Ready for the start of a brand new historical romance series?
Today I'm revealing the cover for Lord Muck and Lady Alice, book 1 in the 'Stations of the Heart' series, set in rural Australia in the mid-19th century.
To celebrate this new release, I have two ebook copies to give away. Scroll down to the bottom to enter.
Or, you can pre-order now for 99c USD:
Lord Muck and Lady Alice
Stations of the Heart #1
Release day: Friday, May 11
Darling Downs, Queensland, 1868
He hasn’t followed me!
Lady Alice Lethbridge raised a shaking hand to the brass knocker on the panelled timber door. Her heart still beat like a tribal drum in darkest Africa. The freezing night air rasped in her throat with each breath and scoured her lungs. With numb fingers, she grasped the door knocker and rapped it against its plate. Oh God, let there be help here.
The knocker’s echo died to silence. Lightning flashed across the rain-soaked plain she had stumbled across. Shivering in her torn nightgown, arms clutched around her body, Alice slumped against the door and slid to the icy verandah boards. It was futile. There was no-one to help her.
A gust of wind drove a sheet of freezing rain over her back and beat a wild tattoo on the verandah roof. There was no shelter from the storm anywhere. Warm tears seeped onto her cold cheeks.
How long she lay there shaking, she didn’t know. When the door opened inwards, Alice’s head hit the doorpost with a dull thud, sending a stab of pain across the back of her head. The rest of her burned with numbing cold.
“Father!” screeched a girl’s voice. “Come quickly!”
Footsteps beat towards her, growing louder. Every footfall vibrated her cheek as it lay against the doorpost.
Warm hands checked her limbs and peeled her eyes open. Pain speared behind her temple as the bright light from a lamp blazed into her face.
The man lifted her. His hard chest heated her side as they moved from the cold and rain into warmth and bright light that forced her eyes shut. Bang. The front door closed behind them, cutting off the foul night.
A gruff voice said, “Miss Chambers’s old room, Nell. The bed is made up.”
He hurried onwards through the hallway, following the light held by the girl. The masculine strength of the man reassured her. The scent of his mellow shaving soap calmed her ragged nerves.
He lowered Alice onto a chaise longue.
James Forrester strode from the former governess’s bedroom, back to his spartan study. Ledgers lined up like a leather-clad picket fence behind the glass doors of his bookcases; symbols of his many business interests and the need to keep tight control of all expenditure in this dangerous economy. But right now, none of that occupied his mind.
The memory of the soft weight of the mysterious Alice disturbed him. Her hair had cascaded in long dark waves over his forearm, its tendrils tickling the exposed flesh where his rolled-back sleeves finished below his elbows. Who was she and where had she come from?
James unstoppered the crystal decanter that sat on his oak cadenza, and poured himself a measure of ‘the whisky that perishes’, as the local vicar called it during his hellfire and damnation sermons. James swallowed the dram in a swift gulp that burned all the way to his stomach. Its alcoholic warmth seeped into his blood, easing the tension in his body.
He poured a second drink and sat in a wingback chair in front of the glowing fire, sipping the spirit and pondering Alice’s possible origin. She couldn’t have come from far away. Warwick, the nearest town, was too great a distance, so she must be from one of his neighbours’ properties. There were only two, or maybe three, close enough.
What had happened to send her fleeing into the night in such weather?
Tomorrow, he would get some answers.
Lord Muck and Lady Alice Giveaway
To celebrate the cover reveal for Lord Muck and Lady Alice, I am giving away TWO ebook copies to two lucky winners. Enter below: