HEART OF STONE by John Jackson #historic #fiction

stoneHeart of Stone

by

John Jackson

stone

Genre: Historic Fiction

Release Date: 24th October 2017

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Dublin, 1730

When young and beautiful Mary Molesworth is forced to marry Robert Rochford, widowed heir to the earldom of Belfield, she finds that her idea of love is not returned. Jealous, cruel and manipulative, Robert ignores her after she has provided him with a male heir, preferring to spend his nights with his mistress. Power-hungry, Robert builds up a reputation that sees him reach for the highest positions in Ireland.

Caught in an unhappy marriage, Mary begins to grow closer to Robert’s younger brother, Arthur. Acknowledging their love for each other, they will risk everything to be together. But Robert’s revenge threatens their lives and tears them apart.

Will Mary and Arthur find a way to escape Robert’s clutches?

Based on real events, Heart of Stone is a tale of power, jealousy, imprisonment, and love, set in 1740s Ireland.

BUY LINKS

http://amzn.to/2imoHtd

http://amzn.to/2xPutL9

ABOUT JOHN JACKSON

stone

Following a lifetime at sea, John Jackson has now retired and lives in York and has now turned his hand to writing fiction.

An avid genealogist, he found a rich vein of ancestors. They included Irish peers, country parsons, and army and navy officers. They opened up Canada and Australia and fought at Waterloo.

John is a keen member of the Romantic Novelists Association and graduated through their New Writers Scheme. He is also a member of the Historic Novel Society and an enthusiastic conference-goer for both.
He describes himself as being “Brought up on Georgette Heyer from an early age, and, like many of my age devoured R L Stevenson, Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe and the like.”

His modern favorite authors include Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow, Lindsey Davis, Liz Fenwick and Kate Mosse.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=597036631

Twitter: @jjackson42

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17103004.John_Jackson?from_search=true

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/john5642/

Blog: https://johnjacksonauthor.com/

#excerpt from The Secret of Hillcrest House #ghosts #secrets #haunted

Since Halloween is only a week away, I thought I would treat you to another excerpt from The Secret of Hillcrest House.
hillcrest house

Blurb

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 Secret of Hillcrest House?

Excerpt

Once she reached Hillcrest House, Jessica pulled out the list and started making phone calls. Luckily, the glazier and locksmith could come right away. The electrician wouldn’t be able to until the following day.

The front verandah creaked and groaned under her feet. She would have to replace the boards before long – before someone fell through them. Letting herself in the front door, she left it wide open to let in the available light.

She took her camera out of her handbag and took photos of the foyer, the corridor leading to the kitchen, and the stairs. Next, Jessica entered the large sitting room off to the right. Closed shutters covered many of the windows. She worked her way around opening them to let in what light could penetrate the filthy glass. More photos from every angle in the room. An enormous fireplace with a huge mantle mirror above it stood along the inside wall next to the doorway. Cobwebs covered it like every other ornate surface in the room. Window trim, the chandelier, and table lamps wore a coating of the gossamer fibers. Mounted on either side of the firebox were two demonic heads with rings in their mouths. Jessica had never seen anything like them before. Their evil appearance was further emphasized by the sticky webbing stretching down from the mirror. She took about a dozen photographs of just the heads. Across from the hearth, a section of the wainscoting at least ten feet wide reached all the way to the ceiling. In the rest of the room, it stopped about three feet lower.

Over the next few hours, Jessica visited every room in the house taking photos as she went. When she reached the room where she’d seen the person in the window the day before it was much colder than the others. An icy, clammy chill came over her. Sweat beaded and ran down the back of her neck, settling at the waistband of her jeans. She shivered but carried on.

 

BUY LINKS

amazon

Barnes and Noble

kobobooks

iBooks

and

Books a Million

A VICARAGE CHRISTMAS by Kate Hewitt #women’sfiction #giveaway

vicarage

A Vicarage Christmas

by

Kate Hewitt

 

vicarage

Series: The Holley Sisters of Thornthwaite Bk 1

Genre: Women’s fiction/romance

Release Date: October 18, 2017

Publisher: Tule Publishing

Welcome to Thornthwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings happen and surprises are in store for the four Holley sisters…

Anna Holley, the third of four sisters, has always felt a little bit forgotten. A family tragedy when she was a child had her retreating deep into shyness, and social anxiety kept her on the fringes of the cozy, chaotic bustle of the busy vicarage.

When she finished school Anna left for Manchester and tried to avoid coming back home and the well-meaning nosiness being a Holley sister in a small village like Thornthwaite meant… but when her father says he has an important announcement to make, she’s drawn back home for the happy chaos of a vicarage Christmas.

Avoiding her sisters’ bossy questions, Anna heads out to the local pub one night, and meets a handsome stranger nursing a pint. Somehow, unburdened by expectations, Simon seems like the perfect person to spill all her secrets to—including a hopeless, long-held crush on her sister’s boyfriend. Confident she’ll never see him again, Anna returns home… only to discover the next day that Simon is actually her father’s new curate!

