Posted in Blogging Communty, Writing Journey

Have You Ever Stayed in a Haunted House?

At the weekend my husband and I were looking at holiday cottages on the internet. We came across a lovely property which was pleasantly furnished and would let us take our two dogs then I saw it – the suit of armour in the living room and I knew nothing could convince me to stay at that house.

Image credit Rama. Medieval armour complete. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/90/Maximilienne-p1000557.jpg

 Where did this ‘strange’ phobia originate?

Many years ago when I was about ten I stayed at an old rambling house in Exmouth Devon England. The house was spacious and able to accommodate my parents, grandparents and me with ease. The only drawback was some of the artifacts it housed.

It also had a weird atmosphere  that my mother noticed  as soon as she went in. Being so young  I didn’t know why the house felt creepy just that it did.

The house had three floors and I slept on the first floor in a room across from my grandparents. My parents slept on the top floor and in their room was  a suit of armour.

Even in the daylight the ambience of the room was odd. At night my mother heard noises. She dismissed these at first. It was an old house and bound to have creaky floor boards and squeaky door hinges  and suspect plumbing but would this account for the clanking she heard in the dead of night which seemed to stem from the room she was asleep in?

My father never heard a thing sleeping deeply all the time my mother lay frightened in bed. The following morning  she dismissed what she heard as an overactive imagination but was it?

I slept badly the whole time we were there and finally I spent part of the night in my mother’s room  whilst my father slept downstairs. That night my mother woke and saw the suit of armor which stood against the wall closest to the foot of the bed move. I slept through it all safe now I was with my mother .  Half asleep my mother wasn’t too disturbed  she had  experienced paranormal happenings before. It was only when she recalled what she saw in the cold light of morning that she wondered if the house was haunted. It must have spooked her because we left the following day and stayed elsewhere and now whenever I see  a suit of armour I always remember that house and the way it made me feel and my mother’s experience with the  strange suit of armour in her bedroom.

Have you ever stayed or lived in a haunted house or a house with an atmosphere? I would love to know. 🙂

Ghostly Encounters in the Lakes? Read Here.

Posted in Blogging Communty

ABC Award – Belated Acceptance. Oops I Forgot

I was nominated last year for the ABC award by the incredible Incy Black  who you can find here Incy Black  – Into the Black. 

Fortunately for me the rules are simple:.

You post the Logo.

Post your A to Z.

A is for animal welfare something really close to my heart.

B is for books ,electronic or paper I love them all.

C is for  cat – My cat Tommy is 15 and  such a character I think he will appear in one of my stories soon.

D is for dogs of which I have two. Jazz and Oby keep me company whilst I write.

E is for elegance I love reading about the elegant Regency times.

F is for Father I miss mine so much and think about him everyday.

G is for Gardening one of my favourite hobbies.

H is for Happiness something I think is really important to share.

I is for individuality something to be encouraged.

J is for Jane that’s me 🙂 and Jazz my beautiful dog  who features on my FB and Twitter

K is for kids of which I have two and  they  are my greatest success story.

L is for Love something to be treasured in my life.

M is for Mum. I miss mine and hope she would still be proud of me.

N is for Naughty much more fun than nice.

O is for Oby my lovely rescue dog who  completes our family.

P is for Pleasley where I write.

Q is for quirky like my stories.

R is for romance my favourite literature.

S is for sensual the type of romance  I enjoy writing most.

T is ‘The Dragon Legacy’ my first e-book the realisation of a lifelong dream.

U is for Us.

V is for Vince my husband of over 30 years.

W is for Writers always there when I need a friend.

X is for Xavier my  fearsome demon in The Dragon Legacy.

Y is for you –  my blog followers who read my rambling posts and follow my book reviews.

Z is for  Zane the wolf /man who is the hero of book 2 in The Dragon Legacy.

Finally nominate another lucky blogger or two.

 Fiona Chapman and Tracey Rogers I nominate you. 🙂

The Dragon Legacy Cover

Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review of Ever Near Melissa McVicar

Ever-Near-800-Cover-reveal-and-PromotionalI was asked to review this Young Adult Paranormal novel by the author Melissa MacVicar. Before my review here’s what you can expect from ‘Ever Near’ the first book in the Secret Affinity series.

