Tag Archive | Historical Romance

Book Signing in Nashville, TN!

More than most anything, I love to meet my readers in person! It’s hard to explain how happy it makes me to know that my books have been enjoyed by someone other than myself, and that the characters seem real to other people, too.

I’m attending a weekend-long convention in Nashville, TN at the Airport Marriott, March 16th-18th. A Weekend with the Authors is a time for authors and avid readers to mingle and share ideas centered around the love of books. Registration for this event is open until March 10th. For more info, check out their site. http://www.aweekendwiththeauthors.com/

If you can’t attend all three days, be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, March 17th, from 3:00-6:00 pm. Not only is it St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s also the day of the book signing. This part of the event is open to the public and FREE! Come and meet nearly 50 multi-genre romance writers! There will be plenty of books to peruse and purchase, plus some fun giveaways.

Be sure to stop by my table and check out the special rates on my boxed sets. The boxes are quite pretty in their own right. You can also enter to win a mega goody basket that includes the complete 7-book set of the Southern Secrets Saga. No purchase necessary to enter, but you must be present to win!

I hope to see you in Nashville!

 

 

 

Cover Reveal! Island in the Forest!

I promised to reveal the cover for my new medieval fantasy, and here it is! It’s going through the final editing stages, and I hope to see it released next month or early in March.

 

Olivia has lived her entire life behind the walls of Padrida, a kingdom unknown to the rest of the world. As the king and queen’s only heir, she’s destined to rule. She’s given everything she needs, but wants only one thing.

Freedom.

Boredom plagues Prince Sebastian of Basilia. The realms have been at peace for more than a century, and he has little to occupy his time. He journeys to Black Wood—a dense forest with an evil reputation—seeking adventure. What he finds is something else entirely.

Happy New Year!

2018 already?

Where did 2017 go?

I noticed that my last blog post was in May of 2017. Ouch! Of course, I added pages to my website when my new books were released, but those don’t run in my blog.

I get so caught up writing my books, that I lose track of time and forget to post a blog. I’ve always enjoyed blogging, so I’ll do my best to post more of them this year. And please, if you have any particular things you’d like me to blog about, send me a message. I’d love to hear from you!

Currently, I’m delving into a new genre. Light Medieval Fantasy. I love the medieval time period, and as you know, I enjoy writing historical fiction. My new series, “Shrouded Thrones,” is set in medieval times, similar to King Arthur’s era. I say ‘similar’ because my story will not have actual history or real historical settings. The story takes place in fictitious kingdoms, and that is why it will be classified as fantasy.

It’s scary branching out into other genres. I hope those of you who enjoy my historical fiction will give this new series a try. “Island in the Forest,” book one of “Shrouded Thrones,” will be released in late February or March.

                               I love castles!

People often ask me what inspires my stories. This particular story’s inspiration is a tale in itself!

When my son was about five years old, I was tucking him into bed, and he asked for a bedtime story. I usually read to him, but that particular night, he wanted me to ‘tell’ him a story. I think I started recanting “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” He’d heard that one before, so he said, “No. A different story.”

I don’t recall what I attempted to tell him next, but it was something else he’d already heard. He made it very clear that he wanted something new. A story I made up just for him.

Way back then, writing books wasn’t part of my daily routine. His request was a tall order, but from somewhere deep in my mind, “Island in the Forest” came to life. Of course, since I was telling it to a child, I told it as a fairy tale. Simple and to the point. He loved it, and I felt like a pretty decent mom!

Night after night, I’d continue the story. Years later, I wrote it in book form, still a fairy tale. I attempted seeking a publisher at that time and got some very nice ‘passes.’ I didn’t understand the book industry back then, so I tucked the book away and forgot about it.

About 15 years ago, I was doing a lot of musical theater. Both acting and directing. I pulled “Island” from my file cabinet and did a major rewrite. I wrote 12 songs, as well as a complete script, and turned it into a musical. I hired someone to score the music, but something happened along the way, and the score was never finished.

My life took some major changes at that point, and I started writing novels. Once I got my first books published, my mind drifted back to that wonderful story that had already gone through many changes. I decided to do one more. “Island in the Forest” is no longer a fairy tale. It’s a grown-up novel. I’ve been able to dig deeper into the feelings and emotions of my characters and have made them real. Though it’s set in a fictitious world, I hope you’ll find them and their complex story completely believable.

Soon, I’ll be revealing the cover, so stay tuned!

And for those of you who are mourning the end of the Smoky Mountain Secrets Saga, I plan to return to the cove later in 2018. (Yeah!)

I have no doubt this year will be exciting, and I can’t wait to see where it will take us!

Thank you for traveling with me on this fun adventure.

Write On!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway! Whispers from the Cove

In celebration of my newest release, “Whispers from the Cove,” I’m giving away 5 signed copies through a Goodreads Giveaway! Now thru June 19th.

Whispers from the Cove

Smoky Mountain Secrets Saga, Book 1

Lily Larsen has never been afraid of anything, yet the effects of the war are wearing her down.

Her beautiful home in Cades Cove, Tennessee, lies deep in the Smoky Mountains. For decades, her family has farmed and lived peacefully, until the soldiers came and made every day a struggle to survive.

Whether they wear gray or blue, the men in uniform arrive unexpectedly and take whatever they want. Not only do they steal food and livestock, but some believe they can help themselves to anything they desire. Lily now has something to fear.

Caleb Henry is running from his own battles, bleeding and broken. He seeks refuge in the cove and literally runs into Lily. Because he’s injured, she shows compassion and sneaks him into her cabin, trusting her folks to tend him.

But there’s more to Caleb than they see on the surface. His arrival changes their lives, and what happens going forward can never be undone.

You can enter, by clicking below. Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Whispers from the Cove by Jeanne Hardt

Whispers from the Cove

by Jeanne Hardt

Giveaway ends June 19, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Getting to Know Lily Larsen

In less than a week, book one of my latest saga will be released! I’m so excited to bring this story into the hands of readers. It’s been in my heart for a great while. From the first time I traveled the loop road around Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains, the beautiful setting became a part of me. I do all I can to visit the Smokies at least once a year.

In anticipation of the release of “Whispers from the Cove,” I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to my heroine, Lily Larsen. Yes, she’s fictitious, but she represents the amazing people of the cove who worked hard and made a life for themselves in the mountains. Though Cades Cove is now part of a national park, when you travel there, you’ll step back in time and easily visualize what it must have been like to live in the beautiful, lush valley. Many of the cabins, churches, and other historical buildings remain. 

Lily Larsen was born February 23rd, 1847. The first child of many to Rose and Howard (Buck) Larsen. Labeled a ‘mountain girl’ from the time she took her first steps.

She followed her pa around their small farm and learned all she could from him and her ma. As she grew, and her siblings began to arrive, she understood the meaning of responsibility. Not only did she have an abundance of daily chores, she was also expected to help with the children.

Lily’s tough-as-nails demeanor made her perfect for mountain life. She feared nothing, including hard work.

The family farm thrived, thanks in part to Lily’s help. Her optimism kept her folks smiling and lifted the spirits of her brothers and sister. Her sister, Violet, became her dearest friend. Though their personalities differed, their bond couldn’t be stronger.

At the opening of “Whispers,” Lily is seventeen. Her hands aren’t soft, like those of pampered city girls. They’re callused, rough, and capable. She uses them to plow fields, skin wild game, and cuddle her youngest brother. Her heart is as big as her ambition, but she now has something to fear.

She’s become a beautiful young woman, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The war between North and South is raging, and soldiers wearing both blue and gray arrive in the cove to find refuge and take whatever they want. They feel entitled to it. Some see the mountain women as spoils of war, and one particular rebel soldier has his eyes on Lily. She’s not naive by any means and knows his intentions are far from those of matrimony.

Even before the soldiers arrived, the war created other problems for her family. Her pa went off to fight, but returned home maimed. Now her folks have lost hope, but Lily’s determined to keep her family’s spirit alive and the farm somehow thriving. She’ll never allow herself to be defeated. That quality is one of her greatest traits.

She longs for love and a family of her own, but the war has made it impossible. Every day, she prays the fighting will end and life will become as it once was. Though they’ve had to struggle to survive, Lily certainly won’t give up hope. It’s not in her character.

 

Getting to Know John Martin

One thing I always hear from readers of my Southern Secrets Saga is, “I hate John Martin!”

If you’ve not yet started on the series, don’t worry. I won’t post any spoilers here. What I will tell you is how John became the man everyone despises.

First, I want you to envision the most attractive man you’ve ever seen. The one with perfect features and a flawless well-kept body. He never has one hair out of place, and it’s the thick kind every woman wants to run her fingers through. His deep blue, bedroom eyes easily captivate their victims. His good looks embolden him. But his devilish behavior started when he was much younger than he was the first time he’s introduced in Consequences, Southern Secrets Saga Book 2.Consequences Cover

John was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. His parents died when he was only three, and he was raised by his uncle, Theodore.  The man was a well-respected businessman, who traveled a great deal.

Until John reached his teens, he was reared by a nanny and rarely saw his uncle. But when Theodore realized his nephew was himself becoming a man, he decided to begin teaching him the ways of the world. He took John with him on every business trip.

Theodore never married, nor had children. No longer a fussy, childish brat, John became the son he’d longed for. He looked to Theodore for guidance and showed him the utmost respect.

Theodore taught him the joy of having wealth and ways to attain it in business by bending the law. His deviousness excited John, and led him to study the law further, eventually pursuing a career as an attorney.

By the time John turned sixteen, Theodore decided he needed another lesson in life. One that brought even more gratification. On his birthday, he treated him to a fine dinner, including champagne. When they returned to their hotel room that night, John was surprised to be met by an attractive woman. Theodore excused himself for a ‘much-needed walk’ and left John alone with her. She took away all of his innocence and taught him what his body had been made for. The woman was skilled, able, and of course, very well-paid.

She boosted John’s ego by telling him what a handsome and desirable young man he was. The flattery stayed with him. From then on, he stood taller and walked with his shoulders back. Her compliments were affirmed when every woman he passed took a second look. After tasting one woman, he always wanted more. Desire never left him.

His uncle noticed the change and praised him for it. They frequented out-of-the-way bordellos, but Theodore cautioned him to be discreet. Eventually, they knew enough women at every business stop, so they were able to enlist bed partners without having to pay. Women willingly gave themselves, especially when the men insisted they were the only one.

At eighteen, John was a legal student working as an attorney’s aide in Mobile, Alabama. When the opportunity presented itself, Theodore left him there at a boarding house and went on his way doing his own business.

On a one-day excursion to the bay for some relaxation, John met Ruth Montgomery. Her southern charm captivated him, and she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. She, too, was eighteen, but unlike him, unspoiled. Their youthful passion took hold and he bedded her. It took little on his part to entice her, but when she told her parents what they’d done, her father came after him with a shotgun and insisted he marry her.

John wasn’t ignorant. He’d learned that backwoods country folk would pull the trigger without a moment’s hesitation.

He moved with Ruth into a small house she’d inherited from the family, not far from Mobile Bay. Nine months later, their daughter, Claire, came into the world. Ruth was elated, but John was anything but that. He felt trapped. Not to mention, his studies had virtually gone by the wayside. He resented Ruth and eventually shunned her. She noticed the change and tried to make things better by showing overly affectionate behavior. It only angered him. The last thing he wanted was for her to conceive again.

He went to Mobile to take his law exams, in hopes of some kind of escape. While there, he met Elizabeth. A raven-haired beauty from the North, with the blackest eyes he’d ever seen. They shared political views and interest in the law. No trace of a southern drawl passed her ruby red lips. She was not only intelligent, but well-spoken. Everything about her made him realize what was lacking with Ruth.

When he discovered that Elizabeth came from a wealthy family in Connecticut, nothing kept him from pursuing her. She was his way north again. She had the money to fund his career, and the intelligence to keep his mind satisfied. Her beautiful body would satiate his other needs.

John led her to believe that there was nothing tying him to Alabama. He discreetly sent Ruth a certificate of divorce. Her family urged her to sign it. They despised him and knew she’d be better off without him.

For the ten years he and Elizabeth were married, he remained faithful to her. But when she died, he returned to his old ways, and never looked back. He took satisfaction from any woman he wanted. Of course, he still told each one that they were special. The only one for him.

His uncle had taught him well.

 

John has a tendency to pop up in some of my other books. He’s in my contemporary novel, A Golden Life, and he also has a brief cameo in, From the Ashes of Atlanta. I thought you might enjoy reading it. No matter where John goes, his devilish character is unmistakable.

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Ashes of Atlanta CoverThe man approaching him was finely dressed, fitting in perfectly with the extravagant fixtures. Business suit, top hat, and looks that caused every woman he passed to turn her head. And, it was obvious he liked the attention. He smiled at each one in turn, regardless of whether or not they had a man accompanying them. But oddly enough, he appeared to be heading to the seat beside Jeb.

“May I?” the man asked, pointing to the empty seat.

Why not? Jeb wouldn’t be carrying on a conversation with the man, and he seemed harmless enough. So, he nodded, and the man sat.

“Thank you.” He leaned in and Jeb got a whiff of cologne. He smiled inwardly, thinking of Katherine’s ‘skunk.’ But it was nothing to smile about. Gwen would be marrying the skunk in less than six hours.

“I heard the conductor,” the man said. “I know you can’t speak, but it’s to my benefit. I tend to find myself sitting beside a woman who can’t keep her mouth shut. For the most part, I listen, and often times I’m rewarded for my attentions.” He wiggled his brows. “I’m certain you understand my meaning. But today, I need to watch myself. Not get carried away.” A sly grin curled the man’s lips. He removed his hat and placed it in his lap, then primped his hair. Never before had Jeb seen a man so concerned over his appearance.

He should have told him ‘no.’

Are all men from the north arrogant and rude in regards to women?

“My name’s Martin. John Martin. I’m an attorney.” He puffed out his chest and sat more upright.

An attorney. That explained the expensive suit. Jeb sighed. It wasn’t long ago that he answered to the name, ‘John.’

“My practice is in Bridgeport. So, if you’re ever there, or in need of legal help, look me up.”

The man’s arrogance oozed from every part of his body. One of the ladies, who had watched him pass by, turned to look at him. He acknowledged her with a slight lift of his head and one raised eyebrow. She covered her mouth, tittered, and then faced forward.

“That one shows promise,” he said through the side of his mouth, “but I dare not. I’m meeting a woman in Buffalo.” He cupped his hand over the side of his mouth. “For a tryst.”

Was this man always so bold? Talking to a complete stranger about his personal life? Maybe he thought he would be impressed, or did he simply find Jeb to be nonthreatening?

“You’re a handsome young man,” Mr. Martin said, rubbing his chin. “Even with your impairment. May I give you some advice?”

This could be interestin’….

“Circus women.”

What?

Jeb’s face must have shown his confusion, because Mr. Martin laughed aloud. An arrogant, sophisticated sort of laugh.

“I’m personal friends with Mr. P.T. Barnum. Phineas Taylor Barnum. I’m certain you’ve heard of him. Well…he knows all sorts of interesting people, and women with unique talents. Of course that mermaid was a hoax, but she brought him incredible wealth.”

Jeb nodded, intrigued by the man’s story. Not to mention that it took his mind off of Gwen and helped the time to pass.

Mr. Martin leaned in again. “He introduced me to a contortionist. I highly recommend that every man should give one a try. At least once. They can move their bodies in ways that you can’t even begin to imagine.”

Intriguing or not, Jeb couldn’t take another minute. He grabbed his cane and rose to his feet.

“Oh.” Mr. Martin looked up at him. “Do you need to use the facilities?”

Jeb scowled at the man, and stepped by him and into the aisle. Glancing toward the rear of the car, he spotted an empty seat, and made his way toward it. He pitied the woman in Buffalo and hoped she knew what kind of a man he was.

 

Free Download Dec. 8th-10th!

