- Title: Castle Collection (A Sweet and Sassy Anthology)
- Authors: Cindy Hogan, Jo Noelle, Donna K. Weaver, Paige Timothy, Kaye P. Clark,
- File Size: 1058 KB
- Print Length: 490 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Little ,Box Press, LLC (September 18, 2015)
- Publication Date: September 18, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0153LE9KW
- FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Sweet and Sassy Anthology: Castle Collection
Readers will be delighted with five sweet, romance novellas in Sweet and Sassy: Castle Collection. In this charming anthology, you will fall in love again and again. Dangerous Truth by Cindy M. Hogan All By My Selfie by Jo Noelle A Savage Ghost by Donna K. Weaver The Ghost of Dunlow Manor by Paige Timothy Rose of Sherwood by Kaye P. Clark
DANGEROUS TRUTH Olivia loves everything about Belgium. So far, her humanitarian trip has gone perfectly–that is, until she sees a picture of a man she thinks is her father in the newspaper. The father who abandoned her family nine years ago without a word. She tries to forget she ever saw his photo. He’s forgotten about her, after all. But soon it’s apparent that she can’t leave without knowing what happened. Armed with years of hurt and the help of a gorgeous French photographer, she decides to confront him and his secrets once and for all. Unfortunately, her father seems determined to keep those secrets hidden. . . and Olivia is one of them.
ALL BY MY SELFIE While on vacation at McLeod Castle in Scotland, Gwen Mackenzie has nightly dreams of an ancient warrior bound by a curse. During the day, she sees Niall, nicknamed #ScottishBoyfriend. Oh, and can that man rock a kilt! As she gets to know him, she realizes that Niall is the warrior from her dreams, cursed to live as a ghost for the past five hundred years, to see life around him but never sense any of it—except Gwen.
A SAVAGE GHOST Lia Savage reluctantly puts her dream of opening a dessert boutique on hold to help her dad remodel a castle he’s inherited in Washington State. Soon, a specter targets her younger sister. Lia enlists the help of Coop Montgomery, the head gardener and her former crush. As they search together for a way to rid the castle of its ghost, the romance she used to dream about with him kindles. But Lia’s gentle giant means to stay in Washington while she’s determined to return to California. She must find the courage to face both the ghost and her future. With Coop. Or without him.
THE GHOST OF DUNLOW MANOR Bestselling author Alexis St. John needs an escape, and Nate, her personal assistant, thinks that a trip to a real castle in England will be just the thing. What neither of them planned on, though, was to encounter an actual ghost. Lady Catherine Dunlow hates the idea of sharing her castle with tourists and does everything she can to chase them out, much to the amusement of her roguish suitor. But when her two newest guests stumble upon a mystery surrounding her death, she decides to let them stay. With an eternal fate in the balance, Nate and Alexis must move quickly to bring the killer to light before Catherine is trapped forever.
ROSE OF SHERWOOD Lady Rosamund, Baroness of Ravenswood Manor, is a destitute widow, imprisoned in Nottingham Castle. When the prince declares she must marry the ruthless man who had seized Ravenswood, she escapes with the help of a band of outlaws to Sherwood Forest. Her first love, a battle-worn knight, promises to help her find safety at a convent. Confused and afraid, her heart yearns for love. But are the risks too high?
This anthology, 5 novellas, has some wonderful stories. Each one takes place in some kind of a castle. Many of them had ghosts that they encountered within the castles. Of course there was also some type of romance to be found in each story, even with the ghosts.
I loved each story, but the love story in “All By My Selfie” just got to me because of how much each character was willing to sacrifice for each other. This is truly interesting, considering one of those people is in “stasis”, not really living and not really dead. This story was so intriguing!
I also liked how there was a sense of mystery to all of the stories. The action in “Dangerous Truth” was intense, which author Cindy Hogan is know for in other stories she’s written.
These stories are well written. You could tell there were levels of research done by these authors which made the stories interesting and felt realistic, even with the ghosts wandering around the castles and doing spooky things in the novellas “A Savage Ghost”(One very scary ghost and one that made my heart sigh), and “The Ghost of Dunlow Manor” (The ghosts were not only scary at times, but very humorous! I especially loved Sir Ian.) I also loved, “The Rose of Sherwood” which takes you back to Sherwood forest and the fun during the time of Robin Hood.
What a great time of the year to be reading stories of castles and ghosts. You will enjoy reading this new anthology as you get lost in the splendor and mystery that awaits you in the Castle Collection.
Excerpts from each story:
We were the last ones in line and would have to take whatever seats were left in the boat. I hoped I’d still be able to get a good enough seat to take the pictures I hoped for. Ten other passengers were already on board, and the motorboat rocked slightly while everyone got situated. I stepped into the small tour boat, sliding my way across the last available bench, stopping just short of sitting on a guy who had claimed the furthest seat. Unfortunately, Sloan didn’t stop and my whole body shoved into the stranger.
“Sloan! Stop! You pushed me right into someone.” I turned to the guy to apologize and stopped with my jaw hanging open as I stared at what had to be a living representation of the front page of GQ. His face was tan, with high cheekbones that seemed the natural resting spot for the sleek, wire-framed glasses that rested on them. He was wearing a silk tie over a polished, collared shirt that stretched slightly over his broad shoulders, showing off just enough of the form beneath that it was obvious he was toned. His trousers hugged his hips and draped over his legs perfectly, ending over a pair of gleaming wing-tipped shoes. In his lap, a folded newspaper rested casually. Of course.
Toward the warped edge of my suite’s window, I see a man in an archaic blue and green kilt, that’s wrapped, belted, and thrown over one shoulder. He’s sitting on a large boulder near the parking lot. Okay, Josie was so right on this one. Hot men in kilts do just hang around in Scotland. Might be fun to meet a guy to kick up the happy factor in this vacation.
I hope I’m being stealthy when I raise my phone in front of me and take his picture. He’s not close enough to really see, so I take another, zooming as close as I can. His shirt looks like plain linen stretched across his broad shoulders, and he has one knee bent with his leather-booted foot on the rock. I catch myself staring—I’ll bet he gets that a lot. I text the close-up to Josie with a note about the “beautiful sights” I’m enjoying.
Maybe Scottish Boyfriend is an actor in period costume. I hope that’s on the program for the hotel guests; I’d love to see what the culture was like here centuries ago. His eyes flick to my window as if he is looking right at me. Though he’s probably just looking at the castle, butterflies tumble through my middle. Wondering if I have time to talk with him—strictly about history, and take a quick selfie with him before the castle tour begins—I check the clock on the table then turn back around, but he’s gone.
Hugh concentrated on the haze that should be the main hearth and willed it to come into focus. Nothing changed at first, but then the fireplace sharpened. His shoulders relaxed. At last, after struggling for so long, enough of his sense of self had returned. And some of his power.
How long had it been? All he could recall were a few times, every once in a while, when he was able to interact with the people in this new place.
He tried to run his diaphanous hand along the mantel, frustrated when it passed through. Staring hard, Hugh grasped the single wooden-framed picture resting on it. The small portrait lifted into the air. He crowed, for once not caring that such a sound was beneath his dignity.
A gasp from behind startled him, and his hand turned translucent again. Without substance, his fingers lost their grip. The picture crashed to the hearth and shattered. Livid, he spun, refocusing his energy. He fueled his will with anger, and his hands took form. The gray-haired woman gave a satisfying shriek before covering her mouth with her hands.
“Remove yourself from my home at once,” he commanded, his voice low and menacing. He kicked a piece of broken frame, and it flew toward her. With a cry, the servant ducked and ran from the room.
Lady Catherine Dunlow paced the balcony of her third-floor bedroom, her skirts swirling behind her as she moved. She was absolutely furious, and she pounded that fury into the stones beneath her feet. She hated strangers. She hated strangers coming into her house. She hated strangers coming into her house and acting like they owned the place. And yet, they kept coming, no matter what she did.
Dunlow Manor had been in her family for generations. It had belonged to her twelfth great-grandfather, and now she was its rightful owner. She had never given permission for unfamiliar people to come and stay within its walls, and yet they did, taking no thought for her feelings on the matter whatsoever.
She didn’t rest at all that night. Instead, she paced and fumed, fumed and paced. She went outside a few times and glared down at their car, but no ideas came to her. This had to stop somehow—it just had to.
The long, high-ceilinged room was almost ready for the prince’s arrival. Fresh-smelling rushes had been laid on the stone floor; new candles had replaced the old. Soot-darkened wall hangings had been taken down. Men on ladders hung brightly-colored tapestries in their place.
Lady Blanche, the sheriff’s wife, sat at the high table overseeing the work. Her pale, blonde hair hung in long braids, entwined with black ribbons. She rested her hands atop her bulging belly. Blanche was the queen bee, and I knew from experience, her sting could hurt.
Blanche stepped down from the dais to confront me. “You vex me, girl. Your flowers may please the prince, but they do not please me. I needed your help earlier.”
I drew in a long breath. “I am not a servant.”
“You certainly look like one. You’ve been out in the sun without a hat; your face is freckled already. And look at your hands! They’re filthy!”
“I am the wife of Sir Godfrey of Anjou, Baroness of Ravenswood Manor,” I said, hiding my hands behind my back.
“Little good that does you.” Lady Blanche snatched the lavender bloom from my bodice and tucked it in her own. “You’re confined to Nottingham Castle until your husband returns. If he returns.”
About the Authors:
Cindy M. Hogan is inspired by the unpredictable teenagers she teaches. More than anything she loves the time she has with her own teenage daughters and wishes she could freeze them at this fun age. If she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her snuggled up with the love of her life watching a great movie or planning their next party. Most of all, she loves to laugh.
Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also lived in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and goes hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and she’s two people, Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team.
Donna K. Weaver: A wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Navy brat, Army veteran, and karate black belt. Donna is an avid cruiser, having sailed the Pacific five times. She’s lived in South Korea, the Philippines, Germany, and many US states. She and her husband raised six children and currently have nine grandchildren.
Paige Timothy has been writing for as long as she can remember… and probably before that, too, because her memory gets spotty at a certain point. She loves watching romantic comedies, blushes when the characters do something embarrassing, and sighs in all the right places.
Kaye P. Clark was born in New York City, grew up in southern California and raised her family living on remote cattle ranches in Arizona. She now makes her home in Idaho where she works part-time at the county library and teaches art to young children. She’s a mother and grandmother with a very patient husband who puts up with her passion for writing.
Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 11/1/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.