Category Archives: contemporary romance

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

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A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate

by

Linn B Halton

 

A Little Luck, a lot of fate 300 dpi

Genre: Romance/contemporary women’s

Release Date: 23 October 2016

Publisher: Choc Lit UK

When destiny calls, you need to pick up …

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

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

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

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A little luck, a lot of fate

EXCERPT

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT LINN B HALTON

Linn B Halton

Bristol-born Linn B Halton lives on the edge of the small market town of Cinderford, in the Forest of Dean, in the UK.

“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of strong coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, writing … and house renovation! Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache…”

An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Under The Stars also became a best-seller in November 2016. Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.

Linn writes chick lit, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LinnBHalton

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

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

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

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Three signed copies of A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love paperbacks.

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#NaNoWriMo 2016 Edition…

Well, I’ve taken the plunge. I’m doing #NaNoWriMo again this year. So committed to it, in fact, I’ve added a widget to the sidebar of my blog with the NaNo shield.

Will I be a winner this year? Who knows? I’m going to do my best.

Last year, I wrote my novel The Secret of Hillcrest House. While the finished product was less than 50,000 words, I did write every day so I still consider myself a winner.

The working title for this project is Second Chances. And here’s the short synopsis (subject to change, of course)…

Torn away from her first love, Jared Martin, in a family move to another country when she was a teenager, Katherine Murphy is devastated. Soon after her return to Aberdeen to attend University, she discovers Jared seemingly in a relationship with someone else. However; destiny has someone else in mind for Katherine – Colin Whithorn. They fall in love, marry and open a new and used bookshop. Their marriage comes to an abrupt end during the London bombings on July 7, 2005 when Colin is in the city on a buying trip for their store.

Devastated, she builds a wall around her heart determined not to let anyone in again who can hurt her – that is, until five years later when Jared walks into her shop. Despite him being her first love, he must tear down the barrier she’s created to protect herself. Given a second chance of a life with him, Katherine couldn’t be happier until another cruel twist of fate strikes and the helicopter he’s on returning from his job on an oil rig ditches in the North Sea. Will he survive the ordeal? Will they have a third chance at happiness? Or will Katherine have her heart broken yet again?

What do you think?

LOVE ON THE NILE by Ellie Gray #review #excerpt #giveaway

Ellie Gray

Love on the Nile

by

Ellie Gray

 

Ellie Gray

Contemporary Romance

Release Date:

15th June 2016

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Natasha embarks upon the holiday of a lifetime with her brother, looking forward to exploring the ancient sites Egypt has to offer. What she hasn’t bargained for is spending her holiday cruising along the Nile with Kyle Richardson, a handsome but moody archaeologist. Despite taking an instant dislike to Kyle, Natasha finds herself increasingly drawn to the man, particularly as his interactions with her brother reveal a gentler, more caring side to his character.

Having lost everyone he has ever loved, Kyle is a loner, believing himself to be cursed. He now spends his life moving around Egypt, ensuring he never lingers anywhere long enough to form meaningful attachments. Despite his better judgement, he finds himself drawn to this feisty young woman, but is afraid of the deeper feelings she stirs in him.

Can his feelings for Natasha convince him that it’s worth taking a risk on love?

Excerpt

“Natasha, darling!” The rather stout woman levered herself from the chair and swiftly crossed the room to throw her arms around her niece.

Breathing in the familiar perfume and leaning into the protective embrace of her aunt, Natasha’s irritation dissipated as quickly as it had appeared, and she closed her eyes against the sudden and unexpected tears of relief at having finally arrived at their destination. “Oh, Aunt Lucy, it’s so good to see you.” Her voice was muffled against Lucy’s shoulder and she took a deep breath before stepping back and smiling. “It’s been so long. I can’t believe we’re actually here at last.”

“It’s wonderful to see you, Natasha. I’ve missed you both so much.” Lucy lifted a hand to cup her niece’s face before turning to Nicky, hands on her ample hips as she scrutinised him critically.

“Oh, you always were like two peas in a pod. And, Nicky, you have grown into a very handsome young man. You have no idea how happy I am that you came.”

“Hello, Aunty Lucy, how are you?” Nicky briefly returned his aunt’s embrace before securing the baseball cap a little tighter on his head and asking the question foremost in his mind. “Can I have something to eat?”

Lucy shook her head with a smile and glanced at the man, who had so far remained silent throughout. “Kyle, this is my nephew Nicky, and my niece Natasha. I’m pleased to see that at least one thing never changes, and that is Nicky’s appetite.”

She caught Nicky’s arm and led him off to the far side of the room. “Come on, I’ve got some of your favourite biscuits over here in this cupboard.”