For a limited time, Deceptions, Southern Secrets Saga, book 1, is available to download for free! This is your chance to step into the lives of five families who are learning to live and love again after a war that tore apart our nation. I hope they’ll touch your heart.

Those of you who are already fans of this series know that it takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, with many unexpected twists and turns. True to life, things aren’t always pretty. However, I always strive for happy endings.

https://www.amazon.com/Deceptions-Southern-Secrets-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B0139LASFS

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Getting to Know Victoria O’Malley

Victoria O’Malley is by far the most complex character I’ve ever written. Beautiful, bratty, bold, and believe or not, she does have a heart. This gorgeous redhead is featured on more of my covers than any other characters.

Consequences Cover

For those of you who’ve followed her journey in my Southern Secrets Saga, don’t worry, I’m not going to reveal any spoilers! But, I thought I’d give you a chance to get to know her better. Find out what makes her tick.

Raised as only child by some of the wealthiest people in Mobile, Alabama, she led a life of leisure. As a ‘Daddy’s girl,’ she was given anything and everything she wanted, and rarely told ‘no.’ As she grew into a woman, she used her beauty to entice people outside her family to accommodate all her pleasures.

Unfortunately, her striking looks lead her into the arms of a man who’s abusive and self-absorbed. Handsome and wealthy in his own right, she believes he’ll be her perfect mate. Passion and lust drive their relationship. She mistakes it for love and eventually pays the price.

Desires cover 850

Raised as a Catholic, Victoria attended St. Mary’s parish in Mobile, Alabama. She faithfully went to Sunday Mass and weekly confession. The priest’s concern grew, the older she got. Things she revealed in the confessional remained with him and God, but weighed heavy. He did all he could to guide her, but Victoria’s headstrong ways took her down her own path. Besides, as she frequently reminded people, no matter what she did, she’d be forgiven once she confessed. In her mind, that made her as clean and pure as snow.

Incivilities_300

She attended Catholic school, and it was there that she attained her sophisticated southern drawl. Though her parents were Irish, with heavy brogues, she displayed no trace of it. She wanted to sound like the other girls in her class, so she mimicked them. Besides, she found that men preferred hearing the lilt of a true Southern Belle. Drawing their attention was by far her greatest pleasure, and her ultimate purpose in life.

Her mother was another major influence. Beautiful like her daughter, Shannon O’Malley passed her wisdom on to Victoria. When she advised Victoria to judge a man by the size of his wallet, Victoria took it to heart. Genuine love and respect was never considered.

Here’s a little secret some of you may not know …

Victoria made her first appearance in a different series. In book three of my River Romance series, you’ll meet her as a pre-teen.

Here’s a teaser from “Forgotten.”

“Be with you in a minute, Miss O’Malley,” Jake yelled. He scratched at his full beard, then bent low over the counter. “Banker’s daughter,” he whispered. “One a my best customers.”

Brian chuckled, then glanced at the girl. She could easily have been Margaret Mitchell’s daughter. Same red hair and striking features. “She’s very pretty.”

“Just turned eleven.” Jake shook his head. “She’ll break hearts one day.”

Brian agreed. To be that young and already well put together indicated she’d blossom into something extraordinary.

He wanted to get down to business, but Jake seemed more interested in gossip. “That dress,” he said through the side of his mouth. “Twelve dollars. Came from overseas.”

Brian gasped. Twelve dollars for one dress? Silk and lace. Not something any ordinary girl would put on for casual daywear. Even Hannah’s attire wasn’t this expensive-looking. Impractical during a war.

As if she knew they were talking about her, the girl came to the counter. She tipped her head coyly and batted her eyes. “Who’s the new boy?” Her southern drawl was thick but refined, and though she posed the question to Jake, her eyes were on Brian.

Boy? I’m no boy.

Now that she’d moved closer, she was even more beautiful. Her eyes were deeper green than his.

“Miss O’Malley,” Jake said. “This here’s Brian. He works for Mr. Bradley over at that new hotel they’re buildin’.”

Brian nodded at her and smiled.Forgotten 850

“A carpenter?” She stuck her nose in the air and grunted.

“Yes.” He pulled his shoulders back. Her beauty rapidly diminished.

