Spotlight on The Viscount’s Prize by Patricia Bates

SOR The Viscount's Prize VBT BannerThe rogue spy and his sheltered courtesan must fight to find a far more ephemeral reward than mere passion – they must try to survive falling in love in a time when love isn’t fashionable.


Frederique’s gaze slid past the queen as he knelt. His heart lightened when he recognized one of the queen’s maidens. “Elisabeth.” The name slipped past his lips in a soundless whisper. Shock reverberated through his body as she drifted into court a few steps behind her majesty.

His attention wandered to the other women in the royal procession and his heart nearly stopped when he saw the last woman in line. Dressed in silver, her hair was swept up into a loose pile of curls atop her head. Powdered to perfection, it had a pale glow to it. Her clear, stunning blue eyes swept the room with curiosity and a touch of anger. Artfully applied cosmetics highlighted her high cheekbones and small nose. Her red lips were tilted in a smile that did not reach her eyes. A small black mole decorated her upper lip in the fashion of the times. A fan hung from her hand, and the ruffles along the edges of her skirts fluttered like butterfly wings with each step. Her breasts seemed near to bursting out of the lace of her bodice. Ribbons and bows cascaded over the gown in simple splendor compared to the queen’s lavish bejeweled gown.

His body tightened as she bowed before the king and her full breasts pushed against the confines of her bodice. The king’s expression bore no hint of lust. Indeed, the king barely acknowledged her before turning to assist his wife into her seat. With the queen settled next to him, he motioned to the fair haired beauty standing a few steps beyond the dais.

Buy Links:  Carnal Passions  

About the Author:

Currently I have over 20 books under contract under my own name and under my pen name Elise Whyles in multiple genres. My goals this year are simple to continue putting out stories my readers love, books they can relate to and characters they can identify with. For the full list of my books please check out my books page.

Author Links:  Site     Twitter    Facebook



Spotlight on Spanish Flames by Patricia Bates

Spanish Flame VBT Banner

Can an ex-con and a Spanish noblewoman find love?

Ex-convict, Adam Butler, is a man hardened by betrayal and violence. When he lands in Spain, his only intention is to find a paying job so he can buy his way further west, far away from the memories of his past.

Wealthy and beautiful Evangelina Ortega yearns for the ability to marry for love even as her father is forcing her to wed a man she’s never met. When she arrives at her betrothed’s estate, she meets Adam Butler, a man with secrets and a checkered past.

Can the Spanish lady and the ex-con find happiness or will their love be destroyed by her father’s determination to regain the family honor?

Note: This book was previously published under the title In the Hands of a Stranger, but it has been substantially revised.


SpanishFlame_MediumAdam glanced behind him at the sound of hooves on stone and watched the elegant carriage roll to a halt in front of the main house. Black, trimmed with gold, the exterior of the coach gleamed in the rapidly sinking sun. The doors were covered in intricately gilded patterns of silver and gold, and pale curtains fluttered in the breeze.

The team that pulled it matched the rig—six midnight black horses pranced in their harness as the doorman climbed down and set a step by the door to allow the passengers to disembark. Adam watched as the door opened and a young man of maybe thirteen hopped out, followed by a young woman a couple of years older. She was dressed in gray traveling garb, and her long, full skirts dusted the ground as she walked. Around her head white lace crested and fluttered with each movement of her head.

Adam felt his breath catch when a dark-haired beauty stepped out of the carriage. The long, intricate lace veil she wore covered her elaborately styled hair but did little to hide the ebony strands. Rounded with delicate cheekbones, and a high upturned nose, her face was flawless, beautiful—unlike any other woman’s he’d ever seen. Her olive complexion was so different from the aboriginal women his father had employed.

He shivered as her eyes lifted away from her older companion and met his. With the force of a kangaroo kick, attraction slammed into him. He inhaled, frozen, unable or unwilling to break eye contact. Her eyes widened a degree, and he saw her plump lips part in a soundless gasp before she ducked her head, a wave of pink staining her cheeks.

He glanced away as he walked toward the team. He wasn’t the son of an affluent man here; there was no room for anything between them, not now. As Adam strode forward to hold the horses, he caught the look of disparagement, the lack of emotion in the depths of the older gentleman’s eyes. Adam stared at the wealthy, distinguished man for a moment then began to unhitch the wheeler.

