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Monday, December 2, 2013

Waylaid by a Highway Man...with Lorraine Heath and Giveaway


Waylaid by a Highway Man on Christmas Eve - Lorraine Heath

New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases for a publicist, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. In 1990, she read a romance novel and became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She's been writing about them ever since.

Places to find Lorraine:

The Last Wicked Highwayman

I love my theme! Waylaid by a Highwayman on Christmas Eve. Who doesn’t enjoy a sexy highwayman? I have to confess that I fell in love with one years ago when I watched a Disney movie: The Legend of Dick Turpin. Not sure he was a true hero. After all, he did steal and kill—and he was hanged. Still I cried for his tragic life. Highwaymen had fairly disappeared from England by 1831. However, since I write the Victorian era, I hope you will grant me leave to have a roguish highwayman visit during a time when he might not have, which will no doubt make him the last wicked highwayman ever. Just as William Graves, the hero of my January novella, is THE LAST WICKED SCOUNDREL. William Graves is one of my scoundrels of St. James. They say no good deed goes unpunished, and Graves has been paying the price for unintended consequences. But on January 7, he will finally get his well deserved happy ending. Meanwhile I hope you’ll enjoy my Christmas scene. These characters are the hero and heroine from the first book in the Scoundrel of St. James series, IN BED WITH THE DEVIL.

***

On the road to Heatherwood, the Earl of Claybourne’s Estate
December 24, 1853

Still and silent, he waited at the bend in the road, hidden by a copse of trees, the horse beneath him fidgeting and ready to be off. With a firm hand on the reins, he held the beast in check. On this lonely stretch, a coach would soon be emerging. A coach that belonged to the Earl of Claybourne. A coach that contained his wife.

And so he waited. In spite of the blustering wind and the cold that seeped deep into his bones. He hated the frigid air. He imagined sitting in a large padded chair before a roaring fire, the countess nestled on his lap as he took her mouth and did anything he pleased with it. He would free her buttons, loosen her ribbons, remove the pins from her honeyed hair. She would no doubt protest in the beginning, but he would be insistent, touching her in a manner designed to make her acquiesce until he had his way.

The anticipation made him as eager as his horse to be off.

But he waited, knowing that with patience came the greatest rewards. The Countess of Claybourne was the greatest of all.

And she would be here soon.
***
Catherine Langdon, the Countess of Claybourne, looked out the coach window over the moonlit countryside. After visiting at her brother’s estate for several days and assisting his wife, Frannie, with the birth of their son, Catherine was grateful she would be home in time for Christmas. She had missed her husband something dreadful. While normally he would have accompanied her, he’d needed to oversee the completion of repairs that had been required on the manor house following a horrible fire two years earlier. For the first time they’d be able to celebrate Christmas at his ancestral estate. She was quite looking forward to it.

“It’s awfully desolate out there,” Jenny, her maid, said with trepidation in her voice.

“It’s not much farther now,” Catherine reassured her.

“You don’t think we’ll be set upon do you?” The lit lantern inside the coach revealed the young woman’s furrowed brow.

“We’re quite safe I assure you.”

No sooner had the words been spoken than she became aware of a slowing of the coach, a neighing of the horses.

“What’s wrong?” Jenny asked.

“I’m sure it’s nothing.”

“Stand and deliver!” bellowed through the night. A highwayman’s cry.

Jenny gasped, her eyes wide and frightened. Reaching across, Catherine squeezed her hand. “Not to worry. We’ll be fine.”

Several minutes passed before the door clicked open and the footman looked in apologetically. “I’m sorry, m’lady, but he wishes you both to come out.”

With a sigh, Catherine allowed him to hand her down, vaguely aware of Jenny following her. But she was more arrested by the sight of the highwayman sitting astride his large horse, its breath frosting in the cold winter air. The man was masked, his hat pulled down low, his greatcoat adding to his ominous demeanor.

“What is the meaning of this, sir?” Catherine asked. “I’m anxious to reunite with my husband and am not at all pleased at being waylaid by a highwayman.”

“A lady travelin’ unprotected at night is a temptin’ prize,” he said in a heavy cockney accent.

“I’m not unprotected. I have a capable coachman and footman. Not to mention a knife upon my person which I am not afraid to use and a husband who can be quite vengeful when the situation warrants. He’s not called the Devil Earl for nothing.”

“And ’ere I’d ’eard ’e’d been tamed.”

“I assure you, sir, that you’re wrong on that account.”

He studied her for a moment. “Moight be interstin’ to find out.”

Before she could respond, Jenny said, “I have a silver necklace. You may have it. Just let us go.”

He chuckled low. “I doubt it’s real silver.”

“But it is.”

Catherine tapped Jenny’s shoe to get her attention. When the girl looked at her, Catherine shook her head. “I have this in hand.” Then she met the highwayman’s gaze. “Why don’t we discuss this in the carriage where we’re protected somewhat from the cold?”

“I thought ye’d never ask.”

“My lady—” her maid began.

“It’s all right, Jenny. I’ll be fine.” She leaned over and whispered, “I do have a knife. And I suspect he’s not nearly the ruffian he pretends.”

He dismounted, tall and broad. Confidence undulating off him in waves. “Girl, up top with the driver.” Shrugging out of his greatcoat, he settled it around Jenny’s shoulders to offer her extra protection even though she wore her own coat. Then he tossed the reins to the footman. “You, ride my horse.”

He handed Catherine up into the coach, then quickly joined her, closing the door behind him. Before she could get herself settled, he dragged her onto his lap and took possession of her mouth in a deep, searing kiss. Raking her hands up into his hair, she knocked off his hat. Then she unknotted his mask and pulled it free, tossing it onto the floor as the coach lurched forward.

The highwayman trailed his hot mouth along her throat and she bent her head back to give him easier access. “I’ve missed you,” he growled, the cockney accent replaced by the refined diction of a nobleman.

“Why the ruse, Claybourne?”

“To teach you a lesson. You shouldn’t be traveling at night. It’s far too dangerous. By the time I got your missive telling me of your plans not enough time remained to send a reply for you to delay your parting.”

“I can handle myself. Besides I couldn’t tolerate waiting until morning to leave. I’ve missed you terribly.”

Groaning, he took her mouth again. She welcomed his plundering, didn’t even mind that he was removing the pins from her hair. It wouldn’t be the first time the servants had seen her emerge from their coach disheveled.

When they both came up for air, she said, “You terrified my poor maid.”

Grinning, he leaned back slightly. “I wanted her a little unsettled so Greyson would feel a need to comfort her. He fancies her, but he’s too shy to let her know.”

She laughed. “Your coachman likes my maid?”

“Indeed. So hopefully my little playacting will serve as a gift to them both, if they take advantage of the opportunity to be together.”

“I’m not sure what can be accomplished in the ten minutes that remain before we’re home.” She felt the coach round the bend and turn onto the long drive that would lead them to the steps of the manor. “But still you are rather a most unconventional Father Christmas.”

“I’ve been told I’m an unconventional earl as well.”

“But you’re my earl. And I love you. I’m glad I didn’t have to go another minute being separated from you.”

“Truth be told, I’m grateful as well. Happy Christmas, my love.”


To one lucky poster, I am giving away a miniature trinket box and a copy of Lord of Temptation and Deck the Halls with Love.



THE LAST WICKED SCOUNDREL: Releasing January 7th, it is the story of William Graves, who first appeared in IN BED WITH THE DEVIL.

William Graves is the last of Feagan’s scoundrels. A one-time grave robber turned royal physician, he has devoted his life to saving others, because he knows there is no way to save himself. Especially not around a lady such as Winnie. Though underserving of her touch, he cannot resist, his passion cannot be tamed…even in the face of certain danger.

