Teaser Tour: My Highland Spy by Victoria Roberts – Excerpt and Giveaway

8_21 VictoriaRoberts-BlogBadge4It’s wonderful to be here today at LASR, the fourth stop on the My Highland Spy Teaser Tour!

My Highland Spy is the first book in my new Highland Spies’ series, and I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. We left off yesterday meeting Ravenna’s tenacious younger siblings.

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt Four/Chapter One:

“Uncle Walter, what a pleasant surprise. I’m so glad you’re here with us on such a lovely morn,” said Ravenna, pulling out her chair.

He swallowed his oatmeal and smiled. “I have to meet with His Majesty later this morn and I thought to pay you girls a visit.”

Lord Walter Mildmay, her mother’s brother, had been appointed the Walsingham family’s guardian, but their situation was more pretense than anything. Uncle Walter had his own estate and family, while he permitted Ravenna and her sisters to stay under their own roof. At twenty-five years old, Ravenna handled all the accounts, managed the servants, and had served as a mother figure to the girls since the deaths of their parents.

Uncle Walter, with his dark hair and tanned skin, was the complete opposite of Ravenna’s fair-skinned mother. No one would ever think they were of the same relation, especially because his hair was as black as night. Ravenna always thought the man looked like a bloody pirate.

Ravenna’s father, Lord Francis Walsingham, had been Queen Elizabeth’s principal secretary until his death. Little did anyone know that her sire had also been the queen’s spy. Given that Ravenna’s father had handled all of the royal correspondence and had determined the agenda of the council meetings, he had been a very influential man in his time, which fortunately now worked in Ravenna’s favor.

In short, she was a spy for King James and the Crown, the same as her father had been under Queen Elizabeth’s reign. When Ravenna was old enough to show an interest in political matters, her father had educated and conditioned her to one day take his place. She lived in a man’s world, but that’s why she was so proficient at doing what she did—a mere woman was the last thing anyone would expect. Her family meant everything to her, and she was deter¬mined to keep her siblings sheltered and protected for as long as possible.

Especially from unsavory establishments like the one last eve.

After everyone finished their meal and polite conversation, Ravenna and Uncle Walter excused themselves and met behind the closed doors of her father’s study. With the dark wooden furnishings, the large desk, and her father’s books lining the wall, the room always reminded Ravenna of her father. At times, she could swear she even smelled his scent, almost as if he wanted her to know that he still watched over her.

“What did you find out?” asked Uncle Walter, tapping his fingers on the desk.

Ravenna sat in her father’s chair. “I followed Lord Cobham into the Devil’s Tavern. The man he met with was Charles Paget. I thought he was still in Paris.”

Her uncle sat forward, his eyes narrowing. “I suppose it should come as no surprise. His Majesty gave Paget back his manor of Weston-on-Trent and his other homes in Derbyshire, but we’ll be sure to keep an eye on him. As usual, I’ll pass along the information to the king’s advisors. You did well, Ravenna.”

“Grace is questioning my sudden disappearances, and I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to keep the truth from her.”

“You know as well as I do that it’s better she doesn’t know what you do. Perhaps we should start thinking about arranging a marriage for her.”

Ravenna rubbed her fingers over the bridge of her nose. “I really want to give her some time. She doesn’t show an interest in anyone at the moment, and I’m not quite ready to force her into a marriage.” She paused. “Let me think about it.”

He bobbed his head. “There is another assignment from His Majesty.”

“So soon? I just completed this one.” She sat forward, frowning. “What is it this time?”

Sourcebooks will give away one copy of My Highland Spy to a lucky commenter (US and Canada only, please.) Did you ever spy on anyone as a child?

8_21 highland spyThis Highland Laird won’t bow to the Crown

Laird Ruairi Sutherland refuses to send his only son away to be educated by the English. And he most definitely will not appear in Edinburgh to pay homage to a liege who has no respect for Scotland. So he does what any laird would do—he lies to the king. The last thing Ruairi expects is a beautiful English governess to appear on his doorstep.

But this lady spy might make him…

Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a seasoned spy who is sent to the savage Highlands to uncover a nefarious plot against the Crown. Playing the part of an English governess—a job easier said than done—she infiltrates the home of Laird Sutherland, a suspected conspirator.

If she doesn’t betray him first

Ravenna soon discovers that the only real threat Sutherland poses is to her heart. But will the proud Highland laird ever forgive her when he discovers the woman he loves in an English spy?

“An exciting Highland tale of intrigue, betrayal, and love.”

—Hannah Howell, New York Times bestselling author of Highland Master

“Roberts’ newest features a surprise-laden, quick-paced plot, replete with unconventional and fiercely independent characters. Her lyrical prose grabs readers’ attention, and the high level of emotional tension simply adds to the depth of the story. This book begs to be read and reread.”

—RT Book Reviews

About the Author: 8_21 victoria

Victoria Roberts writes sexy, award-winning Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. Prior to ever picking up a single romance novel, she penned her first young adult novella at 16 years old. Who knew her leather-studded motorcycle hero would trade in his ride and emerge as a kilt wearing Highlander wielding a broadsword? Victoria lives with her husband and their two beautiful children in western Pennsylvania. Visit her at www.victoriarobertsauthor.com.

Website: http://victoriarobertsauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoria.roberts.395

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5763317.Victoria_Roberts

Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | !indigo | iBooks

 

 

8_21 victoria My Highland Spy - Promo Image

Why Scotland? by Victoria Roberts

Thank you so much for having me today.

Why Scotland?

As soon as I picked up my first Scottish historical, I recognized this is where my path led. Everyone has different ideas of escape, and mine happens to be in Scotland with kilted men riding gigantic steeds and wielding broadswords. Have you seen pictures of Scotland? The countryside alone is breathtaking. Add a few Highland lairds and a couple of feisty heroines and it makes for a steamy romance of epic proportions.

My latest release, X Marks the Scot, is the second book in the Bad Boys of the Highlands trilogy. Declan MacGregor (Laird Ciaran MacGregor’s bad boy brother from Temptation in a Kilt) is back with a story of his own. Our heroine is none other than the bloody Campbell’s sister from Temptation in a Kilt, Lady Liadain Campbell. These two actually made quite the pair.

Here’s a fun excerpt.

“MacGregor!”

With lightning speed, he bolted through the trees toward the sound of her voice. He spotted her still form and stopped. Cautiously, he raised his bow while searching the surrounding landscape. Once he knew for certain there was no viable threat, only then would he attempt to approach her.

He remained alert, trying to decipher what was amiss. The healer was frozen with her skirts lifted up, giving him a perfect view of her creamy thigh.

Tears choked her voice. “Please, MacGregor.”

Following her wide-eyed stare, he recognized the reason for her distress. The culprit was making a beeline toward her. Lifting the bow, Declan took his shot, and as soon as the arrow made impact, he realized his mistake.

When the tip penetrated the reptile, the snake involuntarily jumped…right onto her foot. Her shrill screams rang through the trees and she jerked back several feet. To his surprise, the lass did not stop there.

She hiked up her dress even higher. She bounced up and down as though her feet were afire. Curses were thrown like stones as she swore like a man in the heat of battle. The shocking spectacle made any words that came to mind wedge in his throat.

The lass suddenly turned and raced back through the woods. Declan gaped as he caught glimpses of her bare, shapely legs fleeing through the forest trees.

What the hell was that? He threw back his head and roared with laughter. Who would have thought that the woman who resided under the same dangerous roof as the bloody Campbell was deathly afraid of snakes? Hell, she had lived with one. The idea was truly unbelievable. Honestly, he had never thought of her as faint-hearted.

He shook his head and walked back to the horses. He hoped the lass had enough sense to stop running and that he would not have to chase her down. Although the way she behaved, nothing would have surprised him.

The healer sat upon her mount, her back stiff and straight. When he approached, she cast her eyes away from him and shifted in the saddle.

“Why did ye run? The snake was dead.”

“I donna like snakes. I donna, donna, donna. I really donna. It touched my foot,” she blurted out and then shivered.

Declan tried not to chuckle, but one involuntarily escaped him. “I gathered that ye donna favor snakes, but ’tis dead.” He extended his hand to her. “Come down and stretch your legs before we ride again.”

She waved him off. “Nay, I am fine right where I am,” she said as she studied the ground. “I had more than enough stretching.”

“There are nay more snakes, lass. Come down.”

“Unless ye intend on pulling me from my horse’s back, I am nae moving,” she said stubbornly.

The words were out of Declan’s mouth before he had a chance to stay them. “Ye know, they could as easily be in the trees above your head as they could be upon the ground.” He patted her horse on the rump. He was teasing her, affectionately, not maliciously.

She paled and became watchful of the branches above. “Ye know? Ye may think ye are humorous, but let me assure ye that ye arenae.”

“Suit yourself.”

It was so much fun to be here. Thanks for having me.

Sourcebooks will give away one copy of X Marks the Scot (US and Canada only, please) to a lucky commenter. Where is your favorite place to travel?

2_27 X Marks the Scot Final

He was a Highland Rogue—Wicked with a Bow and Just as Wicked with the Ladies.

Declan MacGregor hadn’t a care in the world beyond finding a soft bed and a willing woman…until he had to escort Lady Liadain Campbell to the English court. The woman needles him at every turn, but he can’t just abandon her to that vipers’ nest without protection.

She Never Asked for a Bodyguard…

Liadain wasn’t thrilled to be left in the care of her clan’s archrival. It was as if the man never had a lady tell him no before! And yet as whispers of treason swirl through the court and the threat of danger grows even sharper, her bitter enemy soon becomes the only one she can trust…

Praise for X Marks the Scot:

5/5 – Reviewer Top Pick
“Enthralling Highlander romance. One of the best Highlander stories I’ve ever read. This is one author who just keeps on getting better.”

―Night Owl Reviews

“For a complex story brimming over with pride and passion, betrayal, trust and most of all the power to make a bad boy a hero, pick up this read.”

―RT Book Reviews/4 ½ Star Review

About the Author: Victoria Roberts writes sexy, Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. She was named by RT Book Reviews as “one of the most promising debut authors across the genres” and is also a 2012 Reviewers Choice Nominee for Best First Historical novel for her debut, Temptation in a Kilt.

Her second novel, X Marks the Scot, is available February 2013 and the third, To Wed a Wicked Highlander, September 2013.

Victoria is a member of Romance Writers of America®, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, Western Pennsylvania Romance Writers, as well as a contributing author to the online magazine, Celtic Guide.

Victoria lives in western Pennsylvania with her husband of nineteen years and their two beautiful children—not to mention one spoiled dog. When she is not plotting her next Scottish romp, she enjoys reading, nature, and antiques.

Purchase/Links:

Sourcebooks: http://www.sourcebooks.com/store/x-marks-the-scot.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/X-Marks-Scot-Victoria-Roberts/dp/1402270097/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357084005&sr=8-1&keywords=x+marks+the+scot

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/x-marks-the-scot-victoria-roberts/1112689759?ean=9781402270093

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M27gsMb4Ro

Website: www.victoriarobertsauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/victoria.roberts.395

Celtic Guide: www.thecelticguide.com