Category Archives: Novels

A WOMAN’S LOT by Carolyn Hughes #historical #fiction #giveaway

woman's lot

A Woman’s Lot

by

Carolyn Hughes

 

woman's lot

Release Date: 4th June 2018

Genre: Historical fiction

Series: Book 2 of The Meonbridge Chronicles

Publisher: SilverWood Books

 

How can mere women resist the misogyny of men?

When a resentful peasant rages against a woman’s efforts to build up her flock of sheep.

…or a husband, grown melancholy and ill-tempered, succumbs to idle talk that his wife’s a scold.

…or a priest, fearful of women’s “unnatural” power, determines to keep them in their place.

The devastation wrought two years ago by the Black Death changed the balance of society, and gave women a chance to break free from the yoke of chatteldom, to learn a trade, build a business, be more than just men’s wives.

But many men still hold fast to the teachings of the Church, and fear the havoc the daughters of Eve might wreak if they’re allowed to usurp men’s roles, and gain control over their own lives.

Not all men resist women’s quest for change – indeed, they want change for themselves.

Yet it takes only one or two misogynists to unleash the hounds of hostility and hatred…

 

A Woman’s Lot is the second Meonbridge Chronicle, the sequel to Fortune’s Wheel.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2L5v0uv

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2xBCm6S

 

EXTRACT

At that moment, the constable knocked on Emma’s door. ‘Is Mistress Titherige with you, Mistress Ward?’

Emma invited him inside and he bowed to Eleanor. ‘Your sheep are found, mistress.’

She blanched at the gloomy expression on the constable’s face. ‘Are they dead?’ she asked, in a whisper.

He shuffled his feet and, when he spoke, his voice was quiet too. ‘Two dead, mistress. The third, nearly so––’

Eleanor cried out. ‘Dead! My lovely ewes. And their unborn lambs.’

Emma put her arm around Eleanor’s shoulders. ‘It’s wicked, that’s what it is. Those poor innocent creatures…’

Eleanor got to her feet. ‘Take me to them, master constable.’

But Geoffrey demurred. ‘No, no, Mistress Titherige, there’s no need—’

She tossed her head. ‘Yes, there is. I want to see them. Please lead me, master constable.’ And she swept from Emma’s house and strode down the lane behind Geoffrey, who was still trying, but failing, to dissuade her from her mission.

But if Eleanor had been determined to see what had happened to her sheep, when she did so, she wished she had not come after all.

The derelict barn was cold and damp, its roof partly fallen in, and the ancient hay piled up in the stall where her sheep were penned was giving off a foul and musty stink. As Geoffrey had already said, two of the sheep were dead, lying close together in the rotten hay, their tongues lolling from their mouths, their lovely fleeces all filthy and reeking. One had dried blood around her tail and, when she saw it, Eleanor’s hand flew to her mouth.

‘Had she already birthed?’ she said, a choke rising in her throat. She cast about her, looking for a lamb. Then Geoffrey hurried forward and scrabbled in the hay, one of his men holding a lantern high.

Shortly, Geoffrey stood up. ‘It’s here, mistress. Don’t look––’

But, refusing his advice, Eleanor went forward too. He pointed, and she pressed both hands to her face, as she stared down on the pitiful little body, dark and bloodied, nestled in the foul hay a short distance from its dam.

‘Where’s the third?’ she said, her voice a whisper.

‘Over ’ere, missus,’ said the constable’s man.

The third sheep lay apart from the others, on its side, panting, its eyes sunken.

‘She’s been deprived of water,’ said Eleanor, kneeling by the animal’s side. ‘How cruel…’

‘Or mebbe just ignorant?’ said the constable. He bent down and picked up some hay. ‘The hay’s all rotten, mistress. It’s been here years. Won’t ’ave done them no good.’

She looked up at him. ‘Bad hay and no water?’ She stroked the sheep’s muzzle, and tears filled her eyes. ‘The poor, poor creatures.’

Eleanor wiped away the tears on the sleeve of her kirtle. ‘Anyway, she’s past saving. So please, master constable, arrange for her to be freed from her suffering.’

Geoffrey bowed his head. ‘Will Cole’ll do it.’

ABOUT CAROLYN HUGHES

woman's lot

Carolyn Hughes was born in London, but has lived most of her life in Hampshire. After a first degree in Classics and English, she started her working life as a computer programmer, in those days a very new profession. It was fun for a few years, but she left to become a school careers officer in Dorset. But it was when she discovered technical authoring that she knew she had found her vocation. She spent the next few decades writing and editing all sorts of material, some fascinating, some dull, for a wide variety of clients, including an international hotel group, medical instrument manufacturers and the Government. She has written creatively for most of her adult life, but it was not until her children grew up and flew the nest, several years ago, that creative writing and, especially, writing historical fiction, took centre stage in her life. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University and a PhD from the University of Southampton.

A Woman’s Lot is the second of the Meonbridge Chronicles, her series of historical novels set in fourteenth century England. The first, Fortune’s Wheel, was published in 2016. The third in the series is well under way.

Facebook: CarolynHughesAuthor

Twitter: @writingcalliope

Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2hs2rrX

Blog: https://carolynhughesauthor.com/blog/

Also at: http://the-history-girls.blogspot.com (20th of every month)

Website: https://carolynhughesauthor.com

Win an Ebook copy of Book 1 – Fortune’s Wheel

woman's lot

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AFTER THE SUN by Katherine E. Smith #contemporary #romance

Katherine E. Smith

 

After the Sun

by

Katherine E. Smith

 

Katherine E. Smith

Release Date: 28th May 2018

Series: Coming Back to Cornwall #2 (can be read as a standalone)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

When things seem too good to be true, they usually are. 

Alice is finding her feet managing the Sail Loft Hotel when Sam is presented with an offer he can’t refuse. The bad news is, if he says yes, he will have to leave Cornwall.

Sam’s visits home see him split in his loyalties between his daughter Sophie, and spending time with Alice. Sophie’s mother, Kate, seems to be doing her best to make things difficult.

Meanwhile, Alice’s friend Julie is also facing a long-distance relationship as her new partner, and Sam’s best friend, Luke, is working in London. With no children to think of, and plenty of disposable income (on Luke’s part at least), life should be more simple but Julie has yet to find a long-term job and Luke is still getting over the recent death of his mother.

Can these fledgling relationships pass the long-distance test, and can Julie and Alice make life in Cornwall work for them now that the summer sun has gone?

Extract

“Oh.” I feel like my stomach has dropped to the floor. I try to look happy. “But that is brilliant, isn’t it? It’s an amazing opportunity, it’s perfect for you.”

“Alice,” Sam says quietly and I look at him. “It’s not perfect, is it? Because it would mean being away from you.”

He’s been offered sponsorship through university, including a year’s practical experience partway through the course, and guaranteed employment afterwards. His exam results were some of the best in the country for his chosen course, Applied Marine Biology, and he’s actually been head-hunted by a brilliant conservation society. It’s more wonderful news, on top of everything else. Only the course they want him to do isn’t at Plymouth, it’s at Bangor, in North Wales.

414 miles away via the quickest route (seven hours, ten minutes). 389 miles via the A30 (seven hours, thirty-two minutes), five changes on the train (eight hours, fifty-eight minutes).

“You have to do it,” I say, “you have to. It’s too good an opportunity to turn down.”

I am saying the right words but I am willing him to say no, he won’t, he doesn’t want to. We have been apart for ten years, and back together again for a matter of weeks. I can’t bear the thought that we will be separated again. But I know that this decision needs to be his. He looks at me, his blue eyes serious and holding my gaze. I look away first, scared that I might cry.

“I don’t know,” he says. “I don’t know.”

“Number fifty-three!” The lady behind the counter calls out cheerfully.

“This is us,” I say, “I’ll go and get it.” I am grateful for the opportunity to break this moment. “Do you want any sauce?” I ask, trying to match the cafe lady’s tone.

“Alice…” Sam says but I am on my feet, walking towards the counter with a smile on my face while inside my heart is breaking. I know that he has to go.

Buy Links

AMAZON UK – https://goo.gl/neeV9A

AMAZON US – https://goo.gl/9YkSC8

About the Author

 

Katherine E. Smith

Katharine E. Smith is a writer, editor and publisher. An avid reader of contemporary writers such as Kate Atkinson, David Nicholls and Anne Tyler, Katharine’s aim is to write books she would like to read herself. She has three novels to her name, and one non-fiction guide, written with fellow indie authors in mind.

