Book Blitz: In the Eye of the Beholder, by Maggie Mooha

in the eye of the beholder

 

In the Eye of the Beholder
Victorian Romance, Historical Romance
by Maggie Mooha

Release Date: June 17, 2021

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group

THE TRUE BEAUTY

Intellectual, frank, and outspoken, Eleanor Sherbrook is everything a Victorian lady should not be. Her sister Julia is a stunning beauty who can have anyone she sets her sights on – and she sets them on the man Eleanor loves: the gallant and handsome Lieutenant Joshua Griffiths Wentworth.

Brokenhearted, Eleanor leaves England to become a nurse at the infamous British Army hospital in Scutari, Turkey near where Joshua is mired in war. As a member of the ill-fated Light Brigade, he and his comrades make the charge into the Valley of Death.

Thrown together, and forced to face cruelty and loss in a war-torn land, Eleanor and Joshua’s bond grows deeper every day. The folly and glory of the Crimean War forever changes them as they struggle to find a love strong enough to emerge from the ashes of their shared ordeal.

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About the Author

I’ve always been a storyteller. When I was little, I used to tell my sister stories before we went to sleep. Most of them were serials – Superman and the like. It never occurred to me until much later in life that I should try my hand at writing.

Most of my career, I’ve been a music teacher. I’ve found music such a help when crafting a story. I actually see the structure of a book as if it was a musical composition. As for the nuts and bolts of my life, I grew up in the Chicago area and was a teacher there for quite a few years. I had a chance to teach at an international school in Tanzania, and spent two years there. After adopting my son, we spent four years at an international school in the Philippines. During that time, I began writing. Now I live in the western US.

Most of my work has been screenplays. Over the years, I’ve won or placed well in competitions. I’m telling you this so you don’t think I sat down one day and wrote a novel out of the blue. I’ve spent many years working and learning.

A long time ago someone called me “an insatiable romantic.” I hope that’s still true.

 

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RABT Book Tours & PR

Spotlight: The Heirs of the Aristocracy + Giveaway

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The Angel of an Astronomer
The Heirs of the Aristocracy Book 1
by Linda Rae Sande
Genre: Early Victorian Historical Romance

 

Tis the season for falling snow and falling stars… but falling in love? 

George, Viscount Hexham, is quite literally thunderstruck when he meets Lady Anne in the park, and he can’t get her off his mind. Her brother, Gabe, is happy to act as a matchmaker, never once mentioning he might already be acting on behalf of the other side. Can two who are so perfectly matched end up married before Anne must endure her first Season in London?

Meanwhile, when a neighbor appears to be spying on George’s twin sister through the telescope in his garden observatory, an incensed Lady Angelica is determined to give him a piece of her mind. Sir Benjamin may end up with her heart as well, as mistletoe and moonlight work their magic in The Angel of an Astronomer.

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The Puzzle of a Bastard
The Heirs of the Aristocracy Book 2

 

Sometimes the perfect person is right under your nose!

An expert in pottery restoration, Frances Longworth spends her days in the basement of a museum, applying her skills to damaged artifacts so they can be put on display. If only she didn’t have to constantly prove herself to men who expect her to be a man.

The bastard son of an earl, Gabe Wellingham eschews a life of leisure by accepting a position at the same museum as an archivist, cataloguing Ancient Greek artifacts. He has no qualms about a woman reassembling the latest arrival from an archaeological expedition. He does find her manner rather prickly, however. Annoying, defensive, and far too uptight for his tastes.

So why does he feel the need to pull the pins from her too-tight bun and kiss her senseless?

Having just returned to London after a lengthy absence, James Burroughs seeks a quiet place to stay. With the rest of her extended family gone for the holiday, childhood friend Emily Grandby offers him a room at the estate. Secretly grieving the loss of the man she might have married, she never imagines his desire for a perfectly quiet life might also include her.

But then, neither does he in The Puzzle of a Bastard.

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The Choice of a Cavalier
The Heirs of the Aristocracy Book 3

 

Following in his father’s footsteps, Thomas Grandby has made a name for himself in the world of investments and wealth. He’s managed to avoid the Marriage Mart—for the most part—but constant reminders of his age have him thinking 1839 might be the year he takes a bride. If only Lady Victoria seemed as interested in him as she is in horses. Her green-eyes, jet black hair, and slight limp have him positively mesmerized.

Meanwhile, when Christopher, Earl of Haddon, nearly impales Juliet Comber with his foil and then falls and bumps his head, he insists she take revenge on his person. Her punch in his gut has him doubling-over—and falling heels-over-head in love with her. The daughter of an equine expert has no interest in marrying him, though. Doesn’t he know his age and reputation as a pompous ass are a suitor’s least attractive traits?

These bachelors are about to learn they don’t have much of a chance when they try to come between and a girl and her horse in The Choice of a Cavalier! Or do they?

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The Bargain of a Baroness
The Heirs of the Aristocracy Book 4

 

Separated by fate. Bound by a bargain. Is there any hope for a second chance love?

When his one true love marries another man, Graham Wellingham abandoned his hopes of romance to pour his attention into business. His hardened heart has left him immune to the charms of wealthy socialites… but he hasn’t forgotten the promise he made to his love Hannah all those years ago.

Hannah Simpson Harrington has straddled two conflicting words her entire life. Once married to a future earl after her dream husband never proposed, his untimely death has left her a dowager with a too-mature-for-his-own-good sixteen-year-old son. But when she and Graham stumble upon a second chance for love, the possibility of a fairy-tale happy ending hovers just beyond their reach.

Meanwhile, a mysterious young woman captures the attention of Hannah’s twin brother Henry. There’s only one problem – a relationship between a housemaid and the grandson of a duke is forbidden. But Harry holds a glimmer of hope… and he’s willing to take a scandalous risk for the sake of love.

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The Jewel of an Earl’s Heir
The Heirs of the Aristocracy Book 5

 

Alexander, heir to the Everly earldom, has just discovered he’s color blind. The malady explains why he didn’t do well in his natural science classes at Cambridge. What’s worse is it impairs his ability to choose gemstones for the jewelry he creates. If only he had a second pair of eyes that could correctly identify colors. The beguiling gray eyes—or are those green?— belonging to the daughter of a renown jeweler are only a temporary fix. He’s too young to marry, and besides, who wants a man who can’t see colors correctly?

Margaret spends her days assisting her father in the creation of jewelry for the wealthy. Her knowledge of gemstones is gleaned from years of watching him work and dealing with gem merchants. Although she’s old enough to be out in Society, embarrassment over her withered arm keeps her in the shop. What’s she to do when her latest client insists she attend a ball? He can secure an invitation and has promised her two dances, but is it worth being subjected to the censure and gossip her arm is sure to elicit? Or the wrath of the gem merchant to whom her father owes so much? His proposal might solve the debt issue, but at what price to her?

Meanwhile, their impending wedding anniversary has Alexander’s parents reacting in much different ways. Middle age has Harold remembering his youth and fearing his mortality while Stella isn’t ready to succumb to the preconceived notions of what it is to be a matron with grown children. Their solution may require they meet in the middle—of a bed.

 

A self-described nerd and lover of science, Linda Rae spent many years as a published technical

writer specializing in 3D graphics workstations, software and 3D animation (her movie credits include SHREK and SHREK 2). Getting lost in the rabbit holes of research has resulted in historical romances set in the Regency-era as well as Ancient Greece. A fan of action-adventure movies, she can frequently be found at the local cinema. Although she no longer has any fish, she follows the San Jose Sharks. She is a member of Novelists, Inc. (NINC) and makes her home in Cody, Wyoming.

 

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
 
$25 Amazon

Spotlight & Excerpt: Where Your Treasure Is + Author Interview & Giveaway

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Cover_Where Your Treasure Is

Where Your Treasure Is
by M. C. Bunn
Genre: Historical romance, Victorian romance

Feisty, independent heiress Winifred de la Coeur has never wanted to live according to someone else’s rules—but even she didn’t plan on falling in love with a bank robber.

Winifred is a wealthy, nontraditional beauty who bridles against the strict rules and conventions of Victorian London society. When she gets caught up in the chaos of a bungled bank robbery, she is thrust unwillingly into an encounter with Court Furor, a reluctant getaway driver and prizefighter. In the bitter cold of a bleak London winter, sparks fly.

Winifred and Court are two misfits in their own circumscribed worlds—the fashionable beau monde with its rigorously upheld rules, and the gritty demimonde, where survival often means life-or-death choices.

Despite their conflicting backgrounds, they fall desperately in love while acknowledging the impossibility of remaining together. Returning to their own worlds, they try to make peace with their lives until a moment of unrestrained honesty and defiance threatens to topple the deceptions they have carefully constructed to protect each other.

A story of the overlapping entanglements of Victorian London’s social classes, the strength of family bonds and true friendship, and the power of love to heal a broken spirit.

Excerpt:

Chapter 2
A Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted

Approaching the right turn that would take him to Swift Street and the Royal Empire Bank, Court Furor concentrated on traffic. Cold bit his cheeks and hunger gnawed his belly, but he ignored both through force of habit. The soles of his boots were thin and his gloves pointless…No point worrying about what the day would bring, never mind the next one…He was a man of no prospects and no property but preferred to think of it as freedom from responsibility…It was no secret he fancied himself a bit of a lad though he wasn’t overly tempted by long, romantic entanglements. An hour or two with a willing girl would suit…

He directed the horse to a slow walk, trying to secure a place in the queue for the curb. In the gleaming brougham beside him sat a woman, her face hidden under an enormous, bright green hat trimmed with black ostrich feathers. Her driver signaled, and Court tugged his reins…Though a thick veil covered her face, Court caught a glimpse of golden hair, coiled in heavy masses on her shoulders. The wind lifted the edge of her mantle, and he was briefly amazed by the brilliant green of her dress…She’d obviously never missed a meal in her life.

