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Election Day Tomorrow! Escape the chaos and vote for your favorite Rose Gordon Hero–

Election Day is tomorrow! Escape the chaos and vote for your favorite Rose Gordon Hero–

Online of course, not really on your ballot.

So in the spirit of “I cannot handle anymore political turmoil and arguing”, I will be hosting my own list of measures to vote on up on Facebook tomorrow. I am not holding a totally fair vote because I don’t plan to post all the questions here tonight–you’ll have to visit my Facebook Page to vote on all the measures. (And of course there will be plenty of prizes to go around.)

The big question, however, is…Who at the end of the night will be crowned the most beloved Rose Gordon. This hero will get special privileges (don’t they all already??) for the next four years and of course be crowned the King of Rose Gordon’s Heroes at the end of the night.

Now of course with so many candidates, it’s only right to hold a small debate so without further ado, I have brought them all here to give a short speech about why THEY deserve such an honor…

[I should warn you that much like the other debates we’ve all witnessed this year, most of the candidates do NOT stay on topic and interrupt each other often…Be warned.]

Gentlemen, in three sentences, or less, could you please tell us why YOU should hold the coveted spot of Most Beloved Rose Gordon Hero for the next four years. We shall go in order of appearance, Andrew Black, Earl of Townson, we shall begin with you.

BENJAMIN COLLINS, DUKE OF GATEWAY: Pardon me, Rose, but actually I appeared before Townson. *grins wildly and folds his arms across his puffed out chest* And in his own book no less…

That will be enough of that.

ANDREW: Yes, we all remember that profound moment, you made the book start with a bang…or should I say a slap heard around the world?

Enough! You two are starting to remind me of real life too much and I do wield the power to remove you both from the running. Now, we shall begin—in the order of heroes. Andrew, you’re your first.

ANDREW—HERO FROM INTENTIONS OF THE EARL: As Rose’s first hero, I should think the honor belongs to me. Not only as the first am I the one she obviously used up her best traits and dialogue with, but I am also the one whose book has been read most, therefore I am most well known.

GATEWAY: *snorts*

shoots a sharp look at Gateway

GATEWAY: *throws hands up into the air* I’m entitled to my own opinion on that. His book might have been downloaded more, but have you seen those reviews?

No and I don’t care to. Paul, your turn.

PAUL—HERO FROM LIBERTY FOR PAUL: I was saddled with Liberty, need I say more?

*sighs* If you didn’t fall madly in love with her by the end, I’d say the honor is yours by default, but…

PAUL: *grins* All right, I think I should be the favorite because A. I got Liberty to stop reading—and quoting—books on propriety; B. I also beat her at her own game; and C. I had my clothes stolen while in the tub, D. beans—that were supposed to be my head—stabbed to an oblivion AND E. am ninety percent sure that my mother-in-law glimpsed me naked. Franky, I’m a damn shoo-in.

Ahem, well, I’m not sure what to say to that. Next?

GATEWAY—HERO FROM TO WIN HIS WAYWARD WIFE: No, Paul, I’m the shoo-in. I’ve been Rose’s most loved hero from the start.

ANDREW: Yes, I recall everyone rooting for you all during my romance with Brooke. NOT!

Boys.

GATEWAY: As I said, I’ve always been the favorite. Have any of you ever peeked in Rose’s inbox? No? It’s me the young girls write about and tell tales of their swooning and say if Arid Alex over there could fashion a time machine, they’d travel–

SIR WALLACE BENEDICT: I believe you’ve spoken more than three sentences.

*all eyes swing to Wallace who is adjusting his cravat*

GATEWAY: Sorry, chap, I was trying to stop at a prime number.

And I have a feeling you aren’t done yet… Nonetheless, you are for now. Alex?

ALEX BANKS—HERO FROM HER SUDDEN GROOM: If I was playing the pity card like Paul, I’d remind everyone I have the nickname of Arid Alex and was once betrothed to Lady Olivia. *shudders* However, I shall instead remind you all of my intellectual pursuits of a regular subscription to Prominent and Avant-Garde Horticulture, being an avid student of chess, having been entrusted to be the guardian of several young ladies…and as Gateway so nicely pointed out, if anyone was capable of creating a time machine, I’m your hero. Therefore, most beloved hero…again, I’m your hero.

GATEWAY: Are we supposed to applaud now?

ANDREW:I don’t know, but his speech is more worthy of applause than yours.

I won’t warn you two again. One more outburst and you’ll be excused from the room.

GATEWAY: Are you threatening voter fraud?

No! You’ll still be in the running, I can’t delete you from the ballot at this late date, but I will banish you from the room so you won’t be able to have another word. Now, let’s hear from Marcus.

MARCUS, LORD SINCLAIR—HERO FROM HER RELUCTANT GROOM: Hands down, I think everyone would agree I am the most honorable of all of your heroes. Even the ones who are given such an honor in their book title— *casts his grey eyes to where Sebastian, Giles and Simon, the three heroes from the Gentlemen of Honor Series, are seated* —I had a lovely young woman staying in my house unchaperoned for quite a while and not a whisper of scandal befell either of us. Nor was she in any way unmarriagable when she left.

PATRICK—HERO FROM HER SECONDHAND GROOM: *snorts* Sir Wallace might disagree with that. She wasn’t very interested in marrying him after you’d given her a lesson in male anatomy and base desires courtesy of a little book in your library.

MARCUS: I’d say all four of our wives— *gestures to Alex, Patrick, Sir Wallace and himself* —benefited in some way from Lady Bird’s Ladybird Memoir.

