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Welcome back to The French Adventure by @LucyColemanauth

French Adventure

The French Adventure

by

Lucy Coleman

 

French Adventure

Genre: Sweet romance/cosy mystery

Release Date: 1 February 2018

Publisher: Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus)

Packed full of French flavour and idyllic settings this is a romantic, heart-warming and unputdownable new novel about life and love, perfect for anyone who loves Milly Johnson, Lucy Diamond and Debbie Johnson.

Suddenly unemployed and single, Anna escapes to her parents’ beautiful house in France for a much-needed recharge – and to work out what she wants to do next with her life now her carefully mapped out plan has gone out the window.

Anna gives herself 6 months to recuperate, all the while helping renovate her parents’ adjoining gites into picturesque B&Bs. But working alongside the ruggedly handsome Sam on the renovation project, she didn’t expect for life to take an unexpected, if not unwelcome, twist…

Excerpt

The L Word

Two weeks today will be the first anniversary of our first real date. Being wined and dined in a chic little French restaurant was a gigantic step forward; it signalled the beginning of a new era in my relationship with Karl. Even though at least half of the meal was spent talking about work, his intentions were clear – we were no longer simply colleagues and romance was in the air.

Since then, Karl must have told me that he loves me more than a thousand times. You might think I’m exaggerating, but I can assure you that’s not the case. He usually manages to slip it into the conversation at least three times a day. The first time he said the L word to me, it slid off his tongue so easily I could almost have missed it. It wasn’t a staring into each other’s eyes moment of discovery, just a casual ‘love you, babe’.

As the months rolled by, I pushed aside my growing fear that it was only a word to him. Because it means so much more to me, I freeze whenever he tacks it onto a sentence.

And, yes, I’m very aware that my air of disapproval does make me sound ungrateful and undeserving. But it’s all about self-preservation, you see. I’ll never utter that word again until I’m one hundred per cent certain that the man I’m saying it to believes I’m their soul mate too – the perfect fit.

The last time I uttered the L word, was six years ago. It was to a guy I’d known since childhood and the man I genuinely believed I would marry when the time was right. He was handsome in a rugged way, fired up with ambition and exciting to be around. Sadly, everyone we knew thought we were the perfect couple too, except the guy in question, as it turned out…

BUY LINK

http://smarturl.it/TheFrenchAdventure

GOODREADS

https://goo.gl/k3hEkq

ABOUT LUCY COLEMAN

French Adventure

Lucy Coleman always knew that one day she would write, but first life took her on a wonderful journey of self-discovery for which she is very grateful.

Family life and two very diverse careers later she now spends most days glued to a keyboard, which she refers to as her personal quality time.

‘It’s only when you know who you are that you truly understand what makes you happy – and writing about love, life and relationships makes me leap out of bed every morning!’

If she isn’t online she’s either playing with the kids, whose imaginations seem to know no bounds, or painting something. As a serial house mover together with her lovely husband, there is always a new challenge to keep her occupied!

Lucy also writes under the name Linn B. Halton.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanauth

Goodreads Author Page: http://ow.ly/mk3H30atV5h

Website:  http://linnbhalton.co.uk/

GIVEAWAY

A signed paperback copy of The Secrets of Villa Rosso and an iHeart pack. (UK only)

French Adventure

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IF YOU LOVE ME I’M YOURS by Lizzie Chantree #romance #humour

LOVE ME

IF YOU LOVE ME I’M YOURS

by

Lizzie Chantree

 

love me

Genre: Romance/Humour

Release Date: 9th July 2018

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

‘If you love me, I’m yours…’

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.

Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

EXTRACT

Chapter One

Maud closed her eyes and prepared to jump off the emotional cliff she was teetering on the edge of. She shuffled forward until she felt sick with nerves, took a deep calming breath and waited.

‘Oh, Maud…’ her mother sighed. ‘Not again.’

Maud cringed at the familiarity of those words, and in her mind, she stepped off into the void and plunged into the icy darkness without a whimper. In reality, she was still in her lounge, but being around her mother made her feel like an abject failure and the words she uttered sliced through Maud and filled her with doom. Her mum pushed her to the edge of reason on a regular basis. She wished that for once her mother could try harder to be nice. Surely it couldn’t be that difficult to be grateful for the anniversary gift she had been given and to offer a smile, even a fake one, for the sake of her child? It was the same every year and Maud was finally ready to surrender and stop trying so hard to make them understand her and compliment one of her paintings. It was never going to happen, she realised with a heavy heart.

