Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Romantic Comedy

Coming Home to Holly Close Farm – Julie Houston -Guest Post -Extract- 5* #Review- @Aria_Fiction @JulieHouston2

Charlie Maddison loves being an architect in London, but when she finds out her boyfriend, Dominic, is actually married, she runs back to the beautiful countryside of Westenbury and her parents.

Charlie’s sister Daisy, a landscape gardener, is also back home in desperate need of company and some fun. Their great-grandmother, Madge – now in her early nineties – reveals she has a house, Holly Close Farm, mysteriously abandoned over sixty years ago, and persuades the girls to project manage its renovation.

As work gets underway, the sisters start uncovering their family’s history, and the dark secrets that are hidden at the Farm.

 A heart-breaking tale of wartime romance, jealousy and betrayal slowly emerge, but with a moral at its end: true love can withstand any obstacle, and, before long, Charlie dares to believe in love again too…

Buy links:

Amazon UK

Kobo

iBooks

Google Play

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

My Thoughts…

Romantic love is often considered something you can only have when you’re young. Can you imagine your grandmother or great-grandmother falling in love, or do you just see the wrinkles, hear the repetitive stories and remember her forgetfulness?

Charlie reeling from a romantic betrayal finds that her great-grandmother Madge has kept so many secrets in her long life, including finding her true love, and the web of betrayal, deceit and secrets that this event spun.

Madge offers Charlie and her sister Daisy a chance to shine when they seem to be failing at life. Accepting the challenge takes the sisters on a journey of self -discovery and the revelation of Madge’s colourful past.

Told in dual timelines, which makes the story doubly interesting, you see parallels and differences between the two generations of women. There is a lovely balance of humour and poignancy. The romance is sweet and the story inspiring.

Literary agents – do writers today need one? – Guest Post-Julie Houston

When I started out on the long – and often winding – road to becoming a published writer, I’d no idea what the role of a literary agent actually was, never mind about how to go about getting one. I just knew that, according to all the self-help handbooks that I bought and loaned from the public library, I had to have one. This was about seven years ago when it was drummed into all new writers that agents were akin to St Peter at the gates of heaven. They held the key to whether you were going to be allowed in to get anywhere near the God-like publisher.

I’m not going to go into how one should go about achieving that status of being an ‘agented writer’ – countless detailed words of advice and articles have been written on the subject – but I thought I would share with you my own particular journey.

So, I’d written a book. It started off with the title ‘Harriet Westmoreland does it with class’ (Harriet is a teacher) became ‘Living La Dolce Vite’ (her husband spends a lot of time in Italy) then became ‘Compulsive Granite Disorder’ (Harriet, like me, has a bit of a compulsion for cleaning her granite when stressed) and eventually ended up as ‘Goodness Grace and Me.’ The manuscript went off to a string of agents. And came back. In those days, agents would often write little notes as to what they thought, and why it wasn’t for them, along with the rejection slip. I may be wrong, but these days, when online submissions to agents are de rigueur, I’m not sure that happens any more. And then came the glorious, magical week when, like a number 9 bus, three agents, all interested in my book, came along at once.

One, based in London, was originally from Yorkshire and was up for the weekend to see her mum. Could we meet? We most certainly could! And we did, the following Saturday, for coffee and a chat at Salts Mill near Bingley. By the time I left, floating back to the carpark on air, I had signed on the dotted line with Anne Williams of KHLA Literary Agency based in Bristol and London.  I had an agent, a literary agent.

She did warn me that my particular genre – we both disliked and eschewed the handle Chick lit, preferring the more grown-up Romantic Comedy/Women’s Fiction – was not faring too well at that point in time, being overshadowed by the rush for psychological thrillers, and had even printed out an article from The Guardian to that effect.

The beauty of having Anne has an agent has been that she was formerly a commissioning editor for one of the big publishing houses. She had, in effect, been on the other side as it were and, as such, very much knew what editors were looking for and the pitfalls involved in getting there. Within a few weeks, my baby had come back to me tracked in red and, once I’d worked out how tracking actually worked (terrifying to begin with when you’re convinced you’re going to lose all that red work and have to admit it to this new agent) and taken my first tentative steps to adding my own tracking in a garish purple alongside hers, we were on our way.

My agent worked tirelessly to get Goodness, Grace and Me a place with a major publishing house. I was astonished at how few there actually were – this was at the time when even Penguin was amalgamating with Random House – and eventually we made the decision to go it alone. It was a good decision: the book went to #1 in Humour and #64 overall. With the follow-up novels, The One Saving Grace, Looking For Lucy and An Off-Piste Christmas we signed up with White Glove, a publishing division of Amazon for agented-only authors, which would not have been available to me without her. This was a great move: White Glove promoted my books, particularly in Australia, where the first two achieved #1 Humour, and Looking For Lucy went to the top of the charts going to #1 overall.