Anna is beyond mortified, but Simon won’t let her retreat into her usual shyness—and for once Anna is forced to confront the past, and all the fears and feelings she’d tried so long to hide. But with his own heartache that needs to heal, can Simon help Anna to make this the most magical Christmas either of them have known?

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

ABOUT KATE HEWITT

vicarage

Kate Hewitt is the author of over 60 novels of women’s fiction and romance. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling an emotionally compelling story. An American ex-pat, she now lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five children.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KateHewittAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katehewitt1

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1269244.Kate_Hewitt

Blog: https://www.katehewitt.blogspot.co.uk

GIVEAWAY

First Prize: Amazon gift card

Second Prize: Copy of A Cotswold Christmas (ecopy)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New: Tova’s Dragon Ghost #Bookhugs by @LyndiLamont #paranormal

#BookHugs

Tova’s Dragon

by

Lyndi Lamont

 

Dragon

Tova’s Dragon
Steamy Paranormal Romance
By Lyndi Lamont

Blurb:

Seek help of the Lord of Drakkenberg. Only he can aid you. You must fly with the dragon.

Tova Svensdottir, an earth mage, is on a mission to save her homeland, the Kingdom of Velosia from the evil wizard Bruno of Grimmdorn. Her grandmother tells her to seek help of the Lord of Drakkenberg, but the old lord is dead. In his castle, high on a mountaintop, she instead encounters his son, the Outlaw Kane.

Kane fled Velosia after a futile attempt to rescue his father and his mate from Bruno’s cruel prison, killing the head guard in the process. Now that Bruno has been banished, Kane has returned to clear his name, but his purpose changes when he meets Tova.  Tova’s warmth stirs his passions and her courage touches his heart, but he dreads telling her of his true nature, certain she will recoil. But Tova is made of sterner stuff.

Together, Kane and Tova have the power to save Velosia. If they survive the coming battle. But can an earth mage find happiness with a dragonshifter?

Available at Amazon for pre-order:

Dragon
US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07635W1SR

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07635W1SR/

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07635W1SR/

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07635W1SR/

 

Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Seek help of the Lord of Drakkenberg. Only he can aid you. You must fly with the dragon.

Her grandmother’s words rang in Tova’s head as she climbed the path into the mountains. Why had Mutti Zee sent her out of her way on a fool’s errand? Everyone knew the dragonfolk had fled Velosia years ago, driven away by Bruno of Grimmdorn’s crusade against them. Until he’d been driven from power. Now Bruno had returned at the head of a mercenary army, if Mutti Zee’s vision could be believed. And Tova had no doubts. She’d felt the vibrations in the earth.

And somehow she was supposed to save the kingdom?

She raised her gaze to the sky and asked, “Why me? I’m no hero.” The heavens gave no answer, though she saw clouds form to her left. She shook her head. Now she was talking to herself, like mad Magnus, the village idiot.

She stopped to catch her breath and rest her tired legs in a level area. The path ahead grew steeper and narrower the higher it wound into the mountains. She groaned. After walking all day, her legs ached. She was glad she’d worn men’s breeches and a tunic with her sturdy boots. A gown and petticoats would be but a hindrance.

After a deep breath, she started to climb again. Dusk came early in autumn, and she needed to find shelter before dark. Castle Drakkenberg, abandoned and forlorn, perched high above on a cliff, its turrets silhouetted against the leaden sky. Almost as if mocking her with its remoteness. Too much was at stake and her chances of reaching the capital in time to warn the king were slim at best. Even without this detour, she estimated the journey to Castle Novita would take three days or more.

For centuries, the dragon lords had resided in the castle, ruling the isolated mountain communities. People in this area were known as dragonfolk, though Tova knew not why. A great puzzle, but one she had no time to ponder. With luck, she had but to find the dragonlord, and he would take charge of the quest.

A shadow blocked the sun, and she looked up at an enormous bird silhouetted against the sky. Goddess, she’d never seen such a large raptor. It turned and the sun’s rays glinted on its shiny red-gold wings and barbed tail. She stopped and stared after it, shaken to the core of her being.

No, impossible. Dragons didn’t exist. They couldn’t.

About the Author:

Dragon

Lyndi Lamont is the racy alter ego of romance author Linda McLaughlin. Writing sexy stories gives her a license to be naughty, at least between the pages of her books! She has written several full-length novels plus numerous short stories and novellas, ranging from historical to futuristic. She believes that love is unending and universal, and enjoys transporting her readers into a different world where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward.

Connect online:

Website: https://lindalyndi.com

Reading Room blog: http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LyndiLamont

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/LyndiLamont

Twitter: @LyndiLamont

Lyndi Lamont’s inspirational message: I believe love is a powerful force in this world. It brings lovers together, creates families and lives on after death in the hearts of those left behind. It may not make the world go ’round, but love makes the world a better place.

