Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!
Today we have a smooch from Anna Campbell, but first ...
the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Amanda Gardener!
Can you please contact Rachel at rachel (at) rachelbailey (dot) com to receive your copy of What Happens in Charleston!
And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Anna Campbell's e-novella, These Haunted Hearts
On one fateful wedding day at Marston Hall in 1818, four linked destinies hover in the balance.
Josiah Aston, Earl of Stansfield, wakes to discover he’s seventy years dead and he alone can free his beloved wife Isabella’s tormented soul. But first he must convince her to trust him against all the evidence…
Lady Isabella Verney, beautiful and tempestuous, married the man of her dreams, only to die violently on her wedding day. Every clue points to Josiah as the murderer…
Is true love strong enough to defeat ancient malevolence forever?
Miles Hartley, Viscount Kendall, is society’s ideal catch, but what does that matter if he can’t convince Calista Aston that he loves her? When an age-old curse strikes, only by proving himself worthy of her faith can he save their happiness…
Lady Calista Aston, noted bluestocking, fears she loves Miles Hartley not wisely, but too well. On her wedding day, her doubts place her at evil’s mercy. When death and disaster loom, is it courage or mad folly to believe that Miles loves her in spite of all her faults?
On one fateful wedding day at Marston Hall in 1818, will the lovers emerge triumphant or will darkness conquer all?
Marston Hall, Norfolk, May 1818
“Kiss me, Calista.”
Austerely intellectual Lady Calista Aston giggled with an extremely unintellectual giddiness and allowed the handsome young man to tug her from the empty hallway into the shadowy bedroom. “Miles, I haven’t got time,” she said without sounding in the least convincing.
“I’ll be quick.”
Through dimness created by drawn curtains, she shot him a disbelieving look. “That’s what you always say.”
As ever when she regarded the man she was to marry, her heart twisted in an agony of love. Tall, golden-haired, charming, Viscount Kendall was like a magical prince out of a fairy tale.
A tide of self-doubt threatened to drown her, in spite of her appearance of light-heartedness. She still couldn’t believe that this superb creature had chosen her from all the women in the world to become his wife.
She was a devotee of logic, of scientific process. Miles Hartley’s partiality for a bluestocking Long Meg like her seemed completely nonsensical. She’d imagine he was mad if she wasn’t herself victim to a madness impervious to research or reason or cold, hard reality. But while she recognized her affliction as permanent, how long would his madness last? Until tomorrow? Next year?
From the moment she’d seen him across her father’s drawing room, she’d fallen under Miles’s spell. She still recalled her incredulity when he’d proposed six weeks later.
Desperately she’d hoped to become more secure in his love as time passed, but with every day of the last three months, her uncertainties had burgeoned. Now, on the afternoon before her wedding, they gnawed at her like starving rats on a loaf of stale bread.
She told herself a thousand times she was a silly goose. Miles said he loved her. He said it over and over. But at her deepest level, nothing convinced her that she was worthy of his regard. He was elegant and brilliant and gifted with a vivid masculine beauty. He should choose a wife who was equally beautiful, a toast of society, instead of a drab wallflower like her. Calista was bitterly aware that with her straight brown hair and long, thin body and strong Aston features, she was no beauty.
With his usual careless grace, Miles kicked the door shut behind him and drew her inexorably into his arms. Another shudder of love ran through her. It was dangerous to love a man as much as she loved Miles.
“It’s your fault.” He smiled at her as though she was as bright and lovely as a rainbow. “If you weren’t so delicious, I’d be happy with a mere peck on the cheek.”
“You’re a sweet-tongued devil.” The grim tenor of her thoughts lent the remark a sharp edge.
His smile turned wicked. “Let me show you.”
He kissed her and she melted into his arms. His mouth opened over hers and his tongue slipped between her lips to tease her into a fever. She was helpless against this passion. It terrified her even as she flung herself into the blaze. From the first, he’d made her feel almost painfully alive. If he ever left her, she had a bleak premonition that she’d never feel alive again.
You can find Anna's book at Amazon and Smashwords!
And Anna's giving away a copy of her novella to one lucky commenter! So her question to you is:
Hiya Lovely LoveCats and LoveCat groupies!
My latest e-novella, THESE HAUNTED HEARTS, has a touch of the woo-woos about it. Do you like ghost stories? Do you have a favourite?
Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from The Last Doctor She Should Ever Date by Louisa George will be posted!
I like Ghost Stories. Led Into Temptation by Cara Summer has a ghost and it was the first book on my keeper shelf I thought of, I am sure there are othersReplyDelete
Tammy, I don't know that one but it sounds great. Getting it now! Thanks for the recommendation.ReplyDelete
Hi Anna, thanks for visiting and for sharing from 'These Haunted Hearts'. I don't read lots of ghost stories as I'm not into being scared (yes, I'm a wuss). I keep wanting to see 'The Woman in Black' but know it's not for me. On the other hand I've enjoyed some terrific books where the ghosts play a role in furthering the current-day romance. So mixing ghosts and romance works for me. Good luck with this current one - it's such fun.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Annie! I must say I love a mystical touch to a romance. Not something that's going to scare the pants off me but that bit of woo-woo works for me. Thanks for having me as a guest on the Love Cats today!ReplyDelete
Ooooh, such a delightful yet sizzling smooch, Anna!ReplyDelete
I love a ghost in a romance. Jenny Crusie's Maybe This Time is a recent fave.
Rachel, thank you so much for lending me Maybe This Time. Somehow I'd missed it and I loved it. Great ghosts in that!ReplyDelete
Ooh, this novella has such an intriguing premise, Anna! Love that smooch. :-)ReplyDelete
As for ghost stories...I used to love Edgar Allan Poe. And Henry James's The Turn of the Screw is masterful. MUST read Crusie's Maybe This Time for a different take on the classic. Annie, I saw The Woman in Black when I was in London. It scared me silly! In the best possible way. :-)
Michelle, thanks for having me as your guest this morning on the Love Cats. Love visiting here. Happy Easter! I used to love Edgar Allan Poe. The first one I ever read was the Cask of Amontillado when I was about ten. Scared me silly and I didn't even know what amontillado was!ReplyDelete
'These Haunted Hearts' sounds wonderful, Anna.ReplyDelete
I'm with Annie/ I'm not big on ghost stories. I get too scared.
Annie, don't see 'The Woman in Black'. I saw the theatre production in London and had nightmares for weeks. It is just terrifying!!!
Thanks so much, Jennifer! It was fun playing with two couples and the slight woo-woo.ReplyDelete
I want to read this so bad.ReplyDelete
I guess my favorite ghost story would be Cindy Mile's book Spirited Away. I really enjoyed this book and its been several years since I read it, but I haven't forgotten the story.
Ooh, I haven't heard of that one, QL. I'll clearly have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation.ReplyDelete
I'm not a woo woo person either so its not somethng I generally read - although this one is naturally gracing my iPad as I write this! But if I'm allowed a TV example...ReplyDelete
I grew up waching The Ghost and Mrs Muir and adored it! Hope Lange and Edward Mullhair - oh my!
The romance and tension between them sizzled - even at 8 or 9 I recognised that on some level.
Hi Amy! Great news about THH on your i-pad! Actually I remember when I wrote to Tricia who edits the Mammoth anthologies which is where this story originated (in a shorter version). I said that this story was closer to the Ghost and Mrs. Muir than Night of the Living Dead! I remember the sexual tension in that - the ghost was really gorgeous!ReplyDelete
I'm a big chicken & avoid ghost and horror stories. When I was a kid I was watching a ghost movie & spent the whole time with my fingers in my ears & my eyes tightly closed! Unless of course it's a friendly ghost or an ultra sexy Ghost: Patrick Swayze! OMG. I'd watch him any number of times.ReplyDelete
Hey, Josiah's a pretty sexy ghost, Linda! ;-) Yeah, PS made a great ghost, didn't he? Haven't seen that movie for ages. Must check it out again!ReplyDelete
Hi Anna - wonderful smooch! My favourite ghost story is a book I read as a child called When Marnie Was There by Joan Robinson (I think). I just loved the book and it has stayed with my as a favourite.ReplyDelete
Hi Helen! I read When Marnie Was There. It was one of my fave middle grade books. How funny that you read it too - nobody else I know has even heard of it. Read it over and over! Thanks for having me as your guest on Love Cats! xReplyDelete
Don't have a fav ghost storyReplyDelete
BN, hopefully you'll pick up THESE HAUNTED HEARTS and it will get the blue ribbon, LOL!ReplyDelete
Happy Ghostly Easter to all of you ghost writers and readers. Nothing wrong with a spooky story. Just read about ghosts and vampires in an anthology of ghost stories. Was quite funny.ReplyDelete
Hi Manuela! Fluser, I need to read the other stories in that Mammoth Anthology I'm included in. I love a great ghost story!ReplyDelete
Hi Anna, I dont have a favourite Ghost story but I do love a good historical romance, there's something really romantic about them.ReplyDelete