Tuesday Treat. A snippet from Christmas Carols.

mince pies

Welcome to Tuesday Treat.

I haven’t offered you a treat for a couple of weeks as there have been other things going on here. But with the Christmas holiday approaching fast and as I’m beginning to feel a bit seasonal I thought you might like a snippet from Christmas Carols.

HRchristmascarols

Click the cover to buy.

Enjoy.

The door creaked as Alice pushed it.
“Oh my!”
“What?” But he didn’t need her answer as an icy flake hit his face. “Snow.”
“Yes, and so heavy. I do think you should make your way home, Stephen, rather than accompany me. The road is covered already and can only get worse.” The wind whipped her words to him.
“No, I’ll walk with you, Alice. I would hate for you to take a tumble.” A rustle and loud click, followed by the sudden absence of the freezing assault on his face told him she had put up her umbrella. She set her hand back on his arm and they took the two steps down to the churchyard path.
“The paving is dreadfully slippery.”
“We’ll go slowly.” The pathway, as she said, proved treacherous and he almost lost his footing. She grabbed at him so they both lurched. He laughed as they steadied. “Forgive me, but we must look a pair.”
“I doubt there is anyone to see, Stephen. The last of the choristers have gone. I can scarce see anything as the snow is falling so fast.”
“Hmm. We might take a little longer than usual to get to your house.”
She tightened her grip on his arm. “One bit at a time. We need to get to the churchyard gate and then the street.”
The snowflakes blasted his cheeks each time her umbrella moved with her steps, and already his ears tingled with the raw wind.
Blue walked on in the inclement weather but the dog had slowed his pace for them.
They stepped down into the road and trod slowly across, and then stepped up the other side to an equally icy pavement. Chill damp spread in his boots and his toes prickled.
They paused and Alice turned him around to face the other way against the snow for a few moments respite. “I am sorry, Stephen, I’m unsure of the direction. I can scarce see at all. The snow is swirling under the umbrella and the wind is so ferocious.”
“Exhilarating isn’t it,” he said. “I can’t recall ever being in snow like this.”
“I think it rather frightening. We need to turn back again. I know the road is right
because there is another lamppost. It is just a little way on. Are you ready?”
“Yes, come, Blue.”
He turned back into the fierce wind and Alice altered his direction a little before clinging tight to his arm. Her umbrella provided moments of fractional protection against some of the wild flurries. Their path now became more perilous as they tried to make their way up the hill. He placed each footstep with care but still slid in places. Alice gave a little gasp each time her footing slipped.
“Let me put my arm around your waist, Alice, I can steady you better that way, and don’t complain of anyone noticing us, please. I’d rather shock the town populace than let you get a twisted ankle or worse.”
She sniffed. “Yes, please.”
He moved her arm from his and found her waist. He slid his arm around her, astonished she should be this slender. “Now you put your arm around me and then we set off again. Does Blue look all right?”
“Yes. Poor Blue, he looks as cold and miserable as we must.”
Strangely, with her in his embrace, and with the pressure of her arm around his waist, Stephen could think of very many other times when he had been far more miserable than tonight.

Thanks for reading.

Daisy Banks

 

Daisy Banks is the author of:
Serving the Serpent
Christmas Carols
Marked for Magic
To Eternity
A Perfect Match
Timeless
Valentine Wishes
A Gentleman’s Folly
Your Heart My Soul
Fiona’s Wish
A Matter of Some Scandal
Daisy Banks writes a regular monthly story in the Sexy to Go compilations.

 

The Christmas Carols Blog Tour.

HRchristmascarolsClick the cover to buy.

This is a sticky post and other posts will appear below it until the tour is over.

Welcome to the Christmas Carols Blog Tour. Christmas Carols is now out.

You can find my last Christmas Carols blog of the tour today visiting with

http://tlschaefer.com/wordpress/

Please allow for time differences.

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http://www.arecafe.com/cafe-news/daisy-banks-christmas-carols/

Please allow for time differences.

