Category Archives: Novel covers

Celtic Connexions welcomes author Sheryl Browne as she re-launches her romantic comedy Recipes for Disaster

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Loveahappyending.com author Sheryl Browne re-launches Recipes for Disaster…

Recipes for Disaster

The shortest way to a man’s heart.

Mix romantic comedy and step-by-step cooking instructions. Bake at 200 degrees for an entertaining read and handy guide.

She’s a single. He’s a widower. She wants him. He wants her. She wants to impress. So does he. There’s just one catch – she can’t cook. To get him, she needs to get past the big fish – his mother. Lucky her, she’s got an Ace up her sleeve and all she’s got to do is impress this one time. Bad luck, though, her new guy can’t cook either, her dog Rambo is on the loose and now they’ve got to pull off the big lunch at the club. Will it be a match made in heaven? Will they be able to pull off a culinary miracle? Will their combined efforts result in love at first bite? Or is it simply a Recipe for Disaster?

Publication Date: 1 February 2012
Format: Paperback. Also available on Kindle
ISBN: 9781908208057

Available from: Amazon, any local bookstore, or direct from Safkhet Publishing Price: Paperback: £6.99, €7.99, or $9.99 respectively

Author website: http://www.sherylbrowne.com/
Twitter A/c @sherylbrowne: https://twitter.com/#!/SherylBrowne

Author Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/AvJ2qg
RNA page: http://bit.ly/xgSxQo

Amazon.co.uk Buy: http://amzn.to/yhC15N
Safkhet Publishing Buy: http://www.safkhetpublishing.com/

Taster of Recipes for Disaster:

“One cup red or green seedless grapes, three cups shredded chicken…”

“OK, got it.” Phone wedged between shoulder and ear-hole, I scribbled down the ingredients Becky was giving me — while frantically spraying Febreze to disguise the stench of dead fish.

“…cooked,” Becky added.

“What?” I knitted my much furrowed brow.

“three cups shredded… cooked… chicken.” She spelled it out, slowly, as if talking to an incompetent. I might have taken umbrage, but for the fact that my domestic Goddess gene wasn’t so much deficient, as it died, probably at birth. A slave in the kitchen I was not. Slut in the bedroom I could do. Or would quite like to. Somehow, though, I doubted the new man in my life would want to make mad passionate love to the girl who’d just killed off his mother.

“Honestly, Lisa…” Becky sighed. “It has to be cooked before you shred it. You can’t shred raw chicken, can you?”

She was taking the pee now. “Obviously,” I dripped, indignant, though there was a good possibility I might have tried.

“And make sure it’s a happy chicken.”

“Ri-ght.” I paused to ponder. “Cooked and shredded, I should think it’ll be highly amused.”

“Oh, ha-di-ha.” Becky didn’t sound impressed. “I meant, an organic chicken, plucked and without giblets. Wash it under cold water, then place the whole chicken in a big pot, cover it with water, and bring it to boil over a high heat.”

“By which time it will be positively ecstatic.”

Silence.

“Ahem. High heat, got you. Go on.”

“Make sure it doesn’t boil over,” Becky continued, after an audible humph. “Once it’s boiling, you can turn down the heat. Let the bird cook for at least one hour and then check if it comes off the bone easily. If not, turn off the heat and leave it in the pot until it does. Depending on the size of the bird, this might take a bit longer.”

“Becky, slow down!” I scrawled frenziedly and tried to keep up.

“Right, got it. I think. Next?”

Becky emitted another despairing sigh. “Order a takeaway.”

“Sorry?”

“Never mind.” She sighed — again, pointedly. “Repeat back what I’ve just said.”

“Hold on.” I turned to kick the back door closed before I got frostbite, then grabbed up the saucepan containing the culinary catastrophe I might have poisoned new man Adam and his mum with — and tipped it in the dog dish.

Then padded back across the kitchen and fell over the dog.

“Ooh, God! Three cups shredded cooked… absolutely delighted …chicken!”

I snapped, straightening up from the work surface, which mercifully broke my fall before I parted company with my teeth. “Good boy, Rambo,” I cooed, more sweetly. “Din dins, hon.”

