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Devil’s Run by Beverley Oakley On Tour #MFRWAuthor

Devil’s Run 
Scandalous Miss Brightwells series

By Beverley Oakley


Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here

BLURB: 
A rigged horserace and a marriage offer riding on the outcome. When Miss Eliza Montrose unexpectedly becomes legal owner of the horse tipped to win the East Anglia Cup, her future is finally in her hands – but at what cost?

 

George Bramley, nephew to the Earl of Quamby, will wager anything. Even his future bride.

Miss Eliza Montrose will accept any wager to be reunited with the child she was forced to relinquish after an indiscretion — even if it means marrying a man she does not love.

But with her heart suddenly engaged by handsome, charming Rufus Patmore who has just bought a horse from her betrothed George Bramley in whose household her son lives as a pauper child, the outcome of the wager is suddenly fraught with peril.

**This is book 3 in the Scandalous Miss Brightwells series, though it can be read as a stand-alone.
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Excerpt: 

Chapter One
“And there’s nothing else you’d like, my dear? No?” Straightening after receiving a polite rebuff, George Bramley found it an effort to keep the syrup in his tone. His bride-to-be had not even looked at him as she’d declined the piece of marchpane he’d been certain would win him at least a smile.
Hovering at her side, he weighed up the advantages of a gentle rebuke, then decided against it. Until yesterday, he’d thought her quiet demeanour suggested a charmingly pliant nature. Now he was not so sure. In fact, suddenly, he was not sure of anything.
“A glass of lemonade, perhaps, my angel? Or a gentle stroll?”
“I would prefer to be left alone.” Miss Montrose waved a languid hand in his general direction, while she continued to gaze at the still lake beside which their picnic party had situated itself.
The languid arm-wave had not even been accompanied by a demure thank you as subtle acknowledgement of her gratitude that not only had Mr Bramley, heir to a viscountcy, stepped in to rescue Miss Eliza Montrose from impoverishment, he was prepared to treat her publicly as if she were as fine a catch as he could have made.
A soft titter brought his head round sharply, but the ladies behind him, bent over the latest Ackerman’s Repository, appeared occupied with their own gossip as they lounged on cushions beneath the canopy that had been erected to protect them from the sun.
Awkwardly, he looked for occupation as he continued to eye his intended with a mixture of irritation and desire—both lustful desire, and the desire to put her in her place.
The idea of the latter made him harden. She was beautiful, this quiet, apparently retiring, young woman who said so little, but whose eyes spoke such volumes. The afternoon sun glinted on her honey-gold hair and imbued her porcelain skin with a warm glow. The skin that he could see, at any rate.
He pushed back his shoulders. On their wedding night in six weeks, when he’d at last take possession of her, he’d rip that modesty to shreds. The skin she was so at pains to hide would be his, not only to see, but to caress and taste. When she was his wife, the beautiful, distant Miss Eliza Montrose would no longer get away with paying George Bramley so little attention. No, he’d have her screaming and writhing at his command. He would make her like the things he did to her; or at least, show him she did if she enjoyed harmony as much as she appeared to. None of this languid reclining like a half-drugged princess in his presence. He’d keep her on her toes, ready to leap to his bidding at the sound of his footstep. She’d learn to be grateful.
Feeling ignored and superfluous, he turned to his uncle’s detestable wife, Lady Quamby, and said with a smile, “Perhaps you and Miss Montrose would like to accompany me to the turret. Since you appear to have enjoyed this new novel, Northanger Abbey, so much, you might be interested to know there is an excellent view of the ruined monastery not far from here.”
He was just priding himself on being so attuned to the feminine inclination for pleasure, when Lady Quamby half turned and sent him a desultory smile. “Oh, I think Miss Eliza looks perfectly comfortable, and Fanny and I are having such a lovely little coze.” As if imitating Miss Montrose, she waved a languid hand in his general direction. “Why don’t you take Mr Patmore off to see it? The two of you can tell us all about it when you return.”
The fact that Miss Montrose didn’t deign to even speak for herself, much less glance in his direction, sent the blood surging to Bramley’s brain. By God, when he was married to Eliza Montrose, the limpid look of love so lacking now would be pasted onto her face every time he crossed her line of vision. She’d soon learn what was good for her.
He inclined his head, hiding his fury, and was on the point of leaving when Lady Quamby’s sister, Fanny —for he’d be damned if he’d accord the little strumpet the title of Lady Fenton—leapt up from her chair. She’d been poring over the latest fashions, but now she smiled brightly up at him.
“I’ll come with you, Cousin George. We’ll have an excellent view of the  children learning to row from the battlements. I told Nanny Brown she could take them in the two boats if they’d been good.”
Bramley stared down her liveliness. In fact, he was about to give up the idea of going up to the battlements altogether when his other guest, Rufus Patmore, suddenly rose and joined Fanny’s side with a late and unexpected show of enthusiasm.
“Capital idea!” declared Rufus.
George flashed them both a dispassionate look. He’d chosen to invite his betrothed, Miss Montrose—whose chaperone was currently tucked up in the green bed chamber nursing a head cold—to be his guest at his uncle’s estate, Quamby House, after receiving intelligence that Ladies Quamby and Fenton would be safely in London with their husbands and children. Instead, the brazen Brightwell sisters—as they’d infamously been called when he’d first made their acquaintance—had altered their plans, and were now in dogged attendance, reminding him as they always had, of some awful tenacious climbing plant, determined to find a foothold wherever they could in order to rise in the world.
Rufus, a last-minute addition and acquaintance from his club, Boodles, was here because he’d just purchased a horse from Bramley the night before. Now, Rufus was gazing at Lady Fenton, with the same dewy-eyed fondness George was used to seeing reflected in the eye of his uncle, the Earl of Quamby, who called the Brightwell sisters his precious rose-buds. To George, they were common dandelions! And now they had overridden Quamby House, the rambling Queen Anne manor house and estate that would have passed to George the moment his uncle quit this mortal coil, were it not for the snotty-nosed infant Lady Quamby had borne far too early in her marriage to George’s uncle.
George shook his head. He’d changed his mind. Only, there was Rufus striding across the lawn, skirting the lake with Fanny at his side, and George didn’t want to be seen as petulant for having offered the suggestion in the first place. Or have his snubbed and ignored status so much on parade, since the two remaining ladies—Miss Montrose and Lady Quamby—had their heads bent together in deep discussion, with no apparent interest in seeking his company.
By God, he thought, clenching his fists as he set off after them at a brisk trot, they’d all rue the day they showed George Bramley so little respect.
~*~*~*~*~*~
Author Info: 