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Diane Saxon

http://dianesaxon.blogspot.co.uk/

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Liza O’Connor

http://www.lizaoconnor.com/2015/08/daisy-banks-brings-us-christmas-early.html

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Tami Lund and Liza O’Connor

 http://tamilund.com/?p=2468 

http://www.lizaoconnor.com/2015/08/daisy-banks-brings-us-christmas-early.html

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Rosanna Leo

https://rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com

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Mae Clair

http://maeclair.net/blog/

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jj Keller

http://jjkeller.blogspot.com

http://romancewithjjkeller.wordpress.com

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Jessica Cale

http://www.authorjessicacale.com/

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Sotai Lazu

http://www.sotialazu.com/blog/

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Carmen Stefanescue

http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/

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Eva LeFoy

https://writery.wordpress.com/

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http://coverreveals.blogspot.co.uk/

and there is a special surprise guest appearance at

https://lovelustandlaptops.wordpress.com/

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https://kalyncooper.wordpress.com

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Romance Lives Forever.

Do stop by and help me celebrate the new release.

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Day 3 and I am visiting the delightful Haley Whitehall.

http://haleywhitehall.com/blog/

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Please allow for time differences.

Day 2 and you can find me visiting with the talented Virginnia De Parte.

http://www.virginniadeparte.blogspot.co.nz/2015/08/christmas-carols-by-daisy-banks.html

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Day 1 you can find me kicking off the blog tour with the fabulous Flossie Benton Rogers.

http://flossiebentonrogers.com/author-on-board-flossie-benton-rogers-welcomes-daisy-banks-3/

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Call back tomorrow to find where I’ll be.

Don’t forget you can read the whole of Chapter One of

Christmas Carols on the My Books page.

 

Tuesday Treat. A Gentleman’s Folly.

nice strawberry lady

Your treat today is from my story A Gentleman’s Folly.

I hope you enjoy Kitty’s first glimpse of Charles.

AGentlemansFolly_600x800Click the cover to buy.

A pair of shadows splayed on the green of the bowling lawn.
She swallowed and stood.
Sir Francis Dashwood, his signature scarlet waistcoat, bright and rounded as a robin’s breast, flashed in the morning sun as he came into sight. Beside him, the prospective bridegroom strode with determined steps. The fine hairs on the back of her neck prickled. A tremble ran through her knees, and she clutched her fan tight, determined to keep her composure. For sure he’d no need of a padded stocking to muscle his leg, and he wore no carmine on his cheek; there’d not be any mistaking him for a coxcomb fop.
The swift assessing glances he took, the way his jaw formed a solid hard line, and his glowering expression all crystallized the lump in her throat. The sharp contrast of his fine white wig with such dark brows and the cut of his coat displaying the breadth of his shoulders to eye-catching advantage announced him a man with a wide knowledge of anything life in Town could offer. From his grave expression, he might have been out to duel, but as his dark glance drank her in, it showed this morning his business to be with her.
Oh gods!

Blurb.

Katherine Bescell, courtesan and member of a secret order, thinks the offer of a marriage in name only to Charles Leverret, heir to a large fortune, will solve all her woes.
Charles Leverret believes his hired wife will ensure his inheritance. He might even enjoy her company if she’ll let him anywhere near her. Charmed by his bride, Charles breaks their original bargain and falls in love. Betrayed by a trusted lawyer who withholds Katherine’s promised fee, Charles struggles against evil chance to persuade Katherine his love is real.
Lust and love, truth and trust, each makes demands on them both, but though Charles has captured her heart, Katherine can’t bring herself to admit they belong together.
Masked and robed in the rites in the West Wycombe Caves where only truth is told, Charles makes his stand to claim the woman he adores.

You can read the whole of Chapter 1 here. https://daisybanks.wordpress.com/my-books/chapter-one-from-a-gentlemans-folly/

Tuesday Treat – something new.

nice strawberry ladyWelcome to Tuesday Treat. This week I am experimenting and offering you a sneaky peek at one of my works in progress. This began life as Chapter 2, but on consideration I think it is Chapter 1 of my latest historical story. Do remember this is a work in progress. It is raw and unedited. I hope you enjoy it.


Evangeline lost count of the staircases and doors before the pushing, shoving and shoulder barges ceased as they entered a wood panelled room with striped drapes at the window.
“Strip the young lady, and I’ll get the hot water brought up.” The vile voice, belonging to the one who’d dared to call her names, ordered the other two wenches.
She did nothing to stop them removing her clothes, would be as glad as any of them no doubt, to see the back of the rags. Still no one unbound her hands and she’d not beg. No, I’ll not beg.
“Throw a sheet or something around Miss while the gentlemen fill the bath.” The same savage voice called from across the room.
Suddenly conscious she stood naked, and half the household would probably troop up here bringing pails and jugs, Evangeline clung tight to the thin linen of the sheet a little maid wound around her. Angling her head away, she let them all do their tasks without uttering a word.
“Miss.”
The soft whisper stung her pride and she turned to the small wench at her side. “What?”
“Your wrists are bleeding.”
“I can’t turn the blood off.”
“Let me help you?”
She faced the innocence in those pale blue eyes and wanted to scream, to fight, to yell and to be free of it all. “No, stupid. You can’t help me. No one can. I’m the family sacrifice and if I bleed it’s what they want. Go back to the kitchen.”
“Daisy, don’t talk to her.” The tallest of the three maids stalked across the room.
The maid servant with the wide blue eyes cowered.
“I’ve known her sort before. They think they are better than us, but they don’t stick to the rules. They always end up the same, less than us and a drain on their family.”
Eva looked down to her hands. Her blood had stained the yellow cords red in places, some had dried to a rusty brown, but mostly her wrists looked red.

Guest Post Untamed and Unabashed by Liza O’Connor

UU Blog tour bannerI am thrilled to have my friend Liza O’Connor appearing at the blog on her tour.

Welcome to Lydia’s Bennet’s story.

An extension of Pride & Prejudice

Untamed & Unabashed (401x640)

Elizabeth Bennet told her story in Pride and Prejudice. Now Lydia Bennet tells her side of her whirlwind marriage to Lieutenant Wickham. The youngest of five daughters with a pittance of a dowry and no hope for a good marriage, Lydia feared her life was doomed from the start. She learns how to set herself apart from her sisters and gain the attention of young men. She hones charm and flirtation to an art. Willing to take risks, she manages to acquire a substantial dowry and marries her beloved Wickham. Yet, her life remains on the brink until she gains the patronage of a wealthy Duke trapped in a loveless marriage.

“Lydia was Lydia still; untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy and fearless.”
—quote by Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

EXCERPT
The next afternoon, Lydia arrived at David’s grand mansion wearing her best day-dress.
She handed her card to the butler. “Mrs. Lydia Wickham to see Lady Angelina.”
The butler raised his eyebrows.
Oh God, he recognized her from the night David took her to his bed. What if he refused her entrance, or told Angelina? She lifted her chin a bit higher and stared him down. No butler was going to ruin her fine future.
After a moment of hesitation, the man stepped back for her to enter.
He attempted to lead her to the parlor, but David spied her from the open door of his library. “Mrs. Wickham,” he called out as he rose and hurried to her. “Have you come to visit my wife?”
Lydia smiled at David. He looked ruggedly handsome this morning. His dark hair was a bit untidy, as if he’d spent the morning riding. “Yes, I’m here to visit my new friend.”
David turned to his butler, who looked most stern. “Tell my wife I would like to see her at once.”
The man frowned, but hurried off.
Lydia slipped her hand into the crook of David’s arm as he led her to the library. “I fear your butler remembers me,” she whispered.
“I have no doubt, but he is discreet as they come.”
Once David closed the library door behind them, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her with passion.
Her legs grew weak from desire, and as much as she wished to progress down this delightful path, she could not risk it. She gently pushed against his muscular chest and broke their kiss. “Your wife could arrive any moment.”
“I assure you, my wife will not arrive for at least an hour. She takes great pleasure in subtle rebellions.”

SALES LINK
Amazon

More About the Author
Liza O’Connor’s favorite books are Pride & Prejudice and Douglas Adams’ four book trilogy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Go figure…
Raised in the southern mid-section, Liza escaped to the East Coast once out of college. She’s worked as a journalist, a radio DJ, a security guard, a stock broker, a strategist, and a business solutions consultant to name a few of her many occupations. Again…go figure.
She learned to fly planes, jump out of planes, hang-glide, kayak and scuba dive, to name of few of her ‘let’s kill Liza’ moments. However, her favorite activity is to hike with her dog Jess among the shaved mountains of NJ.

Here are additional Historical Novels by Liza O’Connor
A Humorous Sleuth Series: The Adventures of Xavier & Vic
The brilliant English Sleuth, Xavier Thorn, takes on a cheeky apprentice who turns out to be a young woman. Vic prefers to dress as a young man so she can live a more interesting life in the Late Victorian era. Overtime, Xavier makes her his partner in all ways.

The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.

The Missing Partner — Opps! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.

A Right to Love — A Romantic spin off from the Adventures of Xavier & Vic. The gypsy pirate Jacko falls in love with a compromised lady of high society.
The Mesmerist — The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
LIZA O’CONNOR

Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Blog and Website  Facebook   Twitter
Google +

May Weddings.

May is a very popular month for weddings and I thought I’d let you have a peek at the wedding between Charles and Kitty in my story A Gentleman’s Folly. Enjoy.

wedding couple

Blurb

Katherine Bescell, courtesan and member of a secret order, thinks the offer of a marriage in name only to Charles Leverret, heir to a large fortune, will solve all her woes.
Charles Leverret believes his hired wife will ensure his inheritance. He might even enjoy her company if she’ll let him anywhere near her. Charmed by his bride, Charles breaks their original bargain and falls in love. Betrayed by a trusted lawyer who withholds Katherine’s promised fee, Charles struggles against evil chance to persuade Katherine his love is real.
Lust and love, truth and trust, each makes demands on them both, but though Charles has captured her heart, Katherine can’t bring herself to admit they belong together.
Masked and robed in the rites in the West Wycombe Caves where only truth is told, Charles makes his stand to claim the woman he adores.

AGentlemansFolly_600x800

Excerpt.

