Category Archives: Choc Lit

WATCH FOR ME BY MOONLIGHT by Kirsty Ferry #timeslip #highwayman

Kirsty FerryWatch for me by Moonlight

by

Kirsty Ferry

Kirsty Ferry

Series: The Hartsford Mysteries series

Genre: Timeslip

Release Date: 6th October 2017

Publisher: Choc Lit

“It was the first full moon since that night. She waited and watched by moonlight, as she had promised …”

When her life in London falls apart, Elodie Bright returns to Suffolk and to Hartsford Hall, the home of her childhood friend Alexander Aldrich, now the Earl of Hartsford. There, she throws herself into helping Alex bring a new lease of life to the old house and its grounds.

After a freak storm damages the Hall chapel and destroys the tomb of Georgiana Kerridge, one of Alex’s eighteenth-century relatives, Elodie and Alex find a connection in the shocking discovery brought to light by the damaged tomb.

Through a series of strange flashbacks and uncanny incidents, they begin to piece together Georgiana’s secret past involving a highwayman, a sister’s betrayal and a forbidden love so strong that it echoes through the ages …

EXTRACT

Elodie had no idea how she made it to the church so quickly when she could barely see anything for the rain bucketing down in front of her eyes.

Pushing her way out of the gift shop, she ran, ploughing through mud and churned up grass, splashing through ankle deep puddles. Water was fountaining out of the drain covers like so many geysers, but Elodie didn’t look down, didn’t look to see where her feet were going. Her trainers would need to be binned and her clothes would probably never dry out again, but who cared? She just kept her sights on the church.

Against the shadows, she saw a tall figure running towards the place and knew instinctively who it was.

‘Alex!’ The wind tore the words out of her mouth and blew them somewhere towards Norfolk.

He reached the church moments before she did and stopped short at the door.

‘Alex!’

This time he heard her and spun around, rain dripping off his messy dark hair and into his midnight-blue eyes. ‘The roof, Elodie, it’s been hit. I was in the greenhouse. I saw it happening.’

‘I know!’ She drew up next to him, quite breathless. ‘I saw it too, from the gift shop.’ She hurried past him and put one hand on the ancient bronze door handle, but Alex’s hand came down on her wrist and held it in place.

‘Let me go first. I don’t know if it’s safe.’

Elodie relinquished the handle and hovered near him as he pulled the door open.

They both coughed as a cloud of dust and plaster came out, but thankfully there was no smell of burning.

‘Thank God,’ said Alex, clearly expecting the worst. ‘I’m still going in first though. You stay here until I call you.’

‘Okay. But come right back out if it’s looking bad!’

‘Don’t worry, I won’t hang around if it is.’ He disappeared into the building and Elodie peered anxiously in after him. After what seemed like an age, he called out to her. ‘It’s pretty grotty, but safe enough I think. The Lady Chapel got the worst of it. You can come in if you’re careful. But if it’s too much for your asthma, go straight back out.’

‘I will. But the poor Lady Chapel!’ Her heart pounding, she hurried into the church. As she stood there in the dark with the modern-day emergency lighting glowing in the rafters, and tiles smashed beneath her feet, and one of the beams hanging at a crazy angle from the ceiling to the floor, and one candle still miraculously lit and flickering wildly in an alcove near the altar, Elodie fought back the worst feeling of dread she’d ever experienced in her life.

‘Oh, my God!’

The Lady Chapel, which housed Georgiana’s tomb, was behind the fallen beam and rain was streaming down as if someone had aimed a garden hose through the roof. If anywhere in the place had suffered the worst from the lightning strike, it was, as Alex had said, that area. It had been built on to the church especially for Georgiana’s monument and never seemed to be quite fully part of the old building. The storm had obviously decided that the time had come to sever the connection completely – and it just felt all wrong, somehow. Damn.

‘I have to check Georgiana!’ Elodie scrambled over the rubble and crunched her way towards the Lady Chapel.

‘You’re not going over there on your own! God knows what it might be like. I’m coming with you.’ Alex tossed some bits of wood out of the way and followed her. With difficulty, they climbed over the beam and choked their way through the plaster cloud, the rain still hammering down and bouncing off the stone floor, but doing little to dampen the dust. Elodie felt the tell-tale tightening in her chest that warned of lungs that weren’t particularly happy in that sort of environment, but she had other things to think about and tried to ignore it.

She’d never forget what she saw after that – Georgiana’s beautiful marble tomb was split, right down the middle. It was as if the lightning strike had come straight through the roof and pierced the heart of the monument. It was all sort of broken in half and the place wasn’t filled with plaster dust: it was more like a mist of marble fragments. There were shards of the stuff scattered around and huge parts of the figure were shattered too. Even Georgiana’s lovely face was cracked from forehead to chin, yet she still looked so, so peaceful. And with the rain flowing over her cheeks, it seemed as if she was crying.

‘Oh, Georgiana!’ Elodie whispered and reached out, touching her hair.

There was an ominous creaking and groaning – then: ‘Look out!’ Alex grabbed hold of her arm and pulled her towards him as the whole tomb collapsed in on itself. The side fell off and Alex yanked Elodie out of the way. She lurched into him and automatically buried her head in his sopping wet chest. Then there was a horrible silence and all she could hear was the rain pounding on the wreckage of the tomb and Alex’s heart beating.

The silence was broken by Alex swearing.

‘Where is she?’ he asked. ‘Where the hell is she?’

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0758K49D4/

Amazon US: www.amazon.com/Watch-Me-Moonlight-Choc-Lit-ebook/dp/B0758K49D4/

Kobo: www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/watch-for-me-by-moonlight-2

iBooks: www.itunes.apple.com/gb/book/watch-for-me-by-moonlight-choc-lit/id1271346379

The title of my new book, Watch for me by Moonlight, is a line taken from my favourite poem, The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. I’ve wanted to write about a highwayman for ages, and I suspect the inspiration came from three things – that poem, the romantic idea of the famous highwayman Claude Duval, and the fact I grew up in the ‘eighties and Adam Ant’s Highwayman character was very much a ‘thing’ in my days at primary school! My friends would paint stripes on their faces and strut around a bit, but I was never allowed to get my hands on make-up which was rather sad!

