Wednesday, 20 September 2017

#MidWeekTease with an intrigue that makes you wonder... I hope

It's #MidWeekTease time and I'm taking you back to 1818. My favourite year in Regency times. Where Evangeline is trying to discover her past to ensure she has a future...




The Duke's Temptation is ready for you to preorder on Amazon or at Totally Bound...




So... *drum roll* here is your tease



If he fancied he heard her laugh and imagined he saw her skirts whisking around a corner, he didn’t admit it. But when he picked up a hairpin and put it through his lapel, he admitted one thing
He needed to sort himself out and fast.
Gibb went back to town in a somber mood, spent most of his time ensconced in his study and thought things over as best he could.
On the tenth night he once again eschewed all invitations and sat in his study with a large dram.
He’d done enough agonizing, now it was make his mind up time. Gibb remembered something his first tutor had told him. If in doubt, make lists. One pro and one con. Sad though that might be, in this case it could just help him. He’d second-guessed himself so much he was dizzy. Gibb scrabbled in a drawer and found a writing tablet and a pencil and drew a line from top to bottom down the center of the tablet. Then he nibbled the end of the pencil before wrinkling his brow and spitting into his handkerchief. The pencil’s taste was disgusting. It served him right for prevarication. Quickly, before he filled his mouth with the taste of lead again, he began to write.
Con.
What con? Makes me think? Surely that is a good thing? Makes me aware? Ditto. He mentally shrugged. Perhaps a pro list would help him to decide on the cons?
Pro.
Like.
Like a lot.
Doesn’t bore me, or asked for more than I have been able to give.
Patient.
Feisty .
No, not a contradiction.
Interesting, articulate and a good listener. A good heart.
Mine.
The last word made him jerk, stab the page and drop his pencil, but not before it slashed a large line across the vellum, scoring into the sheet below. It amused him to see it had put a thick, dark line though the cons part of his cogitations.
Suddenly it all seemed oh so simple. Evangeline was nothing like Hester. The one thing they had in common was their sex. What a fool he was.
He added three words in capitals to his pro list. I love her.
I love her.
He almost jumped up to shout it to the world. I...love...Evangeline Coeur. Now he had to tell her and hope to hell she believed him. 

Catch the other #MidWeekTease here


Happy reading,


love Raven x

Monday, 18 September 2017

The Gluten-free Authors guide to goodies Or not...

And here we go again...

Food glorious food...

I've had the good luck to have been able to visit friends and family this last week or so, and sampled some interesting food. Both good and bad.



To my amazement, in a well recommended restaurant, I was told by a chef that his rib-eye on the bone could not possible be tough and overcooked. Believe me it was. I had pointed it out when I was asked how it was. I explained that I had asked for it medium and it was, to put it politely, overcooked for well done, let alone medium. My friends agreed with me, and refrained from saying as tough as leather sprang to mind. 

The chef then decided I had no idea what rib eye was (I do) and began to lecture me. Public relations? Hello...
I answered with restraint (somehow) that indeed I did know what rib eye, and medium cooked was.  
He ignored me, and said no one had ever said his food was appalling. When I pointed out nor had I he got very angry. Yeah...

So, my bad, I said okay then, yes it was appalling. Not a good experience, especially as the day before in a out of the way pub, I'd eaten a beautiful, perfectly cooked steak and crispy chips.

It got better though. A lot better. I went further south and had fantastic gluten free battered fish at The Cock in St Albans, and the odd g-f bacon sarnie elsewhere. 

It's so good to see how a lot of places are now experimenting with g-f batter. Palermo's Balloch, on the shores of Loch Lomond, Godfrey's in Harpenden,  and yee haa, The Forth Inn in Aberfoyle. All are great. Oh there's lots more, but they are off the top of my head.

So why don't we always get good crisp g-f chips?


Now though, it's no more chocolate mousse, g-f buns and cakes time. (I swear I put on half a stone) At least salad is g-f. Well except in a restaurant in Venice, where they insisted I couldn't eat salad! Ah well, luckily, as ever I had a g-f bar in my handbag. A bit squashed, but oh so welcome.

Happy eating,

love Raven x





Sunday, 17 September 2017

#SexySnippets Which is subtle and maybe not sexy?



Hi all, how quickly this week seems to have gone. One minute I was deciding what to do for last Sunday's #SexySnippets and here I am again doing the very same thing.

I love this, so a mega thanks to Doris O'Connor for setting it up, and monitoring it. It really is appreciated.

Okay, I've been sneaky this week. My YA series The Shalean Moon (as J Lilley)  is being reissued, and I am so in love with the cover. Now don't get me wrong, I won't post from there, but I've started writing the final story in the series and that is more a NA story. So... No sex but Struan is examining his prior actions and wondering why...

(and because it is so lovely I've added the cover of the first book, which is now in paperback and ebook and suitable for everyone from teens to whenever...)



Struan, the 'baddie' of the first 7 books, is now in his twenties, cast out of the sept, with no powers and trying to live his life as best he can.

It wasn't that he understood why he'd been as he was. Jealousy no doubt. Envy, oh yes, a need for friends, definitely, and now?
Now he wished he had someone to share his life with. Someone like...
Struan stopped that train of thought in its tracks. She might be everything he wanted in a woman—even if she wasn't Shalean—but with his history, and her friends and relatives? It was as likely as Shalea accepting he wanted to atone for his sins and be accepted into the sept once more. Become one of of the good Shaleans.

Catch all the #SexySnippets here

Happy reading,

love Raven x

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

#MidWeekTease with brandy, a knife, a brandy, and an idiot.

Hi all and welcome to #MidWeekTease


This week I'm teasing from my upcoming release The Duke's Temptation

It's on preorder from Totally Bound from 19th September 



Whenever had a knife twirled so fast it became a vicious, glittering blur of metal?
Never.
Gibb Alford, The Duke of Menteith had expected to be bored. Or on guard from any female who had somehow wangled her way into the spectacular. Or, although he devoutly hoped it wouldn’t be so, both. Not that any woman should be there, but he was by now much too cynical to expect what should be so, to actually be thus.
What he also didn’t envisage was this unfamiliar tug of arousal directed towards the main act of the night. Who was a female, although he presumed, an invited one. And seemingly stirred his senses.
Gibb didn’t do arousal. Not now. Or he amended silently, he hadn’t. He stood on the terrace, amidst his peers but alone, a glass of the finest French Brandy in his hand, and watched the Chinese firecrackers and flaring sconces set around the lawn vie with the moon and stars for brightness, and willed his body to behave. Not for the first time he wondered what he was doing there. Why wasn’t he at home on his beloved Scottish estate? At times being a conscientious peer was annoying to say the least.
Someone bumped into him, and apologised as Gibb scowled. He didn’t want his concentration spoiled, or his brandy spilled.
 As the man swayed, Gibb held his goblet out of the way. Good brandy was not to be wasted. With a sardonic smile on his face, Gibb watched the man stumble away, miss the fish pond by inches and lurch round a statue, before he ignored him and instead turned his attention back to what was happening on the lawn. Only to tug at his suddenly too tight cravat because of what he saw in front of him. In the middle of the perfectly manicured, luscious grass, a wooden platform had been erected in front of a large, plain white, thick canvas screen. A curvaceous, raven-haired beauty, dressed in something akin to a shift with slits up each side stood before it.
The illusion of material not really there was very clever, Gibb mused. The flesh coloured silk that swung loosely from her shoulders matched her skin, so you couldn’t see where one finished and the other began. Her lustrous hair swung loosely over her shoulders in a riot of curls, and sparkling jewels hung from her ears and around one ankle, just above one of a pair of flimsy sandals. In her left hand she held a wicked looking knife—a stiletto he noticed—now still and unmoving. Even so, it shone in the twinkling lights that surrounded her.
The last firecracker sizzled and died, and with only the flickering torches to light her, the woman bowed to the assembled men. ‘I need,’ she said in a husky, seductive French accent. ‘A man.’
 The howls and catcalls would have overwhelmed anyone without a strong determination. She waited; arms folded and with an amused look on her face until there was once more silence. Then she raised one eyebrow. Even at the distance he was, Gibb realised the woman was toying with them. Teasing them about something they thought would happen and she knew would not.

To his annoyance, his body tightened even more. He did not want this reaction to an unknown woman. Hell, he didn’t want it to one known to him either. Gibb Alford wanted no one to disturb his well-ordered life. The life where his mind never let him shy away from the one thing that tore into him. His wife was dead and he was to blame. He was never going to be put in a similar position again.


Catch all the other #MidWeekTease posts


Happy Reading,
love Raven x


Sunday, 10 September 2017

#SexySnippets with a French knife thrower who has a hankering for a unpleasant gentlemen's sweetbreads...

Welcome to this week's #SexySnippets, which I want to say is brought to you thanks to the dedication of my bestie, and mother to my grandson, Doris O'Connor. She's the one who sorts out the link every week so we can do these #SexySnippets and you the reader can enjoy them.

Seven sentences from a book or WIP 



I had no idea what to use for this weeks #SexySnippets, but as I have a Regency story, The Duke's Temptation, (Totally Bound)  on preorder from the 19th and that is only just over a week away, I thought I'd tease you from there.

(and it is a gorgeous cover) 




 and the blurb...




and yes, I haven't forgotten, your seven sentences...


