Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Lord and Eleanor - a knightly romance. Pre-order with money off

Their love crosses and breaks all bounds but can it survive?



Spirited Eleanor is a peasant will do anything to help her younger siblings… and even considers becoming the mistress of Richard of Wykeford, her lord and the local landowner, a handsome, charismatic widower who cares for his children.

Although Richard wants her for her beauty, he also needs her knowledge. As a local wise-woman, she knows cures and poisons, and an unknown poisoner is at work somewhere on his manor.

The closer the two become despite the social gulf between them, the more their danger grows until matters come to a dangerous head when Eleanor is kidnapped.



Title        The Lord and Eleanor
Author Lindsay Townsend
Genre Historical Romance
Release October 25, 2016
Pages 63
ISBN 978-1-77127-854-6
Price $3.99 (Sales price $1.99)
Tags         Knights, medieval, castles, ladies, courtly love, romance, historical romance, family romance, bondswoman

Coming soon to all vendors. Available to pre-order with money off here

Excerpt

Eleanor heard the hated phrase, bondswoman, whispered ‘round the circle like a curse. She released the rope and dug her fingers hard into her grazed palms, fighting not to lose her temper.

“A freewoman now, sir,” she reminded the court. “My father won our freedom.”

“Some freedom, when you scrape and scratch a living on a pocket of land.”

“Land gained freely from the forest,” Eleanor countered, “where we hinder no one’s rights.” Her head was beginning to ache and not from the late-spring sunshine. For how long would the term “bond” be a collar around her and her family’s throats?

From the corner of her eye, she saw the lord raise his hand. He wore a full-sleeved tunic dyed a rich dark blue, deeper than bluebells or cornflowers and edged in gold.

Costly robes for a rich, powerful man. Her thought was confirmed as the clerk and the crowd at once fell silent.

The lord spoke. “You dug a pit close to where your people or beasts were threatened. You lined it with stakes and covered it with rushes or other strewings and baited the center. How long did it take for the wolf to take the bait and fall in?”

“Five days, my lord.”

“So it fell onto the stakes and perished.”

Eleanor saw the danger of admitting that the wolf’s demise owed little to bravery on her part and so added, “I dug the pit, my lord.”

“And the beast is certainly dead.” The lord, whom she knew as a decent, generous sort but had seen only as a distant figure on horseback before today, sounded amused.

It would be easy for him. Eleanor glowered at the tree roots. It was true he was a widower with children of his own to care for but he would never know true hunger, nor the threat of it.

She braced herself for more questions—about rights and menfolk and her place within her faltering household—but she did not expect what happened next.

“Look at me,” the lord commanded.

She was so startled that she did.

* * * *

Richard of Wykeford, sitting through a morning’s business of stolen dues, stolen crops, stolen rights, had been glad of the distraction of the Fletcher girl. He had known the family since Martin Fletcher, her father, argued to secure his freedom, and the Fletchers were a quarrelsome kindred.

For all that, he admired their zeal and ambition and was sorry Martin had died this spring struck in his fields by lightning. He had sent his reeve to the stricken family to pass on his condolences along with fuel, strewings, bedding, salted meat and fish but a week later Martin’s widow Agnes had also died. Eleanor, their eldest, was caring for a brood of three alone.

As she raised her head and looked at him, Richard decided he must be sure of one more point. He would help the lass but how he did it would depend on whether she had a sweetheart or not.

She must surely have a man. Even as she is, in an old, patched gown, her hair covered by an ugly hood, barefoot and half-starved, she is beautiful.

He had not seen her this close before and he marveled how he had missed her. She was small and slender but her limbs were shapely and when she was not dragging a dead wolf, she would move with poise and grace. A tingle of desire, absent since his Joanna had died, began to sparkle through his long, rangy frame, making him feel more alive than he had for months.

“Yes, my lord?”

Her question reminded him that he had stared for too long.

“You are the head of your household?” he demanded.

Her bright gray eyes clouded with disappointment and he felt strangely ashamed, the more so when she nodded without speaking.

“You have no man?” he persisted. “No brother…”

“No brother older than seven years and no lover either, my lord.”

Richard stared down at her unflinching eyes and knew she suspected part of his purpose.

The clerk beside him began to scold again but he put a hand on the man’s scrawny wrist and shook his head.

“So I pay you the ransom for the wolf,” he went on, a small, ignoble part of him rejoicing as a steady flush of color swept up her face and she nodded a second time. A passionate little wench.

He found himself wondering what color her hair was—her eyebrows and lashes were far lighter than her eyes—but then his daydream was shattered by another voice.

“Lord Richard, you cannot deal with her. She is a witch!”

“Aye and look how her father died as well. Is that not a sign of displeasure from God?”

The clerk hurriedly crossed himself and began to mutter the creed. Richard crossed his fingers beneath the trestle and thumped the table until the grumbles and shouts of the villagers bled out into whispers, echoed by the leaves of the ash tree.

“I am a wisewoman,” the former bondswoman said with a kind of weary patience. “I help women and cure cows.”

“My cow gives less milk than before.”

“She lives,” Eleanor flashed back, quick as a sparring champion. “She had sickened through eating bad hay but she lives.”

In that instant it came to Richard that this girl really needed him, and—if his own fear of poisoning was justified—he needed her skill. They might save each other, but first he had to be sure of her knowledge.

“What is the antidote to snakebite?” he asked.

More here

Pre-order from Amazon

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Friday, 19 August 2016

Historical Romance Collection - on Amazon. 5 Books for under $4.00/ £3.00!

