Category Archives: #Excerpt

It Happened in Gastown (It Happened Book 2)

The moment you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! At least I hope you’ve all been waiting for it. 😉 Drum roll, please … Here for the first time is the beautiful cover of  Book 2 in my It Happened series – It Happened in Gastown – a sweet romance with suspense.

Here we go, without any further ado, I give you

It Happened in Gastown

 

it happened in gastown

Isn’t it beautiful?

Blurb

Trainspotting meets Hot Pursuit…

Hilary Dunbar is a uniformed constable with the Vancouver Police with an agenda to rid the streets of drugs, especially the bad ones the notorious dealer, Carlos Navarra, is trafficking.

Heroin addict, Erik Layne, has lived on the streets of Gastown for as long as he can remember, having left home and Toronto as a rebellious teenage addict. His and Hilary’s paths cross when she finds him unconscious in an alley after injecting a batch of the contaminated drug. He must fight for his life to keep from dying, not only from the tainted smack but also from the man who provided it.

A domestic disturbance call goes wrong, and Hilary suffers life-changing injuries as a result. As luck would have it, she and Erik are hospitalized in the same ward at Vancouver General Hospital. When she sinks into a deep depression, it’s he who pulls her out of her doldrums.

But will Hilary’s obsession with bringing down Navarra and others like him destroy their relationship and, more importantly, jeopardize their lives?

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Out on routine patrol, Constables Hilary Dunbar and her partner Lukas Stephanopoulos drove north on Cambie Street towards the Gastown Steam Clock. As they passed the end of Blood Alley, she shouted, “Back up. Something’s down there.”

“Your imagination getting the better of you again?” He teased, but pulled over to the curb and slowly reversed until they blocked the mouth of the narrow passage.

Originally they called the lane Trounce Alley. Some maps still referred to the laneway as that. Others labelled the back street Blood Alley. Given the appearance, Hilary thought the latter more appropriate.

Window down, she trained the beam from the powerful spotlight mounted on the cruiser’s mirror into the alleyway. “See, beyond those dumpsters.”

“Likely just garbage.”

“Wait here; I’m going to take a closer look.”

Before exiting the car, she plucked a pair of nitrile gloves and the naloxone kit from the glove compartment. Once out, she shoved them in the pockets of her trousers. With the fingertips of her right hand brushing her gun holster and gripping the barrel of the torch in her left, she sidled towards the object.

Graffiti tags covered the walls of the buildings as well as the wooden hydro poles. The farther into the confined space she crept, the hairs on the nape of her neck bristled beneath the bun in which she styled her black hair. Whatever was down there wasn’t rubbish, as Luke said. The pong of stale urine made her eyes water.

Past the second dumpster, the body of a young man leaned against the wall. Dishevelled and filthy, his body odour was strong enough to make the foulest of skunk spray seem mild. At first glance, he appeared dead. His skin had a bluish tinge, and weeping sores dotted his face. Dark circles surrounded his eyes. Inching forward, Hilary squatted beside him.

A blood-filled syringe protruded from his left arm. Flashlight held under her chin; she donned the synthetic rubber gloves she brought with her and felt his neck for a pulse. The rhythmic throbbing beneath her fingertips, barely discernible.

The naloxone. The kit had been made available to officers who wanted the medication. Luke was against carrying the opioid blocker in the cruiser, but Hilary persuaded him. Now was the time to use it. She took the package out of her other trouser pocket, peeled the wrapper open and placed the nozzle in the victim’s left nostril and pressed the plunger.

She keyed the mic on her handset and started to speak. “Constable Dunbar.” As though on cue, the nearby Steam Clock began whistling — no sense in trying to outperform the contraption. Wait for the completion of its proclamation of the top of the hour — Westminster chimes followed by singular whistle blasts counting out the time. Soon relative quiet returned and Hilary tried again. “Constable Dunbar. Badge 8652. I need an ambulance at Blood Alley and Cambie Street. Suspected drug overdose. Have administered four milligrams of Narcan nasal spray. No response as of yet.”

By now, Luke had the cruiser’s roof lights on. Blue, red and white alternating then running from the driver’s side to the passenger’s side of the vehicle.

The wail of the siren grew louder. In minutes, paramedics jumped out and trundled a stretcher and medical equipment to the stricken person.

Hilary stood back, letting them do their jobs. “I gave him Narcan,” she said, handing the spent plastic bottle to one of them.

“He’s alive … just. You found him in time. We’ve bagged the needle so they can run tests on the contents at the hospital. Figure out what he shot into his veins.”

Buy Links

It Happened in Gastown releases on December 1st, but you can pre-order your copy now for the low price of $2.99/£2.99.

Kindle

Kobo

Book 1 in the series – It Happened on Dufferin Terrace is on sale for $0.99/£0.99 or you can enter my giveaway to win a kindle or kobo copy.

To enter, leave me a comment. Your name will be entered in a draw on December 1st (launch day for It Happened in Gastown).

THE WEDDING SHOP ON WEXLEY STREET by Rachel Dove

wedding shop

The Wedding Shop on Wexley Street
by
Rachel Dove

wedding shop

Series: Westfield village series #3

Genre: romantic fiction

Release Date: 10th August 2018

Publisher: HQ Digital

Maria is ready to say ‘yes’ to the dress!

As owner of Happy Ever After, Maria Mallory is Westfield’s resident wedding planner, spending her days making dreams come true for future brides.

