Category Archives: authors

Public Speaking – yay or nay?

Do you cringe at the thought of public speaking? A lot of people do. Me, not so much. Stick a microphone in my hand and let me rattle on about something I’m passionate about, and you might have a hard time getting me stopped.

I recently spoke to a seniors’ group. I started with my first trip to Scotland in 1993. The intention being to discover my roots. But along the way, I discovered a few more things… a spooky mansion top of the list. I love reading about ghosts and hauntings so seeing this hulking ruin and hearing my cousin (who I’d met earlier that day for the first time) say, “Ooh that place is filled with lots of ghosties” was fodder for the future.

Couple that with the portrait of my grandfather with his first wife, presumably on their wedding day, that fueled the fire. Did I expect a novel to come out of it? Not at the time. Seven years later, a novelette was born, entitled Sarah’s Gift.

After that, I took a creative writing course and expanded my Sarah into a novel. Many re-writes later, it was suitable for submissions to publishing houses. I signed my contract in 2011 and after many more revisions, A Shadow in the Past released in the summer of 2012.

public speaking
Me in action…

I also spoke about my collection of short stories and the storefront writing contest I participated in and how the story from it became the title short in my collection.

public speaking
Reading the blurb of my current WIP (work in progress)

I read the current back cover blurb for my work in progress. A long-lived WIP. How when I started writing it a number of years ago, the actual event that was part of my storyline happened – and more than once! That was enough to make me put that project on hold for quite a while. But, it never really went on hold 100%. I gleaned information from the newspapers, websites and anything else I could find that would aid in the research for the book.

public speaking
Reading an excerpt

I read a short excerpt from my debut novel, A Shadow in the Past, and by then my ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ were over.

Afterwards, I spoke to people on a one-to-one basis at my display. The photo below shows the storyboard I had on stage more clearly.

public speaking
with my display

And how about those tartan boots?

DEATH OF A CUCKOO by Wendy Percival #review

CuckooDeath of a Cuckoo

by

Wendy Percival

Cuckoo

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Series: An Esme Quentin Short Read

Release Date: 6 March 2017

Publisher: sBooks

A letter. A photograph. A devastating truth.

When Gina Vincent receives a letter of condolence from a stranger following her mother’s death, a photograph slipped inside reveals a disturbing truth – everything she’s ever known is based on a lie. Shocked and disorientated, she engages genealogy detective Esme Quentin to help search for answers.

The trail leads to an isolated and abandoned property on the edge of Exmoor, once the home of a strict Victorian institution called The House of Mercy and its enigmatic founder, whose influence seems to linger still in the fabric of the derelict building.

As they dig deeper, Esme realises that the house itself hides a dark and chilling secret, one which must be exposed to unravel the mystery behind Gina’s past.

But someone is intent on keeping the secret hidden. Whatever it takes.

EXTRACT

I ran down the steps and squeezed my way down the slim passage. In the recess was a narrow door but it didn’t match the faded, peeling paint of the remainder of the house’s decoration. It was brighter, as though it had been protected from the elements. As I stepped closer, I realised that’s exactly what had happened. Under my feet were pieces of broken planking. Until very recently, this doorway had been covered by a decorative panel and disguised. So who had uncovered it? It couldn’t have been there at the viewing.

LINKS

Buy link:

http://amzn.to/2nzijPK

Goodreads link:

http://bit.ly/2nieCuW

My Review

I found this book an easy read. I finished in one sitting. I loved Esme. She reminds me of a young Miss Marple, determined to get to the bottom of any mystery no matter how big or how small.

Wendy’s writing is strong and her descriptive narrative of the old Victorian institution, I felt like I was there along with her characters.

I’ll definitely be looking for more books by this author.

ABOUT WENDY PERCIVAL

Cuckoo

Wendy Percival was born in the West Midlands and brought up in the Worcestershire countryside. After training as a primary school teacher she moved to North Devon in 1980 to take up her first teaching post and remained in teaching for 20 years.

