Category Archives: Authors

December Book Giveaway from N. N. Light’s Book Heaven

book giveaway

Once again, I’m taking part in N. N. Light’s Book Heaven book giveaway!

Want to find a new writer, learn what novels some of your favorite authors are reading, or find new book reviewer and blogger recommendations? Visit https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/literary-giveaway-portal  to enter this new multi-author giveaway. All genres are included whether it’s novels from debuting authors to award-winning/bestselling authors with multiple books and/or series. The best part — it’s all free for readers to enter, as authors are generously donating copies of their books as well as other prizes each month to help find new fans and build up their reading communities. I’m excited to participate in this month’s giveaway and can’t wait to share with you all that will be offered this month and moving forward. You never know which surprising authors might just show up on the list this year!

Here is a list of the books on offer this month:

e-copy of Tied Up With Strings by Madeline McEwan

e-copy of Three Lessons in Seduction by Sofie Darling

e-copy of Too Good to be True by Livia Quinn

e-copy of Debriefing the Dead (Book 1 of The Dead Series) by Kerry Blaisdell

e-copy of The Cauldron Stirred (Guardians of Erin Book 1) by Judith Sterling

e-copy of Arresting Mason by Amber Daulton

e-copy of The Queen of Paradise Valley by Cat Dubie

e-copy of The Mystery of Flight 2222 by Thomas Neviaser

e-copy of Once Broken by D. M. Hamblin

e-copy of A Debt to the Devil by D. M. Hamblin

e-copy of The Kitchen Imps by A. L. Butcher (Smashwords voucher)

e-copy of The Colony and The Last City by RM Gilmour

5 e-copy of Angelica by Clabe Polk

2 autographed print copy of Erin’s Gift plus swag generously donated by Nancy Fraser (US/Canada only)

e-copy of Life Sucks After You Die by Crystal-Rain Love

e-copy of Dickensen Academy by Christine Grabowski

audiobook copy of Rescue Love by Melissa Keir (US/Canada only)

e-copy of To Save a Lady by Patricia Preston (US only)

2 e-copy of Cinderella Busted by Petie McCarty

print copy of Sweet Seduction by Janet Lane Walters (US/Canada only)

autographed print copy of Seventeen Days by Linda Griffin

e-copy of It Happened on Dufferin Terrace by Melanie Robertson-King

e-copy of Dreamtime Sensuality by David Russell

e-copy of Romeo Vs. Juliet (Descendants of Time Book 1) by Laura Hogg (US only)

Enter the rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to win!

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A Haunted Headstone? You decide.

you decide

In keeping with the spooky atmosphere of the evening, I give you one of my short stories. The cemetery I based this story around is located just west of my hometown.

I chose the particular headstone because it’s set off by itself on a bit of a hill surrounded by trees.

I hope you enjoy this seasonal piece.

A Halloween Tale

Brian and Emily clambered off their bicycles in front of a large three-storey, red brick house in the western end of the city. A huge sign bearing a wildcat and the words B&B hung from a post in the yard. “Is this the place?” he asked.

“I think so.” She slid her heavy rucksack off, dug into its small outer pocket, and pulled out the confirmation e-mail. Scanning the document, she checked the house and guidepost. “Yes. We’re here.”

Emily slung her pack over one shoulder. They walked their bikes to the side of the house and leaned them against the wall before going to the door. She reached out to ring the bell. At the same instant, the inside door opened. Startled, she jumped back.

“You’re the Wolvertsons? I’ve been expecting you.” The grey-haired, bespectacled woman craned her neck to see past them. “Where is your car?”

“We rode,” he said.

“Come in, you must be exhausted. Your room is this way.”

Hands clasped, the young couple accompanied the proprietor to their room.

“Here you are. Breakfast runs from seven to nine o’clock. You’re on your own for lunches and suppers but the town has a number of places for a good meal.”

“Thank you, Mrs. …, ” he began.

“Griffin, but you can call me Miriam”

Meanwhile, Emily had walked to the window. The street below bustled. “We passed a couple of cemeteries west of here.” She turned to face Brian and their hostess. “What can you tell us about them?”