My midget Jack Russell looked at me, looked at the dish — wherein floated a monkfish head, sniffed it, curled a lip, I would swear, then beat a hasty retreat to the hall.

“What else?” I asked after the next ingredient, while heaving out a sigh of my own, then trying hard not to breathe back in. The Bouillabaisse — traditional Provençal fish stew (Easy Fish recipe book now in trash) — I’d decided to serve for the brunch Adam had invited himself and his mother to, smelled horribly pungent while cooking. Burned, it could strip the lining from your lungs. I shudder to think what it would do to your digestive tract.

“Patience, lots of… on my part,” Becky went on wearily, “one cup thinly sliced celery, half a cup thinly sliced green onions, half a cup chopped, salted roasted pistachios…”

“Pistachios?! Where am I supposed to get…”

“Kitchen cupboard, right hand side. At least, that’s where they were at Christmas.”

“Oh, right.” I nodded and wondered whether I should also do an inventory of my kitchen cupboards… sometime.

“Next…” Becky went on efficiently: “…a quarter cup of fresh chopped mint leaves. And, yes, you have got some,” she assured me. “You bought it when you got the parsley and thyme for the Bouillabaisse. You’ll also need … two cups cooked couscous. If you like, you can use Bulgur or rice instead.”

“Is that it?” I asked, feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead as well as odious smells.

“For the salad, yes. For the Curry Chutney Dressing, you’ll need…”

Tescos, I thought wanly.

Book Review – Cells by loveahappyending author Harriet Grace

CELLS – One woman, two men, a last chance for happiness

The biological clock is ticking for Martha, an archetypal forty-something career woman. She longs to have a baby, but can’t get pregnant. With several failed courses of IVF behind her, she and her husband, Grant, have decided to stop trying to have a child and are attempting to put parenthood out of their minds. This very topical dilemma explored by Harriet Grace in her first novel ‘Cells’ is one faced by thousands of couples who can’t conceive naturally. When these couples have been given the extra hope of IVF and that fails how do they cope? Martha isn’t completely sure she wants a baby, but can’t bear the failure. Grant is haunted by memories which make him long for a baby one moment, and want to walk away from his marriage the next. When the computers crash on the Features Floor of a national newspaper, Martha has a migraine and is losing control of her job. She looks up and sees Jon, one of the messengers, and for a few seconds he seems like a saviour. Relationships collide in this tale of love, sex and betrayal, causing all three to question their consciences.

Format: Paperback and Kindle
ISBN: 9781906236618
Language: English
Publisher: SilverWood Books (2nd edition July 2011)

Available on Amazon – paperback, kindle; through bookshops; and direct from publisher, SilverWood Books

Amazon.co.uk (BUY) UK: http://amzn.to/y0s6X8
Amazon.com (BUY) US: http://amzn.to/zTZ0XD
Publisher – SilverWood Books: http://www.silverwoodbooks.com/detail.asp?item=70

Author Website: http://www.harrietgrace.co.uk/Harriet_Grace/Home.html 
Twitter A/c @Harrietgrace65:  https://twitter.com/#!/Harrietgrace65
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752268153

 

I started Cells late yesterday afternoon and finished it today. It’s one of those books you hate to put down. Harriet’s writing drew me in and kept me hooked. Her characters are true to life – all have their strengths, weaknesses and inner demons to deal with. Some are able to that more successfully than others.

I’m looking forward to more from this author.

My Road to Publication

It’s been long and filled with many setbacks along the way. But if it had been a smooth ride from the beginning, it wouldn’t have been as rewarding.

In his book, On Writing, Stephen King told of having to replace the nail he hung his rejection letters on with a spike. Well I, too, feel that way, although I prefer to think of it as having enough of them to wallpaper a room.

I joined a writers group but this first one wasn’t what giving me what I needed so left them when my membership expired. About the same time a small group was forming in my hometown so I joined them. This was much better for me. During this time, I heard about the Ottawa Romance Writers Association and went to two of their meetings/workshops as a guest and attended their 2008 conference. That was an educational experience! So I joined Romance Writers of America and this chapter and have seen my writing improve tenfold if not more.

Along the way, I discovered Brian Henry, aka Quick Brown Fox and began attending his workshops… Mississauga, Kingston, Brampton, Sudbury… I’ve learned so much from Brian that I can’t begin to put it all in one small blog post.

