Fortune’s Wheel by Carolyn Hughes #historical #fiction #giveaway

Fortunes Wheel

Fortune’s Wheel

by

Carolyn Hughes

 

Fortune's Wheel

Genre: Historical fiction

Release Date: 7th November 2016

Publisher: SilverWood Books Ltd

Plague-widow Alice atte Wode is desperate to find her missing daughter, but her neighbours are rebelling against their masters and their mutiny is hindering the search.

June 1349. In a Hampshire village, the worst plague in England’s history has wiped out half its population, including Alice atte Wode’s husband and eldest son. The plague arrived only days after Alice’s daughter Agnes mysteriously disappeared and it prevented the search for her.

Now the plague is over, the village is trying to return to normal life, but it’s hard, with so much to do and so few left to do it. Conflict is growing between the manor and its tenants, as the workers realise their very scarceness means they’re more valuable than before: they can demand higher wages, take on spare land, have a better life. This is the chance they’ve all been waiting for!

Although she understands their demands, Alice is disheartened that the search for Agnes is once more put on hold. But when one of the rebels is killed, and then the lord’s son is found murdered, it seems the two deaths may be connected, both to each other and to Agnes’s disappearance.

EXTRACT

Alice atte Wode, the Millers’ closest neighbour, was feeding her hens when she heard Joan’s first terrible anguished cries. Dropping her basket of seed, she ran to the Millers’ cottage. She wanted to cry out too at what she found there: Thomas and Joan both on their knees, clasped together, with Peter’s twisted body between them, sobbing as if the dam of their long pent-up emotions had burst. Alice breathed deeply to steady her nerves, for she didn’t know how to offer any solace for the Millers’ loss.

Not this time.

It was common enough for parents to lose children. It didn’t mean you ever got used to their loss, or that you loved them any less than if they’d lived. Few lost five children in as many months. But the Millers had. The prosperous family Alice knew only six months ago, with its noisy brood of six happy, healthy children, had been swiftly and brutally slaughtered by the great mortality.

Every family in Meonbridge had lost someone to the plague’s vile grip – a father, a mother, a child – but no other family had lost five.

The great mortality, sent by God, it was said, to punish the world for its sins, had torn the village apart. It had struck at random, at the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the innocent and the guilty. Some of its victims died coughing up blood, some with suppurating boils under their arms or next to their privy parts, some covered in dark, blackish pustules. A few recovered, but most did not and, after two or three days of fear and suffering, died in agony and despair, often alone and unshriven for the lack of a priest, when their loved ones abandoned them. After five months of terror, half of Meonbridge’s people were dead.

When the foul sickness at last moved on, leaving the villagers to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, Thomas and Joan Miller went to church daily, to pray for their five dead children’s souls, and give thanks to God for sparing Peter. Then the arrival of baby Maud just a few days ago had brought the Millers a bright ray of hope in the long-drawn-out darkness of their despair.

But Peter hadn’t been spared after all.

BUY LINKS

http://amzn.to/2hsaHbj

http://www.silverwoodbooks.co.uk/silverwood-bookshop

ABOUT CAROLYN HUGHES

Fortune's Wheel

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

Fortunes Wheel is her first published novel, and a sequel is under way.

Facebook: CarolynHughesAuthor

Twitter: @writingcalliope

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

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

Website: https://carolynhughesauthor.com

GIVEAWAY

Paperback of Fortune’s Wheel (UK only)
Or
Ecopy of the Book (International)

 

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Read an #ebook week ~ March 5-11, 2017

It’s read an #ebook week!

Every year, the first full week of March is designated “Read an Ebook Week”.

My debut novel published by 4RV Publishing in 2012, a time-travel romance set in Scotland, A Shadow in the Past

#ebook week

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

Nineteen year old Sarah Shand finds herself in Victorian Era Aberdeenshire, Scotland and has no idea how she got there. Her last memory is of being at the stone circle on the family farm in the year 2010.

