Excerpt, Giveaways, Reviews, TWRP

Review of A Woman of Courage by Marlow Kelly w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @want2write


A Woman of Courage

by Marlow Kelly




GENRE: Historical Romance






When an injured Fianna Byrne turns up at Connell O’Neill’s gate twelve years after their separation he knows this could be his last chance to find happiness with the woman he loves.


False accusations against Fianna had strained relations between their clans and forced Connell, under Irish law, to divorce her. Their disastrous three-month relationship left Fianna pregnant and heartbroken. She has avoided Duncarraig and her ex-husband ever since.


But with her home obliterated by the Vikings, Fianna must face her past in order to save her son, and prove once and for all she is a woman of courage.




Excerpt Three:


Connell held Fianna’s hand as he led her inside. Was this really happening or was it a dream? He had to turn around and check. He had imagined this moment for the last twelve years. His attraction to her was more than physical. He enjoyed her fire, and her spirit. She lived by her own moral code and did not bend to the will of others without reason. These were the characteristics his father had abhorred, but then, Seamus had enjoyed weak women. Pretty, mindless things he could hang on his arm.


Had his father been threatened by Fianna’s strength? After she was gone, Connell had come to realize her depth of character made her special. She had been his confidante, lover, and friend. Her intelligence did not overwhelm his intellect, as his father had suggested, but enhanced it. For those brief months he enjoyed her counsel, and had missed it every day since.


He glanced at her again. Even with everything that had happened this night she had the bearing of a queen, an indomitable woman who could never be conquered.




I’m such a sucker for anything Irish.  Most peeps like the Scots, which I do, but since I’m Irish it strikes a chord with me.  What hooked with this one was the medieval setting.  It was interesting reading about divorce during this time and it shows how much the author did her research on the subject.  Another element that I found fascinating was who the invaders were in the story.  And no, I’m not going to tell you.  😉

Connell was a great hero.  Through all of the years he was still in love with Fianna.  Blinded by his father and wanting to do what his father wanted him to do was in a word…horrible.  But at the same time, heartbreaking.  But once the truth finally came out, I could totally understand why he did what he did but also, Fianna’s pain and rejection.

We don’t get to see their son but he is mentioned.  I would have liked to have gotten to know him but he was at his foster family’s place.  And yes, that’s a real thing.  Again, research is key.  Fianna is also a great heroine.  Stubborn to a fault but also still in love with Connell.  Watching these two admit that they were still in love was a treat.

If you looking for a quick, fun and emotional read with a medieval twist, this is for you.  If I had a couple of compliants is that I wished it were longer (just because I loved the setting and the characters) and would have liked to gotten to know their son.  Oh and did I mention their banter?  No, OMG…that’s like the best part of the book.  Listening to Connell and Fianna talk to each other.  Funny, emotional and at times maddening but awesome.



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories and her curiosity regarding the lives and loves of historical figures are the inspiration for her characters. You can visit Marlow at www.marlowkelly.com.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marlowkelly?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/want2write

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/Marlowkelly14/







Marlow Kelly will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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Decadent, Excerpt, Guest Blog, Reviews

Guest Post & Review of Harey by Arlene Webb

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Celebrate Spring by Indulging in Some Holiday Heat—on Sale!

The premise—a lad falls for a man in love with a woman, and the man’s doomed to disappoint both because he’s fated to be a monk—added up to Harey being a lot of fun to write. My first historical romance, from the beginning beside a waterfall in 612 AD to the happy ending, I loved immersing myself in the time period.

I learned about scotch verses whiskey, the color of wedding gowns, rabbits really do dance and all sorts of interesting facts.

Yet it wasn’t all fun, sex and love when writing about the man who gave rise to the Easter bunny. Nor is there much word count concerning hippity hops or painted eggs. When researching the origins of Easter, I came across an episode in Briton’s past that was quite shocking. I do hope I gave voice to the fallen, and those who read my story will think upon betrayal, massacres and true sacrifice, as well as love that defies all obstacles.

Harey by Arlene Webb

Gwas can outrun a horse, knows how to hide and steal, but is ignorant of the ways of men. The last thing he expects when he is rescued from a miserable existence by a blue-eyed, blond haired angel is to be promised as a Druidic sacrifice to Eostre. Unfortunately, the only direction Gwas wishes to flee is straight into the arms and knife of his savior, Gareth.

Maura knows Gareth is no angel, but she adores him with a passion that time and loneliness cannot dent. When he rides in carrying an injured lad who fears her on sight, she is drawn to open her heart to the abused orphan as well.

Gareth is caught between his liege lord and brother’s fist, and an emotional dilemma that grows harder and harder to deny with every passing season. If he must defy man and gods in order to embrace his heart’s desires, so be it.

When the clash of old and new religions puts lives in peril, ultimate sacrifice bears witness to enduring love. Winter gives way to spring, and the evolution of a colorful myth spreads across the land.

Excerpt: I am no angel. Gareth’s shoulders slammed into the ground. A heavy body covered him, and the adrenalin jolting through him made him feel like a powerful animal. But I am in heaven. He tugged his arms free, wrapped them around Harey and grasped the back of Harey’s head. And I do not care if adulterous sodomites go to hell. He jerked him upward and took his lips.

No time for tender exploration. He had to show Harey who he belonged to, and it was not some bloodthirsty deity, or the daughter of a mass murderer. What if Aethelfrith, the devil who had ordered one thousand, one hundred and sixty-five men killed so they could not pray against him, had still lived? Harey would have walked into his knife with a smile, a pet hare, and promises of painted eggs.

I will not let this man leave me again. Never. Not ever. He’s mine. Gareth fought back his moan anddeepened his kiss. Harey tasted so good, fresh and sweet like Maura, but firm and bony where she was all curvy softness. He intensified the pressure, relishing the feel of the lips he had desired for so long, and Harey yielded. Gareth rammed his tongue in, danced around, and then back out to repeat. He had never held a body to mirror his own like this, captive over him, and the sheer joy of not being gentle saturated him.







About me: Sci-fi, paranormal, thriller-mystery, indefinable, I’m an author who adds sweet and spicy layers of romance to any genre.

Born in upstate New York, land of cows, snow, drizzle and sometimes a ray of sun, I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on.

Early twenties, I headed for the Pacific. A stop off to visit a friend turned into years in Tucson, Arizona. I worked as a waitress, bartender, greenhouse worker, greyhound trainer, while swapping a psych major for one in plant sciences. Fired for skipping employee meetings at restaurants, employee gambling at the dogtrack, refusing to use live rabbits as bait, it fell to planting cacti and bartending to pay my way through college.

My late twenties found me running family owned greenhouses and florist shops. When the reality of retail life became too mundane to handle, I began an obsessive love of creating more interesting worlds.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Thank you so much for hosting me here at Harlie’s Books.

Sincerely, Arlene


It wasn’t until I finished Harey that I finally got the Easter origin story.  I’m a bit slow because I was completely fascinated with the history that Ms. Webb weaved into her story.  Times were harsh back then and the clash between the pagans and Christians were brutal at best.  What drew me into the story itself was Harey.

Harey is an abused man-child that had never known the touch of a man or woman without fear.  When we first met Gareth and Harey it’s not a very pleasant experience for Harey but one that would change his life forever.  But it was Harey’s innocence and purity that sets him apart of any historical/medieval character that I’ve read before.  He had trust issues but when it came to Gareth, he trusted him from the beginning.  Warming up to Maura took a little longer.

Don’t worry about the smexy times in the book.  Sure there is m/m and m/f but the m/m is so tastefully done that its sweet in nature and not too graphic.  Harey has an instant attraction to Gareth and feels like it’s a sin but if you go back in history, it was actually very common.  His time with Maura is also sweet and Ms. Webb does a great job of writing their scenes together.

Gareth, oh my Gareth…He is a dream but conflicted as well.  The scenes at the monastery are brilliantly written and the history of the early Briton wars with the Saxon were great.  It made for a fascinating read and my realization that not everything is sugar-coated in history.

Do yourself a favor and pick up Harey.  The history that Ms. Webb weaves with a sweet love story is not to be missed.  Plus, it will definitely give you a better perspective on the Easter Bunny.  Did I mention that there is a bunny in the story and its name is Bitty?  Nope…will, you definitely need to read the book to found out.  😉


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Excerpt, Guest Blog, Promo

Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway! The Outcast Highlander (The Highland Renegades) by R.L. Syme

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The Outcast Highlander

(The Highland Renegades)


R.L. Syme

Scottish Historical Medieval

Sweet Romance

254 pages, self-published


He’s lost his family, his title, and his honor, but he can’t lose her…


Kensey MacLeod returns home after a failed marriage alliance in France to find her world in turmoil: her best friend married to an English sympathizer, her mother at death’s door, and her father imprisoned and thought dead. As an English lord descends to claim her father’s lands, Kensey escapes north with her mother and brother, and runs straight into the arms of the outcast Highlander.


Driven from home and family by a crazed father, Broccin Sinclair refuses to stand aside while the English invade his beloved Scotland. But who should he champion? The freedom fighter who saved his life, the family who has forgotten him, or the woman who captured his childhood heart?


Buy Links:  

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Outcast-Highlander-Highland-Renegades-ebook/dp/B00HI4PKXI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389164054&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Outcast+Highlander

B&N  –  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-outcast-highlander-rl-syme/1117892291?ean=9780615935836





“If it wouldn’t be too much trouble, may I ask why your horse grazes yonder when there are men who chase you?”

“Oh, stop, you impertinent fool.” Kensey shook his hand away and searched the area around her for something. “I was knocked off my horse.”

“What are you looking for?”

She sighed. “I would like to get up and resume my travels.”

So she looked for something to pull herself up with, yet ignored his help. How like her. He must be beneath her notice. Or her care.

“Let me help you.” He stood and offered both hands. She considered him for a moment and finally touched him again. He couldn’t deny a tiny thrill at having won the fight, or at having her hands in his. But her frustration continued.

She furrowed her brow and released his hands. First one step, then another. But on the third step, she began to sway and Broc had to follow quickly to catch her.

“You’re in no state to be walking.” He swept her into his arms, despite her protest, and stilled her grasping hands by hooking both of her wrists together in one grip. “Nor riding.”

He deposited her atop his horse and jumped up before she could make any more fuss. The Ross men obviously hadn’t followed them, but they would have to proceed carefully from here, knowing they may come back upon them at any time.

Broc urged his horse forward into a slow cantor, searching for the least dense path forward. In his lap, Kensey pulled on the dirty folds of her dress, dislodging bits of the forest floor that still clung to the delicate fabric.

“What are you doing here?” she demanded.

“Let’s get you out of here first, lass.” He glanced back into the thick canopy of stillness for a moment. “Ross’s men may be quick on our heels.”

Sitting against him as she was now, she felt tiny and vulnerable. His cloak had opened as he’d climbed onto Gaidel’s back and she was now sitting in the midst of it, against his nearly bare chest. She seemed to suck up all the warmth in his body as she curled against him. Her eyelashes blinked furiously, as though she tried to keep herself awake when sleep called. He reached down and wrapped the warmth of the cloak around her.

“You can sleep. It appears we’ve lost our pursuers and it will be slow progress back to the trail, if we even dare to follow it.”

“I’m not tired.” She yawned and her weight pressed even more against him. She would no doubt be asleep soon. His body tensed against the desire that tried to consume him. This was his brother’s intended.

He was merely delivering her back to him.

Not enjoying having her in his arms. Not at all.



The Heat Is On


As a major fan of the genre of Scottish romance growing up, I feel an immense amount of pressure to write the best book of all time. It can be hard for authors, in my opinion, to write in a genre they really love because it’s not just about putting out a good story. It’s about honoring everyone who’s come before. And in my case, because the genre is so popular, and because the readers of such books tend to read many, many of such books, it is incredibly difficult to write.


I remember being at a writing conference once and sitting down to pitch with a couple of editors. All I had to say was, “I have a completed Scottish historical romance,” and they stopped me right there. “Send away. I want to see the whole thing.” Of course, I finished the pitches, just to make sure they really wanted it, but both were practically salivating before I even got through the first sentence.


I’ve had multiple releases now, and none scared me quite as much as this first Scottish Historical Romance. Not only was I putting my story out there with the likes of my mentors and friends, Eliza Knight, Vonda Sinclair, Terri Brisbin, Margaret Mallory, and others, but I was also putting my story out there with the likes of my favorite books by Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsay, and Diana Gabaldon. I could do nothing to calm my nerves. The expectations were so high.


And no matter what happens, I feel like I failed to live up to the expectations. Every negative review, every dip in sales… everything reminds me that I’m in a competitive genre, full of excellent writers. There are so many places to get good Highlander love stories. Why should mine be special?


Of course, I think it is special. It is everything I love about today’s romance (complex, quick-moving plots) and everything I love about yesterday’s romance (the melodrama of being in love with essentially a barbarian warrior). I love the story, the characters, the whole experience, and am actively writing the next book. But I won’t deny that Scottish Historical Romance is the most difficult genre I’ve ever written.


The most fun, the most challenging, and the most rewarding. But definitely the most difficult, as well.


What about you? Do you compare books you read to other great books or movies? Do you love Scottish Historical romance?


2 great prizes !!    Grand Prize:  R.L. is giving away a Kindle Paperwhite.    As a secondary prize, she would like to give away a set of Scottish Historical romances from some of her favorite authors.

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Author bio:RL Syme author pic

R.L. Syme works at a youth theatre, teaching kids performing arts and musical performance classes/camps when she’s not writing. Otherwise, she’s putting her Seminary degree to good use writing romance novels. Let not all those systematic theology classes go to waste…