‘Love is ever near. But trouble is never far.

Nantucket Island is haunted, but only sixteen-year-old Jade Irving knows it. Ignoring the disturbing spirits isn’t an option, because one dwells in the enormous historic home she shares with her newly blended family. Jade is finding it more and more difficult to explain away Lacey’s ghostly, anguished tantrums, especially with Charlie, her gorgeous, almost step-brother, living right across the hall.

When a power-hungry ghost hunter tracks down Jade and blackmails her, Jade’s secret teeters on the edge of exposure, and her entire future hangs in the balance. If anyone finds out Jade can talk to ghosts, her life will be forever changed.

Can she save herself, free Lacey, and hang on to her tenuous connection with Charlie? Or will everything she ever wanted slip through her fingers?

Add Ever Near to your Goodreads

My Review

 Ever Near is a Young Adult Paranormal romance.

Teenage Jade’s unusual supernatural gift seems like a curse. It frightens her and interferes with her already complex life. Living on Nantucket Island with her mother who is about to remarry is complicated enough. Jade rarely sees her father or her paternal grandparents whom she loves and misses. Then there’s Charlie her soon to be step brother who she is crushing on. Fair Ever her new family home proves more challenging than she imagined. Only she can see the sad, tormented ghost who lives there.

Terrible nightmares threaten to reveal her secret and Charlie who sleeps across the hall starts to suspect something is amiss with Jade. As they become emotionally attached Jade’s gift threatens to destroy their new-found feelings.

Jade is a lovely character courageous and vulnerable as she battles with entities she cannot fully understand. She turns to the local ghost hunter for help but he only wants to exploit her gift. Dealing with him matures her and proves she isn’t a victim. Until Charlie realises her secret only in her journal can Jade record and make sense of what she sees. Charlie is a great young hero willing to support and protect Jade despite his misgivings about the truth of Jade’s stories.

The story is interesting and well paced and Jade’s observations about the community humorous. I particularly liked the descriptions of the ghosts which produced vivid images in my mind.
The plot is full of suspense as Jade faces conflict on all sides. Help from an unexpected person makes the ending of the story satisfying and believable.
Ever Near is a charming story with romance, humour, poignancy and suspense which make it an absorbing page turning read.
I received a copy of this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Melissa MacVicarMelissa MacVicar has lived most of her life on Nantucket Island. A true native, she’s able to trace her ancestry back to the island’s first settlers. After attending The Pingree School, she went on to graduate from Franklin and Marshall College with a degree in English. She also received a master’s degree from Boston University School of Social Work. When she turned forty, Melissa decided to renew her adolescent passion for fiction writing. Having once thought writing a novel to be an impossible dream, she’s proud to be achieving her childhood ambition.
Melissa currently lives with her husband and two children on Nantucket where she teaches 7th grade Writing Composition. When she isn’t teaching, parenting, and writing, Melissa enjoys running, eating expensive chocolate, and watching her beloved Patriots.

Posted in Blogging Communty, Writing Journey

My Writing Process Blog Hop – Part Two

I was asked to take part in this blog hop again by Harlequin Intrigue author Janie Crouch whose blog  ‘The Adventures of Calamity Jane’ is always a good read.

 Janie writes romantic intrigue novels for Harlequin Intrigue and her debut novel Primal Instinct is  out April 2014: Here’ what her first book’s about:

51KjSx9G1sL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_A killer stalks the city streets, and one FBI agent is determined to bring him down in Janie Crouch’s Primal Instinct.

On the crowded streets of San Francisco, a serial killer watches and waits. Known only as “Simon Says,” he lures his next victim while the FBI grasps for answers. Desperate, they turn to Adrienne Jeffries. Adrienne has an uncanny talent for getting inside the city’s most dangerous minds. But first she’ll have to get past FBI agent Conner Perigo.

