Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Marquess and the Midwife and Alina K. Field.

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 6 comments
      Award winning author Alina K. Field writes Regency Romance. Right now, her Christmas novella, The Marquess and the Midwife is on sale for 99 cents and yes, I am going to give you an excerpt and if you like it, you can hop on over to Amazon or Kobo or Nook or Apple and pick up a copy. I will put all the different buy links after the excerpt.

Alina is the author of the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring, a 2015 RONE Award finalist, Bella’s Band, and a 2016 National Reader’s Choice Award finalist, Liliana’s Letter, as well as her latest release, The Marquess and the Midwife  She is hard at work on her next series of Regency romances, but loves to hear from readers!

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.
When I opened the email from the publisher and read that she wanted to buy my Christmas novella, I had all the palpitations, head-spinning, heart-thumping, and tingling that my characters experience, LOL!  

If it isn’t too nosy. How about the first time you kissed your true love?
Our first kiss (actually, kisses) came after our first date where my husband got the full experience of  my extreme awkwardness. He took me to a super-nice restaurant, the kind of place completing lacking in paper napkins--not a paper napkin to be seen, not even under the cocktail glasses. The first course was soup, which made my nose run (am I the only one who has that problem with soup?). I had no tissues, my true love had no handkerchief to offer me, and my sleeves weren’t long enough, requiring a quick trip for some TP. He kissed me anyway after that, and has kept kissing me for thirty-seven years.
But of course, every time I eat soup he rehashes that story!

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?
I absolutely love the characters and stories created by Loretta Chase and Joanna Bourne.

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
I think it’s a tie between receiving the Book Buyers Best award for that first story I sold, Rosalyn’s Ring, and holding my first indie published print book, Liliana’s Letter, in my hand.   

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
I love watching historical dramas and British police procedurals on television.

How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?
When I’m feeling uninspired, I find it helpful to delve into some research, do some blog post writing, or do something physical like walking the dog or even cleaning house.  

Any advice for new writers just starting out?
Read, read, read, in your genre. Find and join a writers’ organization for your genre, and keep learning. Write your stories from beginning to end, as opposed to reworking the first three chapters a million times. You don’t really understand what you can accomplish until you finish a manuscript. Get feedback, but watch out for the mojo killers.  

Now to the meat of the matter. Tell us about The Marquess and the Midwife

Once upon a time, the younger brother of a marquess fell in love with his sister's companion. He was sent off to war, and she was just sent off, and they both landed in very different worlds. 

Now Virgil Radcliffe has returned from his self-imposed exile on the Continent to take up his late brother's title and discover the whereabouts of the only woman he's ever loved. 

Abandoned by her lover and dismissed by her employer, Ameline Dawes has found a respectable identity as a Waterloo widow, a new life as a midwife, and a safe, secure home for her twin girls. Called to London at Christmas to attend her benefactress's lying-in, she finds herself confronted by an unexpected house guest--a man determined to woo her anew and win her again. 

But, is loving the new Marquess of Wallingford a mistake Ameline cannot afford to repeat? 

You get two blurbs because it's Christmas, dearest reader.

Excerpt 1: (441 words)
Ye gods, but her ladyship needed more maids, and a couple more footmen with both arms and both legs, at least for this type of fetching and carrying.
Ameline chided herself for being insensitive and balanced the steaming bucket. She set down the lamp momentarily to gather her skirts, along with the lamp handle.
A pair of men’s boots moved into view and the lamp bobbled. Fine boots they were.
She sighed, gritting her teeth. Lord Hackwell’s visits had unnerved his lady, and Ameline had counseled him to leave.
Very well, she’d thrown him out, once almost literally. He would wonder what she was doing below stairs. He might send for the accoucheur he was mumbling about, and his lady would not like it.
“I’ve just popped down to the kitchen for a word with Alton, my lord,” she said. “All is going well, except he’s a bit short on staff.”
“We have noticed that.”
The skin on her back rippled and she shivered. This wasn’t Hackwell—it was him.
Panic flared in her and her hands and ankles began to tingle. He carried no light. She let her own lantern dip lower and stepped to one side. What was he doing on the servants’ staircase in the middle of the night?
If he saw her, he would remember her, but he would not want to, unless he would think to befriend her again. Heat flamed in her.
She took in a breath. “Let me pass, Lord Hackwell,” she said.
“Let me carry that bucket for you.”
“No.” She forced in another breath, willing herself to speak calmly. “That is, no thank you. I shall send a servant for you when it is time.”
Footsteps scurried on the stairs. “Mrs. Dawes?” Jenny called, breathless.
Her heart raced again. She’d tarried too long in the kitchen. “I’ll be right—”
Heat touched her hand as the bucket came out. The lantern, too, lifted higher, and she looked up into the face of Lord Virgil Radcliffe, now the latest Lord Wallenford.
Mrs. Dawes?” His eyes widened and then narrowed, and his lips curved down.
Anger spiked in her. “Lord Wallenford.”
He moved down to the step below her, putting them at eye level, and crowded her against the hand rail.
“Give me the bucket, sir. I can manage quite well without your help.” Quite, quite well.
“Can you, indeed?” he drawled, sounding just like his brother the day he’d sacked her.
Blast him. Blast the Wallenfords. Blast the Hackwells. “Alton has a bottle set out. Best go and fetch it.”
His lips quirked.
She gritted her teeth. “Give me the blasted bucket, Virgil.”

Excerpt 2: (Some sexual references, 574 words)
He released her and leaned back, and his shirt gaped around a starburst scar, corded and jagged right above his heart.
She gasped and reached to touch it, but he clasped her hand and pushed it away.
“Waterloo?” she whispered. “I’d heard you were wounded, but—”
“I survived,” he said in a tight voice.
Her lungs squeezed and her heart quickened. Had he? If so, it was just barely. He’d been stabbed or speared, or shot, and somehow, somehow, his great heart had carried on. This had been no minor wound. Virgil had suffered terribly.
“I want to see.” She pushed his hand away and grasped his collar. He grabbed for her hand, but she dodged him and ripped the fine cotton, rending the shirt down the front.
“You have a trunk full of shirts. I want to see.” She knelt before him on the sofa, yanked the shirt down his arms, and studied his chest. Small cuts marked his side and his belly, but the mottled scar was the worst. It would have taken months to fully heal a wound like this from the inside out. He should have died.
Her vision blurred so she couldn’t see. But her hands, trained to examine a babe in the womb, they could see. She flattened her palms and set a course over the ridges knots, and hard ripples.
He surely had almost died. A world without Virgil, without his laughter, and his generally kind heart. He’d used her, true, as men did. It was in a man’s animal nature, wasn’t it? And she’d used him also, hadn’t she? Both of them grieving over his sister’s death, and comforting each other. And she was left with her girls, and things had turned out all right, hadn’t they?
Her hands cupped his shoulders and slipped over to his back. No scars there that she could feel. The ball, or saber, or…what else did men use to kill each other?…had not gone clean through. It had merely dredged a hole in his front and wreaked havoc inside him.
And nearly killed him.
She’d always pictured a wounded Virgil, binding up a minor slash and heading off to the Continent to charm actresses and diplomats’ wives, maybe taking a wife there himself, and bringing her back to breed pretty, cheerful children. Virgil, rich, content and happy.
How she’d wallowed in that vision.
The feel of the scarred skin melted away her resentment. Let him have that happy life with his marchioness and heirs. And perhaps, on a rare occasion, he could come down to Longview and visit his twins.
“Ameline.” Virgil’s breath touched her cheek.
Large hands cupped both of her hips.
Warmth spurted through her. Too late, she realized her error. She’d got too close again.
She pulled the sides of his shirt up, her gaze sliding over the rip and…
Right. He was fully erect. Of course he was.
Hot need shrieked inside her, and she battered it down and found her breath. “I apologize. My infernal curiosity.” She patted his shoulders and eased away.
His eyes had gone dark and feral, his lips parted like a hungry man ready to chomp down on a long-awaited meal. Inside, she melted more.
She took in a great breath. She must keep him talking. “How did the wound happen?” she asked.
His eyes shuttered and he yanked her hard against him, smashing his lips to hers. 

What’s your current WIP?
I’m working on a really fun Regency series about a British spymaster tying up loose ends from the Napoleonic wars while getting his children married off. 

And finally, where can we find you?
Alina, thank you so much for being here. To all my readers, I wish you joy and love in this season of light.  I've already had a wonderful gift. Soul Mate has accepted my companion book to Time and Forever.  - It's a second chance romance, currently called Maybe This Time . But that will change. Too many books with that title. I will be holding a contest for a new title. Joy to you and yours and go get Alina's book - The Marquess and the Midwife


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