Category Archives: Blog

#MedievalMonday The Romance of a First Kiss with Ruth A. Casie

It’s Medieval Monday here on my blog and I have Ruth A. Casie with an excerpt from a short story. This woman floors me with her talent and I’m sure you can see why when you read this excerpt but don’t worry, there’s a buy link right at the bottom. Enjoy!

The Druid Knights Tale (1)Excerpt: “Aye,” he said sleepily, followed by a soft snore.

She wiped the blood from the scratches on his cheek and studied him.

Full brows framed his wide-set eyes with long, thick lashes. His high cheekbones accentuated the deep hollows beneath them. His close-clipped beard outlined his full lips. His face spoke of power and ageless strength. He had a face that was easy to look at.

The wounds cleaned and bandaged, she bent over and gave him a lingering kiss on his forehead. Her head snapped up and her fingers went to her lips. They tingled as if she had eaten something spicy. She searched his face. His ashen color hadn’t changed. Panic welled in her throat. Her healing kiss always brought results.

His arm snaked around her and drew her to him. She didn’t resist when he pulled her closer and kissed her deeply. When she moved away his eyes were closed, the corners of his mouth tipped up in a smile, and his face took on a soft pink hue.

Relief flooded through her but was quickly replaced with doubt. For the first time she wondered if her healing kiss would be enough.

She prepared the camp and when she was done, sat back to rest. The smell of the wood and the snap of the fire were soothing. The dancing flames mesmerized her and drew her in deeper. The intertwined flames parted and in its midst she saw two figures following a light. She knew it was an omen but she could not tell if the sign was good or bad. A loud snap and a log fell, sending sparks flying, startling her out of her trance. 

Blurb: After a year of searching, Maximilian, the druid Grand Master, finds the sacred mistletoe destined for his soul mate shriveled and dead. He must journey to the Otherworld and tell the Ancestors of his failure.

Ellyn of Brodgar is an exceptional healer. But each healing kiss depletes her energy and brings her closer to death. Ellyn needs to find her own healing power before it’s too late.

Max and Ellyn are tossed into the Otherworld and have until the third sunset to appeal to the Ancestors or be lost forever. Together they find love, and as the last rays of the third sunset slip away, both are willing to sacrifice their hopes, dreams, and lives for the other. Do they have what it takes to escape the Otherworld and begin their life together?







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#FoodyFriday – A Delectable Dip and A New Romance

Welcome back to Foody Friday. I am just warning you to not read any further if you’re even a little hungry. This recipe sounds yummy and just reading it is making my stomach growl! If you decide to make it, be sure to share your pictures. Personal recommendations are always appreciated.

I love Lana Williams romances and this new release is right up there. The fact that it is book one makes it even better because you know there’ll be even more to come. Look at the cover? What a great couple. It’s beautiful. Congratulations, Lana, and thank you for sharing your recipe and new release with us.


Thank you for having me, Ashley! Today, I’m sharing our favorite dip recipe! This is a “must-have” for our Super Bowl party. You can’t go wrong if you bring this to any sort of party, no matter what time of year.

Mexican 9-Layered Dip

In a 9×13 glass pan, layer:

1 can refried beans

1 – 8oz container sour cream

1 – 8 oz container of avocado dip

1 small can of diced green chilis

1 small can of chopped black olives

5-6 green onions, finely chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

12-16 oz of Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated

Serve with large Fritos.

This is even better if you make it a day ahead of time. We like it with the dip-size Fritos. Tortilla chips are good, but tend to break when you dig in.

Hope you have a chance to try it!

Here’s a snippet from my latest release, LOVING THE HAWKE, set in Victorian London. This is the first full-length book in my new series, The Seven Curses of London, which opened with a novella, TRUSTING THE WOLFE.

LanaWilliams_LovingTheHawke_200pxAfter five seasons as a wallflower, Lettie Fairchild is resigned to spinsterhood. Mostly. Determined to claim more meaning for her life than seeing her younger sisters married, she seeks a purpose. She finds what she’s looking for when she happens upon a book describing seven curses that plague London.

Nathaniel Hawke is attempting to adjust to civilian life after retiring from the military, but his injured leg and memories of his time in the service prevent an easy transition. On his long walks during London’s darkest hours, Nathaniel is appalled by what he sees taking place on the dirty streets and alleyways. He is determined to take action. Coming upon a proper, if rebellious, lady in the desolate area both intrigues and frustrates him.

Nathaniel’s disregard for his personal safety infuriates Lettie even as her heart is touched by his determination to aid the city’s neglected children.

As the two wounded souls stumble upon each other time and again in slums and ballrooms, they realize they fight a common cause–and share an unbridled passion.

Will the curse they fight be their downfall? Or will love win the day?


Nathaniel Hawke, unwillingly retired captain of Her Majesty’s Royal Navy, couldn’t believe his eyes. Considering all he’d witnessed during the Indian Rebellion, the Second Opium War and his military service, that was a considerable feat.

Yet no matter how hard he stared at the cloaked figure speaking with several girls near the bridge, it didn’t change what was happening. A well-to-do woman was accosting several young girls, leaving their factory jobs for a quick meal before returning to work. She was about to ruin an entire week’s worth of reconnaissance.

He’d positioned himself in the doorway of a shop several doors down from the bridge entrance. He’d hoped to identify the men said to be luring girls from their factory jobs with the promise of high wages as a house maid, only to put them on ships to be sold as prostitutes in faraway lands or to serve in London brothels.

Instead, a lady, by the fitted cut of her cloak, was drawing far too much attention by attempting to speak to the young women. What on earth was she about? If one of the men he was trying to find observed her, she would be in grave danger. She might very well find herself on board a ship alongside the girls to whom she was speaking.

Nathaniel waited several precious moments, hoping the woman would proceed on her way. But no. She continued to speak earnestly with the girls. Several more stopped to listen.

That was the last straw. The crazed woman was ruining his chances of identifying the men running this operation, which would allow him to save the girls. Now he’d have to take the risk of revealing himself in order to force her to move along before something terrible occurred.

