The Lady and Her Quill is the first novel in best-selling author Ruth A. Casie’s new regency romance series, The Ladies of Sommer by the Sea. Published by Dragonblade, this title is available in Kindle Unlimited and sold for 99 cents. Grab a cuppa and enjoy an excerpt and be sure to enter the giveaway before grabbing your copy!
The Lady and Her Quill
Publication date : November 16, 2021
Her mind kept telling her to stop loving him, but her heart couldn’t let him go.
Welcome to book 1 in the fabulous new series, The Ladies of Sommer by the Sea from USA Today Bestselling author Ruth A. Casie!
Renowned author Lady Alicia Hartley has lost her muse after a bad review. She blames it all on the author JC Melrose. A chance encounter with a handsome, witty Justin Caulfield has her heart racing, and her muse seemingly back. Is he her savior or her worst nightmare?
He didn’t see the turbulent ocean. He was too busy dealing with a different tempest.
The recently retired Captain Justin Caulfield is facing his own demons. As gifted author JC Melrose, his stories honor men who died at the hand of one man. His only focus is to avenge their deaths, that is, until he meets and falls in love with Lady Alicia.
The two authors take on a writing challenge based on a story of stolen gold taken from the newspaper headlines all to determine the better writer. While researching the story, Lady Alicia is captured by the thieves’ ringleader. Can Lady Alicia turn this mystery into an award-winning story? Can Justin save his real-life heroine?
Can they both overcome their own challenges for a happily ever after?
Read an Excerpt
Alicia reached into her reticule and removed a folded letter and handed it to Mrs. Bainbridge.
“Mr. Caulfield and I had agreed my next book would be published in February, but we hadn’t finalized the contract. When I got to his office, I saw the review. I was disappointed of course, but when he suggested not publishing my story until the summer, I became upset.”
Mrs. Bainbridge lifted the quizzing glass that was tied to a ribbon that dangled down the front of her bodice and read the letter while Alicia opened her portmanteau and took out a package.
“This is wonderful news.” She handed the message back to Alicia.
“William Lane is the biggest publisher in London if not England. I had offered my books to him before I went to Mr. Caulfield, he said perhaps a smaller shop would be more appropriate for my work and suggested Caulfield Publishing. Isaac Caulfield is a good man, but he maintains tight control over all aspects of my work. I’ve told him several times I want to be involved. He pats me on the head, tells me not to worry about anything, and sends me on my way. My stories sell well. I planned to ask that we change the contract. I will pay the production costs. He can do the distribution and I would give him a commission based on sales. William Lane will never consider me now, not after reading the review.”
Alicia stared unblinking at her friend. She was at a loss for words as Mrs. Bainbridge helped her on with her pelisse.
“What makes you imagine Mr. Lane will be different? Be careful what you wish for. A larger company may have more constraints. Now, off with you. And I enjoyed your story. The review was one person’s opinion.”
“You’re right,” Alicia said as she jostled her portmanteau and the package of books.
“Would it be easier to leave the books in your luggage? The streets ice up in this weather.”
“I’m going a short distance and prefer not opening my luggage in the library. I’ll manage.”
A quick embrace from Mrs. Bainbridge and she was ready to face the weather.
She left the seminary and hadn’t gone far before she cursed herself for going at all. The street had turned to mud and ice, and the wind hadn’t stopped. Carrying the portmanteau and package of books proved to be a more difficult feat than she first imagined.
She crossed the lane and hurried down North Wickham to the library ahead. A dray stood in front of the building on the one area that wasn’t muddy. She maneuvered her way around the cart to avoid the large puddles in front and behind it.
As she reached the door her feet began to slip on a patch of ice. She juggled the package trying to keep it from falling into the mud. She saved the books but with the next step her foot slid out from under her. Her hands full she had no way to stop her fall.
A strong hand grabbed her elbow.
“I’ve got you,” he murmured in her ear.
She caught her balance and looked up into gray eyes that were strikingly familiar, but she had no idea why.
Five Reasons I Wish I Was A Romance Heroine
Many romance readers wish they had the same things the heroines they read about get: a handsome man who adores them, a close community of friends, fantastic sex, and a guaranteed happy ending.
*Sigh* Yes, there are some heroines with whom I would love to trade places. But that’s not what I’m talking about. No, what are the real reasons I wish I was a romance heroine especially after what happened earlier this month.
I was fully engrossed in the final read-through of my story, The Lady and Her Quill, Book One in my new Regency Romance series, The Ladies of Sommer-be-the-Sea. The scene was dramatic:
“You didn’t tell me there was another author reading with you,” her sister said speaking in an odd yet gentle tone.
Alicia straightened herself. “Why bother you or Elkington with something so inconsequential.”
“Perhaps because of late, this author appears to be the bane of your existence.” Beatrice’s eyes held a lethal calmness.
Thank the lord, the metallic twinkle of a bell saved her having to continue the conversation.
She didn’t need the tiny bell to be aware Captain Caulfield had entered. Her heart pounded so loud she was sure he could hear it across the room.
He stood at the door in his great coat and topper like any other man, but he appeared more striking. He spoke with Mr. Miller. Every so often he glanced in her direction, dipped his head ever so slightly and sent her heart racing.
She took a steadying breath and turned to Beatrice who had busied herself. By all that is holy. Her own sister picked up In My Brother’s Shadow and was reading it.
“Traitor,” she whispered for Beatrice’s ears.
“I thought you said he was inconsequential?” Her sister chuckled and kept on reading. “This is quite good. You should read it.”
She imagined strangling her sister on the spot. It was only thoughts of Elkington’s grief that stopped her. Theirs was a love match, the type she hoped for. They had their differences, but they would work it out.
“Good day, Lady Alicia.” The captain stood in front of her. His eyes compelling and magnetic.
… “Hey honey,” my husband screamed from the kitchen, “where’s the ketchup? Oh, I found it. Never mind.”
Lady Alicia didn’t have to worry about the ketchup. Okay so no ketchup in Regency England until 1886, but you know what I mean.
For a moment I thought about all the little blessings romance heroines have in their lives. So, for a moment I forgot about Lady Alicia and Captain Caulfield (her hot hero). Here are five real reasons I wish I were a Regency romance heroine:
- They never have to scrub the privy. (toilets).
- My hero would know where to find the ketchup and start the grill—often insisting on it without even being asked (I know, not Regency).
- I would never have to do laundry or worry about wrinkles. I’d always be ready to receive the King and his entourage.
- I’d have friends with exactly the skills and experience I’d need for every problem in my life.
- Perhaps most importantly, though, a day of running the manor and someone else managing the children could be glossed over in a paragraph.
Oh, why this picture at the beginning? There’s just a little part of me that still wants the hunky hero!
What are the little blessings that make you envy romance heroines?
About the Author
RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of historical swashbuckling action-adventures and contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. Her stories feature strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. She lives in New Jersey with her hero, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and vice president at an international bank where she was a product/marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now-writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures.
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