THE LAST OF THE SHACKDWELLERS by Lena Kennedy #cover #reveal


The Last of the Shackdwellers


Lena Kennedy




Release Date:  18th January 2018


The evocative autobiography of the author Lena Kennedy who was sixty-four before her first novel, `Maggie` was accepted for publication.  This book examines the inspiration for her novels, such as the bestsellers Eve`s Apples and Lily My Lovely  and describes the long search for a publisher, as well as  her joy at finding success.

In this, story of her life as a writer, Lena Kennedy looks back on the formative influences that shaped her career, such as the idyllic summers spent at her family`s holiday home in Kent, where among the `shackdwellers` of the woods and the simple beauty of the countryside she began to realise her growing need to express her feeling through writing.  But the realisation of the need to write is only the beginning, as Lena soon acknowledged when her career took its first faltering steps, and the setback late in life that nearly robbed her of many year“s work. The Last of the Shackdwellers is told in her inimitable style, sheds much light on the life of this much-loved writer.  Lena Kennedy died in August l986.


Amazon UK –

Amazon US –





Lena Kennedy (June 15, 1914 – August 1 1986), was an English author. Her books were mostly historical romantic fiction set in and around the East End of London where she lived for all her life. Some of her books, including her autobiography, were published posthumously.

She appeared, as a subject, on the television programme This Is Your Life shortly before her death in 1986.


Amazon Author page –

WHEN THE MERMAID SINGS by Helen Hollick #historical #YA


When the Mermaid Sings


Helen Hollick



Genre: Historical adventure, YA

Series: The Sea Witch (can be read as a standalone)

Release Date: 29 September 2017

Publisher: S Books

An early coming-of-age tale of the young Jesamiah Acorne set in the years before he becomes a pirate and Captain of the Sea Witch.

Throughout childhood, Jesamiah Mereno suffered the bullying of his elder half-brother. Then, not quite fifteen years old and on the day they bury their father, Jesamiah hits back. He flees his home, changes his name to Jesamiah Acorne and joins the crew of his father’s seafaring friend Captain Malachias Taylor aboard the privateer Mermaid.

Jesamiah makes enemies, sees the ghost of his father and hears the mysterious voice of a Cornish girl in his mind. But can he avoid the beguiling lure of a sensuous mermaid…?


As followers of Jesamiah Acorne’s various nautical adventures know, the series of Sea Witch Voyages starts in January 1716 with Jesamiah, not yet a Captain of his own ship, about to take part in a pirate ‘Chase’ and a fight at sea with a prospective Prize.

He is aboard the Mermaid, with Captain Malachias Taylor in charge, and the opening scene, set off the coast of Africa, leads the way to what will be a turning point in Jesamiah’s life.

But what of his life before the events of Sea Witch? We know from the backstory that he fled his home in Virginia to escape the vicious bullying of his half-brother, Phillipe, and then crewed with Taylor, but how did that happen?

How did he learn to be the experienced seaman – and pirate – that he is?

How did he learn to fight?

What adventures, and risks, did he face in those days of his youth?

How did he develop from the frightened boy of not quite fifteen years old, to the cocksure, confident Captain that he became?


“You alright, son?”

A man was bending over him, taking his arm, half-shaking it, half-assisting him to rise. Jesamiah looked up into a face with weatherworn, tanned skin, several teeth missing and a beard that was more grey-grizzled than the brown it had once been. Bright eyes sparkled beneath a three-corner hat that sprouted a feathered plume.

“You alright?” the man asked again.

“Yes, I think so,” Jesamiah answered, scrambling to his feet. He was at the harbour – how had he got here? Three ships, in addition to Anna, rested at anchor, the nearest sporting a splendid figurehead with carved seaweed hair draped over her bare breasts; her fishtail curled as if clinging to the bow itself. Mermaid.

“You sure?” the sailor asked again, his hand still clasped to Jesamiah’s arm.

“Just a bit dizzy, that’s all.”

“Not surprising,” the man said with a nod and grim smile. “That’s some cut to your head. You came down quite a wallop.”
Touching his fingers to his temple, Jesamiah looked at the sticky smear of blood left on them.

“I saw you take the tumble as I were coming ashore. Noticed you earlier, too, with Tom Markham?”

Jesamiah nodded, then wished he hadn’t. “Aye, from Anna over there.” He pointed her out.

“Stannis still her bosun?”

Not risking another nod, Jesamiah confirmed that he was.

“Nasty piece of work. I’d as soon shoot him as serve with him.”

Not making a comment that could land him in trouble, Jesamiah answered, tactfully, “You know him, then?”

