that the tomb is intact. No one has entered since the burial.”

“Does the seal say whose tomb this is? Is it a pharaoh?”

“No, not a pharaoh. Here.” He points to a set of hieroglyphs. “These state that this is the tomb of the dignitary Ramose.” He pauses. “I remember hearing stories about him when I was young. He was the governor of Thebes during Thutmosis IV’s time.”

“Do all the tombs carry this seal?”

“Yes, but even in my reign, it was becoming difficult to keep the tombs sealed. Thieves continually broke in to steal the property of the dead.”

“Tomb robbers.”

“Yes. When they were caught, their hands were chopped off.”

I gasp at such horrible consequences.

“You are shocked. I understand that in your time, there does not exist an undisturbed tomb here.” He waves his hand around the entire valley. “Who are these people who think they have the right to touch a Pharaoh of Egypt, even a dead one? They disturb our sacred resting places and steal the items left for our journey into the afterlife. May they all be cursed along with their families.”

I stand beside him, my mouth agape. Up to now, Tut has been determined in his mission, angry at Horemheb, but he hasn’t lost his composure. Until now. I try to find words to soothe him.

“They only want the world to know about the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. How magnificent they were. How they lived.”

He turns on me. “You don’t learn about a people by stealing what is sacred to them. In my time and yours, they are nothing more than common tomb robbers!”

“Scholars have shared what they learned. They search for knowledge. I learned about you from the artifacts in the exhibit.”

“Harrumph! What do you and they know? Nothing. Nothing at all! All you do is seek the treasures and the gold to make yourselves rich.” He spits in the dirt. “You wouldn’t know wealth if you were buried in it. Tomb robbers, the whole lot.”

He stomps away almost at a run, propelled by his anger. I hurry to keep up with him. We round a bend and to the left a small path winds up a cliff and then disappears. His chest heaves with ragged breaths and he’s actually vibrating he’s so enraged.

“We aren’t all like that, you know.” I whisper, wanting to avoid a harsh response. “Some of us understand that true wealth comes from within, from one’s heart, from love for others, and from respect for family.” I pause. “Some of us do.”

He says nothing; he doesn’t turn to look at me, but his breathing slows; his fingers unclench.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MVGC96Y

Amazon Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1912513951

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/sons-of-the-sphinx-1

Tolino: https://www.thalia.de/shop/home/artikeldetails/ID151524898.html

Vivlio: https://shop.vivlio.com/product/9781912513949_9781912513949_10020

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Sons-Sphinx-Cheryl-Carpinello/9781912513956

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1565754127

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sons-of-the-sphinx-cheryl-carpinello/1120481788?ean=2940161911747

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/505876516/Sons-of-the-Sphinx-Ancient-Tales-Legends-1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cheryl Carpinello taught high school English for 25 years. During that time, she worked with numerous students who didn’t like to read for a variety of reasons. However, she discovered that even the most reluctant readers became engaged in the classroom and in reading when she introduced units on King Arthur and the works of ancient world writers. Upon retiring, she set out to write fast-paced, action-filled stories in these setting to encourage young readers to read more. When not writing, you can find her reading, spending time with family, and traveling.

“In 2008, my husband and I spent three weeks traveling around Egypt via train and visiting all those magnificent archeological sites. Since we returned home, Egypt has never been far from my thoughts. I truly believe that I left part of my soul in that ancient land. To satisfy my longing to return, I wrote Sons of the Sphinx and Tutankhamen Speaks.

CONNECT WITH CHERYL

Website:  https://www.cherylcarpinello.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ccarpinello

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.carpinello1

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Book Tour: ‘A Real Royal Christmess’ by Linda West

 


A REAL ROYAL CHRISTMAS

Linda West
Holiday Romance

A runaway Prince leaves his Kingdom to complete his father’s dying wish.

A broken-hearted girl concocts a plan to win her ex back no matter the cost.

When these two opposites are thrown together by fate and end up in the same adorable ski lodge, to their dismay and surprise, their lives will be changed forever-after.

