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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Let It Snow Books: Guest Post with Jillian Stone + Giveaway


Welcome to Day 2 of Let it Snow Books 2012, where for the next three weeks you have the chance to read some really fun holiday posts from some of your favorite authors, both here and at Ex Libris.

Today, we welcome Jillian Stone here at Books to Brighten your Mood with a festive post and you will have the chance to win a copy of An Affair with Mr. Kennedy, one of the best Historical Romances I have ever read and not just in 2012! Jillian Stone's voice is one of the freshest out there and believe me when I said that she's an author you should watch out for!
And here's a small taste of my review of An Affair with Mister Kennedy:


An Affair with Mister Kennedy surprised me quite pleasantly!I don't know why it surprised me so much, since so many reviewers have already stated that it was a really good book, but it did. Probably, because... Read the rest of the review here.

Jillian has decided to share with us a very special excerpt! So welcome Jillian and thank you for stopping by here today!
 
Thanks so much for inviting me to participate in your ‘Let it Snow Books!’ Blog Event. Merry
Christmas and Joyous Noel to all!

This excerpt is from the opening chapter of The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard romantic
suspense adventure: A Dragon Kiss with Detective Rhys, a Christmas 2013 release.

Isle of Dogs, London 1887

Flynn Rhys adjusted the bi-ocular spyglass to afford the best possible view across Rabbit Row. A window had been left uncovered on the second floor of the boarding house–– one that rented by the hour. A prostitute working her customer tugged the pale yellow ribbon on her chemise. “Have a care Lizzy, and show us those rosy tips,” Flynn muttered to himself as an ample bosom sprang from its confines.

He made an adjustment to his trousers, causing the downward tilt of his binoculars. A bustle of pedestrians traipsed up and down Nightingale Lane, last minute shoppers laden with packages. A brawny dockworker hustled home clutching a porcelain doll under his arm. Flynn counted a half dozen oranges in an open weave sack flung over a sailor’s shoulder.

The fact that it was Saturday night and Christmas Eve, appeared to double the merriment. The brass buttoned jacket of the local Custom-house officer caught his eye. Ham Brady was a bloody bull of a man with plenty of cheek. Even Brady who never smiled, whistled a tune as he sauntered down the row.

“Officer Brady up to his usual three penny upright, sir?” Charlie raised the window shade on a dusky twilight. The lamplighters were about. On most Saturday nights, Ham Brady would be sampling a bit street quim in the alley below. But not tonight. Presumably, the man made his way home to a family who found something to love about him.

“You should go home, Charlie––it’s Christmas Eve, for God’s sake.” A street hawker by trade, Charlie Doyle was a strapping lad. Yard men in need of an extra hand, hired him for off the books operations. Flynn slipped a banknote into the young man’s jacket.
“Stores will be closed in another hour. Take home a pretty bauble for your sister and mum.”

Reluctant to leave, Charlie hesitated at the door. “I don’t mind staying, sir. We could take turns on watch––between a bit of card play.”

Flynn, grabbed the hearth poker and itched a toe. “Not likely Grey de Ruthyn will be engaged in any gun smuggling tonight.”

“I wager you’re looking forward to Tuesday, next.” Charlie nodded to the full leg cast.
“About time those plaster bandages were off.”

Flynn had been laid up for months nursing a compound fracture. To keep him from going barking mad, Zeno Kennedy, Chief Inspector, Special Branch, had arranged for work, something unofficial. Flynn had been tasked with observing the comings and goings of a storehouse in Wapping, and more recently a shipping office on the Isle of Dogs.

The very idea of an arms trafficker setting up shop not four doors away from the Board of Trade Office––well, it was a wicked clever ruse. And Simon Grey de Ruthyn was as cunning and bold as they come.

“Out of my sight, lad.” Flynn softened his gaze. “Save me some Christmas dinner.”

“That I will, sir.” Charlie, donned his cap, backing out of the flat. “Roast goose and plum pudd––” Rattled by loud thumps on the door, his helper jumped away.

Another series of thuds and a muffled cry. Flynn separated two voices. One of them was the boarding house proprietress, Mrs. Hardwick.

He and Charlie exchanged looks. One could never be too careful when surveilling Grey de Ruthyn. Flynn tossed the fire poker to Charlie with a nod. “Let’s see who it is.”