“You will do well,” the man said, venom lacing his words, “to keep your distance. A criado has no place near royalty.” The well-dressed gentleman stared down at him, condescension in his eyes.

Adam lifted his head to glare at the self-important man. “Señor, welcome to Los Santiago Hacienda.”

Buy Link:  Beachwalk Press

About the Author ~ Patricia Bates:

Reading has been such a large part of my life. I cut my literary teeth on such authors as Louis L’Amour, Nora Roberts and Janet Dailey. For me it wasn’t such a jump from reading the wonderful tales these authors spun to imagining my own.

Soon I was writing poetry, short stories and by junior high I’d written my first full length romance novel. Since then I’ve taken my love of history and my passion for writing and combined them into what I hope will continue to prove a successful career.

With six books contracted, four of which are currently available in print. All are available in electronic format with the last two ebooks due for a release in May and the other in the summer. I’m currently working on three projects, an erotic paranormal romance featuring a witch who loves Christmas, another Ancient Ireland novel, rich in the history of the Irish Celtic peoples, and plotting out a Cowboy Series tentatively titled “The James Gang”.

Of course I’ve got a lot more on the go. I’m developing and growing my editing company with some amazing authors, working on polishing my concepts and plans for upcoming books within the paranormal genres, and keeping up on my writing and being a full time mom, working outside of the house…it’s amazing what one can manage in a 16 hour day.

Author Links:  Site     Twitter    Facebook

Sunday Spotlight – Seeking Philbert Woodbead

Thank you to Anya Wylde for sharing her latest work…

817c1HXQ-zL._SL1500_awIn the latter part of March of the year seventeen hundred and something a  large schooner rested on calm blue waters off the coast of England.

It was mid-afternoon; the water was unruffled and crystal clear, while the sky above had sent its grey clouds to London.

The sun beamed down on the deck where gentlemen with missing toes, feet, teeth or hands lay draped around the schooner attempting to snooze away the day.

Now, this schooner was no ordinary schooner (as you might have guessed from the hint above referring to missing limbs and such) but a piratical schooner, and the gentlemen were not really gentlemen but looters, marauders and plunderers.

Yes, sir, they were murderous, unscrupulous adventurers and stinking water rats.

They were all pirates. Each one of them were pirates. The whole blasted lot of them were pirates. In fact, they couldn’t be more piratical if they tried. And they tried. Oh, how they tried to be more devilish than the devil himself.

And one of them came close to being the devilishest … if that is a word. If it is not, then it should be because it perfectly described the tall, muscular, grey eyed man with his long silver streaked black hair and cruel mouth. This man was so wicked that the mere reference to him caused the afternoon light to dim, the wind to blow more urgently, the men to wake mid snooze, the tea to jump out of the cup … Where were we?

Ah, yes, the captain of the ship, the head pirate, the Black bloody  Rover, whose name was enough to frighten the children of the world into behaving, was the owner of this piratical schooner called The Desperate Lark and the leader of these dim muscled men.

He stormed now onto the middle of the deck sending the seagulls screaming into the air. His appearance caused the men to scatter while his frown had them cowering in the bilge. While they cowered, the Black Rover grabbed the cuff of a one legged man, his most trusted aide, and in low, clipped cultured tones asked, “Who stole it, Tim?”

“George Rodrick Irvin, the future Earl of Devon currently holding the courtesy title of Viscount Elmer,” squeaked Tim. “The one we call Lord Wicked.”

“Kill him.” The Black Rover was a man of few words.

Tim bowed in response.

“And kidnap the cooks,” the Black Rover continued.

Tim dared to frown, “Cooks?”

The Black Rover glowered. “And the chefs. I want every single person who can cook to be kidnapped and tortured until we get it back.”

“Torture?” Tim asked uncomfortably. “Can’t we simply kill them and be done with it? I don’t like torturing. It is a messy job, and I don’t like it when they cry and they all cry.”

The Black Rover smiled harshly. He leaned closer to Tim and whispered in his half bitten ear two words, “Pigeon feathers.”

“Arr.” Tim’s sparsely lashed eyes widened in admiration. He shook his head at his captain’s intelligence. The most learned man, Tim thought proudly, was right here.

Pigeon feathers … The Black Rover was a blooming genius.

Get your copy on Amazon!

Val Reads ~ Penelope

I very much enjoyed Anya Wylde’s A Wicked Wager and was so happy to read a complimentary copy of Penelope that I received via a Smashwords’ coupon.

AnyaWylde_Penelope2000I expected a well-written light historical Regency romance with interesting characters involved in a plot with lots of twists and turns. And I was pleasantly surprised because I got so much more.

The heroine, Penelope, is not the poised lady who I expected to find but a country bumpkin who made me laugh, cry and come to care for her within the first few chapters.

The supporting cast was also filled with those who I looked forward to seeing throughout the book, but I will have to give my favorite supporting character award to Madame Bellefronde. The modiste is one of the most interesting characters I’ve met in quite a while!

From fake mustaches to poetic highwaymen to the hero’s fiancee, I found myself laughing throughout the book and falling in love with Penelope and her Duke.

I recommend to those who like romantic comedies and light historical romances.

Happy Reading

Today’s Hero – Falcon with Danita Minnis

Welcome to Danita Minnis!

Hello! I write paranormal romance for Liquid Silver Books. I am so excited to be here celebrating my debut novel Falcon’s Angel. Thank you, Vallory, for having my hero Falcon here today! We love to meet new readers.

I love many periods in history and write about them. In Falcon’s Angel, part of the love story is set in pre-revolutionary France. I had fun incorporating my love for the Enlightenment period, a very romantic era in history, into this story. The clothes rocked; corsets, décolletage –I wish those beautiful gowns were back in style. And who else besides me wants to see gorgeous British model David Gandy in breeches? Woot!

My hero Falcon travels back to this time period for a special assignment, one that could save his life and Angel’s. It is called the Enlightenment but it was also a very savage time in history. Superstition and persecution was still very much the thing. It wasn’t so far removed from a time when you might hear serious discussions of the ‘mark of the devil.’ For Falcon and Angel, it seemed like yesterday.

Danita Minnis
Romance Through the Ages

Falcon on Killing il Dragone

So how did I get here? Fighting devil-worshippers who don’t die?
It’s complicated, but I’ll do my best. You need to know what’s out there.

I left home at seventeen. My mother didn’t understand why. Looking back now, I guess I didn’t understand either. I told her I wanted to see the world. I ended up becoming a killer, one of the best seven countries has ever hired.

The thing is, I didn’t know I was born for this, killing il Dragone. But now I know I needed those years of killing to prepare for what would become the most important job of my life.
You might call it a personal vendetta, and you would be wrong. It is much more than that. They don’t just want me, Angel and the rest of the family. Yes, we are old enemies with scores of unpaid debts. You’ll learn more about those debts in another chapter of our lives. But know this; you have something they want as well – life. They need it to increase their numbers. They will come to you in disguise, make you feel safe, but that is an illusion. They will take your thoughts and actions and make them their own, and eventually they will take your life.

The best advice I have for you is do not accept their gift. It’s like taking out a loan that you won’t live long enough to re-pay.

In Angel’s case it was the Stradivarius, a link to the past, a homing device so that they could find her again and again. She’s got me now, and I’m killing them as fast as this life allows, trying to figure out how they stay dead.
In another time and place, their gift was the symbol of their master; dragon rubies. Exquisite hand-crafted jewels worked in the finest gold any decadent duke or lusty princess would kill for. Remember, once you accept the rubies, you cannot give them back. Il Dragone won’t take no for an answer.

If you find yourself in a situation, perhaps a lover is acting…strangely? Suddenly wants your life instead of your love? Call me, and consider it a favor. My partner Grange and I have only one mission now – kill il Dragone. Kill them all.

About Falcon’s Angel

Angelina wants to go unrecognized when she leaves her family’s Yorkshire estate to play in a symphony in Italy. When she starts running she has no idea just how much she is running from: a stolen Stradivarius, a birthright of mysterious powers and a past that got her killed over two hundred years ago.

Falcon wants the Stradivarius in her possession, and goes undercover to track down a thief. But he is not the only killer in search of the violin.

il Dragone, a devil-worshiping cult, wants revenge for a past only they can remember.
Angelina wants to go unrecognized when she leaves her family’s Yorkshire estate to play in a symphony in Italy. But the Stradivarius, a gift from her deceased instructor, opens a door to hatred that is centuries old.

