Monday, December 17, 2018

Charlene Raddon on Dipsomania and Thalia


Charlene Raddon began writing nearly forty years ago. She never meant to be a writer. In college she studied fine arts. But that was before she discovered romance novels, and before she woke up one morning after a dream so vivid she knew it belonged in a book. She got out an old typewriter and ever since, instead of painting pictures with paints and a brush, she does it with words. An Amazon bestselling author, Charlene was first published in 1994 by Kensington Books. Today, she's an Indie author. She is also a book cover designer specializing in western historical covers.
DIPSOMANIA IN 19th CENTURY AMERICA
Believe it or not, the Puritans believed in drinking. In fact, they brought more beer with them than water. Early Americans took a healthful dram for breakfast, whiskey for a lunchtime tipple, ale with supper and ended the day with a nightcap. Continuous imbibing clearly built up a tolerance. By 1830, consumption had peaked at 7 gallons per year per person.



By the late 19th Century, dipsomania, or alcoholism, was being treated as a disease. The first arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol was in 1897.

 
 
Physicians began to consider alcoholism a disease, but they had no real cure. There were facilities for the treatment of dipsomania, and if that failed, there were always insane asylums where people with disabilities of all sorts were put to get them out of the way.

In my new novel being released December 15, titled Thalia, The Widows of Wildcat Ridge Book 7, my heroine, Thalia, goes to the town doctor for advice in trying to cure the man she loves of drinking. He tells her, "Alcohol consumption eats at your innards over a long period of time and brings about a long slow death. It grinds away a man's liver and other organs. Those who recover from it are often plagued with liver and heart problems the rest of their lives." He tells her of asylums back east where they treat dipsomania, but he doesn't recommend them. "Horrible places they are," he says.
 

But alcohol wasn't the only addiction rampant in the nineteenth century. During this time, much of the food consumed by working-class families was adulterated by foreign substances, contaminated by chemicals, or befouled by animal and human excrement. By the 1840s home-baked bread had died out among the rural poor; in the small tenements of the urban masses, unequipped as these were with ovens, it never existed. The list of poisonous additives reads like the stock list of some mad and malevolent chemist: strychnine, cocculus inculus (both hallucinogens) and copperas in rum and beer; sulphate of copper in pickles, bottled fruit, wine, and preserves; lead chromate in mustard and snuff; sulphate of iron in tea and beer; ferric ferrocynanide, lime sulphate, and turmeric in Chinese tea; copper carbonate, lead sulphate, bisulphate of mercury, and Venetian lead in sugar confectionery and chocolate; lead in wine and cider; all were extensively used and accumulative in effect, resulting, over a long period, in chronic gastritis, and often fatal food poisoning.
 
And adults weren't the only ones imbibing these poisons. Most medicines, even for children, contained alcohol or opiates or both. Laudanum is a tincture of opium containing approximately 10% powdered opium by weight (the equivalent of 1% morphine). Medical officers were convinced that one of the major causes of infant mortality was the widespread practice of giving children narcotics, primarily opium, to quiet them. Laudanum was cheap enough, about the price of a pint of beer. Opium killed far more infants through starvation than overdose. Dr. Greenhow, investigating for the English Privy Council, noted how children 'kept in a state of continued narcotism will be thereby disinclined for food, and be but imperfectly nourished.'
 
At mid-century at least ten proprietary brands of medicines containing opiates existed, with Godfrey's Cordial, Steedman's Powder, and the grandly named Atkinson's Royal Infants Preservative among the most popular. Opium in pills and penny sticks was widely sold and opium-taking was described a way of life in places.
Morphine was treated like a new-fangled wonder drug. Injected with a hypodermic syringe, the medication relieved pain, asthma, headaches, alcoholics’ delirium tremens, gastrointestinal diseases and menstrual cramps. By the late 1800s, women made up more than 60 percent of opium addicts.