“Victoria!”

Brian faced the shrieking woman. This redhead was a grownup version of the girl. Dress and attitude. For all the women he’d met in Mobile who had his features, surely a relative had to be in the city.

“What, Mama?” Victoria rolled her eyes.

“Your father is waitin’.” Mrs. O’Malley’s Irish brogue caught Brian off guard.

“But I haven’t had time to buy something,” Victoria pouted.

Mrs. O’Malley took the girl by the hand. “There’s always a first time.” She smiled at Brian, then nodded to Jake. “Good day, Mr. Parker.”

I hope this little snippet has piqued your curiosity. Unlike my saga, which sometimes leaves you hanging at the end of a volume, the River Romance books can be read as single titles. Each book comes to a conclusion. Still, I’d highly recommend that you start with book one, “Marked.” The series follows a family in Tennessee, and you’ll get to know each family member a bit better by starting at the beginning.

I enjoy linking characters in my books. Even if they skip over to a different series. There’s a surprising brief ‘cameo’ from one of my Southern Secrets characters in my single title, “From the Ashes of Atlanta.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into Victoria. She’s the girl you love to hate, but she worked her way into my heart and hopefully yours, too. I’ve shed many tears for her. And that’s another story . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

They Seem So Real!

I’m suffering from a chapped nose. No, I don’t have a cold. Yes, I sometimes have allergies, but that’s not the reason either.

I just finished writing a difficult chapter. I can usually knock out a chapter a day, but this one took three. Along with half a box of tissues.

I tell myself all the time that I’m not crazy. Maybe that in itself is a little nuts. Then, I’m reminded of one of my favorite movie scenes from “Romancing the Stone.” Author, Joan Wilder, is hunting for tissues. Sobbing over what she’s written.

When I first saw that film over thirty years ago, I wasn’t a writer. At least, not an author of novels. But now that I am, I get it! When my characters hurt, I hurt. Thus, the tears.

I’ll never forget the first time someone told me that my characters seemed real. Probably one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. They’re certainly real to me. Otherwise, why would I cry for them? Why would I care so much?

I recently had a great conversation with a reader who’s on Book 3 of my Southern Secrets Saga. She talked to me about things that were happening in the story and asked a few questions. But mostly, we talked about the characters and how much we love them. I felt like we were discussing long-time mutual friends. At one point, she apologized for going on so long about the books. Oh, my goodness! There definitely had been no need for that, and I told her so. It was fun! I doubt she realized how she’d made my day.

I’m glad the imaginary people I bring to life feel real. I’m afraid that if they weren’t relatable, the story would fall flat. A reader should be able to walk hand in hand with the characters and experience what they’re going through. Good and bad. Emotion is healthy. I just wish I could spare my nose!

Desires cover 850

I’m Still Here!

First, I beg forgiveness for being so absent lately! The good thing is that my lack of posting is due to flying fingers finishing up two manuscripts for publication this month.

I’ve already added these books on my book tab, so please check them out! “Consequences” is Book 2 in my Southern Secrets Saga. I appreciate all of the nice emails and messages I’ve received asking about its release. It thrills me to know that you all are enjoying this new series. The story is close to my heart. My very first baby!

Today is the anniversary of my writing journey. Five years ago I began typing my first manuscript. Much different from the plays and songs I’d written, but I found it to be my ‘thing.’ I’ve not stopped since.

My seventh release, “A Golden Life,” will be available soon. It’s currently being formatted. In this book, I truly bare my soul. I shed a lot of tears writing it, but even so, I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun writing a book. And saying fun in regard to this book is kind of odd, because it’s about death. It’s the story of a woman trying to cope with the loss of her husband. I think you’ll find it a bit surprising how she starts to heal. Yes, it’s a love story. A very different kind of love story.

If you’d like to receive my monthly newsletters, be sure to sign up by clicking the ‘newsletter’ tab at the top of the page. In my newsletter I reveal my covers and share release dates, etc. I also throw in a few personal tidbits!

And please, if you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d love to hear from you!

Okay…back to writing. Southern Secrets Saga Book 3 coming soon…

Have an awesome day!

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