#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 11 – an ‘off’ day

#SEWES2016

Sept 11 – Bankend to Gretna to Glencaple and back to Bankend

Things didn’t quite go to plan today. Because we booked in to Hutton Lodge for two nights, I wanted to use today to visit the Devil’s Porridge Museum in Eastriggs. It didn’t happen.

Driving around on an inflate-a-spare, limited to 50 miles and 50 mph, didn’t allow much leeway. We’d already driven the day before and would be again later to go for supper, although we hoped for a resolution long before then.

We didn’t dare leave the B&B either because that would be the time the tyre fitter would arrive.

The phone calls started again about 10:00 am. Phone the rental company, they say phone roadside assistance. Call roadside assistance, they say call the rental company. Send an email to the girl who rented us the car. Out of office message.

Things continued this way. The last words the recovery guy said the previous day “tyre fitter will be out by noon”. According to their computer system, he made the repair on the side of the road near Shawhead. Nope. Didn’t happen.

Finally, the ‘ace in the hole’ was played. American Express says no resolution – no payment. That got things moving. They were sending someone out with a new car.

About 4:30, I heard the rumble of a diesel lorry outside the B&B. Sure enough it was the ‘real’ recovery vehicle. He shook his head over the entire situation, but loaded Iain Insignia onto the rollback ready to drive us to Glasgow Airport to get us a replacement vehicle.

While all this happened, a phone call came in from an associate with the rental company branch in Carlisle. He was bringing us a new car and would an automatic be all right.

Recovery driver took the call and the two agreed that rather than float the car all the way back to the airport, we’d rendezvous at the Gretna Gateway Outlet Village.

Resolution closer but not there yet. When we rendezvoused, guy from Carlisle wanted a credit card# to pay for the full tank of fuel in the replacement vehicle. Nope. We paid for a full tank on the first car and only drove it 130 miles. He, too, shook his head over replacing the car over a flat tyre.

Once all the paperwork was completed, and I signed on the dotted line(s), we took possession of a black Ford Mondeo, which in North America is a Ford Fusion. I drove the exact same car to my book launch for A Shadow in the Past in Kansas back in 2012, but that’s another story.

Iain Insignia – starting mileage 3490 miles (almost brand spanking new!)
Iain Insignia – ending mileage 3620 miles

The Ford Mondeo – starting mileage 51403 miles (been around the block a few times)

It was late and we were hungry, so we drove straight to the Nith Hotel for supper. Rather than risk setting off another car alarm, we drove in the same direction the car faced and drove past Caerlaverock Castle and through the hamlet of Shearington on our way back to Hutton Lodge.

The day wasn’t a total waste. I had haggis (award winning no less) with my bacon and eggs at breakfast, got some blog work completed, and some manuscript formatting done, but it wasn’t the way I wanted to spend the second day in Scotland.

#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 10 – Glasgow to Bankend

#SEWES2016

Sept 10 – Glasgow to Bankend

The wait to clear customs hasn’t changed. It still takes forever. And that’s because of the queue to talk to a person. Through there and on to the car rental desk. Another long wait but that was the paperwork. Pre-pay for the tank of fuel because it’s cheaper, roadside assistance, etc. Our little car wasn’t quite so little. We took possession of a Vauxhall Insignia, 6-speed turbo diesel. We headed off to the ASDA store in The Phoenix Retail Park for at least one bottle of distilled/demineralized water for hubby’s CPAP machine.

When in the UK and driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, whilst sitting on the ‘wrong’ side of the car, and shifting gears with the ‘wrong’ hand, I am the designated driver. So no drinkies for me if we have to drive to a place for a meal. Besides, my husband hates driving over there. Did it once and that was enough.

I had brought my unlocked Samsung phone with me so I picked up a pay as you go SIM card. Figured, I could use it if we needed a second phone (purchased a plan through Rogers for hubby’s BlackBerry before we left home). After last year’s paying £10 for a SIM card that wouldn’t work, I wasn’t going to spend that much again. So this time I opted for ASDA’s own SIM card which only set me back 50p.

When we were over in 2000 we had seen Dunure Castle from the main A77 road. I had pretty much forgotten about it until seeing one of the BBC Scotland photo galleries in the weeks leading up to the trip. So, we put the location into Satnav Sally and off we went.

Dunure Castle is free but you have to pay to park in their car park because it’s all part of a larger complex with playing fields, playground equipment and public toilets. It cost us £2.50 to be able to wander in the remains of the castle and use the toilets before moving on.

Here’s our pretty blue car, that I named Iain. He’s the same size as a Buick Regal, which is bigger than my Chevy Cobalt that I drive every day.

Sept 10
Our first rental car “Iain Insignia”
Sept 10
Dunure Castle and doocot (dovecote)
Sept 10
Dunure Castle
Sept 10
Firth of Clyde with Ailsa Craig in the background
Dunure Castle
Dunure Castle
Sept 10
Doocot (dovecote)

Despite the beautiful blue sky, the wind blowing in off the water made it cool. Not quite jacket weather but I had a long-sleeved, black (soak in the sun’s rays) top on and even with that, I felt the chill a few times.

Not quite the way we drove from Dunure Castle but you get the idea. We went across the A719, the B7023, B741, A713, A712 to meet up with the A75 near Crocketford. Got my fix of narrow roads with passing places the first day. Add some cattle grids and narrow gates and it made for quite the adventure.

I mentioned earlier our ‘first’ rental car… well, there was a reason for that. Whilst driving across the aforementioned series of roads, we had a flat tyre. Meeting a car on a narrower road and getting over to make room for both of us to pass, some mud  sucked me off the edge and into a cleverly disguised pothole. And pothole is being kind. It was a bloody crater! It made for a bump but didn’t give it much thought at the time.

A bit further along the road, the tyre pressure indicator light came on. I pulled off the road but we couldn’t see anything amiss. At least now we were on the main A75. I limped into a lay-by, thanking our lucky stars that we decided to add the roadside assistance package (fix your car or bring you a new one) to our rental package.

I made the first of many phone calls at 3:00 pm. We were still stuck on the side of the road waiting at 6:00 pm! Eventually, the guy came and put the spare tyre on. They wouldn’t authorize us to do that (my husband is a recently retired mechanic) because we could jack the car up in the wrong place, damage the car, it could fall off the jack… yadda, yadda, yadda. They farted around long enough that the tyre company the rental and roadside assistance people use had closed for the day.

Two of the many phone calls were to the B&B where we were staying. The first call, I left a message on the answering machine explaining the situation. Then when 6:00 came and we were still sat there, I called back and spoke to them. At least we had one less worry… our room would be waiting for us no matter the hour we arrived.

See Shawhead on the map above? That’s how close to Dumfries we were. We sat there for 3 hours while the guy sent out to find us and get us mobile again looked for us on the other side of Dumfries!

He assured us that a tyre fitter would be at our B&B before noon to finish the job. He took down the address of where we were staying, and sent us off on our not-so-merry way.

After checking in at Hutton Lodge, getting the same room as we had last year, and our membership material from Historic Scotland waiting for us, we drove over to the Nith Hotel in Glencaple for a late supper. By then, I could have used a stiff drink but since I was driving (and limping around with a wounded car), I couldn’t.

After leaving the restaurant, while turning the car around on one of the narrow streets, I set off someone’s car alarm. I didn’t touch the car but there wasn’t any more than an inch of space on either side of the wing mirrors between the cars parked on both sides of this wee lane.

Not the nicest way to start a trip but with any luck, everything will get fixed in the morning.

 

#SEWES2016 ~ The adventure begins

#SEWES2016 ~ Scotland, England, Wales, England, and Scotland

September 9, 2016

Like my hashtag for the trip? #SEWES2016? We’re SEW-ing – and looking forward to our time in these countries.

Things right from the beginning have been weird. I renewed our membership in Historic Scotland back in early May to ensure I remained a ‘renewal’ member. There are more perks to that status. Well, the cards didn’t come. I contacted them in June as they sent out replacements cards. They didn’t come. I get the magazines quarterly so our mailing address is correct. Emailed them again, this time we decided to have them mailed to our first destination. They arrived there but only a few days before us.