By 1895, morphine and opium powders, like OxyContin and other prescription opioids today, had led to an addiction epidemic that affected roughly 1 in 200 Americans. The Civil War helped. The Union Army alone issued nearly 10 million opium pills to its soldiers, plus 2.8 million ounces of opium powders and tinctures. An unknown number of soldiers returned home addicted, or with war wounds that opium relieved. Opiates made up 15 percent of all prescriptions dispensed in Boston in 1888, according to a survey of the city’s drug stores.

 
Only around 1895, at the peak of the epidemic, did doctors begin to slow and reverse the overuse of opiates. Advances in medicine and public health played a role: acceptance of the germ theory of disease, vaccines, x-rays, and the debut of new pain relievers, such as aspirin in 1899. Better sanitation meant fewer patients contracting dysentery or other gastrointestinal diseases, then turning to opiates for their constipating and pain-relieving effects.

 
 
Blurb for Thalia:
Thalia Plunkett has loved Duncan Moon, known as Dinky, all her life. Now he's in big trouble. Can Thalia help Duncan kick the booze threatening to kill him, and win his love? Or will he choose whiskey over her?
And who is the mysterious man watching Thalia?



BUY LINK FOR THALIA:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K3THRCP
https://charleneraddon.com
https://silversagebookcovers.com
http://www.amazon.com/Charlene-Raddon/e/B000APG1P8/
https://twitter.com/craddon

http://www.facebook.com/charlene.b.raddon
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1232154.Charlene_Raddon

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/charlene-raddon

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Spirit of Christmas

The topic for this month was  an excerpt from one of your stories that shows the spirit of this season (however you define it) and tell why you used it (excerpt does not have to be Christmas themed). OR write a short story or flash fiction piece for the season.

First, thank you Rhobin for these interesting topics all year.

Next, I don't have any Christmas excerpts so I wrote a short piece with my characters from The Hawkins' Ranch series. It's a short piece on what I think would be an ideal Christmas with family. I hope you enjoy it.

Gabe watched Cody carefully picked up Gran, so she could place the star on the top of the tree. Gran and Grandpa Jack had bought the star their first Christmas. The had little money at the time and chopped down a small tree and strung it with popcorn balls, but they’d wanted a star. So, their Christmas present to each other had been that star. It had been on the family Christmas tree every year since.
Cody gently placed Gran down and she perched on the chair closest to the tree. Gabe smiled at the family gathering. Everyone was here for the annual tree lighting and dinner. Children skipped around the room putting red and green balls a on the lower branches and Lucky and Blue added their barks from behind the gated doorway. Annie put another record on the old record player in the corner. Silent Night filled the room.  Everyone joined in to sing along to the familiar lyrics. The children curled up with their parents. Gabe added his baritone voice to the words.

Cody sat down beside Maggie and Matt wriggled in between them. Kye stood behind the chair where Janna sat. Eli climbed up on her lap snuggled and against her shoulder. Kye’s hand rested on Janna’s shoulder touching her dark hair and Eli’s head. Molly, Matt and Eli knew the words and added their childish voices.
Even Luke had taken time away from his practice to be here with Allie and Molly, their adorable red-headed, adopted daughter.

As the song came to an end, Sam plugged in the lights and the eight-foot fir tree burst into light. Everyone oohhed. The children grinned. Gabe smiled. It was a familiar scene filled with love. Delicious smells of carefully spiced mulled wine and Christmas baking emitted from thee kitchen. He and his family had so much to be thankful for. Maybe this would be the year he’d add a new member to the growing family – maybe. Until then he’d appreciate another special Hawkins’ Christmas with his family, food, music and love. It would be a wonderful Christmas.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
 
And don't forget to check out these other websites to read their thoughts on
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1qI
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