Maria even has her own perfect day planned out too, she just needs to find the right man. So when she falls in love with local celeb Darcy Burgess she can’t believe her luck – it was finally her turn for her Happy Ever After. Or so she thought.

Jilted at the altar, Maria can’t believe that her fairytale ending hasn’t come true. She’s ready to give up on love once and for all. But little does she know that once you stop looking for it, love has a way of surprising you…

A laugh-out-loud romance, perfect for fans of Holly Martin and Tilly Tennant.

EXTRACT

Two hours later, Maria found herself in Harrogate, squeezed into the red dress, heels pinching her feet, wondering why the hell she wasn’t sat on Cass’s couch eating ice cream and crying. She said the same to Cass as they walked on tottering heels to the nearest trendy bar, Ice, in the wine bar and posh eatery part of Harrogate’s city centre, which, coincidentally, butted up against the legal quarter of Harrogate, and no doubt the two sides kept each other in business quite well too. Walking into Ice with Cassie, it was hard to ignore the stares that her friend attracted. Cassie Welburn was, let’s face it, sex on a twenty nine year old stick. She was always tanned thanks to her meticulous salon treatments, plucked and shaped to perfection, and tonight, as usual, was dressed to kill. Even Maria’s daring red dress looked tame in light of Cassie’s black and silver dress, slashed to the thigh, combined with sparkly silver heels that make Cassie even taller than her just under six foot frame. Maria blushed and nudged Cass’s elbow with her own.

“People are staring Cass.” Cassie shrugged.

“Let them stare, girl. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.” Maria belatedly realised that tonight, thanks to that ridiculous article, the stares may indeed be for her and not her glamorous friend. She cringed inwardly, and planted a smile on her face.  She took her friend by the arm, and pushing her boobs out and her chin up, she headed to the bar. “Let’s get smashed,” she declared.

BUY LINK

Amazon UK – https://goo.gl/5EgXqB

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

WEDDING SHOP

I am a writer and teacher, living in West Yorkshire with my husband, our two sons, and our furry pets.

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. The Flower Shop on Foxley Street followed this in 2017 and both books hit the Amazon top 200. Chic Boutique got to #2 in the rural life humour chart and is regularly in the top 100 of that chart.

I am the winner of the Writers Bureau Writer of the Year Award in 2016 and I have had work published in the UK and overseas in various magazines.

My next book, The Long Walk Back, is out in January 2018 and I am currently writing the last book in the Westfield series. My first book with Manatee Books, Nice Guys Finish Lonely, is out in April 2018 in ebook and paperback. I love to write romantic fiction, both rom-com and harder hitting women’s fiction.

I am also a post 16 teacher and am undertaking an MA in Creative Writing at Teesside University.

I love to chat on twitter so come say hi! @writerdove

I also run a blog (very occasionally these days): racheldoveauthor@wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelDoveauthor/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterDove

Goodreads Author Page: https://goo.gl/CPJkbr

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

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RachelDovewriter

GIVEAWAY

A signed spiral bound paperback of the book plus bookmarks

(open Internationally)

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

99¢/99p until July 23rd! It Happened on Dufferin Terrace #ChristmasinJuly #sweet #romance

That’s right, during the pre-order period and launch day (July 22), you can get It Happened on Dufferin Terrace for the kindle or kobo for only 99¢/99p.

She’s married to her career… He’s a widowed father…

99¢/99p

Miracle on 34th Street meets Sleepless in Seattle in

It Happened on Dufferin Terrace

Toronto business consultant, Serenity Layne, knew the only person she could depend on was herself. Married to her career, she has no time for other pursuits and life’s intangibles.

Widowed for three years, Roger Scott, a data security specialist in Quebec City, is a single parent to his ten-year-old son, Adam.

On a day out on the Plains of Abraham with their black Labrador retriever, Roger’s cell phone rings incessantly. Adam has played matchmaker and put his father’s profile on a number of online dating sites.

The week before Christmas, Serenity is heading up a series of meetings after a six-month study of the Canadian retail chain, jonathans. After an unpleasant encounter with one of the store managers, she escapes from the boardroom of the Château Frontenac Hotel, only to be bowled over by Roger and Adam’s dog.

Guilty over the accident, Roger invites Serenity out for a drink by way of apology. Over the course of the week, and spending time together, feelings long dormant for Roger are re-awakened. At the same time, emotions foreign to Serenity fill her with contentment and happiness.

Will the couple get their happily ever after?

 

It Happened on Dufferin Terrace is the first book in the It Happened series, a set of sweet, contemporary romances by author, Melanie Robertson-King. If entertaining and heartwarming romances are for you, then you’ll fall in love with this entry in a light, romantic series set in picturesque Canadian locations.

 

SPECIAL PRICE! Pre-order now for only $0.99/£0.99.

 

BUY LINKS

 kindle

Kobo Canada

Kobo US

 99¢/99p

 

EXCERPT

The following morning, six months of gruelling work came to fruition. In the Place d’Armes conference room, Serenity turned on her MacBook Air with the PowerPoint presentation and ensured the projector functioned. In addition to the electronic copy, the hard copies she made in Montreal for the jonathans participants were placed them in front of each chair.

This was the first time her superior sat in on one of her meetings, making her more nervous than normal. Did he not trust her judgement?

Scheduled to start at ten a.m., a number of attendees were still missing. The time function on her Fitbit indicated three minutes to go. The managers had to arrive soon or her boss’s trust in her abilities would be shattered. A brief assessment of her leather-bound notebook confirmed the time and date.