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, sensible clothes, a sensible love life… if you counted two overbearing exes and a one night stand who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he had started! She was ok with not fulfilling her dreams or being outrageous and carefree, she just wanted her parents to pay her a compliment, just once, after years of disapproval and disappointment.

Maud knew that as far as her mum was concerned, she was the most amazing parent who encouraged her daughter to have a responsible career until she settled down and found a ‘suitable’ husband. Granted, Maud was a very good, well-liked and adept teacher’s assistant in the local primary school, but every time she pushed against the boundaries set by her parents for their perfect daughter… ‘Oh, Maud!’

It was ridiculous, she was twenty-four, thought Maud. She wished she had a big glass of wine to slug back, but her mother would disapprove of that too, suggest in horror that she was a ‘wino,’ and hand her the number for AA, which she would have readily available in the little brown Filofax she carried everywhere in her patent handbag. The woman was a menace.

BUY LINKS

Universal link: If you love me, I’m yours: viewbook.at/IfYouLoveMe-ImYours

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/If-You-Love-Me-Yours-ebook/dp/B07C7HRNG1

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/If-You-Love-Me-Yours-ebook/dp/B07C7HRNG1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

LOVE ME

Award-winning inventor and author, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now runs networking hours on social media, where creative businesses, writers, photographers and designers can offer advice and support to each other. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lizzie.chantree.3

Author page: viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lizzie-chantree-03006425/

Blog: www.lizziechantree.com

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

LOVE ME

LOVE ME

GIVEAWAY

a signed copy of this book and a Swarovski crystal handbag charm.

(OPEN INTERNATIONALLY)

 

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HEATHCLIFF by Sue Barnard #historical #whatif #giveaway

heathcliff

Heathcliff

by

Sue Barnard

 

heathcliff

Genre: Historical/What if…?

Release Date: 30 July 2018

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now…”

Cathy’s immortal words from Wuthering Heights change Heathcliff’s life.  At just seventeen years of age, heartbroken and penniless, he runs away to face an unknown future.

Three years later, he returns – much improved in manners, appearance, and prosperity.

But what happened during those years? How could he have made his fortune, from nothing? Who might his parents have been? And what fate turned him into literature’s most famous anti-hero?

For almost two centuries, these questions have remained unanswered.  Until now…

EXTRACT

THE YORKSHIRE MOORS, 1780

Thomas Braithwaite, Coachman

I didn’t see the man at first, in the dark and the rain. It was only when he stepped out into the road, a mere few yards in front of the coach, that I saw him at all. I yelled, “Whoa!” and yanked on the reins to slow the horses down. He must have heard me, because he looked up and tried to jump out of the way, but I felt a thud, and heard a cry of pain.

I pulled the horses to a halt and stepped down from the box seat. That was when the carriage lamp lit up his face, and I got a better look at him.

It was not a comforting sight. He was lying on the ground and his arm was bleeding. He had no coat, his hair and clothes were soaking wet, and the eyes which were staring up at me displayed a wild light which gave him the appearance of a man possessed.

“Is anything the matter, sir?” I ventured to ask – although I knew the answer to this question almost before it had left my lips. Even without the injury to his arm, I could tell that there was clearly something very much the matter. No man in his right mind would be wandering across the moors, coatless and hatless, on a wet and blustery night such as this.

He stared at me and staggered to his feet, all the while muttering under his breath. As he drew nearer I could hear that he was making the same sound over and over again. But it made no sense. It sounded like “Degrade… degrade… degrade…”

I walked towards him, extending my hand.

“Sir, you are injured, and it is not good to be out in this foul weather. Please, will you allow me to transport you to your home?”

“Home?” he snarled, baring his teeth. “I have no home. Not now.”

I was anxious to know what had brought him hither, in a temper which so strongly matched the tempest around us – but this was neither the time nor the place to ask. Instead, I hastily tied my kerchief around the wound in his arm, then gestured towards the coach and offered to transport him to the nearby inn which was to be the coach’s destination for the night.

He appeared to consider this for a moment, then shrugged his thick-set shoulders and gave a barely perceptible nod.

I opened the coach door and motioned him to climb aboard. As he entered, I heard various words from the other passengers within, but could not make out what was being said. I closed the door behind him, climbed back into the box seat and tugged on the reins. The horses broke into a canter as we covered the remaining few miles to the inn.

I was troubled. Who was this mysterious stranger, and what was he fleeing from?

BUY LINK

http://mybook.to/heathcliff

ABOUT SUE BARNARD

heathcliff

Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet. She was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. After graduating from Durham University, where she studied French and Italian, Sue got married then had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent to her two sons. If she had her way, the phrase “non-working mother” would be banned from the English language.

In addition to working as an editor for Crooked Cat Publishing, Sue is the author of four novels: The Ghostly Father, Nice Girls Don’t, The Unkindest Cut of All and Never on Saturday.  Her fifth novel, Heathcliff, will be published on 30 July 2018, to coincide with the bicentenary of the birth of Emily Brontë.

Sue speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.  She is also very interested in Family History.  Her own background is far stranger than any work of fiction; she’d write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

Sue lives in Cheshire, UK, with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.

 

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

Twitter: @AuthorSusanB

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1171386.Sue_Barnard

Instagram: suebarnardauthor

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+SueBarnard

Blog: http://broad-thoughts-from-a-home.blogspot.co.uk/

GIVEAWAY

A first prize of a signed copy of Heathcliff (UK ONLY), and ten runner-up prizes of signed Heathcliff bookmarks (INTERNATIONAL).

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THE MISTRESS OF PENNINGTON’S by Rachel Brimble #saga #romance

Pennington's

The Mistress of Pennington’s

by

Rachel Brimble

 

Pennington's

Title of Book: The Mistress of Pennington’s

Series: Pennington’s Department Store

Genre: Saga/Romance

Release Date: 1st July 2018

Publisher: Aria Fiction

1910 – A compelling tale of female empowerment in Bath’s leading department store. Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.

Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath’s premier department store through her enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington, believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.

Determined to break from her father’s iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington’s into a new decade, embracing woman’s equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.

Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington’s plans for the store? Or will Edward prove himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?

EXTRACT

Her gentle study drifted to his mouth and back again. ‘Did you love her? The woman you once worked with?’

Joseph stared, as disquiet whispered through him. ‘Why do you ask?’

‘I find it implausible that a man who holds women in such high regard has not known what it means to love one. You have been in love. I see it in your eyes. Unfortunately for you, they’re very revealing.’

He ran his gaze over her face and hair. Every sound muted. The amber glow of the few lit candles danced over her skin, turning it pearlescent. ‘I was married. To a wonderful, caring woman. A woman who worked beside my father and I every day after we were married.’

Her voice softened. ‘What happened to her?’

‘She died.’ He would tell her no more, the shame of his failure burned like acid in his chest and he quickly stood, wanting the intensity to ease, her justified scrutiny to end. ‘Will you try on a pair of gloves?’

He brushed past her and breathed deep as he approached a box of his finished gloves. Lifting a pair of soft kid, perfectly stitched and the exact green of her eyes, the pale cream stitching the colour of her skin.

When he turned and walked back to his bench, she had sat in his seat. She carefully watched his approach, her eyes unreadable.

BUY LINKS

UK Amazon: http://amzn.eu/dOovcMn

US Amazon: http://a.co/661OTCK

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-mistress-of-pennington-s

ABOUT RACHEL BRIMBLE

Pennington's

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a brand new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s releases in July 2018.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelBrimble

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806411.Rachel_Brimble

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelbrimbleauthor/?hl=en

Blog: http://rachelbrimble.blogspot.co.uk/

Website: http://rachelbrimble.com/

GIVEAWAY!

£25/$25 Amazon Gift Certificate

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THE ROAD TO NEWGATE by Kate Braithwaite #historical #crime #giveaway

newgate

The Road to Newgate

by

Kate Braithwaite

newgate

Genre: Historical Fiction (crime/mystery)

Release Date: 16th July 2018

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

 

What price justice?

London 1678.

Titus Oates, an unknown preacher, creates panic with wild stories of a Catholic uprising against Charles II. The murder of a prominent Protestant magistrate appears to confirm that the Popish Plot is real.

Only Nathaniel Thompson, writer and Licenser of the Presses, instinctively doubts Oates’s revelations. Even his young wife, Anne, is not so sure. And neither know that their friend William Smith has personal history with Titus Oates.

When Nathaniel takes a public stand, questioning the plot and Oates’s integrity, the consequences threaten them all.