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.
Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.
Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.
Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.
You can get in contact with Beverley at:
 

Beverly Oakley On Tour ~ #Giveaway #MFRWAuthor

The Duchess and the Highwayman
By Beverley Oakley

Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate and an ebook The Mysterious Governess.to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here
BLURB: 

A duchess disguised as a lady’s maid; a gentleman parading as a highwayman.
She’s on the run from a murderer, he’s in pursuit of one…

In a remote Norfolk manor, Phoebe, Lady Cavanaugh is wrongfully accused by her servants of her brutal husband’s murder.

There’s little sympathy in the district for the duchess who’s taken a lover and made clear she despised her husband. The local magistrate has also vowed revenge since Lady Cavanaugh rebuffed his advances.

When Phoebe is discovered in the forest wearing only a chemise stained with the blood of her murdered husband, she persuades the noble ‘highwayman’ who rescues her that she is Lady Cavanaugh’s maidservant.
Hugh Redding has his own reasons for hunting down the man who would have Phoebe tried and hanged for murder. He plans to turn ‘the maidservant with aspirations above her station’ into the ‘lady’ who might testify against the very villain who would see Phoebe dead.

But despite the fierce attraction between Phoebe and the ‘highwayman’, Phoebe is not in a position to admit she’s the ‘murderous duchess’ hunted across the land.

Seizing an opportunity to strike at the social and financial standing of the man who has profited by her distress, Phoebe is drawn into a dangerous intrigue.

But when disaster strikes, she fears Hugh will lack the sympathy or understanding of her unusual predicament to even want to save her a second time.

Buy Links: 
Amazon | All other buy links

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Excerpt:

“The doctor doubts Ulrick will make Michelmas.” The lazy drawl of her husband’s cousin punctuated the silence as Phoebe resumed her position in an armchair by the fire.
Wentworth raised his cut glass tumbler to the light as he sighed in appreciation of Ulrick’s best brandy. He took a sip and smacked his lips, meeting Phoebe’s eye across her sleeping husband whom she’d made more comfortable in his large leather armchair with the tasselled cushion Phoebe had embroidered to support his neck.
The odious creature could not help but interpret Phoebe’s critical expression correctly, but there was no defensiveness in his tone as he chuckled. “The old bastard can’t enjoy his riches when he’s gone.” His teeth were white; sharp and wolfish beneath his black moustache and Phoebe looked away, pretending concentration on her handiwork while her stomach clenched with revulsion and fear. She would not dignify Wentworth’s grasping remarks with a response.
For a few minutes Ulrick’s wheezing, rattling cough and the hiss of the fire broke the silence. The harsh caw of a raven in the darkness made Phoebe jump but she kept her fingers busy with her embroidery and her head averted from Wentworth’s hard stare.
Tonight? Would Wentworth insist on claiming her tonight, with Ulrick so very ill and likely to need her?
Wentworth drained his glass, placing the empty vessel clumsily upon the low table beside him. Empty vessel. It’s what she’d always been made to feel as Ulrick’s wife. “Ulrick was always mean with his liquor. A good supply for his heir, then, eh, Phoebe?” Ulrick’s Heir. Wentworth imbued the word with the disgust he’d always felt for the fact that Wentworth was not Ulrick’s heir. It was hardly better than the reproach that had always hardened Ulrick’s tone in the days he could speak and implied that Phoebe had failed in providing him with a son to continue the family line.
Phoebe glanced up and saw Wentworth’s thin lips were pursed, observing fleetingly that he looked like a malevolent raven, his dark eyes glittering in the face she’d once thought so handsome. She tried not to show her fear.
“How long do you suppose it’ll take my brother to drink the lot once he inherits?” There it was. The bitterness he didn’t bother to hide.
“Hush, Wentworth. You’ll wake Ulrick.” Phoebe cast the sleeping invalid a nervous look.
“The doctor opines that our poorly Lord Cavanaugh will not last three months.” Wentworth didn’t trouble to lower his voice. “My guess is he’ll be gone long before Michealmas.”
Phoebe could bear it no longer. She dropped her handiwork into her lap and sent her husband’s regular and increasingly unwelcome guest an imploring look. “Please, Wentworth. He’s not dead yet. Have the good grace to keep such thoughts to yourself. What if he hears you?”
Wentworth gave a short laugh. “What do I have to lose by my graveyard talk? It’s not as if Ulrick’s in any position to deny me what my imbecile brothers already have simply by virtue of them being alive.”
How many times had she heard the same complaints? Phoebe forced aside her weary frustration and rose. “I’m going to bed.”

~*~*~*~*~*~
Author Info: 

 

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.
Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.
Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.
Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.
You can get in contact with Beverley at:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Guest ~ Ginger Simpson

We’re excited to welcome Ginger Simpson to our pages today to tell us more about her special blend of historical and romantic fiction. 

Genres – What two do you think mix together best?

This is an easy question for me. I have to say historical and romance, especially if the setting is in the old west. For those who know my work, it’s quite apparent from my backlist that my favorite genre is western historical romance. In fact, my latest release, Odessa, adds to my collection and makes my sixth book published in the genre. Although I am a confessed genre-hopper, I always seem to migrate back to what I love and feel comfortable writing.

Here’s a blurb and excerpt from Odessa. I hope you agree that I can blend the genres together naturally and in an entertaining manner:

The wagon carrying Odessa Clay and her father overturns, killing him. Alone and scared in the middle of the desert, she faces finding her way to Phoenix and Aunt Susan. Food and water run out, and Odessa is near death when Zach Johnson finds her. Squinting up into his tanned and handsome face, Dessie believes she’s died and gone to heaven.

Would-be-outlaw, Zach Johnson finds an unconscious woman alone in the middle of nowhere. Where did she come from? First glance: she appears young, but the curves beneath the dusty gingham say otherwise. He didn’t plan to become someone’s hero, but how can he leave her stranded?

Will the promise of Odessa’s sweet lips lure Zach from the secret mission that has his gut twisted into a knot? His father’s ranch isn’t the only thing at stake—now it’s his heart.

Excerpt:

Bright sunlight and growing heat woke Odessa. She bolted upright, her heartbeat roaring in her ears. How could morning be here already?

A pain seared along her spine when she moved, and her neck refused to turn. Had she slept in the same position all night and fused all her muscles into a knot? A bit of discomfort was a small price to pay to wake up safe and alive. If a coyote had howled or a snake slithered across her, she’d not been aware of it.

