Posted in Writing Journey

This Week – Jane Hunt

Snowdrops March 2015

Spring has officially started in the UK (21 March). The clocks went forward an hour yesterday so we are now running on British Summertime in the UK. Coincidentally, there is snow forecast for the Easter weekend but I live in hope of sunshine and a little Spring warmth.

Snowdrops in Pleasley 2015

I thought I would share my work plans this week, not because they are they are exciting but because they offer an insight into an Indie author’s life. Most importantly for me, if I share them with you, I should stick to them. This is a motivational tool for me too.

Inspiration
My husband had a 7 am breakfast meeting this morning so I took advantage of the early start and have already done a couple of hours writing on Past Shadows, my work in progress. As my regular readers will know I have shared my initial chapters on Wattpad.

Past Shadows Cover 2I have also sent the first couple of chapters to my wonderful writing mentor and now armed with her insightful comments and suggestions. I am undertaking a rewrite and edit in an attempt to find an attention grabbing first chapter. Sadly this is a writing skill that still eludes me but maybe this will be the book I achieve it?

Wattpad ButtonDon’t get me wrong I am proud of the books I’ve written so far but they take a couple of chapters to reach the part where they hook the reader. I want to do that from page 1. 🙂

The Dangerous Gift   E book CoverI have shared about 10% of The Dangerous Gift on Wattpad. It’s had 995 reads, which is great but most of these seem to be on the first part, if I understand the ranking correctly. So does this mean people read the first part and stop? If so clearly it doesn’t entice them to read on, this makes the first chapter crucial.

Undaunted I have continued to sub this story to publishers I would like to work with, no takers yet but I’ve received useful feedback from a couple of them. My overriding impression gained from publishers, is that romantic suspense is difficult to sell??? What are your thoughts?

I will self publish The Dangerous Gift, in a couple of months if my current submissions are unsuccessful. Do you know of a good line editor and or proof reader?

Love HeartRight back to the writing…

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Tomorrow I’ll focus on my book reviewer self and talk about the books I’m currently reviewing.

Have a lovely Monday 🙂

Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: The Pearl Locket – Kathleen McGurl

23484425Historical BlurbWhen Ali inherits her great-aunt’s house she immediately moves her whole family in, despite the warnings that there is something strange about the place. Unfazed, Ali begins redecorating, going through the rooms, making each one her own with the help of her daughter, Kelly. But when under the wallpaper in Kelly’s new room they discover a scrawled message from 1944 Ali begins to question the history of the house as she knows it.

Her family has always seemed so picture perfect, not a blemish or a secret to be found. Yet, this discovery throws her into confusion and Ali begins to question exactly what she knows about her family and the mysteries they have kept.

Historical Buy Links
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Historical My Review

The Pearl LocketThe Pearl Locket’ is another delightful time slip story, which connects England 2014 with war torn England in 1944, when Joan met Jack and for a little while they found true love.

Ali wants to sell the house she inherited from her great aunt, even though it’s close to the seaside and much bigger than the rented accommodation where they currently reside. Pete her husband has other ideas and persuades Ali he can renovate the house so they can enjoy living in it, or sell it at a profit if they decide to. Ali agrees, with some reservations and the family move in.

Ali doesn’t worry about her daughter Kelly’s current obsession with the 1940’s until the past impedes on the future and threatens their family unity.

Joan and Jack’s wartime romance is poignant and gentle a reminder of sad times and sacrifice. The story within a story unfolds seamlessly and informs the present dilemma Kelly and her great grandmother Margaret experiences.

Kelly is sensitive to the house and its echoes of the past but Ali and Pete don’t understand what she is going through, until she takes drastic action. Kelly’s life parallels Joan’s, in many instances carefully interwoven into the story. There are plenty of unexpected plot twists and the empathy you feel with Joan peaks when her world falls apart.

Like The Emerald Comb’‘ the relationship between the female lead and her husband is strained and he comes across as a selfish individual, through her eyes.