 

Ghost #BookHugs #Tirgearrpublishing #RomanticSuspense Deadly Alliance and message about friendship @RowlandKathleen

#BookHugsKathleen believes a friend is kind to another’s dreams.  Everyone struggles, and a friend who tries to understand is priceless.  When things go well, a friend shares the joy.

Kathleen Rowland

Blurb for Deadly Alliance, romantic suspense

Finbar Donahue, former Army Ranger, walked on the wild side in Iraq, but now he lives in the shadows. After his evasive partner, Les, was shot in a random drive-by, Finn discovers cash is siphoned monthly. He fights to keep his investment company afloat. When the late partner’s girlfriend, Amy Kintyre, applies for his bookkeeping job, Finn suspects she knows about his company drain and hires her.

Amy needs a nine-to-five with free evenings and weekends to get her fashion design business back on track. She unearths Les’ s secret bank account and alerts Finn. Freezing of the money laundering account sets off havoc within an Irish gang. Amy witnesses a gang fight between a brutal ISIS fundraising organization and the Irish. Desperate to escape a stalker’s crosshairs, she seeks refuge with Finn. As danger heats up, sparks fly hotter.

Interview—Finn and Amy

Let’s interview the hero of Deadly Alliance,  Finbar Donahue.

  1. Nickname: Finn. My full name is Finbar Michael Donahue.
  2. Job: I own my own investment company, but who’s the chickenshit stealing money from me? My goal is to find the thief.
  3. Level of schooling: B.A. in finance, former Army Ranger. That was when I targeted a known enemy. Believe me, it’s harder now.

I’ve got a few questions for the heroine, Amy Kintyre.

  1. What’s your dream job? I want to get my sportswear design business back on track. A few days ago a buyer phoned me and gave me an opportunity to present my line.  I need a nine-to-five with evenings and weekends off to sew mockups.
  2. Is that why you applied for Finbar Donahue’s bookkeeping job? Yes, but I have a huge problem.   Last night I found a sketchy bank account belonging to my late boyfriend, Les.  He and Finn were partners.
  3. Would you enjoy working for Finn? No, but there aren’t many job openings in Lake Arrowhead.

Short excerpt– Amy’s first day working for Finn

Hours later, Finn straightened his spine as he listened to his new bookkeeper order Rosenberg around with the authority of an Army lieutenant. She spoke with confidence from her chair and waited for answers with intensity. Somehow she came across larger than her delicate self.

“Brad,” his pretty war buddy said, “I’ll need your password to access activity-to-date.” Her attitude wasn’t for show. Her curiosity propelled her to the depths of the drain. Heaven help those who lurked there.

“Sure thing.” Brad blew out a breath and scribbled his password on a sticky note. Handing it to her, he bent to her level.

She said, “I apologize for causing chaos.”

“No apology necessary.” Brad asked, “What are you working on?”

Jumping in, Finn said, “Comparisons, Rosenberg, that’s what she’s working on.” Unholy as she’d undoubtedly turn out to be, at the moment they were forged in combat. “Give her your full support.”

“Absolutely. Consider me your scaffold,” Rosenberg said, accepting his fate. “Excuse me, won’t you? I’m running payroll.”

Finn liked his head accountant. He was solid. Dependable. Not creative, but his easy-going manner was soothing. “Payroll. You’re a masochist.”

Amy smiled, and her crystal-green gaze sought his. She found his comment amusing. Her professional attire included a gray satin blouse tucked into a herringbone skirt. When she moved, her layered, dark-blonde hair settled into a sleek flip over her shoulders.

Amy’s bending and reaching, as she took control of her four-by-four cubicle, was damn compelling. She found a rhythm with a handy notepad beside her computer. Using Brad’s password, she turned sideways to open files. Attractive summed up her symmetrical profile and creamy complexion.

For a long while, getting hot and heavy had not been on his mind. Her envelope gave him concrete evidence to bring to the sheriff and eased his tension. As she brushed tresses off her face, he wanted to nibble on her ear.

Amy packed her lithe frame with succulent curves. He enjoyed observing her ample bust which required high-performance support. He’d like to see those globes running free. He’d never considered her as dating material. Timing was off. When she started dating Les, he was hooking up with Miss California. Now it was too late. She worked for him. Hands off. Finn liked women—lots of women, all women, in all shapes and sizes and ethnicities as long as they met the enthusiasm requirement. He hadn’t tested this, but she was off-limits for another reason. He didn’t intend to put her through another relationship leading to nowhere.

Finn kept things loose. A woman in his bed but not in his life was what he often said. There hadn’t been that either.  Why was she looking at him like that?