The woman’s face went pale. “Y-you don’t want to be going to the necropolis on the south side of the road. Rumor has it, it’s frequented by spirits.”

“We do. I think my ancestors are buried there and that’s why we came. We’re researching our family tree and want to take some rubbings of the ancestral slabs and photograph them for the book we’re writing.”

“If you think you must go, go early in the day so you’re out well before dark.”

She dropped to the bed and ran her hand over the white duvet. “Tell us more. This sounds intriguing.”

“Two hundred years ago this Halloween that Emily McPherson went away. My, but your name is Emily, too, isn’t it?”

“Yes. Please go on.”

Brian sat down put his arm around Emily’s shoulders.

“The story goes a young girl lost her fiancé – an infantryman – in a dreadful accident in the first part of the war of 1812. His ship was carrying a load of dynamite and it exploded. The blast killed everyone on board.”

“What does that have to do with the churchyard?”

“Well, they say she visited his entombment every day until her disappearance and was there as always when a terrible storm blew up and folks never saw her again. A blood curdling shriek was heard over the crashing – and then nothing. Silence. The disturbance cleared as quickly as it had formed. Alarmed by the horrendous noise that came from the direction of the graveyard, some men sprang into action. When they reached the location where the poor, bereft young woman spent most of her time, she was gone. No indication of a scuffle. No suggestion someone dragged her off – just the bluish phosphorescence surrounding the headstone. From that night on, no one had ever set foot in that corner. You understand why it is imperative you’re out of there before dark.”

“What a tragic, yet romantic tale. We must find that grave.” Her eyes sparkled.

“We will but in the morning. Today, we scope out the town.” Brian stood and helped her up from the bed. “Thanks for sharing that. Em, here, well she’s a pushover for a burial ground and a love story.”

***

Outside, Emily wrapped her arms around Brian’s waist. “I wish we didn’t have to wait.”

“Come on. If anything untoward is going to happen there, it will be tomorrow on the actual day. Not today.”

“I suppose you’re right,” she muttered.

Brian took her hand and they walked tothe town’s centre, stopping first at the local repository where the genealogical society housed its archives.

Emily scanned the floor to ceiling shelves lined with books, binders, maps and the society’s own publications. If the young woman’s exodus were such a big deal, then there had to be something written about it. She discovered a notebook of newspaper clippings dating back to the commencement of 1812, sat down at one of the tables and flipped through it. Emily ferreted out the piece about the detonation and couldn’t believe how much detail the press included on the crews’ injuries. Still, she removed a page and made a photocopy. A few pages later, she found the other including a photo of the alleged sinister chamber. you decideWhile she perused those, he busied himself with the old charts. Two older women came down the stairs as she photocopied the article. They spoke in hushed tones about the anniversary of the McPherson girl’s departure. Armed with the information she wanted, Emily and Brian left the museum and went to a nearby pub for lunch. Over a pint and burger, they shared their findings.

“According to the one, Emily’s engagement occurred on June 1st and her fiancé died the second,” she said, taking a sip of beer.

The longer they stayed, the more uncomfortable Emily became. The people pointed and stared at her, like they were comparing her to the long-since missing girl. “Let’s leave. These people are creeping me out.”

“If you want.” Brian picked up his glass and draining the last of it.

After exiting, they wandered in and out of some of the more eclectic stores on the main street. In a second-hand shop, Emily bought a cherry amber pendant. Another young couple entered, talking about the city of the dead as she fastened the clasp.

“They say that tomb is haunted.”

“Yeah, I know. Even in the daylight people don’t go near it.”

On their return to the B&B, she emptied the contents of her backpack on the bed ensuring she had everything she needed for their trek. Camera, extra batteries, blank newsprint, and charcoal sticks in a baggie. She added the photocopies to the essentials and repacked her bag.

***

The next morning, Miriam begged them to reconsider visiting the ossuary. “It’s just all the talk about how the unfortunate girl vanished and this being the bicentenary,” she moaned, wringing her hands.