Box Set #40: Lindsay Townsend - Historical Romance Collection, Volume 1 [Book 1 - Flavia's Secret : Book 2 - A Secret Treasure : Book 3 - Escape To Love : Book 4 - Bronze Lightning : Book 5 - Silk and Steel] (BookStrand Historical Romance Collection)

I'm proud to announce the publication of my first Boxed Set with Siren-Bookstrand. Five sensual, spicy and sweet historical romances set in the exciting and epic ancient world. Experience the passion and adventure of ancient Rome, golden treasure, pagan magic and more!

My Historical Romance Collection Boxed Set is now on Amazon 
Amazon UK 


More details below. Excerpts and Reviews here

Flavia's Secret 
Dare Flavia trust Marcus with her deadly secret?


Flavia's Secret

Spirited young scribe Flavia hopes for freedom. She and her fellow slaves in Aquae Sulis (modern Bath) have served the Lady Valeria for many years, but their mistress' death brings a threat to Flavia's dream: her new master Marcus Brucetus, a charismatic, widowed officer toughened in the forests of Germania. Flavia finds him overwhelmingly attractive but she is aware of the danger. To save her life and those of her 'family' she has forged a note from her mistress. If her deception is discovered, all the slaves may die.

For his part torn between attraction and respect, Marcus will not force himself on Flavia. Flavia by now knows of his grief over the deaths of his wife Drusilla and child. But how can she match up to the serene, flame-haired Drusilla?

As the wild mid-winter festival of Saturnalia approaches, many lives will be changed forever.



Reviews

Romantic Times:

'The ancient locale that is now modern Bath lends a vivid backdrop to a tender love story surrounded by mystery, danger and deceit. Readers will appreciate Townsend's thorough research and fluid style. Well-written secondary characters complement the action.' 

Historical Novels Review Online (amongst reviews for May 2009): 
  
Townsend has a great ear for snappy dialog, and even her most minor characters spring instantly to life with a carefully-chosen sentence or description. Most details of Roman Britain at the time are faithfully rendered, although at its heart, this is a timeless story of two people finding love where they least expect it. Flavia’s Secret is cheerfully recommended. 
  
Historical Romance Club:

Lindsay Townsend's novel, Flavia's Secret, is an enjoyable romantic suspense set in an exotic time and place. The heroine's plight is touching and endearing. The plot, with its evil villain, engages the reader well. This is a good, light historical romance novel that is perfect for summer reading. 

Dear Author:

The historical details are lovely. The time and place are very well done. Brava for picking a spot other than Londinium or the border with the wild Caledonians. I have to admit that while reading the scenes in the baths, I couldn’t help but think of all the Regency and Georgian era books I’ve read with all the characters trooping down to take a glass of the healthful waters – hold your nose while you drink that nasty, sulfurous stuff!

And the conflict between the hero and heroine – i.e. the source of the title of the book – is fantastic. Now here’s a real reason for the heroine to hold her tongue and keep things from the hero. When faced with the possible fate meted out to slaves whose master dies suddenly, I’d do just what Flavia does and then some.

Red Roses for Authors:

The romance between Flavia and Marcus is strong and passionate and the mystery is intriguing. Very enjoyable.

Romance Junkies:

FLAVIA’S SECRET is a passionate historical romance.  Set in ancient England during Roman rule, I enjoyed reading about these two wonderful characters as well as the setting and town in which the novel took place.  Marcus and Flavia were perfect for each other and this book was the perfect read for my ancient history loving soul.  Thumbs up Ms. Townsend!  I loved every word of FLAVIA’S SECRET! 

Long and the Short Reviews:

Flavia's Secret is also an emotionally satisfying read. The story pulls the reader in to share the events and to empathize fully with the main characters. It is impossible to put it down once you've started to read it. Moreover, Lindsay Townsend has achieved what all writers strive for—the reader will wish the story would go on forever.


A Secret Treasure
Rhodes in the late 1930s is a dangerous place to fall in love.
The Greek island of Rhodes: luxurious and hot, beloved haunt of the Sun God, steeped in the mysteries of the past. In the late 1930s during the gathering storm-clouds of war, it is a dangerous place to fall in love.

When pretty, passionate Eve Burnett meets the darkly intriguing Julio Falcone, she is torn. As a man, Julio is powerfully attractive. As a policeman, he is bound to be a Fascist. Her brother, David, who is missing, is connected to the Greek Partisans who wish to liberate Rhodes from their Italian overlords.

Now, as David appears at their parents' house soon after Julio makes Eve's acquaintance, Eve is compelled to hide her brother and a mysterious gold statuette. The Fascists are looking for him and this secret treasure. Soon, Eve realizes that she may be forced to choose between the man she loves and the ultimate safety of her family.

(If you like romantic suspense in Greek island settings, you may also like Night of the Storm, also set in Rhodes, and the Corfu-based The English Daughter, both reissued as ebooks at Amazon and Smashwords, .)










Reviews
Coffee Time Romance:

I liked Eve immediately. She is full of common sense, good values, and is a hard worker. The rest of her family I was not so thrilled about. A more condescending bunch would be hard to find. They treat her like an idiot child and expect her to work ceaselessly to take care of them, when I suspect that they could well afford someone to help her. Julio is a great character; he is trying to get by in a very trying time. He and Eve have a very sweet love story with a lot of suspense, and a particularly vile villain. Ms. Townsend paints a beautiful picture of Rhodes and its towns and people, as well as giving the reader a plot fraught with tension and danger.

Fallen Angel Reviews:

This is no armchair tourist account of Rhodes. It is clear Lindsay Townsend knows the island. She weaves her knowledge of history and setting into A Secret Treasure. Both Julio and Eve are unique, well crafted characters. Their courtship is natural and charming. The bad guy is deliciously bad. It is fortunate that A Secret Treasure is only 102 pages long as you’ll want to read it all in one sitting. 