Despite having difficulty coming to terms with her situation, Sarah quickly learns she must keep her true identity a secret. Still, she feels stifled by the Victorians’ confining social practices, including arranged marriages between wealthy and influential families, and confronts them head on then suffers the consequences.

When Sarah realizes she has fallen in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, she faces an agonizing decision. Does she try to find her way back to 2010 or remain in the past with the man she loves?

BUY LINKS

kindle | kobo | nook

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Like your fiction in smaller bites? How about a collection of short stories? The lead story in this, Consequences, was written during a store-front writing contest where we all wrote to the same theme … “If Sylvia had the faintest idea of the consequences of her action, she would immediately have written ‘Return to Sender’ across the envelope and dropped it in the nearest mailbox.”

We had from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm to come up with our up to 2,000 word short story.

#ebook week

The Consequences Collection 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.

BUY LINKS

kindle | Lulu | iBooks

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For those of you who  love a good ghost story set in a spooky house with a splash of hot romance, then check out The Secret of Hillcrest House

#ebook week

Sometimes there’s more to a house than bricks and mortar.

Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.

Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.

Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel The Secret of Hillcrest House?

BUY LINKS

kindle | kobo | nook | iBooks

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And the long awaited sequel to A Shadow in the Past… Shadows From Her Past picks up where the first novel ends…

#ebook week

When a contemporary teen is catapulted back to the 21st century, the people and the life she knew in the Victorian era are Shadows From Her Past …

A cruel twist of fate returns Sarah Shand to her life in the year 2010 where she discovers she is a patient in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and has been for months. Struggling to come to terms with the situation, she insists she belongs in the year 1886 at Weetshill mansion with her husband the Laird, Robert Robertson, and adopted daughter, Jenny. Her family and consultant physician try to convince her she was dreaming or hallucinating but Sarah refuses to believe them.

Robert, who has experienced strange things at the stone circle at Gordonsfield Farm, somehow breaks through the time-space continuum and visits Sarah in his future. He pleads with her to return to the past but his cryptic messages only confuse her.

Medical student, David Robb, himself a descendant of the Robertsons of Weetshill, befriends Sarah. Fascinated with her stories of the past, after her release from the hospital, he takes Sarah to meet his parents, the current owners of the mansion and surrounding land.

This year, the winter solstice and lunar eclipse occur on the same day. Will a trip to the stone circle during this combination of events create the magic Sarah needs to return to 1886 and her family there? Or will she remain in the present and make a life with David?

BUY LINKS

kindle | kobo | nook | iBooks

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Spirits of the Heart by Claire Gem #Eggcerpt Exchange

Spirits of the Heart

by

Claire Gem

 

Claire Gem

A Haunted Voices Novel

Blurb:

An addiction counselor and a security guard struggle to free a little girl and her father, two lost spirits trapped inside an abandoned mental asylum.

Addiction counselor Laura Horton returns from college to move in with an old friend and start her career. But her homecoming is jarring. Her friend moves out, leaving Laura alone with the gorgeous but intimidating ex-boyfriend—in a house that snugs up to an ancient graveyard.

Officer Miller Stanford is a man with a shattered past. His alcoholic dad destroyed their family, a weakness Miller is terrified will consume him too. The last thing he needs is a sexy, blonde addiction counselor watching his every move. When he begins to see specters in the dark, he starts questioning his own stability.

But Laura sees her too—a pathetic child-spirit searching for her father. When Laura starts digging into old asylum records, the eerie events escalate . . . Can Miller and Laura uncover the secrets of Talcott Hall without jeopardizing their love—and lives—in the process?

Excerpt:

“Hey. Little girl. Let me help you,” Miller tried again, and the child finally lowered her hands. She was younger than he’d first thought—ten, maybe. Tears streaked her reddened cheeks, glistening in the beam of his headlights. Her pale, golden hair was baby fine and wispy, but tousled and disheveled. As though it hadn’t seen a brush in good long time.

She met his gaze with eyes like the man’s, clear and blue and strangely luminescent. The sadness Miller saw behind them made his chest ache.

“Where did your friend go, sweetheart? The man who came out with you. Where did he go?”

She stared at him with lips quivering before her face crumpled again. “I don’t know. I don’t know where Daddy is. I’ve been looking and looking for him. Every time I think I’ve found him, he goes away.”

Miller swallowed. Yeah, that’s one way to describe the mysterious vanishing act.

He drew in a breath and tried again. “What’s your name, sweetie? Was that your daddy with you?”

Head bobbing, the tears flowed freely now, and she wouldn’t take her eyes off Miller’s face. He felt a lump growing in his own throat, as though she was somehow transferring her pain to him. His hands, clasped in front of him, began to shake.

When she spoke again, her voice took on an echoed quality, as though she were receding into an empty culvert. “I’m Greta. And I’m looking for my daddy. He used to live here. But I keep coming back to find him, and nobody knows where he is.” She dropped her chin to her chest and ground her knuckles against her eyes.

“Greta,” he repeated, a stab of pity piercing his gut. So freaking pathetic. A forlorn little girl . . .his own memories rose up like foul-smelling steam. Swallowing hard, he pressed on. “Greta, honey, what’s your last name?”

When she looked up, Miller gasped. Behind her, against the fence, a bright red McDonald’s French fry box clung to the base of the chain link. Directly behind her, yet he could see it clearly. That’s when he realized he could see .  . .right . . .through her.

Claire Gem Bio

Claire Gem

Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of emotional romance—sexy contemporary, supernatural suspense, and women’s fiction. She writes about strong, resilient women who won’t give up their quest for a happy-ever-after—and the men lucky enough to earn their love. No helpless, hapless heroines here. These spunky ladies redefine romance, on their terms.

Her supernatural suspense, Hearts Unloched, won the 2016 New York Book Festival. Her rock star contemporary, The Phoenix Syndrome, won the women’s fiction division in FCRWA’s The Beacon Contest.

A New York native, Claire has lived in five of the United States and held a variety of jobs, from waitress to bridal designer to research technician—but loves being an author best. She and her happily-ever-after hero, her husband of 38 years, now live in central Massachusetts.

You can find out more about Claire and her work here:

Website: http://www.clairegem.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.emotionalcontemporaryromance.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/clairegem.author

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gemwriter

Buy Links:

Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/6899776

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jt6k1p

Book Trailer:

http://bit.ly/1QreCAY

Circles of Fate by Pamela S. Thibodeaux #Eggcerpt Exchange

circles of fate

Circles of Fate

by

Pamela S Thibodeaux

 

circles of fate

Five Facts about Circles of Fate

My husband (now deceased) was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA while in the Army. That was before I knew him but he talked about it often.

Thibodaux is an actual city in Louisiana although spelled slightly different than my name (Thibodeaux), the two are pronounced the same – Ti-ba-dough with the i as in “it”.

There was a café in my hometown of Iowa, Louisiana named the “Feed Trough”

Although more regulated now, military in lieu of jail was an option in the past especially during war time.

Circles of Fate was initially written in 1989 and comprised of two five-subject notebooks. I typed it using a word processor in 1994 then the files were converted to rich text format (rtf) by a friend so that I could put it on my computer. That was in 2000. It sat virtually untouched on my computer until 2014.

circles of fate

Blurb

Set at the tail end of the Vietnam War era, Circles of Fate takes the reader from Fort Benning, Georgia to Thibodaux, Louisiana. A romantic saga, this gripping novel covers nearly twenty years in the lives of Shaunna Chatman and Todd Jameson. Constantly thrown together and torn apart by fate, the two are repeatedly forced to choose between love and duty, right and wrong, standing on faith or succumbing to the world’s viewpoint on life, love, marriage and fidelity. With intriguing twists and turns, fate brings together a cast of characters whose lives will forever be entwined. Through it all is the hand of God as He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Excerpt

“Promise me you’re sure or I won’t let you go.”

She would have to convince him or he’d never let her leave. She also knew he’d see through anything less than complete honesty.

“Oh, Todd,” she whispered, her voice urgent. “I wish it were that easy. I’m sure I have to try. But I want you to know something…” She hesitated, unsure how to say what she needed to say. “If things were different, if he weren’t so determined, if nothing was left between us, if I didn’t think there was a chance, I would stay.” Her eyes searched his for some sign he understood.

A ghost of a smile played around his sensuous lips, he nodded. “I know,” he whispered. “And I understand,” he said and gathered her close once more.

She should leave. Shaunna knew Joe waited for her, but was unable, unwilling, to end it, to end them, just yet. She held him firm in her embrace, committed the feel of his body to heart.

“I have to go,” she whispered, then clung, not yet able to turn him loose.

“I know,” he answered and tightened his arms around her. With a sigh of surrender, he stepped away, loosened his hold but rubbed her back and shoulders in a tender gesture.

“Don’t look back,” he whispered then dropped his hands to his side, clenched his fists.

She saw the struggle in his eyes, felt it in her heart, as each fought not to grab hold and cling. They gazed at each other, read the naked truth in each other’s eyes.

Neither wanted to be the first to walk away.

Shaunna touched his face, traced his features…his eyes, his jaw, his mouth. A shiver shook her when he held her hand and pressed his lips to her fingertips.

“I almost wish we had made love the other night.”

Almost?

The word echoed between them like a silent scream. The despair in his eyes slashed her heart another degree. He shook his head, swallowed hard.

“Know this. If we had, you would not leave here today.”

She stroked his cheek, her smile tender, bittersweet. “Take care of yourself. Please,” she whispered then placed her mouth on his.

Lips met on a sigh, breaths mingled on a sob. Each of them committed the kiss to heart, and fought not to cling to the other. With a final touch, a last trembling smile, Shaunna did one of the hardest things she’d ever done in her life.

She left.

Purchase Links

Kindle: http://amzn.to/13b6qCG

Print: http://amzn.to/1zfEzNH

Nook: http://bit.ly/1ySeQqJ

B&N Print: http://bit.ly/1wA6DsH

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/136qK7n

About Pamela S. Thibodeaux

 

circles of fate

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Links

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com

Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux

Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU

 

 

DEAD HOPE by Nicky Wells #thriller #romantic suspense #giveaway

dead hope

Dead Hope

by

Nicky Wells

 

dead hope

Genre: Thriller/Romantic Suspense

Release Date: 23 February 2017

Cat Hope doesn’t want to go to prison. She needs a job, and she needs it fast: judge’s orders. Caught in a drugs raid while trying to dull the pain of her parents’ deathaversary, Cat is serving a ‘rehab’ sentence under a new identity in the deepest depths of rural nowhere.

Kay Mahon, office worker by day and hacker by night, is on the run from a past life that he’d rather not remember.

When their paths cross, they discover that the night that derailed Cat’s future nineteen long years ago also changed the path of Kay’s life. Confused and intrigued, they begin to investigate the truth behind the deaths of the successful rock star couple Jackie and Adam Hope. Little do they know that their quest is putting Cat in grave danger.

After Cat goes missing, Kay finally puts the pieces together. But how is he going to find Cat and her abductor in a place as big as London before it is too late?

BUY LINKS

DEAD HOPE Links

KINDLE
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Hope-thrilling-suspense-romance-ebook/dp/B06WD89J1V/
US: https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Hope-thrilling-suspense-romance-ebook/dp/B06WD89J1V/

PAPERBACK:
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Hope-Nicky-Wells/dp/1542376157/
US: https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Hope-Nicky-Wells/dp/1542376157/

ABOUT NICKY WELLS: LOVE AND THRILLS

dead hope
AppleMark

Nicky Wells writes captivating romance and breathtaking thrillers featuring famous (or infamous!) feisty heroes and extraordinary villains. DEAD HOPE is her eighth book and the first published novel in her “Wake Up Dead” themed thriller series, with the next two books scheduled for release through the course of 2017 and 2018. Nicky has previously published seven works of romantic fiction both with US publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, and independently.

Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. She loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s hopelessly addicted to reading crime novels by the truck load.

Nicky’s books: Sophie’s Turn | Sophie’s Run | Sophie’s Encore | Spirits of Christmas | Fallen for Rock | Fairy Tale in New York | Seven Years Bad Sex

Join Nicky: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Romantic Novelists’ Association | Sapphire Star Publishing | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest | Google+

GIVEAWAY

Prize 1: £10.00 Amazon voucher and 1 signed bookmark
Prize 2: £5.00 Amazon voucher and 1 pen
Prize 3: 1 mug, 1 signed bookmark, 1 pen
Prize 4: 1 mug
5 runner up prizes: signed bookmarks

dead hope

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#TellaFairyTaleDay

Today is…

#TellAFairyTaleDay!

Never heard of it before? Well, you can read more about it here. The stories can cover everything from Grimm to urban legends.

Scottish legends, myths, and mystery are found in A Shadow in the Past, so what better time to celebrate it?

Even the cover exudes fairytale mystery. Once upon a time…

#TellAFairyTaleDay
cover by Aidana WillowRaven

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.

Available from the publisher 4RV Publishing or amazon

And then there’s the sequel … Shadows From Her Past

A cruel twist of fate returns Sarah Shand to her life in the year 2010 where she discovers she is a patient in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and has been for months. Struggling to come to terms with the situation, she insists she belongs in the year 1886 at Weetshill mansion with her husband the Laird, Robert Robertson, and adopted daughter, Jenny. Her family and consultant physician try to convince her she was dreaming or hallucinating but Sarah refuses to believe them.

Robert, who has experienced strange things at the stone circle at Gordonsfield Farm, somehow breaks through the time-space continuum and visits Sarah in his future. He pleads with her to return to the past but his cryptic messages only confuse her.

Medical student, David Robb, himself a descendant of the Robertsons of Weetshill, befriends Sarah. Fascinated with her stories of the past, after her release from the hospital, he takes Sarah to meet his parents, the current owners of the mansion and surrounding land.

This year, the winter solstice and lunar eclipse occur on the same day. Will a trip to the stone circle during this combination of events create the magic Sarah needs to return to 1886 and her family there? Or will she remain in the present and make a life with David?

Available to buy from amazon.

Do you have a favourite fairy tale? I’d love to know what is is. Tell me in the comments.

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.

BUY LINK

Choc Lit

Full range of buying options on the Choc Lit Site!

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

Author Links

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

Loveahappyending Lifestyle

Choc Lit | Romantic Novelists’ Association

GIVEAWAY

ECOPY OF THE BOOK
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336 HOURS by Rachel Cathan #RealLife #Giveaway

336 hours

336 Hours

by

Rachel Cathan

 

336 hours

Genre: ‘Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.’

Release Date: 13th February 2017

Publisher: SilverWood Books

The next 336 hours will be tough. No, the next 336 hours will be really tough…

I feel like an Olympian, waiting to see whether the years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication are finally going to pay off, or whether my body is about to fail me at the last hurdle and make me wonder why I ever hoped I could win.

My best friend is pregnant, my single friends are planning their pregnancies and, after five long years of tests and investigations, I’m coming to the end of my third – and supposedly final – IVF treatment. There are 336 hours to survive before I’ll know if I get to join the motherhood club. That’s 224 waking hours of pure psychological torture. 112 sleeping hours to stare at the ceiling and wonder, what the hell am I going to do with my life if it turns out I can’t have kids?

Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.

Extract 1:
They should have IVF farms for women like me to book into at times like these; pretty padded cells with flat-screen TVs and row upon row of feel-good DVDs and relaxation CDs, and beautiful gardens and luxury bathrooms with hot taps that would never heat up to embryo boiling temperatures, and gigantic rocking chairs so that we could legitimately sit and rock ourselves backwards and forwards for hours on end without looking completely crazy in the process.

Extract 2:
I can’t pretend to have a clue what she means, of course. I don’t know what it’s like to have little people shouting, ‘Mummy! Mummy! MUUMMEEE!’ all day long, to never be able to go for a wee on your own, to make spaghetti bolognese and then watch your dinner dates tip it straight over their heads, to stay up all night comforting a teething toddler, to spend hours coercing and pleading with very small people to put shoes and coats on so you can at last leave the fucking house.

But I want to know this life. Because that stuff gives you stories, first-hand experiences, and the right to exchange knowing smiles of solidarity with other frazzled parents as you all manoeuvre your wayward shopping trolleys around the aisles of Tesco.

And it comes with other stuff, too: the good stuff.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

Silverwood Books

Writing about real life – the pros and cons

When it comes to writing a book, sticking to what you know is generally considered sound advice, and writing about events that have happened in real life means that you’re already an expert on your chosen subject. But, as with anything, there are inevitably some downsides to exposing your real-life experiences – and the most obvious of these has to be that it feels like a pretty big risk.

Of course, writing from real life experience is a fantastic way of offering an insight into something that many people won’t understand, and/or giving a voice to all the other people in the world who will have experienced something similar in their lives. It’s a powerful way to connect with all those people, to let them know they’re not alone, or to increase public awareness of what others might be going through. The downside to this is that it’s so very revealing. And it’s not something that you can choose to tuck back in a drawer if you decide you’re just not in a ‘sharing’ kind of mood. The material you’ve put out there will, quite rightly, be considered fair game, and for me personally this means I should now prepare to be introduced to people as the woman who couldn’t get pregnant, the woman who had IVF, the woman who hates pregnant women, and possibly, if people have read the last page available on Amazon’s preview, even the woman who farts more than most people would care to admit to.
There is also the unavoidable fact that all kinds of people in your life, including your in-laws, your co-workers and your grandmother could potentially end up reading what you’ve written. A sobering, if not, horrifying prospect if, like me, your book contains details of your sex life, huge amounts of swearing and the real reason you avoided your grandmother’s 90th birthday celebrations. But then who could try to write a book with that particular audience in mind? And even if you did, you could pretty much guarantee that nobody would want to read it.

Next on the list of potential pitfalls is the issue of being completely immersed in your subject matter. While this is a great advantage in one sense, since your characters are bound to feel ‘real’ and three-dimensional, it can be a challenge to view the story from an outside perspective and to ensure it’s still going to interest people who aren’t quite as immersed as you are. For me, the challenge was to become my own ruthless editor, employing the rule of halving what I’d written, then sometimes halving it again, and ensuring I had a reliably harsh critic to cast an eye over my work at crucial stages; one who’d happily shout ‘I’m bored!’ if ever they sensed I was straying into self-indulgence rather than sticking to the edited highlights.

Like pretty much every other writer who shares first-hand experiences, I made the decision to be honest, because if the story isn’t honest then 1) the people who’ve shared your experience will know it instantly, and 2) there’s not much point to writing it in the first place if you’re not offering the reader something real.

But that does leave me with the worry that this honesty is going to come under fire; that I’ll be judged for being an awful person or for handling my difficulties with such bitterness and rage. ‘Is that really how you thought/felt? You’re not who I thought you were’ people might decide upon reading this honest, warts-and-all book.
This is part of the risk that, in the end, you simply have to take.

Just as I have, some writers will choose to create a little distance between their own life and the story, by describing it as ‘based on real life events’ rather than pitching it as an outright memoir. But even this doesn’t create the distance you might expect. While the names, the places and the superficial details might be altered, the emotions are 100 percent real, and ultimately this is what people are going to remember.

It all sounds more than a little scary when you stop to consider the reality of sharing something so intimate with anyone in the world who wants to read it. But then this is probably no different from the fears felt by fiction writers, whose characters and plots are completely make-believe. After all, whatever you write has to have been conceived within your own mind, and if it isn’t what you’ve experienced, then it can only be what you’ve longed for, dreaded or fantasised, so there is really no escape from the exposure a writer has to face. And, on the plus side, this real-life experience that you’ve chosen to reveal might just strike a chord with somebody who felt sure that nobody in the world ever could or would understand. And if that happens with just one reader who picks up your book then, in my view at least, the risk was entirely worth taking.

ABOUT RACHEL CATHAN

336 hours

RACHEL CATHAN is a writer from Bedfordshire. In 2001, a mutual friend introduced her to a part-time pub DJ in Southend-on-Sea. A month later, they had moved in together, around seven years later they tied the knot, and a little while after that – just like so many couples before them – they made the exciting and terrifying decision to start a family. And then, like a growing number of couples today, well…not a lot happened.

Throughout the subsequent years of fertility investigations and failed treatments, Rachel kept a diary of her experiences, and it’s from these first- hand encounters in the world of infertility and IVF that her first book, 336 Hours has been adapted.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/336Hours/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelcathan

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33350325-336-hours?from_search=true.

Blog: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk/rachels-blog/

Website: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk

GIVEAWAY

2 ECOPIES OF THE BOOK

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THROUGH THE BARRICADES by Denise Deegan #historicalfiction #giveaway

Denise Deegan

Through the Barricades

by

Denise Deegan

 

Denise Deegan

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: 8th December 2016

She was willing to sacrifice everything for her country. He was willing to sacrifice everything for her.

‘Make a difference in the world,’ are the last words Maggie Gilligan’s father ever says to her. They form a legacy that she carries in her heart, years later when, at the age of fifteen, she tries to better the lives of Dublin’s largely forgotten poor.

‘Don’t go getting distracted, now,’ is what Daniel Healy’s father says to him after seeing him talking to the same Maggie Gilligan. Daniel is more than distracted. He is intrigued. Never has he met anyone as dismissive, argumentative… as downright infuriating.

A dare from Maggie is all it takes. Daniel volunteers at a food kitchen. There, his eyes are opened to the plight of the poor. It is 1913 and Dublin’s striking workers have been locked out of their jobs. Their families are going hungry. Daniel and Maggie do what they can. Soon, however, Maggie realises that the only way to make a difference is to take up arms.

The story of Maggie and Daniel is one of friendship, love, war and revolution, of two people who are prepared to sacrifice their lives: Maggie for her country, Daniel for Maggie. Their mutual sacrifices put them on opposite sides of a revolution. Can their love survive?

EXCERPT

Prologue

1906

Maggie woke coughing. It was dark but there was something other than darkness in the air, something that climbed into her mouth, scratched at her throat and stole her breath. It made her eyes sting and tear. And it made her heart stall. Flames burst through the doorway like dragon breath. Maggie tried to scream but more coughs came, one after the other, after the other. She backed up in the bed, eyes wide, as the blaze began to engulf the room. She thought of her family, asleep in their beds. She had to waken them – with something other than her voice.

She hurried from her bed, peering through flame-lit smoke in search of her jug and washbasin. Reaching them, she flung water in the direction of the fire and began to slam enamel against enamel, fast and loud. She had to back away as flames lapped and roared and licked at her. But she kept on slamming.

Her arms grew tired. Her breath began to fail her. And she felt the heavy pull of sleep. She might have given in had she been alone in the house. But there was her father. There was her mother. There was Tom. And there was David. She could not give up.

Then like a miracle of black shadow, her father burst through the flames, his head tossing and turning. His frenzied gaze met hers.

‘Maggie!’

She began to cry with relief but relief changed to guilt as she realised that she had only drawn him further into the fire.