My novel's cover created by Aidana WillowRaven
Then last fall, I heard about an online Writers Conference and signed up to pitch to an editor. Well the rest is history. My road to publication is nearing the end. I have a contract, a talented cover artist, fantastic editor, and a great company to be associated with – 4RV Publishing LLC.

Re-Launch of Discovery at Rosehill by loveahappyending.com author Kathryn Brown

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Discovery at Rosehill by Kathryn Brown

A paranormal romance set in the Scottish Borders.

Medium Camilla Armstrong is led to Rosehill Farm by her deceased grandmother. There she discovers her true identity, falls in love with the village priest and learns more about her home she ever deemed possible. Spirit communication and ghostly apparitions connect Camilla to her past, but when an old boy friend returns to the area, her relationship with the priest becomes strained. Camilla helps the Reverend Marcus Calloway to come to terms with events which happened in his own past and enables him to move on with his new life as he reveals his dark secrets. Mystery, suspense and a murder bring a controversial twist to life as the main characters realise what it is they truly want in their lives.

Published by: Lulu.com
Language: English
ISBN: 9781447501053
Available in paperback at (buy): Amazon.co.uk Amazon.com Lulu.com
Or signed copies can be purchased direct from me via my website
Also available on Kindle: Amazon.co.uk Amazon.com

Blog: http://www.crystaljigsaw.blogspot.com
Paranormal Blog: http://www.marvellousmable.blogspot.com
Twitter A/c @CrystalJigsaw: http://www.twitter.com/CrystalJigsaw
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CrystalJigsaw

Reviews:

It is difficult to believe this is written by a first time author. The story held me gripped to the point where dinner was ruined one evening as I had to finish the chapter. Problem was, the chapter ended up being several. The characters are very believable and the mystery running throughout the book held me right to the end when all was revealed. I am one for usually working things out, but not this time.
I won’t say things that give the game away as I hate it when others spoil the story for me, but the triangle of Camilla, Marcus and Ross had me fooled. The will she won’t she, will they, won’t they was another one I couldn’t guess the outcome to. I know what I wanted it to be, but it certainly isn’t as clear cut as you think.
I can thoroughly recommend this for anyone interested in the spirit world, ghosts, romance and mystery. The wonderful thing for a book in this genre? Not a vampire in sight – Deo Gratius!
If this is the offering Kathryn Brown can manage to come up with for a first novel, however good will the next one be – one thing’s for sure, I’ll be first in the queue to buy it. Lorraine Holloway-White (author and medium)

Author Kathryn Brown takes us on a journey to the Scottish borders in her debut novel “Discovery at Rosehill” Rosehill Farm is a once beautiful mansion set on 5,000 acres of land.

The central character medium Camilla Armstrong is led to the mansion and its surrounding farmland by the spirit of her grandmother.
Camilla feels an immediate empathy with “Rosehill” a sense of having finally come home. She sets about restoring the old mansion to its former gracious glory.  The characterization of Camilla is deftly handled by the Author, you can’t help but like the warm and charming woman.
Her sensitivity to the spirits inhabiting the empty rooms of Rosehill soon captures your imagination, as the author gently leads you into the realm of the paranormal.
No clanking chains and ghoulish monsters in this well written novel, in fact I needed to remind myself that I was reading a fictional account, such is the comfort the author obviously has with this subject.  Camilla does readings on request and her first client has many hidden secrets that will only gradually reveal themselves via the encounters with tormented spirit’s seeking justice, release and revenge.
How is Camilla’s own past connected to this place? What tormented secrets will be revealed.
The tragedy of the spirits past plays out beautifully in chapters of encounters that ring true, you the reader are there with Camilla as she seeks the truth, and overcomes the fear of one particularly nasty spirit wanting to use her gifts to seek revenge.
Romance enters the story in the form of the very charming local vicar. His belief system and that of Camilla clearly are at odds, yet they are drawn inexorably to one another.
This author has a subtle gift for understatement that allows the reader to utilize their own imaginations, teasing us with scenes of romance and lust in equal proportion.  The sudden and unexpected illness of Camilla’s dearest friend brings Ross a former lover back into Camilla’s life. The tension between them is palpable and the friendship looks set to destroy Camilla’s new love relationship with Marcus {The vicar}, I will not spoil the outcome for you. Suffice it to say that the mystery deepens with every spirit encountered.  What are they trying to say? How will it affect Camilla’s life? You need to read the book to find out.  I rate books on readability, characterizations, plot line, narrative, dialogue and editing. This one comes up 5/5 on all counts. Susannah Burke, aka Stacy Danson (author of Empty Chairs)

Further reviews can be found on my blog under the heading “Discovery at Rosehill Information” and also on Amazon.

