Category Archives: Authors

HUNTER’S CHASE by Val Penny #tartannoir #Edinburgh #crime

hunter's chase

Hunter’s Chase

by

Val Penny

 

hunter's chaseRELEASE DATE: 2nd February 2018

PUBLISHER: Crooked Cat Books

SERIES: The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries #1

GENRE: CRIME

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until Edinburgh is safe.

DI Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city and he needs to find the source but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course. Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable. Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taught crime thriller.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK: https://goo.gl/5Gwmv6

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

 

Author Endorsements for Hunter’s Chase

 

Erin Kelly – author of psychological thrillers including ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘The Poison Tree’

“A gripping debut novel about power, politics and the importance – and danger – of family ties. Hunter Wilson is a compelling new detective and Val Penny is an author to watch.”

***

Stuart Gibbon – Former Murder Squad DCI & co-author of ‘The Crime Writer’s Casebook’

“A cracking read featuring the unforgettable DI Hunter Wilson.”

***

Kate Bendelow – author of ‘The Real CSI: A Forensic Handbook for Crime Writers’

“An exciting debut – a police procedural that is refreshing, gripping and witty. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next one.”

***

Michael Jecks – author of unmissable historical mysteries including the ‘Jack Blackjack’ crime series including ‘Rebellion’s Message’ and the ‘Knights Templar’ mysteries including ‘The Last Templar’ and the contemporary spy novel ‘Act of Vengeance’

“This tartan noire book is a real coffee-cooler. I had three cups of coffee that went cold, forgotten while reading. Val Penny created a cast of characters I want to see in another book as soon as possible.

This is a truly astonishing debut from a writer to watch for the future.

Believable characters, gut-wrenching scenes, and a plot that sizzles along. A taut police procedural that is up there with Ian Rankin, Alex Gray and Quintin Jardine.”

Hunter's chase

About Val Penny

 

hunter's chase

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballet dancer or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her first crime novel, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ set in Edinburgh, Scotland will be published by Crooked Cat Books on 02.02.2018. She is now writing the sequel, ‘Hunter’s Revenge’.

www.authorvalpenny.com

www.facebook.com/valerie.penny.739

Friends of Hunter’s Chase – www.facebook.com/groups/296295777444303

https://twitter.com/valeriepenny

 

THE BEAUTIFUL ONE by Frances Thomas #historical #YA #fiction

beautiful

The Beautiful One

by

Frances Thomas

beautiful

Genre: Historical Fiction, YA Fiction

Release Date: 8 September 2017

Publisher: S Books

Even as a small child, Helen, princess of Sparta, knows that there is something special about her; men come from far away just to catch a glimpse of her beauty. Also there are those rumours that her real father was someone more important than King Tyndareus of Sparta. But her beauty is to cause problems; her sister Clytemnestra is jealous of the attention she gets, and even her magical brothers, Castor and Polydeuces, can’t protect her from the predations of a brute like Theseus of Athens. Still, as she grows up, and knows she’ll have to find a husband, she thinks a good deal about love, and what it might mean to her.

Amazon UK https://goo.gl/KNrJsd

Amazon US https://goo.gl/FaLRCJ

EXTRACT

And that was when the terrible thing happened. There was no swan’s feather on my pillow that morning, but I woke up with a strange sensation that something soft was brushing my cheek. When I sat up and looked around, of course, there was no one there. Phyllis and my sister were still asleep. But I couldn’t help feeling anxious all day, though there seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary. If Castor had been there, I’d have confided in him, and he might even have been able to save me from what came later.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BEAUTIFUL

Frances Thomas was born in Wales during the war, though she has lived most of her life in London. However, some years ago, she and her historian husband retired to a beautiful part of mid-Wales. She’s written many books for children and adults, her most recent being a trilogy about the girls of the Trojan War.

For many years Frances also used to teach dyslexic children. She enjoys reading, sketching, cooking, and looking out of the window at the changing colours of the countryside. She has two grown up daughters, and two grandchildren.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frances.thomas.94

Twitter: https://twitter.com/francesbooks

Blog: http://blog.francesthomas.org

Author Website: http://francesthomas.org

Publisher: http://sbooks.co.uk

 

PURGATORY HOTEL by Anne-Marie Ormsby #thriller #paranormal

purgatory

Purgatory Hotel

by

Anne-Marie Ormsby

 

purgatoryGenre: Thriller/paranormal

Release Date: 26th September Paperback 7th November Kindle

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

18+

Dakota Crow has been murdered, her body dumped in a lonely part of the woods, and nobody knows but her and her killer.Stranded in Purgatory, a rotting hotel on the edge of forever, with no memory of her death, Dakota knows she must have done something bad to be stranded among murderers and rapists. To get to somewhere safer, she must hide from the shadowy stranger stalking her through the corridors of the hotel, and find out how to repent for her sins.But first she must re-live her life.Soon she will learn about her double life, a damaging love affair, terrible secrets, and lies that led to her violent death.
Dakota must face her own demons, and make amends for her own crimes before she can solve her murder and move on.