Red Roses for Authors:

This is an exciting mystery romance that takes place during troubled times, before the Italians joined the Germans in World War 11. As usual, Townsend carries the reader with her to the finish of this story, which ends with a clever twist. Well worth reading. 

The Long and the Short of It:

Suspenseful from its opening lines, Townsend’s A Secret Treasuretakes us on a journey through historic Italy and into a story that charms with its joys, terrifies with its suspense, and more than intrigues with very unusual and interesting setting. 

Wild on Books:

A Secret Treasure catches the readers eyes with its expertly written plot abounding with secrets and suspense. I loved watching Julio and Eve fall in love and the fact that they loved each other so desperately was just icing on the cake. Lindsay Townsend continues to release novels that are emotionally gripping. While A Secret Treasure is not as explicit sexually as some of her other novels, I hardly noticed. I was too involved with the story and Julio’s dreaminess! 





Escape to Love 


Will Severus and Lydia escape a deadly, sensual trap?


Severus is a slave, dragged from the fields to an uncertain future. Warned to expect no mercy from a mysterious young woman who comes to him in the night, he learns that his natural father is his owner, Calvus, and that he has a half-brother, Thallus.

Thallus has no sexual interest in women but he is desperate for an heir. Severus and Thallus' sexy young wife Lydia, whom Severus recognizes as the mystery woman who warned him, are sent to the family palace at Baiae and expected to breed.

Lydia, used to an unconsummated, loveless marriage, is intrigued by the handsome Severus and appalled by her husband's and father-in-law's treatment of him. She finds herself anticipating their lovemaking. She also wants to help Severus to escape because she knows that once he has served his purpose, Thallus and Calvus will never let him live.

They have just a month to escape.


Reviews 
5 Angels - "Escape To Love is a rare erotic romance set in Roman times. The unique setting prompts equally unique sexual positions and variations. The writing sparkles, the research is well woven in, and the emotion builds. Severus is strong yet gallant. The first scene made me sympathetic to his situation. Lydia is witty and brave. Together, they work as a couple. Escape To Love is a extraordinary read." -- Kimber, Fallen Angel Reviews

5 Cherries - "It's very clear that the author did her research, and knows her facts about the Roman Empire. I found those little details she incorporated about everyday life fascinating and they greatly enriched the plot. Parts of this story were laugh out loud funny, and others were just how I like my romance: Hot. Thanks to Lindsay Townsend, I will never look at spanking the same again. I highly enjoyed, and greatly recommend Escape to Love!"  -- Daisy, Whipped Cream Reviews

4 Bookmarks - "Lindsay Townsend's ability to weave historical tales with the amount of passion and sensuality has me completely hooked.  Escape to Love is timeless and true love lasts forever and is able to scale all heights.  Severus and Lydia beat the odds and for that I am glad. Escape to Love is available at Siren Publishing.  Lovers of historical romance will be thrilled with this steamy and sweet novella. I know I was!"  -- Natalie S., Wild on Books

4 Stars - "Escape To Love is written with humor. The scenes where Apollonius is giving the couple instructions on how to create a child are funny." -- Anne Boling, ReviewYourBook


Bronze Lightning 

Can Fearn and Sarmatia's love survive?


Ancient Krete, 1562 BC.

Sarmatia is a trainer for the Bull Rite, the dangerous, glamorous ceremony of bull-leaping that gave a young Kretan entry into adulthood. Fearn is healer from the distant northern Isle of Stones summoned for his skills to the sick-bed of Minos, the Kretan king. They meet on the dusty flagstones of the palace courtyard and both save a life.

A year passes. They are betrothed, but Fearn has returned home and is chosen king of his small northern country. As king, master of storms, he cannot return to Krete. Fearn writes to Sarmatia releasing her from her vows - but is this what they really want?

Sarmatia leaves Krete to search for Fearn. Many months and life-and-death adventures later, she is reunited with him. She and Fearn are still deeply in love but there is an unknown enemy working against them, one who will stop at nothing, even murder.

Bookstrand Publishing
Ebook
Print Book 

Reviews.

Red Roses for Authors
This is a remarkable book in that it takes you back in time. It is well written so that you get a glimpse of the world at that time and it gives you a wonderful mystery as to who is behind the attacks and keeps you guessing as to what will happen next. The many twists and turns keeps you engrossed as you try to figure out who is behind all the mishaps that keep happening.

(Bronze Lightning also won the main Red Roses Christmas Award for 2009.) 


PS: Sarmatia makes a short but tumultuous visit to the vizier Ramose in Blue Gold.

Silk and Steel - A gladiator and a bath-girl fight against the cruelty of Roman masters.



Decimus buys beautiful, red-headed Corinna from Silvinus Cato, a nominal Christian and her cold Roman master. Corinna, also a Christian, is terrified to be sold to a hired killer but finds Decimus to be an honorable, caring man--and overwhelmingly sexy. 



Their lovemaking introduces her to passion she has never known before, and love-spanking that she finds deeply erotic. Happy for the first time in her life, she is horrified when her former master, Silvinus Cato, comes to Decimus' house with devastating information. Decimus, whom she is beginning to care for deeply, has killed Joseph, the holy man who converted her to Christianity. Silvinus Cato says she must be like Judith in the Bible and kill Decimus in his sleep. Corinna is appalled and suspicious. Why does Silvinus Cato want Decimus dead? And what should she do?