The man indicated a scar on his face. “We had a serious falling-out a few years back.”

The dizziness clearing, Jesamiah took a deep breath and was grateful that the man made a grab for him as he again tottered precariously. He attempted a jest: “I’m not sure if it’s the wound or not finding my land-legs yet. The ground’s pitching as much as the deck did.”

“Ah, you’ll soon adjust, son. Your pa always takes a few hours to do so.”

That cleared Jesamiah’s head as efficiently as a dousing with a bucket of cold seawater. “My pa?”

The man studied the boats at anchor in the harbour. “Aye. I take it Charles is not here? No sign of his vessel out there. Has he sent you off to sea?” The man chuckled. “’Bout time, if you ask me.”

Unexpected tears swam in Jesamiah’s eyes. He rapidly blinked them aside. “My father passed away a few months ago.”

The man removed his hat, wiped his hand across his mouth and nose, sniffed loudly and blinked as rapidly as Jesamiah had done. “I’m sorry to hear that, lad. Right sorry. He was a good man.”

Taking a step backwards, the man held out his hand. “You are, of course, Jesamiah? You are the image of Charles. Got your ma’s dark Spanish eyes and hair, though.”

Initially tentative, Jesamiah hesitated, but took the proffered hand and gripped it in a firm handshake. “My apologies, but you are…?”

“Taylor. Captain Malachias Taylor of the Mermaid, yonder.”



Amazon US –

Amazon UK –



Helen Hollick moved from London in 2013 and now lives with her family in North Devon, in an eighteenth century farmhouse surrounded by fields and woodland. She owns variety of pets including horses, Exmoor ponies, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks and geese.

First published in 1994 her passion now is her pirate character Captain Jesamiah Acorne of the nautical adventure series The Sea Witch Voyages.

Helen became a USA Today bestseller with her historical novel The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK). This is the story of Saxon Queen Emma of Normandy. Her novel Harold the King (titled I Am The Chosen King in the US) explores the events that led to the 1066 Battle of Hastings. Her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy, set in the fifth century, is widely acclaimed as a more historical version of the Arthurian legend.

She has written non-fiction books including Pirate – Truth and Tales, a book about smuggling (due to be published 2018) and Discovering the Diamond, a short advice guide for new writers interested in self-publishing which she co-wrote with her editor Jo Field.

Helen is published in various languages including Turkish and Italian.







PARADISE GIRL by Phill Featherstone #YA/NA #extract #giveaway

paradise girl



Phill Featherstone


paradise girl

Genre: Nominally YA/NA, general fiction

Release Date: 27 January 2017

Publisher: Matador

Kerryl Shaw has always kept a diary, but this one is different because she knows she is going to die.

A highly infectious and incurable virus spreads worldwide. Seventeen-year-old Kerryl lives with her family on a remote farm. They think they will be safe, but the danger advances. One day a stranger arrives, and it soon becomes apparent that he has brought the plague to their door.

Kerryl is sure it’s only a matter of time before she catches the infection and dies, and decides to record what she thinks will be her final days. She realises that her diary will never be read, so she imagines a reader and calls him Adam. Loneliness and isolation affect the balance of her mind. Little by little Adam comes alive to her, and she sets off across the moor to meet him.




       Introductions are boring, but unless I take time to explain things it will be confusing for you. Me first. Not very polite, I know, but it’s probably the best place to start.

My name is Kerryl – or that’s what my family and friends call me. My proper name is Cheryl. Cheryl Alison Shaw. They call me the Paradise Girl. Don’t get excited – it sounds sexy but it’s not. I’m seventeen years old and still a virgin. I’m not a nun, I’ve been out with loads of boys – Tim, Mark (two of them), Nathan, Jake, Tristram, Steve – but I wasn’t that keen on any of them and they didn’t last. The exception was Mark II. He was older than me, fearsomely good looking and he had a nice car. I thought he was really hot. When I wasn’t with him I was thinking about him. But it seems he wasn’t as keen as me, and one day my best friend, Josie, told me that he was going out with Monica Woodbridge and saying I was a frigid cow. It seems everybody knew I’d been dumped and I was the last to find out.

The worst thing was the shock. I thought Monica Woodbridge was my friend. As well as that, all the girls in our group had been going out with the same boys for a long time, but I seemed to keep a boyfriend for only a few weeks. Was there something wrong with me? To be honest, I’m not a great beauty. I don’t mean I’m a train wreck or anything. I’m not bad looking, but I’m not like Charlene Brooker or Suzy Simmonds. They’re electric, both of them. Charlene could be a model, and Suzy’s always surrounded by a gang of drooling boys.

