Category Archives: Book Tour

THE SECRETS OF VILLA ROSSO by Linn B Halton #guestpost #giveaway

Villa Rosso

The Secrets of Villa Rosso

by

Linn B Halton

 

Villa Rosso

Genre: Cosy mystery/romance

Release Date:21 July 2017

Publisher: Harper Impulse

The Secrets of Villa Rosso:

Escape to Italy for a summer romance to remember

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate’s director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.

BUY LINKS

Amazon:

http://smarturl.it/SecretsofVillaRosso

KOBO:

http://ow.ly/2ANQ30bbpBZ

EXTRACT

It isn’t just the sunshine and the electric blue sky, but the musical calls of the countryside that reach out to me. A chorus of low-level sounds play like a soft melody in the background. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and I feel like I’m watching a re-run of a favourite film. I could stand here for a long time simply taking in the detail and with each sweep of my eyes noticing something new.

Spinning around I look back at the villa, taking in the rustic beauty of the stonework and the pale orange-red hue of the sun-bleached roof tiles. This is, quite simply, unreal. It’s a little piece of heaven and, so far removed from my daily life that it’s hard to believe this is on the same planet. The sheer scale of the landscape literally steals your breath away. I’m a mere speck, small and insignificant in the grand scheme nature is presenting to me. But rather bizarrely, it doesn’t feel alien in anyway at all. The vastness isn’t overwhelming, but strangely comforting.

I walk back to a cluster of wooden tables surrounding a small fountain and take a seat. As I dive into my bag to extract some sunglasses, I hear a polite cough and look up at the face staring down at me.

‘Mrs Maddison? I’m Max, Max Johnson. Welcome to Villa Rosso.’

I stand, automatically plastering a pleasant smile on my surprised face as recognition kicks in. I know this man, I mean, I’ve met him before. At least I think I have, but there’s nothing similar reflected back at me, only a warm smile. The sort of smile that radiates out from mysteriously deep, hazel eyes. We shake hands. He’s younger than I expected, probably in his early forties and tall. Six foot something that’s for sure, because I feel he’s towering over me.

‘I’m sorry to disturb you. I just wanted you to know that I’m here at your disposal whenever you are ready to begin. Would you like me to fetch you a coffee so you can sit for a while and enjoy the view?’

Although I knew he was British, his tan and elegant demeanour lend an air of cosmopolitan sophistication. I would not have been at all surprised if he had been Italian. He’s hovering politely and I still haven’t answered him…

Villa Rosso

The Secrets of Villa Rosso – how does a story begin?

Every time I begin a new novel I have, if I’m lucky, a paragraph hastily jotted down when I’m out walking, or in bed at night. Usually, though, it’s one single line – the idea that I know will spark an entire story.

So how do I grow that single thought into a plotline? Quite simply I let the words unfold. Usually I have one character who will have inspired that initial idea and as I expand that one-liner I begin to get a feel for who they are. Because I don’t know them, and neither does my reader, I need the character to show me who they are through their thoughts, words and emotions.

Of course, it’s never long before another person pops onto the scene and another, then another … and that’s how it begins to grow. Suddenly they are all clamouring to give me lines to take the story forward and it becomes necessary to rein them in, becoming selective. And yes, side characters do sometimes become such good friends that I want to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ of their personal stories. But there comes a point, usually around fifty thousand words when I start to panic. I rarely know that far ahead how a story is going to end, although just occasionally I have written the end chapter before I’m very many words into the story. But I know there’s still a lot of story to be told and it’s necessary to focus, rather than amble towards the ending.

And that was the case with The Secrets of Villa Rosso. The challenge all along was never how it was going to end, it was how this story would unfold and what would be the twists and turns? That had only happened to me once before and I had to trust that the characters would steer me in the right direction.

Many writers do a lot of detailed planning, even to chapter level and they have the bare bones of the story from the start. Maybe the characters that jump into my head are just an unruly bunch who don’t like rules, or maybe it’s the bizarre way my brain works. However, I prefer to think of it as being a reader who happens to type and the characters are the real authors of the story.

I love it when I get to write from the male perspective, too, as it’s exciting being inside a male character’s head. Oh, the power to see both perspectives and it’s heady stuff. It makes my days full of surprises and a day at work is never, ever boring!

The downside for me is always when I type ‘The End’ – and, of course, editors always take that out. But for me it signifies saying goodbye to the friends who have been with me through a very personal journey and I miss them afterwards.

Writing full-time is my job, but to me writing is also my guilty pleasure. Bar of chocolate, or sit down and write another chapter? Sorry chocolate, as tempting as you are you come second!

ABOUT LINN B HALTON

Villa Rosso

Bristol-born Linn B Halton lives in the Forest of Dean, in the UK.

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

An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Under the Stars and A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love also became best-sellers in 2016 & 2017. Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.

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

 

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LinnBHalton

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

Website:  http://linnbhalton.co.uk/

COMPETITION (no purchase necessary)

A pamper kit (UK ONLY)

Villa Rosso

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MC Book Tours presents PRINCESS BREEZE by Beverly Stowe McClure

Brought to you by MC Book Tours!

MC Book Tours

Princess Breeze on Tour {+ Giveaway}

You’re never too young to begin reading and it’s always fun to find a delightful story that you can follow. Today author Beverly Stowe McClure stops by as part of her PRINCESS BREEZE Blog Tour through MC Book Tours.

As part of the celebration you can enter the tour-wide giveaway (courtesy of the author) for one of two paperback copies of the book (U.S. only) being given away. Please see the end of the post for more details.

