Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Coming Soon: Scandalously Yours: Eight Scandalous Tales of Love and Seduction by Ann Jacobs, Josie Jax, Ahn Leod, Kate Rothwell, Lynne Connolly, Maeve Alpin, Cornelia Amiri and Jane Leopold Quinn

I'd like to welcome Josie Jax, one of the ladies contributing to the Scandalously Yours box set to the bloggity today. She's talking about all things wine and the inspiration for her story, Wilder's Thief, so kick back with a glass of wine and enjoy!

How Merlot Can You Go?
By Josie Jax

My sweet daughter once surprised me with this T-shirt…  

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Very clever slogan, and so true for me given my penchant for wine—namely of the red variety. I grew up near the Missouri Rhineland region, a winemaking area east of Jefferson City and west of St. Louis, so how could I not contemplate just how merlot I could go?


winMy contribution to the Scandalously Yours historical box set, Wilder’s Thief, took root in that T-shirt and in some grapevines, so to speak, and grew from there. Of course I plopped the story down in a fictitious, quaint town on the bluffs of the Missouri River with…yes, you guessed it, a winery on the hillside overlooking the town.

My hero, the heir to the winery, is a settler who has migrated from the Rhineland region of Germany where his family owned a winery on land topographically much like that in Missouri, thus the name for the Missouri Rhineland area. My heroine, a spirited but beautiful woman, finds herself forced into the “occupation” of thief—and the hero happens to be her random target. So a reader might be able to ask her… Just how merlot are you going to go, you feisty little thief?

More inspiration for Wilder’s Thief came from the many wineries and towns famous for over a century for their rich, delicious wine and tours. For example:

Historic Hermannhof Winery in Hermann, Missouri, was built between 1848 and 1852. Many local small wineries supplied them with grapes and used their facilities for winemaking. Today it includes the winery, vineyards, guest rooms, stone cellars, facilities for weddings and events, and a store with wine tasting, wines, cheeses, sausages, wine glasses, T-shirts (perhaps like mine?), hats, etc.

In historic St. Charles, Missouri, you can enjoy a picturesque drive through another wine-country area, heading west on Hwy. 94. Taste-testing tours are available in which all you wine connoisseurs can hitch a ride on a tour bus (don’t drink and drive!) and stop off at the many wineries along the way. Don’t forget a detour to the Ameristar Casino on the Missouri River in St. Charles (win some money to buy a few bottles of merlot!), or head southwest and have a hootin’ good “historical” time at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.

So. Back to the wine. Wanna see how merlot you can go? Visit the Missouri Wine Country website and devour this huge list of wineries in Missouri. It includes the Augusta region with fourteen wineries, the Hermann region with thirteen, the Ozark Highlands region has eighteen, the Central region sports twenty wineries, the Western region supports seventeen wineries, and the Southeast region a whopping twenty-six. See how far you can go? That’s over 100 wineries to explore!

In the meantime, before your trip to Missouri (grin), don’t miss the sexy historical romance boxed set, Scandalously Yours!

And now a little about the box set ...

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Scandalously Yours: Eight Scandalous Tales of Love and Seduction
by Ann Jacobs, Josie Jax, Ahn Leod, Kate Rothwell, Lynne Connolly, Maeve Alpin, Cornelia Amiri and Jane Leopold Quinn
Releasing March 8, 2017
Published by Under the Sun Publishing

Buy Links:  Amazon | Amazon UK | All Romance | Kobo | Smashwords 


Synopsis


Through the ages, where there has been society there have always been norms and, conversely, scandals when love gets in the way of propriety, and love prevails over social mores of the times.

Love - From the ancient Celts to medieval Cornwall, from Regency and Victorian England to the American west after the War Between the States, eight stories by multi-published, bestselling authors explore the triumphs of love between a man and a woman—even scandalous love—over what’s considered “proper” in their time.



Excerpt

    Dierck narrowed his gaze against the glare of moonlight, peered right, left. Just then a patch of mist cleared and he caught a glimpse of a dark figure as it leaped onto a tethered horse at the rear of the livery stable. Dierck tore out like the wolves of hell were on his heels, boots clipping on the cobbled rear lane. He never removed his gaze from the scamp. With each foot of distance he covered, racing behind the general store and several darkened shops, he was able to positively identify the rider as the bank robbery culprit.
    “You are as good as hanged, you little thief,” he muttered under his breath as he sprinted closer.
    It did not take long for the boy to disappear into the woods. Dierck cursed and glanced around as he approached the stables. He had left his own horse tied up in front of the bank’s boardwalk, but ah, luck was with him. A horse stood just inside the gate still saddled and ready for flight.     It must be the mount of one of the saloon patrons, perhaps one of the very poor souls his uncle had been harassing.
    Dierck hauled open the gate and murmured soothingly as the beast tossed his head in protest. “Easy, boy, easy. I will have you back to your master in no time.” He launched himself into the saddle and growled, “Giddyup!”
    The borrowed horse took off up the forest path, prancing and snorting. Dierck’s eyes gradually adjusted to the dim woods as the stallion climbed higher into the hills and along steep bluffs in pursuit of the thief. He could smell the aroma of rich earth beneath the scent of pine and Was that his own sweet grapevines he detected? He compressed his lips together. The fragrance hung heavy in the air, blasting past him as he rode the bitterness of his fury.
    And reminding him that he had a harvest to begin, though without the knowledge he needed to transform the fruit he had inherited into intoxicating wines.
    Beams of silver moonlight speared down through the overhead limbs, intermittently illuminating the soggy forest floor. Now and then Dierck could see the figure up ahead racing through the night, his black cloak flapping behind him like the wings of a raven. Fortunately, the soft carpet gave his steed the advantage of muted hooves, while the crook had the hindrance of the sporadic lighting.
    He cursed when he lost sight of his prey for a moment, only to round a bend and spot the bandit dismounting near a darkened cavern in the side of a bluff. Dierck slid from his saddle, secured the reins to a low tree branch and crept across the distance. His pulse pounded in his ears, his mouth now dry with the chase. As he approached the cave’s entrance, a musty scent engulfed him. Far off in the forest behind him an owl hooted and the wind swished through the overhead branches. He caught the suspicious sound of a raspy murmur. The muted glow of a lantern followed, igniting deep within the hollow. Dierck slid along the cold inner wall until he reached a jagged protrusion, perfectly positioned between the lad and the cavern’s egress.
    “Shh, Gussy, it’ll be fine now.” The figure stroked the skittish horse’s nose. Dierck’s gaze became riveted by the pale, long fingers as he listened to the voice. It sounded higher, softer…perhaps a younger lad than he had first thought? “We’ll be home soon, and this nightmare, it’ll be nothin’ but a bad memory.”
    The crook drew a gunnysack out of a crevice in the cave’s wall. Dierck tracked one hand as the lad set the sack down, dragged off the hat and jerked down the black mask. Dierck went still at that last revealing movement. His eyes widened. He struggled to suppress a gasp and his heart all but ceased rhythm within his chest…
    He had been duped. The crook was a goddamn woman.
    His gaze traced the dark head, moving down over the pert nose and silhouette of full lips. Against the stone wall, her chin shone small and delicate, tapering to a slim neck that disappeared into the cape. As if to appease his curiosity, she unfastened the cloak and shrugged her delicate shoulders until the wrap dropped to the dirt floor. A deep-chestnut braid trailed down the dingy shirt to her waist, but neither the garment nor the thick-bound plait could aptly conceal the curves and slimness of her backside.
    Dierck’s hands curled automatically into fists. The arrow of the braid welcomed the eye’s journey, coaxing it to move lower and inspect the gently swelling rump inside baggy trousers. She had tied them at the waist and had stuffed the too-long ankles into boots she now toed off. He licked his lips, stunned and a trifle perturbed at himself that he had not seen through the disguise. But that sentiment promptly vanished. His groin quickened when she unfastened the breeches and bent to slide them over her round derriere and down the length of toned legs.
    He sucked in a breath. Christus M├Ąchtig.

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Author Info


Josie Jax is a USA Today bestselling romance author published in many sub-genres. Originally from Missouri, she now lives in Wisconsin…where lots of cheese and wine can be found.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


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9 comments:

  1. What a fabulous post. I had no idea about the history of wineries in Missouri. Great expert. Thanks so much.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by. :-)

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  2. What a fabulous post. I had no idea about the history of wineries in Missouri. Great expert. Thanks so much.

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  3. Hi, Deanna! Big thanks for featuring some yummy wine today. :D And we all thank you for the Scandalously Yours spotlight. Have a wonderful evening/day (depending on where you are)!!! Yes, Cornelia, I paid very close attention to the wine, um...status in Missouri. The wineries can attest to that! lol

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    1. Enjoyed having you on the bloggity today, Josie. Thank you for sharing your inspiration for your story.

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    2. Great post, Deanna! We all thank you for the spotlight on Scandalously Yours! I learned something new about Missouri--never before realized it was a wine producing area!

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    3. Ann, according to my wine expert husband (he's written a book on wine) the US is wine producing in every state. There's at least one winery in every state as far as I know.

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  4. It's so fun and satisfying to write a whole story that comes from a simple thing like a t-shirt. I'm grateful to be part of this spectacular box set.

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    1. I agree, Jane! I love being included in this box set--fabulous authors and such sexy stories. And yes, it's amazing how one small thing can spark an entire book!

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