However, it was around that time we studied the Noyes poem and I was caught up in it from the very first reading. The images of the Highwayman falling for the beautiful Bess and the ultimate sacrifice she made to save him haunted me for years. At the time, I didn’t really understand the effect it had on me – at nine or ten years old, it was a rather scary, rather chilling and very romantic story; but the fact that even now I can remember sitting in class and reading those words and feeling the goosebumps on my arms, and that I kept thinking about it even after I went home and have remembered those feelings and Noyes’ words all these years, must have meant it touched me deeply.

Ben, the highwayman hero in Watch for me by Moonlight, is also based heavily on Claude Duval. He’s not really a bad guy; he’s an adventurer, and rather dashing – and stole a dance instead of Georgiana’s jewels when he intercepted her coach one dark night. The real Duval is said to haunt the Holt Hotel in Oxfordshire – and my Ben is said to haunt the woods at Hartsford Hall, the fictional stately home I created for my new series, the Hartsford Mysteries. I decided that Hartsford should be in Suffolk, which is a bit (okay, a lot) further south than my Rossetti Mysteries series, which is based in Yorkshire. However, I have still managed to link the two series together, and if anyone has read my novel The Girl in the Painting, then they will be familiar with the contemporary heroine of Moonlight, and maybe be pleased to find out a little more about some of the Rossetti characters as well!

ABOUT KIRSTY FERRY

Kirsty Ferry

Kirsty is from the North East of England and won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 with the ghostly tale ‘Enchantment’.

Her timeslip novel, ‘Some Veil Did Fall’, a paranormal romance set in Whitby, was published by Choc Lit in Autumn 2014. This was followed by another Choc Lit timeslip, ‘The Girl in the Painting’ in February 2016 and ‘The Girl in the Photograph’ in March 2017. The experience of signing ‘Some Veil Did Fall’ in a quirky bookshop in the midst of Goth Weekend in Whitby, dressed as a recently undead person was one of the highlights of her writing career so far!

Kirsty’s day-job involves sharing a Georgian building with an eclectic collection of ghosts – which can sometimes prove rather interesting.

You can find out more about Kirsty and her work at www.rosethornpress.co.uk, catch her on her Facebook Author Page or follow her on Twitter @kirsty_ferry.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kirsty.ferry.author/

Twitter: @kirsty_ferry

Blog: www.rosethornramblings.wordpress.com

Website: www.rosethornpress.co.uk

TOO DAMN NICE by Kathryn Freeman ~ #giveaway

too damn niceToo Damn Nice

by

Kathryn Freeman

 

too damn nice

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 1st August 2017

Publisher: Choc Lit

Nice guys don’t kiss like that …

Do nice guys stand a chance?

Lizzie Donavue went from being the sister of his best friend to the girl Nick Templeton most wants to kiss. On her birthday, he finally summons up the courage to make his move. But it looks like Nick’s missed his chance when he discovers that Lizzie has been offered a modelling contract, which will take her away to the glamorous fashion scenes of New York and Los Angeles.

Nick is forced to watch from the sidelines as the gawky teenager he knew is transformed into Elizabeth Donavue: top model and ultimate English rose pin-up, forever caught in a whirlwind of celebrity parties with the next up-and-coming Hollywood bad boy by her side.

But then Lizzie’s star-studded life comes crashing down around her, and a guy like Nick could be just what she needs. Will she take a chance on him? Or is he just too damn nice?

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2vDQkzQ

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2vE5zsK

Choc Lit – http://bit.ly/2xLXJhp

ABOUT KATHRYN FREEMAN

too damn nice

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7373990.Kathryn_Freeman

Website: http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

GIVEAWAY

A paperback copy of Before You (Open internationally)

too damn nice

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DEADLY INTENT by Sheryl Browne ~ #giveaway #thriller #videotrailer

Sheryl BrowneDeadly Intent

by

Sheryl Browne

Sheryl BrowneSeries: A DI Matthew Adams Thriller – Book #3 (can be read as a standalone)

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Release Date: September 6 2017

Publisher: Death by Choc Lit

18+ (some violence and language)

What if you and your family were at the mercy of a psychopath/a man with no conscience?

Just when DI Matthew Adams thinks he’s left the past behind him, it comes back to haunt him once again; this time in the form of the Conner family.

Like Matthew, the Conners have lost a child in tragic circumstances – and they’ve also found themselves in the hands of one of the most depraved criminals to walk the streets: ‘Dead-eyed’ Charlie Roberts, a drug addicted low-life with a penchant for extreme violence.

Matthew’s greatest affinity lies with Daniel Conner, the brooding father who still blames himself for his youngest child’s death. But when Daniel’s wife and daughter are tortured and tormented by Roberts, can Matthew prevent him from completely ruining his own life for an act of revenge particularly when, once upon a time, that’s exactly what Matthew would have done too?

Thank you so much for inviting me to share a little about DEADLY INTENT – Book 3 in the DI Matthew Adams thrillers – and to talk a little bit about what might inspire an author to crime/thriller writing.

A writer’s mind thrives on exploration. Every scenario, every face, every place tells a story. A glimpsed situation, an argument between a couple or ‘slanging match’ in the street, for instance, and you have your stimulus for a book. Personally, whatever genre I write in I tend to gravitate towards family and family dynamics and just how strong a family unit can be, particularly when that unit might be under threat in some way. Most would agree that a story needs to have a protagonist and an antagonist to feed off each other. I see people as not all good or all bad, more opposite sides of the same spectrum with some crossover in between. Having become rather jaded in his view of his nemesis in After She’s Gone and Sins of the Father, DI Matthew Adams is less forgiving. To quote his thoughts in the third in the series, Deadly Intent: “He’d long ago stopped wondering how perverted individuals like Sullivan came into existence. As far as Matthew could see it wasn’t nature or nurture. It was a lethal cocktail of genes, brain function and childhood experience that created monsters like Patrick Sullivan, like Charlie Roberts. He was of the same ilk. Despite any and all excuses pointing to his upbringing making him the way he was, Roberts was pure evil. Matthew could feel it”.

Nature versus Nurture is an age-old question, not one I can hope to answer, but I can’t resist exploring, peeling away the veneer, so to speak, to see what lies beneath. Charlie Roberts, whose Deadly Intent is revealed as the story progresses, it seems really is evil to the core. To quote one reviewer’s summary of him, he’s “the Devil himself”. You’d have to read the book to draw your own conclusion, of course (no sales pitch intended!). Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with an excerpt, which might give you cause to ponder, is Matthew Adams right in his summation of Roberts?

Before I go, though, can I take this opportunity to thank all bloggers and readers for their absolutely fantastic support? It really is tremendously appreciated. Reviews mean the world to an author and, together with posts and extracts, will help a book find its wings. THANK YOU!

DEADLY INTENT – Excerpt

‘How you doin’, Danny boy? Nice trip you havin’? Hey?’

Didn’t look as if he was having a very nice trip, actually. Shaking fit to bust something loose, the bloke was. Shame that. Charlie reckoned Danny could have used a bit of mellowing out, being so stressed, and all.

He didn’t demand an answer this time. Fairly, Charlie thought.

Daniel was hardly capable of giving one, after all.

‘Too hot, are we, sunshine?’ He ran a hand across Daniel’s forehead, trailed it slowly down his cheek, unfastened a button of his shirt, and the next, and then stopped to have a little look at the wife’s face.

Oh man, what a picture. Her cat’s eyes were about to pop right out of her head. Shocked she was, and he’d barely touched him.

‘Let’s see if we can’t cool you off a bit, hey, Daniel?’ He smirked at Jo, and then proceeded slowly through the rest of the buttons, laughing as Daniel tried to lift his head from the floor.

‘Come on, Daniel, don’t fight it.’ Charlie yanked the shirt open and ran the gun over his chest. ‘You know you want it.’

He laughed again as Daniel made a supreme effort to raise himself, and failed miserably. Charlie had been wrong. The bloke obviously wasn’t a user. Couldn’t handle it at all, poor sod, which really was a shame. Danny boy putting up a bit of a struggle might’ve been more interesting.

Still, the look in his eyes was enough. Wasn’t looking right through him any more. Oh, no. He could see him all right. See exactly what he was doing.

He trailed the gun slowly over the flat of Daniel’s stomach.

Deliberately slowly, he followed the gun with his hand to let it rest lightly on his waistband.

‘Would you like your pretty little wife to watch, Danny boy?’ He grinned as Daniel’s eyes flickered open, swam hazily, and closed. ‘Or shall we ask her to leave, hey?’

‘Stop!’ Jo screamed, jumping up on her feet.

‘Sit!’ Charlie spat, whirling around.

‘Please.’ Jo took a hesitant step forwards. ‘He’s done everything you’ve asked. Please, leave him alone now.’

‘Pack it up!’ Shawn said from the doorway. ‘Lay off, Charlie. I mean it.’

Blimey, thought Charlie, what’s this? A conspiracy? He noticed the tight set of Shawn’s jaw, and decided telling him to button it might not be prudent.

‘What?’ Charlie blinked in surprised innocence and held his hands in the air. ‘I haven’t touched him.’

‘Well, don’t.’ Shawn fixed him with a furious glare. ‘I’m warning you, Charlie. I’m out of here if you do.’

‘One more minute, and that’s it, I swear.’ Charlie did his best to look like a boy scout. ‘Just let me get him out of the shirt. Nothing else, honest.’ Dib bloody dib, he thought.

He leaned back over Daniel, making sure to hold his gaze.

Daniel watched from a faraway place, the psycho drifting in and out of his vision, undoing his shirt? The gun, not slamming down so hard he heard his bones crack this time.

Trailing instead.

Slow cold metal, caressing his skin, sliding over his stomach. Christ, he was going to throw up.

Instinctively, he heaved himself from the floor, swallowing back the nausea, trying to still the merry-go-round room. The troglodyte was behind the psycho now, mouthing something. And Jo? She’d come to the fair, too.

Daniel squinted. She didn’t like the music though. She’d clamped her hands over her mouth. Kayla was there, somewhere. Daniel could feel her. But where was … Oh, shit, no. He struggled to sitting, reached a hand to the wall and tried to stand up, but the floor tipped and tilted beneath him.

‘Can’t,’ he mumbled, and staggered, and the troglodyte caught him.

This wasn’t right. This was all wrong. This wasn’t the fair. It was a freak show, and there were too many people. And someone was missing.

‘Where’s Emma?’ he shouted, shaking his head to try to clear the fog from his mind. ‘Where is she?’ Sheer panic swept through him, fast on its heels, absolute terror. He clutched two fistfuls of the troglodyte’s shirt, bunching it at his neck.

‘Where?’ Daniel screamed, his throat tight, his head pounding.

His heart bursting.

The floor undulating.

His body shaking. Why couldn’t he stop?

Couldn’t stop. Couldn’t stop shaking.

‘Please!’ Jo begged, as Daniel slid to the floor. ‘No more!’

‘Shut it!’ Charlie snapped. ‘You’re doin’ my head in!’

‘I hope you’re satisfied?’ Shawn glared at Charlie as he eased one of Daniel’s arms over his shoulder to half-carry him towards a berth.

‘Come, on, you’re all right, mate,’ he tried to reassure him, unhooking Daniel’s arm from his neck. ‘Just try to lie back. It’ll pass.’

But Daniel wouldn’t lie back. Couldn’t seem to stay still. He was twitching and gasping, his chest rattling.

Shawn held Daniel by both shoulders and studied his face. ‘He ain’t breathing right,’ he said, drawing in a terse breath of his own and turning to look Charlie over with open contempt. ‘You finished now?’

‘Serves him right.’ Charlie paced agitatedly to the door. Then back again.

He stopped. Lit up a spliff, drew back hard, and paced some more.

Sympathy for Daniel was sympathy wasted, as far as Charlie was concerned. And what’s more, it was dangerous, Shawn letting sentiment get in the way of what they were doing here. Currently, and crucially, making sure the stubborn sod did exactly as he was told, without question.

‘Not quite,’ he answered finally, crushing out his joint and striding angrily to the berth. ‘Shift,’ he said, catching hold of Shawn’s shoulder to shove the pathetic, mother-clucking hen away from Daniel. Be tucking him up under the quilt in a minute.