Natasha could see Kyle watching her younger brother, his eyes narrowed, and she felt the familiar churning in the pit of her stomach, trying to anticipate at what point he would realise Nicky had learning difficulties. Automatically, she tried to deflect that scrutiny, moving further into the room and feeling a sense of relief as Kyle’s gaze immediately swung towards her.

“Natasha Morgan,” she introduced herself, and held out her hand.

“So I gather.” His face was unsmiling and Natasha was uncomfortably aware of her earlier, rather waspish response to what was probably quite a reasonable conversation he had been having with her aunt. He pushed himself out of the chair to tower above her, his hair shining blue-black in the pale moonlight which streamed through the open window. Tall as she was, Natasha had to tilt her head back to meet his startlingly blue eyes. He was younger than she had initially thought, probably in his mid-thirties — just a few years older than herself.

There was a pause before he replied. “Kyle Richardson.”

He took her hand briefly, offering a firm cool handshake, before returning to his chair, long legs stretched out before him and crossed at the ankles.

“I’m sorry you overheard our conversation; I had no idea you were there.”

His voice was deep and husky, and his gaze once again followed her movements as she sank into the seat Lucy had recently vacated.

She nodded and spread her hands expressively, shrugging her slim shoulders. “I’m sorry if I sounded… irritated. It’s been a really long day and I hadn’t expected Aunt Lucy to arrange a personal guide for us. Please, it’s not a problem, we don’t want… we don’t need a guide, and I’m sure you have better things to do with your time.”

Kyle’s mouth twitched as if in amusement at the inadvertent slip of the tongue, but whatever he was about to say was lost as Lucy and Nicky returned, the latter clutching a packet of chocolate-covered biscuits.

“Oh, you’ve introduced yourselves. Excellent.” Lucy beamed at them, clapping her hands together. “I’m sure we’re all going to have a wonderful time together.”

“I was just explaining that Nicky and I are quite happy to find our own way around Egypt,” Natasha cut in quickly. “There is no need for Mr. Richardson to trouble himself.”

“Nonsense,” cried Lucy, fixing Kyle with a rather piercing gaze. “I’m not letting you wriggle out of this one, Kyle. You owe me rather a lot of favours and I am now calling one of them in. Heavens, man, I haven’t seen you in close to two years, and I happen to know for a fact that you haven’t taken a break for longer than that. It’s high time you did.”

Natasha observed this outburst with some surprise, having hardly ever heard her aunt speak so sharply. She risked a glance towards Kyle and saw that he was still reclined in his chair, arms folded over his chest, and a somewhat amused gleam in his blue eyes. He remained silent, obviously expecting Lucy to continue her reprimand.

BUY LINKS

Kindle UK   Kindle US 

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 My Review

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is the first book by Ellie Gray that I’ve read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

In the beginning, Kyle feels like he’s lumbered with being an ‘unofficial’ tour guide and Natasha is resentful to have one. She’s researched her trip of a lifetime and feels she can do it herself.

It doesn’t take long before she’s grateful to have the moody archaeologist there showing her and her younger brother, Nicky, the sites and taking her places that aren’t accessible to most tourists.

Ellie’s descriptions of the ancient sites and the climate made me feel like I was there along with Natasha, Nicky and Kyle.

Definitely a 5 star read!

ABOUT ELLIE GRAY

Ellie Gray

 

Ellie is a contemporary romance author and lives in the beautiful East Riding of Yorkshire with her partner, David, and two children, Joe and Abbie.

Love on the Nile will be her second novel published with the lovely Tirgearr Publishing – her debut novel, Beauty and the Recluse was released in February 2016.

A proud member of the Romantic Novelist Association, Ellie currently works full-time in public services and is studying for an MSc in Public Management, although she hopes one day to be able to write full time.
A few random pieces of information about Ellie:
• Favourite TV shows – The Walking Dead, The X-Files, Nashville, Dr. Who, The Great British Bake-off!
• Favourite Music – I’m an 80’s girl!, country, sixties, Elvis, classical (when I’m writing)
• Favourite Food – Indian, tapas, crisps, cheese
• Favourite Drink – black coffee – copious amounts when I’m writing, Sauvignon blanc when I’m not.

Facebook:  Ellie Gray Author

Twitter:  @elliegray58

Goodreads:  Ellie Gray Author on Goodreads

Instagram:  Ellie Gray Author on Instagram

Google+  Ellie Gray Author on Google Plus

LinkedIn:  Ellie Gray Author on LinkedIn

websites:  https://elliegrayauthor.wordpress.com

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BEFORE YOU by Kathryn Freeman #giveaway

Kathryn Freeman

Before You

by

Kathryn Freeman

 

Kathryn Freeman

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 7th June 2016

Publisher:  Choc Lit

When life in the fast lane threatens to implode …

Melanie Hunt’s job working for the Delta racing team means she is constantly rubbing shoulders with Formula One superstars in glamorous locations like Monte Carlo. But she has already learned that keeping a professional distance is crucial if she doesn’t want to get hurt.

New Delta team driver Aiden Foster lives his life like he drives his cars – fast and hard. But, no matter how successful he is, it seems he always falls short of his championship-winning father’s legacy. If he could just stay focused, he could finally make that win.

Resolve begins to slip as Melanie and Aiden find themselves drawn to each other –with nowhere to hide as racing season begins. But when a troubled young boy goes missing, everything is thrown into turmoil, including Aiden’s championship dream.

BUY LINKS

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AMAZON US

ABOUT KATHRYN FREEMAN

Kathryn Freeman

I was born in Wallingford but have spent most of my life living in a village outside Windsor. A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also loves to write romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…

I’ve two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in my life is all in my head. Then again, my husband’s unstinting support of my career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.

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

Twitter: @kathrynfreeman1

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathryn-freeman-2962209

Website: http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

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Brook Cottage Books presents Learning to Love by Sheryl Browne #excerpt #giveaway

Brook Cottage Books

Learning to Love

by

Sheryl Browne

 

Brook Cottage Books

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 14th 2016

Publisher: Choc Lit

Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely places …

Living in a small village like Hibberton, it’s expected that your neighbours help you in a time of need. But when Andrea Kelly’s house burns down, taking all her earthly possessions with it, it’s the distant and aloof Doctor David Adams – the person she would least expect – who opens his door not just to her, but to her three kids and slightly dotty elderly mother as well.

Andrea needs all the help she can get, dealing with aftermath of the fire and in the suspicious absence of her husband, Jonathan. But, as she gets to know David and his troubled son, Jake, she begins to realise that maybe they need her help as much as she needs theirs …

Previously released by the author.  Revised, edited and republished by Choc Lit in June 2016.

EXCERPT

I don’t know how you feel, David, do I? I don’t know you, other than what you’ve told me.’

David looked at her levelly. ‘The truth.’

‘The truth?’ Andrea was really incredulous now. ‘Apart from the one or two inconsequential little things you forgot to tell me? Or was it more than that, David? Three? Four? A hundred?’

‘Two! Twice. Bloody hell, Andrea …’

And that made it all right? She forced back the tears she desperately didn’t want to cry in front of him, again. ‘And I thought Jonathan was being devious. You take the biscuit, David, you really do.’ Shaking her head, Andrea moved to walk past him.

‘I’m nothing like Jonathan, Andrea,’ David said quietly. ‘I care about you.’

Andrea turned back. ‘And Jonathan doesn’t?’ She knew in her heart that her relationship had been floundering long before the fire that had blown her world apart, before David … She didn’t believe Jonathan’s tale about why he hadn’t been able to contact her any more than his claim to have found Dougal in the park. He’d been piling lie on top of lie since that dreadful night, and she would tackle him. Right now, though, she was more interested in what lies this man might concoct to extract himself from his mess.

‘Did he tell you the assessors had been?’

‘I haven’t had a chance to speak to him yet.’ Andrea walked on.

‘He’s hiding something, Andrea,’ David called after her. ‘I’m not sure what, but the fire, his preoccupation with Dee’s mental state, his story … It just doesn’t add up.’

Disbelieving, Andrea whirled around. ‘You’ll stop at nothing, will you? You paint yourself as a poor wounded hero, torn apart by grief and guilt and the havoc you created, and then you have the nerve to point out other people’s failings? Why?’

‘Andrea, I … I don’t know.’ David shrugged hopelessly. ‘I just want you to be careful, that’s—’

‘I mean, I’m no great catch, am I?’ Andrea went on, her fury growing. ‘Was what just happened between us another one of your mistakes, is that it?’

‘No!’ David fixed angry eyes on hers. ‘Dammit, Andrea I do care about you. I—’

‘I’m going.’ Andrea turned away.

‘Andrea, don’t.’ David caught her arm. ‘Please. The kids …’

‘Don’t you dare, David,’ Andrea warned him angrily. ‘Don’t you dare try to manipulate me through my children!’

‘They’re getting ready for bed, Andrea. There’s no point in upsetting them tonight.’

‘Me upsetting them?’ Andrea was flabbergasted.

‘Jake …’ David swallowed. ‘Give me a chance to speak to him, Andrea. Please, I’m begging you.’

Andrea felt her heart break inside her afresh, for Jake, for David, too, who was going to have to live with the devastating consequences of his actions; for Sally, who would surely need her friendship now, but which this man had made impossible. For herself.

‘Stay,’ David implored. ‘Please? For tonight, at least.’

Andrea studied his face, saw the desperation in his eyes; eyes where so many conflicting emotions played out. How little did she really know him? She could have loved him. Did, still. Yet hated him.

‘For Jake’s sake,’ she said, dropping her gaze to his hand still on her arm.

Relief flooding his face, David released his hold. ‘Thank you,’ he said, closing his eyes.

BUY LINK

Amazon Link: http://lrd.to/Learning-To-Love

 

ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE

Brook Cottage Books

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you sassy, 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.

CHOC LIT

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ONCE AND FUTURE WIFE by David Burnett #guestpost #giveaway

future wife

Once and Future Wife

by

David Burnett

 

future wife

Genre: Romance

Release Date: June 1 (May 1 in paperback)

Jennie Bateman has again fallen in love with Thomas, her former husband. However, Tasha, one of his children, is determined to destroy their relationship. Jennie had done that herself a number of years earlier. In the midst of a manic episode, she had deserted Thomas and their two daughters, choosing, instead, a life of shameless debauchery.

Perhaps she was shocked when Thomas filed for a divorce. Perhaps it was the influence of a preacher who took an interest in her. Perhaps she simply cycled back toward normal. Whatever the cause, years later, when she again made contact with her family, she was a different person. Even so, they wanted nothing to do with her.

But time moves on. Circumstances change.

Thomas’s second wife has died, leaving him a single parent with four adult daughters and a new-born. In Jennie’s eyes, he is the same good-looking, kind, loving person she had fallen for when they were in college.

In Once and Future Wife we follow Jennie as she goes a second round with her demons, hoping to find a way to stop them from destroying the possibility of a second marriage and the love and happiness that finally seem to be within her reach.

 

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

**********

GUEST POST

Elements of a Story

Many elements come together to make a successful story. To me, four stand out as being of great importance.

Conception

“Where did you get the idea for your book?”

It has been said that every story is a variation on one of no more than thirty-six unique plot lines. This might well be true, but I know my stories do not begin with a perusal of the options!

I find this question to be a tough one, because I seldom can give an exact answer as to what gave rise to my particular variation on one of those plots. My stories do not begin with a plot but with my life experiences, with events that I hear about from others, with stories I see in the newspaper or on television. I’ve never taken a story directly from any of these, although my life experiences and other real events often appear in my books.

For example, I have read that one of my ancestors, Sarah Proctor, arrived in the US on board a ship that sailed from Belfast. It cast anchor in Charleston harbor on Christmas Eve, seventeen sixty-six. Sarah and her family were given land in the colony, tools, seed, and transportation to their new home because they had arrived under a program designed for “poor Protestant immigrants.”

If I were going to write a story, I would begin by imagining what might have happened to her. I know that , several years later, Sarah married George Adams. How might she have met her future husband? Why did they fall in love? Did they fall in love? What complications might have arisen to complicate their relationship?

Maybe instead of a story of how the two fell in love, it would be one of how their love survived some traumatic event, the American Revolution, perhaps.

As I would consider Sarah, various possible stories would emerge. As I begin to write, I need not know the entire story. In fact, I don’t want to know all of it. Creativity does not stop when writing begins, and I want to be able to incorporate new characters, new twists in the story that are triggered as the story takes shape.

In other posts I have explained the process of designing a story with a passage from the Second Chance Café.

The author writes of a young woman who weaves beautiful scarves. They sell in upscale stores around the country and are often seen wrapped around the bodies of movie stars and celebrities. Each scarf is unique. How does she decide on the colors, the pattern, for a new scarf?

“I don’t know how you do that,” her father said, looking at the collection (of yarn) she held and shaking his head.

Honestly, neither did she. To this day, she could not explain how the colors came together in her mind. How one flowed into another as she sat at her loom. How the different strands of story became a whole. “I just see it. I don’t know where it comes from. Any of it. It’s just there.”

This is how it is with writing. The author doesn’t know where the specific events come from. Any of them. The author begins to write − and they’re just there.

Commencement

We often use the word commencement to mean graduation and we think in terms completing school. Commencement also means the beginning, and it is in this sense that I’m using it here.

The inciting incident is not always the first event in the story. It is the event that sends the hero in search of what he wants. It is the event that sets up the crisis.

In Once and Future Wife, the book opens when Jennie learns that her daughter’s stepmother has died. While her death opens the possibility that Jennie might reconnect with Thomas, her former husband, it does not cause her to do so. It does not propel her in that direction.

After she attends the funeral, Jennie could have returned home, seldom thinking of him again. In most cases, that’s exactly what would happen. The inciting incident occurs when Thomas reaches out to Jennie, asking her to babysit his newborn child, and she agrees to do so. On that day, the crisis is set in motion.

If I were writing about my ancestor, the story might begin on the cold, clear night on which her ship reached the harbor. She might have gone on deck and looked up at the stars. She might have gazed at the lights of Charleston, wondering what her future held.

The inciting event though, would likely come later, perhaps when she and George Adams meet for the first time. Maybe their land grants are adjacent. They meet, but and the boundary is disputed. They take an instant dislike for each other, but the dispute guarantees they will continue to have contact.

Conflict

In The Ninety Day Novel, Alan Watt indicates that conflict is central to our stories. He tells his readers – aspiring writers – to put their characters in relationships with other characters and see what will happen. Conflict, he writes, will ensue.

Conflict can be external or internal. We generally identify four types of external conflict: Person against Person, Person against Nature, Person against Society, and Person against God. In each case, something outside of our hero thwarts his attempt to obtain what he wants. In Once and Future Wife, Jennie has fallen in love, again, with her former husband, but one of his children is determined to prevent them from marrying again. The conflict is person against person.

In an internal conflict, the hero prevents himself from attaining his goal. Again, In Once and Future Wife, Jennie’s bipolar disorder drives her behavior in such a way as to threaten her opportunity to find happiness.

If I were writing about my ancestor, it may be that Sarah finds George Adams to be handsome and kind and good. She begins to fall in love with him. But he is the man who she believes is trying to steal her land! He comes by the small cabin she has built and she meets him with a loaded musket, ready to defend herself and her property. That is conflict.

Conclusion

The writer should know the conclusion to his story as he begins to write. If he doesn’t, then his story will lack direction, go off on tangents, and never have an acceptable ending.

We see this phenomenon, we think, in several television shows we’ve been following this year (Castle and Black List, for those are familiar with the shows.). The writers have gone to quite a bit of trouble to develop likeable characters, set up a storyline, and to introduce a crisis, but they do not appear to be able to ever reach a conclusion.

New twists emerge in the plot. The characters are quite busy chasing the bad guys, but, as the end of the season approaches, the crisis has not been resolved. One has the feeling that the writers set things in motion with no clear idea, perhaps no idea at all, of where how they were supposed to end. As a result, they have gone nowhere, and we feel sure that the season finale will not be satisfactory at all.

Books can suffer from these same problems. A conclusion should not be simply the last word written on the page. It should not simply be a cliffhanger designed to lead the reader into the sequel. At its conclusion, the reader may not be happy with the outcome, but she should be satisfied. The outcome should make sense in terms of the story and the hero, the main character, should have found what she needs.

If I know that Susannah and George will marry at the end, then this knowledge guides my writing. In spite of which roadblocks appear, I must leave a way over them or around them. It may appear that their relationship is doomed. Perhaps Susannah decides to marry someone else. Perhaps she wants to move to the city. Maybe she decides to sail home. Any of these can occur, but in the end, the two must marry.

**********

ABOUT DAVID BURNETT

future wife

I live near Charleston, South Carolina, with my wife and Bonnie, our blue-eyed cat. I enjoy traveling, photography, baking bread, and the Carolina beaches.

We have traveled widely in the United States and the United Kingdom. During one trip to Scotland, we visited Crathes Castle, the ancestral home of the Burnett family near Aberdeen.

My photographic subjects have been as varied as prehistoric ruins on the islands of Scotland, star trails, sea gulls, and a Native American powwow. I went to school for longer than he wants to admit and has graduate degrees in psychology and education. I was formerly director of research for our state’s department of education.

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/DavidBurnett.Author

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/DavdBurnett

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6579272.David_Burnett

Blog:

http://davidburnett.yolasite.com

Website:

http://davidburnett.yolasite.com

Amazon Author Page:

http://amazon.com/author/davidburnett

**********

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LOVE ON THE NILE by Ellie Gray #excerpt #giveaway

Nile

Love on the Nile

by

Ellie Gray

 

Nile

Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 15th June 2016

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Natasha embarks upon the holiday of a lifetime with her brother, looking forward to exploring the ancient sites Egypt has to offer. What she hasn’t bargained for is spending her holiday cruising along the Nile with Kyle Richardson, a handsome but moody archaeologist. Despite taking an instant dislike to Kyle, Natasha finds herself increasingly drawn to the man, particularly as his interactions with her brother reveal a gentler, more caring side to his character.

Having lost everyone he has ever loved, Kyle is a loner, believing himself to be cursed. He now spends his life moving around Egypt, ensuring he never lingers anywhere long enough to form meaningful attachments. Despite his better judgement, he finds himself drawn to this feisty young woman, but is afraid of the deeper feelings she stirs in him.

Can his feelings for Natasha convince him that it’s worth taking a risk on love?