After I wrote 'Flavia's Secret', I found myself fascinated by the story of a Roman girl who served as a toga girl in the public baths. Could there be a happy ever after for her and a man equally reviled and desired in Roman society - a gladiator? 'Silk and Steel' is my story of two people redeemed by love. ~ Lindsay ~
A Siren Erotic Romance

Reviews
4 ANGELS: "Silk and Steel is an enjoyable novelette with plenty of steamy love scenes, including some spanking, as well as a good dose of angst. Corinna struggles to reconcile her religious faith with her desires and the nature of Decimus's work, while Decimus is a sexy, practical hero who wants to lavish affection on Corinna and keep her safe from her enemies. With some nice historical detail, Silk and Steel is a fun read." -- Maija, Fallen Angel Reviews

4 STARS: "Silk and Steel is captivating and wonderfully written...Corrina has so much depth and interest as a slave. She shows that being a slave doesn't mean sacrificing all of you. Decimus wants a red head to love and he found her in Corrina. He treats her with love and respect even though she belongs to him. He shows what a true man is; in that he can love a woman and dominate her while still being gentle and loving...The sex was very arousing with a little of everything, including spankings, oral and regular sex. I highly recommend Silk and Steel for anyone who likes a traditional love story or something a little different." -- Heather Nestorick, Just Erotic Romance Reviews

4 CHERRIES: "Ms. Townsend writes an interesting historical. Many try to write about Ancient Rome and end up with fantasy stories. This isn’t one of them. The attention to detail keeps the reader locked in the story from page one. You feel for the characters and want to see them find happiness...And sex scenes? This story is packed with them, but not just run-of-the-the mill scenes. These scenes scorch. I’m not much for spanking, but I felt her passion for him and his desire to please her. My only issue? I want to see more! This has the potential to be a longer story and could be more powerful. It’s great as-is, but I want to know more. If you want a steamy short story for a cool winter night, then you need to grab a copy of Silk and Steel." -- Tiger Lily, Whipped Cream Romance Reviews

Order now!

Monday, 8 August 2016

99Cents/99p! Sir Baldwin and the Christmas Ghosts. Medieval Romance Novella

Will Baldwin heed Sofia or will the restless dead prevail?

My Sweet Medieval Christmas Romance Novella, Sir Baldwin and the Christmas Ghosts, is now out as a separate story for just 99 Cents!

Here's the blurb and an excerpt

SIR BALDWIN AND THE CHRISTMAS GHOSTS

Ambitious and arrogant, the young knight Sir Baldwin returns to his family’s lands and estate at Brigthorpe to face disaster. The pestilence has struck, destroying his parents and all his family save for a young half-brother, Martin, whom Baldwin does not wish to acknowledge because Martin is the bastard child of a serf. Baldwin needs to learn kindness and how to be a lord–and quickly.
Into this hopeless situation comes Sofia, a young woman who can see glimpses of spirits, of the restless dead. These revenants are very restless around Sir Baldwin.
Somehow, Baldwin and Sofia must work together, to make a true Christmas for the survivors of Brigthorpe and the Christmas ghosts. Can they do so in time—or will the gulf of class and custom make any love between them impossible?

Excerpt

The girl stepped out of the late afternoon lengthening shadows and glided closer to the fire, drawing off the hood of her drab cloak and allowing Baldwin to see her properly for the first time.

Mother of Almighty God—He felt his tightened jaw slacken and knew he would be staring. As if I, a knight, should gape at a village wench. But even a king would stare, he wagered.

She was small and bright, the lines of her face as flawless as her deep blue eyes. Her skin was the color of a bronze, softly burnished and exotic, and her long, waist-length hair was a deep hazel-nut brown, rippling over her shoulders in shining ropes.

“Pretty dark lady!” called a piping voice behind him and then Martin launched himself from the dais, scampering across the bare floor toward him, always toward him.

“Your son, sir?” the young woman asked, grinning as Martin wound himself like a bindweed around Baldwin’s long legs. She had a small space between her front teeth that made her smile less perfect than it would otherwise have been, but curiously endearing. And I am going soft.

“Your son?” she prompted again, brutally direct when he did not speak. After the soft-spoken murmurs of the surviving serfs and villagers, it was refreshing, though her question raised another issue.

“My…” Baldwin flicked the boy’s red-blond head of curls—so like Giles’s, so like Elaine’s—his heart pinched and breath tight within his chest as he took in the brat’s wide-eyed, trusting adoration. What should he say? That this grubby, thin-limbed cotter infant was his only surviving family? He had found the skulking creature hiding beneath the dais table when he returned to his father’s estate two days ago and had recognized the boy at once as one of his father’s by-blows. The likeness between them was too close to be otherwise. “Martin is my kin,” he said slowly.

“Good afternoon, Martin. I am Sofia.” Sofia crouched so that she and Martin were eye-to-eye. Martin reached out a tiny, pale hand to her, quickly snatching at his brother’s leggings when Baldwin shifted slightly, away from the foul-smelling fire.

I cannot have the brat falling into the flames and shrieking anew. His head ached like an old war wound.

“The pestilence has cut cruelly through your lands, sir.”

It took a moment for Baldwin to realize that Sofia was speaking in French, so his bastard half-brother would not be more disturbed. “How long?” she continued, as direct as before.

This time he gathered sufficient wits to answer. “I was at a midwinter tournament at Windsor when word came to me that my father and my father’s lands had been attacked by the plague.”

He was a younger son, used to making his own way in the world, but he would never forget that wild ride north, desperate for news and praying his family were safe. They were not, of course. His father, step-mother, brother Giles, sisters Joanne and Elaine—they were all dead of the pestilence, struck down like the lowest of thieves and vagabonds. “When I reached here only Martin, Agnes, and eleven others still lived.”

And why those? Why did they survive when worthier souls were lost? Why did my bastard half-brother live when my true brother did not?

“Your priest?”

Sofia’s calm question returned Baldwin to himself. “Father Stigand took sick and died after ministering to my father. I buried them.”

“And the village church?” Sofia went on, in a cool, relentless, still way that almost made him feel ashamed.

“It is closed and locked.”

If possible, the young woman became even more still. “You deny your people their ship of souls?”

“I could do nothing else. There are chalice and plate that would be stolen otherwise, and we have no one to celebrate the mass.” Even now, Baldwin could hardly believe it. He was lord of the manor of Brigthorpe and all was ashes in his mouth. Tonight I must check the fish and game traps I set or I will not eat tomorrow, either.
Beside him, as if echoing his hopeless mood, the feeble smoky flames spluttered and died. Martin howled at once and set up an unearthly wail, making Baldwin want to smack him. He contented his frustration by shaking the boy but the howling continued.

“Give over! Are you a wolf?” he snapped, but a firm grip on his wrist stayed his hand.

“He needs comfort, not censure.” Speaking, Sofia thrust between them, her eyes burning like two dark fires of melting sapphire. She clasped Martin tightly to her body and lifted him into her arms.
“You should be ashamed,” she continued in English, deliberately in English so his snivelling half-brother would understand. “This is why you have restless dead in your house. You deny your own close-kin, and at Christmas-time!”

The fire in the heath blazed up again, tossing shadows into Sofia’s face, turning her features into a beautiful mask. Why has she such noble control?

“I do not.” Baldwin planted his feet. He refused to be drawn into more speech.

“Martin is your family, your living brother, and it is close to Christmas. A time for family. Charity, too, though since you have locked the church and believe your folk would steal their own holy relics it appears you have much to learn on that, as well.”

How dare she speak to me in that manner? And how had she known about Martin? That gossiping head-man must have told her. Baldwin pointed to the double doors leading out of the great hall, only his knightly honor stopping him from tossing the woman out into the snow. “Go to Agnes’s cottage. She will take you in tonight. Tomorrow, you can be on your way.”

“No.”

“I am master in my own hall,” huffed Baldwin, his earlier weariness and abiding sorrow scorched away by anger. Who did this female think he was?

“Are you hungry, Martin?” Sofia took as little notice of his rising indignation as a hardened battle warrior and that made him pause, if only slightly. Still, it incensed him when she continued to rock and soothe his puling brother, producing a hard oat-cake from somewhere in her cloak and a flask, both of which she numbly offered to the infant even as she cradled Martin on her right hip, exactly like a peasant woman.

“Who are you?” he burst out, which won him a hard blue stare from Sofia. Martin, guzzling the oat-cake, was too famished to care, although usually, his shouting set the boy to weeping. But I should have realized he was hungry. He is so small and thin. “Well?” he demanded, covering his confusion and guilt with a cough.

“I am the one who can help you with your restless dead.” Sofia tilted her sharp chin a little higher. “My mother Yolande—”

“The dark maiden? The exorcist?” Baldwin interrupted, as wonder sparkled through his lungs, allowing him to take a deeper breath than in days. “I have heard of her.”

“Everyone has,” said Sofia, with a sigh. “Though with two grown children, she is maid no more.”

Noting her tightened lips Baldwin realized something else. “You wish to gain renown for yourself. Not be fêted because you are her daughter.” It was a small connection between them, for he had also, once, wished to outdo his father.

His eyes met hers in an instant of perfect understanding before Sofia shifted Martin onto her left hip and glowered “My skill in treating and dealing with revenants is not as great as Yolande’s but here, in this hall...” She swept her gaze up to the rafters and minstrels’ gallery and back “...even I can sense the clamor.”

Baldwin felt as if a sword of ice had rammed through his chest. He heard the ghosts every night in his dreams, weeping and moaning in low words, too soft to make out what they were saying. “You hear them, too?”

Sofia shook her head. “My mother Yolande—” there was a small hesitation as she spoke the famous name—“she can smell the restless dead. I neither hear nor see them, not clearly, merely glimpses, like bright shadows on the edge of sight.” Her full mouth quirked. “You look to have a halo round you, and a brighter one glows around this wee man.” She stroked Martin’s wan cheek and the child leaned into the touch.

“Will they hurt him?” The question surprised Baldwin, even as he spoke it. Since when had he been so concerned for Martin? The boy, swaddled in his cloak, smiled at him from Sofia’s arms and the knight smiled back, disarmed.

“I do not think so,” Sofia admitted slowly. “I have seen such haloes before. These spirits are those of your family, your widest family I would guess, beyond blood-kin.”

Baldwin did not understand that last, but after his dreams of the past nights, he knew something must be attempted. “What should I do to appease them?”

Sofia gazed at him, a calm assessing look. She stared around the bare, bleak hall, its cobwebs and soot and silence and a gleam of understanding filled her face.

“You must make them all a Christmas,” she said. “A glowing show, a pageant,” and she clapped her hands, as though she were sealing a promise.

“How? I have no servants or serfs left who are hale enough or young enough. The pestilence has claimed the rest, or they have fled.”

“You have yourself,” replied Sofia firmly, “and I will help you.”

Amazon

Amazon UK


Saturday, 25 June 2016

LETTERBOX LOVE STORIES VOLUME 1 - NOW OUT 99Cents/99p

LETTERBOX LOVE STORIES VOLUME 1:

What if a life-changing letter arrived in today's mail? Now imagine it leads to love and adventure! From the northern British Isles, across the mainland of Europe, and on to Turkey, nine international romance writers share spellbinding love stories told across time. And each begins with a letter...

This collection includes contemporary and historical romance, futuristic time travel romance, and romance touched by magic by Award-winning and Multi-published Authors: Rose Anderson, Denyse Bridger, Lynn Crain, Helena Fairfax, Gemma Juliana, Marie Laval, Cara Marsi, Lindsay Townsend, and Jenny Twist.









