Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday's Montage Mantlepiece: Another Place in Time

Welcome to another place in time...where one can be swept away into lands and eras long forgotten.

This collection of short stories was birthed because a sworn "I don't like historicals" reader fell in love with what have become some of her favorite books by most of her favorite writers. Surprisingly, they were all historicals. Determined to make others feel the love, these authors were asked to contribute small tastes of how amazing historical storytelling can be.

Along with a foreword written by Alex Beecroft, enjoy these original short stories that make up "Another Place in Time".

Stories Included:
Office Romance by Tamara Allen
The post-war economy is at a standstill, much like Foster Wetherly’s life until he’s forced to do battle with irritatingly confident—and competent—fellow ex-doughboy Casey Gladwin for a position in their shrinking department at Manhattan Security Mutual.

Introducing Mr. Winterbourne by Joanna Chambers
Lysander Winterbourne appears to lead a charmed life. Handsome, amiable, and a renowned sportsman, he is the darling of London society. As far as Adam Freeman is concerned though, Lysander is just another spoiled aristocrat.

A wealthy mill owner, Adam has no time for the frivolous world of the ton, but when his younger brother becomes engaged to Althea Winterbourne, he reluctantly agrees to be introduced to society–with the Winterbourne clan’s golden boy as his guide.

Resigning himself to a few days of boredom, Adam is surprised to learn that there is much more to Lysander than his perfect surface. But will Adam have the courage to introduce Lysander Winterbourne to his own secret self?

The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by KJ Charles
Lord Gabriel Ashleigh is a ruined man. Last night he lost everything at the card tables to his brother’s worst enemy, notorious gambler Francis Webster. Tonight, he’s going back for one more game. Ash thinks he has nothing left to lose. But Francis sets the stakes, and they’re higher than Ash could have imagined…

Two Regency bucks. One game of cards. Everything to play for.

Unfair in Love and War by Kaje Harper
Many men lost brothers overseas in the summer of 1944. Warren Burch was one of them. For months he still clung to his big city life in Philadelphia, but finally he's made the difficult choice to return to his home town. Warren's polio-stricken leg won't let him serve, so the least he can do is be there for his mother, when brother Charlie never again will. Arriving home means a whole new life, constrained by the rhythms and prejudices of a small town. Fortunately, it's made more interesting by the mysterious and attractive young man next door.

Carousel by Jordan L. Hawk
When a child goes missing, is it a simple case of a young runaway, or are more sinister forces at work?

“Carousel” is part of the Whyborne & Griffin series and takes place between the events of Stormhaven and Necropolis. It can be read as a standalone.

Deliverance by Aleksandr Voinov
This is a re-vamped, re-edited, improved version of "Deliverance". It's about William Raven, a templar, who thought he'd escaped his past. (Same character as in "The Lion of Kent".)

Author Bios:
Tamara Allen
Tamara Allen resides in the piney woods north of Houston with her cozy family of husband, son, and cat. Her primary occupation is keeping them out of trouble, but on the side she likes to make up stories, for the pleasure of living briefly in an era long gone by.

Joanna Chambers
Joanna Chambers always wanted to write. She spent over 20 years staring at blank sheets of paper and despairing of ever writing a single word. In between staring at blank sheets of paper, she studied law, met her husband and had two children. Whilst nursing her first child, she rediscovered her love of romance and found her muse. Joanna lives in Scotland with her family and finds time to write by eschewing sleep and popular culture.

K.J. Charles
I'm a writer of romance, mostly m/m, often historical or fantasy or both. My books include The Magpie Lord and Think of England.

I'm also a freelance editor, and I blog about writing and editing at

I live in London, UK, with two kids, a tolerant husband and an even more tolerant cat.

Kaje Harper
Kaje Harper grew up in Montreal and spent her teen years writing, filling binders with stories about what guys like Starsky and Hutch really did on their days off. (In a sheltered-fourteen-year-old PG-rated romantic sense.) Serious authorship got sidetracked by ventures into psychology, teaching, and a biomedical career. And the challenges of raising children.

When Kaje took up writing again it was just for fun. Hours of fun. Lots of hours of fun. The stories began piling up, and her husband suggested it was time to try to publish one. Kaje currently lives in Minnesota with a creative teenager, a crazy little omnivorous white dog, and a remarkably patient spouse.

Jordan L Hawk
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in the wilds of North Carolina, where she was raised on stories of haints and mountain magic by her bootlegging granny and single mother. After using a silver knife in the light of a full moon to summon her true love, she turned her talents to spinning tales. She weaves together couples who need to fall in love, then throws in some evil sorcerers and undead just to make sure they want it bad enough. In Jordan’s world, love might conquer all, but it just as easily could end up in the grave.
Aleksandr Voinov
Aleksandr Voinov is an emigrant German author living near London where he makes his living as a financial journalist, freelance editor and creative writing teacher. He has published five novels and many short stories in his native language. His genres range from horror, science fiction, cyberpunk and fantasy, contemporary, to thriller and historical erotic gay novels.

In his spare time, he goes weight-lifting, explores historical sites or meets other writers. He single-handedly sustains three London bookstores with his ever-changing research projects and interests. His current interests include bonsais, tailored suits, chess competitions, World War II, Afghan history, Roman emperors and Russian oligarchs. He loves traveling, action movies, spy novels and ponders taking up boxing.

Tamera Allen

Joanna Chambers

K.J. Charles

Kaje Harper

Jordan L Hawk

Aleksandr Voinov 

B&N  /  KOBO  /  iTUNES  /  ARe

Release Day Blitz: Hard Ride by Tara Oakes

Title: Hard Ride
Author: Tara Oakes
Series: Slayers MC #2
Genre: Motorcycle Romance
Release Date: February 1, 2016
*** Warning: this book is intended for those over 18 yrs old due to violent, sexual, and mature content. ***

Dawson McCade, president of Riverdale chapter of The Slayers MC, has everything under control for the moment, although he knows it could change in an instant. The Conquistador drug Cartel is being held at bay thanks to the last minute kidnapping of the Cartel leader's daughter, Caterina Jimenez.
Dawson knows they're nipping at his heels, though, just waiting for the opportunity to strike. It's up to him to think ahead and find a way to make this temporary truce between them last... otherwise it'll be an all out war. One Dawson has doubts about winning.

He has a brand new Ol' lady, Molly aka "Angel" and a new family to protect. He has more than enough to lose if things don't go how he needs them to. It's up to Dawson and the club's enforcer, Chase Barrett, to find a way to keep everyone and everything that they love safe from the Cartel.

What happen's if one of the very things the Cartel is after, is the one thing Chase discovers he isn't willing to give up?


Caterina, "Cat, Jimenez is the twenty-three year old daughter of one of the most powerful drug Cartel leaders in Mexico. She hates the life she's been born into, hates everything about the power and wealth her family has amassed. Convincing her family to let her study Medicine across the border in Texas was her way of escaping the life that threatens to claim her just as it had her mother.

She had done what she thought she'd never be able to... to be free.

That is, until she's swept up and taken in the middle of the day on her way to class by a rough and tough biker named Chase. He says he'll let her go. He says she's not in any danger, but she knows better. She knows not to trust men like this, having seen first hand what they're capable. So, she does the only thing possible. Cat sets in motion a plan to escape her captor. using her feminine charms to seduce and trick him, waiting for the perfect moment to make her move.

Cat has no idea how much is riding on her, how much depends on Chase being able to keep her. They're both about to find out, in HARD RIDE, book 2 in The Slayers MC series, meant to be read in order following book 1, FIRST RIDE.

Author Bio:
Tara is a thirty something newbie author from Long Island, New York. She's a voracious reader, a passionate writer and obsessive junk T.V. aficionado. When she's not doing one of those three things she is attempting to garden, hanging with her hubby or partaking in some retail therapy. She enjoys connecting with her readers and is having a blast entering into this new world of publishing.

Her series’ include the Kingsmen MC Series, The Chianti Kisses Series, The Badge Boys Series and the newly begun Slayers MC Series!


Hard Ride #2

First Ride #1

Ravaged River by Lindsay Cross

Title: Ravaged River
Author: Lindsay Cross
Series: Men of Mercy #6
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: January 30, 2016
Publisher: Cypress Bend Publishing, LLC
Editor: Angela Polidoro
Cover Design: Kim Killion
Special forces operative Hoyt Crowe wasn't just damaged… he was broken. After suffering brutal torture in captivity, his once lively spirit is shattered. Now his greatest adversary isn’t some unknown terrorist in a foreign country, it’s himself.

Hayden James watched Hoyt slide into a private purgatory of post-traumatic stress disorder, taking her heart with him. No longer warm and loving, he is cold. Hardened. A shell of his former self.

When an old enemy threatens Hayden’s life, Hoyt must find the strength to slay his inner demons or lose the woman he loves forever.