An impulse buy of Writing Magazine inspired her to start writing seriously. She won Writing Magazine’s Summer Ghost Story competition in 2002 and had a short story published in The People’s Friend before focusing on full-length fiction.

The time honoured ‘box of old documents in the attic’ stirred her interest in genealogy and became the inspiration for the Esme Quentin mystery novels Blood-Tied and The Indelible Stain. She is currently working on the third in the series, where the clandestine past of the Second World War provides the secret world into which Esme must delve to uncover the truth.

When she’s not writing fiction, Wendy conducts her own family history research, sharing her finds on her blog, www.familyhistorysecrets.blogspot.com.

Wendy lives in a Devon thatched cottage beside a 13th-century church with her husband and a particularly talkative cat.

You can find more on her website www.wendypercival.co.uk.

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2mJj8TC

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wendy_percival

Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2lhecIA

Blog: http://familyhistorysecrets.blogspot.co.uk

Website: http://www.wendypercival.co.uk

Publisher: http://sbooks.co.uk

 

LOVE BLEEDS BLUE by Emma Calin #PassionPatrol

love bleeds blue

Emma Calin announces today the release of the third novel in her ‘Passion Patrol’ series: ‘LOVE BLEEDS BLUE’.

Firmly in the ‘suspense romance’ genre, this story features another sassy female hero-cop who is as passionate about her job as she is about the love in her life. Each Passion Patrol novel can be read as a stand-alone story, characters from previous stories make cameo appearances across the series.

Book Title:

LOVE BLEEDS BLUE by Emma Calin. A stand-alone fast-moving action adventure with a love story at its core. The third novel in the Passion Patrol Series, featuring hot cops, hot crime and hot romance.

 

love bleeds blue

Blurb:

A London girl cop, a violent political crisis, an instant decision. One moment of courage to catch the destiny of history.

When single mother Sergeant Sophia Castellana stumbles into a terrorist shooting, things are not as they seem. Global forces beyond her grasp sweep her up into an audacious scheme to re-unite a world in chaos. The love of a far younger man, the infatuation of a charismatic woman leader seduce her into a blur of inappropriate love and infinite danger. Power and celebrity beckon, betrayal and violence threaten every move as events unfold in the city of Paris. Her brute courage and loving woman’s heart confront ruthless enemies who offer no second chances. She knows the streets, she knows her power as a lover. Can she, dare she seize the prizes before her? Will a world offer her the choice?

Love Bleeds Blue, another stand-alone novel in the #1 Kindle Bestseller, Passion Patrol suspense romance series . Steamy Emma Calin holds nothing back to bring you her juicy mix of cops crime and passion.

EARLY REVIEWS FOR LOVE BLEEDS BLUE:

“Politics – Philosophy – Terrorism – Romance – Coup D’ Etats – Assassinations – World Reordering – Steamy Hot Sex! An intriguing love story.” Charles Smith, USA.

“Between the criminal plots, assassination attempts, and cases of almost innocent subterfuge, Ms. Calin weaves in passionate sex scenes that threaten to set the pages on fire.” Anneli Purchase, Canada.

“Staggering!! Wonderfully descriptive coupled with an outstanding story line makes this book a must read! The underlying satire provides some essential humor through out the book.” Evonne Hutton, South Africa.

Launch Details:

LOVE BLEEDS BLUE is out, worldwide, on Amazon for Kindle and digital e-readers, on the 3rd April 2017. The print edition will be available by May 2017.

The launch price is 99c/99p and FREE on Amazon Kindle Unlimited but will go up to $2.99/£2.50 after the 17th April.

Universal Book Sales Link on Amazon: http://www.smarturl.it/AmazonLBB

COMPETITION:

For the two weeks following the launch there is a Rafflecopter sweepstake link in the back of the book, to win a brand-new Kindle Fire 7″ Tablet worth $50 (gift card equivalent alternative in countries where product not available).