“Good Heavens. I thought the wedding would be a quiet affair,” Sir Francis exclaimed as he helped Katherine and Chloe from the coach.
“As did I. This affray is unexpected,” Katherine whispered to Chloe. Her friend came closer and reached up to rearrange the silk hood over her hair. Chloe, with lips folded into a thin red line, bent and brushed the embroidered fabric against the hoops displaying Katherine’s skirts to remove any dust from the journey.
“You understand you don’t have to wed this man, Kitty,” Sir Francis said. “You can still refuse even now. Leverret’s history certainly makes me believe you should think again. I’d not have introduced you had I known half of what I’ve been informed of since you two met.”
She nodded. “I gave my word, sir. I must keep it.”
Chloe slipped a comforting arm around her, and led by Sir Francis, they shoved their way through the crowd to the kissing gate.
Many of the gathered throng, some of the lowest life London could produce, staggered around the worse for cheap gin. She made her way up to the open church door where the clergyman and Mr. Charles Leverret stood.
“Mr. Knox, my bride, Katherine Bes…Katherine,” he mumbled.
He swayed unsteadily on his feet as they walked into the small nave. He was unshaven and his neck-cloth wrinkled and barely tied.
He’s good for nothing!
She held her courage tight. “Good morning to you, Mr. Knox. My name is Katherine Julia Bescell.”
Leverret leaned down so far, peering narrow-eyed, that she put out a hand to steady him in case he might fall. The elaborate, heavily embroidered, brocaded blue coat could not be more offensive stained with wine as it was. When, at the cleric’s word, Charles fumbled in his pocket and placed a ring on the book, Katherine saw the white lace of his cuff was purpled too. She shrank from the prospect of his touch and glanced back at Chloe, whose horrified expression brought tears to her eyes.
There had been no scent of wine, cheap gin, or the stink of putrid perfume when they met. Not for a second had she thought him such a man.
She’d tried to dismiss the tales Chloe had told of his gambling debts and the wenching with the strumpets from Vauxhall Gardens to the drabs from the inns on the riverfront. But the other follies that Chloe had related just last night made Katherine fearful. Leverret had been lucky to escape a charge of murder at merely nineteen. He had dueled three times since, and he always won. Few gentlemen would call him friend or accept his invitation to the card table after his first few months in London. Had he improved in the years since? Sir Francis had seemed to doubt it. Somehow she’d make sure Charles Leverret got his inheritance and she received the agreed sum, even if she had to fight with every bone in her body for it. She peeked up.
Leverret’s dark eyes were so narrowed by lack of sleep or drink she wondered if he could see anything at all.
Mr. Knox spoke the first words of the ceremony. Rather like a racing horse, the clergyman got into a rhythm, and he charged on. The only pause came when he spoke her name. Sir Francis, lips pressed tight together, squeezed her hand before he placed it in Leverret’s.
Charles lisped and mumbled his way through his vows, hardly waiting the time to hear hers, and before her senses ceased to reel, he crammed the token on her finger, and Mr. Knox announced them wed.
Leverret, swaying like a reed in a storm, bent to kiss her at the clergyman’s command, but she tilted her face so the stink of his drink-laden lips found only her cheek. Nowhere in their agreement had she given permission for him to kiss her, and despite his handsome, dark features, she’d have none of the sodden rogue today.
Once they’d signed the clergyman’s book, they walked down the path, her hand on his arm. Twice Leverret stumbled, once almost shoving her to the ground lurching as he did. They were greeted with cheers, wails, and sighs from the onlooking assembly.
“Farewell, my Charlie,” one of the women screeched and swooned away, thrashing into the arms of her friends.
Katherine yanked on his deep cuff to get his attention as he gawped, smiling at the commotion the woman caused. “Get us out of this caterwauling rabble, sir.”
He swept off his hat and bowed, more theater than good manners. “Certainly, my bride. Fare thee well, my dear friends, I go to a better world,” he called like a convicted felon before handing her clumsily into a hired closed-coach.
She waved farewell to Chloe, Mr. Knox, who gawped open-mouthed at his busy
churchyard and didn’t respond to her, and a stern-faced Sir Francis, who glowered toward her husband. The coachman stowed her valise with a thump, and Charles half stumbled up into the coach. He gave a small laugh as he fumbled before he managed to yank the door closed and then sat with a grin.
Despite the reek from his wine-soaked coat, she stood and tugged the window up to shut out the yowls from the swarm crowding about.
The coach lurched forward, and her stomach churned. Leverret lounged opposite her. Eyes closed, he nodded with his hat and white wig askew. Before they’d gone a half-mile and lost the most persistent yells of those following, his head lolled, and jaw slack, he slept.
She took the slender wedding band from her finger and bit it. The sharp metallic taste proved it brass, not gold. Vaguely disappointed, she shook her head. She could have been touched he’d bothered with such a trifle had it been genuine, but the ring was a mere part of the sham and meant nothing to either of them. She searched in her petticoats for one of her pockets and dropped the offending item inside, took out her small vinaigrette, and sniffed. The soothing vapor brought back memories of more pleasant moments.
Leverret gave a loud, expansive snore.
This would be the last disgraceful day of his conniving she’d endure.
Folding her hands on her ribbon-trimmed stomacher, she rested her head against the thinly padded seat back and closed her eyes as the coach lurched and bounced along. Her bridal morn had not been the sort most women would dream possible. But, no matter how ridiculous, the morning’s indignity brought her a step closer to a fortune, enough to make her quite independent for life.
“Brass ring indeed, Charles Henry Leverret. I’ll turn you into a man of some merit before I’m done with you.”

Buy Link http://bit.ly/1eXJOcx

Amazon amazon.com/author/daisybanks

Find me on the web here.

