Spotlight & Excerpt: Daring Duplicity + Giveaway

BANNER2 - Daring Duplicity

Daring Duplicity
Edale Lane has a new FF historical steampunk book out: Daring Duplicity. And there’s a giveaway!

Solving mysteries is her business. Finding love is her dream. Will combining the two get her killed?

Victorian Era England. Stetson revels in being unconventional. So when society shies away from her independent nature, the bold woman creates an imaginary boss and opens her own detective agency. And her keen observational skills, convincing disguises, and Holmesian methods quickly bring in a string of tough-to-crack cases.

Struggling to squeeze a personal life in around a series of hazardous investigations, Stetson worries she’ll never find a woman of like-passions. But with her heart set on true love despite the risk, she carries on hunting for the perfect relationship.

Will her clever escapades lead to death… or delight?

Daring Duplicity: The Wellington Mysteries, Vol. 1, Adventures of a Lesbian Victorian Detective is a collection of five sequential novellas, each encompassing its own exciting mystery while furthering the story of Stetson’s life in London. If you enjoy crime dramas, Victorian era fiction, or a sweet lesbian romance, then you’ll love award-winning author Edale Lane’s Daring Duplicity. Order yours today!

Amazon | Goodreads


Giveaway

Edale is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link


Excerpt

Jewel gripped her own gloved hands and scanned the room anxiously. “It is a matter of the utmost discretion,” she began in a tone much more demanding than she had intended. “It is of a personal nature, you see,” she continued more gently and forced a polite smile. “May I speak with Mr. Wellington in private?”

Miss Goody responded with a pleasant smile of her own. “I’m afraid that will not be possible. Mr. X is extremely successful in foiling criminals because of his anonymity. In fact, no one has ever seen him but me. All correspondence between the investigator and the clients goes through his assistant—me. So how this works is, you tell me the specifics, I talk to him, and he gives me a list of questions to ask, and so forth. I assure you, anything you say to me will be kept in the strictest of confidence, just as if you were conversing with the detective himself.”

“I see.” The assistant paused for a moment before continuing and her attention fell on Miss Goody for the first time, being specifically drawn to ample breasts squeezed into her buttoned waist coat. It required conscious effort for Jewel to raise her gaze, but doing so she became captivated by two warm, caring cognac eyes. “Very well, then. I am being blackmailed, and the nature of the information being held over me makes it impossible to go to Scotland Yard, or a constable, or even my father, for the money. I receive an allowance, not enough to meet the foul villain’s demands, but sufficient to cover your agency’s fees and expenses I’m sure.”

“I see,” she replied with a soft expression of compassion. “Was the man you were seen with married, or simply from the wrong side of the tracks?”

“Well,” Jewel stammered, cleared her throat, and fixed her gaze on a painting on the wall. “Not exactly. And he has a photograph.”

Miss Goody sighed and leaned forward, her palms on the desk top. “Now, Lady Jewel Ashton, if we are to find this blackmailer and save your reputation, you cannot hold anything back. How can Mr. Wellington help you if you won’t tell us the whole story?”

“It is not my reputation I am concerned with,” she admitted, a hint of real fear trembling in her voice. “My whole family could be ruined, utterly ruined, and destroy my father’s political career. We would be forced to retreat to our estate in the countryside. I cannot allow shame to come upon my family for one moment’s indiscretion.”

Miss Goody met her eyes. “I assure you if you provide Mr. X all the information he needs, he can find this scoundrel, take back the photo and the plates, and give him every reason to keep his deceitful mouth closed on the matter.”

Jewel held her gaze for a long moment, and believing her sincerity, made a decision—the only one she could really make. She opened her reticule and withdrew a tan envelope. “Someone left this in my carriage while I was shopping. My driver said he didn’t see or hear a thing.” She placed the parcel on the desk within Miss Goody’s reach and held her breath.

#
Stetson opened the envelope and spilled its contents out onto the desk. Inside was a note and a photograph, not of Jewel kissing a married man, but another young woman! For an instant, time stood still. A flush rose in Jewel’s cheeks while Stetson’s mouth absently fell agape as she stared dumbfounded at the image. Stetson’s mind raced almost as fast as her heart. Could it be that this beautiful gem who walked in this morning has the same inclination as myself? Could there actually be other women who love women, that I am not a singular oddity? She not only had these thoughts, but acted on them! She had never met another like-minded woman—not to mention one whose looks could stop a locomotive in its tracks like Jewel Ashton.

She was roused from her musings when she heard a desperate voice from across the desk. “So now you see the urgency and delicacy of the matter.”

She quickly shoved the note and the photograph back into the envelope and replied with sincerity. “Do not be distressed, Lady Jewel Ashton. We will take care of this with great expediency. I shall show these to the detective and he will know just what to do. Wait here. I’ll return anon.”

Stetson stepped into the room behind her, leaned against the closed door, and let out a deep sigh. With eyes shut and hugging herself, she took a moment to process the warm thrill that rose from her loins. Reveling in the euphoric rush, she wanted to believe the impossible–that maybe her dreams could come true. Mayhap there was a chance, ever so slight, that she, too, could act on her passions. Her breathing became ragged as she imagined kissing Jewel, and being kissed in return. Her heart pounded in excitement. Until reality stuck its ugly head into her dream reminding her there was a case to solve. Stetson moaned softly in aggravation and opened her eyes to glance around her inner sanctum.

Within the confines of Mr. Wellington’s lair were all the implements one would need to be a successful private investigator. On the wall to the left was an array of weapons, including both an umbrella and walking cane hiding swords in their handles, an umbrella with a singleshot rifle barrel and a trigger in the handle, several knives, guns, and gadgets. A glass-doored cabinet contained other curiosities such as a wristwatch that concealed a tiny explosive, a unique copper and brass miniature camera with flash attachment, a mirror attached to a long folding pole for seeing around corners or over walls, telescopic opera glasses, and a voice recording device. There was a table holding an array of wigs in vast colors and styles for both men and women, false beards and moustaches, along with an exhaustive selection of hats. Hanging from hooks on another wall were various costumes for the well-to-do business people, and the poor, male and female alike. There was a large vanity with a mirror and cases of cosmetics and face powder as one might see backstage of a theatre. Yes, the windowless room had all the trappings to outfit a man of mystery save one—there was no Xavier Wellington… only Stetson.


Author Bio

Edale Lane
Edale Lane is an award-winning author (Rainbow Awards, Imaginarium Awards, Lesfic Bard Awards) who is realizing her dream of being a full-time writer. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Tribute in Blood, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication regarding research. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature. After driving an 18-wheeler cross-country for eight years, she now lives with her partner in beautiful Chilliwack, B.C. Canada.

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: The Moonstone Girls + Giveaway

The Moonstone Girls

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Moonstone Girls

Author:  Brooke Skipstone

Publisher: Skipstone Publishing

Cover Artist: Cherie Chapman

Release Date: Feb 14, 2022

Genre: Historical (1967/68) F/F romance

Themes: Coming out, Rejection, Forgiveness

The story is full of drama, heartache, humor, and hope, set against the backdrop of the late ’60s—the Vietnam War and the draft, racial prejudice, homophobia, and a revolution in music.”

Queer rep: lesbian main character, lesbian and gay side characters

Trigger Warnings: homophobia, internalized homophobia, slurs, death, suicide, car accident, insensitive language/jokes, PTSD.

Heat Rating:  2 flames    

Length: 103 500 words/ 338 pages

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

In 1968, a seventeen-year-old queer girl traveled to Alaska disguised as a boy.

 

Blurb

Tracy should have been a boy. Even her older brother Spencer says so, though he wouldn’t finish the thought with, “And I should have been a girl.” 

Though both feel awkward in their own skin, they have to face who they are—queers in the late 60s. 

When both are caught with gay partners, their lives and futures are endangered by their homophobic father as their mother struggles to defend them. 

While the Vietnam War threatens to take Spencer away, Tracy and her father wage a war of their own, each trying to save the sweet, talented pianist. 

At seventeen, Tracy dresses as a boy and leaves her parents in turmoil, with only the slimmest hope of finding peace within herself. She journeys to a girl with a guitar, calling to her from a photo, “Come to Alaska. We’d be great friends.” 

Maybe even The MoonStone Girls.


Excerpt 

Hours later, after I’d practiced piano, had a few arguments about the war at dinner, and listened to complaints from Mom about Spencer’s continued absence, I slipped into my pajamas and tried to stay awake, listening to “19th Nervous Breakdown” from the Stones’ Big Hits album.

Something stumbled against my door. I heard Spencer cuss. I ran to the door and yanked it open just as my very drunk brother rapped his knuckles against the air.

“Whoa,” he said. “Where’d the door go? Hey, Sis.”

He wobbled just outside my room with a lopsided grin on his face then put his finger to his lips. “Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m drunk.” He giggled.

“No shit.” I put his arm over my shoulder and turned him around. “Let’s get you to bed.”

“Whaa . . . No.” He jerked his arm away and banged it into the wall. “Ouch. Why’d you hit me?”

“You hit the wall, Spencer. Get to bed before you wake up Mom and Dad.”

He put his hands on my shoulders and his face an inch from mine. “You need to meet Pablo. He’s outside.”

“He drove you home?”

“Yeah. He thought I was too drunk to drive.” He breathed and giggled. “He’s a really nice guy. We had a good time.”

I laughed, trying not to pass out from the alcohol fumes. “Evidently.” I had never seen Spencer drunk. Dad would let us drink wine at dinner sometimes. Maybe share a beer between us. But Spencer was never that interested. Probably because Dad said a man’s got to learn how to hold his liquor. “What did you drink?”

His eyes crossed. “Tequila. Oh, that’s the best. From itsy bitsy glasses.”

“A shot glass?”

He held his hand like a pistol. “Bang. Bang. Shot after shot. C’mon, you need to meet him.”

I helped him down the stairs. He tiptoed to the foyer then grabbed the front door handle. Red lights flashed through the glass at the top of the door.

“Cops?” I helped him open the door, and we both stared at a policeman with his foot on the back of a young man, spread-eagled in our yard.

“Don’t you move, son,” yelled the officer.

Spencer’s eyes bulged as he screamed, “What are you doing?” He ran toward the officer.

Somebody’s going to get shot! I followed. “Spencer! Stop!”

“He’s my friend!” He pushed the cop nearly to the ground then bent down to help Pablo.

I ran to the officer whose hand moved toward his holster. “That’s my brother’s friend. He drove my brother home and was waiting to meet me.” I stood between him and the boys, holding my arms up, gasping for breath.

The man looked at me. “You live here?”

“Yes, with Spencer and my parents.”

Pablo was on his knees crying. “I thought he was going to kill me.”

Spencer knelt and pulled Pablo to his chest. “You’re safe. You’re safe.” He bent down to pick up Pablo’s white beret, brushed it off, and set it on his head.

Pablo was thin and shorter than Spencer. His mouth hung open as he gasped for breath; his face was wet with tears.

Spencer clutched the boy against his chest and glared at the cop. “What did he do?”

“He was a Mexican outside our house at midnight,” I said. “Right, Officer?”

The man tightened his eyes at me. “I’ve never seen him in this neighborhood. He looked suspicious.”

“Suspiciously brown?” I barked.

“That’s enough, Tracy,” said Dad, tying his robe, as he strode down our walkway. “I’m Arthur Franks. This is my house. Did the boy do anything wrong?”

“He looked like he was trying to get inside that car, and I knew it wasn’t his.”

Pablo’s voice cracked. “I wanted my cigarettes. I just wanted to smoke a cigarette. ¿Qué carajo?”

I hoped the cop didn’t speak Spanish because Pablo had just said “What the fuck?”

“Are we done?” I asked.

The officer rested his hand on his pistol. “You sure you want this kid in your yard, Mr. Franks?”

“No, I’m not, but he’ll be gone soon. We’ll take it from here, Officer.”

“Okay, but if you need anything, just call dispatch. I can be back here quick.” He shot Pablo one last glare before sliding into his Castle Hills patrol car and drove away.

“Where have you been, Spencer?” Dad growled. “And do I smell alcohol on you?”

“If your nose works,” Spencer giggled. “We stayed at Dr. Sorel’s for a while then went to Pablo’s cousin’s house. I think I had one too many shots of tequila.” He giggled again.

“Maybe two too many,” laughed Pablo with a thick accent.

“You said tutu!” Spencer laughed.

“No, I said two too,” laughed Pablo as he playfully patted Spencer’s face. 

“Jesus,” Dad muttered as he folded his arms and glared at the two boys.