This is classy women’s fiction with vivid characters and imagery, which bring the story to life; both in the contemporary setting and the past. This absorbing tale got me reaching for the tissues close to the end but it’s worth the tears.

Tragedy tempered with hope, connects the past with present in a realistically satisfying way and makes a great ending.

I received a copy of this story from Carina UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Read my 5* Review of ‘The Emerald Comb’

The Pearl Locket by Kathleen McGurl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Pearl Locket by Kathleen McGurl
Kathleen McGurl

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

4* Review: Effortless – Lynn Montagano (#3 The Breathless series)

24784035Blurb -2Everything in Lia Meyers’ life seems perfect. She’s made the move ‘across the pond’ to start a new life with the man of her dreams and is impressing her new bosses as the executive producer of a popular news magazine program.

Alastair Holden, the enigmatic Englishman who has Lia’s heart, puts her above all else, even at the expense of his billion-dollar worldwide media empire. Lia couldn’t be luckier, right?

But her lavish world of hearts and flowers soon turns upside down. Living under the white hot spotlight of the Holden family empire proves to be more complicated than she anticipated. She doesn’t know who to trust and questions the motives of her closest friends.

To make matters worse, Alastair begins to revert back to his closed off ways. When a life changing event thrusts him into chaos, Lia must decide if a diamond really is forever or if she should learn to cut her losses.Buy Links -2
Amazon UK
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My Review

Effortless‘Effortless’ seems an unlikely title for the final story in the ‘Breathless series’. Alastair’s and Lia’s relationship appears anything but effortless. Lia struggles with his increasingly devious ex lovers and Alastair refuses to accept loving Lia is strength rather than a weakness.

This third book, concentrates on the internal emotions between Alastair and Lia and less on the external setting of the TV news programme and Alastair’s international multimedia corporation. As the final book in the series it’s fine but it would be difficult to understand all the players, if you haven’t read books 1 & 2.

The emotional upheaval and sexual dependence of Lia and Alastair is dominant and angst ridden throughout the story. This isn’t an easy book to read but it does give the story a realistic edge that makes it worth reading.

Lia appears to be losing her independence as this story progresses and you can understand why. Thankfully her strong character returns, as she fights for her man and their love against hostile outside forces, which number the paparazzi, shameless ex girlfriends and Alastair’s tendency to press the self destruct button, whenever he feels life is too good and he doesn’t deserve it.

‘Effortless’ and the whole ‘Breathless’ series is a well written exploration of emotional and sexual dependence and the borderline between love and obsession. The ending is charmingly romantic and a lovely contrast to some of the story’s darker themes.

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

Effortless by Lynn Montagano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Effortless (The Breathless Series, #3) by Lynn Montagano

Lynn Montagano

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

5*Review: Not a Fairy Tale – Romy Sommer

24711544UntitledAnd the award goes to…

Not Nina Alexander that’s for sure. With her best gracious loser face firmly in place, Hollywood’s hottest starlet is hoping to end her evening of disappointment with a graceful exit stage left. Only an unexpected proposal and an awkward wardrobe malfunction mean that this is certainly going to be a night to remember… for all the wrong reasons! So what girl would resist the gorgeous Dominic Kelly coming to her rescue?! Especially when he’s whisking her out of the paparazzi’s prying eyes on the back of his motorbike – and wearing a tux to rival James Bond!

Nina soon realises that the only way to recover from such a scandal is to toughen up and snag the role of the decade in the year’s hottest YA screen adaptation. Who better to train her than her very own professional stuntman? Getting up close and personal with Dom will take Nina well out of her comfort zone – both professionally and in her closely scrutinized private life. But this A-list couple know only too well that’s it not all happy ever afters in Hollywood…Buy Links 1
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My Review 2

Not a Fairy Tale

‘Not a Fairy Tale’ is a romantic story set in glamorous Hollywood. Nina is an ‘A’ list actress, Oscar night, does not go as planned and when her Prince Charming offers her marriage, she runs in the opposite direction with the help of her very own knight in shining armour, Dominic.