“We’re leaving as soon as we’re finished eating so will be back long before it gets dark,” Brian reassured her. “If it makes you feel better, we’ll stop here before we go to supper.”

Emily slipped on her leather riding gloves and heaved her pack on her back. “Don’t worry. We’ll be back late this afternoon.” Hesitating by the front door, she turned back. “Bye. We’ll see you later,” she called cheerily as they exited.

It took about five minutes to reach the cemetery’s entrance. After dismounting, they walked their cycles down the winding road and parked them against a bench near the river. She took her Canon out and shot a few wide angle shots of the area for comparison later on.

Since they hadn’t gotten away as timely as they would have liked, Emily decided they should split up so they could cover twice as much territory. She gave Brian some of the sheets of printing paper and a couple of the anthracite crayons. He had a point and shoot Kodak so could take pictures as well as rubbings.

A row of white tombstones, beginning with two substantial memorials followed by some smaller, all of the same design, caught Emily’s eye and she walked to them. It appeared to be parents, and their ten children. She carefully photographed each one planning on looking into the family at a later date. Emily glanced over her shoulder. Brian had worked his way out to an earlier section adjacent to the highway.

Walking along the narrow road, she spotted a flight of stone steps leading to a spot sheltered by trees. As she climbed them, she noticed a small marker next to a bathtub-like sarcophagus. Up on the rock about four feet higher than the terrain where she stood, a solitary tribute occupied the plot. Emily pulled the copied articles out of her holdall. This matched the one in the copy. The thick canopy of poplar, pine, and maple trees kept the space in darkness even at his time of day. A gust of wind rustled through the treetops overhead and a leaf fluttered to the ground, landing on the covering of brightly colored autumn leaves. What was once a stately oak stood guard over the site; its trunk and remaining branch denuded of bark and pocked with woodpecker holes.

you decideUp close, the tombstone didn’t look menacing. Emily walked around it, feeling its roughness under her fingertips, and read the epitaph. It told the sad tale of a young man who expired away tragically in a ship’s explosion. She took a picture of the wording.

“Brian, come quick.” She turned and swung her arms to get his attention. “I think this is the monument.”

He lifted his head and waved back but made no attempt to approach.

When he didn’t respond a second time to her calls, she scampered off the crag, pausing to take more photos then ran to him, stumbling over the uneven ground. Breathless when she reached Brian, Emily found it difficult to tell him she had identified the cenotaph of the young soldier.

“You’ll remember where it was? I’d like to get some rubbings of the ones in this precinct. Let me finish up here and we’ll head over.” He pulled her to him and kissed her forehead.

Another one with a worn but interesting inscription soon held their interest. They were engrossed with it – Emily with her digital SLR and Brian with the paper and carbon. They were so preoccupied they didn’t notice the skies darkening.

you decideNot wanting to leave without a final visit to the shrine, she ran off towards it, with him following. It was dusk when they reached it. They drew nearer and the hairs on the back of Emily’s neck stood on end.

Suddenly, the sky turned black. The intensity of the city’s streetlights no longer visible. Emily couldn’t see him, yet they were only arms’ length apart. A brilliant flash of lightning and a simultaneous, deafening clap of thunder frightened her and she screamed. The pungent smell of ozone filled the air. The tall masterpiece now bathed in that ominous cerulean glow, made her entire body tingle.

***

The next day, when the owner of the B&B raised the alarm after they had failed to come back the night before, a search party went to the funerary grounds to look for them. Just as it was when Emily McPherson disappeared all those years ago, there were no signs of a struggle, no trace of the couple at all. At the stone’s base, one of the rescuers found a necklace – the same one the young woman was last seen wearing when she and her partner left for the cemetery. On the back was a message which read, ‘to my Emily June 1st, 1812. All my love B.W.’. The searchers looked at each other incredulously, then at the gravestone. B.W. – Brian Wolfe. Were these two people the ghosts of Emily and Brian?

*****

And here is the row of headstones belonging to the family near the haunted one on the hill.

you decide

Strange phenomena? Coincidence? Or were Brian and Emily really the ghosts of the couple from long ago?