He stilled Shawn with a warning glance as the arrogant numbskull actually dared to look as if he was about to interfere, then caught hold of Daniel’s shirt collar and hauled him towards him.

‘This …’ Charlie snarled, his face close to Daniel’s. ‘ … comes off, Danny boy.’ He yanked the shirt over his shoulders and down over his biceps.

‘You bloody lunatic,’ Shawn muttered, his tone utter disgust. ‘The bloke’s covered in bruises. No need. Not for any of it.’ He took a step towards Charlie, but stopped as Daniel laughed. Then laughed again – out loud; and right in Charlie’s face.

‘Freak.’ Daniel smirked, unfocussed eyes swimming around in his head. ‘Pathetic little freak.’

 

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2gp2D02

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2vrF91d

Choc Lit – http://bit.ly/2wS2zwW

WATCH THE VIDEO TRAILER!

Buy Links: DI Matthew Adams Thrillers

AFTER SHE’S GONEHe’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?

SINS OF THE FATHERWhat if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?

DEADLY INTENTTormented to the edge of sanity …

ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE

Sheryl BrowneHeartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

Sheryl Browne

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Amazon US | Pinterest

Loveahappyending Lifestyle

Choc Lit | Romantic Novelists’ Association

GIVEAWAY

Ecopy of the book (Open Internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DEADLY INTENT by Sheryl Browne #coverreveal #excerpt #thriller #giveaway

deadly intent

Deadly Intent

by

Sheryl Browne

 

Series: A DI Matthew Adams Thriller – Book #3 (can be read as a standalone)

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Release Date: September 6 2017

Publisher: Death by Choc Lit

18+ (some violence and language)

What if you and your family were at the mercy of a psychopath/a man with no conscience?

Just when DI Matthew Adams thinks he’s left the past behind him, it comes back to haunt him once again; this time in the form of the Conner family.

Like Matthew, the Conners have lost a child in tragic circumstances – and they’ve also found themselves in the hands of one of the most depraved criminals to walk the streets: ‘Dead-eyed’ Charlie Roberts, a drug addicted low-life with a penchant for extreme violence.

Matthew’s greatest affinity lies with Daniel Conner, the brooding father who still blames himself for his youngest child’s death. But when Daniel’s wife and daughter are tortured and tormented by Roberts, can Matthew prevent him from completely ruining his own life for an act of revenge particularly when, once upon a time, that’s exactly what Matthew would have done too?

deadly intent

EXTRACT

Daniel’s eyes flickered away from Charlie for a second. ‘Come on, baby, come out,’ he said to the daughter, who was standing hesitantly on the top step. ‘It’s safe now.’

‘Yeah, come on, baby,’ Charlie mimicked. ‘Come and join the party.’

Charlie stepped sideways, allowing the girl to exit, her eyes like a terrified Bambi’s and shaking as much as Danny boy, poor cow. Must be hereditary.

‘Give me a shout if you fancy another quick shag, sweetheart,’ Charlie called as she stepped onto the towpath.

A tic went at the side of Daniel’s mouth. He walked calmly over to Charlie and smiled, which had Charlie momentarily flummoxed, then pulled back the gun and rammed it hard into his stomach.

****

Matthew flinched as Charlie doubled up. ‘Ouch,’ he said under his breath. ‘Okay, Daniel,’ he said carefully. ‘I know how you must be feeling but you need to let him go now. He’ll get what’s—’

‘You have no fucking idea how I feel,’ Daniel shouted, glancing quickly at Jo. ‘The only way that bastard goes anywhere is feet first.’ He raked a hand angrily though his hair. ‘Got that, Charlie? Now, get down on your knees.’

Charlie looked up, astonished. ‘You must be joking. I ain’t—’

‘Do I look as if I’m joking?’ Daniel asked, his eyes burning with hatred.

‘For fuck’s sake,’ Charlie uttered, turning to Matthew, his hands nursing his stomach.

‘On your knees, Charlie,’ Daniel repeated. ‘Now!’

Matthew dearly wished he could turn a blind eye as Roberts blinked at him beseechingly, and scared witless, satisfyingly. Unfortunately, as much as he would relish seeing the abusive piece of scum get a taste of his own, he couldn’t.

‘You need to drop the gun, Daniel,’ he said, moving cautiously towards the boat. ‘Leave him to me and get your wife and child—’

‘Don’t,’ Daniel warned, his eyes and the gun still fixed on Roberts. ‘Back off.’

Matthew hesitated, uncertain. God knows, the man had every reason to … But was Conner actually going to shoot Roberts?

‘I can’t do that, Daniel.’ Matthew stepped closer. ‘You know I can’t.’

‘Stay!’ Daniel shouted, swinging the gun around, then fast back to Charlie. ‘And you,’ he grated, ‘down on your knees, while you still can.’ He aimed the gun lower, which had Charlie dropping to his knees, fast.

‘Get them out of here,’ Matthew shouted, indicating Jo and Kayla over his shoulder. Roberts had pushed Conner right over the edge. He bloody well was going to shoot him. Christ, hadn’t this family already been through enough?

‘Daniel …’ Warning himself to tread carefully, empathising with the man more than he could possibly know, Matthew tried again. ‘You can’t take the law into your own hands.’ He stopped and waited, wondering whether Daniel, who was now swaying on his feet, could even hear him. ‘You have to do this the legal way. Please, give me the gun, Daniel.’

‘Can’t.’ Daniel closed one eye.

Matthew took a breath and stepped closer. ‘Why can’t you, Daniel?’ he asked quietly.

‘Three, two, one,’ Daniel replied, nonsensically.

‘Right.’ Matthew was scared for him now. If he used that gun with police marksmen aiming right at him … ‘Which means what, exactly, Daniel?’

Daniel shrugged. ‘Bang.’ He concentrated his aim.

‘Fuck,’ said Charlie, turning a pale shade of white. ‘Don’t, Danny,’ he pleaded.

Daniel cocked the gun.

‘Look, I didn’t touch your daughter—’

‘Shut the fuck up!’ Daniel yelled.

‘I didn’t. I swear I didn’t.’ Perspiration broke out on Charlie’s forehead. ‘Danny, please. I’m sorry. Okay? I—’

‘The name’s Daniel, not Danny. Not fucking Danny boy. Daniel! Got it?’

