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Thursday, December 4, 2014

A foiled spy mission...with Tracey Devlyn and Giveaway


A foiled spy mission on Christmas Eve - Tracey Devlyn

Tracey Devlyn is an award-winning author who writes historical romantic thrillers (translation: a slightly more grievous journey toward the heroine’s happy ending). She’s a co-founder of Romance University, a group blog dedicated to readers and writers of romance, and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, Chicagoland’s exciting new reading salon devoted to romantic fiction.

An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters. For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website.

Find Tracey at:

Spy Me an Angel

Sophie Ashcroft and Teddy Taylor were two secondary characters in the second book of my Nexus series, Checkmate, My Lord. I really appreciate this opportunity to spend time with them again, because I love these characters. In the following scene, we’re fast-forwarding six years to 1810, England. Sophie and Teddy are now thirteen-years-old…and things are a-changing. =)

***

“Look how clear the ice is today, Teddy,” Sophie Ashcroft said while she strapped on her skates. “We’re going to fly across the lake.”

Teddy followed his friend’s gaze and was nearly blinded by the sun’s reflection off the crystal-like surface. “I can only stay for a quarter hour, Soph. Then I have to get back to my chores at the stable.”

“I still don’t understand why you don’t accept Bastian’s offer to go to Eton.”

Teddy didn’t think he would ever get used to hearing her refer to the powerful, wealthy spymaster as Bastian. The Earl of Somerton was everything Teddy wanted to be. Everything except the earl part. He didn’t want the burden of all that responsibility, but he definitely wanted to be a powerful, wealthy spy.

Pushing off the downed tree trunk, he tested his skates to make sure they were secure. “His lordship has made me a kind and generous offer, but I’ll not accept his charity. I’ll earn my way.”

“It’s not charity.” Sophie rose to her feet. “It’s appreciation. My family will never stop thanking you for saving my life.”

Releasing a sigh, he plowed his way through the snow bank that had formed since the last time they had skated. “Appreciation for something that happened six years ago. Lord and Lady Somerton have already provided a tutor for me. That’s more than enough.” Far more than he would ever have had otherwise. He never realized how large the world was or how fascinating.

In an instant, Teddy found himself face first in the snow. “What the—?” he sputtered, knowing the answer before he could swipe the icy flakes from his eyes. Within inches of his nose stood the largest, ugliest dog he’d ever seen. “Blast it, Galahad! Stop attacking me. I’m not the enemy, you no account mutt.”

In response, the big brown-haired, wiry-coated dog licked his face, leaving a slimy streak of saliva in his tongue’s wake.

Sophie’s Uncle Ethan, who wasn’t really her uncle but insisted she call him so, presented Sir Galahad to her not longer after the bad man tried to steal Sophie away. A spy like Lord Somerton, Ethan deBeau had taught Galahad how to attack potential threats to Sophie’s safety by spearing his one hundred-fifty pound body at the back of the villain’s knees. A sure method to knock down any man, and give Sophie precious time to flee.

Once the dog had her assailant on the ground, he would clamp his giant jaws around the back of the villain’s neck and not let go until he received a release command. Teddy nearly wet himself the first time Galahad slammed into him. Heart pounding, he’d waited for the terrible pain of sharp teeth cutting into his flesh. But the pain never came. Galahad didn’t tackle him because he thought he was a threat to Sophie. No, the ugly mutt thought he was some kind of play toy.

A laugh erupted beside him.

“It’s not funny, Soph. Your protector’s going to break my legs one of these days.”

“Oh, Teddy.” She helped him up, then used her mitten-covered hands to brush off clumps of snow from his clothes. “Galahad would never hurt you.”

Teddy’s muscles locked. She touched him with no thought to propriety or the effect she had on him. Why would she? They had been friends for years, and she had touched him a thousand times.

She knew nothing of these strange, new feelings swirling around inside his body. She knew nothing of the male mind, especially the chaotic thoughts of a 13-year-old boy. Admittedly, he hadn’t understood the unusual ache in his throat or the pressure on his chest or his desire to simply stare at her pretty face, until recently. Then he wished he hadn’t.

Stepping away, he said, “Soph, I’m going to pass on skating.”

“What? Why?” She examined him from head to toe. “Did Galahad hurt you?” She reached for him again, inspecting him as if he were a younger brother.

Batting her hands away, he said, “I’m fine.” He tried to locate the oversized mutt, but, as usual, the beast hit, licked, and ran. “I shouldn’t have come. There’s too much left to do before day’s end.” He sat back on the tree trunk to remove his skates.

Kneeling before him, she placed her palms on his knees. “You’re still dining with us tonight, aren’t you?”

Teddy stared down at her red mittens, unable to breathe much less speak. He loved spending Christmas Eve with her family. When he stepped inside Somerton House, it was like entering Heaven. Everything sparkled and smelled so good. Lord and Lady Somerton always made him feel welcome and loved. Some of his friends weren’t so lucky.

“What’s the matter, Teddy?” Sophie asked. “Why won’t you answer me?”

Should he go and pretend as though nothing had changed? Could he go? He released a harsh breath

“I’ll be there, Soph,” he said, unable to deny her anything. He motioned toward the lake. “Now go fly.”

She smiled. A big, toothy smile that struck him in the chest. When the ache returned to his throat, he knew he was in trouble.

Throwing her arms around his neck, she squealed, “We’re going to have so much fun tonight. Mama promised we’d play charades.”

He groaned and buried his face in his hands. By the time he lifted his head again, Sophie had already reached the lake.

“Back to the muck with you, you silly fool,” he mumbled to himself.

Teddy trudged up the small hill. He made it to the halfway point before coming to a halt. Just one more glimpse. Slowly, he swiveled around and his jaw dropped. Down below, an angel floated across a diamond surface. Even from this distance, he could see Sophie’s smile.

When she opened her arms wide and threw back her head in giddy abandonment, Teddy knew, then and there, that he would love Sophie Ashcroft forever.

Umph! For the second time in ten minutes, Teddy found his face planted in the freezing snow. “Galahad!”

A large, wet tongue lapped over Teddy’s nose and right eye. By the time he lifted himself to his knees, the beast was gone. That’s what he got for spying on an angel before finishing his chores.

Teddy’s gaze wandered back to the lake at the same moment Sophie waved at him.

A grin crept across his face and filled his heart.

***


A promising young apothecary picks up the pieces of her life, only to collide with the ruthless thief-taker who once shattered her dreams and her heart.

When the love of his life chose an apprenticeship in Scotland over his marriage proposal, thief-taker Cameron Adair buried himself in his work--building an unmatched network of underworld spies. Forged by his reputation as a ruthless, greed-driven businessman, he has amassed a fortune. But he has one vulnerable spot in his armor--a brilliant, green-eyed apothecary, who continues to haunt his heart. When a murder investigation brings him back into contact with Charlotte Fielding, Cameron sets aside the past to find a killer and to distract a headstrong apothecary, clue by clue, kiss by kiss.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | All Romance |

 Check out what's up for grabs.


Up For Grabs:
  • 1 Pride & Prejudice Special Edition DVD, Jane Austen Soap + Swag

To Enter: 
  • Please leave a comment or question for Tracey.
  • US shipping ONLY. A $15 gift card will be sent if winner resides outside of the US.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter for entry.

**Don't forget to enter the grand prize giveaway!


Good Luck! 

Special thanks to Tracey Devlyn for sponsoring this giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

49 comments :

  1. Hi Tracey! Happy Holidays! You've created such a wonderful and magical story. I loved Checkmate, My Lord, so this is a special treat this morning. It's always a pleasure to revisit characters and stories we've loved. Thank you!