Originally, the flight was supposed to be non-stop from Glasgow to Toronto but a stop over in Montreal was added after we booked.

As is the norm when we travel anywhere, I don’t pack until the day we’re leaving. Why do it sooner? It only gives you the opportunity to unpack, repack and do it all over again many times. And if your forget to pack something, there are stores in other countries. We have to buy distilled/demineralized water for hubby’s CPAP machine. Since water is heavy, we don’t want to cart a bottle of it in our checked bags anyway. Not to mention, if the plastic bottle broke in the suitcase, everything would be a soggy mess.

We booked a park and stay at the Quality Inn and Suites on Ambler Drive in Mississauga so we could leave the car there and take advantage of their shuttle bus to get us to and from the airport.

Here we are ready to embark on our adventure. Do we look happy? Excited? Nervous? Any or all of the above?

#SEWES2016
front seat selfie

It’s rare when we’re on vacation that we get photos of both of us together. Usually, it’s just one or the other. But, with my BlackBerry Z10 having front and rear cameras (so does my unlocked Samsung Galaxy Prime), it makes it easy to get pictures of us both together.

#SEWES2016
hotel lobby selfie

I don’t wear headbands a lot but decided to give them a go for this trip. I tie my hair in a ponytail for taking photos but there are always a few wisps of the mop that are too short to stay in (or even reach the elastic). And I can be guaranteed that the wind will blow these bits of hair in front of the camera lens. So it will be ponytail plus headband and we’ll see how that works. If it doesn’t then the tried and true method is to have hubby hold the blowing stragglers in place.

#SEWES2016
departure gate selfie

After flying Club Class with Air Transat in 2014 when we went to Paris, we decided never again to fly economy.  I mean if you’re going to be stuck in that cigar tube for 7+ hours, you might as well be comfortable. Wider seats, fewer passengers to have to share the loo with, blanket, neck pillow, slippers, and earbuds – this year all packaged up in a reusable cloth bag. And the other part of the comfort kit (designed to look like blue jeans) had a toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, lotion and lip balm, sleep mask and socks.

And did I mention champagne? Plus you get real glasses, real cutlery and real plates!

I did take a ‘champagne on the plane’ selfie but by then the excitement had got the better of me and I couldn’t hold the phone steady. It certainly wouldn’t have had anything to do with the three glasses of red wine I drank before boarding… 😉

Go figure, google maps can’t calculate the driving directions from Toronto to Glasgow…

Come back again tomorrow for the next installment of our #SEWES2016 adventure.

 

 

THE WHITE CAMELLIA ~ by Juliet Greenwood #guestpost #giveaway

Juliet Greenwood

The White Camellia

by

Juliet Greenwood

 

Juliet Greenwood

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: 15th September 2016

Publisher: Honno, the Welsh Women’s Press

1909. Cornwall. Her family ruined, Bea is forced to leave Tressillion House, and self-made business woman Sybil moves in. Owning Tressillion is Sybil’s triumph — but now what? As the house casts its spell over her, as she starts to make friends in the village despite herself, will Sybil be able to build a new life here, or will hatred always rule her heart?

Bea finds herself in London, responsible for her mother and sister’s security. Her only hope
is to marry Jonathon, the new heir. Desperate for options, she stumbles into the White Camellia tearoom, a gathering place for the growing suffrage movement. For Bea it’s life-changing, can she pursue her ambition if it will heap further scandal on the family? Will she risk arrest or worse?

When those very dangers send Bea and her White Camellia friends back to Cornwall, the two women must finally confront each other and Tresillion’s long buried secrets.

EXTRACT

Cornwall, 1909

It had not changed.

Sybil stepped to the very edge of the cliff and gazed down at the rambling old house below her, topped with a maze of chimneys, a crumbling reminder of its Jacobean finery.

There was no finery left in Tressillion House, she thought grimly. Even from this distance, the place held an air of ruin and abandonment. No smoke rose up through the chill morning from warm fires within. No bustle of servants, no carriage waiting to take the ladies on their rounds of visits and charitable works in the neighbouring village of Porth Levant. Not even Hector, the stallion, steaming in the frosted morning, taking the master of the house on an inspection of the mine, just visible on the next headland.

This was what she had set in motion, all those years ago. The perfect revenge.

Sybil shivered. She unwound the scarf from her head and breathed in deeply the salt blowing in from the sea, her eyes following the North Cornish coast as it vanished into the distance in the crash of spray against rocks.

The wind tugged at her, loosening her curls from the silver clasp at the base of her neck, sending tendrils of brown hair in a wild dance around her face. Sybil turned back to the house below. She had dreamed of this for so long. The moment she would have Tressillion House helpless at her feet. When the Tressillions − who had once had more than they could ever need, but had not thought twice about taking the last hope from people with nothing − would be destroyed, the survivors learning what it was like to be totally dependent on others.

Was this how revenge felt? Sybil hugged herself, pulling the folds of her coat around her, bent almost double by the grief coiling deep in her belly.

‘Beautiful, isn’t it?’

Sybil straightened, banishing any emotion from her face. ‘Indeed.’ She turned to meet the square, squat little man emerging from the smart new Ford automobile, one hand struggling to keep his hat on his head.

‘The best view of Tressillion House,’ he remarked. ‘You can see, Miss Ravensdale, just what an exceptional property this is. There’s none finer this side of Truro.’

‘So I see, Mr Roach,’ she replied, almost managing to banish any hint of irony. On their first meeting, the solicitor had made obvious his contempt at a spinster, not in the first flush of youth, daring to invade his offices in broad daylight for all the respectable citizens of St Ives to see. He had changed his tune a little too quickly at the sight of her gleaming new Chevrolet, shipped all the way from New York, and speaking more of true wealth than any flash of diamonds.

Tressillion House had proved a more than usually difficult properly to dispose of, and there were impatient creditors snapping at Mr Roach’s heels. She must have seemed like a miracle, a rich hotelier from America dreaming of owning a property in Cornwall. Who else, the gleam in Roach’s eyes declared, would be fool enough to live in an isolated mansion fallen on hard times, with the rollers of the North Cornwall coast clawing at the rocks on wild nights, and ghosts creaking amongst its rafters?

Sybil replaced the scarf around her head. ‘Shall we go?’

BUY LINKS

http://www.honno.co.uk/dangos.php?ISBN=9781909983502

https://www.amazon.co.uk/White-Camellia-Juliet-Greenwood/dp/1909983500/

https://www.amazon.com/White-Camellia-Juliet-Greenwood/dp/1909983500

https://wordery.com/the-white-camellia-juliet-greenwood-9781909983502

The lure of big old houses

I love big old houses. Or rather, big old houses with gardens. I suppose I never did quite recover from reading ‘The Secret Garden’ at an early age. I love visiting them, and I love writing about them. Like Kate Morton, it’s my trademark. My stories are very different to Kate Morton, and differ from each other, but however hard I try to escape, that big old house, crumbling at the edges, and the overgrown garden, ready to be brought back to life, are there.

I don’t live in a large old house, but I do live in a little quarryman’s cottage, halfway up a Welsh mountain, that was built during the 1840s. The lives of the generations who lived here were mostly ones of poverty and hard work, and some held downright tragedy. But I never feel uneasy here. The garden still has the remains of previous planting, the standpipe and the loo at the bottom of the garden, and the vegetable garden that allowed the earlier inhabitants to subsist. I enjoy living amongst the remains of lives once lived, and a garden that has clearly been loved over many years, and whose structure I’ve kept in my own version of garden love – polytunnel with a grapevine and all.

I suppose that is the fascination with going round old houses, like Glynllifon in North Wales, and Lanhydrock in Cornwall, and restored villages like Blists Hill in Ironbridge and the Black Country Living Museum. It’s fascinating looking at the surroundings where the rich and the poor lived, trying to imagine their lives, and the stories that surround them.

It’s also, not surprisingly, where ‘The White Camellia’ begins, with self-made businesswoman Sybil returning from America in 1909 to take over a large old house on the Cornish coast, still with the remains of the previous inhabitants strewn amongst its rooms and gardens. But this is a woman who will be haunted by the past, and the family, and house, she has helped to destroy. A woman with secrets, too proud to ask for forgiveness, but with a need to find her own peace with herself.

Although I didn’t realise when I was writing the book, ‘The White Camellia’ is drawn from every great old house, and restored village I have ever visited, and the intertwined lives that surround us, everywhere. I shall have to find new old houses and gardens to visit…

ABOUT JULIET GREENWOOD

Juliet Greenwood

Juliet Greenwood is the author of two previous historical novels for Honno Press, both of which reached #4 and #5 in the UK Amazon Kindle store. ‘Eden’s Garden’ was a finalist for ‘The People’s Book Prize’. ‘We That are Left’ was completed with a Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary, and was Welsh Book of the month for Waterstones Wales, The Welsh Books Council and the National Museum of Wales. It was also chosen by the ‘Country Wives’ website as one of their top ten ‘riveting reads’ of 2014, was one of the top ten reads of the year for the ‘Word by Word’ blog, and a Netmums top summer read for 2014.

Juliet’s grandmother worked as a cook in a big country house, leaving Juliet with a passion for history, and in particular for the experiences of women, which are often overlooked or forgotten. Juliet trained as a photographer when working in London, before returning to live in a traditional cottage in Snowdonia. She loves gardening and walking, and trying out old recipes her grandmother might have used, along with exploring the upstairs and downstairs of old country houses.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juliet.greenwood

Twitter: https://twitter.com/julietgreenwood

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/844510.Juliet_Greenwood

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/105731636741241490753/posts

Blog: https://suffrageladiestearoom.com/

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

GIVEAWAY

1st Prize – paperback copies of all 3 of Juliet’s books
2nd Prize – an ecopy of The White Camellia

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LITTLE KITTY THE CAT BURGLAR by Caterina Longtail #Alzheimer’s #giveaway

Caterina Longtail

Little Kitty the Cat Burglar

by

Caterina Longtail

Caterina Longtail

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Release Date: 5th September 2015

Little Kitty wouldn’t exactly call herself a cat burglar. She just likes to bring back the occasional gift for her humans… A lovely story for younger readers and adults alike – perfect for reading together. Beautifully illustrated by Catie Atkinson and designed by Rachel Lawston.

WHATS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE BOOK?

The book was written by a group of authors who donated their time free of charge. Each author wrote a chapter of the book. 100% proceeds of the sale of the book are donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK. The authors are: Suzan Collins, Tottie Limejuice, Jo Wilde, JB Johnston, Lucy Rayner, Ros Lyons, Ann Bowyer and Tracy Terry. Together, they became known as Caterina Longtail! The book was edited by Jaine Keskeys.

ABOUT ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH UK

Caterina Longtail

Check out Alzheimer’s Research UK http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/

‘We are the UK’s leading research charity aiming to defeat dementia. We power world class studies that give us the best chance of beating dementia sooner.

Our pioneering work focuses on prevention, treatment and cure. We are energising a movement across society to support, fund and take part in dementia research. We aim to empower people across all generations through greater understanding of dementia. Together we have the power to defeat dementia.’

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but there are other types of dementia too. It is possible to have more than one type of dementia at the same time. Alzheimer’s is sometimes seen with vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. You might hear this called ‘mixed dementia’. (all info taken from Alzheimer’s Research UK website)

 

GIVEAWAY

A paperback copy of the book

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CHANCES ARE by Wendy Lou Jones #excerpt #guestpost #giveaway

Wendy Lou Jones

Chances Are

by

Wendy Lou Jones

 

Wendy Lou Jones

Contemporary romantic fiction
Release Date: 27th June 2016

Luke is the man with the money, the fast car and the hot woman. There’s no way he would even think about getting serious, but a face he can’t remember soon threatens his calm.
Rebecca isn’t interested in a relationship, and definitely not with him. How could she, after all he put her through? She’s spent the last 4 years hiding away from society, a one-woman crusade for children’s road safety. Who would have thought one fateful day, it might almost be her … again.
As two worlds collide, will opposites attract?
Not if she can help it.

EXTRACT

Close up, she was like a porcelain doll, fragile and poised. Her skin was nearly as pale as her hair. Only her lips, with their deep pomegranate flush and those denim blue eyes brought life to an otherwise frosty palette and that dazzled him.
She seemed so together now, quite a different woman from the one he had witnessed before. He tried to think of a reason to speak to her, but nothing would come to mind. She paid for her milk and butter and glanced sideways at him, so cool and detached in his presence, and then she left the shop.
Luke placed his tin on the counter and chased after her. The lady behind the till called out to him as he sprinted away, but he ignored her. He needed to speak to the woman.
He caught up with her in a matter of seconds, catching her by the elbow as she tried to walk away. The woman turned and looked daggers at him and Luke was disarmed. He held up his hands. “I’m sorry.” He took a step back. “I just wanted to apologise for the other day.”
The woman said nothing, just looked at him and Luke felt his confidence slipping.
“I … I shouldn’t have left you there on the side of the road.”
“You shouldn’t have tried to knock me down in the first place,” she shot back, before he could blink.
Luke had not been prepared for an attack. “Er. No. But you did step out in front of me.”
“Well you should have been paying more attention, shouldn’t you?”
“I should…?”
She tried to turn away.
“Look.” This was definitely not going to plan. “I just wanted to say I was sorry.”
“What for, in particular?”
What?
The woman rolled her eyes and tried to turn away from him, but he reached for her again.
“Wait. What did you mean by that? For the other day, of course. I’m sure I apologised at the time, but … you were just a bit … vacant. You probably don’t remember.”
“Vacant?!”
“I’m sorry. What I’m trying to say is I should have made sure you were okay. I had hoped we could be civil about this.” Apparently not.
“Civil is a lawsuit, Luke. Go drive your fancy car with your fancy girlfriend and leave me alone,” and she stormed away from him up the road.
Luke’s jaw hung open. Such contempt from a woman he’d barely met. But the thing that had shaken him most of all, was that she seemed to know him.

BUY LINKS

PAPERBACK

EBOOK

TRAILER LINKS

Digging for gold

The story of Finding Sarah, the first book from Nutt Hill, came about years ago. I was walking through a field at the local ploughing match when I spotted a rather handsome man dressed subtly different from the rest. A few minutes later, I saw the local vicar and his wife walk into the field and my writer’s brain thought, mmm, what if…? This story ended with a new case of unrequited love arriving on the hill.

I wrote the second book, Sun on Sundays, about the new arrival, but with no luck from publishers, after that I changed tack and wrote The Songbird and the Soldier, which ended up being my first published by Harper Impulse.

Two books later, I was thinking about what to write while I waited for edits to be returned and could not shake these tales from my heart, so I got them out, dusted them off and reread them, at which point it was obvious why they hadn’t been publishable before. I had learned so much in that time! So I set about rewriting them in my time between edits going to and fro and finally brought them into line. I then wrote a first draft of 2 more to go with them. This is number 3 and number 4 is still under edit.

Chances Are -book 3 – is the story of Tom’s brother, Luke. Tom is the hero from book 2 and mentioned in book 1. It tells the tale of the transformation brought about by finding love.

The first three have now been published, and while I work on getting the fourth sorted out, I will say only this: you may well bury your early efforts in an unmarked grave at midnight, but never forget which clod they’re under!

ABOUT WENDY LOU JONES

Wendy Lou Jones

My name is Wendy Lou Jones. I was born and raised in West Sussex, England and moved to Birmingham to study Medicine at University, where I was lucky enough to meet my husband. We now live in a little village in Herefordshire with our two grubby boys. I discovered a love of writing not long after my youngest son started school. And if you were to ask me what it was that made me make the switch, I’d tell you quite simply, that it started with a dream.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WendyLouWriter

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6983363.Wendy_Lou_Jones

Instagram: wendylouwriter

Google+ https://plus.google.com/102655860574177863403/posts

Blog: http://wendyloujones.weebly.com/blog

Website: http://wendyloujones.weebly.com/

GIVEAWAY

The first 2 Nutt Hill novels – as signed paperbacks (open internationally)

Wendy Lou JonesWendy Lou Jones

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MISTAKES WE MAKE by Jenny Harper #excerpt #giveaway

mistakes

Mistakes We Make

by

Jenny Harper

mistakes

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

5th book in the Heartlands series (can be read as a standalone)

Release Date: 28 July 2016

Publisher: Accent Press

Sometimes you have to dig deep to discover what you really need.

Marketing events manager Molly Keir doesn’t realise how much she still cares for her ex until she meets him with another woman. Her answer is to seize the chance of a glittering job in London – even though this will mean leaving behind her aging father and pregnant best friend Lexie Gordon.

Adam Blair is in the wrong job. Pressured by his father to join the family law firm, the stress of work helped break his marriage. Now Molly is moving to London, and he knows he needs to move on – but events soon overtake his best intentions.

A year ago, Caitlyn Murray quit her well-paid job to avoid becoming a whistle-blower. Now she is stuck at home with her overworked mother and four needy step-siblings. Tempted by the offer of a good wage, she returns to her old firm – where her nightmare comes back to haunt her.

Molly and Adam seem to have gone too far to recover the love they once had, and when Caitlyn finds the courage to speak out, she brings all their worlds tumbling down.

EXTRACT

Molly Keir rummaged in her handbag and extracted her glasses.

‘Yum, this looks amazing. Scallops, black pudding, Gravadlax, sole paupiettes. Wow. I didn’t realise how ravenous I was till I started reading!’

Lexie whispered, ‘Molly.’

‘Mmm? What do you think about beef?’

‘Molly.’

Molly looked up at the note of urgency. ‘What?’

Lexie’s face had turned an odd shade, and her brown eyes had a panicky look about them. She was staring over Molly’s shoulder at the doorway.

Molly shoved her glasses back onto the top of her head and swung round. A woman was walking into the room. She was Asian – Indian perhaps? – and classically beautiful. Her hair fell in thick, shiny tresses halfway down her back, her eyes were dark as treacle and dramatically outlined in black. She was wearing scarlet. Afterwards, that was what Molly remembered most – the stunning silky dress, hugging a perfect figure.

For now, the dress and the woman faded improbably into the background because there was a man behind her. Not just any man – Adam Blair.

Molly’s husband.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

ABOUT JENNY HARPER

mistakes

I’ve been a writer for most of my life. I’ve written and co-authored a number of books on Scotland, a history of childbirth, a children’s novel and a romantic novel, all published some years ago. I’ve now turned my attention to writing the kind of novels I like to read – well written and with some depth, but not literary or too demanding. I like to tackle issues, but also to incorporate the complicated emotional challenges of day-to-day living.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/harper_jenny

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15692421-jenny-harper

Google+  https://plus.google.com/+JennyHarperauthor/posts

Blog:  http://jennyharperauthor.co.uk/category/myblog/

Website:  http://jennyharperauthor.co.uk/

GIVEAWAY

1st Prize – Paperback copy of the book
2nd Prize – ebook copy of the book (x2)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE MAGIC OF RAMBLINGS by Kate Field #guestpost #giveaway

Kate Field

The Magic of ramblings

by

Kate Field

Kate Field

Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction

Release Date: 8 September 2016

Publisher: Accent Press

Running away can be the answer if you run to the right place…

When Cassie accepts a job as companion to an old lady in a remote Lancashire village, she hopes for a quiet life where she can forget herself, her past and most especially men. The last thing she wants is to be drawn into saving a community that seems determined to take her to its heart – and to resuscitate hers…

Frances has lived a reclusive life at Ramblings, a Victorian Gothic mansion, for over thirty years and now Barney is hiding away there, forging a new life after his medical career ended in scandal. He doesn’t trust the mysterious woman who comes to live with his rich aunt, especially when she starts to steal Frances’ affection – and maybe his own too…

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My Writing Room by Kate Field

One of my favourite blog posts by authors is the ‘My writing room’ feature. I’m unashamedly nosy, and love driving round at that time in the early evening when lamps are lit but curtains not yet closed, looking in at thumbnails of other people’s lives through front windows.

A couple of years after we moved to our current house, we finally emptied the last of the packing boxes, and bought a desk for the study. It’s a lovely room, with an overflowing bookcase filling one wall, a glorious view over fields, and on the rare occasion when we have a sunny day, the light streams through the window. Here it is:

Kate Field

I wish I could say that this was my writing room. It would be such a treat to come in here each morning for a few uninterrupted hours with my notebook and pen. But the truth is that I’ve never written a word at that desk. Like most other writers, I have a day job and a family, and writing has to fit in the gaps, whenever and wherever it can.