Nina’s life is not the fairy tale she hoped for. She lives alone, in a soulless, if secure environment with an entourage rather than family or friends. Her tragic past would make a good movie but she hides from it and doesn’t share, until she runs into Dominic, the stunt professional who has problems of his own.

To cope with her disappointment and avoid the backlash of her humiliation at the Oscars, she hires Dominic to whip her into to shape for the female lead in the latest YA film sensation. She gains mental strength, in addition to her physical toughness and finds out the true meaning of friendship and family. Like all the best stories, there is an unexpected turn of events, which makes her run back to the life she knows , making the fairy tale ending you want for her unlikely.

Dominic is sexy but a commitment phobe. He agrees to help Nina on a whim but doesn’t bargain for the life changing consequences. Is he destined to be broken hearted, or has he done enough to convince Nina they have a future together?

Beautifully written, the sexual tension between Nina and Dominic is delicious. When the passion finally explodes, it makes for some steamy love scenes. For me though, it was the romance, humour and misunderstanding that makes this such a winning story. Nina is likeable when she reveals her true self and Dominic is much more than the loveable rogue, he first appears to be.

The story’s detail is authentic and makes the setting and lifestyle real and imaginable for the reader.

‘Not a Fairy Tale’ is a lovely, light hearted read, with great imagery and characters.

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

Not a Fairy Tale by Romy Sommer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Not a Fairy Tale by Romy Sommer

Romy Sommer

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Posted in Book Review, New Books, Release Day Spotlight

Release Day Spotlight and 4* Review: Cocktails In Chelsea (LoveLondon#4) Nikki Moore


It’s release day for Cocktails in Chelsea. Book 4 in the #LoveLondon series from Nikki Moore. 

This series of contemporary romance short stories highlights the romantic possibilities of some of London’s iconic places.

COCKTAILS_CHELSEACocktails in Chelsea
Released 19th March 2015
#LoveLondon Series; eBook 4 (Short Story)
by Nikki Moore
Read this exciting romance series set in London, which has attracted four and five star reviews and been in the Top 100 Short Story and Holiday charts on Amazon and Kobo.
Blurb - Flower

Made in Chelsea?
Nathan Black is on a mission to prove himself. His family may be upper class and his cousin Matt might be a famous music producer, but he’s going to make it on his own. So as soon as he has enough money set aside, he’s quitting his bar-tending job on the King’s Road and opening up his own cocktail bar. He hasn’t got time for love, and definitely not with the spoilt Chelsea Princesses who flirt with him shamelessly every night. But is there something a bit different about the pretty blonde who’s just walked in?
Bournemouth girl Sofia Gold is reluctantly visiting old childhood friends in London for Easter weekend. Keenly aware she’s not part of their glamorous world, she’s more comfortable riding a surfboard than wearing designer dresses and towering heels… although she’s always had a soft spot for cocktails.
It’s never really bothered Sofia that she’s ‘one of the boys,’ and that her romantic experiences have been amazingly unspectacular, so when she meets gorgeous Nathan, why does she find herself faking an accent and pretending to be a London socialite? It can’t be anything to do with impressing him, can it? After all, she’s only in the capital for a few days…
But one impulsive kiss later, they both find themselves wishing for things they didn’t know they wanted.
Spring in Chelsea – will love blossom?

Buy  Links 3Get it from only 49p!
Amazon 
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iTunes books 

My Review -1Cocktails in ChelseaThe first few lines of this story capture most people’s perception of the young set in Chelsea; the wealth, designer lifestyle and the ‘plum in the mouth’, speech affectation. Whether this is really true of Chelsea’s residents is incidental. It’s the popular belief about life in this privileged borough of London. ‘Cocktails in Chelsea’ puts the reader at the heart of it.

Sofia’s character is easy to recognise and empathise with. She is the ‘girl next door’ and appears ordinary at first glance. She has hidden depths, which make her worthwhile getting to know. Sofia’s self-effacing sense of humour and outlook on life is refreshing.