Trick or Treat! It’s binge-read giveaway time

trick or treat

Trick or Treat! It’s binge-read giveaway time.

Want to find a new writer, learn what novels some of your favourite authors are reading, or find new book reviewer and blogger recommendations? Visit https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/literary-giveaway-portal  to enter this new multi-author giveaway. All genres are included whether it’s novels from debuting authors to award-winning/bestselling authors with multiple books and/or series. The best part — it’s all free for readers to enter, as authors are generously donating copies of their books as well as other prizes each month to help find new fans and build up their reading communities. I’m excited to participate in this month’s giveaway and can’t wait to share with you all that will be offered this month and moving forward. You never know which surprising authors might just show up on the list this year!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome back to The French Adventure by @LucyColemanauth

French Adventure

The French Adventure

by

Lucy Coleman

 

French Adventure

Genre: Sweet romance/cosy mystery

Release Date: 1 February 2018

Publisher: Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus)

Packed full of French flavour and idyllic settings this is a romantic, heart-warming and unputdownable new novel about life and love, perfect for anyone who loves Milly Johnson, Lucy Diamond and Debbie Johnson.

Suddenly unemployed and single, Anna escapes to her parents’ beautiful house in France for a much-needed recharge – and to work out what she wants to do next with her life now her carefully mapped out plan has gone out the window.

Anna gives herself 6 months to recuperate, all the while helping renovate her parents’ adjoining gites into picturesque B&Bs. But working alongside the ruggedly handsome Sam on the renovation project, she didn’t expect for life to take an unexpected, if not unwelcome, twist…

Excerpt

The L Word

Two weeks today will be the first anniversary of our first real date. Being wined and dined in a chic little French restaurant was a gigantic step forward; it signalled the beginning of a new era in my relationship with Karl. Even though at least half of the meal was spent talking about work, his intentions were clear – we were no longer simply colleagues and romance was in the air.

Since then, Karl must have told me that he loves me more than a thousand times. You might think I’m exaggerating, but I can assure you that’s not the case. He usually manages to slip it into the conversation at least three times a day. The first time he said the L word to me, it slid off his tongue so easily I could almost have missed it. It wasn’t a staring into each other’s eyes moment of discovery, just a casual ‘love you, babe’.

As the months rolled by, I pushed aside my growing fear that it was only a word to him. Because it means so much more to me, I freeze whenever he tacks it onto a sentence.

And, yes, I’m very aware that my air of disapproval does make me sound ungrateful and undeserving. But it’s all about self-preservation, you see. I’ll never utter that word again until I’m one hundred per cent certain that the man I’m saying it to believes I’m their soul mate too – the perfect fit.

The last time I uttered the L word, was six years ago. It was to a guy I’d known since childhood and the man I genuinely believed I would marry when the time was right. He was handsome in a rugged way, fired up with ambition and exciting to be around. Sadly, everyone we knew thought we were the perfect couple too, except the guy in question, as it turned out…

BUY LINK

http://smarturl.it/TheFrenchAdventure

GOODREADS

https://goo.gl/k3hEkq

ABOUT LUCY COLEMAN

French Adventure

Lucy Coleman always knew that one day she would write, but first life took her on a wonderful journey of self-discovery for which she is very grateful.

Family life and two very diverse careers later she now spends most days glued to a keyboard, which she refers to as her personal quality time.

‘It’s only when you know who you are that you truly understand what makes you happy – and writing about love, life and relationships makes me leap out of bed every morning!’

If she isn’t online she’s either playing with the kids, whose imaginations seem to know no bounds, or painting something. As a serial house mover together with her lovely husband, there is always a new challenge to keep her occupied!

Lucy also writes under the name Linn B. Halton.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanauth

Goodreads Author Page: http://ow.ly/mk3H30atV5h

Website:  http://linnbhalton.co.uk/

GIVEAWAY

A signed paperback copy of The Secrets of Villa Rosso and an iHeart pack. (UK only)

French Adventure

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IF YOU LOVE ME I’M YOURS by Lizzie Chantree #romance #humour

LOVE ME

IF YOU LOVE ME I’M YOURS

by

Lizzie Chantree

 

love me

Genre: Romance/Humour

Release Date: 9th July 2018

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

‘If you love me, I’m yours…’

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.

Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

EXTRACT

Chapter One

Maud closed her eyes and prepared to jump off the emotional cliff she was teetering on the edge of. She shuffled forward until she felt sick with nerves, took a deep calming breath and waited.

‘Oh, Maud…’ her mother sighed. ‘Not again.’

Maud cringed at the familiarity of those words, and in her mind, she stepped off into the void and plunged into the icy darkness without a whimper. In reality, she was still in her lounge, but being around her mother made her feel like an abject failure and the words she uttered sliced through Maud and filled her with doom. Her mum pushed her to the edge of reason on a regular basis. She wished that for once her mother could try harder to be nice. Surely it couldn’t be that difficult to be grateful for the anniversary gift she had been given and to offer a smile, even a fake one, for the sake of her child? It was the same every year and Maud was finally ready to surrender and stop trying so hard to make them understand her and compliment one of her paintings. It was never going to happen, she realised with a heavy heart.

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, sensible clothes, a sensible love life… if you counted two overbearing exes and a one night stand who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he had started! She was ok with not fulfilling her dreams or being outrageous and carefree, she just wanted her parents to pay her a compliment, just once, after years of disapproval and disappointment.

Maud knew that as far as her mum was concerned, she was the most amazing parent who encouraged her daughter to have a responsible career until she settled down and found a ‘suitable’ husband. Granted, Maud was a very good, well-liked and adept teacher’s assistant in the local primary school, but every time she pushed against the boundaries set by her parents for their perfect daughter… ‘Oh, Maud!’

It was ridiculous, she was twenty-four, thought Maud. She wished she had a big glass of wine to slug back, but her mother would disapprove of that too, suggest in horror that she was a ‘wino,’ and hand her the number for AA, which she would have readily available in the little brown Filofax she carried everywhere in her patent handbag. The woman was a menace.

BUY LINKS

Universal link: If you love me, I’m yours: viewbook.at/IfYouLoveMe-ImYours

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/If-You-Love-Me-Yours-ebook/dp/B07C7HRNG1

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/If-You-Love-Me-Yours-ebook/dp/B07C7HRNG1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

LOVE ME

Award-winning inventor and author, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now runs networking hours on social media, where creative businesses, writers, photographers and designers can offer advice and support to each other. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lizzie.chantree.3

Author page: viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lizzie-chantree-03006425/

Blog: www.lizziechantree.com

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

LOVE ME

LOVE ME

GIVEAWAY

a signed copy of this book and a Swarovski crystal handbag charm.

(OPEN INTERNATIONALLY)

 

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HEATHCLIFF by Sue Barnard #historical #whatif #giveaway

heathcliff

Heathcliff

by

Sue Barnard

 

heathcliff

Genre: Historical/What if…?

Release Date: 30 July 2018

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now…”

Cathy’s immortal words from Wuthering Heights change Heathcliff’s life.  At just seventeen years of age, heartbroken and penniless, he runs away to face an unknown future.

Three years later, he returns – much improved in manners, appearance, and prosperity.

But what happened during those years? How could he have made his fortune, from nothing? Who might his parents have been? And what fate turned him into literature’s most famous anti-hero?

For almost two centuries, these questions have remained unanswered.  Until now…

EXTRACT

THE YORKSHIRE MOORS, 1780

Thomas Braithwaite, Coachman

I didn’t see the man at first, in the dark and the rain. It was only when he stepped out into the road, a mere few yards in front of the coach, that I saw him at all. I yelled, “Whoa!” and yanked on the reins to slow the horses down. He must have heard me, because he looked up and tried to jump out of the way, but I felt a thud, and heard a cry of pain.

I pulled the horses to a halt and stepped down from the box seat. That was when the carriage lamp lit up his face, and I got a better look at him.

It was not a comforting sight. He was lying on the ground and his arm was bleeding. He had no coat, his hair and clothes were soaking wet, and the eyes which were staring up at me displayed a wild light which gave him the appearance of a man possessed.

“Is anything the matter, sir?” I ventured to ask – although I knew the answer to this question almost before it had left my lips. Even without the injury to his arm, I could tell that there was clearly something very much the matter. No man in his right mind would be wandering across the moors, coatless and hatless, on a wet and blustery night such as this.

He stared at me and staggered to his feet, all the while muttering under his breath. As he drew nearer I could hear that he was making the same sound over and over again. But it made no sense. It sounded like “Degrade… degrade… degrade…”

I walked towards him, extending my hand.

“Sir, you are injured, and it is not good to be out in this foul weather. Please, will you allow me to transport you to your home?”

“Home?” he snarled, baring his teeth. “I have no home. Not now.”

I was anxious to know what had brought him hither, in a temper which so strongly matched the tempest around us – but this was neither the time nor the place to ask. Instead, I hastily tied my kerchief around the wound in his arm, then gestured towards the coach and offered to transport him to the nearby inn which was to be the coach’s destination for the night.

He appeared to consider this for a moment, then shrugged his thick-set shoulders and gave a barely perceptible nod.

I opened the coach door and motioned him to climb aboard. As he entered, I heard various words from the other passengers within, but could not make out what was being said. I closed the door behind him, climbed back into the box seat and tugged on the reins. The horses broke into a canter as we covered the remaining few miles to the inn.

I was troubled. Who was this mysterious stranger, and what was he fleeing from?

BUY LINK

http://mybook.to/heathcliff

ABOUT SUE BARNARD

heathcliff

Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet. She was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. After graduating from Durham University, where she studied French and Italian, Sue got married then had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent to her two sons. If she had her way, the phrase “non-working mother” would be banned from the English language.

In addition to working as an editor for Crooked Cat Publishing, Sue is the author of four novels: The Ghostly Father, Nice Girls Don’t, The Unkindest Cut of All and Never on Saturday.  Her fifth novel, Heathcliff, will be published on 30 July 2018, to coincide with the bicentenary of the birth of Emily Brontë.

Sue speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.  She is also very interested in Family History.  Her own background is far stranger than any work of fiction; she’d write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

Sue lives in Cheshire, UK, with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.

 

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

Twitter: @AuthorSusanB

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1171386.Sue_Barnard

Instagram: suebarnardauthor

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

Blog: http://broad-thoughts-from-a-home.blogspot.co.uk/

GIVEAWAY

A first prize of a signed copy of Heathcliff (UK ONLY), and ten runner-up prizes of signed Heathcliff bookmarks (INTERNATIONAL).

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#infographic ~ 20 QUIRKS AND STRANGE HABITS ~ THE WEIRD SIDE OF FAMOUS WRITERS

My friend in blogging, Jack Milgram Custom-Writing.Org, came up with this fun infographic about famous authors and their 20 quirks and strange habits.

20 quirks

 

20 quirks

Website: custom-writing.org/blog email: Jack Milgram

Twitter: @Jack__Milgram Facebook: Jack.Milgram

So, writer friends and other authors out there in the ether, what are your quirks and strange habits? Don’t be shy, tell us yours in the comments.

PARADISE GIRL by Phill Featherstone #YA #NA #giveaway

Paradise

Paradise Girl

by

Phill Featherstone

 

Paradise

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.

EXTRACT

       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!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paradise

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.

Paradise Girl recently won a CHILL WITH A BOOK AWARD!

Paradise

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Twitter: @PhillFeathers

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16347499.Phill_Featherstone

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Website: http://phillfeatherstone.net

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LOVE THIRTY by Jill Barry #contemporary #romance #giveaway

love thirty

Love Thirty

by

Jill Barry

love thirty

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 15 February 2018

Publisher: Endeavour Media

Georgia Lyle is an ambitious journalist when she interviews hopeful British tennis player Nick Pereira. It’s game, set and match, and soon wedding bells chime. At first the couple try to balance their careers, but eventually Georgia quits her job to tour with her husband. When she finds it impossible to continue being a tennis wife, the two split, but remain in touch as Nick moves to Australia to coach and Georgia begins a new career as a lifestyle and food writer. Soon she’s jetting off to Paris to film a series with some very famous chefs, including Frenchman Jean Luc, who is quite smitten with her. But Yasmin, his right hand woman, has other ideas on that score. Everyone thinks Nick and Georgia regret giving up on their marriage. But how does Georgia learn to love reaching thirty and how do two stubborn people admit they were wrong and reunite?

With all the back and forth of a Wimbledon final, Love Thirty is a lively romance set among the gentle green of England and the quirky restaurants of France.

Extract

“Is there a window for romance in your hectic schedule?”

The ticking of the silver carriage clock on the mantelpiece sounded like a conductor tapping his baton on the music stand. Georgia forgot to breathe.

Nick relaxed against the cushions. “I’ve no particular wish to play mixed doubles.”  His eyes sparkled with mischief.

“Humour me. I want to connect with both female and male readers.” She released her most beguiling smile, determined to win the point.

A muscle twitched in his cheek. “The answer to your question is, not at the moment. Certainly not until I’m a top ten player.”

It was as if tiny fingers tapped their way down Georgia’s spine. His eyes told her his own comment had surprised him. Maybe it was the first time he’d confided his ambition. This made her heartbeat quicken though she realised there was no way Nick Pereira was media-savvy. By the end of this interview her squiggles would cover several pages and he probably prayed her article wouldn’t earn him too much flak from the guys in the locker room. He was a relatively minor British athlete, aiming to prove himself by actions not words.

Ignoring those amazing eyelashes and trying not to wonder what he was like with his shirt off, she challenged him with a drop shot. “How will you cope with the tabloids? They pounce on home grown players. Can you deal with that pressure-cooker situation as well as Andy Murray does?”

Nick hitched one long leg over the other and gazed up at the crystal chandelier. Georgia focused on the silky dark tuft at the open V of his shirt. Prayed the photos would prove finger-licking enough to make readers rush to buy the weekend paper.

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From initial idea to finished book – The journey of Love Thirty

 

I fell in love with tennis when I first picked up a mini racquet at around age seven and I can probably bore for Britain on the subject! Writing and tennis are my two great pleasures, as recognised by my long-suffering loved ones.

I began writing short stories and graduated to novellas and novels some years before I decided to use the theme of tennis in one of my books, even though I knew Nick Pereira would be a nightmare hero to write. Athletes are totally driven, aren’t they? So how could I prevent a focussed career sportsman, trying to chase the British Number One player up the rankings, from being one-dimensional? Nick’s basically a nice guy and he falls deeply in love with Georgia. But that ambition thing is a hard one to tame. I needed to make Georgia a strong-willed woman, so much so that she would never tolerate taking a back seat throughout the whole of her husband’s playing career. She too, has to find her own way in the world.

I’d like to explain that the title Love Thirty is not totally inspired by that game played with racquets and balls. However, the sport has gained much more popular interest since national hero Sir Andy Murray won Wimbledon not just once but twice! Georgia, who starts listening to her biological clock ticking as she heads for her 30th birthday, has more than one object on her personal agenda. Nick, who doesn’t see things totally her way, needs to step back from the limelight although he does remain a positive background figure in the story.

I spent years living in Wiltshire and also knew more than one local journalist so I knew the background and a bit about my heroine’s career. Georgia needed a sidekick, someone to banter with, go for a beer with, and to moan to, primarily about Baz, the pair’s ever so slightly misogynist boss. Enter Andy, who tried to tell me he was secretly in love with Georgia, but would I listen? No. She was always destined to marry Nick Pereira.

Although my novel isn’t tennis obsessed, the reader samples the flavour as the story progresses. As an author who writes character-led fiction, I hope you’ll enjoy meeting Georgia and Nick’s families, friends and colleagues. I needed a device to trigger a new beginning for my heroine after she quits roaming round the world’s tennis hot spots and I found that means within a short story of mine that was published in 2002. So I blame an ancient cookbook for the startling life change Georgia experiences.

Food is a great leveller, and it’s often used in fiction in exciting ways. I’m thinking of the novel by Henry Fielding that inspired the movie Tom Jones (no, not Jones the Voice!) although my book doesn’t include such a provocative supper scene. But Georgia and her recipes steal the heart of the British public, and possibly the heart of a sexy French chef who she finds tempting and with whom she ends up working. This takes the action to Paris.

As part of Georgia’s journey, I take readers from a small Wiltshire town beside a canal, to Nick’s parents’ extravagant property and to Georgia’s folks’ cottage on a large estate that her father manages. After a perfect winter wedding, the brief honeymoon is spent in Edinburgh so keep your thermals at the ready. Of course you get a ticket to Wimbledon later in the story so you might need your sun hat. Nothing but the best for Jill Barry’s readers! That section was one of my favourites to write, especially as I’ve attended the championships and loved celebrity spotting as much as I enjoyed the matches.

The consequence of Georgia’s visit to London SW19 proves to be another huge life-changer. Afterwards, she spends a brief but eventful period in Paris – cue more colourful characters – and by the time the novel ends, I hope you’ll sit back and think, wow!

ABOUT JILL BARRY

LOVE THIRTY

Jill Barry enjoys drawing upon some of her favourite job and holiday experiences for her books. Her romantic novels and novellas have been published digitally and in paperback as well as large print and pocket novel format. Currently, she’s working on the first book of a trilogy highlighting the lives and loves of three women. She critiques for other romantic novelists and runs creative writing sessions for students at an online high school.

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Amazon Author Page:

        https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jill-Barry/e/B00FE0GQJ0

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NINJA SCHOOL MUM by Lizzie Chantree #chicklit #romance #giveaway

NINJA

Ninja School Mum

by

Lizzie Chantree

 

Ninja

Genre: Chick Lit/ Romance

Release Date: 30th January 2018

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Obsessive-compulsive school mum, Skye, is a lonely elite spy, who is running from her past whilst trying to protect the future of her child. She tries hard to fit in with the other parents at her son’s new school, but the only person who accepts her unconventional way of life is new mother, Thea.

Thea is feeling harassed by her sister and bored with her life, but she suspects that there is something strange about the new school mum, Skye. Thea has secrets of her own and, although the two become unlikely friends, she hesitates to tell Skye about the father of her own child.

Zack’s new business is growing faster than he could have dreamed but, suddenly, he finds himself the owner of a crumbling estate on the edge of a pretty village, and a single parent to a very demanding child. Could he make a go of things and give his daughter the life she deserved?

When three lives collide, it appears that only one of them is who they seem to be, and you never know who the person next to you in the school playground really is.

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EXTRACT

CHAPTER 1

Skye tapped her feet impatiently as she looked at the ominous grey clouds hovering above the playground and tried to rein in the anger she could feel blazing in her chest. She had learned the skill of outwardly controlling her emotions and appearing like she hadn’t a care in the world long ago, but if her son came out of school crying because a more boisterous kid had poured water on his head, or scribbled all over his carefully written work again, then she would struggle not to pick the culprit up by his leg and throw him into the neatly manicured flowerbeds that surrounded the glossy green windowsills of the school building.

She noticed the quiet red-haired woman who was sitting on a nearby bench, glancing longingly at the same group of school mums again. They were all huddled together like a rugby scrum, chatting busily about their day. Skye wondered why the redhead didn’t get up and join them if she wanted to be part of the group so badly, but she could tell from the woman’s body language that it was never going to happen. She obviously lacked the confidence or courage to break into such a tight-knit group of friends.

A movement to Skye’s left caught her eye and she noticed the woman with the mop of curly hair and inquisitive eyes watching her again. She was frowning in concentration before realising that she had been spotted and seamlessly blended back into the throng of people waiting for their children to appear.

Ninja

ABOUT LIZZIE CHANTREE

 

Ninja

Award-winning inventor and author, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now runs networking hours on social media, where creative businesses, writers, photographers and designers can offer advice and support to each other. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/lizzie.chantree.3

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Blog: www.lizziechantree.com

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

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