Tuesday, October 11, 2016


By MaryAnn DiSpirito-Wales

Let’s talk about men and their underwear. Not in the context that we’ve often broached the subject with our friends, the “I can’t understand why he has to wear such ratty briefs! I throw them away and the next thing I know, he’s dragging them out of the trash telling me they’re his favorites!” rant. The scenario is the same when their favorite shirt, jeans, and falling apart sneakers are past any hope of restoration. It’s an inborn response. Nothing we do will change this behavior…men have been rescuing their tattered clothes from destruction for centuries.

It all started with the loin cloth, consisting of fabric, bark, or leather drawn up between the legs and tied around the waist. Examples are still worn by men and women living in tropical climates.  Loin cloths evolved into braies, an outer garment worn by Celts and Germanic tribes that by the late Middle Ages evolved into baggy drawers worn under normal clothing. They became shorter by the end of the 15th Century, resembled swimming trunks. The wearing of braies, also known as “breeches,” was considered good manners because they prevented male genitals from being on display under the short tunics popular at the time.
Breeches stayed on the scene for a long time, eventually becoming knee breeches, tighter knee-length outer clothing during the 17th and early 18th Centuries. Almost all men wore washable breeches linings. The very poorest did not, pulling the long tails of their shirts between their legs to protect the breeches from bodily soiling. I can hear the “eeewwwwwws” from here. Hygiene was not a strong suit in bygone days. Eighteenth Century drawers were short and tied at the waist. Upper and middle class men often wore breeches linings of woolen or stockinet over their drawers to cut down on washing. It’s interesting to note that Beau Brummel and other dandies did not wear underwear because they didn’t want the smooth lines of their trousers to be interrupted.

Lower class families made all of their own clothing, while upper classes utilized tailors and/or seamstresses, some of whom were live-in employees. Advent of the first sewing machine in 1820 (before Elias Howe and Singer) made drawers more available to the general public. Although elastic was first used in the garment’s waistband during the 1840s, it did not gain popularity for many years. Cotton, calico and flannel were the fabrics of choice, in addition to silk for the elite. Patterns for the period show “oylet” holes for laces in the back, as well as buttons for the front.

Just as the “sanitary” movement introduced combinations for women during the late 19th Century, the Jaeger Sanitary Woolen Underwear made one for men. Union suits, although they were not yet called that, were born. There hasn’t been a Western filmed that hasn’t had a character wearing a union suit.
Not many researchers focused on men’s clothing. There have been male portraits painted throughout the ages showing opulent styles and beautiful fabrics. However, we’re not able to see the underwear beneath that finery. There have been illustrations of the working class, but it is hard to see detail. Fortunately, men’s drawers have not gone through extensive changes over the years.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fall #Romantic Travel Blog - Tina Gayle

One of my favorite romantic trips my husband and I like to take is to go out to Palm Springs and play golf. We have a great time and get outside. The scenery along a golf course is beautiful and then we go out to a nice restaurant before heading back to our hotel room.  This is both relaxing and fun.

Here is a short youtube video I created.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNfhj-hf66s for the mountain course at LaQuinta

CEO’s Widow  - Book 4 of the Executives' Wives' Club series

Genre: Contemporary Romance with strong women fiction elements
Four women...
One fatal car wreck...
Everyone's lives changed...

CEO’s Widow
After surviving the grief from her husband’s death, Marianne Clark has built a new life with the help of the other Executive Wives. She plans to enjoy grandchildren and friends until her doctor tells her he found a lump in her breast. Her world turned upside down. She re-evaluates her priorities and decides she will grab hold of life with both hands.
Knox Turner lost his first wife to cancer. He’s determined not to let Marianne face this challenge alone.
Can this couple face the trials ahead and build a future together?

“What about you and Knox? Is Travis and Lyndsey’s relationship still causing problems between you two?”
In response to Brie’s questions, Marianne lifted her gaze, uncertain how to explain the true reason for not caring to become involved with Knox.
“He seemed determined today to put an end to the stand-off,” Sylvia inserted, her tone reflecting her amusement of the moment.
Brie captured Marianne’s gaze and slow shook her head. “You’re still not over Jack, are you?”
Jen swiveled her head, first to Brie, then back around to stare at Marianne. “Oh, no, that can’t be.”
“Awe shit,” Sylvia muttered and turned in her chair.
All eyes locked on her. Marianne dropped her chin and fought for something to say to ease her friends’ concern.
“I knew it, you assume because you’re interested in Knox you’re somehow being unfaithful to Jack.” Sylvia clasped her hand around Marianne’s forearm. “Well, you’re not. Jack would understand. Hell, if he were in your shoes, he’d have already remarried.”

