Posted in Author Guest Post, Author Interview, Book Review, Book Spotlight, New Books

Nobody Knows – Rebecca Barber – Blog Tour – Inspiration

NobodyKnows_ecoverMystery Thriller Blurb

Gillian Dempsey must find a reason to go on…

Easier said than done after a rare virus robs her of both parents. Left alone and confused, the mourning nineteen-year-old flees to her three best friends, who receive her with open arms.

Her parents give her more than an inheritance—they give her a second chance at life…

When Gillian is left with some properties in her parents’ will, she assigns them to a real estate agent to manage. Joel Matthews takes the job, but he quickly becomes more than a business associate. After a string of fortunate coincidences, Gillian and Joel spend a passionate night together—after which Joel all but vanishes from her life.

But they still have unfinished business, and Gillian won’t allow him to slip away—especially with her heart.

Life is a roller coaster of tragedy and joy…

Gillian reels him in, and soon the two are married. Gillian’s heart expands even more when they receive the news of their first pregnancy. But after the baby is born, things aren’t the same. Joel becomes distant…resentful. And then the abuse begins. Darkness consumes their marriage—only to get worse.

While Gillian tries to hold her family together, it seems Joel is doing everything to tear them apart. But just one slip of his temper makes all the difference, because this time, there’s no turning back.

Maybe being abused can be endured, as long as Nobody Knows…until someone ends up dead.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

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Rebecca  shared  some of the  secrets behind her new story with me.

 What was the inspiration for Nobody Knows?

A friend was going through a hard time and it hurt to watch (it was nothing like this) so I created a monster we could despise. At the time it seemed everyone around me was celebrating how men who were rich and handsome and charismatic could do no wrong, so I wanted to create one who had flaws – after all everyone does.

Loss, especially when it’s both parents, is hard. How does Gillian deal with that?

Gillian doesn’t really know how to deal with it which is why she throws herself so recklessly into a life with Joel. I think deep down she always knew he wasn’t the knight in shining armour she’d prayed for, but he filled the loneliness and made her feel special, if even for a moment. She clung to the nearest warm body to ease the ache. As it turns out, she chose the wrong body.

Click on the My Review image to read my review of Nobody Knows.

Mystery Thriller My Review

EXCERPT

Adult Read

Gillian

‘The scowl on his leathery face should have been enough warning to shut me up, but tonight I wasn’t in the mood to back down. I was ready for a fight. Whatever he dished out would come back at him twofold. He came through the door, ripping it almost off its hinges and letting it slam behind him. He took one look at me, sitting on the lounge quietly watching television and sipping my coffee, and rolled his eyes in disgust. I didn’t say a word. This was the game we played these days. After more than a decade of marriage, this is all we had left.
“What’s for dinner?” he snarled, his eyes filled with hatred and disgust. I just shrugged apathetically. What was I supposed to say? ‘Hi honey, how was your day? You look tired. Why don’t I just whip you up a nice, juicy T-bone steak and fresh steamed veggies?’ The truth was, I would probably be having home-brand crackers with what was left of the vegemite.
“Not sure. We don’t have much,” I admitted, instantly feeling ashamed.
I hated the fact that he could make me cower like that. Once upon a time, in another lifetime far away from this one, I felt different. I felt worthwhile and even happy. We were happy at one point, weren’t we? Somewhere along the line, I must have loved him. Otherwise I wouldn’t have married him. I can’t be that stupid, can I?
“For God’s sake, didn’t you even bother to do the shopping?” he snarled from the kitchen.
I heard him muttering to himself as he shuffled the near-empty boxes about in the pantry. Much as I hate to admit it, the profanity spraying from his lips was mighty impressive.
Stomping back into the lounge, he planted himself deliberately in front of the television, hands on his hips and a scowl on his face. Knowing what was coming, I was glad the kids were out with their godmother Heidi tonight. That was the only positive in this nightmare.
“For fuck’s sake, Gillian. I give you money. What the fucking hell do you spend it on?” he demanded, tiny bits of spittle flying from his mouth.
We had danced around this confrontation for weeks now. The tension was escalating, as was the hatred buried inside me. I don’t remember the last time that I had actually had a full night’s sleep. These days, I was too angry to sleep. As soon as my head hit the pillow, all I could do was imagine all the things that I wanted to do and say to him, but was too afraid to.
My life had somehow crumpled into a pathetic mess, and most of the time I hated myself for it. I was furious, and the more I saw of him, the more he continued to be the heartless barbaric bastard he had become, the worse things got, and the more I despised myself.
“Do you really want to know how fucking far your measly twenty bucks stretches these days?” I asked, keeping my face as blank as possible. He raised a quizzical eyebrow and folded his arms aggressively across his puffed out chest.
I took a deep breath, grabbed hold of the arms of my chair with both hands, and squeezed as hard as I could. When I looked down, my knuckles were white with the strain and I could hear myself grinding my teeth desperately, trying to control the rage inside me.
“Well?” he snapped, shifting his weight impatiently from one foot to another.
I exhaled heavily. “If you really want to know what happened to that twenty you gave me a week ago for food and to keep the house running, well, it bought a six-pack of home brand toilet paper, a loaf of bread, a carton of milk, vegemite, eggs, and a packet of tampons for your daughter!” I told him, ticking the items off my fingers as I announced them.’

