It’s the time of year when everyone is Irish! If you want to get your Irish on, read my clean and wholesome historical romance Lord Apollo & the Colleen. There’s a mystery to solve and a romance to relish…if everyone survives to the end.
Blurb: Five years after his supposed death, Theo King has returned to Graceling Hall…but a mystery remains. A stranger is buried in his grave, and nobody knows if his death was accidental…or murder. As Theo resumes his former life, the dead man’s sister shows up on his doorstep to hold him accountable. If he helps this Irish spitfire solve the mystery, will she finally leave him in peace?
The sole survivor of a train accident, young Larken Burke is dubbed the Miracle Orphan. Four years later, however, her life is far from fortunate. Because of her emotional and physical scars, she believes she’s un-marriageable. With little hope for the future, she agrees to wed a gentleman she’s never met. Unfortunately, his aloof manner proves difficult to take.
Marked by romantic tragedy and the loss of his brother, Brandon King has forsworn marriage. Obliged to take in a ward, he advertises for a mail-order bride to raise the boy. Since the union is to be a marriage in name only, his criteria are youthful age, a certain level of intellect, good breeding, and that the girl shouldn’t be so ill-favored she would embarrass him in society. To his dismay, he gets more than he’d bargained for.
Will it take a miracle for Mr. and Mrs. King to fall in love, or is their marriage another accident waiting to happen?
Larken is also available at your favorite bookstore at this Universal Link
I’m not much of a cook, so when I find something that works, I stick with it. This No Recipe Sauteed Broccoli came about when I had pan-seared some chicken with various seasonings and I decided to reuse the oil to sauté broccoli (so I wouldn’t have to wash the pan in between). All the dish requires is olive oil, seasoned salt, onion powder, black pepper, garlic powder, and broccoli cut into florets. I make sure the florets are cut in half so that they will cook properly, and they take somewhere between five minutes and ten minutes to sauté, depending on whether you like your broccoli harder or softer.
Perhaps I’m easy to please, but after the broccoli is eaten, I feel like licking the plate. ~ Suzanne
No Recipe Sauteed Broccoli
• Olive oil
• Broccoli florets (freshly washed and cut in half)
• Seasoned salt
• Onion powder
• Garlic powder
• Black pepper
Pour oil into a heated nonstick pan, sprinkle in seasonings to taste, throw in broccoli and toss it in the oil to make sure the pieces are thoroughly coated. Continue to sauté until the broccoli is cooked just the way you like it. I tend to cook it about seven to ten minutes.
I’m very happy to announce that The Star-Crossed Seamstress has reached bestseller status on Amazon. It is #1 in Teen & Young Adult Historical Romance and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
During the editing process, my editor suggested I remove the opening scene, to start with Skylar’s arrival in England. I pay her for her sage advice, so I complied. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean the scene can’t see the light of day! In the movies, certain scenes end up on the digital version of the cutting-room floor and are perhaps included on a DVD as a bonus for viewers. Consider the following deleted scene as a bonus, and have a very happy Friday! ~ Suzanne
Deleted Opening Scene from The Star-Crossed Seamstress:
Skylar eased out of the cramped Second Class cabin she shared with another passenger, made her way down the deserted, narrow corridor and ascended a flight of carpeted stairs. As she stepped onto the open deck at last, she filled her lungs with fresh air, heavy with moisture and smelling of salt. The chilly Atlantic Ocean wind whipped her face and threatened to unmoor her brunette hair from its pins, but she merely wrapped the knit scarf around her neck more securely and tightened the paisley woolen shawl around her shoulders.
An abrupt rolling motion sent her lurching across the deck, but fortunately the sturdy railing prevented her from falling overboard. After nearly two weeks aboard the steamship, she’d thought she had gained her sea legs, but the ocean was uniformly unpredictable. Nevertheless, she took a firm grip of the railing and made her way toward the stern. Nothing would deter her from staring down her future, no matter how much uncertainty lay ahead.
When she reached the bow, however, a low bank of fog obscured her view. It seemed her destination would remain hidden a while longer. She was startled by a long, low horn coming from the steamer’s helm. Moments later, she was joined by one of the ship’s officers, dressed in a natty blue uniform. “Good morning, Miss Lake.”
“Hello, Mr. Chapman.” Skylar smiled. “I didn’t hear your footsteps just now.”
“It’s difficult to hear anything else when the foghorn blows.” The man’s green eyes twinkled underneath his cap. “’Tis a bit early to be getting your exercise, isn’t it?”
“I was hoping to catch a glimpse of land, actually.”
“The fog will burn off by mid-morning and we’ll be off the coast of Ireland by then. The Emerald Isle is not a sight you’ll ever forget, but then you’re bound for England, are you not?”
“Yes, and I’m eager to arrive.” She turned away from the railing. “I suppose I’ve no choice but to be patient.”
“Just so.” The officer escorted her back into the deckhouse. “Will this be your first visit to England?”
“Not exactly. I was born there but left with my parents when I was a very small child.” Her shoulders moved up and down in a slight shrug. “I don’t remember it at all.”
“You’ll get acclimated soon enough, to be sure.” He peered at her. “You’ve family meeting you dockside, do you not? Liverpool’s not the sort of city a young lady can move about unaccompanied.”
“Mama sent her sister a letter with my travel plans, so my Uncle Amos is sure to be there.” Skylar paused. “Thank you for looking after me so faithfully during this voyage, sir. It’s somewhat daunting to be traveling alone.”
“’Tis no trouble at all, miss. In fact, you remind me a trifle of my granddaughter.”
“I appreciate your kindness.” She thought longingly of a cup of tea. “Is the Saloon open for breakfast this early?”
“The staff is only just beginning to set up, but it shouldn’t be too much longer before they are ready for passengers.” He gestured down the empty corridor. “Why don’t you wait in the library?”
“That’s an excellent idea.”
They parted ways and Skylar ducked into the well-stocked library to pass the time before the ship’s staff could furnish her with her morning beverage. She scanned the shelves, wishing she could find an inspiring book about a newly impoverished young woman fleeing America to escape the stigma of a family disgrace. After finding nothing of the sort, of course, she settled on Louise May Alcott’s Little Women. As she skimmed its pages, however, she realized that she’d devoted her time on the east-bound voyage almost exclusively to American authors—likely due to an increasing sense of homesickness for the country in which she’d been raised.
With a sigh, she put back the volume she’d chosen and picked out Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice instead. From now on, she must make a conscious decision to select British authors over American ones. It certainly did no good to pine for America any longer, since she could never go back.
Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all!
It’s also release day for The Star-Crossed Seamstress, which is available for purchase or to read for free through the Kindle Unlimited program. The Mannequin is already available in ebook and paperback format, but look for Grace Unmasked and The Star-Crossed Seamstress to be published in paperback format as well.
The Ice Captain’s Daughter is now out in paperback, too!
Coming this Valentine’s Day is Book Three in the Mannequin Series, The Star-Crossed Seamstress!
Blurb: Skylar flees a family scandal in Boston, expecting assistance in society from her English relatives. Once her plans fall apart, however, she is obliged to earn money with her skills as a seamstress. Just when she’s given up on the notion of marriage, her path crosses that of a charming laborer who inexplicably sets her pulse racing.
When wealthy Joe Fiddick hits a patch of bad luck, he seizes the opportunity to do something meaningful by helping a neighbor and her pretty granddaughter with repairs to their cottage. As it turns out, he has more in common with the granddaughter than he realizes…and what they share spells disaster for their budding romance.
Will Joe and Skylar be star-crossed lovers or can the rift between them be mended?
The Star-Crossed Seamstress is specially priced at $0.99 for the pre-release.
I am looking forward to 2019, and I hope you are, too!
I have a few announcements:
• Larken is now in wide release. Click HERE to be taken to your favorite bookstore;
• I have just completed the third installment in The Mannequin series and it will be in the editor’s hands soon. I will make an announcement closer to the release date so you can reserve a pre-sale copy. My best guess is that it will be released in February, so stay tuned!
Happy New Year to one and all.
I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! ~ Suzanne
I have a gift for you, just in time for the holidays! I’m pleased to announce that my short Victorian story, A Gift for Lara, is free at a wide variety of bookstores. Click here to be taken to your favorite store and enjoy!
Lara Robinson wrote a love letter four years ago, but received no reply. Now the man to whom she gave her heart will visit Blythe Manor for Christmas. How can she enjoy the holidays knowing Miles Greystoke must despise her for revealing her feelings in such an unguarded fashion?
As an awkward youth, Miles fell in love with a kindred spirit…but his love was unrequited. Against his wishes, he’s now obliged to spend the holidays at Blythe Manor. Time has wrought changes in his physique, but his devotion to Lara Robinson has never wavered. He searches for the perfect present to show her how he feels, but nothing seems quite right…until he realizes the best sort of gift will embrace the true meaning of Christmas.
If you like A Gift for Lara, you’ll love the sequel, A Gift for Fiona!
With one sister married and another soon to be engaged, Fiona Robinson worries she’ll be on the shelf. She pins her hopes on a handsome viscount, but his unexpected proposal to another girl hands her a stinging and demoralizing defeat. A new acquaintance awakens all her senses—until she realizes he’s related to the girl who stole her beau. On the heels of her public humiliation, should Fiona instead consider marriage to a much older man whom she could never love?
Fiona’s unconventional, earthy looks and mischievous personality appeal to Rory Braithwaite much more than any other woman he’s ever met. Unfortunately, his sister has been the means of ruining Fiona’s happiness. Can he convince Fiona of his sincerity before she makes a mistake she’ll regret for the rest of her life…and his?
On Monday, November 19th, Ruse & Romance is a free Kindle download at Amazon.
Unjustly labeled a flirt, Kitty Beaucroft is in need of a fiancé. Lord Philip Butler’s father wants him to settle down before he can become a landowner. With no intention of following through, Kitty and Philip enter into a temporary engagement as a means to an end. Unfortunately, someone knows the truth and is determined to expose them. Will the ruse turn into a romance before it’s too late?
To read a sample, go HERE.
To go directly to download at Amazon, go HERE.
Ruse & Romance is also available in audiobook format. Listen in…
Audible links by country:
To keep the romance flowing, read the next in the Beaucroft Girls Series, Rake & Romance
Blurb: Juliet’s plans to wed Lord Elbourne come to naught when she discovers he’s obliged to wed an heiress from overseas instead. To salvage her dignity, she enters into a ruse with the heiress’s brother, whom she views as a rake. Unfortunately, he’s also the most attractive man she’s ever met.
When Cody Gryphon first arrives in London, everyone seems to confuse him with his wicked cousin, Lord Gryphon, whom he hasn’t seen in years. His uncanny resemblance to the man doesn’t make it easier to establish himself. Nevertheless, Cody will do anything to see his sister Stephanie wed to Lord Elbourne, including entering into a temporary engagement with her romantic rival, Juliet. Although he intends to return to Texas as soon as his sister is wed, he finds it increasingly difficult to resist Juliet’s charms.
Can a rake and a debutante ever have their happily ever after?
Rake & Romance is available wherever ebooks are sold. Click this universal link to find your favorite retailer.