Tag Archives: novel

St Patrick’s Day Party with Sharon Black

St Patrick's DaySt Patrick's DayWelcome to Celtic Connexions, Sharon. Do make sure you kiss the Blarney Stone here on the table by the front door. At least you don’t have to sit on a ledge and lean back until your head is lower than your bum.

St Patrick's DayYou’re looking very much in the St Patrick’s Day spirit all decked out in green. Can I offer you a drink? I have to say, I LOVE your hat. I have a selection of Irish Whiskey. Have a look on the sideboard and see if there’s something there you fancy.

 

 

St Patrick's Day
By Cafeirlandais at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5), GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons
I have plenty of nibbles to snack on whilst we chat. Crisps with French Onion dip (coloured green, naturally), jelly beans, chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. Don’t be shy. Dig in. Who knows, before the end of the night we might even find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Thank you for my Cead Mile Failte (a hundred thousand welcomes) here today, Melanie. I was born in Dublin, the eldest of three children, and grew up in an area called Rathfarnham, which is at the foot of the Dublin mountains. I studied history and politics at college, and then did a postgraduate in journalism, before working for national newspapers. I now live in a small coastal village in Dublin, with my husband and our three children. It’s a place where most people know each other, so apart from my friends from school and college, I have really good friends here.

Back home in Ireland, how do you normally celebrate St Patrick’s Day?

Traditionally, we would have always brought the children to the parade in town (which is what Dublin people call the city centre). Our eldest two are far too old to go with us anymore, so if they want to see it, they would go with friends. But our youngest is still game. The parade runs right through the centre of town, so most people have their favourite places to view. Ours is on Dame Street, on the south side of the river Liffey. Afterwards, we’d go to the Kilkenny Design Centre in Nassau Street, which is a mecca for Irish design, and have a hot drink and a treat.

We have the Americans and in particular the Irish Americans to thank for much of the improvements to our parade down the years. The St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin was incredibly boring when I was a child. I don’t think we understood what it was meant to be about at all. The highlight was always the American groups who came over to participate. They brought colour and excitement and, dare I say it, a professionalism that we lacked.

Now, it’s a festival that runs right over the weekend, and we have wonderful contributors, both Irish and from further afield.

You made the jump from journalist to novelist – is Going Against Type loosely based on your previous career?

I suppose the book is very loosely based on elements of what I knew, when I worked for the papers. I drew on bits of people I knew for some of the characters, and all the jargon is authentic.

I had also written a column for a while, for one of the national newspapers, but it wasn’t a sports column. I never wrote about sport, so Charlotte and her columns needed a lot of research.

Dinner is ready? *looks towards manservant* Come through to the dining room. I have to admit I got a bit carried away with the decorating – sparkly, green Leprechaun hats at the place settings, pots of basil with shamrocks and candles, and green noise makers. What can I say? I wanted it to be special, it being my first St Patrick’s Day party.

I hope you enjoy your meal. I’ve got Potato Leek soup

By Vegan Feast Catering (Potato Leek Soup) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
with soft pretzels followed by your choice of Corned Beef and Cabbage,

By Jonathunder (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Guinness Braised Pork, or Guinness Meat Pie. You can think about it while we have our soup course.

I love potato leek soup. My mum makes her own all the time, and gives me over big pots of it. The whole family love it! And I was raised on corned beef and cabbage. My grandmother made it a lot. She would shred the cabbage up really fine, and stir it in through creamy, mashed potatoes.

We’ll chat while we eat. Going Against Type is your debut novel. Can you tell us a bit about it?

I’d love to. It’s set against the backdrop of Dublin newspapers, and it’s the story of two rival newspaper columnists who fall in love. Because they write their columns under pen names, they have no idea that they’ve each fallen in love with the enemy!

The book opens with Charlotte Regan, who works as a sports reporter in a very male-dominated sports department, getting a chance to write the new sports column Side Swipe. The column is very sharp and her views very controversial – and it’s noticed by The Squire, a gossip columnist on a rival newspaper.

The Squire is written by fashion journalist Derry Cullinane, who initially assumes that Side Swipe is a man! And he takes no prisoners.

Going Against Type by Sharon Black - 100

BLURB

Some would say Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Regan has it all. Beautiful, smart, athletic and a great job working as a journalist – in the almost exclusively male sports department. But Charlotte is not quite as sure as she seems. Recently split from her overbearing boyfriend, she escapes for weekends, surfing in the Atlantic, and spends her free nights watching sports, roaring at the TV.

Derry Cullinane is a fashion writer, gossip columnist and sophisticated man-about-town. The go-to guy for any woman seeking expert advice on what fabulous outfit to wear for any given occasion. He’s also tall, dark, good looking – and straight! So what’s the snag? He has a track record of dating glamorous, vain and shallow women.

Charlie gets an opportunity to write a new column under the pen name Side Swipe, but is soon drawn into a war of words and wit with a rival paper’s columnist The Squire – and their verbal fireworks get readers and editors talking. Yet neither Charlie nor Derry knows just whom the opponent is…

When Charlotte and Derry meet at the Races, the attraction is instant. As their relationship develops, so much more proves at stake, than protecting their alter egos. But a blunder puts Charlotte’s job in jeopardy just as Derry’s past makes front page, and Charlotte begins to doubt her feelings.

When Side Swipe and The Squire are finally forced to reveal themselves, will they revert to type – or confound everyone’s expectations?

**********

EXCERPT

Oh good grief, Charlotte thought. It’s Panama Hat Man. She found herself blushing as Fiona steered her into the man’s line of vision.
A slow, amused smile of recognition spread across his face. Brown eyes locked hard with green. Okay Charlotte, play it cool. With a show of dignity, she looked away.

‘Everyone, this is my old school friend Charlotte Regan. Charlotte, this is Clare, Tina and Rosemary.’

Charlotte smiled and shook the other women’s hands, quickly memorising their names, acutely aware of the man’s attention.
‘And Derry Cullinane,’ Fiona said.

Almost reluctantly, Charlotte met his gaze again, forcing herself to breathe normally. She smiled politely and extended her hand. Derry held it a fraction longer than necessary.

‘Tiny hands too,’ he murmured. Charlotte flushed.

‘How’s your foot?’ he asked, releasing her hand but holding her gaze.
‘Oh, do you already know each other?’ Fiona asked, looking slightly puzzled.

‘No,’ said Charlotte quickly.

‘We met at the Galway Races,’ Derry said at the same time. An image of the peroxide blonde woman popped into Charlotte’s head.

‘Can I leave you for a minute? I must check on things in the kitchen.’ Fiona briefly squeezed Charlotte’s hand and left.

Charlotte glanced quickly about, hoping to engage with the other women, but to her frustration she found that they’d drifted away. Leaving her with this egotistical…

‘So as an experiment, do you think we’ll work?’ Derry said, interrupting her thoughts.

‘Um, will what work?’

He shot her an arrogant smile.

‘Fiona’s matchmaking attempt. Either Cupid will be on target or we’ll end up throwing bread rolls at each other.’

Charlotte gritted her teeth.

‘I’m a crack shot with a bread roll.’

**********

It sounds like a fun book. I’ll definitely be adding it to my TBR list.

Can you describe your writing routine? What time of day do you find you’re most productive – that kind of thing.

I’m definitely at my best in the morning, but I’m not one of those people who can get up at five O’clock to write. I wish I were. Once my younger two are in school, I start to write. The trick for me is to know what I want to write, the night before. I’m far more productive when I have a plan.

I think the party is about to start. I hope you got enough to eat. There is dessert but we’ll let this settle first before we have it.

*escorts Sharon back into other room and inserts Cranberries CD*

I hope you like the Cranberries. They’re one of my favourite groups.

While we listen to music, I’ve stashed a pot of gold somewhere in this room. Do you think you can find it?

I love The Cranberries. They’re a brilliant group. Hmmm, a pot of gold? Is it under the stash of sweets that we were eating? Those chocolate-covered gold coins might do. They’re very lucky.

We have Baileys Mousse Pie and Apple Amber for dessert. Which would you prefer? While you search, I’ll get it and bring it in for you.

I’d love the Apple Amber, it sounds delicious.

Returns to room with dessert(s) *changes CD* There’s a bit of a story behind this one.

It involved one of my cousins but I won’t go into all the details here.

It’s been a fun party. I hope it lived up to your expectations.

Before you go, can you tell us where to get your book and how to find out more about you?

This will take you to my book page at Tirgearr Publishing, and has all the buy links, as well as a nice excerpt: tirpub.com/gatype
I can be found on Twitter: @Authorsharonb
Here’s my Author page with links to my blog, various excerpts and other nuggets of information:
Sharon Black Author Page

Thanks so much for stopping by, Sharon.

Thanks a million for allowing me to be your guest today, Melanie.

 

How do you celebrate St Patrick’s Day? Do you have any family traditions? Tell us about them in the comments.

 

THE HIGHLAND LASS by Rosemary Gemmell ~ BLOG TOUR

highlandBlurb

Eilidh Campbell returns to her Scottish roots from America with one main aim: to discover the identity of her real father. But her mother’s past in Inverclyde is a mystery with family secrets, a book of Robert Burns’ poems with a hidden letter and a photograph link to the Holy Loch at Dunoon when the American Navy were in residence.

Staying with her childhood friend, Kirsty, while searching for answers, Eilidh begins to fall in love with handsome Scot Lewis Grant, but just how free is he? Together they trace the story of Highland Mary and Robert Burns, with its echoes to her mother’s story. From Dunoon, to Ayrshire and culminating in Greenock, Eilidh finds the past is closer than she realises.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Buy Links

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Highland-Lass-Rosemary-Gemmell-ebook/dp/B00TOTER6Q

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Highland-Lass-Rosemary-Gemmell-ebook/dp/B00TOTER6Q

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Highland-Lass-Rosemary-Gemmell-ebook/dp/B00TOTER6Q

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m thrilled you were able to stop in here at Celtic Connexions on your blog tour, Rosemary. There’s so much I want to know about The Highland Lass among other things.