Gradually, men in three-piece suits, shirts and ties straggled in. They nodded at her as they took their seats. During her visits to the outlets across Canada, she came together with them. All were friendly and cooperative. Some stores performed well, while others struggled.

The head of jonathans made his entrance. Well over six feet in stature, with a stocky frame, his imposing size commanded respect and attention.

“Good morning,” she said.

The man acknowledged her with a nod of his head and moved to the head of the table.

Now, she and the other attendees waited for her missing employer and one last jonathans employee.

“We’ll give them another five minutes then we’ll start. In the meantime, feel free to look at the documents in front of you.” She lingered by the chair used by the director of the Vancouver location and smiled.

The door burst open, eliminating the opportunity to speak with the gentleman. In the gap stood the man from the Yorkville Avenue outlet, as unkempt as the first time she met him. When he looked up, his eyes bulged, and his jaw dropped. “You’re the hard-nosed, jumped up high and mighty who made trouble. You’re the reason we’re having this powwow,” he snapped.

The hairs on the back of her neck bristled. Coat plucked from the rack, she darted out the door putting on the garment on the fly. The man busted her straight away. No way could she head this meeting now. Where was Martin Thacker? He would have stood by her.

She left the hotel, turned right, and scurried through the arched vehicular entryway on Rue Saint Louis. From there, she stumbled to the boardwalk running adjacent to the spectacular architecture and overlooked the St. Lawrence River and the town underneath.

Snow, packed down from shovelling and plowing, made the boards slippery. High-heeled shoes were inappropriate for the conditions, but escaping that room was paramount.

Why did she allow that man to antagonize her? Any other time, any other meeting and she would have let comments like his roll off her. This action was out of character.

Struggling to maintain her balance, she picked her way to the hand rail. At least she had gloves in her pockets. After extracting the knitted mittens, she pulled them on her hands and tried to regain her composure so she could go back to the meeting. She would have to create an excuse for her sudden departure.

Arms resting on the bannister, she took in long, slow breaths. Each time she exhaled a puff of steam formed in front of her.

About to go back into the warmth of the hotel’s conference room, she let go and turned. A massive black dog charged at her with a man and a boy in pursuit. The ear flaps of the man’s trapper hat resembled wings. Stretched out horizontally, how he managed not to take flight astounded her.

“Tori, bad girl. Halt.” The man shouted commands to the canine, but the animal was oblivious to them.

Before she had an opportunity to react, the black Lab launched itself in the air and hit her square in the chest knocking her to the ground. The impact sent her eyeglasses flying and they crashed on the granite ledge beneath the handrail. The child dove for them but couldn’t get a proper grip. His fingertips brushed the frames and her eyewear skittered away from him on the icy rock and vanished.

 

#Cover #Reveal ~ It Happened on Dufferin Terrace #ChristmasinJuly #sweet #romance

It’s the moment we’ve all be waiting for… well, at least I have. I can now show off the cover of my upcoming Christmas novella, It Happened on Dufferin Terrace.

She’s married to her career… He’s a widowed father…

it happened

Miracle on 34th Street meets Sleepless in Seattle in

It Happened on Dufferin Terrace

Toronto business consultant, Serenity Layne, knew the only person she could depend on was herself. Married to her career, she has no time for other pursuits and life’s intangibles.

Widowed for three years, Roger Scott, a data security specialist in Quebec City, is a single parent to his ten-year-old son, Adam.

On a day out on the Plains of Abraham with their black Labrador retriever, Roger’s cell phone rings incessantly. Adam has played matchmaker and put his father’s profile on a number of online dating sites.

The week before Christmas, Serenity is heading up a series of meetings after a six-month study of the Canadian retail chain, jonathans. After an unpleasant encounter with one of the store managers, she escapes from the boardroom of the Château Frontenac Hotel, only to be bowled over by Roger and Adam’s dog.

Guilty over the accident, Roger invites Serenity out for a drink by way of apology. Over the course of the week, and spending time together, feelings long dormant for Roger are re-awakened. At the same time, emotions foreign to Serenity fill her with contentment and happiness.

Will the couple get their happily ever after?

 

It Happened on Dufferin Terrace is the first book in the It Happened series, a set of sweet, contemporary romances by author, Melanie Robertson-King. If entertaining and heartwarming romances are for you, then you’ll fall in love with this entry in a light, romantic series set in picturesque Canadian locations.

 

SPECIAL PRICE! Pre-order now for only $0.99/£0.99.

 

BUY LINKS

 kindle

Kobo Canada

Kobo US

 it happened

 

EXCERPT

The following morning, six months of gruelling work came to fruition. In the Place d’Armes conference room, Serenity turned on her MacBook Air with the PowerPoint presentation and ensured the projector functioned. In addition to the electronic copy, the hard copies she made in Montreal for the jonathans participants were placed them in front of each chair.

This was the first time her superior sat in on one of her meetings, making her more nervous than normal. Did he not trust her judgement?

Scheduled to start at ten a.m., a number of attendees were still missing. The time function on her Fitbit indicated three minutes to go. The managers had to arrive soon or her boss’s trust in her abilities would be shattered. A brief assessment of her leather-bound notebook confirmed the time and date.

Gradually, men in three-piece suits, shirts and ties straggled in. They nodded at her as they took their seats. During her visits to the outlets across Canada, she came together with them. All were friendly and cooperative. Some stores performed well, while others struggled.

The head of jonathans made his entrance. Well over six feet in stature, with a stocky frame, his imposing size commanded respect and attention.