 

love bleeds blue

FREE BOOK FROM THE PASSION PATROL SERIES: Try one of the Passion Patrol novels for free https://www.instafreebie.com/free/1LZ7p

 

#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 19 – Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

#SEWES2016

Sept 19 – Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

We decided after yesterday’s driveway issue, we’d park Monty on the street when we got back to the guest house after our day out.

When we arrived at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitors’ Centre, they told us the Lancaster Bomber wasn’t there because of the weather. It remained in Holland but they hoped it would be back the next day. If the weather was as bad there as in this are – low hanging cloud cover, fog and rain – it was better off to be on land, even if not where we were.

Because the Lancaster is the plane most people come to see, they gave everyone a 20% discount on their entry fee. Thanks to the guidebook I purchased, a month later when I wrote this post, I was able to identify the different planes in the hangar.

Sept 19
C47 Dakota
Sept 19
Spitfire Mk IX MK356
Sept 19
Spitfire PR Mk XIX PS915
Sept 19
AWACS (Boeing E-3 Sentry)
Sept 19
The Grandslam Bomb
Sept 19
The Grandslam Bomb
Sept 19
Bomb
Sept 19
The Tallboy Bomb
Sept 19
The Tallboy Bomb

Unfortunately, this was the only Lancaster we got to see today. Similar to Pheasant under Glass… this is Lancaster under Glass. 😉

Sept 19
Lancaster Bomber

We purchased a pair of gorgeous, crystal wine glasses with the Lancaster engraved on each among other things.

After leaving the ‘planes’ and ‘automobiles’ parts of the day, we thought we’d do ‘trains’ since the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway was nearby.

No such luck. It was closed. Even the car park barrier prevented us from parking and having a wander. Probably just as well, since the weather was awful.

Not ones to give up, we perused the area attractions map we picked up and thought we’d try the Gainsborough Model Railway. It, too, conspired against us… but we know where it is.

When we arrived back at the guest house, I parked Monty on the street (a lot further away than I wanted) but between the time we took our stuff in and left to go out for supper, a parking spot had freed up out front.

Hubby stayed there and I quickly got into Monty, turned around and parked into this much closer location.

We walked to the Aston Arms Pub for supper.

Sept 19
The Aston Arms

I ordered the Vegetable Curry. When asked if it was the one with broccoli in it, I assumed vegetable curry would include broccoli so said yes.

I ended up with their Broccoli and Cheese bake instead but OMG! It was to die for!

Sept 19
At the Aston Arms

Come time to leave I waited for Don to come out of the gents, I watched someone (who had been in the AA and from what we could tell from where we were sat, drinking) drove out of a parking spot and thought they would try to back up into the same place…?? No idea what the logic was.

Well, they backed into the car they were parked beside. One of the peeps in the car got out and attempted to direct said person out of there ASAP to the point where she moved the traffic cones (car park being readied for the market the next morning) so the chain would drag on the ground and the driver could get out and away. And get away they did.

It wasn’t until we got outside and I saw the damaged bumper on the parked car that I realized they actually made contact. Until then, I had thought to myself that it was mighty close and they didn’t miss it by much.

The damaged car belonged to a girl who worked at the bookies’ in the square. The car park has CCTV so the guilty party(ies) will get their comeuppance.

While searching for a website for the pub to include in my post, I stumbled onto this little gem. I had no idea that The Aston Arms was the inspiration behind Saturday Night’s Alright

Mind you, after what we saw in the car park out front, well, I can see believe it.

#CONTEST ~ Help me choose a title for your chance to win…

Fancy your title on the cover of a book, your name mentioned in the acknowledgements? It could happen! For the month of March, I’m running a book title cover contest.

Not to worry, I am giving you some help starting with the image that will grace the cover. Are the creative juices starting to flow?

haunted cover 72 dpi

Here’s what the book is about…

Sometimes there’s more to a house than bricks and mortar.

Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.

Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.

Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel the mystery of the haunting of Hillcrest House?

How about now?

How does it all work, I hear you ask.

Contest details…

Contest opens March 1, 2016 and runs until March 31, 2016.

Come up with a title and leave your idea in the comments. And for those of you who would like to take your chances but aren’t comfortable leaving a comment on a blog, send an email to Title Contest.

At the end of the contest, one lucky entrant’s title will be chosen. He/she will receive an e-copy of the book (Mobi, epub or pdf – their choice) and their name included in the acknowledgements.

Another winner will be chosen at random from the non-winning titles.

Enter as many times as you like but be sure you do before the deadline for your chance to win.

Good luck!

While I Was Waiting by Georgia Hill ~ BOOK PROMO

while I was waiting

While I Was Waiting

By Georgia Hill

 

while I was waiting

Genre: Historical/time-slip romance

Release Date: 2/7/15 (e-pub) 10/9/15 (print)

Publisher: Harper Impulse

Tired of her life in London, freelance illustrator Rachel buys the beautiful but dilapidated Clematis Cottage and sets about creating the home of her dreams. But tucked away behind the water tank in the attic and left to gather dust for decades, is an old biscuit tin containing letters, postcards and a diary. So much more than old scraps of paper, these are precious memories that tell the story of Henrietta Trenchard-Lewis, a love lost in the Great War and the girl who was left behind.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

ABOUT GEORGIA HILL

while I was waiting

I used to live in London, where I worked in the theatre. Then I got the bizarre job of teaching road safety to the U.S. navy – in Marble Arch!

A few years ago, I did an ‘Escape to the Country’. I now live in a tiny Herefordshire village, where I scandalise the neighbours by not keeping ‘country hours’ and being unable to make a decent pot of plum jam. Home is a converted Oast house (Old agricultural building used for drying hops), which I share with my two beloved spaniels, husband (also beloved) and a ghost called Zoe.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel widely, though prefer to set my novels closer to home. Perhaps more research is needed? I’ve always wanted to base a book in the Caribbean!

I am addicted to Belgian chocolate, Jane Austen and, most of all, Strictly Come Dancing.

AUTHOR LINKS

https://www.facebook.com/georgiahillauthor/

https://twitter.com/georgiawrites

http://www.georgiahill.co.uk/

https://www.pinterest.com/georgiawrites/

GIVEAWAY

A print copy of the book (Open Internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Edge of Sanity by Sheryl Browne ~ BOOK PROMO

SANITY

THE EDGE OF SANITY

BY SHERYL BROWNE

 

SANITY

Title of Book: The Edge of Sanity

Genre: Thriller/Psychological thriller/Crime thriller

Release Date: 29th April 2014

Publisher: Safkhet Publishing

The Edge of Sanity – How far would YOU go to protect your family?

A decent, ordinary man, a man who has already suffered the loss of one child, Daniel Conner is forced by extraordinary circumstances into being a hero. Tortured, forcibly drugged—heroin still pulsating nauseatingly through his veins—his wife and daughter degraded, Daniel knows their kidnapper is beyond reasoning with. But does being pushed one step beyond endurance justify doing the unthinkable?

High on drugs, indebted to his supplier, and desperate, Charlie Roberts takes Daniel’s wife and daughter hostage. Daniel does everything within his power to rescue the situation bloodlessly. Eventually though, Daniel realises that with or without violent mood swings induced by amphetamines and cocaine, Charlie Roberts is a psychopath. He wants more than Daniel’s money.

He wants him.

The Edge of Sanity: a harrowing story of hope amid loss and betrayal.

Shortlisted for the Crime, Thrillers & Mystery SpaSpa Book Award for books published in 2014.

SANITY

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK

Amazon US

ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE

SANITY

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, poignant fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has seven books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies

Sheryl’s new contemporary romance novel was recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer. THE REST OF MY LIFE comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

SANITY

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Buy | Buy US | Pinterest

Loveahappyending Lifestyle

Safkhet Publishing | Choc Lit | Romantic Novelists’ Association

VIDEO LINKS

http://youtu.be/dj9odzKhhdg

GIVEAWAY

E-copy of either Death Sentence or Edge of Sanity.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love by Linn B Halton ~ BOOK PROMO & EXCERPT

sugar

A LITTLE SUGAR, A LOT OF LOVE

BY LINN B. HALTON

 

sugar

Genre: Chick Lit

Release Date: 15 January 2016

Publisher: Choc Lit

A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love

Life isn’t all love and cupcakes …

Katie has had her fair share of bad luck, but when she finally realises her dream of opening a bakery it seems things can only get better.

But the reality of running a business hits Katie hard and whilst her partner, Steve, tries to help she begins to sense that the situation is driving them further apart. Could Katie be set to lose her relationship and her dream job?

Then, one winter’s day, a man walks into her shop – and, in the space of that moment, the course of Katie’s life is changed.

But nobody finds happiness in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it takes two Christmases, three birthdays and a whole lot of cake to get there …

Previously released as Sweet Occasions by the author. Revised and edited by Choc Lit December 2015.

sugar

EXCERPT:

Grandma Grace peers at me with interest over the top of her glasses, taking the box from my hands and placing it on the side. She wraps her arms around as much of me as she can reach, being at least a foot shorter, and gives me a fierce hug.

‘Thank you, my dear, but the only present I wanted was to see you standing here in one piece. It’s such a long journey and the weather! That rain is relentless, so many places are flooded. To think of you at the side of the road worried me to death and I will admit to saying a few little prayers as one hour turned into two, then three …’

She raises her eyebrow sternly, but it’s a brief moment before those twinkly blue eyes are full of love and laughter again.

‘My boy is here and that’s all that counts.’

‘Grandma, I haven’t been a boy for many years,’ I retort, softly, as she releases me with a tender pat on my back. She might be in her twilight years but her spirit is strong and her mind as sharp as ever. We all thought she’d fade away when Pop died, but the truth is he’s the one who would have faded if she had gone first.

‘You will always be a boy to me. Now, tell me more about this guardian angel of yours.’

While the tea is brewing and the cake is sliced, I hang around the kitchen as I did when I was growing up. Grandma Grace was always easy to talk to; she seemed to understand even when the words wouldn’t come. Her instincts filled in the gaps at times when even I couldn’t make sense of what was going on inside my head. After this failed relationship I began to despair of ever finding someone special.

‘You can’t hurry love,’ she’d told me. ‘It takes time to find your soulmate and in the process you change and grow. That’s why young love often withers, as Pop would have said. Two people either change and grow together, or they grow apart. Love is about sustaining what comes after that first hormonal rush.’

‘But that wasn’t the case for the two of you,’ I remember pointing out.

‘There has to be an exception to every rule,’ she’d replied, with a wicked smile. ‘We were lucky. Fate was kind to us. But with hindsight, we were too young and naive to understand that until much later in life. Don’t fret, Adam, there’s a wonderful young woman out there for you when the time is right.’

Sadly, when I reached that point it too turned out to be yet another huge failure. This time the consequences had been more painful than I could ever have imagined. Kelly was everything I thought I wanted in a woman and, after adjusting to the shock of an unplanned pregnancy, she was a fantastic mother. With hindsight I can see now that parenthood came too early in our relationship, we hardly knew each other. Suddenly I was a family man and yet, surprisingly, the role seemed to come naturally to me. I loved Sunday mornings the best. When a little head would appear on the pillow next to me at some unearthly hour and a warm little hand would wind its way around my neck.

Lily Grace is my sanity, my raison d’être.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

ABOUT LINN B. HALTON

sugar

“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, and writing. Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache…”

An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award. Linn writes chick lit, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.

Website/blog: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/
Twitter: @LinnBHalton FB: Linn B Halton Author
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/LittleSugarLotOfLove

Giveaway

Contest Open Internationally – No Purchase necessary
1st Prize – £25 Amazon Voucher
2nd Prize – Cupcake themed Swag Bag

a Rafflecopter giveaway