His apprentice Yard man had no sooner turned the lock––when the door burst open in a blur of red and white.

“Young ladies are not allowed to call on gentlemen borders––it’s strictly against the house rules.” Mrs. Hardwick followed after a flurry white lace under a red military-style coat.

“Certainly you can make allowances due to Mister Rhys condition?” The smartly
dressed intruder tossed the words over her shoulder.

Flynn sat up straight, as much as the cumbersome leg cast would allow. “Alice?”

“Surprised to see me, cousin?” She made big eyes at him and rolled them toward his sputtering landlady.

He ignored Mrs. Crosby’s protests and took a very long moment to admire everything about Miss Alice Millicent Armistead. Rich, tawny and wheat colored waves of hair blown wild from a horse race through the city. The young lady was even more breathtaking than he remembered––she was a force of nature. A sable fur hat haloed sparkling blue eyes framed by dark lashes. Her nose, as usual, was sprinkled with pale freckles. Cheeks flushed rosy pink from the crisp cold air added a touch of color to a smile that was as genuine and radiant as ever. Good Christ, she could arouse Saint Peter in his grave.

She carried a large basket, which she set beside his chair. “Please inform your landlady I am a relative.” She unbuttoned intricate braided closures. Looking up from her coat, she widened her eyes. “Please, Flynn.”

Reluctantly, he confronted his landlord. “I take it you haven’t been introduced. Mrs. Hardwick, it would be my pleasure––”

“Best not have anything to do with your pleasure, Mister Rhys––I hear any sound o’pleasure coming through these walls, and y’er out on the street.”

“Mrs. Hardwick, I’m shocked. A good Christian woman such as yourself, would toss me out on Christmas Eve––a poor servant of the citizenry with an infirmary?” Flynn tried for a stunned, bewildered expression. “The night our savior was born?”

Mrs. Hardwick’s eyes narrowed into suspicious slits. “A warning, Mister Rhys––
fornication is a sin against God.” Adding a grunt for emphasis, she eyeballed Alice on her way out the door.

“Charlie––head her off at the stairs and give her this.” Flynn slipped him a fiver. “For the Sisters of Mercy Night Home, on lower Seymour Street.”

Charlie tipped his hat and stole another fleeting glance at Alice. What red-blooded young bloke wouldn’t?

“Tell her the donation came from Miss Armistead,” Flynn paused for emphasis, “…my cousin.” He detected a grin as she tossed her coat over a chair back.

“Yes, sir. Very good, sir.” Flynn waited to hear the key turn the lock before shifting his gaze from the closed door to the beauty standing before him. The gown was simplicity itself. White, virginal, a sheer slip of a dress with delicate cap sleeves and bare shoulders.
And the plunging neckline was––most arresting. His eyes traveled down the slope of her breasts. Lovely globes jiggled ever so slightly when she moved, like now.

She sat down on the edge of the chaise that served as his chair and his bed. “All those months last year, when you were assigned to watch over me? All I ever wanted was for you to look at me like you are doing now.”

A smile tugged the edges of his mouth. “How am I looking at you?”

She leaned closer. “Like I’m a present…to be unwrapped.” Her wily Alice charms were on the job, tonight. Flynn’s gaze dropped to her extraordinary mouth––a bit wide with full lips. Dear God, a man could loose control of himself.

She caught her bottom lip between her teeth. He could feel the heat from her breath on his cheek. She moistened her lips and opened her mouth––just enough to be inviting.

So close, now…

Curling the tip of her tongue over the curve of his upper lip––she licked. “Happy
Christmas, Detective Rhys.”