Purchase links for Deadly Alliance:

 

Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deadly-Alliance-Kathleen-Rowland-ebook/dp/B019EE5OP8/

Nook

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deadly-alliance-kathleen-rowland/1123141145?ean=2940152523393

Amazon US

http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Alliance-Kathleen-Rowland-ebook/dp/B019EE5OP8/

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28225810-deadly-alliance?from_search=true&search_version=service

Bio and Links—Kathleen Rowland

Kathleen RowlandBook Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts.  Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels.   She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji.  Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.

Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors.  While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write while listening to demanding character voices in her head.

http://www.kathleenrowland.com/

https://twitter.com/rowlandkathleen

https://kathleenrowland.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.rowland.50

http://www.amazon.com/Kathleen-Rowland/e/B007RYMF7S/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1462406582&sr=1-2-ent

MURDER BY THE BARREL by Lesley Cookman #MurderMystery #guestpost

barrel

MURDER BY THE BARREL
by
Lesley Cookman

 

barrel

Series: Libby Sarjeant series number 18 (can be read as a standalone)

Genre: Cosy crime

Release Date: 5th October

Publisher: Accent Press

When the village of Steeple Martin announces its first beer festival, the locals are excited. Beer, sun and music, what could possibly go wrong?

But when an unexpected death shakes the village, it’s up to Libby Sarjeant and friends to solve the puzzle.

Was it just another rock star death or is there something more sinister afoot?

 BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

*********

The importance of a Good Title

Titles. Yes. Well, I don’t exactly pick mine. When I started the first Libby Sarjeant book – not that I knew it was the first – I called it Past Imperfect. My publisher said would anybody Get It. Eh? Do people actually know about Tenses these days? Of course, I said. I mean, you get taught them in Latin and French, as well as English Grammar. She looked at me pityingly. So I went home and asked my adult children, one of who I had just seen graduating from Uni, what they thought. They didn’t look pitying, they looked scornful.

So, my publisher said, how about Murder In Steeple Martin? The story does what it says on the tin. Oh – and please could it be a series? And so there we were. Murder has been the non-negotiable part of the title ever since. The next was easy – Murder at The Laurels, about an  old lady being disposed of in a retirement home. The third, well, that was fairly easy, too, as it was set in panto season – so Murder In Midwinter it became. After that it got more difficult. Sometimes I, my editor or one of my children would come up with a blinding title which would then require me to fit a story around it. Other times an idea would be suggested – usually by my elder son – which would mean searching around for a title to fit. The one concerning a ukulele group, for instance, I wanted a quote I could misappropriate, and eventually settled on Murder Out Of Tune, a misquote from Othello. I finally managed to shoehorn “Imperfect” in as Murder Imperfect, the seventh in the series. One which I’ve always loved was when my elder daughter said, while we were watching the May Day parade here in our home town, “That would be great for a murder, Mum.” Our parade, like many others all over the country, is led by a Jack In The Green, a huge wire cage smothered in greenery with a hapless man inside, who is frequently fed beer to keep him going. I saw the possibilities in this immediately and the title was obvious: Murder In The Green.

A couple of years ago, we decided to start another series set in an Edwardian seaside concert party, an idea borne out of an original musical libretto I wrote for the British Music Hall Society, and further used as a back story in Murder In Midwinter. I had no idea where to start with this, so I asked the four children. (I say children – they are all adults. I think.) We had a hilarious Messenger conversation and ended up with Death Plays A Part. Should have realised. Now we’re stuck with Death. So the follow up, after another conversation with the kids, was Entertaining Death and very soon I shall have to think up another one.

Meanwhile, following elder son’s suggestion of a village beer festival setting, Murder By The Barrel is the latest title, out now. And the next one I only have myself to blame. Fired up by all the Shakespearean celebrations last year, a title burst into my head like a rocket: Murder And The Glovemaker’s Son. I emailed it to my publisher and editor, they both loved it and lo! It will be Libby 19. But I had to think of a plot to fit. It has taken me MONTHS! Thought it up – couldn’t make it work. Thought some more. Wrote another outline. And so it went on. I think I’ve got it now, so watch this space.

And, of course, we have to have another conversation about the third Edwardian book. It’s a time consuming business, you know.

ABOUT LESLEY COOKMAN

barrel

Lesley Cookman writes the Libby Sarjeant Mysteries and the Edwardian mystery series, The Alexandrians. She has a varied background as a model, an air stewardess (when it was posh), a nightclub DJ (in a silver sparkly catsuit), editor of a Music Hall magazine, The Call Boy, a magazine called The Poulty Farmer, and pantomime writer and director. She lives on the Kent coast and has four grown up children who are variously musicians and writers, two grandchildren and two cats, not necessarily in that order.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LibbySarjeantMysteries/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LesleyCookman

Blog: http://lesleycookman.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/news

Website: www.lesleycookman.co.uk

**********

GIVEAWAY

An ecopy of Murder by The Barrel

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New from Ellie Gray ~ WARWICK’S MERMAID #interview #romance #giveaway

Warwick's Mermaid

Warwick’s Mermaid

by

Ellie Gray

 

Warwick's Mermaid

Genre:   Contemporary Romance

Release Date:   11 October 2017

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Having escaped an abusive relationship, Chloe MacGregor is determined to put the past behind her. The little cottage high up on the cliffs overlooking the beautiful North Yorkshire town of Whitby is her safe haven, somewhere she is free to be herself.

When the arrival of her new neighbour and boss, Luke Warwick, threatens her peaceful, sheltered life, Chloe is forced to confront her past and to re-evaluate who she really is. Falling in love with Luke is not part of her plan but, to her surprise, Luke is falling for her too. The only thing preventing their happy ever after is Chloe herself. Will she ever truly learn to leave the past where it belongs?

EXTRACT

Chloe stared at the bright blue front door, not quite sure if she was willing it to open or remain shut. Cerulean Bliss. She had been drawn to the name, conjuring up images of crystal clear Mediterranean Sea, sandy beaches, and cloudless skies. Chris had appeared amused by her decision to choose the paint based on the name rather than the colour.

‘‘Babe, if you want Cerulean Bliss for the front door, Cerulean Bliss is what we’ll go for.’’

But when he’d returned from a boys’ weekend away to find Chloe had painted the door, it had been a different story. He had flown into a rage, claiming she hadn’t consulted with him on the colour and had gone behind his back, waiting until he was away to make changes to his house. That was the first time she had been on the receiving end of his anger; the first time she had been frightened and confused by his apparent about-turn on something he had previously agreed to. It hadn’t been the last time.

Chloe glanced at her watch, frowning when it showed only a minute had passed since she had last looked. The frown deepened when she lifted a hand to rub her eyebrow and saw how much her fingers were trembling. A gentle hand touched her forearm and she looked up to meet her friend’s calm gaze.

‘Don’t worry. It’s going to be fine.’

Chloe shook her head, unable to prevent her gaze from returning to the front door only twenty or so metres from where they were sitting in her car. What if he glanced around and saw her? What if he didn’t?

‘What am I doing, Bekah?’ She dropped her head in her hands, squeezing her eyes shut and immediately wincing as that small movement resulted in more pain than it should.

‘The right thing, that’s what.’ Rebekah rubbed her friend’s forearm. ‘Come on, Chloe. We talked about this.’

‘I know, I know we did.’ Chloe lifted her chin, but didn’t remove her gaze from the door. ‘I just…I keep thinking about it, over and over. He’s not always that bad, not really, and I think…I think maybe it was my fault.’

Chloe didn’t have to see her friend’s face to know she was angry; she could feel it radiating from her in waves. Rebekah remained silent and reached across to pull down the sun visor in front of Chloe, lifting up the small flap covering the vanity mirror.

‘There is nothing you could have done that would ever justify what he did to you. Nothing.’

Chloe stared at her reflection, taking in the dark purple bruise circling her left eye—now bloodshot and half-closed—the ugly graze reaching across her cheekbone and further down to the swollen and split bottom lip. Without thinking, she licked her lip. The tip of her tongue slipped over the injury, and she drew in a sharp breath at the sting it produced.

She met her gaze in the mirror once more, noting the confusion and uncertainty dulling their green hue. ‘I know. But it’s not usually this bad. He pushes me around a bit sometimes, nothing major, and he says things…you know, usually when he’s had a drink.’

‘That doesn’t make it right. You know that.’ Rebekah blew out a long breath. ‘I can’t believe you never told me.’

Chloe avoided her friend’s accusing gaze. What could she have told her? That Chris was proving her mother right? That she wasn’t woman enough for any man?

‘It doesn’t matter now anyway. I—’ She drew in a strangled breath as the front door opened and, shrinking down a little in her seat, Chloe prayed he wouldn’t glance down the street and recognise her car among all the others parked along the kerb.

As she watched, Chris locked the door before turning and sauntering along the path, tossing his keys in the air and catching them, his lips pursed as he whistled. Chloe couldn’t hear from this distance, but she knew he would be whistling the tune to whichever song had been on the radio before he left the house. She glanced at her watch once more; 8.15am on the dot. Chris was a creature of habit.

‘Bastard.’ Rebekah thumped the dashboard in obvious frustration as he got into his car without glancing left or right before driving off. ‘Look at him, acting as if he hasn’t a care in the world. You should have let Sean come round last night and hammer ten bells out of him, see how he liked it.’

Chloe gave a weak smile. ‘I don’t suppose that would have solved anything.’

They sat in silence for a few minutes before Rebekah finally opened her door.

‘So, come on then. Let’s do it.’

Chloe bit her lip and immediately winced in pain, wishing she hadn’t. Gingerly exploring her lip with her fingers, she saw they were stained with blood, and stifling a sigh, searched in her bag for a tissue.

‘What if he comes back? What if he’s forgotten something?’

