Posted in Book Spotlight, New Books, Release Day Spotlight

Release Blitz: His Confession – Sophia Valentine

Release Blitz






Blurb 2016 -1

When Gabriella Woods finds matches from a gentlemen’s club in her fiancé’s pocket, her suspicions require a search for answers.

At the club, she realizes it’s not her fiancé’s fidelity that can’t be trusted…

It’s her own.

Darion Milano is daring, intriguing, and unpredictable…

Unable to get him out of her head—and against Darion’s explicit warning—Gabi begins a torrid affair. No longer fighting the urge to enter the depth of his dark and mysterious lifestyle, she indulges in his most intimate desires.They become the most exciting, wild, infatuated couple everybody knows.

Until his confession changes everything…

Her heart is telling her to stay.

Her instinct is telling her to run.

She can never match his outrageous ex-wife and become the fun, fearless woman he craves…

Or can she?

Discover a world of sex, secrets, and seduction.

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Buy Links 2016 -1

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Author Bio 2016 -1



Sophia Valentine grew up in England. Studying English language and literature, as well as law, she worked in a solicitors for many years before moving to Spain. She does however still visit the UK, which in a way, will always be home.

Returning to her lifelong passion of writing books, she’s also a weekly columnist for The Ibizan newspaper on: lifestyle and fashion. Her other interests include reading, shopping and a nice glass of wine to shows such as Sons Of Anarchy, Dexter, Gossip Girl and SATC. She’s a social media addict, and loves connecting with new people.

For more information, please visit: If you join her newsletter, you will be the first to receive sneak peeks of chapters, teasers, news, giveaway prizes and more!


Links 2016-1

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Take two seconds to enter your email and sign up to S. Valentine’s newsletter to receive FREE book chapters, teasers, prize competitions, and important book news.






Posted in Book Spotlight, New Books, Release Day Spotlight

ECHOES of the Past -Iris Blobel – Release Day Spotlight


Fermosa Bay #1

New Adult Contemporary Romance

::: SYNOPSIS ::::

Emily Bradshaw waited over twenty years to see Connor again…

When her childhood friend, Connor Walsh, returns home to see his ailing father, Emily is elated to be reunited with the handsome man who moved to London so many years ago. But excitement fades to disappointment when he doesn’t remember her—or their first kiss. With her crush on Connor still in full swing, she’s determined to enjoy the short time he’s in Fermosa Bay, even though she knows her heart will break when he returns to his life in London.

When Connor receives news that his biological father is terminally ill, he returns to Fermosa Bay, Australia. 

With memories of his childhood tucked fondly in the back of his mind, returning to the small, coastal town leaves him to wonder how life would have been if his mother had never taken him away. Would he have been married and had children? Perhaps with Emily Bradshaw…

 Secrets from long ago begin to unfold…

As Connor and his father grow closer, Connor learns his parents have a broken love story of their own. Will the echoes of the past lure him into staying, maybe for good? Or will he relive his parents’ tragic story and flee to London? 

Walking away from a real chance at true love…







Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.





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Posted in Book Spotlight, Release Day Spotlight

Wild Within – Christine Hartmann -Release Day Spotlight

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Winter Blurb

A year after a family tragedy, Grace Mori embarks on the journey of a lifetime…

Two thousand, six hundred miles of blistering heat, wilderness, and soul searching—that’s what Grace signed up for when she decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s not a voyage for beginners, but with no husband and her family still recovering from her bother’s death, Grace is more alone than ever.

This trail meant something to her brother, and she’ll hike it in his memory, but she can’t do it alone. So with her brother’s gear and a small group, Grace takes the most important first steps of her life.

Grace finds something more than peace and magic on the trail…

When her first day of hiking ends in heat stroke, Grace is rescued by a handsome, red-haired hiker who calls himself Lone Star. Grace has an immediate connection with him, and their brief encounter leaves her fearing her soul mate has slipped through her fingers. Although he vows to keep in touch, Grace doubts she’ll ever see him again.

When fears become reality, the only people Grace can rely on may be killers…

Grace is surprised to find notes left at supply posts along the trail. Lone Star’s eloquent letters keep Grace going, clinging to the hope she’ll find him—and happiness—at the end of her journey. But as the trail becomes more perilous, menace grows within the group. And when Lone Star’s letters mysteriously stop coming, Grace fears the worst.

As tensions flare and a killer emerges, Grace must battle to survive…and reunite with the man she’s sure is her future.

Winter Buy Links

Amazon UK


Author Bio -1

P1010206Christine Hartmann grew up in Ohio and Delaware and loves traveling to exotic, romantic settings. After a college semester in Kathmandu, her first three “real” jobs were all in northern Japan, where she lived for almost 10 years. She currently splits her career between her daytime occupation (improving the quality of veterans’ nursing home care) and her nights/weekend avocation (writing both fiction and non-fiction books). Her husband Ron Strickland is a well-known long-distance hiker, trail guide writer, and the founder of the 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. Christine loves reading, pilates, bicycling, snorkeling, and health foods that taste like they’re bad for you. You will often find her at a keyboard, a German shepherd at her side, and Ron whispering sweet edits over her shoulder.

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Posted in Book Review, New Books, Release Day Spotlight

Picnics in Hyde Park-5* Review and Spotlight – Nikki Moore #LoveLondon #6

Picnics in Hyde Park
Poppy - Blurb

The last story in the fun & flirty #LoveLondon series from exciting new chick lit author Nikki Moore! The perfect novel for reading in the sunshine … and falling in love with London.
Hot summer romance…or cold revenge?
Super nanny, Zoe Harper is mad! It was bad enough discovering her ex-fiancé Greg cheating on her just weeks before their wedding. But now she’s returned home to London to find her younger sister Melody has been left jobless, homeless, broke and dumped.
Zoe is determined to get revenge on the infamous Reilly brothers for her sister’s heartbreak. So when an unexpected opportunity gives Zoe a way in to uncaring—and dizzyingly gorgeous!—successful music producer Matt Reilly’s world, she jumps at the chance to make him pay.
But living with Matt as nanny to his two adorable, but complicated children, Zoe soon begins to suspect that not everything is as it seems… Matt insists on pushing everyone away including his children, but why? And if his delicious summer kisses are anything to go by, he can’t be that bad surely?
Can Zoe convince Matt to open up a little and help fix this family before she leaves…or worse, before Matt learns who she really is?

Out on 13th August as an ebook, paperback to follow. Get it from only £2.99!
Flowers - Buy Links

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Poppy - ExcerptMatt Reilly is a complete, unbelievable bastard and I’m going to make him pay, Zoe Harper vowed as she pounded the gold lion-head knocker against the door of his exclusive Knightsbridge residence.
When there was no response, she switched to thumping the glossy black wood with the side of her fist.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
Answer. The. Door.
Utter fury was squeezing her chest so tight it felt like her ribs were suffocating her lungs and a horrible pressure was building behind her eyeballs, the sure sign of a tension headache.
Where the hell was he? She stepped back to gaze up at the impressive facade of the town house, which had to be at least four storeys tall including the basement area below her. The top two floors were exposed brickwork but the ground and lower floors were painted white, decorated with manicured window boxes. The property screamed refined wealth, as did the beautiful leafy communal garden area in the middle of the square. He must have paid extra for the property, which sat back from the road slightly. It was one of the only houses with off-road parking.
She turned to look at the gravel driveway. Someone had to be in, there were three cars parked up; a garish, canary-yellow convertible sports model, a sexy low-slung black supercar and a more modest silver Prius hybrid.
Thudding the door again, there was still no answer.
If she was some kick-ass action movie heroine she could bust the door down, flatten whichever of the selfish idiots was inside (although both at the same time would be preferable) and just be done with it. But at five foot seven, as well as pounds lighter than she’d been in years, she hardly looked or felt the part. Still, if there was anything guaranteed to bring out her fighting side it was protecting her younger sister Melody. She was her only proper family left apart from their Great Aunt Ruth, who’d always been distant and had all the affection of a watermelon.
What it came down to was that anyone who hurt Melody deserved justice. But she didn’t really believe in violence, and ruining her beautiful nails with their miniature stars and stripes design on every tip didn’t appeal either. The manicure was a present from her ex-boss Liberty, named after the statue of. It was something to remember New York by, a city she’d come to love. But better not to think about that, or what else she’d loved and lost.
Where the heck was Mr. High and Mighty Reilly, or for that matter, his younger brother Stephen? Surely they had enough staff to answer the bloody door for them. A girl could die of heatstroke out here. The midday sun was ferocious and prickling heat along the back of her neck. It was sure to be scarlet by dinner time.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
Her hand was never going to be the same again. Then she’d be suing the sods for personal injury as well as emotional trauma for Melody. Her sibling had been crying so hard at Jemima’s flat in multicultural, packed Holloway that Zoe hadn’t been able to get the full story on arrival from Heathrow. There’d just been a lot of mumbling and sobbing around swollen red eyes and handfuls of soggy tissues. Still, what she’d figured out had been enough to instantly trigger her big sister reflexes. The stale, stuffy black cab had made for a nightmare journey across London but the sunlight glinting off the windows had matched her heated, murderous thoughts perfectly. She’d avoided direct eye contact with the chatty driver, jaw clenched as she replayed the fragments of her sister’s story in her head.
Fell in love with Stephen… Matt ended it, fired me… kicked me out without notice… never see the kids again… looked after them for three years!
How dare he? It was bloody outrageous and unbelievably unfair. How could anyone be so uncaring that they’d do someone who trusted them out of a relationship, job, home and salary all on the same day? So here she was outside of his posh, rich-guy’s, I’m so fabulous home, fully intending to grab her sister’s belongings as well as telling Matt Reilly exactly what she thought of a guy who’d treat a naïve twenty-two year old like dirt. If she could grab his brother by the scruff of the neck at the same time and give him a good shake for helping break her sister’s heart, she’d do that too. He had a lot of explaining to do as to why he wasn’t answering Mel’s calls.
Bloody men. They were a faithless lot at the best of times, the reason she’d left the States after five long years. But her sister’s boss had reached new levels of bastardom, if that was even a word.
Part of her wished that when confronted, Matt might admit he’d made a terrible mistake, beg forgiveness, tell Melody that of course she was good enough for his brother, and ask her to come back to them. But the text that had just pinged on her mobile meant the idea was a non-starter.

Appreciate the support Sis, but
please don’t cause a scene and
DON’T try and get my job back.
I’m never going back there.
M x

Zoe didn’t really want her sister anywhere near them anyway. Still, an apology from Matt, an opportunity for Melody to say goodbye to the kids properly, pick up her belongings and be offered some kind of compensation for the notice pay she was surely entitled to would be something. Along with some explanation as to why Stephen had gone AWOL and seemed to be letting Matt make all the decisions. Perhaps he didn’t feel able to stand up to him? Or maybe he was intimidated by his older brother’s success.
According to the tabloids, Stephen was abroad a lot of the time, a playboy who basically partied and shopped his way around Europe with the family money. Why her sister had fallen for him she couldn’t understand. At thirty, Matt was older by seven years, a famous music producer who was hardly ever out of the press, despite his attempts to evade the spotlight. Snapping pictures of his children was a rabid hobby for British journos and there were rumours of a new girlfriend every week, although you couldn’t believe everything you read in the papers. She and Melody were close, despite the vast miles that’d been between them, and Melody had told her a lot about Matt’s children via Skype and text messages but nothing about any of his personal relationships, respecting her boss’s right to privacy.
Not that she’d got any thanks for that loyalty and professionalism.

Flowers - My Review

‘Picnics in Hyde Park’, the final story in the ‘Love London’ series, is the longest and encompasses all that is good in the first five novellas. With more angst, humour, poignancy, romance and sensuality; this is the perfect ending to the chic, contemporary series.

Zoe is likeable; from the moment she appears, hammering on Matt’s doors to avenge her little sister. Her actions say so much; she is fearless, opinionated, loyal and more than a little guilt ridden, after her five year sojourn in New York but I connected with her immediately.
Matt is delectable, although he does hide it well, under his brusque and detached manner. Like Zoe, he is dependable and full of remorse for past actions. In many ways they are emotionally similar.

Emotionally invested in Matt and his children, Zoe is ‘caught between the devil and the deep blue sea’. The chemistry between Matt and Zoe has a forbidden thrill, which makes the outcome inevitable and sizzling hot.

This story is more than the romance between Zoe and Matt. There is her nurturing of the forgotten children and her complicated relationship with her Aunt to explore. Reunited with old friends provides the readers with pertinent insights into what makes Zoe tick. Finally there are ‘Picnics in Hyde Park’, the importance of which, I will let you discover for yourselves.

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

LoveLondon - Facebook - Copy

Poppy - Author Bio
Nikki Moore Author Pic 1A Dorset girl and social media addict, Nikki Moore has a HR day job, two kids and a lovely boyfriend to keep her busy alongside the writing. She was in the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Scheme for four years and is now a full RNA member. Nikki was a finalist in several writing competitions from 2010 including the Elizabeth Goudge trophy and Novelicious Undiscovered, before being offered a publishing contract.

Published mainly by HarperImpulse, she’s the author of the #LoveLondon series, which has attracted four and five star reviews on Amazon, with some of the novellas featuring in the Top 100 short story charts on Kobo and the Top 20 in the Amazon UK bestsellers Holiday chart. The last in the series, Picnics in Hyde Park is due out in August. She has a short story in the bestselling RNA/Mills & Boon anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply. Her debut novel Crazy, Undercover, Love was shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award 2015 (for new writing) and she is a strong supporter of aspiring authors.

Poppy - Links

Please pop over for a chat on Twitter or on Facebook at  She would love to hear from you!



Check out my reviews of Cocktails in Chelsea and Strawberries at Wimbledon 

and my recent interview with Nikki  Moore by clicking on the image below:



An Interview with...

Posted in Book Review, New Books, Release Day Spotlight

5* Review: Quintessentially Yours – Linn B. Halton

quintessentially-yours-medBlurb - CoastalJames Kingman’s world just got complicated. The love of his life, Katherine Dale, has just given birth to their first child. His troublesome business manager, Phillipa, is sexually harassing him at work. His boss proposes a partnership which would double his workload. With so much on his plate, how will James cope?
Plagued by the unexpected exhaustion of having a baby who suffers from colic, he tries his best to hold his family together. Despite growing up without a mother and a neglectful father, James is a natural-born father. Katherine, however, is struggling. Dejected and rejected, Katherine battles with her hormones as her writing career begins to slip away from her. She not only doubts her capabilities as a writer but as a mother too. Katherine confides in James’ boss, the enigmatic and world-famous astrologer, Mark Ainsley-Thomas, and he puts her in touch with his agent.
Things start to look up for the writer, as her latest work attracts attention from several publishers, but her trips to Mark’s hotel attract attention too… Suspicion is aroused and photographs are snapped.
Is there any truth to last year’s rumours of an affair between the pair?
If not, then why is Katherine visiting Mark in secret?
Will James be able to resist the advances of his seductive colleague?
Will the tangled trio be able to avoid scandal in the stars?

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My Review - Coastal

Quintessentially YoursThe title ‘Quintessentially Yours’ sums up the ethos of this lovely story perfectly.

Katherine’s romantic bubble has burst in all aspects of her life and she is understandably shell shocked. James finds this needy Katherine, something of a challenge, although he shows his true worth by plugging all the holes in their daily life; whilst helping Katherine rediscover her sense of self-worth. James has his own demons to conquer as he adjusts to life as a new father.

Again the support characters are interesting and provide important insight into the story of our star-crossed couple. Mark’s life also loses its status quo and Katherine manages to forget her own worries, to provide him with the support he so obviously needs.

There are unexpected twists and a charming mix of humour and poignancy. Although a sequel to ‘Under the Stars’, this story is complete. An enjoyable read, even if you haven’t discovered the delights of ‘Under the Stars’ yet.

‘Quintessentially Yours’, is a tale of everyday life and people with just enough added sparkle to make it the perfect read to escape your own life for a little while.

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

Quintessentially Yours by Linn B. Halton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Quintessentially Yours by Linn B. Halton

Read my review of Under the Stars by clicking on the image below


Poppy - Author BioIMG_3069Bristol-born Linn B. Halton lives in the small village of Lydbrook, which nestles on the edge of the Forest of Dean, in the UK. She resides there with her husband and feline with ‘catitude’- Mr Tiggs.
Linn began writing in March 2009 and her debut novel was published in February 2011. In a recent interview Linn was asked about genres:
“From a very young age I knew romantic fiction was always going to be my genre. I am, and will always be, madly in love with love! Whether that’s love of life, a partner, or the things I’m passionate about.
My stories are about love, life and real relationships – but romance is always the one thing that holds each story together. Often there’s a light, psychic touch and I never dreamed I would write drawing upon my personal psychic experiences. But as my interest and understanding in the subject has grown, it is now such a part of my life that it finds its way into my fictional tales. However, what is heartening is that most of my experiences have been uplifting and it’s wonderful to know loved ones are around me always. I hope it will make readers stop and wonder ‘What if?’
The result is that I get a lot of mail from readers who have had similar experiences and some are sharing theirs for the first time with me. I always feel that’s something rather special and for which I’m very grateful.”
Love, life and beyond… but it’s ALWAYS about the romance!

Linn is published by Choc Lit, HarperImpulse, Endeavour Press and Sapphire Star Publishing.
Linn is also the managing editor of Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine.
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5* Review:The Viking and the Courtesan – Shehanne Moore

perf5.000x8.000.inddHistorical BlurbIn 898 AD she wasn’t just from another land.

Wrecking a marriage is generally no problem for the divorce-obtaining Lady Malice Mallender. But she faces a dilemma when she’s asked to ruin her own. Just how businesslike should she remain when the marriage was never consummated and kissing her husband leads to Sin—a handsome Viking who wants her for a bed slave in name only?