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Author Bio: Tina Gayle loves writing and is currently working on finishing her Family Tree series, a contemporary paranormal suspense series.
When not writing, she enjoys spending time with my family and traveling around the country. She hasn't hit every state, but she hopes to someday. You might also catch her on the golf course with her husband of 30 years.

Also, you can read the first chapter of any of her books by visiting her website or download an exclusive story "My Future Step Brother" and join her special friend's list. All on her website www.tinagayle.net

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Saturday, October 8, 2016


By Tim Lambert

Baths and Showers in the Ancient World

The Egyptians are known for their cleanliness (they bathed frequently) and they used many cosmetics. 

Meanwhile in Babylon before 2,000 BC a form of soap was made. 

The Greeks knew that diet and exercise and keeping clean were important for health. The Greeks even invented a form of shower, which sprayed bathers with water.

Most Greeks washed in a bowl on a pedestal called a louterion though the rich sometimes had bathrooms. 

People rubbed themselves with olive oil then rubbed it off with a tool called a strigil.

The Romans also knew that dirt encourages disease and they appreciated the importance of cleanliness. They built aqueducts to bring clean water into towns. In Roman towns an important building was the public baths. People went to the baths not just to get clean but also to socialize. 

Roman Baths consisted of a frigidarium or cold room, a Tepidarium or warm room and a caldarium or hot room. You usually finished with a dip in a cold pool. 

To clean themselves Romans rubbed their skin with oil and scraped it off with a tool called a strigil. (The Romans also made soap).

Roman women also used razors, pumice stone, tweezers and depilatory creams to remove unwanted body hair.

Baths in the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages there were bathhouses in many towns were people could pay to have a bath. Furthermore in Northern Europe in the Middle Ages people took sweat baths.

In the 14th century Edward III installed a bathroom in the Palace of Westminster. Other people made do with wooden tubs in their bedrooms.

Furthermore in the Middle Ages there was an important soap making industry in England (although many people made their own soap at home). 

In the Middle Ages people used combs and tweezers. They also used toothpicks and mouthwashes.

In the Middle Ages in monasteries streams provided clean water. Dirty water was used to clear toilets, which were in a separate room. Monks also had a room called a laver where they washed their hands before meals.

Baths and Showers 1500-1800

Most Tudors cared about their appearance. People carried mirrors made of glass or steel. They also carried combs and used tweezers, ear scoops and bone manicure sets. 

In the Summer people sometimes had a bath in the local river. Sometimes they heated a cauldron of water and had a strip wash. Or they could have a 'dry wash' by rubbing themselves with clean linen. 

In the 16th century bathrooms were very rare but Henry VIII had a bathroom in Hampton Court Palace. It had a simple boiler for hot water.

In the 17th century people used toothpicks but in the latter part of the century toothbrushes were introduced. (Toothbrushes came from China. They were first mentioned in 1498). 

People also made scented soaps. 

Then in 1767 Englishman William Feetham invented the first modern shower. However in Britain showers did not become common until the late 20th century.

Baths and Showers in the 19th Century and 20th Century

In the mid 19th century middle class homes began to have bathrooms. Having a bath was also made much easier by the development of gas water heaters. 

The electric water heater was invented in 1889. 

Working class houses with bathrooms were first built around 1900 and in the 1920s council houses were built with bathrooms. However at that time bathrooms were still a luxury. 

As late as the early 1960s many homes in Britain did not have a bathroom.

From about 1800 portable metal bathtubs gradually replaced wooden ones and in the 19th century some people used hand-pumped showers.

In the 19th century toothpaste was sold in jars until 1892 when Washington Sheffield invented the collapsible toothpaste tube. 

Meanwhile in 1888 the first modern deodorant was invented. It was called Mum.

The first safety razors for men were sold in 1901. Women first began to shave under their arms in the 1910s. The first razor for women was introduced in 1915.

In the 19th century most homes also had a scullery. In it was a 'copper', a metal container for heating water for washing clothes. The copper was filled with water and soap powder was added. To wash the clothes they were turned with a wooden tool called a dolly. Or you used a metal plunger with holes in it to push clothes up and down. 

Wet clothes were wrung through a device called a wringer or mangle to dry them. The clothes wringer or mangle was invented by Robert Tasker in 1850.

Simple hand operated washing machines were invented in the 18th century. 

The first electric washing machine was made in 1907. 

In Britain washing machines first became common in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Meanwhile The electric clothes dryer was invented in 1935 by a man named J. Ross Moore. 

The first laundromat opened in Fort Worth, Texas in 1934. The first laundrette in Britain opened in 1949. 

Josephine Cochrane invented the first practical dishwasher in 1886. 

By 2009 36% of households in Britain had a dishwasher. 

Steel wool cleaning pads were invented in 1913.

Meanwhile soap was rationed in Britain from 1942 to 1950.

People used to wash their clothes with soap flakes. 

The first synthetic detergent was invented in Germany during the First World War. 

In the following decades detergents were gradually improved and became more common. 

Today washing is much easier than it was in the past. Washing is a lot easier with the proper water heater.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

#RomanticTravel – Author Keta Diablo

Autumn is a great time to plan a fall get-a-way. You won't find lovelier places to visit than the Midwest. Before trees shed their leaves in preparation for winter, they often put on a brilliant display of color...deep burgundy, buttercup yellow and sunburst orange.
Many small towns hold fall festivals and Halloween galas meant to attract not only local residents but adventure-seeking tourists.
Here's hoping you take time to schedule a short vacation this fall and enjoy the same beauty depicted in this image from the state of Wisconsin.

* * *
Keta's latest release is Comes An Outlaw, a western romance where cowboys and ghosts take center stage. But don't worry...there's plenty of romance for the love-bugs too.

About Comes An Outlaw
When a tragic accident claims her husband's life, Jesse Santos must find a way to keep the ranch, the only home her 12-year-old son has ever known.  The ranch hands have abandoned her, a gang of cutthroat ranchers want her land and an ancient Yaqui Indian insists a spirit has taken up residence in the house.
After a fifteen-year absence, her husband's brother, Coy, returns to his childhood home. He doesn't plan on staying, and he certainly doesn't intend to settle down with a widow and her son…no matter how pretty she is.
He's an outlaw, after all, and made a decision to put an end to his gun-slinging days long ago. Will his conscience let him walk away from family, or will his heart overrule his head?

"I loved all the components of this story. The Indian lore was probably my favorite though."
"The storyline is brilliant. This novella has many twists and turns. A page turner."
"Diablo has created a set of compelling characters. Jesse captures the essence of the time, when women had very few options, and even fewer good ones."

Setup and Excerpt:
In this scene, Jesse wonders if loneliness has driven her to desperation. Is she really holding a conversation with a ghost...or has her late husband returned to help her fight for her land?