About the author
Jillian Stone was born a storyteller. A skill that got her into considerable trouble as a youth until she solved the problem by becoming an advertising creative. And the career did seem to suit her as she won many national ad awards including the Clio and the New York Art Director’s Club Gold. What more could she ask for? Create her own worlds? Become goddess of her own universe? Yes! So, she began to write fiction. Her Victorian Romantic Suspense novel AN AFFAIR WITH MR. KENNEDY won the 2010 Golden Heart and sold to Pocket Books. Her sexy, supernatural Steampunk novel, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, won the 2010 Romance Through The Ages Erotica category and sold to Kensington Brava. Jillian lives in California and is currently working on the next adventure for both series.
Visit Jillian


About the Book:
Title: An Affair with Mr. Kennedy
Author: Jillian Stone
Series:The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard #1) 
Publisher: Pocket Books
Length: 392 pages
Release Date: January 31st 2012
Purchase Info: Book Depository, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads
 



London, 1887. Part stoic gentleman, part fearless Scotland Yard man, Zeno "Zak" Kennedy is an enigma of the first order. For years, the memory of a deadly bombing at King's Cross has haunted the brilliant Scotland Yard detective. His investigation has zeroed in on a ring of aristocratic rebels whose bloody campaign for Irish revolution is terrorizing the city. When he discovers one of the treacherous lords is acquainted with his free-spirited new tenant, Cassandra St. Cloud, his inquiry pulled him unexpectedly close to the hear of the conspiracy -- and into the arms of a most intriguing lady.