‘Yeah,’ Charlie nodded quickly. ‘Daniel. Whatever. Just put the gun down.’

Daniel continued to stare at him.

‘Shit. This is nuts.’ Charlie looked desperately to Matthew. ‘Do something! Don’t let them go!’ He nodded past him, to where the man’s wife and daughter weren’t being persuaded to leave. ‘He won’t do anything in front of them.’

That’s probably the first, and might well be the last, time you’ve said anything sensible in your entire life, you piece of shit. Matthew looked him over derisively. Conner cared about his family. They’d endured too much to go through any more. He must know it.

Matthew drew in a breath and then took a gamble. ‘Okay, Daniel. Fine. Do it,’ he said.

Charlie gawked.

‘Go ahead. Blow his brains all over the boat if it will make you feel better.’ Matthew paused for an instant. ‘And leave your wife wondering why you did it in front of your daughter. Whether to visit you in prison, when you didn’t care enough about her, or Kayla, not to.’

Daniel tightened his grip on the gun.

His hands were shaking, Matthew noticed. Shaking badly.

‘I have kids of my own, Daniel,’ he said softly, taking another careful step towards him.

Daniel’s shoulders stiffened.

‘I know you lost your little girl, Daniel.’ Seeing Daniel reel on his feet, Matthew pushed on and prayed. He needed to get through to him. Had to.

‘You think I can’t know how you feel, but … I lost my little girl too, Daniel,’ he confided, though it almost choked him to say it. ‘I do know at least some of how you feel.’

Still Daniel didn’t move, but Matthew saw a swallow slide down his throat.

‘That bastard has piled pain on top of pain, hasn’t he?’ Matthew kept going, touching raw nerves, he was well aware of that, but what other choice did he have? ‘Persecuted Kayla and Joanne? Taunted them. Touched them, Daniel?’

Daniel’s jaw tightened.

‘Dared you to do anything about it, so he could revel in his pathetic power and beat you senseless? I know him,’ Matthew said forcefully. ‘He’ll get what’s coming to him. But you have to stop this. Now, Daniel. For the sake of your wife and daughter. Show them you care enough not to put them through this.’

‘Jesus!’ Daniel leaned to wipe his perspiring face against his shoulder. ‘Of course I care!’ he raged frustrated, and obviously confused. ‘But he’ll get out, won’t he?’

A sharp cough rattled his chest.

‘Jo and my kids are my life. Jo and Kayla … Were my … I …’ Trailing off, Daniel closed his eyes.

And lowered the gun.

‘Hah.’ Charlie levered himself to his feet. ‘No bottle. Knew it. I’ll catch up with you when I’m out, Danny boy.’ He smirked, as Matthew climbed on board. ‘Keep that pretty wife of yours warm for me, won’t you?’

Daniel brought the gun back up sharp. ‘Say your fucking prayers, freak,’ he hissed.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2gp2D02

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2vrF91d

Choc Lit – http://bit.ly/2wS2zwW

STOP PRESS! Want to review this book for the review tour 11th – 22nd Sept? Email brookbooks@hotmail.co.uk

WATCH THE VIDEO TRAILER!

ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE

deadly intent

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Amazon US | Pinterest

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ONE DARK LIE by Clare Chase #Mystery #Giveaway

One Dark Lie

One Dark Lie

by

Clare Chase

 

one dark lie

Genre: Mystery

Release Date: 12 December 2016

Series: London & Cambridge Mysteries #3)

Publisher: Choc Lit Ltd (Death by Choc Lit imprint)

The truth can hurt, and sometimes it leads to murder …

After becoming embroiled in a murder investigation, Nate Bastable and Ruby Fawcett have decided to opt for the quiet life. But crime has a habit of following them around.

When her work dries up, Ruby finds herself accepting a job researching and writing about Diana Patrick-John, a colourful and enigmatic Cambridge academic. Simple enough. But then there’s the small fact that Diana was found dead in suspicious circumstances in her home – the very place where Ruby has now been invited to stay.

As she begins to uncover Diana’s secret life, Ruby’s sleuthing instinct kicks in, leaving her open to danger and retribution. But can she rely on Nate to support her? Especially when his behaviour has become increasingly distant and strange, almost as though he had something to hide …

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ABOUT CLARE CHASE

one dark lie

Clare Chase writes mysteries set in London and Cambridge featuring crime-solving couples. She fell in love with the capital as a student, living in the rather cushy surroundings of Hampstead in what was then a campus college of London University. (It’s currently being turned into posh flats …)

After graduating in English Literature, she moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies presents a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.

She lives with her husband and teenage children, and currently works at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

One Dark Lie is her third novel with Choc Lit. Previous titles are You Think You Know Me and A Stranger’s House.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClareChaseAuthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ClareChase_

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10204574.Clare_Chase?from_search=true

Blog: https://clarechase.com/blog/

Website: www.clarechase.com

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A fantastic prize going to one winner!!!

  1. paperback copy of A Stranger’s House (the first Ruby Fawcett and Nate Bastable Cambridge mystery),
  2. a sweet treat from Hotel Chocolat and
  3. a Cambridge key ring.

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SINS OF THE FATHER by Sheryl Browne #Thriller #Giveaway

Sins of the father

Sins of the Father

by

Sheryl Browne

 

Sins of the Father

Genre: Thriller

Series: DI Matthew Adams #2

Release Date: 28th Feb 2017

Publisher: Choc Lit (Death by Choc Lit)

A roller-coaster of a read which you won’t want to put down! Former Police DCI Stuart Gibbon

What if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?
Detective Inspector Matthew Adams is slowly picking up the pieces from a case that nearly cost him the lives of his entire family and his own sanity too. On the surface, he seems to be moving on, but he drinks to forget and when he closes his eyes, the nightmares still come.
But the past is the past or is it? Because the evil Patrick Sullivan might be out of the picture, but there’s somebody who is just as intent on making Matthew’s life hell, and they’re doing it in the cruellest way possible.
When Matthew finds himself accused of a horrific and violent crime, will his family stand by him? And will he even be around to help when his new enemy goes after them as well?