Skeptical of Adrienne’s abilities, Conner begrudgingly enlists her help…unprepared for the powerful attraction that could jeopardize their focus. With little time, and everything to lose, they must work to find Simon’s next victim—before he does.

Here’s the link if you want to check out Janie’s post last week: http://run-janie-run.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/my-writing-process-blog-tour.html

As  I have already posted my answers to these questions on my current work in progress ‘The Revenge Masquerade’ I decided to talk about the other novel I am  half way through writing ‘The Dangerous Gift’.

What Am I Working On At The Moment?

 the dangerous giftAs soon as I have finished The Revenge Masquerade I’m  revisiting The Dangerous Gift which is the novel I started last year.  It is set in Texas. Here’s the blurb:

‘Jennie Taylor receives an unexpected gift; a Texan ranch!

 After the sudden death of his father Jared Stewart is forced to come to terms with sharing control of his family ranch. Reunited with her first love Jennie’s heart still belongs to Jared. She is determined to prove her commitment to him and the ranch by discovering who is behind the series of dangerous accidents that threaten the ranch’s viability.

Finally acknowledging his love for Jennie can Jared’s protectiveness keep her safe? Or will her recklessness lead her into irrevocable peril ending their chance of love forever?’

How Does My Work Differ From Others Of The Genre?

I entered the first chapter of The Dangerous Gift in last year’s ‘ So You Think You Can Write’ competition. When it didn’t final no real surprise there I decided  the story I wanted to write wouldn’t fit the Harlequin Intrigue guidelines. So now I’ve raised the heat level  because it is definitely a romance. Along side this I deepened  the thriller aspect of the story. So I have a  romantic thriller. I hope 😉

Why Do I Write What I Do?

  I like variety. My aim is to write stories in all the genres I like until I find the one I enjoy writing most.

Current work in progresses are:

The Revenge Masquerade – Paranormal / Fantasy Romance

The Dangerous Gift – Romantic Thriller

Past Shadows – Historical Gothic

 How Does Your Writing Process Work?

I aim to write everyday.

 Since my last post I am aiming for a set number of words each day before I do anything else like social media or book reviews This seems to be working well at the moment. 🙂

Sadly  I didn’t get any takers for next week’s  Writing Process Blog Hop 😦

Posted in Author Interview, Blogging Communty, Book Review, New Books

4* Review of Non Fric.tion Morgan Parker

After 12 years, 4 months and 1 and 1/2 weeks of marriage, his wife packs up and leaves with their daughter. So he writes an Indie novel. And it becomes a bestseller. Well, sort of.

His fame brings him the lifestyle of a rock star, and he has the fan mail (i.e. female undergarments, probably clean) to prove it.

But seeing his fame, his wife suddenly believes in marriage counseling. Their homework: to create something beautiful for each other.

So he writes Our Story, his literary secret-weapon that will win his wife back. But in the process he discovers that true love is more than just ticking the right boxes on a checklist, it starts with…..well…..}i{

 

BUY LINKS:
 

I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading Non Fric.tion especially since the author is a man who writes under a pen name adding an extra layer of mystery and anonymity.
The story’s concept deals with Morgan Barker’s survival plan when his marriage of more than twelve years ends after his wife walks out of the marital home taking his only child.
I found all the main characters very realistic. They were easy to imagine but not always likeable. Non Fric.tion is full of sharp observational humour which kept me turning the pages. The story reminded me of a literary version of a reality show.
Morgan Barker the ‘hero’ tells his own story and this makes it both cynical and poignant. The plot is complex and  the ending is unexpected.

I usually prefer my reading to have a heavy dose of escapism and this story didn’t give me this but it is compelling and appealing in a quirky way.  I especially liked the story within the story angle.