But when she finds out what she did wrong, will she be truly sorry?

BUY LINKS

AMAZON – https://goo.gl/SWNMGx

GOODREADS – https://goo.gl/LhZ47j

My recommended reading list – The top 5 Books that Inspired Me.

 

  1. The October Country – Ray Bradbury – This was the book I read aged 9 which made me want to become a writer. This collection of creepy stories was my introduction to Bradbury, and he is till my favourite writer. It was his use of descriptive narrative that has always been my biggest inspiration when trying to set a scene- to create a picture in the readers mind.
  2. The Shining – Stephen King – this is my favourite of Stephen Kings books, the mixture of madness and the paranormal in a huge empty hotel cut off from the world is just perfect. While Purgatory Hotel looks nothing like The Overlook, that feeling of the mystery of long endless hallways definitely influenced me.
  3. The Woman in Black – Susan Hill – a beautifully written ghost story, a classic simple story of unrest from beyond the grave has been a favourite of mine from when I was a young teenager. Again a big desolate house with secrets behind its closed doors, this may be where the Victorian hotel theme came to my mind. Dusty, decaying lace and velvet harbouring vengeful angry ghosts.
  4. Visions of Gerard – Jack Kerouac – this was a Kerouac book it took me a long time to get around to and it educated me that it wasn’t all road trips and drugs in Kerouac’s work. This beautiful retelling of Kerouac’s childhood and his relationship with his big brother who died at the age of nine when Kerouac was just four. I love his descriptions his home town and his heart rending explorations of dealing with grief as a child.
  5. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – This was the first ‘romance’ novel I ever read, and I think it ruined every other romance for me. This story has it all, ghosts, death, obsession, inheritance wars and at its core, a love story so passionate and dangerous that nothing else can compare. I fell in love with Cathy and Heathcliff and their angry, all-consuming love for each other and I never really got over it. Their relationship was in part the inspiration for Jackson and Dakota.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

PURGATORY

On a warm day in July 1978, a mother was admitted to hospital, awaiting the arrival of her new baby. She was reading Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie and the midwives thought it a gruesome choice for an expectant mother. A story of a long forgotten murder and repressed memories. As it turned out her new baby, Anne-Marie would grow up and find herself drawn to all things macabre, and would one day herself turn out a story of murder and memories lost.

Anne Marie grew up on the Essex coast with her parents and six siblings in a house that was full of books and movies and set the scene for her lifelong love of both.

She began writing short stories when she was still at primary school after reading the book The October Country by Ray Bradbury. He was and still is her favourite author and the reason she decided at age 9 that she too would be a writer someday.

In her teens she continued to write short stories and branched out into poetry, publishing a few in her late teens. In her early twenties she began committing herself to writing a novel and wrote one by the age of 20 that she then put away, fearing it was too weird for publication.

She wrote Purgatory Hotel over several years, but again kept it aside after several rejections from publishers. Luckily for her, she found a home for her twisted tale with Crooked Cat Books.

Her favourite authors include Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Denis Lehane and Douglas Coupland. She also takes great inspiration from music and movies, her favourite artists being Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Johnny Cash, Interpol, David Lynch and David Fincher.

Anne-Marie moved to London in 2008 where she lives to this day, amidst books and DVDs, with her husband and daughter.

 

Facebook: https://goo.gl/JC4NR3

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AOrmsbyAuthor

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17197211.Anne_Marie_Ormsby

Blog: https://pirateburlesque.wordpress.com/

Website: https://www.annemarieormsby.com/

PURGATORY

A STRANGER IN THE COVE by Rachel Brimble #Harlequin #superromance

strangerA Stranger in the Cove

by

Rachel Brimble

strangerSeries: Templeton Cove

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: Jan 1st 2018

Publisher: Harlequin

Mac Orman is on a mission. When he discovers his recently deceased father had been searching for his birth mother, Mac aims to finish the job by finding the grandmother he never knew. His quest leads him to Templeton Cove—and a firecracker of a woman who instantly jump-starts his tortured heart.