‘He’s not coming back. He’s gone to work,’ said Rebekah, nodding her encouragement. ‘Come on, the sooner we get in, the sooner we get out. We’ll only be a few minutes.’

 

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2w2k6Sk

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2fM9114

Apple – http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781370540884

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=9781370540884

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/742773

**********

I had a chance to visit with Ellie recently and I’m sharing our conversation with you…

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I originally started this book years ago, way before I was published. It’s one that went on the backburner once the first draft had been completed, because I knew it just wasn’t right but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong with it. Despite that, I always had a clear vision about Chloe’s little cottage high up on the cliff tops and that it was her sanctuary. I just had to work out why she needed a sanctuary. This manuscript went through the RNA New Writer’s Scheme and some of the feedback included making more use of the setting. That helped me to see where I was going wrong – it could have been set anywhere and, although I knew it was set in Whitby, I hadn’t really built on that or written it in such a way that the reader could connect with it. I also needed to take the time to get to know Chloe, and to explore her backstory, which was really important.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was nineteen or twenty, although I’ve always made up stories, full blown novels, in my head. I began writing them down and, knowing nothing really about writing, having completed a first draft sent them out to agents and publishers. Although I received one or two very encouraging ‘thanks but no thanks’ letters with positive feedback, I received many more standard letters. Not surprising considering the state of those manuscripts in hindsight! When I got married and started a family, I stopped writing and it was only when the children were older that I began to read those old manuscripts and the writing bug gripped me once again. I also made a much more concerted effort to look into the mechanics of writing and take it seriously. Still, it’s taken me ten years of hard slog to get to the point where I secured a publishing contract. And I’m still learning!

How difficult is it to come up with a good title for a book? Did the title change at any point or has the book always been called Warwick’s Mermaid?

Oh gosh, I struggle with titles. The title has always been Warwick’s Mermaid but, when I re-visited the old manuscript and began making some serious changes, I did consider whether I ought to change the title. I thought about perhaps picking up on some of the current trends in titles, for example using the word ‘Girl’, so I thought about Girl by the Sea, or perhaps something like The Little Cottage by the Sea. In the end I kept the original as I really like it but, yes, I struggle with titles. (ed note… I struggle with titles, too. Writing the book is the easy part. Coming up with the proper title, not so much.)

How much time do you devote to your writing each day?

To be honest, I don’t. I work full time in a fairly stressful job and when I get home I find it difficult to find the motivation to write…. unless I have a deadline looming, of course. My writing tends to be done on a weekend – usually a Saturday afternoon and evening, and a Sunday morning, although this tends to fit around cleaning and general weekend outings etc. It depends on where I am in the writing process. I do sometimes edit on a weekday evening, when I can print out the manuscript and make notes on it, but generally writing is done on a weekend.

Tell me 3 interesting things about yourself.

• I’m obsessed with ancient Egypt, and have a sarcophagus in my conservatory, which is probably not a surprise to those of you who have read Love on the Nile….
• I’m getting married next year
• I once attended a Christmas Party hosted by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer in No. 11 Downing Street

What’s next for you? Do you have a new book in the pipeline or do you have other writing projects you’d like to go back to?

Yes, I’m working on a new contemporary romance novel although I’m also dabbling on a romantic suspense story that has been written in my head for years, and I’m looking at resurrecting a young adult novel that is in the first draft stage. Perhaps I need to re-think my ‘only writing at weekends’ rule…

About Ellie Gray

Warwick's Mermaid

Ellie Gray is a contemporary romance author who loves to write heart-warming, sensual romances with characters her readers can really identify with. Her novels are set in places inspired by her own life and travels, including the beautiful UK Yorkshire countryside as well as far flung, exotic countries such as Egypt.

Currently working on her fourth novel, and still tinkering away at a young adult novel first started some years ago, Ellie loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her through any of the social media links below or through her website.

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/elliegrayauthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/elliegray58

Goodreads Author Page:   https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14900908.Ellie_Gray

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/elliegray58/

Website: https://elliegrayauthor.wordpress.com/

GIVEAWAY

WIN AN ECOPY OF THE BOOK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ghost #BookHugs ~ RUSSIAN PRIDE by Holly Bargo

#BookHugs

Russian Pride by Holly Bargo #BookHugs #hot #mafia #romance

The fourth and final book in the Russian Love series. Discounted e-book launch price of $0.99 good thru October 15, 2017.

Holly Bargo

Tag

The marriage alliance between the Russians and Italians embroils both organizations in a deadly war with the Chinese Triad. Can love grow in such circumstances?

Book Description

A victim of domestic violence, Inessa recuperates in the home of mafia captain Giovanni Maglione. Her parents, Bratva chief Maksim Andrupov and his wife Olivia, learn that Inessa’s recently deceased husband double-crossed the Chinese Triad and they’re coming after her for reparation. Thinking to save their daughter, Maksim and Olivia convince Giovanni to marry Inessa, who doesn’t particularly want to marry again and yet finds herself agreeing to the scheme.

