Here’s Chapter 1 of The Key with Hearts, available now at online distributors everywhere: Amazon / Kobo / B & N & many more.
Friday, 3 September 1813 ~ Myers Buckland manor and estate in Wiltshire, England
The little dog nosed along the edge of the bricked planters. His white tail wagged, excitement quivering through his whole body. He sniffed at every speck, whether dirt or leaf or twig. Brightly colored ribbons, tied tightly together to create a long leash, trailed over his back and the terrace’s paving stones.
His sniffing increased. He growled. His short nose swept across the slate-colored pavers. He retreated several steps as he tracked the scent, then followed it back to the grass. The clipped grass tickled his nose. He strained against the ribbon leash as he dug at the stones, as if the pavers were the edge of a cairn hiding a vicious rodent. Then his head popped up. Ears pricked forward. Dark eyes stared at the high hedge with its thick branches of boxwoods.
He glanced behind him at the woman holding one end of his tether. They had ended their walk by traversing the maze. Throughout their tour of the garden, she seemed distracted, barely attending to his tugs on the leash. Now her gaze focused on the drive that swept from the parkland. The gravel turned into a gentle curve as it approached the manor’s forecourt. The little terrier sniffed the air. Then he lunged forward.
The leash held him back. He strained against it then lunged again, but his paws didn’t find grass beneath him. His claws scrabbled on the pavers. He barked.
A baffling murder interrupts a charming romance in The Danger of Secrets.
Maddy Whittaker pursues a flirtation with Gordon, Lord Musgrove, as a pleasant distraction from daily concerns. Then she encounters secrets of family, secrets of the heart, and secrets of blood and pain, all served up for Valentine’s Day at a country manor in Regency England.
Too bad for Maddy and Gordon that secrets can kill.
More than charm will be needed for Maddy to overcome past secrets and present dangers to marry her perfect match in The Dangers of Secrets, a Regency mystery, Book 4 in the Hearts in Hazard series.
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Elizabeth Fortescue comes to Feldstone Grange seeking the position of housekeeper. She expects the Baron Harcourt to claim she’s too
young and pretty for the position, even though she’s qualified and has excellent references.
Yet the baron is desperate to hire someone, having lost five housekeepers over the past six months. He doesn’t know what drove them away.
On her first night at the Grange, Elizabeth encounters two ghosts. One is the well-known Silent Lady; none of the servants know anything about the other ghost.
Over the next week, her connection with Lord Harcourt becomes more than servant to employer. She likes her position and her employer. He also appears to like her, wanting to meet with her daily.
One ghost, though, persists in its haunting of her, enticing her to follow it.
Is it a real ghost? Is a fellow servant attempting to terrify her? Or does someone have a wicked reason to haunt the new housekeeper?
Elizabeth doesn’t know the answer—but she has more incentive to stay than leave.
Will she remain at the Grange? Or will the second ghost’s increasing hauntings drive her away?
Or lead her into death?
The Dark Lord is the first in a series of paranormal novellas from M.A. Lee, who writes historical mysteries and suspense with a dash of romance. This novella is first in the Miss Beale Writes series. They are best described as vintage gothics.
Like M.A. Lee’s Hearts in Hazard 12-book series, set in Regency England, the six novellas will be loosely interconnected, but each is a stand-alone story.
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The Key for Spies ~ book 8 in the Hearts in Hazard series of historical mysteries/suspense.
Spies and traitors. Lies and treachery. Unexpected love where bullets fly.
One traitor destroys loyalty. What will two traitors destroy?
The British spy Simon Pargeter scouts the terrain for Wellington’s army in French-controlled Spain. Miriella de Teba ye Olivita, the famed Doñabella, wants to give him aid, but she must first find the traitor lurking in her band of guerillas.
Can Simon escape the French patrol hot on his trail? With Major Pierre LeCuyer actively seeking Doñabella’s identity, can Miri hold her guerrillas together long enough to get the information Simon needs? Can she locate the traitor before she is unmasked?
Or will the traitors reap the reward while Simon and Miri swing from a gallows?
Meet the protagonist Simon and one of the antagonists for The Key for Spies, a January release by M.A. Lee in her historical mystery / suspense series Hearts in Hazard.
1st April 1813, Thursday
That’s what his older brother called it, back when they’d run together. They’d taken to the dark streets, smashed locks to steal pastries or sausages, pried open windows to climb into dark rooms, and stolen locked boxes with stashes of coins. He never knew who Mattias worked for. Belly stuffed with iced rolls or spiced sausage, he had trailed behind his brother. Until the gendarmes caught Mat with a hand stuck in the alms box.
Hidden behind a dark column, he’d frozen when the gendarmes appeared. Then black wings flapped before his face. He ran until his sides hurt and his too-tight shoes split along the worn sides. He’d abandoned his brother, a betrayal that had never left him.
The next day he ran on to Marseilles. There, he re-invented himself as Pierre LeCuyer.