Tag Archives: Shereen Vedam

He Cast A Spell On Me

phoenixBy Phoenix, via Shereen Vedam

Shereen Vedam is a good friend and fellow member of the local Vancouver Island Romance Writers. It’s my great pleasure to host her cat, Phoenix, from A DEVLISH SLUMBER, a book I highly recommend.

 On a cool day in May, 1814, at the back of an alley next to an ale house in London, England, a young boy held me upside down, taunting a society lady who had been cuddling me earlier. Then the boy threw me hard to the ground at a mound of horse manure. I thought I was going die. I yowled in terror, but instead of hitting the hard pavement, I landed in the palm of a strong male hand

Terrified, I clambered up the man’s sleeve and huddled in the crook of his neck, inhaling his musky smoky scent and praying that I would be safe there. You see, people don’t like black cats, not even little ones like me. Moments passed and he talked to the lady in an angry tone. And then the lady took me back into her arms.

Though she was very nice, I had felt safer with the man. I enviously stared at his neck and shoulders as he walked down the street beside us. He looked strong and capable of protecting a little kitten. I wanted to be back up on his shoulder. It wasn’t until later that the lady thrust me at my rescuer and walked away. I quickly scampered up and plastered myself against his neck, and hoped he wouldn’t notice me. I tried not shiver but it was hard because I was so scared. To my shock, he let me stay and even took me home. That is when I claimed him as my new master.

Once we entered the house, the women there said I was filthy and full of fleas. Although I clung to my master’s jacket and waistcoat, they pulled me off and soaked me in a bucket of soapy water. I managed to escape and, for several hours, scurried into every dark corner of the home, from basement to attic, in search of my master. Everywhere I went, the women chased me. Then they lured me closer with a plate of fish. Before I’d swallowed a single morsel, I was back in the bucket of soapy water. I fought back ferociously. By the time my master and I were finally reunited, my attackers were wetter than I, and sported some seriously deep scars that they’ll not soon forget.

No one in that house touches me without permission anymore, and I ride proudly on Master Daniel’s shoulder. I trust no one, except Master Daniel. Trusting is dangerous when you’re a black cat. Most everyone assumes I’m bad luck if they see me cross the road, even though all I’m doing is following my master when he steals a ride on the back of a carriage. And don’t get me started on all those tall tales about witches having black cats for familiars. To be clear, Master Daniel is not a witch! He’s a fire-shifter. Though I’m not crazy Snap of fingersabout fire, I love it when he starts a flame in the hearth with a snap of his fingers to warm up our attic bedroom.

My life has never been so good. My master ensures I’m always fed, even if sometimes he goes hungry. And he takes me all across London, and I get to climb trees and play in the grass. Though he is definitely not a witch, I have to admit, on the day my master rescued me, I think he cast a spell on me. Because I would follow him anywhere.

 How do you feel about black cats? Would you take one home?

One lucky commenter to this blog post will be randomly chosen to win an ecopy of Shereen Vedam’s recent release, A Scorching Dilemma, a Cinderella-inspired Regency paranormal romance.

PREMISE of A Scorching Dilemma

Scorching dilema cover

He’s not exactly Prince Charming…

Fire shifter Daniel Trenton has only nightmarish memories of his mysterious past. As an orphan, raised on the streets, he does not have much in the way of prospects, but he is fine with that . . . until he falls in love with the daughter of a duke. Unfortunately, pursuing her would mean her social destruction. So he promises himself to leave her alone for her own good. But when her safety is threatened, Daniel has no choice but to become the hero she so desperately needs.

Heiress Faith Rosemary Went always believed she would be given the choice of who to marry. So why is her father demanding she wed a man she’s never met, a man whose family terrifies her? But when she resists the match, her prospective bridegroom’s family kidnaps her and whisks her away to Gretna Green. Having no one but herself to rely on, she sets off to rescue herself before she’s ruined, or worse. Luckily, she discovers Daniel is already there.

Daniel’s investigation into Faith’s disappearance unravels two decades of lies, multiple murders, and a fire-shifting family history that spans three centuries. His newfound discoveries put him in the position to proudly and rightfully proclaim his place in society and, more importantly, proclaim his love for Faith.

But will he be able to prove the truth before Faith is forced to choose the wrong man?

EXCERPT from A Scorching Dilemma

As Faith took her place, her mother’s smile faltered. “My dear child, whatever has happened to you?”

Faith followed her glance to where the kitten had soiled her gown. And her pristine white shoes were now a grimy brown despite her avoiding the muck in that alley. This was why Mrs. Hutchinson had wanted her to change. She released a sigh. “I am sorry, Mama, but I found a tiny creature in need of rescue.”

Her mother shook her head, but with humor. “Faith, you cannot bring home every stray you find.”

“It has been that way since she was little,” the duke said, his eyes softening. “Faith, you are no longer a child. You cannot continue to run around like a hoyden rescuing puppies.”

“It was a kitten, Papa, and I did not bring it home. I met a kind gentleman who agreed to care for the animal.”

One of her father’s eyebrows shot up.

Faith understood his surprise. She was rarely forward with strange men. Her cheeks warmed at her parents’ silent study of her, and maybe a little from the remembrance of said gentleman.

The entire time Mrs. Hutchinson had been scolding her in the carriage, Faith had been envisioning her rescuer’s sparkling blue eyes and bravery with those young ruffians. And when he reached past her to catch that poor terrified creature in his strong gentle hand, her breath had caught in awe.

“This is reason enough to proceed with our plans,” her father finally said in a stern tone. “Talking to strange men in the street, indeed. And Mrs. Hutchinson allowed this?”

“It was not her fault, Papa.”

“Would you care to tell us about this gentleman?” her mother asked.

“He is irrelevant.” Her father glanced at her mother. “Would you care to give her the good news?”

Good news? Faith had thought something dire had transpired. “What has happened?”

“A very felicitous event, my dear,” her mother said. “Your friends will be jealous when they hear of it. Your father has received a proposal for your hand in marriage.”

Faith gulped as the shock registered. Feeling she was not yet ready for the trials of marriage, she had gone to great pains to dampen the enthusiasm of any gentlemen who courted her. With caution, she said, “From whom, Mama?”

“The Duke of Morton.”

Faith breathed in profound relief. She was not acquainted with this particular gentleman, though she had heard a great deal about him from her friends who had been swooning all Season at a duke coming into marriageable age. But he was not for Faith. Even if he was wealthy and titled, he was far too young. For a moment, her parents had frightened her. She did not even know Morton. “There must be a mistake then, Mama, for I have not been introduced to this gentleman.”

“There is no mistake.” Her father moved from where he had been standing by the window. He looked anxious, as if her response to this offer was of utmost importance.

Faith’s curiosity went on high alert. Her father had never intimated before this that her making a match was urgent. In fact, she had assumed he found her coolness towards her suitors amusing. “Is something the matter, Papa?”

“No,” he said, but skirted her gaze.

“But . . .” Faith protested, worry rising in her chest. Were they seriously considering this proposal?

“We have given you ample opportunity to make a match on your own,” he said, sounding long-suffering. “Two years we waited, Faith, while you smiled at every eligible gentleman but never encouraged one. Though, I might add, you sometimes did a good job of discouraging them.”

“None warranted encouragement, Papa.” Until now. How could she admit that she had finally met a man who commanded her romantic interest but that he was entirely unsuitable? Yet, his act of chivalry this morning marked him as exceptional.

Not only had he saved her kitten, he had then, despite his protests, agreed to take care of it. Faith’s heart warmed at that thought. Though her father had often scolded her about the strays she brought home, he would always turn around and convince one of his parliamentary friends into adopting it. She had thought no other man in this whole world could compare favorably with her father. Today, one had.

“Well, this suitor does merit consideration,” her father said, crossing his arms. “And we have accepted this match on your behalf.”

Accepted? Faith’s heart shuddered.

Writers and authors are also readers and I’m no exception. I read this book and loved it. This is the Amazon link.

http://www.amazon.com/Devilish-Slumber-Rue-Alliance-Book-ebook/dp/B00TT7UGR2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1445896402&sr=1-1&keywords=Shereen+Vedam

Author BIO

Once upon a time, Shereen read fantasy and romance novels to entertain herself. Now she writes heartwarming tales braided with threads of magic and love, and mystery elements woven in for good measure. She’s a fan of resourceful women, intriguing men, and happily ever after endings. If her stories whisk you away to a different realm for a few hours, then Shereen will have achieved one of her life goals.

 

If you wish to learn more about Shereen’s very own black cat, check out her post on USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog:

http://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/2015/09/08/shereen-vedam-black-cats-saffie/

 

Belle’s Beastly Valentine

A Beastly Scandal 600
My Dearest Pat,
Thank you for your very kind invitation to compose this “blog,” I hope I have that term correct, on the subject of Valentine’s Day celebrations. We call it Saint Valentine’s Day in my time, and it is a day of sweet joys when ladies and gentlemen share their deepest feelings.

There are shops along Bond Street where one can purchase Saint Valentine’s Day cards that have words already inscribed to give to those for whom we have a particular partiality, or, as is more common, we purchase special gilt paper on which to craft our personal messages.

This is also a day of gift giving, of sweets, jewelry, flowers, or, if adequate funds are unavailable for such luxuries, perhaps a simple love knot made of straw. I have heard that you have a wonderful sweet in your time called chocolates. I absolutely adore hot chocolate, that drink is my weakness. I can only imagine what it would taste as a solid, scrumptious comfit. I will not tell Lord Terrance of this, for if he ever discovered the secret of such a decadent pleasure, he would be sure to torment me with another game involving winning chocolate as a prize. It would be my Death by Chocolate for certain.

This blog would not be complete, however, if I failed to mention that there is a darker side to this festive day of love. This may no longer be the case in your time. Perhaps people have evolved past such petty actions, but there are a few in my society who take joy in inflicting pain on others. They send Saint Valentine’s Day cards with the deliberate intention of causing hurt, simply because a lady might not be as pretty or well spoken or from a suitable family background.

I am the granddaughter of a Marquis, and considered a beauty by some affectionate friends, yet I, too, once received a beastly Saint Valentine’s Day card. I share this distressing memory, dear Pat, to show that no one is immune to life’s arrows. My crime was that I have a knack to hear what most people cannot discern, and see what is opaque to others’ gazes. So people paint me as different, odd, leaving me open to being flayed by sarcastic wit.

My advice to others who might be the recipient of speech so atrocious in content on this day set aside for lovers, is to smile, for you have been commemorated on Saint Valentine’s Day for the very thing that made the saint infamous – he, too, was perceived to have behaved improperly, simply because he was a priest who believed his subjects were entitled to love, to marry and to live happily ever after, even if his Roman Emperor forbade such luxuries in a time of war. Sometimes, as with drinking (or eating) chocolate, forbidden conduct, especially if done for the purest of reasons, such as love, has an allure that’s simply impossible to resist.

I would be thrilled to hear from some of your readers about their feelings regarding this fascinating holiday. What do you like or dislike about Saint Valentine’s Day? I leave you with my Valentine’s gift for one randomly chosen commenter, a Kindle copy of A Beastly Scandal.

Affectionately,
Lady Annabelle (Belle) Marchant

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Belle Marchant is the heroine of
A Beastly Scandal by Shereen Vedam

For a chance at some chocolates or possibly a copy of Belle’s book, A Beastly Scandal, sign up for my newsletter which will periodically give you news on such things as new releases!

 



 

A BELLE OF THE BALL…
Lady Annabelle Marchant was a belle of the ball in London until she used her psychical senses to save a man’s life. She failed miserably, leaving him dead and her disgraced. All she wants now is a chance to comfort his widow by cleansing the woman’s home of her husband’s restless spirit. But the widow’s son, the beastly Lord of the Manor, accuses her of coming to the wilds of Cheshire to snag him as a husband. Thoroughly disgusted, she is bent on proving him wrong.

…BECOMES PERSONA NON-GRATA…
Lord Rufus Marlesbury, the Earl of Terrance, is suspected of murdering his father. He has come home to clear his name by finding the real killer before the new year or Rufus will be called in front of the House of Lords to answer for the crime. He does not have time to waste fending off a marriage-minded miss who has inveigled an invitation to his home by playing on his grief-stricken mother’s worst fears.

…WHEN A MURDERER IS ON THE RAMPAGE
With an unruly manor ghost terrorizing the occupants and corpses piling up in the village, Belle must find a way to see the man beneath the beast and Rufus must learn to believe in the love of a woman who has no reason to trust him. Only by working together can they stop a vengeful ghost before it torments the guests or before the killer strikes again.

A Beastly Scandal’s Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/TzFVC4czHOw

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About The Author

Shereen Vedam was born on a tiny paradise island called Ceylon, later renamed Sri Lanka. After she arrived in Canada, she moved across the provinces until she landed in British Columbia where she found a new paradise all her own, filled with people and pets and plants (including an awesome giant Weeping Sequoia) that nurture her love of reading, writing and dreaming.

Shereen’s website: www.shereenvedam.com
Her upcoming fairytale-inspired Regency romances (from ImaJinn Books):
A Devilish Slumber – (a sleeping beauty inspired tale) – October 2014
A Scorching Dilemma – (a Cinder “fella” inspired tale) – December 2014
A Perfect Curse – (a Snow White inspired tale) – 2015

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Maxine’s Valentine from Death By Chocolate Series

Maxine here. I've been asked to say a few words about Valentine's day. Firstly, I have to say it's fabulous for business. Really, with all the chocolate I've been making, as well as romantic dinners and cake I'm exhausted.

And for all my friends who have been lucky in love and are now enjoying a special day with their loved ones Happy Valentine's Day! I am truly happy for you. Really!

If you're single like me you may want to pretend Valentine's Day doesn't exist. Or read a romance while drinking a glass of wine and some chocolate. Possibly Better Than Chocolate. And then dream about next year...

Last year my creator spent the day writing a murder scene in Chocolate Worth Dying For. Then she went out and had dinner with a girlfriend. Drinks may have been involved. She claims she doesn't remember. But I certainly remember the murder scene. Shiver!

This year she's not telling me what she's up to though I do know she's working on another chocolate mystery along with a medical thriller. She's left me in charge of the blog though so I've invited a few friends to drop in and share their thoughts. Belle, from a Beastly Scandal, will be sharing her thoughts. And then Sherry Travis from the Sherry TravisA Christmas Wedding To Die Forcover mystery series will be stopping by.

There may be chocolate involved...

For a chance at some chocolates or possibly a copy of one of these books sign up for my newsletter which will periodically give you news on such things as new releases!