She stretched her arms over her head, shrugged her shoulders and yawned. Her grandmother had always complained about ague and rheumatism. Was this how she’d felt? Despite Odessa’s aching body, a ray of hope broke through her despair, if only for a fleeting moment. She smiled and found hope. Prayer held power; she’d lived to see another day.

After finishing the last biscuit and a bit of salted pork, Odessa took a sip of water. She gathered her belongings inside the blanket, optimistic once again. Even with her stiffened joints and muscles, she’d had a good night’s rest and felt eager to get started before the sun rose higher. After a brief squat behind the rock, she arranged her hair back under Papa’s hat and set off, following a trail that twisted and turned then disappeared from sight. She hadn’t removed her shoes and socks for days for fear she wouldn’t get them back on again. Each step reminded her how far she’d come.

The heat grew fierce. Odessa’s dress clung to her like bark on the old oak tree next to her house—or what used to be her house. Papa sold the home to the bank for very little profit. His desire to leave Tucson was more important than money.

Money! She gasped. She’d left the small amount Papa had packed in his valise. The thought never occurred to her before now. Still, there was no way she’d backtrack to get it. Let whoever found her father reap the reward. Hopefully, they’d earn the few bucks by seeing to his remains. Guilt still gnawed at her for leaving him. She pushed onward, trying to think only of Aunt Susan’s smiling face and welcoming arms.

Odessa’s legs turned leaden. Salty sweat dripped from her brow into her eye and burned like blazes. She knuckled at her closed lid and grimaced. Instead of her usual sip, she whipped the canteen up to her mouth and took a long draw. She felt faint and hoped the water would wash away the feeling.

Ahead, everything blurred but not from rising heat waves. This was different. Dizziness clawed at her, making her unstable on her feet. Her head throbbed, and her neck sagged to her chest like a melting candle. The ground zigzagged beneath her gaze then rose to meet her. Helpless in a heap, her fingers stretched across the gritty dirt, searching for her rifle. She fought against the darkness that sucked her into an endless hole.

Zach Johnson kept his horse at a steady pace along the rutted trail leading towards Charleston. He’d left Phoenix before sunup yesterday. Swiping a sleeve across his sweaty brow, he arched his back away from the saddle cantle. Too much time had passed since he’d made a long trip by horseback.

With no end to the cactus and scrub brush, his mind whirred. Was he a fool getting involved with the outlaws? He had played poker with a friend of Pete Spence, a known fugitive from Texas, when the man passed through Phoenix and stopped at the saloon. He seemed a nice enough fellow, but too much corn whiskey made Zach loose-lipped about needing money to keep the bank from reclaiming his father’s ranch. By day’s end, Zach lost what little money he had in the game, and driven by desperation, accepted the offer to join Pete and his cohorts in a holdup.

The sun raged like a fire in a baker’s oven. Squiggly lines drifted upwards from dirt hardened by lack of rain, then dissipated into the sky. Zach squinted at a strange-looking dot up the trail and shook his head. People frequently lost their belongings that way. Whatever lay in the road most likely had little or no value. He pulled his canteen up and took a swig.

The spot in the road grew larger as he neared. The image resembled a heap of clothing until he closed the distance and realized he’d found a person. He widened his eyes. The red and white gingham wasn’t just discarded rags. The material was a dress worn by a woman—and a very young one it appeared. After reining in his horse, he dismounted and yanked his canteen from the saddle horn.

Zach knelt and cradled her head in the crook of his arm, then removed her oversized hat. Blonde hair spilled out and dusted the ground as he fanned her. She still had color in her face, but didn’t move. He bent and put his head to her chest and listened. Her heart beat slow and steady. Straightening, he released a pent up breath. She was alive. His gaze traveled the length of her.

Scuffed, dusty boots poked out from the tattered hem of her dress and the hands at her sides bore scrapes and cuts. Dirt stained the once-white cuffs at her wrists and smudged her cheeks. A rifle lay close by, along with a half-filled canteen, judging from its weight. Where had she come from? He scanned around for a hint but saw nothing but endless desert.

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I’d like to thank my host for having me here today, and I invite you to visit my blogs, Dishin’ It Out and Cowboy Kisses. You can also find all my work on my website. Odessa is available in print and download, as are most of my offerings. You can find them all on Amazon.

Spice Up Your Life with Ginger

Ginger Simpson

http://www.gingersimpson.com

http://mizging.blogspot.com

http://cowboykisses.blogspot.com

 
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