MORE THAN WISHES by Rose Anderson

Raised on a sailor’s tales of adventure and eager for her own, Stella Cunningham answers an advertisement for a traveling companion to the Orient. There she purchases an ancient bronze lamp with a secret. In the land of flying carpets and genies, Stella is about to have the adventure of a lifetime.




ALL OR NOTHING by Denysé Bridger

Casino Coranthos is a playground for wealthy, bored people, but for some, it’s also a place where dreams and promises change lives forever. When a letter becomes part of an unexpected inheritance for Ryann Thomson, her aunt’s past brings her face to face with Ariston Katsaros, a man haunted by loss and driven by anger. As the attraction between them sizzles and grows, can Ryann convince him she isn’t looking to rob him or his father of anything, or will she become a casualty of Ari’s vengeance? In this dangerous game of all or nothing, her heart is at stake as well as her future happiness…




SEALED WITH A KISS by Lynn Cain

In 2084, time travelling detective, Tandi Reynolds, tipped off by a letter, needs to stop an assassin before he kills a newly elected leader. When she finds him in 1874, Vienna, it’s clear a cold blooded killer is only one of her problems. Time is fleeting, so falling in love with her contact, the charismatic Count Leopold Radetzky von Radetz, is a bad idea, but keeping her feelings in check is not easy when she relies on him for her every need.




COME DATE ME IN PARIS by Helena Fairfax

When Alice receives a letter telling her she's won a place on a TV blind date show, she should be excited - only trouble is, the show involves cooking for your date...and Alice can't cook. Forced to throw herself on the mercy of her chef neighbour, Edmond, Alice asks him for lessons. But will she be cooking up a romance...or cooking up disaster?




ABANDONED TREASURES by Gemma Juliana

What do a reality TV star and a Sardinian billionaire have in common? Sophie Hayes is jaded from years of buying and selling the contents of abandoned storage units, so after dumping her fiancé she decides the best way to spend what would have been her honeymoon is to accept an invitation to deliver a rare antique desk to Rico di Carlo. The reclusive widower has secrets—when he lures Sophie into his world he has one week to make sure she never wants to leave.



SONS OF THE WIND by Marie Laval
Provence 1826. Ten years after her brother disappeared in the marshes of the Camargue, Venetia Rigby receives a letter suggesting he is still alive. Will Philippe Dantès, half-gipsy master of Terres Mortes, help her find him when he has his own demons to fight?


CURATING LOVE by Cara Marsi

A letter inviting Chloe Decker to curate the art collection of the wealthy DiMarco family of Ravello, Italy, lets Chloe begin to picture a new beginning for herself after a tragic loss. But she’d never included her employer’s sexy grandson, Matteo DiMarco, in that portrait. Chloe’s not ready for a relationship, even with a fine Italian masterpiece of a man like Matteo, but can he convince her to paint a new life that includes him?




PLAIN HARRY by Lindsay Townsend

Recovering from a brutal marriage, Esther is living quietly as a widow when a letter from her brother Sir Stephen destroys her contented life. Stephen orders her to marry Sir Henry—but who is this “Plain Harry” and how will he treat her? Set in medieval England in a time when women had few rights, this story shows how love can flourish in the unlikeliest of places and between the unlikeliest of people.




THE MINSTREL BOY by Jenny Twist

In 1936 a band of students went off to Spain to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Only one came home . . . and he was haunted by the girl he left behind.




LETTERBOX LOVE STORIES VOLUME I – 9 ENCHANTING STORIES FOR ONLY $0.99!


This anthology will be available on all the main internet book platforms and also in print on Amazon.

Amazon Amazon UK 


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Saturday, 18 June 2016

Boxed Set - Historical Romance Collection Volume 1 - Five Books for $3.99

Box Set #40: Lindsay Townsend - Historical Romance Collection, Volume 1 [Book 1 - Flavia's Secret : Book 2 - A Secret Treasure : Book 3 - Escape To Love : Book 4 - Bronze Lightning : Book 5 - Silk and Steel] (BookStrand Historical Romance Collection)


The Historical Romance Collection, Volume 1 (MF)

Box Set 40

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.


Heat Rating: STEAMY
Word Count: 269,637

Box Set 40

AVAILABLE: Tuesday, June 28th
Box Set #40: The Historical Romance Collection, Volume 1 (All 5 books for $3.99)

I'm proud to announce the publication of my first Boxed Set with Siren-Bookstrand. Five sensual, spicy and sweet historical romances set in the exciting and epic ancient world. Experience the passion and adventure of ancient Rome, golden treasure, pagan magic and more!



Flavia's Secret 
Dare Flavia trust Marcus with her deadly secret?


Flavia's Secret

Spirited young scribe Flavia hopes for freedom. She and her fellow slaves in Aquae Sulis (modern Bath) have served the Lady Valeria for many years, but their mistress' death brings a threat to Flavia's dream: her new master Marcus Brucetus, a charismatic, widowed officer toughened in the forests of Germania. Flavia finds him overwhelmingly attractive but she is aware of the danger. To save her life and those of her 'family' she has forged a note from her mistress. If her deception is discovered, all the slaves may die.

For his part torn between attraction and respect, Marcus will not force himself on Flavia. Flavia by now knows of his grief over the deaths of his wife Drusilla and child. But how can she match up to the serene, flame-haired Drusilla?

As the wild mid-winter festival of Saturnalia approaches, many lives will be changed forever.



Reviews

Romantic Times:

'The ancient locale that is now modern Bath lends a vivid backdrop to a tender love story surrounded by mystery, danger and deceit. Readers will appreciate Townsend's thorough research and fluid style. Well-written secondary characters complement the action.' 

Historical Novels Review Online (amongst reviews for May 2009): 
  
Townsend has a great ear for snappy dialog, and even her most minor characters spring instantly to life with a carefully-chosen sentence or description. Most details of Roman Britain at the time are faithfully rendered, although at its heart, this is a timeless story of two people finding love where they least expect it. Flavia’s Secret is cheerfully recommended. 
  
Historical Romance Club:

Lindsay Townsend's novel, Flavia's Secret, is an enjoyable romantic suspense set in an exotic time and place. The heroine's plight is touching and endearing. The plot, with its evil villain, engages the reader well. This is a good, light historical romance novel that is perfect for summer reading. 

Dear Author:

The historical details are lovely. The time and place are very well done. Brava for picking a spot other than Londinium or the border with the wild Caledonians. I have to admit that while reading the scenes in the baths, I couldn’t help but think of all the Regency and Georgian era books I’ve read with all the characters trooping down to take a glass of the healthful waters – hold your nose while you drink that nasty, sulfurous stuff!

And the conflict between the hero and heroine – i.e. the source of the title of the book – is fantastic. Now here’s a real reason for the heroine to hold her tongue and keep things from the hero. When faced with the possible fate meted out to slaves whose master dies suddenly, I’d do just what Flavia does and then some.

Red Roses for Authors:

The romance between Flavia and Marcus is strong and passionate and the mystery is intriguing. Very enjoyable.

Romance Junkies:

FLAVIA’S SECRET is a passionate historical romance.  Set in ancient England during Roman rule, I enjoyed reading about these two wonderful characters as well as the setting and town in which the novel took place.  Marcus and Flavia were perfect for each other and this book was the perfect read for my ancient history loving soul.  Thumbs up Ms. Townsend!  I loved every word of FLAVIA’S SECRET! 

Long and the Short Reviews:

Flavia's Secret is also an emotionally satisfying read. The story pulls the reader in to share the events and to empathize fully with the main characters. It is impossible to put it down once you've started to read it. Moreover, Lindsay Townsend has achieved what all writers strive for—the reader will wish the story would go on forever.


A Secret Treasure
Rhodes in the late 1930s is a dangerous place to fall in love.
The Greek island of Rhodes: luxurious and hot, beloved haunt of the Sun God, steeped in the mysteries of the past. In the late 1930s during the gathering storm-clouds of war, it is a dangerous place to fall in love.

When pretty, passionate Eve Burnett meets the darkly intriguing Julio Falcone, she is torn. As a man, Julio is powerfully attractive. As a policeman, he is bound to be a Fascist. Her brother, David, who is missing, is connected to the Greek Partisans who wish to liberate Rhodes from their Italian overlords.

Now, as David appears at their parents' house soon after Julio makes Eve's acquaintance, Eve is compelled to hide her brother and a mysterious gold statuette. The Fascists are looking for him and this secret treasure. Soon, Eve realizes that she may be forced to choose between the man she loves and the ultimate safety of her family.

(If you like romantic suspense in Greek island settings, you may also like Night of the Storm, also set in Rhodes, and the Corfu-based The English Daughter, both reissued as ebooks at Amazon and Smashwords, .)










Reviews
Coffee Time Romance:

I liked Eve immediately. She is full of common sense, good values, and is a hard worker. The rest of her family I was not so thrilled about. A more condescending bunch would be hard to find. They treat her like an idiot child and expect her to work ceaselessly to take care of them, when I suspect that they could well afford someone to help her. Julio is a great character; he is trying to get by in a very trying time. He and Eve have a very sweet love story with a lot of suspense, and a particularly vile villain. Ms. Townsend paints a beautiful picture of Rhodes and its towns and people, as well as giving the reader a plot fraught with tension and danger.

Fallen Angel Reviews:

This is no armchair tourist account of Rhodes. It is clear Lindsay Townsend knows the island. She weaves her knowledge of history and setting into A Secret Treasure. Both Julio and Eve are unique, well crafted characters. Their courtship is natural and charming. The bad guy is deliciously bad. It is fortunate that A Secret Treasure is only 102 pages long as you’ll want to read it all in one sitting. 

Red Roses for Authors:

This is an exciting mystery romance that takes place during troubled times, before the Italians joined the Germans in World War 11. As usual, Townsend carries the reader with her to the finish of this story, which ends with a clever twist. Well worth reading. 

The Long and the Short of It:

Suspenseful from its opening lines, Townsend’s A Secret Treasuretakes us on a journey through historic Italy and into a story that charms with its joys, terrifies with its suspense, and more than intrigues with very unusual and interesting setting. 

Wild on Books:

A Secret Treasure catches the readers eyes with its expertly written plot abounding with secrets and suspense. I loved watching Julio and Eve fall in love and the fact that they loved each other so desperately was just icing on the cake. Lindsay Townsend continues to release novels that are emotionally gripping. While A Secret Treasure is not as explicit sexually as some of her other novels, I hardly noticed. I was too involved with the story and Julio’s dreaminess! 




Escape to Love 

Will Severus and Lydia escape a deadly, sensual trap?


Severus is a slave, dragged from the fields to an uncertain future. Warned to expect no mercy from a mysterious young woman who comes to him in the night, he learns that his natural father is his owner, Calvus, and that he has a half-brother, Thallus.

Thallus has no sexual interest in women but he is desperate for an heir. Severus and Thallus' sexy young wife Lydia, whom Severus recognizes as the mystery woman who warned him, are sent to the family palace at Baiae and expected to breed.

Lydia, used to an unconsummated, loveless marriage, is intrigued by the handsome Severus and appalled by her husband's and father-in-law's treatment of him. She finds herself anticipating their lovemaking. She also wants to help Severus to escape because she knows that once he has served his purpose, Thallus and Calvus will never let him live.

They have just a month to escape.


Reviews 
5 Angels - "Escape To Love is a rare erotic romance set in Roman times. The unique setting prompts equally unique sexual positions and variations. The writing sparkles, the research is well woven in, and the emotion builds. Severus is strong yet gallant. The first scene made me sympathetic to his situation. Lydia is witty and brave. Together, they work as a couple. Escape To Love is a extraordinary read." -- Kimber, Fallen Angel Reviews

5 Cherries - "It's very clear that the author did her research, and knows her facts about the Roman Empire. I found those little details she incorporated about everyday life fascinating and they greatly enriched the plot. Parts of this story were laugh out loud funny, and others were just how I like my romance: Hot. Thanks to Lindsay Townsend, I will never look at spanking the same again. I highly enjoyed, and greatly recommend Escape to Love!"  -- Daisy, Whipped Cream Reviews

4 Bookmarks - "Lindsay Townsend's ability to weave historical tales with the amount of passion and sensuality has me completely hooked.  Escape to Love is timeless and true love lasts forever and is able to scale all heights.  Severus and Lydia beat the odds and for that I am glad. Escape to Love is available at Siren Publishing.  Lovers of historical romance will be thrilled with this steamy and sweet novella. I know I was!"  -- Natalie S., Wild on Books

4 Stars - "Escape To Love is written with humor. The scenes where Apollonius is giving the couple instructions on how to create a child are funny." -- Anne Boling, ReviewYourBook


Bronze Lightning 

Can Fearn and Sarmatia's love survive?


Ancient Krete, 1562 BC.

Sarmatia is a trainer for the Bull Rite, the dangerous, glamorous ceremony of bull-leaping that gave a young Kretan entry into adulthood. Fearn is healer from the distant northern Isle of Stones summoned for his skills to the sick-bed of Minos, the Kretan king. They meet on the dusty flagstones of the palace courtyard and both save a life.

A year passes. They are betrothed, but Fearn has returned home and is chosen king of his small northern country. As king, master of storms, he cannot return to Krete. Fearn writes to Sarmatia releasing her from her vows - but is this what they really want?

Sarmatia leaves Krete to search for Fearn. Many months and life-and-death adventures later, she is reunited with him. She and Fearn are still deeply in love but there is an unknown enemy working against them, one who will stop at nothing, even murder.

Bookstrand Publishing
Ebook
Print Book 

Reviews.

Red Roses for Authors
This is a remarkable book in that it takes you back in time. It is well written so that you get a glimpse of the world at that time and it gives you a wonderful mystery as to who is behind the attacks and keeps you guessing as to what will happen next. The many twists and turns keeps you engrossed as you try to figure out who is behind all the mishaps that keep happening.

(Bronze Lightning also won the main Red Roses Christmas Award for 2009.) 


PS: Sarmatia makes a short but tumultuous visit to the vizier Ramose in Blue Gold.

Silk and Steel - A gladiator and a bath-girl fight against the cruelty of Roman masters.



Decimus buys beautiful, red-headed Corinna from Silvinus Cato, a nominal Christian and her cold Roman master. Corinna, also a Christian, is terrified to be sold to a hired killer but finds Decimus to be an honorable, caring man--and overwhelmingly sexy. 

Their lovemaking introduces her to passion she has never known before, and love-spanking that she finds deeply erotic. Happy for the first time in her life, she is horrified when her former master, Silvinus Cato, comes to Decimus' house with devastating information. Decimus, whom she is beginning to care for deeply, has killed Joseph, the holy man who converted her to Christianity. Silvinus Cato says she must be like Judith in the Bible and kill Decimus in his sleep. Corinna is appalled and suspicious. Why does Silvinus Cato want Decimus dead? And what should she do?

After I wrote 'Flavia's Secret', I found myself fascinated by the story of a Roman girl who served as a toga girl in the public baths. Could there be a happy ever after for her and a man equally reviled and desired in Roman society - a gladiator? 'Silk and Steel' is my story of two people redeemed by love. ~ Lindsay ~
A Siren Erotic Romance

Reviews
4 ANGELS: "Silk and Steel is an enjoyable novelette with plenty of steamy love scenes, including some spanking, as well as a good dose of angst. Corinna struggles to reconcile her religious faith with her desires and the nature of Decimus's work, while Decimus is a sexy, practical hero who wants to lavish affection on Corinna and keep her safe from her enemies. With some nice historical detail, Silk and Steel is a fun read." -- Maija, Fallen Angel Reviews

4 STARS: "Silk and Steel is captivating and wonderfully written...Corrina has so much depth and interest as a slave. She shows that being a slave doesn't mean sacrificing all of you. Decimus wants a red head to love and he found her in Corrina. He treats her with love and respect even though she belongs to him. He shows what a true man is; in that he can love a woman and dominate her while still being gentle and loving...The sex was very arousing with a little of everything, including spankings, oral and regular sex. I highly recommend Silk and Steel for anyone who likes a traditional love story or something a little different." -- Heather Nestorick, Just Erotic Romance Reviews

4 CHERRIES: "Ms. Townsend writes an interesting historical. Many try to write about Ancient Rome and end up with fantasy stories. This isn’t one of them. The attention to detail keeps the reader locked in the story from page one. You feel for the characters and want to see them find happiness...And sex scenes? This story is packed with them, but not just run-of-the-the mill scenes. These scenes scorch. I’m not much for spanking, but I felt her passion for him and his desire to please her. My only issue? I want to see more! This has the potential to be a longer story and could be more powerful. It’s great as-is, but I want to know more. If you want a steamy short story for a cool winter night, then you need to grab a copy of Silk and Steel." -- Tiger Lily, Whipped Cream Romance Reviews

Order now!