SUMMER SUNDAES ~ by Georgina Troy #contemporary #romance #competition

sundaes

Summer Sundaes

by

Georgina Troy

 

sundaes

Series: The Boardwalk by the Sea, Book 1

Author name: Georgina Troy

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance

Release Date: 15 July 2017

Publisher: Green Shutter Books

Wipe off your flip flops, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…

When Sacha Collins, cafe owner and sundae-maker extraordinaire, meets Italian archaeologist, Alessandro Salvatore in Rome, she’s grateful to him for being her tour guide. Now he’s turned up in the seaside village where she lives, known locally as, The Boardwalk by the Sea and is setting up a gelateria in direct competition to her retro Summer Sundaes Café.

She’s only been running her café for two years since taking over from her father. Until now the only other shops on the boardwalk have been a wool shop, an antique shop and a second-hand book shop. These have helped rather than hindered her custom. How will her creative sundaes made from fresh Jersey ice cream compete with his delicious Italian gelato?

Sacha is worried. Is there enough custom for both businesses to thrive? Who is behind the strange changes being made on the boardwalk? And when the oldest resident on the boardwalk is threatened with eviction can Sacha and Alessandro come together and find a way of helping her?

For a peaceful little boardwalk overlooking one of the quieter beaches on the island, there’s an awful lot going on and some of it is going to lead to big changes.

BUY LINKS

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Sundaes-Boardwalk-Sea-Book-ebook/dp/B071DCW79L/

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Sundaes-Boardwalk-Sea-Book-ebook/dp/B071DCW79L/

About Georgina Troy

sundaes
HyperFocal: 0

Georgina Troy is the pseudonym of author Deborah Carr. Her first book, A Jersey Kiss was a finalist in the Contemporary Romance Category of the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards 2016 (RoNAs) and finalist in the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers 2015.

Her WW1 historical romance, Broken Faces, written in her own name, Deborah Carr, was runner-up in the Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition 2012. She lives on the island of Jersey with her husband, two children and three rescue dogs. Her books are published by Accent Press and Green Shutter Books. Georgina is a member of The Blonde Plotters.

Georgina’s new series, The Boardwalk by the Sea, includes four standalone novels about friends, Sacha, Bella, Lexi and Jools. Each book is set in a different season. The girls live on or near a small seaside village known locally as The Boardwalk by the Sea and all of them make an appearance in the books throughout the series but each book will focus on one of the friends.

Summer Sundaes (book 1)

Autumn Antics (book 2) – due Spring 2018

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/GeorginaTroy

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7224225.Georgina_Troy

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

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/117042212386862550212

Website:  http://www.deborahcarr.org/

COMPETITION

A character in Autumn Antics (book 2) named after someone the winner nominates, i.e themself/family member.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ghost #BookHugs ~ UNEXPECTED by Valerie Ullmer

#BookHugshttps://www.melanierobertson-king.ca/wp02/2017/09/19/bookhugs-unexpec…y-valerie-ullmer/#BookHugs #Unexpected

Unexpected

by

Valerie Ullmer

 

unexpected
Abstract background textured in blue violet and black tones with scratches and stains.

On Sale for .99¢ – September 15th – September 30th

Unexpected (A Unexpected Novel Book One)

Valerie Ullmer

Genre:  Contemporary M/M Romance

Blurb

A chance meeting will change their lives forever…

From the moment he entered the dark taproom, Caleb Hunt found himself drawn to the handsome man who sat alone at the end of the bar, away from the crowd. His interest in the dark-haired, muscled adonis took him by surprise, not remembering when he’d felt such hunger from a simple glimpse. Unable to stay away, he quickly found an open seat next to him and slid into it. When Ronan turned his ice-blue eyes to Caleb and introduced himself, his warm hand sent shivers of desire through his body and he was enthralled.

Ronan Scott’s boring Friday night had taken a turn for the better when Caleb took the seat next to him. Over the next few hours, he found Caleb easy to talk to and at the same time, he found that he couldn’t tear his gaze away from the beautiful man. Caleb captured his attention in a way that no other had for as long as he could remember. Taking a chance, he leaned forward and captured Caleb’s lips with his. And with the simple kiss, Ronan understood that Caleb would become an essential part of his life.

As Ronan and Caleb explore their new relationship and integrate their lives together, they realize that not everything will be so seamless…

Buy Links:

Amazon

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Excerpt

That’s when he spotted him and everything stopped.

His breathing hitched in his chest and his heart thudded once, hard, and even the music seemed to fade as his gaze landed on a dark-haired man who sat by himself at the bar.  As Caleb’s eyes slid down the man’s body of their own accord, he noted the fitted black tee that emphasized the muscles of his arms, back, and shoulders, before his gaze dropped lower to his legs encased in denim.

When he lifted a beer to his mouth and swallowed, Caleb felt his own throat tighten.  A shiver of desire passed over him.  Never had he felt this way about a man or woman in his life.

Before he could analyze his actions or talk himself out of his stupid plan, he walked toward the man.  Part of him wanted to see if the man was as stunning as he believed from across the bar or if he’d been alone for so long that his mind had conjured the perfect man.

Before Caleb could reach the stool next to him, a beautiful blonde glided up to him, running her hand down his chest.  Her smile flirty and sensual.  Although Caleb had never been propositioned in any way close to resembling what he witnessed, he knew that she offered the man a brazen invitation to get to know her better.

Disappointment flooded Caleb’s chest.

In the next moment, however, she frowned and backed away from him as quickly as she arrived, leaving an empty chair.

Not questioning his good luck, Caleb hurried over and shed his coat, dropping it over the back.  He flagged down the bartender and indicated the beer he wanted.

He sensed the man’s eyes on him, but for the moment, he wasn’t brave enough to turn and catch his gaze.  Not when his breath had stuck in his throat, and he didn’t know if he could speak without sounding choked.

As soon as the bartender handed him his mug, the man turned his body toward him and leaned over to speak, close to his ear.

“Are you here alone?”

Caleb had to bite the inside of his lip in order not to moan out loud at the sexy, deep voice.  Remembering the question, he shook his head and pointed toward Dylan and Garrett across the room.  Dylan, of course, had a woman on his lap and was tracing a finger down her neck, before he leaned toward her and his mouth followed the same trail.

Garrett was looking down at his phone.  The shy woman he’d been talking to had disappeared, much to Caleb’s disappointment, and another was trying, unsuccessfully, to get his attention.  She looked drunk and very loud by the way he flinched every time she spoke.

“Dylan, the one on the right with a woman on his lap, is the biggest flirt in the world.  He’s never serious about any woman he takes home.  Garrett is his best friend, the complete opposite of Dylan, but he’s loyal.”

The man laughed and Caleb couldn’t help the lift of his lips at the sound.  It was deep, rich, and addictive.  But when the man turned his ice-blue eyes on him, something unidentifiable swelled in his chest.  He could sense that he should speak, to keep this gorgeous man talking for as long as possible.  “Are you here alone?”

Smart, Caleb.  Just parrot the same question back.

The man smiled before he nodded over to his group of friends.  Some were flirting, but others were enjoying the company of their friends on a Friday night.

“The ginger is Hawk; he’s a divorce lawyer who is handling Ryan’s divorce.  That’s why they’re hunched over their beers.  Ryan’s wife apparently hadn’t been faithful during their entire four-year marriage, and he found out when he came home early from a business trip.  Jack is the one who is flirting with the group of women; he’s like Dylan in that way, never serious.  He’s a CEO of a tech company and he could have any woman with his looks and the power he exudes, but he’s never been in a serious relationship.  Sam is my second-in-command, the one who looks faintly sick, because Adam is a forensic scientist who loves talking about his work.”

Caleb found himself smiling at the group of friends.  When he glanced at the man, who had turned back to Caleb after pointing out his friends, he snagged Caleb’s gaze.  “So, do you have a girlfriend at home?”

“No.  I can’t remember the last time I had a date, much less a successful one.  You?”

Caleb breathed a sigh of relief when he shook his head.

“I’m Ronan Scott.”  He held his hand out.

Even the man’s name is sexy.

He had to clear his throat before he reached out and grasped Ronan’s large, warm hand in his.  “Caleb Hunt.”

Something inside Caleb warmed in increments until fireworks exploded behind his skin, all from a simple touch.

About Valerie

Valerie writes paranormal and contemporary romances with strong alpha males and brilliant, beautiful heroines. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her wonderfully supportive husband and their funny and wise black lab. She’s addicted to coffee, crime shows, and reading and writing character driven romances.

Social Media

FACEBOOK ~ TWITTER ~ PINTEREST ~ INSTAGRAM ~ GOODREADS ~ AMAZON

 

#BookHugs

 

I believe that Love is Love, no matter what race, religion, color, or gender.  Love is Love.

 

 

Ghost #BookHugs ~ A LOVE RESTRAINED by Becky Flade

#BookHugs

A Love Restrained

by

Becky Flade

 

Becky Flade

#BookHugs #ALoveRestrained

Philadelphia police officer Kylee Parker is dedicated to protecting and serving. She sees the work in absolutes: right and wrong, black and white, good guys and bad guys. That is, until she chases a drug dealer into a dead-end alley and finds the bad boy she had a painful crush on throughout her teen years has turned into a more dangerous and more attractive man.

Jayson Donovan knows he doesn’t deserve someone as good as Kylee Parker. As the right hand man to a local drug-pushing mobster, he’s solidly on the wrong side of Kylee’s moral compass. But he can’t help reaching for her time and again when he knows he shouldn’t.

Even when his secrets threaten them both.

Where to purchase A Love Restrained

Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | iBooks | Kobo

Enjoy the following excerpt from A Love Restrained:

Spring in the city brought people out of winter hibernation like a siren song, but as the temperature rose, so in turn, did the crime rate. Cops had to be sharp as they walked the streets of Philadelphia. In her ten years on the force, on these streets, she’d seen a lot of crazy and often stupid criminals do a lot of crazy and often stupid things. But to be so brazen, or so plain dumb, as to do a hand-to-hand drug buy right in front of two uniformed officers rode high on her list of top ten.

“Tell me you saw that?”

“Saw what?” Hunks of half chewed soft pretzel fell from Sherman’s mouth.

Pete Sherman’s not a bad cop, just not an observant one whose paunch portrayed his love of all things fried and his reupholstered recliner. He hadn’t seen a thing in the last six months. But he took direction well, despite the fact he had seniority.

“There, across the street.” She pointed. “The junkie walking east just scored off the guy in the leather bomber heading west. I swear the dealer looked right at us before the exchange. Call it in, Pete, and grab the junkie. I’m going after the dealer.”

Sherman didn’t argue. She took off into a quick lope, kept her footsteps light so as to not alert the man she pursued. The spring day had drawn people out and the complaints of the pedestrians she weaved through grew loud. The guy glanced over his shoulder, and the edge of his mouth tipped into a grin before he sprinted around the corner.

“Cocky jerk.” She turned the corner, and shouted, “Stop! Police.”

She ran clean and fast, closing the distance between them with little effort. The dealer ducked into an alley she knew to be a dead end. She slowed and put one hand on the butt of her service pistol as she approached. He had his back to her, his hands on his hips as he stared at the brick wall in front of him.

“Philly PD, you’re under arrest. Slowly put your hands above your head and against the wall to your left.” She closed the few feet between them, using her free hand to release the handcuffs from her belt, the other remaining on her weapon. She cuffed him, with practiced efficiency, and then read him his rights before leading him out of the alley, preferring to do the pat down with her partner present.

“Kylee Parker, I’ll admit I daydreamed a time or two about you cuffing me, but it was never in this context.”

For more information, including cover art, trailer and buy links, see:

http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Flade_Becky/a-love-restrained.htm

About the Author:

Home is where the heart is and Becky makes hers with her very own knight in slightly tarnished armor, their three daughters, son-in-law, two grandsons, and their psychotic cat Jaxon. When she’s not busy living her own happily ever after, she’s writing about someone else’s.