EXCERPT

Matthew woke abruptly, hurtled from sleep by a nightmare he thought would never end. Sweat saturating his face, pooling in the hollow of his neck, he pulled himself upright and squinted against the thin trickle of sunlight filtering through the slatted blinds at the window. His first thought was that he had a hangover the size of an airdrome. His second, that they had no blinds at their bedroom window.

Easing his legs over the edge of the bed, a wheeze rattling his chest and nausea gripping his stomach as the room revolved in sick-making revolutions around him, his gaze went instinctively to the bedside table. His inhaler was there, the blue curative he carried with him, lined up neatly alongside his phone. Disorientated, Matthew blinked hard. His vision was blurred. His memory? Where the bloody hell was he?

A hotel room. Functional, he registered. Scanning his surroundings, he noted the fire instructions pinned to the door, the ancient fire extinguisher on the wall, the dusty circa nineteen eighties carpet. A shithole. Matthew closed his eyes and swallowed against the acrid taste in the back of his throat, then almost had a heart attack as his phone rang, loud and shrill, screeching through his brain like an express train. Scrambling around his mind for some recollection of what had happened the night before, he came up with nothing that was tangible, his tenuous thoughts seeming to slip away, like sea filtering ineffectually through sand. He had a few grainy, grey memories: Jasmine, the apartment, tastefully decorated. The painting, abstract colours intermingling. Coffee. Dripping. Shoes, clacking, like the ominous slow tick of a clock. One shoe. A stiletto. Connor …? Had he been there? Here? Matthew squeezed his eyes shut, tried desperately to remember. Natalie? Christ, no.

His phone rang again, sharp, insistent. Becky, it had to be, and Matthew had no clue what to say to her. Attempting to control his escalating panic, to regulate his breathing, he let it ring and reached for his inhaler instead … and then stopped dead.

Seeing the crimson stains on his hand, Matthew’s heart somersaulted in his chest.

Dried blood, he registered, trying hard not to let the panic, now gripping his gut like a vice, cancel out logical thought. Old blood. His? How old?

Bringing both palms shakily to his face, he examined them. They were ingrained with the stuff. He flipped them over. His knuckles were bruised. Right hand. Sweet Jesus, what had he done? Disentangling himself from the duvet, Matthew scrambled to his feet, then quelling the nausea now clawing its way up his windpipe, he checked himself over. Deep wheals ran vertically down his chest. Four. Matthew swallowed hard. Checked his limbs. Found scratches on his arms. His neck, too. He could feel those, raw and sore.

His pulse rate ratcheting up, he yanked the duvet back. More blood. Too much. Stark against the grey-white of the sheets. Trying desperately to keep a lid on his emotions, he turned, stumbling towards the bathroom, where he leaned over the toilet and vomited the sparse contents of his stomach.

Standing unsteadily, Matthew clutched the sink hard for support. Deep gouges on his cheek, he noted through the mirror, then flinched as a flashback hit him head on: Jasmine, smiling, her eyes, flat and emotionless. Her fingernails trailing down his face, his torso. Her touch had been light. She’d inflicted no damage. So how? Who? Natalie? A fresh image assaulted him, Natalie lying next to him. On top of him. Had he? No! His gaze straying to the wall behind him, Matthew’s legs almost gave way. There were blood spatters on the tiles. Perspiring profusely, he dragged an arm over his forehead. Irregular, splattered all over the walls. Christ, this couldn’t be happening.

A terrifying scenario unfurling in his head, Matthew willed himself to turn to the bath. His hand visibly shaking, cold trepidation snaking the length of his spine, he steeled himself to reach for the mould-stained shower curtain, hesitated, and drew it back.

A tap dripped, slowly, steadily. Each drip echoing distortedly around the room, sounding like a nail being driven into his coffin. He registered the watery trickle of blood washing over the carcass of a spider wedged in the plughole.

No body.

Wilting with relief, Matthew turned away. Taking several slow breaths, he grabbed a towel from the rail, whilst simultaneously reaching for the sink tap, and then stopped, his head screaming, his instincts colliding. If he cleaned himself up, he’d be destroying evidence. If he ran … Matthew stared hard at himself in the mirror. More images assailed him, disjointed memories. Surreal, foggy recollections. He’d been here with two women. Jasmine and Natalie. Matthew knew that much. Thought he did. And every indication was that one of those women had been badly injured, or worse, possibly by him. If he was going to call this in, and terrified though he was, his conscience told him he had to, he couldn’t wash. He needed to. The smell in the room was cloying. A woman’s scent. It was all over him.

He had to call Becky. Trying to keep calm, to not give into his urge to run from the room and keep running, Matthew headed back to the bedroom, where his phone had been ringing constantly. Whatever had happened, she needed to hear it from him first. He needed to tell her … Tell her what? Something’s happened, but I don’t know what? I think I’ve been set-up but I have no idea why? I might have had sex with someone but it wasn’t intentional?

Consensual.

No! Disbelieving, Matthew gulped back an immediate deep sense of shame.

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ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE

sins of the father

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

sins of the father

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AFTER SHE’S GONE by Sheryl Browne #thriller #giveaway

after she's gone

After She’s Gone

by

Sheryl Browne

 

after she's gone

Genre: Thriller

Release Date: 21st Feb 2017

Publisher: Choc Lit (Death by Choc Lit)

He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?

There’s evil and then there’s Patrick Sullivan. A drug dealer, pimp and murderer, there are no depths to which Patrick would not sink, and Detective Inspector Matthew Adams has found this out in the most devastating way imaginable.

When Patrick’s brother is shot dead in a drug bust gone wrong, the bitter battle between the two men intensifies, and Matthew finds it increasingly difficult to hold the moral high ground. All he wants is to make the pimping scum suffer the way he did … the way Lily did.

But being at war with such a depraved individual means that it’s not just Matthew who’s in danger. Patrick has taken a lot from Matthew, but he hasn’t taken everything – and now he wants everything.

EXCERPT

Prologue

‘Oi, you can’t park there!’ a police officer yelled as Matthew mounted the kerb, careering his car haphazardly to a stop on the pavement.

His gut twisting violently inside him, his head reeling, Matthew ignored him, ramming his door open instead to scramble from the car and set off at a run.

‘What the …?’

Vaguely aware of the man giving chase, Matthew kept going, attempting to push past another officer closing in in front of him, only to be caught from behind.

