Author: Diane Merrill Wigginton
Series: Jeweled Dagger Series (Book 1) (The Benjamin Franklin Award Winning Series)
Genre: Historical Romance/Suspense
Publisher: Jeweled Dagger Publishing
Release Date: Feb 14 2017
Edition/Format: 2nd Edition/Formats ~ eBook & Print
Angelina Stewart is a beautiful, bold, independent woman hiding a terrible secret. After returning home from a sea voyage, she is touted as a hero for saving her family’s ship and crew from a band of ruthless pirates, but Angelina feels like such a fraud. At the same time, her psychic abilities are becoming more pronounced as she attempts to unravel the mystery of London’s gruesome murders before she becomes the killer’s next victim.
Captain Jude Deveraux is leading a double life as well. He and his band of French privateers steal, rob, and plunder unsuspecting ships that have the misfortune of wandering into their domain. Awarded a title by the King of France for bravery during battle, The Duke of Bayonne, A.K.A. Pirate Captain, Jude Deveraux, takes what he wants from the world as he and best friend, Honore live each day as if it were their last. That is until the day Jude discovers that the only thing he truly wants is to capture the untamed heart of fiery tempered, Angelina for his own.
As I looked about the room, I spotted Mary Wheatly, the bane of my existence. We went to school together. I thought her mean-spirited then and even more so now.
Her father, George, and mother, Prudence, owned two dress shops in the high-rent districts of London along with a millinery factory and two millinery shops: one for men’s hat needs, the other for fashionably well-paying ladies. They’d made their money by catering to the wealthy.
Mary was pleasant enough to look at, with her stylish blond curls fashioned high upon her head, and powdered. Personally, I prefer natural hair without all the goopy grease to make the powder stick. But then again, most people refuse to bathe, opting instead to douse themselves in perfumes, finding this a satisfactory option to washing. That’s when fans and scented hankies come in handy.
As I was saying, Mary was pleasant enough to look at if it wasn’t for her ghastly smile, and voice. Her voice was like two alley cats fighting it out in the middle of the night. It was so unexpected that it grated on the ears. Bad teeth and grating voice aside, my biggest objection of her was her attitude toward the so-called unwashed masses. Those Mary had deemed unworthy of her compassion and of little consequence to society.
The one person I do love beyond all else in this world is Sarah Burgess, my best friend. We grew up together as neighbors in London. Her father, Lord Burgess, was a member of the House of Lords at Parliament. He made his money the old-fashioned way. He married it.
Sarah was presently seated right next to Mary Wheatly, attempting to look interested in something the old girl was saying. Sarah’s delicate blue eyes caught mine from across the room as she pleaded with me to save her.
Feigning as if I were going to leave her in her present circumstance, I broke out the fan and began to fan myself until I noticed the daggers reflected in her eyes shooting my way.
Deciding Sarah had endured enough torture for one afternoon, I smiled and nodded to her, giving our well-practiced signal that help was on the way. I took a turn around the pastry table, picking out a lovely dish with the most scrumptious-looking piece of confectionery delight. With barely a misstep, I picked up the plate, fork, and napkin in one fell swoop and continued on my journey. I was on a mission of mercy and would not be diverted.
“Good day to you, Mary, have you tasted the scrumptious lemon cake yet? It is simply the best I have ever tried. Could I borrow Lady Burgess for a moment? I am in dire need of her opinion on something very important. Thank you so much.” Ambushing Mary quickly, and before she had the opportunity to gather her wits about her, I deposited the plate in her hand without even waiting for an answer, while pulling Sarah from the settee with my other hand.
“Of course, a piece of lemon cake would be lovely, thank you, Lady Stewart,” Mary replied, with a rather puzzled look on her face.
“Please excuse us,” I sweetly offered as I turned my back to her.
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Born in Riverside, California in 1963, my family and I moved to San Diego when I was nearly 8. I had a very rich life growing up, with my brother, David and best friend Gigi, for company. I was married to my current husband, David in 1998 and we moved to Herald, California in 2001. We have a blended family of 6 kids and enjoy the rural life on our 5 1/2 acre ranch, 45 minutes south of Sacramento. I love writing and creating stories that are different and intriguing. I like to give my readers a little something unexpected. I have always wanted to be a published author, but the timing never seemed right. Raising a family and working full time always took precedence. Shortly after I turned 50 I decided that it would never be the right time, and determined that I needed to live my truth and follow my dreams. So I began writing on a whim, and loved everything about it. My first book is out, and the second one is at the publishers, scheduled to be released, April 4, 2017. I am currently working on book 3 of my series, slated to release the first week in August, 2017. I am very excited about the future, and thrilled to be writing. I count my blessings every day because I know how truly lucky I am. Life is good.