In reality, much of The Magic of Ramblings was written in the kitchen, while keeping an eye on the dinner and struggling to help with impossible homework questions. Some of it was written in the car outside school, or in Sainsbury’s car park while waiting for a Saturday morning activity to end. Sparks of inspiration for scenes and conversations flared during the ironing or on the drive to work.

For me, the important point isn’t where I write, but where I write about. Ramblings is set in Lancashire, the county where I live and which I love. Here’s a picture taken on one of my favourite walks:

Kate Field

This is the Lancashire where my stories come to life. Cassie, my heroine, might lean on this gate to admire the view as she takes her solitary walks around the Ramblings estate; Barney, my hero, would stride through these fields, his dog, Gin, scampering at his heels.

So I don’t think it matters whether I use a writing room or not. As long as I have a window, I can look out and see thumbnails of my characters’ lives, and it’s all the inspiration I need.

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ABOUT KATE FIELD

Kate Field

Kate Field lives in Lancashire with her husband, daughter, and a recently arrived Russian Blue kitten, who may prove so distracting that she never has time to write again. The Magic of Ramblings is her first published novel.

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

Twitter: @katehaswords

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STRICTLY MY HUSBAND by Tracy Bloom #promo #party #giveaway

Tracy Bloom

Strictly My Husband

by

Tracy Bloom

Tracy Bloom

Genre: ROMANTIC COMEDY

Release Date: 16th July 2016

Couples who dance together stay together

Laura loves it when Tom takes her for a late night tango around the kitchen after their friends have gone home and they’re avoiding the washing up. She can’t dance but who cares when no one is watching?

All that changes when Tom arrives on the doorstep with Carly, a professional dancer, and announces he’s offered her the spare room to rent while she performs in a show that Tom is directing.

An outraged Laura doesn’t feel like dancing with Tom anymore but Carly does. It only takes two to tango, and given Tom’s history who knows where it could end? Will Laura be the one left watching from the sidelines whilst Carly waltzes off with her husband’s heart?

COUPLES WHO DANCE TOGETHER STAY TOGETHER – OR DO THEY?

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ABOUT TRACY BLOOM

Tracy Bloom

Tracy Bloom – The Low Down

Tracy Bloom was born quite a while ago, is average to short in height, buys clothes based on their ability to hide stuff rather than show stuff, has chemically enhanced hair and wishes she had kept her braces in longer as a teenager. But apart from that she is really happy to try and describe herself!

Tracy has always liked to say it how it is in her writing, right from when she began her first novel NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY nearly ten years ago. Her insight and wit has led her to be a number one bestseller, published in over a dozen countries and twice winner of the Love Stories Awards for Best Author Published Romance.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tracybloomwrites

Twitter: @TracyBBloom

Goodreads Author Page: www.goodreads.com/TracyBl

Website: www.tracybloom.com

FACEBOOK PARTY!!!

Come take part in the amazing facebook party for Strictly My Husband! Fun, games, reviews, more prizes and oh and more fun!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1752747325014113/

or email brookbooks@hotmail.co.uk for an invite!

As well as prizes on the Facebook event party page Brook Cottage Books is also thrilled to offer you a chance to win a signed paperback copy of the book!

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It’s Read A Book Day ~ #amreading

Sept 6th is Read A Book Day

#amreading

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. If you don’t have one locally, there is always the option of the larger chain store.

I also have a great collection of e-books on my iPad in the Kindle app.

#amreadingSince 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.

#amreading The Consequences Collection – 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.

For the younger readers,

#amreading Tim’s Magic Christmas

For Tim Frost, Christmas 2011 is a washout. No Santa. No presents. Nothing. His father lost his job when the mill closed and now the family is on the verge of losing their home.

A chance encounter with Nick Kringle, a modern-day Santa Claus teaches Tim that the greatest gift you receive is the gift of giving.

And for the adults,

#amreadingThe Secret of Hillcrest House

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?

 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

 

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?

 

 

 

My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King