SCOUNDREL FOR HIRE, Book 1, Velvet Lies Series
Author: Adrienne deWolfe
Genre: Western Historical Romance with paranormal elements (a ghost, a fortune teller, and a seance)
Publisher: ePublishing Works
Date of Publication (ebook format): June 2013
Formats available: eBook (mass market paperback is out of print)
Velvet Lies Series:
- Book 1: SCOUNDREL FOR HIRE
- Book 2: HIS WICKED DREAM
- Book 3: SEDUCED BY AN ANGEL
- Book 4: DEVIL IN TEXAS (Available 2014)
Raphael Jones is a Kentucky-born scoundrel, who has never played by the rules. When Colorado mining heiress, Silver Nichols, hires him to stop her precious daddy from marrying a golddigger, Rafe sets out to seduce Silver and win her fortune.
But beneath Silver’s cool veneer, Raphael encounters an aching vulnerability and a smoldering passion that could make his whole world go up in smoke.
In this high-stakes gamble for love and riches, the wily scoundrel wagers the one thing he can’t afford to lose — his heart.
Rafe and Silver (Diamond Hoax)
A gentle “Eh-hem” and the captivating whiff of lavender distracted Rafe from his worries about Fred’s mining hoax. To his surprise, he found Silver Nichols standing companionably by his side. The corner of her mouth curved in a half-smile.
“I suppose,” she murmured, “the gentleman with the, er, diamonds is a friend of yours?”
The velvety timbre of her voice claimed his attention more thoroughly than a clap of thunder. He hadn’t expected a mining heiress to sound like she looked: rich. Sinfully rich. He was entertaining a delicious vision of hot fudge and cherries, when the full implication of her words slammed into his brain.
“I beg your pardon?”
“The man in the top hat. I daresay he’s your accomplice?”
Somehow, Rafe managed not to choke on his tongue. “My dear young woman, I fail to understand—”
“I rather doubt that,” she cut in smoothly. “You look much too intelligent. Canny, in fact. However, I am willing to believe that you are naive about the swift justice that mining juries dole out.” She turned once more to watch Fred’s con, playing out so flawlessly before them. “So let me give you a tip. The geologist you’re impersonating is about two-thirds your height, twice your weight, and his pate is just shy of bald.”
Rafe entertained a vision of throttling Fred, who had assured him that Bartholomew Markham, the renowned Pennsylvania geologist, hadn’t set foot in a western mining town since the war.
However, Rafe hadn’t spent the last fifteen years as a professional flimflam artist to let some cheeky millionaire’s daughter get the upper hand now. He eyed Silver with a nerve that he’d honed at fourteen, bluffing his way through Shakespeare’s Juliet, while all-male audiences had pelted him with tomatoes.
“Good heavens.” He chuckled. “Uncle Bartie and I look nothing alike. Now I’m beginning to understand your confusion, Miss Nichols.”
He could feel her appraising gaze poring over him with the same attention that a bookkeeper might use on accounts. He couldn’t help but lament the irony. Here he was, standing thigh to thigh with an unmarried heiress, and he was insisting that he was some middle-aged greenhorn with a paunch!
“So you claim to be Mr. Markham’s nephew,” she said slowly, an unmistakable lilt in her voice. “You must be from Philadelphia, then.”
“The Cradle of Liberty itself.”
“How delightful,” she drawled. “I’m from Philadelphia, too.”
“Yes, well, I, er, was merely born there,” he recovered as gracefully as he could. Damn her anyway. Was she really from Philadelphia?
Unable to take that chance, he hastened to add, “I spent most of my youth in…” Hesitating, he cast her a sideways glance. Where would a lawless sport be safe from female busy bodies? “…Abilene. And later, in Dodge City.”
“Dodge City? Oh my.” Her eyes twinkled like twin stars as they laughed up at him. “A geologist in a cowtown. I can just imagine what you must have dug up.”
He glowered at her.
“So tell me Mr. Kansas geologist,” she purred, “in what sort of rock formation might one find bituminous coal?”
Their eyes locked.
Rafe’s heart sank. He didn’t have the vaguest idea.
SCOUNDREL FOR HIRE
Book 1, Velvet Lies
Author Donates Royalties to Help Plant Trees
I grew up in the woodlands of Western Pennsylvania, where my playground was a hardwood forest of maple, white oak, elm, and dogwood — plus plenty of poison ivy. (::shudder::)
Nevertheless, trekking through the woods to find the perfect tree, where I could eat my lunch and pour my heart into my journal, remains one of my fondest childhood memories.
When I set out to write Scoundrel For Hire (Book 1, Velvet Lies,) I knew I had to give my rogue hero some redeeming characteristic to make him lovable. I looked out the window of my Austin, Texas, home and saw the sunset filtering through a forest of live oaks. Their deeply green leaves were limned in shades of crimson, tangerine and gold.
That’s when I knew that Raphael Jones would become a “Robin Hood” for the environment. That he would fight the Colorado industrialists, who were polluting his precious Roaring Fork River with sawdust – a cloying goop that was making the orphaned, baby otter that he had rescued reluctant to swim.
I love that my Velvet Lies series is being published in ebook. I feel better about being an author when I know that my ebooks have saved trees.
While ebook sales in the United States have steadily increased over the last few years, they only account for about a quarter of total U.S. publishing revenue. That means a lot of trees are still being cut to supply the country with millions of paperback and hardback books each year.
Several years ago, while I was researching a freelance article about recycling paper waste, I learned that one tree produces approximately 1,000 paperback books. A typical print run for a mid-list romance novel is between 30,000 and 50,000 books — in other words, 30 to 50 trees. I think this statistic comes as a surprise to many people, who haven’t thought about the effects of something potentially benign, like novels, on the environment.
Looking at my career in terms of our shrinking global community, I decided I wanted to be proactive. I wanted to do something that would help raise public awareness. So I came up with the idea of donating a portion of my royalties from the Velvet Lies series to tree-planting efforts performed through the Nature Conservancy.
I hope that you will agree that urban reforestation is a worthy project. Every time you purchase a novel from the Velvet Lies series, you can feel good, knowing that you will be helping to plant a tree! With a little luck, Rafe, Silver, and the rest of the Velvet Lies gang will put a smile on your face for other reasons, too.
Upcoming novels by Adrienne deWolfe:
- Devil in Texas (Book 4, Velvet Lies), featuring Cass, “the other man” in Sera’s love triangle with Jesse. For a sneak peek of Cass’s story, visit: http://ebookdiscovery.com.p8.hostingprod.com/AdrienneDeWolfe.html
- DarkWind (Book 1, Guardians of Aeld,) a YA Fantasy series. For a sneak peek featuring Raevyn, the Wind Sorceress visit: http://wizardmagicfantasy.com/darkwind-meet-raevyn-the-wind-sorceress/
- Wizards of the Wild West (series.) To chuckle at the Wizard’s otherworldly sidekick, visit: http://wizardmagicfantasy.com/meet-the-wizards-sidekick-a-cornish-knocker-2/
For more sneak peeks and updates about my novels, subscribe to the RSS feed for my Fantasy blog at http://feeds.feedburner.com/FantasyAdrienneDewolfe or subscribe to my reader newsletter at http://eepurl.com/wGwan
You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Good Reads, Pinterest, and Google+.
Adrienne deWolfe is a #1 Bestselling Author and a recipient of 48 writing awards, including the Best Historical Romance of the Year. She consistently delights readers with sexy, action-packed, western-style romances, including her Wild Texas Nights series and her Velvet Lies series. In addition, she is the author of the bestselling non-fiction ebook series, The Secrets to Getting Your Romance Novel Published.
Fascinated by all things mystical, Adrienne writes a weekly blog about dragons, magic, and the paranormal at http://MagicMayhemBlog.com to help her research her upcoming YA Epic Fantasy series. She also writes a weekly blog with fiction writing tips and advice about the business of writing at http://WritingNovelsThatSell.com. She enjoys mentoring aspiring authors and offers professional story critiques and book coaching services.