For Mac, Kate Harrington is the most tempting kind of distraction. But their sizzling connection comes with a side of suspicion for Kate, who doesn’t trust this brooding stranger in her town. Mac arrived with no plans to stay, but as he falls for Kate, he wonders how he could ever possibly leave.

EXCERPT

Oh, for the love of God. The man’s smile was slow, soft and as sexy as hell. It was like an invisible aphrodisiac on her newly ignited libido. She took another sip of her drink, her heart racing and her body on fire. He looked at her as though he had X-ray vision…or the ability to make her want to strip without the request even passing his lips. Every inch of her body was intensely aware of him and she didn’t like it. Not one tiny bit. Good looks and even better bodies were not to be trusted. This guy could be just as much of a cheater as her ex. Even more so, if his killer smile was anything to go by. She couldn’t imagine a woman not being affected by it. So why did she want to keep looking at him?

He leaned his elbow on the bar and faced her. “So…” He took a sip of his drink. “Do you

live around here?”

Feigning nonchalance, she sat straighter on her stool and drew forth as much of a welcome attitude as she could. It wasn’t this stranger’s fault he’d attracted and intrigued her in one very dangerous blow. “Yes.”

He smiled. “That’s all I get?”

“That’s all you get.” She returned his smile, her body relaxing a little. His voice was rich

and deep and had the same warming effect on her as a shot of whiskey on a cold night. “That is, until I know a little more about you.”

“Shoot.” He drank. “Ask me anything you want.”

“Okay…” Her gaze dropped frustratingly to his mouth, most likely quashing her

nonchalance in a heartbeat. She shifted on her seat and lifted her gaze to his…although his eyes were by no means a safer option. She cleared her throat. “What brings you to the Cove?”

His gaze locked on hers and the seconds ticked by. His blue eyes darkened as his smile

faltered. Kate raised her eyebrows, curiosity whispering through her. “Was that not a good

question to start with?”

He flitted his focus to the band once more. “I’m looking for work.”

She frowned. “In Templeton?”

“It’s as good a place as any, isn’t it?”

She hazarded a guess that the shift in his tone was meant to induce a throw away question, to make her believe it was no big deal why he was in Templeton. Little did Mr. Bad Boy know, she was blessed—or sometimes cursed—with the innate ability to read between the lines, to sense when something wasn’t quite right with people or situations. Her senses pinged to high alert with this guy at the sudden stiffness in his body, the way his jaw had set. His easy demeanour of a moment before had been replaced with clear defensiveness.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK – https://goo.gl/vG267K

Amazon US – https://goo.gl/eBeJzG

Barnes & Noble – https://goo.gl/ejrXnF

ABOUT RACHEL BRIMBLE

STRANGER

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.

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelBrimble?lang=en

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806411.Rachel_Brimble

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelbrimbleauthor/?hl=en

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

Website: http://rachelbrimble.com/

GIVEAWAY

£20/$20 Amazon Gift Certificate

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome back Alice Castle and her #mystery GIRL IN THE GALLERY

Alice Castle

The Girl in the Gallery

by

Alice Castle

 

Alice CastleSeries: London Murder Mystery series book #2

Genre: Cozy Crime

Release Date: 19th December 2017

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Dulwich…

It’s a perfect summer’s morning in the plush south London suburb, and thirty-something Beth Haldane has sneaked off to visit one of her favourite places, the world-famous Picture Gallery.

She’s enjoying a few moments’ respite from juggling her job at prestigious private school Wyatt’s and her role as single mum to little boy Ben, when she stumbles across a shocking new exhibit on display. Before she knows it, she’s in the thick of a fresh, and deeply chilling, investigation.

Who is The Girl in the Gallery? Join Beth in adventure #2 of the London Murder Mystery series as she tries to discover the truth about a secret eating away at the very heart of Dulwich.

BUY LINK

https://MyBook.to/GirlintheGallery

ABOUT ALICE CASTLE

Alice Castle

Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph before becoming a novelist. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, was a European best-seller which sold out in two weeks.

Alice is currently working on the sequel to Death in Dulwich and The Girl in the Gallery. The third instalment in the London Murder Mystery series, it will be published by Crooked Cat next year and is entitled The Calamity in Catford. Once again, it features Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

Alice is also a top mummy blogger, writing DD’s Diary at www.dulwichdivorcee.com.

She lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.

Alice Castle’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/alicecastleauthor/

Alice Castle is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DDsDiary

Links to buy Alice Castle’s books: myBook.to/GirlintheGallery myBook.to/1DeathinDulwich, myBook.to/HotChocolate

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dds_diary/?hl=en

Blog: http://www.dulwichdivorcee.com

GIVEAWAY

A signed copy of the book and a £20 Amazon voucher!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

WHALES AND STRANGE STARS by Kathy Sharp #historical #fiction

whales

Whales and Strange Stars

by

Kathy Sharp

 

whalesSeries: First book in my new Wych Ferry Series

Genre: historical fiction

Release Date: 12th December, 2017

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

A world beyond her own.

A sea captain passes through the forgotten port of Wych Ferry, and whiles away an hour relating his traveller’s tales to young Rosamund Euden. He tells her that the stars are different, if you sail far enough, that the horizon isn’t quite real, not when you get there; he speaks of sea serpents and whales, and mysterious islands.

To an impressionable girl who has never left her home, the whales and strange stars of his stories come to symbolise the great outside world she longs to see. The sea captain moves on, unaware of the dramatic events he has set in action as Rosamund’s search for adventure leads her into a world of dangerous secrets in the marshlands of eighteenth century Kent.

Torn between loyalty to her uncles, and her desire to discover what lies beyond the marshes, Rosamund seeks help from an unexpected source. But who can she really trust?

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2CqGR6v

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2CucLhr

ABOUT KATHY SHARP

WHALES

Kathy Sharp was born and brought up by the sea in Kent. Life took her inland, and she worked for many years as a desktop publisher for Surrey County Council, and as a tutor in adult education.

And then, one day, she visited a friend who had just moved to the Isle of Portland, Dorset, and fell in love with the place. She has now lived by the sea in the Weymouth and Portland area for more than ten years, and still loves it. The wonderful Jurassic Coast, and Portland in particular, were the inspiration for her Larus Trilogy of novels.

Kathy also sings with, and writes lyrics for, the Island Voices Choir on Portland, and is a keen member of local writing groups, as well as enjoying studying the local flora.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kathy-Sharp-111574195915740/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathySharp19

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2728164.Kathy_Sharp

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathy-sharp-5b5a9736/

Blog: https://kathysharp2013.wordpress.com/blog/

Website: https://kathysharp2013.wordpress.com/

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kathy-Sharp/e/B00E5BJ0BK/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

 

THE LONG WALK BACK by Rachel Dove #women’sfiction #giveaway

long walk

The Long Walk Back

by

Rachel Dove

 

long walkGenre: Contemporary women’s fiction

Release Date: 11th January 2018

Publisher: HQ Digital

Does everyone deserve a second chance?

As an army trauma surgeon Kate knows how to keep her cool in the most high pressure of situations. Although back at home in England her marriage is falling apart, out in the desert she’s happy knowing that she’s saving lives.

Until she meets Cooper. It’s up to Kate to make a split-second decision to save Cooper’s life. Yet Cooper doesn’t want to be saved. Can Kate convince him to give his life a second chance even though its turning out dramatically different from how he planned?

long walk

EXTRACT

Kate was in a real mood; Trevor could tell from the way she pounded across the tent to him. He was doing his rounds, and they had had a good night. A good night here was when they still had the same number alive as the day before. A great day was when there were no casualties at all, but Trevor was hard pushed to remember many days like that.

‘Who’s upset you? Neil whingeing about doing the dishwasher again, is he?’ Trevor asked, and immediately regretted cracking the joke when the icicles from Kate’s frosty glare jabbed him in the chest.

‘Captain Cooper thinks he is hilarious. I’m just waiting for him to call me ‘toots’ and slap me on the behind,’ Kate said, seething. Trevor checked the vitals on his sleeping patient, and satisfied, made notes on his chart.

‘So he’s awake? That’s amazing! How is he doing?’

‘Oh he’s doing just fine, for a male chauvinist pig.’

Kate,’ Trevor admonished, trying not to laugh at her furious expression. ‘How are his vitals?’

Kate pursed her lips, taking a breath to focus on the job. ‘He’s stable, the chest drain is working well. I’m still concerned about his leg though. He has limited blood flow to the area, and I’ m worried about sepsis.’

Trevor nodded sadly. ‘So he will probably lose the leg, if we try to keep him alive.’ He rubbed at his temples. ‘Not told him any of this, have you?’

Kate shook her head. ‘I told him you would explain on this morning’s ward round. I wanted to go through everything again, monitor him closely for as long as we safely can before we make a decision.’

Trevor looked at her, his face unreadable. ‘It may not be our decision, it’s up to him.’

Kate looked nonplussed. ‘The evac chopper is coming in two days. At present, he’s too unstable to move. We need to get him home then, leg or no leg. A decision between losing a limb and dying is not a great thing to have thrust at you, granted – but he wants to live, surely?’

Trevor placed the chart at the foot of the bed and started to walk towards the next patient, issuing medication instructions to the nurse as he walked.

‘Kate,’ he began in a tone he might have used to tell his child that Father Christmas wasn’t real. ‘I have worked on men like Captain Cooper since this whole nightmare started. These are army men to the core. Sometimes going home means no family, no buddies, no job, and a lifetime of relying on other people. They are proud, and sometimes, to them, the reality is worse than death. Don’t take anything for granted when it comes to patient wishes.’

‘A boy died yesterday, to save these men. Surely that’s reason enough to want to live?’

Kate ran her fingers through her hair, suddenly feeling tired all over again.

‘Cooper knows that. Better than most, probably. It’s still his decision, he has to live with it. Understood?’ Trevor spoke firmly now.

Kate opened her mouth to argue, but she thought better of it. She respected her mentor, always had, and she didn’t want to argue. Not when the fact that life was so short and precious was evident in every face, every feature she saw over here. ‘Understood.’

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2DOfT4R

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2qbTuwm

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2CawuQ7

ABOUT RACHEL DOVE

 

LONG WALK

I am a wife, mother of two boys, perpetual student, avid reader and writer of words. I sometimes sleep, always have eye bags and dream of retiring to a big white house in Cornwall, with 2 shaggy dogs, drinking wine on my seafront balcony whilst creating works of romantic fiction. All done with immaculate make up and floaty dresses.

In the meantime I nearly always remember to brush my hair, seldom have time to look in a mirror and write many, many to-do lists.

My first solo novel, Crossing Life Lines is out now in Kindle and paperback format. Look out for my horror shorts, published through Bayou Brew Publishing: The House of Sugar Blood, August 2013 and Uni Assassin, out now, and my short story, Mallow Girl, out now.

In July 2015, I won the Prima magazine and Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction Competition, with my entry, The Chic Boutique on Baker Street, out now in ebook and paperback, and the follow up novel in the series, The Flower Shop on Foxley Street.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterDove

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831003.Rachel_Dove

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

Blog: https://racheldoveauthor.wordpress.com/

GIVEAWAY

A signed copy of the book (Open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A LION IS NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS by Henriette Gyland ~ sweet romance mystery

lion

A Lion is Not Just for Christmas

by

Henriette Gyland

 

lionSeries: 2nd in the Sweet Romance Mysteries series set in Norfolk

Genre: Romance mystery

Release Date: 20th December 2017

Is there life after the circus has left town?

Circus performer Justine Belmont works with big cats, but when the circus is disbanded and the old lion is sold to a private menagerie at a stately home in Norfolk, she is asked to spend a few weeks settling him into his new environment. When she arrives at the estate, however, she receives a mixed welcome.

The groundsman Tom Yates resents her presence as he doesn’t feel he needs her help with the lion. He revises his opinion when he sees the bond between her and the big cat, and she and Tom grow closer, although Justine remains torn about her feelings for him. The lady of the house, Priscilla – who is married to the reclusive owner, Lord Brooks’s, grandson – is not so easily convinced. She perceives Justine as a threat for the male attention and her plans for the manor. And her two young daughters are a little too curious about the lion for their own good.

When unsettling events occur, Justine begins to wonder if there is more to Priscilla’s animosity than meets the eye. Can Justine keep herself and everyone else safe until it’s time for her to leave again and start a new life elsewhere?

EXTRACT

 

Scene when Justine and Tom meet, in reality, for the second time.

I remember you.

Not many men had red hair like that and wore it so unashamedly loose like a rose gold crown. This groundsman – Tom – was the reason Justine had nearly missed a step during the last performance of the season. As far as she was aware ginger men preferred to keep their hair cropped short or even shaved off, fearing that it would make them look effeminate. Or something like that.

There was nothing effeminate about this guy. On the contrary, Justine thought, drinking in his broad shoulders, strong hands and sturdy workman’s clothes. He was every bit a man.”

