With: Donna MacMeans
Congratulations to “Joan V.”, the winner in Donna’s giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!
Madrid, Spain 1853
May God have mercy on my soul!
My name is Padre Rodriquez, alchemist to Her Most Catholic Majesty The Queen of the Spains, and I am dammed. I had no intention of imprisoning the charming Mamoiselle Charlebois in molten iron. The Queen blackmailed me. I had no choice. I don’t know how she learned I had successfully managed to capture the essence of small animals in iron, but she forced me to use my skill on a human, and now the lovely Mamoiselle is trapped in gates destined for the distant city of New Orleans in America. To add insult to injury, she blessed the gates that all that touch them will receive their charm. Do they know she meant the charm teacher trapped inside? Will she be trapped for all eternity? Please Madeline. Forgive me.
I love paranormal romance! I love humor. I combined both in Charming of the Professor, which is a finalist for both the Reader’s Choice Award and the Prism award for time-travel/steampunk.
Here’s the true inspiration for this story: The Charm Gates are real and still on display at the Court of Two Sisters. That’s a picture of the gates and my agent, Cori Deyoe of Three Seas Literary Agency to the side. If you can’t read the sign, it says:
“These Charm Gates were wrought in Spain especially for the Court of Two Sisters. According to legend, Queen Isabella had them blessed so that their charm would pass onto anyone who touched them.”
I wondered how this “blessing” came to be. When I researched Queen Isabella II, I learned she was a vindictive, unloved sovereign. Such a person might be jealous of a young woman that is everything the queen is not, and might be tempted to get rid of her in a way that could never be proven.
CHARMING THE PROFESSOR
The Charm Gates have stood at The Court of Two Sisters for more than a century with no one guessing the secret they hold. A jealous vindictive Spanish queen and a blackmailed alchemist have encased French “charm teacher” Madeline Charlebois’s essence inside the gates, at least until a grieving professor touches them during a storm and Madeline tumbles out, not in her own 19th century Spain, but in 21st century New Orleans.
Quantum physics Professor Grant Stewart has mourned his wife’s death for the last three years. But he must move on for his young daughter’s sake, the child who delights in terrorizing babysitters. Grant needs adequate childcare to pursue tenure at Tulane. What he doesn’t need is a French beauty believing nonsense like time-travel and voodoo, and whose very being is melting his heart.
Maddie may be without resources but she’s good at making new friends, even if they are on the quirky side. She believes Professor Stewart can return her home, but first she must earn his trust to win his cooperation. Babysitting his daughter gives her both proximity, and love for the child. Will Grant be the key to returning to her time? Or will she, in turn, unlock his frozen heart? All they need is time and maybe a little voodoo…
Ratings: 4.8 stars on Amazon, 4.6 stars on Goodreads
Are you intrigued? Here’s a peek at the first meet:
Shoot! He hadn’t meant to scare her. She hovered about a foot away, posing in some frilly, tiered period costume straight off the set of Gone With The Wind. She brandished some fancy do-da umbrella like a sword, twirling the pointed end in tiny threatening circles..
“You some kind of tour guide?” He asked, rubbing the tender spot where his head had met brick. A wet viscous substance coated his fingertips.
“I won’t hurt you.” He held up his hand like a policeman directing to ward off the threatening umbrella. “I haven’t the strength to battle a fly at the moment. You needn’t be afraid.” Using the brick wall for support, he pulled himself slowly to his feet. “Was it lightning? I saw a flash right before I hit the wall.”
Her lips parted as if to reply, but then she hesitated. She frowned, then tried again as if her lips wouldn’t mold the word. Her umbrella pointed from the floor to his chest. “Who?”
“Who am I?” He tapped his shirt. The woman’s face eased in relief. You’d think a tour guide would be a bit more communicative.
“I was about to ask you the same question.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m Grant Stewart.”
He extended his hand in greeting, but as she didn’t advance he used it to brush the dust off his pants. “Who?” He said gruffly, pointing toward her in a similar fashion.
She straightened, lowered her weapon to her side, then curtsied in a simple yet elegant bend.
“Je m’appelle Mamoiselle Madeline Rosette Allegra Charlebois. Je suis une demoiselle de la cour d’Isabella.” She hesitated, cocked her head then continued, as if testing the sound, “Queen of Spain.”
“Queen of Spain, huh?” Yeah, right. He glanced to the floor for his fallen cell phone. “Sounds like someone else took a blow to the head.”
Her face brightened, her smile adding kilowatts to the dingy hallway.
“Monsieur. The queen? Nous avons visité…” She stumbled for the word, opting instead to puff out her cheeks and swirl her arms in wide arcs.
Just his luck, he meets an angel and she turns out to be on permanent Mardi Gras.
I’m giving away a copy of Charming the Professor to someone chosen by a random number generator. Tell me, do you believe in time-travel? If you could, would you go forward or back in time?
About the author:
Critically acclaimed award-winning author Donna MacMeans made a wrong turn many years ago when she majored in Accounting at Ohio State University. Balancing books just can’t compete with crafting plots and inventing memorable characters. . A licensed CPA, she has published eight books with a NY publisher, a small press, and as an indie author. She writes seductively witty historical romance, fun paranormal romance and an intense romantic suspense. A Romance Writers of America © Golden Heart winner, she has also received Romantic Times’s Reviewer Choice Award for Historical Love & Laughter. She resides in a suburb near Columbus, Ohio with her husband of forty + years and one adult child that refuses to leave the nest.
Find Donna at www.DonnaMacMeans.com.
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