Cassie is no Victorian prude. An impressionist painter with very modern ideas about life and love, she is eager for a romantic escapade that is daring and discreet. She sets her sights on her dour but handsome landlord, but after she learns their meeting was not purely accidental, she hardly has a chance to forgive her lover before their passionate affair catapults them both into a perilous adventure.



~~~~~~~~~~~~GIVEAWAY~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jillian has generously offered a copy (e-book or paperback, winner's choice) of An Affair with Mr. Kennedy and A Private Dual with Agent Gunn to TWO lucky commenters. (Open Internationally.) All giveaways end on January 5th.




~Fill the form below to enter ~
a Rafflecopter giveaway

67 comments:

  1. i plan to just stay inside with some nice cocoa, a book and my puppy and friends. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoy spending Christmas at home with family and New Years Eve someplace else (if it's in the budget). I still want to experience a Hogmanay celebration in Scotland!

      Delete
  2. Holidays are meant to be spent with my family and closest friends. We usually prepare a feast on Christmas eve and New Year's eve. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anne,

      Love the feasting, and having friends over!

      Delete
    2. Yes! And the opening of gifts at midnight of Christmas eve. I love how the children's faces lit up when they open their presents. Such little angels! :)

      Delete
  3. Not much... just home with my family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi May,

      Yep, I do think Christmas as family time.

      Delete
  4. Thank you so much for thios wonderful prize i would be so happy to get those 2books paperbacks

    i'm planning to spend Christmas at home with my mother and brother, a good book ,a good family but festive meal and at midnight exchange of gifts (§same for new year eve)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, a good book is essential for holiday enjoyment...especially if you have a lot of men in the house switching from game to game on the TV!

      Delete
  5. I guess as we usually do, my family either 24th or 25th and my hubs family the other day. My favorite moment is when we return home and can sit down in the sofa, maybe a glass of red and just relax for a moment *sigh*
    This year is a bit more stress since i work both days, 7am-3pm =/
    Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Holidays!
    //Linda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Linda,

      I have several friends working this holiday season. Make the best of it anyway, and good luck!

      Delete
  6. i plan on spending it w/ my grammy and uncle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Heather,

      I'm sure Grammy and Uncle will be so pleased!

      Delete
  7. I'll be spending Christmas at home with family and great food!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi LSU Reader,

      Christmas, home, family, great food...we are so blessed, even when times are tough!

      Delete
  8. I spend Christmas Eve with family from out of town, all squeezed into a relatively small house.. we have kids running around, crazed animals & great food & drink to be had. We play music and walk around looking at Christmas lights.. it's a wonderful night! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Readsalot,

      What a merry bunch you are...can I come over? Lol! or should I say Ho, Ho, Ho!

      Delete
  9. I plan on spending it with my family, and also some time curled up with my Kindle :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Going down to visit my family <3 I have not seen them in a month so it's going to be very exciting, especially seeing my baby niece again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lily,

      A new baby niece at Christmas time! Have a great time!

      Delete
  11. we'll be having a small family gathering with a nice meal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's where we're at this Christmas, as well. Nice and homey!

      Delete
  12. It's my baby nephew's first Christmas, so I am super excited this year as our gatherings are always big, but it got just a bit bigger this year:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi yadkny,


      I picture lots of laughter! Have a Merry Christmas!

      Delete
  13. I plan on spending the holidays with my family and a close friend. We'll visit, eat, and play cards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi jmcgaugh,

      Sounds low key and fun. What kind of cards?

      Delete
  14. I had such wonderful plans! Then 11 days ago while on an outing i had a bad fall & fractured my right wrist (i'm a RH too!). There went all my plans. Now i'm stuck for at least 6 wks w/my hand in a cast. Guess my hols will b stay at home n read.
    I need lots of great bks to cheer me up....

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ouch, Linda!

    You find yourself in a similar situation as Detective Flynn Rhys in the excerpt above, only he's in a full leg cast. You two ought to get together! ;)

    Cuddle up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate...or a hot buttered rum...yum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to cuddle up w/Flynn! Now THAT would be my idea of yummy :)

      Delete
  16. I have a bunch of schoolwork to do over the break (ugh, senior thesis), so I'll probably be writing essays :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get yourself super organized and dig into it. I bet you'll be done early so you can still enjoy a bit of social life! ;)

      Delete
  17. I have no plan yet probably stay at home and reading book :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Eli,

      Most everyone I know is doing a quiet holiday this year. And I have a huge TBR pile I need to make a dent in!


      Delete
  18. I I love your books, especially the Phaeton Black books. I will be spending the holidays at home with my kids and husband. We don't really have any family to travel to, so it is nice and relaxing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ann,

      I'm so glad you are enjoying the Phaeton Black books. I just completed book #3 in the series (Doctor Exeter's story) which will be a Summer 2013 release.

      I hope you get a chance to read one of the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard books as well! Good luck!

      Delete
  19. I will be spending it with my family and we have a big dinner and open presents. Thanks for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have a great holiday, Natasha, and good luck!

      Delete
  20. Will spend it with family

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bn100,

      Yep, me too! Have a great holiday and good luck!

      Delete
  21. Actually, my holiday plan this year is kinda lame. Just staying at home and reading more books *grinning* But I love it by the way :)

    Thanks for this giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Armeliana

      Me too! I'm catching up on a huge TBR stack of books I have been unable to get to. I'm taking the rest of the month off while I read and relax...do a bit of planning on the books I will write this coming year!

      Good luck!

      Delete
  22. The first day of christmas, I am home alone with my boyfriend. So it will be nice and cozy togehter. For the second day of Christmas, we have to go to my family. But I will be bringing enough books to last the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Home alone with boyfriend, then on to family sounds great...particularly the books part ;)

      Delete
  23. Spending the holidays with family!

    Happy Holidays & thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Have a warm, happy and safe holiday!

      Delete
  24. My holiday is always very quiet since I don't celebrate Christmas. I fo for a long walk, then just relax and read. That's my favorite way to spend any day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jen M,

      Sounds wonderful! I've been catching up on my Kindle TBR shelf as well!

      Delete
  25. maybe we go to the beach, and have a dinner outside ? :D that's the plan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice! Hope you've had a great holiday so far!

      Delete
  26. Replies
    1. Hi Mary,

      My sister is coming out for New Year's Eve. Can't wait to see her!

      Delete
  27. At my grandmother's house! All family always go there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lleana,

      Awww! Over the meadow and through the woods, to grandmother's house you go!

      Delete
  28. I celebrated at home with family, baked cakes and made pizzas for dinner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do get back in the mood to bake during the holidays. This Christmas I made an apple pie, a lemon cake and vanilla bean cupcakes with cocoanut cream frosting...yum!

      Delete
  29. With good friends, good family and good food

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sadly, for this year holiday season, i still have to work :'( I only have 2 days off from work.
    I'm planning to spent it with my family. we planned to BBQing and snuggled with good books ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristiana,

      A lot of us have had to work this season, but the BBQing sounds yummy, as well as a snuggle with a good book!

      Delete
  31. Replies

    1. My sister is out today to celebrate the New Year. Yay!

      Delete
  32. Didn't really do much. Just stayed home with the family and read and watched tv.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The holiday's I enjoy most are ones that end without me saying, "Well, thank God that's over." Lol!

      Delete
  33. Just spending it with my family. Nothing special.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. See my thoughts on this above!

      Delete

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