Excerpt

“Natasha, darling!” The rather stout woman levered herself from the chair and swiftly crossed the room to throw her arms around her niece.

Breathing in the familiar perfume and leaning into the protective embrace of her aunt, Natasha’s irritation dissipated as quickly as it had appeared, and she closed her eyes against the sudden and unexpected tears of relief at having finally arrived at their destination. “Oh, Aunt Lucy, it’s so good to see you.” Her voice was muffled against Lucy’s shoulder and she took a deep breath before stepping back and smiling. “It’s been so long. I can’t believe we’re actually here at last.”

“It’s wonderful to see you, Natasha. I’ve missed you both so much.” Lucy lifted a hand to cup her niece’s face before turning to Nicky, hands on her ample hips as she scrutinised him critically.

“Oh, you always were like two peas in a pod. And, Nicky, you have grown into a very handsome young man. You have no idea how happy I am that you came.”

“Hello, Aunty Lucy, how are you?” Nicky briefly returned his aunt’s embrace before securing the baseball cap a little tighter on his head and asking the question foremost in his mind. “Can I have something to eat?”

Lucy shook her head with a smile and glanced at the man, who had so far remained silent throughout. “Kyle, this is my nephew Nicky, and my niece Natasha. I’m pleased to see that at least one thing never changes, and that is Nicky’s appetite.”

She caught Nicky’s arm and led him off to the far side of the room. “Come on, I’ve got some of your favourite biscuits over here in this cupboard.”

Natasha could see Kyle watching her younger brother, his eyes narrowed, and she felt the familiar churning in the pit of her stomach, trying to anticipate at what point he would realise Nicky had learning difficulties. Automatically, she tried to deflect that scrutiny, moving further into the room and feeling a sense of relief as Kyle’s gaze immediately swung towards her.

“Natasha Morgan,” she introduced herself, and held out her hand.

“So I gather.” His face was unsmiling and Natasha was uncomfortably aware of her earlier, rather waspish response to what was probably quite a reasonable conversation he had been having with her aunt. He pushed himself out of the chair to tower above her, his hair shining blue-black in the pale moonlight which streamed through the open window. Tall as she was, Natasha had to tilt her head back to meet his startlingly blue eyes. He was younger than she had initially thought, probably in his mid-thirties — just a few years older than herself.

There was a pause before he replied. “Kyle Richardson.”

He took her hand briefly, offering a firm cool handshake, before returning to his chair, long legs stretched out before him and crossed at the ankles.

“I’m sorry you overheard our conversation; I had no idea you were there.”

His voice was deep and husky, and his gaze once again followed her movements as she sank into the seat Lucy had recently vacated.

She nodded and spread her hands expressively, shrugging her slim shoulders. “I’m sorry if I sounded… irritated. It’s been a really long day and I hadn’t expected Aunt Lucy to arrange a personal guide for us. Please, it’s not a problem, we don’t want… we don’t need a guide, and I’m sure you have better things to do with your time.”

Kyle’s mouth twitched as if in amusement at the inadvertent slip of the tongue, but whatever he was about to say was lost as Lucy and Nicky returned, the latter clutching a packet of chocolate-covered biscuits.

“Oh, you’ve introduced yourselves. Excellent.” Lucy beamed at them, clapping her hands together. “I’m sure we’re all going to have a wonderful time together.”

“I was just explaining that Nicky and I are quite happy to find our own way around Egypt,” Natasha cut in quickly. “There is no need for Mr. Richardson to trouble himself.”

“Nonsense,” cried Lucy, fixing Kyle with a rather piercing gaze. “I’m not letting you wriggle out of this one, Kyle. You owe me rather a lot of favours and I am now calling one of them in. Heavens, man, I haven’t seen you in close to two years, and I happen to know for a fact that you haven’t taken a break for longer than that. It’s high time you did.”

Natasha observed this outburst with some surprise, having hardly ever heard her aunt speak so sharply. She risked a glance towards Kyle and saw that he was still reclined in his chair, arms folded over his chest, and a somewhat amused gleam in his blue eyes. He remained silent, obviously expecting Lucy to continue her reprimand.

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ABOUT ELLIE GRAY

Nile

Ellie is a contemporary romance author and lives in the beautiful East Riding of Yorkshire with her partner, David, and two children, Joe and Abbie.

Love on the Nile will be her second novel published with the lovely Tirgearr Publishing – her debut novel, Beauty and the Recluse was released in February 2016.

A proud member of the Romantic Novelist Association, Ellie currently works full-time in public services and is studying for an MSc in Public Management, although she hopes one day to be able to write full time.

A few random pieces of information about Ellie:

  • Favourite TV shows – The Walking Dead, The X-Files, Nashville, Dr. Who, The Great British Bake-off!
  • Favourite Music – I’m an 80’s girl!, country, sixties, Elvis, classical (when I’m writing)
  • Favourite Food – Indian, tapas, crisps, cheese
  • Favourite Drink – black coffee – copious amounts when I’m writing, Sauvignon blanc when I’m not.

 

Facebook:  Ellie Gray Author

Twitter:  @elliegray58

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LEARNING TO LOVE by Sheryl Browne #guestpost #ChocLit #excerpt

Sheryl Browne

Learning to Love

by

Sheryl Browne

 

Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely places …

Living in a small village like Hibberton, it’s expected that your neighbours help you in a time of need. But when Andrea Kelly’s house burns down, taking all her earthly possessions with it, it’s the distant and aloof Doctor David Adams – the person she would least expect – who opens his door not just to her, but to her three kids and slightly dotty elderly mother as well.

Andrea needs all the help she can get, dealing with aftermath of the fire and the suspicious absence of her husband, Jonathan. But, as she gets to know David and his troubled son, Jake, she begins to realise that maybe they need her help as much as she needs theirs …

~~~

You may have gathered, Learning to Love is here! Could it have ever found a more perfect home than with Choc Lit, where heroes are like Chocolate: irresistible? Could it have ever found a more beautiful cover?

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Read an excerpt?

Andrea laughed as the two women made precarious progress onwards, Eva all sweetness and light, Dee her usual rude self. ‘Honestly, what would you do with them?’

‘Well, maybe not put them out to grass, just yet,’ David suggested, not very diplomatically probably, but he couldn’t help himself.

‘No.’ Obviously getting his meaning, Andrea glanced away. ‘I adore the furnishings,’ she said, walking across to trail her hand over the back of the sofa. ‘And the décor. I can’t think how you knew I was about to decorate my lounge in this colour, before the fire, obviously.’

‘Ryan, he put me right on a few things,’ David said. ‘Andrea?’

‘Hmm?’ Andrea was now admiring the blinds.

‘Where did the bruise come from?’

David watched, keeping a tight rein on his anger, as Andrea glanced immediately down, visibly debating whether to drop that bastard Eden in it?

‘I … fell,’ she eventually mumbled, her shoulders deflating.

‘Right.’ David nodded slowly. ‘And was Jonathan in the vicinity when you fell, by any chance?’

‘No, I … Yes. It …’ Andrea turned around and leant wearily against the edge of the dining table. ‘It wasn’t what you’re thinking, David. It was an accident.’

‘I see.’ David nodded again and counted silently to five. ‘Andrea,’ he glanced at the ceiling, ‘if you knew how many times I’d heard that.’

‘David, it wasn’t … He didn’t—’

‘How many times I’ve had people, women mostly, come into my surgery with bruises, broken bones, smashed in faces—’

‘David, don’t!’ Andrea pushed herself away from the table.

‘They all trip or fall, Andrea! Or walk into doors. I’ve heard every conceivable excuse there is for a bruise that was more probably caused by a fist!’

‘It was not!’ Andrea stood her ground adamantly, but glanced away again under his questioning gaze.

David closed his eyes, furious inside. He didn’t want to upset her. He didn’t want to frighten her, and he possibly was, but he most definitely wanted the truth. ‘Did you argue?’ he asked more quietly.

Andrea deliberated. David waited.

She nodded, finally. ‘The bruise was an accident, but, yes, we did argue.’

And that, as far as David was concerned, was enough. An argument that resulted in a person sustaining physical injury meant it was a violent one. ‘And did you resolve anything?’ he asked, his throat tight. As in, did Eden admit he was a thieving piece of scum?

Sheryl Browne

Tempted? Even I am, having read some of the gorgeous pre-release reviews.

You can grab your copy here: Amazon

Thank you so much, Melanie, for featuring me on your lovely blog. Thank you too to all those readers and book bloggers for your wonderful support. The road to publication can sometimes be a little bit bumpy. Without you, I might still be languishing down the potholes.

For anyone kind enough to purchase the book, I would love your feedback. Because, at the end of the day, the fate of Doctor Adams is in the hands of the reader.

Keep safe all!

About Sheryl Browne

Sheryl Browne

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you sassy, 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.

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BEAUTY AND THE RECLUSE by Ellie Gray #excerpt #giveaway

Beauty

Beauty and the Recluse

by

Ellie Gray

 

beauty

Beauty and the Recluse by Ellie Gray

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 12th February 2016

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Following the recent death of her father, and in need of both a job and somewhere to live, Kiya takes a housekeeping job on the spur of the moment. She soon finds herself living in a beautiful but neglected mansion, working for a strange and reclusive man.

St. John is a man scarred by the past, both physically and emotionally, and is determined to live out his life alone. They are two very different people, drawn to each other almost against their will, but can Kiya convince St. John that he is not the monster he believes himself to be?

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EXCERPT

Singing softly to herself, Kiya was halfway into the room before she realised that she was not alone. From the corner of her eye, she saw St. John O’Neill spin around in surprise and she gave a startled cry, the vase slipping through her fingers to smash on the floor by her feet. He was a very tall man, easily 6ft. 5ins, broad-shouldered and muscular. His thick black hair, although clean, was long and unkempt, and his beard did not quite hide the vivid scar that ran from high on his right cheek down to his mouth. Incredibly bright blue eyes bore into her and, despite the scar and his rough, dishevelled appearance, Kiya was breathlessly aware that he was an incredibly attractive man. He continued to stare at her, radiating an aura of menace, and Kiya gave an unconscious shiver.

‘Seen enough?’ he asked coldly.

Blushing furiously, aware that she had been staring, Kiya quickly bent to pick up the pieces of shattered vase.

‘Leave it.’ His words were clipped.

‘I’m sorry, I didn’t realise what time it was. I’ll just clear…’ she babbled, nervously.

‘Dammit, I said leave it.’

Her hand jerked at his unexpected ferocity and she gave a yelp of pain as the sharp edge of the broken vase sliced her palm. She stood quickly, lifting her hand to check the severity of the cut, and felt a wave of nausea wash over her at the surprisingly profuse amount of blood pouring from the wound. She heard St. John mutter an explicit curse and looked up to see him striding quickly towards her, his expression furious.

ABOUT ELLIE GRAY

beauty

Ellie lives in the beautiful East Riding of Yorkshire with her partner, David, and two children, Joe and Abbie.

Ellie is a contemporary romance author, published with the lovely Tirgearr Publishing, and is a proud member of the Romantic Novelist Association.

Her debut novel, Beauty and the Recluse, was published in February 2016 and her second novel, Love on the Nile, is due to be released in the Summer of 2016. Inbetween working full-time in public services and studying for an MSc in Public Management, Ellie is currently working on her third novel.

A few random pieces of information about Ellie:

  • Favourite TV shows – The Walking Dead, The X-Files, Nashville, Dr. Who, The Great British Bake-off!
  • Favourite Music – I’m an 80’s girl!, country, sixties, Elvis, classical (when I’m writing)
  • Favourite Food – Indian, tapas, crisps, cheese
  • Favourite Drink – black coffee – copious amounts when I’m writing, Sauvignon blanc when I’m not.

 

Facebook: Ellie Gray Author

Twitter: @elliegray58

Goodreads: Ellie Gray Author on Goodreads

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LinkedIn: Ellie Gray Author on LinkedIn

website: https://elliegrayauthor.wordpress.com

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The Rest of My Life by Sheryl Browne #contemporaryromance #review

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THE REST OF MY LIFE

BY

SHERYL BROWNE

 

sheryl browne

Genre: Contemporary Romance : Release Date: 1st July 2015

Publisher: Choc Lit @ChocLituk

Recommended by the WH Smith Travel Fiction Buyer

Shortlisted for the LoveStories Awards 2015

A Being Anne’s Book of the Year 2015

The Rest of My Life – When is it time to stop running?

“You can’t run away from commitment forever … “

Adam Hamilton-Shaw has more reason than most to avoid commitment. Living on a houseboat in the Severn Valley, his dream is to sail into the sunset – preferably with a woman waiting in every port. But lately, his life looks more like a road to destruction than an idyllic boat ride…

Would-be screenplay writer Sienna Meadows realises that everything about Adam spells trouble – but she can’t ignore the feeling that there is more to him than just his bad reputation. Nor can she ignore the intense physical attraction that exists between them.

And it just so happens that Adam sees Sienna as the kind of woman he could commit to. But can he change his damaging behaviour – or is the road to destruction a one-way street?

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**********

My Review

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love Sheryl Browne’s writing! Her characters are larger than life, likeable and vulnerable. Case in point – hero bent on self-destruction, heroine recently out of a relationship, and a lovable black Labrador.

Their paths intertwine and you wonder if they’ll get together. Sheryl skilfully keeps us wondering until she’s ready to reveal the outcome.

This was a book that once I started, I had to keep reading.

Unputdownable! ☆☆☆☆☆

I look forward to reading more of this author’s books.

**********

ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE

sheryl browne

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, poignant 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 seven books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies

Sheryl’s new contemporary romance novel was recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer. THE REST OF MY LIFE comes to you from award-winning Choc Lit.

Websitesheryl browne | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Loveahappyending Lifestyle

Safkhet Publishing | Choc Lit | Romantic Novelists’ Association

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