 

Re-launch of Embattled by lovehappyending author Darlene Jones

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Embattled by Darlene Jones

Em sits at her desk, her hands soaked in blood. No wounds, no pain, and no idea where the blood came from. The reds and greens swirling across her computer screen scream jungle battle. She’s certain she was there. Fighting through the jungle to stop a battle, storming into a courtroom to save the accused, facing a firing squad of armed ruffians…

Are her “three wishes” coming true?

And, Yves? He is there to arm her with special powers, to send her into battle, to watch over her. His first assignment as a supreme power is to clean up the mess on Earth without going down there himself. Meeting his superior’s expectations is a huge challenge. Falling in love with Em threatens to ruin everything.

Paperback: 370 pages
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1466468054
Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Embattled-Darlene-Jones/dp/146646805X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1324498764&sr=1-1
Smashwords for all other eReader formats: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/102614

Author’s Website: http://www.emandyves.com
Author’s Blog: http://emandyves.wordpress.com
Twitter Account @darlenejones47: http://twitter.com/#!/darlenejones47
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/djones47

Reviews:-

“Fantastic book. Depicting the lives of the earthly characters as they are affected by the “beings” took a lot of writing skill. For Em, rationalizing what is happening to her constitutes another writing challenge. It is very well done.”

“Beings from another world have Em living her dreams and wishes as she performs what the onlookers call miracles wherever she goes. The interwoven love stories are anything but sappy. This book is worth the time invested to read it.”

“I’ve read Embattled and was impressed by how the author handled the protagonist’s two worlds. Em knows she’s being influenced by “beings” but what they’re having her do is not against her core set of morals. On the contrary, she thrives on the challenge – and yet, she wonders how to rationalize her experiences in her real life. Darlene Jones does a superb job of making it all seem real and believable.”

 

Excerpt:-

She struggled through the thick vegetation, swinging the machete awkwardly, working her way towards her destination. Vines wrapped themselves around her legs. She yanked at the long skirt of her dress to free herself. She swung the machete again, and pushed through the narrow opening she’d created, ignoring the thorns that scratched her bare arms and shoulders. “Suitably dressed, I am, I am.” A spider web enveloped her. The machete cut through it easily enough, but remnants clung to her skin.

The sounds of battle assaulted her senses. Her heart pounded and caught in her throat with each pop of gunfire and thudded with each howl of pain. “Oh Lord, what am I heading into?”

She plunged on and burst into the clearing with a final swing of the machete that nearly toppled her. She pulled the heavy knife back, nicking her shin, but pushed ahead yelling, “Favór ida, stop! Stop!” She waved the unwieldy machete and forced her way between the combatants. Cries of rage rose from them. She watched the arching swing of machetes above her head, cringed, and waited for the killing blows. “Stop, Stop.” She yelled. The men dropped their weapons, fell back, and let her through.

*

Too damn antsy to go back to work, she paced her living room, poured a stiff drink, downed it, and paced again. She kept looking at her hands, expecting to see them covered in blood. Her shin burned from the scrape she had first noticed in the shower.

The television droned in the background. “The sharp report of gunfire, screams of the maimed and dying, wails of grief; replaced by birdsong. Traces of blood and body parts gone, erased by the scavengers. The jungle has reclaimed its ascendancy over man. More importantly, this extraordinary woman, la madame des miracles, as the natives are calling her, has lived up to that name. She has indeed effected a miracle. Proof is as near as the village just beyond those trees where tribal leaders are now debating peaceful coexistence.”

She sank to the sofa, every nerve taut, every muscle quivering. Could that have been me? No way! She squeezed her eyes shut. The jungle battle replayed on her eyelids. That was her, madly waving the machete. She held her face in her hands, inhaled deeply, smelled blood, and felt the jungle close around her.

“Oh, my God! What’s happening to me?”

 

Another successful Valentine’s Brunch

The brunch today at the Loch March Golf Course in Kanata was a huge success. The venue was absolutely gorgeous. A wood fire crackled in the large stone fireplace. Large windows let in lots of natural light making the room bright and cheery.

The food was excellent. The menu included Summer Mix Salad, Pickle and Olive Tray, Garden Vegetables and Dip, Vegetarian Lasagna, Chicken Breast in White Wine Mushroom Sauce, Seasoned Rice, Rolls and Butter, Assorted Desserts (cheesecake, apple pie and chocolate mousse cake) and Fresh Fruit. Coffee and tea were set up and available throughout the afternoon. And for those feeling so inclined – a cash bar. The food was amazing. I was particularly fond of the chicken although enjoyed everything.

It being a Valentine’s Brunch, I had to come up something to wear. I had decided on my black leggings and had a few red tops in mind but when they weren’t available, I decided on a red leather jacket. That created another problem. I needed shoes. So after a lot of traipsing around and not finding the right shoes, the right colour to match the jacket, or worse still, not finding any in my size, yesterday my husband and I made a trip to Kingston. We were going to Costco on our bulk grocery run so decided to go to The Shoe Company. I found the perfect shoes! Right colour, my size and comfortable! Anne, my friend and co-worker who recently lost her valiant fight against cancer, would definitely approve of them.

We had three members, including me, who were up for the Jo Beverley first book award. Aislinn MacNamara, Coreene Smith, Kathryn Donaldson and myself. That’s the order in which the presentations were made. We were told ahead of time to be prepared to say a few words about how our first book came to be. In my speech, I mentioned Anne and the reason behind needing the perfect shoes to go with the ensemble.

This isn’t the best picture with the award because of the glare on the glass coming in from those amazing windows and then the flash on the camera going off. But still, I look happy in it so I had to post it.

Teresa Wilde did an excellent job with each of these Jo Beverley awards. Each one was designed to fit with the genre and time period each book is set in. Mine definitely has a Victorian flavour. I absolutely love it! My original plan was to hang mine centered over the awards I received two years ago at the brunch (mentioned in my earlier post) but it’s too big to fit there. So… I think I’m going to hang it where my first cover article hangs and maybe put it in the place I’d reserved.

Right now, that’s neither here nor there because it will be taken to work and shown off, to my various family members and local writers group and likely many other places before it resides permanently in its place of honour.

Here’s a close up of my wonderful award. I can’t begin to say how much it means to me.

Ottawa Romance Writers’ Association
Jo Beverley First Book Award

Presented to Melanie Robertson-King

For the sale of
A Shadow in the Past
To 4RV Publishing

2011

 

 

Ottawa Romance Writers’ Association Annual Valentine’s Brunch

Today is the day that ORWA hosts its annual Valentine’s Brunch. I attended my first one two years ago. For that event, I’d put my name forward to qualify for two awards. Although they weren’t a first book award, they were validation that I was writing and submitting despite being rejected. The Genesis was for a rejected partial manuscript, and The Phoenix for a rejected full one.

This year is different. Later today, I’ll be receiving the Jo Beverley First Book Award for my debut novel, A Shadow in the Past. I love how that rolls off my tongue or my fingers when I’m typing… my debut novel.

Isn’t this a gorgeous cover? If the Joe Beverley First Book Award is the same as prior years it’s been presented, then my cover and a certificate will be side by side, matted in a frame. I think the colours of the frame and matte are matched with the colours in the image, as is the certificate.

Time will tell. The brunch, this year held at the Loch March Golf Course in Kanata, begins at 11:00  a.m. The menu sounds fantastic. And best of all – this year my husband is coming with me so that he can see me get recognized by my peers for my accomplishments.

And then there are the shoes. But they’re another story altogether.

I’ll post photos later this afternoon/evening.

 

Re-launch of Touched by the Light by loveahappyending author Linn B Halton

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Touched By The Light by Linn B Halton

Touched By The LightLife, death – then what happens next?

A quest to bring two people back together; laugh as you discover how Mya uncovers a whole new way of communicating! Intrigue, relationships, romance, laughter and a psychic conundrum in pursuit of love!  A contemporary romance story with a twist.

“I so wish I had read up on the subject of the afterlife. Is this the way it’s supposed to be, or am I doing something wrong?  Whatever happened to angels and clouds? I ask myself. Wasn’t I supposed to have a helper to greet me and show me the ropes?”

Mya remembers comforting light and the pain quickly being replaced by a state of calm and tranquillity. But what now? Mya wants to talk to people, find out how her friends and family are, but there’s no one around to help – until she suddenly finds herself chatting to Laurel.

Laurel has what she sees as the dubious gift of being able to communicate with spirits, and when Mya bowls in, desperate for some answers, Laurel’s life is turned upside down. Her relationship with boyfriend Dan is already in a fragile state and now there’s a bewildered, feisty young spirit getting in the way. As Mya flits around Laurel and Dan’s lives, unable to control how and when she appears, unexpected psychic connections are made.

Hardcover: 248 pages
Publisher: Book Guild Publishing (24 Feb 2011)
Language English
ISBN: 978-1-84624-531-2
Author’s Website:

Amazon Author Page: UK (buy) – http://amzn.to/kvB3YA
Amazon Author Page: US (buy) – http://amzn.to/kiUKfZ
Twitter Account @LinnBHalton: http://bit.ly/ksXMDS
Facebook Author Linn B Halton: http://on.fb.me/mnvJJs

Reviews:-

Alice Berger, reviewer and author http://bit.ly/moT6X1

“Romance, good friendships, and the paranormal blend together so nicely, with a cast of believable and well-developed characters. Everyone grows as a result of their experiences, and the reader is rewarded with a happy ending.  It’s impossible for me to tell much more about this story without giving away all the intricate plot twists that make it such a fun read. Touched By the Light is Linn B. Halton’s first work of fiction, and it’s a dandy. I look forward to reading more from this talented new author.”

Kit Domino, artist and author http://wp.me/p1q0nb-2G

“This Psychic Romance delivers on all counts even if you don’t believe in the supernatural and paranormal, life after death, spirits or anything remotely psychic.  Linn has created strong, believable characters in an intriguing plot that moves forward a pace. Each chapter is told from one character’s viewpoint delivered in the first person. And it works! No small feat for a new writer. So, well done Linn on a superb read. I look forward to reading more of your books in the not too distant future, it is a brilliant read.”

Wilkie Martin, author http://amzn.to/imi5GQ

“This is a good and imaginative story about the problems a young woman faces when she unexpectedly finds herself in the afterlife. It is cleverly constructed and well written with a nice romantic interplay between the characters, who are interesting and sympathetic. Just when you start to think you understand what’s happening, a couple of well-timed plot twists keep you wanting to read on as the plot moves to a satisfying finale.

Reader feedback:-

‘Lightning Jim’ First time I’ve written a review for this site (Amazon) but this book was fantastic! I would highly recommend it to anyone especially to those with an interest in the ‘human’ side of life. The characters are intriguing and the book got me instantly hooked. Hope there’s a follow up. 10/10

‘Clive’ A thoroughly enjoyable book, with many surprising twists and turns to keep the reader enthralled, With engaging characters, thoughtful incite Ms Halton creates a story worthy of the loss of a nights sleep. I couldn’t put the book down until finished. (Amazon)

‘Sue’ (via http://linnbhalton.co.uk) After reading ‘Touched By The Light’, I must congratulate Linn on her first publication. This delightful and unusual story contains likeable characters and unexpected twists that keep the reader interested throughout. It has a definite appeal towards the female audience, due to the romantic content. I can honestly say, it was an absolute pleasure to read!

Erin’ (via http://linnbhalton.co.uk) I just finished reading Touched By The Light. I enjoyed all the characters and could identify with them all. I especially liked the fact that we get to hear from each character, their thoughts and confusion. This really hit home for me as I have had many of the same thoughts and questions. With some very interesting and unexpected twists and turns in the story I found myself not wanting to put the book down until the very last page. I will certainly be on the look out for another novel by Linn B. Halton!