The countdown to Christmas is usually a magical time, but Elana James is fed up with living on a building site! The renovations on her beautiful cottage – like her heart – have been frozen in limbo ever since she was unexpectedly widowed.
Elana calls in a professional, Luke Stevenson, to help finish the cottage so her little girl can send letters to Santa up the newly-repaired chimney. Luke’s kind, capable and sexy – but he’s also ten years younger than Elana. So why has her heart decided it’s finally time for a thaw?
Christmas at a cottage in the countryside sounds idyllic, but Elana has lost her soulmate and is left to be both mum and dad to the little girl who is her reason for breathing. Having a happy Christmas and living life to the full is so much harder for her this year, the second since Niall was taken from her. Luke has lost his family too but this time because his wife wanted more than he could give. He blames himself, and it seems fate agrees as circumstances conspire against him, ensuring he only sees his little son once a week.
Elana’s cottage still needs a great deal of renovation, when her parents give her a helping hand builder, Luke is the man for the job, but suddenly his presence threatens her self-imposed celibacy and makes her wish for things she thought she never would again.
The story is charming full of humour and poignant moments as Elana and Luke discover kindred spirits and try to make their children’s Christmas magical and memorable. Maya and Joe, the children in the story, are insightful portrayals.
The plot is surprising, and not everyone or their lives is as it first seems. It captures the essence of Christmas believably and contains just enough magic to have you believing in Santa.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
THE OTHER PLACE by Elizabeth Roderick
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Cover Designer: REDBIRD DESIGNS
Tagline: Sometimes the ones they call crazy are the sanest…
Living in Justin Flaherty’s mind has never been easy. Unfortunately, things are about to get much worse…
At eighteen years old, most guys are chasing girls or dreams. Justin, on the other hand, wants to draw and be left alone. He’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but it’s more than that. He’s in tune with the Dark Energy that surrounds us all, and can see how it controls people’s actions. Sometimes, the Dark Energy will give him visions, to help him on the road to enlightenment.
When his mother hooks up with a Baptist preacher named David who believes Justin’s schizophrenia can be cured with prayer, Justin knows he has to get out—or risk involuntary commitment in a religious facility.
After a brush with incarceration, Justin takes off to San Francisco, where his drawings are not just noticed, but admired…
Justin’s bizarre and beautiful drawings create a stir in the art world. Meanwhile, he’s homeless, couch surfing, and trapped in a continuous battle with his mental illness. His salvation is a girl named Liria Czetski with a shady past. They’d met a year ago, and she’s appeared in his visions ever since. It turns out Liria has been sharing those visions, something that is a surprise to everyone but Justin…
When secrets surface, Justin is forced to realize that being a genius has a downside. Surrounded by people who want to exploit his talent, he must fight not only for his career and freedom, but perhaps for his life…
ELIZABETH RODERICK grew up as a barefoot ruffian on a fruit orchard near Yakima, in the eastern part of Washington State. After weathering the grunge revolution and devolution in Olympia, Washington, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, she recently moved to the (very, very) small town of Shandon, California: a small cluster of houses amidst the vineyards of the Central Coast.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and worked for many years as a paralegal and translator. She went on to study chemistry, physics, and higher mathematics, with the goal of becoming a research chemist, but was eventually forced to concede that graduate school would require too much time away from her husband and daughter, and that–despite her good-enough grades –she was perhaps the wrong kind of nerd for such pursuits, being more the type that likes to dress in cloaks and hauberks rather than lab coats and goggles.
She is a musician and songwriter, and has played in many bands. She’s rocked pretty much every instrument, including some she doesn’t even know the real names for, but mostly guitar, bass and keyboards. She has two albums of her own, which you can listen to at pimentointhehole.com. She writes fiction novels for young adults and adults, as well as short stories, and keeps an active blog at pimentointhehole.com/blog.
Author: SAMIE SANDS
Series: AM13 OUTBREAK, BOOK 1
Cover Designer: DERANGED DOCTOR DESIGNS
Release Date: MAY 3, 2016
Publisher: LIMITLESS PUBLISHING
Leah Watton’s practical joke has spiralled way out of control—all to impress a crush…
With a prank online video, Leah hopes to catch the attention of Jake Colton, a cute, blond-haired, blue-eyed co-worker she’s had a crush on for months. But instead of sending it to Jake, she manages to forward the clip to her boss—who buys every gory second.
When mass panic ensues, Leah learns the video is more than a staged act…
The government is calling the virus AM13. As the outbreak spreads, citizens are forced to stay indoors while they assess the gravity of the illness. Most people are quarantined in their homes, but Leah, Jake, and Leah’s best friend Michelle are some of the unlucky few who are stuck at work when the Lockdown occurs.
That’s where she first encounters one of the infected…
Aside from a contaminated woman devouring one of her co-workers, Leah has another problem. Does she do as she’s ordered and stay at work? Or should she disobey government orders and break free to reunite with her family?
She can’t go it alone—after all, Leah has none of the skills needed to survive—but with Michelle and Jake by her side, not even a contagious virus and a sea of the dead can keep her from…
Breaking out of the Lockdown…
Samie Sands is a 30 year old freelance graphic designer who has recently decided to follow her lifelong dream and use her creativity in a new way by writing.
She has a degree in Media Studies and PR and has already had articles published in a number of e-zines, including one of the most popular pieces at Zombie Guide Magazine. She has also had a number of her short stories included in some very successful anthologies.
She lives in a small seaside town in the UK, but loves to travel to gain inspiration from new places and different cultures. To follow Samie’s work, please check out her website
Today I have the author of The Keepers Trilogy on my blog , Rae Rivers , who will be talking to me about her writing and books.
What inspired you to start writing, Rae?
I’ve always had a love of storytelling. At first, it was something I did as a child when I needed to escape into my imaginary world where I had control over everything and could just have fun. As I grew older, the need to tell more stories grew stronger. It’s my calling, my passion, and one of the few things in my life that makes me feel alive with excitement. I love it!
Was becoming a published author important to you?
The older I got and the more I wrote, the more I enjoyed it. I began to wonder if my work was “good enough” to be considered for publication but as I never allowed anyone to read it (not even my husband or mother!) I had no feedback to work with. So when I finally plucked up the courage to submit my Keepers to a publisher and they offered a four book deal, I was thrilled. Slowly, my inner voice became an encouraging “I’ve got this.” I knew I had a lot to learn but they believed in me so that was huge! (And still is! ) So yes, for me being published – along with the incredible feedback from my readers – has been a huge confidence boost which has helped me grow as a person and a writer and turn a hobby into a dream career.
‘The Keepers: Ethan is your latest release and I think the last book in the series. Are you sad to reach the end, or is there going to be more books in the series?
The Keepers: Ethan is the end of the series and it’s with a bittersweet feeling that I wrap up this journey. I’ve worked with these characters for over three years and most of the time, they were at the forefront of my mind – it often felt like I was greeting old friends whenever I started my writing morning. Whilst writing all the books, there was some angst and stress (and sometimes tears too!) but I had the time of my life too. I’m delighted to reach the end of this journey and feel tremendously satisfied with how it all came together in the end, but I do feel a bit sad to say goodbye.
Do you have a special place where you like to write? Do you have a photograph of it to share with us?
I live on a flower farm in the mountains so my surroundings are so inspirational. It’s quiet and peaceful and so perfect for an author. I have a home office which is kitted out with everything I need. It’s sunny and bright in the summer and dark and cosy in the winter. It’s my space, my haven, and I love it. But having said that, I’m also quick to grab my laptop and head for the outdoor patio, couch or even my bed. And with small children, I might even write beside the swimming pool too.
Is your writing process well defined or haphazard? Can you describe it?
I think it’s a little of both. I had an overall outline for the entire series with certain highlights I wanted to reach – and a whole of blank spaces in between. But those blank spaced gave me room to create as I went along and I think the books turned out better because of them. Sometimes I write quickly and end up with a messy scene which I then have to carefully craft into a stronger one. Other times, I take a step back and plan a little more. As I’ve gained more experience, I tend to want to plan a bit more to ensure I’ve covered everything and given my characters and plot all the elements that make a good story.
Paranormal isn’t the only genre you write – you have also written a romantic suspense novel. Which genre appeals most to you as a writer and why is this?
I’m definitely a romance writer at heart but also love action and suspense too. I never thought I’d venture into the Paranormal scene until the day Sienna and her Keepers came to mind. Now I adore the genre as it gives me a lot of freedom to be creative. The rules can be shaped as I want and the possibilities for my “worlds” are endless. And best of all is that I’m able to combine my love of romance and suspense with the paranormal.
Apart from writing do you have any other things you love to do?
Definitely reading, movies and TV series! I enjoy the outdoors like waterskiing, hiking, boating etc. I love travelling – anywhere from a camp site to a fab hotel. I like a balance between socialising with friends and family, nights spent at home with my kids and hubby– and also having time alone.
