Do you believe there are ghosts? Get an inside look by reading true ghost stories, READ WITH THE LIGHTS ON from author Kathleen Rothenberger — a paranormal investigator, or if you prefer, a ghost huntress (not so correct)

How many of you enjoy ghost stories?  I know I do (waving my hand)!  Why else would we read all these thrillers about ghosts who are revengeful, vindictive, pranksters, miserable, etc.? But is there any truth behind the trappings of a good novel?

In fact, many of us just love the paranormal and those things that spook us, go knock in the night. Author Kathleen Rothenberger KNOWS there are ghosts out there and in her first book, recently published, to tells us all.

Here is a book I found informative, in that yes, there really are ghosts, for want of a better word, surrounding us.  Some people feel them, some do not.

Kathleen Rothenberger, a first-time author, has worked among authors for many years as editor and proofreader of fictional work.   There’s another side of this lady, however. Her book, Read With The Lights On, is her direct experiences, or those of people she knows well, with spirits.  Can she make a believer out of you?

The book is factual, almost like a journal.  It is not fictional, therefore doesn’t read like one.  Author Rothenberger shares short stories, laid out in a simple direct manner with actual dialogue taking place.

Anyone who really is interested in ‘the other side’, would enjoy reading this and getting the facts.  I did.  I understand the author is planning on writing another book in the series.  What will she reveal next?

If you wish to read more about what the author says about the spirits, link up here to an interview she recently gave right here at Booktalk with Eileen.  She has fascinating answers!

31552268Title:  Read With The Lights On
Author: Kathleen Rothenberger
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Ghost Stories/Anthology, non-fiction
Pages: 41
Published by: Kathleen Rothenberger
Published Date: August 16, 2016
ASIN: B01KKWKVBK
Print ISBN: 978-1537187914    $6.99

 

Publisher’s Summary: Prepare to be frightened… A paranormal investigator (ghost hunter) sees and experiences many things that other people do not. Kathleen Rothenberger and her husband did investigations and Halloween hauntings tours in small southern towns. Many people still don’t believe in ghosts or spirits, but, when you look around and see empty space, the author sees so much more: people going about their daily lives, not realizing that they are no longer among the living. The stories in this book are some of the things that have happened either to the author, or to her friends. She hopes that you enjoy them, and learn a little about how life is “on the other side.”

Quote from Ms. Rothenberger

Believe it or not, we share this earth with many spirits who have not crossed over at their death. There are thousands of spirits going about their daily lives in their own reality, in a plain most people don’t have access to. But I do.

Excerpt: Read With the Lights On

From:  THE HAUNTED HEARSE

As a paranormal investigator, I find myself “accidentally” doing investigations quite often. One such investigation happened when we were invited to a friend’s house for dinner, around Thanksgiving, several years ago.

He is a car wiring expert, and since my husband used to be a mechanic a long time ago, and is an expert at all things electrical, our friend asked for his help diagnosing a car that he could not get running. At this point, I need to add that this family is atheist, and does not believe in ghosts, spirits or anything otherworldly.

So, we were having a good time, talking, laughing and before long, it got to be late.

As we were leaving, our friend said, “Oh! Joe, you didn’t get a chance to look at this car! Give me a few more minutes will you?”

It was about 11:30pm at this time, so we went into his garage/shop on our way to our car. This beautiful 1938 Cadillac hearse stood there, in perfect condition, except it would not stay running.

Craig opened the driver’s door, and said, “Check this out, this is weird. This part of the car is warm, same as the outside air. But look at this! Stick your head in here, ” and he opened the rear door, where the coffins are transported, and it was freezing cold. It was easily 30-40 degrees colder than the outside ambient air.

Of course, as “ghost hunters”, we knew why, as spirits will suck the heat out of the air to use the energy to manifest, so I explained how that works, and he, as a non-believer, wasn’t convinced.

So I said, “Let’s get your camera and take some pictures, and I’ll take some with mine. I am telling you, we will get spirit activity on camera.”

He didn’t believe it, and went into his house to get his camera, while I got mine out of the car. We got very clear evidence of spirit activity, and I counted one hundred twenty-six spirits in the back of the hearse, they were literally jumping on board the car as it was towed to my friend’s house, because they knew we would be there to help them.

Now, these friends are atheist, and don’t believe in this stuff. You should have heard him when he saw the photos he took, himself.

Over and over, he said, “If I wasn’t taking these pictures myself, I’d swear this is all fake. But I’m doing it, and I am seeing stuff that has no reason to be there! Holy shit!”

He was completely blown away. His wife was very skeptical, and no matter what showed up in the photos, she didn’t believe.

She would say, “I see it, but I don’t believe it.”

Buy Links: Amazon    Amazon UK    Amazon CAN    Amazon Aus     Amazon NL Amazon Print    Barnes & Noble Print   BookDepository     B-A-M

Connect with Kathleen Rothenberger Website     Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads     Amazon Author Page     LinkedIn

Kathleen Rothenberger

You can also connect with Kathleen Rothenberger at:  Krothenberger@mail.com

 

Posted in Ghost Stories, Mystery, Non-Fiction, Thriller | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Interview with a ghost hunter. Yes, that’s right, a ghost hunter, but the politically correct words may be paranormal investigator. May I present Kathleen Rothenberger?

My next blog after this one, dear readers,  will be a review of Read With the Light On: True Ghost Stories by Kathleen Rothenberger.  The writer and the stories intrigue me both, so I asked Kathleen Rothenberger to pop on over to talk about how she got involved in writing these stories and some other juicy stuff about her. 

kathleen RothenbergerThanks, Kathleen, for sharing with us today.  I’ve never been this close to a ghost hunter!

It’s wonderful to be asked on your blog. I hope the audience would feel free to ask me any questions which come to mind about my profession.

What brought you to this point in your life?  

My family has always been psychic and mediums, going back many generations. In my generation, it’s just myself and my sister who inherited the abilities.

She was only a medium, and I started out only a psychic. There is a difference, as all mediums are psychic, but not all psychics are mediums, with the ability to speak with the other side.

I guess what brought me to this point is a combination of things. My husband and I used to own our own company and the economy knocked us down. A friend of mine, also a psychic, suggested that I actually work as a psychic, as she felt I was very talented at it. So, I’ve been working as a psychic and medium since the 1990s. The book came as a result of two conversations on the same day with different friends, each said I should really write a book, so I sat down and did it.

When did you start feeling the spirit world?

I’d have to say that was very early on, probably about eight years old or so, when a bunch of my friends were all playing on the swingset, and my friend decided to try something stupid, and I heard in my head “Don’t let her do that, she’ll get hurt.”

I tried to stop her but she almost broke her ankle, trying to stop the glider swing with five kids on it, by dragging her foot. That was probably the first time I remember hearing or feeling the spirit world. It was kind of weird, but I didn’t realize that everyone didn’t have the same abilities.

mother to Kathleen

Can you remember the first time you saw a ghost? 

I’d have to say that it was the appearance of my mother, a week after she died. It was like her passing flipped a switch in me, so that I could see her, and be at peace that she was fine, healthy and happy. I didn’t dare tell my dad, as he didn’t believe in this stuff, even though his wife and two daughters could communicate with the spirit world, he disregarded it.

However, after a while, he’d call me and say “Kathy, I think I’m going crazy, I just felt like your mother was here with me.” So, I’d tell him he wasn’t crazy, that my mom was there with him, and it brought him comfort. They were married 38 years and he missed her so, after she died.

Do the ghosts expect anything from you?  Are you able to put them at rest, so to speak?  

Most of the spirits I’ve spoken to over the years have wanted to let their families and loved ones know that they are at peace on the other side/in Heaven, whatever you want to call it.

I have had spirits tell me where their wills are, or where investment papers are, so their wives don’t have to worry about money, or just to pop in and say “Hi, I love you! I’m still around!”

The story in my book about the Haunted Hearse is when a medium friend and I had to send 126 spirits to the other side, so that they were at peace.

I’m so glad you circled the spirits in the back of his hearse.  I see them, a woman, a man and the top of little boy’s head.  Yikes! I’ll make sure to put this picture into my review!
Jack, Jackie and Bernadette red line

One story that I’m writing for my next book is about a man who passed away and was relieved that he didn’t have to deal with his nagging wife anymore. She came to me to talk to him, and he appeared to me, begging me NOT to tell her that he was there, as he said it was so peaceful without her, he hoped she lived another 20+ years! So, in accordance with his wishes, I did not tell his wife that he was there with us.

Do any ghosts actually talk with you, telling you of their problem? 

Some do, yes. If they want to tell their family certain information, such as if the family wonders if it’s a suicide or other cause of death, the spirits will tell me that it was totally accidental, or once, it was actually a suicide, but the spirit changed his mind immediately, but too late, so he asked me to tell his family it was an accident, which it sort of was. The spirit’s wife was so relieved, saying “I KNEW he wouldn’t KILL himself.” The ghost said “Yeah, love, I did, but I know it was a mistake. But I’m ok with it now.” He did not want me to tell her that part, so I didn’t.

I hear a lot of  “shoulda, woulda, coulda” from the other side, when it’s too late to fix it.

One of my favorite connections with the spirit world was a woman who wanted to talk to her deceased fiance, who had gone into the hospital for an operation and didn’t make it. When he came through, I heard Frank Sinatra singing “Fly Me To The Moon”, and when  I asked her if that had any significance, she started crying her eyes out. That was the song he would sing to her all the time, so she was certain that he was really there, letting her know it was him. By the time that reading was over, I was in tears right along with her.

How often do you go a-ghost-hunting?  I understand your husband joins you.  

For about three years, my husband and I led a Halloween History and Hauntings tour in Belleview, Florida, with a friend who was the historian part of the tour, showing interested people the haunted homes and buildings in the area. When we were really going on a lot of investigations, we probably did it twice a month or more.  We haven’t gone very often lately, because of time constraints, and because my husband has a bad knee.

creepyLast weekend I did go on a short investigation  at a very interesting house, it was all boarded up, and haunted by a very malevolent evil spirit. I wasn’t planning on going into the house but when we got there, the spirit was saying “Come here, come on, you know you want to!” So I did. Wow, the energy in there was e-v-i-l. As I wandered around part of the house, I felt horrible energy, and the man that was with me asked where I felt it coming from. I pointed to one particular room, and said “whoever it is, he was in there, and they kept him there.” Then the man showed me something I’d missed. Over my head, on the door and door jamb was both sides of a lock hasp, and a padlock. The evil person had been LOCKED in that room. No wonder I felt such awful energy. They were protecting themselves from whoever that was.

 

Does each person who feels the spirit world, feel it in the same way? 

No, we don’t. I have been on investigations with other mediums who pick up things that I don’t, and I’ve picked up things that they don’t. It’s kind of like watching a movie or reading a book, everyone has different takes on things.

Some mediums can see spirits as clear as they see live people, others just can hear or sense them. I am able to see, hear and feel them, sometimes as clear as live people, sometimes just as energy, it depends on how well the spirit is able to project their energy to me.

A friend of mine had to get a bluetooth headset, as she can see them as clear as day, and her daughter felt her mom looked weird carrying on entire conversations out loud with “invisible people”, so now it just looks like she’s on her phone. I can hear them either out loud or in my head, and see them in various ways.

That sounds really interesting!  I thought that only happened in movies.  Can you expand on this thought? 

Actually, there are two movies that depict hauntings pretty well-Ghost, with Patrick Swayze, and Sixth Sense, with Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment. Those are pretty realistic depictions of what hauntings are like, from both sides, the spirit side and the still alive side.  A certain segment of the population can indeed hear, see and feel spirits, and it’s kind of like  a “secret club”, as we can “sense” each other.

We hear from a lot of people “Oh, man, I wish I could do what you do, I’d love to talk to ghosts.” Nope, you wouldn’t. It is a big responsibility to have, with spirits trying to get you to give messages to their loved ones all the time. In the mediumship sessions I’ve done, I’ve acted like the telephone line, to bring together the living and the dead so that both sides have closure.But it does take a lot out of you, and you end up having to put “walls” up, so you aren’t constantly bombarded by spirit.

Tell us a little about your writing career.

I’d have to say ghost stories, as Read With the Lights On: True Ghost Stories is my first book, and it’s a collection of true paranormal investigations. It was sitting in the back of my mind for ages, and then one day, two friends suggested that I write them down in book form. I’ve always believed in “signs”, so when both of these women suggested it on the same day, I decided “okay, it’s time.” So, I sat down and wrote them all out in a notebook, and then typed them up. I write best in a notebook, it’s easier for me to organize my thoughts with pen in my hand.

They say “write what you know”, so the genre of paranormal investigations and tales from the other side is what I know. My husband wants me to write a book about our dogs, and another one about his 40+ years in the television industry, but I’m afraid working on that with him would be very difficult, so I’m sticking to ghosts for now.

When I write a story, it comes from my memory of events that happened, whether to me, or people I know, so it grows from my personal experiences. I am constantly amazed at how other authors can create entire worlds and populate them with imaginary people. I am more comfortable writing about things I know.

So really, your writing is more a journal of events, right? 

Yes, it is, pretty much. This book, Read With the Lights On: True Ghost Stories was written in bits and pieces, as each short story came to mind. Then, when I thought I had a suitable number of stories for a book, I put them in some sort of order, that made sense at the time. I am currently working another book of ghost stories, which will also be based on my personal experiences. The next book may include some stories of psychic and medium readings that I have been involved in.

Most of my stories are personal. My family has had psychic abilities for generations,  and in my generation, my sister and I inherited these abilities.  The one story that means the most to me emotionally, is the story about my mother.  I’m getting tears in my eyes just thinking about her. She was an amazing woman, and my best friend. She battled cancer from the time I was four years old, till she passed away when I was 38.  I miss her to this day, we would talk on the phone every day and no matter what, she was always upbeat and positive.

Once an investigation is in my head, it’s like the spirits are saying “Write my story, I don’t want to be forgotten!” With a request like that, how could I refuse?

Thank you so much for coming on, Kathleen.  Readers, if you have questions, ask away.  Tomorrow I’ll post my review of her book.

Posted in Featured Authors, Ghost Stories, Guest Authors, Non-Fiction, Paranormal | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Third book of the series released today: THE VIP DOUBLES DOWN by lovely, talented Nancy Herkness!

Quotable Quotes from The VIP Doubles Down

“Physical therapy is not easy, so I’ve learned the art of negotiation,” Allie said, stowing the ball back on its rack.   [Gavin’s response.]     “You call it negotiation. I call it blackmail.”

“The rich aren’t really different, Gavin said. “They’re just insulated from the normal wear and tear of life.”

She had the feeling that Gavin had depths in his soul that her ex-husband couldn’t even comprehend, much less descend into.

32858494Title: The VIP Doubles Down Wager of Hearts, Book 3
Author: Nancy Herkness
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Fiction
Pages: 384
Published by: Montlake Romance
Published Date: April 18, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B01MDS3FN1

 

Wager of Hearts Series: ecopy purchase link
The CEO Buys In
The All-Star Antes Up
The VIP Doubles Down

 

Publisher’s Summary:

In the witty, sizzling finale to award-winning author Nancy Herkness’s Wager of Hearts series, a haunted writer conquers his demons with the help of a feisty muse and a passion that doesn’t play by the book.

Gavin Miller, the billionaire author of a bestselling thriller series, struggles with a grim secret: he hasn’t written a word in more than a year.

Writer’s block is killing his spirit and jeopardizing his contracts with his publisher and his Hollywood producers. Prodded by his agent, Gavin reluctantly agrees to see Allie Nichols, a sassy physical therapist tasked with treating the novelist’s severe neck and shoulder pain—and maybe his writer’s block, too.

The tempestuous Gavin and no-nonsense Allie soon find themselves entangled in a steamy affair that sparks Gavin’s creativity again. But their manipulative ex-lovers and Gavin’s lingering childhood scars threaten their happily ever after. Can Gavin and Allie find their way to love when the stakes are high and the obstacles are overwhelming?

 

My Thoughts: I’ve had the pleasure of reading about the other two multi-billionaires of the series, but I’ve got to say Gavin Miller was the most interesting of all three.  Perhaps it’s because he’s a writer.  He has such a big writer’s block, one that has lasted for eight months.  That’s one of his problems.

The other is he’s part of a wager with Luke Archer, now retired quarterback, and Nathan Trainor, the CEO of Trainor Electronics.  Those two have found their true love within the year set by the wager, therefore were able to keep their precious wagered items.  But poor Gavin, hasn’t found her yet—he’s in five months, only seven more to go.  He’s in a terrible funk.  Grouchy with remarks which should put anyone off. But his friends rally round trying to help him.

Gavin’s bigger issue is his work. The people who’ve made movies from his book series, Julian Best, are talking ghostwriters to continue the story. The man is in such pain, muscles coiled so tight he’s starting to walk awkwardly.  His agent, Janet, decides to get him a physical therapist. In walks Allie Nichols, a woman of strong character, equally dedicated to her profession.

Allie recently is divorced.  She isn’t interested in men, just her career.  Her ex can’t seem to let go, however.  She has a restraining order against him.  It doesn’t matter as he keeps showing up talking to her about his own career, acting. He’s lost her one wonderful job, will he make her lose another?

Allie’s grown up since her first marriage, and doesn’t want to get involved.  When she gets the job to help Gavin with his physical difficulties, he has other ideas.  He doesn’t need PT, he needs a muse. She needs a job and doesn’t need another entanglement with another artistic man.

This story is full of wit, quick banter between Gavin and Allie and hot, steamy scenes between the two.  Author Herkness shows the vulnerability of being a writer.  No matter how wealthy one is, they still need caring friends. Gavin, a complex character is full of surprises, even surprising himself.  If you are so unfortunate not to have a billion dollars at your disposal, Herkness will take you into their world.  I loved it.  And I loved the series in its entirety!

Posted in Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, New Book Release, Women's Fiction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Released Today — a new series from medieval romance novelist, Kathryn Le Veque. VESTIGES OF VALOR

Quote from Vestiges of Valor: A man will do most anything to protect his name and his family.

34200380Title: Vestiges of Valor House of De Nerra, Book 1
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Genre: Historical Medieval Romance
Pages: 315
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Published Date: April 18, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B01MURDMNB

 

 

Publisher’s Summary:

1170 A.D. – His name is Valor.

Sir Valor “Val” de Nerra is one of Henry II’s most trusted knights. As the Itinerant Justice of East Hampshire, Val’s word is law. A fair and just man, and a very handsome one, he enjoys a good deal of attention and respect. His life is a prestigious and wealthy one until he faces a decision one day that will change the course of his life.

Val must order the execution of his love’s brother.

Val has adored Lady Vesper since the moment they met. As he strives to win her back, the king orders Val to participate in an event that will shock the country for years to come – the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket.

Will he obey? Or will he refuse?

 

My Thoughts: Valor, its meaning, not the name of the main character, plays a large part in this story whose powerful setting and writing style took me from the heights of happiness to the depths of despair.  Author Kathryn Le Veque picks the perfect period in history where so many intrigues take place, where valor and honor are challenged and where love flourishes even amongst its vestiges.

Valor has a job to do–Itinerant Justice of East Hampshire.  He has faithfully executed all the king’s commands with fortitude and aplomb. He has gained favor with the King Henry and those who support the king.  A command once again comes to Valor with a missive delivered by one of the knights of the king’s inner circle.    This particular missive challenges Valor, for he’s damned if he follows his king’s demand and damned if he does not.  He is commanded to arrest Thomas Beckett, the Archbishop of Canterbury at that time.  If you would like to read an account of Thomas Beckett’s death, follow this link.

Vesper seems demure enough.  She appears quite the lady, well-educated for the times, has a beautiful voice Valor falls in love with.  The hidden spirit of Vesper comes to play when she realizes she loves Valor and will move the world to keep him safe.  Yes, my kind of heroine!

Valor’s mother, Margaretha, is an interesting character.  She’s a woman of much perception, rather sharp-tongued, with a deep love for her son. She gets me eye-rolling! Her greatest desire is to have grandchildren, since Valor is the only one to produce the heirs for the House of De Nerra. There are several scenes where she is a total harpy, badgering her son to marry, to have children.  I could see myself in her position with our son!  Valor doesn’t have a well of patience either, but I do marvel at what patience he has! She is also one who accesses the worth of people quickly – sometimes spot-on, sometimes misses the mark by a wide margin. I feel she’d be a great character to continue learning about.  A story of her own, perhaps.

Another character I’m certain we shall see again in the de Nerra series is an old friend and knight, Sir McCloud d’Avignon, father to the lovely heroine, Vesper.  He is a man who has changed with time, not the knight Valor once knew.  I enjoyed the way author Le Veque layers this story – for McCloud has a story of his own.  He is the one who changes the most, but can he be forgiven for his past?

It’s marvelous how the author takes a momentous historical event weaving into it a story of love, pain, untruths and honor.  All her books tug on my emotions.

There are scenes where I cry and laugh at the same time.  Wonderfully heartwarming and at the same time, heart-wrenching. Don’t miss reading the first of a new series by Kathryn Le Veque.

Posted in Book Reviews, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, New Book Release, Romance | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: THE TEMPTATION OF LAURA by Rachel Brimble ~ lives of guilt and sorrow, yet determination pull you into the hardships of life ~ yet, ultimately, love is all that matters

19501177Title:  The Temptation of Laura
Author: Rachel Brimble
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: Bath and London, England
Pages: 246
Published by: eKensington
Published Date: February 20, 2014
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
ASIN: B00F8J6PTS

Publisher’s Summary: Laura Robinson has always been dazzled by the glamour of the stage. But perhaps acting and selling one’s favors are not so different—for Laura must feign pleasure with the men she beds to survive. Now, with her only friend at death’s door and a ruthless pimp at her heels, escaping her occupation seems impossible. Hoping to attract a gentleman, she attends the theater. Yet the man Laura captivates is no customer, but a rising star and playwright. . .

Adam Lacey has been driven to distraction since the moment he saw Laura. She is his ideal leading lady come to irresistible life—and so much more. Certain they can make the perfect team on and off stage, he is determined to win her heart—and discover her story. But that is precisely what Laura fears. And she has no idea that Adam harbors shameful secrets of his own. Will the truth free them to love—or destroy all their dreams. . .?

4-star-review

My Thoughts:  In many ways this read rather a sad story.  It also has a powerful message with well-developed complex characters..  The events and situations which Adam and Laura find themselves, individually, are desperate.  But can their attraction with the willingness to share life make this a happy ever after?

Laura Robinson and her best friend of seven years are in desperate straights.  Bette, an older woman, has pneumonia, and daily she slips a little further from life.  Laura is crushed with concern for the woman.  She admires Bette’s joie de livre and a determination to look at the bright side of life when one’s plight would have others give up. But not only does deprivation of money weigh heavy on these two women, danger lurks literally at their door.

Baxter, the local pimp and rent gouger, preys on women who have little else to sustained themselves.  Laura is absolutely determined she is out of the business of selling herself and fights not to allow Baxter to take what little they have—their dignity.

Money is dangerously low and Laura needs a job.  With that in mind she makes way to the local theater and procures a job providing sweets and fruit and to those watching the play. She loves the feel of the theatre and finally gets to see the wonderful actor Adam Lacey.

Sparks fly when Adam catches sight of Laura.  Their eyes lock.  To Adam he has found his Lucinda, the heroine of a play he’s written. To Laura she has found a man who interests her body and soul.

Adam Lacy co-stars with Monica Danes at the Theater Royal. The play will be closing soon.  Adam’s decided to pursue his real dream of being a playwright, but can’t do it until he has an investor. His presently investor is a woman who demands favors from him.  He is unwilling to continue to pimp himself.  He must find another way—a new investor and to jump the challenges of getting Laura to be his Lucinda.

Adam and Laura struggle as they learn who each are, and ultimately, what each want.  This story touches the soul and while these two, whose love fairly flies off the page, are willing to solve their problems, will they be able?

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Regency Romance, Romance, Romantic Suspense | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Audiobook Review: THE MESALLIANCE by Stella Riley ~ endeavor to keep a look of boredom while listening ~ IMPOSSIBLE!

The Mésalliance AudiobookTitle: The Mésalliance Rockliffe Series, Book 2
Author: Stella Riley
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: 1775;
Pages: 304
Published Date: September 24, 2012
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B009G8SFVI

Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
Length: 9 hours, 59 minutes
Release Date: March 11, 2016
Published by: Stella Riley

Rockliffe Series: 
The Parfit Knight
The Mésalliance
The Player

 

Publisher’s Summary:
The Duke of Rockliffe is 36 years old, head of his house, and responsible for his young sister, Nell. He is, therefore, under some pressure to choose a suitable bride. Whilst accompanying Nell to what he speedily comes to regard as the house-party from hell, he meets Adeline Kendrick – acid-tongued, no more than passably good-looking yet somehow alluring. Worse still, her relatives are quite deplorable – from a spoiled, ill-natured cousin to a sadistic, manipulative uncle. As a prospective bride, therefore, Adeline is out of the question. Until, that is, a bizarre turn of events cause the Duke to throw caution to the wind and make what his world will call a mésalliance.

©2016 Stella Riley (P)2016 Stella Riley

 

My Thoughts: A blogger colleague of mine suggested I read Stella Riley.  I was privileged to win a copy of book two of the Rockcliffe series.  This exciting listening went beyond my expectations and I’m delighted to be introduced to Stella Riley.

Quickly, we are caught up in the times. With the stifling necessity of being polite, Duke of Rockliffe’s tongue is so well laced with sarcasm expressed in a calm, mild tone, one wonders if the sarcasm is real!  Rockliffe’s wit and humor are well-played by narrator Alex Wyndham, always delivered in a sang froid tone.

Rockliffe is creative with his own enjoyment when invited to a house-party accompanying his sister Nell.  She is a handful and must keep her out of her usual mischief.

The ton prize themselves in speaking with complete ennui, particularly, the upper-crust gentlemen.  I certainly didn’t have a drop listening to this lively, spirited story sweeping me into events of the times!

It seems Nell’s best friend Diana is in the market for a groom.  She is a conniving little thing, annoying and eventually becomes quite desperate to catch someone in her first Season. Her eye is on Rockcliffe.

Conversely, her twin, is amiable, mild-mannered, trying to keep Diana from doing too much mischief. She has a softer heart and treats Adeline with more civility.

Adeline Kendrick is a bit like a Cinderella. She is relegated to an upper servant in her aunt’s home, mother to Diana and Althea. Once Rockcliffe catches on about her position in the family, he’s a bit put off by the snobbishness of Lady Franklin and Diana.  He goes out of his way to be nice to her—the story takes off from there.

I love the duke’s fetish of snuff boxes – how they become a focal point in awkward or annoying conversations. I actually snickered during the read.

Narrator Alex Wyndham makes the total experience of this book one of perfection. His timing, tone, pacing and his completely believable performance rates him in my opinion as one go-to narrator.  I’ve listened to his work before with other authors – he’s simply marvelous.

And now I need to back track to read book one of the series.  I highly recommend this author and what I’ve read in reviews, this series.  Her writing style is lively, not heavily laden with description. Her character development are the driving force of the read.

Posted in Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Regency Romance, Romance, Women's Fiction | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Review: STOLEN BY THE LAIRD by Eliza Knight ~ a fight for freedom, as fate intervenes

30114057Title: Stolen by the Laird The Conquered Bride Series, Book 4
Author: Eliza Knight
Genre: Historical Romance, Scottish, Medieval
Pages: 278
Published by: Knight Media
Published Date: June 30, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B01EKOGPSM

 

The Conquered Bride Series:
Conquered by the Highlander
Seduced by the Laird
Taken by the Highlander
Claimed by the Warrior
Stolen by the Laird
Guarded by the Warrior   

 

Publisher’s Summary:
She was supposed to be his prize… But not all rewards are sweet…

Laird Brody Keith, Marischal of Scotland, has been asked by his future king to travel with William Wallace to Dunnottar Castle, where they will seize the castle back from the English. If he completes his mission, the castle, the land and all it holds, will be his. Brody is more than eager to sink his blade into the hearts of his enemies after the brutal murder of his sister and father. But what he doesn’t count on is finding an English lass in need of his protection…

Lady Guinevere has led a less than pleasant life in Scotland over the past year, and now she can either run for her life, or accept the proposal of a man who should be her enemy. Survival bids her to acquiesce, but that doesn’t mean she has to play nice. Except, she’s coming to adore the people whom she’s always been told she should hate, and respect the man who risked his life for her.

Joined for a mutual purpose, Brody and Guinevere seem doomed from the start, but as time passes, and their true enemies draw closer, they’ll form an alliance that not even the devil himself can break.

My Thoughts:  I always enjoy what author Eliza Knight writes, particularly, when she writes these wonderful series with their settings in the Highlands. This is the fourth book in the series — an emotional read and real page-turner with a strong heroine, gentle warrior husband and evil lurking to make a rocky situation extremely dangerous.

Chief Brody Keith is a sensitive and compassionate man.  He, above all else, is a warrior with a strength many warriors do not possess.  His heart is equally strong when it comes to doing the right thing.  By helping William Wallace retake Dunnottar Castle, the king had promised it to him.Image result for pictures of dunnottar castle

The castle is taken and with it the widow of the man who had captured it from the Scottish in the first place, Englishman Baron de Ros.  I wouldn’t feel too sorry for the widow, for de Ros is known for his treacherous ways. She hardly bats an eye when the Scots come to take back the castle. You feel her relief, but her new situation could be even more precarious.

Lady Guinevere is strong and puts up a braver front then she actually feels.  Women doing those times didn’t have much choice when castles are taken.  They are considered spoils of war.  But Brody didn’t want her or her four ladies in waiting to suffer from the hands of the Scots.  He had had enough of the treachery to the innocent. He is still suffering from what had transpired when his family was attacked.  He marries Guinevere, but gives her a choice.  He tells her, in no uncertain terms, what would happen to her and her women if he did not.  Although Guinevere is grateful, she is also not willing to give Brody everything, notably, her trust.

Guinevere thinks the Scots are savages and Brody thinks the English are.  Before Guinevere agrees to marry him, she asks that no love-making be done for three months.  Brody agrees, although reluctantly.  He hopes she can see he keeps promises and honors his word, thereby earn her trust.  She’s relieved he’s put him off, hoping to find a way to escape the keep while he is busy elsewhere.  As they get to know each other, they both find more than they seek.

The story is about the desire for freedom.  The Scots wish to be free of the English.  Guinevere wishes to be free of a controlling man.  Brody wishes to be free from the guilt of not saving his family. Lady Guinevere, relieved her dictator of a husband is dead, doesn’t want a repeat performance. What she finds is this in Brody:

He was kind and funny. Handsome and strong. Honorable. Desirable. Guinevere swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat.

Guinevere and Brody both have romantic spirits and all would be well in time.  But forces within the castle and those from without put wedges between the couple. Beware, there lies a snake in the grass!

Guinevere, even though English, acts kindly to the Scottish children of the village warm by mending and making blankets from old plaids.  But will her own personal goodwill keep her safe from the Scots?

Brody can’t be at the castle all the time to protect his keep and lands around, including his woman.  He’s a warrior who is about the king’s business.  Guinevere is left very vulnerable, and therein, danger comes knocking.

If you like your romances in the highlands of Scotland, with suspense, strong heroines, courageous heroes AND a fast-pace plot, you’ll find it here in Stolen by a Laird.

Posted in Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, Romance, Suspense | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments