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Promo Spotlight and Giveaway: A Dangerous Madness by Michelle Diener

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Michelle Diener's newest Historical Fiction, A Dangerous Madness, book 3 in the Regency London series, has been released on May 19th, 2014. To celebrate the publication, I'm hosting this promo spotlight. There's also a giveaway which you can enter via rafflecopter below.

** The giveaway is of 2 Kindle copies of A Dangerous Madness

Remember, the giveaway ends on May 25th, 2014. After the winners are chosen, I'll announce their names on my twitter and facebook page. Check back to see if you've won and be sure to let me know. I'll email the winners and they have 48 hrs. to confirm their winnings. The author will then take over and send the winners their copies. Best of luck!!!
A Dangerous Madness
Michelle Diener
(Regency London #3)

The Duke of Wittaker has been living a lie...

He’s been spying on the dissolute, discontented noblemen of the ton, pretending to share their views. Now he’s ready to step out of the shadows and start living a real life...but when the prime minister of England is assassinated, he's asked to go back to being the rake-hell duke everyone still believes he is to find out more.

Miss Phoebe Hillier has been living a lie, too...

All her life she's played the game, hiding her fierce intelligence and love of life behind a docile and decorous mask. All it's gotten her is jilted by her betrothed, a man she thought a fool, but a harmless one. But when she discovers her former fiancé was involved in the plot against the prime minister, and that he's been murdered, she realizes he wasn't so harmless after all.

And now the killers have set their sights on her...

The only man who can help her is the Duke of Wittaker--a man she knows she shouldn't trust. And she soon realizes he's hiding behind a mask as careful as her own. As the assassin steadfastly vows he acted alone, and as the clock ticks down to his trial, the pair scramble to uncover the real conspiracy. And as the pressure and the danger mounts, Phoebe and Wittaker shed their disguises, layer by layer, to discover something more precious than either imagined–something that could last forever. Unless the conspirators desperate to hide their tracks get to them first.

Buy Links:
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes  
An Excerpt from A Dangerous Madness:

Chapter One

Sunday, 10 May, 1812

Phoebe stood next to the portrait of Sir Harold Fitzpatrick as instructed, the note the footman had given her crumpled in her fist.

She hadn't seen Sheldrake all evening, had had to endure hours on her own of being either snubbed or fawned over, but he must have seen her—the note was evidence of that. Just one more odd instance in a string of them.

A waving motion caught her eye and she turned slightly to see a hand reach out from behind aquamarine velvet curtains. A man's hand.

He grabbed her sleeve and pulled her into an enclosed nook that by day was a perfectly innocent bay window. Phoebe blinked, trying to adjust to the sudden dark after the well-lit gallery.

“Sheldrake?” She peered at the man taking up most of the small space.

“Good grief, keep it down, would you?”

Phoebe’s betrothed's forceful whisper was as loud as her soft-spoken question, but she bit her tongue. 

She wondered what her tongue would look like after they’d spent a lifetime together. Maybe one day she’d bite it in half.

“Look, dear thing, I needed to speak to you in private, without anyone seeing me here.” Even in the dark, Phoebe could see Sheldrake plucking at his lapels.

“Well, this is very private.” She waited patiently for him to enlighten her, and there was an uncomfortable silence. For the first time since she’d been jerked into the dark, into what would be considered a scandalous rendezvous, Phoebe felt the gentle hand of trepidation caress the back of her neck.

“My dear, dear thing. I . . . that is to say . . .” She saw the shadowy outline of his hand coming up to his head and realized he was mopping his brow with his kerchief, even though the Halliford's house was made of such thick stone, it never truly got warm.

A buzzing started in her ears.

“I can't marry you, Pheebs. I know that's going to make things difficult for you and I want to go through with it, of course I do, it would solve a number of problems, but I don't have the time for it, you understand?”

“You don't . . . have the time for it?” Her words seemed to be coming from far, far away.

“No. I’m . . . well, soon I’ll be in a bit of bother, m’dear. Or I think I will. And I’m going to have to make a run for it. I thought I could hold out until I got my hands on your money, but it looks like I was a bit too optimistic.” He gave a sigh.

Phoebe wanted to shriek at him like a woman she’d once seen in the marketplace had shrieked at her husband.

Like a fishwife.

“You owe money?” She bit back the scream, forcing it down like too many pillows stuffed into a wooden kist. She'd had plenty of practice. Her voice didn't even wobble.

“’Fraid so. But that's not why I'm running.”

“Then why were you hoping to get my money early?” She tried to be calm and logical.

“Living in exile is more comfortable when you have funds.” He tugged at his kerchief as if he meant to tear it in half. “I already asked your father’s lawyers if your dowry could be made available before the wedding, but it appears not.” He sighed again. “And your trustees control it anyway. It’s not as if you could help me.

They’d have to approve, and I know for a fact they won’t because I already asked one of them.”

Phoebe stared at him.

“Well. That’s that, then. Don’t say anything, will you, until tomorrow? About my jilting you and taking off.

I’m due to catch a boat to the Continent from Dover tomorrow or the day after, and I'd like to have a clear run.”

“You’re leaving London tonight?” Phoebe’s voice came out lower than usual.

“Yes. The whole thing is coming to a head. If I don't run now, I risk being closed in.” He shrugged. “You can put it about later that I was on my skids. Better a bankrupt, money-grubbing cad than a . . . ” He jerked his waistcoat. “Well, never mind what.”

“Sheldrake, I have no idea what you're talking about.”

“No. You wouldn't.” He patted her arm, in the way he'd done countless times before. A way that made her want to jerk her arm viciously away and do him some bodily harm.

She drew in a deep, deep breath. Pulled her arm very gently from under his grasp.

Oblivious to her fury, he lifted his pocket watch to the thin stream of light coming into the alcove through a gap in the drapes, and turned it this way and that until he could read the time. He gave a grunt.

“My coach will be waiting.” He twisted his lips in a grimace. “Sorry, dear thing. Sometimes the best plans turn to ash and well . . . Don't believe everything you might hear about me if this comes out. I was doing something. Taking action. But it's all gone to the dogs. Our puppet has lost his nerve. I'm afraid he'll crack or botch it, and it will all come out. I refuse to be sacrificed.” He rubbed his forehead one last time and pushed his kerchief into his pocket. “Be careful for the next few days, eh? Watch your step.”

With a last pat, he cocked his head, listening for any sign of someone nearby, and then opened the curtains to step out. Hesitated.

“You should be safe enough.” With a little nod of his head, he slipped out between the heavy curtains, leaving nothing behind but the sharp scent of his pomade and his sweat.

Phoebe collapsed onto the deep window seat, her fingers clutching at the thin cushions beneath her.

Her betrothal was over. And from the way Sheldrake had spoken, he was involved in something illegal, or at least immoral. He was running from the authorities.

She lifted a hand and rubbed it over her heart. She touched her face, but the tears she expected weren't there.

After some time had passed, she couldn't say how long, she stood and parted the curtains. Walked slowly back to the light and sound of the ballroom.

Her world, her future as she had thought it would be, was gone.

All she could feel was relief.
About the Author:

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. From the Tudor court, to the streets of Regency London and into magical landscapes, she's never happier than when she's building worlds and crafting plots. 

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads

(Note: I received the above promo info from the author herself. ~Punya)


Mary Preston said...

The last book I read was WYRD SISTERS by Terry Pratchett.

Punya said...

Hey Mary, thanks for stopping by and entering the giveaway. :)

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