◊ PRINCESS BREEZE

◊ By Beverly Stowe McClure

◊ Series: Breeze (Book 2)

◊ Paperback: 236 pages

◊ Publisher: 4RV Young Adult (June 11, 2017)

◊ Language: English

◊ ISBN-10: 1940310555

◊ ISBN-13: 978-1940310558

MC Book Tours

For months, Breeze Brannigan has heard nothing from Cam, the prince she met at school and who disappeared one night, without telling her goodbye. On the night, she graduates from middle school, however, he contacts her and invites her to visit Isla del Fuego, his home. Who could refuse such an invitation?

          Breeze along with her whole family and best friends, Amy and Allison, soon sail to the island, where she and Cam renew their friendship. But danger lurks; a legend comes to life; and Breeze finds herself in the middle of a battle that can have one winner.

PRINCESS BREEZE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and 4RV Publishing.

MC Book Tours

*****

Excerpt

We spun our bicycles to a stop maybe half a football field away from the volcano. My aching legs thanked me when I climbed off the seat and propped the bicycle on the kickstand. Bicycling on city streets was one thing; riding over bumpy trails that zigzagged through bushes and trees and potholes was another. I slurped down a long drink from the water bottle Cam handed me. The warm temperature plus the humidity caused curls to pop up on top of curls, until my head closely resembled a poodle before a trimming. My hair no longer bothered me the way it once did, however, since Cam convinced me it was just hair, not who I was. Besides, more important matters held my attention, namely, the mountain rising to the heavens in front of me.

A thin stream of smoke circled the top of the volcano. In the grayish mist, eyes appeared. Huh? Eyes? No way. The smoke only resembled eyes. I scrubbed a fist over my face and looked again. Smoke twirled in an odd sort of dance. The eyes had vanished. The sun evidently addled my brain. Other voices chattered softly: Amy’s, Allison’s, Cam’s. All was normal; no one mentioned seeing eyes.

*****

MC Book Tours

Most of the time, you’ll find Award-Winning Author Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories young voices whisper in her ears. When she’s not writing, she’s snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers, and clouds. She’s affectionately known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why. To relax she plays the piano. Her fur babies don’t appreciate good music and hide when she tickles the ivories.

Beverly is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She also teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church.

For more on Beverly and her writing visit her at her:

Blog: https://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com

Website: http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com

Twitter: @beverlymcclure

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/beverlysmcclure

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/author/show/11462.Beverly_Stowe_McClure

The first book in the series is JUST BREEZE.

◊ Paperback: 196 pages

◊ Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC (August 31, 2009)

◊ Language: English

◊ ISBN-10: 0984070826

◊ ISBN-13: 978-0984070824

Eighth grade starts out the same as every other year for Breeze Brannigan. She’s still the tallest student, boy or girl, in her class, wears shoes that would fit an elephant, and her smile reveals dazzling braces that blind everyone within ten feet. Then she meets Cam, the new boy in school who speaks with an accent and must be from another planet, for none of the earthling boys she knows are so polite. He also has a secret, a secret that could mean life or death for Cam and his mother and that Breeze must help him keep.

JUST BREEZE is available on Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by today during Beverly’s visit. Do you enjoy finding books to share with youngsters in your life?

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

This is a tour-wide giveaway (courtesy of the author) for one of two paperback copies of the book (U.S. only). The giveaway ends at 12 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, July 25.

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below (if it shows up) and follow the instructions. If the widget doesn’t appear, just click HERE and it will take you to the Rafflecopter page where you can enter. Be sure to make a comment here before clicking on the link above.

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MC Book Tours

THE MAN IN THE NEEDLECORD JACKET ~ by Linda MacDonald #domestic #noir

needlecord jacket

The Man in the Needlecord Jacket

by

Linda MacDonald

needlecord jacket

Genre: Adult contemporary fiction; Domestic Noir

Release Date: 28th May 2017

Publisher: Matador – An imprint of Troubador Publishing

The Man in the Needlecord Jacket follows the story of two women who are each struggling to let go of a long-term destructive partnership. Felicity is reluctant to detach from her estranged archaeologist husband and, after being banished from the family home, she sets out to test the stability of his relationship with his new love, Marianne.

When Felicity meets Coll, a charismatic artist, she has high hopes of being distracted from her failed marriage. What she doesn’t know is that he has a partner, Sarah, with whom he has planned a future. Sarah is deeply in love with Coll, but his controlling behaviour and associations with other women have always made her life difficult. When he becomes obsessed with Felicity, Sarah’s world collapses and a series of events is set in motion that will challenge the integrity of all the characters involved.

The Man in the Needlecord Jacket is a thought-provoking book, written from the perspectives of Sarah and Felicity. The reader is in the privileged position of knowing what’s going on for both of the women, while each of them is being kept in the dark about a very important issue.

Inspired by the work of Margaret Atwood and Fay Weldon, Linda explores the issue of mental abuse in partnerships and the grey area of an infidelity that is emotional, not physical. The book will appeal to readers interested in the psychology of relationships, as well as fans of Linda’s ‘Lydia’ series.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

TROUBADOR

ABOUT LINDA MACDONALD

needlecord jacket

Linda MacDonald is the author of three independently published novels: Meeting Lydia and the stand-alone sequels, A Meeting of a Different Kind and The Alone Alternative. They are all contemporary adult fiction, multi-themed, but with a focus on relationship issues.

After studying psychology at Goldsmiths’, Linda trained as a secondary science and biology teacher. She taught these subjects for several years before moving to a sixth-form college to teach psychology. In 2012, she gave up teaching to focus fully on writing.

Linda was born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria and now lives in Beckenham, Kent.

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

Twitter: @LindaMac1

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4870870.Linda_MacDonald

GIVEAWAY

First prize signed paperback book bundle of all of Linda’s 4 books with 3 recipe cards and a bookmark. (uk only)

Second prize signed copy of The Man in the Needlecord Jacket + 3 recipe cards and bookmark (uk only) OR  an ecopy of The Man in the Needlecord Jacket (International participants.)