What writing plans do you have for 2016?
I’m toying with various ideas and mapping out a plot line for another possible series. I’ve opened myself to the fictional world waiting for the story to take hold. For now, I’m wrapped up in Ethan’s release and school holidays but know when things settle down, there’ll be no stopping me. Watch this space!
“Going to Ameera to find Hazel. Stealing the spell … You think you can pull it off?” he asked.
She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.
Just as she thought he’d kiss her, he reached for her jacket and said, “Then let’s go.”
A portal to another world has opened, unleashing dangerous creatures on earth. A dark witch is out for revenge. The stakes are high, a war inevitable.
One person can stop the madness. Jenna. She’s a Keeper to a powerful hybrid witch but she harbours a secret and if Jenna steps through the portal – seduced by the whispers of her hidden past – she may never return.
Fortunately, she has company … infamous Bennett brother and fiercely protective Keeper, Ethan. Their whip-cracking banter makes them perfect sparring partners in training, but how will they manage when their lives and everything they were born to defend are on the line?
When the battle lines are drawn, will Jenna and Ethan stand side by side – as friends, protectors, lovers … or as traitors?
If you’re a fan of The Keepers series, you will have eagerly anticipated ‘The Keepers: Ethan, I’ve just finished reading and it doesn’t disappoint.
All the players assemble for the final apocalyptic battle and there are so many twists and turns it leaves you breathless. Jenna and Ethan circle around each other, the only two singles on the Bennett Wine estate, drawn together by proximity and the dangers they face, the passion is sensual and adds a delicious sizzle to this action packed story.
Jenna who we met in ‘The Keepers: Declan’ is kick ass and her independence attracts Ethan, who still bears the guilt of his sister’s demise. Ethan, quieter than his brothers, has a determined, powerful presence that attracts Jenna and makes her heart rule her head.
Their journey into Ameera is exciting and informative, and gives the series an important new dimension, which increases the suspense and excitement. Ameera is a dark world, full of lost and often dangerous creatures that live in anarchy, the danger to humanity lies here and Jenna and Ethan have to face it head on. The supernatural displays are vivid and easy to imagine and I couldn’t put this book down until I’d finished.
There is a dynamic, romantic ending to this unique series, with memorable characters that I’m sorry to leave.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Rae’s an avid reader and writer with a passion for writing spicy romance novels. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with her gorgeous children and husband and a zoo of house pets. Besides writing, she loves family time, the outdoors, travelling, watching TV series, reading and chocolate.She loves to hear from her readers and can be found here:
In this collection of short stories, Jonathan Alvey continues to battle the unraveling world of the White Dragon Black.
Interview: A rare sit-down with paranormal private investigator Jonathan Alvey.
The Play’s the Thing: When a blonde woman shows up in Alvey’s office, seeking protection, he uncovers more than a murder attempt.
The Cost of Custody: Alvey helps estranged parents rescue their daughter from a terrible fate.
Sins of the Father: A pawn shop owner risks it all by asking Alvey to recover property that is more than meets the eye.
Legerdelivre: There’s nowhere Richard Tomlin can hide when it comes to the controlling powers of a dusty grimoire, but can Alvey truly help him?
What a Nightmare: Little old ladies do deceive, and secretaries come dear, in Jonathan Alvey’s office.
Do As I Say, Not As I Did: Alvey must air a CEO’s dirty laundry before a company ghost destroys too much.
The Ties That Bind: Can Alvey control a poltergeist and maintain his promise to not fall victim to the Dragon Black?
This anthology is the first book I have read in the White Dragon Black series. I instantly liked the main character Jonathan Alvey and soon became fascinated in his extraordinary life.
An interview with Jonathan sets the scene perfectly for new readers. Linked short stories follow, the first is nostalgic and reminiscent of a private eye detective story but with an interesting paranormal twist. The remaining stories are progressively dark, full of magic and supernatural characters and incidents.
Jonathan Alvey is a complex character, whose cynical sense of humour makes amusing reading and provides necessary light against the background of dark adventures he participates in. Through Jonathan’s experience, the reader meets many disturbing creatures in a realistic way. I easily imagined what they would look like and the world created is vivid and believable.
These stories do not glamorise magic and supernatural skills, Alvey suffers greatly for his gift, the fact he perseveres makes him a worthy protagonist.
These stories give the noir detective story an interesting contemporary twist and will interest lovers of mystery and the paranormal.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars