Archive | March 2013

Far Beyond Rubies: Release Date March 22, 2013

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Far Beyond Rubies, the fourth novel by author Rosemary Morris, will be coming out on March 22, 2013 from MuseItUp Publishing.

Historical Romance

Release March 22, 2013

Editor  V.L. Murray

Line Editor  Greta Gunselman

Cover Designer  Charlotte Volnek

Words  75454

Pages  302

ISBN  978-1-77127-292-6

Available from MuseItUp Publishing at  http://tinyurl.com/cxozqmy  

Set in 1706 in England during Queen Anne Stuart’s reign, Far Beyond Rubies begins when William, Baron Kemp, Juliana’s half-brother, claims she and her young sister, Henrietta, are bastards. Spirited Juliana is determined to prove the allegation is false, and that she is the rightful heiress to Riverside, a great estate.

On his way to deliver a letter to William, Gervaise Seymour sees Juliana for the first time on the grounds of her family home. The sight of her draws him back to India. When “her form changed to one he knew intimately—but not in this lifetime,” Gervaise knows he would do everything in his power to protect her.

Although Juliana and Gervaise are attracted to each other, they have not been formally introduced and assume they will never meet again. However, when Juliana flees from home, and is on her way to London, she encounters quixotic Gervaise at an inn. Circumstances force Juliana to accept his kind help. After Juliana’s life becomes irrevocably tangled with his, she discovers all is not as it seems. Yet, she cannot believe ill of him for, despite his exotic background, he behaves with scrupulous propriety, while trying to help her find evidence to prove she and her sister are legitimate.

Excerpt

“Bastards, Juliana! You and your sister are bastards.”

Aghast, Juliana stared at William, her older half-brother, although, not for a moment did she believe his shocking allegation.

It hurt her to confront William without their father at her side. At the beginning of April, she and Father were as comfortable as ever in his London house. Now, a month later, upon her return to her childhood home, Riverside House, set amongst the rolling landscape of Hertfordshire, his body already lay entombed in the family crypt next to her mother’s remains. Would there ever be a day when she did not mourn him? A day when she did not weep over his loss?

A cold light burned in the depths of William’s pebble-hard eyes.

Juliana straightened her neck. She would not bow her head, thus giving him the satisfaction of revealing her inner turmoil.

William cleared his throat. His eyes gleamed. “Did you not know you and your sister were born on the wrong side of the blanket?”

Anger welled up in her. “You lie. How dare you make such a claim?”

Hands clasped on his plump knees, William ignored her protestation. “You now know the truth about your whore of a mother,” he gloated.

Well, she knew what William claimed, but did not believe him. “You are wicked to speak thus. My mother always treated you kindly.”

“As ever, you are a haughty piece.” William’s broad nostrils flared. Anger sparked in his eyes. “My dear sister, remember the adage: Pride goeth before a fall, however, do not look so worried. I shall not cast you out without the means to support yourself.”

William rang the silver handbell. When a lackey clad in blue and gold livery answered its summons, he ordered the man to pour a glass of wine.

Juliana watched William raise the crystal glass to his lips. What did he mean? How could she maintain herself and her sister? She had not been brought up to earn a living.

She looked away from her half-brother to glance around the closet, the small, elegantly furnished room in which she kept her valuables and conducted her private correspondence before her father’s death.

Now it seemed, William, the seventh Baron Kemp, and his wife, Sophia, had sought to obliterate every trace of her by refurbishing the closet. Where were her books and her embroidery frame? Where was Mother’s portrait? Rage burned in the pit of her stomach while she looked around her former domain. Juliana wanted to claw William’s fat cheeks. It would please her to hurt him as he was hurting her. No, that wish was both childish and unchristian. She must use her intelligence to defeat him.

At least her family portrait—in which her late mother sat in front of Father, and she and William, dressed in their finest clothes, stood on either side of Mother—remained in place. One of her father’s hands rested on her pretty mother’s shoulder, the other on the back of the chair. A handsome man, she thought—while admiring his relaxed posture and frank expression, both of which depicted a man at his ease.

At the age of five, she already had resembled Mother when Godfrey Kneller painted her family in 1693. They both had large dark eyes and a riot of black curls, as well as fair complexions tinged with the colour of wild roses on their cheeks. She touched her narrow, finely sculpted nose. Judging by the portraits, she inherited her straight nose, oval face, and determined jaw from Father.

Her hands trembled. After Father died, she knew life would never be the same again. Yet nothing had prepared her for what would follow.

Today, when she first stepped into the spacious hall, it seemed as though she had also stepped over an invisible threshold. From being a beloved daughter of the house, she had become her half-brother’s pensioner. Knowing William and Sophia’s miserly natures, she doubted they would deal kindly with her. Yet she could not have anticipated William’s appalling accusation of illegitimacy, and his arrangement—whatever it might be—for her to earn her living.

