Book Blitz: The Secrets of Colchester Hall, by Sophie Barnes

The Secrets of Cohchester Hall
The Secrets of Colchester Hall
by Sophie Barnes
Paranormal Regency Romance

Release Date: January 12, 2021

As one of six possible candidates vying for Viscount Sterling’s hand, Lady Angelica has been invited to stay at his grand manor for a week-long house party. But an unpleasant feeling lurks within Colchester Hall. It’s almost as if someone’s watching Angelica just beyond the edge of her vision. And while she tries to explain the chill creeping up behind her as merely a draft, she can’t shake the feeling that something disturbing might be at play.

When Sterling decides she’s the woman he wants, can Angelica accept her new home and the sinister secrets she fears it might hold, or will she give up on true love because of what could prove to be nothing more than her own imagination?

NOTE: This novella was previously included in the anthology, Wicked Liasons.

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About The Author


Born in Denmark, USA TODAY bestselling author Sophie Barnes spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish, and Romanian with varying degrees of fluency. But, most impressive of all, she’s been married to the same man three times—in three different countries and in three different dresses.

When she’s not busy dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: A Detestable Name + Giveaway

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A Detestable Name
by Arabella Brown
Genre: Chaste Regency Romance

 

Pitchforked into the title by his brother’s death, the new Lord Newsam arrives at the grim family home in Yorkshire to face daunting challenges. His peevish, self-absorbed mother despises him. The servants are insubordinate. He hardly knows his sisters, for whom he’s expected to find husbands. The estate is ill-run and unprofitable, and the bailiff obstructive. And in the midst of all this, he must find a wife for himself – but the only woman he wants won’t have him. 
To widowed, impoverished Mary Thorpe, the very name of Newsam is detestable: his brother drove her husband to suicide and made her a social outcast. But Lord Newsam insists on rescuing her from penury. The shocking realisation that she is falling in love with him in spite of herself makes her situation even more complicated. How can she let him ruin his own family’s reputation by marrying her? There seems to be no solution – until every objection is swept away by a ball nobody wants to attend and a startling discovery on their return.
 
 
adetestablename - excerpt
Mrs. Thorpe sobered. “My lord, I have no wish to ruin this wonderful day, but you must not persist in this familiarity. No other relationship is possible. I assure you I am perfectly adamant, for your sake and for the sake of Gomersall.” She forced a smile. “But I have not had so lighthearted a time since I cannot remember when! And for that, I do say ‘thank you’, my very good friend.”
She gave him both her hands; he took them for only a moment, though it seemed to her he would have liked to have held them for longer; and then, saying nothing, he returned to the tilbury and drove back to the Hall.
He was met at the door by Badger, who approached him with the disdainful look that Lord Newsam was convinced he reserved exclusively for him.
“My lord, Lady Newsam and Miss Newsam desire your presence in my lady’s parlour with the utmost celerity,” he announced in the pompous tone that always irritated Lord Newsam.
“All right,” said Lord Newsam briefly, and went upstairs. “Did you want me, Mama?” he asked mildly as he entered. He observed that Lady Newsam appeared to be in a state of prostration, lying on the couch while Amelia offered her occasional sniffs at the vinaigrette and fanned her face. Charlotte was absent.
“Granville! At last!” his mother exclaimed feebly. “Amelia will tell you what has occurred!”
The memory of the pleasurable day he had spent away from Gomersall only exacerbated Lord Newsam’s vexation at being confronted by difficulties the instant he returned. “Great heavens, not another domestic crisis!” he exclaimed uncharitably.
“I am so sorry, Granville, I am afraid it is!” said Amelia regretfully. “It is Charlotte, you see! For some reason she has been down in the kitchens – I cannot imagine what has attracted her; she has never displayed any interest in them before! – and she seems to have been poking around and asking questions and Philippe – the cook, you know! – has taken offence – he is always temperamental and I have often had to mollify him – I am sure it is a consequence of his being a Comte in exile – and he has given notice, and nothing I say will change his mind!”
“Let him go, then!” said Lord Newsam shortly.
Lady Newsam gave a piteous moan. Amelia said, “Nobody has ever suited Mama half so well! He knows just how to please her!”
“Let Badger try to persuade him, then!” said her brother.
Amelia shook her head. “He considers Badger his inferior,” she informed him discouragingly. “Granville, you are the court of last resort! Do, please, try!” she implored.
Lord Newsam acceded with an ill grace and ordered the cook to attend him in his office. Not long afterwards, Philippe entered, a weedy individual with an air of offended self-consequence.
“I understand that you have given notice,” said Lord Newsam indifferently.
“Oui! I ‘ave been insult’ more zan ‘uman can bear!” Philippe averred. “I leave at ze week end!”
“All right,” said Lord Newsam.
The cook stared at him, dumfounded. “I am leave’!” he reiterated.
“You need not wait until the weekend; you may go now,” Lord Newsam offered helpfully. “I shall get the cook in from the Dower House.”
“What! A mere wooman in ze Gomersall kitchen!” exclaimed Philippe in horror. “Zis cannot be!”
“Well, we must eat,” Lord Newsam pointed out practically. “And I am not particular about my food, in any case.”
“But Madame! She will wizzer away!”
“Not at all; she will learn to do without the dainties you provide: that is all.” Lord Newsam remained unmoved.
“Non! You are torture’ your own muzzer! She tell me all ze time ‘ow she love my cooking! You ‘ave no feeling, milor’!”
“Granted, I have no sympathy for her delicate palate!” agreed Lord Newsam. “But it is you who have no feeling, deserting my mother over some silly nonsense!”
“Silly nonsense! When Miss Charlotte, she come ask’ question – where I get zis? ‘ow I make zat? – I am not good enough? I am good enough for Madame but not good enough for Mademoiselle?” explained Philippe indignantly. “Is zis ‘ow I am treat’?”
“Has it not occurred to you that she was not criticising, she was asking to learn? And asking the greatest expert she knew? And for this you wish to give notice?” Lord Newsam made a shooing motion. “Go, then, if you cannot even understand the greatest compliment of all!”
The cook stood silent. He was not accustomed to thinking further than the week’s menus, and this complex philosophical point came close to evading him. At length, however, he grasped the issue. “She wish me to teach ‘er?” he asked, his eyes lighting. “Ze noble Mademoiselle a student of Philippe? Ciel! Why she not say before? But of course!”
Lord Newsam held up a finger. “Only one day a week! She has many other duties!” He could visualise the cook demanding Charlotte at all hours of the day; the man was capable of it.
“Ah, oui!” responded the cook, only a little disappointed. “One day a week, I teach Mademoiselle to cook comme des anges!” He departed borne upon clouds of imagined glory.
Although she now lives in the U.K., Arabella Brown grew up in a small U.S. town. She spent most of her youth in the local Carnegie Public Library (thank you, Mr. Carnegie!), where she learned that intensive reading does more to broaden your horizons than school does. She still reads voraciously and her house is lined with thousands of books. Despite her emphasis on meticulous research, it’s the plot and the characters she particularly loves to create. She enjoys Jane Austen’s and Georgette Heyer’s novels and wishes there were more of them.
Under another name, Ms Brown has published a number of novels set in periods ranging from the 12th century to the 1960’s. This is her first Regency.

 

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Always Kiss at Christmas + Giveaway

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours


Always Kiss at Christmas
(Fortune Brides #7)
By Regina Scott
Regency Romance
Paperback & ebook
December 3, 2020

Mary Rose has one goal for her mother’s annual Christmas Eve party: convince her childhood friend Julian Mayes to marry her. She has always admired Julian. Surely one moment under the kissing bough will convince him they were meant to be together. Newly hired by a prestigious London law firm, Julian is ready to shake the dust of the countryside off his polished boots. But he’s always had a soft spot for Mary. As the danger to her future becomes clear, will one kiss be enough to prove to him how far he will go to protect her?

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Excerpt

The snow had stopped falling, she saw as she ventured outside. Like muslin, white sheets draped tree and field. Their gardener had swept the snow off the pond, and the ice glittered darkly under the heavy sky. She pointed one group toward the sleigh that stood waiting, the horses’ breath fogging the air, and another group toward the lawn, where two industrious youths were already fashioning snowballs. Though he remained at her side, Julian kept glancing toward the pond. Skating, then. Gliding along, arm in arm, their steps matching as they used to do when they were younger. How romantic. Another shiver went through her.

“Cold?” Julian asked, taking a step closer.

Not with him so near. Those eyes were all encouragement, his mouth turned up and head cocked as if he were ready to listen to anything she cared to impart. He was going to be an excellent solicitor. Already she wanted to confess her hopes.

“It will pass,” Mary assured him. “Would you care to skate?”

“Delighted.” He offered her his arm again, and they walked over to the wrought-iron bench overlooking the pond. Already another couple swept past on the ice. Grooms stood by to strap the steel blades onto footwear. In moments, Mary was out on the glassy surface with Julian at her side. The cool air nipped her cheeks as they set off.

Oh, to always feel this free. It took the merest pressure to sail along. The evergreens alongside the pond flashed by, dusky against the silver of the pond and sky. Julian matched her stride, though he kept his hands behind his back, as if for balance.

“Was it last year you raced me to the end of the pond?” he asked, a twinkle in his eyes.

“And won,” Mary reminded him.

“You’ve changed since then,” he said.

Perhaps not as much as she’d thought, for the urge was impossible to resist. “I could still beat you.”

“You’re on.”

Excerpted from Always Kiss at Christmas by Regina Scott. Copyright © Regina Scott.

Other Books in the Series


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About the Author

Regina Scott started writing novels in the third grade. Thankfully for literature as we know it, she didn’t actually sell her first novel until she had learned a bit more about writing. Since her first novel was published, her stories have traveled the globe, with translations in many languages including Dutch, German, Italian, and Portuguese. She now has now published more than 50 works of warm, witty romance. She and her husband of 30 years reside in Washington State on the way to Mt. Rainier. Regina Scott has learned to fence, dressed as a Regency dandy, driven four in hand, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research, of course.

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Tour Schedule
(Posts go live on the day they’re scheduled.)

December 8th: Launch
December 9th: Krystal M. AndersonLove’s Sweet Return
December 10th: Julie Coulter Bellon – The Marquess Meets His Match
December 11th: Delaney Cameron – Because You Loved Me
December 12th: Rachelle Paige CampbellLove Overboard
December 13th: Raneé S. ClarkFinding Taylor
December 14th: Chrissy ElliotFinding Home on Winslow Island
December 15th: Aspen HadleySuits and Spark Plugs
December 16th: Shanna HatfieldThe Christmas Bargain
December 17th: D. E. MaloneLove, Lies and Mistletoe
December 18th: Melissa McCloneSweet Yuletide
December 19th: Sarah L. McConkieThe Promise of Miss Spencer
December 20th: Kimberley MontpetitMostly Dangerous
December 21st: Kate O’KeeffeDating Mr. Darcy
December 22nd: Regina ScottAlways Kiss at Christmas
December 23rd: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a $70 (USD) Amazon eGift Card

Open to US and internationally to those who can receive the gift card through one of Amazon’s branches
Ends December 27, 2020

ENTER HERE

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