Friday, April 22, 2011

FEATURE and GIVEAWAY: A Dead Man's Debt by Grace Elliot


Lessons from a kissing guru.

Celeste stretched on tiptoe, all sweetness and curiosity she brushed her lips against Ranulf's. She was reaching up, threading her fingers through his hair, pulling his mouth closer. Inexperienced as she was, parting her lips, beckoning, welcoming his intrusion, her willingness excited him further, igniting warmth into fire.

He found himself kissing her with urgency, as if his life depended on it. There was joy in his touch at the ripeness of her pink mouth, as his tongue slid over lips that parted in response. Sparks of joy made him giddy, excited as some green boy with his first kiss….

Celeste's first kiss – an excerpt from 'A Dead Man's Debt' 

Lucky for Celeste that her lover wasn't tutored by the Victorian writer, Henry Theophilus Finck. In 1887 Finck wrote a book to guide the uninitiated in the mysteries of romance. Titled 'Romantic Love and Personal Beauty' ,it was a bestseller in its day, so let's take a sneaky peek to see what we might learn from his wisdom.

Finck starts promisingly enough;

'Kissing comes by instinct and yet it is an art which few understand properly.'

Fair enough, new tricks can keep a relationship fresh, but reading on things take a worrying turn;

'A lover should not hold his bride by the ears in kissing her…' (Oh my!) 'As appears to have been customary in Scotch weddings of the last century [1700's].'

To remedy this Finck offers helpful advice.

"A more graceful way, and as effective at preventing the bride from getting away, is to put your right arm round her neck, your fingers under her chin, raise the chin and gently but firmly press you lips to hers."

Ok, so apart from trying to stop the woman running away, this sounds OK up to a point, as the thoughtful Theophilus goes on to offer reassuring words for those doubting the effectiveness of this new technique.

"After a few repetitions she will find out it doesn't hurt and will become as gentle as a lamb."

Hmmm, I think he might be missing the point somehow! How about making the woman feel desired, wanted and beautiful? So, when it comes to kissing,  who would you choose -  Theophilus Finck or Lord Ranulf Charing ?

Restrained power trembled through his body. Closing her fingers she drew Ranulf toward her until his hot breath tickled her bare neck. His skin smelt warm and musky as she melted into his arms.

Then the dam holding back passion burst. His hands in her hair, bruising lips seeking hers as her body responded willingly, greedy, eager to learn more of the heat that flooded her body. His tongue parted her lips, teeth bumping, his masculine presence filling her senses. He pulled the pins from her damp hair, sending long curls tumbling about her shoulders and back. Ranulf sucked in a breath.

'So beautiful…'

Excerpt from 'A Dead Man's Debt'.

"Historical romance at its best." Once Upon A Chapter
"Totally engrossing…sensual and evocative writing." Fiction Books.
"Breathtaking sensuality…page turning drama…a wonderful talent." The Romance Reviews.

'A Dead Man's Debt' - Grace Elliot

Celeste Armitage has a plan…and it doesn't include marriage.

Celeste's despairing parents exile her to the country, where she finds a sketch book of nude studies and is shaken to find the artist is her hostess's son, Lord Ranulf Charing. This cynical lord is the exactly sort of dissipated rogue she despises most…if only her blood didn't heat at the sight of him!

Lord Ranulf faces ruin as a blackmailer uses his late brother's debts to destroy the Charing's reputation. When Ranulf unexpectedly falls for the rebellious Celeste he must chose between true love and family duty…but Ranulf underestimates Celeste's resolve to clear his name and unwittingly places his soul mate in mortal danger….

If you would like to find out more please visit my blog at:

'A Dead Man's Debt' is available from Smashwords, Books on Board, Amazon and most eBook stores, price $2.99 / GBP 2.14

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