Chapter One
Arizona 1885
Dawn caressed the homespun curtains in the cramped bedroom, rousing Jesse from a restless night's sleep.  A delicate breeze rustled through the two-inch gap between window and sill, doing little to motivate the damp, heavy air in the room.
She tossed back the blue and white quilt, slid from bed and crossed the room to the pitcher and bowl on the bureau.
Gonna be another scorcher today, Jezebel. Might want to tie your hair back.
For a brief moment, she closed her eyes and willed the voice in the room to leave.  He wasn't there, not in a real sense. Like every other day since his death, he invaded her thoughts, spoke in her head. She opened her eyes and fought the overwhelming urge to turn around, prove once and for all ghosts didn't exist. 
"Are you set on driving me crazy, Cain? Don't I have enough to deal with without you tormenting me? Besides, I don't like it when you call me Jezebel, and you darn well know it."
That's why no one calls you Jezebel except me.
She spun around and glared at the rocking chair under the window. "Ah, another one of your tricks to make me think I'm losing my mind—call me something no one else does."
Yes, I'm in the rocker, the one my mother always sat in beside the hearth. You remember after she died, we brought it into our bedroom?
"Stop…you must stop." Her hands went to her temples. "If you were real I would see you sitting there."
If only I could show myself. You have no idea how hard it is to project my voice. Takes so much energy. I'm working on it though, have high hopes I'll get better at this spirit realm thing.
"I don't want you to get better at it; I want you to stop speaking to me entirely."
We talked about this, agreed that if something happened to one of us, we'd do our best to come back, watch over the other one.
She paced a small area at the end of the bed. "I only agreed because I thought it would never happen, could never happen. I wanted to please you, knew how much you loved your line of work, believed in it."
Nonetheless, Jezebel, it happened. I'm here and I mean to look out for you. I didn't want to leave you so soon but we must deal with what is now.
Stopping her harried pace, she looked to the chair again. "You don't think I'm doing my best to deal with what is now? And stop calling me that!"
You'll always be my precious Jezebel.
She heard a contented sigh filter through the still air.
My Jezebel with the tangle of long, copper hair, eyes the color of Robin's eggs and the lovely bowed mouth. I recall the first time I saw you. Slop bucket hanging off your tiny arm, you walked from the back room of Two Bits, skirted the bar and dropped to your knees to scrub the floor. Do you remember?
She hung her head. "How could I forget the day you saved me from a life of…well, destitution, offered me safety, security?" Looking up again, she fanned an arm over the room. "Offered me a home."
And I want to make sure you keep that home, our home, Grange's home.
"That's why you're here?"
For the most part. I always said this is a unforgiving land. People aren't careful it'll swallow them whole and—
"Kill them."
Yes, and I aim to do everything I can to make sure it doesn't take you and Grange.
"I don't think I can do this, dark forces are at work, conspiring against your son and me. Lord knows I've tried, Cain, but how can a woman and a boy fight against the harsh elements, the day-to-day struggles without a man? Hard enough when you were here, but now, most days I think the land is going to win. Every morning I walk out onto that porch and think I'm walking into the fires of Hell. There's more…someone's been cutting the fence lines, scattering the cattle. Takes us days to get them back again."
Not someone, Jezebel. Search your heart; you know who's behind it.
She walked back to the bureau, opened a drawer and pulled out a pair of leather trousers. After pulling the nightshirt over her head, she grabbed Cain's flannel shirt from a hook, slipped her arms into the sleeves and pulled the trousers over her hips. "I know who the varmints are, all right. Domingo and Benito. Am I right?"
The Torres brothers.
"Yeah, and the low-bellied snakes they ride with, Mutton-Chop Walsh and Digger Newly." She blew an exasperated breath and looked over her shoulder to the window. "How do you expect me to stand up to that, Cain? I can't do it, I tell you. Let them have the land because it ain't worth dying for, or God forbid, losing Grange over."
You can't give up the land, love. Been in my family for generations. Ma and Pa will be turning over in their—
"I don't care. I'm not sacrificing my son, our son, for a piece of scorched earth in the middle of nowhere."
You're talking foolish now. You love the land as much as I do, I mean did. You're tired, worn out; I get that, but….
"But what?"
I never thought I'd hear you say you want to give up the land, give up on life.
"It's different now that you're gone. You might as well face it, I'm leaving, Cain. And you should leave too, find that white light you always talked about and forget about this place."
Help is coming, Jezebel.
"Yeah, and so are monsoon winds, dried up creek beds and taxes. Or did you forget taxes are due…again?"
I'm asking you to hang on for a little while, that's all.
"You expect me to believe a knight on a big white horse will be riding in soon to save us?"
He rides a Piebald.
I said he rides a Piebald with black and white spots, sixteen hands tall.
"Who…who rides a spotted horse and how do you know he's coming here?"
I'm fading, Jezebel. Used up everything I got this morning.
"No you don't! You can't waltz in here, drop your innuendoes and disappear like a snuffed out candle."
Trust me. Hang on…please hang on.
"Cain, wait…don't go! You can't leave like this!"
Hang on, Jezebel…hang on….