SIR WALLACE: *clearing his throat, and whispering* I can’t complain too much about that book, Patrick.

MARCUS: *stretches legs out in front of himself, crosses ankles* See? Emma’s gift to Edwina was the perfect apology.

ALEX: Your wife gave that…that…filth to my sister?!

GATEWAY: *cackles* Sir Wallace, you rascal! *lets out a low whistle and shakes his head* I suppose it’s true what they say, it’s always the quiet ones who are the biggest scoundrels. *stands and claps Sir Wallace on the shoulder* Since Rose is gesturing for me to get my arse out, I will go, but Sir Wallace, I’d be honored if you’d take my seat over in the Scandalous Series section. I do believe you having a naughty book has entitled you to a seat with the other debauchers. *bows* I shall take my leave now, I had no idea I was in such depraved company.

ALEX: *Scrubs hands over his face.* The image that is now in my head isn’t going away.

MARCUS: You’ll get over it. I do recall spotting a copy of it in your library. Need I remind you that you are married to my cousin?

ALEX: Point taken. Patrick, I think it’s your turn.

PATRICK “DRAKE”, LORD DRAKELY—HERO FROM HER SECONDHAND GROOM: I willingly admit that I made a few mistakes with Juliet, my heroine, but I’d like to think I redeemed myself during our trip to London. Also, if it weren’t for me, poor Simon over there would have never had his happily-ever-after. So in a way, I’m a HERO FROM two books.

ANDREW to ALEX: I think he’s been spending too much with Gateway, he’s getting a swell head.

ALEX back to ANDREW: That or with his wife and now he thinks he’s as good of a matchmaker as all those of her sex think they are.

PATRICK: I hate to tell you two weasels this, but Brooke and Caroline both think they’re some sort of skilled matchmakers, too.

All right, fellas, let’s stay on course. Sir Wallace?

SIR WALLACE BENEDICT—HERO FROM HER IMPERFECT GROOM: 1. Contrary to my book title, I am undeniably a perfectionist. 2. Unlike some of the others in this room, when scandal knocked on my door, I was ready to do the right thing. 3. Despite my love for being impeccably dressed and as proper as a straight pin as Rose put it, when love was on the line, I put my own wants aside and chased her down at all costs.

ALEX: Chased her down? No you scaled the side of my house and broke into her room.

SEBASTIAN—HERO FROM SECRETS OF A VISCOUNT: There is nothing wrong with that.

ALEX: There is when she didn’t invite him to do so.

SEBASTIAN: *face flushing, shrugs* Again, I don’t find anything wrong with it if he gets the girl in the end.

SIR WALLACE: I did. *pushes chest out* And an enlightening little treatise to boot.

ALEX: Agggghhhh.

Let’s move on to the heroes of the Brides Series. Edward?

EDWARD BANKS, LORD WATSON—HERO FROM HER CONTRACT BRIDE-: Oh? I get to enter the running, do I? I wasn’t sure if I’d get that honor since I’m the only one Rose killed off! I think that means I should forever be memorialized as the most beloved. Oh, is that too morbid? All right, I think ultimately I should be the most beloved hero because I’m the one responsible for building the stargazing gazebo that brought about at least two happily-ever-afters. If it weren’t for me being friends with the late Lord Sinclair, Alex wouldn’t have met Caroline—

ALEX: Or have been engaged to Lady Olivia.

EDWARD: Yes, as I mentioned before, I was lost in celebration that night. Believe me, there was a lot of celebrating. Joseph was finally free from having to visit Bea’s bed and the wine just kept flowing… *waves a hand through the air* Not to mention, I fixed things between Alex and Caro by reminding her that he’s a man. If it weren’t for me and Regina, Alex, Elijah, Henry and Edwina wouldn’t be here and I would have never been born and John wouldn’t have gone to America to meet his wife. And…finally, if it weren’t for me, Andrew wouldn’t have inherited such a beautiful painting.

ANDREW: Thank you. I’m still cherishing it.

JOHN BANKS—HERO FROM HIS YANKEE BRIDE: All right, Edward, we get that you’re making up for lost time of not getting any scenes in three of your four children’s books, but enough is enough. Besides, I know the true identity of that “artist”. Not to mention, you allowed your heroine to sink the Gallant

EDWARD: She looked so fetching as the boat went down, I’d have allowed her to sink a whole armada had I had one.

All right, gentlemen, we have a lot more to hear from–

EDWARD: No we don’t, I’m the most beloved. *grins* They need not even speak.

JOHN: Now who has been spending too much time with Gateway?

John, it’s you’re turn.

JOHN: As hero to Carolina I have faithfully done my duty and played countless games of charades. I stood up to her beastly parents and rescued her closest confidant. I endured being sewn into a bundling bag, being watched shamelessly on while bathing in the pond, had to bear witness to a dirty, old merkin lying in the street while eloping, and in the end, swept my girl away from her parent’s evil clutches and eventually brought her and my three daughters to London where all of Rose’s stories began.

EDWARD: You’re rather smug, aren’t you, Trouble?

JOHN: *shrugs* The boot fits.

All right you two, nearly two hundred and fifty years later and you two are squabbling like little boys.

EDWARD: We’re brother’s, that’s what we’re supposed to do.

And now, for another set of Banks Brothers—Elijah?

ELIJAH BANKS—HERO FROM HIS JILTED BRIDE: *squares shoulders and slowly looks around the room* Fellas, you can all go home. This victory is mine. You all might think you rescued your heroines, but I—*points at chest*–I did. I not only saved her from being married to a scheming, lying, reprobate who likely would have done unmentionable things to her person, but I did it by shimmying her through a church window in her wedding gown, no less. *chuckles* And no more, either.