Gibb blinked as Evangeline moved swift and sure to put one boot-clad foot on Crowe’s chest and point a knife at his gonads. She was fast.
“You know, m’sieur?” she said almost conversationally, “in my country sweetbreads are a delicacy much enjoyed. I would enjoy trying them.” She licked her lips in such a suggestive way Gibb’s body became taut with tension. “After...” Her voice trailed off and the knife moved an inch or so closer to Crowe’s skin.

Gibb winced and his hands moved involuntarily to cover himself as his stomach lurched. She seemed a might too knowing of just what make a male cringe.

To catch the other #SexySnippets click here

Happy reading,
love Raven x

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

#MidWeekTease

Gosh this week had flown by, and here we are at #MidWeekTease again. 
Woot!


I felt I just had to give you one last tease from a WIP. 

Unnamed and very new, here is the beginning of a story I have no blurb for...

(Rachel works in a tourist site in Scotland)

Her boss smiled. "You have plenty of time to lead a whisky tasting.”
“Not if I want to eat,” she muttered, even though she knew the idea of a proper break with real food, not a biscuit bar was about to disappear.
“What was that?” Ryan asked in a sharp voice. “You muttered.”
Oh boy did I.
“Lunch. You know the break we’re supposed to get if we work more than six hours a day. As it’s now one pm and I’ve been here since eight, without a break of any sort,” she tipped her half drunk now cold cup of coffee into the soil around her ailing Easter Cactus. It probably had caffeine overload. “I reckon I’m due it. Now,” she added to make sure he was under no illusion as to what she meant. “Rules and regulations and all that.”
“It will have to wait. You can take your hour once the school kids have gone out. This is a Very Important Person.” He invested the words with capital letters. “And no one else speaks Italian either.”
Now why did that give her a nasty itch down her spine?
“When, how many, and who?” she said resigned to the fact her lunch was going to be a good two hours away. “I’ll just leave early. After all, if I’m in at 8, I should go at 4. I’ll go at three and you can sort the kids out when they come back.”
“Me?” His voice was a shrill squeak. She winced.
“You’re the boss.” If he were any sort of boss, she’d never speak to him in such a snarky and dismissive tone. However, Ryan, who had arrived without any announcement six months before when the previous manager retired, was useless. Chosen, the staff assumed because of his friendship with the owner—a sweet, soft-spoken lady of uncertain antecedents and age called Maria McSporran. What Miss McSporran saw in the man no one knew, or as someone once said, dared to hazard a guess. Safely cocooned from the worry of being replaced, Ryan sat in his office all day and left the running of the site to as he called them, his minions.
“I’ll get Jess to do it.” He mentioned one of Rachel’s colleagues. The fact that Jess hated kids would be immaterial to him.”
“Don’t bother,” Rachel said, suddenly weary of it all. She didn’t have to work so why did she?
 Because I’d be bored stiff at home.
“I’ll take tomorrow off in lieu of all the hours I’m owed.” Cruel because she knew he liked to leave early on a Friday. “And it’s my weekend off.”
“Ah... I had hoped you’d change it.”
 “Nope sorry.” She didn’t say why and was rewarded with a heavy, long suffering sigh in her ear. Tough, it was about time he actually did some work. “So, this whisky tasting,” she prompted. “I can give whoever twenty minutes.”
 “He wants more than that.”
 “Well, It’s not going to happen.” She shut her desk drawer loudly. “You’ve wasted five minutes, I need ten minutes to set up, twenty to do the chat, ten to dismantle stuff and that leaves me enough time to go to the loo. Just. Knowing kids they’ll be early.”
Oh all right.” Ryan said in a disgruntled voice. “I’ll tell him that.”
“Not the loo bit I hope. Let me keep some secrets.”
“Oh don’t be vulgar.”
She shook her head at the two faced attitude of the man. He was the first to tell crude jokes.
“So who is my client?” she asked again.
“Ah a Conte Foscari and his PA.” Ryan’s voice was full of awe. “Or alleged PA. I’m not sure. She’s a bit of alright. Mar...er Miss McSporran arranged it.”
 Guido. Rachel might have known. I wonder who the woman is? And what’s it’s got to do with Miss M.
 “Ten minutes,” she said and hung up the phone. Her handed shook and she scowled. She’d need half of those minutes to compose herself.
Seven and a half minutes later Rachel surveyed the tasting table and smiled to herself. It would do. In fact it would more than do. She had used two precious minutes to refresh her make up and make sure she looked immaculate. Guido would notice any imperfection and pounce. She didn’t intend to give him the chance.
Exactly ten minutes after she’d put the phone down, the door to the tasting room opened and a fawning Ryan ushered two people in.
One she recognised, the other she recognised the type.
Guido, and who? His companion of choice she supposed. Predictable. Brassy blond alert. Catty, Rach, very catty. But also very true.
With Guido. Guido of the dark hair and blue eyes. Guido her what? Estranged husband?

That would do.

Catch all the other #MidWeekTease posts here

Happy reading,

love Raven x