EXTRACT

“Mr. Thompson?”

At my side is a skinny fellow that Henry sometimes employs to deliver our pamphlets about the coffee shops. His sort often has a nose for news and will know if an arrest has been made or a scandal is brewing. He knows something now. I smell it on him, read it in the eager nod of his head. God knows, there’s gossip aplenty in the city, with talk of a missing magistrate and arrests of prominent Catholic Lords, so I turn my back on Anne, anxious for news. My conscience may creak as I listen to the young lad’s tale, but that’s easily ignored. Easily that is, until the sound of an altercation causes us both to twist round.

A woman, tall and sharp-featured, her lips pulled back from her teeth in bare anger, has her hand on Anne’s arm and is screeching at her. For a moment, I’m dumbfounded. I step towards them, but not quickly enough. In that split second, the woman tilts back her head and hurls a plume of spit right into my wife’s face.

No-one moves. Then the woman disappears into the crowd and Anne does her best to make light of it. She wipes her face, shows me her new bag, and insists on continuing about the fair as if nothing has happened. All she will say is that the woman was obviously deranged, some Bedlamite; quite a sorry case, in fact. I squeeze her hand, proud that my young wife can be so composed. And then I put it out of my mind.

In my defence, there is little enough time to remember it or question Anne further in the days that follow. The rumour whispered to me at the fair is the main news on everyone’s lips by the next morning. A man has been found dead in a ditch on Primrose Hill. He is identified as the missing magistrate, Sir Edmund Godfrey.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK: https://goo.gl/b2Nmu6

AMAZON US: https://goo.gl/11AJS7

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

NEWGATE

Kate Braithwaite was born and grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her first novel, Charlatan, was longlisted for the Mslexia New Novel Award and the Historical Novel Society Award. Kate lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children.

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

Twitter: @kmbraithwaite

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10792752.Kate_Braithwaite

Instagram: katembraithwaite

Blog: www.kate-braithwaite.com

Website: www.kate-braithwaite.com

GIVEAWAY

 A copy of the book, plus small handmade book of illustrations from the period. (Open internationally)

NEWGATE

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#Cover #Reveal ~ EYESIGHT TO THE BLIND by Richard F. Holmes

eyesight

Eyesight to the Blind

by

Richard F. Holmes

eyesight

Genre: spiritual/paranormal/self-help

Release Date: 25/06/18

Publisher: Satori Publishing

This is an extraordinary book that tells the story of the author’s journey from a place of darkness to one of light.  You will experience a roller coaster ride of extreme highs and lows as he takes your hand and leads you on a guided tour into the depths of depression and despair.  Whilst there you will feel his pain, you will be impressed by his brutal honesty and you will also laugh… a lot!  You will then ascend; out of the darkness and into the love.

This is not just another run-of-the-mill book on the paranormal; it is also an essential guide for daily living.  Author Richard F Holmes bares his soul as he gives the reader an insight into a medium’s work and life on the road, his well over 200 out-of-body experiences and how he has experienced different realms of existence and interacted with discarnate souls.  Incredibly, he then explains how it all pales into insignificance as life starts to reveal its true meaning.

“As I take the reader through each stage of my journey from childhood to present day, I have tried to write from the perspective of the mind-set and understanding that I had at the time.  The idea is that the reader evolves with the writer through mutual experience. Although I have refrained from using bad language, the language I have used reflects who I am; after all, you can take the boy out of North London, but you can never take North London out of the boy”.

The beauty of this book however, is the central message that the author conveys via his writing.  In life you do not have to be a victim.  Each and every one of us is powerful beyond our imagination.  It is only the thought that we are not that makes us victims.  Eyesight To The Blind is an exciting and powerful book that really needs to be read from cover to cover, it combines the paranormal with spirituality, but it is also a practical guide for daily living.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK: https://goo.gl/mR2nif

AMAZON US: https://goo.gl/2mZQV3

STOP PRESS!!!

Interested in reading and reviewing this book for a review tour? If you have a book blog and want to sign up for the tour 23rd – 27th July then email brookbooks@hotmail.co.uk

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

EYESIGHT

A Londoner by birth, Richard now lives in the South West of England.  He has written 13 books in the spiritual/self-help genre and also produced eight CDs; five of meditation and three of mantra chanting.  However, he has removed most of his prior work from circulation as he feels that it no longer represents who he is today.  As well as being a writer, Richard works in a hospice.  He is also an artist when he gets the inspiration, and worked as a medium for 17 years.