The chemistry between Sofia and Nathan is well written and their story realistic, given their close proximity and the fact they are both so different from the Chelsea set.
This story is a compendium of emotions; jealousy, snobbery, misunderstanding, passion and hope.

‘Cocktails in Chelsea’ makes a delightful read; something to brighten up the daily commute or let you escape to somewhere glamorous and romantic for your lunch break.

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

LoveLondon - Facebook
Praise for the #LoveLondon series…
Valentine’s on Primrose Hill
‘Uplifting and at the same time thought provoking too. I guarantee you’ll be hitting that button on Amazon to order the fourth book in the #LoveLondon series as soon as you’ve finished this one.’ Dawn, Crooks on Books
New Year at The Ritz
‘A sweet and flirty short story, I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see what Nikki comes up with for the next book in the series.’ Simona Elena, Sky’s Book Corner.
Skating at Somerset House
‘A warm hearted winter tale that had me engaged from the very beginning. I genuinely cannot wait to read the rest’ .  LJ Bentley, Amazon
‘Sexy, fun and everything you need in one neat, gorgeous package. This is a winner for me.’ Chicks That Read.

Cocktails in Chelsea by Nikki Moore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cocktails in Chelsea by Nikki Moore

Nikki Moore Author Pic 1
Nikki Moore

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Posted in Blogging Communty

An Infinity Dreams Blogging Award From the Lovely Shehanne Moore.

I’ve been tagged for an Infinity Dreams Blogging Award by the lovely Shehanne Moore, author of these fabulous historical romancesblogmakwImage credit: http://www.shehannemoore.wordpress.com

I am an avid follower of Shehanne’s interactive blog, which you can find here.

Infinity Dreams Award

The Rules of the award are as follows:

  • Thank and follow the blog that nominated you. 

Click on the link below:

to read Shehanne’s Infinity Dreams Award post.

  •  Share 11 facts about yourself

    DSCN9731

  1. I  love animals.

  2. If I won the lottery, I would rescue as many animals as I could.

  3. DSCN1359I am reclusive, so the solitary writer’s life suits my introverted personality.

  4.  I wanted to be a romantic novelist when I was 18 but life had other plans for me until much later.DSCN1375

  5. I love my maiden name ‘Jolliffe.’

  6. My daughter was born on my 29th Birthday, the best present ever. 🙂

  7. I  have a phobia about enclosed spaces.

  8. DSCN0947

    I am at my happiest walking, with my husband and dogs in the countryside.

  9. I hate crowds.

  10. Mushrooms are my favourite food.

  11. I would love to research my family tree and write some novels about the things I discover.

  • Answer the questions set for you by the nominator.

    1 . Do you dream much?

  • I think I probably dream more than I realise but I usually remember things from my dreams at least a couple of times a week.

2 How would you describe yourself?

  • I am an optimistic person, who is at my happiest reading, spending time with my family,walking with my dogs and of course writing.

3 Why did you start blogging?

Blog Logo

  • I started blogging when I’d finished writing The Dragon Legacy, as a way of communicating with other writers and my potential readers. It was a good decision. Now two years and over 400 posts later, I love doing it and amazingly people seem to like reading, my writing journey posts and book reviews, which is very rewarding.

4 If you could spend a year anywhere in the world where would it be?

DSCN1042

  • Northumberland. Its such a beautiful unspoilt place full of rugged coastline, castles and stunning countryside. Living there for a year would be a dream come true.

5 Have you ever broken the law?

  • Not to my knowledge. I’m too much of a worrier 😦

6 How would you describe your year this far?

  • Frustrating to start with because I was doubting my ability to make it as a writer but as I say I’m an optimist so I carried on and now I am writing and enjoying sharing some of my work on #wattpad. Its encouraging when you can see how many people have read your work.

Wattpad Button7 What do you hope for most career-wise?

  • I would love to build up a following for my books and make a living as a writer.

