Meet the hero and heroine of Gwen’s Ghost by Alicia Rasley and Lynn Kerstan, Book #5 in Regency Masquerades, six sparkling Regency romances in one ebook–currently 99 cents!
At the ballroom door…
Master of Ceremonies: Well, this is an interesting pair! They must not be a couple, I note. They don’t even seem to acknowledge each other, though they’ve arrived together. And they are not well-matched. The gentleman is impossibly handsome and impeccably dressed—perhaps too impeccably. I doubt I have ever witnessed a more opulent cravat arrangement. And the stickpin! My word.
The lady, well, she is properly attired. Quite properly. Quite primly. Though her lilac-gray silk gown already has rather a high neck, she has added a white fichu to conceal any glimpse of bare skin. Now she raises her assertive chin, and I can see a spray of freckles across her cheeks, and a militant light in her large hazel eyes.
He stretches out a hand. “Welcome to our ball. My lady. Sir.”
Lady and Gentleman: The lady gives a sniff, and after a moment the gentleman makes the introduction.
Gentleman: “This is Miss Gwendolyn Sevaric. And I am…” A pause. ” Jocelyn Vayle.”
Lady: “So you say.” She turns to the Master of Ceremonies. “He also says that he has no memory of his past. He took a blow to the head—well, that much is true–”
Gentleman: “As I recall, the blow came while I was—” pause for effect—”saving your life.”
Lady: “You remember that, but nothing else, such as who you are and what sort of scandal you are escaping? Rather convenient, isn’t it?”
Master of Ceremonies: “You think he is lying?”
Gentleman: “Balderdash! Why would I lie about such a thing?”
Lady: Casts a scornful glance at him. “Yes. Why? That is what I would like to know. I do not even credit that name—Jocelyn Vayle—is your own.”
Gentleman: “Struth, if I were to invent an identity, why would I choose such a name? Surely I’d choose something more dramatic, more epic. Valerian, for example. That is a name with resonance.”
Master of Ceremonies: Interposes before Miss Sevaric can riposte. “Miss Sevaric. Miss Vayle. Welcome indeed! Ah! The orchestra is striking up. I like nothing so much as seeing handsome young persons like yourselves whirling out on the dancefloor.”
Lady: “I don’t dance.”
Gentleman: “Well, I do. Quite well, in fact.”
Lady: “Oh, that you remember, do you? Not your past, not your purpose, not your intentions towards my family and fortune… but you remember how to dance.”
Gentleman: “Yes, and if you’d like, I’ll teach you.” Holds out his arm. She regards it skeptically, then glances about them, taking in the interested gazes of the dancers moving past.
Lady: Takes his arm. “Oh, very well. At least it will give me an opportunity to step on your feet.”
Gentleman: “You are so very bloody-minded, my petit mignon. But then, you are a Sevaric after all. Or should I say, a savage?” Laughs and grips her hand as she tries to pull away.
Master of Ceremonies: I surely hope they can make it to the dance floor without doing violence to each other. I wonder—what is between them? They seem so familiar, so easy with each other, and yet they feud like enemies! And she clearly has no trust in him. She is an intelligent lady—a bluestocking, certainly—and perhaps she is right to suspect him. Mr. Jocelyn Vayle is so smooth, so charming, and yet he is just a bit, oh, out of place. What is he hiding? And how is it that she, among all these people, is the only one who senses that he is not what he claims to be?
Behind the chinoiserie screen…
I’m Alicia Rasley, co-author of Gwen’s Ghost with Lynn Kerstan, and I must confess to be a bit seduced by that gentleman’s charm and good looks. Yes, Mr. Jocelyn Vayle is out of place in Regency London. He is just a bit too extravagant, too amused, for this grim time of war and unrest. But he is so charming! His smile is generous and his voice has a most pleasant undercurrent of laughter. But I have to admit that Gwen is right to suspect that “Mr. Jocelyn Vayle” is masquerading. She is even correct when she hazards that this is not his real name and is just pretending to have lost his memory. However, as skeptical as she is, she will never guess the truth. Mr. Vayle isn’t just out of place; he is out of time too—in more ways than one. He is in the wrong time, and he is out of time to save himself from a dire fate. And only Gwen—who doesn’t like or trust him one bit—can help him find his way home.
RITA winner for Best Regency!
“A delicious, delightful romp!” (Literary Times)
Gwen’s Ghost is just one of six sparkling Regencies in Regency Masquerades, an ebook set which also includes books by Brenda Hiatt, Allison Lane, Gail Eastwood and Elena Greene. Regency Masquerades is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo Books. Buy now for just 99 cents!
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And now for a giveaway!
A renegade rare-books dealer and a heiress-in-waiting must embark on a sham betrothal for the loftiest of literary aims– to prove that Shakespeare really was… Shakespeare.
John Dryden is on the trail of the greatest acquisition of his checkered career– a play manuscript written in Shakespeare’s own hand. Between him and his prize is an obsessed librarian who wants to destroy it… and the heiress who can lead him to it, but only if he’s willing to risk his life, his freedom, and his loner’s heart.
“Poetic Justice is extremely enjoyable with a perfect blend of adventure, humor and romance.” – Nonesuch Reviews
Do you enjoy Regencies with a paranormal element? What are some of your favorites? Comment for the chance to win a copy of Poetic Justice for Nook or Kindle. All winners will be announced on Sunday.
Hello, everyone! Welcome to the Risky Regencies ball. My characters are Gwen and Vayle, who start out at odds when he saves her life. (Yes, she’s suspicious of him, and well she should be.) It’s all a set-up, you see, the hurtling carriage, the dramatic rescue– his heroism, his name, his story.
BTW, he’s “Gwen’s Ghost.”
So I want to ask everyone– do you believe in ghosts? By this I mean any manifestation of those departed from this life.
Have you had any experiences, spooky or enlightening, with a ghost in any form?
I’m on the fence about ghosts. That being said, my mom and daughter have both encountered paranormal entities in the home I grew up in, which happens to sit just across the road from a cemetery.
Julie, It’s hard to know if it’s “real” or if it’s some deep subconscious awareness from within us that makes us shiver and resonate near places there are dead.
I tend to conclude that our subconscious has a connection to the human collective unconscious, and things “bubble up” sometimes from the depths of that well. Not to mix metaphors or anything!
But cemeteries are wonderful places for that. I think if we can get past the fear (which is probably fear of our own death, not the dead), we can probably experience other emotions.
I love to read about ghosts, anyway. I’m not very mystical, but I find the implications of this fascinating, don’t you? Especially– who can sense this and who can’t.
I don’t really know if I believe in ghosts. I once had an interesting experience at a friend’s Victorian era home. In one of the rooms I felt a chill and at the same time, the sense of a child hanging onto my leg, as toddlers or preschoolers are wont to do. My friend told me there was a little boy ghost there, who sometimes played with her children and pets, and that he often attached himself to motherly women who visited. Of course, this all could be our mutual overdeveloped imaginations (we are both writers)!
That having been said, I love stories with ghosts in them, especially when they are as well written as Gwen’s Ghost.
That’s intriguing– a sense of a child hanging onto your legs. Very poignant too.
I recently had a dream about my younger son (who is grown, but in my dreams, he’s always 8), and he was hanging on to me and saying, “Mommy, don’t lose track of me.” It was haunting. (And yes, I immediately called to make sure he was okay.) I wonder if in a way “ghosts” are just one of those haunting feelings, like deja vu and the hangover from dreams.
I can’t say i believe in ghosts, but my mom does. She swears she saw some in the form of huge moths.
Now that’s different! Kind of shape-shifting ghosts! I like that idea.