Winnie, the Duchess of Avendale, never knew peace until her brutal husband died. With William she’s discovered burning desire—and the healing power of love. But now confronted by the past she thought she’d left behind, Winnie must face her fears…or risk losing the one man who can fulfill all her dreams.

Bio: New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases for a publicist, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. In 1990, she read a romance novel and became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She's been writing about them ever since.

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Click for info.


 Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 Miniature Trinket Box and a copy of Lord of Temptation and Deck the Halls with Love

To Enter: 
  • Please leave a comment or question for Lorraine.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

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


Good Luck! 

Special thanks to Lorraine Heath for sponsoring this giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

67 comments :

  1. Oh I do love the Scoundrel of St. James series...and the cover of your books! Thanks for the chance to win!!

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  2. Love the excerpt! I really enjoy these books :)

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  3. Love the Scoundrels of St. James series read them all!! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  4. I love the Scoundrels of St. James series and I was wondering if you would do a reunion like scene for them like... I don't know, a Christmas party or New Years week :D
    I love your writing style, thanks for writing and please never stop :)

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  5. Thanks for this amazing giveaway.

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  6. I LOVE Lorraine Heath's books and look forward to reading these too!!

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  7. Wow, that excerpt was really delicious. I love reading Lorraine's books, and I'm always happy when she releases a new one.

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  8. While I am no stranger to your writing, I actually have never read your books. Looking over your list of titles, I see you've written in various time periods and have books set in both England and America. What time period and setting do you prefer?

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  9. Such a great series. They are so sweet and funny, the excerpt was fantastic. The series has so e of my favorite covers as well.

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  10. I love the Scoundrels of St. James series--In fact, I love all of your books, Lorraine! I love the stories, but I love the richness and fullness of the characters that you create. Keep up the wonderful work and have a blessed and healthy holiday season!

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  11. Thanks so much for sharing and this series sounds fantastic!

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  12. I will have to get started on that Scoundrels series! Great excerpt!

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  13. Love the excerpt! I really enjoy these books :)

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  14. Finally it's William's story! I've been wondering about him...I thought he wouldn't be getting a story of his own but he is! January is just too far away. I love the series and I don't want for this series to end. I love this excerpt...miss the characters so much. I need to reread the books again when I have time.

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  15. Oh, Lorraine, I just about swooned while reading this excerpt! To have a highwayman come in and seat me on his lap and kiss me senseless...it just can't get any better than that!!! Merry Christmas indeed! BTW...love ALL of your stories, but I'm just gonna have to go get The Last Wicked Scoundrel right now...

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  16. What an adorable Christmas scene! I love your books and can't wait for your latest!

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  17. I loved the highwayman story it was very cute. I love Christmas romance stories.

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  18. Love the excerpt!! What a great teaser. :)

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  19. Hi Lorraine, I have only read this book of yours Lord of Wicked Intentions and I loved it. I would love the chance to read the previous books in your series. I love the cover of The Last Wicked Scoundrel! I love the excerpt! thank you for this giveaway!

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  20. Oh, I loved the excerpt!! This is going on the wishlist. I can't wait to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway.

    mlawson17 at Hotmail dot com

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  21. Hello, all! Unfortunately none of my earlier replies showed up. I just switched back to my PC (am a Mac novice) and that seems to have fixed the problem. But I want to thank you all for your lovely comments and for being a fan of my characters. I really enjoyed writing the Scoundrels of St. James series and was glad to be able to give William Graves his story. It was also fun to write this scene and have a chance to visit with Claybourne and Catherine again. I do have a new series starting in March and it will feature 3 of the children from the Scoundrels of St. James series. Thank you so much for joining me here today. And again, apologies for the silence.

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  22. Great exerpt. Lorraine is a new author for me so I have added to my list to read. Thanks for introducing her

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  23. Love the excerpt! Great story! :)

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  24. Thanks for participating. I can't wait until your new books come out!

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  25. Love the story....can't wait until your next book comes out.