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GOODBYE, MY LOVE ~ Roxanne’s Ghost Saga Book 1 ~ by Maggie Tideswell

Goodbye

Goodbye, My Love ~ About

Roxanne’s Ghost Saga, a new mystery series from internationally acclaimed author Maggie Tideswell, is set against the stunningly beautiful backdrop of modern day South Africa. It is a compelling ghost story of identical twin sisters’ love for the same man, and the magical connection the women share.

And the theme?  Nothing is what it seems.

Here, we move into the realms of the mists of time that could either reveal or conceal.

Book 1, Goodbye, My Love, sets the scene. It introduces country vet, Ben, his four-year-old autistic daughter and the would-be nanny, Jessica James. Jess’ interview with Ben for the nanny position takes place on Friday the 13th. An attraction between the two is immediate, which by all accounts isn’t entirely normal.
Ben’s three oddball sisters-in-law descend on him for the anniversary of his wife Roxanne’s death. They try to convince Ben that Roxanne isn’t dead, more than likely to put an end to whatever might develop between Ben and Jessica. But Ben knows that no one could have survived what led to Roxanne’s death.

His daughter, diagnosed as autistic, only sometimes does she display the symptoms that led to her diagnosis. Autism is not a disease, it’s a condition. A condition with symptoms that can’t be turned on and off at will. So…what is the child really suffering from?

Ben’s wife’s twin sister, Millicent, is accompanied by an overboard caricature of a psychic to Ben’s home in order to help them find Roxanne. Of course, Millicent isn’t happy to find Jess already in Ben’s house—trouble is imminent. But only as far as Ben’s ancient housekeeper, will allow her to. What does the housekeeper know that will keep Millicent’s ruffled feathers under control?

More importantly…

Where is Roxanne?

Goodbye, My Love ~ Excerpt

Goodbye, My Love

Does anyone live here?

The house looked deserted, kind of spooky. Jess couldn’t see any other houses nearby. Sally had not been kidding—this was a rather isolated place.

Dilapidated outbuildings behind the sprawling house looked as unused as the house itself. Some sort of creeper covered most of the buildings except the house—it looked far too fragile to bear the added weight.

There were what looked like turrets on each end of the house, and a domed one in between. That might be a skylight. Jess worried her bottom lip. What century was this place built?

Lightning played over the majestic mountains behind the house, silhouetting it against the darkening sky, but down here in the valley, the late sun cast long shadows over the overgrown garden.

It all fit so well with Friday the thirteenth because this was creepy. What had she been thinking? She should have postponed the interview until Monday. One weekend surely wouldn’t have made that much of a difference.

Jess studied the map on her tablet, which she held propped up against the steering wheel. This could be the right place, but she had thought that about both the previous two places, and neither had turned out to be Weltevreden. Neither had been as eerie as this place, either.

No, this couldn’t be it. Tapping her finger against the edge of the tablet, she studied the house again. This whole thing smacked of a Friday the thirteenth Sally-prank.

Sally, her bestie since high school, ran a very successful employment agency. The professional image notwithstanding, she still loved pranks of any kind—she would never outgrow them.

Her eyes had lit up that morning when Jess sat in front of her desk, mugs of coffee steaming on the polished wood between them. The platter of doughnuts had been for Jess’ benefit. Sally and her perpetual dieting.

“Something different,” Sally mused, tapping her pen against her front teeth, then pressed a button on her laptop, and reached for the sheet of paper the printer spewed out. “This might be just the thing. It came in just now.” She’d tossed her platinum curls over her shoulder, grinning at Jess.

Another thing Sally would never outgrow, her Barbie-doll looks.
“It has my name on it, then.” Jess leaned her forearms on Sally’s desk. “Tell me, tell me, tell me.” She grinned back, barely able to contain her excitement. “Does it involve a man?”

Neither Sally nor Jess had found their Mr. Full Potential yet, although both had been ready for wedded bliss, the kids and the house in the suburbs thing, a long time ago.

“As a matter of fact it does, but he doesn’t seem to be in the market. It says here that a nanny is required for a four-year-old autistic girl. Dr. Arnold specifically requested that only older women be put forward for the position.”

“How old-fashioned. Where is this job?”

“In the Wellington area.” Sally frowned at the monitor.

“There you go. He won’t find anybody qualified to work that far from Cape Town. It is his child, I presume?”

“It is, but do you seriously want to give this a go?” Sally looked worried as only she could. It went with the Barbie look. “I’m intrigued. What kind of doctor is he?”

“A veterinary surgeon. And a widower, it says here. That is all the information I have for you, I’m afraid.” Sally sat back in her chair. “I shouldn’t disregard so specific an instruction, Jess, but just this once, I’ll make an exception. Then it’s up to you to change his mind for him. It’ll be in his own best interest in the end.” She passed an information sheet across the desk. “I’ll tell Dr. Arnold to expect you at four. I’d pack an overnight bag if I were you. Call me, okay?”

Now, sitting in front of the house that might or might not belong to Dr. Ben Arnold, Jess didn’t feel all that confident anymore. And it didn’t really sound like a prank unless Sally had kept some information to herself.

There was only one way to find out, and that was to knock on the door and ask.

If there was anybody in the house to ask.

Switching the engine off, she consulted the rear-view mirror to apply some color to her lips and pat her shoulder-length bob into place. She took a moment to admire the rich auburn color in the late afternoon sunshine and sighed.

I don’t know about this. It was a long way from Cape Town.
What did people do around here for fun?

Trying her best to ignore the goose bumps on her forearms, she opened the car door and stepped out. Her heels sank into the gravel, her shadow stretching all the way back to the gate.

Only when she turned toward the house did she see the man sitting on the top step in the shadows, his shoulder against the railing, one knee pulled up with his arm resting on top of it. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, and it looked as if his feet were bare, too.

Was he there a moment ago? Why didn’t I see him?

Smoothing her palms down her red pencil skirt, she started toward the house and the man on the steps. If he wasn’t Dr. Arnold, maybe he could give her directions.

Taking a deep breath, Jess reminded herself that she wasn’t superstitious about this Friday the thirteenth nonsense. People liked to scare themselves with the silliest things. What was supposed to happen on this day? It was a day like any other.

That certainly looked like a real man on the steps. He wasn’t going to bite her. Today being a Friday and the thirteenth meant nothing, but now that she’d thought of it, the idea would stick with her like the taste of garlic.

Leaving the car door open for a quick escape should she need it, she’d gone no more than a few steps when she heard something other than the crunch of her shoes on the gravel. It sounded suspiciously like a dog whining.

She slowly turned her head, curling her fingers into the fabric of her skirt. It couldn’t be a dog. She hadn’t seen any dogs when she drove through the gate.

I don’t do dogs!

Her breath hitched in her throat when she saw them. They were right next to her car, beside the door she’d deliberately left open, a whole pack of them. Their lips curled away from their teeth, their tongues lolling out the sides of their mouths, dripping saliva onto the gravel. Yellowish eyes watched every move she made.

Where did they come from?

How many were there?

They cut her off from the safety of the Fiesta!

Now she had only one way to go—into that house. Why hadn’t that man called them off? Why wasn’t he helping her?

Slowly, making no sudden moves, she took another step toward the porch. The dogs followed her. Her heart hammered against her ribs. Another couple of quick steps toward the house. The dogs did the same. She broke into a trot, her scream shattered the still of the afternoon.

Missing the first step, she stumbled, recovered her balance, and took the rest of the stairs two at a time. The dogs were on her heels, whining and yelping, their breaths hot on the backs of her legs.
Just as a sharp whistle rent the air, but looking at the dogs, she careened into the man before the noise had even died down. Her momentum sent them both crashing to the floorboard. She landed on top of him, but with the dogs all around them, she hid her face in his neck. Another whistle— right in her ear—made her cringe, but the dogs were gone.

He lifted his head off the floorboards to glare at her, his hands at her waist, as if he was about to lift her off him. Stubble covered his jaw, his lips pressed into a tight line. A muscle jumped in his cheek. He dragged his eyes out of her gaping blouse to meet her stare.

They had to be the greenest pair of eyes she’d ever seen, and he was clearly not amused.

Then she noticed how much leg was exposed by her skirt bunched around her hips and she quickly scrambled to her feet, pushing her skirt back down her legs.

“Sorry,” she muttered, her face on fire. She couldn’t bring herself to look at him, but from the corner of her eye, she saw the stranger slowly unfold himself from the floor. Up and up he went until she felt him looking down at her. Even in her heels, the top of her head barely reached his nose.

With fists on his hips, he glared at her. Tucking her hair behind her ears, she lifted her chin and stared back.

Despite her bravado, she was intimidated and she had no idea if she had reason to be. She didn’t have a clue who he was. For all she knew, he was a vagrant taking advantage of an abandoned house.
She quickly looked him up and down, hoping he wouldn’t notice. A vagrant—looking like that? This man looked too strong, too well-fed, and clean, to be homeless. He smelled good too, of soap and sunshine. Wide shoulders tapered to a flat stomach and slim hips in a pair of well-washed denim cutoffs. The button was undone and the zipped half down. And he had a hard-on!

Jess swallowed with difficulty, forcing her eyes to the garden. Maybe he was the gardener or something.

If he was the gardener, he wasn’t very good at it, judging by the state of the place. The flower beds were overgrown with weeds, and grass seeds reached for the sky. With a bit of care, it could be a rather pleasant garden.

Her attention whipped back to the man when he spoke. “What’s wrong with you, woman? Those are lap dogs.” His voice was deep, the timbre vibrating on her skin. “They thought you were playing with them.”

She’d forgotten about the dogs. Erections did that to her, they made her forget everything else. She took another look at the animals. There were only four of them, and now that they were at a safe distance and there was a man on hand whom they seemed to obey, they didn’t look all that fierce, or even very big. By panicking, she’d unnecessarily gotten them both in a rather embarrassing situation.
The veranda was shadowed, despite the lightning dancing over the mountains, yet the peeling paint was clearly visible. She should ask this man for directions so that she could be on her way, but at that moment her nose itched and she sneezed instead. She just barely managed to get her hand across her nose. The dust from the floorboards and she most likely had it all over her face now. She needed to freshen up before she met with Dr. Arnold. Rubbing her hands over her face was probably making matters worse.

“Bless you,” the man said, his jaw clenched. “Explain yourself.” Fists planted on his hips, his bare chest rose and fell. Jess’ fingers itched to test the contours more fully before she realized that the man was actually angry.

Who was he? And what was he so angry about? Knocking him over had been an accident, which he could have avoided it if he’d controlled the animals sooner. His annoyance didn’t stop him from giving her a thorough inspection, though.

Barely suppressing the urge to stamp her foot, Jess snapped, “Those animals should be locked up.” The hand she pointed at the dogs was streaked with dust. Dropping it, she rubbed at the smudge with her other hand.

“They were, until a few minutes ago. When the visitor I expected didn’t show up, I let them out again. Who are you and what do you want?”

“How rude!” Jess gasped. “Do you welcome all visitors half naked?” His arousal was disturbing her.

“Uninvited visitors never come into the yard,” he growled. He knew she knew about his condition. “That’s what the clinic entrance is for. And I’m not half naked, I’m shirtless because I took it off when my visitor failed to show up for her four o’clock appointment. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s hot. If you’re Jessica James, you’re way too late—”

“The directions weren’t very clear,” she interrupted. “I got lost.” Hesitating only a moment, she stuck her hand out to him. “You’re Dr. Arnold?”

He ignored her hand and question, reaching instead for the shirt draped over the railing behind him and shrugged it on. Doctor or not, the man has no manners.