* * *
You can find out more about Keta's books by visiting her Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Keta-Diablo/e/B002BODURI/

Or by visiting her blog, Keta's Keep, http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com

Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ketadiablo

Download COMES AN OUTLAW for .99 cents

Monday, September 19, 2016

THE CLOTHES PRESS - Chemise & Knickers v Drawers By MaryAnn DiSpirito-Wales

One subject we need to address before proceeding to the chemise is that of the difference between knickers and drawers. There isn’t one. Up until the 20th Century, drawers were worn by Americans and the British. However, after the 1880s, Brits started referring to women’s drawers worn during sports as “knickers,” short for “knickerbockers.” Originally men’s knee-length britches—named after the Knickerbockers, a Dutch business family prominent during the 17th Century—women adopted the undergarment. Knickers is now the term for women’s panties in the UK. 

To be on the safe side historically when crafting an American historical novel, I would refer to the undergarment as drawers, especially when writing about pioneers and/or the Old West. Of course, a character with affectations may refer to them as “knickers.”

Where do bloomers come in? Drawers and knickers are not bloomers. Never have been. Bloomers are harem pants gathered around the ankle and worn under a short dress while cycling or participating in other sports. Named after newspaperwoman Amelia Bloomer, who advocated sensibility in dress, bloomers were created by Elizabeth Smith Miller. First introduced around 1851, Amelia wore the style for a short time, which went out of favor around 1854, except for a handful of stalwart individuals.  It did make a reappearance in the mid-1880s after a bicycle that women could ride comfortably was introduced. By 1896, the garment had regained favor and, along with knickerbockers and culottes, were popular with the sport set.

Shifts, or smocks as they are sometime called, dated from Medieval times and maintained popularity as a woman’s single undergarment for centuries. Wide, straight, with long sleeves and ankle length, the shift was the first layer of many. It also functioned as a nightgown and for many centuries, a woman would sleep in her shift, then get up and put on her outer clothing after washing face and hands in a basin. Usually made of muslin or linen, the shift was sometimes worn as an outer garment by the poor. Later known as the chemise, the garment was still referred to as a shift in other countries. 

By today’s standards, shifts and chemises were enormous, sporting large necklines pulled in by strings and wide sleeves pulled in at the elbow and large underarm gussets for mobility, you’d think women of the early 19th Century were giantesses. Better quality chemises were constructed of fine, softer linen, similar to today’s handkerchief linen and batiste. The masses made theirs from the old standby, muslin. 

Unless you were upper crust and had servants to make your garments, you made your own, which could take as long as a month depending on how elaborate the garment would be and how skilled you were in the needle arts.  The 1860’s saw an improvement in the item’s appearance. Sleeves became shorter, necklines not quite as voluminous, although they were still adjusted with ties. Broderie anglaise was used as edging as a forerunner of the addition of lace insertions and ribbons in the latter part of the century. Sometimes sleeves were eliminated altogether.

Chemises became shorter in length—sometimes, above the knee. They were still full. By the 1870s, bulk was reduced at the waist via tapering at the seams, to make the fit smoother. They were not closely fitted to the form, however. Silk was introduced in the 1880’s. Although wool was worn for warmth, the most popular fabrics were lawn, silk, and muslin, embroidered and trimmed with lace. We still wear chemises, however today’s would probably cause a proper Victorian woman of the early 20th Century to get her knickers in a twist.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Kris Bock #RomanticTravel Guest Post

The Mad Monk’s Treasure

A legendary treasure hunt in the dramatic – and deadly – New Mexico desert....

The lost Victorio Peak treasure is the stuff of legends – a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider.

When Erin, a shy history professor, uncovers a clue that may pinpoint the lost treasure cave, she prepares for adventure. But when a hit and run driver nearly kills her, she realizes she’s not the only one after the treasure. And is Drew, the handsome helicopter pilot who found her bleeding in a ditch, really a hero, or one of the enemy?

Erin isn’t sure she can trust Drew with her heart, but she’ll need his help to track down the treasure. She heads into the New Mexico wilderness with her brainy best friend Camie and a feisty orange cat. The wilderness holds its own dangers, from wild animals to sudden storms. Plus, the sinister men hunting Erin are determined to follow her all the way to the treasure, no matter where the twisted trail leads. Erin won’t give up an important historical find without a fight, but is she ready to risk her life—and her heart?

“The story has it all—action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship....”

“The action never stopped .... It was adventure and romance at its best.”

“I couldn’t put this book down. You’ll love it.”

Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell will enjoy these stories of love in the wild, from a New Mexico Book Award-winning author.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure is the first Southwest Treasure Hunters book, followed by The Dead Man’s Treasure. Each novel stands alone and is complete, with no cliffhangers. This contemporary romantic suspense series mixes action and adventure with sweet romance.

  Erin could hardly believe what she was seeing. Could this be it? After all this time waiting, searching, had she finally, finally, found what she was looking for?
  She forced herself to sit back and take a deep breath. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t rush into things. She wanted to leap up and scream her excitement, but years of academic training held. Slow down, double-check everything, and make sure you are right!
  She leaned forward and ran her fingers over the grainy photograph. With that one image, everything seemed to fall into place. This was the clue. It had to be.
  She fumbled in her desk drawer for a magnifying glass and studied the symbols in the photo more closely. At a glance, they looked like your standard Indian petroglyphs. You could find them throughout the Southwest, tucked away in caves or scattered among boulder fields.
  But this was different.
  If she was right—and she had to be right—these symbols were a map. A map that could lead her to one of the greatest caches of buried treasure ever.
  She reached for the phone. In a few seconds a voice said, “Yeah.” Erin could hear the sound of some tool on metal in the background.
  “Camie? I found it!”

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.

Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

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My Romantic Getaway
My husband and I always spend our anniversary weekend in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Although T or C is small, it has several good restaurants and many spa services. We like to stay at the Fire Water Lodge, where each room has its own tub fed by geothermal hot mineral water. Each room is different, and you can see the specifics for each room on their website. Fire Water is one of the more funky/less expensive lodges. You can also find high-end luxury lodging.

There’s not a ton to do in T or C – which is part of what makes it relaxing. You can wander the small town and poke around used bookstores and art galleries. Nearby Elephant Butte provides three short hiking trails as well as a ten-mile trail along the lake, if you’re feeling ambitious. You can also sit on the beach, fly a kite, watch birds, or fish. At night, be sure to look up at the sky – we prefer to do this from our Jacuzzi tub – at a dark sky filled with stars.

For more Southwest travel, visit my Southwest Armchair Traveler blog. Check out the Labels for posts on different parts of the state.

Kris Bock, www.krisbock.com
"Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Adventures" -- suspense and romance in the Southwest
Writing for children as Chris Eboch, www.chriseboch.com

Thursday, September 15, 2016

#RomanticTravel Blog Exchange ~ Katherine Bone

Ahoy, Lady Charlene! It’s great to be sharing one of my FAVorite #RomanticTravel destinations with you and your readers today. Thanks for having me aboard!
There’s nothing more romantic than traveling to Italy! One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited was La Maddalena, Sardinia. As a young 24 year old, the ferry ride from the mainland to the island of La Maddalena was a huge thrill. One the island, I’d never seen clearer or bluer water. La Maddalena was/is a romantic paradise sure to please lovers of all kinds.
(Link to add for Lad Maddalena: http://www.lifeinitaly.com/tourism/sardinia/la-maddalena)
For you readers out there who prefer pumpkin picking and football (I live in Alabama after all), my latest release offers an epic escape to Cornwall!
The Pirate’s Debt, Regent’s Revenge book 2

Lady Chloe Walsingham is an enthusiastic gothic romance reader and hopeless romantic focused solely on finding her perfect hero. She also happens to have a penchant for getting into trouble. So when the man she loves disappears after a scandalous duel, she decides to follow him to the ends of the Earth. To do so, however, Chloe must evade her brother, an infamous revenue man, and board a ship bound for Penzance. And nothing in her beloved books can prepare her for the harsh realities of wreckers who ply the coast.
After his father destroyed the lives of countless innocent people, Basil Halford, Earl of Markwick is willing to do anything to earn back his honor. Betrayed by his blood and his reputation ruined, Markwick answers the request of a well-heeled duke and dons the Black Regent’s mask to repay the debt. His task? Rescuing a young woman who is chasing down a ghost of a man.
But a pirate has plenty of enemies, and Markwick isn’t any different. No matter how diligent a captain he may be, sailing to Lady Chloe’s rescue involves risking not only the Regent’s legacy but the last thing he can afford to lose…his heart.