Katharine runs Heddon Publishing from her home in Shropshire, which she shares with her husband and their two children.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/smithkatharinee

Twitter: http://Twitter.com/KatharineESmtih

Website: www.katharineesmith.com

WONDROUS WORLD OF WITCHCRAFT AND MISERY by Sophia Cobbs

witchcraft

Wondrous World of Witchcraft and Misery

by

Sophia Cobbs

witchcraft

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: 5 December 2017

Publisher: Silverwood Books

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

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

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

 

EXTRACT

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

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

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

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

And then they were alone.

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

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

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

“Are you ready?”

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

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

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

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

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

“He’s not supposed to have horns.”

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

BUY LINKS

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

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

KOBO: https://goo.gl/Br8wnb

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

witchcraft

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

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

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

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

 

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

welcome

Murder Most Welcome

by

Nicola Slade

 

welcome

Series: The Charlotte Richmond Mysteries Book 1

Genre: Historical cosy mystery

Release Date: This edition Feb 2018 First Ed:2008

Publisher: Williams & Whiting Publishing

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

Extract: MURDER   MOST   WELCOME

LATE SPRING 1858 – in the South of England

Chapter 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Oh do hush, Agnes dear!’

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

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

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

Buy link to Murder Most Welcome

http://amzn.to/2HDLVlZ

Check out the other books in the series…

https://goo.gl/333Mj4

Nicola Slade

Nicola Slade

ABOUT NICOLA SLADE

murder

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

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

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

Twitter: @nicolasladeuk

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

Blog: www.nicolaslade.wordpress.com

GIVEAWAY

An ecopy of THE HOUSE AT LADYWELL (open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE GIRL I USED TO KNOW by Faith Hogan #womens #fiction #giveaway

girl i used to know

THE GIRL I used to know

by

Faith Hogan

girl I used to know

Genre: Women’s Fiction

How many Pages? 298

Release Date: 1st Dec 2017

Publisher: Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus)

A beautiful, emotive and spell-binding story of two women who find friendship and second chances when they least expect it. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan. 

Amanda King and Tess Cuffe are strangers who share the same Georgian house, but their lives couldn’t be more different.

Amanda seems to have it all, absolute perfection. She projects all the accoutrements of a lady who lunches. Sadly, the reality is a soulless home, an unfaithful husband and a very lonely heart.

By comparison, in the basement flat, unwanted tenant Tess has spent a lifetime hiding and shutting her heart to love.

It takes a bossy doctor, a handsome gardener, a pushy teenager and an abandoned cat to show these two women that sometimes letting go is the first step to moving forward and new friendships can come from the most unlikely situations.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2HavtuH

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Hcqxp4

iBooks: https://apple.co/2ItGWon

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2q7pcrv

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2H9W6jc

 

ABOUT FAITH HOGAN

GIRL I USED TO KNOW

Faith Hogan is an original voice in women’s fiction. Her stories are warm and rooted in a contemporary Irish landscape which has lost none of its wit, charm or emotion thanks to its modern vibe.

Faith was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.

Her debut novel ‘My Husbands Wives’ is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin, published by Aria Fiction in 2016. Her second novel, ‘Secrets We Keep,’ is published in February 2017 – it has been included on the Netgalley ‘Hot List 2017.’ Her third novel – ‘The Girl I Used To Know’ is out in December 2017.

She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a rather busy chocolate Labrador. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!

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

Twitter: @gerhogan

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15109450.Faith_Hogan

Website: www.faithhogan.com

GIVEAWAY

A SIGNED COPY OF THE GIRL I USED TO KNOW (open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#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

Amazon

Kobo

PARADISE GIRL by Phill Featherstone #YA #NA #giveaway

Paradise

Paradise Girl

by

Phill Featherstone

 

Paradise

Genre: Nominally YA/NA, general fiction

Release Date: 27 January 2017

Publisher: Matador

Kerryl Shaw has always kept a diary, but this one is different because she knows she is going to die.

A highly infectious and incurable virus spreads worldwide. Seventeen-year-old Kerryl lives with her family on a remote farm. They think they will be safe, but the danger advances. One day a stranger arrives, and it soon becomes apparent that he has brought the plague to their door.

Kerryl is sure it’s only a matter of time before she catches the infection and dies, and decides to record what she thinks will be her final days. She realises that her diary will never be read, so she imagines a reader and calls him Adam. Loneliness and isolation affect the balance of her mind. Little by little Adam comes alive to her, and she sets off across the moor to meet him.

EXTRACT

       Introductions are boring, but unless I take time to explain things it will be confusing for you. Me first. Not very polite, I know, but it’s probably the best place to start.

My name is Kerryl – or that’s what my family and friends call me. My proper name is Cheryl. Cheryl Alison Shaw. They call me the Paradise Girl. Don’t get excited – it sounds sexy but it’s not. I’m seventeen years old and still a virgin. I’m not a nun, I’ve been out with loads of boys – Tim, Mark (two of them), Nathan, Jake, Tristram, Steve – but I wasn’t that keen on any of them and they didn’t last. The exception was Mark II. He was older than me, fearsomely good looking and he had a nice car. I thought he was really hot. When I wasn’t with him I was thinking about him. But it seems he wasn’t as keen as me, and one day my best friend, Josie, told me that he was going out with Monica Woodbridge and saying I was a frigid cow. It seems everybody knew I’d been dumped and I was the last to find out.

The worst thing was the shock. I thought Monica Woodbridge was my friend. As well as that, all the girls in our group had been going out with the same boys for a long time, but I seemed to keep a boyfriend for only a few weeks. Was there something wrong with me? To be honest, I’m not a great beauty. I don’t mean I’m a train wreck or anything. I’m not bad looking, but I’m not like Charlene Brooker or Suzy Simmonds. They’re electric, both of them. Charlene could be a model, and Suzy’s always surrounded by a gang of drooling boys.

They’re gone now: Charlene, Suzy, Josie, Monica, all of them.

Sorry for the break there. I had to stop to have a little weep. I’ll try not to do too much of that. I suppose I can console myself with one thing: with everyone else dead, I must be the most beautiful girl in the world!

BUY LINKS

 

AMAZON UK – http://amzn.to/2zMAq9a

AMAZON US – http://amzn.to/2zMdQQb

TROUBADOR – http://bit.ly/2ATT0wq

WATERSTONES – http://bit.ly/2jw1uFR

WH SMITH – http://bit.ly/2A48wbL

 

BUY DIRECT FROM THE AUTHOR AND GET IT SIGNED! http://bit.ly/2hE3lHY

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paradise

Phill Featherstone was born and brought up in the north of England. He trained as a teacher and taught English in comprehensive schools. In the late 1990s he and his wife, Sally, founded a publishing company specialising in education books for the early years. In 2008 the business was acquired by Bloomsbury, after which they moved to Yorkshire. He now spends his time writing, travelling, on the arts and on conservation work. Phill has degrees from Cambridge and Leicester Universities, and is a member of the Society of Authors. Paradise Girl is his third novel, although the first to be published.

Paradise Girl recently won a CHILL WITH A BOOK AWARD!

Paradise

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

Twitter: @PhillFeathers

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

Blog: http://phillfeatherstone.net/news/

Website: http://phillfeatherstone.net

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LOVE THIRTY by Jill Barry #contemporary #romance #giveaway

love thirty

Love Thirty

by

Jill Barry

love thirty

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 15 February 2018

Publisher: Endeavour Media

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

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

Extract

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2oZBLV3

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2oZIyyd

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT JILL BARRY

LOVE THIRTY

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

 Facebook:

              https://www.facebook.com/JillBarryBooks/

Twitter: 

https://twitter.com/barry_jill 

Tweet Jill @barry_jill

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7276803.Jill_Barry

Amazon Author Page:

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

GIVEAWAY

An Amazon Gift Card!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

NINJA

Ninja School Mum

by

Lizzie Chantree

 

Ninja

Genre: Chick Lit/ Romance

Release Date: 30th January 2018

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

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

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

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

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

BUY LINK

viewBook.at/NinjaSchoolMum

EXTRACT

CHAPTER 1

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

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

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

Ninja

ABOUT LIZZIE CHANTREE

 

Ninja

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

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

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomlizzie_chantree

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

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

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

Blog: www.lizziechantree.com

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE SINGLE GIRL’S CALENDAR by Erin Green #romcom #giveaway

The Single Girl’s Calendar

by

Erin Green

 

single girl's calendar

Genre: RomCom

Release Date: 1st January 2018

Publisher: Aria (Imprint of Head of Zeus)

A task a day to cure a broken heart.

Esmé Peel is approaching thirty with some trepidation, but hope in her heart. If she can just get her long-term boyfriend Andrew to propose, she will have ticked everything off her ‘things to do by the time you’re 30’ list. She didn’t reckon on finding another woman’s earring in her bed however, and soon she finds herself single, homeless and in need of a new plan. Her best friend Carys gives her the perfect present – The Single Girl’s Calendar – which has a different cure for heartbreak every day:

Day 1: Look and feel fabulous with a new hair style.

Day 2: Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Day 3: Reconnect with friends and enjoy!

Despite thinking it’s a bit of a gimmick, Esmé hasn’t got any better ideas, so she puts the plan into action. By the end of week one she has four new male housemates, and despite a broken heart she is determined to show Andrew she can do more than survive, she can thrive.

 

EXTRACT

Carys reached for Esmé’s hand and gently squeezed it.

‘So, what have you done all morning?’

‘Apart from visit cafes, I’ve walked around the city, stared in shop windows and had a meltdown when I found myself in the crime section at Waterstones…’ Esmé coughed as a wave of nausea lifted to her throat. ‘I felt fine until then. How many times has that store saved my skin with his birthday presents or stocking fillers? Not anymore. Those days are gone.’

‘In that case, I have just the thing,’ announced Carys, releasing Esmé’s hand before rummaging in the plastic bag beneath her chair. ‘Don’t laugh, but this actually helped me through the break-up with Myles.’

‘I thought I helped you get through that.’

Carys raised her head mid-rummage, her corkscrew curls bouncing as she disagreed.

‘Nope! You know nothing about break-ups, Esmé. Seriously, your relationship has been so long-term you haven’t a clue. But this…’ Carys lifted a pink boxed object onto the table top. ‘This might help.’

‘What the hell?’ said Esmé, staring at the advent calendar styled object with its tiny perforated doors.

‘It’s 100 per cent tack and it only cost a fiver but—’

‘Carys?’

‘Hear me out, Esmé… it’s worth a laugh if nothing else.’

‘Yeah, sure,’ said Esmé, lifting the calendar to read the blurb on the reverse.

Want a sassy new way to overcome a break-up? Or simply an opportunity to focus on your life? The Single Girl’s Calendar is made for you! Behind every door is a task that will help you focus on you, and you only! A whole month of pampering, mindfulness activities, caring and sharing ideas which in just four short weeks will have you feeling on top of the world! An insightful way to put a spring back into your step as a strong, independent woman!

‘Are you serious?’

Carys nodded.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK – https://goo.gl/q6U8HC

Amazon US – https://goo.gl/GopkuL

ABOUT ERIN GREEN

single girl's calendar
Actor headshot photography

Erin was born and raised in Warwickshire, where she resides with her husband. An avid reader since childhood, her imagination was instinctively drawn to creative writing as she grew older. Erin has two Hons degrees: BA English literature and another BSc Psychology – her previous careers have ranged from part-time waitress, the retail industry, fitness industry and education. She has an obsession about time, owns several tortoises and an infectious laugh!

Erin’s writes contemporary novels focusing on love, life and laughter. Erin is an active member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and was delighted to be awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017. An ideal day for Erin involves writing, people watching and drinking copious amounts of tea.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pg/ErinGreenAuthor/

Twitter: @ErinGreenAuthor

Goodreads Author Page:

www.goodreads.com/author/show/16881009.Erin_Green

Instagram: www.instagram.com/erin_green_author/

Website: www.ErinGreenAuthor.co.uk

GIVEAWAY

Win an Erin Green Ceramic Mug! (UK only) x3

a Rafflecopter giveaway