I discovered Alicia Rasley in a UBS, where hers was the only good story in an anthology, and I then went looking for more of her books. My summary comment in my reading journal about “Royal Escapade” is that it is poetic and lovely and extremely romantic. IIRC, I even sent her an email to see if she had anything new scheduled. I am, therefore, beyond thrilled to see this story and have my fingers crossed that she may continue to write and be published.
Hi, Susan, thanks for the comment! I am working now on a Regency romance/mystery. It will be the first in a series, and I think the second will take place at Devlyn and Tatiana’s manor house. (The main character in the mystery is Tatiana’s Russian cousin.)
I’m wrestling with the whole murder plot… I find romance and emotion much easier!
I love the chemistry between these two characters! I can’t wait to read it!
I do believe in ghosts. We lived in a haunted house in England for three years when I was a child. My youngest brother had what we thought was an imaginary friend for those three years. He talked to and about “John” all the time. Then the last week we were there our landlord invited us to tea. As we were leaving my brother (@6 or 7 then) pointed at a photograph on the sideboard and said “There’s John!” It was a photo of our landlord’s brother, John, who had died in our house thirty years earlier. Once we left England he never spoke of John again.
And I have had several odd experiences, one very recently, where I have felt the presence of pets who have passed on.
That is really eerie, Louisa. I wonder if often young children are more sensitive to this, but don’t necessarily realize that their “imaginary friend” or that person they see in the shadows isn’t “real”.
I want to write a book where there’s a seance. The hero is a scientist and doesn’t believe in such things, but he longs to believe, so that he can “talk to” his late wife.
Can’t wait to enjoy Regency complete with a ghost gentleman! But, honestly, you had me at Balderdash ; ) Looking forward to the fun…thanks to all the authors of this 5 set for the wonderful research that makes these stories catch and hold.
“I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!”
Mary, that’s such a good Regency word for “nonsense!”
We Regency readers have probably inadvertently used Regency slang, yes? I just said to my husband, “You’re doing it up a bit brown.” He had no idea what I meant.
Don’t believe in them
Bn100, a skeptic too! I think there’s a lot that I don’t believe in in real life (like time travel), but I’m willing to believe in during a story.
I had a friend who wrote time-travel stories, and she used to talk about the “Ibuprofen moment” when the reader would stop and think, now, wait a minute! If he dies in the past, then he won’t live to be able to come back into the past and die, and so he…. 🙂
Best just not to think it through, I guess!
I want to believe in ghosts so I love stories about them. When I was a child we lived near an old mansion that was supposed to be haunted. One night I crept around the upstairs rooms, calling to the ghosts….but none appeared. Maybe the 80 people gathered for a party downstairs scared them away!
This is such fun. I’m looking forward to reading these stories.
That sounds like me, Wendy– not sure if I believe, but I do love ghost stories!
I believe in ghosts, I have no clue why because I have never seen one but I do believe. This book sounds like a lot of fun.
Well, this is sort of a handsome ghost, fully functioning, so I hope he’s more fun. 🙂
I love time travels!
My whole family has seen, experienced, or just believes. My Mom saw a man standing by my Grandmother, she believes it was grandma’s guardian angel. My Grandmother could meet you and tell you your name and something about you. I always knew things- and first time I heard what I call a voice of ghost. I was babysitting at a house and everybody was in bed and I heard what sounded like a mother, singing quietly to a baby while in a rocking chair. I went upstairs and all the kids were asleep and no one was there. After months of hearing different things I finally talked to the mom. She said they heard things too. She had researched the house and no one had died violently. It just was. My husband and I bought the house and I lived there for 20 years. Lots more stories but this is too long. Yes I believe’
Also I have actually seen ghosts.
Don’t believe in ghosts but like to read about them
I don’t believe in ghosts but I do love a great story!!!
Time travel and a book involving books. Two of my favorite subjects. Know I will enjoy them both. Thank you for the giveaway.