Monday, December 10, 2018

Checking it Twice - Writing List


Two weeks until Christmas, how are you doing?
Decorations and tree up – check
Music playing -check
Christmas cards sent - check
First Newsletter out (Yeah me!) – check. And you can sign up for it
at my website https://wwwbeverleybateman.com
Shopping – in progress
First Christmas party – check
Christmas baking – in progress. I included my recipe for quick,
yummy Christmas cookies in my newsletter
Latest book, The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story now in paperback – check

So, I still have shopping and baking and planning Christmas dinner to do.  
And I’m trying to work on my new WIP. Do you get much writing done
during this time of the year?
I find it a challenge so here’s a few hints that I use and might work for you-

Making a list and checking it twice. 😊
- Write down your goals for each day – including shopping, wrapping, Christmas
concerts, etc.

- Check your schedule and decide when you have a spare fifteen minutes – get up a few minutes earlier, stay up later, write by hand during a lunch break – fit in fifteen minutes of writing

- Waiting in line to mail parcels, do research 0n line or carry a book with you, or jot down things you need to check

You want get a lot of pages written but you will get a few done over the holidays and you’ll keep your WIP fresh. And when you’re busy doing research or thinking about your story you may get a thought that gets you excited and find you have to write the scene or chapter.

If you have any suggestions to help with writing during the holiday season, please share them with us.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Read 'About One of a Kind Christmas' and Author Lexi Post


Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe's short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she's read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.
But Lexi's first love is romance novels so she married her two first loves, romance and the classics. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a sensuous experience with a “whole lotta story.”
Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.
Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?
Holly: My name is Holly Douglas. I’m a widow.
Beverley: Where did you grow up?
Holly: I grew up in New Hampshire, but I married a Scotsman, so I live in Deervale, Scotland now. My family wants me to move back to America, but I want to stay here. I feel closer to my husband here, especially because he’s been visiting me for the last three years and sending me spirits. They are so much fun. I love flying with them.
Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?
Holly: Well, that’s a loaded question. It takes place in my past, my present, and in my future. Though as Malcom and Joy, my Spirits of Christmas Future, told me, I can make my future change.
Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
Holly: Oh, I’m just a regular person. My biological dad had nothing to do with me. When I was a teenager, my mom and I were living in an apartment building that caught on fire on Christmas Eve. We were placed with the Tinders by our social worker, Jessica, who along with Duncan were my Spirits of Christmas Past. Anyway, Mom ended up marrying the Tinders oldest son, so I got a new family. I met Cameron at the Highland Games and we were together for two years before we married. Unfortunately, he died on Christmas day two years later. He was rock-climbing. I was devastated.
Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Holly: My goal? Oh, I want to convince my husband’s spirit to keep visiting me for the rest of my life. It’s hard though because if he stays too long with me, he could turn into a ghost. And yes, there’s a difference between a spirit and a ghost. Cam’s and my connection is so strong that he’s in danger of becoming a ghost. If he turns into a ghost, he’ll be stuck on the living plane for eternity. That would be great while I’m alive, but after I die I’ll transition and he’ll be stuck here, so we don’t want that. But I really miss him. We were soulmates. Coco, she was one of my Spirits of Christmas Present, along with Ian, and she could see soulmates. She said they glowed and Cam and I were definitely soulmates.
Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Holly: Well crap, I kind of answered that, didn’t I. Except you should know that Cam is trying to get me to let go of him. The spirits he sent helped me cope, but now he wants me to move on. I hate that he’s trying to push me away. His best friend Ethan, who is still alive, by the way, is trying to help me out.
Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?
Holly: I’ve tried reasoning and pouting and yelling and crying. I’m not sure what else I can do. I’m hoping Ethan has some ideas. He’s always been the smart one of Cam’s two best friends.
Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Holly: About me? I’m really not that interesting. Oh, but I do own the One of a Kind Christmas Shop here in Deervale. It was Cam’s idea, but I’ve always run it. I find artisans to make one-of-a-kind ornaments and decorations for Christmas. We are doing better this year because we’ve had a lot of American visitors. Christmas isn’t as big here in Scotland as in America. Here they celebrate Hogmanay a lot more.
I’m getting pretty excited because I’m only days away from seeing Cam again. It’s only once a year, but he has my heart and though he says this is his last visit, I’m hoping for a Merry Christmas anyway. I really don’t know how I can say goodbye.

Blurb for About One of a Kind Christmas:

For her to love him, he must face a spirit, an archangel…and himself.
The spirit of Cameron Douglas has totally screwed-up…again. Now, he has to fix his mess in one night with the help of his best friend and somehow encourage his widow to move on.

Holly Douglas is anguished that this is the last Christmas she’ll be visited by her late husband, Cameron. For three years he’s sent her the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and they‘ve helped her cope with her loss. But now all that ends, and she doesn’t understand why he must push her away.

Ethan Stewart has been in love with Holly since Cameron’s death, but she isolated herself from everyone, including him. Then something changed, and he was welcomed back as her friend. But he wants more— to love her openly, and most of all to make her happy again. Though he loved his best friend like a brother and will do anything for Holly, as he’s pulled into the spirit world, he discovers the price they must pay for their chance at forever…and it just might be too high.

Excerpt for About One of a Kind Christmas:

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before opening them. “I miss Cam. It was as if we were two parts of the same soul. I lived vicariously through him even while I worried constantly about him. It was one of the reasons I was constantly warning him to be careful. I was afraid to lose him.”
Ethan looked away and rubbed the back of his neck. “And then I did.”
She felt as if her heart were breaking all over again, not for her but for Ethan. He was so good to her. He even loved her. And she… “Ethan, I understand.”
His gaze returned to hers. Though she couldn’t see his face clearly, the limited light reflected off the sheen in his eyes.
She placed her hand on his cheek and rising on her toes brushed her lips across his in a feather-light kiss. She only meant to give comfort, but a spark of something else hit her heart.
She remained there, her lips close to his but not touching, wanting more but afraid to ask.
Ethan remained absolutely still, his breath mixing with her own.
He loved her but would never push her. It wasn’t his nature. She could walk away right now, but to what?
Nothing.
She stared at his mouth in the dim light. She wanted to live again. She wanted to feel again. Tilting her head, she pressed her lips more firmly against his, moving her hand down his stubbled jaw and behind his neck to pull him closer.
Ethan’s lips opened, and she slipped her tongue between them.
As his arms came around her, it was like waking from a dream. A slow burn flowed through her veins as he took control of the kiss and explored her mouth with his tongue. It was an unhurried exploration and heat built in her belly. When he pulled back to lick the underside of her top lip, she took her first deep breath. As she exhaled, tingles spread throughout her body.
He kissed the corners of her mouth before leaning his forehead against her own. “Ye catch my blood on fire, lass.”

 
Buy Links for About One of a Kind Christmas:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2TukRfU
B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-of-a-kind-christmas-lexi-post/1129901071?ean=2940161606766
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1442733578
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/one-of-a-kind-christmas
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Kind-Christmas-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B07KK2LFHN/
Amazon AU:  https://www.amazon.com.au/One-Kind-Christmas-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B07KK2LFHN/
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/One-Kind-Christmas-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B07KK2LFHN

Social links for Lexi
Website: http://www.lexipostbooks.com/
Lexi Post Updates: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/c1w1g3
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexipostbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LexiPost
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexipostbooks/
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1IEL2cc
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lexi-post

 
Lexi has a $25 Gift Card to giveaway during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win. You may find the tour locations here https://goo.gl/sPP5CV.
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/801c221b84/

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Meet Beverley Oakley and Keeping Faith


Debutantes, widows and the occasional courtesan test society’s boundaries in Beverley Oakley’s wicked, passionate historical romances dripping with scandal, intrigue, and suspense.
Her Fair Cyprians of London series is about a group of determined and clever courtesans at a high-class Soho brothel who use their wit and beauty to avenge past betrayals - and who find lasting love along the way.
How can there be a happily ever after? is a question many a reviewer has asked before admitting to being delighted and satisfied by the unexpected plot twists and surprise endings – just like in Beverley’s own life. You can read more on her website.

Interview with Faith Montague, the heroine of Keeping Faith
Beverley: What’s your name?
Faith: Faith Montague
Beverley: Where did you grow up?
Faith: I was second eldest daughter of ten and I grew up in a damp, leaky farm tenant’s cottage in Wiltshire, England. My mother was too busy to spend time with me and my father was drunk much of the time. I couldn’t wait to go into service at the Big House when I was thirteen because, although I worked my fingers to the bone, I learned that if I could behave the way my betters behaved, it could be an avenue out of poverty for me.
Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?
Faith: 1878. (A great time in fashion when the bustle was at its sexiest.) Also, women were starting to have opportunities for work other than being just a servant, governess…or a prostitute like the girls I lived with after I was falsely accused of stealing and sent to live in a brothel.
Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
Faith: I was born in poverty but an American heiress plucked me out of obscurity to train me how to behave like a lady. Her intention for me was to seduce and ruin a young man whom she believed had ruined her daughter’s life.
Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?
Faith: I just want my freedom. Initially, I thought I’d get my freedom by carrying out my benefactress’s evil plan but after I fell in love with the kind, sensitive, gorgeous young painter (who was about to become a diplomat) whom I was supposed to destroy, freedom meant finding a future with him.
Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?
Faith: Conflicts? Happiness should have been impossible. The social mores of the day would not have tolerated my being with my true love, Crispin, even if I did take London by storm as his artist’s muse. Yes, we both became celebrities overnight. One might have thought that such public adoration would have meant I would be accepted by society. But that’s when the real conflict began.
There was my past. No one would condone a young diplomat in line for a title taking up with a girl who’d been brought up in a brothel. It might have happened in the romantic novels that are so popular today but not in real life. Not in my life.
Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?
Faith: I’m a survivor. And sometimes the unexpected happens. Sometimes, when everything is against you: family opposition, society’s attitudes, the vengeance of the people you thought you could trust…sometimes a rabbit just gets pulled out of a hat and the happy ever after shimmers tantalisingly in front of you. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll be allowed to taste real happiness.
Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
Faith: Just that I’m not unlike so many of what that journalist Henry Mayhew called “London’s lowlife” when he wrote his famous book, London’s Underworld. A fallen woman was reviled and usually her dire circumstances were not of her making. My friends were all decent women who just wanted to be happy. They didn’t choose to live in a brothel but there are precious few opportunities when one is poor and without education.
So, spare a thought for them. I’m making sure their stories are recorded in the other books in the Fair Cyprians of London series.
Thank you for listening to mine.

Blurb for Keeping Faith
Four years ago, Faith’s mysterious benefactress falsely accused her of stealing and deposited her in Madame Chambon’s exclusive brothel.

There, Faith was to learn how to entrance London’s noble gentlemen with her learning in philosophy, politics and art.

Her body was to be saved for the greatest enticement of all: revenge.

Faith doesn’t care what she has to do. She lives only to fulfil a bargain that will set her free.

But when Faith is recruited as the muse of a talented, sensitive painter whose victory in a prestigious art competition turns them both into celebrities overnight, she discovers the reasons behind her mission are very different from what she'd been led to believe.

Now she is complicit in something dark and dangerous while riches, adulation and freedom are hers for the taking.

But what value are these if her heart has become a slave to the man she is required to destroy?

Excerpt: from Keeping Faith
“What did you learn last night?”

“A gentleman must always believe he knows best.”

Confident that her answer was pleasing, Faith reached across the table to help herself to a macaroon but a sharp slap across the back of the hand stopped her progress by the silver teapot.
Her smile of feigned contrition was rewarded with a raised eyebrow from Madame Chambon. Not an invitation to partake of a macaroon, unfortunately. The table laden with eclairs and petit fours in Madame’s private sitting room was merely for show.

“Greedy girl, Faith! You can eat at the Dorchester tomorrow and I daresay you won’t even spare a thought for the other girls who are justified in being somewhat jealous of your cossetted life.” Madame sniffed as she patted one of the grizzled, orange curls of her elaborate coiffure. Faith suspected a squirrel’s pelt had made its contribution. “I’m sure they wonder every day why you never have to stir yourself – or anyone else, for that matter – to get your fine clothes or a roof over your head.” Madame Chambon piled three macaroons onto her already laden plate before making a sweeping gesture that encompassed the furnishings of her surprisingly decorous private sitting room with its gold tasseled green velvet curtains and flock wallpaper. “What have you told them, Faith? About why you are here, I mean?”

Faith’s stomach rumbled as she gazed from the prints of the famous artists that lined the walls to the fine fare in front of her, ordered from Fortnum and Mason. These monthly sessions in table manners were supposed to give Faith the practice she needed to deport herself like a lady when eating in public. However, under Madame’s guardianship, Faith never actually got to try the specialties.
“Answer me, Faith. In all the three years that you’ve been here, you’ve had to do precisely nothing to justify your existence. Surely the girls have questioned you? I have my own version of the truth for them, as you know, but I’d be interested to hear what you have to say.”

Faith didn’t answer. She already knew how lucky she was, but Madame was not ready to drop the subject, despite having just crammed an entire chocolate éclair into her mouth. Faith just managed to make out the muffled words, “Every night you lie peacefully in your bed while the other girls have to earn their livings.”
Lying peacefully in her bed was not how Faith would describe the restfulness of her slumber. She was kept awake every night by the grunts and cries of ecstasy that penetrated the thin walls of her attic chamber.

Still, she’d finally learned when it was wise to respond meekly, so she bowed her head and stared at her neat kid gloves while dreaming of the delicacies Mrs. Gedge would order for them when Faith really was dining with her at the Dorchester Hotel the following afternoon. The Sacher Torte Mrs. Gedge had ummed and aahed over before finally choosing the baked Alaska from the sweets trolley last month still haunted her. However, since part of Faith’s tutoring included how to win over reluctant gentleman ‘and make them wild with wanting’ which is how Madame phrased it, then surely Faith could persuade her American benefactress to order the Austrian chocolate specialty?
She was so busy rehearsing her words for tomorrow that she almost missed Madame’s prophetic and appalling statement.

“Well, Faith, the time has come for you to start earning your way, now.”

Buy Links for Keeping Faith:
https://www.books2read.com/u/bP5pGY
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Dg70UP

Beverley's Social Links:
Website: http://www.beverleyoakley.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBeverleyOakley/
Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/beverleyeikli/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BeverleyOakley
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/5989577.Beverley_Oakley

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Moonlight and Moet and Madison Michael


Madison Michael is an indie publisher, blogger and the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series as well as the novella Desire & Dessert, from her sizzling B&B Billionaire Bachelor series.
A Chicago native and hopeless romantic, Maddy was raised on Chicago culture, fairy tales, great literature and swashbuckling movies. Maddy employs that history, writing steamy contemporary romance novels set against the sumptuous backdrop of Chicago’s elite society.

After receiving a BA in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Madison abandoned her writing to find her way in the corporate business world. Daughter of a librarian, it was inevitable that she would return to the world of books.
Maddy writes from high above Chicago where she can stare at its gorgeous skyline or the shores of Lake Michigan surrounded by feline assistants. When she is not writing,, Maddy can be found lost in a book, fighting for the rights of the mentally iil or dining on Chicago’s famous cuisine. Hot dogs and pizza, anyone?


Meet Leigh Dobbs
Beverley: What’s your name?
Leigh: My name is Leigh Dobbs. It used to be Leigh Winters but I recently survived a rather nasty divorce and reverted to my maiden name.
Beverley: Where did you grow up?
Leigh: I grew up in the small town of Asheford, a suburb of Boston.
Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?
Leigh: Moonlight & Moet takes place now, yesterday or tomorrow. It is pretty timeless.
Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
Leigh: I grew up sheltered, studious and quiet, but somehow I caught the eye of the prince of Asheford, Joe Winters when I was fresh out of college. To be honest, he swept me off my feet. But marriage to Joe was lonely. He was an ambitious lawyer often working late nights.
I supported his efforts to make partner, getting involved in the community, in local charities. Then, after five years of marriage, he admitted he was cheating on me when his girlfriend, and paralegal found out she was pregnant. I recovered from the devastation of the divorce, but the scandal, fuelled by Joe’s lies, was more than I could manage.
Now I am picking up the pieces of my life and starting over in the small North Carolina town of Saylesville.  I have purchased a B&B here in the mountains of Western Carolina and am settling into a new life here.
Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?
Leigh: I want to expand the B&B to include additional guestrooms, and a dining room that serves the public. This will provide me the income I need to thrive. I want to become part of the town life, make friends, settle down.
Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?
Leigh: It seems the McEwan family wields the power and influence in Saylesville. I am running up against Caleb McEwan. He is fighting my expansion plans and support from his company is critical to the success of my B&B. I guess I should also mention that he makes my heart thunder and my panties damp.
Caleb is the man of my dreams, except for fighting my dreams and doing this constant disappearing act.
Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?
Leigh: Caleb is a mystery – and the source of all my pain and pleasure. I must either grow numb to his effect on me, learn not to care when he is gone without a word only hours after bedding me, or I have to win his heart.
Can you figure out which I prefer?
Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
Leigh: Oh, did I mention the dreamy and talented French chef I just hired to help me at the B&B? I wonder if he can help me forget Caleb. Come along into the sumptuous, romantic world of Moonlight & Moet to find out.

Blurb for Moonlight and Moet- B&B Billionaire Romance Series (Bk 2)

When her husband publicly cheats on her, Leigh Dobbs trades her humiliating reputation as an ice queen and a hometown that shuns her for the unknown of rural North Carolina. Taking over a small bed and breakfast, Leigh sets out to restore it, her dignity and her life. Excited at the prospect of adding more rooms and a full-service restaurant, Leigh’s big plans encounter the brick wall that is Caleb Rausch. Sparks fly even as Caleb votes no on the planning commission, crushing Leigh’s dreams.

Handsome powerhouse Caleb Rausch is a man on a mission, expanding his huge corporation without encroaching on the small town where it resides. His commitment to his products, employees and historic preservation are unwavering. What’s lacking is his commitment to one woman. Caleb is the most eligible bachelor in three states, dating celebrities and models, but never settling down. Until now.

Even as Caleb forces Leigh’s expansion plans on hold, the couple moves full-steam-ahead on their relationship, unable to resist the mutual attraction. So why, after a steamy night together, does Caleb disappear for weeks? Has Leigh put her heart out there again, just to be played?

Will the magic of a moonlit night be enough to kindle their love or will Caleb’s constant disappearing act prevent him from melting this ice queen’s heart?

Excerpt From Moonlight and Moet

Exhausted and anxious to return home, Leigh wasn’t paying attention as she stepped out the door of the small law office at the end of the row of storefronts. Leigh went down hard on the cement, her skirt flying up, her brochures flying. A shook-up Leigh assessed the damage and caught her breath. Her dignity was beyond repair.

Leigh was brushing the dirt from her palms, scraped from trying to break her fall when a shadow blocked the sun, and a large, dirty hand, attached to a long, strong arm reached down to assist her. Leigh’s gaze followed the flannel covered forearm up over a muscled bicep and continued until her scrutiny was arrested by a pair of coffee-colored eyes surrounded by the deep laugh lines of an outdoorsman. He was staring vast expanse of creamy thigh and more than a hint of her magenta panties. His expression told Leigh that he liked what he saw.
Leigh clumsily scrambled to lower her dress, gather the brochures fluttering in the breeze, and take the proffered hand all at once. Several pamphlets escaped down the sidewalk, but she quickly forgot them as she was lifted like a feather against her mountain’s chest and too swiftly placed gently on her feet. She winced when the blisters made contact with the hard surface beneath them and the lumberjack buried behind a grizzly bear beard reacted.
“Injured, little lady?” he asked with concern. “Let me help you get you to urgent care.
"That won't be necessary," Leigh responded, smoothing her dress to cover her embarrassment and interest.
"Then at least let me help you to your destination.”
“I was just heading to my car, down the ways,” Leigh tried to gesture with the arm the man still held. “But, I’m fine. Really. I can take it from here.”
“Fine, indeed,” Grizzly Adams replied in a sarcastic, deep baritone.
He was tall, covered in a subtle sheen of dirt and sweat, but Leigh quickly realized the shirt under her fingertips was the finest wool and his boots, caked in an inch of dried mud, were Scarpa Phantom 8000's. He was a very wealthy Grizzly Adams, and a dedicated hiker too. Those boots were featured in the mountaineering store up the road for over $1000, way too rich for Leigh’s blood.
He stood still, his smile twitching as caught Leigh checking him out. Then, without warning, he swept her into his arms, carefully adjusted her dress to modestly cover her behind while managing to slide his hand all along them. The man was a pro. Leigh couldn't fault his effort, even as she realized he was copping a feel.  Carrying her easily, he began taking long strides in the direction she had pointed.
“This is completely unnecessary,” Leigh repeated more than once, interspersed with “put me down, please” and “Really I can walk.” He ignored them all, speaking right over her repeated and flustered objections.
“You took a nasty fall there. People are always missing that last step." His face was too close and too handsome. He smelled of the outdoors - pine, sweat and sunshine. It was intoxicating.
 “Are you sure you wouldn’t prefer I took you over to the doc’s office or the urgent care?”
“Just to my car, thanks,” Leigh requested, done trying to argue with the hard-muscled man. Who was she kidding? It felt incredible to rest against his broad chest, his arms holding her securely and his minty breath blowing on her face. He may have been filthy, a bearded mountain man who was certainly not her type, but he was sexy as hell. Leigh wished her car was miles away.
“Will you be ok to drive, Miss…”
“Leigh.”
“Miss Leigh,” he repeated, caressing her name. “Are you sure you’ll be alright to drive?”
Leigh bobbed her head in the affirmative. She loved resting her head against the power of this man’s chest, secure in his firm grip. Leigh looked up at him from under her eyelashes, admiring what she saw. She could tell that under the caked on mud and scruff, he was handsome, with a cocky smile and those laughing eyes. She wished she could see more.
“This is my car,” she finally motioned. “Thank you, Mr…”
“You’re certain you can drive?” he asked in his slow, smooth drawl, ignoring her question.
“I’m not going far,” Leigh reassured him. “I’ll be fine.”
The mountain man placed Leigh on her feet, holding her by the waist as if waiting for reassurance that she was solidly standing. Leigh looked down as if to assure herself both feet were there and with a deep breath made eye contact. The man was a head taller, broad and powerful, and staring at her as if he wanted to devour her. A hot flush filled Leigh's cheeks, and she extended a hand to shake his.
“Well, thank you again. You certainly turned out to be my knight in shining armor today,” she jested.
“Well, Miss Leigh, then I guess I get my knight’s favor,” the man responded with a devilish grin. Leigh was still registering his warning when he lowered his head to hers and placed his warm lips upon her cooler ones. 

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