Author Interview:


1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else?

The characters in Where Your Treasure Is came to me in a flash. My father had been dead for several years. My mother and I had spent the summer cleaning her house and clearing their offices, so we’d shared hours sorting through business documents and family mementoes. It was August and nearly time for me to return to work. I had been reading. A man and a woman’s voices, then their faces just happened. It was like a darkened theater had suddenly lit up, though I could still see my book and the yard. Their argument threatened to disintegrate into a physical altercation. Poof—it was gone. After a couple of weeks, I saw the end of their story in much the same way, only I was walking my dog. I spent the next four months chasing after Winifred de la Couer and Court Furor, their friends and their families, trying to document what happened to them.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?

What I always told my students and what my teachers always told me, that writing is re-writing. Not the first draft—that was so exciting, I bolted through it. The challenge was acknowledging my early readers’ feedback, then my editor’s, to expand scenes or cut and re-order others without changing the essential plot. I also set aside Treasure’s second draft for a few years and wrote several more books in the series before finally circling back around to revise it again.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?

What I learned by waiting, then rewriting the book several years later. Treasure is a historical romance, a late-Victorian love story, but by the time I’d finished the other books, I’d realized there were themes I wanted to bring forward in Treasure that had emerged and were important in the other stories. As I strove to flesh out Winifred and Court’s characters, the minor characters’ personalities and significance to the plot simply bloomed. I’ve always loved old books where the “quality” and the “common folk” interact, the gods and the mortals, the high and the low—the mingling enriches and changes everyone’s point of view.

4. What does the title mean?

It’s an allusion to verses in Matthew and Luke, though this is not a Christian romance novel. I don’t want a reader who enjoys that genre to be misled by the title or shocked and offended by some of the book’s contents. Court and his half-siblings grow up in the Old Nichol and learn to read at a slum school run by missionaries. All the major characters and several of the minor ones have a person or dream they cherish, rightly or wrongly. What they’re willing to risk to hold onto or to obtain their “treasure,” and how their lives collide and are transformed while they do so, is what the story is about.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?

All of these characters are fictional. You can believe that if you like. No, they’re fictional.

6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?

Love is the greatest power on earth. Wedded to Truth, it’s a force that transforms even the most hopeless lives.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?

Ah, I’m not going to tell because it’s a spoiler! It’s also related to the second half of my answer to your last question. I’m supposed to say the love scenes, but I also really enjoyed the boxing and horse races!

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

George Broughton-Caruthers, Winifred’s handsome neighbor, long-time friend, and rogue. He’s part of a love triangle or two. I didn’t want readers to simply write him off as a third wheel, an impediment to true love’s course, or a simplistic villain. There are several very bad boys in this book. He’s one of them! He’s also a very complicated man.

9. What are your immediate future plans?

I’m excited to promote Where Your Treasure Is and hope I’ll be able to share what I learn about the process with others. I also look forward to revising the second novel in the series, a late Edwardian, World War I historical romance, Time’s Promise. It brings back many of Treasure’s major characters and explores their children’s coming of age.

Author Bio:

author photoM. C. Bunn is a writer of Victorian romance and historical romance novels, a singer (in the indie rock band Mister Felix), and a songwriter. She holds an English degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master’s in English from North Carolina State University.

“I’ve always loved writing. It’s a joy to do what makes me happy and to share it.

“My father was a great story-teller. He read to us at the dinner table and passed on his love of history. He’d haul me out of bed in the middle of the night if there was a great old movie on the late show, and family trips always included visits to historic sites. His father was born in 1888, and I have Granddaddy’s letters to his bride-to-be in my dresser. I’m working on the story of Daddy’s first ancestor in America. It’s set in Jamestown, 1690. My mother’s grandmother was placed in an orphanage after the Civil War because her father died on the way home, so I always felt that connection to and had a curiosity about the past. Both of my parents read to me before I could walk. Daddy gave me Dickens, Twain, and Stevenson. Mama put the dictionary in my hands and let me watch I, Claudius and Shoulder to Shoulder when they first aired on Masterpiece Theatre. She told me I’d be a writer one day.”

Acting was another girlhood passion. “I wanted to play all the characters in the books I’d read, or in the stories I made up, like Dickens and Louisa May Alcott did. I also wanted to be an archaeologist because we knew one who worked on digs in Israel. There was never a time when I wasn’t making up a story, and it was always set ‘a long time ago.’ What I really wished for was the car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, so I could fly back in time and see what it was actually like for women in Victorian and Edwardian England.”

When she’s not writing, she loves reading long old books. “I love Anthony Trollope’s series, and Anna Karenina. Of more recent vintage, I really enjoyed The Forsyte Saga and The Raj Quartet.”

Her idea of a well-appointed room includes multiple bookshelves, a full pot of coffee, and a place to lie down and read. To feed her soul, she takes a walk or makes music with friends. “I try to remember to look up at the sky and take some time each day to be thankful.”

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and their dog. Where Your Treasure Is is her first published novel.

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Giveaway

M. C. Bunn will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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