Hoyt Crowe tilted back the bottle of whiskey as he faced his reflection in the bedroom mirror. The man staring back was so poisonous he destroyed everything around him. Friends. Family. And, fucking worst of all, himself. Hoyt didn’t deserve to be alive. Not anymore. A car door slammed outside and he jerked, almost dropping the bottle. Goddammit. His control was gone. Destroyed. How could he protect his team if he flinched at every little sound? Sweat drenched his body. Hoyt lifted the bottle for another drink, spilled some liquor on his chin. His once sniper-steady hand shook like a new recruit on his first mission. Laughter erupted over the music from the living room, thrusting Hoyt back to that shack in the woods on Crowe Mountain. Three months ago, he and Jared had taken a trip to their past and returned to their former home--the place they'd fled as kids. Of all the mistakes he'd made in life, it was the one he regretted most. He'd been captured and tortured by his cousin and his cousin's girlfriend, who'd mistakenly thought he could give them the deed to the mountain. They'd trussed him up and the bitch had taken a flaying knife to his skin. He'd never forget the look of glee in her eyes as she sliced into him. Her shrill, screeching laugh. The same sound that was streaming in from the living room, except this time it was lacking the edge of madness. And just like that untrained newbie would have done, he’d blubbered and begged for his life. He took another swig, praying the fire from the whiskey would burn through his shattered nerves, and spilled more on his shirt. He ripped it off and threw it in the corner. Bile clawed up his throat, lacerating him from the inside out. I can’t even take a damn drink without shaking. His reflection was a mockery of what it had once been. Sliced and diced – he could write the manual. The deepest wound was on his face. The bitch had made sure he’d remember her every time he looked in a mirror. Now his lips pulled in a sideways smile even when he frowned. Not one smooth inch left. How could Hayden look at him, let alone want to be with him? She didn’t deserve to be tied to this. I am a weak, disfigured monster. Of course, monsters weren’t afraid of the dark, so he couldn’t even call himself that. Hoyt’s twisted lips pulled into a smile that didn’t reach his pale blue eyes. A knock sounded at the door. Hoyt ignored it. He wasn’t ready to face anyone. “Hoyt, it’s Hunter. I need to talk to you.” Christ. Hayden’s brother and his team leader wanted to talk to him in private. Hunter James wasn’t the type of man who was easily ignored. Hoyt staggered over to the rich oak dresser against the far wall. The mirror resting on it was as big as the dresser. There was no escape from his ruined reflection. “Open the damn door or I’ll kick it in.” Hunter’s voice rose over the pulsing music. Open your mouth and answer him. “Give me a minute.” Hoyt set the bottle down for long enough to rip a shirt from the drawer and yank it over his head. He glanced down at the Grateful Dead logo on the front of the tee. At least it fit him. He picked up the bottle and stalked to the wood door, the rustic hardwood creaking beneath his bare feet, and jerked it open. “What do you want?” “Jesus.” Hunter towered over Hoyt by at least three inches, and his black hair was cut short, military style. “You stink of alcohol.” Hoyt lifted the bottle in salute and took another chug. “Maybe this is why.” “What are you doing? Your house is packed full of people waiting to see you.” “I didn’t want them to come.” Hunter crowded into Hoyt’s room and shut the door behind him. The dark look on his face suited his nickname—the Grim Reaper—but Hoyt wasn’t afraid of him. No, his fears were all wrapped around that cabin in Crowe Mountain. “Why are you here? My big brother send you to pull me out of my cave? He can’t stomach looking at me anymore.” Hoyt let his face fall into the sneer that had become his signature look, the one that always sent Jared away. It could make milk curdle. “Your brother would kick my ass if he knew I was back here. He’s got some misconceived notion that he has to protect you.” Hunter crossed his arms and the veins on his arms popped across his massive muscles. “But I’ve got the feeling he might need protection from you, not for you.” Hoyt snarled and bared his teeth, feeling every inch the feral animal he’d become. “I’d never hurt my brother.” “Just like you’d never hurt my sister? Look at yourself.” Hunter advanced, prowling closer and closer, menace pouring off him in waves. “I look at myself every damn day.” Heat radiated outward from his chest, but his hands were shaking. He took another slug of the cheap rotgut, needing the numbness only oblivion could bring. Hayden. Hadn’t he done right by her? He’d broken it off, or had Jared to do it for him. Hoyt couldn’t lie to her face and tell her he didn’t want her any more. Not without revealing his true feelings. It’d been two months since that day he’d sat on his bed, listening to her cry from the next room while what was left of his soul bled out. Hunter stopped pacing, and Hoyt watched the anger slowly slide from his features until the only thing left was pity. Fucking pity. “Don’t look at me like that.” He wanted to shout the words, but all he could manage was a strangled whisper. “I’m sorry, man, I shouldn’t have gone at you like that.” “No. Don’t you back off now. Finish what you came here to do.” Hoyt was the one getting up in Hunter’s face this time, like mouth-to-mouth close. “I’m done.” Hunter didn’t move. “Fucking. Finish.” “Fine. You need help. You went through a lot. If you don’t get help on your own, I’ll take care of it for you.” Hunter hit the deadpan look he’d perfected, everything about him locking into a concrete wall. “That’s not why you’re here, is it?” Hoyt got up on the balls of his feet, bringing him to eye level with his team leader. Hunter growled but didn’t breach the invisible centimeter-wide wall separating them. “Why don’t I just say if for you? You came to tell me to stay away from your sister.” Hoyt barely held back from launching a punch into Hunter’s spleen to punctuate the words. But Hunter took a step back, breaking the tension, getting his shit under control, and said, “Promise me you’ll continue to leave her alone. She’s out here right now and she’s not ready to give up on you yet. She deserves better than you can give her right now. You know it. I know it.” Hoyt lowered down from the balls of his feet, needing to feel the solid floor beneath him. He knew he didn’t deserve her. He didn’t deserve any woman, let alone one as perfect as Hayden. But he wanted her like he wanted to breathe. Hoyt took in a deep breath, accepting his fate. Getting comfortable with the heavy pit of emptiness in his chest. He couldn’t be mad at Hunter. They all knew Hoyt’s body wasn’t the only thing that had been ruined in that cabin, but Hunter was the only one with the guts to say it. The rest of the crew had been treating him like he was a china doll with a crack in its head. Yes, he appreciated the truth, but it hurt to lose what little hope remained to him. “I promise. I will never lay a hand on her again.” Hunter stood there, lips parted, studying him. For a moment, Hoyt thought he might relent, but then he stalked out of the room and shut the door behind him. Hoyt stood there in silence for a moment, catching his breath, and then turned back to face the monster in the mirror. He’d never been a coward before, and he wouldn’t start now. He couldn’t hold a sniper rifle steady. He couldn’t hold his woman. She could no longer be his woman. He couldn’t even hold his shit together without pills and alcohol. His friends were here to celebrate his recovery. They were in the living room eating, drinking and having fun like the old Hoyt was back. Like he was normal. His chest felt like a thousand-pound wench was cinched around it. And now he couldn’t breathe in his own bedroom, the large open space as tight around him as a layer of shrink wrap. The walls closed in, trapping him, robbing the room of oxygen. His throat closed with it. Hoyt gasped, helpless to stop the panic, just like when he’d been helpless to stop the torture. Strung up like a piece of meat in that shack in the woods. Can’t breathe. Can’t think. Can’t stop. “Fuck you!” He threw a desperate punch, and his fist shattered the mirror. Shards of glass flew everywhere like shrapnel. His shoulders pinched tight and he threw the bottle of whiskey. Nothing could help him. Not the pills. Not alcohol. Not Hayden. Hoyt sank to his knees amidst the glass. No amount of counseling would fix him. He was as broken as the mirror and if he didn’t do something, he’d destroy his loved ones. Hoyt picked up a shard of glass. He was a burden. A disgrace to his team. Worthless. He wouldn’t give them the choice to try to save him. He didn’t deserve it. Besides, he knew Hayden enough to know she might not stay away. He didn’t want her to waste her life on him. Hoyt stuck the tip into his skin and sliced down his arm, making sure to slice the right vein. He’d been a coward when they’d tortured him. He’d begged. He’d pleaded. He’d given up his identity. But not anymore. This was the way he’d reclaim himself. A wave of dizziness hit and he fell to his hands. Blood gushed from his arm. He dropped flat on the floor and let it all go. No more nightmares. No more panic attacks. No more pity. Just darkness.

Author Bio:
Lindsay Cross is the award-winning author of the Men of Mercy series. She is the fun loving mom of two beautiful daughters and one precocious Great Dane. Lindsay is happily married to the man of her dreams – a soldier and veteran. During one of her husband’s deployments from home, writing became her escape and motivation. 

An avid reader since childhood, reading and writing is in her blood. After years of reading, she discovered her true passion – writing. Her alpha military men are damaged, drop-dead gorgeous and determined to win the heart of the woman of their dreams.


Ravaged River # 6

Redemption River #1

Resurrection River #2

Reckless River #3

David #4

Raylan #5

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