About the Author 

Brooke Skipstone is a multi-award winning author who lives in Alaska where she watches the mountains change colors with the seasons from her balcony. Where she feels the constant rush toward winter as the sunlight wanes for six months of the year, seven minutes each day, bringing crushing cold that lingers even as the sun climbs again. Where the burst of life during summer is urgent under twenty-four-hour daylight, lush and decadent. Where fish swim hundreds of miles up rivers past bear claws and nets and wheels and lines of rubber-clad combat fishers, arriving humped and ragged, dying as they spawn. Where danger from the land and its animals exhilarates the senses, forcing her to appreciate the difference between life and death. Where the edge between is sometimes too alluring. 

The MoonStone Girls is her fourth novel. Visit her website at brookeskipstone.com for information about her first three novels—Crystal’s House of Queers, Some Laneys Died, and Someone To Kiss My Scars.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |  Instagram

 


Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

a $20 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Book Blitz: Finding Sarah + Excerpt

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Finding Sarah

Author: Aprille Canniff

Publisher: Fulton Books

Release Date: August 26, 2021

Genre:  Romance, F/F Romance

Tropes: Trauma, New Girl in Town

Themes: Internal Struggle, Relationship, Love

Heat Rating: 3 flames    

Length: 60 000 words/ 187 pages

The book ends on a cliffhanger. There is a follow-on book coming.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

The past has left her scarred and broken, but does she have the strength to risk her heart on the future?

 

Blurb 

When Sarah steps off the plane in Provincetown, she has only one goal—to leave the past behind her. As she begins her journey of rediscovering herself, she meets one of the town’s deputies under less-than-ideal circumstances but soon finds herself drawn to her in ways she knows she can’t allow.

Deputy Catrina Diaz loves her job, her family, and her friends, which is why she became a deputy to begin with, to keep her town and those she loves safe. When she crosses paths with Sarah, a newcomer to town, she finds herself wanting more than Sarah is wanting to give.

Sarah fights hard to find herself as the past keeps finding new ways to haunt her. As their relationship grows, will the secrets Sarah is hiding, secrets that Cat realizes everyone knows but her, finally pull them apart? Can Sarah trust Cat enough to overcome her past and the insecurities it has caused and take a chance on the one thing she thought she could never have again-love?


Excerpt 

Grateful for the privacy, Sarah sat down, facing Cat on the couch. “Cat, I don’t want you to think…” Sarah paused, struggling to find the words to explain.

“What? That you’re avoiding me?” Cat reached over and took Sarah’s hand, their fingers automatically intertwining. “Sarah, I like you. I like spending time with you.”

Sarah was overcome with sadness. “Cat, we can’t.”

“Give me one good reason why.”

A tear slid down her cheek as she spoke the simple truth that had consumed her since she had met Cat. “Because I’m broken, and you deserve better.”

Cat reached over and gently wiped the errant tear away from Sarah’s cheek. “We are all broken in some way, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help each other to heal.”

Sarah shook her head, frustrated for what she wanted and for what she could never have. “Cat, you don’t understand.”

“No, I don’t, but I’m willing to wait until you are ready to tell me. Until then…” Cat leaned forward and gently, almost shyly, placed a soft kiss on Sarah’s lips. The feel of Sarah’s lips flooded her senses and filled her with a warmth so intense she finally understood what all the romance novels were talking about. She understood what it meant to fall with one simple kiss. “I want to spend time getting to know the Sarah you are wanting to become.”

Sarah did her best to fight back and hide the feelings she had for Cat, but that kiss, how could she hold back now? That one simple kiss tore down the walls she had built to protect herself and others. She had to do what was right and stop this before it got out of control, but what her mind wanted was overridden by her heart, surprising even herself. “Cat, I don’t know if I could handle you walking away if you find out what happened to me. I’m telling you, it’s horrible, and it’s not something you can unsee.”

It broke Cat’s heart to see the tears that were now flowing freely down Sarah’s cheeks. She wanted to erase the past and the hurt it had caused her. Instead, she pulled Sarah into her arms and held her as she cried. “I see you for who you are, and that’s all that matters. Just give me a chance to prove it to you.”

Sarah wanted to say no because she couldn’t take anymore hurt or disappointment in her life, but the longer Cat held her, the harder it was to fight. Finally, she dried her eyes and sat up. “Maybe…”


About the Author

Aprille Canniff retired from the military after 24 years of service and has deployed to multiple Middle Eastern locations throughout her military career.  She is a full-time Deputy Sheriff who loves her job and wakes up every morning ready for another day.  Her passions include fishing as a catch and release type girl and hiking with her wife.  Her two cats determine the pace of her future books so she never gives a timeline for completion.

 

 

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