If you want something a little different Non Fric.tion is for you.
I received a copy of Non Friction from the author as part of his blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

Morgan Parker is the pen name for a shy and introverted banker. He currently divides his time between Toronto, Canada and his imagination. When he isn’t writing or working with clients or relaxing at Balzac’s with a medium non-fat cappuccino, Morgan Parker enjoys spending time with his family. And sleeping, preferably on a bed (the left side) but depending on the day, he can pretty much curl up anywhere. No, he is not currently accepting applications for cuddling partners. 
Connect with Morgan Parker:

Non Fric.tion Giveaway

 There is also a Scavenger Hunt during the blog tour. It’s US Only!
Make sure you stop by each blog’s stop and check out the fun facts about Morgan Parker they will be sharing. Some of the facts have clue’s to the message from Morgan Barker (Character of Non Friction) You must find the ones with Yellow writing and put them together to make the message. Once you have the message send it to verna_loves_david5104@hotmail.com 
fact15
 
First person to get the message wins a Signed Paperback of Non Friction by Morgan Parker! 
Hosted by:
 

Here’s my interview with Morgan Parker:

Interview with Morgan Parker

How did you become a writer?

Writing has always been part of what I did for fun. The only difference now is that Amazon made it easy for me to share my silly stories with the world. So that how I did it. I allowed Amazon to convince me to be nice and share.

What would you like your potential readers to know about you?

I (still) have a wife and unlike the main character in Non Friction, I really don’t want you to send me fan mail or nude pictures (well…).

What inspired you to write Non Friction?

The idea of someone trying to find love while wrestling through the difficulties of divorce has always appealed to me, so I figured I’d try to write something fun despite the heavy and dark realities facing this “different” character.
 

Where do you create your wonderful characters and stories?

I have an office at home where I spent a lot of time doing things that inspire creativity. Okay, that just sounds pretty, doesn’t it? Honestly, I don’t know where they come from. I write in the office, but the stories are already created and completed long before I begin that writing process.

What is your favourite time of day to write?

I don’t have a favourite time, interestingly enough. I find I’m a lot less energetic at night, but that an hour or two throughout the day can yield much better results. If I could write first thing in the morning, I would… but time just doesn’t allow it.

Tell us a little about ‘Non Friction’.

Non Friction is a standalone novel that gives us insight into the life of Morgan Barker, a guy who becomes an Indie author after his wife leaves him. He makes new friends and fans and struggles with the meaning of love while writing a novel, Our Story, to win his wife back.
 

As an author have you any tips for new writers?

Think like a 4-year old. This world of indie authorship is changing. A lot. What worked in the past will not work the same way today. Even over the past 12 months, I’ve seen lots of change, so don’t be afraid to try something new, push the limits and have fun.

Have you written any other books being released soon?

I just recently released a novella titled Hope. It was a free story that I released as a way to thank my two or three readers. I had a few more than two or three downloads, and that’s fine because maybe the unplanned secondary purpose of Hope was also a way to attract new readers.

Where can your readers connect with you on social media?

Usually through Facebook. I’ll be trying to engage with readers more regularly on Twitter too, but I can always be found on Facebook.
 

Where can we buy ‘Non Friction’?

Non Friction is available exclusively on Amazon. Mostly because it’s easy to publish there and I’m too lazy to jump through hoops to offer it on other platforms.

Look out for my review of Hope by Morgan Parker.

Posted in Book Review, New Books

4* Review Emily Rose’s Day at the Farm Simone Da Costa

Emily-Rose's Day at The FarmEmily Roses Day at the Farm is a fun children’s book with bright pictures. Reading this book will help young children learn about respecting animals.

Emily thinks Grammie is being selfish not letting her feed the animals. When Grammie allows Emily to feed the animals by herself she learns about valuing the experience of older members of the family. The story describes animal behaviour and how much work is involved with looking after rambunctious farm creatures.

 A word search and match game is provided at the end of the book which reinforce the book’s message.

 I would have enjoyed reading this book to my children when they were young.

I received an arc from the author in exchange for an honest review. As a reviewer it is easier to review if the illustrations are part of the arc.

Emily-Rose’s Day at The Farm by Simone DaCosta

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Emily-Rose's Day at The Farm

Simone DaCosta

Jane Hunt Writer First Steps
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Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review Five of Hearts Jennifer De Cuir

9781440579608 Five Hearts Jennifer De Cuir I was asked by Crimson Romance author Jennifer De Cuir to review her latest story Five of Hearts which is  a Scallops Shore novel. Here’s what the story’s about:
Being a celebrity had taught Dean that women only wanted him for his money and fame. They weren’t interested in him as a person. And they would use any sneaky means at their disposal to get what they wanted – including false paternity suits. Fed up, Dean moves to the other side of the country, to a small town on the coast of Maine. Surely he wouldn’t be bothered here.
Shannon has no use for men. Her father left when she was very little and her husband took off the minute the ultrasound revealed they weren’t having one baby, but three babies at once. She could handle it all on her own, thank you very much. But living up here on the bluff got lonely, even with her rambunctious triplets. And if she spent a little time with the hunky new guy next door, that was just being neighborly, right?
Dean’s idyllic new life was not supposed to include the hot neighbor-lady’s children sneaking into his yard every day. But the more time he spent with the triplets and their stubbornly independent mama, the more he realized his new hermit lifestyle may not have been the best choice. With Shannon, he could trust again. She was genuinely interested in him, not his fame. Of course, that could be because he’d neglected to tell her about his former life as the lead singer of the boy band, Five of Hearts. When she found out, would she forgive him for hiding something so important from her? Would she believe he did it to protect himself? Would she still love him… for him?

Add Five of Hearts to your Goodreads

My Review

Five of HeartsFive of Hearts is an absorbing, feel good romance with a feisty, courageous heroine and a sexy mysterious hero.

Dean a former boy band superstar is tired of paparazzi, gold diggers and everyone looking to him to maintain their golden lifestyle. The quiet coastal community of Scallops Shore is his chance for solitude and seclusion. Enter a trio of noise, mischief and fun. Shannon the triplets’ mother and the caretaker from the cottage next door is a visual delight and despite his misgivings he finds himself drawn to the fiercely independent woman and her children along with rest of Scallop shores characters who show him the true meaning of community. Dean is keeping secrets from Shannon but the one that threatens to divide them forever is not the one he’s worried about.

Shannon’s past experience has labelled men as untrustworthy and why should the sexy surfer guy next door be any different? Tough through necessity she always puts her children first. Dean’s reticence to be neighborly challenges Shannon she wants to know what he’s hiding. Dean makes Shannon question her choices and wonder what else she can have in her life. A spectre from the past threatens Shannon’s peace of mind.

The characters are interesting and you empathise with the dilemmas they face. The attraction Dean and Shannon feel is a surprise for both of them and its left to the wonderful cast of support characters to chivvy them into each other arms. Full of gentle twists and turns this is a page turning read I couldn’t put down until I’d finished.

Five of Hearts is the first Scallop Shore novel I have read. I ‘m definitely looking forward to the next one in the series.

I received an arc of Five of Hearts from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Five of Hearts by Jennifer DeCuir

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Five of Hearts

Jennifer DeCuir

Jane Hunt Writer First Steps

Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google+

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

4* Review Follow Your Fantasy Nicola Jane

Follow Your FantasyFollow Your Fantasy’s concept that you the reader chooses which fantasy to pursue intrigued me. I am not generally a fan of erotica preferring erotic romance which has a definite story line and real emotional connection between the characters.

In this collection of stories truth, dare and consequences all feature. So it will appeal to fans of risk free risqué entertainment. ‘Follow Your Fantasy’ provides the reader with an adult interpretation of the ‘What If… scenario.

Pure escapism for the mature adult it is explicit. The kind of book most people would probably blush reading in any public setting. That said it is entertaining and well written and the alternatives offered to the reader at the end of each scene range from flirty to scorching hot and extraordinary so it has something for all tastes.

‘Follow Your Fantasy’ could be the catalyst for some very interesting truth and dare party games but you would certainly have to pick your companions carefully… Only joking.

If you enjoy erotic romance and want to experience the erotic without the happy ever after then I would recommend you give ‘Follow Your Fantasy’ a chance.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins UK – Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Follow Your Fantasy by Nicola Jane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Follow Your Fantasy

Nicola Jane

Jane Hunt Writer First Steps

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Posted in The Dragon Legacy #2, Writing Journey

Jasmine and Zane’s Story – Update and Excerpt

I’ve been writing Jasmine and Zane’s story for a few weeks now and whilst I still have some way to go I wanted to share an extract from the first chapter.

Love to know what you think.

Excerpt
”Run Zane. Warn Lukas. I got this.”

He couldn’t risk replying. Shifting back to his wolf would make him faster but the city streets were full of chattering voices as people hurried to work. He must keep his wolf identity secret from the human world. He backed out of the room with reluctant steps not wanting to leave Lukas’s sister in danger but her message repeated itself in his head, a litany he couldn’t ignore. He must find Lukas. As he crossed the landing and ran down the stairs he considered the best method of communication with the dragon lord; unsure of Lukas’ current whereabouts since he last saw him in the Italian Dolomites.

Outside the sun had climbed higher in the sky, the previous deserted streets now teemed with humanity, fortunately all preoccupied with their own thoughts. It was still a little early for the tourists who sauntered at a more leisurely pace. He walked towards the canal. Using the water as a communication medium would be the quickest way to reach Lukas’ dragon. He walked briskly, his long legs eating up the short distance between the palazzo and the water. As he turned into the square he sensed someone close by. He scanned the crowd, no one seemed interested in him but a supernatural wouldn’t be overt. He looked over his shoulder the titan hair betrayed her, Jasmine.

Zane attributed the multitude of butterflies in his abdomen and his quickening heartbeat to Adrenaline produced by his need for flight rather than sexual excitement at seeing his witchy lover. No time to find out why she was here the demon could be in pursuit. To acknowledge Jasmine’s presence would put her on the demon’s radar. First contact Lukas. No distractions. His hair fell over his eyes as he shook his head to clear Jasmine’s image and the memories it evoked from his mind. She couldn’t be real just another illusion from his fevered imagination. Jasmine dominated his torrid dreams as he relived their passion on a nightly basis. Despite his resolve the timing of her appearance disturbed him. Perhaps the demon picked her out of his subconscious and taunted him? The other explanation bothered him more. If Jasmine sensed the danger he faced she would reach out to him telepathically. Given Jasmine’s clairvoyance and empathy it would explain her appearance. He cleared his mind. Whilst her presence was poignant and worthy of investigation time was short it would have to wait.

The shimmering water dazzled him. This would only work if he became the wolf; the risk of drowning much greater in human form. He searched for a quieter spot away from the waiting gondolas and their ever-present gondoliers. Flies buzzed around the bags of rubbish awaiting collection behind one of the numerous alfresco cafes. There between the bins was the only place. He dived behind them gagging at the odour of rancid food and the scattering of rodents who sensed a predator in their midst. He tore off his clothes mindful of his need to redress later when he regained his human form. He embraced the pain of muscles stretching beyond their human endurance, bones cracked and reformed as he shifted into his true form. The silver wolf sniffed the air, no human scent in the immediate vicinity. He crept from his smelly hiding place and ran towards the water. A sharp gasp curtailed his dive into the water. His gaze locked with Jasmine’s watery, emerald stare. Her hand reached out to him he hesitated but before he acknowledged her his hackles rose as he sensed danger close by, somewhere behind Jasmine. He must go. If he lingered he risked himself and Jasmine who would be collateral damage in the demon’s pursuit. He dived into the dark, still waters of the canal with Jasmine’s screams ringing in his ears.’
©Jane Hunt 2014

I am running a poll until 28th February to help me decide on the title for the second book in The Dragon Legacy. So far my suggestion ‘The Revenge Masquerade’ is most popular.

Suggest A Title for The Dragon Legacy #2 – Jasmine and Zane’s Adventure

A Rafflecopter giveaway accompanies the poll and the winner will be drawn after 28 February 2014 and receive an E-book of The Dragon Legacy and a Crackle necklace.  Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to read The first book ?

Find it on GoodreadsThe Dragon Legacy Cover

 View The Dragon Legacy Book Trailer  

Buy Links:
Crimson Frost Books

Amazon.com

Amazon UK

Amazon Ca

All Romance Books

Smashwords