‘No! You were meant to take the stairs. You were meant to-’

‘It’s all right, Maggie Mae. It’s all right,’ he said, hurrying to her. He scooped her up and held her tight as he carried her away from a heat that burned without touching.

She felt cool air on her back as he opened the window. Wind rushed in, blowing the drapes aside. The flames roared louder, rose higher. But her father only looked out at the night sky. And down.

‘Missus O’Neill! I’m dropping Maggie down to you!’ he called. ‘Catch her now, mind. Catch my little girl.’ Then he looked deep into Maggie’s eyes. ‘Missus O’Neill is down below with her arms out for you. I’m going to drop you down to her.’

‘Will she catch you too?’

But he just smiled and kissed her forehead. ‘Make a difference in the world, Maggie.’

The sadness in his eyes filled her with a new terror. ‘But you’re coming too?’

He smiled once more. ‘I am, as soon as I get the others out. Now keep your eyes on mine, Maggie Mae. Keep your eyes on mine all the way down.’

BUY LINKS

Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/2gn8DnD

Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2gnsPpA

Denise Deegan

ABOUT DENISE DEEGAN

Denise Deegan

Denise Deegan is author of several best-selling novels for adults and teens. She has been a nurse, a china restorer, a pharmaceutical sales rep, a public relations officer, an entrepreneur and a college lecturer. Her most difficult job was checkout girl, though ultimately this ‘experience’ did inspire a short story…

Denise’s writing for Young Adults includes The Butterfly Novels: And By The WayAnd For Your Information and And Actually.

Denise writes women’s fiction as Aimee Alexander including Pause to RewindThe Accidental Life of Greg Millar and All We Have Lost.

Most recently, Denise has written an historical novel of love and revolution, Through the Barricades.

Denise is represented by the East West Literary Agency and Barry Krost Management. She is a member of the SCBWI.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/denise.deegan.3

Twitter: https://twitter.com/denisedeegan

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/818841.Denise_Deegan

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/denisedeegan/

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/denise-deegan-34b7795a?trk=hp-identity-name

Blog and Website:

https://denisedeegan.wordpress.com/

 

GIVEAWAY

A Signed copy of the book (open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

750 sales! Whoop! #celebrate #SOHH

750

Can you believe it? I can’t. The Secret of Hillcrest House has reached 750 sales in the amazon kindle store! Even snuck into the top 100 on a couple of occasions

It’s time to celebrate!

750

And not only 750 sales, but two top ten finishes in the Preditors’ & Editors’ Readers Poll for book released in 2016.

The Secret of Hillcrest House placed 7th overall in Horror

750 sales

and 8th in Mystery…

750 sales

and just outside the top 10 (11th) in both Romance and Book/eBook cover.

So you can see there are plenty of reasons to celebrate here at Celtic Connexions these days.

The ‘champers’ has been at the ready, chilling in the fridge, waiting for this moment so it’s time to pop the cork!

750 sales

750 sales

Here’s what the book is all about…

500

 

Sometimes there’s more to a house than bricks and mortar.

Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.

Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.

Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel The Secret of Hillcrest House?

And how about these quotes???

Melanie Robertson-King’s latest novel serves up a delightful blend of the supernatural and spicy romance, Lynn L. Clark, author of The Home Child, and Fire Whisperer & Circle of Souls: Two Novellas of the Supernatural, & The Accusers

Intrigue, dark buried secrets, hot romance and a neat twist in the tale make this riveting reading, Sheryl Browne, MA Creative Writing, Choc Lit Author

A fun read that keeps you guessing right up to the surprise ending, Dayna Leigh Cheser, Author of Janelle’s Time, Moria’s Time, Adelle’s Time, & Logan’s Time

Don’t they want to make you want to read it?

Here’s the universal amazon link so you can download your copy and find out what all the fuss is about.

If you’ve already purchased and read The Secret of Hillcrest House, you have my heartfelt gratitude.

THANK YOU!

 

 

My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King