The lackey served William with another glass of wine.

William jerked his head at the man. “Go.”

Her head still held high, Juliana looked at tall, fleshy William. She liked him no more than he liked her. Indeed, who would not dislike a man so parsimonious that he neither offered his half-sister the common courtesy of either a seat or a glass of wine? Infuriated by his gall, she clasped her hands tighter, trying to contain her anger and keep her face impassive.

She shivered. Today, when she alighted from the coach, rain soaked her clothes. On such a wet, grey day, why did no fire blaze in the hearth? Here, in the closet, it was scarcely warmer than outdoors. She clenched her hands to stop them trembling and imagined the heart of the house had died with Father.

“You shall put your fine education, which our father boasted of, to good use,” William gloated. “You shall be a teacher at a school in Bath.”

Fury flooded Juliana’s chilled body. “Shall I?”

“Yes. Our father saw fit for you to have an education far beyond your needs. You are more than qualified to teach young ladies.”

“Beyond my needs? Father admired Good Queen Bess and other learned ladies of her reign. He deplored Queen Anne’s lack of education. Our father decided no daughter of his would be as ignorant as Her Majesty and her late sister, Queen Mary.”

The purple-red colour of William’s cheeks deepened. “Enough! I despise over-educated women.”

She stared at him. Undoubtedly his mean-minded wife had influenced him. Sophia was jealous because her own schooling comprised of only simple figuring, reading, and writing learned at her mother’s knee, whereas Juliana benefited both from the tutors her tolerant father, the sixth baron, had engaged, and her father’s personal tuition.

William interrupted her thoughts. “You have no claim on me.”

About the Author

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Rosemary Morris was born in Sidcup, Kent in 1940. As a child, when she was not making up stories, her head was always ‘in a book’.

While working in a travel agency she met her Indian husband. He encouraged her to continue her education at WestminsterCollege.

In 1961 Rosemary and her husband, now a barrister, moved to his birthplace, Kenya, where she lived from 1961 to 1982. After an attempted coup d’etat, she and four of her children lived in an ashram in France.

Back in England, Rosemary wrote historical fiction. Far Beyond Rubies is her fourth published novel.

She is a member of The Romantic Novelist’s Association, The Historical Novel Society and Watford Writers.

Rosemary enjoys classical Indian literature, reading, visiting places of historical interest, vegetarian cooking, growing organic fruit and vegetables and creative crafts.

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Book Review: Gracie and The Preacher by T. L. Peters

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“Brent Everett and his feisty dog, Gracie, hook up with a good-natured street preacher who, when he isn’t dodging the law, makes his living by holding fire and brimstone revivals across the country. Soon, however, Brent discovers that there are limits to what even the preacher can get away with.”

Published March 11, 2011

Available from Amazon Kindle and many other sites

186 pages

Five Stars *****

            One of the things I love about Tom Peters’ writing is his ability to grab your interest right off the bat and make you smile.

            Gracie and The Preacher opens with:

“Star and I got back just as Mom and her new boyfriend Pete were starting to roll around on the living room floor grappling and laughing. She’d met Pete at the gym where she went looking for all her boyfriends lately. Mom could bench press over 280 pounds on a good day. Of course, her arms were short and that helped her some.”

           Peters is so comfortable when he writes his stories in this voice. We have seen it before in  The Boy Who Delivered The Wind http://tinyurl.com/d27qg8r and An Imperfect Miracle http://tinyurl.com/ck2extq : a young boy from the back hills, telling the tale through innocent eyes, his quirky world colouring the scene, his naïveté describing adult situations with humorous perplexity.

           There are a lot of outright belly laughs and tongue-in-cheek smiles tucked into this little gem for the reader.

           Brent is a rough and tumble, somewhat street savvy kid, protective of his dog, Star—a ninety-five pound Rottweiler, who is on probation for aggressive behaviour. Their home situation is iffy at best and so one day Brent runs away and ends up hooking up with a revival preacher.

           Their journey together with Star—who becomes Gracie to hide his identity—is a story about running away from poverty and lack, and a seemingly uncaring mother, and seeking a new life, family and sense of belonging. Along the way, Brent and Co. travel all across North America, into South America, are involved in illegal smuggling activities, constantly change their identities, preach healing and finding God, and grow to love one another until they are more family than blood could ever make them.

           The Preacher is a combination of Robin Hood, Kenneth Copeland and a petty crook. He has a heart of gold and seems to know every back alley and hiding place in the U.S., Mexico and further south. His experience with the unsavory world and his occasional run-ins with the law, keep this tale fast-paced, fun and really hard to put down.

           I highly recommend the story. It’s Five Star ***** all the way.

A Short Bio of the Author, T. L. Peters:

After graduating with honors from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan Law, Thomas Linden Peters made partner at a large law firm where he retired a few years earlier than most. Tom’s favorite activity is giving his dog long walks in the woods.  His second favorite is playing the violin, much like the character in the Dickens’ story who loved to play scales alone on his cello.  Tom’s musical repertoire is a bit more extensive than simply scales and leans toward the Baroque, but he nevertheless views his music, along with his writing, as mostly a solo pastime.  His favorite part of writing is when the book is finally done. 

Here is a brief Excerpt from Gracie and The Preacher:

“When we got to the edge of the field, we laid down in the tall prickly weeds and looked around again. We were close enough now to make out the tent sign printed in big black letters, “Preacher Zechariah’s Traveling Revival and Fiddle Show.” Most of the folks were bobbing their heads to the wailing sound coming from under the tent, and some little girls in bright white swirling dresses with pink bows in their hair were holding hands and dancing with each other on the grass.

The cars and pickup trucks and vans were all parked over near the tree line on some gravel that had been dumped out over the weeds and raked in a little. Most had Pennsylvania plates since the dinky little town where we lived was just an hour or so north of Pittsburgh. But there were a few cars from over in West   Virginia and Ohio, and even some from as far away as Maryland and Virginia.

“This must be a quite a show,” I whispered to Star.

Star must have thought so too because he barked a little. I still couldn’t see all the way inside the tent, so Star and me circled around to where we were about halfway back. Then I spotted a tall lanky guy way up front playing a beat up old fiddle. He had a nice pair of denim jeans on and a navy blue shirt and a red bandana wrapped around his forehead too, I guess because he was sweating pretty good. Besides fiddling he was stomping his foot and singing so loud that the veins were popping out all over his neck. Now and then he’d even blow on a shiny silver harmonica that he had strapped onto his shoulders somehow.

I couldn’t understand many of the words to the song on account of how fast and garbled they were shooting out of his mouth. But he sure could whip that fiddle bow around, and his fingers dazzled up and down the strings like lightning. After listening real quiet for a few minutes, Star got restless and started yanking me in closer. There didn’t seem to be anybody selling tickets, so I followed along until we were almost under the tent. Then I dug my heels in and wouldn’t let Star drag me one step farther. I figured that those folks went to a lot of trouble getting choice seats and wouldn’t appreciate some big dog running around growling and sniffing at them.

I could hear better now at least, and every few seconds the guy would sing out in a real strong voice “Hallelujah,” and the people would all holler “Hallelujah” back to him. And then he’d wait a few seconds and yell out “Praise the Lord,” and they’d all holler back “Amen.”

This went on for a good while and I was worried that Star might get bored, but he kept on staring at the fiddler and licking his chops like he wanted to go up and say hello to him. Then all of a sudden Star whipped his head around to the back, his teeth bared and shiny wet  and his black fur standing up in a sharp ridge along his neck. I turned to see what had set him off and spotted some skinny guy with a beat up old baseball cap on sideways standing up shaking his fist and hollering at the fiddle player.

“You’re just trying to rip us all off. Shysters like you ought to be tossed in jail.”

 

Tom’s work can be found on MuseItUp Publishing at http://tinyurl.com/d27qg8r

Amazon.com at http://tinyurl.com/d6dhteb

And his website at   http://tlpeters.blogspot.com

Look for Gracie and The Preacher at the following links:

Amazon.com  http://tinyurl.com/cksowlu   

Barnes and Noble   http://tinyurl.com/clxxdh8  

Amazon UK   http://tinyurl.com/bu6nktg

Kobo   http://tinyurl.com/bvd5nd7

See a full interview on Natter and Review with Tom at   https://natterandreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/interview-with-author-thomas-l-peters/  

And other interviews and reviews at the following links: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11950120-an-imperfect-miracle http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/tlpeters

http://www.amazon.com/T.L.-Peters/e/B004S7L05A

http://www.slideshare.net/thome12/book-list-8882241

http://ashtonthebookblogger.blogspot.ca/2011_04_01_archive.html

http://freebookreviews.blogspot.ca/2013/01/book-review-pittsburgh-affair-by-tl.html

http://www.acozyreaderscorner.com/2011_05_01_archive.html

http://www.cybils.com/2012-nominations-young-adult-fiction.html

            I heartily recommend this read and anything else Tom has written. You can buy it from Amazon.com for download on your computer or kindle right now for a whole 97 cents.

           So go for it, take a leap of faith. That’s what Brent did and it changed his whole life.