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  26. What's next? any new set coming up?

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  27. I have been a fan of your writing for awhile now. I like the stories and the book covers.
    My question is Do you have any say as to what appears on the cover?
    JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

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  28. Looking forward to this novella. I'll put it on my wishlist. Can't wait!

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  29. I do love this series, please have the last novella available in paperback too.

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  30. Great interview! This series sounds awesome and I can’t wait to read it.
    kac_030 @ yahoo.com

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  31. Oooh, I love the story, Lorraine! I won't enter the giveaway because I have all your books ... and get to snag The Last Wicked Scoundrel soon - woohoo!!

    Light,
    Nancy

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  32. Thanks for the story. I just started reading your books, so I have a nice backlist to look forward to.

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  33. Fantastic thank you. More!! More!! More!!

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  34. I think I remember that Disney movie - I wish they would replay those old ones from the Sunday night show.

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  35. I just love this story. I know it's difficult to fit time in an authors busy schedule. But I think it would be so much fun to have a book that reflects what great characters from series are doing after their story has ended. Thanks so much for this little glimpse into the Catherine and the Earl's lives again. And thank you ever so much for sharing your talent with us. I love your books and look forward to the next one and the next one and so on. Happy Holidays and Happy reading everyone.

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  36. I do enjoy a sexy highwayman! Loved The Last Wicked Highwayman and I'm looking forward to reading more in the series.

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  37. I'd love to read this, it sounds great! Love the excerpt!

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  38. Hi Lorraine!

    I love your Scoundrel of Saint James series and was so excited to find out that The Last Wicked Scoundrel was being released in January 7th and that the next story in the series, When the Duke Was Wicked, was being released on February 14th! Hopefully there will be many more "Scoundrels" to come! The best thing is that Amazon already has them available for pre-order!

    I loved the excerpt and can't wait to read "the rest of the story"!

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  39. That was a fun scene. I love this series and am glad you found a few more stories to tell.

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  40. I love discovering "new to me" authors and am so glad I stopped by the blog today! Enjoyed the excerpt and am now adding your books to my Amazon wish list! Happy holidays!

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  41. It is so wonderful to read stories that are after the beginning of the romance/marriage and who still like and love each other. Thank you for this scene.

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  42. love the era and love highwaymen!!!

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  43. I enjoy romance involving married couples.

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  44. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  45. I absolutely loved the scene Waylaid by a Highway Man on Christmas Eve . Loved it. It was so wonderful to read about Claybourne and Catherine again. Thank you so much for sharing this.
    Scoundrels of St. James is one of my favorite series.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750(At) aol (dot) com

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  46. Ooh! What a wonderful author. I enjoy all of Lorraine's work. Thanks for sharing :)
    Lori

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  47. Hi Lorraine! What time period is your favorite to write about? Thanks for the giveaway!

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  48. I love the St. James Series. One of my favs.
    Thanks, Sharon Pauley

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  49. I so enjoy your stories. I have had my Kindle less than a year but you were one of the first authors I found. And now your books over run it with pleasure. :)
    Thank you so much!!

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  50. This series sounds fab, and who doesn't love a wicked highwayman!
    Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  51. Love the excerpt!! I had read IN BED WITH THE DEVIL, and i love it.

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  52. Loraine's book is great, i love it :)

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  53. Awww, how sweet! My favorite highway man is from the poem "The HIghway Man" by Alfred Noyes, so I can understand the fascination with them.

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  54. Catherine and Claybourne are just too cute!!

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  55. Love the short story! Merry Christmas!

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  56. Thanks for the giveaway chance! I love your books :-)

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  57. I loved your story and your books. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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  58. Thanks for the chance to win!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    Love the excerpt!!

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  59. Thank you! my prize arrived yesterday!

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  60. I love the scoundrels of saint James series is my favorite. Graves'story was great and thanks for write his story. He deserve it. How I can get the highwayman Christmass story? It is a ebook?

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