Thank you so much for inviting me to be your guest today, Melanie. It’s lovely to be here and next best thing to sharing a cup of tea with you in person.

You write in a variety of genres – short stories, articles, novellas, and novels. Do you have one you prefer over the others?

I used to think I preferred writing short stories, until I started getting into longer fiction, and now the short stories are more infrequent. So I probably prefer longer fiction, whether novellas or novels. I do, however, enjoy writing articles every now and then as they employ a completely different, more analytical part of the brain and I find them a good rest from the imaginary world of fiction.

Your latest novel, The Highland Lass, holds a special place in your heart. Most of it is contemporary but there are some historical chapters in Highland Mary’s voice. Is she, or perhaps Robbie Burns, a part of the family secret Eilidh has come to Scotland to discover?

The main thrust of the story is that Eilidh has never known who her real father was and needs to try and find the answer. After her mother’s death in America, she discovers a secret love letter in her mother’s book of Burns’ poems signed by the letter R and a photograph that suggests a link to the American Navy at the Holy Loch. Her mother always maintained that Highland Mary was an ancestress and Eilidh feels drawn to the 18th century story. She also feels an affinity with the handsome Scot, Lewis Grant, whom she meets on the flight home to Scotland, as if they have known each other for much longer.

What inspired you to write The Highland Lass?

My mother first introduced me to Highland Mary’s grave in Greenock cemetery when I was a girl and I’ve been fascinated by her ever since. I also enjoyed Burns’ poetry, especially after winning the Burns certificate for recitation in primary school twice! But Mary Campbell was one small part of Burns’ life, with only certain ‘facts’ written over the years. My imagination was fired but I knew I couldn’t sustain a whole novel in the past as I didn’t want it to be about Burns himself. Since Eilidh is a Campbell, she becomes even more fascinated by the story of Robert Burns’ Highland Lass and their love story finds echoes in her mother’s story.

I also wanted to write about my own area of Inverclyde in homage to its beautiful scenery and I was interested in the period when the American Navy was based in the Holy Loch during the 1960s and 70s (and beyond) as many of the young girls on this side of the river went to the dances there and in Greenock – Eilidh’s mother being one of them.

How much research did it require?

The modern part didn’t require so much, as it’s set in all the areas I personally know, though I did need to visit the relevant parts of Ayrshire, just as Eilidh and Lewis do. I’ve been researching the historical details on and off for years and had an article about Burns and Highland Mary published in The Highlander magazine in the USA some years ago. Rather than speak to any descendants of Highland Mary, I preferred to use the letters, poems and non-fiction books to find out about her short time with Burns and how she affected him. This was important to me as the historical parts are completely fictionalised, albeit from the known ‘facts’ and they allowed me to imagine Mary’s voice.

What’s your next project?

I’m currently writing the third in my Aphrodite and Adonis series of contemporary novellas, with a touch of mythological fantasy set on Cyprus, for Tirgearr Publishing. At the same time, I have several other novels/novellas (historical and contemporary) awaiting some attention. I’m also writing a Victorian crime novel set around my own area – if I ever get on with the rest of it. Then there are the short stories and articles that are started but not yet finished!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Bio

highland

A prize-winning writer, Rosemary Gemmell’s short stories, articles, and poems have been published in UK magazines, in the US, and online. She is now a historical and contemporary novelist and The Highland Lass is the first novel from Crooked Cat Publishing under her full name. She has also published historical novels and contemporary novellas with a touch of mythological fantasy from Tirgearr Publishing as Romy and tween books as Ros, as she likes to tackle a variety of writing genres and styles.

Rosemary has a BA (hons) in European literature and history and a post-graduate MA in Humanities from the Open University. She is a member of the Society of Authors, the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and the Scottish Association of Writers. She enjoys sharing writing information, and loves to dance!

Author Links

Website: http://www.rosemarygemmell.com

Blog: http://ros-readingandwriting.blogspot.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Romy-Gemmell/1422387704702586

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RosemaryGemmell

Thank you for stopping by and sharing this exciting new book with us. My father may have been born in Aberdeenshire, but he was raised in Inverclyde at The Orphan Homes of Scotland so this part of your beautiful country is very special to me, too.

 

 

COVER REVEAL~MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid

ABOUT MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE:

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college, but on the heels of a disastrous breakup, she has finally returned to her hometown of Los Angeles. To celebrate her first night back, her best friend, Gabby, takes Hannah out to a bar—where she meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

It’s just past midnight when Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. Ethan quickly offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay.

Hannah hesitates.

What happens if she leaves with Gabby?

What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into surprisingly different stories with far-reaching consequences for Hannah and the people around her, raising questions like: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

Taylor Jenkins Reid

MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Atria Books/Washington Square Press Paperback | 352 pages | ISBN:  9781476776880 | July 7, 2015 | $16.00

eBook: Atria Books/Washington Square Press | 352 pages | ISBN: 9781476776897 | July 7, 2015 | $11.99

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She is the author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @TJenkinsReid.

Taylor Jenkins Reid

FIND TAYLOR ONLINE:

http://www.taylorjenkinsreid.com/
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

PRE ORDER:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
IndieBound
Apple
Blio
Google

 

 

Robbie Burns Night with Janice Horton

Robbie Burns Night Celebrations with Janice Horton

Robbie Burns

I’m so glad you were able to work me into your busy schedule, Janice. You’ve been snap-gapping all over the place of late so I’m thrilled to have you here at Celtic Connexions. You’re looking very “Scottish” today, all decked out in your tartan. Janice Burns Night1

I take it you’re ready for a good old-fashioned ceilidh – Canadian style.

Here, come sit by the fire Robbie Burns take the chill off (escorts my esteemed guest to one of the tartan wing-back chairs facing the crackling fire ).

 

 

Robbie Burns
photo from Flickr

I’ll summon my manservant, Donald (the Red) , to bring us some refreshments. Robbie BurnsWould you care for a wee dram? Perhaps Glengoyne – Scotland’s only un-peated single malt? (rings bell and gives manservant instructions)

I think you’ll like what I have in store for you at the ceilidh tonight. I tried to get the Old Blind Dogs but they weren’t available. That’s okay as I do have a vast collection of Scottish music on CDs – Old Blind Dogs, The Corries, Runrig and the list goes on.

(swish of swinging door as the manservant returns with a tray carrying a decanter of whisky – 18 year old Glenlivet no less, two glasses and water). “Your whisky, my lady,” he says as he places it on the table.

“Thank you.”

As the manservant straightens to leave, I cry out… “Donald, where’s your trousers?” because so unlike him, he’s wearing a kilt!

Overcome by the shock of seeing him dressed in that fashion, it takes me a moment to regain my composure. (fans self with copy of Leopard Magazine).

Well, while we wait for our meal to be ready, Janice, let’s chat about your novel. I’m really interested to find out more about it and your creative process. You spent three months on the Island of Utila researching and writing Castaway in the Caribbean. Can you tell me more?

Yes, I had the most amazing time in 2014 visiting, researching and writing in the Caribbean. While there I spent a lot of time in boats (as one features in my new novel) and even got to sail off Tortola in the British Virgin Islands in a schooner used in the making of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie! After visiting lots of islands, my husband and I settled down to island life for a stay of three months on Utila, a tiny Caribbean island off mainland Honduras. This is where I wrote the first draft of ‘Castaway in the Caribbean’.

When do you expect to release it?

April 2015. I have promotional online book tours organised for April and May.

What made you choose that title?

I feel the title suits the story line perfectly. The premise of the book is that the two main characters, a surly boat captain who hates tourists and a girl holidaying in the Caribbean who desperately needs to get to a neighbouring island, end up castaway together on a remote island. It’s a fun, fast paced romantic adventure novel that I hope will be the perfect beach read for 2015!

The manservant returns and tells us that dinner is served… so we pick up our drinks and at the first skirl of the pipes, Robbie Burns wait for him to enter the room and we get piped in to the formal dining room (I wish I had one of them, too) to the strains of The Bonnie Lass of Fyvie for a traditional Robbie Burns feast.

Once everyone is around the table, we begin with The Selkirk Grace.

Some hae meat and canna eat,  And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,  Sae let the Lord be thankit.

Our first course is Cock-a-leekie soup.

Robbie Burns
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

Not strictly traditional as I don’t put prunes in it.

You mentioned (or did I pick up on it) something about the names of your characters. Was there a particular reason why you used those names? If so, can you share it?

I wrote the first draft with my husband’s name, Travis, as the romantic hero’s name and the heroine of the story is called Janey (which is kind of like my name, Janice). I fully intended on changing the names in the second draft but for some reason ended up not doing so. The characters of Castaway in the Caribbean are Travis and Janey in their own right – they are not meant to be me and my husband – and the story is definitely a work of fiction!

The soup course is cleared away and the skirl of the pipes begins again. The door opens and the haggis is brought into the room with great pomp and circumstance.

Address to the Haggis

 

Robbie Burns
a wee dram for the haggis
Robbie Burns
Haggis, champit tatties and bashed neeps

We’ll have a bit of a musical interlude courtesy of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers before we carry on with the rest of the evening’s festivities.

What’s your next project? Do you have another novel started?

I have a few ideas in mind for new projects. I’m travelling again this year and I’d like to continue the theme of writing romantic adventure novels set in places that inspire me.

Now that we’ve talked about your WIP (work in progress for those not accustomed to author-speak and abbreviations), tell us more about you and how the readers of Celtic Connexions can follow you?

Thank you, Melanie. I really enjoy connecting with people. I’m a keen blogger. I’m always on Facebook and I love to Twitter too. So here’s my links:

My Author Blog

Follow me on Twitter: @JaniceHorton

Friend me on Facebook Page

Link to my Amazon Author Page

Check out my page on Goodreads

My LLm Bookshelf

Associate Editor at: Loveahappyending Lifestyle Mag

Janice Horton writes contemporary romantic fiction with a dash of humour and a sense of adventure. Look out for Janice’s new release for 2015Castaway in the Caribbean

Robbie Burns

and her Amazon Kindle bestselling booksBagpipes and Bullshot

Robbie Burns

andReaching for the Stars

Robbie Burns

and her fun ‘Voodoo Romance’ series of novellas.