Buttoning the shirt, he leaned in closer. “So, it’s my fault you can’t follow a set of simple instructions? Look, miss, you might as well go back to wherever you came from. The position has been filled. Good day.” He started to turn away.

“What? When? I had an interview for this afternoon!”

He glanced at his wristwatch. “You missed the appointment. You wouldn’t have gotten the job anyway. Sorry for the inconvenience. It was nice meeting you. Goodbye, Ms. James.”

She noticed his eyes on her lips as he dismissed her. “Just a minute. You’re going to disregard my application because I’m a few minutes late? I have excellent credentials, and the agency—”

“Had been told that only older women need to apply.”

“So you’re dismissing my application because of my age, is that it?”

“Yes. And you’re more than a few minutes late. The appointment was for four o’clock sharp, and it’s nearly six now. Take your gripes up with your agent, Ms. James. Your timekeeping actually has very little to do with it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, you’re wasting my time.”

Jess narrowed her eyes. “I pity the person you’ve employed, if that is in fact the truth. You are a very rude man, Dr. Arnold.”

He wasn’t exactly what she’d expected—in his early to mid-thirties and attractive, in a wildly blond caveman kind of way. And hot.

If only he had some manners.

It had sounded quite romantic when Sally first told her about this position, but the reality was far from romantic. She didn’t need this man or his job, and especially not his erection. There had to be other positions available in Cape Town. Sally would find her a good job, with interesting work. She would get into her car and drive away without a backward glance.

Not being given a fair interview had nothing to do with Friday the thirteenth. A damp gust of wind blew her hair into her eyes as she turned toward the stairs. It had everything to do with him being turned on by her.

Jess remembered the dogs when they jumped to their feet, tails wagging.

She froze, clutching her skirt. They might be small, but they were dogs. They had teeth. Damn it, she was going to need his help to get back to her car. Gnawing the corner of her mouth, she glanced at him. Would he help her, or would he cross his arms and enjoy the spectacle from the veranda?

Before she could do anything, the door behind them creaked open and pale, gnarled fingers curled around the edge of the wood. Jess took an involuntary step closer to the doctor, goosebumps covering her entire body, her hand to her throat. Oh, God.

BUY LINK

http://tinyurl.com/n2ko8u4

About the Author

Goodbye

Maggie lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with hubby Gareth. Over the years she’s worked in everything from nursing to catering, and then she started writing love stories. With three kids, a girl and two boys, and eleven cats at that time, life could become quite interesting.

The paranormal, things that happen for which there are no logical explanations and ghosts, are of particular interest to Maggie. What events in a person’s life would prevent that person from ‘resting’ after death? The ‘Old Religion’ is another special interest.

And love, of course. Why do people fall in love? What keeps them together for a lifetime when so many relationships fail?

TRUE COLOURS by Elly Redding #BookTour #Giveaway

true colours

True Colours

by

Elly Redding

 

true colours

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 25 November 2016

Publisher: SilverWood Books

Could you ever trust again – the man who broke your heart?

Kate Fenton thought she’d got the answer to that question all neatly sewn up.  Ever since she went to Saul Preston’s London art gallery, a month before their wedding, and found him with his assistant – who looked as if she was in the middle of a game of strip poker.

Now, three years later, she’s no longer so sure.  Saul’s back in her life with a new proposition – accompany him on a trip to Majorca as his interpreter.  It’s an offer Kate can’t refuse, even though she knows she should.  Successful and rich, he’s just the sort of client her translation company is trying to attract – even if he is her two-timing ex!

Saul’s never gone in for second chances.  He’s never had the time, but he knows exactly what he’s doing when he suggests the trip to Kate.  As gorgeous and infuriatingly easy to fall for as ever, he’s determined to rekindle their past.  And he’s only got 3 days to do it…

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‘True Colours’ – Winner of The Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award 2014

From award-winning author Elly Redding comes a fresh, effervescent, passionate romance that reunites Kate, a London career girl, with Saul, her seriously successful, rich and gorgeous, ex-fiancé.  He’s already broken her heart once, so maybe accepting his business proposition isn’t such a good idea.  But sometimes decisions just aren’t that easy.  As the chemistry between them bubbles with renewed vigour, Kate is sorely tempted.  Can a leopard really change its spots – or is she just deceiving herself, with the man who broke her heart?

“A wonderfully warm romance, with lots of emotion and passion, and a generous sprinkling of delicious wit.  I loved this story!” – Joanne Walsh, author

EXTRACT

“Go away,” she shouted frantically reassessing her options.

“I don’t really think you’re in a position to make demands, do you, trapped as you are?  Unless, of course, you’re thinking of taking up abseiling.  In which case, may I advise restraint?  You’re on the fourth floor.  You’re afraid of heights and I’m not standing in the right place to catch you.”

Good.  It would ruin the whole point of the exercise if he was.  She didn’t tell him that though.  Instead she suggested he make an appointment, that if he wanted to see her, he should do what everyone else did.

“But I’m not everyone else, am I?  I’m the guy who’s still considering suing you for breach of contract.”

“Contract – what contract?”

“Your promise to marry me.”

“You bastard.”   It was the first thing she could think of to say, but she thought it summed up the situation perfectly.  “In which case, may I suggest you contact my lawyer?  I think you’ll find I’ve a very strong case for a counter claim.  Or has something conveniently slipped your memory?  Let me give you a clue.  She had an amazing pair of breasts.”

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 ABOUT ELLY REDDING

true colours

Elly Redding was born in London but now lives in Bedfordshire with her husband.

Having originally written screenplays, her first novel, ‘True Colours’, won the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award in 2014.

She enjoys tap dancing and watching the waves, although not necessarily at the same time!