“Good morning,” she said.

The man acknowledged her with a nod of his head and moved to the head of the table.

Now, she and the other attendees waited for her missing employer and one last jonathans employee.

“We’ll give them another five minutes then we’ll start. In the meantime, feel free to look at the documents in front of you.” She lingered by the chair used by the director of the Vancouver location and smiled.

The door burst open, eliminating the opportunity to speak with the gentleman. In the gap stood the man from the Yorkville Avenue outlet, as unkempt as the first time she met him. When he looked up, his eyes bulged, and his jaw dropped. “You’re the hard-nosed, jumped up high and mighty who made trouble. You’re the reason we’re having this powwow,” he snapped.

The hairs on the back of her neck bristled. Coat plucked from the rack, she darted out the door putting on the garment on the fly. The man busted her straight away. No way could she head this meeting now. Where was Martin Thacker? He would have stood by her.

She left the hotel, turned right, and scurried through the arched vehicular entryway on Rue Saint Louis. From there, she stumbled to the boardwalk running adjacent to the spectacular architecture and overlooked the St. Lawrence River and the town underneath.

Snow, packed down from shovelling and plowing, made the boards slippery. High-heeled shoes were inappropriate for the conditions, but escaping that room was paramount.

Why did she allow that man to antagonize her? Any other time, any other meeting and she would have let comments like his roll off her. This action was out of character.

Struggling to maintain her balance, she picked her way to the hand rail. At least she had gloves in her pockets. After extracting the knitted mittens, she pulled them on her hands and tried to regain her composure so she could go back to the meeting. She would have to create an excuse for her sudden departure.

Arms resting on the bannister, she took in long, slow breaths. Each time she exhaled a puff of steam formed in front of her.

About to go back into the warmth of the hotel’s conference room, she let go and turned. A massive black dog charged at her with a man and a boy in pursuit. The ear flaps of the man’s trapper hat resembled wings. Stretched out horizontally, how he managed not to take flight astounded her.

“Tori, bad girl. Halt.” The man shouted commands to the canine, but the animal was oblivious to them.

Before she had an opportunity to react, the black Lab launched itself in the air and hit her square in the chest knocking her to the ground. The impact sent her eyeglasses flying and they crashed on the granite ledge beneath the handrail. The child dove for them but couldn’t get a proper grip. His fingertips brushed the frames and her eyewear skittered away from him on the icy rock and vanished.

 

#Excerpt from YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS #romsuspense #thriller

#Excerpt from

Today I’m sharing an #excerpt from my romantic suspense/psychological thriller, YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS. I hope you enjoy it.

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

Devastated by the death of her husband, Colin, in the London bombings on July 7, 2005, Katherine Murphy-Whithorn builds a wall around her heart determined to never let anyone in again. Settling in to a comfortable routine, her life becomes mundane, until five years later when someone from her rebellious past returns to the city and begins stalking her.
As the curtain falls on 2010 her first love, Jared Martin, walks back into Katherine´s life. Despite him being her first love, he must tear down the barrier she´s created to protect herself. Finally seeing a second chance of a life with him, Katherine couldn´t be happier until another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter returning from the Alpha Ecosse platform, on which Jared is a passenger, ditches in the North Sea. Can he survive the ordeal?
Will they get their chance for happiness? Or is fate still not done its dirty deeds? Katherine’s stalker may have his own agenda.

**********

#EXCERPT

The pub was crowded. People mingled over after work drinks. Music blared from the speakers.

He tapped her shoulder. “You go grab the booth back there in the corner. I’ll get them in. What’ll you have?”

“Gin and tonic, please.”

The floor was sticky in patches under her feet from spilled spirits, mixes and beer. Tonight because the place was full, the smell of ale, faint scent of juniper, combined with assorted body odours, colognes and perfumes was overpowering.

When she got to the seats he pointed out, she chose the far side so she could people watch. But he was the only person with whom she had any interest. His snug fitting, faded jeans accentuated the muscles in his thighs. Man he was fit. Sexy, too, leaning against the bar. He turned, smiled and winked at her and her cheeks got hot. Katherine knew she was blushing but couldn’t help herself and she couldn’t stop staring at him either.

Melissa’s comment about the homeless man scaring her played on her mind. When she encountered him in other parts of Aberdeen, she never paid much attention. Now, he was on her street, hanging out around her store. Business was already down these past six months. That was enough cause for concern.

He sat Katherine’s G&T on the cardboard beer mat on the table and eased on the bench across from her. Leaning back, he stretched out his legs, bumping her foot in the process. “Sorry,” he responded before taking a slug of his Caledonian 80.

“I-I can’t believe I’m sitting here with you. After all these years.” Katherine raised her glass but her hand trembled. She had to steady it with both hands.

“I know what you mean.” He removed the old-fashioned from her grasp and sat it on the table. He held her hands in his, stroking them with this thumbs. “That day you walked away from me, I didn’t think I would ever see you again.”

“I didn’t go by choice.”

“I know. I’ll never forget the look on your face when your father yanked you out of my arms at the security checkpoint at the airport.”

“Why didn’t you stop him?”

“My life was a mess back then. You know that. I wish I had but you would have grown to resent what you gave up or worse, I would have been done for assault.”

From the moment her mother and father discovered her relationship with Jared, they were determined he was not good enough for their little girl; her father especially. “I despised them for taking me away from you. I hated Canada. The first chance I got I came back. And then I found you with her. I was back for a while but not seen you. I even went to where you lived when we first met and they told me you moved. What was I to think?”

