I love the holiday time of year and all of the new stories that come out from wonderful authors. Today I am letting four Regency authors promote their anthology, CHRISTMAS REVELS II, with four Regency novellas.
CHRISTMAS REVELS II
Let the Revels begin—again! Four new stories with four distinctive voices.
The Vicar’s Christmas – by Anna D. Allen
Margaret Trent never needs anything or anyone, but when two London solicitors show up on her doorstep, she needs a hero. Enter Henry Ogden, mild-mannered village vicar. Hardly the stuff of heroes . . . until adversity brings out unexpected talents.
A Christmas Equation – by Hannah Meredith
A chance meeting between a reluctant viscount and a self-effacing companion revives memories of their shared past—a time when they were very different people. With secrets to keep, Sarah Clendenin wishes Benjamin Radcliff gone . . . but he’s making calculations of his own.
Crimson Snow – by Kate Parker
A trail of blood drops leads Jane Merrywether to a wounded stranger—the only person standing in the way of her wicked guardian becoming an earl. John Rexford, long-thought dead, has returned to claim his inheritance and his promised bride . . . if he can survive a murderous Christmas.
A Perfectly Unregimented Christmas – by Louisa Cornell
After years at war, Viscount Pennyworth returns to his ancestral home to find some peace and quiet and to avoid the holiday he loathes. But four naughty boys, a bonnet-wearing goat, a one-eyed cat, a family secret, and one Annabelle Winters, governess, make this a Christmas he’ll never forget..
EXCERPT – A Christmas Equation – by Hannah Meredith
Ben transferred his gaze from the dogs quartering the field to Sarah. How could he make her see she was not alone in her disappointment? “I wouldn’t wish being the last sprig on an aristocratic family tree on my worst enemy,” he said. “I didn’t want the responsibility of trying to rescue estates that have been poorly managed for years. I had other plans. But this is the life I’ve been handed, and I’m trying to make the best of it.”
“You don’t understand.” She turned away, effectively hiding her expression behind the brim of that damned bonnet.
Without thought, he grasped her by both shoulders and spun her to face him. “What don’t I understand? I know you’ve lost the great love of your life. And I know that a life with me would be a second choice. I’m neither a poet nor famous. But I am offering you a real life, not the shadow existence you now have.” His voice had risen, and he noticed both dogs were returning to see if there was a problem. “I’m offering you a life where you don’t have to wear ugly gray bonnets and old-lady caps.”
He released her arms and began jerking on her bonnet ribbons. She tried to stop him, but he brushed her hands away. In a trice, he’d pulled the bonnet from her head and snatched off her disgusting widow’s cap. Stuffing the cap inside the bonnet, he held the items high above his head. Sarah reached her hands up and jumped to retrieve them. She was tall for a woman, but she had no hope of retrieving what he held aloft.
“Give me back my bonnet!”
He laughed, suddenly feeling carefree, as if he were indeed guilty of her taunt that he’d failed to mature. “I don’t think so.” Then he shouted, “Meg. Catch.” and launched Sarah’s bonnet into the air. The hat made a poor projectile and tumbled earthward. Before it reached the ground, however, a flash of red and white grabbed it and streaked away.
“Oh, my bonnet—”
“—was exceedingly unattractive,” Ben finished. He tilted her face up toward him with one finger under her chin. Her bright, honey-colored hair, loosened when he jerked off the cap, was already dancing in the breeze. How he loved her hair, alive and uncontained. This was how she was meant to be. “Don’t you see that I would buy you a dozen pretty bonnets, if you would just give me the chance? I understand that I’ll never be your grand passion. I can live with that, especially since I think we both will still be able to find contentment, and perhaps joy.”
Then he slowly lowered his head toward hers. His intent had to be clear. If she objected, he would release her. She had only to say no. But she said nothing. She did not turn her face away. He slowly settled his lips on hers, and it was like coming home.
MEET THE AUTHORS
Anna D. Allen resides in the deep woods with too many books and not enough dogs. She spends most winters snowed-in and trying to remember what “warm” was. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in Language and Literature. Her available works include two eclectic short story collections, one YA adventure novel, the Regency Romance Novelette “A Christmas Wager,” a novella in CHRISTMAS REVELS, and a host of boring, scholarly stuff. When not writing or reading, Anna can be found in the kitchen. In the virtual world, she can be found on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/k4gmanr or at her website: http://beket1.wix.com/annadallen.
Hannah Meredith is an English instructor who escaped to become a real estate broker when she discovered more people wanted houses than grammar. An abiding interest in English history and the vagaries of the human heart led her to write historical romance. She currently has four available: KESTREL, A DANGEROUS INDISCRETION, INDENTURED HEARTS, and KALEIDOSCOPE. Hannah was also a contributor to the original CHRISTMAS REVELS. She’s been married to her high school sweetheart for nearly half a century. She and her “half-life” picture may be found at http://www.hannahmeredith.com and http://www.facebook.com/HannahMeredithAuthor
Kate Parker grew up reading her mother’s collection of mystery books by Christie, Sayers, and others. Now she can’t write a story without someone being murdered, and everyday items are studied for their lethal potential. It’s taken her years to convince her husband that she hasn’t poisoned dinner; that funny taste is because she just can’t cook. Four books in her Victorian Bookshop Mystery series, THE VANISHING THIEF, THE COUNTERFEIT LADY, THE ROYAL ASSASSIN, and THE CONSPIRING WOMAN, are currently available. Her mystery-romance appears in CHRISTMAS REVELS. She may be found at www.KateParkerbooks.com and www.Facebook.com/Author.Kate.Parker/
LOUISA CORNELL earned four music degrees and studied for a year of at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, before embarking on a singing career in opera houses in Germany, Austria, and most of Eastern Europe. Now retired from an active career in opera, Louisa has returned to her first love—writing Regency-set historical romance. She is a two-time Golden Heart finalist, three-time Daphne du Maurier winner, and three-time Royal Ascot winner. Her debut story in CHRISTMAS REVELS won the 2015 Holt Medallion for Best Romance Novella. Louisa lives in rural LA (lower Alabama) where the people are friendly and internet is not. She can be found at www.louisacornell.com and www.facebook.com/RegencyWriterLouisaCornell.