A fast-paced funny and enchanting holiday romance you won’t be able to forget!

Order your copy

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2T2eJfR

 

Book Excerpt

Chapter 1

Jess

Madame Zoloft gazed intently into her crystal ball and raised one overly plucked brow.

“You’re going to marry a Prince.” She said, looking up at me.

I frowned.

Marry a Prince? Same old psychic mumbo jumbo she thought every girl wanted to hear. Darn Prince. The only guy I cared about was Collin.

“I don’t care about a prince. Did you see anything in there about a guy with gray eyes, tall, great dresser?”

I glanced over at my boyfriend, Collin Trevor. He was chatting with our boss near the mistletoe looking like a billion bucks in his gray Chanel suit and red Santa tie I had picked out for him yesterday. Tonight was our big night. Our lives were about to change.

The psychic barely glanced up from her crystal ball. “No – not him.”

I leaned over and peered into her ball.

“I know he’s planning something special,” I said. “He told me we need to have a serious talk. We all know what that means right before Christmas.”

She dead-eyed me.

“I said a Prince.”

I leaned in and whispered. “Look, this is a Christmas party you’re kind of supposed to tell me what I want to hear so… can you look closer or ask your leprechauns or something please?”

I put my hands together in prayer.

She squinted her eyes and consulted the mighty ball once again.

I chewed the inside of my mouth. I admit it was pathetic to want confirmation of my love life from a psychic, but I was desperate at this point.

“I think Collin said he’s distantly related to Prince Charles maybe that’s what you’re seeing. He is English!?”

She looked up at me once again and shook her head.

“A true Prince.”

I threw my hands up. “Oh, come on close enough!” I jerked my finger over my head.

“He’s fully Prince-Dreamy! Just look at him over there talking to our boss, and you tell me!”

We turned in unison to see the love of my life currently being mauled by a hot redhead from marketing under the mistletoe. I inhaled. Well, that’s not what I wanted to see.

Darn mistletoe.

Still, he didn’t need to keep kissing her.

Maybe he was drunk and being accosted?

I looked back at Madame Zoloft and stood up. “I better go help him.”I stuffed a five-dollar bill into her tip jar and took off toward the problematic mistletoe. Why holiday decorators felt the need to hang that nuisance plant everywhere and ruin people’s lives I had no idea.

“A Prince for Christmas.” Madame Zoloft called after me. “Next in line.”

About the Author

Linda West is a multiple Amazon bestselling author. She is owned by a few feral cats but when she has time she writes adorable romances that are funny and moving. Her Kissing Bridge series is being currently being considered being made into Hallmark films.You can visit her website at http://www.Morningmayan.com.

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Book Tour: ‘Misleading A Duke’ by A.S. Fenichel

 

MISLEADING A DUKE
A.S. Fenichel
Historical Romance

Finishing school failed to turn them into proper society ladies. Now these four friends vow to remain single until they find suitors worthy of their love and devotion…

Betrothed to a man she has barely met, Lady Faith Landon calls upon her three best friends—the self-proclaimed Wallflowers of West Lane—to help uncover the secrets of her mysterious fiancé. Her suspicions are aroused when she learns that he has recently returned from France. Is he a traitor to his country? The truth is quite the opposite. Nicholas Ellsworth, Duke of Breckenridge, is a secret agent for the English Crown who has just completed a risky mission to infiltrate Napoleon’s spy network.

After his adventures, Nicholas craves the peace and quiet of the country and settling into domestic bliss with his bride. Until he discovers Faith’s deceptive investigation. How can he wed a woman who doesn’t trust him? But a powerful spark has ignited between Nicholas and Faith that could bring about a change of heart. Faith seizes her second chance to prove to Nicholas that they are a true love match but his past catches up with them when three French spies come to exact revenge. Surviving rather than wooing has become the order of the day.