8 What’s your favourite alcoholic drink?

Champagne

9 What are you most afraid of losing?

  • My close family, I have already lost my mum and dad and it still hurts everyday.

10 Who would you most like to dream of?

  • No one person. My dreams are always full of action and symbolism. If I remember them, I enjoy interpreting them, looking for the hidden meanings.

11 What’s your favourite karaoke number?

  • Ain’t Nobody.

Nominate 11 Bloggers for this award and set 11 questions for them to answer.

  1. Tima Maria  Lacoba _ http://timamarialacoba.blogspot.co.uk/
  2. Eve Devon – http://www.evedevon.com/blog   
  3. Tracey Rogers http://traceyrogers.com/blog/
  4. Lisa Medley–  Write , Blog , Read , Repeat – http://lisa-medley.com/
  5.  Jane Linfoot -http://www.janelinfoot.co.uk/blog
  6. Kristina Rienzi– http://kristinarienzi.com/blog/
  7. Nikki Moore – https://nikkimooreauthor.wordpress.com/
  8. Kate Redwood/Felicity Kates – http://katereedwood.blogspot.ca/
  9. Rae Rivers – http://www.raerivers.com/
  10. Jessica Baker – http://jessbaker.net/
  11. Aimee Duffy – http://aimeexdx.blogspot.co.uk/

My Questions:

  1. Do you believe that dreams are symbolic?

  2. Why did you start blogging?

  3. Are you an extrovert or an introvert?

  4. Do you think authors make good bloggers? 

    If so why?

  5. Do you remember any of your dreams. 

  6. Are you interested in the meaning of dreams?

  7. Do you dream in colour?

  8. Do you find writing a lonely occupation?

  9. Are animals an important part of your life?

  10. Do you listen to music when you write?

  11. Do you devise playlists for your books?

 Happy Wednesday x

Posted in Book Review

5* Review: Forty 2 Days -Georgia Le Carre (The Billionaire Banker series #2)

Adult read with mature themes and sexual content
21787823

Mystery Thriller BlurbDevastatingly handsome billionaire, Blake Law Barrington was Lana Blooms first and only love. From the moment they touched his power was overwhelming. Their arrangement quickly developed into a passionate romance that captivated her heart and took her on an incredible sexual journey she never wanted to end.
The future together looked bright until Lana made a terrible mistake. So, she did the only thing she could… she ran.

Away from her incredible life, away from the man of her dreams, but she should have known a man such as Blake Law Barrington was impossible to escape. Now, he’s back in her life and determined that she should taste the bitterness of his pain.

Shocked at how rough the sex has become and humiliated that she is actually participating so willingly in her punishment, she despairs if she will ever feel the warmth of his touch—the solidity of his trust again? And even if she can win his trust, loyalties are yet to be decided, and secrets to be revealed—secrets that will test them both to their limits.

Will Lana be able to tear down the walls that surround Blake’s heart, and break him free of the brutal power of immense wealth?

Can Blake hold on to Lana’s heart when she discovers the enormity of the dark secrets that inhabit the Barrington family?

Lana has always believed that love conquers all. She is about to test that belief…

Buy  Links 3

Amazon UK

Amazon

Mystery Thriller My Review

Forty 2 DaysIt’s been a while since I read the first book in this series ‘Owned’ but when I started to read ‘Forty 2 Days’, this morning, I instantly remembered Lana, Blake and the irrepressible Billie.

Lana was running scared, in more ways than one, at the end of the ‘Owned’. This story finds Lana a changed woman, mature and a little less trusting. She has suffered loss and happiness in the intervening time. The only constant in her life is her love for Blake, which won’t go away.

Their reunion is a reflection of their first meeting. Blake remains as controlling as ever but beneath his obvious anger, is something more, something Lana needs to explore in the 42 days they have left of her contract.
The underlying darkness and menace of this story increases but who is in danger from the dark family secrets? Can Lana convince Blake her love is strong enough to stay the course this time?

The emotional connection between Blake and Lana deepens as he ‘punishes’ her, with sex as his weapon of choice. The sexual scenes are numerous and explicit but each adds a piece to the emotional journey the couple are travelling.

Hope is ‘alive and well’, as the book draws to its conclusion, until a series of devastating events rock Lana’s world and test her commitment to Blake. Unexpected twists and the presence of ancient secret rituals are seamlessly interwoven into this enthralling story. The ending is stormy but there are powerful rays of sunshine too. Will the light or the dark prevail?

‘Forty 2 Days is an addictive read, with an intriguing and often disturbing plot.


I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Review of Owned – The Billionaire Banker series #1

Forty 2 Days by Georgia Le Carre

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Forty 2 Days (The Billionaire Banker, #2) by Georgia Le Carre

Georgia Le Carre

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Posted in Cover Reveal, New Books

Cover Reveal: Sweetest Temptation – Tracey Rogers- (Sweet Delights series book 2)

Sweetest Temptation is the second in the Sweet Delights series from the lovely Tracey Rogers. Here’s the cover to look out for when it’s released on 20 April 2015 at a special  release day price.

SweetestTemptation_Large-683x1024

Blurb -2

 The temperature’s rising in the Sweet Delights Bakery…

Entering the most popular baking competition on TV wasn’t shy bakery owner Vanessa Trent’s idea. Especially as she prefers to steer clear of the media attention her famous family constantly attracts. But she desperately needs the prize money.

With his future on the line, Jake Walker vows to avoid trouble, which is difficult to do when it lands in his lap…literally. Vanessa Trent is out of bounds. He knows that. But if he can’t resist her delicious cakes, how’s he supposed to resist her?

Vanessa and Jake both have secrets to hide. Combine that with a vengeful ex-husband, sabotage, and throw in a little blackmail, and soon the spotlight falls on both of them. Temperatures rise, and it’s chaos in the kitchen. Can they take the heat, or are they both about to get burned?

Content Warning: contains sensual sex and occasional strong language

If you haven’t read Dating in the Dark, the first book in the series you can find  it here:

Amazon UK

 

Amazon

  B&N

 My review of Dating in the Dark.

Posted in Book Review

4* Review: The Desperate Love of a Lord – Jane Lark ( Marlowe Intrigues #2.5)

23120181

Historical Blurb

Fiercely independent, Lady Violet Rimes, the merry widow, has played the town, dangling men from leashes like a pack of adoring hounds, always the one in control. She has never let a man toy with her.

An idle, attractive rake, Lord Geoffrey Sparks has had little to do other than enjoy life. He has let Violet play her games for months without complaint, because he likes her company—and admittedly her bed. But in recent months he’s found himself gravitating towards her more and more. Things have changed between them. He likes her for who she is and not simply the notorious widow. He thought his feelings were returned, but . . . Why then has she suddenly vanished from town without a word?

A couple of months ago, she’d complained about his friend being a heartbreaker, but now Violet is breaking his heart…

Historical Buy Links
Free on:

Amazon UK

Amazon
Historical My Review

The Desperate Love of a Lord (Marlow Intrigues, #2.5)I loved the character of Lady Violet Rimes in ‘The Passionate Love of a Rake’, despite her scandalous ways she always seemed a little sad. In this novella, Violet’s secrets are revealed and they prove too damning, even for her to brazen out, amid the ‘haute ton’.

This short story has all the emotion, heartache and passionate romance, you find in the longer stories but it is faster paced and more focused on actions and consequences than inner emotional turmoil.

It reads perfectly well as a short stand alone tale but is far more enjoyable if you have read the previous book in the series.

This story is an interesting expose into the hidden secrets of Regency society with a strong female lead and an alpha hero who has to change his ways to win her heart.

This novella is free to read from Harper Impulse.

The Desperate Love of a Lord by Jane Lark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Desperate Love of a Lord (Marlow Intrigues, #2.5) by Jane Lark

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