HENRY BANKS—ELIJAH’S TWIN AND HERO FROM HIS BROTHER’S BRIDE: What Elijah neglected to mention was said man hadn’t even shown up yet. So how exactly he spared her such a life… *shakes head* Can anyone truly be certain?

ELIJAH: Right you are, Henry. I was also rescuing her from the humiliation of being jilted. I thought that was implied by the title. And just because he hadn’t shown up yet that day, didn’t mean he didn’t still have plans for her.

HENRY: That’s true, however, had you not married her and just brought her to safety, you’d have been able to fulfill an earlier promise you’d made.

ELIJAH: Oh, you mean I’d have married Laura—YOUR wife? *cocks head to the side* If what I spied in the garden is any indication, I think you ought to be thanking me.

HENRY: Indeed.

ELIJAH: My thanks?

HENRY: *stares at him* I’ll refrain from singing carols at Michaelmas this year.

ELIJAH: That’s even better.

Throws hand up. Henry, it’s your turn.

HENRY: *rubs chin* As I just mentioned I did marry the young lady Elijah had promised marriage to. And I don’t regret it. I did first try to find her another suitable husband because what else can you do when a woman you barely knows shows up on your front door stoop and demands marriage? If rescuing heroines is the key to winning, I should say that I rescued mine from herself when she was spitting out phrases in French that she didn’t know the meaning of. And finally, I do believe, I exercised perfect self-control in the carriage while taking my—not my brother’s *scowls*—bride to Scotland.

ELIJAH: And on the way back?

HENRY: Is none of your damn business.

EDWARD: That’s my boy.

JOHN: Only you would be proud.

EDWARD: Had your wife produced a boy, you’d understand. As it is your girls—

JOHN: Are the most scandalous sisters to ever step foot in London, yes, I know.

EDWARD: I was going ot say saints, but your definition works, too.

All right, we need to–

GATEWAY: *pokes his head in the room* Are you hens still clucking? You all know I won this competition before it even started.

ANDREW: Only if you’ve been out there rigging the votes… *arches eyebrow*

MARCUS: Besides, I think you’d do well to spend a little more time around Alex and allow him to explain to you the difference between hens and roosters.

GATEWAY: I can borrow Sir Wallace’s naughty book for that, I’m sure.

Gateway, come join us again. Apparently, without you making inane and unsolicited comments everyone else feels they need to.

GATEWAY–*lumbers in and falls into a vacant chair* Ah, to be the scapegoat.

Now, let’s switch gears and hear from our American heroes—Wes, are you ready?

CAPTAIN WES TUCKER—HERO FROM THE OFFICER AND THE BOSTONER: About as ready as I was for a spirited and slightly angry young lady to come parading into my life, throwing rocks and making impossible demands.

2ND LIEUTENANT JACK—HERO FROM THE OFFICER AND THE SOUTHERNER: Sounds to me like you’re complaining.

CAPTAIN GRAY—HERO FROM THE OFFICER AND THE TRAVELER: Which you certainly weren’t doing when she came. I do believe you went around whistling a merry little tune as you packed your things and strutted up to your new bedchamber in the married officers wing of the barracks.

WES: Indeed I was. But keep in mind, I managed to keep Allison safe from harm of the other men and from herself with a sewing needle. I used her excellent throw to all of our advantage and taught her how to swing a bat—she can now best even the best in rounders.

JACK: Yes, that all sounds so exciting, lest we forget your book isn’t a shoot’em up.

GRAY: No, that was saved for your book. Would you care to share with everyone just exactly what went on at the shooting range that day?

JACK: That was a private moment between Ella and me.

*laughter from around the room.*

EDWARD: Good for you, young man.

Jack, why should you be most beloved hero?

JACK: I certainly went through some of the worst—sent off for a mail-order bride and received a young lady who was angry with me from the start. *face reddens* For which I do take full responsibility. Nearly lost my heroine to a spider. Had to ride a horse with a man who wore little more than an eyepatch over his…unmentionables, sat in the tent of a naked and half-crazed medicine man—and that was only the first half of my tale. As Gray mentioned, I taught my girl how to shoot…*face turns crimson and coughing ensues* and gave her another sort of education as well.

GRAY: *voice dripping with sarcasm* And now, I’ll never be able to shoot at the range again without that thought. Thank you.

JACK: *grins* You’re welcome.

GATEWAY: Would you like me to ruin a few places in England for you?

EVERYONE: NO!

GATEWAY: *chuckles* Pray continue.

Gray, you’re turn.

GRAY: I do believe I am the most beloved. I had a rekindled romance with a woman I was once forbidden to talk to and because I kissed her–

JACK: Should you remind everyone why you were kissing her?

GRAY: *ignoring Jack, continues*–we were married and I inherited a dragon for a father-in-law.

JACK: *snorts* I have the same father-in-law!

WES: Yes, and thanks to the two of you, he’s now the general at our fort.

JACK: It’s not my fault. I didn’t know Ella’s father was a grumpy old general when I started writing to her. Hell, even Gray didn’t recognize Ella when she first came.

GRAY: And if I had, would you have sent her back?

JACK: Well, no.

GRAY: Then it seems you should stop your complaining about the old dragon.

WES: And you should, too. You both chose to be connected to him. I did not.

GRAY: As I said, if Jack had known any more about Ella’s identity it could have been avoided.

WES: Yes, but then you wouldn’t have had your wife.

GRAY: No, I wouldn’t have–*eyes crinkle and a broad grin takes his lips* and dealing with her cantankerous father is a small price to pay to have her.

Gray, is that all you have to say?

GRAY: No, I have plenty to say if these two would shut up for two minutes. I married a woman who had no reservations in her dislike for me. As has been mentioned, her father didn’t like me either. But even so, she managed to win me over and I daresay, I won both of them over, too.

JACK: That’s the best you could come up with?

GRAY: Yep, I’m Michaela’s all-time favorite hero. I don’t need to be anyone else’s.

*silence fills the room…until broken by none other than GATEWAY* Ah, spoken like a men letting his privates doing the thinking for him—and not the hundred men you command.

GRAY: *shrugs* Her opinion is the only one I value.

That’s very sweet, so then should we stop this competition now and let you all get back to your respective heroines?

SEBASTIAN GENTRY, LORD BELGRAVE—HERO FROM SECRETS OF A VISCOUNT: Hell no. I did not break into the wrong sister’s bedroom and hie my worst nightmare off to Scotland, marry her, lie to her, diligently try to find her another husband while secretly longing for her and praying she wouldn’t wind up with Stoic Simon just to give up now. I love Belle more than life itself, but by golly, I’m the most beloved hero—I’ve even won an award.

Your book isn’t the only one to be nominated for an award, Sebastian, (gracious this man needs to be taken down a peg), Patrick, Edward and John have been finalists, too.

SEBASTIAN: Ah, but they all came in second. I won. And a reader’s choice, nomination style entry no less.

EDWARD: Not true. I won some something or other once, too.

SEBASTIAN: Nobody seems to remember that. Not even the contest officials when it was time to publicly reveal the winners. But me? Oh, they made up this huge poster of my book. The thing was so big, Rose couldn’t get it back home from the conference. A local friend—and saint—kept it at her house for almost two and a half years until a mutual friend happened to be driving across the US and brought it to Rose. See, it’s right here!

soav-award-banner
Exhibit A

GATEWAY: I think I’ve found my match for most conceited.

SEBASTIAN: Exactly, the Gateway Era is over and the Sebastian Era has begun.

SIMON APPLETON—HERO FROM PASSIONS OF A GENTLEMAN: I still can’t believe Isabelle chose this for herself.

HENRY: Ha, if awards were given out for which hero made Rose bang her head against the desk most while writing their book, Elijah would win handidly.

SEBASTIAN: And Simon would win for most re-starts.

JACK: Gray would be a close second for that one.

Hey now! Stop airing MY dirty laundry. Giles, are you ready?

GILES GODDARD—HERO FROM DESIRES OF A BARON: I don’t need this award. I married Lucy a woman who loves me no matter what I say and do. With Lucy came Seth. The boy asks me uncomfortable questions about the origins of babies, when unsightly hair will appear, and now calls me Papa. I already have my reward.

SIMON: And don’t forget a brother.

GILES: How could I? You’re the reason I was questioned about the appearance of body hair.

SIMON: And the reason you met Lucy.

GILES: Yes, it was because of you we met, but you certainly didn’t have any intentions of backing down.

SIMON: I’d met her first.

GILES: And it was obvious that she didn’t return your interest. At least it was obvious when I read the book—living it was a different matter.

All right—again, more bickering brothers! Simon, you’ll have your turn in a bit–

SIMON: Of course I will. I already had to wait two years to get my book, why not wait longer to have my turn to speak.

In order of heroes, I think Gareth is next.

GARETH, LORD WORTHE—HERO FROM THE PERFECT LADY WORTHE: As many of the others have said, I already feel like I’ve won because I was blessed to have such a wonderful heroine to spend the rest of this life with. But…since Rose is twisting our arms for these speeches, I will say that I am indeed gentlemanly and clever. I was the HERO FROM her first novella who apparently knows exactly how much is in my bank account and takes abbreviated naps throughout the day. Not to mention, I married my best friend’s younger sister against his wishes, that’s pretty damn brazen and heroic, if you ask me.

GATEWAY: Twisted your arm? Hmmph.

Aaron, your turn.

AARON LENTZ, HERO FROM MISTLETOE & MICHAELMAS: I had to endure a Christmastide stay with the straightforward Duke of Danby. The man is so obsessed with matchmaking, I went to his house as part of my duty as a vicar and less than a fortnight later I was in need of one myself. Also, for the record, it should be mentioned, my name wasn’t always Aaron. I was given that name the afternoon the book was submitted because another story in the anthology had a hero with the same name. How is that for enduring?

JOHN: I wondered how you ended up with what was originally my name.

I confess, I confess! Aaron is telling the truth. His name was different when I wrote the book and I had to change it. John is also correct—his name originally was Aaron. But when I was typing Aaron, my fingers were moving so fast I’d capitalize both As. Plus, Intentions of the Earl didn’t need anyone else with an “A” name. Now, let’s move onto our next hero: Joel.

JOEL CUNNINGHAM—HERO FROM JESSE: BRIDE OF SOUTH CAROLINA: What can I say? I was commissioned to bring the girl I’d once loved more than life itself one hundred miles in my wagon to a train depot so she could go off to the wilds of Montana and marry Mr. Perfect—which couldn’t have been too perfect or he wouldn’t have submitted an ad for a mail-order bride. I kept my hands to myself—most of the time, my trousers buttoned up—a blasted hard thing to do at times and reined in my sarcasm–

No you did not!