Since the so-called “shift” at the end of 2012, Richard has had what he describes as, “a series of eureka moments”, where life has started to reveal its true meaning.  As a result, he saw the futility of continuing his work as a medium and finally gave it up early in 2018.

Richard’s influences are, Ramana Maharshi, Neale Donald Walsch, Eckhart Tolle, Paramahansa Yogananda, Osho and Rupert Spira.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RFHolmesAuthor

Blog: https://richardfholmes.org/

EYESIGHT

 

A WOMAN’S LOT by Carolyn Hughes #historical #fiction #giveaway

woman's lot

A Woman’s Lot

by

Carolyn Hughes

 

woman's lot

Release Date: 4th June 2018

Genre: Historical fiction

Series: Book 2 of The Meonbridge Chronicles

Publisher: SilverWood Books

 

How can mere women resist the misogyny of men?

When a resentful peasant rages against a woman’s efforts to build up her flock of sheep.

…or a husband, grown melancholy and ill-tempered, succumbs to idle talk that his wife’s a scold.

…or a priest, fearful of women’s “unnatural” power, determines to keep them in their place.

The devastation wrought two years ago by the Black Death changed the balance of society, and gave women a chance to break free from the yoke of chatteldom, to learn a trade, build a business, be more than just men’s wives.

But many men still hold fast to the teachings of the Church, and fear the havoc the daughters of Eve might wreak if they’re allowed to usurp men’s roles, and gain control over their own lives.

Not all men resist women’s quest for change – indeed, they want change for themselves.

Yet it takes only one or two misogynists to unleash the hounds of hostility and hatred…

 

A Woman’s Lot is the second Meonbridge Chronicle, the sequel to Fortune’s Wheel.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2L5v0uv

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2xBCm6S

 

EXTRACT

At that moment, the constable knocked on Emma’s door. ‘Is Mistress Titherige with you, Mistress Ward?’

Emma invited him inside and he bowed to Eleanor. ‘Your sheep are found, mistress.’

She blanched at the gloomy expression on the constable’s face. ‘Are they dead?’ she asked, in a whisper.

He shuffled his feet and, when he spoke, his voice was quiet too. ‘Two dead, mistress. The third, nearly so––’

Eleanor cried out. ‘Dead! My lovely ewes. And their unborn lambs.’

Emma put her arm around Eleanor’s shoulders. ‘It’s wicked, that’s what it is. Those poor innocent creatures…’

Eleanor got to her feet. ‘Take me to them, master constable.’

But Geoffrey demurred. ‘No, no, Mistress Titherige, there’s no need—’

She tossed her head. ‘Yes, there is. I want to see them. Please lead me, master constable.’ And she swept from Emma’s house and strode down the lane behind Geoffrey, who was still trying, but failing, to dissuade her from her mission.

But if Eleanor had been determined to see what had happened to her sheep, when she did so, she wished she had not come after all.

The derelict barn was cold and damp, its roof partly fallen in, and the ancient hay piled up in the stall where her sheep were penned was giving off a foul and musty stink. As Geoffrey had already said, two of the sheep were dead, lying close together in the rotten hay, their tongues lolling from their mouths, their lovely fleeces all filthy and reeking. One had dried blood around her tail and, when she saw it, Eleanor’s hand flew to her mouth.

‘Had she already birthed?’ she said, a choke rising in her throat. She cast about her, looking for a lamb. Then Geoffrey hurried forward and scrabbled in the hay, one of his men holding a lantern high.

Shortly, Geoffrey stood up. ‘It’s here, mistress. Don’t look––’

But, refusing his advice, Eleanor went forward too. He pointed, and she pressed both hands to her face, as she stared down on the pitiful little body, dark and bloodied, nestled in the foul hay a short distance from its dam.

‘Where’s the third?’ she said, her voice a whisper.

‘Over ’ere, missus,’ said the constable’s man.

The third sheep lay apart from the others, on its side, panting, its eyes sunken.

‘She’s been deprived of water,’ said Eleanor, kneeling by the animal’s side. ‘How cruel…’

‘Or mebbe just ignorant?’ said the constable. He bent down and picked up some hay. ‘The hay’s all rotten, mistress. It’s been here years. Won’t ’ave done them no good.’

She looked up at him. ‘Bad hay and no water?’ She stroked the sheep’s muzzle, and tears filled her eyes. ‘The poor, poor creatures.’

Eleanor wiped away the tears on the sleeve of her kirtle. ‘Anyway, she’s past saving. So please, master constable, arrange for her to be freed from her suffering.’

Geoffrey bowed his head. ‘Will Cole’ll do it.’

ABOUT CAROLYN HUGHES

woman's lot

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

A Woman’s Lot is the second of the Meonbridge Chronicles, her series of historical novels set in fourteenth century England. The first, Fortune’s Wheel, was published in 2016. The third in the series is well under way.

Facebook: CarolynHughesAuthor

Twitter: @writingcalliope

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

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

Also at: http://the-history-girls.blogspot.com (20th of every month)

Website: https://carolynhughesauthor.com

Win an Ebook copy of Book 1 – Fortune’s Wheel

woman's lot

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AFTER THE SUN by Katherine E. Smith #contemporary #romance

Katherine E. Smith

 

After the Sun

by

Katherine E. Smith

 

Katherine E. Smith

Release Date: 28th May 2018

Series: Coming Back to Cornwall #2 (can be read as a standalone)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

When things seem too good to be true, they usually are. 

Alice is finding her feet managing the Sail Loft Hotel when Sam is presented with an offer he can’t refuse. The bad news is, if he says yes, he will have to leave Cornwall.

Sam’s visits home see him split in his loyalties between his daughter Sophie, and spending time with Alice. Sophie’s mother, Kate, seems to be doing her best to make things difficult.

Meanwhile, Alice’s friend Julie is also facing a long-distance relationship as her new partner, and Sam’s best friend, Luke, is working in London. With no children to think of, and plenty of disposable income (on Luke’s part at least), life should be more simple but Julie has yet to find a long-term job and Luke is still getting over the recent death of his mother.

Can these fledgling relationships pass the long-distance test, and can Julie and Alice make life in Cornwall work for them now that the summer sun has gone?

Extract

“Oh.” I feel like my stomach has dropped to the floor. I try to look happy. “But that is brilliant, isn’t it? It’s an amazing opportunity, it’s perfect for you.”

“Alice,” Sam says quietly and I look at him. “It’s not perfect, is it? Because it would mean being away from you.”

He’s been offered sponsorship through university, including a year’s practical experience partway through the course, and guaranteed employment afterwards. His exam results were some of the best in the country for his chosen course, Applied Marine Biology, and he’s actually been head-hunted by a brilliant conservation society. It’s more wonderful news, on top of everything else. Only the course they want him to do isn’t at Plymouth, it’s at Bangor, in North Wales.

414 miles away via the quickest route (seven hours, ten minutes). 389 miles via the A30 (seven hours, thirty-two minutes), five changes on the train (eight hours, fifty-eight minutes).

“You have to do it,” I say, “you have to. It’s too good an opportunity to turn down.”

I am saying the right words but I am willing him to say no, he won’t, he doesn’t want to. We have been apart for ten years, and back together again for a matter of weeks. I can’t bear the thought that we will be separated again. But I know that this decision needs to be his. He looks at me, his blue eyes serious and holding my gaze. I look away first, scared that I might cry.

“I don’t know,” he says. “I don’t know.”

“Number fifty-three!” The lady behind the counter calls out cheerfully.

“This is us,” I say, “I’ll go and get it.” I am grateful for the opportunity to break this moment. “Do you want any sauce?” I ask, trying to match the cafe lady’s tone.

“Alice…” Sam says but I am on my feet, walking towards the counter with a smile on my face while inside my heart is breaking. I know that he has to go.

Buy Links

AMAZON UK – https://goo.gl/neeV9A

AMAZON US – https://goo.gl/9YkSC8

About the Author

 

Katherine E. Smith

Katharine E. Smith is a writer, editor and publisher. An avid reader of contemporary writers such as Kate Atkinson, David Nicholls and Anne Tyler, Katharine’s aim is to write books she would like to read herself. She has three novels to her name, and one non-fiction guide, written with fellow indie authors in mind.

Katharine runs Heddon Publishing from her home in Shropshire, which she shares with her husband and their two children.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/smithkatharinee

Twitter: http://Twitter.com/KatharineESmtih

Website: www.katharineesmith.com

WONDROUS WORLD OF WITCHCRAFT AND MISERY by Sophia Cobbs

witchcraft

Wondrous World of Witchcraft and Misery

by

Sophia Cobbs

witchcraft

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: 5 December 2017

Publisher: Silverwood Books

Have you ever tried to conjure up the perfect man? It’s not as easy as it might seem, even if you are a powerful and intelligent witch.