Blog https://daisybanks.wordpress.com/
Website http://daisybanksnovels.yolasite.com/
Twitter @DaisyBanks12
Facebook http://on.fb.me/18iRC35
Pinterest http://bit.ly/16sF1XG

wedding picture <ahref='http://www.123rf.com/profile_ansunette'>ansunette / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Midnight Kiss – First Impression Guest Post from Haley Whitehall.

Midnight Kiss – First Impression

This has been a busy month for me with two historical romance releases. After I finish this blog tour I think I will turn off my computer and sleep for a week, lol.

Last time I was here for Tuesday Treat. I shared the first kiss between Sophia and Lucas from Soldier in Her Lap. Now I’m back to share April’s first impression of Matt from Midnight Kiss.

 

Midnight Kiss-Cover

Excerpt:
“If we’re going to be rooming together you can at least call me, Mr. Seever,” he said, an undertone of laughter to his voice. “From here it will take about a week.”

She’d spend seven days in this man’s room?

She pushed herself up, resting on her elbows, and peered down at him. Equal parts rugged and refined, he embodied her version of handsome. She wanted to run her fingers through his already tousled sandy brown hair. His lips were sunburned. She could soothe them with kisses.

White men had never stirred such feelings before. Her instant attraction unsettled her stomach. A fantasy. Yes, it was just a fantasy because she had been alone too long, and he’d treated her kindly. She reached over to the lamp and blew out the light. She did not need to see his features any more. Still, in the darkness her forbidden thoughts remained.

No white man wanted to settle down with a colored woman. Such relationships were shunned. There was one socially acceptable option. She shot it down as soon as it flashed through her mind. She didn’t want to spend her life as someone’s mistress. Even if she did, she should eye some businessman, a big property owner, not a sailor.

Those emerald green eyes watched her closely. “Do you have another question?” he asked, spacing a mile between his words.

Her heart fluttered and her gaze moved to the sheets. Had he caught her staring? “I…um. Will you be able to sneak me some food? If it is going to be a week I’ll get mighty hungry.”
“I won’t need to sneak. A waiter will knock on the door and bring me breakfast. I’ll share it with you.”

How considerate. Her chest warmed and the heat spread up her neck. Would this be an intimate meal?

She kept that question to herself, asking the next question on her mind. “Will I need to hide from this waiter?”

“No. I doubt your presence will cause much of a stir.”

It wouldn’t? Did that mean he took colored women to his room regularly? She wasn’t interested in being one of his conquests.
The lean muscles hiding under his shirt would give her something to dream about. Only dream.
The last time she almost gave her heart to a white man it ended in disaster.

She’d learned from her mistake. A colored woman could not live happily ever after with a white man. Happy for a few months maybe, a few years if she was lucky, but not for a lifetime.

She couldn’t tell if he sensed her attraction. She didn’t know how to mask her feelings except by wrapping them in a prickly demeanor. Would that be enough?

She felt drawn to him like a hummingbird to honeysuckle.

Could they really stay apart for seven days?

Blurb:
Unjustly accused of stealing, nanny April Windmire is turned out on the streets without pay. With no place to go and no friends, she stows away on a Mississippi River steamboat. Her hopes to hide through the journey to St. Louis are dashed when a handsome white officer finds her. But instead of turning her in, he takes her to his private quarters where she fights her growing attraction to a man she cannot have.

Matt Seever’s wife died four year ago, leaving him alone with two small mulatto children. But his job as an officer on the Queen Bee isn’t family friendly. He knows he needs a new wife, but no southern white woman will marry him. When April lands in his lap, his prayers are answered. Or are they? April’s not the trusting type and racial prejudice runs deep in post-Civil War Missouri. Just when Matt convinces April he loves her, his new family becomes a target and there’s no backing down from this fight.

Together, April and Matt must brave heinous race prejudice crimes to find an enduring love.

Buy Links:

Liquid Silver Books 

Amazon 

 

Haley's Portrait for Slider

 

About Haley:
Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy.

Haley’s Social Media Links:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HaleyWhitehall
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LightonHistory
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5752677.Haley_Whitehall
Blog: http://haleywhitehall.com/blog/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Haley-Whitehall/e/B0078EO6CE/