She came from another time.

Viking raider Sin Gudrunsson wants one thing. To marry his childhood sweetheart. Only she’s left him before, so he needs to keep her on her toes, and a bed slave, in name only, seems just the thing. Until he meets Malice.

One kiss is all it takes to flash between two times.

But when one kiss is no longer enough, which will it be? Regency London? Or Viking Norway? Will Malice learn what governs the flashes? Can Sin?

Where worlds collide, can love melt the iciest heart?

Historical Buy Links Amazon UK

Historical My Review

perf5.000x8.000.inddLady Malice is not your typical Regency heroine but she is compelling and strangely likeable. A victim of an arranged marriage, she is still, woefully innocent and unfulfilled. Maybe this is why she enjoys her chosen career so much?

Destroying marriages is an unusual pursuit for a married lady but it keeps her in shoes and stops her thinking about her own disastrous nuptials. Faced with an unthinkable dilemma she seeks out her errant husband to carry out her latest commission, with life changing results.

The time slip is seamless and the shift from Regency drawing room to Saxon village under Viking attack, swift and shocking. Malice’s surprise and fear is tangible but her cynical outlook and sharp tongue remain. Both traits help her withstand the unexpected ordeal, despite the carnage surrounding her.

Sin is less than impressed with the latest slaves but he needs a bed slave to keep his fickle fiancée interested. Malice is no one’s slave but she finds Sin hard to resist. The chemistry between the courtesan and the Viking is memorable, despite the incongruity of their situation.

I loved the inconvenient time travelling and the gradual reveal of its meaning. Malice is prepared to risk all for her man and her strength and tenacity are legendary.

I purposely delayed writing this review for a few days, to see what I could remember. Malice, Sin and their compatriots’ formidable personalities, are easy to recall.

 The Viking and The Courtesan by Shehanne Moore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


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Resurrection- Michelle Betham – Brotherhood of Lone Riders #3 – Spotlight

Resurrection Cover ImageResurrection’ Book #3 in The Lone Riders MC Romance Series

Release Date – July 28th

Mystery Thriller BlurbForgetting the past can be dangerous. Re-living it can be deadly…

Someone in the shadows wants Coby Walker dead.
He’s not the only one.
Someone wants to bring The Lone Riders down.
He isn’t alone.
The club is in danger, but even Coby isn’t aware how deep that danger runs. How personal it’s all become. How many lives are at risk because he got distracted…

Ben Salter didn’t want to return to a life he’d left behind.
He was happy.
He was in love.
He was moving on.
But all of a sudden he finds himself thrust back into that world he’d never intended to return to, as the person he’d swore he’d never be again.

He thought he could handle it.

He thought pushing her away would be easy.

He was wrong.

Lines become blurred and loyalties confused as Ben’s need to avenge a past he couldn’t forget intensifies. And as his world quickly spirals out of control, that past starts to threaten his future; truths are revealed that change everything, and a secret is exposed that threatens to destroy the one thing that can keep him from falling apart – the one person who can save him; a secret that leads to a bitter betrayal that becomes a catalyst for an endgame he’d never wanted to play out…

Messed-up loyalties and a dangerous loss of focus puts The Lone Riders at risk; puts their resurrection in jeopardy. And they should have seen it coming…

Mystery Thriller Buy LinksAmazon UK  


Poppy - Author Bio

Michelle Betham is an ex-media technician turned author of hot, edgy, gritty romance, usually involving rock stars, sports stars, and bikers. But not usually all in the same book. Yet.
She is both self-published and published through HarperImpulse, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.

Addicted to binge-watching TV dramas she struggles to think of a life before Netflix, loves rock music, tattoos, spicy food, and Keanu Reeves – a crush that’s lasted over twenty years, and one she blames entirely on ‘Point Break’…

Her dream is to ride a Harley. And visit Las Vegas. And be able to eat any amount of chocolate without putting on weight…

She lives in County Durham, north-east England, with her husband and West Highland Terrier, where she can be found most days drinking tea and making up stories.

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Figure 8 – Ellie McKenzie – Release Spotlight

image1Blurb - FlowerIsabelle’s life is spiralling out of control. The death of her mother when she was 8 years old created a deep and dark depression, from which she has constantly struggled to climb out of.
Now she has reached the lowest point she has ever been. She sees no other way out.

Suddenly she finds hope.

She meets Damon.

Wanting desperately to help Isabelle, Damon tries to drag her out of the darkness and breathe life back into her.

But why is he so determined to help her?

What is the dark secret which haunts him and threatens their future?

Will their love be enough to withstand betrayal?

When love leaves you breathless, how do you learn to breathe on your own?

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Flowers - Buy Links Amazon – US 
 Amazon – UK 
Amazon – AU 

Author Bio - FlowerI am an English author, based in the Cheshire countryside. I enjoy going for walks with my two dogs, and I love days out with my children and husband. I love listening to music and you can often find me at a concert or a festival, rock being my favourite genre. Music has a massive influence in my books and I often listen to songs whilst writing.

I have always written, even as a child I would write short stories and make up plays to perform to my parents. I originally wanted to be a journalist, however things happened in my life and my path was changed dramatically.

I am an avid reader and I will try all genres, from romance to autobiographies, although romance is my favourite. I love the feels you get from the storylines, the love and angst, the will they, won’t they, and all the emotions.

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 Look out for my review of Figure 8 soon.

Posted in Author Interview, Release Day Spotlight

Strawberries At Wimbledon – Nikki Moore – Author Interview.

STRAWBERRIES_WIMBLEDONBlurb - FlowerThe one that got away?

Sipping Pimms and eating fresh strawberries at Wimbledon are the perfect start to the British summer for Rayne. Immersed in her career as a journalist in the City, she’s been too busy and distracted to give men – or other outside interests – much of a chance lately. That’s something her friend Lily thinks she should correct, coming up with the perfect ‘sex with an ex’ solution – much to the amusement of the crowd on Centre Court!

When Rayne runs into old flame Adam, former good guy who is now all grown up with a hint of bad boy about him, it’s a tempting thought. But is that such a good idea, when she knows that four years ago, she broke his heart?

Back from travelling the world and settling into running the family business, Adam never expected to see his university girlfriend again. And he definitely didn’t think he would still be angry with her for running away, or that she would still have the same stunning effect on him. But she does, so maybe the perfect way to get her out of his dreams and from under his skin, is to have a hot sex-filled night with her? The only trouble is, one night might not be enough…

First love – can you ever go back?

Buy  Links 3 Amazon UK

AmazonAuthor Interview

Congratulations on your latest release Strawberries at Wimbledon, Nikki. Can you share the highlights of your writing journey with us?

There have been loads of highlights over the last fifteen years, when I first started writing my first novel – both big and small. (Writing took a back seat for eight years in the middle while I pursued a HR qualification and had my son). The moments that stick out in my mind include:

• The first positive report I received about one of my manuscript from a reader on the Romantic Novelists Association ‘New Writers Scheme’ which said the book was of publishable standard.
• Getting an Honorable Mention for the RNA Elizabeth Goudge Trophy in 2010 and the phone call from Katie Fforde (one of my favourite authors, and the judge that year) that followed, congratulating me and telling me to keep writing.
• Being offered my first publishing contract for my short story ‘A Night to Remember’ published in the best selling RNA/ Mills and Boon anthology last February.
• Being offered a four book contract with HarperImpulse (the digital first romance imprint of HarperCollins) in October 2013. Thrilled doesn’t even begin to cover it! 
• The day my debut novel Crazy, Undercover, Love was published (April 2014)
• Being contacted by readers, bloggers and reviewers to say nice things about my stories or ask if I can write an article for them/what I’m writing next/if I’m going to write a sequel.
• Crazy, Undercover, Love being shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award (for new writers).

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel incredibly lucky and grateful to be doing something I love so much.

What’s the inspiration behind #LoveLondon, your current series of short stories?

The #LoveLondon series came from me pitching my second full length novel Picnics in Hyde Park (a romance wholly set in London) to my lovely editor Charlotte, and her brilliant idea to write a number of London based short romances leading up to the novel. The idea has evolved a number of times, but we eventually settled on a linked series that would start at Christmas – Skating at Somerset House – with a story to follow roughly once a month to capture key dates or events, with one character in each short related to / friends with one of the main characters, Matt or Zoe, from Picnics. And so New Year at The Ritz, Valentine’s on Primrose Hill, Cocktails in Chelsea and Strawberries at Wimbledon were created to follow my Christmas baby.

Are there specific writers, or other people, who have influenced your writing style?

I read widely over a number of genres – romance, thrillers, crime, horror, non-fiction, mainstream women’s fiction – and I get something different from every one, whether it’s entertainment, education, escapism or inspiration.

I read a lot of Mills and Boons books in my teens and I’m sure that’s had a lot of influence on the fact that I love writing about love and write up the hotter end of the scale (depending on what the story needs e.g. Skating at Somerset House is towards the sweeter end as it’s a cosy Christmas read, whereas Cocktails in Chelsea is hotter because I was aiming for a springtime, flirty read). I also read a lot of Christopher Pike in my teens (American teen / YA horror writer) and when I went back and read a few of the books recently I could see that his ‘voice’ in places had a similarity to mine, even though we write in completely different genres. Cecelia Ahern, Sue Moorcroft (award winning author who happens to be my aunt), Katie Fforde, Jill Mansell and JoJo Moyes are female writers I really admire and who I think have influenced my writing style / aspirations.

Your latest release, is the fifth story in the #LoveLondon series, ”Strawberries at Wimbledon’, another iconic London event. How does Wimbledon fit into this tale about first love revisited?

When Charlotte and I were working out titles and themes for the series, we wanted a really summery story and a British event in London we could set it against, so Wimbledon was perfect. Wimbledon is where Adam and Rayne, university sweethearts, run into each other again after nearly five years apart, just after Rayne’s friend Lily has suggested in the middle of Centre Court (much to the crowd’s amusement) that Rayne should ‘have sex with an ex.’

Do you have a tried and tested writing process you can tell us about?

My stories spend a lot of time percolating in my head before I get any words on paper. I think of ideas while I’m washing up, or in the shower, or driving to work and try to jot brief notes down on paper ASAP if it’s practical. I usually do a handwritten spider diagram to set out the main characters, their backgrounds and personalities, the setting and themes too. By the time I start writing I have a very good idea of how the story is going to be structured and will unfold, but apart from that I kind of write into the wind i.e. it’s organic! The characters often do things I wasn’t expecting, but I’ve found that tends to make the story better. If it’s unpredictable it makes it more fun for me, and if I’m having fun I figure my readers are too. I often don’t write in order; I go back and forth and write scenes when they are most vivid in my head. After finishing the first ‘dirty draft,’ I put it away for a few weeks and then go back to it to redraft. I revise each story at least four times and then again after I’ve had my editor’s notes. I am a horrible perfectionist so it always takes me longer than planned to finish a story to the point I’m happy with it.

The final book in the #LoveLondon series is ‘Picnics in Hyde Park’ when is this released and what’s next for you?

It’s due out on 25th June. I can hardly believe it; the last six months have flown by and I’m feeling a bit sad that the initial publication journey for this series is almost over. But of course I’m hoping the series itself will have a long and happy life. As for what’s next, I’m planning on taking a break from writing for a month or two to focus on doing some local media press – I would love to go on the radio – and perhaps organise a few book signings with my two paperbacks. After that I’m going to spend a few months working on a commercial women’s fiction book and may start looking for an agent. Of course, at some point I’m planning to do more with HarperImpulse given how fab they are.

What comes first when you’re crafting a story; setting, characters or plot? Why do you think this is?

With the romances, for me, it’s usually the characters that come first, and the plot grows from them; their personalities, backgrounds, conflicts and dreams. I think it’s that way for me because if I thought of the plot first I’d be afraid I’d then be trying to shoehorn the characters into it, which could make it feel forced. Saying that, for the commercial women’s fiction book I’m working on next, the plot and main character came to me at the same time.

Are you a social media addict or phobe? Do you have a favourite social media platform?

I’m a bit of a social media addict. I love Twitter, and Facebook follows closely behind. In one way that’s great because it means I’m not afraid of using the platforms and can be very visible to my readers; talking and sharing things with them, as well as thanking them regularly (bloggers and reviewers too) and chatting with other authors / aspiring writers in the community. On the other hand it’s not so great because I end up on Twitter far too often when I should be writing!

Where do you do most of your writing? Why is this your favourite place to write?

I do most of my writing either in my front room, which I have as my writing room with my bookcase, laptops, filing cabinet and book covers stuck up on the wall. I like writing in there because it’s very light and airy. Sometimes I write on the sofa or in bed when I want to be comfy and warm (really bad for the neck, back and shoulders though). To be honest I can write pretty much anywhere, as long as I have my laptop and there’s a plug handy!

Thanks for having me on your blog Jane.


My review of Strawberries at Wimbledon will be posted later today.

Posted in Book Review, New Books, Release Day Spotlight

5* Review: Sweetest Temptation – (Sweet Delights #2)- Tracey Rogers – Release Day Spotlight

SweetestTemptation_Large-683x1024Blurb - FlowerThe 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

Buy  Links 3 Amazon UK


Sweetest Temptation is book 2 in the Sweet Delights Series and is now only £0.99 for a limited time. Have some fun in the Sweet Delights Bakery with Vanessa and Jake!
My Review -1Sweetest Temptation (Sweet Delights Series, #2)Sensual romance, believable characters and a well paced plot makes ‘Sweetest Temptation’, the perfect naughty extravagance for all lovers of romantic comedy.
The setting in the Sweet Delights bakery is atmospheric and provides the perfect backdrop for Vanessa’s journey of self realisation. Jake may not be what he seems but he is a much needed ingredient, in Vanessa’s lack lustre life. The sensual attraction and diversity between Jake and Vanessa is compelling. The characters are imaginable and easy to like, you want, what they want and it’s hard to put this book down because of this.
The imagery in this romantic tale is vivid, especially of Jake; what is it about a man and physical labour that’s so absorbing … Whatever it is the author captures it in ‘Sweetest Temptation’ and makes Jake, as iconic, as the man in the diet coke ad.
There is realistic detail about the bakery and Vanessa’s culinary creations, give this story its authenticity. The secondary characters add the feel good ambience and help demonstrate, Jake and Vanessa’s motivations perfectly.
So treat yourself for a couple of hours and sample, the sweet delights of this lovely story.

Excerpt -2Gripping the woman’s wrist, Jake managed to restrain her before the weapon made impact with his head again. He shoved his upper body forward and flipped them both over.
Now this was much better. Or it would be if she’d quit squirming. Not that it was a bad sensation or anything, but he was starting to enjoy this more than the situation should allow.
With one hand free, her fingers scrabbled at the side of her. When her fingers wrapped around the torch he snatched it out of reach. He grasped her wrist and yanked both of her arms over her head, holding her captive with one much larger hand than her daintier ones.
Picking up the torch, he pointed it at the large, temple-throb causing weapon. As he read the first line on the bag he snorted in disbelief. Clearly she was a novice in the weapon department.
“A confectionery product? What the hell was that meant to be—death by chocolate?”
“God no,” said the muffled, completely aghast voice from beneath her mound of hair. “I would never hit someone with chocolate.”
Okay, so maybe she wasn’t a threat to anyone at all. Jake released his grip a little.
“Chocolate is way too expensive to waste,” she continued. “I hit you with a catering pack of marzipan.”
He tightened his hold again. With her still wrestling beneath him, he decided out of fear for his man parts, it was time for some answers. Reaching out with his free hand, he brushed the silky strands from her face. She bucked beneath him like a stray cat fighting for freedom. At first he thought she was furious, but then he gazed into her green eyes and saw fear.
Although he took his work seriously—hell, sometimes caution had kept him alive—no way was he a monster. Waiting for her movements to abate he lifted his chest. In one smooth movement he traded position and surrounded her hips with his legs, trying to take away the intimate contact steering him from sound judgement, yet still stifling her leg movements with the grip of his thighs. Resting more on his knees than pressing his full weight into her, the increased gap between them gave him the perfect opportunity for another perusal of her small frame.
With her arms upstretched, her small breasts raised higher with each dragged in breath. Her shirt, trapped beneath his knees, pulled taut and had lifted to reveal her scarlet knickers and a hint of smooth, pale skin peeking above. He blinked. Maybe the glorious sight was a figment of his imagination due to his recent lack of female companionship? His gaze drew to her parted lips, open to allow the release of expended energy from her lungs. The fullness of her bottom lip was so damned tempting.
“Anytime you want to get the hell off me—please feel free.”
Her sarcasm cut through his momentary lapse. One more second and he’d have been tasting her mouth.
“Tell me who you are, and why the hell you think you have a right to be on private property, and maybe I will.” Just maybe.
With her fingers clenching beneath his palm, he felt the spike of her pulse at the pad of his thumb.
“Me tell you?” She blinked several times before glaring at him as though he’d just sprouted bunny ears. “I live here!”

Author Bio - Flower
7211367Usually found with a pen in my hand, or my head in a book, I’m a contemporary romance author who also thinks fangs and wings are a very attractive accessory.
A devourer of books from an early age, imagination was my best discovery. I spent much of my childhood stepping into wardrobes, searching for that magical snowy world where conversing with animals would be expected. When I wasn’t searching for those worlds, I wrote about them instead. My first step into the world of romance was when I stole sneak peeks into my nana’s books. I’m still in that world and I refuse to leave.
I live in Staffordshire, UK, with my husband and three wonderful children. An avid reader and writer of romance, I strongly believe that words make the world go around. I like nothing more than to be swept away by the words on a page. I hope I can sweep you away too.

You can find me here…
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Sweetest Temptation by Tracey Rogers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sweetest Temptation (Sweet Delights Series, #2) by Tracey Rogers

Tracey Rogers

View all my reviews