Click the Author Interview image to read my interview with Rebecca

Author Interview

Author Bio 2016 -1.

a3b9f-bec2bbarber2bpicture

Rebecca, one of four kids to her parents who are both primary school teachers, was born in Wollongong on the south coast of Australia before moving to the country with her family. After a few years of embracing all that country life had to offer, the family relocated to Port Macquarie with its white sand beaches. After a brief period enjoying the sun and the surf they finally settled in Canberra where Rebecca still lives today. But all through her childhood a notepad and a book where never far away. These days Rebecca is an avid reader, and when she isn’t buried in a book or cheering on her beloved football team she’s spending time with her husband Robert and their overly spoilt dog Levi.

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Posted in Author Guest Post, New Books

Guest Post: The Secrets of CASTLE DU RÊVE – Hannah Emery

Today I have author Hannah Emery as a guest on my blog.

She reveals some of the secrets behind her exciting new story;

‘The Secrets of CASTLE DU RÊVE’, published by Harper Impulse.

Secrets of Castle du Reve

 

Historical Blurb

In the quaint, seaside town of Silenshore a legacy of secrets is about to be revealed…

Growing up in the imposing Castle du Rêve during 1940s wartime, young Evelyn longs for a life outside the castle walls. She dreams of attending glamorous parties, gracing the silver screen and being swept off her feet by a dashing, debonair beau. But innocent Evelyn is unaware that her bid for freedom from the oppressive castle will change the course of more than just her life…

In the early Sixties, sweet, intelligent Victoria meets the man of her dreams! Yet the expression of their love comes with consequences. In the shadow of the mysterious castle, is their relationship doomed from the start?

In the present day, Isobel has just learned she’s pregnant. An unexpected challenge she can only hope she’s up to. Except living in the father of her child’s family home, beneath the eyes of the castle, all is not as it seems… Soon secrets that have been hidden for decades threaten to change the lives of Isobel’s new family irrevocably.

Three women’s lives tangled together in a web of secrets, scandal and deceit, as the legacy of Castle du Rêve is finally discovered…

 

Historical Buy Links

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Mother and Baby Homes

A few years ago, when I was starting to think about ideas for The Secrets of Castle du Reve, I came across an article on homes for unmarried mothers. I’d heard about the homes before that, but reading about individual women who’d been forced to go away to have their babies in secret, sometimes not even telling their families because of the scandal that it would cause, really touched me. Soon after I read the article, I saw an episode of Long Lost Family that outlined the case of a woman who had been sent to a mother and baby home in the 1960s when she was seventeen. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and about how different life is now.

Motherhood was particularly significant to me at that point because my first daughter was about two years old then and I was feeling stunned by how powerful and intense it all was. I already knew that motherhood would be an important part of my book. The idea of having to hide a pregnancy, and the different ways relationships have been seen throughout the last hundred years or so added a whole new dimension to my plot. It took ages to decide on how to include something about mother and baby homes. I wrote so many different scenes, and even had some poor characters that didn’t make it into the first draft.

I didn’t know much at all about the homes before I started writing the book, so I read a lot of accounts of women who’d been forced to go away to have their babies, and I stared quite endlessly at pictures of the places they’d stayed in, imagining what it must have been like for them. I read about the types of lives the women had before they’d become pregnant, and the stark contrast of their times in the homes. Once I’d done my research, I enjoyed placing Isobel in 2010 alongside Victoria in the 1960s. Both women fall in love quite quickly and have such different experiences, mainly because of how much things have changed for women in a relatively short amount of time.

The clichéd writing advice that people always seem to share is: write about what you know. But I like writing about things that I don’t know. I love learning about times that have passed and bringing them back to life. For me, that’s what curling up with a book is all about.

 Thanks for revealing some of the secrets behind your story Hannah. I certainly agree that its much more fun to write about things that are new to you because the research is such an  important part of the writing process. I am currently reading  this intriguing story and I’ll be reviewing it here later this week.

e176263a92251467e5ea7882edf4e3dcAuthor Bio -1

 I have written stories for as long as I can remember. I love writing about how fragile the present is and how so much of it depends on chance events that took place years ago. I studied English at the University of Chester, and I know work in a College where I mentor degree students. The most important things in my life are my family, my friends, books, baking on a Saturday afternoon, getting glammed up to go out for champagne and dinner and having cosy weekends away. I live in Blackpool with my husband and our two little girls

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Posted in Author Guest Post, Book Review, New Books

5* Review: Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas – Michelle Betham

ShirleyValentine Goes to Vegas Cover image


Lana Saunders is on a mission to find the ‘new Lana’, the real Lana. After twenty years spent as a prim and proper businessman’s wife, she’s finally swapped beige cotton for black leather, and cardigans for tattoo sleeves! With the ink only just dry on her divorce papers, she’s ready to live it up in Vegas.

What she doesn’t expect is to meet wickedly sexy biker, Eddie and is shocked when he asks her out. Not only does he send her sex-starved libido into overdrive, but the connection between them is unlike anything she’s ever experienced. So when Eddie asks her to stay with him in Vegas, the desire to fall into this gorgeous man’s bed and stay there forever is too tempting to ignore!

Living with Eddie in Las Vegas is the most fun Lana’s had in years—especially when he shows her that there’s more than one way to ride on a Harley!—but soon she realises she can’t ignore her old life forever, particularly when her ex, Adam shows up determined to win her back!

Buy Links 1

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Nook  

Sainsbury’s 

Google Play 

My Review 2

Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas

Lana Saunders is a likeable ‘Shirley Valentine’ character, ‘living the dream’ in Las Vegas, rather than the Greece.

Lana knows her marriage isn’t going to be as exciting twenty years on but she is escaping from more than the routine. Lana is fighting for her individuality, tired of being the square peg in the round hole.

Finn, Lana’s younger brother, gives her somewhere to run to. Lana empathises with his way of life and friends and rediscovers who she is. I loved Finn, he is loyal and caring and I would like to see what happens in his life in a sequel perhaps?

Lana’s chance meeting with Eddie, a Scottish biker, living in Vegas is vivid and intense. Eddie is a mysterious character. Lana gradually discovers his secrets and demons, when she lives life on the wild side. Adam, Lana’s ex-husband’s reappearance, transects her new life and leads the story in a new, unexpected direction.

Full of twists and surprises, with realistic characters and an absorbing plot, which draws you in and keep you turning the pages. This is an epic sized novel but it is so easy to read. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Vegas and walk on the wild side; especially the hot and raunchy love scenes that epitomise Lana’s journey of self- discovery.

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

 

What inspired Michelle Betham to write ‘Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas’? 

Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas by Michelle Betham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas by Michelle Betham

Michelle Betham

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Posted in Author Guest Post, New Books

Guest Post: Michelle Betham – Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas

ShirleyValentine Goes to Vegas Cover image

‘Shirley  Valentine Goes to Vegas’ is the latest release from one of my favourite authors, the lovely Michelle Betham.

Miauthorpicchelle is guest posting on my blog today to share the inspiration behind this unusual story of self- discovery.

‘There are three things I’ve always wanted to do:-

1. Visit Las Vegas.
2. Ride a Harley Davidson.
3. Get a real big tattoo.

Two out of those three things are still on my “yet-to-do” list, but the third one has been achieved. My left arm now sports a rather large “statement” tattoo – a black ink rose vine that stretches from my wrist to my shoulder. And I love it. It was something I’ve wanted for a long time, and despite being on the wrong side of forty-five now, I truly believe that it’s never too late to do anything, be that get a tattoo, or, in the case of Lana in my new book ‘Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas’, change your life.

Funnily enough, Lana also decides to “ink up”, as part of her rather drastic lifestyle change, but that’s kind of where the coincidences between myself and my character ends. But, writing about Lana and her journey into a whole new world did give me a chance to – albeit in the fictional sense – live out those first two items on my “things I really want to do” list.

Most of the story in ‘Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas’ takes place in, yes, you’ve probably guessed it by the title, Las Vegas. I have a huge a fascination with that place, and I really, really want to go there some day, so setting a book there was a no-brainer for me. It seemed like the perfect place for Lana to discover that new life she’s been looking for, even if she didn’t go there expecting to find it. Relationships are the last thing on Lana’s mind when she meets super-sexy biker, Eddie, at a tattoo convention in Las Vegas. But the connection is instant. And it throws Lana. Newly divorced after twenty years of marriage she isn’t used to the feelings Eddie stirs up in her, and when he asks her – completely out of the blue, and after only a couple of days of knowing each other – to stay with him in Vegas, she struggles with what she feels she should do, and what she really wants to do. But, you know, Eddie owns two Harleys. And as I can’t get to ride one of those (yet), Lana gets to do it for me… and Eddie shows her there’s more than one way to ride one of those beautiful machines…

She’s having more fun than she’s ever had before with Eddie, living the kind of life she hadn’t even known existed. But sometimes the past can’t always be pushed aside quite as easily as you’d like it to be. Especially when the past comes looking for you…

For me, creating the character of Lana – a woman who, at the age of thirty-nine, has literally walked out on the only world she’s ever known – was quite liberating. And that’s where the whole “Shirley Valentine” comparison comes into it. Just like Lana, she upped and left the only life she’d ever known to try and find a new one. Because it really is never too late to change anything; to go out and get something, or just do some of those things you’ve always wanted to do. If you have dreams, go out and live them.
Writing this book, I got to turn a woman who’d once been stifled, almost, by the life she’d once lived, from corporate wife into tattooed biker babe; she got to go out there and live out her fantasies, and to write about her transition was a blast! But, of course, nothing is ever that simple, and there comes a point when Lana also has to make choices she didn’t think she’d ever have to make…

I guess this is also a story about – to some extent – fate, because I’m also a strong believer that (some) things happen for a reason. And some of the things that happen to Lana… well, you’ll have to read the book to see how it all works out for her. All I know is you only get one life. And, like Lana – like Shirley Valentine – there comes a time when you just have to get out there and live it – the way you want to live it…’

Untitled
ShirleyValentine Goes to Vegas Cover imageLana Saunders is on a mission to find the ‘new Lana’, the real Lana. After twenty years spent as a prim and proper businessman’s wife, she’s finally swapped beige cotton for black leather, and cardigans for tattoo sleeves! With the ink only just dry on her divorce papers, she’s ready to live it up in Vegas.

What she doesn’t expect is to meet wickedly sexy biker, Eddie and is shocked when he asks her out. Not only does he send her sex-starved libido into overdrive, but the connection between them is unlike anything she’s ever experienced. So when Eddie asks her to stay with him in Vegas, the desire to fall into this gorgeous man’s bed and stay there forever is too tempting to ignore!

Living with Eddie in Las Vegas is the most fun Lana’s had in years—especially when he shows her that there’s more than one way to ride on a Harley!—but soon she realises she can’t ignore her old life forever, particularly when her ex, Adam shows up determined to win her back!

Buy Links 1

Amazon UK

Kobo  

Nook  

Sainsbury’s 

Google Play 

Author Bio

authorpicMichelle 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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Posted in Author Guest Post, Blogging Community, Writing Journey

Milady’s Book Club welcomes Jane Hunt to Rye.

Lady Fury's Book Club
Lady Fury’s Book Club

Many thanks  to Lady Fury and the lovely Shehanne Moore for inviting me back to Milady’s book club with my latest release The Revenge Masquerade.

We had great fun in Rye.

Click the link below and join in the fun. 🙂

Milady’s Book Club welcomes Jane Hunt to Rye..