 

Praise for Misleading A Duke

Fenichel’s high-octane second Wallflowers of West Lane Regency romance (after The Earl Not Taken) follows a reluctantly betrothed couple as dire circumstances help them to see past their bad first impression. Lady Faith Landon earns the ire of her fiancé, Nicholas Ellsworth, the Duke of Breckenridge and a spy for the English government, when she and her friends snoop into his past. Faith hopes to explain that she was anxious and trying to learn more about him before their wedding day, but she needs the help of Nick’s friend and fellow spy Geb Arafa to convince him to hear her out. Geb requests Nick meet him at his hunting lodge, Parvus Castle, to discuss an urgent matter that Nick assumes to be of national importance. But when Nick arrives, he finds Faith waiting to plead her case. Her explanation is interrupted when French spies invade Parvus, take both captive, and torture Nick for information about the movement of English troops. Imprisoned together, Nick and Faith form an unshakable bond as Faith tends to Nick’s wounds and Nick witnesses her kindness and unflinching bravery. Fenichel juxtaposes the mannered world of Regency aristocracy with the gritty, life-or-death situation of Nick and Faith’s captivity to excellent effect. This immersive, fast-paced novel will have readers on the edges of their seats.

–Publishers Weekly

Order Your Copy

 

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3a99S4d

Book Excerpt

Chapter 1

The home of Geb Arafa, a mile outside of London

The last person Nicholas Ellsworth expected to find at his good friend Geb Arafa’s dinner party was Lady Faith Landon. Yet there she was, Nicholas’s fiancée, maddeningly pretty and equally aggravating. She fit perfectly with the lush décor and priceless artifacts in Geb’s parlor. “Lady Faith, I had not expected to find you here. In fact, you and your friends’ presence is an astonishment.”

“I hope you are not too put out. It seems Lord and Lady Marsden have become fast friends with Mr. Arafa, and that friendship has extended to the rest of the Wallflowers of West Lane.” Despite his desire to be rid f her, Faith’s soft voice flowed over him like a summer stream and he longed to hear that voice in the dark, in their bed. The way her curves filled out the rose gown set his body aflame and there seemed nothing he could do about it.

He shook away his attraction, reminding himself that this was a sneaky, manipulative woman whom it had been a mistake to attach himself to. The fact that he longed to find out if her honey-brown curls were as wild as they promised, despite her attempts to tame them into submission, shouldn’t matter. Nor should his desire to get lost in her wheat-colored eyes and voluptuous curves. This was a woman made for loving.
Lord, he hated himself. “I wonder that your being here with those friends is not some dire plot in the making.”

He had reason to be suspicious. When he’d first arrived home from France, in the spring, she and her friends had engaged in spying on him and trying to ferret out his past. It was intolerable. He should have called off the engagement, but the thought of ruining her for good society didn’t sit well with Nicholas. Instead he’d offered her the opportunity to set him aside, but she had refused to do so as of yet.

She frowned, and was no less stunning. Her full lips longed to be kissed back into an upturned state. “We are here because Mr. Arafa invited us. He’s your friend. I’m surprised he didn’t mention it.”

Nick was equally bewildered by Geb’s silence on the matter of Faith and the other members of the Wallflowers of West Lane. He had met them on several occasions during his feeble efforts to get to know Faith. Her instant suspicions that he was hiding something may have led to her friends’ actions, but he still couldn’t let the slight die. Though he did admire the strength of the friendship between Faith and the three women she’d gone to finishing school with. They were as close as any soldiers who fought and died together. Even if they called themselves “wallflowers,” there was nothing diminished about any of the four.

“He is not required to give me his invitation list.” It pushed out more bitterly than intended.

Those cunning eyes narrowed. “I think you would like it exceedingly well if he did.”

That she wasn’t wrong raised the hair on the back of Nick’s neck. He had not been able to keep many friends over the years. His work for the Crown had made that impossible. Now his friendship with Geb Arafa was in jeopardy as well. He bowed to her. “I do not always get what I want, Lady Faith.”

Head cocked, she raised one brown eyebrow. “Don’t you, Your Grace?” Geb chose that moment to stroll over. His dark skin set off his bright tawny eyes, and though he dressed in the black suit and white cravat typical of an Englishman, there was no mistaking his Eastern background.

“Nicholas, I’m so glad you are here. I thought you might be held up with politics.”
Nicholas accepted his offered hand. “I finished my meetings and
came directly.” Smiling in her charming way, Faith’s golden eyes flashed. “I shall leave you gentlemen to catch up.”

Both Nicholas and Geb bowed and watched her join her friends near
the pianoforte. “She is a delightful woman, Nick. You should reconcile and marry her.”

Geb ran his hand through his black hair, smoothing it back from his forehead.
Not willing to let his attraction to Faith rule his decisions, Nicholas forced down the desire seeing his betrothed always ignited in him. “She is sneaky and devious. I shall wait for her to give up and call off.”

“I would have thought such character traits would appeal to you.” Geb lowered his voice. “After all, you are a spy with much the same qualities. You might consider speaking to the lady and finding out the details behind her actions.”

“Why don’t you just tell me what you know, Geb?” It was obvious his friend knew more than he’d disclosed thus far. Nicholas asking for more was futile. If Geb was going to tell him more than he already had, he would have done so months ago when he’d first informed him that Poppy and Rhys, now the Earl and Countess of Marsden, were investigating his character. Being spies meant that Geb and Nick kept their own counsel most of the time. As an information broker, Geb was even more closemouthed than most spies. He only offered what was necessary to complete a contract or, in this case, to inform a friend of something less than critical. “I am not at liberty to divulge that information.” Geb’s white teeth gleamed.

“I didn’t realize you were so keen on keeping a lady’s secrets,” Nicholas teased.
Grabbing his chest, Geb feigned a knife to the heart. “I would never tell tales of a good woman. There have been a few ladies of our acquaintance who were not reputable, and those who are part of our line of work whose secrets I had few scruples about divulging.”

“Indeed.” As much as he wanted to be angry with Geb for befriending Faith and her friends, he couldn’t manage it. The truth was, Geb was quite discerning about who he called friend.

During the time he’d spent with them, he couldn’t help but like them as well. They were the most spirited and brightest women he’d ever known. He recalled a beautiful blonde in Spain who had tried to put a knife between his ribs, and shuddered. At least he didn’t think these Wallflowers were out for his blood, just his secrets. What he didn’t know, was why they were so keen on divining his past. He might be a fool to think them innocent. His trust of a sweet face in the past had nearly gotten him killed.
Geb nudged him out of his thoughts. “Talk to the girl.”

Glancing at where Faith stood drinking a glass of wine and talking to Poppy Draper, Nicholas mused over if they were plotting their next attempt to invade his privacy. “Perhaps later. First, I would like a glass of your excellent cognac.”

“Avoiding her will not make your situation better,” Geb warned, his rich Egyptian accent rounding the words and lending a sense of foreboding.

“The lady will decide I am not worth the trouble and find herself a less complicated gentleman to attach herself to.”

Nodding, Geb said, “I’m certain that is true. She is too lovely for half the men in London to not be in love with.”

Nicholas wished that thought didn’t form a knot in his gut. He also longed for a day when Faith wouldn’t enter his mind a dozen times. She had gotten under his skin before he’d even met her, and he couldn’t rid himself of her spell. Even knowing it had been her mother and not the lady herself who had written to him when he was in France hadn’t dulled what he knew and liked about Faith Landon.

“One day you shall have to tell me how you came to this, my friend.” Geb signaled for Kosey, his servant.

The extremely tall Egyptian wore a white turban and loose black pants and a similar blouse. He carried a tray with two glasses of dark amber cognac. “Dinner will be ready in ten minutes, sir. Will that please you?”

Kosey spoke English in an Eastern way, which made the language warmer and less harsh to the ear. It gained looks from some of the other guests, but Nicholas liked the formal, old-fashioned speech.

“Very good,” said Geb. Nick observed the gaping of the other guests. “Why have you invited these snobs to Aaru, Geb?”

