Friday, December 7, 2012

A Spy Mission...with Jillian Stone (+Giveaway)

A Spy Mission 
on Christmas Eve with Jillian Stone

About the Author:


Jillian Stone is the author of the Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator series, which includes The Seduction of Phaeton Black, and the just released, The Moonstone and Miss Jones. The third sequel, The Miss Education of Doctor Exeter, is scheduled to release in summer 2013. Jillian is also the author of The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series. Watch for A Private Duel with Agent Gunn in late November!

Find Jillian OnlineWebsite | Blog-O-Nauts | Facebook | Twitter

Detective Flynn Rhys is on duty Christmas Eve. Several months back, working a case with Detective Rafe Lewis, he was injured in a dynamite explosion. A rather serious compound leg fracture. Plastered up in a full leg cast, he’s been assigned to surveillance, day and night, weekends and holidays. Resigned to a lonely night ahead, he hunkers down with a pair of binoculars––until a pretty package in red and white arrives.

I am also happy to report that these next few pages, written for Dani and Rita’s Christmas Eve Blogfest, will eventually become the opening chapter of the next Gentlemen of Scotland Yard romantic suspense adventure: A Dragon Kiss from Detective Rhys.-Jillian
A Spy Mission on Christmas Eve
by Jillian Stone

Isle of Dogs, London 1887


Flynn Rhys adjusted the bi-ocular spyglass to afford the best possible view across Rabbit Row. A window had been left uncovered in the second floor of the boarding house––one that rented by the hour. The prostitute working her customer tugged at the pale yellow ribbon on her chemise. “Have a care Lizzy, and show us those rosy tips,” Flynn muttered to himself as an ample bosom sprang from its confines. 

He made an adjustment to his trousers, causing a downward tilt of his binoculars. A bustle of pedestrians traipsed up and down Nightingale Lane, last minute shoppers laden with packages. A dockworker hustled home with a doll under his arm. Flynn counted a half dozen oranges in an open weave sack flung over a sailor’s shoulder. 


The fact that it was Saturday night and Christmas Eve, appeared to double the merriment. The brass buttoned jacket of the local Custom-house officer caught his eye. Ham Brady was a bully of a man with plenty of cheek. Even Brady who never smiled, whistled a tune as he sauntered down the row. 


“Officer Brady up to his usual three penny upright, sir?” Charlie raised the window shade on a dusky twilight. The lamplighters were about. On most Saturday nights, Ham Brady would be sampling a bit street quim in the alley below. But not tonight. Presumably, the man made his way home to a family who found something to love about him.


“You should go home, Charlie––it’s Christmas Eve, for God’s sake.” A street hawker by trade, Charlie Doyle was a strapping lad. Yard men in need of an extra hand, hired him for off the books operations. He slipped a banknote into the young man’s jacket. “Stores will be closed in another hour. Take home a pretty bauble for your sister and mum.”


Reluctant to leave, Charlie hesitated at the door. “I don’t mind staying, sir. We could take turns on watch––between a bit of card play.”


Flynn, grabbed the hearth poker and itched a toe. “Not likely Grey de Ruthyn will be engaged in any gun smuggling tonight.” 


“I wager you’re looking forward to Tuesday, next.” Charlie nodded to the full leg cast. “About time those plaster bandages were off.” 


Flynn had been laid up for months nursing a compound fracture. To keep him from going barking mad, Zeno Kennedy, Chief Inspector, Special Branch, had arranged for something––unofficial. Flynn had been tasked with observing the comings and goings of a storehouse in Wapping, and now a shipping office on the Isle of Dogs.


The very idea of an arms trafficker setting up shop not four doors away from the Board of Trade Office––well, it was a wicked clever ruse. And Simon Grey de Ruthyn was as cunning and bold as they come.


“Out of my sight, lad.” Flynn softened his gaze. “Save me some Christmas dinner.”
“That I will, sir.” Charlie, donned his cap, backing out of the flat. “Roast goose and plum pudd––” Rattled by loud thumps on the door, his helper jumped away.
Another series of thuds and a muffled cries. Flynn separated two voices. One of them was the boarding house proprietress, Mrs. Hardwick.


He and Charlie exchanged looks. One could never be too careful when surveilling Grey de Ruthyn. Flynn tossed the fire poker to Charlie with a nod. “Let’s see who it is.” 

 
His apprentice Yard man had no sooner turned the lock––when the door burst open in a blur of red and white. 


“Young ladies are not allowed to call on gentlemen borders––it’s strictly against the house rules.” Mrs. Hardwick followed after a flurry white lace and red military-style coat. 


“Certainly you can make allowances due to Mister Rhys condition? The smartly dressed intruder tossed the words over her shoulder.


Flynn sat up straight, as much as he could with the cumbersome leg cast. “Alice?” 


“Surprised to see me, cousin?” She made big eyes at him and rolled them toward his sputtering landlady.


He ignored Mrs. Crosby’s protests and took a very long moment to admire everything about Miss Alice Millicent Armistead. Rich, tawny and wheat colored waves of hair blown wild from a horse race through the city. She was even more breathtaking than he recalled––she was a force of nature. A sable fur hat haloed sparkling blue eyes framed by dark lashes. Her nose, as usual, was sprinkled with pale freckles. Cheeks flushed rosy pink from the crisp cold air added a touch of color to a smile that was as genuine and radiant as he remembered. Good Christ, she could arouse Saint Peter in his grave.


She carried a large basket, which she set beside his chair. “Please inform your landlady I am a relative.” She unbuttoned intricate braided closures. Looking up from her coat, she widened her eyes. “Please, Flynn.” 


Reluctantly, he confronted his landlord. “I take it you haven’t been introduced. Mrs. Crosby, it would be my pleasure––”


“Best not have anything to do with your pleasure, Mister Rhys––I hear any sound o’ pleasure coming through these walls, and y’er out on the street.”


“Mrs. Crosby––I’m shocked. A good Christian woman such as yourself, would toss me out on Christmas Eve?” Flynn tried for a stunned, bewildered expression. “The night our savior was born?” 


Mrs. Crosby eyes narrowed into suspicious slits. “A warning, Mister Rhys––fornication is a sin against God.” Adding a grunt for emphasis, she eyeballed Alice on her way out the door.
“Charlie––head her off at the stairs and give her this.” Flynn slipped him a fiver. “For the Sisters of Mercy Night Home, on lower Seymour Street.”

 
Charlie tipped his hat and stole another fleeting glance at Alice. What red-blooded young bloke wouldn’t?  


“Tell her the donation came from Miss Armistead,” Flynn paused for emphasis, “…my cousin.” He detected a grin as she tossed her coat over a chair back.


“Yes, sir––very good, sir.” Flynn waited to hear the key turn the lock before he shifted his gaze from the closed door to the beauty standing before him. The dress was simplicity itself. White, virginal, a sheer slip of a dress with delicate cap sleeves and bare shoulders. And the plunging neckline was––most arresting. His eyes traveled down the slope of her breasts. Lovely globes jiggled ever so slightly when she moved, like now. 


She sat down on the edge of the chaise that served as his chair and his bed. “All those months last year, when you were assigned to watch over me? All I ever wanted was for you to look at me like you are doing now.” 


A smile tugged the edges of his mouth. “How am I looking at you?” 


She leaned closer. “Like I’m a present…to be unwrapped.” Her wily Alice charms were on the job, tonight. Flynn’s gaze dropped to her extraordinary mouth––a bit wide with full lips. Dear God, a man could loose control of himself.


She caught her bottom lip between her teeth. He could feel the heat from her breath on his cheek. She moistened her lips and opened her mouth––just enough to be inviting.


So close, now…


She curled the tip of her tongue over the curve of her upper lip––and licked. “Happy Christmas, Detective Rhys.”


~*~*~*~
*Don't forget to stop by Ramblings From This Chick for Tracey Devlyn's Scene*

Just Released! A Private Duel with Agent Gunn:

Prima ballerina Catriona de Dovia lives the glamorous life of a starlet, filled with glittering jewels, sumptuous dinners, and admiring suitors. She’s grown up considerably since losing her heart to Hugh Curzon once upon a time, no longer wasting her emotions on the empty promises of charming gentlemen. On her own since the untimely death of her parents, she will do anything for the only family she has left: her brother, a notorious anarchist.

Scotland Yard Agent Phineas Gunn–sometimes known as Hugh Curzon–receives his new assignment reluctantly. He’s up for something a little more strenuous than playing nanny to a ballerina, until he sees who his charge is. Then, it’s a completely different story, because he’d been unable to forget the trusting, beautiful Cate since he had to leave her behind in Barcelona. And he suspects Cate is more than a ballet girl–in fact, she just might be a jewel thief, or even more arousing–a clever undercover operative.

Finn is determined to find out as the two race across the Continent–by land, by sea, even through the air by zephyr–it becomes uncertain who is keeping tabs on whom, and Finn and Cate must battle the sexual tension that snaps and sizzles between them every step of the way.

Get Your Copy Today:

Jillian is giving away a copy of her book, A Private Duel with Agent Gunn, to one lucky commenter (Open International)! Make sure to leave a meaningful comment below AND fill out the rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And don't forget to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway

94 comments:

  1. I love Jillian's books, and would really love to read this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww thanks, Diane!

      I have to believe your name is going to pop up on one of these drawings! ;)

      Delete
  2. Loved this.....looking forward to more of the Gentlemen from Scotland Yard. Can't wait :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beebs!

      Thanks, I'm looking forward to writing more Gentlemen of Scotland Yard this year!

      Delete
  3. i'm so happy to have discovered you this year, now i'm a real fan so i would be very happy to win this book ( one of only two i'm missing so far^^)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi miki!

      Well, there are plenty of blog giveaways this season, hopefully your name will pop up!

      Delete
  4. A Private Duel with Agent Gunn sounds like a great adventure. I love the idea of a zephyr, great fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ann,

      I do tend to pile on the romance and suspense. I guess it's because I love the feeling of being swept away on a great adventure!

      Delete
  5. I love the fact that she may be a jewel thief...I love when the woman is a mystery and the man tries to figure it out. Sounds like a great read.

    josiehink122026(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Josie!

      Me too, I was dying to write a heroine who was a bit edgy with a few interesting skills! And she does keep Agent Gunn in a spin...at least for awhile!

      Delete
  6. That was to die for!!! I love your Scotland Yard series and definitely love spy and romance novels. I can't wait for this and the next books to come out! Thanks for this delectable story with Flynn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi kipha!

      I love the paring of a wealthy, headstrong heroine with a street smart, near do well detective like Flynn...this should be fun!

      Delete
  7. Hi, Jillian! Loved your excerpt of A SPY MISSION ON CHRISTMAS EVE. It sounds like A PRIVATE DUEL WITH AGENT GUNN is a winner also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cathy,

      Thanks, I know I write awfully edgy for historical, but I figure, these men are street smart detectives and I love getting gritty!

      Delete
  8. I was so happy to read that this will be in an upcoming book! I have truly been enjoying these posts! Thank you for the chance in the giveaway. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Leah,

      Thanks, so much. I thought I would make this my Christmas book for 2013. Very exciting!

      Delete
  9. Really FUN excerpt! I am glad that there will be more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cheryl!

      Oh, me too! I hope to write at least two Scotland Yard men books next year.

      Delete
  10. have not read Jillian books yet, but it sounds lovely <3 have heard so much recently about this book really looking forward to

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lily,

      Oh, so glad to hear that people are chatting up the book! I do hope you get a chance to enjoy one of the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard romance adventures!

      Delete
  11. Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win! I can't wait to read A Private Duel With Agent Gunn!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Natasha!

      I hope you get a chance to duel with Agent Gunn!

      Delete
  12. A Private Duel - Beautiful cover and I love description of the story. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    Replies
    1. I do love the cover, and with Paul Marron on there...what an awesome Agent Gunn he makes! I think the female model is lovely also, she genuinely looks like a ballerina.

      Delete
  13. Flynn Rhys...makes me think of Flynn Ryder from the movie Tangled. So now I am picturing your Flynn as a cocky, daredevil with a great smile.
    On second thought, maybe that fits! =) Thanks for sharing you excerpt/first chapter!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Good call. He is all of that, Lexi!

      Delete
  14. I can't wait to see Finn in a kilt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes. And he has a scene with the heroine (they're stuffed into an armoire together) and, well, where's girl to put her hands?

      Thanks for stopping by, Jane!

      Delete
  15. This is a new to me author. I will definitely check her books out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi TiDubb,

      I love to meet potential new readers! I do hope you get a chance to read the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard.

      Delete
  16. Now I'm curious about the real relationship between Flynn and Alice.
    bituin76 AT hotmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jan,

      Let's see what can I tell you about Flynn and Alice without being a spoiler...she is a spoiled rich adventuress who has a wicked crush on Flynn, and he is mightily tempted by the little minx.

      It all started when he was assigned to be her bodyguard (after a kidnapping attempt). She has been a kind of delightful pest ever since, and Flynn does his best to discourage her.

      Alice is betrothed to a man she greatly dislikes. She keeps involving Flynn in her scandalous attempts to get the marriage called off, and inadvertently, they both become involved in something much more sinister!

      The heroine is going to be a challenge to write, because there is a bit of Scarlett O'Hara in her!


      Delete
  17. Loved the excerpt. I always enjoy Jillian's books.
    Thanks for this opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very sweet of you to say so, Carol!

      I do hope you get a chance to enjoy Agent Gunn!

      Delete
  18. I love Jillian's books. I already have the first two books in this series. so I really want A Private Dual With Agent Gun.

    yenastone at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to complete the set! Good luck, Tammy!

      Delete
  19. Intriguing story. I definitely want to read it! Thanks for the giveaway!

    BrittanyG@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brittany!

      I hope you get to enjoy a duel with Agent Gunn!

      Delete
  20. Looking forward to reading more of this story.
    amandavmartin@bellsouth.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Auburn Girl!

      Shooting for Christmas 2013 for Detective Flynn Rhys and Miss Alice Armistead. Good luck!

      Delete
  21. I haven't heard of this book yet! Sounds like a great read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Danielle,

      Sherlock Holmes style adventure, only you get romance too! Good luck!

      Delete
  22. I haven't read any of Jillian's books, although I have been kinda "stalking" her books lately. I'd love to read this new book. Is Agent Gunn going to be an ongoing series?
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Julianne,

      A Private Duel with Agent Gunn, is his book. Each Gentlemen of Scotland Yard book features a different detective or undercover agent. But, they all return as supporting characters in the series.

      Delete
  23. Nice opening chapter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! You are so sweet! This excerpt is actually just a few pages in the opening chapter, and it's a bit rough, but you get the idea, I hope.

      I'm very excited about Flynn and Alice's adventure together!

      Delete
  24. Hi Jillian. Your first book is the very first e-book that I ever bought (as opposed to downloading a book for free when offered). I love the spy aspect of your books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Lil Miss Molly!

      I love the adventure and suspense too! Plus romance, what a bonus, Lol!

      Delete
  25. Now I have to read the rest of A Dragon Kiss from Detective Rhys to find out what happens!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, jmcgaugh,

      Not sure that will end up being the title. I will keep everyone posted!

      I'm really liking A Dragon Kiss or A Dragon's Kiss from Detective Rhys. It adds a bit more edgy romance into the title.

      Delete
  26. Congrats to Jillian on all of her latest and upcoming releases! Can't wait to start reading some of her work!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Congrats on the release of A Private Duel. The heroine sounds like an amazing character; ballerina, thief & undercover agent! That she & Finn get in a race across the continent makes me think of the Indiana Jones movies! One of my all time favs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Linda,

      High adventure and romance is what I am going for, and the Indiana Jones movies were all that!

      Delete
  28. This looks like a wonderful book...going on my must read! The excerpt was a great teaser...I'll check this out! Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway chance!
    ivegotmail8889(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi pc,

      I do hope you get a chance to read one of the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard romantic suspense adventures! Good luck!

      Delete
  29. I'd love to win this one, her books are on my wishlist, almost for the covers alone! Of course it are the intriguing stories that make me fall for it for sure.
    I love this sentence: Like I am a present to be unwrapped.

    auriansbooks at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Aurian, I was blessed by the cover gods! And I do love that line from Alice! I had to create a heroine who could not only stand up to Flynn, but keep him dazzled.

      Delete
  30. iam interest for reading this book..nice to know you jilian..
    and thanks for the making this international giveaway ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to know you, Dian!