As he stepped out of the doorway, cane in hand, he once again cursed the damaged leg that caused him to limp. It was the reason he’d been driven from his previous life where he’d made a difference. Its constant ache was an unwelcome reminder that he could no longer protect his men, that he was no longer needed.

He thrust aside the dark thoughts as he tried to decide how to play this particular mission. He’d been forced to disguise himself on various operations during his military career, so while this was nothing new to him, he didn’t care to do draw attention to himself in a place he wanted to return to. Blast the woman.

Out of the corner of his eye, Nathaniel caught sight of a man strolling toward the bridge. With his bowler hat and better-than-most attire, he might very well be one of those Nathaniel had been watching for. Double blast.

Nathaniel had nearly reached the woman. Her face was hidden by a fawn-colored bonnet with a ridiculous bow on the side of it. He took an immediate dislike to the ugly thing.

“Excuse me,” he said, with a slight bow. “May I have a word with ye, miss?” He did his best to disguise his accent, not wanting to display his Cambridge education.

The woman turned in surprise as the side of her bonnet had blocked his approach. For some reason, he was stunned by how attractive she was. Large hazel eyes framed by dark blonde lashes and brows regarded him suspiciously. Her alabaster complexion was flawless with the exception of a tiny dent in her chin. “No, thank you.” Her tone was polite but firm before she turned back to the girls.

“Beggin’ yer pardon, but I must insist.” Her refusal made it difficult to hide his irritation. His position as an officer for so many years meant no one refused his orders. At least until now.

She glanced at him again, brow furrowed. Then she looked back at her audience. “Do any of you know this man?”

“No,” they all agreed as they stared at Nathaniel. They seemed to be waiting to see what might happen next.

“There’s no loiterin’ in this area,” he persisted. He gestured with his hand, hoping the girls would continue on their way so he might have a moment with the woman to explain the danger.

The older girls tugged the younger one’s sleeve. “Come along with ye, Alice. This don’t concern us.”

“Wait,” the woman said, sparing a moment to glare yet again at Nathaniel. “If you’re truly interested, here’s the card of the shop I mentioned.”

Alice reached out a cautious hand to take it, staring at it as though it might contain a hidden message. “I don’t know…”

“Think upon it. That’s all—”

Nathaniel snatched the card from the girl’s hand to read it. Madame Daphne. Seamstress. “What is it ye’re askin’ these girls to do?” he asked, allowing suspicion to color his tone.

“None of your business.” The woman seized the card from him then made a shooing motion. As if that would have any effect on him.

“Ye’re causin’ trouble for these poor girls,” he said and turned to glare at them, hoping it would work better on them than it had on the woman. “Leave them in peace.”

“We must be goin’.” The girls eased back, pulling Alice with them, but not before she took the card from the lady once more.

“Wait,” the woman bid them. “I want to help.”

With one last glance over their shoulders, the girls hurried down the street as though anxious to put more distance between themselves and the woman.

Nathaniel breathed a sigh of relief. Now he need only get her to do the same. Perhaps his vigil wouldn’t be wasted after all. “If you would—”

“How dare you.” The anger in the woman’s tone surprised him as did the passion that flared in her eyes. But it didn’t sway him from his purpose.

He leaned close, intending to intimidate her, dropping his East End accent. “Do you have any notion of the danger you’re in at this very moment?”

LOVING THE HAWKE is available exclusively at Amazon

More about Lana:

Amazon Bestselling Author Lana Williams writes historical romance filled with mystery, adventure, and a pinch of paranormal to stir things up. Her historical romantic suspense books include two series set in medieval England and two set in Victorian London.

Connect with Lana:





Do you have any “must-haves” goodies for the Super Bowl?


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#MedievalMonday – The Romance of a First Kiss with Cathy MacRae

It’s another Medieval Monday and we have a very romantic first kiss from Highlander Romance writer, Cathy MacRae. The Highlander’s French Bride is from the Highlander Bride Series.

CMacRae.TheHighlandersFrenchBride_high resExcerpt:

“Many where I am from speak Gaelic, though many also speak English, or a form of it,” he said casually, his tone easing some of her concern. “Mo chride means my heart. That is what ye are, Melisende. The love of my heart.”

Her thoughts were a whirlwind. “I do not know how to respond other than to say you stole my heart years ago.”

“Then why the hesitation?”

She bit her lip against a smile. “`Twas not because I did not understand your words, though it is true I’d not thought about the differences in our languages.” She took a breath to steel her courage. “`Twas because of the look on your face—in your eyes.”

He tilted his head at her. “What look?”

“As though you wished to kiss me,” she whispered, the very depths of her exposed, for there was no taking the words back. Kinnon rose, pulling her to her feet with him, and gathered her in his arms.

“I do.”

His mouth descended, caressing her lips with gentle pressure that quickly built to an insistence, flaming a hunger in her she’d never known. She leaned against him, her breasts aching as they touched his chest. Her lips parted at his urging as though paired to his, and his tongue mated feverishly with hers.

With the force of a sudden storm, she was no longer plain Melisende. Every fiber of her felt beautiful and desired. Her world was nothing more than the roughened velvet of his lips, the taste of ale on his breath, and the tender confines of his arms.

She was loved.


Heir to a lairdshsip, Kinnon Macrory is driven to prove himself by fighting the English on the battlefields of France. His dreams of heroic valor are destroyed by his inability to come to grips with the atrocities visited on the very people he is sworn to protect, and three years in a French prison for a crime he did not commit leave Kinnon longing for the one thing of beauty in his war-torn life—a young woman of great kindness and wisdom named Melisende.

Melisende de la Roche struggles to stay one step ahead of soldiers who would imprison her for helping an injured Scotsman accused of treason. She finds refuge in her uncle’s shop—until a chance encounter sends her fleeing into the unknown once again, always haunted by the beguiling friendship with the troubled young Scotsman she is certain she will never see again.

Determined to find the woman of his dreams, Kinnon returns to France, only to discover a trail of clues to Melisende’s whereabouts. Their reunion will open the doors to passion, but half-truths and lies from the past could destroy the one thing they both are willing to fight for—each other.



