The Extraordinary Life of Amy Winston

Lies & Deceit

The Extraordinary Life of Amy Winston, Book 3

by Liza O’Connor

f8a0e-kindle2bunlimitedGenre: Historical, Regency (right after the end of the Napoleon wars) through Early Victorian

Despite her lack of dowry and cloudy past, Amy Winston becomes one of the most sought-after young ladies in the London marriage mart. Some desire her for her beauty and charm while others appreciate her unique skills of seeing with her mind, healing with her hands, and disappearing in plain sight. By her choice of husbands, she secures her safety. However, her marriage almost brings the English Parliament to its knees.

Amy studied the young man for a moment. “Are you an only child?”

“Yes, why do you ask?”

“Did you like your nanny?”

“Very much.”

“And your tutors?”

“Not so much.” His forehead crinkled in annoyance. “Is there some point to your questions?”

Darby sighed and stared at the ceiling in exasperation. “She is trying to figure out why you are such a pompous ass and expect to have your way all the time. She has no doubt concluded from her three questions that you were spoiled by your nanny into a horrid monster of a boy who has no idea how to make or keep friends, and clearly from your display today, she will conclude you’ve not made much progress since.” He then looked at Amy. “You can move me to the fourth dance if you are still willing to give this brat a chance. In his favor, he’s a very good dancer and can be an interesting conversationalist, if you can keep him from talking about himself.”

Amy ran an arrow to the forth line for Darby and added JM on the third line.

“Why does Darby get more letters?” Marsh asked.

Amy laughed and added vsgd at the end of his initials for ‘very spoiled good dancer’.

“That doesn’t spell anything…”

At this point, Ann felt compelled to intervene. “John, you’ve got your dance, dear. Stop bullying Amy and leave now.”

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PURE INNOCENCE, BOOK 1

For some, Amy is an angel incarnate; for others, she is the child of Satan. In her early years, Amy learns the skills of a soldier and discovers she can heal with the touch of her hand. Upon the death of her beloved Uncle John, he stays as a protective ghost to assist the soldiers in their vigilant efforts to keep her safe. Never has a girl arrived at Madam Cousec’s School for Young Ladies with more charm, more friends, or greater protection. She’ll need them all to survive the head girl and set her future in motion.

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John turned his attention back to the girl. Her dark hair was wild and matted. In the center of the mats was dried caked blood. No doubt from the stones the townspeople threw.

The girl spoke rapidly in a shrill voice, declaring she was “bad, evil, the devil’s whore, and to go away, go away, go away.”

He suspected the voice was not hers but a mimic of the people who had said these cruel words. Suddenly, her voice dropped lower in a mimic of a man and she quoted dark bible passages about casting out demons.

Dear God, was it possible these were her parents’ words?

“Tell me the name, tell me the name, damn you!” the voice bellowed.

Finally, he heard the girl’s own voice. The pain and misery it held tore at his old battle-weary heart.

“There is no name,” she cried. “There was no man. Only a dream while I rested on the banks.”

“Then it’s the seed of Satan and it’ll not be raised in my house!” her voice deepened and bellowed

Inside the bundle of cloth, she held tight to her chest, a baby’s wail rose, almost as if in protest to her words. The baby’s cry startled her and for one terrible moment, John feared she would toss the child over the edge.

Then her madness dissipated, and she transformed into a young mother fretting over her new child, soothing it with soft words, as she sat down upon the ground. She opened her filthy torn blouse and placed the baby upon her right breast, rocking the child softly while it nursed. Her face held love and adoration for her helpless infant.

John knew he must save this young girl and her baby. She was not yet lost to madness.

LOVE’S BETRAYALS, BOOK 2

When Amy and her friend Domnika arrive in London, she discovers her guardian, Nicolas, is under the thrall of his ‘perfect’ wife. Neither is happy she has come. The only person who seems pleased with her arrival is the handsome valet, Antonio, who turns out to be far more than a servant.

Needing to escape her guardian’s care, Amy and Domnika take refuge at a fellow schoolmate’s home. Antonio leaves Nicolas’ service and becomes one of her many protectors. Unlike the other protectors, he becomes the first of many admirers that vie for her hand.

All the while, Nicolas continues to prove over and over that he is not the fine fellow her uncle had thought.

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As Nicolas and his valet, Antonio, sat on a bench overlooking the docks, Antonio interrogated him about Uncle John’s niece.

“Is she intelligent?”

“Frighteningly so. By now I suspect she knows more than most doctors in London about medicine.”

Antonio smiled. “A practical woman as well.”

“I hardly would call it a practical vocation,” Nicolas objected. “No one will ever accept a female doctor.”

“I suppose it depends upon the situation. The next time I get stabbed or shot, I’ll be most glad to allow her to tend my wounds.”

“You don’t even know her.”

“She’s the colonel’s niece. That’s all I need to know.”

Raised in the southern mid-section of U.S., Liza escaped to the East Coast once out of college. She’s worked as a journalist, a radio DJ, a security guard, a stock broker, a strategist, and a business solutions consultant to name a few of her many occupations.

She learned to fly planes, jump out of planes, hang-glide, kayak and scuba dive, to name of few of her ‘let’s kill Liza’ sports. However, her favorite activity is to hike with her dog Jess among the shaved mountains of NJ.

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Earl of Sunderland

EARL OF SUNDERLAND

Wicked Earls’ Club

by Aubrey Wynne

 

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Publisher: Plato Publishing

He’s inherited the title of rake. She hides behind her independence… Fate accepts the challenge.

Grace Beaumont has seen what love can do to a woman. Her mother sacrificed her life to produce the coveted son and heir. A devastated father and newborn brother force her to take on the role of Lady Boldon at the age of fifteen. But Grace finds solace in the freedom and power of her new status.

Christopher Roker made a name for himself in the military. The rigor and pragmatism of the army suits him. When a tragic accident heaves Kit into a role he never wanted or expected, his world collides with another type of duty. Returning to England and his newfound responsibilities, the Wicked Earls’ Club becomes a refuge from the glitter and malice of London society but cannot ease his emptiness.

Needing an escape from his late brother’s memory and reputation, Kit volunteers to inspect the family property near Scotland. Lady Grace, a beauty from a neighboring estate, becomes a welcome distraction. When the chance to return to the military becomes a valid possibility, the earl finds himself wavering between his old life and the lure of an exceptional—and unwilling—woman.

Early May 1814

London, England

Lord Christopher Roker slapped his twin brother, the Earl of Sunderland, on the back. “A fit of the blue devils on your wedding day, eh? Come now, the bride seems a prime article to me.”

“She’s not the woman of my choice. I’m more than an unwilling groom. I’m downright defiant.” Carson tucked his white linen tails into the pale gray pantaloons, gave his matching waistcoat a tug, and adjusted his neckcloth again. “Yet our parents are deliriously happy over the match because she is the daughter of a marquess.”

“You made your own name.” Christopher shook his head and gave his brother’s shoulder a hard squeeze. “Gambling and womanizing has its place when you’re more boy than man. By Christ, we’ve just passed thirty.”

“How did I know I’d fall in love and my reputation would haunt me?” Carson walked over to a polished oak side table and poured two glasses of brandy from the crystal decanter. He handed one to Christopher. “Or that the woman who stole my heart would have a self-righteous father who despises me?”

“How many times did I warn you to pull back on the reins? There are always consequences to one’s actions. You will be the Marquess of Falsbury in your own right someday. It’s time you accepted responsibility.” He took a sip of the amber liquid as Carson downed his in one gulp and poured another. “It’s a bit early for that, isn’t it? You might want to pace yourself.”

Sunderland sank heavily onto a chair, pushing his fingers through a tangle of black waves. “Kit, trade places with me. Marry the chit and take the title. You should have been the heir anyway. You’re better to this type of life than I am.”

“We had this conversation when we were twelve, and you wanted to be a sheik and live in the desert. And then again at sixteen, when you wanted to run away and join the Navy.” He smirked and sat down opposite Carson. “Besides, Mother would know at once.”

“She’d stay quiet for her darling Christopher. You’ve always been her favorite.” He tipped back his head and gulped the second glass of brandy. “A little courage for the ceremony.”

A knot tightened in Kit’s stomach. He had a bad feeling about this wedding but knew better than to admit it. It wasn’t the match itself. Lady Eliza was a beauty and came with a generous dowry. And he didn’t believe for a moment Carson loved another woman. Infatuation was more likely. He fell for one and before he hit the ground, another had taken his fancy. While Kit loved his brother, he also accepted his faults. His abilities did not include accountability or dependability.

“You’re dipping too deep, brother,” Kit said as took the third glass of liquor from his twin, recognizing the slight glaze in those familiar chestnut eyes. “Let’s get you to the church, shall we? At this rate, you’ll be foxed before the end of the wedding breakfast.”

“That’s the plan, sir. Then I won’t feel those leg shackles I’ve acquired.”

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WICKED EARLS’ CLUB

Meet twelve of the most wickedly sinful earls in all of Regency England. Together they make up the Wicked Earls’ Club. A secret group, marked with a single golden W; it is a place where these deliciously devious earls can indulge in their darkest desires. Though fate may have something else planned for them entirely.

Earl of Basingstoke ~ Earl of Wainthorpe ~ Earl of Grayson ~ Earl of Benton ~ Earl of Westcliff ~ Earl of Weston ~ Earl of Pembroke ~ Earl of Harrington ~ Earl of Sussex ~ Earl of St. Seville ~ Earl of Davenport

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Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas.

Her short stories, Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies have won Readers Choice Awards and Dante’s Gift received the 2016 Golden Quill and Heart of Excellence award, as well as being a Maggie and Aspen Gold finalist.

Her upcoming series “A Vintage Romance” was inspired by tales of her stepfather, who served in the British Air Force in WWII. Wynne’s medieval fantasy series “Medieval Encounters” begins with Rolf’s Quest, 2016 NTRWA Great Expectations winner. The Wicked Earls’ Club will continue with a Regency Christmas in 2018.

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Subscribe to Aubrey’s newsletter for new releases and exclusive excerpts and free stories.

A place of handsome knights, dashing gentlemen, beautiful, sassy women, and romance from the past to the present. You’ll also have some opportunities to help promote Aubrey with her upcoming releases if you feel so inclined. There is fun to be had, prizes to be given, and heroes and heroines to fall in love with. Come join Aubrey’s street team.

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Pure Innocence

PURE INNOCENCE

The Extraordinary Life of Amy Winston, Book 1

by Liza O’Connor

Genre: Historical Regency Romance with Paranormal elements

For some, Amy is an angel incarnate; for others, she is the child of Satan. In her early years, Amy learns the skills of a soldier and discovers she can heal with the touch of her hand. Upon the death of her beloved Uncle John, he stays as a protective ghost to assist the soldiers in their vigilant efforts to keep her safe. Never has a girl arrived at Madam Cousec’s School for Young Ladies with more charm, more friends, or greater protection. She’ll need them all to survive the head girl and set her future in motion.

John sat down upon the ground, so he would look less threatening. “I mean you no harm.” He spoke in the soft voice he used to calm war-panicked horses. His words came slow, in gentle tones, letting them sink in through her fear.

She hugged her child harder and rocked faster, but she did not try to run away.

“I want to help you. I can see you are hurt and afraid. You are probably hungry as well. I can give you shelter and food, see your wounds are tended and provide clean clothes for the baby and you.”

Upon comprehending his words, she burst into a torrid of tears and sobs that shook her body so hard he feared she would trigger the collapse of the entire cliff.

“Please don’t cry,” he begged. “The ground you are upon is unstable. I need you to be very, very still until my man returns with the ropes, so that I may rescue you. Will you do that for me? Will you be very still?”

She stopped crying and stared at him. “Why do you want to help me?”

“Because you need my assistance. I can see you are all alone and desperately in need of help.”

“I am, but you will not help me—not once you have learned what I have done.”

“I know that you’ve had a child and were tossed from your home because you would not name the father.”

“I could not name him. There is no father. I have lain with no man. There was only a dream, a wonderful dream of a handsome prince on a white stallion. He declared me the most beautiful lady he had ever seen, and he kissed me and made my body burn with fire. Then I woke up from my shady spot on the banks and I was alone as always. It was the devil, you see. He came to me in my dreams.”

She began to rock again as she held her baby tight against her chest. “That is why you will not help me—because of the dream. I am the whore of Satan and this child is his spawn.”

He feared he’d soon lose her to madness.

“Amy, I don’t think that is true. You are too sweet to be the whore of Satan. Your child is too good-natured to be his seed.”

She looked up at him in shock and stopped rocking. “She is very good-natured and so very beautiful. But what other reason might there be?”

“Amy, I believe the man in your dreams was real. He must have come to you while you slept and lay with you while he distracted you with kisses and sweet words. Can you remember more about his features? For example, what was the color of his hair?”

“The color of yours,” she said. “When I first saw you, I thought you were the man in my dream and you had come to rescue me. But you are not him.”

“No, I am not. But I do want to rescue you.”

She studied him. “His face was smoother than yours and his eyes sparkled blue. And there was a tiny mole on the edge of his mouth.”

Her words stopped his heart. Dear God, she was describing his younger brother, Alexander. Yet, that was impossible. Alexander had died in battle eight months ago and before that, he had remained in London.

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Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

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Duke Du Jour

DUKE DU JOUR

Lords in Time series, Book 1

by Petie McCarty

Genre: Regency Time-Travel Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Jared Langley, present-day Duke of Reston, tumbles into an abandoned fountain on his ducal estate and travels back in time to the year 1816. There, Reston servants and local villagers think him a dead ringer for his namesake and rakehell ancestor—the seventh Duke of Reston, gone missing at the Battle of Waterloo. Unfortunately, Seven got mixed up with French spies out to assassinate the Duke of Wellington, and an unwary Jared ends up in their crosshairs.

Lady Ariana Hart has loved Jared Langley, the seventh Duke of Reston, since she was twelve years old, until the night the rogue broke her heart. Given up for dead, her rakish neighbor makes a miraculous return from Waterloo—only Jared shows up a changed man and reignites all the feelings Ariana had long ago buried.

Jared is in a race against time. He must waylay the suspicions of his quirky servants and neighbors, get to Wellington before the French spies do, fix his fountain—before Seven shows up—so Jared has a way home, and definitely not fall in love with the irresistible Lady Ariana.

“Did I hurt you?” he asked, as he pulled the boot free.

“No!” she blurted.

His gaze swung up to her face, and she forced a smile. The boot removal had affected her as much as him. How would he ever make it through the night? He frowned slightly and then set to work on the other boot, holding her other knee and reigniting the heart palpitations all over again.

She made another swipe at the coverlet with her palms and almost fell over sideways. He fought back a grin. Misery loved company, and the sight of her flushed cheeks and bright eyes caught his breath in his throat.

Jared straightened and placed the second boot by the first next to the bed. “Are you feeling all right? You look a bit flushed. Maybe the ride was too much for you.”

He leaned in and placed the back of his hand against her forehead, ostensibly to check for a fever, and she whimpered at his touch. The intimate sound had his mouth feeling dry as sand, and he desperately wanted to touch more than her forehead.

His gaze locked with hers. Her eyes darkened.

Oh no. This could be trouble. A misstep here could ruin her…Or keep me here forever.

Still he did not move his hand. His gaze held hers. “You feel warm.”

He heard his voice go low and raspy.

Great. Let her know she has the upper hand.

Was she warm or was he? Every vein and artery in his body pulsed with the need he had denied since the day he’d met her.

“I’m fine,” she said softly.

He had to fight this magnetism, or he would have her ruined in short order.

“Are you?” He leaned closer.

Her look of befuddlement tugged at his heart, and he fought the lust roiling in his chest. He couldn’t read the look in her eyes. Did she want him, too? Oh, what did it matter unless he kissed her?

She leaned forward, whispered, “I think so.”

“Let me check.” He pressed his lips to hers.

Every nerve ending in his body exploded with pleasure. Primal desire had overwhelmed him in the taproom after he had saved her from the drunken farmer, his primitive nature taking the lead.

My lady. Mine.

He had not thought twice. Jumped in like the knight in shining armor she raved on about. He had wanted to be her knight.

His lips did not plunder, as she no doubt expected. He gentled his kiss so as not to frighten her, locked together in this room as they were. He brushed his lips across hers, caressed, hoping to make her want him half as much as he wanted her. He leaned back to stare into her eyes. He shouldn’t have started this. He would not be able to stop.

“This way lies disaster,” he rasped, “for both of us.”

“Maybe,” she said breathlessly, “but could I please have another?”

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Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time-travel series, Lords in Time, and her mystery-romance-with-elements-of-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.

Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

Visit Petie’s web site online or her Facebook page.

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