The ruse fails and the Chinese pursue their target with bloodthirsty determination. Giovanni draws upon the resources of his own colleagues and rival mobs to engage with the Triad, avoid prison, and save his family, which now includes Inessa. The most dangerous man in Cleveland displays a surprisingly tender and gentle aspect of his character as he engages in terrible violence to protect what’s his… and Inessa is most definitely his.

Buy Link

Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0756ZR13R)

Excerpt

Marriage to a woman he found himself wanting and who did not want him back promised to punish him for every evil deed he had committed.

Giovanni had committed many.

Hours later and covered in snow, Paolo admitted without rancor that Inessa had built the better snow fort and won the battle with her superior ammunition. The younger boys merely cheered and flopped down in the snow to make snow angels and build snowmen until Bianca called them in for supper.

Gathered around the kitchen table that evening for supper, Bianca held court as usual. Lively conversation and friendly insults flew back and forth in a merry combination of affectionate bickering that Inessa still had not quite gotten used to. These boisterous, openly emotional Italians bewildered her, especially when Paolo flung an insult at his cousin that no one in the Bratva would have dared utter to her father. Yet Giovanni laughed it off and gave the boy a playful swat, while the elderly housekeeper frowned in resigned acceptance that the hooligans at her table might never grow up and act like gentlemen. Giovanni’s sparkling eyes met Inessa’s across the table. She felt a blush rise at the instant transformation of amusement to heated desire.

A hand gently patted hers, distracting her from the man’s intense stare. Looking at Bianca’s soft smile, she smiled back, though her expression held more than a tinge of anxiety. She could not—and would not—deny that Giovanni Maglione was one sexy, beautiful man. But the thought of submitting to a man made her blood run cold. The nightmares of experience doused any answering spark of desire.

Giovanni would want and expect children.

Inessa lowered her gaze to her plate and let the family discussion flow over her.

From the head of the table, Giovanni forced a smile at whatever inanity his young cousin spewed. Paolo, he knew, attempted to show off his wit to impress the shy, lovely woman who would marry into the family and unite Bratva and mafia. He also knew that his adolescent cousin, suffering from surging teenage hormones, had a crush on the quiet Russian woman. He made a mental note to keep a watchful eye on Paolo to ensure the boy didn’t do anything too stupid.

Giovanni also noticed the pretty blush that turned Inessa’s cheeks such a lovely pink. Within his mind, he winced at the sudden fear that flashed in her eyes and surmised her thoughts. Somehow, he had to convince her that hurting women was not his style. He would never hurt her, would never tolerate a hand raised against her.

She was his and he protected what was his with all the considerable resources at his disposal.

About the Author

Holly Bargo is the author’s pseudonym and really did exist as a temperamental appaloosa mare fondly remembered for watching over toddler children and grinding a brand new pager into dust. Holly lives on a hobby farm in southwest Ohio with her husband, a clowder of cats, an elderly llama, and an even more ancient horse that looks and acts half her age. Until recently, Holly and her husband’s two children also lived with them, but kids grow up and leave home.

Holly has published 17 fiction books since 2014—many of them steamy romances—and works full-time as a freelance ghostwriter and editor. All her books can be found on Amazon.com.

Holly Bargo

SECRETS WE KEEP by Faith Hogan #excerpt #giveaway

SecretsSecrets we keep

by

Faith Hogan

Secrets Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: February  2017

Publisher: Aria Fiction – Head of Zeus

Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept..

A bittersweet story of love, loss and life. Perfect for fans of Patricia Scanlan, Adele Parks and Rosamunde Pilcher.

The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades. For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past where it belongs.

For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away – but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?

Extract from Secrets We Keep by Faith Hogan

‘I’ve never seen anything like it,’ Kate said. It was her first thought as they turned down the cove and saw the bathhouse snuggled into the cliff face. It was a turreted, stocky grown-ups sandcastle. ‘It could have been emptied from a child’s bucket,’ was her first reaction. It had been painted, white with a light blue trim once, then the waves and the spray had all but washed that away. It still sat proudly, if shabbily, on a huge flat rock, that upturned in a lip over the sea. It was a plate, large enough for any giant.

‘Genesis Rock – it’s a metamorphic rock, probably over a thousand million years old,’ Rita said. ‘Sorry, did I mention I taught geography and home economics, once upon a time.’

‘No, but I probably should have guessed.’

‘I don’t remember the bathhouse even being open. I could imagine that I’d have spent all my days here if I had.’ Rita looked at the washed white walls that reached high into the cliff face.

‘Well, Archie said they ran it for a few years, but he didn’t say when it shut.’ This place probably held sadness for Archie, if his brother died here. Kate couldn’t feel it. Instead, it made her feel energized, as though the sea was spraying something like an invitation deep into her lungs. It made her heart pound with an expectation she hadn’t felt in years. Even the deserted castle keep that loomed up in grey stone at the tip of the headland seemed to carry a hopeful secret in its towers.

‘It must have been lovely once. Even now, you can see.’ Rita rested her hands on the thick window ledge, her nose pressed firmly to the cold glass of the windows. ‘It looks like they just closed up one evening and never came back.’

Kate walked to the back of the bathhouse; it dug into the cliff face, as though the construction of one depended on the other. Alongside the building, a small narrow road clung to the cliff for a couple of hundred yards before it feathered off onto what counted as a main road in these parts. Far below, the waves lapped serenely against the stone. It was low tide now; Kate wondered how close the water actually came to the rock. ‘I’d love to get a look inside.’ Rita followed her round to the front of the bathhouse. They peered through a sea sprayed window for a few minutes. Inside, Kate could see there were tables and chairs, a small stove and an old-fashioned counter where once someone had taken orders for afternoon tea. ‘It’s a little café, wouldn’t it be lovely if it was open for coffee?’ Kate mused, it was so much more than just a bathhouse.

BUY LINKS

 

Amazon.com:

Secrets We Keep – Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk:

Secrets We Keep – Amazon.UK

Kobo:

Secrets We Keep – Kobo

Nook:

Secrets We Keep – Nook

GooglePlay:

Secrets We Keep – Googleplay

iBooks:

Secrets We Keep – iBooks

About Faith Hogan

Secrets

Already an international best seller, Faith Hogan is an original voice in women’s fiction, she has been hailed as a Maeve Binchey for a new generation. Her stories are warm and rooted in a contemporary Irish landscape which has lost none of its wit or emotion thanks to its modern vibe.

Faith Hogan was born in Ireland.  She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway.  She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.

‘Secrets We Keep,’ is her second novel published with Aria Fiction. Her first, My Husbands Wives has been a top ten best seller and is currently available in paperback.

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/faithhoganauthor

Twitter: @gerhogan

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15109450.Faith_Hogan

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/faithhoganauthor/

Website: https://faithhogan.com

GIVEAWAY

Win a signed copy of Faith’s book Secrets We Keep!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE CURTAIN TWITCHERS OF OAKLEY PLACE by Deborah Hodgetts #giveaway

curtain twitchersThe Curtain Twitchers of Oakley Place

by

Deborah Hodgetts

curtain twitchers

Series: Book One in The Truth Seekers Series

Genre: Young Adult

Release Date: 4th July 2017

Publisher: The Beautiful Music of Words Limited

Barney Lumsden a homeless teen arrives in Oakley Place, situated in the depths of the Buckinghamshire Countryside. But was Oakley Place a perfect idyll and what are the dark secrets that lay buried.

Barney Lumsden unwittingly uncovers more than he could ever imagine, and it also seems that he’s caught up in a Government cover-up going back centuries.

From casually glimpsing the strange activities of the Curtain Twitchers that day on the village green, to uncovering the deathly secret in which he is part of the key – nothing will ever be the same again, as time itself unravels.

Will Barney and the strange Ms Pemberton close the loop, and restore this perfect idyll or will their journey unravel further across time?

Puzzling as this journey looks, it’s not the heart of the book’s mystery, nothing is black and white and everything is filled with infinite possibilities.

Who are the Curtain Twitchers? Why is the government involved? What is the mystery of the ancient talisman and it’s connection to the plague? Will you decipher the code of ‘The Curtain Twitchers of Oakley Place’? Can Barney find the answers he seeks and begin again?

Only you hold the key…

curtain twitchers

 

ABOUT DEBORAH HODGETTS

 

curtain twitchers

I am Deborah M. Hodgetts: a Published Poet in the UK and USA, Author of Young Adult novels, News Columnist, Freelance writer, Artist, Photographer, Screenwriter and Creative mind.

I live in a leafy village in the glorious countryside of Buckinghamshire, surrounded by beautiful nature, which always provides ample inspiration.

To find out more about me, and my writing you can usually find me in the following places: Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In.

Please pop by to my blog:

‘The Beautiful Music of Words’ or visit my website to see news on new publications, competitions and promotions.

I look forward to seeing you soon…

Deborah x

Facebook: http://facebook.com/debbie.hodgetts1

Twitter: @TheBeautifulMusicofWords  @DeborahMHodgettsauthor1

LinkedIn: http://deborah-m-hodgetts-11689723

Blog: The Beautiful Music of Words at http://angelstar7.blogspot.co.uk/

Website: www.deborahhodgetts.co.uk

GIVEAWAY

All New Kindle Fire – 7″ Tablet with Alexa. 16 GB sent direct to the winner and Signed copy of the Curtain Twitchers of Oakley Place.

Second prize – to become a character in the next book and signed copy of The Curtain Twitchers of Oakley Place.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Celtic Connexions – My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King