Falcon’s Angel is a paranormal romance of a love that ended in tragedy in eighteenth century England. That love is tested in a fight of good versus evil some two hundred years later.

Falcon’s Angel is available from multiple retailers:

Connect with Danita online:

Val Reads – The Wicked Wager

As a writer, I hate ranked reviews. And in that vein, I will give you a review of  a thoroughly enjoyable and funny Regency style novel I recently read – The Wicked Wager by Anya Wylde.

Ms. Wylde’s story is a wonderful one that continues to draw me to this genre of controlled manners. The lengths the characters go through in which to both maintain and thwart the conventions of their society is often outlandish and in the hands of a good writer – totally believable! I flutter my fan to Ms. Wylde!

From the moment of meeting the heroine, Emma, in the garden as she exclaims an “inspired curse” I was hooked! And the sneaky author kept me enthralled the whole way through with plot twists and turns and those “hold your breath” moments when you silently scream to the characters – Don’t do it!

Loved it from beginning to end!

Highly recommended for fans of Regency romances and cozy mysteries.

Get your copy here:

*The author of this blog received a free copy of this work but the opinions expressed within this post are her own*

Sunday Chat With Rescued’s Amelia

The fire that burned whenever they were together was consuming. Try as they might they could not douse the flames. Amelia was lost from the moment she laid eyes on Jordan Bradford. Besides the fact she was just the maid, there were far too many reason besides the obvious that they could not be together. Still she found herself throwing caution to the wind and knew she would pay whatever the cost for the chance at one more kiss. Forbidden fruit was always sweeter. The saying rang true for Jordan and a flame long thought extinguished was awakened inside him whenever Amelia was near. Time and again he sought her out against his better judgment and his hardened hearts wishes. Denying his desire for her was no longer becoming an option.

Rescued is available from the following retailers:

Barnes & Noble


Vallory: Amelia, I am so happy you could join us today. I was hoping that you would tell our audience a little about yourself.

Amelia: Forgive me I feel a little nervous but let’s see. I’m originally from Louisiana, but now I’m a resident of London.  I’m still adjusting to the move. I can be a little shy but I stand up for those I love and would do anything for them. I don’t know what else to say besides I am a simple woman who is living an extraordinary life.

Vallory: And what of your friends? Who are those that make the time pass more easily?

Amelia: There is nothing like a true friend is there? Jordan is my best friend but my circle luckily has grown as of late, being away from my home town I keep in touch with old and dear friends by letters. Vivian who is the closest thing I’ve known to a mother moved to stay with me just this past summer. It’s been so nice having her around again she brought a slice of home with her it feels. Then there is my childhood friend Jessie, she just got married and her sister Lenora, I think she will marry next. I’m excited because Nina, another friend I’ve not seen in a while is traveling to visit me. She should arrive in a few weeks! Here though, in London, I have Margaret and she is a wonder. Margaret can’t seem to sit still for a second but even though she’s got her hand in every jar you just love her because her intentions are always good and she is so very kind. Then there is Johanna, she just makes me laugh and her daughter and our Georgia get along splendidly. Lastly there is Alice and you’ve never seen anyone so smart, I just wish she’d be smart enough to snatch up Nathan and out of all of us ladies I think she and I are most alike. Oh wait but I forgot, you asked who are those that make the time pass more easily as well, that one is easy, but these two young ladies are family, my Jordana and Georgia make everyday end with a smile and when I look at them I know everything is worth it.

Vallory: Louisiana is famous for its cuisine. Do you cook? What is the best dish you make?

Amelia: I have to agree with you there and being from New Orleans I’d say I’ve got a certain flair or fire might be a better word for my style of cooking. My best dish is my peach cobbler however, Jasper and Margaret eat it as soon as I pull it from the fire. I recall my aunt Lorraine use to have an affinity for it as well, perhaps she’s managed to learn to cook it for herself. (Grins)

Vallory: Louisiana is also famous for music. Do you dance?

Amelia: (Smiles to herself.) Now I do.

Vallory: When we meet you, you are engaged to Morgan Hanson. Can you tell us a little about him?

Amelia: Morgan is a nasty old snap dragon, I can’t think of anything redeeming about the man at all. So I guess there is nothing else to tell.

Vallory: I seem to remember that Morgan’s attempts at kissing weren’t received well by you. Has your attitude toward kissing changed?

Amelia: Now you are making me blush, but yes it has changed. In truth it’s become a favorite activity of mine.

Vallory: Hmmm, that brings us to Jordan Bradford. Can you remember your first thought of him?

Amelia: Now I know your trying to make me blush. (Sighs) The first thing I thought when I saw Jordan as I recall, was thinking there is nobody in this world more perfect than this man.

Vallory: Hmmm, and do you mind so much kissing him?

Amelia: (Laughs) Not to be crass, but I can kiss that man all morning, noon and night! So no ma’am I don’t mind kissing him one bit.

Vallory: Amelia, it was wonderful having you join us today. Thanks to Arlene Lam, author of Rescued (Flowers of the Bayou), for allowing us to meet Amelia and learn a little about her story.

About the AuthorBorn and raised in Northern California, Arlene has always dreamed of being a writer. As a child she jotted down short stories, poems and novellas in her spare time. A mother of one Arlene is married and currently resides in Hayward California where she is currently working on the follow up to Rescued featuring Margaret and Jasper.

To connect with Arlene online:





Pinot Grigio For Inspiration

Writer’s Block! I’ve had it for two weeks.

Here is what is not done:

Holiday Novella WIP – Chapters and scenes have been outlined. A total of 523 words have been written. I stalled out.

Betrothed – My historical romance came back from the editor and I have work to do.  It seems I’m a bit more of a history nut than I realized. Do you actually have to know that the city of New Orleans was captured by the North in 1862 without shots being fired in the city? For the purposes of the romance, I guess not. I have yet to edit that out.

Short Story – I’ve been searching for new places to submit my work and came across Mocha Memoirs Press. They accept short stories in the Steamy Mocha Shots Series. I thought that’s for me. I love short stories. I wrote a plot summary. That was all.

As to the Pinot Grigio, I enjoyed a few glasses this weekend with friends and relaxed. I didn’t think about writing or not writing. When I went to bed, the ideas were back and I could hardly sleep. I think today is going to be a great writing day.

Happy Writing! 

Betrothed – An Update

Inspiration for Abby Jacobs of Betrothed

Here is a very raw snippet of Betrothed, an interracial historical romance short story:

The smell of hard liquor assaulted him at once. It was barely past noon.  A few men had ventured out, locked inside for too long after the heavy rains and in need of the relief that only the dimly lit rooms could provide. Some were kissing women on the various settees throughout the parlor. Anna Belle was entertaining the rest in a card game near the bar. Bastille had begun playing his revelry. And she was nowhere in sight.

He had brought her here – to this place that had once sheltered him when his longing had become unbearable. Armed with the knowledge that he had betrayed her countless times throughout the years while she had waited patiently for him, he had brought her here. He had been a fool.

“Monsieur McDaniel, give her un moment. Hmm? A little time? She will come home. And Jacques is watching her.” Though dulled by a life in the sporting houses, the old man’s faded gray eyes still danced against his pale skin. Honoré had been a good friend over the years, drinking late into the night as he talked of Dover and Abby. Clancy took the tumbler from his hand and downed the fiery liquid, wishing to the heavens above that it would still the tumultuous beat of his heart.

Un moment. And should she not return? As a free woman of color, she was no longer bond to him.

“Another, mon ami.” He held the empty glass out to Honoré, who smiled like the sage of sporting houses.

First of all, I’m very excited about combining my love of genealogy and my love of writing.

Then there is the business aspects of this venture. I have  read a lot lately about valuing your worth. So I will have to decide the worth of this piece and that is not an easy decision.

I really like the story. I really like the characters. I’m as much in love with Clancy as Abby. So I don’t think paying less two dollars to read a novella is a lot to ask.

On the other hand, I really like this story. I want to share it with everyone. So free comes to mind.

Then there’s my hubby who says that I only sleep five hours a night when I’m writing  and I say – Yes! I will charge.

And fewer people will get to know about Clancy and Abby. So then I say – No! It will be free.

Are you seeing my turmoil? In any case, I’m editing and looking for a cover artist. If you know any cover artists you like, let me know.

Happy Writing!