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    1. Hi Pollie! So glad you enjoyed CML and revisiting Sophie and Teddy. I loved spending time with these two mischief-makers too. **Hugs**

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  2. Awww. That was so cute and sweet! I hope to see more of them! Galahad was so funny! Great story Tracey!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! It's always fun to write a character--even a four-legged one--who wreaks havoc. LOL

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  3. I loved the story! You just know those two will end up together :D

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    1. Jo's Daughter, If Danielle keeps inviting me back to her Xmas and Valentine's Day events, I suspect we'll see more and more of these two. ;)

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  4. Thanks for the story. Happy Holidays!

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  5. Hi Tracey :)
    Thank you for the wonderfull story, im looking forward to read this ^^

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  6. Ah, that was adorable! Thanks for sharing their little story, Tracey! I want to encounter them in a few years to see where it all goes.

    Night Storm sounds awesome too.

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  7. I love historical romance novels that involve mysteries and intrigue.

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  8. What a sweet story! I hope to see more of them when they are older.

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  9. It sounds like an interesting story! I'll be sure to check it out (because I'm a book nerd/lover/hoarder!)

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    1. Authors LOVE book nerds/lovers/hoarders! LOL

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  10. That's a sweet story. I always enjoy a romance where the couple start out as friends. Have a nice Christmas.

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  11. Happy Holidays :) I enjoyed the story. Thanks for sharing.
    Lori

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  12. Thanks for the update on Sophie and Teddy, and Galahad is a hoot!


    emmasmom69 AT gmail DOT com

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    1. So glad you liked Galahad and Sophie and Teddy's story!

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  13. Thanks so much for the excerpt. I love the sound of SPY ME AN ANGEL. Both books are now on my wish list.

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  14. Great story. Tracey have a Merry Christmas.

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  15. Poor Teddy! Falling in love and dealing with a knight attack dog! LOL I can imagine what Galahad would (ok Will) do to Teddy when he finally kisses Sophie! :-D

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  16. LOL - too true, Glenda! This is all warm-up for Galahad.

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  17. Oh that was so sweet! I sure hope you're going to follow that up with a full story of those two after they've finished growing up!

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    1. Gretchen, they're on my writerly radar! LOL

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  18. Hmmmm....how did I miss putting your books on my Books-to-buy list? I've never read your work before! Well, I will fix that today! Love P&P too!

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    1. Thank you, Karen! Doesn't surprise me - there are so many fantastic historical romance authors to choose from. :)

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  19. Thank you for such a sweet story. I'm looking forward to reading it. I always enjoy your books Tracey.Happy Holidaays.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  20. I think I lost my comment. So I'll try again. :)
    I really enjoyed this sweet story. I'm looking forward to reading it. I always enjoy your books Tracey. Happy Hollidays.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  21. Very cute story! I hope to read about the Hea one of these days! When they grow up!

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    1. Thanks, Sharlene! It would be a fun story to write.

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  22. OMGoodness, how did I miss this post with your story, Tracey? I'm playing catch-up right now on this blog tour because it is my fave blog hop tour of the entire year. And I just found out today from a comment I read that this historical romance blog tour is hosted every year by RFTC! What a wonderful thing to look forward to. :-) And of course your name would be on the list of authors. The last time I read about this lovely story of yours I immediately went and bought it. Alas, I haven't yet read it because of a hectic schedule at home over the last months. But, hopefully, that will change soon and I can soak up some ME time with my reading my historical romances. Hope springs eternal, right? Sigh. Thanks for the post. jdh2690@gmail.com

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    1. LOL - yes, I love how Danielle brings so many historical authors together to share never-before-read stories to readers. They're fun to write and I'm glad to see so many readers enjoying them. Hope you get tons of ME time in 2015, Janice!

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  23. I also LOVE Pride and Prejudice. Your Story looks great and I can't wait to read it.

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  24. I loved this story! Thanks for sending me here from Facebook or I would have missed it

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