She keeps in touch with her readers on Twitter – @ellyredding, and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/EllyReddingAuthor/

Website: ellyredding.com

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One Starry Night by Tilly Tennant #chicklit #giveaway

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One Starry Night

by

Tilly Tennant

 

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Genre: Chick lit

Release Date: 30th March 2016

Publisher: Lawsome Books

One Starry Night is the fourth and final part of the Once Upon a Winter series:

They say the darkest hour is just before the dawn, and Hannah has never really understood the true meaning of that until now. With Gina’s husband misbehaving, bad news for Mitchell that only Hannah can break and Ross under attack, things seem to be falling apart around her, and how is she supposed to be the rock everyone else needs when she can’t even get her own life in order? It’s going to take a special kind of courage to see this dawn break, but when it does it might just be all the brighter for it. The trouble is, Hannah’s not sure she can be that strong…

BUY LINKS

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ABOUT TILLY TENNANT

starry

 

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing, graduating in 2009 with first class honours. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. It was followed by Mishaps and Mistletoe and The Man Who Can’t Be Moved. Find out more about Tilly and how to join her mailing list for news and exclusives at www.tillytennant.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TillyTennant/?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TillyTenWriter

website: www.tillytennant.com

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Broken Faces by D M Carr #historicalromance #excerpt #giveaway

broken faces

Broken Faces

by

D M Carr

 

Broken Faces

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: 15 December 2015

Publisher: Green Shutter Books

Freddie Chevalier, a wealthy farmer’s son, suffers a life-changing disfigurement in the Great War. He’s in love with his best friend’s fiancé and is determined not to miss out on the excitement of the Great War. Soon his life changes from one of idyllic days spent with his friends, Charles, Meredith and Lexi, staying at the Baldwyn’s ancestral home in Shropshire and working on his father’s farm in Jersey, to one of horror, pain and betrayal.

It doesn’t take long for Freddie to discover that the life he enjoyed before the war has vanished and that he is going to have to find a way to live with the consequences of the choices he and Charles have made.

Broken Faces beat 7000 other entrants to be a runner-up in the Good Housekeeping Magazine Novel Writing Competition (2012) they described DM Carr as as ‘one to watch’, They also added, ‘In Deborah Carr’s Downton-esque tale, Broken Faces, a soldier suffers a life-changing injury in the Great War’. The book also received a special commendation in that year’s Harry Bowling Prize.

 

EXCERPT

Prologue

1918

As the weight of the plaster of Paris slowly increased on his face, he tried to steady his breathing and not give in to claustrophobia. It would be worth it in the end. He concentrated on the gentle American accent of the woman clasping his hand. She had a kind face. Her lack of shock when he’d been unmasked was admirable. Or was it simply she had grown used to seeing men such as he? They told him she was a sculptor. Someone overheard her say she saw beauty in the men she helped and that those men with missing noses and shattered faces were like the sculptures she created.

All he could think about, apart from the suffocating pressure on his nose and mouth, was a poem he’d heard someone recounting back at Les Invalides. Was it by Yeats? He wasn’t sure. He recalled it was about Easter in 1916, but not referring to the Front, even so the words still resonated. How did it go? He couldn’t quite remember. He was now one of the gueules cassées. One of the broken faces and his life would never be the same again.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

ABOUT D.M. CARR

Broken Faces

D.M. Carr lives in Jersey with her husband and three noisy but adorable rescue dogs. She writes romances for Accent Press under the pseudonym Georgina Troy. Broken Faces is her debut novel in her own name.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/D-M-Carr-568839916628666/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebsCarr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3807857-deborah-dm-carr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deborahcarr9/

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/117042212386862550212/

Website: https://deborahcarrblog.wordpress.com/broken-faces-by-d-m-carr/

Blog: http://debcarrs-daydreams.blogspot.com/

 

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A Blonde Bengali Wife by Anne Hamilton ~ #travel #memoir & Guest Post

bengali

A Blonde Bengali Wife

by

Anne Hamilton

 

bengali

Travel/Memoir

Release Date: Originally released October 2010

Reprinted: 3 November 2015

They all said that Bangladesh would be an experience…

For Anne Hamilton, a three-month winter programme of travel and ‘cultural exchange’ in a country where the English language, fair hair and a rice allergy are all rare in the extreme was always going to be interesting, challenging and frustrating. What they didn’t tell Anne was that it would also be sunny, funny and the start of a love affair with this unexplored area of Southeast Asia.

A Blonde Bengali Wife shows the lives beyond the poverty, monsoons and diarrhoea of Bangladesh and charts a vibrant and fascinating place where one minute Anne is levelling a school playing field ‘fit for the national cricket team,’ cobbling together a sparkly outfit for a formal wedding the next.

Along with Anne are the essential ingredients for survival: a travel-savvy Australian sidekick, a heaven-sent adopted family, and a short, dark, and handsome boy-next-door.

During her adventures zipping among the dusty clamour of the capital Dhaka, the longest sea beach in the world at Cox’s Bazaar, verdant Sylhet tea gardens, and the voluntary health projects of distant villages, Anne amasses a lot of friends, stories…and even a husband?

A Blonde Bengali Wife is the ‘unexpected travelogue’ that reads like a comedy of manners to tell the other side of the story of Bangladesh.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

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Ten Writing Tips

 

One thing makes a writer. And that same thing makes a better writer. Or a good writer, or even a great writer.

That one thing is writing.

Write, write, and write some more.

I tutor creative writing. When I’m not doing that, I’m editing. Sometimes I’m even writing. I’ve worked with adults just finding their way through literacy to those who have self-published, or secured agents and even, occasionally, publishing deals that involve cold hard cash.

Along the way, I’ve collected my favourite writing hints and tips. You’ll have read a variation of them already, but reassurance never hurts…

1. Write

Day-dreaming about writing is good. So is talking about it and planning it. Reading is also very good. But do those things as well as, not instead of, your actual writing. There will always be a reason to procrastinate and it’s usually about fear – you can’t find the right words to start. Well, forget the right words; that’s editing. Just find some words; that’s writing. If you’re not bursting with ideas, then write a shopping list, a journal entry, a Tweet, a rant… and see where it takes you. The only way to get better at something is to practise doing it.