The wail of a siren pierced the din in the pub. As he turned, the sparkle of a diamond flashed. Katherine brushed his hair away from his left lobe. “You’re still wearing that?”

“Been there since the day you deserted me at the airport.”

Reaching up, she pulled back her long, copper tresses and revealed the mate to the earring he wore in her upper ear. “Got this piercing after we moved to Canada. First thing I did when I got on my own. One of my many acts of defiance. Believe it or not, I was more of a rebel there than I was before they dragged me off kicking and screaming.”

He chuckled at her statement, leaned forward and ran his fingers up and down his glass wiping away the condensation. The action made Katherine wish she were the one he was stroking. She squirmed in her seat. Her parents ruined everything when they took her away.

“As soon as I came back I went to your old place so we could pick up where we left off but the people wouldn’t tell me where you were.”

“Didn’t know that. Guess I started working on the rigs a couple of months after you went. I moved closer to the airport to make a shorter commute.” He took hold of her hands and stroked the backs of them with his thumbs. “Truth be told, I didn’t expect you to come back. I figured you’d find some guy there about your own age and it would be the end of us.”

“Five years isn’t a huge difference.”

“Your parents sure thought different. Good thing you were sixteen or they would have had my arse thrown in jail.”

She smiled. “Don’t forget. We got together before that. So yeah, glad they didn’t. I would have had to spend those nights at Steph’s for real, rather than with you.”

“I forgot about that.” He hoisted his glass and drained it.

“B-but I thought we were over when I finally saw you after our grad party. You appeared so cozy with that girl.”

“Oh her. A mistake. One of the lads on the rig set me up with her. I hoped once I saw you that night, we would have a chance.”

“And I thought we didn’t because I assumed you were having a good time with her all cuddled together.”

“What about you? I could say the same. You looked pretty happy, yourself, with that guy.”

“I was. I didn’t expect to see you there. You don’t know how jealous I was. I guess I got involved with Colin seriously to get my own back at you.”

“I never meant to hurt you. Never stopped thinking about you and our time together.”

A tear fell from Katherine’s eye. Before she could swipe at it, he brushed the droplet away with his thumb. “Tell me, please. I want to know why you’re so sad.”

She gulped back a sob and answered. “Not long after we got the bookstore, not even married more than a minute – after seeing you and … her, thought we were over. Colin was a nice bloke so when he asked, I said yes. Anyway, we got the chance to buy the place.”

“And?”

“He was killed in the London bombings. He went on a book buying trip and didn’t come home. He was at King’s Cross to catch his train to Aberdeen.” She pulled a gold chain out from under her layers of clothing and toyed with the wedding ring dangling from it. “This is all I have left of him.” By now, Katherine sobbed uncontrollably.

“I’m so sorry. I had no idea and had no intentions of hurting you.” He eased around the end of the booth and gathered her in his arms. “Finish your drink and we’ll leave. Take you somewhere and cheer you up.”

Outdoors, she began to feel better. The fresh air helped clear her head of the unpleasant memories of her past. “Let’s go back to mine,” she suggested feeling brazen thanks to being with him again and her passion for him returning. “It’s not far. Just over the bookshop.” She took his hand and led the way.

**********

BUY LINKS

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THE BRIDE’S TRAIL by A. A. Abbott #Excerpt

bride's trail

THE BRIDE’S TRAIL

by

A. A. Abbott

Perfect for fans of John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer and Ruth Rendell

Twenty grand has vanished from Shaun Halloran’s casino, and so has gorgeous blonde croupier Kat White. Once he’s tracked her down, he’ll shoot first and ask questions later.

Amy Satterthwaite’s just learned Kat stole her ID for a sham marriage. Desperate to clear her name and save her friend from Shaun, she swallows her pride and turns to arrogant Ross Pritchard for help. But can they find Kat in time?

Twists and tension keep the pages turning in A.A. Abbott’s stunning crime thriller. As Kat’s trail leads from London’s smart Fitzrovia to secret tunnels below central Birmingham, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

Extract

“What do you want?” she asked.

“Where’s Kat? I need to see her.”

“I don’t know.”

He took the knife from his pocket.

“No,” Amy said, “I really don’t know. If I did, I’d tell you. She’s been gone for three days and I can’t reach her. I’ve tried, believe me.” This was no time for heroics. Had she the slightest idea of Kat’s whereabouts, she would have divulged them, of that she was sure.

His eyes darted down to the knife. He flicked it open, stroked its blade, then looked up at her again. “I need answers, Amy,” he said, almost sorrowfully. “If someone had stolen twenty grand from you, you’d want some answers too.”

“Kat stole twenty thousand pounds?” A week ago she wouldn’t have believed it. Now, she couldn’t be sure. “That’s not all she’s done. She married an illegal immigrant, using my name. The police were round this morning.”

“Do they know where she is?”

Amy sighed. “No.”

“Good. I want to see her before the police do. I don’t suppose they’ve searched this flat for clues to her whereabouts?”

She was silent.

“No,” he said. “I thought not. You and me, Amy, we’re going to do that now, before any such clues might do a vanishing act like our mutual friend. Show me Kat’s room.”

“You’re in it.”

He looked around, shook his head. “Really? I thought this was the lounge. Okay, I want you to take everything out of those boxes.” He pointed to a stack of wooden wine crates, painted white, in which Kat’s belongings were stowed.

The top crate was crammed with shopping bags, over a dozen of them, bearing the names of designer boutiques: Prada, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu and more. Reluctantly, Amy picked up a bag.

“Open it,” the knifeman said.

It was from Agent Provocateur, a powder pink paper bag sealed with a black ribbon. Carefully, Amy untied the bow. Inside, there was a pink cardboard box.

“Now that,” he ordered.

“Must I?” Amy pleaded. “These are Kat’s personal things.”

“That’s the whole point.”

Silently, she opened the box, unfolded the black tissue paper inside and shook out a frilly silk underwear set. A receipt showed it had cost two hundred pounds.

He whistled, leering. “Very nice. Now the rest.”

Altogether, Kat had spent over four thousand pounds on unworn purchases. “A shopping addiction,” he said thoughtfully, reflecting Amy’s surprised reaction. “Carry on.”

The crates below mostly contained clothes, neatly folded, and shoes in bags. There were a few books, overspill from the shelves by the wall, and finally, a box file containing paperwork.

“Give me that,” the dangerous stranger commanded. He fished out a letter. “Dearest Kat,” he read aloud, “I hope you are well. I am fine, and so is Cedric the Cat, but he is very old now. I have a little job now at Treasures in Harborne. Same old, same old. Do write and tell me your news. With love, Auntie Lizzie.” He paused. “Isn’t that sweet?” he said sarcastically. “Let’s see if there’s more of the same.”

He rifled through the box, shaking his head. Evidently, nothing further was deemed worthy of comment. He asked her to empty the only other article of storage in the room, a large rosewood chest, but that merely yielded towels and bedding.

“Interesting, and predictable,” he muttered. “I’ll tell you what we haven’t found. No suitcase, money, passport, women’s things like cosmetics. No certificates for qualifications, birth, marriage even.” He looked pointedly at Amy. “She’s done a runner.”

Amy bit her tongue. He was unlikely to appreciate being told he was stating the obvious.

He pocketed the letter. “I’ll be back. And you’ll tell me where she is, okay?” He fingered the knife again. “Not a word to the Old Bill. I’ve never been here, not on your life.”

“What about the CCTV?” she couldn’t resist challenging him.

“What about it?” he said dismissively. “None in that car park. I cut the wires.” He stood to leave, putting a finger to his lips. “You’re a lucky, lucky girl, Amy, because I believe you. Thousands wouldn’t. Now don’t forget – not a dicky bird, okay?”

When he’d gone, Amy bolted the door and searched the kitchenette for alcohol. Finding a bottle of Snow Mountain vodka, less than a quarter full, she drank all that was left of it and went straight to bed.

Please note there is also a taster story, The Gap, at:

http://aaabbott.co.uk/free-stuff/

About A.A. Abbott

bride's trail

AA Abbott (also known as Helen) chose her pen name in a shameless attempt to slot into the first space on your bookshelf. Born near London, she’s lived in Birmingham and Bristol, and worked in all three cities. She works for big companies for half the year as a tax accountant, taking temporary work so she can spend the rest of the year writing fast-paced crime thrillers. Although her work gives her inspiration, she says none of her colleagues have murdered, blackmailed or defrauded anyone. Hanging out in coffee shops and cocktail bars, she loves city life and can’t resist writing about it.

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

Twitter: @AAAbbottStories

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7339437.A_A_Abbott

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AAAbbott

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/aaabbottstories

Blog: http://aaabbott.co.uk/

Website: http://aaabbott.co.uk/

Circles of Fate by Pamela S. Thibodeaux #Eggcerpt Exchange

circles of fate

Circles of Fate

by

Pamela S Thibodeaux

 

circles of fate

Five Facts about Circles of Fate

My husband (now deceased) was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA while in the Army. That was before I knew him but he talked about it often.

Thibodaux is an actual city in Louisiana although spelled slightly different than my name (Thibodeaux), the two are pronounced the same – Ti-ba-dough with the i as in “it”.

There was a café in my hometown of Iowa, Louisiana named the “Feed Trough”

Although more regulated now, military in lieu of jail was an option in the past especially during war time.

Circles of Fate was initially written in 1989 and comprised of two five-subject notebooks. I typed it using a word processor in 1994 then the files were converted to rich text format (rtf) by a friend so that I could put it on my computer. That was in 2000. It sat virtually untouched on my computer until 2014.

circles of fate

Blurb

Set at the tail end of the Vietnam War era, Circles of Fate takes the reader from Fort Benning, Georgia to Thibodaux, Louisiana. A romantic saga, this gripping novel covers nearly twenty years in the lives of Shaunna Chatman and Todd Jameson. Constantly thrown together and torn apart by fate, the two are repeatedly forced to choose between love and duty, right and wrong, standing on faith or succumbing to the world’s viewpoint on life, love, marriage and fidelity. With intriguing twists and turns, fate brings together a cast of characters whose lives will forever be entwined. Through it all is the hand of God as He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Excerpt

“Promise me you’re sure or I won’t let you go.”

She would have to convince him or he’d never let her leave. She also knew he’d see through anything less than complete honesty.

“Oh, Todd,” she whispered, her voice urgent. “I wish it were that easy. I’m sure I have to try. But I want you to know something…” She hesitated, unsure how to say what she needed to say. “If things were different, if he weren’t so determined, if nothing was left between us, if I didn’t think there was a chance, I would stay.” Her eyes searched his for some sign he understood.

A ghost of a smile played around his sensuous lips, he nodded. “I know,” he whispered. “And I understand,” he said and gathered her close once more.

