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Well, what Dundee won’t be is the City of Culture 2017….Awww.. Despite having this lovely Christmas Tree tree

which I know you are so much… not just….. dying to see but to knowbig-standard

 crying

How could I help but show you it?  And dear little Greeting Teenie too?  Seeing as I feel she embodies the spirit of these seasonal times. Certainly she embodied Mr Shey last night when I mentioned both the C and the Tree words, in regard to him getting our good–I think it’s either ten or twelve trees and all the lovely decorations– down from the cupboard in the eaves.  conv

Teenie probably embodies how Dundee feels today but if I know Dundee, the river will rise again. Nuff said. Seeing as it is ye season for rejoicing, I am planning ye many special December posts. One about Mr Shey slavering about this box of decs. One about the family resemblance between Mr Shey and his many times great grandfather Ebeneezer..

Kicking off backwards though, let’s start with Twelfth Night. No, not ye play by Shakespeare, ye book by ye lovely Susana Ellis. (It’s okay I will drop the ye’s as we go.)P1smsq

a very fascinating lady who has lived in many exciting places but now has settled in Ohio, to who I want to say..

.  congratulations

on the new release….the reason Susanna’s post which I’d hoped to feature in my planned advent calendar of posts, is here today instead. Anyway, it’s a seasonal  book.

If we discount her gorgeous cover, she’s got two things for us– Firstly a special

The First Proposal

a bonus scene from

conv

“Here, kitty, kitty. Don’t be afraid. Come to me and I’ll get you down.”

“Meow!” The charcoal gray kitten tightened its claws into the branch just above Lucy’s reach.

The five-year-old pinched her lips together in frustration.

“Smokey, you are the stupidest cat ever! Here I am trying to save you and you just dig in your claws and whine like a baby.”

Smokey gazed at her with terror-stricken eyes. He wasn’t going to budge.

Lucy surveyed the branch above her with a critical eye. An experienced tree-climber, she’d never really dared to go that high before. She wasn’t sure the scrawnier branches would bear her weight. But the kitten obviously wasn’t coming down, and her little sister Lydia would cry and carry on and make everyone in the house miserable if some tragedy befell her foolhardy kitten, so…there was nothing for it but to attempt the next branch.

She held her breath when the higher branch shook slightly with the pressure of her small foot.

Just a little longer, she prayed, reaching up with her left hand to pluck the frightened kitten from his perch. The branch on which she stood wobbled perilously, and she struggled to find a more secure purchase, all the while clutching the squirming, whimpering kitten to her chest. Unfortunately, her foot found nothing but air, and her mouth went dry.

“A little to the left, Lucy. That branch will hold you.”

Lucy didn’t have to look to know the owner of the voice. It was Jane’s brother Andrew, a tall, gangly twelve-year-old with silver-gray eyes and dark hair. Who had teased her and called her a pest all her life, but who had also taught her how to catch frogs and make a lantern with glowworms.

She found the secure branch and took a moment to steady herself.

“You know,” he said in a matter-of-fact tone, “you are no better than the cat, getting stuck in the tree like that.”

Lucy wanted to protest that she wasn’t stuck and she could get down herself, but something kept her silent. Andrew was already halfway up the tree, and soon she was gathered in his free arm while he descended to the lower branches and made a final jump to the ground.

The kitten squealed with fear and scrambled out of her arms.

“Are you all right, Lucy?” He released her and looked at her anxiously.

She peered into his eyes and that was when she knew.

“Will you marry me, Andrew Livingston?”

                                   ——————-

Secondly

best_necklace_bracelet

Susana is giving away a fabulous sterling silver necklace and A Twelfth Night Tale Christmas charm bracelet (silver-plated). To enter, just click here for the Rafflecopter!

OOOH!

Now we have A Twelfth Night Tale. Twelfth Night being a great fav of Mr Shey’s because that is  the day, the happy, happy day… all the decs come back down again…..

[twelfthnighttale_msr

 

About A Twelfth Night Tale

A wounded soldier and the girl next door find peace and love amidst a backdrop of rural Christmas traditions.

Without dowries and the opportunity to meet eligible gentlemen, the five Barlow sisters stand little chance of making advantageous marriages. But when the eldest attracts the attention of a wealthy viscount, suddenly it seems as though Fate is smiling upon them.

Lucy knows that she owes it to her younger sisters to encourage Lord Bexley’s attentions, since marriage to a peer will secure their futures as well as hers. The man of her dreams has always looked like Andrew Livingston, her best friend’s brother. But he’s always treated her like a child, and, in any case, is betrothed to another. Perhaps the time has come to put away childhood dreams and accept reality…and Lord Bexley.

Andrew has returned from the Peninsula with more emotional scars to deal with than just the lame arm. Surprisingly, it’s his sister’s friend “Little Lucy” who shows him the way out of his melancholy. He can’t help noticing that Lucy’s grown up into a lovely young woman, but with an eligible viscount courting her, he’ll need a little Christmas magic to win her for himself.

Available

 

Ellora’s CaveAmazonBarnes & NobleKobo

Excerpt

All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

A Blush® Regency romance from Ellora’s Cave

Chapter One

The Barlow Home

near Charlbury, Oxfordshire

23 December 1813

“It’s so kind of you to call, Lord Bexley. The flowers you sent are simply lovely, are they not, Lucy?”

Unable to miss the warning tone in her mother’s voice, Lucy sat up straight in her chair and smiled sweetly at their caller.

“Oh yes indeed. They are undoubtedly the most beautiful I’ve ever received, my lord.”

Of course, she did not mention that they were the first flowers she’d ever been sent by a gentleman. And considering that there were few opportunities to meet eligible gentlemen in the quiet little neck of the woods where the Barlows resided, the arrangement was quite likely to remain the only floral tribute to come her way.

Her caller beamed with pleasure. “They were the best I could find at the florist, but of course they cannot hold a candle to your beauty and sweetness, Miss Barlow.”

Lucy swallowed and forced herself to reply. “You embarrass me with your flattery, my lord.”

“Not at all,” he insisted. “You were quite the belle of the Christmas Ball last evening, Miss Barlow. I was much envied to be allowed the honor of two dances with you when so many gentlemen had to be turned away.”

The “Christmas Ball” was merely a small celebration at the local assembly rooms. Her mother had encouraged her to favor Lord Bexley, but in truth, Lucy herself had not found him objectionable. He was an accomplished dancer and quite distinguished-looking, in spite of the fact that he had at least twenty years over her.

At eighteen, she was of an age to be out in society, and Lord Bexley, a wealthy widower from Warwickshire, was undoubtedly the most eligible gentleman in the county. Recently out of mourning, he was seeking a new wife and a mother to his three children, and as Mrs. Barlow kept telling her, Lucy should be flattered that he seemed to be favoring her for the role.

Well, she was flattered. Wasn’t she? The number of young ladies far exceeded that of eligible gentlemen, and she didn’t wish to be left on the shelf. With her family in financial difficulties and four younger sisters to be married off, Lucy knew she owed it to them to marry well and do what she could to find her sisters suitable matches as well.

She was prepared to do her duty and make the best of it, but somehow, when she thought of marriage and children, it was not the kindly Lord Bexley who came to mind. It was the face of the strapping, dark-haired Adonis with laughing gray eyes who lived on an adjoining estate with his younger sister—her bosom friend Jane—who had teased her unmercifully from the time she learned to walk. She couldn’t remember a time when she hadn’t been in love with Andrew Livingston—she’d even asked him to marry her at the age of five when he’d been twelve and about to leave for Eton. He’d laughed and quipped that it would be like marrying his sister, and she’d nursed a broken heart ever since.

She sighed as she frequently did when she thought of Andrew and his affianced wife, and her mother glared at her. Fortunately, Phillips wheeled in the tea cart and Mrs. Barlow’s attention was mercifully diverted.

“Please do the honors, Lucy. An excellent opportunity to practice your housewifely skills.”

Lucy flushed. Could her mother’s intentions be more obvious? But Lord Bexley did not seem to notice. He smiled kindly at her somewhat shaky inquiry as to his preferences, and thanked her graciously when she brought him his tea and a plate of cherry tarts.

“Quite charming,” he commented as he regarded her with obvious approval. It was unclear whether he was speaking to her or to her mother, and Lucy wasn’t sure how to respond.

Fortunately, there was a shriek followed by the sound of fierce arguing from the back rooms of the house. Lucy turned instinctively to the door, which was promptly thrust open and filled by the figure of her sister Lydia, who was breathing hard and wringing her hands in agitation.

“Do come, Lucy! Lila and Louisa are having one of their rows again, in the kitchen of all places. Lila broke one of Cook’s mixing bowls, and Cook swears she’ll leave if someone doesn’t stop them and you know you’re the only one who can, Lucy!” She flushed when she saw Lord Bexley and her mother’s angry face. “Oh…pardon me, I didn’t realize we had a guest.” She backed out into the hall, shooting Lucy a pleading look as she did so.

Relieved for an excuse to terminate the social call, Lucy muttered her excuses and scrambled out of the room. But not before she heard her mother’s mortified apology and Lord Bexley’s soothing reply that he found it quite agreeable to discover a young lady so accomplished in the maternal skills.

Goodness, he really was intent on courting her! She should be flattered. She was a sensible girl, and it was pointless to set her cap at Andrew Livingston, in any case. Lord Bexley would be an excellent match for her. His three daughters could not possibly be as troublesome as her two youngest sisters, after all.

She gritted her teeth and hurried to the kitchen, the ineffectual Lydia as usual trailing behind her. The second eldest Barlow daughter was as helpless as their mother at controlling the two youngest children. When Lucy married and left the house, as she would in time, her bookish middle sister Laura was going to have to take up the reins.

About the Author

 

A former teacher, Susana is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical—Regency in particular—is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.

In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around the UK and visit many of the places she’s read about for years, and it was awesome! She is a member of the Maumee Valley and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.

Contacts

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Susana’s Parlour (Regency Blog) • Susana’s Morning Room (Romance Blog)

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