“Flitmore has some items I wish to obtain and Humphry has proved to be a good source of information about certain parliamentary discussions.”

“I trust you would never use such information against my beloved country.” A knot formed in Nick’s gut.

“No, but I might try to sway other members of your government. I like to know what is happening in my adopted country, Nicholas. That is all. As a foreigner, I have no say. This gives me some needed control.” Geb grinned.

Nick held back a scolding that would do no good.

“Do not look at me so ill. I merely use information to my advantage just as everyone else does. I will share bits with them or buy back pieces of Egyptian art. It will harm no one.”

Kosey moved to the door where he waited for word from the cook that dinner was ready to be served.

Lord and Lady Flitmore gaped at Kosey. Perhaps it was his height as he towered over everyone in the room. It might have been his odd clothes.

Whatever it was, their shocked regard needled at Nicholas.

Faith stepped between him and the couple. “Lady Flitmore, it’s nice to see you again. I heard your daughter Mary would be here tonight, but I’ve not seen her. I hope nothing is wrong. I know how she can get into mischief.”

Lord Flitmore coughed uncomfortably. “Mary had some trouble with her gown and is coming in a later carriage. She will be here any moment.”

As if on cue, a footman announced the arrival of Lady Mary Yates.

A slim woman with red hair and flawless skin sauntered into the room.

Pretty in the classical way, her long, thin nose appeared in a perpetual state of being turned up at everyone and everything. Hands folded lightly in front of her, she walked directly to where Faith stood with Mary’s parents.

In a voice without modulation, Mary said, “Mother, Father, I’m sorry to be late. I hope no one was waiting on me.”

The lack of any emotion in Mary’s voice made it difficult to tell if she was sincere or just saying what was expected of her. “Thank you for sending the carriage back for me.” Lord Flitmore pulled his shoulders back and beamed at his daughter.

“Dinner has only just been announced, my dear girl. Please say hello to
His Grace, the Duke of Breckenridge.”

Mary made a pretty curtsy and plastered a wan smile on her rosy lips.
“How do you do, Your Grace?”

Bowing, Nick couldn’t help but notice the look of disdain that flitted across Faith’s face. “A pleasure, Lady Mary. I’m pleased you could come tonight. Do you know Lady Faith Landon?”

Another curtsy and a smile that likened to a wolf, and Mary said, “Lady Faith and I went to the Wormbattle School together. We have been acquainted for many years. How are you, Faith?”

Faith raised a brow. “Very well, Mary. You are looking fine. Your parents tell me you’ve had some issue with your gown this evening.”

Mary’s gown was dark blue and threaded with gold. It pushed all her assets up to the breaking point of the material at her breast and flowed down, showing off her perfect figure. She blushed. “Just a small issue that my maid and a needle and thread resolved easily enough.”

The ladies leered at each other.

Clearing his throat, Lord Flitmore said, “Mary, let me introduce you to our host.”
“Of course,” Mary agreed, and with a nod to Nick, all three Yateses left the circle.
Faith watched after Mary but had schooled her features to a pleasant expression that no one could have noted anything amiss from. Nick had many questions, but none of them were any of his business.

“Shall we go in to dinner?” As they were officially engaged, Nick offered Faith his arm and they preceded the others into the dining room.

The long table had rounded corners and was draped in white linen. Fine china leafed with gold, and highly polished crystal and silver, made the setting gleam under three fully lit chandeliers hanging overhead, and with four standing candelabras placed in all corners of the room. The high-backed, dark wood chairs were cushioned with a pale blue damask. It was decidedly English, and extremely elegant, to appeal to Geb’s guests.

At the head of the table, Geb welcomed everyone formally to his home before launching into a story of being on a sinking ship, and the diners were riveted despite the fact that most of them would not invite an Egyptian man of no known rank into their own homes. Faith smiled warmly at Geb, and Nick wondered if she were different. Would his friends, regardless of their origins, be welcomed to her table?
He shook off the notion. He would not be going through with marrying Faith Landon, no matter how much he desired her or how kind she pretended to be. She had betrayed him with her spying, and he wouldn’t have it.

Another exception to the apparent prejudice against Geb were Rhys and Poppy Draper. The earl and his bride genuinely liked Geb and had become fast friends with him after being stranded at his house in a storm.

“Did you swim to shore from that distance, Mr. Arafa?” Poppy’s blue eyes were wide and her dark hair and lashes made the color all the more demonstrable.

Geb’s cheeks pinked and he laughed. “I’m afraid nothing so heroic, my lady. I was hauled out of the ocean by a small fishing vessel. My lungs were full of water and I caught a terrible ague and spent three weeks in a Portuguese hospital.”

They all laughed with Geb.

Rhys Draper took a long pull on his wine. “I would be willing to bet you were the most interesting thing those fishermen plucked from the Atlantic that day. And you were damned lucky. Not only could you have drowned, but if this had happened a year later, you might have been caught up in Napoleon’s invasion.”

“Indeed, luck was with me that day and many others.” More sober, Geb gave Nick a knowing look.

Nick noted his friend’s careful use of luck rather than invoke the name of the Prophet in a room full of Christians. Knowing how religious Geb was, Nick knew what he was thinking. They had experienced many adventures together, and luck, Allah, or God had seen them through some things that at the time, seemed impossible.

The footmen served the soup.

Nick noted that many of the guests poked at the fine broth, vegetables, and bits of tender beef, but didn’t eat. The Yates family were among those who would not eat from the table of an Egyptian but would be happy to attend, since Geb was a good resource for many business dealings. Not to mention the depth of Geb’s pocketbook. Faith, Poppy, and Rhys ate with gusto. Perhaps more than was natural, and Nick decided they had also noticed the rudeness of the other guests.

Besides the Yateses, Sir Duncan Humphrey, his wife and two sons, Montgomery and Malcolm, were in attendance as well as William Wharton and his wife. All were well respected among the ton and had obviously not come for the food or company. They didn’t speak other than the occasional thank you.

On Nick’s right, Faith sipped the last of her soup and turned to Mary. “You didn’t like the soup?”

“I’m not hungry. I’m certain it is quite good.” Mary narrowed her eyes at Faith. “It’s really too bad, it was the best I’ve tasted.” Faith smiled warmly and turned her attention back to Geb. “Poppy told me how wonderful your cook is and now I can taste the truth of it.”

“You always did have a great love of food, Faith.” Mary’s voice rang with disdain and she peered down that thin nose at Faith’s curvaceous figure.

Poppy looked ready to leap across the table and do Mary physical harm.

A low laugh from Faith calmed the situation. “I suppose where I am fond of a good meal you are fond of a good bit of gossip. We each have our hidden desires. Don’t we, Mary.”

It was a warning, but Nick didn’t have enough information to know what was at stake.
Mary bit her bottom lip and narrowed her eyes before masking all emotion and nodding. “I suppose that’s true of everyone.”

A flush of pride swept over Nick. He had no right to feel any sense of esteem for Faith’s ability to outthink another woman and put her in her place. Yet, he couldn’t help liking that she had not been bested by a bigoted daughter of parents who would attend the dinner party of a man they clearly didn’t like, but wanted something from.

Turning his attention back to Geb, Nick noted his friend’s amusement at the social volley going on at the table. Geb smiled warmly at Poppy as she changed the subject to the delectable pheasant and fine wine.

By the main course, Nick had given up on the other end of the table and was ensconced in a lively conversation among the four people around him. Rhys was well versed in politics and they discussed the state of coalmines. Faith and Poppy both added their opinions, which were well thought out and more astute than he would have thought for ladies of their rank.

Perhaps he should rethink his views of what ladies ponder in the course of a day. Clearly it was more than stitching and tea patterns.

Geb, too, ignored the reticent group at the far end of the table and joined the banter. When Kosey announced that cake and sherry were being served in the grand parlor, Nick was disappointed to leave the conversation.

As soon as they entered the parlor, Flitmore cornered Geb about the sale of several horses, and Sir Duncan wanted to know when the next shipment of spices from India would be arriving.

Stomach turning at their duplicity, Nick escaped to the garden.

Geb had torches lighting the paths. The gardens here were one of Nick’s favorite places in England. They were orderly and wild at once. White stones lined the lanes meant to guide one through the low plantings. It was a maze but without the threat of becoming lost. The fountain at the far end broke the silence of the pleasant autumn night. Soon winter would turn the garden into a wasteland and a good snow would give it the feel of an abandoned house.

Nick sighed and walked on.

“Are you determined to be alone, or might I join you, Your Grace?”

Faith called from only a few feet behind him.

He must be losing his training for her to have sneaked up behind him without notice. “Is there something you wanted, Lady Faith?”

She stepped closer. Several curls had freed themselves of her elaborate coif and called out to Nick to touch them. “It is a lovely garden.” She glanced around and smiled.

“Yes. Geb has taken bits from all his travels and placed them in his home and this garden. I think it brings him comfort.”

Faith’s golden eyes filled with sorrow. “Do you think Mr. Arafa is lonely here in England?”

“It is never easy to live amongst a people not your own.” Nick considered all the time he’d spent in France, Spain, and Portugal and how much he’d missed the rainy days in England and people who understood his humor.

“The Wallflowers are very fond of Mr. Arafa. We have not entertained much, but I will see that he is added to our invitation list. Perhaps a circle of good friends will make him feel more at home.” She’d placed her index finger on her chin while she considered how best to help Geb.

Adorable.

He needed to be free of this woman. “You didn’t say what it was you wanted, Lady Faith.”

Frowning, she walked forward and down the path. “Must I have a reason to walk in the garden with my fiancé?”

Leaving her to her own devices and returning to the house flitted through his mind, but it would cause gossip and he was curious about her reason for seeking him out. “We are hardly the perfect picture of an engaged couple.”

“No. That is true. I wanted to apologize for any undue strain I may have caused you by trying to find out what kind of character you have.”

“Is that your apology, or shall I wait for more?” he said when she didn’t elaborate.
She stopped and puffed up her chest. Her cheeks were red and fire flashed in her eyes. “Why must you be so difficult? Even when I’m trying to be nice, you find fault. The entire situation was mostly your doing. If you had been open and honest, that would have been an end to our query and none of the rest would have been necessary.”

Even more beautiful when she was in a temper, he longed to pull her into his arms and taste those alluring lips. He was certain just one tug would topple all those curls from the pins that held her hair in place and he could find out if they were as soft as they appeared. It was maddening. “I hardly see how it was my fault. You and your friends spied on me and involved Geb, which is unforgivable.”

As soft and lovely as she was, a hard edge caught in her voice. “I suppose, then, you will not accept my apology. I see. Well, in that case, I’ll leave you to your solitude.” She turned to walk away and stopped, eyes narrowed into the darkness beyond the gardens, which were surrounded by tall evergreens.

Following her gaze, Nick saw nothing, though the hair on the back of his neck rose. “What is it?”

“I felt eyes on me, as if someone was watching.” She shivered and continued straining to see in the shadows.

“I’m sure you are imagining things.” He dismissed her worry. That hateful glance fell on him before she plastered false serenity on her face. “Perhaps.”

He preferred the disdain to the untruthful agreement. Why he should care when he wanted nothing to do with her, he didn’t know. “Shall I escort you back inside, Lady Faith?”

“You are too kind, Your Grace, but I can manage the journey on my own.” With a curt nod, she stormed away from him toward the house.

Unable to look away, he admired the gentle sway of her hips until she climbed the veranda steps and went inside. Lord, how he longed to hold those hips and slide his hands up to that slim waist, and so much more.

He shook away the wayward thoughts before he embarrassed himself with his desires.
One thing was certain, Faith Landon would be his undoing.

About the Author

A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.