Robbie Burns

Her nonfiction guide to online promotion ‘How To Party Online
Robbie Burns
is recommended reading for all authors and writers by publishers. Janice is a regular blogger from her website at janicehorton.co.uk and you’ll also find her on Facebook and Twitter. She is also associate editor at the award winning online magazine Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine where she produces her monthly ‘The Bookshelf’ feature and her seasonal ‘Snap Gap Travel’ features.

Thank you so much for coming to my “un”conventional Robbie Burns Night. I hope you won’t have a sair heid tomorrow. I see the chairs have been rearranged in the front room so shall we move the party in there and let the ceilidh begin?

Gay Gordons, anyone?

 

It’s Tell a Story Day

It’s “Tell A Story Day”!

Well, in Scotland and England it is. And since my heart belongs to Scotland, and I have family and friends in both countries, need I say more?

Okay, so in keeping with the day, here’s my story…

tell a story

Blurb:

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages; powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

Now isn’t that a great story? I think so, but then I’m biased.

~~~~~~~~~~

You can buy A Shadow from the Past in print or ebook from:

Publisher:  http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/robertson-king.php
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Past-Melanie-Robertson-King-ebook/dp/B00IGLS692/
Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-shadow-in-the-past-melanie-robertson-king/1112348992?ean=9780983801887
Kobo:  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/a-shadow-in-the-past-1

You can follow me here at Celtic Connexions or at:

Website: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melanie-Robertson-King/221018701298979
Twitter Account: @RobertsoKing https://twitter.com/RobertsoKing
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6543072.Melanie_Robertson_King

 

It’s Read A Book Day ~ #amreading

Sept 6th is Read A Book Day.

Whatever your genre, or preferred medium, curling up and reading a good book  is a wonderful way to spend your time. There are loads of genres to choose from – crime, romance, paranormal, Young Adult, New Adult, non-fiction, memoirs and literary fiction. All will sweep you away into the world created by the author and give you some much needed escape from reality time.

A great place to get your reading material is at your local independent bookstore. Mine is Leeds County Books. If I find a book whilst shopping elsewhere, I take down the details and then go here and order my copy, if it isn’t already on the shelf.

I also have a great collection of ebooks on my ipad in the Kindle app.

read a book daySince this is read a book day, I’m going to do a wee bit of shameless, self-promotion here. If you’re looking for a great read, check out A Shadow in the Past

When a contemporary teen is transported back through time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past…

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages, powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

read a book dayand The Consequences Collectionan eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

– See more at: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/?page_id=7339#sthash.VVdE3rEX.dpuf

is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

– See more at: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/?page_id=7339#sthash.VVdE3rEX.dpuf

is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

– See more at: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/?page_id=7339#sthash.VVdE3rEX.dpuf

What are you reading today?

 

 

THREE LITTLE BIRDS by Carol E Wyer ~ Launch Day Splash

three little birdsTHREE LITTLE BIRDS – BLURB

If your friend challenged you, would you dare? Charlie Blundell cannot get over the tragic death of her only daughter. She drifts between her job at the Art cafe and her hospital radio show, the only things which give her life purpose. Her best friend, the madcap Mercedes, cajoles Charlie into writing a ‘carpe diem’ list, but then swaps Charlie’s list with her own. Now, each must complete the other’s challenges, and the outcomes will astound both of them. The challenges begin as a series of relatively harmless, fun activities. Soon, though, the stakes increase when Charlie has to complete her challenges to save the hospital radio station. As the tasks become more demanding, a handsome stranger takes an interest in her, but he is not what he seems. One challenge causes a secret buried deep within her to surface, which may prove to be her undoing. Three Little Birds is a story of love, friendship and discovery, laced with hilarity and topped by a wickedly funny parrot called Bert.

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Here’s Carol’s story behind her latest novel, Three Little Birds.

Three Little Birds was a book I wanted to write for some time. There is quite a bit of personal stuff hidden among the pages and it has a clear message – one of hope. It is more than just a story about two women and two bucket lists. The title alone is a giveaway of that fact. Not only is it to do with the lyrics of the Bob Marley song but there are three birds (parrots) in the story that provide much of the light-hearted humour and on a deeper level, the title has a relevance that I can’t divulge but will touch the reader and quite probably make them shed tears.

I set the book at a hospital radio station because I wanted to highlight the importance of those presenters who give their time freely and whose role is more important than you may realise. It is no secret that I spent a fair amount of time in hospital, undergoing treatment for spinal problems when I was younger. I had operations and treatments over a period of several years. At one stage, I spent 11 weeks on traction which involved being laid at an angle in bed so my head was at the lowest point, with heavy weights attached to my legs that were then dropped over the end of the bed. The idea was to stretch the spine and move a trapped disc. It didn’t work. All I managed to do was be sick, drop food and drink all over myself and feel depressed. Hospital radio kept me sane. I tuned in first thing in the morning and listened until lights went out. I would have howled every day in frustration had I not had hospital radio to keep me company with its cheerful presenters and request shows.

More recently, I met fellow author and hospital radio presenter Charlie Blundell on FB. She is such a cheery lady and so positive. She epitomises the sort of presenter who lifts patient’s spirits. She became my inspiration for Charlie in the book. There the similarity ends though as my character’s life is very different to Charlie Blundell’s.

The book offers a tale of friendship, love and moreover hope, even when there seems there is none. I liked all the characters, even the lesser ones such as Peggy who owns Bert the parrot and Susannah, a middle-aged woman who Charlie meets at belly dancing class. There is more than one person’s story in the book.

The thread that runs through the book is of course, the challenges that both friends have to complete. Each character undergoes a journey that is only made possible through the challenges. Of course there is much hilarity and the results are often unexpected. Even the slightest challenge sends the character on a different path and it was that message that I wanted to get across. Whoever you are and whatever your situation, be brave. Have a go at things that you would ordinarily not try even if it is not an adrenaline-filled challenge. Maybe it is as simple as learning to swim or have a go at cooking something adventurous.

Last year, I wanted to take up something from my Grumpy Old Menopause book to prove it would help women like me. I really fancied pole dancing but as I had a painful frozen shoulder that wasn’t possible, so I went for something I knew would terrify me but could be rewarding—I did a crash course in stand-up comedy!

The results were surprising all right. Having done one gig to a sell-out audience, I was soon booked up to tour the Black Country doing my comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth and then was invited to do it at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival on main stage! I’m not bragging, merely pointing out that you don’t know where these things will take you, so have a go. At worst, you will feel you have achieved something. If you have no idea of what you want to do, check through the list of 100 ideas at the end of the book. I’m sure you’ll find something there to amuse you.

So, for this book, I had to prove the point and embark on some of Charlie’s challenges. I’ve chosen four of them and a bonus challenge—indoor skydiving! How did I get on? You need to check the videos and photographs to find out. So, what are you waiting for? Carpe Diem!

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My review:

Three Little Birds had me hooked from the opening page. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down until I finished. It’s filled with laugh out loud moments, a few you evil woman, you’ve made me cry moments, intermingled with suspense, sexual tension and everything you’d expect to find in a romance novel, plus the ‘feathered’ man of the hour, that lovable parrot, Bert.

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About the Author:

CarolAn ex teacher and linguist Carol used to live and work in Casablanca until the late eighties when she returned to the UK, set up a language company and settled down to married life.

When her son finally left the nest a couple of years ago Carol took up writing full time. She has written articles and novels which generally encourage others to age disgracefully and enjoy life.

Carol blogs at Facing 50 with humour.

Thanks for dropping by today, Carol, and best of luck with your launch of THREE LITTLE BIRDS.

Book Launch – Secrets at Rosehill by Kathryn Brown

Launch day for Kathryn Brown’s Secrets at Rosehill

Secrets at RosehillSecrets at Rosehill continues following the life of Camilla and Marcus as they each hide monumental events from each other that could have a huge impact on their lives. With ghostly sightings, apparitions, manifestations and communication with the dead, life at Rosehill is never dull. In fact ‘life’ at Rosehill remains, even when you’ve passed to the other side.

 

 

 

 

Secrets at RosehillDiscovery at Rosehill is the first in the Rosehill series where we are introduced to Camilla, a medium who is led to her dream home in the Scottish Borders by her deceased grandmother. Making a shock discovery about her past, Camilla becomes friendly with the village Reverend, but that friendship eventually leads to a controversial and complicated relationship.

 

 

 

 

Secrets at RosehillAbout the author:

Kathryn lives and works on a sheep and arable farm in Northumberland, the most northern county in England. She has an idyllic lifestyle surrounded by beautiful countryside and a stunning coastline. Inspired by the haunted farm house in which she lives, Kathryn created the Rosehill series, using many of her own ghostly experiences with the paranormal. A keen and passionate writer, Kathryn spends a large amount of time on social media and has a large following on both Twitter and Facebook.

Mum to Amy, 14, she divides her time between running the house, helping on the farm, writing books and being a parent. She’s never short of something to do and loves to write about her day-to- day existence on her popular blog, Crystal Jigsaw.

You can buy Secrets at Rosehill in paperback at these links:

amazon.co.uk
amazon.com

and for the kindle at:

amazon.co.uk
amazon.com
amazon.ca

And if you’ve not yet experienced Discovery at Rosehill, you can find it at:

amazon.co.uk
amazon.com
amazon.ca
smashwords.com

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal – ADELLE’S TIME by Dayna Leigh Cheser

Adelle's TimeDayna Leigh Cheser
is proud to present the
Cover Reveal
for her newest
Historical Romance novel,
Adelle’s Time
book three (of five) of her TIME Series.
The Grayson Family Saga continues.

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Prologue

The first time she appeared was during the Hargrove’s ball.

Like a dream, the specter floated from the shadows.

Conversation ceased. All eyes looked her way.

Her slim body emphasized the simple, yet elegant, cloth-of-gold gown. The white silk cloak emanated a soft, subtle glow in the flickering candlelight. Concealed under the cloak’s hood, and the veil that shrouded her face, she teased the imagination with her sensuous movements.

Ladies’ fans labored furiously; the gentlemen smiled their approval.

She floated slowly around the room, as if on air, with the cloak drifting behind her.

Then, as suddenly as she’d appeared, she slipped into the shadows and was gone.

Motionless, the Lords and Ladies stared at each other in silent amazement.

Questions bubbled to the surface. Who was she? Where had she come from? Where did she go?

Several men jumped into action, racing out into the night, but soon returned. They’d found no trace of the mystical entity, ‘Lady Mysterious’.

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Adelle's TimeAbout the Cover

Before I gave any thought to the cover design, I had written into the book Adelle’s favorite get-away location, a large willow tree near the confluence of two gentle streams, not far from her home. There, she could find some peace and quiet … away from the hustle and bustle of her world which included a home, children, and a charity – bringing London orphans out of the city during the dangerous, disease ridden summers. While not exactly ‘summer camp,’ she hit on the idea when, as a new resident of London herself, she was advised to get out of town during the summers. It didn’t seem right to her, leaving those children behind. Then, she named her first child Willow. So the willow tree theme was there. All I needed was a model with black hair, dark eyes and at least quasi-Victorian garb. That was not an easy task. It took month’s of searching.

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In Chapter Nine, Adelle meets Lord Hastings

… I looked up at him, and again, he winked, his light blue eyes, dancing in the candlelight.

“So, have you heard the gossip about ‘Lady Mysterious’?” My breath caught in my throat. He knew. Somehow, he knew.

Deanna saw my distress and took over the conversation. “Only what we’ve heard through the grapevine, or read in the papers. A woman shows up at the balls, dressed scandalously, unannounced and uninvited, walks about the room, then leaves, without a trace.”

“It’s not quite that simple,” Lord Hastings said. “‘Lady Mysterious’ arrives, and waits until all eyes are on her.” He glanced at me, then continued. “Then, she wanders about, taking care to not get too close, and, as you said, she leaves. And, you’re right, even in light snow one evening, no trace of her was found outside the ballroom. But, I must tell you, she’s quite lovely. Her gown is quite scandalous, as you said, Lady Deanna, but many of the ladies have copied it, to one degree or another. I’ve gotten close to her a couple of times. I almost had her in my arms when she disappeared.”

I had to know. “Disappeared?”

“Hmm. She didn’t run or walk away, she … vanished. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I know she’s not a figment of my imagination. Too many other people have seen her, including Lord Grenfell who saw her disappear, too. There have been many fine inventions in recent years, but we know of no machine capable of doing such a thing.”

I relaxed a bit. He’d seen us disappear, but he didn’t understand how it could happen. And, from his conversation, he didn’t know who ‘Lady Mysterious’ was, but was interested in finding out because he thought she was lovely. And he had yet to see an inch of her skin.
I must have had a puzzled look on my face because Lord Hastings said, “What do you find so puzzling, my dear?”

Think fast. My mind raced to answer his question.
“Why would someone do this? She spent a considerable amount of time on this, between the gown you mentioned, and her overall plan, if there is one, but to what end?”

“Lord Grenfell and I have discussed this at length but can come up with no reason to put on such an elaborate show. Perhaps you ladies can assist us, give us a woman’s point of view. Why would a woman go to such lengths for no apparent reason?”

I took a deep breath and glanced at Deanna. She was leaving this question for me.
“I’m sure I don’t know, Lord Hastings. I’m afraid I don’t understand how the mind of a common trollop works.”

He raised an eyebrow, intrigued. “A common trollop? What makes you say that?”

“Well, she’s parading around in a scandalous gown, showing up unescorted, and uninvited. No real lady would do such things, am I right?”

“Well, yes, that’s true, but what if she were, in fact, a lady?”

“Then, we’ve come full circle to the ‘why’ again. Why would any lady risk her reputation like this? There’s also her family’s reputation, not to mention her husband’s, if she’s married.” Lessons learned.

Lord Hastings summed up the assumptions so far. “So, we’ve pretty much agreed, then, that the lady in question isn’t a lady. We can also rule out someone using this as a ploy to get inside the big houses of London to see what they might steal since she’s only inside the ballroom, which is a public room in most houses. Besides, if someone were looking to find things to steal, getting themselves hired as house staff would give them better access and opportunity.”

“You have given this a lot of thought.” I was impressed.

“I have, ma’am, and will continue to do so. We don’t know when or where she’ll turn up next, but I plan to be prepared.”

“For what?”

“I must know who she is. She reminds me of my late wife. It’s quite maddening.”

“Lord Hastings, correct me if I’m wrong, but is not the costume this ‘Lady Mysterious’ wears covering every inch of her body?”

“That’s true, but there’s something about the way she walks … the way she holds her head.”

Mixed emotions flowed through me. Of course, his wife walked the way ‘Lady Mysterious’ walks. It’s why I practiced the walk for days, so it looked like ‘Lady Mysterious’ was an aristocratic woman. But he wasn’t interested in me. He was enthralled by my alter-ego, and only because she walks like his dead wife. I wiped the beginnings of a smile off my face when I saw him looking at me.

“You, my lady, are an enigma. I look at you, and see the look on your face. I’m sure, at that moment, you know something about ‘Lady Mysterious’. But, the next time I look at you, it’s clear you know nothing.” He shook his head.

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I’m so glad to be a part of your cover reveal for Adelle’s Time, Dayna. I’ve just made a pitcher of iced tea so since we’ve got some lovely May weather, let’s sit outside in the sunshine and chat. I’m dying to know more about you and what makes you… shall we say, tick.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I can’t remember NOT wanting to write. I can’t remember not loving to read, and the two go hand-in-hand.

How long does it take you to write a book?

‘Janelle’s Time’ was 10 years in the making, but ‘Moria’s Time’ was released about 13 months later. ‘Adelle’s Time’ will be released in June, about 9 months after ‘Moria’s Time.’ The last 2 books in the series will, I think, both be in 2015 – ‘Logan’s Time’ early in the year and ‘Clarissa’s Time’ later in the year.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

When I get up in the morning, usually plus or minus 7:30 AM, I tend to do stuff around the house, or go shopping. I’m usually done with that before noon. Then, I spend the afternoons and often into the evening, if there’s noting else on the agenda, on the computer where I’m not always writing, but I almost always doing something writing-related.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Plot and story lines come from my head, mostly, but I research a lot, too. With the first book, I sat down to a blank screen and started writing. I knew the time-frame, and the locale, but not much else. The rest of the series was based on and expanded upon the earlier book(s).

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I wrote ‘Janelle’s Time’ in 2002-2003. I was 54-55. When I finished the book, I put it on the shelf for a number of reasons, and didn’t bring it out again until 2009 when I more-or-less retired and finally had time to devote to the publishing process.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Oh, all sorts of things. My husband and I are restoring an old motor home right now, with hopes of using it to trade in on a newer and bigger one so we can ‘hit the road’ for a while, now that we’re both officially retired. Right now, I’m squeezing in time to sew the curtains for the motor home. We take in RV shows all over south Florida. I love to read, but haven’t done a whole lot of it lately, mostly a time problem.

What does your family think of your writing?

Actually, not a lot. It’s not that big a deal. Most of us are writers in one way or another so there’s nothing particularly remarkable. I’m the only published novel writer, though.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve written two books that have been published, with a third coming out very soon. There are 2 more in the series before I move on to another project. My favorite book is usually the one I’m working on at the moment, but the next one I’ll be working on, ‘Logan’s Time,’ will probably be my favorite-favorite. I also have a published short story, too.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Like most kids, when I was little, I wanted to be something different every week. But, as I got older, more and more focus was on writing in some way. I’m happiest when I’m writing.

On the non-writing side:
Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Are there any that make you screech and hide?

I am not freaked out by bugs – or any critter – if I seen it/them first. If it/they surprise me, I might make some sort of remark (not printable here), but I don’t screech, hide, climb on chairs, and/or run, nor do I kill, if I can help it. I’m more apt to capture and release (outdoors).

Do you get road rage? What pisses you off the most about other drivers?

Sometimes I get upset or frustrated with traffic in general and some drivers in particular, especially if I’m in a hurry, and might make a remark – to myself – about the bad drivers. I do not, however, get ‘road rage.’ That doesn’t usually end well.

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your cover reveal for Adelle’s Time with everyone here at Celtic Connexions. I wish you much success with it and all your other novels, too.

 

 

 

#AtoZChallenge – S is for SHADOWS FROM HER PAST

Shadows from Her Past

I’m currently sitting at just over 62,000 words in my first draft and my target length is 85,000. This book hasn’t progressed as quickly as I had hoped but I’ve not totally thrown in the towel yet, either.

I don’t have a cover to show you but as the book hasn’t progressed to that stage, I can’t.

a shadow in the past cover 500x773Here is the cover image for my first book. I see my name and the title Shadows from Her Past exactly how they are here. Keep the ‘author brand’ continuity if you will.

I also see the past and present being represented much as they are here but, shall we say, in a more modest setting. Present looking into the past and the two characters who are most important to the heroine appearing with her in the mirror’s reflection.

What do you think of my vision?

Blurb for Shadows from Her Past:

Sarah finds herself back in her time without her husband, Robert, and adopted daughter, Jenny. When she sees visions of them appear, Sarah doesn’t know if it’s her imagination or if they’re really there trying to break through the constraints of time and space.

David Robb, a student doctor at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary who has been assigned to her case, bears a familial resemblance to Robert. Sarah develops feelings for him but also feels like she is betraying her husband, despite them being centuries apart.

Will Sarah make a new life with David in the present, or will she find her way back to her husband and daughter in the past?

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Keep coming back for news regarding Shadows from her Past. In the meantime, you can purchase book one in the series – A Shadow in the Past in paperback from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters, and local bricks ‘n mortar bookstores.

If you’d prefer to buy it as an ebook, all you have to do is click on the logo of your choice to download it. The link for all the amazon domains is the same, you just have to change the .co.uk to your own.