Petulia and Miss Level find out that there is more to finding Mr Right than just a flick of the wand, and poof…there he is! Their latest attempt is gorgeous – as long as you don’t mind the horns and the singing, which of course they do. But when they try to fix him they run into some serious problems. To make things even more complicated, a mysterious and handsome stranger appears. But there is something not quite right about him either…

Will Petulia and Miss Level be able to fix everything and can they use their witchcraft to overcome misery?

 

EXTRACT

A muffled conversation between Petulia and Miss Level was a distraction for all the people in the audience, but they didn’t care. They were talking about important things. Like the weather. For some people this might have been a good indication of how badly the actors were performing. I mean, if the weather appeared to be more tantalising than the arts, there could only be something wrong with the arts. Unless the weather was actually extraordinary. I can understand that a hurricane would be very interesting, but the question is: who would go to the theatre in a hurricane?

Clearly Petulia and Miss Level. It makes you wonder if there actually were people around for them to distract. In any case, a performance during a hurricane has a valid reason for being below average. The actors were probably wondering how long the roof would hold up, and they had to shout to be heard over the howling wind.

When one of them finally noticed that the two audience members weren’t even paying attention, he signalled to his colleagues and one by one they left the stage to find safety in the basement of the theatre.

The last one shouted, “Switch off the lights before you leave,” which made Petulia raise her hand in affirmative response.

And then they were alone.

“Finally! It took them long enough.” Petulia grabbed her canvas bag from the seat next to her and stood up.

“Well, you know how daft actors are.” Miss Level waited for Petulia to squeeze past her between the rows of chairs, then picked up her own bag and followed. Instead of going to the exit, they crossed the room and walked up to the stage. Petulia fished a piece of chalk out of her bag and started to draw a pentagram on the floor of the stage. “It’s almost ten o’clock. We’ll never get this done in time.” Three points were already drawn.

“Nonsense. We’ve got all the time in the world.” Miss Level stopped at the first point and put a bowl filled with herbs on the tip. She rummaged through her bag again and found another bowl for the next tip and so on. When the entire thing was drawn and supplied with the right herbs at the right points, Petulia put her hand in her bag again and found two boxes of matches. She threw one to Miss Level on the other side of the pentagram, who, by some miracle, caught it perfectly. Then she checked her watch: 9:59. She glanced up.

“Are you ready?”

Miss Level had a match in her hand, ready to light it on the box. “Ready.”

Petulia kept her eyes on her watch while pulling a match out of her own box. “Now!”

Both women lit their matches, waited a full second with their eyes closed and then blew them out. At the same time as the flames died, the herbs in the bowls caught fire. The women spread their arms and started chanting indiscernible words. The smoke began to whirl around between them, creating a sort of vortex. This went on for ten minutes. Just when Petulia was about to ask if they were doing it right, a shadow appeared in the smoke. First it seemed like the smoke just got darker, heavier. But then it started to dissipate and they could clearly make out the form of a man. The smoke cleared completely and the chanting stopped.

Petulia put her hands on her hips. “Damn it. We did something wrong.”

Miss Level, who had a clear view of the man’s naked backside and was very distracted by it, asked, “What?”

“He’s not supposed to have horns.”

Miss Level’s eyes slowly roamed up the man’s body until she could see the unmistakable horns. She grinned. “Well, at least he doesn’t have a tail this time.”

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK: https://goo.gl/6MdEvF

AMAZON US: https://goo.gl/Go91h3

KOBO: https://goo.gl/Br8wnb

SILVERWOOD BOOKS: https://goo.gl/g74xgr

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

witchcraft

Sophia Cobbs was born in 1982 in Dendermonde, Belgium. She has always had a fondness for writing. In high school she wrote poems and short stories but mostly kept them to herself. This is her first novel.

When she isn’t writing or directing, she is doing one of two things: her day job as Office Manager for an IT company, or scouring wine tastings with her long-term boyfriend.

