THURSDAY THREADS Welcomes Stella Marie Alden

Title: How to Train Your KnightAuthor: Stella Marie Alden

Genre: Historical Medieval Romance

Heat: Sensual

Year of our Lord, 1276. 

In the hours just before dawn, blasphemous curses echo throughout the stone manor. A knife clatters to the floor and a feisty young widow is bound, blindfolded, and led to the marriage alter. The king couldn’t possibly have sanctioned this farce of a marriage, could he? After all, she alone transformed a few mud huts and starving serfs into a flourishing town, never once hesitating to pay generous taxes to his royal kingdom. Abandon her beloved people to be ruled by her new husband, an ignorant Templar knight? Never! 

A murderous witch for a wife? The Beast of Thornhill finds himself in the middle of either a cruel jest or an evil conspiracy. After returning from the Holy wars, he accepts endowment of a small parcel of land in return for saving King Edward’s life. But the reward comes with a warning regarding the estate’s mistress. Despite his insatiable attraction to the black-haired beauty, he allows her time to warm to him while observing her strange, forward-thinking ways. But when all is on the line, will he stand by her through the inquisition or will they both hang for her secrets?

Hook: A feisty widow and a Templar knight? What could possibly go wrong?
Book excerpt:
Year of our Lord 1276

“By God, drag her down here! Naked if you must! Bread and water from now to eternity if you can’t!” Sir Marcus Blackwell slammed his fist on the well-worn table and the sound echoed back from every direction. Of all the bad luck. Forced into marriage with a foul-mouthed, murderous widow.

He clenched his teeth when the next bout of high-pitched screams and curses exploded from the floor above. Crashes, clanging, and banging followed. He cringed as the Lady Ann’s strident screaming rang throughout the stone manor and probably into the courtyard.

“He can’t steal my lands this easily. He’ll live just long enough to rue this day. I shall never, ever, turn my people over to a blood-thirsty, gold-grabbing beast. I’d rather be cursed to hell. Nay, verily, I’d rather marry the devil himself than see myself married to him.”

Beast? He’d strangle the minstrel who’d taken his sword’s moniker and baptized him with it instead. He was a holy crusader, deserving of respect, not an animal.

Crossing himself while counting to ten, he paced the dark hall lit by a single weak torch. Shadows danced across dark tapestries, beyond a hearth the size of two horses, and over enough tables to feed a small army. Thatch crunched under his boots, releasing a perfume of lavender and grasses. He stopped for a respite of blessed silence. What in God’s creation have I stepped into?

When the mayhem started up again, it was from his first-in-command, Thomas D’Agostine. “The devil take it, watch out. A knife!” A dagger fell upon stone with a metallic clatter.

“Damnation. The bitch nicked me.” The smack of a hand against skin, a female yelp of pain, then the battle paused momentarily.

“Enough!” The king’s command would be obeyed. Certainly, she’d have to understand that. He stood at the foot of the massive stone staircase and waited for the thundering echoes to cease before continuing at a lesser volume. Envisioning the vile creature, he shuddered. It was far too late to retreat now. He’d wanted the land and bedding the ancient hag was part of the bargain. “I said, do her no harm. Gag, bind, and blindfold the wench if you must. For the love of God, she’s but one woman.”

Buy links and social network links:




Twitter: @stellamariealde




THURSDAY THREADS Welcomes Erin Bevan!

Thursday Threads: Erin Bevan 
Cupid’s Angels



Release Date: June 3, 2015

Ellie Childs isn’t looking for love. She’s looking for an AC technician for the Forest Wood Senior Center. But, when the repairman happens to be tall, dark, and handsome, he has the goods to make her change her mind. Unfortunately, he’s taken by a blonde Barbie.
David White moved to Cupid, Arkansas, to be closer to the woman he loves, his grandma, and away from his ex-fiancée. Believing his broken heart would never work again, he’s proven wrong. Ellie’s shimmering auburn curls and compassionate nature sends his heart thumping. His mind soars with thoughts of giving love another shot. But as luck would have it, she’s taken, and the guy she’s seeing is a real jerk.
When David’s grandmother sees how perfect Ellie would be for her grandson, she gathers the troops. She and her three friends form Cupid’s Angels. Their mission, to bring David and Ellie together. Despite their best efforts, the Angels’ plans backfire, pushing David and Ellie farther apart and into the arms of others. Or, so they think.
Will the Angels’ good intentions win out, or will their plots and schemes undermine what could have been the love of a lifetime for David and Ellie?
She opened her office door ready to face the damages. Expecting another sweat covered Neanderthal in Bib Overalls, her mouth fell slack at the sight of a handsome man at the end of the hall. She gasped and gripped the folder tighter, blinking to make sure she was seeing clearly. The only attractive men that ever walked into the Center had been over the age of fifty. To see one so young, so striking, made her light-headed.

A tight white undershirt gripped sculpted bicep muscles and broad shoulders. His jeans hung low on his hips and sported holes in the knees. His suntanned skin accented his bronze hair, and an easy smile spread across his face. He carried a toolbox in his left hand and held a bouquet of roses in his right.

Everything about him caused her knees to go weak.

“Hey, Grandma.” He kissed Mary’s cheek and placed the roses into her small hands. “These are for you.”

“Oh, David. You shouldn’t have. They’re lovely. Come over here. I want you to meet someone.”

Before Ellie could get her wits about her, the two walked toward her. She straightened her blouse again and wished she would have taken the time to do something more with her hair, or maybe apply a little lip-gloss. Her ginger curls were a frizzy mess, and her blouse still had the coffee stain right on her breast.

“Ellie, I’d like you to meet my grandson, David. David, this is Ellie. She’s the Center’s Executive Director and a dear friend.”

“Nice to meet you.” He extended his hand.

“You, too.” She slipped her clammy hand in his. Rough calluses scratched her palm and his touch sent a shiver through her.

“Gran tells me you’re having trouble with your air. You mind showing me where the unit is?”

She saw his lips move, but didn’t understand a word he said.

“What?” She asked dumbly.

“The AC unit. Is it outside?”

“Oh, yeah. The unit.” Ellie wondered if her voice sounded as shaky as her knees were. He flashed her another smile that made her want to grab his hand and go find a utility closet somewhere. His strong build, handsome face, sparkling green eyes, and the fact that he brought his grandma roses had her heart beating like a nineteenth century drummer boy heading into battle. She fanned her face with the folder. Her sweaty palms had caused the thick Manila paper to go limp.
Social Media:

Twitter: @ErinBevan


LoveChatWrite: So… What Do YOU Do?

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve been here. You know, life sort of got in the way. It does that on occasion.

If you’re here, hopefully you’ve come from Dani Jace, and you’ve seen what she’s had to say on this topic.

This week’s question comes from Jeanne McDonald, and it is this: Outside of writing, what is you day job? Give interesting facts about the job, and yes, homemaker is a viable option. What inspired you to take on this job and would you ever consider giving it to one of your characters?

Well, in my real life, I’m a speech-language pathologist for a school district, and before that, I worked in the hospitals. Sometimes, when I get a wild hair, I’ll still work in the medical settings over breaks or holidays. I’m that girl that usually has two to four different side gigs going at any given time. I need to learn to curb that.

Anyhoo, I work primarily with preschoolers who are developmentally delayed and/or have autism spectrum disorders. I also work with school-aged children with intellectual disabilities, and my students range from mostly or totally nonverbal to low verbal and using communication devices, to fully verbal with a language delay. I even have a few kids on my caseload that are gifted, but have an autism spectrum disorder and the related social deficits… I’m the gal who comes equipped with a bag full of toiletries and a month long lesson on why we don’t pick our noses, but I’ve also written social stories about why we keep our clothes on at school. That may have been my finest piece of writing to date!