And then came the offer from Aria. I wrote A Village Affair and Anne brokered a three-book deal with Sarah, one of the lovely commissioning editors at Aria, to include Coming Home to Holly Close Farm and, my work in progress, Sing Me a Secret. While Aria do take un-agented submissions, having my agent at my side along the way has been wonderful. She’s a professional, knows all about contracts and the like and still works with me, tirelessly, with that damned red tracking, telling me off if I’ve written something that might come back to bite me, but also giving praise if something particularly meets with her approval.

Perhaps the best thing about my agent is that, after seven years, I consider her a friend. She’ll meet up with me for coffee or lunch when I’m down in London, has been over for supper at my house when she’s been back in Yorkshire and always gets back to me straight away if I email with some thorny question about publication or needing advice about where my work in progress is heading.

Many, many, successful, published authors go it alone without an agent What I would say is, if you do find an agent interested in working with you and offer to take you on to their books, go for it.

The road to publication is so much more comfortable with that agent by your side to hold your hand and share in your success.

Extract

‘Auntie Madge?’

Granny peered closely at the woman, scrutinising her features for clues as to who she might be.

‘I’m sorry…?’

‘It’s Harriet,’ the woman smiled a little nervously. ‘Lydia’s granddaughter.’

‘My Lydia? My sister, Lydia?’ Madge seemed puzzled.

‘Oh,’ Mum said. ‘You’re Keturah’s daughter?’ She turned to Madge. ‘It’s one of Keturah’s daughters, Granny. You know. Gosh, Harriet, I’ve not seen you for years.’ She paused. ‘It must have been at Aunt Lydia’s funeral, what, ten years ago?’

Daisy and I exchanged looks. Blimey, how many more grannies and aunties were there? They seemed to be coming out of the woodwork at an amazing rate. I was totally lost as to who they all were.

‘Lydia’s been dead twelve years now,’ Harriet said, reaching for the bundle of baby from the younger woman as it began to make snuffling noises.

‘My great-aunt Lydia was your Granny Madge’s older sister,’ Mum explained, pulling up a chair for Harriet and the baby. ‘She was quite a bit older than you wasn’t she, Granny?’

‘Oh, yes, much older. There were five of us: Lydia was the eldest and I was the youngest. There was a good twelve years between us. By the time I was eight or nine, Lydia was newly married and living over towards Colnefirth.’

‘I’m trying to work out how we’re all related,’ I said, smiling at the younger woman, who was looking as perplexed as I felt.

‘Oh, sorry, how rude of me.’ Harriet laughed. ‘This is my daughter, Liberty… Libby.’

‘So, you girls and Liberty must be eighth cousins loads of times removed then. Sorry, can’t work it all out,’ Mum smiled. ‘I was never very good at maths.’

‘We’re vaguely related. Probably best if we leave it at that.’ Liberty grinned at Daisy and Me. ‘Oh, and this is Lysander.’ She took the baby back from her mother and pointed him proudly in our direction.

‘Lysander? Golly, that’s a good strong noble name,’ I said. ‘What’s that song we used to sing at school? Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules; Of Hector and Lysander diddle um tum diddle iddle um…Sorry, can’t remember the rest.’

‘“The British Grenadiers”,’ Granny Madge tutted crossly before launching loudly and tunefully into song: ‘But of all the world’s great heroes, there’s none that can compare, With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the British Grenadier.’

The old chap who, up until then, had been nodding peacefully in his armchair in the far corner of the residents’ lounge, suddenly shot out of his chair, saluted Granny, shouted, ‘Damn good soldiers. Bless ’em all,’ and then, just as suddenly, sat back down and began to snore loudly.

‘Silly old fool,’ Granny Madge tutted again. ‘I tell you, they’re all mad in here. I need to get out before I become as crackers as they are. I’m sure it must be catching.’

Julie Houston is the author of THE ONE SAVING GRACE, GOODNESS, GRACE AND ME and LOOKING FOR LUCY, a Kindle top 100 general bestsellers and a Kindle #1 bestseller. She is married, with two teenage children and a mad cockerpoo and, like her heroine, lives in a West Yorkshire village. She is also a teacher and a magistrate. Twitter Facebook

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Romance, Romantic Comedy

What Happens in France – 4* #Review -Guest Post @carolewyer @canelo_co

She stood and took her place in front of the camera… It was now or never”

Bryony Masters has been looking for her long-lost sister, Hannah, for years, but when their father has a stroke her search takes on new urgency. So when primetime game show, What Happens in France, puts a call-out for new contestants, Bryony spots the ultimate public platform to find her reality TV-obsessed sister, and finally reunite their family.

With the help of handsome teammate Lewis, it’s not long before she’s on a private jet heading for the stunning beauty of rural France. With a social media star dog, a high maintenance quiz host and a cast of truly unique characters, Bryony and Lewis have their work cut out for them to stay on the show and in the public eye. Yet as the audience grows and the grand prize beckons they find that the search that brought them together may just fulfil more than one heart’s wish…

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

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

My Thoughts…

Bryony decides entering a game show is the best way to publicise her search for her sister. Hannah left home when she was sixteen, and although Bryony has always sought to reconnect with her, through her blog, when her father becomes ill, the need to reach Hannah is vital.

A chance for romance presents in the form of Lewis, not only cute but a lovely person, who is prepared to help Bryony in her quest to find Hannah. Winning the game show is not the main reason for entering, but it becomes important, leading to many humorous moments, as they battle against the other competitors.

Bryony and Lewis head a great character list, whose true personality traits soon become evident as the competition progresses. Not everyone is likeable, but that adds to the authenticity.

The trip through France and the food make this a sensual delight and the challenges the teams face in the game show, absorbing and realistic.

A character-driven, romantic-comedy full of vivid imagery. The perfect book to escape with for a little while.

 Guest Post – Carol Wyer – GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

The title of this post was actually the working title of my latest book until I had an epiphany before I submitted it to Canelo and changed it to What Happens in France.

I’ve always found coming up with book titles one of the most difficult parts of writing a book. I remember my debut novel (Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines) was called A Twinkle in My Wrinkle until an hour before it was published! Titles are hugely important and even though I spend hours awake going through what I think might work, I don’t always get it right and my publisher invariably changes them to something more appropriate.

Titles aren’t always the only part of the book that causes me mental anguish. In the case of this book, it wasn’t the plot or the characters, it was coming up with ideas for crazy games for a reality television show that would be highly entertaining.

It took some doing but I was really pleased with the results. One of easiest to conjure up was a race up a steep hill in beautiful rural France. This wasn’t taxing at all because not only have I raced on the circuit at Castle Donnington but for many years I lived in the Tarn and Garonne region, near a town called St Antonin Noble Val that hosts such a hill climb every August 15th. It’s an incredibly popular event, attracting racing drivers and amateurs alike and about half the population of the region who line the twisted route from the bottom of the hill in the picturesque medieval bastide town to the summit some 250 metres high.

The course de circuit is 1.5 kilometres long and that may not sound very special or spectacular but believe me, it is. The route runs along the jaw-dropping Aveyron Gorges with phenomenal views to the river where canoeists anchor their kayaks to observe the race, while others jostle for space behind massive hay bales that line the road.

The noise is phenomenal – a growling that fills the valleys like a hundred angry dragons battling for supremacy. Each car ascends, engine at full throttle and navigates the sharp bends and turns, hurtling towards the finish line, egged on by eager cries and cheers.

When Bryony and Lewis take on a similar challenge in their furry 2CV, I thought back to the eager faces, the supportive crowd and buzz of excitement that accompanied the event at St Antonin. No matter if you aren’t a car enthusiast, you can’t help but be captivated by the setting and the atmosphere, and in no time at all, you find yourself cheering along with the others.

I hope you’ll root for Bryony and Lewis in What Happens in France, although they’re up against fierce competition and you’ll find your loyalties tested. Besides, the host of the show isn’t keen for them to win… why not? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

EXTRACT FROM WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE:

‘Come on, Furby!’ Lewis pumped the accelerator pedal. The sunshine streaming in through the windscreen was causing him to squint. At last, the car sputtered into life and they made it onto the starting line.

La Pommeraye was a 2.5-kilometre hill climb and the trio of bizarre cars and film crew had attracted a large crowd of supporters who lined the closed circuit, cheering for each of the contestants as the cars raced by. Lewis and Bryony were the last to attempt the climb.

They waited by the lights, currently on red. It seemed to take an age for them to change.

‘Go… go… go!’ Bryony yelled as they tore up the hill past the spectators who waved at them. ‘Right bend!’ The car bore to the right, past a house outside which stood three children holding a sheet marked Allez Furby.

‘We have fans,’ said Bryony, clinging to the grab handle as they rejoined the main road and hastened past more fields. The circuit was an ordinary D road with some sharp bends and twists, railings to one side and all exits blocked off. It made for an exciting circuit although the furry Citroën was nowhere near as fast as the cars that usually competed in the annual hill climb.

Bryony adjusted her racing helmet. The strap was tight under her chin and she had to shout so Lewis could hear her commands. He could see the bends but it helped if she warned him of them too, given he had enough to manage with handling the vehicle.

There was no time to take in the fields of meadow flowers or the cows lazily grazing or the high banks of grass filled with people. Lewis was committed to finishing the race in the fastest time possible without crashing, and Bryony to holding on for dear life.

A bend to the left, another sharp one to the right and an inflatable bridge across the road bearing the name of the show. Cameras to the left and the right and cheering French people. They crossed the line.

Bryony high-fived Lewis. ‘Great driving.’

‘Bit different to that track day I did but not bad at all,’ he replied.

They climbed out of the car hoping they’d done enough to win the challenge.

As a child, Carol Wyer was always moving and relied on humour to fit in at new schools. A funny short story won her popularity, planting the seed of becoming a writer. Her career spans dry cleaning, running a language teaching company, and boxercise coaching. Now writing full-time, Carol has several books published and journalism in many magazines.

Carol won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015), and can sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

Posted in Book Review, Book Spotlight, Guest post, New Books

It’s in His Kiss – Eve Devon – Guest Post – 5* Review

Blog Tour

Today is release day for ‘It’s in His Kiss’, written by the lovely Eve Devon. As the first stop on her blog tour Eve is sharing with us her ‘Fun Facts About Kissing’ and an excerpt of ‘It’s in His Kiss’.  I have read this last book in the King trilogy and its  full of fun, romance and sensuality, a fabulous end to the series. My review is also included in this blog.

Fun Facts About  Kissing – Eve Devon

 With a title like It’s In His Kiss, you just knew I was going to trawl the internet (I was on a tea-break, honest) for some fun-facts and quotes about…Kissing.
TOP THREE FUN FACTS:
In at number 3:
Did you know that the Romans used different words to describe different types of kissing? ocsulum, meant a friendly kiss on the cheek, basium, a kiss on the lips, and suavium, a deep kiss.
Holding steady at number 2:
We’ve grown up with classic movie kisses like: Titanic, Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, and Spiderman? But did you know they might never have happened if the Hays Code in the 1930’s (which prohibited acting couples from kissing lying down, meant married couples had to be shown sleeping in twin beds, and also stated that if the scene involved kissing, it couldn’t last longer than three seconds and one actor had to have their foot on the ground), hadn’t been lifted in the 1960’s. Of course, film directors found creative ways around this! In 1946, while filming Notorious, Alfred Hitchcock had Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant repeatedly disrupt their kiss with dialogue and movement. It’s now considered one of the sexiest movie scenes of the time!
And at number 1: my personal #swoon favourite fun fact:
Nachküssen is a German word that means “a kiss to make up for those that have not occurred”.
AND HERE’S MY TOP THREE QUOTES ABOUT KISSING:
Being kissed by someone who knows what they’re doing…well, surely that’s a basic human right, right? And so in at number 3, I have:

“You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how”Rhett Butler, Gone With The Wind

At number 2 I have a quote that I can’t establish who said first, but that I think is charming and beautiful, and totally sums up the anticipation between my characters Sephy and Luke in It’s In His Kiss:

“The best kiss is the one that has been exchanged a thousand times between the eyes before it reaches the lips”Anonymous

I have two vying for the number 1 spot because, naturally, with a title like It’s In His Kiss, there’s:

“If you want to know how he really feels, it’s in his kiss”The Shoop Shoop Song

So sorry if I’ve just given you an ear-worm! But I also absolutely love this quote because when Luke kisses Sephy for the first time, it’s way more than a quick autograph…it turns out to feel more like he’s penning an open letter to her heart!

“A man’s signature is his kiss”Mae West

 

It's in his Kiss final

BLURB

Who do you turn to when things go wrong?
Your best friend. Obviously.
Sephy King’s worked flat-out to make her new lingerie business a success, only there’s a tiny snag – the marketing photos for the launch party are a disaster.
Luke Jackson will help her, won’t he? They just need to strip off, model gorgeous, sexy underwear together and take more photos! So what if the stunning body he’s been hiding makes Sephy’s eyes pop out? And when he holds her, she suddenly wishes they were in her bedroom…alone? He’s her best friend.
Then Luke asks Sephy for a return favour: to pose as his fake fiancée to get his parents temporarily off his back. It’s a risky strategy – but she’s sure she can pull it off.
Until he kisses her…

Buy Links

AMAZON–   BARNES&NOBLE– GOOGLEPLAY–   HARPERCOLLINS

KOBO– iTUNES–   SAINSBURY’S ENTERTAINMENT ON DEMAND   

 It’s In His Kiss is a standalone novel, but if you fall in love with the Kings, you can read Sephy’s brother, Jared King’s story in Her Best Laid Plans and Sephy’s sister, Nora King’s story in The Love List

Read my reviews:   Her Best Laid Plans   The Love List

EXCERPT

‘…and closing the distance he captured her lips with his.
Nothing compared. Not that first taste of hot white chocolate sauce poured over blueberries that she awarded herself after hours and hours of sewing. Not the crisp tang of perfectly chilled pinot grigio after a really long day chasing Daisy around. Not the mouth of any other man she had ever tasted.
As Luke’s lips moved over hers, creating delicious friction, his hands tightened against her, dragging her up against the length of him and, holy mackerel. Kissing quiet, considerate, confident, supposedly shy, but undeniably uber hot, Luke Jackson-of-the-sexy-dimples was not supposed to be like this.
She wasn’t supposed to get so lost in him she couldn’t feel the ground beneath her feet.’

 

Winter My Review

The final instalment of the King trilogy features the youngest of the King siblings, Sephy. It’s a lovely story about best friends who start to feel something more for each other. Are they are brave enough to take the next step? Or do they hold back, in case it irreparably damages the precious friendship they already have?
Sephy has something to prove and carries so much emotional baggage it threatens anything she may feel for Luke. Luke has his own ghosts but he is selfless in his support of Sephy. Oh and did I mention he knows how to make a woman feel special and is good with children? Luke is definitely a keeper. Daisy’s scenes are cute and realistic, guaranteed to make you smile.
Sephy and Luke’s relationship changes and falters, as the passion between them builds. There are comic moments and so much heat; desire, disaster or a little of both? This story keeps you turning the pages, to see what happens.
Romance and sensual tension defines this story; add in a glamorous setting and you have the perfect escape for a few hours. It’s lovely summer reading.
I received a copy of this book from the Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Author Bio 2016- 2

 Eve Devon_author photo

My name’s Eve Devon and I write sexy heroes, sassy heroines and happy ever afters…

I kind of secretly believe it’s not too late for me to train as a professional dancer, MMA expert, or win an Oscar. I know! This is why writing fiction is for me!

Growing up in locations like Botswana and Venezuela gave me a taste for adventure and my love for romances began when my mother shoved one into my hands in a desperate attempt to keep me quiet during TV coverage of the Wimbledon tennis finals.

When I wasn’t consuming books by the bucket-load, I could be found pretending to be a damsel in distress or running around solving mysteries and writing down my adventures. As a teenager, I wrote countless episodes of TV detective dramas so the hero and heroine would end up together every week. As an adult, I worked in a library to conveniently continue consuming books by the bucket-load, until realising I was destined to write contemporary romance and romantic suspense myself. I live in leafy Surrey in the UK, a book-devouring, slightly melodramatic, romance-writing sassy heroine with my very own sexy hero husband!

Read my interview with Eve here

Links 2016-1

WEBSITE– TWITTER– FACEBOOK–   GOODREADS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review, Book Spotlight, Guest post, New Books

Dying For Love – Angel Nicholas – Guest Post – My 5* Review – Blog Tour

 

 

BLOG TOUR

 

I’m  pleased to welcome Angel Nicholas to my blog today, on the last stop of her blog tour for ‘Dying for Love’. She shares her thoughts on romance in literature and why the addition of suspense makes it more enjoyable for her both to read and write. As a lover of romantic suspense myself I agree. I’ve read ‘Dying for Love’ and included my review below, its definitely  worth a read.

Here’s what Angel has to say…

Romantic suspense is a fascinatingly diverse sub-genre that draws on the heat and infamous Happily Ever After of romance while tangling it mercilessly with the ruthlessness of the seedier and often bloodier side of life. It’s my favorite sub-genre to read, and the one I can’t stop my fingers from typing.

Romance draws a great deal of criticism; within the literary world, from readers and non-readers alike. We’re told that romance is too simplistic, that it leads to unrealistic expectations of romance, of men, and of life in general. It’s a “silly” genre with no literary merit whatsoever. You gain no greater knowledge of the world, its history, its people, or nature. There’s no purpose! All of which makes me roll my eyes. Is there any purpose to the popular action flicks? Is there any purpose to ballet? Is there any purpose to music? Life is hard, and I make no apologies for seeking pleasure and enjoyment in whatever guise I deem worthy.

What these naysayers fail to acknowledge, or perhaps refuse to acknowledge, is that romance novels do have merit. They do, in fact, serve a greater purpose. Study after study has confirmed that romance readers are more empathetic and open-minded than their non-reading counterparts. I would wager they’re also more empathetic than non-fiction readers. A story that engages your heart and emotions stays with your forever. You remember the lessons taught to the hero and heroine in circumstances you may well never endure, yet you’ve grown just the same. A romance reader is far more capable of lending a sympathetic ear and tender shoulder to cry upon, thanks to the hours she’s happily devoted to vicariously living a fictional couples trials. And yes, their ultimate happily ever after.

Let’s talk about the oft condemned “happily ever after.” As I mentioned above, and as you’re more than likely already aware, life is hard. We’re seldom granted a happily ever after. Even when we are, there’s the AFTER to deal with. After falling deliriously in love. After the fairytale wedding. After the lazy, lusty honeymoon. After the much anticipated new baby arrives. After…we return to reality. To demanding bosses, long work hours, exhausting commutes, burned spaghetti, dirty toilets, piles of laundry, and endless responsibilities. Books are a pleasurable—there’s that dirty word again—escape from those responsibilities. Based on how many memes are floating around social media bemoaning “adulting,” a welcome escape.