JOEL: And no you did not have this book done by Oct. 26, 2015 like you were supposed and yet you still told everyone you had. If I remember right you were only 1,000 words in.

What has that to do with anything?

JOEL: Nothing, other than I was the perfect hero to write about. If I hadn’t been so easy to write about you wouldn’t have gotten this book done in under a week.

GATEWAY: Dang! Here I thought my book was the fastest at ten days.

JOEL: No, mine took less time but after meeting you today, I see why yours took so long. You’re a fountain of fodder.

GATEWAY: Thank you. I enjoy being complimented.

JOEL: Yes, and so does my wife. Who, I’ll have you all know I managed to win over on that trip despite fear of her father catching us, being robbed, having to sleep outside, meeting a deranged man who loves his junk more than Andrew and Gateway hate each other and more sarcastic remarks than have been shared here today.

You are correct, Joel. On all scores. James?

JAMES NORTH, EARL OF WYNN—HERO FROM THE WOOING GAME: I daresay this award is in the bag for me. Charlotte and I had a nasty first start. Blooming humiliating all the way around if I dare say. However, I managed to win her—even woo her—and all by sending her anonymous letters of admiration, a feat not even the notorious Banks men—or heroes of the Banks women–could pull off.

GARETH: The first missive you sent her, wasn’t so anonymous….or charming.

JAMES: Shhh! I made a mistake. You’ve made one I’m sure.

GARETH: Never.

SIMON: Is it my turn yet? Have I waited long enough?

Yes, Simon, you can go now.

SEBASTIAN: I don’t know why you’re bothering to, I’m sure everyone has already decided.

GATEWAY: Yes, they only needed to hear the first three.

ANDREW: Nope. Just the first one.

SIMON: Well, aren’t you both rather cocksure? Haven’t you ever heard of “saving the best for last”? My book was “in the works” for two blasted YEARS. Rose received emails inquiring when it was coming out. People asking why they couldn’t find it. She even received a very nasty email about tying her to a chair and making her write it. I daresay, if the emails are to be believed, I would consider this contest already over. Name me the winner and hand me my crown.

SEBASTIAN: Just because they asked about you and demanded she write your book doesn’t mean they liked it. Heck, if sales reports are any indication, I’d honestly say your book is the least read book Rose has written!

SIMON: That’s because everyone read your book and hated you so much they didn’t want to risk reading the others in the series for fear of encountering you again.

SEBASTIAN: Again, may I point your direction to Exhibit A?

soav-award-banner

All righty then, I think we’re done.

GATEWAY: No closing remarks?

No, you’ve all said more than enough already. All right ladies, you’ve heard what they have to say and tomorrow—on National Election Day—you can cast your vote for your favorite Rose Gordon Hero on Facebook. Please read over this as many times as you feel are necessary and share with your friends who might like to vote.

From just outside the window of my living room where everyone had gathered…GABRIEL ELLIS—FUTURE HERO FROM HIS PENNILESS BRIDE: Damn. She’s been receiving emails about the whereabouts of my story for four years—that’s before more than half of these fellas were heroes—I now have another four years to get my story, read all of their books to dig up the most gossip and I’ll be an easy win next go-around.

Ah, Gabriel, you forget…since your story hasn’t yet been written, you could be the most scandalous of them all!

GABRIEL: Marjorie! Let’s run away. Now!

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Gentlemen of Honor, Jessie: Bride of South Carolina, My readers rock!, Officer Series, Officer Series, Passions of a Gentleman, The Officer and the Bostoner, The Officer and the Southerner, The Officer and the Traveler

A few updates…

I’ve been quiet lately, so here are a few updates:

1. The Officer and the Bostoner is FREE at Amazon from now until Sunday.
Bostoner New 3
As most of you know, a few months ago when I published Jessie: Bride of South Carolina as part of the 50-States American Mail Order Bride series, I temporarily moved all three of my other westerns into Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program to help generate interest in both directions.

Long story short, that marketing plan was not a success, however, as part of this program, I’m able to make the book temporarily free! So, if you haven’t started the series yet, now’s a great time!

Here’s the Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DOFHHFO/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_8wkVwb1H548G9

 

2. Final days of books available in Kindle Unlimited.

All four of my westerns (The Officer and the Bostoner, The Officer and the Southerner, The Officer and the Traveler and Jessie: Bride of South Carolina) are currently enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program and will be for approximately 10 more days. If you are a subscriber and have been waiting to read one of my westerns or any of the 50 American Mail Order Bride books, you still have time to start!

And the reason I’ve been so…out of touch…

3. Passions of a Gentleman is further along than ever!

RG_PassionsofaGentlemanw.snWithout boring everyone with details, I started this book with a bang! Then crap…er…I mean, life happened. If my lack of blog posts has been any indication, it’s been a rough almost two years. I can’t possibly remember all the times I’ve been overwhelmed with my surroundings and I’ve given up on this story…then restarted. Over and over it’s happened. It’s been brutal. Poor Simon!

Anyway, about six months I finally put it aside for what I hoped wouldn’t be forever, but wasn’t willing to say that wasn’t true. About two weeks ago, I opened up the file and have started it again with all new ideas and motivation. I can happily report that all of my pervious attempts usually landed me somewhere between 3,000-10,000 words. The first time was the best, however, as I had 16,000 words (like I said, I started with a bang). I have currently surpassed that and I’m on a roll!! I am hoping *fingers crossed* that this book will be done and available in April! As soon as I get through the first draft and start edits, I’ll nail down a definite date and announce a pre-order.

These past few years haven’t been easy and I want to thank you all for sticking by me and your continued support. I couldn’t have asked for better readers!

~Rose

Banks Brothers' Brides Series, Behind the Scenes, Books, Gentlemen of Honor, Groom Series, Just for Fun, Officer Series, Scandalous Sisters Series

Reviving some old blog features–cast your vote!

I’m thinking to bring back some old blog days: Story Sample Sunday, Wicked Wednesday, Fun Fact Friday, Meme Monday, and maybe a few new ones. My question to all of you, what scenes would you like to see posted? It can be from any book I’ve written.

Please note, I don’t plan to feature ALL 19 of my books one week at a time again like I did last time, just kind of hit and miss on each of these features.

Also, if there are any other features I’ve done in the past you’d like to see come back, let me know!

 

Officer Series, Story Sample, The Officer and the Traveler

Story Sample Sunday ~ The Officer and the Traveler

I had this evil urge (unfortunately, I have to fight these from time to time) of posting merely the prologue on this book. Which, as you can guess isn’t very much “story” and it’s very short in nature. But because I’m a total sweetheart, cough, cough, I’ll post the entire first chapter. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Traveler FGOS

 

General Rigid’s looking for you,” Wes announced without ceremony a short time later as he came into Gray’s room without so much as a knock.

Gray shrugged. General Rigid, or more respectfully styled: General Ridgely, wasn’t high on his list of people to see at the moment. Likely he was only demanding Gray’s presence because General Davis had asked him to. He shuddered and met Wes’ blue eyes. “Did he say what he wanted?” The question was out before he could think better of it.

Wes shook his head and leaned his shoulder against the wall of horizontal logs. “He didn’t say much of anything, just walked over to the officers’ side and barked that he was looking for you.”

Grimacing, Gray rolled out of bed and straightened his shirt. His room wasn’t the best place for a man to hide, but in a deserted fort like this, there really wasn’t one.

Is there a reason he’s looking for you?”

Gray’s only response was to grunt. He had a good idea of why the man was looking for him and wanted no part of it. “Thanks for letting me know,” he murmured as he walked past Wes to leave his room.

Stepping out onto the boardwalk, he took a slow scan of the four walls of the fort. To some, it was a simple square made from extended log cabins that were all connected, yet separate. To others, it was their city, their fortress. To Gray, it was now a prison. A bitter taste filled his mouth and he choked it down. Yesterday, he’d have called it his fortress. His home. Now, with the appearance of one man, everything he’d loved now seemed tainted.

A chorus of obnoxious laughter sounded from the officers’ lounge, drawing Gray’s attention. His feet itched to carry him down the board planks and into the room where the men were playing cards and telling bawdy jokes, a ritual they did every day before dinner, then again afterwards until it was time for bed. Perhaps not the most sophisticated of pursuits, but enjoyable nonetheless. And in such a forsaken place as this one, a man had to find his pleasure where he could: cards, drinking, smoking, bawdy jokes, and once a week a game of rounders.

To some it wasn’t much of a life, but to a soldier accustomed to living so far detached from the world, it was their whole life.

He couldn’t join them though. General Davis would look there first. The second place would be his room, so he couldn’t go back in there, either.

Heavy, determined boot falls reverberated on the board plank. Gray snapped his head to the right; then just as quickly as he glimpsed the sun glistening off the metal on the front of General Davis’ shako he took a giant step back into his room, colliding with Wes.

What are you still doing in here?” he hissed at his friend.

You were blocking the door,” Wes said simply.

Gray sidestepped his friend and made an over exaggerated gesture toward the door. “The exit is clear, Captain Tucker.”

Wes gave him a queer look and lifted an eyebrow.

Gray ignored him, hoping he’d leave soon.

Would you care to tell me what’s wrong with you or do you not know, either?”

Gray forced a smile. “I prefer to keep my ailments a secret. It makes life more exciting, wouldn’t you say?”

I think that depends upon who you ask.” Wes sighed. “Are you sure you don’t need any help?”

I’m sure,” Gray said. He didn’t know how he’d do it, but he’d avoid letting General Davis know he was here. And may God be merciful if the man already knew.

He couldn’t say what it was about the man, but whenever General Davis was involved in any part of his life, everything always fell apart for Gray. As a boy, he hadn’t been able to do a thing about it. But as a man of twenty-five he’d be damned if he’d allow General Davis to meddle in his life anymore.

Peeking out the window by his door, Gray caught sight of the General’s booted feet as he climbed the wooden staircase right outside the door. He breathed a sigh of relief. He hadn’t even a kernel of an idea why the man was here, and particularly why he’d go upstairs, but whatever the reason was, Gray was thankful.

He opened the door slightly and waited a few seconds to allow the general to find the door he was looking for; then Gray would make his exit.

He frowned. What the devil could be upstairs that would be of interest to General Davis? Nothing. He could only be here for one reason: Gray. As soon as the general realized Gray wasn’t upstairs, he’d come back downstairs. That didn’t give him long to escape and chances were he wouldn’t be able to if he walked out the door and down the board planks. He’d be better off climbing out the window in the back of his room. Though the window was only a three foot by three foot window, placed four feet off the ground, it was still his safest choice for it would put him directly outside the four walls of the fort, offering him a bit more time to find a place to hide.

Gray grabbed the bottom of the windowpane and yanked it up enough that he was certain he could climb through without getting stuck.

Putting the toe of his right boot in the crevice of two logs and grabbing either side of the windowsill, he hoisted his other leg up, hooking it over the window ledge. Keeping his hold on the window casing, he brought his other leg up, then released his grip on the sides and jumped down.

Not bothering to dust off his blue trousers, he immediately began to walk casually away from the fort.

On the run today, soldier?” a feminine voice asked.

Gray froze instantly. Could today get any worse? His mind warred between his desires and his purpose. He needed to get away from the vicinity of General Davis as soon as possible, but what of this young woman?

Slowly, he turned around to face her and his breath caught. Her beautiful auburn hair was slightly askew, slipping from its pins and framing her gentle, young-looking face. Though she had a hint of a smile playing on her lips, it didn’t meet her eyes. He dropped his gaze lower to her crushed and wrinkled gown that fit snug against all of her feminine curves and swallowed. Its fabric was the most vibrant shade of yellow he’d seen in a long time, giving away how new to the profession she still was. His heart slammed in his chest.

Taking a deep breath he walked a few steps in her direction. “Just looking for you.”

She lifted her eyebrows in response. He grinned. Perhaps she was more experienced than he thought. No. Her skin looked too smooth and her dress too new. Unless she’d previously had a protector, she’d have never been able to afford such a fine garment.

And now that you’ve found me?” she asked, bringing him from his thoughts.

Would you like to go on a walk?”

Something, fear perhaps, flickered across her face. “No, thank you.”

All right,” he said slowly. Her response had confirmed his earlier suspicion. She wasn’t yet accustomed to her profession. “How about if we talk? Right here?”

She bit her lip and she cast a fleeting glance around them, hesitation stamped all over her face and shining in her green eyes.

Nothing is going to happen to you,” he said softly. “We’re here in the open.”

She didn’t look convinced; in fact, she looked more startled by his words than she had before.

He reached to steady her, hoping she’d see in his eyes that she could trust him.

She swallowed audibly when his hands touched her hips.

It’s all right,” he crooned. His eyes settled on her plump lips and his pulse started to race, spurring him to close the gap between them. What was he doing? He couldn’t kiss her. He’d never once kissed a woman of her station and yet, her trusting eyes and timid beauty called to him.

She licked her lips and all of Gray’s restraint crumbled.

Abandoning everything he’d ever fought to protect, he brought his lips to hers.

Soft and supple, her lips were like heaven. Warm and sweet, her mouth tasted sweeter than any pastry he’d ever had melt in his mouth. This discovery was something he certainly wouldn’t have expected from a woman such as her.

A sigh escaped her lips, and he deepened their kiss.

Cupping her face with his hands, he idly rubbed her cheeks with the sides of his thumbs—something he’d once witnessed his friend Wes do while kissing his wife. Gray had scoffed at the very idea of such a display. But now… Now he wanted nothing more than to touch every inch of her soft face and hold that sweet mouth to his for as long as he could.

Which, heedless to who saw them, was exactly what he planned to do.

Or he would have, had the unmistakeable sound of General Davis clearing his throat with a gargle followed by an ahem not rent the air.

He pulled back and muttered a curse, not sure if he was cursing because he was about to face his nemesis or at the realization that kissing her had put him in such an uncomfortable state of arousal—something he’d vowed to never let happen with a woman such as this. A wave of shame came over him and he turned his head to cast a cold stare over his shoulder toward the man he’d once told if he ever saw him again he’d kill him with his bare hands.

General Davis, a retired general who was here at this abandoned fort for who-knew-what reason, penetrated Gray with his stare the same way he always had when Gray had been caught doing something wrong.

Gray held his gaze and instinctively moved to draw the woman closer to him, doing his best to shield her from General Davis’ view. He hadn’t meant to draw attention to her or embarrass her. He moved his hand to hold her just above her elbow, noting how tense her arm felt under his hand. He gave her a tight squeeze. Not enough to hurt her, but enough to assure her that he wasn’t going to let anyone, especially General Davis, harm her.

What the hell do you think you’re doing, boy?” General Davis demanded from where he stood at attention, not five feet away.

Gray bristled at being called a boy and a belligerent answer formed on the tip of his tongue. One that would no doubt send the general into a temper. The temptation was too much, but when he opened his mouth, the words, “Kissing my intended, sir,” rolled off his tongue.

Your intended?” the man challenged, his stony face giving nothing away.

Gray nodded. That’s all he could do, so shocked by the words that had come out of his own mouth. It wasn’t until General Davis questioned him about it that he’d actually believed he’d said it aloud and hadn’t imagined it. “Yes, sir, my intended.”

I see,” he said slowly. “Don’t you think it’s best to ask her father’s permission first?”

Had she one, I’d have asked,” Gray said flippantly. What was it about this man that brought out the worst in Gray? Never mind. He knew the answer to that, and thinking of it only steeled his resolve.

General Davis moved his left leg out to put his stance shoulder-width apart and brought his hands behind his back, taking the ‘at ease’ position. “All right, ask.”

The Officer and the Traveler–coming THIS WEEK!

Officer Series, The Officer and the Traveler

The Officer and the Traveler extended description!

All right, it has been long enough that I’ve had the quick one-paragraph description posted for Traveler, so without further ado, here you go!

Traveler FGOS

Grayson Montgomery has just let his mouth get him into trouble again—quite literally. Being promptly informed that he must either marry the young lady he was caught with in a scandalous embrace or face a possible seven years of hard labor, Gray makes the obvious choice to marry her. It’ll just be a marriage of circumstance with no chance of either getting hurt.

 

Michaela Davis is in a state of shock. First, she was kissed nearly senseless by a sweet talking stranger, only to have the bliss end with the uncomfortable realization that they’d been seen! And by her father, no less. If that’s not bad enough, who she thought was just a charming stranger is none other than the heartless cad who broke her young heart as a girl!

 

Circumstances might dictate that they marry, but they’re both about to learn that circumstances don’t always bring about a happily-ever-after—only they can control that.

***

I’m still expecting a release date mid-December. I’ve promised to have it sent off to the proofreader by Monday, so I’m about the enter the stage where I make any of my own last changes!

Banks Brothers' Brides Series, Groom Series, Her Imperfect Groom, Her Reluctant Groom, Her Secondhand Groom, Her Sudden Groom, His Brother's Bride, His Contract Bride, His Jilted Bride, His Yankee Bride, Intentions of the Earl, Liberty for Paul, Officer Series, Officer Series, Reader Questions, Scandalous Sisters Series, The Officer and the Bostoner, The Officer and the Southerner

Which Book is WHOSE???

Two years ago, I never really anticipated this, but being emailed every few days to inquire about a reading order, really isn’t a bad thing. However, I wanted to post this here for those who are wondering, so they don’t have to wait on my response.

First, I should mention that The Officer Series isn’t really connected to my other books so they can be read first or last, it doesn’t really matter.

Now, for the others, I’d strongly suggest to read them in the order I wrote and published them. Why? Because though two of them are prequels, I was able to write in events/activities that are described in the earlier books without any sort of explanation other than “that’s just the way it is/was.”

So if you’re new to me, I’d suggest you read them like this:


SCANDALOUS SISTERS SERIES (First)

Intentions of the Earl

Liberty for Paul

To Win His Wayward Wife

 

GROOM SERIES (Second)

Her Sudden Groom

Her Reluctant Groom

Her Secondhand Groom

Her Imperfect Groom

 

BANKS BROTHERS’ BRIDES (Third)

HIs Contract Bride

His Yankee Bride

His Jilted Bride

His Brother’s Bride

 

Now, if you are one who MUST read things in chronological order, I’d say to read them like this:

 

BANKS BROTHERS’ BRIDES

HIs Contract Bride

His Yankee Bride

 

SCANDALOUS SISTERS SERIES

Intentions of the Earl

Liberty for Paul

To Win His Wayward Wife

 

GROOM SERIES (Second)

Her Sudden Groom

Her Reluctant Groom

Her Secondhand Groom

Her Imperfect Groom

 

BANKS BROTHERS’ BRIDES

His Jilted Bride

His Brother’s Bride

 

His Contract Bride and His Yankee Bride are prequels that are about the parents of the siblings/cousins in the other books.

 

I know just listing it out doesn’t really “help” everyone, so if you’re more of a visual person, I’ve attempted to make a family tree as best I could on here.

BANKS FAMILY TREE!

Edward & Regina—His Contract Bride

Alex & Caroline
Her Sudden Groom

Elijah & Amelia
His Jilted Bride

Henry & Laura

His Brother’s Bride

Edwina & Sir Wallace

Her Imperfect Groom

John & Carolina—His Yankee Bride

Brooke & Andrew

Intentions of the Earl

Madison & Benjamin

To Win His Wayward Wife

Liberty & Paul

Liberty for Paul

(Naturally born Banks family members are in bold. Also, I’d strongly suggest NOT reading them in this particular order, I write it out this way so you could see birth order.)

Two books that I’ve written that aren’t part of the Officer Series are NOT listed in this family tree–Her Reluctant Groom, which is about Alex’s friend Marcus. His parents, however, are witnessed in action in His Contract Bride. Also, Her Secondhand Groom is also not a “Banks book”. It’s about Marcus’ other friend–Patrick. When I first got the idea for the Groom Series, Marcus was to be the main “connection” between the heroes. They were both friends with him. But when I got Sudden and fell in love with Edward (and of course John threw a curveball at me when he mentioned that the circumstances surrounding his and Carolina’s marriage were not up for discussion), I decided I needed to write about them. This was also the case with the whacky Sir Wallace in Reluctant. I loved him INSTANTLY and knew almost immediately who would be the perfect heroine for this imperfect groom.

Clear as mud?

 

Happenings, Officer Series, The Officer and the Southerner, Updates

The Officer and the Southerner is Now Available!

~*~New Release! The Officer and the Southerner~*~Red Beauty

Second Lt. Jack Walker doesn’t always think ahead and when he decides to defy logic and send off for a mail order bride, he might have left out only a few details about his life at the all-but-forgotten Fort Gibson…

Upon arrival at a forsaken military fort in the middle of Indian Territory, Ella Davis learns Jack’s situation isn’t quite what she’s believed from his letters and while hoping to avoid such a fate, she’s been made the fool again. Unfortunately, this time she can’t run and hide from the man who’s done her wrong, but neither is she convinced their marriage will be the same one she’d envisioned for them…

Now it’s up to Jack to find a way to show his always skeptical bride that he is indeed trustworthy and that despite what she might believe she does belong somewhere in the world: right there, with him.

      

 

 

As some of you might already know, this book’s official release is tomorrow August 30th, but me being me, I inadvertently just publicly let the cat out of the bag on Facebook when I went to see how a certain picture would look as my cover picture on Facebook. However, in honor of the release I’m doing something I’ve never done before and having an official new release party on Facebook!  There’ll be games (a few have already leaked my direction and have me quite worried about the kinds of questions my readers want answered), prizes and fun. If you’d like to join, please do by following the link.

Thank you all for the continued support I hope you all love Jack and Ella as much as I do!