I also flash. A LOT. In a little bit of background information, I am not an exhibitionist–no way, no how. I believe in as many layers of cloth between my skin and the outside world as reasonably possible. That being said, because I work with preschoolers, I sometimes get pulled on. Sometimes more often than others. I once made it a policy that I could only wear the cute bras in certain rooms, because, no matter how high the collar of my shirt, I could very well find myself showing off the girls. (And yes, I do wear a tank top or cami underneath, but honestly, it doesn’t always matter. Little hands go… places). My coworkers have even said that it’s not a good start of the year until I’ve flashed someone. Last year, a little friend pulled on my dress, and the entire thing came undone, including the buttons that I had pinned shut in case of such an emergency. To this day, I am unsure how such a massive failure occurred. I was In the parking lot. During drop off. Neat-o!

Don’t worry people, it’s already happened this year. I lost a button in an unfortunate place (but, because of the rooms I work in, we had a sewing kit and extra buttons, so I got to fix that). And, as I write this, I have finished my first day with kids. Go team!

But seriously, all joking aside, I love my day job. I get to teach people how to communicate in the most effective way they can. I have the privilege of helping people, who may not otherwise be able to communicate at all, find their voices. Personally, I find it awe-inspiring. I have cried when a child said their first words. I have cheered even the slowest progress–things you wouldn’t think are important at all are massive to me. I have programmed AAC devices and struggled to figure out what a child is trying to communicate. And I have cried with parents during meetings, both good and bad. I get to work with the most perfect miracle they ever received, and I am humbled every day that they trust me to do it.

That sounded like a total humble brag. Sorry, dudes. I really do like my work. I could do without the paperwork, which is insane, but when I actually get to do what I have been hired to do? That’s priceless.

So… Would I give this job to any of my characters? Well, I write historicals, so the closest I can come to is a governess, and yeah, I’m doing that right now!

Why not head over to JJ Devine and see what she has to say on this.

THURSDAY THREADS Welcomes Dawn Ireland

Title: The Perfect DukeGenre: Historical Romance (Late Georgian Era)

Heat Level: Three out of Five

Back Cover Blurb
Known as The Marble Duke amongst the Ton, Garret Weston, the Duke of Kendal sets himself apart from his peers. Nothing will hinder his guilt-driven attempt to become a perfect duke. Nothing that is, save the alluring and imaginative betrothed he’d thought dead. His intended believes-of all things-that she is a Vicar’s daughter. The “perfect” duke needs a “perfect” duchess, but how was he to discern her suitability? Employing her as a governess to his niece seemed like an ideal solution. But whose “suitability” is being tested? His betrothed refuses to see he is beyond redemption. And most grievous of all, she stirs his blood, making him forget what’s important. 
Cara believes fairy tales really can come true, until she meets the unrelenting and arrogant Duke of Kendal. He looks like a Prince, but acts like a Beast. Why must he challenge her at every turn? Her greatest peril is her attraction to the vulnerable, seductive man behind the title. A match between them would be impossible. But can she show him, without losing her heart that “perfect” is in the eye of the beholder?

“The horse seems to know you.”

“He should. There was a time when I practically lived in the stable. Storm was my favorite.”

“What happened?”

“I became a duke.”


He straightened and forced his features into a mask of indifference. “So, Rachel loves horses.” He turned to face Cara. “I can appreciate my niece’s fondness, but I can not allow her to frequent the stable.”

“Why not?”

“It is not proper for young ladies of her station.”

“Garret, she’s a child.”

It was the first time she’d used his name, and somehow, Rachel visiting the horses didn’t seem like such a large request. “I will only allow it if she uses the passageway. At least I can keep the knowledge of her visits to a minimum. If you come with her, you will need to use the tunnel as well.”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?”

She blushed and turned away. “I’m afraid.” She said it so quietly, he wasn’t sure he heard her.

“Afraid? Of what?”

“Dark, enclosed places. Even as a child, I fell asleep with a candle burning.” She faced him and gave a small smile. “Perhaps I’m afraid that a beast will gobble me up in the dark.”

“There are no beasts at Belcraven, Miss McClure. I would not allow anyone to hurt you.”


“Never.” He started toward her and stopped. Damn, it would be better if he didn’t get close to her. As he left the stable, her whisper followed him.

“Not even you?”


The Perfect Duke