‘Whoa. Come on, mate, you need to get back.’ Taking hold of his arm, the officer behind attempted to steer him away. ‘There’s been an accident up ahead. We need to clear—’

‘Shit, it’s Adams.’ The officer in front intervened.

‘Who?’ The man still hanging on to his arm asked.

‘Detective Inspector Adams,’ the officer in front supplied warily. ‘Let him through.’

Stumbling forwards as the guy behind relaxed his grip, his legs like dead weights beneath him, Matthew forced himself on, bypassing other officers, who now stood respectfully aside.

His wife was with her. Matthew swallowed back a hard knot in his throat. She was crouched over her, holding her impossibly small hand in her own. She didn’t look up. Rebecca kept her gaze focussed on their daughter. His daughter. Matthew felt something break inside him as he took in his baby’s injuries, her broken body, the slow trickle of lifeblood pooling beneath her, staining the drab, grey road crimson.

Please don’t. Matthew prayed hopelessly as he moved closer. Please don’t do this. The world seeming to slow to a stop around him, the use of his legs finally deserting him, Matthew dropped to his knees at the side of the child he’d loved with every fibre of his being ever since he’d first glimpsed her tiny form on the monitor.

‘Hey, Tigerlily,’ he said, his voice cracking as Lily’s eyes fluttered open. Wide blue eyes, once crystal clear with the innocence of childhood, they were filled with confusion and pain as she looked pleadingly up at him, silently begging him, her daddy, to fix it. His heart turned over as her lips parted. She wanted to speak. She couldn’t. Please don’t try to speak, baby. Tears he couldn’t hope to hide streaming down his face, Matthew leaned towards her, brushing her blood-matted, beautiful blonde hair gently away from her face. ‘Daddy’s here, darling,’ he choked. ‘It’s going to be just fine.’

Lies. Lies. He screamed inside. It was going to be fine. It could never be. He couldn’t fix it. How could he let his little girl go knowing he couldn’t? Cradling his baby gently in his arms, Matthew’s heart splintered inside him as he watched her life ebb away.

****

They were taking her away in an ambulance. What use was an ambulance? Panic engulfing him, Matthew took a faltering step towards it, and stopped. He couldn’t. Couldn’t ride with her, watch as the warmth drained from her body, her baby-soft skin turning blue and cold. Life fucking extinct.

‘Matthew!’ Rebecca called to him as, his chest heaving, Matthew turned away. Terrified of what he might see in her eyes, he couldn’t turn back. This was his fault. He should have been there. He’d promised to drive them to the cinema. He’d known Patrick Sullivan might make good his threat. He should have been there! A potent mixture of grief and rage broiling inside him, Matthew recalled his last encounter with the sadistic piece of scum with sickening clarity. Sullivan’s expression hadn’t altered when he’d informed him his brother had been an unfortunate casualty in a drug bust gone wrong. Matthew had been surprised. Sullivan’s hatred of him went way back since they were kids in school. Guessing he would hold him personally responsible, Matthew had been bracing himself for Sullivan to reach across the table and attack him right there in the prison interview room. Instead, Sullivan had reached casually for a cigarette. Lighting up, he’d glanced down and scratched his forehead slowly with his thumb.

‘How’s that pretty young wife of yours, DI Adams? Pregnant again, isn’t she?’ he’d enquired eventually, blowing smoke circles into the air as he’d looked back at him. ‘Give her my regards, won’t you?’

Sullivan had then leaned forwards, a twisted smirk on his face, his eyes as black as molasses and swimming with pure evil. ‘I would do it myself, but I’m a bit busy … banged up … in here.’

It had been a threat. Innocent to all ears but Matthew’s, it had been a direct threat. And now, still sitting pretty in prison with a cast iron alibi, Sullivan was no doubt congratulating himself on a job well done, imagining that he’d also succeeded in warning Matthew off pursuing him once he got out. Wrong, you bastard.

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ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE

after she's gone

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

after she's gone

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A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate by Linn B Halton

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A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate

by

Linn B Halton

 

A Little Luck, a lot of fate 300 dpi

Genre: Romance/contemporary women’s

Release Date: 23 October 2016

Publisher: Choc Lit UK

When destiny calls, you need to pick up …

On the surface, Kristi Danielson has it all. She’s lifestyle coach to the rich and famous, has a bestselling book to her name and is described by her fans as “the veritable Queen of how to lead a fulfilling life”.

But the harsh truth is that Kristi has never practiced what she preaches. Her home life is a mess, her relationship with artist boyfriend, Tom, not much better – and now she has to redeem herself before all is lost.
At her wit’s end, Kristi is driven to seek out the help of Patrick Blakeslee, a tarot card reader and psychic medium, in an attempt to make sense of the mounting panic she’s feeling.

But Patrick’s visits have an unexpected effect on Kristi, leaving her with more questions than answers – and a life-changing decision to make.

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A little luck, a lot of fate

EXCERPT

I’m the middle child, sandwiched between my eldest brother, Luke, and the baby of the family, Drew. My mother had three brothers and so, as the only two daughters in two generations, we were always in the minority. That rather tends to shape the way you look at things and there are only two ways it can go. Either you are the one whose voice is seldom heard above the sea of testosterone around you, or you make yours the loudest voice of them all. You become the organiser; the one who leads – in short, my brothers accepted that I was in charge. Maybe it was because I had inherited the bossy gene, if such a thing exists. But, from a tender age, what I lacked in practical knowledge, I made up for with sheer common sense and the dubious ability to be believable.

I say dubious, because I learnt that I had the power to organise and control what went on around me. I was a natural. What surprised me was the fact that people around me loved being told what to do. They sought my advice, opening up to me and looking for guidance at every step of the way. As a teenager I felt I had a heady power and it gave me a sense of confidence. At the time I didn’t understand that it was something to be treated with respect and a healthy dose of reality. People simply lapped-up what I told them and that, I suppose, was the blessing that has become a curse. When people are unsure about what to do next they look around for someone strong to advise them. In their desperation they are grateful and comforted and the person delivering the advice? Well, it’s addictive and each little success elevates you in their eyes, as well as in your own.