Amazon           Nook           Kobo           Apple

~ Excerpt ~
Markwick stiffened. Blackmoor’s reasons for enlisting Markwick’s help were triggered by love for his wife. Markwick’s sense of responsibility went deeper, to a place he’d never allowed himself to go out of respect for Walsingham. While it was true that Chloe had exceeded many levels of Markwick’s patience when she was younger, since his engagement to Prudence, she’d shown herself to be intelligent, talented, loyal, and a most beloved sister and friend. She was also enamored by the Black Regent, which put his identity at even greater risk.
What could he do? How far was he willing to go to bring Chloe home safe and sound?
“For the duchess’s sake,” he began, “I will do my best to find Chloe. You have my word.”
“Remember, her willful head is in the clouds. That, dear friend, makes her dangerous. If she spies her brother, she will most likely flee to avoid facing his ire. But if you find her . . . well, that is a trap well laid.”
“Surely you place too much—”
“I’ve promised my wife that you will find her before Walsingham does.”
Markwick bowed. “I shall strive to earn your confidence.”
He gazed at the missive in Blackmoor’s hand once more, suspecting something else was responsible for the duke’s persistence that Markwick should be the one to locate Chloe. “What’s in the letter?”
Blackmoor handed him the missive, then strode to the door. “Have a care for your soul, Markwick. While the Fury demands forte, females rein a tempest of emotions sure to drown better men.”
Markwick straightened. “Aye, sir,” he said, gazing down at the note.
The screen door slammed. When he looked up again, Blackmoor was gone.
Markwick opened the note, then leaned back on the desk. His jaw slackened at the words on the page.

My dearest friend,

I ask you one question: is a body unhappy about another unless she is in love? I fear we both know the answer to that now, and a gentle violence thrills my soul as I share with you that I intend to sail with the tide. I cannot face the snares and wiles of this world without love to recommend me. Therefore, I beseech you to keep my secret, for you are the only one I trust.

Markwick has disappeared. As you are no longer betrothed, I am finally at liberty to confess to you that I love him. I have always loved him, and I cannot bear for him to suffer alone. Sources close to my brother inform me that a man fitting Markwick’s description has been seen in Torquay. Therefore, I’ve attained passage for myself and my maid aboard the Valerian.

Do not be alarmed for my person or harden your heart against me. Dry your earnest tears. My virtuous intentions steer me toward a higher destiny.

Resourcefully yours,
Chloe Walsingham

Markwick shut his gaping mouth, then crumpled the letter in his hand.
It couldn’t be true. Blackmoor was right? Chloe loved him? How was that possible? Why? Until now, he had always perceived her attention as infatuation because he’d been the only man her brother allowed around her.
He dropped the foolscap and swiped his fingers through his hair. If he failed to rescue Chloe from another one of her outlandish adventures, Prudence would blame him. Which meant Blackmoor would blame him. Not to mention Chloe’s brother. If Walsingham found out Markwick had known where Chloe was bound and hadn’t alerted him, the bond between friends would be severed for good, making his stint as the Black Regent even more perilous. If anything happened to her, Walsingham would not rest until Markwick was hunted down. That endangered the Regent’s whole design. And a dead Regent could not help the people of Cornwall and Devon.
Markwick hopped forward and yanked open the cabin’s screen door.
Pye stood there, just outside the door, waiting. “What be your orders, Cap’n?”
Had Blackmoor ordered the one-legged pirate to stand there? “Notify the crew that we have a target in our sights. We make way with the tide.”
“Aye, sir.” The salty pirate grinned. “As soon as I’d seen the ol’ cap’n, I knew we’d have us an adventure ahead.”
“Spare me your excitement,” Markwick grumbled. “This adventure may very well lead to my bloody end.”

National best-selling historical romance author Katherine Bone has been passionate about history since she had the opportunity to travel to various Army bases, castles, battlegrounds, and cathedrals as an Army brat turned officer’s wife. Who knew that an Army wife’s passion for romance novels would lead to pirates? Certainly not her rogue, whose Alma Mater’s adage is “Go Army. Beat Navy!” Now enjoying the best of both worlds, Katherine lives with her rogue in the south where she writes about rogues, rebels, and rakes—aka pirates, lords, captains, duty, honor, and country—and the happily-ever-afters that every alpha male and damsel deserve.

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