Book Spotlight/Author Interview: The Lady and Her Quill by Ruth A. Casie




Hello everyone. TGIF! Please welcome author Ruth Casie as she stops by today to chat about her newest book The Lady and Her Quill How pretty is the cover? This is the start to her The Ladies of Sommer by the Sea series. I enjoy Regency romance and this series sounds wonderful. Please read on to learn a bit more about the author and to read an excerpt. There’s also a chance to win a $25.00 Amazon gift card below.

author interview:

Hi Everyone! I’m Ruth A. Casie. For me, Fall is the beginning of the holiday season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas , and Chanukkah. They are all filled with fun and good cheer. For the holidays, my children and grandchildren all move back home, and we have awesome celebration. I have my fingers and toes crossed our son and his wife and their new baby will be in from Massachusetts for our celebration this year.

For those who don’t know me… USA Today Bestselling Author of sweet small-town contemporary romance – Havenport Romance and historical romance – The Stelton Legacy, Pirates of Britannia, and The Druid Knight series. And a NEW Regency Romance Series – The Ladies of Sommer-by-the-Sea releasing this November! I’m Passionate for Happy Ever Afters I Dance When I Cook My Sudoku Book is in the Bathroom. I live in Northern New Jersey with my husband. I have three children and three grandchildren.

What is your recent release all about, some details please?
I’m so excited. My new story The Lady and Her Quill, releases November 16.
Her mind kept telling her to stop loving him, but her heart couldn’t let him go.

Renowned author Lady Alicia Hartley has lost her muse after a bad review. She blames it all on the author J.C. 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 J.C. 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, Captain Caulfield’s emesis. 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?

The Lady and Her Quill is Book One of my new Regency series, The Ladies of Sommer-by-the-Sea Welcome to Sommer-by-the-Sea, a vibrant village nestled on the rugged northeast coast of England, 15 miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne. Here, the world is centered on the country village and the lives of the landowning and professional families. Sommer-by-the-Sea is populated with aristocrats, gentry, self-made men, shop owners, local workers, and servants, a cross-section of the people of the time. Steeped in history dating back as far as the Vikings, the villagers are proud and celebrate their heritage.

Everyone from the elite summer residents to the year-round residence keep businesses flourishing and gossip thriving. As with any small town, there are challenges and successes, secrets, disagreements, and feuds. There is no shortage of romance, mystery, drama, and even a murder or two.

Graduates of the Sommer-by-the-Sea Female Seminary have a unique education. Along with the usual studies available, the head mistress has nurtured each woman’s innate ability and helped them develop into the women they are today. This shared unique experience has kept the graduates close.

Each lady has her own story to tell as she is called to action and must demonstrate she is smart, strong and sensible and must challenge the accepted definition of a “woman’s place.” For these women, arranged or political marriages will not do. If she chooses a husband, it will be for love, on her own terms, and with a man who will accept her as a partner.

What or who inspired you as a writer?
I never imagined myself a writer although I always had stories in my head. On my long trips overseas (especially the year I filled my passport and before e-readers) I was a voracious reader. Romance stories were quick reads and on trips to Asia I could finish two books before the plane landed. I read Jude Deveraux, Julie Garwood, Beatrice Small, Johanna Lindsey, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, Tasha Alexander, Kathryn LeVeque, and Eliza Knight. I also read Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy. You can throw in Conan-Doyle too. All of these writers have influenced my style. I enjoy a good love story with a dash of adventure.

So, always having stories in your head and reading good ones was a jumping off point for me. When a friend of mine said she was writing a romance story. I offered to brainstorm with her and be her Beta reader. One thing led to another, and we decided to both write stories and sell them as a series. Life got in the way for her, but I went on to write my book. That was ten years ago. I remember all the well-wishes when I left my day job. I told them I wasn’t retiring from banking I was retiring to writing. I have never been so happier and felt more fulfilled.


What do you love best about being a writer?
I love those ‘aha’ moments when your character takes the pen (or keyboard) from you and tells you writes. In The Lady and Her Quill, I didn’t find out until I was half-way through my rough draft that Captain Caulfield’s nemesis had an active part in this story. When I was editing it gave me lots of opportunities to exploit. I loved it!


What is your typical writing day like?
I found there are two times of the day when I have bursts of writing energy, 8am and 4pm. I think it’s a hold-over from my day job. With my To-Do list in hand, I started the day knocking off those items. The second burst of energy was the push to get all those items completed and… create the following day’s list. It has remained much the same.

I usually do marketing and graphics tasks after lunch. I try not to work after dinner. I prefer to spend that time with my husband. Although, when I’m on a deadline, my schedule is solely focused on the book. EXCEPT this past several weeks. We have a new grandson and Logan Max took preference.

Nana and Poppop went to Boston to meet, hold, kiss, feed and yes, even change diapers!

Where do you usually write?

We’re empty nesters. I waited a year after our last child moved into their own apartment then transformed the room into an executive office. I do most of my writing there on my desktop computer. With my laptop there were times when I would wonder into the den, the living room, kitchen, or the deck. In the winter, I enjoy writing in the living room with the fireplace on with a large cup of hot tea (or a cold glass of wine).


Do you have other creative outlets? Beside ballroom dancing I do counted-cross stitch. I have lots of project that I’ve hung around the house. I also have a lot of half-finished ones in the closet (hanging head in shame). My new hobby is creative paper folding. I make some of my own swag.


What is your next project?

I am finishing THE LADY AND THE SPY, Book Two in this series. This story is about an English widow, a Russian spy, and top Napoleon supporter. The story takes place in February 1815 when Napoleon escapes from Elba Island. A list of Napoleon supports located across Europe is up for grabs. The English and Russians want it. Napoleon wants it destroyed.


Where can we find you?
Website: http://www.ruthacasie.com
Email: mailto:ruth@ruthacasie.com
Blog: http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com
Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie
FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/







book excerpt:

“How did the tower prevent you from acquiring a fine Scottish brogue?”
“It was during a nine-week siege by Scottish invaders in 1644. They made all sorts of demands. But the people wouldn’t agree to any of them. There were skirmishes and fights. Your ancestors, forgive me Captain, but they were not a nice lot, stole the grain and scared the wild stock so there was no milk from the cows or eggs from the chickens. The villagers fought back valiantly and took prisoners.”
“It’s an unfortunate part of war,” he said softly.
“The invaders took whatever they wanted and when there was nothing left to take, they demanded more. They wanted gold. But the mayor stood firm. The only item of value in the cathedral was the treasured chalice. He wouldn’t surrender the relic.”

“So how did the tower save the good people of Sommer-by-the-Sea?” he asked. “Patience, I’m coming to that.” She placed her hand on his arm.
Her brief touch made him more aware of her standing at his side than he wanted to admit. Her playful banter charmed him. He enjoyed her tale, and her telling even more.
She leaned in as if she told him the greatest secret. Her large hazel eyes grew bigger when she spoke, and her smile sparkled. He found himself hanging on her every word.
“The Scottish men who came here, not your direct forbearers I’m sure, threatened if the mayor didn’t give them the gold chalice, they would bombard the tower. Gold? There was no gold chalice, especially in the 1600s. The relic’s value was in what it symbolized in the religious ritual, not the substance of which it was made. But I digress. The attackers made their threat, and our mayor Sir John Whitaker developed a plan.” She lowered her voice intriguing him even more.

“Your forbearers suffered their losses. I’m sorry to tell you some lost their lives and others well they became guests of the mayor. He provided quarters for them at Sommer Castle, in the dungeon, deep underground. “The deeper they went into the ground, the greater the stink of wet, pungent mildew. Black mold grew across the walls and parts of the floor. Despite the smell, they were forced to go on. At the bottom, they came to a door. The door opened onto what appeared to be a stone forest, a broad, pillared hall with stone columns as large as tree trunks.”

“It sounds frightening.” Her eyes twinkled as she artfully painted the picture with words. The story enchanted him, but not as much as the enchantress.
“The dungeon was horrifying. Thick cobwebs filled the corners of the room. Wisps of webbing hung from the ceiling and waved in the stale air. The room held a curious array of tools. Winches and levers projected from every wall, and chains with handles dangle from the ceiling. Manacles were set into the walls. One set of manacles was broken open. This is where the men were held.”

Alicia’s voice had taken on a lost, distant sound reminding him of men who relived their battlefield experiences. His concern grew to alarm. Strong men had crumbled under less. “When were you there last?” he asked as he gently took her hand.

“I haven’t been there in many years.”
He lifted her chin with the crook of his finger. The urge to kiss her was all consuming. He wanted to kiss away the pained expression in her eyes and bring back the warm smile to her now pale face. Instead, they spoke not a word and let their eyes convey what they couldn’t.


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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.

Neon Gods: A Scorchingly Hot Modern Retelling of Hades and Persephone (Dark Olympus Book 1) by Katee Robert


source: review copy via NetGalley/ Sourcebooks Casablanca
title: Neon Gods: A Scorchingly Hot Modern Retelling of Hades and Persephone (Dark Olympus Book 1)
author: Katee Robert
genre: erotic romance/fantasy/retelling
published: June 1, 2021
pages: 384
first line: “I really hate these parties.”
rated: 4 out of 5


blurb: He was supposed to be a myth.
But from the moment I crossed the River Styx and fell under his dark spell…he was, quite simply, mine.

*A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Hades and Persephone that’s as sinful as it is sweet.*

Society darling Persephone Dimitriou plans to flee the ultra-modern city of Olympus and start over far from the backstabbing politics of the Thirteen Houses. But all that’s ripped away when her mother ambushes her with an engagement to Zeus, the dangerous power behind their glittering city’s dark facade.

With no options left, Persephone flees to the forbidden undercity and makes a devil’s bargain with a man she once believed a myth…a man who awakens her to a world she never knew existed.

Hades has spent his life in the shadows, and he has no intention of stepping into the light. But when he finds that Persephone can offer a little slice of the revenge he’s spent years craving, it’s all the excuse he needs to help her—for a price. Yet every breathless night spent tangled together has given Hades a taste for Persephone, and he’ll go to war with Olympus itself to keep her close…


My thoughts:
Neon Gods: A Scorchingly Hot Modern Retelling of Hades and Persephone starts off the Dark Olympus book series by Katee Robert.

This book is an erotic fantasy retelling of the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone. In this story, Persephone is 24 and somewhat of a celebrity in Olympus. She is one of the daughters of the goddess Demeter and their family is usually making headlines in the tabloids. Persephone’s goal is to finish getting her Masters degree then leave to California for her PhD when she turns 25 in the Spring and her trust fund becomes available. However her mother has other plans and without consulting Persephone she betrotheds her to Zeus.

Rather than marry a man she doesn’t love who has a reputation of disposing of his wives, Persephone runs away and ends up in the lower city section of Olympus which is run by Hades. She meets Hades who helps her go into hiding for three months until the Spring arrives. By Olympus law Hades and Zeus cannot cross into each other’s territories so Persephone should be safe there. During this time the two will make it public knowledge that they’re intimate so Zeus will no longer want Persephone. Hades can exact revenge on his sworn enemy by sleeping with his betrothed and humiliating him.

Of course the chemistry is fire and these two start to wonder if this can be the real thing and not just sex.


The book is told in alternating chapters by Persephone and Hades you get to see the story from each of their perspectives.

“Hades is not safe. He’s so far from safe, I should be rethinking this bargain before it’s even begun. I can tell myself I have no choice, but it’s not the truth. I want this with every shadowy part of my soul that I work so hard to keep locked down. There’s no room in the public narrative of the sweet, sunny, biddable woman for the things I find myself craving in the dark of night. Things I’m suddenly sure Hades is capable of giving me.”– Neon Gods by Katee Robert, Kindle 22%

I’m not big on Alpha males in romance but I liked that Hades has a dark edge about him. Persephone is sassy and smart. While I didn’t particularly connect with either of these characters I was still interested in where the storyline was going. Much of the interactions between these two are about give and take, about compromise.

“He’s offering a strange sort of partnership, one I didn’t realize I desired. He might dominate. I might submit. But the power balance is startlingly equal. I didn’t know it could be like this.”– Neon Gods, Kindle 33%

Also in the mix are side characters such as Persephone’s sisters and others who live in Olympus and work for Zeus. I would love to read the second installment in this series, Electric Idol which is due out early 2022. Great cover!


Neon Gods was well-written, sexy romance with two sassy main characters. I recommend this if you enjoy steamy erotic fantasy.

“It was never meant to last forever.” -Neon Gods, Kindle 76%



About the author:
Katee Robert is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Entertainment Weekly calls her writing “unspeakably hot.” Her books have sold over a million copies. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, children, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and two Great Danes who think they’re lap dogs.

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Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I received a free review copy of Neon Gods: A Scorchingly Hot Modern Retelling of Hades and Persephone (Dark Olympus Book 1) via Sourcebooks Casablanca. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. The book photo here was provided by Sourcebooks Casablanca.

Redeeming the Reclusive Earl by Virginia Heath

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source: free review copy via Rachels Random Resources
title: Redeeming the Reclusive Earl
author: Virginia Heath
genre: historical romance
published: April 1st 2020
pages: 288
first line: Three hundred acres…
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
starstarstarstar

blurb:
His heart is a fortress.

And she’s trespassing!

After losing all he holds dear in a horrific fire, Max Aldersley, Earl of Rivenhall, shuns the world—until he catches Effie Nithercott digging holes on his estate! He banishes the intrepid archaeologist and the unsettled feelings she rouses within him. But she returns even more determined and infuriatingly desirable than before! He wonders just how deep she’s prepared to dig—so far she’ll reach the man beneath his scars?

my thoughts:
Redeeming the Reclusive Earl is the fourth book by Virginia Heath that I have read and it might be my favorite of hers so far.

When they first meet Max finds Effie digging on his property. She was granted permission by his late uncle years ago to dig up artifacts and she has been working on unearthing an archaeological site on the land that Max has now inherited. Archaeology is her passion. Eventually Effie wins him over and Max even starts helping her dig. A friendship forms between the two and soon romance begins to blossom.

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Lilian and the Irresistible Duke by Virginia Heath review and giveaway

dukesource: ARC courtesy of Rachels Random Resources
title: Lilian and the Irresistible Duke (Secrets of a Victorian Household Book 4)
author: Virginia Heath / Twitter
genre: historical romance
published: February 1, 2020
pages: 288
first line: Lilian huddled beneath her fancy new shawl, enjoying the bracing sea breeze almost as much as the soft heat of the early morning sunrise.
rated: 4 out of 5
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about:

Lilian and the Irresistible Duke

A reunion in Rome…Sparks an affair to remember!

Responsible widow Lilian Fairclough is persuaded to travel to Rome for a hard-earned break and to let down her hair! She’s surprised to be reunited with passionate, cynical Italian duke, Pietro Venturi. He reawakens her sensual side and intrigues her with glimpses of pain beneath his rakish surface. Enticed into a secret and temporary affair – what will happen once she returns home?

Purchase Link – Lilian and the Irresistible Duke

my thoughts:

Lilian and the Irresistible Duke is book 4 in Virginia Heath’s Secrets of a Victorian Household series. I have not read the previous books in this series, but this reads fine as a stand alone.

Lilian Fairclough is a 45 year old mother and widow who a few months prior in the previous book in this series shared a passionate kiss during a carriage ride with Italian duke Pietro Venturi. She is now on her way to Rome for a vacation. Her adult children are happily married and they wanted her to get a way for a while and relax. She goes to Rome with her cousin to stay with a friend for several weeks. Little does she know she will run into the tall, dark and handsome Pietro Venturi while on her vacation.

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Deadly Ride (Britton Bay #3) by Jody Holford

ride

source: NetGalley
title:Deadly Ride (A Britton Bay Mystery Book 3)
author: Jody Holford
genre: cozy mystery
pages: 217
first line: Molly Owens had a pretty strong grasp on vocabulary, but clearly she misunderstood the word chilly.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5
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blurb:
Newspaper editor Molly Owens loves her new life—and her new man—in the beautiful seaside town of Britton Bay, Oregon. But when a car-show killer strikes, she needs to put the brakes on the culprit . . .

As editor-in-chief of the Britton Bay Bulletin, Molly steps in for a sick reporter to cover the Classic Car Crawl, an exhibit of vintage automobiles. Her main challenge is not being driven to distraction by the presence of her hunky boyfriend, Sam Alderich, a fellow car enthusiast whose auto shop is sponsoring the event. But when she and Sam discover the co-founder dead in his car, Molly quickly shifts gears to solve the murder.

With a showroom full of suspects—including the co-founder’s longtime partner, much-younger wife, enigmatic ex, and car owners with grudges and grievances—Molly soon starts to feel like she’s spinning her wheels. And after things take a turn for the worse, it’s all she can do to steer clear of trouble and stay out of a killer’s clutches . . .

my thoughts:
Deadly Ride is Book 3 in Jody Holford’s A Britton Bay Mystery series. How cute is the cover? The other book covers in this series can be found here and are also adorable.
The story centers around newspaper editor Molly Owens. There is a car show coming to the seaside town of Britton Bay and Molly is covering the story. While she’s at the show she meets a few people and contestants. However, she and her boyfriend Sam Alderich stumble upon a dead contestant at the end of the night. The cops are called in and there are a few suspects including the victim’s young widow, his ex-wife and fellow car owners who all have motive. Even though Sam wants Molly to stay safe and steer clear of the investigation she can’t help but get pulled in. This is not the first time she has stumbled upon a dead body.

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