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#FoodyFriday with HAGGIS! And Sabrina York

Haggis? Haggis! No Robert Burns celebration is complete without it. The New Hampshire Highland Games celebration includes a dinner with the food and, naturally, an Address to a Haggis.  When I was in Scotland, I was not going to miss at least a taste. I tried vegetarian haggis which, when you read the recipe, you’ll realize was a far cry from the actual thing but I’ve since redeemed myself and went for authenticity many times now including in New Hampshire.

Please join me in welcoming the eclectic Sabrina York and her haggis recipe.  I’m pretty sure from her picture she was at Deacon Brodie’s Tavern in Edinburgh when she tried it. Her latest release, Susana and the Scot from the Untamed Highlander series,  is a now available.


When I was in Scotland, to research my next Highland romp, one of my bucket list items was trying Haggis. If you know me, it will come as no surprise that—if it isn’t peanut butter and jelly—I can be a little squeamish about new foods. In fact, I have what epicurians would call a “low class palate”. I do not enjoy fancy foods (unless, of course, they include peanut buter, bacon or some form of cheesecake).

ANYWAY! I went to Scotland and I tried Haggis. Here is a picture of me with a plate of fried Haggis Balls in an Inverness restaurant. I’ll let you guess how I felt about this iconic dish.

Sabrina York rsz_sabrina_hates_haggis (1)

Please enjoy this HAGGIS Recipe, Because You Know You Want it!



1 sheep’s stomach or ox secum, cleaned and thoroughly, scalded, turned inside out and soaked overnight in cold salted water

heart and lungs of one lamb

450g/1lb beef or lamb trimmings, fat and lean

onions, finely chopped

225g/8oz oatmeal

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp ground dried coriander

1 tsp mace

1 tsp nutmeg

water, enough to cook the haggis

stock from lungs and trimmings

Preparation method

Wash the lungs, heart and liver (if using). Place in large pan of cold water with the meat trimmings and bring to the boil. Cook for about 2 hours.

When cooked, strain off the stock and set the stock aside.

Mince the lungs, heart and trimmings.

Put the minced mixture in a bowl and add the finely chopped onions, oatmeal and seasoning. Mix well and add enough stock to moisten the mixture. It should have a soft crumbly consistency.

Spoon the mixture into the sheep’s stomach, so it’s just over half full. Sew up the stomach with strong thread and prick a couple of times so it doesn’t explode while cooking.

Put the haggis in a pan of boiling water (enough to cover it) and cook for 3 hours without a lid. Keep adding more water to keep it covered.

To serve, cut open the haggis and spoon out the filling. Serve with neeps (mashed swede or turnip) and tatties (mashed potatoes).


Source (Because you know Sabrina doesn’t actually cook anything):

A #HotScot

And now, please enjoy a taste of my most recent release, Susana and the Scot the second in the Untamed Highland Series from St. Martin’s Press (and read on for a way YOU can win a tiara!)

Sabrina York susana_andthe_scot (1) A SCANDALOUS TEMPTATION
Andrew Lochlannach is famous for his conquests, on and off the battlefield. When a fellow warrior challenges him to a kissing contest, he wastes no time in planting his lips on ninety-nine lovely lasses-an impressive feat of seduction that gets him banished to the hinterlands. Still, Andrew has no regrets about his exploits-especially his embrace with the most beguiling woman he’s ever met…

With flaming red hair and a temper to match, Susana is not some innocent farmgirl who gives herself over easily to a man, even one as ruggedly handsome as Andrew. The wicked Scot may have won a kiss from the headstrong beauty in a moment of mutual desire, but Susana refuses to be just another one of his conquests. Andrew must convince the fiery lass that even though he is not playing a game, losing her is not an option…

EXCERPT:  Susana was annoyed. There was no doubt about it. The swish of her hips as she led him across the bustling bailey was a dead giveaway, that and the dark glowers she shot over her shoulder. But Andrew couldn’t help but be amused. For one thing, she was damn alluring when she was annoyed.

Hell, she was damn alluring altogether. The curve of her waist alone could drive a man insane, much less that silky tumble of hair. He wanted to wrap it is his fist, wind it around his body. A certain part of his body.

At the thought, his cock rose.

It was difficult to remind himself that he’d vowed to eschew seduction, but try as he might, he couldn’t banish the fantasy of stripping those breeks from her lovely body and laying her down in the heather. Visions of that twitching backside—bare before him—danced in his head.

But he’d made a vow. A sacred vow. And as tempting as she was, he would control his baser urges. He could. Probably.

These thoughts whirled in his head as she led him into the stables, past his men—who were unpacking and seeing to their horses—and through the kennels. Though he was perplexed, Andrew followed. He would probably follow anywhere she led. It was a fact that should have scared him to death or at the very least, concerned him. But it didn’t. However, when she started up a staircase at the very end of the long hall, he had to stop her.

She glared at the hand he set on her arm. He tried to ignore the sizzle that raged through him at their first touch. It was ridiculous how much that touch affected him. And how much he enjoyed her glare.

He edged closer. “Where are we going?” he asked in a purr.

Judging from her frown, his tone irritated her. He rather enjoyed irritating her, he found.

She ripped her arm away and continued up the stairs. He followed and found himself in a narrow loft that ran the length of the kennels. It was dim and a little dusty. Motes danced on the air. The roof was so low he had to duck his head to miss the rafters.

“Your men will stay here,” she said.

Andrew gaped at her. The room was swept clean and empty. A thin shaft of light from the far window illuminated it with a murky light. But the yipping from the kennel and the stench of excrement wafted up from below. For some reason, all thoughts of alluring backsides dissipated. Disbelief gushed through him. “Here?”

She crossed her arms and offered what could only be described as a smirk. “Here.”

He tipped his head to the side. “This is a kennel.”

“I am aware of that.”

“I have twenty-five men.”

“The room is quite large.”

“There are no beds.”

She blew out a breath. “We’ll bring in pallets.”