BUY LINKS

 

Goodreads link: http://bit.ly/2yIqETy

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2k2CFhX

Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2AWIKHp

GUEST POST

 

LION

I’ve always been fascinated by the circus. It was a different world of elegant line-dancers (which are known as wire-walkers among professional circus performers), daring trapeze artists, brave animal tamers, and of glitter and glitz on par with the magical. A world which was, at any rate, completely beyond the reach of ordinary people like myself, or “townies” as circus folk call us.

But what’s it like behind the scenes? When the bright lights are turned off, the make-up removed, sequinned costumes hung up, the animals stabled? What kind of life do circus people lead? Does it bear any resemblance to mine?

This is one of the absolute joys of being a writer; you have the freedom to make things up, of course, and I am grateful that I’ve have the ability to do just that, to tell a story. But you can also choose to do extensive research to get every little detail right, or even what I did when I worked on A Lion Is Not Just For Christmas: a combination of both. The research part was fun because it was an excuse to read lots of books and watch lots of films with the circus setting that I love so much. I also read non-fiction and watched documentaries, and used Google too, that eternally helpful little tool.

And then I pictured myself smack-bang in the middle of it. All my childhood dreams come true! Using the insight gained from my work as a writer, I pictured what it must be like working long hours doing the same thing over and over again until you get it right. The strength, determination and sheer willpower to succeed. Which I imagine to be exactly like working on your writing craft until that day when your book finally hits the shelves. And then you do it all over again, just like circus people do when they move onto the next town and the next glittery performance. In the end, seeing myself in the ring wasn’t so hard because as a writer I’m nothing without my audience, i.e. my lovely readers. And I’m always very conscious of this.

I’m lucky to have readers. There was a time when I wrote solely for my own eyes, and the thought of getting published was a mere speck on the horizon. I never thought I would get there, but winning the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance in 2011 was a massive leap for me. It gave me the confidence to really target publishers with my writing and eventually led to a publishing contract.

Writing a book is a very mechanical thing for me. Once I’ve got the initial idea down, which is where blue sky thinking comes in, I begin to actually plan the book by writing an outline. Then I compile my own research folder. I do this for all my books, using a 40 pocket display folder that you can get a stationer’s, and put in everything which is relevant to putting the book together. This includes the working outline, which I’ll have to refer back to now and again, research into various aspects – in this case the circus and circus acts, caring for big cats, a suitable stately home for the other half of the setting, horse riding, running a café, posh Christmas decorations, etc. – anything that I feel is relevant to creating my story.

Because of this method of working, once I start the actual writing, the setting and the research has become so central to my thinking, that it’s very easy to picture the scene, to see the people on the page, to listen to them “talk”. Research can be fun and exciting, but nothing beats that moment when your characters truly come to life!

ABOUT HENRIETTE GYLAND

 

LION

Henriette Gyland grew up in Northern Denmark but moved to England after she graduated from the University of Copenhagen. She wrote her first book when she was ten, a tale of two orphan sisters running away to Egypt, fortunately to be adopted by a perfect family they meet on the Orient Express.

Between that first literary exploit and now, she has worked in the Danish civil service, for a travel agent, a consultancy company, in banking, hospital administration, and for a county court before setting herself up as a freelance translator and linguist. Henriette recently began to pursue her writing in earnest winning the New Talent Award in 2011 from the Festival of Romance and a Commended from the Yeovil Literary Prize.

Henriette lives in London.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/henriette.gyland

Twitter: @henrigyland

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5426857.Henriette_Gyland

Blog: https://henriettegyland.wordpress.com/blog/

Website: https://henriettegyland.wordpress.com/

 

PENHALIGON’S PRIDE by Terri Nixon #extract #giveaway

Terri Nixon

Penaligon’s Pride

by

Terri Nixon

 

Terri NixonSeries: The Penhaligon Saga

Genre: Historical Saga

Release Date: 07 Dec 2017

Publisher: Piatkus

1910. Anna Garvey and her daughter are still running the Tin Streamer’s Arms in Caernoweth, Cornwall, and it finally seems like she has left her tumultuous history behind in Ireland. Meanwhile Freya Penhaligon has blossomed and is now the object of increasing affection of Hugh, the elder son of the wealthy Batten family.

After the dramatic events of the previous months, it feels like everything is finally getting back to normal. But when Anna inadvertently reveals something she shouldn’t, she finds herself at the centre of a blackmail plot and it seems like the past she longed to escape is coming back to haunt her. To make matters worse, the tiny fishing hamlet is battered by a terrible storm and shifting relationships find themselves under more scrutiny than ever before.

With the Penhaligon family at breaking point it will take enormous strength and courage to bring them back together – but is it already too late?

Extract from Penhaligon’s Pride

 

(Matthew Penhaligon is working in the tin mine, and his old adversary David Donithorn, his shift captain, has been uncharacteristically distant all morning. The men are on their lunch break.)

 

Alan had broken off from talking to cough; a deep, hacking sound, appalling enough in an old man, never mind in a nineteen-year-old. Matthew swallowed hard, wondering if he was imagining the tickle in his own throat, and determined not to cough himself… it sounded as if Alan would never stop. He’d surely returned to work too soon, but during his time working with Tommy, Matthew had learned the Trevellicks had no living parents, just aging grandparents Esther and Joe. There had been little choice in the matter, Alan’s wage was needed.

At thirty-eight, Matthew was probably one of the oldest men working the underground levels, particularly down this far; most had succumbed to injury or illness long before they reached such an advanced age, but then most of the others had been doing it all their lives. He wondered, with a returning bleakness, how long it would be before he too sounded as if he were tearing himself apart inside. The tickle in his throat grew, and he cleared it, tasting rock dust. A swig of water helped, but as he pictured the dust swirling down his throat he wished he’d spat instead.

Donithorn came back, and picked up the coil of fuse and the tamping bar. ‘Time.’ He started back down the tunnel, but Alan spoke up.

‘Powder, Cap’n? Or be we not botherin’ with that today?’ The sarcasm made Tommy visibly flinch, and Donithorn stopped. Matthew couldn’t see his face properly, but he gave a little shake of his head, as if coming back from some other place his mind had been inhabiting. ‘Yes. And, um… bring the bar.’

‘You’ve got that,’ Alan pointed out.

Donithorn looked down at his hand. ‘Right. Swab stick then.’ Irritation crept in. ‘Just make haste.’ Then he was gone into the dark again, and Matthew and the others put their water bottles and lunch tins back in their bags.

‘Well he’s changed,’ Alan observed. ‘Time was you couldn’t speak to ’un like that without getting a right ear-bashin’ back.’ He nudged his brother. ‘Why din’t you tell me he’d turned into a purring kitten? I’d have come back sooner.’

‘He’s only been like it today,’ Tommy said. ‘And you wouldn’t anyway, you’ve been too sick.’

‘I was joking,’ Alan pointed out patiently. ‘Come on, boy, grab what’s needed, and let’s get this bloody stuff out.’ As they started down the tunnel he caught at Matthew’s shirt. ‘You take this. Nature’s callin’ an’ she’ve got a bleddy loud voice.’

He pushed the swab stick into Matthew’s hand, and went back out to one of the worked-out tunnels to relieve himself, while Matthew and Tommy rejoined their captain.

When they reached him he had already cut the three fuses, and was neatly re-coiling what was left. He looked up, and dropped the depleted coil of fuse on the floor, then nodded at the cart. ‘Tommy, finish getting that loaded, and get it out.’

‘Yes, Cap’n.’

‘On you go, Pen’aligon, since you’ve got the stick.’

Matthew cleaned the loose grit and dust out of the three holes, and Alan arrived and began pouring the gunpowder into the scraper. When he and Donithorn started to pack and tamp the shot-holes, Matthew turned to help Tommy push the almost-full cart back out to the main shaft.

‘Get in,’ he said, when he was sure they were out of Donithorn’s hearing.

Tommy looked at him, puzzled. ‘What?’

‘Get in!’ Matthew knocked the side of the cart, and grinned.

Tommy gave a snort of surprised laughter, and climbed into the cart, where he huddled down on the lumps of ore, making himself as small as possible. Matthew pushed, enjoying the sound of Tommy’s chuckling as they went, and only just remembering in time to duck his own head to avoid an ear-ringing collision with the low, rocky roof. The boy worked so hard it was easy to forget he was still a child, and it was good to be able to give him a rest, even a brief one, though the ground was almost impossible to navigate without stopping every minute or so to kick rubble out of the way.

Together Matthew and the cart rattled and slid around the last bend, where the tunnel opened up and the ore could be unloaded onto a kibble for its journey to the surface. Tommy climbed out, and Matthew manoeuvred the cart into position. He glanced around as the boy started back up the tunnel.

‘Where are you going now? Alan’s here, there’s no need for either of us to go back.’

‘My coat,’ Tommy said. ‘I tied it around one of the props. It’s the only one I got,’ he added, almost apologetically. He needn’t have; Matthew was only too well aware of the consequences of losing clothing, when you earned so little money.

‘I’ll fetch it. Stay put.’

Donithorn was removing the candle from his helmet as Matthew returned to the end of the tunnel. ‘What’re you back for?’

‘Tommy’s coat.’ Matthew stepped past him and saw the coat, tied by the arms around one of the roughly sawn props.

‘Get it then, and be quick.’ Donithorn touched the candle to the end of the first fuse. ‘Fire in the hole!’ Alan quickly lit the other two, and flashed a grin at Matthew, who swore and ripped the coat sleeves free. Turning to follow, Matthew’s foot slid on loose rubble, and, as he reached out to steady himself on the wall he glanced at the nearest burning fuse and blinked. Something was… then he froze. Almost burned through…

‘Run!’ It came out weak and dismayed, so he snatched a short breath and bellowed, ‘RUN!’

Donithorn half-turned to question the sudden panic, but there was no time to explain. Matthew’s heart hammered against his ribs, the sweat of terror mingled with that of the natural heat, and made his free hand slip and slide on the rock wall. The hand holding Tommy’s coat gave him better purchase, and he leaned hard to his left, pushing against the wall to drive himself forward.

Donithorn, still blankly unmoving, looked past Matthew and, coming to life, gave a low cry of horror. Alan had heeded Matthew’s urgency and disappeared around the first bend, but Donithorn seemed locked in place and his face, in the thin light of the candle, was whiter than ever. ‘How…’

‘Go!’ Matthew shoved at him. He ducked low beneath the uneven roof, pushing Donithorn ahead of him. Even as he slipped and slid, and the skin was torn from his hands by sharp rock, he tried to calculate how long they had left. In his mind’s eye was only the sparking burn of the safety fuse, working its lazy, but unstoppable way towards the densely-packed gunpowder.

Terri NixonTerri Nixon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUY LINKS

 

Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/Penhaligons-Pride-Penhaligon-Terri-Nixon/dp/0349418780

Amazon US: www.amazon.com/Penhaligons-Pride-Penhaligon-Terri-Nixon/dp/0349418780

Waterstones Online: www.waterstones.com/book/penhaligons-pride/terri-nixon/9780349418780

ABOUT TERRI NIXON

 

Terri Nixon

Terri was born in Plymouth, UK. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to the village featured in Jamaica Inn — North Hill — where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one’s ever offered to pay her for doing those.

Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press.
Penhaligon’s Pride is her eighth novel to be published.

Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She is represented by the Kate Nash Literary Agency. She now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/terri.nixon.page

Twitter: twitter.com/TerriNixon

Goodreads Author Page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7161840.Terri_Nixon

Instagram: www.instagram.com/telnixon

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/telnix/

Blog: www.terrinixon.wordpress.com

Website: www.terrinixon.com

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive signed paperbacks of Books 1 & 2!

(UK & Ireland only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

HOUSE OF CHRISTMAS SECRETS ~ by Lynda Stacey #romantic #suspense

Lynda Stacey

House of Christmas Secrets

by

Lynda Stacey

 

Lynda StaceyGenre: ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Release Date: 5TH DECEMBER 2017

Publisher: CHOC LIT

This year we’re just going to have a nice, normal Christmas…

Last year’s Christmas at Wrea Head Hall didn’t quite go to plan which is why Jess Croft is determined this festive season will be the one to remember, for the right reasons. And she has plenty of reasons to be hopeful, she’s going to marry the man of her dreams, Jack Stone, seven days after New Year’s Eve.

However, as family secrets are revealed in hidden letters and two unexpected guests turn up on the doorstep, Jess is left wondering whether her life will ever be the same again.

Can Jess and Jack still experience a peaceful festive season that they had imagined or are there some problems that even Christmas can’t fix?

BUY LINKS

House of Christmas Secrets – GetBook.at/ChristmasSecrets

House of Secrets – GetBook.at/HouseofSecrets

Tell me no Secrets – GetBook.at/Tmnsecrets

ABOUT LYNDA STACEY

Lynda Stacey

Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire,

Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.

Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.

She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.

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

Twitter: @Lyndastacey

Blog: www.Lyndastacey.co.uk

GIVEAWAY

2 x signed copies of House of Secrets (UK & Ireland)

a Rafflecopter giveaway