The truth is that I am supremely confident when it comes to organising other people’s lives. I’m extremely proud of the fact that I can inspire others and encourage them to develop their full potential. When it comes to my own life, it’s held together with the emotional equivalent of string and Blu-tack. Simply put, I’m a fraud.

Money and fame go hand-in-hand and there isn’t a chat show worth mentioning that hasn’t featured me at some point in the last few years. My name constantly crops up around the world and even in countries like the US, Japan, and Sweden, it’s instantly recognisable. Grab Life and Run With It is in its fourth season in the UK and I’ve just signed a contract for a further six episodes. My fan club is full of hopeful people, eager to share each of their milestones on Twitter, as they follow my celebrated Twelve Steps to Finding YOU plan.

To the world it appears I have all of the trappings of success. The harsh reality is that I spend my time trying to cover the tracks of a life that has no balance. All I have is my work – there is nothing else.

ABOUT LINN B HALTON

Linn B Halton

Bristol-born Linn B Halton lives on the edge of the small market town of Cinderford, 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 also became a best-seller in November 2016. 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 Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LinnBHalton

Goodreads Author Page: http://ow.ly/pv6N306918g

Website: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/linnbhalton/

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A LITTLE SUGAR, A LOT OF LOVE by Linn B Halton #excerpt #giveaway

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A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love

by

Linn B Halton

 
#giveaway

Genre: Chick Lit

Release Date: Kindle: 15 January 2016 / Paperback 14 October 2016

Publisher:  Choc Lit

Celebrating the Paperback release of Linn B Halton’s wonderful book

A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love

Life isn’t all love and cupcakes …

Katie has had her fair share of bad luck, but when she finally realises her dream of opening a bakery it seems things can only get better.

But the reality of running a business hits Katie hard and whilst her partner, Steve, tries to help she begins to sense that the situation is driving them further apart. Could Katie be set to lose her relationship and her dream job?

Then, one winter’s day, a man walks into her shop – and, in the space of that moment, the course of Katie’s life is changed.

But nobody finds happiness in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it takes two Christmases, three birthdays and a whole lot of cake to get there …

Previously released as Sweet Occasions by the author. Revised and edited by Choc Lit December 2015.

EXTRACT

Grandma Grace peers at me with interest over the top of her glasses, taking the box from my hands and placing it on the side. She wraps her arms around as much of me as she can reach, being at least a foot shorter, and gives me a fierce hug.

‘Thank you, my dear, but the only present I wanted was to see you standing here in one piece. It’s such a long journey and the weather! That rain is relentless, so many places are flooded. To think of you at the side of the road worried me to death and I will admit to saying a few little prayers as one hour turned into two, then three …’

She raises her eyebrow sternly, but it’s a brief moment before those twinkly blue eyes are full of love and laughter again.

‘My boy is here and that’s all that counts.’

‘Grandma, I haven’t been a boy for many years,’ I retort, softly, as she releases me with a tender pat on my back. She might be in her twilight years but her spirit is strong and her mind as sharp as ever. We all thought she’d fade away when Pop died, but the truth is he’s the one who would have faded if she had gone first.

‘You will always be a boy to me. Now, tell me more about this guardian angel of yours.’

While the tea is brewing and the cake is sliced, I hang around the kitchen as I did when I was growing up. Grandma Grace was always easy to talk to; she seemed to understand even when the words wouldn’t come. Her instincts filled in the gaps at times when even I couldn’t make sense of what was going on inside my head. After this failed relationship I began to despair of ever finding someone special.

‘You can’t hurry love,’ she’d told me. ‘It takes time to find your soulmate and in the process you change and grow. That’s why young love often withers, as Pop would have said. Two people either change and grow together, or they grow apart. Love is about sustaining what comes after that first hormonal rush.’

‘But that wasn’t the case for the two of you,’ I remember pointing out.

‘There has to be an exception to every rule,’ she’d replied, with a wicked smile. ‘We were lucky. Fate was kind to us. But with hindsight, we were too young and naive to understand that until much later in life. Don’t fret, Adam, there’s a wonderful young woman out there for you when the time is right.’

Sadly, when I reached that point it too turned out to be yet another huge failure. This time the consequences had been more painful than I could ever have imagined. Kelly was everything I thought I wanted in a woman and, after adjusting to the shock of an unplanned pregnancy, she was a fantastic mother. With hindsight I can see now that parenthood came too early in our relationship, we hardly knew each other. Suddenly I was a family man and yet, surprisingly, the role seemed to come naturally to me. I loved Sunday mornings the best. When a little head would appear on the pillow next to me at some unearthly hour and a warm little hand would wind its way around my neck.

Lily Grace is my sanity, my raison d’être.

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ABOUT LINN B. HALTON

#giveaway

“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, and writing. 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, 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 Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.
Website/blog: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/
Twitter: @LinnBHalton FB: Linn B Halton Author
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/LittleSugarLotOfLove

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THE LOST GIRL by Liz Harris

Liz Harris

The Lost Girl

by

Liz Harris

 

Liz Harris

What if you were trapped between two cultures?

Life is tough in 1870s Wyoming. But it’s tougher still when you’re a girl who looks Chinese but speaks like an American.

Orphaned as a baby and taken in by an American family, Charity Walker knows this only too well.  The mounting tensions between the new Chinese immigrants and the locals in the mining town of Carter see her shunned by both communities.

When Charity’s one friend, Joe, leaves town, she finds herself isolated. However, in his absence, a new friendship with the only other Chinese girl in Carter makes her feel like she finally belongs somewhere.

But, for a lost girl like Charity, finding a place to call home was never going to be that easy …

Genre: Historical Romantic Fiction

Heart of the West: Book 3

Release Date: 8th August 2016

Publisher:   Choc Lit

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 ABOUT LIZ HARRIS

Liz Harris

Liz Harris lives south of Oxford. Her debut novel was THE ROAD BACK (US Coffee Time & Romance Book of 2012), followed by A BARGAIN STRUCK (shortlisted for the RoNA Historical 2013), EVIE UNDERCOVER, THE ART OF DECEPTION and A WESTERN HEART. All of her novels, which are published by Choc Lit, have been shortlisted in their categories in the Festival of Romantic Fiction. In addition, Liz has had several short stories published in anthologies. Her interests are theatre, travelling, reading, cinema and cryptic crosswords.

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