She should leave. Shaunna knew Joe waited for her, but was unable, unwilling, to end it, to end them, just yet. She held him firm in her embrace, committed the feel of his body to heart.

“I have to go,” she whispered, then clung, not yet able to turn him loose.

“I know,” he answered and tightened his arms around her. With a sigh of surrender, he stepped away, loosened his hold but rubbed her back and shoulders in a tender gesture.

“Don’t look back,” he whispered then dropped his hands to his side, clenched his fists.

She saw the struggle in his eyes, felt it in her heart, as each fought not to grab hold and cling. They gazed at each other, read the naked truth in each other’s eyes.

Neither wanted to be the first to walk away.

Shaunna touched his face, traced his features…his eyes, his jaw, his mouth. A shiver shook her when he held her hand and pressed his lips to her fingertips.

“I almost wish we had made love the other night.”

Almost?

The word echoed between them like a silent scream. The despair in his eyes slashed her heart another degree. He shook his head, swallowed hard.

“Know this. If we had, you would not leave here today.”

She stroked his cheek, her smile tender, bittersweet. “Take care of yourself. Please,” she whispered then placed her mouth on his.

Lips met on a sigh, breaths mingled on a sob. Each of them committed the kiss to heart, and fought not to cling to the other. With a final touch, a last trembling smile, Shaunna did one of the hardest things she’d ever done in her life.

She left.

Purchase Links

Kindle: http://amzn.to/13b6qCG

Print: http://amzn.to/1zfEzNH

Nook: http://bit.ly/1ySeQqJ

B&N Print: http://bit.ly/1wA6DsH

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/136qK7n

About Pamela S. Thibodeaux

 

circles of fate

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Links

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com

Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux

Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU

 

 

336 HOURS by Rachel Cathan #RealLife #Giveaway

336 hours

336 Hours

by

Rachel Cathan

 

336 hours

Genre: ‘Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.’

Release Date: 13th February 2017

Publisher: SilverWood Books

The next 336 hours will be tough. No, the next 336 hours will be really tough…

I feel like an Olympian, waiting to see whether the years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication are finally going to pay off, or whether my body is about to fail me at the last hurdle and make me wonder why I ever hoped I could win.

My best friend is pregnant, my single friends are planning their pregnancies and, after five long years of tests and investigations, I’m coming to the end of my third – and supposedly final – IVF treatment. There are 336 hours to survive before I’ll know if I get to join the motherhood club. That’s 224 waking hours of pure psychological torture. 112 sleeping hours to stare at the ceiling and wonder, what the hell am I going to do with my life if it turns out I can’t have kids?

Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.

Extract 1:
They should have IVF farms for women like me to book into at times like these; pretty padded cells with flat-screen TVs and row upon row of feel-good DVDs and relaxation CDs, and beautiful gardens and luxury bathrooms with hot taps that would never heat up to embryo boiling temperatures, and gigantic rocking chairs so that we could legitimately sit and rock ourselves backwards and forwards for hours on end without looking completely crazy in the process.

Extract 2:
I can’t pretend to have a clue what she means, of course. I don’t know what it’s like to have little people shouting, ‘Mummy! Mummy! MUUMMEEE!’ all day long, to never be able to go for a wee on your own, to make spaghetti bolognese and then watch your dinner dates tip it straight over their heads, to stay up all night comforting a teething toddler, to spend hours coercing and pleading with very small people to put shoes and coats on so you can at last leave the fucking house.

But I want to know this life. Because that stuff gives you stories, first-hand experiences, and the right to exchange knowing smiles of solidarity with other frazzled parents as you all manoeuvre your wayward shopping trolleys around the aisles of Tesco.

And it comes with other stuff, too: the good stuff.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

Silverwood Books

Writing about real life – the pros and cons

When it comes to writing a book, sticking to what you know is generally considered sound advice, and writing about events that have happened in real life means that you’re already an expert on your chosen subject. But, as with anything, there are inevitably some downsides to exposing your real-life experiences – and the most obvious of these has to be that it feels like a pretty big risk.

Of course, writing from real life experience is a fantastic way of offering an insight into something that many people won’t understand, and/or giving a voice to all the other people in the world who will have experienced something similar in their lives. It’s a powerful way to connect with all those people, to let them know they’re not alone, or to increase public awareness of what others might be going through. The downside to this is that it’s so very revealing. And it’s not something that you can choose to tuck back in a drawer if you decide you’re just not in a ‘sharing’ kind of mood. The material you’ve put out there will, quite rightly, be considered fair game, and for me personally this means I should now prepare to be introduced to people as the woman who couldn’t get pregnant, the woman who had IVF, the woman who hates pregnant women, and possibly, if people have read the last page available on Amazon’s preview, even the woman who farts more than most people would care to admit to.
There is also the unavoidable fact that all kinds of people in your life, including your in-laws, your co-workers and your grandmother could potentially end up reading what you’ve written. A sobering, if not, horrifying prospect if, like me, your book contains details of your sex life, huge amounts of swearing and the real reason you avoided your grandmother’s 90th birthday celebrations. But then who could try to write a book with that particular audience in mind? And even if you did, you could pretty much guarantee that nobody would want to read it.

Next on the list of potential pitfalls is the issue of being completely immersed in your subject matter. While this is a great advantage in one sense, since your characters are bound to feel ‘real’ and three-dimensional, it can be a challenge to view the story from an outside perspective and to ensure it’s still going to interest people who aren’t quite as immersed as you are. For me, the challenge was to become my own ruthless editor, employing the rule of halving what I’d written, then sometimes halving it again, and ensuring I had a reliably harsh critic to cast an eye over my work at crucial stages; one who’d happily shout ‘I’m bored!’ if ever they sensed I was straying into self-indulgence rather than sticking to the edited highlights.