Suspense is a little trickier to explain. Romance is marvelous to read, and even more so to experience in real life. But—you knew one was coming, right?—it sometimes strikes me as too much. Too mushy and sweet and lovey dovey and just gag me with a spoon already. Suspense gives the story an edge. It makes me sit up a little straighter and turn the pages a little faster. I devour a well-written romantic suspense in a way that rarely occurs with straight romance. I’m not sure what this says about me, but I especially love writing the dark side of romantic suspense. I have a stack of books devoted to the psychopathy of serial killers and the deeply emotionally disturbed. I want to know what makes them tick, so I can create a three-dimensional villain as striking in his, or her, own way as the hero and heroine. A well-written villain is a thing of rare beauty. I particularly like a villain that you almost hate to see finally meet his well-deserved end.

I suppose part of the appeal is my need to torture the hero and heroine as much as possible before giving them their well-deserved happily ever after. I want them to earn it! When you read a scene in Dying for Love that has you gasping and wide-eyed, a little shocked and maybe even tearful, feel free to picture me hunched over the keyboard, cackling madly and pausing ever so often to rub my hands together in gleeful joy over the havoc I’m wreaking. It’s a fair depiction, after all.

DyingforLove

 

Untitled

 Death is preferable to what awaits in her forgotten past…

Coffee is the only thing standing between Grace Debry and a straight-jacket since she gave up swearing in honor of her foster mom. A rash of break-ins make her wonder if caffeine is enough. Especially when the notes left behind make it personal. Her brand-spanking new life is more nightmare than dream-come-true.

All Matthew Duncan has wanted since hiring Grace is to have her in his passenger seat, his arms, and his bed. As they grow closer, the feisty brunette proves to be a handful—one Matt is happy to hold. He’s determined to give her the happily ever after she stopped believing in years ago. Unfortunately for Grace, it will take more than Matt’s considerable resolve to keep her safe.

Three’s a crowd—not that he cares. Every move she makes, every breath she takes … he’s watching. Waiting to reclaim what he lost.

Buy Links 1

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review 2

The beginning of this story is so sad. The woman’s despair is tangible and the vivid description sets the scene perfectly, for what is to come. I re-read this chapter after I’d finished the book and its impact was even greater.
The story restarts, twenty five years after the opening scene and focuses on Grace a clever, resourceful woman with a self-depreciating sense of humour. A series of unexplained incidents unnerve her and threaten to spoil her new life.
Passionately drawn to his clever employee, Matt fears the implications both of sexual harassment and the fear of rejection. He denies his desires, until a personal tragedy warns him life is short; so he risks all to get to know Grace on a much closer and personal level.
New characters, cleverly introduced ramp up the well written suspense. The reader glimpses pieces of the puzzle with tantalising slowness. The antagonist is menacing, a shadowy figure that threatens everything Grace holds dear.
Grace and Matt’s passionate relationship is sizzling and balances the story’s dark suspense beautifully. The combination of the romance and suspense makes this an all night reader, with an unexpected twist at the end and the promise of a happy ever after. Perfect.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Sweet Deception by Angel Nicholas read my review here

Author Bio

Angel-Nicholas-218x247Angel Nicholas spent her childhood writing angst-ridden poetry and hiding behind romance novels. Now the mother of four children and one beautiful grandchild, fiction is still her refuge. Excessive caffeine fuels her typing. The splendors of Idaho inspire her muse. When she’s not torturing her characters, Angel can be found in the nearest coffee shop or shoe store.

 

Links

Twitter

Facebook

Website

Posted in Guest post

His Confession – S.Valentine – Guest Post

Adult Read

 

Promo Banner His Confession.

‘Kinkier than Mr.Grey! What readers are saying about this sizzling hot series!

Newspaper Feat1

S.Valentine’s new novel, His Confession was released on February in eBook and paperback, and has been receiving great reviews, with readers stating: ‘Badder & kinkier than Mr.Grey!’

‘5 stars for the first of a smoking hot series’ – A Sky Full Of Stars Blog.

‘Sizzling, steamy & one of the best endings ever!’ – Booksmacked.

‘His Confession is my obsession’ – Wild About Books.

#Darion is definitely another hot alpha male going on my book boyfriend list!’ – Sweet Reading Club.

‘Romance reader’s dream’ – Liz Ellyn.

Read  Jane Hunt’s review here

LISTEN TO CHAPTER 1 HERE!

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TITLE: HIS CONFESSION. (Book #1)

SERIES NAME: The Black Door trilogy.

GENRE: Erotic romance.

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Mystery Thriller Blurb

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.

Poppy - Author Bio

Sophia Valentine

S. 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: www.s-valentine.wix.com/books. If you join her newsletter, you will be the first to receive sneak peeks of chapters, teasers, news, giveaway prizes and more!

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Posted in Book Review, Book Spotlight, Guest post, New Books

Love Triangle – Nic Tatano – Guest Post and 5* Review – Blog Tour

It’s lovely to be featuring Nic Tatano’s latest book on my blog. Ever since ‘Wing Girl’, I look out for his books and they always make me smile and often laugh out loud. Nic’s characters are ‘larger than life’, yet retain their authenticity. He shares a few secrets of making your characters’ shine below  in  his post about accents and slang.

 

The Love Triangle Blog Tour Schedule

PUTTING THE ACCENT ON THE ACCENTS IN ROMANCE
By Nic Tatano

We’ve all heard the old saying that “opposites attract” and that usually applies to personalities and appearance. But to me it’s a lot more fun to add another element into the mix: different accents and the slang that goes with them.
Do you hear a character’s speaking voice when you read? I do, and also when I write. And having lived and worked all over the country, and traveled extensively, I’ve heard a lot of different accents. So why should all characters have perfect diction and similar voices? Giving a character a distinct accent adds flavor to a personality.
And putting two “opposite” accents and the slang that goes with them together in a romance is fun.
I have some favorites:
-New York. (The accent I had to lose when I started working in broadcasting.) When you know a character has a Noo Yawk accent you immediately get the picture. Fast talking with an attitude in the voice. There’s nothing remotely genteel about this accent or manner of speech, but to me it is still cool, and I slip back into it when I visit the city.
There are some rules about this accent. “You guys” becomes “youse.” Many questions are ended with “or what” added to the end. “Youse wanna pawty afta woik, or what?”
“Fuhgeddaboudit” is the famous all-purpose phrase which can mean several things. “Is Henry Cavill hot? Fuhgeddaboudit.” In this case it basically means, “Damn right.” It can also mean you disagree. “You actually think Episode One of Star Wars was a good movie? Fuhgeddaboudit.”
-British. Nothing sounds more proper to an American than a British accent. And few things are more attractive to us when it comes to the opposite sex. I have loved visiting the UK, and hearing the accents is a treat. Good things are “lovely” and great things are “brilliant.” The Brits make everything sound polite and nice, even if something is really bad. Imagine the difference between an American television news anchor and a British presenter covering the end of the world. The American would add a ton of drama. “The bombs are on the way! We’re all gonna die!” While the Brit would maintain composure. “The nuclear warheads will arrive on schedule (pronounced: shed-jool). You may feel a slight bit of discomfort and a tad warm as you’re vaporized, but this will pass in a nanosecond.”
-Southern. A slower pace of speaking, and much more polite, especially compared to a New Yorker. “Youse” becomes “y’all.” And “I’m” becomes “ah’m.”
One favorite southernism is “fixin’ to” which means “I’m going to.” As in, “Ah’m fixin’ to go the beach.”
Then there’s what I call the “Southern disclaimer” which allows the polite Southerner to insult someone… sort of… by adding “bless his little heart” at the end of the insult. As in, “He is such an idiot… bless his little heart.” Which sort of means the guy is stupid but can’t help it.
-Boston. Fast, nasal and somehow charming. A favorite word is “wicked” and a common phrase is “wicked hard.” Add the Bastin accent and you’ve got someone who is going to “pahty wicked hahd.” (Have a lot of fun with some alcohol involved.)
-Upper Midwest. Watch the movie Fargo for an example of an accent actually being a key element of the story. Nasal combined with old fashioned values, and without the profanity. “Yah. Fer sure.”
Now that you’ve got your accents, put a few of them together in a romance. My favorite combo is New York and British, as I did in “It Girl” and you’ll also see in “The Love Triangle.” Lots of opportunity for “lost in translation” moments as well since the slang which goes with the different accents can mean different things.
Writing characters with different accents is very enjoyable… at least till the editing stage when I hit spellcheck.
And then? Fuhgeddaboudit.

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Blurb -2

When you need damage control, you call a doctor.
Nope, not a medical doctor. A spin doctor.

And public relations expert Lexi Harlow is so good at getting her clients out of trouble, she’s known as Spin Girl.

After an incendiary breakup (setting fire to her cheating boyfriend’s pants) she decides to play the field for the first time in her life. Two suitors are vying for her affections; pro quarterback Jake Frost, New York’s most eligible bachelor; and sports agent Kyle Caruso. But when the athlete hires the agent, and both enlist her services to take care of public relations, well…

There’s only one way Lexi can spin her way out of a love triangle before everything blows up in her face.
Choose one.
But when the candle she’s burning at both ends meets in the middle, the choice is no longer hers.

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My Review

Take one intelligent and independently minded woman. Add a drop dead gorgeous celebrity sports star and a hardworking, yet to hit the big time sports agent and you have a ‘Love Triangle’ with a difference. Not reliant on political intrigue or rampant sex, this story is humorous and poignant, full of charm, glamour and good old fashioned romance.
The setting is vivid and realistic adding to the story’s vibrancy. Who knew there was so much affordable fun in New York? The characters are complex and distinctive.
The triangle is interesting and realistic, with plenty of dramatic irony. It’s easy to choose a side and hope Lexi makes the right decision. The support characters and sub plots enhance the story. Notably, Lexi’s assistant who is male and British, with a unique take on Lexi’s love interest, which provides lots of comic moments.
The media knowledge is evident in this story and this air of authenticity makes the story more enjoyable for the reader.
With a surprising twist, later in the book and a lovely ending, this is a page turning read.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Author Bio -1

Photo-Nic-Tatano-1-218x247I’ve always been a writer of some sort, having spent my career working as a reporter, anchor or producer in television news. Fiction is a lot more fun, since you don’t have to deal with those pesky things known as facts.

I spent fifteen years as a television news reporter and anchor. My work has taken me from the floors of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions to Ground Zero in New York to Jay Leno’s backyard. My stories have been seen on NBC, ABC and CNN. I still work as a freelance network field producer for FOX, NBC, CBS and ABC.

I grew up in the New York City metropolitan area and now live on the Gulf Coast where I will never shovel snow again. I’m happily married to a math teacher and we share our wonderful home with our tortoiseshell tabby cat, Gypsy.

 

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Posted in Guest post, New Books

Follow your Fantasy: Deeper – Nicola Jane- Guest Post

Adult Read

Today, I have erotica author Nicola Jane on my blog.  I reviewed Nicola’s first book from Harper Impulse ‘Follow your Fantasy’ and now the journey continues with Follow your Fantasy: Deeper.

86967-6 Follow your fantasy Deeper

Going Deeper

‘Follow your Fantasy: Deeper picks up a short time after the first book ends. When I got the offer from Harper Impulse, I had actually already written about 9,000 words of a totally different, mythical themed, choose-your-own-adventure format book. But then I decided it was too different from Follow Your Fantasy and that there was more to say about the world of this modern reality-dwelling “You.”

Second book syndrome is very real. It’s much harder to write when there are expectations, from readers, from your publisher, from yourself. When I wrote Follow Your Fantasy, I just did it for fun, for escape, for my own amusement. But Follow Your Fantasy: Deeper, gave me total writer’s block for months and took over three times longer to write. I had to really dig deep mentally to get there, with the occasional flash of blessed inspiration for scenes that I have no idea where they came from. There’s some pretty edgy stuff in this one… Rumpelstiltskin makes an appearance!

Because the books are choose-your-own-adventure, the central character “You” is, in essence, blank so the readers can fill her in in their own image. Yet, she still has some character of her own – risk-taking, daring. I wanted to explore the character of “You”, particularly her relationship with the other female character, Giselle. For me, it’s their relationship that the books are really about. Giselle isn’t just a lookalike, she’s a device “You” uses to give herself (or yourself, the reader) the permission to go to some pretty extreme places. But what makes her tick? Is she just a character of her own invention too? I think we start to find out a bit more about her, but it depends which branches of the story you take as to what you find out. As for “You”, she starts to go off on her own adventures, less reliant on Giselle, but still very linked.

The book takes some paths deeper into the realm of sexual fantasy and I read a book called Garden of Desires by Emily Dubberley which collects women’s fantasies and groups them into categories. Like dominance, masochism, voyeurism etc and I realised I had been writing a lot of scenes that fall under the exhibitionism category. That gave me a lot to think about! But that’s the point of erotica, to explore things from a safe perspective, to go deeper into your own fantasies.

I was also writing through a time in my life where I was having one of the deepest, in the sense of profound, experiences because I was pregnant for the first, and so far only, time. The last third of the book and all edits and rewrites were completed during my middle trimester. It’s not that pregnancy can’t be a sexy time, but it’s a bit odd now, with a ten-month old baby boy, to be remembering things I was writing when he was in utero!’

Author Bio - Flower

Photo-Nicola-Jane-218x247Wanderlust has been my main life force for the last ten years flitting from country to country (7 and counting) but, now I’ve managed to tie myself down in Madrid for a while, I’m operating more on the lust part with writing Erotica and dabbling in multiple dating and open relationships. I’ve never had an English boyfriend so my male romantic protagonists tend to be influenced by the Latin charms. Men I meet keep telling me I should write about them in my books. One or two might have made it already. One or two more are always welcome. – See more at: http://www.harperimpulseromance.com/authors/nicola-jane/

 

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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..