Andrew blinked. He set his teeth and tried to remain calm. His men were warriors. They did not sleep on pallets. In a kennel. “This will not do.” Surely she saw that. Surely she understood… He caught a glimpse of her smug expression and it dawned on him.

She did. She did understand. She knew damn well what she was doing. Her response only verified his suspicions.

“I’m sorry, but you have descended upon us with no warning whatsoever with a large group of men. I’m afraid this is all we can offer you at this time.” Her smile was deferential, but hardly sincere. The light dancing in her eyes lit a flame in his belly. “Of course, if our accommodations are unacceptable, you can always return to Dunnet…”

Oh, she’d like that, wouldn’t she?

The minx.

Rather than the exasperation her self-satisfied look should have sparked, Andrew found himself filled with another emotion entirely. Anticipation. Exhilaration. The thrill of a challenge.

For that was what she was, Susana Dounreay. A challenge.

And it appeared she reveled in provoking him.

A pity she didn’t understand he was a dangerous man to provoke.

The tumult her presence sparked within him flared again, burning the edges of his resolution; his inconvenient lust blossomed, and with it, an unruly resolve.

He wanted, very badly, to kiss her.  He wanted to wrench her into his arms and cover her sweet mouth with his. He wanted to taste her, consume her, possess her.

And he would.

Clearly he wasn’t the kind of man who could swear off women. Clearly he wasn’t the kind of man who could keep a vow.

So be it.

Damn to hell his ridiculous vow.

Damn to hell the fact that she was his sister-in-law.

He was going to seduce this vixen, and he would start right now.

Desire, like a snarling, snapping beast, rose within him, and he stepped closer.


Susana’s eyes flared as Andrew advanced on her, like a skulking fox that had spotted a plump rabbit. She didn’t mean to retreat, but she had to. She’d seen that expression in his eyes before and she knew what it meant. Something within her howled: Run.

Perhaps it was the expression in his eyes, or the knowledge that she was playing with fire, or the sudden realization that she’d foolishly come here, to this deserted loft with the most dangerous man she’d ever met, but she couldn’t still the urge to whirl and pace to the far end of the room to peer out of the smudged window. She was aware he followed. She felt his presence like a fire in a forge.

Desperation prompted her to continue their conversation, to put some space between them, to raise a shield. “The room is perfectly habitable,” she proclaimed. “And once we have pallets brought in, it will serve you well.”

“Will it?”

His voice was low in her ear, a whisper almost. And far too close. She wanted to turn, to confront him, but she knew, if she did, they would be face to face, perhaps lip to lip and she could not allow that. She could never allow that.

The last time he’d kissed her, it had been her undoing.

A pity he didn’t remember.

“My men willna like being housed with the dogs.” Holy God. Was that his hand on her hip? His thumb tracing her waist? “Nae doubt they will all want to find…other beds to welcome them.”

Susana stilled as his words sank in. The threat was clear. And it was rather horrifying. A horde of randy warriors set loose on the innocent maidens of Dounreay? That his hand had slid over to toy with the small of her back, to tangle in the skeins of her hair, didn’t help.

Her pulse thudded and her knees went weak. She couldn’t have it. She couldn’t have this man touching her. She sucked in a breath and slipped to the side, out of his grasp. When she was far enough away for some measure of safety, she turned to face him, a reproachful look fixed on her face. “Are your men so lacking in discipline?” She hoped her frown, her reproving tone, would bring him to heel. She should have known better.

He grinned and stepped closer. His eyes glinted, as though needling her was an amusing sport. “They are verra disciplined…when their needs are met.”

She crossed her arms, as though that could protect her, and pretended to study the room. Pretended she wasn’t aware of his thrumming presence, his heat, his intent. “Well, I shall hold you responsible for any…improprieties.” She took a step toward the staircase, only a tiny one—surely not an attempt to escape.

He chuckled—chuckled, the bastard—making it clear he recognized her cowardice for what it was. And he paced her.

“They’re all good men. They all volunteered to come with me. Each and every one of them is dedicated to the cause of protecting Reay from the villains who have been plaguing you. However…”

The way he trailed off derailed her retreat. She stilled. Glared at him. “However, what?”

“However, they do have…needs. Surely you can find better lodgings.”

She blew out a breath. “In time.” In time.

In time, he would be gone, God willing.

He stepped toward her again, although nonchalantly, as though he were not chasing her across the room. It occurred to her they were engaged in something of a macabre dance. It set her nerves on edge. She hadn’t realized what a long room this was, or how far it was to the stairs.

“Doona leave it too long.” His smile was heinous. It made all kinds of shivers dance over her skin. “My men are…restless.” She had the chilling sense he was talking about himself.

“I shall…do my best.” Like hell. “And now, if you will excuse me, I have things to do.”

His brow quirked. She tried not to notice what a perfect brow it was. “Ah, but I thought you and I could…talk.”

“Talk?” She didn’t intend to squawk, but she could tell from his predatory stance, a conversation was not the primary urge on his mind. At least, not one with words.

He nodded. Though his features were patently earnest, the sincerity was patently affected. “About the defenses you have in place…so I can decide what needs improvement.”

Aggravation rippled. It displaced her concerns about being here, with him, all alone. Fury did that, she’d often found. Overrode common sense and led one into dangerous waters. Her hands curled into fists. She strode toward him until they were nearly nose to nose. “Nothing needs improvement,” she snapped. They didn’t need him. Or his men. Or his stupid ideas.

“Nonsense. Now that we’re here, we intend to make a statement to Stafford, or whatever miscreants are lurking out there thinking Dounreay is an easy target. But before I set my plans in motion—”

“Your plans?” He already had plans? Och! He was so exasperating.

She barely noticed that he stepped closer…until their chests brushed. He was hard and hot; the touch made her tingle. His voice, low and luring made her tingle as well. His gaze skated over her face, then stalled on her lips. “Let’s meet and discuss—”

Her pulse skittered. “I doona have time to meet with you. Not today.” She took a step back. He followed.

“Nae?” A whisper. And his caress over her shoulder, that was a whisper as well. Like a panicked fawn, Susana eased back again. And again. He matched her, step for step.