Like pretty much every other writer who shares first-hand experiences, I made the decision to be honest, because if the story isn’t honest then 1) the people who’ve shared your experience will know it instantly, and 2) there’s not much point to writing it in the first place if you’re not offering the reader something real.

But that does leave me with the worry that this honesty is going to come under fire; that I’ll be judged for being an awful person or for handling my difficulties with such bitterness and rage. ‘Is that really how you thought/felt? You’re not who I thought you were’ people might decide upon reading this honest, warts-and-all book.
This is part of the risk that, in the end, you simply have to take.

Just as I have, some writers will choose to create a little distance between their own life and the story, by describing it as ‘based on real life events’ rather than pitching it as an outright memoir. But even this doesn’t create the distance you might expect. While the names, the places and the superficial details might be altered, the emotions are 100 percent real, and ultimately this is what people are going to remember.

It all sounds more than a little scary when you stop to consider the reality of sharing something so intimate with anyone in the world who wants to read it. But then this is probably no different from the fears felt by fiction writers, whose characters and plots are completely make-believe. After all, whatever you write has to have been conceived within your own mind, and if it isn’t what you’ve experienced, then it can only be what you’ve longed for, dreaded or fantasised, so there is really no escape from the exposure a writer has to face. And, on the plus side, this real-life experience that you’ve chosen to reveal might just strike a chord with somebody who felt sure that nobody in the world ever could or would understand. And if that happens with just one reader who picks up your book then, in my view at least, the risk was entirely worth taking.

ABOUT RACHEL CATHAN

336 hours

RACHEL CATHAN is a writer from Bedfordshire. In 2001, a mutual friend introduced her to a part-time pub DJ in Southend-on-Sea. A month later, they had moved in together, around seven years later they tied the knot, and a little while after that – just like so many couples before them – they made the exciting and terrifying decision to start a family. And then, like a growing number of couples today, well…not a lot happened.

Throughout the subsequent years of fertility investigations and failed treatments, Rachel kept a diary of her experiences, and it’s from these first- hand encounters in the world of infertility and IVF that her first book, 336 Hours has been adapted.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/336Hours/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelcathan

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33350325-336-hours?from_search=true.

Blog: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk/rachels-blog/

Website: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk

GIVEAWAY

2 ECOPIES OF THE BOOK

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MISTAKES WE MAKE by Jenny Harper #excerpt #giveaway

mistakes

Mistakes We Make

by

Jenny Harper

mistakes

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

5th book in the Heartlands series (can be read as a standalone)

Release Date: 28 July 2016

Publisher: Accent Press

Sometimes you have to dig deep to discover what you really need.

Marketing events manager Molly Keir doesn’t realise how much she still cares for her ex until she meets him with another woman. Her answer is to seize the chance of a glittering job in London – even though this will mean leaving behind her aging father and pregnant best friend Lexie Gordon.

Adam Blair is in the wrong job. Pressured by his father to join the family law firm, the stress of work helped break his marriage. Now Molly is moving to London, and he knows he needs to move on – but events soon overtake his best intentions.

A year ago, Caitlyn Murray quit her well-paid job to avoid becoming a whistle-blower. Now she is stuck at home with her overworked mother and four needy step-siblings. Tempted by the offer of a good wage, she returns to her old firm – where her nightmare comes back to haunt her.

Molly and Adam seem to have gone too far to recover the love they once had, and when Caitlyn finds the courage to speak out, she brings all their worlds tumbling down.

EXTRACT

Molly Keir rummaged in her handbag and extracted her glasses.

‘Yum, this looks amazing. Scallops, black pudding, Gravadlax, sole paupiettes. Wow. I didn’t realise how ravenous I was till I started reading!’

Lexie whispered, ‘Molly.’

‘Mmm? What do you think about beef?’

‘Molly.’

Molly looked up at the note of urgency. ‘What?’

Lexie’s face had turned an odd shade, and her brown eyes had a panicky look about them. She was staring over Molly’s shoulder at the doorway.

Molly shoved her glasses back onto the top of her head and swung round. A woman was walking into the room. She was Asian – Indian perhaps? – and classically beautiful. Her hair fell in thick, shiny tresses halfway down her back, her eyes were dark as treacle and dramatically outlined in black. She was wearing scarlet. Afterwards, that was what Molly remembered most – the stunning silky dress, hugging a perfect figure.

For now, the dress and the woman faded improbably into the background because there was a man behind her. Not just any man – Adam Blair.

Molly’s husband.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

ABOUT JENNY HARPER

mistakes

I’ve been a writer for most of my life. I’ve written and co-authored a number of books on Scotland, a history of childbirth, a children’s novel and a romantic novel, all published some years ago. I’ve now turned my attention to writing the kind of novels I like to read – well written and with some depth, but not literary or too demanding. I like to tackle issues, but also to incorporate the complicated emotional challenges of day-to-day living.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/harper_jenny

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15692421-jenny-harper

Google+  https://plus.google.com/+JennyHarperauthor/posts

Blog:  http://jennyharperauthor.co.uk/category/myblog/

Website:  http://jennyharperauthor.co.uk/

GIVEAWAY

1st Prize – Paperback copy of the book
2nd Prize – ebook copy of the book (x2)

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