      I hope you get a chance to read A Private Duel with Agent Gunn. Good luck!

      Delete
  31. a ballerina, an anarchist & an agent of Scotland Yard - that's quite a combination of characters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots to ponder, Di!

      Well now, one of them has a duel role, possibly a triple role...sigh...you're just going to have to read the book to find out. ;) I hope to keep you guessing right up to the last pages!

      Delete
  32. I am looking forward to a fabulous read.

    ReplyDelete
  33. hi jillian! i've been eyeing your books for a while now, hope i can get one for christmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sienny,

      Me too! Thanks for your interest. I hope you get a chance to read any of the Scotland Yard men books.

      Delete
  34. You're the only historical romance author i read. This sounds awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janiera!

      I wonder if it is because my historical stuff is way edgier than most historical...I was kind of comparing a few of the stories here and thought, jeeez Jill....LOL!

      Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

      Delete
  35. The excerpt was good and I do wonder what will happen next.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Maureen,

    Well I have to say even though it is a first draft, not too bad. Some missing words and a name change that should not have happened...but I love it as a start and I'm really excited about both hero and heroine.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Loved it Jillian, Can't wait to read the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard...I already have them on my tbr list.....Yay!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joy,

      Each detective is a very different kind of hero, I hope you enjoy them all!

      Delete
  38. A zephyr. Sounds intriguing. Can't wait to read this author.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Lol Joanne!

    In each romantic suspense adventure, I like to incorporate at least a few new gadgets––it's my Victorian homage to Q in the James Bond films. These slightly futuristic gadgets and engines also add a hint of steampunk.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I've heard such good things about the Gentlemen from Scotland Yard series. Would you believe it if I said I haven't read one yet? Where have I been hiding? Loved the excerpt, and I noticed Jillian you're an action fan.

    How many agents books do you have planned?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Landra

    I do love to write romance, action and adventure. And these stories are gritty for historical romance! Good know people are saying nice things!

    There will be at least three more Gentlemen of Scotland Yard stories, but gosh, I could go on indefinitely...I'm having such a good time!

    ReplyDelete
  42. The blurb and excerpt of A Private Duel with Agent Gunn sounds awesome and the cover is gorgeous! *I'm a sucker for gorgeous cover :D

    I love intriguing stories, especially about delectable detectives or spies LOL

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy, Jillian!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aline!

      I do love the cover, both models! If you enjoy intriguing spy stories and romance, then you will very likely enjoy the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard stories!

      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  43. love the cover...i love paul maron !! :D
    thx 4 the giveaway...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi nurmawati,

      Lol! Romance fans love Paul Marron, and I must admit he's as hot as Agent Gunn!

      Good luck!

      Delete
  44. I've been dying to read this book series long ago! Very wicked excerpt! Yum! I love to read books with suspense/adventure and romance in it! Specially romance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ileana,

      I try to write them all wicked and suspenseful! Good luck!

      Delete
  45. Yet another new author to me! This one sounds like one I would really enjoy!

    Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Texas Book Lover,

      Gosh, I love it when I get discovered by readers! I do hope you get a chance to read one of the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard romance/adventures!

      Good luck!

      Delete
  46. I love the short story! Well, I do love spy romances. I have bought the first and second books. But I must confess that having Paul Marron on the cover would definitely help me to imagine Agent Gunn very clearly! Thanks for the giveaway and making it international, Jillian.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi Diah Didi!

    Paul Marron really makes a great Agent Gunn! Thanks for being a reader of The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard books. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  48. How very intriguing! Makes the reader want more! Thanks, and have a Merry Christmas!
    smoofrog @gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tonda,

      I think I've written three messages to you (something funky going on with comments).

      I do hope you get a chance to read one of the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard books. Good luck!

      Delete
  49. Hi Tonda!

    Detective Flynn Rhys story will be a Christmas 2013 release, in the meantime you can always catch up by reading A PRIVATE DUEL WITH AGENT GUNN. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thanks, Tonda

    I do hope you get a chance to read one of the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard books! Gook luck!

    ReplyDelete
  51. That short was absolutely fantastic. :D *runs to check out Jillian's books* They all look wonderful, I can't wait to read them! Thank you so much for sharing that with us!

    ReplyDelete

 

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