She swallowed heavily. “I… You have descended upon us with no warning—”

“My brother sent a letter.”

He was too close. Far too close. She swallowed heavily. “Twenty-five men that now need to be housed and fed. On top of that, I have many other duties that need attending.”

He cocked his head to the side. “Which duties?”

“Many duties.” She frowned and glanced toward the staircase. Ah, lord. It was so far… He was too warm. Too broad. Too alluring. Though she didn’t intend to, she took another step back and—

Oh hell. He’d backed her against the wall. That he couldn’t stand straight in the low-ceilinged room was a small consolation.

“Susana,” he said as he leaned closer. His breath was a tantalizing trail over her face.

An unholy thrill snaked through her. Surely that wasn’t anticipation? Hunger? Need?

She could not allow him to kiss her. She could not—

Her knees nearly melted at the touch of his lips. His warmth, his taste, his scent made her mind whirl. Thank God he had his hands on her waist and was holding her steady, or she might well have collapsed.

It occurred to her that she should push him away, fight him, but she couldn’t. Something, something deep within her resisted. Something deep within her needed him. Needed this.

And ah, it was glorious. As glorious as she remembered.

His lips were soft, gentle, questing as they tested hers and then, with a groan, he pulled her closer, melding their bodies together. He deepened the kiss, sealing his mouth over hers and dancing his tongue over the seam.

She opened to him. She couldn’t resist. He filled her senses with his presence, his heat. With tiny nibbles, sucks and laps, he consumed her, enflamed her. All sanity fled. All logic and resolution and anger flitted away as Andrew tasted her, tempted her.

His hands were not still. They roved over her body from her shoulders, down her arms to her waist. They tangled in her hair and stroked her cheek and chin.

Heat blossomed, skittered through her veins. Her body softened, melted, prepared for him.

She should not have responded the way she did. She should not have pressed against him, rubbed against the hard bulge on his belly. She should not have explored the hard flesh of his back, cupped his nape, raked his silken scalp. She should not have moaned.

Surely all these things would only encourage him.

He lifted his head and stared at her, an odd mixture of befuddlement and awe in his eyes. His tongue peeped out and dabbed at his lips, snagging her attention. Surely she didn’t lean toward him in a mute plea for more.

Was she truly so weak?

Aye. She was.








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About Sabrina York

Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & sexy to scorching romance.  Visit her webpage at to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Get updates and alerts from Sabrina here: HotSheet Sign Up:



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#MedievalMonday The Romance of a First Kiss with Jenna Jaxon

I like to mention my own love of medieval romance. I know I write them but I also read them. Jenna is one of my favorites. Check this out and you’ll see why. Enjoy!

Jenna Jaxon First Kiss+200x300EXCERPT: “It has been decreed by His Majesty that on the first day the festivities will begin with a procession of ladies and knights of King Arthur’s court, starting at the Tower of London and winding through the town out to the lists. There are to be twenty-five knights on the king’s side who will joust and fight in a pas d’armes. So there needs be twenty-five ladies as well, to escort them to the field.”

She nodded again. “Princess Joanna rides in this procession.” Her part in the festivities had been determined last week. Did he have anything truly new to impart?

“You have been chosen to be one of the ladies.”

Alyse’s mouth dropped open and a thrill coursed through her. “But I am only Princess Joanna’s attendant, Sir Geoffrey. Usually such honors are reserved for the queen and Princess Isabella’s ladies, or the Duchesses and Countesses in the Royal Family. Why did they choose me?”

“Because I am to be one of the knights, and I begged a boon of the king to allow you to be my lady.”

She stared at him in shock, almost unbelieving, though she knew he would not lie about such a thing. To think she owed such an honor to the man she would soon call husband, that he had asked the king himself to grant the favor, made her heart beat an unsteady march in her chest. Alyse parted her lips to thank him when he swooped forward, secured her chin in his hand and kissed her.

Strangely soft, yet very sweet, his touch sent a searing bolt straight to her stomach, setting it afire. After moments that seemed an eternity, his mouth slackened on hers as though he would release her. Then he flicked the tip of his tongue across the hard-pressed seam of her mouth, testing for another invitation.

With a gasp she jumped back, drawing a chuckle from Geoffrey, who had the grace to glance around to make sure they had not been observed. “Be not discomfited, sweet. We are safe in our conversation.”

“’Twas not in our conversation that I feared harm, my lord.” Lord, ’twas difficult to sound outraged when she could still feel his lips on hers.

BLURB:  When Lady Alyse de Courcy is betrothed to Sir Geoffrey Longford, she has no choice but to make the best of a bad bargain. The hulking knight is far from her ideal man, and although he does possess some wit and charm, he is no match for the sinfully sensual man she secretly admires, Thomas, Earl of Braeton, her betrothed’s best friend.

From the first, Sir Geoffrey finds himself smitten by Lady Alyse, and, despite her infatuation with his friend, vows to win her love. When Geoffrey puts his mind to wooing Alyse, he is delighted to find her succumbing to his seduction. But when cruel circumstances separate them, Geoffrey must watch helplessly as Thomas steps in to protect Alyse—and falls in love with her himself.

As the three courtiers accompany Princess Joanna to her wedding in Spain, they run headlong into the Black Plague. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both the men she loves. But which love will survive?





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#FoodyFriday – Cranberry Apple Pie with Dawn Marie Hamilton

I have Dawn Marie Hamilton back today with her cranberry apple recipe because it was so darn good. If any of you missed it, here’s your chance:

Thanks for inviting me back to share my newest, favorite recipe, Ashley. During the holidays, my husband requested cranberry-apple pie. Although I love to cook and bake, I’d never made and apple pie, never mind cranberry-apple. So, I searched for recipes online and pulled out my mother’s old recipe box. Here is the recipe that evolved. The cranberry-apple pie is yummy served with country-style vanilla ice-cream.

Note: The recipe is on the tart side. If you have a major sweet tooth, consider increasing the amount of sugar.Cran-Apple Pie


1 package ready-made pie crusts (2 crusts)

4 large apples (peeled and sliced) (3 Braeburn and 1 Granny Smith is nice)

1+1/2 cup cranberries (cut largest berries in half)

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1+1/2 Tablespoons butter (cut into five pats)

  1. Preheat oven to 400º
  2. Flour both sides of one crust and place in 10-inch pie plate.
  3. For pie filling: combine apples, cranberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Spoon mixture into pie crust.
  4. Distribute butter pats over filling
  5. Place second crust on lightly floured surface and cut into strips.
  6. Basket weave strips over pie filling and crimp edges.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes or until crust is golden-brown.


Bio: Dawn Marie Hamilton dares you to dream. She is a 2013 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist who pens Scottish-inspired fantasy and paranormal romance. Some of her tales are rife with mischief-making faeries, brownies, and other fae creatures. More tormented souls—shape shifters, vampires, and maybe a zombie or two—stalk across the pages of other stories. When not writing, she’s cooking, gardening, or paddling the local creeks of Southern Maryland with her husband.

Connect with Dawn Marie at:

Dawn Marie Hamilton Writes Blog





Enchanted Highlands
The Enchanted Highlands collection…Three magical love stories from April Holthaus, Victoria Zak and Dawn Marie Hamilton. Available at Amazon for a limited time.

Twelvetide (Twelve Nights of Highland Magic)
By Dawn Marie Hamilton

He has twelve nights to gain her love.
She has twelve nights to save his soul.

Fulfilling a childhood promise, Ashley Dumont returns to an ancient Druid garden in the Black Hills of Scotland on the eve of the winter solstice—a time when magic hums and the veil between realms thins and tears, allowing all manner of supernatural creatures through. Will the ghost who claimed to be her destiny still be there?

Caelan Innes awaits her arrival. Unjustly murdered in the sixteenth century, a second chance at life depends on this woman. The Druids grant them the twelve nights of Yule to find love and save Cael’s soul. Will a trip through time and the treachery of enemies make the sacrifice too dear?


“Then again…” The woman frowned. “I’m afraid the veil is rather thick this year. So few believers.”

“Believers? What do you mean?”

“Those who embrace magic.”

“What does magic have to do with Cael?”

“Ah, so it’s Caelan you seek. He is braw, is he not?”

Ashley had dreamed of Cael since the age of seven. First as a playmate, then as a co-conspirator, and more recently as a lover. If memory—and dreams—served, he was hot, sexy, and to live for. Long blond hair framed emerald eyes, gorgeous hair tumbled over broad shoulders. Tall. At least, he’d towered over the child she’d been. He stood tall in her fantasies. Her nipples hardened in response to the recollection of the last steamy dream featuring Cael as hero.

“You must believe in magic, in all its forms, to save Caelan from an undeserved fate within the in-between.”

She snapped attention back to Aileen. “Tell me what I must do.”

“Do you believe? Truly believe?”

“In magic? I think I do.”

“Your heart, your soul, your mind must be dedicated. Especially your heart.”

She’d lost her heart to Cael a long time ago. She’d do whatever it took to find him and learn what he meant when he claimed to be her destiny. She prayed he spoke the truth.

“There will be dangers.” Aileen’s earnest features put a knot in Ashley’s already churning stomach.

Ashley nodded. “I must find Cael. I promised.”

“Ach, well, then collect nine leaves from the holly tree.” She pointed to a berry-laden tree at the garden’s edge. “Prick your finger on one of the leaves, leaving behind a droplet of blood. Wrap the leaves in linen and add a teardrop. Tie the cloth with nine knots and tie the ends together in a lover’s knot. Place the packet beneath your pillow tonight and your dreams will come true within this ancient garden at the hour of the solstice.”

Before Ashley had a chance to ask a question, the woman slipped away as silently as she’d arrived. Ashley worried her bottom lip. What Aileen described seemed an odd bit of witches’ hocus pocus. But if one believed in ghosts…



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#MedievalMonday and The Romance of a First Kiss with Barbara Bettis

It’s Medieval Monday and I just have to share that I think these excerpts really show the genius of these medieval romance authors. I love them! Barbara Bettis writes outstanding medieval romances and here’s just a taste of what you’ll get from Silverhawk. Don’t worry, the buy link is right at the bottom. Enjoy!

Silverhawk--new+cover (1)EXCERPT: Lady Emelin tucked her heavy brown wimple beneath her chin and watched the wounded knight.

Swollen eyelids, a puffy cheek, and bloody scrapes couldn’t hide his handsome features. Waves of midnight hair fell across his wide forehead to brush one side of his square, stubble-darkened jaw. Grit clustered on the high bridge of his nose. What shame such a strong, rugged man should be cut down. Her pulse fluttered, and she sucked in a sharp breath. Ashamed of such reaction, she squeezed shut her eyes.

Would Stephen have been so handsome, had he lived? She hardly recalled what her youthful first betrothed looked like when he joined his foster father on King Richard’s crusade. If only he’d returned, she’d be wed now, with the family she craved.

She sighed, reached for a leaf on her patient’s cheek—and found herself staring into the palest gray eyes she’d ever seen. His mouth moved; she leaned forward.

“What is it?” she murmured.

“Before…I…die,” came the hoarse whisper.

“Yes? What would you like before you die?” If it were in her power, she would provide the poor man with his wish. Drink? Food?

A strong hand gripped the back of her head, pulled her forward. That close, she saw his eyes weren’t gray, but layered like a winter pond winking with ice. They were silver.

“To…kiss…a nun,” came the outrageous reply before his lips met hers.

His warm mouth robbed her of breath for an instant. Then she snapped back with a gasp. And, with inborn reflex, slapped him. His head jerked, his eyes closed, and he lay motionless.

“Oh, Sweet Mary,” Emelin whispered, “I’ve killed him.” Leaning close, she saw his narrow, beautifully molded lips relax. His mouth curved at the corner.

At least he died with a smile on his face.

Blurb:  Sir Giles has come to England to kill his father, who seduced and betrayed his mother. First, however, he’ll seek sweet revenge—kidnap the old lord’s new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What’s a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.

Lady Emelin has had enough. Abandoned in a convent by her brother, she finally has a chance for home and family. Yet now she’s been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won’t allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape

Rescuing the intrepid lady—while hunting traitors—is a challenge Giles couldn’t anticipate.  But the greatest challenge to Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them. For he’s everything a proper lady should never want, and she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.




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#FoodyFriday – An Amazing Seafood Soup Recipe and Cathy MacRae

I think this recipe sounds absolutely fabulous! Please give a warm welcome to the amazing Cathy MacRae who shares her own recipe and her book that inspires it, The Highlander’s French Bride:

The hero in The Highlander’s French Bride, Kinnon Macrory, comes from a clan on the western coast of Scotland, on the firth of the Clyde River. His clan ate a lot of fish and other local sea food, and this is one of my favorite soup recipes using shrimp and crab in a creamy broth with a wee bit of wine. (I always double this recipe)

CMacRae in kitchen

Creamy, Chunky Crab and Shrimp Soup

Onions, raw, .25 cup, chopped

Garlic, 1 tsp

Butter, unsalted, 2 tbsp

Mushrooms, fresh, .5 cup, pieces or slices

Shrimp, raw, 4 oz

1.5 tsp Old Bay seasoning

1⁄4 cup Cooking sherry or red wine (whatever I have open at the time)

Louis Kemp, Crab Delights-imitation crab, 0.5 cup

Yellow Sweet Corn, Frozen, 0.5 cup kernels

Cream of Shrimp Soup, 1 can (10.75 oz) (check around. $ for this can vary from just under $2/can to

almost $4)

Milk, 1 cupSeafood soup


1. In a 2 quart or larger sauce pan melt 2 Tbsp unsalted butter over medium heat.

2. Then sauté onions and garlic in butter until onions are soft (you may add pepper to taste)

3. Add shrimp, imitation crab, Old Bay Seasoning, and corn.

Continue to sauté until everything is warmed thoroughly. Shrimp turns pink when cooked.

4. Stir in one can cream of shrimp soup.

5. Then fill can with milk and stir in slowly; add sherry or red wine.

6. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for at least 10 minutes, stirring often.

Number of Servings: 4

I usually serve this with a yummy, fresh­baked bread from a local bakery. This is a great comfort food, not to be confused with a meal for dieters.

CMacRae.TheHighlandersFrenchBride_high resBLURB: The Highlander’s French Bride opens in France, 1374. Kinnon Macrory has joined the battle in

France against the English during what would be known as the Hundred Years’ War. At this time,

France’s king has recalled Bertrand du Guesclin from the battlefields in Spain and given him

charge of the French army to help rid the regions of bands of Free Companies, made up of mostly

English soldiers and mercenaries who prey on villages and towns, taking what they want (hence

the name ‘free’ company) and terrorizing the people. Kinnon is a soldier in good standing with du

Guesclin, and has been given the job of currying favor and foodstuffs from a young woman who

runs a farm in the hills above Châteauneuf­de­Randon, a town with an English garrison du

Guesclin has besieged.


“What is it you wish to purchase?” Her voice hitched as she swung her bucket onto the back of

the small cart against the edge of the stone stable. Moss grew over the crumbling wall, softening

the façade. Hay spilled into the yard, fresh and clean, its odor mingling with the sharp tang of


“My commander sent me for chickens, eggs, beef—whatever ye can spare.” He gave her a

sideways glance. “The coin would purchase material for a pretty gown for ye, or mayhap a bit of


The woman gave him a stern look. “I have no use for such luxuries. The English soldiers care

nothing for our welfare, and our cupboards bear the brunt of their greed.”

Kinnon shook his head. “Bertrand wouldnae condone such behavior.”

Her face darkened. “His is not the only army in these parts, monsieur. The English have

garrisoned here many years.”

“That would explain ye speaking English, though yer accent is quite lovely.” He gifted her a

winsome grin.

“Your accent is strange. Neither Anglais nor Français. It is not one I recognize.”

“Nae English. Scots.”

She lifted fine eyebrows. “You are Scottish? Fighting here, on French soil? Have you no battles to

fight in Scotland?”

Kinnon’s grin broadened.

“Och, aye. There are always skirmishes to whet one’s appetite. But as part of the Auld Alliance,

we Scots are grateful for any chance to fight the bluidy English.”

Wiping her hands on her apron, the young woman nodded. “Do you have a wagon?”

“Aye. `Tis in that copse of trees. Bluidy rocks around here make driving it a bit of a nuisance.”

“We will pick out what you need and load the cart. Jean­Baptiste can pull it to your wagon.” She

led him into the stable.

Kinnon eyed the dog’s beefy shoulders. “A good use for his muscles.”

“He can take down an angry bull with a mere tug of his head. His ancestors were bred in the

mountains and came with the Romans as war dogs. He fears nothing, yet cares for us with



She nodded. “My sister lives here as well. She is gathering eggs.”

Kinnon paused. “Mademoiselle, I have been too long at war, but even so, my ma would say my

manners need polish. If we are to do business, I should introduce myself. My name is Kinnon

Macrory.” He held out his hand.

“My name is Melisende. Let me see the color of your coin.”


Heir to a lairdship, Kinnon Macrory is driven to prove his worth by fighting the English on the

battlefields of France. His dreams of heroic valor are destroyed by the realities of war—the

atrocities visited by fellow soldiers on the very people he is sworn to protect. Three years in a

French prison for a crime he did not commit leave Kinnon longing for the one thing of beauty in his

war­torn life—a young woman of great kindness and wisdom named Melisende.

Melisende de la Roche struggles to stay one step ahead of soldiers who would imprison her for

helping an injured Scotsman wrongly accused of treason. She finds refuge in her uncle’s shop—

until a chance encounter sends her fleeing into the unknown once again, haunted by the beguiling

friendship with the troubled young Scotsman she is certain she will never see again.

Determined to find the woman of his dreams, Kinnon returns to France, only to discover a trail of

clues to Melisende’s whereabouts. Their reunion will open the doors to passion, but half­truths

and lies from the past could destroy the one thing they both are willing to fight for—each other.

