Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The Inns of Devonshire: Timeless Regency Collection ~ Blog Tour ~ Excerpt

Happy Tuesday! I hope you are all doing well! Today I have a delightful excerpt from one of the stories in The Inns of Devonshire! This is the 18th book in the Timeless Regency Collection

The Inns of Devonshire
Timeless Regency Collections, Bk 18
by Sally Britton, Annette Lyon, and Deborah M. Hathaway


Three novellas, three times the romance, and three times the love . . . in this brand new Timeless Regency Collection 

The Seventh Star Inn, by Sally Britton

After years of looking after one another, Susan Baxter and her mother view their neighbors in Totnes as family. When a new landlord inherits the leases on their homes and businesses alike, Susan dreads knowing her world could change at the whim of a stranger. But when she meets Collin Stonecroft and his inquisitive daughter, her feelings shift quickly from cautionary to hopeful. Collin has lived in the confines of London boarding houses all his life, and he’s determined to give his daughter more. They check into the Seventh Star Inn with plans to return to London as soon as possible, but both find Miss Baxter and her local history lessons far too enchanting to leave behind. When Susan learns of Collin’s proposed changes to her beloved neighborhood, will she be able to help hLeigh’sthat some things are perfect the way they are?

The Truth about Mr. Blackmore, by Annette Lyon

Leigh’s life at the Old Grey Inn is drudgery broken by flights of fancy thanks in part to novels by Simon Blackmore. When Mattias McGrady comes to the inn for a fortnight, Leigh captures his attention. A relationship develops, and she dreads the end of his stay, which will mean a return to an unhappy life. An urgent letter to Mattias leads to him inviting Leigh to an event that stands to change both of their lives forever. If all goes well, Leigh will have a life of her choosing after all. But half-truths and lies have a way of complicating matters. When their plans go awry, Leigh loses her reputation and Mattias almost surely loses his career. Can either of them find happiness?

The Coachman’s Choice, by Deborah M. Hathaway

Ever-reliable Mary Thorne has helped her widowed mother run The Golden Mermaid Inn for years. She spends her days greeting guests, ensuring the inn runs smoothly—and dodging flirtatious remarks from passing coachmen. But she’s far too busy to pay any attention to such men, even the enticingly attractive Mr. Northcott. Known far and wide for his horsemanship, punctuality, and dallying reputation, Robert Northcott relishes his life as a coachman, especially his freedom to flirt with numerous women from inn to inn, all without the messy details of commitment. There’s just one woman who’s immune to his charms: the lovely, single landlady of The Golden Mermaid. Robert is determined to win Mary over, just as heartily as she is determined to keep her distance from him. But his carefree life is threatened when his pursual of Mary becomes more than just a game...

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Excerpt from The Truth About Mr. Blackmore, by Annette Lyon

Mattias found his room without any trouble—number seventeen. Was that good luck? According to biblical scholars, seven was lucky, holy, or some such. But what about seventeen? He unlocked the door and pushed it open, the hinges squeaking slightly. He stepped inside the room—clean and modest, with plenty of space for one man.

The room held a bed, a chest of drawers with a basin and pitcher atop, and a mirror on the wall above that. He walked about the room, noting its details—an extra blanket folded at the foot of the bed, the smell of a newly sanded floor, a mug and brush hidden behind the pitcher. His eyes landed on a coat rack beside the door. He removed his coat and hat and settled them there. They’d done their job well, but the cold had gotten into his boots. Hopefully the servants would be up soon with his trunk, and one would light a fire.

His quarters had a window and small table and chair—a must for his work. He’d forgotten to ensure his room had a writing table. He’d been flustered after being left in an unfamiliar village during a rainstorm. Then Miss Cutler’s appearance had taken any room his mind would have had for such matters, and she continued to be in his thoughts.

What fortune it was she’d passed by and was the kind of woman willing to help a stranger. That itself was no small thing. Without a chaperone, many women would avoid speaking to a man they didn’t know. She’d been eager to help another despite social rules.

During their brief encounter, she hadn’t seemed to mind the rain, though she’d clutched a book of sorts she’d protected from getting wet. He understood that quite well. He sensed she’d been returning from an outing, perhaps from reading whatever book she’d carried. If she enjoyed the outdoors and clean air as much as he did—a welcome respite from the polluted miasma of London—perhaps they’d enjoy some of those things together during his stay.

Mattias stared out the window. How long would the rain last? The driver had bemoaned the storm, worried he’d break a wheel or get stuck in the mud. Mattias did not envy those whose livelihoods depended upon elements outside their control.

He shot a bit of gratitude toward the heavens for his ability to pay for personal expenses and have a decent-sized amount saved as well. Born of Irish parents who’d been poor beyond comprehension, Mattias had learned early that the slightest unexpected expense could be devastating. Like the cost of the physician who examined Ma, bled her, and gave her medicine. Whatever concoction had been in the bottle only made her sicker. The cost was so great that his father had been sent to debtor’s prison when they couldn’t pay rent that month. ’Twas not Da’s first time there. Despite his comfortably deep pockets today, he’d never forget that life was uncertain.

Mattias turned from the window and his thoughts. While waiting for his trunk to be brought up, he might as well get his work things arranged. He considered starting a fire in the small fireplace but decided that might raise questions. Men of his supposed breeding did not know how to start a fire. 

He propped the door open so the pages could bring in the trunk, then sat at the writing desk. From his satchel, he removed one of three corked inkwells as well as a tied leather wrap, which held his papers together. A tin holding several quills came last. Later, he’d sharpen each quill so he could work longer without having to stop. He could tell he’d want to have uninterrupted time, for though he’d been in town scarcely an hour, already he felt inspiration waking in his mind and the whisperings of a story itching to be told.

Perhaps he’d spin a tale about a young woman in the rain, holding her wrap close as she hurried through the square. With a fresh sheet of paper and a sharp quill in hand, he began scribbling ideas, which came faster than he could write them.

Sometime later—seconds, minutes or longer, he couldn’t have said—a knock sounded, followed by the door slamming open as two men carried the trunk between them. “Room seventeen?”

Pages 101-103

About the Authors

Sally Britton is a wife, mother, and author who loves the world of romance, received her BA in English from Brigham Young University, and reads voraciously. She started her writing journey at the tender age of fourteen on an electric typewriter, and she’s never looked back.

Sally primarily lives in Oklahoma with her husband, four children, and Izzie the Aussie Shepherd. She loves researching, hiking, and eating too much chocolate.

Annette Lyon is a USA Today Bestselling author. She's won a Whitney Award (2010) and is an eight-time recipient of Utah's Best of State medal for fiction and short stories. She's the author of more than a dozen novels, even more novellas, a cookbook, a grammar guide, and some 120+ articles. She's worked as a professional editor for publishers and bestselling authors and graduated cum laude from BYU with a degree in English.

Deborah M. Hathaway graduated from Utah State University with a BA in Creative Writing. As a young girl, she devoured Jane Austen's novels while watching and re-watching every adaptation she could. She finds inspiration for her novels during her travels with her English husband to the United Kingdom, where she draws on the beauty of the country in such places as Ireland, Yorkshire, and her beloved Cornwall. Be sure to sign up for Deborah's Newsletter to stay updated on new releases, free and discounted Clean Romance novels, and more!

About the Series

Since 2015, Mirror Press has been publishing the Timeless Regency Collection, a curated anthology of novellas and short stories set in early 19th century England. Featuring bestselling authors from the historical romance genre, the series has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Amazon.com. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.   

About the Tour

Join the virtual book tour of THE INNS OF DEVONSHIRE, a collection of novellas by bestselling authors Sally Britton, Annette Lyon, & Deborah M. Hathaway, October 4-17, 2021. Thirty-five popular on-line influencers specializing in Regency romance, historical romance, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of the release of the 18th book in the bestselling Timeless Regency Collection with a spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new anthology set in Regency England.

Tour Schedule

Oct 04 Fire and Ice (Review)
Oct 04 Austenprose (Excerpt) 
Oct 04 Timeless Novels (Review) 
Oct 05 Lu Reviews Books (Review)
Oct 05 Beauty in the Binding (Spotlight) 
Oct 06 Probably at the Library (Review)
Oct 06 Our Book Confessions (Review) 
Oct 06 Bookworm Lisa (Review) 
Oct 07 Gwendalyn’sme Out (Review)
Oct 07 Reading with Emily (Review)
Oct 08 Bringing Up Books (Review)
Oct 08 Gwendalyn's Books (Review)
Oct 09 Becky on Books (Review) 
Oct 09 Books and Socks Rock (Review) 
Oct 10 The Christian Fiction Girl (Spotlight) 
Oct 10 Heidi Reads (Review)
Oct 11 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt) 
Oct 11 Wishful EnLaura’sReview)
Oct 12 So Little Time… (Excerpt) ~ You are here!
Oct 12 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Spotlight) 
Oct 12 Laura's Reviews (Review)
Oct 13 Austenesque Reviews (Review) 
Oct 13 Storeybook Reviews (Excerpt)
Oct 13 Rosanne E. LorChick’siew)
Oct 14 From Pemberley to Milton (Spotlight)
Oct 14 Christian Chick's Thoughts  (Review)
Oct 15 A Darn Good Read (Review)
Oct 15 Relz Reviewz (Spotlight) 
Oct 15 Reading is My Superpower (Review) 
Oct 16 My Bookish Bliss (Review) 
Oct 17 The Book Diva Reads (Spotlight)

Many thanks to Laurel Ann Nattress @ Austenprose PR for organizing and including me on this tour!

Congratulations to Sally Britton, Annette Lyon, and Deborah M. Hathaway for the release of The Inns of Devonshire

So, friends, did you enjoy the excerpt? Do you like to read anthologies? Please, leave a comment! 

Friday, October 8, 2021

Guest Post with E.M. Storm-Smith ~ Stolen Book ~ Reputation, An Easy Thing to Lose

Hello, my friends! E.M. Storm-Smith is visiting with us today. I hope you enjoy her post!

First, let me say how excited I am to be standing in for Candy on the So Little Time Blog! Thanks so much for having me. As an introduction, please let me tell you something about myself. My name is E.M. Storm-Smith. I’m a non-profit corporate attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; mother to a wonderful little guy; wife to the best friend I’ve ever known; and completely new to the world of writing and publishing books! I grew up in a small town in central Indiana, and while I’ve moved around a lot since graduating high school, my family has now settled in the same county of my youth.  Before I became an attorney, I was a Nuclear Engineer civilian consultant for the US Navy. I got to work on nuclear powered submarines and aircraft carriers; designing and running tests of equipment alongside our impressive enlisted and commissioned sailors. Today, I work with nonprofit organizations to help them meet their impact goals and sustainably grow financial assets to ensure longevity. 

This winter I’ll be publishing my very first full-length novel, Reputation, An Easy Thing to Lose, a Pride and Prejudice Variation novel.

The biggest question now is how in the world did I come to write Austenesque novels? 

It all began with a stolen book.

Specifically, someone tried to steal one of my books off of an author website where I had been posting stories for like minded Jane Austen fans. But that’s not really where my writing journey started.

I started writing stories and fan fiction as an outlet after finishing law school. I had been in graduate school for four years, earning a masters degree and a JD, and had been required to read more than 100 pages then write case briefs & memos of upwards of 2,000 words per day. 

Every day. 

For Four Years. 

Then I took the bar exam and it all stopped. The bar exam is in July, my job didn’t start until after Labor Day, and I found myself at home with an 18-month-old baby and NOTHING. TO. DO. 

Fan fiction had been the thing I read for myself in between law treatises and SCOTUS cases. Most of the stories I followed (and still follow) were short stories, but a few of the authors on my favorite website would get into 50k+ word novels. Often, they would post a chapter or two per week. Just enough to feed my habit but not too much to keep me from sleeping all night. It was a wonderful escape. 

So, when I was bored and anxious about whether or not I passed the bar exam, if my baby was healthy, how to lose the baby weight that was still stubbornly stuck to my midsection, and all the other destructive thoughts floating around my brain, I decided to start my own story. The first one was just a whim, but it filled the nap time hours with something stimulating and new. 

I was terrible at first. 

My engineering degree and law school training were not at all helpful for writing fiction prose. My tenses were all over the place. I had a serious telling v. showing problem. Typos, sentence fragments, run-ons, misused phrases and words, overly dramatic character reactions, clich├ęs - you name the writing sin and I committed it.

But I was already hooked. My story was getting good reviews for its concept and gentle nudges regarding the technical writing problems. Each chapter I wrote and posted got better. Eventually, I had over 1,000 likes on my silly little story. The positive feedback was addictive. So, I kept writing the kinds of stories I liked to read and kept posting them for friends and family to find online. This went on for about six years.

Fast forward to March 2021. I sat down for the first time in probably six weeks (I’m not the best or most consistent social media user) and logged onto my author account to check comments and new followers to my stories. What was waiting for me was a torrent of messages from my readers telling me that one of my books had been stolen whole-hog and uploaded to Kindle Unlimited. 

Some unknown person just downloaded an EPUB version of my whole work, changed the title, gave it a terrible cover and tried to sell my book. I didn’t even know this had happened until about a month after it first went on sale. Thankfully my readers and online friends were quicker than I was. The bootlegged book was taken down from Kindle within a couple of days based on the nearly 100 comments between Amazon and Goodreads tagging it as a copyright infringement. 

I probably should have been mad. Maybe one day I will be mad, but what I really felt was flattered.

Someone thought my story was good enough to try and make money off of it. Maybe I could do the same. Maybe I have what it takes to actually do this thing for real. Funny enough, what I was most mad about what the zero effort put into the bootlegged book. They just changed the title to something trite and used an ugly photo for the cover that had nothing to do with the story at all. I felt like my baby, which had taken the better part of two years to write, deserved better!

So, I decided to take the plunge and publish myself.

In my day job as a corporate attorney, I had actually once helped a client and good friend set up her own publishing company to self-publish her books. I was already familiar with the contracts for most of the major online book retailers and ebook distributors. Plus, I have the background in intellectual property and copyright law needed to file for my own IP protection. I am tenacious (stubborn), detail orientated (perfectionist), hard working (obsessed), and like a new challenge (has a hard time doing the same task twice). 

I could do this!!

Spoiler alert - it was so much harder than I expected, but still really worth it.

I’d love to connect with you! Come find me in all the usual places:

Storm Haus Newsletter 






Austen Authors Group 

Reputation, An Easy Thing to Lose 
A Pride and Prejudice Variation Novel
By: E.M. Storm-Smith 

What if Mr. Bennet died in a duel with Wickham after Lydia eloped, just as Mrs. Bennet feared? Will Elizabeth and Darcy still find their happily-ever-after when the Bennet women lose their reputation and their home? If you like reading Austenesque retellings like Death Comes to Pemberley and Unleashing Mr. Darcy, then Reputation, An Easy Thing to Lose will be your cup of tea. 

Elizabeth Bennet hotly rejected Fitzwilliam Darcy’s marriage proposal nearly four months ago, but now she wonders if that was the biggest mistake of her life. Orphaned and living with her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner in London, Elizabeth is determined to take a position as a governess or companion. There is no need to wait, she believes Darcy could not renew his attentions to her after her family’s disgrace. Which is a shame because she now knows that she might just love him. 

Fitzwilliam Darcy would do anything for Elizabeth. He rushed to London as soon as hearing about Lydia Bennet’s elopement to try to find Wickham and put everything to rights. But his journey was fruitless. Then all Darcy’s effort was wasted when Mr. Bennet died of his wounds before Darcy could bring a doctor to tend to him. Now, he must convince Elizabeth to forgive and marry him before all hope is lost. 

Elizabeth and Darcy are left to try to salvage what is left of their reputations after Mr. Bennet dies and Lydia’s shame becomes complete. Follow our favourite Austen lovers through sacrifice, frustration, a secret marriage, and a whole lot of shenanigans from the marriage minded ladies of London.
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E.M Storm-Smith, thank you so much for stopping by today! I found your journey into writing fascinating! It was great getting to know you, and I look forward to reading Reputation, An Easy Thing to Lose!

Friends, what did you think? I hope you enjoy getting to know E.M. Storm-Smith as much as I did! Let us know by leaving a comment! Thanks!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Giveaway winner!

Hello, my friends! I'm happy to announce the winner of A Seaside Summer: Timeless Regency Collection giveaway!

Congratulations to Sophia Rose!

She won her choice of an eBook from the Timeless Regency Collection!

Many thanks to Laural Ann Nattress at Austenprose for organizing and including me on the tour!

And to Mirror Press for generously giving one eBook per blog post on this tour! Thank you!

Check out A Seaside Summer and the other Timeless Regency Collections.

FTC Disclaimer: A Seaside Summer and Timeless Regency Collections are linked to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thank you! 

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