A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

Multi-published in historical, paranormal, erotic and contemporary romance, A.S. is the author of the several series, including Forever Brides, Everton Domestic Society, Wallflowers of West Lane and more. Strong, empowered heroines from Regency London to modern-day New Orleans are what really excites A.S., and that’s what you’ll find in all her
books.

A Jersey Girl at heart, she now makes her home in Southern Missouri with her real-life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, travel, history, puttering in her garden and spoiling her fussy cat.

 

Website & Social Media Links

Website: http://asfenichel.com

Blog: http://asfenichel.com/blog

Twitter: http://twitter.com/asfenichel

Facebook: Http://facebook.com/asfenichel

 

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Book Tour: ‘Tetrastatum’ by Dr. Richard and Tim Smith

TETRASTATUM

Dr. Richard & Tim Smith
* Time Travel Thriller *

Title: TETRASTATUM
Author: Dr. Richard & Tim Smith
Publisher: Epigraph Publishing
Pages: 300
Genre: Time Travel Thriller

 

 

Blurb

In their debut novel TETRASTATUM, authors Dr. Richard and Tim Smith combine heady concepts about the universe with a thrilling science fiction story about the search for a new kind of time travel. The result is a stunning mixture of dense cosmology and old-fashioned storytelling that will appeal to a wide readership, from science professionals to lay fans of science fiction.

 

Reviews

“Dr. Richard” and “Tim Smith” are the pseudonyms of Dr. Richard Connor and Marcus Rodriguez, respectively.

TETRASTATUM (‘the fourth state’) is the culmination of my 30 years working in the field of photonics,” Dr. Richard says. “I am an avid reader of sci-fi, and I wanted to create a new type of work that is both educational and entertaining in the genre. TETRASTATUM gives the reader a unique understanding of the existing laws of physics and extends them to provoke further thought from novice readers as well as advanced experts in the field.”

Kirkus Reviews notes that “authors Dr. Richard and Smith … tell their cerebral story with a heady mix of dense theory and absurdist humor.”

The Independent Review of Books declares:  “TETRASTATUM is like nothing you have ever read before. This is an impressive work of science fiction …”

The San Francisco Book Review adds that, “These recurring themes of characterization and distortion feed into the concern that is being voiced over the current state of our political climate…The layering of these themes is ultimately what gives TETRASTATUM a relevance that will keep readers turning pages and asking questions.”

“The book ultimately explains how human perceptions alter the future and puts forth a model based on quantum physics to explain ‘reality’,”
Dr. Richard continues.  He calls science fiction “the perfect genre to explore socio-political ideas within the context of futuristic technologies and scientific theories.”

Dr. Richard and Smith are currently working with Norith Soth on adapting TETRASTATUM into a screenplay. Mr. Soth has penned work for Justin Lin (“Fast and Furious”), Stephen Chin (“War Dogs”), and Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”).

Order your copy below

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Excerpt

“Well, Dr. Smith, your colleague…uhm, whom you claim is watching us on some monitor-type device, has quite an imagination. Images, imagination, create that which brings wonder into the realm of understanding. I concede that I didn’t contemplate the idea of two spheres and two sets of waves when I derived my equations. I missed the duality, nature’s constant. But I confirm that this appears to be mathematically accurate and a plausible theory as to the nature of reality, itself.” –Dr. Erwin Schrödinger

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Meet the author

 

Dr. Richard has been involved in the field of Photonics for over 30 years. He received his BA in physics (honors) from the University of California Fullerton. He was in a full scholarship PhD program in physics at the University of California Irvine and a PhD program in philosophy at Claremont Graduate School. Dr. Richard completed his two dissertations (involving human interpretations of laser and electro-optical images) while under top secret clearance. He also has an advanced placement teaching credential, an advanced certification (from the University of Wisconsin) in laser and optical design; and other advanced certifications in fiber optics, computer programming, technology business development, financial products, dance, anatomy and physiology.

Website & social links

WEBSITE → https://www.tetrastatum.com

TWITTER → https://twitter.com/DrRichard_ISTAR

FACEBOOK → https://www.facebook.com/istarsfx

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

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