Wondrous World of Witchcraft and Misery


Sophia Cobbs


Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: 5 December 2017

Publisher: Silverwood Books

Have you ever tried to conjure up the perfect man? It’s not as easy as it might seem, even if you are a powerful and intelligent witch.

Petulia and Miss Level find out that there is more to finding Mr Right than just a flick of the wand, and poof…there he is! Their latest attempt is gorgeous – as long as you don’t mind the horns and the singing, which of course they do. But when they try to fix him they run into some serious problems. To make things even more complicated, a mysterious and handsome stranger appears. But there is something not quite right about him either…

Will Petulia and Miss Level be able to fix everything and can they use their witchcraft to overcome misery?



A muffled conversation between Petulia and Miss Level was a distraction for all the people in the audience, but they didn’t care. They were talking about important things. Like the weather. For some people this might have been a good indication of how badly the actors were performing. I mean, if the weather appeared to be more tantalising than the arts, there could only be something wrong with the arts. Unless the weather was actually extraordinary. I can understand that a hurricane would be very interesting, but the question is: who would go to the theatre in a hurricane?

Clearly Petulia and Miss Level. It makes you wonder if there actually were people around for them to distract. In any case, a performance during a hurricane has a valid reason for being below average. The actors were probably wondering how long the roof would hold up, and they had to shout to be heard over the howling wind.

When one of them finally noticed that the two audience members weren’t even paying attention, he signalled to his colleagues and one by one they left the stage to find safety in the basement of the theatre.

The last one shouted, “Switch off the lights before you leave,” which made Petulia raise her hand in affirmative response.

And then they were alone.

“Finally! It took them long enough.” Petulia grabbed her canvas bag from the seat next to her and stood up.

“Well, you know how daft actors are.” Miss Level waited for Petulia to squeeze past her between the rows of chairs, then picked up her own bag and followed. Instead of going to the exit, they crossed the room and walked up to the stage. Petulia fished a piece of chalk out of her bag and started to draw a pentagram on the floor of the stage. “It’s almost ten o’clock. We’ll never get this done in time.” Three points were already drawn.

“Nonsense. We’ve got all the time in the world.” Miss Level stopped at the first point and put a bowl filled with herbs on the tip. She rummaged through her bag again and found another bowl for the next tip and so on. When the entire thing was drawn and supplied with the right herbs at the right points, Petulia put her hand in her bag again and found two boxes of matches. She threw one to Miss Level on the other side of the pentagram, who, by some miracle, caught it perfectly. Then she checked her watch: 9:59. She glanced up.

“Are you ready?”

Miss Level had a match in her hand, ready to light it on the box. “Ready.”

Petulia kept her eyes on her watch while pulling a match out of her own box. “Now!”

Both women lit their matches, waited a full second with their eyes closed and then blew them out. At the same time as the flames died, the herbs in the bowls caught fire. The women spread their arms and started chanting indiscernible words. The smoke began to whirl around between them, creating a sort of vortex. This went on for ten minutes. Just when Petulia was about to ask if they were doing it right, a shadow appeared in the smoke. First it seemed like the smoke just got darker, heavier. But then it started to dissipate and they could clearly make out the form of a man. The smoke cleared completely and the chanting stopped.

Petulia put her hands on her hips. “Damn it. We did something wrong.”

Miss Level, who had a clear view of the man’s naked backside and was very distracted by it, asked, “What?”

“He’s not supposed to have horns.”

Miss Level’s eyes slowly roamed up the man’s body until she could see the unmistakable horns. She grinned. “Well, at least he doesn’t have a tail this time.”


AMAZON UK: https://goo.gl/6MdEvF

AMAZON US: https://goo.gl/Go91h3

KOBO: https://goo.gl/Br8wnb

SILVERWOOD BOOKS: https://goo.gl/g74xgr




Sophia Cobbs was born in 1982 in Dendermonde, Belgium. She has always had a fondness for writing. In high school she wrote poems and short stories but mostly kept them to herself. This is her first novel.

When she isn’t writing or directing, she is doing one of two things: her day job as Office Manager for an IT company, or scouring wine tastings with her long-term boyfriend.

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

Website: http://www.sophiacobbs.com/


MURDER MOST WELCOME by Nicola Slade #cosy #mystery #GIVEAWAY


Murder Most Welcome


Nicola Slade



Series: The Charlotte Richmond Mysteries Book 1

Genre: Historical cosy mystery

Release Date: This edition Feb 2018 First Ed:2008

Publisher: Williams & Whiting Publishing

Outwardly a grieving young Victorian widow, Charlotte Richmond is concealing some scandalous secrets when she arrives at Finchbourne Manor to start a new life with her husband’s family. The wealthy Richmonds must never discover that her husband’s recent death in the Indian Mutiny came as a great relief. Nor must they hear about the rumors circulating in the army regarding his scandalous behavior. His death has also been the subject of speculation and Charlotte must take care not to spill any secrets. Above all she must make certain that nobody in her new life hears of her own adventurous upbringing in Australia. When the past catches up with Charlotte, she begins to fear for her own life.


LATE SPRING 1858 – in the South of England

Chapter 1

As she laid out the body, Charlotte Richmond made two surprising discoveries.

     The first of these led her to suspect that the man on the bed had been murdered.  By whom, she had not the slightest notion. To whom she was profoundly grateful.

     The second discovery confirmed what she had known all along, that the deceased – late and far from lamented – had not possessed the habits of a gentleman.

     As this was the second time in less than a year that he had apparently been murdered Charlotte felt she might be forgiven for not falling into a paroxysm of grief; indeed, strong hysterics might, she considered, be a more appropriate reaction.

     Hysterics not being in her nature she merely veiled his face decently with a linen cloth and wondered what to do with the object she had so surprisingly encountered. ‘Well, well, 

well,’ she murmured. ‘Here you are, dead again, I see. I wonder what is to become of me now?’

A few short weeks previously, Charlotte, who was waiting with some trepidation in the entrance hall at Finchbourne Manor and trying to overcome her anxiety by observing the

ancient, dark oak of the panelling, the extreme chill of the flagstone floor, and the picturesquely leaded windows that let in so little light, had overheard her mother-in-law express a similar sentiment.

‘Oh, that dreadful Mutiny, what will become of that unfortunate child, poor, dear Charlotte?’ she had enquired, allowing an artistic sob to colour her voice.

‘Well, Mama,’ answered a prosaic female voice. ‘I understand that Charlotte is even now on her way home from India to Finchbourne. If you recollect it was your own suggestion, when we heard of dear Frampton’s sad death, that she should make her home here with us. And after all there is no reason to believe that Charlotte is a child; remember, dearest Frampton was thirty-seven and his letters made no mention that his bride was much younger than he was himself.’

‘Oh do hush, Agnes dear!’

In spite of the nervous tension that had her sitting ramrod straight on an uncomfortable oak settle, blackened by age, Charlotte listened, with wry amusement, to this conversation. Shifting very slightly in her seat she felt a twinge of guilt as she recollected how differently Frampton Richmond’s ‘sad’ death had been viewed by her military acquaintances in India.

I must say nothing, she thought, shaking her head.  I have seen the damage caused by a stray shell fired into the midst of the market place, who am I to lob a shell of my own and destroy their illusions about their lost hero – and for what?   Rumour?   Speculation?

No, not I, my part is to play the grieving widow and ingratiate myself into their home and into their affections, to make a settled home for myself at last.  Besides, she reminded herself, I dare not raise any spectres from the past, what if they found out about me?

Buy link to Murder Most Welcome


Check out the other books in the series…


Nicola Slade

Nicola Slade



Nicola Slade has been a Brown Owl, an antiques dealer, and once lived in Cairo for a year. Her published novels include a romantic comedy, Scuba Dancing, three Victorian mysteries featuring a young widow, The Charlotte Richmond Mysteries, and three contemporary mysteries featuring recently-retired headmistress, Harriet Quigley, and her clergyman cousin, the Reverend Sam Hathaway. The Harriet Quigley Mysteries. Her eighth novel, a mystery romance, The House at Ladywell, was published in late 2017.

Nicola’s family is now grown up and she and her husband live near Winchester.

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

Twitter: @nicolasladeuk

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17100459.Nicola_Slade

Blog: www.nicolaslade.wordpress.com


An ecopy of THE HOUSE AT LADYWELL (open internationally)

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Z is for Zagreb ~ 2018 #AtoZ Challenge

Z is for Zagreb
2018 #AtoZ Challenge

The #AtoZ Challenge for 2018 has drawn to an end. For the final stop in this year’s tour, we’re in Croatia in the city of Zagreb. Bet you didn’t think I could cover every letter of alphabet with this subject.

What can I tell you about Zagreb? In addition to being the capital of Croatia, it’s also the country’s largest city. It dates from the Roman times to today, so there’s lots of history there.

Z is for Zagreb
By Nick Savchenko from Kiev, Ukraine (Zagreb) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Zagreb is an important tourist destination but it quite often overlooked by people going to vacation on the Adriatic.

The city numerous shops, boutiques, and shopping centres. Offerings include crystal, china and ceramics as well as wicker and straw baskets. Let’s not forget the Croation wines and food products.


Even though this has only been a ‘virtual’ world tour, I’m ready to rest and relax and get over the ‘jet lag.’ I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey.

See you next year!

Y is for Yakima ~ 2018 #AtoZ Challenge


Y is for Yakima

2018 #AtoZ Challenge

We’re back the US today in the state of Washington for Y is for Yakima day on the #AtoZ Challenge.

Located southeast of Mount Rainier, the city, lies in a fertile valley known for its apple, wine and hop production.

Y is for Yakima
© Steven Pavlov / http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Senapa

The largest employer in the area is the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital followed by the Yakima School District and Walmart.

Sadly, downtown Yakima has undergone many changes since the late 1990s. Three department stores and an entire mall, now closed, have been replaced by a Whirlpool Corporation facility, an Adaptis call center, and several hotels.

X is for Xiamen ~ 2018 #AtoZ Challenge


X is for Xiamen

2018 #AtoZ Challenge

We’re in China today for our only stop in the country. We’re visiting the city of Xiamen.

Beginning at the top of the montage – Xiamen’s CBD, Xiamen University, Gulangyu Island, South Putuo Temple, beach on Gulangyu Island, and Haicang Bridge

X is for Xiamen
By Jonipoon [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Xiamen is known for its mild climate and low pollution levels.

In 2006, it was ranked 2nd in “most suitable city for living” and in 2011,  China’s “most romantic leisure city.”

The centre of the Chinese tea trade, Xiamen ships hundreds of thousands of tons, yes tons, of tea to the Americas and Europe.


W is for Westcombe ~ 2018 #AtoZ Challenge


W is for Westcombe

2018 #AtoZ Challenge

We’re back in England today in the tiny village of Westcombe in Somerset on W is for Westcombe day of the #AtoZChallenge.

W is for Westcombe

While difficult to read, the text in the arch of the fountain reads “To commemorate the coronation of H.M. King George V and H.M. Queen Mary.”

W is for Westcombe

Westcombe Dairy, a cooperative, makes cheeses using milk from the member farmers’ cows. When we visited this area in 2005, we stopped in the village at the dairy’s shop and bought a small piece of their cheddar cheese which we enjoyed on the rest of our journey.

The cenotaph, information point and quintessential British telephone box in the village is pictured below.

W is for Westcombe
Barbara Voules / Westcombe

V is for Vancouver ~ 2018 #AtoZ Challenge

V is for Vancouver

V is for Vancouver

2018 #AtoZ Challenge

We’re on the west coast of Canada today in the Province of British Columbia for V is for Vancouver on the 2018 #AtoZ Challenge.

Surrounded by mountains, Vancouver is is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities.

The downtown neighbourhood of Gastown is home to the Steam Clock pictured below.

V is for Vancouver
By Kelam [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Vancouver has thriving art, theatre and music scenes. Its Art Gallery is known for its works by regional artists, while the Museum of Anthropology houses preeminent First Nations collections.





U is for Ulm ~ 2018 #AtoZ Challenge

U is for Ulm

U is for Ulm
2018 #AtoZ Challenge

We’re back in Germany today in the city of Ulm on U is for Ulm day on the #AtoZ Challenge. Located on the Danube River in the southwest portion of the country, the city is home to universities and the magnificent Gothic cathedral below which is Ulm Minster. The steeple on this church is the highest of any in the world. 529.95 feet!

U s for Ulm
Patrick Six [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
In the aerial shot below of the city, you can see how the Minster takes over the landscape.

U is for Ulm
By Franzfoto [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Did you know, Albert Einstein was born in Ulm?

T is for Toronto ~ 2018 #AtoZ Challenge


T is for Toronto

2018 #AtoZ Challenge

We’re back in Canada and the City of Toronto today for T is for Toronto in the #AtoZ Challenge. Today the city takes in a number of boroughs and is known as the GTA (greater Toronto area).

The city has many museums, galleries and parks. It is also home to the CN Tower. In recent years, they’ve added the tower walk, where you get harnessed up and can walk around the exterior of the tower near the top. Yikes! Not for me.

T is for Toronto
Toronto from the ferry to Centre Island

The white ‘dome’ in the left of the photo is the Roger’s Centre, formerly known as the SkyDome. The Toronto Blue Jays play baseball here. During the most recent ice storm, the roof was damaged which forced the delay of the ballgame by one day.

Toronto even has its own castle! Located in the heart of the city stands Casa Loma

T is for Toronto
By paul (dex) bica from toronto, canada (casa loma) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

S is for Stirling ~ 2018 #AtoZ Challenge


S is for Stirling

2018 #AtoZ Challenge

We’re staying on this side of the world today as we make the flight north to Scotland and the city of Stirling on S is for Stirling day.

Stirling is known as the Gateway to the Highlands. From here you can see the landscape change as you travel further north.

I visited this city back in 2000 and am looking forward to spending time there on my next trip.

Stirling Castle (pictured below) is under the care of Historic Environment Scotland. The day we visited, a wedding was taking place on the grounds.

The city of Stirling and the distance you can see the National Wallace Monument on the hill.

A spiral staircase of 246 steps takes you to the very top of the monument. It’s well worth the climb because the views from the top are spectacular!

S is for Stirling

Bloody Scotland, a crime writers’ event that brings together the best of Scotland’s crime writers, takes place in September.

My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King