They’re gone now: Charlene, Suzy, Josie, Monica, all of them.

Sorry for the break there. I had to stop to have a little weep. I’ll try not to do too much of that. I suppose I can console myself with one thing: with everyone else dead, I must be the most beautiful girl in the world!











The inspiration for writing Paradise Girl

Writers are often asked where the idea for a book came from. We’re all different and we all work in different ways, but I think most of us would agree that it’s rare for a plot to appear suddenly, fully formed. Usually it’s an object, a person, an event, something read, a random thought, perhaps even a dream that provides the grit in the oyster shell around which the book forms. According to the critic Christopher Booker there are only seven basic plots. All have been told a million times before. The writer’s task is to use the grit of the idea to shape one (or several) of those plots and create what she or he tries their very best to make into a pearl.

The grit for the novel I’m currently working on – The Poisoner’s Garden – was reading about an innocuous-looking yellow flower; the grit for the novel I’ve just finished – The God Jar – was an object I found years ago on a Cornish beach; the grit for Paradise Girl was an event.

I live high on the Pennine hills. My house is secluded, but there’s always something to see and hear. A neighbouring farmer might be working his fields, or a dog might be barking in the distance. From my windows I can see traffic weaving along the valley bottom, and if I’m outside I can hear a train trundling along the trans-Pennine link, or the siren of an emergency vehicle, or the bleep of a delivery vehicle reversing. Being close to the flight paths for Leeds/Bradford and Manchester airports and the polar corridor for flights from Heathrow to North America the sky is usually latticed with vapour trails. So although you might think my home is remote, there are always plenty of signs of life.

In 2010 the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull (try saying that with a mouthful of biscuit!) erupted. Although relatively small as volcanic eruptions go, the ash cloud caused enormous disruption to air travel across most of western and northern Europe. This meant that for several days in April the skies above me were clear. One afternoon during this lull I was alone in the house. I went into the garden and I was struck by how still it was: there were no vapour trails – I wasn’t expecting there to be any – but there was no sound or movement from around or from the small town in the valley below either. The whole place was still.

A thought struck me: suppose everyone else had vanished, disappeared. Suppose there was no one left alive but me. What would that be like? What would I do? How would I survive? Could I survive? It was not so much fending for myself – I knew I could do that – but if there was nobody to talk to, no one to listen to, could I endure the terrible loneliness? If everyone else had gone there’d be no shops, no schools or offices, no transport, no internet, no TV, nothing; just an empty world with only me to fill it. Wouldn’t it make a great plot for a novel?

Of course, it’s not a new idea. Robinson Crusoe is the classic example of a tale of loneliness and isolation. More recently the story was picked up in the brilliant novel and film The Martian. The central characters of both those are men. That was one reason why I didn’t want to write about myself, an older male, as if it was me that was the sole survivor. Wouldn’t it be more interesting to have somebody younger describing what happened? Everything would be fresh to them, and because of their age the prospect of death would be more poignant. And how would somebody in their teens manage without all the paraphernalia that they now take for granted – Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, smartphones, streaming and so on? Gradually the character of Kerryl Shaw emerged: a farm girl, bright but from a non-academic home; imaginative but unsophisticated; a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, who has all the promise of her life slowly and painfully whittled away.

The question that remained was how to tell the story. It seemed obvious that it should be narrated in the first-person, Kerryl describing the things that happen to her and her reaction to them in her own words. However, that would take away what ought to be a key question for the reader: does she survive? If it was her talking it would be obvious she had, but I wanted it to be unclear. Then I had an idea. Kerryl could write a diary. It’s a well tried format, from Adrian Mole through Bridget Jones to Alice, I Think – not to mention the very many 18th and 19th century examples. The advantage for me is that Kerryl could write about what was happening to her and set down her thoughts, the diary would be there whether Kerryl remained alive or not. It would be necessary to read to the end to find out.

But then, why would she write a diary if she was sure there was nobody around to read it? Enter Adam.

Of course, the plot details had to be worked out and there was a lot of drafting and redrafting, but that’s how the idea for Paradise Girl came to me, and how Kerryl, the paradise girl herself, came to life. I hope I’ve managed to turn the bit of grit from that day in 2010 into a pearl; it’s up to my readers to judge.


paradise girl

Phill Featherstone was born and brought up in the north of England. He trained as a teacher and taught English in comprehensive schools. In the late 1990s he and his wife, Sally, founded a publishing company specialising in education books for the early years. In 2008 the business was acquired by Bloomsbury, after which they moved to Yorkshire. He now spends his time writing, travelling, on the arts and on conservation work. Phill has degrees from Cambridge and Leicester Universities, and is a member of the Society of Authors. Paradise Girl is his third novel, although the first to be published.


Twitter: @PhillFeathers

Goodreads Author Page:




2 signed copies of the book (open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A SAINTLY GRAVE DISTURBED by Nikki Copleston #thriller

saintly grave

A Saintly Grave Disturbed


Nikki Copleston


saintly grave

Genre: Thriller

Release Date: 27 October 2017

Publisher: S Books

Series: A DI Jeff Lincoln short read


When archaeologists Beth Tarrant and Josh Good excavate a ruined chapel at Barbury Abbey they don’t expect to uncover a modern mystery too…

Finding the tomb of a medieval abbot would mean a lot to Beth – fifty years ago, her grandfather was forced to abandon his own search for the tomb, but nobody knows why. Can Beth finish what he started?

As one incident after another threatens to sabotage the dig, Detective Inspector Jeff Lincoln is called in, and when a bungled burglary at the museum turns into murder he finds a shocking link to a case he’s already investigating.








I’m interested in ‘all things old’ and have seen a few archaeological digs at historic properties here and in Scotland. When the opportunity came to read and review this book, I jumped at the chance.

It’s a relatively short read (about 150 pages) so I was able to read it in one sitting. A perfect pastime on a snowy Canadian day.

The action starts straight away and the modern mystery is revealed. But not in its entirety. You have to read to the end of the book to find out the rest of it.

The characters are well developed and likeable. I especially liked Beth who is trying to complete the work her grandfather started many years ago.

Just when you think you’ve figured it out, another twist is introduced making you re-think your ‘A-ha’ moment.

Nikki does a fantastic job of keeping the pace moving and keeping the secret concealed until she’s ready to reveal it.

For me, this was a 5-star read.



Nikki Copleston worked in London for many years before moving back to the West Country where she was brought up. In 2016, she published the award-winning The Shame of Innocence, featuring DI Jeff Lincoln, and is currently rewriting an earlier Jeff Lincoln crime novel, The Price of Silence.

Nikki is a member of Frome Writers’ Collective, which supports and promotes writers in the area round Frome. She’s also a founder member of Stellar Scribes, a group of novelists from Wells and Glastonbury who love to share their passion for a good yarn, mainly through talks and events in libraries.

Fascinated by history, she enjoys exploring with her camera, photographing landscapes and quirky architecture, old and new. She and her husband now live in Wells, Somerset, with their cat.



Goodreads Author Page:






THE HOUSE AT LADYWELL by Nicola Slade #CrookedCat #extract






Genre: Contemporary romance with historical interludes

Release Date: 14th November 2017

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

A hare carved in stone and the scent of flowers in a house full of echoes – can Freya’s inheritance help her to leave the past behind? 

Had I gone completely crazy that first day? To open the door, take one astonished look round, and decide on the spot that I would live there?

To fall in love with a house?’

When Freya Gibson inherits an old, run-down property she has no idea she is the last in a long line of redoubtable women, including the Tudor nun who built the house. Unknown to Freya these women, over centuries, fought with whatever weapons came to hand – deception, endurance, even murder – to preserve their home and family.

Freya falls in love with the house but her inheritance includes an enigmatic letter telling her to ‘restore the balance’ of the Lady’s Well. Besides this, the house seems to be haunted by the scent of flowers.

In the past the Lady’s Well was a place of healing and Freya soon feels safe and at home, but she has demons of her own to conquer before she can accept the happiness that beckons.




‘Something I’d failed to mention to anyone: not to Louise, not when I was enthusing to Patrick, and certainly not to the helpful solicitor, was the letter that had been waiting for me on that first day.

Beside the front door stood a small table on which sat an old walkabout phone in a base station, and two envelopes, one large and the other letter-sized. The smaller envelope was addressed to me.

The handwriting straggled shakily across the page and the contents of the letter startled me.

When you were born I knew you were the one. Before anything else you must go into the garden and pick some flowers. It doesn’t matter what you pick: in winter look for leaves, rosemary or winter jasmine, but if it’s summer pick simple flowers – a rose, a sprig of yellow broom, nothing fancy. Pick what you can and weave them into a wreath made from the rowan tree – you’ll know it by the wooden bench underneath. Hang it on the hook inside the front door.

When that’s done, say the words written below, making sure you’re alone. My grandmother had the verse from her own grandmother and so on. I expect the words have altered over time but the spirit remains the same. Show reverence when you do these things but do this first of all. You must not delay.

You must restore the balance.’


It had been a sleety February day, with flowers few and far between but I persevered, driven by the sense of urgency in the letter. I found secateurs in the kitchen. The rosemary was easy, a great, straggling bush standing sentinel by the path, with yellow winter jasmine spread against the wall. In a sheltered spot I found a clump of snowdrops and, to my delight, a primrose or two.

I had to stand on the bench to snip a couple of pliable twigs from the rowan, and back in the house I bent them into a makeshift circle and threaded in the flowers and leaves. Still under the compulsion I’d felt on reading the letter I stood on a chair to hang my creation on the waiting hook.

Saying the words Violet had written made me pause.

‘It sounds like a spell,’ I half-whispered, hushed by the strangeness of it all. Was Violet a witch? Wasn’t this all complete nonsense? I read the words again and summoned up my rusty Latin vocabulary, almost forgotten since ‘A’ Level. ‘Domina means lady; something about water? And leporum – rabbit? No,’ I corrected myself. ‘Lepus is a hare, and benedic – any kind of blessing can’t be bad.’

There was something about the place that I couldn’t explain. I felt safe and – odd as it sounds – wrapped in loving arms. The house was filled with a friendly silence and I felt comforted for the first time in ages. What harm could it do to obey Violet’s last instructions when she given me this precious gift?

I took a deep breath and bowed my head before the ring of twigs and flowers, not in prayer but in a kind of grateful submission, as I quietly murmured the Latin words, stumbling over a rough translation in my head…’










Nicola Slade had her first short stories published in her early twenties and wrote for children and for women’s magazines while her three children were growing up.

Nicola’s books are all set in Hampshire and include the romantic comedy, ‘Scuba Dancing’, and two cosy mystery series. The Charlotte Richmond books set in 1858 feature a young widow with a shady past and a habit of stumbling over the occasional corpse and the contemporary Harriet Quigley mysteries, featuring a retired headmistress and her cousin and sidekick, the Rev. Sam Hathaway.

Nicola lives in Hampshire with her husband, and as well as writing she belongs to a local art workshop; among other things she has been a Brown Owl and an antiques dealer.


Twitter @nicolasladeuk








a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU, ME AND US by Kate Field #giveaway


The TRUTH about YOU, ME and US


Kate Field



Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction

Release Date: 25 August 2017

Publisher: Accent Press

Sometimes the hardest person to be honest with is yourself…

Five years ago Helen Walters walked out on her ‘perfect’ life with the ‘perfect’ man. Wealthy, glamorous and bored, she longed for something more.

Now a talented artist with a small business, Helen creates crazy patchwork crafts to support her young daughter, Megan. Penniless, content and single, she is almost unrecognisable.

But when her past unexpectedly collides with her new life, Helen finds herself torn. She knows what the easiest choice is, but is it what she wants?




Kate writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire,

where she lives with her husband, daughter and hyperactive cat.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Kate’s debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the RNA’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers in 2017.


Twitter: @katehaswords


2 paperback copies of the book are up for grabs!
(open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FOX HALT FARM by Celia Moore #guestpost #giveaway #romance

fox halt farm

Fox Halt Farm


Celia Moore


fox halt farm

Genre: Romance

Release Date: 1st November 2017

FOX HALT FARM is a compelling love story set over two decades with a backdrop of atmospheric Dartmoor, Devon. Perfect for fans of ROMANCE – this is a powerful and CAPTIVATING READ.

Opening on a cliff edge, Billy finds herself alone and betrayed. She believes everyone and everything she loves is threatened.

Richard’s world is aglow with wealth, love and unswerving family loyalty but then his perfect life crosses Billy’s. He could save Billy, her beloved dairy cows and Fox Halt Farm but this young woman isn’t in the mood to be rescued.

Nothing will stay the same. Should they trust each other? Will their secrets tear their lives apart?

Fox Halt Farm is going to be hard to put down. The story cracks along and you are caught up in Celia Moore’s vivid storytelling from the start. If you love novels by Jill Mansell, Maeve Binchy and Danielle Steel you will love this too!

Billy and Richard’s story will tug on your heart-strings.  This novel is emotive, enthralling and so real – this is what could happen when two very different worlds collide.







There must be at least twenty irregular steps to negotiate before we reach our honeymoon hotel. I can see that my petite wife is wishing that she hadn’t worn her million dollar heels, which were never fashioned for this unforgiving terrain.

I catch something in the edge of my vision. I screw my head towards Janette, ‘Did you see that? Darling! Did you see?’

‘No. What?’ She is still focused on the steps.

‘I thought I saw something falling,’ I point at the jagged headland and I tell her, ‘I must check it out!’

Straightaway, I abandon my wife and charge ahead to the edge of the cliff.

My eyes are scrutinising the white beach far below. Nothing…

I search harder. I feel exhausted. The journey to this remote Greek island was so much longer than we expected and leaving straight from our wedding was definitely a mistake.

Concentrate! My straining eyes pick up the tiniest movement, or maybe my ears sense the faintest noise. I am aware of something, a laugh maybe?

As I make out a small indistinct shape at the bottom of the cliff, my heart pumps my blood too fast. A vein throbs in the middle of my forehead and I mouth horrified questions to no-one, ‘A child? Did they fall?’

I think I hear the haunting noise again, the ghost of another laugh?


Janette is watching me from the verandah of the hotel. She is with a tall woman, whose white skin is shadowed by a straw hat. My wife swipes a wayward strand of her hair away from her face, while her companion links her fingers over a pregnant bump. As I run back, I see a young man approaching them – a native islander with a confident swagger. I shout but they can’t hear me.

When they do understand, the man straightaway nods towards a steep path leading to the beach below, ‘I come with you,’ He barks before yelling back at the pregnant woman, ‘Get someone with boat there!’

‘Okay.’ From the tone of her reply it is difficult to know if she is willing, or bored?

Janette’s doe eyes look frightened, she tells me, ‘Sorry Rich, that path is too precarious. I can’t come with you. Be careful luvva.’

I kiss her, ‘I’ll be fine, please don’t worry. I love you!’




STOP PRESS: On special offer until 1st December! Only 99p!


Designing my cover. The history behind the cover of Fox Halt Farm:

‘I have thoughts about your cover – not sure it does your book any favours…’ Those words came in an unexpected message from my wonderful mentor author Beth Webb in April. She was right of course – and so began a journey.

When Beth’s message appeared on my phone, I was blind to the importance of the design– I didn’t appreciate how vital the cover of a book plays in securing readers. Now of course, I find myself analysing every cover I come across.

Version 1:

fox halt farm

‘Give him a very clear brief – two or three paragraphs about the plot – what age group it’s for male/female readers – what emotion you want to get across.’

I wrote a six-page brief (with lots of images) to the recommended designer and he told me ‘Good thorough brief by the way, you’d be amazed how rarely I get as much to work on.’ But despite this all my ideas were lost in translation! He said ‘a hunky man with no shirt holding a woman in a flowing dress seem to be almost universal… At the very least we may have to have a bit of snogging going on.’ This led to an uneasy truce…

Version 2:

fox halt farm

I showed the potential cover to people and there was a lot of head shaking – I felt I had to go back to the drawing board – I deliberated long and hard – I wanted something unusual, a thought provoking concept, which was eye-catching.

This was when I decided to make my own oil painting from an imagined scene in my book. But then doubts began to creep in again – it wasn’t startling enough and this was how Version 3 was born.

Version 3:fox halt farm

I liked this cover but having carried out a lot of research amongst many ladies, I discovered this was design was giving a murder mystery message –Fox Halt Farm was a thriller perhaps? – The most critical feedback came from my husband – again unexpected and uninvited – but all the same, 99% of the time he is right! and he said the image looked like a poster for the local amateur dramatic society’s latest production!

And the winner is… Version 4! Just simple and effective… the best feedback for this final version, which is based on my original oil painting was unexpected too – I showed it to one of my friends who read my first draft of Fox Halt Farm and I watched as she wiped away a tear in her eye – and then another reader of my first draft said it brought a lump to her throat – I feel at last, the cover reflects the story I have to tell.

Final Version:

fox halt farm

There is a footnote I want to add to this story – this has been a tricky voyage and one I expect that rings true with many other authors – I see so many posts about angst over book covers – many authors of course have little say in the design their publisher uses – it was wonderful to be able to have the ability to choose mine – but I just want to say that there is one person I feel particularly indebted to. He came along when I was probably at my lowest point with this – and this is the testimonial I wrote for him, Harrison is just starting out and I think he can only succeed, ‘I contacted Harrison Pidgeon with my proposed images for my book cover and he carefully and thoughtfully created a stunning cover for me.  This was done in a very tight timescale and I can only say I am delighted with everything. I shall definitely be using this talented designer again. I think what impressed me most was the way he listened to what I wanted and made intelligent and clever suggestions to improve the design. I also liked the way that he wrote a clear and concise account of what he had done.  Thank you Harrison – it is so nice in a world full of a ‘that’ll do attitude’ to find a person who really cares about doing a job well. You exceeded my expectations!’.

Fox Halt Farm – a powerful romantic saga is £0.99 for a limited time – Available to purchase now from Amazon.

About Celia Moore

fox halt farm

Celia Moore was born in Devon, England, and grew up on a farm. Celia left the farm to have a successful career as a Chartered Surveyor working in the City district of London.

In 2000 she left the office life behind to start a new adventure of becoming an outdoor instructor and taught rock climbing, mountaineering, canoeing and even skiing, archery, rifle shooting and mountain biking. She managed an outdoor residential centre until she met her husband and now she is concentrating on gardening for a few lovely customers, running and writing.

Born fifty years ago this year, Celia has been creative ever since – from explaining why there are no chocolate biscuits left when visitors arrive, to writing glowing particulars for ugly properties; from encouraging people to have a go at a scary abseil, oil painting and writing. Celia loves it all but especially the gardening, running and the writing!









a Rafflecopter giveaway

IF I WANT YOU by Rachel Brimble ~ #new #romantic suspense #giveaway

wantIf I Want You


Rachel Brimble

wantGenre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: Nov 8th 2017

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

When local journalist, Tori Peterson, fails to prevent a child abduction outside her niece’s school, her horror and guilt sparks a vow to do whatever it takes to get little Abby Brady home to her parents.

While Tori battles the vile memories of her own kidnapping as a child, she accepts the help of widowed father, Mark Bolton. As he and Tori join forces with the local police, their attraction and intimacy grows…along with their fears for Abby.

Links are uncovered between Abby’s disappearance and Tori’s kidnapping, and Tori is forced to accept the monster who held her captive is back. But this time, Tori is all grown up, and there is no way she will let him hurt another little girl.





It wasn’t the just the smell of fresh air and sandalwood that alerted Tori to the fact Mark had joined them. It was the way his shadow fell over her as though covering her body with his wide, deep and potentially dangerous protectiveness.

She didn’t bother to look at him…even though her Cally was seriously looking. Tori lifted her hand in a half-hearted wave. “Take a seat, superhero.”

“I will.” He sat beside her. “Thank you.”

Every now and then, when she was alone at home, she’d picked up a book. And every now and then, Tori would toss the book across the room whenever she read the words, “the air crackled between them.” Well, whatever instantly plagued the atmosphere between her and Mark as she forced her gaze to his, she was loath to call it crackling. Maybe humming… screaming… burning… but definitely not crackling.

She swallowed. “What are you doing here?”

“Olivia’s staying at a friend’s. I was at a loose end.”

Despite her best efforts to fight her smile, it was ruthless and broke through her barriers like they were made of sugar paper. “Loose end, my ass. You were no doubt pacing around the house and doing everything you could not to get in the car and go get her.”

He smiled and put a glass on the table. “Merlot, right?”



Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had seven books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and an eighth coming in Jan 2018. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.



Goodreads Author Page:





£20/$20 Amazon gift certificate

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CHRISTMAS AT BAY TREE COTTAGE by Linn B Halton #Christmas #giveaway

christmasChristmas at Bay Tree Cottage


Linn B. Halton

christmasGenre: Romance/women’s contemporary/holidays

Release Date: 3 Nov 2017

Publisher: Harper Impulse

The countdown to Christmas is usually a magical time, but Elana James is fed up with living on a building site! The renovations on her beautiful cottage – like her heart – have been frozen in limbo ever since she was unexpectedly widowed.

Elana calls in a professional, Luke Stevenson, to help finish the cottage, so her little girl can send letters to Santa up the newly-repaired chimney. Luke’s kind, capable and sexy – but he’s also ten years younger than Elana. So why has her heart decided it’s finally time for a thaw?

The perfect read to curl up by the fire with … for fans of Rebecca Boxall.


 ‘Mum, can we light the log fire tonight?’ Maya looks up at me with eager eyes.

‘I think we should wait until the weekend, darling. There isn’t really time to appreciate it on a school night, is there? Besides, I’m not even sure whether there are any logs left in the store. I promise to get it sorted as soon as I can.’

It was Niall’s job, sorting the fire. He would have booked the chimney sweep in early autumn and had the logs all ready and waiting, stacked neatly against the back wall of the garage. Ironically, last year I was much more organised. I suppose it was one of my coping mechanisms during those raw, early weeks and months. Keep going; keep doing something – anything, so I didn’t have to listen to what was in my head. But I feel bad. Maya will remember that this time last year we spent every evening huddled together on the sofa in front of the fire, reading. Hour upon hour we escaped into alternative worlds inspired by some wonderful authors. Roald Dahl’s Matilda, E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, and Maya’s favourite, Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch, a story of tenderness and triumph.

It was the very worst of times, but I focused on getting us through it one day at a time. My gut instinct, immediately after the accident, had been to sell the cottage just to escape that prevailing sense that something was missing. Niall was no longer here and it would never, ever be the same again. But soon realisation dawned that Maya needed a sense of continuity; the memories trapped within these walls were a lifeline for her, although a cruelly painful reminder for me. In a way she feels her dad is still here and I can’t take that away from her.






Bristol-born Linn lives in the Forest of Dean, in the UK. She resides there with her lovely husband and cat, Ziggy. She has been writing novels since 2009 and has written short stories for a number of magazines. She is also known for her series of ‘Home by Design’ articles wearing her former interior designer hat.

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

An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Under The Stars also became a best-selling novel in November 2016. Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.

Linn writes chick lit, romantic comedy, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance. Publishers include Harper Impulse, Choc Lit and Endeavour Press.



Goodreads Author Page:


COMPETITION – No purchase necessary

A pamper kit (UK only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

ALWAYS WITH YOU by Hannah Ellis ~ #excerpt #giveaway


Always with You


Hannah Ellis


hannahRelease Date: 3rd Oct 2017

A secret kept for more than twenty years. A daughter intent on finding the truth…

In 1994, twenty-one-year-old Evelyn Taylor left England to backpack around Australia. When she stopped off in the dusty outback town of Kununurra, she never expected to fall in love with the place – and the people. But Joe Sullivan captured her heart, and when her fun-filled year in Australia came to an end, saying goodbye to him was the hardest thing she’d ever done.

In 2017, Evelyn’s daughter, Libby, embarks on her own Australian adventure. Grief-stricken following her mother’s death, she’s determined to find the father she never met.

Little does she know that digging up the past will be more complicated than she ever imagined.


I was happy to see Cam and his family turn up only a few minutes later. They had spent their Christmas Day on the river. Three boats pulled up to the riverbank and the rowdy occupants announced their arrival with whoops and cheers and a few of them singing “We Wish you a Merry Christmas” at the top of their lungs.

“How’s my favourite British chick?” Cam asked, giving me a hug. “Having a good Christmas?”

“Yeah,” I said, my thoughts still lingering on Joe and Beth and wondering what had happened. “It’s been really good.”

“It’s about to get better,” he said. “I’m teaching you to water-ski.”

I frowned. “I saw a croc down there earlier.”

“You better learn to stay up on your feet then,” he said with a grin. Then he turned to shout, “Evelyn’s first attempt at waterskiing coming up! Someone get a camera and everyone gather round for a laugh!”

“Thanks!” I said, following him to the boat.

It was so much fun. To everyone’s delight, it took me a while to get the hang of it, and there were a few hilarious false starts which saw me nose-diving into the water. Then I got a feel for it and managed to get up out of the water. Cam steered the boat down the river, picking up speed as we left the house behind. He glanced back occasionally and shouted encouragement.

“Let’s turn around and show them what a pro you are,” he said after a while. We headed back and a cheer arose as we passed the house with me standing relatively confidently on the skis. Joe had returned and I caught his eye. I was having such a great time and laughed loudly before we left everyone behind again. On my next drive by, I got a bit cocky and lifted an arm to wave. Disaster. I let the rope go as I lost my balance and crashed spectacularly into the water. Below the surface, I spent a moment upside down and confused before hitting the air again, coughing and spluttering. Joe was at the riverbank and crouched to my level.

“You okay?”

“Think so,” I said, choking and reaching for his hand. “I lost the skis somewhere.”

“Don’t worry about it. Cam’ll get them. You scared me for a minute. Thought I was gonna have to brave the crocs and jump in after you!”

He pulled me out in one movement and I stumbled on my jelly legs, falling into him. “You okay?” he asked again.

“What happened?” Cam shouted, turning the boat around. “You think you’re the queen, giving everyone the royal wave?”

“I thought I was getting good,” I said, laughing.

About Hannah Ellis


Hannah Ellis lives in Munich with her husband and two little boys. She’s originally from England and has lived in America, Australia and Ireland. As well as writing, she also teaches English to kindergarten kids. In her spare time she likes to read books, drink tea and eat chocolate. She goes jogging regularly but hasn’t decided if she really enjoys it or not. She’s a huge fan of sunshine and the many Munich beer gardens.



Goodreads Author Page:



A signed paperback copy of the book (open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway