Tag Archives: A Wager for the Widow

Only a Winter’s Tale?

I think A Wager for the Widow was released at the wrong time of year because I’m definitely getting a more wintery feel to the evenings now and can all too clearly imagine Eleanor and Will shivering out in the gardens and cuddling up for warmth in this scene.

Why not get hold of a copy, light the fire, pour a glass of your favourite winter drink and lose yourself on the Cornish Coast?

Buy your copy here
Buy your copy here

“The sun, which had barely broken through the heavy clouds all day, had nearly disappeared below the archway, turning the buildings grey. Eleanor shivered as the icy wind hit her. She almost went back for her cloak, but the sound of voices and laughter drifted to her from the Outer Hall. She shook her head and made her way round the side of the house to the walled garden where she hoped to find some protection from the weather, and threw herself on to a stone bench.
Eleanor pulled a sprig of rosemary and fitfully ripped the leaves off one by one, letting them drop on to the ground with a trembling hand.  She drew her knees up to her chest and hugged herself tightly to ward off the cold. She stared into the shadows and her stomach twisted again as she thought of the argument with her mother. Her eyes swam with tears that were hot in the biting wind. How long would it be before she was missed and summoned back to the house? She drew deep breaths, fighting the urge to run to her chamber, pack her belongings and return home.
‘Lady Peyton?’
The voice was low and unexpected. Eleanor gave a start. She spun round to find William Rudhale standing by the far end of the bench, a large bundle under one arm. Eleanor bowed her head quickly, unwilling for him to see the evidence of her tears, and wiped them away with the back of her hand.
‘Why are you here?’ Eleanor asked suspiciously. ‘Did my mother send you to find me?’
‘Nobody sent me,’ he answered softly. ‘You looked distressed so I decided to follow you.’
He gestured to the bench and raised an eyebrow. After a moment’s hesitation Eleanor nodded and the steward sat down beside her.
He unfurled the bundle that he carried and Eleanor recognised his voluminous red cloak.
‘I thought you might need some shelter from the wind. It is no weather to be out in without something to keep you warm.’
Eleanor’s lip trembled and she bit down on it. ‘Thank you,’ she whispered, her voice catching in her throat.
Rudhale leaned across and gently wrapped the cloak around Eleanor’s shoulders. Their eyes met and he gave a slight smile, as though being caught in the act of a kindness embarrassed him. He brushed a stray lock of hair from her cheek with fingers that left a trail of heat across her skin.
At this gesture of kindness, Eleanor’s emotions finally overwhelmed her. She put her head in her hands and burst into sobs, not caring that the steward saw or what he might think. Her frame shook with each fresh rush of tears. She was dimly aware of Rudhale’s arm slipping around her shoulders as he drew her head down on to his chest.
Eleanor stiffened momentarily as the unfamiliar closeness provoked feelings that were much more alarming than her grief. Rudhale’s hand found a home in the small of her back and she melted willingly against him. She could not say for how long she cried, conscious only of warmth, of Rudhale’s soothing wordless murmurs as she let her sadness flood out, and of the comfort of his strong arms around her body.”

Excerpt From: Elisabeth Hobbes. “A Wager for the Widow.” iBooks.

Buy A Wager for the Widow here

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A month down the line

A Wager for the Widow has been out for a month.  Yesterday I had a wonderful review on Cataromance which described the book as ‘a fantastic historical romance that sweeps readers back to the past and enchants them with its intoxicating blend of intrigue, adventure, passion and pathos.’

I’ve had an amazing response for the book and I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and review or share news about the book or comment on my Facebook page or Twitter feed.  If you haven’t already, come over and say hello. As always its talking to readers and finding out what you think about my writing that keeps me going.  Every comment means a lot to me.

I know there have been issues with availability in America thanks to Amazon gremlins but these are sorted now so if you haven’t been able to get hold of your copy now you can Buy it here on Amazon.com

I’m going to be taking a break from the internet as I’m embarking on a road trip around France and Spain, taking in the Picos de Europa which I’ve always wanted to visit.  I’ll still be hard at work editing my work in progress and starting to plan my fourth book.  Maybe I’ll even find a handsome Spaniard to inspire me!

Cover Comparison

Falling for Her CaptorA Wager for the Widow

I’ve got two covers now and I don’t know whether or not it was intentional on the part of the art department but they’re very similar.  Both feature lovely heroines in green with moody skies in the background.  As much as I would have loved to see who they chose to play the heroes (one dark, one blonde – who would you choose?) I really like my ladies.

Which cover do you prefer?  Do you go for the covers with couples or heroes rather than heroines?  Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter @elisabethhobbes or Facebook ElisabethHobbesAuthor

I’ve used one of the American Harlequin branded ones and a UK Mills & Boon as the logos are different but both books are available on Amazon.com and co.uk and other online sites. Clicking on the cover pictures should take you right there if the cover has whetted your appetite.

Blog features roundup

I’ve been visiting various blogs to talk about A Wager for the Widow (and other things).

Here are a couple of the interviews I’ve done.

The Pink Heart Society Writer’s Workspace feature

Harlequin Junkie Author Spotlight (with some exclusive extracts)

An interview with Ms Moem, created of bespoke poems

There will be more to come over the next week or so.

BBC Radio Manchester interview

Release date is getting closer so yesterday I paid a visit to Media City in Salford to talk to Becky Want on BBC Radio Manchester about A Wager for the Widow.

Flattering photo on my ID card.
Flattering photo on my ID card.

I had a case of nerves before I went on air and I’m not sure the coffee helped but I enjoyed sitting in Costa beforehand and trying to work out if the man at the next table was famous.

This is the interview.  I haven’t listened to it all as I never like hearing myself but I think it went well.  I managed to remember the names of the characters (thanks to a crib sheet) and had a fun time.  Becky was a great host.

My friend very kindly (and cleverly because I wouldn’t know where to begin) recorded the interview as an MP3 for me.

Catch me on the Becky Want show here

I love the area round the quays and for a change the weather was nice enough to go for a wander around.  The views from the multi-storey are great, taking in most of Salford and outer Manchester.

BBC one side.  ITV the other.  I wonder if the staff give each other hard stares as they look out of the windows?
BBC one side. ITV the other. I wonder if the staff give each other hard stares as they look out of the windows?
Fabulous view from the car park.
Fabulous view from the car park.

A Wager for the Widow first two chapters for free!

Release date for A Wager for the Widow is getting closer and closer so I’m sharing the first two chapters here.

https://www.overdrive.com/media/2100047/a-wager-for-the-widow

It can be preordered here

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wager-Widow-Mills-Boon-Historical-ebook/dp/B00VS0FV5U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1434188057&sr=8-1&keywords=a+wager+for+the+widow

or at all other online retailers.

I’m going to be visiting other blogs closer to release date and will post links here.  I’m also going to be interviewed on BBC Radio Manchester on 22nd June so if you’re in the area have a listen to Becky Want’s show around 2.15.

A Wager for the Widow cover reveal and excerpt

I’m excited to reveal the cover for my July release, A Wager for the Widow.  Although I’d been not-too-secretly hoping for my gorgeous hero Will (looking like a cross between Alexander Skasgard and Chris Hemsworth) I’m really pleased with the result.

The model’s shade of hair is exactly right for my feisty widow Eleanor.  It’s a little redder on the UK cover so that’s the one I’m sharing here.  She also gives the impression she isn’t going to be easily tricked into giving the hero what he’s after.

The Mills & Boon UK cover.
The Mills & Boon UK cover.

Along with the cover I thought I’d share an excerpt from an early chapter.  Will has accepted his wager and is trying to find ways to win a kiss from Eleanor.

‘As Will glanced down his eye fell on the book on Lady Peyton’s lap. Her sleeve obscured the title and he grinned, sensing an opportunity.

‘You read,’ he remarked.

Lady Peyton nodded. ‘Does that surprise you? I could hardly have understood your note if I did not.’

‘For pleasure, I mean.’ Will settled back into his chair. He stretched his legs out until they were almost touching the folds of her skirts. ‘I’ll wager I can guess what you have been reading,’ he suggested. ‘Not the title, but the subject at least.’

‘What would the stake be?’ Lady Peyton asked suspiciously. She leant back against the wall and folded her arms across her body, hugging the book to her chest. Will tried not to stare too noticeably at the soft mounds of her breasts, pushed up and just visible over the edge of the volume.

‘The same thing I asked for before.’ Will grinned. ‘A single kiss.’

Lady Peyton rolled her eyes to the ceiling and huffed. The gesture was so unexpected from a high-born lady that Will burst out laughing. She glared at him.

‘I decline your terms,’ she said. ‘Why are you so insistent?’

‘Because you are beautiful and I’d like to kiss you. Why does the thought scare you?’ Will countered.

Lady Peyton sat upright. She kept the title hidden, Will noticed with delight. ‘It doesn’t scare me,’ she said firmly.

Will leant forward. So close that he could see the flecks of green that danced in her eyes.

‘Then accept the wager,’ he breathed.

He lifted his cup, holding her gaze, and took a deep draught of wine. He waited, letting silence sit between them. Lady Peyton frowned and bit her bottom lip. Will pictured himself slowly tasting it and his heart quickened.

‘Not for that prize. Name another, Master Rudhale,’ Lady Peyton insisted.

‘I see you no longer have your crutch so I judge your ankle must be healing. For a dance then,’ Will said. ‘If I win, you promise the first dance at the midwinter feast will be with me. And call me by my name,’ he added on impulse.

‘Very well. And if I win, you will not ask me again to kiss you,’ Lady Peyton replied.

A ripple of triumph stirred in Will’s belly. A dance invariably led to so much more. He nodded and raised his cup in salute to her. She did the same and they both drank, eyes meeting over the top of their cups.

‘You were reading poetry,’ he announced. ‘Some tale of love and trials of knighthood. Of advances spurned and hearts broken. All women love poetry and I have yet to meet one who can resist the prospect of love triumphant.’

Lady Peyton’s face froze. ‘All the women you have known?’ she asked icily.

‘Very few,’ Will assured her hastily. And fewer still who mattered. The thought took him by surprise. He held his hand out. ‘The book, if you please.’

Without speaking, Lady Peyton held the book towards him obediently. He opened the hidebound volume and read the title aloud.

‘Geoffrey of Monmouth. Historia Regum Britanniae.’

‘Not all women have time for foolish love stories, Master Rudhale,’ Lady Peyton said softly.

Will laughed gently through his disappointment. ‘I shall leave you to your kings, my lady,’ he said, handing the book back. He bowed, picked up his bag and left the hall. Lady Peyton had appeared pleased to see him and his spirits were high even though he had lost the wager.

Will knew nothing of Sir Baldwin, but the man must have been a very paragon of manhood for his widow to be grieving so deeply still, but surely by now she must be craving another man’s touch. He had promised not to ask her for a kiss, but what did that matter? There were so many ways of asking that did not require words after all.’

If that has whetted your appetite, A Wager for the Widow is available for pre-order in ebook and paperback and will be released on July 1st

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wager-Widow-Mills-Boon-Historical-ebook/dp/B00VS0FV5U/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-2&qid=1429724692

The Ideas Shed

When I wrote the story that became Falling for Her Captor I was really pleased with it as an idea. I had to be because it was the only one I had. When I got offered a 2 book contract I had a bit of a panic about whether I could actually write another book or whether that would be my one and only idea. Fortunately I had stuck a chance comment by one of the characters in FFHC about the hero’s parentage. This had given me an idea for a second book which I had already started playing around with when I got The Call. That turned into A Wager for the Widow which is my July release.

‘Where do you get your ideas?’ is a question writers get asked all the time. I’ve read some brilliant responses and I’ve answered it myself in a few interviews. The answer for me at least is they just sort of fall into my head. It’s a bit of a rubbish answer but also an alarming one because what happens if the ideas stop dropping in?

So far I’m relieved that doesn’t seem to be happening. In fact I’m finding I have more ideas demanding their turn. Sometimes a song sets them off, or visiting a new place that makes me wonder who might have lived there. Even a trip to the pub with a friend has given me a new plot to mull over (once I can decide what is in the mysterious box). About 3/4 of the way through writing A Wager for the Widow I wondered what would happen if the heroine did make the unwise decision she doesn’t make in that book (no spoilers just yet). That became the basis for my current work in progress.

Frantically scribbling a few sentences into my notepad (I used the last page yesterday. Must get another.) before I forgot an idea the other day it struck me that I’ve gone from one story via having a couple of plots in my head to now having a whole folder with Word documents. They vary from one line descriptions to a whole page outline of stories I want to write one day.
It’s going to fun deciding which one to do after I’ve finished my current book and the fourth proposal that I’ve sent to Harlequin.

Not that I’m complaining, I’d rather have a waiting list than none, but whatever happens, Taming her Ofsted Inspector is still at the bottom of the list.

Title reveal!

Yesterday I was gloomy owing to my day job. Today I’m not so I want to share the title for my next book.

It’s the story of Eleanor and Will and is called A Wager for the Widow which I think has a great alliterative ring to it. It comes out in July (just in time for my 40th birthday so that should take the sting out a bit) and it’s being released electronically and mass market paperback in North America and the UK and as a paperback duo in Australia.

Here’s the blurb:

“I suppose a kiss of gratitude is out of the question?”

Widowed Lady Eleanor Peyton has chosen a life of independence. Living alone on her rocky coastal outcrop, she’s cut herself off from the world of men — until William Rudhale saves her life and demands a kiss!

As steward to Lady Eleanor’s father, Will knows the desire he burns with is futile — but he’ll still wager he can claim Eleanor’s kiss by midwinter. Yet when the tide turns Will realizes vulnerable Eleanor is far too precious to gamble with. Can he win his lady before it’s too late?

I don’t have a cover yet as I’ve got all the fun of describing characters and settings still to come, but I’ll be sharing that as soon as I do. In the meantime, if anyone wants to be super organised and order it the link is here.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wager-Widow-Mills-Boon-Historical/dp/0263247937/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422877956&sr=8-1&keywords=a+wager+for+the+widow