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

Website: http://www.sophiacobbs.com/

 

MURDER MOST WELCOME by Nicola Slade #cosy #mystery #GIVEAWAY

welcome

Murder Most Welcome

by

Nicola Slade

 

welcome

Series: The Charlotte Richmond Mysteries Book 1

Genre: Historical cosy mystery

Release Date: This edition Feb 2018 First Ed:2008

Publisher: Williams & Whiting Publishing

Outwardly a grieving young Victorian widow, Charlotte Richmond is concealing some scandalous secrets when she arrives at Finchbourne Manor to start a new life with her husband’s family. The wealthy Richmonds must never discover that her husband’s recent death in the Indian Mutiny came as a great relief. Nor must they hear about the rumors circulating in the army regarding his scandalous behavior. His death has also been the subject of speculation and Charlotte must take care not to spill any secrets. Above all she must make certain that nobody in her new life hears of her own adventurous upbringing in Australia. When the past catches up with Charlotte, she begins to fear for her own life.

Extract: MURDER   MOST   WELCOME

LATE SPRING 1858 – in the South of England

Chapter 1

As she laid out the body, Charlotte Richmond made two surprising discoveries.

     The first of these led her to suspect that the man on the bed had been murdered.  By whom, she had not the slightest notion. To whom she was profoundly grateful.

     The second discovery confirmed what she had known all along, that the deceased – late and far from lamented – had not possessed the habits of a gentleman.

     As this was the second time in less than a year that he had apparently been murdered Charlotte felt she might be forgiven for not falling into a paroxysm of grief; indeed, strong hysterics might, she considered, be a more appropriate reaction.

     Hysterics not being in her nature she merely veiled his face decently with a linen cloth and wondered what to do with the object she had so surprisingly encountered. ‘Well, well, 

well,’ she murmured. ‘Here you are, dead again, I see. I wonder what is to become of me now?’

A few short weeks previously, Charlotte, who was waiting with some trepidation in the entrance hall at Finchbourne Manor and trying to overcome her anxiety by observing the

ancient, dark oak of the panelling, the extreme chill of the flagstone floor, and the picturesquely leaded windows that let in so little light, had overheard her mother-in-law express a similar sentiment.

‘Oh, that dreadful Mutiny, what will become of that unfortunate child, poor, dear Charlotte?’ she had enquired, allowing an artistic sob to colour her voice.

‘Well, Mama,’ answered a prosaic female voice. ‘I understand that Charlotte is even now on her way home from India to Finchbourne. If you recollect it was your own suggestion, when we heard of dear Frampton’s sad death, that she should make her home here with us. And after all there is no reason to believe that Charlotte is a child; remember, dearest Frampton was thirty-seven and his letters made no mention that his bride was much younger than he was himself.’

‘Oh do hush, Agnes dear!’

In spite of the nervous tension that had her sitting ramrod straight on an uncomfortable oak settle, blackened by age, Charlotte listened, with wry amusement, to this conversation. Shifting very slightly in her seat she felt a twinge of guilt as she recollected how differently Frampton Richmond’s ‘sad’ death had been viewed by her military acquaintances in India.

I must say nothing, she thought, shaking her head.  I have seen the damage caused by a stray shell fired into the midst of the market place, who am I to lob a shell of my own and destroy their illusions about their lost hero – and for what?   Rumour?   Speculation?

No, not I, my part is to play the grieving widow and ingratiate myself into their home and into their affections, to make a settled home for myself at last.  Besides, she reminded herself, I dare not raise any spectres from the past, what if they found out about me?

Buy link to Murder Most Welcome

http://amzn.to/2HDLVlZ

Check out the other books in the series…

https://goo.gl/333Mj4

Nicola Slade

Nicola Slade

ABOUT NICOLA SLADE

murder

Nicola Slade has been a Brown Owl, an antiques dealer, and once lived in Cairo for a year. Her published novels include a romantic comedy, Scuba Dancing, three Victorian mysteries featuring a young widow, The Charlotte Richmond Mysteries, and three contemporary mysteries featuring recently-retired headmistress, Harriet Quigley, and her clergyman cousin, the Reverend Sam Hathaway. The Harriet Quigley Mysteries. Her eighth novel, a mystery romance, The House at Ladywell, was published in late 2017.

Nicola’s family is now grown up and she and her husband live near Winchester.

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

Twitter: @nicolasladeuk

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17100459.Nicola_Slade

Blog: www.nicolaslade.wordpress.com

GIVEAWAY

An ecopy of THE HOUSE AT LADYWELL (open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway