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Today's guest has visited before, so please welcome Alina K Field with her latest release, Storm & Shelter. Take it away Alina....
The year 2020 was awful in many ways, but there were some bright spots. For me, one of those was being invited by the Bluestocking Belles, a group of historical romance authors, to be one of the guest authors in their 2021 story collection. It was a unique experience, and a great deal of fun, interweaving our stories and characters into the collection's setting. All of the stories take place in the fictional Suffolk town of Fenwick on Sea during a "storm of the century". It is the first week of April 1815, and Napoleon Bonaparte has just escaped from Elba.
When this opportunity arose, I was in the middle of writing Fated Hearts, my Regency-set retelling of the Macbeth story. Since Fated Hearts was set in London in March 1815, in the middle of the Corn Riots, and in the week that ended with the arrival of news of Bonaparte's escape, the Storm & Shelter project gave me the perfect opportunity for a secondary character's romance.
Blurb for Storm & Shelter:
When a storm blows off the North Sea and slams into the village of Fenwick on Sea, the villagers prepare for the inevitable: shipwreck, flood, land slips, and stranded travelers. The Queen’s Barque Inn quickly fills with the injured, the devious, and the lonely—lords, ladies, and simple folk; spies, pirates, and smugglers all trapped together. Intrigue crackles through the village, and passion lights up the hotel.
One storm, eight authors, eight heartwarming novellas.
Blurb for The Comtesse of Midnight:
A Scottish Earl on a quest for the elusive Comtesse de Fontenay rescues a French lady smuggler from the surf during a devastating storm, and takes shelter with her. As the stormy night drags on, he suspects his companion knows the woman he’s seeking, the one who holds the secret to his identity.
Marielle Plessiers may dress like a boy and go out with the local free traders, but she’s really the Comtesse de Fontenay. She trades in spirits, not secrets, but the information she holds will change Malcolm Comyn’s life forever.
The Scotsman, however, was dead on his feet. She could almost feel sorry for him. He was far from home, and had been traveling for several days. His neckcloth was limp, his cuffs soiled, his coat wrinkled. His boots, well and carefully crafted, if not by Hoby then by some equally fashionable bootmaker in Edinburgh, had not been properly polished in the last few days.
Did he have a razor in his interesting valise? She wouldn’t molest him, unless he thought to do the same to her. If it came to that, and she prayed that it wouldn’t, she would use her own blade and not some unfamiliar shaving instrument.
“Is this one of your imports?” he asked, swirling the amber liquid. “It’s very good.”
His words stirred her out of her imaginings about handsome young men, and she realized she must manage the conversation else she’d slip into sleep, or perhaps something more inconvenient, without thinking.
The Comte had always succumbed to sleep when they’d conversed, no matter the topic. She must soothe this fine-looking and very fatigued man the same way.
Outside, the thunderstorm had moved on, and the rain pounded in a comforting downpour. With the warm fire, and the heavy blankets, and the sleeping dog, it was quite cozy.
But what to talk about? Most certainly not the free trade. It would be far too diverting to put him to sleep, and besides she had no idea what he would do with the knowledge.
The countryside? She might slip and drop a hint about her home at Bloodmoor Hill.
She thought back to her time on the fringes of a London society that she’d found unbearably dull.
“I am glad you are enjoying the brandy,” she said. “But I daresay you are not liking this weather. It is quite the worst storm in many seasons, people are saying. Normally at this time of year the sea has quietened.” A lie, of course, but how would he know?
He sipped his drink, eyeing her over the glass.
Oh. Given that it might remind him of her activities that evening and spark questions, the sea was an inappropriate topic, whether or not one was fudging a weather report. “Winters, however are generally mild.”
He yawned, and she went on, discussing the number of rainstorms in March and going back to February, and then January, and making up the story as she went along, until his eyes drooped and the empty glass fell into his lap and lodged itself next to his fall.
Warmth uncurled in her. His trousers were tight in the usual fashion for gentlemen, outlining masculine endowments that sparked her interest far too much. Retrieving the fallen tumbler was out of the question.
She set down her own glass and fought the urge to join him in slumber.
Storm & Shelter also includes novellas by Jude Knight, Carolyn Warfield, Sherry Ewing, Rue Allyn, Cerise DeLand, Mary Lancaster, and Grace Burrowes.
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3kgRmLG
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3lZYHja
Award winning and USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but prefers the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California, where she shares a midcentury home with her husband and a spunky, blond rescued terrier. She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. Though hard at work on her next series of romantic adventures, she loves to hear from readers!
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alina-K.-Field/e/B00DZHWOKY
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/alinakf/Newsletter signup: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z6q6e3
Great spotlight don't'cha think? I certainly enjoyed it. Thank You, Alina for sharing with us today. We wish you and the other authors involved in this anthology the best of luck and God's blessings.
Until next time, Friends, take care and God bless.