Now, let me tell your lovely readers about myself. My name is Grace Elliot and in true romantic fashion I lead a double life; as a veterinarian by day and an author by night. Both professions require dedication and emotional sensitivity, and both jobs allow me to indulge in my twin passions for all things feline, and my not-so-secret pleasure, historical romance. I suppose the main difference is that veterinary work can be emotionally draining; especially the inevitable sad parting of beloved pets, whereas writing is always uplifting – it recharges my batteries and melts away everyday stresses…my therapy.
So you know a little about what makes me tick, and I’d love to introduce you to my work. ‘A Dead Man’s Debt’ is a sensuous regency romance; a story of personal sacrifice, pain and redeeming love, against a background of blackmail and family duty.
Book Blurb.“Celeste Armitage has a plan…and that plan doesn’t include marriage.
After deliberately humiliating a suitor, Celeste’s despairing parents exile her to the country. But once there she discovers a sketch book of daring nude studies and is shaken to find the artist is her hostess’s eldest son, Lord Ranulf Charing. This darkly cynical lord is exactly the sort of dissipated rogue she despises most…if only her blood didn’t heat at the thought of him…
Nothing is as it seems. Lord Ranulf’s life is a façade. Only he can save the Charing’s from disgrace as a blackmailer tries to ruin his late brother’s reputation. But just as Ranulf dares to open his heart to Celeste, the fury of his nemesis is unleashed… facing him with the stark choice between true love and family duty. However when Celeste guesses the truth behind his rejection, Ranulf underestimates her resolve to clear his name and in so doing places the woman he loves in mortal danger….”
When writing I am transported to a world of satins and silks, where real men ride stallions and feisty heroines defy convention. I write what I love to read, and that’s what makes writing such a safety valve for me. Don’t get me wrong, being a veterinarian is all I ever wanted to be, but I increasingly find myself over involved in my patients and the weight of responsibility can sometimes wear me down – hence my part-time alter ego in a regency gown rather than surgical scrubs!
Besides – it’s such a giggle creating a rake!
Lord Ranulf’s expression darkened. “Miss Armitage?”--
“My new companion. Lady Lucinda’s eldest girl.”
“Ah. The Norfolk Armitages?”
“Yes.” A wry smile puckered his mother’s face, her watery blue eyes recovering their former mischief. “Between you and me, her eldest daughter Celeste caused an unseemly rumpus over the Earl of Crumbourne. Suffice to say she turned down his attentions in a most public and humiliating way. All the more bizarre because she’s a queer, plain little thing and Crumbourne would be a triumphant match for her family.”
“The shame of it.” Ranulf commented ironically.
“As it was I needed a companion so dear Lucinda sent Celeste here to cool her heels… so I can teach her some manners.”
“She sounds interesting. Spirited.” The glint in Ranulf’s velvet brown eyes was unmistakable. Lady Cadnum regarded him sternly.
“Now Ranulf, you’re not to get ideas. The girl is under my protection. Her mother has my word….”
Ranulf sneered. “You do me a disservice Ma’am; I’m not the reprobate you suppose me to be.”
“When then will you marry? You are thirty now. It is the dearest wish of Lord Cadnum and myself that you to settle down and …”
“Provide a son and heir.” Ranulf swiped at the settle with the toe of his hessians.
“Your duty as eldest son….”
“And just as soon as I meet a fecund young Lady that doesn’t bore me rigid I shall drag her to the altar and we’ll breed like rabbits.”
“But until then, how…and with whom… I choose to amuse myself is my affair.”
Hardness framed his mouth, his eyes hooded and sharp, brooking no further argument.
If you would like to find out more about Grace Elliot, please visit www.graceelliot.webs.com, or her blog (a mix of romance, history and cats!) http://graceelliot-author.
‘A Dead Man’s Debt’ is available from most good eBook retailers, Amazon Kindle and at http://www.solsticepublishing.
-Thank you again Rita and I hope your readers have enjoyed this post. I will leave you with this excerpt, where hero and heroine meet late at night in the library….[Bonus Excerpt]
“Couldn’t keep away?” Ranulf growled, hoping to conceal the giddiness in his stomach.
“A small sherry…” she drew in a jerky breath, belatedly realizing her shawl had slipped to reveal a pert bosom. “To help me sleep.”
A frisson of excitement tingled his palms as he noticed her bare toes peeking beneath the hem of her shift. For some inexplicable reason he wanted to rub a thumb along the arch of each delicate foot. It took all his self control to remain impassive.
“An uneasy conscience perhaps?”
“Nothing of the sort,” she blustered, squaring her shoulders which had the effect of ghosting her nipples against the cotton lawn. “My dreams were disturbed…”
To Ranulf’s immense satisfaction a flood of color darkened her cheeks, raising the suspicion that he inhabited those dreams. He held her gaze, tension sparking from green to brown eyes.
Ranulf raised a half smile. “You look flustered Miss Armitage.”
“No I’m not…well if I am is it any surprise?”
Admiring her honesty, as well as her disheveled hair, he nodded. “Forgive me. I forget sometimes how…intimidating…I appear to women.”
In the gloom it was impossible to see the color of her cheeks by they darkened further as she adjusted the shawl.
“I assure you Lord Charing that I do not find you intimidating….arrogant yes…but not intimidating.” As she frowned, two darling lines crinkled across the bridge of her nose and suddenly, undeniably, he wanted to kiss her. Even in the dim candle light her eyes burnt with indignation, but it was the darkly shadowed nipple pressed against the fine lawn of her shift that held Ranulf’s attention…