Buy link: Amazon


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#MedievalMonday – The Romance of a First Kiss with Mary Morgan

After an amazing new release party on Saturday, I’m so excited to be sharing Mary’s new book, Dragon Knight’s Shield. Enjoy!


His look was predatory, lustful, inviting, and she took a step backward. Words failed her as she took another step back.

He arched a brow and his smile became seductive. “Do I frighten ye?”

“No!” she lied. Like hell you do! You’re as gorgeous as sin standing there, and I want to rip your clothes from your body.

Pushing off from the wall, he stepped into the room and silently closed the door behind him, his eyes never leaving hers. His hair hung in soft waves past his shoulders, and her fingers itched to twine within them. Her body ached in places so deep—longing for even the slightest touch.

“Are ye unwell, my lady?”

The burr of his voice so low—so sexy, she could only stare at him until his words resonated in her mind. “No,” she replied softly, feeling the flames of desire heat not only her face, but also her entire body.

This time when he took another step closer, Deirdre didn’t back away. Now he stood so close she could feel the warmth of his breath across her face—a mix of wine and pure male.

She watched mesmerized as he reached for a lock of her hair, twining it around his finger. “So verra soft.”

Deirdre couldn’t breathe, as he let the curl unravel and cupped her face in his hands. “Ye confuse me. Ye torment me in my dreams,” he whispered against her cheek, sending a wave of pleasure down her spine.

Without thought, she groaned and leaned into him—his beard grazing her cheek. She no longer battled her mind for the man. “Kiss me, Angus.”

This time he groaned, capturing her mouth with savage intensity and drawing the breath from her lungs. His tongue plundered deep, and Deirdre opened fully to the fiery possession.

Blurb: Angus MacKay, leader of the Dragon Knights, failed his brothers and his clan upon the death of his sister. Now he must fight the darkness of despair tempting his soul. Back on Scottish soil, he comes face to face with Deirdre who can wield a sword as mightily as his warriors, and he takes her captive. Yet, with each passing day, the fire dragon inside him roars to claim the one woman fate has destined for him.

Famed mystery writer, Deirdre Flanagan, is unprepared for the next chapter in her life. On a vacation to Scotland, she steps through the mists and enters into a skirmish alongside a Highlander. However, the fight has only begun, and now she must battle Angus as well as evil in order to claim the love of this Dragon Knight.

Will their love be powerful enough to shield them from danger, or burn them to ashes?

Buy Links:


Barnes&Noble Nook:


The Wild Rose Press:

Come back next week for a first kiss excerpt from the amazing Barbara Bettis!


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#MedievalMonday Celebrations with Ruth A. Casie and The Druid Knight Tales

And it’s another Medieval Monday with Ruth A. Casie. I personally love series and this series is about Knights! It cannot get any better than that. Oh, wait! I’m wrong. It can get better – This one is FREE. Enjoy, my friends :)


“You knew, didn’t you?” She waited but a heartbeat. “You made certain where I stood and when the portal opened you wished me a safe journey.”

“I knew once you spent time together and learned to depend on each other you both would make the right decision. Ellyn, I know you and Max are to face challenges in the future. I will be there, always,” Doward voiced with quiet determination.

“Thank you, Doward.” She placed her hand on his arm. “We appreciate your devotion and friendship.”

“I cannot change what is fated but I will do what I can—”

“That is more than anyone could ask.” There was nothing she could do about the future. It would unfold as it was destined. Unless…she shaped it. Gave it direction. Knowing what the future held allowed them to prepare for it. Every moment was precious and she would make every one count.

She saw Max up ahead and her chest squeezed tighter with pride and love. He was her heart and together they could face anything. She glanced at Doward beside her. With a friend like him maybe the three of them could shape their destiny rather than be at its mercy. It might take a lifetime but something inside her said it was worth a try. They caught up to Max and the others.

The Grand Master stood before the bonfire and removed his tunic for everyone to see the sacred runes tattooed across his back. He picked up a lit branch. With his other arm he gathered Ellyn to his side. She ran her hand down his back, which made his muscles flinch and his tattoos softly glow.

He bent to her ear. “The runes warm to your touch.”

“Perhaps it is a sign we are truly soul mates.” She kept her eyes forward.

The sign. Of course. He smiled and raised the torch. “Is there anything else you want to tell me?”

“Her name will be Rebeka.” She stared straight ahead, not meeting his eyes.

“Who?” he asked, a startled expression spread across his face.

“Our daughter. Arik’s soul mate.” A satisfied smile played on Ellyn’s lips.

“She will be a mighty woman,” he teased.

She looked into his eyes. “She will be the best of both of us. Now, finish the ritual. We have important things to…celebrate.” She stepped aside and planted her staff deep into the ground between them.

He covered her hand with his. The staff glowed but only for them.

“Hail, Guardians, we thank you for the power of air, fire, water, and earth.”

“For all you have given to us, we thank you for the year,” the congregation replied.

“For the new year we make this oath. We pledge ourselves to the Guardians, the Ancestors,” he looked down at Ellyn, “and to each other. May our hearths and homes be safe and strong for another year.”

“For all you offer us, we give thanks for the year to come.”

He tossed the torch onto the pile and listened to the people shout with enthusiasm. He gathered Ellyn into his arms. “To hearth and home, my love.”

They sealed their pledge with a kiss. 

Blurb The Druid Knight’s Tale 

After a year of searching, Maximilian, the druid Grand Master, finds the sacred mistletoe destined for his soul mate shriveled and dead. He must journey to the Otherworld and tell the Ancestors of his failure.

Ellyn of Brodgar is an exceptional healer. But each healing kiss depletes her energy and brings her closer to death. Ellyn needs to find her own healing power before it’s too late.

Max and Ellyn are tossed into the Otherworld and have until the third sunset to appeal to the Ancestors or be lost forever. Together they find love, and as the last rays of the third sunset slip away, both are willing to sacrifice their hopes, dreams, and lives for the other. Do they have what it takes to escape the Otherworld and begin their life together?






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