Contact Details:

http://www.beckyfladeauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BeckyFlade

https://twitter.com/beckyflade

http://www.amazon.com/Becky-Flade/

http://www.goodreads.com/Becky_Flade

#BookHugs

Jim Henson once said, “My hope is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.” I live my life by that same ideal; it’s posted in my office, on my media stand in fact, so that I never forget to be kind, thoughtful and considerate in every interaction. May your every dream be a reality and every day a poem.

TOO DAMN NICE by Kathryn Freeman ~ #giveaway

too damn niceToo Damn Nice

by

Kathryn Freeman

 

too damn nice

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 1st August 2017

Publisher: Choc Lit

Nice guys don’t kiss like that …

Do nice guys stand a chance?

Lizzie Donavue went from being the sister of his best friend to the girl Nick Templeton most wants to kiss. On her birthday, he finally summons up the courage to make his move. But it looks like Nick’s missed his chance when he discovers that Lizzie has been offered a modelling contract, which will take her away to the glamorous fashion scenes of New York and Los Angeles.

Nick is forced to watch from the sidelines as the gawky teenager he knew is transformed into Elizabeth Donavue: top model and ultimate English rose pin-up, forever caught in a whirlwind of celebrity parties with the next up-and-coming Hollywood bad boy by her side.

But then Lizzie’s star-studded life comes crashing down around her, and a guy like Nick could be just what she needs. Will she take a chance on him? Or is he just too damn nice?

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2vDQkzQ

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2vE5zsK

Choc Lit – http://bit.ly/2xLXJhp

ABOUT KATHRYN FREEMAN

too damn nice

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7373990.Kathryn_Freeman

Website: http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

GIVEAWAY

A paperback copy of Before You (Open internationally)

too damn nice

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SHADOWS by Thorne Moore #domestic #noir #paranormal

Shadows
by
Thorne Moore

 

Thorne MooreGenre: domestic noir. Psychological Crime. Women’s lit. Paranormal.

Release Date: 14 June 2017

Publisher: Endeavour Press

Kate Lawrence can sense the shadow of violent death, past and present. In her struggle to cope with her unwelcome gift, she has frozen people out of her life. Her marriage is on the rocks, her career is in chaos and she urgently needs to get a grip.

So she decides to start again, by joining her effervescent cousin Sylvia and partner Michael in their mission to restore and revitalise Llys y Garn, an old mansion in the wilds of North Pembrokeshire.
It is certainly a new start, as she takes on Sylvia’s grandiose schemes, but it brings Kate to a place that is thick with the shadows of past deaths. The house and grounds are full of mysteries that only she can sense, but she is determined to face them down – so determined that she fails to notice that ancient energies are not the only shadows threatening the seemingly idyllic world of Llys y Garn.

The happy equilibrium is disrupted by the arrival of Sylvia’s sadistic and manipulative son, Christian – but just how dangerous is he?
Then, once more, Kate senses that a violent death has occurred…
Set in the majestic and magical Welsh countryside, Shadows is a haunting exploration of the dark side of people and landscape.

EXTRACT

‘Is it haunted, Kate?’ Sylvia clapped her hands, like a child wanting ice-cream. ‘Oh please, please say there’s a ghost down here.’

‘There’s a ghost down here.’

‘No seriously, please tell me. You’d sense one, I know.’

What the hell. I closed my eyes solemnly. ‘I detect – a definite shiver of fear.’

‘Is that all? I was hoping for a white lady. If only we had battlements. I’m sure we’d have had a white lady, walking in the moonlight.’

‘Perhaps we can persuade one to move in.’

‘Yes!’ Sylvia gripped my arm. ‘A ghost hotel! We could get a licence to serve spirits!’

We were still laughing as we climbed back to the buttery. To finish, she led me on into the second small room, under the upper chamber.

As before, a low square room. One tiny window, two doors, stained walls, stone floor, just another empty room. ‘Not sure what to call this one,’ babbled my cousin. ‘Think of a good name. The armoury! I wonder if we could get a suit of armour.’ She was already opening the far door, into a panelled arch through deep masonry back into the Great Hall.

Just a doorway to Sylvia.

But not to me. Oh God, not to me.

‘Come on,’ she sang. ‘Where next?’

I watched her pass through, amazed that she could sense nothing. Rigid in my determination to conquer, I followed her, trying to block out the shadow, to refuse it entry into my brain.

I couldn’t. It overwhelmed my defences, enveloping me in a black cloud. Huge atavistic fear, searing thirst, gut-wrenching despair. I could feel the interweaving strands of emotion like filaments of rot, tightening around me, meshing in my lungs, my veins, my bones. How could Sylvia possibly not feel this?

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

ABOUT THORNE MOORE

Thorne Moore

Thorne was born in Luton and graduated from Aberystwyth University (history) and from the Open University (Law). She set up a restaurant with her sister but now spends her time writing and making miniature furniture for collectors. She lives in Pembrokeshire, which forms a background for much of her writing, as does Luton. She writes psychological mysteries, or “domestic noir,” and her first novel, A Time For Silence, was published by Honno in 2012. Her second Motherlove, was published in 2015 and her third, The Unravelling, came out in 2016. A collection of short stories, Moments of Consequence, came out the same year. She’s a member of the Crime Writers Association.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThorneMoore

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6562052.Thorne_Moore

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

Website:  www.thornemoore.co.uk

DEADLY INTENT by Sheryl Browne ~ #giveaway #thriller #videotrailer

Sheryl BrowneDeadly Intent

by

Sheryl Browne

Sheryl BrowneSeries: A DI Matthew Adams Thriller – Book #3 (can be read as a standalone)

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Release Date: September 6 2017

Publisher: Death by Choc Lit

18+ (some violence and language)

What if you and your family were at the mercy of a psychopath/a man with no conscience?

Just when DI Matthew Adams thinks he’s left the past behind him, it comes back to haunt him once again; this time in the form of the Conner family.

Like Matthew, the Conners have lost a child in tragic circumstances – and they’ve also found themselves in the hands of one of the most depraved criminals to walk the streets: ‘Dead-eyed’ Charlie Roberts, a drug addicted low-life with a penchant for extreme violence.

Matthew’s greatest affinity lies with Daniel Conner, the brooding father who still blames himself for his youngest child’s death. But when Daniel’s wife and daughter are tortured and tormented by Roberts, can Matthew prevent him from completely ruining his own life for an act of revenge particularly when, once upon a time, that’s exactly what Matthew would have done too?

Thank you so much for inviting me to share a little about DEADLY INTENT – Book 3 in the DI Matthew Adams thrillers – and to talk a little bit about what might inspire an author to crime/thriller writing.

A writer’s mind thrives on exploration. Every scenario, every face, every place tells a story. A glimpsed situation, an argument between a couple or ‘slanging match’ in the street, for instance, and you have your stimulus for a book. Personally, whatever genre I write in I tend to gravitate towards family and family dynamics and just how strong a family unit can be, particularly when that unit might be under threat in some way. Most would agree that a story needs to have a protagonist and an antagonist to feed off each other. I see people as not all good or all bad, more opposite sides of the same spectrum with some crossover in between. Having become rather jaded in his view of his nemesis in After She’s Gone and Sins of the Father, DI Matthew Adams is less forgiving. To quote his thoughts in the third in the series, Deadly Intent: “He’d long ago stopped wondering how perverted individuals like Sullivan came into existence. As far as Matthew could see it wasn’t nature or nurture. It was a lethal cocktail of genes, brain function and childhood experience that created monsters like Patrick Sullivan, like Charlie Roberts. He was of the same ilk. Despite any and all excuses pointing to his upbringing making him the way he was, Roberts was pure evil. Matthew could feel it”.

Nature versus Nurture is an age-old question, not one I can hope to answer, but I can’t resist exploring, peeling away the veneer, so to speak, to see what lies beneath. Charlie Roberts, whose Deadly Intent is revealed as the story progresses, it seems really is evil to the core. To quote one reviewer’s summary of him, he’s “the Devil himself”. You’d have to read the book to draw your own conclusion, of course (no sales pitch intended!). Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with an excerpt, which might give you cause to ponder, is Matthew Adams right in his summation of Roberts?

Before I go, though, can I take this opportunity to thank all bloggers and readers for their absolutely fantastic support? It really is tremendously appreciated. Reviews mean the world to an author and, together with posts and extracts, will help a book find its wings. THANK YOU!

DEADLY INTENT – Excerpt

‘How you doin’, Danny boy? Nice trip you havin’? Hey?’

Didn’t look as if he was having a very nice trip, actually. Shaking fit to bust something loose, the bloke was. Shame that. Charlie reckoned Danny could have used a bit of mellowing out, being so stressed, and all.

He didn’t demand an answer this time. Fairly, Charlie thought.

Daniel was hardly capable of giving one, after all.

‘Too hot, are we, sunshine?’ He ran a hand across Daniel’s forehead, trailed it slowly down his cheek, unfastened a button of his shirt, and the next, and then stopped to have a little look at the wife’s face.

Oh man, what a picture. Her cat’s eyes were about to pop right out of her head. Shocked she was, and he’d barely touched him.

‘Let’s see if we can’t cool you off a bit, hey, Daniel?’ He smirked at Jo, and then proceeded slowly through the rest of the buttons, laughing as Daniel tried to lift his head from the floor.

‘Come on, Daniel, don’t fight it.’ Charlie yanked the shirt open and ran the gun over his chest. ‘You know you want it.’

He laughed again as Daniel made a supreme effort to raise himself, and failed miserably. Charlie had been wrong. The bloke obviously wasn’t a user. Couldn’t handle it at all, poor sod, which really was a shame. Danny boy putting up a bit of a struggle might’ve been more interesting.

Still, the look in his eyes was enough. Wasn’t looking right through him any more. Oh, no. He could see him all right. See exactly what he was doing.

He trailed the gun slowly over the flat of Daniel’s stomach.

Deliberately slowly, he followed the gun with his hand to let it rest lightly on his waistband.

‘Would you like your pretty little wife to watch, Danny boy?’ He grinned as Daniel’s eyes flickered open, swam hazily, and closed. ‘Or shall we ask her to leave, hey?’

‘Stop!’ Jo screamed, jumping up on her feet.

‘Sit!’ Charlie spat, whirling around.

‘Please.’ Jo took a hesitant step forwards. ‘He’s done everything you’ve asked. Please, leave him alone now.’

‘Pack it up!’ Shawn said from the doorway. ‘Lay off, Charlie. I mean it.’

Blimey, thought Charlie, what’s this? A conspiracy? He noticed the tight set of Shawn’s jaw, and decided telling him to button it might not be prudent.

‘What?’ Charlie blinked in surprised innocence and held his hands in the air. ‘I haven’t touched him.’

‘Well, don’t.’ Shawn fixed him with a furious glare. ‘I’m warning you, Charlie. I’m out of here if you do.’

‘One more minute, and that’s it, I swear.’ Charlie did his best to look like a boy scout. ‘Just let me get him out of the shirt. Nothing else, honest.’ Dib bloody dib, he thought.

He leaned back over Daniel, making sure to hold his gaze.

Daniel watched from a faraway place, the psycho drifting in and out of his vision, undoing his shirt? The gun, not slamming down so hard he heard his bones crack this time.

Trailing instead.

Slow cold metal, caressing his skin, sliding over his stomach. Christ, he was going to throw up.

Instinctively, he heaved himself from the floor, swallowing back the nausea, trying to still the merry-go-round room. The troglodyte was behind the psycho now, mouthing something. And Jo? She’d come to the fair, too.

Daniel squinted. She didn’t like the music though. She’d clamped her hands over her mouth. Kayla was there, somewhere. Daniel could feel her. But where was … Oh, shit, no. He struggled to sitting, reached a hand to the wall and tried to stand up, but the floor tipped and tilted beneath him.

‘Can’t,’ he mumbled, and staggered, and the troglodyte caught him.

This wasn’t right. This was all wrong. This wasn’t the fair. It was a freak show, and there were too many people. And someone was missing.

‘Where’s Emma?’ he shouted, shaking his head to try to clear the fog from his mind. ‘Where is she?’ Sheer panic swept through him, fast on its heels, absolute terror. He clutched two fistfuls of the troglodyte’s shirt, bunching it at his neck.

‘Where?’ Daniel screamed, his throat tight, his head pounding.

His heart bursting.

The floor undulating.

His body shaking. Why couldn’t he stop?

Couldn’t stop. Couldn’t stop shaking.

‘Please!’ Jo begged, as Daniel slid to the floor. ‘No more!’

‘Shut it!’ Charlie snapped. ‘You’re doin’ my head in!’

‘I hope you’re satisfied?’ Shawn glared at Charlie as he eased one of Daniel’s arms over his shoulder to half-carry him towards a berth.

‘Come, on, you’re all right, mate,’ he tried to reassure him, unhooking Daniel’s arm from his neck. ‘Just try to lie back. It’ll pass.’

But Daniel wouldn’t lie back. Couldn’t seem to stay still. He was twitching and gasping, his chest rattling.

Shawn held Daniel by both shoulders and studied his face. ‘He ain’t breathing right,’ he said, drawing in a terse breath of his own and turning to look Charlie over with open contempt. ‘You finished now?’

‘Serves him right.’ Charlie paced agitatedly to the door. Then back again.

He stopped. Lit up a spliff, drew back hard, and paced some more.

Sympathy for Daniel was sympathy wasted, as far as Charlie was concerned. And what’s more, it was dangerous, Shawn letting sentiment get in the way of what they were doing here. Currently, and crucially, making sure the stubborn sod did exactly as he was told, without question.

‘Not quite,’ he answered finally, crushing out his joint and striding angrily to the berth. ‘Shift,’ he said, catching hold of Shawn’s shoulder to shove the pathetic, mother-clucking hen away from Daniel. Be tucking him up under the quilt in a minute.

He stilled Shawn with a warning glance as the arrogant numbskull actually dared to look as if he was about to interfere, then caught hold of Daniel’s shirt collar and hauled him towards him.

‘This …’ Charlie snarled, his face close to Daniel’s. ‘ … comes off, Danny boy.’ He yanked the shirt over his shoulders and down over his biceps.

‘You bloody lunatic,’ Shawn muttered, his tone utter disgust. ‘The bloke’s covered in bruises. No need. Not for any of it.’ He took a step towards Charlie, but stopped as Daniel laughed. Then laughed again – out loud; and right in Charlie’s face.

‘Freak.’ Daniel smirked, unfocussed eyes swimming around in his head. ‘Pathetic little freak.’

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2gp2D02

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2vrF91d

Choc Lit – http://bit.ly/2wS2zwW

WATCH THE VIDEO TRAILER!

Buy Links: DI Matthew Adams Thrillers

AFTER SHE’S GONEHe’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?

SINS OF THE FATHERWhat if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?

DEADLY INTENTTormented to the edge of sanity … 

ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE

Sheryl BrowneHeartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching 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 several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

Sheryl Browne

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#COVER #REVEAL ~ YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS ~ #romanticsuspense

yesterday

YESTERDAY

TODAY

ALWAYS

 

Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

Devastated by the death of her husband, Colin, in the London bombings on July 7, 2005, Katherine Murphy-Whithorn builds a wall around her heart determined to never let anyone in again. Settling in to a comfortable routine, her life becomes mundane, until five years later when someone from her rebellious past returns to the city and begins stalking her.

As the curtain falls on 2010 her first love, Jared Martin, walks back into Katherine´s life. Despite him being her first love, he must tear down the barrier she´s created to protect herself. Finally seeing a second chance of a life with him, Katherine couldn´t be happier until another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter returning from the Alpha Ecosse platform, on which Jared is a passenger, ditches in the North Sea. Can he survive the ordeal? Will they get their chance for happiness? Or is fate still not done its dirty deeds? Katherine’s stalker may have his own agenda.

YESTERDAY

Prologue

1st December 2010

The ScotRail service to Aberdeen pulled away from the platform at Stonehaven. The next stop would be his destination. As the train accelerated, the carriage swayed from side to side. The action reminded him of his mum rocking him after a bad dream. He drifted into a light slumber. When the compartment he was in crossed through a switch, it lurched waking him.

Less than thirty minutes to go. He settled back but was too excited to relax. When the Girdle Ness Lighthouse came into view, he knew he was almost back to the place he was born.

New, to him, construction dotted the landscape. Fresh graffiti adorned the stone parapets of the bridge over the River Dee. The Mitchell Tower at Marischal College, the clock tower of the Aberdeen Town House and the Salvation Army Citadel, vied for attention over the tops of the cluster of newer buildings.

He fooled the medical staff at the secure forensic unit in the south of England. After feigning rehabilitation, they released him into the community but he didn’t stay there long. He did a runner. He had unfinished business in the north east of Scotland.

Adrenalin coursed through him. Giddy with excitement, it was hard for him to remain calm. He shook his hands to try to stem some of the fidgetiness. Now, he was back in Aberdeen where it all began. How much of the city would he recognize? What changed since his departure?

Were the authorities looking for him yet? He would have to act normal so as not to attract attention. Stepping off, he adjusted his Fedora and strode across the concourse to the exit. Diesel fumes hung in the air and caught in the back of his throat. He coughed.

With the exception of the Union Square shopping complex adjacent to the railway station, Guild Street stayed more or less unchanged. Some of the storefronts in the granite buildings transformed, but overall, not a huge difference since he left.

The pavement ended at Market Street forcing him to cross over the road. He continued eastward. The location he sought should be nearby. He stopped for a breather – pressed his back against the building. The ships that supplied and supported the offshore oil industry occupied the available berths on this side of the harbour. Through a gap, the ferry to Lerwick and the terminal were visible on the far side.

The familiar Maritime Museum dominated the head of Shore Brae. Beyond that, the artery curved and became Shiprow. The cobbled road surface and pavement were difficult to traverse. Even the larger stones nearer the buildings were uneven. When he rounded the corner at Provost Ross’s House, another well-known building peeked out. He had come so far now, he couldn’t go back. He strode with purpose up the hill.

The Aberdeen Town House clock tower stretched above the roofline but that was the place he sought. Nestled between Henry’s Bar and the pedestrianized portion of Shiprow stood the As the Pages Turn bookshop.

When a customer exited holding a carrier bag emblazoned with the same signage as over the door, his heart skipped a beat. He hoped the establishment’s ownership hadn’t changed. That would defeat the purpose of his returning to Aberdeen.

The voices in his head only told him to come back. He had unfinished business with the woman with ginger hair – the one with no soul – who ran the retail outlet in front of him.

Now, to find a suitable place to wait and watch and bide his time until the moment was right.

Or, if you prefer, you can listen to the prologue…

YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS is available at amazon for pre-order for the kindle now here.

DEADLY INTENT by Sheryl Browne #coverreveal #excerpt #thriller #giveaway

deadly intent

Deadly Intent

by

Sheryl Browne

 

Series: A DI Matthew Adams Thriller – Book #3 (can be read as a standalone)

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Release Date: September 6 2017

Publisher: Death by Choc Lit

18+ (some violence and language)

What if you and your family were at the mercy of a psychopath/a man with no conscience?

Just when DI Matthew Adams thinks he’s left the past behind him, it comes back to haunt him once again; this time in the form of the Conner family.

Like Matthew, the Conners have lost a child in tragic circumstances – and they’ve also found themselves in the hands of one of the most depraved criminals to walk the streets: ‘Dead-eyed’ Charlie Roberts, a drug addicted low-life with a penchant for extreme violence.

Matthew’s greatest affinity lies with Daniel Conner, the brooding father who still blames himself for his youngest child’s death. But when Daniel’s wife and daughter are tortured and tormented by Roberts, can Matthew prevent him from completely ruining his own life for an act of revenge particularly when, once upon a time, that’s exactly what Matthew would have done too?

deadly intent

EXTRACT

Daniel’s eyes flickered away from Charlie for a second. ‘Come on, baby, come out,’ he said to the daughter, who was standing hesitantly on the top step. ‘It’s safe now.’

‘Yeah, come on, baby,’ Charlie mimicked. ‘Come and join the party.’

Charlie stepped sideways, allowing the girl to exit, her eyes like a terrified Bambi’s and shaking as much as Danny boy, poor cow. Must be hereditary.

‘Give me a shout if you fancy another quick shag, sweetheart,’ Charlie called as she stepped onto the towpath.

A tic went at the side of Daniel’s mouth. He walked calmly over to Charlie and smiled, which had Charlie momentarily flummoxed, then pulled back the gun and rammed it hard into his stomach.

****

Matthew flinched as Charlie doubled up. ‘Ouch,’ he said under his breath. ‘Okay, Daniel,’ he said carefully. ‘I know how you must be feeling but you need to let him go now. He’ll get what’s—’

‘You have no fucking idea how I feel,’ Daniel shouted, glancing quickly at Jo. ‘The only way that bastard goes anywhere is feet first.’ He raked a hand angrily though his hair. ‘Got that, Charlie? Now, get down on your knees.’

Charlie looked up, astonished. ‘You must be joking. I ain’t—’

‘Do I look as if I’m joking?’ Daniel asked, his eyes burning with hatred.

‘For fuck’s sake,’ Charlie uttered, turning to Matthew, his hands nursing his stomach.

‘On your knees, Charlie,’ Daniel repeated. ‘Now!’

Matthew dearly wished he could turn a blind eye as Roberts blinked at him beseechingly, and scared witless, satisfyingly. Unfortunately, as much as he would relish seeing the abusive piece of scum get a taste of his own, he couldn’t.

‘You need to drop the gun, Daniel,’ he said, moving cautiously towards the boat. ‘Leave him to me and get your wife and child—’

‘Don’t,’ Daniel warned, his eyes and the gun still fixed on Roberts. ‘Back off.’

Matthew hesitated, uncertain. God knows, the man had every reason to … But was Conner actually going to shoot Roberts?

‘I can’t do that, Daniel.’ Matthew stepped closer. ‘You know I can’t.’

‘Stay!’ Daniel shouted, swinging the gun around, then fast back to Charlie. ‘And you,’ he grated, ‘down on your knees, while you still can.’ He aimed the gun lower, which had Charlie dropping to his knees, fast.

‘Get them out of here,’ Matthew shouted, indicating Jo and Kayla over his shoulder. Roberts had pushed Conner right over the edge. He bloody well was going to shoot him. Christ, hadn’t this family already been through enough?

‘Daniel …’ Warning himself to tread carefully, empathising with the man more than he could possibly know, Matthew tried again. ‘You can’t take the law into your own hands.’ He stopped and waited, wondering whether Daniel, who was now swaying on his feet, could even hear him. ‘You have to do this the legal way. Please, give me the gun, Daniel.’

‘Can’t.’ Daniel closed one eye.

Matthew took a breath and stepped closer. ‘Why can’t you, Daniel?’ he asked quietly.

‘Three, two, one,’ Daniel replied, nonsensically.

‘Right.’ Matthew was scared for him now. If he used that gun with police marksmen aiming right at him … ‘Which means what, exactly, Daniel?’

Daniel shrugged. ‘Bang.’ He concentrated his aim.

‘Fuck,’ said Charlie, turning a pale shade of white. ‘Don’t, Danny,’ he pleaded.

Daniel cocked the gun.

‘Look, I didn’t touch your daughter—’

‘Shut the fuck up!’ Daniel yelled.

‘I didn’t. I swear I didn’t.’ Perspiration broke out on Charlie’s forehead. ‘Danny, please. I’m sorry. Okay? I—’

‘The name’s Daniel, not Danny. Not fucking Danny boy. Daniel! Got it?’

‘Yeah,’ Charlie nodded quickly. ‘Daniel. Whatever. Just put the gun down.’

Daniel continued to stare at him.

‘Shit. This is nuts.’ Charlie looked desperately to Matthew. ‘Do something! Don’t let them go!’ He nodded past him, to where the man’s wife and daughter weren’t being persuaded to leave. ‘He won’t do anything in front of them.’

That’s probably the first, and might well be the last, time you’ve said anything sensible in your entire life, you piece of shit. Matthew looked him over derisively. Conner cared about his family. They’d endured too much to go through any more. He must know it.

Matthew drew in a breath and then took a gamble. ‘Okay, Daniel. Fine. Do it,’ he said.

Charlie gawked.

‘Go ahead. Blow his brains all over the boat if it will make you feel better.’ Matthew paused for an instant. ‘And leave your wife wondering why you did it in front of your daughter. Whether to visit you in prison, when you didn’t care enough about her, or Kayla, not to.’

Daniel tightened his grip on the gun.

His hands were shaking, Matthew noticed. Shaking badly.

‘I have kids of my own, Daniel,’ he said softly, taking another careful step towards him.

Daniel’s shoulders stiffened.

‘I know you lost your little girl, Daniel.’ Seeing Daniel reel on his feet, Matthew pushed on and prayed. He needed to get through to him. Had to.

‘You think I can’t know how you feel, but … I lost my little girl too, Daniel,’ he confided, though it almost choked him to say it. ‘I do know at least some of how you feel.’

Still Daniel didn’t move, but Matthew saw a swallow slide down his throat.

‘That bastard has piled pain on top of pain, hasn’t he?’ Matthew kept going, touching raw nerves, he was well aware of that, but what other choice did he have? ‘Persecuted Kayla and Joanne? Taunted them. Touched them, Daniel?’

Daniel’s jaw tightened.

‘Dared you to do anything about it, so he could revel in his pathetic power and beat you senseless? I know him,’ Matthew said forcefully. ‘He’ll get what’s coming to him. But you have to stop this. Now, Daniel. For the sake of your wife and daughter. Show them you care enough not to put them through this.’

‘Jesus!’ Daniel leaned to wipe his perspiring face against his shoulder. ‘Of course I care!’ he raged frustrated, and obviously confused. ‘But he’ll get out, won’t he?’

A sharp cough rattled his chest.

‘Jo and my kids are my life. Jo and Kayla … Were my … I …’ Trailing off, Daniel closed his eyes.

And lowered the gun.

‘Hah.’ Charlie levered himself to his feet. ‘No bottle. Knew it. I’ll catch up with you when I’m out, Danny boy.’ He smirked, as Matthew climbed on board. ‘Keep that pretty wife of yours warm for me, won’t you?’

Daniel brought the gun back up sharp. ‘Say your fucking prayers, freak,’ he hissed.

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WATCH THE VIDEO TRAILER!

ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE

deadly intent

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching 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 several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Amazon US | Pinterest

Loveahappyending Lifestyle

Choc Lit | Romantic Novelists’ Association

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SECRETS WE KEEP by Faith Hogan ~ #extract #promo #giveaway

Faith Hogan

SECRETS we keep

by

Faith Hogan

 

Faith HoganGenre: 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.

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ABOUT FAITH HOGAN

Faith Hogan

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

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A SHAPE ON THE AIR by Julia Ibbotson ~#guestpost #timeslip #giveaway

Julia IbbotsonA Shape on the Air

by

Julia Ibbotson

Julia IbbotsonGenre: historical time slip romance

Release Date: 28th July 2017

Publisher: Endeavour Press

Buy link: AMAZON

Two women 1500 years apart. One need: to save the world they know. Can they help each other to achieve their greatest desire? And what if that world they want is not the one that’s best for them?  University lecturer in medieval studies, Dr Viv Dulac, is devastated when her partner walks out (and with her best friend too!) and threatens her home.  Drunk and desperate, her world quite literally turns upside down and she finds herself in the body of the fifth century Lady Vivianne, who is struggling with the shifting values of the Dark Ages and her forced betrothal to the brutish Sir Pelleas who is implicated in the death of her parents. Haunted by both Lady Vivianne and by Viv’s own parents’ death and legacy, can Viv unravel the web of mystery that surrounds and connects their two lives, and bring peace to them both? A haunting story of lives intertwining across the ages, of the triumph of the human spirit and of dreams lost and found.

EXTRACT

God, why did it all have to happen now, when she needed to be on top form. Oh, why did it have to happen at all. Everything in her life was crumbling away. Pete, what have you done to us …

Again, a movement behind her, a parting of the rushes. The sense of a dark figure at her back. She swung round. Nothing. Then she turned back to the mere. A shadow on the water. She stared at the ripples but the image diffused and disappeared. Hardly daring to look she glanced round again. Nobody. She was alone.

Viv shuddered, her eyes fixed on the water in front of her. She must get out of here, get safely home, but somehow she couldn’t move. She was transfixed and held against her will, as if her body was bound with invisible ropes. The mere and the world around her juddered, swept away and then returned, misty and echoing in her head.

She felt herself cry out. But it was a cry, not for help, but of despair.

Then a hand planted firmly on her back, pushing her. She staggered but felt the inexorable push towards the dark murky water. As she fell, she had the odd sensation of someone breathing on her neck, falling with her. Her hand reached out to save herself, to grasp anything that might halt her tumble. She scrabbled wildly at the undergrowth but felt the branches break as she tried to clutch hold of them.

The cold water rose to meet her and there was no longer firm ground beneath her. She flailed about but it was hopeless; the cold stole her breath and her strength. Something was pulling her downwards, sucking her into the murky depths of the mere.

My little Lady Vivianne.

She was sinking, as if there was someone below her who was grasping her ankles and pulling her down. The water covered her head and, even at the last, when she managed to struggle her head above the surface she saw that she was much further away from the bank than she had imagined. She could no longer fight, and with that realisation, the water covered her head for the last time.

 *    *    *

A deep male voice came faintly from far away and slowly entered her consciousness.

“Lady Vivianne!”

Viv felt a strong arm grip her waist and then she was floating, being drawn gently through the water. She gasped for breath as she rose, and her mouth filled with balmy air, sweet and fragrant. Oddly, it was light, and the sun was just starting to sink into dusk.

“What …? In heaven’s name …?”  Viv spluttered, as the man lifted her up and over his broad shoulder and, splashing through the shallows, carried her to the bank. The world swirled around her and she found it hard to focus. She tried to draw in her breath but her chest felt too tight. She was trapped against him. Her body felt strange, her dripping sleeves seemed wider than they should be, her jeans somehow flapping against her legs. She was soaked through but yet the mere seemed to be calling her back again. She tried to twist round to it but the man only held her tighter. She grabbed hard at his shoulder and a piece of wet cloth tore away in her hand. It felt strange, not a fabric she was familiar with, thick and closely woven, but not rough.

He lowered her to her feet and grinned down at her. His eyes were dark like smoke, skin olive and exotic, and he ruffled his long dark curly hair to flick away the water that soaked it. She stared at his large wide mouth and the dark shadow that swept his chin and upper lip. His smile was intimate as if they shared a secret. For a moment, Viv felt her brain somersault. Her mind was drifting in and out of consciousness.

She was aware of movement around her and she tore her eyes away from him. There were people, men, their figures moving out of focus behind him, their voices echoing as if from far away. There were trees that she didn’t remember being around the mere. It seemed wilder than it should have been.  Yet everything within a few feet of her was exceptionally bright and clear, the light picking out all detail: the veins on the leaves, the knobbles and crevices of the tree bark starkly sharpened in high relief. Beyond that, all she saw was misty and swirling.

As she clenched her hands into fists she realised that she still held the torn fragment of cloth, and made to thrust it into the pocket of her jeans. The pocket was no longer there. She looked down and saw that she wore a long skirt, the dark wet fabric clinging to her legs. Good god, what was happening?

Viv looked back at the tall figure before her. He was dressed in some kind of loose cream tunic, dripping with lake water, with a brown leather belt that was finely tooled in gold, and as she stared he pulled on his boots that he had left at the water’s edge.

She looked wildly around her. The other men were dressed likewise in tunics, though not so fine.  There were horses higher up on the bank-top; she could hear their loud snorting and feel the juddering of the earth as they stamped their hooves. What was this?  What was going on? Her brain didn’t seem to be working properly; she felt confused, dull-witted. The sun was sinking behind the trees, leaving a trail of bloody streaks, red and orange, in the sky. Yet she had stumbled into the lake in the dark. She remembered staggering, a hand on her back, clutching for the branches to halt her fall into the water, floundering, or being pushed? Her clothes … her peculiar-feeling body … these people.

Her hand found a pouch hanging from her waist within the folds of her soaking skirt and she thrust the fabric into it, hiding it, though she had no idea why she needed to.

“Sir Roland,” murmured one of the men, holding out to the dark-eyed man a  large heavily embroidered crimson cloak which her rescuer swept around his shoulders and pinned with a huge gold brooch, covering the torn seam. As he did so, he glanced at Viv and smiled intimately again, his glance insolently drifting down to the clinging folds of her skirt and the pouch where the fragment of cloth nestled. His eyes found hers.  Embarrassed, she turned away.

Research and the time-slip novel

I love the historic novels of Philippa Gregory. I’ve learned much of my knowledge of the Tudor period from her work. Even though I know they are novels and not non-fiction academic texts, I still trust that they are reasonably accurate albeit a fictionalised ‘take’ on characters of history. I do know that she has done her research, even though you may disagree with some of her interpretations!

All the authors I know do a lot of research before and during writing their novel, but it’s especially vital if you are writing about a historical period, or a location or a concept, because you have to get it right! There are, believe me, many readers waiting to jump on the slightest inaccuracy – and that’s understandable. Readers want to see the novel, even if it’s a fictionalised account of the time or place, as an authority.

For A Shape on the Air, I needed to research theories of time and update my research on the early medieval period. Both of these are areas I love to read about, so it was no hardship. I’d studied medieval language, literature and history at university and was fascinated by the Dark Ages (after the Romans rule ended) and the early Anglo-Saxon settlements. There isn’t very much researched and written about the Dark Ages, which is where it got its name, not because it was violent and barbaric (which is what many people think) but because of the lack (darkness) of evidence in archaeology and documents. In some ways I had to use my deductive powers to assess what might have been retained from the earlier Roman period and what might be developing forward into the Anglo-Saxon period. More evidence is now appearing, such as from the ‘dig’ at Lyminge in Kent, England, where a fifth century feasting hall has recently been unearthed. So there was a fair amount of both evidence and informed imagination at work as I wrote A Shape on the Air.

My research into time-slip was also fascinating. I looked again at the scientific theories of quantum mechanics, which sounds a bit like something from Dr Who, the Einstein-Rosen Bridge, and worm-holes, all basically ideas about space-time portals through which you could slip from one layer of the universe into another, or from one historic period into another. Fascinating, especially for all those who like fantasy and the paranormal, and yet these are real scientific theories of the concept of time, albeit unlikely to be tested by experiment! It sounds insane, and of course Viv (in the present day) wonders if she’s going mad when she thinks she’s had a dream but brings back a real golden key from 499 AD! And her ‘dream’ is so real she begins to wonder if she’s taken on the identity of Lady Vivianne, her counterpart in the Dark Ages. How do they fit together? Why are their lives becoming intertwined? Why do they need to reach out to each other across the centuries? Read it and see …!

About Julia Ibbotson

Julia IbbotsonAward winning author Julia Ibbotson lives with her second husband in the heart of England in a renovated Victorian rectory, and, their four children having grown up, she is now suffering from empty nest syndrome. She is obsessed with the medieval world and concepts of time travel (and chocolate) (and cakes …).  She read English at Keele University (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana) specialising in medieval studies. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but life (and later the need to earn a living as a single mother) intruded and she became a school teacher, and then, on gaining her PhD as a (very) mature student, a university lecturer. Julia has written a memoir The Old Rectory: escape to a Country Kitchen (with recipes) and a children’s book S.C.A.R.S (a fantasy medieval time slip), before embarking on her Drumbeats trilogy (which begins in Ghana).  Her latest novel, A Shape on the Air, is a historical (medieval) time slip romance. Clearly, she is obsessed …  Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga, baking, and walking in the English countryside.

Author page on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Julia-Ibbotson/e/B0095XG11U/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1377188346&sr=1-2-ent

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Julia-Ibbotson-author/163085897119236

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Goodreads Author Page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6017965.Julia_Ibbotson

LinkedIn:   https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-julia-ibbotson

Blog:   http://www.juliaibbotsonauthor.com

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/juliai1/

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An e-copy of either The Old Rectory or Drumbeats (outside UK) Or paperback (UK only) if you sign up to Julia Ibbotson’s newsletter mailing list on her website.

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