2. Write Your Way

Read the writing tips you stumble across, listen to the routines of the great and good, try setting aside time each day or a word count to achieve… Try out the ‘how to’ options and find what suits you. Don’t critically compare yourself to others – either in how you write or what you are writing, as no two writers are ever the same; one of the joys of the craft. Writing is like landing an aeroplane or childbirth – as long as you get it down/out safely then who cares how you did it? (Except we all will because we want the secret!)

3. Be Passionate

Say you’re writing a 90 000 word novel, of course, you’re going to have peaks and troughs. Just never lose sight of the bigger picture. Your enthusiasm for your story should underpin it always. If you are bored, so will your readers be. If you are insincere, your readers will pick up on that.

4. Plot

Beautiful words alone do not constitute a story. Well-chosen, they will create a vignette, a prose poem, a lovely paragraph of description. If you want to write a good story, think of the words as the wrapping around the plot. From flash fiction to novels a story has a core structure: beginning, middle, end, in the midst of which something (the plot) has to happen. The resultant conflict and resolution will hook readers and keep them engaged.

5. Enjoy The Writing Process

There is no formula for a bestseller and only a tiny percentage of writers, especially fiction writers, make their money from writing. You need to love writing for writing’s sake. As with anything – training for a marathon, baking the perfect soufflé – you need to keep trying, but you won’t if it becomes solely a chore. Celebrate your achievements along the way rather than letting the end goal take over.

6. Ignore Writer’s Block

Some writing days go better than others; just work through it exactly as you have to with other routines. Take cooking – some days you produce something really tasty, other days it’s passable, rarely is it inedible, but you don’t not do it. So even if writing is hard work and uninspired, carry on. You’ll feel the achievement of not giving in and there’s probably something you can salvage, even if it’s just a word or a sentence. If all else fails, trick your mind: use a notebook and pen instead of your computer; put your protagonist into a ridiculous situation and make notes on how to get him/her out; go for a walk and day-dream…

7. Love the Bad Bits

What about when you cringe at your creation, when you ultimately delete more than you create? Don’t despair – laugh and learn! Sometimes you only find out what works by doing what doesn’t. These ‘mistakes’ are part of your learning experience and guess what – only you will see them. These are the bits you edit out before they ever get to your readers.

8. Be Writing Sociable

Seek out the company of people who understand. However supportive your non-writing networks, after a month they will start asking, ‘have you finished your novel yet? When’s it getting published?’ A good writing class or group will give you exercises, feedback, discussion, deadlines, encourage you to enter competitions. Social media is great for networking and support too – as long as it doesn’t eat up your writing time!

9. Edit

Okay, you’ve written the ‘The End’; your masterpiece is finished… except it isn’t. When you feel you have written and edited and proofread to the best of your ability, that’s when you need an independent editor and/or a proofreader (the two are very different). Spelling, grammar, plot inconsistencies, repetition… you see what should be there, an editor sees what actually is (or is not) there. Whether you are self-publishing or trying to attract an agent/publisher, you are putting yourself out there, so showcase your very best work.

10. Write

Yep – that one little word: beginning and end…

Good Luck and Happy Writing!

 

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About Anne Hamilton

bengali

Anne Hamilton wrote A Blonde Bengali Wife after she fell in love with Bangladesh on her first (of many) visits there. The travelogue inspired the charity, Bhola’s Children, and continues to support it. Before she became a full time writer, editor and tutor, Anne’s career was in social work and community health – which led to many of her earlier international travels. Anne can never quite decide if she comes from the East of England or the West of Ireland, so she compromises by living in Scotland, with her small son; they still travel when they can. Anne has a PhD in Creative writing from the University of Glasgow, and is the editor of local online magazine, Lothian Life. She is currently revising and seeking representation for her first novel, Chasing Elena, and working on her second.

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

Twitter:       @Anne_ABBW     & @AnneHamilton7

Goodreads:   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8860907-a-blonde-bengali-wife

http://anne-ablondebengaliwife.blogspot.co.uk/

www.annehamilton.co.uk

www.bholaschildren.org

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TREES by Sam Smith ~ GUEST POST

My thanks to Melanie Robertson-King for asking me to guest on her blog and, as importantly, for telling me how to do it. Because, although I’ve done many things sub-literary in my writing life – organised poetry festivals and book fairs, run a small press, Original Plus, and for nearly 20 years now the poetry magazine The Journal (once ‘of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry’); and although I’ve had many publishers of my work, 2 of which went disastrously bust while I was working as editor for them, Safkhet Publishing is the first that has suggested that I be a guest blogger. The novel by the way is Trees and Safkhet are based in Germany.

trees

I’m based in the UK on the Cumbrian coast. Maryport describes itself as ‘By the sea near the Lakes.’ Not wholly sure how I ended up here, suffice to say that I like walking over mountains and I’ve moved about a bit. And my daughter Shelley Carmen was living in Edinburgh at the time we last moved. My usual author biog says, ‘… I was born Blackpool 1946, am now living in Maryport, Cumbria. A freelance writer, I have been a psychiatric nurse, residential social worker, milkman, plumber, laboratory analyst, groundsman, sailor, computer operator, scaffolder, gardener, painter & decorator…. working at anything, in fact, which has paid the rent, enabled me to raise my three daughters and which hasn’t got too much in the way of my writing.’ All of my daughters, and grandchildren, now live in the south, which annoyingly means I see a lot of the M6.

Here’s a picture of me on a mountain.

trees

The currently popular singer Sam Smith by the way is a clone. One of many talented individuals, male and female, bearing my monicker. We altered singer Sam’s DNA and gave him a musical gene. Hope that clears up any confusion.

But about TreesThe initial publicity says ‘As H was for Hawk will T now be for Trees? D for Distraction? P for Platonic? S for Sam? Or Smith?’ Which I hope will give putative readers a decent clue to the book’s contents. ‘H for Hawk’ concerned itself with a reconciling of the bereaved through falconry. Trees has a different death, an adopted daughter, and the mother finding solace through helping her birth father in his attempt to reforest as much as he can of England. Consequently each chapter has throughout descriptions of trees and diagrammatic representations of trees. (A labour of love Trees has taken me years to complete.)

treestreestreestrees

Although death might be the central feature of Trees what it mostly concerns itself with is the nature of family, and of those relationships beyond. Of friendships, and resentments, people we work with, of in-laws and outlaws. Of desires contained, physical capabilities and incapacities, sexual orientation, and trees.

Safkhet has set 31st October as the release date for Trees. You can read more about Trees here – http://www.safkhetpublishing.com/books/suspense/Trees.html

Or here – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trees-Sam-Smith-ebook/dp/B016L0BBXM/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444805525&sr=1-2&keywords=sam+smith%2C+trees

Other of my books are featured here – http://samsmithbooks.weebly.com

The Journal and Original Plus here – http://thesamsmith.webs.com/

 

The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan ~ GUEST POST

reinvention

The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan

by Whitney Dineen

 

reinvention
Thirty-four year old, Mimi Finnegan is the third of four daughters and in her eyes, by far, the most unremarkable. She has no singular accomplishment that can stand up to any of her sisters. And if that isn’t enough, she is the only single sibling in her family.

Mimi’s sisters decide that it’s time she gets serious about husband hunting, so they begin a campaign to find Mr. Right for her. Considering her most recent dating encounters include a night club owner who stuffs bratwurst in his pants and a WASPy trust fund baby, living happily under his mother’s thumb, Mimi is more than ready to meet THE ONE. Enter celebrated British novelist Elliot Fielding.

Sexual tension and anger heat up between the duo and it isn’t until Mimi discovers that Elliot is almost engaged to another that she realizes she is head-over-heels in love with him.

The journey will make you laugh, cry and want to pull your hair out from frustration! Mimi eventually learns that she is quite remarkable in her own right and never needed to worry that she lived in her sister’s shadows.

The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan is the perfect laugh-out-loud, feel good book for any woman who has ever felt that she wasn’t good enough.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

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The Importance of Connecting With Readers on Social Media

            Once upon a time (or back in the olden days as my little girls would say) authors had about the same amount of face recognition as the person who showed up to read your water meter. Let’s face it; you were more likely to recognize the meter reader because you had more opportunity to see him/her. Writers were just faceless people who sat in their homes in dirty pajamas, dodging their forty-seven cats and drinking gin, all the while weaving stories for your entertainment.

            Happily, this is no longer so. Yes, some authors may still be drunk in dirty jammies, but that’s to be expected. Social media has allowed us the ability to interact with a myriad of folks we would have otherwise have never met. The good news is I no longer have to stalk Fannie Flagg and Marian Keyes through more nefarious means, now I can do it right on Facebook. Okay fine, I never really stalked them but I wanted too. I always craved more after reading one of their books and felt this burning desire to ask a million questions about their process. Now I can gush ‘til my heart’s content and so far neither has unfriended me.

            The internet allows authors to pull their fans into their world and communicate with them in a more personal way. I love it! As a reader, I have been able to share my adoration with authors I adore and as a writer I‘ve been able to bask in the glow of praise and affection (please feel free to follow me on Facebook so you can feed my pathetic author ego) from my fans. Note I look WAY better on Facebook than I do in real life. That’s another thing to love about social media! You are more than welcome to follow me on Twitter but be warned, I’m more twit than tweeter. Proceed at your own risk.

            I love when people write to me and tell me how much they relate to my heroines. That’s what it’s about folks, making connections. Connecting with your reader base is a great way to know what people want to read and why.

            I have watched how many successful authors deal with their public and can tell you Jane Green and Sophie Kinsella are successful for a reason. In addition to being darn good writers, they engage with their readers. They are the smart ones who realize they’re where they are because of their fans.

            I’m lucky enough to be an author in an era when I can cyber chat with folks who’ve taken the time to read my books. I get to hear why they like certain characters and what about the stories speaks to them. For this reason, I consider social media a golden resource. Knowing what my audience enjoys reading helps me deliver that very thing.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some cats to brush and laundry to do.

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ABOUT WHITNEY DINEEN

reinvention

While attending the University of Illinois in Chicago, Whitney Dineen was discovered by a local modeling agent and began an unexpected career as a plus-size Ford model. She modeled in New York City before moving to Los Angeles with her husband. When she wasn’t modeling, she was in the kitchen, baking delights to share with friends. Soon, her friends began asking her to send baskets of her wonderful candies and cookies to business associates, agents and production studios. Word spread like wildfire, and the rest, as they say, is history. Whitney’s sensational creations are still in great demand by her loyal celebrity clientele (www.WhitneysGoodies.com). During “The Hollywood Years,” Whitney was bitten by the writing bug and started creating characters that are inspired by strong women with a great sense of humor. In addition to her love of chick-lit, Whitney has also written a series of adventure books for middle readers The first of which, Wilhelmina and the Willamette Wig Factory is available now.  Whitney and her husband, Jimmy, have relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest to raise their children, chickens and organic vegetables.

Her first rom com, She Sins at Midnight recently won 2015 Reader’s Favorite silver medal in chick-lit and Mimi was #1 or #2 in humor satire on Amazon for over 2 weeks.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Whitney-Dineen/11687019412?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WhitneyDineen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=Whitney+Dineen

Website: http://whitneydineen.com/

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reinvention